HUBBARD AND THE OCCULT

                          By Jon Atack

                   (Part four of four parts)

  Having shown many comparisons between Crowley's work and
Hubbard's, and having shown the common intent of both systems, I
shall now move on to the secret rituals of Scientology. The
attempt to obtain magical powers is certainly not unique to
Hubbard and Crowley. Every culture seems to have its own

  One common element to most cultures is the belief in
disembodied spirits. Disembodied spirits can be found in the
teachings of all the major religions (99). Crowley shared with
many the belief that such spirits can be used in the practice of
magic (100). Most of the secret teachings of Scientology concern
such disembodied  spirits.

  Toward the end of his life, Hubbard wrote some chirpy pop songs
which were recorded under his direction (101). One of these
songs, The Evil Purpose, begins "in olden days the populace was
much afraid of demons  and paid an awful sky high price to buy
some priestly begones". The song goes on to explain that there
are no demons, "just the easily erased evil purpose". In fact,
the Operating Thetan levels are concerned almost entirely with
"body thetans" or indwelling spirits or demons.

  Hubbard first floated the idea to his adherents in spring 1952,
during his first Scientology lectures (102). He spoke of "theta"
as the life-force and went on to describe "theta beings" and
"theta bodies". Mention was made again that June in the book What
to Audit, which is still in print, minus a chapter - as
Scientology: A History of Man. Here Hubbard said that we are all
inhabited by seven foreign spirits, the leader of which he called
the "crew chief". The idea did not find favour, so it was
abandoned for fourteen years.

  In December 1966, in North Africa, Hubbard undertook "research"
into an incident which he claimed had occured 75 million years
ago. In a tape recorded lecture given in September, 1967, Hubbard
announced his revelation to Scientologists. One the same tape he
boasted about his wife Mary Sue Hubbard's use of "Professional
Intelligence Agents" to steal files. His wife, the controller of
all Scientology organizations subsequently went to prison.
Scientology continues to claim that its creator knew nothing of
the events that put his wife into prison, but also continues to
sell the tape. Armstrong, Hubbard's former archivist has said
that the Hubbard archive contains letters written while he was
creating Operating Thetan level three. In his lecture, Hubbard
claimed to have broken his back while researching. Armstrong told
me in 1984 that Hubbard had in fact got very drunk and fallen
down in the gutter. A doctor had been called out to him to deal
with a sprain. Hubbard also detailed his drug use in this
correspondence. In February, 1967, Hubbard flew to Los Palmas and
the woman who attended him there has told me that he was taking
enormous quantities of drugs and was in a very debilitated state.

  The result of Hubbard's "research" was a mixture of
science-fiction and old-fashioned magic. According to Hubbard, 75
million years ago, Xenu, the overlord of 76 planets, rounded up
most of the people of his empire, some 178 billion per planet -
and brought them to Earth. Here they were exploded in volcanoes
using hydrogen bombs and the spirits or thetans collected on
"electronic ribbons". Disorientated from the massacre, the
disembodied thetans were subjected to some 36 days of hypnotic
"implanting" and clustered together. From seven indwelling
spirits per person Hubbard's estimate had gone into the
thousands. The "implants" supposedly contained the blueprint for
future civilizations, including the Christian teaching, 75
million years before Christ. Operating Thetan level three had to
be kept secret, according to Hubbard, because the unprepared will
die within two days of discovering its contents. The story has in
fact been published in many newspapers without noticeable loss of
life. Hubbard was so taken with his science fiction, that he
finally wrote a screenplay  called Revolt in the Stars about the
"OT3" incident, ignoring his own warnings.

  It is often the case with Hubbard's work that he has simply
taken other ideas and dressed them up in new expressions. Careful
study shows that Dianetics included such words as "operator",
"reverie", and "regression" common to hypnotic practitioners at
the time. On leaving Scientology, most people cannot see that the
"body thetans" of Operating Thetan levels three to seven are in
fact the demons of Christian belief. The "OT levels" are
factually the  most expensive form of exorcism known to man.
Unfortunately, such beliefs and practices can have a severe
effect upon practitioners, who take Hubbard's warning to heart
and come to believe themselves multiple personalities. I have
been called to help in several times in such instances.

  Indeed, the whole process of "auditing" can be seen as an
update of magical ritual. Scientology is a mixture of occult
ritual and 1950s style psychotherapy. The adherents travel
through increasingly expensive initiations with the hope of
attaining supernatural powers. There are badges, symbols and
titles  for almost every stage of the way.

  Other links with ritual magic have emerged. A peculiar event
occured aboard Hubbard's flagship, the Apollo, in 1973. Those
aboard ship  responsible for overseeing the management of
Scientology organizations were involved in a ceremony called thee
Kali ceremony after the Hindu goddess of destruction. The whole
was staged very seriously, and the managers were led into a dimly
lit hold of the ship and ordered to destroy models of their
organizations. A few years before, a high-ranking Sea
Organization Officer claims to have been ordered to Los Angeles
where he was meant to mount an armed attack on a magician's
sabat. He did not mount the attack but claims that the meeting
happened exactly where Hubbard had told him it would.

  In 1976, Hubbard ordered a secret research project into the
teachings of gnostic groups. He had already carried out a project
to determine which of his ship's crew members were "soldiers of
light" and which "soldiers of darkness". The latter group were
apparently promoted. Jeff Jacobsen has provided insight into a
possible connection between Hubbard's OT levels and gnostic
teachings (103). Jacobsen quotes from the third century Christian
gnostic Valentinus: "For many spirits dwell in it {the body} and
do not permit it to be pure; each of them brings to fruition its
own works, and they treat it abusively by means of unseemly
desires". Jacobsen goes on to cite the gnostic Basildes, man
"preserves the appearance of a wooden horse, according to the
poetic myth, embracing as he does in one body a host of such
different spirits." Jacobsen points out that multiple possession
seems to have been considered normal by these gnostics.
Possession equates to madness in orthodox Christianity, and
example of multiple possession are rare [the Gadarene swine for
example]. Jacobsen draws other interesting parallels between
gnosticism and Scientology.

  Another former Sea Organization member affidavited a meeting in
the 1970's with an old man whose description fitted Hubbard's.
She claimed to have been taken to the top floor of a Scientology
building by high-ranking officials and left there with this man,
who performed the sexual act with her, but very slowly (104).
Indeed, in the way advocated by Crowley and called karezzo. No
outside witness has corroborated this statement.

  I have already said that the public and private faces of
Scientology are very different. The vast majority of Hubbard's
followers are good people who genuinely believe that the
techniques of Scientology can help the world. Most are ignorant
of the hidden Fair Game teachings. Hubbard presented himself as a
messiah, as Maitreya the last Buddha, but in fact he was
privately a highly disturbed and frequently ill man. There are a
number of reports of his drug abuse. He advocated the use of
amphetamines (105). He admitted to barbiturate addiction (106)
and was also at times a heavy drinker. His treatment of those
around him was often deplorable. Although holding himself out as
an authority on child-rearing, his relationship with his children
was geniunely dreadful. He disowned his first son, barely saw his
first daughter, and Quentin, the oldest son of his third
marriage, committed suicide. Quentin had reached the highest
level of Scientology twice. He was a Class XII auditor and a
"cleared theta clear", but he was also a homosexual. Hubbard was
publicly homophobic - saying that all homosexuals are "covertly
hostile" or backstabbers. I have received alarming reports of his
sexual behaviour. I must emphasise that these reports are not
corroborated, so can only stand as allegations.. One Sea
Organization officer claims to have witnessed a sexual encounter
between Hubbard and a young boy in North Africa. Another claims
that Hubbard admitted to a sexual relationship with one of his
own children. It is impossible to substaniate such reports. But
such behaviour would be in keeping with an extreme  devotee of
Aleister Crowley who said that in the training of a magican "Acts
which are essentially dishonourable must be done." (107).

  In conclusion, I believe that Hubbard was a classic psychopath.
Some trauma in infancy separated him from the world and made him
untrusting of other people. This developed into a paranoia, a
need to control others. He created a dissociated world, inhabited
by the Empress. Bear in mind that he actually saw the Empress in
full colour, and that she spoke to him (108). From his comments
about automatic writing and speaking, it could be averred that
Hubbard was in fact "channeling" the Empress. Hubbard separated
off a compartment of himself calling it the Empress and gave in
to its urging. He lived a life of dreadufl contradiction. He
claimed expertise in all things, but factually was a failure at
most. Some will see him as having a psychiatric complaint, others
will believe that he invoked the very devil, or Babalon, and was
possessed. Hubbard's own belief lives on with all of its
contradictions in his teaching. Ultimately, as Fritz Haack put
it, Scientology is twentieth-century magic.


(1) Atack, Jon, Lyle Stuart Books, New Jersey 1990
(2) Sigmund Freud, Clarke Lectures 1-3, in Two Short Accounts of
Psycho-Analysis, Penguin Books, London, 1962, Cf Hubbard
"Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health" and "The
Dianetic Auditors Course"
(3) Hubbard HCO Policy letter "Keeping Scientology Working", 7
February 1965
(4) e.g. acknowledgements lists in Hubbard's "Science of
Survival", 1951, and "Scientology 8-8008, 1952, Phoenix Lectures,
p. 264
(5) Grinker and Speigel, "Men Under Stress",  McGraw-Hill, New
York, 1945
(6) Sargant, "Battle for the Mind", Heinemann, London, 1957.
Hubbard had a copy of this book on his library shelf in
Washington, D.C. in 1958. It also has relevance to other aspects
of Scientology.
(7) Hermitage House, 1950
(8) Fodor, "The Search for the Beloved - a clinical
investigation of birth and the trauma of prenatal conditioning",
Hermitage House, 1949
(9) Wolfe & Rosenthal, Hypnotism COmes of Age, Blue Ribbon, NY,
1949, Young Twenty-Five Lessons in Hypnotism, Padell, NY, 1944.
Both recommended by Hubbard in Research & Discovery, volume 2,
p. 12, 1st edition.
(10) Jeff Jacobsen has written two interesting papers relevant
to any discussion of the origins of Scientology. Dianetics: From
Out of the Blue, the Skeptic, UK, March/April 1992, which
discusses the origins of Dianetics and The Hubbard is Bare,
1992, a more general discussion including comments about Crowley
and gnosticism. I have worked for some time on a set of papers
which discuss Hubbard's plagiarism, as yet these are
(11) A Piece of Blue Sky, pp. 119 & 125-126.
(12) A Piece of  Blue Sky, pg. 128
(13) See particularly the  chapters on Bergson and Spencer.
(14)  See also Jacobsen's The Hubbard is Bare and Bent Corydon's
L. Ron Hubbard, Messiah or Madman? Corydon relied upon excellent
research by Brian Ambry but also upon L.  Ron Hubbard jnr, whose
credibility is questionable. See also L.  Ron Hubbard, jnr, A
Look Into Scientology or 1/10 of 1% of Scientology, manuscript,
(15) Hubbard, "Dianetics: The Evolution of a Science" originally
printed in Astounding Science Fiction, May 1950. Republished by
AOSH DK Publications Department, 1972, quotation from p. 56, see
also p. 59.
(16) Burks, "Monitors" CSA Press, Lakemount, Georgia, 1967.
(17) King, Francis, The Secret Rituals of the OTO, C.W. Daniel,
London, 1973.
(18) Revelation, chapter 17.
(19) Secret Rituals of the OTO
(20) Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice, Castle Books, New
 York, p. 88
(21) Magick in Theory and Practice, p. 120
(22) There is contention between the various OTO groups about the Book of
Babalon. Its existence is sometimes denied, and the OTO New York
have claimed that only a fragment exists (published in Parsons,
Freedom is a Two-Edged Sword, Falcon, Las Vegas, 1989) I have
read three versions of the manuscript, one is the Yorke
transcript, another is un-named. The third was published in
vol.1, issue 3 of Starfire, London, 1989.
(23) Published by  Isis Research, Edmonton, Alberta, 1980, ed Plawiuk
(24)  Professional Auditors Bulletin, no. 110, 15 April 1957.
(25)  Author's interview with 15th degree Rosicrucian, 1984.
(26)  Hubbard, Philadelphia Doctorate Course, lecture 18 "Conditions
of Space-Time-Energy".
(27) Philadelphia Doctorate Course,  lecture 18
(28) Philadelphia Doctorate Course, lecture 35
(29) Philadelphia Doctorate Course, lecture 40
(30) Hubbard, Philadelphia Doctorate Course, lecture 1, "Opening, What is to
be done in the Course".
(31) Thoth Tarot Deck, US Games  Systems, NY, ISBN 0-913866-15-6.
(32) Crowley, The Book of Thoth, Samuel Weiser, Maine, 1984.  First
edition 1944.  (33)
(33) Book of Thoth, p.  75
(34) Book of Thoth, p.  76
(35) Francis King, The Magical World of Aleister Crowley, Arrow Books, p. 56
(36) Crowley, Confessions, Bantam, New York, 1971, p. 693.
(37) e.g, Book of Thoth, pp. 136
(38) Cavendish, The Magical Arts, Arkana, London, 1984, p. 304
(39) A Piece of Blue Sky, p. 99
(40) Francis King, Ritual Magic in England, Spearman, London,
1970, p. 161
(41) Litt, in Church of Scientology v Armstrong,  vol.  26, p.  4607
(42) Hope, Practical Egyptian Magic, Aquaarian, Northants, 1984, pp.  39
& 47.  (43) HCO Policy
(43) HCO Policy letter, Penalities for Lower Conditions, 18 October 1967,
Issue  IV.  (44) HCO Executive Letter, Ampriministics, 27 September
(44) HCO Executive letter, Amprinistics, 27 September 1975.
(45) e.g. HCO Policy Letter, Ethics, Suppressive Acts,
 Supression of Scientologists, the Fair Game Law, 1 March 1965.
 The offending part of the text was read into an English court
 judgement (Hubbard v Vosper, November, 1971, Court of Appeal).
 In USA v Jame Kember and Morris Budlong, in 1980, Scientology
 lawyers admitted that despite public representations Fair Game
 has never truly been "abrogated" (sentencing memorandum,
 District Court, Washington, D.C.  criminal no. 78.401 (2) & (3),
 p. 16, footnote). The Policy Letter which did eventually cancel
 it, off 22 July 1980, was itself withdrawn on 8 September 1983.
 Unknown to MOST of its adherents, Fair game is still a
 scripture, and according to Hubbard's Standard Tech principle
 binding upon Scientologists.  Hubbard issued a murder order in
 1978 under the name "R2-45" (The Auditor issue 35).  Thankfully,
 this order was not compllied with.
 (46) See for example the technique called False Data Stripping and Hubbard's
 comments on controllling people through contradictory
 (47) Interview with Robert Vaughan Young, former Hubbard
 archivist, Corona Del Mar, April 1993.
 (48) Affirmations, exhibits 500-4D, E, F & G, See Church of
  Scientology v Armstrong, transcript volume 11, p.  1886
 (49) Hubbard, Dianetics and Scientology Dictionary, Church of
 Scientology of California, L.A., 1975, "theta" definition 6.
 (50) The Babalon sign with a theta at the centre of a 7-pointed
 star is found in many of Crowley's works, e.g. The Book of
 Thoth. The winged sign of the OTO and the use of the theta sign
 can be found in various place, e.g. Equinox - Sex and Religion,
 Thelema Publishing Co., Nashville, 1981.
 (51) Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary, definition
 of "Operating Thetan".
 (52) e.g., PAB 91, The Anatomy of Failure, 3 July 1956. See also
  definition of "Tone 40" in the Dianetics and Scientology
  Technical Dictionary, "giving a command and just knowing that
 it will be executed despite any contrary appearances"..
 (53) Philadelphia Doctorate Course, lecture 18
 (54) Crowley,  Magick in Theory and Practice, p. xii
 (55) e.g.,  Dissemination Drill, CCHS, Opening Procedure by
 Duplication, Mood TRS & Tone Scale Drills, TRS 6-8, TR-8Q, the
 FSM TR "How to control a conversation". On the OTVII practised
 up to 1982, the student was expected to telepathically implant
 thoughts into others.
 (56) Technical Bulletin of 22 July 1956.
 (57) Crowley, Magick in  Theory and Practice, p. xiii
 (58) ibid,  p.  xiii
 (59) ibid.  p.  xiv.
 (60) e.g. The Tone Scale. For a discussion of Scientology
  beliefs, see A Piece of Blue Sky, pp.  378.
 (61) Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice, p.  xvi-xvii.
 (62) ibid, p. 419
 (63) ibid, p. 9
 (64) e.g., Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice, p. xxiv.
 (65) e.g.  Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice, p. 228.
 Hubbard Have You Lived Before this Life?, Church of Scientology
 of California, L.A., 1977, p.  3
 (66) Crowley, Magick in Theory  and Practice, p.  50
 (67) ibid.  pp.  50 & 228
 (68) Hubbard, Phoenix Lectures, Church of Scientology of
 California, Edinburgh, 1968, Scxientology Axiom 1, p. 146
 (69)  Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice, p. 30
 (70) ibid.  p.  63
 (71) Phoenix Lectures, p. 175
 (72) Phoenix Lectures, p.  173,  Scientology Axioms 26 & 27.
 (73) Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice, p. 110
 (74) ibid.  p.  121.
 (75) ibid. p.  143-144
 (76) Phoenix Lectures, p. 180, Scientology Axiom 35
 (77)  Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice, p. 144.
 (78)  e.g., ibid, p. 147
 (79) ibid, p. 153
 (80) Phoenix Lectures, p. 180, Scientology Axiom 31.
 (81) Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice, p. 251.  Hubbard,
 PAB 1, General Comments, 10 May 1953.
 (82) Crowley, Magick Without Tears, Falcon Press, Phoenix, AZ,
 1983, pp. xii, 26, 407 & 440.  Hubbard, Dianetics and
 Scientology Technical Dictionary, definition of "word clearing".
 Korzybski also advocated understanding of words.
 (83) Crowley, Magick Without Tears, p.  11
 (84) HCO Bulletin,  Confidential - Resistive Cases - Former
 Therapies, 23 September 1978.
 (85) e.g. Hubbard, HCO Policy Letter Routine Three - Heaven, 11
 May 1963 and the original preface to the Phoenix Lectures,
 Hubbard South Africa Association of Scientologists,
 Johannesburg, 1954 "God just happens to be the trick of this
 universe", p. 5.  In HCO Bulletin Technically Speaking, of 8
 July 1959, Hubbard said "The whole Christian movement is based
 on the victim...Christianity succeeded by making people into
 victims.  We can succeed by making victims into people."
 (86)  What is Scientology?" Church of Scientology of California,
 first edition, 1978, p. 301
 (87) H.  Spencer Lewis, Rosicrucian  Manual, AMORC , San Jose,
 (88) Modern Management Technology Defined, definition of Church
 of American Science
 (89) HCO Policy Letter, Former practices, 1968
 (90) HCO Policy  Letter, Heaven, 1963
 (91) cf Hubbard's use of  "wall of fire" to describe OT III & OT
 V. These may also be compared to gnostic ideas.
 (92) The RTC symbol is frequently used, e.g., What is
 Scientology, 2nd edition, 1992, p. 92
 (93) Magick Without Tears,  p. 259
 (94) Cavendish, p. 243
 (95) Paul Bracchi, The Cult and a Right-Winger, Evening Argus,
 Brighton, England, 4 April 1995.
 (96) Letter to the author. Sklar's book was published by
 Crowell, NY, 1977. It was originally released as Gods and
 Beasts. See also Gerald Suster Hitler and the Age of Horus,
 Sphere, London, 1981.
 (97) This symbol is frequently used, e.g., What is Scientology,
  2nd edition, 1992, p. 358
 (98) Suster, Hitler and the Age of  Horus, p. 138
 (99) Francoise  Stachan, Casting out the Devils, Aquarian Press,
 London, 1972. See also Alexandra David-Neel Initiates and
 Initiations in Tibet, pp. 168-169.
 (100) Magick in Theory and Practice, p. 16
 (101) The Road to  Total Freedom, BPI records, L.A., 1986
 (102)  The Hubbard College Lectures
 (103) The Hubbard is Bare
 (104) Affidavit of Ann Bailey, p. 34
 (105) e.g. Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health,
 Bridge, L.A.m 1985, p. 389 or AOSHDK, Denmark, 1973, p. 363. See
 also the Research and Discovery series.
 (106) The Research and Discovery Series, vol.  1, 1st edition
 1980, Scientology Publications Org, p. 124
 (107) Magick in  Theory and Practice, p.  339
 (108) Hubbard ordered that new dust sleeves should be put onto
 his books after he'd released OT3, in 1967.  These book covers
 are supposedly meant to depict images from the 36 days of
 implanting and will supposedly compel  people to buy the books. The
 cover  for Hubbard's  Scientology 8-80, Publications Department, AOSH
 Denmark, 1973, shows a winged couple. The woman could well be the
 Empress. A similar design was used on the dust sleeve of Hubbard's
 Scientology 8-8008 in the 1990 Bridge, L.A., edition.


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