Church Says Interplanetary Tyrant Exists

Source: Richmond Times - Dispatch
Date: November 17, 1985

Publication of secret documents that blame the world's troubles on an interplanetary tyrant named Xemu has held the Church of Scientology up to public ridicule.

Church officials insist the disclosure will leave no long-term scars and predict the controversial organization will continue to gain members and prosper.

"We have found whenever we have been attacked in court, we continue to grow and expand," said the Rev. Ken Hoden, head of the church in California.

"We are trying to tell the world about who we are. If anything, what is happening only makes our conviction stronger."

Church leaders vow to prevent further release of secret scriptures in ongoing courtroom battles with opponents the leaders say are attacking the Scientology religion.

Founded 31 years ago and inspired by the writings of L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology now claims a worldwide membership of 6 million, including about 70,000 in Southern California, with 600 missions and churches in 35 countries.

The church promotes the benefits of reaching one's full potential through methods described in Hubbard's 1950 book "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health."

Although the book is a basic text of the religion, much of the sect's dogma, including Xemu's role in world history, has been a closely guarded secret.

But this month, the Los Angeles Times obtained church tracts, called "upper-level technology," that chronicle Xemu's activities.

In subsequent articles, the Times said the tracts trace many of mankind's troubles back 75 million years when Earth, then called Teegeeach, was one of 90 planets ruled by Xemu.

According to the tracts, Xemu, fighting galactic overpopulation, ordered humans and beings from other planets captured and placed in several large volcanoes.

The tyrant then ordered thermonuclear attacks on the volcanoes. That killed the beings but freed their spirits, which were then unleashed to perpetuate problems for succeeding generations of humans.

Scientology's goal is to help its followers rid themselves of those evil spirits.

The Rev. Heber Jentzsch, head of the worldwide organization, said Scientology guides its followers along "that path of wisdom that helps man" to reach "total freedom as a spiritual being."

Jentzsch suggested in a telephone interview that Scientology's nearest religious relative would be a form of Buddhism, but he said the church uses an eight-pointed cross and clerical garb because "Scientology believes in the three-fold path of Christ."

Others, including those now suing the church in Los Angeles courts, have other opinions.

Larry Wollersheim quit the church in 1980 after 11 years. He later sued for $25 million, claiming he was defrauded and emotionally hurt by multilevel counseling that promised greater intellect, supernatural powers and success in business.

His suit says he spent at least $60,000 on his quest for enlightenment and that church members broke up his marriage.

One of his attorneys, Leta Schlosser, said Wollersheim is not out to destroy the church. "He has said he just wants justice," she said.

The Scientologists are under attack on another front, facing a challenge from a breakaway faction.

David Mayo two years ago opened his own Scientology-based church in Santa Barbara, calling it the Advanced Abilities Center.

He said he was soured on the original church because it billed followers $800 an hour for counseling. He said he charges no more than $100 an hour for his new, improved version.

The legal disputes heated up Nov. 1 when Superior Court Judge Alfred Margolis decided to open the file in Wollersheim's suit, including the upper-level material, the following Monday.

About 1,500 Scientologists jammed the court clerk's office on the designated day, blocking outsiders from getting copies of the files. Margolis then suspended public access to the file and left future decisions in the case to the trial judge.

In a federal court suit, Scientology lawyers also accused Wollersheim, his lawyers and psychiatric experts of conspiring with Mayo to obtain the secret materials from people who had stolen them from a Scientology church in Denmark two years ago.

Wollersheim has not specified where he got his copy of the material, but said it did not come from thieves.