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The paranoid, depressed L. Ron Hubbard: Jim Dincalci’s 1997 ‘Secret Lives’ TV interview


We have another uncut interview leaked for the first time from Channel 4’s excellent 1997 documentary, Secret Lives — L. Ron Hubbard, this time with Hubbard’s former medical officer, Jim Dincalci.

The documentary is one of the better ones made about Scientology, and it contains numerous short clips of people who knew Hubbard. A source is releasing to us the uncut segments with these participants for the first time. So far, we’ve seen interviews with Hubbard’s literary agent, Forrest Ackerman, his press assistant and lover, Barbara Klowden, one of Hubbard’s fellow science fiction colleagues, Arthur Jean Cox, and the former mayor of Clearwater, Florida, Gabe Cazares.

Jim Dincalci has continued to be a valuable resource. We talk to him on occasion, and he provided Russell Miller with key information for his great biography of Hubbard, Bare-Faced Messiah. And it’s interesting to see him here, talking in particular about what it was like to live with Hubbard while the man was hiding out in Queens, New York from December 1972 to October 1973 while the yacht Apollo was in drydock back in Lisbon.

In the video, Dincalci talks about something Hubbard’s son Nibs had told him — that his father had hopped him up on amphetamines for a bizarre counseling session that ended up being the basis for the wild claims in Hubbard’s strangest book, A History of Man.

Dincalci gave up medical school to join Scientology, and ended up serving as Hubbard’s assistant medical officer on the Apollo as Hubbard ran Scientology from the ship in the Mediterranean, Atlantic, and Caribbean.


He relates a couple of Hubbard’s medical situations — and how it surprised him that the “enlightened being” who was master of “mass, energy, space, and time” needed painkillers and other medicines.

Like others, Dincalci found himself being screamed at by Hubbard, and he said that the man had a serious lack of self-esteem and assumed that everyone else was out to attack him.

Dincalci describes the December 1972 arrival in New York, which is also described in Miller’s Bare-Faced Messiah. Hubbard was stopped in customs with about $100,000 in various currencies. In the book, Dincalci explained that a customs agent who recognized Hubbard was a fan of his fiction and let him enter the country with the money.

Hubbard had been convicted of fraud in France, and while French agents were looking for him in Morocco and Portugal, he hid out with Dincalci and a bodyguard in Queens, spending most of his time watching television. (He hadn’t been in the US in about 14 years, and he was fascinated by how much had changed between 1959 and 1973.)

Dincalci says on a typical day, Hubbard would tell stories from his past lives, or told tall tales from his war years. And there was the fun canard that his pre-Dianetics manuscript, “Excalibur,” had been stolen by the Russians. Dincalci seems to get a kick out of that one.

The most important thing Hubbard got done during his months in Queens was writing up the plan for the Snow White Program, which he finished in April. Within a few years, his “Guardian’s Office,” following those instructions, would be well into the single largest infiltration of the US federal government in this country’s history.

But Dincalci says that Hubbard was depressed, and paranoid, and he never exhibited the traits of being “Clear.” Hubbard admitted to him that he’d never been exteriorized — out of his body, the hallmark of an upper-level Scientologist — during the nine years they knew each other.

He also describes Hubbard’s 1974 motorcycle accident in the Canary Islands after returning to the ship. Hubbard cracked a couple of ribs, and other witnesses, like Kima Douglas, his nurse, say Hubbard was never the same after that.

Give it a look and let us know what other details you find interesting…



Kate Bornstein donates a pair of tickets for Disconnection

Our friend Kate Bornstein had to cancel a trip to the west coast, and that left her with two tickets she can’t use for the final night’s performance of Allen Barton’s play Disconnection in Los Angeles on March 1.

Kate generously donated the tickets to the Underground Bunker, and now we’re left to figure out how to get them to someone who would like to go.

We’re not sure how to give them out. Let us know if you’re interested.


Scientology in Moscow

We told you earlier that our man in Europe, Jonny Jacobsen, would be giving us an update on what’s been happening with Scientology in Moscow, where the org was raided by police last month. Jonny, however, has been tied up with some family matters and apologized that he couldn’t dig into the matter for us now.

Over at WWP, however, the excellent translator mnql1 put together a transcript for a video of Russian television reporting on the raid.

We want to caution you, however, that in the past Jacobsen has told us that Russia’s dealings with Scientology have been rather heavy-handed and have not been supported by the European Court of Human Rights. The current raid involves a real estate fraud investigation involving Scientologists which may or may not implicate the org itself.

As for Russian television, what organizations that Russian president Vladimir Putin allows to exist have very little credibility. Your proprietor was victimized by a Russian television network last year, when it interviewed us and then made us appear to be saying the exact opposite of what we meant. So just keep that in mind before you cheer on Russian law enforcement and Russian television going after a Scientology outfit.



Program: Vesti, January 30, 2015

News anchorman: In Moscow today, searches were conducted at the offices of the Scientology sect. A criminal case of large-scale fraud is under investigation. [NOTE: The anchorman should have said “yesterday.”]

News anchorwoman: The case concerns money of housing shareholders in St. Petersburg that was funneled to Scientologists. More about this from Alexey Petrov.

Reporter (Alexey Petrov): Agents rush into a building on Taganskaya Street. At first glance, this looks like a business center. In fact, these are the lavish premises of the Church of Scientology. The purpose of this search is to perform a detailed analysis of financial documents. This operation stems from an investigation that began last September in St. Petersburg regarding the preconstruction sale of housing units. The president of one of the consumer and housing co-operatives is under suspicion. She collected money from persons and promised housing in new buildings. 9 million rubles vanished.

Vyacheslav Stepchenko (Public relations officer, Ministry of Internal Affairs): Detectives in Saint Petersburg found that some of the stolen funds had been transferred to the account of this religious organization in Moscow. The suspect is a member of this organization. The investigation does not exclude possible involvement in this crime on the part of officials and coordinators of this religious organization.

Reporter: According to police, the church received about 17 million rubles through the commercial entity. It was also found that the suspect repeatedly withdrew cash from the fund using false documents. Searches were conducted in St. Petersburg, as well as in Moscow and in the Moscow region. The Scientologists insist that they have nothing to do with this.

Natalia Alexeeva (Director of public relations, Church of Scientology of Moscow): This search was related to a business that is located in St. Petersburg and this matter has no connection with the Church of Scientology of Moscow. They obtained all the information they were seeking. They were looking for some sort of accounting documents.

Reporter: The Moscow church is only one of 11,000 in 184 countries. Scientology is famous because of Hollywood stars Tom Cruise and John Travolta. But experts on religion assert that, behind its controversial doctrine, lurks a dangerous organization.

Igor Ivanishko (Member of the justice ministry expert committee on religion, Professor, Russian Orthodox University): This is a rigidly structured and hierarchical organization. According to some sources, it’s a big financial corporation whose daily revenue exceeds 4 million dollars and its total revenue is comparable to that of the largest multinational financial corporations.

Reporter: This church does look like the office of a large company: masses of documents, suitcases of equipment, an impressive collection of files. Thus far, attempts to build a formal case for closing the church in Russia have failed. Its status outside Russia is also a patchwork. In the United States and Great Britain, Scientologists are recognized as a religious organization, but not in many other countries, for example: Germany, Belgium, France, Ireland, and Israel. It now appears that Russian Scientologists will have to explain not just their views of the world, but where the money came from.

Today, the Moscow Scientology center is operating as usual. The store that sells books is open and passers-by are again invited to take a free test. Meanwhile, the investigation continues into the case of large-scale fraud.

Alexey Petrov, Maria Zelentsova, Viktor Vinogradov, and Dmitri Ermolenko, Vesti.


Bonus photos from our tipsters

Scientology handed out The Way to Happiness pamphlets in Moscow Sevastapol Saturday, and it was a huge success!


You think it’s dawning on these folks at Narconon Turkey that these Narconon booklets are all just Scientology training?


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


Posted by Tony Ortega on February 16, 2015 at 07:00

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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