Is Scientology breaking the law?

... There's evidence that they are.

Practicing Medicine Without A License

A federal court ruled in 1971 that Hubbard's medical claims were bogus and that E-meter auditing could no longer be called a scientific treatment.

- Time Magazine, May 6, 1991

Nevertheless, Scientology directives covering the handling of illnesses with auditing techniques appear to still be in use; promises that Scientology will heal physical conditions continue to be made; and materials like Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health continue to be aggressively sold, despite being full of bogus claims about the healing power of Dianetics.

Medical claims --- Scientologists need permission to see a doctor --- the FDA --- "Handling a physical condition" with the NOTs

Medical claims

According to Scientology documents, auditing can heal physical conditions, including:

  • speed the healing of a broken bone:
    • A broken limb will heal (by X-ray evidence) in two instead of six weeks. - Dianetics Today, p. 110
  • cure migraines - Dianetics , p. 125, and "HCOB 15 Jan 1979, 'Handling with Auditing'"
  • cure cancer:
    • Cancer has been eradicated by auditing out conception and mitosis. - The History of Man , p. 20
  • cure radiation burns:
    • Scientology is the only specific (cure) for radiation (atomic bomb) burns. - Professional Auditor's Bulletin 82
  • cure a broken ankle - HCOB 30 July 1973, "Scientology, Current State of the Subject and Materials"
  • cure insanity:
    • The alleviation of the condition of insanity has also been accomplished now... - "HCOB 28 Nov 1970, 'Psychosis'"
  • cure arthritis, myopia, heart disease, asthma, and EVERYTHING:
    • arthritis vanishes, myopia gets better, heart illness decreases, asthma disappears, stomachs function properly and the whole catalogue of illnesses goes away and stays away. - Dianetics , p. 72

Scientologists need permission to see a doctor

Hubbard wrote that Scientologists taking courses were barred from visiting a doctor without express permission from the church "except in cases of severe emergency." (HCOPL 26 July 1965 "Release Declaration Restrictions, Healing Amendments). One must assume that the church did not really want sick people taking courses, and thus one could infer that it was assumed that auditing could handle any illness of the student.

The FDA's Suit

In 1963 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) raided the church in Washington DC and confiscated their e-meters. The FDA sued the Church of Scientology for fraudulant medical claims and called the e-meter a fraudulant healing device. The church after many years finally settled with the FDA. In part, the ruling that the church was to abide by states concerning the e-meter:

"The device should bear a prominent, clearly visible notice warning that any person using it for auditing or counseling of any kind is forbidden by law to represent that there is any medical or scientific basis for believing or asserting that the device is useful in the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of any disease. It should be noted in the warning that the device has been condemned by a United States District court for misrepresentation and misbranding under the Food and Drug laws, that use is permitted only as part of religious activity, and that the E-meter is not medically or scientifically capable of improving the health or bodily functions of anyone.

" Each user , purchaser, and distributee of the E-meter shall sign a written statement that he has read such a warning and understands its contents and such statements shall be preserved." (United States of America, Libelant, v. An Article or Device... "Hubbard Electrometer" or "Hubbard E-Meter" etc., Founding Church of Scientology et al., Claimants, No. D.C. 1-63, United States District Court, District of Columbia, July 30, 1971 (333 F. Supp. 357)

Has Scientology been abiding by this agreement? Is the required warning prominently posted on all E-Meters? Are these signed statements being collected?

"Handling a physical condition" with the NOTs

"NOTs" is short for "New Era Dianetics for Operating Thetans" - that is, new-and-improved Dianetics auditing for high-level Scientologists. ("Operating Thetan" is described by Scientology as a highly advanced state, above the much-touted state of "Clear".) "NOTs" is a series of documents instructing Scientologists how to perform specific auditing activities.

Basically, the NOTs series are auditing methods that use an e-meter purportedly designed to rid the Scientologist of a multitude of unwanted spiritual beings attached to his/her soul. These unwanted beings, called "Body Thetans" or "BTs", can allegedly cause physical problems for humans.

Note that, despite the FDA's prohibition against using the E-Meter to treat disease or improving health or bodily functions, ALL of the NOTs activities require the use of the E-Meter. Indeed, Scientology policy strongly discourages any auditing done without the E-Meter.

Several of the NOTs contain specific instructions for dealing with physical illnesses or injuries:

  • "If a guy has a bad secondary, or a bad injury, you handle that with Date/Locate" [an auditing procedure using the e-meter]. - NOTs Series 3
  • "If ill or injured handle [w]ith an Assist (NOTs 3)" - NOTs Series 26R
  • "The above are the full steps and sequences for handling a physical condition." - NOTs Series 34
  • "If the person is sick as well as being subjected to a dangerous environment, there would be no hope of recovery without auditing." - NOTs Series 48

Full information about the medical claims contained within NOTs and other Scientology materials is difficult to obtain. Scientology keeps many materials, including the NOTs, secret, and sues those who make them available for copyright infringement.



This page was last updated on May 8, 1999.