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From: revpk@cellar.UUCP (Brian 'Rev P-K' Siano)
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: The Religion Bet
Message-ID: <X8Pg62w164w@cellar.UUCP>
Date: 22 Jul 91 01:34:20 GMT
Sender: bbs@cellar.UUCP (The Cellar BBS)
Organization: The Cellar BBS and public access system
Lines: 34

We all know the story about how, ostensibly, Hubbard founded Dianetic and Scientology as a bet made with someone-or-other, that he could create a religion and make a million dollars.

Over on sci.skeptic, I mentioned that I'dheard three different versions of the story. The first was that Hubbard made the bet with John Campbell-- which seems unlikely, because Campbell later gave the first exposure to Dianetics. The second version was that Hubbard made the bet with Robert Heinlein, which I also regard as unlikely-- Heinlein strikes me as iconoclastic enough NOT to take the bet, and as far as I know, he's never said thatsuch a bet took place. The third version claims that, wherever the bet was made, either Isaac Asimov was present, or Asimov AND Harlan Ellison were present. If someone could ask Asimov as to whether he was there or not, that'd clear up a lot. (Someone sent me email claiming that he'd asked Ellison, who confirmed the story-- but since I'm hearing this third-hand, I'm not wuite ready to take it as verification just yet.)

My private appraisal is that the story arose among science-fiction fans who thought Dianetics was so much bullshit-- and, in keeping with the affected detachment from the 'mundanes' that so many fans enjoy, I'm inclined to think that the 'religion bet' is just a story. Miller's book on Hubbard makes it reasonably clear that Hubbard actually believed a lot of his own malarkey, even though his 'research' is apparently nonexistent. This doesn't make me think any less of Scientology, but until I see a statement from someone who was there when the bet was made, I'm goping to regard it as an Urban Legend.

"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" Brian Siano, Delaware Valley Skeptics Rev. Philosopher-King of The First Church of the Divine Otis Redding revpk@Cellar.UUCP "Ecrasez l'enfame!" - Voltaire """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""

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