L. Ron Hubbard

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L. Ron Hubbard was a science fiction author and founder of the controversial Church of Scientology.

Military Career

Hubbard's first foray into the armed services was in the Marine Reserves, of which he joined in May 1, 1930. He was hourably discharged 18 months later, on October 22, 1931. Hubbard then attempted to join both the Air Force, and later once the war broke out, the War Department. He was rebuffed in both instances. When he applied for the US Navy[1], he had sent a wide variety of recommendation letters from personal friends, associates, and politicians[2][3]. A number of these letters either spoke of accomplishments that are not documented, or were seemingly written by Hubbard himself. Though the US Navy accepted him on his credentials, he failed his medical examination, and was therefore turned down. This was until the war in europe intensified, and FDR declared an Unlimited National Emergency. Relooking at his application, the Navy accepted him, though reluctantly.

  • Although the subject Applicant is deficient in academic educational background, it is considered that his professional experience in newspaper work and travel compensates for his deficiency in the academic.(Source: Memo from Cdr Lucius C. Dunn, June 4, 1941)[4]

During the war he captained and/or served on three ships.

While serving as Captain of the USS PC0815, Hubbard reported a incident in which he allegedly fought two Japanese submarines in a period of 55 hours, releasing 37 depth charges and calling for backup.[8][9] In the end the Navy concluded that Hubbard had dropped depth charges on a "known magnetic deposit" underneath the sea, and that "an analysis of all the reports convinces me that there was no submarine in the area".[10]

A later incident while in command of the USS PC-815 would lead to Hubbard being relieved of command. The incident involved an unauthorized gunnery exercise while off the coast of the Coronados Islands, a Mexican territory. Presumably, of the four shells shot, possibly one or two had landed on the island. Afterwards the PC-815 had anchored off the shore of the island. The incident involved an official complaint of the Mexican government to the US Navy which resulted into an investigation into the incident, and caused Hubbard to lose his command. [11]

After a brief stint in a Naval Medical Hospital in San Francisco, Hubbard was transferred to the USS Algol, a converted cargo ship. He would eventually request a transfer, and be moved to a position at Princeton University with the School of Military Government.[12]

The Church maintains that Hubbard was awarded anywhere from 27 to 29 medals for his war time service, though documentation exists for only 4.[13]

Publishing of Dianetics

In the years after his discharge from the war, Hubbard had become an increasingly prolific pulp science fiction writer. In 1949, Hubbard met John Campbell, editor of Astounding Science Fiction, and a friendship was struck up. Hubbard regaled Campbell with information about his newly discovered "science of the mind", Dianetics. Campbell became excited by the prospects, and agreed to run an article about Dianetics in his magazine. The May 1950 issue of Astounding Science Fiction saw the debut, rather inauspiciously, of Dianetics. On May 9th, 1950, Dianetics appeared in bookstores. [14]

The Founding of Sea Org

In 1967, after the establishment of Scientology's main headquarters at Saint Hill Manor in East Grinstead, England, Hubbard established what in time would become his own private navy, dubbed the Sea Org. A number of boats would be purchased over the years, including the Enchanter,a 40 ton schooner, the Avon River, a 414 ton trawler, and thecrown jewel of the fleet, the Royal Scotsman, a 3280 ton vessal.[15]

From the start Sea Org had considerable troubles, mostly due to the British Board of Trade, whom certified ships and signed off on all travel plans. The Royal Scotsman would have required sginificant modifications if it was to be used as a "luxury yacht" as Hubbard wanted it reclassified as. Irritated, Hubbard sent Hana Eltringham to register the ship under the flag of Sierra Leone. Once done, the Board of Trade could not detain a ship of a foreign flag.

Hubbard and the Sea Org would soon find themselves on a journey across the seas the would last until the last half of 1975, when the last of the Sea Org's ships, the Apollo, would fall into disuse.

Final Years/Death

Hubbard died, secretly, at a private estate he had bought in California, named Whispering Winds, on Friday January 24, 1986.[16] His death, much like his life, was not without controversy. Despite Scientology's steadfast opposition to psychology and psychiatry, as well as any number of mental health drugs, Hubbard died with a powerful psychiatric drug in him, Vistaril. The discovery of a powerful psychiatric drug in a man who made a living out of opposing such things, created the possibility that Hubbard was murdered.[17]

External links

Official Sites

Neutral sites

Critical Site

Ron "the War Hero"