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L. Ron Hubbard in exile: When Scientology’s leader ran things while on the lam


In February 1980 in Hemet, California, Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard sat down on a mattress that his driver, John Brousseau, had put in the back of a van. Hubbard reached out his hand and shook Brousseau’s and said goodbye as a young couple, Pat and Annie Broeker, got into the van and then drove it away.

It was the last Brousseau and just about anyone else in the Church of Scientology ever saw of Hubbard, who died almost six years later at a ranch hundreds of miles away near a town called Creston. In those six years, Hubbard and the Broekers kept out of sight in total seclusion, settling at the ranch in about 1983.

But during those years, Hubbard did continue to run Scientology, relying on Pat Broeker and another young Sea Org official, Brousseau’s boss David Miscavige, to carry Hubbard’s instructions from his hiding place to the rest of the Scientology organizations around the world.

And we have an interesting document today that shows how much Hubbard was still working pretty frenetically even as he was hiding out with the Broekers. It was Hubbard’s annual “Ron’s Journal” that he put out on Christmas Day, 1980.


In it, Ron announces to his followers that he’s had enough “spare time” to write a gigantic science fiction novel which will ultimately be published in 1982 as Battlefield Earth. And he also informs them that he’s coming out with a “non-religious” moral code in a booklet he calls The Way to Happiness.

There’s no hint from Hubbard, however, that Scientology itself was in turmoil, or that it was keeping him on the run. The year before, Hubbard’s wife Mary Sue and ten other Scientologists were convicted for conspiring to carry out the largest ever infiltration of the U.S. federal government, the years-long burglarizing of federal offices that Hubbard had called the “Snow White Program” (and is mistakenly referred to by the press as “Operation Snow White”). In 1980, Mary Sue Hubbard’s criminal conviction was on appeal (three years later she went to prison on a five-year sentence but ended up serving only one year), but you’d never know that his wife was facing prison time from his Christmas message.

Give Ron’s message a read and let us know what you think of it. If you were in the church at the time, can you remember what you thought when you received it? Can you remember hearing that Hubbard had vanished that year?

We think it’s fascinating stuff.


LRH ED 321 Int 25 December 1980



YEAR A.D. 30/31

1980 draws to a close and we enter 1981. I just wanted to say “hello”. They say a man is known by the high quality of his friends. So I must be very well known. I think I am very fortunate to have such a friend as you.

One owes a friend some accounting of himself. You may be wondering what I’ve been up to lately. Would you like to know?

I am as well as can be expected for anyone several trillion years old. I’m not doing any motorcycling nor much driving. I miss the good old days of sailing around in the Apollo. Sitting on a mountain top looking at the distant sea is no substitute for being on it.

Well, despite all the travel posters that say that what everyone needs is a vacation. I haven’t succumbed to that. I have been fairly busy, actually.

In the technical area, early in 1980, as you know the Purification Rundown was released and then the rundown with objectives and all to finish it off was issued.

Some additional work was done on NOTs.

A couple of other low level research actions were being readied for issue — one of them was in the field of word clearing and involved Grammar. I also wrote 15 movie scripts in 1980, completing the tech movie series.

All in all, it has been a progressive year in the field of tech development and issue.

Toward the end of summer I had a little spare time on my hands — quite unusual, I assure you — and I did something I haven’t done for quite a while. I wrote a science fiction novel!

Actually, I was a bit disgusted with the way the psychologists and brain surgeons mess people up, so I wrote a fiction story based in part on the consequences that could occur if the shrinks continued to do it.

It’s pure science fiction, really just good fun. It turned out as what may be the largest science fiction novel ever written. It is 438,800 words. I don’t recall any that are bigger than that. The usual novel is only about 120,000 words. It’s very fast action. The working title is “Man, the Endangered Species.”

I wrote it for another reason, too. In the autumn of 1980 I celebrated a half century as a professional writer — 1930 to 1980.

It was interesting to me that my writing speed was a bit higher today than it was back in my hey-day as a professional in the 30s.

Anyway, the novel is on its way to the publishers — it’s for the general public and in some months should be on the bookstands.

After I finished amusing myself with the novel, I got myself by the scruff of the neck and got back to more serious work.

As you know, I have never written much about behavior and ideal human conduct.

Reading the papers and wandering around in the society, it was pretty obvious that honesty and truth were not being held up to the standards they once had. People and even little kids in schools have gotten the idea that high moral standards are a thing of the past.

Man has in his hands today a lot of violent weapons. He doesn’t have the moral standards to go with them.

Looking around, it seemed to me that any troubles or upsets you may be having are coming from the fact that the government and a lot of the public and the media are pretty immoral. The truth just isn’t in them.

So I wondered if we could do anything about this. And I found something astonishing: apparently there has never been a moral code based on common sense. In the past, philosophers did not have any basic principle to use to really work one out. We did. So I put together a booklet on how to increase one’s survival potential.

Now, at first glance, this may not seem like much. But actually, it’s quite a situation. The materialistic psychologist and psychiatrist and their employer, the government, have knocked out the religious influencers that used to be in the society. Good or bad, these influences were the only moral standards. It’s even against the law to teach kids to tell the truth and not murder the teacher in schools. Fact. The U.S. Supreme Court made the State of Kentucky take down the posted Ten Commandments.

Well, I never gave any of this much of a thought before. But it is quite an operation that’s going on.

So I got an idea: what if one were to put out a non-religious moral code? One that appealed to the public. One that would be popular and could be kept. One that would increase the survival potential of the individual amongst his fellows. And one the general public itself would pass on. So I worked one out.

I wrote a booklet, very cheap to print, for the man in the street.

It isn’t a church publication. It is not religious. It is called “The Way to Happiness.” It can be handed out by the orgs, of course, but it’s really designed to be handed around by the cops and the banks — and they’ll do it to help themselves.

I looked over the troubles you might be having and the fact is, they come mainly from government and media and public lies. So, even if it takes a while, I could at least do this about it: start a grass roots campaign and fad, not amongst you but amongst the general public.

I also did a brand new rundown to go along with the book. It will probably be available in Class IV Orgs and others. It is called the “Happiness Rundown.” It is based on the book even though the book itself will be out in the general public. It can be done before or after the Class IV Grades. It probably follows the objective drug clean up. It’s quite long as a rundown and should keep the Class IV Orgs busy.

The book is all finished now and is on its way to being printed and marketed and distributed. I think when you read it you will agree that it has a potential to change public think. Actually, that is the real business we are in.

This is a pretty barbaric society. We have new tech. We know what we are doing. And we are, little by little and person by person, changing this society for the better.

Somebody used to keep a record of the things in Scientology that were being picked up by the society at large and used. Most of the time they don’t give credit. But the items exist. In the past thirty years it has become an impressive list. Currently even the psychologists are busy reporting coming back to life after being dead.

We are having an effect upon the societies of the world.

And that’s why I admire you. You are in there pitching, doing your jobs. I know it is sometimes rough. I feel for you. But above all, in the midst of a failing society, you are making your weight felt.

I am very glad that you are there. I am glad you are my friend.

Good luck in this year that is coming. It is a year that is in your hands. I have every confidence you will do well in it. The future is ours.



Paulette_Cooper‘The Unbreakable Miss Lovely’ audiobook now on sale has released the audiobook version of The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper and you can get the book for free if you’re signing up at Audible for the first time!

Read by the author (that’s us), the book tells the incredible tale of a journalist who was among the first to expose Scientology’s controversies, and nearly paid for it with her life. Go to Audible’s website for more details — [US version] [UK version]

To support the Audible launch, Paulette Cooper joined us for an “Ask Me Anything” session at Reddit on September 29, which covered a lot of topics about the book and about this website.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on October 3, 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, Kindle, and audiobook versions. 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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