Who was L. Ron Hubbard? Part One

Posted on October 8, 2010 by


The centenary of LaFayette Ronald Hubbard is almost upon us : he was born in Tilden, Nebraska, on 13 March 1911.  We can confidently predict that to celebrate this event his creation, the Scientology organization, will be flooding the market with their version of his fabulous career.   E. fabulous “feigned, false,” comes from fable ‘a story in which irrational things act and speak with human interests and passions.’  It is appropriate here.

The first glowing article has already appeared. For 2010 is the centenary of the American Boy Scouts, and they have lighted on L. Ron Hubbard as one of their greatest achievements. In 1924 in Seattle, Washington, L. Ron Hubbard, aged 13, became one of America’s youngest Eagle Scouts. There is no certainly that he was the youngest as detailed records were not kept. But this was a remarkable achievement, none the less, and all the more remarkable, in his case, for being genuine.

But did he really travel more than 250,000 miles before he was 19?  Was he really adopted by the Blackfoot Indian tribe aged 4? Was he really indoctrinated into Eastern religions?  In the next few months we will be spared none of the glorious fictions that have been accepted by the faithful.

He studied man in 52 different cultures, from an early age had a hunger for knowledge and a compassion for man that knew no rival. He found the tech of life and the mind, mapped the way out of the labyrinth, threaded a path through the deadly OTIII. He was possibly the only officer in the US Navy that saw action in every theater of WWII. He was exterior with perception and demonstrating OT powers as early as 1952, and as a small boy while studying mysticism was able to move a matchstick floating on water with the power of his mind. He is the authority on drug and criminal rehab, mental illness, administration,organization, finance, ethics, justice, nutrition, photography, music, film making, PR, intelligence, literature, seamanship, philosophy, child raising and education.

One certain fact is that in the 1930s he was a prolific but poorly-rewarded writer of pulp fiction who had published more than 138 short stories, novelettes and novels. This is not in doubt. The stories and books exist. They did not provide him with a private fortune of a billion dollars as the cult claim.  In the 1940s, discharged from the Navy, he seems to have lived on his wits.  He stole several thousand dollars from Jack Parsons, his one-time partner in occult research.  He was once convicted of fraud and fined $25.

It is possible to be sure of a few things that Hubbard was not.  He was not a war hero; on the contrary, his war was inglorious.  He did not heal himself of war injuries by applying Dianetics; he had no war injuries except stomach ulcers, and a probable mental breakdown. He pretended to have poor eyesight to escape punishment.  He was not a nuclear physicist, or any kind of scientist; he was not even a college graduate. He could not spell gonorrhea or divide 100 by 6. Did he study the mentally ill? According to his eldest son, who worked with him in the early days of Scientology, Hubbard simply invented all the case histories in Dianetics. But in addition to a capacity for spinning yarns, he had certain remarkable abilities.

For one thing he appears to been able to collect, store and recover every scrap of useful information he ever came across. As a writer he was, in his way, quite brilliant.  For another, he had personal magnetism of no uncommon order.  He attributed this to his voice, which was deep and attractive.  He could persuade an audience to believe just about anything he told them – and in his early Dianetics lectures he told some tremendous whoppers.  A further attribute was his ability to create vast and coherent fictional schemes: Dianetics is one of his creations; Scientology another.

So what went wrong with young Ronald? Something certainly did. At 13 he was an attractive youngster, an Eagle Scout, functioning well. By 1930 when he went to college in Washington, aged 19, he was idle, distracted, unmotivated, already showing the defects which flawed his naval career.  His only recorded ability was creative writing. The change points to serious abuse.  But he never alludes to any critical episode, not even in his Admissions, a very private, very explicit document in which Hubbard used a kind of magical auto-hypnosis to resolve all the problems he faced: drug abuse, impotence, writer’s block, ulcers, and a dismal Navy career.  The Admissions are addressed to his alter ego and appear to be utterly frank.  However the version we have may not be complete, as it is said that the original covered several hundred pages.  He refers to problems with his parents but his tone is relatively mild.

“Self pity and conceit are not wrong. Your mother was in error. Masturbation does not injure or make insane. Your parents were in error. Everyone masturbates. … You are tolerant towards your mother and father. You loved them. You have no respect for their opinions for you know much more. You are always kind to them. Their good opinion of you is assured. Their good opinion and praise mean nothing whatever to you. … You have always done right by your parents. You did your best. You have no worries about it. Your mother’s theories on psychology were wrong. They do not now affect you. … The opinions of your aunts and uncles are worthless. You are kind to them. They mean nothing to you. … I am fortunate in losing Polly and my parents, for they never meant well by me.”  Polly was his first wife, mother of his two oldest children, L.Ron Hubbard Jr and Katherine May.

J. Swift (WWP 2009) saw him as a truly isolated being: “All of the pain was why Ron preferred to live life from behind his typewriter where he was in absolute control and could create the realities he wanted and needed, and, most importantly, he could control to the nth degree as the Creator and God. In his writing and stories, Ron got to say who would live and die or who would rise and fall — and there was no one sitting in judgment over Ron. He was omnipotent when he sat down at his typewriter and he knew that his power to write, to create, would be a large part of his freedom.”

Whatever its genesis, Hubbard’s behavior through his adult life shows many features typical of sociopathy.  Most sociopaths are men.  Some are probably born; others may be conditioned into it by aberrant parents or damaged by physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional neglect, or physical neglect.  Hubbard Senior is said to have been abusive.  Something certainly seems to have gone wrong with Ron in his teens.

Sociopathy is an emotional disorder.  Sociopaths do whatever they want to do, regardless of how much suffering this may cause other people. They may lie without remorse, exploit defenseless people, assault their own parents, spouses, and children; they are capable of sexually abusing children and killing in cold blood. Not every sociopath goes to such extremes but their behavior reflects the fact that they feel no shame or guilt for anything they do, and show no pity, kindness, compassion, affection or loyalty to anyone else, even to their parents.  As Hubbard said in his Admissions:” I am fortunate in losing Polly and my parents, for they never meant well by me.”  Their deaths meant nothing to him; he was glad they were dead and out of his way.  We live in an age in which sociopaths appear to flourish but this is not a normal reaction to losing one’s wife and parents.

Sociopaths are not lacking in intelligent and are generally able to communicate well and reason logically but they lack the ability to conduct themselves with respect for the rights of other people. They are likely to feel amusement or glee rather than shame or guilt.

The Admissions of the 1940s, referred to above, reveal that Hubbard saw himself or planned to become all-powerful and untouched by evil, immensely wise, god-like, and as dangerous as a tiger.  Rules were for other people.  He did not hate people even when he used force on them.  He could and did ignore the moral code (which was still very strict in the 1940s) and was clever enough to work around the law to avoid trouble. In fact he had several minor brushes with the law at this time.

According to the Admissions: “You have magnificent power but you are humble and calm and patient in that power. For you control all forces under you as you wish. … You recognize the evil or bad import of things that are evil and bad for you but their evilness cannot affect you or penetrate through your glowing and strong aura. You are light and you are good. You have the Wisdom of all and never doubt your wisdom.

“Material things are yours for the asking. Men are your slaves. Elemental spirits are your slaves. You are power among powers, light in the darkness, beauty in all. … You never speak ill of another because you are too powerful and may curse them. You love everyone. Even when you use force on people, you cannot hate them. You have no hate or jealousy in you.

“You are rich in wisdom. You are therefore dangerous beyond the claws of tigers. You never need speak of your dangerousness. Everyone knows you are and it scares them when you mention it. You are kind and soft-spoken always.”

His detachment from the many women he seduced is also remarkable though he appears to have cared for Sara, who became his second wife. But he did not care enough to get a divorce from his first wife, Polly, before he married Sara, and she complained later to Polly about his violence. In fact his reflections about women are all about his needs, not theirs.

“Sara, my sweetheart, is young, beautiful, desirable. We are very gay companions. I please her physically until she weeps about any separation. I want her always. But I am 13 years older than she. She is heavily sexed. My libido is so low I hardly admire her naked. … I mean to be constant to her. I love her very much. But to live with her I must regain my sexual powers, my stimulus. I must cease to take hormones. I must rebuild my feeling of excitement about things sexual.

“[You] need not subscribe to any moral code of sex anywhere. … What people think of you does not matter. You know when you are right. … Your own pleasure is not dependent on the woman’s. You are interested only in your own sexual pleasure. If she gets any that is all right but not vital. Many women are not capable of pleasure in sex and anything adverse they say or do has no effect whatever upon your pleasure. … Lord help women when you begin to fondle them. You are master of their bodies, master of their souls as you may consciously wish. You have no karma to pay for these acts. You cannot now accumulate karma for you are a master adept. You obey the conventions, you commit no crimes because you need not. You can be intelligently aware of their morals and the laws of the land and fit your campaign expertly within them.”

His capacity for extreme cruelty to small children became apparent to everyone on board the Apollo in the late 1960s and is amply documented. A search for “Chain Locker Children” produces a long list of victims.  First-hand information is also found in Hell on Board the Apollo 1968, an ESMB thread.  His use of teenage girls as his ‘Messengers” is also said, by those involved, to have created a culture of violence and cruelty, though it does not seem to have led to sexual exploitation.  Was his libido perhaps still a problem?

His reported reaction on learning of the death, in dreadful circumstances, of his son Quentin is equally revealing: “That stupid fucking kid! That stupid fucking kid! Look what he’s done to me!”  This is entirely in character.  In his Admissions he says he tried to “darken” his children, but failed: “Your psychology is good (he tells himself). You worked to darken your own children. This failure, with them, was only apparent. The evident lack of effectiveness was ‘ordered.’ The same psychology works perfectly on everyone else.”

At the end of his life Hubbard suffered physical and mental breakdown, a pattern which is said to be typical of a narcissistic/sociopathic personality. He had created a private world within which nothing he said could ever be questioned. Within that world he had absolute power. But it eventually became impossible for him to maintain his fantasy in the face of external reality. One cannot convincingly exercise absolute power when forced to hide from the police for years on end in a trailer home. So he lost his mind and, in his latter days, isolated and in utter neglect, reverted to writing rather bad science fiction.

His legacy was the Church of Scientology.  It is remarkable how well its personality fits that of its creator. The organization has the same motivation as its founder: to become powerful and to make money. Scientology has no morals, no scruples. It ignores laws or breaks them if it cannot use them for its own purposes. It will do anything it must to survive. It accepts no responsibility for damage or pain, even death. It shows no kindness or charity towards the young, the old, the sick or the mad, it destroys family ties, its gratitude is paper-thin. One can see its narcissism in its growing collection of beautiful buildings. It is a very unpleasant, unnatural and dangerous element of society.

It is interesting to find that Jon Atack, in his study entitled Hubbard and the Occult, came to the same conclusion. We differ only on the probable date of the trauma: I would place it after 1924, not in infancy.

“In conclusion, I believe that Hubbard was a classic psychopath. Some
trauma in infancy separated him from the world and made him
untrusting of other people. This developed into a paranoia, a need
to control others. He created a dissociated world, inhabited by the
Empress. Bear in mind that he actually saw the Empress in full colour,
and that she spoke to him.  From his comments about automatic writing
and speaking, it could be averred that Hubbard was in fact ‘channeling’
the Empress. Hubbard separated off a compartment of himself calling it
the Empress and gave in to its urging. He lived a life of dreadful
contradiction. He claimed expertise in all things, but factually was a
failure at most. Some will see him as having a psychiatric complaint,
others will believe that he invoked the very devil, or Babalon, and
was possessed. Hubbard’s own belief lives on with all of its contradictions
in his teaching. Ultimately, as Fritz Haack put it, Scientology is twentieth-
century magic.”

Sociopathy.  http://www.suite101.com/content/the-psychology-of-sociopathic-behavior-a18003

ESMB thread.  http://forum.exscn.net/showthread.php?t=19977

Jon Atack, Hubbard and the Occult, published by Lyle Stuart Books, New Jersey, 1990.