By now, you’ve probably seen the New Yorker magazine article, The Apostate: Paul Haggis vs. the Church of Scientology, by Lawrence Wright — and if you haven’t, you should. It’s long, but worth it. (That’s what she said!)
This is an outstanding article that tells the story of Paul Haggis’ very public departure from the Church of Scientology, prompted by the Church’s refusal to make a public statement after a San Diego staffer listed the Church as a sponsor of California’s Propositon 8, which banned gay marriage. Haggis objected to the Church’s stand and made a very public departure. I particularly like this article because it talks fairly about the Church in both the Hubbard and Miscavige eras.
New Yorker says Hubbard is full of shit; Tommy digs himself deeper
The New Yorker did their own investigation into the discrepancies in Hubbard’s war record, and guess what they found? Yep, more discrepancies. This is important, because Hubbard says that the techniques he used to cure himself of his claimed wartime injuries (including blindness) formed the basics of Dianetics.
The New Yorker investigation, like others before, found no evidence that Hubbard had any severe injuries, or that he even saw combat service at all. Which, of course, would indicate that his Dianetic “cures” and “powers” were bullshit.
The New Yorker also gave Tommy Davis a chance to defend these allegations, and his replies are as thin as a gnat’s eyelash. Tommy also told a whopper of a lie about LRH tech not being altered – anyone with an Internet connection can see that’s not true. (Hell, just check out my previous post about the A to E steps.) And his backpedaling on the Church’s anti-gay “scripture” is classic. Who wants to bet Tommy is doing his Liability condition formula right now?
Truth 1, Indies 0
I’m really happy with this article. Not only is it a factual, well-written analysis of Scientology, but the Independents failed to hijack it. I don’t know if Marty, Mike or their flock ever got a chance to try to convince Lawrence Wright that Scientology is a harmless religion being twisted into something evil by David Miscavige, but if he did, Wright didn’t buy it. And why would he? All it takes is an unprejudiced mind and a few LRH policies for anyone to see the truth.
So what happens next?
You can bet your copy of Dianetics that the Church is working on a rebuttal. The slave laborers will be working overtime, and it won’t be long before we see a copy of Freedom Magazine and a video similar to the way they responded to John Sweeney and Anderson Cooper.
Independents may try to blame this on David Miscavige’s desperation, but the truth is that such a response is mandated by several of L. Ron Hubbard policies. Among them:
These people who attack [Scientology] have secrets. And hidden crimes. [...] And when we investigate, all this recoils on the attacker. He withdraws too hurriedly to be orderly. [...] I can count several heavy attacks which folded up by our noisily beginning an investigation of the attacker. — LRH, HCO PL 15 Febuary 1966, ATTACKS ON SCIENTOLOGY
“Only attacks resolve threats. [...] If attacked on some vulnerable point by anyone… always find or manufacture enough threat against them to cause them to sue for peace. [...] Don’t ever defend. Always attack.” — LRH, HCO PL 15 August 1960, DEPT OF GOVT AFFAIRS
Now, a “wog” (outsider) PR professional might advise the Church to lay low and let the bad publicity blow over. There might even be folks inside the Church with an inkling to do the same. But they can’t. Remember, according to Scientologists, Scientology means doing exactly what Hubbard said to do, exactly the way he said to do it. Their hands are tied. LRH said to investigate and attack, so that’s what they’ll do, and they’ll make themselves look like even bigger fools as a result.
Will Scientologists listen? Probably not…
Will the New Yorker article convince Scientologists to leave either the Church or the Independent movement? I hope so, but I’m not holding my breath. Scientologists have been trained to hear selectively. I’ll leave you with LRH’s assessment of reporters:
“The reporter who comes to you, all smiles and withholds, ‘wanting a story’, has an AMA [American Medical Association] instigated release in his pocket. He is there to trick you into supporting his pre-conceived story.
“The story he will write has already been outlined by a sub-editor from old clippings and AMA releases.
“He probably knows as well as you do that you are decent and effective.
“He has no power whatever to alter the pre-conceived story he has been ordered to write. If he were audited or otherwise totally convinced of the great value of Scientology he would still write the same critical story. If he didn’t he would probably get sacked. So the time you spend trying to convince him of your decency and
effectiveness is wasted time.
“If he publishes outright lies sue his paper for libel if you like, but don’t be afraid of what he will write. Central organization income usually rises during bad press campaigns. So he can’t really harm you whatever he does or says.” — LRH, HCO PL 15 August AD13 (1963), SCIENTOLOGY FIVE PRESS POLICIES
Update: Here come the Feds!
In a related note, today’s Saint Petersburg Times ran a story saying the FBI has been conducting an investigation into Scientology’s punitive practices, which may violate laws on human trafficking. They’ve been talking to five ex-Scientology managers — and guess which Independent blogger, who claims to have evidence that will send David Miscavige to jail*, isn’t among them?
* If it turns out I’m wrong, and this person really does have court-admissible evidence that puts David Miscavige behind words, I will happily make a public apology and eat my words. Meanwhile, I’m not skipping any meals, if you catch my drift.