I’ve read a few blog entries and forum posts recently about LRH’s opposition to homosexuality. Now, the idea of a religion (even a phony one) being opposed to homosexuality isn’t exactly startling. But in the case of Scientology, Hubbard’s anti-gay viewpoint could be interpreted as disproving his own doctrine.
According to Scientology, we are all thetans – spirits that control the mind and the body. Hubbard is adamant that neither the mind nor the body are the true nature of man. The thetan is what makes you, you; the body and mind are merely the hardware we use to exist on this planet.
Hubbard says that thetans have no mass, no location, and no measurable qualities. They also have no penis and no vagina. Thetans are gender-neutral.
Most of us did not choose the body we’re in, says Hubbard. But if you become a Scientologist and pay thousands of dollars to become an Operating Thetan (OT), you can unlock your true spiritual potential – which includes choosing what body to occupy in your next lifetime.
Now, Hubbard teaches that marriage is a good thing. If two thetans find each other, they’re going to want to form a “second dynamic” relationship – get married and have children, then start them in the church so the little ones can free up their own thetans.
So let’s say these two married OTs die – or rather “drop their bodies,” which Scientology teaches is an intentional act. Mr. OT decides he’s going to pick up a male body again. But Mrs. OT decides that she’s had enough of being a female, and she wants to be a man, too.
Now we have a problem.
Remember that, as OTs, these two people are suppose to have perfect past-life recall. They should have no problem finding each other and hooking up again – except they can’t, because they are both occupying male bodies, and according to Scientology, homosexuality is an aberration. (Actually, I’m being nice: Hubbard actually said that homosexuality was perverted and deviant behavior and a sign of illness, and recommended institutionalization for “sexual perverts” including gays and lesbians.)
Hubbard’s concept of the gender-free thetan pervades all levels of Scientology. Even in the 1960s, a time when woman’s liberation was still a new and novel concept, female Scientologists were holding important positions in the Church, even captaining Hubbard’s ships.
Given this attitude, you would think the Church would at least be tolerant of same-sex relationships – after all, what if two thetans in love had a misunderstanding, and both came back in male bodies? Hey, these things happen.
Instead, Hubbard’s views on homosexuality were very much in keeping with the times in which he lived. “Space opera” is all well and good, but not if it involves two man (or two women) doing the nasty.
Think about it: If Hubbard’s theories were anything other than sci-fi bullshit, you’d think he’d address the issue of gender-neutral thetan soul-mates inadvertently occupying same-gender bodies.
But he didn’t.
Which says to me that Hubbard wasn’t a superior intellect who had unlocked the secrets of the universe. Instead, he was just another run-of-the-mill homophobe trying to make a buck.