This weekend, Marty commented on a St. Petersburg Times article outlining how Scientology children are mistreated and would-be mothers are pressured to have abortions. Marty commented that the article “Could have made it more crystal clear it was the iron heart of DM that implemented virtually all of it.”
The reason they didn’t? My guess: Because that isn’t true.
Now, it is true that the article talks about the mistreatment of children that has run rampant in the Miscavige era and the Church’s 1996 policy that Sea Organization members are not allowed to have children. Actually, from reading the article, one might think that child care was much better during Hubbard’s days.
To understand why, you have to understand Hubbard’s attitude towards children. This will take a few paragraphs and some background info, so please bear with me.
Scientology teaches that we are all “thetans” – spirits – with immortal lives. When we die, we don’t cease to exist; we simply drop our body and pick up a new one. Why don’t we remember the past? Because between lives, we stop off at things called “implant stations,” which perform the spiritual version of formatting our hard drives and re-installing the operating system. We are “implanted” with all sorts of false beliefs that keep us from knowing our true spiritual nature. It is this true nature that Scientology promises to give back to you – the state of “operating thetan” (and all for just one hundred thousand easy payments of $5 each).
So to a Scientologist, children aren’t children – they are thetans, millions of years old. They are adults in little bodies.
Now, here’s the problem: Children can’t do a whole lot of work, because a) despite LRH’s preaching, they are just children; and b) the law won’t let them. (Damn governments.) That’s not good, because in Scientology organizations, everything is about statistics. Everything. You are given a “stat” to judge your work performance (number of new people brought in, amount of donations collected, number of toilets scrubbed) and you are expected to keep that stat rising. If your stats are up, you are golden. If your stats are down, they are all over you like flies on dog crap.
Children have low statistics. They can’t produce much. They are “downstat,” and therefore aren’t worth much investment of resources (time, staff, and material items like books, toys, or clothes). And according to LRH, they definitely weren’t worth their parents taking time off their busy Sea Org jobs.
LRH said that things should be prioritized for “the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics.” Dynamics are basically groups, ordered from largest to smallest. The first dynamic is you, the second dynamic is the family (partner and kids – “2D” is Scientologese for spouse), the third is a non-family group (Church organization, employer, etc), the fourth is all of mankind, and so on.
So let’s say Jane Scientologist has a choice between spending time with her children or working overtime to stuff envelopes for the latest fund-raising drive. Now, most of us, if we haven’t seen our kids all day, would tell the Org to go stuff their own envelopes. But not in Scientology! Caring for your kid helps your 2nd dynamic, but promoting Scientology helps the 3rd and 4th dynamics. Therefore, the envelopes win.
In order to keep Sea Org kids from interfering with their parents, LRH established an in-house day care called the Cadet Org. Often the Cadet Org caretakers were kids themselves, and the conditions were appalling. (Read Chapter 8 of Road to Xenu by Margery Wakefield.) Now, to be fair, there is evidence that LRH was told about the poor conditions of the Cadet Org and was angry – although part of the reason for his anger was that more resources had to be devoted to these “thetans in little bodies” who were not “producing” for the org. One would think if LRH was that concerned about the children, he would have ordered them to be raised by their parents, but he didn’t. LRH did magnanimously order one hour per day of family time. Of course, an hour with your kids isn’t a whole lot when you regularly work 16-plus hour days, now is it?
So with children being such a distraction and a common cause of LRH’s ire, Church Management in 1996 – of which Marty Rathbun was a member – decreed that Sea Org members could no longer have children. If you got pregnant, you could either have an abortion or leave the Sea Org. Of course, leaving wasn’t that easy, one reason being that Sea Org members get free Church services, and LRH decreed that if they leave and breach their billion-year contract they must pay for those services – the so-called “freeloader debt.”
So, basically, under LRH, Sea Org members could either leave or have their children raised in sub-standard conditions. When DM, MR and crew couldn’t get the conditions better, they simply outlawed children.
Is it true that, as Marty said, “DM implemented virtually all of it”? I’ll leave that up to you. But judging from some of the comments on his blog post, it seems that even Marty’s followers aren’t buying that one.