Jon Atack: Scientology's early history is something most members don't actually know - 2015-06-12
Jon Atack is the author of A Piece of Blue Sky, one of the very best books on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. He has a new edition of the book for sale, and for more than a year on Saturdays he helped us sift through the legends, myths, and contested facts about Scientology that tend to get hashed and rehashed in books, articles, and especially on the Internet. He was kind enough to send us a new post.
Jon, these previews you're giving us, setting things up for the "Getting Clear" conference in Toronto, are really well put together. Once again, you've woven together several strands of Scientology history to make us think of things in a new light. Lay it on us...
JON: The history of any subject is vital to its understanding. Scientologists tend to have very little information about the development of their belief system and their understanding is consequently hampered. After my departure from the cult in 1983, I spent over a decade studying the history of Scientology. I read a mass of Scientology's published materials and extracted historical references, collected thousands of pages of public record documents and gathered the accounts of about 150 people who had been involved with Hubbard from his childhood onward. This material was cross-referenced into a 400-page chronology, which was the basis for A Piece of Blue Sky.