A brief Biography of L. Ron Hubbard
Ability Issue 111 (January 1959)
The Magazine of
DIANETICS and SCIENTOLOGY
A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY OF L. RON HUBBARD
BIOGRAPHICAL SOURCES, L. RON HUBBARD
The Biographical Encyclopedia of the World. Who's Who in the East (U. S.) Who Knows and What (Standard Reference of Technical Experts) Who's Who in the South and Southwest (U. S.)
The following is taken from the sixth edition of “Who's Who in the South and Southwest” published by Marquis-Who's Who, (part of the A. N. Marquis Co. of Chicago), and described as a biographical dictionary of noteworthy men and women of the South and Southwestern States.
HUBBARD, Lafayette Ronald, author, explorer; b. Tilden, Neb., Mar. 13, 1911; s. H. R. and Ledora May (Waterbury) B. S. in Civil Engineering, George Washington U.
HUBBARD, Lafayette Ronald, author, explorer; b. Tilden, Neb., Mar. 13, 1911; s. H. R. and Ledora May (Waterbury) H.; student Swavely Prep. Sch., 1929, Woodward Prep. Sch., 1930; B. S. in Civil Engineering, George Washington U., 1934; student Princeton Sch. Govt., 1945; Ph. D., Sequoia U., 1950; m. Mary Sue Whipp; children - Lafayette Ronald, Catherine May, Diana, Quentin, Suzette, Arthur. Writer aviation and travel articles, 1930 --, novels 1936 --; explorer 1934 --; comdr. Caribbean Motion Picture Expedn. and W. I. Minerals Expedn., 1935, Alaskan Radio-Exptl. Expdn., 1940; writer for 90 nat. mags., Hollywood studios and radio; licensed comml. glider pilot, master of motor vessels, master of sailing vessels (all oceans), radio operator. Mem. 163rd Inf., Mont N.G., 1927-1928, 20th Marines, Marine Corps Res., 1930-1931; served as lt. USNR, 1941-46, comdg. escort vessels and navigator in all theaters. Fellow Oceanographic Found.; Pres. Founding Church of Scientology, Washington. Clubs: Explorers' (N. Y. C.); Capitol Yacht. Author: Buckskin Brigades, Final Blackout, Rebellion; Dianetics: Modern Science of Mental Health; and 20 other volumes on Dianetics and Scientology; also motion pictures, mag. fiction, two texts on psychology. Home: Washington. Office 1812 19th St., N. W. Washington 9.
Descended from Count de Loup who entered England with the Norman invasion and became the founder of the English de Wolfe family which emigrated to America in the 17th century. On his father's side, from the English Hubbards, who came to America in the 19th century. His father's mother is Scotch; his maternal grandfather was a cattleman in Montana.
L. Ron Hubbard was raised on his grandfather's cattle ranch in Montana. He could ride before he could walk well. Attempts to send him to school were seldom availing. He considered until he was 10 years old that the handling of a rifle or hunting coyotes or trying to break broncos was more useful than school knowledge. He later became a blood brother of the Blackfeet (Pikuni) Indians, and his first novel, published in 1936 by the MacCaulay Company concerns them.
When he was ten, he rejoined his father and mother. His father's commission in the U.S. Navy kept him on the move. His father became very concerned with his lack of education and had him given very heavy instruction. By the time he was 12, he had read most of Shakespeare as well as graduating from grade school with high honors.
At the age of twelve, in Washington, D. C. at the time, he joined the Boy Scouts and became in due course the youngest Eagle Scout in America, and the fast friend of the President's son, Calvin Coolidge, Jr., whose untimely death is probably responsible for L. Ron Hubbard's early interest in healing research.
As his father's duty took the family to the far East, L. Ron Hubbard was in China when he was fourteen. Again his father became concerned with his schooling and this time L. Ron Hubbard had an ace in the hole in his grandfather, whose wealth made it possible for L. Ron Hubbard to spend the next several years in travel throughout Asia. In Northern China and India he became intensely curious about the composition and destiny of man, and studied on the one hand with Lama Priests, and made himself agreeable on the other hand to the war-like tribes people by his ability to ride.
With the death of his grandfather, when he was nineteen, L. Ron Hubbard was brought home by his father to study at George Washington University in Washington, D. C. As his scholastic record was blank, he had to enter on the basis of examination and intelligence tests, and after four months of prepping, took these, and was admitted into the school of engineering at G. W. Never noted for being in class, he yet scraped through the department of higher mathematics and the department of engineering. He was a member of the first U.S. course in formal education in what is called today nuclear physics. Excelling in but thoroughly detesting his subjects, he supported himself by his writings, and before he had concluded college, was well established as an essayist. When his fellow students graduated into a world dying beneath the pall of depression in the early '30s, L. Ron Hubbard solved his finances, and his desire to travel by writing anything that came to hand.
His first action on leaving college was to blow off steam by leading an expedition into Central America. In the next few years, he headed three expeditions, all of them undertaken in order to study savage peoples and cultures to provide fodder for his articles and stories. Between 1933 and 1941 he visited many barbaric cultures and yet found time to write seven million words of published fact and fiction.
Having first become interested in Asia, in the mind and in man, he multiplied this interest with his investigations of savage peoples, and by 1938 wrote a never-published work called by the code name “Excalibur”, on the subject of the basic principles of human existence.
By 1936 he had become a member of the Explorers Club in New York City, and until this day, this is his permanent address.
He has written in addition to travel articles, westerns, science fiction, and adventure stories, and is still one of the better known science fiction writers.
He was first called to Hollywood to write a movie in 1936, and since that time has done considerable movie work. He is best known for his worst movie, “The Secret of Treasure Island”, produced by Columbia, since it made more money for its cost than any other film of the period, and is playing today in foreign countries still making money. This and other motion picture activities has often caused Jimmy Fidler, the movie columnist, and Walter Winchell, the commentator, to report him in error back in Hollywood at work for one or another studio.
Commissioned before the war broke out in 1941, by the U. S. Navy, he was ordered to the Philippines on the entry of the U. S. into the war and was flown home in the late spring of 1942 in the Secretary of the Navy's private plane as the first U. S. returned casualty from the Far East.
As a yachtsman, he had considerable sea experience, and the scarcity of officers and the frequency of torpedoings were such that without rest, he was ordered at once to the command of the former British corvette, the Mist, and saw service for the remainder of that year, serving with British and American antisubmarine war vessels in the North Atlantic. He rose to command a squadron. In 1943 he saw duty in the North Pacific.
At the end of the war, having been relegated because of his physical condition to the amphibious forces in the Pacific, he had the adventures which are reported on the screen in “Mister Roberts”. “The Bucket” of that motion picture, stage play, and novel is actually the A. K. A. 54, the U. S. S. Algol. The captain so brutally characterized in the picture is actually Lieutenant Commander Axton P. Jones. L. Ron Hubbard as “Mister Roberts” was with the ship less than a year, however, and contrary to script, was not killed at Okinawa. The novel, play and picture are otherwise not incorrect, although the incident of the nurses really happened very early in the war in the South Pacific. The tale of “The Bucket” which became “Mister Roberts” and which was played so well by Henry Fonda was told by L. Ron Hubbard many times in New York playwriting circles, and at length found its way into script without his previous knowledge. Besides “Mister Roberts” several other stories, novels and plays have been written about various aspects of L. Ron Hubbard's life. One of these, “Rocket to the Morgue” by H. H. Holmes, labels him as “D. Vance Wimpole”. In a science fiction novel by A. E. Van Vogt, he is called more flatly “Elron”, and completely in argument to the characterization in “Mister Roberts” is the villain of the piece.
A SCIENCE IS BORN
L. Ron Hubbard's researches into the actual nature of the mind of man started in the early 1930's, and were carried on concurrently with his writing, expeditionary, and movie work. He had investigated Eastern philosophies and religions and the practices of many primitive cultures in other parts of the world. He had read the works of the great thinkers of all ages -- always inquiring to see if what they wrote really applied to what was observable in man. He did much research in the ’30's and, after the war, in the 1940's, testing all theories by actual observation and discarding any theory of mind operation which he did not find to be true in fact.
In these years L. Ron Hubbard uncovered the basic principles of Scientology and Dianetics.
In 1950 he decided he had built a firm enough foundation in research to make his work public.
Although he had early written monographs such as Man Under Stress and A Description of Mental Workings, from the viewpoint of the physicist and anthropologist, his 1950 work was for popular consumption, written at the behest of a psychiatric text-book publisher. L. Ron Hubbard and the publisher expected the book to sell about six thousand copies. It sold a hundred thousand in the first three months of its publication and is still selling over nine years later. Its name is “Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health”.
At the time this book came out, an article by L. Ron Hubbard was published in Astounding Science Fiction (a magazine which has a readership of engineers and others in the more active professions and has a history of publishing some pioneering factual articles in many fields of science, in addition to its fiction). This article, “Dianetics: Evolution of a Science”, also aroused much interest. It is available now in booklet form from the Scientology Organizations and it describes L. Ron Hubbard's progress in probing into the human mind and the human spirit as well as detailing his modus operandi in this research.
The introduction of Dianetics onto the American scene aroused a huge stir. The book, “Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health”, tells the layman how to use Dianetics. Thousands of people began to use it. Hundreds of people wrote, spoke and ranted for and against it. In the United States various Dianetic organizations were set up, with and without L. Ron Hubbard's approval, to deal with the demand for processing and training. All sorts of people found out about Dianetics and proceeded to help themselves.
To combat this confusion of commercial exploitation and to provide for an orderly advance, L. Ron Hubbard went back to the broader subject of Scientology and founded the Hubbard Association of Scientologists International as the official organization which would process people, train people and supervise research.
Books and more books were demanded. L. Ron Hubbard wrote them and they were published by the Scientology Organizations. Each one of his books has brought out more data discovered in the course of research and more coordination of previously known fundamentals. The expert Scientologist has read all of these books, since Dr. Hubbard does not merely repeat what he has written before, but continually in each new book carries the understandings of man and of life and of the composition of the physical universe forward to greater insight and practicality of use.
Among the best-known titles are:
- “Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health”,
- “Science of Survival”,
- “The Creation of Human Ability”,
- “Problems of Work”,
- “Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought”, and
- “Self Analysis in Scientology”.
There are also books on more topical subjects such as those dealt with in “All About Radiation” and “How to Live Though an Executive”.
The “International” at the end of the HASI's title is well earned. The Organization has offices in Washington, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Auckland, Johannesburg, Paris and Berlin.
Scientology books have been translated into many languages and the HASI receives inquiries from all parts of the world. An extensive book program has now lead to large stocks of all books being created in every HASI organization on earth and with most Scientologists. Students on each continent go to their nearest Central Organization for training to become professional practitioners in Scientology or “auditors” as they are called (an auditor: one who listens and computes). When trained, they qualify to help other people improve their lives and abilities by doing simple mental exercises under the auditor's skilled supervision, and many auditors set up groups and centers of their own.
The publication of “Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health” in 1950 started a very active and busy publishing house as well as a world movement. The work initiated and carried forward, for many years unaided and unknown, by one man - L. Ron Hubbard - now suddenly affects the lives of people from Melbourne to Massachusetts. And the HASI has become a very busy organization indeed.
In addition to the HASI L. Ron Hubbard has set up on all continents Hubbard Communications Offices which assist him in his many programs and act as his personal office in an area. HCO's service the HASI organizations and the HCO enfranchised auditors and centers with the latest developments in Scientology data. HCO's supervise ethics and technology, and issue all awards in Scientology and Dianetics. It is through the Hubbard Communications Office that L. Ron Hubbard disseminates the latest technical and training data that he has developed in his research.
In the United States, in recognition of the basically spiritual nature of man, the Founding Church of Scientology has been set up. It is true that, as a religion, Scientology has cut through the musty prejudices of the past and given man a fresh and hopeful outlook on good living and eternal life.
SCIENTOLOGY AND DIANETICS
L. Ron Hubbard describes Dianetics and Scientology in this light: “It was inevitable that a man who spent his youth in Asia and who studied at the mathematics and physical science of the West would become interested in the mind, and any such man combining what he knew would probably have discovered Dianetics and Scientology.”
“Dianetics is that branch of Scientology which deals with mental anatomy.”
“Scientology is an organized body of scientific research knowledge concerning life, life sources and the mind and includes practices that improve the intelligence, state and conduct of persons.”
That Dianetics and Scientology have contributed something is attested by the fact that by them we can raise the intelligence quotient of a person about one point per hour of processing (simple mental exercises) -- a thing which was considered impossible a few years ago. Their stress is on ability and, with them, the general skill and efficiency of a person can be raised and the raise can be tested by very severe regimens and can be found to be stable.
There are many thousands of people using these subjects professionally in the world, and many others of the healing professions have used these skills more or less without credit.
Concerning sudden recoveries from illness, L. Ron Hubbard said, “I saw miracles in India and China done by holy men, but long association with them convinced me that they didn't know entirely how they did it. I set out to find out from nuclear physics a knowledge of the physical universe, something entirely lacking in Asian philosophy. I made a few discoveries and we have been applying them. I believe any student given a similar background could have done the same thing. I just happened along at the right crossroads.”
HOBBIES AND INTERESTS
L. Ron Hubbard has two main hobbies. These are yachting and photography. He holds like many yachtsmen, papers as master mariner in sail and motor vessels. He has owned several yachts. He does his own photo work and is assisted by his wife in this. Another interest of his is cars.
Dr. Hubbard's latest achievement has been, surprisingly, in agriculture.
He has been applying his knowledge to greenhouse plants and fruit. The “London Garden News” said that: “Current experiments he (L. Ron Hubbard) is conducting are 25 years in advance of today's methods and ideas”.