Was Hubbard a prophet, trying to make a million?

# Comment by hostile on February 16, 2008 8:34 pm

why did Hubbard actually decide that HE knew about the secrets of the universe? what made him so special? He went from being an author to being a “prophet” as soon as he decided he wasn’t making enough money. he once said “if a man really wants to make a million dollars, he doesn’t write for a penny a word, he invents a religion” so why was hubbard so special? wouldn’t he have the exact same images and ideas fed to him by the “lies” from ages past?


– why did Hubbard actually decide that HE knew about the secrets of the universe? what made him so special?

I don’t know that he decided this. Actually he published his whole research and findings all along the way in books and through lectures and is very open about what he did when and why. It requires to study Scientology texts to see that though. He was not a guru or prophet and is not seen as one by any Scientologist. As for being an author, the last science-fiction book he wrote in 1980 (he died in 1986) and he kept on writing and making money through his books. Donations to Churches of Scientology did not go to him and when he died he turned over all his possessions to the church. I have no doubt that he had a lot of money but that usually happens if you are a bestseller author.

– he once said “if a man really wants to make a million dollars, he doesn’t write for a penny a word, he invents a religion” so why was hubbard so special?

I know that one. Hubbard was supposed to have said that at a meeting of science-fiction authors in 1943. He did not even talk about religion at that meeting. In 1982 the Munich County Court prohibited a publishing house to make this statement. Apart from that two people who were at that meeting in 1943 with Hubbard swore in a court declaration that he never even talked about founding religion (Jay Kay Klein and David K. Kyle) there. Actually it was George Orwell – alias Eric Blair – who said that and he later wrote in one of his books about it (“An age like this – 1920-1940”): “But I have always thought there might be a lot of cash in starting a religion”. The documentation about this is on the website.

Personally, I don’t give much of it. His actions count and he was special because he researched and put together a system which helps everyone who wants to use it. He worked damn hard for at least 40 years of his life to make this happen. And if this drove up his book sales for science-fiction books (he did not make money out of the other actions) it was well deserved.

– Lu


  1. @Comment by boylep on February 22, 2008 10:06 am

    Thanks for the hint on the “ASK” button! I have not figured out how to implement it but I sure will. On Hubbard and his Navy career: There are indeed two versions of it. Actually there are two stacks of documents gained through FOIA inspections in the 1970s, both giving seemingly contrary pictures of Hubbard’s time in the Navy. Hubbard for sure was injured during his time in the Navy as his medical papers of this time prove (lining out not only ulcer, which is hardly an “injury” but rather a stress symptom, but injuries in the eyes and the back). Also for sure he was commanding a Navy ship and navigator of another as well as in some way involved with Navy intelligence. Undoubtedly Hubbard had military and intelligence experience during WWII.

    Now, debates about his wartime decorations and guesses of many others – decades after the war – make it hard to find the full truth. There has been intelligence specialists being interviewed on the subject, indicating that having several personal files for one officer indicates intelligence deployment and the attempt to block prying (enemy) eyes during war time. Also there have been other military specialists guessing and debating in the absence of hard facts. Subjectively I would say, we won’t find out from what is there right now. And for me is much more important what Hubbard did AFTER the war, especially his work on Dianetics and Scientology, which is about saving lives and not about learning how to end them.

    – Lu

  2. Forgive me if this is in the wrong place but I can’t find a “submit question” button anywhere and the FAQ section didn’t say where to ask questions so I guess I’ll do so here.

    My question is that I’ve heard that L.Ron Hubbard’s Navy career, as published on numerous websites owned and operated by the Church of Scientology International, is falsified. Is this true? I’ve seen documents released under the Freedom of Information Act which cite that Hubbard received only 5 medals, which conflict with several alleged accounts from Church sources (albeit I’ve only seen them posted on critic’s sites) who say he earned upwards of 29. I’ve searched through a few of the many websites owned by the Church of Scientology International but I can’t seem to find anything other than vague references to his valor except on “WhatIsScientology.org” (http://www.whatisscientology.org/To/Part01/Chp03/pg0118.html).

    The story on the above site claims that Hubbard “saw action” in both the Atlantic and Pacific, but his records (Easily findable on numerous critics’ sites. Too many links to list.) make it clear he did not see battle anywhere, and his only “injuries” were not being blinded or crippled, but by an ulcer. Again, is this true or false? I’ve seen documentation that back up critics’ claims, but no evidence supplied to support WhatIsScientology’s claims.

  3. They are quite. There’s a bibliography at the end of that article that I haven’t looked into myself, but I might be able to find something in the city library to verify the quotes if they’re not available online.

    Again, I apologize for the spam (‘copypasta’, they call it). I’ll keep that in mind in future.

  4. Ok, I’ll let that slip, because these are interesting assumptions.

    The point I was making is that I don’t want this place filled up with copy and paste from other websites. If you got a link, fine, put it in and I and everyone else interested can go there and look. It’s just a bit too much to read through two pages of text just to find out that you did not post anything, except copies of other websites. Please don’t, thanks.

    – Lu

  5. [Ah, sorry, Lu. It seems I forgot to put the spacing between the URL and the colon at the end, so the link led to nowhere instead. Sorry if it seemed like a spam thing.

    Here’s the correct link: http://everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1276839 ]

    “Mr. (Bill Patterson of the Heinlein Society) revealed to me, “RAH and LRH had one or more discussions during 1944 and or 1945 when they were both in Philadelphia, and RAH pointed out to LRH that religions had an inordinate amount of legal latitude in the U.S. and that churches could engage in a great many activities otherwise thought of as secular, under the tax and other protection churches enjoy. He had already explored these ideas in some of his stories and was to revisit these notions in their original form in Stranger. It is possible that this conversation or series of conversations took place as late as December 1945 or early 1946 and in Los Angeles.”

    The theme of money and religion was apparently a very popular one for Hubbard as he seems to have mentioned it at several other informal discussions around the same time. In a 1978 interview Harlan Ellison commented “Scientology is bullshit! Man, I was there the night L. Ron Hubbard invented it, for Christ Sakes!…We were sitting around one night… who else was there? Alfred Bester, and Cyril Kornbluth, and Lester Del Rey, and Ron Hubbard, who was making a penny a word, and had been for years. And he said “This bullshit’s got to stop!” He says, “I gotta get money.” He says, “I want to get rich”.”
    [so far he does not talk about religion, or did I miss it? – Lu]

    Editor and Author Sam Moskovitz claimed a number of times that Hubbard had made similar remarks at a convention he hosted in Newark in either 1947 or 1948. Another respected SciFi author, Theodore Sturgeon, revealed to Mike Jittlov, himself a respected filmmaker, an incident in the 1940’s when Hubbard had become upset and said, “Y’know, we’re all wasting our time writing this hack science fiction! You wanta make real money, you gotta start a religion!” Lloyd Arthur Eshback related in his autobiography, an incident in either 1948 or 49, “I think of the time while in New York I took John W. Campbell, Marty Greenberg, and L. Ron Hubbard to lunch…The incident is stamped indelibly in my mind because of one statement that Ron Hubbard made. What led him to say what he did I can’t recall–but in so many words Hubbard said: “I’d like to start a religion. That’s where the money is!”.”
    [That is gossip, note the “I think” etc. I trust affidavits more, see scientologymyths.info – Lu]

    Several of these claims have been refuted, but others have not.”

  6. From http://everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1276839: [Statement deleted. Tim, this is no message board and I do not appreciate to be filled up with trash. – Lu]

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