Fun_People Archive
1 Mar
Did he or didn't he? The Birth of $cientology

Date: Wed,  1 Mar 95 12:33:12 PST
From: Peter Langston <psl>
To: Fun_People
Subject: Did he or didn't he?  The Birth of $cientology

From: Mike Jittlov <>

Regarding the Church of $cientology's latest gestapo raid:

The Co$ obtained a civil writ of seizure, allowing a group of Co$
members, private security officers and a Glendale (California)
police officer to invade Dennis Erlich's home, seize 29 $cientology
books, 365 floppies and delete thousands of pages of data from his
computer.  This was reported in Sunday's _LA Times_ (2/26/95), along
with a quote from Karin Pouw, Co$ director of public relations:
      "The message is very clear -- it shows that people
       cannot violate the rights of others."

Come again?, on second thought -- _don't_.  Ever. #6876 (2 + 13 more)                        -( )--( )--[1]
From: (Mike Jittlov)
Newsgroups: soc.culture.nordic,,alt.self-improve
[1] Birth of $cientology (200 lines)
Date: 26 Feb 1995 12:40:27 GMT
Organization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena
Lines: 183
Message-ID: <3ipsrr$>
References: <3ic1u0$> <3idsbd$>
Xref: soc.culture.nordic:47067
+     jittlov:6876 alt.self-improve:5532

Ahrvid Engholm <> wrote:
>In article <3ic1u0$> (Timo Pietil{) writes:
>>Only few days later finnish police confiscicated info from the same
>>server about a person who had posted some very unconfortable facts about
>>scientology. At least I assume that the police would not have done that
>>so easily, if the false rumour hadn't hurt the reputation of the server
>>just a few days ealier. It smells VERY fishy to me.

Ahrvid Engholm <> added:
>  My opinion of Scientology is that it is a modern time Mafia. Hit it
>with the full force of the law! There are laws against most of the bad
>things they do, so expose them.

_The Los Angeles Times_, after reportedly 10 years of deliberation, ran
an amazing 6-part series on $cientology (late June, 1990).  It included
secrets taught only to the most advanced Co$ members (for fees to $6000):
that 75,000,000 years ago the tyrant Xenu ruled the Galactic Confederation
of 76 planets, including Earth (pronounced Teegeeack); Xenu commanded his
officers to freeze billions of beings in alcohol and glycol, and fly them
to Teegeeack to be dumped in 10 volcanos, then drop H-bombs on them,
releasing their "thetans", which would be implanted with thoughts of
sexual perversion, and their true galactic origins clouded.  Etc. Page 296.

If this sounds like 1940's sci-fi, and even more fantastic than the basis
for many older religious organizations, consider the source...

------------------------------------------------------------------>8 clip
Scientology Origin FAQ
From: (Don Lindsay)
Newsgroups: sci.skeptic,alt.religion.scientology
Last-modified: Friday, 3 Feb 1995
Version: 4.1

L. Ron Hubbard is widely rumored to have said "The way to make a million
dollars is to start a religion."  There are also variant rumors.  For
some reason, this is often mentioned on Usenet.  Evidence is discussed
below, but the short answer is that it's almost certainly true.

The Church of Scientology has actually taken German publishers to court
for printing this story.  _Stern_ magazine won (see below).

One form of the rumor is that L. Ron Hubbard made a bar bet with Robert
A. Heinlein.  This is definitely not true.  It's uncharacteristic of
Heinlein, and there's no supporting evidence.  There is, however,
inconclusive evidence that Bob Heinlein suggested some parts of the
original _Dianetics_.

Another variant is that Hubbard talked of starting a religion to avoid
taxes.  Jay Kay Klein reports that Hubbard said this in 1947.

The Church's media guide tells reporters that the rumor is confused, and
that it was George Orwell who said it.  In 1938, Orwell did write, "But
I have always thought there might be a lot of cash in starting a new
religion...".  However, Robert Vaughn Young, who was the Scientology's
spokesman for 20 years, says that Hubbard learned about the Orwell quote
from _him_.  Young further states that he met three people who could
remember Hubbard saying more-or-less the famous quote.  Nor did Hubbard
write a rebuttal of the rumor -- Young claims to have ghost-written the
rebuttal in the Rocky Mountain News interview.

I found the following in books about Hubbard and Scientology:

_Bare-Faced Messiah, The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard_ by Russell Miller
(N.Y. - Henry Holt & Co, 1987 - ISBN 0-8050-0654-0, $19.95; or London -
 Michael Joeseph Penguin Book Ltd, 1987; see the Access FAQ for reviews.)

_L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman?_ -- by Bent Corydon and L. Ron
Hubbard Jr. a.k.a. Ronald DeWolf. (Secaucus, NJ - Lyle Stuart, 1987,
ISBN 0-8184-0444-2; in 1992, from Barricade Books, dist. by Publishers
Group West, $12.95; see the Access FAQ for reviews.)

"Whenever he was talking about being hard up he often used to say that
he thought the easiest way to make money would be to start a religion."
-- reporter Neison Himmel, quoted in _Bare Faced Messiah_ p.117 from 1986
interview. (Himmel shared a room with LRH, briefly, Pasadena, Fall 1945.)

"I always knew he was exceedingly anxious to hit big money - he used to
say he thought the best way to do it would be to start a cult."
-- Sam Merwin, then editor of the _Thrilling_ group of magazines, quoted
in _Bare Faced Messiah_ p.133 from 1986 interview.  Winter of 1946/47.

"Around this time he was invited to address a science fiction group in
Newark hosted by the writer, Sam Moskowitz.  `Writing for a penny a word
is ridiculous,' he told the meeting.  `If a man really wanted to make a
million dollars, the best way to do it would be start his own religion.'
-- _Bare Faced Messiah_ p.148. Reference given to LA Times, 27 Aug 78.
Supposed to have happened in Spring 1949.

"Science fiction editor and author Sam Moscowitz tells of the occasion
when Hubbard spoke before the Eastern Science Fiction Association in
Newark, New Jersey in 1947:  `Hubbard spoke...I don't recall his exact
words; but in effect, he told us that writing science fiction for about
a penny a word was no way to make a living.  If you really want to make
a million, he said, the quickest way is to start your own religion.'"
-- _Messiah or Madman_, p.45. No reference given.  Yes, the spelling of
Sam's name differs -- this book got it wrong, it has a "k".  I don't
know why the two books disagree by two years.

_The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction_ lists Sam Moskowitz as the first
good historian of science fiction [among other things].  In 1994,
Moskowitz wrote an affadavit which states:  "After speaking for about
an hour at the meeting, Mr. Hubbard answered questions from the audience.
He made the following statement in response to a question about making
money from writing:  "`You don't get rich writing science fiction.  If
you want to get rich, you start a religion.'"

The affadavit states that this was the 7 Nov 1948 meeting of the Eastern
Science Fiction Association, of which Moskowitz was the director.

Now, there is a problem with the three Moskowitz reports.  Specifically,
the Church obtained affadavits in 1993 from David A. Kyle and Jay Kay
Klein.  Both names are well-known in science fiction, and both say that
they went to the 7 Nov 1948 talk by Hubbard.  Both say that they didn't
hear any such statement.  Puzzling.

I believe that these dueling affadavits have met in court.  _Stern_, a
German magazine, was sued by the Church, and the suit was thrown out of
court after they obtained the Moskowitz affadavit.

On 9 April 94, (Mike Jittlov) posted:
        <about a conversation with Theodore Sturgeon>
>He lived only a few blocks from me, and once we got into a lively
>discussion about the programming of society and origins of religions.
>Back in the 1940's, L. Ron Hubbard was a member of the Los Angeles
>Science Fantasy Society (when its old clubhouse was just north of
>Wilshire Blvd).  Ted vividly recalled being a few yards from Hubbard,
>when he became testy with someone there and retorted, "Y'know, we're
>all wasting our time writing this hack science fiction!  You wanta
>make _real_ money, you gotta start a _religion_!
>Though I didn't ask, I think Ted would've mentioned it if the second
>person was Heinlein or another author of note.  He had an extremely
>accurate memory, and I'd trust Sturgeon over anyone else's account.

Theodore Sturgeon was one of the truly great science fiction writers,
and someone whose word and memories were trusted.  John W. Campbell
commented that Sturgeon should have written the definitive history of
SF fandom.  Reportedly, Sturgeon also told this story to others.
(Mike Jittlov is a respected Hollywood filmmaker, writer, animator
and actor, and can be found on the net at "".)

Lloyd Arthur Eshbach was a science fiction writer and publisher
between 1929-1957.  His autobiography, _Over My Shoulder: Reflections
of the Science Fiction Era_ (Oswald Train: Publisher, Phila. 1983, ltd
edition) says on pages 125 and 126 (about the events of 1948 and 1949):

"I think of the time while in New York I took John W. Campbell, Marty
Greenberg, and L. Ron Hubbard to lunch.  Someone suggested a Swedish
smorgasbord, and I had my first -- and last -- taste of kidney.  Yuck!
Afterward we wound up in my hotel room for related conversation.

"The incident is stamped indelibly in my mind because of one statement
that Ron Hubbard made.  What led him to say what he did I can't recall
-- but in so many words Hubbard said:  `I'd like to start a religion.
That's where the money is!'"

Eshbach based his autobiography on detailed records and dated diary
entries, and is therefore likely to be quite accurate on this point.

To summarize, we have eight witnesses:  Neison Himmel, Sam Merwin, Sam
Moskowitz, Theodore Sturgeon, Lloyd Arthur Eshbach -- and the three
unnamed witnesses of Robert Vaughn Young.  There is some confusion and
doubt about one of the five (Sam Moskowitz).  Two are reported via
Russel Miller; one is reported via Mike Jittlov; one reported in Hubbard's
autobiography; and one reported in an affadavit.  The reports describe
different events, meaning that Lafayette Ronald Hubbard said the phrase
at least five times, in five different venues -- definitely not just
once.  And that the Church's official disclaimer is, quite apparently,
an official lie.

-------------------------------< END >---------------------------------
Don    D.C.Lindsay      University of Colorado-Boulder Computer Science


BTW -- after the newspaper ran its expose, billboards all over Los
Angeles were plastered with a carefully chosen L.A. Times quote,
"Scientology is here to stay".  Evidently.  It seems to own every
castle-like building in Hollywood.

[=] © 1995 Peter Langston []