Jeff Hawkin’s Counterfeit Dreams is now completed in hardback and available at http://counterfeitdreams.com/.
Anyone who has been effected or affected by the disclosures on this blog, Scientology-cult.com, the St Petersburg Times’ Truth Rundown Series, Anderson Cooper’s History of Violence series, or ABC Nightlines two-part October ’09 piece on Scientology, should order and read Counterfeit Dreams.
Jeff’s book adds context, credibility, and light to all of the above references. While I had a bird’s eye view of much of the insanity he recounts, reading Counterfeit gave me a far better understanding of it. Jeff contributes a remarkably detailed account of many events I had some part in but did not know the full effects of. Having familiarity with many of the larger events of which Jeff shares his perspective, his book rings resoundingly true to me.
I want to share a couple of notes I made during the read that you may want to know. First, Jeff does not hold a kind view of Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard. But, this book is his perspective, and for the most part he keeps to the facts; actually does an admirable job of it, given Counterfeit is a personal narrative covering forty years of the man’s life. By the same token, Jeff’s credibility is highlighted by his willingness to give positive and negative. In the case of LRH, Jeff notes it was LRH that sensed what Jeff was doing with Marketing was correct and provided him the air cover to get it done, despite a lot of attempts by the bureaucracy to throw Jeff off. I note all this because I believe it would be a shame for people who are “pro-Scientology” or “pro-LRH” to not read this book because Jeff’s views don’t align with their own. There is too much important information to be learned from it.
Similarly, I think some people may be painted in a more negative light than they should be, purely incidentally because of Jeff’s reporting from his own point of view. For example Ronnie Miscavige and Bill Dendiu appear to come out of the blue to systematically unmock the incredible marketing machine Jeff had created in the eighties. From Jeff’s perspective that is absolute truth. From my own, having occupied a different point to view during that time, I know Ronnie and Bill were simply doing what they were instructed to do under duress by David Miscavige. Jeff recounts a major blow being delivered to Marketing by moving it up the Int Base in the early nineties. I happen to know that Ronnie and Bill executed that crime against their own better judgments – both were interrogated, disciplined and denigrated for years for holding “counter intention” to that move. I know, I was ordered by David Miscavige to deal with that “counter intention” personally.
But, that all comes from perspectives and facts Jeff was in a position to witness. Again, I think Jeff demonstrates a conscientiousness toward truth throughout.
If I seem to be focusing on marketing, there is a reason. What Jeff accomplished by getting Dianetics onto bestseller lists in the eighties is in my opinion the central reason there was any expansion of Scientology for the four short years after Hubbard’s death. As has been well reported in the past year, after the down turn of 1990, International Scientology statistics have been down ever since. One of the last things Hubbard issued on the subject of marketing was the Policy Letter Planetary Dissemination (which emphasizes the live or die principle that the bulk of marketing efforts go to the general public and the bottom of the Bridge, and re-emphasizes that is done most effectively by getting books into the hands of people). Jeff was the last person to do so. And he was unmocked in the late eighties; almost exactly date coincident with LRH passing away. He doesn’t clearly state it in the book, because clearly he did not know it, but that unmock and cross order came directly and emphatically from Miscavige. In 1987 he hijacked marketing, directed it off of broad distribution of books, and turned it increasingly onto Public Relations. And then, as Miscavige descended further and further toward madness, the emphasis became marketing as Public Relations to his own captive public about himself (an integral part of his creation of a cult). Finally, Miscavige destroyed Marketing altogether – the details of which Jeff very competently covers in his book.
If anyone doubts the church of Scientology is dead, perhaps even believes it innately but doesn’t have the facts to really know it, Counterfeit provides the information – again, so important, in context – for you to make up your mind. I believe that is a critical bridge to cross in order to move on and evolve.
Whether you agree or disagree with Jeff’s ultimate views about the worth of Scientology and its founder, there is too much vital factual information about the disintigration of the church in his book not to read it. Finally, I do not think anyone can credibly argue that on the whole Jeff’s work is not all about helping people evolve to a better place.