I am impervious to the persuasions of all clubs, organizations and religions. I’ve read the entire Old Testament and know that god has never spoken a single word to any living human being in history. I’ve been in terribly close proximity to Catholic priests for extended periods of time, argued with them and sat gritting my teeth through their best attempts at mass. You can burn all the bushes in my backyard and come down the hill with as many tablets as you like and I’ll know you’re a damned fake. So I can watch L. Ron Hubbard speak through all six parts of the interview above and have not the slightest fear of showing up in a Scientology storefront with my wallet out. However, I don’t really see anything terribly wrong with what Hubbard says in the interview. What’s all the Scientology warfare really about?
I can’t speak for what the organization may have become following the death of its founder, but I can certainly see that Hubbard was enthusiastic and was culling ideas from different religions and disciplines to formulate his attempt to offer people some kind of road to improvement. It does seem that improvement was on his mind. In fact, his discussion of waking people up from a deep sleep, detaching one’s self from all the pressures of the mind and past experience, and the finding of the one true self or spirit is very much in keeping with the tenets of Buddhism. I’ve read a lot of Buddhist material over the years and there still I am immune to the siren song of the ‘ism.’ But I can certainly engage Buddhist thought and read the texts without fear and with great interest. I consider it my obligation to approach Scientology in exactly the same way. I’ve read some of the anti-Scientology tracts available on the Web and find them somewhat unintelligent and frantic. One must be cautious about people who constantly accuse others of brainwashing. Brainwashing can come from unexpected directions. Brainwashing is very overrated actually. It’s not easy to brainwash someone. Very few people are brainwashed. Most people who you think are brainwashed are really only pretending. Religious people who seem brainwashed because they utter all the catchphrases are not brainwashed at all. They’re just faking it to get along with a particular group of people. This is a universal truth and if you don’t understand it you are misreading most of human history.
Starting a religion is like starting a club. It’s a natural impulse. I often entertain daydreams of starting a club or my own little religion. It’s fun. A bit childish but sometimes a good mental exercise. Hubbard seems to be having fun with his club, with his big idea. I can’t help but admire him for it. He seems ferociously intelligent and quick on his feet. His answers in the interview may be carefully worked out but they are good answers. Honest answers.
One must of course never forget that he was science fiction writer. His science of Scientology may in fact be one of his best science fictions.