One of the Bunker’s great contributors, Jeffrey Augustine, has put together for us a list of the biggest whoppers told by Scientology’s founder, L. Ron Hubbard, and a couple of canards thrown around by the church itself. We think you’re going to enjoy the collection Jeffrey put together for us…
1. The lie: “I happen to be a nuclear physicist; I am not a psychologist nor a psychiatrist nor a medical doctor.” — L. Ron Hubbard, in the 1952 lecture “Dianetics: The Modern Miracle.” Also found transcribed in the Research and Discovery series, Vol. 3 page 470, and New Tech Volumes, Vol. 5 page 143.
The truth: Hubbard flunked both high school and college, leaving after his sophomore year at George Washington University during which he failed a course of “Molecular and Atomic Physics.”
4. The lie: Hubbard was a “pioneering barnstormer at the dawn of aviation in America.”
The truth: As Jon Atack points out, Hubbard flew gliders in the early 1930s, which doesn’t really put Hubbard there with the Wright Brothers (1903) or Charles Lindbergh, who crossed the Atlantic in 1927.
5. The lie: Hubbard’s 1940 adventures in Alaska led to the development of LORAN, a radio-based system for navigation.
The truth: Alfred Lee Loomis invented LORAN (Long Range Aid to Navigation) in the 1920s and 1930s at Tuxedo Park in the US. Hubbard was not even remotely qualified to do any serious electrical engineering.
6. The lie: Hubbard created the US Air Force.
The truth: In 1941, Hubbard was one of many people offering free advice to government officials about how the US should prepare for a war the country seemed sure to get involved in. On June 30, Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada wrote a letter to Hubbard telling him the he would, indeed, push for a bill to create a US Air Force. But ten days earlier, the US Army Air Corps had already changed its name to the US Army Air Force. The US Air Force, under the name we know today, came into existence later, in 1947.
7. The lie: Hubbard claimed to have been awarded 21 or 27 combat medals in World War II as a navy lieutenant.
The truth: Hubbard never served a single day in combat and was never awarded any combat medals.
9. The lie: Hubbard was “returned home as the first American casualty of the war in the South Pacific.”
The truth: The US Naval Attache in Brisbane ordered Hubbard returned to the US for being meddlesome and quarrelsome.
10. The lie: Hubbard was a “commander of corvettes” in the North Atlantic.
The truth: Hubbard was assigned command of navy yard patrol vessel YP-422 in Boston Harbor. However, he was relieved of command before the vessel was commissioned after getting into an argument with the Commandant of the Navy Yard.
11. The lie: Hubbard fought German U-Boats in the North Atlantic.
The truth: No he didn’t.
12. The lie: Hubbard was machine-gunned in the back by Japanese soldiers on the Indonesian island of Java.
The truth: Not even close.
13. The lie: Hubbard escaped from Java with a fellow spy in a rubber raft and drifted 2,000 miles back to Australia.
The truth: As if.
14. The lie: Hubbard sank a Japanese submarine after a battle that lasted 35 hours.
The truth: He actually launched depth charges at a magnetic deposit on the ocean floor off the coast of Oregon.
15. The lie: At the end of the war, Hubbard had “an almost non-existent future” because he’d been “crippled and blinded.”
The truth: Hubbard was actually in good enough shape after a stay at the Oak Knoll Naval Hospital in Oakland that instead of heading north to his wife and two children in Washington, he went south to Pasadena to join Jack Parsons in his Thelemic sex magick rituals. Hubbard promptly took Jack’s girlfriend Sara Northrup away from him and eventually married her — even though he was still married to his first wife, Polly.
16. The lie: In a lecture, Hubbard described English occultist Aleister Crowley as his “good friend.”
The truth: Hubbard never met or corresponded with Crowley. Reading about Hubbard in letters from Jack Parsons, Crowley wrote to a friend, “Apparently Parsons or Hubbard or somebody is producing a moonchild. I get fairly frantic when I contemplate the idiocy of these louts.”
17. The lie: Hubbard was actually participating in sex magick rites as an undercover spy from US Naval Intelligence, sent in to break up Black Magic in America.
The truth: There’s no evidence of this claim, which was put out by the Church of Scientology. Hubbard’s son Nibs confirmed years later that his father had a deep interest in the occult and sex magick.
18. The lie: Hubbard’s 1950 book Dianetics claims from the start that it was “a milestone for man comparable to his discovery of fire and superior to his invention of the wheel and the arch.”
The truth: 65 years later, Dianetics has failed to deliver on even its most basic claims.
19. The lie: In Dianetics, Hubbard said that following his counseling techniques, “Arthritis vanishes, myopia gets better, heart illness decreases, asthma disappears, stomachs function properly and the whole catalogue of illnesses goes away and stays away.”
The truth: With no proof that Dianetics and its successor, Scientology, cured anything, in 1971 Hubbard settled with the Food and Drug Administration by putting a label on all “E-meters” that it was not a tool for the diagnosis of any disease.
20. The lie: Dianetics promised the state of “Clear,” which would include “complete recall of everything which has ever happened to him or anything he has ever studied.”
The truth: When Hubbard introduced his first “Clear” in August 1950, she was unable to remember what she had eaten on certain days, or even the color of the tie Hubbard was wearing. Hubbard didn’t claim to produce another Clear until 1966.
21. The lie: “Dr.” L. Ron Hubbard earned a Ph.D. from Sequoia University.
The truth: Sequoia was a notorious diploma mill which awarded bogus degrees based on no coursework or exams.
22. The lie: “I never had a second wife.”
The truth: While married to his third wife, Mary Sue Whipp, Hubbard made this bizarre claim in 1968 to Granada Television about Sara Northrup, who he badly wanted to erase from his life.
23. The Lie: On January 27, 1986 Scientology attorney Earle Cooley told the assembled crowd of church members at the Hollywood Palladium that L. Ron Hubbard had been in perfect health on January 24 when he decided to drop his body in order to move on to do higher levels of spiritual research to which his physical body was an impediment.
The Truth: Hubbard was in very poor health at the end of his life. Hubbard had a stroke about a week before his death. Following this stroke, Dr. Gene Denk gave Hubbard intramuscular injections of Vistaril, a psychiatric medication. About a week later Hubbard died alone in his Bluebird motor home, located on his remote ranch.
24. The lie: A person can be a member of any religion and still be a Scientologist.
The truth: In its application for its 1993 tax exemption, the Church told the IRS: “Although there is no policy or Scriptural mandate expressly requiring Scientologists to renounce other religious beliefs or membership in other churches, as a practical matter Scientologists are expected to and do become fully devoted to Scientology to the exclusion of other faiths. As Scientologists, they are required to look only to Scientology Scriptures for the answers to the fundamental questions of their existence and to seek enlightenment only from Scientology. Thus, a Scientologist who grew up in the Jewish faith who continues formal membership in his synagogue and attends services with his family violates no Scientology policy or tenet. On the other hand, such a person is not permitted to mix the practice of his former faith into his practice and understanding of Scientology so as to alter orthodox Scientology in any way.”
— Jeffrey Augustine
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