From braintree!news.sprintlink.net!howland.reston.ans.net!nntp.crl.com!crl5.crl.com!not-for-mail Wed Oct 11 09:35:41 1995
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Andrew Milne)
Subject: The source of attacks
Date: 9 Oct 1995 15:44:21 -0700
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It has been asked sometimes why the Church of
Scientology was at odds with the U.S. government in years
past and whether this is still the case.
The reason for the attacks against Scientology is
basically very simple. Its genesis was not wrongdoing by the
Church, but the perceived encroachment on turf claimed by the
American medical/psychiatric community.
The conflict dates back to 1950, a time when psychiatry
was entrenched among the US intelligence services and living
off the fat of government grants. In May of that year, L.
Ron Hubbard published Dianetics: The Modern Science of
Mental Health. Not only did Dianetics contain the first
workable technology of the mind that anyone could apply,
but it also labelled their "state-of-the-art" psychiatric
drugs as dangerous. Moreover, it decried the inhuman use of
electro-shock treatment and lobotomy -- then the mainstay of
psychiatric "treatment". One cannot overestimate the threat
that Dianetics posed to that medical/psychiatric
establishment, both in terms of its inherent message and its
unprecedented popularity with the American public; for
suddenly here was a work that effectively ripped away their
pretense of authority.
The response was immediate and considerable. Less than
a month after the publication of Dianetics, psychiatrists
on government payrolls were denigrating the book as a hoax,
while admitting in the same breath that they had never even
read it. A handful of influential psychiatrists used their
government connections to spread lies and false reports
through media and government files, escalating into an
all-out attempt to close down the Dianetics foundations which
had sprung up across the country and later, after its
formation in 1954, the Church of Scientology. The issue was
clearly financial: how long could psychiatrists continue to
convince the American taxpayer to foot the bill for
multimillion dollar psychiatric appropriations when Dianetics
provided a means to greater happiness and ability for only
the price of a book?
The attacks intensified after 1951, the year Mr.
Hubbard published Science of Survival. In that book, Mr.
Hubbard publicly exposed, for the first time,
government-funded mind-control experiments in which
psychiatrists administered drugs and electric shock to
unsuspecting human guinea pigs who were then implanted, while
unconscious, with hypnotic commands. Decades later, victims
would receive government compensation for the injuries they
suffered from such experiments. But at the time these
matters were among the best-kept secrets of the U.S.
intelligence and psychiatric communities.
Once again the response from the federal/psychiatric
circles was considerable. At least half a dozen federal
agencies, including the FBI, IRS and FDA, were brought into
the effort to suppress Dianetics and Scientology.
The story of the attempts to wipe out Scientology would
fill a book, but this war was effectively over in October
1993, when, after its exhaustive scrutiny, the IRS issued a
series of rulings expressly recognizing that the Church of
Scientology and all its subordinate churches and related
charitable and educational institutions in the United States
are tax-exempt organizations.
The IRS ruling which encompassed not only every
Scientology church in the United States but also several
important Scientology organizations outside the United States
signified that the IRS -- and the U.S. government -- had
formally recognized that the Church of Scientology is a bona
fide religious organization and that its activities are
beneficial to society as a whole.