Dear Mr. Camacho:
Thank you. My indenting should make our dialog easy to follow. I am posting our email exchange because your article is public and there is considerable public interest in L. Ron Hubbard, and especially in his exceptional lying and his many other ways of victimizing people. I also believe that the other persons you identify in your article as “critics” and “religious scholars,” and whom, along with me, you disparage, could also benefit from the communications between you and me.
From: Ian Camacho
Sent: September 20, 2018 9:58 AM
To: Gerry Armstrong
Subject: Re: Five easy questions
Dear Mr. Armstrong,
Thank you for reaching out to me and for having taken the time to read my paper.
I’ve responded in bold to your questions below.
All The Best,
On Wed, Sep 19, 2018 at 11:06 AM, Gerry Armstrong <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Dear Mr. Camacho:
I am the Gerry Armstrong you identify in your article “Degrees of Truth: Engineering L. Ron Hubbard” that Massimo Introvigne introduced and published online in his Journal of CESNUR.
For reasons that I’m sure are obvious to you, I have been considering responding, but I want to ask you first:
1. Wikipedia says an independent scholar is anyone who conducts scholarly research outside universities and traditional academia. What is your field of scholarship?
Most teachers or professors will tell you that using Wikipedia as a source is unreliable as anybody can edit it;
I am aware that Wikipedia has a function allowing theoretically anyone, except banned persons, to edit articles, except for “protected pages.” You might not know about page protections if you couldn’t or didn’t use Wikipedia.
I know personally that Scientologists or their colluders have used Wikipedia’s editing function to black PR and even libel me. It is stomach-turning. It is obvious from my own experience that Wikipedia disproportionately favors organized black propagandists like the Scientologists and their colluders, because such persons are not only motivated by their own cultic or organizational hatred or their handlers’ cultic or organizational hatred for persons like me, but paid to spend time editing articles on Wikipedia in compliance with their masters’ antisocial agenda, including by smearing their victims. Because non-antisocial persons are not so motivated and would not do this, we are at a distinct disadvantage.
I consider, nevertheless, that Wikipedia is a useful resource even in its present form; and potentially, with reforms, a far better resource. It very often provides a quick and usable abstraction level or reduction of a subject.
Its knowledge, shallow or deep, if known, would provide the knower the greatest education ever.
Wikipedia is a tertiary source, and as reliable as tertiary sources are expected to be. It is often an excellent “starting point” for research and for locating secondary or primary sources. Regardless, I do not believe most teachers or professors would tell me that using Wikipedia as I used it here is unreliable.
For neutral subjects, things which virtually every person of every country, class or cult agrees to, and no country, class or cult is trying to control, such as the subject acceptable definition for “independent scholar,” Wikipedia works.
Your assertion has to be pure ipse dixit. Now you are challenged on it. The onus probandi lies with you to support your claim. Sine aurantiaco cortices, non flammea est.
What does your assertion even mean? That my using, i.e., my action of using, Wikipedia as a source is unreliable? How do you explain that?
But my using Wikipedia is not unreliable. Your assertion, besides being irrelevant to the discussion, is false.
Your assertion that “Most teachers or professors will tell you that using Wikipedia as a source is unreliable” is, among other things, the fallacy known as appeal to authority, here for the purpose of putting down a person you had already put down, and who was seeking an understanding of your credentials for the put downs you were publishing.
often they will flunk students for doing so.
This is an appeal to authority that is irrelevant, and possibly even false. Undoubtedly it is true that in some contexts or instances some students were flunked for using Wikipedia, or using Wikipedia and not properly citing it. I suspect, however, that flunking students for properly using Wikipedia is not often. And I wager that you cannot find a teacher or professor who would flunk students, often or at all, for accurately quoting from Wikipedia as I did in an email that sought information about the fields of scholarship of a self-declared independent scholar, who did not himself define the term. I think an honest teacher or professor would give me good marks for providing you with a concise and workable definition that is fine for facilitating a logical discussion. An honest teacher or professor might flunk you for putting down Wikipedia to contrive the appearance of academic superiority.
Your application of standards for academic papers, where sometimes quoting Wikipedia might be unacceptable, to my quoting an uncomplicated definition in an email, is also a logical fallacy, a strawman, fallacia est homo paleas, with red herrings in his pockets, rubeum allec in sinum braccas.
(Fortunately, that’s not a problem when you’re an independent scholar)
This definition is too general and could apply to virtually anybody doing a Google web search.
No, you’re employing a logical fallacy called appeal to the stone, argumentum ad lapidem. You’ve dismissed Wikipedia’s definition as absurd without any proof of its absurdity. The definition is acceptable for this discussion. Your “evidence” of the definition’s absurdity — that it could apply to virtually anybody doing a Google web search — is itself an absurdity. You are yourself appealing to ridicule. To do so, you are falsely equating “scholarly research” with anybody using Google Search. Your reductio ad absurdum is fallacious. While the scholarly research being conducted by independent scholars might very properly include Google web searches, Google web searches do not all constitute scholarly research. You are forwarding an inductive fallacy.
The National Coalition of Independent Scholars offers a much better definition: “NCIS welcomes people who are pursuing knowledge in or across any fields whose credentials demonstrate an active involvement in independent scholarship in any field, as evidenced by advanced degrees or presentations/publications. Further qualification is that the scholar not be employed on a full-time basis by an academic institution or other organization in the field to which their independent scholarly activity pertains. Graduate students intent on pursuing independent scholarship, adjunct faculty, and others tangentially associated with academic institutions who do not receive financial support for their scholarly activities are eligible.”
No, this is not a much better definition. In fact it is not a definition at all. This is, if you and the National Coalition of Independent Scholars (NCIS) are to be believed, a statement of this group’s criteria for membership. The statement does not even include a definition of an independent scholar; although what it does say about independent scholars does not invalidate Wikipedia’s definition.
Your NCIS also charges a fee for membership, and I am certain that for independent scholars to be independent scholars and pursue that profession or activity they do not have to pay money to such a group.
NCIS’s website states that in 2017 it had over two hundred scholars in fifteen countries, but does not say how many were independent and how many were non-independent. Non-independent scholars are permitted, indeed encouraged, to be members in the NCIS. I am sure that there are far more than two hundred scholars, whether independent or dependent, in far more than fifteen countries.
Your group’s membership conditions, however, raise a question: do you receive, or have you ever received, any financial support for your scholarly activities?
Who or what provided you financial support to craft and get published your article “Degrees of Truth: Engineering L. Ron Hubbard?”
And how much in financial support did you receive to craft the article and get it published?
My fields of scholarship include English & Textual Studies, TV/Radio/Film and Religion.
Thank you. Your claim of English scholarship is helpful, because an important set of errors in your article involve semantic distortions or dishonesty, and logical fallacies, which English scholars would want to have pointed out to them.
Do you have advanced degrees for English scholarship, as the NCIS considers “advanced degrees” in its membership conditions? Can you tell me what your advanced degrees are and from what university or universities?
Your claim of textual studies scholarship adds a dimension to our discussion, and to my thinking and writing about your article, because Hubbard’s textual dishonesty is what you are defending, as well as whitewashing, and you are being textually dishonest yourself in Hubbard’s defense.
Wikipedia has a useful definition:
Textual scholarship (or textual studies) is an umbrella term for disciplines that deal with describing, transcribing, editing or annotating texts and physical documents.
If you provide something for me to recognize as a better definition for “textual scholarship” or “textual studies,” I will be happy to study it.
I could not find a website for “Independent Textual Scholars” or for any coalition or club for “Independent Textual Scholars.” In fact, just Google-searching “Independent Textual Scholars” and “Independent Textual Studies” yielded zero results.
Before this, I had not actually identified and named that field among my fields of scholarship. But it is certain that I am, among other things, an independent textual scholar. It was in significant part my independent textual scholarship that made it possible for me in a court of law to prove Hubbard virtually a pathological liar when it comes to his history, background and achievements. It also was in significant part my independent textual scholarship that made it possible for me to prevail against his relentless textually perfidious underlings and colluders. It is my independent textual scholarship that in significant part brings me to challenge your conclusions based on your faulty textual scholarship.
I discovered, by the way, just after I discovered textual studies or textual scholarship, that there is a field of scholarship called textual criticism, which Wikipedia says “is a branch of textual scholarship, philology, and literary criticism that is concerned with the identification of textual variants in either manuscripts or printed books.” Now that I have found that field, or that field’s name, I suppose I should also acknowledge that I am an independent scholarly textual critic, or however such scholarly textual critics would call themselves if they conducted their scholarly research in textual criticism outside academic institutions. Here is a relevant article I published in the field: http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50grand/writings/essay-miscavige-regime.html
I employed textual scholarship and scholarly textual criticism to Hubbard’s texts, and you imply that you are employing those fields’ techniques or art to try to undebunk his lying about his academic degrees.
I do not think I will put “independent scholar” or any of the obviously manifold fields in which I have conducted independent scholarly research on my CV, nor will I use that title to denote my status or credentials, because it sounds pompous, and consequently cringey. It is, however, not unnice to know that some of the scholarly work I’ve done over many years is in now-recognized fields of scholarship.
But what advanced degree or degrees from which universities do you have for textual studies or textual scholarship?
I do not claim to be an independent scholar in TV/Radio/Film. But what advanced degree or degrees from which universities do you have for TV/Radio/Film scholarship?
I certainly am, as you say you are, an independent religion scholar, having conducted scholarly research in the field of religion for several decades outside of academic institutions. My emphasis has shifted over the years to theology proper, alethiology and apologetics. I was frocked as a Minister of Scientology in the 1970’s, and have conducted independent scholarly research of Scientology religious scripture, doctrine and sacraments, and even Scientology religion head Hubbard’s hagiography.
My independent scholarship in the field of religion and in the Kingdom of God has been vital, indeed, I believe, used by God, to live through the Scientologists’ assaults, threats, black PR, deception and other forms of organized evil, and be there for the Scientologists’ colluders, including academic colluders like Massimo Introvigne, Gordon Melton, and now you.
The fact that Hubbard willfully, cruelly lied in his scripture, including about his academic degrees, does not invalidate Scientology scripture as scripture. It is just a textual fact among myriad textual facts in Scientology scripture and other publications that are dishonest, deceptive and willfully cruel. Hubbard is inarguably the founder of a religion; he is just a dishonest, deceptive and willfully cruel founder of a dishonest, deceptive and willfully cruel religion.
What advanced degree or degrees from which university or universities do you have for religion?
2. Have you published any articles or products of your scholarly research other than the subject article? If so, can you please point me to some.
In regards to Scientology, I’m currently working on a follow up article to this one as well as a much larger piece.
I’ll certainly make sure to let you know when it is ready, though it may take some time to complete the research and editing process.
I currently have a patent that has been acquired by Capital One this year which is undergoing the approval process.
Unfortunately I cannot send you the documents as they are no longer my property and would jeopardize the USPTO approval process, but again, happy to share once it comes out though it can take 1-5 years, depending.
Slippery red herrings make good derailers. I do not want to see your patents, nor was I asking for unfinished articles you might be working on.
I asked you to point me to any of your published articles, other than the subject “Degrees of Truth” article, which are the product of your scholarly research. They do not have to concern Scientology. If you do not have any, that’s fine. Just let me know.
3. You know, because you have cited to one of my websites, that I am an independent scholar, and well-published. In that Introvigne published and praised your article; in that you thanked him and Gordon Melton for publishing your article at the “highest professional level;” in that your acknowledgements include Scientologists but not the Scientologists’ victims; and in that you specifically denigrate the Suppressive Person class, which you label and classify as “critics,” you are certainly not independent, meaning unaffiliated with the anti-SP roost. You are forwarding others’ known, articulated but esoteric agenda. You must be simply meaning that no universities or traditional academia support your “scholarly research.” Is my understanding correct here?
What is your question exactly?
Do any academic institutions support your Scientology-related research, writing, publication, etc.? If so, what are those academic institutions?
“Critics” would be the accurate term for a group of people who criticize various aspects of a subject, that is correct.
A much better, and actually workable, definition of “critic” in the context you have posited is someone who speaks up and tells the truth about something deserving criticism. Your definition is too general and could apply to anybody anywhere about anything. Have you ever met anyone beyond infancy, except for a completely illiterate mute, or a forever coma-bound person, who never criticized anything — ever? No. As you use the term here, and in your article, it is a faulty generalization with cherry picking on top.
If we are all “critics,” i.e., we form a “group” of people who criticize something, even an aspect of something, would we all say the same thing, and do the same thing? Without providing the evidence, you have your “critics” group doing this in your article, saying the same thing, doing the same thing. You are floating an association fallacy.
You present as criticizing critics, clearly, so by your definition, you are a critic. You criticize a group of people you vamped up who criticize various aspects of a subject. You do not distinguish what aspect or aspects of the group you are criticizing; you criticize them as a “group,” like Christians, Asians, women, or wogs.
By not including yourself as a “critic” but criticizing, or actually denigrating, “critics” as if you are not one, you add hypocrisy to your logical fallacies.
Although I am a critic of Hubbard’s lying, his psychopathology and his system of spiritual and secular enslavement, and I am a critic of the Scientologists’ criminal conspiracy against rights, their deprivation of rights, their fair game, their black propaganda, their SP doctrine, I am not a member or part of a “critics” group. If you had done reasonable research before you falsely and negatively pigeonholed me with your “critics,” you would have easily found that for many years, multiple times, I have denied being in any “critics” group, and I have corrected people when they mistakenly included me or knowingly and wrongly assumed I was in such a “group.”
Criticism is a God-given psycho-physiological ability. It is the ability to tell the truth about what needs criticism. Telling the truth about what needs criticism does not fix the person doing the criticism in a group you call “critics,” which can include everyone in the world who speaks or writes, including liars of the lowest order and you. Is there absolutely nothing in the world that needs criticism that you actually tell the truth about?
It is not enough to see what needs criticism, it must be communicated to be criticism. It must be the truth – to the best of the critic’s ability — otherwise it is a lie. Lying about something that needs criticism is not criticism.
It is clear in your article that you are not including yourself in the “critics group” in which you shove me. This must mean that you do not criticize Hubbard’s lying, or his psychopathology, or his system of spiritual and secular enslavement, or the Scientologists’ criminal conspiracy against rights, their deprivation of rights, their fair game, their black propaganda, or their SP doctrine, or any aspect of these subjects. These are subjects that need criticism, i.e., they need the truth told about them.
Your not stating what exactly I criticize before you stuck me in your “critics group” is a faulty generalization using ad hominem to “poison the well.” Your not disclosing that you do not criticize, i.e., that you do not tell the truth about, Hubbard’s lying, or his psychopathology, or his system of spiritual and secular enslavement, or the Scientologists’ criminal conspiracy against rights, their deprivation of rights, their fair game, their black propaganda, or their SP doctrine, or any aspect of these subjects, evidences your extreme bias. I do acknowledge that such extreme bias is not unexpected from the Scientologists’ colluders toward people who tell the truth about the things you won’t tell the truth about. Your extreme bias definitely needs criticism, i.e. the truth told about it.
These were differentiated from the group that I labeled as “religious scholars” because the latter have published papers in scholarly journals, books, taught classes, etc. about the Scientology religion as opposed to popular books and personal websites.
I understood that was how you were trying to get people to accept a difference between the two “groups” you had selected for disparaging in your article. I am sure you would say you were criticizing the two “groups,” in which you include me. Even by my definition, you present as a critic because you present as telling the truth about what we two “groups” are saying or doing that needs criticizing, indeed needs you to take us on a scholarly trip to the ivory woodshed. Parsing your writing and checking your claimed facts, however, reveals that what you are saying about our two groups is not true. It is not just as truthfully as you can express it. What you are doing is not criticism; it needs criticism.
The idea that people’s work or profession removed them from being critics is nonsensical. If the bricklayer or the professor, the hooker or the scholar, tell the truth about something needing criticism, they are critics. Academics or scholars, of course, can be as dishonest as Hubbard himself, and when being dishonest they are not being critics. They are just being dishonest scholars or academics.
An “invalid criticism” cannot be a criticism; otherwise it would be a valid criticism, and there would be no such thing as an invalid criticism. Black PR is not criticism, although certainly black propagandists, for black PR purposes, portray it as criticism and call it criticism, or merely opinion, or even, as in this matter, “scholarly research.” The eradication of the invalidity of invalid criticisms would work in the Country of Psychopathy; but still not work everywhere in this world. In the Kingdom of God, in Spirit, there is only Truth, no fake anything; and there isn’t anything that needs criticizing.
At no point did my paper use the terms Suppressive Person or SP.
Nor did I say you did. I wrote: “you specifically denigrate the Suppressive Person class, which you label and classify as “critics.”
SPs are commonly, de facto, persons who tell the truth about what in Scientology needs the truth told about it. Usually that comes down to the SPs’ knowledge and experiences. That is precisely what critics are: persons who tell the truth about what in Scientology needs the truth told about it. Such criticism usually comes down to the critics’ knowledge and experiences. In the Scientology milieu, true SPs are critics, and true critics are SPs.
Hubbard used both terms in scripture. “Suppressive Person” is a more general, more deliberately vague term than “critic,” and “SP” even more general and vague. It is a key cult hate shibboleth. Hubbard and the Scientologists very commonly use generalities and vagueness for their malign purposes. “Critic” is obviously a neutral term, even though Hubbard gave it an evil connotation. You do similarly.
When the subject criticism was of some aspect of Scientology, Hubbard ruled in scripture that such critics are “criminals.” See, e.g., HCOB 5 November 1967, “Critics of Scientology.” Observably, to anyone who looked, Hubbard promoted himself as a larger-than-life critic of a galaxy of things. He was also, more importantly, a huge liar about a galaxy of things, and consequently pathetic as a critic.
“Suppressive Person” however, is automatically, by design, a negative term. To the Scientology-aligned, the term is applied to individuals doing any of a number of religious things, or performing rites, including criticizing, or telling the truth about, some aspect of Scientology that needs it. Hubbard labeled all these actions “Suppressive Acts” or “High Crimes,” although the most important, most watched for, most searched out, and most punished High Crime is criticizing or telling the truth about aspects of Hubbard, Scientology, Scientologists and their colluders that need criticizing. There were no “Critic Declares” in Scientology, but criticism of Hubbard or the Scientologists’ lies, crimes or other evils gets a person a “Suppressive Person Declare,” or, more relevantly, treated or handled as an SP.
Both terms, “SPs” and “critics,” as Scientologists mean and use these, originated in Scientology scripture. Both SPs and critics attain their religious conditions or statuses by performing the same set of Scientology sacraments. They just perform these sacraments improperly according to Scientology scripture. Criticising or telling the truth about what needs the truth told about it is not criminal, although it is criminalized by criminal governments, criminal gangs and the Scientologists. The Scientologists teach that critics are criminals, and SPs are criminals. The Scientologists ascribe antisocial natures and destructive intentions to SPs and critics alike.
I find this an odd complaint when considering that your own website’s title states “Scientology’s long war on SP Gerry Armstrong” on the homepage.
As I have tried to explain, critics are a set of stars, a constellation in the Suppressive Person firmament. They are a subclass similar to the SP subclass “psychiatrists.” Although the Scientologists and their colluders black PR SPs as evil, destructive, and deserving no rights or even credence, SPs are commonly persons who tell the truth about aspects of Scientology needing the truth told about them. So I properly refer to myself as an SP, especially because the Scientologists and their colluders so egregiously, and morally indefensibly, persecute our class.
The Scientologists’ SP doctrine is very similar to the Nazis’ Jewish doctrine. The Nazis’ Jewish doctrine is the closest historical parallel I have found. Have you found a closer historical parallel?
Fortunately, the Scientologists have not risen to the same position of seeming political and military power in this world that the Nazis possessed. A website that stated on the homepage “Nazism’s long war on Jew Gerry Aronowitz” would be appropriate, because “Jew” is, to the Nazis, a hate term, and Mr. Aronowitz’s use of the term is so defiant of the Nazis’ apparent power in the face of extreme persecution. (In Truth, in Reality, both the Nazis and the Scientologists, despite their psychopathology and murderous philosophy, their worldly wealth and weapons, are powerless, invalid.)
Likewise, most of those whom I thanked have themselves been labeled Suppressive Persons by the Church of Scientology, and none of those are in good standing with it. While some identify as Independent Scientologists, others have nothing to do with either that movement or the church.
I am sure independent and dependent Scientologists have much in common including embracing the SP doctrine. I am also sure that independent and dependent Scientologists share the same religious leader, the same religious scripture and the same decision to identify as Scientologists, whether or not they do so openly. Independents and dependent Scientologists accept and pursue the same promises Hubbard made publicly, and share some of the same goals.
Independent Scientologists constitute a layer of the Scientology religious onion. See, e.g., Hannah Arendt on the onion model of totalitarian hierarchies or movements. Colluders, like the Scientologists’ PIs, lawyers, some dupes, and non-duped academics like Introvigne, Melton and you, form other layers. Dependent Scientologists have outsourced some of their malignant activities to the independents. Dependent Scientologists operate among the independent Scientologists, and independent Scientologists serve many of the dependents’ antisocial purposes toward the SP class. Independents, just like dependents, do not tell the truth about Hubbard, Scientology, Scientologists and their colluders that needs being told.
The fact that a person has been labeled an SP does not mean that he or she criticizes what needs criticizing, i.e., tells the truth about it. I have never heard of a Scientologist, dependent or independent who tells the truth about the SP doctrine.
Why would I need to acknowledge “the Scientologists’ victims”?
I’m not sure that any of the people that I acknowledged have any victims, but even if they did, why would I unless they personally contributed to the paper?
You should acknowledge Hubbard and the Scientologists’ victims, because it is Hubbard and the Scientologists’ victimization of their victims that is being criticized, certainly by me. I understand that you do not yourself criticize the Scientologists victimizing anyone, but that is what I criticize, and I am quite sure that other people similarly criticize the Scientologists’ victimizing of their victims. The Scientologists’ victimizing of people calls out for criticism. If you do not acknowledge that I specifically criticize the Scientologists’ victimizing of their victims, you render your own term “critics” a suppressive generality, and improperly try to make its meaning negative.
You write about Hubbard and the Scientologists. You write the name “Hubbard” in your article probably a hundred times. They victimize people with their lies, bullying, trust abuse, rights violations, all kinds of crimes and wrongdoing. As you should know, the Scientologists victimize their victims just for being their victims. It is Hubbard and the Scientologists’ victimization of people – both Scientologists and wogs – that is relevant, not your acknowledgees’ victimization of people.
Furthermore, I criticized the Church of Scientology upfront in the paper and at various points throughout.
Then you acknowledge being a critic. But you did not lump yourself in with your “critics” group. It is understandable that you did not consider yourself a “critic” in your article because you denigrate that “group.”
If I were furthering a Scientology agenda, then it certainly would be a Pyhrric victory for the church as they are criticized throughout the paper as well.
No, this is not true. To further a Scientology agenda, colluders do not have to align on all purposes with the Scientologists. It is often enough to align on some purposes. You exemplify here the ancient proverb of expedience: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” I do not subscribe to that logic at all.
It is not enough to say you criticized the church or the cult. What aspect, what evil, what dishonesty, what immorality, what crime needed criticism and you answered that need?
I’m honestly unclear about what is desired here.
Are you upset that you were not acknowledged in the paper?
I am not upset. Your diagnosis of upset is a form of the fallacy known as “tone policing.” The Scientologists and their colluders use tone policing very standardly to try to “make wrong” their victims and the people who criticize what needs criticizing. Here, I should say, it’s fake tone policing, falsely attributing a tone in a target, and then policing the fake tone.
You identified me as a member of some “critics” group of which I am not a member. It is a false identification. By extension, you accused me of the dishonesty and dishonorable tactics you ascribe to that group.
Or was it the terms used to describe you?
I am not upset. I am simply analyzing your article, and now your email responses to me, and I am challenging some of your fact claims and assertions. But here comes the tone fuzz, sono lictores.
When it came to your very brief mentions, you were described as both a “critic” and “ex-Scientology archivist” which are both entirely accurate.
Are you not a vocal critic of the Church of Scientology and an ex-Scientology archivist?
Please show me where I am incorrect in using these descriptors if so.
I have dealt with the label “critic” above. I am a critic of Hubbard’s lying, his psychopathology and his system of spiritual and secular enslavement, and I am a critic of the Scientologists’ criminal conspiracy against rights, their deprivation of rights, their fair game, their black propaganda, their SP doctrine. These are aspects of the Scientologists’ victimizing of people.
I am criticising your claimed scholarship and Introvigne’s promotion of your article as a “scholarly tour de force.” I am criticising your use of logical fallacies and semantic dishonesty.
I was officially the L. Ron Hubbard Personal Archivist. I assembled and possessed Hubbard’s personal archive of personal biographical materials, or what was available to me of such materials in 1980 and 1981. Scientology had its own archives and its own archivists. I was not a Scientology archivist. So you could say that I was an ex-Hubbard archivist.
One can incorrectly or improperly use what can be entirely accurate descriptions. Would you call a proven rape victim a “critic” just because she vocally criticizes, i.e., tells the truth about her rape and her rapist? If in court she tells the truth about her rape and her rapist, which need the truth told about them, is she being a critic? Are not all witnesses critics if they tell the truth? But a judge would never say something like, “Would the next critic take the stand;” or instruct an attorney in a trial, “Call your next critic?” Doesn’t a rape victim’s victimhood create the relevant identity that would or should be used in descriptions of her rape in publications, even scholarly publications? Her rapist and her rapist’s attorney would possibly portray or call her a tramp or similar. But if she is a victim of rape charged, this would be further victimization.
I am a victim of Hubbard’s lying, his psychopathology and his system of spiritual and secular enslavement, and I am a victim of the Scientologists’ criminal conspiracy against rights, their deprivation of rights, their fair game, their black propaganda, their SP doctrine. I understand that you would not use such a proper descriptor for me as a victim of Hubbard and the Scientologists, because it would not as easily facilitate your denigration of me and other victims as your lumping us together as “critics” does.
I am, far more than I am a “critic,” a writer. In fact, all the persons you identify by name in your postulated “critics group” are writers: Jon Atack, George Malko, Russell Miller, Lawrence Wright, Paulette Cooper, Ron DeWolf and I. Some of our writing is critical of one thing or another; i.e., we told the truth about something that needed the truth told about it. But we are writers. And pretty well all of us are victims – of the Scientologists’ policy and practice of fair game. “Critics,” as you know is a Scientology hate term.
I am a victim of Hubbard’s lies, including his lies about his academic degrees, his being a civil engineer and his being a nuclear physicist. By minimizing his lies, by whitewashing his lies, by dishonestly insisting his lies are not lies, by denigrating critics of his lies, and by ignoring victims of his lies, you add to his victims’ victimization.
I am sure you breathe through your mouth. It is likely that you also breathe through your nostrils, even most of the time. But you breathe through your mouth. If you were honest, I am sure you would admit to breathing through your mouth. Therefore it would be, according to your standard, entirely accurate to refer to you in published articles as an admitted mouthbreather. But it would be improper, an ad hominem.
I wasn’t aware that you are a well-published independent scholar
That could be, but now you are aware.
or that you are well-published outside of a personal website and online forum postings.
I wasn’t aware of that either.
Using your criterion, then you also mean that no universities or traditional academia support your own “scholarly research,” correct?
I’ve never asked any universities or traditional academia for support; but it is true that none of them have specifically supported my ““scholarly research.””
What is your field of study?
I mentioned English, textual scholarship, textual criticism and religion, principally theology proper, alethiology and apologetics. I have been qualified as an expert in Scientology’s Suppressive Person doctrine and its criminal application known euphemistically as “Fair Game.” To my knowledge, those subjects are not offered in universities yet, but I have been a leading independent scholar in them for several years. See, e.g., https://gerryarmstrong.ca/the-suppressive-person-doctrine-on-trial-opening-statement-by-gerry-armstrong/
I assume you have never done any scholarly research, independent or otherwise, into the SP doctrine or Fair Game. Is that correct?
In my opinion, a vital psychological component of the SP doctrine is psychopathy, both its organic form and its situational form. Consequently, I have done considerable study of psychopathy and psychopaths. Situational psychopathy appears to be generated by the Scientologists in each other, in great part by their acceptance and application of their SP doctrine. Obviously – thank God –they are not hugely successful in their technology for turning non-psychopaths into organic or even situational psychopaths.
What papers have you written as an independent scholar that have been published in any professional journals?
None that I know of.
But that is not relevant. It is your papers that are wanted. It is your scholarship that is being challenged. Is your research scholarly enough to be called scholarly?
I don’t see your name when I use Google Scholar, SagePub or JSTOR; I know that you have been quoted and cited several times, but that is something quite different from academic publishing.
I have not seen where you have been quoted or cited at all, other than in the CESNUR Journal. Can you please provide me links to other publications where you have been quoted and cited?
4. I am aware that Jon Atack wrote you and challenged you on certain assertions in your article. Have you corrected any fact errors, illogics or faulty conclusions in your article since publication?
Mr. Atack has contacted me and brought one item to my attention, as I assume that he has told you. I will certainly address it in an upcoming follow-up paper, but right now I’m researching it for its authenticity and veracity. Thus far it doesn’t prove or disprove anything yet as we are finding out if it is even genuine which is the first step, but we shall see.
As a well-published independent scholar I am sure you are quite well aware of this already, but journals don’t rewrite their papers after publication. They might issue a correction or follow-up etc. if warranted.
You say you are well-published, but you did not identify for me any articles you have had published, except the subject article in CESNUR’s publication.
How exactly your being a well-published independent scholar makes you sure I am quite well aware that journals don’t rewrite their papers after publication is not clear.
Or are you dangling your participle?
There are a number of problems within the item itself due to at least 6 items I can’t verify which make me extremely skeptical that it is authentic.
What six items in the one item can you not verify?
Even if it is authentic, it doesn’t change the basic premise of my paper although it would be worth bringing into the discussion, and I would certainly acknowledge Mr. Atack.
It appears to me that your basic premise is that Hubbard never lied and your targeted “group” of “critics” and your targeted group of “religious scholars,” who said Hubbard did lie, did crappy research and evaluations without all of the data and are liars.
But how do you describe your paper’s basic premise?
Are you willing to assist me in tracking down or offering any materials to help me verify?
Clearly, I am doing that. Although, if you already had all the data, there would be nothing left to track down or verify.
I would also acknowledge you for any contributions that you make in the upcoming paper(s).
5. My contact information has been easily and publicly available for many years. To my knowledge, you never tried to contact me prior to your publication of your article. Does this comport with your memory of not contacting me about your article or for any other reason?
Your memory is correct, I did not contact you prior to publication.
I did not see that it was necessary considering that your website has been up for years and many of these materials have been publicly available for over 30 years after your trial. I referenced the material that you published in regards to this issue.
What issue? The issue of you not seeing that it was necessary to contact me; the issue that my website has been up for years; or the issue that many of the materials on my website have been publicly available for over 30 after my trial? Or is this issue the issue of not contacting me, or the issue of my memory being correct? How far backward from your statement — that you referenced the material that I published in regards to this issue — must someone go to find what this issue is? “This issue” of yours is grammatically both a vague and ambiguous reference. Since your whole email does not disclose what this issue is, it could be called a gaseous reference. What issue is “this issue” referring to?
I cannot discern if you are telling the truth that you referenced the material that I published in regards to an issue, if you don’t identify the issue.
In your list of “References” there are two entries for material I published:
Armstrong, Gerald D. 2009a. “Excerpt of Proceedings.” In Scientology v. Armstrong. Accessed May 1, 2018.
Armstrong, Gerald D. 2009b. “Reporter’s Daily Transcript (May 10, 1984).” In Scientology v. Armstrong. Accessed May 1, 2018.
You use these two pages to support a number of assertions about me:
- that I have contrasted Hubbard’s incomplete and poor college transcript against various Scientology biographies in order to portray him as fraudulent;
- that my criticism became dishonest because I evaluated prior to having all of the data, rather than trying to seek and understand the discrepancy causes;
- that I was wrong about Hubbard deceiving his followers;
- that I was wrong about him exaggerating his credentials when he identified himself as ‘L. Ron Hubbard, C. E. [Civil Engineer], PhD.’, even though he had dropped out of college and never finished his Bachelor’s degree or received a degree in any form of engineering;
- that I made these errors because Hubbard not only openly admitted that he held no degrees in his lectures, he also never claimed to in any books;
- that I naturally ignored the data that Who’s Who in America fully corrected Hubbard’s record in the 1980–81 edition, but only thirty years after Hubbard publicly acknowledged his record’s errors;
- that I claimed to intimately know and have Hubbard’s biographical materials and yet never mentioned these discrepancies between the Who’s Who books and Scientology books in any of my court transcripts.
Because you aver that my criticism of Hubbard’s lies about his academic degrees became dishonest because I evaluated prior to having all of the data, rather than trying to seek and understand the discrepancy causes, you imply that you, on the other hand, are being honest because you do have all of the data and only evaluated after obtaining all of the data. Do you know your implication to be false? I think you cannot but know it’s false.
I will deal more thoroughly with your article’s facts and conclusions in my separate analysis or rebuttal; but I have some foundational comments and questions at this point.
Because of the esotericism of the subject or subjects you have chosen to research and write about in your article; the positions you have taken; your tortured reasoning; and some cult cant, you present as a Scientologist, likely an “independent” one, pretending to be a nonpartisan wog independent scholar. Are you a Scientologist of any description?
I did compare Hubbard’s university transcript with his biographies, or more exactly, with his biographical sketches, which he had published as about-the-author bios in his books or as separate handouts. I did not compare or contrast Hubbard’s transcript with Scientology biographies. I suppose Atack’s book A Piece of Blue Sky could be called a Scientology biography, because it is an account of Scientology’s history, but I did not compare or contrast Hubbard’s transcript with it.
Or did you not mean “Scientology biographies” but “Hubbard biographies?” A biography, of course, can be of a person or a thing, such as Scientology. If you were addressing “Hubbard biographies” when you wrote “Scientology biographies,” were you trying to mask the fact that Hubbard wrote and published his own biographical sketches?
When I was Hubbard’s archivist, I possessed his university transcript and a number of his biographical or autobiographical sketches. Previously, during my earlier Scientology years before and in the Sea Org, I had seen, read and possessed most of these writings. I first saw his transcript when I began to assemble and read his personal materials in his archive. I observed immediately that his transcript’s poor letter grades on his transcript, his length of time at George Washington University, and his failure to graduate conflicted with multiple assertions in his biographical sketches. I did not, however, contrast or compare his transcript with these biographical sketches for the purpose of portraying him as fraudulent.
In fact, for much of the time as Hubbard’s archivist, I sought to resolve the conflicts between his university transcript and his academic claims in biographical sketches, and between numerous other documented facts and what Hubbard had written and promoted about himself. Throughout this period, pursuant to contract, I delivered his biographical or autobiographical materials, as I obtained, assembled and copied them, to wog writer Omar V. Garrison, who had been hired to write Hubbard’s authorized biography.
Ultimately, I came to the realization, however, and had to face the monstrous truth, while I was still Hubbard’s archivist and biography researcher, that he had lied in his biographical statements about himself. He had lied about being a civil engineer and a nuclear physicist, he had lied about many other autobiographical claims he made, and he had other persons lie in biographical claims about him he made other make. When I was able to confront Hubbard’s mendacity about his history, background and achievements, I was able to break free of the mesmerism or programming that had held me in his cult and kept me from grasping that his supposed psychospiritual technology did not work. It had worked to keep me programmed, enslaved and fearful, but it had not worked as Hubbard and his Scientology underlings promoted and promised.
While still Hubbard’s archivist in the cult, I spoke up about false claims he had made and we Scientologists were making for him. On many occasions since I broke free, I have spoken up and told the truth, to the best of my ability, about Hubbard’s lying, about his history, background and achievements. I did so for different reasons at different times. In my 1984 trial, it was necessary, and proved effective, as you know, for my successful defense against the Scientologists’ litigation assaults. They filed five more lawsuits against me, and it was relevant and necessary for me to communicate about Hubbard’s lying in those cases. At times I testified in other Scientology victims’ litigations about Hubbard’s lying because it was relevant and I was asked to. At times I spoke about these matters to media people or individuals who were interested in my experiences and knowledge, and to groups or at conferences where I was asked to speak.
Now I am writing to you about Hubbard’s lies, by which he and his underlings and colluders have victimized so many people so many years, because I discovered your article in CESNUR’s online journal, in which, as I said, you clearly seek to ignore the victims of his lies, to denigrate the critics of his lies, and to minimize, whitewash and deny his lying.
It is true that Hubbard was a gargantuan fraud. It was not, however, my speaking or writing about his lying, or anyone else’s words or actions, that creates that portrait or reality. It was Hubbard, both by his own words and actions, and by the words and actions of people that he directed and controlled, which generated his identity and condition of colossal fraudster. He made himself, as the judgment in the Scientologists’ first lawsuit against me states, and as you know, virtually a pathological liar when it comes to his history, background and achievements.
Despite your writing as if I have one website, if you have all the data, you know that I have five websites with relevant data concerning, inter tot alia, Hubbard’s lying, and you have all of the data from all my sites. If you evaluated only after having all of the data, then you evaluated after having all of the data on my five sites. Have you in fact read everything on my five sites and evaluated with it all?
If you have all of the data, you would know, from multiple declarations or affidavits I have written, executed and published, that I have testified over seventy days in around twenty legal cases. Unless you have all these transcripts, you cannot possibly have all of the data. Do you have, and have you researched, all these transcripts?
If, as you imply, you have all of the data, then you have every datum everywhere. Nobody has every datum everywhere, so your implication must be false, and the belittling of your “critics” group and your religious scholars group for not having all the data must be hypocritical. Do you still, in fact, contend that unlike the people you disparage for not having all of the data, you do have all of the data?
To be able to honestly state that Hubbard never claimed in any books to hold academic degrees, you would have to have examined every edition of every book he ever wrote, claimed to have written, put his name to as author, published or had copyrighted in his name. Have you in fact examined every such book?
If you have not examined every such book, will you admit that you either were lying or you did not know if you were telling the truth when you state that Hubbard never claimed in any books to holding any degrees?
Where exactly did I claim to intimately know Hubbard’s biographical materials, and what exactly did I say?
Without determining its truth or falseness, your statement that I claimed to intimately know and have Hubbard’s biographical materials and yet never mentioned these discrepancies between the Who’s Who books and Scientology books in any of my court transcripts is a formal fallacy. I leave it up to you at this point to determine yourself what formal fallacy it is. Here are two parallel examples to help:
Babe Ruth claimed to be a baseball player and yet never even set foot in Shea Stadium.
Ian Camacho claims to be an independent scholar in English and Textual Studies and yet doesn’t even have a high school diploma from Spuzzum High.
The Bambino’s claim and your claim are both true, and so are the facts that he never was in Shea and you never graduated from SHS. Yet both these examples, and your parallel assertion, are fallacies, and smack of ad hominem.
You used your incongruous statement — that I claimed to intimately know and have Hubbard’s biographical materials and yet never mentioned these discrepancies between the Who’s Who books and Scientology books in any of my court transcripts — as “proof” that I naturally ignored your claimed data that Who’s Who in America fully corrected Hubbard’s record in the 1980–81 edition, but only thirty years after Hubbard publicly acknowledged the errors. This is a propositional fallacy.
Are you aware that a witness in a legal proceeding in the adversarial justice system answers questions asked by attorneys from both sides of a controversy or case?
A witness rarely would instruct the attorneys for either party what to ask, and it is almost inconceivable that he would be permitted to do so from the witness stand during his testimony. If any of my attorneys, the cult’s attorneys, Mary Sue Hubbard’s attorneys, or any other party’s attorneys had asked me, while I was testifying, about discrepancies between the Who’s Who books and Scientology books, do you think such questions would be in the trial record?
Do you honestly believe that if I had been asked, while testifying, about discrepancies between the Who’s Who books and Scientology books, I would not have answered?
What facts do you have, other than your assertion that I never mentioned these discrepancies between the Who’s Who books and Scientology books in any of my court transcripts, that show I, at all times, or at any times, ignored, naturally or not, your claimed facts that Who’s Who in America fully corrected Hubbard’s record in the 1980–81 edition, but only thirty years after Hubbard publicly acknowledged his record’s errors?
For you to have all of the data to reach the conclusion that I at all times ignored your claimed facts that Who’s Who in America fully corrected Hubbard’s record in the 1980–81 edition, but only thirty years after Hubbard publicly acknowledged his record’s errors, you would have to have read everything I’ve written in the past thirty-seven or so years, listened to everything I’ve said during that time, and known all my thoughts during that time. You cannot logically depend on perhaps sixty hours of my testimony in one case in 1984 to reach your conclusion. It is patently false, and I believe you cannot but know it is.
I am not ignoring such data now. You, however, omitted providing those data in your article to support your assertion, which I find suspect. Will you please send me an image of Hubbard’s entry in that 1980-81 Who’s Who in America edition?
Your statement in your article that in any of my court transcripts I never mentioned the discrepancies between Hubbard’s biographical materials in Who’s Who books and Scientology books is also peculiar, because it includes an assumption that everyone in your audience will know of all of the cases in which I have testified. I do not doubt that Introvigne and Melton know of all of my court transcripts; but I do not believe that every other person who might read your article knows of all of my court transcripts. You overestimate your audience’s knowledge; and your expected audience – other than a few cult attorneys and dependent Scientologists — has little hope of obtaining all of my court transcripts to check your claimed facts. I do realize that you are preaching to, and for, your own choir, who already know and hate me.
You say I was an archivist, but you do not say that the Scientologists sued me and I was a defendant in multiple cases. You make it sound as if I, as an archivist, archived court transcripts; and, moreover, as if archivists everywhere archive court transcripts. I suppose it is expected that I should be gratified that you present me as so famous that all of the potential readers of CESNUR’s journal will, or should, be familiar with all my court cases and court transcripts. I am not gratified, however, because what you manifest, either knowingly or unknowingly, is semantic derangement that serves malevolent purposes. I doubt you were so limited by Introvigne in your word count that you could not include a few words to describe my court cases. But how do you explain what seems to me to be semantic derangement?
In 1950 and 1951, where did Hubbard publicly acknowledge his record’s errors?
Are you limiting Hubbard’s 1950-51 correction of his record to what he had published in various Who’s Who volumes?
What exactly did Hubbard state to publicly acknowledge his record’s errors?
All of Hubbard’s lies to Scientologists or in Scientology materials had to have occurred after 1950-1951. Did he ever publicly acknowledge his record of lies, or errors, to Scientologists or in Scientology materials, after he incorporated Scientology?
To the contrary, in fact, Hubbard stated in scripture in 1983, addressing Scientologists around the world: “I have never lied to you or conned you and what I tell you now is true. (HCO PL January 31, 1983, “The Reason for Orgs”) He lied even then, because he had been lying to Scientologists for fifty years, and to wogs decades longer.
Were you aware that in your reference you described as “Excerpt of Proceedings.” In Scientology v. Armstrong,” the URL you provided leads to a transcript excerpt from Christofferson v. Scientology?
I was going to ask, “Who peer reviewed your article?” then I saw you wrote, “special thanks go to Professors J. Gordon Melton and Massimo Introvigne for having agreed to read and ultimately publish this paper at the highest professional level, and of course the peer reviewers for their useful comments.” That Drs. Melton and Introvigne agreed to read your paper does not mean they actually read it. I assume, however, that you mean they actually did read your paper, not just agree to read it — and I certainly accept they actually did publish it for you — so they have a certain responsibility for your errors and your undeserved attacks on the subject “critics” and “religious scholars.” They are scribes in this parable.
What evidence do you have that I never tried to seek and understand the discrepancy causes; i.e., the causes of the fact discrepancies between the various versions of Hubbard statements about his academic degrees, his having a BS, being a CE or a nuclear physicist, or any of the other Hubbard biographical fact discrepancies I knew of?
Your second reference relating to me personally is a transcript of one day of testimony in the first of six lawsuits the Scientologists brought against me. It is Volume 9, pages 1389 through 1563, out of 28 volumes, pages 1 through 4901. Why did you select that one volume to make the point that I never mentioned these discrepancies between the Who’s Who books and Scientology books in any of my court transcripts?
Unless you are withholding materials for some reason or the materials on your site are false, I found no reason to contact you as it was unnecessary as a major part of my paper was dealing with materials widely available.
Your sentence makes no sense. Parse it and see.
In that you denigrated me in your article, it would have benefited you if you had checked your facts about me with me because your article could have been more honest, and you could possibly have avoided the public censure your article deserves. Now it is my censure herein that benefits you.
Not contacting me, when you so clearly intended to denigrate me, evidences your bias. I did not and do not care, however, if you contacted me or not. In my email, I was just confirming my understanding that you did not contact me or try to contact me.
It is not a required nor common practice to contact each author as I was addressing only what was published.
You don’t mean addressing what was actually published do you, as in having all the data? Don’t you mean you addressed what you cherry-picked. You cherry-picked from what was published; and you also cherry-picked from what was not published.
In fact, I didn’t contact other critics or most scholars in regards to this paper either. I attempted to contact the church for an official citation for the transcript when quoting a St. Hill lecture as opposed to using an online file citation, but as they never responded I had no alternative but to cite that one in the references.
Then the others in your “critics group,” and I suppose “most scholars,” have reasons that could be just as valid as mine to censure your article.
Thank you for your anticipated answers to my questions.
You’re quite welcome.
And thank you for your anticipated answers to the questions herein.
PS: Although your facts and arguments in your paper have numerous holes, I will leave you with just one document that should be enough to bring you to rethink your ridiculous “basic premise.”
Hubbard wrote in HCO Information Letter of 14 April, 1961, “PE Handout:”1
WHAT IS SCIENTOLOGY?
For hundreds of years physical scientists have been seeking to apply the exact knowledge they had gained of the physical universe to Man and his problems.
Newton, Sir James Jeans, Einstein, have all sought to find the exact laws of human behavior in order to help Mankind.
Developed by L. Ron Hubbard, C.E., Ph.D., a nuclear physicist, Scientology has demonstrably achieved this long-sought goal. Doctor Hubbard, educated in advanced physics and higher mathematics and also a student of Sigmund Freud and others, began his present researches thirty years ago at George Washington University.
This copy was published in Volume Six of the Organization Executive Course, which states on its copyright page “by L. Ron Hubbard.” The whole book is “Copyright L. Ron Hubbard.”
The whole book, including “PE handout,” is Scientology “religious scripture.”
This copy of “PE Handout” contains this note:
(Please note: The article “What is Scientology?” has been entirely re-written by Ron, and this one should be used in preference to the original one which was written in Johannesburg and issued from there—HCO Sec WW)
At the end of “PE Handout” it states:
Copyright ® 1961
by L. Ron Hubbard
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Hubbard personally profited financially from sales of this book, and from Scientologists who studied this book and “PE Handout” on Scientology courses. He also profited financially from people enticed or beguiled into Scientology with the autobiographical representations he made in “PE Handout” and similar autobiographical representations.
In relation to this document, your claimed fact that in his lectures Hubbard “openly admitted that he held no degrees” does nothing to absolve Hubbard of responsibility and liability for his lying that he had university degrees. In fact, the many contradictions between what Hubbard said at one point to some audience about significant matters – his abilities, his degrees, his military service, his injuries, his family, his benevolence or malevolence, his generosity or his avarice, his science or his religion – evidence, I believe, his psychopathology, and the concomitant disdain for his fellows. I am sure LA Superior Court Judge Paul G. Breckenridge, Jr. recognized this when he ruled in his judgment in Scientology v. Armstrong 1:
The organization clearly is schizophrenic and paranoid, and this bizarre combination seems to be a reflection of its founder LRH. The evidence portrays a man who has been virtually a pathological liar when it comes to his history, background, and achievements. The writings and documents in evidence additionally reflect his egoism, greed, avarice, lust for power, and vindictiveness and aggressiveness against persons perceived by him to be disloyal or hostile.
Your country’s president right now exhibits the same phenomena: pathological lying, egoism, greed, avarice, lust for power, and vindictiveness and aggressiveness against persons perceived by him to be disloyal or hostile. Hubbard couldn’t keep his lies straight and neither can Trump. And the fact that either of them sometimes told the truth does not mean they weren’t pathological liars.