Talk:Xenu/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

Arbitrary section header

I'm a great fan of "Operation Clambake", personally, but I'm unsure whether in its current form this article is sufficient. Perhaps some rewriting is in order? -- April

Many years ago I read an article on Scientology in Readers' Digest. It said Scientological doctrine included something called "elite thetans". Are these the same as what you call body thetans? If not, what is the difference? n8chz

Body thetans are not "elite thetans." Having never read the article in question, I would assume the "elite thetan" refers to a Cleared Theta Clear--a thetan operating at Tone 40. A body thetan is generally only a small "piece" of another thetan attached to the body (to keep the thetan in line, encourage abberations, pain, etc.). It is important to note than despite all the attention critics give to Body Thetans, they are really not all that important in the course of things: they can only encourage problems, never cause them. Obviously the secrecy with which the Church masks BTs makes it seem as though they were a big deal.

I'm afraid that this article is far too partisan (as much as I agree with it...). We probably want something a little more neutral than an anti-Scientology tract. --Stephen Gilbert

Leaflet now moved out into its own article.

With the leaflet moved to another page, I don't see how this article can still be called biased?--branko

Added link to Hubbards own writings about Xenu, that should make it balanced, no? --AC


Xemu/Xenu

Isn't there a tape transcript where Hubbard said "name of Xenu, could be Xemu" or the other way around? That should be referenced - David Gerard 20:45, Mar 16, 2004 (UTC)

In the very early materials, his name was Xenn. Basically it comes down to the fact that the name is not English (or any other Earth language), so transcription into Roman characters is always going to be a problem.
Found and inserted a sort of reference. I could venture back onto alt.religion.scientology if I were feeling up to it ... - David Gerard 23:22, May 18, 2004 (UTC)

Text/summaries of OT III

Wouldn't it be a little dangerous for the wp to put the text/summary of the story up here? The Church of Scientology are known to be rather litigious... Perhaps I'm being paranoid. I'd like to be just paranoid. In any case, I don't think we shouldn't have the text up, but is there a way of setting it up so we would be protected? Dysprosia 05:11, 19 May 2004 (UTC)

  1. There is no insurance against a lawsuit. The only insurance would be not to mention them at all.
  2. The text here is derived from the public domain Xenu leaflet by Roland Rashleigh-Berry, which they have conspicuously failed to sue for the past seven years. It's my own words as derived from a public domain source which was someone else's own words telling the story - that's as unencumbered as it gets and tells the same story.
-David Gerard 07:06, May 19, 2004 (UTC)
There is no insurance against a lawsuit. The only insurance would be not to mention them at all.
Of course, I mean to say, attribute it in a form as to not appear to come directly from us. Dysprosia 07:10, 19 May 2004 (UTC)
I have plenty of personal experience with Scientology's litigous nature [1], and my name's already in the edit summary ... I synopsised the Xenu leaflet further because the original text for this article was in fact the Xenu leaftlet (check the history), which was fine from a copyright point of view, but wasn't really encyclopaedic in its tone.
Feel free to amend the text if you have something better, of course! - David Gerard 08:43, May 19, 2004 (UTC)

Concerns about non-NPOV style

A few things give me concern about bias in this article:

Does the church acknowlege that OTIII is what this article claims it is? Should there maybe be an acknowledgement that this information is insubstantiated?

The "Church of Scientology and Xenu" section uses rather loaded language, along with some snarky jabs at the Church, especially the pnuemonia wisecrack.

Parts of the summary give me concern as well, including "use" of "quotation marks" and especially the DC-8 explanation. Was this similarity noted in the OTIII documents, or is this an observation made by Clambake et al? It seems in there specifically to ridicule the story.

--GregoryWeir 07:17, 18 Jul 2004 (UTC) (biased against Scientology)

The CoS has sued people over this as a copyright violation ... thus confirming its content. They have also confirmed the Xenu story explicitly in court (Warren McShane, the case against Arnie Lerma, 1995). This does need proper references. I wrote the summary, and the quotation marks indicate the actual wording used in OT-III; I could italicise to make it clearer. The comparison to DC-8s should be made a quotation too (that was a comparison Hubbard made) - David Gerard 20:32, 18 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I have deleted the snide sentence about pneumonia, italicised the words in quotes to indicate they are in fact quotes, and added more references. How's the current version?
I would also be interested to hear from our CoS readers on whether they feel this article violates NPOV, and if so how that could be remedied - David Gerard 21:29, 18 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Looks better to me. --GregoryWeir 01:02, 19 Jul 2004 (UTC)

NPOVing

I felt there was still a lot of NPOV work to be done on this article. I completely deleted the following paragraph:

Critics of Scientology claim that the Xenu story is ultimate proof that Scientology is a scam and a confidence trick. They note that after spending thousands of dollars and investing years of their lives to reach the level of OT III, Scientologists learn that the true origins of human existence are based on a story that appears, to novices, to be badly written science fiction.

This paragraph was just unnecessary. The tale of Xenu speaks for itself; a reader can figure out without being prompted that it is "badly written science fiction". Also, "the Xenu story" sounded snide, so I replaced instances of it with "the tale of Xenu". I moved the picture to the section discussing criticisms; the lead picture should be the official CoS representation of Xenu, not a critic's parody of it. I removed the article from the "fictional aliens" category, as implying that Xenu is fictional is obviously POV. I edited the account of the story to make it sound less silly (... well, as much as reasonably possible anyway). The fiction spoiler warning seemed inappropriate for religious scripture, so I replaced it with a custom warning (which, as a bonus, can be read as dry humor in addition to a genuine warning to Scientologists :). --Redquark 03:43, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I put back that paragraph - that is the critical viewpoint, succinctly expressed, and needs mention. And quite a few people left when they found out what OT III actually was, e.g. Roland Rashleigh-Berry. (I was particularly pleased to find a referenced Church viewpoint for the following para!) I see no reason to delete the cat. I might link to Peter Forde's scientific evaluation of OT III. The new spoiler warning is very good! I moved the pic back up because it needs to be higher up for good article layout; I am unaware of any official CoS depictions of Xenu. Including the first page of OT III as fair use would probably be encyclopaedic (and they've yet to try suing Dave Touretzky), but I think it'd count as really tweaking their noses hard ... I like 'story' better than 'tale' and think either could be taken badly - David Gerard 16:49, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)
16:58, 12 Dec 2004 Fubar Obfusco (Removing category "fictional aliens" again. We wouldn't put "fictional people" on [{Satan]] or Jesus ... :)) - OK, you have a point there - David Gerard 17:05, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Origins of the Xenu story

The origin paragraph I've added mentions Hubbard's prodigious drug consumption of the time. This looks out of place, but (a) every account I've read of OT III's beginnings points this out (b) a lot of casual observers have noted that "Body Thetans" do in fact sound quite a lot like the "crawling insects on the skin" symptom of barbiturate withdrawal ... Anyone want a go at making this para seem more obviously relevant and hooked into the rest? - David Gerard 12:36, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Scientology org storefront picture

Is the picture of the Scientology storefront really directly relevant to this article? We have articles on Church of Scientology as well as Scientology. The picture is not a picture of Xenu, nor is it a picture directly pertaining to Xenu (as is, say, the picture from the OT III manuscript).

We would not put a picture of a cathedral on the article Antichrist, nor would we put a picture of a mosque on Iblis. It seems equally out of place to put a Scientology org on the article about this enemy figure from Scientology. --FOo 04:57, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)

This article is relating to a high level teaching of the Church of Scientology, I cannot think of a more appropriate location for this photo. That would be like mentioning Christianity without any of its symbology or "The Devil" without his "Horns/Tail". Since there are no photographs of the being known as Xenu, and since we are trying to give this article relevant images since its FAC nomination I feel this is appropriate.
I have neither deleted nor buried the image of the OT III manuscript. However it is a potential liability, the image of the Church is not. Your argument/comparison that this is putting a cathedral with the Antichrist is irrelivant at best. Alkivar 05:24, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Also I would like to point out this hypocracy is a neutral, non debated (in the Scientology article anyway) image being removed for POV, yet an OBVIOUS POV image of a man in an alien costume is allowed to remain. Alkivar 05:39, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)
You're absolutely right, that image certainly doesn't belong here either. Mkweise 05:56, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Strongly agree with your removal of this image. -- [[User:Solitude|Solitude\talk]] 09:04, Dec 14, 2004 (UTC)
I put the image there in the first place because the article had no other image. I agree it's entirely superfluous now and better gone - David Gerard 10:44, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Categories

I didn't originally put them on (oops, it was me that put "Fictional aliens" on), but I kept Category:Fictional aliens and Category:Villains for Xenu's status as a fictional character in Revolt in the Stars. It is true that that's not at all what Xenu is famous for ... - David Gerard 10:44, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Urine contains large amounts of urea, an excellent source of nitrogen for plants.

Scientology states they [Body Thetans] are the source of most of mankind's problems and can only be freed by auditing them to remove their reactive minds.

That sentence contains a whole bunch of inaccuracies. Firstly, there is a Hubbard quote where he specifically says that standard tech (auditing) is not the only way to clear people, just the only way that can easily be taught to anyone.

Secondly, Scientology doctrine states that the source of most problems in the lives of people who have completed the bridge up to OT III - let's not forget that OT III is just one part of the bridge, which has many other strange tales to tell.

Lastly, the goal of OT III is to "detatch" BTs from the reactive mind of the preclear (subject), not to free the BTs of their own reactive minds.

Mkweise 19:06, 14 Dec 2004

Hmmm. I was going by Dave Touretzky's NOTs Scholars Page, which seemed to me to say that you needed to clear the BTs to get them to drop off. Of course, he did point out that this was not standard Dianetic auditing, but New Era Dianetics which is of course totally different.
This is like arguing over how many angels can dance on the head of a cowpat ... Of course, it's all verbal tech by definition.
I'm tempted to ask on a.r.s. If I dare risk being sucked back in again. - David Gerard 22:35, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I've posted a request for help, with cites, to a.r.s - David Gerard 23:17, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)
As you doubtlessly are aware, the original OT III course materials as published by Mr. Hubbard can be obtained using a simple google search. I think this article should be based as closely as possible on those, otherwise we're just putting random peoples' words into Hubbard's mouth. Mkweise 19:49, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Of course. But references are good thing, and the text of related Hubbard writings is also important - David Gerard 21:04, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)

last edits - important points

  1. Not just mental illness, but problems in general.
  2. The story isn't really better known as "Incident II". The CoS still advertises it as "The Wall Of Fire" (without saying what it is).
  3. Information on Xenu leaked well before the Internet.
  4. Information on Xenu is in a lot more Hubbard material than OT III, as detailed in the article (mostly the "Assists" lecture, with allusions in various other written and spoken material).
  5. The letter quote about "popping pinks and greys" is from evidence admitted in the case the CoS brought against Gerry Armstrong in 1984; it's not just "from one critic's unauthorized biography", which is a wording that seems to unfairly diminish its veracity. - David Gerard 21:04, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  1. Well, problems that can be solved by auditing...
  2. "Incident II" when referring to the events themselves. "Wall of Fire" in the context of "running the Wall of Fire" = auditing memories of Incident II.
  3. OK, but that still doesn't make it public domain (q.v.)
  4. The OT III assists were incorporated into the OT III course, but either wording is OK
  5. You're saying it's established fact that those were Hubbard's own words? If so, that should be stated.
Mkweise 21:28, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)
But Scientology can help you with ANY problem! Just ask them! "the public domain" in the sense of being out there and not a secret, rather than the copyright status. I suppose it's ambiguous, but it's the correct phrase, e.g., when a trade secret escapes. The reference (which readers can follow the link to) says where the letter came to public light; I'll see if I can mention it in the paragraph in a non-clunky way. Or better yet, find a more direct reference to or copy of the letter. - David Gerard 21:40, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Rather than inline, I've listed the case name and number in the reference - David Gerard 11:10, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)

"Four quadrillion"

"Four quadrillion years ago" divided by the estimated age of the universe (13 billion) equals roughly 307,692. Did this guy really say "quadrillion" or was there a miscommunication somewhere??? - 12.11.183.254

He really said "four quadrillion". Search on Google, there are lots of copies of the text of OT III (in the Fishman Affidavit) available - David Gerard 20:04, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Maybe quadrillion should be wikilinked? ie quadrillion - I don't think most people would know this number. 81.5.150.113 01:31, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Spoiler warning

I'm so tempted to put one on this page. Just sayin' --L33tminion | (talk) 03:11, Dec 18, 2004 (UTC)

there was one... its since been moved to BJAODN. Alkivar 08:19, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)
There's a sort of spoiler. There is no point in a spoiler just to make fun of Scientology - if a spoiler is to mean anything, it must actually be aimed at the audience who would want to know not to read this stuff. So I've tried to write one aimed at Scientologists who don't want to read upper-level material before they're ready.
Note that it is very easy to take the piss out of the "by pneumonia etc" warning. But read the quote from OT III (it's in the article) - it's not merely reading about it, it's running it, i.e. trying to audit yourself in the prescribed Scientology manner on it. So a pisstake warning is (IMO) inappropriate.
(Besides, even if one does consider it ludicrous, being utterly low-key in the writing style is entirely effective. The material ... speaks for itself. - David Gerard 22:09, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)

From the article: Its logo, a wreath with 21 leaves, represents the 21 stars of Xenu's Galactic Confederacy.

The depicted logo has ... count 'em ... 26 leaves. Thirteen on each branch, in six pairs and one at the top. Who's the bozo -- Wikipedia, Elron, or Xenu? :) --FOo 19:04, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Oops - thanks for spotting that! -- ChrisO 19:17, 19 Dec 2004
Do we have good refs on hand for the Sea Org bit, particularly the "explicitly"? (You know this stuff better than I do, I assume you have them there somewhere ;-) - David Gerard 19:19, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Found it: "the star is the confederation and each one of those leaves is counted, it's the number of stars" - "Ron's Talk to Pubs Org World Wide", tape of April 1968. -- ChrisO 11:47, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I should note elsewhere that I've seen it said they have 22 stars on some other part of their insignia to represent the 22 stars of the Galactic Confederacy ... - David Gerard 19:24, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Covers with themes from R6

Chris - do you have a ref on the cover of Dianetics: The Evolution of a Science? The current cover isn't on this theme, and I'm not sure when the book was actually released ... - David Gerard 23:27, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I believe it's the 1972 edition, which I've seen in the British Library. The book was first printed in 1953 and, as you noticed, it's been reprinted since. -- ChrisO 23:32, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I own a hardback copy of the 1972 printing of Dianetics, & the cover is dark green, & except for a symbol on the spine (a pyramid divided into 4 parts horizontally inside of a circle) lacks any other decoration. On the reverse of the title page is a list of the printings this book has gone thru (21 of them!), & there were 4 in 1968: in January, May, July & August.
This printing is of interest, for it has material not present in the more recent printings of Dianetics. For example, instead of a dedication to Will Durant, the dedication in this copy is "To the famous Magician/GEORGE WICHELOW/England's First Dianeticist."
Obviously, we all know this must be a forgery. Only squirrels alter the tech. I guess the next time I make a purchase in a used bookstore, I shall try to spend more than a dollar on a book. -- llywrch 02:56, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)

New stuff

Chris, the new stuff on the early origins of OT III has actually enlightened me to whole new degrees of Scientology whackiness, and I've been following this stuff for nine years. Well done. I think ... - David Gerard 12:05, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I remembered writing something about Hubbard's early work on a.r.s. ages ago - I revisited it and found that it exactly paralleled OT III, to a degree that I hadn't really appreciated before. No wonder the CoS has withdrawn it!
Also, I've found a very nice USGS image of an exploding volcano - on Hawaii, appropriately enough - that looks just like the one from Dianetics (see Image:Puu oo). It's perfect for illustrating this article. -- ChrisO 13:04, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Featured article candidacy

This article has been listed on WP:FAC for over a week now and has received no (actionable) objections. Can it now be promoted to featured article status? -- ChrisO 13:04, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Probably, but we should wait for someone else to do it for us - David Gerard 13:32, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Hubbard's motorbike accident?

Chris - in Bodies In Pawn, you mention that "it appears that the injuries sustained by Hubbard were actually caused by his falling off his motorbike on a mountain road. He suffered a broken arm and broken ribs, but refused to let a doctor treat him." If you have the reference for this, it'd be worth mentioning in the "origins" section - David Gerard 17:25, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)

That's a very old essay. :-) I'd got the dates wrong - the motorcycle accident was actually on Tenerife in 1973, so it has no connection with OT III. There's no evidence that I'm aware of that he suffered the injuries he claimed in 1967. -- ChrisO 22:09, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Arslycus/arse-lickers

I've restored this point because it raises a significant issue - I think that, at least in the early days, Hubbard was tongue-in-cheek about a lot of things. But later on, he very evidently came to believe completely in everything that he spouted, no matter how improbable, and insisted that it was all true even when it plainly wasn't or couldn't be. (This is why his official biography is such a mess.) It would have been very like Hubbard to make up a name like "Arslycus" (bear in mind that he was an Anglophile so he would have certainly known the expression "arse-lickers") as a joke name for an extraterrestrial civilisation. -- ChrisO 22:44, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Hmmmmmmmmm okay. Was he living in the UK by the time he invented Arslycus? - David Gerard 23:08, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)
He was in and out of the country at that time (there was tight visa restrictions on Americans in those days and the Home Office had already decided that he was an "undesirable" and didn't want to make life easy for him). He lived in St John's Wood, of all places (the house where he lived was 30 Marlborough Place, near the Abbey Road Studios - it's still there). He first mentioned Arslycus in Philadelphia on 1 December 1952 (in the first of the Philadelphia Doctorate Course Lectures) after leaving the UK a short time earlier following the expiration of his 3-month visa. The timing suggests that he came up with Arslycus while he was in St John's Wood. -- ChrisO 23:26, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Featured article discussion

(copied from Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Xenu for future reference)

Self-nomination. I ran it past the checklist ... - David Gerard 23:37, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

  • Support - anything to piss off the whackjobs known as the Scientology Cult. I could come up with more plausible crap to base a cult off than this.
    That's not a very loving attitude ;-p - David Gerard 13:57, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Now for things i'd like to see fixed:
  1. needs more images, it mentions covers and sketches, lets get some up there.
    • I may throw in the cover of Dianetics. What sketches? - David Gerard 13:57, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)
      • Sorry sketches is not really the word I meant, I meant perhaps an image to illustrate the Xenu/Xemu discrepancy since its in L Ron's own handwriting. However the cover for Dianetics is a nice addition, and quite useful to correlate with the description of the whole H-bomb volcano section. Alkivar 18:35, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)
        • I was reluctant to put the scanned page of OT III in, even though it's arguably of encyclopaedic fair use and they haven't attempted to sue Dave Touretzky who's had it up as "academic research" for nine years, because that would be tweaking their noses really hard ... but maybe of that one word - David Gerard 12:06, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)
          • I've put the scan of the word "Xenu" in - David Gerard 12:41, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  2. minimal coverage of L Ron not even a small paragraph just a 1 sentance sidenote, needs a bit more.
    • What are you thinking of that isn't covered by a link back to his name? - David Gerard 13:57, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)
      • I'm not suggesting a complete bio if thats what your thinking but perhaps more than simply "L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, also wrote a film script about him." in the lead in. Alkivar 18:35, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)
        • I've added a paragraph on how he wrote OT III (drunk and on drugs) - David Gerard 12:06, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  3. a split between external links and references to back up the article. Alkivar 07:42, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)
    • That could be difficult - the things listed do in fact serve both purposes. What links would you put in one and what in the other? - David Gerard 13:57, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)
      • Have separated out the reference-only ones. How's that? - David Gerard 14:41, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)
        • MUCH BETTER! Alkivar 18:35, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Support, but I'd like the implications summarized. I know that I can hit the wikilink on body thetans and stuff, but it would be nice to have a sentence or two that sketches out the broader beliefs that put this in context. My only concern is that if this hits the main page, we're going to get even more noisome editing. Geogre 15:08, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)
    I've actually invited Scientologist editors to look over this page before, but none have taken me up on the offer. Shouldn't be more contentious on the main page than GNU/Linux naming controversy ... Will see if I can find suitable consensus summaries of the implications to put in and reference - David Gerard 16:14, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)
    By 'implications' I assume you meant the point of the whole thing, i.e. that you are covered in the souls of murdered space aliens and they cause all your problems and you have to audit them off. I've summarised that much in the second paragraph of the intro - David Gerard 17:04, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Support It's worth it even if we get invaded by an army of Scientology lawyers GeneralPatton 23:46, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Support, if only to prove that Wikipedia can present worthy subjects that other encyclopedias won't even mention. --Modemac 00:40, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Support, but I would prefer this article not to appear on the front page, to avoid the possibility of having Wikipedia sued by Scientology. (See Scientology vs. the Internet -- it's not impossible.) Risking your own skin to fight Scientology is one thing, but risking Wikipedia is another. It's true that this is "giving in" to Scientology's threats, but in this case I think Wikipedia's financial health is paramount. --Redquark 06:00, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)
    • Scientologists are, of course, welcome to edit this article and add their own perspective. --Modemac 12:12, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Wow, that is extraordinarily weird, if I may say so. I'll support, even though it's really too short, because the secretive nature of the subject might make further expansion difficult and just because it's so damn interesting. Everyking 09:00, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)
    • Tried to expand it a bit - how Hubbard wrote it. I'm trying to think of other things to say about Xenu that are worth encyclopaedic coverage - David Gerard 12:06, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Support, considering how hard it is to write a decent NPOV article from Hubbard's ramblings, this is as close as it will get. -- [[User:Solitude|Solitude\talk]] 13:52, Dec 13, 2004 (UTC)
  • The recent nomination of Thursday October Christian showed me that there are some articles where so little is known that it is not possible to get to a length appropriate for a featured article, and where expanding the article will become original research. Xenu is just long enough to qualify. I don't think "because it will annoy the scientologists" is a reason for featuring an article, though. With those caveats and qualifications, I support featured article status. Dbiv 17:50, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)
    • I don't think it's that short! (I don't think Thursday October Christian is too short either, FWIW.) That said, I've been looking around for stuff to expand it with - David Gerard 20:41, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Support. I don't think a mocking image is appropriately NPOV for the lead image. L. Ron's handwriting sample is priceless though, and arguably a much better image. Otherwise I would support. Seems very well done, and is long enough unless someone can find something important it doesn't cover. - Taxman 18:57, Dec 13, 2004 (UTC)
    • I put that image in because it didn't have any other image at the time, and there is no official Scientology depiction of Xenu. The grey alien theme is very common with the critics, even if it has no official basis. I may swap the two around in the article - David Gerard 20:41, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)
      • I buried the image to the bottom of the article and added a more NPOV image to the top of the page. Should make it appear more NPOV overall. Alkivar 03:51, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)
        • Might I suggest that a picture of an exploding volcano (Stromboli perhaps?) be used as the main image - it would be appropriate at least. -- ChrisO 03:12, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Support, if we can make the captions full sentences. - Ta bu shi da yu 05:35, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)
    • I can't see a way to do so that wouldn't be fatuous. They're really not standalone items. What would you suggest? - David Gerard 12:30, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)
    • OK, they're both full sentences now! - David Gerard 23:31, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Subject too esoteric to be of general interest. Mkweise 06:42, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)
    • I'm afraid this would be a non-actionable objection, being of general interest is not a FA criteria, not to mention the fact that general interest is all in the eye of the beholder. See Wikipedia:What is a featured article. -- [[User:Solitude|Solitude\talk]] 09:02, Dec 14, 2004 (UTC)
    • Agreed. Objection is not actionable. And besides the quality of content is the only thing that matters to be featured, not the subject matter. - Taxman 13:48, Dec 14, 2004 (UTC)
    • According to our policy, objections must state a specific issue/issues that can be addressed and fixed. GeneralPatton 02:49, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Support. It covers the subject well and has excellent supporting material. The subject itself... man, this is one odd bunch of people... Radagast 14:19, Dec 14, 2004 (UTC)
  • Support. It's long enough. Filiocht 16:05, Dec 14, 2004 (UTC)
  • Oppose for now. Support. I think this article is very good, and really close to being of featured article quality, and it ought to be featured soon. But it needs some work on style and readability, particularly in the introduction. I also think it needs a little time to age. It has just recently become what looks to be pretty NPOV, but the article could use some input from a Scientologist or two, just to make doubly sure that the article is accurate and adequately explains their point of view, so that when the article is featured, it doesn't get pounced-on.[[User:COGDEN|COGDEN(talk)]] 22:13, Dec 14, 2004 (UTC)
    • That isn't really all that actionable. It's had a Scientologist contributor, User:I'm4aNPOV, who was even posting from a CoS office. He didn't stick around, though. If this is to be regarded as actionable, where would you suggest we recruit one from? Also, please state your problems with style and readability with specificity (e.g. on a section or paragraph level), so that they will be actionable. The article has been around a while; this version isn't terribly different from how it's been over the past six months, the main difference being it now has references for everything - David Gerard 22:37, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)
    • User:I'm4aNPOV only appears to have made one edit, and that was to remove a link. Regarding readability, I went ahead and made some changes myself. I'm not an expert in their area, so my changes should be verified. My main remaining objection regards the mention that Hubbard was on drugs when he wrote OT III. I think this needs an explanation or some sort of apologetics from a Scientologist, because I'm sure they have a POV on this issue that isn't represented. We don't necessarily need an actual Scientologist to help out with this, but there are probably explanations out there on the web that might be included. [[User:COGDEN|COGDEN(talk)]] 01:12, Dec 15, 2004 (UTC)
      • Nice edits - thank you! I'm trying to track down a better source on the letter with the quote. The quote seems to be accurate. The paragraph doesn't flow perfectly, but every source I checked on its origins says he was drugged to the gills at the time. I'm looking for a credible reference (i.e., preferably not a Usenet post) comparing the "body thetans" story to the crawling insects on the skin feeling of barbiturate withdrawal. CoS representatives have denied the drugs story on a.r.s, but the letter was brought up in court (CoS vs Armstrong) in 1984 and never actually challenged - it seems Hubbard did in fact say just that, in those words. I've posted to a.r.s asking for help on this stuff, and for a Scientologist viewpoint (which may or may not be a CoS viewpoint). User:I'm4aNPOV was quite aware of Xenu, having made some controversial edits to Scientology and discussed such matters on that talk page - David Gerard 02:32, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)
      • I'm pleased with the article as it currently stands. All my reservations have been resolved; therefore, I am changing my vote, and I hope the article gets featured. [[User:COGDEN|COGDEN(talk)]] 20:19, Dec 15, 2004 (UTC)
  • Support, if only for one of the most humorous disclaimers ever. Almafeta 02:22, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)
    • I'm not actually sure the disclaimer will survive NPOV ;-) It's a bit pointed - David Gerard 02:32, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)
      • Straight-faced, surely! If we're to present a NPOV we have to take the Scientologists' concerns seriously, right?  ;-) -- ChrisO 02:34, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)
    • I dont think I ever read the disclaimer before you mentioned it... LOL, I nearly peed myself. Alkivar 02:29, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Support. I've made some fairly major edits to fix some outstanding issues raised here. -- ChrisO 02:26, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)
    • You've done wonders for it - David Gerard 02:32, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Support, so long as that disclaimer is kept. Fantastic. - Ta bu shi da yu 02:46, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)
    • I'm afraid I can't guarantee that ... it still smells a bit POV to me. The health warning should go with the bit in which Hubbard claims it killed everyone who found it before - David Gerard 09:40, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)
      • Never mind, it's preserved for posterity at BJAODN... -- ChrisO 00:27, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)
    • I fear I've already moved the silly bit of the disclaimer to the relevant paragraph of the body text. I hope you will still consider the article up to standard ;-) - David Gerard 08:04, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Comment: Why are the references done up so weirdly? Shouldn't there be one ==References== section per Wikipedia:Cite sources? Johnleemk | Talk 03:10, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)
    • Ask User:ChrisO - David Gerard 09:40, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)
      • It's a bit clumsy, I admit, but it seemed a better way of doing it (and thanks to whoever hyperlinked the footnotes) than having notations like "(Miller p. 75)" next to a section of text. Is there a better way of making it user-friendly? -- ChrisO 00:27, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)
        • I think we need that mooted new reference syntax - specifically, automatic footnote renumbering - David Gerard 01:38, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Support. Article would make an interesting contribution to the FA library. Jacob1207 16:16, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Support. Something you'd never see in another encyclopaedia. And yet it's definetly up to the level. - V 23:47, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Confidential

I'll start off by saying I don't know anything about scientology. But the warning at the top of this page kind of gives me the jitters; we shouldn't be including stuff that isn't supposed to be included. Can somebody clarify just what it means to reveal "confidential upper-level course material"? Cookiecaper 04:54, 6 Jan 2005 (UTC)

There's nothing here that contravenes Wikipedia policy, copyright law, or the like. It is "confidential" only within the Scientology organization. That is, lower-level members are not supposed to know the "inner secrets".
Scientology says this is because they are dangerous secrets that most people are not ready to experience, and that people can even get sick and die from trying to comprehend them fully. Critics of Scientology generally respond that Scientology says these things because the "inner secrets" are pretty transparent fiction, and that any non-Scientologist who hears of them is pretty damned unlikely to want anything to do with Scientology. --FOo 06:04, 6 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I believe this article does take the unencyclopedic tone of an exposé in places. The diet consisting of drugs claim, for example, seems as fantastic as the apparent quotes from the story. Are they quotes? What is the source? Cool Hand Luke 09:48, 7 Jan 2005 (UTC)

The sources are listed at the beginning of the story section - anything in quotes is a direct quote from OT-III or from "Assists". If you can think of a way to make this clearer without it being unwieldy or clumsy, feel free. The diet of drugs is heavily referenced as well. (L. Ron Hubbard's prodigious drink and drug consumption in general is verified by multiple sources; the refs here are particularly during OT-III.)
This shit is indeed unbelievable, which is why the article's been referenced to the hilt. But if you can think of useful ways to make it clearer that it really is all referenced and documented, then the article needs it - David Gerard 11:05, 10 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Something I don't understand at all is why, if Xenu is supposed to be a secret kept from lower level Scientologists, Hubbard would try to make a movie about him. Not a very good way to keep people from hearing the story. User:24.136.35.3

The ways of Ron are evidently beyond mortal ken - David Gerard 00:11, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Religious disclaimer

I took the religious disclaimer out and put it as a senetence in the introduction. I did this because I think to do otherwise would set a very bad precedent. →Raul654 20:48, Jan 31, 2005 (UTC)

You got a point there. Quoting the pneumonia warning in Ron's words works for me - David Gerard 21:13, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Is OT III obsolete?

Has OT III been superseded by NOTS or not? Back during the heyday of the a.r.s. wars, I thought it had been stated by David Mayo that NOTS had actually replaced the original OT levels. The original 0Ts had since been moved to a "higher" level, so that OT III is now something like OT VIII. --Modemac 00:58, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I should ask again on a.r.s. What's the Touretzky page say? I understood that OT IV-VII had been replaced with NOTs, but that OT III was still in place to explain where all the body thetans had come from. Operating thetan would be a good place to detail this. - David Gerard 11:38, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)


Much as large scale bowlderization of "original" Hubbard work has become comonplace in newer editions, I have never heard any suggestion that OT III itself has been supplanted or altered.

What's often missed, as far as I can tell, is that OT II, which reveals that Jesus Christ and Christianity is an "implant" is itself a "shock" to those "advancing up the 'Bridge'" which leaves the acolytes (of the Western/Christian pursuasion) so stunned that OT III revelations are far less disruptive than they would be otherwise.

This is well in keeping with the "gradient" (or; Boiled Frog) approach to Scientology "Training".

NOTs (New Era Dianetics for OTs) is often depicted by Scientology Critics as the smoking gun or "Bait and Switch" of Scientology® in that it seems to imply that the original "engrams" of Dianetics are completely supplanted by the "Body Thetans" of OT III and above. (Everyone at any OT level must have attested to being "Clear", which means he *has* no "Engrams".)

"What is a Body Thetan" is itself a subject worthy of discussion, but, at least in this comment, I think it's important to realize that a "Body Thetan" is *not* in any way different than the "Thetan" who is advancing "Up The Bridge"; but merely not the "Thetan" who happened to bring his "Meat Body" into the Church of Scientology for "Processing".

A "Body Thetan" is a "Thetan"; with no less right to the "Meat Body" than the Thetan who joined the Church.

At the OT Levels, the Scientologist Thetan, who has already attested to the state of "Clear" discovers that the only reason his attestation isn't resulting in the promised "Wins" and abilities of being "Clear" is that he may have cleared himself, but he is still infested with *other* Thetans who are *not* Clear.

The purpose of NOTs is to locate and "blow" (or release) these superfluous "Body Thetans"; thus reducing the number of Thetans competing for control of the "Meat Body" to one, Clear, and Scientologist Thetan.

So, it's not directly true that the concept of "Engrams" is supplanted by the concept of "Body Thetans".

Joe Lynn

Xenu/OT III on MSNBC

Take a look at http://msnbc.msn.com/id/6908975/ :

"I intend to make Scientology as accessible to as many people as I can. And that is my goal," Elfman said. To do this, she says, it is my "duty to clear the planet." By "clearing" she means to rid the world of "body thetans" — aliens who Scientologists believe inhabit the earth from a nuclear explosion 75 million years ago.

Hmm! -- ChrisO 22:44, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Obviously they need a pointer here! - David Gerard 11:12, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Space plane

I'm really unsure about the artist's impression space plane - it does appear to be taking the piss. The picture from the Xenu leaflet was removed (see above) as soon as we had pictures that were directly relevant - David Gerard 11:12, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)

The picture from the Xenu leaflet showed Xenu as a bug-eyed grey alien in a robe waving a laser gun, which is absolutely not what Hubbard portrayed him as - that was pure invention on the part of a critic. The space plane pic is very different, as it's an exact representation of what Hubbard describes. (The only extrapolation I've made is to put the Galactic Confederation insignia on the tailplane.) In fact, it's more accurate than many famous artists' impressions of religious subjects - for instance, Botticelli's Adoration of the Magi shows its subjects in Renaissance Italian dress, which is definitely not biblically accurate!
I think your reaction is due to the fact that the subject of the image is ridiculous. The representation of it is entirely as described - it's literally a DC-8 in outer space. -- ChrisO 12:09, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Possibly. I've added to the caption to emphasise that this is per Hubbard's description - David Gerard 13:59, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Are we asking for it?

My view of Scientology is - how should I put this - quite possibly skewed towards the negative. There were concerns in the nomination page that making this an article of the day could bring trouble. I agree wholeheartedly. Is it safe to assume that CoS does not have a case - or, to be cynical, that they care about that? -- Kizor 10:15, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Raul and I ran it past Jimbo. The only thing they could plausibly claim on about this article are fair-use quotes and images, and all are blatantly academic fair use, we think - the book cover, the handwriting sample, the Sea Org logo. The CoS has also had an editor work on this article (user:I'm4aNPOV, who edited from a CoS IP, and now edits as User:Nuview - good and/or sincere edits too, IMO) and have been invited repeatedly on alt.religion.scientology to stop by, which may cause problems for a claim.
Besides, imagine how spectacularly mediapathic it would be. "Scientology Sues Encyclopedia" - what next, "Scientology Sues Cute Fluffy Kittens"? And, of course, the text is still widely reproducible under the GFDL - David Gerard 14:09, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Hm. Certainly looks good to me. Thank you. - Kizor 14:51, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Explosive force calculations

Thousands of hydrogen bombs with a cumulative explosive force equivalent to gigatonnes of TNT would have had to have been used. This would certainly have left physical traces...

Is this strictly true? The article calculates the size of the pile of bodies to be a mile deep and six miles on a side. I'm pretty sure some hydrogen bombs have fireballs with radii in the mile range. Twenty or thirty bombs total might do the trick. Of course, I find the story every bit as implausible as most of you, but I think this rebuttal might be overstating things a bit. Perhaps someone could do some math better than my back of the envelop calculations and update the section if necessary? -Matt (user:130.39.141.185)

This bit does verge somewhat on original research. I wonder if the Peter Forde paper says anything about it - David Gerard 17:16, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I've added more detail from Forde. The calculations do appear to be original to Wikipedia, but I'd be surprised if no-one had run through them before; there's likely to be a source somewhere - David Gerard 17:38, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)


Useless clutter

I think one could delete:

The space planes were exact copies of Douglas DC-8s, "except the DC-8 had fans, propellers on it and the space plane didn't." (DC-8s have jet engines, not propellers, although Hubbard may have meant the turbine fans.) -- unsigned comment by Taghawi-Nejad

Why would we delete that? That is how Hubbard described the space planes, right down to being wrong about the planes he was comparing them to. -- Antaeus Feldspar 18:35, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Jet engines

That has to be a mistake when refering to the fact that the DC-8's use jet engines in outer space. That is very, very impossible. User:65.50.31.31

But, but they were like space and stuff! - David Gerard 00:11, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Well, if you read it, Hubbard doesn't say the space planes had jet engines -- he doesn't say what kind of engines the space planes had at all. What he wrote is "DC-8 airplane is the exact copy of the space plane of that day. No difference, except the DC-8 had fans, propellers on it, and the space plane didn't." Hubbard is mistaken about what kind of engine the DC-8 had but he doesn't claim what kind the space plane did have. -- Antaeus Feldspar 02:09, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)