[Photo featured is of Qian Sanqiang towards the end of his life]


In some recent additions to the CIA’s Reading Room, under ‘scientology’ the following item came up.

Main CIA page about it, and the internet archive save of the PDF (it’s a long one).

On page 62 –

Qian Sanqiang
//Ziran BianZhengfa Togxun//
00/02/1982, V0004, N0001, PP 0039-0044
Talk on Scientology, Management of Scientific Research
11 PP
JPRS 81620

Say what? Says me, what the heck is that about?

Starting with who is (or rather was) Qian, here’s a little info.

New York Times Obituary: Qian Sanqiang, Chinese Physicist On Atom Bomb Team, Dies at 79 By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF,
Published: July 3, 1992

Qian Sanqiang (pronounced cheeyen sahn-cheeyahng) was sympathetic to the Communist revolution in 1949 and resolved to help the Communists “build the country.” But while many scholars soon found themselves under suspicion because of their foreign contacts, Mr. Qian was propelled into the circles of power because of his knowledge of nuclear physics.

Mao Zedong apparently decided by the end of 1954 that China should try to build a nuclear bomb.

Some days later, on Jan. 15, 1955, Mr. Qian and other experts were invited to a conference room in Zhongnanhai, the central leadership compound in Beijing, to brief Mao and other Politburo members on the prospects for nuclear weapons. The scientists put some uranium on a table and let the Politburo members approach with a geiger counter and listen to it tick.

After listening to the presentation, Mao raised a glass of mao-tai and toasted China’s newborn nuclear weapons program. According to a recent history, “China Builds the Bomb,” by John Wilson Lewis and Xue Litai, Mao invited the group to dinner and the Politburo decided to go ahead with the nuclear weapons program, codenamed “02.”

“He made important contributions to China’s nuclear research, atomic energy and development of atomic and hydrogen bombs,” the New China New Agency said in its obituary of Mr. Qian. “He helped educate the new generation of Chinese nuclear physicists.”

The result was China’s announcement on Oct. 16, 1964, that it exploded an atomic bomb. But even before then, perhaps five years earlier, Mr. Qian and other scientists had been asked to try to develop a next-generation hydrogen bomb that would have far more explosive power than the simple atomic weapon that was being developed first. That hydrogen bomb was tested in 1966 and 1967 and gave China additional military and diplomatic weight in international affairs.


Please note that he didn’t actually join the CNP until this very time of 1954 when they wanted him to build a nuclear bomb. He had come back from France with his wife He Zehui in 1948 but didn’t actually do anything with Mao until six years later.

Qian and He Zehui on way back to China – 1948

China Wiki –

Qian was one of the founders of domestic nuclear industry. Under his leadership, China in the 1950s built its first heavy water reactor and first cyclotron, thus launching its research work in reactor physics, reactor engineering technology, radiobiology, radioactive isotope preparation, high energy accelerator technology and controlled thermonuclear fusion. After the Soviet Union ceased giving China any technological support, Qian immediately selected a group of excellent nuclear scientists and sent them to key positions in the No.2 Machinery Industry Ministry to be responsible for atomic bomb research. At the same time, he cooperated with CAS leaders to solve key problems, making great contributions to the birth of China’s first atomic and hydrogen bombs. As early as 1960, he organized experimental groups to start research on a hydrogen bomb, laying the theoretical foundation for the technology. As a result, China succeeded in developing its first hydrogen bomb 32 months after exploding its first atomic bomb – an unprecedented achievement.


There is a book that suggests that it was Russian Spy (and British citizen) Klaus Fuchs that gave Qian the leg up he needed on how to develop a nuclear bomb. Although there is some controversy as to this account, according to Thomas Reed and Daniel Stillman, the authors of The Nuclear Express: A Political History of the Bomb and Its Proliferation (2009) when Fuchs was released from British prison (Wakefield) on 23 June 1959, he promptly emigrated to the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). He then allegedly gave a tutorial to Qian Sanqiang and other Chinese physicists which then helped them to develop the first Chinese atomic bomb, the 596, which was tested five years later at the Lop Nur test base.

China A-Bomb test, October 16, 1964 at Lop Nur


But why is the term scientology appearing in papers by him and about Chinese science? After all, the Church of Scientology didn’t even translate much of its materials into Chinese until around 2012 or so, as per its website.

There are a number of additional publications showing this use of both the terms scientology and also a different term of scientiology – note the extra ‘i’.

For example.

On page 3 of this publication by the Defense Technical Information Center, we see BOTH the terms scientology and scientiology.

Role of Science, Technology in Economic, Social Development Discussed

Role of Scientology in Reaching China’s Economic Goals

Anhui Vice Governor Interviewed on Science, Technology Work

Economic Policy Regarding Industrial Technology Discussed

In another DTIC publication that has a transcript of an actual radio broadcast by Qian, we can get a little context on what he is using this term about. (any bolding or other emphasis are mine unless otherwise noted)

Page 72 –

Title given broadcast is:

Commentary Hailing Interdisciplinary Science
Beijing GUANGMING RIBAO in Chinese 17 May 85 p 2
[Article by Qian Sanqiang [6929 0005 1730]; “Welcoming the New Era of Interdisciplinary Science”]

Page 73 –

As this multitude of interdisciplinary sciences springs forth, the great gulf which now exists between the natural and the social sciences will of necessity narrow gradually, culminating in the forceful tide of the march of the natural sciences toward the social sciences foretold by Lenin. [that bolded part sounds a lot like some of L. Ron Hubbard’s early descriptions of Scientology]

Scientology has a famous basic tenet which amounts to saying that the breakthrough points in science always occur at the crossroads of social necessity and the internal logic of science. What is recounted above refers to the internal logic of scientific development, which is to say that when the vanguard of physics is obstructed, intelligence must shift to another area or else “fall back” to the realm of an older branch of learning. This is what stimulates the appearance of one interdisciplinary science after another. In which case, what is it that society needs? Obviously, what Chinese society needs until the end of the century is what four modernizations require.

…In another aspect, there is a special need for development of interdisciplinary sciences which relate to strategy, planning, management and leadership of the “four modernizations,” such as scientiology, management studies, systems engineering, optimization studies, policymaking sciences, urban sciences, thought-process sciences, logic sciences, and leadership sciences, etc.

Page 75 –

As Comrade Qian Xuelin … has pointed out in his discussion of the branching structure of fields of learning in scientiology, the scientiology of politics needs to be studied. Later, several middle aged scientiology workers, echoing Mr Qian’s opinion, got together with the broad mass of cadres and set up this new field of learning.

Thus, a science of leadership should be incorporated into the category of the scientiology of politics.


Kinda spooky the similarities there, for those out there that know the early days of scientology.

At first I thought that scientiology was a typo, but now I’m thinking I have just discovered another source, and perhaps a more likely one, for where L. Ron Hubbard chose his scientology term from.

Note: I never did subscribe to the Max Hauri/Otfried Krumpholz (European scientology front group called Ron’s Org) Nordenholz theory as being the source for a number of reasons.

The fact that a communist nuclear physicist, cut-off from the world in many ways (theoretically) would be using either of the two awfully similar terms did not strike me as an accident.

I think I have found why.

For any of you versed in scientology-lore out there, remember when Hubbard would go on about the Logos, and the ‘science’ of studying knowledge or the ‘science of knowing how to know’? And how he would go on about science advancing too far ahead of the ‘humanities’?

Well, buried in Wikipedia’s article called logology – meaning: science of science – we find an interesting source.

The article first explains that term itself.

Logology (“the science of science”) is the study of all aspects of science and of its practitioners—aspects philosophical, biological, psychological, societal, historical, political, institutional, financial.

The term “logology” is used here as a synonym for the equivalent term “science of science” and the semi-equivalent term “sociology of science”.

The term “logology” is back-formed from “-logy” (as in “geology”, “anthropology”, “sociology”, etc.) in the sense of the “study of study” or the “science of science”—or, more plainly, the “study of science”.

So far so good, that’s fairly well explained.

But now we get to this part.

A dozen years later, two Polish sociologists of a slightly younger generation, Stanisław Ossowski and Maria Ossowska (the Ossowscy, husband and wife) took up the same subject in a more compact and better known 1935 article on “The Science of Science”. They wrote:

The interest taken in science as [a] field of human culture is something new. It was partly derived from historical research, partly called forth by the development of modern sociology, and partly by practical needs (… the encouragement and organization of science). Research in this field is much younger than the science of religion, than the science of economic production, than the science of art.

The Ossowscy — the 1935 English-language version of whose article first introduced the term “science of science” to the world — postulated that the new discipline would subsume such earlier disciplines as epistemology, the philosophy of science, the “psychology of science”, and the “sociology of science”.

It would also concern itself with [questions] of a practical and organizing character … hitherto chiefly [addressed] by institutions [that have] promot[ed] science … [questions such as] social and state policy in relation to science, the organization of higher institutions of learning, of research institutes and of scientific expeditions, protection of scientific workers, etc. [Science of science would also concern itself with] historical [questions]: [t]he history of the conception of science … of the scientist … of the separate disciplines, and of learning in general…

Sounding very Hubbard scientology-esque there. Especially his scientology axioms, the book 8-8008, places where Hubbard goes on about epistemology, and so on.

But here’s the kicker.

The Ossowscy also referenced the 20th-century German philosopher Werner Schingnitz (1899–1953) who was quite the virulent anti-Jewish writer, by the way.

[Schingnitz] who, in fragmentary 1931 remarks, had enumerated some possible types of research in the science of science and had proposed a name for it: “scientiology”.

So, how interesting, eh?

We have found what I think is a far more likely reason/source that Hubbard pulled his term ‘scientology’ from, especially considering his early writings on the subject (before he turned it into a religion as requested by the CIA in 1954).

The fact that a communist Chinese nuclear physicist used it so often – and taking into consideration Hubbard’s drop-out from the nuclear physics course he took back in the early 1930’s – is just plain spooky.

It’s amazing what you can find out there if you’re willing to look.

Virginia McClaughry


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