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Questions, questions...

Discussion in 'General Scientology Discussion' started by Udarnik, Aug 29, 2013.

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  1. Udarnik

    Udarnik Gold Meritorious Patron

    I have lots of them. This first one is for the oldest of the old timers.

    Hubbard's paranoia and fair gaming are an integral part of his personality and go way back. The very first popular book critical of Scientology was probably Martin Gardner's 1957 Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science. The 1952 edition titled simply In The Name of Science came out just as Hubbard was creating $CN from the ashes of his Dianetics experiment and Gardner trashed it pretty badly. I have never heard that Hubbard tried to Fair Game Gardner. Did he, and I just missed it? If he didn't, does anyone remember his reaction to Gardner's book?
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2013
  2. Student of Trinity

    Student of Trinity Silver Meritorious Patron

    Gardner's book was still in print sometime in the 1980s or 90s, in paperback, and I have a copy. That might have been the first place I heard about Scientology, so I'm also interested in Udarnik's question. My impression is that Gardner would have been a pretty tough nut to crack.

    Curiously, I did also hear about L. Ron Hubbard in the novel Count Zero, the second volume in William Gibson's seminal Sprawl Trilogy, which coined the term 'cyberspace' (and makes Hubbard's own sci-fi look like a water pistol next to an Uzi). Gibson represented Hubbard as the object of fickle reverence of an addled single mother in a semi-dystopian near-future, but that at least implied that Scientology had survived well into the 21st century. Maybe Gibson just felt like being generous to a fellow science fiction writer.
  3. iHateDuplicity

    iHateDuplicity Patron with Honors

    I never heard of the Gardner book until you posted this and I read over much of the link you gave Udarnik. This is fascinating stuff and brings much to mind which I had forgotten about from when I read over the transcripts of Hubbard's auditing in the early R&D volumes.

    I could never fathom how he got away with so much evaluation he put on his preclears, and how "non-standard" Hubbard's own auditing was. He appeared to be making it up as he went along and did things he did not describe anywhere in the materials of Dianetics. Many many times I noticed that he was suggesting things to his preclears which they never would have otherwise originated on their own and it just didn't make any sense to me how he could get away with that.

    All I could figure back then is that Hubbard knew best and he must have refined things later and he was using these sessions as research/development. Of course, looking at these reasons now, they sound to me like exactly what they are: a desperate attempt on my part to make sense out of what doesn't make sense. Hubbard was a charlatan and a cheat and it was obvious to anyone from the very beginning if they could look at what he was doing with an objective eye (like Gardner did).

    And note that Hubbard's "non-standard" auditing continued throughout his demonstrations for years, including the claptrap he ran in demo lectures on the SHSBC. Throughout his demonstrations, he fails to follow his own "standard tech" procedures, fails to acknowledge the pc's, evaluates for them quite overtly, etc.
  4. Udarnik

    Udarnik Gold Meritorious Patron

    That's the Dover 1957 edition. I have a hardback copy of the original 1952 edition that I picked up in a used bookstore.
  5. Queenmab321

    Queenmab321 Patron Meritorious

    I found the following passage especially relavent to the position many on this board take with regard to auditing:

    "Of all the defenses which can be made of dianetics, the defense that "it works" is the most irrelevant. It is irrelevant because in the cure of neurotic symptoms, anything in which a patient has faith will work. Such "cures" are a dime a dozen. The case histories of dianetics are not one whit more impressive than the hundreds of testimonials to be found in young Perkins' book on the curative power of his father's metallic tractors. They prove that dianetics can operate on some patients as a form of faith healing. They prove nothing more."
  6. Terril park

    Terril park Sponsor

    I've never heard of him before, and maybe Hubbard hadn't.

    He dosn't seem to have written a book about Scn,but included a chapter in
    a book of many skeptic views. Hubbard may not have felt it worth the effort to
    fair game because of one chapter of many.
  7. Auditor's Toad

    Auditor's Toad Clear as Mud

    Boy howdy, if you hadn't heard of that author & his book then surely no way hubbard would have !

    "Case" dismissed !
  8. afaceinthecrowd

    afaceinthecrowd Gold Meritorious Patron

    Scn was created by El Ron after he ran away from the Wichita Foundation after running up massive debts through financial irregularities and irresponsibility, could not function as a team player and refused to cooperate with attempts by Hisself's Associates and Partners to reign him in and get things under control. El Ron was financially destitute at this time and all of Hisself's attention was on ripping off Students from the Foundation and getting them to Phoenix for lecture/workshops in Hisself's "New Discovery" so Hisself could make some dough. Making dough off of Lecture/Workshops and selling cobbled together, hastily written books to be sold as part of the lecture course materials and workshops (from what I have read, studied and heard from folks that were there) pretty much occupied all of Hisself's time and attention for the next 18 months or so. At the end of 1953 El Ron decided to pursue "the religion angle" and incorporated the Church of Scientology in New Jersey.

    During those 18 months or so between Wichita and New Jersey El Ron had no organization and then a tiny organization behind him, continual cash flow problems and was hopping all over the place to hold Lecture/Workshops to get dough and build a revenue stream. Hisself's Fair Gaming was mainly waged at unlucky followers and writing letters to the FBI, etc. IMO, El Ron's Fair Gaming grew stronger, more vicious and covert, and "effective" over the years as Scn grew; Hisself had more dough; a larger organization and platoons of zealots to carry out Hisself's nefarious schemes; Hisself's "pathology" increasingly became more pronounced; El Ron had "gotten away" with it to the point of seeing Hisself as invincible.

    I was not in Scn at that time so I have no knowledge of El Ron's reaction to Gardner's book. When I was around Hisself in the '70's I never heard El Ron say or saw anything written regarding regarding Gardner. My best guess is that El Ron was too preoccupied, fragmented and weak to mess around with Gardner in the 50's, unless Gardner had launched a direct assault on El Ron or his "Marks" and gravy train.


    Last edited: Aug 29, 2013
  9. Udarnik

    Udarnik Gold Meritorious Patron

    Thank you!

    I was also thinking that he might have seen Gardner as a sort of ally in taking apart the Dianetics structure he no longer controlled, and since Gardner never really went after $CN, having moved on to other things, all was forgotten by the 60s.

    But he held a grudge a looooooong time, and it's still a bit amazing he was totally silent on the subject of his first critic. I can't believe he had no knowledge of a book mentioning him that was in print for over 30 years.
  10. Gib

    Gib Crusader

    It's also possible, if goes back in time, viewpoint wise,

    communications were slow and hidden you might say. Alas, no internet back then.

    So, hisself did not know of Gardner.

    But, hisself certaintly wanted to promote his communications as he recorded them although who knows how many people were in attendence at any given time during one of hisself talks. There are always "clappings" at each lecture. How do we know these "clappings" are not dubbed in by modern technology.

    And who attended all these lectures by hisself? Were they peers, DB's or hired shills?
  11. Udarnik

    Udarnik Gold Meritorious Patron

    Yes, slower than now, but not glacial. Gardner had a column in Scientific American for over 25 years, and another in the Skeptical Inquirer for almost 30. I'm old enough to remember perusing print copies of the Readers Guide to Periodical Literature and various analogs in science (Chem Abstracts, Beilstein). You didn't get stuff instantaeously, but you could get it monthly or quarterly, and people did talk. John Campbell was keenly aware of Gardner's criticism of him, and as Hubbard's on and off editor may have mentioned it to him.

    Or not, after their famous falling out.

    It's still an anomalous data point. On to the next question soon, unless one of the 1950s Dianetics vets shows up on the thread.
  12. BardoThodol

    BardoThodol Silver Meritorious Patron

    Answers, answers, answers.

    I have piles and piles of answers.

    Unfortunately, I have no clue as to which questions they belong.

    It's like having a junk drawer filled with random pieces and parts which seem like they should go to something, what?

    The fun thing about questions is the magnetic attraction which draws random answers. And sometimes, because the fit is so snug, we think that answer must fit the question. After all, the pull is so strong we can't separate the two.

    So, the wrong answer clings to the wrong question, inextricably bound...

    which, then, often ends up in the junk draw....

    because neither is usable any more...

    but we just hope that one day we can pry them apart.
  13. Gib

    Gib Crusader

    I don't know. What can I say.

    Only this, I remember when I read dianetics back in 1987 and then went into the org, and got some book 1 auditing,

    why one of the questions I asked was why didn't I hear about dianetics before. Or my parents, or others I knew. I mean I became a true believer and yet couldn't figure out how I did not know about this stuff dianetics or others in my circle of friends. I was like this is the greatest shit on earth and now I find out about it.
  14. Queenmab321

    Queenmab321 Patron Meritorious

    There's safety in numbers. It seems likely to me that, at the time, Gardner's criticism took its place within so large a chorus of attacks, mostly from the scientific community, that Hubbard's resentment was diffused and ultimately directed toward the scientific community as a whole, especially psychiatry, rather than toward individual critics. I think it's likely too, as Face points out, that he found himself in a weakened position or that he simply had not yet created for himself the kind of power he would later wield. Also, I think it was this early experience with critics that inspired much of the bile he produced later on. I've always thought that demonizing psychiatry was a stroke of genius. As outrageous as it is, there is in Hubbard's thought a mediocrity that includes a sort of lower middle class anti-intellectualism. His vilification of psychiatrists played well to the rubes he targeted for conversion.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2013
  15. afaceinthecrowd

    afaceinthecrowd Gold Meritorious Patron

    IMO, El Ron was most likely aware of Gardner's critique. But, the way I "read" El Ron from having interacted with Hisself, Gardner was, in El Ron's mind, not Hisself's first critic...far from it. El Ron's "Frame of Reference" was that Hisself "suffered", been "misunderstood" and "victimized" by critics (evil persons) throughout Hisself's life. Gardner's works were not widely read or the subject of "mainstream media" attribution which, to Hisself, meant that the folks El Ron was trying to "score" dough, acceptance and admiration from were highly unlikely to be aware of Gardner...ergo, Gardner was not a "threat" to El Ron's current situation and activities. El Ron would never have, IMO, seen anyone as an ally that picked apart in a critical, educated analysis anything that Hisself wrote, was the "source" of or Hisself's "original" thoughts and ideas.

    Having known El Ron I don't see it as amazing in any way that Hisself did not "take on" Gardner. El Ron never took on anyone directly unless Hisself thought Hisself held the upper hand. El Ron always hid behind manipulated others or splattered Hisself's "adversary" with sensationalized innuendo, false statements and salacious lies. IMO, in El Ron's mind someone like Gardner was not as big threat to Hisself in the '50's as were bill collectors, others that would "steal" Hisself's personal "public" and feed off Hisself's "juice", and anyone that might appear to Hisself's "owned property" followers as more brilliant, boulder, better than Hisself.

    In my early days in Scn in the mid-latter '60's and as Flag Crew in the early "70's I was, privately, curious about El Ron selecting the designation and title of "Commodore". When I met El Ron's father, Commodore (which is now termed as Rear Admiral) Harry Ross Hubbard, USN I thought it was an Homage to Hisself's father. However, as you accurately said re: El Ron, "But he held a grudge a looooooong time"...El Ron held everything a long time, but, Hisself only acted on what Hisself held to when El Ron thought Hisself could get away with it, it suited Hisself's current desires and needs, and El Ron could spin it--yet again--as the Hero.

    Last edited: Aug 30, 2013
  16. afaceinthecrowd

    afaceinthecrowd Gold Meritorious Patron

    I've heard some of the original Master Tapes of the recordings from the '50's and '60's and chatted with folks that were there at a number of those lectures. The "clappings" are real and the attendees were folks like thee and me. Thirty, forty our fifty people in a "live" room recorded on a Mic from that era sounded most dramatic and, "enhanced" by modern technology, could sound most impressive. :melodramatic:

    Last edited: Aug 30, 2013
  17. afaceinthecrowd

    afaceinthecrowd Gold Meritorious Patron

    That's what I thought in '67. :lol:

  18. afaceinthecrowd

    afaceinthecrowd Gold Meritorious Patron

    This IMO, Queenmab, is a most EXCELLENT and INSIGHTFUL Post. :thumbsup:

  19. Udarnik

    Udarnik Gold Meritorious Patron

    That is very true. He never went after Augustus Winter, either, and A Doctor's Report on Dianetics was significantly more hostile even than Gardner. Gardner may have been lumped together with the psychiatric community, and the Fair Gaming against them continues to this day. That is a very astute observation.

    Hubbard realized, as did Stalin and Hitler, that a goofy belief system needs two things to hold itself together - to silence satire and laughter within (no Joking and Degrading), and an external enemy.

    And I keep thinking of Robert Graves's quote of Germanicus in I Claudius: "The German is either at your throat or at your feet."
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2013
  20. Udarnik

    Udarnik Gold Meritorious Patron

    The rank designation is officially "Rear Admiral, Lower Half" for an O-7. Commodore certainly sounds less vaguely insulting. (Lower half of what?) :hysterical:

    OK, you've just segued into my next question. First, though, you've raised another.

    From Bare Faced Messiah:

    AFAIK, Harry Ross Hubbard retired from the USN at the rank of O-5 - Commander - from the USN. Was HRH claiming the rank of Commodore when you met him, or was LRH using that term in a mocking or aggrandizing way? O-5 was actually a pretty good retirement rank for a Mustang officer, most officers promoted out of the enlisted ranks finish as 0-4, Lieutenant Commander in the Navy or Major in the Army / Marines.

    I think Hubbard chose Commodore for many reasons - the rank above Commander is Captain, and Captain is a bit prosaic, as even merchant marine ship commanders are addressed as "Captain", and it can be confused with the lower Army / Marine rank of O-3. Commodore has the association with Perry, the man who opened Japan to the West, and it's a bit of an ambiguous rank title to those who are not familiar with the military.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2013