Author: Chris Owen
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The war record of L Ron Hubbard has always been a source of controversy. The story of Hubbard’s war service that is circulated by the Church of Scientology resembles a medieval account of the the life of a saint, rather than the exploits of a real person.
The Church has has no choice by to defend this account, because it is compiled from the claims made in Hubbard’s writing and recorded lectures. Unfortunately for them, it is not only untrue, but also very easy to call into question – for example, the Church claims that Hubbard received decorations which were not, in fact, minted until after he left the service.
The Church of Scientology version of Hubbard’s war service was demolished by Russell Miller, with the aid of inside information and painstaking research. His account of the truth forms part of his essential book, Bare-faced Messiah. Owen elaborates on the theme.
Particularly interesting is the section where Owen examines the Church of Scientology counter-claim – that parts of Hubbard’s record do not make sense because they were a cover story for intelligence activities.
This is interesting because the Church attempts to use this claim not only to explain away the inconsistencies and outright lies in the their version, but also to address another vulnerable point in Hubbard’s biography – his involvement with John Whiteside Parsons, occultist and pioneer rocket scientist.
As described in sections of “Strange Angel”, by George Pendle, Hubbard participated in ‘black magic’ rituals with Parsons. The Church addresses this embarrassing information with the claim that, while Hubbard “Broke up black magic in America”. In other words, he was working undercover as part of his intelligence activities.
Owen examines (and debunks) these claims, too.