Inside Scientology(How I Joined Scientology and Became Superhuman) is the first expose of Scientology, first published in 1972, by the Olympia Press
. It's available on the 'Web as part of Operation Clambake
, after the author, Robert Kaufman died, unable to find a mainstream publisher.
You won't find many lurid details here. What it's about is the story of a man caught up in the mind-pummeling, daily rank-and-file life of a Scientologist of the Mid-Hubbard era, as he made his way over the Bridge and through the Wall of Fire, only to make it back whole to New York City as we know it.
From Kaufman's account, getting into Scientology was about as casual as drifting into any of a hundred little niche subcultures in New York in the mid-to-late Sixties...he might as well have taken up smoking pot, macrobiotics, or learning to play dominoes with Jamaicans. A semi-successful classical pianist, his initial auditing sessions took place in friends' apartments. There was little pressure, and to those used to the pricing schedule of the David Miscavage era, his textbooks were laughably cheap -- two and three dollars, about as expensive as most current best sellers of the time. Having a Scientology-friendly girlfriend, and wanting to better his playing, he began getting audited now and then, then on a regular basis. Being told that he couldn't go any further in New York, he went, first to Saint Hill, then to Scotland, where he spent several years, doing nothing more than auditing and a few chores now and then.
What does come out is that auditing is addicting as crack, and about as expensive, time-consuming and wearing, sitting for hours on end, being given endless questions and cues designed to stimulate memories of old experiences all along the time-track from the Creation. You were to remember yourself as an atom, a clam on the beach, a tunicate pumping out salt water as if eternally weeping, a sloth, a cannibalistic ape-man, prone to eating or beating his wife (or a savagely duplicitous woman trying to defend herself through poisoning her spouse), people from various alien races, an embryo trying to survive the twenty or thirty or so abortion attempts that Hubbard assured his flock were "not unusual" among non-Clear women, and others. All through this, there's the same wearing, wearying march up the Stairway to Heaven, wishing, praying, hoping, for the release...that only rarely, but clearly shows its face, until you're thoroughly and truly Clear. Are you finished? No.
The OT levels begin with several bizarre images that you're supposed to wrack your brain with until you remember having seen before, a long string of contradictory statements, ended by the interesting remark "That's what you get for making this universe. Get out --"
(From what I can figure, the real Wall of Fire was the fact that at this point, L. Ron Hubbard had gone as far as he could, philosophically, and had suddenly realized he was in over his head, that there really was stuff out there he couldn't get his mind around, and that other people might know better than he ever could, leaving him to grasp at the straws of his early skills at mythmaking.)
Never mind getting better with his playing, Kaufman had no time or energy to practice. Upon finding himself with a piano, his playing was so bad as to bring himself to tears. Other people in class began to talk about how Kaufman might be able to bribe or harass critics into better reviews, as if this were the most natural thing in the world, and to his horror, he nearly began to agree with them. While he didn't reach Sea Org or have to work off his auditing fees, and lived in rooming houses, not on base, life in Scientology seemed to be a lot of tense, flat, boring days while he feverishly worked for the One Big Win that would explain it all, enduring setback after setback, clearing incidents that occurred over trillions of years ago, solo auditing the OT levels in between endlessly canvassing Edinburgh for fresh meat. A friend of his, prone to epileptic seizures, was declared down-stat for having them in public...and died soon after, apparently after being sent to walk on the roof as punishment.
Finally, he began to lose it altogether. The chapters leading up to his leaving Scientology are so thick with jargon as to be almost unreadable. OT III is there, in the form we know and love, though it seems to have destroyed him. His parents, his old friends from New York, even people on the street seemed to become suppressive. On the verge of suicide, he decided that his only way out was to leave Scientology, which was (then) somewhat easier than today. However, for many months, he found himself slipping into the shadowy world of Hubbard's mind-set, full of enemies and alien races among us.
His last couple of remarks are very much like Junky, in that they talk about how much Scientology costs, as opposed to the "good old days" when it was much more "people helping people" than a business. Now, of course, becoming an auditor means taking several years of courses, and self-auditing is almost unheard of. The books he bought for a dollar or so, have increased in price a hundredfold. His post Scientological life was marked with the realization that instead of focussing on the present, he'd been living for years chasing a fictive past.
So far, it's all been kind of bland, this story needs...celebrities. Pulp fiction. Nubile girls. Young Moroccan boys. A good fight scene. Politics. Hippies. Beatniks.....So, let's introduce William S. Burroughs
...who reviewed this book for Rolling Stone
Viewed from a slight distance, Burroughs would seem to have been the perfect candidate to assess Scientology: another world-traveling polymath, Burroughs was a writer whose work straddled the line between pop pulp and serious literature, a passionate anarcho-libertarian, a seasoned neuronaut, and a bit of a mystic. During the mid-to-late Sixties, he was so enthusiastic about Scientology that parts of "The Wild Boys" and "The Job" sound very much like Hubbard, who repaid the compliment when he wrote parts of the OT rundowns in a style greatly resembling Burroughs. They were both from the Midwest, both had been gifted children propelled into worlds far beyond their upbringing, and were more-or-less the same age.
Yet, for all Burroughs's warm regard, charm, and urbanity, and Hubbard's range of life experience, they strike this reader as being worlds apart, and there is reason to believe that Burroughs frightened Hubbard no end. While Hubbard cherished a paradoxical pose of being at once "too cool for school" and a noted scientist, though without any known publications in any peer-reviewed material, Burroughs had a B.A. from Harvard, had written at least one paper for a British medical journal and a respected book on ethnobotany. In a situation where Hubbard pontificated, claiming, he'd been a photographer for National Geographic, and therefore knew everything about photography, Burroughs quietly picked up the camera to try to see how it worked. While Hubbard had talked himself into The Explorer's Club, and had been to Eastern Asia, it's clear from diaries and other materials that he saw himself the Conquering White Man, for whom all other cultures should bow (he mostly stayed to the Colonial quarters, under the wing of his family, considered the splendor of the Forbidden City "shabby and dull" beside an American skyscraper, and fully expected the children in Guam to worship his red hair.) Burroughs, on the other hand, had taken the low road, having spent some time in the Amazon basin, looking for rare plants and interviewing shamans, and in urban jungles reaching from New York to the Near East, scoring for sex and drugs, as wise to the ways of the street as he was to diplomatic protocol. In his writings, Hubbard was always quick to insist that he represented The American Way, idolizing Big Business, Hollywood, the United States Military, Family, Motherhood and Apple Pie. To seasoned bisexual Burroughs, this seemed hopelessly naive and puritanical: Hubbard's views on politics and racial matters sounded "somewhat to the right of George Wallace" . His vendetta against psychiatry was senseless on the order of "The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion" -- as a matter of fact, a good deal of Hubbard's rants about evil psychiatrists sounded more anti-Semitic than any real critique of their methods. Although an ex-addict, Burroughs was also a fervent anti-prohibitionist -- drugs, taken wisely, he held, could improve the quality of life and be important tools in just that kind of self-discovery that Hubbard was said to champion. Why then, did he disapprove of them in the way he did? Why did he keep such secrecy? Was he afraid of revealing skid marks on his underwear?
Life in Saint Hill resembled an authoritarian convent school with military overtones-- living in a staff house with seven other Scientologists, Burroughs found himself listening every morning to young girls' wistful sexual dreams of servicing Ron, "like novice nuns describing Christ". Being late for class twice, skipping a question, helping someone with their work meant days spent with a dirty grey rag on your arm, scrubbing toilets, wearing a sign while outside the compound, desperately petitioning to get reinstated. To most of the students in their early Twenties, this conjured A Fate Worse Than Death; crusty old ex-jailbird Burroughs laughed at what he called "prep-school discipline", and doubted whether any real professional man would stand for it. He learned quickly that the System was easily beatable by flattering Ron and sucking up, and that contrary to what he'd heard, auditors were less interested in his psyche than in simply getting through the material with the least amount of effort, which gave him the uneasy feeling, as he said, of an anthropologist being forced to have ritual sex with a crocodile. He left after six months, a declared Clear, with full Auditing creds, OT level unknown.
It says something for Scientology, after all, that he still saw a great deal in it, and hoped that the real tools of Scientology, which were not at all spoken of in Hubbard's publically published material, could be opened to assessment and use by everyone seeking change in the world: if not psychiatrists, then the numerous people in psychology and the humanities who were working on these matters, the political Left, veterans of the then-contemporary Civil Rights movement, people of color, biologists, mathematicians, computer programmers (!), students and scholars of language and philosophy and above all, young people of all kinds, who should have free and unrestricted access to all Scientology courses, materials and services until the age of 35. But he had some questions: is it science or religion, both or neither?
If it is science, it makes about as much sense as Newton putting out a shingle as a clergyman, and teaching the "mysteries" of physics only to those who will agree, sight unseen and for much money, that what they will be taught is true, that they wouldn't try to verify it experimentally, or try to teach it to other people. While it's the standard excuse of Scientology that their habit of charging for classes is no different than a private school or college, compared to the secrecy that he'd seen in Scientology, the Ivy League was engaged in public broadcasting. At various times, he sent Ron questions and some suggestions: where, exactly do you think the Reactive Mind is in the brain? Is it in the hypothalamus, or is it in the prefrontal cortex? What about the higher OT's making people sick? How and why did he think that was, and had he run any controlled experiments to prove it? Has anyone looked into other biofeedback techniques other than E-meters? Could he show one to some folks he knew in California who might be able to make some improvements in the electronic design? All was stonewalled by Hubbard's flat statement that he had never found a suggestion from a student to contain the slightest value -- perhaps you might want to wear this armband, Mr. Burroughs...and reconsider your remarks...
And if it is a religion, said Burroughs, then lose the friggin' E-meters, don't charge, and give actual pastoral care. Run soup kitchens. Set up shelters, and give homeless bums work sweeping floors and filing papers. Give ample discounts to interested college students. Heck, give scholarships to a few! Never mind this 'touch assist' crap, going to disaster victims...we know where that goes, we want to see T/A people in public places, preferably in uniform, in case someone sprains their ankle. Demonstrate your healing powers, he said, we don't know how deep the mind/body thing goes -- if Scientology can cure anything, then the first free Scientology clinic (held open-source and open-air) to show appreciable results will convert more people than all the stress tests in the world. Prove exteriorization and make it work exploring hard-to-reach places -- undersea, in blast furnaces, examining satellites.
And lastly, he put it forth to them, exactly on whose side are you on? The wave of change that (in 1968) was liberating people of color, women, the poor, gays and lesbians and even plain old straight people to expect and demand a better life, or sanitized for your protection 1950's Eisenhower 'normalcy'? Did he support the War on Poverty, the Peace movement, the space program? Which side was he on?
Naturally, the Org didn't hesitate in swooping down on this: The Olympia Press, which had made its mark printing erotic/controversial/banned books under France's liberal censorship laws had had "Inside Scientology" seized in London, and slapped both Kaufman and Girodias (the publisher) with a lawsuit. Also, Girodias found his phone service had been cancelled, and various other strange things had happened.
The main problem was that there was no way to sue or harass or blackmail Burroughs. You can sense the consternation here: it was kind of hard to frame anything on a guy who already had owned up in public to being a) a junkie, b) gay, with a propensity towards underage-but-legal-Over-There Moroccans and c) having killed his wife. It was the "Saint Hill" problem all over again: you couldn't put him under "Condition" and make him at all frightened of it.
So they sent him a letter, which pointed out that oh, no, they didn't make people wear 'dirty' grey armbands (they were a dignified dark grey), sec-checks were utterly done and gone, no one uses the word "wog" at all, no, there's no "Fair Gaming", R2-45 was a joke, not a real threat, and you're just being petulant and mean, not at all like a real reviewer.
Giving out free Scientology materials was equivalent to giving someone an electric carving knife and telling them they were a fully qualified surgeon. Mr. Burroughs said he failed to see the analogy, and dryly suggested a power failure. (Kaufman, perhaps more perceptive, pointed out that viewing higher level OT materials had no effect whatsoever on wog experimenters -- without an E-meter and proper training, there's just no response.)
Auditing could not be done on someone "on drugs". Burroughs countered that if someone drinks on the weekend, does that make them "on alcohol"? (Actually, in some early versions of the "Dianetics" book, such as the pre-Volcano version I scored in Canada in the late Seventies, it clearly stated that a bit of amphetamine would often facilitate auditing...I'll just bet it did!) Somewhen along this time, Hubbard went on a personal campaign against LSD, and claimed that it left toxic residue in the body that had to be expunged with niacin, which became the "Purif" of today.
Why was Burroughs so in love with psychiatry, when it was well-known that they were nothing but a fraudulent bunch of neo-Frankensteins, ordering at the least sign of non-compliance, forced institutionalization, shocks and lobotomy? That they recommended such perverted ideas as premarital sex for young girls, and considered anyone who wasn't a Communist or an atheist to be fit only for a slave labor camp? Burroughs answered that a) he found the worst of all psychiatrists merely tools of the Establishment, bent on forcing the individual into the role of the Model Citizen, with a job in a major corporation, a wife, kids, church and membership in the Elks (today I would add the role of the Professional Mental Patient, just as rigid and just as untrue), and the best of them, decent and heroic people who fought for the patient against the establishment, even though they might not be a perfect fit in society, and b) plenty of psychological research was being done without the use of invasive tools: he went on to cite early versions of the EEG and the CAT and PET scans. A great many researchers, he remarked, use only a pad and paper. As for most rank and file psychiatrists, they were harmless enough, though he figured the bulk of them should be demoted to veterinarians, if only to give them a little perspective, and shave off their damn goatees if they wanted to get any respect. Again, he said, if Hubbard was so intent on unsettling the status quo, he should go after the real Puppet Masters, the Big Businessmen he seemed so fond of admiring, and find some other model than a military one.
As a parting shot, Burroughs spoke about the harassment of Olympia Press, and of an Executive Order that had gone down at the time he was studying, calling for "Fair Game" and R2-45 on anyone who 'squirreled' Scientology. At the time, there was a belief within the Church that mere directed hate, especially that towards an enemy was enough to destroy them. Well, it looked like something more was going on to destroy Ron's enemies than simply ill wishes...The Scientology Flak had little to say....The resulting material has been published as Naked Scientology...Ali smiles...