Some things are self-evident: Murder is wrong, kindness is good and 75 million years ago, a ruler of a Galactic Confederacy rounded up billions of his own citizens and shipped them to Earth (then called Teegeeack), tied them to volcanoes and used hydrogen bombs to blow up their bodies. Adultery is bad. Lying is wrong.
Yet somehow, some statements made by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, even those having nothing to do with the religion, have actually come into question by critics who often refer to them as "exaggerated" and "laugh out loud retarded."
5On His Native American Upbringing ...
It seems L. Ron really, and we mean really wanted to make it clear that he had some extraordinary credentials when it came to his understanding of spirituality. And what do most of us require in a spiritual leader? Nothing less than full membership in a Native-American tribe.
Lucky for L. Ron, the Blackfoot Indian tribe of Montana recruited him and made him a blood brother in a really cool tribal ceremony that probably featured a whole lot of feathers and peace pipes and dancing and whatnot. And, oh yeah, that was when he was just four years old. Those injuns must have really recognized great perception and timeless wisdom in little L. Ron when he wasn't crapping his pants.
And then, as if his followers wouldn't be crapping their pants in excitement over his Blackfeet Indian connections, L. Ron also insists that he spent his adolescence sitting at the feet of shamans of the Orient, eventually applying their ageless wisdom to produce--TA-DA!--Scientology.
L. Ron lived in Helena, Montana when he was four. The nearest Blackfoot Reservation was over 100 miles away. Still, he could have made the trek for the blood brother ceremony ... if the Blackfoot tribe actually conducted that sort of ritual. But oops, they didn't. As our friends at Wikipedia point out:
"The white Blackfeet historian Hugh Dempsey has commented that the act of blood brotherhood was 'never done among the Blackfeet,' and Blackfeet Nation officials have disavowed attempts to 'reestablish' Hubbard as a 'blood brother' of the Blackfeet."
Probably just an innocent misunderstanding. But what about his travels to Asia, you ask?
There is some authenticity to Hubbard's story. His father, Harry Hubbard, was actually stationed in Guam at the US Naval Base, so, yeah, young Hubbard did have the opportunity to spend some time in Asia. What did Hubbard learn from the wise men there? From his actual diary:
"They smell of all the baths they didnt take. The trouble with China is, there are too many chinks here."
Not Pictured: Enough white people for Hubbard.
4On His Study of Nuclear Physics ...
From the dust jacket of Hubbard's 1957 book All About Radiation:
"...we have the sane and sober views of a medical doctor on the physical facts and consequences of the actual atomic blast and the diseases resulting from it.
L. Ron Hubbard, who was one of the first nuclear physicists in the United States, has interpreted these facts and related them to human livingness, governments and the control of populations."
Did you catch all that? The original dust jacket of Hubbard's treatise on all things radiatory makes the claim that he is BOTH a nuclear physicist and a medical doctor. Both. But it could have happened, right?
Hubbard flunked out of the only course he ever took in nuclear physics. And because his grade point average was abysmally low, he eventually dropped out of college altogether. However he did get a degree from Sequoia University, an unaccredited college that apparently offered degrees in charismatic cult leadership.
But hey ... college degrees aren't everything. Look at Bill Gates, Michael Dell, most of the Cracked writers--all highly successful people who couldn't cut it in the classroom. Doesn't Big L. fit this category? He was a smart guy, right?
Not about nuclear physics, apparently. A 1965 Australian inquiry into All About Radiation ended with the scientists of the world getting together to basically laugh at how stupid Hubbard is:
"The Board heard evidence from a highly qualified radiologist who has made a special study of radiation and its effects. He said that Hubbard's knowledge of radiation, as displayed by his writings in All About Radiation, was the 'sort of knowledge that perhaps a boy who has read Intermediate Physics might, with a lot of misapprehensions and lack of understanding, demonstrate' ... "
We're pretty sure that, in the middle of a lot of extra words, they just said Hubbard knew less about physics than a confused child. That's about the strongest rebuke you can get from a community that tends to frown on words like "dumbass."