Scientology Critical Information Directory

This site is best viewed using a highly standards-compliant browser

"Utter ignorance" of physics in Scientology writings / Doctor tells inquiry

Title: "Utter ignorance" of physics in Scientology writings / Doctor tells inquiry
Date: Wednesday, 3 June 1964
Publisher: The Age (Australia)
Main source:

Disclaimer: This archive is presented strictly in the public interest for research purposes. All the copyrights of materials reproduced here are the properties of their respective owners.

A DOCTOR told the scientology inquiry yesterday that writings by scientology leader L. R. Hubbard showed "complete and utter ignorance of physics, medical science and medicine."

He was Dr. Hendrik Ithos Sydney Van den Brenk, doctor in charge of the Radiological Research Laboratories at the Cancer institute Board, Melbourne.

Dr. Van den Brenk said statements by Hubbard about cancer were "quackery of the worst nature."

There was nothing to indicate that Hubbard was a person capable of developing a formula which could cure cancer.

A statement by Hubbard that gamma rays would go through walls, but not through bodies, was a complete denial of physical truths and a basic scientific fallacy, which could lead to disastrous consequences in the community if not resisted.

Dr. Van den Brenk said he had studied a publication called "All About Radiation," of which Book 1 was written by a medical doctor under the name "Medicus," and Book 2, by a nuclear physicist, identified as L. Ron Hubbard.

Fairly Accurate

He said Book 1 was a fairly accurate account of radiation damage and atomic bomb effects as they were popularly known.

It had been constructed from data available in various official and semi-official Government publications, and reviews, and letters published in medical journals.

He said statements in Book 1 were not in agreement on several points with those in Book 2.

In Book 2 colloquial and extraordinary langauage had been used to confuse, rather than enlighten.

"Basic and fundamental established truths of science are ignored and replaced by imaginative fiction, without a vestige of corroborative experiment designed to support such hypotheses," he said.


He said Hubbard's "ravings and ramblings" could not be taken seriously as a scientific attempt at veracity.

"It appears purposely desired to create disturbances and distress amongst the lay public by emphasising the shortcomings of every profession ranging from mathematicians to nuclear scientists to biologists and medical practitioners," Dr. Van den Brenk said.

Extravagant claims had been made without sources being stated or references given, as they would be in a scientific work.

Earlier, Richard Ormond Cherry, senior lecturer in physics at Melbourne University, said passages in Hubbard's writings about scientific subjects such as relativity, nuclear physics and electronics, made use of words and ideas common to physics and engineering.

"But the context in which the words are used does not make any sense," he said. "Bits of science which crop up are not the work of a competent nuclear physicist."

"Student Dream"

Mr. Cherry said there was no implication in the writings of anything other than fairly trivial matriculation or first-year physics.

"A student might dream up this sort of thing out of university hours, but this would not be subject matter in university physics or related physics," he said.

The inquiry will continue today.