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Was Ayn Rand a Scientologist?

Have you wondered whether Ayn Rand (founder of Objectivism) and Ron Hubbard (founder of Scientology) might have been secret soul mates?

There's no evidence they ever met, but their lives, their philosophies, and the impact they have on people's lives are remarkably similar.

Consider:

  • Both are now integral parts of the business world; Rand in Finance and Hubbard in Hollywood.
  • Both were hack writers whose prose was truly gawd-awful but managed to write bestsellers.
  • Both propounded a philosophy that turns science into religion and touts reason as a panacea.
  • Both surrounded themselves with cadres of hero worshipers who believed they could do no wrong.
  • Both were elitists who believed their followers to vastly superior to the rest of us mere mortals.
  • Both espoused uprooting of irrational premises while being blind to their own personal irrationalities.
  • Both considered perceptual data (what you see and hear) as objectively real and understandable.
  • Both recommend a years-long course of study, after which you become a enlightened being.
  • Both were against all rule-by-force and assert that rational men have no real conflicts of interest.
  • Both were against government regulations and see government as a force for evil rather than good.
  • Both had severe emotional problems, according to objective biographies written by non-believers.
  • Both were denounced by associates who claimed that their leader actually had feet of clay.
  • People who read Rand or Hubbard, and buy into what they read, become obnoxious and annoying.
All that's needed at this point is for the new Atlas Shrugged movie to be as bad as Battlefield Earth, and it would be an almost perfect match!

Anyway, here's my idea for some truly great entertainment.

Let's put all the Scientologists and Objectivists into an arena (Staples Center in L.A., perhaps?) and let them fight it out over which of their founders was more brilliant. We can hand out copies of Dianetics and Atlas Shrugged to use as weapons.

My money is on the Objectivists, because Atlas Shrugged is a weightier tome.

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NOTE: Some of the observations above come from the excellent book "The Ayn Rand Cult" by Jeff Walker (Open Court Publishing, 1999)
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