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Scientology and the Space Opera stories of L. Ron Hubbard

Updated on May 10, 2016

L Ron Hubbard and Thomas Moulton


L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology

Science fiction author and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard created a vast body of work, much of which makes up what is regarded by his followers as the scriptures of the Church of Scientology. In other words, what he wrote and recorded as lectures are thought of as the truth about life and the universe. Much of Hubbard’s work appears to be no more than fantasies and sci-fi imaginings but is it true? Scientologists believe it is!

Xenu - supreme ruler of the Galactic Confederacy

Amongst the bizarre material Hubbard came up with is the story of a “Galactic Confederacy” dictator named Xenu, or Xemu as an alternative spelling, who, 75 million years ago, is said to have brought billions of alien beings he had captured to the Earth in spacecraft. The story goes that he stacked their paralysed bodies around volcanoes and blew them up using hydrogen bombs but their spirits survived this and subsequently attached themselves to the bodies of humans, thereby causing many of the problems people suffer from today.

Xenu, it was said, was threatened with being deposed from power and he came up with the idea of getting rid of most of the populations he had dominion over. The Galactic Confederacy's civilizations of the time were apparently very similar to those of today, with the alien beings of the 76 confederacy planets, such as Coltice, which Hubbard said orbited Polaris, "walking around in clothes which looked very remarkably like the clothes they wear this very minute." The people of such planets were getting around in cars, trains and boats that looked just like those of the 1950s and 1960s on Earth, which in Xenu’s day was known as Teegeeack.

Hubbard said that the similarities between the earlier and later civilisations were because they were copied. The race of beings living on Teegeeack/Earth was also ruled by Xenu though nothing much is revealed about them. Hubbard, however, stated that it took nine weeks to get from Coltice to Teegeeack.

Xenu was apparently aided and abetted in carrying out his genocidal plot with the help of some psychiatrists of that time period who hatched a plan to summon the masses by informing them there were tax inspections taking place. However, the real purpose was to gather the people together so they could then be forcibly paralysed and frozen with a mixture of glycol and alcohol before they were loaded in boxes and put into refrigeration units on space planes that Hubbard said bore a strong resemblance to modern Douglas DC-8 aircraft. These craft were very similar to the more recent planes but they had no propellers.

Having stacked the billions of his victims’ frozen bodies around the bases of the Earth’s volcanoes, Xenu then lowered hydrogen bombs and detonated them. In a 1977 film script Hubbard wrote entitled Revolt in the Stars, he described what happened as follows: “Simultaneously, the planted charges erupted. Atomic blasts ballooned from the craters of Loa, Vesuvius, Shasta, Washington, Fujiyama, Etna, and many, many others. Arching higher and higher, up and outwards, towering clouds mushroomed, shot through with flashes of flame, waste and fission. Great winds raced tumultuously across the face of Earth, spreading tales of destruction...”

NASA's DC-8 Airborne Science research aircraft. Hubbard described Xenu's space planes as looking like this but without "fans."
NASA's DC-8 Airborne Science research aircraft. Hubbard described Xenu's space planes as looking like this but without "fans." | Source

Thetans and OTs

Hubbard introduced many new words and terms into Scientology that members of the cult learn to understand and use and one of them is “thetan.” This really means the spirit or immortal soul that inhabits and uses a “meat body.” The idea is very similar to that of the Hindu and Buddhist religions that teach that we are not material bodies but are spirits residing in them and identifying with them so much that we think we are bodies. Hubbard credited the ancient Vedas as the source materials for much of what went into his teachings so it is not surprising that this idea resurfaced in his work. He also taught that thetans who originally had godlike powers had become trapped in the material universe they had themselves created because they had identified with the “doll bodies” they had made on planets in it.

Hubbard claimed in his best-seller Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health that all human aberrations and problems were the result of “engrams”, which are recordings that are made by what he called the “reactive mind” in moments when the analytical mind cuts out and becomes unconscious, in an accident for example. These engrams contained everything that could be perceived and that was present at the time of the recording and could be restimulated in the future and played out again with disastrous consequences. Hubbard’s theory, which is the basis of Dianetics, was that if these engrams could be found and erased then the person who had had them would benefit vastly with a much better memory, better physical health, improved reaction time and other abilities, etc. The able could be made more able.

It is an aim of Scientology to restore thetans to being able to have their former abilities again, and this is done by members of the religion taking training and “auditing” steps up what is known as “the Bridge to Total Freedom.” Auditing refers to a practise of having one trained Scientologist, known as an “auditor” giving specific questions or commands to another who is known as a “preclear.” This process is believed to run out and erase past engrams. Once the state of “Clear” has been reached then the Scientologist goes on to the “OT levels” and is responsible for solo auditing. OT is an abbreviation of “Operating Thetan” and an OT it is said can reach the state of being “at knowing cause over MEST (Matter, Energy, Space, Time) with or without a body.”

Wall of Fire

The Scientology solo auditing level of OTIII is the one in which a Scientologist learns about the “Wall of Fire” and the details, according to Hubbard, of what Xenu did, and this material is also covered in the confidential "Assists" lecture of October 3, 1968. Hubbard warned that the implant data received at the time of this incident and dealt with at this level could kill you by causing pneumonia if attempted without having gone through the prerequisite steps of auditing on the Scientology Bridge. He illustrated the danger by claiming that his research in getting through the Wall of Fire was achieved at the cost of a broken back, knee and arm.

Hubbard also boasted that he was the first person ever to have succeeded in getting through the Wall of Fire incident and revealed part of what he had learned in a taped lecture known as Ron’s Journal 67 (RJ 67). In it he says: “And it is very true that a great catastrophe occurred on this planet and in the other 75 planets which formed this [Galactic] Confederacy 75 million years ago. It has since that time been a desert, and it has been the lot of just a handful to try to push its technology up to a level where someone might adventure forward, penetrate the catastrophe, and undo it. We're well on our way to making this occur.”

He also stated that he had discovered "the secrets of a disaster which resulted in the decay of life as we know it in this sector of the galaxy." Obviously anyone who believed that Hubbard was telling the truth would attach the utmost importance to this because Scientologists believe that they are not only improving their own lives but are, with the aid of Hubbard’s technologies, the hope for the future of this planet.

The Wall of Fire is also known as “Incident II,” whereas “Incident I”, which is set at a time of four quadrillion years ago, is also described in the material that makes up the OTIII level of Scientology solo auditing. In this incident Hubbard claimed that the unsuspecting victims were subjected to a loud snapping noise and then experienced a flood of luminescence, followed by the sight of a chariot and a trumpeting cherub. After a further loud series of snaps, the thetan became overwhelmed by darkness. This implant is believed to have offered the gateway to this universe, and the memories of which are what have prevented thetans from knowing their original godlike state and abilities.

Nagasaki Hydrogen bomb mushroom cloud


Body Thetans

But back to the story: As a result of the bombs, the thetans from the bodies of the billions of victims were blasted into the air where they were collected with the aid of an “electronic ribbon”, also described as a “standing wave.” The captured thetans were then blown by the fierce winds into vacuum zones on parts of the planet, and after this taken to a type of cinema with “projection machines” where they were forced to watch a “three-D super colossal motion picture” for 36 days. They were implanted with misleading data about “God, the Devil, space opera etc.” This incident is known in Scientology as the “R6 Implant.”

The image of the Crucifixion and Roman Catholicism are specifically attributed to programming about religions received in this implant, and such was the force of it all that the thetans who had been subjected to this lost all sense of personal identity. As a result of this, having left the cinema projection area they began to cluster together in thousands around the bodies of any victims that somehow survived the bomb blasts.

These “body thetans,” it is taught, are still around today, adversely affecting and attaching themselves to everyone who has not used the advanced solo auditing processes of Scientology to remove them. Back In 1988, the cost of learning these secrets from the Church of Scientology was £3,830, though the amount has risen a lot since then, and a Scientologist will have had to spend a tremendous amount of money – an estimated £60,000 at least - on the rest of the courses and auditing steps that allow eligibility to this next step. Only those who have taken the OTIII course are allowed to go on to the further OT levels of the Bridge to Total Freedom. If a Scientologist fails to gain the benefits of the OTIII level then they are expected to go through it, and pay for it, again. Hubbard also claimed that Scientologists need to progress through OTIV and as far as taking the OTVII level in order to fully deal with the body thetans each individual has. Progressing through all these OT levels comes at a considerable financial cost and critics of Scientology feel that that making money is what the cult is really about.

Loyal Officers

A government faction that Hubbard referred to as the “Loyal Officers” eventually overthrew and arrested Xenu within a year of the incident and imprisoned him in a secret “electronic mountain trap” powered by an “eternal battery” and from which he cannot escape. The location of Xenu’s prison cell is thought to be in the Pyrenees on Earth but there is confusion about this because elsewhere in his teachings Hubbard referred to this area as a “Martian report centre.” Since this incident happened the Galactic Federacy decided to abandon Teegeeack/Earth and leave it as a “prison planet”, which it remains as until this present time, although Hubbard claimed that it had been subjected to many attacks by alien “Invader Forces.”

Origins of the OTIII story

Hubbard put the OTIII material together late in 1966 and in the early part of 1967 when he was in North Africa and on his way to Las Palmas to join the Enchanter, which was the first ship of his private fleet for Sea Org (“Sea Organisation”) Scientologists.

Scientology critics claim that the origins of the material were not gained in the way that Hubbard would like his supporters to believe and cite a letter he wrote to his wife Mary Sue Hubbard in which he revealed that, in order to help his research, he was drinking alcohol, as well as taking stimulant and sedative drugs. He wrote to his wife: "I'm drinking lots of rum and popping pinks and greys". His personal assistant, Virginia Downsborough, claimed that she had to help him withdraw from the drugs he had become addicted to at that time. Perhaps Hubbard suffered the injuries he claimed he had due to suffering withdrawal fits from the drugs he had been on?

Christian Objections

As well as the critics of Scientology who maintain that it is a dangerous cult and little more than a vast money-making machine, Christians have voiced objections to its teachings too. The problem they have with Hubbard’s work is that he denies that Christ ever existed so Christianity cannot be compatible with Scientology despite its claims that it is open to members of all other religious pathways. With regard to the false data fed to Xenu’s victims via the R6 Implant Hubbard wrote in “Assists”:

“Everyman is then shown to have been crucified so don't think that it's an accident that this crucifixion, they found out that this applied. Somebody somewhere on this planet, back about 600 BC, found some pieces of R6, and I don't know how they found it, either by watching madmen or something, but since that time they have used it and it became what is known as Christianity. The man on the Cross. There was no Christ. But the man on the cross is shown as Everyman.”

The dictator Xenu

Xenu, as depicted in the 1998 BBC Panorama documentary "The Road to Total Freedom?" Believed to constitute Fair Use in depicting this character.
Xenu, as depicted in the 1998 BBC Panorama documentary "The Road to Total Freedom?" Believed to constitute Fair Use in depicting this character. | Source

How the Xenu story became leaked

Although it was Hubbard’s intention for the materials described in this article to be confidential secrets only revealed to qualified Scientologists who had reached the appropriate levels of their training and auditing, the story became leaked to the public in several ways.

In 1972 the book Inside Scientology by former Scientologist Robert Kaufman gave details of what the author had learned when he himself had taken the OTIII level. The Xenu story was described again in a 1981 Clearwater Sun article,and was exposed to even further public notoriety in a 1985 court case brought against Scientology by Lawrence Wollersheim.

In 1987, a book by Bent Corydon entitled L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman? quoted the first page of OT III and summarized the rest of the material Hubbard described in it. In the same year, the BBC's investigative news series Panorama broadcast a report entitled "The Road to Total Freedom?" that gave an outline of the OT III story illustrated in cartoon form.

Despite many attempts by the Church of Scientology to stop the Xenu story and the OTIII material becoming available in the public arena there have simply been too many critics of the religion that have used the Internet and other sources to make the details known.

What is Space Opera?

The story of Xenu is just one of many that Hubbard included in his work that made up a part of the texts and teachings of Scientology. He collectively called all references to alien interventions on Earth, galactic warfare and civilisations by the science fiction term “space opera.”

The Official Scientology and Dianetics Glossary defines space opera as: "of or relating to time periods … millions of years ago which concerned activities in this and other galaxies. Space opera has space travel, spaceships, spacemen, intergalactic travel, wars, conflicts, other beings, civilizations and societies, and other planets and galaxies. It is not fiction and concerns actual incidents and things that occurred on the [whole] track [in the past].”

Most of this material is included in the Advanced Level teachings of the Church of Scientology and is mainly intended for those who have reached the OT state of being. Many Scientologists at lower stages of the Bridge are unaware of much of these narratives. Not only are they unaware but Scientology as a whole plays down any mention of space opera incidents because the general public think it is too far out and dismiss the religion as some sort of massive science fiction fantasy.

A 1990 article in the Los Angeles Times claimed:

“Hubbard realized that his accounts of past lives, implants and extraterrestrial creatures might sound suspect to outsiders. So he counseled his disciples to keep mum. "Don't start walking around and telling people about space opera because they're not going to believe you," he said, "and they're going to say, 'Well, that's just Hubbard.'”

Nevertheless the material is presented as “science fact” and important secrets about the truths of this universe and where we all came from. Hubbard also argued in the teachings about the “Helatrobus Implants” that modern science fiction is based on real incidents and past lives that happened long ago. “You say, well, this is science fiction. No. No, no. No. The only part of science fiction they are, is the mistakes the science fiction writers have made while writing about their own past.”

It is believed that Scientology auditing is the only way to discover the truths about all this and to undo the harmful effects of our past lives. Hubbard’s book Have You Lived Before This Life? (1960) contains many examples of past life incidents recalled by 43 Scientologists at a conference in London in 1958 after they had received auditing.

Space opera-related incidents included: “A past life as a trouble-making free being on Mars ‘469,476,600 years ago’. He tried to inhabit a ‘doll body’, but he was captured and beaten up. The being was zapped with a ray gun by a Martian bishop in front of a congregation chanting ‘God is Love’, before being run over by a large car and a steamroller. He was then frozen in an ice cube and dropped on Planet ZX 432, where he took another robot body and zapped and killed another robot. He took off in a flying saucer, and died when it exploded.”

And: “A past life in which a being went to a planet where the forces of good were fighting evil black magic forces. After 74,000 years of battle, implants and hallucinations, he lost the fight, and joined the black magic side. He went to another planet on a space ship, where he was ‘deceived into a love affair with a robot decked out as a beautiful red-haired girl.’"

So whether the material is true or not it did not come exclusively from Hubbard but a lot of it was what his followers came up with, although admittedly after being exposed to his beliefs.

Story of Xenu (Scientology)

Other planets and alien civilizations

The Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary has definitions for many of the names of civilizations and incidents that come under the general heading of space opera. The Official Scientology and Dianetics Glossary also defines many of these terms though some references have been removed. In the 1950s Hubbard wrote and gave lectures about the Helatrobus, Espinol and Arslychus alien civilizations.

Marcab Confederacy

The Marcab Confederacy is another very important one of these and is believed to be still going. It was defined by Hubbard as: “Various planets united into a very vast civilization which has come forward up through the last 200,000 years, formed out of the fragments of earlier civilizations. In the last 10,000 years they have gone on with a sort of decadent kicked-in-the-head civilization that contains automobiles, business suits, fedora hats, telephones, spaceships — a civilization which looks almost an exact duplicate but is worse off than the current US civilization.”

He claimed that the Marcabians used to be the rulers of Earth at one point and also that they invented Income Tax. Hubbard said that these beings were even keen on race tracks and car racing and that Scientologists in auditing their past lives will often uncover incidents relating to this. In a lecture he gave in 1960 he said: “They had turbine-generated cars that went about 275 miles an hour (443 km/h). They ran with a high whine. I notice they've just now invented the motor again. And they had tracks that were booby-trapped with atom bombs, and they had side bypasses. The tracks were mined, and the grandstands were leaded-paned.”

The race tracks were designed to be as dangerous as possible and deaths were frequent in this extreme sport but apparently the medical science of the Marcabians was so advanced that anyone who died could be brought back to life. Hubbard stated in his lecture Create and Confront, that he himself had gone through multiple lives as a Marcabian racing driver, and how he once had names like The Green Rocket, The Red Comet, The Silver Streak and The Gold Bomb.

Hubbard claimed too that although the Marcabians abandoned openly ruling Earth they now use it as “prison planet” and that when someone dies the thetan is pulled to “implant stations” or “report stations” on Mars, Venus and other planets in the Solar System. In the taped lecture Between Lives Implants (SHSBC #317, 1963), Hubbard stated that he had been on the surface of the planet Venus where he witnessed the goings on at such an implant station. Once at these places thetans are forcibly programmed with brainwashing false data and then sent back to Earth to find a new body and start life again as a prisoner.

Hubbard stated: “The report area for most has been Mars. Some women report to stations elsewhere in the Solar System. There are occasional incidents about Earth report stations. The report stations are protected by screens. The last report station on Earth was established in the Pyrenees.”

L Ron Hubbard's Marcab Confederacy


Hubbard said of this civilization, which was very ancient and located in space, rather than on a planet, because it existed at a time when "nobody had invented planets yet." He described it as operating a more or less slave system in which thetans were assigned mind-numbingly boring work for countless lives but it was finally destroyed when "one of these slaves suddenly got the big idea of mass". Arslychus "broke to pieces and scattered around in that particular part of the sky as being of too great a mass to sustain itself". Hubbard explained it was: "about the point where you got the law of gravity coming in strongly. And after that the law of gravity began to affect itself on the universe more and more and more and more and you started to get all kinds of suns and planets and the most fantastic array of things.”


Hubbard described Helatrobus as an "interplanetary nation" that became extinct and was only a "little pipsqueak government, didn't amount to very much." Apparently it could be recognised by "gold crosses on their planes, like the American Red Cross or something of the sort." Although Hubbard described Helatrobus in this way, he also claimed that it was responsible for the extremely damaging “Heaven Implants” some 43 trillion years back.

Footnote: This article was originally published by Feed Your Brain magazine.

© 2014 Steve Andrews


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    Post Comment
    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      5 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Many consider him to have been a genius!

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 

      5 years ago from Philippines

      If he were a better writer, Hubbard could have come up with something like The Hobbit. Well, we can't all be geniuses.

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      5 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Laughter is always good so no apology needed!

    • FitnezzJim profile image


      5 years ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia

      Apologies, I rated this one funny and useful. I hurt my back this last weekend, and sure enough, laughter is the best medicine.


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