Documents Give Rare Look at Secret Scientology Tenets
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The Church of Scientology secretly teaches that 75 million years ago Earth was called Teegeeach and was among 90 planets ruled by Xemu, who spread his evil by thermonuclear bombs, according to court documents that sect members tried to prevent the public from seeing.
Xemu, attempting to solve overpopulation problems, destroyed selected inhabitants of the planets and implanted the seeds of aberrant behavior in their spirits to affect future generations of mankind, according to the documents briefly placed in open court records in connection with a lawsuit.
Church president Heber T. Jentzsch said Tuesday that news accounts of the documents were distorted. He contended that such piecemeal, out-of-context reporting tends to subject the sect to ridicule, in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
Contending the materials were stolen, he said in a telephone interview, ″any access to these materials is illegal.″ He said the church had obtained an injunction in Great Britain against disseminating the materials, and that now ″the case moves into the U.S. arena.″ He said he had filed suit against those he viewed as responsible for the theft.
″We know the psychiatrists are behind it; they’ve been after us for a long time,″ he added.
Scientology is based on science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard’s 1948 book ″Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health.″ Through the use of a so-called E-meter, rather like a lie detector, members undergo exercises and counseling to eliminate negative mental images and achieve a ″clear state.″
The documents at issue were submitted as part of a civil case brought by former Scientologist Larry Wollersheim, who claims the organization defrauded him by promising him higher intelligence and greater business success through Scientology courses that cost thousands of dollars.
Superior Court Judge Alfred L. Margolis, despite strong Scientology objections, issued an order Friday making the documents public Monday. He resealed them Monday and took under submission a Scientology motion Tuesday to keep them sealed.
A federal judge Tuesday issued a similar order to keep the documents under wraps, at least for now. U.S. District Judge Marianne Pfaelzer, acting on a request by Scientology attorney Earle C. Cooley, issued a temporary order to stop the dissemination of the documents and agreed to hold a hearing Friday to decide whether to extend that order, Cooley said.
During the brief period the documents were public Monday, an estimated 1,500 Scientology followers lined up at the Los Angeles County courthouse to copy the documents in an effort to crowd out anyone else who wanted to see them.
The Los Angeles Times, however, obtained copies and reported their contents Tuesday. They contain rare glimpses of so-called upper-level or ″OT3″ teachings of Scientology, available only to members who graduate through preliminary church programs.
Details of OT3 have previously been published in the personals columns of The Reader, a weekly Los Angeles newspaper, and the daily Clearwater (Fla.) Sun. But Michael Flynn, a Boston lawyer who has battled Scientologists in court for years, said, ″There’s never been a major (journalism) piece on it.″
Flynn said Scientologists tell their members that if they get into Level 3 before going through the preliminary levels, they could ″dematerialize or develop (fatal) illnesses.″
Jentzsch said all such published accounts have been distorted.
Generally, the documents suggest that much of mankind’s problems began 75 million years ago, when Teegeeach was one of 90 planets ruled by Xemu.
They say Xemu decided to take radical measures to control overpopulation. Beings from the planets were taken to at least 10 volcanoes on Earth where H- bombs far more powerful than any in existence today were detonated, destroying the beings but freeing their spirits, called thetans.
They said the thetans were trapped in a compound of frozen alcohols and, during a 36-day period, Xemu ″implanted″ in them the seeds of aberrant behavior for generations to come.
″The materials as I’ve read them in The Times are altered, corrupted and denigrated and twisted in order to undermine religion,″ Jentzsch said. ″It’s basically printed to try and hold religion up to ridicule and to create enough chaos to destroy religion.″
Times deputy managing editor Noel Greenwood said Tuesday the paper faithfully reported details as they were contained in the documents.
″If he (Jentzsch) wants to show us the original documents to show what’s been altered we would be happy to receive them,″ Greenwood said.
Jentzsch argued that no religion should be forced to disclose its most secret rites.
″If you want to be fair about it, publish the rites (of other religions) ... and then you don’t have America, you don’t have a Constitution and you don’t have freedom of religion,″ he said.
Scientology’s chief attorney, Earle Cooley, said Monday that unsealing the materials, which he claimed were altered, amounted to ″the biggest threat to this religion so far.″
″No matter what they say, Scientology is the only road to total freedom,″ Jentzsh said.