The following is an excerpt from What Is Wrong With Scientology?: Healing Through Understanding. It might provide some food for thought.
Virtually everyone whom I have met who knew L. Ron Hubbard personally described him in words to the effect of “larger than life.” That comes from a wide spectrum of people, from those who loved him to those who sharply criticized him. I never met him, and in a way I am glad I did not. To me, the ultimate worth of what he created can only be measured against the standard of whether what he wrote and lectured about can produce desirable effects or not. In the end, that is how he wished it to be. He noted in one of his final journals to Scientologists that his legacy would be the technology he would leave behind – not his personality, not his biography, not his recognitions and awards, not any God-like abilities that others must continue to create in their minds and rely upon, and not his frailties and shortcomings.
It was Hubbard’s charismatic and infectious personality that led critics back in the ’80s to predict that Scientology would die once he passed away. Some have since claimed that Hubbard’s January, 1986 death did indeed mark the beginning of the end of Scientology. While both of these assertions were close to the mark, in my view they were not quite accurate in a couple of respects. First, a semantics note. True, the church of Scientology is dead, for all intents and purposes. But that is an organization, a corporate conglomerate. Scientology itself is a religious philosophy, and that has not died. A philosophy cannot be killed, any more than an idea can be extinguished. True, the church of Scientology began to die after its founder’s demise. However, the passing of Hubbard did not kill it. Instead, during the confusion and pain of Scientologists’ mourning Hubbard’s death, a deadly virus was stealthily injected into Scientology culture.
That virus was a falsehood.