Alexander Chaussov: Scientology and the “Democratic GULAG”

Translation of a Russian article posted on June 4, 2011 on the website of Russkiy obozrevatel’:

Scientology and the “Democratic GULAG”

by Alexander Chaussov
June 4, 2011

Interesting things have been happening lately concerning cults in Russia. Gerald Armstrong recently visited Moscow. He is very well known, if not a legend, in certain circles. However, to understand who he is and why his visit is so important, we must begin not with him, but with the teachings of Dianetics and Scientology, with Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, and why the Scientology cult is called a totalitarian and destructive sect on reference websites such as “Religions and Sects in Russia Today” by the Novosibirsk Center for Apologetics Research and Alexander L. Dvorkin’s “Sectarian Studies: Totalitarian Sects”.

The Scientology cult has been operating in Russia since the 1990s. It is essentially a network of ramified organizations which offer techniques to become no more, no less than a superhuman, or an “Operating Thetan” (OT). Of course, this is not for free. According to reference materials published by the St. Irenaeus of Lyon Center, the method for becoming a superman devised by Hubbard (the founder of Scientology) is based on telling the organization every detail about oneself, even the most intimate ones. A closer look at the information on “Sectarian Studies: Totalitarian Sects” shows that the cult has its own intelligence gathering structures and that the goal of this organization is money and power. Moreover, this power should preferably be worldwide and total.

In the 1990s, Russia became a “field of experimentation” for Scientologists. They conducted experiments on children affected by the Chernobyl accident (documentary film: Svoboda ot sovesti [“Freedom of Conscience”]). They conducted experiments in business with lethal results at the Moscow ventilator factory. At one time, even Sergei Kiriyenko was recruited into Scientology, and we shall tactfully pass over in silence a great number of Russian regional officials.

Cartoon by Igor Kolgarev: Stubble-faced plumber conducting brain surgery while reading from a book entitled "Dianetics". A portrait of Hubbard hangs on the left above a stack of books. The spine of the top book says "Hubbard", the third book below this top book says "Scientology".

Cartoon by Igor Kolgarev: Stubble-faced plumber conducting brain surgery while reading from a book entitled “Dianetics”. A portrait of Hubbard hangs on the left above a stack of books. The spine of the top book says “Hubbard”, the third book below this top book says “Scientology”.

Up to the 1990s, Scientology was also a problem for authorities in the U.S., who waged a campaign against it. It is true that this campaign ended, in actual fact, in victory for Scientology, with full legal recognition as a religious community, this despite the fact that cult’s founder, the late Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, once said: “If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion.” In other words, even the father/founder of Scientology understood very well how much his “religion” had to do with religion.

In Russia, there is now a complete network of Scientology centers. They are not as actively involved in the social and political life of the country as during the “dashing nineties”, but, nevertheless, the public has has no insurance against getting caught up with this sect and parting with a substantial amount of money and property in the name of total personal progress.

This is precisely why the visit of Gerald Armstrong and his public appearances in the media are so important. It’s because Armstrong rose through the ranks of the Scientology cult to the post of legal officer for the organization, so he witnessed from the inside how everything happens. He left several years later, after he realized that Scientology is a totalitarian sect.

Armstrong has already given an interview about his life in the cult to the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper. Information has it that a detailed interview with him will air on VGTRK [All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company] early this summer. In principle, everything about him should appear in the Yandex search engine for anyone who wishes to look him up, but I would like to draw attention to one interesting feature of “American democracy”. In an interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda, Mr. Armstrong said, among other things, that “The RPF (Rehabilitation Project Force) is a Scientology prison … It was created in 1974. People are sent there if, for example, the movement’s leaders think people aren’t working as hard as they should. Or for some other arbitrary reason. When I was there, a man was punished simply because of a smell that Hubbard didn’t like. The duration of the sentences is not specified and the ‘convicts’ get only a quarter of their salary. When they move about, they always have to run. They are fed leftovers. They are not allowed to talk, except to answer questions … The purpose of this ‘gulag’ is to break a person’s will. Moreover, for repeated violation of rules, there is an even more brutal prison, the ‘RPF’s RPF’, where a person is generally kept under 24-hour surveillance.

“… a U.S. court even decided last year that Scientologists have the right to hold people captive, to track them down and to forcibly bring them back and lock them up, because this is based on doctrine.”

This is what happens when democracy and the rights of religious minorities are implemented in a liberal manner. If we believe the words of Gerald Armstrong, one year has already passed since the U.S. permitted religious concentration camps. It seems to me that, even if we have “an insufficient level of democracy”, taking it to that level would make it possible to democratize everything, even complete “Hitlerization” or “Hubbardization”, whichever is deemed more practical.