L. Ron Hubbard referred to himself as a “nuclear physicist” and assumed the title of Doctor when it suited his plans to sell his “wisdom” to people.
He authored a book, All About Radiation (no longer published because it was SO provably false) and delivered a series of lectures that he sold to the unsuspecting filled with his crazy theories about radiation — cashing in on the fear of nuclear war in the 50’s. He even claimed he was offered a position as a nuclear physicist by the US Government, but of course he turned it down. As is very well documented, he took a course in atomic and molecular physics at George Washington University for two semesters, received an F and subsequently dropped out of college altogether before graduating. He was never a nuclear physicist of any kind. (Nor was he a “C.E” [Civil Engineer] — another title he used for a time).
He also assumed the title “Dr.” Hubbard, until that too became unviable. With typical Hubbard bluster, he then announced he was renouncing it “in protest against the abuses and murders carried out under the title…”
In February 1966 he issued a policy letter “abolishing” the doctor title, justifying his false claim by saying:
“I was a Ph.D., Sequoia’s [sic] University and therefore a perfectly valid doctor under the laws of the State of California”.
His claim to a Ph.D. was based on him buying, in 1953, a “mail order degree” from the diploma mill, Sequoia University. This was conferred by Dr. Joseph Hough, a Los Angeles chiropodist in exchange for a small fee. Hubbard wanted the degree to impress people in England and asked for it to be expedited because his “work here [is] utterly dependent on it.” (See Bare-faced Messiah).
Hubbard used the title until he was called out on it, then he tried to claim that it was his protest against abuses that was the cause of him “abolishing the title,” not that he was not really a doctor. He still maintained his “Ph.D.” was “valid” but he just didn’t want people to call him this any longer in “protest of their abuses.”
One of our readers, Fred G. Haseney, added this interesting information: On the same day that L. Ron Hubbard wrote his scathing dissertation on the medical profession (“Doctor Title Abolished,” HCO PL February 14, 1966), the Daily Mail published the first of a three-part series on him (“Attention the Minister of Health: This Man is Bogus”). “He claims,” the article reported, “to have ‘many degrees and is very skilled by reason of study.’ He uses the title ‘doctor.’” In the next paragraph, the Daily Mail proves his claim of having any degrees or of being a doctor as “self-invented” and “self-bestowed.”
This is similar to his policy letter canceling the “use of Fair Game” — a propaganda statement intended to deflect criticism. Or his announcement to a government inquiry in New Zealand that disconnection was no longer being used in scientology. Or his claims that he had ‘not profited” from scientology, but in fact it owed him huge sums for all his unpaid work. There are numerous other examples. When Hubbard was confronted with uncomfortable truths or exposure of his lies and false claims of accomplishments, study or research, he issued self-serving statements to try to rewrite history or hoodwink people with cleverly worded disclaimers.
Scientology continues to do the same thing today. They too are masters at “protesting” abuses — while abusing people every day of the week.
Mark Starin says
Not to mention his disastrous career in the USN.
However, his official Navy service records indicate that “his military performance was, at times, substandard”, that he was only awarded a handful of campaign medals and that he was never injured or wounded in combat and was never awarded a Purple Heart. Most of his military service was spent ashore in the continental United States on administrative or training duties. He briefly commanded two anti-submarine vessels, USS YP-422 and USS PC-815, in coastal waters off Massachusetts, Oregon and California in 1942 and 1943 respectively. He was removed from command of both vessels and rated by his superiors as being unsuitable for independent duties and “lacking in the essential qualities of judgment, leadership and cooperation”. Although Hubbard asserted that he had attacked and crippled or sunk two Japanese submarines off Oregon while in command of USS PC-815, his claim was rejected by the commander of the Northwest Sea Frontier after a subsequent investigation. He was hospitalized for the last seven months of his active service, not with injuries but with an acute duodenal ulcer.
I do not know if this has been mentioned here already but I think it’s worth noting that Nicki Clyne has reportedly left Keith Raniere of NXVIM!
Many people never would have thought this would be possible and I have seen many people leave Scientology including myself after twenty five years and Mike Rinder and far too many others to count!
My point is that the people who hope and pray for their loved ones and family members to leave Scientology and other cults and ultimately to return to them are not entirely without hope. Even when it seems impossible.
Mike Rinder says
YEs, this is great news!
Mary quite contrary says
From today’s SPTV – a few comments –
Loss of tax exemption would cause a lot of problems for most of US ideal orgs as they would have to pay real estate taxes.
MAny orgs are barely surviving and in some places tax could be more than they could pay. A 1% tax rate on a 10 million dollar building would be $2000 per week.
Paul Ronk says
I think his personal “whole track maps” where he identified on his track as “Piltdown Man” were always worrisome for me, being the ksw freak that I was at that time. I guess they will have to fix that if they ever get around to correcting the tech vols and history of man book. They would probably be more correct by being non-existent books!
Piltdown man was found to be a hoax. I guess he never got that communication. Even back then, I wondered what the rebuttal to be if anyone would ever query it. Something like “it really was not a hoax, and everyone else is just getting the story wrong” or something. I came to find out later something that I wouldn’t have believed at that time – hubbard was a liar, and a very big liar at that!!
The thing is that Scientology requires such total submission to Hubbard’s authority as an expert and obedience to group norms that also demand that one is in agreement with the group in their beliefs in the infallibility and sacredness of Hubbard’s ideas that there’s no room to doubt the ideas Hubbard presented, no matter how nonsensical or counterfactual they may be!
It reminds me of a quote from psychologist Jonathan Haidt, he wrote that he figured out what confirmation bias is when he was arguing with his wife about washing the dishes and he observed his young son.
He had realized that when his young son is introduced to an idea and says “Is there any way that can be?” He is trying to confirm what he wants! Whether it’s staying up late or getting ice cream tonight!
And when he says “But, must we do that?” He is trying to deny or avoid something! Whether it’s going to bed now or putting away his toys!
When you wrestle and twist and turn to have something be true no matter what that’s confirmation bias for the idea! And when you do mental gymnastics to avoid something being true that’s confirmation bias against it!
Haidt realized that when he didn’t do the dishes or take out the garbage all of a sudden his work or other things were valid reasons why he didn’t do it, but the same arguments when used by his wife if he disagreed with her were merely insufficient excuses!
He realized he was doing the same thing as his son!
And to further complicate the issue we have lots of information that is somewhat in a grey area and can be interpreted as being on a spectrum, a spectrum of certainty sometimes, a spectrum of importance sometimes, a spectrum of relevance to another issue sometimes.
When we are subject to confirmation bias – guess what, we tend to place things at the most convenient places on these various spectrums for supporting our ideas and countering ideas we dislike! How convenient!
Lots and lots of things we call logical fallacies or a tautology get used when we are motivated by confirmation bias.
Suddenly the flimsy argument is rock solid if it confirms what we want and the strongest evidence and most sound logic is not sufficient to be believed or even considered when it conflicts with our cherished beliefs. Oh darn.
That’s the mindset a Scientologist is required to get and keep if they want to stay out of trouble!
This brings us to the sacred science that Robert Jay Lifton delineated in his eight criteria for thought reform, a belief that the doctrine of a group (usually from a guru but sometimes the doctrine itself may act as the guru as Lifton noted).
The eight criteria for thought reform are well worth knowing in and out! And Lifton noted at the end that when we understand them well we should look at our own groups to see if they display them, how, and to what degree!
He originally presented the eight criteria for thought reform as a chapter in his book Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism.
He discovered that thousands and thousands of people were tremendously helped by his model and he has put it out in the internet free, so that people may use it to understand their own cultic experiences and relationships with his model by reframing their experience and seeing what was done in truth.
First I will give you an abridged description.
Dr. Robert J. Lifton’s Eight Criteria for Thought Reform
Milieu Control. This involves the control of information and communication both within the environment and, ultimately, within the individual, resulting in a significant degree of isolation from society at large.
Mystical Manipulation. There is manipulation of experiences that appear spontaneous but in fact were planned and orchestrated by the group or its leaders in order to demonstrate divine authority or spiritual advancement or some special gift or talent that will then allow the leader to reinterpret events, scripture, and experiences as he or she wishes.
Demand for Purity. The world is viewed as black and white and the members are constantly exhorted to conform to the ideology of the group and strive for perfection. The induction of guilt and/or shame is a powerful control device used here.
Confession. Sins, as defined by the group, are to be confessed either to a personal monitor or publicly to the group. There is no confidentiality; members’ “sins,” “attitudes,” and “faults” are discussed and exploited by the leaders.
Sacred Science. The group’s doctrine or ideology is considered to be the ultimate Truth, beyond all questioning or dispute. Truth is not to be found outside the group. The leader, as the spokesperson for God or for all humanity, is likewise above criticism.
Loading the Language. The group interprets or uses words and phrases in new ways so that often the outside world does not understand. This jargon consists of thought-terminating cliches, which serve to alter members’ thought processes to conform to the group’s way of thinking.
Doctrine over person. Member’s personal experiences are subordinated to the sacred science and any contrary experiences must be denied or reinterpreted to fit the ideology of the group.
Dispensing of existence. The group has the prerogative to decide who has the right to exist and who does not. This is usually not literal but means that those in the outside world are not saved, unenlightened, unconscious and they must be converted to the group’s ideology. If they do not join the group or are critical of the group, then they must be rejected by the members. Thus, the outside world loses all credibility. In conjunction, should any member leave the group, he or she must be rejected also. (Lifton, 1989)
Here’s the entire chapter.
jim rowles says
Back when I was on the Ivy list I reviewed the book and gave Hubbard a 1950s high School passing grade (C). The real thing that he got right was the fear associated with anything atomic, nuclear, or radiation.
Prior to joining Scientology, I obtained a degree in physics. This rendered my Scientology training very difficult, because Hubbard did not even have the understanding of Science that one might expect of a half way decent 10th grader.
This finally came to a head on the Briefing Course.
Every time I came across something that didn’t make sense in what Hubbard said about science, I attempted to word clear it.
Word clearing is something I still consider to be useful, but unfortunately, the more I word cleared Hubbard’s writings on science, the more convinced I became that he didn’t know what he was talking about.
Scientology-880 is particularly difficult.
On “All About Radiation”, I came to the conclusion that it was absolute nonsense.
Eventually, I gave up word clearing on subjects like this altogether as being a waste of time.
Good points. I am a pragmatic type of a person and have engaged in engineering of many different types in my life. Sometimes listening to a lecture, Hubbard would say something and I had to check myself, I simply knew that can’t be right, but blew it off as I wanted to believe Scientology was actually going some place (good). It left a subtle, maybe about it, and a real gaslight effect that makes it hard and clouds the differences between fact and fiction.
I’m commenting here on your post because as a sup for quite a few years I now see the “implant” capability of enforced word clearing on something not true or workable. If you trusted Hubbard was always correct, and had no prior experience in what he was talking about, well… Look at the result of the impenetrable mindset of the die hard Scientologist. Evidence means nothing to them… Trusting that source is always right in all things is at your own peril. How blind they become!
Fred G. Haseney says
On the same day that L. Ron Hubbard wrote his scathing dissertation on the medical profession (“Doctor Title Abolished,” HCO PL February 14, 1966), the Daily Mail published the first of a three-part series on him (“Attention the Minister of Health: This Man is Bogus”). “He claims,” the article reported, “to have ‘many degrees and is very skilled by reason of study.’ He uses the title ‘doctor.'” In the next paragraph, the Daily Mail proves his claim of having any degrees or of being a doctor as “self-invented” and “self-bestowed.”
That same year, two other publications called out Hubbard’s lies. In one, author Helen O’Brien, in her book “Dianetics in Limbo,” questioned his use of lectures labeled “doctorate” as well as the titles “Doctor of Philosophy” and “Doctor of Scientology.” In the other, a publication entitled “Hubbard E-Meter and Hubbard Electrometer,” the American Cancer Society announced that it had “found no evidence that treatment,” with the E-Meter and Electrometer, had resulted “in any objective benefit in the treatment of cancer.”
Additionally, a scientologist who avoids going to the doctor or seeking proper medical care has been duped into doing so simply by being a scientologist. In “Doctor Title Abolished,” Hubbard effectively defies his own “Third Party Law” as he third parties medical doctors, declaring that the term “learned man” has been stained by the profession. Earlier, he stated in a blatant generalization, that doctors are murderers; he then goes on to declare them faithless butchers. He also does this to the psychiatrist: he badmouths both professions without any proof or documentation.
Mike Rinder says
Thanks so much Fred. I added your first para to the post…
Fred G. Haseney says
You’re welcome. Glad to be of service. I couldn’t have done it without TrevAnon’s link to the “Chronology of Publications on Scientology” which he posted on your March 25, 2023 blog, “Ex-Scientologists Who Have Spoken Out.”
Good one Fred.
Hubbard sure flung around the bullshit & the worst part is, imo, is that he probably believed it. Per his own so called “technical discoveries”, his natter is extreme to say the least, then it became Church policy, sheesh! Just like Miscavige has to believe he is some big being or something with his command intention crap.
Fred Haseney says
Thank you, Yawn.
So, scientologists wallow in Hubbard’s bullshit. Hubbard most likely believed in his own crap, yet his followers fall for it, hook, line and sinker. And they don’t even know it. They think they’re saving the world! Scientologists don’t know just how prejudice, hateful and one-sided they are on a plethora of issues–and just because Hubbard said or wrote it so.