Time Cover Story On Scientology

The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power


 Sunday, June 24, 2001,9171,156952,00.html  

By all appearances, Noah Lottick of Kingston, Pa., had been a normal, happy 24-year-old who was looking for his place in the world. On the day last June when his parents drove to New York City to claim his body, they were nearly catatonic with grief. The young Russian-studies scholar had jumped from a 10th-floor window of the Milford Plaza Hotel and bounced off the hood of a stretch limousine. When the police arrived, his fingers were still clutching $171 in cash, virtually the only money he hadn't yet turned over to the Church of Scientology, the self-help "philosophy" group he had discovered just seven months earlier.

His death inspired his father Edward, a physician, to start his own investigation of the church. "We thought Scientology was something like Dale Carnegie," Lottick says. "I now believe it's a school for psychopaths. Their so-called therapies are manipulations. They take the best and brightest people and destroy them." The Lotticks want to sue the church for contributing to their son's death, but the prospect has them frightened. For nearly 40 years, the big business of Scientology has shielded itself exquisitely behind the First Amendment as well as a battery of high-priced criminal lawyers and shady private detectives.

The Church of Scientology, started by science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard to "clear" people of unhappiness, portrays itself as a religion. In reality the church is a hugely profitable global racket that survives by intimidating members and critics in a Mafia-like manner. At times during the past decade, prosecutions against Scientology seemed to be curbing its menace. Eleven top Scientologists, including Hubbard's wife, were sent to prison in the early 1980s for infiltrating, burglarizing and wiretapping more than 100 private and government agencies in attempts to block their investigations. In recent years hundreds of longtime Scientology adherents -- many charging that they were mentally or physically abused -- have quit the church and criticized it at their own risk. Some have sued the church and won; others have settled for amounts in excess of $500,000. In various cases judges have labeled the church "schizophrenic and paranoid" and "corrupt, sinister and dangerous."

Yet the outrage and litigation have failed to squelch Scientology. The group, which boasts 700 centers in 65 countries, threatens to become more insidious and pervasive than ever. Scientology is trying to go mainstream, a strategy that has sparked a renewed law-enforcement campaign against the church. Many of the group's followers have been accused of committing financial scams, while the church is busy attracting the unwary through a wide array of front groups in such businesses as publishing, consulting, health care and even remedial education.

In Hollywood, Scientology has assembled a star-studded roster of followers by aggressively recruiting and regally pampering them at the church's "Celebrity Centers," a chain of clubhouses that offer expensive counseling and career guidance. Adherents include screen idols Tom Cruise and John Travolta, actresses Kirstie Alley, Mimi Rogers and Anne Archer, Palm Springs mayor and performer Sonny Bono, jazzman Chick Corea and even Nancy Cartwright, the voice of cartoon star Bart Simpson. Rank-and-file members, however, are dealt a less glamorous Scientology.

According to the Cult Awareness Network, whose 23 chapters monitor more than 200 "mind control" cults, no group prompts more telephone pleas for help than does Scientology. Says Cynthia Kisser, the network's Chicago-based executive director: "Scientology is quite likely the most ruthless, the most classically terroristic, the most litigious and the most lucrative cult the country has ever seen. No cult extracts more money from its members." Agrees Vicki Aznaran, who was one of Scientology's six key leaders until she bolted from the church in 1987: "This is a criminal organization, day in and day out. It makes Jim and Tammy ((Bakker)) look like kindergarten."

To explore Scientology's reach, TIME conducted more than 150 interviews and reviewed hundreds of court records and internal Scientology documents. Church officials refused to be interviewed. The investigation paints a picture of a depraved yet thriving enterprise. Most cults fail to outlast their founder, but Scientology has prospered since Hubbard's death in 1986. In a court filing, one of the cult's many entities -- the Church of Spiritual Technology -- listed $503 million in income just for 1987. High-level defectors say the parent organization has squirreled away an estimated $400 million in bank accounts in Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Cyprus. Scientology probably has about 50,000 active members, far fewer than the 8 million the group claims. But in one sense, that inflated figure rings true: millions of people have been affected in one way or another by Hubbard's bizarre creation.

Scientology is now run by David Miscavige, 31, a high school dropout and second-generation church member. Defectors describe him as cunning, ruthless and so paranoid about perceived enemies that he kept plastic wrap over his glass of water. His obsession is to attain credibility for Scientology in the 1990s. Among other tactics, the group:

-- Retains public relations powerhouse Hill and Knowlton to help shed the church's fringe-group image.

-- Joined such household names as Sony and Pepsi as a main sponsor of Ted Turner's Goodwill Games.

-- Buys massive quantities of its own books from retail stores to propel the titles onto best-seller lists.

-- Runs full-page ads in such publications as Newsweek and Business Week that call Scientology a "philosophy," along with a plethora of TV ads touting the group's books.

-- Recruits wealthy and respectable professionals through a web of consulting groups that typically hide their ties to Scientology.

The founder of this enterprise was part storyteller, part flimflam man. Born in Nebraska in 1911, Hubbard served in the Navy during World War II and soon afterward complained to the Veterans Administration about his "suicidal inclinations" and his "seriously affected" mind. Nevertheless, Hubbard was a moderately successful writer of pulp science fiction. Years later, church brochures described him falsely as an "extensively decorated" World War II hero who was crippled and blinded in action, twice pronounced dead and miraculously cured through Scientology. Hubbard's "doctorate" from "Sequoia University" was a fake mail-order degree. In a 1984 case in which the church sued a Hubbard biographical researcher, a California judge concluded that its founder was "a pathological liar."

Hubbard wrote one of Scientology's sacred texts, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, in 1950. In it he introduced a crude psychotherapeutic technique he called "auditing." He also created a simplified lie detector (called an "E-meter") that was designed to measure electrical changes in the skin while subjects discussed intimate details of their past. Hubbard argued that unhappiness sprang from mental aberrations (or "engrams") caused by early traumas. Counseling sessions with the E-meter, he claimed, could knock out the engrams, cure blindness and even improve a person's intelligence and appearance.

Hubbard kept adding steps, each more costly, for his followers to climb. In the 1960s the guru decreed that humans are made of clusters of spirits (or "thetans") who were banished to earth some 75 million years ago by a cruel galactic ruler named Xenu. Naturally, those thetans had to be audited.

An Internal Revenue Service ruling in 1967 stripped Scientology's mother church of its tax-exempt status. A federal court ruled in 1971 that Hubbard's medical claims were bogus and that E-meter auditing could no longer be called a scientific treatment. Hubbard responded by going fully religious, seeking First Amendment protection for Scientology's strange rites. His counselors started sporting clerical collars. Chapels were built, franchises became "missions," fees became "fixed donations," and Hubbard's comic-book cosmology became "sacred scriptures."

During the early 1970s, the IRS conducted its own auditing sessions and proved that Hubbard was skimming millions of dollars from the church, laundering the money through dummy corporations in Panama and stashing it in Swiss bank accounts. Moreover, church members stole IRS documents, filed false tax returns and harassed the agency's employees. By late 1985, with high-level defectors accusing Hubbard of having stolen as much as $200 million from the church, the IRS was seeking an indictment of Hubbard for tax fraud. Scientology members "worked day and night" shredding documents the IRS sought, according to defector Aznaran, who took part in the scheme. Hubbard, who had been in hiding for five years, died before the criminal case could be prosecuted.

Today the church invents costly new services with all the zeal of its founder. Scientology doctrine warns that even adherents who are "cleared" of engrams face grave spiritual dangers unless they are pushed to higher and more expensive levels. According to the church's latest price list, recruits -- "raw meat," as Hubbard called them -- take auditing sessions that cost as much as $1,000 an hour, or $12,500 for a 12 1/2-hour "intensive."

Psychiatrists say these sessions can produce a drugged-like, mind-controlled euphoria that keeps customers coming back for more. To pay their fees, newcomers can earn commissions by recruiting new members, become auditors themselves (Miscavige did so at age 12), or join the church staff and receive free counseling in exchange for what their written contracts describe as a "billion years" of labor. "Make sure that lots of bodies move through the shop," implored Hubbard in one of his bulletins to officials. "Make money. Make more money. Make others produce so as to make money . . . However you get them in or why, just do it."

Harriet Baker learned the hard way about Scientology's business of selling religion. When Baker, 73, lost her husband to cancer, a Scientologist turned up at her Los Angeles home peddling a $1,300 auditing package to cure her grief. Some $15,000 later, the Scientologists discovered that her house was debt free. They arranged a $45,000 mortgage, which they pressured her to tap for more auditing until Baker's children helped their mother snap out of her daze. Last June, Baker demanded a $27,000 refund for unused services, prompting two cult members to show up at her door unannounced with an E-meter to interrogate her. Baker never got the money and, financially strapped, was forced to sell her house in September.

Before Noah Lottick killed himself, he had paid more than $5,000 for church counseling. His behavior had also become strange. He once remarked to his parents that his Scientology mentors could actually read minds. When his father suffered a major heart attack, Noah insisted that it was purely psychosomatic. Five days before he jumped, Noah burst into his parents' home and demanded to know why they were spreading "false rumors" about him -- a delusion that finally prompted his father to call a psychiatrist.

It was too late. "From Noah's friends at Dianetics" read the card that accompanied a bouquet of flowers at Lottick's funeral. Yet no Scientology staff members bothered to show up. A week earlier, local church officials had given Lottick's parents a red-carpet tour of their center. A cult leader told Noah's parents that their son had been at the church just hours before he disappeared -- but the church denied this story as soon as the body was identified. True to form, the cult even haggled with the Lotticks over $3,000 their son had paid for services he never used, insisting that Noah had intended it as a "donation."

The church has invented hundreds of goods and services for which members are urged to give "donations." Are you having trouble "moving swiftly up the Bridge" -- that is, advancing up the stepladder of enlightenment? Then you can have your case reviewed for a mere $1,250 "donation." Want to know "why a thetan hangs on to the physical universe?" Try 52 of Hubbard's tape- recorded speeches from 1952, titled "Ron's Philadelphia Doctorate Course Lectures," for $2,525. Next: nine other series of the same sort. For the collector, gold-and-leather-bound editions of 22 of Hubbard's books (and bookends) on subjects ranging from Scientology ethics to radiation can be had for just $1,900.

To gain influence and lure richer, more sophisticated followers, Scientology has lately resorted to a wide array of front groups and financial scams. Among them:

CONSULTING. Sterling Management Systems, formed in 1983, has been ranked in recent years by Inc. magazine as one of America's fastest-growing private companies (estimated 1988 revenues: $20 million). Sterling regularly mails a free newsletter to more than 300,000 health-care professionals, mostly dentists, promising to increase their incomes dramatically. The firm offers seminars and courses that typically cost $10,000. But Sterling's true aim is to hook customers for Scientology. "The church has a rotten product, so they package it as something else," says Peter Georgiades, a Pittsburgh attorney who represents Sterling victims. "It's a kind of bait and switch." Sterling's founder, dentist Gregory Hughes, is now under investigation by California's Board of Dental Examiners for incompetence. Nine lawsuits are pending against him for malpractice (seven others have been settled), mostly for orthodontic work on children.

Many dentists who have unwittingly been drawn into the cult are filing or threatening lawsuits as well. Dentist Robert Geary of Medina, Ohio, who entered a Sterling seminar in 1988, endured "the most extreme high-pressure sales tactics I have ever faced." Sterling officials told Geary, 45, that their firm was not linked to Scientology, he says. But Geary claims they eventually convinced him that he and his wife Dorothy had personal problems that required auditing. Over five months, the Gearys say, they spent $130,000 for services, plus $50,000 for "gold-embossed, investment-grade" books signed by Hubbard. Geary contends that Scientologists not only called his bank to increase his credit-card limit but also forged his signature on a $20,000 loan application. "It was insane," he recalls. "I couldn't even get an accounting from them of what I was paying for." At one point, the Gearys claim, Scientologists held Dorothy hostage for two weeks in a mountain cabin, after which she was hospitalized for a nervous breakdown.

Last October, Sterling broke some bad news to another dentist, Glover Rowe of Gadsden, Ala., and his wife Dee. Tests showed that unless they signed up for auditing, Glover's practice would fail, and Dee would someday abuse their child. The next month the Rowes flew to Glendale, Calif., where they shuttled daily from a local hotel to a Dianetics center. "We thought they were brilliant people because they seemed to know so much about us," recalls Dee. "Then we realized our hotel room must have been bugged." After bolting from the center, $23,000 poorer, the Rowes say, they were chased repeatedly by Scientologists on foot and in cars. Dentists aren't the only ones at risk. Scientology also makes pitches to chiropractors, podiatrists and veterinarians.

PUBLIC INFLUENCE. One front, the Way to Happiness Foundation, has distributed to children in thousands of the nation's public schools more than 3.5 million copies of a booklet Hubbard wrote on morality. The church calls the scheme "the largest dissemination project in Scientology history." Applied Scholastics is the name of still another front, which is attempting to install a Hubbard tutorial program in public schools, primarily those populated by minorities. The group also plans a 1,000-acre campus, where it will train educators to teach various Hubbard methods. The disingenuously named Citizens Commission on Human Rights is a Scientology group at war with psychiatry, its primary competitor. The commission typically issues reports aimed at discrediting particular psychiatrists and the field in general. The CCHR is also behind an all-out war against Eli Lilly, the maker of Prozac, the nation's top-selling antidepression drug. Despite scant evidence, the group's members -- who call themselves "psychbusters" -- claim that Prozac drives people to murder or suicide. Through mass mailings, appearances on talk shows and heavy lobbying, CCHR has hurt drug sales and helped spark dozens of lawsuits against Lilly.

Another Scientology-linked group, the Concerned Businessmen's Association of America, holds antidrug contests and awards $5,000 grants to schools as a way to recruit students and curry favor with education officials. West Virginia Senator John D. Rockefeller IV unwittingly commended the CBAA in 1987 on the Senate floor. Last August author Alex Haley was the keynote speaker at its annual awards banquet in Los Angeles. Says Haley: "I didn't know much about that group going in. I'm a Methodist." Ignorance about Scientology can be embarrassing: two months ago, Illinois Governor Jim Edgar, noting that Scientology's founder "has solved the aberrations of the human mind," proclaimed March 13 "L. Ron Hubbard Day." He rescinded the proclamation in late March, once he learned who Hubbard really was.

HEALTH CARE. HealthMed, a chain of clinics run by Scientologists, promotes a grueling and excessive system of saunas, exercise and vitamins designed by Hubbard to purify the body. Experts denounce the regime as quackery and potentially harmful, yet HealthMed solicits unions and public agencies for contracts. The chain is plugged heavily in a new book, Diet for a Poisoned Planet, by journalist David Steinman, who concludes that scores of common foods (among them: peanuts, bluefish, peaches and cottage cheese) are dangerous.

Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop labeled the book "trash," and the Food and Drug Administration issued a paper in October that claims Steinman distorts his facts. "HealthMed is a gateway to Scientology, and Steinman's book is a sorting mechanism," says physician William Jarvis, who is head of the National Council Against Health Fraud. Steinman, who describes Hubbard favorably as a "researcher," denies any ties to the church and contends, "HealthMed has no affiliation that I know of with Scientology."

DRUG TREATMENT. Hubbard's purification treatments are the mainstay of Narconon, a Scientology-run chain of 33 alcohol and drug rehabilitation centers -- some in prisons under the name "Criminon" -- in 12 countries. Narconon, a classic vehicle for drawing addicts into the cult, now plans to open what it calls the world's largest treatment center, a 1,400-bed facility on an Indian reservation near Newkirk, Okla. (pop. 2,400). At a 1989 ceremony in Newkirk, the Association for Better Living and Education presented Narconon a check for $200,000 and a study praising its work. The association turned out to be part of Scientology itself. Today the town is battling to keep out the cult, which has fought back through such tactics as sending private detectives to snoop on the mayor and the local newspaper publisher.

FINANCIAL SCAMS. Three Florida Scientologists, including Ronald Bernstein, a big contributor to the church's international "war chest," pleaded guilty in March to using their rare-coin dealership as a money laundry. Other notorious activities by Scientologists include making the shady Vancouver stock exchange even shadier (see box) and plotting to plant operatives in the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and Export-Import Bank of the U.S. The alleged purpose of this scheme: to gain inside information on which countries are going to be denied credit so that Scientology-linked traders can make illicit profits by taking "short" positions in those countries' currencies.

In the stock market the practice of "shorting" involves borrowing shares of publicly traded companies in the hope that the price will go down before the stocks must be bought on the market and returned to the lender. The Feshbach brothers of Palo Alto, Calif. -- Kurt, Joseph and Matthew -- have become the leading short sellers in the U.S., with more than $500 million under management. The Feshbachs command a staff of about 60 employees and claim to have earned better returns than the Dow Jones industrial average for most of the 1980s. And, they say, they owe it all to the teachings of Scientology, whose "war chest" has received more than $1 million from the family.

The Feshbachs also embrace the church's tactics; the brothers are the terrors of the stock exchanges. In congressional hearings in 1989, the heads of several companies claimed that Feshbach operatives have spread false information to government agencies and posed in various guises -- such as a Securities and Exchange Commission official -- in an effort to discredit their companies and drive the stocks down. Michael Russell, who ran a chain of business journals, testified that a Feshbach employee called his bankers and interfered with his loans. Sometimes the Feshbachs send private detectives to dig up dirt on firms, which is then shared with business reporters, brokers and fund managers.

The Feshbachs, who wear jackets bearing the slogan "stock busters," insist they run a clean shop. But as part of a current probe into possible insider stock trading, federal officials are reportedly investigating whether the Feshbachs received confidential information from FDA employees. The brothers seem aligned with Scientology's war on psychiatry and medicine: many of their targets are health and biotechnology firms. "Legitimate short selling performs a public service by deflating hyped stocks," says Robert Flaherty, the editor of Equities magazine and a harsh critic of the brothers. "But the Feshbachs have damaged scores of good start-ups."

Occasionally a Scientologist's business antics land him in jail. Last August a former devotee named Steven Fishman began serving a five-year prison term in Florida. His crime: stealing blank stock-confirmation slips from his employer, a major brokerage house, to use as proof that he owned stock entitling him to join dozens of successful class-action lawsuits. Fishman made roughly $1 million this way from 1983 to 1988 and spent as much as 30% of the loot on Scientology books and tapes.

Scientology denies any tie to the Fishman scam, a claim strongly disputed by both Fishman and his longtime psychiatrist, Uwe Geertz, a prominent Florida hypnotist. Both men claim that when arrested, Fishman was ordered by the church to kill Geertz and then do an "EOC," or end of cycle, which is church jargon for suicide.

BOOK PUBLISHING. Scientology mischiefmaking has even moved to the book industry. Since 1985 at least a dozen Hubbard books, printed by a church company, have made best-seller lists. They range from a 5,000-page sci-fi decology (Black Genesis, The Enemy Within, An Alien Affair) to the 40-year-old Dianetics. In 1988 the trade publication Publishers Weekly awarded the dead author a plaque commemorating the appearance of Dianetics on its best-seller list for 100 consecutive weeks.

Critics pan most of Hubbard's books as unreadable, while defectors claim that church insiders are sometimes the real authors. Even so, Scientology has sent out armies of its followers to buy the group's books at such major chains as B. Dalton's and Waldenbooks to sustain the illusion of a best-selling author. A former Dalton's manager says that some books arrived in his store with the chain's price stickers already on them, suggesting that copies are being recycled. Scientology claims that sales of Hubbard books now top 90 million worldwide. The scheme, set up to gain converts and credibility, is coupled with a radio and TV advertising campaign virtually unparalleled in the book industry.

Scientology devotes vast resources to squelching its critics. Since 1986 Hubbard and his church have been the subject of four unfriendly books, all released by small yet courageous publishers. In each case, the writers have been badgered and heavily sued. One of Hubbard's policies was that all perceived enemies are "fair game" and subject to being "tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed." Those who criticize the church -- journalists, doctors, lawyers and even judges -- often find themselves engulfed in litigation, stalked by private eyes, framed for fictional crimes, beaten up or threatened with death. Psychologist Margaret Singer, 69, an outspoken Scientology critic and professor at the University of California, Berkeley, now travels regularly under an assumed name to avoid harassment.

After the Los Angeles Times published a negative series on the church last summer, Scientologists spent an estimated $1 million to plaster the reporters' names on hundreds of billboards and bus placards across the city. Above their names were quotations taken out of context to portray the church in a positive light.

The church's most fearsome advocates are its lawyers. Hubbard warned his followers in writing to "beware of attorneys who tell you not to sue . . . the purpose of the suit is to harass and discourage rather than to win." Result: Scientology has brought hundreds of suits against its perceived enemies and today pays an estimated $20 million annually to more than 100 lawyers.

One legal goal of Scientology is to bankrupt the opposition or bury it under paper. The church has 71 active lawsuits against the IRS alone. One of them, Miscavige vs. IRS, has required the U.S. to produce an index of 52,000 pages of documents. Boston attorney Michael Flynn, who helped Scientology victims from 1979 to 1987, personally endured 14 frivolous lawsuits, all of them dismissed. Another lawyer, Joseph Yanny, believes the church "has so subverted justice and the judicial system that it should be barred from seeking equity in any court." He should know: Yanny represented the cult until 1987, when, he says, he was asked to help church officials steal medical records to blackmail an opposing attorney (who was allegedly beaten up instead). Since Yanny quit representing the church, he has been the target of death threats, burglaries, lawsuits and other harassment.

Scientology's critics contend that the U.S. needs to crack down on the church in a major, organized way. "I want to know, Where is our government?" demands Toby Plevin, a Los Angeles attorney who handles victims. "It shouldn't be left to private litigators, because God knows most of us are afraid to get involved." But law-enforcement agents are also wary. "Every investigator is very cautious, walking on eggshells when it comes to the church," says a Florida police detective who has tracked the cult since 1988. "It will take a federal effort with lots of money and manpower."

So far the agency giving Scientology the most grief is the IRS, whose officials have implied that Hubbard's successors may be looting the church's coffers. Since 1988, when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the revocation of the cult's tax-exempt status, a massive IRS probe of church centers across the country has been under way. An IRS agent, Marcus Owens, has estimated that thousands of IRS employees have been involved. Another agent, in an internal IRS memorandum, spoke hopefully of the "ultimate disintegration" of the church. A small but helpful beacon shone last June when a federal appeals court ruled that two cassette tapes featuring conversations between church officials and their lawyers are evidence of a plan to commit "future frauds" against the IRS.

The IRS and FBI have been debriefing Scientology defectors for the past three years, in part to gain evidence for a major racketeering case that appears to have stalled last summer. Federal agents complain that the Justice Department is unwilling to spend the money needed to endure a drawn-out war with Scientology or to fend off the cult's notorious jihads against individual agents. "In my opinion the church has one of the most effective intelligence operations in the U.S., rivaling even that of the FBI," says Ted Gunderson, a former head of the FBI's Los Angeles office.

Foreign governments have been moving even more vigorously against the organization. In Canada the church and nine of its members will be tried in June on charges of stealing government documents (many of them retrieved in an enormous police raid of the church's Toronto headquarters). Scientology proposed to give $1 million to the needy if the case was dropped, but Canada spurned the offer. Since 1986 authorities in France, Spain and Italy have raided more than 50 Scientology centers. Pending charges against more than 100 of its overseas church members include fraud, extortion, capital flight, coercion, illegally practicing medicine and taking advantage of mentally incapacitated people. In Germany last month, leading politicians accused the cult of trying to infiltrate a major party as well as launching an immense recruitment drive in the east.

Sometimes even the church's biggest zealots can use a little protection. Screen star Travolta, 37, has long served as an unofficial Scientology spokesman, even though he told a magazine in 1983 that he was opposed to the church's management. High-level defectors claim that Travolta has long feared that if he defected, details of his sexual life would be made public. "He felt pretty intimidated about this getting out and told me so," recalls William Franks, the church's former chairman of the board. "There were no outright threats made, but it was implicit. If you leave, they immediately start digging up everything." Franks was driven out in 1981 after attempting to reform the church.

The church's former head of security, Richard Aznaran, recalls Scientology ringleader Miscavige repeatedly joking to staffers about Travolta's allegedly promiscuous homosexual behavior. At this point any threat to expose Travolta seems superfluous: last May a male porn star collected $100,000 from a tabloid for an account of his alleged two-year liaison with the celebrity. Travolta refuses to comment, and in December his lawyer dismissed questions about the subject as "bizarre." Two weeks later, Travolta announced that he was getting married to actress Kelly Preston, a fellow Scientologist.

Shortly after Hubbard's death the church retained Trout & Ries, a respected, Connecticut-based firm of marketing consultants, to help boost its public image. "We were brutally honest," says Jack Trout. "We advised them to clean up their act, stop with the controversy and even to stop being a church. They didn't want to hear that." Instead, Scientology hired one of the country's largest p.r. outfits, Hill and Knowlton, whose executives refuse to discuss the lucrative relationship. "Hill and Knowlton must feel that these guys are not totally off the wall," says Trout. "Unless it's just for the money."

One of Scientology's main strategies is to keep advancing the tired argument that the church is being "persecuted" by antireligionists. It is supported in that position by the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Council of Churches. But in the end, money is what Scientology is all about. As long as the organization's opponents and victims are successfully squelched, Scientology's managers and lawyers will keep pocketing millions of dollars by helping it achieve its ends.



Cover page in Time's issue: "The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power"


Richard Behar


Investigative journalism


Published in Time, May 1991 and Reader's Digest, October 1991

First issue

May 6, 1991


United States


Cover Story 


The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power

"The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power" is an article, written in 1991 by U.S. investigative journalist Richard Behar, which is highly critical of Scientology.

It was first published by Time magazine on May 6, 1991, as an eight-page cover story,[1][2] and was later published in Reader's Digest in October 1991.[3] Behar had previously published an article on Scientology in Forbesmagazine. He stated that he was investigated by attorneys and private investigators affiliated with the Church of Scientology while researching the Time article, and that investigators contacted his friends and family as well. Behar's article covers topics including L. Ron Hubbard and the development of Scientology, its controversies over the years and history of litigationconflict with psychiatry and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, the suicide of Noah Lottick, its status as a religion, and its business dealings.

After the article's publication, the Church of Scientology mounted a public relations campaign to address issues in the piece. It took out advertisements in USA Today for twelve weeks, and Church leader David Miscavige was interviewed by Ted Koppel on Nightline about what he considered to be an objective bias by the article's author. Miscavige alleged that the article was actually driven by the company Eli Lilly, because of Scientology's efforts against the drug Prozac. The Church of Scientology brought a libel suit against Time Warner and Behar, and sued Reader's Digest in multiple countries in Europe in an attempt to stop the article's publication there. The suit against Time Warner was dismissed in 1996, and the Church of Scientology's petition for a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States was denied in 2001.

Behar received awards in honor of his work on the article, including the Gerald Loeb Award, the Worth Bingham Prize, and the Conscience-in-Media Award. The article has had ramifications in the current treatment of Scientology in the media, with some publications theorizing that journalists are wary of the litigation that Time Warner went through. The article has been cited by Anderson Cooper on CNN, in a story on Panorama's 2007 program "Scientology and Me" on the BBC, and has been used as a reference for background on the history of Scientology, in books from both the cult and new religious movement perspectives.

Research for the article

Before penning "The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power", Behar had written a 1986 article in Forbes magazine, "The Prophet and Profits of Scientology", which reported on the Church of Scientology's business dealings and L. Ron Hubbard's financial success.[4] Behar wrote that during research for "The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power", he and a Time contributing editor were themselves investigated by ten attorneys and six private investigators affiliated with the Church of Scientology.[5][6][7][8] According to Behar, investigators contacted his friends and previous coworkers to ask them if he had a history of tax or drug problems, and obtained a copy of his personal credit report that had been obtained illegally from a national credit bureau.[6][8][9][10] Behar conducted 150 interviews in the course of his research for the article.[11]

Behar wrote that the motive of these operatives was to "threaten, harass and discredit him".[5][8] He later learned that the Church of Scientology had assigned its head private investigator to direct the Church's investigation into Behar.[8] Anderson Cooper 360° reported that Behar had been contacted by Church of Scientology attorneys numerous times while doing research on the article.[12] The parents of Noah Lottick, a Scientologist who had committed suicide, cooperated with Time and Reader's Digest.[13]


The full title of the article is "The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power: Ruined lives. Lost fortunes. Federal crimes. Scientology poses as a religion but is really a ruthless global scam — and aiming for the mainstream".[14][15] The article reported on the founding of the Church of Scientology by L. Ron Hubbard and controversies involving the Church and its affiliated business operations, as well as the suicide of a Scientologist.[2][13] The article related the May 11, 1990, suicide of Dr. Edward Lottick's son Noah Antrim Lottick.[13] Lottick was a Russian studies student who had taken a series of Scientology courses; he died after jumping from a hotel tenth floor window.[16] The Church of Scientology and Lottick's family have differing positions on the effect Scientology coursework had on him. While none of the parties assigned blame, they expressed misgivings about his death. Initially, his father had thought that Scientology was similar to Dale Carnegie's self-improvement techniques; however, after his ordeal, the elder Lottick came to believe that the organization is a "school for psychopaths".[17] Mike Rinder, the head of the Church of Scientology's Office of Special Affairs and a Church spokesman, stated "I think Ed Lottick should look in the mirror ... I think Ed Lottick made his son's life intolerable".[16]

The article outlined a brief history of Scientology, discussing Hubbard's initial background as a science fiction writer, and cited a California judge who had deemed Hubbard a "pathological liar".[2] The Church of Scientology's litigation history was described, in addition to its conflicts with the Internal Revenue Service, with countries regarding whether or not to accept it as a religion, and its position against psychiatry.[2] Behar wrote of the high costs involved in participation in the Church of Scientology, what he referred to as "front groups and financial scams", and harassment of critics.[7] He estimated that the Church of Scientology paid US$20 million annually to over one hundred attorneys.[7] Behar maintained that though the Church of Scientology portrays itself as a religion, it was actually a "hugely profitable global racket" which intimidated members and critics in a Mafia-like manner.[6][18][19]

Cynthia Kisser, then director of the Cult Awareness Network, was quoted: "Scientology is quite likely the most ruthless, the most classically terroristic, the most litigious and the most lucrative cult the country has ever seen. No cult extracts more money from its members".[2][20]


Church of Scientology's response

The Church of Scientology responded to the publication of "The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power" by taking out color full-page ads in USA Today in May and June 1991, on every weekday for twelve weeks, denouncing the Time magazine cover article.[21] Two official Church of Scientology responses were titled "Facts vs. Fiction, A Correction of Falsehoods Contained in the May 6, 1991, Issues of Time Magazine", and "The Story That Time Couldn't Tell".[22] Prior to the advertising campaign, Scientologists distributed 88-page bound booklets which disputed points from Behar's article.[23] The "Fact vs. Fiction" piece was a 14-inch-thick (0.64 cm) booklet, which criticized Behar's article and asserted "Behar's article omits the information on the dozens of community service programs conducted by Scientologists ... which have been acknowledged by community officials".[24] One of the advertisements in USA Today accused Time of promoting Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany, and featured a 1936 issue of Time which had Hitler's picture on the front cover.[25] The Church of Scientology sent out a news release condemning Time's "horrible history of supporting fascism", and said that the article was written because Time had been pressured by "vested interests".[23] When asked by the St. Petersburg Times whether this was the case, Time Executive Editor Richard Duncan responded "Good Lord, no".[23] Heber Jentzsch, at the time president of Church of Scientology International, issued a four-page news release which stated "Advertising is the only way the church could be assured of getting its message and its side of the story out to the public without the same vested interests behind the Time article distorting it".[25]

After the advertising run critiquing Time magazine in USA Today had completed, the Church of Scientology mounted a $3 million public relations campaign about Scientology in USA Today, in June 1991.[26] The Church of Scientology placed a 48-page advertising supplement in 1.8 million copies of USA Today.[26] In a statement to the St. Petersburg Times, Scientology spokesman Richard Haworth explained "What we are trying to do is put the actual facts of Dianetics and Scientology out there".[26]

In response to the Church of Scientology's claims of inaccuracies in the article, a lawyer for Time responded "We've reviewed all of their allegations, and find nothing wrong with the Time story."[27] In June 1991, Newsweek reported that staffers for Time said they had received calls from a man claiming to be a paralegal for Time, who asked them if they had signed a confidentiality form about the article.[27] Time editors sent staffers a computer memo, warning them about calls related to the article, and staffers told Newsweek that "sources named in the story say detectives have asked about their talks with Time".[27] A Church of Scientology spokesman called the claims "scurrilous".[27]

On February 14, 1992, Scientology leader David Miscavige gave Ted Koppel his first interview on Scientology on the ABC News program Nightline.[28] The program noted that Scientology has vocal critics and cited Behar's 1991 article. Behar appeared on the program and gave his opinion of why individuals join Scientology, stating that the organization's "ulterior motive" is really to get people to take high-priced audit counseling.[28] Behar stated on the program that he had evidence that members of the Church of Scientology had obtained his personal phone records.[28] Later in the program, Koppel questioned Miscavige on the Church of Scientology's response to the Time magazine article, particularly the $3 million the church spent advertising in USA Today.[28] Miscavige explained that the first three weeks of the advertising campaign was meant to correct falsehoods from the Time article, and the rest of the twelve-week campaign was dedicated to informing the public about Scientology. Koppel asked Miscavige what specifically had upset him about the Timearticle, and Miscavige called Behar "a hater".[28] Miscavige noted that Behar had written an article on Scientology and the Internal Revenue Service three years before he began work on the Time piece, and made allegations that Behar had attempted to get two Scientologists kidnapped. When Koppel questioned Miscavige further on this, Miscavige said that individuals had contacted Behar after an earlier article, and Behar had told them to "kidnap Scientologists out".[28] Koppel pressed further, noting that this was a serious charge to make, and asked Miscavige if his allegations were accurate, why he had not pressed charges for attempted kidnapping. Miscavige said Koppel was "missing the issue", and said that his real point was that he thought the article was not an objective piece.[28]

Miscavige alleged on Nightline that the article itself was published as a result of a request by Eli Lilly and Company, because of "the damage we had caused to their killer drug Prozac".[28] When Koppel asked Miscavige if he had affidavits or evidence to this effect, Miscavige responded "You think they'd admit it?"[28] Miscavige stated that "Eli Lilly ordered a reprint of 750,000 copies of Time magazine before it came out", and that his attempts to investigate the matter with Eli Lilly and associated advertising companies were not successful.[28]


The Church brought a libel lawsuit against Time Warner and Behar, seeking damages of $416 million.[9][29] The Church alleged false and defamatory statements were made concerning the Church of Scientology International in the Time article.[30] More specifically, the Church of Scientology's court statements claimed that Behar had been refining an anti-Scientology focus since his 1986 article in Forbes, which included gathering negative materials about Scientology, and "never accepting anything a Scientologist said and uniformly ignoring anything positive he learned about the Church".[30] In its initial complaint filing, the Church quoted portions of the Behar article that it alleged were false and defamatory, including the quote from Cynthia Kisser, and Behar's own assertion that Scientology was a "global racket" that intimidated individuals in a "Mafia-like manner".[30] 

Noah Lottick's parents submitted affidavits in the case, in which they "affirmed the accuracy of each statement in the article"; Edward Lottick "concluded that Scientology therapies were manipulations, and that no Scientology staff members attended the funeral" of their son.[30] During the litigation, the Church of Scientology attempted to subpoena Behar in a separate ongoing lawsuit with the Internal Revenue Service, and accused a federal magistrate of leaking information to him.[31] Behar was questioned for over 190 hours during 30 days of depositions with Scientology attorneys in the libel case.[31] One question was about Behar's life in his parents' home while he was still inside the womb.[31] St. Petersburg Times explained that this question was prompted by Scientology teachings that certain problems come from prenatal memories.[31] Behar told the St. Petersburg Times he "felt it was extremely excessive".[31] In a countersuit, Behar brought up the issues of Church of Scientology private investigators and what he viewed as harassment.[9][31] By July 1996, all counts of the libel suit had been dismissed.[12][32] In the course of the litigation through 1996, Time Warner had spent $7.3 million in legal defense costs.[31] The Church of Scientology also sued several individuals quoted in the Time article.[31]

The Church of Scientology sued Reader's Digest in Switzerland, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Germany for publishing a condensed version of the Time story.[33] The only court to provide a temporary injunction was in Lausanne, Switzerland.[34] In France, Italy, and the Netherlands, the courts either dismissed the Church of Scientology's motions, or set injunction hearings far beyond the date of actual publication.[33] The company defied the injunction and mailed copies of the article, "Scientology: A Dangerous Cult Goes Mainstream", to their 326,000 Swiss subscribers.[33] Worldwide editor-in-chief of Reader's DigestKenneth Tomlinson, told The New York Times that "a publisher cannot accept a court prohibiting distribution of a serious journalistic piece. ... The court order violates freedom of speech and freedom of the press".[33] The Church of Scientology subsequently filed a criminal complaint against the Digest in Lausanne, and Mike Rinder stated it was in blatant violation of the law.[33] By defying the Swiss court ban, the Reader's Digest risked a fine of about $3,400, as well as a potential three months' jail time for the Swiss Digest editor-in-chief.[33] A hearing on the injunction was set for November 11, 1991, and the injunction was later lifted by the Swiss court.[33][35]In January 2001, a United States federal appeals court upheld the dismissal of the Church of Scientology International's case against Time Warner.[36] In its opinion, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that Time Warner had not published "The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power" with an actual intent of malice,[37] a standard that must be met for libel cases involving individuals and public groups.[37] On October 1, 2001, the Supreme Court of the United States refused to consider reinstating the church's libel case Church of Scientology International v. Time Warner Inc., 00-1683.[37][38] Time Warner said it refused to be "intimidated by the church's apparently limitless legal resources."[37] In arguments presented to the Supreme Court, the Church of Scientology acknowledged that church officials had "committed improper acts" in the past, but also claimed that: "allegations of past misconduct were false and distorted, the result of the misunderstanding, suspicion and prejudice that typically greet a new religion".[37] Of the rulings for Time Warner, the Church of Scientology complained that they "provide a safe harbor for biased journalism".[37] Behar commented on the Church of Scientology's legal defeat, and said that the lawsuit had a chilling effect: "It's a tremendous defeat for Scientology ... But of course their doctrine states that the purpose of a suit is to harass, not to win, so from that perspective they hurt us all. They've had a real chilling effect on journalism, both before and after my piece".[14]


As a result of writing the piece, Behar was presented with the 1992 Gerald Loeb Award for distinguished business and financial journalism, the Worth Bingham Prize,[39] the Conscience-in-Media Award from the American Society of Journalists and Authors,[32][40] awarded to "those who have demonstrated singular commitment to the highest principles of journalism at notable personal cost or sacrifice,"[41] and the Cult Awareness Network's Leo J. Ryan Award, in honor of Congressman Leo J. Ryan.[42][43] Paulette Cooper was also awarded the 1992 Conscience-in-Media Award by the American Society of Journalists and Authors, for her book The Scandal of Scientology.[40] This was the only time in the history of the American Society of Journalists and Authors that the award was presented to more than one journalist in the same year.[40]

In a February 1992 issue of Time, editor Elizabeth Valk congratulated Behar on his Conscience-in-Media Award, stating "Needless to say, we are delighted and proud".[41] Valk noted that the honor had only been awarded seven times in the previous seventeen years of its existence.[41] Managing editor Henry Muller also congratulated Behar in an April 1992 issue of Time.[44]


Insane Therapy noted that Scientology "achieved more notoriety ... with the publication of the journalist Richard Behar's highly critical article".[7] Larson's Book of World Religions and Alternative Spirituality described the cover design of the article as it appeared in Time, writing that it "shouted" the headline from the magazine cover.[18] In a 2005 piece, magazine noted that for those interested in the Church of Scientology, the Time article still remains a "milestone in news coverage", and that those who back the Church believe it was "an outrageously biased account".[19]


The Church of Scientology's use of private investigators was cited in a 1998 article in the Boston Herald, and compared to Behar's experiences when researching "The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power".[5] After the paper ran a five-part series of critical articles in 1998, Church of Scientology President Heber Jentzsch confirmed that a private investigative firm was hired to look into the personal life of Joseph Mallia, the reporter who wrote the articles.[5] In a later piece titled "Church of Scientology probes Herald reporter—Investigation follows pattern of harassment" this investigation was likened to Behar's assertions of harassment, as well as other reporters' experiences from 1974, 1988, and 1997.[5]

Because of the history of conflict between Reader's Digest and Scientology, the writer of a 2005 cover story on Tom Cruise agreed to certain demands, including giving Scientology issues equal play in the writer's profile of Cruise, submitting questions for Cruise to Church of Scientology handlers, and sending the writer of the article to a one-day Church immersion course.[45] Also in 2005, an article in Salon questioned whether the tactics of the Church's litigation and private investigations of Time Warner and other media sources had succeeded in decreasing the amount of investigative journalism pieces on Scientology in the press.[19] A 2005 article in The Sunday Times cited the article, and came to the determination that the Church of Scientology's lawsuit against Time Warner "served to warn off other potential investigations", and that "The chill evidently lingers still".[46]

"The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power" continues to be used today by journalists in the media, as a reference for historical information on the Church of Scientology.[47][48][49][50] In April 2007, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper interviewed former Office of Special Affairsdirector Mike Rinder,[51] in a live piece on Anderson Cooper 360° titled "Inside Scientology".[12] The CNN story was prompted by the May 2007 airing of a BBC Panorama investigative program, "Scientology and Me". In the interview, Anderson Cooper quoted directly from "The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power" article, when asking Rinder about the history of Operation Snow White, and if those tactics were currently used by the Church.[12] Rinder answered by stating that the individuals involved with Operation Snow White were no longer involved in Church of Scientology activities, and that the incident was "ancient history". Cooper then again referenced the Time magazine article noting that Behar asserted that he was illegally investigated by Scientology contacts during research for his article.[12] Cooper questioned Rinder on the dismissed lawsuit against Time Warner, and Rinder acknowledged that all of the Church of Scientology's appeals against Time Warner were eventually rejected.[12]

The article has been cited as a reference used for background on Scientology in books which take a critical look at cults such as Larson's Book of World Religions and Alternative Spirituality and Insane Therapy: Portrait of a Psychotherapy Cult,[7][18] those that analyze new religious movements including Understanding New Religious Movements and The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements,[52][53] and in a work that includes researchers from both schools of thought, Misunderstanding Cults: Searching for Objectivity in a Controversial Field.[54]


  1. ^ Behar, Richard (May 6, 1991). "Scientology: The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power"Time. pp. 50–57. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
  2. Jump up to:a b c d e Healy, David (2004). Let Them Eat Prozac: The Unhealthy Relationship Between the Pharmaceutical Industry and Depression. NYU Press. p. 58. ISBN 0-8147-3669-6.
  3. ^ Behar, Richard; Burton, Thomas M. (October 1991). "A Dangerous Cult Goes Mainstream"Reader's Digest. pp. 87–92. Retrieved October 25, 2007.
  4. ^ Behar, Richard (October 27, 1986). "The Prophet and Profits of Scientology". Forbes. p. 314.
  5. Jump up to:a b c d e MacLaughlin, Jim; Gully, Andrew (March 19, 1998). "Church of Scientology probes Herald reporter: Investigation follows pattern of harassment". Boston Herald. p. 004.
  6. Jump up to:a b c Kincaid, Cliff; Gossett, Sherrie (June 20, 2005). "The Press and Scientology"Accuracy in Media. Archived from the original on December 22, 2007. Retrieved October 25, 2007.
  7. Jump up to:a b c d e Ayella, Marybeth F. (1998). Insane Therapy: Portrait of a Psychotherapy Cult. Temple University Press. p. 9. ISBN 1-56639-601-8.
  8. Jump up to:a b c d Linn, Virginia; Semuels, Alana (July 31, 2005). "PostScript: When scientologists aren't so clear: Leaders of the Church of Scientology have long had the reputation of being uncooperative with the media. Still, we were surprised at their tenaciousness in trying to control our stories"Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved October 25, 2007.
  9. Jump up to:a b c Frantz, Douglas (March 9, 1997). "An Ultra-Aggressive Use of Investigators and the Courts"The New York Times. p. 31. Retrieved October 25, 2007.
  10. ^ Mitchell, Susan (July 17, 2005). "Scientology: A solution for life or just an evil cult?". The Sunday Business Post.
  11. ^ Morton, Andrew (January 15, 2008). Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography. New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 155. ISBN 0-312-35986-1.
  12. Jump up to:a b c d e f CNN staff; Cooper, Anderson (April 14, 2007). "Massive Manhunt Continues For Three Missing U.S. Soldiers in Iraq; Inside Scientology"Anderson Cooper 360°. Retrieved October 25, 2007.
  13. Jump up to:a b c Lottick, Edward (1993). "Survey Reveals Physicians' Experience with Cults"Cult ObserverInternational Cultic Studies Association10 (3). Retrieved October 25, 2007.
  14. Jump up to:a b Marr, David (January 19, 2008). "Print and be damned: CULT". The Age (1st ed.). p. 3, Insight section.
  15. ^ Staff (April 30, 1991). "Time takes a critical look at Scientology". St. Petersburg Times. p. 3B.
  16. Jump up to:a b Morgan, Lucy (February 8, 1998). "Scientology got blame for French suicide"St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on November 9, 2007. Retrieved October 17, 2007.
  17. ^ Church of Scientology International v. Time Warner, Inc., et al., 92 Civ. 3024 (PKL), Judge Leisure, Opinion and Order (United States District Court for the Southern District of New York July 16, 1996).
  18. Jump up to:a b c Larson, Bob (2004). Larson's Book of World Religions and Alternative Spirituality. Tyndale House Publishers. p. 431. ISBN 0-8423-6417-X.
  19. Jump up to:a b c Strupp, Joe (June 30, 2005). "The press vs. Scientology: After years of conflict, the church and the media seem to have reached a truce. Is it because Scientology has become less confrontational—or because the press is scared?"Salon. pp. 1–3. Archived from the original on January 7, 2007. Retrieved October 25, 2007.
  20. ^ Signorile, Michelangelo (May 4, 1993). Queer in America: Sex, the Media, and the Closets of Power. Random House. p. 275. ISBN 978-0-679-41309-7.
  21. ^ Staff (May 31, 1991). "Scientology's Critical Ads". The New York Times. p. D5.
  22. ^ Miller, Timothy (1995). America's Alternative Religions. SUNY Press. p. 390. ISBN 0-7914-2398-0.
  23. Jump up to:a b c Krueger, Curtis (May 29, 1991). "Scientology lambasts Time magazine in ad". St. Petersburg Times. p. 1B.
  24. ^ Cote, Neil (May 10, 1991). "Church whiffs while trying to whomp Wogs". The Tampa Tribune. p. 1.
  25. Jump up to:a b Duckworth, Erika N. (May 29, 1991). "Church of Scientology Attacks Time". Greensboro News & Record. p. B3.
  26. Jump up to:a b c Holifield, Rhonda (June 29, 1991). "Scientologists answer critics with advertising"St. Petersburg Times.
  27. Jump up to:a b c d Howard, Lucy; Gregory Cerio (June 10, 1991). "Scientology Takes On Time". Newsweek. p. 8.
  28. Jump up to:a b c d e f g h i j Koppel, Ted; Sawyer, Forest (November 18, 2006) [February 14, 1992]. "Scientology Leader Gave ABC First-Ever Interview: David Miscavige, Scientology Leader and Best Man at Tom Cruise's Wedding, Spoke to ABC News' 'Nightline' in 1992"NightlineABC News. pp. 1, 3. Retrieved October 25,2007.
  29. ^ Kumar, J.P. (Summer 1997). ""Fair Game": Leveling the Playing Field in Scientology Litigation". The Review of Litigation16: 747.
  30. Jump up to:a b c d Leisure, District Judge. "Church of Scientology v. Time and Richard Behar"United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. pp. 92 Civ. 3024 (PKL), Opinion and Order. Retrieved October 25, 2007 – via Court TV, library Web site.
  31. Jump up to:a b c d e f g h Morgan, Lucy (January 28, 1998). "Hardball: When Scientology goes to court, it likes to play rough—very rough"St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved October 26, 2007.
  32. Jump up to:a b Staff (July 16, 1996). "Judge Dismisses Church of Scientology's $416 Million Lawsuit Against Time Magazine". Business Wire.
  33. Jump up to:a b c d e f g Carmody, Deirdre (October 2, 1991). "Reader's Digest Defies Court"The New York Times. pp. D6. Retrieved October 25, 2007.
  34. ^ Steffens, Brian (November – December 1991). "Scientology's Current Target: Reader's Digest"The Quill. p. 39. Retrieved October 25, 2007.
  35. ^ Staff (November 27, 1991). "Swiss Lift Ban on Digest"The New York Times. p. D15. Retrieved October 25, 2007.
  36. ^ Staff (January 13, 2001). "Time Magazine wins approval of libel suit dismissal". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. p. F2.
  37. Jump up to:a b c d e f Staff (October 1, 2001). "Court Passes on Scientology Libel Case". Associated Press.
  38. ^ First Amendment Center Online staff (October 2, 2001). "High court refuses to hear First Amendment appeals"First Amendment Center. Associated Press. Archived from the original on December 15, 2004. Retrieved October 26, 2007.
  39. ^ Ebner, MarkAndrew Breitbart (2004). Hollywood, Interrupted: Insanity Chic in Babylon – The Case Against Celebrity. John Wiley and Sons. p. 362. ISBN 0-471-45051-0.
  40. Jump up to:a b c Staff (2007). "ASJA Award Recipients: Outstanding Author Awards"American Society of Journalists and Authors. Retrieved October 26, 2007.
  41. Jump up to:a b c Valk, Elizabeth P. (February 24, 1992). "From the Publisher"Time. p. 16. Retrieved October 25, 2007.
  42. ^ Behar, Richard (1992). "Richard Behar, acceptance speech, 1992 Leo J. Ryan award"(OLD) Cult Awareness Networkconference, Los Angeles. Retrieved October 25, 2007.
  43. ^ Henderson, Bob (December 28, 1992). "Hubbard from Pinellas to Russia". St. Petersburg Times. p. 1.
  44. ^ Muller, Henry (April 13, 1992). "From the Managing Editor"Time. p. 20. Retrieved October 25, 2007.
  45. ^ Staff (June 8, 2005). "Reader's Digest on Cruise Control"Radar Online. Archived from the original on June 11, 2005.
  46. ^ Rowan, David (July 12, 2005). "Tom, three questions for you: The film star should be facing robust media interrogation about Scientology, but there is craven silence"The Sunday Times. Retrieved October 25, 2007.
  47. ^ O'Keefe, Mark (September 26, 1996). "Church of Scientology Is No Stranger to Criticism". The Oregonian. p. A16.
  48. ^ "Science Fiction? – Factual results needed from reading program". The Commercial Appeal. September 5, 1995. p. A6.
  49. ^ Estrada, Heron Marquez (October 22, 2005). "Scientology: Fact or fiction? The Church of Scientology, after years out of the spotlight, is under renewed scrutiny—and the object of greater curiosity in the Twin Cities—following Tom Cruise's public psychoanalysis spat with Brooke Shields". Star Tribune. Minneapolis. p. 12E.
  50. ^ Friedman, Roger (June 21, 2005). "Katie Holmes' Missing Days"Fox News. Archived from the original on October 23, 2007. Retrieved October 25, 2007.
  51. ^ Cook, John (March 17, 2008). "Scientology – Cult Friction: After an embarrassing string of high-profile defection and leaked videos, Scientology is under attack from a faceless cabal of online activists. Has America's most controversial religion finally met its match?"Radar Online. Archived from the original on March 24, 2008.
  52. ^ Saliba, John A.Melton, J. Gordon (foreword) (2003). Understanding New Religious Movements. Rowman Altamira. p. 200. ISBN 0-7591-0356-9.
  53. ^ Lewis, James R. (2004). The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements. Oxford University Press. p. 202. ISBN 0-19-514986-6.
  54. ^ Zablocki, Benjamin David; Robbins, Thomas (2001). Misunderstanding Cults: Searching for Objectivity in a Controversial Field. University of Toronto Press. p. 65. ISBN 0-8020-8188-6.

External links


Hubbard on religion BEFORE Scientology was a 'church'

Tony Ortega

Published on Feb 3, 2018

L. Ron Hubbard 1968 Full Interview Part 1


Published on Feb 8, 2008

Part 1 of the full documentary of the only outside film crew allowed to interview Hubbard.

"The Shrinking World of L. Ron Hubbard."

WATCH: Liz Hayes takes the Scientology E-Meter test! See her results.

60 Minutes Australia

Published on Mar 23, 2014

Former Inspector General of Scientology, Marty Rathbun, places Liz Hayes on the E-Meter.

A device all Scientologists are scared of.

Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (/ˈhʌbərd/ HUB-ərd;  March 13, 1911 – January 24, 1986) was an American author of science fiction and fantasy stories, and the founder of the Church of Scientology. In 1950, Hubbard authored Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health and established a series of organizations to promote Dianetics. In 1952, Hubbard lost the rights to Dianetics in bankruptcy proceedings, and he subsequently founded Scientology. Thereafter Hubbard oversaw the growth of the Church of Scientology into a worldwide organization.[2][3] Hubbard was cited by Smithsonianmagazine as one of the 100 most significant Americans of all time.

Born in Tilden, Nebraska in 1911, Hubbard spent much of his childhood in Helena, Montana. After his father was posted to the U.S. naval base on Guam, Hubbard traveled to Asia and the South Pacific in the late 1920s. In 1930, Hubbard enrolled at George Washington University to study civil engineering, but dropped out in his second year. He began his career as a prolific writer of pulp fiction stories and married Margaret "Polly" Grubb, who shared his interest in aviation.

Hubbard served briefly in the Marine Corps Reserve and was an officer in the Navy during World War II. He briefly commanded two ships, but was removed from command both times.The last few months of his active service were spent in a hospital, being treated for a duodenal ulcer.

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, he spent much of his time at sea on his personal fleet of ships as "Commodore" of the Sea Organization, an elite, paramilitary group of Scientologists.Some ex-members and scholars have described the Sea Org as a totalitarian organization marked by intensive surveillance and a lack of freedom.[10]

Hubbard returned to the United States in 1975 and went into seclusion in the Californiadesert. In 1978, a trial court in France convicted Hubbard of fraud in absentia. In 1983 Hubbard was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in an international information infiltration and theft project called "Operation Snow White". He spent the remaining years of his life in a luxury motor home on his California property, attended to by a small group of Scientology officials including his physician. In 1986, L. Ron Hubbard died at age 74.

The Church of Scientology describes Hubbard in hagiographic terms, and he portrayed himself as a pioneering explorer, world traveler, and nuclear physicist with expertise in a wide range of disciplines, including photography, art, poetry, and philosophy. Though many of Hubbard's autobiographical statements have been found to be fictitious, the Church rejects any suggestion that its account of Hubbard's life is not historical fact

His critics have characterized Hubbard as a mentally-unstable chronic liar.

L. Ron Hubbard in 1950.jpg
Hubbard in Los Angeles, 1950
Lafayette Ronald Hubbard

March 13, 1911
Tilden, Nebraska, United States
Died January 24, 1986 (aged 74)
Creston, California, United States
Education George Washington University(dropped out in 1932)
Occupation Author, religious leader
Known for Founder of Scientology and its church
Notable work
Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health
Battlefield Earth
Criminal charge Petty theft (in 1948),
Fraud (in absentia, 1978)
Criminal penalty Fine of 35,000 and four years in prison (unserved)
Spouse(s) Margaret "Polly" Grubb (1933–1947)
Sara Northrup Hollister (1946–1951)
Mary Sue Whipp (1952–1986)
Children 7:

With Margaret Grubb:

With Sara Hollister

  • Alexis Hubbard*

With Mary Sue Whipp:

  • Quentin Hubbard (d. 1976)
  • Diana Hubbard
  • Suzette Hubbard
  • Arthur Hubbard*
* Estranged from family
Relatives Jamie DeWolf (great-grandson)
L. Ron Hubbard Signature.svg
Early Life of Lafayette Ronald Hubbard

Lafayette Ronald Hubbard was born in 1911, in Tilden, Nebraska. He was the only child of Ledora May (née Waterbury), who had trained as a teacher, and Harry Ross Hubbard, a former United States Navy officer. After moving to Kalispell, Montana, they settled in Helena in 1913. Hubbard's father rejoined the Navy in April 1917, during World War I, while his mother worked as a clerk for the state government.

During the 1920s the Hubbards repeatedly relocated around the United States and overseas. After Hubbard's father Harry rejoined the Navy, his posting aboard the USS Oklahoma in 1921 required the family to relocate to the ship's home ports, first San Diego, then Seattle. Hubbard was active in the Boy Scouts in Washington, D.C. and earned the rank of Eagle Scout in 1924, two weeks after his 13th birthday.

The following year, Harry Ross Hubbard was posted to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard at Bremerton, Washington. His son was enrolled at Union High School, Bremerton, and later studied at Queen Anne High School in Seattle. In 1927 Hubbard's father was sent to the U.S. Naval Station on Guam. Hubbard's mother accompanied her husband, while their child was placed in his grandparents' care in Helena, Montana to complete his schooling.

In 1927, Hubbard and his mother traveled to Guam. The trip consisted of a brief stop-over in a couple of Chinese ports before traveling on to Guam, where he stayed for six weeks before returning home. He recorded his impressions of the places he visited and disdained the poverty of the inhabitants of Japan and China, whom he described as "gooks" and "lazy [and] ignorant".

After his return to the United States in September 1927, Hubbard enrolled at Helena High School, where he contributed to the school paper, but earned only poor grades. He abandoned school the following May and went back west to stay with his aunt and uncle in Seattle. He joined his parents in Guam in June 1928. His mother took over his education in the hope of putting him forward for the entrance examination to the United States Naval Academyat Annapolis, Maryland.

Between October and December 1928 a number of naval families, including Hubbard's, traveled from Guam to China aboard the cargo ship USS Gold Star. The ship stopped at Manilain the Philippines before traveling on to Qingdao (Tsingtao) in China. Hubbard and his parents made a side trip to Beijing before sailing on to Shanghai and Hong Kong, from where they returned to Guam. Back on Guam, Hubbard spent much of his time writing dozens of short stories and essays and failed the Naval Academy entrance examination.

In September 1929, Hubbard was enrolled at the Swavely Preparatory School in Manassas, Virginia, to prepare him for a second attempt at the examination. However, he was ruled out of consideration due to his near-sightedness.He was instead sent to Woodward School for Boys in Washington, D.C. to qualify for admission to George Washington University. He successfully graduated from the school in June 1930 and entered the university the following September.

University and Caribbean Trip of L Ron Hubbard

On September 24, 1930, Hubbard went to the School of Engineering at George Washington University, with a stated major of civil engineering at the behest of his father.Academically, Hubbard did poorly: his transcripts show he failed many courses including atomic physics, though later in life he would claim to have been a nuclear physicist. In September 1931 he was placed on probation due to grades, and again on April 23, 1932 he was issued a warning due to his grades.

During his first year, Hubbard helped organize the university Glider Club and was elected its president.

During what would become Hubbard's final semester at GWU, he organized an ill-fated expedition to the Caribbean aboard the schooner Doris Hamlin commencing in June 1932. The aims of the "Caribbean Motion Picture Expedition" were stated as being to explore and film the pirate "strongholds and bivouacs of the Spanish Main" and to "collect whatever one collects for exhibits in museums".It ran into trouble even before it left Baltimore: ten participants quit, and storms blew the ship far off course to Bermuda. Eleven more members of the expedition quit there and more still left when the ship arrived at Martinique. With the expedition running critically short of money, the ship's owners ordered it to return to Baltimore. Some of its participants made legal claims against him for refunds, and Hubbard failed to return to University the following year.

After his father volunteered him for a Red Cross relief effort following 1932 San Ciprian hurricane, on October 23, 1932 Hubbard traveled aboard the USS Kittery to Puerto Rico. Miller writes: "Somewhere between Norfolk, Virginia, and Port au Prince it seems that Ron decided to abandon the Red Cross". Instead, Hubbard appears to have done some work for a firm called West Indies Minerals Incorporated, accompanying a surveyor in an investigation of a small property near the town of Luquillo, Puerto Rico.

L Ron Hubbard's First Marriage and Early Literary Career

Hubbard returned from Puerto Rico to D.C. in February 1933. He struck up with a relationship with a fellow glider pilot named Margaret "Polly" Grubb. Years later, Hubbard told his associates that his guardian angel, described as a "smiling woman," protected him when he was flying gliders. The two were married on April 13. She was already pregnant when they married, but had a miscarriage shortly afterwards; a few months later, she became pregnant again. On May 7, 1934, she gave birth prematurely to a son who was named Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, Jr., whose nickname was "Nibs". Their second child, Katherine May, was born on January 15, 1936. The Hubbards lived for a while in Laytonsville, Maryland, but were chronically short of money.

Hubbard became a well-known and prolific writer for pulp fiction magazines during the 1930s. His literary career began with contributions to the George Washington University student newspaper, The University Hatchet, as a reporter for a few months in 1931. Six of his pieces were published commercially during 1932 to 1933. The going rate for freelance writers at the time was only a cent a word, so Hubbard's total earnings from these articles would have been less than $100 (equivalent to $1,935 in 2018). The pulp magazine Thrilling Adventurebecame the first to publish one of his short stories, in February 1934.  Over the next six years, pulp magazines published many of his short stories under a variety of pen names, including Winchester Remington Colt, Kurt von Rachen, René Lafayette, Joe Blitz and Legionnaire 148. 

Although he was best known for his fantasy and science fiction stories, Hubbard wrote in a wide variety of genres, including adventure fiction, aviation, travel, mysteries, westerns and even romance.  Hubbard knew and associated with writers such as Isaac AsimovRobert A. HeinleinL. Sprague de Camp and A. E. van Vogt.

In the spring of 1936 they moved to Bremerton, Washington. They lived there for a time with Hubbard's aunts and grandmother before finding a place of their own at nearby South Colby. According to one of his friends at the time, Robert MacDonald Ford, the Hubbards were "in fairly dire straits for money" but sustained themselves on the income from Hubbard's writing.

His first full-length novel, Buckskin Brigades, was published in 1937. He became a "highly idiosyncratic" writer of science fiction after being taken under the wing of editor John W. Campbell, who published many of Hubbard's short stories and also serialized a number of well-received novelettes that Hubbard wrote for Campbell's magazines Unknown and Astounding Science Fiction. These included FearFinal Blackout and Typewriter in the Sky. Science fiction newsletter Xignals reported that Hubbard wrote "over 100,000 words a month" during his peak. Martin Gardner asserted that his writing "[wa]s done at lightning speed." 

He wrote the script for The Secret of Treasure Island, a 1938 Columbia Pictures movie serial.

Hubbard spent an increasing amount of time in New York City,  working out of a hotel room where his wife suspected him of carrying on affairs with other women. 

Near-death experience and Excalibur

Hubbard's authorship in mid-1938 of a still-unpublished manuscript called Excalibur is highlighted by the Church of Scientology as a key step in developing the principles of Scientology and Dianetics. The manuscript is said by Scientologists to have outlined "the basic principles of human existence" and to have been the culmination of twenty years of research into "twenty-one races and cultures including Pacific Northwest Indian tribes, Philippine Tagalogs and, as he was wont to joke, the people of the Bronx".

According to Arthur J. Cox, a contributor to John W. Campbell's Astounding Science Fictionmagazine, Hubbard told a 1948 convention of science fiction fans that Excalibur's inspiration came during an operation in which he "died" for eight minutes. 

Gerry Armstrong, Hubbard's archivist, explains this as a dental extraction performed under nitrous oxide, a chemical known for its hallucinogenic effects

Hubbard realized that, while he was dead, he had received a tremendous inspiration, a great Message which he must impart to others. He sat at his typewriter for six days and nights and nothing came out. Then, Excaliburemerged.

Arthur J. Burks, the President of the American Fiction Guild, wrote that an excited Hubbard called him and said: "I want to see you right away. I have written THE book." Hubbard believed that Excalibur would "revolutionize everything" and that "it was somewhat more important, and would have a greater impact upon people, than the Bible." It proposed that all human behavior could be explained in terms of survival and that to understand survival was to understand life.  As Hubbard biographer Jon Atack notes, "the notion that everything that exists is trying to survive became the basis of Dianetics and Scientology."

According to Burks, Hubbard "was so sure he had something 'away out and beyond' anything else that he had sent telegrams to several book publishers, telling them that he had written 'THE book' and that they were to meet him at Penn Station, and he would discuss it with them and go with whomever gave him the best offer." However, nobody bought the manuscript. Forrest J Ackerman, later Hubbard's literary agent, recalled that Hubbard told him "whoever read it either went insane or committed suicide. And he said that the last time he had shown it to a publisher in New York, he walked into the office to find out what the reaction was, the publisher called for the reader, the reader came in with the manuscript, threw it on the table and threw himself out of the skyscraper window." Hubbard's failure to sell Excalibur depressed him; he told his wife in an October 1938 letter: "Writing action pulp doesn't have much agreement with what I want to do because it retards my progress by demanding incessant attention and, further, actually weakens my name. So you see I've got to do something about it and at the same time strengthen the old financial position." He went on:

Sooner or later Excalibur will be published and I may have a chance to get some name recognition out of it so as to pave the way to articles and comments which are my ideas of writing heaven ... Foolishly perhaps, but determined none the less, I have high hopes of smashing my name into history so violently that it will take a legendary form even if all books are destroyed. That goal is the real goal as far as I am concerned.

The manuscript later became part of Scientology mythology. An early 1950s Scientology publication offered signed "gold-bound and locked" copies for the sum of $1,500 apiece (equivalent to $15,620 in 2018). It warned that "four of the first fifteen people who read it went insane" and that it would be "[r]eleased only on sworn statement not to permit other readers to read it. Contains data not to be released during Mr. Hubbard's stay on earth."

L Ron Hubbard's Alaska expedition

Hubbard joined The Explorers Club in February 1940 on the strength of his claimed explorations in the Caribbean and survey flights in the United States. He persuaded the club to let him carry its flag on an "Alaskan Radio-Experimental Expedition" to update the U.S. Coast Pilot guide to the coastlines of Alaska and British Columbia and investigate new methods of radio position-finding. The expedition consisted of Hubbard and his wife—the children were left at South Colby—aboard his ketch Magician.

Hubbard told The Seattle Star in a November 1940 letter that the expedition was plagued by problems and did not get any further than Ketchikan near the southern end of the Alaska Panhandle, far from the Aleutian Islands. Magician's engine broke down only two days after setting off in July 1940. The Hubbards reached Ketchikan on August 30, 1940, after many delays following repeated engine breakdowns. The Ketchikan Chronicle reported—making no mention of the expedition—that Hubbard's purpose in coming to Alaska "was two-fold, one to win a bet and another to gather material for a novel of Alaskan salmon fishing".  Having underestimated the cost of the trip, he did not have enough money to repair the broken engine. He raised money by writing stories and contributing to the local radio station and eventually earned enough to fix the engine, making it back to Puget Sound on December 27, 1940.

L Ron Hubbard's Military Career

After returning from Alaska, Hubbard applied to join the United States Navy. His friend Robert MacDonald Ford, by now a State Representative for Washington, sent a letter of recommendation describing Hubbard as "one of the most brilliant men I have ever known". Ford later said that Hubbard had written the letter himself: "I don't know why Ron wanted a letter. I just gave him a letter-head and said, 'Hell, you're the writer, you write it!'"

Hubbard was commissioned as a Lieutenant (junior grade) in the U.S. Naval Reserve on July 19, 1941. By November, he was posted to New York for training as an Intelligence Officer.

On December 18, he was posted to the Philippines and set out for the posting via Australia. While in Melbourne awaiting transport to Manilla, Hubbard was sent back to the United States. The US Naval Attaché reported, "This officer is not satisfactory for independent duty assignment. He is garrulous and tries to give impressions of his importance. He also seems to think he has unusual ability in most lines. These characteristics indicate that he will require close supervision for satisfactory performance of any intelligence duty."

After a brief stint censoring cables, Hubbard's request for sea duty was approved and he reported to a Neponset, Massachusetts shipyard which was converting a trawler into a gunboat to be classified as USS YP-422. On September 25, 1942, the Commandant of Boston Navy Yard informed Washington that, in his view, Hubbard was "not temperamentally fitted for independent command." Days later, on October 1, Hubbard was summarily relieved of his command.

Hubbard was sent to Submarine Chaser Training, and in 1943 was posted to Portland, Oregon to take command of a submarine chaser, the USS PC-815, which was under construction. On May 18, USS PC-815 sailed on her shakedown cruise, bound for San Diego. Only five hours into the voyage, Hubbard believed he had detected an enemy submarine. Hubbard spent the next 68 hours engaged in combat, until finally receiving orders to return to Astoria. Admiral Fletcher, commander of the Northwest Sea Frontier, concluded: "An analysis of all reports convinces me that there was no submarine in the area." Fletcher suggested Hubbard had mistaken a "known magnetic deposit" for an enemy sub.

The following month, Hubbard unwittingly sailed the PC-815 into Mexican territorial waters and conducted gunnery practice off the Coronado Islands, in the belief that they were uninhabited and belonged to the United States. The Mexican government complained and Hubbard was relieved of command. A report written after the incident rated Hubbard as unsuitable for independent duties and "lacking in the essential qualities of judgment, leadership and cooperation". The report recommended he be assigned "duty on a large vessel where he can be properly supervised".

L Ron Hubbard's Hospitalization

After being relieved of command of the PC-815, Hubbard was assigned to temporary duty in San Diego. There he began reporting sick, citing a variety of ailments, including malaria, ulcers, and back pains. Hubbard was admitted to the naval hospital for observation—he would remain there nearly three months.

 Years later, Hubbard would privately write to himself: "Your stomach trouble you used as an excuse to keep the Navy from punishing you. You are free of the Navy."

In 1944, Hubbard was posted to Portland where the USS Algol was under construction. The ship was commissioned in July and Hubbard served as the Navigation and Training Officer. Hubbard requested, and was granted, a transfer to the School of Military Government in Princeton. The night before his departure, the ship's log reports that "The Navigating Officer [Hubbard] reported to the OOD [Officer On Duty] that an attempt at sabatage [sic] had been made sometime between 1530-1600. A coke bottle filled with gasoline with a cloth wick inserted had been concealed among cargo which was to be hoisted aboard and stored in No 1 hold. It was discovered before being taken on board. ONI, FBI and NSD authorities reported on the scene and investigations were started."

Hubbard attended school in Princeton until January 1945, when he was assigned to Monterey, California. In April, he again reported sick and was re-admitted to Oak Knoll Naval Hospital, Oakland. His complaints included "headaches, rheumatism, conjunctivitis, pains in his side, stomach aches, pains in his shoulder, arthritis, haemorrhoids".

An October 1945 Naval Board found that Hubbard was "considered physically qualified to perform duty ashore, preferably within the continental United States". He was discharged from hospital on December 4, 1945, and transferred to inactive duty on February 17, 1946.

Hubbard would ultimately resign his commission after the publication of Dianetics, with effect from October 30, 1950

L Ron Hubbard's Involvement In The Occult in Pasadena 

Hubbard's life underwent a turbulent period immediately after the war. According to his own account, he "was abandoned by family and friends as a supposedly hopeless cripple and a probable burden upon them for the rest of my days". His daughter Katherine presented a rather different version: his wife had refused to uproot their children from their home in Bremerton, Washington, to join him in California. Their marriage was by now in terminal difficulties and he chose to stay in California.

In August 1945 Hubbard moved into the Pasadena mansion of John "Jack" Whiteside Parsons. A leading rocket propulsion researcher at the California Institute of Technology and a founder of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Parsons led a double life as an avid occultist and Thelemite, follower of the English ceremonial magician Aleister Crowley and leader of a lodge of Crowley's magical orderOrdo Templi Orientis (OTO). He let rooms in the house only to tenants who he specified should be "atheists and those of a Bohemian disposition".

Hubbard befriended Parsons and soon became sexually involved with Parsons's 21-year-old girlfriend, Sara "Betty" Northrup. Despite this Parsons was very impressed with Hubbard and reported to Crowley:

[Hubbard] is a gentleman; he has red hair, green eyes, is honest and intelligent, and we have become great friends. He moved in with me about two months ago, and although Betty and I are still friendly, she has transferred her sexual affection to Ron. Although he has no formal training in Magick, he has an extraordinary amount of experience and understanding in the field. From some of his experiences I deduced that he is in direct touch with some higher intelligence, possibly his Guardian Angel. He describes his Angel as a beautiful winged woman with red hair whom he calls the Empress and who has guided him through his life and saved him many times. He is the most Thelemic person I have ever met and is in complete accord with our own principles.

Hubbard, whom Parsons referred to in writing as "Frater H", became an enthusiastic collaborator in the Pasadena OTO. The two men collaborated on the "Babalon Working", a sex magic ritual intended to summon an incarnation of Babalon, the supreme Thelemite Goddess. It was undertaken over several nights in February and March 1946 in order to summon an "elemental" who would participate in further sex magic. As Richard Metzger describes it,

Parsons used his "magical wand" to whip up a vortex of energy so the elemental would be summoned. Translated into plain English, Parsons jerked off in the name of spiritual advancement whilst Hubbard (referred to as "The Scribe" in the diary of the event) scanned the astral plane for signs and visions.

The "elemental" arrived a few days later in the form of Marjorie Cameron, who agreed to participate in Parsons' rites. Soon afterwards, Parsons, Hubbard and Sara agreed to set up a business partnership, "Allied Enterprises", in which they invested nearly their entire savings—the vast majority contributed by Parsons. The plan was for Hubbard and Sara to buy yachts in Miami and sail them to the West Coast to sell for a profit. Hubbard had a different idea; he wrote to the U.S. Navy requesting permission to leave the country "to visit Central & South America & China" for the purposes of "collecting writing material"—in other words, undertaking a world cruise. Aleister Crowley strongly criticized Parsons's actions, writing: "Suspect Ron playing confidence trick—Jack Parsons weak fool—obvious victim prowling swindlers." Parsons attempted to recover his money by obtaining an injunction to prevent Hubbard and Sara leaving the country or disposing of the remnants of his assets. They attempted to sail anyway but were forced back to port by a storm. A week later, Allied Enterprises was dissolved. Parsons received only a $2,900 promissory note from Hubbard and returned home "shattered". He had to sell his mansion to developers soon afterwards to recoup his losses.

Hubbard's fellow writers were well aware of what had happened between him and Parsons. L. Sprague de Camp wrote to Isaac Asimov on August 27, 1946, to tell him:

The more complete story of Hubbard is that he is now in Fla. living on his yacht with a man-eating tigress named Betty-alias-Sarah, another of the same kind ... He will probably soon thereafter arrive in these parts with Betty-Sarah, broke, working the poor-wounded-veteran racket for all its worth, and looking for another easy mark. Don't say you haven't been warned. Bob [Robert Heinlein] thinks Ron went to pieces morally as a result of the war. I think that's fertilizer, that he always was that way, but when he wanted to conciliate or get something from somebody he could put on a good charm act. What the war did was to wear him down to where he no longer bothers with the act.

On August 10, 1946, Hubbard bigamously married Sara, while still married to Polly. It was not until 1947 that his first wife learned that he had remarried. Hubbard agreed to divorce Polly in June that year and the marriage was dissolved shortly afterwards, with Polly given custody of the children.

During this period, Hubbard authored a document called The "Affirmations" (also referred to as the "Admissions"). They consist of a series of statements by and addressed to Hubbard, relating to various physical, sexual, psychological and social issues that he was encountering in his life. The Affirmations appear to have been intended to be used as a form of self-hypnosis with the intention of resolving the author's psychological problems and instilling a positive mental attitude. In her book, Reitman called the Affirmations "the most revealing psychological self-assessment, complete with exhortations to himself, that [Hubbard] had ever made."[ Among the Affirmations:

  • "Your eyes are getting progressively better. They became bad when you used them as an excuse to escape the naval academy. You have no reason to keep them bad."
  • "Your stomach trouble you used as an excuse to keep the Navy from punishing you. You are free of the Navy."
  • "Your hip is a pose. You have a sound hip. It never hurts. Your shoulder never hurts."
  • "Your foot was an alibi. The injury is no longer needed."
  • "You can tell all the romantic tales you wish. ... But you know which ones were lies ... You have enough real experience to make anecdotes forever. Stick to your true adventures."

Request By l Ron Hubbard For Psychiatric Treatment

After Hubbard's wedding to Sara, the couple settled at Laguna Beach, California, where Hubbard took a short-term job looking after a friend's yacht  before resuming his fiction writing to supplement the small disability allowance that he was receiving as a war veteran. Working from a trailer in a run-down area of North Hollywood, Hubbard sold a number of science fiction stories that included his Ole Doc Methuselah series and the serialized novels The End Is Not Yet and To the Stars. However, he remained short of money and his son, L. Ron Hubbard Jr, testified later that Hubbard was dependent on his own father and Margaret's parents for money and his writings, which he was paid at a penny per word, never garnered him any more than $10,000 prior to the founding of Scientology. He repeatedly wrote to the Veterans Administration (VA) asking for an increase in his war pension.

In October 1947 he wrote to request psychiatric treatment:

After trying and failing for two years to regain my equilibrium in civil life, I am utterly unable to approach anything like my own competence. My last physician informed me that it might be very helpful if I were to be examined and perhaps treated psychiatrically or even by a psychoanalyst. Toward the end of my service I avoided out of pride any mental examinations, hoping that time would balance a mind which I had every reason to suppose was seriously affected. I cannot account for nor rise above long periods of moroseness and suicidal inclinations, and have newly come to realize that I must first triumph above this before I can hope to rehabilitate myself at all. ... I cannot, myself, afford such treatment. 
Would you please help me?

The VA eventually did increase his pension, but his money problems continued. On August 31, 1948, he was arrested in San Luis Obispo, California, and subsequently pleaded guilty to a charge of petty theft, for which he was ordered to pay a $25 fine (equivalent to $261 in 2018).

 Origin Of Dianetics

In 1948, Hubbard and his second wife Sara moved from California to Savannah, Georgia, where he would later claim to have "worked" as a "volunteer" in the psychiatric clinic. Hubbard later wrote of having observed a "Dr. Center" in Savannah. In Savannah, Hubbard began to make the first public mentions of what was to become Dianetics.

He wrote in January 1949 that he was working on a "book of psychology" about "the cause and cure of nervous tension", which he was going to call The Dark SwordExcalibur or Science of the Mind. On March 8, 1949, Hubbard wrote to friend and fellow science-fiction author Robert Heinlein from Savannah, Georgia. Hubbard referenced Heinlein's earlier work Coventry, in which a utopian government has the ability to psychologically "cure" criminals of violent personality traits. Wrote Hubbard:

Well, you didn't specify in your book what actual reformation took place in the society to make supermen. Got to thinking about it other day. The system is Excalibur. It makes nul A's.

His first published articles in Dianetics were "Terra Incognita: The Mind" in the Explorer Club Journal and another one that impacted people more heavily in Astounding Science Fiction. 

In April 1949, Hubbard wrote to several professional organizations to offer his research. None were interested, so he turned to his editor John W. Campbell, who was more receptive due to a long-standing fascination with fringe psychologies and psychic powers ("psionics") that "permeated both his fiction and non-fiction".

Campbell invited Hubbard and Sara to move into a cottage at Bay Head, New Jersey, not far from his own home at Plainfield. In July 1949, Campbell recruited an acquaintance, Dr. Joseph Winter, to help develop Hubbard's new therapy of "Dianetics". Campbell told Winter:

With cooperation from some institutions, some psychiatrists, [Hubbard] has worked on all types of cases. Institutionalized schizophrenics, apathies, manics, depressives, perverts, stuttering, neuroses—in all, nearly 1000 cases. But just a brief sampling of each type; he doesn't have proper statistics in the usual sense. But he has one statistic. He has cured every patient he worked with. He has cured ulcers, arthritis, asthma. 

Hubbard collaborated with Campbell and Winter to refine his techniques,  testing them on science fiction fans recruited by Campbell.  The basic principle of Dianetics was that the brain recorded every experience and event in a person's life, even when unconscious. Bad or painful experiences were stored as what he called "engrams" in a "reactive mind". These could be triggered later in life, causing emotional and physical problems. By carrying out a process he called "auditing", a person could be regressed through his engrams to re-experiencing past experiences. This enabled engrams to be "cleared". The subject, who would now be in a state of "Clear", would have a perfectly functioning mind with an improved IQ and photographic memory. The "Clear" would be cured of physical ailments ranging from poor eyesight to the common cold,  which Hubbard asserted were purely psychosomatic. 

Winter submitted a paper on Dianetics to the Journal of the American Medical Association and the American Journal of Psychiatry but both journals rejected it.[125] Hubbard and his collaborators decided to announce Dianetics in Campbell's Astounding Science Fiction instead. In an editorial, Campbell said: "Its power is almost unbelievable; it proves the mind not only can but does rule the body completely; following the sharply defined basic laws set forth, physical ills such as ulcers, asthma and arthritis can be cured, as can all other psychosomatic ills."  The birth of Hubbard's second daughter Alexis Valerie, delivered by Winter on March 8, 1950, came in the middle of the preparations to launch Dianetics.[127] A "Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation" was established in April 1950 in Elizabeth, New Jersey, with Hubbard, Sara, Winter and Campbell on the board of directors.

Hubbard described Dianetics as "the hidden source of all psychosomatic ills and human aberration" when he introduced Dianetics to the world in the 1950s. He further claimed that "skills have been developed for their invariable cure." Dianetics was duly launched in Astounding's May 1950 issue and on May 9, Hubbard's companion book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health was published  

by Hermitage House. Hubbard abandoned freelance writing in order to promote Dianetics, writing several books about it in the next decade, delivering an estimated 4,000 lectures while founding Dianetics research organizations.[130]


Initial Success of Dianetics

Dianetics was an immediate commercial success and sparked what Martin Gardner calls "a nationwide cult of incredible proportions".  By August 1950, Hubbard's book had sold 55,000 copies, was selling at the rate of 4,000 a week and was being translated into French, German and Japanese. Five hundred Dianetic auditing groups had been set up across the United States. 

Dianetics was poorly received by the press and the scientific and medical professions. The American Psychological Association criticized Hubbard's claims as "not supported by empirical evidence".  Scientific American said that Hubbard's book contained "more promises and less evidence per page than any publication since the invention of printing", while The New Republic called it a "bold and immodest mixture of complete nonsense and perfectly reasonable common sense, taken from long acknowledged findings and disguised and distorted by a crazy, newly invented terminology". Some of Hubbard's fellow science fiction writers also criticized it; Isaac Asimov considered it "gibberish"  while Jack Williamson called it "a lunatic revision of Freudian psychology". 

Several famous individuals became involved with Dianetics. Aldous Huxley received auditing from Hubbard;  the poet Jean Toomer  and the science fiction writers Theodore Sturgeon and A. E. van Vogt became trained Dianetics auditors. Van Vogt temporarily abandoned writing and became the head of the newly established Los Angeles branch of the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation. Other branches were established in New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Honolulu. 

Although Dianetics was not cheap, a great many people were nonetheless willing to pay; van Vogt later recalled "doing little but tear open envelopes and pull out $500 checks from people who wanted to take an auditor's course".  Financial controls were lax. Hubbard himself took large sums with no explanation of what he was doing with it. On one occasion, van Vogt saw Hubbard taking a lump sum of $56,000 (equivalent to $0.5 million at 2010 prices) out of the Los Angeles Foundation's proceeds.  One of Hubbard's employees, Helen O'Brien, commented that at the Elizabeth, N.J. branch of the Foundation, the books showed that "a month's income of $90,000 is listed, with only $20,000 accounted for" 

Hubbard played a very active role in the Dianetics boom, writing, lecturing and training auditors. Many of those who knew him spoke of being impressed by his personal charisma. Jack Horner, who became a Dianetics auditor in 1950, later said, "He was very impressive, dedicated and amusing. The man had tremendous charisma; you just wanted to hear every word he had to say and listen for any pearl of wisdom."  Isaac Asimov recalled in his autobiography how, at a dinner party, he, Robert Heinlein, L. Sprague de Camp and their wives "all sat as quietly as pussycats and listened to Hubbard. He told tales with perfect aplomb and in complete paragraphs." As Atack comments, he was "a charismatic figure who compelled the devotion of those around him".  Christopher Evans described the personal qualities that Hubbard brought to Dianetics and Scientology:

He undoubtedly has charisma, a magnetic lure of an indefinable kind which makes him the centre of attraction in any kind of gathering. He is also a compulsive talker and pontificator ... His restless energy keeps him on the go throughout a long day—he is a poor sleeper and rises very early—and provides part of the drive which has allowed him to found and propagate a major international organization.

Collapse of Dianetics Foundation and Subsequent Kidnappings

Hubbard's supporters soon began to have doubts about Dianetics. Winter became disillusioned and wrote that he had never seen a single convincing Clear: "I have seen some individuals who are supposed to have been 'clear,' but their behavior does not conform to the definition of the state. Moreover, an individual supposed to have been 'clear' has undergone a relapse into conduct which suggests an incipient psychosis."[146] He also deplored the Foundation's omission of any serious scientific research.[

Dianetics lost public credibility in August 1950 when a presentation by Hubbard before an audience of 6,000 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles failed disastrously.  He introduced a Clear named Sonya Bianca and told the audience that as a result of undergoing Dianetic therapy she now possessed perfect recall. However, Gardner writes, "in the demonstration that followed, she failed to remember a single formula in physics (the subject in which she was majoring) or the color of Hubbard's tie when his back was turned. At this point, a large part of the audience got up and left." 

Hubbard also faced other practitioners moving into leadership positions within the Dianetics community. It was structured as an open, public practice in which others were free to pursue their own lines of research and claim that their approaches to auditing produced better results than Hubbard's. The community rapidly splintered and its members mingled Hubbard's ideas with a wide variety of esoteric and occult practices.

By late 1950, the Elizabeth, N.J. Foundation was in financial crisis and the Los Angeles Foundation was more than $200,000 in debt (equivalent to $1,718,950 in 2018).  Winter and Art Ceppos, the publisher of Hubbard's book, resigned under acrimonious circumstances.  Campbell also resigned, criticizing Hubbard for being impossible to work with, and blamed him for the disorganization and financial ruin of the Foundations. By the summer of 1951, the Elizabeth, N.J. Foundation and all of its branches had closed.

The collapse of Hubbard's marriage to Sara created yet more problems. He had begun an affair with his 20-year-old public relations assistant in late 1950, while Sara started a relationship with Dianetics auditor Miles Hollister. Hubbard secretly denounced the couple to the FBI in March 1951, portraying them in a letter as communist infiltrators. According to Hubbard, Sara was "currently intimate with [communists] but evidently under coercion. Drug addiction set in fall 1950. Nothing of this known to me until a few weeks ago." Hollister was described as having a "sharp chin, broad forehead, rather Slavic". He was said to be the "center of most turbulence in our organization" and "active and dangerous".  The FBI did not take Hubbard seriously: an agent annotated his correspondence with the comment, "Appears mental."

Three weeks later, Hubbard and two Foundation staff seized Sara and his year-old daughter Alexis and forcibly took them to San Bernardino, California, where he attempted unsuccessfully to find a doctor to examine Sara and declare her insane.  He let Sara go but took Alexis to HavanaCuba. Sara filed a divorce suit on April 23, 1951, that accused him of marrying her bigamously and subjecting her to sleep deprivation, beatings, strangulation, kidnapping and exhortations to commit suicide.  The case led to newspaper headlines such as "Ron Hubbard Insane, Says His Wife."  Sara finally secured the return of her daughter in June 1951 by agreeing to a settlement with her husband in which she signed a statement, written by him, declaring:

The things I have said about L. Ron Hubbard in courts and the public prints have been grossly exaggerated or entirely false. I have not at any time believed otherwise than that L. Ron Hubbard is a fine and brilliant man. 

Dianetics appeared to be on the edge of total collapse. However, it was saved by Don Purcell, a millionaire businessman and Dianeticist who agreed to support a new Foundation in Wichita, Kansas. Their collaboration ended after less than a year when they fell out over the future direction of Dianetics. The Wichita Foundation became financially nonviable after a court ruled that it was liable for the unpaid debts of its defunct predecessor in Elizabeth, N.J. The ruling prompted Purcell and the other directors of the Wichita Foundation to file for voluntary bankruptcy in February 1952.

 Hubbard resigned immediately and accused Purcell of having been bribed by the American Medical Association to destroy Dianetics. 

 Hubbard established a "Hubbard College" on the other side of town where he continued to promote Dianetics while fighting Purcell in the courts over the Foundation's intellectual property. 

Only six weeks after setting up the Hubbard College and marrying a staff member, 18-year-old Mary Sue Whipp, Hubbard closed it down and moved with his new bride to Phoenix, Arizona. He established a Hubbard Association of Scientologists International to promote his new "Science of Certainty"—Scientology. Scientology and Dianetics have been differentiated as follows: Dianetics is all about releasing the mind from the "distorting influence of engrams", and Scientology "is the study and handling of the spirit in relation to itself, universes and other life".

 Rise Of Scientology

The Church of Scientology attributes its genesis to Hubbard's discovery of "a new line of research"—"that man is most fundamentally a spiritual being (a thetan)".  Non-Scientologist writers have suggested alternative motives: that he aimed "to reassert control over his creation",  that he believed "he was about to lose control of Dianetics", or that he wanted to ensure "he would be able to stay in business even if the courts eventually awarded control of Dianetics and its valuable copyrights to ... the hated Don Purcell."  Harlan Ellisonhas told a story of seeing Hubbard at a gathering of the Hydra Club in 1953 or 1954. Hubbard was complaining of not being able to make a living on what he was being paid as a science fiction writer. Ellison says that Lester del Reytold Hubbard that what he needed to do to get rich was start a religion. 

Hubbard expanded upon the basics of Dianetics to construct a spiritually oriented (though at this stage not religious) doctrine based on the concept that the true self of a person was a thetan — an immortal, omniscient and potentially omnipotent entity. Hubbard taught that thetans, having created the material universe, had forgotten their god-like powers and become trapped in physical bodies. Scientology aimed to "rehabilitate" each person's self (the thetan) to restore its original capacities and become once again an "Operating Thetan". Hubbard insisted humanity was imperiled by the forces of "aberration", which were the result of engrams carried by immortal thetans for billions of years. 

In 2012, Ohio State University professor Hugh Urban asserted that Hubbard had adopted many of his theories from the early to mid 20th century astral projection pioneer Sylvan Muldoon stating that Hubbard's description of exteriorizing the thetan is extremely similar if not identical to the descriptions of astral projection in occult literature popularized by Muldoon's widely read Phenomena of Astral Projection (1951) (co-written with Hereward Carrington) and that Muldoon's description of the astral body as being connected to the physical body by a long thin, elastic cord is virtually identical to the one described in Hubbard's "Excalibur" vision.

Hubbard introduced a device called an E-meter that he presented as having, as Miller puts it, "an almost mystical power to reveal an individual's innermost thoughts".  He promulgated Scientology through a series of lectures, bulletins and books such as A History of Man ("a cold-blooded and factual account of your last sixty trillion years")  and Scientology: 8-8008 ("With this book, the ability to make one's body old or young at will, the ability to heal the ill without physical contact, the ability to cure the insane and the incapacitated, is set forth for the physician, the layman, the mathematician and the physicist.") 

Scientology was organized in a very different way from the decentralized Dianetics movement. The Hubbard Association of Scientologists (HAS) was the only official Scientology organization. Training procedures and doctrines were standardized and promoted through HAS publications, and administrators and auditors were not permitted to deviate from Hubbard's approach.  Branches or "orgs" were organized as franchises, rather like a fast food restaurant chain. Each franchise holder was required to pay ten percent of income to Hubbard's central organization. They were expected to find new recruits, known as "raw meat", but were restricted to providing only basic services. Costlier higher-level auditing was only provided by Hubbard's central organization. 

Although this model would eventually be extremely successful, Scientology was a very small-scale movement at first. Hubbard started off with only a few dozen followers, generally dedicated Dianeticists; a seventy-hour series of lectures in Philadelphia in December 1952 was attended by just 38 people. Hubbard was joined in Phoenix by his 18-year-old son Nibs, who had been unable to settle down in high school. Nibs had decided to become a Scientologist, moved into his father's home and went on to become a Scientology staff member and "professor". Hubbard also traveled to the United Kingdom to establish his control over a Dianetics group in London. It was very much a shoestring operation; as Helen O'Brien later recalled, "there was an atmosphere of extreme poverty and undertones of a grim conspiracy over all. At 163 Holland Park Avenue was an ill-lit lecture room and a bare-boarded and poky office some eight by ten feet—mainly infested by long haired men and short haired and tatty women." On September 24, 1952, only a few weeks after arriving in London, Hubbard's wife Mary Sue gave birth to her first child, a daughter whom they named Diana Meredith de Wolfe Hubbard. 

In February 1953, Hubbard acquired a doctorate from the unaccredited degree mill called Sequoia University. 

As membership declined and finances grew tighter, Hubbard had reversed the hostility to religion he voiced in Dianetics.  A few weeks after becoming "Dr." Hubbard, he authored a letter outlining plans for transforming Scientology into a religion. In that letter, Hubbard proposed setting up a chain of "Spiritual Guidance Centers" charging customers $500 for twenty-four hours of auditing proposing that Scientology should be transformed into a religion: 

We don't want a clinic. We want one in operation but not in name. Perhaps we could call it a Spiritual Guidance Center. Think up its name, will you. And we could put in nice desks and our boys in neat blue with diplomas on the walls and 1. knock psychotherapy into history and 2. make enough money to shine up my operating scope and 3. keep the HAS solvent. It is a problem of practical business.

I await your reaction on the religion angle. In my opinion, we couldn't get worse public opinion than we have had or have less customers with what we've got to sell. 

The letter's recipient, Helen O'Brien, resigned the following September.  She criticized Hubbard for creating "a temperate zone voodoo, in its inelasticity, unexplainable procedures, and mindless group euphoria". 

The idea may not have been new; Hubbard has been quoted as telling a science fiction convention in 1948: "Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion."  Scholar J. Gordon Meltonnotes, "There is no record of Hubbard having ever made this statement, though several of his science fiction colleagues have noted the broaching of the subject on one of their informal conversations." 

Despite objections, on December 18, 1953, Hubbard incorporated the Church of Scientology, Church of American Science and Church of Spiritual Engineering in Camden, New Jersey. Hubbard, his wife Mary Sue and his secretary John Galusha became the trustees of all three corporations. The reason for Scientology's religious transformation was explained by officials of the HAS:

[T]here is little doubt but what [sic] this stroke will remove Scientology from the target area of overt and covert attacks by the medical profession, who see their pills, scalpels, and appendix-studded incomes threatened ... [Scientologists] can avoid the recent fiasco in which a Pasadena practitioner is reported to have spent 10 days in that city's torture chamber for "practicing medicine without a license." 

Scientology franchises became Churches of Scientology and some auditors began dressing as clergymen, complete with clerical collars. If they were arrested in the course of their activities, Hubbard advised, they should sue for massive damages for molesting "a Man of God going about his business".  A few years later he told Scientologists: "If attacked on some vulnerable point by anyone or anything or any organization, always find or manufacture enough threat against them to cause them to sue for peace ... Don't ever defend, always attack." Any individual breaking away from Scientology and setting up his own group was to be shut down:

The purpose of the suit is to harass and discourage rather than to win. The law can be used very easily to harass, and enough harassment on somebody who is simply on the thin edge anyway, well knowing that he is not authorized, will generally be sufficient to cause his professional decease. If possible, of course, ruin him utterly. 

The 1950s saw Scientology growing steadily. Hubbard finally achieved victory over Don Purcell in 1954 when the latter, worn out by constant litigation, handed the copyrights of Dianetics back to Hubbard.  Most of the formerly independent Scientology and Dianetics groups were either driven out of business or were absorbed into Hubbard's organizations. Hubbard marketed Scientology through medical claims, such as attracting polio sufferers by presenting the Church of Scientology as a scientific research foundation investigating polio cases.  One advertisement during this period stated:

Plagued by illness? We'll make you able to have good health. Get processed by the finest capable auditors in the world today ... Personally coached and monitored by L. Ron Hubbard. 

Scientology became a highly profitable enterprise for Hubbard.  He implemented a scheme under which he was paid a percentage of the Church of Scientology's gross income and by 1957 he was being paid about $250,000 (equivalent to US$2,230,154 in 2018). His family grew, too, with Mary Sue giving birth to three more children—Geoffrey Quentin McCaully on January 6, 1954;  Mary Suzette Rochelle on February 13, 1955;  and Arthur Ronald Conway on June 6, 1958.   In the spring of 1959, he used his new-found wealth to purchase Saint Hill Manor, an 18th-century country house in Sussex, formerly owned by Sawai Man Singh II, the Maharaja of Jaipur. The house became Hubbard's permanent residence and an international training center for Scientologists.

Controversies and Crises for L Ron Hubbard and Scientology

By the start of the 1960s, Hubbard was the leader of a worldwide movement with thousands of followers. A decade later, however, he had left Saint Hill Manor and moved aboard his own private fleet of ships as the Church of Scientology faced worldwide controversy.

The Church of Scientology says that the problems of this period were due to "vicious, covert international attacks" by the United States government, "all of which were proven false and baseless, which were to last 27 years and finally culminated in the Government being sued for 750 million dollars for conspiracy." Behind the attacks, stated Hubbard, lay a vast conspiracy of "psychiatric front groups" secretly controlling governments: "Every single lie, false charge and attack on Scientology has been traced directly to this group's members. They have sought at great expense for nineteen years to crush and eradicate any new development in the field of the mind. They are actively preventing any effectiveness in this field."

Hubbard believed that Scientology was being infiltrated by saboteurs and spies and introduced "security checking" to identify those he termed "potential trouble sources" and "suppressive persons". Members of the Church of Scientology were interrogated with the aid of E-meters and were asked questions such as "Have you ever practiced homosexuality?" and "Have you ever had unkind thoughts about L. Ron Hubbard?"  For a time, Scientologists were even interrogated about crimes committed in past lives: "Have you ever destroyed a culture?" "Did you come to Earth for evil purposes?" "Have you ever zapped anyone?"

He also sought to exert political influence, advising Scientologists to vote against Richard Nixon in the 1960 presidential election and establishing a Department of Government Affairs "to bring government and hostile philosophies or societies into a state of complete compliance with the goals of Scientology". This, he said, "is done by high-level ability to control and in its absence by a low-level ability to overwhelm. Introvert such agencies. Control such agencies."

The U.S. Government was already well aware of Hubbard's activities. The FBI had a lengthy file on him, including a 1951 interview with an agent who considered him a "mental case".  Police forces in a number of jurisdictions began exchanging information about Scientology through the auspices of Interpol, which eventually led to prosecutions. In 1958, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service withdrew the Washington, D.C. Church of Scientology's tax exemption after it found that Hubbard and his family were profiting unreasonably from Scientology's ostensibly non-profit income.The Food and Drug Administration took action against Scientology's medical claims, seizing thousands of pills being marketed as "radiation cures"  as well as publications and E-meters. The Church of Scientology was required to label them as being "ineffective in the diagnosis or treatment of disease". 

Following the FDA's actions, Scientology attracted increasingly unfavorable publicity across the English-speaking world.  It faced particularly hostile scrutiny in Victoria, Australia, where it was accused of brainwashing, blackmail, extortion and damaging the mental health of its members.  The Victorian state government established a Board of Inquiry into Scientology in November 1963.  Its report, published in October 1965, condemned every aspect of Scientology and Hubbard himself. He was described as being of doubtful sanity, having a persecution complex and displaying strong indications of paranoid schizophrenia with delusions of grandeur. His writings were characterized as nonsensical, abounding in "self-glorification and grandiosity, replete with histrionics and hysterical, incontinent outbursts". Sociologist Roy Wallis comments that the report drastically changed public perceptions of Scientology:

The former conception of the movement as a relatively harmless, if cranky, health and self-improvement cult, was transformed into one which portrayed it as evil, dangerous, a form of hypnosis (with all the overtones of Svengali in the layman's mind), and brainwashing.

The report led to Scientology being banned in Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia, and led to more negative publicity around the world. Newspapers and politicians in the UK pressed the British government for action against Scientology. In April 1966, hoping to form a remote "safe haven" for Scientology, Hubbard traveled to the southern African country Rhodesia (today Zimbabwe) and looked into setting up a base there at a hotel on Lake Kariba. Despite his attempts to curry favour with the local government—he personally delivered champagne to Prime Minister Ian Smith's house, but Smith refused to see him—Rhodesia promptly refused to renew Hubbard's visa, compelling him to leave the country.  In July 1968, the British Minister of HealthKenneth Robinson, announced that foreign Scientologists would no longer be permitted to enter the UK and Hubbard himself was excluded from the country as an "undesirable alien". Further inquiries were launched in Canada, New Zealand and South Africa. 

Hubbard took three major new initiatives in the face of these challenges. "Ethics Technology" was introduced to tighten internal discipline within Scientology. It required Scientologists to "disconnect" from any organization or individual—including family members—deemed to be disruptive or "suppressive". According to church-operated websites, "A person who disconnects is simply exercising his right to communicate or not to communicate with a particular person." Hubbard stated: "Communication, however, is a two-way flow. If one has the right to communicate, then one must also have the right to not receive communication from another. It is this latter corollary of the right to communicate that gives us our right to privacy."  Scientologists were also required to write "Knowledge Reports" on each other, reporting transgressions or misapplications of Scientology methods. Hubbard promulgated a long list of punishable "Misdemeanors", "Crimes", and "High Crimes".  The "Fair Game" policy was introduced, which was applicable to anyone deemed an "enemy" of Scientology: "May be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed." 

At the start of March 1966, Hubbard created the Guardian's Office (GO), a new agency within the Church of Scientology that was headed by his wife Mary Sue.  It dealt with Scientology's external affairs, including public relations, legal actions and the gathering of intelligence on perceived threats.  As Scientology faced increasingly negative media attention, the GO retaliated with hundreds of writs for libel and slander; it issued more than forty on a single day.  Hubbard ordered his staff to find "lurid, blood sex crime actual evidence [sic] on [Scientology's] attackers". 

Finally, at the end of 1966, Hubbard acquired his own fleet of ships.  He established the "Hubbard Explorational Company Ltd" which purchased three ships—the Enchanter, a forty-ton schooner, the Avon River, an old trawler,  and the Royal Scotman [sic], a former Irish Sea cattle ferry that he made his home and flagship. The ships were crewed by the Sea Organization or Sea Org, a group of Scientologist volunteers, with the support of a couple of professional seamen.

L Ron Hubbard As Commodore Of The Org

After Hubbard created the Sea Org "fleet" in early 1967 it began an eight-year voyage, sailing from port to port in the Mediterranean Sea and eastern North Atlantic. The fleet traveled as far as Corfu in the eastern Mediterranean and Dakar and the Azores in the Atlantic, but rarely stayed anywhere for longer than six weeks. Ken Urquhart, Hubbard's personal assistant at the time, later recalled:

[Hubbard] said we had to keep moving because there were so many people after him. If they caught up with him they would cause him so much trouble that he would be unable to continue his work, Scientology would not get into the world and there would be social and economic chaos, if not a nuclear holocaust. 

When Hubbard established the Sea Org he publicly declared that he had relinquished his management responsibilities. According to Miller, this was not true. He received daily telex messages from Scientology organizations around the world reporting their statistics and income. The Church of Scientology sent him $15,000 (equivalent to $112,710 in 2018) a week and millions of dollars were transferred to his bank accounts in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Couriers arrived regularly, conveying luxury food for Hubbard and his family  or cash that had been smuggled from England to avoid currency export restrictions. 

Along the way, Hubbard sought to establish a safe haven in "a friendly little country where Scientology would be allowed to prosper", as Miller puts it.  The fleet stayed at Corfu for several months in 1968–1969. Hubbard renamed the ships after Greek gods—the Royal Scotman was rechristened Apollo—and he praised the recently established military dictatorship. The Sea Org was represented as "Professor Hubbard's Philosophy School" in a telegram to the Greek government.  In March 1969, however, Hubbard and his ships were ordered to leave.  In mid-1972, Hubbard tried again in Morocco, establishing contacts with the country's secret police and training senior policemen and intelligence agents in techniques for detecting subversives.  The program ended in failure when it became caught up in internal Moroccan politics, and Hubbard left the country hastily in December 1972. 

At the same time, Hubbard was still developing Scientology's doctrines. A Scientology biography states that "free of organizational duties and aided by the first Sea Org members, L. Ron Hubbard now had the time and facilities to confirm in the physical universe some of the events and places he had encountered in his journeys down the track of time."  In 1965, he designated several existing Scientology courses as confidential, repackaging them as the first of the esoteric "OT levels".[244] Two years later he announced the release of OT3, the "Wall of Fire", revealing the secrets of an immense disaster that had occurred "on this planet, and on the other seventy-five planets which form this Confederacy, seventy-five million years ago".  Scientologists were required to undertake the first two OT levels before learning how Xenu, the leader of the Galactic Confederacy, had shipped billions of people to Earth and blown them up with hydrogen bombs, following which their traumatized spirits were stuck together at "implant stations", brainwashed with false memories and eventually became contained within human beings. The discovery of OT3 was said to have taken a major physical toll on Hubbard, who announced that he had broken a knee, an arm, and his back during the course of his research.  A year later, in 1968, he unveiled OT levels 4 to 6 and began delivering OT training courses to Scientologists aboard the Royal Scotman. 

Scientologists around the world were presented with a glamorous picture of life in the Sea Org and many applied to join Hubbard aboard the fleet.  What they found was rather different from the image. Most of those joining had no nautical experience at all. Mechanical difficulties and blunders by the crews led to a series of embarrassing incidents and near-disasters. Following one incident in which the rudder of the Royal Scotman was damaged during a storm, Hubbard ordered the ship's entire crew to be reduced to a "condition of liability" and wear gray rags tied to their arms. The ship itself was treated the same way, with dirty tarpaulins tied around its funnel to symbolize its lower status. According to those aboard, conditions were appalling; the crew was worked to the point of exhaustion, given meagre rations and forbidden to wash or change their clothes for several weeks. Hubbard maintained a harsh disciplinary regime aboard the fleet, punishing mistakes by confining people in the Royal Scotman's bilge tanks without toilet facilities and with food provided in buckets.  At other times erring crew members were thrown overboard with Hubbard looking on and, occasionally, filming.  David Mayo, a Sea Org member at the time, later recalled:

We tried not to think too hard about his behavior. It was not rational much of the time, but to even consider such a thing was a discreditable thought and you couldn't allow yourself to have a discreditable thought. One of the questions in a sec[urity] check was, "Have you ever had any unkind thoughts about LRH?" and you could get into very serious trouble if you had. So you tried hard not to. 

From about 1970, Hubbard was attended aboard ship by the children of Sea Org members, organized as the Commodore's Messenger Organization (CMO). They were mainly young girls dressed in hot pants and halter tops, who were responsible for running errands for Hubbard such as lighting his cigarettes, dressing him or relaying his verbal commands to other members of the crew. In addition to his wife Mary Sue, he was accompanied by all four of his children by her, though not his first son Nibs, who had defected from Scientology in late 1959.  The younger Hubbards were all members of the Sea Org and shared its rigors, though Quentin Hubbard reportedly found it difficult to adjust and attempted suicide in mid-1974. 

L Ron Hubbard's Life In Hiding 

During the 1970s, Hubbard faced an increasing number of legal threats. French prosecutors charged him and the French Church of Scientology with fraud and customs violations in 1972. He was advised that he was at risk of being extradited to France. Hubbard left the Sea Org fleet temporarily at the end of 1972, living incognito in Queens, New York,  until he returned to his flagship in September 1973 when the threat of extradition had abated.  Scientology sources say that he carried out "a sociological study in and around New York City".

Hubbard's health deteriorated significantly during this period. A chain-smoker, he also suffered from bursitis and excessive weight, and had a prominent growth on his forehead.  He suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle accident in 1973 and had a heart attack in 1975 that required him to take anticoagulant drugs for the next year.  In September 1978, Hubbard had a pulmonary embolism, falling into a coma, but recovered. 

He remained active in managing and developing Scientology, establishing the controversial Rehabilitation Project Force in 1974 and issuing policy and doctrinal bulletins.  However, the Sea Org's voyages were coming to an end. The Apollo was banned from several Spanish ports  and was expelled from Curaçao in October 1975. The Sea Org came to be suspected of being a CIA operation, leading to a riot in FunchalMadeira, when the Apollodocked there. At the time, The Apollo Stars, a musical group founded by Hubbard and made up entirely of ship-bound members of the Sea Org, was offering free on-pier concerts in an attempt to promote Scientology, and the riot occurred at one of these events. Hubbard decided to relocate back to the United States to establish a "land base" for the Sea Org in Florida.  The Church of Scientology attributes this decision to the activities on the Apollohaving "outgrow[n] the ship's capacity". 

In October 1975, Hubbard moved into a hotel suite in Daytona Beach. The Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater, Florida, was secretly acquired as the location for the "land base". On December 5, 1975, Hubbard and his wife Mary Sue moved into a condominium complex in nearby Dunedin.  Their presence was meant to be a closely guarded secret but was accidentally compromised the following month.  Hubbard immediately left Dunedin and moved to Georgetown, Washington, D.C., accompanied by a handful of aides and messengers, but not his wife.  Six months later, following another security alert in July 1976, Hubbard moved to another safe house in Culver City, California. He lived there for only about three months, relocating in October to the more private confines of the Olive Tree Ranch near La Quinta.  His second son Quentin committed suicide a few weeks later in Las Vegas.b

Throughout this period, Hubbard was heavily involved in directing the activities of the Guardian's Office (GO), the legal bureau/intelligence agency that he had established in 1966. He believed that Scientology was being attacked by an international Nazi conspiracy, which he termed the "Tenyaka Memorial", through a network of drug companies, banks and psychiatrists in a bid to take over the world. In 1973, he instigated the "Snow White Program" and directed the GO to remove negative reports about Scientology from government files and track down their sources.  The GO was ordered to "get all false and secret files on Scientology, LRH  ... that cannot be obtained legally, by all possible lines of approach ... i.e., job penetration, janitor penetration, suitable guises utilizing covers." His involvement in the GO's operations was concealed through the use of codenames. The GO carried out covert campaigns on his behalf such as Operation Bulldozer Leak, intended "to effectively spread the rumor that will lead Government, media, and individual [Suppressive Persons] to conclude that LRH has no control of the C of S and no legal liability for Church activity". He was kept informed of GO operations, such as the theft of medical records from a hospital, harassment of psychiatrists and infiltrations of organizations that had been critical of Scientology at various times, such as the Better Business Bureau, the American Medical Association, and American Psychiatric Association. 

Members of the GO infiltrated and burglarized numerous government organizations, including the U.S. Department of Justiceand the Internal Revenue Service.  After two GO agents were caught in the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the IRS, the FBI carried out simultaneous raids on GO offices in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. on July 7, 1977. They retrieved wiretapequipment, burglary tools and some 90,000 pages of incriminating documents. Hubbard was not prosecuted, though he was labeled an "unindicted co-conspirator" by government prosecutors. His wife Mary Sue was indicted and subsequently convicted of conspiracy. She was sent to a federal prison along with ten other Scientologists. 

Hubbard's troubles increased in February 1978 when a French court convicted him in absentia for obtaining money under false pretenses. He was sentenced to four years in prison and a 35,000FF($7,000) fine, equivalent to $26,889 in 2018.  He went into hiding in April 1979, moving to an apartment in Hemet, California, where his only contact with the outside world was via ten trusted essengers. He cut contact with everyone else, even his wife, whom he saw for the last time in August 1979. Hubbard faced a possible indictment for his role in Operation Freakout, the GO's campaign against New York journalist Paulette Cooper, and in February 1980 he disappeared into deep cover in the company of two trusted messengers, Pat and Anne Broeker. 

For the first few years of the 1980s, Hubbard and the Broekers lived on the move, touring the Pacific Northwest in a recreational vehicleand living for a while in apartments in Newport Beach and Los Angeles. Hubbard used his time in hiding to write his first new works of science fiction for nearly thirty years—Battlefield Earth(1982) and Mission Earth, a ten-volume series published between 1985 and 1987.  They received mixed responses; as writer Jeff Walker puts it, they were "treated derisively by most critics but greatly admired by followers". Hubbard also wrote and composed music for three of his albums, which were produced by the Church of Scientology. The book soundtrack Space Jazz was released in 1982. Mission Earth and The Road to Freedom were released posthumously in 1986.

In Hubbard's absence, members of the Sea Org staged a takeover of the Church of Scientology and purged many veteran Scientologists. A young messenger, David Miscavige, became Scientology's de facto leader. Mary Sue Hubbard was forced to resign her position and her daughter Suzette became Miscavige's personal maid.

 L Ron Hubbard's Death And Legacy

For the last two years of his life, Hubbard lived in a luxury Blue Bird motorhome on Whispering Winds, a 160-acre ranch near Creston, California. He remained in deep hiding while controversy raged in the outside world about whether he was still alive and if so, where. He spent his time "writing and researching", according to a spokesperson, and pursued photography and music, overseeing construction work and checking on his animals. He repeatedly redesigned the property, spending millions of dollars remodeling the ranch house—which went virtually uninhabited—and building a quarter-mile horse-racing track with an observation tower, which reportedly was never used.

He was still closely involved in managing the Church of Scientology via secretly delivered orders and continued to receive large amounts of money, of which Forbes magazine estimated "at least $200 million [was] gathered in Hubbard's name through 1982." In September 1985, the IRS notified the Church that it was considering indicting Hubbard for tax fraud.

Hubbard suffered further ill-health, including chronic pancreatitis, during his residence at Whispering Winds. He suffered a stroke on January 17, 1986, and died a week later. His body was cremated and the ashes were scattered at sea. Scientology leaders announced that his body had become an impediment to his work and that he had decided to "drop his body" to continue his research on another planet, having "learned how to do it without a body".

Hubbard was survived by his wife Mary Sue and all of his children except his second son Quentin. His will provided a trust fund to support Mary Sue; her children Arthur, Diana and Suzette; and Katherine, the daughter of his first wife Polly. He disinherited two of his other children. L. Ron Hubbard, Jr. had become estranged, changed his name to "Ronald DeWolf" and, in 1982, sued unsuccessfully for control of his father's estate. Alexis Valerie, Hubbard's daughter by his second wife Sara, had attempted to contact her father in 1971. She was rebuffed with the implied claim that her real father was Jack Parsons rather than Hubbard, and that her mother had been a Nazi spy during the war. Both later accepted settlements when litigation was threatened. In 2001, Diana and Suzette were reported to still be Church members, while Arthur had left and become an artist. Hubbard's great-grandson, Jamie DeWolf, is a noted slam poet.

The copyrights of his works and much of his estate and wealth were willed to the Church of Scientology. In a bulletin dated May 5, 1980, Hubbard told his followers to preserve his teachings until an eventual reincarnation when he would return "not as a religious leader but as a political one".  The Church of Spiritual Technology(CST), a sister organization of the Church of Scientology, has engraved Hubbard's entire corpus of Scientology and Dianetics texts on steel tablets stored in titanium containers. They are buried at the Trementina Base in a vault under a mountain near Trementina, New Mexico, on top of which the CST's logo has been bulldozed on such a gigantic scale that it is visible from space.[302][303]

Hubbard is the Guinness World Record holder for the most published author, with 1,084 works,  most translated book (70 languages for The Way to Happiness) and most audiobooks (185 as of April 2009). According to Galaxy Press, Hubbard's Battlefield Earth has sold over 6 million copies and Mission Earth a further 7 million, with each of its ten volumes becoming New York Times bestsellers on their release;however, the Los Angeles Times reported in 1990 that Hubbard's followers had been buying large numbers of the books and re-issuing them to stores, so as to boost sales figures. Opinions are divided about his literary legacy. Scientologists have written of their desire to "make Ron the most acclaimed and widely known author of all time". The sociologist William Sims Bainbridge writes that even at his peak in the late 1930s Hubbard was regarded by readers of Astounding Science Fiction as merely "a passable, familiar author but not one of the best", while by the late 1970s "the [science fiction] subculture wishes it could forget him" and fans gave him a worse rating than any other of the "Golden Age" writers.

Posthumously, the Los Angeles City Council named a part of the street close to the headquarters of Scientology in 1996, as recognition of Hubbard. In 2011, the West Valley City Council declared March 13 as L. Ron Hubbard Centennial Day. In April 2016, the New Jersey State Board of Education approved Hubbard's birthday as one of its religious holidays.

In 2004, eighteen years after Hubbard's death, the Church claimed eight million followers worldwide. According to religious scholar J. Gordon Melton, this is an overestimate, counting as Scientologists people who had merely bought a book. The City University of New York's American Religious Identification Survey found that by 2009 only 25,000 Americans identified as Scientologists. Hubbard's presence still pervades Scientology. Every Church of Scientology maintains an office reserved for Hubbard, with a desk, chair and writing equipment, ready to be used.  Lonnie D. Klievernotes that Hubbard was "the only source of the religion, and he has no successor". Hubbard is referred to simply as "Source" within Scientology and the theological acceptability of any Scientology-related activity is determined by how closely it adheres to Hubbard's doctrines.  Hubbard's name and signature are official trademarks of the Religious Technology Center, established in 1982 to control and oversee the use of Hubbard's works and Scientology's trademarks and copyrights. The RTC is the central organization within Scientology's complex corporate hierarchy and has put much effort into re-checking the accuracy of all Scientology publications to "ensur[e] the availability of the pure unadulterated writings of Mr. Hubbard to the coming generations". 

The Danish historian of religions Mikael Rothstein describes Scientology as "a movement focused on the figure of Hubbard". He comments: "The fact that [Hubbard's] life is mythologized is as obvious as in the cases of JesusMuhammad or Siddartha Gotama. This is how religion works. Scientology, however, rejects this analysis altogether, and goes to great lengths to defend every detail of Hubbard's amazing and fantastic life as plain historical fact." Hubbard is presented as "the master of a multitude of disciplines" who performed extraordinary feats as a photographer, composer, scientist, therapist, explorer, navigator, philosopher, poet, artist, humanitarian, adventurer, soldier, scout, musician and many other fields of endeavor. The Church of Scientology portrays Hubbard's life and work as having proceeded seamlessly, "as if they were a continuous set of predetermined events and discoveries that unfolded through his lifelong research" even up to and beyond his death. 

According to Rothstein's assessment of Hubbard's legacy, Scientology consciously aims to transfer the charismatic authority of Hubbard to institutionalize his authority over the organization, even after his death. Hubbard is presented as a virtually superhuman religious ideal just as Scientology itself is presented as the most important development in human history.  As Rothstein puts it, "reverence for Scientology's scripture is reverence for Hubbard, the man who in the Scientological perspective single-handedly brought salvation to all human beings."   David G. Bromley of the University of Virginia comments that the real Hubbard has been transformed into a "prophetic persona", "LRH", which acts as the basis for his prophetic authority within Scientology and transcends his biographical history. According to Dorthe Refslund Christensen, Hubbard's hagiography directly compares him with Buddha. Hubbard is viewed as having made Eastern traditions more accessible by approaching them with a scientific attitude. "Hubbard is seen as the ultimate-cross-cultural savior; he is thought to be able to release man from his miserable condition because he had the necessary background, and especially the right attitude." 

Hubbard, although increasingly deified after his death, is the model Operating Thetan to Scientologists and their founder, and not God. Hubbard then is the "Source", "inviting others to follow his path in ways comparable to a Bodhisattva figure" according to religious scholar Donald A. Westbrook. Scientologists refer to L. Ron Hubbard as "Ron", referring to him as a personal friend.

Biographies of L Ron Hubbard

In the late 1970s two men began to assemble a picture of Hubbard's life. Michael Linn Shannon, a resident of Portland, Oregon, became interested in Hubbard's life story after an encounter with a Scientology recruiter. Over the next four years he collected previously undisclosed records and documents. He intended to write an exposé of Hubbard and sent a copy of his findings and key records to a number of contacts but was unable to find a publisher.

Shannon's findings were acquired by Gerry Armstrong, a Scientologist who had been appointed Hubbard's official archivist. He had been given the job of assembling documents relating to Hubbard's life for the purpose of helping Omar V. Garrison, a non-Scientologist who had written two books sympathetic to Scientology, to write an official biography. However, the documents that he uncovered convinced both Armstrong and Garrison that Hubbard had systematically misrepresented his life. Garrison refused to write a "puff piece" and declared that he would not "repeat all the falsehoods they [the Church of Scientology] had perpetuated over the years". He wrote a "warts and all" biography while Armstrong quit Scientology, taking five boxes of papers with him. The Church of Scientology and Mary Sue Hubbard sued for the return of the documents while settling out of court with Garrison, requiring him to turn over the nearly completed manuscript of the biography. In October 1984 Judge Paul G. Breckenridge ruled in Armstrong's favor, saying:

The evidence portrays a man who has been virtually a pathological liar when it comes to his history, background and achievements. The writings and documents in evidence additionally reflect his egoism, greed, avarice, lust for power, and vindictiveness and aggressiveness against persons perceived by him to be disloyal or hostile. At the same time it appears that he is charismatic and highly capable of motivating, organizing, controlling, manipulating and inspiring his adherents. He has been referred to during the trial as a "genius," a "revered person," a man who was "viewed by his followers in awe." Obviously, he is and has been a very complex person and that complexity is further reflected in his alter ego, the Church of Scientology. 

In November 1987, the British journalist and writer Russell Miller published Bare-faced Messiah, the first full-length biography of L. Ron Hubbard. He drew on Armstrong's papers, official records and interviews with those who had known Hubbard including ex-Scientologists and family members. The book was well-received by reviewers but the Church of Scientology sought unsuccessfully to prohibit its publication on the grounds of copyright infringement.Other critical biographical accounts are found in Bent Corydon's L. Ron Hubbard, Messiah or Madman? (1987) and Jon Atack's A Piece of Blue Sky (1990).

Scientology biographies

Hagiographical accounts published by the Church of Scientology describe Hubbard as "a child prodigy of sorts" who rode a horse before he could walk and was able to read and write by the age of four.  A Scientology profile says that he was brought up on his grandfather's "large cattle ranch in Montana"  where he spent his days "riding, breaking broncos, hunting coyote and taking his first steps as an explorer". His grandfather is described as a "wealthy Western cattleman" from whom Hubbard "inherited his fortune and family interests in America, Southern Africa, etc."  Scientology claims that Hubbard became a "blood brother" of the Native American Blackfeet tribe at the age of six through his friendship with a Blackfeet medicine man.

However, contemporary records show that his grandfather, Lafayette Waterbury, was a veterinarian, not a rancher, and was not wealthy. Hubbard was actually raised in a townhouse in the center of Helena. According to his aunt, his family did not own a ranch but did own one cow and four or five horses on a few acres of land outside the city.  Hubbard lived over a hundred miles from the Blackfeet reservation. While some sources support Scientology's claim of Hubbard's blood brotherhood, other sources say that the tribe did not practice blood brotherhood and no evidence has been found that he had ever been a Blackfeet blood brother.

According to Scientology biographies, during a journey to Washington, D.C. in 1923 Hubbard learned of Freudian psychologyfrom Commander Joseph "Snake" Thompson, a U.S. Navy psychoanalyst and medic. Scientology biographies describe this encounter as giving Hubbard training in a particular scientific approach to the mind, which he found unsatisfying.  In his diary, Hubbard claimed he was the youngest Eagle Scout in the U.S.

Scientology texts present Hubbard's travels in Asia as a time when he was intensely curious for answers to human suffering and explored ancient Eastern philosophies for answers, but found them lacking. He is described as traveling to China "at a time when few Westerners could enter"  and according to Scientology, spent his time questioning Buddhist lamas and meeting old Chinese magicians. According to church materials, his travels were funded by his "wealthy grandfather". 

Scientology accounts say that Hubbard "made his way deep into Manchuria's Western Hills and beyond — to break bread with Mongolian bandits, share campfires with Siberian shamans and befriend the last in the line of magicians from the court of Kublai Khan".  However, Hubbard did not record these events in his diary.  He remained unimpressed with China and the Chinese, writing: "A Chinaman can not live up to a thing, he always drags it down." He characterized the sights of Beijing as "rubberneck stations" for tourists and described the palaces of the Forbidden Cityas "very trashy-looking" and "not worth mentioning". He was impressed by the Great Wall of China near Beijing,  but concluded of the Chinese: "They smell of all the baths they didn't take. The trouble with China is, there are too many chinks here."

Despite not graduating from George Washington, Hubbard claimed "to be not only a graduate engineer, but 'a member of the first United States course in formal education in what is called today nuclear physics.'"  However, a Church of Scientology biography describes him as "never noted for being in class" and says that he "thoroughly detest[ed] his subjects".  He earned poor grades, was placed on probation in September 1931 and dropped out altogether in the fall of 1932. 

Scientology accounts say that he "studied nuclear physics at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., before he started his studies about the mind, spirit and life"  and Hubbard himself stated that he "set out to find out from nuclear physics a knowledge of the physical universe, something entirely lacking in Asian philosophy".  His university records indicate that his exposure to "nuclear physics" consisted of one class in "atomic and molecular phenomena" for which he earned an "F" grade. 

Scientologists claim he was more interested in extracurricular activities, particularly writing and flying. According to church materials, "he earned his wings as a pioneering barnstormer at the dawn of American aviation"  and was "recognized as one of the country's most outstanding pilots. With virtually no training time, he takes up powered flight and barnstorms throughout the Midwest."  His airman certificate, however, records that he qualified to fly only gliders rather than powered aircraft and gave up his certificate when he could not afford the renewal fee.

After leaving university Hubbard traveled to Puerto Rico on what the Church of Scientology calls the "Puerto Rican Mineralogical Expedition". Scientologists claim he "made the first complete mineralogical survey of Puerto Rico"  as a means of "augmenting his [father's] pay with a mining venture", during which he "sluiced inland rivers and crisscrossed the island in search of elusive gold" as well as carrying out "much ethnological work amongst the interior villages and native hillsmen".  Hubbard's unofficial biographer Russell Miller writes that neither the United States Geological Survey nor the Puerto Rican Department of Natural Resources have any record of any such expedition.

According to the Church of Scientology, Hubbard was "called to Hollywood" to work on film scripts in the mid-1930s, although Scientology accounts differ as to exactly when this was (whether 1935,1936  or 1937 ). The Church of Scientology claims he also worked on the Columbia serials The Mysterious Pilot (1937), The Great Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok (1938) and The Spider Returns (1941),  though his name does not appear on the credits. Hubbard also claimed to have written Dive Bomber(1941),  Cecil B. DeMille's The Plainsman (1936) and John Ford's Stagecoach (1939). 

Scientology accounts of the expedition to Alaska describe "Hubbard's re-charting of an especially treacherous Inside Passage, and his ethnological study of indigenous Aleuts and Haidas" and tell of how "along the way, he not only roped a Kodiak Bear, but braved seventy-mile-an-hour winds and commensurate seas off the Aleutian Islands."[353] They are divided about how far Hubbard's expedition actually traveled, whether 700 miles (1,100 km) or 2,000 miles (3,200 km).

The Church disputes the official record of Hubbard's naval career. It asserts that the records are incomplete and perhaps falsified "to conceal Hubbard's secret activities as an intelligence officer".  In 1990 the Church provided the Los Angeles Times with a document that was said to be a copy of Hubbard's official record of service. The U.S. Navy told the Times that "its contents are not supported by Hubbard's personnel record."  The New Yorker reported in February 2011 that the Scientology document was considered by federal archivists to be a forgery.

The Church of Scientology presents him as a "much-decorated war hero who commanded a corvette and during hostilities was crippled and wounded".  Scientology publications say he served as a "Commodore of Corvette squadrons" in "all five theaters of World War II" and was awarded "twenty-one medals and palms" for his service.  He was "severely wounded and was taken crippled and blinded" to a military hospital, where he "worked his way back to fitness, strength and full perception in less than two years, using only what he knew and could determine about Man and his relationship to the universe". He said that he had seen combat repeatedly, telling A. E. van Vogt that he had once sailed his ship "right into the harbor of a Japanese occupied island in the Dutch East Indies. His attitude was that if you took your flag down the Japanese would not know one boat from another, so he tied up at the dock, went ashore and wandered around by himself for three days." 

Hubbard's war service has great significance in the history and mythology of the Church of Scientology, as he is said to have cured himself through techniques that would later underpin Scientology and Dianetics. According to Moulton, Hubbard told him that he had been machine-gunned in the back near the Dutch East Indies. Hubbard asserted that his eyes had been damaged as well, either "by the flash of a large-caliber gun" or when he had "a bomb go off in my face".  Scientology texts say that he returned from the war "[b]linded with injured optic nerves, and lame with physical injuries to hip and back" and was twice pronounced dead.  Hubbard's official Navy service records indicate that "his military performance was, at times, substandard" and he received only four campaign medals rather than the claimed twenty-one. He was never recorded as being injured or wounded in combat and never received a Purple Heart. 

The Church of Scientology says that Hubbard's key breakthrough in the development of Dianetics was made at Oak Knoll Naval Hospitalin Oakland, California. According to the Church,

In early 1945, while recovering from war injuries at Oak Knoll Naval Hospital, Mr. Hubbard conducts a series of tests and experiments dealing with the endocrine system. He discovers that, contrary to long-standing beliefs, function monitors structure. With this revolutionary advance, he begins to apply his theories to the field of the mind and thereby to improve the conditions of others. 

Scientology accounts do not mention Hubbard's involvement in occultism. He is instead described as "continu[ing] to write to help support his research" during this period into "the development of a means to better the condition of man".  The Church of Scientology has nonetheless acknowledged Hubbard's involvement with the OTO; a 1969 statement, written by Hubbard himself, said:

Hubbard broke up black magic in America ... L. Ron Hubbard was still an officer of the U.S. Navy, because he was well known as a writer and a philosopher and had friends amongst the physicists, he was sent in to handle the situation. He went to live at the house and investigated the black magic rites and the general situation and found them very bad ...

Hubbard's mission was successful far beyond anyone's expectations. The house was torn down. Hubbard rescued a girl they were using. The black magic group was dispersed and destroyed and has never recovered.

The Church of Scientology says Hubbard was "sent in" by his fellow science fiction author Robert Heinlein, "who was running off-book intelligence operations for naval intelligence at the time". However, Heinlein's authorized biographer has said that he looked into the matter at the suggestion of Scientologists but found nothing to corroborate claims that Heinlein had been involved, and his biography of Heinlein makes no mention of the matter.

The Church of Scientology says Hubbard quit the Navy because it "attempted to monopolize all his researches and force him to work on a project 'to make man more suggestible' and when he was unwilling, tried to blackmail him by ordering him back to active duty to perform this function. Having many friends he was able to instantly resign from the Navy and escape this trap." The Navy said in a statement in 1980: "There is no evidence on record of an attempt to recall him to active duty."

Following Hubbard's death, Bridge Publications published several stand-alone biographical accounts of his life. Marco Frenschkowski notes that "non-Scientologist readers immediately recognize some parts of Hubbard's life are here systematically left out: no information whatsoever is given about his private life (his marriages, divorces, children), his legal affairs and so on." The Church maintains an extensive website presenting the official version of Hubbard's life. It also owns a number of properties dedicated to Hubbard including the Los Angeles-based L. Ron Hubbard Life Exhibition (a presentation of Hubbard's life), the Author Services Center (a presentation of Hubbard's writings), and the L. Ron Hubbard House in Washington, D.C.

In late 2012, Bridge published a comprehensive official biography of Hubbard, titled The L. Ron Hubbard Series: A Biographical Encyclopedia, written primarily by Dan Sherman, the official Hubbard biographer at the time. This most recent official Church of Scientology biography of Hubbard is a 17 volume series, with each volume focusing on a different aspect of Hubbard's life, including his music, photography, geographic exploration, humanitarian work, and nautical career. It is advertised as a "Biographic Encyclopedia" and is primarily authored by the official biographer, Dan Sherman.

During his lifetime, a number of brief biographical sketches were also published in his Scientology books. The Church of Scientology issued "the only authorized LRH Biography" in October 1977 (it has since been followed by the Sherman "Biographic Encyclopedia"). His life was illustrated in print in What Is Scientology?, a glossy publication published in 1978 with paintings of Hubbard's life contributed by his son Arthur.

Actual Rare Uncut L. Ron Hubbard Interview


Published on Dec 23, 2009


This is an actual interview with evil Co$founder L. Ron Hubbard.

This interview gives us a deep and never before look into who this evil communist is and what the Cult of $cientology is.

To new comers to the struggle, Anonymous in terms of star wars is the light side and the "Church"of $cientology is the dark side.

Yes, I made a Star Wars analogy, so what, it was useful. lulz.

 We are Legion.

We do not forgive.

We do not forget. Expect us. 

The real truth about Xenu and "touch assists" as told by L Ron Hubbard


Published on Apr 23, 2011

In LRH's Own words as told in 1969 on the apollo, the REAL truth about Xenu. This video is a challenge to scientology, but this video i not for profi and strictly for informational purposes. Tis video clearly defines what Scientology clearly thinks of other religions North America Studios editor: Alexander O'Neal

Harlan Ellison & Robin Williams discuss L Ron Hubbard


Published on Feb 28, 2008 "Of all the groups and/or individuals who might wish to do me bad cess, out of animus or insanity,

I never have to worry about Scientologists. I haven't seen the thing you reference on YouTube, but Ron Hubbard and I were friends. No matter in what godhood he is held by those who may

 "follow his footsteps," Ron HIMSELF told them to leave me alone, that I was okay in his book.

I may not have much use for Scientology, but I had--and still have--

LOTS of camaraderie and admiration for the man." -

 Harlan Ellison posted feb 29 h08:

L. Ron Hubbard Interview: Introduction To Scientology [1966]


Published on Jul 22, 2017

What is Scientology? I'm not a proponent of L. Ron Hubbard or the CoS, but there is no denying he was an interesting character and had studied the occult and esoteric ideas.

This is one of the only interviews he gave and was distributed by the Church of Scientology in the late 60s.

He ponders the nature of man and an introduction to his new religion, Scientology.

What is Scientology - A Religion or Business?


Published on Feb 28, 2019

What is Scientology? Are the stories and life experiences of those who are a part of it true? In this interview with Marc Headley, Patrick challenges those stories and inquires from the life of a 15 year Sea Org Member who escaped. Order Marc Headley’s book here: Church of Scientology on Marc Headley: About the Book Blown for Good: Blown for Good: Behind the Iron Curtain of Scientology is a memoir written by Marc Headley, a former Scientologist and Sea Org member, about his life and experiences in the Church of Scientology. It was self-published in the United States on November 5, 2009. Subscribe to Valuetainment: Visit the official Valuetainment Store for your entrepreneur gear: Founded in 2012 by Patrick Bet-David, our goal is to impact entrepreneurs around the world through value and entertainment. We are the #1 channel for entrepreneurs because of the best interviews, best how to videos, best case studies and because we defend capitalism and educate entrepreneurs.

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Hamburg Symposium 03-2010 - Hana Whitfield on L Ron Hubbards Abuses PART I


Published on Mar 27, 2010

This Video was taken on 26th March 2010 on a Educational Symposium about Scientology Organized by the Workgroup Scientology of The Ministry of the Interior in Hamburg.

Hamburg Symposium 03-2010 - Hana Whitfield on L Ron Hubbards Abuses PART II


Published on Mar 27, 2010

This Video was taken on 26th March 2010 on a Educational Symposium about Scientology Organized by the Workgroup Scientology of The Ministry of the Interior in Hamburg.


Church of Scientology 20 year Spokesman Mike Rinder reviews 2015 ~


Published on Jan 3, 2016


Mike Rinder voices new anecdotes and looks ahead to 2016.

It was interesting to digest the concept in law of "Libel proof."

Their reputation is so bad, that they can't be libelled. It would be like ISIS complaining that we were disparaging them.

Mike Rinder rarely talks about the assault and battery.

In this video he shares with us body assault while on the phone with Tom Tobin and Joe Childs of the Tampa bay Times.

Follow me on Facebook - 

Follow me on Twitter - 

Radio Podcasts http://www.survivingscientologyradio.... 

Take and see what recent videos uploaded to YouTube~~

Mike Rinder speaks about the history of Scientology to TV3's Mideweek



Published on Oct 26, 2011

Mike Rinder speaks to TV3.

Tommy Davis Responds To "THE TRUTH RUNDOWN" PT.1


Published on Jun 21, 2009


Published on Jun 21, 2009

PART 2: // 

"Church" of Scientology's response:

In response to the allegations of the four defectors, spokesmen for the "Church" of Scientology vehemently deny that "church" leader David Miscavige ever hit anybody, not even a single time.

They say the defectors are liars whose allegations should not be given a shred of credibility.

They produced "confessions" the defectors wrote while in the "church" in which they admitted transgressions and praised Miscavige.

The "church" says the defectors were all demoted, washouts who left the "church" and now are bent on revenge.

Also, the "church" says it has enjoyed a "renaissance'' of growth since the defectors left, in improvements to the religious texts and in the opening new "churches", thanks to the hands-on leadership of Miscavige. Source: Background: 

Learn more about the Cult of $cientology:

Tommy Davis Responds To "THE TRUTH RUNDOWN" PT.2 ...and freaks out!


Published on Jun 21, 2009

"Church" of Scientology's response: In response to the allegations of the four defectors,

spokesmen for the "Church" of Scientology vehemently deny that "church" leader David Miscavige ever hit anybody, not even a single time.

They say the defectors are liars whose allegations should not be given a shred of credibility.

They produced "confessions" the defectors wrote while in the church in which they admitted transgressions and praised Miscavige.

The "church" says the defectors were all demoted, washouts who left the "church" and now are bent on revenge.

Also, the "church" says it has enjoyed a "renaissance'' of growth since the defectors left, in improvements to the religious texts and in the opening new "churches", thanks to the hands-on leadership of Miscavige. Source: Background: Learn more about the Cult of $cientology:

on Atack & Jeffrey Augustine Discuss L. Ron Hubbard Jr., Captain Bill, and Scientology

Published on Jul 6, 2017
Jon Atack & Jeffrey Augustine Discuss L. Ron Hubbard Jr., Captain Bill, and Scientology. L. Ron Hubbard Jr., or "Nibs" as he was called, was the #2 figure in Scientology from 1952-1959. Among his other duties, Nibs served as an Enforcer for his father. Nibs left the Church. He later spoke out against his father and even sued to gain control of his father's estate. Nibs famously granted Penthouse Magazine an interview in which he said that Scientology was Black Magick spread out over time and that his father thought of himself as the Antichrist. Nibs was eventually "recovered" by the Church of Scientology for an undisclosed sum of money. In exchange, Nibs recanted everything he had said about his father and thereby destroyed his own credibility forever. Jeffrey asks Jon, "Is Marty Rathbun the new L. Ron Hubbard Jr.?"

Revealing Marty Rathbun’s Secrets & Scientology


Published on Jun 7, 2017


Marty Rathbun released a Scientology-esque video yesterday discussing telling a different side of the Scientology story, the Anti-Scientology cult (ASC) and hinting at three people controlling the ASC. I wanted to continue my expose on Marty and reveal more secrets and details about Marty and his lying habit. I share my personal experiences working with Mr. Rathbun and consult a few Scientology experts who tell me about Marty’s possible settlement arrangement and whether or not he is back in good graces with Scientology and David Miscavige.

This is a video you do not want to miss! Patreon: 

*Donate to me & my channel* | VIDEO LINKS | Marty’s Video “INTRO”: 

Proof Marty Rathbun Lied About My Scientology


Exposing the Lies of Marty Rathbun | My Scientology Movie: ----

 Please subscribe to my channel and leave your thoughts in the comment section below. I read all comments!

Steven on A&E’s Storage Wars: Donate to Me & My Channel: CHANNEL LINKS: Steve’s Main Channel: // Steve & Sherri: Mango Tea [Drama Channel] – Coming Soon: // Blog: Contact Information: Website: Email: Twitter: // Facebook: // IMDB: Press/Media Contact:

Gerald "Gerry" Armstrong - L. Ron Hubbard’s Assistant - Secret Lives - Scientology - Dianetics.


Published on Feb 27, 2015

Gerald "Gerry" Armstrong - L. Ron Hubbard’s Assistant & Sea Org Member.

Former member of the Church of Scientology and one of its most active critics.

"Secret Lives" Scientology - Dianetics.

This video is uploaded with the intent of educating the public regarding Scientology and its belief structure and to help preserve the tech for future generations.

Karen Schless Pressley, Former Commanding Officer Scientology Celebrity Centre - Part 1


Published on Sep 20, 2017


Karen Schless Pressley is the former Commanding Officer of the Scientology Celebrity Centre.

In this interview she discusses how she and her then husband -- the composers Peter Schless -- became Scientologists and later joined the Sea Org.

Karen fascinatingly discusses the lure of Scientology for celebrities in terms of co-dependency. In my view, this is a remarkably insightful description. Karen's new book "Escaping Scientology:

An Insider's True Story: My Journey With the Cult of Celebrity Spirituality, Greed and Power " is available on Amazon:

Inside the Scientology Celebrity Centre: An Ex-Parishioner Reveals All


Published on Jan 26, 2014


This documentary is an inside look at the Scientology Celebrity Centre. I begin by taking you on my journey from a fresh faced new actor who just arrived in Los Angeles, full of hopes and dreams, to ultimately being recruited into Hollywood's most dangerous, secretive, and famous cult. I'm bringing to light all of their horrible crimes, especially detailing how they exploit members financially. I talk about their elite Sea Organization, which makes members sign billion year contracts and devote their entire lives to serving Scientology as around the clock slave labor. I also publicly reveal how anti-gay the church is, bringing homophobia to a whole new level. I'm exposing the church and airing all of their dirty laundry! I know all of their inner workings. I know all of the inside secrets about the church and their celebrities. This is the video Scientology doesn't want you to see and what they don't want you to know about - and I tell all! *** Donate to Me & My Channel: *** About Me: My name is Steven Mango and I was a parishoner of the exclusive Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre International in Hollywood, CA. In the span of four years of devoted membership until my escape in 2012, I became a lifetime member, I donated close to $50,000 to the church, and I was a victim of severe spiritual and emotional abuse inside the walls of the church. I was also a poster boy for the church, appearing in advertisements for the International Association of Scientologists across the Celebrity Centre. My photo also appeared on their The Way To Happiness booklets. Contact Information and Links: Website: Email: Twitter: // Facebook: // IMDB: Press/Media Contact:

Scientology's Truth Rundown

Mark Bunker

Published on May 31, 2013


In this excerpt of an interview I did for my documentary on Scientology, Knowledge Report, Bruce Hines describes the bizarre practice of convincing wayward Scientologists that they are the source of their problems and not the organization.

Knowledge Report: Progress Report

Mark Bunker

Published on Jun 23, 2011


Here are a few of the people I hasve interviewed for my new film about Scientology:

Paulette Cooper, Hana Whitfield, Ford Greene, Bruce Hines, Stephen Kent, Jeff Hawkins, Amy Scobee and her mother Bonny Elliott, and Marie-Joe and Tony DePhillips.

Please contribute what you can to help me continue my travels to interview more people about their experiences in Scientology:

Knowledge Report: Gerry Armstrong on L. Ron Hubbard

Mark Bunker

Published on Nov 10, 2011

Gerry Armstrong was a devoted Sea Org member who was assigned to assist an author hired by Scientology to write a biography of the group's leader, L. Ron Hubbard. Armstrong uncovered documents about Hubbard's life that showed he had lied about many aspects of his personal history.

Knowledge Report: Gary Morehead on Forced Abortions

Mark Bunker

Published on Oct 19, 2011


Gary Morehead ran security at the Int base, Scientology's desert compound near Hemet, California.

Female staffers who became pregnant were coerced into getting abortions so as not to slow down their productivity.

Gary explains how he was involved in the process.

Knowledge Report: L. Ron Hubbard's Great-Grandson

Mark Bunker

Published on Oct 12, 2011


Jamie DeWolf talks about the impact Scientology has had on his family.

The truth rundown Rathbun 1 Miscavige's spiral of violence


Published on Oct 10, 2011

The truth rundown Rathbun 2 A game of musical chairs


Published on Oct 10, 2011

The truth rundown Rathbun 3 The church pursues for the security of David Miscavige


Published on Oct 25, 2011

The truth rundown Rathbun 4 When Annie Tidman Broeker blew


Published on Oct 25, 2011

The truth rundown Rathbun 5 A codified series of steps to get someone back


Published on Oct 25, 2011

The truth rundown Rathbun 6 What happened in Nashville


Published on Oct 25, 2011

The truth rundown Rathbun 7 How do you escape the Freewinds


Published on Oct 25, 2011

The truth rundown Rathnun 9 The Las Vegas crowd


Published on Oct 25, 2011

The truth rundown Rathbun 10 Intelligence on Mark Fisher


Published on Oct 25, 2011

The truth rundown Rathbun 12 The accidental Scientologist


Published on Oct 23, 2011

The truth rundown Rathbun 13 From renovation to IRS, Rathbun rises through the ranks


Published on Oct 25, 2011

The truth rundown Rathbun 14 The Lisa Mcpherson case


Published on Oct 23, 2011

The truth rundown Rathbun 15 Command and control


Published on Oct 23, 2011

The truth rundown Rathbun 16 Abuse of trust


Published on Oct 25, 2011

The truth rundown Rathbun 17 Scientology on the decline?


Published on Oct 23, 2011

The truth rundown Rathbun 18 Welcome to SP Hall


Published on Oct 23, 2011

The truth rundown Rathbun 19 Feb 3 2004


Published on Oct 23, 2011

The truth rundown Rathbun 20 Reverse Dianetics


Published on Oct 24, 2011

The truth rundown Rathbun 21 Core believes


Published on Oct 24, 2011

The Tommy Davis Effect--XENU


Published on Mar 19, 2009

Maor Xenu from Tommy Davis

Knowledge Report: Targeting Celebrities

Mark Bunker

Published on Aug 6, 2011


Former Celebrity Center executive Karen Pressley explains how Scientology would target stars like Brad Pitt for recruitment into the group.

Knowledge Report: The Introspection Rundown

Mark Bunker

Published on Oct 22, 2011


Maureen Bolstad talks about her experiences after suffering a psychotic break in Scientology.

Scientology Front Group Exposed

Mark Bunker

Published on Aug 6, 2014


Rebuttal Show: Mary DeMoss created a front group called the Foundation for Religious Tolerance as a tool to attack critics of Scientology then lied to politicians and the media about its true nature.

Clearing the Planet | Scientology

Knowing Better

Published on Sep 30, 2018


Scientology is one of the newest religions in the world and the target of many jokes. But what makes this religion unique and how was it founded? Try Brilliant by going to The first 200 people to use that link will get 20% off of their premium subscription. Website ► Store ► Patreon ► Twitter ► Facebook ► Reddit ► --- Thanks to Genetically Modified Skeptic for lending his voice. This Is Why MLMs Get Called Cults - --- Wright, L. (2013). Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief. Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief - The HBO Special (2015) Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath (2016-) BBC Panorama "Scientology and Me" (2007) [LRH 1966 Interview Transcript] [Scientology Costs] [Suppressive Person Policy] --- Video Credits - L. Ron Hubbard Interview: Introduction To Scientology [1966] - Tom Cruise's Heated Interview With Matt Lauer | Archives | TODAY - Tom Cruise Scientology Video - ( Original UNCUT ) - LRH Death Event 02/16 - "Trapped in a Closet" - South Park Season 9 Episode 12 (2005) Photo Credits - https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.c... Music Credits - "Severe Tire Damage", "Furious Freak" and "Inspired" by Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License Intro and Channel Art by PoetheWonderCat --- Hashtags: #history #religion #scientology #belief #beliefs #god #theology #hubbard #dianetics #aftermath #cult #church #leahremini # scientologytheaftermath #tomcruise --- This video was sponsored by Brilliant.

I am an Ex-Scientologist

Chris Shelton

Published on Jun 7, 2014


This is my parody of the "I am a Scientologist" campaign which the Church of Scientology has run in the past to try to convince people that Scientologists are regular people with totally normal beliefs just like everyone else.

I have many more videos and written articles on my blog about Scientology and critical thinking, at Check it out. This video was also inspired by Brian Keith Dalton ("Mr Diety") and his parody of the I Am a Mormon campaign.

 His video of this is here: and I got his ok to style my video after his before producing this.

Carol Nyburg goes to Clearwater ... and blows


Published on May 24, 2013

Ex-Sea Org member Carol Nyburg tells interviewer Karen de la Carriere how she first came to Scientology Mecca the "Flag Land Base" in Clearwater, Florida.

There she worked for years until sleep deprivation and separation from her children made her do the unthinkable: flee Scientology. Carol also relates a story about being one of the few people to tell Scientology leader David Miscavige NO." She paid the price afterwards of course ...

Radio Podcasts http://www.survivingscientologyradio.... 

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Scientology Clearwater Take Over 1979


Published on Feb 1, 2019

This follows up on Leah Remini's Aftermath, 2 part series on the Take over of Clearwater, FL.

This is my part of what happened to me, and what I did to try to help, at that time. I now realize it is about as far from "Help" as one can get.

I hope it helps expose their covert actions. Happy Valentine's Month to you ALL :) I LOVE YOU! Tory/Magoo

Forrest J Ackerman - L Ron Hubbard's Literary Agent - Secret Lives - Scientology


Published on Jan 7, 2015

Forrest J Ackerman - L Ron Hubbard's Literary Agent - Secret Lives - Scientology.

This video is uploaded with the intent of educating the public regarding Scientology and its belief structure and to help preserve the tech for future generation

Arthur Jean Cox - Sci Fi Writer - Colleague of L. Ron Hubbard - Secret Lives - Scientology


Published on Jan 30, 2015

Arthur Jean Cox Sci Fi Writer Colleague of L. Ron Hubbard Contributor to Astounding Magazine "Secret Lives" Scientology - Dianetics.

Arthur Cox Arthur J Cox This video is uploaded with the intent of educating the public regarding Scientology and its belief structure and to help preserve the tech for future generations. 

Gabe Cazares former mayor of Clearwater, Florida and critic of L. Ron Hubbard & Scientology


Published on Feb 6, 2015

Gabe Cazares (1920-2006) was the former mayor of Clearwater, Florida, a civil rights advocate, and a critic of L. Ron Hubbard & the Church of Scientology.

"Secret Lives" Scientology - Dianetics.

This video is uploaded with the intent of educating the public regarding Scientology and its belief structure and to help preserve the tech for future generations.

Dining with the SPs @ Pour Yours: Aaron Smith-Levin & Mark Bunker

Growing Up In Scientology

Published on Jun 7, 2019

Mark Bunker and Aaron Smith-Levin visit Pour Yours wine bar in downtown Clearwater and chat about Scientology & Clearwater - - - -

Mark Bunker: YouTube Channel "WISE BEARD MAN": Patreon: 

Twitter: @XenuTV Aaron Smith-Levin Twitter: @GrowingUpInSCN Instagram: asmithlevin "Supporters of Leah Remini" FB Group: 

The Aftermath Foundation

Facebook: Twitter: @AftermathFDN Instagram: TheAftermathFoundation

1982 CW Scientology Hearings - Scientology's Response - Day 5

Mark Bunke

Published on May 3, 2012

The second half of Edward Walter's testimony. Playlist of Full Hearings: //

Wall of fire - Gerry Armstrong part 1


Published on Feb 27, 2015

Gerald "Gerry" Armstrong - L. Ron Hubbard’s Assistant & Sea Org Member.

Former member of the Church of Scientology and one of its most active critics. "Secret Lives" Scientology - Dianetics.

This video is uploaded with the intent of educating the public regarding Scientology and its belief structure and to help preserve the tech for future generations.

Wall of Fire - Gerry Armstrong part 3


Published on Jul 25, 2012

Scientology's Conspiracy Theories and Recruitment Methods

Chris Shelton

Published on Mar 9, 2017

Back in 2014 I wrote an article for Mike Rinder's blog about Scientology recruitment, specifically focusing on how the Sea Org recruits new staff. This has surprisingly not been a topic that has been covered in detail by anyone. So after seeing a few bits and pieces here and there, I thought it was time to download most of what I know about this topic and especially combine this with the conspiracy theories that Scientologists get into following because of L. Ron Hubbard's wacky beliefs. Anyone who follows my channel knows that I'm not big on global/international conspiracy theories and the reason for that is because I've been all the way down that rabbit hole and I clawed my way back out of it with a lot of study and critical thinking. That experience left me very impatient when someone starts talking about blood drinking lizard people from outer space or centuries old plots by gangs of old men trying to subjugate the planet to their evil will. There's enough real world nonsense, including real conspiracies, to worry about without having to dream up that psychiatry is trying to lobotomize all of us. So with that, here is my video on recruitment methods which I think may surprise some of you. This was actually one of the harder videos for me to produce in quite a while. Enjoy! Full transcript available on my blog: SHOP FOR CRITICAL MERCHANDISE My book, Scientology: A to Xenu, is available here: Paperback: Kindle edition: Audio edition: Subscribe to my podcast at or on iTunes at Please consider supporting this channel and helping me to offer more and better content. Patreon: Click the blue Support button here: Click the PayPal button here:

Steve Hall's unique journey in and out of Scientology Inc Part 1


Published on Jun 23, 2014


The first and earliest site on the Web which was most ex-Religious Technology Center and ex Sea org vets that exposed the internal conduct and behavior of the Scientology Cult hierarchy (Gold Base/Int base) was the site created by Steve Hall. Steve spent 22 years in the Sea Org (mostly at INT Base) and he shares his thoughts and stories in his first interview. Radio Podcasts http://www.survivingscientologyradio....

Mark Fisher on David Miscavige's Rise to Power Part 1


Published on Aug 18, 2014

Former Sea Org member Mark Fisher served as "Corporate Liason" a fictitious post or job to pretend separation of the the for-profit Author Services and the management of the Church.

In Part one of this series, Mark talks about day to day operations giving up college for what he then thought was a "noble cause"

Didn't we all ! Mark was spied on with Private Investigators for some 25 years after he left. .. Radio Podcasts http://www.survivingscientologyradio.... 

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The Bill Franks interview - Into the Scientology Twilight Zone

Blue Sky

Published on Jan 1, 2014

 Bill Franks as the First Executor Director International of Chairmand of the board of the Church of Scientology was asked to muder someone as a way of proving his loyalty to the organization of Scientology and knew about other murders that were planned and orderd by those running Scientology, with such orders coming from Ron Hubbard and other excutives,  which included the planned murde of at least three people which were Member of Parilianment in England in late in late 1979 ...... Bill Franks goes onto say that at least one of the British male MP's was murdered as a result of the orders of Ron Hubbard and other executives ....
Bill Franks state that there wre a lot of Fair Game Orders were given by Ron Hubbard to do whatever to destroy what Scientology considered were Suppressive Persons .. one such case was Paulette Cooper .. the Fair Game attacks against Paulette Cooper was personally handled by Ron Hubbard.... Bill Franks stated that Ron Hubbard wanted his wife Mary Sue to take as much personal blame for any criminal activities that were discovered being carried out by Scientology .... 

Bill Franks states that in the 1970's Scientology had around 110 Attorney in the USA paying over $2 million per month in legal fees when Bill Franks was as the Executive Director of Scientology of the Sea Organization was only earning around $15 per week ,

Frank called a meeting of all the USA Attorneys and thus he knew how many there were ...

Mary Sue Hubbard was the third wife of L. Ron Hubbard, from 1952 until his death in 1986. She was a leading figure in Scientology for much of her life.

Mary Sue Hubbard (née Whipp; June 17, 1931 – November 25, 2002) was the third wife of L. Ron Hubbard, from 1952 until his death in 1986. She was a leading figure in Scientology for much of her life. The Hubbards had four children; Diana (born 1952), Quentin (born 1954), Suzette (born 1955), and Arthur (born 1958).

She became involved in Hubbard's Dianetics in 1952, while still a student at the University of Texas at Austin, becoming a Dianetics auditor. She soon became involved in a relationship with Hubbard and married him in March 1952. She accompanied her husband to Phoenix, Arizona, where they established the Hubbard Association of Scientologists – the forerunner of the Church of Scientology, which was itself founded in 1953. She was credited with helping to coin the word "Scientology". She played a leading role in the management of the Church of Scientology, rising to become the head of the Church's Guardian's Office (GO). In August 1978, she was indicted by the United States government on charges of conspiracy relating to illegal covert operations mounted by the Guardian's Office against government agencies. She was convicted in December 1979 and was sentenced to five years' imprisonment and the payment of a $10,000 fine. She was forced to resign her post in July 1981 and served a year in prison from January 1983, after exhausting her appeals against her conviction. In the late 1990s, she fell ill with breast cancer and died in 2002

The Edge, June 2010 - Tom Smith interviews Bill Franks who was the first Executive Director International and Chairman of the Board of the Church. Among the topics discussed are Fair Game, Paulette Cooper, the framing of Mary Sue, orders issued against elected officials of a major Western government, Miscavige's psychopathy, Hubbard's psychopathy, etc. The way Bill explains the story of the Hubbard dispatch that admitted people blow due to ARC Breaks (upsets) rather than transgressions, and giving that story the full context, is very good. Take a visit to Scientology's version of the Twilight Zone. The story about Bill Franks is a story about another highly trained Sea Org executive who served directly under LRH, and was later busted by David Miscavige and his team. It is worth noticing that most of the highest Sea Org Executives who was appointed and trained directly by LRH have been SP declared or removed by the current management: David Mayo (Snr C/S Int), Bill Franks (ED Int), Mary Sue Hubbard (Captain and chief of Guardian Office), Bill Robertson (Captain and special missionaire for LRH). Bill Franks joined Scientology in 1968 studying the Saint Hill Special Briefing Course at Saint Hill UK, directly under LRH. He joined staff and went up the Org Board. He was CO AOLA and ended up as ED Int, appointed for life personally by LRH. He was also the Chairmann of the Board of Directors, Church of Scientology International. He was Class IX auditor, OT VII and OEC FEBC graduate. He reached the highest level of administrative training, doing the FEBC directly under LRH on the Flag ship. In December 1981 he was voted out by the Board of Directors, David Miscavige was on the Board. On 12th August 1982 he was SP declared by Watchdog Committee (also David Miscavige).


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Mary Sue Hubbard was the third wife of L. Ron Hubbard, from 1952 until his death in 1986. She was a leading figure in Scientology for much of her life.

Mary Sue Hubbard (née Whipp; June 17, 1931 – November 25, 2002) was the third wife of L. Ron Hubbard, from 1952 until his death in 1986. She was a leading figure in Scientology for much of her life. The Hubbards had four children; Diana (born 1952), Quentin (born 1954), Suzette (born 1955), and Arthur (born 1958).

She became involved in Hubbard's Dianetics in 1952, while still a student at the University of Texas at Austin, becoming a Dianetics auditor. She soon became involved in a relationship with Hubbard and married him in March 1952. She accompanied her husband to Phoenix, Arizona, where they established the Hubbard Association of Scientologists – the forerunner of the Church of Scientology, which was itself founded in 1953. She was credited with helping to coin the word "Scientology". She played a leading role in the management of the Church of Scientology, rising to become the head of the Church's Guardian's Office (GO). In August 1978, she was indicted by the United States government on charges of conspiracy relating to illegal covert operations mounted by the Guardian's Office against government agencies. She was convicted in December 1979 and was sentenced to five years' imprisonment and the payment of a $10,000 fine. She was forced to resign her post in July 1981 and served a year in prison from January 1983, after exhausting her appeals against her conviction. In the late 1990s, she fell ill with breast cancer and died in 2002

Early Life of Mary Sue Whipp and her involvement in Dianetics

Mary Sue Whipp was born in Rockdale, Texas, to Harry and Mary Catherine (née Hill) Whipp. She grew up in Houston, where she attended Rice University for a year before moving on to the University of Texas at Austin, from which she graduated as a Bachelor of Arts. She originally intended to work in petroleum research, but a friend persuaded her to travel with him to Wichita, Kansas, in mid-1951 to take a Dianetics course at the Hubbard Dianetic Foundation. She soon began an affair with Hubbard, who had just been divorced from his second wife Sara, and moved in with him within only a few weeks of arriving in Wichita. She obtained a Hubbard Dianetic Auditor's Certificate and joined the Foundation's staff.

She became pregnant in February 1952 and married Hubbard the next month. By this time the Foundation had filed for bankruptcy, and Hubbard's erstwhile backer, Don Purcell, was left to deal with its substantial debts. A bitter dispute broke out between the men over the ownership of the Foundation's remaining assets, with Hubbard resigning to start a rival "Hubbard College" on the other side of Wichita. Mary Sue was given partial responsibility for running the new Dianetics establishment. After six weeks of operation  it was replaced in April 1952

 by the Hubbard Association of Scientologists, established in Phoenix, Arizona to promote Hubbard's newly announced "science of certainty"

Mary Sue Whipp’s involvement in the Establishment and expansion of Scientology

The Hubbards traveled to England in September 1952 when Mary Sue was eight months pregnant. According to the Church of Scientology, the reason for the trip was that "amid the constant violence of the turncoat Don J. Purcell of Wichita and his suits which attempted to seize Scientology, Mary Sue became ill and to save her life, Ron took her to England where several Dianetic groups had asked him to form an organization." Russell Miller gives a different explanation: "Hubbard wanted to go to London to establish his control over the small Dianetics group which had formed there spontaneously and Mary Sue insisted on accompanying him." Three weeks later, on September 24, 1952, she gave birth to her first child, Diana Meredith de Wolfe Hubbard. The Hubbards returned to the United States in November when their visa expired and moved into an apartment in Philadelphia.

They went back to London in December on a fresh visa and stayed there until the end of May 1953, before departing for an extended holiday in Spain. In October 1953 they returned to the US where Hubbard gave a series of lectures in Camden, New Jersey and established the first Church of Scientology. By this time, Mary Sue was well advanced with her second pregnancy and remained largely confined to a rented house at Medford Lakes, New Jersey. They traveled to Phoenix for Christmas 1953 and it was there on January 6, 1954 that Mary Sue gave birth to her second child, Geoffrey Quentin McCaully Hubbard.

The Hubbards lived at a house on Tatum Boulevard (now 5501 North 44th Street) on the slopes of Camelback Mountain in Phoenix for the remainder of 1954. By this time, Mary Sue had become a key figure within the nascent Scientology movement. Although Hubbard himself was much admired by Scientologists, his wife was said to be much less popular. Russell Miller notes:

They were indeed an unlikely couple – a flamboyant, fast-talking extrovert entrepreneur in his forties and a quiet, intense young woman twenty years his junior from a small town in Texas. But anyone who underestimated Mary Sue made a big mistake. Although she was not yet twenty-four years old, she exercised considerable power within the Scientology movement and people around Hubbard quickly learned to be wary of her. Fiercely loyal to her husband, brusque and autocratic, she could be a dangerous enemy.

A family friend, Ray Kemp, later recalled: "their relationship seemed OK, but there never seemed to be a lot of love between them. She was not the affectionate type, she was more efficient than affectionate. They used to have fierce husband and wife domestic arguments." Joan Vidal, a friend of the sculptor Edward Harris, who was commissioned by Hubbard to create a bust of him, described Mary Sue as "a rather drab, mousy, nothing sort of person, quite a bit younger than him." Ken Urquhart, who worked for the Hubbards as their butler in the 1960s, commented that Mary Sue "could be very sweet and loving, but also very cold." Cyril Vosper, one of the Saint Hill staff at the time, noted the differing impressions left by the Hubbards: "I always had great warmth and admiration for Ron – he was a remarkable individual, a constant source of new information and ideas – but I thought Mary Sue was an exceedingly nasty person. She was a bitch."

Mary Sue became pregnant again four months after Quentin's birth and on February 13, 1955, in Washington, D.C., she gave birth to her second daughter, Mary Suzette Rochelle Hubbard. Following the birth, the Hubbards moved into a house in Silver Spring, Maryland. A "Founding Church of Scientology" was established in Washington, D.C. and Mary Sue became its first Academy Supervisor.

The Hubbards returned again to London at the end of September 1955, where they took over the day-to-day management of the Hubbard Association of Scientologists International. They remained there until 1957, when Hubbard returned to lecture at the Academy of Scientology in Washington, D.C., with Mary Sue and the children following later. By this time Mary Sue was pregnant for a fourth time and gave birth to her final child, Arthur Ronald Conway Hubbard, on June 6, 1958.

A change in the visa regime in the UK enabled foreigners to remain indefinitely if they had sufficient means to support themselves. The Hubbards moved back to London in February 1959, settling for a while in Golders Green.[18] Not long afterwards Hubbard bought Saint Hill Manor at Saint Hill Green, near East GrinsteadWest Sussex.[19] The manor, a country house formerly owned by Sawai Man Singh II, the Maharajah of Jaipur, became both the new home of the Hubbards and the world headquarters of Scientology.

The Hubbards continued to carry out auditing of each other and in February 1960 Mary Sue wrote to a friend to inform her that her husband had discovered that she had been the writer D.H. Lawrence in a past life. She intended to make use of this discovery by writing a book that would be "completely anti-Christ". The protagonist, "a bastard child", would be the son of the three most virile men in the town (a satire of the Holy Trinity). The mother had slept with all three men on the same night but as she did not know which had fathered the child, had "thereupon decided to call him Ali, son of ----, son of ----, and son of ---- which impressed the local inhabitants and created a stir throughout the country."

By this time, Mary Sue was working as the chief course supervisor at Saint Hill Manor. The Hubbards' relationship was unconventional, as their butler, Ken Urquhart, later recalled: "Neither Ron nor Mary Sue lived the way one might have expected in a house like that. They spent most of their time working; there was very little socializing. They would go to bed very late, usually in the small hours of the morning, and get up in the early afternoon ... [Mary Sue] had a separate bedroom, but usually had breakfast with him – scrambled eggs, sausages, mushrooms and tomatoes. After breakfast he would go into his office and I would rarely see him again until six-thirty when I had to have the table laid for dinner. At six-twenty-five I would go into his office with a jacket for him to wear to table and after dinner they would spend an hour or so watching television with the children and then he and Mary Sue would return to work in their separate offices."

On January 26, 1967, Mary Sue was confirmed as a Scientology "Clear", a somewhat elite rank at that time. Her achievement was commemorated in a special tribute edition of the Scientology newspaper The Auditor, titled simply: "Mary Sue Hubbard – Clear #208". In it, she thanked her husband "for having given the most precious gifts of freedom and true beingness to me and my fellow man. Without him, none of this would have been possible; and so to Ron goes my everlasting gratitude for having provided for all of us the road to Clear."

Mary Sue’s Life at Sea

During the late 1960s, Scientology was faced by an increasingly hostile media and intensifying government scrutiny in a number of countries, notably Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Hubbard decided to take to the high seas in a bid to liberate Scientology from the attentions of hostile governments.On November 22, 1966, the Hubbard Explorational Company Limited was formed with Hubbard and Mary Sue as directors – Hubbard being described as expedition supervisor and Mary Sue as company secretary. Several ships were purchased to serve as the quarters of the newly created "Sea Org". The flagship of the Scientology fleet was the 3,280 ton vessel HMS Royal Scotsman – accidentally renamed the Royal Scotman due to a clerical error,a former cattle ferry on the Irish Sea run.

After the vessel had been renovated by Scientologists, Mary Sue and the children moved into the upper-deck accommodation in November 1968. The difference in the quality of living conditions between the Hubbards and the crew was stark:

Most of the crew lived in cramped, smelly, roach-infested dormitories fitted with bunks in three tiers that left little room for personal possessions. Hubbard and Mary Sue each had their own state-rooms in addition to a suite on the promenade deck comprising an auditing-room, office, an elegant saloon and a wood-paneled dining-room, all off-limits to students and crew. Hubbard had a personal steward, as did Mary Sue and the Hubbard children, who all had their own cabins. Meals for the Commodore and his family were cooked in a separate galley by their personal chef, using ingredients brought by couriers from the United States.

In April 1969, Mary Sue was promoted by Hubbard to serve as the captain of the Royal Scotman and ordered to cruise up and down the coast of Spain to train the vessel's inexperienced crew of Scientologists, who had made a string of mistakes that in