Chapter 4

Scientology and Self-defence

'The merit claimed for the Anglican Church,' wrote Emerson, who had no love for it, 'is that if you let it alone, it will let you alone.' Scientologists, on the whole, seemed to be letting people alone in this country until the mid-fifties. But they do not seem ever to have promised that they would let you alone at any time, if that meant not sending you literature. Their mailing list for free copies of Freedom Scientology must now be prodigious. Copies go to every member of both Houses of Parliament and to many other public men, to men and women in the medical world, to editors and journalists and 'formers of opinion' and into countless street-door letter-boxes in selected areas. You can see them lying discarded in streets and railway stations.

On 28 February 1967 all members of Parliament received a letter from the Hubbard College of Scientology expressing the hope that they would consent to 'be informed to some degree on scientology, since we dare to hope that someone will espouse the freedom which we in England hold so dear'. It continued:

We admit to the following crimes, if such they are:

  1. We are in a minority;
  2. We are a religious group.
We do not, nor should we be accused of

  1. Attempting to heal the sick
  2. Attempting to cure the insane.
It referred to an episode at Saint Hill Manor concerning a young woman, a former mental patient, who went to work there 'on a temporary basis', formed an emotional attachment to a scientology 'minister', and was enrolled as a student for 'auditing' and admission to the fold. Her story, a very sad one, became the best-known among those in support of allegations that: the scientologists got hold of mentally ill people and made them worse; and it was recounted in full by her mother, Mrs Hilary Henslow, when she gave evidence in defence of Mr Geoffrey Johnson Smith, MP, during the libel action brought against him by the scientologists - see page 75. The scientologists say that they were unaware, when the girl went to work for them, that she had a history of mental illness. She left their employment to work at a local laundry; and a month later she ran one night from her mother's home to the police station (it was 3 a.m.) and was found to be still in a disturbed mental state. She figured prominently in the House of Commons debate already referred to but Saint Hill Manor had got in first with its letter to MPs on 28 February 1967:

This unhappy story gave the newspapers and others of a lurid turn of mind the opportunity to further their vehement attack against us with libel and slander. And so the pattern repeats itself, the well-worn pattern, as follows:

  1. To commit libel and slander against our Church in the newspapers;
  2. To call upon the Government in the form of a Minister of Health to take action against us;
  3. To then get a Parliamentary debate or enquiry going;
  4. To finally call for some legislation and/or appropriation for mental health.
The repetition of this attack has occurred and is occurring so frequently that it has begun to be completely predictable and somewhat boring. It would be laughable if those behind it were not in such deadly earnest and set so destructively upon such a course against us.

And who are behind this pattern of attack? Not the medical doctors. Members of our congregation, unlike those of other faiths, do not refuse medical help or assistance. You will find our members duly enrolled on the lists of private or public general practitioners. They have their children with the usual medical assistance. They have inoculations, blood transfusions, operations or whatever is required to keep them in good physical health.

However, our members do not belong to such groups as the National Association for Mental Health [1] nor do they see psychiatrists. This is one of our biggest crimes. Like other heretics (and there are quite a few amongst the authorities) we do not believe that electro-convulsive therapy, brain surgery such as leucotomies or prefrontal lobotomies, are effective treatment for the mentally insane. Indeed we believe such so-called therapies to be cruel mediaeval practices which damage the individual beyond hope of complete repair. Like the Russian authorities, we believe that brain surgery is an assault and rape of the individual personality [2]. If you have ever had the personal tragedy of having a dear and loved one returned to you after electro-convulsive therapy or after brain surgery, and found in that loved one no longer the flash and sparkle that was once uniquely theirs, and have had to adjust your life to that which is no more, then you know whereof we speak. If you have had no such experience, then, God willing, it is hoped that you and yours will be spared such an ordeal and tragedy.

We exclude from our religious observances people who have been the unhappy victims of what is called 'treatment' for the mentally insane, not because we feel no compassion or mercy for them, but because we have no facilities for them, no mental nursing home where they can be given the rest and quiet they require. Our worst crime, dear Member [3], is that we have said what we believe about such psychiatric practices - we have not only said it, we have written it for all who will see or who will listen. We have no Lord Balniel, Chairman of the National Association for Mental Health, in the House of Commons, to whom we can look for appeal. We have only a blind faith in the greatest institution in the world and you as a member of it - a faith that you will assure the protection of a minority, and that you will uphold the liberties of freedom of thought and religious worship.

Sincerely yours,
Monica Quirino,
Secretary for the Congregational Members

The scientologists were to find that not even the Judges regarded their chapel assemblies as occasions of 'religious worship', but that was merely for the purposes of registration under the Places of Worship Registration Act 1885 and the fiscal advantages that such registration confers [4]. And a year later, in August 1968, the note of anything you could call persuasiveness disappears from scientology's public utterances. There now appeared a broadsheet headed FREEDOM - The Inside Dope, which began in these terms:

You have probably seen Scientology and Scientologists accused of all sorts of misdeeds in the last few days. You may have noticed that a trial by ministerial pronouncement, television discussion, newspaper release and insinuations seem to have taken place and that the sentence has been partially carried out [5]. But the intended victim won't keep still for the axeman to chop off his head. He keeps talking back. He keeps insisting honest men have rights. And in an entirely insolent way he will keep growing and growing. The next attack to be launched will be that "Scientologists expose the crimes of those who try to wipe it out" [6]. That's a very interesting charge. If a man doesn't have crimes, why should he object? Is it not in the interest of the honest (the great majority of society) to know the crimes of those who live within it; posing all the while as honest men? Scientology is not on trial now! That trial took place last week. This is the beginning of a new era; now we demand an enquiry and this is what we demand to know! Would you like to know too? If not, don't read on. Do not judge harshly; do not judge at all. But you do have a right to know!

Those who did read on embarked on a long 'open letter' to Mr Kenneth Robinson, the Minister of Health. It had no signature, though it was written in the first person singular. At the top was the name of a woman MP who was certainly not its author but who was quoted as having said (in some context not disclosed) that 'Freedom and Democracy have Departed this House'. It told Mr Robinson he would be the first such Minister to have legislated against a religious philosophy, and it then launched into a torrent of abuse that fell impartially upon the National Association for Mental Health, its vice-president Lord Balniel, its secretary Miss Mary Applebey, and a number of MPs who had spoken adversely of scientology.

What was the offence of the National Association of Mental Health? Apart from having had Mr Kenneth Robinson for its vice-president until he became Minister of Health, what had it been doing that scientology was unable to approve of? It was accused of having asked its voluntary workers visiting mental homes and hospitals to 'introduce scientology as a point of discussion with patients in order to gather evidence'. This perhaps is what ought to be done by an organisation concerned with the safeguarding of mental health; but 'to their credit', said the scientologists' open letter,

the great majority of the voluntary helpers would have nothing to do with it. But who originated that request? Sorry to rake up old hat, but why didn't you [still meaning Mr Robinson] or one of your duly authorised representatives come and talk to us? ... I think that you have embarrassed the Home Office too. If one is going to do an investigation, do it like an honest man, openly, even noisily. I ask you, Mr Robinson, why involve perfectly nice Home Office people [7] in your Machiavellian machinations? Clear the air, Mr Robinson. Set the record straight. Can you deny that you have conducted a smear campaign ... We are not the stuff of which victims are made. Martyrdom appeals to us not at all. We have never sought to FORCE our ideas on society. We have presented them and we have grown. You have started a witch hunt and called it prevention under existing law.

Then there was a statement attributed to the Daily Telegraph (no date being given):

The police enquiry was ordered by the Home Office as a result of the statement by Mr Robinson, the Health Minister, in the House of Commons last Thursday, that the Government considered the cult 'socially harmful'.

'WHO ORIGINATED THAT LIE?' demanded the letter in block capitals.

We know that continuous phone-tapping, on a Home Office warrant, has been going on for months.

At least two Scotland Yard detectives have been working away trying to find crimes that do not exist. Not since last Thursday, Mr Callaghan, Home Secretary! Can you deny it's been going on for months ... ?

We have understood from friends of ours in New Scotland Yard that Government officials have ruthlessly been trying to find something wrong all along, but to no avail. We do not disclose the names of our friends. They are honest men.

By contrast, there was a later reference to two police officers by name. A 'public relations' man had been offering to whitewash the scientology image:

All we had to do was give in completely, issue a statement saying we were sorry, give all our money away, pay him £1,000 a month, and in five years' time no one would worry too much about us again. He even told us that Scotland Yard were investigating us. 'In thirty days,' he said, 'the fraud squad will be down on you'. Well, we knew that. The midday press had issued a release from Scotland Yard stating that detectives had been investigating us for the past few days.

Now Scotland Yard has told the detectives concerned, Chief Inspector FYALL and Detective Sergeant PRICE, that if they don't find anything within the next 10 days, to give up. They've been at it now for five months, although they coyly only mentioned the last five days. They could search on for the next ten years without finding anything, unless they put it there themselves. Though we do not imply that any Scotland Yard detective would do that. ...

Scotland Yard were quite surprised to learn that their brilliant detectives had been known to us all along.

The attack was thus warming up (the scientologists would call it the counter-attack), and a legal clash with the National Association for Mental Health began for the first time to seem likely. From among a variety of scientology broadsides one may perhaps select, as representative of the next phase, an issue of Freedom Scientology which appeared early in 1969 as 'International Edition No. 1'. By this time, orthodox psychiatry had been branded by the scientologists as a system of murder, sexual perversion and monstrous cruelty, and the National Association for Mental Health as a criminally motivated 'psychiatric front group'. No one seemed to be taking much notice of these accusations, and new ways had to be found of hotting them up. The new attack began thus:

We are faced with the Government threat of total obliteration on the grounds of pressure from psychiatric front groups, whose ambitions and crimes are notorious, who cure nothing, who seize and kill and to whose monstrous violations of human rights the Government remains knowingly and wilfully blind. We are being forced to fight back, to defend ourselves from complete obliteration. We do not want to do so.

L. Ron Hubbard then waded in. 'The psychiatrist and his front groups', he wrote in the same paper, 'operate straight out of the terrorist text books. The Mafia looks like a convention of Sunday School teachers compared to these terrorist groups.' Why, whatever could the doctors be up to? Read on:

Setting himself up as a terror symbol, the psychiatrist kidnaps, tortures and murders without any slightest police interference or action by western security forces. Instead these forces attack churches [8] and peaceful, decent, social groups under the direct orders of these terrorists. Rape is rape, torture is torture, murder is murder. There are no laws that let even a medical doctor do these things. The men who directed the attacks on Scientology in the press and Parliament were also directors of the main psychiatric front group ... A psychiatrist kills a young girl for sexual kicks, murders a dozen patients with an ice-pick, castrates a hundred men. And they give him another million appropriation. ...

Thousands and thousands are seized without process of law every week over the 'free' world; tortured, castrated, killed. All in the name of 'mental health'. Terrorists never operated more effectively in any land with less interference and less outcry. The evil is so great the public won't confront it. 1984, here we come!

And as if to mark this passage of time, a full-page cartoon depicts the figure of Death wearing the traditional vestments of Father Time and holding a gigantic scythe whose blade bears the one word PSYCHIATRY. He is standing on a shrivelled map of England, and in the sky there appear (for some reason) the words FEE FI FO FUM. This figure becomes, from now on, a familiar feature of scientology's cheery evangelism. In another cartoon he is brandishing his scythe above a small but rather corpulent-looking Christ on the Cross. 'Down you come,' he says, 'I'm looking after things now. Your kind are no longer needed.' And the psychiatrists are condemned 'out of their own mouths' in an article that begins:

Psychiatry is completely anti-Christ and subversive. This has been stated publicly by the leaders of this so-called 'world-saving' cult in their various speeches. Psychiatry denies God. Psychiatry ridicules the Bible and its teachings.

Psychiatry advocates promiscuous sexual behaviour and perversion. Psychiatry attacks national sovereignty and personal loyalties. Psychiatry attempts to commit 'patients' to institutions, homes and death camps, without any fair trial or hearing procedure, completely negating the human rights of the individual.

There was still no response. No one seemed to mind. Accordingly 'International Edition No. 2' of Freedom Scientology took matters a little further. Mr Kenneth Robinson, wrote Mr Hubbard, 'advocates personally the easy seizure of anyone in the UK for dispatch to death camps'. And 'Press chains headed by men who were also directors of the psychiatric front group, Cecil King and Sir William Carr, kept pounding at scientology, urging "official action", trying to build up an anti-scientology public opinion and obliterate it ... Not one crime has been found in scientology; but ... psychiatry has seized and killed tens of thousands of people they don't like.'

It is said that scientology breaks up families. They don't, but psychiatrists call their own rape and death of men's wives "necessary treatment" ... How could allied nations hang Germans at Nuremburg for these crimes and yet award heavy appropriations at home to run their own death camps?

There followed a cartoon in which two psychiatrists were shown bullying the British Government into submission. The psychiatrists, this time, were not death's head figures: they had goats' legs and tails, wore surgeons' jackets but no trousers, and brandished respectively a long whip and a bow-saw. But what seemed more significant than anything that had yet appeared in the scientologists' new campaign of aggression was that the dozen or so members of the Government, most of whom were cringing on their knees, had the heavily exaggerated Jewish faces that the Nazi Julius Streicher once used for his anti-Semitic cartoons in Der Sturmer. Was it a portent?

The voice of Ron took up the message:

For more than twenty years I have watched Governments in the West make it easier and easier to seize people without warrant or process of law. I've seen 'insanity' redefined as someone who disagrees with the social autonomy. I've seen with my own eyes men and women being tortured and killed in 'institutions'. I've listened to psychiatrists detail their inhuman experiments and brag about their sex orgies with patients and sterilisation of those with whom they wanted 'sport'.

In all this time I've not seen ONE person helped or cured by them. But I've seen plenty of their patients who were ruined. I don't think the average citizen could watch one of their shock 'treatments' without throwing up. ...

We in the Church of scientology are seeking to help prevent the collapse of Western civilisation. We ourselves have been mauled and oppressed for two decades of false accusation at the hands of an enemy so blood-spattered he looks more like a vampire than a man.

The World Federation of Mental Health presents a fairly diffuse target. 'International No. 5' had a go at it:

There is probably no organisation on earth that operates as illegally as the WORLD FEDERATION OF MENTAL HEALTH. This psychiatric front group, advocating injury and death for the insane and anyone they wish to seize and pronounce 'insane', is a fly-by-night corporation, registered to do business in Delaware, the US State where Corporations are given with no questions asked. But it does not do any business in Delaware. It used to operate illegally in Switzerland. It was not registered to do business there. Yet it engaged in money-making activities for twenty years. ... Its directors have some dizzy personal retirement scheme in addition to a fantastic salary of £7,000 a year. All this is paid for by local contributions to 'help the starving insane'.

This World Federation had an international membership of societies such as (in England) the National Association for Mental Health. They all called themselves National something-or-other (continued the scientology attack) and this was quite illegal. 'They are not part of any Government, they just falsely state they are. They are private profit-making groups ...' Yet 'the US Government hands out vast sums to organise World Federation for Mental Health "congresses". These are attended by Russian and Iron Curtain country delegates. ... The international network pushes dope, advocates death and easy seizure. ... The reason government agencies do not act against them is that they control, by holding wives and daughters as hostages, many political figures. ... If their programme of "Mental Health" is closely examined it will be found to be curiously like the plans of Stalin and Hitler, complete with seizures in the night, weird experimental surgery and death camps. The only organisation that is making any progress against these people is scientology.'

The world, in fact, is 'full of mental homes in which the red hands of psychiatrists push, pull and twist as they create zombies, vegetables and corpses'.

It was at about this time that L. Ron Hubbard's attention was 'recalled' to the work of C. G. Jung, 'one of the three major psychiatric authorities who are Freud, Jung and Adler.' Jung, he discovered, believed in Druidism, and the druids had practised human sacrifice. This, announced Ron,

is the first clue I have ever had as to why psychiatrists think they have to kill and injure people. Many psychiatrists have told me, when I interviewed them, or when they tried to get me to take themselves or their wives for treatment, that electric shock retards a mental patient's recovery by about six weeks on the average, that when it does not kill them it usually breaks their teeth and often their spines [9]. Over 1,200 were killed outright by electric machines in the US in one year. As to 'operations' on the brain, they die either at once or within two to five years, according to psychiatric official tables. ... Jung, Druidism and human sacrifice offer for the first time some clue as to what it is all about. Psychiatric front groups [10] act frantically against any group who might discover their crimes.

The Ministry of Health, too; and its successor the Department of Health and Social Security. But here the scientologists caught the weapon of ridicule and turned it on the enemy. Freedom Scientology No. 6 reported with mock solemnity a visit to the Ministry, the home of a 'cult that is little known', although it's 'really an old cult with a new name'. This cult was 'not headed by a doctor but by an ex-insurance clerk' (a reference to Mr Kenneth Robinson, who was an insurance broker at Lloyd's before he turned to politics in 1949), 'A sad-faced man, whom none of our reporting team has so far managed to interview, but we understand he has "resigned his position" since our investigating team began its investigation.' And the exposure continued:

Any young girl can walk into this den of iniquity and obtain literature on sewage disposal, bacteria, 'special hospitals' and contraceptives. When our reporter asked the nervous mini-skirted girl, who confessed, after questioning, that she was employed at the headquarters, "Why do you do it?" she broke down and said: 'It's what I'm paid for.'

There were religious overtones (by the use of the word 'Ministry') to this quack cult, most of whose officials have had no medical training. It is now called the Department of Health and Social Security, and is led by a man who has claimed great academic qualifications [11] but - our investigators can today reveal - is also not a doctor.

At great personal risk, a respectable member of our investigating team tried to gain access to a door which bore the sign: No Admittance to Unauthorised Persons. A highly placed official denied anything sinister in answer to one of our investigators (who was there under an assumed name). He stated 'Of course we do not have orgies in there.'

It may be difficult to accept that orgies do not go on inside the Department of Health and Social Security, but the main thing is the disappointment. To make this easier to bear, the 'send-up' concluded with three stern questions:

  1. Why is there a liquor advertisement so near their front entrance?
  2. What goes on in their lush, expensive office suites?
  3. Can they deny mixed parties go sailing at weekends and wear bathing costumes?
A bogus church was thus exposed - and one with 'big money contributions in the form of "insurance" payments from every working member of the population. Their income runs into millions and many of the hierarchy receive large salaries and own motor cars. ... A lady to whom one of our team spoke in a nearby pub said "They must be stopped"; but she appeared too terrified to say who.'

And so the attack went on. 'The biggest mistake they ever made', promised Ron in Freedom No. 9 of 1969, 'was to attack scientology.' And in 'A Statement from Freedom's Editor', issued late in 1969 (but, as usual, undated), there appeared this reaction to the now universal reference to Scientology as a 'cult'.

In England one is not allowed to attack coloured people, Jews or Catholics. Call us a 'cult' and there is no hold barred. An Englishman's right to be innocent until proved guilty is swept under the carpet, and when we hit back and stand up for ourselves we are accused of being oppressive to the Home Office.


1. At the time of writing this is once again true; but it was not for want of trying.

2. If the Russians at any time believed this, their recent contributions to medical literature suggest that they have not allowed it to discourage them.

3. The dear Member was the MP reading the letter, not a member of the church of scientology.

4. This would apply, of course, only to the 'Chapel' at Saint Hill Manor, a relatively small portion of the total rating assessment.

5. i.e. presumably that immigrants were no longer being admitted to study scientology at East Grinstead.

6. Author's italics. Their significance will appear later.

7. The Home Office people fell from grace a little later.

8. i.e. the 'church' of scientology?

9. There were certainly some bone fractures in the earliest days of ECT. Modern anaesthesia induces a relaxation rendering impossible any fracture by muscular action.

10. e.g. the National Association for Mental Health

11. This must have been Mr. R.H.S. Crossman.

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