The Empire Strikes Back
I find it almost incredible that a Minister and
his civil servants should be so reckless as to publish a White Paper and to seek
mercilessly to expose the Scientologists. It will certainly advertise them even more
widely and give them the fame they want.
- RICHARD CROSSMAN, The
Diaries of a Cabinet Minister, Volume 3
On July 25, 1968, Kenneth Robinson, the British
Minister of Health, made a statement in Parliament about Scientology. Having called it a
"pseudo-philosophical cult," he reminded the House of his earlier pronouncement:
Although this warning received a good deal of
public notice at the time, the practice of scientology has continued, and indeed expanded,
and Government Departments, Members of Parliament and local authorities have received
numerous complaints about it.
The Government is satisfied... that scientology
is socially harmful. It alienates members of families from each other and attributes
squalid and disgraceful motives to all who oppose it; its authoritarian principles and
practice are a potential menace to the personality and well-being of those so deluded as
to become its followers; above all, its methods can be a serious danger to the health of
those who submit to them. There is evidence that children are now being indoctrinated.
There is no power under existing law to
prohibit the practice of scientology; but the Government has concluded that it is so
objectionable that it would be right to take all steps within its power to curb its
Scientology establishments in Britain were stripped of
their educational status. Foreign nationals were prohibited from studying Scientology or
working in Scientology Organizations, by invoking the "Aliens Act," through
which the Home Secretary can deny entry to Britain. The Home Office banned Hubbard from
Britain as an "undesirable alien." East Grinstead's Member of Parliament,
Geoffrey Johnson Smith, repeated Robinson's earlier statement, originally made in
Parliament, that Scientologists, "direct themselves towards the weak, the unbalanced,
the immature, the rootless and the mentally or emotionally unstable." He made the
statement on television, beyond the bounds of parliamentary privilege, so the
Scientologists filed suit against him for defamation. 1
At the end of July, a hundred foreign Scientologists
were rounded up, and detained under guard in hotels, pending deportation. Scotland Yard
began to investigate Scientology. The National Council for Civil Liberties objected to the
use of the Aliens Act on the grounds that it was "objectionable in principle and
dangerous in practice." 2
The Scientologists sued four English newspapers, and
sought injunctions to prevent further stories. The injunctions were denied. New telephone
directories carried a large advertisement for Scientology, and an embarrassed General Post
Office announced that no further ads would be accepted. 3
There was a general feeling that although something
should be done about Scientology the Aliens Act was not the way to do it. But the
expression of public sympathy was restrained. A fortnight before the ban, the Daily
Mail had reported the death of ex-Scientologist John Kennedy, in South Africa.
Kennedy had left Scientology to set up his own Institute of Mental Health, taking a number
of Scientologists with him. He allegedly shot himself accidently while cleaning his
revolver, but the coroner returned an open verdict. Hubbard's Auditor magazine
recorded the matter simply, and ominously:
JOHN KENNEDY, SP [Suppressive Person], who
messed up Rhodesia, shot dead in accident in South Africa. 4
This was actually stale news, Kennedy died in 1966,
but three days after the Aliens Act was introduced, another South African Scientologist
died in mysterious circumstances. James Stewart had been a student at the Scientology
Advanced Organization in Edinburgh. He was a thirty-five-year-old epileptic, whose body
was found fifty feet beneath his hotel window. The newspapers missed vital information in
their reports. A few days before his death, Stewart had completed an Ethics Condition
wherein he stayed awake for eighty hours. One of his tasks during this period was to crawl
about the carpets picking out bits of fluff. According to Robert Kaufman, in his firsthand
account, a bulletin had been posted on the Advanced Org notice board: 5
James Stewart has been put in a Condition of
Doubt for having [epileptic] seizures in public thus invalidating Scientology. If there is
any reoccurrence of these either consciously or unconsciously on his part he will be
placed in a Condition of Enemy.
Stewart's real crime, having had a severe seizure, was
telling the hospital that he was a Scientologist, thus supposedly giving Scientology a bad
name. He had injured his head, and wore a blood-stained bandage while performing his
demeaning "amends project." He was possibly made to crawl across the steep and
slippery slates of the Org roof, as a final part of his Doubt Formula. This bizarre
practice was quite usual at the time. 6
Shortly before his death, Stewart had been suspended
from his course at the AO. On the day he read a funeral notice for Stewart, fellow student
Robert Kaufman saw Stewart's widow, Thelma, giving an enthusiastic speech on her
completion of OT 2. In his book, Inside Scientology, Kaufman said Thelma
"victoriously received the applause of AO members." A Scientology spokesman told
the press, "Mrs. Stewart does not know how it happened, but she does know it had
nothing to do with Scientology." The press was also told that Mrs. Stewart was a
"more serious" student than her husband. In fact, Stewart, described in the
newspapers as an encyclopedia salesman, 7
had been a founder of the Cape Town Scientology Org, and was a senior executive there. He
was a Class VII Auditor, the highest level of training at the time, Clear number 153
(there were over 2,000 by then), and was on OT 3 when he died. One of his Success Stories
was published in the Auditor magazine at around the time of his death. It was
headed, "How Scientology Training Has Helped Me In Life":
I find that training and auditing experience
helps me in innumerable ways - in driving a car (patiently, in heavy traffic), waking up
in the morning, confronting anything unpleasant in life, keeping myself occupied in
leisure hours, in writing letters, making telephone calls, in chance conversations with
strangers - In fact, training helps in every conceivable situation or experience anywhere,
any place, anytime - Try it for yourself and see!
The Scientologists very readily disown embarrassing
members, especially in death. Unfortunately, to them the repute of Scientology is
invariably more important than the truth. In a curious twist, Stewart's name was given to
the press by the police. In Scotland, the names of suicides were not given to the press.
However, there is no evidence to suggest that Stewart was murdered.
This bizarre period of Scientology is recorded in
stark detail in Robert Kaufman's Inside Scientology. Kaufman was the first who
dared to publish details of the OT levels, and his book remains the best description of
the Scientology experience.
The response to the British Aliens Act ban was fairly
immediate. Hubbard announced that his work was finished, saying he had resigned his
"Scientology directorships two or more years ago to explore and study the decline of
ancient civilization," perpetuating the tale he had told to receive his Explorers'
Club flag. Hubbard accused England of being a police state. 8
An Advanced Org was started in Los Angeles to serve Scientologists in the Western
hemisphere. But the ban, although rigorously enforced at first, soon fell into disuse. By
the early 1970s, most of the students and staff at Saint Hill were foreigners.
The London Daily Mail (right)
published details of Hubbard's private bank accounts in Switzerland, account numbers and
all. It said Hubbard claimed to have $7 million. It also unearthed a prescription signed
"L. Ron Hubbard Ph.D.," for the sedative Nembutal, "for horticultural
purposes only." Abbott Laboratories, the manufacturers of Nembutal, said there was
"no conceivable" way in which Nembutal could be used in horticulture. Perhaps it
was for Hubbard's "ever-bearing" tomatoes. 9
Hubbard was interviewed by the Daily Mail,
aboard the Royal Scotman, in Bizerte, Tunisia: "He chain-smoked menthol
cigarettes, fidgeted nervously .... He taped the conversation .... Outside Scientologists,
some in uniform and some young children, stood rigidly to attention .... Hubbard's mood
ranged from the boastful - 'You'd be fascinated how many friends of mine there are in the
British Government' to the menacing: 'I get intelligence reports from England. You'd be
surprised at the dirty washing I have got.' " 10
Hubbard insisted he was no longer connected with
Scientology, and told the reporter that everything in the Daily Mail's Scientology file
was forged. He knew because he had seen it, through his "spies." Hubbard also
gave a rare interview to British television, again looking nervous, and contradicted
himself both on the number of his marriages, and whether or not he had a Swiss bank
account. Despite his supposed discoveries about communication and public relations,
Hubbard fell far short of winning over the press. 11
At the end of August 1968 in New York, Jill Goodman
became the world's youngest Clear. Her picture was featured in the Auditor
magazine. She was ten years old, and she and her eight-year-old brother were already
qualified Auditors. 12
In mid-August, the Royal Scotman had slipped
into Corfu harbor. At first all went well. According to one newspaper, the Sea Org
enriched the Corfiot economy by about £1,000 per day. They were welcomed by the
harbormaster, and the local press. 13
In September, Hubbard announced the new Class
VIII Auditor Course, in the Auditor magazine. The announcement was accompanied by
a center spread of Hubbard's photographs. There is a shot of an Ethics Officer, carrying a
heavy wooden baton, wearing dark glasses and full uniform, and scowling at a student who
is smiling back, apprehensively. The caption reads: "No one can fool a Sea Org Ethics
Officer. He knows who's ethics bait." Another shot shows a Sea Org member suspended
in mid-air by two Ethics Officers, one wearing a broad grin. He is about to be thrown over
the rail, into the sea. The caption reads: "Students are thrown overboard for gross
out tech and bequeathed to the deep!" "Out tech" is a Hubbardism for
"misapplication of Scientology auditing procedures." The editor of Auditor
41 thought the photos were a Hubbard joke. Hubbard was deadly serious. 14
Every Scientology Org was ordered to send two Auditors
to be trained as "Class VIIIs." As "VIIIs" their auditing would be
"flubless." The course would take three weeks, so previous Ethics procedures
were of little use - they took too long to administer. Rather than languishing in the
chain-locker for a week, or doing three days without sleep on "amends projects,"
students were to be subject to "instant Ethics," or overboarding. There is no
doubt that Hubbard ordered this (one ex-Sea Org officer says Hubbard even took out his
home movie camera and filmed it once or twice). 15
Scientologists who joined after 1970 are often unaware
that overboarding took place. Most who have heard of it, and those who were subjected to
it, dismiss it as a passing phase; unpleasant, but no longer significant. People who
experienced it often shrug it off, and even insist that it was "research." It
can take persistence to extract an admission of the reality of overboarding. Students and
crew were lined up on deck in the early hours every morning. They waited to hear whether
they were on the day's list of miscreants. Those who knew they were would remove their
shoes, jackets and wristwatches in anticipation. The drop was between fifteen and forty
feet, depending upon which deck was used. Sometimes people were blindfolded first, and
either their feet or hands loosely tied. Non-swimmers were tied to a rope. Being hurled
such a distance, blindfolded and restrained, into cold sea water, must have been
terrifying. Worst of all was the fear that you would hit the side of the ship as you fell,
your flesh ripped open by the barnacles. Overboarding was a very traumatic experience. 16
The course lectures too seem to have been a traumatic
experience for many. Hubbard lectured from a spotlit dais, surrounded by the female
Commodore's Staff Aides in flowing white gowns. The lectures were peppered with the old
easygoing manner, but punctuated with tablebanging and bouts of yelling. Later, some of
Hubbard's tantrums were edited from the tapes of the lectures. The lectures were
"confidential," and only fully indoctrinated Scientologists could attend.
Students wore green boiler-suits, and, after a certain
point on the course, added a short noose of rope around their necks as a mark of honor.
They had little time for sleep, and were inevitably extremely cautious in their auditing.
If they made a mistake, it was "instant Ethics," and they were heaved over the
Hubbard published the purpose of the Class VIII
course: "It's up to the Auditor to become UNCOMPROMISINGLY STANDARD . . . an
uncompromising zealot for Standard Tech." Sea Org "Missions" were
dispatched from Corfu to all corners of the world to bully Org staffs into higher
production. Hubbard pronounced that such "Missions" had "unlimited Ethics
Alex Mitchell of the London Sunday Times
reported that a woman with two children had run screaming from the ship, only to be
rounded up and returned by her fellow Scientologists. The journalist also said that
eight-year-old children were being overboarded:
Discipline . . . is severe. Members of the crew
can be officers one day and swabbing the decks the next. Status is conferred by Boy
Scout-like decoration; a white neck tie is for students, brown for petty officers, yellow
for officers, and blue for Hubbard's personal staff .... Recently the crew decided to
paint the water tanks. Unwilling to give the job to local contractors the Scientologists
did it themselves - only to find that when they next used their taps the water was
polluted with paint. 19
Kenneth Urquhart joined the ship at Corfu. From
Hubbard's butler he had risen to become a senior executive at Saint Hill. He had
resolutely avoided joining the Sea Org, but was finally cajoled into travelling to Corfu.
He was amazed at the change in Hubbard. At Saint Hill he had seen him every day. Although
Hubbard occasionally lost his temper, Urquhart had only once seen him quivering with rage.
Now screaming fits were a regular feature. OT 3 and the Sea Org had transformed Hubbard.
Amid the turmoil, and with the pressure of the UK ban,
and swathes of bad press, Hubbard cancelled enforced Disconnection. The practice of
labelling an individual Fair Game was also cancelled: 20
FAIR GAME may not appear on any Ethics Order.
It causes bad public relations. This Policy Letter does not cancel any policy on the
treatment or handling of an SP [Suppressive Person].
Shortly after arriving in Corfu, Hubbard had issued a
Bulletin to Scientologists abolishing Security Checks and the practice of writing down
Preclears' misdeeds. 21
In point of fact the name of Security Checking was changed: first to Integrity Processing
and then to Confessional Auditing. However, the Sec Check lists of questions written by
Hubbard in the 1960s remained, and are still in use. A record of the Preclear's utterances
during an auditing session is made by the Auditor, and kept by the Org he works for.
Many Corfiots seem to have accepted
overboarding, and on November 16, Hubbard was a welcome guest at a reception at the
Achillion Palace. With the notable exception of the Prefect, most of the island's worthies
attended. The following day, with as much pomp as the Sea Org could muster, the Royal
Scotman was renamed yet again, this time deliberately. Diana Hubbard (on far left
of picture), who had just celebrated her sixteenth birthday, and been awarded the
rank of Lieutenant Commander, broke a bottle of champagne over the Scotman's bow,
and the ship became the Apollo. In the same ceremony, the Avon River was
restyled the Athena. The Enchanter had already been renamed the Diana,
but was included in the ceremony nonetheless.
All was not well on the Scientology home front, in
England. An application to local authorities for permission to expand Saint Hill castle
had been denied. The Scientologists were ordered to pay the legal costs of three of the
newspapers they were suing before they could proceed. The son of Scientology spokesman
David Gaiman was refused a place at an East Grinstead school until Scientology had cleared
its name. Foreign Scientologists posed as tourists to attend a Congress in Croydon, to
evade enforcement of the Aliens Act. Gaiman said, "They disguised themselves as
humans." It was fair comment. 22
The English High Court refused to rule against the
Home Office's use of the Aliens Act. The Scientologists fought back with more than forty
court writs issued for slander or libel on a single day.
The Rhodesian government, which had refused to renew
Hubbard's visa in 1966, introduced a ban on the importation of material which promoted, or
even related to, the practice of Scientology. The states of Southern and Western Australia
joined Victoria in banning Scientology totally. The Sea Org seemed to have put to sea just
The Western Australian "Scientology Prohibition
Act" was far more succinct than that of Victoria:
1. A person shall not practice Scientology. 2.
A person shall not, directly or indirectly, demand or receive any fee, reward or benefit
of any kind from any person for, or on account of, or in relation to the practice of
Scientology. Penalty: for a first offence two hundred dollars and, for a subsequent
offence, five hundred dollars or imprisonment for one year or both.
The Scientologists' response to the bans was in
The year of human rights draws to its close.
The current English Government celebrated it by barring our foreign students, forbidding a
religious leader to enter England, and beginning a steady campaign intended to wipe out
every Church and Churchman in England. The hidden men behind the Government's policies are
only using Scientology to see if the public will stand for the destruction of all churches
and churchmen in England .... Callaghan, Crossman and Robinson follow the orders of a
hidden foreign group that recently set itself up in England, which has as its purpose the
seizure of any being whom they dislike or won't agree [sic], and permanently
disabling or killing him. To do this they believe they must first reduce all churches and
finish Christianity. Scientology Organizations will shortly reveal the hidden men . . .
[with] more than enough evidence to hang them in every Country in the West.
The public seemed perfectly willing to witness the
destruction of Scientology. Neither the promised exposure of the "hidden men"
nor the destruction of "all churches and churchmen" ensued. Instead, David
Gaiman, head of the Public Relations Bureau of the Guardian's Office, issued a "Code
of Reform." The severe puritanical and punitive approach was no longer necessary. The
Church was going to become a moderate and liberal organization, which would continue its
battle against the evils of psychiatry (spokesmen are trained to attack psychiatry as a
response to any criticism of Scientology). Thirty-eight libel suits were dropped. And
while the press and governments were being assured of this new liberal attitude, the new
Class VIIIs were returning to their Orgs and instituting their own forms of overboarding. 23
In the Edinburgh Advanced Org, the miscreant was
thrown into a bath of hot, cold or dirty water. In Los Angeles, he or she would be hosed
down fully clothed in the parking lot, though later a large water tank was used. John
McMaster has said that in Hawaii the offender's head would be pushed into a toilet bowl,
and the toilet flushed. The same technique was used in Copenhagen.
In the Advanced Orgs in Edinburgh and Los Angeles,
staff were ordered to wear all-white uniforms, with silver boots, to mimic the Galactic
Patrol of seventy-five million years before. According to Hubbard's Flag Order 652,
mankind would accept regulation from that group which had last betrayed it. So the Sea Org
were to ape the instigators of the OT 3 incident. By the same token, all the book covers
were revised to show scenes from the supposedly lethal incident.
"Captain" Bill Robertson, who introduced the
uniforms to both Edinburgh and Los Angeles, also ordered a nightwatch in Los Angeles. The
crew assembled on the roof every night to watch for the spaceships of Hubbard's enemies.
"Captain" Bill has continued his crusade against the invading aliens, the
"Markabians," into the 1990s.
In Britain, in January 1969, Sir John Foster was
appointed to conduct an Inquiry into Scientology. In Perth, Australia, police raided the
local Org, and fourteen individual Scientologists, and the Hubbard Association of
Scientologists International, were prosecuted for "practising Scientology." In
New Zealand in February, another Inquiry got underway.
Hubbard was still trying to ingratiate himself with
the military junta which controlled Greece. He applauded them in a press interview saying
"the present Constitution represents the most brilliant tradition of Greek
democracy." To win favor, Hubbard announced the formation of the Help Greece
Committee which issued a promotional piece for a "University of Philosophy in
Corfu." He boasted that "Most professors of psychology and schools of psychology
foresee as part of their lessons [the] subject of dianetics and scientology."
The symbol of the Help Greece Committee was a Greek
Orthodox cross set at the center of the thirteen-leaved laurels of the Sea Organization.
This was not a tactful gesture; Bishop Polycarpos was already concerned about the
spiritual influence of Scientology. The British Vice-Consul, John Forte, was more
concerned with the material influence of Scientology. He had been receiving complaints
since the Scientologists arrived. He later published a booklet called The Commodore
and the Colonels describing his experiences. Forte became interested in several
defections from the Apollo, including that of William Deitch, who disappeared
completely. Early in March 1969, a detachment of U.S. Marines arrived. Colin Craig met a
group of them, and described life aboard a Scientology ship. The Marines insisted that he
tell his story to the British Vice-Consul immediately.
Craig and another Belfast man, Jack Russell, had
answered an advertisement for maintenance fitters. Arriving on Corfu, they were assigned
to the Apollo's fifteen-year-old Chief Engineer. Russell was attracted to
Scientology, but Craig was so alarmed that he feigned illness and locked himself in his
cabin. With Forte's assistance they were both repatriated.
While this was taking place, Hubbard announced that
Scientology was "going in the direction of mild ethics and involvement with the
Society. After nineteen years of attack by minions of vested interest, psychiatric front
groups, we developed a tightly disciplined organizational structure... we will never need
a harsh spartan discipline for ourselves." 24
The Greek government, concerned by the many complaints
it had received, peremptorily ordered the two hundred or so Scientologists on Corfu to
leave Greek territory. Protests were made that the Apollo was not seaworthy, so
the ship was inspected, and declared fit for a voyage in the Mediterranean. The flagship Apollo
was given twenty-four hours to leave Greek waters. She left on March 19, ostensibly for
Two days later a young Scientologist arrived, and
introduced himself to Vice-Consul Forte. When asked why the Apollo had left,
Forte simply handed him Hubbard's printed explanation. The departure was "due to
unforeseen foreign exchange troubles and the unstable middle eastern situation."
Forte discovered many years later that the Scientologist had subsequently burgled both his
office and his villa looking for evidence of Forte's involvement with the Conspiracy.
Soon afterwards, an Inquiry started in South Africa.
Hubbard turned his back on the "wog" world, and concentrated on introducing a
new form of Dianetics, and integrating it into the Scientology "Bridge." He
issued a bizarre order to the Sea Org, called "Zones of Action," which outlined
his plans. Scientology was going to take over those areas controlled by Smersh (the evil
organization fought by the fictional James Bond), rake in enormous amounts of cash, clean
up psychotherapy, infiltrate and reorganize every minority group, and befriend the worst
foes of the Western nations. Hubbard's stated intention was to undermine a supposed
Fascist conspiracy to rule the world.
On June 30, 1969, the New Zealand Commission submitted
its report. Their attitude to Scientology was sensible. Rather than banning, fining or
imprisoning Scientologists, they recommended the cessation of disconnection and
Suppressive Person declares against family members. Further, they recommended that no
auditing or training be given to anyone under twenty-one, without the consent of both
parents (including consent to the fee), and a reduction of the deluge of promotional
literature and prompt discontinuance when requested.
The Commission recommended that no legislative action
be taken. However, it found "clear proof of the activities, methods, and practices of
Scientology in New Zealand contributing to estrangements in family relationships . . . the
attitude of Scientology towards family relationships was cold, distant, and somewhat
uninterested . . . the Commission received a letter from L. Ron Hubbard stating that the
Board of Directors of the Church of Scientology had no intention of reintroducing the
policy [of disconnection]. He also added that, for his part, he could see no reason why
the policy should ever be reintroduced .... This undertaking does not go as far as the
Commission had hoped... [it was seen that] the activities, methods, and practices of
Scientology did result in persons being subjected to improper or unreasonable
pressures." Nonetheless, the New Zealand Government did not outlaw the practice of
Scientology. The tide appeared to be turning.
In July, the Church of Scientology scored a victory of
sorts in their long-running battle with the Food and Drug Administration in the United
States. In 1963, the FDA had raided the Washington Org, seizing E-meters and books. The
whole affair had been in and out of the courts from that time. Now a Federal judge ruled
that although the E-meter had been "mis-branded," and that its
"secular" use should be banned, it might still be used for "religious"
counselling, as long as it was carefully relabeled to indicate that it had no curative or
diagnostic capabilities. To this day the Church of Scientology has never fully complied
with the relabeling order, but E-meters do carry an abbreviated version of it. This was
not the end of the FDA case, however.
Also in 1969, an Advanced Organization was opened in
Copenhagen. Now the OT levels were available in England at Saint Hill (the Edinburg AO had
moved there), in Los Angeles, in Copenhagen, and aboard the "flagship" Apollo.
Up until this time the "First Real Clear,"
John McMaster, had been the emissary of Scientology. He had braved the incisive
questioning of television interviewers, and, overcoming much bad publicity, inspired many
people to join Scientology. He had even been sent as a Scientology representative to the
United Nations in New York by Hubbard, and managed to secure interviews with several
important people. In November 1969, John McMaster resigned from the Church of Scientology.
He felt that the "Technology" of Scientology was of tremendous value, but
questioned the motives of those managing the Church, most especially Hubbard.
McMaster probably feared for his own safety. He had
been overboarded several times, and the last time was left struggling in the water for
three hours with a broken collarbone.
The last straw for McMaster had been the brutal murder
of three teenagers in Los Angeles. Two had been Scientologists, the third was disfigured
beyond identification. The mutilated bodies were left a hundred yards away from a house
where Scientologists lived. McMaster felt that this was an act of retribution for
Scientology's duplicity. A few weeks later, The New York Times revealed that
Charles Manson had been involved in Scientology. Internal Scientology documents show that
Manson had actually received about 150 hours of auditing while in prison. There was a
cover-up by the Guardian's Office, which successfully concealed the extent of Manson's
In 1970, the Ontario Committee on the "Healing
Arts" pronounced: "With no other group in the healing arts did the Committee
encounter the uncooperative attitude evinced by the Church of Scientology... the public
authorities in Ontario ... should keep the activities of Scientology under constant
scrutiny." However, no recommendations were made for the proscription of Scientology.
In November that same year, the Scientologists' libel
case against Geoffrey Johnson Smith, East Grinstead's Member of Parliament, finally came
to court. The Church produced several impressive witnesses. William Benitez had spent most
of his adult life in prison for drug offences by the time he encountered Scientology. His
life had been transformed, he had overcome his drug habit, and set up Narconon to help
others do the same. Sir Chandos Hoskyns-Abrahall, the retired Lieutenant Governor of
Western Nigeria, said of his own involvement in Scientology: "I thought at first
there might be something in it. I ended up convinced there was everything in it."
But the most startling witness was Kenneth Robinson's
former parliamentary private secretary. William Hamling was the Member of Parliament for
Woolwich West, and had decided to find out about Scientology for himself. He used the most
direct method: going to Saint Hill and taking a Communication Course. In the witness box,
Hamling called the course "first rate." He said the Scientologists he had met
were normal, decent, intelligent people. He had received auditing, and, in fact, continued
in Scientology after the court case.
Geoffrey Johnson Smith was on the witness stand for six days,
and Kenneth Robinson also made an appearance. But the focal witness was Hilary Henslow (right),
mother of the schizophrenic girl who had been abandoned by Scientology.
Instructing the jury Mr. Justice Browne said,
"You may think that Mrs. Henslow picked up all the stones thrown at her in the
witness box, and threw them back with equal force." He called the love-letters
written by Karen Henslow to her Scientologist boyfriend "quite heartbreaking,"
and added: "You may think it absolutely disgraceful that these letters should have
got into the hands of the scientologists, or been used in this case... you have to give
those letters the weight that you feel right."
The case had lasted for thirty-two days when the jury
showed exactly what weight they gave to the letters, and to the Scientologists. They
decided that Johnson Smith's statement - that Scientologists "direct themselves
deliberately towards the weak, the unbalanced, the immature, the rootless, and the
mentally or emotionally unstable' 'was not defamatory; was published "in good faith
and without malice"; and was "fair comment." The case had backfired
completely on the Scientologists. Costs, which The Times newspaper estimated at
£70,000, were awarded against them. Spokesman David Gaiman said there would be no appeal.
The decision seemed to have no effect on Hubbard, and
two days later, he blithely issued Flag Order 2673 to the Sea Org. It was called
"Stories Told," and explained that OTC, which ran the ships, was actually
involved in training businessmen, and that is what Scientologists were to say if asked.
The crew did tell this "shore" story, avoiding any mention of Scientology. It
had become too controversial. So, another layer of deceit was built into Scientology's
approach to the "wog" world.
But the Scientologists weren't the only people guilty
of deceit. In the U.S., devious actions against Scientology were underway. President Nixon
had put Scientology on his "Enemies List," and the Internal Revenue Service
began to make life difficult for Scientologists. The CIA passed reports (some speculative
and inaccurate) on Scientology through U.S. consulates to foreign governments. These
underhand tactics all eventually backfired, making sensible measures curbing the Church of
Scientology's abuses more difficult. 25
After only three years' suspension, Scientology's
hefty Ethics penalties were reintroduced in 1971, unnoticed by the media, or by the
governments which had shortly before been so interested. 26
In December, Sir John Foster submitted his report to the British Government. In the
introduction he said:
Most of the Government measures of July 1968
were not justified: the mere fact that someone is a Scientologist is in my opinion no
mason for excluding him from the United Kingdom, when them is nothing in our law to
prevent those of his fellows who am citizens of this country from practicing Scientology
He further recommended that "psychotherapy...
should be organized as a restricted profession open only to those who undergo an
appropriate training and are willing to adhere to a proper code of ethics."
Undoubtedly, the Scientology Ethics Conditions did not meet his criteria for a
"proper code." The Foster report was a tour de force, patiently constructed,
largely from Hubbard's own statements. However, the British Government did nothing. The
use of the Aliens Act carried on, and foreign Scientologists continued to study and work
for Scientology in Britain by the simple expedient of not declaring their philosophical
persuasion when they arrived. The Guardian's Office gave advice and assistance to secure
visas. One ex-Scientologist has joked that if the Home Office had checked they would have
realized there were over 100 people living in his small apartment.
The treatment of crew aboard the ships did improve in
the early 1970s, but only after several years of chain-locker punishments and
overboarding. Nonetheless, the Sea Org still worked an exhausting schedule, and obeyed
Hubbard's whims. At times he was patient, even tolerant, at other times a bellowing
The kitchen staff were known as galley-slaves. They
worked disgraceful hours in the heat and stench of the kitchens. In the summer of 1971, a
tragic event befell one of those galley-slaves. It is shrouded in mystery to this day.
Rolph; the Auditor; Forte, The Commodore and the Colonels; interviews
with Chamberlin, O.R., Urquhart and McMaster.
1. Foster report, para
14; Rolph, pp.74ff
2. Evening News, 31
July 1968; Daily Sketch, 31 July 1968; Daily Telegraph, 7 August 1968
3. Evening News, 1
4. Auditor 17, back
5. The Observer, 11
August 1968; Kaufman, pp. 195--6f; Cooper, pp.81-2
6. Interview with Phil
Spickler, Woodside, California, October 1986
7. Kaufman; The Observer,
11 August 1968; Auditor, "Special South African Issue," c. summer 1968
8. Daily Sketch, 2
9. Daily Mail, 3
10. Daily Mail, 6
11. The Shrinking World
of L. Ron Hubbard, Granada Television, 1968
12. Auditor 43, pp.
2 & 4
13. Playing Dirty
p.75; Commodore and the Colonels, p.19
14. Auditor 41
15. Chamberlin to author,
16. Chamberlin to author,
1984; Commodare and the Colonels
17. Interview McMaster;
Interview Chamberlin; Technical Volumes vol. 6, p.276
18. Technical Volumes
vol. 6, p.273; Organization Executive Course 1, p.487
19. Technical Volumes
vol. 6, p.276
Executive Course 1, p.489
Executive Course 1, p.486
22. Rolph, pp.63ff; Daily
Telegraph & Daily Mirror, 6 August 1968; Daily Sketch, 13
August 1968; The People, 18 August 1968
23. Wallis, p. 196; Daily
Telegraph, 25 November 1968
24. Wallis, p. 222
25. Playing Dirty,
p.80; CSC vs. IRS, 24 September 1984
26. HCOPL, "Ethics
Penalties Re-instated," 19 October 1971 (not in Organization Executive Course).