This week under “Spotlight”: Lafayette Hubbard, & the Church of Scientology

                    Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (LRH) was an American national who got widely known as being an author for pulp fiction magazines, fantasy writings, and science fiction writings. Throughout his lifetime, LRH was most notably known for his bizarre ideas of Dianetics & Scientology.

                    Hubbard introduced Dianetics in two distinct publications which were later considered as canonical texts by the Church of Scientology. The first publication (which can be read here) was printed in the monthly Science fiction magazine “Astounding Science Fiction” (currently known as “Analog Science Fiction and Fact”(i)), and was followed  by the release of his book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health” in 1950. Shortly after the publication of the book, Dianetics expanded into an unprecedented phenomenon. The success of the publication led Hubbard to start multiple Dianetics foundations which eventually got bankrupt and shut their doors.

LRH auditing a tomato

                    “Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health” (considered as “Book I” by the Church of Scientology) received a potent backlash by the scientific community. The APA (American Psychological Association) later on set up a report and classified it as pseudoscience for not holding a shred of scientific evidence. Hubbard, naturally being creative, accused the communists along with medical corporations of conspiring against Dianetics.

                    Though Dianetics failed to provide any added value to the human race, it was a mean for Hubbard to fuel his next wild publication which he entitled: “Scientology, a religious philosophy”. The term Scientology, which means “knowing how to know”(ii), is formed from two distinct terms which are Scio (Latin) meaning “knowing, in the fullest sense of the word,” and logos, (Greek) meaning “study of”. Long after establishing his religion, Hubbard began conducting “security checks” on Scientologists which some researchers argued later on as being a technique to blackmail members who had undergone this procedure. Sec Checks were composed of questions deemed to be “ embarrassing”, “confidential”, and “private” to the person in question, typically sandwiched between obnoxious questions. Some of these questions include:

  • Are you a pervert?
  • Have you ever smothered a baby?
  • Have you ever made a planet, or nation, radioactive?
  • Did you come to Earth for evil purposes?
  • Have you ever enslaved a population?
  • Have you ever destroyed a culture?

                    Today, Scientology; also known as the religion of the stars, is considered to be the fastest growing religion and is heavily criticized over multiple issues including the overwhelming ambiguity related to higher ranking levels such as the case of “Xenu” or “Xemu”, the “covert usage of hypnosis”, and the limiting of its members’ free speech and actions through blackmailing.

To know more about Scientology, watch the below posted video, which is an informative documentary created by BBC entitled “Panorama – The Secrets of Scientology”.


(i) http://www.analogsf.com/2012_04/index.shtml

(ii) http://www.scientology.org/what-is-scientology/basic-principles-of-scientology.html

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Author: Mario R.

Co-founder of CLAFA, philanthropist, and administrator at Free Thought Lebanon & Lebanese Atheists, web-developer. Human rights activist. Enrolled in different social welfare clubs. A Monist Physicalist Pantheist.

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