Jon Atack is the author of A Piece of Blue Sky, one of the very best books on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. He now has a new edition of the book out, and on Saturdays he’s helping us sift through the legends, myths, and contested facts about Scientology that tend to get hashed and rehashed in books, articles, and especially on the Internet.
Jon, what were L. Ron Hubbard’s intentions regarding Rhodesia, the country today called Zimbabwe? Did he really think he had a chance of taking it over to begin his worldwide conquest of the planet?
JON: By the mid-1960s, Hubbard was desperate to find a “safe point” — a country that would accept him, and from which he could “invade the territory of SMERSH [the Russian intelligence agency, made famous in the James Bond novels], run it better, make tons of money in it, to purify the mental health field,” and “contact and make friends with and organize all minority groups until we have the biggest group on the planet. By … making friends with the biggest enemies of the West, we will be able to avert Fascism now taking over in the West,” as he explained in a directive ( Flag Order 1890, 26 March 1969, Confidential — Zones of Action).
This was a political objective, and it is very possible that Hubbard believed he could be voted into office in Rhodesia.
Hubbard had fled the US in the 1950s, afraid that he’d be charged with practicing medicine without a license. He was proudly “Anglo Saxon” and had only found a following in the English speaking countries. With the Anderson Enquiry in Victoria, Australia and the hardening attitude towards him in Britain, Hubbard looked to Africa.
An attempt to buy a piece of the Malawian government failed, so Hubbard went to Rhodesia — modern day Zimbabwe. Rhodesia was notorious for its rejection of British directives to give the vote to the black population and its declaration of independence, led by a small white clique, headed by Ian Smith. Rhodesia was in line with the apartheid policies of South Africa. Britain and the Commonwealth — still a powerful group of countries, including New Zealand, Australia, and Canada — had embargoed Rhodesia, refusing to supply or buy any goods. Rhodesia was unwelcome at the table of nations for its racist stance. Only a supply line from the sympathetic South Africa kept it functioning.
Hubbard was drawn to Rhodesia, because he believed himself to be the reincarnation of founder Cecil Rhodes (see above). He may not have known that Rhodes was most likely a homosexual.
Hubbard claimed that he set out for Rhodesia to find out if an “OT” could make it on his own. After Rhodesia refused to renew his visa, he told believers upon his return to England that he had discovered that in Rhodesia an OT could not survive on his own, and used this as a justification for forming the Sea Project, which degenerated into the Sea Organization (though Slave Organization would have been a more accurate title).
But Hubbard was not on his own in Rhodesia. He was accompanied by Morley Glasier, whom I had the good fortune to interview in the mid-1980s. Hubbard wanted to find out about the Rhodesian government, so he sent Glasier in to steal materials (does this sound familiar?). In 1967, in Ron’s Journal 67, Hubbard boasted that Mary Sue Hubbard was using former intelligence operatives to gather material on members of the “World Bank Conspiracy” — including not only press barons, but British Prime Minister Harold Wilson. Two years earlier, poor Morley Glasier was sent to prison in Rhodesia. This operation would be fleshed out by Hubbard in 1973, with Operation Snow White, which aimed to infiltrate 136 US government offices (Lawrence Wright rather overstates the success of this operation, but tens of thousands of documents were stolen from the IRS, the Justice Department and the Coast Guard, and Scientology gained access to FBI computers through a member who was in the police). The point of Snow White was to find discreditable material about government officials who had hindered Scientology, so that they could be blackmailed.
Hubbard had an eye for the main chance. There were repeated assertions that Scientology was about to “take the planet.” At an event in London, in 1981, Diana Hubbard claimed that we would “clear the planet” within the year. Hubbard expected a collapse of civilization, after which Scientology would take over. This is clearly stated in a 1980 Bulletin, where he said: “I want Scientologists to live through World War III.” Executives were told that they had only six months to stop WW III, by raising statistics (read “income”) by 5.4 times.
THE BUNKER: Recently, a reader asked us about something he spotted at a Church of Scientology website which claims that in 1960 Hubbard authored a “one man, one vote” constitution for “apartheid-shackled South Africa.”
According to Russell Miller’s Bare-Faced Messiah, Hubbard did write a “tentative constitution” for Rhodesia in May, 1966 which would give blacks the vote, but would actually keep whites in power. Miller indicates that this document was sent to Rhodesia’s leaders, but there’s no indication that it was ever really considered. We can’t remember any mention in the literature that Hubbard also attempted to influence South Africa’s constitution. Do you know of any such attempts?
JON: I have seen no evidence that Hubbard influenced either. He was a guest at Ian Smith’s parties in Rhodesia for a little while, but soon fell out of favour.
JON ATACK BONUS VIDEO!
Look who got to go long on the Great Beast the other night…
Posted by Tony Ortega on April 20, 2013 at 07:00
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