I don’t recall having mentioned the writings of L. Ron Hubbard concerning the coming apocalypse/destruction of society/end of civilization, and I don’t think many others have either.
But the good folks who churn out the promotion for Kansas City reminded me that this is part of the “scare” tactics Hubbard employed to motivate people to support his cause.
Of course, this is not a new idea.
The program we did on the Jehovah’s Witnesses earlier this year gave me some insight into the grandaddy of doomsday cults. The JW’s are taught that Armageddon is imminent. A literal firestorm that will destroy the earth. They used to put dates on it — way back in the early 1900’s and through at least the 70’s — then they wised up and stopped predicting with dates certain. Though it is testament to the level of thought control that cults have that the dates coming and going without catastrophe did not cause mass exodus from the bubble. There is always an explanation put forth by those with greater wisdom (ie those at the top) which “makes sense” of the failed prediction. “God is revealing more to us and making things clearer,” “our good work has delayed the end times,” “we have been given more time to save more souls” etc etc. Often the prediction passing without incident is cause for greater commitment to the task at hand of saving those who are ignorant of the truth.
It is an amazingly effective tool to convince people to do things they might otherwise not do. What is the point of saving money? Attending college? Enjoying other pursuits in life. Those things do not forestall the end of the world and thus they have no value. The ONLY thing of value is dedicating yourself and your resources to the only cause that can stave off the looming catastrophe.
While lacking the pervasiveness of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Hubbard used this tool too. Quite often.
He predicted, among other things, the demise of Western governments at the hands of communism and the end of the world through a nuclear holocaust. And of course, the only possible way to avoid these dire consequences was for scientology to succeed and for everyone to work harder at making that happen. In the minds of good scientologists, that these dramatic outcomes have not come to pass is not a reflection of Hubbard’s mistaken beliefs, but PROOF that scientology working — the same logic as “our success is measured by how loud the screams are about how bad we are.” The only way to prevent a nuclear holocaust is scientology. There has been no nuclear holocaust. Thus this proves scientology IS working.
Here is the promotional piece that stirred these thoughts:
This was written in 1965. Only about 10 years into the history of scientology. Now it’s been 60+ years and they are still using the same assertions…
And in the intervening period, a dozen “Five Years” have gone by.
But it doesn’t shake the faith of the believers. They are still convinced these words of Hubbard are not only true, they are worth shouting from the rooftops.
And here are a few more quotes from the “works of L. Ron Hubbard” sent out as “promotional pieces” — often by the IAS as reasons you should hand over your cash. It’s not going to do you any good when the world has ended (it won’t do us any good either, but logic isn’t the point):
And another, just in from Kansas City:
And one from Albuquerque today (spelling mistake and all):
And this is how they are pushing the “buttons”: