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‘The Hand That Wields Me’
Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright
2013, Knopf, NY, 430 pages
Book review number 889 and I have no idea why I'm going blind.
Jake leant me Going Clear to read on my eastward journey, suggesting it as a good primer for reading on Mormonism, another quintessentially American religion. Nine hours later I closed the book somewhat reverentially, the author having addressed what I had perceived as both of his weaknesses in the narrative: a focus on celebrity and what had appeared an earlier unwillingness to include “totalistic” and “new” faiths in the lexicon of religion. It turns out that was a brilliant narrative device and Wright writes the best prologue I have read to a nonfiction book of this scope.
Other possible titles I earmarked from the text were:
“the money machine”
“their billion-year contract of service”
“a manipulation of human beings”
“priest-penitent communications”
“the power formula”
I have always been interested in the generation of spiritual traditions, faiths and religions, noting that most religions become coopted by governments as mechanisms for human control even as religions often aggressively seek these partnerships with the State. The presence of chaplains in the U.S. military and the conflation of fiat currency and the worship of God on the Dollar Bill is another hint that separation of church and state has ever been one of America’s foundational lies.
Also, as a science-fiction writer who was asked 8 years ago to draw up a religious theology by a perspective business partner, the opportunity to read an objective account of L. Ron Hubbard’s journey from pulp writer to founder of a world religion with over a billion dollars in assets was too much to resist.
What I did not expect, was that I would be reading an account of a later day Plantation America which I thought extinct and came to discover is painfully intact.
General Observations:
-I cannot name a name, other than the founder’s, without putting myself in legal danger, as this church managed to decisively defeat the IRS in a four-decade legal battle. My ghetto lawyer, Justin W. R. Justice and his paralegal [his nine-year-old autistic daughter] wouldn’t stand a chance.
-Hubbard and every member profiled in the book were: physical cowards, emotionally weak and needy and suffering from severe identity deficit.
-Hubbard was a nearly unparalleled genius, as he correctly identified that psychology and psychiatry had risen among secularized Christian populations of the West as a replacement for the ancient mechanisms of the catholic faith and he constructed a tool that usurped the clinical usurpation of the confessional engineered by Freud and Jung.
-In the deheroized West, Hubbard noted that celebrity play-actors had replaced the heroes, paladins, and crusaders of old.
-Noting that the actual focus of human longing and worship was mere money and that trust in eroding faiths, predatory medical systems and the booming state was on the wane, he developed a money-making system cloaked as self-help therapy and featuring systems of control identical to those enjoyed by the 16th thru 18th century human traffickers of Plantation America.
-Hubbard’s various attempts to become a U.S. Navy captain in WWII were exclusively focused on minimizing risks and gaining celebrity and using Orwellian mind-control techniques and security systems which prefigured the current Deep State. For instance, Hubbard’s fleet of Sea Org. ships, where he got to play Commodore aboard the flagship Apollo, was thought by many nations to be a CIA Liberty Ship in disguised as some floating commune. He even directed a young woman to use his Dianetics Auditing method of extracting confessions—confessions that were extracted as an induction-therapy method and then used to blackmail church members when they lost faith—on behalf of a North African ruler suspicious of his appointees, resulting in at least one general being executed!
Even L. Ron Hubbard could not have made this shit up!
Plantation America Parallels
These have primarily to do with the Church’s total control of its members in almost an identical manner to the control of the folk of Plantation America by Anglican and congregationalist and catholic churches, which all explicitly sanctioned slavery.
-Confinement aboard ships and in workhouses is used to inculcate obedience.
-Church members are placed in debt and that debt is used to extract uncompensated labor—for instance to remodel a billionaire movie star’s home for free.
-Beatings of members of the hierarchy are inflicted on all except the head-master of the church.
-Diet for the master class is sumptuous, even as the diet of the servants is so poor as to result in weight-loss, poor health, miscarriage and death.
-Children are forcibly separated from their parents as punishment for a parent’s sins, usually involving debt accrual, which was the key mechanism for staffing Plantation America workhouses and plantations.
-Married couples are separated or are forcibly broken up as a method of social control.
-Paramilitary operatives are used to imprison slave labor and to recover escapees, who are referred to as having “blown,” a sixties term for leaving a commune without the cult leader’s permission.
-Children are raised as the children of the system, not the family.
-Abortions were often forced, beginning with the Founder’s handiness with coat hangers, and fists to relieve his many abused women of unwanted fetuses.
-Torture, such as licking bathroom floors, are key methods of control.
-Slave catchers operate in gangs and tend to use persuasion before force, usually convincing a runaway to return in custody without a fight, a highly effective method of managing broken-minded people.
-Members of the warrior class [Vietnam special forces vets for instance] are, like Native American warriors in the 1600s and 1700s, employed as mercenary paramilitary operatives, tasked primarily with slave catching and terrorism of the work force.
-Children are worked from ages 5 and up for 6-14 hours, operating dangerous machinery under sleep-deprived conditions.
-Successful runaways who have found refuge are served with a “free-loader” bill for supposed services render while they were enslaved.
-The threat of family separation is used to keep parents in the organization, just like Irish women whose masters had their negroes impregnate them were kept on the plantation by the fact that their children must remain.
-Just as the servant of Plantation America was often compelled or induced to sign himself away as an unpaid laborer in hopes of becoming wealthy himself one day, but rarely escaped the debt cycle of re-enslavement, church members would slave for decades, living 40 to a room, sleeping on floors and in the holds of decommissioned commercial ships in hopes of achieving social status and belonging.
-As with the collusion of English military and judiciary in the trafficking of the English people into America, municipal police—actual on duty LAPD PIGS—and retired Federal Intelligence agents augmented private military forces and slave catchers regularly, just as municipal gaolers and British sea captains were the strong hand of human trafficking in their day.
-Sex slavery, for instance grooming the prettiest woman in the church to be the lover of a movie star, and then consigning her to 12 years of domestic slavery because her menstrual cramps interfered with her companionship duties, also had a parallel in plantation America, where women were sold as wives and if they did not please their husband were then sold as laborers and even hanged.
-Overall, the bringing up of people in a faith which glorifies servitude and impugns heroism and honor [L. Ron Hubbard pointed to Simon Bolivar as a failure because he only freed nations from slavery and did not get rich on it] was Hubbard’s closest link to congregationalist ethics in Plantation America, where the planter who ran and left his women and children to the mercy of the Indians was considered a patriot for preserving his life and his offspring regarded as expendable. Indeed, Thomas white [1630] and Increase and Cotton Mather [1670s-90s] seem to have been in agreement with L. Ron Hubbard that only the top man had rights under God and that all others were rightfully his slaves.
-The nuclear family was used differently in the hands of Hubbard’s followers then by his religious predecessors in Plantation America. In the virgin lands of America the nuclear family was regarded as a tool for destroying the native ecology, as every new house would require the felling of 50 acres of forest, and the forest was the enemy of God. In Hubbard’s time the enemy of he, their pulp god, was the faltering nuclear family, which his followers used to control the individual, often by destroying it.
After reading Wright's masterful and well-documented work, this reader is of the opinion that nothing is more American than the brainchild of L. Ron Hubbard:
-sissy, coward
-and most of all the staunch believer in lies of which he was a party.
No religion better reflects the character of the economic zone I was raised to worship than the aspirational fantasy of a deluded admiral of orphans questing across the insane seas of Modernity.
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Add Comment
c8November 29, 2019 1:01 PM UTC

Ruben beat me to the punch on the Jack Parsons connection. Truly

interesting that JPL was started by an Alistair Crowley acolyte, needing

only Werner Von Braun's expertise fresh from the V2 emporium at Peenemunde to achieve, um, lift-off.

The Parsons-"Elron Hoover" (Frank Zappa's name, IIRC) saga is like

reading a Pynchon novel.

Not caring much about Scientology, I'd have to think they were simply a NXVIM MK-ultra experiment run amok. Of course, all of LA north of Santa Monica Blvd might qualify.
TonyNovember 21, 2019 1:56 AM UTC

Charlie Manson was an early scientologist, reached clear status. The church did prison outreach in the beginning, and Charlie learned alot of manipulation techniques from them.

There's a great big scientology building in downtown Portland, a storefront out in a rich suburb, and every year around Christmas you can get a free personality test at the shopping mall by one of the assholes sitting behind a card table holding an e-meter or whatever it's called. They don't tell you they're scientologists, just offer you the test and act real nice.
responds:November 21, 2019 11:04 AM UTC

In the book the author describes a scientology member who was killed in Portland by her boyfriend. The guy that tried and failed to help her ended up becoming a fixer for the church.
Ruben ChandlerNovember 20, 2019 1:50 PM UTC

L. Ron Hubbub........and Jack Parsons killed a Hollywood prostitute to have sex with.......after the create a homunculus in the finest Egytptian Draconian traditional, to usher in the new aeon. Crowley kick them both out of the OTO. Hubbub was using another name back then. He was also Churchward who wrote the MU series. Jack Parsons started JPL laboratories. Read Love and Rockets: the Jack Parson Story. I could go on ad infinitum but the phone I am on is heading out the door. Loved Going Clear. These total barf bags accost you on the street in Hollywood. They've bought up almost every building on the street.