(Excerpted from the Addendum section of L. Ron Hubbard, Messiah or Madman?, 2nd and 3rd editions. This is the shortened version that appears in Brainwashing Manual Parallels in Scientology:)
Scientology could be described as a "layers of the onion" operation.
The outermost layer of the "Scientological Onion" is not identifiable with Scientology at all, being composed of front groups that conceal their connection to -and control by - the Scientology organization. Front groups might be said to constitute Layer Zero: a place where the tentacles of Scientology can grope incognito.
The first layer of the Scientological Onion is meant to be very visible...
Layer One includes Scientology's pampered clique of celebrities, and various public relations ploys. It reverberates with noble sounding sentiments about creating a better world. Scientology seeks to equate itself, and its founder, with anything broadly viewed as desirable or good. A little further along, this layer would include introductory courses with the stated aim of "knowing oneself" and "being free."
Here exist the potentially beneficial aspects of the many masked Scientology operation. The tragedy of Scientology is that the "positives" are used as "window dressing" and "bait on the hook," when they should have been the core and foundation. Thus the Scientology organization reeks of hypocrisy.
Also, at this much publicized layer, L. Ron Hubbard is presented as an engineer, war hero, nuclear physicist, and the "greatest humanitarian of all time," and the author of "22 best sellers with more to come."
The "first layer" is what Scientology wishes the outside world to know as Scientology. And it is essentially what new converts to the "movement" believe.
It includes most of what is good in the subject: The dream of peace on Earth, the desire to help, practical wisdom, civilized communication, and some potentially beneficial counseling procedures. The word freedom is used a great deal at this layer, and a heart felt desire for greater personal freedom, and freedom for all Mankind, is not unusual to new recruits to Scientology.
(Any inconsistencies or contradictions between the publicly stated aims of the movement, and actual practices or facts, become irrelevant as the individual becomes subject to the Dark Side of Scientology. And the deeper one descends into the "onion" the darker it gets.)
Descending into the "onion" it is necessary to become a Scientologist. This means thinking like a Scientologist. This is the Second Layer where deception eases into "soft" forms of mind-manipulation. Love of Mankind is modified that the awareness that human beings are mere hapless "Wogs"... The desire to help becomes the desire to recruit. The ideal of practical wisdom, based on logic and science, is superseded by the belief in the unfathomable mystery of the "tech." Indeed one is expected to be in a state of awe regarding the "tech," much in the same manner that a peasant woman might regard piece of bone, said to have belonged to a Saint from centuries past.
The publicly promoted "policy" of honesty is modified by an awareness that deception is OK, as long as it serves to achieve the desired Scientological end. And the ideals of civility and democracy become a joke - just something that "panty-waists" and wimps fixate on.
One is slowly being "hatted" as a Scientologist. (At this point an - unlucky - new Scientologist may be subjected to heavy handed "hard sell" tactics by a sales person or "registrar." Life savings have been lost, inheritances gobbled up, and lines of credit drained, all in a single arduous evening of "hard sell." This is really a premature taste of Layer Four.)
The Third Layer down is composed of never ending, expensive, highly advertised, but confidential "upper levels." These go on and on - and on. Scientology has been selling the promise of "Total Freedom" since before most of its current membership were born. It remains the ever elusive "dangling carrot." Well known individuals who become involved in Scientology - becoming "Scientology celebrities" - do not go deeper into the Scientological Onion than this.
They are also spared the abuses that "less valuable" beings may suffer at the hands of Scientology sales people, "Sea Org" recruiters, or "ethics" officers...
At the upper fringes of the next layer down is local "Org staff," and at the bottom of Layer Four can be found "Sea Org" personnel. This layer employs more pervasive and cruder forms of "persuasion" or "mind control." Here is the "slave labor" supplying Rehabilitation Project Force, the Pavlovian "5 Card System," and the grim but repressed awareness that one is mainly a "post" and a "stat," (i.e. statistic.)
The Fifth layer down includes intimidation of the mass media, use of lawsuits purely for purposes of harassment, and applications of policies and programs, such as those discovered as a result of the FBI search warrants of July 1977. These materials were made available for public view by Federal court order in 1979 and consist of organized applications of the Fair game Law, and related confidential policies and "tech," designed to illegally gain access to private files, infiltrate, harass, lie about, "sue, trick, lie to, or destroy" anyone perceived as an enemy. At this layer also would be secret bank accounts and financial irregularities.
Other aspects of this layer would include "blackmail," including threats to publicize personal information obtained during "religious confessionals" (auditing sessions); and the inducement of duress of various kinds - including frivolous lawsuits - to obtain promises of "silence," and to obtain "signed retractions" of earlier statements.
Here also can be found the handful of individuals who constitute the "Scientology hierarchy": the board of directors of the Religious Technology Center, and its chairman David Miscavige or "DM."
Layer Number Six appears to be the core of the Onion. It is a very temperamental and secret place.
Here lie the secrets of L. Ron Hubbard: his bad health, bad habits, undistinguished military service, flunked physics and mathematics classes. Here can be found the actual motivations behind, and sources of, Dianetics and Scientology. Here can be found Mary Sue Hubbard, languishing in prison for crimes committed under her husband's direction, while her husband, in hiding, passes the time writing Science Fiction. Here are all the things you shouldn't know about the founder of the "Science of Knowing How to Know."
L. Ron Hubbard, Messiah or Madman?, 2nd edition:
Brainwashing Manual Parallels in Scientology: