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Aug 09 2013

Scientology’s views on evolution

historyofman

I had a conversation with Tony Ortega about L. Ron Hubbard’s book, A History of Man: Antediluvian Technology. He is the author of a blog, Tony Ortega on Scientology, and he had cruelly sent me a copy Hubbard’s book specifically to inflame my already enlarged outrage gland.

The post there emphasizes everything Hubbard got wrong about evolution, but let me tell you: there isn’t much evolution or history of Man in History of Man. The bulk of this book, written in the preening style of a pretentious fourth-grader, weebles on and on about his tech and how it can cure cancer, illuminated with little anecdotes about sending gullible victims back along their history track to the time when they were clams. It was appalling drivel, like all religious stories.

The most revealing moment for me was when he confidently announced that he had seen his ideas confirmed by medical science in their best source…Reader’s Digest. That’s L. Ron Hubbard’s mind in a nutshell.

18 comments

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  1. 1
    Alex W.

    “As Wrong As Creationism, But In The Other Direction.”

    Absolute fried gold.

  2. 2
    Sastra

    It was appalling drivel, like all religious stories.

    Ah, but you do not enter into the narrative with the mindset of a seeker. No, you only seek to condemn.

    Yeah, right. Like it’s so hard to find any problems.

    Scientology stands as a stunning example of how easy it is for otherwise reasonable people to not only believe the weirdest things, but make a positive virtue out of their capacity to believe the weirdest things. The main reason more mainstream religions find any comparison with an “extreme” cult like Scientology unfair is that they don’t see — or don’t want to see — the similarities behind the processes of belief formation.

  3. 3
    Alex W.

    Err, that’s not to overshine your contributions, of course, but that’s a line for the ages.

  4. 4
    theholedoesnotexist

    Scientology … a science of the mind. It’s just that Hubbard left out the part about demented mind. You have to spend about a Half Million Bucks to ascend his “bridge” to find out that he was just making it all up, and you believed him, and so You were just making it all up. And that’s it. I’m so glad I never made it All the way to the top. Now I know that bridges go across, not Up. I don’t feel smart, I feel smarted.

    Thanks for the excellent digestion over at the Bunker where you are unsurprisingly a big hit. Two exclamations you will hear over and over: 1) You just can’t make this crap up. 2) It’s always worse than you think.

    A new fan, TheHoleDoesNotExist
    (reference to the prison slave camps and other tools of holiness that management denies exists)

  5. 5
    ludicrous

    “The bulk of this book, written in the preening style of a pretentious fourth-grader”

    I am sorry to note that you share the unfortunate, typically adult, unethical, habit of demeaning young people. They should not be used as invidious comparisons any more than any other group of people. I believe you to be intentionally fair and have just not noticed this lapse. It is not good for them and it is not good for us(we?) adults to indulge casual disrespect of a group, especially one that has little to no chance of protesting. Thanks.

    Also sorry to note that you have been faced with difficult decisions today but thanks, you are one dependable ally.

  6. 6
    Randomfactor

    But Reader’s Digest is in practically every medical waiting room in America!

  7. 7
    Raucous Indignation

    That is the Greatest Book Cover … EVER!!

  8. 8
    Trebuchet

    That is the Greatest Book Cover … EVER!!

    PZ’s cardiologist begs to disagree.

  9. 9
    pianoman, Heathen & Torontophile

    I’m not sure any “religion” – if you want to call Scientology that – has baffled me more that this one. The idea that a guy who basically pulled this cult out of his ass and has managed to maintain the following that Scientology has all these years has been more numbing to my brain than any other religion out there.

  10. 10
    kevinalexander

    The essence of Romanticism is that reality is created by perception. You don’t have to stick your fingers in your ear and go la la la. You can stick your money in the Bank of Scientology and they will give you an entirely new reality, way better than the mundane one where you can’t get what you want.

  11. 11
    ludicrous

    Sastra: “The main reason more mainstream religions find any comparison with an “extreme” cult like Scientology unfair is that they don’t see — or don’t want to see — the similarities behind the processes of belief formation.”

    Exactly so I think. Get that mirror away from me, it hurts my eyes.

  12. 12
    michaelbusch

    written in the preening style of a pretentious fourth-grader

    Don’t insult the fourth graders by comparing them to L. Ron Hubbard.

  13. 13
    feralboy12

    The most revealing moment for me was when he confidently announced that he had seen his ideas confirmed by medical science in their best source…Reader’s Digest.

    Well, laughter is the best medicine, right? I mean, if you don’t count medicine, that is.

  14. 14
    Rich Woods

    That’s L. Ron Hubbard’s mind in a nutshell.

    That and his creation of Sea Org, with its recruitment of 14-year-old girls specifically to crew his yacht.

  15. 15
    imthegenieicandoanything

    To quote Basil Fawlty in one of his more observant moments: “Nut CASE, more likely!”

  16. 16
    sqlrob

    The idea that a guy who basically pulled this cult out of his ass and has managed to maintain the following that Scientology has all these years has been more numbing to my brain than any other religion out there.

    Why is it any different in your mind than Mormonism, which pretty much has the same level of documentation and has been around longer?

  17. 17
    ChristineRose

    I have to say that y’all are grossly overestimating the creative powers of Elron’s rectum.

    Scientology is a mish-mash of ideas that were marginal in the fifties and are now pretty much bunk. None of them were original and all of them were popular.

    The idea that the subconscious is a writing mass of thoughts which for some reason we can’t notice or analyze on our own, even though these thoughts are the primary drivers of our behavior.
    Body/mind dualism.
    Reincarnation.
    An overestimation of the ability of a lie detector to measure anything except noise.
    The misconception that mind control techniques like repeating pointless stuff over and over again really do something that doesn’t wear off once you get out of the cult.
    A tendency to blame everything from myopia to schizophrenia on some subconscious need to be sick.
    The delusion that hallucinations (especially ones from newly-synthesized drugs) have some intrinsic meaning beyond “my brain is fucked.”
    A fascination with extraterrestrial culture and imagining that they actually came here and messed with us at some point.
    An illusion that we were at some sort of turning point in history and that the generations to follow would be super-duper.
    The dream that top telepaths and psychics were doing something sexier than cheating.

    Really the only thing Hubbard brought to the game was organizational skills and a good speaking voice. I think his greatest invention was the “Bridge” which basically means that you aren’t told why the previous step doesn’t actually help you until you have already testified to all your friends that the previous step has cured all your ills. Everyone focuses on howlers like Xenu, but the average victim never got to hear about Xenu until they had already committed to a lot of progressively sillier stuff for years.

  18. 18
    nathanaelnerode

    L Ron Hubbard knew one thing. Religion is the way to make a lot of money.

    http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/scientology/start.a.religion.html

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