Its founder, with the merest smattering of knowledge in various sciences, has built upon the scintilla of his learning a crazy and dangerous edifice. The HASI claims to be "the world's largest mental health organization". What it really is however, is the world's largest organization of unqualified persons engaged in the practice of dangerous techniques which masquerade as mental therapy.
No acceptable or recognized standards are prescribed for its practitioners, whose ignorance of orthodox medicine and psychology make them each a menace to the health of the community. They are the more dangerous because of their spurious air of competence and the tremendous amount of mis-directed energy which has gone into promoting the organization and devising techniques, the mentally crippling qualities of which are cleverly concealed.
That many scientologists sincerely believe in the virtues and the efficacy of scientology is apparent from the evidence. Some have become so dedicated to it and have served it so faithfully that their sacrifices cannot but excite compassion. These ardent devotees, though quite rational and intelligent on other subjects, are possessed of an invincible impediment to reason where scientology is concerned.
If one considers self-dedication a criterion, those persons deeply involved in scientology are broadly of two kinds. In the first place, there are professional scientologists who have forsaken many careers, interests and comforts in order to " live" scientology in every sense of the word. Of such a kind were many of the officials of the HASI and the proprietors of the Geelong and Hawthorn centres. ~ many instances they are husband and wife teams, occasionally with young families. Their dedication to scientology has involved great sacrifices, which, however, they were prepared to make to reach and maintain their role as the elite of a New Order. Though they were egregiously wrong in their reasoning and outlook, though they suffered and are suffering the ignominy of exposure and ridicule, many of them are still as fanatically adherent as they were when the Inquiry began, and they are still prepared to immolate themselves for their ideals. They spurn the pity one feels for them ; the prospect of their rescue from their deluded state is problematical, since their continued intimate association with others of a like mind will probably result in their being permanently conditioned by auditing, co-auditing and other oppressive and compelling features of the HASI machine. Few, if any, of these dedicated scientologists whom the Board heard and saw seemed to be conscious that they were perpetrating a fraud masterminded by Hubbard. They seemed to be deluded, mistaken and almost innocent tools.
The other class of people who have been dedicated to scientology are those who have undertaken long courses of processing and training but who have not taken up scientology as a profession, though from time to time they may have been on the HASI staff and they may have done some auditing. While they have continued to be in communication with the HASI, their delusions and subjection to the HASI have been maintained. Their awakening will be distressing, for they once more must face the realities of life. As they emerge from the miasma of scientology there may be some residual effects, for Hubbard's ideas may be so entrenched in their minds that they will still feel compelled to shun the proper medical and other treatment which they may well require.
The overall picture of scientology is thus one of grave disquiet. In the foregoing Chapters of this Report, the Board has sought to deal as fully as the circumstances required with all relevant aspects of scientology in Victoria, and, with one exception, the matters raised in the twelve numbered paragraphs of the terms of reference have been already sufficiently discussed to make unnecessary anything more than a final comment and reference to those parts of the Report where the particular subject matter has been dealt with more extensively.
The one exception is in relation to paragraph 11 of the terms of reference which deals with scientology and children. This aspect is not dealt with in detail earlier in the Report because no extensive evidence was forthcoming in relation to it. Having regard to the effects which scientology processing has produced, not only on mentally disturbed adults but also on persons who were well within the range of normality, the potential danger of scientology processes to children has merely to be mentioned to be appreciated. It remains now to comment briefly on the subject matter of the twelve numbered paragraphs of the terms of reference.
1. The aims, objects and purposes thereof and whether it is capable of achieving to any and what extent such aims, objects and purposes.
(a) Aims, Objects and Purposes.
The professed aims, objects and purposes have about them a laudable quality. In essence it may be said that the aim of scientology is to make the able more able.
(i) The stated purpose of the Hubbard Association of Scientologists International is "To disseminate scientology, to advance and profit its membership. To hold the lines of data of scientology clean and clear. To educate and process people towards the goal of a civilized age on earth second to none, and to survive on all dynamics."(b) Whether scientology is capable of achieving such aims, objects and purposes.
In respect of Australia, the object is to make Australia the first scientology continent or nation, but the broad objective of scientology is to clear the whole world.
(ii) The more immediate aim of scientology is said to be to make the able more able. This aim is variously described and presented to the public as a worthy method of improving personal efficiency ; in reality this supposed aim is the means whereby unsuspecting persons are lured into the organization to be exploited by fraudulent practices and subjected to techniques dangerous to mental health.
(iii) In a covert way, scientology and its companion science", dianetics, claim the ability to cure a great number of physical and mental ailments.
(i) The state of "clear" is a condition variously described and defined but may be simply expressed as free of all aberrations. It is a condition said to be capable of being produced by scientology auditing, but it is a fanciful and imagined state of ecstacy or exhilaration. During and for a short period after scientology auditing some few people have claimed to be clear, but the state is an illusory one. A concomitant of this illusory state is a large measure of detachment from reality. The state of "clear" is not attainable by scientology practices. What is claimed to be the state of clear is an euphoric state, where the mind of the "clear" is divorced from reality.
(ii) As to the more immediate objective of making the able more able, it must be said that scientology achieves no real success in this respect. All but the most elementary of scientology processes are of a hypnotic nature and they are conducted in a manner calculated to have harmful effects on those subjected to them. The effect of such processes may be to give to the individual on whom they are practised a temporary and subjective feeling of elation, but no permanent benefit is obtained and no increased abilities result. Some claim is made that persons who have been processed obtain, in effect, a better understanding of themselves and are more able to cope with their problems, but the Board found such evidence unconvincing. Many of the individuals who claimed to have benefited were still under the influence of processing which they had recently undergone.
At the lowest level of scientology, on what was called the personal efficiency course, the HASI conducts free lectures from which a number of individuals claimed to have benefited. The elementary techniques practised at this stage are not exclusive to scientology, but are comparable to methods available to and used in schools, clubs and welfare and social organizations for the benefit of members and others who need and find help and comfort from companionship and friendship. Such benefits as resulted from the personal efficiency department were not attributable to scientology processes, but to the application of well known and well understood psychological principles.
(iii) Neither scientology nor dianetics is capable of making good the claims they make for curing physical or mental ailments.
(iv) Far from being the boon to mankind which it claims to be, scientology and its practices are harmful. The aims, objects and purposes are not capable of attainment. They are fictitious aims based on fantastic and illusory theories and on techniques which are potentially, and in many cases positively, harmful to the mental health of the community. 2. The persons and organizations by whom and the place or places at which the same is so carried on, practised, or applied.
(a) The Hubbard Association of Scientologists International, a company incorporated in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A. and registered in Victoria as a foreign company, has carried on, practised and applied scientology at 157-159 Spring-street, Melbourne since about 1957, and is still currently so engaged. For a few years prior to 1964, until a date in the latter part of 1964, this company also carried on, practised and applied scientology at 2 Coates Lane, Melbourne.
(b) Several business names have been registered which relate to scientology activities in Victoria. As the names of their proprietors and their addresses indicate, they are connected with the HASI. They are:
Melbourne Test Centre, proprietor, Peter Rogers WilliamsIn each of the above cases, the address has been 157 and/or 159 Spring Street, Melbourne.
Test Bureau of Australia, proprietor, Peter Rogers Williams
Academy of Personal Efficiency, proprietor, Lafayette Ronald Hubbard
Hubbard Guidance Centre, proprietor, Lafayette Ronald Hubbard
Academy of Scientology, proprietor, Lafayette Ronald Hubbard
Hubbard Communications Office, proprietor, Lafayette Ronald Hubbard.
On the 15th February, 1965, the College of Applied Philosophy was registered, the proprietor being the Hubbard Association of Scientologists International, and the address 157-159 Spring Street, Melbourne.
(c) Mrs Katherine Steele, formerly the proprietress of a private school at S Mount Street, Heidelberg, called "The Sylvester Co-Educational College", practised or applied scientology on pupils in the school from about 1955 ; to what extent could not be determined. The school subsequently closed about 1959. Mrs. Steele practised scientology at the above address in respect of a few children in 1960-61. Though still an ardent scientologist, she did not appear to be in practice as an auditor at the time she gave evidence in September, 1964.
(d) Eric Bruce Lake and June Margaret Lake conducted at 68 Yarra Street, Geelong, The Australian College of Personnel Efficiency from September, 1959. They originally held a franchise from the HASI to practise scientology and later had the status of a district office. They were still in practice as scientologists when they gave evidence before the Board in October, 1964. Prior to September, 1959, Peter John Crundall and Phyllis Dawn Crundall had been in partnership with the Lakes in this venture.
(e) Peter Francis Gillham and Yvonne Doreen GilIham have practised scientology in partnership since the 17th February, 1959. They formerly carried on business under the business name of The Melbourne College of Personnel Efficiency, but since the 1st June, 1961, the name has been The Melbourne College of Personal Efficiency. For several years until about the 12th December, 1964, they carried on business at 39 Riversdale Road, Hawthorn. Thereafter, they have carried on business at 235 Camberwell Road, Hawthorn. From the 1st June, 1961, Peter Francis Gillham has also traded as the Hawthorn Test Centre.
(f) James Hamilton Momsen traded under the business names of The Momsen School for Marriage Education and Momsen School of Personal Efficiency at 2 Hartley Avenue, Caulfield, from the 12th April, 1960, and the 1st July, 1960, respectively to the 1st December, 1961. Thereafter he conducted and still conducts the Brahma School of Yoga at 407 Nepean Highway, Frankston. He describes himself as a hypno-therapist and psychologist. He studied scientology at the Hubbard organization in London in 1957, and obtained his HPA certificate. He does not hold a franchise from the HASI and denies that he currently practises scientology and claims to have evolved his own techniques. He has, however, practised scientology, which has influenced the techniques he now uses.
(g) D'Arcy Swain Hunt, of 526 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne, who advertises as a psychologist and ability consultant, claims to have obtained in 1929 the degree of Bachelor of Arts or an equivalent degree at the Stamford University, U.S.A. His study in psychology was limited to his first year. He qualified for the HPA certificate and was intimately associated with dianetics and scientology for several years. He was admittedly a dianeticist and/or scientologist from about 1951, when he arrived in Australia, until at least 1956. In his present business he does not now use an E-meter though he did use an E-meter up to 1956. His charges are £3 per hour. He denies that he is now a scientologist; however, some at least of his present procedures possess features which are found in dianetics and scientology. For the purpose of treating some mental conditions he still considers that it would be immaterial whether the treatment be given by a scientologist or a psychologist.
(h) Roger David Meadmore and Helen McKinnell Meadmore conducted from the 1st February, 1960, to the 26th February, 1961, the business of Roger Meadmore and Associates, personal efficiency consultants, at 39 Riversdale Road, Hawthorn. Thereafter, they conducted the business successively at 505 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne, and 474 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne. They appear to have been inactive since about 1962. They held a franchise from the HCO and part at least of their activities was the practice of scientology, the fees for which ranged from £2 2s. to £10 10s. per hour.
(i) Clifford Edward John Hardy, by occupation a boilermaker, conducted at 336 Victoria-parade, East Melbourne, from the 7th April, 1960, the business of applying and teaching scientology. For this purpose he traded under the names of College of Ability Development arid Problem Clinic. He appears to have had very few clients.
(j) Between 1957 and 1958, a few people - the precise number is uncertain - endeavoured to set up in business as professional scientologists. They do not appear to have succeeded.
(k) David Maxwell Tooley conducts at 21 Bourke Street, Melbourne, The American College and the Australian Centre of Applied Psychology. This man and his businesses are dealt with at length in Chapter 29.
3. The methods, processes, practices, techniques, principles and treatment involved or used or applied in the carrying on, practice, or application thereof.
These aspects are dealt with extensively in preceding Chapters of this Report. Particular reference is made to Chapter 12, dealing with the teaching of scientology; Chapter 13, dealing with scientology auditing processes; Chapter 14, dealing with the E-meter, and Chapter 18, dealing with the parallel between scientology and hypnotic techniques.
4. The circumstances in which and the conditions under or in accordance with which the same is carried on, practised or applied.
Scientology is carried on, practised and applied
(a) in lectures;5. The circumstances surrounding, the principles involved in, the conditions relating to, and the methods applied in the teaching thereof.
(b) in private session with only the student or preclear and the coach or auditor present;
(c) in co-auditing sessions wherein one student audits another. A strict routine is followed in auditing sessions and frequently hypnotic techniques are employed. The matters mentioned under this heading are dealt with extensively in Chapters 12, 13, 14 and 18.
A distinction is to be drawn between -
(a) the giving or receiving of scientology processing andA person who is not and has not been a student may undergo elementary processing, but advanced processing is not available to him unless he is a student whose education in scientology is of a standard appropriate to the processing techniques involved. it is a rule that a person may only be processed at a level appropriate to his knowledge of scientology. Accordingly, eligibility for anything beyond elementary processing involves a requirement that the individual shall have been a student at the Academy of Scientology. Auditing is conducted both at the Academy and at the Hubbard Guidance Centre. An individual may make his introduction to scientology by being introduced by a friend, through free lectures conducted by the HASI, or through the Melbourne Test Centre, or some other associated concern which advertises IQ and personality testing and offers a variety of scientology advantages.
(b) the teaching of scientology principles and practices to enable students to attain scientology qualifications and so practise on others.
The teaching of scientology is dealt with at length in Chapter 12. 6. The nature and amount of fees charged or remuneration received by persons or organizations engaged in the carrying on, practice, application and teaching thereof.
Fees are charged both for administering processing and training students in scientology theory and techniques. At the HASI processing fees have varied from time to time. The ordinary rate was £4 14s. 6d. per hour for processing, but in various ways concessions were available because of various memberships, &c. and also where a "package deal" was done for a course of auditing for a specified period. For instance, an " intensive" of 25 hours was available for amounts ranging around £100; where long courses of processing were undertaken, e.g., for 250 or 300 hours, the rate was lower, in the region of about £2 per hour for the hours of processing actually given.
For processing, the Geelong organization has charged fees generally ranging from 3 to 4½ guineas per hour.
For processing, the Hawthorn organization has charged up to 4½ guineas. Other smaller charges were made for co-auditing and particular courses.
Individual auditors in "private practice" have charged various fees ranging around £2 2s. per hour. One such practitioner for a short period charged £10 10s. per hour.
For training, specific charges were made for individual courses. At the HASI, the following were the fees charged up to November, 1964
|Hubbard Qualified Scientologist Course (HQS)||£40 cash or £44 on terms|
|Hubbard Professional Auditor Course (HPA)||£140 cash or £160 on terms|
From November, 1964, the scale was
|Hubbard Qualified Scientologist||£75|
|Hubbard Certificated Scientologist||£75|
|Hubbard Professional Auditor||£75|
|Hubbard Clearing Scientologist (a course in contemplation)||£100|
The actual amounts charged for processing and training were infinitely variable, the figures given being either the advertised, standard or normal figures.
A negligible amount of training was done at the Geelong and Hawthorn organizations.
For six years to the 30th June, 1963, the income of the HASI was £273,373.
Full details of the financial position of the HASI and of the Geelong and Hawthorn organizations appear in Chapter 5.
7. The instruments, machines, devices or other apparatus used in the carrying on, practice, or application thereof and the manner of use of and the effectiveness of the same.
The only instrument, device or apparatus used is an electrical instrument called an E-meter, for which fantastic claims are made that it records the reaction of the thetan to questions asked. In practice, the preclear holds two electrodes attached to the meter and is thus part of the circuit the auditor asks the preclear questions and the claim is made that the meter records the reaction of the preclear's reactive mind. A variety of deductions are then drawn from the reading of the meter. In reality, the E-meter is akin to a lie detector and is an efficient instrument for recording electrical resistance, and nothing more. The claims made for the E-meter are entirely unjustified.
This subject is dealt with at length in Chapter 14.
8. The illnesses or ailments, mental or physical, treated in the course of the carrying on, practice or application thereof, the effectiveness of such treatment, and whether such treatment is in any way harmful or beneficial or likely to be harmful or beneficial to the persons treated.
(a) The claim is made for dianetics, which is part of scientology, and inferentially for the whole of scientology, that between them they can positively cure all psychosomatic ailments, which it is claimed represent 70 per cent. of man's illnesses.
(b) These claims are entirely unjustified.
(c) On the contrary, scientology techniques, beyond the elementary stages, are potentially and, in some instances, positively harmful to mental health.
(d) Scientology is practised by "auditors" who have no medical training; they use dangerous techniques; they are unable to recognize symptoms and diagnose particular mental and physical conditions of ill health; they indiscriminately apply dangerous techniques irrespective of the circumstances; they not only administer the wrong treatment, but also poison their patients' minds against orthodox medicine and thus prevent them from obtaining proper medical treatment which they may require.
These aspects are dealt with in Chapters 19, 22 and 23.
9. The advertisements used in the carrying on, practice, or application thereof and whether the same have been in any and what manner false or misleading, and whether the same should be prohibited, regulated, or restricted in any and what way.
With few exceptions, in recent years the advertisements addressed to the public generally in the press, pamphlet and preliminary brochure have been confined to offering free lectures, with "no obligation" and "no financial obligation", and promising to make the able more able, to increase confidence, improve IQ and personality, &c. These advertisements have not mentioned advanced scientology theory or techniques, but have been of the "personal efficiency" kind, appealing to the anxious, worried, lonely and ambitious.
Such advertisements are part of a large scale deception, and are designed to inveigle unsuspecting persons into the organization, where high pressure techniques are designed to coerce the gullible..
In advertisements with a more limited distribution addressed to scientologists and to persons on mailing lists, reference is made to scientology processing and courses, and extravagant claims for scientology and dianetics in relation to healing and to attaining the states of clear and OT are common. These advertisements appear in such documents as the monthly Melbourne HASI magazine Communication, which frequently contains articles by Hubbard. The advertisements are false in that they offer the impossible and unattainable goals of scientology, promising attainment through scientology processing.
Books by Hubbard and others on scientology and dianetics are available at the HASI and at some booksellers for purchase by the general public. These books are, of course, a form of advertising of Hubbard's "sciences". Several of these books deal with advanced features of scientology and dianetics.
Advertising by the HASI is dealt with in Chapter 15.
The question of prohibition, regulation or restriction of such advertisements is dealt with in Chapter 31, where the broad topic of advertising generally is considered.
10. Whether persons or organizations engaged in the carrying on, practice, or application thereof have indulged in any and what unlawful, improper, harmful or prejudicial practices or activities.
This term of reference was taken to refer to the practices of scientology and the activities of scientologists qua scientologists.
In scientology there is a very great scope for coercion. Very intimate matters are revealed by preclears in the course of auditing and records are kept by the organization of such revelations.
There was no evidence that blackmail in the legal sense had been practised ; but the basis for such criminal activity exists in the files of the organization and preclears could readily be criminally exploited, though at this stage there is no evidence that it has happened.
However, that coercive use is made of the incriminating confessions contained in the HASI records is undoubted. These confessions, which are often of secret weaknesses and feelings, misconduct and prurient ambitions, are made in such circumstances that the organization develops domination over preclears.
The nature of the coercive use to which the HASI records could be put is dealt with in Chapter 24.
Though the practice of scientology has many undesirable features, such is the novelty of many of its activities that it is difficult to classify them precisely as being in breach of existing laws. That scientology practices and activities are improper and are harmful and prejudicial to mental health is evident. This is the most important and most serious feature of the practice of scientology. It is a large subject, and is the burden of most of this Report; it is dealt with especially in Chapter 23.
11. Whether children under the age of sixteen years have been treated by any and what persons or organizations in the carrying on, practice, or application thereof the circumstances and conditions under which such children have been treated and whether such treatment has been or was likely to be in any and what manner harmful or beneficial.
The application of scientology processing to children does not appear to have developed in Victoria to any substantial extent.
What seemed to be half-hearted attempts were made to establish Saturday morning classes for children both at the HASI in Melbourne and at Geelong. These classes dealt with only the most elementary procedures, which were not novel or exclusive to scientology and were designed to do little more than teach children to mix and play games ; they were psychological techniques and were of a kindergarten nature.
At the Melbourne HASI, Saturday morning classes were conducted from 1961 to late 1962 about 15 to 20 children at a time, aged 8 to 14 years, attended. Saturday morning shoppers rather used the HASI as a creche. These classes were not successful; the children exhausted the auditors and the classes were discontinued.
The evidence showed that in a few instances children with one or both parents in scientology received scientology processing. They received such processing with the approval of at least one parent. The number of children involved was small, the techniques do not appear to have been advanced and the Board did not hear evidence that in fact harm did result from such processing. It appeared from the evidence that one scientologist, Mrs. Katherine Steele, who conducted a private school, introduced scientology techniques into her establishment. Some of these techniques were potentially harmful, though the Board heard no evidence that lasting harm was done to any student at the school. Parents of students became aware of and apparently alarmed by the practices being engaged in, and the school closed. Mrs. Steele also had as private clients a few children to whom she applied scientology techniques. Mrs. Steele was herself "addicted" to past experiences involving extraordinary encounters with electrical phenomena; she claimed, amongst other things, to have been struck by lightning at least twice; her peculiar acquaintance with electricity was reflected in past experiences which her suggestible child preclears revealed when she processed them. The Board did not hear any evidence of permanent harm to these particular preclears.
The Board heard evidence from a school teacher from South Australia, a woman dedicated to her task of teaching brain-damaged children, who gave evidence of some success she had at such work by the use of what she claimed were scientology techniques. However, from the evidence of an expert psychologist of wide experience both in Australia and abroad, it is evident that the methods claimed to be scientological are well known and commonly practised in various parts of the world. They are not in any way the discovery of scientology, but are virtually identical with principles and methods which were known and developed before scientology existed. As already mentioned, the alleged scientology methods of handling young children are those of school and kindergarten psychology. The Board heard no evidence of alleged scientology treatment being applied to brain-damaged children in Victoria.
As to older children under sixteen years, the Board heard very little evidence. Though the public was invited to come forward with any helpful evidence, there was no public response as to the teaching of scientology to children, and the Board on this aspect had to rely, in the main, on evidence of scientologists and the contents of a very few files. However, there seems to be no reason to suppose that the application of scientology to children in Victoria assumed any substantial proportions ; and, except in cases where a parent is a scientologist, it is probable that children are not now being brought into contact with scientology. However, scientology is potentially the same danger to children as to adults, and the absence of positive evidence may well be due to the fact that the practice of scientology in relation to children has been desultory and negligible in Victoria. There is no reason to suppose that its application to children has been in any way beneficial.
A former Chief Probation Officer of the Children's Court, about eight years ago, investigated scientology sufficiently to satisfy himself that it was of no value in treating child delinquents. Of four delinquent children who had some treatment by scientologists, one appeared to obtain some benefit, one lapsed into criminal habits and no information was available as to the other two. The techniques applied were elementary and were not novel to scientology.
12. The terms and conditions under which and the circumstances in which persons are engaged for employment and employed by persons or organizations carrying on, practising or applying the same.
In Victoria, the Melbourne HASI at 157-159 Spring Street, Melbourne, was the only substantial employer of labour. The Geelong and Hawthorn organizations were each a husband-and-wife partnership whose staff establishments were very small ; on the occasions when staff was employed, generally only nominal payments were made ; some of the help was even voluntary. At the Melbourne HASI, the staff was remunerated on a unit basis, each member being allotted a particular number of units according to the position which he or she held. Staff was paid each week according to the number of units held.
The amount available for distribution amongst the unit holders was a fixed percentage of each week's receipts. it was a variable amount and the unit value varied accordingly. There were thus good and bad weeks. At the beginning of the Inquiry the staff of the HASI numbered approximately 70, some full-time and others part-time. The most senior and highest ranking in the organization were receiving an average of about £17 per week, and other full-time employees were receiving about £11 per week. Part-time employees were, of course, receiving less. A few appear to have been voluntary. Frequently, the weekly wage of an individual staff member fell far below the basic wage. By mid-November, 1964, the staff of the HASI was only about one third of what it had been at the beginning of the Inquiry, and the unit had fallen to 1s. 9d. At that time the chief executive officers of the HASI were averaging about £5 per week or less. Some may have been receiving slightly in excess of this amount by performing the duties of more than one position.
The remuneration of the HASI staff was not liberal. Long hours were frequently worked weekend work was common. Hubbard appears to have made it a practice to increase staff whenever the financial position of the HASI improved, thereby perpetuating the depressed rate of remuneration.
Further details of remuneration appear in Chapters 5 and 17.
Last updated 21 February 1997
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