Hubbard: A charlatan or just deluded?


Inveterate gnashnab & snoutband
This is my 100th post. I don't want to waste by it telling some lame joke or issuing more of the inane waffle that I'm probably guilty of inflicting on you guys, but to use it to ask a serious question (or two questions, to be precise) that I would really like to know the answer to.

[1] Was L. Ron Hubbard simply a cynical opportunistic confidence trickster? (One word answers are not permitted!)


[2] Did he actually believe in the workability of the 'Tech'?

In support of [1] we have his famous quote (which I here paraphrase) 'The way to make a lot of money is to start a religion' or words to that effect, and in support of [2] we have the literally millions of words he either wrote, spoke or had comitted to tape, a vast number of which were concerned with developing, simplifying and refining the Tech.

In relation to the Tech, I'm thinking (to give just one example) about the page after page after page of psychobabble that he scrawled in relation to the Implant GPM's on OT II which I have in a pdf. It just goes on and on and on. Why? Why if he knew all along that the whole thing was an elaborate hoax did he need to spend so much loafing time on it and go into such minute detail? I was never at FLAG but I believe he had auditors audit him and someone had to C/S his folders I guess. Was all this just a sham?

As far as him being a confidence trickster is concerned, we have all read about the lies he told about himself, his childhood, his military career etc. and he evidently relied on disingenuity throughout and in all aspects of his life. Did Hubbard home-in on Parsons for example because he thought that people like him who believed in 'spiritual forces' in some form or another were especially gullible?

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Silver Meritorious Patron
Re: Hunbbard: A charlatan or just deluded?

In re, "the literally millions of words he either wrote, spoke or had comitted to tape"

Some bought those words. Some bought them multiple times. Some are still buying them.

Proof: That beats hell out of a penny a word! (or words to that effect :hysterical:)

Cat Daddy

Silver Meritorious Patron
That's got it! Thanks for that CD.

Have some Incidents:!topic/alt.religion.scientology/U6CWGZtX55k

Helatrobus Implants
382 trillion years ago to 52 trillion years ago.
Aircraft Door Implants
216 trillion years ago to 315 trillion years
The Gorilla Goals
319 trillion years ago to 83 trillion trillion
trillion years ago.
The Bear Goals
83 trillion trillion trillion years ago to about
40.7 trillion trillion trillion trillion years ago.
The Glade Implants
(formerly called Black
40.7 trillion trillion trillion trillion years
ago to 5.9 trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion years ago.
The Invisible Picture Goals 5.9 trillion trillion trillion trillion
trillion years to a date not fully determined.
The Minion Implants
Not yet determined.
The Story of Creation
70 trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion
trillion trillion years.

The last mentioned, writes Hubbard, is the earliest date yet found, "but
an earlier incident is known to exist."

Cat Daddy

Silver Meritorious Patron
Yes, and that's just emphasising my dilemma. Can you imagine the weeks, months and years he spent dreaming up all this stuff? Did he really need to go to these lengths to embellish what most of us believe is an elaborate hoax, or am I just too dorff to see what everyone else sees?

because he couldn't help lying his ass of as a narcisstic conman and egotistical fantasticus!msg/alt.religion.scientology/hM2trMPWd7I/rCXh1hU_wiQJ

From: Chris Owen
Subject: ESSAY: Hubbard's research methods revealed
Date: 2000/01/22

Something that's puzzled me for a long time is just how Hubbard came up
with Scientology's bizarre mythos: a shabby, run-down heaven with
radioactive statues, Xenu, the Fifth Invader Force with "incredibly
horrible hands" (sic) and so on and so forth.
One particularly curious point is that his original research notes have
never been published. They probably show him to be a complete
fruitcake, if a fascinating lecture entitled "Electromagnetic Scouting:
Battle of the Universes" (April 1952, exact date unknown) is anything to
go by. Back in 1952, this lecture was just another part of Scientology
- there wasn't anything secret or, for that matter, sacred about it
(this was in the days when it was explicitly stated that it was a
science, not a religion). It wasn't until the start of the 1960s that
such material began to be designated "confidential" as part of the OT
courses. Access to this particular tape is highly restricted these
days, so presumably it forms part of the OT materials.
The lecture features Mary Sue Hubbard auditing her husband. Ron is
trying to locate and question "theta entities" - his term at the time
for what were later termed Body Thetans - to find out their purposes.
The Hubbards were using the first version of the E-meter (the Matheson
version) to try out various ideas and seeing if they caused a reaction
on the meter, indicating a response on the part of the BTs.
As the session begins, Ron declares that "I am, for the first time in
ages, completely without a somatic" - the implication being that, as
somatics ("a pain or ache sensation") are in Hubbard's view caused by
BTs, the BTs have all run off and hidden to avoid being exposed by the
E-meter. Sure enough, says Ron, "I got a notion they're all standing
about 20 feet from me, at least."
The question-and-answer session gives a vivid insight into the way
Hubbard worked out his mythos:
LRH: Well here we made this what we've been calling Home
Universe. That's actually the MEST Universe...
MSH: Dropping there.
LRH: ...and was actually the Home Universe and we were just getting
along fine and the reason we settled off and just started to make the
Home universe and so on and dropped off the main body of theta is
because theta started expanding. No more than that. It just started
expanding. I think there was probably something wrong in its vicinity
or something of the sort.
MSH: The needle's rising.
LRH: Something wrong in its vicinity.
MSH: Drop there. What was wrong in its vicinity?
LRH: It was getting encroached on, so it's sort of a divide and rule.
It's the whole modus operandi of the other universes. They started
riding up the main body of theta to some degree. No, no drop. Anyway,
the theta universe just suddenly got ambitious and decided to make a
universe and picked up everything and...
MSH: Your needle dropped...
MSH: Well, what are these entities composed of?
LRH: What..?
MSH: Well, what would you call this kind of stuff?
LRH: Well, it may be first universe stuff - and stuff ...
MSH: Yeah.
LRH: ... maybe twenty-ninth universe stuff - fifteenth universe
stuff - twenty-first universe stuff - thirty-three universe ... is
there a thirty-three universe?
MSH: No drop.
LRH: No ...
MSH: They come from a lot of different universes.
Here Hubbard comes up with the idea of Earth being a "prison planet",
the basic rationale for Xenu dumping people here in the first place:
LRH: The entheta beings ... I think in recent times entheta beings
have been triumphing in certain locales over theta and I think earth
is a prison planet to some degree because the entheta beings have
pretty well won out over the people that are here.
MSH: You got a big drop on that.
LRH: I did? Entheta beings have worn out all the people who are here
and what I got a big drop on is just the .... Well, now we can do a
rehabilitation job throughout this part of the universe and we can do
a rehabilitation job on straightening out these entheta beings and
theta. Because all the entheta beings are running around - they're
here, out of line. They may be the product of a union. The entheta
beings [unintelligible] or something of the sort. They didn't do what
they were told.
MSH: You got a drop there.
LRH: Well that's what theta did. Now, theta sitting right out in space
some place, other planets, and so forth, all of a sudden says, the
hell with these bodies and beings, we've got a heck of a lot of theta
beings ...
MSH: Bang! Needle is dropping.
LRH: ... who have been beaten by entheta beings.
MSH: Bang!
LRH: And the battleground is too rough and these things have mutinied
so let's put 'em all in one place and lock 'em on to earth. They gotta
stay on earth 'til we get 'em straightened out. They'll send somebody
down here sooner or later and he'll straighten them out.
MSH: You're getting drops in needle on all this material.
Hubbard goes on to slap Christianity and religion as a whole (which
gives a whole new perspective to Scientology's accusations of its
opponents as anti-religious). In point of fact, his comments in this
session were of a piece with his many other denigrations of established
religions, notably Christianity but also Islam and Hinduism. (This is
perhaps not surprising; only six years previously he had been a member
of Jack Parsons' black magic coven.) He also comes up with the generic
name of the MEST beings:
LRH: ... These entheta beings are controlled over by religion. I think
there was an experiment one time that was a religious experiment.
MSH: You dropped. Needle's dropping
LRH: Big experiment on religion.
MSH: Is that when Christianity came into being?
LRH: That's an entheta operation. No drop?
MSH: Slight.
LRH: It's got to be an entheta operation.
MSH: Is it?
LRH: Entheta - The entheta is actually, like anything that is under
duress, these entheta beings - we shouldn't be calling them entheta
beings - we ought to be calling them Targs... That's the proper name.
MSH: Crash!
LRH: Targs - Some of them are Targs. There are several other kinds.
There are other kinds than Targs.
MSH: Where did you get the name - Targ?
LRH: That's common in a lot of theta languages. It means slave.
Entheta slave.
MSH: You got a drop
LRH: Lower order slave. Body holders - horse holders - boot
polishers. Entheta is really [unintelligible]. I guess there may be
some other prison planets out in this galaxy.
MSH: Are there any other planets which are [unintelligible].
LRH: I think flying saucers right now that's coming to dump off more
theta beings - ah, dump off more entheta, entheta-ed beings. Targs.
MSH: Mmm.
LRH: What they're dropping down here is Targ ridden. It's a disease -
somebody gets Targ ridden - gets unbalanced. The thing to do is not so
much how to know how to get rid of the Targs but how to straighten out
Targs. - No drop?
MSH: No drop - Targ doesn't want to be straightened out.
What I find particularly fascinating about this bizarre auditing session
is that it shows exactly how Hubbard came up with his ideas. Prof.
Martin Gardner wrote an essay on Dianetics in his classic book "[Fads
and Fallacies] In the Name of Science" (1953) (an online version is at in which
he analysed the flaws inherent in Hubbardian auditing:
Perhaps the most revealing parts of Dr. Winter's book ["Dianetics: A
Doctor's Report", Dr. J.A. Winter, 1951] are the records of his own
dianetic sessions - revealing because they indicate with unmistakable
starkness the manner in which the auditor suggests to a patient what
sort of things he is supposed to recall. The patient, it must be
remembered, in the vast majority of cases, is already familiar with
dianetic theory... The therapist's questions are of such a "leading"
character that even Dr. Winter admits they "encourage fantasy."
Hubbard himself admits that many patients indulge in fantasies about
their uterine experiences. "The patient tells about father and
mother," he writes, "and where they are sitting and what the bedroom
looks like, and yet there he is in the womb." Hubbard rejects the
theory "that the tortured foetus develops extrasensory perception in
order to see what is coming next." This is a good theory, he admits,
but must be rejected in view of the fact that the foetus has no mind
and therefore lacks clairvoyant powers.
A Dianetics "patient" undergoing auditing would typically recall a
variety of incidents, some undoubtedly genuine buried memories and some
patent fantasies, such as the aforementioned uterine experiences.
Transcripts of Dianetics auditing sessions reprinted in the "Research &
Discovery Series" volumes show that there was a great deal of free
association going on in the "patient's" mind, albeit in many cases
guided by the auditor's leading questions.
The Dianetics movement eventually broke up when Hubbard insisted on
auditing "past lives", which had even less plausibility than so-called
"sperm dreams" in the uterus. He and other supporters - many of whom
were, significantly, science-fiction readers who had read his original
article on Dianetics in "Astounding Science Fiction" in June 1950 -
reported unearthing memories of past lives on Earth and in outer space.
A collection of Scientologists' accounts of past lives was eventually
published in "Have You Lived Before This Life?" (1960), which for my
money just pips "A History of Man" for the title of weirdest book ever
published by Scientology. The accounts, which really are hysterically
funny, include a those of a man who fell in love with "a robot decked
out as a beautiful red-haired girl", another man who recalled being run
over by a Martian bishop driving a steam roller, the later critic Cyril
Vosper's recollections of life as an intergalactic walrus which perished
after falling out of a flying saucer and the story of "a very happy
being who strayed to the planet Nostra 23,064,000,000 years ago". Freud
would have had a field day.
It's easy to see from this lecture how such bizarreness originated. Put
together a science fiction fan (and writer, in Hubbard's case) and an
auditor. Add a large dose of free association and a scientifically
unproven theory of what E-meter readings represent. Voila - the result
is a stream-of-consciousness science fiction story with biofeedback, as
measured by the E-meter, as the editor. It did not matter that it would
not have passed muster as fiction, let alone as scientifically proven
fact. Hubbard believed that his foundation stone - the ideas of the
thetan and that thought could be detected electronically - was
completely secure. The "Battle of the Universes" tape shows vividly how
elaborate was the superstructure which he built so casually on such
fragile foundations.
| Chris Owen - [email protected] |
| |


Inveterate gnashnab & snoutband
because he couldn't help lying his ass of as a narcisstic conman and egotistical fantasticus!msg/alt.religion.scientology/hM2trMPWd7I/rCXh1hU_wiQJ
Yes, the above is a link to a fascinating article describing the content of the vid that tetloj submitted on post #2 of this thread, the essence of which boils down to this:

'It's easy to see from this lecture how such bizarreness originated. Put together a science fiction fan (and writer, in Hubbard's case) and an auditor. Add a large dose of free association and a scientifically unproven theory of what E-meter readings represent. Voila - the result is a stream-of-consciousness science fiction story with biofeedback, as measured by the E-meter, as the editor. It did not matter that it would not have passed muster as fiction, let alone as scientifically proven fact. Hubbard believed that his foundation stone - the ideas of the thetan and that thought could be detected electronically - was completely secure. The "Battle of the Universes" tape shows vividly how elaborate was the superstructure which he built so casually on such fragile foundations.'

Here's tetloj's link again:

So, given the above, am I to understand that Hubbard did believe in the viability of the tech, (even if it was in reality complete hogwash and that he was simply delusional), and that he wasn't merely a cynical opportunistic confidence trickster after all?

My brain hurts! I think I'll go and lie down in a darkened room for a while.
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Patron Meritorious
If you listen to the tape The Five Conditions, Hubbard explains that one has to "promote", THEN "prepare to deliver".

In the tape, he used the example of eggs. He didn't have any eggs, but he "promoted" that he did! Then, when people wanted to buy what he said he had but didn't really, he had to figure out where to get some eggs from. Turned out, in his example, that he was somehow able to find some eggs but they were brown - not what people were expecting from his promotion - so in his example he embarked on a campaign to convince people that brown eggs were even better than what he originally offered for sale (but didn't have).

I think that is a pretty good analogy for Dianetics, Scientology, and CofS, and how Hubbard operated.

The "emergency formula" is the "formula" of how you con someone. Honest companies don't sell things they don't strictly have.


Hubbard wrote down what he was, primarily, doing. Most simply he was leaving his mark on the world.

Living is a pretty grim joke, but a joke just the same. The entire function of man is to survive. Not for 'what' but just to survive... I turned the thing up [the 'dynamic principle of existence: Survive!'], so it's up to me to survive in a big way.

Personal immortality is only to be gained through the printed word, barred note, or painted canvas or hard granite [or stainless steel]. Foolishly perhaps, but determined none the less, I have high hopes of smashing my name into history so violently that it will take a legendary form even if all the books are destroyed. That goal is the real goal as far as I am concerned. Things which stand too consistently in my way make me nervous.

It's a pretty big job. In a hundred years Roosevelt will have been forgotten - which gives some idea of the magnitude of my attempt.

L. Ron Hubbard, 'Excalibur' letter, from 1938

As for his methods, some think this was the underlying blueprint for the Scientology operation:

Remember that Hubbard used "enemy tactics" on his own followers.

What worried me was that I saw some things he [Hubbard] did and statements he made that showed his intentions were different from what they appeared [publicly] to be.

David Mayo, from a 1986 interview


Hubbard considered himself above the limitations of conscience and above the consequences of "karma."

He enjoying exercising his talents as a natural psychologist. He most definitely believed in his own brilliance.

From Hubbard's 1946 (to himself) 'Affirmations':

Your psychology is advanced and true and wonderful. It hypnotizes people. It predicts their emotions, for you are their ruler.


In the end, after much study, my conclusion is that Hubbard's basic "Intention" was the same from 1938, through 1946, through the 1950s, and into the 1980s.

He was a brilliant natural psychologist at times, deluded at times, and saw men as his slaves.
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Gold Meritorious Patron
In response to the OP, both are true.

If you read the admissions of Hubbard on Gerry Armstorng's website, he admits to some bizarre beliefs.

On the other hand, if you read Bare Faced Messiah, he said that Dianetics could remove the need for glasses. When they threw out their glasses, he laughed about them behind their back.

I suspect that as his brain aged, he started to believe more of his own nonsense.


Patron Meritorious
I agree that Hubbard was both a charlatan and deluded. I think the explanation for his prodigious volume of writing is twofold. On the one hand, he was clearly a savant when it came to writing. Every account I've read of anyone who saw him write characterizes his ability as phenomenal. He apparently possessed the ability to produce complete, coherent prose almost instantaneously. On the other hand, he also appears to have taken an enormous amount of satisfaction from writing. He believed implacably in his own genius.
Secondly, I get the impression that as much as Hubbard coveted wealth, he coveted power more. He derived extraordinary pleasure from the fervent devotion his followers gave him and from the sadistic control he wielded over them. He sought for and achieved a godlike status.
Furthermore, as time went on and he became increasingly isolated from the world, in the fantastic bubble he had created for himself, I think it very likely that he came to believe his own con. That is to say, just like the ancient thetans of his narrative, he became ensnared by his own game.
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The mental aspect of the entity infamously known as "L. Ron Hubbard" was not a "human". The mental entity "Hubbard" was conjured by some 267 beings from the lower psychic darkness, aka "Bardo", aka "Purgatory", etc. Hubbard was soulless. He was nothing more than a spokeshole, a channel, a tulpa, for the beings who conjured him. I knew this guy, talked with him, even had a little karma with him. And, he is not just dead, he isn't even being conjured any longer. His conjurers began to lose interest in him in his later years. There is no credit whatsoever which rightfully goes to this artificial shade entity. He was just a spokeshole.