More than ten years ago author and FACTNet researcher Jon Atack noted similarities to Scientology processing in a book called "The Trauma of Birth" by Otto Rank, a German-speaking psychotherapist. A recent comparison of Rank's and Scientology founder Hubbard's texts has confirmed Atack's suspicions. Rank was a student of Sigmund Freud, whom Hubbard misleadingly credited as a source of his own work. On the topic of myths, Rank wrote about Ixion, which corresponds to Hubbard's Xenu story on the theme of murder, betrayal, eternal punishishment and a declaration of loyalty.
Scientology training and ethics likewise relates to "Science and Human Behavior" by B.F. Skinner. Skinner, an American behavioralist, was occasionally criticized for using rats and pigeons to predict behavior in humans. Among the animal tests Skinner reported upon were some that induced abulia. Abulia is the loss or impairment of the ability to make decisions or act independently. In contrast to Rank, Skinner minimized the role of human will as an inner causal agent for behavior.
L. Ron Hubbard obsessively condemned psychology and related sciences in an effort that successfully, during his lifetime, covered up the most likely sources of material for his confrontational mind control technology, Otto Rank and B.F. Skinner.
The efforts to which Scientology's lawyers went to cover up advanced Scientology teachings about Xenu, the evil intergalactic overlord, are legendary. First, critics posted some of Scientology's secret teachings, which included the Xenu myth, to the Internet. As a result, Scientology lawyers used copyright violation as an excuse to take legal action against the critics. This included having critics' houses raided and hard drives confiscated. By doing this, the Scientologists confirmed that the Xenu story really was part of their secret teachings. After critics realized what happened, the chances of squelching the incident were zero. Scientology had effectively undone its own cover-up. Since most people do not give money to Scientology and so do not really care about Xenu, however, the big confrontation was and still is about the critics' freedom of speech.
Ten years after Scientology's raids no one has closely examined the reasons cult lawyers took the actions they did. Is Scientology really a "stupid cult," as some critics put it? There is more to the story than that. Scientology's lawyers prosecuted critics even after it was obvious there was no chance of covering up the Xenu myth. Not only did the lawyers confiscate the information embarrassing for Scientology, but they accused the distributors of this information of crimes and other socially reprehensible behavior.
Former cult members know it is no accident that the cult goes to such lengths. One observation made as the situation unfolded was that Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard almost seemed to be describing himself when he had written, decades ago, about the alleged characteristics of those who would ridicule his science-fiction teachings. Hubbard's prescience seemed eerily uncoincidental. In the sense of the alleged copyright violations Scientology used in vain to cover up the Xenu story, that observation now seems more applicable than ever.
Hubbard, a writer by profession, had a problem many writers have -- coming up with new material. Recent comparisons of Hubbard's writings with those of authors before him show a high probability he solved his lack of ideas in part by resorting to plagiarism. This is not easily proved, though, as Hubbard possessed a skill most writers did not. His wartime intelligence training gave him some simple but effective techniques on how to obfuscate any source of information.
Not only did Hubbard slightly alter what he appropriated, as most writers would do, but he accused the rightful owners of crimes. Unlike the Scientology lawyers scrambling to cover up the Xenu story however, Hubbard did not name his victims, as this, naturally, would be counterproductive to covering up plagiarism. Instead, Hubbard exaggerated and generalized his accusations against his sources by accusing the entire groups to which they belonged of atrocities against humanity. That way, nobody who had ever taken Hubbard's teachings seriously would be inclined to pay close attention to members of the groups Hubbard had condemned. Two of these groups, German-speaking psychotherapists and American behavioralists who studied animal reflex and response in humans, are exemplified by Dr. Otto Rank and B.F. Skinner.
Hubbard's excuse for his wildly generalized accusations against entire groups was that he was against the atrocities of war, crime and insanity, but was for survival. In a distorted sense, this was true. To survive, he plagiarized. To cover up or rationalize his intellectual theft, he accused his victims of belonging to groups that committed atrocities. Therefore these groups, Hubbard preached, were against survival, namely his.
In order to understand what material Hubbard used and why, it is necessary to know that he was not interested in Good vs. Evil. He was simply interested in his own survival. With Hubbard, survival was a matter simply of elevating his own will over everyone else's. If followers could understand this simple idea only by signifying Hubbard's will as "good" and other- or counter-intentions as "evil," so be it. In the same way, critics who habitually describe Scientology only as "evil" would definitely run into stumbling blocks eventually.
Scientology is not necessarily good or evil. It is just a matter of Hubbard giving the instructions necessary to assert his own will over others. Unfortunately, he devoted his efforts to following a rather materialistic philosophy of power and affluence. This philosophy, religiously applied, consists of the technology for implementing, in so far as it is possible in a civilized society, Aleister Crowley's satanic law:
"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law."
In terms of Hubbard's survival, this could be restated as "Hubbard's will be done." One of Hubbard's unwitting soulmates in this regard was Dr. Otto Rank, a German-speaking psychotherapist. Rank believed and taught that life consisted of a constant clash of wills. Rank's material, with a few minor though significant changes, apparently provided Hubbard with much of the basis for Scientology "auditing."
Scientology "training" and "ethics," on the other hand, corresponds with elements of theory written by American behavioralist B.F. Skinner. Skinner was criticized for his use of rats in mazes to develop theories which he later applied to humans. Hubbard used Skinner's or similar material as a controlling technology to enforce his own will. Among other things, Skinner found out that rats and pigeons, after having been given too many tasks that are unrewarding or impossible to complete, will predictably fall into a mental state called "abulia."
ABULIA: loss or impairment of the ability to make decisions or act independently
Scientologists will continue to accuse people who distribute embarassing information about Scientology of crimes, not because that is what they want to do, but because Hubbard wrote instructions on how to do it, and so they have no other choice. In the controlled mind of a Scientologist, recriminations are indispensable for clearing the planet of other- and counter-intentions. Non-Scientologists should be familar with various degrees of abulia and thus what they will have to deal with before they approach the cult that is so proficient at annoying people and neutralizing criticism that it has lasted past its founder's death. Finally, Hubbard, always the writer and artist, deserves credit for using human weakness, misappropriation and deception to assert his own will while allegedly pursuing his stated goals of power, affluence and enlightenment.