Daily Archives: August 4, 2010

Marty, Ron, Dave, and the Tao Te Ching

Apologies for the absence of a few days; as the Scientologists would say, I had some 2D and MEST cycles that needed to be handled in PT (translation: family and “real life” matters that needed immediate attention. PT means “present time”). I’ve got some catching up to do on Marty Rathbun’s blog, so let’s get started.

In his August 3rd blog entry, my ol’ pal Marty talks about the Tao Te Ching, by Chinese philosopher Laozi. According . to Marty, the Tao Te Ching “captures the fundamental truths upon which Scientology is based.” Indeed, L. Ron Hubbard did borrow prolifically from Eastern thought in an effort to lend Scientology an air of legitimacy and mystique. Marty goes on to say:

The Factors and Axioms and basic truths of Scientology stem from the Tao. LRH made that clear in the “Scientology, Its General Background” lectures – part of the Phoenix lectures series. He said there, “…who knows but what if we took the Tao just as written and knowing what we know already about Scientology, we simply set out to practice the Tao, I don’t know but what we wouldn’t get a Theta Clear.”

(You’ll note, by the way, a mistake that both LRH and Marty seem to make – using “the Tao” to mean “Tao Te Ching.” Tao is a concept; Tao Te Ching is the name of the text. LRH says “If we took the Tao just as written…” when in fact the Tao was not written; Tao Te Ching was. This may seem like I’m splitting hairs, but there is an important point here: Besides the obvious hypocrisy – LRH was obsessed with having his followers learn the definitions of words – there’s his tendency to hide a lack of knowledge with oversimplification, and Scientologists’ tendency to overlook his blatantly obvious errors yet credit him with thorough knowledge of a given subject. This is the mark of a cult member, and something to keep in mind for those who think Marty and other Independents are “out”.)

LRH loved stuff like the Tao Te Ching. It is poetic, abstract, and wide open to individual interpretation, and claiming to have a fundamental understanding of it (as LRH no doubt did) infers high intelligence to those who feel they lack it (one of the groups LRH targeted, as I talked about in “But the Technology works!”). As it happens, anyone who claims they have a fundamental understanding of Tao Te Ching should be regarded as suspect; because of the nuances of Classical Chinese, the language in which Laozi wrote, a reliable translation is exceptionally difficult, if not impossible.

Back to Marty: He claims that despite LRH’s intentions, Scientology has not gone in the direction dictated by Tao Te Ching, and he plans to find out why:

How Scientology diverted from the Tao is a major theme of a long-term investigation of mine, the results of which I’ll share when I’m there.”

It’s pretty easy to predict what’s going to happen: Marty will come up with a list of things David Miscavige has done that disagree with the text of Tao Te Ching. (This, incidentally, is irrelevant, according to Scientology policy; LRH is the Source of Scientology, not Laozi.)

Nevertheless, I figured I would save Marty some time by illustrating some ways Scientology diverts from the Tao Te Ching:

The Tao Te Ching does not advise its readers to research which spiritual services will produce income.

“So in surveying you are in actual fact seeking to know WHAT SERVICE THAT YOU CAN DO WILL PEOPLE CONSIDER VALUABLE ENOUGH TO GIVE MONEY OR VALUABLES FOR.” [Emphasis in original]
— L. Ron Hubbard, LRH ED 161 INT, “Surveys are they Key to Stats”

The Tao Te Ching does not make grandiose claims for what it can do.

“The creation of Dianetics is a milestone for Man comparable to his discovery of fire and superior to his inventions of the wheel and the arch…the skills offered in this handbook will produce…intelligence considerably greater than the current normal, or…an individual who has been freed from his major anxieties or illnesses.”

— L. Ron Hubbard, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health

The Tao Te Ching does not talk about the Laozi’s desire for revenge.

“People attack Scientology; I never forget it, I always even the score.”
— L. Ron Hubbard, Manual of Justice

The Tao Te Ching does not advise its adherents on how to form a finance division.

“The governing policy of finance is to… MAKE MONEY. MAKE MORE MONEY. MAKE OTHER PEOPLE PRODUCE SO AS TO MAKE MORE MONEY.” [Emphasis in original]
— LRH, HCO PL 9 March 1972R, Income Flows and Pools/Principles of Money Management

I could go on and on and on, but this article is late enough as it is. Shame, because there are so many others. Just a few more off the top of my head: The Tao Te Ching does not advise that those who do not believe in the Tao are evil people bent on destruction and should not be spoken to. It does not recommend potentially harmful medical and psychological procedures in place of proper medicine. Hell, it doesn’t even tell its adherents how to write advertisements or recruit using deceptive personal ads. Scientology does, or has done, all of the above.

So, Marty, right there you have your first few examples of where Scientology diverts from Tao Te Ching. Feel free to include them in your “investigation.” You’re welcome.

Of course, Marty probably won’t use any of my examples, because they can all be traced back to L. Ron Hubbard, with written proof found on the bookshelves at any Church of Scientology. Marty is trying to convince people that the evils of the Church of Scientology are the fault of David Miscavige, not LRH – and we wouldn’t want the truth to get in the way of Marty’s campaign, now would we?

You can read a translation of Tao Te Ching, courtesy of Project Gutenberg, here.