Judge found Hubbard lied about achievements
Boston Herald/March 1, 1998
Church of Scientology's late founder, Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, left
behind a $ 640 million fortune, and an estimated 25 million words in
and lectures that form the spiritual core of his controversial
But some of those words are a legacy of exaggerations,
outright lies, according to Hubbard's son, court records
"The organization clearly is schizophrenic and
paranoid, and this
bizarre combination seems to be reflective of its
founder LRH," wrote
California Superior Court Judge Paul
Breckenridge during a top Scientology
defector's court suit against the
"The evidence portrays a man who has been virtually
liar when it comes to his history, background and
Breckenridge, who ruled for defector Gerry
Armstrong in the 1984 case.
Some claims by L. Ron Hubbard are
hard to refute, like his ideas about
past lives. He said he was the
reincarnation of Buddha, and of British adventurer
Cecil Rhodes, the
founder of the former Rhodesia.
Other assertions are
Hubbard - who died in 1986 - claimed to be a nuclear
physicist who traveled
into outer space without his body to explore the
Earth's Van Allen radiation
belt. But his two-year stay at George
Washington University in 1931-32 shows
that he flunked his only course in
One of Hubbard's key declarations - that by
mental powers alone he healed
combat wounds he received as a World War II
Navy hero - formed the basis
of Scientology in the 1950s.
recovering from war injuries, he "developed techniques which
possible not only his own recovery from injury, but helped other
to regain their health," the Church of Scientology claims
in a 1992
edition of Hubbard's book "Dianetics: The Modern Science
As a Navy lieutenant, Hubbard commanded
at least three ships during the
war, including one in the Atlantic - a
converted fishing boat, the YP-422,
refitted during several months in
1942-43 at the Boston Navy Yard, Navy
Scientology biographies it was claimed that Hubbard fought German
submarines in the Atlantic. And as recently as January, the Church of
official Internet site said Hubbard "saw action"
in the North
Atlantic during the war.
But, in an interview with
the Herald, a sailor who served on Hubbard's
ship contradicted that
"The YP-422 never saw combat," said former Navy
LaMere, 78, an upstate New York native who now lives in
The YP-422 was refitted as a freighter armed with only
a 3-inch gun and
two .30-caliber machine guns, said LaMere, the first
former crewman with
direct knowledge of the ship's activities to publicly
claim to have seen combat as commander of the
And Hubbard's claim of combat, or war wounds, is
definitively ruled out
by Navy records, according to published reports in
Time and Forbes magazines,
the Los Angeles Times, the St. Petersburg
(Fla.) Times, and books by critics
and defectors Jon Atack, Russell
Miller and Bent Corydon.
Hubbard was relieved of his command of
the YP-422 soon after it set out
from the Neponset River on a 27-hour
shakedown voyage in September 1942,
the reports say.
L.R. Hubbard . . . is not temperamentally fitted for independent
command. It is therefore urgently requested that he be detached," the
commandant of the Boston Navy Yard wrote in October 1942 to the vice
of naval operations, the reports said.
According to a court
affidavit written by his son, L. Ron Hubbard Jr.,
the elder Hubbard was
"relieved of (military) duty on several occasions,"
once in the Pacific in 1944 when he "apparently concealed
bomb on board the USS Algol in order to avoid combat."
affidavit - obtained by the Herald - is on file in U.S. District
Boston in connection with a 1991 suit filed by Scientology against
U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI's Boston office. The church had
sued under the Freedom of Information Act to gain access to government
And there were other incidents that marred Hubbard's
Navy career. He
once ordered a depth-charge "battle" against
submarines off the Oregon coast, and he illegally
fired on Mexican territory,
according to published reports.
admiral wrote in 1943 that Hubbard was "lacking in the essential
qualities of judgment, leadership and cooperation," and the U.S.
attache to Australia wrote in 1942, "He is garrulous and tries
impressions of his importance," the reports said.
The court affidavit by Hubbard's son also describes some of his
Hubbard practiced Satanic sexual
rituals in the late 1940s in southern
California, and suffered from
paranoid schizophrenia, the son said.
venereal disease and impotency, wife beating, bizarre
occult practices, forgery, writing bad checks, and miscellaneous
fraudulent activities including bigamy" preoccupied Hubbard after
Navy discharge, said Hubbard's oldest child - by the first of
three wives - who was trying to gain control of his father's
During the late 1940s, while Hubbard struggled to make a
living as a
writer, he told a group of science fiction writers of his
plans to get rich,
Pennsylvania writer Lloyd Eshbach wrote in his book
"Over My Shoulder."
"I'd like to start a religion.
That's where the money is,"
Hubbard said in 1948, according to
Born in Nebraska in 1911 to a career Navy officer,
Hubbard was described
by friends as quick-witted, with great personal
charisma and a gift for
writing pulp science fiction.
He had a
lifelong affinity for the nautical life and within Scientology
his own paramilitary version of the Navy, wearing a white uniform
ribbons and gold braid, and appointing himself commodore over thousands
By the summer of 1962, Hubbard felt confident enough
to urgently request
a meeting with President Kennedy, to discuss
"his study known as 'Scientology'
which he feels vital in space
race," according to a White House memo
on file at the John F.
Kennedy Library in Dorchester.
"Such an office as yours
receives a flood of letters from fakes,
crackpots and would-be
wonderworkers. This is not such a letter," Hubbard
wrote to Kennedy.
He offered to counsel U.S. astronauts for $ 25 an hour,
saying he could
increase their IQs and stamina.
Hubbard did not get the warm
welcome he hoped for from Kennedy.
Apparently believing that
Hubbard might pose a security threat to the
president, a White House aide
wrote a January 1963 memo saying, "Final
referred to the protective research section"
of the U.S. Secret
Service, said Maura Porter a Kennedy Library staff member.
Kennedy later sent an indirect answer, Hubbard believed, when the Food
and Drug Administration raided the Church of Scientology in Washington,
D.C., and seized all its "E-Meters" - a device like a lie
used by church counselors.
By Joseph Mallia
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