Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at


See ‘Going Clear’ star Hana Whitfield describe L. Ron Hubbard in a leaked 1997 interview


Hana Eltringham Whitfield was one of the stars of Alex Gibney’s documentary about Scientology, Going Clear. Her memories as the captain of L. Ron Hubbard’s flagship as he ran Scientology from sea in late 1960s and early 1970s was one of the highlights of the film. Now, we have a leak from a previous documentary, UK Channel 4’s excellent 1997 Secret Lives — L. Ron Hubbard, which featured Hana prominently.

Here, for the first time, is a much more complete version of her interview, just one of many outtakes from the 1997 documentary that a source has been making available for us.

Previous segments that we’ve released from the Secret Lives files have featured Hubbard’s literary agent, Forrest Ackerman; his press assistant and lover, Barbara Klowden; one of Hubbard’s fellow science fiction colleagues, Arthur Jean Cox; the former mayor of Clearwater, Florida, Gabe Cazares; Hubbard’s former medical officer, Jim Dincalci; archivist Gerry Armstrong; former Los Angeles Times reporter and postwar Hubbard roommate, Nieson Himmel; Washington State Representative Robert MacDonald Ford, who knew Hubbard and his first wife well; Robert Vaughn Young, who had been Scientology’s spokesman; and Mike Goldstein, who had been appointed Hubbard’s finance “dictator.”

Hana’s memories of Hubbard are always so illuminating. We love the observation, for example, that “He had an outfit for every occasion.” And that he was looking for an island to purchase that would become his own principality.

But if Hubbard comes off a little ridiculous, Hana is also sure to include his darker side. In 1974, after a motorcycle accident made Hubbard a crying mess, he introduced the Rehabilitation Project Force — the Sea Organization’s prison detail. Hana describes the horrifying conditions she saw some crew members subjected to while they were in the RPF.


“I thought I was seeing something out of medieval history,” she says.

And she points out that some brutal punishments had actually started earlier — in 1968, while the ship was docked in Corfu, Greece, Hubbard had begun tossing people overboard for making mistakes during his Class VIII technical training classes.

Hana says she was shocked to see people tossed from the deck of the Apollo into stagnant, oily water of the harbor, and sometimes blindfolded and with their hands and feet tied.

She also describes some of the details from the mission to come back ashore in Florida in 1975, and she talks about the days-long paranoid rages Hubbard would go into.

And we were pleased when she came back to his costumes. He was such a dandy.

Take a listen and let us know what you find interesting in Hana’s interview.




OK, things are set, and here’s the deal. On May 14, you will be able to purchase ‘The Unbreakable Miss Lovely’ from Amazon in either electronic or print format, and simultaneously in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.

The book will not be available for pre-order before that date. It is going live for sale on Thursday, May 14, and not a moment earlier. And hey, that’s just a few weeks away, so you won’t have to wait long.

Our appearances…

May 16, Santa Barbara Humanist Society (with Paulette Cooper), 3:00 pm
May 17, Center for Inquiry-West Los Angeles, 4773 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, 11 am; ALSO: CFI Orange County (Costa Mesa), 4:30 pm (with Paulette Cooper)
May 20, San Diego (tentative)
May 22, San Francisco (with Jamie DeWolf and Paulette Cooper)

(Finalizing a New York City event in early June)

July 12, Washington DC, Center for Inquiry


Posted by Tony Ortega on April 23, 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 mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill
The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email