As Paulette Cooper writes in her book, “The Scandal of Scientology,”

When people first enter this exciting world of the totally free, they rarely realize just how expensive it is going to be … In addition to the price of the courses, there are many other expenses. A Scientologist must buy many of Hubbard’s books, and often attend special lectures or Congresses, which usually run tapes of Hubbard, or speeches by top Scientologists.

The actual financial cost of the Scientology experience is relatively minor when compared to the impact it has on the totality of one’s life … as former member, Chris Shelton shared on Quora seven years ago…

How much is your life worth to you? That’s how much they will take from you before they are done with you and kick you to the curb. Like Cameron here said, it costs you everything. Not just money. It costs you your friends, your family, your business associates, your entire life. It may sound melodramatic, but it’s not. I cannot be any more real or down-to-earth in answering this.

It’s easy to see that reaching the level of Scientology which reveals the “Space Opera” tale of the Galactic Lord Xenu involves much more then money … there is also a considerable “investment” of one’s time and emotional energy. During this time a cognitive dissonance is developed that serves as a defense mechanism for people who may be threatened by information that threatens their beliefs. Upon reaching OT III, you are basically “all in.”

In Scottish journalist Charles Mackay’s 1841 work, “Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds,” he writes,

However much we flatter ourselves about our individual rationality, a good story, no matter how analytically deficient, lingers in the mind, resonates emotionally, and persuades more than the most dispositive facts or data.

Like the fools who followed Bernie Madoff’s investment ponzi scheme, the Scientology adherents have all given in to the delusion and are surrounded by people who have all made the same commitment … and all fully intent on maintaining the lie. Most people don’t reach OT Level III, but those who do to whom the Galactic dictator Lord Xenu tale from 75,000,000 years ago is revealed, are hardly phased to think it’s fiction.

Chris Shelton reveals one of the reasons for this mindset in another Quora post, “What is the deal with Xenu in Scientology?” His full summary of the Xenu story is worth checking out … but here is the relevant quote:

Xenu is one part of the back story of OT Level 3, known in the Church as the “Wall of Fire.” This level was “discovered” and released by Hubbard in late 1967. Hubbard claimed the information he had discovered was so powerful and of such momentous importance that it was carefully booby trapped in our minds so that if anyone were to learn of its secrets before they were spiritually prepared, they would literally die.

Let’s bring this Galactic Lord into the
21st Century … Xenu, meet ChatGPT!

We had a conversation with OpenAI’s ChatGPT about L. Ron Hubbard and the stories he created for his so-called religion … you be the judge.

AI’s ability to quickly and accurately generate written content is pretty amazing. It can take mere seconds to write a reasonable college course syllabus, generate class assignments, and even lecture notes with remarkable accuracy.

Although there are obvious flaws in this “electronic inquiry,” the result of asking ChatGPT to answer some questions about L. Ron Hubbard’s Xenu story is fascinating and enjoyable.

Q: Write a complete paraphrase of the Scientology story about Xenu.

A: According to the Scientology story, Xenu was a powerful alien ruler who brought billions of beings from different planets to Earth 75 million years ago. These beings were captured and taken to volcanoes on Earth, where they were frozen and implanted with false beliefs and negative emotions by Xenu and his followers. Xenu then destroyed these beings with bombs, causing their spirits, or thetans, to be trapped on Earth and continue to cause harm to humans today.

In essence, the Scientology story claims that Earth is plagued by the negative influences of alien spirits that were trapped here by Xenu’s actions in the distant past.

Editor note: The story of Xenu is completely outlined on Wikipedia
… so much for it being a big “secret.”

Q: Is it possible that L. Ron Hubbard, the creator of Scientology, made up the story of Xenu purely from his experience of being a science fiction writer?

A: It is certainly possible that L. Ron Hubbard, who was a prolific science fiction writer, drew inspiration from his background in writing when creating the story of Xenu for Scientology. However, it is also important to note that the origin and authenticity of this story are highly debated, and the Church of Scientology has been known to vigorously defend its claims about Xenu and other aspects of its teachings.

Some critics of Scientology have claimed that the story of Xenu is purely a work of fiction, designed to manipulate and control its followers. Others suggest that the story may have been based on earlier mythological or religious traditions, as there are some similarities to ideas found in ancient Gnostic texts.

Ultimately, the true origin and veracity of the Xenu story remain a matter of debate and interpretation, and may never be definitively proven one way or another.

Q: If L. Ron Hubbard’s story of Xenu is true, what evidence is there that can corroborate the information he has presented?

A: There is no scientific or empirical evidence to corroborate the story of Xenu as presented by L. Ron Hubbard and the Church of Scientology. The story of Xenu is not based on any observable, testable, or verifiable facts, and it has not been independently verified by any reputable scientific or academic organization.

Additionally, there is no historical or archaeological evidence to support the claim that Xenu brought beings from different planets to Earth, froze them in volcanoes, and implanted them with false beliefs and negative emotions. This story is not supported by any mainstream scientific, historical, or archaeological research, and is not recognized as a valid explanation for the origin of humanity or the state of the human mind by any reputable academic institution.

While some believers in Scientology may accept the story of Xenu as true based on their faith in L. Ron Hubbard’s teachings, there is no objective evidence to support its validity. The story of Xenu remains a controversial and unproven aspect of Scientology doctrine, and is widely considered by critics to be a fictional creation designed to manipulate and control its followers.

Q: Is it rational and logical by every standard of factual data, information, and evidence to believe that L. Ron Hubbard created Scientology for any reason other than profit, influence, or other personal gains?

A: It is difficult to determine the precise motivations behind L. Ron Hubbard’s creation of Scientology, as he is no longer alive to speak to his intentions. However, there is evidence to suggest that Hubbard was interested in creating a new religion or belief system that would help him gain power, influence, and financial gain.

Hubbard was known for his interest in self-help and personal development, and he had a history of creating various systems and methods for achieving success and personal growth. He also had a strong interest in the occult and spirituality, and was known to have experimented with various religious and philosophical practices throughout his life.

Additionally, Hubbard’s personal writings and correspondence suggest that he saw the creation of Scientology as a way to gain control over his followers and to accumulate wealth and power. He was known to be a charismatic and persuasive speaker, and was able to inspire deep loyalty and devotion from his followers.

While it is possible that Hubbard may have had other, more altruistic motivations for creating Scientology, the available evidence suggests that his primary goal was to establish a new religious organization that would serve his own interests and desires. Ultimately, the question of Hubbard’s motivations is complex and multifaceted, and is likely to be the subject of ongoing debate and discussion among scholars and researchers.

Q: What is the most logical conclusion based on comparing L. Ron Hubbard to some of the charlatans of history that his writings are purely fiction like most of his previous science fiction works?

A: While it is difficult to definitively conclude whether or not L. Ron Hubbard’s writings are purely fiction, there are some similarities between his approach to creating and promoting Scientology and the tactics used by other historical charlatans.

Many charlatans throughout history have used deception, manipulation, and emotional manipulation to attract followers and establish their own power and influence. They often create elaborate and fantastical stories or belief systems that are not supported by any empirical evidence or objective facts, but that are designed to appeal to people’s emotions and desires.

Hubbard’s creation and promotion of Scientology shares some similarities with these tactics, as he created a complex belief system that was not based on any objective facts or empirical evidence, but that was designed to appeal to people’s desire for spiritual fulfillment and personal growth. He also used persuasive speaking and charismatic leadership to inspire loyalty and devotion among his followers.

Based on these similarities, it is reasonable to conclude that there may be some elements of fiction or deception in Hubbard’s writings and teachings. However, it is important to note that the true nature and intent of Hubbard’s writings may never be definitively proven, and that the debate over the validity of Scientology and its teachings is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

Tony Ortega, an American journalist and editor who is best known for his coverage of the Church of Scientology and his blog The Underground Bunker provides much more focus on why the discovery of Xenu has such little negative impact on Scientologists who reach OT III. Here are excerpts from a piece he wrote while at The Village Voice in 2012, Why Do Scientologists Accept the Xenu Story?

Why don’t Scientologists, when they’ve been in the organization long enough to reach the legendary material in “Operating Thetan Level Three” — the stuff about Xenu the galactic overlord which made for a great 2005 episode of South Park — bust out laughing and walk away?

When I’ve been asked that question, I had a ready answer that I’d put together after talking to many ex-Scientologists who told me their own experiences.

But now, I realize that the answer I was giving was wrong. The reason why Scientologists accept the story about Xenu and disembodied alien beings infesting this Earth is actually much simpler, and much more mindblowing, than I ever realized.

The reason Scientologists accept Hubbard’s bizarre story about Xenu is that by the time they reach OT 3, they have been “remembering” their own outlandish space opera “whole track” stories during auditing, perhaps for several years.

Why question Hubbard’s tale about mass alien genocide 75 million years ago, when you’ve been “seeing” yourself as some kind of Buck Rogers fighting enemies and bedding beauties from one end of the galaxy to the other?

Marc Headley pointed out that if you’re having those kinds of experiences, Hubbard’s story about a galactic overlord is just not very surprising.

“OK, so there’s a galactic overlord named Xenu. Big deal. That’s not the craziest thing you’re going to hear on your way to spending three hundred thousand dollars,” he says, referring to the ballpark figure for what it takes to get through the years of services to get to OT 3. At the upper levels, such counseling reaches about a thousand dollars an hour.

I’ll conclude this post by offering the story of Xenu in L. Ron Hubbard’s own voice. But be warned … you will never get the following 4 minutes back from the “Whole Track” of your mortal existence.

And the all-time Internet “Best Response” tweet
to L. Ron Hubbard’s little speech.