L. Ron Hubbard for Real: Personal Stories

L. Ron Hubbard for Real: Some Personal Stories:

A lot has been written lately honoring L. Ron Hubbard and his birth 100 years ago.  What I read was a romanticized version of the man.  The posts, poems, and odes did not encapsulate reality.  It is easy to love and respect a man that you feel that has done a lot for you or conversely to feel bitter and hate a man who you feel has betrayed, harmed and hurt you.  It is confusing however, if someone has done both.  This post is not about that.  Nor is it a debate on whether Scientology works because of who LRH was or wasn’t.  It is simply a few stories for you to get a sense of what it was actually like to be around him.

Beethoven wrote beautiful timeless music, but by all reports was a vile man.  Hubbard wrote a certain kind of music too, but what was he really like?  Was he a savior, a genius, or a greedy schemer; was he a good or a bad man?  You have to decide who the man was for yourself.  To answer that will take a lot of personal research and study on your part.  All I have provided here is a few snapshots or glimpses of what it was like to be around him in person.  These are true stories and shed an authentic light.  Hubbard, the man, was very complex; he was charismatic, beguiling, smart, funny, very talented, angry, vengeful, mystical, and mysterious.  He was a lot different than what is printed by Scientology and also what was recently published by independent Scientology blog writers who didn’t know him personally.

Some of my readers asked me to write down remembrances of L. Ron Hubbard.  I didn’t want to be the lone contributor, so I surveyed some of my ex-shipmates from the Apollo for stories.  I told them to write anything about him; good, bad, or ugly.  Only one of them wrote something.  I think that their silence is the first story here and a very important one at that.  Most of the people I wrote to left in the1980’s and perhaps they simply want it all to be behind them.  Some others may have other reasons for them not wanting to share.  However, they contributed on other surveys for other posts, but for this one did not write back.  I found the silence a compelling story, and story number one.

These are true accounts without evaluation from some of my personal meetings and interactions with L. Ron Hubbard that show a glimpse of whom he was:

In 1971 I was new to the Apollo and ran up to the bridge while we were in a small storm at sea.  LRH was screaming at someone about a foot from his face.  He saw me and kept on screaming at the guy, but suddenly through no volition of my own, my body turned around in another direction to face a crew member who escorted me off the bridge.

In 1974 I was on A-deck just outside his office looking at a big atlas.  I was helping a student locate mountains for his course.  LRH came out of his office dressed regally in navy blues.  He walked up and asked mirthfully, “What you doin’?”  I told him that we were looking up mountains, but we couldn’t find San Gorgonio.  He said, “Look by San Berdo (i.e. San Bernardino, Ca)…,” big laugh.  I looked at the map, “Oh yeh, you’re right, there it is! “ I said.  He said, “Glad I could be of service….See you around Glenn,” another big laugh.

A few months later I was alone in the auditor admin room writing up a session very late at night.  I heard this roar in the ‘tween-decks, he was screaming and cursing at the top of his lungs at the Director of Promotion for spending 15 cents more for each poster than the last time.  He was yelling so loudly that the pre-fab walls of the auditor admin room seemed to be bending.

A couple of moments later I saw a messenger poke her head into the room.  I got up and went to the door; LRH was there beaming and resplendently dressed in full Hollywood director gear; black beret, cape, long black boots, and a long cigarette holder.   “Hey Glenn, how’s the internship going?” calm as you please with a big Cheshire cat smile.  We had a little chat about the internship; how I was doing, how many others were on it, and so on.  Then he went on his way humming a tune from the 1940s.

Later that year I found out that my wife (at the time) had an affair.  She wasn’t crew, she lived in LA.  I got approved to leave the ship and go home to straighten out my marriage.  Around the same time as I got my OK to leave I got posted as Tech Sec by LRH.  I told one of his messengers I had to go home to straighten out my marriage and please ask LRH to let me do this.  A series of message runs occurred resulting in the final message from LRH, “Since you have so many hassles you can go to the RPF!”  I didn’t go home, but did the RPF instead.  The marriage eventually broke up.

I was cleaning the deck just outside his office in the early morning.  He was screaming at his new steward, tugging at the collar of his white naval shirt, “You say you washed this five times!  You don’t even know how to wash a f…..g shirt!  Get out, get out!!”  She left crying.  The next day she was in the RPF.  She was sent about a week after the previous steward was put in the RPF for serving some food he didn’t like.

A few months later the Apollo was attacked by radical Portuguese Communists.  (We later called the incident “the rock festival.”)  They threw crew motorcycles that were parked on the dock in the water and pummeled the ship and crew with rocks.  LRH was up on A-deck with a foghorn shouting at the attackers,”Communista Criminales, Criminales Communista!!”  He then calmly directed us to throw off the lines and we drifted away from the dock.  A tugboat took us to safety and we dropped anchor out of harm’s way.  Some of the deckies and other crew were hit in the head with rocks.  There was a lot of bleeding and injury for those who freed the ship lines and those who tried to protect the ship.  First-aid was given, then auditors began giving assists on the spot.  LRH made sure we were OK and gave blankets and pillows to ensure comfort for those getting assists on the deck.  He calmly and successfully directed the whole affair to safety.

A couple of days later we left Portugal and began a trans-Atlantic crossing.  LRH wanted the ship to look perfect when we arrived at our first port in America.  I was in charge of painting the smokestack.  It wasn’t an easy task considering we were at sea.  Luckily, the seas were very calm.  We managed to balance even though we were as high up as thirty feet high on scaffolding.  It was late, the sun was going down, but I wanted to finish because the next morning we were arriving at our first port.  I was working alone and squinting to apply the paint as darkness fell.  All of a sudden there was light.  I looked down and saw LRH smiling at me.  He had ordered a light be brought out for me to work.  I waved thanks and he smiled and waved back and went on his way.

In 1975 I was a model on a photo shoot he shot for a Flag brochure.  My part as an auditor was to walk up and gesture for the pc to come with me.  My arm motion and her getting up from the lobby chair were supposed to be simultaneous.  I walk up to my mark, the camera clicks, “You’re a tenth of a second too slow.”  I look at him quizzically, but no answer was forthcoming on the secret of how to add a tenth of a second to my gait.  I walked back to my starting point; hit my mark, same thing.  “He’s a tenth of a second too slow!”  Third exposure, same result, but now he’s getting ticked off.  “You are STILL a TENTH of a SECOND TOOOO SLOW!!”  He’s angry, not good, I had to get bright.  “Sir, how about if I stand on my mark and just pretend that I walked up?” I said.  He says, “How you going to do that?!”  I show him my pretend walk up move.  He roars with laughter,”OK, OK you win!”  I stand on my mark and do my pretend walk up and arm gesture, the pc gets up, click.  “Got it!”  He winks at me, “Clever, clever guy….”

In 1975 a 12 year old boy had a crush on a girl his age, but she liked the 13 year old flute player in the Apollo Stars Band.  The unrequited young boy stole the flute player’s gold plated flute that LRH had bought and threw it overboard.  LRH found out about it.  I was the CS for crew at the time and saw the orders.  LRH sent the young boy to the chain locker.  A chain locker is dark, poorly ventilated, grimy and toxic place where fouling organisms grow.  (http://groups.ucanr.org/Ballast_Outreach/NonBallast_Vessel_Vectors/Anchor_Systems_(anchor,_chain,_locker.htm)   It is worse than a prison and no place for a little boy.  After the first night he cried and begged for forgiveness and wanted to get out.  LRH sent him a message, “You got yourself in there; you get yourself out!”   After a few days he petitioned and was let out.  He was sent home after the incident.

Later that year LRH sent me a folder.  His comment was that his personal artist was not doing his job, but helping everyone else instead.  He ordered post purpose clearing.  I did the session, at the end the artist says as if on cue, “You know I realize I have been helping everyone else and not taking care of my own post!”   I was impressed with LRH’s insight.  I sent him the folder; he was very pleased and wrote in the orders of the day, “Tech is in the FSO.”

In 1976 LRH case supervised me.  He had given an assist to one of his aides then wrote a program.  She had a win on running an engram in the session with him.  I finished the assist to good result, but then the program required a Dianetic CS 1 (clearing all the basic terms).  She protested that heavily as she grew up in Scientology and had been audited since she was a child.  The next step was to run Dianetics which she flatly refused.  She was an old OT 6.  LRH wrote in the folder, “File and forget it.”  I ended up being retreaded, taken off post to wash dishes, and was blamed for the failure.  A couple of years later LRH wrote me that it wasn’t my fault, he apologized saying that she was a clear being run on Dianetics.

From Bill Franks, former ED Int, and Class 9, original FEBC course:

….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 (director of training) and Mayo was Flag Senior case supervisor, 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 (confessionals) 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 (misunderstood words), etc. 

We waited and waited and about 0300 hrs a messenger came down with a dispatch written by LRH.  My memory does not recall any folders being returned.  The dispatch 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 (Scientology).’

He then wrote, ‘a person does not blow due Overts or Withholds.  He blows only due to ARC BKs (upsets)’.

‘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 (overts, transgressions and withholds).  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 (mind control).

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.  I attest this is true and accurate”

If each and every one of you reviews your reasons for leaving Scientology, I am sure that what Bill wrote will resonate with you.  I am positive that none of you had some screaming overt, withhold, crime or misunderstood word.  You left because someone upset you or you were upset by not getting what you were promised after spending hundreds or thousands of dollars or the equivalent amount in labor.  I left in 1982 due to human rights violations.  I personally saw fine sea org members thrown out on the street after years of dedicated service with no money and nowhere to go.  There was not an iota of hope to use the flawed justice system.   They were just wasted.

It was simple; I was upset, so I left.  I am sure the same happened to you.

These are just a few stories, but show a much truer picture of what it was like to be around L. Ron Hubbard.  Was there genius at work and did some incredible things happen?  Yes.  Was there cruelty, hypocrisy and abuse?  Also yes.  Was he someone easy to figure out?  No.

He could be one moment screaming abuses at someone and the next, serene and happy.  He could do unfair and cruel things¸ then come back and make it up with a warm gesture and an act of kindness.

He often told us, “Do as I say, not as I do.”


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    Explains a lot. Thank you for the viewpoint. I observed a couple of similar scenes when I was on the Apollo for a short time.

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    That final comment ought to be Hubbard’s epithet.

    “L. Ron Hubbard: Do As I Say, Not As I Do.”

    That Scientology won’t define and include a simple transparent definition of the “upper levels” into the overall definition of Scientology, I’ve concluded, is actually an example of Hubbard misapplying his own rule about “answering people’s questions” and it violates his other rule about defining words and concepts to people carefully.

    The Scientology “What Is Scientology” website and book, doesn’t include any mention of the “upper levels” exorcism practices of OT 3, NOTs and Solo NOTs.

    Not only was LRH a hypocrite, but he also left the movement with rules they must follow, which by following they violate fundamental principles (word clearing tech namely), and the example of NOT defining the “upper levels” openly, is a prime example.

    Scientologists are put in some major Catch 22 positions, because they are NOT allowed to explain to the general public the theory of the “upper levels” and the “upper levels” are critical to understanding a major chunk of what Scientology is!!

    Ask a Scientologist “What are body thetans?” and watch their eyes go blank, or watch them dodge and not answer the question.

    LRH has enforced “omitted definitions” and “no definitions” on the rank and file “lower level” Scientologists, by the fact that LRH failed to make some of the key principles (“body thetans”) broadly understood by all Scientologists, so all Scientologists can even defend and define their spiritual practices.

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      Thank you Chuck. All destructive cults hide their esoteric knowledge until the person becomes a true believer and can be trusted with “sacred knowledge.” Scientology does not even trust their own as they security check even the most loyal every six months at the cost of about $7000 to ensure their secrets are kept.
      The Moonies lead you down a path so that you end up believing a Korean industrialist is Jesus Christ, Scientology leads you down a path where you believe the ruin of man was from 75 million years ago and exorcism is the answer. In either case foundational lies have to be believed along the way in order for the follower to gulp down those statements and belive. And…if you don’t believe in the leader, built in guilt mechanisms are in place to ensure you do and automatic emotional and mental penance is required.

      Those that still blindly venerate L. Ron Hubbard and don’t include him in the mix in evaluating what is wrong with the Church of Scientology miss the point and run false evaluation on their readers. Even Miscavige had the insight to change some things the LRH did and was not afraid to do so. Dare I say that? The devil himself who supposedly caused all the evils dared defie the leader. Although his intentions are evil and he has ruined people and the part of Scientology technology that had some workability, in his own Napoleonic way, he has amassed buildings, a fortune, and made his organization stronger. You have to put LRH in the mix of what was wrong or went wrong with Scientology unlike some Independents who do, not doing that leaves analysis seriously lacking.

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    I left with a huge ARCX, My husband I were taken by guard to RPF. We had a 2 year old son who was left uncared for (we had no other family) We were told we would not see him for 2 weeks, but if that 2 weeks went well, they would perhaps allow us to visit him 2x a week, for one hour including the transport time. Meaning we would get 20 minutes’ 2X a week to see him. We were kept underguard, but still escaped the next day to recover our son….

    Also, re; LRH, My first intoduction to him was when his Senior Admin Officers were sent to Boston, as amends. I heard many stories, I don’t care to mention here. When I got to Flag, Suzette was one of my best friends, and Diana Hubbard, was my boss and mentor. I am privy to many family matters that I can not discuss here. But also LRH said he was a man— I took him at his word — He was a man. I never put him on a pedestal, so when he did things that were out of my realm or right/wrong — he did not lose his place with me;.
    he was a man, with brilliances and faults just like the rest of us. I always felt bad when certain people would be crushed when he did somethinng that took him off that pedestal— what were they doing putting up there!!!!

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    Thanks Glenn for this article. It is a clear view on LRH as human being . It helps a lot to make up one´s own mind also re the tech.

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    This is another refreshing view of LRH sort of a rounded view. It helps to confirm stories related to me by friends who worked directly with him and gave the same sort of story. I guess it is fine to deal in a Disneyland view of him but it is not conducive to reality unless one is trying to continue the deception and manipulate others. I remember working on a GO project at the time of the Gerry Armstrong disclosure. What a whirlwind of evil dead agenting against him that continues to this day along with the garbage that goes on on another blog about David Mayo. Whether the tech works or not, it is a testament to LRH’s ability to corral people on a given purpose. The statement “do as I say not as I do” really applies here. How can you remain with a group with such lying and confusion. The AAC was a refuge from the standard experience at the church until the church broke it. That memory will stay and haunt me forever it seems like. I can never trust anyone who was involved in that. One particular person who sat and took my exam after AA 4&5 (Bob Mithoff) was a “spy” and the church had left a message on my phone before I returned home that night about KSW. What a betrayal of trust. Talk about upsets. The abuse heaped on people who were delivering what the church couldn’t and can’t is so disgusting that they will never ever be reformed.

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      Yes it is odd that as a person goes up in Scn, that they become less and less trusted. Today, for example, the poor upper level students get security checked every months for about $7000 each visit. I undersand about the spies, but they do reap what they sow.

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    Please look up my story on tribute to LRH, I was on the Apolo for the First FEBC.

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    I’ve read numerous, similar stories about LRH and I always wonder at his apparent lack of PR with those close to him (what they would think of him). I guess you could admire him in the sense that he didn’t care that much what all these people thought of him; he just “was himself” at all times. But of course, when you use the ARC Triange, you ARE thinking about how the other person feels and you DO want to improve you comm with them if you are acting in an upper tone level.

    Also, Scientologists the world over and especially those who came to the Apollo admired LRH and his work so much, you know they would have practically been willing to do ANYTHING to flow power to him and make him happy. All he ever had to do was just nicely ask someone and he would have gotten complete devotion and loyalty. Glenn, what if when that sit happened with your wife, LRH had come to see you and said “Glenn – sorry to hear about the sit with your wife. I want to go see her, do whatever you can to get into ARC, find the right conditions for each of you, apply them and work this all out. You’re important to us here, my communicator ____________ will call you up every two or three days and see how you’re doing and if you have any problems, we’ll give you some advice and help……” Geez, Glenn, what would have been your opinion of LRH for the rest of your life? I mention this because in reading Jeff Hawkins’ book, it occurred to me many times that Jeff would probably still be in the SO doing his job if folks would have just used some affinity and compassion and understanding with him. You know what, I’m gonna be UNREASONABLE here. It was NOT OK for LRH to lose his TRs and to go into lower tone levels and to dramatize them. I can recognize all of the wisdom I have received from LRH’s work and still feel that way.

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      Hi Joe,
      Yes that would have helped, but he didn’t do that did he? Sometimes a year or three later he would come back and apologize to me or others. Also it wasn’t just about me, read the other stories and also my other post, “How did Scn get so mean….” I hung on until it became apparent that compassion was completely gone due to the comm lines being perverted by Miscavige and the Broekers and however R had changed for the worse. Scn in the SO became about Reality, esp Enforced Reality and human rights violations. Thanks for your post.

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    During 25 years in SCN I stored tons of outpoints in my “bullpen” ,waiting to be resolved /claryfied. Then one year ago I saw Mike Rinder in European News-TV. Of course the spot was cutted like crap,data and headlines poor. But it was the last straw which almost exploded my “bullpen”. I was fed up . I took the string and investigated. After 7 months I am not finished yet. I stumbeld over all the sites and blogs of former Int execs,children, pissed publics,staff, Ex-SO, freaks, real SCNist enemies and so on. Finally I got all out points resolved. 🙂 I realized that the data were not available in the church.

    I basicly would have to say a lot but just this: I used to work a few years undercover for the church internal GESTAPO behind the front lines. Lets use really this term, its absolutely appropriate. OSA as it acts is a complete dramatisation of Hitlers top chase-organisation. They create enemies and then they chase them (publics and staff who left). They declare people (also Non SCNistst) to enemies, who just stand up to protest.
    Are the United Nations going to investigate people which submit reports of human rights abuses? No, this would be crazy.

    The stupid assumption that everybody who speaks against SCN must have crimes is simply not true. The first lie I detected and observed. Its proven by the fact that almost all of them still exist: Paulette Cooper, Arnie Lerma, G.Amstrong, G.Berry, Jesse Prince,Hana Withfield and the list goes on…..OSA is continiously trying to reveal a conspiracy, where probabaly none is. They are looking for (hidden) lines which don´t exist. From an Administrative view its all DEV-T.Expensive DEV-T.

    The reason i reply to this post is that I found the story of Bill Franks most impressive, I saw it first on esmb. It has given me a complete new view on life, Auditing and on SCN. BTW:
    Was`nt Hubbard the guy who said: “I never lied to you”
    Sometimes in session the auditor fixed an ARC break but found no WH. Interesting
    I wondered because I learned that there alway MUST be one !!!

    What is left is cross data: One cannot claim to free people (even doing it ) and the same time making up a new type of (human) slavery. I am really happy that I never joined the Sea Org. I instinctively knew that something smells.

    For Miscavige I propose he should have a fight with Mike Tysen in a boxing ring. The fight should not end until he is begging for mercy. It works, I have seen it before I joined SCN.
    It handles the case of the ignorant, the arrogant and the self important.
    ML Sniper

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    My Dad used to say, “Do as I say, not as I do.” It was a comman male statement when I grew up. Of course, LRH had a similar cultural background.

    I loved the LRH stories; they sound so typical but each presents the being who was Ron.

    As to ARCx and leaving, interesting view. I rather suspect that following the ARCx most people do commit overts against the area or terminals involved, sometimes committing them as they leave. ARCx precedes overts, in most cases. To bad Ded and Dedex aren’t taught much, because with motivator and overts, Deds and Dedexs it all becomes understandable.

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