by James Stout, San Diego, Ca , USA

by James Stout, San Diego, Ca , USA

Scientology

12 May, 2017

by James Stout, San Diego, Ca , USA

May 9th this year was the 57th anniversary of the publication of a book called
“Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health”. The book, which was
remarkably neither modern nor scientific but certainly offered an insight into the
mental health of the author, outlined the ideas of L Ronn Hubbard on just about
everything and went on to form the basis of the religion of Scientology.

Among other proprietary undrstandings of society, sexuality, faith and
community, Hubbard had some interesting views on sexuality. In the book
(which, to be fair was written in a very different time) Hubbard claims that

“The sexual pervert (and by this term Dianetics, to be brief, includes any and all
forms of deviation in Dynamic II [i.e. sexuality] such as homosexuality,
lesbianism, sexual sadism, etc., and all down the catalog of Ellis and Krafft-Ebing)
is actually quite ill physically...he is very far from culpable for his condition, but
he is also far from normal and extremely dangerous to society. “

In a later work, Hubbard wen ton to introduce the subject of what he called the
“Tone Scale” this scale categorized, in a linear fashion, the behaviours which
were most and least beneficial to society. Behaviours could be +40 (very
beneficial) or -40 (very harmful) . Being gay was considered to be “covert
hostility” and given a score of 1.1 He considered gay people to be "skulking
coward[s] who yet contain enough perfidious energy to strike back, but not
enough courage ever to give warning.".

Hubbard seemed to see only heterosexual and reproductive sex as beneficial.
Any other form of sex was taboo as “"since it is non-survival not to have a well
ordered system for the creation and upbringing of children, by families." He
continued that "an individual aberrated enough about sex will do strange things
to be a cause or an effect. He will substitute punishment for sex. He will pervert
others. Homosexuality comes from this manifestation and from the
manifestation of life continuation for others." The aberration in question was a
child trying to “continue the life” of a dominant opposite sex parent. In a later
book promoted by the Church of Scientology, Ruth Minshull stated that
“Homosexuals don't practice love; 1.1s can't. Their relationships consist of: 1)
brief, sordid and impersonal meetings or 2) longer arrangements punctuated by
dramatic tirades, discords, jealousies and frequent infidelity.”.

This perspective on gay people is far from harmless. Hubbard’s own son Quentin
was gay and killed himself in 1976. In 1951, a group in Elizabeth NJ attempted to
“cure” “overt homosexuality” using X ray plates. Hubbard wrote that gay people
should be “taken from the society as rapidly as possible and uniformly
institutionalized; for here is the level of the contagion of immorality, and the
destruction of ethics; here is the fodder which secret police organizations use for
their filthy operations.” Seemingly Hubbard supports the “rounding up” of
people he disagrees with but would cast those same people as the secret police!

Today Scientology claims to be agnostic towards the sexuality of its followers but
an official Scientology website states, "The second dynamic is the urge toward
existence as a future generation. It has two compartments: sex; and the family unit, including the rearing of children. A culture will go by the boards if its basic
building block, the family, is removed as a valid building block. So one can be
fairly sure that he who destroys marriage destroys the civilization."

Social institutions such as religions are often seen as te bedrocks for society and
decency. But when we look at more modern and recently arrived religions we
can see that they often reflect, rather than shape, the biases of society. Scientology is by no means unique or remarkable for its view on the LGBTQ community. But the way that it came to this point of view is obviously and documentably a reflection of existing social stigma. What have your experiences been with religion? Is it something you see positively?