by Kerry Hanahan & Tony Mareino,
LBPH Reader Advisors
In 1950, science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard published a book called Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. According to Scientology.org, Hubbard claimed to have found the source of “nightmares, unreasonable fears, upsets, insecurities and psychosomatic illness—the reactive mind” and he “laid out a simple, practical, easily taught technology to overcome [the reactive mind] and reach the state of Clear.” Hubbard called this technology Dianetics and defined Clear as state users’ hoped to achieve where “a being who no longer has his own reactive mind” and “individuals regain their basic personality, self-determinism and, in essence, become much, much more themselves.”
Scientology is the religion that came out of the Dianetics movement. After two years of work, Hubbard and his team opened up the first Church of Scientology in 1954 in Los Angeles, California and has since expanded throughout the world. The organization with most notoriety being the “Sea Org”, a described private naval force that requires a lifetime commitment to the religion.
We believe that the following is essential reading that about Scientology, not because we ascribe to this or any particular movement, but because of just how fascinating, sordid, and mysterious the organization itself is. In order to get the true essence of Hubbard, Scientology, and the mystique surrounding it – we suggest the following reading, in this particular order.
If you’re unfamiliar with Dianetics and Scientology, check out L. Ron Hubbard’s words for yourself in his book Dianetics: The Evolution of a Science (DB 34349).
There have also been several books questioning Hubbard’s technologies and their effectiveness. Start with Rolling Stone contributing editor Janet Reitman’s Inside Scientology: The Story of America’s Most Secretive Religion (DB 73558).
Interested in how Scientology made it’s way to Hollywood and became associated with box-office-draws like Tom Cruise and John Travolta? Then move on to Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright (DB 76200).
Finally, read a memoir written by someone who has publicly left Scientology. Jenna Miscavige Hill grew up in Scientology and is the niece of David Miscaviage, current Chairman of the Board of the Religious Technology Center and predecessor of Scientology founder Hubbard as the leader of the religion. Her book is Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and my Harrowing Escape (DB 76369).
Audit your OT levels with these reads:
Dianetics: The Evolutions of a Science
by L. Ron Hubbard
The controversial and bestselling author of ‘Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health” (RD 8295) tells the story of his research in understanding and using the full capabilities ofthe human mind. He also explains how dianetics can be used by individuals to better understand themselves and live happier, more successful lives. Includes glossary, bibliography, and short biographical sketch. 1989.
Inside Scientology: The Story of America’s Most Secretive Religion
by Janet Reitman
Journalist investigates the Church of Scientology’s history from its 1954 creation by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard. Discusses Hubbard’s beliefs, David Miscavige’s takeover of the organization after Hubbard’s 1986 demise, and lawsuits by defectors. Covers the church’s war against psychiatry and feuds with the IRS. Some strong language. Bestseller. 2011.
Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief
by Lawrence Wright
Pulitzer Prize-winning author examines the inner workings of the church created by science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard. Discusses leader David Miscavige and membership levels. Details celebrities who joined, their rise within the organization, and their endorsement of Scientology. Chronicles filmmaker Paul Haggis’s investigation of the church. Bestseller. 2013.
Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape
by Jenna Miscaviage Hill
Third-generation Scientologist’s memoir of growing up in the church, which was led by her uncle David. Describes her isolated childhood, separation from her parents, and the abusive punishment for disobedience. Highlights her rise in the organization and later disenchantment and desire for a normal life. Some strong language. 2013.