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Lafayette Ronald Hubbard

L. Ron Hubbard (1943)
Born March 13, 1911(1911-03-13)
Tilden, Nebraska,
United States
Died January 24, 1986 (aged 74)
Creston, California, United States
Nationality American
Occupation Speculative fiction author
Founder, Scientology
Net worth > $200,000,000 in 1982[1]
Spouse(s) Margaret "Polly" Grubb
Sara Northrup
Mary Sue Whipp
Children 7

Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (March 13, 1911 – January 24, 1986) was an American science fiction author[2] who developed a self-help system called Dianetics, which was first published in 1950. Over the following three decades, Hubbard developed his self-help ideas into a wide-ranging set of doctrines and rituals as part of a new religion he called Scientology. Hubbard's writings became the guiding texts for the Church of Scientology and a number of affiliated organizations that address such diverse topics as business administration, literacy and drug rehabilitation.[3]

Hubbard was a controversial public figure, and many details of his life are still disputed.[4] Official Scientology biographies present him as a "larger-than-life" figure whose career is studded with admirable accomplishments in an astonishing array of fields.[5] Many of these claims are disputed by former Scientologists and researchers not connected with Scientology, who have written accounts that are sharply critical of Hubbard.[6][7][8]


Early life

Lafayette Ron Hubbard was born on March 13, 1911, in Tilden, Nebraska[9] to Ledora May Waterbury[10] and Harry Ross Hubbard.[11] Since Harry Hubbard was in the Navy, the family had to move as Harry was reassigned to new posts.[9] While living on a family ranch in Kalispell, Montana, Hubbard claims to have befriended medicine man Old Tom and undergone a ceremony to become a blood brother to the Blackfeet Indians.[12] While living on the Puget Sound in 1923, L. Ron Hubbard joined the Boy Scouts of America and became an Eagle Scout at age 13.[13] In 1930, Hubbard was reported in the Washington Evening Star as having been the youngest Eagle Scout in the United States at the time.[14] According to the Boy Scouts of America, their documents at the time were only kept in alphabetical order with no reference to their ages and thus there was no way of telling who was the youngest.[15][16]

Between 1927 and 1929, Hubbard traveled twice to the Far East with his parents during his father's posting to the United States Navy base on Guam.[17] While in Guam,[18] Hubbard was befriended by Commander Joseph "Snake" Thompson (1874–1943), who had recently returned from Vienna studying with Sigmund Freud, and was stationed as a member of the Naval Medical Corps.[18] Through the course of their friendship, the commander spent many afternoons teaching Hubbard about the human mind.[19]

Church biographies published from the 1950s to the 1970s stated that with "the financial support of his wealthy grandfather" Hubbard journeyed throughout Asia, "studying with holy men" in northern China, India, and Tibet.[20] Although Hubbard said on several occasions that he visited India,[21] Jon Atack, an ex-Scientologist and prominent Scientology critic, disputes the possibility that this ever took place.[22] Hubbard said[23] that he was made a lama priest by Old Mayo the Beijing magician in the Western Hills of China after a year as a neophyte.[7] According to Atack, Hubbard's diaries were used as evidence in the Armstrong trial and make no mention of Old Mayo or Eastern philosophy.[8]


After studies at Swavely Preparatory School in Manassas, Virginia and graduating from Woodward School for Boys in 1930, Hubbard enrolled at The George Washington University where he majored in civil engineering.[24] There he became one of eight assistant editors of the University newspaper The University Hatchet.[25][26] While spending most of his time on extracurricular activities such as the university gliding club, Hubbard received extremely poor grades.[27] University records show that after two semesters he had received an A for physical education, B for English, C for engineering, D for chemistry and Fs for German and calculus.[27] Despite being placed on academic probation, Hubbard continued to neglect his studies, preferring to write stories for the school newspaper and literary magazine.[28] He again earned failing grades in his second year—two Ds and an F in Calculus and Physics classes, and a B in English.[29] Hubbard left the university after only two years and never earned a college degree.[30]

During the Second World War, Hubbard attended a four-month course in military government at the Naval Training School, located at Princeton.[31] Hubbard later claimed to be a nuclear physicist.[32] One of his classes was among the country's first schools offering curriculum in molecular and atomic physics, although he failed the course.[33] The Church denies that he ever made that claim,[7] despite the fact that Hubbard asserted expertise in radiation exposure on the human body in the book All About Radiation (co-authored by Hubbard in 1957).[34]

After leaving George Washington University, Hubbard worked as a writer and aviator.[35][36] In June 1932 Hubbard headed the "Caribbean Motion Picture Expedition", a two-and-a-half-month, 5,000-mile (8,000 km) voyage aboard a chartered 200-foot (61 m), four-masted schooner called the Doris Hamlin with over fifty fellow college students.[37] Its purpose was to collect floral and reptilian specimens for the University of Michigan and to film re-creations of pirate activity and haunts.[38] The voyage was a disappointment, with only three of the sixteen planned ports of call visited.[39] Hubbard later called it "a two-bit expedition and a financial bust".[8]

Hubbard was accepted as a member of The Explorers Club on February 19, 1940.[40] In December of that year Hubbard was licensed by the United States Department of Commerce to legally operate steam and motor vessels.[41] In 1961 Hubbard carried the Explorers Club flag for his "Ocean Archaeological Expedition" and in 1966 was awarded custody of the Explorers Club flag for the "Hubbard Geological Survey Expedition".[42][43]

On February 10, 1953 Hubbard was awarded an honorary Ph.D. by Sequoia University, California, "in recognition of his outstanding work and contributions in the fields of Dianetics and Scientology."[43] This non-accredited body was closed by the California state courts 30 years later after it was investigated by California authorities on the grounds of being a mail-order "degree mill".[44][45] In 2009 The Times revealed that the British Government's Department of Health had investigated the provenance of this degree, and had concluded that Hubbard had bought Sequoia University and awarded the PhD to himself.[46]

Military career

In 1941, Hubbard entered the navy and served a public relations role.[47] He was able to skip the initial officer rank of Ensign and was commissioned a Lieutenant, Junior Grade for service in the Office of Naval Intelligence.[48] He was unsuccessful there, and after some difficulty with other assignments found himself in charge of a 173-foot (53 m) submarine chaser.[49]

In May 1943, while taking the USS PC-815 on her shakedown cruise to San Diego, Hubbard attacked what he believed to be two enemy submarines, ten miles (16 km) off the coast of Oregon. The battle took two days and involved at least four other US vessels plus two blimps, summoned for reinforcements and resupply.[50] Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher, Commander Northwest Sea Frontier concluded after reviewing trip data and other captains' accounts that there were no submarines in the area at the time.[50] Hubbard and Tom Moulton, one of the ship's officers, subsequently claimed that the authorities' denials of any Japanese submarine presence off the Pacific coast had been motivated by a desire to avoid panic among the U.S. population.[51]

In June 1943, Hubbard was relieved of command after anchoring PC-815 off the Coronado Islands, which is Mexican territory. There, he conducted unauthorised gunnery practice. An official complaint from Mexican authorities, coupled with his failure to return to base as ordered, led to a Board of Investigation. It was determined that Hubbard had disregarded orders, and he was given the punishment of a formal warning and was transferred to other duties. Since this was the third leadership position Hubbard had lost during his tenure, he was not given command authority on his next assignment.[52] It was later reported that Hubbard had been relieved of command twice, and was the subject of negative reports from his superiors on several occasions.[53][54] However, he also won some praise, being described as a "capable and energetic" officer, "if temperamental", an "above-average navigator", and as possessing "excellent personal and military character".[51]

In 1947, Hubbard wrote to the Veterans Administration requesting psychiatric help.[55]

Early writings and Dianetics

Hubbard's post war writing career: Cover of October, 1950 edition of Fantastic Adventures featuring Hubbard's "The Masters of Sleep".

Hubbard published stories, novellas in aviation, sports, and pulp magazines.[56] Between 1933 and 1938, Hubbard wrote 138 novels, both science fiction and adventure.[4] He published his first hardcover novel in 1937, titled Buckskin Brigades.[9] He co-wrote a 15-part movie serial The Secret of Treasure Island (1938).[9] Literature critics have cited Final Blackout, set in a war-ravaged future Europe, and Fear, a psychological horror story, as the best examples of Hubbard's pulp fiction.[57] Among his published stories were Sea Fangs, The Carnival of Death, Man-Killers of the Air, and The Squad that Never Came Back, which he wrote under numerous pseudonyms.[8] He became a well-known author in the science fiction and fantasy genres.[58] He also published westerns and adventure stories.[59] His agent at one time was the well known science fiction guru Forrest Ackerman.[60] According to friend and colleague A.E. van Vogt, Hubbard wrote:

"...about a million words a year, straight on to the typewriter at incredible speed. My guess was that he typed at about seventy words a minute. It just poured out—I have seen typists working at that speed, but never a writer. I was in his apartment a couple of times when he said he had to finish a story and he would sit typing steadily for twenty minutes without a break and without looking up. That would have been totally impossible for me."[61]

Unable to elicit interest from mainstream publishers or medical professionals,[62][63][64] Hubbard turned to the science fiction editor John W. Campbell, who had for years published Hubbard's science fiction.[65] Hubbard wrote the Ole Doc Methuselah series for Campbell's Astounding Science Fiction, and in 1949 published the first article on Dianetics in the magazine.[65] Campbell referred to Dianetics in the preface of the article as a "scientific method" of mental therapy.[66]

In works such as "Masters of Sleep," the story features "a mad psychiatrist, Doctor Dyhard, who persists in rejecting Dianetics after all his abler colleagues have accepted it [and] believes in prefrontal lobotomies for everyone".[67][68] Most of Hubbard's output thereafter was related to Dianetics or Scientology. During Hubbard's transition from science fiction to Dianetics, his story The Professor was a Thief was adapted and aired on the Dimension X radio show, whose writers included Ray Bradbury, Robert A. Heinlein and Kurt Vonnegut.[69] Hubbard did not make a major return to non-Dianetics fiction until the 1980s.

Introducing Dianetics: Cover of May, 1950 edition of Astounding Science Fiction featuring "Dianetics: a new science of the mind".

Members of the science fiction community held varying opinions about Hubbard's Dianetics work. Isaac Asimov, a professor of biochemistry, criticized Dianetics' unscientific aspects, and veteran author and literature PhD Jack Williamson described Dianetics as "a lunatic revision of Freudian psychology", likening it to a scam.[70] Campbell and novelist A. E. van Vogt, on the other hand, enthusiastically embraced Dianetics. Campbell became Hubbard's treasurer, and van Vogt—convinced his wife's health had been transformed for the better by auditing—interrupted his writing career to run the first Los Angeles Dianetics center.[71] Joseph A. Winter M.D., who supported Hubbard, submitted papers outlining the principles and methodology of Dianetic therapy to the journal of the American Medical Association and the American Journal of Psychiatry, but they were rejected.[72] Although Campbell was initially supportive of Dianetics, he reversed his position in 1951.[73]

In April 1950, Hubbard and several others established the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation in Elizabeth, New Jersey to coordinate work related for the forthcoming publication of a book on Dianetics.[74] The book, entitled Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, was published in May 1950 by Hermitage House, whose head was also on the Board of Directors of the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation.[75] With Dianetics, Hubbard introduced the concept of "auditing," a two-person question-and-answer therapy that focused on painful memories, referred to as engrams. Hubbard claimed that Dianetics could cure physical illnesses and increase intelligence.[76] In his introduction to Dianetics, Hubbard called his discoveries "a milestone for Man comparable to his discovery of fire and superior to his inventions of the wheel and the arch".[77]

Dianetics sold 150,000 copies within a year of publication.[78] Reviews were almost entirely hostile.[79] In September 1950, The New York Times published a cautionary statement by the American Psychological Association which stated that the claims of Dianetics were not supported by empirical evidence, recommending against the use of the techniques described therein until they had scientific evidence to support their use.[80] Consumer Reports, in an August 1951 assessment of Dianetics, called it "the basis for a new cult", noted its lack of modesty, and pointed out that it made generalizations without backing them up with evidence or facts.[81]

Branch offices of the Dianetics Foundation opened in five other US cities before the end of 1950.[82] In August of that year, amid public pressure to show evidence of the book's claims, Hubbard arranged to present a Clear (the end product of Dianetics) in the Shrine Auditorium. He presented a physics student, Sonya Bianca, who failed to answer several questions testing her memory and analytical abilities.[77] Many of the Dianetics practices folded within a year of establishment and Hubbard abandoned the Foundation, denouncing a number of his former associates to the FBI as communists.[83][84]

What led Hubbard from science fiction writing to Dianetics and Scientology? Sam Moskowitz, a science fiction editor, claimed that Hubbard made comments to 23 members of the Eastern Science Fiction Association in 1948 about starting a religion to make money.[85] Lloyd Esbach recalls Hubbard making such a statement in 1948, made to a group of science fiction authors.[54] According to The Visual Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, Hubbard made statements to the effect that developing a religion or psychiatric method was an effective way to make money.[86] Harlan Ellison says that Hubbard told John W. Campbell that he was going to devise a religion that would make him wealthy.[87] After spending some time with Hubbard in 1951, Del Close claimed that Hubbard frequently complained about the American Medical Association and IRS, expressing interest in starting a religion.[88]


The L. Ron Hubbard House in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C. now operates as a historic house museum.

In March 1952, Hubbard moved to Phoenix, Arizona. He claimed that he had conducted years of intensive research into the nature of human existence.[89] He codified a set of ideas that promised to improve the condition of the human spirit, which he called a "Thetan."[90] To describe his findings, he developed an elaborate system of neologisms which he described as Scientology, "an applied religious philosophy".[91][92]

In December 1953, Hubbard founded the Church of Scientology in Camden, New Jersey.[93] He moved to Washington, D.C. in 1955 and organized the Founding Church of Scientology. His Washington, D.C. residence, the L. Ron Hubbard House, now operates as a historic house museum.[94] In 1952, Hubbard visited England for the first time and started a Dianetic training center in London; the news spread far and wide abroad.[95] In 1959, Hubbard moved to England where he supervised the growing organization from Saint Hill Manor near the Sussex town of East Grinstead, a Georgian manor house once owned by the Maharajah of Jaipur which Hubbard purchased in 1959.[95][96] This became the world headquarters of Scientology.[97]

Hubbard's followers believed his techniques gave them access to their past lives, the traumas of which led to failures in the present unless they were dealt with in a process referred to as "auditing". By this time, in the 1950s, just after the publication of Dianetics: the modern science of mental health,[98] Hubbard had introduced a biofeedback device to the auditing process, which he called a "Hubbard Electropsychometer" or "E-meter", originally invented in the 1940s by a chiropractor and later Dianetics enthusiast named Volney Mathison and refined to Hubbard's specifications in 1959.[99] This machine is used by Scientologists in auditing to evaluate what Hubbard referred to as "mental masses" which were said to impede thetans from realizing their full potential.[100] Hubbard professed that many physical diseases were psychosomatic, and that a person who had attained the enlightened state of "clear" would be relatively disease free.[101] Hubbard insisted humanity was imperiled by such forces, which were the result of negative memories (or "engrams") stored in the unconscious or "reactive" mind, some carried by the immortal thetans for billions of years.[102]

Church members were expected to pay fixed donation rates for courses, auditing, books and E-meters, all of which proved very lucrative for the Church, which paid emoluments directly to Hubbard and his family.[103] In a case fought by the Founding Church of Scientology of Washington, D.C. over its tax-exempt status (revoked in 1958 because of these emoluments) it was found that Hubbard had personally received over $108,000 from the Church and affiliates over a four-year period, over and above the percentage of gross income (usually 10%) he received from Church-affiliated organizations.[104] Hubbard denied such emoluments many times in writing, stating instead that he never received any money from the Church.[105]

The Church of Scientology founded its own companies to publish Hubbard's works: Bridge Publications for the US and Canadian market, and New Era Publications based in Denmark for the rest of the world.[106] New volumes of his transcribed lectures continue to be produced.[107] There are estimated to be 110 related volumes.[108] Hubbard also wrote a number of works of fiction during the 1930s and 1980s, which are published by the Scientology-owned Galaxy Press.[109] All three of these publishing companies are subordinate to Author Services Inc., another Scientology corporation.[110]

Some documents written by Hubbard himself suggest he regarded Scientology as a business, not a religion. In one letter dated April 10, 1953, he says that calling Scientology a religion solves "a problem of practical business [...] A religion charter could be necessary in Pennsylvania or NJ to make it stick."[111] In a 1962 policy letter, he said that Scientology "is being planned on a religious organization basis throughout the world. This will not upset in any way the usual activities of any organization. It is entirely a matter for accountants and solicitors."[111] However, in his work, Hubbard emphasizes the importance of spirit and mind over the physical body. He says, "... The body can be best studied in such books as Gray's Anatomy and other anatomical texts. This is the province of the medical doctor and, usually, the old-time psychiatrist or psychologist who were involved in the main in body worship."[112]

Legal difficulties and life on the high seas

Scientology became a focus of controversy across the English-speaking world during the mid-1960s, with the United Kingdom, New Zealand, South Africa, the Australian state of Victoria[113][114][115] and the Canadian province of Ontario all holding public inquiries into Scientology's activities.[116] In 1966, Hubbard moved to Rhodesia, claiming to be the reincarnation of Cecil Rhodes.[117][118] Following Ian Smith's Unilateral Declaration of Independence, Hubbard offered to invest large sums in Rhodesia's economy which was then hit by UN sanctions, but was asked to leave the country.[117][119]

Around 1967 Hubbard formed the religious order known as the "Sea Organization" or "Sea Org," with titles and uniforms.[120] The Sea Org subsequently became the management group within Hubbard's Scientology empire.[121] He was attended by "Commodore's Messengers"; teenage girls who performed various tasks for him, such as fixing his shower, dressing him, and catching the ash from his cigarettes.[122][123] He had frequent screaming tantrums and instituted harsh punishments such as being confined to the ship's dirty chain-locker for days or weeks at a time, or being bound, blindfolded, and thrown overboard.[124][125] Some of these punishments were applied to children as well as to adults.[126]

A letter Hubbard wrote to his third wife, Mary Sue, when he was in Las Palmas around 1967: "I’m drinking lots of rum and popping pinks and greys..."[127] An unauthorized Hubbard biography also says that "John McMasters told me that on the flagship Apollo in the late sixties he witnessed Hubbard's drug supply. 'It was the largest drug chest I had ever seen. He had everything!'".[127] This was confirmed by Gerry Armstrong through Virginia Downsborough who said in 1967 Hubbard returned to Las Palmas totally debilitated from drugs.[128] His drug use appears to pre-date the 1967 accounts.[129] Hubbard claimed in a letter to his first wife that he had once been an opium addict. The last sentence of the letter reads: "...I do love you, even if I used to be an opium addict."[6] [130]

In March 1969, the Greek Government branded L. Ron Hubbard and his group of 200 disciples "undesirables". The group had been living aboard the 3,300 ton Panamanian ship Apollo and had been docked in the harbor of Corfu island since August. On March 18, local authorities issued a 24-hour ultimatum to the Scientologists, but Hubbard was granted an extension due to engine problems. The expulsion order was the result of mounting pressure from American, British, and Australian diplomats to examine the activities of the Apollo occupants. Most of the occupants were American, some were British, Australian, and South African.[131]

In 1977, Scientology offices on both coasts of the United States were raided by FBI agents seeking evidence of Operation Snow White, a programme to obtain information from government offices by covert and illegal means.[132][133] Hubbard's wife Mary Sue and a dozen other senior Scientology officials were convicted in 1979 of conspiracy against the United States Federal Government, while Hubbard himself was named by federal prosecutors as an "unindicted co-conspirator."[134] At this time the IRS also had evidence that he had skimmed millions of dollars from church accounts and secreted the funds to destinations overseas.[2].

In 1978, as part of a case against three French Scientologists, Hubbard was convicted of making fraudulent promises and given a four-year prison sentence and a 35,000₣ fine by a French court.[135] The case was subsequently appealed by one of the other convicts in 1980, during which the court indicated that all those who had been convicted could be pardoned if they filed their own appeals against the original ruling.[136] A second defendant did in 1981, and the fraud charges were canceled by judgment on November 9, 1981 on two more except Hubbard.[137] Hubbard himself never took any action, and the fine was never enforced.[138]

Hubbard's refusal to speak with British immigration officials about this conviction is said to have later caused the British Home Office to re-affirm an earlier decision to bar him from the UK.[139] In 1989 however the then Home Office Minister of State, Tim Renton, confirmed in writing that from 1980 until the date of his death, Hubbard had been free to apply for entry to the United Kingdom under the ordinary immigration rules and that any ban had been lifted on July 16, 1980.[140][141] The accuracy of Hubbard's self-representations were challenged in court during a 1984 custody case of a Scientologist and his former wife about two of their children. The judgment of the High court of London (Family Division) quotes the opinion of Justice Latey, that Scientology is "dangerous, immoral, sinister and corrupt" and "has its real objective money and power for Mr. Hubbard."[142]

According to the 1965 Report of the Board of Enquiry into Scientology in the Australian state of Victoria, Hubbard falsely claimed scientific and other credentials and his sanity was "to be gravely doubted".[143] The report concluded that while Hubbard's followers are taught that they are entitled to question the beliefs, they are conditioned to believe that the teachings are correct.[144] It also notes that Hubbard's claims of finding a cure for atomic radiation is unsupported by evidence.[145] The Scientologists' response was a pamphlet entitled Kangaroo Court, describing Victoria as "the riff-raff of London's slums [...] a very primitive community, somewhat barbaric".[143]

"Fair Game" was introduced by Hubbard as a policy against people or groups that "actively seeks to suppress or damage Scientology or a Scientologist by Suppressive Acts." He defined it as: ENEMY — SP Order. Fair game. 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.[146]

In July 1968, Hubbard revised this definition to a somewhat milder wording: ENEMY — Suppressive Person order. May not be communicated with by anyone except an Ethics Officer, Master at Arms, a Hearing Officer or a Board or Committee. May be restrained or imprisoned. May not be protected by any rules or laws of the group he sought to injure as he sought to destroy or bar fair practices for others. May not be trained or processed or admitted to any org.[147] The use of the expression "Fair Game" was canceled altogether in October 1968, with Hubbard stating that

The practice of declaring people FAIR GAME will cease. FAIR GAME may not appear on any Ethics Order. It causes bad public relations. This P/L does not cancel any policy on the treatment or handling of an SP.

L. Ron Hubbard[148]

Hubbard later explained that:

There was never any attempt or intent on my part by the writing of these policies (or any others for that fact), to authorize illegal or harassment type acts against anyone. As soon as it became apparent to me that the concept of 'Fair Game' as described above was being misinterpreted by the uninformed, to mean the granting of a license to Scientologists for acts in violation of the law and/or other standards of decency, these policies were canceled."

L. Ron Hubbard[149]

While the number of incidents involving so-called dirty tricks or unethical actions dropped in the years that followed,[150] several judges and juries have through their decisions or comments asserted that the tactics continued beyond Hubbard's order canceling use of the term Fair Game in 1968.[151]

Personal life

Hubbard claimed that when he was four years old, he became the protegé of "Old Tom," a Blackfeet Indian shaman.[152] In 1985, Scientologists claimed that members of Blackfeet Nation, Montana, commemorated "the seventieth anniversary of [L. Ron Hubbard] becoming a blood brother of the Blackfeet Nation. Tree Manyfeathers in a ceremony re-established L. Ron Hubbard as a blood brother to the Blackfeet Tribe."[152] Blackfeet historian Hugh Dempsey has commented that the act of blood brotherhood was "never done among the Blackfeet", and Blackfeet Nation officials have disavowed attempts to "re-establish" Hubbard as a "blood brother" of the Blackfeet.[152] Former vice president of the tribe's executive committee, John Yellow Kidney dismissed the credibility of a letter claiming to re-establish Hubbard as a blood brother.[152]

Publicly, Hubbard was sociable and charming.[153] Privately, he wrote entries in his notebook like "All men are your slaves," and "You can be merciless whenever your will is crossed and you have the right to be merciless."[7]

After a 1940 sailing trip that ended with engine trouble on his yacht, he began a three-month stay in Ketchikan, Alaska. Hubbard worked as the host of a popular maritime radio show where he was known as a "charismatic storyteller".[11]

Hubbard was also interested in and talented at hypnosis [11][154] and biographer Russell Miller mentions several incidents—including a cruel post-hypnotic 'prank' recalled by writer A.E. van Vogt—which suggest that Hubbard sometimes used his hypnotic talents capriciously on his unsuspecting subjects.[155]

During this same period, just after World War II, Hubbard was financially destitute,[7] and suffered from feelings of depression as well as suicidal thoughts, according to a letter he wrote in 1947 requesting assistance from Veterans Affairs.[156]

Toward the end of my (military) 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.

L. Ron Hubbard[7]

Hubbard's first wife was Margaret "Polly" Grubb whom he married in 1933, and who bore him two children: L. Ron, Jr. (also known as Ronald DeWolf) and Katherine May (born in 1936).[157] They lived in Los Angeles, California and, during the late 1930s and '40s, in Bremerton, Washington.[158] In a 1983 interview for Penthouse magazine that he later retracted,[159] DeWolf said, "according to him and my mother", he was the result of a failed abortion and recalls at six years old seeing his father performing an abortion on his mother with a coat hanger. In the same interview, he said "Scientology is a power-and-money-and-intelligence-gathering game" and described his father as "only interested in money, sex, booze, and drugs."[160] Later, in a sworn affidavit, DeWolf stated that he had "weaved" stories about his father's harassment of others, that the charge he had made about drugs was false, and that the Penthouse story was an example of statements that he deeply regretted and that had caused his father and himself much pain. Before, in 1972, L. Ron Jr. had signed affidavits declaring the denigrating statements he had made about his father false.[161]

After the war, in August 1945, Hubbard met Jack Parsons, a researcher at Caltech and an associate of the British Intelligence occultist[162] Aleister Crowley.[163][164] By Crowley's account, Hubbard and Parsons were engaged in the practice of ritual magick in 1946, including an extended set of sex magic rituals called the Babalon Working, intended to summon a goddess or "moonchild."[165] At this time, Hubbard formed a partnership with Parsons and Betty, which they named "Allied Enterprises". To this, Parsons invested $20,970.80, Hubbard invested $1,183.91, and Betty, nothing. Hubbard came up with a plan to go to Miami with Betty, purchases three yachts, sail them through the Panama Canal, and sell them on the West Coast at a profit. Parsons soon realized that he had his girlfriend and most of his life savings stolen by Hubbard. After an attempt to catch up with Hubbard and following a court settlement, Parsons received only a promissory note for $2,900 from Hubbard.[166] The Church says Hubbard was working as an ONI agent on a mission to end Parsons' supposed magical activities and to "rescue" a girl Parsons was "using" for supposedly magical purposes.[167] Hubbard later married the girl he said that he rescued from Parsons, Sara Northrup.[168] Crowley recorded in his notes that Hubbard made off with Parsons's money and girlfriend in a "confidence trick."[169][170]

Sara Northrup became Hubbard's second wife in August 1946 while he was still married to Polly, something Sara did not know at the time[171] Hubbard left his first wife and children as soon as he left the Navy, and he divorced his first wife more than a year after he had remarried.[172] Both women allege Hubbard physically abused them.[160][173][174] Later, he disowned Alexis, claiming he was not her father and that she was actually Jack Parsons's child.[175] Sara filed for divorce on 23 April 1951, claiming that Hubbard was still legally bound to his first wife at the time of their marriage.[176] She accused him in her divorce papers of kidnapping their baby daughter Alexis, as well as torturing her.[176][177][178]

In 1952, Hubbard married his third wife, Mary Sue Whipp, to whom he remained married until his death. Over the next six years, Hubbard fathered four more children: Diana, Quentin, Suzette, and Arthur.[179] Quentin, born in 1954, was expected to one day replace his father as head of the Scientology organization.[180][181] However Quentin was uninterested in his father's plans and had preferred to become a pilot. He felt guilty about his homosexuality, and committed suicide in 1976.[181] Hubbard was prone to self-aggrandizement and exaggeration,[11] and, in 1938, he wrote a letter to then-wife Margaret "Polly" Grubb reading, "I have high hopes of smashing my name into history so violently that it will take a legendary form, even if all the books are destroyed. That goal is the real goal as far as I am concerned."[7] In 1984, during the Church of Scientology's lawsuit against Gerry Armstrong, Judge Paul G. Breckenridge Jr. described Hubbard as "charismatic and highly capable of motivating, organizing, controlling, manipulating and inspiring his adherents." However, the judge ruled against the Church, and in so doing said that "The evidence portrays a man who has been virtually a pathological liar when it comes to his history, background and achievements."[7]

Hubbard was regarded as abusive by some family members and former associates. He married his second wife, Sara Northrup, on August 10, 1946, without revealing his existing marriage and children.[7][177] This was one reason for her later divorce from Hubbard. During those legal proceedings, Northrup alleged abuse by Hubbard, and produced a letter she received from Margaret "Polly" Grubb during the proceedings recounting her treatment by him.[7] It reads, in part,

Ron is not normal… I had hoped you could straighten him out. Your charges probably sound fantastic to the average person—but I've been through it—the beatings, threats on my life, all the sadistic traits which you charge—12 years of it.[7]

In 1957, Martin Gardner wrote that friends differed in their assessments of Hubbard. Some described him as honest and sincere, some called him a great con man, and to others he was basically sincere but a victim of his own psychoses.[182] Several trusted colleagues say Hubbard was prone to emotional fits when he became upset, using insults and obscenities. Former Scientologist Adelle Hartwell once described such an outburst: "I actually saw him take his hat off one day and stomp on it and cry like a baby."[7]

The financial windfall that came with the success of Scientology allowed Hubbard to hide this and other aspects of his personality that contrasted with the image of himself currently celebrated by Scientologists,[7] who regard Hubbard as "mankind's greatest friend".[183] The few who worked at his side saw personality flaws and quirks not reflected in the staged photographs or in Hubbard's church-produced biographies.[7]

Later life

In 1976, Hubbard moved to a California ranch, and returned to writing science fiction.[4] He wrote an unpublished screenplay called Revolt in the Stars in 1977 which dramatizes Scientology's OT III teachings.[184] In 1982, he wrote Battlefield Earth,[4] and later wrote the ten-volume Mission Earth. During this time, Hubbard's science fiction sold well and received mixed reviews, but some press reports suggest that sales of Hubbard's books were inflated by Scientologists purchasing large quantities of books to manipulate the bestseller charts.[185][186] While claiming to be entirely divorced from the Scientology management, Hubbard continued to draw income from the Scientology enterprises; Forbes magazine estimated "at least $200 million gathered in Hubbard's name through 1982".[1]

In a bulletin dated May 5, 1980, Hubbard told his followers that he would be reincarnated in the future, "not as a religious leader but as a political one." He set his followers the task of preserving his teachings until his eventual return.[132]

On January 24, 1986, Hubbard died from a stroke at his ranch in Creston, California, at age 74.[187] He left a $600 million estate.[4] Scientology attorneys arrived to claim his body, which they sought to have cremated immediately in accordance with his will.[7] They were blocked by the San Luis Obispo County medical examiner, who ordered a drug toxicology test of a blood sample from Hubbard's corpse.[7] The examination revealed a trace amount of the drug hydroxyzine (brand name Vistaril).[188] After the blood was taken, Hubbard's remains were cremated.[7]

The Church of Scientology announced Hubbard had deliberately discarded his body to conduct his research in spirit form, and was now living "on a planet a galaxy away."[7] In May 1987, David Miscavige, one of Hubbard's former personal assistants, assumed the position of Chairman of the Religious Technology Center (RTC), a corporation which owns the trademarked names and symbols of "Dianetics", "Scientology", and "L. Ron Hubbard".[189]

Fictionalized depictions in media

  • Hubbard turns up in a fellow pulp author's fiction as early as Anthony Boucher's 1942 murder mystery Rocket to the Morgue, which features cameos by members and friends of the "Mañana Literary Society of Southern California", in which Hubbard makes a dual appearance as D. Vance Wimpole and Rene Lafayette (a pen name of Hubbard).[190]

Ig Nobel and Guinness World Records

Hubbard was awarded the 1994 Ig Nobel Prize in Literature (a mock award parodying the Nobel prize) for Dianetics.[191][192]

In 2006, Guinness World Records declared Hubbard the world's most published and most translated author, having published 1,084 fiction and non-fiction works that have been translated into 71 languages.[193][194]



  • Under the Black Ensign (1935)
  • Buckskin Brigades (1937), ISBN 0-88404-280-4
  • Slaves of Sleep (1939)
  • Ultimate Adventure, the (1939)
  • Final Blackout (1940), ISBN 0-88404-340-1
  • Indigestible Triton, the (1940)
  • The Automagic Horse (1940) published (1994)
  • Death's Deputy (1948)
  • Return to Tomorrow (1950)
  • The Masters of Sleep (1950)
  • The Kingslayer (1949)
  • Fear (1951), ISBN 0-88404-599-4
  • Typewriter in the Sky (1951), ISBN 0-88404-933-7
  • Return to Tomorrow (1954)
  • The Ultimate Adventure (1970)
  • Ole Doc Methuselah (1953), ISBN 0-88404-653-2
  • Seven Steps to the Arbiter (1975)
  • Battlefield Earth (1982), ISBN 0-312-06978-2
  • Mission Earth 1. The Invaders Plan (1985)
  • Mission Earth 2. Black Genesis (1986)
  • Mission Earth 3. The Enemy Within (1986)
  • Mission Earth 4. An Alien Affair (1986)
  • Mission Earth 5. Fortune of Fear (1986)
  • Mission Earth 6. Death Quest (1986)
  • Mission Earth 7. Voyage of Vengeance (1987)
  • Mission Earth 8. Disaster (1987)
  • Mission Earth 9. Villainy Victorious (1987)
  • Mission Earth 10. The Doomed Planet (1987)

Short fiction

  • The Dangerous Dimension Astounding Science Fiction, July 1938,
  • The Tramp (Part 1), Astounding Science Fiction, September 1938,
  • The Tramp (Part 2), Astounding Science Fiction, October 1938,
  • The Tramp (Part 3), Astounding Science Fiction, November 1938
  • General Swamp, C.I.C. (Part 1), Astounding Science Fiction, Aug 1939 (as Frederick Engelhardt)
  • General Swamp, C.I.C. (Part 2), Astounding Science Fiction, Sep 1939 (as Frederick Engelhardt)
  • This Ship Kills! Astounding Science Fiction, November 1939 (as Frederick Engelhardt)
  • Danger in the Dark Unknown, May 1939
  • The Ghoul Unknown, August 1939
  • Vanderdecken Unknown, December 1939 (as Frederick Engelhardt)
  • The Professor Was a Thief, Astounding Science Fiction, February 1940
  • Final Blackout (Part 1), Astounding Science Fiction, April 1940,
  • Final Blackout (Part 2), Astounding Science Fiction, May 1940,
  • Final Blackout (Part 3), Astounding Science Fiction, June 1940,
  • The Kraken Unknown Fantasy Fiction, June 1940 (as Frederick Engelhardt)
  • Fear Unknown Fantasy Fiction, July 1940
  • The Idealist Astounding Science Fiction, July 1940 (as Kurt von Rachen)
  • The Kilkenny Cats Astounding Science Fiction, September 1940 (as Kurt von Rachen)
  • The Devil's Rescue Unknown Fantasy Fiction, October 1940,
  • One Was Stubborn Unknown Fantasy Fiction, October 1940, (as Rene La Fayette)
  • Typewriter in the Sky (Part 1), Unknown Fantasy Fiction, November 1940
  • Typewriter in the Sky (Part 2), Unknown Fantasy Fiction, December 1940
  • The Traitor Astounding Science Fiction, January 1941 (as Kurt von Rachen)
  • History Class, 2133 A.D. Thrilling Wonder Stories, January 1941 (as Frederick Engelhardt)
  • The Crossroads Unknown Fantasy Fiction, February 1941, (1941)
  • The Mutineers Astounding Science Fiction, April 1941, (as Kurt von Rachen)
  • The Case of the Friendly Corpse Unknown Fantasy Fiction, August 1941,
  • Borrowed Glory, Unknown Worlds, October 1941, (1941)
  • The Last Drop, Astonishing Stories, November 1941, (with L. Sprague de Camp)
  • The Invaders,Astounding Science Fiction, January 1942,
  • The Rebels Astounding Science Fiction, February 1942, (as Kurt von Rachen)
  • He Didn't Like Cats Unknown Worlds, February 1942
  • The Room, Unknown Worlds, April 1942,
  • Strain, Astounding Science Fiction, April 1942,
  • The Slaver, Astounding Science Fiction, June 1942,
  • Space Can, Astounding Science Fiction, July 1942
  • The Beast, Astounding Science Fiction, October 1942
  • The Great Secret, Science Fiction Stories, April 1943,
  • The End Is Not Yet (Part 1), Astounding Science Fiction, August 1947
  • The End Is Not Yet (Part 2), Astounding Science Fiction, September1947
  • The End Is Not Yet (Part 3), Astounding Science Fiction, October 1947
  • Ole Doc Methuselah, Astounding Science Fiction, October 1947 (as René Lafayette)
  • The Expensive Slaves Astounding Science Fiction, November 1947 (as René Lafayette)
  • Her Majesty's Aberration, Astounding Science Fiction, March 1948 (as René Lafayette)
  • The Obsolete Weapon, Astounding Science Fiction, May 1948
  • The Great Air Monopoly Astounding Science Fiction, September 1948, (as René Lafayette)
  • When Shadows Fall, Startling Stories, July 1948,
  • 240,000 Miles Straight Up, Thrilling Wonder Stories, December 1948
  • Forbidden Voyage, Startling Stories, January 1949, (as René Lafayette)
  • The Magnificent Failure, Startling Stories, March 1949, (as René Lafayette)
  • Plague! , Astounding Science Fiction, April 1949, (as René Lafayette)
  • The Conroy Diary, Astounding Science Fiction, May 1949, (as René Lafayette)
  • The Incredible Destination, Startling Stories, May 1949, (as René Lafayette)
  • A Sound Investment, Astounding Science Fiction, June 1949, (as René Lafayette)
  • The Unwilling Hero, Startling Stories, July 1949, (as René Lafayette)
  • A Matter of Matter, Astounding Science Fiction, August 1949,
  • Beyond the Black Nebula, Startling Stories, September 1949, (as Rene LaFayete)
  • The Automagic Horse, Astounding Science Fiction, October 1949
  • The Planet Makers, Thrilling Wonder Stories, October 1949,
  • The Emperor of the Universe, Startling Stories, November 1949, (as René Lafayette)
  • A Can of Vacuum, Astounding Science Fiction, December 1949
  • The Last Admiral, Startling Stories, January 1950, (as René Lafayette)
  • Beyond All Weapons, Super Science Stories, January 1950
  • Ole Mother Methuselah, Astounding Science Fiction, January 1950, (as René Lafayette)
  • Greed, Astounding Science Fiction, April 1950,
  • Battling Bolto, Thrilling Wonder Stories, August 1950,
  • The Final Enemy Super Science Stories, September 1950,
  • Tough Old Man Startling Stories, November 1950,

Scientology and Dianetics

  • Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, New York 1950, ISBN 0-88404-416-5
  • Child Dianetics. Dianetic Processing for Children, Wichita, Kansas 1951, ISBN 0-88404-421-1
  • Notes on the Lectures Parts of transcripts and notes from a series of lectures given in Los Angeles, California in November 1950, ISBN 088404-422-X
  • Scientology 8-8008, Phoenix, Arizona 1952, ISBN 0-88404-428-9
  • Dianetics 55!, Phoenix, Arizona 1954, ISBN 0-88404-417-3
  • Dianetics: The Evolution of a Science Phoenix, Arizona 1955, ISBN 1-4031-0538-3
  • "The Creation of Human Ability" 1955
  • Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought Washington, DC 1956, ISBN 0-88404-503-X
  • The Problems of Work Washington, DC 1956, ISBN 0-88404-377-0
  • Have You Lived Before This Life East Grinstead, Sussex 1960, ISBN 0-88404-447-5
  • Scientology: A New Slant on Life, East Grinstead, Sussex 1965, ISBN 1-57318-037-8
  • The Volunteer Minister's Handbook Los Angeles 1976, ISBN 0-88404-039-9
  • Research and Discovery Series, a chronological series collecting Hubbard's lectures. Vol 1, Copenhagen 1980, ISBN 0-88404-073-9
  • The Way to Happiness, Los Angeles 1981, ISBN 0-88404-411-4

Adaptations by other authors

  • Ai! Pedrito! When Intelligence Goes Wrong by Kevin J. Anderson (1998), ISBN 978-1592120031
  • A Very Strange Trip by Dave Wolverton (1999), ISBN 978-1573181648


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  3. ^ Bednarowski, Mary Farrell (1995). New Religions and the Theological Imagination in America (Religion in North America). Bloomington: Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-20952-8. "Scientology has its origins in a system of self-help that is spelled out in early form in Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health" 
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  147. ^ HCO POLICY LETTER OF 21 JULY 1968, quoted in the Foster Report, cancels the earlier HCO POLICY LETTER OF 18 OCTOBER 1967, Issue IV
  148. ^ Hubbard, HCOPL October 21, 1968, Cancellation of Fair Game
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  153. ^ World in Action. (1968). The Shrinking World of L. Ron Hubbard. [Television Interview]. North Africa: Granada Television (England). 
  154. ^ D'Arc 2000, p. 131
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  156. ^ The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power Page 2, Time Magazine. 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.
  157. ^ Lewis Spence Encyclopedia of Occultism, p. 442, Kessinger Publishing, 2003 ISBN 978-0766128156
  158. ^ Bent Corydon L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman?, p. 281, Barricade Books Inc., 1992 ISBN 0-942637-57-7
  159. ^ William W. Zellner/Richard T. Schaefer Extraordinary Groups, p. 281, Macmillan, 2007 ISBN 978-0716770343
  160. ^ a b "Inside The Church of Scientology: An Exclusive Interview with L. Ron Hubbard, Jr.". Penthouse. June 1983. 
  161. ^ Bent Corydon L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman?, pp. 12-13, Barricade Books Inc., 1992 ISBN 0-942637-57-7
  162. ^ Richard B. Spence Secret Agent 666: Aleister Crowley, British Intelligence and the Occult, Feral House, 2008 ISBN 1932595333
  163. ^ Pendle 2005
  164. ^ Aleister Crowley The Confessions of Aleister Crowley: an autohagiography, Penguin, 1989 ISBN 0140191895
  165. ^ Aleister Crowley Moonchild, Weiser Books, 1975 ISBN 0877281475
  166. ^ Pendle 2005, p. 269-270
  167. ^ Lawrence Sutin Do what thou wilt, p. 412, Macmillan, 2000 ISBN 978-0312252434
  168. ^ Scientology: A new light on Crowley, Sunday Times, December 28, 1969
  169. ^ Miller 1987, p. 126
  170. ^ Atack 1990, p. 98—99
  171. ^ Gary Lachman Turn off your mind, p. 233, Disinformation Co., 2003 ISBN 978-0971394230
  172. ^ Atack 1990, p. 101
  173. ^ Sara Northrup Hubbard complaint for divorce
  174. ^ Derek Swannson Crash Gordon and the Mysteries of Kingsburg, p. 468, Three Graces Press LLC, 2007 ISBN 978-0615154169
  175. ^ Miller 1988, pp. 305–306
  176. ^ a b Miller 1987, p. 184
  177. ^ a b Lattin, Don. "Scientology Founder's Family Life Far From What He Preached", San Francisco Chronicle, February 12, 2001
  178. ^ "A Ringing In The Ears". TIME Magazine. May 7, 1951.,8816,856774,00.html. Retrieved February 14, 2008. 
  179. ^ Miller 1987, pp. 213,214,221,230
  180. ^ Atack 1990, pp. 213–214
  181. ^ a b Siker, Jeffrey S. (2007). Homosexuality and religion: an encyclopedia. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press. p. 91. ISBN 0-313-33088-3. 
  182. ^ Gardner 1957, p. 263
  183. ^ Corydon 1987, p. 435
  184. ^ Atack 1990, p. 275
  185. ^ Welkos, Robert W.; Sappell, Joel (June 28, 1990). "Costly Strategy Continues to Turn Out Bestsellers". Los Angeles Times.,1,737186,full.story?coll=la-news-comment&ctrack=5&cset=true. Retrieved July 30, 2007. 
  186. ^ McIntyre, Mike (April 15, 1990). Hubbard Hot-Author Status Called Illusion. San Diego Union, p. 1.
  187. ^ "L. Ron Hubbard, Church of Scientology founder, dies". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. January 28, 1986. Retrieved December 27, 2007. 
  188. ^ The Big Issue Capetown, vol. 9 #90-101 p. 19, Big Issue Cape Town, 2005
  189. ^ Hammer, Olav; James P. Lewis (2007). The invention of sacred tradition. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 24. ISBN 0-521-86479-8. 
  190. ^ Pendle 2005, p. 253
  191. ^ "Winners of the Ig Nobel Prize". Improbable Research. Retrieved March 24, 2008. 
  192. ^ Mirsky, Steve; Mervin Stykes (1994). "The annual Ig Nobel Prizes.". Scientific American 271 (6): 22(2). doi:10.1038/scientificamerican1294-22. ISSN 0036-8733. 
  193. ^ Guinness Gracious; Vox - Columbia Missourian; Sean Ludwig; December 7, 2006; accessed February 11, 2007
  194. ^ Maul, Kimberly (November 9, 2005). "Guinness World Records: L. Ron Hubbard Is the Most Translated Author". The Book Standard. Retrieved February 12, 2007. 


External links

Sites run by Church of Scientology International
Publishers' sites
Unofficial biographies (online)
Further mention of Hubbard


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

All we know of science or of religion comes from philosophy. It lies behind and above all other knowledge we have or use.

Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (13 March 191124 January 1986) was an American science fiction author. He developed Dianetics and founded the Church of Scientology. He was the father of Ron DeWolfe.



Living is a pretty grim joke, but a joke just the same.
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.
Never regret yesterday. Life is in you today, and you make your tomorrow.
Happiness and strength endure only in the absence of hate. To hate alone is the road to disaster. To love is the road to strength. To love in spite of all is the secret of greatness. And may very well be the greatest secret in this universe
To be happy, one only must be able to confront, which is to say, experience, those things that are. Unhappiness is only this: the inability to confront that which is.
On the day when we can fully trust each other, there will be peace on Earth.
  • Living is a pretty grim joke, but a joke just the same. The entire function of man is to survive. The outermost limit of endeavour is creative work. Anything less is too close to simple survival until death happens along. So I am engaged in striving to maintain equilibrium sufficient to at least realize survival in a way to astound the gods. I turned the thing up so it's up to me to survive in a big way . . . 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.
  • God was feeling sardonic the day He created the Universe. So it's rather up to at least one man every few centuries to pop up and come just as close to making him swallow his laughter as possible.
    • A letter to his wife Polly (October 1938), quoted in Bare-faced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard (1987), p. 81
  • You don't get rich writing science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion.
    • Response to a question from the audience during a meeting of the Eastern Science Fiction Association on (7 November 1948), as quoted in a 1994 affidavit by Sam Moskowitz.
    • This statement is similar or identical to several statements Hubbard is reported to have made to various individuals or groups in the 1940s. Variants include:
    • The incident is stamped indelibly in my mind because of one statement that Ron Hubbard made. What led him to say what he did I can't recall — but in so many words Hubbard said: "I'd like to start a religion. That's where the money is!"
      • L. Ron Hubbard to Lloyd A. Eshbach, in 1949; as quoted by Eshbach in his autobiography Over My Shoulder: Reflections On A Science Fiction Era (1983) ISBN 1-880418-11-8
    • Y'know, we're all wasting our time writing this hack science fiction! You wanta make real money, you gotta start a religion!
      • As reported to Mike Jittlov by Theodore Sturgeon as a statement Hubbard made while at the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society clubhouse in the 1940s.
    • Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wanted to make a million dollars, the best way to do it would be start his own religion.
      • As quoted in the Los Angeles Times (27 August 1978)
    • 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.
      • As quoted in the article "Scientology: Anatomy of a Frightening Cult" by by Eugene H. Methvin. Reader's Digest (May 1980)
    • I always knew he was exceedingly anxious to hit big money — he used to say he thought the best way to do it would be to start a cult.
      • Sam Merwin, Editor of Thrilling Science Fiction magazine Winter of 1946-47; quoted in Bare-Faced Messiah, The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard (1987) by Russell Miller
    • Whenever he was talking about being hard up he often used to say that he thought the easiest way to make money would be to start a religion.
      • Neison Himmel, briefly a roommate of Hubbard in Pasedena during the fall of 1945, in a 1986 interview, quoted in Bare-Faced Messiah, The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard (1987) by Russell Miller
  • Benzedrine often helps a case run.
    • "The Intensive Processing Procedure" (1950); "Run a case" = administer Dianetics or Scientology procedures to someone.
  • Scientology is the only specific (cure) for radiation (atomic bomb) burns.
  • You are only three or four hours from taking your glasses off for keeps.
    • "Eyesight and glasses" in Dianetic Auditor's Bulletin Vol. 2, No. 7, (January 1952)
  • THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN CONTROL PEOPLE IS TO LIE TO THEM. You can write that down in your book in great big letters. The only way you can control anybody is to lie to them.
    • Lecture: "Off the Time Track" (June 1952) as quoted in Journal of Scientology issue 18-G, reprinted in Technical Volumes of Dianetics & Scientology Vol. 1, p. 418
  • Rate of change is this mathematics known as Calculus. ... Now I hope you understand this, because I've never been able to make head nor tail of it. It must be some sort of a Black Magic operation, started out by the Luce cult — some immoral people who are operating up in New York City, Rockefeller Plaza — been thoroughly condemned by the whole society. Anyway, their rate-of-change theory — I've never seen any use for that mathematics, by the way — I love that mathematics, because it — I asked an engineer, one time, who was in his 6th year of engineering, if he'd ever used Calculus, and he told me yeah, once, once I did, he said. When did you use it? And he said I used it once. Let me see, what did you use it on? Oh yeah. Something on the rate-of-change of steam particles in boilers. And then we went out and tested it and found the answer was wrong.
  • This is useful knowledge. With it the blind again see, the lame walk, the ill recover, the insane become sane and the sane become saner. By its use the thousand abilities Man has sought to recover become his once more.
    • On Scientology in Scientology: A History Of Man (1952)
  • Of all the ills of man which can be successfully processed by Scientology, arthritis ranks near the top. In skilled hands, this ailment, though misunderstood and dreaded in the past, already has begun to become history. Twenty-five hours of Scientology by an auditor who fairly understands how to process arthritis can be said to produce an invariable alleviation of the condition. Some cases, even severe ones, have responded in as little as two hours of processing, according to reports from auditors in the field.
    • Journal of Scientology Issue 1-G, (1952)
  • Here on Earth there was undoubtedly a Christ. One of the reasons he swept in so suddenly and he would go forward so hard is, he had a good assist in back of him in terms of an implant.
    • Philadelphia Doctorate Courses, lecture 24 (1952)
  • Leukaemia is evidently psychosomatic in origin and at least eight cases of leukaemia had been treated successfully by Dianetics after medicine had traditionally given up. The source of leukaemia has been reported to be an engram containing the phrase 'It turns my blood to water.'
    • Journal of Scientology Issue 15-G (1953)
  • there is no war not based on lies,
    there is no infamy alive without
    its kindred kin, deceit.
    • "There Is No Compromise With Truth" ( a poem written in 1953 or 1954)
  • You are a spirit, then,
    you Man, and not a Man
    at all.
    You are a spirit and you dwell
    within the guts of mortal beast.
    • "There Is No Compromise With Truth" ( a poem written in 1953 or 1954)
  • You are a spirit, then
    a god,
    full capable
    of making space
    and energy and time
    and all things well.
    And there you crouch, forgotten
    to yourself and hidden from
    the eyes of all
    pretending there to be
    a beast
    that walks and eats and dies.
    • "There Is No Compromise With Truth" ( a poem written in 1953 or 1954)
  • Scientology ... is not a religion.
    • The Creation Of Human Ability (1954), p. 251 ISBN 0884044300
  • Never regret yesterday. Life is in you today, and you make your tomorrow.
    • The Creation Of Human Ability (1954)
  • The one impulse in man which cannot be erased is his impulse toward freedom, his impulse toward sanity, toward higher levels of attainment in all of his endeavors.
  • 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.
    • A Manual on the Dissemination of Material (1955)
  • You can get a much better fee — I tell you as auditors quite frankly — it's much easier to get a great deal of money out of somebody who's on a down spiral into becoming MEST than it is to get money out of somebody who is going on an up spiral toward becoming theta.
    • "Philadelphia Doctorate Course" #15 (1952)
  • There are conditions worse than being unable to see, and that is imagining one sees.
    • Lecture, Scientology and Effective Knowledge (15 July 1957)
  • When we need somebody haunted we investigate … When we investigate we do so noisily always.
    • Manual Of Justice (1959)
  • People attack Scientology, I never forget it, always even the score. People attack auditors, or staff, or organisations, or me. I never forget until the slate is clear.
    • Manual Of Justice (1959)
  • So we listen. We add up associations of people with people. When a push against Scientology starts somewhere, we go over the people involved and weed them out. Push vanishes.
    • Manual Of Justice (1959)
  • Not smoking enough will cause lung cancer! If anybody is getting a cancerous activity in the lung, the probabilities are that it's radiation dosage coupled with the fact that he smokes. And what it does is start to run out the radiation dosage, don't you see.
    • Saint Hill Special Briefing Course 35 (19 July 1961)
  • The subject of philosophy is very ancient. The word means: "The love, study or pursuit of wisdom, or of knowledge of things and their causes, whether theoretical or practical."
    All we know of science or of religion comes from philosophy. It lies behind and above all other knowledge we have or use.
  • I have lived no cloistered life and hold in contempt the wise man who has not lived and the scholar who will not share. There have been many wiser men than I, but few have traveled as much road. I have seen life from the top down and the bottom up. I know how it looks both ways. And I know there is wisdom and that there is hope.
  • A psychiatrist today has the power to (1) take a fancy to a woman (2) lead her to take wild treatment as a joke (3) drug and shock her to temporary insanity (4) incarnate [sic] her (5) use her sexually (6) sterilise her to prevent conception (7) kill her by a brain operation to prevent disclosure. And all with no fear of reprisal. Yet it is rape and murder… We want at least one bad mark on every psychiatrist in England, a murder, an assault, or a rape or more than one… This is Project Psychiatry. We will remove them.
    • Confidential memo "Project Psychiatry" (22 February 1966)
  • It is all very well to sit back and hope for "the best in this best of all possible worlds" but it's the course of personal and national suicide.
    Unless there is a vast alteration in man's civilization as it stumbles along today, man will not be here very long and none of us.
    Times must change.
  • Man is sick and nations have gone mad.
    You would not even tolerate for one moment the conduct in an individual that is commonplace in the acts of some nations. You would lock up such a person.
    • "Times Must Change" in Ability # 179 (20 March 1966)
  • In all the broad Universe there is no other hope for Man than ourselves.
    • "Ron's Journal" (1967)
  • I'm drinking lots of rum and popping pinks and greys.
  • Certainty, not data, is knowledge.
    • The Factors (1967)
  • Anyway, Everyman is then shown to have been crucified so don't think that it's an accident that this crucifixion, they found out that this applied. Somebody somewhere on this planet, back about 600 BC, found some pieces of R6, and I don't know how they found it, either by watching madmen or something, but since that time they have used it and it became what is known as Christianity. The man on the Cross. There was no Christ. But the man on the cross is shown as Everyman. So of course each person seeing a crucified man, has an immediate feeling of sympathy for this man. Therefore you get many PCs who says they are Christ. Now, there's two reasons for that, one is the Roman Empire was prone to crucify people, so a person can have been crucified, but in R6 he is shown as crucified.
    • "Assists" lecture, #10 in the confidential Class VIII series of lectures (3 October 1968)
  • Our organizations are friendly. They are only here to help you.
    • "Dianetic Contract" (23 May 1969)
  • I set out to try to help my fellow man and to do what little I could to make the world a better place.
  • Advanced Courses are the most valuable service on the planet. Life insurance, houses, cars, stocks, bonds, college savings, all are transitory and impermanent ... There is nothing to compare with Advanced Courses. They are infinitely valuable and transcend time itself.
    • On his Operating Thetan Courses, in Flag Mission Order 375 (1970)
  • Despite the amount of suffering, pain, misery, sorrow and travail which can exist in life, the reason for existence is the same reason as one has to play a game — interest, contest, activity and possession. The truth of this assertion is established by an observation of the elements of games and then applying these elements to life itself.
    • Scientology : The Fundamentals of Thought (1973)
  • That stupid fucking kid! That stupid fucking kid! Look what he's done to me!
    • After learning of his son, Quentin Hubbard's, suicide. (1976) Quoted in Bare-faced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard, 1987
  • Scientology is used to increase spiritual freedom, intelligence, ability and to produce immortality.
    • Dianetics And Scientology Technical Dictionary (1975); 1987 edition, p. 370
  • "Man," said Terl, "is an endangered species."
    • Battlefield Earth (1982) Ch 1
  • Scientology means scio, knowing in the fullest sense of the word and logos, study. In itself the word means knowing how to know.Scientology is a 'route', a way, rather than a dissertation or assertive body of knowledge. Through its drills and studies one may find the truth for himself. The technology is therefore not expounded as something to believe, but something to do.
    • The Basic Dictionary of Dianetics and Scientology (1988), p. 34
  • Happiness and strength endure only in the absence of hate. To hate alone is the road to disaster. To love is the road to strength. To love in spite of all is the secret of greatness. And may very well be the greatest secret in this universe.
    • A New Slant on Life (1998)
  • To be happy, one only must be able to confront, which is to say, experience, those things that are. Unhappiness is only this: the inability to confront that which is.
    • A New Slant on Life (1998)
  • On the day when we can fully trust each other, there will be peace on Earth.
    • A New Slant on Life (1998)

Dianetics : The Modern Science of Mental Health (1950)

  • Arthritis vanishes, myopia gets better, heart illness decreases, asthma disappears, stomachs function properly and the whole catalogue of illnesses goes away and stays away.
    • 1987 Edition, p. 72
  • Dianetics is not in any way covered by legislation anywhere, for no law can prevent one man sitting down and telling another man his troubles, and if anyone wants a monopoly on dianetics, be assured that he wants it for reasons which have to do not with dianetics but with profit.
    • 1987 Edition, p. 226
  • There is no national problem in the world today, which cannot be resolved by reason alone.

Science of Survival (1951)

  • In any event, any person from 2.0 down on the Tone Scale should not have, in any thinking society, any civil rights of any kind, because by abusing those rights he brings into being arduous and strenuous laws which are oppressive to those who need no such restraints.
    • The "Tone Scale" is Scientology's measure of mental and spiritual health; p. 145
  • Unfortunately, it is all too often true that suppressors to a creative action must be removed before construction and creation takes place. Any person very high on the Tone Scale may level destruction toward a suppressor.
    • p. 159
  • There are only two answers for the handling of people from 2.0 down on the Tone Scale, neither one of which has anything to do with reasoning with them or listening to their justification of their acts. The first is to raise them on the Tone Scale by un-enturbulating some of their theta by any one of the three valid processes. The other is to dispose of them quietly and without sorrow.
    • p. 170
  • The sudden and abrupt deletion of all individuals occupying the lower bands of the Tone Scale from the social order would result in an almost instant rise in the cultural tone and would interrupt the dwindling spiral into which any society may have entered.
    • p. 170
  • A Venezuelan dictator once decided to stop leprosy. He saw that most lepers in his country were also beggars. By the simple expedient of collecting and destroying all the beggars in Venezuela an end was put to leprosy in that country.
    • p. 171

Unplaced by chapter or page:

  • A culture is only as great as its dreams, and its dreams are dreamed by artists.
  • Ideas and not battles mark the forward progress of mankind. Individuals, and not masses, form the culture of the race.
  • Unethical conduct is actually the conduct of destruction and fear; lies are told because one is afraid of the consequences should one tell the truth; thus, the liar is inevitably a coward, the coward is inevitably a liar.
  • No civilization can progress to the stability of continuous survival without certain and sure command of knowledge such as that contained in Dianetics. For Dianetics, skillfully used, can do exactly what it claims. It can, in the realm of the individual, prevent or alleviate insanity, neurosis, compulsions and obsessions and it can bring about physical well-being, removing the basic cause of some 70% of man's illnesses. It can, in the field of the family, bring about better accord and harmony. It can, in the field of nations or smaller groups such as those of industry, improve management to a point where these pitifully inadequate ideologies, for which men fight and die with such frightening earnestness, can be laid aside in favor of a workable technology.

Scientology Bulletins

  • Despite the amount of suffering, pain, misery, sorrow and travail which can exist in life, the reason for existence is the same reason as one has to play a game—interest, contest, activity and possession. The truth of this assertion is established by an observation of the elements of games and then applying these elements to life itself.
    • "The Reason Why" (15 May 1956)
  • You won't always be here. But before you go, whisper this to your sons and their sons "The work was free. Keep it so."
    • "Scientology: Clear Procedure - Issue One" (December 1957)
  • Freedom is for honest people. No man who is not himself honest can be free— he is in his own trap.
    • "Honest People Have Rights, Too" (8 February 1960)
  • All mankind lives and each man strives by codes of conduct mutually agreed. Perhaps these codes are good, perhaps they're bad, it's only evident they're codes. Mores bind the race. Co-action then occurs. Thought and motion in accord. A oneness then of purpose and survival so results. But now against that code there is transgression. And so because the code was held, whatever code it was, and man sought comfort in man's company, he held back his deed and so entered then the bourne in which no being laughs or has a freedom in his heart.
    • "Clean Hands Make a Happy Life" (5 October 1961)
  • Now, get this as a technical fact, not a hopeful idea. Every time we have investigated the background of a critic of Scientology, we have found crimes for which that person or group could be imprisoned under existing law. We do not find critics of Scientology who do not have criminal pasts.
    • "Critics of Scientology" (5 November 1967)
  • The alleviation of the condition of insanity has also been accomplished now…
    • "Psychosis" (28 November 1970)
  • There's only one remedy for crime -- get rid of the psychs! They are causing it!
    • "The Cause of Crime" (6 May 1982)

Scientology Policy Letters

  • 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.
    • Dept. of Govt. Affairs (15 August 1960)
  • We're playing for blood, the stake is EARTH.
    • (7 November 1962)
  • There is no more ethical group on this planet than ourselves.
  • When somebody enrolls, consider he or she has joined up for the duration of the universe — never permit an "open-minded" approach... If they enrolled, they're aboard, and if they're aboard they're here on the same terms as the rest of us — win or die in the attempt. Never let them be half minded about being Scientologists. ... When Mrs. Pattycake comes to us to be taught, turn that wandering doubt in her eye into a fixed, dedicated glare. ... The proper instruction attitude is, "We'd rather have you dead than incapable."
  • We're not playing some minor game in Scientology. It isn't cute or something to do for lack of something better. The whole agonized future of this planet, every Man, Woman and Child on it, and your own destiny for the next endless trillions of years depend on what you do here and now with and in Scientology.
  • A political system seeking to function amongst ignorant, illiterate and barbaric people could have marvelous principles but could only succeed in being ignorant, illiterate and barbaric unless one addressed the people one by one and cured the ignorance, illiteracy and barbarism of each citizen.
  • A truly Suppressive Person or group has no rights of any kind and actions taken against them are not punishable.
    • "Ethics, Suppressive Acts, Suppression of Scientology and Scientologists" (1 March 1965)
  • This is the correct procedure: Spot who is attacking us. Start investigating them promptly for felonies or worse using our own professionals, not outside agencies. Double curve our reply by saying we welcome an investigation of them. Start feeding lurid, blood sex crime actual evidence on the attackers to the press. Don't ever tamely submit to an investigation of us. Make it rough, rough on attackers all the way.
    • "Attacks on Scientology" (25 February 1966)
  • When you move off a point of power, pay all your obligations on the nail, empower all your friends completely and move off with your pockets full of artillery, potential blackmail on every erstwhile rival, unlimited funds in your private account and the addresses of experienced assassins and go live in Bulgravia and bribe the police.
    • "The Responsibilities of Leaders" (12 February 1967) (Bulgravia is an acronym of BULgaria, GReece, Albania and YugoslaVIA]
  • ENEMY: SP Order. Fair game. 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.
    • "Penalties for Lower Conditions" (18 October 1967)
  • The practice of declaring people FAIR GAME will cease. FAIR GAME may not appear on any Ethics Order. It causes bad public relations.
    This P/L does not cancel any policy on the treatment or handling of an SP.
    • "Cancellation of Fair Game" (21 October 1968)
  • The names and connections, at this time, of the bitterly opposing enemy are: 1. Psychiatry and psychology (not medicine). 2. The heads of news media who are also directors of psychiatric front groups. 3. A few key political figures in the fields of "mental health" and education. 4. A decline of monetary stability caused by the current planning of bankers who are also directors of psychiatric front organizations [that] would make us unable to function.
    • "Targets, Defense" (16 February 1969)
  • "Psychiatry" and "psychiatrist" are easily redefined to mean "an anti-social enemy of the people". This takes the kill crazy psychiatrist off the preferred list of professions ... The redefinition of words is done by associating different emotions and symbols with the word than were intended...Scientologists are redefining "doctor", "Psychiatry" and "psychology" to mean "undesirable antisocial elements"...The way to redefine a word is to get the new definition repeated as often as possible. Thus it is necessary to redefine medicine, psychiatry and psychology downward and define Dianetics and Scientology upwards. This, so far as words are concerned, is the public opinion battle for belief in your definitions, and not those of the opposition. A consistent, repeated effort is the key to any success with this technique of propaganda.
    • "Propaganda by Redefinition of Words" (5 October 1971)
    • "Principles of Money Management" (9 March 1972)


  • There is a correlation between the creative and the screwball. So we must suffer the screwball gladly.

Quotes about Hubbard

  • In addition to violating and abusing its own members' civil rights, the organization [Scientology] over the years with its "Fair Game" doctrine has harassed and abused those persons not in the Church whom it perceives as enemies. The organization clearly is schizophrenic and paranoid, and the bizarre combination seems to be a reflection of its founder LRH [L. Ron Hubbard]. 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.
  • My father has always held out Scientology and auditing to be based purely on science and not on religious "belief" or faith. We regularly promised and distributed publications with "scientific guarantees". This was and has always been common practice. My father and I created a "religious front" only for tax purposes and legal protection 'from fraud Claims'. We almost always told nearly everyone that Scientology was really science, not a religion, but that the religious front was created to deal with the government.
    • Ron DeWolfe eldest son of Hubbard (born L. Ron Hubbard, Jr.)
  • "The greatest philosopher of the twentieth century."
  • I have a lot of respect for L. Ron Hubbard and I consider him to be a genius and perhaps less acknowledged than he ought to be.
    • Werner Erhard, as quoted in Odd Gods : New Religions and the Cult Controversy (2001) by James R. Lewis, p. 382 ISBN 1573928429
  • It's too bad there isn't a 20th Century Charles Dickens to write about the terrible destruction of these 20th Century Fagins who make themselves rich while they destroy the psyche of so many.
    • US Congressman Leo J. Ryan in a letter to Ida Camburn (10 December 1976)
  • He exuded evil, malice, and stupidity ... but perfectly amiable to talk to.

See also

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Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (13 March 191124 January 1986) was an American fiction writer and creator of Dianetics. He also authored Scientology. Hubbard was born in Tilden, Nebraska to Harry Ross Hubbard and Ledora May Hubbard.

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