Scientology and Free Jazz, the Sectarian Mix of L. Ron Hubbard

Anyone who put their ear to the album source powercertainly unknown, knows to what extent this work by Apollo Stars offers free electric jazz, invigorated as much by the sounds of rock and blues as it is from soul and psychosis.

Anyone who has spent time viewing a file back cover From the disc he was also able to see how distinguished the man was from others. As if he was more important than the rest of the gang. As if he was the one through whom all thoughts passed. This man is Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, born gender obsessed with control and power, so much so that he presents himself as the prophet of the new age.

If it is impossible to determine her true role, then the other musicians of the group ended up being embarrassed by this album, perhaps due to its more autobiographical contents than their ex-boyfriend.

Ron Hubbard is already the leader of Scientology, this sect he created in 1952, at the age of 41, immediately recognized it as a new religion, and went so far as to found the first Church of Scientology the following year. in Camden, New Jersey.

Equipped by legend

To understand how one man could carry out such diverse projects, we must go back to the beginning of the last century, more specifically during the years 1910 and 1920. At that time, it is said that the young L. Ron Hubbard was forced by his mother to read Shakespeare, the great classics of literature, as well as many works on Greek philosophy.

It is also said that at the age of barely twelve he studied Freudian psychoanalysis thanks to the courses given by a former pupil of the good old Sigmund. Finally, he is said to have begun his military career in Australia in 1941, with the idea of ​​following in the footsteps of his father, the naval commander, save for his alleged exploits (sinking a Japanese submarine, for example) hotly contested by archives.

As is often the case with teachers, who are always ready to rewrite their history, the facts given by L. Ron Hubbard are difficult to verify. This does not prevent us from setting certain facts.

Yes, the American was a successful science fiction writer. Before World War II, he published some short stories in pulp Or more reputable magazines such as science fiction analog, Truth or Unknown. Once peace was restored, L.Ron Hubbard resumed his notebooks and published several works, including Back to tomorrowPerhaps one of his most successful.

We are then in 1950, and among his other books that will rock the world: Dianetics – the modern science of mental health. A book that lays the foundations of Scientology and makes the medical profession interact, which requires scientific investigation to verify the theories put forward by the author.

From that moment on, the American began a faithful marriage with controversies: from Australia to New Zealand through South Africa and Canada, various governments are investigating Scientology’s activities: Zimbabwe asks him to leave the country; In 1968, it was announced ‘Unwanted stranger’ from the United Kingdom; Nine years later, the FBI raided the cult offices. In 1979, he was convicted of fraud and sentenced to four years in prison, then disappeared from circulation before dying of a stroke on January 24, 1986 on his California ranch.

jazz ecstasy

Not being on the media front, L. posted. Ron Hubbard in 1982 battle field (adapted for cinema in 2000 with John Travolta and Forest Whitaker in the cast), a 1,050-page science fiction novel featuring the cosmic saga of brave Johnny Goodboy Tyler. He knows the age is science fiction –And the And the blade runner It was a huge box office success – and sees in his book the story of Dantesque, able to dominate the work of Steven Spielberg and Ridley Scott.

For this, he even thought of an original soundtrack, which he imagined alongside his jazz friend and disguised Scientologist, Chick Correa: Space Jazza grandiose, almost pretentious act where the fusion of jazz meets opera-rock in dated pieces, where the beats stretch and where the instruments pile up (notably one of the first Fairlight CMI sampler machines, launched in 1979 at $50,000.. .) for the sole purpose of impressing the show.

No pot: Space Jazz It failed and somewhat diminished the musical ambitions of L. Ron Hubbard. Quite the contrary, in short, what source power Recorded a few years ago along with other scholars aboard the (Apollo) boat where the Sea Organization is, this church brings together Scientology’s most devoted members – all of whom must then sign a token contract worth $1 billion annually to prove their commitment to the cult.

At the time, Craig Ferreira (guitar), Neil Sarfati (saxophone), Tom Rodriguez (bongo), Tamia Arbuckle (bass), and Charlie Rush (drums) all wore almost long hair. They have bushy mustaches and they all obviously have a distinct taste for progressive melodies and rhythms from Africa: at the time of contemplation of the record, the members were cruising the Mediterranean. It seems that in Madeira, during Christmas 1973, the stars of Apollo formed, almost involuntarily. “The truth is that there was no band before thatsays Tom Rodriguez in an interview with the Red Bull Academy of Music. There were only people who had their musical instruments.”

To read the rare testimonies of musicians, they all seem to have joined Scientology due to a lack of landmarks, in search of answers. However, according to Neil Sarfati, new to Red Bull, their experience on the boat is far from ideal: the rooms are cramped, near the rivets and ship steel, while the stench wafts over the cabin and on those working days sometimes stretches for more than fifteen hours. “Remember that deprivation of food and sleep is a great way to control people. Once we got the money, the first thing we did was look for a nutritious meal in the dry land,” Regard.

Sailing is no longer fun

Neil Sarfati and the other musicians may be treated better than the rest of the crew, but the group’s rhythm is just as strong. For two years, I played Apollo Stars almost every night. To this we must add the rehearsals (individual and group), evenings sometimes lasting until 2 am, solitude and L. Ron Hubbard’s quasi-authoritarian directives: musicians must give a dollar for every time on a bad note. Played, thus increasing pressure within the group.

Accurately describing the role of the teacher, his former friends evoke a spiritual figure, less involved in musical creativity than in the philosophy of the Apollo stars.

And so, when Neil Sarfati claimed that he had never heard of L. Ron Hubbard playing an instrument, simply stating that the latter saw in the group a way to manage his convalescence after a serious motorcycle accident in 1973, Craig Ferreira, remembers this requirement from his mentor. “We were asked to study the basics of rhythm all the way back to Africa, and although I didn’t really understand why we did it, it was coolre, still in Red Bull. He encouraged us to imitate the sounds of some of these ancient instruments on modern instruments.”

The problem is, that’s not his only requirement: Every night, L. Ron Hubbard films the band, holds meetings to criticize what he didn’t like on stage, and makes sure no one turns up. He put his two cents into his artistic vision. For example, David Bowie’s former collaborator Mike Garson ended up throwing in the towel, realizing that it was impossible for him to come up with any idea.

Once Apollo made landfall in 1975, the band broke up, leaving behind several unreleased recordings, including an album of Beatles covers.

As for L. Ron Hubbard, it leaves a mystery swirling around him: If we end up understanding that he used boats to escape from the American authorities, who then doubled down on raids on cult offices, it is always possible to wonder what exactly he was looking for to cut out the Apollo stars. . pressure relief valve? A way to indoctrinate crowds through music? A way to control Scientology members, in the ranks of these camps where they are banished (with humiliating treatment, deprivation, and psychological threats) for months who plan to turn their backs on the sect?

We can hardly trust this letter written by the teacher in 1938: Capturing my dreams in words, in paint or in music, and then seeing them alive, is the greatest form of excitement, as long as these things belong entirely to me, unframed by other opinions and unaffected by the hands of others.


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