Now is the time to confess that I've been keeping a secret. That there was a secret may have been clear to those who scrutinized my recent postings carefully enough. A close look reveals rather obvious inconsistencies. Some ARS readers noticed this but for lack of a better alternative, they opted to settle for an incorrect explanation.
The truth is that although I've been immersed in stories from former Scientologists describing their Scientology experience in some detail, how likely would it be that a man with a background in investment banking would be able to distill these stories into the three formal essays I've presented to ARS so far? Knowing more than anyone on this forum about who actually composed the essays, I'll give you my frank answer: *not very likely*. I've not even had enough time to answer my e-mail, much less formulate such prose. In fact, the recent months have been filled to the brim with meetings, making new contacts and trying in a variety of ways to somehow soothe the emotional wounds of former Church[sic] members. I have had no time to bone up on Arts and entertainment, or to conduct a detailed analysis of the underbelly of Scientology. If that's what I'd been doing, it would have shown up in earlier postings. You can check and see for yourself that it didn't.
Who then wrote the "Scientology and Evil" and the "Scientology versus Democracy" couplet? Not me, that's for sure, though I did edit the pieces a bit, just to tone them down. So, who is the Who?
Let's start at the beginning.
I remember my feelings when I first discovered portions of the true nature of Scientology --- disappointment which led quickly to outrage. Churches are supposed to help people, not impoverish them. They're supposed to comfort people, not drive them to the brink of insanity by promising paradise and delivering a hell on Earth. Churches should help people live creative and productive lives, not chain them to nonsense activities that leave virtually no room for anything but working for the Church[sic] or working to make money for the Church[sic].
I had a very receptive ear for the people that had realized they'd been betrayed. They wanted to do something about it but couldn't, possibly, I thought, because they'd been robbed of their resources. I thought I could help and so I did. No one else was providing financial support to these people and I felt they both deserved and needed it. It may be a character flaw, but I don't always feel inclined to obey when someone tells me there's something I shouldn't do --- especially if that someone is a bully. Writing checks isn't so difficult if you believe it's going to help someone out of a predicament that's similar to something you've faced yourself. I did believe and I wrote the checks, but before long, I found myself deluged with people wanting to say one thing or another about what had happened to them in Scientology. A heartfelt plea to right a grievous wrong can be difficult to resist and so I continued to listen and I continued to write more checks.
Try to imagine reading or hearing literally hundreds of stories of betrayal and lost hope. Imagine seeing the hurt in so many eyes and voices. Then imagine turning to the Church[sic] of Scientology and being met with a smug disdain for attempting to do anything at all. I see the suffering and then I see the Church[sic] that promises to relieve suffering condemn those who are. Then I'm condemned for trying to do something about it. It was an outrageous, heart wrenching situation. It kept me doing what I could for quite some time. Then it began to dawn on me. After the money's spent, then what? What about the future? It was very discouraging to imagine that Scientology would still be there luring hopeful innocents into its sticky "theta"-trap and leaving bewildered, disillusioned people in its wake. I've been told it's the luckiest that leave Scientology disappointed and disillusioned. The rest end up as contented slaves, blind to what they've missed and what's been taken from them, having no will left to care.
I thought about it and eventually was forced to admit that indiscriminately throwing money at the Scientology problem and its victims was like putting a Band-Aid on an infected wound. What's needed is something that would cure the infection. We need more than someone coming in like Santa Claus and distributing presents to the broken hearts and lost souls. Presents are better than nothing, but we need something more. A year or so ago, I didn't know what that was. All I knew was that whatever it was, it wasn't in easy reach, no matter how much I was willing to spend.
For me, a retired businessman, to invent the magic antidote to the social malaise called Scientology is asking a lot --- too much, I'm sorry to have to admit. My expertise is business, not religion. I'm not an artistic savant and I've made no serious study of human nature. Like I said, I haven't had the time! Enlightening myself would take years and lately, all my spare time has been used to give audience to one shocking Scientology story after another. I had a feeling that sooner or later something had to give. I can't keep listening to horror stories forever and I can't keep writing checks, either. Everyone has limits when it comes to spending money. I doubt Bill Gates would have been willing to go further than I have, even if he were aware of what is really going on in Scientology.
Not long after I started, I was seeing the end of the road for my conflict with Scientology and the end wasn't a happy one. I had been willing to pursue many paths, and did, some extremely unusual, for someone who really wanted to make a difference. What I could do still wasn't enough. So perhaps you can imagine my surprise and relief when I received an e-mail message from someone who eventually claimed to have been one of a group of five people who were responsible for birthing the Church[sic] and all the materials of Scientology.
It was quite a surprise. Five people??? I thought there was only one!! Apparently there's a possibility that what we all thought just isn't true. I can now say with growing certainty that if your faith says the Cof$ has just one founder, then you've fallen for another of Scientology's "artful illusions". There's no doubt that L. Ron Hubbard was the lead actor in the Scientology story. He surely had a hand in conceiving and writing much of the materials. But he wasn't the only one.
Yes, it seems that L. Ron Hubbard may have had an editor. If what I'm told is true, actor Hubbard also had a director, who doubled as the financial manager and accountant. Another writer functioned as art consultant. This one was responsible for many of the original ideas that underlie the Scientology scripts and performances. There was also a German national, a woman, who was the acting consultant. The acting consultant was married to the art consultant. The relationships are where it really starts to get complex. From what I'm told, it only seemed simple because that's how it was supposed to seem. The work of a group became the work of one so the one would appear superhuman. From what I'm told, only a small fraction of the material attributed to Hubbard was actually written by him.
If you're finding any of this hard to believe, I have to admit I had a hard time believing it too. I still have some serious doubts. Everything seems to depend on whether Ralph "Dorian" has been telling me the truth. Ralph "Dorian" was Hubbard's editor, or so he tells me. I put "Dorian" in quotes because he's told me this name is a pseudonym. He still hasn't told me his real name and I don't have any way of checking it out. I'm well aware that he could be lying about his past. Fortunately there are some reasons to believe this unlikely. First, he seems to be the right age (late seventies, early eighties). Second, he lives in a palatial mansion on an enormous piece of land. It's very obvious that he has a considerable amount of capital at his disposal. Third, he hasn't asked me for money and assures me he never will. In fact, he's told me repeatedly that if he ever asks for money, I should consider him a fraud and sever connections with him immediately. Fourth, the editor has a son. Richard (probably not a pseudonym since I accidentally overheard his father casually calling him "Ricky" once) is of a plausibly correct age and he confirms the whole story. He also has some pretty good stories of his own to tell which mesh almost seamlessly with what his father said. And fifth, on the estate can be found a windowless room. It must have been about 10x13 feet, with 9 foot ceilings and is set in the center of the main house. As a conservative estimate, I'd say that about one third of the volume of this room is packed with literally hundreds, maybe thousands of notebooks and loose-bound packets of worn, yellowed pages. There were boxes and tall bookcases of them. I spent some time sitting at a large wooden desk in the middle of the room. I was free to look at whatever I liked. It seemed like most of the documents were a mixture of typewriter print and handwritten notes. I saw at least three different styles of handwriting on them. I'm no handwriting expert, but from what I could tell, it's quite possible the pages could contain what I'm told they do --- the rough draft, "working versions" of Scientology books and technical bulletins. Though I obviously didn't have time to read them all, what I have seen was certainly interesting, to put it mildly.
Don't think I went in there a believer. It's fair to say I was guardedly optimistic. I would never have agreed to jump the hurdles to get to our first meeting unless I anticipated something that would really impress me. Richard Dorian sent me some unusually insightful stuff right from the start, and neither father nor son has let me down yet. Regardless, on the outside chance I am being fooled because I was never actually a Scientologist, I'm reserving judgement until more of their material comes out to be "tested" on others. Seventy-eight year old father Ralph and son Richard are either amazingly brilliant actors, storytellers, forgers, etc. --- or --- there's a lot more to Scientology than what even the serious investigators have so far been privy to.
It's incredible to hear the senior Dorian speak. I wish I could have brought along a tape recorder. He sounds suspiciously like the late L. Ron Hubbard. "Whatever's true for you is what's true... you don't have to believe any of it... just test it and see if it works."--- I can see why so many people fell for Scientology. I'm also looking for something that "works" (to expose Scientology). When someone comes along and lays a good possibility in my lap, it's difficult to pass it up. What the Dorian pair offers is exciting, no doubt. But because of all he's told me about artful deception, I still feel I must reserve judgement. I strongly recommend that you do the same. For all I know, it could still be some kind of elaborate trick.
There are some other red flags as well. As I said, I don't know enough about Scientology to rule out the possibility that the "working version" documents are fakes. But Dorian Senior has also refused to allow me to introduce him or his son to anyone else.
Mr. Dorian Sr. explains the second red flag in several ways. He pointedly told me that it's lucky that there are any founding artists left willing to come forward at all. He also says the proof that we're all looking for is best presented in a "non-standard, unexpected" way. He says the Scientologists are trained character assassins. (I'd have to agree.) Even if his story is one hundred percent accurate and documented from beginning to end on *film*, the Scientologists have been well armed with the techniques that could either discredit it or suppress it. I guess he should know. He says that naively bringing them "proof" is like leading a horse to water that the horse is sure contains or conceals a deadly poison of some kind. The horse won't drink it and neither will the Scientologists. And they'll try their damnedest to make absolutely certain no one else drinks it as well. Still, he assures me, there's more than one way to persuade a horse to drink. If you read his material, it's clear that he seems to know what he's talking about.
Another justification concerns safety. If he brings out proof that would convict Scientology and its management of fraud, he may also be convicting himself, and possibly even his son as an accomplice. He doesn't trust the governments of the world to all grant him immunity in one stroke, nor does he expect that he and his son would be safe from certain people, ex-Scientologist and true believer alike, who would love to either pay them both back --- or permanently eliminate them. I grant that the Senior Dorian may be a little paranoid, but if I were him, I think I'd probably feel the same way.
Yet another justification is that for most of his life, and for all of his son's life, they've both been perfectly invisible to the public with regard to the father's clandestine professional role. That was the plan, and apparently it worked. Neither of them is interested in surrendering to a media circus and the potential for other dangers of various sorts. Just to do someone else a favor?? They both agree that if they're going to volunteer to work for other people's benefit, they're going to do it their way... that's it, end of discussion. I guess they've become accustomed to the luxury of privacy. In the last few months I've had a personal taste of what a loss of privacy can be like and so I can't find reason to blame them. But once again, they've assured me that their way of handling the situation is going to be much more effective...
What am I supposed to say to all this? I must admit that I don't have complete certainty that I'm not somehow extending the deception. What would you do? If they wanted to, the Dorians could go back into hiding and leave us all hanging out on a limb. I'm trying to be as diplomatic as possible, waiting and hoping for the best.
If you're wondering why they came to me, that was one of the first things I asked about. Ralph Dorian replied by saying he doesn't trust ex-Scientologists. He said he knows what's happened to them. For this reason, he was waiting for a non-Scientologist to show up who was sufficiently committed to the cause of exposing the "larger" story. Apparently, when he read about how much of my money I had put where my mouth was, I passed muster.
Another thing I asked them is if they want to get rid of Scientology. While Richard was unequivocal, Ralph Dorian gave me an answer that sounded strange and cryptic at first, but which now makes a lot of sense. He expands on it in his accompanying introduction.
If Dorian Junior and Senior have gone to the time and trouble to deceive me, I haven't found the selfish motive. I suppose time will tell. But so far Ralph Dorian doesn't come across as a man of pretense. He readily admits to being an "artist". He didn't use the word "con-artist" but after listening for a while it doesn't take long to figure out what he's talking about. Both Dorians are willing to talk on in great depth about how to deceive people. I've listened to hours and hours of it. They have a lot to say, especially the father. Considering their wealth, someone has apparently been successful in plying the family trade. Amazingly, the specific "trade" we're talking about here is co-founding a religion by helping to write and edit its stories and scripts!
But the fact that the so called "working version" documents could be fakes remains a sore point with me. I'm putting my reputation and peace of mind on the line here and I don't want to be disappointed. Though I've been nearly convinced by the handwriting similarities, it's very difficult for me to place complete confidence in Dorian and son without getting the authenticity matter settled. Dorian Jr. suggested a solution which I repeated for the father's benefit. I asked that he allow me to post a fictionalized version of one of the rough-draft documents for the inspection of Scientologist and ex-Scientologist alike. After considerable persuasion, he finally agreed. The fictionalized document has certain names and trademarked words either partially or wholly left out. Naturally I asked for something significant. Dorian Senior picked it out. It retains the title "Translation-Draft 411 Series", the same name on the actual document I saw at the Dorian estate.
Now I leave the question up to you. Could the rough draft that I've seen actually correspond to a genuine Scientology document? If so, which one? You decide. Please read Dorian Senior's introduction and the fictionalized rough-draft itself, and let me know what you think.
Next: An Introduction, by Ralph Dorian