The Hubbard is Bare: Chapter 7-Aleister Crowley
Hubbard had clear connections to the occult. Even in the first publication of dianetics in “Astounding Science Fiction“, Hubbard in explaining how he did his “research” into what the mind was doing, says he used “automatic writing, speaking and clairvoyance” (1) to discover what the mind’s memory banks were doing. Automatic writing is an occult method of communicating with the spirit world, although psychologists consider its products to arise from subconscious thoughts of the writer. Whichever is correct, it is hardly a method used by competent scientific researchers.
Hubbard’s connection to the occultist Aleister Crowley is quite clear and noteworthy. Crowley called himself the Anti-Christ, the Beast of Revelations, and 666. Russell Miller has adequately chronicled Hubbard’s connection in 1945 to John W. Parsons, who headed Crowley’s Ordo Templi Orientis chapter in Los Angeles. (2) Hubbard was an active member in this group for several months, and first met his second wife there. The Church of Scientology claims that Hubbard was actually infiltrating this group in order to break it up, but the following should suffice to dismiss this claim.
In the Philadelphia Doctorate Course lectures taped in 1952, Hubbard discusses occult magic of the middle ages, and recommends a current book – “it’s fascinating work in itself, and that’s work written by Aleister Crowley, the late Aleister Crowley, my very good friend.” (3) The book recommended was The Master Therion, (published in London in 1929) later re-released as Magick in Theory and Practise. L. Ron Hubbard, Jr. asserts that during the time when the Philadelphia course was given his father would read Crowley’s works “in preparation for the next day’s lecture…” (4)
There are interesting similarities between Crowley’s writings and the teachings of Hubbard. Dianetics‘ Time Track, in which every incident in a person’s life is chronologically recorded in full in the mind, is quite similar to Crowley’s Magical Memory. The Magical Memory is developed over time until “memories of childhood reawaken” (5) which were previously forgotten, and memories of previous incarnations are recalled as well. Hubbard gives examples in the Philadelphia Doctorate Course of several people remembering lives earlier on earth, some up to a million years ago. The similarity between the Magical Memory and Time Track, then, is that they both can recall every past incident in a person’s life, they both can recall incidents from past lives, and they both must be developed by certain techniques in order to make use of them.
Both Hubbard and Crowley consider it important to have the person recall his or her birth. “Having allowed the mind to return for some hundred times to the hour of birth, it should be encouraged to endeavour to penetrate beyond that period” (6) (Crowley). “After twenty runs through birth, the patient experienced a recession of all somatics and ‘unconsciousness’ and aberrative content.” “Thus there was no inhibition about looking earlier than birth for what Dianetics had begun to call basic-basic” (7) (Hubbard).
Both Hubbard and Crowley are avowedly anti-psychiatry. “Official psychoanalysis is therefore committed to upholding a fraud… psychoanalysts have misinterpreted life, and announced the absurdity that every human being is essentially an anti-social, criminal, and insane animal” (8) (Crowley). Hubbard considered that psychiatry controlled most of society and was struggling to create their own 1984 world. (9)
Hubbard (10) and Crowley both posit the ability of the person to leave his or her body at times. Crowley states that the way to learn to leave your body is to mock up a body like your own in front of your physical body. Eventually you will learn to leave your physical body with your “astral body” and travel and view at will without physical restrictions. (11) Hubbard teaches the same, and his method of “exteriorization” is to tell the person to “have preclear mock up own body” (12), which will send the person outside his body.
Both Crowley (13) and Hubbard (14) use an equilateral triangle pointing up in a circle as one of their group’s symbols. Both use Volume 0 instead of Volume 1 to begin enumerating their works. One could go on for quite some time listing the similarities between Crowley’s and Hubbard’s theories and writings, but for more the reader is encouraged to look for him or herself.
In Crowley’s Organization are several grade levels. To reach the Grade of Adeptus Exemptus “The Adept must prepare and publish a thesis setting forth His knowledge of the Universe, and his proposals for its welfare and progress. He will thus be known as the leader of a school of thought.” (15) It is apparent that Hubbard has fulfilled this requirement.
First, an explanation of what gnosticism is. It is an old religious philosophy with Platonic roots. Basically, gnostics believe that we as humans are “outsiders” to this material universe. Our immortal godlike souls were trapped here in a body by evil forces, and we are reincarnated continually, while our true spiritual identities are clouded from our memory. It is our task to discover the hidden knowledge, or gnosis, that will allow us to escape this evil material world of illusion and return to our rightful place. We keep reincarnating until we learn how to escape.
The world seems to be ‘the epitome of evil’. Because it is alien to their true nature, human beings must renounce it and flee from it in order to be able to return to their heavenly home. To achieve this aim they must possess Gnosis, be reborn in their true nature, and be baptized in the cup of knowledge into which the divine intellect has been poured. (16)
Salvation begins with a messenger from beyond bringing the necessary knowledge to mankind, but this knowledge is given only to those deemed worthy, and even then one must follow certain steps in order to arrive at the ultimate Truths. The individual must struggle to earn and then incorporate the secret knowledge needed to return to his rightful place.
There is a need for someone to bring this gnosis or knowledge to mankind:
It follows that this divine reality cannot be known through the ordinary faculties of the mind. Illumination, revelation, the intervention of a celestial mediator is required. He descends from above to call the Gnostic, to rouse him from earthly sleep and drunkenness, to take him back to his divine homeland. (17)
While on this earth, man is plagued by many difficulties which lessen his real abilities and being. One problem to us all is that within each of our bodies is a plethora of spirits or souls, causing us harm:
A hierarchy of demons, servile and ready, is continually at work in everyone’s body, transformed into a remorseless inferno in miniature. (18)
Mankind is also cursed with forgetfulness of his true home and true composition, being blinded by this material world.
As with Christianity today, there were many sects of gnosticism. The most famous gnostics were those that took the basic ideas of Christianity and mixed them into their own otherworldly theories. One of the most dangerous enemies of the early church were the Christian gnostic movement, for it greatly distorted the essential message of Christ and his followers while using similar terminology. The early church fathers, such as Clement of Alexandria and Tertullian, spent much of their time speaking out against gnosticism.
Scientology, however, embraces gnosticism. Its doctrines are gnostic, and it uses gnostic writings to support its own ideas. For example, “Advance!” issue 93 has an article entitled “The Surprising Christian Tradition of Reincarnation“, which relies heavily on gnostic writings such as the Pistis Sophia (the best known of the surviving gnostic writings) to support its viewpoint. Scientology is clearly gnostic, by its own admission and by the similarities to its own and gnostic teachings. Once again, ideas Hubbard declares to be new and discovered by him, are shown to be derived from old and widespread teachings in existence long before he came along.
Hubbard claimed to be the sole source of the hidden knowledge needed to escape these earthly bonds. “The mystery of this universe… has been, as far as its track is concerned, completely occluded. No one has ever been able to make any breakthrough and come off with it and know what happened… I finally was able to make a breakthrough which brought people through the zone safely.” (19)
When Hubbard died in 1986, it was announced that he had left this “MEST” (the acronym of Matter, Space, Time, and Energy) universe to continue his work and research. In other words, he had obtained the gnosis needed to break the bonds to this material illusory plane and travel to other worlds or dimensions at will. (20)
Hubbard was the sole source for the technology Scientologists need to break free from this MEST universe. “Nobody else — NOBODY — ever discovered it.” (21) He is thus the gnostic “celestial mediator” empowered to bring mankind the knowledge needed to bring us back home.
Another obvious connection to gnosticism is in the upper level of training known as Operating Thetan III, or “The Wall of Fire.” It is at this level that the Scientologist first is taught that many of his problems are caused by other souls attached to his soul. These souls are detached and sent on their way through the course training. The goal of OTIII is to rid the individual of hundreds of “Body Thetans”, or other souls attached to the main dominant individual. No one is even allowed to see OTIII material until he has completed the previous courses leading up to OTIII. (21) This material is carefully guarded and treated as a great important mystery to be imparted only to those proven worthy.
These great “discoveries” of Hubbard actually were taught as far back as 300 AD:
“For many spirits dwell in it [the body] and do not permit it to be pure; each of them brings to fruition its own works, and they treat it abusively by means of unseemly desires. To me it seems that the heart suffers in much the same way as an inn: for it has holes and trenches dug in it and is often filled with filth by men who live there licentiously and have no regard for the place because it belongs to another.” (22)
Although this sounds almost identical to ideas in OTIII, it is in fact a quote from Valentinus, one of the most famous early Christian gnostics, writing around 300 AD. Valentinus taught that there was more than one spirit within an individual, causing difficulties for the “host” or main soul of the individual. The gnostic Basilides also taught in a similar vein that man “preserves the appearance of a wooden horse, according to the poetic myth, embracing as he does in one body a host of such different spirits.” (23)
The above is similar to the New Testament idea of demons in that demons are “outsiders” from the main inhabitant of the body and are problematic to the host. Gnostics, however, seem to feel that it is the normal human condition to have these other souls, whereas Christianity considers this a rare aberration.
Another gnostic idea, that this is a world of illusion, is in Scientology doctrine as well. Scientology teaches that this universe we live in is the MEST (matter, energy, space, time) universe that exists solely because the non-MEST beings known as thetans decided to agree to bind themselves to the rules and laws that we see operating here, such as gravity and the speed of light: “a Thetan may postulate a material or mental condition and subsequently consider that he cannot escape that condition, and succumb to the resulting illusion of entrapment within it.” (24) Theta beings (Hubbard’s name for the soul) lived here on earth by dwelling in a human body. Humans, that is, the living body, existed without the theta being before the thetans were trapped in this material universe. Theta beings are “trapped” into human bodies by trickery and forget their true nature:
Your preclear was basically good, happy, ethical and aesthetic before the contagion of the MEST universe got him. Then, still a thetan, he wasn’t very good but he was still trusting and ethical. Finally, when he had a body – well, look around. (25)
Scientology then shares the gnostic idea that mankind is separate from the physical universe and is trapped against his will here.
As gnosticism is a secret knowledge, Scientology hides its upper level or OT level teachings under a strict veil of secrecy. When I visited the Los Angeles “Big Blue Building” of Scientology, I was invited to listen to some OT VIII’s speak via satellite from the “Free Winds” ship where OT VIII is exclusively taught. An OT VII on board said that the OT VIII material is in a locked case, and the only way to open the case is to enter a certain locked room and pass the case under a laser beam there. Scientologists are taught that if they hear the teachings of OT VIII before they have taken the necessary previous courses, they will catch pneumonia and die.
Early gnostics also used various methods to hide their teachings. The initiations were so secret that today we can only piece parts of them together. The writings of many gnostics were purposely vague and incomprehensible, so only the initiated could understand them.
The goal of dianetics and Scientology is to return the Theta being to its inherent abilities (i.e. freeing it from the laws of this universe) and remove it from its need to have a body. The sole source for accomplishing this is the technology of L. Ron Hubbard, celestial mediator of the gnostic Church of Scientology.
Parenthetically, one can clearly see from above that these teachings clash with Christian thinking today. While Scientologists claim that “in Scientology there is no attempt to change another’s beliefs or to persuade the person away from his own religious practice,” (26) in reality there is an incongruity of beliefs that must fall either to the side of Scientology or Christianity. They are not compatible. Scientology is gnostic, which has been seen from almost the beginning of Christianity to be a great threat to correct Christian dogma (see the Ante-Nicene Fathers writings, for example), and it requires the belief in reincarnation, which is foreign to Christian thought. Elsewhere I write about Hubbard’s connection to Aleister Crowley, “my very good friend,” who called himself the anti-christ and taught accordingly. Hubbard generously borrowed ideas from and admired the writings of Crowley. Obviously, Scientology’s claim that their ideas will not interfere with a person’s Christian beliefs is absurd.
L. Ron Hubbard, “Dianetics: Evolution of a Science”, Astounding Science Fiction, May 1950 p. 66
Bare-faced Messiah, pp.112-130
L. Ron Hubbard, “Conditions of Space/Time/Energy” Philadelphia Doctorate Course cassette tape #18 5212C05
L. Ron Hubbard, Messiah or Madman? p. 305
Aleister Crowley, Magick In Theory And Practice (NY: Dover Publications, Inc., 1976) p.51 (originally published 1929, London)
Magick, p. 419.
Dianetics, p. 171 and 172.
Magick, p. xxiv
L. Ron Hubbard, “What Your Donations Buy”, church pamphlet
Dianetics pp. 340f.
Magick pp. 146-7
L. Ron Hubbard, The Creation Of Human Ability, (Sussex, England: The Department of Publications Worldwide, 1954) p. 226f
Francis X. King, Mind and Magic (London: Dorling Kindersley Ltd., 1991) p.100. see photograph.
See for example the bookends of Hubbard’s Research and Discovery series.
Giovanni Filoramo, Gnosticism, (Cambridge, MASS: Basil Blackwell, 1990) p. 9
Gnosticism, p. 40
Gnosticism, p. 92
“Advance!” issue 93, p. 16
International Scientology News, issue 8, p. 3.
International Scientology News, issue 8, p. 7
The material has been released publicly in court cases. Scientologists refuse to read it, however, until they reach the proper level of training. They believe they will die if reading it unprepared.
The Ante-Nicene Fathers (WM. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids MI) reprinted February 1983. Volume 2, p. 372.
L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology: A World Religion Emerges in the Space Age, (Church of Scientology Information Service, Department of Archives, date and location not listed) p. 23
L. Ron Hubbard, A History Of Man (Sussex, England; Department of Publications Worldwide, 1961), p. 55
Staff of Church of Scientology, What Is Scientology? (Kingsport Press, Inc., 1978) p.199
Reprinted from The Hubbard is Bare
by Jeff Jacobsen, P.O. Box 3541, Scottsdale, AZ 85271.