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In a 1984 child custody case involving a Scientologist and his non-Scientologist wife, the court awarded custody to the non-Scientologist after seeing the documentation on the horrid practices of the organization.
BBC journalist, Stewart Lamont, in research for his book, Religion Inc., obtained court documents in the case revealing that Justice Latey of the High Court of London called Scientology a "cult," and wrote in the judgment, "Scientology is both immoral and socially obnoxious.... It is corrupt, sinister, and dangerous." (p. 149)
If Latey's observations are true, how can one explain the growth and power of Scientology? How can an organization like Scientology influence its members to practice on outsiders and even each other, acts which virtually everyone outside the group see as predatory, immoral acts?
No doubt, many would locate the problem in the members, pointing to the dark side or depravity of man, and his penchant for self-deception, self-delusion, and lust for power and control. The Christian can agree with that explanation but must add that there is also the possibility of demonic powers influencing and working through men, exercising power through leaders to ensnare and control the followers.
It is not surprising then, that an examination of L. Ron Hubbard's life reveals he was significantly influenced by, and was a practitioner of, the black arts - the occult.
Jon Atack, a former Scientologist and highly repected biographer of Hubbard and Scientology, has collected probably the most extensive research archives on Scientology. Atack writes, "It is impossible to arrive at an understanding of Scientology without taking into account its creator's extensive involvement with magic." (FactNet Report, "Hubbard and the Occult" p. 2)
Atack states that when one examines Hubbard's private letters and papers which were revealed in the Church of Scientology vs. Armstrong trial, and compares the teachings of Scientology with those of the infamous occultist Aleister Crowley, the connection is inescapable. (Ibid.)
Hubbard was clearly involved in the occult. In 1945, L. Ron Hubbard met Jack Parsons, who was a renowned scientist, protégé of occultist Aleister Crowley, and a member of the notorious Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.), an international organization founded by Crowley to practice sexual black magic.
Parsons had Hubbard move onto the property of Parsons' Pasadena, California, home. It was there that Hubbard began to practice the occult and sexual magic. Parsons' mistress, Sara Northrup, left him for Hubbard and later became Hubbard's second wife, even before Hubbard had divorced his first wife. (The Los Angeles Times, June 24, 1990, p. A37)
Biographer Russell Miller wrote, "Parsons considered that Ron had great magical potential and took the risk of breaking his solemn oath of secrecy to acquaint Ron with some of the O.T.O. rituals.... Parsons wrote to his 'Most Beloved Father' (his term for Aleister Crowley) to acquaint him with events: 'About three months ago I met Captain L. Ron Hubbard.... Although he has no formal training in Magick, he has an extraordinary amount of experience and understanding in the field. From some of his experiences I deduced that he is in direct touch with some higher intelligence, possibly his Guardian Angel. He describes his Angel as a beautiful winged woman with red hair whom he calls the Empress and who has guided him through his life and saved him many times. He is the most Thelemic [self-willed, independent] person I have ever met and is in complete accord with our own principles.'" (Russell Miller, Bare-Faced Messiah: the True Story of L. Ron Hubbard, 1987, pp. 117-8, emphasis added)
"Parsons wanted to attempt an experiment in black magic that would push back the frontiers of the occult world. With the assistance of his new friend, he intended to try and create a 'moonchild' - the magical child 'mightier than all the kings of the earth,' whose birth had been prophesied in The Book of the Law more than forty years earlier." (Ibid., p. 119)
Former high ranking Scientologists Brent Corydon and Hubbard's son, L. Ron Hubbard Jr., wrote, "In order to obtain a woman prepared to bear this magical child, Parsons and Hubbard engaged themselves for eleven days of rituals on January 18th, Parsons found the girl who was prepared to become the mother of Babylon, and to go through the required incantation rituals. During these rituals, which took place on the first three days of March 1946, Parsons was High Priest and had sexual intercourse with the girl, while Hubbard who was present acted as skryer, seer, or clairvoyant and described what was supposed to be happening on the astral plane." (Bent Corydon & L. Ron Hubbard, Jr., L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman?, 1987, pp. 256-7)
Sometime in his teens, Hubbard accompanied his mother to the Library of Congress where he became acquainted with Aleister Crowley's The Book of the Law. Crowley alleged this book was dictated to him by Aiwas, a spirit possessing fantastic knowledge and powers. This was Crowley's Bible and perhaps the most important book in the life of L. Ron Hubbard. (Ibid., p. 47)
Crowley's Magick in Theory and Practice states: "The whole and sole object of all true magickal training is to become free from every kind of limitation....(cited in Messiah or Madman, p. 48) "Hubbard says, in a 1952 taped Scientology lecture, 'Our whole activity tends to make an individual completely independent of any limitation...'" (Ibid.)
In Hubbard's 1952 Philadelphia Doctorate Course Lectures, he states:
"The magical cults of the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th centuries in the Middle East were fascinating. The only modern work that has anything to do with them is a trifle wild in spots, but is a fascinating work in itself, and that's the work of Aleister Crowley - the late Aleister Crowley - my very good friend.... He signs himself 'the Beast,' mark of the Beast 666..." (Ibid.)
"According to Ron Jr., his father considered himself to be the one 'who came after'; that he was Crowley's successor; that he had taken on the mantle of the 'Great Beast.' He told him that Scientology actually began on December 1st, 1947. This was the day Aleister Crowley died." (Ibid., p. 50)
As with other areas of Hubbard's life, Scientologists have attempted to revise the understanding of these events. While they admit that Parsons was a leader of a black magic group, that a girl was used in a sex ritual, and that Hubbard moved in, Scientology claims that Hubbard was working underground for Naval Intelligence. Scientology claims that Hubbard rescued the girl, and he was able to "break up black magic in America." (Jon Atack, A Piece of Blue Sky, pp. 89-90)
Yet, the F.B.I. files on Parsons showed that he was investigated regularly because of his government job and retained his high security clearance until his death. There is no mention of Hubbard in any investigation. (Ibid.)
Also, Parsons' widow disputed Scientology's account, stating that Parsons and Hubbard liked each other very much and worked well together. (The Los Angeles Times, June 24, 1990, p. A37) It is certain that the O.T.O. and black magic in America have never been broken up.
Furthermore, in 1957, Hubbard wrote a Scientology bulletin describing Parsons as "quite a man." And in 1952, Hubbard favorably refers to the late Aleister Crowley, indicating that "he was my very good friend." (Philadelphia Doctorate Course Lectures 18, 35, 40)
Jon Atack has researched and found copying from and extensive parallels between Scientology and Aleister Crowley's, and other, occult work. (see http://www.snafu.de/~tilman/j/occult.html on Tilman Hauser's Internet site)
For example, Hubbard was a member of the Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis (AMORC) in 1940, and after his membership lapsed there were complaints that he had carried some of their secret teachings into Scientology. (Hubbard and the Occult, Atack, p. 4)
In the Philadelphia Doctorate Course Lectures, Hubbard instructed his listeners in Crowley's system of Tarot cards. Atack notes that in the book, Equinox - Sex & Religion, Crowley represented the theta sign as "the essential principle of his system - thelema or the will." (Ibid.)
To Hubbard, the thetan is also the essence of a person, and the purpose of an "Operating Thetan" is to be able to control others by intention or will, and be able to exteriorize, exercising control of matter, energy, space, and time. (Ibid., p. 6)
Both Crowley and Hubbard believed in reincarnation and deemed it important to explore recollections of past lives. (Crowley, Magic in Theory & Practice, pp. 50, 228; Hubbard, Have You Lived Before This Life?, p. 3)
Crowley described Jesus Christ as "concocted," (Magick Without Tears, p. 11). This is similar to Hubbard's claim that Christ is an "implant," (HCO Bulletin, "Confidential - Resistive Cases - Former Therapies," September 23, 1968) i.e. a false concept, meant to suppress man from advancing.
These are a few of many examples of Scientology's parallels with the occult. For the Christian, this makes it more understandable how Scientology is so evil and how it has so much power over people's lives.