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Scientology Mythbusting with Jon Atack: That L. Ron Hubbard TV Ad!

LRH_AviatorIn 1990, author Jon Atack published what is still one of the very best books on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology, A Piece of Blue Sky. Atack now has a new edition of the book out, and it reminded us what an encyclopedic resource he is. So join us as we rely on Jon’s expertise to 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, we’ve been hearing from readers who have been seeing a TV ad from Scientology that presents a lot of aggrandizing claims about L. Ron Hubbard. We were hoping you could go through the ad’s script and sift out what’s true and what’s not so true.

Let’s go through the ad, line by line…

He was the nation’s youngest Eagle Scout at the age of thirteen

JON: The Boy Scouts of America have no record of this and were not concerned with this distinction. Who was ‘the youngest’ was never known by them, so it could not have been known by Hubbard or anyone else. He does seem to have become an Eagle Scout at an early age, but I have grown suspicious of every document advanced. So, I would say that if he really did earn it so young, he would be one of only a handful who had done so at that time. If that is the truth, then it would have been good enough. But not for Hubbard, who always had to embellish.


And twice journeyed to Asia before the advent of commercial flight

That sounds right — two trips to China in the late twenties. You can check the date for international commercial flight. There must have been some people selling tickets some time before 1927. Again, a creditable truth is hyperbolised, making the boaster unreliable.

He attended America’s first class on nuclear physics

He attended an early class on ‘molecular and atomic physics’ in his brief stint at George Washington University. He was given an ‘F’ — a failing grade. And it isn’t ‘nuclear.’ That is there to latch onto the post-atomic bomb image. It was the sort of stuff you would do at High School these days. Brown McKee testified at the Clearwater Hearings, in 1982, after more than two decades in Scientology, that as a physicist, he knew that the physics was wrong, but was fascinated by the Buddhist ideas. As a Buddhist, I knew that the Buddhism was nonsense, but was fascinated by the supposedly scientific enquiry which derived from this semester on the atom and the molecule. He wouldn’t have been studying Bohr, Heisenberg, Pauli, Fermi, Schroedinger and it is possible that even Einstein would not have been mentioned (the Copenhagen Interpretation of the nucleus was worked out in the late twenties but would not have earned a mention on the GWU course). I have never seen a reference to any of the investigators of the nucleus in Hubbard’s work. In fact, his notion of physics is circa 1938, Adventure Magazine. Indeed, readers of his science fiction tales complained to Astounding Science-Fiction about his implausible ideas.

And was a pioneer at the dawn of American aviation

‘Flash’ Hubbard the ‘barnstorming’ pilot. He had a license for gliders. Not quite the dawn of aviation, though. This is after World War I, when there were a lot of returning pilots and a lot of planes were being off loaded, as military forces stood down all over the world for a few brief years. I feel that I must add a caution, I have come to see Hubbard as physically cowardly, so it is surprising that he would risk being aloft in a rig of wire, canvas and glue. And he proved how easy it is to create documents (including the forged check he tried to pass in San Luis Obispo as a young man). There is a photo of Hubbard wearing a row of medals. When analysed, he proves to be wearing medals that he did not receive, or even claim to have received. Prop photos are so easily made. He made them all his life.

He led expeditions into then remote islands as a member of the famed Explorers Club

The Alaska Radio Experimental Expedition: This is what Blue Sky says: “In February 1940, Hubbard was accepted as a member of the Explorers’ Club of New York (though one Scientology account says 1936). According to his book Mission into Time, Hubbard was awarded the Explorers’ Club Flag in May 1940, for an expedition to Alaska aboard his ketch, the Magician. Hubbard called this trip the Alaskan Radio Experimental Expedition. Another Scientology account claims the expedition was undertaken for the US Government. Hubbard seems to have been trying out a new system of radio navigation developed by the Cape Cod Instrument Company. At least the Scientologists provide documentation to that effect. The ‘expedition’ seems to have consisted of Hubbard and his first wife, Polly, aboard the 32-foot Magician. Some film was sent gratuitously to the US Navy Hydrographic Office. As ever, we are faced with a germ of truth embedded in Hubbard’s exaggeration. The habit of a lifetime. In a letter sent to the Seattle Star in November 1940, Hubbard complained that his Alaskan trip had been greatly delayed by frequent failures of the boat’s motor. Repairs had been expensive, and Hubbard and his wife were stranded in Ketchikan while he tried to write and sell enough stories to bail them out. Eventually he borrowed $265 from the Bank of Alaska, a debt he blithely forgot as soon he departed. Hubbard was apparently an accomplished sailor, receiving a License to Master of Steam and Motor Vessels in December 1940, and a License to Master of Sail Vessels (any Ocean), in May 1941.”

And was a giant in the Golden Age of Pulp Fiction

He spent more than he earned, until the millions started to pour in from Scientology in the 1970s, so he barely earned a living, while others were already prospering. He was a contributor during that age, but does anyone rate him with Heinlein or Asimov? Stephen King has singled out Fear as a significant story. Typewriter in the Sky is a good yarn. I recommend The End is Not Yet. In Blue Sky there’s this: “In December, Hubbard’s pension was increased (to about a third of a living wage), and his first wife’s divorce from him became final; more than a year after his second marriage. Hubbard was not satisfied with the increase in his pension, and wrote to the Veterans Administration complaining about his poor physical condition, and saying that if he did not have to worry so much about money, he would be able to produce a novel which had been commissioned. That novel, The End is Not Yet, had already been published in Astounding Science-Fiction, in August 1947. It is about a nuclear physicist who overthrows a dictatorial system with the creation of a new philosophy. It has been suggested that the novel had some bearing upon the creation of the Scientology movement. Hubbard’s writing and the VA pension combined, apparently did not provide sufficient funds, and in August 1948, Hubbard was arrested in San Luis Obispo for a check fraud. He was released on probation. By January 1949 the Hubbards were in Savannah, Georgia. In a letter written to his agent that month, Hubbard said that a manuscript he was working on had more potential for promotion and sales than anything he had ever encountered. Hubbard was referring to a therapy system he was working on. In April, he wrote to several professional organizations, offering Dianetics to them. None was interested, so Hubbard had to find another outlet for Dianetics, which he very promptly did.”

He was a Master Mariner licensed to captain vessels on any ocean

I found no documentation to this effect.

And a United States naval officer who commanded corvettes during WWII

Mr. Justice Latey said this in a High Court ruling, in London, in 1984 (once more courtesty of Blue Sky): “To promote himself and the cult he has made these amongst other false claims: That he was a much decorated war hero. He was not. That he commanded a corvette squadron. He did not. That he was awarded the Purple Heart, a gallantry decoration for those wounded in action. He was not wounded and was not decorated. That he was crippled and blinded in the war and cured himself with Dianetic technique. He was not crippled and was not blinded. That he was sent by U.S. Naval Intelligence to break up a black magic ring in California. He was not. He was himself a member of that occult group and practiced ritual sexual magic in it. That he was a graduate of George Washington University and an atomic physicist. The facts are that he completed only one year of college and failed the one course on nuclear physics in which he enrolled. There is no dispute about any of this. The evidence is unchallenged….Hubbard has described himself as ‘Dr. Hubbard.’ The only doctorate he has held is a self-bestowed ‘doctorate’ in Scientology….Mr. Hubbard is a charlatan and worse as are his wife Mary Sue Hubbard … and the clique at the top privy to the Cult’s activities.”

Blue Sky itself has: “Hubbard’s claims about his Navy career form a major part of the superman image he tried to project. He and his followers have claimed he saw action in the Philippines upon the US entry into World War II. Hubbard was supposedly the first returned casualty from the ‘Far East,’ and was dispatched immediately to the command of an anti-submarine warfare vessel which served in the North Atlantic. He allegedly rose to command the ‘Fourth British Corvette’ squadron, and then saw service with amphibious forces in the Pacific, ending the War in Oak Knoll Naval Hospital, ‘crippled and blinded,’ the recipient of between 218 and 279 medals and palms. His exploits were, Hubbard claimed, the basis for a Hollywood movie starring Henry Fonda. As ever, there are inconsistencies between Hubbard’s own accounts.”


“A Scientology press release claims that Hubbard was ‘flown home in the late spring of 1942 in the Secretary of the Navy’s private plane as the first US returned casualty from the Far East.’ Another Scientology account adds that Hubbard ‘was relieved by fifteen officers of rank [no longer “junior officers”] and was rushed home to take part in the 1942 battle against German submarines as Commanding Officer of a Corvette serving in the North Atlantic.’ Yet another Scientology account says he ‘rose to command a squadron.’ In reality, after his return by ship to San Francisco at the end of March 1942, Hubbard was hospitalized for catarrhal fever, which he had contracted aboard ship. Being the ‘first U.S. returned casualty from the Far East’ seems to have consisted of having a bad cold.”

His landmark work on the human mind rode bestseller lists for 100 consecutive weeks

Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health sold 150,000 copies before its publisher, Art Ceppos, withdrew it from publication (he resigned from the board of the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation in October 1950 and published fellow former board member Dr Joseph Winter’s book, criticising Hubbard’s inconsistencies). So the book was not available from stock from that time on and the craze was already dying down, because most of those who had tried the technique had not found it effective. A lecture series given by Hubbard in October 1951 attracted only 51 students. Scientology remained small for over a decade, before media scare stories began to attract new recruits, in the 1960s. It should be easy to check the significant best seller lists for the time (and, indeed, the New York Times), but it sounds like more hokum, to me.

And he’s the most published and translated author of all time

More than the Biblical authors or Lao Tze? Or Rumi, for that matter. You’d need hard statistics for that, and they don’t have them, even if they wanted to show them. Eleven million Scientologists — a curiously static number for some years now, for the ‘fastest growing religion in the world’ — actually boils down to a membership of about 30,000. They count the Body Thetans, too, and with books, we know that boxes of Battlefield Earth arrived back at book stores with their price-labels already on every book, so fluffing sales figures comes naturally. Single pages are included as ‘publications,’ as are new editions. I remember Gibby at the book store at Saint Hill, who, back in the late 1970s, had the leftovers of just about every edition. Sometimes ten or more of the same book. New editions are just a way to induce buying — see Jenna Miscavige Hill’s heartbreaking book, where she says staff had to find $80 to buy a new printing of a volume of policy letters (on a wage of $25 a week, if she was lucky).

He is L. Ron Hubbard — founder of Scientology

Well, his paternal grandfather was called Wilson. His father was adopted by a family called Hubbard. Maybe, L. Ron Wilson?

THE BUNKER: We can’t believe you actually found something to question in that final line. You are really something, Atack.

Next week: We’re going space opera!


SMERSH Madness: Sowing the Seeds of World Domination!

As we announced on March 1, we’re joining bracket fever with a tournament like no other. It’s up to you to decide who should be named the new SMERSH, the traditional nemesis of Scientology. Cast your vote for who’s doing more to propel the church down its long slide into oblivion!

Continuing in the first round, we have a classic battle this morning…


John Sweeney has come to terms with the fact that he will forever be remembered for blowing his stack while filming a 2007 BBC Panorama special on Scientology. Luckily for us, that’s produced Sweeney’s entertaining new book, The Church of Fear: Inside the Weird World of Scientology.

Debbie Cook’s infamous New Year’s Eve e-mail started off 2012 with a temblor that is still shaking up the Church of Scientology. Nearly every person now leaving the church credits her lengthy indictment of Scientology leader David Miscavige with helping them see the light.

Yesterday’s result: L. Ron Hubbard defeated Steve Cannane by ONE VOTE, 239-238.



Posted by Tony Ortega on March 2, 2013 at 07:00


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287 comments to Scientology Mythbusting with Jon Atack: That L. Ron Hubbard TV Ad!

  • aquaclara

    Reading Sweeney’s book now, and so….my vote goes to John for taking it all on the chin!
    Immensely enjoyable, except for that wee little fact that it’s real….

    • Poison Ivy

      It’s a riveting read. It’s astonishing he and his entire crew didn’t come away from that experience permanently paranoid.

    • DeElizabethan

      Loved his book too. Maybe if Debbie wrote a book? Well Sweeney’s will go on for a long time and more people will read it than the TBT articles, plus all his talks.

  • John P.

    Thanks to Tony and Jon for a very complete debunking of much of Hubbard’s life. One final indignity of a potential lie remains yet to be examined. You say that

    Hubbard was apparently an accomplished sailor, receiving a License to Master of Steam and Motor Vessels in December 1940, and a License to Master of Sail Vessels (any Ocean), in May 1941.

    While I am sure that commercial maritime licensing has changed in the last 75 years, it would be interesting to verify the categories of licenses that were granted by the Coast Guard at that time. I’m assuming that his claimed licenses were not military in nature, since they are dated before Hubbard was in the Navy and off having his world-saving adventures.

    At one point, I looked at getting my own license for my Global Capitalism HQ-issued mega-yacht so that I could take it out without having to have a professional captain, but contemporary Coast Guard licensing for a captain requires lots of apprenticeship, etc. And it’s cut up by size of vessel; as far as I can tell.

    Today, there is no Coast Guard licensing specific to sail vessels, and given that the Age of Steam was well established by 1940, it is reasonably possible that sailing ships were for recreational boating only by that time, and thus that there was not any license necessary. There were Power Squadron (safe boating certificates which require attendance at a small number of classes and are pretty basic. I wonder if that’s what Hubbard got and somehow inflated it into “Master of Sail Vessels (Any Ocean),” a term that only seems to come up in association with Hubbard when Googled.

    Regarding Debbie Cook vs. John Sweeney, I love the patented Sweeney “sturm und drang.” But in terms of wreckage delivered to the cult’s doorstep, I am going with Debbie Cook. A number of stories of ex-members you’ve published since her New Year’s 2012 e-mail have cited that message as a major factor in deciding to leave the cult. Conversations I’ve had with several current and recent ex-members over the last year suggest that her e-mail was a factor in many former members becoming “sideliners” or “under the radar,” not officially out of the cult but remaining members in name only.

    • TonyOrtega

      Yes, John, you hit on something I was trying to clear up with Jon before publication. I was confused by something he had sent me and I had pulled it out because of my confusion. But I’ve restored it. As you can see, Jon agrees with you — he never saw documentation he trusts on that “master of sail vessels” claim. It’s now back in the piece.

      • Ze Moo

        What ‘Sail Vessels’ was he licensed for/ Catamarans? How many masts? The title of the license is confusing, probably deliberately. I wonder more about Lrons navigation skills. He took a small boat from Seattle to Alaska and back, yet he shelled a Mexican Island and encroached on Mexican waters. Actions which caused a Court Martial and resulted in his removal from command. I keep thinking about Humphy Bogart’s Captain Queeg. “Ahh, but the strawberries that’s… that’s where I had them”

        • Snippy_X

          Didn’t he abscond with Parson’s yacht and Parson’s woman at one point?

          • Trustmeonthis

            He convinced Parsons to hand over nearly all of his money on the pretext of setting up some kind of boat related business, then he and Sara (aka Betty) bought a boat and took off together. He later married her and they had a kid (although he hadn’t bothered to divorce his first wife) so it was more than a year. But, yeah, kinda.

    • 1subgenius

      He probably got some blanket “for the duration” thing. He did captain a vessel or two.

      • Missionary Kid

        He captained them into trouble: he shelled a Mexican island and depth charged a magnetic anomaly.

    • Poison Ivy

      ‘Regarding “most-translated author:”‘ – ah yes, but the Bible doesn’t have an “author” per se. L Ron’s groupies may be getting around the thorny issue of Bible translations with this detail.

      • BuryTheNuts2

        That is a good point.

      • blissfulldreams

        ‘Regarding “most-translated author:” just because it has been translated does Not mean they all read it, translating it would be the easy part you just have to buy the soft ware now they have to get rid of them and means the libraries don’t want them Hello ebay

      • I remember looking this up before. It is another lie. The most translated single author according to UNESCO (whom I trust a lot more than Scientology pr) is Agatha Christie. The most-translated copyright holder is Disney Productions.

    • Unex Skcus

      G’day, “I’m not pissing in your pocket mate”, but finding a Strine Bible is “the duck’s nuts”, although about “as useful as tits on a bull”, and not quite “the most fun you can have with your pants on”. 🙂

      • SandiCorrena

        I read/heard that complete with Aussie accent and a twist of James Bond; gave me a little shiver; say it again! 😉

        • Unex Skcus

          You’re probably a great sheila, but I’ve got “one foot in the grave and the other on a banana skin”. Nah, just kidding. Officially become an ‘old fart’ tomorrow, my 60th. 🙂

          • Missionary Kid

            You’re just a young pup. Gawd, I thought I’d never say that to someone turning 60.

          • SandiCorrena

            I don’t know if technically there are 51 year old great Sheila’s but in any event Happy Birthday from this one-have some cocktails and cake!

          • FistOfXenu

            Wow, a youngster! Aren’t you all supposed to die young being eaten by crocs or something? Kidding; welcome to the old fart’s club.

          • DeElizabethan

            Welcome to the old fart club. Happy Birthday Unex Skcus! May your other foot never slip.

      • FistOfXenu

        Makes me want to rethink having pockets on my clothes next time I visit Oz.

  • Debbie Cook spent seven hellish weeks sleeping on the floor in stifling heat and eating slop three times a day.

    She was put in a trash can, where she was made to stand for 12 hours as Scientology thugs walked around her, shouting at her and taunting her, calling her a lesbian, and dumping cold water on her.

    John Sweeney was pestered interminably by the irritating Tommy Davis until he quite reasonably got cross and expressed his feelings strongly for which he was soundly applauded by people all around the world including myself.

    Call me sentimental, but my vote has to go to Debbie though John is a very worthy runner-up.


    • sugarplumfairy

      Hmmm.. Thats surprising.. This is the very first time i have ever disagreed with you, Andrew..

      They both did damage to co$.. Cook could have done much more damage had she chosen to.. And she had an ulterior, self-serving motive.. As far as I’m concerned, she hasn’t done near enough yet to redeem herself for the many little old Italian widows she ferociously regged..

      John continues to expose the evils of co$.. And besides, I like him.. He gets my vote..

      • 1subgenius

        He’d be a blast to have drinks with.

      • Oh dear. You’re the last person I would choose to disagree with Miss Plum. But I look at the differences between the two of them in their respective situations. John’s world didn’t change, he remains a confident assertive BBC presenter who perhaps had a fleeting moment of chagrin at responding in the way he did.

        But Debbie? From Queen Bee as Flag Captain to an object of derision, humiliated by the very people she once ruled over with an iron fist. From hubris to humiliation must have been shattering.

        But she didn’t break. Instead she chose to send out an e-mail which influenced many Scientologists to dare to challenge the beliefs that the organization they cherished was rotten to the core.

        I don’t expect her or Mark Rathbun for that matter, to dress in sackcloth and ashes and crawl on their hands and knees from Gloucester to London with a skein of wet haddock around their necks though some critics think they should.

        I would leave it to the two of them to decide what information they wish to reveal when the time is right.


        • Captain Howdy

          Andrew, according to people who should know, Debbie only sent the e-mail out to a handful of people and it was Rathbun and Steve What’sHisName who engineered the mass mailing without her approval, If true, then she can’t really take credit for that and her appearance in court, IMO, was interned to show DM she meant business and he better pony up the cash, fast.. Also her experience in the RPF was minimal, at least time wise, compared to others.

          • Is that true ? Did Marty et al really do that with the email ? i would have thought that he would have bragged about that one …

            • Captain Howdy

              I seem to recall Mary McConnell and few others stating that was the case. I could be wrong, but that’s what I recall.

            • TheHoleDoesNotExist

              Steve Hall. And I don’t expect anyone to “dress in sackcloth and ashes and crawl on their hands and knees” their whole life. I expect them to dress in orange jumpsuits and prison numbers and crawl on their hands and knees. I expect justice. A scientologist criminal is a criminal. I don’t understand why that concept is so difficult.

            • crap – that made me look over at Marty’s blog – he is on the cross right now . I feel brain cells dying when i read what he says …

            • OK ..i might be high ( insert joke here ) but i just spent about 30 min’s parusing Marty’s blog and some of the comments. It appears as though he might be losing some of his flock ..and the poor mean people are not giving him enough money to do his “work” so now Mosey has to stop auditing and go back to work to make $$ so Marty can stay home and write a book . Some people are pushing back on his “DM all bad” thing and i can’t quite figure out the rest. It’s like white noise meets word salad but maybe someone here can give me a little bit of the rundown ( so to speak ) ? Tory got a couple of good posts in there but i am still having a tough time .

            • grundoon

              Marty had this to say today: I think you know that it is futile attempting to ‘fix Scientology’ unless and until one has transcended it, right? That is, continued adherence to it, by its own laws, requires that you not even allow the thought of fixing it to enter your mind. That is why the continual maunderings, closely and religiously adhering to quotations from Scientology, by some will never fix it. That is why, quite frankly, I feel for these guys declaring me and assigning me conditions. They are starting the whole house of mirrors up again, same business at a different stand.

            • BuryTheNuts2

              Wow, that is an impressive statement from Marty.

            • DeElizabethan

              The Blame thread has been really interesting. Even let some posts some blasting Huboard.

          • FistOfXenu

            I don’t remember disagreeing with you very often if ever Captain. But we’re not comparing her to others right now we’re comparing her to John “exploding tomato” Sweeney. I’ll wait for hard confirmation before I judge Cook on mass mailing or not because to me it was a big deal either way. I go for Cook because her email and what came after really rocked their boat big time inside and outside the cult. I also think that her email made it possible for others inside to think about coming out. I respect Sweeney. Hell, getting a media type to admit he screwed up is a big deal in my book. And the public fuss that came from it was a big deal too. But I don’t think it did as much inside the cult as Debbie Cook did.

            About your point about RPF. Maybe she didn’t do as much as others but she did way more than Sweeney, and I bet her fair game experience was at least equal to his. After all, she wanted money.

            Just an opinion.

        • sugarplumfairy

          Oh my.. You are a persuasive man, Mr. Robertson.. I never thought about her quite that way.. My fantasies of wet haddock necklaces probably prevented it.. I believe you have convinced me..

        • Sidney18511

          if you go back to Marty’s blog when Debbie court was comming up, she was asking for money to fight her court case. She promised to take DM down and reveal all. A lot of the posters sent her money and then she sold out. Kind of slimely, if you ask me. But she did open up many culties eyes.

      • I’m not voting for the person I like better or admire more. I’m voting for the person who does more damage to Scientology. That was L. Ron Hubbard yesterday, and it’s Debbie Cook today. I despise LRH and I don’t care either way about Debbie Cook, but I believe both of them are more important in bringing down Scientology than their opponents.

    • mirele

      I voted for John because Debbie’s now silenced by a gag order. John, although he’s in the UK and under its draconian libel laws, has not been silenced. But it was a tough choice.

      • BuryTheNuts2

        Debbie is silenced by money!
        She just gave in to the Non-Disclosure as part of her monetary negotiations.
        Since she was so good at Regging….I am pretty sure that NDA was a fairly expensive piece of paper for Davey.
        I may not like her. But I sure don’t underestimate her.

      • DeElizabethan

        Right! Debbie brought a lot of scio’s out, but John is doing excellent at keeping people from going in. Through the press he can accomplish more in drying them up, on lack of new people, $$$.

    • Poison Ivy

      Ah but remember, Debbie surely did her own share of thugging and taunting and mentally torturing. Not that she is not as much of a victim as anyone, but she did take the money and run, when she could have potentially done far more damage.

      • TonyOrtega

        Debbie Cook surely deserves all the criticism she’s getting for her actions while she worked as Captain FSO. However, I really wish people would remember that when it came to the court case, she was a defendant being sued by a powerful corporation and faced MILLIONS of dollars in liability. It’s so easy for people to say that she should have turned down a settlement offer so she could “do more damage,” when there was NO GUARANTEE that the judge might have, at any moment, swept away her duress argument and cleared the path for Scientology to utterly ruin her. Please keep that in mind as you judge her decision to get herself out of a lawsuit that she did not initiate.

        • sugarplumfairy

          Yeah! All you haters should ease up!!!

          Ok, just kidding, since I am nothing if not judgmental.. As usual, Tony, you are the voice of reason and remind me that I am not the gavel of justice.. but I wish I were sometimes.. However, In the instance of the lawsuit, maybe i’d have done exactly what cook did.. But I’d still like to smack her down again, Pa..

        • FistOfXenu

          Tony, I appreciate the reminder. But the trouble is I keep stumbling around this problem and I’m not the only one. There are people that leave $cientarCONon when they see it hurts people and they don’t want to be part of that. It’s easy to see them as the victims of the cult. There are people at the top who live off that pain like vampires. It’s easy to see them as the villains of the cult. But there’s these others. It’s really hard to figure where they fit in. They’re victims because They get RPF’d when they’re in and fair gamed and declared and disconnected when they leave. But they didn’t leave because of the abuse. They helped carry out and perpetuate the abuse. They left because karma’s a bitch and some of what they were dishing out splashed back on them. And some of them end up doing something for the bigger picture of exposing the abuse and stopping the cult but other people act like they never see past taking care of number 1.

          I’m not one of those that thinks Cook gave in too fast or something. A lawsuit by those bastards is no joke. But I choke on the fact that her original wake up call wasn’t about the immorality of what she helped $cientarCONon do to people it was about how the cult wasn’t Hubbardist enough and how that landed on her.

          I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one that has a hard time with this. It’s like trying to figure out what to do with prisoners that helped the prison guards in the Nazi camps. Unless I’m missing something this is an ethical dilemma that deserves a lot more thought and where better to do it than in the Bunker.

          I don’t guess Mr Atack is here to talk about this but I’d love it if you’d ask him to anyway. Maybe get a whole panel on it sometime.

    • OTVIIIisGrrr8!

      John Sweeney is an SP who went on an unprovoked attack and shouted at a former low ranking Scientology Sea Org member named Tommy Donaldson or something like that. Tommy is no longer in Sea Org because he couldn’t cut it. Very few people can because the Sea Org is so elite and so demanding.

      Debbie Cook was an equally low ranking nobody who did janitorial work at Flag. As we in RTC recall, she left the Church to start some kind of business.

      And then there was that episode in court where Debbie lied about COB RTC David Miscavige. COB was so enturtbulated that day that he vomited in a trash can and then had a nosebleed.

  • Still_On_Your_Side

    I am writing in my vote: Tony Ortega

    • blissfulldreams

      now there is someone who has my vote at least he is constantly working to bring down cos

      i don’t have much thoughts on john sweeney for some reason i just cant get in to his stuff but i will plough through it one of these days and debbie cook i was like OMG that email then court thing and i was yeah debbie then she took the money and i’m like pfft so i did not vote for either

  • BosonStark

    The commanded a corvette squadron thing is too much, isn’t it? Why is it he told all sorts of stories about the puny boat he was on, and the men under him, but never mentioned the corvette squadron thing much?

    The great Orson Welles said that, “Paul Masson will sell no wine before its time, but Scientology will keep selling these stupid lies long after they’ve turned to vinegar.

  • Again, I am voting for the journalist because I believe that it is the exposure that, in the end, cause the most damage. I want the “church” to fail, but for that we can count on Miscaviage. What I really, really want is for L. Ron Hubbard, his ideas and his organization be shown for what it was — with or without Miscaviage. A paranoid, mean spirited and self aggrandizing group that encouraged its adherents to behave in ways that were damaging to the people around them. It caused a tremendous amount of harm, not just to those sucked in, but also to the friends and family who saw their lives change for the worse because of the involvement of someone they loved.

  • The picture next to the plane is less heroic aviator, more ‘hello sailor’.

  • L Ron Hubbard ………….‘crippled and blinded,’ the recipient of between 218 and 279 medals and palms.


  • jensting

    Love the comment about members being fascinated by what Hubbard said about areas unknown to them (and ignoring the area known to them where they did know that Hubbard’s spew was nonsense).

    The criminal organsiation known as the “church” of $cientology m,ay vaunt Hubbard’s supposed credentials in nuclear physics (and control of runaway physicists after WWII…), but Hubbard’s true colours and the extent of his willful ignorance are revealed in the lecture where he rails against the supposed “reality” that electrical engineers are taught (stuff about how mattter is composed of lots of nothing with some atoms whizzing through it) and how touching a wall and feeling its solidity could strip years of wog education.

  • EnthralledObserver

    My vote went to John Sweeney – it was a tough call, because although Debbie’s email did a lot of damage internally, which is ongoing, I felt John Sweeney’s ability to warn the wog public and prevent new meat for the church both through his famous ‘tomato’ event, and his new book to have marginally topped it.
    I am so thrilled to see the whole of that Hubbard blowhard nonsense debunked. It’s pretty obvious to most people’s naked eye that he embellished unrealistically, but to see that someone has found the proof that most of his claims were exaggerated at best, and downright madeup at worst is heartwarming, innit? 😀

  • Observer

    Sweeney and Cook are apples and oranges … Cook’s email affected Scientologists almost exclusively, making them aware of abuses at the top and accelerating the exodus, and Sweeney’s book has found an audience among wogs, making them aware of the evil nuttiness that permeates Scientology. I voted Sweeney because he has by far the larger audience. And he’s hilarious.

    As for Justice Latey, whom Jon cited above, he was an admirable man who had a reputation for cutting through the crap. His obituary:

    The quote Jon used was from this court case, and it’s a fun, juicy read:

    • blissfulldreams

      What Justice Latey *really* said about Scientology

      • Poison Ivy

        A great quote from that article, Bliss, from the “evil psych” expert witness:
        “Auditing is a simple, thoroughly designed means of concentrating the mind to a state of a controlled trance The aim and result is progressively
        to enforce loyalty to and identification with Scientology to the detriment of
        one’s natural awareness of divergent ways of thinking and outside cultural
        influences. Love and allegiance are more and more given to Scientology
        and L. Ron Hubbard.”

    • 1subgenius

      “Sweeney and Cook are apples and oranges”

      That’s the beauty of March Madness.

  • sugarplumfairy

    We need more Mr. Justice Lateys in the world.. And more Jon Atacks would be cool too..

    • blissfulldreams

      Judge Justice Lateys you just know the crims were pooping themselves when they heard his name

  • N. Graham

    Too bad the film clip doesn’t mention the Blackfoot Indians, who befriended Ron and made him a blood brother at the age of six. I guess it was common to befriend six-year-olds and perform blood-letting ceremonies on them. Never mind that no other records say the Blackfoots had a blood brother ceremony. All I can say, is what kind of parental supervision did this 6 year old have?
    Ms. Cook took the money and ran and Mr. Sweeney is still here so I voted for him, while still recognizing the brave stand that Ms. Cook took. It was a tough call.

    • Poison Ivy

      “All I can say, is what kind of parental supervision did this 6 year old have?” Serious LOL

    • According to Scientology, children are little adults, remember. They don’t need supervision, and they are as capable of taking responsibility and consenting to anything as adults.

      LRH was one sick shithead.

    • “All I can say, is what kind of parental supervision did this 6 year old have? ”

      In that day, it was probably ‘normal’, even if the story were true.

      My father was born in 1931, and as a boy had a shed he and his friends would play in, that they called the ‘Hangman’s Hideout’. My dad wired up house current to the door, to keep people out.

      When he was younger, a sibling knocked him in the head with an axe.

      It was a different age.

    • Gus_Cox

      One of my best friends in school was a Blackfoot. Maybe I need to embellish my C.V. a bit… “Accepted as best friend of a Blackfoot Chief, and eventually made a Blood Brother, Gus…”

  • villagedianne

    I’ll vote for Sweeny. It’s hard to vote for Debbie Cook after the role she had in sucking money from Maria Pia Gardini.

    Here is a relevant quote from the above-linked article:
    “In declaration #2 Maria details a monumental “reg cycle” in which she was coerced into turning over a million dollars for a project to bring Italian auditors to Flag to train to Class 8, only to find that not one Italian Class 8 was ever made with the money she had donated. Yet the Commanding Officer of the Flag Service Organization, Debbie Cook, bought a new $40,000 car with the commission she made from Maria’s coerced donation, and many others also got commissions from Maria’s money.”

    Obviously Cook had a ‘road to Damascus’ moment about the excessive fundraising. I know people change. But still . . . I guess I’m saying my impressions of Ms. Cook were formed at a time before her email came out. A lot of people must feel the same about Marty Rathbun.

    Oh, and here is another relevant quote from the above article:
    “Tragically, Maria’s daughter died of AIDS, contracted when she used a dirty needle given to her by another drug user while being treated at Narconon. Her daughter was OT7 when she died.”

    • 1subgenius

      If I recall correctly, she never did acknowledge her own excesses in fund-raising. Just DM’s.
      I await correction.

      • TheHoleDoesNotExist

        This type never changes. Ever ever ever. She cruelly ruled over hundreds of slaves and reign of terror and coerced tens of thousands of public customers’ bankuptcies, families and careers destroyed, and like all those in her personality class, it was only when She got a taste of her own medicine that she very quickly cried “uncle”. Then moved off the playing field, regrouped and worked out a new battleplan, and pounced. She now seems to be doing just fine for herself and her husband. Of course she knew what the damage she would wreak with her email. But don’t forget in her Own words in that email she said she knew enough about the finances that she should be better “respected” (I read “paid off”). She didn’t apologize for anything and in fact, bragged about her Sales Profits. The question is not about her good or bad intentions in what she did, just how many pins did she knock down. I had to give it Debbie Does Davey.

        • blissfulldreams

          grr debbie does dave banging my head on the desk shouting no i did not do dave i really hate the debbie does crap lmao i want a name change

          • TheHoleDoesNotExist

            OK. Debbie DoubleDares Davey. better?

            • FistOfXenu

              Thanks for that THDNE, but I still have this image in my head of DM on a step ladder Debbie – well – I have this image in my head and it’s all your fault.

            • TheHoleDoesNotExist

              I’ll report myself to ethics immediately. My ethics officer is right outside grilling steaks and pineapple and asparagus. For amends, I’ll be Tom Cruise’s taste tester.

        • villagedianne

          I think the “better respected” was a threat to tell more about what she knew.
          Ironically, Miscavige himself has driven out or disempowered his greatest benefactors.

    • BuryTheNuts2

      I haven’t decided who to vote for yet…but I am leaning towards Debbie because of the sheer damage she did to the Co$. However……..
      Everything you said above is the reason I despise her. She is sitting on her fat ass in her nice three bedroom $2500-3000 per month condo in Rosarita, sipping margarita’s and watching a pacific sunset off of her nice big balcony.
      She should be in prison where she belongs.

      • FistOfXenu

        This is what almost kept me from voting. I just kept remembering the question’s about doing damage to $cientarCONon, not about being a good person.

        We all keep coming back to this over and over here, BTN. Some of these people make me think “you and $cientarCONon deserve each other, your both selfish bastards and you just got mad when you got a taste of your own medicine”. I really want to see some honesty from the people who kept the machine going. But then again I remember it’s a journey through those 10 steps from insider to realization “after leaving Scientology, this makes one an ex-nazi and wanting to do something about it”. I don’t know the answer but I’m pretty sure a permanent free pass isn’t it.

        • BuryTheNuts2

          That is a bingo!
          Crimes are crimes. Period.
          You do the crime…yada, yada.
          I have some sympathy for all of the exes (even the ones I consider criminals…which is frankly…quite a lot of them).
          I certainly understand those steps to decompression and realization.
          But I am big believer in accountability. There are some great exes out there who have become real hero’s in my eyes for all that they have done after walking those steps.
          Yet every time I think of Marty Rathbun…I picture Annie Broker’s shoulders slumping in that airport.

          • FistOfXenu

            “Yet every time I think of Marty Rathbun…I picture Annie Broker’s shoulders slumping in that airport.” Yep. And I remember reading the testimonials on his web site, you know, like the one where “SB” says “After nearly 20 years in the Sea Org, when I disconnected from the C of S a few years ago — I immediately experienced a resurgence of Cause. Overnight I regained numerous OT abilities, abilities I hadn’t seen for years” And SB even says “It was a tough decision, but I decided to do the right thing, keep my integrity, remain disconnected from DM’s suppression. Soon I was back at Cause. Then came Marty who offered his services as a tech terminal” and the other stuff on his blog (“what we do”). So the tech is right, the OT abilities are true (though secret) and disconnection isn’t bad as long as you’re doing it to DM? It’s all DM’s fault and $cientarCONon is a beautiful thing and LRH is glorious?

            Well Marty’s entitled to his opinion. Mine is, he’s done some nasty shit and he thinks it’s all Somebody Else’s Fault. He’s still a $cientologist and a Hubbardist and that tells me he’s ignoring how Ron created TWO monsters, $cientology and DM.

    • SandiCorrena

      I lean toward John because of his national audience. It’s hard sometimes to reconcile the actions of some of the pre-escapees from their post koodaid drinking lives now; it can be very conflicting. I’ll go read your link for sure. I just wonder what she actually endured for that, probably more than we could ever contemplate.

    • AKS

      That secured my vote for Sweeney.

    • Lady Squash

      OMG–Maria’s daughter was OT7 AND a drug addict AND died from a dirty needle given to her by another drug user while being treated at Narconon AND Maria had “given” over a million dollars to Flag. That’s some serious wrong doing!

  • “And a United States naval officer who commanded corvettes during WWII”

    Sorry – but my first image in my head was of LRon…all fat and soft in the middle …smiling with his bad teeth ..wearing a sweat stained wife beater , smoking a cig , his red hair cut to a mullet – driving a corvette and listening to like White Snake or something . Gag .

    p.s yes , i know it is not the kind of corvette i am thinking about but still …gag

  • 1subgenius

    Hubbard did lead an exciting enough life (how many of us have sailed to Asia as a kid, or sailed a rustbucket to Alaska?), that he didn’t need to embellish. It is this need to do so that is a sign of his mental illness.

    • Missionary Kid

      My version of a story of my early life: My missionary parents and I sailed back from the Far East on a freighter, the SS President McKinley, when I was 6 years old and I got to steer the ship. As freighter, it could only have 12 passengers. I was the only kid, so a crew member took me up to the bridge and let me steer the ship for an hour. All I had to do was keep an indicator centered on a dial located above the front windows. (A crewman was right behind me). The next day, we hit rough weather, so of course, the family story is that I steered them into a storm.

      Hubbard version of the same story: At the age of 6, LRH was on a ship coming back from the first of many trips to the Far East, after helping his father on a secret mission, where his age and knowledge of languages allowed him to eavesdrop on unsuspecting foreign agents.

      Because of his knowledge of astronomy, he watched the stars and caught a navigation error on the part of the ship’s captain. He also noted a shift in the wind, signalling a storm. When he brought the navigational error to the Captain’s attention, at first he couldn’t believe it, until he rechecked his calculations. The captain was so impressed, that when the Hub told him about the upcoming storm, he allowed Hubbard to steer the ship safely through the worst Hurricane to hit the Pacific in 50 years.

      Note the superlatives and demonstration of Hubbard’s story. They’re all about giving him credit for extraordinary abilities he had at an extraordinarily young age to overcome the biggest challenge. We both were in the Far East because that’s where our parents were, not because of any special mission.

      • Gus_Cox

        Yes, that accurately and cogently sums up the issues with Hub’s entire CV.

        • Missionary Kid

          I’m a wog. What’s a CV?

          The whole jargon fetish that the Co$ perpetrates looks to me like some attempt to copy the way that the military has acronyms and jargon.

          On the other hand, it could be the result of a group that has had a whole weird reality created for it by a science fiction writer who loved to show that he knew something more about something by adopting or creating the shorthand used in a specialized occupation.

          It’s like the fictional cops on Law and Order saying, “Perps.”

          • Gus_Cox

            Oh, sorry. That’s actually more British and means Curriculum Vitae. It’s British for “Resumé.”

            • Missionary Kid

              British? Maybe during the Roman invasion.. 😉 We use the term, but don’t use the shorthand. I think that Shaw said that the British and Americans are separated by a common language.

  • TheHoleDoesNotExist

    I was wondering if Jon has run across more information about Hubbard’s biological uncle. Not Elbert, John Wilson I believe is the correct first name. I don’t have the link handy, but in Ron’s military paperwork and letters and family letters., there was a note from his birth father’s (Henry August Wilson) brother, (John?) Wilson. The notation was on a military form, and I believe it was Harry Ross Hubbard’s form. It made it seem to me that his biological uncle was aware of his brother’s adopted family or family name at least.

    I never saw anything anywhere again about ron’s biological uncle. Did anyone try to interview him?

    • FistOfXenu

      It’s so completely indisputable that L Ron “I Never Had a 2nd Wife” Hubbard was a great family man that they don’t see the need to say it anymore. If you don’t believe me ask his 3rd wife. Or his kids.

    • SandiCorrena

      I wish Alexis would talk to Tony for an interview; hear her thoughts. I like to think that thanks to her mother sheis unscathed by her fathers crimes but considering that he was her father is that even possible?

  • Ms. B. Haven

    I can’t praise Mr. Atack enough for his good work.

    In the mid to late 80’s, after the ‘coup of 82’, anyone who was ‘in’ can easily verify on a personal level that there were these huge pushes to buy up masses of books from bookstores so they would achieve best seller status. It was a typical ‘stat push’ meant to create the illusion of public demand, but I suspect the real reason was to pour money into the newly created ASI so Hubbard would have direct access to more money. I would love to hear Mr. Beattie’s opinion about this.

    Maybe Debbie Cook isn’t a poster girl for ethical behavior considering her stint at Flag, but she gets my vote today purely on the basis of the amount of damage inflicted and precedent set. If she ‘regged’ herself a few bucks via the court system and is living quietly in the Caribbean, oh well…

    • SandiCorrena

      That’s a good point though, John continues to fight the fight – she’ll never speak again. He flows, she ebbs….

  • As i have stated before I became the ED of the Mission in Indpls,In from the failing Allen Walters group there. I only agreed to do this because i was going to turn it into a City Office of The Celebrity Center Hollywood where i was a member.I ran the place till i over heard a phone call about me between a s/o mission (who masterbated ever night in a room next store in my house & the center)an captain — claiming i was a DB . Yet i was the DB..So i showed them what a db was capable of. I trashed all the Special Ethics files ,after a through look over, on all the local people ,to the city dump. I did this myself and drove all the mest to the org on Columbus ,Ohio. The other thing i want to make record of is I was sent thousands of dollars To go and by copies of Battlefeild Earth. I would go to most book store an make a big fuss over this book and why did not they have it in stock. Then i would order several copies. After several months i ask the I/C and the person sending me the $ what to do with all these books? I was told to give them to Libraries. I discovered that a Library in Town was a repository for libraries for the whole state.So i gave the whole bunch to them.

    • grundoon

      Could someone explain Special Ethics? Is it different from an ordinary Ethics Folder?

      • DeElizabethan

        Sounds to me like they had files on local people (possible enemies SPs) which would actually be in the osa dept. That’s what they do and maybe this is what it’s called.

  • Ze Moo

    Picking between John Sweeny and Debbie Cook is a horrible task. Much like trying to pick between Ohio State(16) and Wisconsin(17) in the NCAA tournament. Your bracketolgy is strong with the force. Cook caused a lot of internal CO$ strife and got lots of paying clams into the freezone or they left for the sidelines and aren’t participating much. John Sweeny vids and books have kept huge numbers of ‘new meat’ away from the scam. Both have been effective, Sweeny by selling his book and Cook for refeathering her non-disclosure agreement. If you can’t pick the morally superior person, you’ve been a clam for too long…..

    Calling Hubbards pc 815 a corvette is tremendous disservice to all who served in the WW2 navy. Hubbards vessel was a converted fishing boat with a 3 inch (75 mm) gun on the front and 1 depth charge rack in the back. These vessels were made for coastal antisubmarine use. Corvettes as produced by the Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Navy were blue water ships that were made for antisubmarine and anti aircraft convoy defense.

    Hubbard PC (Patrol Craft) had a max complement of 65. I very much doubt the PC Hubbard drove around Boston Mass harbor had 65 crew. Corvettes of the US Navy PG (Patrol Gunboats) had a crew complement of perhaps 100. Corvettes had a 4 inch (102mm) gun in the front, 40mm bofors guns behind the smoke stack and 2 depth charge racks on the back. Many had enhanced anti aircraft capabilities with extra 40mm and 50cal guns.

    I intend no insult to anyone who served on a PC class boat. One sits on the ocean bottom off the Carolina’s after losing a fight with a german sub. PC class (pre clears??) ships escorted convoys around the US coast and were out of port for perhaps a week at a time. PG ‘boats’ sailed everywhere and were gone for years at a time.

    Every Lron commercial seen on tv is just a reminder of what a lying scum bag he was.

    • Unex Skcus

      I’m on a Strine roll: “He could talk under wet cement with a mouthful of marbles.”

  • Captain Howdy

    So who won yesterdays match up ? Shouldn’t there be a time period for voting or did I miss something ?

  • Missionary Kid

    This is off topic, but a question. Has anyone traced the ownership of the buildings and land that CoS has bought up?

    I say this because most people don’t realize that the vast wealth the Howard Hughes estate ended up with didn’t come from the oil drilling equipment, which provided the income, but from the real estate holdings that he’d acquired.

    I assume that Dinky Mindfuck is the one behind all the shell corporations that hold title to the real estate that’s been acquired. If the income dries up, DM ends up with the property. Yes, some of it is unwieldy, because it has been remodeled for weird purposes, but it is property, just the same. At this point, it is not taxed, so as long as he can maintain the con, there’s only basic upkeep for expenses. A lot of that gets done, free.

    Even churches have to meet fire regulations, don’t they? I’m wondering if the fire marshal has inspected any.

    • Like just for Dinky Mindfuck

      • Missionary Kid

        I’m not normally a person who uses epithets about people, but the whole Co$ organization brings out the most creative, negative reaction. That term just popped into my head, unbidden. Xenu, or the reincarnation of LRH, or my personal enturbulation must have done it.

    • John P has done some amazing analysis of scion holdings in these comments over the months…. incredibly detailed and enlightening… so in answer to your question…. yes [pretty much]

  • Artoo45

    Disclaimer: I haven’t read his book yet for the following reasons. Ever since I first saw his work, there’s just a little too much Sweeny in Sweeny’s reporting for me. As someone who always remains vigilant that I’m making everything about me (I just did it there), I recognize a raconteur as compared to a journalist. Sweeny’s account of how terrified he is of the cult (really?), his silly video at the Sooper Seekrit Base, the tomato incident, I’m just not sure what to make of his style. It seems theatrical in some way. I know he’s considered a fine war journalist and a veteran of many years, but something about him rubs me the wrong way.
    His insistence that the cult is so terrifying gnaws at me. Lawrence Wright wrote about Al Frikken’ Qaeda, and has probably more reason to fear the cult and seems calm and collected at all times. Jenna’s book, which is all about her yet never comes off as self-aggrandizing to me. In fact, having re-read it, I’m more impressed than my first pass through its pages.
    I’m sure Sweeny fans will set me straight on this and maybe convince me to read his book, but, I had to go with Ms. Cook, who had so much more to lose, and suffered infinitely more abuse at the hands of the Tiny Terror™ than Mr. Sweeny. She also had to overcome the programming of a lifetime in the cult. I wouldn’t be surprised if she comes out with another epiphany about Hubbard’s tech being bullshit at some point. I don’t think she’s actively plotting against the church, having made her point quite vividly online and in court. Her adherence to tech, though disappointing to critics of Hubbard, gave her New Year’s missive the credibility it needed to separate Hubbard’s batshit concepts from Miscavige’s malfeasances and abuses. That’s what I call a good start with the small, loyal inner circle that still supports and protects COB.
    But then again, “I. Was. Not. Theeeeerrrre!”

    • BuryTheNuts2

      Artoo, even when I don’t agree with you, you are still funny!
      I adore Sweeney for the same reasons you don’t. He is a one man show. His theatrics are great.
      He has milked more mileage out of a tomato than LRH did!

    • Sherbet

      The only thing that ticks me off about Sweeney’s account is that he insists on using the words “cult” and “brainwashing,” having been cautioned and knowing full well he’s going to get a dramatic rise out of whomever he’s talking to at the time. On the one hand, a good journalist doesn’t kowtow to his/her subject’s demands (“Don’t call us a cult!), but, at the same time, why go out of his way to annoy Davis and others? While it makes good theater, I wonder if he could coaxed Tommy Davis et al into saying anything revealing if Sweeney had not drawn the battle lines so frequently and so blatantly. All that being said, I still found Sweeney’s book entertaining and a solid black eye for cos.

      • Artoo45

        I do agree that his book was entertaining. I also firmly believe that mockery is the only response to Scientology’s “tech.” That said, it doesn’t work so well when trying to educate the uniformed about the effects of that nonsense; the sinister, criminal and abusive side of the organization.

    • Unex Skcus

      One of what I see as a ‘classic Sweeney’ is the section of his interview with Anne Archer:

      Archer: “Do I look brainwashed to you?”
      Sweeney: [purses lips slightly, rolls eyes…]
      Archer: “How dare you!” (Archer’s at 2:29)

  • Snippy_X

    I just now voted for Cannane in yesterday’s article, before I saw this page. 🙁

  • Snippy_X

    1 vote for Debbie Cook.

    • stanrogers

      Then again, she also has more points getting people *in*. Is there more value telling swimmers there’s a nasty current out there before they’ve gone in the water, or after they’re caught in the current?

      • Snippy_X

        Good point. I think her change of heart and her courage to speak out tip the scales in her favor though. All the recent defections count heavier in my mind. She could have just slithered away.

        • stanrogers

          Just a little note here: I’m the kind of guy who, when he tosses a coin, it always comes up… standing on edge, settling nothing. If I ever seem to take a stand on something, it’s just so that I can really set up the opposite argument well.

          • BuryTheNuts2

            Oh hi honey, when did you start posting on Tony O.’s blog?
            Why are you using the name stanrogers and whose picture is that?
            Don’t forget to let the dog out later.

  • Okay, this is off topic. It’s Eddie Huang with Joe Rogan “exposing” the TED conference. Pretty juicy on how controlling they are of the conference attendees, such as you are not allowed to procure your own hotel room, you are forced to room with someone they have picked out for you. You are required to mingle or attend 12-14 hours a day whatever they tell you. The funny part is Eddie twice says; This is a f*ucking scientology summer camp. He refers to scientology again saying TED has become a cult.

  • annieanne

    He was a Master Mariner licensed to captain vessels on any ocean
    I found no documentation to this effect.

    Hubbard was apparently an accomplished sailor, receiving a …License to Master of Sail Vessels (any Ocean), in May 1941.
    An “any ocean” master’s license makes you a master mariner. He wasn’t blowing smoke here.

    • FistOfXenu

      “Master of SAIL Vessels”. I’d expect more of a “master mariner”. It’s like his claim to be a barn-storming pilot when in reality he was only allowed to fly gliders.

      LRH needed to do A LOT of word-clearing about his own life.

      • stanrogers

        I don’t know what the hierarchy of licenses was like at that time, but a sail Master was once superior to a motor/steam Master, and these things tend to take a lot of time to adjust to a changing reality. (USCGS Eagle is an anachronism afloat, but she’s still sailing and still training mariners.)

        • FistOfXenu

          Okay, I don’t know a thing about sailing. The best source I can get to right now is Wikipedia, don’t everybody boo at once. Here’s from the entry on “Master Mariner”-

          “A Master Mariner or MM is the professional qualification required for someone to serve as the person in charge or person in command of a commercial vessel. In England, the term Master Mariner has been in use at least since the 13th century, reflecting the fact that in guild or livery company terms, such a person was a master craftsman in this specific profession (e.g. Master Carpenter, Master Blacksmith, etc. [1]). In the United States, the term was introduced in the mid-19th century.”

          And then from the section on the US-

          “A Master Mariner license comes rated for the maximum gross tonnage of vessel that license-holder is allowed to operate with the highest being a license for “any gross tonnage”, colloquially referred to as “unlimited”. Additionally, the licenses come with restrictions as to what waters the officer is allowed to operate on (inland, coastal, oceans). An unlimited tonnage ocean license is the highest level license attainable. A Master Mariner who has sailed in command of a commercial vessel is given the title and the appellative of Captain.”

          Looks to me like The Hub’s real point of calling himself a Master Mariner was to claim he was the very best sailor, just like he believed he was the best at everything else. Looking at the definition there I call bullshit on him. Again. Somebody mentioned the “Dunning–Kruger effect” a couple of weeks back, and here it is again.

          • BuryTheNuts2

            Dunning-Kruger comes up a lot around here when we are talking LRH and Scientology.

            Tony ought to post the .pdf for that study since we refer to it so much.

          • Missionary Kid

            Don’t most mariner licenses, require a certain amount of experience before even being allowed to take the written and oral examinations? I doubt that LRH had the time, let alone the experience to even qualify to take the test. Remember the story of another SF writer who took noes as LRH was talking, and said that he must be 86 years old, instead of being in his 20s or 30s as he was, because of all the experience he claimed?

            He would have to be hired by someone else to even get the experience in an appropriate vessel, and owners of vessels tend to be careful with inexperienced hires. They can cost an owner a lot of money by mistakes made because of their inexperience.

  • i-Betty

    Atack’s words are a joy to read.

    • BuryTheNuts2

      Aren’t they? There really are quite a few hero’s in this ongoing story.
      And he is one of the best.

  • JessicaSideways

    I can’t believe Sweeney is losing in the polls, come on people – get your ethics in! Like Travolta does to young men in various LA bathhouses. 😉

    • 0tessa

      At least Sweeney is still talking and continues to talk very loudly, while Cook is terribly silent.

  • TheHoleDoesNotExist

    Okay, this is off topic subject #two, but this just got my head spinning. Anyone know which “scientology center” this is, Pasadena or L.A. org or? “Our Weekly”, African American newspaper, LA., Calif, posted this video of LAPD Chief Beck, and two other officers, holding a town hall type panel with locals about the Dorner case … wait for it… held at the scientology center.

    Just. Can’t. Make. This. Shit. Up.

    • TonyOrtega


      • TheHoleDoesNotExist

        Oh, the NOI and World Literacy Crusaders. I couldn’t figure out the money angle. It’s grant money. This is just one of the umbrella funders. So the Inglewood mission lures in for freebies or cheapies, networks with all the funded community groups, schoozes to money for expensive auditing and Purif, etc. all paid for by grants.

        • BuryTheNuts2

          Englewood. Uh, Yeah…um prime real estate….ah the memories!
          I got a funny story about a guy walking down the street with nothing on but a serious 70’s afro and white tube socks in Englewood…

          But I will save that one for another time.

  • James Anglin

    It’s exactly right to point out that Hubbard’s failed course in ‘atomic and molecular physics’ was never nuclear physics at all. Nuclear physics didn’t even exist at the time of Hubbard’s course: the neutron had only been discovered that very year. So although the fact that atoms had nuclei had been known since 1911, we hadn’t even gotten to square one about the internal structure of nuclei twenty years later.

    But the post here goes a little bit overboard. Atomic and molecular physics in 1932 would indeed very likely have mentioned Bohr, and probably Schrödinger and Heisenberg. It’s hard to think what they would have put into a course with that title at that time, if they didn’t mention those guys. And “the Copenhagen Interpretation of the nucleus” is gobbledegook, I’m afraid. The Copenhagen Interpretation is about measurement in general in quantum mechanics, and has nothing to do with nuclei in particular.

    Of course, Hubbard got an F in the course. It would not have taken a genius to scrape a pass in it. I expect he could have passed it if he’d really tried.

  • Missionary Kid

    Here’s a correction about Hubbard’s fear of flying: the phrase was that Jon couldn’t see LRH flying in a “rig of wire, canvas and glue.” Planes at that time were often made of wood, for structural purposes, but in the 20s, steel tubing started to be used for fuselages. They didn’t use canvas, because it would be too heavy, instead using Irish linen, covered by “dope,” and glued on and painted with lacquer laced with coloring and other agents that made it highly flammable.

    Doped fabric covering is a very strong way of making an airplane surface. Until airplane speeds got to over 200mph, fabric covering was an excellent way of building a small airplane. I doubt if the fabric covering scared Hub. The engines, however, were quite unrelaible, and had to be rebuilt often.

    The wire was strong, but it added a huge amount of parasitic drag.

    Present day fabric covering is done with Dacron, which is shrunk to fit by heat, glued on with modern adhesives, and painted with modern, much less flammable materials.

    • TonyOrtega

      Jon was referring to gliders, not airplanes with motors. He was saying that although Hubbard had a glider’s pilot license, he still had a hard time seeing Hubbard piloting one.

      • Missionary Kid

        Gliders were constructed the exact same way as powered planes. The primary glider used at that time was constructed of wood and linen fabric and resembled an early hang glider, but had a much worse glide ratio.

        I have a friend who soloed in one in 1935. They didn’t go very high.

      • Missionary Kid

        My main points are 1) Gliders or airplanes never used canvas. 2) While not very aerodynamically efficient, gliders at that time, especially the primary ones used to get a license, didn’t go very high. 3) Fabric covering, and the planes it was and is used on, are really quite tough. It’s not a matter of, “Would you send a kid up in a crate like that.” Properly trained, it’s not a very courageous thing to learn to fly. I did.

        The fact that LRH didn’t go further for other ratings speaks more to his being a dilettante than a real pilot. You learn a lot more after you get your license.

        • RMycroft

          Royal Canadian Air Cadets in the 70s. Sheet metal gliders (probably cira WWII) with a winch-tow. Awesome! (But powered-fight aerobatics when the pilot is showing off for his girl-friend are so much better if you know *exactly* when to volunteer.)

          • Missionary Kid

            The glider was probably a Czech Blanic L-13, which was built starting in 1958. Aerobatics in a glider require much more energy management.

            I think LRH only did aerobatics in his dreams.

            • RMycroft

              Ah, no. Why would anyone in Canada buy a Czech glider in the 70s? That’d be crazy, and from the communist bloc at the time.

            • Missionary Kid

              Even the U.S. Air Force Academy used them. The Air Force designation is TG-10C. The sailplane community was always different than the rest of aviation as far as the Cold War was concerned.

              The U.S. manufacturer of sailplanes, Schweitzer, also sold sailplane trainers to the Air Force Academy, but theirs always had fabric covered steel tube fuselages. Now (and I’ll have to check with the son of a friend of mine who was a sailplane instructor who just graduated from the Academy) all are European high performance composite sailplanes.

  • OTVIIIisGrrr8!

    The Founder made errors in judgment and blathered on at times because he did not have David Miscavige to guide him in his thinking, conduct, and speech. However, once David Miscavige took over the helm of Scientology, things vastly improved for the Church of Scientology and the Founder.

    In any case, the real story about Scientology is not the Founder.

    The real story is the unparalleled and explosive expansion of the Church of Scientology under the leadership of David Miscavige:

    * 55,742 Ideal Orgs opened in the 15,901 countries of the world!

    * Thousands of billions of copies of the Basics sold, so many in fact that if they were stacked end to end they would reach Alpha Centauri!

    * Over three billion people have learned to read using Scientology Study Tech!

    * An OT is made every three minutes at Flag!

    * COB RTC David Miscavige is to become the new Catholic Pope:

    * Dianetics has now been translated into eighty dead languages!

    • Missionary Kid

      I’d like the Latin version, so I can dislike it as much as when I studied it in high school. DM will need it as Pope.

      • OTVIIIisGrrr8!

        Yes we have Dianetics in Latin.

        And yes, unattractive and stodgy old female Sea Org members dressed like nuns will smack you on the knuckles with a wooden ruler if you dope off during Dianetics study time!

        • Missionary Kid

          Since I never went to Catholic school, I never had a nun teaching me. (See my moniker). I still won’t recognize DM as my pope, because after being raised a Protestant, I’m now a Pastafarian. Pastafarians eat thetans and xanu for lunch.

          I took Latin under the mistaken belief that it was the language of science, law, and medicine. Only the terms used came from Latin.

          • My mother went to a convent school back in Wanganui in the early ’20’s. Joe, her father was a devout atheist who, whilst he had no time for religion, believed the nuns exerted better discipline than the teachers in the State schools and they also taught Latin and classical Greek which he considered important languages for young ladies to learn.


            • Missionary Kid

              Quite often, parochial schools are better at enforcing rules. Generally, a person gets a better education, because everyone is there voluntarily, but they end up sorely lacking in history because it’s taught from a parochial point of view. That goes for both Protestant and Catholic schools. Fundamentalist Protestant parochial schools also are weak in the biological sciences, since they go through all sorts of contortions to relegate Darwinian theory to oblivion.

              I think it’s important to learn a language, but if one is to learn one language, Latin is a poor one. Greek may be better. They were taught because religious texts were most often written in those languages.

            • sugarplumfairy

              I went to catholic schools.. I think you’re mistaken about the history.. I’m a history fanatic and I’ve never come across any misinformation I was taught.. I can’t speak for Christian schools..

              I do have a pathological fear of wooden rulers, though..

            • Missionary Kid

              Maybe it depends on the school, but what did they teach you about the Crusades, the Inquisition, and the Counter-Reformation?

              I have a close friend who got all of their education from the Catholic establishment, and his ignorance of current history is also skewed. It could just be him.

              My own education, in church and in public schools only hinted at things. Of course, I got the Protestant version, which omitted things like Martin Luther’s virulent antisemitism, or the massacres perpetrated by Cromwell against the Catholics. There were even atrocities perpetrated by Zwingli, who had people of the wrong flavor of Protestant put to death.

            • sugarplumfairy

              inquisition? What’s an inquisition? =)

            • Missionary Kid

              The inquisition was the ultimate RPF, usually ending with the outplacement of one’s temporal body.

            • RMycroft

              “Martin Luther’s virulent antisemitism”

              And his thing about farts. I mean seriously, wtf?

            • Missionary Kid

              Luther said that if you found a Jew alone on the road, to kill him. Nice guy, huh? The Lutheran church recently apologized. Of course, he could have gotten it from his time as a priest.

              My education is lacking in his fart opinions. 😉

            • RMycroft

              Maybe he was referring to the Buddha? You’re supposed to kill him on the road too. And “Bob”. Frankly, while it’s usually meant as philosophical exercise, I’ve never seen the point. Except for “Bob”, because I got my $30 back.

              Sadly, Martin Luther was a man of his times and probably meant it. But farts, he was really serious about those!

          • Trustmeonthis

            Doesn’t it come in handy when you travel to Latin America?

    • BuryTheNuts2

      So Flag pumps out 175316 OT’s per year eh?
      No wonder I never can get a decent parking space in Florida!

      • FistOfXenu

        Florida? I drove around Wetumpka Alabama last Labor Day for almost 3 hours before I found a space. It was the Oatees, I tell ya, the Oatees done it!

        • BuryTheNuts2

          What the hell were you doing in Wetumpka, Alabama?
          And worse….why would you be looking for a parking place there?
          Were you lost?

          • FistOfXenu

            Trying to park anywheres near Clearwater. Had to keep circling out further and further looking for spaces that weren’t taken by all those OTs OTVIIIisGrrr8! was talking about. Finally found a space in Wetumpka. Went for some eggs bacon grits and coffee and when I got back one of those new OTs was trying to my car with his OT abilities so he could park in my space. As I drove out of the space he was shouting “another win! I can attest another win!” to his friend.

            • BuryTheNuts2

              And here I thought Wetumpka didn’t even have parking spaces.
              I was pretty sure they still had hitching posts.
              Next thing I know you are going to tell me they done got themselves a Walmart.

            • FistOfXenu

              Not even saying the streets were paved. Just that they had places where outsiders like me and a whole load of those new OTs had to park because I couldn’t get anyplace in Florida or anywheres near it. 😛

            • BuryTheNuts2

              How the hell do you think I found it?

            • FistOfXenu

              Thanks, that’s my laugh of the night.

            • Take a bow BTN2 and FoX – quite a double act.

            • FistOfXenu

              Well thanks, tetloj. I guess we enjoy the verbal ping pong and it shows. But the credit has to go to BTN for picking up my straight lines.

            • RMycroft

              Shoot, they won’t even let me drive in Florida without some kind of UN drivers license. Next all the roads will lead to FEMA camps!

    • sugarplumfairy

      Lol.. I bet miscavitch fantasizes about an audience as huge and passionate as the one the pope commands..

  • It’s been a few weeks but I just got an email reply to Piers Morgan and the Jenna Miscavige interview….

    Facts vs Fiction commented on Jenna Miscavige Hill on Tom Cruise: “Either he does know what’s going on and he’s not talking about it, or he is willfully ignorant”.

    in response to @jskurtz07:

    On the heels of a divisive Scientology ad that aired during the Super Bowl, on Tuesday evening “Piers Morgan Tonight” invited Jenna Miscavige Hill to share her unique perspective on the controversial religious organization. The niece of current leader David Miscavige, the guest left the church nearly a decade ago and has since become an […]


    I know Jenna. My daughter and Jenna grew up together on the Ranch and both of them were inseparable as best friends. My daughter is a well adjusted young women attending university studing native language towards a masters degree, She does not have the same issue or complaints that Jenna has with regards her childhood experience growing up there, quite the contrary , I heard Jenna on a Radio show the other day saying bad and terrible it all was with schedules and Curriculum s and teachers being just the worst things ever. What she omitted to say on that Show and in her Book was the fact that the Architect of that entre Ranch program, the person that oversaw the Financing of it, the ultimate authority who hand picked the personnel, approving all schedules and curriculum for the place was non other than Jenna’s own MOTHER Bitty Blythe Miscavige, I would say that if Jenna has issue with this part of her life she should go take it up with her mom.

    I don’t feel properly qualified to respond to this one but some others here might fancy a crack …. here’s the link

    • Sherbet

      I like the generalizations: “schedules and Curriculums and teachers being just the worst things ever.” Seems to me Jenna had “issues or complaints” about ill-disguised slavery, not “Gee-whiz, I just can’t stand my math teacher.”

      And did the author of this post really read Jenna’s book: “What she omitted to say on that Show and in her Book…”? We’ll never know, but, if so, bravo for that!

      As usual, this fervent post from an obviously fervent scibot sets my eyes rolling and jaw dropping.

    • TonyOrtega

      That guy called into the Larry Elders show, too. And judging by that comment he sent you, he clearly hasn’t bothered to read Jenna’s book, because she spares her mother very little in it.

      • Gus_Cox

        To paraphrase Larry Elder: “Larry Elder. Absolutely, positively, no S.”

        I’m an original “Elderado” so I gotta help him out here 🙂

        Anyway, great work as always, Tony O.

    • Ze Moo

      The collection of CO$ trolls and one fervent Tom Cruise fan (or employee) was fun to see and debate. In the end, Jenna’s book stands on its own and indicts CO$ very well. I am going to have a hard time voting for anyone else when they come up against Jenna. For the CO$, it is as Confucius says:
      “man who fart in church, sit in own pew’.

      • Missionary Kid

        There was one fervent TC fan, commenting on his split with Katie Holmes at the Huffington Post, and talked about what a good dad he was, and that he didn’t smoke or drink, etc. Someone posted a retort to the effect that he’s a $cibot, and the church has caused the children that he & Nichole adopted to disconnect from her, with appropriate references. There was no reply, like there usually is for something someone gets called on.

      • Gus_Cox

        He also said, “Man who go through airport turnstile wrong way going to Bangkok!”

        Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself. On with the actual useful posts…

    • What is studying native language? American Indian tribes, English, or?
      This person is speaking for their adult child, what Jenna’s childhood friend actually believes may or may not be something entirely different. Some parents make up a fantasy life for their children; i.e., my child loves school, has lots of friends, is great at sports, has no problems, when the truth is much different.

    • Don’t you just love how scibots arrive after the party to post comments on blogs, thereby avoiding any rebuttal. Confront and shatter….nah!

    • RMycroft

      More like willfully braindamaged.

  • dwayners13

    The L. Ron Hubbard “Reality” Commercial.
    L. Ron Hubbard was the youngest Eagle Scout he knew of.
    L. Ron Hubbard traveled on a boat with his mommy to see his dad in Asia when he was an obnoxious teenager.
    Hubbard failed most of his collage classes & eventually flunked out of college, the worst grade he achieved was in an early physics course.
    Hubbard often skipped out of class & hung-out at an airport, most likely telling lies about ‘barnstorming’.
    LRH was able to con the famed Explorers Club into making him a member.
    LRH didn’t have any friends as a child & thus spent most of his time in his room writing about the outrageous lies he would eventually tell, he sold a lot of them for a penny per word.
    Hubbard combined his below average sailing/boating skills with his document forging skills & created a fake license, due to a lack of efficient record checks, no one was the wiser.
    LRH also forged some reference letters & became a naval officer. He was relieved of his command when he wasted thousands of dollars in weaponry fighting a mineral deposit & the dumb-ass almost single-handedly started a war with Mexico.
    Hubbard claimed that while earning dozens of military medals he never did, he became blind & crippled, then lied about curing himself of these fictitious injuries & several other imaginary soldiers. This became the lie he used to launch his pretend theory of Lianetics, which was later changed to Dianetics.
    Because the CoS has it’s own publishing company (& translation department) staffed with extremely heap labour, the church published & translated almost everything LRH wrote. This, combined with the trash he wrote in the 40’s has earned him the record for the most published author.
    L. Ron Hubbard founder of the Church of Scientology & world class lying dumb ass

  • DeElizabethan

    L. Ron Hubbard defeated Steve Cannane by ONE VOTE, 239-238. That’s too close.

    Debbie did excellent but then Sweeney is continuing to help people in Europe be aware of the cult.

  • TendonProblem

    Debbie Cook rose too high in the church for me to respect her. She did damage to the church, but their numbers are small. John Sweeney damaged the church on a much larger scale. my vote goes to him.
    I hate my iPad, hard to post.

  • I came across some truly amazing Joaquin Phoenix footage and put it on my blog… changed the header a little bit

  • mouseyhair

    Technically speaking as a wog, and having an opinion without any dog in the fight, I would have to say my vote for Sweeny is based on his pure “Smershness!” Debbie Cook on the other hand has much to atone for her participation in, and promotion of, a reality (read cult) that hurt many others. So her pure “Smershness” is lower despite the letter and those who credit it for their awakening! Its not personal, its just business!! 🙂 IMHO!!

  • Tony is already worshiped by his cats. That should be enough for any man. Seriously, I count myself among Tony admirers… I even have my wife reading the blog, and killing off books reviewed here better than I can because of failing eyesight. I’m a Nook guy… but my Kindle can READ any book to me. If Tony ever gets stuck in the armpit of California (near Sacramento), he is always welcome here.

  • Johan

    My reaction to the L Ron video: this guy is too good to be true. And of course that’s exactly the case. Whenever I come across ‘too good to be true’ I shall have too give it a L Ron bullshit score, where 1 is ‘somewhat embelished’ and 5 is ‘full on Hubbard’. I wonder if the church realizes that this kind of ludicrous boasting makes him SUSPICOUS, not admirable.

    • 1subgenius

      My Hubbard bullshit detector goes to 11.

      • Missionary Kid

        Ooooh, a This is Spinal Tap reference! I love it.

        • RMycroft

          And when your CEO seriously uses a “goes to 11” reference to rally the troops? If I’d been paying attention, I would have bought more stock–to sell later when it peaked before they sold out.

          Software companies have a life-span of about five years. Prove me wrong!

          • Missionary Kid

            Micro$oft. 😉

            • RMycroft

              That’s not a software company.

            • Missionary Kid

              According to Wikipedia, “Microsoft is the world’s largest software maker measured by revenues according to “Global Software Top 100 – Edition 2011”. Softwaretop100.Org. 23 August 2011.

              Yeah, I know. If you buy an early release of a M’soft product, you’re a gamma tester. That ranking may change with the rise of Google.

  • RMycroft

    There are at least three Hubbard bogus “doctorates”.

    As well as the “Sequoia University” diploma mill, he also awarded himself two others.

    Remember Venus? December 22, 1952, TIME Magazine,9171,889564,00.html

    “Awed by his own accomplishments, Hubbard has awarded himself the degree of “D. Sen.”—doctor of Scientology.”

    The Aberree, Volume 1, Issue 1, April 1954, page 4

    “On March 5, Dr. Farber appeared in Phoenix, and before an audience of more than 30 clinical students, taped a
    ceremony in which L. Ron Hubbard was made a Doctor of Divinity and awarded Certificate No. One. This gives him legal authority to lecture, perform marriages, baptisms, and other religious rites.”

  • RMycroft

    I am SMERSH. I have been destroying Scientology for decades now. Proving it would kind of be problematic, yes?

    The ARSCC, we don’t exist.

  • Jon, I currently live in South Korea. I tried to order your book through a Korean bookstore I’ve used in the past. I was able to get Lawrence Wright’s and Jenna Miscavige Hill’s books through them, but when I tried to order your new book, they were not able to get it from your publisher and said it was out of print. Amazon also says it’s out of print. I hope you’re not running into problems with the cult.

  • Why am I not getting emails anymore for new posts? Luckily, I checked this site!

  • HeatherGraceful

    Cannane was robbed.

  • Hubbard was just a fat deluded ugly turd. His followers are only deluding themselves further.

  • Robert

    I’m still trying to figure out the man .. L Ron Hubbard. He wrote some very good things on how to handle life, deal with others and in general to have good morals yet the more learn about him he seems to contradict the things he wrote about. Not sure what to believe anymore. Was he truly trying to help people or was he just in it for the money? Not sure what he really believed.