In the early eighties with the figurative barbarians at the gates of his Scientology kingdom L. Ron Hubbard wrote a dispatch to his personal services organization, Author Services Inc. (ASI), that stated in sum and substance: a man’s worth can be judged by the stature of his enemies. At the time he was referring to the fact that virtually all major news media, the U.S. Department of Justice (including the FBI), the IRS, and a number of other state, provincial and federal agencies in several countries were in hot pursuit of Ron.
In its context the advice from Ron seemed intended to steady the resolve and nerve of those he had appointed with defending against his formidable enemies. There is some truth to his little axiom. Whether it is honorable to have so many law enforcement agencies after you is another question entirely. Under Ron’s standard, Osama Bin Laden would be more worthy than anyone in recent memory – including Ron himself.
Something I find interesting is the number of people who twenty-seven years after Ron’s death seem to derive their own sense of worth by virtue of obsessively continuing to go after L. Ron Hubbard. More than a quarter century after Ron’s death it seems that an active cult thrives on the central religious practice of spitting on his grave.
Ironically, the members of the cult regularly, blatantly and shameless exhibit many of the behaviors they so indignantly protest in the cult Ron left behind. They engage in thought-stopping, censorship by censure, judgmentalism, stereotyping, ‘ends justify the mean’s,’ etc. You name the cult characteristic they accuse Ron of and they have it down in spades themselves. If someone gives Ron the slightest credit for ever having displayed any human tendency that individual is castigated, condemned and shunned violently. If a member of the anti Ron cult steadfastly pledges allegiance to, and demonstrates it consistently, condemning everything about Ron or the cult he left behind – or even anyone who credits Ron with any act that cannot be characterized as demonic -, why, that member is honored and can be seen to do no wrong. Hell, he could figuratively get away with murder.
The central, most unifying unwritten tenet of the anti Ron cult is that solely by virtue of condemning Ron they are somehow victims and have thus demonstrated honorable behavior. Notwithstanding that while the church of Scientology is renowned for over-aggressive dealings with critics, the most prominent members of the anti-Ron cult have never had a glove laid upon them by Scientology. Most cult members attempt to position themselves with those who have in fact been dogged by Scientology. However, they have also conveniently omitted from the hagiographies they have constructed for their heroes that most of the folks they emulate have sold out to Scientology for hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. So, you can add hyporcrisy to the list of cult-like qualities of those obsessing with Ron.
One theme I believe that may have been apparent in Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior is that Ron Hubbard became the effect of factors he could have conquered by application of the very principles he codified. In particular, Ron’s decision to engage with and destroy his enemies resulted in his unhappy demise. It stemmed from his violation of the following fundamental Dianetics and Scientology principle which violation mars the cult of his creation to this day: that which one obsessively resists one becomes. It seems to me that by so aggressively demonizing Hubbard, his enemies have followed suit on that score too.
It makes me think that Ron (and the cult that arose to demonize him and yet wound up mimicking him) should have taken the advice of Lao Tzu to heart when he wrote in the Tao Te Ching that one ought to consider one’s enemy as the shadow he himself casts.