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Remember Venus?

December 22, 1951

When L. Ron Hubbard gave dianetics to a wondering world (TIME, July 24, 1950), it looked as though he had claimed everything in sight, and more. "The hidden source of all psychosomatic ills and human aberration has been discovered," he wrote then, "and skills have been developed for their invariable cure." But to Science Fictioneer Hubbard, these achievements soon seemed like kid stuff. He broke with the Hubbard Dianetic Foundation in Wichita, "to further pursue investigations into the incredible and fantastic," as the foundation puts it. Now, the founder of still another cult, he claims to have discovered the ultimate secrets of life and the universe, and to be able to cure everything, including cancer.

For the cult, L. (for Lafayette) Ron (for Ronald) Hubbard has whipped up the bastard word "scientology," which he defines as "knowing about knowing" or "the science of knowledge." His latest ology is compounded of equal parts of science fiction, dianetics (with "auditing," "preclears" and engrams), and plain jabberwocky.

Hubbard has preached his gospel to the British; he spent last week drumming for converts in Philadelphia. Awed by his own accomplishments, Hubbard has awarded himself the degree of "D. Scn." -- doctor of scientology.

*Sample, from Hubbard's new tract, Scientology: 8-80:

"An individual who cannot get out of his body immediately can look around inside his head and find the black spots and turn them white . . ."

E-Meter Readings

It all began when Hubbard added an electrical gadget to his dianetic auditing -- an "electropsychometer" or "E-meter," something like a lie detector. The subject holds electrodes in his hands, and a dial needle records changes in current when he tells about deeply disturbing things in his past. Hubbard found that some of his subjects could not locate "painful prenatal experience" anywhere on earth, but when he asked them whether these things had happened on another planet, the needle jumped like crazy.

This was enough for Hubbard. He scrapped his old dianetics "time track" (running back to the moment of the subject's conception) and soared off through "whole track" cosmic space. In a number of booklets and pamphlets on scientology and "electropsychometry," he tells how he has discovered and isolated "Life Energy in such a form as to revive the dead or dying . . . [gained] the ability to make one's body old or young at will, the ability to heal the ill without physical contact, the ability to cure the insane and incapacitated."

Everyone, it seems, is 74 trillion years old, and has been reincarnated over & over in cycles ("spirals)," which have been getting shorter as evolution has speeded up. The current spiral began a mere 35,000 years ago. Everyone has a "theta being," which represents his essential thought-energy and becomes associated with a 'MEST" body (another Hubword made from the initials of matter, energy, space, time).

Clams & Birds

In contrast with the primitive dianetician, who was content merely to probe the subject's life here on earth, the scientologist gets him stretched on a couch, gripping the electrodes and usually wearing blinkers and tries to reach preconception pains as fast as possible.

The subject may be disturbed because of unimaginable horrors perpetrated on his theta being in outer space billions of years ago. ("Things are as rough in outer space as they are here," says a devout Hubbardian. "Anything can happen.") If a subject has a pain in his jaw, it may be that in an earlier spiral he was a clam. If this pain is associated with fear of falling, he must have been a clam that was picked up by a bird and dropped on the rocks.

Whenever the subject starts to babble about the terrible conditions on Venus or the moon, the scientologist knows that he is on the beam. More mundanely, if the subject gets up to date enough to remember his own conception of the first cellular subdivisions of his body matter, it may, Hubbard says, cure his cancer.

Scientology clubs are springing up, and their members are all prattling about ded (deserved action) and dedex (ded exposed), genetic entity and prenatal visio, and a lot more adastraperasperal words. Needed for a club's start; a collection of Hubbard's books ($2 to $5) and an E-meter ($98.50 at Hubbard's Phoenix headquarters).

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