Scientology and democracy

Scientology and democracy

The relationship between the Church of Scientology and democracy can be examined in two ways: internally, as a general decision-making process and externally, as a form of government.

Statements of L. Ron Hubbard

L. Ron Hubbard has made written statements regarding the democratic process and his thoughts on it. He felt that currently democratic organizations were susceptible to an influx of members who might try to destroy that organization, because current democracy allows mentally incapacitated electors, which are receptive for deception [Hubbard, L. Ron., "Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter", 17 March 1965.] . In 1973, "New Statesman" director C. H. Rolph published the book ', which detailed the Church of Scientology's attempts to take over Britain's National Association for Mental Health, through an influx of new NAMH members who were Scientologists [Rolph, C.H., ', 1973., ISBN 0-233-96375-8] .

Hubbard has also been quoted as stating that human groups are likely to "elect only those who kill them" if they engage in democratic processes [Hubbard, L. Ron., "Politics," "Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter", 13 February, 1965.] . In 1968, he stated that Scientology was free from a commitment to any particular political system other than the Church of ScientologyHubbard, L. Ron., "Politics, Freedom From," "Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter", 10 January, 1968.] . In 1970, Hubbard stated: "If you ever have occasion to elect a leader for your group, don't be "democratic" about it" and also remarked that totally democratic organizations have a "bad name" in Dianetics and Scientology [Hubbard, L. Ron., "The Theory of Scientology Organizations," "Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter", 2 November, 1970] .

This seems to derive from a distrust of both non-Scientologist politicians and non-Scientologist voters. Hubbard said, "One of these fine days we will have to turn around and clean up politics because politics can only go astray where criminals are in political control. And if you have the answer to criminality, you have the answer to all politics. Democracy is probably the best political theory workably that has been introduced over the last 2500 years. And the only reason it doesn't work is because you can elect some startingly beautiful man whose hair is silver and whose voice is beautiful, and the ladies dive overboard for him, and you find out you ´ve elected one of the lousiest crooks that anybody ever had anything to do with....No, as long as you have criminals in government, you're going to have trouble." [Hubbard, L. Ron; "Zones of Control and Responsibility of Government," 23 Aug. 1966] Hubbard suggested that the solution was to require politicians to have a Scientology background: "Now, republicanism is representation of subgroups by an individual, and there we're coming somewhere into the mean. Now, if you limit the type of person that can be chosen to represent that group, if you limit the number of types, if you would make it necessary, for him to have certain accomplishments in other words – in your case you would say, well, he had to have a certain IQ and he had to have a certain Grade, or something like this, you know. You´d say, 'Well, nobody below Grade IV can stand for assemblyman,' do you see? And you had a right to examine his auditing reports and credentials, you see. Well, you´d be fairly safe, you see...Now, this – this then is probably the direction government will go under Scientology, if Scientology has much influence upon government." [Hubbard, L. Ron; "Government and Organization," 1 Nov. 1966]

Democracy within the Church

The Church of Scientology operates in levels of hierarchy, rather than a democracy. During founder L. Ron Hubbard's lifetime, all policy came down from him and was the basis for any organizational decision. Today, David Miscavige and the Religious Technology Center are the top echelon of the Church's power structure. On internal matters there is a very specific chain of command to implement those same administrative rules set up by Hubbard while each organization remains autonomous in their corporative setup and legal matters.

Democracy outside the Church

The Church of Scientology, on their official website says: "Scientology is nonpolitical. Individual Scientologists hold their own political views and tend to support governments or political parties which form democratic systems, honor the dignity and freedom of citizens and protect human rights." [Church of Scientology's [ FAQ] ]

In the HCOPL (policy letter) of 13 Feb 1965, reissued 7 Oct 1985, Hubbard states that his criticism is not with democracy itself but the way it is practiced by "human" governments of today, comparing them to "monkeys" practicing "ape-think" and "idiot-fascism." In this policy letter, he states:

Now and then you hear me speak derisively of governments and ideologies - including democracy. If, by seeing I criticize an ideology, anyone seeks to believe I embrace its opposite, he has failed to get the point.

Hubbard claimed the unwanted mental reactive banks (which Dianetics professes to obliterate) are responsible for bad decisions that occur in human democracies. Hubbard stated that the result is "a collective-think of reactive-banks" and warned that "any human group is likely to elect only those who will kill them." [Hubbard Communications Office, HCOPL 13 Feb 1962, reissued 7 Oct 1985. ]

Because Scientology regards individuals as unique, but their reactive minds as common denominators, actions of groups are regarded as manifestations of collective mental aberration. "The common denominator of a group is the reactive bank. Thetans without banks have different responses. They only have their banks in common. They agree then only on bank principles. Person to person the bank is identical. So constructive ideas are individual and seldom get broad agreement in a human group. An individual must rise above an avid craving for agreement from a humanoid group to get anything decent done. The bank-agreement has been what has made Earth a hell—and if you were looking for hell and found Earth, it would certainly serve. War, famine, agony and disease has been the lot of man. Right now the great governments of Earth have developed the means of frying every man, woman and child on the planet. That is bank. That is the result of Collective-Thought Agreement. The decent, pleasant things on this planet come from individual actions and ideas that have somehow gotten by the Group Idea." This distrust of collective action seems to apply to voting as well, "I don't see that popular measures, self-abnegation and democracy have done anything for man but push him further into the mud." [Hubbard, L. Ron; "Keeping Scientology Working," Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, 7 Feb. 1965]

In the same HCOPL noted above, Hubbard concludes, "Scientology gives us our first chance to have a "real" democracy."

Personal autonomy

In 1968, Hubbard declared Scientology to be free from political interests: "Scientology is for a free people and is itself on this date declared free of any political connection or allegiance of any kind whatever." He said that public Scientologists could be members of political groups but "only so long as those individuals or that group do not attempt to seize Scientology for their own warlike ends or make it unworkable." [Hubbard Communications Office, HCOPL 10 Jan 1968, "Politics, Freedom From."]

German Federal Constitution Protection Office

The "Permanent Conference of the Ministers and Senators of the Interior of the German Federal States" concluded in 1997 that the Scientology organization intends to undermine the German democratic order. The federal government thus directed the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution to keep Scientology under surveillance [Understanding the German View of Scientology (Dr. Klaus Scharioth, German Abassador to the United States): [] ] . The annual reports describe Scientology's activities and contain the agency's reasoning for the continued monitoring. [Annual 2005 report of the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (English language): [] ] [Annual 2006 report of the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (German language): [] ] The German Federal Constitution Protection Office is concerned, that Scientology is opposed to German democracy. [report of the U.S. Department of State: [ 2006] ] .

This concern is partially based on the previously quoted HCOPLs of the Church of ScientologyGerman Federal Constitution Protection Office (Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz); report for the year 2003, page 251, 253 and 254] , as well as the Church's "Ethics Protection" policies in which a progressively successful Scientologist shall not be subject to a grievance procedure, while any contradiction to this rule is to be discouraged .

That German office published several further papers originating from the Church of Scientology with governmental findings regarding opposition to democracy.

Dutch court opinion

Scientology has been described by a Dutch court as an organization that "does not shun to denounce democratic values"Scientology c.s. versus DATAWEB B.V. et al. § 8.4. Gerechtshof 's-Gravenhage (The Hague Higher Court). [ LJN: AI5638] . (in Dutch)] .


External links

* [ Hubbard on Democracy] , archived statements, at "Operation Clambake"

See also

*Religion and politics
*Democratic process
*Scientology Task Force of the Hamburg Interior Authority

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