"He legalized robbery, called it belief
then burned all the books"
Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms Album (play audio clip of this segment - 19 seconds)
L Ron Hubbard - The KING of CONS! - Page Four
Hubbard started out as a con man in it for the money.
However, I believe he ended up fooling people so well, that he started to believe that " there must be SOMETHING there" after a while, surrounded by converts, telling him how grand he was.
The most compelling evidence is research indicating that electricity in small doses will cause physiological changes in cell structure and response - the endorphin effect.
I don't think Hubbard knew this, I dont think anyone did at the time of Volney Matheson (first E-meter).. though I am certain that he knew the techniques of Priest John Wesley who decided that electricity would be a way to relieve the suffering of the poor, inexpensively. And I know he read Pavlov and knew that low level electricity through the front paws of a dog, could make the dog salivate in anticipation of a reward...
The historical precendent of the use of electricity to relieve pain traces to 153 AD - the use of a "black electric torpedo fish" to shock a man with gout, and it reportedly provided some relief.
Meanwhile, Hubbard devised an elaborate and complicated ruse based upon a mishmash of unattributed prior art and covert hypnosis which he called Scientology and was able to convince people to hold onto his innocent soup can electrodes for 2 and 1/2 hours at a sitting, while suspecting nothing.
When the FDA brought an action against Scientology in the late 1960's for their use of the E-meter as a device, Hubbard invoked Religious Cloaking!
Now that was clever!
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