Some space opera doctrines of
* 1 Origins * 2 Narratives and civilizations * 3 Space opera and Scientologists * 4 Criticism and leaking * 5 Analysis * 6 See also * 7 Notes * 8 References * 9 Bibliography
(It should be noted that although this article regularly refers to Xenu, Hubbard in many of his lectures and writings actually uses the name Xemu).
L. Ron Hubbard created a form of therapy known as
Dianetics , which
he promoted as a scientific, not religious, teaching. Until the early
1950s, he had a negative view of organized religions, but thereafter
discussed spiritual topics. In these teachings, he identified
subconscious memories of past events, which he called "engrams ", as
causes of human dissatisfaction. By 1950, he had begun to ponder past
lives , believing that they could be recalled; he attempted to use
these recollections to develop a comprehensive narrative of the
universe. He founded the Church of
In Hubbard's efforts to shift from a psychotherapeutic to a spiritual program, he introduced the concept of thetans : a set of godlike, non-corporeal entities capable of creating and shaping universes, later trapped in the MEST and confined, by reincarnation, to physical bodies. Hugh Urban of Ohio State University states that these teachings bear similarities to Gnosticism , although he doubts that Hubbard was well versed in Gnostic thought.
In the 1950s, as Hubbard's followers recalled their past lives, he recorded many details of these recollections. With this as his source, he constructed an intricate history of the universe, identified as "space opera ". Although Hubbard believed that he had developed a comprehensive history, Urban cites the isolated and incomplete record of the statements, wherein Hubbard identified a thetan universe, separate from the material universe, created by its inhabitants. The material universe, in Hubbard's view, began when other universes created by thetans collided, from which they entered the material universe in six invasion groups roughly 60 trillion years ago. Hubbard also described a series of events, called the "incidents", that divorced the thetans from their self-knowledge, but maintained that thetans could regain their former divinity, and referred to thetans that freed themselves from the material world as "operating thetans".
NARRATIVES AND CIVILIZATIONS
Classic pulp space opera cover. Planet Stories 1945.
Hubbard located his first 'incident' four quadrillion years ago, in which a thetan encountered 'loud cracks and brightness' and then observed a cherub and chariot before experiencing total darkness. In Scientology, this is known as "Incident 1". Another important event in Scientology's chronology of the universe, occurred on a space city known as Arslycus, the inhabitants of whom brought about an incident when capturing thetans.
The most controversial portion of Scientology's space opera is the
Xenu , known as "Incident 2", in which Hubbard described a
group of 76 planets, orbiting stars visible from Earth, organized in a
Galactic Confederacy c. 75 million years ago, ruled by the dictator
Xenu. The confederacy having become overpopulated,
several billion of his citizens onto
DC 8 planes to the planet
Teegeeack (Earth), ostensibly for tax audition. There, hydrogen
bombs were detonated inside volcanoes , killing the exiles, whose
thetans were brainwashed on
Hubbard also taught that, upon the deaths of humans, thetans
continued to "implant stations", including locations on planets near
Earth, where their memories were erased and new memories emplaced. On
grounds that some "implant stations" were better than others, Hubbard
advised his followers to avoid the one on
Another significant encounter in Hubbard's narrative occurred when a large group of planets formed the Marcab Confederacy , described as in search of slaves, and called a "decadent" society. The author related that this civilization caused a significant implant upon their encounter with thetans.
Hubbard discussed the history of human civilizations on Earth, and the lives of ancient sea monsters and fish people, as well. He also said humans could recover memories of previous lives, such as the experiences of clams and Neanderthals . In his mythos, Atlantis was a completely electronic civilization, whose inhabitants possessed disintegration technology; in contrast, Earth was invaded by multiple groups around 1200 BCE, including the "fifth invader force from Martian Command" against the "fourth invasion force from Space Command" in battle.
On premise that thetans are forced to believe various faulty ideas, the church teaches that their courses allow "theta beings" to be freed from these beliefs and regain their former abilities. Committed Scientologists pursue courses and procedures offered by the church in the hope of gaining freedom and enlightenment, allegedly permitting travel around the solar system. The author referred to the process of a thetan leaving its human body as "exteriorization", which he said allowed for space travel. Urban notes that this is similar to Aleister Crowley 's teachings of astral projection , although he adds that Hubbard did not use that term.
SPACE OPERA AND SCIENTOLOGISTS
A glossary on the
" Space opera has space travel, spaceships, spacemen, intergalactic travel, wars, conflicts, other beings, civilizations and societies, and other planets and galaxies. It is not fiction and concerns actual incidents."
Although Hubbard spoke openly about space opera in the 1950s,
Rothstein states that space opera is a "part of the total fabric of Scientological thinking and narrative, but not of prime importance." He argues that these teachings are a "second order belief", in that they exist to support the group's core teachings about thetans. Mike Rinder , a former spokesman of the Church of Scientology, stated that extraterrestrial auditing is merely "a small percent" of their canon.
CRITICISM AND LEAKING
Scientology's space opera teachings were publicized in accounts given
by former church members, most notably during court cases. One such
case was filed by a former Scientologist,
Larry Wollersheim , against
the church in 1980. Five years later, Wollersheim offered confidential
In 1990, after being sued for libel by the Church of Scientology,
Steven Fishman , a former member turned critic, offered a large amount
of the group's highly confidential teachings in court. The documents,
contained in what is known as the
Fishman Affidavit , included
detailed accounts of the church's space opera narratives. This
material was subsequently posted on alt.religion.scientology and a
website of Dutch journalist
Former Scientologists and members of the anti-cult movement often
discuss Scientology's space opera teachings. They generally take a
rationalistic approach to the narratives and see them as absurd, or
even as drug-fueled delusions, using them as a source of humor. The
doctrines have been satirized in popular culture, most notably in the
South Park episode "Trapped in the Closet ". The anti-Scientology
Operation Clambake prominently uses space opera doctrines in
their criticisms of the church, casting the implausibility of the
stories as a clear reason to reject the group. Anti-cult critics of
Rothstein argues that in the construction of the space opera narratives, Hubbard drew from tropes common to his audience. The concept of a Galactic Confederation, Rothstein observes, was present in other UFO religions of the 1950s;
* In contrast to the overpopulation and atomic bombs were often discussed therein. Urban cites UFO encounters and alien invasions as popular themes during the Cold War ; * Rothstein draws parallels between Hubbard's teachings and the beliefs of UFO religions, citing similarities between thetans trapped in human bodies and the walk-in hypothesis of the Ashtar Command . Andreas Grünschloß notes Scientology's space opera teachings place them in the tradition of the ancient astronaut hypothesis; he states the group's teachings about thetans bears similarities to "star seeds" found in UFO religions.
Grünschloß speculates the UFO-contact narratives may have played a role in the group's development of space opera, specifically citing the resemblance of Hubbard's description of life in Xenu's time to statements by George Adamski , a UFO contactee of the 1950s. Rothstein notes the group's teachings about extraterrestrials varies greatly from most of the UFO movement, particularly in Hubbard's descriptions of demonic characters.
Hubbard was a science fiction writer before starting Scientology, and some aspects of the church's space opera bear similarities to his previous writings. Noting similarities between Hubbard's fiction writing and creation of religious myths, Rothstein argues; "perhaps no division between such categories should be made". Kent posits some of his cosmology, such as the priests and psychiatrists loyal to Xenu, were modeled after events in Hubbard's life, such as his distaste for Christianity and clashes with the psychiatric establishment. Hubbard theorized science fiction writers sometimes recalled portions of events from past lives and incorporated it into their works, and Urban writes Hubbard's science fiction writings "contain more than a few seeds of Hubbard's religious movement, the Church of Scientology".
Rothstein argues Scientology's space opera identify
Xenu as the root
of evil and Hubbard as the hero, for having uncovered the mysteries
of the universe. Rothstein states the group's teachings about
"salvation" may be a means to encourage reverence of Hubbard. In
addition, Rothstein notes the space opera teachings also provide
fundamental justifications for some practical aspects of Scientology,
including the rejection of psychiatry and the formation of the Sea Org
. He sees space opera as similar to most types of mythology,
involving superhuman beings in the far distant past. Willms states
the mythology of
* ^ Former scientologist Mark Rathbun discussed an account of the origin of psychiatrists that he says was passed from Hubbard to David Miscavige . The account casts psychiatrists as originating on the planet Farsec and being sent to Earth to control its population. There they took the form of priests and shamans before becoming psychiatrists. (Rathbun 2013 , p. 238)
* ^ America's Alternative Religions, by Timothy Miller, 1995, ISBN 0-7914-2398-0 ;page 386 * ^ "About Us". Observation Mountain Academy. Observation Mountain Academy. Retrieved 2 April 2015. * ^ "e-meter". Ron's Org Grenchen. Ron's Org Grenchen. 2015. Archived from the original on 3 April 2015. Retrieved 2 April 2015. * ^ Urban 2011 , p. 57–59. * ^ Bromley 2009 , p. 90. * ^ Urban 2011 , p. 61. * ^ Bromley 2009 , pp. 90–91. * ^ Urban 2011 , p. 64–65. * ^ Urban 2011 , p. 66. * ^ Urban 2011 , pp. 68–69. * ^ Urban 2011 , pp. 69–71. * ^ Urban 2011 , pp. 71–72. * ^ Urban 2011 , p. 72. * ^ A B C Urban 2011 , p. 74. * ^ A B Urban 2011 , p. 75. * ^ A B Bromley 2009 , p. 91. * ^ Urban 2011 , pp. 81–82. * ^ A B Grünschloß 2004 , p. 427. * ^ A B C D E F G H I Kent 1999 . * ^ A B C D E F Urban 2011 , p. 76. * ^ Urban 2011 , pp. 75–76. * ^ Reitman 2011 , p. 99. * ^ A B C D E Urban 2011 , pp. 103–104. * ^ Rothstein 2009 , p. 380. * ^ A B C Rothstein 2009 , p. 381. * ^ A B Reitman 2011 , p. 100. * ^ A B Reitman 2011 , p. 49. * ^ A B Sappell & Welkos 1990 . * ^ Grünschloß 2009 , p. 230. * ^ Reitman 2011 , p. 40. * ^ A B Rothstein 2009 , p. 366. * ^ Urban 2011 , pp. 78–79. * ^ Urban 2012 , p. 106. * ^ Urban 2012 , p. 107. * ^ Wolf 2005 . * ^ Grünschloß 2004 , p. 428. * ^ A B Rothstein 2003 , p. 263. * ^ Urban 2011 , pp. 107–108. * ^ Rothstein 2009 , p. 376. * ^ Rothstein 2009 , p. 378. * ^ Rothstein 2009 , p. 377. * ^ Urban 2011 , pp. 135–136. * ^ A B Urban 2011 , p. 198. * ^ Willms 2009 , p. 249. * ^ A B Rothstein 2009 , pp. 367–369. * ^ Mail & Guardian, November 22, 2009 . * ^ Grünschloß 2009 , p. 231. * ^ A B C Rothstein 2003 , p. 264. * ^ Rothstein 2009 , p. 370. * ^ Rothstein 2003 , p. 265. * ^ Reitman 2006 . * ^ Urban 2011 , pp. 183–184. * ^ Urban 2011 , pp. 186–188. * ^ A B C D Rothstein 2009 , p. 371. * ^ A B C Rothstein 2009 , p. 383. * ^ Feltmate 2011 , p. 347. * ^ Rothstein 2009 , pp. 379–380. * ^ Urban 2011 , p. 73. * ^ A B C Rothstein 2009 , p. 375. * ^ Rothstein 2009 , p. 374. * ^ Urban 2011 , pp. 35–36. * ^ Rothstein 2009 , p. 379. * ^ Rothstein 2009 , pp. 376–379. * ^ Rothstein 2009 , pp. 381–382. * ^ Willms 2009 , p. 248.
* "Celebrities Lead Charge Against Scientology".
Mail & Guardian .
November 22, 2009. Retrieved September 13, 2012.
* Bromley, David (2009). "Making Sense of Scientology". In James R.
* v * t * e
Beliefs and practices
* The Bridge
* Comm Evs
History and controversies
Alaska Mental Health Enabling Act
* Church of
Arenz, Röder and Dagmar v. Germany
* Church of
* The Hole
Hubbard Association of Scientologists International
International Association of Scientologists
L. Ron Hubbard House
* Office of
* Status by country * Australia * Belgium * Canada * Egypt * France * Germany * New Zealand * Pakistan * Russia * Taiwan * United Kingdom * United States
* Bob Adams
* John Carmichael
* Tommy Davis
L. Ron Hubbard
Mary Sue Hubbard
* Going Clear