Mmmmm, I think the closer one gets to Flag, the closer one is to source and the people there are probably more understanding of what scientology is really all about than you think they are (it's just a business flogging services in the guise of a religion and not to be taken too seriously). They are mainly salespeople and the only thing that continues to surprise me is why they tolerate the conditions they work under when they could be in the real world doing the same job with way less stress and earning a good income!
I truly do not understand why you say that a person that was clearly a nutter with the morals of a sewer rat could have also created a good and decent thing in the tek ... have you read any of Veda's posts and references? Do you know of how Tubs treated those that he cared for (ie his own family)? Why would such a person be taken seriously as a saviour of planets?
Tubs was very much alive in the 70's when you say you saw the (so called) decline starting, so why are you letting him off the hook?
Do you think that Tubs (or his disciples) would have accepted any other response to his OT3 materials for instance, other than pure dittohead? I would like to have seen the result of someone in an OT3 course-room (in the 70's or earlier) having just been introduced to Xenu and who had the audacity to stand up and say "sorry, I am a free thinker and this really isn't quite working for me because I don't believe it " ... we both know that he would have been handled or booted whichever came first (and that applies to any of the courses and at any time since the inception of scientology).
The term dittoheads is not mine but it certainly describes anyone that has bought into the lies of scientology pre or post Tubs, it is and always was a con job and any gain was incidental and could probably be achieved in many other ways and with little or no money changing hands.
I haven't read all of ESMB by any means, but I have been reading here for about a year and a half, so I've read some of Veda's posts as well as others.
From what I have gathered about other "historical" figures, I guess I don't see Hubbard as being particularly better or worse than others in character. Unsavoriness seems widespread.
Is Bill Gates a nice moral guy who developed his software for altruistic reasons? I doubt it. And it was never that good a product, yet he has had a virtual monopoly that has made him many many millions.
Maybe I am biased by my background in psychiatry, but I am skeptical and leery of those who decry the morals of others. At best, SNL's "Church Lady" comes to mind; at worst, there have a been a lot of witchhunts started by those who claimed some kind of moral high ground over others.
I'm not much of a fan of those who fly the flag of "I'm OK, you're(he,she,they) not OK."