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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hubbard's Theory of Past Lives

I've received a number of questions about Hubbard's theory of past lives and a number of requests to explain it.

OK, I'll try to explain what Hubbard's theory was, but it can be confusing, even to Scientologists.

When Hubbard wrote Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, and other early Dianetic books, he did not believe in nor espouse any theory of past lives.

He thought we only lived once.

Part of the Dianetic theory is that a person's mental or physical problems are caused by "chains" of related, harmful events.  If a "preclear" (person getting Dianetic therapy) has, let's say, trouble hearing, it will be found, according to Hubbard, that there is a chain of harmful incidents related to his ears or hearing.  As part of Hubbard's theory, this "chain" is held in place by one "basic" incident: the earliest incident related to ears/hearing.  Once that basic incident was relieved, the person's hearing would be recovered.

I'm not saying this is true, just that's the theory.  I bring up the theory because of this:  As part of Dianetic therapy, the auditor keeps asking for an "earlier, similar incident" until they get to this basic incident.

With the idea that we only live once, the search for "earlier, similar" would often end up with "memories" from the womb.  There is quite a bit from Hubbard about prenatal memories of harmful incidents.

And then a number of preclears, upon being asked for an "earlier, similar incident" started "recovering memories" from before this life.

Initially, Hubbard's reaction to this was to posit a "genetic memory".  He decided that an entity he called a "genetic entity" (or "GE"), was remembering evolutionary information.  Hubbard even wrote a book, A History of Man, about this.  In that book Hubbard claimed that this genetic memory not only went back through evolutionary life forms to the earliest amoeba, but even further back to the earliest formation of atoms.

This book, The History of Man, is where the derogatory term "clam" for Scientologist comes from, although, technically, this is not part of Scientology and is not "whole track" (a thetan's complete life-after-life memory)  or "past lives".

All this didn't last long.  Rather quickly, Hubbard changed his mind and started recognizing and talking about past lives, not "genetic memory" but actual memories from previous incarnations.  This was not a popular decision amongst many Dianeticists, who broke with Hubbard at that time.

But that was OK with Hubbard.  He had discovered the "thetan", the soul, the spirit, the "being himself, not his body or his mind" -- and Scientology was born.

Hubbard's explanation of the life-death-birth cycle goes roughly like this:  Everyone is a thetan. Scientologist or wog, everyone is a thetan, inhabiting a body. As part of arriving on this planet, almost all the people here (the thetans), have been programmed to "report to the implant station" when they die.

When and where did this programming occur? Primarily, that was the OT III "Xenu" incident, 75 million years ago.

So, when anyone dies, they immediately "report to the implant station" for a refresh of their programming.

Hubbard claimed that there were implant stations on the far side of the moon and on Mars. I don't recall him ever saying Venus had an implant station (just trains, apparently).

The implant stations are all automatic, no people there. The thetans receive a refresh of their programming ("implanting") and then are given orders to "go pick up a new body on Earth".

So the thetan just goes to Earth and picks up a body.

Exactly when they inhabit the baby body is not set. They might inhabit the body before or after birth, but they will hover nearby in any case. Thetans will fight each other for a body, since there are more thetans than bodies.

Some thetans will take an adult body that is in a coma or has been seriously injured which, Hubbard said, explained amnesia and drastic personality changes at those times.

That's the dogma, according to Hubbard, as near as I can recall. I may have missed a few minor details.

By the way, Hubbard got quite upset if you called previous lives "reincarnation" since, in his version, the birth-death-rebirth cycle is not tied to spiritual progress towards Nirvana.  In his version, it's all a horrible trap that leads, in a dwindling spiral, down to total degradation. It is a Bad Thing that "Scientology can help you with".

In Scientology's system of belief, people's past lives can contain, literally, anything, including scientifically impossible things.  No "memory" is doubted, all is accepted no matter what.  Some Scientologists are quite enamored with who they were and what they did in all these past lives.

Hubbard, of course, more than anyone else.  For a pulp science fiction and adventure writer, it was perfect.  Here comes the space opera!  For many, many years, Hubbard loved to tell audiences his "whole track" experiences -- usually space opera and usually with himself as the brave, wise, powerful hero.  And his yarns told in private could, apparently, be even wilder.

Unfortunately, Hubbard forgot to take scientific progress into account.  He made up stuff that he thought could never be disproven.  But science does progress and science could discover what was previously unknowable.

I'm sure there are hundreds of statements we could mention, but let's limit ourselves to a few well-known claims.
  • Hubbard claimed that the physical universe was over "four quadrillion years old".  Scientists have estimated the actual age of the universe to be closer to 12 billion years old.
  • Hubbard declared the location of the OT III "Xenu" events "75 million years ago" to be the current major volcanoes of Earth.  He very specifically named them.  The problem is that geologists all know that those volcanoes didn't even exist that long ago.
  • Most, if not all, ancient Earth civilizations used super-advanced technology.
  • The ancient gods and goddesses were real.  They were actually "OTs" visiting Earth -- but have since been "trapped and degraded".
Anything Hubbard could think up, he claimed was a real, true whole track memory.  Scientologists are pretty much obliged to go along with it.

If anyone else is seriously wondering if Hubbard's version of the whole track is true, you really need to stay far, far away from Scientology -- you are just the kind of gullible person they are looking for.


  1. Dear Bill:
    Have you ever lived before? that is the question. Midget Miscavige would make this your best experience in the whole eternity!
    You will be ridden of superfluous nuisances like credit, money, properties and relatives which unbeknownst to many, will prevent you on achieving your ultimate goal.
    In order to be free you have to become slave!

  2. @The good old dog

    Re: Casual Scientologist

    Such "Scientologists" would be found in what is loosely termed "the Freezone". There is no available information on how many people practice some form of Scientology outside of the Church of Scientology but I see no evidence that there are very many.

    There are all kinds of flavors of "Scientologists" outside of the church. This ranges from those who consider they are "more standard" than the church, to those who have only taken parts of Scientology and have even experimented and extended beyond that.

    Short answer: Yes, there are "casual Scientologists", but I have no idea how many.

  3. Hey, dear Bill,
    Trains on Venus. Oh, boy.
    Besides the myriad logistical and metaphysical problems LRH's ideas present, what strikes me deepest is the total lack of aesthetics. Implant stations? Dear God, what an ugly mind that man had. An active imagination, yes, but without depth, range, maturity or even taste. (Compare to Tolkien.)

    BTW, a young friend who lived briefly in Seattle a few years ago knew 11 Cleopatras just in her small circle of acquaintance. Americans seem to think that reincarnation means more chances to play more roles. This is a such a celebrity culture. It boggles the mind to think what the scilons come up with - and it's all taken for real?? Wonder how many Cleopatras they have on board ...


  4. Anon: That's one of the reasons why you're not allowed to discuss your "case" with anyone, for fear of multiple people coming up with the same famous past lives.

    It's all part of the "You're a super special snowflake" love-bombing that the cult produces to snare people.

    As Bill has said elsewhere: Scientology must be *very* weak if you can lose your "gains" just by talking to someone about your experiences...

  5. To: Good Old Dog
    From: Ann

    RE: "Casual Scientologists".

    I was once a true believer, then a Casual Scientologist. To paraphrase your words: A Casual Scientologist is a committed, long-term Scientologist who had a (mostly) positive view of Scientology, but was partially “waking up” to the scam. They “stay in” and keep quiet because the benefits of Scientology (in their minds anyway) still outweigh the negatives).

    That is a very good description of a number of Scientologists. There is another category: The Flying Under The Radar Scientologist. The Flying Under the Radar is a Casual Scientologist who “stays in” and keep quiet because of the Disconnection Policy.

    I have many friends who would fall into this category. This kind of Scientologist may hold a range of veiws about the value of the Tech (from invaluable to some of it works) but all would agree current management is really rotten.
    Almost all my Scientology friends are either Casual or Flying Under the Radar. The number is eight. Based on just my experience, I would say there are a lot of them.
    "Waking up" is not an over night process. It's like ending a bad marriage. It does not always happen over night.
    It would be hard for a non-Scientologist to understand the influence of the Disconnection Policy. Loosing one's faith is one thing. Loosing family, friends and your job is another. That is what one risks by speaking up.
    And some are simply not strong enough to endure the thought of being labelled a Suppressive Person. A Suppressive Person is someone truly evil, someone like Hitler.
    These control mechanisms are enough to keep many who have "woken up" quiet and obstensively In.

  6. @ Ann:

    OK, so some Scientologists fear “disconnection” and being labeled “suppressive.” Well, fear is low on the “tone scale,” is it not? If they’re experiencing so much fear, shouldn’t that be yet one more piece of evidence that Scientology really doesn’t work? And more motivation for them to get out?

  7. To: Anonymous
    From: Ann

    Of course. I am not making excuses, just saying how it is.

  8. Hi Just Bill,
    Thank you so much for this post. The secret cosmology of Scientology. Right there, right out there in the open so one can decide if it makes sense, resonnates, is for you. No wonder it's a secret. Yikes!

  9. How many times we live? It has become my biggest question. the theory of Scientology really makes me confused. I don't really know how it is. Anyone can tell me?

  10. @Stewart

    You do realize we are talking about L. Ron Hubbard's "theory" here? There is absolutely no basis in reality and very little he said about past lives is true.

    According to Hubbard, we have lived, so far, billions, maybe trillions of lifetimes. After all, four quadrillion years is a very, very long time.

    If you are asking how many lifetimes we will live in the future, Hubbard never made any specific predictions. The number is unlimited, unless we "get out of this universe".

  11. 1000 years of Hubbard's Past Lives were found recorded in the Domesday Book and other sources.

    911 - 986 AD: Vikings invade France. Early records in the chronicles show Hubbard to be of ancient Norman origin. Normans were of Viking origin.

    1066: Duke William defeated England in the Battle of Hastings (1066) and Hubbard arrived for the first time in England with that Norman Conquest. Hubbard was a descent from a Norman noble who was granted land in Cheshire and Nottingham. Hubbard was granted lands by Duke William of Normandy for his distinghuished assistance at the Battle of Hastings and for his advise in the creation of the Domesday Book. Hubbard is traced back to this manuscript.

    1086: The King had a deep consultation with his council about the taxation of his land. Hubbard was probably one of the royal advisors to King William I of England.
    The King sent his men all over England to record how much land the landowners possessed for taxation purposes. This first census (recorded it in the Domesday Book) was unparalleled in contemporary Europe and was not matched in its comprehensive coverage until the 19th century.

    1111-1186: Many Normans moved to Scotland. Hubbard contributed much to politics and affairs of England and Scotland.

    1190: Hubbard accompanied Richard Coer de Lyon in the Crusade.

    1511-1786: England was ravaged by religious and political conflict. The unrest caused many to think of distant lands. The democratic way of life of the New World beckoned many.

    1586: Hubbard had acquired land where Derbyshire, Yorkshire and Lancashire adjoin. He later moved south to Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckingham. Hubbard held many seats and estates.

    1611-1811: Hubbard families settled in Ireland and Australia.

    1611-1748: Hubbard sailed aboard the fleet of sailing ships known as the "White Sails".
    Up to 40% of the passengers did not survive a journey accross the Atlantic (Hubbard saved many lives).
    Hubbard families came to Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Boston, New England and Maryland.

    1775-1786: Hubbard was financially and politically involved in the American War of Independence.

    1811-1886: From the port of arrival Hubbard joined the wagon trains to Montana and Nebraska.

    1911-1986: Hubbard born in USA, birth of Scientology, Hubbard reaches for the stars.

    2011 (march): a Clearwater resident reaches (for the 2nd time) for the stars (Discovery)

    2086: cleared space mission to the stars (powered by Hubbard Tech)

  12. Re: Domesday Book

    LOL! Clever... the true time track of L. Ron Hubbard.

    Anyone who wants to know what the "Domesday Book" is, look here [Wikipedia].

  13. I had 'remembered' past lives before Scientology, but in auditing I was bouncing all over the timetrack.

    I particularly enjoyed a lifetime in the Auvergne when I poisoned my abusive husband (in this lifetime my boyfriend who didn't want to get married!)with mushrooms. Sounds bad, but trust me, he had it coming.

    I thought it was weird the way people weren't supposed to talk about their "memories," although in truth other people's track is like their dreams--boring and embarrassing.

    Like my story above. It's not true, though, that most people think they were famous. A good question at parties is: "what historical period does your spouse remind you of?"

  14. From: "One thousand years of Hubbard history, 866 to 1895. From Hubba (the Norse sea king) to the enlightened present"

    A detailed history of the Hubbard's. Title and content are not related to source above.

    Example of the text:
    In 1886 Mr. HUBBARD was elected Secretary of State by the largest vote given any candidate for a State office in that election, and during his two years of service in that important and honorable position he gained universal honor and esteem for the intelligence, fidelity and enterprise that marked his administration.

  15. R.E. Hubbard's Past Lives

    According to Wikipedia, L. Ron Hubbard's father was not even a Hubbard by birth; he was an orphan, born Henry August Wilson in August 1886. He was adopted by an Iowa farming couple by the name of Hubbard who changed his given names to Harry Ross. His son L. Ron Hubbard doesn't have a drop of Hubbard blood in him.

  16. The parody story about L. Ron Hubbard's "past lives" was just for fun and not factual.

    I have never seen any information about LRH being an orphan. Wikipedia has no such information.

  17. I got that the parody story about L. Ron Hubbard's "past lives" was just for fun and not factual.

    LRH’s father was the orphan. Here is the Wiki paragraph here:

    “His father [i.e. LRH’s father] was not even a Hubbard by birth; he was an orphan, born Henry August Wilson in August 1886, who had been adopted by an Iowa farming couple by the name of Hubbard who changed his given names to Harry Ross.”


    Henry August Wilson, L. Ron Hubbard's father, was born at Fayette, Iowa. His mother died at birth; Mr. and Mrs. James Hubbard adopt him and rename him Harry Ross Hubbard.

    L. Ron Hubbard made grandiose claims about his lineage, but in fact his father was an orphan.

  19. Thank you. As always, more information is much appreciated.


  20. For those who are wondering if it is possible to be a casual Scientologist. It is not easy. You have to get an unlisted telephone number for one because you are a possible stat to many. You cannot just go to an event because the registrars are all over you. Remember everyone is under a lot of pressure to keep their stats high. When you are coming to the end of your course you tell them you are trying to get the money to do the next course and then stay disconnected until you want to go back. When they demand you borrow the money it is easier to say I will try and then disconnect until you want to do another course. It was my experience that mostly these are good people under a lot of pressure to perform. For them to perform it means they have to get you to perform. Most if not all of the suppression originates with David Miscavige and filters down to the many who are truely trying to do the right things and maybe to those who enjoy the power they have over people who fear the Bridge being taken away from them.

  21. It is easy to ridicule past lives because we are conditioned to believe the reality we are born into. From my perspective you do not really remember past lives-you recall them. So it is easy to invalidate. The accuratcy of the past life is not important. What matters is that there is mental mass attached to the recall and that you have some realization that it has affected you in present time. Really heaven, hell, and a Supreme Being are just as big a stretch and just as easy to ridicule if one is so inclined. We have a tendancy to accept the reality we were born into.

  22. @ Bruce D.

    You believe in past lives and reincarnation and that’s okay. Because I like you Bruce I'm going to make you a deal. Here it is. You give me $5,000 and in your next lifetime I’ll pay you back $10,000. Whaddya think? You double your money!!!! How about it? Deal or no deal? Please let me know. ;-)

  23. Good one Dave. It has been my experience that when you loan people money there is little or no chance of getting it back. It doesn't matter how long you give them to pay you back.

  24. Being a casual Scientologist must be hard, like being casually insane. It's hard to do before someone notices. If you're in the cult, and buying and donating on schedule, you are saving the planet, and the only hope for the Universe.

  25. I never bought into the idea of saving the Universe or the planet. As for "the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics", I always looked at that from a 1st dynamic perspective - never from a 3rd or 4th dynamic prospective which promotes the idea of self sacrifice. I also never looked at Scientology as a cult. I gave them money and they delivered a course. I always found that to be a fair exchange and it worked for me. The idea of clearing the planet was not what I signed up for and they were never successful at convincing me otherwise

  26. @Bruce D.

    I'm not clear on what you are trying to say here. Are you just bragging that you are better than all those who got victimized by Scientology? Or are you saying that Scientology "isn't all that bad"?

    Scientology is a cult and some people were rather badly harmed by it, through no fault of their own.

    Please clarify your message here.

  27. Bruce D. said...Bill,
    This is my clarification without using Scientology terminology. I can understand how someone who joins staff can be in a cult. I can understand that if you buy into the idea you are saving the planet you are in a cult. I never did either. I bought a training course. I like it so I bought another. It doesn't make any sense to me why anyone would keep paying money for personal growth courses if they were not achieving personal growth from those courses. Okay you buy one course to see what it is like but you don't buy a second one.

  28. @ Bruce D. - R.e. The idea of clearing the planet was not what I signed up for

    According to Jason Beghe the possibility of Scientology clearing the planet is zero. He said, and I quote, “There's no f****** way. They can't f****** clear Beverly Hills with these prices.”

  29. To Anonymous,
    I understand where you are coming from totally. From my point of view training and co-auditing should have been made the focus. It is or use to be reasonable priced for the amount of time you spend on course. It was my experience that there comes a point in your training where the Church tries to force many into professional auditing creating a need before you begin the co-audit process. To me it is obvious that is for money reasons alone. This is their biggest outpoint as no one can become free with professional processing. Beings are immersed in a lot of complexities and 12, 24, or even 200 hours of processing doesn't really resolve much. Beings need to be able to confront pain, sleep and unconsciousness on their own. First in a co-audit and then solo when they are in good enough shape to do so. It is not the destiny of mankind to be free. Freedom is an innate impulse that surfaces from time to time but usually ends in overwhelm of one kind or another so people just stop trying after a while and accept their fate.

  30. Are past lives real or is it belief?

    1. Good question. What do you think?

      I have my own opinion but past lives can neither be proven or disproven at this time.


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