Christi Gordon came across this 1975 document and forwarded to me. It contains some interesting material worthy of comment.
Hubbard announces he has been informed that there will be no deal with the IRS and thus there will be a 4 or 5 year fight. OF course, he has a solution that will save the day (history doesn’t look kindly on many of his predictions and solutions).
And this is an especially bizarre one.
IN 1974 Hubbard had begun shooting “photo stories” aboard the Apollo. These horrendously staged and lit images were the focus of attention of a large number of crew at the time — creating what was known as the “Photo Shoot Org.” Some of the images appeared in the original edition of the Volunteer Minister’s Handbook (now Scientology Handbook) and other places. They were so amateurish that every one of them was replaced in later editions and these shots have been buried forever after. Though I don’t have an edition to hand, I would bet the “Ron” mag that proclaims him a genius photographer contains none of the hundreds, probably thousands of images he shot at that time — though this was his only real foray into the world of being a “professional” photographer rather than him taking shots for his own pleasure..
Here is an example of one (a “picture story explaining Third Party”) — they are not easy to find, scientology has apparently done a pretty good job of burying them:
There are many others, many even more bizarre with oddly dressed people sitting in front of VERY cheap props and “furniture” — most of which was scavenged from secondhand stories on various Caribbean islands with roughly painted plywood backdrops.
This was his “solution” to the problem of not having any media “comm lines.”
He actually announced to the world that these “picture stories” were the answer. And these he proclaimed were to be done with “quality in sets, models and photographs adequate to command attention in their own right”. He believed this was “quality”? Or simply because he had taken them they “commanded attention”?
Seriously, these images representing scientology might mark the beginning of the decline…
Unironically, Hubbard also explains what his priorities are: “subjects which produce Flag org income.”
And in the end, he tries to explain that this “strategy” will make the IRS and other government suppressions of scientology “so unpopular that a public outcry would deafen the government. We will remove all opposition by this means.”
Frankly, hindsight makes this so obviously deluded that I marvel at my gullibility at the time. I read this issue back then and thought “Wow, Ron had solved our problems again.”
Firstly, congatulations Leah and Mike and all involved, on your new recognition as one of the best TV shows in the last 10 yesrs.
I am realy posting about Ron the photographer.
For anyone who has printed black and white photos with an enlarger in their home made darkroom, I wonder if anyone has picked up the totally wrong procedure Ron talks about in the tapes on The Student Hat?
He is talking, should say waffling on, about how to burn in and hold back parts of a print when printing. As I have done some darkroom work of my own, I immediately picked up that the correct procedure was totally in reverse from what he was telling you and if you did it his way, you would get the totally wrong result, ie. no result. Makes me wonder if he ever printed anything of his own or just read about it. In the days of Black and White, it was 50 % of getting a great final product. The other 50%, of course, taking the photo.
I mentioned this to another Scientologist I met once who was a well known professional photographer in his country and asked him if he had spotted it. He said sheepishly that yes he had. At the time The Voluntee Ministers Handbook had come out with the so called professional photos by Ron. The room sets had been built out side relying on the natural sunlight as lighting, so had no mood or substance and a cheap and nasty way of lighting the sets. The photographer said he would not get away with such low quality where he worked. I think the word crap was used in his sentance.
Also in that book with the photo of all the religious leaders on the mountain, I believe one is meant to be Muhammad. From what I understand in Islam religion it is not permitted to render any likeness of him in a photo or cartoon. Even in a positive light. Some news papers I know have recieved all sorts of flack for doing so. I wonder how the NOI feel about that.
John Doe says
Hubbard’s aspirations far exceeded his abilities in many areas but he seemed forever blinded to this fact.
I remember Dan Coon’s account of Hubbard showing up on set in the 1978 era tech films dressed in a cape and sporting a friggin bullhorn. He was taken in by his own imagined magnificence and the pageantry of being a director and completely unaware At the time that what was making it onto (the 16mm) film was utter crap.
When the stark reality of what spooled off the projector finally hit him, he pivoted and became furious that the editing Dept was sabotaging his vital work.
When you start with shit, now matter how good an editor you may be, you end up with edited shit.
I think, in hindsight, that this period of Hubbard’s life was a come-to-Jesus moment for him where he realized that maybe, he didn’t have all the answers, know everything about everything, a professional in whatever he did, and the make-it-up-as-you-go paradigm was collapsing.
But the poor Cine Org suffered for years afterward because of being blamed for Hubbard’s artistic failure, blame Hubbard’s uncomfortable self-reckoning caused him to hurl in every direction except where it belonged.
Squarely at himself.
World class authors such as Ayn Rand were being published in hardcover and having their works adapted for the screen when LRH was writing for the pulps.
Hello John Doe. I just want to tell you I enjoyed your post very much. I thought your point was extremely good.
As a never in, what the heck is third party? I don’t get what this pic is supposed to b showing people.
Rip Van Winkle says
Google “third party scientology”.
You can read the cult “scripture” ( snort) or scroll down for excellent Ortega reporting.
With all the heroic work of so many Exes and real humans, practically everything Scn related is googleable, giving instant information and warning.
And… IRL, it was used as a tool to lay blame on others.
Believe or Else says
I am personally thrilled that the internet ensures none of the confidential orders, crappy photographs and evidence of what L. Ron Hubbard wrote and did will ever go away in spite of the efforts of David Miscavige. The photographs taken by Robert Heinlein of L. Ron Hubbard, Sara Northrup and their daughter Alexis at the Bay Head, New Jersey house are a fine example of an inconvenient truth that will never go away for the “masters of confront” who, oddly enough, cannot confront a lot of observable truths.
Here’s evidence Hubbard was focused on the money all along. Many signs point to the early 1970s as being when Scientology really started to go off the rails, from what I can tell, even though many people didn’t see the signs until a decade later.
I think the biggest two factors were that the supply of credulous young baby boomers looking to find something like instant enlightenment, dried up, so there were no longer easy pickings or easy money; and Hubbard’s experiment at sea showed that his theories and ideals didn’t work out even when he could isolate people from the influences of society, and that repressive methods like sec checks and the RPF were the only way he could control things.
That photograph reminds me of a lot of other media from that era is pretty cringe-worthy in retrospect. But Hubbard and Scientology are supposed to be the ne plus ultra of trillions of years of civilizations across the universe, so their actually looking like any other middling product of the era tells us volumes.
It’s my opinion that Scn went off the rails publicly with the creation of the CMO and Ron’s solution to inflation …..or maybe the CMO created the solution to inflation policy…..who knows? It’s100% full of 💩 either way..
LMAO! Eh=Eh, it was off the rails from day 1 in 1952 when he falsely claimed to have created it through scientific research and started claiming super powers.
YOU need to do a LOT more studying about saology
Straight up and vertical says
I saw the photos when the VMH first came out and I was so brainwashed that I didn’t really know what to say or even feel. Such was the world of Scn where every new thing that came out was super duper, the one thing that will open the doors to bring floods of people in.
Looking back, the photos are a bit cringeworthy but actually sortof fun. LRH’s view of the world was very much like a cartoon. Nuance and Scientology didn’t mix. All psychs were bad. All reporters were bad. All auditors were the upper tenth of the upper tenth. All conflict caused by 3rd parties. All illnesses caused by a PTS condition. All down stats caused by SP’s.
Yes, the photos were stupid. But I have to admire the hutzpah of Hubbard in assuming a handful of photos were the very thing he needed to get millions of new public in. A bit delusional, but we bought it.
Rip Van Winkle says
Here’s real delusion:
When I first saw the VM photos, back around ’77, I asked why the looked so hokey, the explanation I got was that every bit was staged and crafted based on whole track research of buttons, this stuff was supposed to go in deep, get in below awareness level, secret technology to really IMPINGE.
Same type of explanation for the garbage-fest Mission Earth books. They are for Wogs, and it’s designed to communicate and pierce the reactive mind resistance.
I marveled at this and found it thrilling and inspiring. LRH was A–MAZING!!!
(the mission earth explanation gave my conscience comfort, I had been feeling out ethics for being disgusted with the series and had stopped reading them)
Notmy Realname says
Oh …. and the films …. those were embarrassing! I never wanted new people to watch the super stupid looking, badly ‘acted’ ridiculously scripted films…..
Ms. B. Haven says
I have a question for you Mike. Stuff like the photo above and other things Hubbard created are being “dissappeared” much like bitter defrocked apostates and run of the mill ‘SPs’ who were once in prominent positions in the “church”. As the cult tries its best to go mainstream this absolute garbage that Hubbard created HAS to go away because it is just so awful, no self-respecting non-scientologist would find it appealing in the least. What would happen to someone in the sea org who would dare suggest that the Hubbard crap needs to be shelved? Do they get RPFed, off-loaded or otherwise thrown under the bus? Or, is this all Miscavige since no one dares oppose him?
I objected to weird shit when I was new to the cult, but I was always told that I needed to ‘clear my words’ so I could fully understand the material. That never worked, so I just faked it and reached for the next carrot hoping for some sort of result that never came. I imagine staff would have a much different experience.
Mike Rinder says
I’m sorry, I am not clear what your question is?
Ms. B. Haven says
Basically, what happens to someone who dares suggest that Hubbard’s material is just a crappy product and needs to be shelved (or disappeared)? This is obviously happening with the ‘tech’, e.g. the SHSBC and the red & green vols. no longer available. But there is also Hubbard’s attempts at art that are total shit, especially his photography. At some point someone has to suggest that this stuff shouldn’t be published. What happens to them?
Mike Rinder says
That is the exclusive provence of the COB. He is the Keeper of Tech International and Finder of Lost Tech. Nobody else dare make such suggestions.
Ah, “Keeper of The Tech”.
That’s like a nutter who protects/collates stool samples, right?
Just think, this was 1975. LRH was 64.
Most of us who were there midst all this were in our 20s. We will be excused as only half crazy thus correctable.
LRH will be known forever as nuts. He is the one who could have used a peacefull recluse to detox and let mother nature learn some sense into him. He missed it in his Boy Scouts training.
I’m almost feeling sorry for him … almost.
George M. White says
Yes, Cece. This is my thought. Hubbard could have used one of two things:
1. Peaceful lessons from mother nature.
2. When he returned to California after stealing Jack Parsons money, Jack
should have whipped him to a pulp.
Yes, it only appears he got off easy George.
No matter how he attempted to undercut the current deluded civilization he was actually trying to undercut his own shortcomings.
We were his very own live ‘clay pidgeons’. What an ass-hole.
George, I don’t know about #1 having any effect on El Ron. But I agree 100% with #2. Jack should have stomped his ass for stealing Sara(remember the wife El Ron didn’t have.) Mabey El Ron would have thought twice about scamming and stealing from other people. Not sure if it would have changed him completely but it would have been justified.
So, I’m to look at this picture, understand And feel compassion for Scientology, then demand the IRS to go easy on them. If a picture like this could soften the IRS, I would never bother filing my taxes again. Yet, I need to remember that I’m illiterate and only need pictures to get me thru life. How Scientology ever expanded stumps the hell out of me.
Overun in California says
Lighting is terrible. Someone just stuck a bright light in the corner.
Pose is really unnatural. This is a good demonstration of how not to take a photograph.
Is this really for real?
This is but one in an all but endless parade of Strategies, Programs, Project, and Bright Ideas from LRH that either never got anywhere to begin with or were abandoned soon after implementation, when they didn’t work.
The V8 says
I took one look at that photo and had the sudden urge to overthrow my nations goverment….
I first came into Scientology in 1975 and there were fliers that looked a lot like this. I had no idea that Hubbard had taken the photographs himself.
I remember a flier showing some guy holding up a book and a few dudes, in very wooden poses, reaching out for it. Talk about literal!
Then there was a booklet about disseminating to a farmer and his wife and suddenly the farmer’s wife cognites. (You could tell she was a farmer’s wife because she was chewing on a blade of grass.)
Even at the time, this struck me as very poor stuff.
Are you sure this isn’t a still shot from a 70’s era swingers porn film?
Old Surfer Dude says
OMG!!! You got me.
Melinda A Clare says
LMAO! Oh that’s PERFECT!!!!!! IT’S A PERFECT description of what I was looking at.
I had that VMH edition and yes, the mental gymnastics needed even back then to not be critical or even slightly WTF was tough. In any case the experience has allowed me to see how you can be so devoted to a narcissistic personality who plays you for only his own ends.
(Somebody told me that) the picture above looks like the beginning of a porn movie episode.
Wow. He will finance this second rate crap with org incomes! I remember making $8 a week. We had broken tape recorders cockroaches and no AC in Miami back then. So let’s give them more for his stupid bright ideas that will be canceled next week. Again!!!!
I was making more money working part time doing manual labor at two Fanny Farmer candy shops (I had to deal with two Marine recruiters) than RoseMarie made in the Seaorg.
Zee Moo says
So Lron can’t ‘disseminate’ without throwing in the supposed profit motive thrown in? That supposed outcome is hilarious, ‘Expand it’?? The only thing expanding at this time was Lron’s waistline.
Was Lron just expounding on his magical thinking or was it all about the money? It was the money.
jere Lull (39 years recovering) says
Of COURSE it was about the MONEY. It was ALWAYS and FOREVER about the MONEY. That’s why he got in the ‘religion’ biz in the first place. Everything he did after “Dianetics” was about shoveling money into his coffers.
Ms. B. Haven says
Jesus H. f/n Key-rist today’s post brings back some horrific memories. Those goddamn photos in the ‘volunteer ministers handbook’ were the worst. But way worse than that was the fact that I actually thought that something was wrong with me because the photos were somehow too sophisticated for me to “get”. In fact, they were just shit.
I remember that Hubbard bragged on the ‘student hat’ tapes that he had taken all of these photography courses and was something of an expert in the field. Obviously it was all bullshit. In fact, all of his attempts at art were shit. His fiction writing was passable, but the rest was just total shit. And this coming from someone who claimed to be the being Arp Cola in a past life, the person who invented music. His attempts at music sucked. When some of that garbage came out the org I was studying at played it nonstop. Torture. I’ve posted this before but to prove my point I’ll post it again.
Compare the inventor of music on the ‘whole track’:
with a young newcomer wog who is peaking on acid at a famous 60s music festival:
On the four or five study tapes Hubbard said that since photography was a technical subject he applied the Study Tek in order to learn it. Flunk
Doug Sprinkke says
That was pure torture, thanks for sharing.
I remember the old “Volunteer Ministers Handbook”. The photos were bizarre. I realized that they all looked like they were taken outside. So you would have an indoor scene with bright sunlight, but the set was outside.
The fashions were dated. I looked at this in the 80s and they looked like they were from the 70s. The fashions should have been very bland and understated so that they didn’t age quickly. He didn’t follow his own dictate on this.
Ms. B – “But way worse than that was the fact that I actually thought that something was wrong with me because the photos were somehow too sophisticated for me to “get”. In fact, they were just shit.” OH my, exactly like I felt every time looking at his photos or the horrible films he directed and music. Always thought I wasn’t “getting IT”. Whatever “IT” was! What a bunch of CRAP we ate up, makes me want to puke now.
I saw all those pics in some files up lines once. Yes, I couldn’t believe had laughable they were. I never knew the purpose behind them.
I can’t wait for the Ron Mags titled, “Hubtard the Snake Oil Salesman”, and “Hubtard the Master Criminal”.
Ron the Astrophysicist, Cosmologist, Arbiter of Ethics etc.
Those are funny Richard !
LOVE the photo! D2 in progress; voyeurism; fake wood paneling; what more could you want? Well, here’s a book you might want:
“Interior Desecrations – Hideous Homes form the Horrible ’70’s” by James Lileks. First thing I thought of when I saw this photo op.
I LOVE Lileks! First website I bookmarked when I was taught how to use a computer (at work, in the 1990’s) My husband had our first computer at home and Lileks was one of my favorites!
I truly envy Mr. Lileks ability to mock the surreal elements of modern society:
I’m standing in the middle of the used CD store the other day. The clerk is playing “Yes,” a band whose name I always preferred to answer in the negative. “Roundabout” comes on. Haven’t heard this one in years, actually. Jon Anderson sings the famous line: “In around the lake / Mountains come out of the sky and they stand there.” As opposed to what? Doing the fargin’ Macarena? Standing there is pretty much the job description for mountains.
George M. White says
1975 was the year the Ft Harrison was purchased and I remember hearing about it. I travelled to Clearwater to check it out. It was in serious need of repair and Hubbard was rumored to be in the area but no one knew for sure. They had a massive New Years Eve party that year and I remember attending it. The pictures were published in various locations and I remember saying to myself that Hubbard was really no photographer. Very poor quality.
George M. White says
When the Ft Harrison opened, a lot of FSM’s brought people in even with the lack of repairs. I remember seeing large groups touring the Ft Harrison. The line was “This is going to be big.” “This is Scientology’s new home”. In a few years the excitement died when Hubbard had his David Mayo problems. Service was very poor and the crowds quickly died out.
Cat W. says
“We must be very modern were we can in sets, furniture, costumes so as not to get dated…”
Glad to hear he was on it. Very amusing.