>> True Information: This characterization by Wright is untrue. L. Ron Hubbard had the utmost respect for women and their role in society. He made this very clear in his 1951 book Science of Survival, where he wrote:
“If man is to rise to greater heights, then woman must rise with him or even before him. But she must rise as woman and not as today she is being misled into rising, as a man. It is the hideous joke of frustrated, unvirile men to make women over into the travesty of men which men themselves have become.
“Men are difficult and troublesome creatures, but valuable. The creative care and handling of men is an artful and a beautiful task. Those who would cheat women of their rightful place by making them into men should at last realize that by this action they are destroying not only the women, but the men and the children as well. This is too great a price to pay for being ‘modern’ or for someone’s petty anger or spite against the female sex.
“The arts and skills of woman, the creation and inspiration of which she is capable and which, here and there in isolated places in our culture, she still manages to effect in spite of the ruin and decay of man’s world which spreads around her, must be brought newly and fully into life. These arts and skills and creation and inspiration are her beauty, just as she is the beauty of Mankind.”
This article from Mr. Hubbard’s Science of Survival was re-printed in Parents magazine in 1961.
Another example is the Scientology Marriage Ceremony, where again Mr. Hubbard shows his high opinion and respect of women:
“For times are changed and woman’s place is not a hearth or home but striding out to victory beside her husband’s side.”
And later in the ceremony the groom is asked:
“And do you own to your full charge of the beauty and the happiness, the dreams, the goals of this, your woman?”
Mr. Hubbard developed Scientology Marriage Counseling in 1960, which has been used to salvage hundreds, if not thousands, of marriages over the years. It is based on mutual respect and understanding between husband and wife and, most importantly, free and open communication.
Factually, throughout Mr. Hubbard’s writings, he stresses showing kindness, decency and dignity for all mankind, with no difference in the way one treats men or women:
“You could say that the only times for which you were suffering are those times when you weren’t nice enough. When you weren’t kind enough and when you weren’t unmean enough and those are the only times from which you’re really suffering…
“So I’ve got the question answered and have a standard for conduct at least from a standpoint of aberration. The individual who is kind, who is decent and who does communicate and who is nice and who isn’t averse to conversation and saying this and doing that, who is tolerant, and so on, we find gets along beautifully.”
And finally, there are thousands of women in the Church of Scientology who are members of the clergy and hold positions at its highest ecclesiastical levels. More than half of the members of the Church’s religious order, the Sea Organization, are women, not to mention the millions of women who practice the faith as parishioners. There is no discrimination whatsoever.
More likely these Lawrence Wright’s accusations reflect his own attitude toward women and monogamy, given what has been reported about his own conduct.