the fishman affidavit

fishman index

Exhibit G: Dissemination of material
Summary and comments

In 'Ability' ("MAGAZINE ARTICLES ON LEVEL 0, CHECKSHEET", also known as 'Dissemination of Material', Hubbard discusses the problems linked with disseminating Scientology materials. The article is widely known because of its discussion of litigation tactics. I will try to summarise it, because my lawyer, after having finally having seen evidence handed over to him on behalf of RTC, has advised me that including the full text is at this time against my interests. So be it. I therefore will give you this summary. Your comments are kindly invited. Please correct any errors and tell me about any information that I may have missed. Page numbers refer to the version of this article as given in the Fishman Affidavit (Exhibit G). I took the unbracketed page numbers, because the bracketed ones are amiss.

Hubbard begins by stating that the audience will be confused when they encounter material that is not 'meant' for them. It's not a matter of being condescend, he says, but of how to spread Scientology. If it's done in the way he prescribes, this will further Scientology; if not, al that will ensue is confusion. (If I may humbly jump in: other reasons of Hubbard's for not wanting to spread Scientology's material freely, may be that a) many people would laugh at some parts of it and become outraged at others, and b) Scientology prefers to sell their material at rather stiff prices.) He sketches the basic communication lines. The first one is the only one discussed in this part of the article (the excerpt in the Fishman Affidavit is only six pages out of twenty-six or twenty-seven):

1. The General public to the general public.

Well, it's nice that we, non-Scientologists, get to talk to each other in Hubbard's communication outline. I must warn him however, that not all we have to say about him is positive.

The other communication lines are amongst others: Scientologist to the general public, HASI to HASI ('HASI' being the Hubbard Association of Scientologists International. As Martin Hunt states in his Acronym/Terminology FAQ: "A precursor to the IAS [International Association of Scientologists]. Just another way to make money; all Scientologists must buy memberships in the IAS for about a $1,000."), and HASI to the general public, again assuming that we want to listen.

As for the first item, 'General public to the general public', Hubbard starts by explaining what he would like us to say to each other. First of all, he'd love it when we would immediately say 'Go consult a Scientologist' whenever something's up. For instance, when you have a headache, it would be great if a friend showed up and referred you to Scientology! (You'd be able to learn then that your headache was due to engrams, and once you got rid of the engrams, that your headache was due to body thetans! And have to pay thousands and thousands of guilders! Swell!) The basic line on this one is that Hubbard would like people to say that:

Scientology does not pose any threat, that Scientologists are good citizens, and that they can be trusted with problems of a private and confidential nature, or with problems dangerous to other people such as the problem of criminality.

'Trusted with problems of a private and confidential nature'? You mean like storing whatever people tell you during their auditing sessions, and using their pc-folders to blackmail or dead-agent them? And if Scientology is so very reliable when it comes to 'the problem of criminality', how come Scientology itself has been convicted for fraud, burglary, intimidation, coercion and what not? How come that you, Mr Hubbard, yourself were an un-indicted co-conspirator, and that your wife Mary Sue was jailed for four years?

Another frame of mind we would like to see the public to register is that people attacking Scientologists have something wrong with them...

Yeah I bet you would like that. Unfortunately, it isn't so.

...(and if you could meet any such people personally you would see that this is no more than truth).

Thanks for the free insult. As a matter of interest, some of my best friends are and have been suspicious of Scientology for years... Seems your dissemination strategy doesn't work too well.

Hubbard goes on to explain the idea behind this: the gist of public knowledge about Scientology should be that they say that "good health and immortality" are attainable. He'd also like us to toy with these ideas and feel generally attracted towards them.

Related to that is that Hubbard would love it if Scientology was only covered in the religious pages of newspapers. 'Press' is a bad word for Ron, so he immediately gets off in a rant about the press, and shows his trump card: litigation:

It is destructive of word of mouth to permit the public presses to express their biased and badly reported sensationalism. Therefore we should be very alert to sue for slander at the slightest chance so as to discourage the public presses from mentioning Scientology.

I seem to remember that Scientology sued Time Magazine for a carefully researched article, asking in court for no less than $416 million in damages. The lawsuit has been going on for five years now, but Time Magazine has not yet had to retract a single sentence of their devastating article. What was its name again? Oh I remember: The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power. And by the way, Ron, these litigation tactics only help to get more bad press.

A related problem, Hubbard says, is that of professionals who might consider Scientology antipathetic to them: such professionals would be, amongst others, psychologists, medical doctors and psychiatrists. Of course these professionals err when they believe Scientology has a bone to pick with them:

We have no more quarrel with a psychologist that we would have with an Australian witch-doctor. We have no quarrel with a pychiatrist any more that we would quarrel with a barbarian because he has never heard of nuclear physics.

Nice choice of comparisons there. Don't try to educate the natives. Leave them their beads and mirrors, while us Scientologists continue at our super-duper level.

As to the medical doctor, we know very well that modern medical practice, having lately outgrown phlebotomy, has come of age to point where is can regulate structure in a most remarkable and admirable way.

Phlebotomy? You mean bloodletting? This is brilliant. How to insult them and lick 'em up at the same time. 'Having lately outgrown phlebotomy', I say! And it is your organisation that whimpers when critics refer to Operation Snow White, and say 'oh well, that was a long time ago'?

Hubbard goes on to explain that doctors are great at performing operations and that antibiotics are just fine, but that he dislikes their use of "psychomatic medicine" and would ask of doctors:

to stop taking money for things he knows he cannot cure, i.e., spiritual, mental, psychosomatic, and social ills.

Doctors are not in the habit of claiming that they can cure "spiritual" or "social ills". They do claim, and rightfully so, that they're sometimes able to alleviate "mental" and "psychosomatic ills". Scientology, on the other hand, makes all sorts of unfounded claims as to the improvement of people's health, general well-being, intelligence and capabilities, and asks steep prices plus an unwavering allegiance from their members. I think I'd take the doctors' side on this one.

Hubbard goes on to say that, since such professionals usually don't discuss their methods and tests with you, a Scientologist must therefore not allow himself to get into the situation where he is asked to reveal the methodologies of his wisdom and knowledge. The Scientologist should refrain from discussion and say:

"I have my techniques. It took me a long time to learn them just as it took you a long time to learn yours. (...) I am an expert instructor only where it is intimately involved with the human spirit. I can produce my effects. You can produce yours. (...) I do not see how there can be any discussion. But things that I can't handle in structure when called upon I will be very happy to refer to you, and I shall expect that when matters of the spirit come into question you will have enough understanding of life (...) to refer them to me."

Oh dear. One of the big differences between Scientologists and the afore-mentioned professionals happens to be that the former never allow others to review, discuss and check their "methodologies", and the latter do. They have peer review, publish their articles, have debates, talk freely to the press, invite criticism and what not. Scientologists, on the other hand, are as closed as a clam. And this arrogance! 'When I go to a doctor when I want a prescription for my glasses / to check me for breast cancer / to mend my broken leg, I shall expect him or her to send his patients to me when they want spiritual advice.' That's not even tit for tat. The Scientologists methods are assumed to be beneficial, by him that is, whilst those of the professionals have proven to be so - objectively.

Hubbard goes on to explain that, when a Scientologist does try to apply his "methodologies" - a touch assist? Auditing engrams? The 'Purification Rundown'? The 'Introspection Rundown'? - to somebody who is in any way ill and gets refuted for interfering with somebody's progress or 'case', he should act "extremely dismayed" to find himself:

in the presence of barbarians who do not believe in the power of prayer, in the will of God, or in the promises of Jesus Christ. And you should point out that, whereas the body was in their keeping, they did not at any time care to take purview of the human soul.

Please note that, again, Hubbard is just assuming that the "soul" of the ill person was not taken care of - as if a doctor, psychiatrist or psychologist was barred per se from human kindness - and that he immediately uses foul language again, calling them "barbarians". Please note too the high stand he takes on God and Jesus, who, according to this same Mr Hubbard, are mere 'implants', that is: misleading data and false suggestions. Be referred to Scientology's most important course, OT 3, for further details on this.

Hubbard is not yet satisfied. Apart from thus insulting these professionals, the Scientologist should be:

accusative, and not at any time apologetic. And you should immediately make it your business to place this matter before the proper authorities, that people are in charge of an institution here, are not Christians (...).

So not only does he assume that these professionals aren't Christians, but he also advises to tell on them and file a complaint. Whew. Some bravado. Is this how you are going to get good press? Didn't think so.

Now for the strange bit. Immediately next, Hubbard talks about getting arrested "for practising Scientology, treating people". I wonder why - if all he does is have a friendly chat and try to cheer people up, there can't be any reason whatsoever to have a Scientologist arrested. So there is either more to what a Scientologist does, or Hubbard is way to suspicious. I think it's the latter, because he explains that prescribing diets or vitamins (by the way, do vitamins have to be prescribed in other countries? Here you can just buy them) and using drugs or surgery is something Scientologists must make sure not to do; which is indeed sound advise.

Anyways. Now for the instructions on how to behave upon arrest:

make very sure that you immediately and instantly, within two or three hours after your receipt of the warrant, have served upon the signer of the warrant, a personal civil suit for $100,000.00 damages for having caused the arrest of a Man of God going about his business in his proper profession, and for having brought about embarrassing publicity and molestation. Place the suit and WIRE THE HASI IMMEDIATELY.

That's Scientology as we all have come to know and not love it. The vindictive trait at its best. If our model Scientologist had only been going about his business in a respectful way, there's no reason to arrest him. I think that my main efforts under such circumstances would be directed at clarifying this, were I in his position. But fortunately, I'm not a Scientologist. And frankly, I don't understand them either: where, for instance, did the "embarrassing publicity" and the "molestation" enter the story? There was no reference to it earlier. He was subpoenaed, is what Hubbard says. Or is it that Hubbard views filing a lawsuit against a Scientologist as "molestation" per se? And if our model Scientologist had not been such a prime example of human kindness and honesty, but instead did something that could well ensue in being subpoenaed, I don't think it would be very helpful to his case to counter-litigate.

It turns out that Hubbard had envisioned just an advice, and tells his Scientologists to ignore it and go full steam ahead:

And if you are foolish enough to have an attorney who tells you not to sue, immediately dismiss him and get an attorney who will sue. Or, if no attorney will sue, simply have an HASI suit form filled out and present it yourself to the county clerk in the court of the area in which your case has come up.

"Dismiss him and get an attorney who will sue." What strikes me is that there is this strange reference to "an HASI suit form". Do they have standard forms for suing? Is litigation and counter-litigation so common among Scientologists that their offices carry the blank paperwork for it, so that all you have to do is fill in the particulars?

Hubbard goes on to explain that the HASI should be warned immediately anyway, and that they'll fly somebody in as soon as possible. He repeats that one should create quite an uproar and attack forcefully:

Cause blue flame to dance over the court house roof until everybody has apologized profusely for having dared to become so adventurous as to arrest a Scientologist who, as a minister of the church, was going about his regular duties.

And again this statement that this Everyman-Scientologist was only "going about his regular duties". If he was, why for God's sake would he have been arrested, or filed suit against? Could it be that his regular duties contain things that might be frowned upon by the law and that would count as irregularities? Nah. Don't think so.

Hubbard then side-steps into a little cameo, telling a little anecdote about lawyers who advise against suing and who turn out to have been in the pay of his adversaries. He continues with a comparison: fortresses need to have allies and patrols that attack and harass, so that everybody knows that besieging such a fortress is a very complicated and very dangerous business. Fortresses that are not maintained in such a fashion, are feeble and might fall. The obvious inference of the comparison being that defense is bad strategy. Hubbard then proceeds with one of his most famous, and oft quoted dictums. The emphasis is in the text as it was filed in the Fishman dossier, and although there is a chance that the court marked these words, my guess is that it was Hubbard himself who did this, given the penchant he has for capitalising and stressing specific words. I quote this one in full, as it has found its way all over the world anyway:

[ The DEFENSE of anything is UNTENABLE. The only way to ]
[ defend anything is to ATTACK, and if you ever forget  ]
[ that, then you will lose every battle you are ever    ]
[ engaged in, whether it is in terms of personal        ]
[ conversation, public debate or court of law. NEVER BE ]
[ INTERESTED IN CHARGES. DO, yourself, much MORE        ]
[ CHARGING, and you will WIN. And the public, seeing    ]
[ that you won, will then have a communication line to  ]
[ the effect that Scientologists WIN.                   ]

This does sound rather like The Art of War, a book that is allegedly on many Scientologists' reading list.

Now for the good news. Hubbard goes on to state that it is vital that all Scientologists keep to article 4 of the Code: "I pledge myself to punish to the fullest extent of my power anyone misusing or degrading Scientology to harmful ends." I take it that this means that Scientology must not, under no circumstances, be degraded by Scientologists and that any Scientologists who catches another Scientologists messing up Scientology, must be punished severely. Or wait... Does it? On closer view, this article is either ambiguous or redundant: "misusing or degrading ... to harmful ends". Is there such a thing as degrading something to a useful end? I suppose so - I mean, plenty of people adhere to slogans such as "The end justifies the means" or "All is well that ends well". How does Hubbard go on?

The only way you can guarantee that Scientology will not be degraded or misused is to make sure that only those who are trained in it practice it.

Hmm, not much of a help. Supposing that 'clearing the planet' must be done at all costs, there is not much in such a statement that would refrain one from using unlawful means.

A few sentences later, it becomes clear that Hubbard is talking about 'squirrels', that is: people who do not follow the strict rules of Scientology, usually because they believe the organisation is treating people far too rough:

More particularly, if you discovered that some group calling itself "precept processing" had set up and established a series of meetings in your area ....

'Squirreling' is of course not permitted within Scientology, so usually these people are expelled. These 'squirrels' come by many names. 'Process' was one of them I believe; 'the Free Zone' is another. They usually use Scientology 'tech' but frown upon the organisation, or, alternatively, they use Hubbard's 'tech' but think Hubbard himself was either deluded, dangerous, crazy or whatever. Some of such people have used Scientology copyrighted material, and are usually sued for it. The only man who, while no longer in Scientology, is allowed to use some of their higher level materials - the NOT's for NED - is David Mayo, who wrote large parts of them. Scientology sued him for it, but because they wouldn't produce the evidence the case was finally dismissed.

And indeed, Hubbard goes on to discuss suing people who use church material, and delves off into what has become another of his most quoted quotes. Emphasis again not mine.

The least that could be done (...) is the placement of a suit against [squirrels] them for using materials of Scientology without authority. (...)
[ The purpose of the suit is to harass and discourage  ]
[ rather than win. The law can be used very easily to  ] [ harass, and enough harassment on somebody who is     ]
[ simply on the thin edge anyway, well knowing that he ]
[ is not authorized, will generally be sufficient to   ]
[ cause his professional decease. If possible, of      ]
[ course, ruin him utterly.                            ]

It's interesting to see the passage it in full, because people often leave out part of the one-but-last sentence: "well knowing that he is not authorized". Hubbard clearly states that a person may be harassed in order to cause his professional demise and to preferably "ruin him utterly", but it is, here at least, a privilege he only chooses to favour former members with, not critics per se. (Not that this makes the dictum less objectionable.) "The law can be used very easily to harass." Yes, Mr Hubbard, indeed it can. Do you think that such behaviour should be advocated?

Hubbard then explains that all Scientologist have the right to revoke the title of somebody who squirrels, and that this is good policy since it prevents Scientology from acquiring a bad name. Funny - I have never heard much devastating news about the squirrel groups; but Scientology has had some difficulties acquiring itself a spotless reputation.

Hubbard then sums up what he wanted to say: good auditing and a good public presentation , coupled with a sincere approach, are the best thing to do as far as the 'General Public to the General Public'-communication line is concerned. I wonder why all the litigation tactics crept in.

Finally, the article describes why Scientologists should never discuss religion. The main reason is that Scientologists are gnostics, which makes Scientology:

a religion with an older tradition and puts it on an intellectual plane.

Hubbard concludes by stating that Scientology is "all-denominational rather than non-denominational", and would give a Moslem as warm a welcome as it would a Catholic. The article breaks off in the middle of a sentence.

Copyright: Karin Spaink, February 1996. Fresly coded in March 2003.
Quotes taken from L. Ron Hubbard, 'Ability - Magazine articles on Level 0 Checksheet, as included in the Fishman Affidavit (US District Court, Central District of California, CV 91-6426 HLH (Tx)

Copyright Karin Spaink.
This text may be freely distributed,
as long as you don't charge for it.