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Maybe the worst thing about Scientology: It turns you into L. Ron Hubbard


We’ve been on the road for more than a week, and it was sure good to get home yesterday. Once again, our contributors and tipsters really came through for us so we could keep the blog going uninterrupted. And we want to thank Jon Atack, who knew we were traveling and was thoughtful enough to send us a bonus post for our homecoming.

JON: When I was a kid, ads for Charles Atlas’s body-building courses were in almost every American comic. The ad read, “You too can have a body like mine.” Perhaps Scientology should use a grinning picture of the Founder, Source and Commodore with the caption, “You too can have a mind like mine.”

But do you really want a mind like Hubbard’s? While a believer, I did not doubt that Hubbard was an ideal figure – the best possible human being. He would be kind, tolerant, patient, and resourceful. He would never lose his temper and always have an encouraging word. Rather like the father that none of us ever had (though I’m happy to say that my own dad was a thoroughly decent chap, if not the image of perfection).

The truth is that Hubbard was a raving tyrant. Not at all a role model for any child. To emulate such a man would be to adopt his faults as well as his virtues.

It still puzzles the world that anyone would follow a chain-smoker who advocated all out war on anyone who dared to criticize him. A man who boasted of family virtues, but spent almost no time with his own children. Indeed, he disowned his oldest child when he asked for a pay rise and fought a vicious war against him for the next 20 years (“More communication not less is the answer,” but then “bullets too are communication”).

Another of Hubbard’s children committed suicide, but Hubbard showed no concern for the loss when told of his death. He simply complained about the bad publicity.

He was not a fond father to his children, nor to his followers. Having told us that our problems are rooted in trauma, he then set about traumatizing us even more. What possible justification could there be for over-boarding – which he ordered and supervised, proudly showing his photos of the event as a double spread in The Auditor.


Chain lockers, the bilge tank punishment, sleep deprivation (Hana Whitfield followed his orders to keep a radio operator awake for five days – which is potentially lethal). This punitive approach to the release of trauma (!) was perfected in the Rehabilitation Project Force, which is capable of transforming the most cheerful (i.e. “up tone”) person into an apathetic zombie. It seems to be based upon the Chinese brainwashing program, rather than any earlier “spiritual” practice.

Now, here’s the point: Followers of totalist leaders tend to adopt their characteristics. Hubbard was boastful and bombastic. He considered himself the greatest person who had ever lived. He claimed to have been the first being ever to “rise above” the reactive mind; the first person to make any progress in the “fields of the mind and spirit” in 50,000 years (I’m not sure who made that previous discovery and he doesn’t tell us what it might have been); the only person ever to develop “stable” supernatural powers, which he somehow never once demonstrated; creator of a “science of the mind.”

Hubbard was a braggart and anyone who wishes to emulate him will become a braggart too. He was also a preening narcissist, though frequently visited with the private terror that his work was futile. He suffered poor health and obesity, and had a penchant for alcohol and drugs.

I found the pictures of Charles Atlas off-putting. I have no wish to be muscle bound. Nor do I have any wish to have a mind like Ron Hubbard’s.

The Bunker: Thank you, Jon. Your piece reminded us of something we were thinking about just a few days ago. We’ve written numerous times about L. Ron Hubbard’s decision to go into permanent seclusion in February 1980, and that he was then cut off from nearly all of Scientology and the rest of the world for the last six years of his life. We know that he was tempted, at times, while at Creston Ranch near San Luis Obispo in his last three years, to drive a few hours down to the Hemet Base, but he never did.

But it wasn’t just Scientology he was cut off from. He also had family members just a few hours away. The Hubbards had a final Christmas celebration in 1979, but then L. Ron walked away from his family and stayed away until he died. We wonder how he managed to do that, with his wife Mary Sue, and their children Diana, Suzette, and Arthur just miles away from him in Southern California.

How did he never want to see any of them again, as he rotted away at Creston Ranch until his January 24, 1986 death? We find that somewhat incredible.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on August 23, 2016 at 07:00

E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information about the book, and our 2015 book tour, can also be found at the book’s dedicated 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 L.A. 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

Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | 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 | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | 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


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  • Bavarian Rage

    Yoohoo! Miss Tia – if you’re out there lurking, we miss you. Come back!

    • Libertylover

      Did you post on the wrong blog? I don’t think it’s a mutual sentiment shared by them.

      • Bavarian Rage

        I guess I’m missing some crucial bits of the story. Thanks.

        • Qbird

          No one ever knows the entire story, Bavarian Rage.
          I know I don’t… and I read here quite a bit.

          Miss Tia, all on her own, choose to depart from the underground bunker.
          She announced her departure with authority. She no longer participates in this on-line community. She has her reasons; they belong to her. She entered freely & left just as freely. She has written that her involvment w/TUB was not good for her personally.
          She has, however, posted over at Marty’s blog.
          It is a possibility perhaps for you to reach her there, if you’ve a mind to.
          (I do not post over there, but again, I do read.)

          What a person writes and does…
          well, it affects other people, doesn’t it?
          Miss Tia had an effect.
          I wish her all the peace that she may find.
          :::whenever I spy a Raven, I think of her & the crows.:::

          cheers, Qbird

        • Qbird

          Hello again Bavarian. I am in a similar situation re: My Scn. Movie. I live 180 miles ONE WAY from a city that has theaters.

          ETA: looks like I missed you this a.m. BR ~ answer me here & I will send you the link. I work tonight but will be back on line 11 p.m. CST in the USA… so don’t fret, you’ll see it.

          • Bavarian Rage

            Oh Qbird, you take good care of your friends. I’m replying at 10:42 pm…mountain time…I think. (Our Prov. doesn’t observe daylight savings) Anyhoo…I’ll stick a bit closer to the Bunker on Sunday. See ya. Have a good evening.

            • Qbird

              I won’t be around tomorrow, gone fishin’! 🙂

            • Bavarian Rage

              Got it! Thanks much. Enjoy fishing.

    • TheMirrorThetan

      She made it very clear months ago she is never ever coming back.
      And wants no contact whatsoever and to be left alone by all.

      • Bavarian Rage

        Thanks for sharing. Sorry to hear this. While I knew about the HowdyCon thing, I guess I’m just tender hearted and felt for her, thinking ‘everyone deserves a second chance.’ It seemed this place was a big part of her life-as it is for many of us. Maybe there’s more I’m missing….

        (No 2nd chances for 26 though-she crossed the line.)

  • Lady Squash

    Tony, I hope Jon answers your question about Hubbard not seeing his family for the six years before his death. It’s an interesting question and something I have wondered about. I was at Hubbard’s “funeral event” and his family was not there and they were not mentioned as I recall. I thought it was weird.

  • Dave Reams

    In turning adherents into their founders if only other religions were as successful as Scientology! Imagine if more Christians were more like Jesus Christ etc … : )

    Poor Sea Org slaves though – they are a cloned mutation of the very worst of both Ron Hubbard and David Miscavige

    • Graham

      “if only other religions were as successful” Sadly it only works for cults.

  • Intergalactic Walrus

    Here is an interview with Heber Jentzsch on the Art Bell Radio Show from June 1, 1994. It is interesting that he seems to be the opposite of the well known clams we have today. He is well spoken, polite, even tempered and someone that you could imagine engaging in a conversation without wanting to immediately vomit. How times have changed.

    • Juicer77

      Do you think Heber had Mismanage screaming in his other ear, like DM did to Mike Rinder and others? Perhaps Heber was either really good at filtering the “noise” or he was actually allowed to make up his own sentences. I’m sure Mismanage provided the key words in endless rehearsals.

      • Intergalactic Walrus

        Heber’s honey approach couldn’t have been appreciated by Miscavige who obviously favors vinegar. And can you imagine a CO$ spokesman taking unscreened callers questions today? HA!

    • If you go back to 1997 there was a late-night programme on UK TV. Each episode took the form of an interview with a group of believers in fringe religions.

      In one, Jon Ronson spoke to a group of Scientologists Although they were well-prepared to put their case (who isn’t?) they were apparently free to speak in a way that is utterly unimaginable today.

      Between then and now, Scientologists have completely withdrawn from any meaningful engagement with the rest of society – and wonder why they can’t recruit new members.

  • John Prince

    I remember those Charles Atlas ads from the wrappers of “Bazooka Joe’s ” bubble-gum!
    It’s pretty obvious that the only thing keeping co$ afloat these days is their perverted Tax-exempt status in the USA. Should THIS TRAVESTY of JUSTICE finally be corrected,then other Countries would follow and it’s
    Curtains for the Evil Scam of Stupidology once and for all. .
    interesting indeed that ol’ elron not only turned his back on his faithfull followers but his own Family as Well.
    “The Most Ethical People on Earth ” what a cruel joke!

  • StudiusJudius

    • My Favourite Martyan (‘sup)

      I just got Rick rolled for the first time in years.

      • TheMirrorThetan

        Me Too. Damn It.

  • Observer

    Another thwarting of His Miniscule Majesty’s will?! The day draws closer, Captain Miscavige…


  • Ann B Watson

    Hi Tony and all you rascals, I want to thank The Bunker & Jon for a piece on Ron that really touched on so many points I felt were off in his personality.That is why I was finally able to leave the SO.It was that little spark in me that sensed the huge crack between what he said he was like and what he actually was like.The two sides never fit.Even when I was totally Ron-aided a little voice kept saying,watch out!This space is really great,I love reading all the comments.A grateful thank you to all.XXOO

  • What it look like

    One of the worst things about Scientology that no one ever seems to talk about is the fashion.

    • What it look like

      I also think that Hubbard ruined the ascot for everyone else.