Category Archives: Marty’s Book: What Is Wrong With Scientology?

Marty’s book: Chapter one

Well, I’ve survived the first few pages of Marty’s book without catching pneumonia! (Of course, I haven’t gotten to the stuff about OT3 yet…)

Actually, I think this first chapter is a must-read, and the good news is that you can read the part I’m going to talk about here for free by using the “Look Inside!” link at

What makes it a must-read? Because Marty’s “non-gradient” explanation of Dianetics does a beautiful job of showing just how riduculous Hubbard’s scam really is. Marty explains Hubbard’s analytical/reactive mind concept, which based on a proven (and previously discovered) idea — that we have a subconscious that influences our actions without our realizing it. But Marty adds in the ridiculous bits that Scientology is careful to cover up to brand-newbies (“the gradient”) — such as Hubbard’s notion that the subconcious (reactive mind) is based on evolution, not brain chemistry. Per Marty (and Hubbard), “The reactive mind was presumably created in tooth-and-claw times, where constant stimulus-response reactivity was vital to survival.”

Next, we get to see an example of the reactive mind at work. A kid is hit on the head with a baseball, and while he’s unconscious, his coach says he was “knocked senseless.” Years later, he’s a lawyer, drinking in a bar in a situation that vaguely reminds him of the baseball game, and this forgotten memory is “restimulated” — and the next day he suddenly and for no apparent reason drops the succesful legal strategy he was pursuing, simply because his subconcious has told him his approach is “senseless,” and then loses the case.

Seriously, is that the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever heard? And yet Scientologists really believe that “wogs” do these kind of oddball, random things, because we haven’t “cleared” our reactive mind. Never mind that if people really functioned this way, the world would look like one big Benny Hill sketch — that doesn’t stop Scns from believing Hubbard’s screwball examples rather than their own eyes. (So much for oft-used the Indie mantra “look, don’t listen,” which they happen to be quoting out of context.)

And lest you think Rathbun has come up with a poor example, I’d say he’s done even better than the Ol’ Fraud Hisself. Here’s one of L. Ron Hubbard’s examples of subconcious phenomenon from Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health:

“An engram received from father beating mother which says ‘Take that! Take it, I tell you. You’ve got to take it!’ means that our patient has possibly had tendancies as a kleptomaniac.”

— L. Ron Hubbard, Dianetics, 2007 ed., p. 260

Seriously, outside of badly-written B-movies, do people really yell that sort of thing when they beat their wives? (Did Hubbard?) And if this really worked, don’t men have a moral obligation to start hitting their pregnant wives while yelling things like “Cure cancer! Cure cancer, I tell you. You’ve got to cure cancer!” (Not that I am condoning spousal abuse, but Hubbard did emphasize the good of the many over the good of the few.)

This is where it seems that the book is aimed more towards derailing would-be ex-Scientologists on their way out of the Church — surely newcomers would see right through this hogwosh. Hubbard knew they would, which is why he made the path to Scientology more elaborate, with sub-scams like the Hubbard-authored “Oxford Capacity Analysis” (the dreaded Personality Test) and the introduction film — what Hubbard termed “the gradient.” Granted, Marty isn’t trying to attract people like you and I — Hubbard called us “raw meat” — but I think it’s possible that Marty just doesn’t realize that sane, rational, non-brainwashed people will see right through this. This is what Scientology does to people… to a dedicated Scientologist, that whole “senseless” story makes perfect sense.

Anyway, Marty then covers the cure: Go back and talk about the incident that causes pain. Again, this is a concept common in psychotherapy, one that long pre-dates Hubbard’s Dianetics book. This is the reason that Scientology does not take people who have had psychiatric care. The Church says such people are too messed up, but the truth is they might recognize the techniques and know that Hubbard’s claim of authorship is a lie. And if they tell that to fellow Scientologists, the whole house of cards comes tumbling down.

That’s not all of Chapte r1, but that’s all the reading I could stomach in one sitting. More coming soon.


Related: The truth about “Look, don’t listen”

Marty’s book: Here we go!

Ok, I’m going to do it — I’m going to read What Is Wrong With Scientology? Healing Through Understanding by Mark “Marty” Rathbun. And if I’m going to do it, I’m taking you with me. (No way am I gonna suffer alone!)

Before I start, I think it’s fair to reveal any bias I might have by telling you what I am expecting. That way, you can evaluate my comments and criticisms fairly, since you know what my mindset it.

Basically, I expect the book to be yet another salvo in Marty’s mission to shift the blame for Scientology’s crimes from Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard to current Church leader David Miscavige. I expect a book-load of what I constantly accuse Marty of doing on his blog: Whitewashing L. Ron Hubbard.

In other words, I expect a lot of bullshit.

I’m also expecting self-promotion. Cynical though I may be, I believe this book serves, in part, as what Scientologists call “a promo piece” — an advertisement of Marty’s business, which is selling Scientology “services” to like-minded ex-Churchies. His blog serves much the same purpose.

But I’m also hoping to learn more about Marty. I don’t expect the blatent honesty we saw in Aaron Saxton’s interview, but maybe I can get some insight into Marty’s mindset.

It would be great if I could cast off my cynicism and try to keep an open mind, though I’m not sure I can — I’m already pissed off after merely reading the “About the Author” section:

Mark “Marty” Rathbun was Inspector General of the Religious Technology Center (RTC), the organization that controls the copyrights and trademarks of the materials relating to Dianetics and Scientology. His role was to head the Inspector General Network, described by the Church of Scientology as “an independent investigatory and policing body whose function is to keep Scientology working by ensuring the pure and ethical use of Dianetics and Scientology technology.”

That makes me wonder how working on the cover up of Lisa McPherson’s death, including shredding documents to keep them from surfacing in the family’s lawsuit, was “ensuring the pure and ethical use of Dianetics and Scientology technology.” What about bullying the IRS into making Scientology tax-exempt? These are things that Marty has admitted to doing on his blog, but they sure aren’t good for business. I wonder if Marty will talk about them in his book?

I should bring up the issue of buying the book. I had issues with buying it — I have a problem funding Marty’s business of derailing Scientologists on their path out of the Church so that he can make money from deluding them further. On the other hand, I think it’s important for authors to get paid for their work. In the end, I was able to borrow a copy, so that’s a happy medium.

I’m busy with paying work this month, so please be patient with me, but keep an eye on this blog as we attempt to find out what (if anything) is wrong with What Is Wrong With Scientology?. Wish me luck!


“Great Middle Path:” The straw-man argument

Have a look at Marty’s latest, The Great Middle Path Revisited. In it, Marty claims that the polar reactions to his book — Church-goers saying Marty is trying to destroy Scientology on one side, “Scientology ridiculers” saying the whole subject is a pile of shit on the other. This, according to Marty, proves that he is right:

“On the one hand I am accused on attempting to destroy everything L. Ron Hubbard stood for. On the other hand, I am accused of being Hubbard’s greatest defender… It makes me feel like I must have hit the ball right in the sweet spot.”

Now, there are no shortage of “Scientology ridiculers,” myself included. But who does Marty cite? None other than his old buddy Tony Ortega, who has done more than anyone (even Tobin and Childs) to give Marty a fair shot in the press.

Except, for the sake of this argument, Tony is not Marty’s friend. Instead, he is, Marty says, “the most prominent and persistent of Scientology ridiculers.”

If ever a sentiment were worth of ridicule, that’s it. Tony has been so fair and even-handed about Marty’s indie movement that I’ve wondered in the past if Marty doesn’t have him snowed about Scientology. (I don’t think he has.) While I don’t agree with Tony’s light-handed treatment of Marty, I do admire his fairness and objectivity — even when Marty is perfectly willing to throw Tony under the bus, as he has in this blog entry.

Here’s what Marty says about Tony’s review of the book:

On the other extreme Tony Ortega, who has spent seventeen years attempting to make nothing of Scientology, calls What Is Wrong With Scientology?: a ‘predictable mass of Hubbard apologetics’, a ‘bundle of contradictions’, [the apologies are for a religion that is] ‘permeated with sickness’, ‘expensive malarky’, [attempts to pass off] ‘Eastern woo woo as ‘scientific certainty’, and the defense is a bunch of ‘new age happy talk.’

Sounds like the opposite extreme, correct? Well, yes… unless you actually read Ortega’s review of Marty’s book.

The review, though excessively long, is written with the fairness and even-handedness that marks Tony’s work. Yes, he says that Hubbard is full of shit. Yes, he questions the effectiveness of Scientology in such terms. But the bulk of the review, like the bulk of Tony’s stories about Marty, is fair and even-handed. Tony translates what Marty is saying for an audience unfamiliar with Scientology, and the small percentage of time spent ridiculing Hubbard and Scientology shows admirable restraint.

This is a straw man argument if ever I have heard one, which is funny, because there are no shortage of true “Scientology ridiculers” out there. Perhaps the problem is that few have enough interest in balanced coverage to slog through Marty’s latest diatribe. With limited time to devote to this blog, even I have wondered if reading the book is a worthwhile endeavor. (As it happens, I’m too morbidly curious not to read it, though I can’t say I’m looking forward to the experience.)

As for Marty’s treatment of Tony Ortega in this blog entry, it’s clear that Marty doesn’t understand the concept of not biting the hand that feeds him…

…probably because Hubbard never wrote a policy about it.