Scientology: A History of Man - Critical Views

Critical Views

A History of Man has attracted a good deal of comment from critical reviewers and analysts of Scientology. As Marco Frenschkowski notes, it is a "very strange book easily ridiculed" and, indeed, many have done just this. Ex-Scientologist Jon Atack describes it as "among the most bizarre of Hubbard's works, deserves the cult status that some truly dreadful science fiction movies have achieved". The Anderson Report of 1965 comments that "To say it is an astonishing document does not adequately convey the peculiar qualities or contents of "The History of Man ... For compressed nonsense and fantasy it must surpass anything theretofore written." Hubbard's unofficial biographer Russell Miller describes it in similar terms as "one of Hubbard's most bizarre works and possibly the most absurd book ever written", which "invited the derision which was inevitably forthcoming." Bent Corydon, a former Scientologist, criticises A History of Man on Scientological grounds, pointing out that Hubbard's "imaginings, opinions, or observations" are presented as established facts - in effect, instructing the Scientologist in what he should remember, rather than letting him find out for himself.

Apart from the unusual style of narration, which Miller describes as having "wobbled uncertainly between schoolboy fiction and a pseudo-scientific medical paper", many of Hubbard's claims in A History of Man are incompatible with established scientific knowledge.

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