Tuesday, July 8, 2008

the Apologist: In defense of L Ron Hubbard

Muladhara wrote:

this is what is happening with L Ron Hubbard right now. he was a drug addict, all the way to his death.
he was a criminal and a litigous curmudgeon.

He invented narconon, while downing amphetamines and barbiturates and rum, with a crew of 13-16 year old girls lighting his cigarettes and wiping his butt.

why? he was in it for the money. when he wasn't getting as much in as he thought he should, he squeezed the members and pushed for recruitment, and raised the price of his 'techs'

when enough people got to the 'final level', he just 'discovered' another one and wrote up a new tech while blazing on speed.

Well first of all, most or all of these things are probably true. There's certainly no shortage of evidence that L. Ron Hubbard participated in superhuman levels of manipulation and hypocrisy, and even though most of that evidence comes from hostile sources with a bone to pick, there really is quite a lot of it. And there sure are a lot of said hostile sources.

But the hostile appraiser comes to the table looking for fault, and therefore sees past actions outside of the context in which they were actually taken. And what use speaking ill of the dead? L. Ron Hubbard cannot learn from criticism. And to whom could the case of L. Ron Hubbard serve as a cautionary tale? Not to any who risk repeating his mistakes.

If you are a brilliant young idealistic megalomaniac with animal magnetism, out of control ego, and misguided messianic complex, you don't look like L. Ron Hubbard to yourself. You look like the tragic misunderstood hero.

He doesn't look like me. He is that other kind of person. This is the same reason that the use of L. Ron Hubbard-as-scapegoat cannot serve as a potent medicine against corruption and hypocrisy in the citizenry-at-large, those multitudes who are not brilliant would-be modern saviors, or at least are unrealized as such.

The demonization of L. Ron Hubbard certainly isn't keeping anyone out of any cults. It doesn't even keep people out of his cult. The assertion that Hubbard was a con man is pretty well circulated by now, and yet there are somehow still millions of paying Scientologists. If you want to keep people out of cults, you provide them with the means to obtain on their own terms whatever it is that these cults promise to deliver. And if you can't do that, you should at least be defaming the living. L. Ron Hubbard doesn't recruit Scientologists anymore. 22 years after his death we have run out of useful ways to hate him.

So can we absolve the dead in this case? Here is a man who founded a multinational anti-drug organization, who spoke out violently against psychiatry, who was a hopeless addict to pharmaceutical drugs. You don't need to look at him with hate or disdain. You can notice how his discovery that income tax auditing is an ancient rape-like submission tool employed for trillions of years by our alien controllers came when his own troubles with the I.R.S. were at their worst, and you can pity him in light of this realization.

You can pity the helpless dead man who sold millions of people on a system of self-help that could only cure the psychological issues he had identified in himself. And who could not cure himself. The hypocrite, the addict, the compromised idealist. He was not one-of-a-kind. He was a modern human.

No comments: