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Xenu (pronounced /ˈziːnuː/[1][2][3] ZEE-noo), also Xemu, was, according to the founder of Scientology and science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, the dictator of the "Galactic Confederacy" who, 75 million years ago, brought billions[4][5] of his people to Earth in a DC-8-like spacecraft, stacked them around volcanoes and killed them using hydrogen bombs. Official Scientology dogma holds that the essences of these many people remained, and that they form around people in modern times, causing them spiritual harm.[1][6] Members of the Church of Scientology widely deny or try to hide the Xenu story.[7][8]

These events are known within Scientology as "Incident II",[9] and the traumatic memories associated with them as The Wall of Fire or the R6 implant. The story of Xenu is part of Scientologist teachings about extraterrestrial civilizations and alien interventions in Earthly events, collectively described as space opera by Hubbard. Hubbard detailed the story in Operating Thetan level III (OT III) in 1967, warning that the R6 "implant" (past trauma)[10] was "calculated to kill (by pneumonia etc) [sic] anyone who attempts to solve it".[10][11][12]

The Xenu story is part of the Church of Scientology's secret "Advanced Technology",[9] normally only revealed to members who have already contributed large amounts of money.[13] The church avoids mention of Xenu in public statements and has gone to considerable effort to maintain the story's confidentiality, including legal action on the grounds of both copyright and trade secrecy.[14] Despite this, much material on Xenu has leaked to the public via court documents, copies of Hubbard's notes, and the Internet.[7] In commentary on the impact of the Xenu text, academic scholars have discussed and analyzed the writings by Hubbard and their place within Scientology within the contexts of science fiction,[15] UFO religions,[16] and creation myth.[17]

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