Archive for March 13, 2011

A Dark Centenary

Posted in History with tags , on March 13, 2011 by telescoper

Very busy day today, and I’ve been out and about for most of it in the spring sunshine. I just thought I’d keep up my record of posting every day by marking a centenary that falls today. One hundred years ago, on March 13 1911, L. Ron Hubbard was born. I said “marking” rather than “celebrating” because Hubbard was a truly appaling man – a liar, a charlatan, a conman, a drug addict, and an egomaniac – who left a trail of wrecked lives, largely through the sinister Church of Scientology he founded in the 1950s. Purporting to be a “self-help” organisation, it has succeeded only in helping itself to large amounts of money from its gullible victims, much of it subsequently spent silencing its many critics. Let’s see if they have a go at me!

In 1977, the FBI raided the offices of the Church of Scientology and found damning evidence of burglary and conspiracy. Hubbard’s wife, Mary Sue, was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison. Hubbard himself escaped justice by going into hiding. He died in 1986.

If you want to know more about this so-called Church, I suggest you read the book The Scandal of Scientology, all of which is available online here. I also mentioned it in a post last year.

I’ll just point out one particular victim of L Ron Hubbard: his own son, Quentin. A shy and sensitive boy, he took his own life in 1976 aged just twenty-two, no longer able to tolerate his father’s relentless homophobic goading.

I feel pity for those duped into signing up as scientologists – it seems to me such a transparently phoney operation I don’t see how anyone could fall for it – but for Hubbard himself, pity doesn’t come into it. He was monstrous.