Some interesting observations by Michael Bywater at the New Humanist, Ideas for Godless People.
"I would say that 99 per cent of what my father has written about his own life is false." --- L. Ron Hubbard Jr.
My conclusion is that it’s L Ron. Not just his keenness on the business aspects of religion. Not just the thorough nastiness of some of his administrative bruisers. Not just the allegations of black ops and dodgy dealings or the notorious hair-trigger litigiousness of the organisation (it’s so litigious it’ll probably sue me for calling it so litigious it’ll probably sue me). Nor even L Ron’s history as a civil engineer, a pretty flaky WW2 military career (kicking off a two-day battle involving his own submarine-chaser, four other ships, two blimps but no actual enemy submarine) or his tall stories about geology, Freud, atomic physics (he failed), being a lama, exploring, documentaries and the rest. No; my theory is it’s L Ron. I mean, literally, “L Ron”. Jesus: fine. Muhammad: fine. Moses: tickety-boo. Peace be upon them all. But L Ron? Excuse me? If its founder had been “L Ron Christ” would Christianity ever have got going? It’s a harsh world and I think the answer is “no”.
But as for why Scientology did get going … well: first, Dianetics hits the perfect pitch of laying out mumbo-jumbo in just clear enough terms for people who think they’re terribly significant but who aren’t that bright (there are a lot of movie stars in the lists, wouldn’t you say?) to think that they’re grasping something terribly important which actually makes sense. And, secondly, it doesn’t pose a Creator. Just a bunch of clever aliens. Whom we can turn back into if we have enough money.
Apotheosis without the Theos. Only a science fiction writer could come up with that idea. A religion. It’s got to be better than a poxy old New York Times bestseller. Ask any Thetan.
Inside the mind of Scientology’s Messiah.