Believe What You Like

Believe What You Like: What happened between the Scientologists and the National Association for Mental Health (Andre Deutsch Limited, 1973, ISBN 0-233-96375-8), written by the New Statesman director C. R. Hewitt under the pen name C. H. Rolph, details a public dispute between the Church of Scientology and the National Association for Mental Health (now known as Mind) in Britain.

Believe What You Like
Believe What You Like
AuthorC. H. Rolph
CountryGreat Britain
SubjectMental health, Scientology
PublisherAndre Deutsch Limited
Publication date
Media typePrint
LC ClassBP605.S2 H47

Main points

The book covers the controversy of how, starting in 1969, members of the Church joined the NAMH in large numbers with the intent to change the organization from the inside. The Scientologists attempted to ratify as official policy a number of points concerning the treatment of psychiatric patients, and in so doing, secretly promoted Scientology's anti-psychiatry agenda. When their identity was realized, the Scientologists were expelled from the organization en masse, but later sued the NAMH over the matter in the High Court in 1971 and lost. The case was important in UK charity law.

The book also covers the origins and activities of the Church of Scientology in the UK and some of their other legal actions in the UK around that time, including:

See also

External links

C. R. Hewitt

Cecil Rolph ("Bill") Hewitt (1901–1994) was a police officer, journalist, editor, and author. He served with the City of London Police from 1921 to 1946, rising to the level of Chief Inspector. He then left the force and became a journalist, writing on issues such as censorship and capital punishment. Known as C.R. Hewitt he also wrote many books and articles, such as Believe What You Like, under the pen name of C.H. Rolph.

As C.H. Rolph he was a founding member of the Homosexual Law Reform Society, of which he served as Chairman in the 1960s.

He was on the editorial staff of the New Statesman (1947–1970), where he "acquired an outstanding reputation as one of the foremost commentators in the country on legal and social matters". He also contributed to the Encyclopædia Britannica, Chambers Encyclopedia, Punch, The Week-End Book, The New Law Journal, The Times Literary Supplement, and The Author.

David Gaiman

David Bernard Gaiman (1933 – 7 March 2009) was head of the UK branch of Church of Scientology. He and his wife Sheila joined Scientology in the early 1960s and Gaiman served as public relations director and was commonly in the media during the British controversies over Scientology in the 1960s and 1970s.

Foster Report

The Foster Report is a 1971 report titled Enquiry into the Practice and Effects of Scientology, written by Sir John Foster for the government of the United Kingdom, regarding the Church of Scientology. The report made its case with L. Ron Hubbard's own words and reprinted a number of internal Ethics Orders. It concluded that it would be unfair to ban Scientology outright, but asked for legislation to ensure that psychotherapy in the United Kingdom is delivered in an ethical manner. He regarded the Scientology version of "ethics" as inappropriate.Documents seized by the FBI in raids on the Church's US headquarters in July 1977 revealed that an agent had been sent to investigate Sir John Foster in an attempt to link him to Paulette Cooper, author of The Scandal of Scientology and victim of Operation Freakout. The documents showed that Lord Balniel, who had requested the official inquiry, was also a target. Hubbard had written, "get a detective on that lord's past to unearth the tit-bits".Several official inquiries were made into Scientology in England, Australia, and elsewhere, and a number of reports were published by respective governments in the late sixties and early seventies.

Kenneth Robinson

Sir Kenneth Robinson (19 March 1911 – 16 February 1996) was a British Labour politician who served as Minister of Health in Harold Wilson's first government, from 1964 to 1968, when the position was merged into the new title of Secretary of State for Social Services.

L. Ron Hubbard

Lafayette Ronald Hubbard ( HUB-ərd; March 13, 1911 – January 24, 1986) was an American author of science fiction and fantasy stories, and the founder of the Church of Scientology. In 1950, Hubbard authored Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health and established a series of organizations to promote Dianetics. In 1952, Hubbard lost the rights to Dianetics in bankruptcy proceedings, and he subsequently founded Scientology. Thereafter Hubbard oversaw the growth of the Church of Scientology into a worldwide organization. Hubbard was cited by Smithsonian magazine as one of the 100 most significant Americans of all time.Born in Tilden, Nebraska in 1911, Hubbard spent much of his childhood in Helena, Montana. After his father was posted to the U.S. naval base on Guam, Hubbard traveled to Asia and the South Pacific in the late 1920s. In 1930, Hubbard enrolled at George Washington University to study civil engineering, but dropped out in his second year. He began his career as a prolific writer of pulp fiction stories and married Margaret "Polly" Grubb, who shared his interest in aviation.

Hubbard served briefly in the Marine Corps Reserve and was an officer in the Navy during World War II. He briefly commanded two ships, but was removed from command both times. The last few months of his active service were spent in a hospital, being treated for a duodenal ulcer.During the late 1960s and early 1970s, he spent much of his time at sea on his personal fleet of ships as "Commodore" of the Sea Organization, an elite, paramilitary group of Scientologists. Some ex-members and scholars have described the Sea Org as a totalitarian organization marked by intensive surveillance and a lack of freedom. His expedition came to an end when Britain, Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Venezuela all closed their ports to his fleet.

Hubbard returned to the United States in 1975 and went into seclusion in the California desert. In 1978, a trial court in France convicted Hubbard of fraud in absentia. In 1983 Hubbard was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in an international information infiltration and theft project called "Operation Snow White". He spent the remaining years of his life in a luxury motor home on his California property, attended to by a small group of Scientology officials including his physician. In 1986, L. Ron Hubbard died at age 74.The Church of Scientology describes Hubbard in hagiographic terms, and he portrayed himself as a pioneering explorer, world traveler, and nuclear physicist with expertise in a wide range of disciplines, including photography, art, poetry, and philosophy. Though many of Hubbard's autobiographical statements have been found to be fictitious, the Church rejects any suggestion that its account of Hubbard's life is not historical fact. In Scientology publications, he is referred to as "Founder" and "Source" of Scientology and Dianetics.

His critics have characterized Hubbard as a mentally-unstable chronic liar.

Military career of L. Ron Hubbard

The military career of L. Ron Hubbard saw the future founder of Scientology serving in the United States Armed Forces as a member of the Marine Corps Reserve and, between 1941–50, the Navy Reserve. He saw active service between 1941–45, during World War II, as a naval Lieutenant (junior grade) and later as a Lieutenant. After the war he was mustered out of active service and resigned his commission in 1950.

As with many other aspects of L. Ron Hubbard's life, accounts of his military career are much disputed. His account of his military service later formed a major element of his public persona, as depicted by his Scientologist followers. The Church of Scientology presents Hubbard as a "much-decorated war hero who commanded a corvette and during hostilities was crippled and wounded." According to Scientology publications, he served as a "Commodore of Corvette squadrons" in "all five theaters of World War II" and was awarded "twenty-one medals and palms" for his service. He was "severely wounded and was taken crippled and blinded" to a military hospital, where he "worked his way back to fitness, strength and full perception in less than two years, using only what he knew and could determine about Man and his relationship to the universe."However, his official Navy service records indicate that "his military performance was, at times, substandard", that he was only awarded a handful of campaign medals and that he was never injured or wounded in combat and was never awarded a Purple Heart. Most of his military service was spent ashore in the continental United States on administrative or training duties. He briefly commanded two anti-submarine vessels, the USS YP-422 and USS PC-815, in coastal waters off Massachusetts, Oregon and California in 1942 and 1943 respectively. He was removed from command of both vessels and rated by his superiors as being unsuitable for independent duties and "lacking in the essential qualities of judgment, leadership and cooperation". Although Hubbard asserted that he had attacked and crippled or sunk two Japanese submarines off Oregon while in command of the USS PC-815, his claim was rejected by the commander of the Northwest Sea Frontier after a subsequent investigation. He was hospitalized for the last seven months of his active service, not with injuries but with an acute duodenal ulcer.The Church of Scientology rejects the official record and insists that Hubbard had a second set of records that the U.S. Navy has concealed. According to the Church's chief spokesman, if it was true that Hubbard had not been injured, "the injuries that he handled by the use of Dianetics procedures were never handled, because they were injuries that never existed; therefore, Dianetics is based on a lie; therefore, Scientology is based on a lie."

Mind (charity)

Mind is a mental health charity in England and Wales. Founded in 1946 as the National Association for Mental Health (NAMH), it celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2016.

Mind offers information and advice to people with mental health problems and lobbies government and local authorities on their behalf. It also works to raise public awareness and understanding of issues relating to mental health. Since 1982, it has awarded an annual prize for "Book of the Year" having to do with mental health, in addition to three other prizes. Since 2008 Mind has hosted the annual Mind Media Awards, celebrating the best portrayals and reporting of mental health across the media.

132 local Mind associations (independent, affiliated charities) provide services such as supported housing, floating support schemes, care homes, drop-in centres and self-help support groups. Local Mind associations are often very different in size, make up and character—it is a common misconception that they all work to the same policy and procedural framework. Mind is a national brand but all local associations are unique, although they do all sign up to certain shared aims and ethical guidelines.

Saint Hill Manor

Saint Hill Manor is a Grade II listed country manor house at Saint Hill Green, near East Grinstead in West Sussex, England. It was constructed in 1792 and had several notable owners before being purchased by L. Ron Hubbard and becoming the British headquarters of the Church of Scientology.

Scientology and psychiatry

Since the founding of the Church of Scientology in 1954 by L. Ron Hubbard, the relationship between Scientology and psychiatry has been dominated by strong opposition by the organization against the medical specialties of psychiatry and psychology, with themes relating to this opposition occurring repeatedly throughout Scientology literature and doctrine. According to the Church of Scientology, psychiatry has a long history of improper and abusive care. The group's views have been disputed, criticized and condemned by experts in the medical and scientific community and been a source of public controversy.

Scientology controversies

Since its inception in 1954, the Church of Scientology has been involved in a number of controversies, including its stance on psychiatry, Scientology's legitimacy as a religion, the Church's aggressive attitude in dealing with its perceived enemies and critics, allegations of mistreatment of members, and predatory financial practices, for example the high cost of religious training:191 and perceived exploitative practices. When mainstream media outlets have reported alleged abuses, representatives of the church have tended to deny such allegations.

Scientology in the United Kingdom

Scientology in the United Kingdom is practised mainly within the Church of Scientology and its related groups which go under names including "Hubbard Academy of Personal Independence" and "Dianetics and Scientology Life Improvement Centre". The national headquarters, and former global headquarters, is Saint Hill Manor at East Grinstead, which for seven years was the home of L. Ron Hubbard, the pulp fiction author who created Scientology. Church-connected groups promoting aspects of L. Ron Hubbard's teaching, including Narconon and CCHR, have also been active in the UK, in some cases with charitable status. There have also been groups practising Scientology independently of the Church.

Scientology has received critical judgments from British courts, calling it "pernicious nonsense", "dangerous material" and "immoral and socially obnoxious". It has been described in Parliament as a socially harmful enterprise which indoctrinates children and other vulnerable people by "ignorantly practising quasi-psychological techniques". The UK Government's 1971 official report into Scientology was highly critical, as was another report prepared secretly several years later. Since then, the Church has been recognised as a religion by some authorities, but is not itself a registered charity.The Church has used covert intelligence gathering, harassment and smear campaigns against its UK opponents, although not on as grand a scale as it has in the United States.


Xenu (), also called Xemu, was, according to Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, the dictator of the "Galactic Confederacy" who 75 million years ago brought billions of his people to Earth (then known as "Teegeeack") in DC-8-like spacecraft, stacked them around volcanoes, and killed them with hydrogen bombs. Official Scientology scriptures hold that the thetans (immortal spirits) of these aliens adhere to humans, causing spiritual harm.These events are known within Scientology as "Incident II", and the traumatic memories associated with them as "The Wall of Fire" or "R6 implant". The narrative of Xenu is part of Scientologist teachings about extraterrestrial civilizations and alien interventions in earthly events, collectively described as "space opera" by Hubbard. Hubbard detailed the story in Operating Thetan level III (OT III) in 1967, warning that the "R6 implant" (past trauma) was "calculated to kill (by pneumonia, etc.) anyone who attempts to solve it".Within the Church of Scientology, the Xenu story is part of the church's secret "Advanced Technology", considered a sacred and esoteric teaching, which is normally only revealed to members who have completed a lengthy sequence of courses costing large amounts of money. The church avoids mention of Xenu in public statements and has gone to considerable effort to maintain the story's confidentiality, including legal action on the grounds of copyright and trade secrecy. Officials of the Church of Scientology widely deny or try to hide the Xenu story. Despite this, much material on Xenu has leaked to the public via court documents, copies of Hubbard's notes, and the Internet. In commentary on the impact of the Xenu text, academic scholars have discussed and analyzed the writings by Hubbard and their place within Scientology within the contexts of science fiction, UFO religions, Gnosticism and creation myths.

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