The Anderson Report

PREFATORY NOTE

There are some features of scientology which are so ludicrous that there may be a tendency to regard scientology as silly and its practitioners as harmless cranks. To do so would be gravely to misunderstand the tenor of the Board's conclusions. This Report should be read, it is submitted, with these prefatory observations constantly in mind. Scientology is evil; its techniques evil; its practice a serious threat to the community, medically, morally and socially; and its adherents sadly deluded and often mentally ill.

Its founder is Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, an American now resident at Saint Hill Manor, East Grinstead, Sussex, England, who falsely claims academic and other distinctions, and whose sanity is to be gravely doubted. He is the governing director of, and has absolute power in, a world-wide organization named Hubbard Association of Scientologists International (the HASI), which promotes the practice of scientology and canvasses for adherents in most of the countries of the Western World. In eight years to 1964, scientology became strongly entrenched in Victoria.

For many years Hubbard was a prolific and successful writer of science fiction; the theories of scientology which he has developed have altogether extraordinary and novel qualities, rivalling in fantasy the most advanced science fiction.

Many scientology techniques, beyond the elementary stages, are essentially those of command or authoritative hypnosis, and are potentially dangerous to mental health. Scientology processing or "auditing" is administered by scientology trained "auditors" who have no knowledge or appreciation of, or skill in, orthodox psychiatry or psychology; they are generally unaware of the dangers of the techniques which they practise and are unable to detect in their patients a variety of symptoms which would indicate to a medical practitioner or a trained psychologist mental and physical conditions which may require professional treatment.

A pseudo-science called "dianetics", also founded by Hubbard and claimed by him to be "the modern science of mental health", is an important part of scientology and categorically but falsely claims to cure 70 per cent. of man's ailments. Though scientology formally professes not to treat or cure physical or mental ailments, in a covert way it creates the impression that it does, and it frequently processes individuals for the purpose of curing or alleviating their ailments.

Scientology procedures have done very considerable mental harm to individuals who have been persuaded to undergo processing and training. In many cases, mental derangement and a loss of critical faculties have resulted from scientology processing and have continued long after the individuals concerned have ceased active association with scientology. In a number of instances the direct result of scientology processing has been to produce mental derangement which has required hospital treatment.

In the initial stages of scientology, its practitioners, using recognized psychological methods commonly found in schools, clubs and welfare and social organizations, have on occasions produced some apparent benefit for some people; but the enthusiasm resulting from such transient gains is deliberately exploited by the HASI to produce a subservience amounting almost to mental enslavement from which, because of fear, delusion, debilitation and other conditions induced by scientology processes, the individual finds it extremely difficult, and often impossible, to escape. The dubious and temporary benefit which some people claim to have received from scientology processing does not justify the continuance by unskilled and ignorant operatives of practices which are positively harmful to mental health.

Though there was no evidence of blackmail in the popular sense, yet because of the domination which scientology asserts over its adherents who have been persuaded to reveal their innermost secrets in the course of processing, the potentiality for the misuse of confidences reposed in the HASI is great; the existence of files containing the most intimate secrets and confessions of thousands of individuals is a constant threat to them and is a matter of grave concern. This aspect is the more serious because copies of these reports are also held at Saint Hill Manor in England.

The appeal of scientology is at times deliberately directed towards the weak, the anxious, the disappointed, the inadequate and the lonely - those unduly concerned about themselves, who in some cases are mentally unwell. At other times it is directed at university and senior school students, ambitious business men and women, public servants, school teachers, housewives and others.

Scientology offers to "make the able more able", to remove "suppression", to improve IQ and personality, to proof people against mental and physical illness and to bestow a variety of other benefits, offering sure success by allegedly infallible means. All these claims are entirely unjustified. Public advertisements generally make no mention of scientology theory or advanced techniques; they merely offer lectures and benefits "without obligation" and make extravagant promises.

1


The principles and practices of scientology are contrary to accepted principles and practices of medicine and science, and constitute a grave danger to the health, particularly the mental health, of the community. Expert opinion to this effect was fully confirmed by the considerable number of specific cases of damage to mental health of which the Board heard evidence.

Many individuals have paid very large sums of money to the HASI for processing and other services, amounts of over 1,000 not being uncommon. The hourly rates for processing range from four and a half guineas downwards. Frequently, courses of processing extend over hundreds of hours; for these there are reduced rates. Financial hardship to the customer is the usual concomitant of processing. For the six years ended the 30th June, 1964, the gross income of the HASI was over a quarter of a million pounds, on which a flat 10 per cent. levy was payable to Hubbard's headquarters in England. In addition, considerable sums have been received by the Australian College of Personnel Efficiency at Geelong and the Melbourne College of Personal Efficiency at Hawthorn, two offshoots of the HASI.

Scientology has highly undesirable processes, many of which are hypnotic, wherein normal inhibitions and restraints are in abeyance. Sexual matters, normal and abnormal, are frequently dwelt upon extensively and erotically.

Scientology is not, and does not claim to be, a religion. The general attitude of its founder is hostile to and disparaging of religion.

Scientology is a grave threat to family and home life. As well as causing financial hardship, it engenders dissension, suspicion and mistrust amongst members of the family. Scientology has caused many family estrangements.

The Board has been unable to find any worth-while redeeming feature in scientology. It constitutes a serious medical, moral and social threat to individuals and to the community generally.

2


Previous chapter Next chapter

Back to start

Last updated 21 February 1997

Page maintained by Martin Poulter (plmlp@mail.bris.ac.uk)