Hubbard's Caveman

Kai gave me this lovely piece of old Scientology propaganda. The 1968 book Scientology: A History of Man is a re-titled edition of something L.R. Hubbard completed in 1951-52 and disseminated under the title What To Audit. After the formerly secret teachings about Xenu the evil space emperor etc., this is probably the most widely ridiculed text of Scientology. But with the fine cover image (apparently painted by Hubbard himself) and the new title, the book clearly aims to say something about humanity's ancient past – which is my job.

In the foreword Hubbard assures the reader that "This is a cold-blooded and factual account of your last sixty trillion years" and explains that he "began to search into the back track of Mankind some years ago". Now, of course, we know that the Big Bang occurred only about 13.75 billion years ago, and talk about time before the beginning of time is meaningless. But to one with Hubbard's science fiction background, sixty trillion must have sounded awesome.

Moving on into the text however, it turns out that true to its original title, the whole thing is mainly about reincarnation, memories of past lives, "auditing", the "E-meter", evil "theta beings" possessing people, and how to become "clear" from these malicious spirits. We're not dealing with named palaeontological or archaeological finds or sites. Instead Hubbard envisions people carrying memories of being various pre-human animals along an imagined Chain of Being, then the Piltdown Man (debunked by radiocarbon in 1953) and the Caveman on the book's cover. This is the "history of man". But Hubbard never explains the basis for his assertions, never refers to other writers or excavations or labwork other than in general nameless terms. He's delivering Revealed Truth. The voice in this confused tirade of a book is authoritarian yet clearly slightly mad. (Insiders have reported that some of the material was actually dictated by Hubbard's 17-y-o son after the father dosed him liberally with amphetamines.)

On the back cover is the blurb "Discover how to create sanity for future generations". Flipping through the book I get the definite impression that the problem L.R. Hubbard was really struggling with was that of creating sanity for himself.


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I get the definite impression that the problem L.R. Hubbard was really struggling with was that of creating sanity for himself.

Hubbard may have been, as we say in the US, crazy like a fox. He supposedly claimed that the best way to make a million bucks in the US was to found your own religion, and he subsequently proved that assertion by founding Scientology.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 21 Aug 2012 #permalink

Speaking of bats*t-crazy writers, Marcuze is back trolling:…
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I thank you for reading through the book so others do not have to. Mental instability is tragic but I find reading/listening to such delusions deeply unsettling.
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"evil “theta beings” possessing people" -a ripoff of Madame Blavatsky's teachings about Lemuria and the evil abnors. Her descendants should sue the pants off the Scientology church.

By Birger Johansson (not verified) on 21 Aug 2012 #permalink

Which in course proved his genius, as he not only made the million but sheltered it from taxes.

But wait, there's more. In other writings, Hubbard claimed to have time travel experiences of a time so long ago in the past that it was a 247-digit number of years ago. He also talked extensively about his past life experiences on many different planets.

Once you get to the upper levels, it's all about exorcising "body thetans;" everyone is supposedly covered with thousands of these invisible "dead space cooties" that must be mentally removed one by one over a period of years (and hundreds of thousands of dollars) using the e-meter. You have to describe in highly specific "time, place, form and event" each one as you mentally zap it. If you weren't crazy and broke before reaching the top levels of Scientology, you certainly will be.

Incidentally, the caveman drawing on the cover, along with the volcano seen on other book covers, are supposed to "restimulate" an "implant" memory and make anyone who sees the cover overwhelmed with the compulsion to buy the book.

In 1951 I think it was still called "Dianetics" and A. E. van Vogt was one of the former believers who defected from this movement.
BTW The theta beings would not need our assistance. All they need is to summon the Gatekeeper under the alien pyramid.

By Birger Johansson (not verified) on 21 Aug 2012 #permalink

I have friends who quote people Hubbard, Heinlein, and other assorted author's of their ilk for whatever politcial, social or whatever stance they take. I would like to remind one and all that these author wrote fiction, and so were professional liars. If they wanted to write philosophy, they should have done so.

By Steven Blowney (not verified) on 21 Aug 2012 #permalink

Oh, btw, when a first encountered "Dianetics" I thought it was some kind of wholistic treatment for stomach problems...

By Steven Blowney (not verified) on 21 Aug 2012 #permalink

All of Hubbard's ideas are based on science fiction facts. His "technology" works 100% of the time, as long as it's applied properly by fully qualified crazy people.

By Googles McNutty (not verified) on 21 Aug 2012 #permalink

If History of Man wasn't enough, try Hubbard's classic "All About Radiation." Early editions proclaim it was authored by "A Nuclear Physicist and a Medical Doctor" although later editions are attributed to Hubbard. If you say out loud that its contents are loopy in front of Scientologists, they will be quick to assert that you haven't read the materials on the proper 'gradient.' As John P so succinctly puts it above, if you weren't already crazy by the time you reach those upper levels, you soon will be. But as woo woo as the belief system is, it is the policy-driven abuses of people and the law (Keep Scientology Working) that make Scientology not just another laughable nut cult but an extremely dangerous organization.

After Hubbard died the new Head Kook seems to be so abusive and crazy that the movement finally might implode. I just hope the final moments will not include having followers drinking poisoned Kool-aid.

By Birger Johansson (not verified) on 21 Aug 2012 #permalink

It should have been called "Diuretics", because you almost wet yourself laughing at the fact that there are people actually believe this BS.

By Bradley Greenwood (not verified) on 21 Aug 2012 #permalink

If you can stomach them, there are audio recordings of Hubbard floating around in which he jabbers endlessly about his revelations. They almost make other religions sound sane.

Incidentally, the caveman drawing on the cover, along with the volcano seen on other book covers, are supposed to “restimulate” an “implant” memory and make anyone who sees the cover overwhelmed with the compulsion to buy the book.

Should've stuck with Goya.

The subject matter is rather re-stimulative to scientologists, so i guess that is why the comments aren't flooded with 'theta'.
Hubbard's 'whole track investigation' was malarkey fueled by pinks and greys

By Stehpan Sadnud (not verified) on 21 Aug 2012 #permalink