When a Scientologist leaves the Church of Scientology and sees the information on L Ron Hubbard’s real life outside the glossy brochures printed by the Church, internal conflicts result.
These internal conflicts can swirl around questions like this:
“How can this man – whose technology gave me so many spiritual wins and real advancements in my life – have done the things people are reporting he did? These are things that I would never do.”
One answer to this internal confusion is to say to yourself “L Ron Hubbard was not a perfect man”.
And leave it at that.
It’s a good conclusion, in some ways. It can hold back the spiritual turmoil that occurs when a Scientologist starts learning the truth about L Ron Hubbard. The true information can just be too much to deal with. In addition to your life being changed so radically by now being outside the Church – with all the loss and danger this can bring – you are now shaking the stable datum that used to be a rock solid foundation in your life as a Scientologist.
Learning the truth about L Ron Hubbard, as he actually was, can sweep the long term stable datum of “L Ron Hubbard” out from under you.
In the face of hurricane changes happening in your own life, sticking the chewing gum handling of “LRH was not perfect” over your confusion can be an effective way of coping with too much change.
And while this conclusion may work for a while, it can only be temporary.
Because no one ever said that LRH was perfect. It has nothing to do with the issue.
It never was the issue – even when you were in the Church.
This conclusion that “LRH was not perfect” is non sequitur.
No, L Ron Hubbard was not perfect.
The real issue is, and always has been: who was L Ron Hubbard?
I think holding on to this simplistic non sequitur that LRH “was not perfect” stultifies your reasoning and growth. It can distract you from learning the factual information that you need to know. I think that, in order to keep evolving – even as a Scientologist – you need to understand your time in the Church in its proper context, and what was actually going on around you as a Scientologist there.
When the time is right for you to allow yourself to see who LRH actually was, I think you should ask yourself:
- If I had known the truth about L Ron Hubbard while I was being recruited into Scientology, would I have made the same decisions that I made as a Scientologist?
- Now that I know the truth about L Ron Hubbard, after having been lied to for so long about him in the Church, is this a person who would qualify to be a genuine spiritual teacher for me?
- If I learn the truth about L Ron Hubbard and see just how far from perfect he was, can a guy like that really be trusted to invade my mind and thinking so deeply as to base my life on his writings and “technology”?
These questions were ones that I asked myself, and they got my thinking jump-started after getting out of the Church. I think they might help others who are now in the same situation I was in when I was getting out.
And keep evolving.
If there are any more questions you think a person should ask himself about L Ron Hubbard, be sure to place them in the comments below.
9 thoughts on “Was L Ron Hubbard Perfect?”
Alanzo, in general, I agree with your idea about this being a “coping tactic” [I guess for those not interested in looking]. However, I would suggest that, to the degree that one is dealing with a “science” or “technology”, the quality and character of the originator becomes increasingly less important.
For example, according to Helen Stuart in her article “The Dark Side of Isaac Newton”, like LRH, Newton can be personally criticized about his personality and character. Indeed, like LRH, Newton is also accused of being a “manic depressive” who “became even more paranoid and delusional than before”. Some even suspected he may have suffered from “mercury poisoning, or some other toxin”, in an attempt to explain his bizarre behavior. But, in general, it seems to be considered that Newton’s behavior was consistent with a “bad case of the low end of bi-polarism”.
And yet none of these human flaws or failings have any impact on the science Newton gave to the world.
Naturally, I am not suggesting that Dn & Scn are the sciences LRH claimed them to be. But I am suggesting that, to the degree that Dn & Scn actually achieve results [whether or not “subjective”], LRH’s character becomes increasingly irrelevant.
Indeed, although in the spiritual realm, if one were actually able to receive spiritual benefits from Dn & Scn, then what difference does it make, if LRH was a “bad man”??
Apples still fall, despite Newton’s shortcomings.
Therefore, in my opinion, it comes down to whether or not Scientology works. And Scientology does seem to have some workability – although it does NOT seem to be able to produce the advertised results. As such, in the end, I believe this comes down to a matter of weighing the positives against the negatives in the subject; rather than making a decision about the subject, based purely on the character of the founder.
Having said that, I definitely agree that, if people use “LRH wasn’t perfect” for “thought stopping”, that is a real problem. But, if someone uses “LRH wasn’t perfect” in order to launch an investigation into those “imperfections”, then that sounds fine, to me. Certainly, I have no problem with someone deciding to continue with Dn & Scn, after they have fully informed themselves of all of the facts.
As such, I would encourage anyone and everyone to learn as much as they can about Dn & Scn. But, in the end, I do NOT believe a decision should be made about these subjects based solely on the quality and character of the founder.
When it comes to religion, really, the only thing that matters is *whether or not one is receiving what one considers to be spiritual benefit*.
However, because we are dealing with religion, rather than science, I agree that the character of the founder might definitely be an important issue to consider.
Finally, I will note the obvious hint of “ad hominem” (considered to be a fallacious form of argumentation), whenever someone is asked to be critical of a person, rather than of his work or accomplishments, etc.
In closing, I would suggest that we need to keep these two subjects separate. The subject of LRH’s character and behavior certainly needs to be discussed. All of this needs to come out, so people are aware of the real man behind the subjects. But I do not believe we need to discuss LRH’s behavior relative to his subjects and whether or not they should be used.
If they offer any benefits, then they should be used, whether or not LRH was a “bad guru”.
Wow, I have so many thoughts and emotions swirling after reading this post, because it activates my ¨betrayal-after-trust¨ button. Since I am not feeling able to write a long response with links to verifying data added to support any points I might make regarding the basic fraud that I believe the subject and its originator to be, I´ll just throw a few random questions out there:
If Ron Hubbard´s character and behavior aren´t really a determining factor in assessing the value and the workability of the subject he authored, why did he and the organization he created lie repeatedly(to this day) about and seek to hide the facts of his life( and ATTACK those who dared to make such data public)?
Ron said that Dianetics and Scientology cured all manner of ills, yet he collected a disability check from the Veteran´s Administration until he died. Why did he violate his own code of ethics? He also had heart attacks and was over-weight and smoked like a chimney and took a variety of drugs(see the testimony of former aides). Why would he do any of that when he could avail himself of his own ¨miracle¨ tech?
Ron said he was mankind´s ¨best friend and that he had developed a spiritual technology that could ¨save mankind¨, but excluded gays, ´psychs´, or people ´below 2.0´ on the tone scale, to name a few(and said the most efficient solution would be to dispose of them quietly, without remorse). He also charged a steadily rising fee for anyone who wanted access to this ¨spiritual freedom¨ Why , if this tech is so comprehensive and powerful, would anyone be excluded from receiving it? If it is THE PANACEA, why wouldn´t it work on everyone? And why charge hundreds of thousands of dollars for it?
Why is that when an individual experiences accidents or misfortunes, he has ¨pulled it in¨ and has to admit to and correct his wrong-doing/confusion , but when Ron or his organization have an accident or a misfortune or someone attacks him or it, it´s an issue of SUPPRESSION that has to be attacked/ruined by him and/or the organization?
Why did Ron torture and mistreat Sea Org members and call that treatment ¨ethics handlings¨ ?
Why did Ron write a policy called(if I remember correctly) WHAT YOUR FEES BUY, in which he brazenly lied about not taking any money(as in pay or ¨royalties¨) from Scientology organizations?
Ron asserted that engrams and secondaries and body thetans and ¨mental mass¨ (measured with a skin galvanometer) existed. Why didn´t he provide written, publicly available scientific proof of these claims?
These are just a few questions…
Anonymous, you were not technically replying to me; but you made a comment that seemed to reference my reply to Alanzo’s post. So I wanted to clarify or reiterate my position; besides replying to your comments, in general.
You say: “If Ron Hubbard’s character and behavior aren’t really a determining factor in assessing the value and the workability of the subject he authored, why did he and the organization he created lie repeatedly (to this day) about and seek to hide the facts of his life (and ATTACK those who dared to make such data public).”
(sorry if some other, standard way to quote another poster; but wasn’t sure how else to do it)
First, note my final comment: I believe that LRH’s character and the value of his “tech” should be *separated* and addressed as two different subjects. All of LRH’s tech isn’t crazy or unworkable. And those workable parts will continue to work, whether or not LRH was a “bad guy”.
Therefore, in general, I would suggest that LRH’s character/behavior has little to do with whether or not his “tech” has any benefit to people.
Next, I agree that the church certainly thinks that LRH’s PR and image are very important; which is the reason they have opted to continue the lies about his background and accomplishments. I feel bad for those who made their decisions to get involved based on LRH’s false claims; because, in my mind, LRH’s background should have been a secondary consideration to whether or not his subjects had any value to them personally.
I never studied Dn & Scn because of LRH’s fake history. I was interested in improving things in my life with whatever tools were available. Therefore, when I became aware of the lies, the impact was very different from those who had very much bought into those lies and had made their decisions based on them.
Beyond this, all of the questions you raise are valid, in that they seem to illustrate the fact that his “tech” is NOT everything LRH said it was. Certainly, the claims have always been far greater than the actual results. There is also no question that LRH lied about a lot of things and seemed to not exactly practice what he preached.
All of these things definitely go to the man’s character; but, again, I am not sure that we can extrapolate anything about his “tech” from this – especially given that so much of the “tech” was apparently not developed by LRH at all. In fact, it could be that the workable parts of the “tech” were all developed by others. And, if so, it is probably not OK to make any undo correlations between the man and the subjects he authored.
However, I will admit that, in the end, it appears that the tech did not work for LRH himself. However, even this is insufficient to invalidate the scores of people who claim to have benefited from Dn & Scn.
Here´s a 22-minute speech that was posted at Tony Ortega´s blog today. For anyone who views it, do you think it´s relevant to the topic being discussed here? I do. It´s quite compelling and worth listening to even if you don´t think it´s relevant. Cheers 🙂
I have to agree with Zach on this one. Proper evaluation of Scn should not consider Hubbard’s personality.
However, I don’t think the Newton-Hubbard analogy is appropriate. First of all, Hubbard is no Newton (opinion). Second, as far as I know Newton did not establish a cult of personality; referring to himself as the one, true Source of Mathematics; seek to destroy or sue out of existence other mathematicians who reviewed his work, changed it, improved it or applied it without express permission.
Newton operated within his community of peers. Hubbard rejected peer review, and acted as though he had no peers.
Hubbard had written policy which effectively imbued the subject of Scn with his image and personality. So much so, that it is difficult to separate the two. If he had not done that, and if he cooperated with the academic community Scn may have taken a completely different course. Instead, all we have is a faith-based “philosophy” disguised as a pseudo-science.
It is amazing how many inapt comparisons are made by people when viewing L Ron Hubbard as the Source and Scientology as a technology.
I think you have very clearly zeroed in on the problem with comparing L Ron Hubbard to Isaac Newton, Statpush.
There are so many comparisons and metaphors and analogies used to rationalize and justify Scientology – mostly without a person really being aware of all the limits of these thinking devices. Sometimes a person can just seize on one of these thought comparisons as an explanation or rationalization of some aspect of Scientology and then just quit thinking. It’s like sliding into home base for them once they have seized on it and having the referee yell “SAFE!”
The comparison’s function seems to hold the dissonance back from the conflicting and inconvenient facts they are confronting, and providing them with a feeling of consonance, rather than accurately comparing anything.
Those safe feelings when your bias has been confirmed can be a real pisser when it comes to seeking to live with the truth.
To me, a proper evaluation of Scientology includes an analysis of the IMPACT /INFLUENCE his personality, behaviors ,
assumptions, and mental health(as demonstrated through documented behavior towards colleagues/subordinates/journalists, etc.) had on the subject that he claimed, falsely, to be the sole source of.
Alanzo pointed out, in a different blog , the connection between the development of ¨new¨ policies and ¨tech¨ and
the legal troubles Hubbard and his organization faced and how these ¨policies and tech¨ were actually handlings for
said difficulties. For his followers,these were re-defined as ¨advances in research¨ by him and the organization.
Alanzo says, “It’s like sliding into home base for them once they have seized on it and having the referee yell “SAFE!”
This zeros in on a cultural flaw and conditioning which is to think that there is a correct ideology out there. As a young man, I was just sorting out my Christian upbringing and getting a handle on that when I banged into Scientology with its “scientific” decorations. It is a big mistake to believe in ideologies. Our culture conditions us to believe in ideologies – frameworks of thought to do our thinking for us. This is a big mistake and I try to not do this to my kids.
In one of the Basics lectures, I think it was, L Ron says something about never being doubtful or hesitant with his assertions, eg “if I say this process will work then it will work, if I say it is a science then it is.” I for one was suckered in by this infinite confidence, which appeared to be supported by the workability of what I had already encountered. Additionally this rightness of the Hubbard personality pervades the whole “church” think, they are always right and will never apologize or admit to error, instead they try to get individuals who have dared to question or criticize to confess to overts they have “undoubtedly” committed.
If I had the answers to your 3 questions I would undoubtedly never have become involved in scn, but then I have to ask the question would I have missed something which even now still seems to have value?
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