L. Ron Hubbard's 5 Most Impressive Lies (Besides Scientology)
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."
On 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.
On 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."
On L. Ron Hubbard, War Hero ...
He Said:After participating in nearly every battle conducted during World War II, Hubbard left the war with more medals than God, and severely wounded in every body part you can conceive of, human or alien. Here's what he claimed in My Philosophy, published in 1965:
"Blinded with injured optic nerves, and lame with physical injuries to hip and back, at the end of World War II, I faced an almost non-existent future. My service record states: 'This officer has no neurotic or psychotic tendencies of any kind whatsoever,' but it also states 'permanently disabled physically.'
And so there came a further blow--I was abandoned by family and friends as a supposedly hopeless cripple and a probable burden upon them for the rest of my days. Yet I worked my way back to fitness and strength in less than two years, using only what I knew about Man and his relationship to the universe. I had no one to help me; what I had to know I had to find out. And it's quite a trick studying when you cannot see.
I became used to being told it was all impossible, that there was no way, no hope. Yet I came to see again and walk again."
As proof, we have this painting that often gets include in Scientology materials on the subject. The artist was totally in the room!
While L. Ron did serve during World War II, his greatest feat was nearly starting a war with Mexico by conducting unauthorized gunnery exercises in Mexico's territorial waters. Before serving him a formal admonition and actually demoting Hubbard for his jackassery, his commanding officers made the effort to call Hubbard a complete idiot in a report:
"Consider this officer lacking in the essential qualities of judgment, leadership and cooperation...Not considered qualified for command or promotion at this time. Recommend duty on a large vessel where he can be properly supervised."
As for those pesky life-threatening injuries sustained during patriotic battle ... eh, not so much. It seems L. Ron was a big fan of the infirmary ward, but not for optic nerve damage, debilitating back injuries or anything that would prompt three concerned medical experts to feverishly attend to him, as illustrated in the above photographic evidence.
Here are a few of the ailments Hubbard complained of (notice we didn't say "was diagnosed with") during his time in the military, and even after his time in the military, when he frequented the Veterans Administration hospitals with his medical benefits:malaria
psychological trauma from hardcore combat
bursitis again, this time with calcification
And remember, the VA documents Mr. Hubbard applying for benefits for these ailments during the 1950s, the exact time when he is claiming to be the pinnacle of manhood due to his amazing self-curing feats of fantastical awesomeness. Though you have to be impressed with a guy who can conceive of elevating pinkeye to optic nerve damage. Mad props indeed.
On Living The Drug-Free Lifestyle ...
One of Scientology's big selling points is that they claim they can get even the worst crack head off drugs in seconds flat. And Xenu help you if you're on any kind of psychological medication of any sort. Because those pills are going to send you straight to crazyland and you're going to wind up losing your wallet to some wackjob with something called a medical degree. That's only if he doesn't rape and murder you first:
"A psychiatrist today has the power to (1) take a fancy to a woman (2) lead her to take wild treatment as a joke (3) drug and shock her to temporary insanity (4) incarnate her (5) use her sexually (6) sterilise her to prevent conception (7) kill her by a brain operation to prevent disclosure. And all with no fear of reprisal. Yet it is rape and murder ... We want at least one bad mark on every psychiatrist in England, a murder, an assault, or a rape or more than one ... This is Project Psychiatry. We will remove them."
That's from the confidential memo "Project Psychiatry" (February 22, 1966).
So we can see that Mr. Hubbard certainly had a reasonable understanding of the psychiatrist/patient relationship. But surely his insistence that Scientologists abstain from drugs of all sorts must have come from his own spotless standards of clean living, right?
L. Ron was certainly a fan of clean living. Because in his universe, clean actually meant "drug fueled" and "paranoid" and "GOOD LORD, DID YOU SEE HUBBARD'S STASH? HOW IS HE STILL ALIVE?"
It seems that L. Ron had a long and erotic love affair with drugs of all sorts, in spite of the religion he created that advocated abstinence from drugs, even the life-saving drugs. In 1967, Ron wrote his third wife, Mary Sue:
"I'm drinking lots of rum and popping pinks and greys."
The 'pinks and grays,' are assumed to be uppers and downers, not grapefruit and gravy-flavored Skittles as previously thought.
At one point, Hubbard took to the sea, as most charismatic cult leaders do, and it appeared he ran a cozy little society aboard his yacht. One witness made the following observation upon walking into Hubbard's cabin:
"It was the largest drug chest I had ever seen. He had everything!"
And his own son, L. Ron, Jr. said:
"I have personal knowledge that my father regularly used illegal drugs including amphetamines, barbiturates and hallucinogens. He regularly used cocaine, peyote and mescaline."
But despite all that, it appears his favorite drugs were actually the psychiatric kind. He loved those so much that when he died in 1986, it was discovered that he had been habitually injecting himself with Vistaril, a drug used for "acutely disturbed" patients and for those suffering from alcohol withdrawal, among other things.
Yes, it appears that L. Ron had a stash that could make the average '80s metal band hold a tearful intervention.
On Inventing the Concept of a Moral Code ...
His 1981 pamphlet The Way to Happiness was the first moral code (in the history of the universe) based entirely on common sense. By following the 21 precepts outlined in this revolutionary, yet common sense approach to morality, entire communities are transformed into Utopian paradises that resemble the everything-is-made-of-candy room in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Unlike most moral codes, which are based entirely on Jello Pudding Pops and the lyrics to Journey songs, Hubbard's world-altering grocery list-slash-booklet was offering the world principles that heretoforthwith had never, not even once, been organized and stated so conveniently. And thus they were revolutionary.
It turns out that there was already a few "morality codes" or "bullet points for being good" that had been established in list format! Some even predating Hubbard's by at least 100 years! There's this one list, called 'The Ten Commandments' that even had some of Hubbard's same points! Observe:
The Ten Commandments
Author: God, or maybe Moses
# 9 - Do not murder.
The Way to Happiness
Author: L. Ron Hubbard
# 8 - Do not murder.
Well, maybe Hubbard let it slip his mind. All moral codes are bound to overlap at one point:
The Ten Commandments
#5 - Honor your mother and father
The Way to Happiness
# 5 - Honor and help your parents.
Oh come on L. Ron, that's just sloppy. You didn't even attempt to realign the numbers.
In addition to the moral precepts clearly stolen from every other list of moral precepts, Hubbard did offer some innovation with his own list. Such as:
#2 - Be temperate.
#6 - Set a good example.
#9 - Don't do anything illegal.
#17 - Be competent.
And if you don't think those startlingly clever, first-time-ever-stated-in-human-tongue precepts don't work, take a look at some actual testimonials from the official 'Way to Happiness' website:
"I learned how to be a person, and I learned how to treat others the way they want to be treated."
"I learned not to steal people's things, not to kill people, not to punch people. And to not take other peoples' shirts. And to not put fire on in the house."
"I love your organization's booklet entitled The Way to Happiness. I've read it three times already and have shared it with others. Its philosophy parallels mine so closely it is unbelievable."
-J. C., Lieutenant Governor
It truly is unbelievable, Mr. Governor! And thank Xenu that Hubbard taught Olivia how to stop acting like a wombat, and how to act like a person instead. And Anthea's family should definitely get down on their knees and thank their L. Ron bobble head that little Anthea stopped stealing their shirts. And stopped putting fire on in the house.
So perhaps we've been to hard on the man. After all, in these people's lives, apparently only L. Ron Hubbard knew how to solve the fire in the house problem.
If only L. Ron were here ...
Are you consistently putting fire in your house? Do you find yourself reaching for the flamethrower to solve every little problem? Then perhaps L. Ron Hubbard has something to teach you after all.
If you enjoyed that you might like the prequel in which Kristi looks at The The 5 Ballsiest Con Artists to not start a major religion. Or learn an important lesson by watching our video Apparently Real Moms Aren't Like the Ones on MILFhunter.com. Or head to the brand new Official Cracked.com Store and become a startlingly attractive walking advertisement for our site.