Posts Tagged ‘L. Ron Hubbard’

Have you read Mission Earth?

12 February 2016

Mission Earth is a story written by LRH in 1985, and subsequently published in ten books, spaced out so audiences had time to finish each one before the next one went on sale.

I owned a full set at one time, but only read the first 5 volumes. More recently I purchased the audio books version and finished the story that way. Here is a rather off-the-cuff sum-up of what I took away from reading these books.

Viewpoints

The first 8 volumes of the story are narrated by the hero’s chief antagonist, a spy from another planet. First viewpoint.
It is presented as a transcription of his “confession,” written after he was imprisoned for his misdeeds. A robotic translator is used in this process, and it makes comments about the illogical nature of the story at the beginning of each book. Second viewpoint.
The spy has secretly installed implants in the hero and the heroine, giving him direct access to their conversations and experiences. Thus we also get the hero’s viewpoint in this story.
The last two volumes are ostensibly penned by an “investigative reporter” from the same planet as the other main characters. He starts out sympathetic with the hero, but gradually gets corrupted by his baser instincts and ends up something close to a raving lunatic. This character gives us the ending of the story, after they have all left Earth and returned to their own planet.

The hero’s viewpoint is very ethical. It is despised by the narrator, a criminal, and that gives us our satire. Though the subject of the books seems to be Earth, it is more correctly the human predicament, which the other planet suffers from as much as Earth does, even though that planet has a continuous written and legal history that goes back tens of thousands of years, and technology very advanced compared to that on Earth.

Hubbard’s hero speaks for Hubbard in terms of ethical and practical answers to a variety of thorny human dilemmas. He briefly explains all sorts of advanced technologies that for all I know are perfectly workable.

The criminal narrator cheers for the unethical side of human thought and experience. He is quite willing to be involved in the most unseemly behavior, particularly involving sexuality, but also murder, and adores the subjects of public relations, psychology and psychiatry.

Technologies

Here is a short list of technologies mentioned in this story. It is my definite impression that he is telling us that these technologies are quite real and have been used by more advanced civilizations for thousands of years:

  1. Superluminal travel. This is exemplified by a technology he calls the “will-be-was engine.”
  2. Safe biological handlings for pollution. The hero runs a “spore project” to rid Earth of excess pollutants.
  3. Time bending. The hero has a camera-like device which can be dialed up to several hours into the future that he uses to win at roulette in a casino. The royal city on the home planet is also protected by a 13 minute time warp.
  4. Anti-gravity drives, which are quite the ordinary thing on the home planet.
  5. Harnessing of microscopic “proto black holes” as long-term energy sources. The hero does one for earth, and Royal City on the home planet also runs on one.
  6. All sorts of energy-based weapons, of course. Though the criminal’s favorite gun shoots needles.
  7. Mind control via hypnosis. The heroine is expert at this and uses technology called a “hypno-helmet.” The hypnotic effect is well-known on earth, though seldom discussed in “polite” company.

Social dynamics

Hubbard depicts all his characters as fallible. Even the robo-brain in the translatophone. Thus, human societies, to survive, must somehow take this into account.

Both societies suffer from two propensities in particular: drugs and sex. What the hero tries to do with these subjects is to decommercialize them as much as possible so there is no profit in promoting them. This strategy seems to include a minimum of legal prohibitions.

All societies have problems with criminality, and this is really the central theme of this story. Many people, including me, found these books hard to read because criminality is so in your face in this story. The intent, of course, is to get us to face it. A society that cannot face a criminal and deal sternly with one will be overcome by them. This is one of the primary lessons taught by my church and one of the most hardest fought (by the criminals, of course). Criminality has been SO TOLERATED on this planet for so long! Hubbard really makes fun of this fact and its various ramifications. New York City is run by the mob, which does the dirty work for the secret ruler of the planet, Rockefeller (dubbed “Rockecenter” in the story). Everyone has to do what this guy says or else. The mobs, however, have better ethics than the Rockecenters! Some other criminal rackets Hubbard deals with in this story include:

  • Credit card companies and banks.
  • PR as it is commonly practiced on earth.
  • Psychology and psychiatry as they are practiced on earth.
  • The program to make homosexuality popular, as a population control strategy.
  • Rampant spying by the government on private citizens.

Hubbard’s interim answer to social ills is to face and handle the criminal very sternly. This should be the focus of law and the primary duty of the central government. We are talking about real criminals, not all the people who make mistakes. The real ones do it with a passion. The others feel upset about their misdeeds.

On Earth the criminal “Rockecenter” is forced to sign over all his operations to honest people. Then when he attempts a predictable double-cross, he gets blown up, and all the signed papers recovered.

On the home planet, the criminals get exiled to barren regions with “lots of space.” They cannot be rehabilitated and in any case are not seen as worth the effort. Perhaps the next lifetime will be a better one. On the home planet people live for 200 years or more, so imprisonment of criminals (in a big open area) until death can give a society a nice long breather.

Earth versus ET

In this story, the hero’s home planet is planning to invade earth and take it over about 150 years in the future. However, surveys have indicated that the planet may not survive that long. The hero is given a royal order to go “fix up” Earth so it will survive longer. The covert operations office (Coordinated Information Apparatus – CIA) is put in charge of all the logistics for this mission, but has gone corrupt, and is using Earth to grow drugs that it imports to the home planet to use in undermining the power of the royal Lords. So the operative assigned to the mission is given a secret order to prevent the hero from being successful. This story tells us that ET is a problem for Earth, either way you cut it.

His last word as an author

Though other LRH stories have been published since Mission Earth, I believe it is the last story he wrote before he left, and thus his “parting shot.” Ever since he took up the serious subjects of Dianetics and Scientology he has been badgered in “popular” media, yet anyone who has studied these subjects knows how hard he worked on them and understands what a gift they are to Earth. The general public – but particularly those who hope to mold public opinion – deserve the dark satire communicated in this story.

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More trips to Portland, more LRH stories read…

28 November 2012

The trips

I’ve been traveling back and forth from Seattle and Portland for all of November to help with a church project there preparing for a move into a new, renovated building.

The bus takes three hours to drive from Seattle to Portland. Sometimes I use the time to read stuff on the internet, and sometimes I use it to read books from the “Stories from the Golden Age” series that’s published by Galaxy Press.

These books are reprints of LRH stories that originally appeared in the “pulps” in the 1930s and 1940s. These magazines were popular sources for all sorts of fiction at that time. There are usually three stories in each book, and original illustrations are always included. The stories are all also available as audio books, fully produced with music, sound effects and multiple actors.

These are always fun reads, but with Hubbard doing the writing, also guaranteed to be thought-provoking.

The stories

I reviewed the first book of stories I read here.

The next book I read is titled The Great Secret.

The title story is a ten page mini-story of one man’s struggle to obtain some “esoteric” knowledge that he thought would put him on top of the heap. It didn’t!

The next story, Space Can, recounts a Star Wars-type battle and concentrates on how a group operates when it is well-trained, prepared, and dedicated. The technology described is startlingly realistic, considering there was no space travel on earth at the time the story was written.

The Beast uses a short-lived struggle between a man and – something else – to explore the mental ravages involved in fighting against something seemingly unknowable.

And The Slaver is yet another story of struggle. This explores the role of prior intent and training in the battle to remain free.

The Professor Was a Thief is the most recent book I’ve read.

The title story in this book is about a kooky guy who found a new way to populate his huge miniature train setup. It also deals with the role of the press in shaping public opinion and how old time newspapers used to work – interesting stuff.

Battle of Wizards contrasts magic with science, and explores the fuzzy boundary between them.

And The Dangerous Dimension is a funny story about a guy who discovers how to travel just by thinking. It gives “controlling your thoughts” a whole new significance!

Making it real

Are the stories we read, or watch on TV or at the movies pure entertainment? Or do they serve some higher (or lower) purpose? Are they useful to us in some way?

I guess this is really a question for a sociologist or anthropologist or historian. But we are the consumers of our entertainment, so we should have some idea of what we are consuming, shouldn’t we?

Before the printing press, story telling was the primary way – we suppose – to provide cultural continuity – or change cultures – in a society. Printed stories, TV shows and films are all forms of story telling. But they are presented as products of the creative imaginations of artists. While artists are clearly involved in the creation of all our modern stories, there are also financial backers, producers, directors and goodness knows who else deciding what the final products contain, what they look like, and who can see or listen to them. There is also an industry of “counselors” and “teachers” who have attached themselves to the creative community, particularly the entertainment industry. And through them can flow influences from the intelligence community, academia and various political interests. So I see a definite level of control in modern story-telling that is shaping the kind and content of stories we have access to.

In any period of our experience in the physical, we have used story telling to share experiences and to teach right and wrong conduct and attitudes towards life. This has not changed.

What has changed is that the “teachers” don’t use the same story – superficially at least – over and over again. They keep dressing up their stories in different costumes, plots, and characters. The result can be confusing, and I think that is the intent of some.

Oddly, I think we tend to take a story and compare it to our own experience to see if it “rings true.” The fact that it’s a story gives us license to use it this way. And I think that the results we come up with when we do this demonstrate the intentions of all those behind the story tellers.

LRH, and many others of his period, was obviously a free-thinking individual. I think it is worth seeking out such story tellers. Their writings I believe are an attempt to counsel us and warn us about how things are and how things might become. Their material may not come totally from the “imagination.” It may indeed come from their past experiences, leaking through the veil of forgetfulness that usually accompanies death. I see these people as special beings with potentially special abilities. It is worth spending some time to listen to what they have to say by reading their stories or accessing them in any way that works for you.

Review – Stories from the Golden Age – When Shadows Fall

13 October 2012

Galaxy Press – affiliated with Author Services, the literary agent for L. Ron Hubbard – some time back launched a series of paperbacks and audio books they call “Stories from the Golden Age.” This is intended to be a complete collection of all his pulp fiction writing.

It includes a number of stories in the following genres:
Air adventure – 16.
Far-flung adventure – 29.
Sea adventure – 11.
Tales from the Orient – 15.
Mystery – 16.
Fantasy – 9.
Science Fiction – 23.
Westerns – 34.

And you thought LRH was just a science fiction writer?

Nevertheless, science “fiction” remained one of his most potent tools for dealing with the larger issues of society and technology. And as such, these stories in particular are compelling for a reader such as myself.

On a recent extended weekend, I took the time to read the three stories in the issue of Stories from the Golden Age entitled “When Shadows Fall.”

A dying planet

The title story is very short, but extremely strong. It envisions a time when Earth is far past its peak as a local imperial power, and its former colonies have discontinued all their support to it. As a consequence, Earth is dying.

The few remaining rulers decide to make one last effort to re-connect Earth with its colonies.

One goes out to remind the far-flung worlds of Earth’s military might.
A second ventures out to offer financial deals, following another old tradition on Earth.
And a third – not trusted by the rest – goes out and does “nothing.” Actually, he meets old friends and wastes all his time reminiscing about the good old days.

Which Earth emissary do you think is effective in his mission?

Surprise “futuristic” technology mentioned: Terraforming.

This story makes a very effective point, particularly considering its brevity.

Robot stories

Stories of robots who look and act like people abound in science fiction. And two such stories are presented here. I think that even if you know they are robot stories when you read them, you will be hugely entertained – and perhaps even tricked – by their plot twists and denouements.

Tough Old Man – a newly-trained space “constable” goes out for his first apprenticeship.

Battling Bolto – a rural artisan gets wrapped up in a quick-buck scheme that nearly gets him killed.

The role of fiction in a fictional world

Story telling is one of the oldest social activities on earth. Where does its strength come from? Perhaps it reflects a truth which we tend to forget, because it is a truth that can be very difficult to realize.

And that truth is that imagination has always led the way in the progress of Mankind. There is no more powerful force in one’s personal life nor in our group existence than creative imagination. We shape our futures by first imagining them. And it will always be that way.

Beyond that, fiction gives us a way to “play around” with the problems we face in life in ways that sober analysis of “facts” seldom does. It helps us to realize that we share patterns and habits with all those of our kind, yet there always exists the possibility of rising above old patterns that no longer serve us to invent new ones that are more workable. Thus, fiction can be a tool to help us solve real-life problems.

I have also recently seen “fiction” used as a way to tell true stories that would be embarrassing, or perhaps unsafe, to tell as fact. This seems, somehow, devious. But in a world where deviousness has become the norm, it may at times be the only way left to get some truth out. While the label “fiction” protects the author from being accused of getting his “facts” wrong, it also – we may suppose – protects him or her from getting them right! This last use of fiction may in fact be much older than I imagine it to be. People have been killed for telling the truth for more centuries than I can count!

Let’s Step Back for a Moment

15 September 2012

I started this blog a couple of years ago because my web design teacher asked me to.

Less than a year ago, I began to pay attention to “tags” and add them to my posts. And after that, people started finding my posts, following my blog, and leaving comments.

This is a very new blog, and writing for the internet is new for me.

Very recently “Amedar” requested that I expand on some of the themes I write about. Amedar, if you see this, send another comment to me and tell me what you are most interested in.

Meanwhile, I will go over some basics for new readers.

I am currently unemployed, so have the time to read and write and “step back” a little. I hope that my readers are all doing well, but I also hope that you can afford to “step back” from your lives now and again and look at things from a broader perspective.

I don’t particularly want these posts to be about me. Nor do they need to be about you. But I think that you, the reader, have a right to know a bit about the person who is sending out these messages.

I was born in 1954, in Berkeley, California. I grew up in California, and between 1964 and 1976, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. My parents were both first-generation college graduates. They expected all their children to be second-generation college graduates. But, while my sister and brother went down this path quite willingly, I did not.

My sister and brother don’t particularly remember the day in 1963 that Kennedy was killed in Dallas, Texas. But I do. And I will never forget the line of questioning that originated in my mind as a result of those events: Why did this happen? Why would anyone want to kill the President?

There were many other questions. Many digressions. Many stops along the way to learn a skill, learn to cook, learn to play guitar, to read what others were thinking about.

But finally I ran into a person, through a book he wrote, who seemed genuinely interested in the exact same question that I had started with. And so I decided to devote some time to learning more about what he had to say. And I also decided, for better or for worse, to move to Los Angeles and work for the organization that was making it possible for people like me to find this man’s books and read them.

My time in Los Angeles was interesting for me. After all, it was where both my parents had been born and grew up. But I didn’t want that to be my story. I wanted to do something to connect more people with Hubbard’s story. It had helped me to understand some things. And his suggestions, when I was brave enough to follow them, had helped me personally to survive at a higher level. So after 26 years in Los Angeles, I decided it was time for me to go back out into the “real world” and see what I could do about this.

I used my interests in computers, science fiction, UFOs, psychology, Scientology and the arts as stepping stones back into the bigger world of ideas and actions. And I began to write about these topics from the perspective of what I had learned from “my teacher” L. Ron Hubbard while I was in Los Angeles.

The Clash of Opposing Intentions

What I found as I listened and read and wrote was that opposing intentions existed on this planet that were largely hidden and, therefore, almost impossible for anyone to understand. We see the results of these struggles. Wars, famine, terrorist attacks, crime. But we are not privy to the machinations behind these events, and are lead to believe that, since they always have happened, they will always continue to happen. But how are we to survive? How is our planet to survive? If the apparent destructiveness of Mankind cannot somehow be resolved?

According to Hubbard, it is somewhat workable to simplify this clash of intentions along one common theme: The urge to survive.

What this implies is that beings exist who, for some reason, no longer wish to survive. At first look, this seems like an absurd proposition. But every day people die of “natural causes,” “accidents,” “suicide.” Does not this fact betray an urge to succumb in Mankind? In fact, if people never died, how would we make room for all the people who seem to want to be born?

When Hubbard wrote Dianetics in 1950, he posed this problem in terms of traditional psychology, with one important twist: The mind, somehow, can make the body do things that aren’t good for it, or simply make no sense. He interpreted this, at that time, as a kind of accidental post-hypnotic suggestion. Hypnotists are noted for getting people to act in bizarre ways simply by installing a suggestion during hypnosis, then triggering it after the person is brought out of trance. This was an observable, working mechanism, and Hubbard proposed that people were being affected by it, willy-nilly, in the process of going through life. Dianetics was devoted to explaining all this, and teaching a method for ridding a person of unwanted hypnotic commands.

Dianetics was a great stride forward. Because it enabled us to assume that the individual always wants to survive, and that he only succumbs because he picks up hypnotic commands during the process of living that tell him he should succumb. This made us the “good guys” and the commands the “bad guys.”

That, however, was only the beginning of the story. What Hubbard did not have time to verify before he published Dianetics was that some people, in therapy, were remembering past lives (and deaths).

This was a real problem. Addressing those incidents as if they were real, and not just imagined, helped patients get better. So Hubbard was not willing to write this off. It’s just that this took him beyond the limits of traditional psychology and back into the philosophies that he had studied in Asia, and that Carl Jung had toyed with in his later years. It took him, frankly, into the realm of religion.

By 1954, Hubbard was getting so much flak from various academic, political and media groups that he finally went along with the suggestion of one of his students and established a church, thinking this would help protect his work from undue interference.

This actually worked out okay. But it’s not a very important part of the story. To this day, enemies of spiritual freedom try to harass Hubbard and the church for all their real and imagined faults. But that’s all a bit beside the point, isn’t it?

What did Hubbard go on to discover? That’s the real question.

The work of the church has helped to answer that question for those who are interested. The church has preserved all of his recorded lectures – which number about 3,000 – and has restored most of them and released them on CDs. Virtually all of his written materials are available. Besides roughly 20 books, there are about 13 large volumes of Technical Bulletins and a similar number of similar-sized volumes of Policy Letters.

It’s a lot of material. I have not studied nearly all of it yet, and actually very few people get the opportunity to do so. But it is a worthy goal, in my opinion. Because, the work, for the most part, seems actually workable.

I emphasize in my posts the material that I think is most pertinent to current events on earth. Ethics, the Suppressive personality, and the Third Party Law are key basics that all of us should be aware of. Do they apply well in every situation you will run into? Well, I don’t really know. I hope some people will try applying some of this data and let me know how it goes for them. It’s a learning process for all of us.

A Resource I highly recommend

I really like the site that I link to below. I would like to know what others think about this site, and if it seems like something useful to you.

I have been trained on all the courses listed on this site. So feel free to ask me about them in your comments. But if you want the benefits of these technologies for yourself, you will have to go ahead and get trained in them yourself. That’s just how that works.

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