Dianetics at UCLA; Educational Demographics of Scientology Over Time

Kha Khan

Patron Meritorious
First, a story.

I was on course in the COS in the 1990s when the COS made a Dianetics push on college campuses. The COS was, yet again, trying to recapture the glory of the past. Because Scientologists can't think beyond anything Ron did, or be creative, they always try to repeat past campaigns.

"It worked in 1955! If we do precisely the same thing now, it will obviously work in 1995! It is not like anything has changed in the last 40 years. What could possibly go wrong?"

I attended the event at UCLA as a volunteer. (Though they didn't really want me because I was too old. They wanted bright, young, shiny people. Still they tolerated me because at that point I was still spending money.) There was a video presentation on Diantetics (NOT Scientology) in a large lecture hall, and then tables set up outside, with the distribution of literature and selling of books around campus.

I recall the reaction of the students was less than overwhelming. I recruited one person to whom I delivered Dianetic auditing, and sold one copy of DMSMH to that person. As I recall, I had the best stats of anyone who made the trip. I don't recall anyone else coming in for auditing, or any other books being sold.

I spent some time on the periphery observing, and, as sometimes happens with me, I was approached by The Outsider. In this case The Outsider was a UCLA professor of psychology who attended the video presentation and stopped by to check things out.

[Some may recall that this was the second time this happened to me. In retrospect, I think these Outsiders could smell the suppressive reasonableness wafting off of me.]

First thing he wanted to know was whether this was the Dianetics that was part of, or somehow associated with, Scientology. Check.

The next thing he wanted to know was whether Scientology thought poorly of psychology, psychiatry, neither, both, or what the hell? It was sort of hard to answer because, leaving aside the ever recurring embarrassment of trying to explain, justify, and/or rationalize the delusional paranoia of Scientology in this area, I didn't know precisely what Scientology and Scientologists thought about psychology as a field separate and distinct from psychiatry. Still don't. I don't recall Ron ranting and raving like a delusional loon about psychology as such, but I'm sure he disproved of psychology because, after all, he was the only person in the entire history of the Universe who knew anything about the Mind.

Anyway, we chatted for awhile, and I did the best I could. (Which, I'll say in my humble opinion, was far better than any of my compatriots could have done.) He was a very interesting guy. The professor was (unlike a good Scientologist) really trying to be open minded and converse rationally and intelligently, but I could tell that he was pretty much appalled by the whole thing. The students who I observed and conversed with seemed kind of embarrassed by the whole thing, though they appreciated the free food.

I must admit the Dianetics video shown at UCLA was a typically over the top moronically grandiose Scientology video, while still being cheesy. Imagine Plan 9 From Outer Space with a bigger budget:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-kCC8WUKYk

[Seriously, can't you just hear Ron saying, "Your stupid minds! Stupid! Stupid!"]

[Oh wait, "Plan 9 From Outer Space with a bigger budget." Isn't that just Battlefield Earth? But I digress.]

In any event, this Management mandated action was (thank Ron) effective only in crashing the LA Day and Foundation stats for a couple of weeks while everyone wasted time trying to recruit college students who (correctly and with good reason) thought we were delusional cult nut bags. The stats would have been far better had Management simply allowed us to continue to be delusional cult nut bags who attended class and accumulated student points.

Oh well.


Now, a more serious discussion.

After writing my recent post "Scientology vs. Psychiatry," I started thinking about the educational demographics of Dianetics and Scientology over time.

After reading many histories of Dianetics and Scientology, my impression is that in the early days of Scientology, and particularly Dianetics (i.e., in the 1950s and perhaps early 1960s), the educational level of the average Dianeticist and Scientologist was equal to the average for the population at large, if not greater. I seem to recall that a good number of early Diateticists were doctors, psychologists, college educated professionals, etc. I also seem to recall that early on Dianetics was popular on college campuses.

My impression is also that as time as passed, and Scientology has gotten older, and more hierarchical and authoritarian, the educational level of the average Scientologist has gone down, perhaps steeply. Perhaps gone down to level where it is far less than average for society as a whole.

This was not helped by second and third generation Scientologist children and grandchildren of Sea Orgers who frequently do not get much formal education in anything but the Red on Whites, the Green on Whites, and what are now called the Basics.


Any thoughts?
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Gold Meritorious Patron
Very funny story :D

I understand the embarrassment you must have felt. I did a lecture,on Dianetics, at a Christian Church one time and I wanted to melt to disintegrate...Oh my god,there is nothing funnier than a Christian heckler!

"The Lord Jesus Christ is our saviour!" and,"Accept Jesus in your life!"...On and on all throughout my talk!

There must have been about 60 or 70 people in that church hall that night and only one who came up to me,after the talk, and showed any interest in the subject.

I agree with what you said in your closing comments:thumbsup:



Patron with Honors
I think students from colleges and universities should be great prospects for Scientology. They are at a good point in life to believe in a new revolutionary philosophy that is going to change the world. They should be able to get swept up in the hype and end up on staff.

The Moonies had a successful recuiting campaign on college and university campuses during the 1990's. It could work if done correctly.

The only problem is what Kha Khan said about Scientologists never doing anything original. They can only do what was done in the past, because that's the Admin Tech for you. Just look over the last successful action and do that again without changing anything.

The over-the-top-Palmerantz voice creeps people out. If any are still interested, they go online to check it out, and that's it, they are done with Dianetics and Scn forever.

Yep, this isn't the 1950's anymore.

And yes, I agree with the fact that the average Scientologist is dummer than in years past.



Silver Meritorious Sponsor
I think I'm noticing a 'trend' in the major posters to this thread to be unnaturally 'pale'

In that vein....