Author: Hubbard, L. R.
Document date: 1954, 21 April
Document title: Elements of Auditing
Document type: lecture transcript
Event: Fifth American Advanced Clinical Course
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Document ID: 5ACC-17
Description: In this discussion about religion, Hubbard discusses Edward Gibbon's The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and Christian history of violence and wars; says that being "exclusively religious" would be chaos. Defines Dianetics as a biological-mental study and contrasts this with religion; talks about Scientology's concept of soul and thetan, exteriorization, the development of personality, and the ability of Scientology to separate the spirit from the physical.
All right. What about religion? Is this a total and an all where we are concerned?. After all we are a society, and we have individually and collectively various interests and so forth. Well, is religion an end answer? Well, certainly not as practiced. Religion itself has been responsible, probably, for more deaths – just as itself it’s been responsible for more deaths and more unhappiness than any other single item. Dictators, plague – these things are actually very small compared to the amount of damage which has been done by religion in the name of peace. In the name of peace we have had nothing but endless war.
Religion broke its back, by the way, finally on that point. For, oh, a long, long while religion taught nothing but peace, peace, peace; turn the other cheek, turn the other cheek; peace; man is a spirit; save your soul; be good, go to heaven and get your reward; or if you don’t, why, you’ll go to hell and burn forever. They taught this philosophy that we must have peace, peace, peace. And World War I found troops of one side finding the dead bodies of troops of the other side on the battlefield with such legends as “Gott mit uns” on their belt buckles. Well, God was on the other side, see. God was on their side. God was on the other fellow’s side. God was on everybody’s side because it was a Christian cataclysm. And it broke the back of Christianity because it almost entirely ruined the faith of troops in Christianity.
Up to that time the major wars had been fought against major faiths. It was sort of Catholic against Protestant. It was one faith against another faith. Christian against Mohammedan. The godlessness of the Mongol versus the Christian Europe. You know, their big cataclysmic wars that had this sort of a division.
But World War I was not of this character. It was Christian against Christian, just like that. And each side was trying to pep up its own troops with the idea that God was on their side. They wore it out.
Naturally, there followed a very godless area. There was no more godless area in the Christian world than that one which immediately succeeded World War I. And today Christianity hasn’t gotten on its feet. But if you were to follow all the principles in government, and so forth, which are laid down in the name of the spirit, the soul, so on – if you were to follow these exactly you’d have an awful mess on your hands.
You see, we’ve actually had periods when these were followed exactly – very, very close to exactly. The first time they were ever followed brought upon the crash of the biggest and grandest and most plentiful society that we’ve had on Earth, the Roman Empire. Edward Gibbon writes there – I don’t know how many million words Edward Gibbon wrote in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, but his private purpose in writing that book was to demonstrate the actual action of Christianity in the society. That was his purpose in writing the book. Ostensibly he was very interested in the Roman Empire, and because it is a scholarly study of the Roman Empire it can still be bought in its entirety. Otherwise it long ago would have been put on an Index Expurgatorius. It’s an interesting book. It tells you that whereas the Roman nation was responsible for about ten purges of Christians, and that there were probably less than a hundred thousand Christians in all the purges combined for the Roman Empire, there were probably less than a hundred thousand Christians who were arrested and imprisoned or condemned. And that was over a period of a long while; that was over a period of centuries. There were only about thirty Christians in that first purge that – the first Roman push against Christians -there were only about thirty Christians who were martyred in that time.
And yet the Christians themselves slaughtered one hundred thousand of their own people in one year of rioting in one city in the Roman Empire, Alexandria. In one year the Christians themselves murdered more Christians than were murdered in ten purges officially conducted by the Roman Empire.
Now, it tells you there must be some mad-dogness in this, isn’t it? There’s been more inhumanity conducted in the name of religion than under any other heading. I saw a wonderful book one time. It covered the life of Torquemada. It was oddly and symbolically bound in human skin. It’s in a library down in Pacific Groves, California. It’s in Spanish. It’s a very, very old book; the life of Torquemada. The Spanish Inquisition.
The bloody chapters which have been written back through history in the name of Christianity and peace tell us that it doesn’t apparently operate all by itself as a good operation point – you know, if we’re going to consider the health of a society. If we just said, “All is now going to be operated from the standpoint of religion,” we would be making a considerable error if we wish to bring about anything like a pleasant or peaceful or progressive culture. This is no condemnation of Christianity or a condemnation of man; we’re just facing a few facts here. The world under the rule of religion has not been successful or peaceful. This we can see with a good clear glance at history.
Take the Crusades. I don’t think there’s any more disgraceful chapter, actually, in the history of Christianity than these battles fought for loot in the name of religion. The enormous numbers of people who died of disease and homelessness. You take the Child’s Crusade. These are bitter chapters in our culture because America is essentially a portion of the European culture. You can call the American culture, European culture more or less the same cultures. And these succeed the Roman culture, which only indifferently succeeds the Greek culture.
But here’s one line of culture. And we look at this, “Has it… we can ask ourselves, “Has it been terrifically improved by the introduction of religion?” And if we consider by improvement a calmness, happiness, the ability to get, beget and to live, why, we just (as people looking for data and so forth) could not put our vote in the direction of “Let’s be exclusively religious. Let’s favor nothing but this spirit. And then out of this spirit monitor all of our thoughts and activities.” We certainly wouldn’t have a culture. It would be chaos itself.
All right. Whether you agree with that or not agree with that – because it’s not propaganda; I’m merely trying to tell you that here… over here we have this tremendous extremity. We have… everybody says, “Life is really caused by this mud” as a terrible extreme. And over here, “Life must be totally monitored by this spirit, and that’s all there is and it can’t do anything else but face up to God, and do this and do that and conduct itself spiritually and religiously.” And it says that over here, you see, and that’s an extreme. And we find out neither one of these things have really succeeded, because at this moment the idea that man is actually mud gives adequate license to the government and its physicists to manufacture sufficient weapons to destroy all the civil populaces of Earth.
How can they bring their conscience to do this? Simply by saying, “Well, man is just mud anyhow. He has no right to happiness. He has no spirit. He has nothing. He’s just, you know, animated rocks. Knock them off. Kill them. Kill everybody.” It’s insanity.
You have your rights in the face of such a proposed cataclysm. Actually, no government has the right to a single life – not even one life. We’re not saying, now, we don’t believe or should believe in capital punishment, but you see a government is not alive. It is an or