John Whiteside "Jack" Parsons (born Marvel Whiteside Parsons
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Parsons_(rocket_engineer)

John Whiteside "Jack" Parsons (born Marvel Whiteside Parsons;[nb 1] October 2, 1914 – June 17, 1952) was an American rocket engineer and rocket propulsion researcher, chemist, and Thelemite occultist. Associated with the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Parsons was one of the principal founders of both the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the Aerojet Engineering Corporation. He invented the first rocket engine to use a castable, composite rocket propellant,[1] and pioneered the advancement of both liquid-fuel and solid-fuel rockets.

Born in Los Angeles, Parsons was raised by a wealthy family on Orange Grove Avenue in Pasadena. Inspired by science fiction literature, he developed an interest in rocketry in his childhood and in 1928 began amateur rocket experiments with school friend Ed Forman. He dropped out of Pasadena Junior College and Stanford University due to financial difficulties during the Great Depression, and in 1934 he united with Forman and graduate student Frank Malina to form the Caltech-affiliated Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory (GALCIT) Rocket Research Group, supported by GALCIT chairman Theodore von Kármán. In 1939 the GALCIT Group gained funding from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to work on Jet-Assisted Take Off (JATO) for the U.S. military. Following American entry into World War II, in 1942 they founded Aerojet to develop and sell their JATO technology; the GALCIT Group became JPL in 1943.

After a brief involvement with Marxism in 1939, Parsons converted to Thelema, the English occultist Aleister Crowley's new religious movement. In 1941, alongside his first wife Helen Northrup, Parsons joined the Agape Lodge, the Californian branch of the Thelemite Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.). At Crowley's bidding, he replaced Wilfred Talbot Smith as its leader in 1942 and ran the Lodge from his mansion on Orange Grove Avenue. Parsons was expelled from JPL and Aerojet in 1944 due to the Lodge's infamous reputation, along with his hazardous workplace conduct.

In 1945 Parsons separated from Helen after having an affair with her sister Sara; when Sara left him for L. Ron Hubbard, he conducted the Babalon Working, a series of rituals designed to invoke the Thelemic goddess Babalon to Earth. He and Hubbard continued the procedure with Marjorie Cameron, whom Parsons married in 1946. After Hubbard and Sara defrauded him of his life savings, Parsons resigned from the O.T.O. and went through various jobs while acting as a consultant for the Israeli rocket program. Amid the climate of McCarthyism, he was accused of espionage and left unable to work in rocketry. In 1952 Parsons died at the age of 37 in a home laboratory explosion that attracted national media attention; the police ruled it an accident, but many associates suspected suicide or murder.
Parsons' occult and libertarian writings were published posthumously, with Western esoteric and countercultural circles citing him as one of the most significant figures in propagating Thelema across North America. Although academic interest in his scientific career was negligible, historians came to recognize Parsons' contributions to rocket engineering. For these innovations, his advocacy of space exploration and human spaceflight, and his role in the founding of JPL and Aerojet, Parsons is regarded as among the most important figures in the history of the U.S. space program. He has been the subject of several biographies and fictionalized portrayals, including the television drama Strange Angel.

Early life of Marvel Whiteside Parsons : 1914–34
Marvel Whiteside Parsons was born on October 2, 1914, at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles.[2] His parents, Ruth Virginia Whiteside (c. 1893–1952) and Marvel H. Parsons (c. 1894–1947), had moved to California from Massachusetts the previous year, purchasing a house on Scarf Street in downtown Los Angeles. Their son was his father's namesake, but was known in the household as Jack.[3] The marriage broke down soon after Jack's birth, when Ruth discovered that his father had made numerous visits to a prostitute, and she filed for divorce in March 1915. Parsons' father returned to Massachusetts after being publicly exposed as an adulterer, with Ruth forbidding him from having any contact with Jack.[4] Parsons' father later joined the armed forces, reaching the rank of major, and married a woman with whom he had a son named Charles, a half-brother Jack would only meet once.[5] Although she retained her ex-husband's surname, Ruth started calling her son John; many friends throughout his life knew him as Jack.[6] Ruth's parents Walter and Carrie Whiteside moved to California to be with Jack and their daughter, using their wealth to buy an up-market house on Orange Grove Avenue in Pasadena—known locally as "Millionaire's Mile"—where they could live together. Jack was surrounded by domestic servants. Having few friends, he lived a solitary childhood and spent much time reading; he took a particular interest in works of mythology, Arthurian legend, and the Arabian Nights. Through the works of Jules Verne he became interested in science fictionand a keen reader of pulp magazines like Amazing Stories, which led to his early interest in rocketry.
When he was twelve, Parsons began attending Washington Junior High School, where he performed poorly—something biographer George Pendle attributed to undiagnosed dyslexia—and was bullied for his upper-class status and perceived effeminacy.[10] Although unpopular, he formed a strong friendship with Edward Forman, a boy from a poor working-class family who defended him from bullies and shared his interest in science fiction and rocketry, with the well-read Parsons enthralling Forman with his literary prowess. In 1928 the pair—adopting the Latin motto per aspera ad astra (through hardship to the stars)—began engaging in homemade gunpowder-based rocket experiments in the nearby Arroyo Seco canyon, as well as the Parsons family's back garden, which left it pockmarked with craters from explosive test failures. They incorporated commonly available fireworks such as cherry bombs into their rockets, and Parsons suggested using glue as a binding agent to increase the rocket fuel's stability. This research became more complex when they began using materials such as aluminium foil to make the gunpowder easier to cast. Parsons had also begun to investigate occultism, and performed a ritual intended to invoke the Devil into his bedroom; he worried that the invocation was successful and was frightened into ceasing these activities. In 1929 he began attending John Muir High School, where he maintained an insular friendship with Forman and was a keen participant in fencing and archery. After he received poor school results, Parsons' mother sent him away to study at a private boarding school in San Diego—the Brown Military Academy for Boys—but he was expelled for blowing up the toilets.

 

John Whiteside "Jack" Parsons (born Marvel Whiteside Parsons
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Parsons_(rocket_engineer)



John Whiteside "Jack" Parsons (born Marvel Whiteside Parsons;[nb 1] October 2, 1914 – June 17, 1952) was an American rocket engineer and rocket propulsion researcher, chemist, and Thelemite occultist. Associated with the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Parsons was one of the principal founders of both the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the Aerojet Engineering Corporation. He invented the first rocket engine to use a castable, composite rocket propellant,[1] and pioneered the advancement of both liquid-fuel and solid-fuel rockets.

Born in Los Angeles, Parsons was raised by a wealthy family on Orange Grove Avenue in Pasadena. Inspired by science fiction literature, he developed an interest in rocketry in his childhood and in 1928 began amateur rocket experiments with school friend Ed Forman. He dropped out of Pasadena Junior College and Stanford University due to financial difficulties during the Great Depression, and in 1934 he united with Forman and graduate student Frank Malina to form the Caltech-affiliated Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory (GALCIT) Rocket Research Group, supported by GALCIT chairman Theodore von Kármán. In 1939 the GALCIT Group gained funding from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to work on Jet-Assisted Take Off (JATO) for the U.S. military. Following American entry into World War II, in 1942 they founded Aerojet to develop and sell their JATO technology; the GALCIT Group became JPL in 1943.

After a brief involvement with Marxism in 1939, Parsons converted to Thelema, the English occultist Aleister Crowley's new religious movement. In 1941, alongside his first wife Helen Northrup, Parsons joined the Agape Lodge, the Californian branch of the Thelemite Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.). At Crowley's bidding, he replaced Wilfred Talbot Smith as its leader in 1942 and ran the Lodge from his mansion on Orange Grove Avenue. Parsons was expelled from JPL and Aerojet in 1944 due to the Lodge's infamous reputation, along with his hazardous workplace conduct.

In 1945 Parsons separated from Helen after having an affair with her sister Sara; when Sara left him for L. Ron Hubbard, he conducted the Babalon Working, a series of rituals designed to invoke the Thelemic goddess Babalon to Earth. He and Hubbard continued the procedure with Marjorie Cameron, whom Parsons married in 1946. After Hubbard and Sara defrauded him of his life savings, Parsons resigned from the O.T.O. and went through various jobs while acting as a consultant for the Israeli rocket program. Amid the climate of McCarthyism, he was accused of espionage and left unable to work in rocketry. In 1952 Parsons died at the age of 37 in a home laboratory explosion that attracted national media attention; the police ruled it an accident, but many associates suspected suicide or murder.

Parsons' occult and libertarian writings were published posthumously, with Western esoteric and countercultural circles citing him as one of the most significant figures in propagating Thelema across North America. Although academic interest in his scientific career was negligible, historians came to recognize Parsons' contributions to rocket engineering. For these innovations, his advocacy of space exploration and human spaceflight, and his role in the founding of JPL and Aerojet, Parsons is regarded as among the most important figures in the history of the U.S. space program. He has been the subject of several biographies and fictionalized portrayals, including the television drama Strange Angel.

Early life of Jack Parsons  1914–34
Marvel Whiteside Parsons was born on October 2, 1914, at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles.[2] His parents, Ruth Virginia Whiteside (c. 1893–1952) and Marvel H. Parsons (c. 1894–1947), had moved to California from Massachusetts the previous year, purchasing a house on Scarf Street in downtown Los Angeles. Their son was his father's namesake, but was known in the household as Jack.[3] The marriage broke down soon after Jack's birth, when Ruth discovered that his father had made numerous visits to a prostitute, and she filed for divorce in March 1915. Parsons' father returned to Massachusetts after being publicly exposed as an adulterer, with Ruth forbidding him from having any contact with Jack.[4] Parsons' father later joined the armed forces, reaching the rank of major, and married a woman with whom he had a son named Charles, a half-brother Jack would only meet once.[5] Although she retained her ex-husband's surname, Ruth started calling her son John; many friends throughout his life knew him as Jack.[6] Ruth's parents Walter and Carrie Whiteside moved to California to be with Jack and their daughter, using their wealth to buy an up-market house on Orange Grove Avenue in Pasadena—known locally as "Millionaire's Mile"—where they could live together.[7] Jack was surrounded by domestic servants.[8] Having few friends, he lived a solitary childhood and spent much time reading; he took a particular interest in works of mythology, Arthurian legend, and the Arabian Nights.[8] Through the works of Jules Verne he became interested in science fictionand a keen reader of pulp magazines like Amazing Stories, which led to his early interest in rocketry.[8][9]

When he was twelve, Parsons began attending Washington Junior High School, where he performed poorly—something biographer George Pendle attributed to undiagnosed dyslexia—and was bullied for his upper-class status and perceived effeminacy.[10] Although unpopular, he formed a strong friendship with Edward Forman, a boy from a poor working-class family who defended him from bullies and shared his interest in science fiction and rocketry, with the well-read Parsons enthralling Forman with his literary prowess. In 1928 the pair—adopting the Latin motto per aspera ad astra (through hardship to the stars)—began engaging in homemade gunpowder-based rocket experiments in the nearby Arroyo Seco canyon, as well as the Parsons family's back garden, which left it pockmarked with craters from explosive test failures. They incorporated commonly available fireworks such as cherry bombs into their rockets, and Parsons suggested using glue as a binding agent to increase the rocket fuel's stability. This research became more complex when they began using materials such as aluminium foil to make the gunpowder easier to cast.[10][11][12] Parsons had also begun to investigate occultism, and performed a ritual intended to invoke the Devil into his bedroom; he worried that the invocation was successful and was frightened into ceasing these activities.[13] In 1929 he began attending John Muir High School, where he maintained an insular friendship with Forman and was a keen participant in fencing and archery. After he received poor school results, Parsons' mother sent him away to study at a private boarding school in San Diego—the Brown Military Academy for Boys—but he was expelled for blowing up the toilets.[14]

The Parsons family spent mid-1929 on a tour of Europe before returning to Pasadena, where they moved into a house on San Rafael Avenue. With the onset of the Great Depression their fortune began to dwindle, and in July 1931 Jack's grandfather Walter died.[15] Parsons began studying at the privately run University School, a liberal institution that took an unconventional approach to teaching. He flourished academically, becoming editor of the school's newspaper El Universitano and winning an award for literary excellence; teachers who had trained at the nearby California Institute of Technology (Caltech) honed his attentions on the study of chemistry.[16] With the family's financial difficulties deepening, Parsons began working during weekends and school holidays at the offices of the Hercules Powder Company, where he learned more about explosives and their potential use in rocket propulsion.[17] He and Forman continued to independently explore the subject in their spare time, building and testing different rockets, sometimes with materials that Parsons had stolen from work. Parsons soon constructed a solid-fuel rocket engine, and with Forman corresponded with pioneer rocket engineers including Robert H. Goddard, Hermann Oberth, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Willy Ley and Wernher von Braun. Parsons and von Braun had hours of telephone conversations about rocketry in their respective countries as well as their own research.[18][19][11][20]

Parsons graduated from University School in 1933, and moved with his mother and grandmother to a more modest house on St. John Avenue, where he continued to pursue his interests in literature and poetry.[21] He enrolled in Pasadena Junior College with the hope of earning an associate degree in physics and chemistry, but dropped out after only a term because of his financial situation and took up permanent employment at the Hercules Powder Company.[22] His employers then sent him to work at their manufacturing plant in Hercules, California on San Francisco Bay, where he earned a relatively high wage of $100 a month; he was plagued by headaches caused by exposure to nitroglycerin. He saved money in the hope of continuing his academic studies and began a degree in chemistry at Stanford University, but found the tuition fees unaffordable and returned to Pasadena.[23]

GALCIT Rocket Research Group and the Kynette trial: 1934–38

In the hope of gaining access to the state-of-the-art resources of Caltech for their rocketry research, Parsons and Forman attended a lecture on the work of Austrian rocket engineer Eugen Sänger and hypothetical above-stratosphericaircraft by the institute's William Bollay—a PhD student specializing in rocket-powered aircraft—and approached him to express their interest in designing a liquid-fuel rocket motor.[26][27] Bollay redirected them to another PhD student named Frank Malina, a mathematician and mechanical engineer composing a thesis on rocket propulsion who shared their interests and soon befriended the pair.[28] Parsons, Forman, and Malina applied for funding from Caltech together; they did not mention that their ultimate objective was to develop rockets for space exploration, realizing that most of the scientific establishment then relegated such ideas to science fiction.[29] While Caltech's Clark Blanchard Millikan immediately rebuffed them, Malina's doctoral advisor Theodore von Kármán saw more promise in their proposal and agreed to allow them to operate under the auspices of the university's Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory (GALCIT).[30] Naming themselves the GALCIT Rocket Research Group, they gained access to Caltech's specialist equipment, though the economics of the Great Depression left von Kármán unable to finance them.[31]

The trio focused their distinct skills on collaborative rocket development; Parsons was the chemist, Forman the machinist, and Malina the technical theoretician. Malina wrote in 1968 that the self-educated Parsons "lacked the discipline of a formal higher education, [but] had an uninhibited and fruitful imagination."[32] The informally trained Parsons and Forman who, as described by Geoffrey A. Landis, "were eager to try whatever idea happened to spring to mind", contrasted with the approach of Malina, who insisted on the need for scientific discipline as informed by von Kármán. Landis writes that their creativity "kept Malina focused toward building actual rocket engines, not just solving equations on paper".[33] Sharing socialist values, they operated on an egalitarian basis; Malina taught the others about scientific procedure and they taught him about the practical elements of rocketry. They often socialized, smoking marijuana and drinking, while Malina and Parsons set about writing a semiautobiographical science fiction screenplay they planned to pitch to Hollywood with strong anti-capitalist and pacifist themes.[34]

Parsons met Helen Northrup at a local church dance and proposed marriage in July 1934. She accepted and they were married in April 1935 at the Little Church of the Flowers in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, before undertaking a brief honeymoon in San Diego.[35] They moved into a house on South Terrace Drive, Pasadena, while Parsons gained employment for the explosives manufacturer Halifax Powder Company at their facility in Saugus. Much to Helen's dismay, Parsons spent most of his wages funding the GALCIT Rocket Research Group.[36] For extra money he manufactured nitroglycerin in their home, constructing a home laboratory on their front porch. At one point he pawned Helen's engagement ring, and he often asked her family for loans.[37]

Malina recounted that "Parsons and Forman were not too pleased with an austere program that did not include at least the launching of model rockets",[32] but the Group reached the consensus of developing a working static rocket motor before embarking on more complex research. They contacted liquid-fuel rocket pioneer Robert H. Goddard and he invited Malina to his facility in Roswell, New Mexico, but he was not interested in cooperating—reticent about sharing his research and having been subjected to widespread derision for his work in rocketry.[38] They were instead joined by Caltech graduate students Apollo M. O. "Amo" Smith, Carlos C. Wood, Mark Muir Mills, Fred S. Miller, William C. Rockefeller, and Rudolph Schott; Schott was relied upon for the use of his pickup truck to transport equipment.[39] Their first liquid-fuel motor test took place near the Devil's Gate Dam in the Arroyo Seco on Halloween 1936.[40][41] Parsons' biographer John Carter described the layout of the contraption as showing[42] oxygen flowing from one side, with methyl alcohol (the fuel) and nitrogen flowing from the other side. Water cooled the rocket during the burn. Thrust pulled down a spring which measured force. The deflection of the spring measured the force applied to it. A small diamond tip on the apparatus scratched a glass plate to mark the furthest point of deflection. The rocket and mount were protected by sandbags, with the tanks (and the experimenters) well away from it.

Three attempts to fire the rocket failed; on the fourth the oxygen line was accidentally ignited and perilously billowed fire at the Group, but they viewed this experience as formative.[43] They continued their experiments throughout the last quarter of 1936; after the final test was successfully completed in January 1937 von Kármán agreed that they could perform their future experiments at an exclusive rocket testing facility on campus.[44][45][46]

In April 1937 Caltech mathematician Qian Xuesen (a Chinese citizen) joined the Group. Several months later Weld Arnold, a Caltech laboratory assistant who worked as the Group's official photographer, also joined. The main reason for Arnold's appointment to this position was his provision of a donation to the Group on behalf of an anonymous benefactor.[47] They became well known on campus, earning the moniker of the "Suicide Squad" for the dangerous nature of some of their experiments and attracting attention from the local press.[48] Parsons himself gained further media publicity when he appeared as an expert explosives witness in the trial of Captain Earl Kynette, the head of police intelligence in Los Angeles who was accused of conspiring to set a car bomb in the attempted murder of private investigator Harry Raymond, a former LAPD detective who was fired after whistleblowing against police corruption. When Kynette was convicted largely on Parsons' testimony, which included his forensic reconstruction of the car bomb and its explosion, his identity as an expert scientist in the public eye was established despite his lack of a university education.[49][50] While working at Caltech, Parsons was admitted to evening courses in chemistry at the University of Southern California (USC), but distracted by his GALCIT workload he attended sporadically and received unexceptional grades.[51]

By early 1938 the Group had made their static rocket motor, which originally burned for three seconds, run for over a minute.[52][53] In May that year, Parsons was invited by Forrest J Ackerman to lecture on his rocketry work at Chapter Number 4 of the Los Angeles Science Fiction League (LASFL). Although he never joined the society, he occasionally attended their talks, on one occasion conversing with a teenage Ray Bradbury.[54] Another scientist to become involved in the GALCIT project was Sidney Weinbaum, a Jewish refugee from Europe who was a vocal Marxist; he led Parsons, Malina, and Qian in their creation of a largely secretive communist discussion group at Caltech, which became known as Professional Unit 122 of the Pasadena Communist Party. Although Parsons subscribed to the People's Daily World and joined the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), he refused to join the American Communist Party, causing a break in his and Weinbaum's friendship.[55] This, coupled with the need to focus on paid employment, led to the disintegration of much of the Rocket Research Group, leaving only its three founding members by late 1938.[56]

Embracing Thelema; advancing JATO and foundation of Aerojet: 1939–42

In January 1939 John and Frances Baxter, a brother and sister who had befriended Jack and Helen Parsons, took Jack to the Church of Thelema on Winona Boulevard, Hollywood, where he witnessed the performance of The Gnostic Mass. Celebrants of the church had included Hollywood actor John Carradine and gay rights activist Harry Hay. Parsons was intrigued, having already heard of Thelema's founder and Outer Head of the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.), Aleister Crowley, after reading a copy of Crowley's text Konx om Pax (1907).

Parsons was introduced to leading members Regina Kahl, Jane Wolfe, and Wilfred Talbot Smith at the mass. Feeling both "repulsion and attraction" for Smith, Parsons continued to sporadically attend the Church's events for a year.[57] He continued to read Crowley's works, which increasingly interested him, and encouraged Helen to read them.[58] Parsons came to believe in the reality of Thelemic magick as a force that could be explained through quantum physics.[58] He tried to interest his friends and acquaintances in Thelema, taking science fiction writers Jack Williamson and Cleve Cartmill to a performance of The Gnostic Mass. Although they were unimpressed, Parsons was more successful with Grady Louis McMurtry, a young Caltech student he had befriended, as well as McMurtry's fiancée Claire Palmer, and Helen's sister Sara "Betty" Northrup.[59]

Jack and Helen were initiated into the Agape Lodge, the renamed Church of Thelema, in February 1941. Parsons adopted the Thelemic motto of Thelema Obtenteum Proedero Amoris Nuptiae, a Latin mistranslation of "The establishment of Thelema through the rituals of love". The initials of this motto spelled out T.O.P.A.N., also serving as the declaration "To Pan".[60] Commenting on Parsons' errors of translation, in jest Crowley said that "the motto which you mention is couched in a language beyond my powers of understanding".[61] Parsons also adopted the Thelemic title Frater T.O.P.A.N—with T.O.P.A.N represented in Kabbalistic numerology as 210—the name with which he frequently signed letters to occult associates—while Helen became known as Soror Grimaud.[62] Smith wrote to Crowley saying that Parsons was "a really excellent man ... He has an excellent mind and much better intellect than myself ... JP is going to be very valuable".[63] Wolfe wrote to German O.T.O. representative Karl Germer that Parsons was "an A1 man ... Crowleyesque in attainment as a matter of fact", and mooted Parsons as a potential successor to Crowley as Outer Head of the Order.[64] Crowley concurred with such assessments, informing Smith that Parsons "is the most valued member of the whole Order, with no exception!"[61]

At von Kármán's suggestion, Frank Malina approached the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Committee on Army Air Corps Research to request funding for research into what they referred to as "jet propulsion", a term chosen to avoid the stigma attached to rocketry. The military were interested in jet propulsion as a means of getting aircraft quickly airborne where there was insufficient room for a full-length runway, and gave the Rocket Research Group $1,000 to put together a proposal on the feasibility of Jet-Assisted Take Off (JATO) by June 1939, making Parsons et al. the first U.S. government-sanctioned rocket research group. Since their formation in 1934, they had also performed experiments involving model, black powder motor-propelled multistage rockets. In a research paper submitted to the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Parsons reported these rockets reaching velocities of 4,875 miles per hour, thereby demonstrating the potential of solid fuels to be more effective than the liquid types primarily preferred by researchers such as Goddard. In light of this progress, Caltech and the GALCIT Group received an additional $10,000 rocketry research grant from the AIAA.[65]

Although a quarter of their funding went to repairing damage to Caltech buildings caused by their experiments, in June 1940 they submitted a report to the NAS in which they showed the feasibility of the project for the development of JATO and requested $100,000 to continue; they received $22,000.[66] Now known as GALCIT Project Number 1, they continued to be ostracized by other Caltech scientists who grew increasingly irritated by their accidents and noise pollution, and were forced to relocate their experiments back to the Arroyo Seco, at a site with unventilated, corrugated iron sheds that served as both research facilities and administrative offices. It was here that JPL would be founded.[67] Parsons and Forman's rocket experiments were the cover story of the August 1940 edition of Popular Mechanics, in which the pair discussed the prospect of rockets being able to ascend above Earth's atmosphere and orbit around it for research purposes, as well as reaching the Moon.[68]

For the JATO project, they were joined by Caltech mathematician Martin Summerfield and 18 workers supplied by the Works Progress Administration. Former colleagues like Qian were prevented from returning to the project by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), who ensured the secrecy of the operation and restricted the involvement of foreign nationals and political extremists.[69] The FBI was satisfied that Parsons was not a Marxist but were concerned when Thelemite friend Paul Seckler used Parsons' gun in a drunken car hijacking, for which Seckler was imprisoned in San Quentin State Prison for two years. Englishman George Emerson replaced Arnold as the Group's official photographer.[70]

The Group's aim was to find a replacement for black-powder rocket motors—units consisting of charcoal, sulfur and potassium nitrate with a binding agent. The mixture was unstable and there were frequent explosions damaging military aircraft.[71] The solid JATO fuel invented by Parsons consisted of amide, corn starch, and ammonium nitrate bound together in the JATO unit with glue and blotting paper. It was codenamed GALCIT-27, implying the previous invention of 26 new fuels. The first JATO tests using an ERCO Ercoupe plane took place in late July 1941; though they aided propulsion, the units frequently exploded and damaged the aircraft. Parsons theorized that this was because the ammonium nitrate became dangerously combustible following overnight storage, during which temperature and consistency changes had resulted in a chemical imbalance. Parsons and Malina accordingly devised a method in which they would fill the JATOs with the fuel in the early mornings shortly before the tests, enduring sleep deprivation to do so. On August 21, 1941, Navy Captain Homer J. Boushey, Jr.—watched by Clark Millikan and William F. Durand—piloted the JATO-equipped Ercoupe at March Air Force Base in Moreno Valley, California. It proved a success and reduced takeoff distance by 30%, but one of the JATOs partially exploded.[72] Over the following weeks 62 further tests took place, and the NAS increased their grant to $125,000. During a series of static experiments, an exploding JATO did significant damage to the rear fuselage of an Ercoupe; one observer optimistically noted that "at least it wasn't a big hole", but necessary repairs delayed their efforts.[73]

The military ordered a flight test using liquid rather than solid fuel in early 1942. Upon the United States' entry into the Second World War in December 1941, the Group realized they could be drafted directly into military service if they failed to provide viable JATO technology for the military. Informed by their left-wing politics, aiding the war effort against Nazi Germany and the Axis powers was as much of a moral vocation to Parsons, Forman and Malina as it was a practical one. Parsons, Summerfield and the GALCIT workers focused on the task and found success with a combination of gasoline with red fuming nitric acid as its oxidizer; the latter, suggested by Parsons, was an effective substitute for liquid oxygen.[71][74] The testing of this fuel resulted in another calamity, when the testing rocket motor exploded; the fire, containing iron shed fragments and shrapnel, inexplicably left the experimenters unscathed. Malina solved the problem by replacing the gasoline with aniline, resulting in a successful test launch of a JATO-equipped A-20A plane at the Muroc Auxiliary Air Field in the Mojave Desert. It provided five times more thrust than GALCIT-27, and again reduced takeoff distance by 30%; Malina wrote to his parents that "We now have something that really works and we should be able to help give the Fascists hell!"[75]

The Group then agreed to produce and sell 60 JATO engines to the United States Army Air Corps. To do so they formed the Aerojet Engineering Corporation in March 1942, in which Parsons, Forman, Malina, von Kármán, and Summerfield each invested $250, opening their offices on Colorado Boulevard and bringing in Amo Smith as their engineer. Andrew G. Haley was recruited by von Kármán as their lawyer and treasurer. Although Aerojet was a for-profit operation that provided technology for military means, the founders' mentality was rooted in the ideal of using rockets for peaceful space exploration. As Haley recounted von Kármán requesting: "we will make the rockets—you must make the corporation and obtain the money. Later on you will have to see that we all behave well in outer space."[76]

Despite these successes, Parsons, the project engineer of Aerojet's Solid Fuel Department, remained motivated to address the malfunctions observed during the Ercoupe tests. In June 1942, assisted by Mills and Miller, he focused his attention on developing an effective method of restricted burning when using solid rocket fuel, as the military demanded JATOs that could provide over 100 pounds of thrust without any risk of exploding. Although solid fuels such as GALCIT-27 were more storable than their liquid counterparts, they were disfavored for military JATO use as they provided less immediate thrust and did not have the versatility of being turned on and off mid-flight. Parsons tried to resolve GALCIT-27's stability issue with GALCIT-46, which replaced the former's ammonium nitrate with guanidine nitrate. To avoid the problems seen with ammonium nitrate, he had GALCIT-46 cooled and then heated prior to testing. When it failed the test, he realized that the fuel's binding black powders rather than the oxidizers had resulted in their instability, and in June that year had the idea of using liquid asphalt as an appropriate binding agent with potassium perchlorate as oxidizer.[40]

Malina recounted that Parsons was inspired to use asphalt by the ancient incendiary weapon Greek fire; in a 1982 talk for the International Association of Astronomical Artists Captain Boushey stated that Parsons experienced an epiphany after watching workers using molten asphalt to fix tiles onto a roof. Known as GALCIT-53, this fuel proved to be significantly more stable than the Group's earlier concoctions, fulfilling Parsons' aim of creating a restricted-burn rocket fuel inside a castable container, and providing a thrust 427% more powerful than that of GALCIT-27. This set a precedent which according to his biographer John Carter "changed the future of rocket technology": the thermoplastic asphalt casting was durable in all climates, allowing for mass production and indefinite storage and transforming solid-fuel agents into a safe and viable form of rocket propulsion. Plasticized variants of Parsons' solid-fuel design invented by JPL's Charles Bartley were later used by NASA in Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Boosters and by the Strategic Air Command in Polaris, Poseidon and Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles.[40][1][77]

Foundation of JPL and leading the Agape Lodge: 1942–44

Aerojet's first two contracts were from the U.S. Navy; the Bureau of Aeronautics requested a solid-fuel JATO and Wilbur Wright Field requested a liquid-fuel unit. The Air Corps had requested two thousand JATOs from Aerojet by late 1943, committing $256,000 toward Parsons' solid-fuel type. Despite this drastically increased turnover, the company continued to operate informally and remained intertwined with the GALCIT project. Caltech astronomer Fritz Zwicky was brought in as head of the company's research department. Haley replaced von Kármán as Aerojet chairman and imposed payroll cuts instead of reducing JATO output; the alternative was to cut staff numbers while maintaining more generous salaries, but Haley's priority was Aerojet's contribution to the war effort. Company heads including Parsons were exempted from this austerity, drawing the ire of many personnel.[78][79]

Parsons' newfound credentials and financial security gave him the opportunity to travel more widely throughout the U.S. as an ambassador for Aerojet, meeting with other rocket enthusiasts. In New York he met with Karl Germer, the head of the O.T.O. in North America and in Washington, D.C. he met Poet Laureate Joseph Auslander, donating some of Crowley's poetry books to the Library of Congress.[80] He also became a regular at the Mañana Literary Society, which met in Laurel Canyon at the home of Parsons' friend Robert A. Heinlein and included science fiction writers including Cleve Cartmill, Jack Williamson, and Anthony Boucher. Among Parsons' favorite works of fiction was Williamson's Darker Than You Think, a novelette published in the fantasy magazine Unknown in 1940, which inspired his later occult workings. Boucher used Parsons as a partial basis for the character of Hugo Chantrelle in his murder mystery Rocket to the Morgue (1942).[81]

Helen went away for a period in June 1941, during which Parsons, encouraged to do so by the sexually permissive attitude of the O.T.O., began a sexual relationship with her 17-year-old sister, Sara. Upon Helen's return, Sara asserted that she was Parsons' new wife, and Parsons himself admitted that he found Sara more sexually attractive than Helen.[82] Conflicted in her feelings, Helen sought comfort in Smith and began a relationship with him that lasted for the rest of his life; the four remained friends.[83] The two couples, along with a number of other Thelemites (some of whom with their children), moved to 1003 South Orange Grove Avenue, an American Craftsman-stylemansion. They all contributed to the rent of $100 a month and lived communally in what replaced Winona Boulevard as the new base of the Agape Lodge, maintaining an allotment and slaughtering their own livestock for meat as well as blood rituals.[84] Parsons decorated his new room with a copy of the Stele of Revealing, a statue of Pan, and his collection of swords and daggers. He converted the garage and laundry room into a chemical laboratory and often held science fiction discussion meetings in the kitchen, and entertained the children with hunts for fairies in the 25-acre garden.[85]

Although there were arguments among the commune members, Parsons remained dedicated to Thelema. He gave almost all of his salary to the O.T.O. while actively seeking out new members—including Forman—and financially supported Crowley in London through Germer.[87] Parsons' enthusiasm for the Lodge quickly began to impact on his professional life. He frequently appeared at Aerojet hungover and sleep-deprived from late nights of Lodge activities, and invited many of his colleagues to them, drawing the ire of staff who previously tolerated Parsons' occultism as harmless eccentricity; known to von Kármán as a "delightful screwball", he was frequently observed reciting Crowley's poem "Hymn to Pan" in an ecstatic manner compared to the preaching of Billy Graham during rocket tests—and on request at parties to their great amusement. They disapproved of his hesitancy to separate his vocations; Parsons became more rigorously engaged in Aerojet's day-to-day business in an effort to resolve this weariness, but the Agape Lodge soon came under investigation by both the Pasadena Police Department and the FBI. Both had received allegations of a "black magic cult" involved in sexual orgies; one complainant was a 16-year-old boy who said that he was raped by lodge members, while neighbors reported a ritual involving a naked pregnant woman jumping through fire. After Parsons explained that the Lodge was simply "an organization dedicated to religious and philosophical speculation", neither agency found evidence of illegal activity and came to the conclusion that the Lodge constituted no threat to national security.[88] Having been a long-term heavy user of alcohol and marijuana, Parsons now habitually used cocaine, amphetamines, peyote, mescaline, and opiates as well.[89][53] He continued to have sexual relations with multiple women, including McMurtry's fiancée Claire. When Parsons paid for her to have an abortion, McMurtry was angered and their friendship broke down.[90]

Crowley and Germer wanted to see Smith removed as head of the Agape Lodge, believing that he had become a bad influence on its members. Parsons and Helen wrote to them to defend their mentor but Germer ordered him to stand down; Parsons was appointed as temporary head of the Lodge.[91] Some veteran Lodge members disliked Parsons' influence, concerned that it encouraged excessive sexual polyandry that was religiously detrimental, but his charismatic orations at Lodge meetings assured his popularity among the majority of followers. Parsons soon created the Thelemite journal Oriflamme, in which he published his own poetry, but Crowley was unimpressed—particularly due to Parsons' descriptions of drug use—and the project was soon shelved.[92] Helen gave birth to Smith's son in April; the child was named Kwen Lanval Parsons.[93] Smith and Helen left with Kwen for a two-room cabin in Rainbow Valley in May.[94] Concurrently in England, Crowley undertook an astrological analysis of Smith's birth chart and came to the conclusion that Smith was the incarnation of a god, greatly altering his estimation of him. Smith remained skeptical as Crowley's analysis was seemingly deliberately devised in Parsons' favor, encouraging Smith to step down from his role in the Agape Lodge and instructing him to take a meditative retreat.[95] Refusing to take orders from Germer any more, Smith resigned from the O.T.O. Parsons—who remained sympathetic and friendly to Smith during the conflict and was weary of Crowley's "appalling egotism, bad taste, bad judgement, and pedanticism"—ceased lodge activities and resigned as its head, but withdrew his resignation after receiving a pacifying letter from Crowley.[96]By mid-1943 Aerojet was operating on a budget of $650,000. The same year Parsons and von Kármán traveled to Norfolk, Virginia on the invitation of Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox to consult on a new JATO contract for the U.S. Navy. Though JATOs were being mass-produced for military applications, JATO-propelled aircraft could not "keep up" with larger, bomber planes taking off from long aircraft carrier runways—which made Aerojet's industry at risk of becoming defunct.[97] Parsons demonstrated the efficacy of the newer JATOs to solve this issue by equipping a Grumman plane with solid-fuel units; its assisted takeoff from the USS Charger was successful, but produced smoke containing a noxious, yellow-colored residue. The Navy guaranteed Parsons a contract on the condition that this residue was removed; this led to the invention of Aeroplex, a technology for smokeless vapor trails developed at Aerojet by Parsons.[98]

As the U.S. became aware that Nazi Germany had developed the V-2 rocket, the military—following recommendations from von Kármán based upon research using British intelligence—placed a renewed impetus on its own rocket research, reinstating Qian to the GALCIT project. They gave the Group a $3 million grant to develop rocket-based weapons, and the Group was expanded and renamed the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).[99] By this point the Navy were ordering 20,000 JATOs a month from Aerojet, and in December 1944 Haley negotiated for the company to sell 51% of its stock to the General Tire and Rubber Company to cope with the increased demand. Aerojet's Caltech-linked employees—including Zwicky, Malina and Summerfield—would only agree to the sale on the condition that Parsons and Forman were removed from the company, viewing their occult activities as disreputable. JPL historian Erik M. Conway also attributes Parsons' expulsion to more practical concerns: he "still wanted to work in the same way as he'd done in his backyard, instinctive and without regard for safety".[71] Parsons and Forman were unfazed, informing Haley of their prediction that the rocket industry would become obsolete in the postwar age and seeing more financial incentive in starting a chain of laundromats. Haley persuaded them to sell their stock, resulting in Parsons leaving the company with $11,000.[100] With this money he bought the lease to 1003, which had come to be known as "the Parsonage" after him.[101]

L. Ron Hubbard and the Babalon Working: 1945–46
See also: L. Ron Hubbard § Occult involvement in Pasadena

Now disassociated from JPL and Aerojet, Parsons and Forman founded the Ad Astra Engineering Company, under which Parsons founded the chemical manufacturing Vulcan Powder Company.[102] Ad Astra was subject to an FBI investigation under suspicion of espionage when security agents from the Manhattan Project discovered that Parsons and Forman had procured a chemical used in a top secret project for a material known only as x-metal, but they were later acquitted of any wrongdoing.[103] Parsons continued to financially support Smith and Helen, although he asked for a divorce from her and ignored Crowley's commands by welcoming Smith back to the Parsonage when his retreat was finished.[104] Parsons continued to hold O.T.O. activities at the Parsonage but began renting rooms at the house to non-Thelemites, including journalist Nieson Himmel, Manhattan Project physicist Robert Cornog, and science fiction artist Louis Goldstone.[105] Parsons attracted controversy in Pasadena for his preferred clientele. Parsonage resident Alva Rogers recalled in a 1962 article for an occultist fanzine: "In the ads placed in the local paper Jack specified that only bohemians, artists, musicians, atheists, anarchists, or any other exotic types need to apply for rooms—any mundane soul would be unceremoniously rejected".[106]

Science fiction writer and U.S. Navy officer L. Ron Hubbard soon moved into the Parsonage; he and Parsons became close friends. Parsons wrote to Crowley that although Hubbard had "no formal training in Magick he has an extraordinary amount of experience and understanding in the field. From some of his experiences I deduce he is direct touch with some higher intelligence, possibly his Guardian Angel. ... He is the most Thelemic person I have ever met and is in complete accord with our own principles."[107]

Parsons and Sara were in an open relationship encouraged by the O.T.O.'s polyandrous sexual ethics, and she became enamored with Hubbard; Parsons, despite attempting to repress his passions, became intensely jealous.[108]Motivated to find a new partner through occult means, Parsons began to devote his energies to conducting black magic, causing concern among fellow O.T.O. members who believed that it was invoking troublesome spirits into the Parsonage; Jane Wolfe wrote to Crowley that "our own Jack is enamored with Witchcraft, the houmfort, voodoo. From the start he always wanted to evoke something—no matter what, I am inclined to think, as long as he got a result." He told the residents that he was imbuing statues in the house with a magical energy in order to sell them to fellow occultists.[109] Parsons reported paranormal events in the house resulting from the rituals; including poltergeist activity, sightings of orbs and ghostly apparitions, alchemical (sylphic) effect on the weather, and disembodied voices. Pendle suggested that Parsons was particularly susceptible to these interpretations and attributed the voices to a prank by Hubbard and Sara.[109] One ritual allegedly brought screaming banshees to the windows of the Parsonage, an incident that disturbed Forman for the rest of his life.[110] In December 1945 Parsons began a series of rituals based on Enochian magic during which he masturbated onto magical tablets, accompanied by Sergei Prokofiev's Second Violin Concerto. Describing this magical operation as the Babalon Working, he hoped to bring about the incarnation of Thelemite goddess Babalon onto Earth. He allowed Hubbard to take part as his "scribe", believing that he was particularly sensitive to detecting magical phenomena.[111] As described by Richard Metzger, "Parsons jerked off in the name of spiritual advancement" while Hubbard "scanned the astral plane for signs and visions."[112]

Their final ritual took place in the Mojave Desert in late February 1946, during which Parsons abruptly decided that his undertaking was complete. On returning to the Parsonage he discovered that Marjorie Cameron—an unemployed illustrator and former Navy WAVE—had come to visit. Believing her to be the "elemental" woman and manifestation of Babalon that he had invoked, in early March Parsons began performing sex magic rituals with Cameron, who acted as his "Scarlet Woman", while Hubbard continued to participate as the amanuensis. Unlike the rest of the household, Cameron knew nothing at first of Parsons' magical intentions: "I didn't know anything about the O.T.O., I didn't know that they had invoked me, I didn't know anything, but the whole house knew it. Everybody was watching to see what was going on."[113] Despite this ignorance and her skepticism about Parsons' magic, Cameron reported her sighting of a UFO to Parsons, who secretly recorded the sighting as a materialization of Babalon.[114]

Inspired by Crowley's novel Moonchild (1917), Parsons and Hubbard aimed to magically fertilize a "magical child" through immaculate conception, which when born to a woman somewhere on Earth nine months following the working's completion would become the Thelemic messiah embodying Babalon.[115][116] To quote Metzger, the purpose of the Babalon Working was "a daring attempt to shatter the boundaries of space and time" facilitating, according to Parsons, the emergence of Thelema's Æon of Horus.[112] When Cameron departed for a trip to New York, Parsons retreated to the desert, where he believed that a preternatural entity psychographically provided him with Liber 49, which represented a fourth part of Crowley's The Book of the Law, the primary sacred text of Thelema, as well as part of a new sacred text he called the Book of Babalon.[117] Crowley was bewildered and concerned by the endeavor, complaining to Germer of being "fairly frantic when I contemplate the idiocy of these louts!" Believing the Babalon Working was accomplished, Parsons sold the Parsonage to developers for $25,000 under the condition that he and Cameron could continue to live in the coach house, and he appointed Roy Leffingwell to head the Agape Lodge, which would now have to meet elsewhere for its rituals.[118]

Parsons co-founded a company called Allied Enterprises with Hubbard and Sara, into which Parsons invested his life savings of $20,970. Hubbard suggested that with this money they travel to Miami to purchase three yachts, which they would then sail through the Panama Canal to the West Coast, where they could sell them on for a profit. Parsons agreed, but many of his friends thought it was a bad idea. Hubbard had secretly requested permission from the U.S. Navy to sail to China and South and Central America on a mission to "collect writing material"; his real plans were for a world cruise. Left "flat broke" by this defrauding, Parsons was incensed when he discovered that Hubbard and Sara had left for Miami with $10,000 of the money; he suspected a scam but was placated by a telephone call from Hubbard and agreed to remain business partners. When Crowley, in a telegram to Germer, dismissed Parsons as a "weak fool" and victim to Hubbard and Sara's obvious confidence trick, Parsons changed his mind, flew to Miami and placed a temporary injunction and restraining order on them. Upon tracking them down to a harbor in County Causeway, Parsons discovered that the couple had purchased three yachts as planned; they tried to flee aboard one but hit a squall and were forced to return to port. Parsons was convinced that he had brought them to shore through a lesser banishing ritual of the pentagram containing an astrological, geomantic invocation of Bartzabel—a vengeful spirit of Mars. Allied Enterprises was dissolved and in a court settlement Hubbard was required to promise to reimburse Parsons. Parsons was discouraged from taking further action by Sara, who threatened to report him for statutory rape since their sexual relationship took place when she was under California's age of consent of 18. Parsons was ultimately compensated with only $2,900. Hubbard, already married to Margaret Grubb, bigamously married Sara and went on to found Dianetics and Scientology.[119]

The Sunday Times published an article about Hubbard's involvement with the O.T.O. and Parsons' occult activities in December 1969. In response, the Church of Scientology released an unsubstantiated press statement which said that Hubbard had been sent as an undercover agent by the U.S. Navy to intercept and destroy Parsons' "black magic cult", and save Sara from its influence. The Church also stated that Robert A. Heinlein was the clandestine Navy operative who "sent in" Hubbard to undertake this operation.[120] Returning to California, Parsons completed the sale of the Parsonage, which was then demolished, and resigned from the O.T.O. He wrote in his letter to Crowley that he did not believe that "as an autocratic organization, [the O.T.O.] constitutes a true and proper medium for the expression and attainment" of Thelema.[121]

 Jack Parsons worked for Israelis and espionage accusations: 1946–52

Parsons was employed by North American Aviation at Inglewood, where he worked on the Navaho Missile Program.[122] He and Cameron moved into a house in Manhattan Beach, where he instructed her in occultism and esotericism.[123]When Cameron developed catalepsy, Parsons referred her to Sylvan Muldoon's books on astral projection, suggesting that she could manipulate her seizures to accomplish it.[124] They were married on October 19, 1946, four days after his divorce from Helen was finalized, with Forman as their witness.[125] Parsons continued to be seen as a specialist in rocketry; he acted as an expert consultant in numerous industrial tribunals and police and Army Ordnance investigations regarding explosions. In May 1947, Parsons gave a talk at the Pacific Rocket Society in which he predicted that rockets would take humans to the Moon.[126] Although he had become distant from the now largely defunct O.T.O. and had sold much of his Crowleyan library, he continued to correspond with Crowley until the latter's death in December 1947.[127]

At the emergence of the Cold War, a Red Scare developed in the U.S. as the Congressional House Un-American Activities Committee began investigating and obstructing the careers of people with perceived communist sympathies. Many of Parsons' former colleagues lost their security clearances and jobs as a result, and eventually the FBI stripped Parsons of his clearance because of his "subversive" character, including his involvement in and advocacy of "sexual perversion" in the O.T.O. He speculated in a June 1949 letter to Germer that his clearance was revoked in response to his public dissemination of Crowley's Liber OZ, a 1941 tract summarizing the individualist moral principles of Thelema. Declassified FBI documents later revealed that the FBI's primary concern was Parsons' former connections to Marxists at Caltech and his membership of the also "subversive" ACLU. When they interviewed Parsons he denied communist sympathies but informed them of Sidney Weinbaum's "extreme communist views" and Frank Malina's involvement in Weinbaum's communist cell at Caltech, which resulted in Weinbaum's arrest for perjury since he had lied under oath by denying any involvement in communist groups. Malina's security clearance was withdrawn as well. In reaction to this hostile treatment, Parsons sought work in the rocket industry abroad. He sought advice to do so in correspondence with von Kármán; whose advice he followed by enrolling in an evening course in advanced mathematics at USC to bolster his employability in the field—but again he neglected attendance and failed the course.[128] Parsons again resorted to bootlegging nitroglycerin for money, and managed to earn a wage as a car mechanic, a manual laborer at a gas station, and a hospital orderly; for two years he was also a faculty member at the USC Department of Pharmacology.[129]Relations between Parsons and Cameron became strained; they agreed to a temporary separation and she moved to Mexico to join an artists' commune in San Miguel de Allende.[130]

Unable to pursue his scientific career, without his wife and devoid of friendship, Parsons decided to return to occultism and embarked on sexually based magical operations with prostitutes. He was intent, informally following the ritualistic practice of Thelemite organization the A∴A∴, on performing "the Crossing of the Abyss", attaining union with the universal consciousness, or "All" as understood in Thelemic mysticism, and becoming the "Master of the Temple".[131] Following his apparent success in doing so, Parsons recounted having an out-of-body experience invoked by Babalon, who astrally transported him to the biblical City of Chorazin, an experience he referred to as a "Black Pilgrimage". Accompanying Parsons' "Oath of the Abyss" was his own "Oath of the AntiChrist", which was witnessed by Wilfred Talbot Smith. In this oath, Parsons professed to embody an entity named Belarion Armillus Al Dajjal, the Antichrist "who am come to fulfill the law of the Beast 666 [Aleister Crowley]".[131] Viewing these oaths as the completion of the Babalon Working, Parsons wrote an illeist autobiography titled Analysis by a Master of the Temple and an occult text titled The Book of AntiChrist. In the latter work, Parsons (writing as Belarion) prophesied that within nine years Babalon would manifest on Earth and supersede the dominance of the Abrahamic religions.[132]

During this period, Parsons also wrote an essay on his individualist philosophy and politics—which he described as standing for "liberalism and liberal principles"—titled "Freedom is a Two-Edged Sword", in which he condemned the authoritarianism, censorship, corruption, antisexualism and racism he saw as prevalent in American society.[131] None of these works were published in his lifetime. Through Heinlein, Parsons received a visit from writer L. Sprague de Camp, with whom he discussed magic and science fiction, and disclosed that Hubbard had sent a letter offering him Sara back. De Camp later referred to Parsons as "An authentic mad genius if I ever met one", and based the character Courtney James on him in his time travel story A Gun for Dinosaur (1956). Parsons was also visited by Jane Wolfe, who unsuccessfully appealed for him to rejoin the dilapidated O.T.O. He entered a brief relationship with an Irishwoman named Gladis Gohan; they moved to a house on Redondo Beach, a building known by them as the "Concrete Castle".[133][127]Cameron returned to Redondo Beach from San Miguel de Allende and violently argued with Parsons upon discovering his infidelity, before she again left for Mexico. Parsons responded by initiating divorce proceedings against her on the grounds of "extreme cruelty".[134]

Parsons testified to a closed federal court that the moral philosophy of Thelema was both anti-fascist and anti-communist, emphasizing his belief in individualism. This along with references from his scientific colleagues resulted in his security clearance being reinstated by the Industrial Employment Review Board, which ruled that there was insufficient evidence that he had ever had communist sympathies. This allowed Parsons to obtain a contract in designing and constructing a chemical plant for the Hughes Aircraft Company in Culver City.[135] Von Kármán put Parsons in touch with Herbert T. Rosenfeld, President of the Southern Californian chapter of the American Technion Society—a Zionistgroup dedicated to supporting the newly created State of Israel. Rosenfeld offered Parsons a job with the Israeli rocket program and hired him to produce technical reports for them.[136] In November 1950, as the Red Scare intensified, Parsons decided to migrate to Israel to pursue Rosenfeld's offer, but a Hughes secretary whom Parsons had asked to type up a portfolio of technical documents reported him to the FBI. She accused Parsons of espionage and attempted theft of classified company documents on the basis of some of the reports that he had sought to submit to the Technion Society.[137]

Parsons was immediately fired from Hughes; the FBI investigated the complaint and were suspicious that Parsons was spying for the Israeli government. Parsons denied the allegations when interrogated; he insisted that his intentions were peaceful and that he had suffered an error of judgment in procuring the documents. Some of Parsons' scientific colleagues rallied to his defense, but the case against him worsened when the FBI investigated Rosenfeld for being linked to Soviet agents, and more accounts of his occult and sexually permissive activities at the Parsonage came to light. In October 1951 the U.S. attorney decided that because the contents of the reports did not constitute state secrets, Parsons was not guilty of espionage.[137][138]

The Review Board still considered Parsons a liability because of his historical Marxist affiliations and investigations by the FBI, and in January 1952 they permanently reinstated their ban on his working for classified projects, effectively prohibiting him from working in rocketry.[139] To make a living he founded the Parsons Chemical Manufacturing Company, which was based in North Hollywood and created pyrotechnics and explosives such as fog effects and imitation gunshot wounds for the film industry, and he also returned to chemical manufacturing at the Bermite Powder Company in Saugus.[140][141]

Parsons reconciled with Cameron, and they resumed their relationship and moved into a former coach house on Orange Grove Avenue. Parsons converted its large, first-floor laundry room into a home laboratory to work on his chemical and pyrotechnic projects, homebrew absinthe and stockpile his materials.[143] They let out the upstairs bedrooms and began holding parties that were attended largely by bohemians and members of the Beat Generation, along with old friends including Forman, Malina and Cornog. They also congregated at the home of Andrew Haley, who lived on the same street. Though Parsons in his mid-thirties was a "prewar relic" to the younger attendees, the raucous socials often lasted until dawn and frequently attracted police attention.[144] Parsons also founded a new Thelemite group known as "the Witchcraft", whose beliefs revolved around a simplified version of Crowley's Thelema and Parsons' own Babalon prophecies. He offered a course in its teachings for a ten dollar fee, which included a new Thelemic belief system called "the Gnosis", a version of Christian Gnosticism with Sophia as its godhead and the Christian God as its demiurge. He also collaborated with Cameron on Songs for the Witch Woman, a collection of poems which she illustrated that was published in 2014.[145][146]

Death of Jack Parsons in  1952
Parsons and Cameron decided to travel to Mexico for a few months, both for a vacation and for Parsons to take up a job opportunity establishing an explosives factory for the Mexican government. They hoped that this would facilitate a move to Israel, where they could start a family, and where Parsons could bypass the U.S. government to recommence his rocketry career. He was particularly disturbed by the presence of the FBI, convinced that they were spying on him.[147]

On June 17, 1952, a day before their planned departure, Parsons received a rush order of explosives for a film set and began to work on it in his home laboratory.[148] An explosion destroyed the lower part of the building, during which Parsons sustained mortal wounds. His right forearm was amputated, his legs and left arm were broken and a hole was torn in the right side of his face.[149] Despite these critical injuries, Parsons was found conscious by the upstairs lodgers. He tried to communicate with the arriving ambulance workers, who rushed him to the Huntington Memorial Hospital, where he was declared dead approximately thirty-seven minutes after the explosion.[149] When his mother, Ruth, was informed of the events, she immediately took a fatal overdose of barbiturates. Cameron learned of her husband's death from reporters at the scene when she returned home from grocery shopping.[150][50]

Pasadena Police Department criminologist Don Harding led the official investigation; he concluded that Parsons had been mixing fulminate of mercury in a coffee can when he dropped it on the floor, causing the initial explosion, which worsened when it came into contact with other chemicals in the room.[151] Forman considered this likely, stating that Parsons often had sweaty hands and could easily have dropped the can.[152] Some of Parsons' colleagues rejected this explanation, saying that he was very attentive about safety. Two colleagues from the Bermite Powder Company described Parsons' work habits as "scrupulously neat" and "exceptionally cautious". The latter statement—from chemical engineer George Santymers—insisted that the explosion must have come from beneath the floorboards, implying an organized plot to kill Parsons. Harding accepted that these inconsistencies were "incongruous" but described the manner in which Parsons had stored his chemicals as "criminally negligent", and noted that Parsons had previously been investigated by the police for illegally storing chemicals at the Parsonage. He also found a morphine-filled syringe at the scene, suggesting that Parsons was narcotized. The police saw insufficient evidence to continue the investigation and closed the case as an accidental death.[153]

Both Wolfe and Smith suggested that Parsons' death had been suicide, stating that he had suffered from depression for some time. Others theorized that the explosion was an assassination planned by Howard Hughes in response to Parsons' suspected theft of Hughes Aircraft Company documents.[155] Cameron became convinced that Parsons had been murdered — either by police officers seeking vengeance for his role in the conviction of Earl Kynette or by anti-Zionists opposed to his work for Israel.[156] One of Cameron's friends, the artist Renate Druks, later stated her belief that Parsons had died in a rite designed to create a homunculus.[157] His death has never been definitively explained.[158]
The immediate aftermath of the explosion attracted the interest of the U.S. media, making headline news in the Los Angeles Times. These initial reports focused on Parsons' prominence in rocketry but neglected to mention his occult interests. When asked for comment, Aerojet secretary-treasurer T.E. Beehan said that Parsons "liked to wander, but he was one of the top men in the field".[159] Within a few days, journalists had discovered his involvement in Thelema and emphasized this in their reports.[159]
A private prayer service was held for Parsons at the funeral home where his body was cremated. Cameron scattered his ashes in the Mojave Desert, before burning most of his possessions.[160] She later tried to perform astral projection to commune with him.[161] The O.T.O. also held a memorial service—with attendees including Helen and Sara—at which Smith led the Gnostic Mass.[162]

Personal Life of Jack PARSONS
Personality

Parsons was considered effeminate as a child; in adult life he exhibited an attitude of machismo.[163] His FBI file described him as "potentially bisexual" and he once expressed experiencing a latent homosexuality.[62] The actor Paul Mathison said he had had a gay relationship with Parsons in the 1950s, though this was disputed by others who knew him and Cameron.[164] Parsons had the reputation of being a womanizer, and was notorious for frequently flirting and having sexual liaisons with female staff members at JPL and Aerojet.[165][166] He was also known for personal eccentricity such as greeting house guests with a large pet snake around his neck, driving to work in a rundown Pontiac, and using a mannequin dressed in a tuxedo with a bucket labelled "The Resident" as his mailbox.[30][167]
As well as a fencing and archery enthusiast, Parsons was also a keen shooter; he often hunted jack rabbits and cotton tails in the desert, and was amused by mock dueling with Forman while on test sites with rifles and shotguns. Upon proposing to his first wife Helen, he gifted her a pistol.[30][163][168] Parsons enjoyed playing pranks on his colleagues, often through detonating explosives such as firecrackers and smoke bombs,[169] and was known to spend hours at a time in the bathtub playing with toy boats while living at the Parsonage.[170]
As well as intense bursts of creativity, Parsons suffered from what he described as "manic hysteria and depressing melancholy."[171] His father Marvel, after suffering a near-fatal heart attack, died in 1947 as a psychiatric patient at St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington D.C. diagnosed with severe clinical depression, a condition Pendle suggested the younger Parsons inherited.[172]

Professional associations
Parsons' obituary listed him as a member of the Army Ordnance Association, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the American Chemical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and—despite his lack of an academic degree—the Sigma Xi fraternity. It also stated that he had turned down several honorary degrees.[173]

Philosophy
Religious beliefs
Parsons adhered to the occult philosophy of Thelema, which had been founded in 1904 by the English occultist Aleister Crowley following a spiritual revelation that he had in Cairo, Egypt, when—according to Crowley's accounts—a spirit being known as Aiwass dictated to him a prophetic text known as The Book of the Law.[175] Prior to becoming aware of Thelema and Crowley, Parsons' interest in esotericism was developed through his reading of The Golden Bough (1890), a work in comparative mythology by Scottish social anthropologist James George Frazer.[176] Parsons had also attended lectures on Theosophy by philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti with his first wife Helen, but disliked the belief system's sentiment of "the good and the true".[177] During rocket tests, Parsons often recited Crowley's poem "Hymn to Pan" as a good luck charm.[166] He took to addressing Crowley as his "Most Beloved Father" and signed off to him as "thy son, John".[178]

In July 1945, Parsons gave a speech to the Agape Lodge, in which he attempted to explain how he felt that The Book of the Law could be made relevant to "modern life". In this speech, which was subsequently published under the title of "Doing Your Will", he examined the Thelemite conceptof True Will, writing thaThe mainspring of an individual is his creative Will. This Will is the sum of his tendencies, his destiny, his inner truth. It is one with the force that makes the birds sing and flowers bloom; as inevitable as gravity, as implicit as a bowel movement, it informs alike atoms and men and suns.

To the man who knows this Will, there is no why or why not, no can or cannot; he is!

There is no known force that can turn an apple into an alley cat; there is no known force that can turn a man from his Will. This is the triumph of genius; that, surviving the centuries, enlightens the world.

This force burns in every man.[179]

Parsons identified four obstacles that prevented humans from achieving and performing their True Will, all of which he connected with fear: the fear of incompetence, the fear of the opinion of others, the fear of hurting others, and the fear of insecurity. He insisted that these must be overcome, writing that "The Will must be freed of its fetters. The ruthless examination and destruction of taboos, complexes, frustrations, dislikes, fears and disgusts hostile to the Will is essential to progress."[180]

Though Parsons was a lifelong devotee to Thelema, he grew weary of and eventually left the Ordo Templi Orientis—the religious organization that began propagating Thelema under Crowley's leadership from the 1910s—which Parsons viewed, despite the disagreement of Crowley himself, as excessively hierarchical and impeding upon the rigorous spiritual and philosophical practice of True Will, describing the O.T.O. as "an excellent training school for adepts, but hardly an appropriate Order for the manifestation of Thelema". In this sense Parsons was described by Carter as an "almost fundamentalist" Thelemite who placed The Book of the Law's dogma above all other doctrine.[132][181]

Politics

From early on in his career, Parsons took an interest in socialism and communism,[183] views that he shared with his friend Frank Malina.[184] Under the influence of another friend, Sidney Weinbaum, the two joined a communist group in the late 1930s, with Parsons reading Marxist literature, but he remained unconvinced and refused to join the American Communist Party.[55] Malina asserted that this was because Parsons was a "political romantic", whose attitude was more anti-authoritarian than anti-capitalist.[185] Parsons later became critical of the Marxist–Leninist government of the Soviet Union led by Joseph Stalin, sarcastically commenting that

The dictatorship of the proletariat is merely temporary—the state will eventually wither away like a snark hunter, leaving us all free as birds. Meanwhile it may be necessary to kill, torture and imprison a few million people, but whose fault is it if they get in the way of progress?[186]

During the era of McCarthyism and the Second Red Scare in the early 1950s, Parsons was questioned regarding his former links to the communist movement, by which time he denied any connection to it, instead describing himself as "an individualist" who was both anti-communist and anti-fascist.[187] In reaction to the McCarthyite red-baiting of scientists, he expressed disdain that

Science, that was going to save the world in H. G. Wells' time is regimented, straight-jacked, [and] scared shitless, its universal language diminished to one word, security.[188]

Parsons was politically influenced by Thelema—which holds to the ethical code of "Do what thou wilt"—equating this principle to the libertarian views of some of the Founding Fathers of the United States in his article "Freedom is a Lonely Star", writing that by his own time these values had been "sold out by America, and for that reason the heart of America is sick and the soul of America is dead."[189] He proceeded to criticize many aspects of contemporary U.S. society, particularly the police force, remarking that "The police mind is usually of a sadistic and homicidal trend" and noting that they carried out the "ruthless punishment of symbolic scapegoats" such as African-Americans, prostitutes, alcoholics, homeless people and sociopolitical radicals, under the pretense of a country that upheld "liberty and justice for all."[190]

To bring about a freer future Parsons believed in liberalizing attitudes to sexual morality stating that, in his belief, the publication of the Kinsey report and development of the psychonautical sciences had as significant an influence on Western society as the creation of the atomic bomb and the development of nuclear physics. He also believed that in the future the restrictions on sexual morality within society should be abolished in order to bring about greater freedom and individuality. Parsons concluded that

the liberty of the individual is the foundation of civilization. No true civilization is possible without this liberty and no state, national or international, is stable in its absence. The proper relation between individual liberty on the one hand and social responsibility on the other is the balance which will assure a stable society. The only other road to social equilibrium demands the total annihilation of individuality. There is not further evasion of nature's immemorial ultimatum: change or perish but the choice of change is ours.[191]

Jack Cashill, American studies professor at Purdue University, argues that "Although his literary career never got much beyond pamphleteering and an untitled anti-war, anti-capitalist manuscript", Parsons played a significant role—greater than that of Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey—in shaping the Californian counterculture of the 1960s and beyond through his influence on contemporaries such as Hubbard and Heinlein.[192] Hugh Urban, religious studies professor at Ohio State University, cites Parsons' Witchcraft group as precipitating the neopagan revival of the 1950s.[116][193]

Science fiction writer and occultist Robert Anton Wilson described Parsons' political writings as exemplifying an "ultra-individualist" who exhibited a "genuine sympathy for working people", strongly empathized with feminism and held an antipathy toward patriarchycomparable to that of John Stuart Mill, arguing in this context that Parsons was an influence on the American libertarian and anarchist movements of the 20th century.[194] Parsons was also supportive of the creation of the State of Israel, making plans to emigrate there when his military security clearance was revoked.[183]

 

Legacy and Influence of Jack Parsons

In the decades following his death, Parsons was well remembered among the Western esoteric community; his scientific recognition frequently amounted to a footnote.[195] For instance, English Thelemite Kenneth Grant suggested that Parsons' Babalon Working marked the start of the appearance of flying saucers in the skies, leading to phenomena such as the Roswell UFO incident and Kenneth Arnold UFO sighting.[196] Cameron postulated that the 1952 Washington, D.C. UFO incident was a spiritual reaction to Parsons' death.[161] In 1954 she portrayed Babalon in American Thelemite Kenneth Anger's short film Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome, viewing this cinematic depiction of a Thelemic ritual as aiding the literal invocation of Babalon begun by Parsons' working, and later said that his Book of the AntiChrist prophecies were fulfilled through the manifestation of Babalon in her person.[197][198]

In December 1958 JPL was integrated into the newly established National Aeronautics and Space Administration, after having built the Explorer 1 satellite that commenced America's Space Race with the Soviet Union.[199] Aerojet was contracted by NASA to build the main engine of the Apollo Command/Service Module, and the Space Shuttle Orbital Maneuvering System.[71] In a letter to Frank Malina, von Kármán ranked Parsons first in a list of figures he viewed as most important to modern rocketry and the foundation of the American space program.[200] According to Richard Metzger, Wernher von Braun—who was nicknamed "The Father of Rocket Science"—once argued that Parsons was more worthy of this moniker.[112] In October 1968 Malina, a pioneer in sounding rocketry, gave a speech at JPL in which he highlighted Parsons' contribution to the U.S. rocket project, and lamented how it had come to be neglected, crediting him for making "key contributions to the development of storable propellants and of long duration solid propellant agents that play such an important role in American and European space technology."[201]

The same month JPL held an open access event to mark the 32nd anniversary of its foundation—which featured a "nativity scene" of mannequins reconstructing the November 1936 photograph of the GALCIT Group—and erected a monument commemorating their first rocket test on Halloween 1936.[25] Among the aerospace industry, JPL was nicknamed as standing for "Jack Parsons' Laboratory" or "Jack Parsons Lives".[158] The International Astronomical Union decided to name a crater on the far side of the Moon Parsons after him in 1972.[202] JPL later credited him for making "distinctive technical innovations that advanced early efforts" in rocket engineering, with aerospace journalist Craig Covault stating that the work of Parsons, Qian Xuesen and the GALCIT Group "planted the seeds for JPL to become preeminent in space and rocketry."[20][203]

Many of Parsons' writings were posthumously published as Freedom is a Two-Edged Sword in 1989, a compilation co-edited by Cameron and O.T.O. leader Hymenaeus Beta (ceremonial name of musician William Breeze), which incited a resurgence of interest in Parsons within occult and countercultural circles.[204] For example, comic book artist and occultist Alan Moore noted Parsons as a creative influence in a 1998 interview with Clifford Meth.[205] The Cameron-Parsons Foundation was founded as an incorporated company in 2006, with the intention of conserving and promoting Parsons' writings and Cameron's artwork,[206] and in 2014 Fulger Esoterica published Songs for the Witch Woman—a limited edition book of poems by Parsons with illustrations by Cameron, released to coincide with his centenary. An exhibition of the same name was held at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.[146]

In 1999 Feral House published the biography Sex and Rockets: The Occult World of Jack Parsons by John Carter, who expressed the opinion that Parsons had accomplished more in under five years of research than Robert H. Goddard had in his lifetime, and said that his role in the development of rocket technology had been neglected by historians of science;[200] Carter thought that Parsons' abilities and accomplishments as an occultist had been overestimated and exaggerated among Western esotericists, emphasizing his disowning by Crowley for practicing magic beyond his grade.[207] Feral House republished the work as a new edition in 2004, accompanied with an introduction by Robert Anton Wilson. Wilson believed that Parsons was "the one single individual who contributed the most to rocket science",[208] describing him as being "very strange, very brilliant, very funny, [and] very tormented",[209] and considering it noteworthy that the day of Parsons' birth was the predicted beginning of the apocalypse advocated by Charles Taze Russell, the founder of the Bible Student movement.[210]

A second biography of Parsons was published in 2005 through Weidenfeld & Nicolson with the title Strange Angel: The Otherworldly Life of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parsons; it was written by George Pendle, who described Parsons as "the Che Guevara of occultism" and said that although Parsons "would not live to see his dream of space travel come true, he was essential to making it a reality."[211][112] Pendle considered that the cultural stigma attached to Parsons' occultism was the primary cause of his low public profile, noting that "Like many scientific mavericks, Parsons was eventually discarded by the establishment once he had served his purpose." It was this unorthodox mindset, creatively facilitated by his science fiction fandom and "willingness to believe in magic's efficacy", Pendle argued, "that allowed him to break scientific barriers previously thought to be indestructible"—commenting that Parsons "saw both space and magic as ways of exploring these new frontiers—one breaking free from Earth literally and metaphysically."[212][213]

L. Ron Hubbard's role in Parsons' Agape Lodge and the ensuing yacht scam were explored in Russell Miller's 1987 Hubbard biography Bare-faced Messiah. Parsons' involvement in the Agape Lodge were also discussed by Martin P. Starr in his history of the American Thelemite movement, The Unknown God: W.T. Smith and the Thelemites, published by Teitan Press in 2003.[214] The QI Book of the Dead (2004), based on the BBC game show, included a Parsons obituary. Parsons' occult partnership with Hubbard was also mentioned in Alex Gibney's 2015 documentary film Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, produced by HBO.[215]

Before his death, Parsons appeared in science fiction writer Anthony Boucher's murder-mystery novel Rocket to the Morgue (1942) under the guise of mad scientist character Hugo Chantrelle.[216] Another fictional character based on Parsons was Courtney James, a wealthy socialite who features in L. Sprague de Camp's 1956 short time travel story A Gun for Dinosaur.[217] In 2005 Pasadena Babalon, a stage play about Parsons written by George D. Morgan and directed by Brian Brophy, premiered at Caltech as a production by its theater Arts Group in 2010, the same year Cellar Door Publishing released Richard Carbonneau and Robin Simon Ng's graphic novel, The Marvel: A Biography of Jack Parsons.[218][219] In 2012 the Science Channel broadcast a documentary dramatization titled Magical Jet Propulsion in an episode of its Dark Matters: Twisted But True television series. Parsons was portrayed by English actor Adam Howden. Independent record label Drag City released Parsons' Blues, an instrumental tribute single by experimental rock act Six Organs of Admittance.[220][221]

In 2014 AMC Networks announced plans for a serial television dramatization of Parsons' life,[222] but in 2016 it was reported that the series "will not be going forward."[223] In 2017 the project was adopted as a web television series by CBS All Access. Strange Angel, produced by Mark Heyman and starring Irish actor Jack Reynor, premiered in June 2018.

In 2018 Parsons was featured in an episode of the Amazon series Lore.

Patents

U.S. Patent 2,484,355
U.S. Patent 2,563,265
U.S. Patent 2,573,471
U.S. Patent 2,693,077
U.S. Patent 2,771,739
U.S. Patent 2,774,214
U.S. Patent 2,783,138

See Also

Chaos magic
New Age
Quantum mysticism
Scientology and the occult
UFO religion

Notes

 Parsons' name was never formally changed. Although legal documents referred to him as John, the obituary at his funeral used his birth name, and his death certificate refers to him as "Marvel aka John". (Carter 2004, pp. 2, 182, 199).refers to him as "Marvel aka John". (Carter 2004, pp. 2, 182, 199).

References

Footnotes

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^ Carter 2004, p. 1; Pendle 2005, p. 26.
^ Pendle 2005, p. 1.
^ Carter 2004, pp. 1–2; Pendle 2005, pp. 26–27.
^ Pendle 2005, pp. 103–105i.
^ Carter 2004, p. 2.
^ Carter 2004, pp. 2–3; Pendle 2005, p. 28.
^ Jump up to:a b c Pendle 2005, pp. 33–40.
^ Pendle 2005, pp. 42–43.
^ Jump up to:a b Carter 2004, pp. 4–5; Pendle 2005, pp. 44–47.
^ Jump up to:a b Keane, Phillip (August 2, 2013). "Jack Parsons and the Occult Roots of JPL". spacesafetymagazine.com. International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
^ Eng, Christina (February 20, 2005). "It took a rocket scientist / Research pioneer also delved into the occult". sfgate.com. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
^ Carter 2004, p. 4; Pendle 2005, p. 46.
^ Pendle 2005, pp. 47, 182.
^ Carter 2004, p. 5; Pendle 2005, pp. 56–57.
^ Carter 2004, p. 6; Pendle 2005, pp. 57–59.
^ Carter 2004, p. 6; Pendle 2005, pp. 59–60.
^ Carter 2004, p. 6; Pendle 2005, pp. 60–61.
^ Pendle 2005, pp. 54–55.
^ Jump up to:a b "JPL 101" (PDF). jpl.nasa.gov. Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology. 2002. Retrieved January 18, 2015.
^ Carter 2004, p. 7; Pendle 2005, p. 61.
^ Carter 2004, p. 6; Pendle 2005, p. 61.
^ Pendle 2005, pp. 62–64.
^ Carter 2004, p. 209: John Parsons in dark vest, Ed Forman bending over in white shirt; Frank Malina is probably the individual bending over in the light-colored vest.
^ Jump up to:a b Carter 2004, p. 15.
^ Conway, Erik M. (2007). "From Rockets to Spacecraft: Making JPL a Place for Planetary Science" (PDF). calteches.library.caltech.edu. California Institute of Technology. Retrieved March 22, 2014.
^ Terrall, Mary (December 14, 1978). "Interview With Frank J. Malina". oralhistories.library.caltech.edu. California Institute of Technology. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 July 2008. Retrieved May 17, 2014.
^ Carter 2004, p. 8–9; Pendle 2005, pp. 74–76.
^ "Leonardo's Strange Angel: Behind the Scenes with Jack Parsons and Frank Malina". Leonardo/ISAST. 2018-06-11. Retrieved 2018-06-14.
^ Jump up to:a b c Pendle, George (January 2, 2015). "The Last of the Magicians". motherboard.vice.com. Vice Media. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
^ Carter 2004, p. 10; Pendle 2005, pp. 77–83.
^ Jump up to:a b Malina, Frank J. (November 1968). "The Rocket Pioneers" (PDF). calteches.library.caltech.edu. California Institute of Technology. pp. 8–13.
^ Landis, Geoffrey (2005). "The Three Rocketeers". americanscientist.org. Sigma Xi. Retrieved March 22, 2014.
^ Carter 2004, p. 22–24; Pendle 2005, pp. 90–93, 118–120.
^ Carter 2004, p. 7; Pendle 2005, pp. 84–89.
^ Carter 2004, p. 7; Pendle 2005, p. 89.
^ Pendle 2005, pp. 105–106.
^ Carter 2004, p. 12; Pendle 2005, pp. 96–98.
^ Carter 2004, p. 12; Pendle 2005, p. 99.
^ Jump up to:a b c Carter 2004, p. 72; Pendle 2005, pp. 196–199.
^ "The Spark of a New Era". jpl.nasa.gov. NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. October 25, 2006. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
^ Carter 2004, p. 16.
^ Carter 2004, p. 15–16; Pendle 2005, pp. 98–103.
^ Carter 2004, p. 17; Pendle 2005, p. 103.
^ "Early History > First Rocket Test". jpl.nasa.gov. NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
^ "GALCIT History (1921–1940)". California Institute of Technology. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
^ Carter 2004, p. 17; Pendle 2005, pp. 106–107.
^ Carter 2004, pp. 17–18; Pendle 2005, pp. 108–111.
^ Carter 2004, pp. 26–28; Pendle 2005, pp. 114–116.
^ Jump up to:a b Harnisch, Larry (May 7, 2008). "Jack Parsons, RIP". latimesblogs.latimes.com. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
^ Pendle 2005, pp. 112, 314.
^ Westwick 2007, p. 1.
^ Jump up to:a b Rasmussen, Cecilia (March 19, 2000). "Life as Satanist Propelled Rocketeer". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
^ Carter 2004, pp. 57–60; Pendle 2005, pp. 126–127.
^ Jump up to:a b Pendle 2005, pp. 120–123.
^ Pendle 2005, p. 130.
^ Starr 2003, pp. 257–258; Carter 2004, p. 33–36; Pendle 2005, pp. 133–136.
^ Jump up to:a b Pendle 2005, p. 152.
^ Starr 2003, p. 266; Carter 2004, p. 41; Pendle 2005, pp. 169–172; Kaczynski 2010, p. 513.
^ Starr 2003, p. 263; Carter 2004, p. 56; Pendle 2005, p. 172.
^ Jump up to:a b Starr 2003, p. 263.
^ Jump up to:a b Carter 2004, p. 56.
^ Pendle 2005, p. 172.
^ Pendle 2005, p. 173.
^ Carter 2004, pp. 30–32; Pendle 2005, pp. 156–158.
^ Carter 2004, pp. 32–33, 48; Pendle 2005, pp. 158–166.
^ Pendle 2005, pp. 158–166.
^ Pendle 2005, p. 48.
^ Pendle 2005, pp. 166–167.
^ Carter 2004, pp. 70–71; Pendle 2005, pp. 186–187.
^ Jump up to:a b c d Andrews, Crispin (October 13, 2014). "Geek spirit: The man who kick-started the US rocket programme". Institution of Engineering and Technology. Retrieved October 19, 2014.
^ Carter 2004, pp. 65–66; Pendle 2005, pp. 177–184.
^ Pendle 2005, pp. 184–185.
^ US patent 2573471, Malina, Frank J. and Parsons, John W., "Reaction motor operable by liquid propellants and method of operating it", issued 1951-10-30 Retrieved November 10, 2014.
^ Carter 2004, pp. 70–75; Pendle 2005, pp. 189–191.
^ "Company History". rocket.com. Aerojet Rocketdyne. Retrieved April 30, 2014.
^ US patent 2563265, Parsons, John W., "Rocket motor with solid propellant and propellant charge therefor", issued 1951-08-07 Retrieved November 10, 2014.
^ Carter 2004, pp. 73–76; Pendle 2005, pp. 191–192.
^ Carter 2004, p. 76; Pendle 2005, pp. 223–226.
^ Pendle 2005, pp. 198, 203.
^ Pendle 2005, pp. 228–230.
^ Starr 2003, p. 274; Carter 2004, pp. 93–94; Pendle 2005, pp. 203–205; Kaczynski 2010, p. 537.
^ Starr 2003, p. 274; Pendle 2005, pp. 203–205.
^ Starr 2003, pp. 271–273, 276; Carter 2004, pp. 83–84; Pendle 2005, pp. 207–210; Kaczynski 2010, p. 521.
^ Carter 2004, p. 84; Pendle 2005, pp. 209–210; Miller 2014, p. 117.
^ Pendle 2005, p. 218.
^ Pendle 2005, pp. 212–213.
^ Starr 2003, pp. 283–285; Carter 2004, pp. 87–88; Pendle 2005, pp. 214–215; Kaczynski 2010, p. 525.
^ Pendle 2005, p. 216.
^ Pendle 2005, p. 215.
^ Starr 2003, pp. 278, 280–282; Pendle 2005, pp. 216–217, 220; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 524–525.
^ Parsons 2008, pp. 217–219.
^ Starr 2003, p. 289; Carter 2004, p. 88; Pendle 2005, p. 221.
^ Starr 2003, pp. 290–291; Carter 2004, pp. 92–93; Pendle 2005, pp. 221–222.
^ Starr 2003, pp. 294–298; Carter 2004, pp. 90–91; Pendle 2005, pp. 221–222.
^ Starr 2003, pp. 299–300; Pendle 2005, pp. 222–223.
^ Bullock, William B. (February 1953). "JATO—The Magic Bottle" (PDF). Flying. 52 (2): 25, 44. ISSN 0015-4806.
^ Carter 2004, pp. 93.
^ Carter 2004, pp. 96–97; Pendle 2005, pp. 231–233.
^ Carter 2004, p. 100; Pendle 2005, pp. 239–240.
^ Pendle 2005, pp. 241.
^ Carter 2004, p. 101; Pendle 2005, p. 242.
^ Carter 2004, p. 325.
^ Pendle 2005, pp. 248–249.
^ Pendle 2005, pp. 243–246.
^ Carter 2004, p. 86.
^ Carter 2004, pp. 101–102; Pendle 2005, pp. 252–255.
^ Carter 2004, p. 102; Pendle 2005, p. 256; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 537–538.
^ Jump up to:a b Pendle 2005, pp. 257–262.
^ Pendle 2005, pp. 303.
^ Carter 2004, pp. 107–108, 116–117, 119–128; Pendle 2005, pp. 259–260.
^ Jump up to:a b c d Metzger 2008, pp. 196–200.
^ Hobbs, Scott (June 15, 2012). "Rocket Man". The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
^ Carter 2004, p. 135.
^ Carter 2004, pp. 130–132; Pendle 2005, pp. 263–264; Kansa 2011, pp. 29, 35–37.
^ Jump up to:a b Urban 2006, p. 136–137.
^ Carter 2004, pp. 132–148, 150; Pendle 2005, pp. 264–265; Kaczynski 2010, p. 538; Miller 2014, pp. 121–125.
^ Carter 2004, p. 150; Pendle 2005, pp. 266–267.
^ Carter 2004, pp. 155–157; Pendle 2005, pp. 267–269, 272–273; Kaczynski 2010, pp. 538–539; Miller 2014, pp. 127–130.
^ Pendle 2005, pp. 273–274.
^ Carter 2004, p. 158; Pendle 2005, p. 270; Kaczynski 2010, p. 555.
^ Carter 2004, pp. 158–159; Pendle 2005, p. 275.
^ Pendle 2005, p. 275.
^ Kansa 2011, pp. 48–49.
^ Carter 2004, p. 158; Pendle 2005, p. 277; Kansa 2011, p. 39.
^ Carter 2004, p. 159; Pendle 2005, pp. 277–278.
^ Jump up to:a b Pendle 2005, pp. 277, 279.
^ Carter 2004, p. 159; Pendle 2005, pp. 281–284; Kansa 2011, pp. 46–47.
^ Carter 2004, pp. 161, 166; Pendle 2005, p. 284.
^ Pendle 2005, p. 283.
^ Jump up to:a b c Carter 2004, p. 160–169; Pendle 2005, p. 284–285.
^ Jump up to:a b Carter 2004, p. 160–169, 189; Pendle 2005, p. 284–285.
^ Carter 2004, p. 171; Pendle 2005, p. 288; Kansa 2011, pp. 51–53.
^ Pendle 2005, p. 288.
^ Carter 2004, p. 161; Pendle 2005, pp. 286–287.
^ Carter 2004, pp. 169–170; Pendle 2005, pp. 286–287.
^ Jump up to:a b Carter 2004, pp. 170–172; Pendle 2005, pp. 291–293, 296; Kansa 2011, pp. 54–55.
^ Anderson, Brian (October 29, 2012). "The Hell Portal Where NASA's Rocket King Divined Cosmic Rockets With L. Ron". vice.com. Vice Media. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
^ Carter 2004, p. 172; Pendle 2005, p. 296; Kansa 2011, pp. 63–64.
^ Carter 2004, p. 177; Pendle 2005, pp. 294, 297; Kansa 2011, p. 57.
^ Doherty, Brian (May 2005). "The Magical Father of American Rocketry". reason.com. Reason Foundation. Retrieved April 20,2014.
^ Carter 2004, p. 219.
^ Carter 2004, p. 169; Pendle 2005, p. 293; Kansa 2011, p. 57.
^ Pendle 2005, pp. 294–295; Kansa 2011, pp. 57–63.
^ Carter 2004, p. 99; Pendle 2005, p. 295.
^ Jump up to:a b Nelson, Steffie (October 8, 2014). "Cameron, Witch of the Art World". lareviewofbooks.org. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
^ Carter 2004, p. 179; Pendle 2005, pp. 296–297; Kansa 2011, p. 64.
^ Pendle 2005, p. 299; Kansa 2011, p. 65.
^ Jump up to:a b Carter 2004, pp. 177–178; Pendle 2005, pp. 1–6; Kansa 2011, pp. 65–66.
^ Carter 2004, pp. 178–179; Pendle 2005, pp. 6–7; Kansa 2011, p. 66.
^ Carter 2004, pp. 179–181; Pendle 2005, p. 8.
^ Pendle 2005, p. 301.
^ Carter 2004, p. 181; Pendle 2005, pp. 11–12.
^ Pendle 2005, p. 9; Pendle 2005, p. 311.
^ Starr 2003, p. 327; Pendle 2005, pp. 13, 301.
^ Carter 2004, p. 185; Kansa 2011, pp. 77–79.
^ Carter 2004, p. 184.
^ Jump up to:a b Carter 2004, p. xxv.
^ Jump up to:a b Carter 2004, pp. 182, 185–187; Pendle 2005, pp. 7–10.
^ Pendle 2005, pp. 300–303.
^ Jump up to:a b Kansa 2011, pp. 74–79.
^ Starr 2003, p. 327; Pendle 2005, p. 300.
^ Jump up to:a b Pendle 2005, p. 176.
^ Pendle 2005, p. 319.
^ Carter 2004, p. 88.
^ Jump up to:a b Pendle 2005, p. 238.
^ Carter 2004, p. 83.
^ Pendle 2005, p. 87.
^ Pendle 2005, p. 226.
^ Pendle 2005, p. 242.
^ Pendle 2005, p. 296.
^ Pendle 2005, pp. 103–105.
^ Carter 2004, p. 159.
^ Pendle 2005, p. 18.
^ Beta 2008, pp. x–xi.
^ Pendle 2005, p. 171.
^ Pendle 2005, p. 146–147.
^ Carter 2004, pp. 106–107.
^ Parsons 2008, p. 67.
^ Parsons 2008, pp. 69–71.
^ Carter 2004, p. 158–163.
^ Beta 2008, p. xi.
^ Jump up to:a b Beta 2008, p. ix.
^ Pendle 2005, pp. 90–93.
^ Pendle 2005, p. 122.
^ Parsons 2008, p. 11.
^ Pendle 2005, p. 293.
^ Pendle 2005, p. 290.
^ Parsons 2008, p. 4.
^ Parsons 2008, p. 9.
^ Parsons 2008, p. 13.
^ Cashill 2007, pp. 43–46.
^ "Hugh Urban". comparativestudies.osu.edu. Ohio State University. 2011-12-14. Retrieved January 1, 2015.
^ Wilson 2004, pp. vii–x.
^ Pendle 2005, p. 304.
^ Carter 2004, p. 188.
^ Pendle 2005, p. 190.
^ Mather, Annalee (October 17, 2014). "Look back at Anger: Film maker Kenneth Anger's work on display". independent.co.uk. Independent Print Limited. Retrieved October 19, 2014.
^ "Early History > JPL Joins NASA". jpl.nasa.gov. NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
^ Jump up to:a b Carter 2004, p. 195.
^ Pendle 2005, p. 306.
^ Carter 2004, p. 192; Pendle 2005, p. 307.
^ Covault, Craig (November 2, 2009). "Father of the Chinese space program dies". spaceflightnow.com. Spaceflight Now Inc. Retrieved June 24, 2015.
^ Carter 2004, p. 193.
^ Meth, Clifford (October 1998). "ALAN MOORE talks to Cliff - pt 2". cliffordmeth.com. Archived from the original on 2005-03-01. Retrieved June 24, 2015.
^ "The Cameron-Parsons Foundation, Inc". The Cameron-Parsons Foundation, Inc. Archived from the original on January 10, 2014. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
^ Carter 2004, p. 196.
^ Wilson 2004, p. xi.
^ Wilson 2004, p. vii.
^ Wilson 2004, p. ix.
^ Pendle 2005, pp. 201, 304.
^ Pendle 2005, pp. 1-20.
^ Solon, Olivia (April 23, 2014). "Occultist Father of Rocketry 'Written Out' of NASA's history". Wired UK. Retrieved May 8,2014.
^ Starr 2003.
^ Collins, Sean T. (March 29, 2015). "Suppressive Persons: 'Going Clear,' Scientology, and the Appeal of Absolutism". observer.com. The New York Observer. Retrieved June 19, 2015.
^ Carter 2004, p. 73; Pendle 2005, p. 230.
^ Pendle 2005, p. 305.
^ "Caltech Theater Arts Premiers "Pasadena Babalon" This Month". caltech.edu. California Institute of Technology. February 16, 2010. Archived from the original on May 12, 2014. Retrieved May 9, 2014. Audio clip
^ Carbonneau & Simon 2010.
^ "Dark Matters: Twisted But True: Season 2, Episode 13: Magical Jet Propulsion, Missing Link Mystery, Typhoid Mary". imdb.com. December 26, 2014. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
^ "Six Organs Of Admittance – Parsons' Blues". discogs.com. Zink Media, Inc. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
^ Ruderman, Dan (October 28, 2014). "Ridley Scott to produce miniseries on rocket scientist, occultist Jack Parsons". boingboing.net. Boing Boing. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 4, 2016). "AMC Orders Drama Series 'Lodge 49' Produced By Paul Giamatti". Deadline Hollywood. Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 30, 2016.


Bibliography
Beta, Hymenaeus (2008). "Foreword" to Three Essays on Freedom (J.W. Parsons). York Beach, Maine: Teitan Press. ISBN 978-0-933429-11-6.
Carbonneau, Richard; Simon, Robin (2010). The Marvel: A Biography of Jack Parsons. Portland, Oregon: Cellar Door. ISBN 978-0-9766831-4-8.
Cashill, Jack (2007). What's the Matter with California?: Cultural Rumbles from the Golden State and Why the Rest of Us Should Be Shaking. New York City, New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4165-5424-0.
Carter, John (2004). Sex and Rockets: The Occult World of Jack Parsons(new ed.). Port Townsend, Washington: Feral House. ISBN 978-0-922915-97-2.
Kaczynski, Richard (2010). Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley(second ed.). Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books. ISBN 978-0-312-25243-4.
Kansa, Spencer (2011). Wormwood Star: The Magickal Life of Marjorie Cameron. Oxford: Mandrake of Oxford. ISBN 978-1-906958-08-4.
Metzger, Richard (2008). Book of Lies: The Disinformation Guide to Magick and the Occult (second ed.). Newburyport, Massachusetts: Red Wheel/Weiser/Conari. ISBN 978-1-934708-34-7.
Miller, Russell (2014). Bare-faced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard (third ed.). London, England: Silvertail Books. ISBN 978-1-909269-14-9.
Parsons, John Whiteside (2008). Three Essays on Freedom. York Beach, Maine: Teitan Press. ISBN 978-0-933429-11-6.
Pendle, George (2005). Strange Angel: The Otherworldly Life of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parsons. Physics Today. 59. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. p. 57. Bibcode:2006PhT....59a..57P. doi:10.1063/1.2180178. ISBN 978-0-7538-2065-0.
Starr, Martin P. (2003). The Unknown God: W.T. Smith and the Thelemites. Bollingbrook, Illinois: Teitan Press. ISBN 978-0-933429-07-9.
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The family Church of Scientology business Hubbard and his daughter Diana. At 17, she was a senior officer on the flagship.
'USIS OFFICER STATES HUBBARD RUNS FLOATING UNIVERSITY OF QUESTIONABLE MORAL CHARACTER, NOT ACCREDITED ANY US UNIVERSITIES AND POOR REPRESENTATIVE FOR US ABROAD . . . FLOATING COLLEGE PROBABLY PART OF CHARLATAN CULT.' (CIA cable traffic, June/July 1968)

Scientology The Cult of Greed

Time Cover Story On Scientology
The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power
 By RICHARD BEHAR
 Sunday, June 24, 2001

 Published in Time, May 1991 and Reader's Digest, October 1991

http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,156952,00.html  

By all appearances, Noah Lottick of Kingston, Pa., had been a normal, happy 24-year-old who was looking for his place in the world. On the day last June when his parents drove to New York City to claim his body, they were nearly catatonic with grief. The young Russian-studies scholar had jumped from a 10th-floor window of the Milford Plaza Hotel and bounced off the hood of a stretch limousine. When the police arrived, his fingers were still clutching $171 in cash, virtually the only money he hadn't yet turned over to the Church of Scientology, the self-help "philosophy" group he had discovered just seven months earlier.

His death inspired his father Edward, a physician, to start his own investigation of the church. "We thought Scientology was something like Dale Carnegie," Lottick says. "I now believe it's a school for psychopaths. Their so-called therapies are manipulations. They take the best and brightest people and destroy them." The Lotticks want to sue the church for contributing to their son's death, but the prospect has them frightened. For nearly 40 years, the big business of Scientology has shielded itself exquisitely behind the First Amendment as well as a battery of high-priced criminal lawyers and shady private detectives.

The Church of Scientology, started by science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard to "clear" people of unhappiness, portrays itself as a religion. In reality the church is a hugely profitable global racket that survives by intimidating members and critics in a Mafia-like manner. At times during the past decade, prosecutions against Scientology seemed to be curbing its menace. Eleven top Scientologists, including Hubbard's wife, were sent to prison in the early 1980s for infiltrating, burglarizing and wiretapping more than 100 private and government agencies in attempts to block their investigations. In recent years hundreds of longtime Scientology adherents -- many charging that they were mentally or physically abused -- have quit the church and criticized it at their own risk. Some have sued the church and won; others have settled for amounts in excess of $500,000. In various cases judges have labeled the church "schizophrenic and paranoid" and "corrupt, sinister and dangerous."

Yet the outrage and litigation have failed to squelch Scientology. The group, which boasts 700 centers in 65 countries, threatens to become more insidious and pervasive than ever. Scientology is trying to go mainstream, a strategy that has sparked a renewed law-enforcement campaign against the church. Many of the group's followers have been accused of committing financial scams, while the church is busy attracting the unwary through a wide array of front groups in such businesses as publishing, consulting, health care and even remedial education.

In Hollywood, Scientology has assembled a star-studded roster of followers by aggressively recruiting and regally pampering them at the church's "Celebrity Centers," a chain of clubhouses that offer expensive counseling and career guidance. Adherents include screen idols Tom Cruise and John Travolta, actresses Kirstie Alley, Mimi Rogers and Anne Archer, Palm Springs mayor and performer Sonny Bono, jazzman Chick Corea and even Nancy Cartwright, the voice of cartoon star Bart Simpson. Rank-and-file members, however, are dealt a less glamorous Scientology.

According to the Cult Awareness Network, whose 23 chapters monitor more than 200 "mind control" cults, no group prompts more telephone pleas for help than does Scientology. Says Cynthia Kisser, the network's Chicago-based executive director: "Scientology is quite likely the most ruthless, the most classically terroristic, the most litigious and the most lucrative cult the country has ever seen. No cult extracts more money from its members." Agrees Vicki Aznaran, who was one of Scientology's six key leaders until she bolted from the church in 1987: "This is a criminal organization, day in and day out. It makes Jim and Tammy ((Bakker)) look like kindergarten."

To explore Scientology's reach, TIME conducted more than 150 interviews and reviewed hundreds of court records and internal Scientology documents. Church officials refused to be interviewed. The investigation paints a picture of a depraved yet thriving enterprise. Most cults fail to outlast their founder, but Scientology has prospered since Hubbard's death in 1986. In a court filing, one of the cult's many entities -- the Church of Spiritual Technology -- listed $503 million in income just for 1987. High-level defectors say the parent organization has squirreled away an estimated $400 million in bank accounts in Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Cyprus. Scientology probably has about 50,000 active members, far fewer than the 8 million the group claims. But in one sense, that inflated figure rings true: millions of people have been affected in one way or another by Hubbard's bizarre creation.

Scientology is now run by David Miscavige, 31, a high school dropout and second-generation church member. Defectors describe him as cunning, ruthless and so paranoid about perceived enemies that he kept plastic wrap over his glass of water. His obsession is to attain credibility for Scientology in the 1990s. Among other tactics, the group:

-- Retains public relations powerhouse Hill and Knowlton to help shed the church's fringe-group image.

-- Joined such household names as Sony and Pepsi as a main sponsor of Ted Turner's Goodwill Games.

-- Buys massive quantities of its own books from retail stores to propel the titles onto best-seller lists.

-- Runs full-page ads in such publications as Newsweek and Business Week that call Scientology a "philosophy," along with a plethora of TV ads touting the group's books.

-- Recruits wealthy and respectable professionals through a web of consulting groups that typically hide their ties to Scientology.

The founder of this enterprise was part storyteller, part flimflam man. Born in Nebraska in 1911, Hubbard served in the Navy during World War II and soon afterward complained to the Veterans Administration about his "suicidal inclinations" and his "seriously affected" mind. Nevertheless, Hubbard was a moderately successful writer of pulp science fiction. Years later, church brochures described him falsely as an "extensively decorated" World War II hero who was crippled and blinded in action, twice pronounced dead and miraculously cured through Scientology. Hubbard's "doctorate" from "Sequoia University" was a fake mail-order degree. In a 1984 case in which the church sued a Hubbard biographical researcher, a California judge concluded that its founder was "a pathological liar."

Hubbard wrote one of Scientology's sacred texts, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, in 1950. In it he introduced a crude psychotherapeutic technique he called "auditing." He also created a simplified lie detector (called an "E-meter") that was designed to measure electrical changes in the skin while subjects discussed intimate details of their past. Hubbard argued that unhappiness sprang from mental aberrations (or "engrams") caused by early traumas. Counseling sessions with the E-meter, he claimed, could knock out the engrams, cure blindness and even improve a person's intelligence and appearance.

Hubbard kept adding steps, each more costly, for his followers to climb. In the 1960s the guru decreed that humans are made of clusters of spirits (or "thetans") who were banished to earth some 75 million years ago by a cruel galactic ruler named Xenu. Naturally, those thetans had to be audited.

An Internal Revenue Service ruling in 1967 stripped Scientology's mother church of its tax-exempt status. A federal court ruled in 1971 that Hubbard's medical claims were bogus and that E-meter auditing could no longer be called a scientific treatment. Hubbard responded by going fully religious, seeking First Amendment protection for Scientology's strange rites. His counselors started sporting clerical collars. Chapels were built, franchises became "missions," fees became "fixed donations," and Hubbard's comic-book cosmology became "sacred scriptures."

During the early 1970s, the IRS conducted its own auditing sessions and proved that Hubbard was skimming millions of dollars from the church, laundering the money through dummy corporations in Panama and stashing it in Swiss bank accounts. Moreover, church members stole IRS documents, filed false tax returns and harassed the agency's employees. By late 1985, with high-level defectors accusing Hubbard of having stolen as much as $200 million from the church, the IRS was seeking an indictment of Hubbard for tax fraud. Scientology members "worked day and night" shredding documents the IRS sought, according to defector Aznaran, who took part in the scheme. Hubbard, who had been in hiding for five years, died before the criminal case could be prosecuted.

Today the church invents costly new services with all the zeal of its founder. Scientology doctrine warns that even adherents who are "cleared" of engrams face grave spiritual dangers unless they are pushed to higher and more expensive levels. According to the church's latest price list, recruits -- "raw meat," as Hubbard called them -- take auditing sessions that cost as much as $1,000 an hour, or $12,500 for a 12 1/2-hour "intensive."

Psychiatrists say these sessions can produce a drugged-like, mind-controlled euphoria that keeps customers coming back for more. To pay their fees, newcomers can earn commissions by recruiting new members, become auditors themselves (Miscavige did so at age 12), or join the church staff and receive free counseling in exchange for what their written contracts describe as a "billion years" of labor. "Make sure that lots of bodies move through the shop," implored Hubbard in one of his bulletins to officials. "Make money. Make more money. Make others produce so as to make money . . . However you get them in or why, just do it."

Harriet Baker learned the hard way about Scientology's business of selling religion. When Baker, 73, lost her husband to cancer, a Scientologist turned up at her Los Angeles home peddling a $1,300 auditing package to cure her grief. Some $15,000 later, the Scientologists discovered that her house was debt free. They arranged a $45,000 mortgage, which they pressured her to tap for more auditing until Baker's children helped their mother snap out of her daze. Last June, Baker demanded a $27,000 refund for unused services, prompting two cult members to show up at her door unannounced with an E-meter to interrogate her. Baker never got the money and, financially strapped, was forced to sell her house in September.

Before Noah Lottick killed himself, he had paid more than $5,000 for church counseling. His behavior had also become strange. He once remarked to his parents that his Scientology mentors could actually read minds. When his father suffered a major heart attack, Noah insisted that it was purely psychosomatic. Five days before he jumped, Noah burst into his parents' home and demanded to know why they were spreading "false rumors" about him -- a delusion that finally prompted his father to call a psychiatrist.

It was too late. "From Noah's friends at Dianetics" read the card that accompanied a bouquet of flowers at Lottick's funeral. Yet no Scientology staff members bothered to show up. A week earlier, local church officials had given Lottick's parents a red-carpet tour of their center. A cult leader told Noah's parents that their son had been at the church just hours before he disappeared -- but the church denied this story as soon as the body was identified. True to form, the cult even haggled with the Lotticks over $3,000 their son had paid for services he never used, insisting that Noah had intended it as a "donation."

The church has invented hundreds of goods and services for which members are urged to give "donations." Are you having trouble "moving swiftly up the Bridge" -- that is, advancing up the stepladder of enlightenment? Then you can have your case reviewed for a mere $1,250 "donation." Want to know "why a thetan hangs on to the physical universe?" Try 52 of Hubbard's tape- recorded speeches from 1952, titled "Ron's Philadelphia Doctorate Course Lectures," for $2,525. Next: nine other series of the same sort. For the collector, gold-and-leather-bound editions of 22 of Hubbard's books (and bookends) on subjects ranging from Scientology ethics to radiation can be had for just $1,900.

To gain influence and lure richer, more sophisticated followers, Scientology has lately resorted to a wide array of front groups and financial scams. Among them:

CONSULTING. Sterling Management Systems, formed in 1983, has been ranked in recent years by Inc. magazine as one of America's fastest-growing private companies (estimated 1988 revenues: $20 million). Sterling regularly mails a free newsletter to more than 300,000 health-care professionals, mostly dentists, promising to increase their incomes dramatically. The firm offers seminars and courses that typically cost $10,000. But Sterling's true aim is to hook customers for Scientology. "The church has a rotten product, so they package it as something else," says Peter Georgiades, a Pittsburgh attorney who represents Sterling victims. "It's a kind of bait and switch." Sterling's founder, dentist Gregory Hughes, is now under investigation by California's Board of Dental Examiners for incompetence. Nine lawsuits are pending against him for malpractice (seven others have been settled), mostly for orthodontic work on children.

Many dentists who have unwittingly been drawn into the cult are filing or threatening lawsuits as well. Dentist Robert Geary of Medina, Ohio, who entered a Sterling seminar in 1988, endured "the most extreme high-pressure sales tactics I have ever faced." Sterling officials told Geary, 45, that their firm was not linked to Scientology, he says. But Geary claims they eventually convinced him that he and his wife Dorothy had personal problems that required auditing. Over five months, the Gearys say, they spent $130,000 for services, plus $50,000 for "gold-embossed, investment-grade" books signed by Hubbard. Geary contends that Scientologists not only called his bank to increase his credit-card limit but also forged his signature on a $20,000 loan application. "It was insane," he recalls. "I couldn't even get an accounting from them of what I was paying for." At one point, the Gearys claim, Scientologists held Dorothy hostage for two weeks in a mountain cabin, after which she was hospitalized for a nervous breakdown.

Last October, Sterling broke some bad news to another dentist, Glover Rowe of Gadsden, Ala., and his wife Dee. Tests showed that unless they signed up for auditing, Glover's practice would fail, and Dee would someday abuse their child. The next month the Rowes flew to Glendale, Calif., where they shuttled daily from a local hotel to a Dianetics center. "We thought they were brilliant people because they seemed to know so much about us," recalls Dee. "Then we realized our hotel room must have been bugged." After bolting from the center, $23,000 poorer, the Rowes say, they were chased repeatedly by Scientologists on foot and in cars. Dentists aren't the only ones at risk. Scientology also makes pitches to chiropractors, podiatrists and veterinarians.

PUBLIC INFLUENCE. One front, the Way to Happiness Foundation, has distributed to children in thousands of the nation's public schools more than 3.5 million copies of a booklet Hubbard wrote on morality. The church calls the scheme "the largest dissemination project in Scientology history." Applied Scholastics is the name of still another front, which is attempting to install a Hubbard tutorial program in public schools, primarily those populated by minorities. The group also plans a 1,000-acre campus, where it will train educators to teach various Hubbard methods. The disingenuously named Citizens Commission on Human Rights is a Scientology group at war with psychiatry, its primary competitor. The commission typically issues reports aimed at discrediting particular psychiatrists and the field in general. The CCHR is also behind an all-out war against Eli Lilly, the maker of Prozac, the nation's top-selling antidepression drug. Despite scant evidence, the group's members -- who call themselves "psychbusters" -- claim that Prozac drives people to murder or suicide. Through mass mailings, appearances on talk shows and heavy lobbying, CCHR has hurt drug sales and helped spark dozens of lawsuits against Lilly.

Another Scientology-linked group, the Concerned Businessmen's Association of America, holds antidrug contests and awards $5,000 grants to schools as a way to recruit students and curry favor with education officials. West Virginia Senator John D. Rockefeller IV unwittingly commended the CBAA in 1987 on the Senate floor. Last August author Alex Haley was the keynote speaker at its annual awards banquet in Los Angeles. Says Haley: "I didn't know much about that group going in. I'm a Methodist." Ignorance about Scientology can be embarrassing: two months ago, Illinois Governor Jim Edgar, noting that Scientology's founder "has solved the aberrations of the human mind," proclaimed March 13 "L. Ron Hubbard Day." He rescinded the proclamation in late March, once he learned who Hubbard really was.

HEALTH CARE. HealthMed, a chain of clinics run by Scientologists, promotes a grueling and excessive system of saunas, exercise and vitamins designed by Hubbard to purify the body. Experts denounce the regime as quackery and potentially harmful, yet HealthMed solicits unions and public agencies for contracts. The chain is plugged heavily in a new book, Diet for a Poisoned Planet, by journalist David Steinman, who concludes that scores of common foods (among them: peanuts, bluefish, peaches and cottage cheese) are dangerous.

Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop labeled the book "trash," and the Food and Drug Administration issued a paper in October that claims Steinman distorts his facts. "HealthMed is a gateway to Scientology, and Steinman's book is a sorting mechanism," says physician William Jarvis, who is head of the National Council Against Health Fraud. Steinman, who describes Hubbard favorably as a "researcher," denies any ties to the church and contends, "HealthMed has no affiliation that I know of with Scientology."

DRUG TREATMENT. Hubbard's purification treatments are the mainstay of Narconon, a Scientology-run chain of 33 alcohol and drug rehabilitation centers -- some in prisons under the name "Criminon" -- in 12 countries. Narconon, a classic vehicle for drawing addicts into the cult, now plans to open what it calls the world's largest treatment center, a 1,400-bed facility on an Indian reservation near Newkirk, Okla. (pop. 2,400). At a 1989 ceremony in Newkirk, the Association for Better Living and Education presented Narconon a check for $200,000 and a study praising its work. The association turned out to be part of Scientology itself. Today the town is battling to keep out the cult, which has fought back through such tactics as sending private detectives to snoop on the mayor and the local newspaper publisher.

FINANCIAL SCAMS. Three Florida Scientologists, including Ronald Bernstein, a big contributor to the church's international "war chest," pleaded guilty in March to using their rare-coin dealership as a money laundry. Other notorious activities by Scientologists include making the shady Vancouver stock exchange even shadier (see box) and plotting to plant operatives in the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and Export-Import Bank of the U.S. The alleged purpose of this scheme: to gain inside information on which countries are going to be denied credit so that Scientology-linked traders can make illicit profits by taking "short" positions in those countries' currencies.

In the stock market the practice of "shorting" involves borrowing shares of publicly traded companies in the hope that the price will go down before the stocks must be bought on the market and returned to the lender. The Feshbach brothers of Palo Alto, Calif. -- Kurt, Joseph and Matthew -- have become the leading short sellers in the U.S., with more than $500 million under management. The Feshbachs command a staff of about 60 employees and claim to have earned better returns than the Dow Jones industrial average for most of the 1980s. And, they say, they owe it all to the teachings of Scientology, whose "war chest" has received more than $1 million from the family.

The Feshbachs also embrace the church's tactics; the brothers are the terrors of the stock exchanges. In congressional hearings in 1989, the heads of several companies claimed that Feshbach operatives have spread false information to government agencies and posed in various guises -- such as a Securities and Exchange Commission official -- in an effort to discredit their companies and drive the stocks down. Michael Russell, who ran a chain of business journals, testified that a Feshbach employee called his bankers and interfered with his loans. Sometimes the Feshbachs send private detectives to dig up dirt on firms, which is then shared with business reporters, brokers and fund managers.

The Feshbachs, who wear jackets bearing the slogan "stock busters," insist they run a clean shop. But as part of a current probe into possible insider stock trading, federal officials are reportedly investigating whether the Feshbachs received confidential information from FDA employees. The brothers seem aligned with Scientology's war on psychiatry and medicine: many of their targets are health and biotechnology firms. "Legitimate short selling performs a public service by deflating hyped stocks," says Robert Flaherty, the editor of Equities magazine and a harsh critic of the brothers. "But the Feshbachs have damaged scores of good start-ups."

Occasionally a Scientologist's business antics land him in jail. Last August a former devotee named Steven Fishman began serving a five-year prison term in Florida. His crime: stealing blank stock-confirmation slips from his employer, a major brokerage house, to use as proof that he owned stock entitling him to join dozens of successful class-action lawsuits. Fishman made roughly $1 million this way from 1983 to 1988 and spent as much as 30% of the loot on Scientology books and tapes.

Scientology denies any tie to the Fishman scam, a claim strongly disputed by both Fishman and his longtime psychiatrist, Uwe Geertz, a prominent Florida hypnotist. Both men claim that when arrested, Fishman was ordered by the church to kill Geertz and then do an "EOC," or end of cycle, which is church jargon for suicide.

BOOK PUBLISHING. Scientology mischiefmaking has even moved to the book industry. Since 1985 at least a dozen Hubbard books, printed by a church company, have made best-seller lists. They range from a 5,000-page sci-fi decology (Black Genesis, The Enemy Within, An Alien Affair) to the 40-year-old Dianetics. In 1988 the trade publication Publishers Weekly awarded the dead author a plaque commemorating the appearance of Dianetics on its best-seller list for 100 consecutive weeks.

Critics pan most of Hubbard's books as unreadable, while defectors claim that church insiders are sometimes the real authors. Even so, Scientology has sent out armies of its followers to buy the group's books at such major chains as B. Dalton's and Waldenbooks to sustain the illusion of a best-selling author. A former Dalton's manager says that some books arrived in his store with the chain's price stickers already on them, suggesting that copies are being recycled. Scientology claims that sales of Hubbard books now top 90 million worldwide. The scheme, set up to gain converts and credibility, is coupled with a radio and TV advertising campaign virtually unparalleled in the book industry.

Scientology devotes vast resources to squelching its critics. Since 1986 Hubbard and his church have been the subject of four unfriendly books, all released by small yet courageous publishers. In each case, the writers have been badgered and heavily sued. One of Hubbard's policies was that all perceived enemies are "fair game" and subject to being "tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed." Those who criticize the church -- journalists, doctors, lawyers and even judges -- often find themselves engulfed in litigation, stalked by private eyes, framed for fictional crimes, beaten up or threatened with death. Psychologist Margaret Singer, 69, an outspoken Scientology critic and professor at the University of California, Berkeley, now travels regularly under an assumed name to avoid harassment.

After the Los Angeles Times published a negative series on the church last summer, Scientologists spent an estimated $1 million to plaster the reporters' names on hundreds of billboards and bus placards across the city. Above their names were quotations taken out of context to portray the church in a positive light.

The church's most fearsome advocates are its lawyers. Hubbard warned his followers in writing to "beware of attorneys who tell you not to sue . . . the purpose of the suit is to harass and discourage rather than to win." Result: Scientology has brought hundreds of suits against its perceived enemies and today pays an estimated $20 million annually to more than 100 lawyers.

One legal goal of Scientology is to bankrupt the opposition or bury it under paper. The church has 71 active lawsuits against the IRS alone. One of them, Miscavige vs. IRS, has required the U.S. to produce an index of 52,000 pages of documents. Boston attorney Michael Flynn, who helped Scientology victims from 1979 to 1987, personally endured 14 frivolous lawsuits, all of them dismissed. Another lawyer, Joseph Yanny, believes the church "has so subverted justice and the judicial system that it should be barred from seeking equity in any court." He should know: Yanny represented the cult until 1987, when, he says, he was asked to help church officials steal medical records to blackmail an opposing attorney (who was allegedly beaten up instead). Since Yanny quit representing the church, he has been the target of death threats, burglaries, lawsuits and other harassment.

Scientology's critics contend that the U.S. needs to crack down on the church in a major, organized way. "I want to know, Where is our government?" demands Toby Plevin, a Los Angeles attorney who handles victims. "It shouldn't be left to private litigators, because God knows most of us are afraid to get involved." But law-enforcement agents are also wary. "Every investigator is very cautious, walking on eggshells when it comes to the church," says a Florida police detective who has tracked the cult since 1988. "It will take a federal effort with lots of money and manpower."

So far the agency giving Scientology the most grief is the IRS, whose officials have implied that Hubbard's successors may be looting the church's coffers. Since 1988, when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the revocation of the cult's tax-exempt status, a massive IRS probe of church centers across the country has been under way. An IRS agent, Marcus Owens, has estimated that thousands of IRS employees have been involved. Another agent, in an internal IRS memorandum, spoke hopefully of the "ultimate disintegration" of the church. A small but helpful beacon shone last June when a federal appeals court ruled that two cassette tapes featuring conversations between church officials and their lawyers are evidence of a plan to commit "future frauds" against the IRS.

The IRS and FBI have been debriefing Scientology defectors for the past three years, in part to gain evidence for a major racketeering case that appears to have stalled last summer. Federal agents complain that the Justice Department is unwilling to spend the money needed to endure a drawn-out war with Scientology or to fend off the cult's notorious jihads against individual agents. "In my opinion the church has one of the most effective intelligence operations in the U.S., rivaling even that of the FBI," says Ted Gunderson, a former head of the FBI's Los Angeles office.

Foreign governments have been moving even more vigorously against the organization. In Canada the church and nine of its members will be tried in June on charges of stealing government documents (many of them retrieved in an enormous police raid of the church's Toronto headquarters). Scientology proposed to give $1 million to the needy if the case was dropped, but Canada spurned the offer. Since 1986 authorities in France, Spain and Italy have raided more than 50 Scientology centers. Pending charges against more than 100 of its overseas church members include fraud, extortion, capital flight, coercion, illegally practicing medicine and taking advantage of mentally incapacitated people. In Germany last month, leading politicians accused the cult of trying to infiltrate a major party as well as launching an immense recruitment drive in the east.

Sometimes even the church's biggest zealots can use a little protection. Screen star Travolta, 37, has long served as an unofficial Scientology spokesman, even though he told a magazine in 1983 that he was opposed to the church's management. High-level defectors claim that Travolta has long feared that if he defected, details of his sexual life would be made public. "He felt pretty intimidated about this getting out and told me so," recalls William Franks, the church's former chairman of the board. "There were no outright threats made, but it was implicit. If you leave, they immediately start digging up everything." Franks was driven out in 1981 after attempting to reform the church.

The church's former head of security, Richard Aznaran, recalls Scientology ringleader Miscavige repeatedly joking to staffers about Travolta's allegedly promiscuous homosexual behavior. At this point any threat to expose Travolta seems superfluous: last May a male porn star collected $100,000 from a tabloid for an account of his alleged two-year liaison with the celebrity. Travolta refuses to comment, and in December his lawyer dismissed questions about the subject as "bizarre." Two weeks later, Travolta announced that he was getting married to actress Kelly Preston, a fellow Scientologist.

Shortly after Hubbard's death the church retained Trout & Ries, a respected, Connecticut-based firm of marketing consultants, to help boost its public image. "We were brutally honest," says Jack Trout. "We advised them to clean up their act, stop with the controversy and even to stop being a church. They didn't want to hear that." Instead, Scientology hired one of the country's largest p.r. outfits, Hill and Knowlton, whose executives refuse to discuss the lucrative relationship. "Hill and Knowlton must feel that these guys are not totally off the wall," says Trout. "Unless it's just for the money."

One of Scientology's main strategies is to keep advancing the tired argument that the church is being "persecuted" by antireligionists. It is supported in that position by the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Council of Churches. But in the end, money is what Scientology is all about. As long as the organization's opponents and victims are successfully squelched, Scientology's managers and lawyers will keep pocketing millions of dollars by helping it achieve its ends.

 

​https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Thriving_Cult_of_Greed_and_Power 

Scientolog, The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power
"The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power" is an article, written in 1991 by U.S. investigative journalist Richard Behar, which is highly critical of Scientology.

It was first published by Time magazine on May 6, 1991, as an eight-page cover story,[1][2] and was later published in Reader's Digest in October 1991.[3] Behar had previously published an article on Scientology in Forbesmagazine. He stated that he was investigated by attorneys and private investigators affiliated with the Church of Scientology while researching the Time article, and that investigators contacted his friends and family as well. Behar's article covers topics including L. Ron Hubbard and the development of Scientology, its controversies over the years and history of litigation, conflict with psychiatry and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, the suicide of Noah Lottick, its status as a religion, and its business dealings.

After the article's publication, the Church of Scientology mounted a public relations campaign to address issues in the piece. It took out advertisements in USA Today for twelve weeks, and Church leader David Miscavige was interviewed by Ted Koppel on Nightline about what he considered to be an objective bias by the article's author. Miscavige alleged that the article was actually driven by the company Eli Lilly, because of Scientology's efforts against the drug Prozac. The Church of Scientology brought a libel suit against Time Warner and Behar, and sued Reader's Digest in multiple countries in Europe in an attempt to stop the article's publication there. The suit against Time Warner was dismissed in 1996, and the Church of Scientology's petition for a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States was denied in 2001.

Behar received awards in honor of his work on the article, including the Gerald Loeb Award, the Worth Bingham Prize, and the Conscience-in-Media Award. The article has had ramifications in the current treatment of Scientology in the media, with some publications theorizing that journalists are wary of the litigation that Time Warner went through. The article has been cited by Anderson Cooper on CNN, in a story on Panorama's 2007 program "Scientology and Me" on the BBC, and has been used as a reference for background on the history of Scientology, in books from both the cult and new religious movement perspectives.

Research for the article

Before penning "The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power", Behar had written a 1986 article in Forbes magazine, "The Prophet and Profits of Scientology", which reported on the Church of Scientology's business dealings and L. Ron Hubbard's financial success. Behar wrote that during research for "The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power", he and a Time contributing editor were themselves investigated by ten attorneys and six private investigators affiliated with the Church of Scientology.  According to Behar, investigators contacted his friends and previous coworkers to ask them if he had a history of tax or drug problems, and obtained a copy of his personal credit report that had been obtained illegally from a national credit bureau. Behar conducted 150 interviews in the course of his research for the article. 

Behar wrote that the motive of these operatives was to "threaten, harass and discredit him".[5][8] He later learned that the Church of Scientology had assigned its head private investigator to direct the Church's investigation into Behar.  Anderson Cooper 360° reported that Behar had been contacted by Church of Scientology attorneys numerous times while doing research on the article.  The parents of Noah Lottick, a Scientologist who had committed suicide, cooperated with Time and Reader's Digest. 

Synopsis

The full title of the article is "The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power: Ruined lives. Lost fortunes. Federal crimes. Scientology poses as a religion but is really a ruthless global scam — and aiming for the mainstream".  The article reported on the founding of the Church of Scientology by L. Ron Hubbard and controversies involving the Church and its affiliated business operations, as well as the suicide of a Scientologist.  The article related the May 11, 1990, suicide of Dr. Edward Lottick's son Noah Antrim Lottick.  Lottick was a Russian studies student who had taken a series of Scientology courses; he died after jumping from a hotel tenth floor window. The Church of Scientology and Lottick's family have differing positions on the effect Scientology coursework had on him. While none of the parties assigned blame, they expressed misgivings about his death. Initially, his father had thought that Scientology was similar to Dale Carnegie's self-improvement techniques; however, after his ordeal, the elder Lottick came to believe that the organization is a "school for psychopaths".  Mike Rinder, the head of the Church of Scientology's Office of Special Affairs and a Church spokesman, stated "I think Ed Lottick should look in the mirror ... I think Ed Lottick made his son's life intolerable". 

The article outlined a brief history of Scientology, discussing Hubbard's initial background as a science fiction writer, and cited a California judge who had deemed Hubbard a "pathological liar".  The Church of Scientology's litigation history was described, in addition to its conflicts with the Internal Revenue Service, with countries regarding whether or not to accept it as a religion, and its position against psychiatry.  Behar wrote of the high costs involved in participation in the Church of Scientology, what he referred to as "front groups and financial scams", and harassment of critics.  He estimated that the Church of Scientology paid US$20 million annually to over one hundred attorneys.  Behar maintained that though the Church of Scientology portrays itself as a religion, it was actually a "hugely profitable global racket" which intimidated members and critics in a Mafia-like manner. 

Cynthia Kisser, then director of the Cult Awareness Network, was quoted: "Scientology is quite likely the most ruthless, the most classically terroristic, the most litigious and the most lucrative cult the country has ever seen. No cult extracts more money from its members". 

Post-publication
Church of Scientology's response

The Church of Scientology responded to the publication of "The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power" by taking out color full-page ads in USA Today in May and June 1991, on every weekday for twelve weeks, denouncing the Time magazine cover article.  Two official Church of Scientology responses were titled "Facts vs. Fiction, A Correction of Falsehoods Contained in the May 6, 1991, Issues of Time Magazine", and "The Story That Time Couldn't Tell"  Prior to the advertising campaign, Scientologists distributed 88-page bound booklets which disputed points from Behar's article.  The "Fact vs. Fiction" piece was a 1⁄4-inch-thick (0.64 cm) booklet, which criticized Behar's article and asserted "Behar's article omits the information on the dozens of community service programs conducted by Scientologists ... which have been acknowledged by community officials".[24] One of the advertisements in USA Today accused Time of promoting Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany, and featured a 1936 issue of Time which had Hitler's picture on the front cover.[25] The Church of Scientology sent out a news release condemning Time's "horrible history of supporting fascism", and said that the article was written because Time had been pressured by "vested interests".  When asked by the St. Petersburg Times whether this was the case, Time Executive Editor Richard Duncan responded "Good Lord, no". Heber Jentzsch, at the time president of Church of Scientology International, issued a four-page news release which stated "Advertising is the only way the church could be assured of getting its message and its side of the story out to the public without the same vested interests behind the Time article distorting it". 

After the advertising run critiquing Time magazine in USA Today had completed, the Church of Scientology mounted a $3 million public relations campaign about Scientology in USA Today, in June 1991. The Church of Scientology placed a 48-page advertising supplement in 1.8 million copies of USA Today.  In a statement to the St. Petersburg Times, Scientology spokesman Richard Haworth explained "What we are trying to do is put the actual facts of Dianetics and Scientology out there". 

In response to the Church of Scientology's claims of inaccuracies in the article, a lawyer for Time responded "We've reviewed all of their allegations, and find nothing wrong with the Time story."  In June 1991, Newsweek reported that staffers for Time said they had received calls from a man claiming to be a paralegal for Time, who asked them if they had signed a confidentiality form about the article.  Time editors sent staffers a computer memo, warning them about calls related to the article, and staffers told Newsweek that "sources named in the story say detectives have asked about their talks with Time". A Church of Scientology spokesman called the claims "scurrilous". 

On February 14, 1992, Scientology leader David Miscavige gave Ted Koppel his first interview on Scientology on the ABC News program Nightline.  The program noted that Scientology has vocal critics and cited Behar's 1991 article. Behar appeared on the program and gave his opinion of why individuals join Scientology, stating that the organization's "ulterior motive" is really to get people to take high-priced audit counseling.  Behar stated on the program that he had evidence that members of the Church of Scientology had obtained his personal phone records.  Later in the program, Koppel questioned Miscavige on the Church of Scientology's response to the Time magazine article, particularly the $3 million the church spent advertising in USA Today.  Miscavige explained that the first three weeks of the advertising campaign was meant to correct falsehoods from the Time article, and the rest of the twelve-week campaign was dedicated to informing the public about Scientology. Koppel asked Miscavige what specifically had upset him about the Timearticle, and Miscavige called Behar "a hater". Miscavige noted that Behar had written an article on Scientology and the Internal Revenue Service three years before he began work on the Time piece, and made allegations that Behar had attempted to get two Scientologists kidnapped. When Koppel questioned Miscavige further on this, Miscavige said that individuals had contacted Behar after an earlier article, and Behar had told them to "kidnap Scientologists out".  Koppel pressed further, noting that this was a serious charge to make, and asked Miscavige if his allegations were accurate, why he had not pressed charges for attempted kidnapping. Miscavige said Koppel was "missing the issue", and said that his real point was that he thought the article was not an objective piece. 

Miscavige alleged on Nightline that the article itself was published as a result of a request by Eli Lilly and Company, because of "the damage we had caused to their killer drug Prozac".  When Koppel asked Miscavige if he had affidavits or evidence to this effect, Miscavige responded "You think they'd admit it?"  Miscavige stated that "Eli Lilly ordered a reprint of 750,000 copies of Time magazine before it came out", and that his attempts to investigate the matter with Eli Lilly and associated advertising companies were not successful. 

Litigation

The Church brought a libel lawsuit against Time Warner and Behar, seeking damages of $416 million. The Church alleged false and defamatory statements were made concerning the Church of Scientology International in the Time article.  More specifically, the Church of Scientology's court statements claimed that Behar had been refining an anti-Scientology focus since his 1986 article in Forbes, which included gathering negative materials about Scientology, and "never accepting anything a Scientologist said and uniformly ignoring anything positive he learned about the Church".  In its initial complaint filing, the Church quoted portions of the Behar article that it alleged were false and defamatory, including the quote from Cynthia Kisser, and Behar's own assertion that Scientology was a "global racket" that intimidated individuals in a "Mafia-like manner". 

Noah Lottick's parents submitted affidavits in the case, in which they "affirmed the accuracy of each statement in the article"; Edward Lottick "concluded that Scientology therapies were manipulations, and that no Scientology staff members attended the funeral" of their son. During the litigation, the Church of Scientology attempted to subpoena Behar in a separate ongoing lawsuit with the Internal Revenue Service, and accused a federal magistrate of leaking information to him.  Behar was questioned for over 190 hours during 30 days of depositions with Scientology attorneys in the libel case.  One question was about Behar's life in his parents' home while he was still inside the womb. St. Petersburg Times explained that this question was prompted by Scientology teachings that certain problems come from prenatal memories.  Behar told the St. Petersburg Times he "felt it was extremely excessive".  In a countersuit, Behar brought up the issues of Church of Scientology private investigators and what he viewed as harassment.  By July 1996, all counts of the libel suit had been dismissed.  In the course of the litigation through 1996, Time Warner had spent $7.3 million in legal defense costs. The Church of Scientology also sued several individuals quoted in the Time article. 

The Church of Scientology sued Reader's Digest in Switzerland, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Germany for publishing a condensed version of the Time story. The only court to provide a temporary injunction was in Lausanne, Switzerland.  In France, Italy, and the Netherlands, the courts either dismissed the Church of Scientology's motions, or set injunction hearings far beyond the date of actual publication.  The company defied the injunction and mailed copies of the article, "Scientology: A Dangerous Cult Goes Mainstream", to their 326,000 Swiss subscribers.  Worldwide editor-in-chief of Reader's Digest, Kenneth Tomlinson, told The New York Times that "a publisher cannot accept a court prohibiting distribution of a serious journalistic piece. ... The court order violates freedom of speech and freedom of the press".  The Church of Scientology subsequently filed a criminal complaint against the Digest in Lausanne, and Mike Rinder stated it was in blatant violation of the law.  By defying the Swiss court ban, the Reader's Digest risked a fine of about $3,400, as well as a potential three months' jail time for the Swiss Digest editor-in-chief.  A hearing on the injunction was set for November 11, 1991, and the injunction was later lifted by the Swiss court. In January 2001, a United States federal appeals court upheld the dismissal of the Church of Scientology International's case against Time Warner.  In its opinion, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that Time Warner had not published "The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power" with an actual intent of malice, a standard that must be met for libel cases involving individuals and public groups. On October 1, 2001, the Supreme Court of the United States refused to consider reinstating the church's libel case Church of Scientology International v. Time Warner Inc., 00-1683.  Time Warner said it refused to be "intimidated by the church's apparently limitless legal resources."  In arguments presented to the Supreme Court, the Church of Scientology acknowledged that church officials had "committed improper acts" in the past, but also claimed that: "allegations of past misconduct were false and distorted, the result of the misunderstanding, suspicion and prejudice that typically greet a new religion". Of the rulings for Time Warner, the Church of Scientology complained that they "provide a safe harbor for biased journalism".  Behar commented on the Church of Scientology's legal defeat, and said that the lawsuit had a chilling effect: "It's a tremendous defeat for Scientology ... But of course their doctrine states that the purpose of a suit is to harass, not to win, so from that perspective they hurt us all. They've had a real chilling effect on journalism, both before and after my piece". 

Awards

As a result of writing the piece, Behar was presented with the 1992 Gerald Loeb Award for distinguished business and financial journalism, the Worth Bingham Prize, the Conscience-in-Media Award from the American Society of Journalists and Authors,  awarded to "those who have demonstrated singular commitment to the highest principles of journalism at notable personal cost or sacrifice,"   and the Cult Awareness Network's Leo J. Ryan Award, in honor of Congressman Leo J. Ryan.  Paulette Cooper was also awarded the 1992 Conscience-in-Media Award by the American Society of Journalists and Authors, for her book The Scandal of Scientology.  This was the only time in the history of the American Society of Journalists and Authors that the award was presented to more than one journalist in the same year. 

In a February 1992 issue of Time, editor Elizabeth Valk congratulated Behar on his Conscience-in-Media Award, stating "Needless to say, we are delighted and proud".  Valk noted that the honor had only been awarded seven times in the previous seventeen years of its existence. Managing editor Henry Muller also congratulated Behar in an April 1992 issue of Time 

Analysis

Insane Therapy noted that Scientology "achieved more notoriety ... with the publication of the journalist Richard Behar's highly critical article". Larson's Book of World Religions and Alternative Spirituality described the cover design of the article as it appeared in Time, writing that it "shouted" the headline from the magazine cover  In a 2005 piece, Salon.com magazine noted that for those interested in the Church of Scientology, the Time article still remains a "milestone in news coverage", and that those who back the Church believe it was "an outrageously biased account".

Legacy

The Church of Scientology's use of private investigators was cited in a 1998 article in the Boston Herald, and compared to Behar's experiences when researching "The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power". After the paper ran a five-part series of critical articles in 1998, Church of Scientology President Heber Jentzsch confirmed that a private investigative firm was hired to look into the personal life of Joseph Mallia, the reporter who wrote the articles. In a later piece titled "Church of Scientology probes Herald reporter—Investigation follows pattern of harassment" this investigation was likened to Behar's assertions of harassment, as well as other reporters' experiences from 1974, 1988, and 1997.

Because of the history of conflict between Reader's Digest and Scientology, the writer of a 2005 cover story on Tom Cruise agreed to certain demands, including giving Scientology issues equal play in the writer's profile of Cruise, submitting questions for Cruise to Church of Scientology handlers, and sending the writer of the article to a one-day Church immersion course. Also in 2005, an article in Salon questioned whether the tactics of the Church's litigation and private investigations of Time Warner and other media sources had succeeded in decreasing the amount of investigative journalism pieces on Scientology in the press.  A 2005 article in The Sunday Times cited the article, and came to the determination that the Church of Scientology's lawsuit against Time Warner "served to warn off other potential investigations", and that "The chill evidently lingers still".

"The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power" continues to be used today by journalists in the media, as a reference for historical information on the Church of Scientology.  In April 2007, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper interviewed former Office of Special Affairsdirector Mike Rinder,  in a live piece on Anderson Cooper 360° titled "Inside Scientology".  The CNN story was prompted by the May 2007 airing of a BBC Panorama investigative program, "Scientology and Me". In the interview, Anderson Cooper quoted directly from "The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power" article, when asking Rinder about the history of Operation Snow White, and if those tactics were currently used by the Church.  Rinder answered by stating that the individuals involved with Operation Snow White were no longer involved in Church of Scientology activities, and that the incident was "ancient history". Cooper then again referenced the Time magazine article noting that Behar asserted that he was illegally investigated by Scientology contacts during research for his article.  Cooper questioned Rinder on the dismissed lawsuit against Time Warner, and Rinder acknowledged that all of the Church of Scientology's appeals against Time Warner were eventually rejected. 

The article has been cited as a reference used for background on Scientology in books which take a critical look at cults such as Larson's Book of World Religions and Alternative Spirituality and Insane Therapy: Portrait of a Psychotherapy Cult,  those that analyze new religious movements including Understanding New Religious Movements and The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements,  and in a work that includes researchers from both schools of thought, Misunderstanding Cults: Searching for Objectivity in a Controversial Field. 

 

Bare-Faced Messiah By  Russell Miller, Chapter 16 Launching the Sea Org
The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard is a posthumous biography of Scientology founder
L. Ron Hubbard by British journalist Russell Miller.

Originally published: 26 October1987 Author: Russell Miller, Genre: Biography, Page count: 380, Publisher: Michael Joseph, Subject: L. Ron Hubbard

Bare-Faced Messiah By  Russell Miller, Chapter 16 Launching the Sea Org
Rare picture of the 'mystery ship', the Royal Scotman, in which the commodore sailed the Mediterranean. (Granada Television Ltd)

'Hearing of L. Ron Hubbard's plans for further exploration and research into, among other things, past civilizations, many Scientologists wanted to join him and help. They adopted the name "Sea Organization" . . . Free of organizational duties and aided by the first Sea Org members, L. Ron Hubbard now had the time and facilities to confirm in the physical universe some of the events and places he had encountered in his journeys down the track of time . . .' (Mission Into Time)


Back in England, Churcher told his story to the People, one of Britain's saucier Sunday newspapers, who gleefully published it under the headline 
'AHOY THERE - It's the craziest cruise on earth' along with pictures of the ship and L. Ron Hubbard, described as the 'boss' of the 'mind-bending cult' of Scientology. Mr Churcher was withering in his disdain. 'There were seven officers of this Scientology lot,' he said, 'who used to swank about in blue and gold-braid uniforms, but I reckon they knew next to nothing about seamanship. Four of them were women. Hubbard called himself the Commodore and had four different types of peaked cap. Hubbard's wife, who had an officer's uniform made for her, seemed to enjoy playing sailors.
'Every day they went below for lectures, but we seamen were never admitted. It was all so blooming mysterious I tried to find out more. I offered to give them seamanship lectures and they were so pleased at these they gave me a free beginner's course in Scientology. I was give a test on their E-meter, a sort of lie detector, and a woman officer asked me a lot of personal questions, including details of my sex life. The oldest student was a woman of seventy-five who told me she was convinced that Mr Hubbard would fix her up with a new body when she died.
'I couldn't make head nor tail of it.'[11]


 (Scientology's account of the years 1967-68.)
*   *   *   *   *
In 1967, L. Ron Hubbard was fifty-six years old, the father of seven children and a grandfather several times over. With a loyal wife, a home in England and four children still at school, he was at an age when most men put down roots and plan nothing more ambitious than a comfortable retirement. But he was not like most men.

In 1967, L. Ron Hubbard raised a private navy, appointed himself Commodore, donned a dashing uniform of his own design and set forth on an extraordinary odyssey, leading a fleet of ships across the oceans variously pursued by the CIA, the FBI, the international press and a miscellany of suspicious government and maritime agencies. He had begun making secret plans to set up the 'Sea Organization' on his return from Rhodesia in the summer of 1966, shrouding the whole operation with layer upon layer of duplicity. His intention was that the public should believe that he was returning to his former 'profession', that of an explorer, and accordingly, in September 1966, Hubbard announced his resignation as President of the Church of Scientology. This charade was supported by the explanation that the church was sufficiently well established to survive without his leadership. In preparation for his anticipated resignation a special committee had been set up to investigate how much the church owed its founder; it was decided the figure was around $13 million, but Hubbard, in his benevolence, forgave the debt.

Still a member of the Explorers Club, Hubbard applied for permission to carry the club flag on his forthcoming 'Hubbard  Geological Survey Expedition'. Its purpose, he explained, was to conduct a geological survey from Italy, through Greece and Egypt to the Gulf of Aden and down the east coast of Africa: 'Samples of rock types, formations, and soils will be taken in order to draw a picture of an area which has been the scene of the earlier and basic civilizations of the planet and from which some conclusions may possibly be made relating to geological dispositions requisite for civilized growth.'

This highfalutin nonsense sufficiently impressed the Explorers Club for the expedition to be awarded the club flag. [The club could not, however, be said to examine such applications very scrupulously - Hubbard had also been awarded the flag in 1961 for another entirely fictitious venture - the 'Ocean Archaeological Expedition', allegedly set up to explore submerged cities in the Caribbean, Mediterranean and adjacent waters.[1]]

On 22 November 1966, the Hubbard Explorational Company Limited was incorporated at Companies House in London. The directors were L. Ron Hubbard, described as expedition supervisor, and Mary Sue Hubbard, the company secretary. The aims of the company were to 'explore oceans, seas, lakes, rivers and waters, lands and buildings in any part of the world and to seek for, survey, examine and test properties of all kinds'.
Hubbard had no more intention of conducting geological surveys than he had of relinquishing control of the Church of Scientology and its handsome income. His real objective was to shake off the fetters on his activities and ambitions imposed by tiresome land-based bureaucracies; his vision was of a domain of his own creation on the freedom of the high seas, connected by sophisticated coded communications to its operations on land. Its purpose would be to propagate Scientology behind a screen of business management courses.

Before the end of 1966, the 'Sea Org' - as it would inevitably become known - had secretly purchased its first ship, the Enchanter, a forty-ton sea-going schooner. To further obscure his involvement, Hubbard asked his friend Ray Kemp to be a part owner. Kemp was the man who believed that Hubbard could move clouds with the power of his mind and when he showed up at Saint Hill to sign for the Enchanter he swore that Hubbard played a little magical trick on him: 'We'd been sitting talking for hours and it was getting dark when he said, "Well I guess we'd better get this thing signed." I said, "Do you have a pen?" and he said, "Yes, it's over there." I went to pick up the pen on his desk and it disappeared. I thought at first it was the light, but I tried three times to pick up the pen and each time it was not there and I realized he was making it disappear. In the end I said to Ron, "If you'll just leave the bloody pen still for a moment, I'll sign". He could do fun things like that, he was just playing a game.'[2]

Shortly after the purchase of the Enchanter, the Hubbard Explorational Company bought an old, rusty North Sea trawler, the 414-ton Avon River, moored at Hull, a busy seaport on the north-east coast of England. Hubbard then flew to Tangier in Morocco, where he planned to continue his 'research', leaving his family at Saint Hill Manor. Mary Sue wanted to stay behind because Diana, star pupil at the local dancing school, had been chosen to present a bouquet to Princess Margaret, who was due to open the Genée Theatre in East Grinstead a few weeks later.
Before being driven to the airport, Hubbard scribbled instructions for various members of the 'sea project'. One of them was Virginia Downsborough, a plump and cheerful New Yorker who had been working as an auditor at Saint Hill for nearly three years. Virginia was never entirely sure why she had been honoured with an invitation to join the project, unless it was because she came from a sailing family and knew a little about ships and knots. 'At that time the sea project was just a few of us who would get together in the garage and learn how to tie knots and read a pilot. I bought a little sailing boat and sailed it at weekends, but that was about it. Ron always worked way down the line - he knew what he intended to do, but he never laid it out for us.

'After he had gone I was given a sealed envelope with his initials on. Inside were my orders. I had to go to Hull, get the Enchanter ready for sea and sail her to Gibraltar for a refit. Ron gave me a list of things he wanted from Saint Hill, mainly personal possessions and clothes, which I was to bring with me. I left for Hull next day.'

Scientologists were in the habit of following Ron's orders unhesitatingly, no matter how difficult the task, or how ill-equipped they were to carry them out. Virginia Downsborough held a masters degree in education and had run a child development department in a New York school before coming to Saint Hill; nevertheless she set out for Hull without a second thought. 'A lot of things needed to be done before the Enchanter was ready to sail,' she recalled, 'so I lived on the Avon River, which was moored alongside and was absolutely filthy, for a couple of weeks while the work was being carried out.'
The Enchanter sailed in the New Year with a hired skipper and a novice crew of four Scientologists, including Downsborough. In the light of forthcoming Sea Org voyages, it was a comparatively uneventful trip, apart from losing most of the fuel at sea somewhere off the coast of Portugal. After putting in briefly at Oporto, the Enchanter arrived safely in Gibraltar, only to discover there was no room in the ways. A message arrived from a Hubbard aide in Tangier saying that Ron was ill and they were to continue to Las Palmas, in the Canary Islands.

'We got the Enchanter on the ways in Las Palmas,' said Downsborough, 'and we had not been there very long before Ron turned up. Bill Robertson - another Scientologist - and myself went to the post office to post some letters and discovered a telegram there from Ron saying that he was arriving in Las Palmas almost at that minute and wanted to be met. We jumped into a taxi and got to the airport just in time to pick him up as he was coming through Customs. We found him a hotel in Las Palmas and next day I went back to see if he was all right, because he did not seem to be too well.

'When I went in to his room there were drugs of all kinds everywhere. He seemed to be taking about sixty thousand different pills. I was appalled, particularly after listening to all his tirades against drugs and the medical profession. There was something very wrong with him, but I didn't know what it was except that he was in a state of deep depression; he told me he didn't have any more gains and he wanted to die. That's what he said: "I want to die."'

It was important for Hubbard to be discovered in this dramatically debilitated condition at this time, for it would soon be announced to fellow Scientologists that he had completed 'a research accomplishment of immense magnitude' described, somewhat inscrutably, as the 'Wall of Fire'. This was the OT3 (Operating Thetan Section Three) material, in which were contained 'the secrets of a disaster which resulted in the decay of life as we know it in this sector of the galaxy'.[3] Hubbard, it was said, was the 'first person in millions of years' to map a precise route through the 'Wall of Fire'. Having done so, his OT power had been increased to such an extent that he was at grave risk of accidental injury to his body; indeed, he had broken his back, a knee and an arm during the course of his research.

Virginia Downsborough did not observe any broken limbs, but recognized that Ron needed nursing. 'I moved into an adjoining room in the hotel to take care of him. He refused to eat the hotel food, so I got a little hotplate and cooked meals for him in the room, simple things, things that he liked. My main concern was to try and get him off all the pills he was on and persuade him that there was still plenty for him to do. He was sleeping a lot and refused to get out of bed.

'I don't know what drugs he was taking - they certainly weren't making him high - but I knew I had to get him over it. I discussed it with him and gradually took them away. He didn't carry on about it. He had brought a great pile of unopened mail with him from Tangier, a lot of it from Mary Sue, and I got him to start reading her letters. After about three weeks he decided he would get out of bed and he started taking little walks and then he got interested in what was happening on the Enchanter and after that he was all right.'

Mary Sue flew in to Las Palmas as soon as Ron was back on his feet and Virginia Downsborough was instructed to find the Hubbards a house. She rented the Villa Estrella, a pretty white-painted hacienda with a red-tiled roof on a rocky promontory facing the sea, about forty-five minutes drive from Las Palmas. 'I cooked dinner for them at the house every evening,' she said. 'Ron used to like to sit up and talk half the night long after Mary Sue had gone to bed. He had this intense ability to communicate and it was fascinating to listen to him. I was intrigued by the concept he presented of himself as being a constant victim of women.

'He talked a lot about Sara Northrup and seemed to want to make sure that I knew he had never married her. I didn't know why it was so important to him; I'd never met Sara and I couldn't have cared less, but he wanted to persuade me that the marriage had never taken place. When he talked about his first wife, the picture he put out of himself was of this poor wounded fellow coming home from the war and being abandoned by his wife and family because he would be a drain on them. He said he had planned every move along the way with Mary Sue to avoid being victimized again.'[4]

When the Enchanter came off the ways in the harbour at Las Palmas, Hubbard took her out on extended cruises round the Canary Islands to search for gold he had buried in previous lives. 'He would draw little maps for us,' said Virginia Downsborough, 'and we would be sent off to dig for buried treasure. He told us he was hoping to replace the Enchanter's ballast with solid gold. I thought it was great fun - the best show on earth.'

All these activities were supposed to remain a closely guarded secret and Hubbard insisted on the use of elaborate codes in Sea Org communications. In a despatch to Saint Hill he urged his followers not to feel '007ish and silly' about security. 'When you have had the close calls I have had in intelligence through security failures,' he said, 'you begin to believe there is something in the subject. I was once in 1940 ordered out on a secret mission by the US to a hostile foreign land with whom we were not yet at war. It was vital to mask my purpose there. It would have been fatal had I been known to have been a naval officer. On a hunch I didn't leave at once and the following day the US sent a letter to me that had I left would have been forwarded to me in that land, addressing me with full rank and title, informing me to wear white cap covers after April 15 in Washington. Had I departed, that letter, following me, would have sentenced me to death before a firing squad!'[5]

 

While Hubbard was in Las Palmas he developed phobias about dust and smells which were the cause of frequent explosive temper tantrums. He was always complaining that his clothes smelled of soap or he was being choked by dust that no one else could detect. No matter how frequently the Enchanter's decks were scrubbed, she was never clean enough for the Commodore. Similarly, the routine drive between the harbour and the Villa Estrella became an ordeal for everyone in the car. 'Sometimes I thought we'd never get there,' said Virginia Downsborough. 'Every few miles he would insist on stopping because there was dust in the air conditioner. He would get into such a rage that on occasions I thought he was going to tear the car apart.'

In April 1967, the Avon River steamed into the harbour at Las Palmas after a voyage from Hull which the skipper, Captain John Jones, later described as the 'strangest trip of my life'. Apart from the chief engineer, Jones was the only professional seaman on board. 'My crew were sixteen men and four women Scientologists who wouldn't know a trawler from a tramcar,' he told a reporter from the Daily Mirror on his return to England.

Captain Jones should perhaps have foreseen the difficulties when he signed on for the voyage and was informed that he would be expected to run the ship according to the rules of The Org Book, a sailing manual written by the founder of the Church of Scientology and therefore considered by Scientologists to be infallible gospel. 'I was instructed not to use any electrical equipment, apart from lights, radio and direction finder. We had radar and other advanced equipment which I was not allowed to use. I was told it was all in The Org Book, which was to be obeyed without question.'

Following the advice in this esteemed manual, the Avon River bumped the dock in Hull as she was getting under way and had barely left the Humber estuary before the Scientologist navigator, using the navigational system advocated by Hubbard, confessed that he was lost. 'I stuck to my watch and sextant,' said Captain Jones, 'so at least I knew where we were.'

As the old trawler laboured into the wind-flecked waters of the English Channel, a disagreement arose between the senior Scientologist on board and the Captain about who was in command. By the time the Avon River put into Falmouth to re-fuel, both the Captain and the chief engineer were threatening to pack their bags and leave the ship. Frantic telephone calls to East Grinstead eventually led to the protesting Scientologist being ordered to return to Saint Hill and the smoothing of Captain Jones's ruffled feathers. The rest of the trip passed off without incident, although the two seamen remained utterly mystified by their crew and in particular by the hours they spent fiddling with their E-meters.[6]

At Las Palmas, the Avon River was hauled up on the slips recently vacated by the Enchanter and prepared for a major re-fit. A working party of bright-eyed sea project members had already arrived in the Canaries, among them Amos Jessup, a philosophy major from Connecticut. The son of a senior editor on Life magazine, Jessup had gone to Saint Hill in 1966, while he was studying in Oxford, to try and get his young brother out of Scientology and instead had become converted himself. 'I was soon convinced', he said, 'that instead of being some dangerous cult it was an important advance in philosophy.

'I was clear by the spring of '67 and when I heard that LRH was looking for personnel for a communications vessel I immediately volunteered and was sent to Las Palmas. We were all given a "shore story" so that no one would know that we were Scientologists; we were told to say that we were working for the Hubbard Explorational Company on archaeological research.

'On the day we arrived, the Avon River was being hauled up on the slips. She looked like what she was - an old, worn-out, oil-soaked, rust-flaked steam trawler. Our job was to give her a complete overhaul. We sand-blasted her from stem to stern, painted her, put bunks in what had been the rope locker, converted the liver oil boiling room into additional accommodation, put decks in the cargo holds to make space for offices. LRH designed a number of improvements - a larger rudder and a system of lifts to hoist small boats aboard.'[7]

Hubbard would show up every couple of days to check on the progress of the work, but it was never going ahead fast enough and more sea project members were constantly being flown in to Las Palmas to join the work-force. Hana Eltringham, a former nurse from South Africa, arrived in August. 'At first sight the ship looked terrible, all streaked with rust,' she said. 'You had to climb a long, shaky ladder to get up on to the deck and as I got over the side I could see everything was covered in sand from the sand-blasting and then were people sleeping on the sand, obviously exhausted.

'Nevertheless, it was a tremendous thrill to be there. It was a great honour to be invited to join the sea project; we were an elite, like the Marine Corps. All of us were true and tried Scientologists, highly motivated, and to me it was high adventure.'

After working as a deck hand for a couple of weeks, Hana was promoted to ethics officer. 'My job was to run round making sure the crew weren't goofing. I felt I was responsible for catching errors before he did because he would get very upset - he would literally scream and shout - if something was not being done right. I was mostly scared of him in those days.

'One afternoon I was standing on the deck with a clipboard waiting for him to come on board and I knew something was wrong because I saw his face start to contort when he was still 15 or 20 yards away, walking towards the slips. As he came up to the ship he started shouting, filling his lungs and bellowing "What are they doing? Why are they doing that?" and pointing to the side of the ship. He came up the ladder still screaming in a kind of frenzy. I didn't know what was the matter and he told me to look over the side of the ship. I stuck my head over to see what the hell he was screaming about. The painters who were putting white paint on the hull were using old rollers and the paint had a kind of furry coat on it from the rollers. He'd seen that from many yards away. It was extraordinary. I was awed.'[8]

Such incidents inevitably led to the offenders being assigned a 'lower condition', the penalties for which were by then routinely formalized. The least serious was 'emergency' followed by 'liability', in which hapless state the miscreant forfeited pay, was confined to 'org premises' and had to wear the infamous dirty grey rag on one arm. In a condition of 'treason', all uniforms and insignia were removed and the rag was replaced by a black mark on the left check. In 'doubt', the offender was fined, barred from the org and could not be communicated with. Lastly came the dreaded 'enemy' - 'May be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed.'

Even though Hubbard had 'resigned' as president of the Church of Scientology, the flow of edicts continued uninterrupted and he reminded Scientologists of the penalties for lower conditions in a policy letter dictated at the Villa Estrella in Las Palmas. He also found time to record a taped lecture in which he warned of a world-wide conspiracy to destroy Scientology. The resourceful Mary Sue had apparently traced the conspiracy to the very highest levels, to a cabal of international bankers and newspaper barons sufficiently powerful to control many heads of state, among them the British Prime Minister, Harold Wilson.

While Hubbard was fulminating against international conspiracies and bellowing at his amateur work-force as they struggled to prepare the Avon Riverfor sea, good news arrived from a 'mission' in Britain (tasks undertaken on Hubbard's behalf were always aggrandized as 'missions'). For many months two senior Scientologists, Joe van Staden and Ron Pook, had been scouring European ports for a big ship, something like a cruise liner, which could be used as the Sea Org's flagship. In September, they reported by telex that they had found, laid up in Aberdeen, just the ship that Ron was looking for. She was the Royal Scotsman, a 3280-ton motor vessel built in 1936 and most recently in service as a cattle ferry on the Irish Channel crossing. Despite her age, she was in good condition and could probably be bought, von Staden and Pook thought, for not much more than £60,000. To Hubbard, the money was insignificant; Saint Hill alone was taking in around £40,000 a week in fees. He immediately instructed von Staden and Pook to start negotiating the purchase and to make arrangements for the Royal Scotsman to join the other ships in Las Palmas, although Avon River was still high and dry on the slips.

It was only natural that the Commodore, who was not the most patient of men, would want his fleet assembled at the earliest opportunity and he was constantly irritated by what he considered to be unnecessary delays in the Avon River's refit. By this time there were thirty-five Scientologists working on the ship from dawn to dusk, sawing, painting, chipping, scrubbing and polishing. The bridge had been completely reconstructed and fitted with new compasses and navigation equipment, all the cabins had been steam cleaned, the fish hold was converted into auditing space with rows of built-in desks, and there was a research office for the Commodore just forward of the bridge.

When at last she was ready for service, the re-launching was rather less than an outstanding success. As the trawler, sprucely whitepainted, slid down the ways, it was realized too late that no precautions had been taken to restrain her; she drifted helplessly in the bay until a boat could be found to push her towards a mooring buoy. To compound this embarrassing indignity, the Enchanter appeared over the horizon under tow, having broken down while out searching for the treasure buried by the Commodore in previous lives. Two days later, both ships set sail, somewhat uncertainly, for Gibraltar.

The Royal Scotsman, meanwhile, had left Aberdeen but had run foul of the Board of Trade, the British agency responsible for the safety of ships registered in the United Kingdom. On 7 November, a solicitor acting for the new owners of the Royal Scotsman, had telephoned the Board of Trade in London and asked if the ship could be re-registered as a pleasure yacht and cleared for a voyage to Gibraltar. He was told that such a re-classification would entail considerable modifications - under the Safety of Life at Sea Convention of 1960, the ship would need valid load-line, cargo ship construction, safety equipment and radio certificates.

The Sea Org decided to try another tack: a couple of days later, the Royal Scotsman put in to Southampton on the south coast and an attempt was made to clear her with the port authorities as a whaling ship. This sudden transformation not unnaturally aroused suspicions and the authorities responded by slapping a provisional detention order on the ship, preventing her from putting to sea until necessary safety provisions had been complied with.

This news, nervously conveyed to L. Ron Hubbard in Gibraltar, produced a predictable explosion. Hubbard railed at the stupidity of the people who were supposed to be helping him and fumed about the injustice of being prevented from doing what he wanted with his own instructed von Staden and Pook to start negotiating the purchase and to make arrangements for the Royal Scotsman to join the other ships in Las Palmas, although Avon River was still high and dry on the slips.

It was only natural that the Commodore, who was not the most patient of men, would want his fleet assembled at the earliest opportunity and he was constantly irritated by what he considered to be unnecessary delays in the Avon River's refit. By this time there were thirty-five Scientologists working on the ship from dawn to dusk, sawing, painting, chipping, scrubbing and polishing. The bridge had been completely reconstructed and fitted with new compasses and navigation equipment, all the cabins had been steam cleaned, the fish hold was converted into auditing space with rows of built-in desks, and there was a research office for the Commodore just forward of the bridge.

When at last she was ready for service, the re-launching was rather less than an outstanding success. As the trawler, sprucely whitepainted, slid down the ways, it was realized too late that no precautions had been taken to restrain her; she drifted helplessly in the bay until a boat could be found to push her towards a mooring buoy. To compound this embarrassing indignity, the Enchanter appeared over the horizon under tow, having broken down while out searching for the treasure buried by the Commodore in previous lives. Two days later, both ships set sail, somewhat uncertainly, for Gibraltar.

The Royal Scotsman, meanwhile, had left Aberdeen but had run foul of the Board of Trade, the British agency responsible for the safety of ships registered in the United Kingdom. On 7 November, a solicitor acting for the new owners of the Royal Scotsman, had telephoned the Board of Trade in London and asked if the ship could be re-registered as a pleasure yacht and cleared for a voyage to Gibraltar. He was told that such a re-classification would entail considerable modifications - under the Safety of Life at Sea Convention of 1960, the ship would need valid load-line, cargo ship construction, safety equipment and radio certificates.

The Sea Org decided to try another tack: a couple of days later, the Royal Scotsman put in to Southampton on the south coast and an attempt was made to clear her with the port authorities as a whaling ship. This sudden transformation not unnaturally aroused suspicions and the authorities responded by slapping a provisional detention order on the ship, preventing her from putting to sea until necessary safety provisions had been complied with.

This news, nervously conveyed to L. Ron Hubbard in Gibraltar, produced a predictable explosion. Hubbard railed at the stupidity of the people who were supposed to be helping him and fumed about the injustice of being prevented from doing what he wanted with his ownship. When he had calmed down, he decided that the only solution was to fly to England with a hand-picked crew, take command of the Royal Scotsmanand sail her away, protests from the Board of Trade notwithstanding.

Shortly afterwards, a curious party of sailors in blue serge suits, white polo neck sweaters and little tar hats arrived at Gatwick airport on a flight from Gibraltar. They were led by a large, red-faced man wearing a white peaked cap and carrying a letter of authority explaining that they were the delivery crew for a vessel under the seal of the Hubbard Explorational Company. In the customs hall, an officer of HM Customs and Excise glanced briefly at the letter brandished by the red-faced man and casually inquired: 'Is this the same Hubbard who has the place at East Grinstead?' 'Oh yes,' the red-faced man boomed, 'Mr Hubbard is an explorer himself.' Amos Jessup, who was standing directly behind Hubbard, marvelled at his composure.

The improbable sailors boarded a coach waiting outside the airport and were driven straight to Southampton Docks, to the berth occupied by the Royal Scotsman. 'Everyone climbed out and stared up at this huge ship,' Jessup recalled. 'I was startled and amazed by the size of it. It was three stories high and 357 feet long. I was assigned to be the bos'n. I didn't know all I should have known about bos'ning and I was rather shocked at the magnitude of what I'd been handed.

'After we got on board, LRH called everyone together and had us sit on the staircase between A deck and B deck. He stood at the bottom of the stairs and said, "This may look like a big and overwhelming thing, but don't let it scare you. I've handled ships bigger than this. She handles like a dream, drives like a Cadillac with big twin screws. There's nothing to it." We were already a can-do kind of group, but everyone felt a bit better after that.'

Over the next few days, there was constant activity at the Royal Scotsman's berth. Every few hours a truck would arrive from Saint Hill loaded with filing cabinets which were humped on board. Taxis disgorged eager Saint Hill volunteers, clutching their bags and the 'billion-year contract' which Hubbard had recently introduced as a condition of service in the Sea Org. Mary Sue and the children arrived and took over the upper-deck accommodation which had been reserved for the Hubbard family.

Diana Hubbard was then fifteen, Quentin thirteen, Suzette a year younger and little Arthur just nine years old. They would have the company of a few other children on the ship and a notice was pinned in the saloon explaining how they were to be treated: 'A tutor will be provided for the children, who will be assigned regular hours of work and play. Anyone who deprives a child of his or her work or play will be assigned to a condition of non-existence. (Penalties for non-existence - Must wear old clothes. May not bathe. Women must not wear make-up or have hair-do's. Men may not shave. No lunch hour . . .)'[9]

Not everyone joining the crew was a volunteer. John McMaster, whom Hubbard had earlier described as the first Pope of the Church of Scientology, had recently fallen into disfavour, probably because he was beginning to become too influential. Slight and golden-haired, McMaster had been touring the world as an evangelist for Scientology, attracting huge audiences, considerable popularity and the dangerous enmity of L. Ron Hubbard. On a brief return visit to Saint Hill, he was abruptly assigned a lower condition, deprived of all his awards and ordered to re-train from scratch.

He would recall his experiences years later with enormous bitterness, contemptuously referring to Hubbard as 'Fatty': 'All of a sudden I was ordered to appear at Saint Hill Manor at nine o'clock on a Sunday morning with all my clothes. There was a big open truck outside being loaded with files and filing cabinets and I was told to get in the back. I had no idea where I was going. By the time we got to Southampton Docks I was frozen, I could hardly move. This was November, don't forget. They got me on to the poop deck and this big fat body appeared. It was Fatty. "Oh, so you've deigned to come, have you?" be said. "Well I'm here, aren't I?" I said. "If you've come to join us, I'll come down and shake your hand," he said. He stepped down, grabbed my hand, realized I was frozen and started screaming and shouting to get me into a warm cabin. I sat in the cabin for about three hours until I had thawed out. I was told that I was going to be a galley hand. By this time I was well used to Hubbard's insanity and there was no way I was going to succumb to it. I wasn't bothered. If they wanted me to clean the heads and scrub the decks, that was fine by me.'[10]

To supplement his inexperienced crew, Hubbard hired a couple of professional seamen, including a chief engineer, but it did not prevent mishaps occurring even before the Royal Scotsman had put to sea. One of the recruits was on duty at the gangplank as Quartermaster and failed to notice until it was too late that the ship's rubbing strake had caught on the edge of the dock as the tide ebbed. A small crowd of stevedores watched with undisguised amusement as the crew of the Royal Scotsman tried to lever their enormous ship off the dock. It was hopeless: the rubbing strake creaked, splintered and finally broke away from the hull.

Hubbard took the opportunity to parade the entire crew on the dockside to point out what had happened and remind them that as thetans all of them must have had seafaring experience in one or another of their past lives. 'The truth of the matter is that you have all been around a long time,' he stressed. 'Stop pretending you don't know what it is all about, because you do know what it is all about.' Amos Jessup said everyone felt better afterwards.

While all this was going on, Hubbard had despatched Hana Eltringham on a top secret mission to re-register the Royal Scotsman in Sierra Leone in order to circumvent the attention of the Board of Trade. Hana first flew back to Las Palmas, where she collected a Spanish lawyer who had previously worked for the church, and then together they took a flight to Sierra Leone, a tiny, mosquito-ridden republic on the west coast of Africa. In Freetown, the capital, it took thirty-six hours to complete the paperwork, during which time Hana bought a large Sierra Leonese flag. On 28 November, less than three days after leaving Britain, she was on her way back to Gatwick carrying the ship's new documents. She took a cab from the airport direct to Southampton Docks.

'I arrived back on board at about four o'clock in the afternoon and took the papers straight to LRH, who was having tea in the main dining-room with the ship's officers. He was delighted to see me and very pleased to get the new registration, but as he was reading through the papers his eye caught something and he started to frown. I felt the familiar terror rising. "Did you notice this?" he said, pointing to the name of the ship on the papers. I looked and saw the "s" had been missed out and it was spelled "Royal Scotman". I began to stammer an apology, but he suddenly smiled, grabbed my hand and began pumping it. "Double congratulations," he said. "Now the ship has a new name as well."' He instantly ordered painters to black out the second 's' in the name on the bows, stern, lifeboats and lifebelts.

The following day, the Royal Scotman applied for clearance to sail to Brest in north-west France, for repairs. The port authorities in Southampton had no powers to detain a vessel registered in Sierra Leone and the ship sailed at dusk, raising the Sierra Leonese flag and banging into the fenders in the inner harbour on her way out into Southampton Water. It was to be a hair-raising maiden voyage for the Sea Org's flagship, as Hana Eltringham recounted:

'We sailed out of the channel that evening into an awful storm. The engine room was in a very bad condition; the main engines were not running very well and neither were the generators and because the paint was so dirty in the engine room you couldn't follow which were the water lines and which were the fuel lines. Half-way between Southampton and Brest, one of the generators conked out.

'I was on bridge watch as officer of the deck. We were between three to five miles off the north-west tip of France and I could see ahead, on the port side, the buoys marking the rocky coastline going south. But as we came around to try and get into the estuary towards Brest I noticed that the red-flashing buoys were swinging across the bows of the ship and I realized we were caught in a rip tide and were being pushed towards the rocks.

'The ship started to wallow very badly and each time she went over she took longer to recover. Although she had stabilizers, she went from a five degree roll to almost a twenty-five degree roll and on the last roll to port she staggered. We were all hanging on to the bridge and at that moment the old man [Hubbard] began screaming at Bill Robertson, the navigator, "Get us on a course out of here! Get us on a course out of here!" He was really bellowing. The ship started to stagger around, very slowly and painfully. It was scary. I was terrified and I think LRH was too, the way he was screaming and holding on to the bridge and glaring at us.

'Once we had got out of it and were about ten miles off the coast steering south, he took the entire bridge watch into the cabin just behind the bridge and told us that due to what had happened and the ship being at risk and not truly seaworthy he had decided not to go into Brest, even though it would be defying orders. We were going to continue south down to the Mediterranean. The way he was telling us was like he was convincing us it was the right thing to do. He went over and over it, to make sure we understood. Then he entered what had happened in the log book, a two- or three-page entry explaining the reasons for not going into Brest, and we all signed it.

'The following day there was another near catastrophe. We were planning to put into Gibraltar to meet up with the Avon River. It was about five or five-thirty in the afternoon and getting dark as we approached the Gibraltar Strait. We were in the northernmost lane entering the Med and we could see there was a storm brewing. The storm came up quickly and the sea was very wild and as we were battling to control the ship the oil lines from the bridge to the engine room lost pressure and the hydraulic steering on the bridge gave way.

'The ship started to drift across the southernmost outgoing lane towards the Moroccan coast. We put our "Not under command" lights on so other ships could see we were drifting and started to work frantically on the back of the poop deck to rig up the emergency steering. It was pouring with rain and very cold. In the middle of all this we were in radio communication with Gibraltar asking for help, for a tug to be sent out to bring us in. They refused. They said that because we had failed to comply with our sailing orders we would not be allowed into any English port. I can remember LRH pleading with them on the radio: "We have wives and children on board, we are at risk." But they would not come to our aid. I was appalled. It was my first major shock.

'We had managed to find all the component parts to hook up the emergency steering on the aft docking bridge and there we were, Ron, Pook and myself, hanging on to the manual steering wheel trying to steer the ship while someone stood holding an umbrella over us, another shone a torch on a little hand compass and someone else talked on a walkie-talkie to the bridge to the person watching the gyro compass. Mary Sue was running backwards and forwards with cups of steaming hot cocoa.

'I could still hear snatches of LRH talking to Gib on the ship-to-shore radio and I remember standing there, holding on to the steering wheel with aching arms and tears streaming down my face, thinking nobody wants us, where can we go? To be refused help by a British port brought home to me the enormity of our situation and my empathy for the old man increased a thousand fold. He was not wanted in England and he had been kicked out of various places around the world. All I could think about was that no one wanted this brilliant man and the treasures he had to offer.'

Denied entry into Gibraltar, the Royal Scotman continued into the Mediterranean under her emergency steering and set a course for the little principality of Monaco, where Hubbard hoped he would be more welcome. Food and water was running low and the cook was reduced to serving soup made with seawater by the time the ship hove to off Monte Carlo in early December. She was too big to enter the harbour, but the port authorities agreed to her being "re-fuelled and re-provisioned by lighters, and engineers were brought on board to repair the steering. From Monaco, the Royal Scotman sailed to Cagliari in Sardinia, where she docked for the first time since leaving Southampton.

If Hubbard had a reason for visiting Sardinia, he kept it to himself. While they were there, he received a cable which brought on another paroxysm of uncontrolled rage and sent everyone around him diving for cover. The Avon River had been caught in hurricane-force storms north of the Balearic Islands: much of the deck gear had been swept overboard and the terrified crew were very shaken up. As Hubbard read the cable his face began to twitch. He strode to the chart table, stabbed at it madly with his finger and bellowed, 'What were they doing up there?'

John O'Keefe, the unhappy Scientologist who had been given command of the Avon River, had muddled his instructions and was miles off course when he ran into the storm. He should have been far to the south of the Balearics, heading for a rendezvous with the Royal Scotman in Cagliari. Hubbard was still seething when the Avon River finally limped into the harbour at Cagliari. He refused to speak to O'Keefe and ordered a Committee of Evidence (a Com-Ev in Scientology-speak) to be convened, which inevitably found O'Keefe guilty of dereliction of duty. He was assigned a lower condition, stripped of his post and given a lowly job in the engine room. O'Keefe, who thought he had done well to save his ship, was devastated.

This humbling ritual cast something of a pall over the Christmas celebrations, after which the Commodore ordered both ships back across the Mediterranean to Valencia in Spain - a five hundred-mile voyage completed without incident, no doubt to the relief of both crews. Tied up alongside in Valencia harbour, O'Keefe sought out his friend Hana Eltringham. 'I was shocked by his condition,' she said. 'He had lost about twenty pounds and looked like a skeleton with hollow eyes and sunken cheeks. It was unbelievable. He told me he was thinking of leaving and I began to think about it too. It was the first time I really questioned what was going on. I mulled it over for about a week, but in the end I couldn't go. I came back to the view that I was a solid Sea Org member and that in order to achieve freedom I had to fight for it, that it wasn't necessarily an easy road and that I would have to overcome obstacles and encounter suppression. It was a critical moment, but I managed to suppress any desire to leave and get away from the insanity.'

No such doubts assailed Stanley Churcher, one of the three professional seamen on the Royal Scotman. Hired as the ship's carpenter in Southampton, he was thoroughly sick of his ship-mates by the time they reached Valencia. Placed in a 'condition of doubt' for 'defying an order, encouraging desertion, tolerating mutinous meetings and attempting to suborn the chief engineer', Mr Churcher employed a few choice words to tell the Scientologist officers what he thought of their 'mumbo-jumbo' and was promptly sacked.

Back in England, Churcher told his story to the People, one of Britain's saucier Sunday newspapers, who gleefully published it under the headline

'AHOY THERE - It's the craziest cruise on earth' along with pictures of the ship and L. Ron Hubbard, described as the 'boss' of the 'mind-bending cult' of Scientology. Mr Churcher was withering in his disdain. 'There were seven officers of this Scientology lot,' he said, 'who used to swank about in blue and gold-braid uniforms, but I reckon they knew next to nothing about seamanship. Four of them were women. Hubbard called himself the Commodore and had four different types of peaked cap. Hubbard's wife, who had an officer's uniform made for her, seemed to enjoy playing sailors.
'Every day they went below for lectures, but we seamen were never admitted. It was all so blooming mysterious I tried to find out more. I offered to give them seamanship lectures and they were so pleased at these they gave me a free beginner's course in Scientology. I was give a test on their E-meter, a sort of lie detector, and a woman officer asked me a lot of personal questions, including details of my sex life. The oldest student was a woman of seventy-five who told me she was convinced that Mr Hubbard would fix her up with a new body when she died.
'I couldn't make head nor tail of it.'[11]


1. Letter from assistant secretary, Explorers Club, 8 December 1966 
2. Interview with Kemp
3.Mission into Time, L. Ron Hubbard, 1973
4.. Interview with Virginia Downsborough, Santa Barbera, CA., August 1986 
5. Despatch from LRH, 22 April 1967
6. Cults of Unreason, Christopher Evans, 1973
7. Interview with Amos Jessup, San Diego, July 1986
8. Interview with Hana Eltringham, Los Angeles, March 1986
9. HCO Policy Letter, 26 Sept 1967 
10. Interview with McMaster
11. The People, 21 February 1968

Arthur Hubbard and Doreen Smith, one of the messengers, playing with fire in the Californian desert. Like his father, Arthur collected guns.
'It is possible that Commodore Hubbard and his wife . . . are philanthropists of some kind and/or eccentrics, but if one does not accept this as an explanation, there has to be some other gimmick involved in this operation. What this gimmick might be is unknown here, although people in Casablanca have speculated variously from smuggling to drug traffic to a far-out religious cult.' (Cable from US Consul General, Casablanca, to Washington, 26 September 1969)

'There have been rumours in town that Apollo (Ron Hubbard's Scientology Ship) is involved in drug or white slave traffic."

'There have been rumours in town that Apollo is involved in drug or white slave traffic. However, we doubt these reports . . . The stories about white slave traffic undoubtedly stem from the fact that included among the crew of the Apollo are a large number of strikingly beautiful young ladies. However, we are skeptical that a vessel that stands out like a sore thumb, in which considerable interest is bound to be generated, and with a crew numbering in hundreds, would be a reasonable vehicle for smuggling or white slaving.'[15]
The US consul, although he had no way of knowing it, was looking in the wrong direction. Very little was happening on the ship that would have been of interest to Washington, but a great deal was happening ashore. The Operation and Transport Corporation was relentlessly trying to make inroads into Moroccan bureaucracy, undeterred by numerous setbacks. It acquired an inauspicious foothold with a government contract to train post office administrators on the assurance that Scientology techniques would accelerate their training, but the pilot project soon foundered. 'We took half the students,' said Amos Jessup, 'while the other half were trained in the traditional way. We spent a month trying to teach them certain study techniques but they got so anxious that the others were forging ahead learning post office techniques that they walked out.'
Jessup, who spoke French, led OTC's next assault - on the Moroccan army. He and Peter Warren made friends with a colonel in Rabat and demonstrated the E-meter to him. 'He was properly amazed by it,' said Jessup, 'and arranged for us to give a presentation to a general who was said to be a friend of the Minister of Defence and the right hand man of the King. We were taken to this gigantic, luxurious house, where we did a few drills. The general said he was very interested and would get back to us. We waited in a little apartment in Rabat the Sea Org had rented to us, but didn't hear anything so went back to the ship. Shortly afterwards, the general led an unsuccessful coup and committed suicide. We realized then that he wouldn't have passed word about the E-meter to the King.'
Another OTC mission was having more success with the Moroccan secret police and started a training course for senior policemen and intelligence agents, showing them how to use the E-meter to detect political subversives. The Apollo, meanwhile, sailed for Lisbon for her re-fit and Mary Sue and Ron moved into the Villa Laura in Tangier. Hubbard seemed strangely depressed; Doreen Smith reported that he often talked about 'dropping his body', which was Scientology-speak for dying.
Loyal wife that she was, Mary Sue took it upon herself to deal with one of the sources of her husband's troubles - his estranged son, Nibs. After 'blowing the org' in 1959, fortune had not smiled on Nibs. He had drifted from job to job, finding it ever more difficult to support his wife and six children, and as the realization dawned that he would never be allowed back into Scientology, he became an even more prominent critic of his father and his father's 'church'. When the church was locked in litigation with the Internal Revenue Service, Nibs testified on behalf of the IRS.
In September 1972, Mary Sue orchestrated a campaign to 'handle' Nibs, instituting a search through all the Sea Org files and instructing the Guardian's office to do the same. She told an aide that Nibs' 'big button' was money and that it was time to start hunting through the old files to dig up former complaints about him.[16]
The church never revealed what it found out about the Founder's son, but on 7 November Nibs recorded a video-taped interview with a church official retracting his IRS testimony and all allegations he had previously made against father. They were made 'vengefully', he explained, at a time when he was undergoing a great deal of personal and emotional stress: 'What I have been doing is a whole lot of lying, a whole lot of damage to a lot of people that I value highly.
'I happen to love my father, blood is thicker than water, and basically it may sound silly to some people but it means a great deal to me that blood is thicker than water and another thing, as a matter of interest too, would be I made some pretty awful statements about the Sea Org and none of these are true. I've no personal knowledge of any wrong doing or illegal acts or brutality or anything else against people by the Sea Org or any member of the Scientology organization.'
At the Villa Laura in Tangier, Hubbard had little time to reflect on this filial declaration of love. Indeed, it was more likely he was reflecting on the curious inevitability with which his plans were ending in tears. The OTC training course for Moroccan secret policeman was breaking up in disarray under the stress of internecine intrigue between pro-monarchy and anti-monarchy factions and the fear of what the E-meter would reveal. 'It was a crazy set up,' said Jessup, 'you couldn't tell who was on which side.'
It was possible that the Sea Org might have staved to try and unravel this complication, had not word arrived from Paris that the Church of Scientology in France was about to be indicted for fraud. There was a suggestion that French lawyers would be seeking Hubbard's extradition from Morocco to face charges in Paris.
The Commodore decided it was time to go. There was a ferry leaving Tangier for Lisbon in forty-eight hours: Hubbard ordered everyone to be on it, with all the OTC's movable property and every scrap of paper that could not be shredded. For the next two days, convoys of cars, trucks and motor-cycles could be observed, day and night, scurrying back and forth from OTC 'land bases' in Morocco to the port in Tangier.
When the Lisbon-bound ferry sailed from Tangier on 3 December 1972, nothing remained of the Church of Scientology in Morocco. Hubbard left behind only a pile of shredded paper, a flurry of wild rumours and a scattering of befuddled US consular officials.

TAKEN FROM:

Bare-Faced Messiah By  Russell Miller, Chapter 18 Messengers of God

L Ron Hubbard as 'revolutionary horticultural scientist', proving that plants can feel pain

Bare-Faced Messiah By  Russell Miller,Chapter 13 Apostle of the Main Chance
The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard is a posthumous biography of Scientology founder
L. Ron Hubbard by British journalist Russell Miller. Originally published: 26 October1987

 Author: Russell Miller, Genre: Biography,

Page count: 380,

Publisher: Michael Joseph,

Subject: L. Ron Hubbard

Hubbard with his friend Ray Kemp on a two-day trip to Ireland during which he hoped to solve the 'Irish problem'
Hubbard as genial family man. From the left Suzette (4), his wife Mary Sue, Quentin (5), Arthur (1) and Diana (7). All were to suffer in various ways. (Photo Source Ltd)

'A historic milestone in the personal life of L. Ron Hubbard and in the history of Dianetics and Scientology was passed in February 1954, with the founding of the first Church of Scientology. This was in keeping with the religious nature of the tenets dating from the earliest days of research. It was obvious that he had been exploring religious territory right along.' (Mission Into Time, 1973)
 (Scientology's account of the years 1953-59.)
*   *   *   *   *

'Casualty Contact' was another thoroughly distasteful recruiting method advocated by Hubbard. He recommended that ambitious auditors looking for new pre-clears should cut out stories in the newspapers about 'people who have been victimized one way or the other by life. It does not much matter whether that victimizing is in the manner of mental or physical injury . . .' Then they should make a call on the bereaved or injured person as speedily as possible, representing themselves as 'a minister whose compassion was compelled by the newspaper story'.


Hubbard returned to Washington for Christmas, but in the New Year he began making plans to move back to London with his family. Pam and Ray Kemp wrote to say that they were moving and that their house in North London, on the Finchley Road in Golders Green, would be available if Ron was looking for somewhere to live. The Hubbards - Ron, Mary Sue, Diana, aged six, Quentin, five, Suzette, four and Arthur, eight months - arrived in London at the end of February and agreed to rent the Kemps' house in Golders Green.

'My daughter Suzanne was born on Ron's birthday,' said Pam Kemp. 'Ron came over with a beautiful, bright orange, angora shawl for me. He said everyone brings presents for the baby but everyone forgets it is the mother that has been doing all the work so he was bringing a present for the mother. That was typical of him.

'It was also typical of him that he stiffed us for the rent and he stiffed the greengrocer. Before they moved in, the greengrocer on the other side of the road asked us if he could trust the new tenants and we said "Of course." Ron proceeded to run up a huge bill which he never paid. And he never paid us any rent. We asked him dozens of times for the money. He told us to ask Mary Sue and she always said they didn't have any money.

'Then one day Ron came over on his motorcycle, very excited and pleased with himself. He said, "Guess what I've done?"'[10]
The Kemps were dumbfounded by their friend's news. He announced that he had bought the Maharajah of Jaipur's estate in Sussex.

Hubbard had been quietly planning the conversion of Scientology into a religion for more than twelve months, ever since his return from Europe in the autumn of 1953. It made sense financially, for there were substantial tax concessions available to churches, and it made sense pragmatically, for he was convinced that as a religion Scientology would be less vulnerable to attack by the enemies he was convinced were constantly trying to encircle him.

Furthermore, religion was booming in post-war America. All the churches were increasing their membership, there was a new interest in revivalism, epitomized by Billy Graham's spectacular crusades, and even theologians were fostering the concept of the church as integral to contemporary culture, reflected in the popularity of songs like 'I Believe' and epic films like The Ten Commandments. Politicians, too, spoke of 'piety on the Potomac' and President-elect Dwight D. Eisenhower declared in late 1952: 'Our government makes no sense unless it is founded on a deeply felt religious faith - and I don't care what it is!' In 1954 Congress boosted the new piety by adding the phrase 'under God' to the pledge of allegiance.

Hubbard was quick to recognize there was a religious bandwagon rolling and equally quick to leap nimbly aboard. In December 1953, he incorporated three new churches - the Church of American Science, the Church of Scientology and the Church of Spiritual Engineering - in Camden, New Jersey. On 18 February 1954, the Church of Scientology of California was incorporated. Its objects, inter alia, were to 'accept and adopt the aims, purposes, principles and creed of the Church of American Science, as founded by L. Ron

Hubbard'. Another Church of Scientology was incorporated in Washington DC and throughout 1954 Hubbard urged franchise holders around the United States to convert their operations into independent churches. Executives of the Hubbard Association of Scientologists International henceforth described themselves as 'ministers', and some of the more flamboyant even took to wearing clerical collars and pre-fixing their names with 'Reverend'.

At the beginning of 1955, Hubbard moved his headquarters from Phoenix to Washington DC, declaring his belief that the church's constitutional rights were safer under the jurisdiction of Federal, rather than State, courts. Travelling with him to Washington was a veritable family entourage, including his heavily pregnant wife and their two small children, his son Nibs and his wife, Henrietta, also pregnant. On Sunday, 13 February, Mary Sue gave birth to a daughter, Mary Suzette Rochelle Hubbard, her third child in rather less than three years of marriage.

The Hubbards moved into a two-storey house in the leafy Maryland suburb of Silver Spring, just outside the Washington DC metropolitan area, and it was from there that Ron resumed his correspondence with the Communist Activities Division of the FBI. On 11 July 1955, he wrote a maundering three-page letter, about Communists and wicked accountants conspiring with renegade IRS agents to destroy him, so inane that the recipient at the FBI scribbled on it a notation 'appears mental'.[1] Thereafter, the FBI no longer acknowledged communications from Hubbard 'because of their rambling, meaningless nature and lack of any pertinence to Bureau interests'.[2] No doubt somewhat to the Bureau's chagrin, Hubbard was not in the least deterred from writing.

Two weeks later, on smart new printed notepaper headed 'L. Ron Hubbard D.D., Ph.D.', he wrote again to say he had received an invitation to go to Russia. It had come from an 'unimpeachable source' who suggested that as he was about to be ruined by the IRS he might as well accept the offer. 'It seems I can go to Russia as an adviser or a consultant and have my own laboratories and receive very high fees. And it is all so easy because it has already been ascertained that I could get my passport extended for Russia and all I had to do was go to Paris and there a Russian plane would pick me up and that would be that.' He did not wish to reveal the name of his contact, he added, 'because he is a little too highly placed on the [Capitol] Hill'.

It seemed Hubbard was able to resist blandishments from beyond the Iron Curtain, for through the sweltering summer months in Washington DC he could be found lecturing at the 'Academy of Religious Arts and Sciences', in a ten-roomed house at 1845 R Street, in the north-west section of the city. He was still maintaining a one-way communication with the FBI and on 7 September, he wrote to complain about the persecution of Scientologists, some of whom he alleged were being mysteriously driven insane, possibly by the use of LSD, 'the insanity producing drug so favoured by the APA [American Psychological Association]'. Another poor wretch, a 'half-blind deaf old man' had been arrested for practising medicine without a licence in Phoenix by a County attorney promising to 'get to the bottom of this thing about Hubbard and Scientology'.

On a personal basis, Hubbard pointed out that it was not uncommon 'to have judges and attorneys mad-dogged about what a terrible person I am and how foul is Scientology . . . All manner of defamatory rumours have been scattered around me, questioning even my sanity . . .'

It certainly was a question in the forefront of the FBI file, although Hubbard was not to know that. He continued: 'I am trying to turn out some monographs on matters in my field of nuclear physics and psychology for the government on the subject of alleviating some of the distress of radiation burns, a project I came east to complete.' He also promised to forward information about the latest brain-washing techniques in Russia.

The horror of 'brain-washing' had been an emotive talking point in the United States ever since the end of the Korean war and the revelation that United Nations prisoners had been brain-washed for propaganda purposes. Timely as always, Hubbard entered the debate by distributing a pamphlet entitled 'Brain-Washing: A Synthesis of the Russian Textbook on Psychopolitics', which he claimed was a transcript of a lecture delivered in the Soviet Union by the dreaded Lavrenty Pavlovich Beria, architect of Stalin's purges.

It was this pamphlet he forwarded in due course to the FBI with a note explaining that it was the Church of Scientology's printing of 'what appeared to be a Communist manual'. The Bureau's Central Research Section examined it and concluded that its authenticity was doubtful, since it lacked documentation of source material, did not use normal Communist words and phrases and contained no quotations from well-known Communist works, as would be expected. Had the Central Research Section been familiar with the works of L. Ron Hubbard, they might have noted certain similarities in the narrative style.

The FBI did not acknowledge receipt of the pamphlet, but this did not dissuade the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation of Silver Spring, Maryland, from mailing the pamphlet to influential individuals and organizations around the country with a covering letter claiming that 'authorization' had been received to release the material after the FBI had been supplied with a copy.

bulletins, casually adding, 'If possible, of course, ruin him utterly.'

In the same bulletin he offered the benefit of his advice to any Scientologists unlucky enough to be arrested. They were instantly to file a $100,000 civil damages suit for molestation of 'a Man of God going about his business', then go on the offensive 'forcefully, artfully and arduously' and cause 'blue flames to dance on the courthouse roof until everybody has apologized profusely'. The only way to defend anything, Hubbard wrote, was to attack. 'If you ever forget that, you will lose every battle you are ever engaged in.'[3] It was a philosophy to which he would adhere ardently all his life.

At the end of September, the Hubbards packed their bags once again, closed the house at Silver Spring and departed the United States with their three young children for another extended visit to London. Hubbard had taken a lease on a large apartment in Brunswick House, a mansion block in Palace Gardens Terrace, a few minutes walk from Kensington Gardens. It became, temporarily, the address of the Hubbard Communications Office, which maintained links with embryonic Scientology groups in other countries (satellite churches had already been established in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand).

Hubbard immediately took over the day-to-day running of the Hubbard Association of Scientologists International, which was still operating from its dreary premises at 163 Holland Park Avenue, although it had grown considerably in size. There was now a full-time staff of twenty auditors, most of them young, like Cyril Vosper, who had been a nineteen-year-old biology student when he first read about Dianetics and was a qualified professional auditor by the time he was twenty.

'I had no doubt that Hubbard's arrival in town was a historic event,' he recalled. 'I believed in him totally, believed he was a genius and was convinced he knew a lot more about the human species and the human condition than anyone else. The only reason I had any slight difficulty in accepting that he was the world's greatest human being was that, to English eyes, he didn't look like a Messiah. He used to wear very brash American clothes - loud check jackets and bootlace ties and brothel-creepers. It wasn't quite the image we expected. But he gave a number of public lectures around town and was interviewed by the media and was pretty well received. The newspapers at that time were quite complimentary, they viewed him as an oddball who might just have come up with something good.

'Ron presided over the staff meeting at the HASI at five o'clock every afternoon. It was all Christian names at the HASI, everyone called him Ron, but there was no doubt he was absolutely in charge. He wouldn't brook any other input: all the books were written by him, all the policy letters were written by him. No one would ever question anything he said or wrote. I had read The History of Man and I knew, as a biology student, that it was a load of bleeding nonsense but I explained it to myself as an allegorical work. In any case, I could never have said to him, "Now listen, Ron, that's just not true." No one would ever have done that.

'One of the things that began to worry me about Ron was that he was unpredictable. He could be very thoughtful and kind one minute and quite hideous the next. We were auditing about 50 hours a week and I remember one afternoon a girl auditor burst into tears when she was telling Ron about a particularly difficult case she had. He put his arm round her and said, "Jenny, anything we can do for this pre-clear is better than doing nothing. She needs help and a bit of attention and that is what you are giving her. Just keep on doing the same thing you're doing and you will resolve it in due course. You can't expect miracles overnight." That struck me as a very humane and comforting thing to say to her. There was no question he had something to contribute in the psychological area. I mean, just to sit down with someone and listen to them for a couple of hours did them good.

'But then I have also seen him behave in a grotesque fashion. One afternoon during a lecture a woman in the audience was coughing rather badly and he walked to the front of the stage, red-faced and visibly angry, and shouted, "Get that woman out of this lecture hall!" She was one of his most fervent supporters and she was also desperately ill - she died three weeks later of lung cancer.'[4]

Aside from occasional temper tantrums, Hubbard considered things were going very well in London. 'I am busy at a headlong rate of speed,' he wrote to Marilyn Routsong, an aide left behind in Washington to keep an eve on his interests, 'really got things rolling off over here. Hope to have some films that will help us before long, and am now dickering around on an international radio'. He ended the letter with a titbit of information that must have made Miss Routsong's nerves tingle: 'Just between ourselves, I actually do have a method of as-ising the atom bomb. Anyway I'm not quite as far away as you think. Love, Ron.'

In the peculiar argot of Scientology, 'as-isness' was a process of making something disappear. What Hubbard was apparently saying was that he was well on the way towards removing nuclear weapons from the face of the earth. However, something must have gone wrong since he would soon be applying his awesome imagination to the problem of dealing with radiation.

The Hubbards' closest friends in London were Ray Kemp, now back home from Phoenix, and his pretty girlfriend, Pam, both of whom worked at the HASI. Hubbard, as a minister of the Church of American Science, performed the ceremony when they married in February 1956, in the lecture room at the HASI, and Mary Sue was Pam's maid of honour. 'Ron and Mary Sue had dinner with us the night before the wedding,' Pam said, 'and Ron told us he had written the ceremony specially for us. He was a very good friend - he even fixed our honeymoon, made arrangements for us to use an apartment in Tangier owned by a friend of his and paid for our air tickets.
'When we got back, we used to see a great deal of them, two or three times a week. Ron would telephone and say, "I'm coming over to dinner and I'm bringing a chicken." Then we would sit up for hours playing Cluedo and the men would start telling stories and there would be lots of laughter. It was a lot of fun - I'd usually end up falling asleep and Mary Sue would go to bed. Their relationship seemed OK, but there never seemed to be a lot of love between them. She was not the affectionate type, she was more efficient than affectionate. They used to have fierce husband and wife domestic arguments.
'We had a big old apartment in Palace Court, Kensington, with a huge living-room with a full-size concert grand in the corner and we used to have parties every night. Ron was always the life and soul, great fun. He loved to dance, play the guitar or ukulele; he was a real actor. He would drag me up to sing with him and then we'd make up rude songs about him and auditing and he would top each verse and roar with laughter and think it was terribly funny. I thought he was always very aware as an individual. He would make a comment about something and he'd invariably be right and I'd look at him and think "How did you know that?"'[5]
At the end of March 1956, Ray Kemp accompanied Hubbard on a trip to Dublin. 'He wanted to see if there was something he could do for Ireland,' Kemp explained. 'He felt that Ireland's troubles were based on the fact that it was a bit like a Third World nation and had never been able to apply the skills of its people. We were there for two or three days and he spent the whole time talking to people. We'd be walking down the street and all of a sudden he wasn't there. I'd look back and see him deep in conversation with someone, asking them if they had a job, what their skills were, things like that. Believe it or not, he'd actually run a little process on them there and then and they'd feel better and he'd walk away. His idea was to open a Personal Efficiency Foundation in Dublin to teach people how to apply whatever skills they had got, but I don't think anything ever came of it.'

Back in London, Hubbard applied himself to proselytizing for his fledgling church. Never short of ideas, he told Kemp to try putting an advertisement in the London evening newspapers with a telephone number and the offer, 'I will talk to anyone about anything.' It instantly tapped the deep well of loneliness which exists in every big city and generated an extraordinary response. 'We were inundated with calls,' said Kemp. 'Everyone from potential suicides to a girl who couldn't decide which of three men to marry.'
So successful was this campaign that Hubbard then tried targeting specific, and potentially vulnerable, groups, starting with the victims of one of the most feared diseases of the 'fifties. The classified columns of the evening newspapers soon began carrying the following, apparently innocuous, advertisement: 'Polio victims. A research foundation investigating polio desires volunteers suffering from the effects of that illness to call for examination . . .' The 'research foundation' followed up with similar advertisements aimed at asthmatics and arthritics.

'Casualty Contact' was another thoroughly distasteful recruiting method advocated by Hubbard. He recommended that ambitious auditors looking for new pre-clears should cut out stories in the newspapers about 'people who have been victimized one way or the other by life. It does not much matter whether that victimizing is in the manner of mental or physical injury . . .' Then they should make a call on the bereaved or injured person as speedily as possible, representing themselves as 'a minister whose compassion was compelled by the newspaper story'.

By the summer of 1956, Scientology was prospering mightily and so, at last, was its founder. Hubbard's gross receipts for the fiscal year ending June 1956 amounted to $102,604 - a handsome income by any standards.[6] His salary from the Church of Scientology was only $125 a week, but he earned commission from the sale of training processes and E-meters, in addition to substantial royalties from his innumerable books. More than sixty books on Scientology by L. Ron Hubbard were in print by this time and a new one was appearing approximately every two months, usually containing new processes and procedures superseding those currently in use.
The church could easily afford the expense of allowing its founder to become an early transatlantic commuter and Hubbard made frequent visits back to Washington during the year, collecting lecture fees on each trip. In November, the Academy of Religious Arts and Sciences (also known as the Academy of Scientology) moved to 1810-1812 19th Street, adjoining grey-brick townhouses with two flights of stone steps leading up to the front door in a tree-lined street of eminent respectability. The Hubbards took a lease on a handsome four-storey brownstone on the other side of the street for their use when they were in Washington.

In March 1957, the Church of Scientology adopted a compensation scheme known as a 'proportional pay plan' under which Hubbard would henceforth receive, in lieu of salary, a percentage of the church's gross income. The effect was dramatic: before the end of the 'fifties the founder of the Church of Scientology would be coining around $250,000 a year, a great deal more than the President of the United States.

By April it seemed that Hubbard had given up his heroic, single-handed attempt to rid the world of nuclear weapons by 'as-ising' the atomic bomb, for in that month he hired the Royal Empire Society Hall in London in order to preside over the 'London Congress on Nuclear Radiation and Health'. The various lectures delivered at this extraordinary event were later condensed into an even more extraordinary book titled All About Radiation and written by 'a nuclear physicist' and 'a medical doctor'.

The doctor was anonymous, but the 'nuclear physicist' was none other than L. Ron Hubbard offering the benefit of his advice with customary scant recourse to the laws of science. He asserted, for example, that a sixteen-foot wall could not stop a gamma ray whereas a human body could, an assertion later described by an eminent radiologist as 'showing complete and utter ignorance of physics, nuclear science and medicine'.[7] In line with his philosophy that most illnesses were caused by the mind, Hubbard avowed, 'The danger in the world today in my opinion is not the atomic radiation which may or may not be floating through the atmosphere but the hysteria occasioned by that question.' Radiation, he added, was 'more of a mental than a physical problem'.
Fortunately, however, no one needed to worry about radiation, since Hubbard had devised a vitamin compound called 'Dianazene' (after his first child by Mary Sue?) which provided protection: 'Dianazene runs out radiation - or what appears to be radiation. It also proofs a person against radiation to some degree. It also turns on and runs out incipient cancer. I have seen it run out skin cancer. A man who didn't have much liability to skin cancer (only had a few moles) took Dianazene. His whole jaw turned into a raw mass of cancer. He kept on taking Dianazene and it disappeared after a while. I was looking at a case of cancer that might have happened.'
The doctor, writing under the pseudonym Medicus, confirmed in his section of the book that 'some very recent work by L. Ron Hubbard and the Hubbard Scientology Organization has indicated that a simple combination of vitamins in unusual doses can be of value. Alleviation of the remote effects and increased tolerance of radiation have been the apparent results . . .'

The Food and Drugs Administration in the United States was inclined, after studying a copy of All About Radiation, to disagree. FDA agents swooped on the Distribution Center Inc, a Scientology company in Washington, seized 21,000 Dianazene tablets and destroyed them, alleging that they were falsely labelled as a preventative treatment for 'radiation sickness'.

In July 1957, Hubbard addressed the 'Freedom Congress' at the Shoreham Hotel in Washington; during the lecture he carried out a christening ceremony for the first time. Its function, he explained, was simply to help get the thetan oriented in its new body and informality was the keynote, as was made evident in a booklet titled 'Ceremonies of the Founding Church of Scientology'. After introducing the child to its parents and godparents, the ceremony proceeded: 'Here we go. (To the child): How are you? All right. Now your name is ---. You got that? Good. There you are. Did that upset you? Now, do you realize that you're a member of the HASI? Pretty good, huh?' Thereafter the parents and godparents were introduced to the child and the ceremony concluded: 'Now you're suitably christened. Don't worry about it, it could be worse. OK. Thank you very much. They'll treat you all right.'

His image as a family man was a pose, since he evinced little interest in his own children.  Hubbard made no attempts to see in iwn daughter Alexis.

Nibs rarely managed to please his father and his sister, Catherine, then twenty-one, had started working for the organization in Washington but saw little of Hubbard. She married a Scientologist in 1956 which would have pleased her father except he did not like the man; the marriage could not survive his disapproval and she divorced in 1957.


The same month as the Freedom Congress (July 1957), the Central Intelligence Agency opened a file, No. 156409, on L. Ron Hubbard and his organization.


CIA agents trawled through police, revenue, credit and property records to try and unravel Hubbard's tangled corporate affairs. It was a task of herculean difficulty, for the Church of Scientology was a cryptic maze of ad hoc corporations. The printed notepaper of the Academy of Scientology gave only a hint of its labyrinthine structure - on the left-hand side of the page was a list of no less than seventeen associated organizations, ranging from the American Society for Disaster Relief to the Society of Consulting Ministers.
Agents traced a considerable amount of property owned either by Hubbard, his wife, son, or one of the daunting number of 'churches' with which they were associated, but the report quickly became bogged down in a tangle of names and addresses: 'The Academy of Religious Arts and Sciences is currently engaged as a school for ministers of religion which at the present time possesses approximately thirty to forty students. The entire course consists of $1500 to $1800 worth of actual classroom studies . . . The public office is located at 1810-12 19th Street N.W. The corporations rent the entire building 

'The Hubbard Guidance Center, located at 2315 15th Street, N.W., occupies the entire building which consists of three floors and which was purchased by the SUBJECT Organization. The center also rents farm property located somewhere along Colesville Road in Silver Spring, Maryland, on a short-term lease. The center formerly operated a branch office at 8609 Flower Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland. In addition to the Silver Spring operation, the center has a working agreement with the Founding Church of Scientology of New York, which holds classes at Studio 847, Carnegie Hall, 154 West 57th Street, New York City. Churches of this denomination number in excess of one hundred in the United States . . .'
One agent was assigned the thankless task of reading through all Hubbard's published work at the Library of Congress in order to gain an 'insight' into Scientology. 'Hubbard's works', he noted glumly, 'contain many words, the meaning of which are not made clear for lay comprehension and perhaps purposely so.'

The District of Columbia Income Tax Division reported that the 'church' had applied for a licence to operate as a religion in Washington DC probably in an attempt to claim tax-free status, and the Personal Property Division reported that it was having difficulty persuading the church to produce its records so that a personal property tax could be levied. Repeated telephone calls had produced nothing but excuses as to why the records could not be produced.

In the end, the CIA file could do no more than chronicle a multitude of vague suspicions; it certainly uncovered no hard evidence of wrong-doing and it revealed curiously little about the remarkable career of the founder of the Founding Church of Scientology. 'Dr Hubbard', it noted simply, 'received a Doctor of Divinity degree in 1954 and throughout his adult career has been a minister.'


The increasingly obvious success of Scientology from 1957 onwards unquestionably prompted federal agencies to keep a closer eye on Hubbard. The Washington Field Office of the FBI, for example, maintained an extensive file which included film and sound recordings as well as photographs and doggedly noted every example of Hubbard's exuberant irreverence to authority.
When the Academy of Scientology delivered twelve thousand feet of film to a Washington laboratory for processing, outraged technicians forwarded it to the FBI for investigation, alleging that the speaker on the film was anti-American. The film covered six one-hour lectures by Hubbard, during which he made a crack about the Government developing the hydrogen bomb in order to 'kill more people faster'.
He also talked about his experience, when 'he was a policeman', in dealing with the criminal mind. 'The FBI thinks there's such a thing as the criminal mind - always a big joke,' he said. 'There's a criminal mind and a non-criminal mind. The FBI have never shown me a non-criminal mind. Of course, these are terrible things to say - simply comments on J. Edgar who is an awfully good guy, stupid, but awfully good.' The Washington Field Office, which perhaps lacked Hubbard's sense of humour, solemnly took note of this analysis of their director and diligently forwarded to him the advice that L. Ron Hubbard thought he was 'stupid'.[8]

Largely unaware of the extent of federal interest in his activities, Hubbard had remained in Washington after the Freedom Congress to lecture on a more permanent basis at the Academy of Scientology. Mary Sue and the children joined him from London and they all moved into the brownstone house on 19th Street. Although she was soon pregnant once more, Mary Sue was appointed 'Academy Supervisor' and remained a powerful figure in the organization. On 6 June 1958, she gave birth to her fourth child - a son, Arthur Ronald Conway Hubbard. Like his other brothers and sisters, Arthur emerged into the world with a wispy topping of bright red hair.

Through most of 1958 Hubbard lectured in Washington at the Academy. In one famous lecture, taped for posterity and marketed for profit, he recounted the colourful 'story of Dianetics and Scientology', interlacing the resumé with anecdotes and jokes, all delivered with a fine sense of timing and generating roars of laughter from an appreciative audience. It was essentially the story of his own life as it had come to be compiled in his mind, with extraordinary adventures tagged on to a slender framework of facts.

'The story starts when I was 12 years old', he began, 'and I met one of the great men of Freudian analysis, Commander Thompson, a great man and explorer. He was a commander in the US Navy. His enemies called him Crazy Thompson and his friends called him Snake Thompson. He was a personal friend of Freud and had no kids of his own. On a big transport on a long cruise he started to work me over. He had a cat by the name of Psycho with a crooked tail. The cat would do tricks and the first thing he did was teach me to train cats . . .'

He continued the story in similar vein. Finding himself in Asia while still a teenager, he discovered he was able to 'operate in the field of Asian mysticism'; in college he was 'never in class' but got through by persuading other students to take his mathematics examinations while he did their psychology papers. It was easy, he said. He simply read the textbooks the night before and sat the exam next morning. During the Prohibition years he knocked around with newspaper reporters and drank bathtub gin acquired from the 'very best gangsters'.

In 1938, having 'associated rather thoroughly with twelve different native cultures, not including the people in the Bronx', he identified the urge to survive as the common denominator of all forms of life. In hospital at the end of the war, 'recuperating from an accumulation of too much wartime Scotch and overdoses of lead', he continued his research. 'I found out that by taking off one collar ornament I became an MD. They don't let anybody in a medical library except doctors but by stopping off with one collar ornament and for a couple of bucks having a marine on crutches come by and say, "Good morning, doctor", I was able to get in a year's study at the medical library.'

After leaving hospital he bought a yacht, took a cruise to the West Indies, then used his wartime back pay to finance further research - 'I went down to the middle of Hollywood, rented an office, wrapped a towel round my head and became a swami.'

Perhaps the most revealing thing Hubbard said about himself during the lecture was a comment on one of Commander Thompson's favourite little aphorisms. It appeared that the Commander used to tell Ron, 'If it's not true for you, it's not true.' It aligned with his own personal philosophy, Hubbard explained, 'because if there is anyone in the world calculated to believe what he wants to believe it is I'. Never did L. Ron Hubbard speak a truer word.

In October, Hubbard flew back to London to preside over a six-week 'Advanced Clinical Course' at HASI's smart new West End offices in Fitzroy Street. Cyril Vosper was one of the students on the course hoping for a Bachelor or Doctorate of Scientology and he noticed a marked change in Hubbard's appearance: 'The flashy American clothes were gone. Now he was wearing grey tweed suits and silk shirts. He looked like a well-dressed professional gentleman and there was a feel of money and class about the whole thing.'[9]

Much of the course, Vosper recollected, was devoted to students investigating each other's past lives. As Hubbard made frequent mention in his lectures of past lives on other planets, with zapp guns, flying saucers, mother ships, galactic federations, repeller beams and suchlike, Vosper reported that many of the past lives excitedly revealed during the course sounded like 'Flash Gordon' adventures.

Nibs, who was one of the instructors, proved to be enormously resourceful in the past lives area. 'When a student was having difficulty in making his past life gel,' said Vosper, 'Nibs would helpfully fill in bits. Students knew that unless they could bring forth a past life with full recall, pain, emotion, full perception, the lot, they would be regarded as something less than real Scientologists. There was a good deal of rivalry as to who could dig up the most notable or extraordinary past life. Jesus of Nazareth was very popular. At least three London Scientologists claimed to have uncovered incidents in which they were crucified and rose from the dead to save the world. Queen Elizabeth I, Walter Raleigh and the venerable Bede were also popular. Funnily enough, I never met anyone who claimed to know anything about Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan or Pontius Pilate.'

Hubbard returned to Washington for Christmas, but in the New Year he began making plans to move back to London with his family. Pam and Ray Kemp wrote to say that they were moving and that their house in North London, on the Finchley Road in Golders Green, would be available if Ron was looking for somewhere to live. The Hubbards - Ron, Mary Sue, Diana, aged six, Quentin, five, Suzette, four and Arthur, eight months - arrived in London at the end of February and agreed to rent the Kemps' house in Golders Green.

'My daughter Suzanne was born on Ron's birthday,' said Pam Kemp. 'Ron came over with a beautiful, bright orange, angora shawl for me. He said everyone brings presents for the baby but everyone forgets it is the mother that has been doing all the work so he was bringing a present for the mother. That was typical of him.

'It was also typical of him that he stiffed us for the rent and he stiffed the greengrocer. Before they moved in, the greengrocer on the other side of the road asked us if he could trust the new tenants and we said "Of course." Ron proceeded to run up a huge bill which he never paid. And he never paid us any rent. We asked him dozens of times for the money. He told us to ask Mary Sue and she always said they didn't have any money.


'Then one day Ron came over on his motorcycle, very excited and pleased with himself. He said, "Guess what I've done?"'[10]
The Kemps were dumbfounded by their friend's news. He announced that he had bought the Maharajah of Jaipur's estate in Sussex.

1. FBI memo, 11 October 1957 
2.. FBI memo, 27 February 1957
3. HCO Technical Bulletin, Vol. II, 1955
4. Interview with Cyril Vosper, London, December 1985
5. Interview with Pam Kemp, Palomar, CA, August 1986 
6. Founding Church of Scientology v. US Court of Claims No. 22-61
7. Report of Board of Inquiry into Scientology, State of Victoria, Australia, 1965
8. FBI Airtel, 7 August 1958
9. Interview with Vosper
10. Interview with Kemp

Two members of the Sea Org hoist an unfortunate Scientologist overboard. This photo, taken by Hubbard himself, was published in The Auditor, issue 41, 1968. The editor thought it was a little joke on Hubbard's part; hence, the tongue-in-cheek caption. Of course, it was anything but a joke, and the unfortunate editor was himself sent to the RPF when Hubbard read the article. @pgplate(292)

More from Wikipedia on ​ Sara Elizabeth Bruce Northrup Hollister
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sara_Northrup_Hollister

Sara Elizabeth Bruce Northrup Hollister (April 8, 1924 – December 19, 1997) played a major role in the creation of Dianetics, which evolved into the religious movement Scientology. She was the second wife of science-fiction author L. Ron Hubbard, who would become the leader of the Church of Scientology.[1]
Northrup was a major figure in the Pasadena branch of the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.), a secret society led by the English occultist Aleister Crowley, where she was known as "Soror [Sister] Cassap". She joined as a teenager along with her older sister Helen. From 1941 to 1945 she had a turbulent relationship with her sister's husband John Whiteside Parsons, the head of the Pasadena O.T.O. Although she was a committed and popular member, she acquired a reputation for disruptiveness that prompted Crowley to denounce her as a "vampire." She began a relationship with L. Ron Hubbard, whom she met through the O.T.O., in 1945. She and Hubbard eloped, taking with them a substantial amount of Parsons' life savings and marrying bigamously a year later while Hubbard was still married to his first wife, Margaret Grubb.
Northrup played a significant role in the development of Dianetics, Hubbard's "modern science of mental health", between 1948 and 1951. She was Hubbard's personal auditor and along with Hubbard, one of the seven members of the Dianetics Foundation's Board of Directors. However, their marriage was deeply troubled; Hubbard was responsible for a prolonged campaign of domestic violence against her and kidnapped both her and her infant daughter. Hubbard spread allegations that she was a Communist secret agent and repeatedly denounced her to the FBI. The FBI declined to take any action, characterizing Hubbard as a "mental case". The marriage ended in 1951 and prompted lurid headlines in the Los Angeles newspapers. She subsequently married one of Hubbard's former employees, Miles Hollister, and moved to Hawaii and later Massachusetts, where she died in 1997.

Sara Northrup Hollister
Sara Northrup Hollister in April 1951
Born: April 8, 1924
Pasadena, California, United States
Died: December 19, 1997 (aged 73)
Hadley, Massachusetts, United States
Spouse(s)
L. Ron Hubbard (1946–1951)
Miles Hollister (1951–1997)
Children: 1 - Alexus 

Early  Life of Sara Elizabeth Bruce Northrup Hollister 


Northrup was one of five children born to Olga Nelson, the daughter of a Swedish immigrant to the United States.[2] She was the granddaughter of Russian emigrant Malacon Kosadamanov (later Nelson) who emigrated to Sweden.[3] Northrup's mother first married Thomas Cowley, an Englishman working for the Standard Oil Company. The couple had three daughters. In 1923 the family moved to Pasadena, a destination said to have been chosen by Olga using a Ouija board.[2] Although she later remembered her childhood with warmth, Northrup's upbringing was marred by her sexually abusive father, who was imprisoned in 1928 for financial fraud.[4] She was sexually active from an unusually young age and often said she lost her virginity at the age of ten.[5]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Parsons_(rocket_engineer)

John Whiteside "Jack" Parsons (born Marvel Whiteside Parsons;[nb 1] October 2, 1914 – June 17, 1952)- died-June 17, 1952 (aged 37) (Cause of death- Explosion) Pasadena, California, U.S. was an American rocket engineer and rocket propulsion researcher, chemist, and Thelemite occultist. Associated with the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Parsons was one of the principal founders of both the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the Aerojet Engineering Corporation. He invented the first rocket engine to use a castable, composite rocket propellant,[1] and pioneered the advancement of both liquid-fuel and solid-fuel rockets.

Born in Los Angeles, Parsons was raised by a wealthy family on Orange Grove Avenue in Pasadena. Inspired by science fiction literature, he developed an interest in rocketry in his childhood and in 1928 began amateur rocket experiments with school friend Ed Forman. He dropped out of Pasadena Junior College and Stanford University due to financial difficulties during the Great Depression, and in 1934 he united with Forman and graduate student Frank Malina to form the Caltech-affiliated Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory (GALCIT) Rocket Research Group, supported by GALCIT chairman Theodore von Kármán. In 1939 the GALCIT Group gained funding from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to work on Jet-Assisted Take Off (JATO) for the U.S. military. Following American entry into World War II, in 1942 they founded Aerojet to develop and sell their JATO technology; the GALCIT Group became JPL in 1943.

After a brief involvement with Marxism in 1939, Parsons converted to Thelema, the English occultist Aleister Crowley's new religious movement. In 1941, alongside his first wife Helen Northrup, Parsons joined the Agape Lodge, the Californian branch of the Thelemite Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.). At Crowley's bidding, he replaced Wilfred Talbot Smith as its leader in 1942 and ran the Lodge from his mansion on Orange Grove Avenue. Parsons was expelled from JPL and Aerojet in 1944 due to the Lodge's infamous reputation, along with his hazardous workplace conduct.

In 1945 Parsons separated from Helen after having an affair with her sister Sara; when Sara left him for L. Ron Hubbard, he conducted the Babalon Working, a series of rituals designed to invoke the Thelemic goddess Babalon to Earth. He and Hubbard continued the procedure with Marjorie Cameron, whom Parsons married in 1946. After Hubbard and Sara defrauded him of his life savings, Parsons resigned from the O.T.O. and went through various jobs while acting as a consultant for the Israeli rocket program. Amid the climate of McCarthyism, he was accused of espionage and left unable to work in rocketry. In 1952 Parsons died at the age of 37 in a home laboratory explosion that attracted national media attention; the police ruled it an accident, but many associates suspected suicide or murder.

Parsons' occult and libertarian writings were published posthumously, with Western esoteric and countercultural circles citing him as one of the most significant figures in propagating Thelema across North America. Although academic interest in his scientific career was negligible, historians came to recognize Parsons' contributions to rocket engineering. For these innovations, his advocacy of space exploration and human spaceflight, and his role in the founding of JPL and Aerojet, Parsons is regarded as among the most important figures in the history of the U.S. space program. He has been the subject of several biographies and fictionalized portrayals, including the television drama Strange Angel.

Sara Elizabeth Bruce Northrup Hollister’s relationship with Jack Parsons

In 1933, Northrup's 22-year-old sister Helen met the 18-year-old Jack Parsons, a chemist who went on to be a noted expert in rocket propulsion. Jack Parsons was also an avid student and practitioner of the occult. Helen and Jack were engaged in July 1934[6] and married in April 1935.[2] Parsons' interest in the occult led in 1939 to him and Helen joining the Pasadena branch of the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.).
At age 15, Northrup moved in with sister Helen and her husband Jack, while she finished high school.[1] Parsons had subdivided the house, a rambling mansion next door to the estate of Adolphus Busch (which later became the first Busch Gardens), into 19 apartments which he populated with a mixture of artists, writers, scientists and occultists.[7] Her parents not only knew about her unconventional living arrangements but supported Parsons' group financially.[8]
Northrup joined the O.T.O. in 1941, at Parsons' urging, and was given the title of Soror [Sister] Cassap.[1] She soon rose to the rank of a second degree member, or "Magician", of the O.T.O.[9]

In June 1941, at the age of seventeen, she began a passionate affair with Parsons while her sister Helen was away on vacation. She made a striking impression on the other lodgers; George Pendle describes her as "feisty and untamed, proud and self-willed, she stood five foot nine, had a lithe body and blond hair, and was extremely candid."[10] When Helen returned, she found Northrup wearing Helen's own clothes and calling herself Parsons' "new wife." Such conduct was expressly permitted by the O.T.O., which followed Crowley's disdain of marriage as a "detestable institution" and accepted as commonplace the swapping of wives and partners between O.T.O. members.[10]
Although both were committed O.T.O. members, Northrup's usurpation of Helen's role led to conflict between the two sisters. The reactions of Parsons and Helen towards Northrup were markedly different. Parsons told Helen to her face that he preferred Northrup sexually: "This is a fact that I can do nothing about. I am better suited to her temperamentally – we get on well. Your character is superior. You are a greater person. I doubt that she would face what you have with me – or support me as well."[11] Some years later, addressing himself as "You", Parsons told himself that his affair with Northrup (whom he called Betty) marked a key step in his growth as a practitioner of magick: "Betty served to affect a transference from Helen at a critical period ... Your passion for Betty also gave you the magical force needed at the time, and the act of adultery tinged with incest, served as your magical confirmation in the law of Thelema."[11]
Helen was far less sanguine, writing in her diary of "the sore spot I carried where my heart should be",[11] and had furious – sometimes violent – rows with both Parsons and Northrup. She began an affair with Wilfred Smith, Parsons' mentor in the O.T.O.[11] and had a son in 1943 who bore Parsons' surname but who was almost certainly fathered by Smith.[11] Northrup also became pregnant but had an abortion on April 1, 1943, arranged by Parsons and carried out by Dr. Zachary Taylor Malaby, a prominent Pasadena doctor and Democratic politician.[12]

Northrup's hostility towards other members of the O.T.O. caused further tensions in the house, which Aleister Crowley heard about from communications from her housemates. He dubbed her "the alley-cat" after an unnamed mutual acquaintance told him that Parsons's attraction to her was like "a yellow pup bumming around with his snout glued to the rump of an alley-cat."[13] Concluding that she was a vampire, which he defined as "an elemental or demon in the form of a woman" who sought to "lure the Candidate to his destruction," he warned that Northrup was a grave danger to Parsons and to the "Great Work" which the O.T.O. was carrying out in California.[13]

Similar concerns were expressed by other O.T.O. members. The O.T.O.'s US head, Karl Germer, labeled her "an ordeal sent by the gods". Her disruptive behavior appalled Fred Gwynn, a new O.T.O. member living in the commune at 1003 South Orange Grove Avenue: "Betty went to almost fantastical lengths to disrupt the meetings [of the O.T.O.] that Jack did get together. If she could not break it up by making social engagements with key personnel she, and her gang, would go out to a bar and keep calling in asking for certain people to come to the telephone."[14]

Sara Elizabeth Bruce Northrup Hollister’s Relationship with L. Ron Hubbard

In August 1945, Northrup met L. Ron Hubbard for the first time. He had visited 1003 South Orange Grove Avenue at the behest of Lou Goldstone, a well-known science fiction illustrator, while on leave from his service in the US Navy. Parsons took an immediate liking to Hubbard and invited him to stay in the house for the duration of his leave.[15] Hubbard soon began an affair with Northrup after beginning "affairs with one girl after another in the house."[8]He was a striking figure who habitually wore dark glasses and carried a cane with a silver handle, the need for which he attributed to his wartime service: as Northrup later put it, "He was not only a writer but he was the captain of a ship that had been downed in the Pacific and he was weeks on a raft and had been blinded by the sun and his back had been broken."[8] She believed all of it, though none of his claims of wartime action or injuries were true.[8]
Parsons was deeply dismayed but tried to put a brave face on the situation, informing Aleister Crowley:
About three months ago I met Captain L. Ron Hubbard, a writer and explorer of whom I had known for some time … He is a gentleman; he has red hair, green eyes, is honest and intelligent, and we have become great friends. He moved in with me about two months ago, and although Betty and I are still friendly, she has transferred her sexual affection to Ron.
I think I have made a great gain and as Betty and I are the best of friends, there is little loss. I cared for her rather deeply but I have no desire to control her emotions, and I can, I hope, control my own. I need a magical partner. I have many experiments in mind.[16]

Hubbard became Parsons' "magical partner" for a sex magic ritual involving that was intended to summon an incarnation of a goddess.[17] Although they got on well as fellow occultists, tensions between the two men were apparent in more domestic settings. Hubbard and Northrup made no secret of their relationship; another lodger at Parsons' house described how he saw Hubbard "living off Parsons' largesse and making out with his girlfriend right in front of him. Sometimes when the two of them were sitting at the table together, the hostility was almost tangible."[8] Despite the tensions between them, Hubbard, Northrup and Parsons agreed at the start of 1946 that they would go into business together, buying yachts on the East Coast and sailing them to California to sell at a profit. They set up a business partnership on January 15, 1946 under the name of "Allied Enterprises", with Parsons putting up $20,000 of capital, Hubbard adding $1,200 and Northrup contributing nothing.[18] Hubbard and Northrup left for Florida towards the end of April, taking with him $10,000 drawn from the Allied Enterprises account to fund the purchase of the partnership's first yacht. Weeks passed without word from Hubbard. Louis Culling, another O.T.O. member, wrote to Karl Germer to explain the situation:

As you may know by this time, Brother John signed a partnership agreement with this Ron and Betty whereby all money earned by the three for life is equally divided between the three. As far as I can ascertain, Brother John has put in all of his money ... Meanwhile, Ron and Betty have bought a boat for themselves in Miami for about $10,000 and are living the life of Riley, while Brother John is living at Rock Bottom, and I mean Rock Bottom. It appears that originally they never secretly intended to bring this boat around to the California coast to sell at a profit, as they told Jack, but rather to have a good time on it on the east coast.[19]

Germer informed Crowley, who wrote back to opine: "It seems to me on the information of our brethren in California that Parsons has got an illumination in which he has lost all his personal independence. From our brother's account he has given away both his girl and his money. Apparently it is the ordinary confidence trick." [19]

Parsons initially attempted to obtain redress through magical means, carrying out a "Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram" to curse Hubbard and Northrup. He credited it with causing the couple to abort an attempt to evade him:

Hubbard attempted to escape me by sailing at 5 P.M., and I performed a full evocation to Bartzabel [the spirit of Mars or War] within the circle at 8 P.M. At the same time, so far as I can check, his ship was struck by a sudden squall off the coast, which ripped off his sails and forced him back to port, where I took the boat in custody... Here I am in Miami pursuing the children of my folly; they cannot move without going to jail. However I am afraid that most of the money has already been dissipated.[20]

Northrup later recalled that the boat had been caught in a hurricane in the Panama Canal, damaging it too badly to be able to continue the voyage to California.[21] Parsons subsequently resorted to more conventional means of obtaining redress and sued the couple on July 1 in the Circuit Court for Dade County. His lawsuit accused Hubbard and Northrup of breaking the terms of their partnership, dissipating the assets and attempting to abscond. The case was settled out of court eleven days later, with Hubbard and Northrup agreeing to refund some of Parsons' money while keeping a yacht, the Harpoon, for themselves. The boat was soon sold to ease the couple's shortage of cash.[22] Northrup was able to dissuade Parsons from pressing his case by threatening to expose their past relationship, which had begun when she was under the legal age of consent.[23] Hubbard's relationship with Northrup, while legal, had already caused alarm among those who knew him; Virginia Heinlein, the wife of the science fiction writer Robert Heinlein, regarded Hubbard as "a very sad case of post-war breakdown" and Northrup as his "latest Man-Eating Tigress".[24]

Hubbard's financial troubles were reflected in his attempts to persuade the Veterans Administration to increase his pension award on the grounds of a variety of ailments which he said were preventing him finding a job. He persuaded Northrup to pose as an old friend writing in support of his appeals; in one letter, she claimed untruthfully to have "known Lafayette Ronald Hubbard for many years" and described his supposed pre-war state of health.[19]His health and emotional difficulties were reflected in another, much more private, document which has been dubbed "The Affirmations". It is thought to have been written around 1946–7 as part of an attempted program of self-hypnotism. His sexual difficulties with Northrup, for which he was taking testosterone supplements, are a significant feature of the document.[25] He wrote:

Sara, my sweetheart, is young, beautiful, desirable. We are very gay companions. I please her physically until she weeps about any separation. I want her always. But I am 13 years older than she. She is heavily sexed. My libido is so low I hardly admire her naked.[25][26]

Around the same time, Hubbard proposed marriage to Northrup. According to Northrup's later recollections she repeatedly refused him but relented after he threatened to kill himself. She told him: "All right, I'll marry you, if that's going to save you."[24] They were married in the middle of the night of August 10, 1946 at Chestertown, Maryland after awakening a minister and roping in his wife and housekeeper to serve as witnesses.[24] It was not until much later that Northrup discovered that Hubbard had never been divorced from his first wife, Margaret "Polly" Grubb; the marriage was bigamous. Ironically, the wedding took place only 30 miles from the town where Hubbard had married his first wife thirteen years previously.[27] The wedding attracted criticism from L. Sprague de Camp, another science fiction colleague of Hubbard's, who suggested to the Heinleins that he supposed "Polly was tiresome about not giving him his divorce so he could marry six other gals who were all hot & moist over him. How many girls is a man entitled to in one lifetime, anyway? Maybe he should be reincarnated as a rabbit."[24]

The couple moved repeatedly over the following year – first to Laguna Beach, California,[28] then to Santa Catalina Island, California,[29] New York City,[30] Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania[31] and ultimately to Hubbard's first wife's home at South Colby, Washington. Polly Hubbard had filed for divorce on the grounds of desertion and non-support, and was not even aware that Hubbard was living with Northrup, let alone that he had married her. The arrival of Hubbard and Northrup three weeks after the divorce was filed scandalized Hubbard's family, who deeply disapproved of his treatment of Polly.[32] Northrup had no idea of Hubbard's first marriage or why people were treating her so strangely until his son L. Ron Hubbard Jr. told her that his parents were still married. She attempted to flee on a ferry but Hubbard caught up with her and convinced her to stay, saying that he was in the process of getting a divorce and that an attorney had told him that the marriage with Northrup was legal.[33] The couple moved to a rented trailer in North Hollywood in July 1947, where Hubbard spent much of his time writing stories for pulp magazines.[32]

The relationship was not an easy one. According to Northrup, Hubbard began beating her when they were in Florida in the summer of 1946. Her father had just died and her grief appeared to aggravate Hubbard, who was attempting to restart his pre-war career of writing pulp fiction. He was struggling with constant writer's block and leaned heavily on Northrup to provide plot ideas and even to help write some of his stories.[33] She later recalled: "I would often entertain him with plots so he could write. I loved to make plots. The Ole Doc Methuselah series was done that way."[34] One night while they were living beside a frozen lake in Stroudsburg, Hubbard hit her across the face with his .45 pistol. She recalled that "I got up and left the house in the night and walked on the ice of the lake because I was terrified." Despite her shock and humiliation, she felt compelled to return to Hubbard. He was severely depressed and repeatedly threatened suicide, and Northrup believed "he must be suffering or he wouldn't act that way".[33]

After Hubbard was convicted of petty theft in San Luis Obispo in August 1948,[32] the couple moved again to Savannah, Georgia.[35] Hubbard told his friend Forrest J. Ackerman that he had acquired a Dictaphone machine which Northrup was "beating out her wits on" transcribing not only fiction but his book on the "cause and cure of nervous tension".[36] This eventually became the first draft of Hubbard's book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, which marked the foundation of Dianetics and ultimately of Scientology.

Sara Elizabeth Bruce Northrup Hollister and The Dianetics years

The final version of Dianetics was written at Bay Head, New Jersey in a cottage which the science fiction editor John W. Campbell had found for the Hubbards. Northrup, who was beginning a pregnancy, was said to have been delighted with the location. In three years of marriage to Hubbard, she had set up home in seven different states and had never stayed in one place for more than a few months.[37] She gave birth on March 8, 1950 to a daughter, Alexis Valerie. A month later Northrup was made a director of the newly established Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation in Elizabeth, New Jersey, an organization founded to disseminate knowledge of Dianetics. The Hubbards moved to a new house in Elizabeth to be near the Foundation.[38] Northrup became Hubbard's personal auditor (Dianetic counselor)[39] and was hailed by him as one of the first Dianetic "Clears".[40]

Dianetics became an immediate bestseller when it was published in May 1950. Only two months later, over 55,000 copies had been sold and 500 Dianetics groups had been set up across the United States.[41] The Dianetics Foundation was making a huge amount of money, but problems were already evident: money was pouring out as fast as it was coming in, due to lax financial management and Hubbard's own free spending.[42] Northrup recalled that "he used to carry huge amounts of cash around in his pocket. I remember going past a Lincoln dealer and admiring one of those big Lincolns they had then. He walked right in there and bought it for me, cash!"[43]

By October, the Foundation's financial affairs had reached a crisis point. According to his public relations assistant, Barbara Klowden, Hubbard became increasingly paranoid and authoritarian due to "political and organizational problems with people grabbing for power."[42] He began an affair with the twenty-year-old Klowden, much to the annoyance of Northrup, who was clearly aware of the liaison.[44] Klowden recalled that Northrup "was very hostile to me. We were talking about guns and she said to me that I was the type to use a Saturday night special" (a very cheap "junk gun").[45] One evening he arranged a double-date with his wife and Klowden, who was accompanied by Hollister, an instructor in the Los Angeles Dianetic Foundation. The dinner party backfired drastically; Northrup began an affair with Hollister, a handsome 22-year-old who was college-educated and a noted sportsman.[46]

The marriage was in the process of breaking down rapidly. Northrup and Hubbard had frequent rows and his violent behaviour towards her continued unabated. On one occasion, while Northrup was pregnant, Hubbard kicked her several times in the stomach in an apparent – though unsuccessful – attempt to induce an abortion. She recalled that "with or without an argument, there'd be an upsurge of violence. The veins in his forehead would engorge" and he would hit her "out of the blue", breaking her eardrum in one attack. Despite this, she still "felt so guilty about the fact that he was so psychologically damaged. I felt as though he had given so much to our country and I couldn't even bring him peace of mind. I believed thoroughly that he was a man of great honor, had sacrificed his well being to the country ... It just never occurred to me he was a liar."[47] He told her that he didn't want to be married "for I can buy my friends whenever I want them" but he could not divorce either, as the stigma would hurt his reputation. Instead, he said, if Northrup really loved him she should kill herself.[47]

Klowden recalled later that "he was very down in the dumps about his wife. He told me how he had met Northrup. He said he went to a party and got drunk and when he woke up in the morning he found Northrup was in bed with him. He was having a lot of problems with her. I remember he said to me I was the only person he knew who would set up a white silk tent for him. I was rather surprised when we were driving back to LA on Sunday evening, he stopped at a florist to buy some flowers for his wife."[46] In November 1950, Northrup attempted suicide by taking sleeping pills. Hubbard blamed Klowden for the suicide bid and told her to forget about him and the Foundation, but resumed the affair with her again within a month.[48]

Hubbard attempted to patch up the marriage in January 1951 by inviting Northrup and baby Alexis to Palm Springs, California where he had rented a house.[49] The situation soon became tense again; Richard de Mille, nephew of the famous director Cecil B. de Mille, recalled that "there was a lot of turmoil and dissension in the Foundation at the time; he kept accusing Communists of trying to take control and he was having difficulties with Northrup. It was clear their marriage was breaking up – she was very critical of him and he told me she was fooling around with Hollister and he didn't trust her."[50] Hubbard enlisted de Mille and another Dianeticist, Dave Williams, in an attempt to convince her to stay with him. John Sanborne, who worked with Hubbard for many years, recalled:

Earlier on (before the divorce) he made this stupid attempt to get Northrup brainwashed so she'd do what he said. He kept her sitting up in a chair, denying her sleep, trying to use Black Dianetic principles on her, repeating over and over again whatever he wanted her to do. Things like, "Be his wife, have a family that looks good, not have a divorce." Or whatever. He had Dick de Mille reciting this sort of thing day and night to her.[51]

Northrup went to a psychiatrist to obtain advice about Hubbard's increasingly violent and irrational behaviour, and was told that he probably needed to be institutionalized and that she was in serious danger. She gave Hubbard an ultimatum: get treatment or she would leave with the baby. He was furious and threatened to kill Alexis rather than let Northrup care for her: "He didn't want her to be brought up by me because I was in league with the doctors. He thought I had thrown in with the psychiatrists, with the devils."[52] She left Palm Springs on February 3, leaving Hubbard to complain that Northrup "had hypnotized him in his sleep and commanded him not to write."[50]

Sara Elizabeth Bruce Northrup Hollister was Kidnapped by l Ron Hubbard

Three weeks later, Hubbard abducted both Northrup and Alexis. On the night of February 24, 1951, Alexis was being looked after by John Sanborne while Northrup had a night at the movies. Hubbard turned up and took the child. A few hours later, he returned with two of his Dianetics Foundation staff and told Northrup, who was now back at her apartment: "We have Alexis and you'll never see her alive unless you come with us."[53] She was bundled into the back of a car and driven to San Bernardino, California, where Hubbard attempted to find a doctor to examine his wife and declare her insane. His search was unsuccessful and he released her at Yuma Airport across the state line in Arizona. He promised that he would tell her where Alexis was if she signed a piece of paper saying that she had gone with him voluntarily. Northrup agreed but Hubbard reneged on the deal and flew to Chicago, where he found a psychologist who wrote a favorable report about his mental condition to refute Northrup's accusations.[39] Rather than telling Northrup where Alexis was, he called her and said that "he had cut [Alexis] into little pieces and dropped the pieces in a river and that he had seen little arms and legs floating down the river and it was my fault, I'd done it because I'd left him."[53]
Hubbard subsequently returned to the Foundation in Elizabeth, New Jersey. There he wrote a letter informing the FBI that Northrup and her lover Miles Hollister – whom he had fired from the Foundation's staff and, according to Hollister, had also threatened to kill[54] – were among fifteen "known or suspected Communists" in his organization.[55] He listed them as:

SARA NORTHRUP (HUBBARD): formerly of 1003 S. Orange Grove Avenue, Pasadena, Calif. 25 yrs. of age, 5'10", 140 lbs. Currently missing somewhere in California. Suspected only. Had been friendly with many Communists. Currently intimate with them but evidently under coercion. Drug addiction set in fall 1950. Nothing of this known to me until a few weeks ago. Separation papers being filed and divorce applied for.
MILES HOLLISTER:  Somewhere in the vicinity of Los Angeles. Evidently a prime mover but very young. About 22 yrs, 6', 180 lbs. Black hair. Sharp chin, broad forehead, rather Slavic. Confessedly a member of the Young Communists. Center of most turbulence in our organization. Dissmissed [sic] in February when affiliations discovered. Active and dangerous. Commonly armed. Outspokenly disloyal to the U.S.[56]


In another letter sent in March, Hubbard told the FBI that Northrup was a Communist and a drug addict, and offered a $10,000 reward to anyone who could resolve Northrup's problems through the application of Dianetics techniques.[57]

Northrup filed a kidnapping complaint with the Los Angeles Police Department on her return home but was rebuffed by the police, who dismissed the affair as a mere domestic dispute.[58] After a fruitless six-week search she finally filed a writ of habeas corpus at the Los Angeles Superior Court in April 1951, demanding the return of Alexis. The dispute immediately became front-page news: the newspapers ran headlines such as "Cult Founder Accused of Tot Kidnap", "'Dianetic' Hubbard Accused of Plot to Kidnap Wife", and "Hiding of Baby Charged to Dianetics Author".[59] Hubbard fled to Havana, Cuba, where he wrote a letter to Northrup:

Dear Sara,
I have been in the Cuban military hospital and I am being transferred to the United States next week as a classified scientist immune from interference of all kinds.
Though I will be hospitalized probably a long time, Alexis is getting excellent care. I see her every day. She is all I have to live for.
My wits never gave way under all you did and let them do but my body didn't stand up. My right side is paralyzed and getting more so. I hope my heart lasts. I may live a long time and again I may not. But Dianetics will last 10,000 years – for the Army and Navy have it now.
My Will is all changed. Alexis will get a fortune unless she goes to you as she would then get nothing. Hope to see you once more. Goodbye – I love you.
Ron.

In reality, Hubbard had made an unsuccessful request for assistance from the US military attaché to Havana. The attaché did not act on the request; having asked the FBI for background information, he was told that Hubbard had been interviewed but the "agent conducting interview considered Hubbard to be [a] mental case."[59] On April 19, as Barbara Klowdan recorded in her journal, Hubbard telephoned her from Wichita and told her "he was not legally married. His first wife had not obtained divorce until '47 and he was married in '46. According to him, Sara had served a stretch at Tahatchapie [sic] (in a desert woman's prison) and was a dope addict."[45] A few days later – while still married to Northrup – he proposed marriage to Klowdan.[61]

Sara Elizabeth Bruce Northrup Hollister was Divorced from l Ron Hubbard

Northrup filed for divorce on April 23, charging Hubbard with causing her "extreme cruelty, great mental anguish and physical suffering". Her allegations produced more lurid headlines: not only was Hubbard accused of bigamy and kidnapping, but she had been subjected to "systematic torture, including loss of sleep, beatings, and strangulations and scientific experiments". Because of his "crazy misconduct" she was in "hourly fear of both the life of herself and of her infant daughter, who she has not seen for two months".[62] She had consulted doctors who "concluded that said Hubbard was hopelessly insane, and, crazy, and that there was no hope for said Hubbard, or any reason for her to endure further; that competent medical advisers recommended that said Hubbard be committed to a private sanatorium for psychiatric observation and treatment of a mental ailment known as paranoid schizophrenia."[62]
Her lawyer, named Caryl Warner, also worked the media on her behalf so that Northrup's story received maximum publicity. He briefed the divorce court reporters for the Los Angeles Times and the Examiner, who were both women and early feminists, to ensure that "they knew what a bastard this guy Hubbard was."[62] He later told Hubbard's unofficial biographer, Russell Miller:
I liked Sara and Miles a lot. They eventually married and got a house in Malibu and we became friends; I remember they introduced me to pot. I believed Sara absolutely; there was no question about the truth in my opinion. When she first came to me with this wild story about how her husband had taken her baby I was determined to help her all I could. I telephoned Hubbard's lawyer in Elizabeth and warned him: "Listen, asshole, if you don't get that baby back I'm going to burn you."[63]

The divorce writ prompted a deluge of bad publicity for Hubbard and elicited an unexpected letter to Northrup from his first wife, Polly, who wrote: "If I can help in any way I'd like to—You must get Alexis in your custody—Ron is not normal. I had hoped that you could straighten him out. Your charges sound fantastic to the average person—but I've been through it—the beatings, threats on my life, all the sadistic traits you charge—twelve years of it ... Please do believe I do so want to help you get Alexis."[64]

In May 1951, Northrup filed a further complaint against Hubbard, accusing him of having fled to Cuba to evade the divorce papers that she was seeking to serve. By that time, however, he had moved to Wichita, Kansas. Northrup's attorney filed another petition asking for Hubbard's assets to be frozen as he had been found "hiding" in Wichita "but that he would probably leave town upon being detected".[65] Hubbard wrote to the FBI to further denounce Northrup as a Communist secret agent. He accused Communists of destroying his business, ruining his health and withholding material of interest to the US Government. His misfortunes had been caused by "a woman known as Sara Elizabeth Northrup . . . whom I believed to be my wife, having married her and then, after some mix-up about a divorce, believed to be my wife in common law."[65] He accused Northrup of having conspired in a bid to assassinate him and described how he had found love letters to his wife from Hollister, a "member of the Young Communists." Her real motive in filing for divorce, he said, was to seize control of Dianetics. He urged the FBI to start a "round-up" of "vermin Communists or ex-Communists", starting with Northrup, and declared:

I believe this woman to be under heavy duress. She was born into a criminal atmosphere, her father having a criminal record. Her half-sister was an inmate of an insane asylum. She was part of a free love colony in Pasadena. She had attached herself to a Jack Parsons, the rocket expert, during the war and when she left him he was a wreck. Further, through Parsons, she was strangely intimate with many scientists of Los Alamo Gordos [Alamogordo in New Mexico was where the first atomic bomb was tested]. I did not know or realize these things until I myself investigated the matter. She may have a record . . . Perhaps in your criminal files or on the police blotter of Pasadena you will find Sara Elizabeth Northrop, age about 26, born April 8, 1925, about 5'9", blond-brown hair, slender . . . I have no revenge motive nor am I trying to angle this broader than it is. I believe she is under duress, that they have something on her and I believe that under a grilling she would talk and turn state's evidence.

Fortunately for Northrup – as it was the peak of the McCarthyite "Red Scare" – Hubbard's allegations were apparently ignored by the FBI, which filed his letter but took no further action. In June 1951, she finally secured the return of Alexis by agreeing to cancel her receivership action and divorce suit in California in return for a divorce "guaranteed by L. Ron Hubbard". She met him in Wichita to resolve the situation. He told her that she was "in a state of complete madness" due to being dictated to and hypnotized by Hollister and his "communist cell". Playing along, she told Hubbard that he was right and that the only way she could break free of their power was by going through with the divorce. He replied, "You know, I'm a public figure and you're nobody, so if you have to go through the divorce, I'll accuse you of desertion so it won't look so bad on my public record."[68] She agreed to sign a statement, written by Hubbard himself, that retracted the allegations that she had made against him:

I, Sara Northrup Hubbard, do hereby state that the things I have said about L. Ron Hubbard in courts and the public prints have been grossly exaggerated or entirely false.

I have not at any time believed otherwise than that L. Ron Hubbard is a fine and brilliant man.

I make this statement of my own free will for I have begun to realize that what I have done may have injured the science of Dianetics, which in my studied opinion may be the only hope of sanity in future generations.

I was under enormous stress and my advisers insisted it was necessary for me to carry through an action as I have done.

There is no other reason for this statement than my own wish to make atonement for the damage I may have done. In the future I wish to lead a quiet and orderly existence with my little girl far away from the enturbulating influences which have ruined my marriage.

Sara Northrup Hubbard.[

Interviewed more than 35 years later, Northrup stated that she had signed the statement because "I thought by doing so he would leave me and Alexis alone. It was horrible. I just wanted to be free of him!"

On June 12, Hubbard was awarded a divorce in the County Court of Sedgwick County, Kansas on the basis of Northrup's "gross neglect of duty and extreme cruelty", which had caused him "nervous breakdown and impairment to health."[70] She did not give evidence but was awarded custody of Alexis and $200 a month in child support.[ She left Wichita as soon as Alexis was returned to her.[70] Her reunion with her daughter was uncertain to the last, as Hubbard had second thoughts about letting her go as he drove Northrup and Alexis to the local airport. She persuaded him that the compulsion instilled by the communists would be dissipated by going ahead with the flight: "Well, I have to follow their dictates. I'll just go to the airplane."  She was so desperate to leave by the time she got to the airport that she left behind her daughter's clothes and her own suitcase and one of Alexis's shoes fell off as she dashed to the plane. "I just ran across the airfield, across the runways, to the airport and got on the plane. And it was the nineteenth of June and it was the happiest day of my life.

Sara Elizabeth Bruce Northrup Hollister’s Life after Hubbard

After divorcing Hubbard, Northrup married Miles Hollister and bought a house in Malibu, California.  Hubbard continued to develop Dianetics (and ultimately Scientology), through which he met his third and last wife, Mary Sue, in late 1951 – only a few months after his divorce. The controversy surrounding the divorce had severely dented his reputation. He sought to explain it to his followers as being the result of his victimization by his ex-wife. Speaking to Dianeticists following the divorce, Hubbard blamed shadowy outside forces for the bad publicity: "We have just been through the saw mill, through the public presses. Every effort was made to butcher my personal reputation. A young girl is nearly dead because of this effort. My wife Sara."[74] Around the summer of 1951, he explained his flight to Cuba as being a bid to escape Northrup's depredations: "He talked a lot about Sara. When she ran off with another man Ron followed them and they locked him in a hotel room and pushed drugs up his nose, but he managed to escape and went to Cuba."[73] He publicly portrayed his marital problems as being entirely the fault of Northrup and her lover Hollister:

The money and glory inherent in Dianetics was entirely too much for those with whom I had the bad misfortune to associate myself ... including a woman who had represented herself as my wife and who had been cured of severe psychosis by Dianetics, but who, because of structural brain damage would evidently never be entirely sane. ... Fur coats, Lincoln cars and a young man without any concept of honor so far turned the head of the woman who had been associated with me that on discovery of her affairs, she and these others, hungry for money and power, sought to take over and control all of Dianetics.

Many years later, another of his followers, Virginia Downsborough, recalled that during the mid-1960s he "talked a lot about Sara Northrup and seemed to want to make sure that I knew he had never married her. I didn't know why it was so important to him; I'd never met Sara and I couldn't have cared less, but he wanted to persuade me that the marriage had never taken place. When he talked about his first wife, the picture he put out of himself was of this poor wounded fellow coming home from the war and being abandoned by his wife and family because he would be a drain on them."As Downsborough put it, he portrayed himself as "a constant victim of women".[76]

The writer Christopher Evans has noted that "So painful do the memories of these incidents appear to be that L. Ron has more than once denied that he was ever married to Sarah [sic] Northrup at all." He notes as an example of "this apparent erasure of Sarah Northrup from his mind" a 1968 interview with the British broadcaster Granada Television, in which Hubbard denied that he had had a second wife in between his first, Polly, and the present one, Mary Sue:

HUBBARD: "How many times have I been married? I've been married twice. And I'm very happily married just now. I have a lovely wife, and I have four children. My first wife is dead."
INTERVIEWER: "What happened to your second wife?"
HUBBARD: "I never had a second wife." 

Granada's reporter commented: "What Hubbard said happens to be untrue. It's an unimportant detail but he's had three wives... What is important is that his followers were there as he lied, but no matter what the evidence they don't believe it."[79] Hubbard also gave a new explanation of why he had been involved with Jack Parsons and the O.T.O. After the British Sunday Times newspaper published an exposé of Hubbard's membership of the O.T.O. in October 1969, the newspaper printed a statement attributed to the Church of Scientology (but written by Hubbard himself) that asserted:

Hubbard broke up black magic in America... L. Ron Hubbard was still an officer of the US Navy because he was well known as a writer and a philosopher and had friends amongst the physicists, he was sent in to handle the situation. He went to live at the house and investigated the black magic rites and the general situation and found them very bad. Hubbard’s mission was successful far beyond anyone’s expectations. The house was torn down. Hubbard rescued a girl they were using. The black magic group was dispersed and destroyed and has never recovered. 

Only a couple of months later, he highlighted Northrup to his staff as a participant in a "full complete covert operation" mounted against Dianetics and Scientology by a "Totalitarian Communistic" enemy. In a memo of December 2, 1969, he wrote that the operation had started with bad reviews of Dianetics, "pushed then by the Sara Komkovadamanov [sic] (alias Northrup) "divorce" actions ... At the back of it was Miles Hollister (psychology student) Sara Komkosadamanov [sic] (housekeeper at the place nuclear physicists stayed near Caltech) ..." 

By 1970, Northrup and Hollister had moved to Maui, Hawaii. Northrup's daughter Alexis, who was by now twenty-one years old, attempted to contact her father but was rebuffed in a handwritten statement in which Hubbard denied that he was her father: "Your mother was with me as a secretary in Savannah in late 1948 . . . In July 1949 I was in Elizabeth, New Jersey, writing a movie. She turned up destitute and pregnant."  He said that Northrup had been a Nazi spy during the war and accused her and Hollister of using the divorce case to seize control of Dianetics: "They obtained considerable newspaper publicity, none of it true, and employed the highest priced divorce attorney in the US to sue me for divorce and get the foundation in Los Angeles in settlement. This proved a puzzle since where there is no legal marriage, there can't be any divorce."  Despite clearly being written by Hubbard, who spoke in the first person in the letter, it was signed "Your good friend, J. Edgar Hoover".  Even his own staff were shocked by the contents of Hubbard's letter; he ended his instructions to them with the statement, "Decency is not a subject well understood". 

Neither Northrup nor Alexis made any further attempt to contact Hubbard, who disinherited Alexis in his will, written in January 1986 on the day before he died.[86] In June 1986 the Church of Scientology and Alexis agreed a financial settlement under which she was compelled not to write or speak on the subject of L. Ron Hubbard and her relationship to him. An attempt was made to have her sign an affidavit stating that she was in fact the daughter of L. Ron Hubbard's first son, her half-brother L. Ron Hubbard, Jr. 

As the United Press International news agency noted, Church of Scientology biographies of Hubbard's life do not mention either of his first two wives. In one publication the Church has airbrushed Northrup out of a photograph of the couple that appeared in the Miami Daily News issue of June 30, 1946. The news story which the photograph accompanied has been republished by the Church with all mention of Northrup edited out from the text. 

The church continues to promulgate Hubbard's claims about their relationship. The writer Lawrence Wright was told in September 2010 by Tommy Davis, the then spokesman for the Church of Scientology, that Hubbard "was never married to Sara Northrup. She filed for divorce in an effort to try and create a false record that she had been married to him." She had been part of Jack Parsons' group because "she had been sent in there by the Russians. I can never pronounce her name. Her actual true name is a Russian name. That was one of the reasons L. Ron Hubbard never had a relationship with her. He never had a child with her. He wasn't married to her. But he did save her life and pull her out of that whole black magic ring."  After the documentary-maker Alex Gibney directed the film Going Clear, based on Wright's book of the same name and citing Northrup's words about Hubbard, the Church published a video calling Northrup a "failed gold digger" and "self admitted perjurer" who was responsible for "a get-rich-quick scheme [concocted] by the woman and her publicity starved lawyer to try to shake down Mr. Hubbard for money and take over the Hubbard Dianetics Foundation after Dianetics soared to the top of national bestseller lists." 
Although Northrup did not speak out publicly against her ex-husband following their divorce, she broke her silence in 1972. She wrote privately to Paulette Cooper, the author of the book The Scandal of Scientology who was subsequently targeted by the Church's Operation Freakout. Northrup told Cooper that Hubbard was a dangerous lunatic, and that although her own life had been transformed when she left him, she was still afraid both of him and of his followers,  whom she later described as looking "like Mormons, but with bad complexions." In July 1986 she was interviewed by the ex-Scientologist Bent Corydon several months after Hubbard's death, which had reduced her fear of retaliation. Excerpts from the interview were published in Corydon's 1987 book, L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman?. She died of breast cancer in 1997 but in the last few months of her life she dictated a tape-recorded account of her relationship with Hubbard. It is now in the Stephen A. Kent Collection on Alternative Religions at the University of Alberta.  Rejecting any suggestion that she was some kind of "pathetic person who has suffered through the years because of my time with Ron", Northrup spoke of her relief that she had been able to put it behind her.  She stated that she was "not interested in revenge; I'm interested in the truth"
Notes
 The Church of Scientology says that this letter was forged by Northrup's attorney, Caryl Warner [1]
References
 Starr, p. 254
^ Jump up to:a b c Pendle, pp. 85–87
^ Wright, p. 414
^ Starr, p. 235
^ Wright, p. 42
^ Starr, p. 256
^ Rasmussen, Cecilia (March 19, 2000). "Life as Satanist Propelled Rocketeer". The Los Angeles Times.
^ Jump up to:a b c d e Wright, p. 43
^ Starr, p. 366
^ Jump up to:a b Pendle, p. 203.
^ Jump up to:a b c d e Pendle, p. 204.
^ Starr, p. 288 fn. 31
^ Jump up to:a b Starr, pp. 302–303
^ Pendle, p. 247
^ Miller, p. 116
^ Miller, p. 118
^ Urban, p. 137
^ Miller, p. 120
^ Jump up to:a b c Miller, p. 126
^ Corydon, p. 258
^ Wright, p. 47
^ Miller, p. 127
^ Pendle, p. 270
^ Jump up to:a b c d Wright, p. 48
^ Jump up to:a b Wright, pp. 51–2
^ Ortega, Tony (February 22, 2012). "Scientology and the Occult: Hugh Urban's new exploration of L. Ron Hubbard and Aleister Crowley". Village Voice. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
^ Miller, p. 129
^ Miller, p. 131
^ Miller, p. 132
^ Miller, p. 133
^ Miller, p. 134
^ Jump up to:a b c Miller, p. 142
^ Jump up to:a b c Wright, p. 49
^ Corydon, p. 290
^ Miller, p. 143
^ Miller, p. 144
^ Miller, p. 147
^ Miller, p. 152
^ Jump up to:a b Atack, p. 117
^ Lamont, p. 24
^ Miller, p. 161
^ Jump up to:a b Miller, p. 166
^ Jump up to:a b Corydon, p. 284
^ Miller, p. 168
^ Jump up to:a b Miller, Russell. Interviews with Barbara Klowden
^ Jump up to:a b Miller, p. 170
^ Jump up to:a b Wright, p. 70
^ Miller, p. 172-173
^ Miller, p. 174
^ Jump up to:a b Miller, p. 175
^ Jump up to:a b c Corydon, p. 294
^ Wright, p. 71
^ Jump up to:a b Wright, p. 72
^ Jump up to:a b Corydon, p. 287
^ Miller, pp. 177–179
^ Miller, p. 180
^ Atack, p. 118
^ Miller, p. 179
^ Jump up to:a b Miller, p. 183
^ "Letter indicates Dianetics founder, baby fled to Cuba". Los Angeles Daily News. May 1, 1951.
^ Miller, p. 188
^ Jump up to:a b c Miller, p. 184
^ Jump up to:a b Miller, p. 185
^ Wright, p. 73
^ Jump up to:a b Miller, p. 189
^ Miller, pp. 190–191
^ Jump up to:a b Miller, p. 192
^ Wright, pp. 75–6
^ Corydon, p. 285.
^ Jump up to:a b Miller, p. 193
^ Wright, p. 76
^ Wright, p. 77
^ Jump up to:a b Miller, p. 195
^ Hubbard, L. Ron (June 28, 1951). The Completed Auditor, Part I: The Dynamics – Interior and Exterior (Taped lecture no. 5106C28 CAC). First Annual Conference of Hubbard Dianetic Auditors.
^ Hubbard, L. Ron (October 1951). Dianetics: Axioms. Wichita, KS: Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation. OCLC 14677877.
^ Jump up to:a b Miller, p. 267
^ Jump up to:a b c Evans, p. 27
^ Secret Lives: L. Ron Hubbard
^ The Shrinking World of L Ron Hubbard
^ Atack, p. 90
^ "Scientology: New Light on Crowley". Sunday Times. December 28, 1969.
^ Wright, p. 414 fn. 348, quoting Hubbard, "Intelligence Actions Covert Intelligence Data Collection", December 2, 1969
^ Jump up to:a b Miller, pp. 305–306
^ Wright, p. 118
^ Miller, p. 305
^ Wright, p. 356
^ Corydon, p. 290-291
^ UPI staff (May 21, 1982). "Untitled". United Press International. Official biographies of Hubbard do not mention Margaret Grubb or Sara Northrup
^ Ortega, Tony (November 11, 2014). "Scientology Photoshopping: Erasing L. Ron Hubbard's second wife from 'The RON Series'". The Underground Bunker. Retrieved August 6,2015.
^ Wright, pp. 347–8
^ "Alex Gibney: Stacking The Deck". Freedom. Church of Scientology. Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date=requires |url= (help)
^ Atack, p. 122
^ Wright, pp. 348, 414
^ Wright, p. 348

Bibliography
Atack, Jon (1990). A Piece of Blue Sky. New York: Carol Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-8184-0499-3.
Corydon, Bent (1987). L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman?. Secaucus, NJ: Lyle Stuart. ISBN 978-0-8184-0444-3.
Evans, Christopher (1974). Cults of Unreason. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 978-0-374-13324-5.
Lamont, Stewart (1986). Religion Inc. London: Harrap. ISBN 978-0-245-54334-0.
Miller, Russell (1987). Bare-faced Messiah, The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard (First American ed.). New York: Henry Holt and Company. ISBN 978-0-8050-0654-4.
Miller, Russell. "Interviews with "Barbara Kaye", Los Angeles, July 28 & August 21, 1986". Retrieved August 22, 2015.
Pendle, George (2006). Strange Angel: The Otherworldly Life of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parsons. Orlando, FL: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 978-0-15-603179-0.
Secret Lives: L. Ron Hubbard (Television). United Kingdom: Channel 4 Television. November 19, 1997.
World in Action: The Shrinking World of L Ron Hubbard (Television). United Kingdom: Granada Television. July 1968.
Starr, Martin P. (2003). The Unknown God: W.T. Smith and the Thelemites. Bolingbrook, IL: Teitan Press. ISBN 978-0-933429-07-9.
Urban, Hugh B (2006). Magia Sexualis: Sex, Magic, and Liberation in Modern Western Esotericism. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-24776-5.
Wright, Lawrence (2013). Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 978-0-307-70066-7.

L. Rom Hubbard with his friend Ray Kemp on a two-day trip to Ireland during which he hoped to solve the 'Irish problem'

​The Bill Franks former Executive Dictor of Scientology interview - Into the Scientology Twilight Zone

Church of Scientology former Executive Director International Bill Franks " from information I was given from L Ron Hubbard it became clear that the Min concepts of Scientology was a fraud on te public .... I was invited to lunch to offer for me to join the Guardian's Office of the Church of Scientology by Jimmy Mulligan who was Jane Kennedy's deputy in the USA .... I was asked to commit a murder to prove my loyalty to the Guardian Office of Scientology Organisation ... those in control of the Church of Scientology wanted to commit a murder ... I refused to be involved in murder for those in control of the Church of Scientology ....I know at lease one British MP who was murdered.... I read the Guardian Office files in late 1979  which stated that there were orders to have 3 British MP's miurdered I know at lease one British MP who was murdered ....  all orders in the Church of Scientology came down from  L Ron Hubbard " ..... Bill Franks  .......   See: http://www.awn.bz/Ron_Hubbard_Scientology2.html  and http://www.awn.bz/Ron_Hubbard_Scientology1.html

Most official photographs of Hubbard published by the Church of Scientology show him in the golden days of the Apollovoyages or earlier. This one, taken from a 1973 television documentary, shows the 'Commodore' to be deteriorating rapidly. (From Lamont, Religion Inc., 1986)

Bare-Faced Messiah By  Russell Miller, Chapter 15 Visits to Heaven 
The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard is a posthumous biography of Scientology founder
L. Ron Hubbard by British journalist Russell Miller. Originally published: 26 October1987 Author: Russell Miller, Genre: Biography, Page count: 380, Publisher: Michael Joseph, Subject: L. Ron Hubbard


Bare-Faced Messiah By  Russell Miller, Chapter 15 Visits to Heaven

The Church of Scientology now apparently refuses to admit the existence of the bulletin; it is no longer included in its otherwise comprehensive lists of Hubbard books and materials, although esoteric material such as 'HCOB 24 Aug - The Marcab Between Lives Implants' is still shown. -- Chris Owen

Hubbard believed he was a reincarnation of Cecil Rhodes and liked to sport the kind of hat worn by the founder of Rhodesia. Fortunately, he did not know Rhodes was homosexual.

'Well, I have been to heaven . . . It was complete with gates, angels and plaster saints - and electronic implantation equipment.' (L. Ron Hubbard, HCO Bulletin 11 May 1963)


Hubbard, musing on Scientology's multitude of problems in the autumn of 1966, arrived at a daring and original solution. He kept it a secret, because he loved secrets, although he hinted at what was on his mind in a remark to John McMaster, recently returned from South Africa. 'You know, John,' he said, 'we have got to do something about all this trouble we are having with governments. There's a lot of high-level research still to be done and I want to be able to get on with it without constant interference. Do you realize that 75 per cent of the earth's surface is completely free from the control of any government? That's where we could be free - on the high seas.'[19] McMaster had no idea what he meant and Hubbard did not choose to elaborate.
Soon, senior Scientologists were arriving from the United States to take part in a top-secret project under Ron's personal direction. They could sometimes be seen scrambling in and out of a rubber dinghy on the lake or pouring over navigational charts in a classroom. Some evenings they met behind closed doors in the garage and it was said that they spent their time practising tying knots.
By December it was known they were involved in something called the 'Sea Project'. But still no one could imagine what it was.


 (Scientology's account of the years 1963-66.)
*   *   *   *   *
The FDA raid on the Church of Scientology on 4 January 1963, was a farce better suited to the Keystone Cops than a federal agency. Two unmarked vans, escorted by motor-cycle police, screeched to a halt outside 1810-12 19th Street, Washington NW, in the middle of the afternoon and as police blockaded both ends of the quiet residential street, FDA agents and US marshals in plain clothes jumped out of the vans and ran into the building. Passers-by might well have assumed they were after terrorists of the most dangerous order. It would then have been something of a surprise when the brave officers began staggering out shortly afterwards with nothing more menacing than piles of books and papers and stacks of boxed E-meters. Such was the haul that two more trucks had to be called in before the afternoon's work was complete, by which time the FDA was able to announce, with an evident sense of triumph, that it had seized more than three tons of literature and equipment.

The feeble justification for these heavy-handed tactics was unveiled when the FDA filed charges accusing the Church of Scientology of having 'false and misleading' labels on its E-meters. As it would have been perfectly feasible to file a similar charge by purchasing a single E-meter from any Scientology office, the raid exposed the Food and Drug Administration to considerable derision and provided the church with a wonderful opportunity to capitalize on its newly martyred status. FDA agents were portrayed as armed thugs bursting into 'confessional and pastoral counselling sessions' and desecrating the sanctity of a church. Scientology press releases described the raid as a 'shocking example of government bureaucracy gone mad' and a 'direct and frightening attack upon the Constitutional rights of freedom of religion'.[1]

On 5 January, L. Ron Hubbard issued a statement from Saint Hill Manor: 'All I can make of this is that the United States Government . . . has launched an attack upon religion and is seizing and burning books of philosophy . . . Where will this end? Complete censorship? A complete ignoring of the First Amendment? Are churches to be attached and books burned as a normal course of action?'

There had been no suggestion that the material carted away by the FDA would be burned, but that did not prevent Hubbard returning to the theme in a second statement the following day, as well as making the connection between the FDA raid and his letter to President Kennedy. He claimed that 'twice in recent years' the White House had asked for a presentation of Scientology and he had thought it only courteous to make the same offer to Kennedy, not realizing that lesser officials were 'imbued with ideas of religious persecution'. He was still hoping for a conference with the president, he said, slyly alluding to recent events by adding that he would expect to be given some guarantee for his 'personal safety'. Hubbard ended on an almost jocular note: 'As all of my books have been seized for burning, it looks as though I will have to get busy and write another book.'

In fact, 1963 was one of the few years in which Hubbard did not produce a single book. Instead, he chose to remain at Saint Hill issuing increasingly bizarre proclamations. On 13 March - his fifty-second birthday - he bestowed a general amnesty on his followers, in the fashion of some middle-eastern potentate: 'Any and all offences of any kind before this date, discovered or undiscovered, are fully and completely forgiven. Directed at Saint Hill, on March the thirteenth, 1963, in the 13th year of Dianetics and Scientology. L. Ron Hubbard.'

The amnesty was followed in May by the foudroyant revelation that Hubbard had twice visited heaven, 43 trillion and 42 trillion years earlier. In a four-page HCO Bulletin - dated 11 May AD 13 (meaning 'After Dianetics') - he claimed the first visit had taken place 43,891,832,611,177 years, 344 days, 10 hours, 20 minutes and 40 seconds from 10.02pm Daylight Greenwich Mean Time 9 May 1963. Nit-pickers might have pointed out that 'Daylight Greenwich Mean Time' was a term unknown in horology and that, in any case, at 10.02pm on a May evening in Britain it would be dark, but this was a trifling matter compared with what was to come.

The first surprise was that heaven was not a floating island in the sky as everyone imagined, but simply a high place in the mountains of an unnamed planet. Visitors first arrived in a 'town' comprising a trolley bus, some building fronts, sidewalks, train tracks, a boarding house, a bistro in a basement and a bank building. Although there seemed to be people around - in the boarding house, for example, there was a guest and a landlady in a kimono, reading a newspaper - Hubbard quickly discovered they were only effigies and probably radioactive, since 'contact with them hurts'. However, he was able to report he saw 'no devils or satans' [perhaps because he was supposed to be in heaven].

The bank was the key point of interest in the town. It was an old-fashioned corner building of granite-like material with a revolving door. Inside, to the left of the door, was a counter and directly opposite was a flight of marble stairs leading to the Pearly Gates! 'The gates . . . are well done, well built,' Hubbard wrote. 'An avenue of statues of saints leads up to them. The gate pillars are surmounted by marble angels. The entering grounds are very well kept, laid out like Bush Gardens in Pasadena, so often seen in the movies.'

On his second visit to heaven, a trillion years later, Hubbard noticed marked changes: 'The place is shabby. The vegetation is gone. The pillars are scruffy. The saints have vanished. So have the angels. A sign on one side (the left as you "enter") says "this is Heaven". The right has a sign "Hell" with an arrow and inside the grounds one can see the excavations like archeological diggings with raw terraces, that lead to "Hell". Plain wire fencing encloses the place. There is a sentry box beside and outside the right pillar . . .'

Hubbard's visits to heaven would become something of an embarrassment to Scientologists in future years and they would strive to explain that he had intended his description to be allegory, but Hubbard himself attached a note to the bulletin seeming to deny its contents were allegorical.

'This HCO Bulletin', he stressed, 'is based on over a thousand hours of research auditing . . . It is scientific research and is not in any way based upon the mere opinion of the researcher.'[2]

In August, Hubbard turned his attention to more temporal issues by re-defining Scientology policy towards the media. Typically, he did not mince words. Almost all Scientology's bad publicity, he asserted, could be blamed on the American Medical Association, which wanted to cause maximum harm to the movement in order to protect its private healing monopoly. 'The reporter who comes to you, all smiles and withholds, wanting a story,' he said, 'has an AMA instigated release in his pocket. He is there to trick you into supporting his preconceived story. The story he will write has already been outlined by a sub-editor from old clippings and AMA releases . . .'

Hubbard's sensitivity towards newspapers was understandable, since Scientology was an easy target and wherever it flourished it was attacked by a universally unsympathetic press. In Australia, the church had suffered a great deal of unfavourable publicity, in particular from a Melbourne newspaper, Truth, which published a series of hostile features about Scientologists being 'brainwashed' and alienated from their families. The media attacks led to questions in the Parliament of Victoria, allegations of blackmail and extortion, and accusations that Scientology was affecting the 'mental well-being' of undergraduates at Melbourne University. In November 1963, the Victoria government appointed a Board of Inquiry into Scientology.

At Saint Hill Manor, Hubbard at first professed himself to be pleased about the Australian inquiry and even hinted that it bad been set up at his instigation. But it soon became evident that the inquiry was basically antagonistic to Scientology and when an invitation arrived from Melbourne for him to appear, he contrived to find compelling reasons to refuse.

In March 1964, the Saturday Evening Post published what would be one of the last full-scale media interviews with L. Ron Hubbard, even though he would be pursued by reporters for the rest of his life. It was an unusually objective feature, although little new was revealed except for Hubbard's claim that he had recently been approached by Fidel Castro to train a corps of Cuban Scientologists. The founder of the Church of Scientology appeared willing to discuss any subject except money. He was, he said, independently wealthy and drew only a token salary of $70 a week, Scientology being a 'labour of love'.

Certainly the Saturday Evening Post reporter was deeply impressed by Hubbard's lifestyle - the Georgian mansion, the butler who served his afternoon Coca-Cola on a silver tray, the chauffeur polishing the new Pontiac and the Jaguar in the garage, and the broad acres of the estate.[3] But while it might have seemed to a visiting journalist that Hubbard had acquired many of the traditional tastes of an English country gentleman, the reality was very different, as Ken Urquhart, a dedicated young Scientologist who worked as the butler at Saint Hill, explained: 'Neither Ron nor Mary Sue lived the way one might have expected in a house like that. They spent most of their time working; there was very little socializing. They would go to bed very late, usually in the small hours of the morning, and get up in the early afternoon.

'Ron used to audit himself with an E-meter as soon as he got out of bed. When he called down to the kitchen I would take him up a cup of hot chocolate and stay with him while he drank it. He used to sit at a table at the end of his four-poster bed chatting about the news or the weather or the latest goings-on at Saint Hill. I remember he used to talk a lot about his childhood. He seemed to want to give the impression that he was rather upper-class; he liked to use French expressions, for example, although his accent was dreadful. He said his mother was a very fine woman. He told me that when she was in hospital desperately ill he got there just in time to tell her that all she had to do was leave her body and go down to the maternity ward and pick up another one. He didn't say what her reaction was.

'When he went to have a bath I'd extricate myself and rush downstairs to cook breakfast for him and Mary Sue. She had a separate bedroom, but usually had breakfast with him - scrambled eggs, sausages, mushrooms and tomatoes. After breakfast he would go into his office and I would rarely see him again until six-thirty when I had to have the table laid for dinner. At six-twenty-five I would go into his office with a jacket for him to wear to table and after dinner they would spend an hour or so watching television with the children and then he and Mary Sue would return to work in their separate offices.

'I really loved working for Ron; I would have done anything for him. To me he was superhuman, a very unusual, very great person who really wanted to help the world. I was less sure about Mary Sue; I never quite knew where I stood with her. She could be very sweet and loving, but also very cold. The first time I had any contact with her was on the first Sunday I was at Saint Hill. She came into the kitchen where I was preparing dinner and did not say a word to me. I thought that was very strange. She was fiercely protective of her children and I liked them a lot. Arthur had a few problems because he was the youngest and the others wouldn't play with him. Diana was heavily into ballet lessons. They were nice.'

Urquhart was a Scot who had been studying music at Trinity College in London when he was introduced to Dianetics. 'It was as if someone had swept the cobwebs out of my mind,' he said. He was working part-time as a waiter when Ron asked him if he would help out at Saint Hill as a butler. 'I wouldn't have done it for anyone else. I used to cook all the meals, sweep the floors, make the beds, rush around all day long, for £12 a week plus room and board. I was perfectly happy, but things changed quite a bit early in 1965 when "ethics" came in. I was assigned a "condition of emergency" because I served him salmon for dinner that was not quite fresh. I was shocked. You had to go through a whole formula, write it up and submit it with an application to be up-graded.'[4]

'Conditions' were an essential part of the new 'ethics technology' devised by Hubbard in the mid-sixties, effectively as a form of social control. It was his first, tentative step towards the creation of a society within Scientology which would ultimately resemble the totalitarian state envisaged by George Orwell in his novel 1984 . Anyone thought to be disloyal, or slacking, or breaking the rules of Scientology, was reported to an 'ethics officer' and assigned a 'condition' according to the gravity of the offence. Various penalties were attached to each condition. In a 'condition of liability' for example, the offender was required to wear a dirty grey rag tied around his or her left arm. The worst that could happen was to be declared an 'SP' (suppressive person), which was tantamount to excommunication from the church. SPs were defined by Hubbard as 'fair game' to be pursued, sued and harassed at every possible opportunity.

'What happened with the development of ethics,' said Cyril Vosper, who worked on the staff at Saint Hill, 'was that zeal expanded at the expense of tolerance and sanity. My feeling was that Mary Sue devised a lot of the really degrading aspects of ethics. I always had great warmth and admiration for Ron - he was a remarkable individual, a constant source of new information and ideas - but I thought Mary Sue was an exceedingly nasty person. She was a bitch.

'Hubbard had this incredible dynamism, a disarming, magnetic and overwhelming personality. I remember being at Saint Hill one Sunday evening and running into him and as we started to talk people gathered round. People had a wonderful feeling with him of being in the presence of a great man.'[5]

 

In October 1965, the Australian Board of Inquiry into Scientology published its report. Conducted by Kevin Anderson QC, the inquiry sat for 160 days, heard evidence from 151 witnesses and then savagely condemned every aspect of Scientology. No one needed to progress beyond the first paragraph to guess at what was to follow:

'There are some features of Scientology which are so ludicrous that there may be a tendency to regard Scientology as silly and its practitioners as harmless cranks. To do so would be gravely to misunderstand the tenor of the Board's conclusions. This Report should be read, it is submitted, with these prefatory observations constantly in mind. Scientology is evil; its techniques evil; its practice a serious threat to the community, medically, morally and socially; and its adherents sadly deluded and often mentally ill.'

In many cases, the report continued, mental derangement and a loss of critical faculties resulted from Scientology processing, which tended to produce subservience amounting almost to mental enslavement. Because of fear, delusion and debilitation, the individual often found it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to escape. Furthermore, the potentiality for misuse of confidence was great and the existence of files containing the most intimate secrets and confessions of thousands of individuals was a constant threat to them and a matter of grave concern.

As for L. Ron Hubbard, the report suggested that his sanity was to be 'gravely doubted'. His writing, abounding in self-glorification and grandiosity, replete with histrionics and hysterical, incontinent outbursts, was the product of a person of unsound mind. His teachings about thetans and past lives were nonsensical; he had a persecution complex; he had a great fear of matters associated with women and a 'prurient and compulsive urge to write in the most disgusting and derogatory way' on such subjects as abortions, intercourse, rape, sadism, perversion and abandonment. His propensity for neologisms was commonplace in the schizophrenic and his compulsion to invent increasingly bizarre theories and experiences was strongly indicative of paranoid schizophrenia with delusions of grandeur. 'Symptoms', the report added, 'common to dictators.'

It continued in similar vein for 173 pages, concluding: 'If there should be detected in this report a note of unrelieved denunciation of Scientology, it is because the evidence has shown its theories to be fantastic and impossible, its principles perverted and ill-founded, and its techniques debased and harmful. Scientology is a delusional belief system, based on fiction and fallacies and propagated by falsehood and deception . . . Its founder, with the merest smattering of knowledge in various sciences, has built upon the scintilla of his learning a crazy and dangerous edifice. The HASI claims to be "the world's largest mental health organization". What it really is however, is the world's largest organization of unqualified persons engaged in the practice of dangerous techniques which masquerade as mental therapy.'[6]

It was not difficult to 'detect' a note of unrelieved denunciation in the Anderson report; indeed, in its intemperate tone, its use of emotive rhetoric and its tendency to exaggerate and distort, it bore a marked similarity to the writings of L. Ron Hubbard. In his determination to undermine Scientology, Anderson completely ignored the fact that thousands of decent, honest, well-meaning people around the world believed themselves to be benefiting from the movement. To condemn the church as 'evil' was to brand its followers as either evil or stupid or both - an undeserved imputation.

Bloodied but unbowed, Hubbard began fighting back against the Anderson report on the day of its publication, beginning with a rebuttal written exclusively for the East Grinstead Courier, accusing the Australian inquiry of being an illegal 'kangaroo court' which had refused to allow him to appear in his own defence. Its findings were 'hysterical', he said, and not based on the facts. He compared the inquiry to the heresy trials which had led to witches being burned at the stake in the dark ages.

However, Dr Hubbard - described as 'the son of a Montana cattle baron' - still found it in his heart to be munificent: 'Well, Australia is young. In 1942, as the senior US naval officer in Northern Australia, by a fluke of fate, I helped save them from the Japanese. For the sake of Scientologists there, I will go on helping them . . . Socrates said, "Philosophy is the greatest of the arts and it ought to be practiced." I intend to keep on writing it and practicing it and helping others as I can.'

For his fellow Scientologists, Hubbard had a slightly different message. What had gone wrong in Australia, he explained, was that he had approved co-operation with an inquiry into all mental health services. ('We could have had a ball and put psychiatry on trial for murder, mercy killing, sterilization, torture and sex practices and could have wiped out psychiatry's good name.') Unfortunately, because of bungling somewhere along the line, the inquiry had been narrowed to Scientology only, 'so it was a mess'.

He laid out the procedure to be followed if there were further official inquiries into Scientology. The first step was to identify the antagonists, next investigate them 'for felonies or worse' and then start feeding 'lurid, blood sex crime actual evidence on the attackers' to the press. 'Don't ever tamely submit to an investigation of us,' he warned. 'Make it rough, rough on attackers all the way.'[7]

Hubbard soon showed he was prepared to take the lead. The storm caused by the Anderson report was not merely restricted to ephemeral headlines: it provoked further and continuing media investigation into Scientology and prodded governments into taking punitive measures against the church. The reaction, sociologist Roy Wallis noted, was comparable to an international moral panic: 'The former conception of the movement as a relatively harmless, if cranky, health and self-improvement cult, was transformed into one which portrayed it as evil, dangerous, a form of hypnosis (with all the overtones of Svengali in the layman's mind), and brainwashing.'[8]

The Australian government was first to act: in December 1965, the State of Victoria passed the Psychological Practices Act which effectively outlawed Scientology and empowered the Attorney General to seize and destroy all Scientology documents and recordings. Then the country playing host to the 'evil Dr Hubbard' could hardly be expected to ignore the Anderson report and on 7 February 1966, Lord Balniel, MP, then chairman of the National Association for Mental Health, stood up in the House of Commons and asked the Minister of Health to initiate an inquiry into Scientology in Britain.

Two days later, Hubbard issued an instruction from Saint Hill Manor: 'Get a detective on that Lord's past to unearth the titbits. They're there.'[9] On 17 February he set up a 'Public Investigation Section' to be staffed by professional private detectives. Its function was to 'help LRH [Hubbard became known in Scientology by his initials] investigate public matters and individuals which seem to impede human liberty' and 'furnish intelligence'. The first private investigator hired to head the section was told to find at least one bad mark ('a murder, an assault, or a rape') on every psychiatrist in Britain, starting with Lord Balniel. Unfortunately for Hubbard, the gallant detective promptly scuttled off and sold his story to a Sunday newspaper, creating more unfavourable publicity for Scientology.[10]

Scientology's 'official' reply to the Anderson report was a forty-eight-page document, bound in black and gold, and titled 'Kangaroo Court. An investigation into the conduct of the Board of Inquiry into Scientology.' It was hardly designed to win the hearts and minds of the average Australian. 'Only a society founded by criminals, organized by criminals and devoted to making people criminals, could come to such a conclusion [about Scientology] . . .' the introduction declared. 'The foundation of Victoria consists of the riff-raff of London's slums - robbers, murderers, prostitutes, fences, thieves - the scourings of Newgate and Bedlam . . . the niceties of truth and fairness, of hearing witnesses and weighing evidence, are not for men whose ancestry is lost in the promiscuity of the prison ships of transportation . . .'

After airing the manifold grievances of the church, 'Kangaroo Court' returned to its initial theme: 'The insane attack on Scientology in the State of Victoria, can best be understood if Victoria is seen for what it is - a very primitive community, somewhat barbaric, with a rudimentary knowledge of the physical sciences.' There followed a defiant quote from L. Ron Hubbard: 'The future of Scientology in Australia is bright and shiny. We will continue to grow and progress. No vested interests or blackhearted politicians, no matter how much power they seem to ally themselves with, can stop our thoughts or our communications . . . We will be here teaching and listening when our opponents' names are merely mis-spelled references in a history book of tyranny.'

Despite his apparent confidence, Hubbard recognized that Scientologists needed a boost to their morale in the face of the concerted attacks from the media following the Anderson report. In February 1966, rumours began to circulate among Scientologists that one of their number had at last achieved the fabled state of being 'clear' (Sonya Bianca's performance at The Shrine in Los Angeles having been long forgotten). To become 'clear' was still the goal of every Scientologist, but it was proving an extraordinarily elusive one. New levels of processing were continually introduced at Saint Hill, each with the promise that it would result in 'clearing', only to be replaced by another level and yet more promises.

Among the students completing the Level VII course in February 1966 was John McMaster, a South African in his mid-thirties who worked on the staff at Saint Hill as director of the Hubbard Guidance Center. McMaster had been a medical student in Durban when he first came across Scientology in 1959. He had had part of his stomach removed because of cancer and was in more or less continuous pain until his first auditing session, after which the pain disappeared. Totally converted, he arrived at Saint Hill to take the Briefing Course in 1963 and was subsequently invited by Hubbard to join the staff.

After he had graduated as a Level VII auditor, McMaster was sent to Los Angeles by Hubbard to spread the news of the latest 'technology' being taught at Saint Hill. He had only been there a couple of days when he received a cable: 'Congratulations, world's first clear'. He was ordered to return to Saint Hill immediately for a final check on an E-meter by the 'qualifications secretary'. On 8 March he passed the check without a quiver on the needle of the E-meter, proving that he had completely erased the memory bank of his reactive mind. He was clear!

'It's with greatest joy and happiness,' the qualifications secretary advised Hubbard, 'I have to report to you that John McMaster has passed the Clear check and no doubt exists that he has erased his bank completely . . . Thank you for the honour and privilege of checking out the first Clear.'[11]

The excitement this event caused within Scientology was further heightened when the gratifying word was spread that McMaster possessed all the attributes prophesied by Ron sixteen years earlier in Dianetics, The Modern Science of Mental Health. Indeed, it was said that the world's first clear was actually glowing!

The Auditor, the journal of Scientology, trumpeted the joyous event in its next issue and quoted McMaster: 'It is a great privilege to have been able to follow the stepping stones paved in the wake of Time by such a man as L. Ron Hubbard, for although I have worked for it, I could never have realized it without the great gift he has given, not only to me, but all Mankind.' To celebrate the great occasion, Hubbard proclaimed another 'general amnesty'.

On the same day McMaster was checked out as 'clear', a curious advertisement appeared in the personal column of The Times: 'I, L. Ron Hubbard, of Saint Hill Manor, East Grinstead, Sussex, having reviewed the damage being done in our society with nuclear physics and psychiatry by persons calling themselves "Doctor" do hereby resign in protest my university degree as a Doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.), anticipating an early public outcry against anyone called Doctor; and although not in any way connected with the bombs of "psychiatrics treatment" or treatment of the sick, and interested only and always in philosophy and the total freedom of the human spirit I wish no association of any kind with these persons and do so publicly declare, and request my friends and the public not to refer to me in any way with this title.'

Next day, the Daily Mail rather churlishly pointed out that the title Hubbard had publicly renounced was bogus anyway. Mr Hubbard was not available for comment; his personal assistant, Reg Sharpe, told the newspaper that Ron was abroad on holiday and was not to be disturbed.

Hubbard was not on holiday, he was on his way to Rhodesia, where Prime Minister Ian Smith had recently signed a Unilateral Declaration of Independence in defiance of the British Government. Now that he had no reason to hope that Australia would be the first 'clear' continent, Hubbard had scaled down his ambitions and was looking for a country which would provide a 'safe environment' for Scientology. He chose Rhodesia firstly because he thought he could create a favourable climate by helping to solve the UDI crisis and secondly because he believed he had been Cecil Rhodes in a previous life. He told Reg Sharpe that he hoped to be able to recover gold and diamonds he was convinced Rhodes had buried somewhere in Rhodesia.

On 7 April 1966, the CIA headquarters in the United States received a cable from an agent in Rhodesia: 'Request traces of L. Ron Hubbard, US citizen recently arrived.' The reply confirmed that Headquarters files contained no derogatory information about the subject, but a memo was attached giving excerpts from press reports. It concluded: 'Individuals who have been connected with the organizations headed by Hubbard or who have had contact with him and the organizations, have indicated that Hubbard is a "crackpot" and of "doubtful mental background".'[12]

The 'crackpot' meanwhile had bought a large four-bedroomed house with a swimming-pool in the exclusive Alexander Park suburb of Salisbury and opened negotiations to acquire the Bumi Hills Hotel on Lake Kariba. His plan was to use the hotel as a luxury base from which to spread the influence of Scientology. He believed the Lake Kariba site would attract well-heeled followers who wanted to be instructed in the highest levels of Scientology and were willing to pay around $10,000 for the privilege.

Nothing of this was revealed to the people of Rhodesia, to whom he represented himself as a 'millionaire-financier' interested in pumping money into the crippled economy of the country and stimulating the tourist industry. In an interview in the Rhodesia Sunday Mail he said he had left his stately home in Britain on doctor's orders after a third attack of pneumonia. 'I am really supposed to be on vacation,' he explained, 'but I have had so many invitations to invest in businesses here and this country is so starved of finance that I have become intrigued.'

Hubbard was careful to distance himself from what the newspaper called 'the controversial Scientology movement'. It had never really been pushed in Rhodesia, he said, and added: 'I am still an officer of the corporation that administers the movement but it is very largely autonomous now.'[13]

In early May, Hubbard produced, uninvited, a 'tentative constitution' for Rhodesia which he felt would satisfy the demands of the blacks while at the same time maintaining white supremacy. It embodied the principle of one man one vote for a lower house, while real power was vested in an upper house elected by qualified citizens with a good standard of English, knowledge of the constitution and financial standing verified by a bank. Hubbard was apparently convinced that Rhodesia's black population would welcome his ideas, even though it was patently obvious that the qualifications required to cast a vote for the upper house would exclude most blacks.

With his inimitable talent for adopting the appropriate vernacular, Hubbard's proposals were written in suitably constitutional prose, beginning: 'Before God and Man we pledge ourselves, the Government of Rhodesia and each of our officers and men of authority in the Government to this the Constitution of our country . . .'

Copies were despatched to Ian Smith and to Saint Hill Manor in England with instructions to forward the document to the British Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, when Hubbard gave the word. Ian Smith's principal private secretary replied politely to Hubbard on 5 May saying that his suggestions had been passed to a Cabinet sub-committee examining proposals for amending the constitution.

Still as paranoid as ever, Hubbard then wrote to the Minister of Internal Affairs asking if the investigation of his activities and background had been completed and if he could have confirmation that everything was in order. He added a jaunty postscript: 'Why not come over and have a drink and dinner with me one night?'

This provoked a frosty response from the Minister's private secretary: 'My Minister has asked me to thank you for your letter of 5th May 1966 and to say that he has no knowledge of his Ministry carrying out an investigation into your activities. He regrets he is unable to accept your invitation to dinner. Yours faithfully . . .'

Hubbard continued to try and ingratiate himself with the leading political figures in Rhodesia, but with little success. In June, he arranged for John McMaster to visit him from Johannesburg, where he was teaching a clearing course. 'He cabled me and asked me to bring all the clearing course students to Salisbury to take part in a film he wanted to make,' said McMaster. 'I was also to be sure to bring with me two bottles of pink champagne, which was not available in Rhodesia.

'I had no idea why he wanted it but I knew it was important because I was met by one of Hubbard's assistants at Salisbury airport and the first thing she said to me was, "Have you brought the champagne?" It turned out he wanted to give it to Mrs Smith as a present in order to try and get in with the Prime Minister. Next morning his chauffeur drove him round to Government House and he swaggered up to the front door with a bottle under each arm thinking he was going to take Mrs Smith by storm. But they wouldn't let him past the front door and he came back very upset, really disgruntled.'[14]

Hubbard's high profile as the 'millionaire-financier' who boasted that he could solve the UDI crisis won him few friends among Rhodesia's deeply conservative white society. He often spoke of his willingness to help the government, pointing out that he had been trained in economics and government at Princeton, and seemed surprised that his services were not welcomed. On television, in newspaper interviews and in all his public pronouncements, Hubbard professed support for Ian Smith's government, although in private he thought Smith was a 'nasty bit of work' who was incapable of leadership.[15] Similarly, he publicly espoused sympathy for the plight of the black majorities in both Rhodesia and South Africa, while privately admitting contempt for them. Blacks were so stupid, he told John McMaster, that they did not give a reading on an E-meter.[16]

At the beginning of July, Hubbard was invited to address the Rotary Club in Bulawayo. He delivered a rambling, hectoring speech telling the assembled businessmen how they should run their country, their businesses and their lives and when it was reported in the local newspaper it appeared to be faintly anti-Rhodesian. A couple of days later, Hubbard received a letter from the Department of Immigration informing him that his application for an extension to his Alien's Temporary Residence Permit had been unsuccessful: 'this means that you will be required to leave Rhodesia on or before the 18th July, 1966.'

Hubbard was stunned. Up until that moment he had believed himself to be not just a prominent personality in Rhodesia, but a popular one. He asked his friends in the Rhodesian Front party to make representations on his behalf to the Prime Minister, but to no avail. 'Smith ranted and raved at them,' he reported later, 'told them I had been deported from Australia, was wanted in every country in the world, that my business associates had been complaining about me and that I must go.'[17] The Rhodesian Government refused to make any comment on the expulsion order, but Hubbard had few doubts about who was behind it - it was obviously a Communist plot to get him out of the country because he was the man most likely to resolve the UDI crisis.

On 15 July, Hubbard lined up his household staff on the lawn in front of his house on John Plagis Avenue and bade them an emotional farewell for the benefit of Rhodesian television, whose cameras were recording the departure of the American millionaire-financier. At the airport there were more reporters waiting to interview him before he left and one of them warned him to expect a posse from Fleet Street to greet him in London. He was quite cheered by the prospect and began to think that his expulsion might actually increase his status as an international personality.

As Hubbard's plane lifted off the tarmac at Salisbury, frenzied preparations were being made in Britain to give him a hero's welcome on his return. The news that the revered founder of Scientology was being kicked out of Rhodesia had initially been greeted with dismay and disbelief at Saint Hill Manor. 'We were shocked,' said Ken Urquhart, 'no one could understand how such a thing could happen. It was an even bigger surprise for the other orgs because none of them knew he was in Rhodesia. It was supposed to be a big secret. I was by then working as LRH Communicator World-Wide and it was my job to code and decode the telexes that were going backwards and forwards and between Saint Hill and Rhodesia. He didn't want anyone to know he was away because he thought everyone would start slacking.'

Coaches were laid on to transport every available Scientologist from East Grinstead to Heathrow on the morning of Saturday, 16 July. They took with them hastily prepared 'Welcome Home' banners but neglected to obtain the necessary permission to wave them; airport police politely insisted they should remain unfurled. Some six hundred Scientologists, including Mary Sue and the children, were gathered in the terminal by the time Hubbard's flight landed. They had to wait while he sorted out a problem about his vaccinations with immigration officers and two hours passed before he emerged from Customs, wearing a lightweight suit and sun-hat, looking tired, but smiling broadly. 'I'm glad to be back,' he shouted as police forced a path through his cheering supporters to a yellow Pontiac convertible parked in front of the terminal. He sat on the back, waving presidential style, as the car was slowly driven away.

No one could have asked for a more enthusiastic welcome, although Hubbard was disappointed that Fleet Street had failed to turn out. Only one reporter was at the airport and he only seemed to want to ask about the events in Australia, to which query Hubbard snapped, 'That's past history.'

Pam and Ray Kemp were among the first visitors to Saint Hill after Hubbard's return from Rhodesia. 'He told me everything that had happened,' said Ray Kemp. 'It seems there was a chief of police who was very bullying to the blacks and Ian Smith was very wimpish. Smith couldn't make decisions about anything and would rely on the chief of police to tell him what to do. Ron was at dinner one night with Smith and he warned him that if he continued to be wimpish and not put his foot down the probability was that he would be assassinated. About two days later there was an assassination attempt, although I don't remember whether it was on Smith or the chief of police. The bullet went through his mouth and out the side. Ron somehow got the blame because of what he had said. That was why he was asked to leave.'[18]

Ken Urquhart got a slightly different version: 'He inferred the problem was that he knew what to do about the blacks and be became very popular with them. That's why the government kicked him out. I heard him tell Mary Sue that he had lost £200,000 in investment in Rhodesia.'

Back in the familiar surroundings of Saint Hill Manor, Hubbard had plenty of time to review Scientology's current situation and prospects. It was a far from rosy picture. Apart from the problems in Australia and Rhodesia, trouble was also brewing in the United States, where the Internal Revenue Service was challenging the Church of Scientology's tax-exempt status. In Britain there was another rash of hysterical headlines when the police found a girl wandering the streets of East Grinstead in a distressed condition in the early hours of the morning. It transpired she was a schizophrenic who had been institutionalized before being recruited as a Scientologist.

There were further demands in Parliament for an inquiry into Scientology, to which the Minister of Health tartly replied: 'I do not think any further inquiry is necessary to establish that the activities of this organization are potentially harmful. I have no doubt that Scientology is totally valueless in promoting health . . .'

Scientology even seemed to be wearing out its welcome in East Grinstead, where the locals were complaining they were being overwhelmed. As if it was not bad enough having strange Americans walking round the streets wearing badges saying 'Don't speak to me, I'm being processed', Scientologists were snapping up all available rented accommodation, crowding the pubs and straining everyone's patience.
'There was a lot of resentment and alarm in the town,' said Alan Larcombe of the East Grinstead Courier. 'People felt that Scientology could not be allowed to continue expanding. There was a feeling they were trying to take over - an estate agent, dentist, hairdresser, jeweller's, finance company and a couple of doctors were all Scientology run. People didn't like it. They felt that if you had problems you ought to go and have a chat with your vicar.'
Larcombe paid another visit to Saint Hill Manor and was astonished at the numbers of people who were there. 'It was quite an eye opener. As I pulled up outside the house a bell sounded somewhere and people began pouring out, hundreds and hundreds of them, like wasps leaving a nest. It was an incredible sight. I was completely taken aback by how much the place had grown. I discovered there were so many students there that the sewage system could not cope.'

Hubbard, musing on Scientology's multitude of problems in the autumn of 1966, arrived at a daring and original solution. He kept it a secret, because he loved secrets, although he hinted at what was on his mind in a remark to John McMaster, recently returned from South Africa. 'You know, John,' he said, 'we have got to do something about all this trouble we are having with governments. There's a lot of high-level research still to be done and I want to be able to get on with it without constant interference. Do you realize that 75 per cent of the earth's surface is completely free from the control of any government? That's where we could be free - on the high seas.'[19] McMaster had no idea what he meant and Hubbard did not choose to elaborate.
Soon, senior Scientologists were arriving from the United States to take part in a top-secret project under Ron's personal direction. They could sometimes be seen scrambling in and out of a rubber dinghy on the lake or pouring over navigational charts in a classroom. Some evenings they met behind closed doors in the garage and it was said that they spent their time practising tying knots.
By December it was known they were involved in something called the 'Sea Project'. But still no one could imagine what it was.

1. 'The Findings on the US Food and Drug Agency' [sic], Church of Scientology, 1968
2. HCO Bulletin, 11 May 1963
3. Saturday Evening Post, 21 March 1964
4. Interview with Ken Urquhart, Maclean, VA., April 1986
5. Interview with Vosper
6. Anderson, op. cit.
7. Enquiry into the Practice & Effects of Scientology, Sir John Foster, 1971 
8. The Road To Total Freedom, Roy Wallis, 1976 
9. Secretarial Executive Director, Office of LRH, 9 February 1966
10.The People, 20 March 1966
11. Saxon Hamilton Journal, Summer 1985
12. CIA files obtained via FOI
13. Rhodesia Sunday Mail, 22 May 1966
14. Interview with McMaster, London, March 1986 
15. CIA memo, 22 August 1966 
16. Interview with McMaster 
17. CIA memo
18. Interview with Kemp
19. Interview with McMaster

Church of Scientology Exit Zone
A microblog for summarizing ongoing projects, events and resources for helping former members cope with leaving the Church of Scientology.

http://cofsexit.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-real-reason-people-leave.html

The real reason people leave Scientology: ARC Breaks

The Edge, June 2010 - Tom Smith interviews Bill Franks who was the first Executive Director International and Chairman of the Board of the Church. Among the topics discussed are Fair Game, Paulette Cooper, the framing of Mary Sue, orders issued against elected officials of a major Western government, Miscavige's psychopathy, Hubbard's psychopathy, etc. The way Bill explains the story of the Hubbard dispatch that admitted people blow due to ARC Breaks (upsets) rather than transgressions, and giving that story the full context, is very good. Take a visit to Scientology's version of the Twilight Zone. The story about Bill Franks is a story about another highly trained Sea Org executive who served directly under LRH, and was later busted by David Miscavige and his team. It is worth noticing that most of the highest Sea Org Executives who was appointed and trained directly by LRH have been SP declared or removed by the current management: David Mayo (Snr C/S Int), Bill Franks (ED Int), Mary Sue Hubbard (Captain and chief of Guardian Office), Bill Robertson (Captain and special missionaire for LRH). Bill Franks joined Scientology in 1968 studying the Saint Hill Special Briefing Course at Saint Hill UK, directly under LRH. He joined staff and went up the Org Board. He was CO AOLA and ended up as ED Int, appointed for life personally by LRH. He was also the Chairmann of the Board of Directors, Church of Scientology International. He was Class IX auditor, OT VII and OEC FEBC graduate. He reached the highest level of administrative training, doing the FEBC directly under LRH on the Flag ship. In December 1981 he was voted out by the Board of Directors, David Miscavige was on the Board. On 12th August 1982 he was SP declared by Watchdog Committee (also David Miscavige).
http://www.forum.exscn.net/threads/bill-franks-story-about-brainwashing-thread-merge.22265/

gwellsNew Member
Here is my story about brainwashing
As you know I have tried unsuccessfully to get this posted elsewhere. I have tried also to tell this story many times since it occurred to me that it might be helpful, but it does not seem to be of interest or there is a lot of apathy out there which is certainly understandable. I retell this here as it is about the tech and I think its useful in explaining a lot of what has happened over the years. 
Firstly, I swear that this is the absolute and complete truth even though it occurred 37 years ago.
Secondly, a little about me which might put things into perspective as to why I saw what I am about to say as very significant and in a way horrific.I was in the SO for a little under 14 years. I attained the "rank' of Lt. Commander through promotions only by Hubbard. I was OEC and FEBC(trained by Hubbard) , HSDC, Class nine when I left in December 27 1981, as well as DSEC, Nots auditor, plus assorted other stuff. I was OT five plus nots, plus sec checked up the wazoo over the years. I also audited between 3-4000 hours conservatively speaking-probably much more, a lot of this was under Hub as the C/S. I spent about 3 1/2 years working with Hubbard pretty directly on the ship at various posts.I got to know him as well as anybody did.
My last position was Chairman of the Board and ED Int both by directive of LRH personally.
OK
Thirdly and to the point of all this preamble, on one night in 1974 I found myself in David mayo's office in the tween decks of the Apollo.
It was very late or early in the morning. We were ,I believe in the port of Safi, Morrocco. A student of mine, I was currently D of T and Mayo was Flag Snr C/S, had blown. Hubbard was extremely angry with us due to this blown student of mine on the FEBC program. In an attempt to show Hubbard what we had done to handle this guy we collected up all the sec checking that he had received over the last 2 months, it had been a lot poor guy, and presented it to him along with an outline of this student's progress on the courses he had taken. We had also wanted to show him how we had been careful that he hadn't gone by misunderstoods, etc.
We waited and waited and about 0300 hrs a messenger came down with a Despatch written by LRH. My memory does not recall any folders being returned. The despatch was entitled Very Confidential underlined. "He went onto say that if you or Franks ever reveal any of this information that I am about to reveal, the consequences will be severe for SCN." 
He then wrote" a person does not blow due Overts or Witholds. He blows only due to ARC BKs". 
"However, If any of this information ever became public,I would lose all control of the orgs and eventually Scientology as a whole".signed "LRH"
Both Mayo and me looked at one another completely incredulously. I cannot speak for Dave but I was completely flabbergasted as I realized at that point of digestion that he is talking about something that 75-80% of the tech is premised upon. Furthermore, the OEC/FEBC was currently anchored by the latest" development" at the time -being the L's, L-10,11, & 12.which for tose who don't know is about OW's. I don't believe Mayo or I talked about this again until we were out where I saw him at his auditing facility in Montecito, California in 1983. I believed we were a bit shell shocked about this.
As for me, I began to see more and more that scientology was merely a big prison camp. I stayed in for another 7 plus years but I was always mindful of this and always had in mind changing this "tech". I believe it is the key to what we have all seen and experienced as brainwashing.
That is all. I hope someone who want to use this will do so as there is no doubt that there is good in the tech it is just a matter of where is it.
How do you sort out the good and the bad and at the same time keep the good without throwing out the baby with the bath water.
I regret that I could not fix this during my tenure.
Best, wogman Bill Franks

MysticBanned: :: sigh :::

Mystic, Feb 26, 2011
Mark A. BakerSponsor
gwells said: ↑
Here is my story about brainwashing. As you know I have tried unsuccessfully to get this posted elsewhere. I have tried also to tell this story many times since it occurred to me that it might be helpful, but it does not seem to be of interest or there is a lot of apathy out there which is certainly understandable. I retell this here as it is about the tech and I think its useful in explaining a lot of what has happened over the years. …. Bill Franks..
Thanks for the story & the insights it provides. 
Mark A. Baker
p.s. Welcome to the board, Bill.
Mark A. Baker, Feb 26, 2011

MysticBanned
The Hubbard-thing was an artificially conjured being and as such couldn't tell his hole from an ass in the ground.
Mystic, Feb 26, 2011

CarmeloOrchardsCrusader
Panda Termint said: ↑
Does anyone know anything more about this?
Yeah, a bit;this follows from an interesting FB conversation that Robyn Scott and Bill had with two indies. 
I was about to write to Bill to ask for this info so I'm glad it came up here.
I don't know if Gwells is Bill or a third person.
But thanks Bill and/or Gwells, very interesting story.!
Last edited: Feb 26, 2011
Free to shineShiny & Free
Feral, Feb 26, 2011
We waited and waited and about 0300 hrs a messenger came down with a Despatch written by LRH. My memory does not recall any folders being returned. The despatch was entitled Very Confidential underlined. "He went onto say that if you or Franks ever reveal any of this information that I am about to reveal, the consequences will be severe for SCN." 
He then wrote" a person does not blow due Overts or Witholds. He blows only due to ARC BKs". 
"However, If any of this information ever became public,I would lose all control of the orgs and eventually Scientology as a whole".signed "LRH"
Both Mayo and me looked at one another completely incredulously. I cannot speak for Dave but I was completely flabbergasted as I realized at that point of digestion that he is talking about something that 75-80% of the tech is premised upon. Furthermore, the OEC/FEBC was currently anchored by the latest" developpment" at the time -being the L's, L-10,11, & 12.which for tose who don't know is about OW's. I don't believe Mayo or I talked about this again until we were out where I saw him at his auditing facility in Montecito, California in 1983. I believed we were a bit shell shocked about this.
As for me, I began to see more and more that scientology was merely a big prison camp. I stayed in for another 7 plus years but I was always mindful of this and always had in mind changing this "tech". I believe it is the key to what we have all seen and experienced as brainwashing…Bill Franks
Very interesting and, when you think about it, it's obvious.
I guess we were all ARC broken when we left the cult, but being that we were still fresh from the indoctrination, we looked for our O/W's - I know I did. I thought OK, I'd stuffed up here and there but no rabid SP stuff.
Later, after a few years away from the crap, I realised that I had a lot of disagreements with the Tech and the organisation. Was that a break in reality? It sure was.
Why Hubbard would point this out and potentially weaken his position of power though, is not so obvious.
Thanks for your post.
LTG
LongTimeGone, Feb 26, 2011
In February 2011 and incredible testimonial account from Bill Franks, the former international executive director (ED Int) of the Church of Scientology, attesting to one of the biggest secrets behind the brainwashing aspects of Scientology Technology.

Who is Bill Franks?

Bill Franks joined Scientology in 1968 studying the Saint Hill Special Briefing Course at Saint Hill UK, directly under L. Ron Hubbard. He joined staff and went up the Org Board. In December 1979, he was appointed by Hubbard to be "Senior Management Executive International." Franks eventually ended up as ED Int, likewise appointed personally by LRH in December 1980. He also served as the Commanding Officer of AOLA and was the Chairman of the Board of Directors for Church of Scientology International.
Training-wise, Franks was a Class IX auditor, OT VII and OEC FEBC graduate. He reached the highest level of administrative training, doing the FEBC directly under LRH on the Flag ship. In December 1981, Bill Franks was thrown out of his office in Clearwater and fired from his position executive director. In August 1982, he was declared a suppressive person by the Watchdog Committee.
Bill Franks' story about brainwashing
Firstly, I swear that this is the absolute and complete truth even though it occurred 37 years ago.
Secondly, a little about me which might put things into perspective as to why I saw what I am about to say as very significant and in a way horrific. I was in the SO for a little under 14 years. I attained the "rank' of Lt. Commander through promotions only by Hubbard. I was OEC and FEBC (trained by Hubbard), HSDC, Class IX when I left in December 27 1981, as well as DSEC, NOTs auditor, plus assorted other stuff. I was OT V plus NOTs, plus sec checked up the wazoo over the years. I also audited between 3-4000 hours conservatively speaking-probably much more, a lot of this was under Hub as the C/S. I spent about 3 1/2 years working with Hubbard pretty directly on the ship at various posts. I got to know him as well as anybody did.  
Thirdly and to the point of all this preamble, on one night in 1974 I found myself in David mayo's office in the tween decks of the Apollo. 
It was very late or early in the morning. We were, I believe in the port of Safi, Morocco. A student of mine, I was currently D of T and Mayo was Flag Senior C/S, had blown. Hubbard was extremely angry with us due to this blown student of mine on the FEBC program. In an attempt to show Hubbard what we had done to handle this guy we collected up all the sec checking that he had received over the last 2 months, it had been a lot poor guy, and presented it to him along with an outline of this student's progress on the courses he had taken. We had also wanted to show him how we had been careful that he hadn't gone by misunderstoods, etc. We waited and waited and about 0300 hrs a messenger came down with a Despatch written by LRH. My memory does not recall any folders being returned.


The despatch was entitled Very Confidential underlined. "He went onto say that if you or Franks ever reveal any of this information that I am about to reveal, the consequences will be severe for SCN."  
He then wrote "a person does not blow due Overts or Witholds. He blows only due to ARC BKs.  
"However, if any of this information ever became public, I would lose all control of the orgs and eventually Scientology as a whole." Signed, LRH.


Both Mayo and me looked at one another completely incredulously. I cannot speak for Dave but I was completely flabbergasted as I realized at that point of digestion that he is talking about something that 75-80% of the tech is premised upon. Furthermore, the OEC/FEBC was currently anchored by the latest" development" at the time -being the L's, L-10, 11 & 12. Which for those who don't know is about OW's. I don't believe Mayo or I talked about this again until we were out where I saw him at his auditing facility in Montecito, California in 1983. I believed we were a bit shell shocked about this. 
As for me, I began to see more and more that Scientology was merely a big prison camp. I stayed in for another 7 plus years but I was always mindful of this and always had in mind changing this "tech." I believe it is the key to what we have all seen and experienced as brainwashing.
That is all. I hope someone who wants to use this will do so as there is no doubt that there is good in the tech it is just a matter of where is it. 
How do you sort out the good and the bad and at the same time keep the good without throwing out the baby with the bath water. 
I regret that I could not fix this during my tenure.
Best, wogman Bill Franks
Verification
The discussion board post excerpted above originally occurred on Facebook (see image to the right) in response to a message Robin Scott posted to Bill Franks timeline. It was passed on to the ESMB community by "gwells," a friend of Bill's who was helping him navigate the internet. 
Despite initial disbelief, Karen de la Carriere initially confirmed it was indeed posted by Bill Franks. Once Bill navigated his way through the registration ESMB process, he personally confirmed it himself.
Additionally, Glenn Samuels independently confirmed this account with through a source close to David Mayo who is unable to speak out directly due to a gag order he was forced to sign during a legal settlement with the Church of Scientology.
Similar to Bill, Glenn lived and worked aboard the Flagship Apollo where he was also personally trained as a counselor by Hubbard. Glenn left Scientology in 1982 after seeing Scientology’s corruption and greed firsthand. His response to Bill's remarks was that "it makes sense; did you leave because you committed some huge crime? Probably not. You left because of abuse, human rights violations, or some other form of harassment."

Additional insights
The Edge with Tom Smith, June 2010 - a previously recorded interview with Bill Franks was re-published on YouTube in January 2014. The topics discussed include Fair Game, Paulette Cooper, the framing of Mary Sue, orders issued against elected officials of a major Western government, Miscavige's psychopathy, Hubbard's psychopathy, etc. Bill also explains the story of the Hubbard despatch that admitted people blow due to ARC Breaks (upsets) rather than transgressions.
This interview was most likely Franks' original telling of his first hand account regarding Hubbard's emphasis on O/W being the source of people leaving the Church Scientology being a blatant deception instituted to control people.
Furthermore, this deception should raise questions regarding the real purpose of Scientology Ethics, PTS/SP tech and Sec Checks. If Hubbard was right when he stated that human beings are basically good, then what is it about Scientology that causes a need for all these coercive tactics, corrections and punishments?

Bare-Faced Messiah By  Russell Miller, Chapter 21 Making Movies
The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard is a posthumous biography of Scientology founder
L. Ron Hubbard by British journalist Russell Miller. Originally published: 26 October1987 

Author: Russell Miller, Genre: Biography, Page count: 380,

Publisher: Michael Joseph, Subject: L. Ron Hubbard

Bare-Faced Messiah By  Russell Miller, Chapter 21 Making Movies

'The crime committed by these defendants is of a breadth and scope previously unheard of. No building, office, desk or file was safe from their snooping and prying. No individual or organization was free from their despicable conspiratorial minds. The tools of their trade were miniature transmitters, lock picks, secret codes, forged credentials, and any other device they found necessary to carry out their conspiratorial schemes. It is interesting to note that the founder of their organization, unindicted co-conspirator L. Ron Hubbard, wrote in his dictionary entitled Modern Management Technology Defined that, "Truth is what is true for you." Thus, with the founder's blessings, they could wantonly commit perjury as long as it was in the interests of Scientology.' (Government sentencing memorandum on Mary Sue Hubbard, et al, October 1978)
 (Scientology's account of the years 1976-80.)
*   *   *   *   *
At Olive Tree Ranch, everything changed after Quentin's death. The Commodore's all-too-brief bonhomie disappeared and he reverted to the familiar bellowing, foul-mouthed tyrant, plagued by phobias, surrounded by fools and besieged by enemies.

When he was in the throes of a tantrum, he often looked deranged, with his long, unkempt hair, glaring eyes and flecks of saliva around his mouth. But no one would risk even thinking such a thing, lest it show up during auditing. There was a particularly feared phenomenon on the E-meter called a 'rock slam', when the needle wavered violently, apparently indicating a discreditable thought. 'Rock slams' almost inevitably led to long periods of incarceration in an RPF, by then a feature of most of the major orgs.
For those Scientologists who had only ever seen the dozen official pictures of L. Ron Hubbard, seeing him for the first time at La Quinta was something of a shock, as Anne Rosenblum discovered when she arrived to start training as a messenger: 'The first night I was there I didn't talk to LRH since he was busy, but I saw him. He had long reddish-gray hair down past his shoulders, rotting teeth and a really fat gut. He didn't look anything like his pictures. The next day I met him. He was doing exercises in his courtyard and called me over. I was nervous meeting him. I was really surprised that I didn't feel this "electric something or another" that I was told happens when you are around him.'

Anne had been told that both Mary Sue's pet dogs were 'clear' and that they would bark at anyone who had committed 'overts' (crimes) about the Hubbards. She was dismayed when she walked into Rifle for the first time and one of the dogs came tearing out of Mary Sue's room, barking furiously at her. 'I started walking around wondering what deep, dark terrible overts I had committed on LRH or Mary Sue in this life or past lives.'[1]

Because their loyalty was unquestioned, the messengers knew more about what was going on in Scientology than anyone other than Hubbard and Mary Sue. They knew all about Operation Snow White, for example, because the Hubbards often discussed its Machiavellian twists and turns over dinner. They were also privy to the family's intimate secrets. One afternoon, while Hubbard was away from his office, Doreen Smith came across a pile of letters Quentin had written to his father. She was surprised: she knew the Commodore had not replied to any of them because all his mail went out via the messengers.

'Out of curiosity, I pulled the letters out and read a couple,' she confessed. 'It sounded like Quentin had gone crazy. He was talking about people coming from outer space and what we were going to do about it and how he knew the Marcabs were coming every five thousand years to check on our development. It seemed like he had taken his father's space odyssey stories and plumped them in his own reality. It was real loony tune stuff.' She told no one about this except, of course, all the other messengers.

Doreen was close to the younger Hubbard children and was shocked by Quentin's letters. She was even more shocked by what happened when the Commodore fell out with his youngest daughter, Suzette. 'She was dating another Scientologist but for some reason the Commodore didn't approve of him and so he sent a messenger with $5000 in cash to buy him off. The messenger was told to threaten the guy that he would be declared SP if he didn't take the money and sign an agreement to stop seeing Suzette.

'But the agreement also made it look as if the guy was blackmailing Hubbard and threatening to take her away. That's what Hubbard told Suzette was happening. I was in his office when he called her in and showed her the agreement, shouting things like, "I told you so." Suzette might have seen through it, but she was a toughie. She started dating wogs and then, when she was being audited - auditing is like a confessional - she would describe everything she had done on the date in great detail, knowing that her father would read her folder. It was her way of getting back at him. The only form of communication she could have with her father was through her auditor.

'He went purple with rage when he read her folder with all that stuff in it and her saying things like, "If my father doesn't like what I'm doing, I don't give a damn." When he had finished reading it, he threw it across the room and then threw a yellow legal pad at me and told me to take down a letter. He started dictating a letter disinheriting Suzette and I began to cry. In the end I said, "I can't do this." I put down the pad and let him have it. "Quentin's dead," I said, "and now you're tearing your family apart. You can't do this to your family and to Mary Sue. If you want to send this letter, write it yourself." Then I excused myself from the watch and ran out. Afterwards, I discovered he tore up the letter. He never did disinherit Suzette.' (Doreen was a particular favourite with the Commodore and one of the few people at Olive Tree Ranch who would have dared suggest he might have made a mistake. He called her 'Do', had a little engraved dog-tag made for her and in rare moments of amiability he would give her an affectionate pat her on the head and say, 'That's my Do.')

Arthur, the youngest of the Hubbard children, was in rather better favour with his father, although he made a pest of himself with everyone else at Olive Tree Ranch by riding his motor-cycle around the property at breakneck speed. 'He was a brat,' said Jim Dincalci. 'All the time.' His talent as an artist was being employed to paint a series of watercolours illustrating incidents in his father's early life, which were to be used in a glossy, coffee-table tome published by the church under the title, What Is Scientology?

There were pictures of little Ron riding on his grandfather's cattle ranch, sitting by a campfire with the Pikuni Indians, journeying 'throughout Asia' at the age of fourteen, as a university student attending one of the first nuclear physics courses and supporting himself as an essayist and technical writer (the caption somehow failed to mention his science fiction). Two paintings showed him crippled and blinded in a naval hospital after the war and a third depicted him miraculously restored to health by the power of mind. Arthur's pictures were unremarkable art, but fascinating inasmuch as they illustrated most of the significant lies told by his father about his life before Scientology.

 

In the early part of 1977, Hubbard became enthused by a project called the 'Purification Rundown' which he believed would rid the world of drug addiction. His debut as an authority on the subject was marked by the issue of a bulletin in which he warned about the effects of LSD and listed its characteristics, as if after months of research. 'All the information came from one person who had taken LSD once,' said Jim Dincalci. 'That was how he did his research.'[2]

At Hubbard's request, Dincalci put together the elements of the Purification Rundown, a regimen of exercise, diet and vitamins designed to rid the body of toxic substances. Dincalci never thought of it as much more than a simple plan for healthier living, but in the grand arena of the Commodore's fantasies it was transformed into a sensational discovery, the instant solution to the international drugs crisis, the salvation of the world's youth, a beacon of hope for drug addicts everywhere.

Strenuous attempts were made to provide scientific evidence to back up the vivifying claims made for the Purification Rundown and Hubbard was so carried away by his own brilliance that he soon began to dream of a suitable award for his contribution to humanity - a Nobel Prize, for example. He issued a written order to Laurel Sullivan, his personal public relations officer, allocating 'unlimited funds' to a project aimed at getting him a Nobel Prize and inquiries were immediately instituted to see if there were any Scientology connections, or strings that could be pulled, with members of the Nobel nominating committee.

Poor Mary Sue, meanwhile, was floundering in the aftermath of Operation Snow White. The real problem was what do with Michael Meisner, who was growing restive as a fugitive and disenchanted with the efforts of his superiors to resolve his quandary. At one point Mary Sue had considered trying to make him the scapegoat, suggesting he had organized the burglaries in a fit of jealous pique because his wife was doing better as a Scientologist than he was. Another Guardian's Officer suggestion was that the authorities should be told that Meisner was trying to blackmail the church.

After eight months on the run, moving from one secret address to another, Meisner threatened to 'blow'. He was immediately placed under guard. The fugitive had become a captive. On 20 June 1977, while being held at an apartment in Glendale, he gave his guards the slip, changed buses twice to avoid pursuit and went into a bowling alley, from where he telephoned the FBI. He said he wanted to give himself up.

Two days later, the Guardian's Office received a letter from Meisner, postmarked San Francisco, saying that he was lying low for a while to think things over. This information was passed to Mary Sue, who responded: 'I frankly would not waste Bur 1 [Bureau One, the GO investigative division] resources looking for him, but would instead utilize resources to figure out a way to defuse him should he turn traitor.'[3] It was too late. Meisner was already in Washington describing to dumbfounded FBI agents the scope and success of Operation Snow White.

At six o'clock on the morning of 8 July 1977, 134 FBI agents armed with search warrants and sledgehammers, simultaneously broke into the offices of the Church of Scientology in Washington and Los Angeles and carted away 48,149 documents. They would reveal an astonishing espionage system which spanned the United States and penetrated some of the highest offices in the land.

Hubbard's reaction to the raid was true to form: he immediately assumed the Guardian's Office had been penetrated by suppressives. It was clear to him he could now trust no one but the messengers. He also realized that the documents seized by the FBI would inevitably implicate Mary Sue in Operation Snow White and he was acutely aware of the need to put some distance between himself and his wife.

On 15 July, in the middle of the night, a Dodge station wagon pulled out through the high gates of Olive Tree Ranch. To ensure it was not followed, the car showed no lights until it reached Highway 111, the main road between Indio and Palm Springs. Hubbard was slouched on the back seat of the car, grasping his midriff and complaining of stomach pains. With him were three messengers, Diane Reisdorf, Claire Rousseau and one of the few male messengers, Pat Broeker. They headed north on Interstate 5, turning east at Sacramento, across the Sierra Nevada and the state line, through Reno to Sparks, a city of low-rent houses, casinos and motels, situated on the Truckee River. The sun was just rising when they checked into a motel under false names. Their story was that Pat and Claire were married, Diane was their cousin and Hubbard their elderly uncle.

While Hubbard stayed in his room at the motel, Pat went out to look for an apartment. He quickly found somewhere suitably anonymous, paid cash and equipped it with everything they would need for an indefinite stay. The four of them moved in a few days later.

For the remainder of 1977, Hubbard stayed in hiding at Sparks. He cut off all direct communications with the Guardian's Office and his family and relied on his three messengers to maintain secret links with the Church hierarchy. It was not long before they began to run out of money and elaborate arrangements were made for the transfer of cash from Clearwater. Pat Broeker met the DCO/CMO/CW (Deputy Commanding Officer, Commodore's Messenger Organization, Clearwater) at Los Angeles airport where they exchanged identical suitcases. Broeker collected a case containing one million dollars in hundred-dollar bills and returned to Sparks, frequently doubling back to ensure he was not being followed. To further launder the money, the bills were broken down into lower denomination notes in local casinos.

For a man whose activities were under intense investigation by the FBI, Hubbard seemed remarkably insouciant. Most mornings he took a long walk, then spent the rest of the day writing film scripts. He had an idea for a feature film called Revolt in the Stars, a dramatization of high-level Scientology training about events which happened seventy-five million years ago when an evil ruler by the name of Xenu massacred the populations of seventy-six planets, transported their frozen spirits back to earth and exploded them in volcanoes. He also wanted to make films that could be used for recruiting and instruction within the church and the more he thought about the idea of being a film director, the more he liked it. He was sixty-six years old and had only ever shot home movies, but he did not consider his age or lack of experience to be any kind of drawback.

A few days after Christmas 1977, word arrived at Sparks that the Commodore was unlikely to be indicted as a result of the FBI raid and he decided it was safe to move back to La Quinta. There was just one problem. He suspected that Mary Sue was still under FBI surveillance, so if he returned to Olive Tree Ranch, she would have to move out.

Hubbard arrived back at the ranch on the morning of 2 January 1978 to the ritual rapturous welcome from his followers. He spent a number of hours with Mary Sue behind the closed doors of his study. No one knew what passed between them, but Mary Sue left the ranch that evening at the wheel of her BMW. Next day, Doreen Smith was sent to Los Angeles to help her look for a house.

With the Commodore's return, security was stepped up. Guards with walkie-talkies patrolled the property day and night and were drilled on how to deal with process servers. If a visitor asked for Mr Hubbard, they were to deny all knowledge of him; if someone tried to press papers on them, they were to kick them away. In a real emergency, a button on every walkie-talkie would set off alarms all around the property. At the back of Rifle, a tan-coloured Dodge Dart with a souped-up engine and a full tank of petrol was kept ready for a getaway at all times.

Behind the security screen, the Commodore was directing the setting up of a full-scale film unit. More property was purchased around La Quinta - a ten-acre ranch, code-named Munro, became a barracks for the film unit personnel and a studio was built in a huge barn on the Silver Sand Ranch, a 140-acre grapefruit farm. Lights, dollies, cameras and a vast range of technical equipment were all moved into the new studio. Hubbard took to wearing a cowboy hat, suspenders and a bandana, which he imagined gave him an artistic mien appropriate to a film director.

The Cine Org was to cut its teeth making simple promotional films illustrating various situations in which Scientology could be used beneficially. Hubbard wrote all the scripts and knew exactly what he wanted, but found it infuriatingly difficult to transfer his vision on to celluloid. Surrounded by an army of enthusiastic amateurs running around desperate to please, nothing seemed to go right. If the actors remembered their lines, the lighting was botched; if the lighting was all right, the sound failed; if the sound was satisfactory, the sets fell down . . . The Commodore's temper worsened day by day.

An appeal had gone out to Scientology branches around the world for volunteers with acting and film-making experience to help Ron in a special project. Among the first to arrive was a middle-aged couple from Las Vegas whose show business experience extended to four performances of their own dance and comedy act at the Sahara Showcase. Adelle and Ernie Hartwell were champion ballroom dancers who had taken a few Scientology courses and had been led to believe that joining the Cine Org would give them their big break.

They were disillusioned from the moment of their arrival. 'I was absolutely shocked', said Ernie, 'to see every one running around in shorts, ragged clothes, dirty and unkempt. They put us in a little three-room shack on the edge of the ranch. We go inside and what a mess! The place was over-run with bugs and insects.'

'The main thing I disliked,' said Adelle, 'was that when we first got there we were programmed on the lies we had to tell. If we ran into one of our friends, we had to tell a lie to them and tell them we were just there for a vacation . . . We were schooled on how to get away from process servers, FBI agents, any government officials or any policeman who wanted anything to do with Hubbard.'

Adelle's introduction to the Commodore was unforgettable. She was working in the wardrobe department when she heard a barrage of abuse from behind a screen: 'You dirty goddam sons of bitches, you're so goddam stupid. Fuck you, you cock-suckers . . .' It seemed to go on for several minutes. 'I had something in my hand and it fell to the floor,' she recalled. 'I said, "Who in the world is that?" They said it was the Boss - we weren't allowed to use the name Hubbard for security reasons. "You mean the leader of the church speaks like that?" I asked. "Oh yes," was the reply. "he doesn't believe in keeping anything back."'

Adelle Hartwell was supposed to be a make-up assistant on a movie called The Unfathomable Man, which chronicled Hubbard's view of mankind from the beginning of time to the present day. She soon learned that Hubbard was a director who like plenty of gore, and gallons of fake blood had to be prepared in advance of every day's shooting. 'Did he ever like those films to be bloody,' she said. 'It was enough to make you sick.

'We'd be shooting a scene and all of a sudden he'd yell, "Stop! Make it more gory." We'd go running out on the set with all this Karo Syrup and food colouring and we'd just dump it all over the actors. Then we'd film some more and he'd stop it again and say, "It's still not gory enough," and we'd throw some more blood on them.'[4]

On one occasion, when filming a bombing raid on an FBI office - a scene Hubbard very much enjoyed - he ordered so much blood to be poured over the unhappy actors that their clothes became glued to their bodies and had to be cut off by wardrobe assistants.

When the Cine Org was shooting in the studio, all the sets had to be cleaned and scrubbed with special soap every morning before Hubbard arrived and the messengers would go round with white gloves to ensure that it had been done properly. Hubbard had a director's chair that no one else was allowed to sit in and as he was walking around the set a messenger would follow close behind him, ready to put the chair underneath him if he chose to sit down. One unfortunate girl got the positioning wrong by a few inches and as the Commodore sat down he missed the chair and sprawled on the floor. No one laughed: it was not wise to laugh at the Commodore. The girl was immediately despatched to the RPF.
Despite the somewhat desperate desire on everyone's part that the Cine Org should succeed, its films were in no danger of winning Oscars. One of the fundamental problems was that the scripts, although no one would admit it, were as amateurish as everything else. Narratives tended to begin, 'From the beginning of history, Man has searched for truth . . .' and many of the roles were wooden stereotypes or ludicrous caricatures reflecting Hubbard's multitude of prejudices. One film, titled The Problems of Life, featured a perplexed young couple searching for a meaning to their lives. They first consulted a psychiatrist, predictably portrayed as a demented sadist, then sought advice from a scientist, who was shown madly scribbling theorems on a blackboard as if completely insane. Finally they approached a beaming Scientologist and concluded they were at last in the right place. Subtlety was not one of Hubbard's more obvious talents as a scriptwriter.
'The trouble was that he wanted to make movies that would take over Hollywood,' said Kima Douglas, 'but they were terrible, really terrible. The crew would have to do scenes over and over again before he was satisfied. Occasionally the day would end up with a "Fine, well done everybody", but more often there were tantrums and he'd storm off the set screaming that it had better be right tomorrow.'[5]

Gerry Armstrong was put in charge of set building. 'It was all hokey, worse than high school,' he said. 'When we were shooting films he was the most abusive I have ever seen him, screaming and yelling all the time. People were running around terrified. He'd cover up his own incompetence by attacking everyone else. The guy had poor eyesight and he was running the cameras, so the shots were often out of focus and he'd scream at the cameraman, "You can't frame a shot!" Or he'd hear a hum on the microphone and start yelling, "Sound! Sound! You fucking idiots! Get off the set!"'[6]

Faithful Jim Dincalci was by this time convinced that Hubbard was unbalanced and he asked to be relieved of his post on the Commodore's staff. He was immediately ostracized. 'For two months Hubbard would not even acknowledge my existence. He would not say hello or even nod at me. On the set in the morning he would say hello to everyone and deliberately skip me.' Dincalci was also less inclined to believe the Commodore's stories of his past life adventures: 'A friend of mine, Brian Livingstone, told me one time that Hubbard had finished [reading] a book and passed it on to him to read. He started reading it that night and next day he heard Hubbard talking about a lifetime where he had done these various things and Brian had just read about the same things in the book!'

Hubbard knew little of what was happening to Mary Sue during this period because the messengers censored her letters in order to avoid upsetting the Commodore. If Mary Sue sent bad news, the messengers cut out the offending passages with a razor blade, believing it to be their duty to keep such problems 'off his lines'. But they naturally read all Mary Sue's communications themselves and were certainly not above gossip. On one occasion she wrote to ask, plaintively, why Ron spent so much time with 'his people' and so little time with her. 'I understand you're trying to save the world,' she wrote, 'but I need some time, too.' The contents of that letter were soon common knowledge all round Olive Tree Ranch.

In truth, Mary Sue had much to complain about, because she had no doubt that she was going to have to take the rap for Operation Snow White. 'Hubbard abandoned her', said Ken Urquhart, 'and made it quite clear within the org that he had abandoned her. It's the one thing I find hard to forgive - that he was prepared to allow his wife to go to jail for crimes he was equally guilty of. After the FBI raid I was put to work making up reports to show that he did not know what was going on. In other words, I was to cover his ass. He was privy to almost all of it and was as guilty as Mary Sue.[7]

On 15 August 1978, a federal grand jury in Washington indicted nine Scientologists on twenty-eight counts of conspiring to steam government documents, theft of government documents, burglarizing government offices, intercepting government communications, harbouring a fugitive, making false declarations before a grand jury and conspiring to obstruct justice. Heading the list of those indicted was Mary Sue Hubbard. She faced a maximum penalty, if convicted, of 175 years in prison and a fine of $40,000. On 29 August, all nine defendants were arraigned in the federal courthouse at the foot of Capitol Hill and pleaded not guilty.

A few days later, Hubbard collapsed while he was filming on location in the desert. 'The temperature was somewhere between 118 and 122 degrees,' said Kima Douglas.
'I had been watching the old man out there wheezing and struggling for breath, with flecks around his mouth. It was crazy; I knew he wouldn't be able to take it much longer. We always had a motor home at the location - he'd have his lunch in it and sometimes have a lie-down while the set was being prepared. This particular day he came back to the motor home and said he didn't feel well. His pulse was extremely erratic and his blood pressure was way up. I thought he was going to die and said that we ought to get him to hospital. He gripped my arm and said, "This time, no!"'
Hubbard was taken back to Olive Tree Ranch, apparently slipping in and out of a coma. At one point he muttered to Kima, 'If I die, bury me in the date field.' A Scientologist doctor, Gene Denk, was summoned from Los Angeles and driven to the ranch blindfolded but he seemed unsure what was wrong with the Commodore. Hubbard had always said that he only got ill because his enemies were pushing bad energy on him; it was just something saviours had to put up with, he would explain with a shrug. Auditing was the way to exorcize bad energy.

David Mayo, the senior case supervisor in Clearwater, did not know where he was going or what he had to do. All he was told was that an urgent, top-secret telex had arrived at the CMO instructing him to be on the next flight to Los Angeles. He was given twenty minutes to get to the airport and didn't even have time to say goodbye to his wife. No one was to know that he had gone. It was nightfall when he arrived at Los Angeles airport. He was met by a Scientologist he vaguely recognized and hurried out to a waiting car, which swept out of the airport complex and up on to Los Angeles' bewildering network of freeways. Neither of the men in the car would tell Mayo where they were taking him. Somewhere on the outskirts of the city they stopped at a parking lot and switched cars. Half an hour later, in another parking lot, Mayo was bundled into a third car and this time he was blindfolded. He asked what was going on and the driver replied: 'We're taking you to LRH. He's sick. Keep the blindfold on until we arrive.'
Mayo was dismayed when he was at last ushered into the Commodore's room at Rifle. 'He was obviously very ill, lying on his back almost in a coma. He could talk a little, but very slowly and quietly. There was medical equipment all round him, including an electric pulse machine to re-start his heart. Denk told me he thought LRH was close to death. He would have moved him into a hospital but he thought the ride in the ambulance might finish him off. I was given his PC folders and told to solve the problem. I started looking through the folders that night and began auditing him next day.'[8]

Hubbard slowly recovered, proving the wondrous efficacy of auditing to everyone at Olive Tree Ranch except, perhaps, the Commodore's auditor. Mayo was deeply disturbed by what he learned during his daily auditing sessions with Hubbard: 'He revealed things about himself and his past which absolutely contradicted what we had been told about him. He wasn't taking any great risk because I was a loyal and trusted subject and had a duty to keep such things confidential.
'It wasn't just what I discovered about his past. I didn't care where he was born or what he had done in the war, it didn't mean a thing to me. I wasn't a loyal Scientologist because he had an illustrious war record. What worried me was when I saw things he did and heard statements he made that showed his intentions were different from what they appeared to be. When I was with him messengers often arrived with suitcases full of money, wads of hundred-dollar bills. Yet he had always said and written that he had never received a penny from Scientology. He would ask to see it, the messenger would open the case and he'd gloat over it for a bit before it was put away in a safe in his bedroom. He didn't really spend much, so I guess it was getaway money. I didn't mind the idea of him having money or being rich. I thought he had done tremendous wonders and should be well paid for it. But why did have to lie about it?

'I slowly began to realize that he wasn't acting in the public good or for the benefit of mankind. It might have started out like that, but it was no longer so. One day we were talking about the price of gold, or something like that, and he said to me, very emphatically, that he was obsessed by an insatiable lust for power and money. I'll never forget it. Those were his exact words, "an insatiable lust for power and money".'

By the middle of October, the Commodore was back on his feet, back making movies. Mayo was ordered to be an actor and was appalled by Hubbard's behaviour on the set. 'He walked around with an electric bullhorn yelling orders through it even if the person was only a few feet away. The crew were in a constant state of fear. He'd say he wanted a certain set built and describe it. Everyone would work in a frenzied state to get it done, often through the night, not stopping for meals and praying it would be right and that they would not get into trouble. When he arrived to begin shooting he invariably decided he didn't like it. It had been altered; he wanted it blue, not green. Some of the crew would be sent to the RPF and others would be running around trying to find some blue paint. Then he'd want to know why it was blue and not yellow.
'When I was trying to be an actor I'd have to do the same line over and over again. It was never right. It was too loud, too quiet, too intense, not intense enough. Then he'd scream, "Why aren't you doing it enthusiastically?" He'd end up stamping off, screaming that it was all impossible and that no one would do what he said. One of the main reasons why he got sick, I think, was that he had so many failures and so much frustration and upset over the movies. Everyone was tip-toeing around waiting for explosions.

'One incident was quite dramatic and revelatory. During a period when things had got very, very bad, some of the crew tried to lighten things up by making a little video recording intended as a joke. It was a humorous skit on an incident that had happened a couple of days earlier. They thought it would amuse him and sent him the video tape. I was standing outside his office waiting to see him when he played it. There was a tremendous explosion. He started yelling and screaming and messengers began running in and out. He was literally shouting at the television. He didn't think it was funny at all. He thought he was being held up to ridicule and that the crew were mocking him and he was furious. Messengers were sent to find the names of everyone involved and they were all sent to the RPF. Then he thought that there were people who were not directly involved but might know about it and he wanted their names and they were sent to the RPF as well.'

Cine Org members assigned to the RPF were sent to work on quarter pay - $4.00 a week - at a recently acquired property about forty miles from La Quinta which was to be the Commodore's 'summer headquarters'. Gilman Hot Springs was a faded resort straddling Route 79 between Riverside and Palm Springs. Its 550 acres boasted a yellowing golf course, a decrepit motel, the Massacre Canyon Inn, and a collection of miscellaneous buildings in various states of disrepair, one of them a house satirically named 'Bonnie View'. The entire property had been purchased for $2.7 million cash and local people were told it was going to be used by members of an organization called the 'Scottish Highland Quietude Club'.

Hubbard had not seen the place but declared an ultimate intention to move into Bonnie View and the RPF was toiling to prepare the house for him, ripping out the vents, tiling the floors, painting and decorating and vainly attempting to create a dust-free and odourless habitat. It was honest labour much preferable to the stress and hysteria prevalent in the Cine Org, which by then employed around 150 people.

Like almost every episode in Hubbard's life, the Cine Org ended in sudden collapse and farce. The Hartwells, the stage-struck ballroom dancers who thought they were breaking into show business, had disentangled themselves by the end of 1978 and returned to Las Vegas, poorer but wiser. Ernie Hartwell did not particularly want to stir up any trouble but he thought that the church was trying to entice Dell back and break up his marriage. He was a straight-talking Navy veteran who worked in a casino and was not the kind of guy to be cowed by 'kids running around in sailor suits', which was his favourite description of Scientologists. He began threatening to go to the FBI and the newspapers and telling everything he knew. Actually he did not know much, other than the best-kept secret in Scientology - the whereabouts of L. Ron Hubbard.

Ed Walters, the agent who had 'handled' Quentin's suicide, was ordered to 'handle' Hartwell. 'I'll never forget sitting in the local Guardian's Office the day I brought Ernie in,' said Walters. 'These two young kids who've never met Hubbard are sitting there and they obviously think that Hartwell's a liar. One of them says, "You don't know what you're talking about. You say you actually met Ron Hubbard . . ." Ernie says, "Yeah, I was with him down in the desert." "Well, if you met him," says the GO guy, "how would you describe him?" I knew that what he meant was how did Hubbard look, but Ernie says, "How would I describe him? I'd describe him as fucking nuts."

'My heart was pumping. No one talks like that about LRH. The GO people were stunned. To them it proved that Ernie was a liar. I said, "Well, Ernie, you don't really mean that he's nuts, do you?" He says, "Yeah!" So I asked him to give me an example, hoping to tone it down a bit. "Are you kidding?" He says. "One day we get there and he's playing director with all these kids following him around. He starts screaming at the wall, he says there's supposed to be shelves there and why aren't there shelves there. So one of his people turns to me and says put some shelves there. So I say OK, I need a hammer, nails and wood. Then this fucking kid just says to me make it go right."

'To tell someone "make it go right" was typical Scientology-speak. I knew then that he was telling the truth.'[9]

Walters liked Ernie Hartwell and tried, over the next couple of days, to dissuade him from carrying out his threats. 'Next thing that happens,' he said, 'was that the GO sent some people to tell me to stay out of it. They were going to handle Hartwell. They were not going to allow Hubbard to be exposed by this man and they insinuated they would destroy him if they had to. Ernie was just a troubled old guy off the street who should never have been in Scientology in the first place. How could they think of destroying someone like that? Something just went off inside me.'

Walters began telephoning his closest friends in Scientology, among them Art Maren, to tell them he was thinking of getting out. Maren rushed to Las Vegas and begged Ed to re-consider. It dawned on Walters, with a sense of deep shock, that his friend Artie was frightened. Next day Walters went to the FBI.

Alarm bells were already ringing at Olive Tree Ranch, where someone had been seen taking photographs of the property. Hubbard reacted as he always reacted in a crisis: he fled.

The chosen getaway vehicle was a white customized Dodge Ram van with darkened windows, fitted out inside with a bed, CB radio and the latest stereo system. Hubbard had had it made so that he could sleep on long journeys by road, but it served the purpose for which it was now needed - to get him out of Olive Tree Ranch unseen.

Kima and Mike Douglas were again chosen to go with him. They left at nightfall, with the Commodore in his usual state of paranoid hysteria. 'As we drove up into the San Jacinto Mountains,' said Kima, 'he was lying on the bed in the back, alternately urging Mike to drive faster and complaining that he was feeling sick. We were already tearing round these hairpin bends as fast as we could, but he kept repeating, "We've got to get out of here. Go faster, Go faster."'

They checked into an isolated motel up in the mountains and Hubbard stayed in his room while the Douglas's went out every day looking for a place where they could set up yet another secret base for the Commodore. They eventually found several adjoining apartments for rent in new building just off the main street in Hemet, a small town on the west side of the mountains. Hubbard moved in at the end of March 1979, along with a slimmed-down staff of messengers and aides.

In many ways, Hemet was an ideal place to hide. It was a sleepy little farming town, surrounded by orange groves and unremarkable in every way except perhaps for its resemblance to a Rockwell painting. Its main street signs reflected quiet respectability, small-town values and quintessential Americana: Sun-up Milk Drive-In; Dollar Saver; Smile Jesus Loves You; Hemet Retirement Home; Happy Birthday Doug & Laura; Virgin Mortuary; Hemet Hotel Pets Welcome; Gun Shop; Church of the Open Bible . . . The Commodore's new base was behind Lee's Acupuncture Clinic, adjacent to a Pick 'n' Save supermarket and a drive-in McDonald's.

In this amiable suburban setting, an extraordinary security cordon was tightened around the man whose name was not now allowed to be mentioned. Within Scientology, Hubbard's new location was known only as 'X'. The summer headquarters at Gilman Hot Springs was only fourteen miles distant, to the north, but no one was allowed to travel directly between the two places. Mike Douglas, one of the few people with authority to make regular journeys between Hemet and Gilman, clocked up 120 miles each time.

Inside the apartments behind the acupuncture clinic, a skilful alarm system was devised, with buzzers and red lights everywhere. All the staff were drilled regularly so they knew what to do if strangers arrived at the door - they had to deny all knowledge of L. Ron Hubbard, of course, but they also had to try and act normally while the Commodore was being hustled out through a back escape route to a getaway car that would always be ready in a garage opening on to a different street.

Once all the security precautions were in place, Hubbard relaxed and settled down to enjoy life in Hemet. Although he occasionally threw his food across the room when he believed the cook was trying to poison him, by and large he was better tempered than he had been when he was trying to make movies. He usually got up about midday, audited himself for an hour and then dealt with whatever correspondence the messengers had decided he should see. In the afternoons he devoted several hours to taping lectures and mixing suitable background music, and in the evenings he watched television and reminisced to a small, but always attentive, audience.

'I believed the stories he told were true for him,' said Kima Douglas. 'He was a good story-teller and it was nice to listen to him. He told us once how he was Tamburlaine's wife and how he had wept when Tamburlaine was routed in his last great battle. Another time he vas on a disabled spaceship that landed here before life began and realized the potential and brought seeds back from another planet to fertilize planet earth. I didn't see why that couldn't be true.'

David Mayo recalled sitting on the floor with a couple of messengers while the Commodore played hill-billy songs on his guitar and talked bout the time he had earned his living as a troubadour in the Blue Mountains. 'I think he made up the songs as he went along,' said Mayo. 'Afterwards, everyone clapped.'

After several weeks at Hemet, Hubbard began venturing out into the town in a variety of extraordinary disguises. He had a baseball cap with false hair sewn into it, plastic padding to change the shape of his face and stage make-up to alter the colour of his eyebrows and sideburns. 'He always thought he looked wonderful,' said Kima, 'but he usually looked like a funny old man. I always thought it would have been safer to dress him up like a nonentity, but he would never have it. He always wanted to wear his hat at an angle, kind of jaunty, display a bit of panache. He was fun like that. He'd walk down the main street, always followed by a couple of messengers, little girls in white shorts or tight, tight jeans and he thought he looked like one of he locals, but he never did.'

Hubbard knew so little about contemporary America that he considered shopping malls to be a wondrous innovation and he would spend hours wandering around them, buying plastic trinkets. Although he never spent much when he was out shopping, he was investing huge sums in stocks, precious stones and gold. Michael Douglas had been appointed the Commodore's 'finance officer' and was managing an enormous portfolio of stocks running into millions of dollars. There were bags of gold coins and diamonds stuffed in two safes at the Hemet apartments and more jewels were lodged in the vaults of a local bank.

Through the summer months of 1979, Hubbard followed closely the progress of the battery of lawyers which was fighting to prevent Mary Sue and her co-defendants from being brought to trial. In the intimacy of the Hemet hideaway, he made no secret of his intention to sever all his connections with his wife. He frequently asserted that he had never known anything about what Mary Sue was doing and whined about the fact that she was getting him into trouble. Everyone knew it was a lie.

David Mayo was sent to see Mary Sue at her house off Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles, to suggest that she might consider a divorce. 'She was really offended and very upset,' said Mayo. 'I thought she was going to blow my head off. I went back several times later to make sure that she wasn't going to rat on him. That's what he was really worried about, that she would reveal during the case that she was only relaying his orders. She had covered up for him so much, and there had been so many opportunities for her to betray him, that she couldn't believe he would think that. She kept saying to me, "What is he worried about?" I thought to myself, "My God, I can't tell her."'
Hubbard, still not convinced that he could trust his wife, decided to risk meeting her himself at Gilman Hot Springs. At summer headquarters, no one was supposed to know that the Commodore was visiting, although it was not hard to guess since a working party was assigned to spend two days scrubbing 'Bonnie View' and polishing all surfaces by hand. Mary Sue was told to go to a hotel in Riverside and wait to be picked up by Kima Douglas, who drove her on a roundabout route to Gilman, checking all the time that they were not being followed. Hubbard arrived on the bed in the back of the Dodge Ram, which drove through the gates of the resort at high speed. Waiting guards immediately put a chain across the entrance. No messengers were present during the meeting, so no one knew what was discussed and no one saw either the Commodore or his wife leave the property.

Mary Sue never betrayed her husband, but then she had never intended to. The trial was scheduled for 24 September in Washington, but the government prosecutors and defence attorneys were still bargaining at that date and a stay was granted. On 8 October, in an unusual legal manoeuvre, an agreement was reached that the nine defendants would plead guilty to one count each if the government presented a written statement of its case, thereby avoiding a lengthy trial.

On 26 October, US District Judge Charles R. Richey accordingly found the nine Scientologists guilty on one count each of the indictment. Mary Sue and two others were fined the maximum of $10,000 and jailed for five years. The remaining defendants received similar fines and prison sentences of between one and four years. Sentencing Mary Sue, the judge told her: 'We have a precious system of government in the United States . . . For anyone to use those laws, or to seek under the guise of those laws, to destroy the very foundation of the government is totally wrong and cannot be condoned by any responsible citizen.' All the defendants indicated an intention to appeal on the grounds that the evidence against them had been obtained illegally.
Scientology lawyers were still hoping to prevent the damning documents seized in the FBI raids, currently under seal, from being released. But on 23 November, the day after Thanksgiving, the appellate court ordered the seal to be lifted and began releasing the documents, much to the delight of newspapers and television stations throughout the United States. At last they were able to report the astonishing details of Operation Snow White and give the public a peek into the strange and secretive world of the Church of Scientology.
Exposed and vilified in headlines across the nation, Hubbard became morose, suspicious and fearful once again for his safety. Kima and Mike Douglas had finally asked themselves what they were doing at Hemet and had 'blown the org'. The departure of two such long-standing and trusted aides made the Commodore nervous about the loyalty of everyone around him, except for Pat Broeker, the messenger who had accompanied him to Sparks, Nevada, and his new wife Annie, also a messenger. The Broekers were flattered and pleased to become the Commodore's closest confidantes.
Hubbard's grip on reality, always tenuous, slipped further. He issued orders for plans to be prepared for a new house somewhere near Hemet. It was to be, an aide reported, in 'a non-black area, dust-free, defensible, with no surrounding higher areas and built on bedrock'. It was also to be surrounded by a high wall with 'openings for gun emplacements'.[10]
At the end of February 1980, a few days before his sixty-ninth birthday, Hubbard disappeared with Annie and Pat Broeker.
He was never seen again.


1. Affidavit of Anne Rosenblum
2. Interview with Dincalci
3. Religion, Inc., Stewart Lamont, 1986
4.  Affidavits of Adelle & Ernest Hartwell, St Petersburg Times, 9 Jan 1980 
5. Interview with Douglas
6. Interview with Armstrong 
7. Interview with Urquhart
8. Interview with Mayo
9. Interview with Walters
10. Jon Atack archives

Bare-Faced Messiah By  Russell Miller, Chapter 17 In Search of Past Lives
 The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard is a posthumous biography of Scientology founder
L. Ron Hubbard by British journalist Russell Miller.

Originally published: 26 October1987 

Author: Russell Miller, Genre: Biography, Page count: 380,

Publisher: Michael Joseph, Subject: L. Ron Hubbard

A clarification here: in August 1968, the highest level of Operating Thetan was seven, not eight. A Class VIII auditor could take Scientologists to this exalted state. O.T. Level VIII was not written until the 1980s. -- Dave Bird
Bare-Faced Messiah By  Russell Miller, Chapter 17 In Search of Past Lives

'USIS OFFICER STATES HUBBARD RUNS FLOATING UNIVERSITY OF QUESTIONABLE MORAL CHARACTER, NOT ACCREDITED ANY US UNIVERSITIES AND POOR REPRESENTATIVE FOR US ABROAD . . . FLOATING COLLEGE PROBABLY PART OF CHARLATAN CULT.' (CIA cable traffic, June/July 1968)


On 6 March, Hubbard's opponents received unexpected support from the US Sixth Fleet when a task force arrived off Corfu and a detachment of Marines set up sentry posts around the berths occupied by the Sea Org ships apparently in order to prevent US Navy personnel from coming into contact with Scientologists. 'Somehow it seemed', said Major Forte 'that this was a carefully planned operation designed to bring forcibly home to the authorities the grave danger of contamination by this undesirable cult.'
Unlikely as this theory was, less than two weeks later the Nomarch of Corfu ordered Hubbard and his ships to leave Greece within twenty-four hours. 'The old man almost had a heart attack when he got the news,' said Kathy Cariotaki, a Sea Org member who was on the bridge with Hubbard at the time. 'He went absolutely grey with shock.'[13]
At five o'clock on the afternoon of 19 March 1969, with the harbour sealed by police, the Apollo slipped her lines and sailed out into the Aegean Sea.
Major John Forte watched her leave front the waterfront and realized he was standing next to one of the island's notorious Lotharios. He commiserated with him on the departure of so many pretty young girls. 'As a matter of fact I'm not sorry they're gone,' the man replied. 'They were a lot of cockteasers. When it came to the point they all tell you they are only allowed to have sexual relations with fellow Scientologists.'

 (Scientology's account of the years 1968-69.)
*   *   *   *   *
Soon after the Royal Scotman docked in Valencia a group of students flew in from Saint Hill to take a 'clearing course' on board the ship. One of them was a pretty, dark-eyed New Yorker called Mary Maren:
'I had a friend in dance class in New York who was into Scientology and he told me about it. They sounded like an interesting group of people and I thought it would be useful to have this exact scientific technology at my disposal. I read Dianetics and it made a lot of sense to me.

'By 1967 I was doing the briefing course at Saint Hill and I saw some people who had come back from this mysterious sea project. One of the guys was terrified, really scared; I had no idea why he was in such a state. Two weeks later more came back. They had lost a lot of weight and looked overwhelmed, as if they had seen some kind of monster in the sea. Later I discovered that they had been cleaning cattle dung out of the ship's hold for two weeks, but I didn't know it at the time. I said to my husband, Artie, I'm never going to join the Sea Org.
'I forgot all that when we all got on a plane to do the clearing course. It was called the New Year Freedom Flight. I'd never been to Spain before and it all seemed very exciting. At that time the ship looked clean, kinda nice. The stateroom I was given was very small and cramped, but everything looked kinda spiffed up. The atmosphere was very congenial.

'LRH was on the ship and in a real jolly mood. He used to stay up late at night on the deck and talk to us into the wee hours about his whole track adventures, how he was a race-car driver in the Marcab civilization. The Marcab civilization existed millions of years ago on another planet; it was similar to planet earth in the 'fifties, only they had space travel. Marcabians turned out later not to be good guys so it wasn't a compliment that their civilization was similar to ours. LRH said he was a race driver called the Green Dragon who set a speed record before he was killed in an accident. He came back in another lifetime as the Red Devil and beat his own record, then came back and did it again as the Blue Streak. Finally he realized all he was doing was breaking his own records and it was no game any more.

'People would stand around listening to these stories for hours, very over-awed. At the time it seemed a privilege and honour to share these things, to hear him talking about things that went on millions of years ago like it was yesterday. It was usually entertaining, but I sometimes found it very stressful to take it all in, this powerful, booming outflow, and it was hard to get away. One night I was getting dizzy and dared to ask if I could leave early. I could hear my voice echoing in the cosmos as I said, "If you'll excuse me, I have to go to bed, sir." He said, "OK, sure."'[1]

Talking about his past lives to an adoring, captive audience was one of Hubbard's favourite recreational activities. His stories, no matter how outrageous, were always treated seriously, for everyone on the ship was a dedicated Scientologist committed to the concept of past lives and immortality. It was not in the least improbable to Mary Maren, or any of the others who listened to Hubbard talking on the deck of the Royal Scotman on those warm Spanish nights, that he had been a Marcabian racing driver.

One of the recurring features of Hubbard's past lives on this planet was a penchant for secreting his worldly goods underground and one of the frustrations of his present life was his inability to find them. He was deeply disappointed that his cruises round the Canary Islands in the Enchanter had not resulted in replacing the schooner's ballast with gold bars, but now he had more time, more ships and more personnel at his disposal and in February 1968, he asked for volunteers to accompany him on a special mission on the Avon River.

Amos Jessup was among the first to step forward. 'He didn't tell us ahead of time what we were going to do, but it didn't matter to me, I'd have followed him through the gates of Hell if I had to. I was glad to do anything for him because I felt that what he had done to help others was so great an accomplishment he deserved whatever help I could offer. People felt he was a miracle worker, someone who had demonstrated a far higher level of competence than anything we could aspire to. It was as exciting and stimulating as hell to be with him. You had to be on your toes, put out your maximum effort, but it was always very refreshing and therapeutic.'[2]

Hubbard accepted thirty-five volunteers for the mission and for the next few weeks conducted daily training sessions on the deck of the Avon River, often watched by envious students hanging over the rails of the Royal Scotman moored alongside in Valencia harbour. With a stop watch in one hand, the Commodore put the crew through innumerable drills to rescue men overboard, fight fires, handle lines, launch and retrieve small boats and repel boarders - he told them he was worried about piracy in the Mediterranean and wanted to be sure they would not panic if that circumstance arrived.

At the beginning of March the Avon River set sail, leaving the Royal Scotman seething with speculation about the nature of her mission. She headed east, back across the Mediterranean once again, and anchored in a sheltered bay off Cap Carbonara, on the south-east coast of Sardinia, where Hubbard mustered the crew on the well deck for a briefing. Standing on a hatch cover so that he could be seen, he told them he was on the threshold of achieving an ambition he had cherished for centuries in earlier lives. This was the first lifetime he had been able to build an organization with sufficient resources, money and manpower to tackle the project they were about to undertake. He had accumulated vast wealth in previous lives, he explained, and had buried it in strategic places. The purpose of their present mission was to locate this buried treasure and retrieve it, either with, or without, the co-operation of the authorities.

Several members of the crew were unable to suppress gasps of excitement at this prospect and he smiled broadly before continuing. To the best of his recollection, when he was the Commander of a fleet of war galleys two thousand years ago, there was a temple somewhere on the coast close to where they were anchored. It was called the Temple of Tenet and the high priestess was a charming lady who, he said with a wink, had 'warmed the hearts of sailors'. His intention was to put several parties ashore next morning to search for the ruins of the temple and the secret entrance where he had buried a cache of gold plates and goblets.

'It was an electrifying idea,' said Jessup. 'We all thought it was high adventure. Here was this guy who had cracked through the age-old mystery of the human condition, had dug into, and uncovered, every aspect of human shortcoming, now broaching into a new area, going to sea with a bunch of people in the Mediterranean and digging up buried treasure. It didn't matter to me if it was true or not, what mattered was being able to play a game that LRH had designed. If it was important to him, I would do the best I could.'

The ruins of the Temple of Tenet at first proved difficult to trace, until Hubbard realized that his recollection was based on ancient sailing instructions whereas he had selected the search area using a modern chart. Once this obstacle had been overcome the ruins were soon found, an event which caused a predictable stir on board the Avon River only marginally spoiled by the discovery that the site was clearly marked as an ancient monument - it might have been more sensible to locate the temple by looking at a guide book.

The fact that the temple was a known ruin also made it rather difficult for the Scientologists to begin sweeping the area with their metal detectors, let alone starting to dig, without arousing the suspicion of the locals. Although one group reported encountering what appeared to be the hidden entrance and a surreptitious probe with a metal detector was positive, Hubbard decided merely to note their findings and move on.

While the search parties wrote up detailed reports of everything they had found, the Avon River headed south towards the coast of north Africa, to Tunis, where the ancient civilization of Carthage flourished before the birth of Christ. Hubbard said he knew a Carthaginian priest who had hidden a treasure trove of jewels and gold in a temple which he thought he could find. Moored in the harbour of the Tunisian port of Bizerte, the Commodore briefed his eager search parties by making a clay model of what he could recall of the topography around the temple; they were told to scour the coastline for a 'matching' landscape. He was almost always waiting on the deck when the shore parties returned, impatient to know what they had discovered. Sure enough, they found the site of the temple just as he had described it, but erosion had destroyed the secret tunnel which led to where the treasure was hidden. Hubbard went out to the site, confirmed that they had found the right place and pointed out where the erosion had taken place.

Although they had not yet retrieved any treasure, there was not a man or woman on the mission who was not encouraged by what they had discovered thus far. From Bizerte, the Avon River moved along the coast to La Goulette, the outer harbour of Tunis, where an attempt was made to explore the ruins of an underwater city. Their scuba equipment proved unequal to the task and Hubbard mocked up another clay model of yet another temple site, which this time was found to be occupied by a government office building.

While at La Goulette, Joe van Staden, the captain of the Avon River, offended the Commodore in some way, was promptly dismissed and replaced by Hana Eltringham. 'I was working in the between decks area,' she recalled, 'when LRH called me over and said, "You're going to be the new Captain." I went completely numb; I was terrified. I can remember sitting at my desk with my head in my hands muttering, "Oh my God, oh my God." As I sat there I suddenly became aware of him standing in the doorway of his cabin beckoning to me. I got up and walked over to him. He had an E-meter in one hand and he thrust the cans at me and said, "Hold these." I stood there in the doorway while he was fiddling with the meter and then he said, "I want you to recall the last time you were Captain."

'Through the confusion and fear I was experiencing, my first thought was that this was ridiculous. Then I started to get vague impressions of a time in some past life when I was the Captain of a ship and there was a storm at sea. He said, "Very good, very good" and asked me to go back earlier and I got a very vivid flash of space ships and space travel. It was very real, not an imaginary thing at all. I told him what I had seen, that I was on some space ship being called urgently to my land base. We were going back as fast as we could when we were blown up in space by some enemy. That was followed by confusion and some spinning motion as if the space ship was disintegrating. He had me go through it again and the effects of the experience subsided a lot. "Good," he said, "very good." That was it.

'I went up on the deck and felt the fear and terror in my stomach just disappear. I suddenly felt very able, very competent to tackle anything that came along. Next morning I had to take the ship from one side of La Goulette harbour to the other for re-fuelling, then pick up a pilot to take us out. I thought he would come out and help. No way. I saw him open the curtains of his cabin for a moment, smile to himself a little bit, then close them. I thought, "The old sod isn't even going to give me a hand."'[3]

A few hours out of La Goulette, on an easterly course towards Sicily, steam began pouring from the hatches over the engine room. Cabbie Runcie, the ship's chief engineer, who was the only 'wog' (the Scientologist's name for a non-Scientologist) on board, appeared on the bridge wiping his hands with an oily rag to announce that a piston ring in the high-pressure cylinder had blown and that they would have to stop for repairs. Runcie was nearly seventy years old, a bald, toothless, taciturn, pipe-smoking Scot who preferred to keep his own counsel and Hubbard was both surprised and irritated by his temerity, particularly as he was a 'wog'. The Commodore ordered Hana to stay on course at the same speed, whereupon Runcie disappeared down the steps to the engine room muttering, 'This is madness, this is stupidity.' It was his only recorded comment on the entire voyage.

Steam was still pouring from the engine hatches when the Avon River dropped anchor off the little fishing port of Castellammare on the north coast of Sicily. Thoroughly unconcerned by the banging and swearing from the engine room, Hubbard gathered a small group on the deck and pointed out their next objective - an old watch tower just visible on a high promontory overlooking the harbour. He decreed that the search should take place under cover of darkness and at dusk that evening the search party set out in a rubber dinghy to reconnoitre the watch tower.

They returned several hours later in a state of high excitement, having registered strong readings on a metal detector in one corner of the watch tower. The following night another expedition was mounted, this time armed with shovels. The crew of the Avon River waited with nerves on edge, but there was no brass-bound chest in the bottom of the dinghy when it bumped against the side of the ship - the rocky foundations of the watch tower had proved too much for shovels. Hubbard, who appeared quite as disappointed as everyone else, said he did not think it was worth wasting any more time at the site. He promised to send the Enchanter back at a later date to find the owner of the land and negotiate its purchase in order to conduct a thorough excavation.

From Sicily, the Avon River sailed across the Straits of Messina to the 'toe' of Italy, anchoring off the barren, rocky coastline of Calabria, which had been Hubbard's territory when he was a tax collector at the time of the Roman empire. Not an entirely honest tax collector, however, for he said he had hidden gold in sacred stone shrines along the coast, figuring that they were less likely to be vandalized.

Two small boats were put ashore with search parties, but none of the shrines could he found. The Avon River steamed up and down the coast while look-outs swept the shore with binoculars, but still to no avail. Hubbard concluded that the coast had been eroded and the shrines washed into the sea, along with all his hidden gold.

There was, nevertheless, a palpable aura of anticipation building up on board the Avon River for everyone knew the climax of the mission was still to come - a visit to a secret space station on the island of Corsica. Hubbard had shown a few favoured members of the crew, including Hana Eltringham, several pages of handwritten and typed notes describing the existence and location of the station in mountainous terrain to the north of the island. It occupied a huge cavern which could only be entered by pressing a specific palm print (the crew had no doubt it was Hubbard's) against a certain rock, which would cause a rock slab blocking the cave to slide away and instantly activate the space station. Inside, there was an enormous mother ship and a fleet of smaller craft, constructed from non-corrosive alloys as yet unknown to earthlings, and everything needed for their operation, including fuel and supplies.

Sadly, the Corsican space station was to remain no more than the subject of thrilling rumours, for towards the end of April an urgent radio message arrived from Mary Sue asking the Commodore to return immediately to Valencia, where there was a 'flap' (the euphemism employed to describe any clash between Scientologists and 'wogs'). Hubbard acquiesced, leaving the crew speculating wildly about what might have happened at the space station. There was strong support for the view that Ron was intending to use the 'mother ship' to escape from earth and continue his work elsewhere, perhaps in a more rewarding environment. The Sea Org, it was hopefully suggested, was perhaps nothing more than a step towards a 'Space Org'.

Such considerations had to be put aside for the time being, for Avon River ran into a series of storms as she ploughed towards the Mediterranean coast of Spain. Hubbard's temper worsened with the weather. One dark night, in a gale force wind, Hana became concerned that the ship was being blown too close to the shore and dared to change course without asking the Commodore's permission. As the old trawler turned, she began to buck and wallow. 'She was just coming round nicely', Hana recollected, 'when there was this great bellow from LRH's cabin, which was under the bridge. I heard his feet pounding up the companionway and then the bridge door burst open. He stood there like a madman, with his hair all over the place, glared around and shouted, "What's going on?" I almost leapt at him, grabbed him by both shoulders and told him as clearly as I could what I had done, after which he began to calm down and stopped glaring at everyone like some ferocious beast. It always struck me as odd that a man of his calibre would behave like that; I expected him to be more God-like.'

Hubbard was further displeased, on arriving in Valencia, to discover that the 'flap' had been caused by the port Captain of the Royal Scotman, who had consistently refused requests from the Spanish port authorities to move the ship from the dock to a mole in the harbour. The situation had deteriorated to such an extent that the Spaniards were threatening to tow the ship out to sea and deny her re-entry. Hubbard sent a mission ashore to heal the rift and transferred six officers from the Avon River to the Royal Scotman to report on how the ship was being run.

A few days later, the Royal Scotman dragged her anchor in the outer harbour as a storm began to blow up. Hubbard heard what was happening over the radio on the Avon River. He grabbed the nearest available officers, jumped into the barge and hurried across to the Royal Scotman, running up on to the bridge to take command. The ship was still secured to the harbour wall by wire hawsers which were under enormous pressure; if they snapped, nothing could prevent her being swept on to the rocks. Hubbard managed to slip the hawsers and re-anchor the ship, but not before her rudder had been damaged against the mole.

When the emergency was over, the furious Commodore demanded an 'ethics investigation' to find out who had 'goofed' and meanwhile assigned the entire ship a 'condition of liability'. Since there were so few people he could trust, he appointed Mary Sue to be the new Captain of Royal Scotman. Her orders were to take the ship to Burriana, north of Valencia, for repairs and then to cruise up and down the Spanish coast to train the crew. She was to stay at sea until both the crew was sufficiently well trained and the ship sufficiently spruce to qualify for upgrading; until then, the Royal Scotman would remain in 'liability'.

So it was that Spanish fishermen working their nets off the coast of Valencia were treated to an unforgettable spectacle over the next few weeks - a large passenger ship cruising offshore with a band of dirty grey tarpaulins knotted around her funnel. Had the fishermen been allowed on board, they would have been even more surprised to see that all the crew, including the diminutive lady Captain, wore grey rags tied to their left arms. It was even said, although perhaps in jest, that Mary Sue's pet corgi, Vixie, was obliged to sport a grey rag tied to her collar.

Hubbard remained on the Avon River and sailed south to Alicante, where the students who had been on the Royal Scotman were now accommodated in a 'land base', a hotel. His plan to pay them a visit was thwarted by the untimely discovery that the Avon River was too big to enter the harbour. For a while he seemed at a loss to know what to do, but after studying a chart he decided that they should go to Marseilles, the second largest city in France and her chief Mediterranean port. As always, no one dared ask why they were going where they were going.

Sailing north, the Avon River came across the unhappy Royal Scotman apparently anchored for the night, still with her grey rag round the funnel. Hubbard ordered his ship to manoeuvre within hailing distance and bellowed into a bullhorn, 'Well, well, here's a ship in liability that thinks it can anchor for the night, taking it easy.' Mary Sue's voice came drifting back across the water, but the crew of the trawler could not hear what she was saving. 'It might be better training to keep your ship moving at night,' Hubbard boomed, 'or are you scared to keep going in the dark?' Mary Sue's reply remained unintelligible, although it seemed somewhat heated to Hana Eltringham, who was on the bridge with Hubbard.

Friends who were on the 'liability cruise' told Hana later that the conditions on board were appalling. The crew worked to the point of exhaustion, the food was meagre and no one was allowed to wash or change their clothes. Mary Sue enforced the rules rigidly but shared the privations, and was scrupulously fair and popular.

In Marseilles, Hubbard moved into a rented villa on shore while the engine of the Avon River was overhauled. A telex was installed in the villa so that he could stay in touch with Saint Hill, from where the news was of increasingly vociferous opposition to Scientology from both press and public. Hubbard was warned that more questions were expected in Parliament about their activities.

At the beginning of June a radio message arrived from Mary Sue to say that the Royal Scotman was ready for reassessment. Her husband graciously agreed to up-grade the ship to the next level - 'non-existence' - and gave his permission for her to sail to Marseilles for his inspection, after which he would decide if she could resume operations unhindered by the stigma of a lower condition. The Royal Scotman arrived in the harbour at Marseilles looking better than she had at any time since going into service for the Sea Org - she had been painted white from stem to stern, her brasswork was gleaming and the entire crew bad been fitted out with smart new uniforms. Hubbard was all smiles, presided over a ceremony to remove all lower conditions and promptly moved back into his cabin on board. A few days later the Royal Scotman sailed for Melilla in Spanish Morocco, eight hundred miles distant. No one knew why.

The Commodore's sunny disposition was not to endure. The Avon River was stranded in Marseilles harbour by a general strike in France which had paralyzed the country and brought repair work on the ship's engines to a halt. Hubbard began sending messages from the Royal Scotman urging Hana Eltringham to somehow get the repair work completed as he needed her urgently. One evening the radio operator told Hana that LRH wanted to speak to her alone; she was to clear the bridge and close the doors. 'I did what I as told,' she said, 'and as I picked up the radio I could hear him sobbing openly. He was weeping with frustration over what was going on on the Royal Scotman. He said the new Captain was so incompetent that he had had to take over and he couldn't cope any longer. It shook me like nothing else could. He was my everything. I loved him like a father or a brother, he was part of my family. I really loved him that much I would have done anything for him and there he was weeping over the radio and pleading with me to do everything in my power to get my ship to sea to join him. "I need you to take over as Captain," he said. I was bewildered. I didn't think I was capable of doing it but I knew I would have to try. Part of his brilliance was that he motivated you to do extraordinary things.'

Two days later, when the bridge blocking the harbour was opened in an emergency, the Avon River made a dash for the open sea with her engine repairs still incomplete. She got as far as Barcelona before the piston rings blew again. She re-fuelled and limped down to Valencia, where more repairs were undertaken, then a radio message arrived ordering Hana to meet the Royal Scotman in Bizerte.

The old trawler arrived at the Tunisian port a few hours before the Royal Scotman. John McMaster, who had been away on a promotional tour and had re-joined the Avon River in Valencia, watched the arrival of the Sea Org's flagship in Bizerte. 'I'll never forget it,' he said. 'We had been warned over the radio that she was coming and about the time she was due a cruise ship from the Lloyd Tristina line came in to the river. She was like a beautiful swan, gliding in, coming alongside and docking effortlessly. Perfect! Then our rust bucket chunters in making a huge noise and begins manoeuvring too far out. Someone throws a line from the deck without the faintest hope of reaching the dock and the rope splashes into the water. It was almost twilight and I could hear Fatty's voice coming across the water. He was standing on the bridge screaming: "I've been betrayed, the bastards have betrayed me again!" The Arabs waiting on the dock to take the lines must have wondered what the hell was going on.'[4]

When Royal Scotman was eventually moored, Hubbard's first act was to place the Avon River in a condition of 'liability' for taking so long to catch up with him. He refused to speak to Hana Eltringham and had no desire to hear how she had risked arrest by slipping out of the strike-bound harbour in Marseilles in order to join him, or how she had sailed more than five hundred miles with steam pouring out of the hatches and the engines threatening to seize up at any moment. 'There was no more talk of me becoming Captain of the Royal Scotman,' Hana said.

Beset by traitors and incompetents, Hubbard felt obliged to introduce new punishments for erring Sea Org personnel. Depending on his whim, offenders were either confined in the dark in the chain locker and given food in a bucket, or assigned to chip paint in the bilge tanks for twenty-four or forty-eight hours without a break. A third variation presented itself when Otto Roos, a young Dutchman, dropped one of the bow-lines while the Royal Scotman was being moved along the dock. Purple with rage, Hubbard ordered Roos to be thrown overboard.

No one questioned the Commodore's orders. Two crew members promptly grabbed the Dutchman and threw him over the side. There was an enormous splash when he hit the water, a moment of horror when it seemed that he had disappeared and nervous speculation that he might have hit the rubbing strake as he fell. But Roos was a good swimmer and when he climbed back up the gangplank, dripping wet, he was surprised to find the crew still craning anxiously over the rails on the other side of the ship.

'It was not really possible to question what was going on,' explained David Mayo, a New Zealander and a long-time member of the Sea Org, 'because you were never sure who you could really trust. To question anything Hubbard did or said was an offense and you never knew if you would be reported. Most of the crew were afraid that if hey expressed any disagreement with what was going on they would be kicked out of Scientology. That was something absolutely untenable to most people, something you never wanted to consider. That was much more terrifying than anything that might happen to you in the Sea Org.

'We tried not to think too hard about his behaviour. It was not rational much of the time, but to even consider such a thing was a discreditable thought and you couldn't allow yourself to have a discreditable thought. One of the questions in a sec-check was, "Have you ever had any unkind thoughts about LRH?" and you could get into very serious trouble if you had. So you tried hard not to.'[5]

On 25 July 1968, while Hubbard was still in Bizerte, the government in Britain finally decided to take action against Scientology. Kenneth Robinson, the Health Minister, stood up in the House of Commons and announced a ban on Scientology students entering the UK. 'The Government is satisfied,' he said, 'having reviewed all the available evidence, that Scientology is socially harmful. It alienates members of families from each other and attributes squalid and disgraceful motives to all who oppose it. Its authoritarian principles and practices are a potential menace to the personality and well-being of those so deluded as to become its followers; above all, its methods can be a serious danger to the health of those who submit to them.'

A few days later, the Home Secretary announced that L. Ron Hubbard was classified as an 'undesirable alien' and would consequently not be allowed back into Britain, a decision that prompted Hubbard to send a telex to Saint Hill complaining that 'England, once the light and hope of the world, has become a police state and can no longer be trusted.'

These developments spurred British newspapers to renewed efforts to find and interview the elusive Mr Hubbard. The Daily Mail, which had recently been pleased to publish the numbers of Hubbard's bank accounts in Switzerland, was first to track him down in Bizerte. Hubbard affected an attitude of nonchalant indifference to events in Britain and did his best to charm the Mail team. He invited the reporters on board, showed them his sixteen war medals in a framed case behind his desk and politely answered questions for more than two hours.

He claimed he was no longer in control of Scientology, said he was abroad for health reasons and insisted he was still welcome in Britain. 'My name inspires confidence,' he asserted. 'I'm persona grata everywhere. If I wanted to return to Britain, I'd walk in the front gate and the Customs officer would say, "Hullo, Mr Hubbard." That's how it's always been and always will be.'

It was a public relations tour de force; almost the worst thing the newspaper could find to say about him was that he chain-smoked menthol cigarettes and 'fidgeted nervously'.[6] He performed with similar confidence when a British television crew arrived the following day, even when the interviewer asked him, 'Do you ever think you might be quite mad?' Hubbard grinned broadly and replied 'Oh yes! The one man in the world who never believes he's mad is a madman.'

He explained that most of his wealth derived from his years as a writer rather than from Scientology :'Fifteen million published words and a great many successful movies don't make nothing.' He was in the Mediterranean, he said, studying ancient civilizations and trying to find out why they went into decline.[7]

After the television interview, Hubbard decided not to stay in Bizerte to entertain further media representatives. The Royal Scotman rapidly weighed anchor and headed back to sea, leaving latecomers to disconsolately kick their heels in the dust on the Tunisian dockside and wonder what the trip was worth in expenses.

The arrival of the Royal Scotman on the Greek island of Corfu two days later aroused little interest locally. Corfu was a popular port of call fur cruise liners and a busy harbour, with ships plying in and out all the time. Apart, perhaps, from her Sierra Leonese flag, there was nothing special about the Royal Scotman; word went round that she was one of those floating schools that had become popular of late and vague dockside curiosity was satisfied.

Emissaries from the ship paid a visit on the harbourmaster, Marius Kalogeras, and explained that they were representatives of the 'Operation and Transport Corporation Limited', an international business management organization. They would shortly be joined by two other ships and intended, they said, to stay in Corfu for some time while students attended courses on the ships. Their logistic requirements, they pointed out, would result in a considerable injection of funds into the island's economy, not to mention the contribution made by their free-spending students.

The harbourmaster quickly grasped the message, allocated choice berths for the 'OTC' ships in a secluded section of the newly extended quay and promised to provide full facilities. Appraised of this warm welcome, the Commodore began to look upon the island and the Greek people with particular favour, even to the extent of granting an interview to Ephimeris ton Idisseon, one of Corfu's daily newspapers, on the subject of the recent coup d'état in Greece by a clique of military officers known as the 'Colonels'.

The interviewer's obsequiousness was only surpassed by Hubbard's obvious desire to ingratiate himself, as fawning answer followed fawning question:

'Q. Mr Hubbard, as the international personality that you are, are you following the new situation in Greece and what do you think of the work of the present National Government?

A. The government is the mirror of the people. Where I go and wherever the students go, the people continually say how safe they feel. The decision to form a company to establish its headquarter offices here shows our confidence in Greece.

Q. I have been told, Mr Hubbard, that you have read the whole of the new Greek Constitution from beginning to end. If that's true, what do you think of it?

A. Yes, I've read it with much interest. The rights of man have been given great care in it. I have studied many constitutions, from the times of unwritten laws which various tribes have followed, and the present constitution represents the most brilliant tradition of Greek democracy. Out of all the modern constitutions the new Greek Constitution is the best . . .'

Hubbard's interpretation of the ruling military junta as a democracy was somewhat at odds with international opinion, but the interviewer failed to take issue with it.

By the time the Avon River joined the flagship in Corfu, Hubbard was so enamoured with Greece that he decided to change the names of all his ships in honour of his new hosts. The Royal Scotman became the Apollo, the Avon River the Athena and the Enchanter, which had been pottering around the Mediterranean on various missions for the Commodore and frequently breaking down, was re-named the Diana.

At the end of August, the first students arrived in Corfu from Saint Hill, many of them carrying large sums of smuggled cash (the British government had recently introduced restrictions on the export of currency and it was causing some cash-flow problems for the Sea Org, which routinely paid its bills in cash). 'They gave me about £3000 in high-denomination notes to take out to the ship,' said Mary Maren. 'I hid it in my boots.'

Smuggling was entirely consistent with the Sea Org's cavalier disregard for the tedious rules of the 'wog' world. Leon Steinberg, for example, supercargo on the Avon River, was the acknowledged expert at forging documents of authorization to satisfy the voracious appetite of maritime bureaucracy, using potato-cuts to replicate the essential rubber stamp. They were almost always accepted, to the huge enjoyment of the Scientologists, who called them 'Steinidocuments'.[8]

The course being offered in Corfu was for advanced Scientologists to train as 'operating thetans' at Level VIII, the highest that could be attained at that time. To become a Class VIII auditor was the ambition of every self-respecting Scientologist, although none of them was prepared for the new autocracy that had developed within the Sea  Org. 'The atmosphere was very unfriendly when we arrived,' said Mary Maren. 'One of our group was a bit drunk and he was grabbed by one of the officers who really roughed him up, yelling at him, "This is a ship of the Sea Org and it's run by L. Ron Hubbard . . ." I knew it was not going to be like Valencia and I didn't like it.'

Students were outfitted with a sparse uniform of green overalls, brown belt and brown sandals and were humiliated at every opportunity. 'We were told we were lower than cockroaches and didn't even have the right to audit Mary Sue's dog,' said Maren. The working day began at six o'clock every morning and ended at eleven o'clock at night after a ninety-minute lecture delivered by Hubbard in the forward dining-room on B Deck. 'We were always terrified of falling asleep. LRH would be carried away dramatizing different topics and we'd be pinching each other to stay awake. We were terrorized; it was continuous stress and duress.'

The course had not been going long before Hubbard decided that too many mistakes were being made during auditing and he announced that in future those responsible for errors would be thrown overboard. Everyone laughed at Ron's joke.

Next morning, at the regular muster on the aft well deck, two names were called out. As the students stepped forward, Sea Org officers grabbed them by their arms and legs and threw them over the side of the ship while the rest of the group looked on in amazement and horror. Hubbard, Mary Sue and their sixteen-year-old daughter Diana, all in uniform, watched the ceremony from the promenade deck. The two 'overboards' swam round the ship, climbed stone steps on to the quayside and squelched back up the ship's gangplank, gasping for breath. At the top, they were required to salute and ask for permission to return on board.

'Overboarding' was thereafter a daily ritual. The names of those who were to be thrown overboard were posted on the orders of the day and when the master-at-arms walked through the ship at six o'clock every morning banging on cabin doors and shouting 'Muster on the well deck, muster on the well deck!' everyone knew what was going to happen. 'Anyone to be thrown overboard would be called to the front,' said Ken Urquhart, 'and the chaplain would make some incantation about water washing away sins and then they would be picked up and tossed over. People accepted it because we all had a tremendous belief that what Ron was doing would benefit the world. He was our leader and knew best.'[9]

'I thought it was terrible, inhumane and barbaric,' said Hana Eltringham. 'Some of the people on the course were middle-aged women. Julia Salmon, the continental head of the LA org, was fifty-five years old and in poor health and she was thrown overboard.

She hit the water sobbing and screaming. LRH enjoyed it, without a doubt. Sometimes I heard him making jokes about it. Those were the moments when I came closest to asking myself what I was doing there. But I always justified it by telling myself that he must know what he was doing and that it was all for the greater good.'

Diana Hubbard also appeared to enjoy the ceremony and often ordered overboards. 'I remember coming out on deck one day when I was chief officer,' said Amos Jessup, 'and finding my whole division of four or five people being thrown overboard. I didn't know anything about it and said, "What the hell's going on here?" Then I noticed Diana looking down at me from the deck above and I thought, "Jesus Christ!"'

Of the four Hubbard children on the ship, only Diana had so far been appointed an officer in the Sea Org. She was a 'lieutenant commander' at the age of sixteen and wore a uniform with a mini-skirt and a peaked hat, habitually perched on the back of her head in order not to muss her long auburn hair. Quentin, who was 14, was supposed to be an auditor but could summon up little interest compared to his teenage passion for aeroplanes: he was often to be seen walking along the deck with both arms outstretched, wheeling and diving in some imaginary dogfight, lips vibrating to simulate appropriate engine noises. Suzette and Arthur, who were thirteen and ten respectively, seemed perfectly content to make the best of their strange lives and enjoy the influence their name bestowed.

Diana was perhaps the least liked of the Hubbard children, certainly as far as John McMaster was concerned. McMaster, still working as a galley hand, was overboarded five times on the Apollo and nursed a deep resentment against Hubbard and his officious daughter. 'The last time someone called down and said, "John, you're wanted on the poop deck, the Commodore wants to give you a special award." I had some misgivings, but I went up anyway and when I stepped on to the poop deck I realized it was all a nasty little trick. The whole crew was marshalled there and up on the promenade deck there was Fatty and the royal family and all the upstart lieutenants. Hubbard was leaning over the railings with a sorrowful, I've-been-betrayed-again look on his face.

'I began to seethe. I was made to stand immediately below the "royal family" and Diana comes down and stands in front of me and reads out a list of my crimes, things like trying to take over and undermining this and that. It was all lies. I was so mad I nearly picked her up and threw her overboard. Then she chants, "We cast your sins and errors to the waves and hope you will arise a better thetan."

'I nearly said, "Go and fetch that fat bastard up there! He's the dishonest one! Throw him overboard." I should have done; I wish I had, it would have broken the spell they were all under. I was grabbed by these four big thugs and flung over and I started laughing and laughing. I thought, "Jesus, I'm going to get off this floating insanity even if I have to swim to Yugoslavia."' [10] He left the ship several months later.

It was predictable that a 'school ship' which tossed its students overboard every morning would attract a certain amount of attention. Corfiot dock workers could hardly believe their eyes when the first people went over the side of Apollo, although they soon treated the whole business as a huge joke and regularly gathered to watch the fun. But interest was also stirred in other quarters.

The Nomarch (mayor) of Corfu asked Major John Forte, the honorary British vice-consul on the island, what he knew about this strange ship. Forte, a retired army officer who had made his home on Corfu, knew a lot. He had reported the arrival of the Royal Scotman in Corfu to the Foreign Office in London, correctly deducing that it was, in his words, the 'sinister Scientology ship'. Subsequently he had been instructed to deliver a letter to Hubbard to inform him that he had been declared persona non grata in Britain. It had proved to be far from easy.

'I was met at the gangway', the major reported, 'by a small boy aged about twelve with a very intent but far off expression on his face who politely but firmly inquired my business. I asked where I could find the Captain. In all seriousness, the lad insisted, "I am the Captain." Apparently the children take it in turns to act the role of different officers on the ship and are indoctrinated into actually believing they really are the character they happen to be portraying. After an interesting conversation with the lad, I was whisked away by one of the staff to the dirty and evil-smelling bowels of the ship where I was introduced to an outsize female character known as "supercargo", who looked as if she might have been a wardress in a Dickensian reformatory in a bygone age. "Supercargo" signed a receipt for the letter and promised to get it delivered to Hubbard who was alleged to be away cruising on the Avon River. About a month later, the letter, which had been crudely opened and resealed, was returned to me with a note from "supercargo" saying that Hubbard could not be traced, his whereabouts being unknown.'[11]

Hubbard was on board all of this time, lying low and waiting for an appropriate moment to step ashore. While the rumours built up about the 'mystery ship' in the harbour, local traders unashamedly welcomed the estimated $50,000 the Sea Org was spending in Corfu every month and on 16 November, Hubbard was invited to a reception in his honour at the Achilleon Palace, a lavish casino on the island. It was the first time he had left the ship since its arrival in August and he was accorded a standing ovation as he entered the palace.

Much gratified, Hubbard returned the hospitality by inviting local dignitaries to a re-naming ceremony on board the Apollo. All the Sea Org officers paraded on the quayside in their best uniforms and Diana Hubbard, her hat on straight for once, climbed a rostrum and broke a bottle of champagne against the ship's stern, proclaiming, 'I christen this yacht "Apollo".' As the new gold name on the stern was unveiled, Hubbard joined his daughter on the rostrum and said, 'I wish to thank you very much because you are here and because you have honoured us with your presence, O Citizens of Corfu . . .'

Behind these cordial scenes, problems were fermenting. The Greek Government had instituted inquiries about Scientology through its Embassy in London. Security agents acting for the Colonels had been instructed to check out the ship, but were assured by the harbourmaster that the Scientologists were harmless people who abided by the law and gave no trouble. 'I have seen people being tossed into the sea,' he admitted, 'but they have told me this is part of their training course.' Major Forte complained that he was besieged by people objecting to Scientologists being 'harboured' on the island and Corfu's leading daily newspaper, Telegrafos, published a highly critical feature about Scientology which really raised Corfiot suspicions with a passing mention of 'black magic'.

By January 1969, Corfu traders were so alarmed by the prospect of action being taken against the Scientologists that a delegation sent a telegram to Prime Minister Papadopoulos submitting its 'warmest plea' for 'Professor Hubbard's Philosophy School' to be allowed to remain in Corfu. The Secretary General of the Ministry of Merchant Marine replied that there was 'never any objection' to the Apollo remaining in Corfu.

Hubbard, meanwhile, was promising to lavish further largesse on the island. In a typically magniloquent manifesto headed 'Corfu Social and Economic Survey' he envisaged building hotels, roads, factories, schools, a new harbour, three golf courses, seven yacht marinas and various resort facilities, as well as establishing a Greek University of Philosophy funded by Operation and Transport Corporation. The headline on the front of Ephimeris ton Idisseon next day was 'CORFU WILL KNOW BETTER DAYS OF AFFLUENCE'.

Deputy Prime Minister Patakos hastily issued a statement emphasizing that 'no permission had yet been granted to the Scientologists to become established on Greek soil'. Hubbard responded by announcing that his Scientology School in Corfu would open 'within two or three weeks'.

By this time Major Forte was convinced that Hubbard's intention was to take over partial control of the island and establish the world headquarters of Scientology and he was lobbying assiduously against allowing him a foothold. Hubbard, on the other hand, was convinced as usual that there was a conspiracy and that Forte was an agent of British intelligence working a 'black propaganda' section. He would later allege that the major had spread vicious rumours about black magic rites being held on board the Apollo and Scientologists poisoning wells and casting spells on local cattle.[12] In reality, decisions were being made at a level far above that of an insignificant honorary vice-consul; the Greek Minister for Foreign Affairs had lodged an official request with the UK and Australian Governments for information regarding the status of Scientology in their countries.

On 6 March, Hubbard's opponents received unexpected support from the US Sixth Fleet when a task force arrived off Corfu and a detachment of Marines set up sentry posts around the berths occupied by the Sea Org ships apparently in order to prevent US Navy personnel from coming into contact with Scientologists. 'Somehow it seemed', said Major Forte 'that this was a carefully planned operation designed to bring forcibly home to the authorities the grave danger of contamination by this undesirable cult.'
Unlikely as this theory was, less than two weeks later the Nomarch of Corfu ordered Hubbard and his ships to leave Greece within twenty-four hours. 'The old man almost had a heart attack when he got the news,' said Kathy Cariotaki, a Sea Org member who was on the bridge with Hubbard at the time. 'He went absolutely grey with shock.'[13]
At five o'clock on the afternoon of 19 March 1969, with the harbour sealed by police, the Apollo slipped her lines and sailed out into the Aegean Sea.
Major John Forte watched her leave front the waterfront and realized he was standing next to one of the island's notorious Lotharios. He commiserated with him on the departure of so many pretty young girls. 'As a matter of fact I'm not sorry they're gone,' the man replied. 'They were a lot of cockteasers. When it came to the point they all tell you they are only allowed to have sexual relations with fellow Scientologists.'


Forte laughed. It was, he thought, an intriguing aspect of the philosophy of the Church of Scientology.

1. Interview with Mary Maren, Los Angeles, August 1986 
2. Interview with Jessup
3. Interview with Eltringham
4. Interview with McMaster
5. Interview with David Mayo, Palo Alto, August 1986
6. Daily Mail, 6 August 1968 
7. Scientology: The Now Religion, George Malko, 1970
8. Interview with Jessup
9. Interview with Urquhart
10. Interview with McMaster 
11. The Commodore and the Colonels, John Forte (pub. Corfu Tourist Publications and Enterprises, 1981)
12. Letter from Mary Sue Hubbard to Sir John Foster, 6 November 1969 
13. Interview with Kathy Cariotaki, San Diego, July 1986

Bare-Faced Messiah By  Russell Miller, Chapter 14 Lord of the Manor
The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard is a posthumous biography of Scientology founder
L. Ron Hubbard by British journalist Russell Miller. Originally published: 26 October1987 Author: Russell Miller, Genre: Biography, Page count: 380, Publisher: Michael Joseph, Subject: L. Ron Hubbard


Bare-Faced Messiah By  Russell Miller, Chapter 14 Lord of the Manor

Dr Hubbard, the 'nuclear scientist', on the steps of Saint Hill, the Georgian manor house he bought out of the proceeds of Dianetics. (Photo Source Limited)
Hubbard as 'revolutionary horticultural scientist', proving that plants can feel pain. (Rex Features Ltd)


'My own life is rather dull these days. I sort of won the Maharajah of Jaipur's luxury Sussex estate in a poker game . . .' (Note in the Explorers Log from Dr L. Ron Hubbard, Explorers Journal, February 1960)
 (Scientology's account of the years 1959-63.)

On the voyage back to England, travelling first-class on the Queen Elizabeth with Reg Sharpe, the two men passed their time auditing each other. Hubbard told his friend that in a past life on another planet he had been in charge of a factory making steel humanoids which he sold to thetans, offering hire purchase terms if they could not afford the cash price.
*   *   *   *   *
Saint Hill Manor was a Georgian mansion on a landscaped estate two miles from the little market town of East Grinstead in Sussex. The countryside thereabouts was much favoured by the landed gentry in the eighteenth century for the beauty of its verdant, gently rolling hills and its proximity to the court in London, only a few hours away by horse and carriage, and Saint Hill was one of a number of large country houses in the area.

Built for a wealthy landowner in 1733, the manor could not be described as one of the glories of Georgian architecture (indeed, its sandstone façade had a faintly brooding aspect), but it was sufficiently imposing to merit a ballroom with marble columns and grounds of fifty acres with a lake, surrounded by a dense boundary hedge of rhododendrons. By the time it passed into the ownership of the Maharajah of Jaipur, the house boasted eleven bedrooms, eight bathrooms and an outdoor swimming-pool. While the Maharajah spent a considerable sum on interior improvements, including commissioning the artist John Spencer Churchill to paint a mural in one of the first-floor rooms, he only lived in the house intermittently. When the fortunes of the Indian princes wavered after Independence in 1947, he decided to put his English estate on the market and was happy to find a buyer in the unlikely shape of L. Ron Hubbard.

The arrival of an American family at Saint Hill Manor in the spring of 1959 occasioned almost as much excitement in East Grinstead as that of the exotic Maharajah had done some years earlier. Alan Larcombe, a young reporter on the East Grinstead Courier was despatched to interview the new owner and found him to be extremely co-operative, happy to pose for a photograph with his wife and children and more than willing to talk about himself.

'An American and his delightful family find a haven at Saint Hill', the Courier reported in its issue of 29 May 1959. Describing 'Dr Hubbard' as a 'tall, heavily built man whose work for humanity is known throughout the world', Larcombe made no attempt to explain the nature of Dr Hubbard's work, but contented himself with a recap of his subject's career, starting, naturally, with breaking broncos and hunting coyotes on his grandfather's cattle ranch. 'When he inherited his grandfather's cattle estates in Montana and all its debts, he wrote it into solvency, turning his hand to anything: essays, fiction and film scripts.'

The inheriting of his grandfather's insolvent cattle estates was a titbit of information Hubbard had not previously disclosed, as was his revelation that he was deeply involved in the study of plant life. 'The production of plant mutations is one of his most important projects at the moment. By battering seeds with X-rays, Dr Hubbard can either reduce a plant through its stages of evolution or advance it.'

It was, perhaps, inevitable that Hubbard would become an expert gardener the instant he moved into the English countryside and the fact that Saint Hill Manor had well-stocked greenhouses undoubtedly helped fire his interest. But his horticultural experiments also helped divert attention from the real reason he had bought the estate: his intention was that it should become the world-wide headquarters of Scientology. Hubbard surmised, no doubt correctly, that the people of East Grinstead were not quite ready for this piece of information.

In August, the Courier reported that the experiments being conducted at Saint Hill by the 'nuclear scientist, Dr Hubbard' promised to revolutionize gardening. By treating seeds with 'radioactive rays' he was growing tomato plants 16 feet high, with an average of 15 trusses and 45 tomatoes on each truss. He had also discovered that an 'infra-red ray lamp' provided complete protection against mildew, a discovery that was likely to save market gardeners 'thousands of pounds'.

The reporter, again, was Alan Larcombe: 'He showed us some very big tomatoes and I remember thinking at the time that anyone could have grown them that size with fertilizers, but he was very keen we should take a photograph of them, so we did.'[1] The picture the newspaper used was of little Quentin, five years old, standing on duckboards in his father's greenhouse, staring solemnly at the camera through a forest of tomato and maize plants.

Dr Hubbard's experiments soon came to the attention of Garden News, to which publication he revealed, gardener to gardener, his conviction that plants felt pain. He demonstrated by connecting an E-meter to a geranium with crocodile clips, tearing off its leaves and showing how the needle of the E-meter oscillated as he did so. The Garden News correspondent was enormously excited and wrote a story under the sensational headline 'PLANTS DO WORRY AND FEEL PAIN', describing Hubbard as a 'revolutionary horticultural scientist'.[2]

It was not long before television and Fleet Street reporters were beating a path to Saint Hill Manor demanding to interview Hubbard about his novel theories. Always pleased to help the gentlemen of the press, he was memorably photographed looking compassionately at a tomato jabbed by probes attached to an E-meter - a picture that eventually found its way into Newsweek magazine, causing a good deal of harmless merriment at his expense. Alan Whicker, a well-known British television interviewer, did his best to make Hubbard look like a crank, but Hubbard contrived to come across as a rather likeable and confident personality. When Whicker moved in for the kill, sarcastically inquiring if rose pruning should be stopped lest it caused pain and anxiety, Hubbard neatly side-stopped the question and drew a parallel with an essential life-preserving medical operation on a human being. He might have whacky ideas, Whicker discovered, but he was certainly no fool.

Scientologists around the world could have been forgiven for wondering what their beloved leader was up to, but an explanation was soon forthcoming. The purpose of Ron's experiments, they were told, was to 'reform the world's food supply'. He had already produced 'ever-bearing tomato plants and sweetcorn plants sufficiently impressive to startle British newspapers into front-page stories about this new wizardry'.[3]

Soon after Hubbard moved into Saint Hill, the Church of Scientology commissioned a bust of its founder from the sculptor Edward Harris. Harris liked his sitters to talk while he was working and asked his friend, Joan Vidal, to attend the sittings and chat with Hubbard. 'My first impression of him', she said, 'was that with his very pink skin and light red hair he looked like a fat, pink, scrubbed pig. I remember one of the first things he told me was that you could hear a tomato scream if you cut it and that's why he never ate tomatoes. He talked a lot about whether vegetables could feel pain and about all his past lives. It was very entertaining; it was obvious he had a good mind and was widely read.

'After the bust was finished we were invited to dinner with him and his wife at Saint Hill. When we arrived we were met by Mary Sue. She was a rather drab, mousy, nothing sort of person quite a bit younger than him. She showed us into a book-lined study and he waited a few minutes, rather theatrically, before making an entrance. I don't think they had finished work on the house because we had dinner in the kitchen. It was all white tiled, very antiseptic, and the meal was served by a woman wearing a white overall, white shoes and stockings. There was nothing to drink but Coca-Cola or water and the food was awful - we had frozen plaice fillets, a few vegetables and ice-cream, but he had an enormous steak overhanging his plate. It was obvious that everything revolved around him. He was almost like Oswald Mosley, he had the same sort of power. Both of them talked a lot about past lives; they told me that their daughter had previously been a telephone operator who had died in a fire. We didn't stay late and when we got back to Victoria Station Eddie and I were both so hungry that we went in the buffet and had delicious roast lamb sandwiches.'[4]

In October, Dr Hubbard unveiled yet another of his interests. Learning that East Grinstead had been unable to fill a vacancy for a Road Safety Organizer, he volunteered for the job. As he explained to a meeting of the East Grinstead Road Safety Committee, he was anxious to make a contribution to the community and he felt that the experience he had gained serving on 'numerous' road safety committees in the United States could be put to good use in East Grinstead. He gave an interesting talk on road safety campaigns in the United States, put forward many ideas on how to reduce accidents locally, confidently answered questions and was unanimously elected as the town's new Road Safety Organizer by a grateful committee.

He was not able to give road safety considerations his attention for too long, however, for he had arranged to visit Australia in November to lecture the Scientologists in Melbourne. He left London on 31 October, flying first-class on BOAC via Calcutta and Singapore. At the Hubbard Communications Office in Spring Street, Melbourne, he was greeted by an ecstatic crowd of Scientologists who cheered noisily when he announced his belief that Australia would be the first 'clear continent'. Between lectures, he spent hours with local HASI executives discussing ways of persuading the Australian Labour Party and trades union movement to adopt Scientology techniques. Hubbard was convinced that Scientology could help Labour win the next election in Australia, thus creating a favourable climate for the development of the church and neutralizing the unabated hostility of the Australian media.

While he was still in Melbourne, Hubbard received an urgent telephone call from Washington with bad news. Nibs, he was told, had 'blown'. To Scientologists, 'blowing the org' (leaving the church) was one of the worst crimes in the book: it was almost unbelievable that the highly-placed son and namesake of the founder would take such a step. Nibs had simultaneously held five posts in Scientology's increasingly cumbersome bureaucratic structure: he was Organizational Secretary of the Founding Church of Scientology, Washington DC; Hubbard Communications Officer-in-Charge, Washington DC; Chief Advanced Clinical Course Instructor; Hubbard Communications Office World Wide Technical Director; and a Member of the International Council.

Despite his portentous titles, Nibs was frustrated by not being able to make any money out of Scientology and he left a letter to his father explaining that this was the only reason for his resignation: 'Over the past few years, I have found it increasingly difficult to maintain basic financial survival for myself and my family. This I must remedy. I fully realize that I have not handled my financial affairs in the most optimum manner. But for six years I have managed to provide, at least the basic necessities, in some manner. In doing so I have depleted all my reserves and have become deeply in debt . . .'

Hubbard, who was not exactly a pillar of rectitude in fiscal matters, was nevertheless furious with his son. Nibs had been in and out of debt ever since he had first turned up on Hubbard's doorstep in Phoenix. The problem was that he had his father's casual attitude towards money, but none of his talent for making it and none of his luck. In his resignation letter, Nibs said he was going to look for a full-time job, but hoped to be able to continue practising Scientology in his spare time. He failed to take into account the fact that his father would automatically view his defection as an act of treachery. Hubbard would never have allowed Nibs to continue trying to make money out of Scientology. He quickly scribbled an airmail letter to Marilyn Routsong on 25 November: 'Nibs was trying to get more money by loans from us. This may make a field upset but we'll survive. If he goes into practice anywhere or starts up a squirrel activity have HCO cancel all certificates and awards of his. He won't ever be hired back.'

A few days later Hubbard received more, equally unwelcome, family news when his Aunt Toilie telephoned from Bremerton to say that his seventy-four-year-old mother had had a stroke, was very ill and not expected to live. Hubbard had had little contact with his parents, or the Waterbury family, since the end of the war. Toilie was the only one who tried to keep in touch, writing to him once or twice a year, and it fell to her to find Ron when May was taken to hospital. Hubbard told her, over a crackling inter-continental telephone line that he could not get away, he was too busy.

Toilie was quite as forceful a personality as a grey-haired old lady as she had been as a young woman. 'You're coming home,' she told him. 'I want you to catch the next flight out. That is orders, Ron. You owe that much to your mother and I pray to God you get here before she's dead.'

By the time Hubbard arrived in Bremerton, his mother was in a coma. He went in to see her, held her hand and talked to her; he told the family afterwards he was sure she knew he was there. She died the following day. 'Ron didn't stay for the funeral,' said his Aunt Marnie. 'He organized the burial, ordered the stone, paid all the expenses and made arrangements for a man from the Church of Scientology to come up and accompany the body with Hub and Toilie to the funeral in Helena. Then he flew back to England from Bremerton. I thought he should have stayed for the funeral. I don't know what could have been so pressing that he had to get back to England.'[5]

In March 1960, the gentle burghers of East Grinstead learned a little more about their Road Safety Organizer when he published a book titled Have You Lived Before This Life? in which were described a number of startling 'past lives' revealed during auditing. One case history concerned a previous existence as a walrus, another as a fish, a third had witnessed the destruction of Pompeii in AD 79 and a fourth had been a 'very happy being who strayed to the planet Nostra 23,064,000,000 years ago'.

The Courier reported that the book caused a 'storm of controversy' in the town, as might have been anticipated, and Hubbard was prompted to issue a statement seeking to explain something of Scientology: 'Scientific research work on Dianetics and Scientology has been carried out by Dr L. Ron Hubbard, and skilled persons employed by him, over the past 30 years. Only since 1950 has the knowledge gleaned from this exacting and penetrating work into the functions of the mind been released to the general public in the form of special and skilled treatment . . . In connection with Dr Hubbard's book Have You Lived Before This Life? the contents are merely reported from an observer's point of view . . .'

In an internal memo to his press officer, Hubbard stressed the need to emphasize constantly that he was working in the field of 'nuclear physics on life sources and life energy' in order to avoid being tagged as a psychiatrist or spiritualist. 'This will take some doing, perhaps,' he added, in a rare moment of candour.[6]

Hubbard need not have worried overmuch as far as East Grinstead was concerned, since the weather and the Royal Family were topics of much greater perennial interest than whatever was going on at Saint Hill Manor. The cast list of the upcoming, absorbing and long-running British royal soap opera was just being drawn up in spring 1960 - the Queen's third child, Prince Andrew, was born in February and Princess Margaret was due to marry in May. To add a little spice to the conversation in East Grinstead pubs, there was also the forthcoming obscenity trial of D. H. Lawrence's masterpiece, Lady Chatterley's Lover.

This last event was being followed closely by Mary Sue as her husband had recently uncovered a previous life coincidentally revealing her to have been none other than D. H. Lawrence! In a letter to her friend, Marilyn Routsong, Mary Sue explained the considerable problems she had experienced as D. H. Lawrence. It seemed the great writer had difficulty constructing plots, thought poetry was a joke and believed little of what he wrote.

On the strength of this previous incarnation, Mary Sue confessed that she, too, was going to write a book and outlined the plot with a somewhat unpromising grasp of grammar and spelling. She wrote that it would be completely anti-Christ. The first sentence begins 'In the small town of Balei, a bastard child was born.' She then intended to show how he was really a mongrel and the son of three fathers (a joke on the Trinity of God) because the mother had, the night in question, slept with three of the town's most virile men and not knowing whose sperm had reached her womb, had thereupon decided to call him Ali, Son of ----, Son of ----, and Son of ---- which impressed the local inhabitants and created a stir throughout the country. She concluded that she wouldn't have it in her name, for obvious reasons.

In the same letter, Mary Sue mentioned the rumpus that had been caused when Ron ordered all the staff at Saint Hill to be checked out on an E-meter. She noted that three office staff refused and five domestic staff refused. She was surprised and wrote that they were all scared to death of the E-meter and pretending that it was something that would only happen in America, adding that they evidently have something to hide because of their fear to go on the E-meter.[7]

Hubbard's insistence that everyone who worked for him be interrogated on the E-meter was part of the routine 'security checking' he deemed necessary to identify potential trouble-makers, dissidents and spies. No one in Scientology now doubted the capability of the E-meter to expose visceral emotions and ever more elaborate 'sec-checks' would become a common feature of life in the Scientology movement - evidence of Hubbard's persistent paranoia about his enemies, both those that existed in reality and those that thronged his imagination.

Despite the not unreasonable reluctance of some of the servants at Saint Hill Manor to be interviewed about their private lives while grasping tin cans attached to a mysterious electric machine, the Hubbards had settled in comfortably by the spring of 1960. The painters and decorators had finished their work and the family was enjoying the Elysian delights of gracious living in an English country house. On their 'personal staff' there were a secretary, housekeeper, cook, butler, valet, nanny and tutor for the children.

The former billiards room, leading directly from the grand entrance hall, had been re-modelled into Hubbard's private office, with a bench seat upholstered in red leather down one side of the room and a personal teleprinter installed alongside his desk. Also accessible from the hall was the family dining-room, which included a bar stocked with Coca-Cola (Hubbard's preferred drink), a large lounge and a television room. Upstairs, Hubbard had his own suite comprising a sitting-room, bedroom and bathroom, adjoining Mary Sue's office, bedroom and bathroom. The children had bedrooms at the other end of the house and the 'Monkey Room', named after the murals painted by John Spencer Churchill, was converted into a school-room and equipped with trampoline. Apart from the kitchen, most of the remaining rooms in the manor were used as offices.

It was the first time that the Hubbards as a family had remained in one place for any length of time and the children were particularly enchanted by Saint Hill Manor, with its maze of rooms and sweeping grounds. At weekends the four of them could usually be found, muddy-kneed, exploring the estate or paddling in rubber boots on the fringes of the lake; twice a week Diana and Suzette attended dancing lessons at the local Bush Davies school.

Hubbard, too, liked to stroll the grounds at weekends, taking photographs with one or the other of his new cameras. Photography was a recently acquired hobby and his framed pictures could be found in many of the rooms at Saint Hill. Mainly landscapes and portraits, they were of course universally praised, even those that were slightly out of focus.

All in all, visitors to Saint Hill at this time would have observed little amiss with the nice American family who had taken up residence. Certainly no one would have guessed that Hubbard possessed the dubious distinction of being probably the only owner of an English country house under the continuous surveillance of the FBI. His file, Number 244-210-B, was much thumbed and even included an interview with his first wife, Polly, by then re-married, who was able to say very little except that her first husband was a 'genius with a misdirected mind'.

To some extent, the FBI's interest in Hubbard was a situation of his own making, for the frequently intemperate bulletins and policy letters which flowed from Saint Hill in an endless stream for distribution to Scientologists around the world were bound to generate the attention of J. Edgar Hoover's staff. On 24 April 1960, for example, Hubbard issued a bulletin to US franchise holders asking them to do everything in their power to deny the presidency to 'a person named Richard M. Nixon'.

He claimed that after an innocent reference to Nixon in a Scientology magazine, two armed secret service agents, acting on Nixon's orders, had threatened staff on duty at the founding church in Washington: 'Hulking over desks, shouting violently, they stated that they daily had to make such calls on "lots of people" to prevent Nixon's name from being used in ways Nixon disliked . . . They said Nixon believed in nothing the Founding Church of Scientology stood for . . .

'We want clean hands in public office in the United States. Let's begin by doggedly denying Nixon the presidency no matter what his Secret Service tries to do to us now . . . He hates us and has used what police force was available to him to say so. So please get busy on it . . .'

Nixon was indeed denied the presidency, although it was possible that the famous televised debates with John F. Kennedy had more to do with it than the HCO Bulletin. But it was becoming evident that the owner of Saint Hill Manor considered he had an important role to play in political and international affairs and it was a responsibility he had no intention of shirking.

An HCO Bulletin in June promulgated the 'Special Zone Plan - The Scientologists Role in Life', in which Hubbard explained how Scientologists could exert influence in politics. 'Don't bother to get elected,' he wrote. 'Get a job on the secretarial staff or the bodyguard.' In this way positioned close to the seat of power, he argued, Scientology would be advantageously situated to transform an organization. 'If we were revolutionaries,' he added, 'this HCO Bulletin would be a very dangerous document.'

In August, the 'Special Zone Plan' was absorbed into a new 'Department of Government Affairs' made necessary, Hubbard gravely explained, because of the amount of time senior Scientology executives were having to devote to governmental affairs, as governments around the world disintegrated under the threat of atomic war and Communism. 'The goal of the Department', he wrote 'is to bring government and hostile philosophies or societies into a state of complete compliance with the goals of Scientology. This is done by high-level ability to control and in its absence by a low-level ability to overwhelm. Introvert such agencies. Control such agencies.'

Returning to a familiar theme, Hubbard urged his followers to defend Scientology by attacking its opponents: 'If attacked on some vulnerable point by anyone or anything or any organization, always find or manufacture enough threat against them to cause them to sue for peace . . . Don't ever defend, always attack. Don't ever do nothing. Unexpected attacks in the rear of the enemy's front ranks work best .'

The Department of Government Affairs never existed other than as a 'policy letter',[8] but then much of Hubbard's private world only existed on paper. In HCO Bulletins and Policy Letters replete with the trappings of bureaucratic red tape - colour-coded distribution lists, elaborate references, innumerable abbreviations, etc - Scientology flourished as an international organization of enormous influence waiting in the wings to save the universe from the combined perils of Communism, nuclear weapons and its own folly.

Sitting at an electric typewriter in his study at Saint Hill Manor, often clicking away all night just as in the days when he was writing science fiction, Hubbard demonstrated his extraordinary range as a writer by effortlessly producing sheaves of documents that appeared to have been drafted by committees of bureaucrats and lawyers. Laid out and printed like official government papers, they conferred dry authority on content which, frequently, would not have withstood too close scrutiny. But of course no Scientologist would question the literal truth of anything Hubbard wrote, no matter how improbable - if Ron said it was so, it was so.

Hubbard's blossoming omnipotence was bolstered by the stately fashion in which he now travelled, always first-class, usually accompanied by a faithful courtier and greeted at every destination by an awed welcoming party of admirers. In October and November 1960 he visited South Africa to lecture Scientologists in Cape Town and Johannesburg; in December he flew to Washington DC, spent Christmas and the New Year there, returned to Johannesburg to deliver more lectures in mid-January, and arrived back at Saint Hill Manor towards the end of February 1961.

In March, Hubbard announced the launch of the 'Saint Hill Special Briefing Course' for those auditors who wished to train personally under his auspices. The cost of the 'SHSBC' was £250 per person and the first student to enrol was Reg Sharpe, a retired businessman who had become so enamoured with Scientology that he bought a house in the little village of Saint Hill, adjoining the estate, in order to be close to Ron. For the first couple of weeks there were only two students on the course, but more soon began to arrive from around the world, lured by the promise that 'Ron, personally, would discover and assess with the aid of an E-meter' each student's goal 'for this lifetime'.

Mary Sue, who was the course supervisor, also held out the prospect of material rewards: 'I want you to make money. If any one of you cannot conceive of an auditor driving around in a gold-plated Cadillac or Rolls you had better reorientate yourselves. I like the idea.[9]

As the numbers on the Briefing Course increased, accommodation became a problem. The greenhouses where Ron had conducted his pioneering horticultural experiments were demolished to make way for a 'chapel' which in reality was used as a lecture hall. Other buildings went up around the manor without a moment's thought for obtaining planning permission - Hubbard's strongly held opinion was that what he did on his own land was his own business. It was a view the local authority was disinclined to share when someone pointed out what was going on at Saint Hill and Hubbard was eventually prevailed upon to employ an architect and apply for planning approval like everyone else.

The Briefing Course would eventually comprise more than three hundred taped lectures by L. Ron Hubbard, its longevity sustained by 'technical breakthroughs' that followed closely one upon the other, each new technique replacing the last and requiring dedicated Scientologists to trek back to Saint Hill time and time again in order to keep up to date.

When Hubbard was not lecturing he was writing directives covering everything from how to save the world to how to clean his office. No detail was too insignificant to merit his attention: one HCO Policy Letter covering two pages was posted prominently in the garage at Saint Hill explaining how cars should be washed and another was addressed to the Household Section headed 'Flowers, Care Of'. He also dashed off a new potted biography of himself adding further gloss to his already well-burnished career. It was included in a handout headed 'What Is Scientology?':

'For hundreds of years physical scientists have been seeking to apply the exact knowledge they had gained of the physical universe to Man and his problems. Newton, Sir James Jeans, Einstein, have all sought to find the exact laws of human behaviour in order to help Mankind.

'Developed by L. Ron Hubbard, C.E., Ph.D., a nuclear physicist, Scientology has demonstrably achieved this long-sought goal. Doctor Hubbard, educated in advanced physics and higher mathematics and also a student of Sigmund Freud and others, began his present researches thirty years ago at George Washington University. The dramatic result has been Scientology . . .'

The laudable aim of 'helping mankind' sat rather uncomfortably with the requirement for security checks, which were stepped up during 1961. An even more intrusive questionnaire was introduced which appeared to have been designed with perverts and criminals rather than potential trouble-makers in mind. Many of the questions reflected Hubbard's morbid preoccupation with sexual deviation ('Have you ever had intercourse with a member of your family' and 'Have you ever had anything to do with a baby farm?') and a wide range of crimes were also probed ('Have you ever murdered anyone?' and 'Have you ever done any illicit diamond buying?'). In addition Hubbard specifically wanted to know if the individual being checked had ever 'had any unkind thoughts' about himself or Mary Sue. Every check sheet was forwarded to Saint Hill on Hubbard's orders. When combined with the individual folders in which details of auditing sessions were recorded, they made up a comprehensive dossier in which the innermost thoughts of every member of the Church of Scientology were filed.

Three days after Christmas 1961, Hubbard flew to Washington DC to attend a congress and publicize the benefits to be obtained by enrolling in the Saint Hill Briefing Course. He asked Reg Sharpe to accompany him on the trip and Sharpe was very soon made aware of his leader's little foibles. When their aeroplane stopped for re-fuelling at Boston, Hubbard scurried across the passenger terminal and stood with his back pressed against a wall for the duration of the stop, explaining to his bemused companion that there were people 'out to get him'.

In Washington, Sharpe was astonished by the adulation with which Hubbard was received. He lectured for about four hours on each day of the congress to a spellbound audience and had refined his speaking technique to a fine art, shamelessly borrowing the tricks of show business and political conventions. He liked to appear at the back of the hall to the accompaniment of a drum roll and stride through the audience, waving his arms in greeting and shaking hands on the way to the rostrum. His timing, the essence of a good speaker, was faultless and he could hold an entire auditorium in thrall for hours. Like a cabaret artiste doing two spots a night, he got into the habit of changing his clothes during a break, appearing for the second half of his lecture in a silk suit of a different colour, or sometimes a gold lamé jacket. It held the interest of the audience, he explained, and also solved his perspiration problems.

Hubbard's vigorous promotion of Saint Hill as the Mecca of Scientology resulted in hundreds of young Americans making their way to East Grinstead, somewhat to the surprise of the townspeople, who still had very little idea of what was going on. 'Dr Hubbard' had recently adopted a rather lower profile locally: he resigned from his position as the town's Road Safety Organizer, pleading pressure of business, was very rarely seen outside the grounds of Saint Hill Manor and no longer courted publicity from the local newspapers. By and large, the influx of American visitors to the town was welcomed: they were quiet, polite and spent freely. If they were less than forthcoming about what they were doing in the area, that was all right with the locals, who instinctively respected the rights of folk who wanted to 'keep themselves to themselves'.

Members of East Grinstead Urban Council expressed some faint concern inasmuch as Saint Hill Manor was restricted, by planning regulations, to private residential use, but such was Dr Hubbard's reputation that they resolved to do no more than urge him, in confidence, to apply for planning permission regularizing the use of the manor for office and research purposes. He responded by slapping in a planning application to build a seventy-five-room administration centre in the grounds of the manor and circularizing a 'Report to the Community' appealing for support.

In the report, Hubbard revealed to the people of East Grinstead that as a result of his experiments on plants and 'living energies' he was able to reduce the physiological age of an individual by as much as twenty years and increase the average life span by as much as twenty-five per cent. 'We have not announced anything of this to the press,' he confided, 'as we are already overworked in centres of the world for discoveries such as these. But we wanted you as a friend to be aware of this, and consider you have the right to know what is happening here.'

In August, Hubbard turned his attention to the broader arena of international affairs by offering to help President Kennedy narrow the gap in the space race. The young president had committed the United States to landing a man on the moon before the decade was out and, as a loyal American, Hubbard obviously wanted to do what he could to help. On 13 August 1962, he wrote a long letter to the White House to advise Kennedy that Scientology techniques were peculiarly applicable to space flight and that the perception of an astronaut could be increased far beyond human range and stamina to levels hitherto unattained in human beings.

To establish his bona fides, Hubbard claimed to have coached the 'British Olympic team', producing unheard-of results. He added that he had been fending off approaches from the Russians for years, ever since he was offered Pavlov's laboratories in 1938. The first manuscript of his work had been stolen in Miami in 1942, the second in Los Angeles in 1950 and 'only last week' Communist interests had stolen forty hours of tape containing the latest research work from the Scientology headquarters in South Africa.

Although he was convinced that there was a growing library on Scientology in Russia, fortunately the Russians did not yet have the advanced knowledge that would be applicable to the space programme. All the US Government need do, he said, was turn over anyone needing conditioning for space flight and Scientology would do the rest. Each man would need processing for about 250 hours and the cost would only be $25 an hour, with the possibility of a discount for large numbers. 'Man will not successfully get into space without us . . .' he warned. 'We do not wish the United States to lose either the space race or the next war. The deciding factor in that race or that war may very well be lying in your hands at this moment, and may depend on what is done with this letter . . . Courteously, L. Ron Hubbard.'
It seemed that Hubbard seriously expected his offer to receive proper consideration in the Oval Office, for two weeks later he was in Washington discussing with the staff at the Hubbard Communications Office how to handle the expected inflow of astronauts. It was agreed that any dealings with the US Government would be on a cash basis only, that they would reserve the right to reject anyone they considered to be unsuitable and that if Government officials wanted to investigate Scientology techniques they would be told, pleasantly, to 'go up the spout'. If there was a flood of astronauts arriving for processing, Ron would come over from Saint Hill and set up a special operation to handle them.[10]

On the voyage back to England, travelling first-class on the Queen Elizabeth with Reg Sharpe, the two men passed their time auditing each other. Hubbard told his friend that in a past life on another planet he had been in charge of a factory making steel humanoids which he sold to thetans, offering hire purchase terms if they could not afford the cash price.

Back at Saint Hill, Hubbard was baffled to discover that the President had not replied to his letter, but everything was made clear to him a few months later when agents of the Food and Drugs Administration staged a raid on the Scientology headquarters in Washington. It was obvious to Hubbard that the President had asked the FDA to look into Scientology as a result of his letter and the FDA, wishing to promote its own programmes, had attempted to turn the tables on Scientology.

1. Interview with Alan Larcombe, East Grinstead, November 1985
2. Garden News, 18 December 1959 
3. A Piece of Blue Sky, Jon Atack, 1992
4.Interview with Joan Vidal, London, January 1986
5. Interview with Mrs. Roberts 
6. A Piece of Blue Sky, Jon Atack, 1992
7. Letter from Mary Sue Hubbard to Marilyn Routsong, 4 February 1960
8. Interview with George Hay, London, March 1987
9. HCO News Letter, 7 May 1962
10. Minutes of special staff meeting, HCO Washington, 29 August 1952

Hubbard believed he was a reincarnation of Cecil Rhodes and liked to sport the kind of hat worn by the founder of Rhodesia. Fortunately, he did not know Rhodes was homosexual. 'Well, I have been to heaven . . . It was complete with gates, angels and plaster saints - and electronic implantation equipment.' (L. Ron Hubbard, HCO Bulletin 11 May 1963)

Bare-Faced Messiah By  Russell Miller, Chapter 20 Running Aground
The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard is a posthumous biography of Scientology founder
L. Ron Hubbard by British journalist Russell Miller. Originally published: 26 October1987 

Author: Russell Miller, Genre: Biography, Page count: 380,

Publisher: Michael Joseph, Subject: L. Ron Hubbard

Bare-Faced Messiah By  Russell Miller, Chapter 20 Running Aground

'I don't think I will ever regret making my discoveries public. My sole purpose was to serve and give man the knowledge I had . . . I've never looked to quarrel with anybody.' (First statement to the press by L. Ron Hubbard for five years, read by Diana Hubbard at a reception in Quebec, to launch a new edition of Dianetics, 28 April 1976.)
 (Scientology's account of the years 1975-76.)
*   *   *   *   *
Frankie Freedman, a former pit boss in a Las Vegas casino and a Scientologist of ten years' standing, knew the Sea Org was going ashore because he had been scouring South Carolina, Georgia and Florida for a property with a security perimeter which could be used as a staging-post until a permanent land base was established. His 'shore story' was that he was a representative of a phoney corporation - Southern Land Sales and Development - which was looking to lease properties for church-organized retreats. 'LRH knew that if we went into town and said we were Scientologists,' said Freedman, 'we'd be out on our asses.'[1]

Early in August 1975, Freedman found a run-down motel, the Neptune, on the shore at Daytona Beach in Florida. He contacted the owner, presented his Southern Land Development business card, and offered to rent the entire motel for three months. They agreed on a figure of $50,000. Two days later, Mark Schecter arrived with the money in a suitcase.

In his cabana at the Hilton in Curaçao, Hubbard summoned the faithful Dincalci, who was once more restored to favour, and told him: 'We're going to leave the ship. Get some money, go to Daytona Beach and find me a place close to the Neptune motel. They have those condomiums all over the place - pick up one of them.' Dincalci remembered being rather touched by Hubbard's mis-pronunciation of condominium which seemed to emphasize how long the Commodore had been absent from his own country.[2]

On board the Apollo, it was by this time common knowledge that the Commodore was planning to return to the United States. Sea Org officers were already making plans to get the crew ashore in small groups through the international airports at Miami, Washington DC and New York so as not to alert federal agencies to what was happening. Non US-citizens were provided with return tickets and told to enter the United States as tourists. The ship was to be left at Freeport in the Bahamas with a skeleton crew until she could be sold.

Hubbard, meanwhile, slipped out of Curaçao on a direct flight to Orlando, Florida, accompanied by Mary Sue and Kima Douglas. They were driven to Daytona Beach, where Jim Dincalci had rented adjoining suites in a modern seafront hotel a couple of hundred yards down the road from the Neptune motel. Within a few days, the first Sea Org personnel began moving into the Neptune. None if them was supposed to know the Commodore was living just down the road.

'We all used to pretend not to know where he was,' said David Mayo, 'although it was pretty obvious. We could see his hotel from the balcony of the motel, but everyone was told to stay away, not even go in there for a drink, because there were SPs [suppressive persons] there. Nobody believed that; it was too outlandish. Then he used to visit us every day and he would arrive in a gold Cadillac which we had seen leave the hotel a few minutes earlier. It would turn in the opposite direction, go round the block and then come in the motel as if it had come from somewhere else.[3]

Hubbard seemed in good spirits in Daytona and his health was much improved. 'He was really happy, was eating well and didn't curse so much,' said Dincalci. 'I guess it was the first time he'd been able to put himself out and about. There were things to do and people to see. He went out and bought some cars for the org - a couple of Matadors and a Chevy station wagon - and he enjoyed doing that; he liked wheeling and dealing. He liked the fact that he could see the org from where we were, but that no one knew we were there. Sometimes Sea Org people would take a swim from the beach right in front of our hotel and that meant he wouldn't go out until late in the evening. When he visited the org in his flash gold Cadillac, everyone would be out saluting him. He always arrived from an inland direction and said he'd driven half a day to get there.'

Holidaymakers at Daytona Beach observed the comings and going at the Neptune motel without much curiosity and the Scientologists were not around long enough to make their presence felt, for in October a perfect location was found for a permanent land base, on the other side of the Florida panhandle.

Clearwater was a quiet retirement resort, just north of St Petersburg, which liked to refer to itself as 'sparkling Clearwater'. It was a sobriquet derived more from its location, straddling a peninsula between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, than from the nature of its social life: more than a third of Clearwater's 100,000 residents were over the age of sixty-five and so there was a leisurely, faintly antiquated, ambience about the place. Shuffleboard was the most popular afternoon recreation, after snoozing in the shade of trees draped with Spanish moss, and it was still possible to enjoy that rare delight, a real chocolate malt, at Brown Bros luncheonette.
Change was not a welcome phenomenon in a place like Clearwater, yet the town had suffered, to a certain extent, from the urban blight that had afflicted so many American cities in the 'sixties and 'seventies. Downtown residents had moved out to the suburbs, stores migrated to the shopping malls and tourists favoured the new hotels in the beach areas across the causeway. The centre of Clearwater was fast becoming an empty shell, epitomized by the fading grandeur of the town's major landmark, the eleven-storey Fort Harrison Hotel. With its chandeliered lobby overlooking a kidney-shaped swimming pool and its tier upon tier of forlornly empty rooms, the Fort Harrison marked the passing of an era and it was a surprise to no one that it was up for sale.

Its purchase, in October 1975, by Southern Land Sales and Development Corporation, occasioned no more than passing interest, although the attorney acting for the owners confessed that it was 'one of the strangest transactions' he had ever been involved in.[4] Not only did Southern Land pay the $2.3 million purchase price in cash, the corporation was so secretive it would not even admit to having a telephone number. A few days later, Southern Land also bought the old Bank of Clearwater building, not far from the Fort Harrison, for $550,000, also in cash.
Reporters on the two local newspapers, the Clearwater Sun and the St Petersburg Times, naturally began making routine inquiries about Southern Land's intentions and were surprised to discover there were no records anywhere of a Southern Land Sales and Development Corporation. Then a middle-aged man wearing, it was reported, a 'green jump-suit', arrived in Clearwater and announced that an organization called United Churches of Florida had leased both buildings for ecumenical meetings and seminars. This failed to clear up the mystery, because there were no records of United Churches, either.

Although Hubbard had not yet seen his latest real estate acquisitions, he had little doubt, from the detailed reports he had been receiving at Daytona Beach, that Clearwater would be an ideal headquarters for Scientology and a base from which the church could grow and prosper. He considered moving into the penthouse at the Fort Harrison - there was a drive-in garage on the ground floor and direct elevator access to the upper floors - but decided it would be safer to stay out of town. Frankie Freedman found four empty apartments in a condominium complex called King Arthur's Court in Dunedin, a small town on the coast about five miles north of Clearwater. Hubbard and Mary Sue, accompanied by a discreet entourage of messengers and aides, moved in on 5 December 1975. That location, too, was supposed to remain a closely-guarded secret.

There were a number of compelling reasons why Hubbard wanted to stay in hiding and continue the charade, for public consumption, that he had no influence or responsibilities in Scientology. One of them was that he had no desire, at the age of sixty-four, to risk going to prison.

Operation Snow White, the impudent plan to launder public records that he had dreamed up three years earlier, was progressing rapidly and with a degree of success that few would have believed possible. By the beginning of 1975, the Guardian's Office had infiltrated agents into the Internal Revenue Service, the US Coast Guard and the Drug Enforcement Agency. By May, Gerald Wolfe, a Scientologist working at the IRS in Washington as a clerk-typist, had stolen more than thirty thousand pages of documents relating to the Church of Scientology and the Hubbards . He was known to the Guardian's Office by the code-name, 'Silver'.

Within the hierarchy of the Church of Scientology, ultimate responsibility for the activities of Operation Snow White rested with Mary Sue Hubbard, the controller, but it was inconceivable that she was acting on her own initiative or not discussing progress with her husband. And although the amateur agents had discovered it was ridiculously easy to infiltrate, bug and burgle US government offices, the risks were considerable, both to the agents themselves and their church superiors. Hubbard was not too worried about who would take the rap if Operation Snow White was exposed, as long as it was not him.
A few days before he moved to Dunedin, he approved a Guardian's Office proposal to infiltrate agents into the US Attorney's offices in Washington DC and Los Angeles with the specific task of providing an early warning of any legal moves against him. In its usual clumsy prose, the Guardian's Office defined the first priority of 'Program LRH Security' as 'Maintain an alerting Early Warning System throughout the GO N/W [Guardian's Office network] so that any situation concerning govts or courts by reason of suits is known in adequate time to take defensive actions to suddenly raise the level on LRH personal security very high.'[5]
Confident that the Guardian's Office would protect him, Hubbard planned to insinuate himself into Clearwater society by posing as a photographer with an interest in taking scenic pictures for the tourist industry. 'Taking pictures of "beautiful CW" is the local button,' he wrote in a letter to Henning Heldt, a deputy guardian. 'My portrait of the mayor will hang in city hall never fear.'

The mayor of Clearwater, Gabriel Cazares, had more important things on his mind than having his portrait taken. Like many of the good citizens of Clearwater, he was concerned by the sudden influx of strangely incommunicative young people. They were busily scrubbing and cleaning the Fort Harrison Hotel and the old bank building, wore a form of uniform and appeared to be guarded. 'I am discomfited,' the perplexed mayor finally announced, 'by the increasing visibility of security personnel, armed with billy clubs and mace, employed by the United Churches of Florida. I am unable to understand why this degree of security is required by a religious organization.'

For his discomfiture, the mayor was instantly placed on Scientology's 'enemies list'. He would have been even more discomfited had he seen a directive issued in December outlining plans to take control of 'key points in the Clearwater area'. The aim of 'Project Power' was to 'establish the indispensability of United Churches' in the community and the means of achieving the objective involved classic Hubbardian strategy.
'The overall plan is to locate opinion leaders - then, their enemies, the dirt, scandal, vested interest, crime of the enemies (with overt data as much as possible). Then turn this over to UC [United Churches] who will approach the opinion leader and get his agreement to look into a specific subject (which will lead to the enemies' crimes). UC then "discovers" the scandal, etc, and turns it over to the opinion leader for his use. Ops [operations] can be done as a follow up to remove or restrain the enemy.'[6]

Before United Churches' cover was blown, Hubbard made a foray into Clearwater to direct the taping of a radio show in which three local ministers had been invited to participate. The Commodore had abandoned his gold-embossed naval whites in favour of a beret and khaki fatigues and in this freakish outfit, topped by headphones, he bustled about, twiddling knobs, adjusting microphones and directing where everybody should stand. 'They introduced him to me as Mr Hubbard,' said the Reverent R. L. Wicker, of Clearwater's Calvary Temple of God. 'But that didn't mean anything to me. They said he was an engineer.'

In January, the Guardian's Office discovered that local newspapers were moving closer to discovering the real identity of United Churches. Silver reported that a Bette Orsini of the St Petersburg Times was asking questions about the tax-exempt status of the Church of Scientology. And June Byrne, a Scientologist who had got a job as a clerk in the newsroom at the Clearwater Sun, told the GO that reporter Mark Sableman seemed to be making a connection between United Churches and Scientology. He had been checking the registration plates of cars used by United Churches officials and had discovered one was licensed in the name of 'R. Hubbard'.

On 28 January 1976, the 'Reverend' Arthur J Maren, a striking figure with an Old Testament beard, arrived in Clearwater from Los Angeles to announce at a news conference that the Church of Scientology were the owners of the Fort Harrison Hotel and the Bank of Clearwater building. Its involvement had not previously been revealed only out of an altruistic desire to avoid overshadowing the work of its subsidiary organization, United Churches. On 5 February, five hundred citizens attended an open day at the Fort Harrison Hotel to view the renovation work that had already been completed. Maren reassured those present that there was nothing to fear from Scientology. 'Scientologists are people who don't drink or violate laws,' he said. 'They are friendly and want to contribute.' Next day, the Church of Scientology filed a $1 million lawsuit against Mayor Gabriel Cazares, accusing him of libel, slander and violation of the church's civil rights.

Hubbard thought it was unlikely that his own security in King Arthur's Court had been compromised, since his location was known to so few people and all of them were well-trained and fanatically loyal. But there was a kind of perfidious inevitability that he would eventually be wrong-footed, as had happened so often in his singular career. This time it was no one's fault but his own. He decided he needed a new wardrobe for his new life on shore. His usual habit was to order what he wanted from a tailor in Savile Row, via his secretary at Saint Hill Manor, but on this occasion he was impatient and decided to call in a local tailor from Tarpon Springs, the next town up Route 19A, north of Dunedin. The tailor turned out to be a science-fiction fan and while he was measuring his new client they got talking about science fiction. Hubbard let slip his identity and the tailor was delighted to be able to shake the hand of the great L. Ron Hubbard, whose sci-fi stories he had for so long admired. Back in Tarpon Springs, he told his wife, 'You'll never guess who I was just measuring for a suit . . .' News travelled fast thereabouts and it was not long before a reporter began knocking on the doors of King Arthur's Court in Dunedin.

Hubbard bolted. 'We're leaving right now,' he shouted at Kima Douglas, then head of the household unit. 'What do you want to take with you?' Kima, who was accustomed to handling crises, suggested her husband, Mike. Hubbard agreed he could be their driver. 'He was more agitated than I had seen him for years,' Kima recalled. 'We did not have time to do anything but pack a small bag.' Hubbard had five suitcases already stowed in the trunk of his gold Cadillac and they swept out of King Arthur's Court as the sun was setting in the gulf. With Mike Douglas at the wheel, Kima on the front seat beside him and Hubbard cowering in the back to avoid being seen, they headed across the Florida panhandle on Route 4 in the direction of Orlando.

It was a journey that Kima Douglas would never forget: 'Somewhere near Orlando we stopped at a hotel, I think it was a Great Western, and checked in under false names. LRH was supposed to be my father. We got adjoining rooms and then LRH sent Mike out to telephone Mary Sue from a payphone to find out what had happened. When he came back, he said he had not been able to get through because she had moved her office. The old man just broke down and wept; tears poured out of his eyes. We didn't know what the hell was happening. He started to wail, "Don't you see? If she's moved her office it means that someone's been there. The whole thing's broken down. Don't you understand?" It looked like he was going to have a heart attack right there, so Mike went out to the payphone again to try and get some more information. When he got back he said everything was OK. Mary Sue had moved her office from one apartment to another because she thought she would be more comfortable.'
Early next morning Hubbard apprised his travelling companions that they were going to drive the 1200 miles to New York, but they were going to ditch the Cadillac because it was too noticeable. He gave Douglas $5000 to go out and buy another car; Douglas returned an hour later with a second-hand Chevrolet hatchback, big enough for their suitcases and suitably nondescript. They left immediately.
'We were on the road for three or four days,' said Kima. 'It was a horrendous trip. He sat in the back smoking cigarettes like mad and every time he saw a police car he'd scream, "There they are, they're after us!" We had to keep turning off the highways and freeways, stopping continually, to avoid police cars. We went through some real hokey places. One time he got out of the car and started beating the roof with frustration. I said to him very quietly, "Get back in the car, sir. Everything's all right ."

'He kept saying we had to get to New York, we had to get to New York, but as we were driving through New Jersey I could see he was getting more and more affected by the pollution. He was hyperventilating, panting for breath. It was scary, really scary. We headed for Queens, where he had stayed before, and an aeroplane went overhead throwing out all kinds of shit. I pointed to it and said, "Sir, I'm not going to do this to you. There's no way you're going to stay here." By then he was like a child and mumbled something about do whatever you want. I said we should turn round and go back to Washington DC. He just said, "Do whatever you have to do."'[7]

Mike Douglas swung the wheel on the Chevrolet and turned back in the direction from which they had just come, south along the New Jersey turnpike, across the Delaware river into Maryland as far as the outskirts of Washington DC. They found rooms for the night in a hotel just off the Capital Beltway. Next morning, Kima drove downtown to look for more permanent accommodation. She found a comfortable brownstone on Q Street in Georgetown, only nine or ten blocks from the Washington org, and signed a $1300-a-month rental agreement.

Within a few days of moving into the brownstone, Hubbard had recovered his composure. Telex communications were set up and the usual retinue of messengers and aides moved in, including Jim Dincalci, who drove up from Florida towing a U-Haul trailer loaded with the Commodore's personal possessions and private papers. Daily reports began arriving from Mary Sue, many of them detailing the activities of Operation Snow White. 'It was strange to think', said Kima, 'that while we were lying low in Washington, other Scientologists were going through the files in government buildings not far from where we were living.'

In the bustling streets of Georgetown, Hubbard felt safe to go out and about, although he grew a beard and took to wearing a curious assortment of old clothes in the fond belief that he would merge into the cosmopolitan atmosphere. 'He bought clothes from Salvation Army stores, real gungey stuff,' said Alan Vos, one of the aides who had moved into the Q Street brownstone. 'It was strange because on the ship he had had all these phobias about dust and smells and how his clothes had to be washed, but that all vanished when we were living together in Washington.

'He used to go out walking and sit in the sidewalk cafés on Connecticut Avenue. The Scientology office was just a couple of blocks away and he was often handed flyers by people recruiting for Scientology; he thought it was very funny. One day he got talking to a woman in a restaurant about Scientology and he suggested she should go round to the org on S Street. I heard later that when she got there they asked who had sent her and she pointed to LRH's picture on the wall and said, "That man over there." They went crazy and started an investigation on her, thinking she was some kind of government plant.

'It seemed to me that LRH was happy in Washington, happy to be getting out, mixing with other people, going to the movies. On the ship he had no idea what was happening in the world. He thought about moving his headquarters to Washington and looked at a property - there was a hotel for sale on Dupont Circle - but Mary Sue talked him out of it. She didn't like Washington and convinced him it was too dangerous. That's the kind of thing she used to do - play on his fears and psychoses about violence and police.'[8]

Hubbard spent quite a bit of time researching in the library of Congress, reading up on black magic and the occult, and most days he took a walk in Rock Creek Park, where he believed that FBI agents were trained. He bought a trick camera with a lens that looked sideways and amused himself by taking pictures of trainee agents for future reference. Kima Douglas thought he was mad to take the risk.

Coincidentally, Rock Creek Park was also the chosen venue for a fake hit-and-run accident which the Guardian's Office set up in an attempt to end the political career of the troublesome mayor of Clearwater. Gabriel Cazares by then figured prominently on the Church of Scientology's hit-list and the Guardian's Office had been trying to dig up some dirt on him for weeks. Scientologists had gone back to his home town of Alpine, Texas, trawled through public records, nosed around the courthouse and even checked the headstones in the local graveyard, without success. But then it was disclosed that Cazares would be attending the national mayors' conference in Washington from 13-17 March and the Guardian's Office made hasty plans to give him a welcome.

A Scientologist posing as a Washington reporter sought an interview with Cazares and introduced him to a friend, Sharon Thomas, who offered to show the mayor the sights of Washington. Miss Thomas was, of course, working for the Guardian's Office. Driving with the mayor through scenic Rock Creek Park, she temporarily lost control of her car and ran into a pedestrian, who crumpled dramatically. To the mayor's horror, Miss Thomas accelerated away without stopping, leaving the injured man lying on the road.

A Guardian's Office memo the following day discussed ways of using the accident to discredit Cazares and concluded: 'I should think the mayor's political days are at an end.' Curiously Cazares was also on the Commodore's mind. On the very same day, Hubbard scrawled a note to the GO: 'Cazares - is there still some possibility the Cubans in Miami might get the idea he is pro-Castro?'

The 'victim' of the hit-and-run accident was a young man called Michael Meisner, a Scientologist since 1970. Meisner was the key figure in Operation Snow White: he was 'running' all the GO agents who had been infiltrated into government agencies in Washington, had personally taken part in several burglaries at the Department of Justice and organized the copying of tens of thousands of secret government files. For almost eighteen months, GO agents had been sneaking in and out of government buildings without hindrance, but on the evening of 11 June 1976, things started to go wrong when the FBI discovered Meisner and Silver in the US Courthouse Library at the foot of Capitol Hill. They were waiting for cleaners to vacate an office from which they were going to steal files, but they told the FBI agents they were doing legal research. They presented fake identification documents and were allowed to leave.

Next day, in the brownstone on Q Street, an agitated Hubbard showed Kima Douglas a telex from Mary Sue and asked, 'What am I going to do about this?' 'The essence of the report,' said Kima, 'was that they had caught the man who had been getting all this great information for us from the tax files.' Although no arrests had yet been made, Hubbard surmised, correctly, that there was trouble in store. His instinct, once again, was to flee.

A bolthole had been established on the other side of the country in anticipation of just this eventuality. On the following morning, Kima Douglas checked in at National Airport with her elderly "father", for a flight to Los Angeles. Travelling under false names, they sat together in the first-class cabin and watched an adventure movie, featuring a spectacular hang-glider rescue, which the old man very much enjoyed. At LAX, they were met by a limousine and driven to Overland Avenue in Culver City, where Gerry Armstrong had rented four adjoining apartments. Back at the brownstone on Q Street in Georgetown, the occupants were toiling in and out of the house, loading boxes into two U-Haul trailers parked outside. They would leave that night for the long drive across the continent to Los Angeles.

Overland Avenue was a wide tree-lined street with low-rise apartment blocks on one side and the usual American suburban parade of shopping plazas, filling stations and used-car lots on the other. It was middle-class and anonymous, the kind of place where people could come and go for months without ever being noticed by their neighbours. Armstrong had already set up a telex link before the Commodore arrived. Special decoder equipment was installed to provide direct secure communications with Clearwater and the Guardian's Office in Los Angeles, code-named Beta. Overland Avenue's code name was Alpha.

Among early telex messages to arrive at Alpha was the news that Gerald Wolfe, agent Silver, had been arrested at his desk at the IRS building in Washington and a warrant had been issued for the arrest of Michael Meisner, who was missing from his home. Hubbard was not surprised by Meisner's disappearance - he was staying at Beta, where he was being provided with a new appearance and identity. Mary Sue's plan was that he should 'lose himself' in some large city.

Mary Sue soon joined her husband at Overland Avenue to discuss the situation and some pressing family problems. She persuaded him that they would be able to resume family life in safety if they could find a remote ranch somewhere in southern California, but the truth was that the family had already disintegrated under the stress of constantly being 'on the run'. Diana's marriage was in trouble, Quentin was supposed to be working for the org in Clearwater but was constantly absent, reckless Suzette was dating 'wogs' and Arthur had dropped out of the California Institute of the Arts after gentle Jim Dincalci had pulled strings to get him a place. 'I took his portfolio along,' said Dincalci, 'made up a story about him and gave him a false hyphenated name to disguise who he was. He was accepted on the strength of his portfolio and his mother and father were very happy with it, but he didn't last long.'

Not unreasonably, Mary Sue longed for some kind of stability and missions were despatched to find a property for the family, although Hubbard insisted that there had to be enough space to accommodate his messengers and his ever-changing court of loyal aides. The Commodore could not countenance life without a bevy of nubile messengers at his beck and call.
Kima Douglas went to look over a beautiful farm with its own beach not far from Santa Barbara and pleaded with him to buy it, but he said it was too expensive at $4 million. Then a mission scouring the Palm Springs area reported back on a promising property in the desert at La Quinta, on the east side of the San Jacinto Mountains, which was on the market for $1.3 million. Hubbard drove down to look at it in his new red Cadillac Eldorado convertible, wearing a jaunty little cap pulled down over his straggling long hair, which had at last turned grey. It was not a car that guaranteed him a low profile, but he had insisted on having it. He swept in through the high gates of the Olive Tree Ranch at La Quinta, took a quick look round, professed himself satisfied and returned immediately to Los Angeles.
La Quinta was about twenty minutes' drive from Palm Springs and was a quiet little community of cheap low-roofed houses that simmered on a flat patch of sun-scorched earth between the mountains. Olive Tree Ranch occupied the land behind the seedy La Quinta Country Club and perversely grew dates and citrus fruit rather than olives. The main house was a sprawling white adobe hacienda with a red-tiled roof built around a courtyard. There was a swimming-pool with an island in the middle sporting a single, surprising, palm tree and two other smaller houses, one called Rifle and the other The Palms.
As soon as the purchase papers had been signed, a working party from the Los Angeles RPF moved in to begin renovations and improvements. Hubbard had decided he would live in Rifle and wanted the house painted white throughout, with white tiles on the floor and all white furniture. Telex machines were installed in the main house, but it was intended that the ranch would be insulated as much as possible from the Church of Scientology. Everyone living and working there was given a cover name, warned not to use Scientology words or bring Scientology books on to the property.
The Hubbards moved in at the beginning of October 1976 and began to enjoy a new life of tranquillity on their ranch in the desert. The messengers noticed a change in the Commodore; he was much more relaxed than formerly and usually in good spirits. But on the morning of Wednesday, 17 November, as Doreen Smith was running across the Rifle to begin her watch, she could hear him shouting at the top of his voice:

'That stupid fucking kid! That stupid fucking kid! Look what he's done to me! Stupid fucking . . .'

As she got closer, she could hear another unearthly, chilling noise. It was Mary Sue keening, barely drawing breath, but emitting a terrible endless scream.

When she entered the house, the messenger she was relieving was in tears. She sobbed out the awful news: 'Quentin's killed himself.'

Quentin had been found in Las Vegas at 0832 hours on 28 October, slumped over the steering-wheel of a white Pontiac parked off Sunset Road alongside the perimeter fence of McCarran Airport at the end of the north-south runway. All the car windows were rolled up and a white vacuum cleaner tube led from the passenger's vent window to the exhaust tail pipe. Tissue papers had been stuffed into the window opening around the tube and the car's engine was still running.

Officer Bruns of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department was first on the scene. He wrenched open both the car doors and ascertained that the young man inside was still alive, though unconscious, probably because the tube had fallen off the tail pipe. He carried no identification of any kind and there were no licence plates on the car. There was nothing in the car but a Grundig portable radio, a black tote bag containing miscellaneous clothing and an open, partly consumed, bottle of tequila. 'The vehicle appeared as though the subject might have been sleeping in it,' the police report noted. 'The subject himself was very unkempt, his clothing was dirty, and would be possibly described as a vagrant type subject. A white male, appeared in his mid to late 20s. The subject was transported to Southern Nevada Memorial Hospital via Mercy Ambulance . . .'[9]

As no one knew who he was, Quentin was admitted to hospital as 'John Doe'. The only identifying marks that the hospital could record were his red hair and red moustache. He never regained consciousness and died at 2115 on 12 November. The police records listed him as a 'possible suicide'.

On Monday, 15 November, the Las Vegas coroner's office began making attempts to establish 'John Doe's' identity. His car, which had been impounded, was re-checked and a Florida Highway Patrol smog sticker was found, along with a vehicle identification number. A telex to the Florida department of motor vehicles came up with the information that the vehicle was registered to a Quentin Hubbard of 210 South Fort Harrison Avenue, Clearwater. Descriptions of the car and the dead man were telexed to Clearwater police department with a request that the information be checked.

At 8.40 pm that same day, a man called Dick Weigand telephoned the deputy coroner from Los Angeles airport, said he was leaving for Las Vegas in five minutes and hoped to be able to identify John Doe. They agreed to meet at ten o'clock that night at the Medical Examiner Facility on Pinto Lane. Weigand was a senior Guardian's Office agent. He arrived at Pinto Lane five minutes late and explained that he had been contacted by a Kathy O'Gorman, who lived at the same address in Clearwater as Quentin Hubbard. However, he said he had only seen Quentin a couple of times and could not be sure of making a positive identification. Weigand viewed the body twice, stared into Quentin's white face, with his unmistakable red hair and moustache, then shook his head and said he was not sure. He could give no more help and he did not even know the telephone number of Kathy O'Gorman in Clearwater. Weigand disappeared into the garish Las Vegas night and immediately put a call through to the Guardian's Office to give them the bad news: it was Quentin, all right.

Mary Sue screamed for ten minutes when she heard the news. 'It was horrendous,' said Kima Douglas. 'It kept on going. I couldn't believe she could get that much air in her lungs. The only time I had ever really seen her cry before was when Vixie, her Corgi, died and I had to give it mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to try and revive it. The old man didn't cry or get emotional. He was furious - really angry that Quentin had done it.'

That same morning, a detective from Clearwater police department telephoned Las Vegas to say that 210 South Fort Harrison Avenue was the address of the US headquarters of the Church of Scientology, but that the church's public affairs officer, one Kathy O'Gorman, had refused to give him any information about Quentin Hubbard. The detective said that the Clearwater police had had 'many problems' with the church; as far as he knew, the founder, L. Ron Hubbard, lived on a yacht in the bay.


John Doe was, indeed, Geoffrey Quentin McCaully Hubbard, aged twenty-two. Maren 
The Guardian's Office, meanwhile, had moved swiftly to 'handle' the situation. Its local representative in Las Vegas was a pit boss at the Sands Hotel by the name of Ed Walters. 'I had been working as a covert operator for about eight years,' he said. 'I had secretly tape-recorded a psychiatrist and got him to talk about lobotomies to try and discredit him and I had bugged the meetings of Clark County Mental Health Association, things like that. I worked on anything that org conceived to be a threat to the Hubbards.
'When they found out Quentin was here, I was told to get hold of all his medical files. There was apparently evidence that he had had a homosexual encounter shortly before he was found and they didn't want anything like that to get out. There was a girl Scientologist working in the hospital in a very secure position and she got all the reports on Quentin and gave them to me and I handed them over to the Guardian's Office.'[10]
On the morning of Thursday, 18 November, Arthur Maren arrived at the coroner's office in Las Vegas and introduced himself as director of public affairs for the Church of Scientology. He said he would be able to make a positive identification of the body and at 11.25 he confirmed that John Doe was, indeed, Geoffrey Quentin McCaully Hubbard, aged twenty-two. Maren said that Quentin's parents were not in the United States, but were away on a trip round the world.
Maren went backwards and forwards to the coroner's office over the next few days providing information designed to deter any further investigation into Quentin's death. He even persuaded the coroner to describe the cause of death as 'undetermined' in a press release. Quentin was said to have been on vacation and in Las Vegas to check out enrolment requirements for a flying school.
On Monday, 22 November, a young woman called Mary Rezzonico turned up with an authorization signed by L. Ron Hubbard and Mary Sue Hubbard for the release of their son's remains and his personal effects. Rezzonico said she had personally obtained the signatures over the weekend at 'an unspecified location in Ireland'.

Quentin was cremated next day at Palm Crematory in Las Vegas. 'I knew he had homosexual problems,' said Ed Walters, 'but he was a good kid. He was just a young, soft boy, not the ruthless, hard-nosed type. He had wanted to get out of Scientology for some time, but you don't just leave something like Scientology. You quit and then instantly become an enemy. He knew his father violently attacked anyone who betrayed him and he knew that the Guardian's Office would be after him as a traitor. He had grown up in Scientology and would have been tremendously afraid of the world out there, full of wogs and evil people. I guess he just couldn't handle it.'
'He was just a miserable, miserable boy,' said Kima Douglas. 'He was a little kid out of his depth who knew he could never compete with his father.'
A final macabre chapter was still to be enacted. Quentin had chosen to die at the end of an airport runway, watching the aircraft he had longed to fly landing and taking off. It was thus resolved that his ashes should be scattered from a light aircraft over the Pacific. Frank Gerbode, a Scientologist in Palo Alto, had his own aeroplane.
'The Guardian's Office telephoned and asked me to help with a special project,' Gerbode said. 'I was to fly my plane out over the Pacific with a couple of GO people who were going to scatter Quentin's ashes. I wasn't supposed to tell anybody, of course. It turned out to be a gruesome business. It's not easy to throw particulate matter out of a light aircraft and the ashes blew back into the plane. I was taking little bits of Quentin Hubbard out of the upholstery for months afterwards.'[11]


1. Interview with Frankie Freedman, Sherman Oaks, CA, Aug 1986 
2. Interview with Dincalci
3. Interview with Mayo
4. Clearwater Sun, 5 Dec 1975
5. GO Order 261175, 26 Nov 1975
6. St Petersburg Times, 9 Jan 1980
7. Interview with Douglas
8.  Interview with Alan Vos, Maclean, VA, March 1986
9. Officer's Report, D.R. No 76-57596, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
10. Interview with Ed Walters, Las Vegas, Aug 1986
 11. Interview with Dr. Frank Gerbode, Palo Alto, Aug 1986

 Bill Franks who was the first Executive Director International and Chairman of the Board of the Church

​The despatch was entitled Very Confidential underlined. "He went onto say that if you or Franks ever reveal any of this information that I am about to reveal, the consequences will be severe for SCN."  
He then wrote "a person does not blow due Overts or Witholds. He blows only due to ARC BKs.  
"However, if any of this information ever became public, I would lose all control of the orgs and eventually Scientology as a whole." Signed, 

Hubbard directs a 'photo-shoot' in Curaçao, 1974. Later, he would progress to making movies in California.
'REVIEW OF AVAILABLE INFO REGARDING OVERSEAS ACTIVITIES CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY REVEALS ONLY THAT ITS FOUNDER L. RON HUBBARD IS ECCENTRIC MILLIONAIRE WHO HAS BEEN EXPELLED FROM RESIDENCE IN SEVERAL COUNTRIES BECAUSE OF HIS ODD ACTIVITIES AND BEHAVIOUR. HE IS OWNER OF SEVERAL SHIPS WHOSE APPEARANCE IN PORTS IN VARIOUS PARTS OF WORLD HAVE STIMULATED QUERIES . . . FROM OTHER GOVERNMENTS ASKING INFO RE VESSELS MISSION AND CREW. RESPONSES INDICATE WE KNOW VERY LITTLE . . .' (Outgoing signal from CIA headquarters, Langley, Virginia, 16 October 1975)

Type your paragraph here.

Hubbard knew little of what was happening to Mary Sue during this period because the messengers censored her letters in order to avoid upsetting the Commodore. If Mary Sue sent bad news, the messengers cut out the offending passages with a razor blade, believing it to be their duty to keep such problems 'off his lines'. But they naturally read all Mary Sue's communications themselves and were certainly not above gossip. On one occasion she wrote to ask, plaintively, why Ron spent so much time with 'his people' and so little time with her. 'I understand you're trying to save the world,' she wrote, 'but I need some time, too.' The contents of that letter were soon common knowledge all round Olive Tree Ranch.

Taken from:

Bare-Faced Messiah By  Russell Miller, Chapter 21 Making Movies

Bare-Faced Messiah By  Russell Miller, Chapter 19 Atlantic Crossing
The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard is a posthumous biography of Scientology founder
L. Ron Hubbard by British journalist Russell Miller.

Originally published: 26 October1987 Author: Russell Miller, Genre: Biography,

Page count: 380,

Publisher: Michael Joseph, Subject: L. Ron Hubbard

Bare-Faced Messiah By  Russell Miller, Chapter 19 Atlantic Crossing

Most official photographs of Hubbard published by the Church of Scientology show him in the golden days of the Apollovoyages or earlier. This one, taken from a 1973 television documentary, shows the 'Commodore' to be deteriorating rapidly. (From Lamont, Religion Inc., 1986)

Hubbard directs a 'photo-shoot' in Curaçao, 1974. Later, he would progress to making movies in California.

'REVIEW OF AVAILABLE INFO REGARDING OVERSEAS ACTIVITIES CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY REVEALS ONLY THAT ITS FOUNDER L. RON HUBBARD IS ECCENTRIC MILLIONAIRE WHO HAS BEEN EXPELLED FROM RESIDENCE IN SEVERAL COUNTRIES BECAUSE OF HIS ODD ACTIVITIES AND BEHAVIOUR. HE IS OWNER OF SEVERAL SHIPS WHOSE APPEARANCE IN PORTS IN VARIOUS PARTS OF WORLD HAVE STIMULATED QUERIES . . . FROM OTHER GOVERNMENTS ASKING INFO RE VESSELS MISSION AND CREW. RESPONSES INDICATE WE KNOW VERY LITTLE . . .' (Outgoing signal from CIA headquarters, Langley, Virginia, 16 October 1975)

 (Scientology's account of the years 1972-75.)
*   *   *   *   *


In St Vincent, in the spring of 1975, the ship was prepared to receive a surprise visitor from Bremerton, Washington - the Commodore's father. Harry Ross Hubbard was eighty-eight years old and very frail, but determined to make peace with his estranged son. The old gentlemen arrived on the quayside in a taxi and the Commodore went down the gangway to meet him - the first time anyone had ever seen him leave the ship to welcome a visitor.
The crew had been ordered to conceal all evidence of Scientology from the Commodore's father, but he was too old and confused to care about such things. He sat talking with his son for hours and wandered amiably about the ship evincing very little curiosity about what was going on. With a plentiful supply of beer and a couple of fishing trips, he was content. When he got back home to Bremerton, he told Marnie, his sister-in-law, that he had had 'a wonderful trip'.[11] He died a few months later.
The Apollo had not been in the Caribbean for long before she again began to arouse suspicions at her various ports of call. She cruised from the Bahamas to the West Indies to the Leeward and Windward Islands, the Netherlands Antilles and back again and rumours of illicit or clandestine activity followed her as tenaciously as the seagulls. In Trinidad, a weekly tabloid newspaper speculated that the ship was connected to the CIA and suggested that the crew was somehow linked with the horrific Sharon Tate murders in Los Angeles. As the American Embassy drily cabled to Washington: 'The controversial yacht Apollo seems to have worn out its welcome in Trinidad'.[12]
To those on board ship, it was obvious that a conspiracy was at work. The Captain, Bill Robertson, explained that Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who was 'one of the top SMERSH guys', had been bringing pressure to bear and threatening to cut foreign aid to any island that welcomed the Apollo.[13] It made perfect sense to a Scientologist.
Courses were still being held on the ship for senior Scientologists and in June 1975, one of the new students was Pam Kemp, Hubbard's old friend from Saint Hill days. She was shocked to see how much he had aged. 'I saw this figure coming on board in a big hat and red-lined Navy Cloak and I thought if I'm not mistaken that's LRH, although he was very slow and old looking. I went up to him and said, "Hi, Ron." He looked through me like he didn't know who I was. I thought maybe he was a little deaf so I went around another way and as he was coming towards me I said, "Hi, Ron. How are you?" He didn't recognize me, didn't know who I was. I thought, how weird. Later I discovered he probably didn't see me properly because he needed glasses, but would never wear them.'[14]
Not long afterwards, Hubbard suffered a minor stroke while the ship was in harbour in Curaçao. He was rushed to the local hospital, kept in intensive care for two days and then transferred to a private room, where he stayed for three weeks, with messengers on duty day and night outside his door. 'To keep him in the hospital,' said Kima Douglas, 'we had to bring food from the ship. He wouldn't touch the hospital food, so we ferried every meal out in hot and cold boxes, ten miles each way.' When he had recovered sufficiently to leave hospital, he moved into a cabana bungalow in the grounds of the Curaçao Hilton to convalesce.
While he was there, he despatched an aide, Mark Schecter, to the United States on a top secret mission. Schecter carried a suitcase full of money. His orders were to hand it over to another Scientologist, Frankie Freedman, who had found a motel for rent in Daytona Beach, Florida.

"Although only a handful of people were aware of it, the Sea Org's seafaring days were over."


Hubbard did not join the exodus on the Lisbon-bound ferry from Tangier; he was driven from Villa Laura to the airport, where there was a direct flight leaving for Lisbon that afternoon. Sea Org personnel were waiting to meeting him in the Portuguese capital and they hurried him through the airport to a waiting car which headed downtown to the Lisbon Sheraton. The Commodore then sat fretting in his hotel suite for several hours while lawyers in Paris, Lisbon and New York assessed the risk of his extradition to face fraud charges in France. Ordinarily, he would have avoided such legal imbroglio by sailing away from it in his flagship, but the Apollo was in dry dock and thus provided no sanctuary.

With Hubbard in the hotel were Ken Urquhart, Jim Dincalci and Paul Preston, a former Green Beret recently appointed as the Commodore's bodyguard. Urquhart said that Hubbard was 'fairly relaxed' and gave them a little briefing on the need to maintain 'safe spaces'.[1] Dincalci disagreed: 'He was very nervous and afraid of what might happen. I could see he was shredding. After two or three hours there was a telephone call from the port Captain. When he put the phone down he said, "This is really serious. I've got to get out of here now".'[2]

Urquhart was sent out to book seats on the first available flight to the United States and collect some cash. It was agreed that Preston would travel with Hubbard and Dincalci would 'shadow' them so that he could inform the ship immediately if there were any problems. The loyal Urquhart returned with three Lisbon-Chicago tickets on a flight leaving early next morning. Although he had booked them through to Chicago, the flight stopped in New York and he suggested they got off there in case there was a 'welcoming party' waiting at Chicago's O'Hare airport. He also had a briefcase stuffed with banknotes in different currencies - escudos, marks, francs, pounds, dollars and Moroccan dirhams, about $100,000 in total; it was the best he could do, he told Ron.

The flight left next morning after only a short delay, with Dincalci sitting several rows away from Hubbard and Preston. At J.F. Kennedy airport in New York, Dincalci stood behind them in the Customs queue and looked on in horror as a Customs officer told Hubbard to open his briefcase. Having looked inside he promptly invited Hubbard to step into an interview room.

'As they took him away I thought, oh God, that's it, now everyone will know L. Ron Hubbard is back in America,' said Dincalci. 'He came out about fifteen minutes later looking like a zombie. He'd had to give them a lot of information about the money. He got into a taxi outside and I said, "Where are we going?" He said, "I can't think." He was literally in shock. We drove into Manhattan and he pointed to a hotel, it was a Howard Johnson's or something like that, and said, "We'll stay there."'

The three of them checked in using false names: Hubbard was Lawrence Harris, Preston was Don Shannon and Dincalci was Frank Morris. Dincalci then went across the street to a deli and bought lunch. Back in the hotel, he asked the Commodore if he should return to the ship, but Hubbard did not seem to understand the question. Next day, he sent Dincalci out to buy clothes for all of them and to look for a place to live; the question of Dincalci returning to the ship was never mentioned again.

Dincalci soon found a suitable apartment in Queens, in a fifteen-storey building with its own heated swimming-pool called 'The Executive'. It was in a safe, upper middle-class residential area close to Forest Hills and convenient for the subway. For the first few weeks, Hubbard did nothing but watch television all day long, switching from channel to channel, absorbed by everything from soap operas to rock music shows.

The America to which Hubbard had returned after an absence of nearly a decade had changed beyond his recognition, particularly when viewed through a colour television screen. It was a country obsessed with the unfolding revelations of Watergate, haunted by a war incomprehensibly lost in Vietnam and beset by crises, not least in confidence. The Commodore of the Sea Org knew little of the black crisis, the urban crisis, the drugs crisis, the energy crisis or any of the events that were branded into the American conscience by place names such as Kent State, Attica and Chappaquiddick.

While Preston stayed in the apartment to look after Hubbard, Dincalci went out every day to the United Nations building to research international extradition laws. A few days before Christmas 1972, he returned to the apartment and told Ron he was in the clear; he had established beyond doubt that the United States would not extradite its own citizens. Hubbard began making plans to travel, to visit the org in Los Angeles. He even thought about throwing a party, but within a couple of days a message arrived from the Guardian's Office in California telling him he was still not safe and to stay undercover. It was a cheerless Christmas.

The Guardian's Office was the conduit for communications with the Commodore and the strictest security prevailed to prevent his whereabouts being discovered. Preston picked up and delivered the mail every other day at a post office box in New Jersey. Everything was in code and no personal mail of any kind was forwarded. Telephone calls were similarly coded, using the page numbers of the American Heritage Dictionary - 345/16 was the sixteenth word from the top on page 345. Preston would go to a payphone well away from the apartment, call the Guardian's Office in Los Angeles and reel off the numbers. If there was an incoming message he used a small tape machine to record it and transcribed it when he got back to the apartment.

When they were out and about in New York, both Dincalci and Preston went to inordinate lengths to ensure they were not being tailed, frequently back-tracking and crossing from an uptown to a downtown train. Travelling on the subway, they would choose a stop at random, hold open the doors as they were beginning to close and leap out at the last moment.

Inside the apartment, a routine was soon established. Dincalci got up early and went out to do the day's food shopping and buy the paperback books that the Commodore read voraciously. 'I soon got to know what he liked,' said Dincalci. 'It was all blood and thunder escapist stuff. I'd choose them by the cover - the more lurid the cover, the more he liked them.' Hubbard woke at about ten or eleven o'clock; the television was turned on immediately and stayed on for the remainder of the day, even if he was reading or writing.

While Dincalci was out running errands for the Commodore, Preston stayed in the apartment to prepare breakfast and lunch. Dincalci cooked dinner when he got back in the evening. For the first two months it was always fishsticks, breaded chicken, steaks or hamburgers, until Hubbard tired of the diet and encouraged Dincalci to try other dishes. 

After dinner Hubbard had a single tot of brandy and sometimes talked into the night. 'He'd jump around from subject to subject,' said Dincalci. 'One minute he'd be talking about how an angel had given him this sector of the universe to look after and next minute he'd be talking about the camera he wanted me to buy for him next day. I used to watch him talking; sometimes his eyes would roll up into his head for a couple of minutes and he'd be kinda gone. One of the things that upset him was that he'd never gotten back the money that he had stashed away in previous lives. There was some inside the statue of a horse in Italy which he had hidden in the sixteenth century. He was a writer and had written The Prince. "That son-of-a-bitch Machiavelli stole it from me," he said. He talked a lot about his childhood and all the horses he had ridden when he was little, how he would get on them before he could walk. I didn't get the impression that it was a happy childhood, not at all. There was a lot of bitterness there about his parents. He said, over and over, he had graduated from George Washington University. "They say I didn't," he used to complain, "but I did." He said that he was editor of the University paper for four years and that would prove it.

'He said that when Pearl Harbor was bombed he was on some island in the Pacific and he was the senior person in charge because everyone else had been killed. He was controlling all the traffic through the island until a bomb exploded right by him at the airport and he was sent home, the first US casualty of World War Two. He had a big fatty tumour, a lymphoma, on the top of his head which he said had slivers of shrapnel in it. We had it X-rayed once and had the film enlarged fifty times to find the shrapnel, but there was nothing there. When he came back from the war his first wife didn't go to see him, even though he was wounded. He had nothing good to say about her. His second wife, whom he never really married, was a spy who had been sent by the Nazis to spy on him during the war.

'Most nights I'd give him a massage before he went to bed and he always said he felt better for it. In my mind I never questioned anything he said except once when he was talking about out-of-the-body experiences and how beautiful it was to sit on a cloud. I was always running about New York looking at things for him and I thought if he was such hot shit, why did I have to go and look? Why couldn't he go out of his body and take a look himself?'

In February, Hubbard began to get jittery about the security in the Executive building and Dincalci was asked to look for somewhere with a 'lower profile'. He found a large apartment in a scruffier neighbourhood of Queens - a nondescript second-floor walk-up in the middle of a block on Codwise Place - owned by a Cuban family who lived on the first floor of the house. Dincalci paid three months' rent in advance, in cash, and said his brother and his uncle would be moving in immediately.

Soon after the move, Hubbard decided to go out for a walk. Dincalci was concerned that the preparations the Commodore was making to pass unnoticed in the street would almost certainly mark him out for attention. 'His hair had grown very long, almost down to his shoulders and he looked pretty unkempt. He insisted on wearing this big hat with the brim turned up. It made him look like Bozo the clown. If he had walked into any org they would have kicked him out.' After being cosseted by central heating for three months, Hubbard stepped out into a freezing February day, immediately got a chill in his tooth and attracted a retinue of jeering street kids. It discouraged him from venturing out again by himself.

His aching teeth appeared to trigger other complaints and Dincalci was driven to distraction trying to nurse an intractable and irritable elderly patient who was at first reluctant to consult either doctor or dentist. When one of Hubbard's rotten teeth dropped out, Dincalci painstakingly ground all his food. Eventually Hubbard agreed to seek professional medical help. On visits to a chiropractor in Greenwich Village he always wore a wig as a disguise and on one occasion Dincalci and Preston took the be-wigged Commodore to a local Chinese restaurant for his favourite dish, egg foo yong. It was their only social outing.

On the recommendation of an allergist, Hubbard began a regular course of injections, administered by Dincalci, which seemed to help him. As his health improved, he started taking more interest in the affairs of the Church of Scientology, even writing bulletins with some of his old enthusiasm. 'He wrote tremendously fast by hand,' said Dincalci. 'It was like automatic writing you get in the occult. He'd have a glazed look, as if he was kinda gone, his eyes would roll up and the corners of his mouth would turn down and he'd start this frenzied writing. I've never seen anyone write so fast.'

Now sixty-two, Hubbard was also beginning to ponder his place in posterity. The Church of Scientology had been swift to make use of the recently enacted Freedom of Information Act, which had revealed that government agencies held a daunting amount of material about Scientology and its founder in their files, much of it less than flattering. Hubbard, who had never been fettered by convention or strict observance of the law, conceived a simple, but startlingly audacious, plan to improve his own image and that of his church for the benefit of future generations of Scientologists. All that needed to be done, he decided, was to infiltrate the agencies concerned, steal the relevant files and either destroy or launder any damaging information they contained. To a man who had founded both a church and a private navy this was a perfectly feasible scheme. The operation was given the code name Snow White - two words that would figure ever more prominently over the next few months in the communications between the Guardian's Office in Los Angeles and the Commodore's hiding place in Queens, New York.

In September 1973, Hubbard got word from the Guardian's Office that the threat of extradition had diminished and it was safe for him to return to the ship and, coincidentally, to his wife and children. He left next day, with Paul Preston, on a Boeing 747 bound for Lisbon, leaving Dincalci behind to pack up all their belongings and close the apartment at Codwise Place.

 

No one on the ship knew where Hubbard had been for the previous ten months, nor that he was returning, but his arrival back on board was predictably cause for celebration.

'When he came back on board he looked better than I had ever seen him look,' said Hana Eltringham. 'He was bright and bouncy, busting out all over. He had lost weight and could hardly contain his happiness at being back.'[3]

If there was an emotional reunion with Mary Sue and the children, it was not widely observed. Instead, Hubbard gathered the crew on A deck to explain that he had been away touring the orgs in the United States, raising quite a laugh when he said that he had walked into some of them without being recognized. Preston, sitting at the back of the room, knew it was a lie but obviously said noticing; he had once driven Hubbard past the New York org but all the Commodore had said was that he thought it needed a bigger sign.

While Hubbard had been away, his accommodation on the Apollo had been extended and improved and his research room had been totally encased in lead, insulated from contact with the hull, to make it sound-proof. A working party had spent three months crawling through the ventilation shafts and scrubbing them with toothbrushes in order that he would no longer be troubled by his well-known allergy to dust. In the previous few weeks the ship had been cleaned from stem to stern and every deck subjected to a 'white glove inspection'. Any ledge or fiat surface that produced a smudge on the fingers of a white cotton glove resulted in the entire area being cleaned again.

The Commodore soon had the ship on the move and there were many light hearts on board when the Apollo weighed anchor and set sail, after almost a year in dock in Lisbon. She headed north along the Atlantic coast of the Iberian peninsula, stopping for a few days at the historic cities of Oporto and Corunna, then turning south again to Setubal and Cadiz. At the beginning of December, she returned to Tenerife in the Canary Islands, one of her regular ports of call before the Lisbon re-fit.

Hubbard wanted to spend some time ashore in Tenerife taking photographs, and his cars and motor-cycles were unloaded on to the dock. He had at his disposal a big black Ford station wagon, a 1962 yellow Pontiac Bonneville convertible and a Land Rover, but as often as not he chose to make his forays ashore astride his monstrous Harley Davidson, on which no doubt he cut a particular dash.

One afternoon, snaking round the switchback curves up in the volcanic mountains of Tenerife, Hubbard skidded on a patch of loose gravel, lost control and fell off, smashing several cameras that were on straps round his neck. Although in considerable pain, he managed to get back on the bike and ride it down to the port. He let it drop on the quayside and staggered up the gangway of the Apollo with his trousers torn and the mangled cameras still around his neck. Jim Dincalci, back on board as medical officer, was summoned immediately. Only too well aware that he was not qualified to deal with broken bones or possible internal injuries, he suggested that the Commodore should be taken to a hospital for a check-up. Hubbard refused adamantly, but huffily agreed to be examined by a local doctor. He prescribed rest and pain-killers, to be taken two at a time as required.

After the doctor had left the ship, Dincalci, who still clung to the remnants of a conviction that an operating thetan had no need for anything as mundane as a pain-killer, offered the Commodore a single pill and a glass of water.

'Why only one?' Hubbard snapped, his eyes bulging with anger. Dincalci hastily produced a second pill, but Hubbard's temper gave way. He leapt up from his chair and began pacing the room in a fury, shouting unintelligible abuse at the fools in his midst who cared nothing for the fact that he was dying. Suddenly he turned on Dincalci. 'It's you,' he roared. 'You're trying to kill me.'

Dincalci was shattered by the accusation. 'I felt I had rapport with him, I felt like a son to him. It was like having my father say I was trying to kill him. No, it was worse. Here was the man who was trying to save the universe saying I was trying to kill him. I was crushed. I felt I had lost everything; what little self-esteem I had was gone in that moment.'

Dincalci very quickly found himself chipping paint and the ticklish task of nursing the Commodore was handed over to Kima Douglas, a strikingly attractive artist from South Africa who had had two years' nursing experience in the labour ward of the British hospital in Bulawayo. 'I think he had broken an arm and several ribs,' she said. 'He certainly had massive black bruises everywhere. We strapped up his arm and strapped his ribs, but he couldn't lie down so he slept in a chair as best he could. He must have been in agony. He screamed and hollered and yelled. It was absolutely ungodly; six weeks of pure hell.

'He was revolting to be with - a sick, crotchety, pissed-off old man, extremely antagonistic to everything and everyone. His wife was often in tears and he'd scream at her at the top of his lungs, "Get out of here!" Nothing was right. He'd throw his food across the room with his good arm; I'd often see plates splat against the bulkhead. When things got really bad, I'd go and make him English scrambled eggs, well salted and peppered, and toast and butter and take it up to him. I even fed him once.

'He absolutely refused to see another doctor. He said they were all fools and would only make him worse. The truth was that he was terrified of doctors and that's why everyone had to be put through such hell.'[4]

She could not help but recall how he had changed in the months since she first joined the ship. 'My expectation of L. Ron Hubbard was that he would be a psychic person who could look at me and see every evil thing I had ever done in my whole life. I was still searching for something, although I didn't know what, and the thought of someone being able to look into my head both terrified and excited me. I'd been indoctrinated with all the things he could do. There were wild stories that if an atomic bomb was about to go off in Nevada, Ron could defuse it with the power of his mind. At that time everyone was talking about atomic warfare and I truly believed he had come to save the planet. As I walked up the gangway to the ship, he stepped out of his office wearing a white uniform and his Commodore's hat with two messengers close behind him. I was introduced to him and he shook my hand and was very charming. He seemed to be a jovial, happy, golden man. I felt I had arrived.'

Kima called on her unlovable patient every two days, but the burden of day-to-day care fell on the messengers. 'Before the motor-cycle accident he was a very nice, friendly person,' said Jill Goodman [who was thirteen years old when she became a messenger]. 'Afterwards, he was a complete pain in the ass. It was like having a sick, crotchety grandfather. You never knew what he was going to be like when you went in there.'[5]

'He didn't get out of that red velvet chair for three months,' said Doreen Smith. 'He'd sleep for about forty-five minutes at a time, then be awake for hours, screaming and shouting. It was impossible to get him comfortable. None of us got any sleep. I was better with a cushion, someone else was better with a footstool, someone else with cotton padding, so every time he woke up we all had to be in there, fussing around him while he was screaming at us that we were all "stupid fucking shitheads" . . . he was out of control and even the toughies were in tears at times. The red chair to us became a symbol of the worst a human being can be - all we wanted to do was chop it up in little pieces and throw it overboard.'[6]

While Hubbard was still fuming in his red velvet chair, still ascribing sinister motives to every mishap and imagined slight, he issued an edict that would introduce another Orwellian feature to life on board theApollo. Convinced that his orders were not being carried out with sufficient diligence, he established a new disciplinary unit called the Rehabilitation Project Force. Anyone found to have a CI (a 'counter-intention' to his orders or wishes) was to be assigned to the RPF, along with all trouble-makers and back-sliders. 'I was shocked when I heard about it,' said Hana Eltringham. 'To me it was like setting up a penal colony within our midst.'

Since it was only necessary to incur the Commodore's disfavour to be assigned to the RPF, its numbers swelled rapidly. RPF inmates wore black boiler suits, were segregated from the rest of the crew and slept in an unventilated cargo hold on filthy mattresses that were due to be thrown out before the Commodore decided they would be suitable for his new unit. Seven hours' sleep were permitted, but there was no leisure time during the day and discipline was harsh. Meal breaks were brief and the RPF was obliged to eat whatever food was left from the crew meal.

'Things took a real downhill turn around that time,' said Gerry Armstrong, who was then the ship's port captain. 'He became much more paranoid and belligerent. He was convinced there were evil people on board with hidden evil intentions and he wanted to get them all in the RPF. The RPF was used as an incredible daily threat over everyone. If he could smell something cooking from the vents, whoever was the current vents engineer would be assigned to the RPF. If the cook burned his food - RPF. If a messenger complained about someone - RPF.

'His actions definitely became more bizarre after the motor-cycle accident. You could hear him throughout the ship screaming, shouting, ranting and raving day after day. He was always claiming that the cooks were trying to poison him and he began to smell odours everywhere. His clothes had to be washed in pure water thirteen times, using thirteen different buckets of clean water to rinse a shirt so he wouldn't smell detergent on it.

'At that time no one would have dared to think that the emperor had no clothes. He controlled our thoughts to such an extent that you couldn't think of leaving without thinking there was something wrong with you.'[7]

To the relief of the entire crew, the Commodore was more or less recovered from his accident by the time of his sixty-third birthday in March 1974 and the ship resumed its aimless wandering, this time on a triangular course between Portugal, Madeira and the Canaries. But a subtle and bizarre change had taken place in the pecking order on board: after the Commodore and his wife, the most powerful people on the ship were now little girls dressed in hot pants and halter tops - the new uniform of the Commodore's faithful band of messengers.

While Hubbard had been suffering so vociferously, the messengers had assumed many extra little tasks on his behalf. They washed and combed his hair, helped him dress and undress, massaged his back, mixed his special night-time vitamin drink and smeared on his fleshy features the cream he mistakenly believed kept him looking youthful. When he recovered, the messengers continued with these duties and constantly competed with each other to find further little ways of pleasing the Commodore.

The ritual of his ablutions, as devised by the messengers, set the tone for Hubbard's increasingly baroque lifestyle. 'At first I was surprised at all the things we had to do,' said Tanya Burden, who had joined the ship in Madeira as a trainee messenger at the age of fourteen. 'But then I thought this man has studied for fifty years to help the world and has done so much for mankind, why should he have to do anything for himself?

When he woke up he would yell "Messenger" and two of us would go into his room straight away. He would usually be lying in his bunk in his underwear with one arm outstretched, waiting for us to pull him up to a sitting position. While one of us put a robe round his shoulders, the other one would give him a cigarette, a Kool non-filter, light it and stand ready with an ashtray. I would run into the bathroom to make sure his toothbrush, soap and razor were all laid out in a set fashion and I prepared his bath, checked the shampoo, towel and the temperature of the water.

'When he went into the bathroom we would lay out his clothes, powder his socks and shoes and fold everything ready to get him dressed. Everything had to be right because if it wasn't he would yell at us and we didn't want to upset him. The last thing we wanted to do was upset him. When he came out of the shower, he would be in his underwear. Two of us held his pants off the floor as he stepped into them. He didn't like his trouser legs to touch the floor, God forbid that should happen. We pulled up his pants and buckled his belt, although he zipped them. We put on his shirt, buttoned it up, put his Kools in his shirt pocket, tied his cravat and combed his hair. All this time he'd be standing there watching us run around him. Then we'd follow him out on to the deck carrying anything he might need - cloak, hat, binoculars, ashtray, spare cigarettes, anything he could possibly think of wanting. We felt it was an honor and a privilege to do anything for him.'[8]

The messengers were all potential high school cheerleaders in appearance - pretty blondes with even white teeth and red lips, pert little breasts straining against knotted halter tops, bare midriffs, tight hot pants, long tanned legs, bobbysox and platform-soled sandals.

They had devised the uniform themselves, with the Commodore's approval, and it gave them maximum opportunity to flaunt their pubescent assets to advantage.

While male members of the crew competed avidly to deflower the messengers, Hubbard himself never once exhibited any sexual interest in them. 'He never tried anything with me,' said Tanya, 'and as far as I know he never did with any of the other girls. He didn't sleep with Mary Sue; we thought perhaps he was impotent. I think he got his thrills by just having us around.'

'I once asked him why he chose young girls as messengers,' said Doreen Smith. 'He said it was an idea he had picked up from Nazi Germany. He said Hitler was a madman, but nevertheless a genius in his own right and the Nazi Youth was one of the smartest ideas he ever had. With young people you had a blank slate and you could write anything you wanted on it and it would be your writing. That was his idea, to take young people and mould them into little Hubbards. He said he had girls because women were more loyal than men.'

The more the messengers did for the Commodore, the more he came to think of them as the only members of the crew he could trust. At nights, when they were undressing him and going through the elaborate business of getting him ready for bed, he liked to talk to them, sharing confidences and telling them about his adventures. They would sit on the carpet at the end of his bed listening to his stories, wide-eyed, for hours. The special status they enjoyed did nothing for their characters. 'We became', Jill Goodman admitted, 'poisonous little wenches. We had power and we were untouchable.' It was not in the least unusual for a fourteen-year-old messenger to march up to a senior executive on the ship and scream: 'You fucking asshole, you're going to the RPF. That'll teach you to fuck up.' It was unthinkable to answer back; it would have been like answering back to Hubbard.

'A sort of "Lord of the Flies syndrome" began working with the messengers,' said Rebecca Goldstein, who had been recruited into Scientology by her brother, Amos Jessup. 'They were so drunk with their own power that they became extremely vengeful, nasty and dishonest. They were a very exclusive, dangerous little group.'

In May 1974, Hubbard did a very curious thing which perhaps indicated that he was losing his facility to distinguish, even in his own mind, between fact and fiction: he applied to the US Navy for the war medals he had always claimed he had been awarded but knew he had never won.

On 28 May, the ship's liaison office in New York wrote to the Navy Department enclosing an authorization from Hubbard to obtain his medals and asking for them to be forwarded as soon as possible. The letter provided some helpful background data on Mr Hubbard, quoted from one of his spurious 'official' biographies: 'He served in the South Pacific and in 1942 was relieved by fifteen officers of rank and was rushed home to take part in the 1942 battle against German submarines as Commanding Officer of a Corvette serving in the North Atlantic. In 1943 he was made Commodore of corvette squadrons and in 1944 he worked with amphibious forces.' There followed a list of seventeen medals awarded to Mr Hubbard, including the Purple Heart and the Navy Commendation Medal, many of them with bronze stars.

On 18 June, the Navy Department replied, enclosing the four routine medals awarded to former Lieutenant Lafayette R. Hubbard, US Naval Reserve, and noting, 'The records in this Bureau fail to establish Mr Hubbard's entitlement to the other medals and awards listed in your request.'[9]

The Commodore apparently had no difficulty circumventing this little problem: he quickly put into circulation an eight-by-ten colour photograph of twenty-one medals and palms he had won during the war. Some were missing, he explained to the crew. He had actually won twenty-eight medals, but the remainder were awarded to him in secret because naval command were embarrassed that he had sunk a couple of subs in their own 'back yard'.

In the summer, the Commodore turned his attention from his own image to that of his ship. He was taken with an idea to improve the Apollo's public relations by staging free concerts and dance performances for the local residents at her regular ports of call. After hours of watching television in Queens, he considered himself an expert on popular music and modern dance and believed he had made important 'discoveries' about the nature of rock music and the need for a strong heavy beat. He often demonstrated his theories to a mystified Jim Dincalci. On the ship, he was able to put his ideas into practice with his own band, the 'Apollo Stars', made up of volunteers from the crew chosen at auditions conducted by the Commodore with all the confidence and aplomb of a man who had spent a lifetime in show business.

Ken Urquhart, who probably knew more about music than anyone on board, resolutely refused to become involved. 'My favourite composer was Mozart, not the horrible, raucous noise they were making. They practiced on the deck most afternoons, playing music made up by LRH with a very primitive, animal beat. There was no way I was going to go near them.' Mike Goldstein, who had played drums in a semi-professional group while he was at university, volunteered to play with the Apollo Stars in order to get out of the RPF. 'LRH had said anyone in the RPF who was accepted for the band or the dance troupe would be let out. I volunteered because I thought anything was better than running around in a black boiler suit. I was wrong. The band was terrible, awful; it was the most embarrassing thing I have ever done.'

Hubbard's idea was that the Apollo Stars would be playing on the aft well deck each time the ship entered a harbour and that bookings for both the band and dance troupe would be arranged in advance at every port of call. Since he would be making appearances himself, he had a new uniform designed with a suitably theatrical flair. It featured a powder blue kepi with a lavishly gold-braided peak and a cloak in the same hue, lined with scarlet silk. He looked, Urquhart reported, 'most peculiar'.

Quentin Hubbard, now twenty, began rehearsing with the dance troupe and enjoyed it so much he made the mistake of telling his father he would like to be a dancer. 'Oh no you wouldn't,' Hubbard replied. 'I have other plans for you.' There was no further discussion and Quentin was no longer allowed to perform. Not long afterwards, he made a feeble attempt at suicide while the ship was docked at Funchal in Madeira.

'He'd gone missing ashore for a while,' said his friend Doreen Smith, 'and while people were out looking for him he just walked back on board. I went to see him in his cabin to make sure he was OK and found him lying on his bunk. He smiled at me and I said, "Hi, how are you feeling?" He said, "Not so good, my stomach's real upset." Then he said, "Doreen, I've done the most awful thing. I've taken a whole lot of pills." I said, "Oh shit. Get out of the bunk and don't go to sleep." I began walking him around the cabin and said, "You know I'm going to have to tell your Dad, don't you?" He nodded and said, "I know. He'll know what to do."'

Doreen ran to the Commodore's cabin and said 'Quentin's taken some pills.' Hubbard did not need it spelled out. He told Doreen to fetch some mustard from the galley and mixed it into a drink which he made Quentin gulp down. The boy vomited repeatedly and was taken to the sick bay to recover. His father sent down a message that as soon Quentin was well enough to leave the sick bay, he was to be assigned to the RPF. Mary Sue, who had a reputation for protecting her children against the excesses of the ship's regime, was powerless to intervene. She was supposed to be responsible for welfare on board - indeed, she had won a special dispensation from the Commodore to allow married couples in the RPF to spend one night together a week - but knew her husband was in a towering rage over Quentin and there was nothing she could do.

Rebecca Goldstein was among the inmates of the RPF when Quentin arrived. 'It was real tough for him,' she said. 'He was very delicate and refined, not at all self-important, very unlike his father. He had hardly any facial or body hair and it was very hard to say whether he had started shaving. There were rumours that he'd attempted suicide before. He cringed from his father, he was completely overwhelmed by him.'

The valiant attempts of the Apollo Stars and its associated dance troupe to win the hearts and minds of the Spanish and the Portuguese people did not meet with overwhelming success, although the political climate did not help. There had been a military coup in Portugal earlier in the year and the subsequent unease tended to make the Portuguese nervous of mysterious foreign ships calling at its ports for no apparent reason. The Apollo had also managed to upset the Spaniards by mistakenly attempting to enter a major naval base at El Firol.

The ship's real problem, however, was that its 'shore story' was wearing thin. Portuguese and Spanish port authorities were still being told that the Apollowas owned by a highly successful business consultancy firm, but all they could see was an old, rust-streaked ship, often festooned with ragged laundry and crewed by young people in tattered, ill-assorted uniforms. It was little wonder that suspicions mounted about its activities and rumours took hold that the ship was operated by the CIA.

Jim Dincalci, who had been put ashore to run a port office in Funchal, Madeira, became alarmed by the rumours. 'It seemed to be common knowledge in Madeira that the ship was not what it was supposed to be and most people seemed to think it was a CIA spy ship. I had made friends on the island and had contacts in local Communist cells. The word was that the Communists were out to get the ship next time she arrived in Madeira. I sent telexes to LRH warning him what was happening and advising him not come to Madeira until things had calmed down. I was absolutely shocked to see the ship come into the harbor.'

The Apollo arrived in Funchal on 7 October and moored in her usual berth. Emissaries were sent ashore to advertize a 'rock festival' to be held at the weekend, featuring the Apollo Stars. Late on the afternoon of Wednesday, 9 October, while Mary Sue and several members of the crew were ashore, a small crowd of young men began to gather on the quayside. By the way they were glowering and gesticulating at the ship, it was obvious to those on board that this was not a social call. Soon the crowd, which was growing all the time, began chanting 'C-I-A, C-I-A, C-I-A.'

Nervous Scientologists lining the rails of the ship tried chanting 'CIA' back at the crowd, but it did nothing to lower the tension. Then the first stone clanged against the Apollo's hull and a bottle smashed on the fore deck. More stones and bottles followed as the crowd's anger spread. The crew scattered to take shelter and began picking up the stones from the deck and throwing them back into the crowd. In a matter of moments it became a pitched battle.

Hubbard, who was watching what was going on from the bridge, got out a bullhorn and boomed 'Communista, Communista' at the crowd. Then he began taking photographs of the stone-throwers with a flash unit, further inflaming their tempers. Several of the crew were hit by flying stones, including Kima Douglas, whose jaw was broken by a large lump of rock that hit her full in the face. On the quayside, one of the crowd opened his trousers, waggled his penis and took a direct hit with a well-aimed stone from the ship.

With stones and sticks and bottles flying in all directions, there was total confusion on board the Apollo. Some crew members would later describe the Commodore as being perfectly cool through the whole incident, others said he appeared to be terrified. Whatever his state, no one was taking charge and everyone was screaming orders. In one part of the ship someone was trying to get together a party to repel boarders; in another, the sea hoses were being run out and trained on the crowd in an attempt to persuade them to disperse.

Any remaining vestige of control among the rabble-rousers vanished when the ship turned its hoses on them. On the quayside there were several motor-cycles belonging to members of the crew and two of the ship's cars - a Mini and a Fiat. All the motor-cycles were hurled into the harbour, then both cars were pushed over the edge of the quay, hitting the water with an enormous splash and quickly disappearing under the surface. Meanwhile, others in the crowd slipped the Apollo's mooring-lines from the bollards and she began to drift away from the quayside.

At this point, the Portuguese authorities belatedly appeared on the scene to restore order. Armed militia were put on board to provide protection, a pilot assisted with anchoring the ship in the harbour and a launch rescued those members of the crew who had been stranded ashore, including Mary Sue. The police demanded the film that Hubbard had been taking during the riot and the Commodore, mighty pleased with himself, dutifully handed over two rolls of unexposed film from cameras he had not been using. It was nightfall before the decks had been cleared of the broken glass and rubble.

Since it rather appeared as if the people of Madeira were no longer interested in a rock concert featuring the Apollo Stars, the ship sailed next day, leaving information with the harbour authorities in Funchal that she was heading for the Cape Verde Islands, 1500 miles to the south. She departed on a purposeful southerly course until she was out of sight. She then turned west, equally purposefully, prompting the crew to speculate with mounting excitement that the Commodore had decided to return to the United States.

For the next six days, in glorious weather, the Apollo sailed due west across a glassy ocean, followed by sporting dolphins and whales. On 16 October, she put into St George, on the northern tip of Bermuda, to re-fuel and Hubbard announced to the crew that their next port of call would be Charleston, South Carolina. There was an enormous cheer at this news: many of the crew were US citizens and some of them had not been home for years.

Eight miles off Charleston, a coded radio message from the Guardian's Office warned the Commodore that the FBI were waiting on the dock to meet the ship. Hubbard's instinct was to go ashore and brazen it out; Mary Sue was terrified at the prospect and convinced that her husband would be immediately arrested. A furious argument followed. 'Everyone could hear them screaming at each other for about two hours,' said Hana Eltringham. 'She was adamant that we should not go ashore. She said he would be indicted ten or fifteen times and it would be the end of him and she wasn't going have it.'

For once, Mary Sue won. Hubbard called his senior aides together on the promenade deck and said there was to be a change of plans. He was going send a signal to Charleston to say that the ship was heading north to pick up spare parts in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Then they were going to sail south, to the Caribbean.

The Apollo docked at Freeport in the Bahamas two days later, while FBI agents waited patiently in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It did not take them long to find out what had happened, however, and the ship was doggedly tracked as she meandered from island to island around the Caribbean for the next twelve months. If no one in Washington could make out what L. Ron Hubbard was up to, it was hardly surprising, because L. Ron Hubbard did not know himself.

It seemed the Commodore was simply enjoying a Caribbean respite while he decided on his next move. He had a set of tropical uniforms made for himself in white silk and the messengers were also kitted out in tight white uniforms, with mirrored sunglasses - an innovation suggested by the Commodore which gave them an appropriately sinister appearance. At most ports of call, the Apollo Stars trundled ashore to perform for apathetic audiences with nothing better to do than sit in the sun at a free concert and wonder where the musicians had come from. The Commodore took up photography again and attempted to ingratiate himself with local politicians by offering to take their portraits. He photographed the Prime Minister and members of the opposition in Curaçao and spent some time at a convent taking pictures of nuns. He was very pleased with the result and sent a framed enlargement, and a cheque for $1000, to the convent to thank the nuns for their co-operation.

He could well afford it, as Kima Douglas knew better than anyone. 'While we were in the Bahamas, a story came out that the Swiss were going to change the tax laws in some way that would affect the money we held there. The old man went crazy. I heard him screaming and yelling and ran upstairs to find what was wrong. He was pacing up and down and shouting at the top of his voice, "Do you know what they're doing? Everything's gone. Gone! Gone! We're going to lose everything."' When he had calmed down a little, Kima suggested that perhaps the money should be moved. Three hours later, she was on a plane to Zurich, with two other Scientologists, carrying handwritten instructions from Hubbard authorizing the transfer of all his assets to a bank in Liechtenstein.

When they arrived, they were taken down into the vault of the bank and shown the money. Kima Douglas, who thought she could no longer be surprised by anything in Scientology, was awestruck. 'Everyone's eyes widened. There was a stack, about four feet high and three feet wide, of dollars, marks and Swiss francs in high-denomination notes. I couldn't begin to guess how much was there, but it was certainly more than the three of us could carry.'

It took nearly two weeks to make arrangements to move the cash to a bank in Liechtenstein and then the serial numbers - the first and last note of each bundle - had to be noted. When the mission returned to the Bahamas, Kima had to describe to the Commodore the exact size of the various piles of money. 'He was very pleased,' she said. 'He thought he'd outdone the Swiss.'

Hubbard's mood, as always, remained mercurial and very much subject to his notorious phobias. He discovered that the unfortunate Hana Eltringham possessed a particularly acute sense of smell and employed her as a 'sniffer dog' to root out the source of the smells that plagued him. 'Whenever he complained of bad smells,' she said, 'I would be called out of my office by a messenger to go to his quarters and crawl around on my hands and knees to try and locate where the smell was coming from. I would trace it to one corner, then we would rip off the wall cladding and very often find something like mildew.'

It was in the interests of every member of the crew to bend over backwards to keep the Commodore sweet, none more so than Kathy Cariotaki, head of the ship's 'household unit', a position which, because of its proximity to the Commodore, almost guaranteed an extended assignment in the RPF. But Kathy had won considerable praise for extracting an apology of sorts from the Greek government after the Corfu debâcle and she used her innate diplomatic skills to good advantage while running the 'household unit'.

'If a cycle started up when he began claiming things tasted funny, you had to be ready to handle it. If a dish didn't taste right, he'd start hollering and yelling that we were starving him and everyone would be under the gun. My solution was to have two back-up meals prepared at dinner every night so that there was always something else to put in front of him quickly.

'Mary Sue was a diet addict, she was always trying this diet or that diet. One day she sent orders down to the galley about what she wanted to eat that evening according to her latest diet. When the meal was served I'd usually listen to see if there was going to be an upset, but this night everything seemed fine so I went into my office. Then a messenger came round and said the Commodore wanted to see me on A Deck lounge. By the time I got there he was hollering at the top of his lungs. I couldn't understand what in the world he was saying until he brought it down several decibels and shouted that the cooks were starving Mary Sue. He'd given her his dinner and I saw that she was shovelling it down like it was the end of the world. She gave me a look which said, "Don't open your mouth."

'Their relationship was very strange. I got them to celebrate their wedding anniversary, organized a special dinner with candles and made sure she had a present for him and he had one for her. Mary Sue was close to the children, but he wasn't - he hardly ever saw them. Diana was married by then and ate with her husband, while the younger children ate with the crew. I initiated Sunday dinners for the whole family and took every opportunity to get them together at birthdays and anniversaries, otherwise they hardly ever saw each other.'[10]

When the Commodore went ashore on photo-shoots, Kathy Cariotaki acted as his driver and always checked the route the day before. In Kingston, Jamaica, Hubbard decided he wanted to take some pictures in the slum areas. At his insistence, Kathy had hired an old Pontiac convertible which was bright red and inevitably attracted attention, much of it overtly hostile. Hubbard, sitting on the back of the car, seemed oblivious to the atmosphere and continued shooting pictures while a group of black youths jeered and cat-called at the 'whiteys'. At one point a boy on a bicycle rode up behind the car and made a loud whooping noise; Hubbard turned round and whooped back so fiercely that the boy fell off his bicycle. Kathy sensed that the Commodore did not appreciate the danger, but back on the ship he banged on Mary Sue's door and said, 'Guess what, honey? I almost caused a riot this afternoon.'

In St Vincent, in the spring of 1975, the ship was prepared to receive a surprise visitor from Bremerton, Washington - the Commodore's father. Harry Ross Hubbard was eighty-eight years old and very frail, but determined to make peace with his estranged son. The old gentlemen arrived on the quayside in a taxi and the Commodore went down the gangway to meet him - the first time anyone had ever seen him leave the ship to welcome a visitor.

The crew had been ordered to conceal all evidence of Scientology from the Commodore's father, but he was too old and confused to care about such things. He sat talking with his son for hours and wandered amiably about the ship evincing very little curiosity about what was going on. With a plentiful supply of beer and a couple of fishing trips, he was content. When he got back home to Bremerton, he told Marnie, his sister-in-law, that he had had 'a wonderful trip'.[11] He died a few months later.

The Apollo had not been in the Caribbean for long before she again began to arouse suspicions at her various ports of call. She cruised from the Bahamas to the West Indies to the Leeward and Windward Islands, the Netherlands Antilles and back again and rumours of illicit or clandestine activity followed her as tenaciously as the seagulls. In Trinidad, a weekly tabloid newspaper speculated that the ship was connected to the CIA and suggested that the crew was somehow linked with the horrific Sharon Tate murders in Los Angeles. As the American Embassy drily cabled to Washington: 'The controversial yacht Apollo seems to have worn out its welcome in Trinidad'.[12]
To those on board ship, it was obvious that a conspiracy was at work. The Captain, Bill Robertson, explained that Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who was 'one of the top SMERSH guys', had been bringing pressure to bear and threatening to cut foreign aid to any island that welcomed the Apollo.[13] It made perfect sense to a Scientologist.

Courses were still being held on the ship for senior Scientologists and in June 1975, one of the new students was Pam Kemp, Hubbard's old friend from Saint Hill days. She was shocked to see how much he had aged. 'I saw this figure coming on board in a big hat and red-lined Navy Cloak and I thought if I'm not mistaken that's LRH, although he was very slow and old looking. I went up to him and said, "Hi, Ron." He looked through me like he didn't know who I was. I thought maybe he was a little deaf so I went around another way and as he was coming towards me I said, "Hi, Ron. How are you?" He didn't recognize me, didn't know who I was. I thought, how weird. Later I discovered he probably didn't see me properly because he needed glasses, but would never wear them.'[14]
Not long afterwards, Hubbard suffered a minor stroke while the ship was in harbour in Curaçao. He was rushed to the local hospital, kept in intensive care for two days and then transferred to a private room, where he stayed for three weeks, with messengers on duty day and night outside his door. 'To keep him in the hospital,' said Kima Douglas, 'we had to bring food from the ship. He wouldn't touch the hospital food, so we ferried every meal out in hot and cold boxes, ten miles each way.' When he had recovered sufficiently to leave hospital, he moved into a cabana bungalow in the grounds of the Curaçao Hilton to convalesce.
While he was there, he despatched an aide, Mark Schecter, to the United States on a top secret mission. Schecter carried a suitcase full of money. His orders were to hand it over to another Scientologist, Frankie Freedman, who had found a motel for rent in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Although only a handful of people were aware of it, the Sea Org's seafaring days were over.

1. Interview with Urquhart 
2. Interview with Dincalci
3. Interview with Eltringham
4. Interview with Kima Douglas, Oakland, CA, Sept 1986 
5. Interview with Jill Goodman, New York, March 1986 
6. Interview with Doreen Gillham
7. Interview with Gerald Armstrong, Boston, February 1986
8.  Interview with Tanya Burden, Boston, February 1986
9. L.R. Hubbard navy record
10. Interview with Kathy Cariotaki, San Diego, July 1986
11.  Interview with Mrs Roberts 
12. Los Angeles Times, 29 August 1978 
13. Capt. Bill Roberts Debrief transcript, May 1982 
14. Interview with Kemp

John Doe was, indeed, Geoffrey Quentin McCaully Hubbard, aged twenty-two. Maren 

The Guardian's Office, meanwhile, had moved swiftly to 'handle' the situation. Its local representative in Las Vegas was a pit boss at the Sands Hotel by the name of Ed Walters. 'I had been working as a covert operator for about eight years,' he said. 'I had secretly tape-recorded a psychiatrist and got him to talk about lobotomies to try and discredit him and I had bugged the meetings of Clark County Mental Health Association, things like that. I worked on anything that org conceived to be a threat to the Hubbards.
'When they found out Quentin was here, I was told to get hold of all his medical files. There was apparently evidence that he had had a homosexual encounter shortly before he was found and they didn't want anything like that to get out. There was a girl Scientologist working in the hospital in a very secure position and she got all the reports on Quentin and gave them to me and I handed them over to the Guardian's Office.'[10]
On the morning of Thursday, 18 November, Arthur Maren arrived at the coroner's office in Las Vegas and introduced himself as director of public affairs for the Church of Scientology. He said he would be able to make a positive identification of the body and at 11.25 he confirmed that John Doe was, indeed, Geoffrey Quentin McCaully Hubbard, aged twenty-two. Maren said that Quentin's parents were not in the United States, but were away on a trip round the world.
Maren went backwards and forwards to the coroner's office over the next few days providing information designed to deter any further investigation into Quentin's death. He even persuaded the coroner to describe the cause of death as 'undetermined' in a press release. Quentin was said to have been on vacation and in Las Vegas to check out enrolment requirements for a flying school.
On Monday, 22 November, a young woman called Mary Rezzonico turned up with an authorization signed by L. Ron Hubbard and Mary Sue Hubbard for the release of their son's remains and his personal effects. Rezzonico said she had personally obtained the signatures over the weekend at 'an unspecified location in Ireland'.

Quentin was cremated next day at Palm Crematory in Las Vegas. 'I knew he had homosexual problems,' said Ed Walters, 'but he was a good kid. He was just a young, soft boy, not the ruthless, hard-nosed type. He had wanted to get out of Scientology for some time, but you don't just leave something like Scientology. You quit and then instantly become an enemy. He knew his father violently attacked anyone who betrayed him and he knew that the Guardian's Office would be after him as a traitor. He had grown up in Scientology and would have been tremendously afraid of the world out there, full of wogs and evil people. I guess he just couldn't handle it.'
'He was just a miserable, miserable boy,' said Kima Douglas. 'He was a little kid out of his depth who knew he could never compete with his father.'
A final macabre chapter was still to be enacted. Quentin had chosen to die at the end of an airport runway, watching the aircraft he had longed to fly landing and taking off. It was thus resolved that his ashes should be scattered from a light aircraft over the Pacific. Frank Gerbode, a Scientologist in Palo Alto, had his own aeroplane.
'The Guardian's Office telephoned and asked me to help with a special project,' Gerbode said. 'I was to fly my plane out over the Pacific with a couple of GO people who were going to scatter Quentin's ashes. I wasn't supposed to tell anybody, of course. It turned out to be a gruesome business. It's not easy to throw particulate matter out of a light aircraft and the ashes blew back into the plane. I was taking little bits of Quentin Hubbard out of the upholstery for months afterwards.'[11]

Taken from:

Bare-Faced Messiah By  Russell Miller, Chapter 20 Running Aground

Wikipedia Exposed Media - WEM www.wikipediaexposed.org

FREEDOM TO PROVIDE FACTS, INFORMATION, OPINION AND DEBATE WIKIPEDIA EXPOSED MEDIA - TRUTHFUL NEWS MEDIA, ENCOURAGE OPEN DEBATE

Bare-Faced Messiah By  Russell Miller, Chapter 18 Messengers of God
The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard is a posthumous biography of Scientology founder
L. Ron Hubbard by British journalist Russell Miller.

Originally published: 26 October1987 Author: Russell Miller, Genre: Biography,

Page count: 380,

Publisher: Michael Joseph, Subject: L. Ron Hubbard

Bare-Faced Messiah By  Russell Miller, Chapter 18 Messengers of God

'It is possible that Commodore Hubbard and his wife . . . are philanthropists of some kind and/or eccentrics, but if one does not accept this as an explanation, there has to be some other gimmick involved in this operation. What this gimmick might be is unknown here, although people in Casablanca have speculated variously from smuggling to drug traffic to a far-out religious cult.' (Cable from US Consul General, Casablanca, to Washington, 26 September 1969)
 (Scientology's account of the years 1968-69.)
*   *   *   *   *
At the time of her ignominious departure from Corfu, the Apollo informed the port authorities that she would be making for Venice, information which was doubtless passed to the CIA and to the Foreign Office in London, since both the United States and the United Kingdom were anxious to keep track of the wily Commodore of the Sea Org. But once the ship was out of sight of the Greek mainland, Hubbard ordered a change of course. The Apollo turned west towards Sardinia, where she was rapidly re-fuelled and re-provisioned before heading for the Strait of Gibraltar and sailing out of the Mediterranean.
For the next three years, the Apollo patrolled the eastern Atlantic, aimlessly sailing from port to port at the Commodore's caprice and rarely stopping anywhere for longer than six weeks. She ventured out into the Atlantic as far as the Azores and once put in to Dakar, the capital of Senegal, but most of the time she criss-crossed a diamond shaped patch of ocean bordered by Casablanca, Madeira, Lisbon and the Canaries, with no objective other than to stay on the move.

'LRH said we had to keep moving because there were so many people after him,' explained Ken Urquhart, who was by then the Commodore's personal communicator. 'If they caught up with him they would cause him so much trouble that he would be unable to continue his work, Scientology would not get into the world and there would be social and economic chaos, if not a nuclear holocaust.'[1]

US intelligence services were mystified by what Hubbard was up to and cables arriving in Washington began speculating on a variety of illicit activities ranging from white slavery to drug-running. In September 1969, while the Apollo was in Casablanca, the local US consul cabled Washington with an account of a visit to the ship. All concerned, he noted, have been 'perplexed by the vagueness of the replies' to simple questions about the ship's activities. The consul had picked up a brochure which was no more forthcoming, explaining that trainees on board were learning 'the art and the culture of navigation, the theory of which, when applied, demonstrates a very useful practice at sea'.

Since the ship was registered in Panama, the Panamanian consul tried his luck, but with no better results. He found the ship 'in a very bad state of repair' and believed that 'the lives of the crew had been in jeopardy' while the vessel was at sea. 'The Panamanian consul has tried unsuccessfully to meet Commodore Hubbard, who has taken a suite at the El Mansour Hotel and has instructed the hotel personnel to refuse all telephone calls.'[2]

In frequent communiqués from the ship to his faithful disciples, Hubbard expounded on the enemy forces ranged against Scientology and elaborated on the 'international conspiracy' theory of which he had always been enamoured. Out in the Atlantic, cruising on his flagship, the Commodore's pre-occupation with Communist conspiracies developed into a fixation about something called the 'Tenyaka Memorial' - a name he gave to the mysterious agency he claimed was co-ordinating the attacks on Scientology. His hunt for the Tenyaka Memorial was the subject of a rambling thirty-one-page monologue, dated 2 November 1969 and headed 'Covert Operations', in which he said that he and Mary Sue had 'just discovered' that members of the World Federation of Mental Health were working for British and US intelligence agencies. 'These bastards who are in charge of security in these Western countries,' he wrote, 'ought to be simply electric shocked to death. I'm not kidding. Because these same guys . . . have meetings with the Russians every year.' Later the Commodore decided that the Tenyaka Memorial was run by a Nazi underground movement intent on world domination.[3]

Both Hubbard and Mary Sue, who rejoiced in the titles of 'Deputy Commodore', 'Commodore Staff Guardian' (CSG) and 'Controller', peppered their memoranda with military terminology and intelligence jargon. Mary Sue ran the powerful Guardian's office, which was Scientology's intelligence bureau. In a 'Guardian Order' dated 16 December 1969, she warned that the 'enemy' was infiltrating double agents into the church and urged the use of 'any and all means' to detect infiltration. One of the 'operating targets' was to assemble full data by investigation for use 'in case of attack'.[4] 'Smersh' even figured in one of Hubbard's 'flag orders', which defined Scientology's second zone of action thus: 'To invade the territory of Smersh, run it better, make tons of money in it, to purify the mental health field.'[5]

The need for security was made very real to those Scientologists who were flown out to join the ship at its various ports of call. They were briefed and repeatedly drilled on their 'shore stories' - that they were employees of Operation and Transport Corporation, a business management company. They were warned not to use Scientology-speak on shore, to deny any link between OTC and Scientology and, in particular, to feign ignorance of L. Ron Hubbard.

All outgoing private mail had to be left, unsealed, with the master-at-arms and every letter was read by an ethics officer to check for possible breaches of security. Approved mail was shipped in bulk to Copenhagen for posting. Lest curiosity prompted enemies ashore to sift through the ship's garbage for incriminating paperwork, all papers were bundled up and dumped at sea. And on the rare occasions when 'wogs' were allowed on board, the crew carried out a 'clean ship drill', which involved hiding any Scientology materials from view and turning all the pictures of L. Ron Hubbard to the wall.

Hubbard's persistent reiteration that Scientology was beset by dark forces, seeking to destroy anything that helped mankind, fostered a siege mentality among the crew of the Apollo and provided spurious justification for the harsh conditions on board. Throughout the Sea Org, the need for dedication, vigilance and sacrifice was constantly stressed and it generated fierce loyalty which was blind to logic or literal truth. The 'shore story', which everyone knew was a pack of lies, was a regrettable necessity if the world was to be saved by Scientology.

It was also a regrettable necessity to prevent anyone from 'blowing the org'. Although all the passports were locked in a safe, attempts to jump ship were not unknown. Whenever it happened, Sea Org personnel were rushed ashore to stake out the relevant local consulate, where the fugitive was likely to try and obtain a new passport. If they were too late, a 'dead agent caper' was activated. The runaway was accused of being a thief or a trouble-maker in order to discredit whatever story he was telling in the Consulate; in the parlance of wartime spies, he would be neutralized and considered a 'dead agent'.[6]

Despite the continuing restrictions on personal liberty, life on board improved somewhat after the Apollo left the Mediterranean. The 'heavy ethics' were eased - there was no more overboarding, for example - and the Commodore's demeanour was markedly sunnier. 'He'd often take a stroll along the promenade deck and stop to talk to people,' said Urquhart. 'He normally wore a white silk shirt with a gold lanyard, a cravat and naval cap with lots of scrambled egg on the peak and you could always see him in the centre of the crowd that gathered round him whenever he stopped to talk. But there was still a lot of tension on board and the very real possibility that somebody would make a mistake that would cause a flap. Someone might upset a harbourmaster, or say the wrong thing in answer to a question, or let slip something about Scientology. Some shit was going to hit the fan every day, you could count on it.'

No attempt was made on board ship to maintain the myth that Hubbard was no longer in charge of Scientology. Between forty and fifty feet of telex messages arrived every day from Scientology offices around the world and he received weekly reports detailing every org's statistics and income. Money was, without question, one of the Commodore's primary interests, although he liked to profess a lofty disregard for such matters as financial gain. Loyal members of the Sea Org, who were paid $10 a week, believed the Commodore drew less than they did, because that is what he told them. The reality was that Hubbard was receiving $15,000 a week from church funds through the Hubbard Explorational Company and that huge sums of money were being creamed from 'desk-drawer' corporations and salted away in secret bank accounts in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. When one of these accounts had to be closed in 1970, $1 million in cash was transferred on board the Apollo.[7]

There was also a considerable disparity between the way the Hubbards lived on the ship and the conditions endured by everyone else. Most of the crew lived in cramped, smelly, roach-infested dormitories fitted with bunks in three tiers that left little room for personal possessions. Hubbard and Mary Sue each had their own state-rooms in addition to a suite on the promenade deck comprising an auditing-room, office, an elegant saloon and a wood-panelled dining-room, all off-limits to students and crew. Hubbard had a personal steward, as did Mary Sue and the Hubbard children, who all had their own cabins. Meals for the Commodore and his family were cooked in a separate galley by their personal chef, using ingredients brought by couriers from the United States.

When Mike Goldstein, an anthropology major from the University of Colorado, was sent out to join the Sea Org, he was pressed into service as a courier. 'I was briefed in Los Angeles and drilled on my shore story. It was all made to seem very mysterious and cloak and dagger. It was scary. I was warned to follow my instructions to the letter and given a box to take out with me to the ship. I was to say it contained company papers of the Operation and Transport Corporation. Going through the security control in Los Angeles airport, the box set the buzzer off. I nearly died. They opened it up and discovered it contained Hubbard's underpants, tied in a bag with metal clips.

'When I got to New York I found I was expected to courier something else - fourteen boxes which had to be maintained at a certain temperature. No one would tell me what was in them, only that it was vital they arrived intact at the ship. In London I had to change planes. Transferring from one terminal to another with these fourteen boxes was murder. I arrived in Madrid and was taken by Sea Org members to an apartment, where the boxes were put in refrigeration. Next day I caught a plane for Casablanca, only to discover the ship had moved on further south to Safi. By then I was completely paranoid about the boxes, terrified that the heat would get to whatever was in them. I got them wrapped up and found a bus to take me to Safi, where I finally arrived at the ship and handed over the boxes. I was wondering what the hell was in them, but I didn't find out until later. I was carrying fourteen boxes of frozen shrimps for the Hubbard family.'[8]

Like all Scientologists, it had been Goldstein's long-time ambition to meet L. Ron Hubbard and when he first got to the ship he used to contrive excuses to walk past Hubbard's research room on the promenade deck just so that he could catch a glimpse of the great man at work. He was amazed at the amount of paperwork that Hubbard seemed to get through, although many of his preconceptions about the Sea Org were soon shattered. 'I had been told that Flag [the Apollo] was perfection and that everyone was super-efficient. But then I was appointed Flag Banking Officer and handed a real dog's breakfast: the ship's finances were in a mess. There were drawers full of money everywhere and more than a million dollars in the safe, but no proper accounts. We paid for everything in cash and were working with three different currencies - Spanish, Portuguese and Moroccan - and it seemed that if anyone wanted money for something they just asked for it. I decided it had to be done by the book and told everyone they would have to account for what they had already spent before they could have any more. The ship was a different world, you have to understand. It was supposed to run Scientology for the whole planet, but it was a world unto itself.'

It was also a world entirely of Hubbard's creation and he added to it, at around this time, a bizarre new element - an elite unit made up of children and eventually known as the Commodore's Messenger Organization. The CMO was staffed by the offspring of committed Scientologists and its original, apparently innocuous, function was simply to serve the Commodore by relaying his verbal orders to crew and students on board the Apollo. But the messengers, mainly pubescent girls, soon recognized and enjoyed their power as teenage clones of the Commodore. In their cute little dark blue uniforms and gold lanyards, they were trained to deliver Hubbard's orders using his exact words and tone of voice; if he was in a temper and bellowing abuse, the messenger would scuttle off and pipe the same abuse at the offender. No one dared take issue with whatever a messenger said; no one dared disobey her orders. Vested with the authority of the Commodore they came to be widely feared little monsters.

From 1970 onwards, messengers attended Hubbard day and night, working on six-hour watches around the clock. When he was asleep, two messenger sat outside his state-room waiting for the buzzer that would signal he was awake. Throughout his waking hours, they sat outside his office waiting for his call. When he took a stroll on the deck, they followed him, one carrying his cigarettes, the other an ashtray to catch the ash as it fell. Every minute of the Commodore's existence had to be recorded in the 'Messenger Log' which noted when he woke, ate, slept, worked and the details of every message he had required to be run.

It was, of course, the greatest possible honour to be selected as a messenger and it was perhaps understandable that the girls would vie with each other to curry favour with the Commodore and dream up ways of pleasing him, by springing forward to light his cigarette, perhaps, or reverently dusting the individual sheets of his writing paper, particularly since they were awarded extra points for little acts of thoughtfulness.

Doreen Smith was just twelve years old, a skinny kid with long blond hair, big eyes and smeared make-up, inexpertly applied, when she arrived in the Azores in September 1970, to join the crew of the Apollo. Born into Scientology, she had wanted to be a messenger for as long as she could recall. 'I remember sitting on my luggage on the dockside and looking up at the ship. She was the biggest ship in the port, painted all white, with these huge gold letters, Apollo, and she made a real awesome impression on me. We had to wait on the dock to be cleared by the medical officer. I spotted LRH, or thought I did, standing with his hand on the shoulder of a young girl in a shiny blue short-sleeved pullover with a gold lanyard. He gave her a little shove and she went running down deck after deck to the gangway, skidding to a stop at the bottom to welcome us on board on behalf of the Commodore. It was the first time I'd seen a messenger.'[9]

Two days later, Doreen received a nasty taste of life at sea. Weather reports indicated that a hurricane was heading straight for the Azores. It was too dangerous for a ship the size of the Apollo to remain in the harbour and there was no time to sail out of reach. Hubbard took the ship to sea and sailed up and down in the lee of the island, changing course as the wind changed direction. 'It was a very impressive feat of seamanship,' said Hana Eltringham. 'I was on the bridge for almost all the time and I was petrified. Day didn't look much different from night, the wind was howling continually and you could hardly see the bow of the ship because of breaking waves and spray. LRH sat at the radar for thirty-six hours without a break, except to go to the bathroom. He was very calm throughout, constantly reassuring everyone it was going to be all right.'[10]

When the hurricane had passed, Doreen was put to work washing dishes in the galley while she trained first as an 'able seaman', then as a 'page', before she could qualify to join the CMO. She had to appear before a board of fourteen-year-old messengers, win its approval and run sample messages before she was accepted. The most exciting morning of her life was when she was taken ashore in Morocco to buy her uniform - dark blue stretch pants and a blue tunic. 'I was thrilled to death,' she said. 'It was what I had wanted from day one. LRH was my hero. We'd always had his picture hanging on the wall at home and we listened to his tapes all the time. I was his greatest fan.'

Hubbard so much enjoyed the company of his pretty young messengers that it inevitably put a strain on his relationship with his wife and children. It was obvious to Mary Sue, as it was to everyone on board, that the Commodore favoured his messengers above his own children, for whom he seemed to have little time or consideration. Diana, the eldest, had inherited her father's self-confidence and was least affected by his lack of regard. Then eighteen she was one of the Commodore's staff Aides, who formed the senior management body directly under Hubbard. She was engaged to another Sea Org officer and had a reputation on board for being cold and authoritarian, although she was much admired by the messengers for her long auburn hair, her beauty and her status; they called her 'Princess Diana'.

None of the children had had a proper education since leaving England in 1967. On the bridge, Diana could handle the ship with brisk efficiency, but she read nothing more demanding than romantic novels and in conversation she rivalled Mrs Malaprop. Her latest malapropisms were the source of much secret merriment among her fellow officers.

Her brother, Quentin, was seventeen in January 1971 and was deeply unhappy. He was working as an auditor, but all his life he had longed to be a pilot and frequently pleaded with his father to be allowed to leave the ship to take flying lessons. Quiet and introverted, Quentin was furtively described as 'swishy' because no one wanted to say out loud what everyone suspected - that he was homosexual. Hubbard's loathing of homosexuals was well documented in his voluminous writings and there was not a Scientologist alive who would risk suggesting to him that his son's sexuality was in doubt.

Suzette and Arthur were less troubled by the sacrifice of their childhood. Suzette was fifteen, a cheerful, uncomplicated teenager with a great sense of fun and none of her older sister's drive or ambition. Moved from post to post around the ship, she performed tolerably well and displayed no executive aspirations. All the children had to stand watch along with the rest of the crew and Suzette could always be relied upon to be on duty on time. Not so her twelve-year-old brother, Arthur, who often refused to get out of bed when he was supposed to be on night watch. If the watchkeeper going off duty tried to rouse him, he would threaten to make a noise and wake his father. Anyone who woke Hubbard was in serious trouble and it was often less troublesome to do Arthur's duty than chance waking the slumbering Commodore.

Arthur was commonly described as a 'holy terror' and rampaged through the ship at will, playing practical jokes, like throwing buckets of water into occupied toilet cubicles, without fear of retribution. Yet there were moments when even the irrepressible Arthur experienced a sense of loss. Doreen Smith and Arthur were the same age and the firmest of friends. 'He'd often say to me that be wished his father had more time for him,' Doreen said. 'I suppose, at one time or another, we all wished we had more ordinary lives.'

Arthur's special responsibility on board ship was to look after his father's motor-cycles, in particular a huge Harley Davidson that had been given to Hubbard by the Toronto org. One afternoon, the Commodore told Doreen to make sure Arthur had cleaned the Harley Davidson properly by wiping a tissue over the mudguards and petrol tank and bringing it back to show him. She returned with a black smudge on the tissue. Hubbard was incensed. 'You go and assign Arthur liability,' he roared at Doreen, 'he's not doing his duty.'

Doreen was relieved that Arthur didn't seem to be too worried by his father's reaction, or by the need to tie a grey rag round his arm, but it was not the end of the matter. Mary Sue, who was fiercely protective of her children, felt it was Doreen's fault that Arthur had been assigned liability. Later that afternoon, she grabbed her by the arm and starting shaking her. 'You little fiend,' she hissed, sinking her nails into the girl's arm, 'you're destroying my family.'

The messengers were nothing if not loyal to each other. While Doreen was still sobbing, one of them ran to tell the Commodore what had happened. As Doreen got back to her post outside Hubbard's office, she saw Mary Sue going in and heard him roar, 'Close the fucking door!' Through the engraved glass, she could see Mary Sue's silhouette standing to attention in front of the desk while the Commodore ranted. Doreen could not make out everything he said, but she distinctly heard him bellow at the top of his lungs, 'Nobody manhandles my messengers, is that clear?' Mary Sue mumbled her agreement. 'Yes what?' he bellowed. 'Yes sir!' she replied smartly.

Outside, the messengers were trying hard not to put their ears to the keyhole, but they heard enough to be thrilled.

A few months later, Diana upset her father in some way. Hubbard reeled off a long reprimand to the messenger on duty, adding at the end of it: 'OK, go and spit in Diana's face.' The messenger was a little dark-eyed girl called Jill Goodman, thirteen years old. She ran along the deck to Diana's office, burst in, spat in her face with unerring accuracy and began shouting her message as Diana let out a scream of fury. Mary Sue, who was in an adjoining office, burst in as her daughter was wiping the spittle from her face. She grabbed Jill round the throat as if she was going to strangle her and also began screeching. Jill started crying and when Mary Sue let her go, she immediately rushed off to tell the Commodore. Another acrimonious husband and wife row followed, which ended with Mary Sue throwing her shoes at the luckless messenger Hubbard despatched to chastise her further.

The Commodore was soon embroiled in another domestic drama of a different, and totally unexpected, nature. He received word from Los Angeles that his daughter Alexis was trying to make contact with him. Now twenty-one years old, Alexis lived with her mother and stepfather, Miles Hollister, on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Although her mother rarely spoke about her father - Sara was still frightened of her first husband and looked back on her divorce as a lucky escape from his clutches - Alexis had read enough about L. Ron Hubbard to begin to think of him as a rather romantic figure and she was naturally curious to meet him. In 1970, on a visit to England, she called at Saint Hill Manor in the hope of seeing him and was disappointed to discover he was not there. A year later, while she was home from college for the summer vacation, she wrote to him care of the Church of Scientology in Los Angeles.

Hubbard acted swiftly when he heard about Alexis' inquiries. He scribbled a note to her and dispatched detailed instructions to Jane Kember who was running the Guardian's Office at Saint Hill, about how the matter was to be handled. The messengers had got into the habit of standing beside the Commodore when he was writing at this desk and whipping away each sheet of paper as he reached the bottom of the page. Doreen Smith was on duty when the Commodore was writing to Alexis and she was shocked by what she was surreptitiously reading as his hand flew over the page. He ended his instructions to Kember with a little homily, 'Decency is not a subject well understood.'

When Alexis returned to college in the United States she learned that there was a man staying in the local motel who had been asking to see her. She invited him to her dorm, where he introduced himself as L. Ron Hubbard's agent and said he had a statement to read to her. While Alexis sat stunned, the man read out a statement in which Hubbard categorically denied he was her father: 'Your mother was with me as a secretary in Savannah in late 1948 . . . In July 1949 I was in Elizabeth, New Jersey, writing a movie. She turned up destitute and pregnant.' Hubbard implied that Alexis's father was Jack Parsons, but out of the kindness of his heart he had taken her mother in to see her through 'her trouble'. Later he said he came up from Palm Springs, California, where he was living, and found Alexis abandoned; she was just a toddler, a 'cute little thing', and so he had taken her along on his wanderings for a couple of years.

Hubbard told Alexis that her mother had been a Nazi spy during the Second World War and suggested that the divorce action was a spurious ploy on her part to win control of Scientology - 'They [Sara and Miles Hollister] obtained considerable newspaper publicity, none of it true, and employed the highest priced divorce attorney in the US to sue me for divorce and get the foundation in Los Angeles in settlement. This proved a puzzle since where there is no legal marriage, there can't be any divorce.'

When the agent had finished reading, he asked Alexis if she had any questions. She asked in a small voice if she could sec the statement. He refused. Mustering what composure she could, she said that what she had heard was self-explanatory and asked him to leave. Alexis made no further attempts to see her father.[11]

 

At around this time, another young woman began causing problems for the Commodore. Susan Meister, a twenty-three-year-old from Colorado, had joined the crew of the Apollo in February 1971, having been introduced to Scientology by friends while she was working in San Francisco. When she arrived on the ship she was a typically eager and optimistic convert and wrote home frequently, urging her family to 'get into' Scientology. 'I just had an auditing session,' she wrote on 5 May. 'I feel great, great, great and my life is expanding, expanding and it's all Scientology. Hurry up! Hurry, hurry. Be a friend to yourselves - get into this stuff now. It's more precious than gold, it's the best thing that's ever ever ever ever come along. Love, Susan.'

By the time of her next letter, on 15 June, the Commodore's conspiracy theories had clearly made an impression. 'I can't tell you exactly where we are. We have enemies who . . . do not wish to see us succeed in restoring freedom and self-determination to this planet's people. If these people were to find out where we were located they would attempt to destroy us . . .'

Ten days later, when the Apollo was docked in the Moroccan port of Safi, Susan Meister locked herself in a cabin, put a .22 target revolver to her forehead and pulled the trigger. She was found at 7.35 pm lying across a bunk, wearing the dress her mother had sent her for her birthday, with her arms crossed and the revolver on her chest. A suicide note was on the floor.

Local police were called, but the death of an American citizen inevitably alerted US consular officials and exposed the Apollo to the kind of attention that Hubbard had been trying to avoid for years. Following the Commodore's oft-repeated doctrine, the Sea Org went on to the attack. Susan Meister, who had seemed a rather quiet and reserved young woman to her friends, was portrayed as an unstable former drug addict who had made previous attempts at suicide; Peter Warren, the Apollo's port Captain, hinted that compromising photographs of her had been found.

These smear tactics were soon extended to embrace William Galbraith, the US vice-consul in Casablanca, who had driven to Safi to make inquiries into the incident. On 13 July, he had lunch with Warren and Joni Chiriasi, another member of the crew, at the Sidi Bouzid restaurant in Safi before being taken to look round the ship. Afterwards, Warren and Chiriasi both signed affidavits accusing Galbraith of threatening the ship - 'He said that if the ship became an embarrassment to the United States, Nixon would order the CIA to sink or sabotage it.' Galbraith also allegedly referred to the Church of Scientology as a 'bunch of kooks' and speculated that the ship was being used as a brothel or a casino or for drug-trafficking.

Next day, Norman Starkey, captain of the Apollo, forwarded copies of the affidavits to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington, with a covering letter complaining that Galbraith had threatened 'to murder the vessel's company of 380 men, women and children, many of whom are Americans'. Letters were also sent to John Mitchell, the Attorney General, and to the Secret Service, all with copies to President Nixon, who was yet to be engulfed by Watergate.

A few days later, Susan Meister's father arrived in Casablanca to investigate his daughter's death but found it impossible to make headway with the disinterested Moroccan authorities, who were somewhat more concerned with a recent attempted coup d'état than a lone American making inquiries about his daughter. Meister, who refused to believe that Susan had committed suicide, could not even discover where her body was being kept and in desperation he turned to L. Ron Hubbard for help.

He later wrote a dispiriting account of his visit to the ship, escorted by Peter Warren: 'Passing the guarded gates into the port compound, we had our first look at Hubbard's ship Apollo. It appeared to be old and as we boarded it, the girls manning the deck gave us a hand salute. All were dressed in work-type clothing of civilian origin. Most appeared to be young. Upon boarding, we were shown the stern of the ship, which was used as a reading-room, with several people sitting in chairs reading books. The mention of Susan seemed to meet with disapproval from those on board . . . we were shown where Susan's quarters were in the stern of the ship below decks where it appeared fifty or so people were sleeping on shelf-type bunks. Susan's letter had mentioned she shared a cabin all the way forward with one other person. Next we were shown the cabin next to the pilot house on the bridge where the alleged suicide had taken place . . . We were not allowed to see any more of the ship. I requested an interview with Hubbard as he was then on board. Warren said he would ask. He returned in about half an hour and said Hubbard had declined to see me.'

After his return to America, Meister discovered to his anger and astonishment that his daughter had been buried even before he arrived in Morocco. He arranged to have the body exhumed and returned to the United States, but before the remains of Susan Meister were put to rest, a final dirty trick was played: Meister's local health authority in Colorado received an anonymous letter warning of a cholera epidemic in Morocco that had so far caused two or three hundred deaths. 'It's been brought to my attention,' wrote the poison pen, 'that the daughter of one George Meister died in Morocco, either by accident or cholera, probably the latter.'[12]

 

At the beginning of 1972, Hubbard fell ill, suddenly and inexplicably, with a sickness that defied diagnosis and presented a bewildering range of symptoms. Towards the end of January, the Commodore sent a pathetic note to Jim Dincalci, the ship's medical officer: 'Jim, I don't think I'm going to make it.'

Dincalci, who had been appointed medical officer on the strength of six months' experience as a nurse before joining Scientology, was unsure what to do. He had been deeply shocked when he first arrived on the ship in 1970 to realize that Hubbard became ill just like ordinary mortals, since he clearly remembered reading in the first Dianetics book that it was possible to cure most ailments with the power of the mind. In his first week as medical officer, Hubbard began complaining of feeling unwell and Dincalci was very surprised when a doctor was called. He prescribed a course of pain-killers and antibiotics, but Dincalci naturally did not bother to collect the pills because he was convinced that Ron would not need them.

'I thought', he said, 'that as an operating thetan he would have total control of his body and of any pain. When he discovered I hadn't got him the pain-killers, he flew off the handle and started screaming at me.'[13]

Fearful of making another mistake, Dincalci sought advice about the Commodore's illness from Otto Roos, who was one of the senior 'technical' Scientologists on board. Roos ventured the view that the problem stemmed from some incident in his past which had not been properly audited. The only way to find it would be to comb through all the folders in which Ron's auditing sessions were recorded.

Hubbard gave his approval to this course of action, adding a note to Otto Roos: 'I'm delighted that somebody is finally going to take responsibility for my auditing.' Roos began calling in the folders from Saint Hill and from all the Scientology branches in the United States where Hubbard had been audited. There were hundreds of them, dating back to 1948; Roos calculated they would make a stack eight feet high. He began working through the folders, discovering, to his disquiet, numerous 'discreditable reads' - moments when the E-meter revealed that Hubbard had something to hide.

Towards the end of March, while Roos was still poring over the folders, a messenger arrived at his cabin saying that the Commodore wanted to see all the folders. Roos was dumbfounded: it was an inviolable rule of Scientology that no one, no matter who he was, was allowed to see his own folder. He told the messenger it was out of the question. A few minutes later, the door burst open and two hefty members of the crew barged in, picked up the filing cabinets and staggered out with them.

Two days passed before a messenger told Roos he was wanted by the Commodore. From the moment the Dutchman entered Hubbard's office, it was apparent the Commodore had made a dramatic recovery. Hubbard leapt up from his desk with a roar and struck out at Roos with his fist, following up with a furious kick. He was shouting so wildly that Roos was unable to make out what he was saying apart from that it was something to do with the 'discreditable reads'. Mary Sue was sitting in the office with a long face watching what was going on. When Hubbard had calmed down a little he turned to her and asked her, as his auditor, if he had ever had 'discreditable reads'. Mary Sue's expression did not alter. 'No sir,' she said, 'you never had such reads.'

Roos could see folders scattered across Hubbard's desk, open at the pages where he had noted the 'reads' that Mary Sue denied existed. He said nothing. Hubbard paced the room, fretting that Roos had 'undoubtedly told this all over the ship' and that everyone was talking and laughing about it. In fact, Roos had informed no one, although it did not prevent him from being put under 'cabin arrest'.

After he had been dismissed, Mary Sue kept running down to his cabin with different folders, trying to explain away the 'discreditable reads'. He had been using outdated technology, she said, and 'should have known about it'. Later Diana Hubbard also stopped by, pushed opened Roos's door, screamed, 'I hate you! I hate you!' and stalked off.[14]

The Apollo was docked in Tangier throughout this drama and Mary Sue was busy supervising the decoration and furnishing of a split-level modern house, the Villa Laura, on a hillside in the suburbs of Tangier. The Hubbards planned to move ashore while the ship was put into dry dock for a re-fit and Mary Sue was looking forward to it.

Hubbard was still dreaming of finding a friendly little country where Scientology would be allowed to prosper (not to say take over control) and he had begun casting covetous eyes on Morocco, at whose Atlantic ports he had been calling regularly ever since leaving the Mediterranean. The Moroccan monarchy was going through a period of crisis and Hubbard felt that King Hassan would welcome the help that Scientology could offer in identifying potential traitors within his midst and be suitably grateful thereafter.

Some months previously, the Sea Org had set up a land base in a small huddle of office buildings on the airport road outside Tangier. The erection of a sign on the road announcing, in English, French and Arabic, the arrival of 'Operation and Transport Corporation Limited, International Business Management' immediately attracted the attention of Howard D. Jones, the local American consul general. He became even more interested a few days later when, at a party in Tangier, he met a nervous American girl who admitted working for OTC but would say nothing about it. 'I am here with a Panamanian corporation,' she said, 'but that is all I can tell you.'

Nothing could have been more calculated to prompt the consul to make further inquiries. He soon made the connections between OTC, the 'mystery ship' Apollo and L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, but he discovered very little more, to judge by a frustrated cable he despatched to Washington on 26 April 1972: 'Little is known of the operations of Operation and Transport Company here, and its officers are elusive about what it does. However, we presume that the Scientologists aboard the Apollo and in Tangier do whatever it is that Scientologists do elsewhere.

'There have been rumours in town that Apollo is involved in drug or white slave traffic."


'There have been rumours in town that Apollo is involved in drug or white slave traffic. However, we doubt these reports . . . The stories about white slave traffic undoubtedly stem from the fact that included among the crew of the Apollo are a large number of strikingly beautiful young ladies. However, we are skeptical that a vessel that stands out like a sore thumb, in which considerable interest is bound to be generated, and with a crew numbering in hundreds, would be a reasonable vehicle for smuggling or white slaving.'[15]

The US consul, although he had no way of knowing it, was looking in the wrong direction. Very little was happening on the ship that would have been of interest to Washington, but a great deal was happening ashore. The Operation and Transport Corporation was relentlessly trying to make inroads into Moroccan bureaucracy, undeterred by numerous setbacks. It acquired an inauspicious foothold with a government contract to train post office administrators on the assurance that Scientology techniques would accelerate their training, but the pilot project soon foundered. 'We took half the students,' said Amos Jessup, 'while the other half were trained in the traditional way. We spent a month trying to teach them certain study techniques but they got so anxious that the others were forging ahead learning post office techniques that they walked out.'

Jessup, who spoke French, led OTC's next assault - on the Moroccan army. He and Peter Warren made friends with a colonel in Rabat and demonstrated the E-meter to him. 'He was properly amazed by it,' said Jessup, 'and arranged for us to give a presentation to a general who was said to be a friend of the Minister of Defence and the right hand man of the King. We were taken to this gigantic, luxurious house, where we did a few drills. The general said he was very interested and would get back to us. We waited in a little apartment in Rabat the Sea Org had rented to us, but didn't hear anything so went back to the ship. Shortly afterwards, the general led an unsuccessful coup and committed suicide. We realized then that he wouldn't have passed word about the E-meter to the King.'
Another OTC mission was having more success with the Moroccan secret police and started a training course for senior policemen and intelligence agents, showing them how to use the E-meter to detect political subversives. The Apollo, meanwhile, sailed for Lisbon for her re-fit and Mary Sue and Ron moved into the Villa Laura in Tangier. Hubbard seemed strangely depressed; Doreen Smith reported that he often talked about 'dropping his body', which was Scientology-speak for dying.

Loyal wife that she was, Mary Sue took it upon herself to deal with one of the sources of her husband's troubles - his estranged son, Nibs. After 'blowing the org' in 1959, fortune had not smiled on Nibs. He had drifted from job to job, finding it ever more difficult to support his wife and six children, and as the realization dawned that he would never be allowed back into Scientology, he became an even more prominent critic of his father and his father's 'church'. When the church was locked in litigation with the Internal Revenue Service, Nibs testified on behalf of the IRS.
In September 1972, Mary Sue orchestrated a campaign to 'handle' Nibs, instituting a search through all the Sea Org files and instructing the Guardian's office to do the same. She told an aide that Nibs' 'big button' was money and that it was time to start hunting through the old files to dig up former complaints about him.[16]

The church never revealed what it found out about the Founder's son, but on 7 November Nibs recorded a video-taped interview with a church official retracting his IRS testimony and all allegations he had previously made against father. They were made 'vengefully', he explained, at a time when he was undergoing a great deal of personal and emotional stress: 'What I have been doing is a whole lot of lying, a whole lot of damage to a lot of people that I value highly.
'I happen to love my father, blood is thicker than water, and basically it may sound silly to some people but it means a great deal to me that blood is thicker than water and another thing, as a matter of interest too, would be I made some pretty awful statements about the Sea Org and none of these are true. I've no personal knowledge of any wrong doing or illegal acts or brutality or anything else against people by the Sea Org or any member of the Scientology organization.'

At the Villa Laura in Tangier, Hubbard had little time to reflect on this filial declaration of love. Indeed, it was more likely he was reflecting on the curious inevitability with which his plans were ending in tears. The OTC training course for Moroccan secret policeman was breaking up in disarray under the stress of internecine intrigue between pro-monarchy and anti-monarchy factions and the fear of what the E-meter would reveal. 'It was a crazy set up,' said Jessup, 'you couldn't tell who was on which side.'
It was possible that the Sea Org might have staved to try and unravel this complication, had not word arrived from Paris that the Church of Scientology in France was about to be indicted for fraud. There was a suggestion that French lawyers would be seeking Hubbard's extradition from Morocco to face charges in Paris.
The Commodore decided it was time to go. There was a ferry leaving Tangier for Lisbon in forty-eight hours: Hubbard ordered everyone to be on it, with all the OTC's movable property and every scrap of paper that could not be shredded. For the next two days, convoys of cars, trucks and motor-cycles could be observed, day and night, scurrying back and forth from OTC 'land bases' in Morocco to the port in Tangier.
When the Lisbon-bound ferry sailed from Tangier on 3 December 1972, nothing remained of the Church of Scientology in Morocco. Hubbard left behind only a pile of shredded paper, a flurry of wild rumours and a scattering of befuddled US consular officials.

1. Interview with Urquhart
2. Los Angeles Times, 29 August 1970 
3. The Guardian, 12 February 1980 
4. Guardian Order, 16 December 1969
5. Flag Order no. 1890, 26 March 1969 
6. Affidavit of Gerald Armstrong, 16 March 1986
7. Testimony, Armstrong v. Church of Scientology, 1984
8. Interview with Michael Goldstein, Denver, CO, March 1986
9. Interview with Michael Goldstein, Denver, CO, March 1986
10, Interview with Doreen Gillham, Malibu, CA, August 1986
11. Interview with Eltringham
12. Letter from Sara Hollister; testimony Armstrong v. Church of Scientology, 1984
13. Jon Atack archives
14.  Interview with Jim Dincalci, Berkeley, CA, August 1986
15.  The O.J. Roos Story, 7 September 1984
16. Los Angeles Times, 29 August 1978
17. Letter from Mary Sue Hubbard to Jane Kember, 2 September 1972

Hubbard as genial family man. From the left Suzette (4), his wife Mary Sue, Quentin (5), Arthur (1) and Diana (7). All were to suffer in various ways

Dr L Ron Hubbard, the 'nuclear scientist', on the steps of Saint Hill, the Georgian manor house he bought out of the proceeds of Dianetics.