Where prejudice exists it always discolors our thoughts -Mark Twain
We believe that Scientologists as a group are no more racist than the general population. However, prejudices among members can be overlooked or accepted because they are validated by Source.
Racism (and colonialism and paternalism) is an integral part of L. Ron Hubbard's worldview and pervasive in his writings and lectures, which are the Church's sacred scriptures. Scientology is a fundamentalist religion, demanding precise and literal adherence to policy: interpretation and discussion are explicitly prohibited. In the least, this excuses members' prejudices and ensures the continuation of the racism expressed in Source.
The previous page, Can the Church Deny It?, presents Scientology racism in Hubbard's own words; this page illustrates the culture that it inspires.
The Church of Scientology's worldview revolves around "white privilege" (the idea that racism is not only something that puts others at a disadvantage but also confers certain, unspoken advantages on whites). Its whole philosophy is built solidly upon Hubbard's racial and cultural biases and paternalistic views.
Well, part of it may also be that the structure of Scn, which is very white, may not be as appealing to those who are not.
By this I mean the linear-thought patterns[,] graphs and charts and grades, all written-culture worship of His Written Words and dominant culture ideas of individual advancement, paying for wisdom with money, some of Hubbard's 1950s leftovers about patriarchal and white superiority, even down to the military heirarchy , etc.
I'm not saying that all nonwhites would feel alienated by these and other aspects of Scn, but there are so many cultural biases within the Scn construct that it is identifiable as such, no matter how non-biased it wants to believe itself to be, and how diverse it tries to pass itself off.
-M. C. DiPietra, ARS post "Re: Is scientology a racist organization?, May 2000
Jesse Prince, a former high-ranking official in the Church of Scientology, said of that "Hubbard could not conceive of a colored man like me of being so intelligent."
In a radio interview, Mr. Prince mentions that the current head of the Church, David Miscavige, is racist. Such racism in the leadership, even when not expressed publicly, tends to permeate the entire organization, allowing prejudices to go unchallenged.
JP [Jesse Prince]: You know, and it's also ironic that they would target the African-American community because the current leader of Scientology, David Miscavige, is a racist, a racist in extremis, as well as his South African companion, Norman Starkey. I was the only African-American that I know of that ever achieved a high position within Scientology. And even then, I was continually subjected to racial slurs by David Miscavige and, um, Norman Starkey to the point where we nearly came to blows about it.
HOST: What kind of racial slurs?
JP: "Nigger", "dumb nigger", this kind of—constantly.
A "Great Story" was posted to the alt.religion.scientology newsgroup as an example of a Scientology Big Win , probably to demonstrate to critics and "raw meat " the remarkable effects of the Scientology "tech". What it actually demonstrates is that these Scientologists are blind to their own racism. Whether they brought their prejudices with them when they joined the Church or developed them while members, this story shows how racism is not only tolerated but applauded.
Here's an excellent example of what a single Scientologist can do in their immediate environment — no matter how "dangerous" it may appear on the surface — might tickle your funny bone too. Sent to me by a friend.
Suddenly I saw this huge black guy (he literally dwarfed me) who was trying to sell crack to 4 young girls. I barged in, sent the girls away, and confronted the dealer. I held a Way to Happiness book up to his face and told him he needed to read this. He was impolite (to put it mildly) … threatened to kick my head in, and I just told him I'd get back up and tell him he needed to read this again. He threatened to kill me and I said, 'That's fine. I'll haunt you the rest of your life, and tell you need to read this.' He then asked if I was mad [insane] and I said more than likely. Eventually, he took the book and read a page or 2. Then he said, 'I'm going home. I've got to read ALL of this. And took my name and phone number.
This is a classic example of the Brute Caricature, a common racist image that the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia describes as "portray[ing] Black men as innately savage … and criminal…. Black brutes are depicted as … terrifying predators who target helpless victims, especially White women."
Jounalist Ian Halperin asked a Scientology recruiter in Los Angeles who L. Ron Hubbard might vote for in the 2008 US presidential elections. He quotes the Scientologist as saying:
I can tell you who shouldn't be President — Barack Obama, Condoleezza Rice and the Reverend Al Sharpton. They should not be allowed to run for office, they should be sweeping the office.
Note: The highly offensive "nigger" quote is not part of Church scripture, though it expresses Hubbard's true feelings because it was written in a private letter to his wife. Such opinions undoubtedly seeped into his public writings.
If this Scientologist was a racist before coming to Scientology, he has found acceptance within the Church. His attitude reflects Hubbard's own views, which are Scientology religious doctrine. "Sweeping the office" is eerily similar to Hubbard's advice to his wife to "get a nigger" to scrub her floors.
If the gentleman was not a racist before, Scientology made him one. All Scientologists are expected to support Source without question and are strongly influenced (some say brainwashed) by Hubbard's perspectives; i.e., Hubbard's Words = Truth, as former Scientologist Anthony explains:
But to believe in scientology means to believe that the Zulus (and all Africans) are savage, that the Japanese are insane because of their language (from a 1950 lecture), that the yogis are practicing mind-damaging techniques, etc., etc. I don't believe these things, and really thinking about these things, I suddenly found the range of things Hubbard said I disagreed with become huge.
Whereas before I had read his books and lecture transcripts as if they were gospel, suddenly they seemed dry, lifeless. I am ashamed for defending what Hubbard said now, especially as it implicates me as agreeing with the racist comments of a racist.
-Anthony, ARS post "Hubbard the Racist, December 1997
It was only after reading L Ron Hubbard that my viewpoint on the races of man began to be tested. Before that I did not have attention on any race and did not judge a book by its cover. I had friends of all shades and beliefs. …
There was a time when I was like Hubbard and saw others as a threat to my children's gene pool.
-Creed J. Pearson, L Ron Hubbard the Racist, Part VI of the Discovering Scientology's Greatest Secrets series
In Proof of Scientology's Racism in Africa , author Chris Owen describes a leading Scientologist's view of South African resources available for exploitation:
The Scientologist in question was U. Keith Gerry, who was definitely a favored associate of Hubbard: in 1955 he had collaborated with Hubbard to produce an anthology of Hubbardian thought entitled The Key to Tomorrow. In a late 1950s issue of Ability magazine he wrote an article entitled "How It Is Going In South Africa". This makes abundantly clear what Scientology's approach was in South Africa. Remember, this was approved by L. Ron Hubbard himself: he was happy to endorse a racist and discriminatory approach despite his claimed commitment to equality:
Note: Voortrekkers were Dutch settlers in South Africa who migrated into the interior of the country from 1836 onwards, in order to live outside of British rule.
[…] For anyone who wishes to see action, South Africa is going to be an intensely interesting country in the next few years. We are not trying to patch up an old order but we are going to create a new one in a land with vast natural resources, with an active people who still retain that streak of courage and enthusiasm which led the voortrekkers into the unknown, with a vast number of natives who would be happy working with their hands for understanding employers, with an ideal climate and with the geographical position which can lead the whole of Africa to a happy and united future.
The Church claims to have fought apartheid in South Africa but there is little evidence of such activity. At least some members were in favor of apartheid and believed that blacks "pulled it in", i.e., were themselves responsible for their dreadful circumstances.
Many [Scientologists] were reactionary, almost Fascistic, in their political views. The attitude of this breed was that the poor and oppressed of the world, the dwellers in mud villages and ghettos, were suffering solely from their own inadequacies; they were dominated by their reactive minds and were getting exactly what they deserved. Scientologists from South Africa were almost unanimously in favor of apartheid.
Interesting. Yes, I have encountered this "they were very abberated Beings to pick up black bodies in South Africa in the first place" viewpoint among South African Scientologists. One Indian man kept saying that he had "picked up the wrong body, he was meant to be White."
-Kim Baker, ARS post "Re: Scientology, right-wing politics, and apartheid".
Assorted encounters with Scientology racism:
The Scientologists at the neighboring table at the CC restaurant were loudly and condescendingly discussing African-Americans' contribution to American culture ("They're really good at music! They invented jazz! It shows that everyone has something to offer!").
At the coffee shop, a Scientologist, upon being introduced to a person with Asian features, went into a bizarre "Ah so!" routine, complete with mock-Asian accent.
-Tashback, ARS post "Re: Isaac Hayes = 'House Negro'".
Note: The majority of Washington, DC, residents are black.
One thing I noticed right away was that this new, world-wide religion had very few black people as members. I found this especially odd since this was Washington D.C. and there were plenty of potential black members. Well, I guess the only conclusion was that a) your average black person didn't have the cold cash to become a member and b) Scientology was full of bigots. I distinctly remember driving around with one of the instructors through the D.C. night when we had to stop and wait while two male black teenagers walked through the intersection. They were obviously goofing on us, taking as long as they possibly could to walk through the intersection, doing the black thing. Well, the instructor almost went ballistic. He began in on how he had this problem with blacks because of the way they act in public and the "black face" that they put on in order to intimidate whites. Whoa! It was easy to see that this person, who came from a privileged background, just couldn't handle the black persona. He was just your average, up tight, white male hiding his bigotry behind a mask of enlightenment. It wasn't that he had a problem with these youths, but it obviously extended to all blacks.
-Chris, ARS post "Victories over Scientology"
Hubbard's biases were evident from an early age — demonstrated by his journal entries as a teenager — and persisted into adulthood, appearing in his fictional writings preceding Scientology. In 1949, mathematician/author Chandler Davis wrote a letter for the Vanguard Amateur Press Association suggesting that "It's not satisfactory for all the characters in stories obviously to be white and have Anglo-Saxon names." As might be expected, the letter generated considerable discussion and disagreement. Davis had chosen a Hubbard story, The Automagic Horse, to use as "a hard example" of stereotyping. Hubbard did not respond with a discussion or agrument; instead he retaliated by changing the name of the villain in another story to "Chan Davies" and made him a communist.
For a church that espouses the equality for all races, colors, and creeds, there is a definite lack of black (and other minority) members, as a number of people have observed:
At any rate, a wide variety of people of different ages and with both sexes well represented. One curiosity was that I don't recall seeing any non-Caucasians, though there must have been a couple hundred people in the Castle building.
-Chris Owen, "Ron's Underpants: a visit to Saint Hill ", November 1996.
I was in Scientology for 2 years, and I never saw any overt racism in the cult. What I did see was a near-total lack of blacks in the cult. That is because they are not sought after for recruitment, not because they're somehow immune to the recruitment. :-)
-Martin Hunt, ARS post "Re: Isaac Hayes = 'House Negro'", March 1998.
Funny you should mention that. The org I went to was in a city with a high density of blacks (35-50%, much higher than the U.S. average), but I never saw one going to a course at the org; i.e., no African-American scienos.
-Anthony F. Roberts, ARS post "Re: Isaac Hayes = 'House Negro'", March 1998.
Warner Springs had about 50 "students" when I was there, divided pretty evenly between men and women, three to a room. 90 to 95% were young people age 18-22. There were only a few middle aged folks, despite what they told me at Newport Beach . And no black people. I did meet one black student at Newport Beach. He was enraged with the place and wanted his money back. He had to ask me for a quarter to make a phone call.
"Tara J's Narconon Experience ", 2004.
The Church employs the antisemitic Rev. George Robertson as the chairman of the (new) Cult Awareness Network. Before the Church sued CAN into bankruptcy and took over the organization, Rev. Robertson
… crisscrossed the country railing against the organization. He popped up at seminars on college campuses, crashed CAN conventions, shadowed its officials at speaking engagements, and protested alongside Scientologists outside members' homes and elsewhere. Claiming that CAN's membership was made up largely of Jews and psychiatric professionals opposed to organized Christianity, he was once quoted in a New Jersey newspaper as saying that "All Christians are cults to the Jews."
In an attempt to make its enemies in Clearwater (Florida) appear to be "Fascists, commie haters, and bigots" and in theory make allies among the black and Jewish communities, the Church proposed a "Black Propaganda" attack on itself by circulating an anonymous, racist and antisemitic letter to all the downtown businesses, especially "All the Jewish ones". (-Charles Stafford and Bette Orsini, St. Petersburg Times, "'Priority' Critics of Church Faced Special Handling", 1980)
Fellow Clearwaterians (check spell)
God bless the Mayor. He is a true Christian and the entire town should be proud of him. He has stood up against un-Christian Scientology and God is obviously with him.
On the Scientology issues, the Mayor is right. We back him all the way. But what we should also do is make sure no more undesirables move into Clearwater.
We kept the Miami Jews from moving in and turning beautiful Clearwater into Miami Beach. The blacks in Clearwater are decent and know their place …
Scientology Source perpetuates Hubbard's racism and validates that of Scientologists. Because Source is immutable and inviolable, the racism will always remain.