L. Ron Hubbard Gives an Introduction to Scientology in 1966 Interview


In this exclusive interview with L. Ron Hubbard, filmed in 1966, Tony Hitchman asks Hubbard about the basic concepts of Scientology, and what Scientology can do for man.

The interview begins with L. Ron Hubbard telling the story of how Scientology began, based on his experiences traveling the world, studying and interacting with diverse cultures.

He describes his discovery on “the common denominator of existence,” man as a spirit and spirituality in Scientology, how Scientology can increase one’s intelligence, and the benefits of auditing and processing.

The full interview can be downloaded as a PDF here.

This interview originally appeared on Rhodesian Television in 1966. It’s presented as part of our #InTheirOwnWords series.

AN INTRODUCTION TO SCIENTOLOGY An Exclusive Filmed Interview with L. Ron Hubbard May 1966

TONY HITCHMAN: Mr. Hubbard, many millions of words have been said and written about Scientology but I think there’s still quite a lot of doubt in many peoples minds as to exactly what it is. What is Scientology? How would you describe it?

L. RON HUBBARD: Well, Mr. Hitchman, you’ve just asked a question like “What are the contents of the Encyclopedia Britannica? — answer in one word”.

HITCHMAN: Well, Mr. Hubbard, it’s obviously something that is very wide ranging and if you can’t describe it overall, perhaps we can begin at the beginning. How did you get into Scientology, how did it all start?

L. RON HUBBARD: Well, that, that is fairly easy. When I was a very young man I spent most of my teens in Asia and that is an area of the world where human misery and want are very visible, where man has reached perhaps the lowest states of degradation. And a young man moving into that scene begins to ask the question: “Why? Why all this? What is this? What depths can man fall to and what is he anyway?” And I began to ask this question, “What is man?” and I found oddly enough that nobody could tell me what man was, what did he consist of, where was he going, what was he doing? I became very fascinated with this particular line of research and I made it my life’s work.

HITCHMAN: Did you read widely of philosophy?

“To really know life you’ve got to be part of life.” L. RON HUBBARD: Yes, but the philosopher of course has spent most of his working years in his ivory towers and he was pretty insulated from life. To really know life you’ve got to be part of life; you must get down and look, you must get into the nooks and crannies of existence, you have to rub elbows with all kinds and types of men before you can finally establish what he is.

HITCHMAN: And you in fact did this?

L. RON HUBBARD: Yes. I’ve slept with bandits in Mongolia and I’ve hunted with pygmies in the Philippines, as a matter of fact, I’ve studied 21 different primitive races including the white race and my conclusions were that man, regardless of his state of culture and so forth, was essentially the same, that he was composed of a — he was a spiritual being and he was a spiritual being that was pulled down to the material — the fleshly — interests, to an interplay in life that was in fact too great for him to confront. And I concluded finally that he needed a hand.

HITCHMAN: Now, what was the first step in the formulation of Scientology; what was the first piece of knowledge that you uncovered?

L. RON HUBBARD: Well, that is an interesting question because when I first entered a university I took science — science and mathematics. I was forced to take this rather than philosophy which was my natural bent. And I learned the rules of logic and the scientific approach. These things, by the way, are not generally known to philosophers. And my first effort was to find a common denominator to all men and I had seen him in his more primitive states and I had seen him in highly cultured states and I said somewhere one can isolate a common denominator that embraces all men and perhaps from that we can unlock this riddle.

HITCHMAN: You mentioned just now that you discovered for yourself that man was a spirit. Are you here comparing Scientology with a religion, any religion in fact, that also sees man as a spirit?

L. RON HUBBARD: Well, man has conceived man to be a spirit for many more years than he has conceived man to be an animal or a materialistic thing. We have a 2000- year history of man as a spirit, whereas we only have less than a century of considering simply mud and therefore my study is more traditional than most philosophies — now, when you get most modern renditions and so forth. But man poses a great many problems and he is so varied from culture to culture, from type to type, race to race, that when I discovered the common denominator of existence and so forth I was away and I could go forward from that point. And I did discover that.

HITCHMAN: Can you now take us forward from this point and tell us where you went when you made that first discovery of yours?

L. RON HUBBARD: Well, I discovered that the common denominator of existence was SURVIVE! Whatever else man was trying to do, whether he was cultured or primitive and so on, he was attempting to survive and then one had to move forward from this point to find out what methods he used to survive, how he adapted himself to environments in his attempt at survivals and so on. And one found out that man advanced to the degree that he preserved his spiritual integrity, that he preserved his values, that he remained honest, that he remained decent; and he disintegrated or deteriorated to the degree that he abandoned these things and adopted more evil courses and so on.

HITCHMAN: Now, how can Scientology help man, universal man, to overcome the problems he faces?

“The real work here is to put man in a mental condition where he then can solve his own problems” L. RON HUBBARD: Very simple, you see, we live in a world where we have governments and we have societies and so forth, who are desperately trying to help man; they’re trying however to solve his problems for him and their efforts to solve his problems for him and so forth have not really resulted in any great advance for man. Now, the real work here is to put man in a mental condition where he then can solve his own problems and the aim and goal of Scientology is to take an individual or a group and by taking the individuals in the group, put them in a position where they can confront their own problems and solve their own problems and so bring themselves up by their own bootstraps. No amount of — well, let me put it this way, have you ever had a friend that you tried to give advice to, who then took it and went along fine or have you had friends that when you gave advice to them and so on, why, they rather resented it and didn’t take it, have you ever had such a condition?


L. RON HUBBARD: Well, very good, let’s put this on a much broader basis. If we take a man and we keep giving him advice and giving him help and pushing him along and so on, we don’t necessarily wind up with the resolution of his problems; but if, on the other hand, we put him in a position where he had higher intelligence, where his reaction time was better, where he could confront life better, where he could identify the factors in his life more easily, then he’s in a position where he can solve his problems, so he looks around, he starts solving his own problems and so he betters his own life. That is the difference between Scientology and other efforts to help man.

HITCHMAN: Mr. Hubbard, admittedly this would seem to be both a mental and physical approach to living in this world, to helping people to live in this world; but where does the spiritual side come into Scientology?

“Man is a spiritual being, he is NOT a piece of flesh.” L. RON HUBBARD: Well, it’s very interesting that the more you try to help man physically, why, apparently the less progress you make. It was only when we began to treat man and when I began to treat man as a spiritual being who was not really dependent upon the body or the flesh that I made any progress at all. Man is a spiritual being, he is NOT a piece of flesh and when you begin to handle man on the basis that he is a spirit, that he has unlimited ability, that he is not necessarily pinned down into, you know like everybody has just so much IQ and they never can have any further IQ when we start that approach, you see, we lose. But when we say he is a spirit of infinite capability and then we try to improve that capability, in that way we win and we win very, very, very profitably, very easily.

HITCHMAN: Through Scientology is it possible to reach towards God?

L. RON HUBBARD: Oh, very definitely. A Scientologist, before he has gone very far, begins to realize the nature of the universe; he realizes this didn’t all just occur spontaneously one fine day out of some scientific formula and he realizes there must have been an author to all these things and he also realizes oddly enough in his own participation.

HITCHMAN: All religions would seem to have a dogma, a discipline. Now, how disciplined is Scientology?

L. RON HUBBARD: The discipline is entirely the limitation of the conduct of the auditor, that is to say an auditor is a practitioner in Scientology; he listens and he computes, so therefore we call him an auditor and he is not permitted to evaluate for the person he is working with, he’s not permitted to do certain things, he is governed by a code of ethics like the medical field is governed by the Hippocratic oath, only we, of course, do not treat the body; we are not interested in illness and so forth. You have to neglect illness and the body and so forth to improve man and this is quite remarkable. But the whole point here is that the more you handle man as a spiritual being, the more you recognize his spirituality, the more you recognize that he is basically good and that his evil is simply additive to him, why, the more progress you make for the individual man.

HITCHMAN: This sounds, Mr. Hubbard, in a sense like an extension of psychology or psychiatry. Can you comment on that?

L. RON HUBBARD: Oh no, psychology is 1870 something, 1879, Wundt decided that men were all animals — that’s professor Wundt, Leipzig, Germany and rather typically a Germanic concept that man is just an animal, he is sort of a machine and you adjust the nuts and bolts and he runs well. Psychiatry has to do with the insane and we have nothing to do with the insane whatsoever. The insane, well, they’re insane, so this is a final disintegration and deterioration of the spirit. That’s all the psychiatrists. But psychology, no, I’m afraid we don’t have anything to do with psychology. After all psychology long since stated that their own term, “psyche – ology”, meant nothing and they say in their text books they don’t know what a psyche is and of course psyche is Greek for “spirit.” So, theoretically they have the name, the study of the spirit. But they do _he spirit; they regard man as an animal. We are the only ones who study the spirit so we have to use the word Scientology and Scientology means, “knowledge or truth, study of; the study of knowledge or truth.” Or if you use there’s a Greek sentence. It’s “I know the word” is what it works out to be according to Oxford. I asked them one day up at Oxford what does “Scientology” mean and they said it means really, “the study of knowledge” or “I know the word.”

HITCHMAN: This sounds rather like the command, “Man know thyself!” Is this part of the Scientology reasoning?

L. RON HUBBARD: I should think that would have to be part of any philosophic concept of man. You see, if you don’t know yourself, you know nothing. And it’s all right to guess at what you are, but to know what you are that is the essence of the whole problem. And it takes a very brave man to really confront what he himself is.


HITCHMAN: Going back now to this person you mentioned — the auditor, the practitioner in Scientology. Just how much training does this person get?

L. RON HUBBARD: He goes through very intensive training, usually in a city somewhere in the world, he attends an Academy and he is trained there upwards to, well, it actually isn’t fair to say the total time of training because he’s trained very intensively and so on, he is trained there sometimes a year, sometimes more and then his training is normally finished off by coming to a higher level organization and so forth, and he is trained there for more than a year. But the overall training of an auditor compares to the same number of class hours in college of about 12 years and it’s not an easy thing to do. It’s not easy to study in this particular field. You’re handling the raw stuff of life and his case, his beingness, of course, must advance proportionally to his study and he has to become better and better. In other words, his IQ has to go up, up, up. The higher the level that he is qualified to audit at, why, the more improved his own case has to be.

HITCHMAN: You mentioned two things here — beingness and IQ which is intelligence factor. Are these two the same?

L. RON HUBBARD: Oh, no. The beingness, you might put it under the heading, would be the ability of an individual to live or to handle the environment around him — in other words to be something and to handle things around him. And intelligence is a more or less arbitrary factor. They have a grade of 70 is something, I think a moron. And a hundred is — a hundred and five, something like that, that’s pretty bright, a hundred and thirty eight, well, that’s genius and we go up from there.

HITCHMAN: Could I just stop you there? Did I understand you to say that a person’s IQ can be raised through Scientology?

L. RON HUBBARD: Oh, yes, yes, this is the one thing that Scientology has upset the world’s universities with. They used to say that IQ never, never changed; nobody could ever change, nobody could be any different than anybody ever was and this was quite interesting because when we finally demonstrated this with their own IQ tests, why, they became very, very upset and began to test much more widely. And they tested people before Scientology processing and after Scientology processing and uniformly found that their IQ had raised.

HITCHMAN: Who’s they?

L. RON HUBBARD: The professors, the fields, the schools of philosophy, schools of psychology and so on.

HITCHMAN: But surely you’ve only got as much brain as you’re born with?

L. RON HUBBARD: Oh no, brain has nothing to do with it, brain is a sort of a — well, I don’t know, brain is brain. What it does I’m never quite sure but — and I don’t think anybody else is, but the person as a spiritual being is capable of using his brain. The brain is sort of a switchboard. And if you said that a telephone switchboard then was the intelligence of the corporation it served, this is about the same statement that the brain establishes the IQ of the human being. It’s just not true. A being is a being; he is a spirit and he actually can exist independent of his body. This is one of the more interesting discoveries in Scientology.

HITCHMAN: Now, an auditor in Scientology must have beingness and a good IQ. What other talents does he require to be a good auditor?

L. RON HUBBARD: Well, a person has to have very, very good moral fiber you might say. He has to have — you can’t and we will not take anybody who has even a faintly bad background and so forth as an auditor. He has to be pretty well educated, his general education certificate something like that. Has to have a desire to help people and this is not everyone.

HITCHMAN: You said just now “a bad background.” In Scientology what is good and bad? Does it conform to the normal moral standards of society?

L. RON HUBBARD: Oh yes, very much so, very much so… same.

HITCHMAN: Mr. Hubbard, I’d like now to take somebody who would like to get into Scientology.

L. RON HUBBARD: Well, normally they read books and they read quite a few books. And they are around and about it for, well, sometimes 2, 3, 4, 5 years. And when they’re really in Scientology, they will belong to a group and so on. They will get auditing. Their IQ goes up. Their abilities increase. They’re more capable in handling their lives. And then somebody decides to — that he wants to be an auditor. All right. He can go to a school and study this and find out how to be one and so help others.

“It’s one of the principles of Scientology that one can be a Scientologist regardless of his race, color or creed anywhere in the world.”

HITCHMAN: Now, you mentioned books. You yourself have written a lot of books.

L. RON HUBBARD: Oh, yes.

HITCHMAN: Could you give me some titles here?

L. RON HUBBARD: Well, the earliest book on the subject of course, is not Scientology, but Dianetics, “through mind.” And this book — that’s the background of all of this. That’s what started all the trouble. A psychiatric textbook publisher knew that I had been studying in the field of man and knew I had been studying ethnology and anthropology, two very tough words, which merely mean the study of what man does and has done. And he asked me if I wouldn’t please write a textbook that gave the various things which I had found and discovered. And we expected this to sell about 6000 copies. And I was in actual fact going to go to Greece to head an expedition. And I was all set to go and so on and this textbook was published and it hit the top of the bestseller list in the New York Times and it just stayed there, month in, month out. And that was 15 years ago. And this book still sells as a bestseller every year.

HITCHMAN: What was this called?

L. RON HUBBARD: Dianetics, The Modern Science of Mental Health.

HITCHMAN: Now, why did the name change?

L. RON HUBBARD: Because Dianetics is “through mind”, you see, and is in essence actually a mental study. Scientology had to be broadened because it was more firmly established that man was a spirit after that and you couldn’t go along with the same word.

HITCHMAN: Now, when was this book published?

L. RON HUBBARD: 1950. May the 9th, 1950.

HITCHMAN: And is that as old as Scientology or Scientology is?

L. RON HUBBARD: Yes, yes. Well, actually, no. Researches on this really started in a university in 1930, 1930-31 and moved on forward. The first major discovery that life — all forms of life behaved according to the principle of survival and so forth was made in 1938. And after the war, after some years of study I was able to move it up into a publishable form. But I was actually known for many years for working in this particular field, but I never wrote anything about it, never published anything, never told anybody about it to amount to anything. And when I did it was like I’d started an avalanche.

HITCHMAN: Mr. Hubbard, where are the headquarters of Scientology today?

L. RON HUBBARD: It’s here in England. The world headquarters of Scientology is at East Grinstead, located at Saint Hill Manor. This of course is the organization which controls all the other organizations of Scientology in the world.

HITCHMAN: And where does it spread to in the world?

L. RON HUBBARD: All through the civilized world, but not behind the Iron Curtain. But everywhere else.

HITCHMAN: Why is that?

L. RON HUBBARD: Well, that would be a long story but the one thing that a nation that is determined to make men into slaves does not want anything to do with is a science which makes man totally free.

HITCHMAN: How many people are in Scientology? How many can call themselves Scientologists today?

L. RON HUBBARD: I have not the faintest. I haven’t the faintest notion.

HITCHMAN: Surely you keep records of these people?

L. RON HUBBARD: Oh yes, but organizations throughout various continental areas keep records and so forth. But these records are only the records of members of the organization. That is to say they are the intimate, they are trained auditors, they are that sort of thing. Now, how many people they reach I don’t know. Training as an auditor… It’s in terms — let me put it this way, it’s in terms of millions.

HITCHMAN: Training as an auditor: is this only done at Saint Hill?

L. RON HUBBARD: Oh, no. No, no. Large Offices in cities throughout the world and so forth, do this training. Saint Hill is where they come to for the final finishing touch, if they come there at all.

HITCHMAN: Mr. Hubbard, you’re an American. Why are you based in Britain?

L. RON HUBBARD: Great Britain has better communication lines to the world at large than America. You have to remember that America is very new and was a colony only a very short time ago and doesn’t have the communication lines to the rest of the world that they have in Great Britain.


HITCHMAN: You mentioned communication. I believe, from what I’ve read, that communication is a very important part of Scientology.

L. RON HUBBARD: Oh, very. This we were speaking of however was administrative communication such as banks and attorneys and that sort of thing. We have a telex network that connects all of our offices and if added all together, our total telex lines would reach from here to the moon and back.

HITCHMAN: Now, if someone wants to get into Scientology they read your books as you said. But where do they go from there?

L. RON HUBBARD: They would find the nearest organization and they would go there and they would get training or, as we call it, processing and so on.

HITCHMAN: Can you describe processing?

L. RON HUBBARD: Processing is the principle of making an individual look at his own existence and to improve his ability to confront what he is and where he is.

HITCHMAN: To make him look at his own existence…

L. RON HUBBARD: That’s right.

HITCHMAN: …and confront where he is and what he is.

L. RON HUBBARD: That’s right.

HITCHMAN: How is this brought about?

L. RON HUBBARD: You just ask the person to look actually. Of course you’re asking a very, very technical question. An auditor has to be able to get his questions answered and the individual who’s being processed finally has to answer the question. The question is asked until it is totally answered and the person is totally aware that he has answered it.

HITCHMAN: Is this a form of psychoanalysis?

L. RON HUBBARD: No psychoanalysis.., don’t associate Scientology with such people. That’s terrible, that’s bad manners, you know, I mean that business about sex and all that sort of thing. These people, you know, in psychoanalysis, they worked on somebody for a year just to find out if they could help him and then they charged him about 9000 quid for having not helped him and so forth. But that’s psychotherapy, that’s for the neurotic or the person who is insane or something like that. It has nothing to do with Scientology. Scientology is for an able guy like you or like me, able to function in life, able to make his own way, does his work and so forth. All right, that’s the man that should be helped, that’s the man you should help out because that fellow is having a hard time and he’s got his problems. Now, if you put him in a position where his intelligence is up to handling his problems, where his ability to confront life is increased, you’ll find out that he is bettered, he can better his environment, he can take care of his family better, he can do his job better, he can live better and so forth. And that’s all we want in Scientology. The insane and so forth, somebody else can have them. They’ve already failed.

HITCHMAN: But you did say that people coming into Scientology should have this desire to help.

L. RON HUBBARD: Oh, yes.

HITCHMAN: Can Scientology go out of its way to help these people who have had…

L. RON HUBBARD: Oh yes, you can do — Scientology can do things like that. When you know the basics of human existence and so forth you could apply them in almost any sphere. For instance, a great many people think that Scientology does medical treatment and so forth, simply because people who are processed and so on tend to get well and recover from certain illnesses. That’s a secondary action. A person who is able, of course, is more able physically also and — however, when a person turns up who is ill and so forth, we just send him to the doctor. We’re not interested in treating human illness.

HITCHMAN: You said it could help certain illnesses, though. What kind of illnesses?

L. RON HUBBARD: Oh, it is not in actual fact a medical treatment. So, to say what illnesses it helped and so forth would be — well, if a person has psychosomatic illnesses and that sort of thing then they tend to fall away as he increases his ability but this is no treatment of those illnesses.

HITCHMAN: Now, if this is correct, why don’t the medical profession use Scientology?

L. RON HUBBARD: They do. They do, in many parts of the world. As a matter of fact a doctor in Michigan the other day told somebody that Dianetics was totally owned by the medical profession now and didn’t belong to Hubbard anymore.

HITCHMAN: Is the Scientology processing expensive?

L. RON HUBBARD: You can — it all depends, it all depends on who you go to, where you go to and so on. For instance, in the small village of East Grinstead there are tremendous numbers of people there who have been processed. They’re citizens. They know nothing much about Scientology. They know I live down at Saint Hill and they come down and they get processed and it doesn’t cost them anything at all. But on the other hand, somebody who wants a standard run of processing and demands it at his time and hours and so forth and he demands the very best technical assistance and so on, naturally it costs him money. Processing goes for free or for very much higher prices, but in any event it is far, far cheaper than any psychotherapy that ever existed.

HITCHMAN: Scientology has attracted a lot of publicity and press, and the press has said that it tends to be something of a racket to make money for those people who are running it.

L. RON HUBBARD: No, that, of course… Most press is motivated by vested interests, as anyone knows and they merely say what they’re told to say and when you realize that the medical/psychiatric world have an investment which brings a return of two to three billion pounds per annum over the world, they try to protect that and that is the source of criticism of Scientology. These statements about this, that and the other thing, any new movement gets these things and in Scientology, those are not based on any fact at all. As a matter of fact I don’t make any money out of Scientology and it costs me I don’t know how much of my own personal fortune to do the research and I’ve not been recompensed for it, ever.

HITCHMAN: And you mentioned then that man is a spirit. Can you define this spirit in terms of Scientology?

“The reason Scientology’s assumptions can be considered to be
true is because they work.”
L. RON HUBBARD: Oh yes, man has been interested for a very long time in what was a spirit and so on and he was very, very mystified as to what a spirit was and he talked about ghosts and places being haunted and so on and this is a whole line of approach, he talked about the human soul and it went to heaven and it went to hell and so forth. And he was very much adrift about this thing. He was both afraid of it and otherwise and it was rather amusing to find out that he is it. He is a spirit. And the early Greek, for instance, worked along this line. They wanted to know what man was. They concluded that he was a spirit clothed in flesh and that happens to work out and so forth. The reason Scientology’s assumptions can be considered to be true is because they work. And Scientology is totally a workable science — it is only workable. We’re not interested in ultimates or absolutes. We’re interested in what produces results. And if you know certain things and you apply them and that then increases a man’s IQ, increases his ability to handle the world around him, why, he naturally then is able to do better and to do more, to make more money, to be happier in his environment and so forth. And if you approach it as though he were a spirit, then you succeed. If you approach it as though he were just a mechanical monster of some kind or another, ten stones of flesh or something like that, why, you don’t increase his IQ and so on. So we, of course, prefer — maybe we are novel in this — but we prefer the tactics which work, not the tactics which are merely stylized or which we’re supposed to have.

HITCHMAN: But in your processing you work on the mind, don’t you?

“And when you audit or process a person, he then is able to confront this mind which hitherto has been totally invisible to him.”L. RON HUBBARD: Well, yes. Let me give you an example here of something of the sort. Let us say here is… not a very good example. Well, here’s something now: we speak of a body here we speak of a body and there is a body. Now, there’s an invisible thing, somewhat invisible but nevertheless containing mass and space and energy, electrical potential and so forth, which surrounds this, which you call the mind. And in that mind is recorded every experience the person has ever had. They are recorded continuously and so on. And then, within all that, centralized in all that, you have the spirit and it does not have mass and it does not have a body and so on, all it has is beingness and a sense of identity, the ability to create, the ability to be. And that is the spirit — that is you. You ask somebody what is a spirit and the fellow… you might as well ask, “How are you?” You get the same, you get the same response. So but anyway there is this mind and then there’s a body, so actually a spirit is wearing a mind and it is wearing a body. And when you audit or process a person, he then is able to confront this mind which hitherto has been totally invisible to him.

HITCHMAN: Are you talking here about the unconscious mind

L. RON HUBBARD: Well, yes, there’s the conscious mind, the unconscious mind, any kind of mind is simply a composite of mass which contains experience and pictures of experience and so forth; traumatic experience, pleasant experience and so forth. This is a record of his experience and that is his mind. A man has an automobile accident, he has a picture of an automobile accident, he has all the sensations of having been hurt in the automobile accident. It takes him a long time to recover because he’s still wearing the automobile accident. If you said, “Hey, why don’t you take this automobile accident and throw it away?” why, all of a sudden he recovers from the automobile accident. Naturally. Because the thing that’s keeping it impressed upon him and his body is his mind and so you do work with the mind.

HITCHMAN: From what I can gather, you do see the spirit as being the most important factor in the overall life of man. But is this the same sort of spirit as a very religious person might see?

L. RON HUBBARD: Pretty much so, pretty much so.

HITCHMAN: Are Scientologists religious people?

L. RON HUBBARD: Yes, as a matter of fact the Hubbard Association of Scientologists International is a religious fellowship and in America particularly Scientology is used widely in religion. I remember Archbishop Ottoberry here uses Scientology in most of his sermons (he used to) and so on. When you have discovered that man was a spirit, you, of course, have invaded the field of religion and you are religious. But remember this: that religion has come uniformly from philosophy. Philosophy is senior to religion.

HITCHMAN: Do I understand from what you say that you can be not only a Scientologist but a Roman Catholic and an Anglican as well?

L. RON HUBBARD: Oh yes, as a matter of sober fact, we have many, many denominations in Scientology and it’s one of the principles of Scientology that one can be a Scientologist regardless of his race, color or creed anywhere in the world.

HITCHMAN: Then Scientology itself is not exactly a religion?

L. RON HUBBARD: Scientology could be called, well, you could call it a religion of religions. You will find, you will find in actual fact when you go round and look at the various religious philosophies and so forth, that man has in religion many answers to his future survival and he has many explanations of existence. Now, when you clarify those, various religions feel that they are expanded or that they are clarified as well and they are quite keen to find out how this illustrates or illuminates their own religion.

HITCHMAN: Are you saying, then, that any specific religion is rather narrow in its outlook?

L. RON HUBBARD: No, no, no. Any man is entitled to believe what he wishes to believe. I have no quarrel with man’s beliefs and so on, but religion has had so many facets that its main point of dispute in life is the fact that so many people in so many different places have so many different views of what life and God are all about. And if Scientology could reconcile these views it would be doing a great service to man.

HITCHMAN: Do you think it can, Mr. Hubbard?

“Religion is basically an effort to make man good, an effort to give
him a better society and so forth and Scientology does all those things.”
L. RON HUBBARD: I not only think it can I know that it does. We have in many instances been able to bring a great deal of knowledge or relief or light into various situations of a religious nature. Without for a moment disputing the tenets which were held. After all, religion is basically an effort to make man good, an effort to give him a better society and so forth and Scientology does all those things. So naturally it aids and abets the efforts of any religionist or any minister anywhere to achieve his own purposes.

HITCHMAN: But doesn’t Scientology have any dogma at all, for instance life after death?

L. RON HUBBARD: Well, life after death is life after death and you can’t lay down a dogma where you’re dealing with fact. And it’s very interesting that an individual does survive life after death, but I’m afraid that’s too technical a question to go into in a program of this nature.

HITCHMAN: Are you saying that Scientology has proved this?

L. RON HUBBARD: Yes, proven it definitely.

HITCHMAN: Has it proved anything else in the spiritual field?

L. RON HUBBARD: Well, yes, it’s proved that man is basically capable of spiritual betterment and this question has been in point for some time and it’s one of the attack points of psychology. They say that man is the same, he never changes and of course the church exists to physically — pardon me, to spiritually better man and man can be bettered spiritually.

HITCHMAN: Do you think that man is basically good?

L. RON HUBBARD: Man IS basically good, yes. His experiences have led him into evil and he very often solves his problems from his own point of view only and when he solves the problem from his own point of view, of course, he gets other points of view into trouble. What is good for a duck hunter is not good for the duck.

HITCHMAN: Do I understand from this then that through Scientology processing you can show man where he’s going wrong and help him in this way, in other words, he helps himself?

L. RON HUBBARD: He helps himself. We do not say, “You must do this, you must do that” and so forth. We show him, we show him only how to confront his existence, how to handle his immediate problems. And as he progresses up the line toward greater spiritual freedom he learns that there are wrong ways to go about things and right ways to go about things. And he gradually drops away the short cuts to fortune, the short cuts to fulfillment of his desires and so on, that we normally associate with evil practices and he becomes an honest man.

HITCHMAN: Does Scientology in any way involve prayer, hymn singing, things of this nature?

L. RON HUBBARD: No, except where it’s applied in a church and so forth, why, naturally the church continues its own practices.

HITCHMAN: Do you have a church in Scientology?

L. RON HUBBARD: Oh yes, there are many Scientology churches, particularly in the United States. And they do have Sunday services just like any other church.

HITCHMAN: I’d like to go back, Mr. Hubbard, to this question of processing that you mentioned last week. You said that through Scientology processing a person was able to look at the problems, to confront the problems that they were facing in their everyday life. Is this some form of hypnotism?

L. RON HUBBARD: Oh no, that’s very funny, man IS asleep, he IS hypnotized, he is made to fixate on certain things, you see. And the process that you normally know as brainwashing and that sort of thing is hypnotizing man, it’s forcing him into certain values, it’s crowding him, by various duress, into these values. And he eventually becomes a person who has no awareness. Now, in Scientology, we reverse the process and you make him wake up and he gradually gets more and more alert and he is more and more wide awake and his IQ rises higher and higher and he is more and more capable of knowing what’s going on about him. It’s quite the reverse. Any ideology that wants to hypnotize man into believing, well, take communism for instance, want to hypnotize man into believing he’s this or that or the other thing and so forth, it comes a terrible cropper with Scientology because he becomes — such a man becomes unbrainwashed you might say, he becomes unhypnotized. And that was the first thing, one of the first things I discovered about processing, it was actually the basic discovery of processing, that man was asleep and he had to wake up and then I went about trying to find out ways and means of how to make him do this and that became processing.

HITCHMAN: Do you use drugs in any way?

L. RON HUBBARD: No never. Once in a while a Scientologist will take vitamins or something like that to, well, just like anybody else does but otherwise no drugs.

HITCHMAN: Is there any equipment used in this processing?

L. RON HUBBARD: Yes, we have a meter. One of the most misunderstood objects that anybody had anything to do with. And the meter simply shows where an individual is aberrated. And the lie detector, of course, is not a lie detector. It doesn’t detect lies, it only detects disagreements. You ask the fellow, “Did you murder the girl?” and he disagrees with murdering the girl and of course he gets the reaction on the lie detector and they take him out to the electric chair and electrocute him. Lie detectors are no good but it does show that he is upset about the idea of murdering a girl, do you follow? Now, if you ask him why he is upset about this particular idea you might find some relative that had been murdered, that he had completely forgotten about. And he illuminates this sector of his life and it clears.

HITCHMAN: How would you describe the mental state of a patient during processing?

L. RON HUBBARD: Well, I’ve never processed a ‘patient’ so I wouldn’t know, you see, because ‘patients’ are people who are sick and in mental institutions and that sort of thing. And although I’ve worked with such people just in the normal experience of existence, this has nothing to do with Scientology. But how is he? He’s wideawake, bright, alert, quite interested and he is examining things, which he had never examined before and he becomes quite happy about it.

HITCHMAN: Doesn’t he get introverted looking into his unconscious mind?

L. RON HUBBARD: Yes, but he introverts in order to extrovert. In other words, he is actually handling the things which cause him to be introverted and when he has handled those things, he extroverts.

HITCHMAN: You’ve mentioned a lot about freedom of the mind, Mr. Hubbard. But often this can be mistaken for a form of anarchy where the person is under no discipline whatsoever.

“Man being basically good, the more you make him
free, why, the better his behavior is.
L. RON HUBBARD: Well, you’ll find out that man has to be put under discipline to the degree that he’s aberrated. And man being basically good, the more you make him free, why, the better his behavior is. And we have I don’t know how many case histories that prove this.

HITCHMAN: You mentioned aberrated, what does that mean?

L. RON HUBBARD: Aberrated. Aberrated is a crooked line. That’s the definition of the word. It comes from light travelling in a crooked line and man’s thinking is very often in a crooked line, so he gets from point A to B through so many different points that he never does arrive at B and that is called aberration. Now, when you straighten that out and he can think straight, you might say he is no longer aberrated.

HITCHMAN: Does it tend to make his personality rather negative in any way?

L. RON HUBBARD: No, no. Whatever he is there’s more of him. It’s quite interesting to watch some girl for instance who’s been a mousy little thing and she’s very retiring and so forth. You process her and she becomes quite alert and quite proud, quite expansive.

HITCHMAN: People do change then. Does this happen very quickly?

L. RON HUBBARD: Very, very quickly.

HITCHMAN: After say, a certain number of hours of processing?

L. RON HUBBARD: Yes, yes there’s no telling how long it will take, sometimes it’s twenty minutes for a certain level.

HITCHMAN: And can you register their progress?

“A man’s reaction time changes, his IQ changes, all kinds of things change.”L. RON HUBBARD: Oh yes, well, of course there are tremendous batteries of tests which register this. There’s such a thing as reaction time. A man’s reaction time changes, his IQ changes, all kinds of things change, there are tremendous numbers of things which alter in a person and the odd part of it is, is they alter for the better and that’s where the hope therefore is for man. There is hope for man. He is not just an evil beast who will get worse and worse and worse and worse. With Scientology he can get better and he can get kinder and more decent and more tolerant of his fellow man and perhaps some of the basic goals of religions of the past can be attained with Scientology.

HITCHMAN: Mr. Hubbard, do you find any opposition coming towards Scientology from the organized religions?

L. RON HUBBARD: Not really anything that I would call opposition. Naturally these people feel that we are challenging their particular sphere of action or something like that. Well, they read about Scientology and they understand what were trying to do and the opposition really fades away.

HITCHMAN: Are you in fact challenging their sphere of authority?


HITCHMAN: In no way at all?

L. RON HUBBARD: No, a man is free to believe what he believes.

HITCHMAN: Mr. Hubbard, what you said is all very well in theory, but what is the practical application of Scientology for the average man in the street?

L. RON HUBBARD: Well, the average man is up against certain problems, he’s asking himself certain questions, “How can I make more money? How can I make my wife faithful to me? How can I make my children grow up? How can….” Well, in other words, “How can I live a better life? How can I make things more even, more stable for my family, how can…?” You know, he’s “How? How? How? And what am I up against? What is happening to me in my life? What is my purpose in life?” and so forth. These questions, in actual fact, absorb a tremendous quantity of his energy and he himself is not able to go out and do anything very progressive about it, so the best thing for him to do is to go out and do something about it. But he can’t do anything about it because he is so immersed in this. So, actually, in Scientology processing he resolves these questions, he understands what he’s doing, he knows what he wants to do, he makes up his mind and he goes ahead and does it and he turns from a man who is simply a puzzled static being into somebody who is more dynamic, who is able to accomplish something.

HITCHMAN: You seem to me to have a pretty low idea of the normal human’s life.

L. RON HUBBARD: Well, when you see as much human degradation as is visible within any ten block walk, from any area, it’s a very calloused person that doesn’t want to do something about it and so forth, because all these are basically decent people that somehow or another went wrong. I don’t have a low idea of these chaps at all, I think that man is what he is and he can be better and that is all I think. But actually every great movement in the world today has as its common denominator, an effort to improve man and his lot, so if that is the case then everyone must have a pretty low idea of what man is all about.

HITCHMAN: What is the main advantage of Scientology over all the other creeds and all the other religions and ideas that have been formulated since man began? Why is it that you go for Scientology, why do you support this particular thing?

L. RON HUBBARD: Because it works and that is really the only reason. It works. This doesn’t say that other things don’t work, but they tend to be impositive. But I never would criticize any other religion.

HITCHMAN: I’d like to end on a more general subject and look at Scientology as it is today. Do you see it as a growing force?

L. RON HUBBARD: Yes, the actual statistic of its growth is 2.5 times per annum and this is fairly rapid because it is already very large.

HITCHMAN: Now, is it changing its ideas in any way as it gets bigger?

L. RON HUBBARD: No. Same ideas, help the able, make the able more able. To this degree it is changing its ideas — it’s starting to take responsibility for the group, for society, much more responsibility for society, in addition to responsibility for the individual. There are certain evils in society, which definitely should cease, and we are taking some responsibility for them.

HITCHMAN: Now, as you process the individual, you’ll find that he gets better and better and more able. But is there any end to this?

L. RON HUBBARD: Yes, it’s a finite state known as Clear and that means that the individual has erased what the Freudian said was his basic illness which is his reactive mind. His unconscious mind has gone and he is totally alert and totally capable. And this state has been achieved. And our program, actually, in this has just culminated this last few months. Research is finished at this particular time because we are making such individuals and we are making them regularly and we are making them routinely.

HITCHMAN: But it doesn’t make any difference due to the fact that he grows older and things of this nature?

L. RON HUBBARD: No, it doesn’t make a bit of difference.

HITCHMAN: Mr. Hubbard, I’d like to ask you a direct question now towards the end of this program. Why do you think man is here on this planet? What’s his purpose, why is he in a body?

L. RON HUBBARD: Well, he was put here and he was supposed to make his own way out of it.

HITCHMAN: Who put him here?

L. RON HUBBARD: Well, call it a Supreme Being or higher forces. And he actually — and I hold this in common with many, many sages, he was put here to work out his own salvation and we feel in Scientology that we’ve made a very big stride in that direction.

HITCHMAN: Mr. Hubbard, thank you very much indeed for this interview.

L. RON HUBBARD: Thank you, Mr. Hitchman.

This interview originally appeared on Rhodesian Television in 1966. It’s presented as part of our #InTheirOwnWords series.

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