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.
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.”