MAGILL JULY 2002
While there were many comments about the Church of Scientology, the writer made no contact with the church for any response. L Ron Hubbard was primarily a writer and a humanitarian. His books have sold over 100 million copies, the royalties from which enabled him to dedicate most of his time to research and development of workable and practical solutions within the humanities.
Mr Hubbard's research into the mind and spirit are increasingly being used in secular fields - simply because they are effective. For example, the secular drug rehabilitation programme Narconon is based on his research into the effects of drugs and how to deal with these. It has an independently assessed success rate of between 70 and 80 per cent, and has helped tens of thousands of hard-core drug addicts to kick their habit. Narconon recently opened the largest residential drug rehab centre in the world in Oklahoma, USA.
Mr Hubbard also investigated and wrote on the subject of 'study' and 'education'. The results of his research have provoked comments such as:
Paul O'Brien replies:
My piece on a training course used by the Irish-based company in question centred on the nature of the course, the company that provides the course, that company's background and its links to Scientology. The Irish-based company in question and the US company which provides the course were both contacted for comment, and their comments were afforded significant space in the article.
The "unsubstantiated allegation" I take to refer to my questioning of the late L Ron Hubbard's own background, and the claims of many of his followers, who attribute to him a remarkable list of achievements.
Officialdom in several countries, most notably France and Germany, are sceptical of many of these claims, and several judges have also questioned them. As such, I believe it is valid to question aspects of his background.
Narconon does indeed have "the largest residential drug rehab centre in the world in Oklahoma", but independent medical experts have questioned the methods of treatment that the facility offers. Similarly, there have been questions raised about educational and training programmes based on research by L Ron Hubbard. I acknowledged that Hubbard's writings have influenced "a range of educational, anti-drug and training programmes among others", but pointed out that most of these are run or administered by Scientologists or legally incorporated bodies or Companies with some affiliation to the movement.