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Scientology Books What is Scientology?

What is Scientology? Hot

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October 13, 2012    
 
1.5 (8)
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Book Details

Author
L. Ron Hubbard

What is Scientology? (1993): L. Ron Hubbard conceived of a book built around the question that people invariably ask about Scientology: "What is it?" It contains extensive demographic and statistical information about Scientologists and Scientology (circa 1993) and a general overview of the spiritual beliefs, a biographical pictorial of L. Ron Hubbard's life. It promotes Scientology as "the fastest growing religion in the world" which may have been true at one time, but is no longer true.

User reviews

Average user rating from: 8 user(s)

Overall rating 
 
1.5
Wow factor 
 
1.3  (8)
Informative 
 
1.9  (8)
Easy to understand 
 
1.8  (8)
Usefulness 
 
1.0  (8)
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I didn't like it. Reading it was very ... well, boring. It felt like reading a big promo book of "Hey, and we do have this group and that one it just great - and this other group - also great - that group - greater than great"....
The only thing I found was usefull and which I used here and there was the list in the back which included "all" materials released in chronilogical order by date.
Overall rating 
 
1.8
Wow factor 
 
1.0
Informative 
 
3.0
Easy to understand 
 
2.0
Usefulness 
 
1.0
Reviewed by tomking November 13, 2012
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (7)

Too much

I didn't like it. Reading it was very ... well, boring. It felt like reading a big promo book of "Hey, and we do have this group and that one it just great - and this other group - also great - that group - greater than great"....
The only thing I found was usefull and which I used here and there was the list in the back which included "all" materials released in chronilogical order by date.

Where I stand

I am a...
Other

Pros and Cons (optional)

Pros
- chronological list of materials in the back
Cons
- too overwhelming big "PR" book

Bottom line...

Recommend it to a friend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
The original "What is Scientology" book was not published in 1993 as some think. The original one from which later editions evolved was published in 1978.

It was written primarily by staff of the then Guardian's Office ("GO") as can be seen in the below link to the "Acknowledgments" page in that first edition. I was one of those writers.

http://s1262.beta.photobucket.com/user/Born2Shop9/media/What_Is_Scientology.jpg.html

The book was written following and in response to the huge FBI raids on organized scientology's GO offices in the USA in 1977. It was meant as a defensive action that was part of an attempt to handle organized scientology's and Hubbard's severely damaged PR because of the raids.

Additionally, it was hoped to help limit any possible legal action against L Ron Hubbard and organized scientology by trying to create in the public mind the following beliefs:

1) Hubbard was not in fact running organized scientology, especially not running the GO targeted by the FBI in 1977;

2) Organized scientology/scientology was a religion;

3) Organized scientology did a lot of good for society including though its "social betterment" programs including Applied Scholastics, Narconon and other groups that at that time were run by the GO's "Social Coordination" Bureau ("B6").

With the release of this first edition much more was done to try to in effect create a "paper trail" of sorts to show that scientology was a religion. The GO ran all sorts of programs then to put in a false religious image such as Sunday services, Roman ministerial collars being worn, crosses being worn more, many staff being forced to become "ministers" and really pushing a "scholars" program to get "scholars" to write opinions that scientology was a religion.

The programs to push in this image portrayed in the book were in the main disingenuous, had everything to do with image and nothing really to do with reality. Scholars were often duped by being given false information to help them "conclude" scientology was a religion. Later editions of the book would make great usage of such opinions.

An equally false picture intentionally created by that book was that Hubbard was not running things when he in fact was. For example just a year after the publication of the book Hubbard was secretly ordering the corporate reorganization of parts of organized scientology including his 1979 orders to Sue Mithoff in his "Commodore's Messenger Organization" regarding the legal establishment of Scientology Missions International ("SMI"). Hubbard even said to push the tax and personal monetary advantages of starting scientology "missions" by making them "churches". He personally pushed in a religious image just for the tax and other legal advantages.

I personally was run on telexes from Hubbard for setting up the first "WISE" corporation and from 1975 through 1983 had an estimated 250 orders from Hubbard, most of them on legal matters.

Additionally, completely contrary to what was said in the book, Hubbard ordered the GO to keep undated resignations of all corporate officials in the organized scientology legal empire and to run them all secretly.

In fact L Ron Hubbard was so involved in the running of the GO and thus organized scientology that it took over 100 people weeks just to vet and/or remove evidence from GO headquarter files in the United Kingdom that Hubbard was running them.

Again, the book was completely false in this area.

Lastly, while in the original edition organized scientology really played up how groups like Narconon and the "study tech" groups were part of organized scientology, and that such things as "study tech" was scientology tech, they frequently deny it when them deem it legally convenient.

Many more examples of what is false in this book can be given but the above give a bit of an overview.

The bottom line is that book is based on major lies about what is scientology and who runs it/ran it.

Without a doubt there are people of good heart who are scientologists who mean well and are trying to do good. I wish them well.

But this book presents a false image of Hubbard, scientology and organized scientology which does nobody any good.

It creates a false history.

It is time to end the lies.

w/
Overall rating 
 
1.0
Wow factor 
 
1.0
Informative 
 
1.0
Easy to understand 
 
1.0
Usefulness 
 
1.0
Reviewed by justme November 11, 2012
Top 100 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (2)

A deceptive book from its earliest days

The original "What is Scientology" book was not published in 1993 as some think. The original one from which later editions evolved was published in 1978.

It was written primarily by staff of the then Guardian's Office ("GO") as can be seen in the below link to the "Acknowledgments" page in that first edition. I was one of those writers.

http://s1262.beta.photobucket.com/user/Born2Shop9/media/What_Is_Scientology.jpg.html

The book was written following and in response to the huge FBI raids on organized scientology's GO offices in the USA in 1977. It was meant as a defensive action that was part of an attempt to handle organized scientology's and Hubbard's severely damaged PR because of the raids.

Additionally, it was hoped to help limit any possible legal action against L Ron Hubbard and organized scientology by trying to create in the public mind the following beliefs:

1) Hubbard was not in fact running organized scientology, especially not running the GO targeted by the FBI in 1977;

2) Organized scientology/scientology was a religion;

3) Organized scientology did a lot of good for society including though its "social betterment" programs including Applied Scholastics, Narconon and other groups that at that time were run by the GO's "Social Coordination" Bureau ("B6").

With the release of this first edition much more was done to try to in effect create a "paper trail" of sorts to show that scientology was a religion. The GO ran all sorts of programs then to put in a false religious image such as Sunday services, Roman ministerial collars being worn, crosses being worn more, many staff being forced to become "ministers" and really pushing a "scholars" program to get "scholars" to write opinions that scientology was a religion.

The programs to push in this image portrayed in the book were in the main disingenuous, had everything to do with image and nothing really to do with reality. Scholars were often duped by being given false information to help them "conclude" scientology was a religion. Later editions of the book would make great usage of such opinions.

An equally false picture intentionally created by that book was that Hubbard was not running things when he in fact was. For example just a year after the publication of the book Hubbard was secretly ordering the corporate reorganization of parts of organized scientology including his 1979 orders to Sue Mithoff in his "Commodore's Messenger Organization" regarding the legal establishment of Scientology Missions International ("SMI"). Hubbard even said to push the tax and personal monetary advantages of starting scientology "missions" by making them "churches". He personally pushed in a religious image just for the tax and other legal advantages.

I personally was run on telexes from Hubbard for setting up the first "WISE" corporation and from 1975 through 1983 had an estimated 250 orders from Hubbard, most of them on legal matters.

Additionally, completely contrary to what was said in the book, Hubbard ordered the GO to keep undated resignations of all corporate officials in the organized scientology legal empire and to run them all secretly.

In fact L Ron Hubbard was so involved in the running of the GO and thus organized scientology that it took over 100 people weeks just to vet and/or remove evidence from GO headquarter files in the United Kingdom that Hubbard was running them.

Again, the book was completely false in this area.

Lastly, while in the original edition organized scientology really played up how groups like Narconon and the "study tech" groups were part of organized scientology, and that such things as "study tech" was scientology tech, they frequently deny it when them deem it legally convenient.

Many more examples of what is false in this book can be given but the above give a bit of an overview.

The bottom line is that book is based on major lies about what is scientology and who runs it/ran it.

Without a doubt there are people of good heart who are scientologists who mean well and are trying to do good. I wish them well.

But this book presents a false image of Hubbard, scientology and organized scientology which does nobody any good.

It creates a false history.

It is time to end the lies.

w/

Where I stand

I am a...
ex-Scientologist

Pros and Cons (optional)

Pros
I honestly cannot think of a "pro".
Cons
The book is based on lies

It gives a false picture of organized scientology and the controls of same, including Hubbard relationship to it.

Bottom line...

Recommend it to a friend?
No
Was this review helpful to you? 
This book is just too big, too heavy, too overwhelming and too massy. It was probably meant to impress but had the opposite effect – a turn off. The many pictures in it just add to that. It’s somehow like a big log with a lot of data pressed into it and enforced on the reader. It is very, very unhandy to use due to its ridicules size. I didn’t get one positive comment from people I gave it to.
To get data and to learn about Scientology and about “what is Scientology?” the single original books from L. Ron Hubbard are certainly much better.

Overall rating 
 
1.5
Wow factor 
 
1.0
Informative 
 
2.0
Easy to understand 
 
2.0
Usefulness 
 
1.0
Reviewed by KA November 11, 2012
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (6)

Best used as weight

This book is just too big, too heavy, too overwhelming and too massy. It was probably meant to impress but had the opposite effect – a turn off. The many pictures in it just add to that. It’s somehow like a big log with a lot of data pressed into it and enforced on the reader. It is very, very unhandy to use due to its ridicules size. I didn’t get one positive comment from people I gave it to.
To get data and to learn about Scientology and about “what is Scientology?” the single original books from L. Ron Hubbard are certainly much better.

Where I stand

I am a...
Independent Scientologist

Pros and Cons (optional)

Pros
A lot of information
Cons
far too massy,

Bottom line...

Recommend it to a friend?
No
Was this review helpful to you? 
“What is Scientology” should be removed as a book because it shares shelf space with real "books" like Science of Survival, History of Man 8-8008, etc... Why are we degrading LRH's books??? This book should be placed on the heap of glossy promotional mail we are inundated with and unceremoniously shuffled off to the local dump. It degrades the subject of "books" and LRH's technology.
Overall rating 
 
1.0
Wow factor 
 
1.0
Informative 
 
1.0
Easy to understand 
 
1.0
Usefulness 
 
1.0
Reviewed by Robert Almblad November 10, 2012
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (19)

Degrades LRH books

“What is Scientology” should be removed as a book because it shares shelf space with real "books" like Science of Survival, History of Man 8-8008, etc... Why are we degrading LRH's books??? This book should be placed on the heap of glossy promotional mail we are inundated with and unceremoniously shuffled off to the local dump. It degrades the subject of "books" and LRH's technology.

Where I stand

I am a...
Independent Scientologist

Bottom line...

Recommend it to a friend?
No
Was this review helpful to you? 
An appalling vanity production. Don't waste your money.
Overall rating 
 
1.0
Wow factor 
 
1.0
Informative 
 
1.0
Easy to understand 
 
1.0
Usefulness 
 
1.0
Reviewed by Richard Kaminski November 10, 2012
Top 100 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (1)

What Scientology is not.

An appalling vanity production. Don't waste your money.

Where I stand

I am a...
Independent Scientologist

Pros and Cons (optional)

Pros
Doorstop.
Useful to schools of publishing and advertising studying promotional howlers.
Cons
Image-building at its very worst.

No obvious point to the book. Who would you give it to, in all honesty?
This 'brochure' marked the beginning of 'The Scientology Religion' corporation nonsense.

The book marked the way for unknown others to start gassing on about Scientology in an attempt to position it in a world market of beliefs and practices. The language is both smug and hectoring, the illustrations clichéd, garish and without any apparent editorial cohesion. Too heavy and clumsy to use, not in hardback for easy shelving, far too much information crammed into one publication meaning you had to pick it all up in order to find one thing out, no dissemination value, and no target readership. More of a coffee-table sort of thing. Overall Tone Level -3.5 Controlling Bodies/Effort. Not one scrap of fun, humour, lightness of touch, or pleasure to be found on any page. A really hard slog to get through.

It doesn't address an individual in a comm cycle like virtually every LRH book does, it's talking at you in torrents, flooding you with pictures. The book represents an entity bigger than any one individual in it.


Bottom line...

Recommend it to a friend?
No
Was this review helpful to you? 
The degree which we consider our self able is so lightly stated.
Overall rating 
 
1.8
Wow factor 
 
2.0
Informative 
 
2.0
Easy to understand 
 
2.0
Usefulness 
 
1.0
Reviewed by mkmrmny November 10, 2012
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (34)

Has a lot of pat answers.

The degree which we consider our self able is so lightly stated.

Where I stand

I am a...
Independent Scientologist

Pros and Cons (optional)

Pros
Has a lot of general data and guide lines on what Scientologists believe.
Cons
Not honest enough in many areas of beliefs.

Bottom line...

Recommend it to a friend?
No
Was this review helpful to you? 
The size and weight of this book make it pretty much useless except as a record of information that is otherwise being erased from history by the church. The collection of lists of orgs, missions, Narconons and other groups is a fairly accurate picture of where Scientology stood in 1993. So too the lists of books, lectures, historical dates. One can compare this to the existing scene today. While there is no longer a list of orgs and missions and Narconons anywhere, you can look at the 1993 list and see if the org or mission still exists today.

If you have the book, hold onto it. It also contains some of the only published summarized descriptions of Dianetics, Scientology, auditing and training in existence. They are quite accurate and condense a lot of information into a short summation.
Overall rating 
 
2.3
Wow factor 
 
1.0
Informative 
 
4.0
Easy to understand 
 
3.0
Usefulness 
 
1.0
Reviewed by beanstalk November 09, 2012
Top 100 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (1)

Information found nowhere else the church cannot sweep under the rug

The size and weight of this book make it pretty much useless except as a record of information that is otherwise being erased from history by the church. The collection of lists of orgs, missions, Narconons and other groups is a fairly accurate picture of where Scientology stood in 1993. So too the lists of books, lectures, historical dates. One can compare this to the existing scene today. While there is no longer a list of orgs and missions and Narconons anywhere, you can look at the 1993 list and see if the org or mission still exists today.

If you have the book, hold onto it. It also contains some of the only published summarized descriptions of Dianetics, Scientology, auditing and training in existence. They are quite accurate and condense a lot of information into a short summation.

Where I stand

I am a...
Independent Scientologist

Pros and Cons (optional)

Pros
A record of information that cannot be erased from history as hard as the church might try to do so.
Cons
Unwieldy in the extreme. A lot of hype.

Bottom line...

Recommend it to a friend?
No
Was this review helpful to you? 
When the book was designed, David Miscavige directed that it be printed on very heavy paper stock so it would seem more "substantial" based on the theory that a heavy book would somehow demonstrate more validity or generate more credibility for Scientology. The keynote he was going for was "authoritative" and as a result, it comes off as authoritative instead of warm, human and truthful which would have been about 1,000 times better. The additional unnecessary weight makes the book uncomfortable to hold, a hassle to transport and incredibly unwieldy to read.

The problem in logic is that David Miscavige being a sociopath, has no commonality or anything in common with other people. So his effort is simply to overwhelm everyone, including through art. That translated into making this book very so heavy to "impress" people.

Trivia: The original 1993 edition featured a forced-perspective bridge rising from scorched earth which I created in miniature. It was about three feet long. The ivory-colored bridge was a paper model, pieced together from paper. The lava-like earth was crafted from a Styrofoam sheet and painted black with red in the cracks and lit by a red light below so it looked like cooling lava. The rest was Photoshopped in.
Overall rating 
 
1.5
Wow factor 
 
2.0
Informative 
 
1.0
Easy to understand 
 
2.0
Usefulness 
 
1.0
Reviewed by Thoughtful November 04, 2012
Last updated: November 09, 2012
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (11)

All dressed up and no place to go

When the book was designed, David Miscavige directed that it be printed on very heavy paper stock so it would seem more "substantial" based on the theory that a heavy book would somehow demonstrate more validity or generate more credibility for Scientology. The keynote he was going for was "authoritative" and as a result, it comes off as authoritative instead of warm, human and truthful which would have been about 1,000 times better. The additional unnecessary weight makes the book uncomfortable to hold, a hassle to transport and incredibly unwieldy to read.

The problem in logic is that David Miscavige being a sociopath, has no commonality or anything in common with other people. So his effort is simply to overwhelm everyone, including through art. That translated into making this book very so heavy to "impress" people.

Trivia: The original 1993 edition featured a forced-perspective bridge rising from scorched earth which I created in miniature. It was about three feet long. The ivory-colored bridge was a paper model, pieced together from paper. The lava-like earth was crafted from a Styrofoam sheet and painted black with red in the cracks and lit by a red light below so it looked like cooling lava. The rest was Photoshopped in.

Where I stand

I am a...
Independent Scientologist

Pros and Cons (optional)

Pros
As a reference work it has a lot of facts. But as a book for dissemination, it does not contain facts that also have dissemination value in my opinion
Cons
For me personally, this book never had much use. I gave it out to people. Nobody read it. Stupidly, moronically heavy. The book doesn't provide facts I think people would actually be interested in.

Bottom line...

Recommend it to a friend?
No
Was this review helpful to you? 
 
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