Episode 46: The Life and Lies of L. Ron Hubbard Part 1

June 22 Episode 46: The Life and Lies of L. Ron Hubbard Part 1

We begin a new series of episodes taking a detailed look at specific areas of scientology. We begin with L. Ron Hubbard. This first parts focuses on his life and claims up to Dianetics. We are very fortunate to welcome Jon Atack back to help us navigate the maze of lies, half-truths and exaggerations that characterize the man’s life.

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View Documents (15)
A Piece of Blue Sky by Jon Atack
Bare-Faced Messiah by Russell Miller
The Mind Benders by Cyril Vosper
Hubbard's Letter to the VA

After he claimed to have cured himself he wrote to the VA about his physical and mental problems

Dianetics excerpt

Hubbard’s claims of cures in Dianetics

Hubbard Grades at GWU
Dianetics "Passionate kiss"
Sonya Bianca

Hubbard’s infamous presentation of a Clear in front of an audience at the Shrine Auditorium

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Hubbard's Racist Statements
Without Conscience by Robert Hare
Hubbard's letter to Forrie Ackerman
Hubbard's 1938 letter to his wife
Jon Atack - Never Believe a Hypnotist
Opening Our Minds by Jon Atack
My Philosophy

Hubbard falsely claiming he was crippled and blinded in WW II

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  • Gerald Hunter says:

    Great podcast – thanks. Should it be episode 46, not 36?

  • MR says:

    Good podcast, I’m becoming a bigger fan of Atack.

    The discussion of why sociopathic/psychopathic leaders have so much power and control was interesting. Atack’s view of the role of the empath is definitely worth considering, I know I never thought of it like that. Clearly we shouldn’t blame the empaths, they are sincerely good people wanting to do the right thing. But for some reason that I can’t articulate, we fall victim to these so-called people.

    However, unless I missed it, there is one aspect of this phenomenon that wasn’t mentioned at least by name: Charisma. These kinds of leaders wouldn’t have the impact they do if they weren’t charismatic in some meaningful, if not, major way. While these kinds of discussions always fall victim to Godwin’s law (as a discussion, particularly internet one, grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Adolf Hitler becomes more likely regardless of topic or scope), I think it is appropriate nevertheless. Hitler wasn’t this hideous monster as depicted in many cartoons and such; he was highly charismatic. That’s the trick. Mussolini, very much so perhaps more than Hitler. Trump, Clinton, Obama, Reagan, Nixon (America is NOT immune to these kinds of leaders either). This isn’t relegated to the political realm either. It does sound that LRH was no different. How else can someone with so many shithouse rats running around in their head built an empire such as Scientology? Charismatic leadership.

    I think the reason we can’t pick these people out early enough is because Hollywood and the media has gimmicked up the ‘villain’, cartooning him up, making him look robotic or demonic or whatever. The real evil people are those who look like us, sound like us, and talk like us. They’re incredibly complimentary, and come off as sophisticated, educated and even humane.

    Couple a charismatic yet sociopathic leader with empaths, and you have the tinder needed to wreak havoc in any society. It’s not a one or the other thing for me; it takes both. Which also explains our political landscape in this country but that’s another discussion.

    As one who was born & raised in the south, please rest assured that I for one was not offended by the use of the term “redneck”. I’ve seen plenty of them down here, and for the most part they’re ok people. They’re not all that bright but they mean well. Who you have to watch out for are the Neo-confederate fascists and southern neonazis, and they aren’t the same as your run of the mill rednecks or otherwise country bumpkins, taters, corn cobs or hambones. Problem is the latter group enables the fascists and neonazis, but the south is not about to deal with that regardless of the very real danger they pose to society with their deeply-rooted ignorance and even more real desire to go kill people.

  • Olivia Whipple says:

    Hi, this was a great episode and I was hoping you could clarify something on a future episode. Scientology does not promote education outside of the organization to members, yet Hubbard’s fake PhD is a part of his mythical origin story. From an outsider’s perspective, this is just typical say one thing and do another, but can you explain the thought process from an insider’s point of view? In other words, you (the devout follower) cannot pursue something that the leader got to do and had a great effect on his development, according to the story. How is this okay for the average Scientologist? What is the thought process there? Thank you so much, keep up the great work!

  • TX Redneck says:

    Based on anecdotal findings from my informal survey of my ex-in-laws I find it hard to believe that “all sci’ologists have read dianetics.”. After more than ten years of being of being married to a big family of devout public+ sci’s, and tolerating the weirdness as best as I could, I finally brought myself to read their scripture. I was shocked to find therein graphic details of the causes of prenatal engrams and the ridiculous assertions of how these engrams supposedly affect people throughout their lives. Who knew that my mom’s constipation and infidelity was causing my psychosomatic ills today? Who would have figured that my father’s physical and sexual abuse of my mom while she was pregnant is what’s holding holding me back in life?

    Anyway, when I took an informal poll of these sci’s, I really didn’t come away with a lot of confidence that they had actually read the book that their faith is based on. These are seemingly well adjusted and successful people and I find it extremely hard to believe that they would accept the outdated, outrageous, and morally reprehensible content and propositions of dianetics.

    And the notion that a seven year old girl should not even “shudder” in response to the passionate kiss of a man is absolutely disgusting and revolting to this father of two beautiful little girls right around seven years old…. What kind of sick fuck would even have those thoughts? And how the hell are his followers able to manage the cognitive dissonance that should come from hearing those words from their spiritual leader?

  • G.A.T says:

    Love. LOVE the show. Never knew anything about Scientology until the show and now can’t get enough of the podcasts! (I’m from Brooklyn)- LOVE YOU LEAH!
    3 questions

    1. What happened with the YouTube channel for the podcasts. Did it get taken down? There’s a new channel up but it’s obviously not the original.
    2. Are you guys going to have Jamie Dewolf on the podcast?
    3. Would you do a show on Marty Rathbun and what the hell happened there? There’s a lot of suppositions out there about what happened that he would end up back in the organization he spoke out about. (Lots of theories that he was a mole all along or got paid out to go back etc)

    Thanks! Keep doing this. You ARE making a difference.

  • K says:

    Bring the podcast back to YouTube, please!!!

  • Megan R says:

    As someone with Epilepsy I was frustrated to lean that neurological disorders and considered psychosomatic and people with neurological disorders are considered low on the tone scale. Is it true that people with seizures are encouraged- or forced- not to take medicine. Also if someone in Scientology died from SUDEP (sudden unexpected dearth from Epilepsy) would a parent/spouse/ family member blame Scientology or would they accept the individuals death as fate?

  • Beverly says:

    Now I know the L. In Hubbard’s name stands for LIAR! Listening to this episode I did have to constantly remind myself that this was about Hubbard & not Trump!
    Love the podcast; have listened from the beginning. You two are doing great work; thank you!

  • Stafford Black says:

    I have listened for some time now. In the mid 70’s I went into a office/church and ended up buying that book and when I got to the reactive mind it went into the garbage. Remember the mid 70’s today June 30th I received a form letter and pamphlets reminding me that in 1978 I bought the book Dianetics. They have sent me mail no matter where I have moved to ever since I made that visit.

  • Karin says:

    We do not live in an “authoritarian society”- or haven’t, up until very recently. In fact, the western world has enjoyed the most freedom for individuals in recorded history.
    Just claiming this discredits the many right points Mr Atack made and makes one question how balanced his opinion really is.

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