We have a special treat for you today. It’s another full interview leaked for the first time from Channel 4’s excellent 1997 documentary, Secret Lives — L. Ron Hubbard, and this time with Gerry Armstrong, who is probably very well known to most readers of this website.
The documentary is one of the better ones made about Scientology, and it contains numerous short clips of people who knew Hubbard. A source is releasing to us the uncut segments with these participants for the first time. So far, we’ve seen interviews with Hubbard’s literary agent, Forrest Ackerman, his press assistant and lover, Barbara Klowden, one of Hubbard’s fellow science fiction colleagues, Arthur Jean Cox, the former mayor of Clearwater, Florida, Gabe Cazares, and Hubbard’s former medical officer, Jim Dincalci.
Gerry Armstrong is a special figure indeed. We’ve told his story before, and you might want to look at those pieces (one, two) before watching him here. But what’s important to know is that Gerry worked closely with Hubbard in the 1970s, and he came across and preserved a vast collection of Hubbard’s personal papers, which later became the subject of a nasty lawsuit as Scientology demanded that Armstrong return them.
Gerry won that battle, ensuring that Hubbard’s actual history (or at least a large part of it) was preserved and helped journalists writing books about Hubbard get accurate material.
In the video, you’ll see that Gerry’s interview picks up with events in 1975, when Hubbard was ending several years of running Scientology from sea and moved to land in Florida. But after just a few months, Hubbard had to flee when a tailor recognized him in the town of Dunedin.
Hubbard went to Washington DC, but then sent Armstrong to California to prepare for his move there. In La Quinta Gerry got to see Hubbard making films with his Sea Org crew, which included a young David Miscavige.
An interesting detail: Gerry says he was sent to the RPF (the Sea Org’s prison detail) for joking. And it lasted eight months.
Gerry has some really interesting insights into Hubbard and his behavior. Dig in, and tell us what you found most interesting…
Bonus photos from our tipsters
Another full page ad in London, where the advertising standards are stricter, right?
Handing out The Way to Happiness in St. Petersberg, Russia!
Those Venezuelans love to get The Way to Happiness in schools!
The Clearwater Academy calls this “10th grade Community Service.” Working central files is community service? If you say so.
Scientologists are using social media more than ever. Drop us a line if you spot them posting images to Instagram or Facebook!
Posted by Tony Ortega on February 27, 2015 at 07:00
E-mail your tips and story ideas to email@example.com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. Here at the Bunker we try to have a post up every morning at 7 AM Eastern (Noon GMT), and on some days we post an afternoon story at around 2 PM. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.
Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…
BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of LA attorney and former church member Vance Woodward
UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists
GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice
SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts