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L. Ron Hubbard breaks silence // A reply to William Burroughs

Title: L. Ron Hubbard breaks silence // A reply to William Burroughs
Date: Saturday, 1 August 1970
Publisher: Mayfair (magazine)
Author: L. Ron Hubbard
Main source: link (588 KiB)

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[Picture / Caption: 'As a matter of policy, L. Ron Hubbard doesn't give interviews' — Scientology spokesman]


L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the five-million strong Scientology cult, speaks out for the first time ever in a British publication to defend his creed against world-famous author William Burroughs. Read it carefully — it is a revealing self-portrait of an extraordinary man

Scientology is a people's activity, a grass roots movement, and such are usually frowned on by the Establishment

The saving grace of the Scientologist is that when somebody points out they really should not misaddress their envelopes, they try to put it right

The Scientologist has proven he can cure drug addiction

You can't blame the Scientologist for his exuberance and cheerfulness

As I didn't write any of the things William Burroughs quotes, I find nothing there to which I can directly reply.

Burroughs is a great thinker, a searching critic of things in his field. I have no faintest wish to attack him. The world needs their William Burroughses.

I was opposed to the abuses he mentions and I believe they were all removed some years ago.

So for the sake of 'controversy' and 'lets you and him fight' I am hardly likely to attack a man for whom I have great respect. He is perfectly entitled to his views and to express them.

His challenge, however, raises many points of interest in Scientology and its general situation across the world. Controversy is considered the breath of life in news media.

Probably any upset that Scientology or other minority groups experience today can be traced to certain conditions which exist in the field of mass news media.

Journalism for a long time has been following the pattern of using 'conflict' to gain what they call reader interest.

This is taken from the tenets of dialectic materialism. In this subject it is understood that two forces in opposition produce ideas.

The French magazine Paris Match was the leader and possible pioneer in this concept and presentation. One inevitably sees in its pages two opposing parties in conflict in every story and picture series.

In Scientology I examined this concept further. It seemed there might be a misapplication of dialectic materialism.

Extending the principles involved, I found that stories or reports were basically ideas.

They were not forces.

Looking further, the principle became evident. Two ideas in conflict can produce force! Particularly if one idea or the other is not fully disclosed.

We have all seen and experienced this. In an argument, where two opposing ideas were proposed, we have seen voices grow louder and more forceful and in the absence of mediation or clarification the matter culminated in blows.

Two ideas in opposition quite commonly lead to violence.

Northern Ireland's conflict of religious faith, student riots where the students' ideas are in opposition to the ideas of the faculty or establishment, even the conflict between East and West are all situations in which ideas in conflict produce violence.

As we are told in dialectic materialism, two forces in opposition produce ideas. Thus an idea is generated. The cycle continues when two ideas in conflict produce force and thus we obtain an unending cycle repeated over and over.

Journalism, in following the basic concept of controversy, in fact could produce force and violence. Journalism is a matter of words, paper and ink and is not force. But it has often called force into play.

The Scientology paper Freedom published in connection with groups pressing for the reform of the whole field of mental healing, is a case in point.

Psychiatrists were using force on mental patients and advocating easy seizure and lawless confinement and using their powers for political purposes.

Various groups, including the Scientologists, objected to violence being employed in the field of mental healing and got the idea that psychiatry should be reformed. Psychiatry, reacting, got the idea that Scientology should be eradicated before it wiped out psychiatry and its millions of pounds in government 'research' grants.

These two ideas, opposed, produced further violence by psychiatry against Scientology behind the cover of the Establishment.

Freedom's writers now number in three figures and while they may be thought to go too far at times, I fully agree with the idea that the psychiatric version of mental healing should not be used to bring on a '1984' as in the famous book by Orwell. Mental patients should have civil rights. They should not be beaten, tortured by strange medieval 'treatments' or killed. The women should not be raped, nor the men perverted, nor should anyone who is insane be turned into a hopeless drug addict just to make him 'quiet.'

Scientologists cheerfully reformed their own field and abolished security checking, separation of families and preserving records of patients' secrets, and see no reason why psychiatry refuses to reform its much greater abuses of easy seizure, violence, denial of all rights and death for the insane.

Psychiatry, a 19th Century subject, (it is 91 years since they first decided men had no souls and were just animals) is old and well entrenched in the Establishment which uses it, and with this influence in high places can easily cause its rivals, competitors and critics to be ridiculed, lied about and banned. Despite its public ill repute, psychiatry has had an hypnotic grip on mass media.

But the young and energetic people of Scientology, pressing forward with 20th Century technology, have now caused psychiatry to be looked into very thoroughly and are driving the Establishment supported psychiatric front groups to the wall. (Three countries are now holding Inquiries on psychiatry and in one its association has been denied further government support.)

The psychiatric idea of violence against mental patients produced the idea of Freedom in Scientologists and other groups. This idea came into opposition with Nazi oriented people in the Establishment with fixed antagonistic ideas who then struck at Scientology with the wildest avalanche of easily disproveable lies seen in modern times.

But the idea that there is much valid opposition to Scientology or its organizations is essentially false. The growth rate is a double in every year. And in 1969 there were about 5,000,000 Scientologists in the world. There are about one hundred trained Scientology practitioners for every psychiatrist and the number of people Scientology processes annually is a great many times that handled in personal consultation by psychiatry. Medical doctors have ceased to oppose it and have begun to use it in Europe and England. Even young psychiatrists and some very famous old ones are supporting Scientology and calling for psychiatric reform.

Scientology is cheaper, faster and far more positive in result than psycho-analysis.

The old never has much luck in trying to stop the new. Scientology is a peoples' activity, a grass roots movement, and such are usually frowned on by the Establishment who tut tut and mutter 'untried,' 'too new,' 'must be put down' and all that. Scientology organization boards of directors are young, vital, enthusiastic. They are feeling their way, getting the house in order, trying to do their best. Their expansion rate is hard on them as their 'experienced hands' get spread very thin. The outstanding thing about them is that they can be counted upon to try to put things right. They are not old die-hard 'Went to Harvard,' 'Exeter, you know' reactionaries. They regard psychiatric front group boards much as in 1910 new automobile executives must have looked upon the board of a company manufacturing buggy whips.

I pin my faith on the new generations. They are much maligned and many epithets are thrown at them by the Establishment. Literally torrents of false reports are circulated about them just because they are young and WON'T BE QUIET.

They are trying to find their feet, they are trying to make things go right. They may not always know how to go about it and they can make mistakes. But they try to find out how the old world with its wars and savagery went wrong so they themselves won't commit the same errors.

It's much that way with the Scientologists among them and their organizations. They know they can work miracles in the society with their technology. They know violence has no place in mental healing.

Friendly, willing, optimistic, the Scientologist compares strangely with the Cromwellian ghost of psychiatry which opposes them frowning from sordid institutions evidently favoured by the Establishment and the older unreformed generation.

Any new vital force in the world has a hard time. But the saving grace of the Scientologist is that when somebody points out they really should not misaddress their envelopes and really should wear business suits instead of jeans to work, they try to put it right.

If you point out something you don't like to a psychiatrist he promptly puts you on his list as insane and calls up his contacts in the police department and military intelligence to have you raided or arrested as a dangerous agitator.

The Scientologist contends that psychiatry will not take responsibility for its field. Crime and insanity rates are soaring despite an avalanche of public funds into psychiatric pockets. The Scientologist insists violence is not the right approach to any problem. He has proven he can cure drug addiction and insanity and reform criminals quickly, cheaply and easily and his competence causes him to suspect that somebody doesn't want crime and insanity statistics lowered.

The whole field of mental healing is a tough field. The psychiatrist can't really be blamed too hard for his mental attitude. He knows he can do nothing to really help and can only make somebody quiet. He is operating on a failed purpose to help others. And it makes him savage and morose. He even doubts his own sanity and often winds up completely mad in his own institutions.

On the other hand you can't blame the Scientologist for his exuberance and cheerfulness. When he processes somebody the person usually becomes happy and friendly and enthusiastic about life. The Scientologist knows he can process somebody who is sick, moaning, complaining, dragging himself around and in an hour or two or perhaps a week at most, have the person laughing and looking at life with a gleam of zest.

Any trouble a Scientologist has comes from his unwillingness to realize that the Establishment doesn't necessarily want happy friendly people.

The mass media tends to play it for the Establishment. The opinions of minorities and such small church groups get distorted when they have any voice at all. This in itself is THE source of unrest in a country. The forward progress of a culture, particularly one held in the iron bands of a capitalist economy, depends utterly on the voices of youth and the public impact of new things.

No matter how hard the Establishment seeks to hold the old form of things, no matter how many false reports and invalidations it is persuaded to issue against the new, a culture progresses. Change comes.

Hitler is dead. His death camps are museum pieces. His medieval torture in the name of government died under the protest of the rest of the world.

Today's 'insane asylum' will become tomorrow's museum.

Today's fear of insanity and violence against the insane will become yesterday's half forgotten nightmare.

The credit for this will belong to the Scientologist and his many friends.

Any new subject or new organization has things in it which can be criticized. It is not, I am sure we all agree, a perfect world. The test is whether or not a new subject works or whether an organization is willing to correct itself.

There is no question that Scientology works (it has been technically tested and validated countless times whereas no one has ever even tried to validate psychiatry) and at every true and valid criticism of Scientology practice its organizations have laboured hard to correct it.

Psychiatry never has worked.

Efforts to correct psychiatry wind one up with a black eye in the mass media and in public bans by the Establishment.

Scientology has found that it takes a team to deliver technology. The day of the one-man band country doctor is dead in mental healing. That is the main reason Scientology has any organizations at all.

Finance for research was never available to Scientology. It had to develop on its own organizational finance. Any and all monies for research in the field of mental healing are poured by foundations and governments into the coffers and pockets of psychiatry. We have lists of funds poured out to friends of psychiatry to put in their pockets.

Scientology organisations had to exist to refine the application of the technology. It has cost millions and it has been intensely successful. But if psychiatry admitted the answer had been found they would lose the golden horde they reap yearly in pretending to look for the answer.

Organizations of Scientology have found against their own inclinations that they have to maintain the ethics of practice at a very high standard. As it has been attacked so hard it does not dare permit unsuccessful administration of its technology as it is ruthlessly called to task by its attackers for every smallest imagined failure.

It is still a very aberrated world and Scientology organizations have had to develop a survival pattern in order to apply the technology correctly with success. Knocked around by irresponsible false reports and invalidation by psychiatric opposition operating through the controlled mass news media and the Establishment, Scientology organizations have evolved highly effective organizational technology completely aside from mental tech. And all this just to be sure the subject develops and keeps on working well in the hands of practitioners.

If psychiatry had paid attention to its ethics of practice and had organized to prevent wild malpractice, it would not today be so vulnerable to attack. Documented orgies in sanitariums, sexual interference with patients to say nothing of the beatings, torturings and murders which have now come to light are all indications of what can happen when practice is not guided along decent and humane lines by professional ethics. On one hand Scientology is taken to task for any tiny failure and on the other upbraided for trying to keep its practice ethical. This is a typical paradox faced by the Scientologist.

Ethics is still an evolving subject in Scientology. It is the age old problem of right conduct. This is a problem in any group and is the primary stumbling block of the young. What IS right conduct? When one sees the older generation lying and cheating and selling out the country's future and yet hammering the young for WRONG conduct one gets confused. But the secret is, the Establishment never says what conduct IS right. They just give orders which mostly begin with DON'T.

The Scientologist was not even faintly opposed to anyone. 'Here's some terrific new discoveries about the mind. Let's everybody push now and really make it go!' describes his attitude.

Then he is startled to find the Establishment doesn't seem to want happy friendly well people and recoils. He gets more insistent that this is a good thing.

Then he finds the school of healing supported by the Establishment must have come from Belsen or Buchenwald. So he gets more insistent about using humane far more effective modern technology.

And the Establishment bans students of Scientology out of a country and another government bans its practice.

The Scientologist then decides, 'These guys are nuts.' And gets more insistent that only sane people will be able to make a safer planet.

The psychiatric efforts to get rid of a dangerous competitor is having the effect of forcing the Scientologist to handle government influences and reorganize to take over the entire field of mental healing. The Scientologist never would have dreamed of this. For years he acted with full regard for spheres of influence. He turned away both the physically ill and the insane.

Shot at harder and harder, lied about with wilder and wilder lies, the Scientologists began to look things over and grow up a little. Attorneys acting for them unearthed torrents of evidence that is still coming in as to who was at the bottom of all these attacks and why.

But the very falsity of the charges thrown at Scientology began to undermine the attacks. They ceased to be credible to the public.

The extent of this covert operation against Scientology would do credit to CIA! It must have cost a fortune.

False 'Scientology bulletins' and other false 'publications' were distributed. Kidnapping, murder and false witnesses all weave their tale in this incredible adventure of a new school of effective mental technology. James Bond was on a Sunday School picnic compared to the saga of Scientology.

Now if psychiatry is flinching under the hard, totally documented confrontation with Scientology they have the right to flinch. They didn't want any new effective technology. They wanted only the loot. And they wanted no nasty critic of their private little sports with patients. Their public image of kindly helpful old gentlemen cracked apart earthquake wide.

All this has had a profound effect on Scientology organization.

At no time has the Scientologist been nationally disloyal anywhere. They are pledged to allegiance to the governments of their own countries. They are not a political but a technical group. They extend help to all corners and make their data available whenever asked.

Their road is simply that if individual men were more able they could handle their problems and help others and by this progression it would become a saner safer world. That is the totality of their ambition. The Scientologist has a long road ahead of him to bring about a safer environment on this planet.

That he will do it he never doubts. For he sees, like so many others that it has to be done.

The basic technology of Dianetics and Scientology has been open and released for years and is in use in ever increasing technical areas. The organizations grow and expand.

They only want a safer planet for Mankind. To do this Scientologists are always looking for ways to improve their organizations so that they can give even better service to the public.

Outright lies and false accusations are not something that can be corrected. But honest and valid criticism is always welcome because it helps a lot of good people to do a better job.

As a famous celebrity, a pal of mine for years, once said, 'If only people would criticize more and honestly and to the point! I feel when they don't they are not my friends.'

So I count William Burroughs as a friend of mine. Whatever he writes he is trying to make things go right, just like the Scientologists.

...and a final word from William Burroughs

To take up the points raised by Mr Hubbard, as regards mass media I am completely in agreement with what he says and have expressed the same opinions in writings. Newspapers stir up trouble and that gives them copy. One murder played up in the newspapers will trigger off similar murders. Ritual murders are the thing now and let's hope it doesn't go as far as the sky-jacking craze.

As regards psychiatry and its practitioners I have said: 'Nine out of every ten psychiatrists should be broken down to veterinarians.'

I agree that 'Scientology is cheaper faster, and more positive than 19th Century psycho-analysis.' I have said so several times.

Back to psychiatrists they would seem to have nothing to recommend them but their bad statistics and that's a powerful sight. That's what all politicians run on . . . the mess they've made. Mr Hubbard says the 'Establishment doesn't necessarily want happy friendly people.' Eight happy friendly narcs break the door down with a sledge hammer and rush in guns out to arrest a Zen Hippie cooking up his marcrobiotic rice? It's not smart to get too happy and friendly and efficient around the office either just try humming through your work and doing it in half the time it takes the old office hands to do it and see how popular you are. The Establishment has more need for finks collaborators and obedient servants than it has for happy friendly people. The Establishment is built on FEAR.

Now I recommended a switch over to smiling cops who when they break a door down say . . . 'Welcome to the friendliest narcotics department in the world' . . . But the Chief can't see it . . . No the Establishment cannot see any other method of controlling the population to their advantage except fear . . . Fear of punishment . . . Fear of economic disadvantage which is made more and more unbearable. This pressure is not coming from the psychiatrists alone. They are only servants of the Establishment with a limited sphere of influence. The pressure comes from a whole unworkable machine that connot leave the past . . .

The planet is indeed unsafe . . . radiation, overpopulation, air and water pollution, world wide inflation . . . all the rich looking for something they can carry out in a brief case when the lid blows off . . . First editions, paintings, industrial diamonds But where will he go with his brief case? Others more farsighted are casting about for a way to leave a sinking ship and take the first steps into space.