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Another Secret Lives leak: L. Ron Hubbard enjoyed humiliating people under hypnosis

Arthur_Jean_CoxWhile we’ve been bowled over by the response to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear’ — and it’s only going to get more intense as its HBO air date of March 16 nears — we’re still in the process here at the Underground Bunker of releasing rare video from another Scientology documentary altogether.

Today, we have our third leak of original, raw footage from Channel 4’s excellent 1997 program, Secret Lives — L. Ron Hubbard.

The movie contains short clips from numerous people who knew Hubbard, but now a source is releasing to us the full interviews with these participants for the first time. We’ve already heard from Hubbard’s literary agent, Forrest Ackerman, and his press assistant and lover, Barbara Klowden, and today we hear from one of Hubbard’s fellow science fiction colleagues, Arthur Jean Cox.

Cox describes meeting Hubbard for the first time in 1947, when Hubbard was already a big name. But asked to describe what Hubbard was like, Cox says it was pretty obvious that he was “putting people on.”

Hubbard said that in 1938, during a dental procedure with nitrous oxide, he’d “died” for eight minutes, and had experienced visions of the world’s philosophies and eternal truths. He used that vision to write a book he called “Excalibur.” Four of the readers at publishing houses that had read the manuscript had gone insane, Hubbard claimed. So Hubbard locked the manuscript in a bank vault. Later, when Hubbard came out with Dianetics in 1950, he said it was based on only one chapter of “Excalibur.”

Like Ackerman, Cox said that knowing Hubbard in those days meant being a part of his hypnotism act. Cox says Hubbard was unable to hypnotize him, and Cox quickly grew impatient with the humiliating things Hubbard put others through under hypnosis.


Cox also remembers that in 1948, Hubbard had gotten into trouble for writing a bad check, and so the science fiction writer wouldn’t let himself be photographed for a while.

Another science fiction writer in their circle, a big name who became an early Dianetics champion, was A.E. Van Vogt, Cox remembers. Van Vogt was a fan of Hubbard’s “science of the mind,” but Cox also remembers “Van” complaining that Hubbard was sleeping with the wives of the men in their circle.

Van Vogt and Cox were present in August 1950, when Hubbard held an event at the Shrine Auditorium to present the world’s first Clear, a woman named Sonia Bianca.

The event started out, Cox remembered, with Van Vogt and Hubbard on stage, making claims for Dianetics. They then brought out Sonia, who was a student at an eastern college. Hubbard announced that because of her Dianetics training, she now had perfect recall, but a few questions later and it became obvious that the woman had no better memory than average. The event was a bust, and Hubbard wouldn’t announce another “Clear” for 16 years.

Cox relates more memories of Hubbard and hypnotism, and he says he found it distasteful the way Hubbard used his stage tricks to make people miserable.

“He was not reluctant to humiliate people just to demonstrate his power over them,” Cox says.

Watch it for yourself and let us know what sticks out to you…



Allen Barton has a hit

Allen Barton’s play Disconnection has been selling out its shows and is getting some strong reviews. Here’s an excerpt from what LAist had to say about the play…

Barton’s criticism of Scientology in Disconnection has nothing to do with its theology (no snarky references here to thetans or Xenu) or its celebrity promoters (no snarky allusions to Tom Cruise or John Travolta, either). His primary focus is on the Church’s mistreatment of its own adherents and its policy of enforced separation of members from any friends or family who try to challenge its authority or credibility….Scenes at the beginning and end of the play also suggest that the culture of Scientology may be more enticing to a susceptible person in a vulnerable position than most people recognize: “Don’t be too comfortable in your judgment,” one character directly advises the audience. “More of you would sign on than you think—trust me.” Premiering just as Alex Gibney’s new documentary film based on Going Clear receives accolades at the Sundance Film Festival, Disconnection rides in on a wave of critical examinations of the Church and its activities. Thanks in large part to a very strong cast, Disconnection merits a look as well.

We sure hope Allen’s play has a chance to get out here to New York!


Talking ‘Going Clear’ with Lori and Julia

We always enjoy talking with Lori and Julia at their MyTalk 107.1 afternoon radio show in the Twin Cities. They are Bunker readers and stay up on what’s happening in Scientology.

We were on yesterday — go to the 33 minute-mark on this mp3 to hear your proprietor.


Bonus photos from our tipsters

Foundation for a Drug-Free World may be running into some problems here in New York, but here they are in Pakistan, which could use a little Scientology in its heady mix of religious fervor, right?


And Scientology is using the same anti-drugs method to sneak its way into South Africa’s schools: “The programme is in great demand by Principals. Learners respond positively to the programme. A number of learners have asked for help in Sithembiso high and Parkside Primary. Plans are being made with SANCA and their parents for assistance.”


Meanwhile, things are getting steamy in Stevens Creek…


Telenovela actress, radio host, and Scientologist Sandra Santiago (first woman on the left) attended a rally today at LA County Superior Court to support Kerri Kasem’s anti-elder abuse efforts. Kerri herself is much more involved in Scientology than she lets on, or that was reflected in a recent GQ profile by Amy Wallace. (Though we agree with Amy’s overall point that Jean Kasem, Casey’s widow, has not explained herself well.)


Scientologists are using social media more than ever. Drop us a line if you spot them posting images to Instagram or Facebook!


ALERT: We have an all-points bulletin for Bunker readers

Please take a good look at this face…


On Fox News Radio today, host Tom Sullivan told a guest who said she had bipolar disorder that it was “something made up by the mental health business” and just “the latest fad.”

Later in the same show he said that bipolar disorder was “something made up by the mental health business just to be able to give people prescriptions and keep them coming in, and keeping you — paying them money.”

Sullivan is also a frequent guest and guest anchor at Fox Business News, and it looks like he’s defended Scientology’s ideas about mental health during his radio show.

Is Sullivan a Scientologist? We note that the name “Thomas Sullivan” was included in a 2006 list of Clears put out by Scientology itself. Is it the same person?

We’re hoping one of our many former church members reading this might be able to identify him. Let us know.


Posted by Tony Ortega on January 30, 2015 at 08:00

E-mail your tips and story ideas to or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. Here at the Bunker we try to have a post up every morning at 7 AM Eastern (Noon GMT), and on some days we post an afternoon story at around 2 PM. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of LA attorney and former church member Vance Woodward

UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists

GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice

SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts

PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer
The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ


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