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Evolution, Scientology Style
By Dawn Huxley
Posted on: 4/20/2002
A discussion of the wonders of evolution as described by the founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard.
The Skeptic Friends Network has devoted a lot of time to the creationism/evolution debate. Our critics constantly encourage us to take a different point of view, and complain about our views being one-sided. I’ve taken their instruction to heart and decided to write about a different point of view of evolution. In fact, a very different view.
Here I will discuss our evolution as seen by L. Ron Hubbard, author of the 1950 bestseller Dianetics and the founder of the Church of Scientology. Hubbard’s quasi-religious, pseudo-scientific account of man’s origins is now Scientology doctrine.
Criticisms of L. Ron Hubbard’s work are bountiful online, but I’ll stick to describing only one specific book of his here for the SFN — Scientology: A History of Man.
Our Early History
A History of Man opens with the remarkable sentence, “This is a cold-blooded and factual account of your last sixty trillion years.” “Sixty trillion years?” you might ask. Nevermind that astronomers and cosmologists date our universe as only 14- to 16-billion years old. We have other hurdles to cross.
First, we must start with Hubbard’s idea of the evolution of the body and the mind, since, according to Hubbard, they’re intertwined. Therefore, we’ll talk about two kinds of “souls,” if you will — one for the body and one for the mind. The “thetan” (the main “soul”) is what you might call “consciousness,” the “I,” or, as Hubbard so aptly puts it, “that which is being aware of being aware.” The thetan has nothing to do with our basic evolution since it is separate from the “soul” of our bodies.
The second “soul” isn’t really a soul at all, but more akin to a mindless entity. It merely posseses the body, but not the mind. However, this is where our evolutionary journey begins. Hubbard calls this “lower soul” the Genetic Entity, or GE for short. The GE inhabits our bodies and has endured a curious pattern of development in our own evolution. Even today we retain memories of the GE’s evolutionary voyage in our subconscious minds.
Our original existence began in “The Atom.” And then a “Cosmic Impact” occurred, which can trigger an upset stomach if you accidentally “remember” it, so suppress that thought! Then came the “The Photon Converter,” which Hubbard neglects to describe in any detail, so I won’t either.
Finally, and more concretely, we took on a solid form in the HELPER (capitalization Hubbard’s). The HELPER is at the point to where the cell split and divided. Many of man’s problems actually stem from this point in our evolution.
The HELPER includes some quite nasty “incidents” during the course of our evolution, which we retain memories of in our psyches. (An “incident,” for those of you not in the know when it comes to Scientologese, is “an experience, simple or complex, related by the same subject, location, related perception or people that takes place in a short and finite time period such as minutes, hours or days; also mental image pictures of such experiences.” Whatever.) Hubbard says about the HELPER, “And at this point in the evolutionary chain we were jellyfish, seaweed and other forms.”
It gets a little sticky here because some people, with stimulation of this “memory” of being jellyfish, can experience “drying and itching” because seaweed was often cast ashore. Memory of being a jellyfish can also cause problems since jellyfish “sometimes [drifted] into a cave or grotto” and were “pressed against a stone by rising tide and waves…”
Our next evolutionary stage was the CLAM, a “scalloped-lip, white-shelled creature.” We CLAMS had a host of problems, the first being the birth of our “epicentres [sic] of [what] became the human jaw.” Other than that, some of the CLAM’s misadventures included not being able to close its jaws when needed. For instance, it would “get its shell stuck open and be unable to shut it.” Ouch! Also, it would be washed ashore and “bake under a frying sun,” which, by the way, causes people to have sunburns if this memory of being a CLAM is “stimulated.”
The main course of reproduction for the CLAM was using spores, which were on the lip and “permitted to grow.” These spores, you should know, could “burst” and be “sudden and painful.” (And, ignore the fact that real-life clams don’t propagate this way.) These spores, however, “gave ‘incident’ which permitted the human teeth to have a pattern.”
If you want to “stimulate” a person into remembering their life as a CLAM, you need only to ask, “Can you imagine a clam sitting on the beach, opening and closing its shell rapidly?” Then you should make a motion with your thumb and forefinger opening and closing. According to Hubbard, the person might “grip his jaws … and feel quite upset.” He or she might even say something about the “poor clam,” become depressed, and, in some cases, fall into a stupor.
Next is the WEEPER (also known as the BOOHOO), another shell animal, whose “plights are many and pathetic” — but, sad to say, yet another stage of our evolution. Its experiences are very hard to distinguish from the CLAM’s. For instance, it also lay on the beach “as seaweed and a dying clam.” The WEEPER or BOOHOO also struggled to open its jaws, and when it did so to grab some food… POW — it might “get a wave in the shell” along with unwanted sand. This was an anxious period of our evolution, obviously.
The WEEPER had to breathe oxygen at some point, so it regularly pumped out salt water to inhale “atmosphere.” This is why we cry! We “pump out the salt water” to relieve ourselves; or, as Hubbard says, “…[cry] out a grief charge…”
This WEEPER had two “pumping tubes” which later “evolved” into “the eyes of a human being.” Naturally, it had some problems since it lived on the “edge on the surf” and had to furiously pump to eat or breathe.
This is a very nasty memory indeed. Hubbard makes it clear here:
The inability of [a person] to cry is partly a hang-up in the WEEPER. He is about to be hit by a wave, has his eyes full of sand or is frightened about opening his shell because he might be hit. An occluded case [a person who “complains of illness”] is sometimes “shell-shut.”So there you have it — the source of many of our unexplained anxieties.
You should also be aware that “falling sensations” or “periods of indecision” are traced to the BIRDS, which had an affinity for eating us CLAMs. With an open shell, a bird could thrust in a foot or beak, and then if the CLAM closed its shell, it would be lifted into the air, dropped, and become “bird food.” If it didn’t close its shell, the CLAM still became, well, bird food. A no-win situation for us shell creatures when faced by the BIRDS. Other than the obvious, this poses an enigma — if we were only clams, just where did those birds come from since birds appeared relatively late in the Mesozoic Era?
Before we all get seasick (or get “stimulated” from these recalled “charges”), let’s move on to our land-based evolution.
On the Land
Further along our evolutionary journey, we were next SLOTHS. (In case you’ve forgotten, we’re still subject to the Genetic Entity [GE].) Hubbard says of the SLOTH:
With the SLOTH we again find the GE in a state which is not very mobile, not easily defensible, in a world where the evolutionary line has produced more developed and more carnivorous beings.As bad as it was for the poor SLOTH, Hubbard assured us that we became more intelligent during this “line” of our evolution. Hubbard even said that our embodiment of the SLOTH “shows Man’s nature well, so far as GE’s are concerned.”
Furthermore, the SLOTH’s most enlightened view was “Leave me alone and I’ll leave you alone.” A good philosophy, but we SLOTHS were “slow and easily attacked.” Plus, we occasionally had “[bad times] falling out of trees when hit by snakes [and] falling off cliffs when attacked by baboons.” I don’t know where those baboons came from since, according to paleoanthropologists, our primate line split off from the baboons relatively recently in human history.
We eventually evolved into the APE, a simian that was “agile and intelligent.” But not intelligent enough, apparently, since our next stage of evolution was the … PILTDOWN MAN!
PILTDOWN had his own set of problems, not least of which was his rather nasty habit of eating his wife with his “ENORMOUS teeth.” Despite PILTDOWN’s “freakish acts of strange logic,” Hubbard claims PILTDOWN is man’s “first real Manhood.”
As you can imagine, this early memory of being a PILTDOWN can lead to family problems.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Wasn’t the “Piltdown Man” exposed as a fossil forgery in 1953? Was there, in fact, ever a Piltdown stage of our evolution?
Shhhhh! Don’t tell the Scientologists! According to them, L. Ron Hubbard’s writings are sacred scripture, and if Hubbard said Piltdown was a genuine hominid, then by God, he was!
But, finally, at long last, we reach the last stage of our GE/evolutionary period in the form of the CAVEMAN.
Though we haven’t advanced that much since the CAVEMAN, we have gained something since 1950, er, gained something since the so-called CAVEMAN. The CAVEMAN “crippled” his woman to keep her at home or to stave off being “poisoned” by sexual rivals. “Marital malaction [sic] often goes back to the CAVEMAN,” Hubbard has decreed. Problems with “interpersonal relationships” can be traced back to the CAVEMAN.
Stay tuned! Next up is the “evolution” of our “thetan!”
- Hubbard, L. Ron, 1952, 1961, 1968. Scientology: A History of Man. Church of Scientology of California.
- Hubbard, L. Ron, 1949-1981. Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary. Bridge Publications Inc. Los Angeles, CA.
- Operation Clambake
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