Long before Xenu: Scientology's actual origin story, as told by a former member - 2015-07-24
We have a real treat for you today. Derek Bloch noticed that Scientology's "Xenu" story that was made famous in South Park in 2005 and was given another great treatment in Alex Gibney's film Going Clear this year (pictured above), is often referred to as Scientology's "origin story." This is simply untrue. The Xenu incident, which resulted in so many beings brought to and vaporized on Earth, took place a mere 75 million years ago. But Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard claimed that the universe itself was some 4 quadrillion years old, and that it had been created by "bored" thetans playing some kind of game. Derek, a longtime presence here at the Underground Bunker, submitted this essay to explain how he was taught to believe the universe got here, and the narrative of the cosmos that he learned as a member of the organization. Here, then, is the overall, overarching purpose of Scientology, which rarely gets spelled out in such detail. We hope you find it as fascinating as we did — and we'd really like to hear from other former members of the church how much of this they were aware of as they were working their way up the Bridge to Total Freedom.
Xenu is the most famous figure in Scientology to outsiders. His saga is often touted as the "origin" story of the organization, similar to Genesis in the Bible. However, as it always is with Scientology, things are not as they seem.
Long before Xenu decided to turn Earth into a prison planet for everyone that he thought would rebel against his regime, there were disembodied energies floating throughout a universe of emptiness. In a work called The Factors (1953), Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard describes the inception of "theta" or the energy that creates life itself, according to Scientology's scriptures. "In the beginning was a decision, and the decision was to be," he says.