The Advertiser (Adelaide), 11 Sep 1968, p2

Victorian Report On Scientology

In SA, the Chief Secretary (Mr. DeGaris) has announced that a Bill, similar to that in Victoria, to curb scientology, will be introduced here soon. In Perth, Cabinet has authorised the WA Minister of Health (Mr. Mackinnon) to draft legislation to ban or control scientology.

The board of enquiry appointed by the Victorian Government to enquire into the practice of scientology said in its report to Parliament that scientology was not, and did not claim to be, a religion. The general attitude of its founder, Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, was hostile to and disparaging to religion.

The board says scientology claims to be "that branch of psychology which treats (embraces) human ability."

The report says: "Its theories are, however, generally impossible, peculiar and novel to itself. In that it deals with a variety of real and imagined activities and conditions of the mind, scientology may be classed as a kind of psychology, though often irrational and perverted.

"Its techniques are a conglomeration of procedures based on misconceptions of psychiatry, psychology, psycho-analysis and other sciences, as well as a very heavy leavening of procedures that are its founder's own brainchildren."

About 1936, Hubbard, then a young American author, is said to have formulated certain "axioms" which later developed into the axioms of scientology and "dianetics."


In 1951, Hubbard claims to have succeeded in proving by "scientific rather than religious or humanitarian" means the existence of a spirit, akin to the soul, which he termed the "thetan," and thereupon to have founded or discovered scientology.

Scientology grew out of dianetics which Hubbard had founded a year or so earlier.

In dianetics, Hubbard claimed that the hidden source of all psychosomatic ills was the "engram," and that dianetic skills had been developed for the invariable cure of all psychosomatic illnesses.

The "engram" was defined as a "moment of unconsciousness containing pain or painful emotion and all perceptions and is not available to the analytical or conscious mind as experience."

The "engram" was said to be received in one's past, the "past" in dianetics being either in this lifetime, or more likely and more frequently in the prenatal period, that is, during the mother's pregnancy.

In dianetics, Hubbard dealt with "the clear" who was the optimum individual and was the goal of dianetic therapy.

A clear was an individual who was entirely without ills or aberrations, with an intelligence high above the current norm.

The report says: "In later years the concept of a clear developed and changed somewhat, but the state of clear became seductively more desirable of attainment, yet remained for all an elusive will o' the wisp.

"Adherents of dianetics and scientology vaguely thought and still think of the state of clear as being a worthy goal and something highly desirable and, as "preclears," they strive to attain it.

"For many years Hubbard, both in dianetics and scientology, has been promising his followers that they would very soon be clear; but few have been recognised by scientology as having attained that state or, if they attained it, to have remained long in it, despite the award of a silver bracelet by Hubbard to those whom he certified as clear.

"Many of the processes of dianetics and scientology are essentially hypnotic and induce hallucinations.

"As the practice of dianetics developed, processing purported to bring to light engrams which related to periods longs before the prenatal period. Hubbard assumed that these hallucinations were real and he developed the theory that the incidents had occurred in a past life, that is, in a previous lifetime of the person.


"On this basis he claimed to have dicovered the thetan, which was really the person, the "I", which he declared had survived the deaths of countless bodies to which it had been successively assigned over the untold trillions of years of the thetan's existence."

Hubbard claims that scientology changes no man's religion and changes no man's politics and that a person could consistently belong to any religious denomination and at the same time be a scientologist.

In America, there are what are called "founding churches of scientology," founded by Hubbard. In Victoria there is no such establishment, though in the early days of scientology in Victoria some of its adherents referred to themselves as "the reverend" and for a time there was even "a bishop," the illusion being heightened by their clerical garb.


The title of "Doctor of Divinity," designated by the letters "D. D." is used by some scientologists and on occasions even by Hubbard himself. This "doctorate" was bestowed by some Hubbardian institution in the United States.

The report says: "But these and a few other trappings do not make scientology a religion or its practices or beliefs religious.

"Nor do belated claims that scientology is a religion, made towards the close of the enquiry, transform scientology into anything even remotely religious."

Scientology practitioners are called "auditors."

"These auditors are often young persons, some still in their teens or just beyond, sometimes ill educated, and with only a few months' training in scientology techniques to equip them for their task of taking control of the minds of their patients," the report states.

"Scientology possesses certain features which are morally highly undesirable.

"Many of the processes are of a hypnotic nature and normal inhibitions and restraints are relaxed, with the result that when matters of sex and perversion are introduced into processing, as is frequently the case, they are discussed and probed and dwelt upon sometimes for hours on end."

"One highly disturbing feature of the dangerous hypnotic techniques used is that the perverted and erotic disclosures of a preclear are very frequently merely hallucinatory, yet they persist as realities to the preclear who is thereby often morally disturbed.

"Though scientology afford for some people an escape from the realities of life, it is not in any way a healthy diversion or recreation.

"It is quite the reverse. It robs people of their initiative, their sense of responsibility, their critical faculties and sometimes their reason.

"It induces them mentally to debase and enslave themselves.

"It has done, and is capable of doing, grave harm to the mental and physical health of its victims by the practice of dangerous procedures and by persuading them that orthodox medical care and treatment, which some of them may urgently require, is evil and to be avoided.

It consistently relieves them of large sums of money on payment of fees for processing and training.

In several individual cases, the sum paid was substantially in excess of $2,000.


Legislation which followed this report in Victoria is described as "an Act to provide for the registration of psychologists, the protection of the public from unqualified persons and certain harmful practices and for other purposes."

It requires the registration of psychologists with certain specified qualifications and places controls on the practice of hypnotism.

In its section on "hypnotism and other practices," the Act specifically prohibits the practice of scientology, with a penalty of not more than $200 for a first offence and not more than $500 or gaol for not more than two years for subsequent offences.

[Press articles on Scientology]