Scientologists pay thousands of dollars to hear the Xenu story, revealed in Operating Thetan Level Three (OT3), the so-called “Wall of Fire.” But did you know that LRH had a plan to offer the Xenu story to the public for the cost of a movie ticket?
Back in the late 1970s, Hubbard turned the OT3 story into a movie script called Revolt in the Stars. Hubbard reportedly raised a good chunk of money to finance the movie, but it was never made.
Why is this such a big deal? Keep in mind that Hubbard warned his flock that learning the OT3 story by any method other than paying for expensive Church services was potentially lethal. Scientologists weren’t supposed to discuss this level with other Scientologists (not even their spouses), because, according to Hubbard, getting the information about an OT level before one had done the preceding steps would prevent the listener from reaping the benefits.
But when the prospect of millions of box office dollars came up, apparently the risks weren’t such a problem.
Now, if I was a public Scientologist who had paid over $150,000 for OT3 – or even a Sea Org or staff member who had given up years and years of labor for minimal pay – I’d be pretty well pissed off about this. So how did Hubbard expect his followers to accept him suddenly giving away the Xenu story for a couple of bucks?
The Free Zone published a missive from Hubbard, although it has not been authenticated by other sources. As per his PR policy, Hubbard apparently told an “acceptable truth”:
“The RTS (Revolt in the Stars) film… will re-create the events surrounding a 4th Dynamic engram which affected this Sector circa 75 million years ago. However, it will present the data in a way which releases charge and brings up awareness and confront. .. A wide field of PR activities will at once open up and present itself for use… the film itself is to be viable, allowing a wide range of follow-up items and… a thrust from the public to be developed which can be channeled toward the orgs… Most importantly, since the events portrayed are true, there will be a degree of as-isness of the interlocking bank structure on the planet, thus making our job a bit easier. ” — LRH
In other words, Hubbard wasn’t simply selling the Xenu story at a bulk discount; he was making more potential Scientologists. (We later saw how well that worked with Battlefield Earth.) Of course, if he happened to make a couple of million bucks in the process, well, shit happens.
Now, there is some debate as to whether by this time Hubbard had begun to believe in the sci-fi universe he had created for his followers. Personally, I don’t believe that. When Rocky 2 opened in 1979 – when movie tickets averaged $2.50 – it made over 6 million dollars just in its opening weekend alone. (Adjusting for inflation, that’s about $17.5 million today). That’s a lot more than Hubbard could bleed from his modestly-sized group of followers in such a short time. I think he simply saw dollar signs. Or perhaps he was seeking Hollywood glamor. After all, he was never shy about his self-perceived skill as a science fiction writer.
To me, Hubbard’s willingness to sell the Xenu story to the mass market at a discount proves one thing: Hubbard knew he and his “religion” were full of shit.