L. Ron Hubbard

Decades of controversy surround the life L. Ron Hubbard, now-deceased founder of Scientology. Scientologists portray him as a hero and a genius. Critics call him a con man and a fraud.

There is tons of meticulous research that has been done into Hubbard’s history, and we won’t attempt to do the same here, but we will give a brief look at what Scientologists tell you Hubbard was like, and also what they don’t mention. Scroll to the bottom of the page for offsite research links.

NEW! For a more personal viewpoint on Hubbard, or if you’re curious about what the Sea Org / Hubbard was like in the old days, read this awesome letter written to ESK by Joe Van Staden, ex-Sea Org Member and Captain of the Apollo, the predecessor to the Freewinds (Scientology’s cruise vessel).

How does Scientology portray Hubbard?

Like any enigmatic leader, Hubbard is revered as a great sage and a man of true genius. Church of Scientology management has issued endless biographies on aspects of Hubbard’s life, and have even opened a museum in his honor, called the L. Ron Hubbard Life Exhibition, located in Hollywood, California.

Scientology management says that during his lifetime, Hubbard was:

  • America’s youngest Eagle Scout
  • A Native Indian blood brother when he was 6 years old
  • A sci-fi writer
  • A photographer
  • A screenwriter
  • A humanitarian
  • A war hero
  • A musician
  • A philosopher
  • A master yachtsman
  • An explorer
  • A poet
  • An educator
  • A freedom fighter
  • A master administrator
  • A nuclear physicist
  • A barnstorming pilot
  • The inventor of the Airforce

Not to mention a religious guru.

Did Hubbard really do all those things?

It’s certainly no lie that Hubbard led an extraordinary life. Most of the things on that list are things that Hubbard did indeed dabble in from time to time. He was definitely a sci-fi writer, and he wrote more on what he perceived to be the human condition than many philosophers.

However, through documents gained via the Freedom of Information Act, we find that most of these so-called exploits were largely blown out of proportion, while some are outright lies.

For example, Hubbard did write the government about forming an Airforce, and they responded thanking him for his suggestion. But further research shows that at the time of Hubbard’s letter, there was already a bill before Congress about this matter. So no, Hubbard did not invent the Airforce.

Boy Scouts of America do not keep records of who was the youngest Eagle Scout. L. Ron Hubbard was not a qualified scientist. Medical records from L. Ron Hubbard’s period of enlistment show that neither was he a war hero – he was not among the first to take a wound in WWI. In fact, he was in the hospital for ulcers at the time. The list goes on.

On a personal note, ESK would like to mention that writing a couple of awful songs does not make one a musician, jotting down a couple rhymes does not make one a poet, and telling the FBI that one is surrounded by Communists does not make one a freedom fighter.

What doesn’t the Church of Scientology tell people about Hubbard?

There’s also a considerable amount of dirty laundry in Hubbard’s closet that doesn’t get aired much. Among these less-savory facts about Hubbard are:

  • During the McCarthy era, Hubbard wrote the government claiming his own wife, Sarah Northrup Hubbard, was a Communist.
  • Hubbard had a son, Quentin Hubbard, who killed himself. Whether Hubbard himself told people this or not, we don’t know, but many Scientologists got the idea that Quinten had been kidnapped, ransomed and killed by psychiatrists.
  • Hubbard’s other son, Nibbs, got out of Scientology and changed his name.
  • Hubbard used to hang out with Jack Parsons and practice Satanic rituals. Yeah, sounds sensational, we know, but read the documentation and see for yourself.
  • Hubbard’s third wife, Mary Sue, went to jail for participating in some illegal activities that the CoS was involved in. Hubbard ditched her.
  • Hubbard went into hiding in the 70’s because he was under FBI investigation for fraud.
  • Despite his dislike for psychiatry, Hubbard has the psychiatric drug Vistaril in his system when he died. You can see it on the coroner’s toxicology report here.

I wanna see the proof!

Good. Here’s some links:

  • The H-Files: FBI Freedom of Information Act documents about Hubbard in one big online library
  • The Uncensored LRH Papers: Pages and pages of public documentation on the claims made above.
  • Lermanet: Real documentation of Hubbard’s military history.

So what do I do with this information?

The same thing you should do with all information, Pinky. Make up your own mind.