L. Ron Hubbard
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Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (1911-1986), commonly shortened to L. Ron Hubbard, was a science-fiction writer and drug fiend who engaged in the ultimate experiment: to create a religion founded on utter bullshit, yet endowed with the sociological and psychological components that "make religions work". To that end he wrote Dianetics, proving to all the world just how mediocre a writer he was, and yet how gullible some people are. His enduring legacy is that his "joke religion", called Scientology (or, more respect-generatingly, "the Church of Scientology"), to this day actually has new adherents. He is also responsible for launching mental-illness denial to greater popularity.
When L. Ron Hubbard first formed Scientology's "Sea Org", they spent 8 years sailing around the Mediterranean. The crew thought they were on a grand adventure to discover ancient secrets about humanity's past and to train foreign governments on techniques for uncovering enemy agents. In reality they were Hubbard's unpaid crew in his scheme to live at sea and avoid the authorities.
L. Ron was also the author of a notorious work of junk pseudoscience, All About Radiation. It was so bad that he left his name off the first edition and credited it to "a nuclear physicist and a medical doctor". L. Ron Hubbard was neither, of course.
According to the Co$ L. Ron was probably the single greatest human ever. As a child he became a full "blood brother" with the Pikuni Indian tribe (part of the Blackfoot nation) and was best friends with Calvin Coolidge Jr. (son of the President). While in Montana he managed to become an Eagle Scout by the age of 10 (the BSA has since ceased issuing the "bullshit" merit badge). In his teens he went on a mystic journey to Asia where he met all kinds of spiritual gurus who knew that he was something special. When he got back home it was time to go to college where he enrolled in "Columbian" University (which is an old name for George Washington University). While there he shot right to the top of his class, took courses in nuclear physics, and even graduated early. For the next ten or so years Ron worked as a freelance writer but then World War II broke out. He joined the US Navy and was commissioned as a Lieutenant Junior Grade. He fought and was heroic in nearly every major engagement in the Atlantic and Pacific (simultaneously) and won 21 medals (take that, Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz!). Once the war ended he returned to civilian life where he became involved with some of the more esoteric branches of religion. But this gave him crucial insights into Dianetics, and by the 1950s a full-fledged religion had been established.
If you read the above section and thought that L. Ron Hubbard was pretty amazing, you might want to take this free personality test I have... I mean, you should keep reading. (If you thought it sounded more like an official biography of Dear Leader, you're closer to the mark.) Hubbard was a bald-faced liar, period. Few Native American tribes practiced "blood brotherhood", and it's pretty much impossible to earn 21 merit badges before age 10.[note 1] He did go to GWU, but he actually had a GPA equivalent to a D. When he joined the Navy (reserves) they initially gave him a desk job until he annoyed enough of his superiors to transfer him to a sub chaser in San Diego where he engaged a magnetic anomaly and the South Coronado islands in combat. Unfortunately, those islands were in Mexican waters. This naturally resulted in an angry Mexican government and a court martial for Ron. After his stint in the Navy he founded his cult and the rest is history.
Garbage in garbage out
Hubbard had a lot of weird and wild pseudoscientific influences, most of which he probably didn't want anybody to know about because he wanted people to think that it came whole cloth from himself:
…and some godawful influences:
His style is gibbering, hypercasual, excessively perky, and just generally grating. Then again, this might be expected of a man who was said to buy his typing paper by the roll.
It is doubtful whether some of the books attributed to Hubbard by the CoS were actually written by him; for example, it is speculated that the later books of the Mission Earth series were in fact ghostwritten. Some "Hubbard" books, such as the infamous Philadelphia "Doctorate" Course materials, are simply pieced together from transcripts of audio recordings of Hubbard's rants. Of course, they are all readily available from reputable Scientology vendors for a very nominal price. For a mere $1150, one can learn from "the largest single body of work on the anatomy, behavior and potentials of the spirit of Man ever assembled".
Science fiction by Hubbard
- The Adventures of Xenu
- Battlefield Earth: Also made into a movie starring prominent Scientologist John Travolta, who financed the film after failing to find a studio that would finance a movie based on Hubbard's writings. It failed with critics and audiences alike and won 9 Golden Raspberry Awards, including Worst Picture of the Decade. It has since become a cult (pun intended) classic for being "so bad it's good".
- Fun:Starting a new religion
- Ronald DeWolf (Hubbard's eldest son)
- Tom Cruise
- Thomas Szasz
- Jack Parsons
- Orson Scott Card, another science fiction author gone wrong (although nowhere near as bad)
- Elrond the half-elf of Rivendell
- Elbert Hubbard, writer and philosopher
- Full biography of L. Ron
- Ron's biography on Rotten.com
- "L. Ron Hubbard's 5 Most Impressive Lies (Besides Scientology)" on Cracked.com
- One can't even join the Boy Scouts until age eleven.
- In a letter to his first wife: "...I do love you, even if I used to be an opium addict." In a letter to his third wife: "I’m drinking lots of rum and popping pinks and greys..." See the Wikipedia article on L. Ron Hubbard.
- See the Wikipedia article on Chester Nimitz.
- http://www.clambake.org/archive/books/bfm/bfmconte.htm What would we do without you Operation Clambake?