One person who pursued Scientology early in his career was Franklin Jones, who as Adi Da Samraj became an ultimately failed guru himself. Eventually, he became lost in self-glorification as the most enlightened being who had ever, or would ever, exist. And as Hubbard isolated himself first on a ship, then at a ranch in rural California, so Adi Da took himself to a Fijian island for the last decades of his life. But early on, he was a very perceptive teacher and writer, and a chapter in the first edition (deleted later) of his autobiography, The Knee of Listening, is still worth reading for a yogi’s observations on Scientology.
(The following is from http://www.adidaarchives.org/kol_scientology.htm )
“Of course,” Adi Da wrote, “there is an infinite history of cosmic events in which we all share, but the detailed analysis of them could never amount to a fundamental liberation. The structure that actually prevented real consciousness and growth was not the historical deposits in the mind but the unconsciousness of our true nature, of the Divine or real Presence of ultimate reality, and the present tendency to operate on the basis of limited awareness rather than a conscious relationship to higher reality.”
Hubbard, as noted, had already rejected the notion of higher reality in this sense.
Adi Da continues:
“…when I actually performed the Clearing and O.T. levels I found that they continued to deal only with the content of the mind. And that content was continually identified with the peculiar cosmic politics favored by Ron Hubbard. Thus, I found that these levels never dealt with the fundamental problem of the mind itself, prior to any content. In fact, they only led people deeper and deeper into a fanciful, paranoic (sic) dilemma in which they were indoctrinated into the mentality of a cosmic political holocaust.”
As some of the dissident Scientologist websites show, the ‘cosmic political holocaust,’ wilder than any Star Wars script, haunts many former members the way hell and damnation haunt some lapsed Christians. Going by online evidence, many people will disavow Hubbard’s more ruthless policies and actions, or those of his successor David Miscavige, without being able to shake the haunting quality of the mythos that Hubbard kept on creating. It remains a very sticky web. If we come to comprehend ourselves exclusively in terms of deeply buried, vastly ancient mental traumas, but with no consciousness of realms beyond the mind, where is the way out?
In Magick Without Tears, chapter 12, Crowley speaks of the Black Brothers – who, despite the name, were not a radical 1970s underground movement, but are those Adepts who refuse the final stage of Adeptship, which is to relinquish what they see as their own attainments, and to cross the Abyss to reach Mastery. It’s worth quoting at some length:
“Mark well this first distinction: the ‘Black Magician’ or Sorcerer is hardly even a distant cousin of the ‘Black Brother.’ The difference between a sneak-thief and a Hitler is not too bad an analogy.
“The Sorcerer may be—indeed he usually is—a thwarted, disappointed man whose aims are perfectly natural. Often enough, his real trouble is ignorance; and by the time he has become fairly hot stuff as a Black Magician, he has learnt that he is getting nowhere, and finds himself, despite himself, on the True Path of the Wise.
“The about-to-be-Black Brother constantly restricts himself; he is satisfied with a very limited ideal; he is afraid of losing his individuality—reminds one of the ‘Nordic’ twaddle about ‘race-pollution’.”
To such an individual, crossing the Abyss and relinquishing the autonomy of the individual self, “… would mean defeat, ruin devastating, irremediable, final. It is exactly that which he most dreads; and it is that to which he must in the end come, because there is no compensating element in his idea of structure.
“But then (you ask) how can a man go so far wrong after he has, as an Adeptus Minor, attained the ‘Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel’ ? … Perhaps his error was so deeply rooted, from the very beginning, that it was his Evil Genius [i.e., not the HGA in positive Solar form] that he evoked.
“In such cases the man’s policy is of course to break off all relations with the Supernal Triad, and to replace it by inventing a false crown, Da’ath. To them Knowledge [the meaning of Da’ath] will be everything, and what is Knowledge but the very soul of Illusion?
“Refusing thus the true nourishment of all his faculties, they lose their structural unity, and must be fortified by continuous doses of dope in anguished self-preservation. Thus all its chemical equations become endothermic.”
‘Endothermic’ means producing heat by internal means. That is, no warmth or light from outside is called on: and that is a remarkably concise summary of Hubbard in his later years.
There is at least one surviving letter from Crowley where he condemns the Babalon working that Parsons and Hubbard engaged upon. He correctly divined that Hubbard was a bad influence, maybe seeing the Black Brother in embryo, even if Crowley was to die before Hubbard’s real career took off. For if anyone perfectly exemplified the Black Brother idea, it was L. Ron Hubbard.
As noted previously, one reason so many people stay with Scientology for years may well be they no longer possess any confidence in the means to think critically about it. The ‘condition of doubt,’ or questioning Hubbard’s ‘technology,’ is considered a very low state in Scientology.
The fascinating thing about Hubbard was that he had such high intelligence, and such brilliant insights into how the mind works, that he could produce a viable psychotherapy for the masses. Tens of thousands bought his first book, and many of them practised some of what he proposed, with broad success. It’s not for everyone, of course, and those with disturbances in the psychotic range or major hormonal imbalances have been harmed. But for the majority of beginners, its early courses and grades do offer enhanced awareness and personal power.
The catch comes in that pesky transition from the mental world of Yetzirah, the World of Formation, to the transpersonal consciousness of the world of Briah, which is the work of the advanced Adepts and the Masters. Hubbard turned back from that scornfully. The harm he did sprang from that, as he kept his best students in a state of servitude to his empire of the mind.
Thus, in trying to create a means of realising True Will and one’s essential nature, Hubbard actually inverted Thelema and its goals. Scientology saps the will of everyone who stays in it. And some who leave it do so only nominally, remaining caught in a need for more fantastical dramatisation of the human plight couched in a pseudo-scientific manner. Qabalistically, they’re in that world of Formation, forever searching the astral plane for yet many patterns, or more ‘explanations.’ They cannot move beyond it, and pine for the imaginative genius of Hubbard without recognising the man was wedded to a delusory worldview.
All these ‘black’ schools have a function, and we may need the education they offer, even if learning their lessons may take us years. But the sooner we step away from such things and apply the lesson of Malkuth, that of Discrimination, the better off we are.
Good luck, Katie. And you too, Suri. I hope you forget what you’ve been taught by Dad and his pals, and learn instead that the universe has not been a consecutive series of gargantuan prisons, from the experience of which we can only free ourselves by suspending our gut-level skepticism. Rather, it is Nuit – something beautiful and eternally awe-inspiring.
Love is the law, love under will,