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Religions and homosexuality

The Church of Scientology® & homosexuality

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Sponsored link.

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L. Ron Hubbard's initial beliefs:

The teachings of the Church of Scientology are based upon the writings of its founder, L. Ron Hubbard (1911-1986). He was a very prolific author. In 2005 Mr. Hubbard was recognized as the world's most translated author by the Guinness Book of World Record. In 2006 Guinness confirmed this and also recognized him as the world’s most published author with 1,084 works.

One of his most famous books was published in 1950-MAY, "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health." 1 It has never gone out of print since. It had sold over 17 million copies worldwide by mid-2004. 8 Book 2, Chapter 5, Page 120 says, in part:

"The sexual pervert (and by this term Dianetics, to be brief, includes any and all forms of deviation in dynamic two such as homosexuality, lesbianism [sic], sexual sadism, etc., and all down the catalog of Ellis and Krafft-Ebing) is actually quite ill physically."

The term "dynamic two" within Dianetics normally refers to the human urge to procreate. Ellis and Krafft-Ebing were two early researchers into human sexuality.

One year later, in 1951, Hubbard published "Science of Survival: Prediction of Human Behavior." 2 One source has quoted excerpts from it. 3 Hubbard crated a "tone scale" which classifies individuals and human behavior. The scale runs from -3 to +4. He apparently rated gay and lesbian behavior at a 1.1. -- between "fear" (1.0) and "anger" (1.5). On this scale, -3 means death and +4 is the most positive rating attainable. 4

It is important to realize that Hubbard is rating same-sex behavior, not homosexuals and bisexuals as people. An individual may change the tone scale at which they are functioning many times an hour. Many anti-Scientology information sources have implied that persons who engage in same-sex sexual behavior are permanently at 1.1 on the tone scale.

Book One, Chapter 18, Page 116 says:

"At 1.1 on the tone scale, we enter the area of the most vicious reversal of the second dynamic. Here we have promiscuity, perversion, sadism and irregular practices."

This presumably includes homosexual behavior. In Book One, Chapter 27, Page 163, he writes:

"From 1.3 down to 0.6 we have the general area of the subversive, who promises a people freedom and equality and gives them a slaughter of their best minds and cultural institutions, to the end of a totalitarian dominance."

 In Page 89-90, he writes:

"Such people should be taken from the society as rapidly as possible and uniformly institutionalized; for here is the level of the contagion of immorality, and the destruction of ethics...No social order which desires to survive dates overlook its stratum 1.1's. No social order will survive which does not remove these people from its midst."

One of Hubbard's solutions to homosexuality was quarantine; the other was counseling with the goal of raising the individual's rating above 1.1:

 "The only answers would seem to be the permanent quarantine of such persons from society to avoid the contagion of their insanities and the general turbulence which they bring to any order, thus forcing it lower on the scale, or processing such persons until they have attained a level on the tone scale which gives them value." 5

It is important to realize that L.R. Hubbard's beliefs matched those of mainstream psychiatry and psychology at the time -- that homosexuals were suffering from a mental illness. This belief was based on studies of gays and lesbians who were either under the care of mental health therapists or were inmates in prisons. Needless to say, this was not a representative sampling of the homosexual population. Studying heterosexuals in therapists offices and in prisons would probably conclude that they also suffered from a higher rate of emotional problems. It was only in the mid-1950's that Evelyn Hooker made contact with the homosexual community and studied a random sampling of gays and lesbians. She published the first major balanced study of the mental health of homosexuals. She found that homosexuals could not be differentiated from heterosexuals using conventional psychiatric tests. This eventually led to the decision in 1973 by the American Psychiatric Association to remove homosexuality from its official manual of mental disorders. 6 Other professional associations have since issued statements about homosexuality which contradict the beliefs of mental health professionals of the 1950's, including Hubbard's.

Scientology has been one of the favorite targets of some members of the anti-cult movement. They frequently quote Hubbard's quotations from the early 1950s and claim that it represents the current teachings of Scientology.

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L. Ron Hubbard alters position on gays and lesbians:

In 1967, perhaps in response to the groundbreaking work of Evelyn Hooker and subsequent researchers into human sexuality, Hubbard wrote:

"It has never been any part of my plans to regulate or to attempt to regulate the private lives of individuals. Whenever this has occurred, it has not resulted in any improved condition....Therefore all former rules, regulations and policies relating to the sexual activities of Scientologists are cancelled." 4

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Other interactions between the Church of Scientology and homosexuality:

bullet2000-NOV: Keith Relkin, a gay Scientologist from West Hollywood, cites Scientology as helping him come out as a gay man and to get off drugs. In an article in Fab! magazine, he wrote:

"We Scientologists read this at the beginning of every Sunday service in every Scientology organization across the world: 'Nothing in Dianetics and Scientology is true for you unless you have observed it and it is true according to your observation. That is all'."

"... What's more, Scientology has the most iron-clad, non-discriminatory policy I've ever come across regarding sexual orientation. Have there been abuses of this policy by people in the church who are ignorant of it, or who were raised in the Midwest? (Sorry, bad joke.) Yes! Of course! I mean, what planet are you living on? But whenever I have personally written reports on policy violations to church management, my reports were acknowledged and the offenders were untimately [sic] corrected. That's more than I can say for our U.S. government's record handling civil rights abuses of gays." 10

bullet2003-JAN: The Church of Scientology sponsored a Multathlon for Human Rights and Tolerance in Los Angeles, CA. Gay activist Keith Relkin, a member of the Church of Scientology, passed a rainbow flag to the captain of a team running 250 miles throughout the city. Mike Loumeaux, Relkin said that:

"gay rights are human rights. ... Over the years, I have worked with the Church of Scientology for greater inclusion of gay people like me, and today represents a milestone in that progress." 9

bullet2003-OCT: The Yahoo! group Clear Rainbow was formed, for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual Scientologists and their friends. As of early 2006-DEC, they have 39 members and average about 1 to 4 new messages a day. See: http://groups.yahoo.com/
bullet2005: According to an article in Wikipedia: 7

"In 2005 an article in Source (an official magazine published by the Church of Scientology) featured a male and his 'partner' in a success story about their WISE consulting business."

"In 2005 an article in the New York Daily News suggested that the homophobic writings of Hubbard might have come from his own embarrassment over Quentin Hubbard, his gay son, who committed suicide in 1976. The article cites a spokeswoman for Scientology, 'Mr. Hubbard abhorred discrimination in all its forms,' and that the Church encouraged relationships that are 'ethical'. The spokeswoman said also that the Church had not taken an official position on gay marriage, and that members prefer not to talk about it."

"However, a 2004 article in the St. Petersburg Times claims that the Church defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman. This also suggests that gays must remain celibate if they want to be part of the group's clergy." 8

bullet2005: ScientologyMyths.info is a very helpful website. Its authors attempt to clear up myths attributed to Scientology by searching:

 "... independent sources, not Church of Scientology owned sites and not avowed anti-Scientology sites either. We pull our information from court documents, other reliable sources and our own experiences and conversations." 12

On the question "Is Scientology against homosexuality? an author replied, in part:

"I do not have any knowledge or evidence of anti-homosexual actions taken by the church at any point, other than the few writings on the subject. It was pretty much left alone for many years."

[After 1967, Hubbard] ... "released a book about ethical behavior that was silent on the subject of homosexuality, and offered a gender-neutral ethical guidelines about being faithful to one's partner and avoiding promiscuity."

"The Church of Scientology is a leading proponent for human rights for all people of earth as can be seen by their campaigns with Youth for Human Rights and the Citizens Commission on Human Rights." 13

The authors of the website also deny that Scientology does not attempt to "treat" or "rescue" homosexuals. 14

bullet2005-DEC to 2006-OCT: We scanned the "Gay Scientologist" discussion on Beliefnet. Some postings suggested that a person exhibiting homosexual behavior would have their spiritual progress impeded. However, there seems to have been a general consensus that Scientology does not discriminate against gays and lesbians. Some quotes shown below are truncated to avoid terms with unique meanings in Scientology that might not be clear to the average reader.
bullet"I would like to attest from personal experience that sexual preference is no bar ..."
bullet"I support the idea of opening the church door so gay men (and everyone else) can also have the fantastic benefits of being active Scientologists making progress ..."
bullet"I claim that homosexuality itself does not qualify as aberrated behavior when it does not violate any of the precepts in The Way to Happiness."
bullet"... gay Scientologists prosper in life and are much happier than gay men who are not yet Scientologists? I think that should be our perception in the gay communities out in the world."
bullet"I suggest that a central point to determine in this discussion is whether homosexual relations between two people who are not violating any of the precepts of The Way to Happiness and who are not violating any moral code to which they have subscribed is still an overt. 11 I say it is not an overt, it is not out-ethics, and it is not a violation of church policy. People who are not harming self or others, who are observing the precepts of The Way to Happiness, and who are remaining ethical in life, should be permitted to make progress on the Bridge without being harassed."
bullet"In my opinion, gay people can be Scientologists, gay people are Scientologists and Hubbard changed his stance. I used my self-determinism and personal integrity on that one. You're opinion might be different from me but I know what I know. [Spelling corrected] 15
bullet2006-DEC: A search of the main Scientology web site at http://www.scientology.org revealed no entries for "homosexual," "homosexuality," "bisexuality," "lesbian" or "GLBT" -- a common abbreviation for "gay/lesbian/bisexual/transsexual." It had two listing for "gay." Both referred to the Multathlon for Human Rights and Tolerance mentioned above. Neither could be downloaded from the web site.

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References:

  1. L.R. Hubbard, "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health," Bridge Publ. (1950) You can see reviews and/order order this book from Amazon.com online bookstore
  2. L.R. Hubbard, "Science of Survival: Prediction of Human Behavior." (Reissued 1990). See reviews and/order order this book
  3. Anon, "Scientology Homophobia," at: http://wpxx02.toxi.uni-wuerzburg.de/
  4. "Bernie," "Gays and Scientologists," at: http://www.bernie.cncfamily.com/
  5. Op Cit, "Science," Book 1, Chapter 21, Page 131.
  6. "Is Homosexuality a Mental Disorder?," Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists, at: http://www.aglp.org/
  7. "Homosexuality and Scientology," Wikipedia, 2006-MAY-15, at: http://en.wikipedia.org/
  8. "About Scientology," St. Petersburg Times, FL, 2004-JUL-18, at: http://www.sptimes.com/
  9. "Church of Scientology wants gays," Fab! magazine, 2003-FEB-14, at: http://www.liveandgrow.org/
  10. Keith Relkin, "I'm, here, I'm queer, I'm a Scientologist," FAB!, 2000-NOV-24, Vol. 6: 142. Online at: http://www.liveandgrow.org/fab-scn.html
  11. An overt act is defined in Scientology as a harmful act that violates the moral code of a group, whether by omission or commission.
  12. The Scientology Myths web site's home page is at: http://www.scientologymyths.info/
  13. "Is Scientology against homosexuality?," Scientology Myths, (2006), at: http://www.scientologymyths.info/
  14. "Does Scientology attempt to 'treat' or 'rescue' homosexuals?," Scientology Myths, (2006), at: http://www.scientologymyths.info/
  15. "Gay Scientologist?," Beliefnet, at: http://www.beliefnet.com/

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Copyright © 1999 to 2007 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2007-AUG-29
Author: B.A. Robinson

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