By David Brear, guide to the Amway Labyrinth:
‘Truth exists: only lies are invented.’
Georges Braque (1882-1963)
On Monday Sept. 8th 2008 (almost a decade after a series of frightengly familiar complaints were filed), Judge Jean-Christophe Hullin finally signed a document which ordered that two (apparently independent) French-registered, corporate structures, should jointly-face a criminal charge of ‘escroquerie en bande organisée’ (literally, ‘fraud in an organized gang’). Judge Hullin also ordered that six corporate officers of the aforementioned structures should face the same criminal charge and other charges relating to the ‘illegal operation of a pharmacy.’ Although an echelon of humourless defence attorneys steadfastly pretended their clients to be completely innocent, on Tuesday October 27th 2009, the two corporate structures and their respective officers were duly found guilty as charged in a Paris court. The structures were ordered to pay fines totalling 600 000 Euros (approximately $1.1 million). The most-senior officer, Alain Rosenberg,
was given a two year suspended prison sentence and personally fined 30 000 Euros, whilst three others were given suspended prison sentences and the remaining two personally fined lesser amounts. However, the same echelon of defence attorneys immediately filed an appeal and (completely ignoring the suffering of the plaintiffs) continued to invert established-reality by indignantly portraying their clients as victims. The judge, Sophie-Helene Chateau, was unable to grant the State Prosecutor’s original request for the corporate structures to be closed down without further delay, following a mysterious modification to the relevant French law just before the case came to trial. However, it was feared that such a move might very well have been counterproductive: in that it could drive the same criminal activity underground. Consequently, the judgement has been widely-described (by well-informed observers) as ‘intelligent.’
It was in 1997, when a 33 year old Frenchwoman was approached outside the Opera metro station in Paris by a group of relentlessly enthusiastic individuals who invited her to ‘agree to participate’ in (what they insisted was) a ‘Free Personality/Stress Test.’ She found herself unable to refuse, but her subsequent ‘failure’ in the ‘Test’ led to her becoming totally convinced that she had significant problems which could only be resolved through the purchase of an exclusive ‘Self-Betterment Course.’ The woman had, in fact, allowed herself to be subjected to devious techniques of social, psychological and physical persuasion (designed to identify vulnerable individuals, destabilize their self-esteem and provoke an infantile total dependence to the detriment of themselves and of their existing family, and/or other, relationships). In this way, the woman was given the illusion that she was making a free-choice, but she was (effectively) coerced into buying a collection of progressively more expensive, books, recordings, medicines, esoteric accessories, etc. Before she came to her senses, the woman had parted with more than 20 000 Euros. The most-outrageously over-priced single item (approximately 4000 Euros) was a cheaply-made, handheld gadget, labelled ‘E-meter’
(capable of detecting tiny fluctuations in natural, corporal electrical resistance), which she’d been assured was part of a ‘proven technology’ for measuring and improving the clarity and functioning of a person’s mind and body.
The gang of hypnotic charlatans whom this unwary Frenchwoman had met, were from the Paris branch of ‘The Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre,’ ostensibly led by Alain Rosenberg. The (effectively) valueless pseudo-scientific paraphernalia she’d bought, was the just the start of a typically absurd, but nonetheless dangerous, advanced fee fraud. The materials were mostly supplied via a privately-controlled, limited-liability, commercial company, ‘The Church of Scientology Book Shop.’
Sadly, this recent French prosecution is just one piece of a vast and confusing puzzle, because there are stacks more corporate structures around the globe engaging in lawful, and/or unlawful enterprises, which comprise the pernicious cultic organization most-commonly referred to as ‘Scientology.’ Each one of these autonomous sub-groups has its own paramilitary hierarchy of leaders who answer to the organization’s supreme leader. When the wider picture is examined, ‘Scientology’ sub-groups are revealed as the spokes of a rimless wheel, all feeding cash (and intelligence) back to the central hub. This vast corporate labyrinth is neither original nor unique. Exactly like ‘Amway,’ the shifty ‘Scientology’ edifice has been maliciously constructed to prevent, and/or divert, investigation and isolate the organization’s fabulously wealthy bosses (in the USA) from liability. By its very nature, ‘Scientology’ never presents itself in its true colours. Consequently, no one ever becomes involved with the movement as a result of his/her fully-informed consent. However, the setting up (and sustaining) of such a criminogenic system has been defined in US federal law as a ‘pattern of racketeering activity’ by the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act of 1970 (drafted by Prof. G. Robert Blakey), and clarified by subsequent US Supreme Court rulings. Why the French authorities (who have access to a veritable mountain of evidence stretching back decades) did not take the obvious course of action and file suit against the real leaders of ‘Scientology’ in the USA under RICO, is a mystery. Indeed, the bosses of ‘Scientology’ are demonstrably committing fraud and obstructing justice, and are, thus, in violation of RICO, each time they steadfastly pretend to run the ‘World’s Fastest Growing Religion and Self-Betterment Movement, with 8 millions followers.’ In the adult world of quantifiable reality, the best available estimates (from democratically-accountable European government agencies) reveal that there are currently less than 50 000 core-‘Scientologists’ and that recruitment has been in steep decline for some time. Again, exactly like ‘Amway,’ most people who are initially seduced by ‘Scientology,’ abandon the movement within a short period and without complaint. A significant minority (usually with access to independent funds) remain enslaved for extended periods. It is this core-group of fanatical proselytizers who perpetuate the organization, and who are (unconsciously) both victims and perpetrators of abuse. Down the years, a growing number of courageous whistle-blowers have managed to face this ego-destroying reality, and they have been subjected to all manner of intimidation for their pains. Indeed, many have been coerced into retracting their complaints. Most core-‘Scientology’ survivors simply prefer to remain silent. Yet, interfering with witnesses to racketeering who wish to cooperate with law enforcement agencies (including the filing of malicious criminal complaints and civil lawsuits), is also a violation of RICO.
The latest batch of traumatized and destitute former core-‘Scientologists’ to come forward, are in Australia; where an Independent Senator,
has taken-up their frighteningly-familiar complaints. Following the recent French trial, the Senator tabled a motion in the Australian Parliament, requesting that a public enquiry be held into alleged ‘Scientology’ crimes Down-Under. These include: fraud, embezzlement, covert intelligence-gathering and blackmail, intimidation, forced abortion, sexual abuse, obstruction of justice, imprisonment, assault and assassination. One Australian couple (who were unquestioning ‘Scientology’ core-adherents for over 20 years) now accept that they were (effectively) coerced into parting with more than 1 million Aus. dollars (around US$ 900 000). The ‘Scientology’ Ministry of Truth has falsely portrayed Senator Xenophon as a ‘Fascist’ and the Australian witnesses as ‘paid liars.’ However, this is hardly surprising, since from its outset, ‘Scientology,’ exactly like ‘Amway,’ was maliciously designed as a self-perpetuating, totalitarian cult in which all free-thinking individuals, and any quantifiable evidence, challenging the authenticity of its imaginary scenario of control, were to be mercilessly repressed by first systematically categorizing and condemning them as negative, impure and absolutely evil.
According to various persons who knew him well, as early as 1947, the author of the ‘Scientology’ myth, L. Ron Hubbard,
had privately talked of starting a cult. In 1949, he spoke to a science-fiction group in Newark, New Jersey, and openly boasted:
‘Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous; if a man really wanted to make a million dollars, the best way to do it would be to start his own religion.’
However, it would have been far more accurate for Hubbard to have said:
… if a man wanted to make millions of dollars, then the best way to do it would be to start an advanced fee fraud and call it a ‘religion.’
At this time, Hubbard was living in Bayhead, New Jersey. He’d recently quit California, where he’d been convicted (and fined $25) after pleading guilty to forging a cheque. Although he generally behaved like an irresponsible a teenager, Hubbard was approaching the age of 40. He liked to present himself as an amateur hypnotist and professional adventurer/scientist - a famous writer of books, articles and movie scenarios. In reality, Hubbard (who, prior to WWII, had scraped a living knocking-out formulaic pulp-fiction stories) was deeply in debt and struggling to keep himself and his (bigamous) second wife. After acquiring a disgraceful wartime record in the US Naval Reserve, he was drawing a veteran’s disability pension ($55.20 per month) on the specious grounds that, as a result of various illnesses and injuries contracted during his military service, he could no longer work to keep his wife and children (Hubbard had actually abandoned his lawful family, in 1945). Tellingly, by the time of his death in 1986, Hubbard had secretly acquired control of a vast fortune, estimated (by the US Internal Revenue Service) to be in excess of $500 millions. Sure enough, Hubbard had instigated a swindle which he arbitrarily defined as a ‘religion.’ His fortune (much of which was hidden in overseas bank-accounts) derived from his peddling an unoriginal, dualistic fiction as fact. Fundamental to Hubbard’s racket was a never-ending series of books and recordings recounting his life and achievements. However, the authorized biography of Hubbard (which all core-adherents of the ‘Scientology’ myth must accept without question) reads as though it was patched together from yarns selected at random from a catalogue of comic-books and B-movies. There is a very good reason for this - it was:
The founder of the ‘Church of Scientology’ was born in the ‘Wild West’. He was a descendant of the ‘Count de Loupe’ (‘a companion of William the Conqueror’). His maternal great-grandfather and grandfather were ‘Captains: I.C. DeWolfe and Lafayette Waterbury’ (two of ‘America’s greatest naval heroes’). The infant L. Ron Hubbard lived on a 35 000 square mile ranch with his paternal grandfather (‘a multi-millionaire, Montana Cattle-Baron’)… As an adolescent (when he wasn’t with his Blackfoot Indian, Medicine-Man mentor, ‘Old Tom,’ becoming an expert ‘rider, hunter and explorer, blood-brother of the Blackfoot tribe’ and the ‘youngest ever American Eagle Scout’), Hubbard was an intellectual prodigy studying most of the world’s greatest authors and developing an interest in ‘religion and philosophy.’ Aged 12, Hubbard was sent to Washington where he was schooled by ‘Commander Snake Thompson’ (a ‘friend of his wealthy grandfather’ and ‘close associate of Sigmund Freud’). From 1925 to 1929, Hubbard was a ‘lone teen-age wanderer in China, India, Tibet and the Pacific’… absorbing the ‘culture and wisdom of the Orient’ (financed by his wealthy grandfather). In the early 1930s, Hubbard established himself at George Washington University as a ‘brilliant academic and sportsman’… a ‘dare-devil pilot and parachutist, renowned explorer, navigator and adventurer’… a ‘pioneering geologist, nuclear physicist, rocket scientist, philosopher, engineer and mathematician.’ When his wealthy grandfather died, he was cruelly disinherited and forced to ‘turn to writing science-fiction to finance his scientific research.’ In the late 1930s, Hubbard was a ‘renowned essayist,’ ‘best-selling novelist’ and ‘major Hollywood scriptwriter’… an ‘influential member of American artistic, and scientific, associations.’ During WW II, he was a fearless warrior (the ‘most-decorated officer in the US Navy with 28 medals collected in every theatre of operations’)… a national hero (the ‘first American serviceman wounded in the Pacific, before Pearl Harbour’), who was ‘blinded and crippled saving the crews of his various ships’… a miraculous survivor, who ‘used the power of his mind to restore his own sight, and who twice defied the medical profession to return from the dead.’ After WW II, Hubbard became an ‘agent of US Naval Intelligence’ sent to ‘infiltrate and destroy a satanic Cult in California.’ He then became the ‘world's leading nuclear physicist’… a genius in all fields of literary, philosophical, artistic and scientific, endeavour… a man who (working alone) advanced the work of ‘Aristotle, Socrates, Voltaire, Decartes, Freud, Darwin and Einstein’… he’d acquired his ‘secret wisdom in heaven during his two near-death experiences.’ In 1950, Hubbard published ‘Dianetics the Modern Science of Mental Health’ and became a medical-Messiah and revolutionary ‘psychiatric therapist.’ This was the first in a series of important ‘scientific/spiritual’ publications, in which Hubbard explained a ‘universal method to improve people’s looks, increase their intelligence and cure all known human illnesses (including ageing, and the common cold).’ These books led to Hubbard founding the ‘Church of Scientology’ in 1954. During the McCarthy era, Hubbard was a ‘fearless anti-Communist’ and ‘American patriot.’ In the 1960s, he was forced to take to the high-seas to save his ‘secret research material’ from an army of ‘Soviet spies and double agents’ (including his wife, and numerous former associates)… an innocent victim of the ‘Communist plot to take over the world’… a man pursued all over the globe by the FBI, the CIA, British intelligence services, French intelligence services, etc., all as a result of a conspiracy lies orchestrated by the medical profession and particularly psychiatrists, who were, in fact, the secret agents of an ‘evil extraterrestrial ruler, Xenu, who wants to destroy planet Earth’). Finally, Hubbard revealed that he’d ‘discovered the truth about the nature of existence,’ his human body was only a temporary container for his ‘immortal soul,’ he was really a ‘time-travelling extraterrestrial’ (the ‘saviour of galaxies’), who came to Earth to save humanity from destruction.
The above represents only a fraction of the overwhelming tangle of lies (containing a few feeble strands of truth) which Hubbard piled around himself. Even without access to all the evidence, it’s not that difficult to deduce that the man’s own version of his life and achievements is childish drivel. It is now generally accepted by qualified observers that, as a young man, Hubbard suffered from severe and inflexible Narcissistic Personality Disorder. There have been many attempts to diagnose Hubbard’s exact mental disorder during the later part of his life. One of the best-informed, was made by a senior psychiatrist, cult expert, charter member of the ‘American Family Foundation’ and mental-health advisor to the US Government, the late Dr. Louis Jolyon West (UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute). He first encountered Hubbard in the 1950s, and then monitored his criminal activities with increasing alarm. Finally, in the 1980s, Dr. West (who kept his sense of humour) described Hubbard as:
‘a paranoid Commander-in-Chief leading his forces in a war against the rest of the world, because, like Adolf Hitler, he is an atheist who suffers from psychopathic personality.’
(Dr. West was in rather a good position to be the judge of someone who could act the roles of a prophet and military commander, one of his closest friends was the Hollywood actor, Charlton Heston).
Despite Hubbard’s extraordinary efforts to maintain an absolute monopoly of information (including organizing the infiltration and burglary of US federal government agencies), there is probably more evidence available about the ugly truth lurking behind the Utopian ‘Scientology’ myth, than any other latter-day cultic group. In 1987, Russell Miller, published ‘Bare-Faced Messiah’, ‘The True Story of L. Ron. Hubbard’ (Henry Holt & Co. New York). In the face of malicious threats from ‘Scientology’s’ attorneys, Miller (an experienced and independent journalist from London) spent many months tracking down hard facts about Hubbard, before producing a definitive account of his existence from the cradle to the crematorium. Miller discovered that, in January 1980, an unquestioning core-adherent of ‘Scientology,’ Gerald Armstrong, had already been given permission by Hubbard himself to research and write exactly the same book. By this stage Hubbard (aged 69) was so deluded and stuffed full of nicotine, alcohol and prescription drugs, that he actually believed his own private archive of manuscripts, photographs, diaries, etc. would corroborate the authorized version of his visit to planet Earth. What Armstrong uncovered, led to him beginning to recover his critical faculties. When he foolishly approached the new ‘Leadership of Scientology’ and informed them that he had been forced to conclude that Hubbard was a liar, Armstrong was arbitrarily arrested and charged with ‘18 Crimes and High Crimes against the Church of Scientology.’ He was systematically condemned and categorized as a ‘Suppressive Person’ who was ‘Fair Game’ to be ‘Tricked, Cheated, Lied to, Sued or Destroyed by any Scientologist.’ However, Armstrong now knew that, during the 1960s, Hubbard had sustained major organized criminal activities by imposing his so-called ‘Fair Game Policy’ in order to silence his many victims and critics.
Gerald Armstrong fled ‘Scientology,’ in fear of his life. Russell Miller quotes him as stating:
‘By then, the whole thing for me had crumbled. I realized that I’d been drawn into Scientology by a web of lies, by Machiavellian mental control techniques and by fear. The betrayal of trust began with Hubbard’s lies about himself. His life was a continuing pattern of fraudulent business practices, tax evasion, flight from creditors and hiding from the law. … He was a mixture of Adolf Hitler, Charlie Chaplin and Baron Münchhausen . In short, he was a con man.’
In 1983, the bosses of ‘Scientology’ launched a malicious prosecution (in which they posed as innocent victims under attack) against Gerald Armstrong to recover 250 000 pages of incriminating documentation about L. Ron. Hubbard. A number of courageous, recovering, former core-adherents were located by Armstrong’s attorney to act as defence witnesses. One by one, they explained how they had been abused by ‘Scientology.’ In May 1984, Judge Paul G. Breckenridge (Los Angeles Superior Court) decided in favour of Armstrong and delivered the following verdict on ‘Scientology’:
‘The organization is clearly schizophrenic and paranoid, and this bizarre combination seems to be a reflection of its founder. The evidence portrays a man who has been virtually a pathological liar when it comes to his history, background and achievement. The writings and documents in evidence additionally reflect his egoism, greed, avarice, lust for power, and vindictiveness and aggressiveness against persons perceived by him to be disloyal or hostile.’
Unbelievably, the US authorities who, in 1984, were presented with an open-goal, failed to launch a full-scale criminal investigation, and prosecution, of the ‘Scientology’ organization for violation of the RICO Act. However, it is not too late to rectify this costly over-sight. Perhaps, the US authorities can take a hard look at ‘Amway’ whilst they're at it.
Copyright David Brear
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