8. Criticism of Democracy and Utopia in the SC

"I do not see that popular measures, self-deception and democracy have done anything for mankind other than to push him back down into the mud" (L. Ron Hubbard, cited by Voltz, 1995, p. 147).

"The way may be difficult and, due to the rapid decline of civilization and the undermining of personal freedom as we observe today, even more difficult. But if we go towards our goal and take it on with a united strength, then we will finally triumph for the welfare of all of humanity" (What is Scientology? p.673).

Conceptions of democracy play a considerable role in the question as to whether and to what degree an organization or association wants to do away with a liberal democratic constitutional state. SC sees itself outwardly not as a political organization, but as a "church" that works toward freedom of the individual and thereby of society. In January of 1968 Hubbard noted:

"1. I hereby declare that Scientology is not politically and not ideologically active.
2. Politics and ideology may not be part of the decision to train or process people, and none of these questions need be a component of a training, auditing or membership.
3. This does not mean a change in the policy in regards to suppressive persons. It means the erasure of words from all forms which contain an explicit reference to political affinity or antagonism."

According to this understanding of self the SC is, to the outside, a non-political organization which at the same time follows its own "politics in regard to suppressive persons" (i.e., opponents) internally. Point 2 delivers a remarkable basis: sympathizers and customers alike take SC courses not for political reasons, but to train their personality; political neutrality appears as conditio sine qua non. Political motives perceptible to the outside could, considering this exit condition, have an effect which would be commercially damaging. Therefore it follows that SC gives notice to the outside about its dismissal of political motives and objectives for tactical and commercial reasons, so that the individual goal of the customer is not endangered.

This appears to be the existing reason that political questions in the complete works of Hubbard and the SC are handled in a marginal sense. Hubbard even talks of a "political Dianetics", but what this means exactly fades away after several allusions. Political Dianetics is said to encompass, so Hubbard laconically states, "the area of group activity and organization" (Hubbard, 1984, p. 195). There is hardly a longer, detailed, and politically based writing in a narrower sense. Political expression is strewn about in many different publications. They are not tied together in rational argumentation, but they take on the form of self-assured assertions and teachings. Nevertheless they are, for two reasons, of special importance in our context: first their terseness succumbs to the primacy of ostensibly politically neutral life aid for the person who is taking the course. For this reason the small number of political expressions does not take on, by any means, a subordinate meaning in the SC ideology. The other reason is that the political expressions are practically never of current political or news value, but have a fundamental nature. Through this arises the chance of an examination as to how SC holds the political principles of democracy. The available SC material on politics and society proves that SC does indeed pursue political goals, proceeds from a determined political understanding, and expresses a very principle and rejecting criticism of democracy.

In their self-presentation "What is Scientology" a claim is made in reference to WISE, the worldwide association of SC businesses. This claim goes far beyond the world of business and implicates the politics of government:

"If today's business world and governments would understand and competently use the fundamental principles of organization and administration, they would be in the position to do something about economic chaos instead of supporting it. ...WISE members bring rationality and order into their environment. Each WISE member is a point of stability which lessens the confusion in this unsure world. Businesses can grow, governments rule wisely and the population can live without economic pressure. With the administration technology of L. Ron Hubbard, the goals which have so long been kept from society have become attainable" (What is Scientology, p. 449).

In 1965 Hubbard had already explicitly made up his mind about politics and democracy. With that he excluded all systems, "which arrange witch hunts, withhold potential, curtail the right to improve with a functioning system or suppress a functioning system", i.e. all political systems that proceed offensively against SC. It further states: "If one looks at how the United States and Australia fight Scientology with blind hate while they support repressive mental and religious practices, this shows that democracy, which is used on mentally disturbed people and used by them, is far from the ideal situation, and is only an aberrated democracy. ...The reactive mind - the subconscious or whatever you want to call it - suppresses all good impulses and strengthens the bad. Therefore democracy is a collective bank of reactive minds."

The "reactive minds" of people, according to Hubbard, suppress the good and strengthen the bad impulses. In the final analogy democracy corresponds to the "bad impulse." "The reactive bank", it states in other places, "the subconscious mind, however you want to call it - suppresses all respectable impulses and promotes the bad. Therefore democracy is a collective group of reactive banks..." (cited fm. Voltz, 1995, p. 149). If one follows this thought process of Hubbard's to its conclusion, then this means the conquest and elimination of democracy, because: if auditing strives for the removal of the "reactive mind" in order to enable the path to freedom, then democracy must also be removed in order to free the path towards the new civilization. Hubbard had explicitly endorsed the analogy's conclusion of people in society as far back as "Dianetics": "The social organism, which we call countries and nations, react and conduct themselves in every regard as if they were individual organisms" (Hubbard, 1984, p. 488). This analogy was utilized in "political Dianetics" (ibid.).

In the following decades this analogy was consistently restrained. If, on the plane of the individual, the difference was made between the people who are on the way to becoming "clears", i.e. the adherents of SC, and those "aberrated" individuals who have been condemned to destruction - i.e. people not belonging to SC - then it follows that the consequence is the determination of a completely new, scientologic democracy:

"So we are able, by reason of factual proof, to come to the conclusion that the first real democracy will arise once we have freed every single person of his evil reactive impulses. Such people could think rationally, they would know their way about good and practical measures, and one can depend on them to develop positive measures. Until we have attained that, we will proceed to criticize human 'democracy' - as we will every other political philosophy which man has brought about for the salvation of his own evil."

The final goal of scientologic democracy is a classic Chiliasm, as it postulates that or similar political and religious teachings of salvation:

"Although Scientology concentrates on the front lines, advancing the individual and raising him up to a higher plane of mental consciousness, the long-term goal always remains the same: a civilization without mental illness, without crime and without war, in which the capable can be successful and honest beings could have rights, and in which the person has the freedom to climb up to higher heights" (What is Scientology, 1993, p. 380, similarly on p. 673).

The always constant goal of the creation of a new civilization is obviously a highly political claim. Its character - without mental illness, without crime and without war - seems utopian, yet completely corresponds to the ethical fundamentals of democracy. In reference to human rights it is, nevertheless, anti-democratic, at the very least ambivalent: "honest beings 'could' have rights." It is undecided here, who and what "honest beings" are, and who is found among them. The limitation to "honest beings" is already anti-democratic, because of an essential, democratic fundamental which does not accept the inalienability of basic human rights. The protection of basic rights has had a restriction placed upon it: if rights "could" be protected, than they may also be taken away again. In his textbook "Dianetics", Hubbard discloses a vision of the future SC-forged new society. It reveals once more the anti-democratic, constitutionally hostile fundamental of a division of basic rights:

"Perhaps in the distant future civil rights will be granted only to the non-aberrated individuals. Perhaps that goal will be achieved sometime in the future, if only the non-aberrated demand citizenship and can profit by it. This is a worthy goal, whose achievement is capable of increasing the survivability and the happiness of humanity."

The dual statement of the SC reveals itself in the simple differences between people with the right consciousness (SC adherents) and with the wrong (non-SC adherents) and in which the earthly world will be strengthened through a utopian-undemocratic conception of democracy. The chiliastic characteristic of totalitarian thought - the perception of an ideal ending condition for society, in which only the just live - is expressed in Hubbard's postulate that "democracy is practiced today nowhere on this planet. And so far as I know, it has never existed; even in ancient Greece there was no democracy" (cited fm Voltz, 1995, p. 147). SC is said to give the "first opportunity to have a real democracy", "democracy is only possible in a nation of 'clears'" (cited fm Voltz, 1995, p. 150f.). "An ideal society", it is called in "Dianetics."

"If a society of non-aberrated people - clears -, were living in a non-aberrated culture, then the individual, as well as the whole society whose culture it was, could be aberrated. ... Only in a society of non-aberrated people with a culture, out of which senselessness has been removed, can the person really be responsible for his conduct" (Hubbard, 1984, p.486).

The principle refusal of real existing democracy is based on a social theory of political homogeneity which only foresees a uniform will and which is not ready to concede to a pluralistic conflict of interest. The collapse of democracy, according to Hubbard, is therefore predicted, because it "protects the privileges of the membership from those who try to destroy it" (cited fm. Voltz, 1995, p. 143). Whoever leaves a group also loses his protection and therefore the community need not provide such a person with any more protection. Hubbard's social theory is not only forged from a crude, simple dualism without capability of differentiation, it is the deciding basis for his fundamental refusal of democracy as a form of nation or society.

SC does not limit itself to scattered expressions about politics and society, it is aimed much more at an infiltration strategy to influence politics in its own sense. By 1960 a directive was already known to the membership which referred to such a strategy, in which it stated:

"A country or a state functions on the basis of the ability of its leading people. It is easy to get positions in such an area, ... use what talents you have at your disposal to get a position in the vicinity of such a person and busy yourself working on the respective environment and bringing it into better working order."



NOT an official translation:
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