In Part 3, we’ll look at the controversy surrounding Hubbard’s departure and travel back to the United States from Brisbane, Australia, using some of the same previously cited sources from Parts 1 and 2 along with public records, such as those of the Naval Air Transport Service (NATS) and the Pan American Airways archive held by the University of Miami. I want to especially thank Jeffrey Augustine for laying much of the groundwork as to possible avenues for Hubbard’s travel home, specifically in response to Margaret Lake’s assertions as to this timeframe on her Scientology Myths blog. Ms. Lake attempts to demonstrate that much of Hubbard’s narrative about his return home from Australia is essentially true, and we’ll be rigorously challenging her claims as to the veracity of Hubbard’s narrative.
In researching her claims, I have come across empirical evidence that negates much of her argument, specifically the timeline of his return, his having called upon Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox to facilitate his return and his having used a Pan American Clipper for the entire journey to the United States. A major point of contention is where Hubbard was in the 14 days in between his departure from Brisbane on March 9th, and his arrival in San Francisco on March 23rd. I will provide a detailed examination of this timeframe, as well as show how Hubbard used duplicity, in the form of forged official orders, to steal a seat on a Clipper to fly home from Honolulu.
What emerges from my work is a hybrid narrative that like many of Hubbard’s stories, narratives and anecdotes, reflects some truth among the many lies. This particular series of events is important in Hubbard’s mythology. By debunking the veracity of Hubbard’s tale here, we are also debunking the very foundations of Scientology. Like his fanciful narrative of espionage on Java and saving Australia, his homeward-bound odyssey reflects his hubris and predisposition to constantly exceed his authority. More sinisterly, it shows his selfishness and cowardice, as in falsifying orders to return home from Honolulu via air, he undoubtedly bumped a more deserving fellow serviceman, or worse, a military dependent or other, more worthy passenger, as well as avoiding a potentially hazardous journey by ship.
It’s clear from Part 2 in our series that Hubbard’s brief time in Australia was a disaster, and certainly a far cry from both his and Scientology’s narrative of his single handedly saving our Antipodean allies from the ravages of Imperial Japan. If anything, the record demonstrates that he was considered a self-aggrandizing nuisance incapable of executing the few tasks he was given; his response to charges of incompetence reflects what would be a pattern throughout his life, wherein he would never admit fault or would blame others for his own failings, shirking responsibility wherever possible. Continue reading “Debunking Military Lies Part 3: Hubbard Fibs His Way Home”
In Part 1 of this series, we were able to demonstrate that any claim of L. Ron Hubbard’s having been a spy in Java were demonstrably false. Like much of the myths around Hubbard’s life, his Java claims were really unnecessary in the grand scheme of things; it’s as though his many legitimate accomplishments were never enough, and when it came to anything remotely connected to the military or intelligence matters, gold plating his exploits was a must. The record shows that he volunteered to serve his country in a time of war, was deployed to combat theatre, and once there, could have made a contribution. Yet this reality wasn’t enough for Hubbard, and he would go on to exaggerate and lie about his Pacific service for many more years. In Part 2 of this series, I’ll be looking at his time in Australia as reflected in the record and then compare the record, historical context and other data points to Hubbard’s recollections. Continue reading “Debunking Military Lies Part 2: Hubbard’s Australian Idyll”
Recently, I’ve been looking into L. Ron Hubbard’s claims regarding his military career as a US Naval Reserve intelligence officer in the Pacific theatre early in WWII. I was curious as to the contexts of these claims, given the variances in accounts from Scientology historians such as Chris Owen, Jon Atack and Jeffrey Augustine. The Scientology Myths website also provides an excellent resource for source documentation regarding Hubbard’s naval service, as well as his brief time in the Marine Corps Reserve, though with a distinctly revionsist position as to Hubbard’s claims. While I’m interested in Hubbard’s brief Marine Corps service and will be examining that in the future, in this, the first of a multi-part series, I’ll be deconstructing his claims as to having been involved in espionage against the Japanese on Java in 1942. Future posts will look into his role as an intelligence officer in Australia from 1942 onward, as well as his postwar service and hospitalization.
My purpose here is to add to the existing body of research on the matter, by bringing my service background and life-long interest in military history to bear. The Pacific Theatre is of great personal interest to me, as my father served there as a Naval aviator. Indeed, his stories and those of friends and family, along my own reading on the subject, engendered a great deal of respect for those who fought in the Pacific, and were all significant motivators in my joining the Marine Corps. In revisiting Hubbard’s record, I hope to provide some useful additional context regarding his claims, and in doing so, further expose the exaggerations and outright lies of Mr. Hubbard in regards to his service early in WWII. For the most part, Hubbard served his country honorably in a time of war; it’s his exploiting his time in the Navy to further Scientology, as well as embellishing his service record, personal decorations, and overall contribution to the war effort that I find repellent. Continue reading “Debunking Military Lies, Part 1: Hubbard’s Tales from the South Pacific”
In Part 4 of our series on Scientology financial crime, we conclude our look at the evolution of Scientology as a criminal enterprise, specifically at how Scientology’s many rackets have evolved over the last 20 years or so under the authority of David Miscavige. Having essentially abandoned auditing in favor of less risky income streams, we look at the “Golden Age of Tech,” “Super Power” and other scams such as the “Ideal Org” real estate portfolio racket and their place within the criminal enterprise that is Scientology in the 21st century. Lastly, we’ll examine Scientology’s vulnerability in the post-9/11 era of financial regulation. However, before we return to examining David Miscavige’s and Scientology’s behavior during the Lisa McPherson trial that we described in Part Three, it’s important to establish some additional contextual understanding of several key events in the mid to late 1980’s that influenced not only church behavior during the McPherson trial, but also served to shape the church’s behaviour and culture within Scientology into the present day. Continue reading “Scientology Financial Crime Part Four: Miscavige’s Golden Age of Grifting”
In Part Three, the penultimate segment in our examination of the third era in Scientology’s criminal evolution, we’ll look at how David Miscavige’s assumption of power reflected a continuation of Hubbard’s obsession with Scientology’s ruthless utilitarianism, as well as how Miscavige’s own violent, thuggish temperament reflected a Gotti-like use of fear as his primary mechanism of control. We’ll also examine how Scientology’s use of the legal system shifted from the harassment-focused days of Hubbard to a more nuanced strategic approach, as well as how several key incidents that occurred under Miscavige redefined how Scientology’s La Cosa Nostra (“This thing of ours” or “Our thing”) -like mindset operates to this day. Continue reading “Scientology Financial Crime Part Three: Miscavige’s 20th Century Mob”
This week, we continue our examination of Scientology’s evolution from that of a self-help process, the origins of which were rooted in founder L. Ron Hubbard’s pseudo-scientific epistle Dianetics, to that of a mafia-like Transnational Criminal Organization (TCO), essentially a criminal conglomerate couched as a “religion.” In understanding Hubbard’s motivations for wealth accumulation, it was clear from last week’s examples that Hubbard’s obsession with money was as much about funding the furtherance of his legacy as it was furthering Scientology. In continuing with our use of behavior within a given era to examine the evolution of Scientology’s financial criminality, we now go from the era of Hubbard as tax evader, on to the transitional era of Hubbard as an established crime boss-like figure. Contemporary to Hubbard’s transitional era is the seemingly inevitable rise of David Miscavige, from that of indispensable lieutenant to consigliere and in our final era, his eventual role as capo de tutti capi of Scientology. Continue reading “Scientology Financial Crime, Part 2: From Tax Evader to Mob Boss”
As my introductory post mentioned, my goal in this series is to provide a historical perspective on money in the church in roughly three eras: the first era will address Hubbard’s financial behavior up until the time of his final days; the second, David Miscavige’s assumption of power and the 1982 Mission Holder’s shakedown, and third, money in the church under Miscavige following the Mission Holder shakedown up to the present day.
This historical arc provides a convenient means of analyzing the church’s transition from its roots in providing Dianetics-based therapy into a pseudo-religious conglomerate with all the trappings of a cartel, or more so, demonstrating many of the characteristics reflective of a Transnational Criminal Organization (TCO) of significant proportions. Key to understanding any crime are the factors of means, motive, and opportunity. While the past certainly provides valuable context in understanding both L. Ron Hubbard’s role and Scientology’s means, motives, and opportunities for accumulating wealth, understanding the doctrine, ideology, and psychological profile of the church is also crucial. Thus the rigid adherence to Hubbard as “Source” for all of Scientology’s teachings, doctrine and operational foundation, and the resultant cult of personality that compels its malevolent zealotry, are the nexus for its criminality. Continue reading “Scientology Organized Crime, Part 1: The Beginnings”
I was first drawn to the Scientology critic movement as a result of my background in anti-money laundering, countering the financing of terrorism and the forensic analysis of financial crime. Having come across several Interpol reports that mentioned L. Ron Hubbard’s money movements from his days on the Apollo, my interest was piqued as to the why and how of his intentions. The further I delved into the financial affairs of Scientology, the more I became convinced I was potentially dealing with a Transnational Criminal Organization (TCO) of significant proportions. While I’ve enjoyed investigating a variety of topics within Scientology, over the next few weeks I’ll be returning to this premise.
I’ll be looking at the historical perspective of money in the church in roughly three eras: the first era will address Hubbard’s financial behavior up until the time of his final days; the second, David Miscavige’s assumption of power and the 1982 Mission Holder’s shakedown, and third, money in the church under Miscavige following the Mission Holder shakedown up to the present day. Over the last several months, I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with several key figures in Scientology history who are intimately familiar with money management over the three eras I’ve mentioned. Further to these firsthand experiences, in recent weeks we’ve undertaken several investigations into some of the foundational writings of Scientology, as well as the link between conspiracy theory, Scientology and cults in general. Continue reading “Scientology Financial Crime through the Years: an introduction to a new series”
In last week’s post, I provided an overview of The Responsibilities of Leaders, one of Hubbard’s more iconic writings, along with some observations from former Scientologists Brian Lambert and Jefferson Hawkins on the importance of this policy in understanding Scientology’s zeitgeist. Both gentlemen frame their observations of this policy as being perhaps a sort of “command legacy” from Hubbard to David Miscavige given that it’s Miscavige’s favorite LRH essay, which he uses to illustrate what he literally expects from his subordinates in terms of loyalty, ruthlessness, and Keeping Scientology Working. This week I begin by contrasting Hubbard’s power-as-leadership model against more traditional concepts of leadership, and then examine the connection between Mary Sue Hubbard and The Four Seasons of Manuela, and lastly, how The Responsibilities of Leaders may account for David Miscavige’s behavior and its subsequent impact on his relationship with wife Shelly Miscavige. Continue reading “The Responsibilities of Leaders, Part II: Power, Mary Sue, and Where’s Shelly?”
Certain Scientology policies written by L. Ron Hubbard have assumed almost mythic proportions. Keeping Scientology Working is perhaps the penultimate example but there have been others. These policies provide an inside look at the mind of Hubbard and are very helpful for those seeking an understanding of his motivations and thought processes. To some extent, these policies also illustrate not only Scientology’s group-think on expanding their reach, but also how Hubbard expected Scientologists themselves to think and act. Continue reading “Reappraising Hubbard’s “The Responsibilities of Leaders””