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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
This is one of the more advanced Scientology books. If you ever wondered whether you have lived before, or where mankind came from or why are we here on this planet - well this book has a lot of answers.

If you are an avid believer of the "living once" theory and not looking for any answers then this book is definitely not for you. However if you have ever...
Published on 17 May 2011 by Val

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Gnosticism on speed
L. Ron Hubbard's "Scientology: A history of man" is just as rambling, incoherent and frankly bizarre as promised. Promised, that is, by the opponents of Scientology, the controversial new religion founded by Hubbard and often regarded as a cult. Scientologists themselves actually believe in this stuff, claimed by the author to be "a cold-blooded and factual account of...
Published on 26 Sep 2012 by Ashtar Command


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Gnosticism on speed, 26 Sep 2012
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This review is from: SCIENTOLOGY - A HISTORY OF MAN. (Hardcover)
L. Ron Hubbard's "Scientology: A history of man" is just as rambling, incoherent and frankly bizarre as promised. Promised, that is, by the opponents of Scientology, the controversial new religion founded by Hubbard and often regarded as a cult. Scientologists themselves actually believe in this stuff, claimed by the author to be "a cold-blooded and factual account of your last 76 trillion years". Weirdly, this screed is publicly available, in contrast to the notorious material on Xenu, which is kept under wraps despite sounding much more logical! But then, perhaps it's pointless to understand the genial mind of Lafayette Ron Hubbard?

"Scientology: A history of man" isn't really directed at the general public, which makes it even harder to understand why the author decided to have it published and publicly circulated Rather, it's a book directed at Scientology "auditors", who supposedly have the ability to "clear" people of their "engrams" with the help of an "E-meter". The in-house character of the book makes it difficult to read, due to the large number of neologisms (not always explained in the glossary) and Hubbard's rambling, occasionally frivolous, style.

My impression is that those subjected to the "E-meter" are somehow hypnotized, and start to relive their previous lives, including lives on other planets. In "Dianetics", Hubbard sounds sceptical to people who get out-of-body experiences or see previous lives while being "audited", but he clearly changed his mind later on. Indeed, in this book he says that the "engrams" are more easily destroyed if they are sought out in previous existences, rather than in this life. Essentially, Hubbard discovered (or re-discovered?) past-life regression therapy. It's a pity he didn't use it for more benign ends...

Since Hubbard's book is so "out there", reviewing it aint easy, but I'm going to give it my best shot. Scholars of religion consider Scientology to be a modern version of Gnosticism, which seems about right, at least with the added proviso that we're dealing with a badly distorted version.

There's a dualism between spirit and matter in Hubbard's system, with spirit being good and matter being (mostly) bad. There doesn't seem to be any personal god. The physical or material universe is called MEST. Human souls are called "thetans" or "theta beings". Their ultimate origin is not spelled out in this particular book, but they seem to have a past in distant star systems. About 30,000 years ago, the thetans incarnated in primitive human beings on our planet, turning them into...us. The primitive humans taken over by the thetans are products of a protracted evolution, which seems panpsychist in character. This evolutionary process has given rise to something Hubbard calls the GE or Genetic Entity. This seems to be a kind of subconscious mind, which reincarnates in rough evolutionary sequence: from micro-organisms to plants to invertebrates to mammals, ending with cavemen. Each human is therefore a composite being, consisting of both thetan and GE, with the thetan being the "real I".

Unfortunately, both the GE and the thetan have been badly battered during their respective sojourns in MEST. Many human fears and ailments are the result of the GE having various negative experiences when being a Clam, a Sloth, Piltdown Man or Caveman (to mention just a few of its incarnations). This part of Hubbard's book makes for some really entertaining reading! Only space limitations and Scientology copyright stops me from quoting Hubbard's statements about the Sloth, Piltdown Man or the Grim Weeper (a.k.a. Boohoo). The thetan is also something of a crippled veteran. It seems that thetans and MEST beings (i.e. thetans trapped in physical bodies) wage constant wars against each other. Thetans also fight other thetans. One of the purposes of Scientology is to rid humans of the negative psychological imprints haunting the thetans and the GE. This is done by the previously mentioned "auditing" procedure.

It's unclear whether the thetans incarnated on our planet voluntarily, or whether they were forced. Several chapters of the book imply the latter alternative. Indeed, the worldview of Hubbard occasionally sounds quite paranoid. Evil beings of unknown provenance are trapping thetans, injecting them with artificial implants ("Injected Entities" or "demon circuits") with a quasi-consciousness all their own. Hubbard claims that all humans have been processed in this manner. The whole thing sounds like a high-tech version of demon possession. There are entire civilizations whose rulers control thetans with powerful electromagnetic weapons, turning them into mindless slaves. Thetans constantly try to steal memories ("facsimiles") from each other. Evil physical beings trap them by throwing them small boxes containing pictures of small boxes (you heard me). Thetans like having sex by possessing humans in the dead of night, etc. The entire MEST seems filled with "trapping stations" to lure thetans into the material world. New Age fluffiness obviously wasn't Hubbard's thing: thetans who believe they have a purpose for being on Earth, are simply tricked and deluded by evil beings. It also seems that thetans can "die", not literally, but they can be rendered more or less unconscious and hence start to decay.

Occasionally, the author gets rather nasty. Thus, Hubbard claims that Scientologists can intentionally harm people by asking them the following question: "Can you imagine a clam sitting on the beach, opening and closing its shell very rapidly?" while making a motion with the thumb and forefinger of a rapid opening and closing. This re-stimulates the GE's memory of being the Clam, giving the victim a severe toothache, and perhaps even forces them to pull out some teeth. Hubbard recommends that this method (really a form of black magic) be used on sceptics who question the veracity of Scientology! At another point, Hubbard claims that "auditing" might occasionally be so powerful that the person audited will die?!

Still, it's difficult to take "A history of man" seriously, due to its many bizarre statements about...well, pretty much everything. I suppose the later legend about Xenu is supposed to be a more worked-out version of themes only hinted at in the earlier books. Hubbard, after all, claimed to be a kind of scientific explorer. He didn't present the message of Scientology all at once, as special revelation. Rather, he seems to have developed it over a longer period, during which he came progressively closer to the truth. Or so he claimed.

I don't believe a word of it, but had I done so, I would have been tempted to explain Hubbard's explorations as astral travel in some really low, demon-haunted realm. He, rather than the "thetans", is the real victim of trickery carried out by evil beings. Or at least highly aberrated ones.

This is indeed modern Gnosticism. Or perhaps Gnosticism on speed...
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1.0 out of 5 stars One of the most bizarre books I've read., 28 April 2013
This review is from: SCIENTOLOGY - A HISTORY OF MAN. (Hardcover)
I'm sure this is one of the craziest books I ever have, and probably ever will, read. It shows you don't need to go into Scientology's secret OT teachings to get to the science fiction stuff. Here, Hubbard talks about past life incidents from the "genetic line", such as "the clam", and "The Piltdown man". Towards the end of the book there's a lot of incidents involving alien implants and things like between-life incidents where the thetan goes to a Martian control station and is given a "forgetter" to forget his old life. The fact that he refers to the Piltdown man as an evolutionary step doesn't do a lot of good for the book's credibility, as it was exposed as a hoax around the time this book was released. "A History of Man" certainly seems more like the result of a vivid imagination (and Hubbard's fiction shows he had a great imagination) on drugs than any groundbreaking scientific "research".
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 17 May 2011
This is one of the more advanced Scientology books. If you ever wondered whether you have lived before, or where mankind came from or why are we here on this planet - well this book has a lot of answers.

If you are an avid believer of the "living once" theory and not looking for any answers then this book is definitely not for you. However if you have ever wondered about some of the "deeper" questions of existence then you will probably find this book interesting.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The History of Man, 19 Oct 2007
Don't waste money on earlier editions - they were badly transcribed by original printers with many errors, making them impossible to fully understand - the 2007 edition has been fully corrected and laid out in a very clear text format, with a contemporary glossary for 100s of hard-to-find words as used in the text, and an index, making reading of the volume much easier.

In this volume, Ron reveals for the first time the truth about whole track experience and the spiritual being (thetan). Describing the principle incidents on the whole track, to be found in any human being, including: Electronic implants, entities, the genetic track, between lives incidents, how bodies evolved, and why you got trapped in them. It is all detailed here in this well written volume."

In the opening paragraph, Ron describes this as... "A cold-blooded factual account of your last 76 trillion years."
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars here it is - in all it's lunacy - great for the gullible, 12 Mar 2008
he claimed - "the blind will see again, the lame will walk, the ill recover" etc.... "a cold blooded and factual account of your last 60 trillion years"
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SCIENTOLOGY - A HISTORY OF MAN.
SCIENTOLOGY - A HISTORY OF MAN. by L.RON HUBBARD (Hardcover - 2007)
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