ARTIFICIAL COMMUNITIES

Ron L. Hubbard and Scientology



Mario Di Fiorino

"Dianetics is an adventure. It is an exploration into terra incognita, thehuman mind, the vast and hitherto unknown realm half an inch back of our foreheads.

The discoveries and developments which made the formulation of Dianetics possible occupied many years of exact research and carefl testing. This was exploration, it was also consolidation. The trail is blazed, the routes are sufficiently mapped for you to voyage in safety inmto your mind and recover there your full inherent potential, which is not, we now know, low but very, er high.

As you progress in therapy, the adventure is yours to know why you did when you did it, to know what caused those dark and unknown fears which came in nightmares as a child, to know where your moments of pain and pleasure lay."

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

A preliminary remark

By reading some of the texts of Hubbard (1911-1986), the founder of Dianetics and Scientology, we can understand why the dispute between the families of the adepts and the controversial cults in general arose.

Let me give you my survey of these texts and a short review, carried out by the Public Relations Bureau of the Scientology National Church of Italy, on the draft I had sent to a specialized journal

It is for me noteworthy to compare such two different images: an "orwellian" world appearing through my notes and the utopian image of students seeking freedom and survival, outlined by my correspondents.

The doctrine

If Dianetics belongs to a first period of Hubbardнs thought, when he still moved within the limits of a sort of "psychological" research, Scientology, even though maintaining some continuity, features the acquisition of a religious dimension. The two doctrines represent the doctrinarian inheritance of the Scientologists.

Dianetics (from the ancient Greek dia = through, and nous = spirit, or mind) has been defined as "a science for spiritual health". In "Dianetics. The Modern Science of Mental Health" Dianetics is shown as a real and true science implying controlled experiments.

In "Dianetics. The Evolution of A Science". Hubbard shows how he built his theoretical framework. His study of meditation techniques of the Borneo shamans and Sioux wizards derives from his interest in ethnology and esotherism. Among his readings, as an autodidact modern, psychology took a significant place ("I tested several schools of psychology : Jung, Adler and even Freud"). The founder of Dianetics recognizes his syncretic approach, by means of which he tries to integrate different "traditions of wisdom".

The organizational framework

Scientology has a particular organizational framework. The ones, whose behaviour is loose and contrary to the ethical codes, are defined as out ethics.

(Ц) There is a behavioural code the adepts must follow. Any disposition has to be carried out with absolute discipline. Delation of any fault is compulsory, which helps in feeding an atmosphere of reciprocal control among the members of the group. By including each of them to nourish doubts about the others (who might denounce his "crime"), the leaders can obtain a total obedience.

The supporters of Scientology who are involved in different activities are named "field staff members". A classical way of making proselits is to offer a free psychological test to the passers-by in the streets. Such tests consist in a formulary prepared with the collaboration of the local group, the mission. The analysis of the answers to the questionnaire will very often suggest the need for "specific communication courses".

The Auditors deal with auditing. Along the hierarchic "technical" scale (such as for auditing) there are some case supervisors.

Clearly, from the foundation of the International Church of Scientology, there also are ministers of cult.

The directions of the guardian world wide were named guardian program orders, Hubbardнs technical directions are issued on Bullettins in red type. The Policy Letters, signed by Ron Hubbard Founder are written in green type: they are indicated as Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letters (HCOPL) and have administrative policy character.

A "new language"

Who ventures on the reading of Hubbardнs books will soon have the feeling of facing a totaly new lexicon requiring continual explanation. It is simply not the case that there are dictionaries offering translations as to show the meanings of such terms (or the special use of them) and that many Dianetics works are supplied with an illustrative glossary.

There are most examples of such terms: whoever reads these passages will have the impression of reading extract from Orwellнs or Huxleyнs books, which have turned out prophetical for this reality as well as for other totalitarian worlds.

The full text actually is only in Italian and Ukrainian.



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