Posts filed under ‘Who is L. Ron Hubbard?’
As the founder of the Scientology religion and the sole author of its Scripture, L. Ron Hubbard is respected by Scientologists throughout the world, and he has no successor. He is remembered not as one to be idolized or worshiped but as a man whose legacy is the religion of Scientology which still lives on. Some understanding of his background serves to illustrate how he came to discover the truths of the Scientology religion.
|Saint Hill Manor, in West Sussex, England. L. Ron Hubbard’s home from 1959 through 1966. Saint Hill also served as the international training and administrative headquarters for the Church of Scientology.|
Son of United States naval commander Harry Ross and Ledora May Hubbard, L. Ron Hubbard was born March 13, 1911, in Tilden, Nebraska. Frequent travel was the rule rather than the exception for a military family, and shortly thereafter, the Hubbards settled in Helena, Montana. While there, Mr. Hubbard became friendly with the indigenous Blackfeet, and particularly a tribal medicine man, who was ultimately to honor the young Hubbard with the unique status of blood brother.
With his father’s posting to the U.S. naval station on the island of Guam in 1927, L. Ron Hubbard began a period of travel that would consume the next several years. Included were extended voyages throughout the South Pacific and South China Sea and treks across China to its western hills.
He was later to write of his intense curiosity and this examination of Asian culture, that “my basic interest was the field of religion. Buddhism, Taoism were fascinating to me.” As a circumstance of that interest, he was puzzled by the human suffering he found rife amongst those who claimed to practice these Eastern faiths. He soon concluded that his searches would need to go further, and deeper.
He returned to the United States and subsequently enrolled at George Washington University where he studied engineering. As a natural result of the interest that was kindled in Asia, he soon embarked on a search for what he then termed “the Life essence.”
To that end, he enrolled in one of the nation’s first nuclear physics classes where he examined the possibility that life might be explained in terms of small energy particles. “Is it possible,” he asked, “that with this new branch of physics we might be able to locate the energy of life?” It opened a small crack in the door, but it was methodology such as this that led him to take a wholly scientific approach to inherently spiritual questions.
Following his stint at George Washington University, he embarked on international ethnological expeditions to the Caribbean and then to Puerto Rico.
Returning to the United States in 1933, Mr. Hubbard launched his literary career. His work spanned all genres, and between 1934 and 1950, he was to author more than 200 novels, stories and screenplays.
Mr. Hubbard’s literary career was his means to continue his research into what he now spoke of in terms of the “common denominator of life.” In the late 1930s, he conducted experiments concerning cellular memory retention and memory transmission to later generations, concluding that some unknown factor was capable of recording and transmitting the memory of a single event from one cellular generation to the next.
In 1938, the first summary of these and other findings appeared in his unpublished manuscript, Excalibur. The work proposed that the dynamic thrust of all life is the urge to survive. The scope of Excalibur was immense and proposed not only the means of placing all life into a definitive framework of survival, but a method of resolving any problems related to existence. Mr. Hubbard chose not to publish it, however, as it did not also offer a workable therapy.
His research thus continued along two broad veins: to further confirm his theory on survival as life’s single dynamic thrust, and to determine what internal mechanism within the human mind tended to inhibit that thrust.
With the outbreak of the Second World War, Mr. Hubbard was commissioned a lieutenant (junior grade) in the United States Navy, and saw service in the Pacific and Atlantic. By early 1945, he was adjudged partially blind from injured optic nerves and lame from hip and back injuries, and admitted to Oak Knoll Naval Hospital in Oakland, California, for treatment.
While at Oak Knoll, Mr. Hubbard began his first concerted test of therapeutic techniques he had developed during the course of his research. His subjects were drawn from former prisoners of Japanese internment camps, and particularly those with an inexplicable inability to assimilate protein in spite of hormone treatments. Utilizing an early version of Dianetics, Mr. Hubbard proceeded to determine if there were not some sort of “mental block” inhibiting normal recovery. What he found was that thought did indeed regulate endocrinal function and not, as then commonly held, the reverse. Utilizing these same techniques, Mr. Hubbard was eventually able to restore his own health.
At war’s end, Mr. Hubbard embarked upon an intensive testing program and continually refined Dianetics techniques. In essence, those techniques addressed what he defined as the sole source of all psychosomatic ills and mental aberration, or what he termed the reactive mind.
DIANETICS GOES PUBLIC
The first summary of Mr. Hubbard’s findings was informally presented to friends and colleagues in a manuscript entitled Dianetics: The Original Thesis. Response was immediate and considerable, and eventually Mr. Hubbard was persuaded to write a full-length handbook, showing how Dianetics could be employed. This was published on May 9, 1950, under the title Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.
Dianetics was an overnight success and L. Ron Hubbard found himself the subject of immense public demand for personal instruction in Dianetics techniques. Soon, six Dianetics Research Foundations were formed throughout the United States.
Concurrent with his extensive instruction and lecturing, Mr. Hubbard continued his research, and by 1951 he authored his second book on Dianetics: Science of Survival. In this book he described in detail the precise nature of the relationship between the fundamental life force—the spirit—and the physical universe. Science of Survival also explained how this relationship can lead to unwanted encumbrances of the spirit as well as the means for overcoming these barriers to spiritual freedom.
THE SPIRITUAL ESSENCE OF MAN
As Mr. Hubbard’s research continued, he encountered increasing evidence of man as a wholly spiritual entity with experiences extending well beyond the current lifetime. His research also suggested potential states of existence far beyond those previously envisaged.
What followed was the foundation of all that is addressed by Scientology—his definition of that seemingly immortal life-source he eventually termed the thetan, a potentially omnipotent and limitless being that was, in fact, the source of life.
Given the inherently religious nature of these discoveries, it was not surprising that those studying Scientology came to see themselves as members of a new religion. Consequently, in 1954, Scientologists established the first Church of Scientology in Los Angeles.
With the founding of Scientology, the impact of Mr. Hubbard’s work increased internationally, as did his movements. By the mid-1950s, he was regularly traveling between lectures in Europe and instruction at the Founding Church of Washington, D.C. As Executive Director, he also saw to the worldwide administration of Scientology through these years, and drafted the organizational policies that still form the basis of Church administration.
In 1959, Mr. Hubbard moved to Saint Hill Manor in East Grinstead, Sussex, where he established his home and continued research, instruction and lectures into the spirit. Among the significant developments in the early 1960s were the inauguration of the Saint Hill Special Briefing Course lectures, the delineation of the Scientology Bridge to Total Freedom and the gradual increments of that Bridge to increasingly higher levels of spiritual gain.
To accommodate his research into Scientology’s highest levels of spiritual attainment, Mr. Hubbard resigned as Executive Director of the worldwide network of Scientology churches, and moved to sea in 1967 to focus on his research in a distraction-free environment.
While on board the 3,200-ton Apollo, Mr. Hubbard streamlined the lower levels of Scientology and continued his research toward the attainment of higher spiritual levels. He also began to search out solutions to society’s more salient problems. In 1969, for example, he noted what recreational drug abuse spelled in terms of cultural and spiritual decline, and commenced work on what would ultimately become the Hubbard Drug Rehabilitation Program. Similarly, after noting the widespread illiteracy and societal waste which flowed from a failing educational system, he began developing methods of study for secular use. Mr. Hubbard’s discoveries in these areas formed the genesis of many of the community betterment programs that have since become a worldwide Church effort.
Returning to the United States in 1975, Mr. Hubbard devoted his energies to the founding of the Church of Scientology’s Flag Land Base in Clearwater, Florida. To fulfill a pressing need for instructional films on the disciplines of Scientology, he then moved to Southern California, where he wrote and produced numerous such films for the religion.
The 1980s culminated in Mr. Hubbard’s completion of his research into man’s ultimate spiritual potentials. After finalizing that research, and, in fact, all the Scientology Scripture he had spent most of his life developing, Mr. Hubbard departed this life on January 24, 1986.
Today, the Scripture of Scientology comprises tens of millions of words in books and lectures by L. Ron Hubbard. In all, there are more than 120 million copies of L. Ron Hubbard books in circulation.
|“I like to help others, and count it as my greatest pleasure in life to see a person free himself of the shadows which darken his days.”—L. Ron Hubbard|
And Mr. Hubbard’s legacy extends beyond Scientology per se. His educational discoveries have been used to help millions of children better read, write and comprehend. Hundreds of thousands of men and women have ended their substance abuse or prevented themselves from falling into the trap of abuse through his discoveries in drug rehabilitation. And literally more than 50 million have been reached through his non-religious moral code.
But for Mr. Hubbard, what was important was not acclaim or recognition, but that he achieved his intended aim of helping man “become a better being” by founding the religion of Scientology.