In my copy of 'The Way To Happiness', in small print in the back of the booklet, it says:
"This may be the first non-religious moral code based wholly on common sense. It was written by L. Ron Hubbard as an individual work and is not part of any religious doctrine..."
If Scientology wants to use 'TWTH' as a PR gimmick, or PR cover, as "basic teachings" of the "Scientology religion," then I assume they've had copies printed without the words cited above.
And if 'TWTH' is, now, part of Scientology "religious doctrine," and is, now, "basic teachings of the Church of Scientology," then it is no longer a "secular moral code," and can no longer be promoted as a "non-religious moral code."
Nice go, though not strictly true. There is no reason that a religion could not adopt a completely secular text as a part of its recognized body of doctrine. As an obvious extreme example, notice that "jedi" is a recognized religion for purposes of officialdom in a chunk of the western world although it certainly was not Spielberg's intention when creating the first Star Wars film.
Perhaps a more traditional example would be Taoism, which is ostensibly based on the Tao Te Ching historically ascribed to Lao Tzu. Clearly, as laid out in the work, Lao Tzu was simply recording his own views on the natural interconnectedness of life. These ideas later became the basis of extensive spiritual philosophizing by others. Ultimately this has resulted in the establishment of numerous religious institutions over the millenia based around the principles laid out originally in Lao Tzu's book. That which had a secular origin ultimately became the basis of religious doctrines.
In the specific instance of TWTH cited, given Hubbard's position as author of the work in question and simultaneously "Founder" & "Source" of the religion of scientology and its church, it's a pretty clear attempt at public bamboozlement in pursuit of religious evangelism. So well spotted on that.
Mark A. Baker