Scientology's Secret War Against Psychiatry

by Chris Owen

FromChris Owen <>
SubjectGO FILES #5: Scientology's secret war against psychiatry

What is the overall goal of Scientology? To "clear the planet", right? Wrong; for it turns out that L. Ron Hubbard secretly abandoned this goal in 1969, in a secret minute which he sent to his wife Mary Sue, Controller of the Guardian's Office (GO). The document in question was one of the tens of thousands released by the US Government following the criminal conviction of Mary Sue Hubbard and her GO colleagues in 1979.

We've all seen examples of how obsessively paranoid Hubbard was about psychiatry, a trait very much institutionalised by Scientology. In Ron's Journal '67 (RJ67), a tape which is still required listening for Scientologists, he declares:

Our enemies are less than twelve men. They are members of the Bank of England and other higher financial circles. They own and control newspaper chains and they, oddly enough, [run?] all the mental health groups in the world that had sprung up …

Their apparent programme was to use mental health, which is to say psychiatric electric shock and pre-frontal lobotomy, to remove from their path any political dissenters … These fellows have gotten nearly every government in the world to owe them considerable quantities of money through various chicaneries and they control, of course, income tax, government finance — [Harold] Wilson, for instance, the current Premier of England, is totally involved with these fellows and talks about nothing else actually. They organise these mental health groups which sprung up simultaneously all over the world and anything that has mental health in it — in its name — or mental hygiene or other things of that character — such names as that — are part of the organisation which stems from these from these less than a dozen greedy men.

He had already tried to play an active part in bringing down psychiatry. In 1966 he issued a confidential directive, "Project Psychiatry" (SECED 61 WW of 22 February 1966), which is almost certainly still in force — as well as being a study item for GO recruits, it is listed as one of the items on the President CSI Full Hat Checksheet completed by Scientology President Heber Jentszch in 1988. Hubbard declares, without any noticeable sense of irony or, for that matter, any awareness of grammar:

There is a conspiracy here we has [sic] gotten across the path of. Any person in the world can be pronounced "insane", killed or assaulted and made incompetent at the whim of any psychiatrist. Further they pretend they can suspend civil rights! This is a violation of human rights. And far too much power for one group composed of men who at best act insanely when faced with any challenge.

(Replace "psychiatrist" with "Scientologist" here and this passage takes on an interesting new meaning! It is also ironic, not to say hypocritical, that in Introduction to Scientology Ethics, Hubbard should write: "As the society runs, prospers and lives solely through the efforts of social personalities, one must know them as they, not the anti-social, are the worthwhile people. These are the people who must have rights and freedom." Anyone who criticises Scientology is, by definition, an "antisocial personality" and therefore logically should not have rights and freedom.)

Hubbard demanded in "Project Psychiatry" that Scientologists and Scientology-hired private investigators should find

Psychiatric bloodsports. Psychiatric Auschwitz all proven by individual cases …

We want at least one bad mark on every psychiatrist in England, a murder, an assault, or a rape or more than one.

This is Project Psychiatry. We will remove them.

Unfortunately for Hubbard, the private investigator he hired leaked his minute to The People newspaper, which duly denounced him ("One Man Britain Can Do Without", The People, 20 Mar 1966). This deterred him not a jot. By the end of the 1960s he was criss-crossing the Mediterranean in a motley fleet of ships, getting into trouble with governments across the region. His paranoia deepened dangerously. He became convinced that the problems encountered by Scientology were the product of a sinister international conspiracy, which he detailed in a minute to Mary Sue Hubbard, "Concerning Intelligence" (10 March 1970):

… The exact type of attack pattern … repeats itself in every country and it led me to a conclusion that it was directed from some place high up and that it had a central operational headquarters …

Now, on studying this thing further, I find amazingly enough, that there are definite connections with regard to the National Association of Mental Health and the World Federation of Mental Health …

Everything the enemy is doing would be embraced in what is modernly considered to be a public relations company or activity … [The] "Tenyaka Memorial", that plan of campaign against Scientology, all files, all correspondence, all training and everything else is resident in a PR firm which has international connections … this is what is their control of international news media such as we have discovered.

The scale of this supposed conspiracy eventually prompted Hubbard to make a momentous decision: he would change entirely the stated goal of Scientology and Dianetics since their establishment 20 years previously. At the end of Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, he urged: "For God's sake, get on and build a better bridge!". Since then, the promotion and distribution of "The Bridge to Total Freedom" was his top priority. But no longer.

Only a small number of Scientologists — probably not more than a few score members of the Guardian's Office — saw Hubbard's minute of 2 Dec 1969 to Mary Sue, "Intelligence Actions — Covert Intelligence — Data Collection". It was and presumably remains highly classified; for my money, it is perhaps the most important single document to have been released following the trial of the GO felons. The last page of the document is headlined "The War". Underneath Hubbard declares:

Our war has been forced to become "To take over absolutely the field of mental healing on this planet in all forms."

That was not the original purpose. The original purpose was to clear Earth. The battles suffered developed the data that we had an enemy who would have to be gotten out of the way and this meant that we were at war …

By showing him to be brutal, venal and plotting we get him discarded.

Our direct assault will come when they start to arrest his principals and troops for crimes (already begun).

Our total victory will come when we run his organisations, perform his functions and obtain his financing and appropriations.

Hubbard is here saying that Scientology's core goal is no longer the spread of his "tech" but the complete destruction of all other mental health practices. This was not idle talk, as the GO made strenuous efforts to attack psychiatrists — an effort which is still going on, in the shape of Scientology's continued denunciations of psychiatrists and psychiatric drugs such as Prozac. There is certainly little doubt that Scientology's current leaders share Hubbard's objective of the eradication (extermination?) of psychiatry. David Miscavige has been reported to have pledged that psychiatry will have been eliminated by the year 2000. No doubt this promise will quietly be dropped when the millenium comes around and psychiatry continues in rude good health.

This statement by Hubbard is, of course, not one which has ever been publicised. It's hard to avoid the conclusion that the many thousands of people who joined Scientology while this policy was in force — it may still be — were, in a sense, parting with their money under false pretences. Scientology makes much of the need to "get tech in" and "clear the planet", objectives which (in non-Scientology-speak) most other religions share. One wonders what the reaction of ordinary Scientologists would have been if they had learned that their leader had secretly committed them to an entirely different goal.

This secret policy change also has a major impact on an argument ongoing elsewhere on a.r.s. Roland Rashleigh-Barry suggested last week that Scientology might at some point opt for a mass suicide. In the light of its war against psychiatry, this seems distinctly unlikely. It is made all the more so by the fact that Hubbard's anti-psychiatry complex worsened still further in the years before his death. In the 1950s and 1960s, he frequently claimed that psychiatry was a perverted Russo-German doctrine, which he contrasted with Scientology as "the only Anglo-Saxon science of the mind" (there was a strong nationalistic tinge to it in the early days).

By the mid-1970s he had become firmly convinced that psychiatry was more than just an Earthly problem. He had already alluded to the role of psychiatrists in Xenu's genocide in 1968's OT 3 and his 1977 script "Revolt in the Stars" (based on OT 3). While in hiding in Washington, D.C. around 1975, he began secretly to research what he believed was the underlying secret of the universe: a cosmic war between the "Soldiers of Light" and the "Soldiers of Darkness". He characterised people as being either "players", "pieces" or "broken pieces". Only a small number are the players, these being the Soldiers of Light and Darkness, manipulating the rest to achieve their ends.

The Soldiers of Darkness have appeared in various forms through the "trillenia", generally as priests or psychiatrists. According to Hubbard, they return life after life to sabotage the work of the Soldiers of Light and torment the degraded beings, the PTSes and the "robots" (ordinary people, whom he regarded as being incapable of decision). Most of the bulletins in which Hubbard outlines these theories are reportedly highly classified and have never received broad distribution, but I recall having seen one — HCO Bulletin of 26 August 1982, "Pain and Sex" — in one of the red Tech Volumes. It is extraordinary even by Hubbard's standards — he claims that both pain and sex were invented long ago by cosmic psychiatrists to torment people. (Presumably this was written during one of Hubbard's periods of impotence).

I think you can guess who the Soldiers of Light are supposed to be!

It's highly likely that Hubbard has left his successors a number of documents detailing the cosmic psychiatric conspiracy which has caused, as he put it, "the ruin of this sector of the universe". I can't see any chance of Scientology deciding to physically eliminate itself before it manages to take out psychiatry — which, at the current rate, is going to take a very long time indeed. Psychiatry, remember, is no longer just an Earthly but a universal problem; there is no escape to a psych-free place. In fact, as Scientology is (according to Hubbard) the first and only technology of its kind anywhere in the universe, Earth is the first and currently the only place where psychiatry can be beaten. Until it is, there could be no mass suicide or departure for a better place. There is no better place.

In short, Hubbard's own manic paranoia has trapped Scientology into trying to achieve a fundamentally impossible goal: I would willingly bet that there will be psychiatrists for far longer than there will be Scientologists, and who knows? I might even collect my bet before I die of old age…