November 19, 1997
biography of Hubbard's life and the Scientology
4 - England
"We were saving the world, we were convinced
that Hubbard was the returned saviour and that
his techniques and his knowledge and his majesty
would eventually bring all mankind to an enlightened
state and that was what we were doing..."
"There were some things about him that I
do feel were rather dangerous. I felt so much
under his spell that I told my room-mate that
if ever I told her that I was going to marry this
man, she should tie me up and not allow me out
of the house..."
was overwhelmed: here I am in the presence of
the most important individual in the cosmos. I
mean, this isn't just like meeting a film star
or something, I'm meeting God with plus signs..."
Ron Hubbard created one of the richest and most
controversial cults of our time - the Church of
Scientology. He spent much of his later life at
sea, on the run from those who accused him of
being a crook and a charlatan. But to the millions
who at one time or another followed him, and to
himself, he was the greatest guru who ever lived.
"There is one thing you can say about Dianetics
and Scientology, and I'm sorry if this sounds
odd, but it isn't everybody who can write a book
that turns the world on its ear"
more remarkable still was the story of Ron Hubbard's
life: the story of a science-fiction fantasist
and self-proclaimed messiah.
Ron Hubbard was determined that from the start
that his story would be the stuff of legend. He
was born in 1911 and told of how he was brought
up on his grandfather's ranch in Montana, which
he said in a newspaper interview, covered a quarter
of the state. As a small child he was breaking
broncos and hunting coyotes. He claimed that he
grew up with old frontiersmen, and even became
a blood brother of the local Blackfoot Indians.
were all splendid tales, but all that is known
for sure is that while he did use to visit a small
livery stable his grandfather owned, he was brought
up in an ordinary home, the only child of ordinary
American parents. Towards the end of World War
I his father joined the American navy. The teenage
Hubbard spent holidays in Guam, where the family
was stationed. He travelled in China and the East.
With a taste for adventure, he went prospecting
for gold in Puerto Rico, and, as a student, even
led a sea exploration to find pirates' hoards
in the Caribbean. But he couldn't resist gilding
the lily. A Scientology book later recorded his
claim to have communed with native bandits in
the high hills of Tibet. But there is no evidence
he ever went to Tibet.
CYRIL VOSPER - Hubbard's Staff:
"He told so many stories of his exploits,
in South America, the West Indies and places,
that he would have to have been at least 483 years
old to have had enough time to have done all those
things, but that doesn't really matter. I mean,
it was just very entertaining really, except that
he turned it into a religion."
VAUGHN YOUNG - Press Officer:
"In his diaries he was writing little stories,
you know, sea adventures and yarns, but sometimes
when some of his own representatives found them,
they thought these were true. You know, there
was an escapade of him fighting an octopus that
once one of his personal representatives was telling
as a true story, and I was trying to point out
to her later that, no, this is just one of his
stories that he's interspersing with his private
he was 22, Hubbard married his first wife, Polly.
They went to live on Puget Sound, in Washington
State, and soon had two children. Hubbard's joy
in life was sailing and exploring, but now he
had to settle down, and earn some money. With
such a prolific imagination, he became a writer,
starting with adventures and fantasies in penny-dreadfuls.
Then he turned to science fiction and became a
books, 'Final Blackout' and 'Fear', were considered
sci-fi classics. But Hubbard's most amazing story
was about himself. His literary agent was Forry
Ackerman, himself a sci-fi fanatic. One night,
deep into the small hours, Hubbard told Ackerman
of a bizarre event in a hospital theatre that
would shape his entire life.
FORREST ACKERMAN - Hubbard's literary agent:
"He said that he had died on the operating
table, and that he rose in spirit form, and he
looked at the body that he had previously inhabited
and he shrugged the shoulders he didn't have any
more and he thought 'well then, where do we go
from here?' Off in the distance he saw a great
ornate gate, and he wafted over to it, and the
gate, as they do in supernatural films, just opened
without any human assistance. He floated through
and on the other side he saw an intellectual smorgasbord
of everything that had ever puzzled the mind of
man - you know, how did it all begin, where do
we go from here, are there past lives, and like
a sponge he was just absorbing all this esoteric
information and all of a sudden there was a kind
of swishing in the air and he heard a voice, 'no,
not yet, he's not ready' and like a long umbilical
cord he felt himself being pulled back, back,
back and he lay down in his body and he opened
his eyes, and he said to the nurse, 'I was dead,
wasn't I?'. Then he bounded off the operating
table - I don't know how you die, then you bound
off an operating table. He got two reams of paper,
and a gallon of scalding black coffee, and at
the end of two days he had a manuscript called
'Excalibur' or 'The Dark Sword'. And he told me
that 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
was Hubbard's extraordinary story true? Excalibur
became the stuff of mystery. Hubbard told friends
it was too dangerous to publish. But forty years
later, a treasure trove from Hubbard's early journals
and manuscripts, believed to have been long lost,
was discovered by his staff.
GERRY ARMSTRONG - Hubbard's household manager:
"There were two and a half versions of Excalibur.
I read them and I didn't go mad and didn't die.
They also include the information within related
writings, that these came out of a nitrous oxide
incident. Hubbard had a couple of teeth extracted,
and it was while under the effect of nitrous oxide
that he came up with Excalibur."
'death' was in fact an hallucination under the
effects of anaesthetic. So what was the intellectual
dish he'd fed on?
"It was not anything particularly revolutionary.
The key to Excalibur was this great realisation,
by Hubbard, of 'Survive' as being the one command
that all existence, and all life and all people,
have. That became the basis for a lot of Dianetics
and a lot of Scientology."
idea had a profound impact on Hubbard. In a letter
to Polly he wrote 'I have high hopes of smashing
my name into history so violently that it will
take a legendary form.'
Second World War brought a new dimension to the
Hubbard legend. He said that while serving in
the U.S. Navy he had been blinded, but that inspired
by the insights he had first glimpsed when he
died on the operating table he had dramatically
been able to cure himself.
HUBBARD IN 1968:
"By 1948 through my own processing, and use
of the principles I had isolated up to that time,
was able to pass a 100% combat physical, which
was very mysterious to the government, how had
I suddenly become completely physically well,
from being blind and lame."
was an odd story, because Hubbard's war record
shows his recurring problem was a stomach ulcer.
There are mentions of conjunctivitis, but none
of blindness. Indeed, none of his medical reports,
before, during, or after the war, contain any
suggestion of blindness, only shortsightedness
the war, Hubbard went to Hollywood. As a successful
science fiction author he was a welcome visitor
to the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Association.
Its members recalled that there was one power
over the mind he undoubtedly did possess - hypnotism.
"Ron Hubbard came to our club and he hypnotised
all of the members except me. I wanted to remain
in present time and watch what was going on. I
remember it was fascinating, he told one boy he
had a little kangaroo in the palms of his hands,
and the boy was going all around the room showing
everyone this little kangaroo that was hopping
writings and conversations, Hubbard began to speak
of his new science of the mind. As Scientology's
literature would later depict, Hubbard claimed
that in addition to himself, he cured eleven other
war veterans and restored sanity to forty mental
JEAN COX - Writer:
"Rumours were beginning to circulate that
this new science of the mind or this new philosophy
had a significance for mankind that was greater
than the discovery of the wheel and equal in significance
to the discovery of fire."
the May 1950 edition of Astounding Science Fiction
magazine, Hubbard published his stunning findings
as fact. Dianetics was truly born. Thousands of
letters poured in to the magazine. In the meantime
Hubbard had been pounding the typewriter keys,
putting his ideas into a 450-page book. It became
a bestseller, and Dianetics a national craze.
theory was that the human mind was bedevilled
by 'engrams', memories of painful events, often
imprinted before birth on the foetus. He claimed
that under the direction of a Dianetics therapist
or auditor, as he called them these engrams could
be relived and then cleared from the mind. At
this stage, Dianetics seemed just an exaggerated
form of psychotherapy.
"Well, Dianetics was so popular because it
promised a brave new world of everybody clear,
no more colds, no more eyeglasses. It cured me
of a fear of dogs."
"Among the various things it was said to
be able to do was, one person had lost a tooth,
and through Dianetic auditing he regrew the tooth.
Almost any illness could be cured. Schizophrenia
could be cured."
"It opened up the whole world for everybody
to become perfect human beings."
sold Dianetics auditing courses at $500 a go.
The money was rolling in. But he was about to
be accused of being a con-man.
his book, Dianetics, a best-seller, Ron Hubbard
was America's new guru. In August 1950, at a lecture
hall in Los Angeles he presented to a crowd of
6,000 the first person to be what he called a
'clear'. She was a student called Sonya Bianca.
As a clear, she was supposed to have total recall.
"Various members of the audience called questions
at her. Could she remember what was said on page
217 of her physics textbook? She couldn't. Could
she remember what she had for breakfast on the
morning of August 17, 1946? She couldn't. Then
various people called out for Hubbard to turn
his back on her and see if she could remember
the colour of his tie. She couldn't. At that moment,
the whole business sort of collapsed. People started
leaving the auditorium."
Hubbard was in trouble. He was accused of being
a con-man and Dianetics a form of hypnotism.,
a technique at which he was so expert. He recruited
a bright young PR woman, Barbara Kaye.
"Well, I've always found that it's the mind
of a man that is most sexy. He was not really
terribly physically attractive. And he had a brilliant
mind, no question about that. I surely thought
this was a man who is interested in marrying me,
and who I might be interested in marrying."
intellectual attraction turned into an affair
and Barbara stayed with the 40 year old Hubbard
in an apartment in Hollywood. But by now Hubbard
had left Polly and was married to his second wife,
Sara. He had led Barbara to believe that the marriage
with Sara was over. It wasn't.
"It was quite shocking when shortly after
moving some of my things into the apartment, suddenly
Sara turned up with the babies and moved in. I
believe he was just as dismayed as I, because
the next day when he came to the office with some
of my belongings, like my cologne and toothbrush
and so forth, he looked very downtrodden and apologetic
and not happy about the situation at all"
Barbara was kicked out. Dianetics was still in
trouble. After the initial success of the book,
money had rolled in, and rolled out just as fast.
Hubbard went to Palm Springs to try and recoup
his fortune with a follow-up book. But the business,
his marriage with Sara, and his writing were in
crisis. He asked Barbara to come to him.
"He was certainly very depressed, He had
lost the colour in his face. His voice was hardly
audible. He told me that he was totally blocked,
he was working under a publisher's deadline that
he was failing to meet. He believed that his inability
to write was due to the sinister interventions
of other people, such as Sara hypnotizing him
in his sleep and telling him that he would never
write again. I found him paranoid, you know. He
was clearly going through a clinical depression."
Worse followed. Hubbard and Sara finally split
up. Their divorce became a public sensation. Sara
accused Hubbard of torturing her, and declared
him insane. Hubbard denounced Sara as a Russian
spy and kidnapped their 13-month-old daughter.
Hubbard ended up in Wichita in Kansas and got
back in touch with Barbara.
"He sent me a wire telling me that he had
been very ill and saying that he wanted to marry
me. I went to Wichita. He looked terrible. He
had hair down to his shoulders and his fingernails
were like talons. And I found a note, a very sweet
note in my hotel room saying 'glad you are here,
I love you' but I saw a man there who had no prospects,
for one thing, and that he had some psychiatric
difficulties and I didn't see much of a life for
myself with that sort of individual. So I left."
Hubbard bounced back. He got married for the third
time, to one of his students, Mary Sue Whipp.
This marriage lasted, and Mary Sue would become
his devoted deputy. Sara, his second wife, was
'cleared' from his memory, just like an engram.
"How many times have I been married? I've
been married twice. And I'm very happily married
just now. I have a lovely wife, and I have four
children. My first wife is dead."
"What happened to your second wife?"
"I didn't have a second wife."
1952 Hubbard launched a revolutionary new product,
Scientology. Dianetics originally covered this
life only. But in a new book, Scientology - A
History of Man, Hubbard revealed that wasn't enough.
Human bodies were in fact inhabited by immortal
souls or 'thetans' going back to primeval times.
Hubbard's son from his first marriage, Nibs claimed
the book stemmed from an unusual piece of drug-driven
JIM DINCALCI - Ron Hubbard's Medical Officer:
"LRH gave his son Nibs some amphetamines,
and Nibs started talking, he said, started really
going talking fast, from the speed. And he kept
talking, he kept talking, and his dad kept giving
him speed and all of a sudden he was talking about
his history, when he was a clam and all these
different situations in early Earth. And out of
that came 'History of Man'."
"Suddenly you were nobody - 'Oh, I've been
back three lives, you know, I've been back seven,
you know, I was in the time of Pharaoh'. Well,
when I got back to the individual who was a clam,
lying on a primordial seashore with a grain of
sand irritating a pearl inside it, I decided that
was as far back as I wanted to go and I just departed
from Scientology altogether."
late 1952, Hubbard came to London. He was still
in financial trouble back home. A business partner
had just issued a warrant for the return of $9,000
Hubbard had borrowed. To make money, he needed
to go international, and here, instead of creditors,
he found a new group of adoring fans.
PAM KEMP - friend and ex-scientologist:
"He was really flamboyant, I mean he was
full of life and he rode about on his Harley motorcycle,
and we threw parties and he would play his guitar
and sing and put on his cowboy hat and he was
just lots and lots of fun. We would all get together
and then we would do various exercises and we
would go out and see if just with thoughts we
could knock off policemen's hats. What kind of
power did we have in terms of thinking and thought
and energy and that sort of thing. I mean, it
was great fun."
VOSPER - Ron Hubbard's Staff:
"I thought it would give me total control
over my own life. It sounds ridiculous, doesn't
it, but put in those terms, that is basically
what Hubbard was saying. He was saying that you
and everyone else, with the use of Scientology
(or Dianetics at that time) could become a god.
And we were all, if you like, fallen gods."
next step was to create a church for his new gods.
A writer friend called Lloyd Eschbach later recalled
how after a dinner in the late 1940's Hubbard
had said "I'd like to start a religion. That's
where the money is'. Now, a few years later the
Church of Scientology was born. In America, in
particular, there were sound practical reasons.
RAYMOND KEMP - friend and ex-Scientologist:
"There are tax advantages and there are advantages
in the Constitution which says that the Government
must not abridge the operations of a church. I
think that that more than anything else made him
agree to using that vehicle because it is and
has to date proved to be very difficult for any
government to abridge the activities of a church."
found the perfect cathedral for his church: Saint
Hill Manor, in East Grinstead in Sussex. He played
his new role, the country squire. He told the
locals that he was a scientist, researching plants,
and their reaction to pain. He and his young family
settled into Sussex society, bringing American
razzmatazz into East Grinstead's Road Safety Campaign.
the locals hadn't realised that Saint Hill was
to become the Mecca of Scientology. Devotees arrived
from all over the world to study at their master's
feet. They paid thousands of pounds for Hubbard's
courses. Virginia Downsborough was on the first
Saint Hill clearing course.
VIRGINIA DOWNSBOROUGH - Ron Hubbard's Personal
"Ron had such an amazing ability for making
you feel that you were just so important to him
and so valued. So many people wanted to do what
he wanted, wanted to show him their best efforts,
wanted to be part, you know it was 'wait for me,
let me come along with this wonderful game you're
to the game was Hubbard's E-meter, a form of lie-detector
which he claimed could electrically detect emotional
charge. Students spent hours, days, months, sometimes
years going over painful events or engrams in
this or their past lives trying to make the needle
float - proof that the engram was now cleared
from their memories.
had designed an ingenious commercial product.
The more past lives, the more memories, the more
engrams to be cleared, all in a complex series
of expensive courses.
HANA ELTRINGHAM - Hubbard's Deputy at Sea:
"Making money, I think, to Hubbard was paramount.
He wasn't that interested in it for himself. He
did have perks, he did have his cars, his motorbikes,
his books, his good food and things like that
and eventually he had his villas and he had his
estates and so on but the money that he wanted
predominantly was for power."
wanted to create a world-wide army of Scientologists.
Going clear was only the first step. After that,
further courses could improve your IQ, improve
your work, turn you into a superman.
"The purpose of Scientology was to make the
able more able, and he was always striving for
that, and in everything he did I think he was
looking at that. Now his idea was that if you
could get everybody looking in the same direction
then you'd have a very powerful nation, you see."
This photograph, composed by Ron Hubbard himself,
betrays an extraordinary ambition he held for
"The entire objective was to find a place
that Hubbard could eventually turn into his own
kingdom, with his own government, his own passports,
his own monetary system, in other words his own
principality, that he would be the benign dictator
of. That was the objective."
"He had been having some auditing and doing
some investigative auditing and looking at past
lives and past experiences and he ran into what
he thought might be the past life of Cecil Rhodes
so he went to Rhodesia to check out what he had
discovered in his auditing."
"He was there to attempt to create a Scientology
community in the country and eventually turn the
country over into a Scientology country. He was
looking for a homebase for Scientology."
vision of becoming a latter-day Rhodes failed.
The Rhodesian Government became suspicious of
him and his visa was not renewed. Back in England,
Hubbard was also under attack. Parents were worried
by strange communications from children who had
fallen under Scientology's thrall.
MRS HENSLOW - parent of Scientologist:
"There was a letter from her saying that
she was disconnecting from me. You're probably
familiar with this, you've seen it in the papers,
but that I was destroying her and that she didn't
want to see me again. That was it. Karen, it was
newspapers were accusing him of being a fraud
and lobbied the government to launch an enquiry.
Hubbard decided there was only one answer. He
would take to the high seas. With his loyal band
of disciples he would move himself and his empire
outside any government's jurisdiction.
"At one point he turned round and said to
us in a very masterful way, in a very, almost
ambassadorial sort of way, he said, 'It's perfectly
all right to step outside the law, because the
law itself is aberrated, so in order to achieve
our ends, that gives us licence to step outside
followers were about to see the consequences of
life beyond the law as their messiah became their
1967, with his own navy of Scientologists, the
Sea Organisation of Ron Hubbard set sail. Hana
Eltringham, then 24, went with him. She had never
crewed on a large ship before, but Hubbard detected
that she was unusually well equipped for naval
"Hubbard called me in to his cabin and stood
right in the doorway of his cabin, fiddling with
his E-meter and started asking me questions about
when I had last been a captain. This could only
be past lives because I had never been a captain
in this life. So I started, you know, thinking
back and came up with this past experience about
being a space captain of a space ship and being
blown up in space and the planet was being invaded
and all this fighting and blasting going on and
so forth, and at the end of it he peered over
the E-meter at me and he said 'Were you one of
the Loyal Officers?' and at that point I got this
up-rush and I felt good. I must have been one
of these Loyal Officers, I must have been one
of the elite, you know."
The young Hana was appointed captain of Hubbard's
number 2 ship, a 400-ton trawler. His flagship
was a 3,000 ton converted cattle ferry. On board,
Hubbard had a personal guard, called the Commodore's
"They took care of everything for him, they
dressed him, they got him ready for bed, they
lit his cigarettes, they held his ashtray."
GOLDSTEIN - Hubbard's financial controller:
"Most of the messengers were young girls
- 13,14,15. They were an extension of his communication,
so when somebody saw them on the ship or they
came up to them, it was like you were talking
one occasion, Gerry Armstrong, who had been sent
on a shore errand, was visited by one of Hubbard's
"This was Terri, who was later to be my wife.
She came to me where I was working and said 'The
Commodore wants to know, is it true that when
you were ashore, you went to the US Embassy and
applied for some 30-some-odd visas?' And I said
'Yes sir' because that's how you respond to the
messenger Her next message was, 'The Commodore
says you're a fucking asshole!' "
The attacks on Scientology had pitched Hubbard
into one of his periodic depressions. His response
was to take it out on his followers, on sea and
land. He designed a new disciplinary code called
'Ethics' which put many of them into what he called
'lower conditions of existence' like 'Liability',
'Doubt', or 'Treason'. To rise out of these conditions,
penances were required. Liability, for example,
required you to 'deal an effective blow to Scientology's
DOWNSBOROUGH - crew member, Avon River:
"Everybody was supposedly in one of these
lower conditions, which was quite astonishing
because everybody really loved Ron, and wanted
to contribute to having whatever his dreams might
be come true."
"What happened was it became a very heavy,
almost military organisation. People changed.
I think people became scared. They were scared
of 'Ethics', scared of what would happen, so they
became very intimidated."
sea the cruelty extended to children. On one occasion,
Hubbard was infuriated by a small boy who had
unwittingly chewed a telex.
"He put this 4½ year old little boy
- Derek Greene - into the chain locker for two
days and two nights. It's a closed metal container,
it's wet, it's full of water and seaweed, it smells
bad. But Derek was sitting up, on the chain, in
this place, on his own, in the dark, for two days
and two nights. He was not allowed to go to the
potty. I mean he had to go in the chain locker
on his own, soil himself. He was given food. And
I never went near it, the chain locker while he
was in there, but people heard him crying. That
is sheer, total brutality. That is child abuse."
"People were frightened of him. He was the
boss, he was the dictator. He could order anyone
to do anything on board. He was ruthless, he could
be, at times, charming. But he could also be very
belligerent, and he could also be very uncaring
Yet Hubbard's disciples continued to believe in
him. In 1968, he took a select few around the
Mediterranean on his yacht, the Enchanter, on
a project he called the 'Mission into Time'. The
task was to find treasure that Hubbard had buried
during his previous lives.
"We were in a tizzy, you know, all was excitement
at this upcoming, very exciting mission. And I
was amongst one of the chosen, and we sailed off
with our metal detectors and went to a variety
of locations and did find some metal at the basement
of what he claimed used to be a temple in which
he had liaisons with some priestess during his
trips to Sardinia. There was metal buried down
below. He was very triumphant during those times.
It was very heady stuff for us people, it had
a very magical, magnetic, hypnotising effect on
Hubbard was also engaged on a further great expansion
of Scientology. Once a Scientologist reached the
state of 'clear' he became an Operating Thetan
or OT. Hubbard now designed a series of secret
OT levels. Each one was part of an unfolding saga
which revealed that we are all infested by 'thetans'
- the souls of exiles from the Galactic Federation,
which under Prince Xenu ruled this sector of the
Galaxy 95 million years ago.
you ever reach the top OT level you will have
crossed the 'Bridge to Total Freedom.' As always
in Scientology, each OT level could only be reached
after an expensive course. Did Hubbard believe
it, or was he having his followers on?
"He probably always knew he was running a
con. He must have known that much of the stuff
he was talking about was a lot of rubbish. But
I think that after a while, when he found there
were thousands of people, with the adulation around
the planet for this man, I think they started
to take him over. I think he began to believe
that he was, if not God, then very close to God."
new cosmology was accompanied by new forms of
punishment on board ship. Crew members who displeased
him were liable to be thrown overboard before
being retrieved from the harbour below. If they
re-offended they were tied up and blindfolded
"I saw one woman, Julia Lewis Salmon, from
the United States, thrown overboard. This woman
must have been in her fifties. She was - had her
hands and I think her feet tied, maybe only her
hands tied and a blindfold, but she went over.
She was so panicked by the thought of being thrown
over this way - she was standing on the edge of
the deck, panicked, beside herself, shouting.
And I was standing on the A deck with Hubbard
and his other aides, watching this going on. And
Julia didn't jump over, she had to be pushed over,
because she was incapable, she was in such a fit."
"He saw everyone suspiciously and assumed
everyone was intentionally attacking him. Governments
were attacking him, and then everyone around,
who made a mistake, were attacking him, and the
only thing he could do would be to attack back."
In 1973 a French court started proceedings against
Hubbard for fraud. He had left his ship, which
was berthed in Morocco and went to live in hiding
in New York, where he was looked after by Jim
turn the tables on his enemies he devised a bizarre
plan called 'Snow White'. Its stated aim was to
correct false reports about Scientology. It led
to Scientology members infiltrating government
departments. Hubbard even issued a reading list
for learning the black arts of espionage.
"He believed that there was an international
cabal that was in control of the attack on him
around the world as well as all the attacks in
various countries. And so 'Snow White' was written
to find this cabal, find all the connections between
these enemy groups, and to expose them, to destroy
them. It was done through infiltration, in some
cases it was done through burglary. It was just
pure military intelligence."
Having instigated 'Snow White' Hubbard rejoined
his ship in the Canary Islands. There he had a
serious motorbike accident. His mood dramatically
"This was his period which I called the pouting,
the crying, the mad period where he would cry
and throw things against the wall, the bulkheads
and pout and scream. Right towards the tail end
of that he created the RPF, the 'Rehabilitation
RPF was yet another correctional regime. Its orders
were fearsome. As ship's captain it was Hana Eltringham's
job to implement them.
"I was absolutely horrified when I read them,
because they talked about the creation of this
- pretty much like a slave labour camp. Those
weren't the words used but that was the impression
given. Where the unwanteds, those found wanting,
seriously wanting were sent, and they were to
be kept in this with no rights, no freedoms, no
privileges of any kind. Pretty much the only rights
they were allowed were a little bit of sleep each
day, food leftovers. The harshest treatment, they
were not allowed to speak to any of the crew.
It was very, very, very bad that this was going
on, but Hubbard's statement to us was that it
is going to take a lot more Ethics, a lot more
punishment than anyone has, can easily face up
to, to get this whole world back in shape, and
at that point, I believed that statement."
"Human emotion and reactions is the way humans
were. And he didn't specially regard humans very
highly. He liked the idea of the 'doll bodies'
that were in other civilisations. Doll bodies
didn't have human emotions and reactions . They
were, I guess, like Spock, you know. Just very
analytical, you just get the job done. No emotion
there. Love is not a sentiment that's known or
cared for, and to me that's the tragedy because
he put that, I feel, into the organisation, into
the way of being in the organisation."
even consigned his own son, Quentin, who was a
senior auditor on the ship, to the RPF.
"Quentin really was a real sweet kid. He
was a real nice guy, and very soft-spoken and
it was very difficult for him being Hubbard's
son, and being put in a very high position, and
I don't think he was that interested in it. He
just wanted to be a pilot and also the fact that
he was gay and that's a very tough thing in Scientology,
to be gay. Especially that kid, to be Hubbard's
son, to be this top technical person, and to be
gay. Oh, that would be a horrible thing to be
was sent to the RPF, after he committed the sin
of trying to commit suicide. Two years later,
"Hubbard saw it as a betrayal, because everything
was referenced around him, the world was doing
everything to him. This technology that was supposed
to work, didn't even work on the senior person
of all Scientology, you know, Hubbard and his
son. No, he just saw that as an attack from his
son. You know, the love was gone. He had lost
1975 Hubbard decided it was time to come ashore.
He sent scouts to look for a suitable land base.
They settled on Clearwater, in the rich state
"He stated coming ashore would be profitable.
Because we could get so many more people to the
Flag Land Base, as it was to be called, for auditing
and training. And he also wanted to concentrate
on getting professionals to the Land Base because
of course they had more accessible money. They
had pension funds, they had children's education
funds, and some of these he named that were accessible."
knew Scientology would be unwelcome, so he devised
a top-secret battle plan. He called it 'Operation
Goldmine". Using a covername - 'United Churches
of Florida' - Hubbard issued secret orders to
take over the town.
GABRIEL CAZARES - former Mayor of Clearwater:
"These orders, in effect, very clearly stated,
move into this area. Find out who your friends
are, develop them, find out who your enemies are,
destroy them. And then move into every possible
area of community life, business, social, religious,
plan worked. Clearwater is a Scientology bastion.
Scientology owns many prime sites. Big-name Scientologists
like Lisa-Marie Presley have moved in.
"You could get all the big high-rollers,
you could get the people with the dollars, and
you could make a fortune. And I believe the income
for a week, this was like in 1978/1979 would be
somewhere, sort of half a million dollars a week.
I mean, that's where the big bucks started to
be made, when you could do that."
the money rolling in, Hubbard moved to California,
where he'd play his last great role. His ambition
was to film sci-fi blockbusters based on his books,
but he ended up making Scientology training films.
"The movie mogul - Cecil B DeMille. You know,
it was like he was. He tried to be bigger than
life. But he just wasn't. So he would make these
extravagant sets. They were ludicrous. They were
not big productions. They were just silliness.
They were egomaniac. He tried to be blustery and
big and powerful, but if you looked, just stepped
and observed, you could see that he had fear about
everything. And finally the fear came down to
dust particles, little teeny dust particles."
"He had phobias about dust, he had phobias
about smells, he had phobias about sounds. He
would hear sounds that weren't there and he would
scream at the sound technician. He would see things
that weren't there and he would scream at the
people who were framing the shot. And he would
smell smells that weren't there and he would have
people rinse his clothing some 13 or 15 or however
In 1977, while Hubbard was away making movies,
the FBI caught up with the Snow White operation
and raided Scientology headquarters in Los Angeles
and Washington. Hubbard's wife, Mary Sue and eight
other Scientology executives were convicted and
sentenced for conspiracy and stealing government
disappeared, never to be seen publicly again.
After living in a succession of hiding places,
he ended up on this secluded ranch in the California
hills. Secrecy has veiled his final years. But
one man, Robert Vaughn Young, who was then a Scientology
public relations officer, was later given a description
of Hubbard by one of his guardians. This and evidence
from Hubbard's autopsy report, paint a sad picture.
"He had grown a beard, he had grown his long
hair, the nails were long, very much in the same
problem as they found with Howard Hughes, unkempt
nails. Neighbours - there was a neighbour that
walked in on him one day and he had become very
frightened, and suddenly scurried out of the barn.
He was frightened to meet people, he was terrified
of meeting any new people. He was disappearing
down, down, down into this little strange world
of his. The irony of this is that this was a man
who was promulgating and telling the world that
'with my technology and ideas, you can get bigger
and bigger and bigger,' and yet he was shrinking
down until finally he was hiding."
January 24th 1986, Ron Hubbard died. The Church
of Scientology said he'd simply "quit his
body to continue his work elsewhere".
"Him dying suddenly made him very mortal.
And the last thing we could have was for Hubbard
to be mortal. So a story had to be designed and
the story is that he went off to research the
next level. What is amazing is how the Scientologists
bought this. Without any question, they bought
Today the L. Ron Hubbard image is carefully protected
by the Church of Scientology. It says he is the
greatest humanitarian in history. Hollywood has
named a street after him and millions of dollars
roll into Scientology every year. It continues
to preach that Hubbard's teachings are the best
solution to the mental problems of the world.
The personal tragedy is that one mind Scientology
did not appear to help was that of its founder.
courtesy of John Ritson