Beginning sometime around the turn of the new year and through the rest of the winter, the reputations of L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology are going to take perhaps the biggest press shellacking they have ever received. Some news outlets have reported that Lawrence Wright’s book about Scientology (Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief) is going to have an initial print run of 150,000 copies. That means the unbecoming photo of LRH on the cover will be peering at Americans from virtually every book outlet in the country for several months. What I expect will appear in the book will make the photo look complimentary. Wright’s publishers have invested heavily in the production of the book and will have to invest that much more in making it, and its author, omnipresent – or they will lose money. Wright will appear on virtually every widely viewed television and radio talk show. And a headline topic will be revelations about less than admirable events in L. Ron Hubbard’s life. Wright will be followed by the far less influential, but likely as scandalous, book by Jenna Miscavige Hill. That book too is bankrolled by a large publishing outfit that will roll out the ready-made, full-scale press tour for the author.
If someone you know who cares about the future of Scientology has not read my books I recommend they do before the long, cold winter begins. It has nothing to do with concern for my book sales. They are not even in the same universe in terms of distribution and readership the Wright book is headed for. Instead, the concern is that absent a good gradient on loosening up and reckoning one’s ‘faith’ and ‘belief’ in Scientology (and an increase in one’s independent thinking and contemplation about what he or she actually knows and finds valuable about the subject), the Wright avalanche is likely to create a huge ridge between corporate life and independent life. Many of those who are under the radar, on the fence, or sitting on the sidelines are liable to get sufficiently disaffected from the subject that they are likely to blow from it entirely. Those drinking kool aid will no doubt be implanted into some bizarre new world order conspiracy theory to explain the far-flung effects of Wright’s expose. They will be herded into an even more black and white, us versus them mentality than they already harbor. Their ears will be shut off to reason entirely.
I wanted to put the issues into complete and full context (understanding philosopher Ken Wilber’s and Quantum Mechanic’s understanding that to get to the most accurate picture requires subjective as well as objective reality). But, given the cost and diversion time created by corporate Scientology’s four year siege I have yet to complete my extensive volume on the history of Scientology. Having been resigned to come on the tail end of the Wright storm to do what I can to give the more complete context, I am also resigned to suggest that in the interim to get my existing books into the hands of those whom you care about. I think those books, What Is Wrong With Scientology? and The Scientology Reformation, will help prepare folks mentally and emotionally for what is coming.