L Ron Hubbard’s Baby Formula

roman child rearinglPart One: Dangerous Medical Advice From Scientology

1959 | Ability Magazine Vol 89 pt 1 | L Ron Hubbard
Processing a New Mother | Download as .pdf

L Ron Hubbard’s advice concerning the feeding of infants appeared in the first issue of “Ability” magazine. Over the years, it has been reproduced in “The Scientology Handbook” and is one of the ‘lessons’ in  a ‘course’ for Scientology’s ‘Volunteer Ministers’ that is online to this day.

Hubbard proposed that babies should not be fed with either modern breast milk or powdered formula milk, but on a preparation of barley water fortified with small amounts of homogenised cow’s milk and corn syrup (or honey).

His ‘evidence’ for this claim was based on ‘experience’ he had supposedly acquired in a previous life as a citizen of ancient Rome, when (he claimed) this formula was in use.

There is good medical evidence (which will be provided and  examined in the next two parts of this series) that the use of this formula instead of baby milk is dangerous for a number of reasons. One basic problem is that it lacks sufficient quantities of of iron, vitamin A and vitamin C and its use as recommended by Hubbard leads to acute, damaging and potentially life-threatening conditions such as scurvy and malnutrition.

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scurvyPart Two: A Case of Infantile Scurvy

2007 | American Journal of Clinical Dermatology
Infantile Scurvy: An Old Diagnosis Revisited with a Modern Dietary Twist | Cynthia J. Burk and Rona Molodow| Download as.pdf

This paper describes the case of 2-year child admitted to hospital suffering from scurvy as a result of her parents feeding her with a baby formula which L Ron Hubbard claimed to have discovered in a previous life as a citizen of Ancient Rome. He further claimed that this formula was superior to both modern breast and formula milk.The details are available in part one of this series.

Scurvy is a  debilitating disease with serious consequences for general health. Left untreated, it will kill. It was the plague of Sailors on long voyages (during which fresh fruit were impossible to obtain) until 1747, when James Lind, a surgeon in the Royal Navy,  discovered that it could be prevented if the men regularly drank the preserved juice of citrus fruits. Later, it was discovered that Vitamin C deficiency was the cause of Scurvy.

The two doctors who wrote this paper summarise:

A previously health 2-year-old Caucasian girl presented with refusal to walk secondary to pain in her lower extremities progressing over 1 week. The parents denied any frank trauma, but did report excessive bruising of her lower extremities. The girl’s parents also noticed an increase in irritability sleep disturbance and malaise.

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failure to thrivePart Three: Five Cases of Infantile Malnutrition

1981 |  The American Journal of Diseases of Children
Malnutrition Associated With a Formula of Barley Water, Corn Syrup, and Whole Milk Raymond J. Fabius, MD; Russell J. Merritt, MD, PhD; Paul M. Fleiss, MD, MPH; Judith M. Ashley, MSPH, RD | Download as .pdf

This paper describes the cases of five children (aged between one and seven months) admitted to a children’s hospital in Los Angeles suffering from malnutrition. This was found to be due to their parents feeding them with a baby formula based on barley water, which L Ron Hubbard claimed to have discovered in a previous life as a citizen of Ancient Rome.

Hubbard further claimed that this formula was superior to both modern breast and formula milk. It is, in fact deficient in iron, vitamin A and vitamin C. The details are available in part one of this series. Part two describes a case study of a case of infantile scurvy in a two-year-old also caused by use of the same formula.

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4 thoughts on “L Ron Hubbard’s Baby Formula

    • It was recommended for children too young to take solids, instead of milk. It’s inevitably going to be the only thing they take – he doesn’t have to say it.

      Also, filling kids up with a high calorie barley water mixture means that they won’t want anything else. As it is does not contain the nutrition they need they will be malnourished.

      Hubbard evidently didn’t understand this, and it was irresponsible of him to make such detailed and definite recommendations without a jot of medical training or knowledge.

      What qualified him to take the welfare of children into his hands?

      Proposing feeding child too young for solids a barley water formula that contains none of the fat that they need at that period of rapid growth is ignorant, and the damage that can be done is documented in the case studies above.

      He had some dumb ideas about milk, too.

      “Why they feed a child pasteurized milk is a great problem, since the amount of nutrition in pasteurized milk is comparable to water and chalk compared to good raw milk taken from a cow who has fed on pretty good fodder like good natural grasses and so forth.”

      Presumably we should also avoid unnatural grasses… whatever they are.

    • This is correct work; I have read the issued directive and will not go back and read it again; Despite working in Child Care on the building across from Blue / Cedars i never saw anyone rely on this solely — though I did see it prepared once or twice; I share some of Mr. Hubbard’s skitzoid and enjoyed my time there but I have found by going back and digging on the now popular internet that my adherence was not well advised;

      The horror for a family-type is not acceptable;

      Children seeing their SO parents for 1 hour daily just is not a family first situation; If one insists on going then do not bring children; I had seen an entire family arrive and unload based on blue sky promises but vastly unsuited to the situation;

      • The medical papers that are referenced in this series are examples of people who really did apply Hubbard’s formula accordingto his instructions. This resulted in a trip to hosptial (several trips, in one case).

        I think there are a lot more such cases, and many cases in which this formula does harm. However, it’s interesting that you say nobody ‘relied upon it soley’. It’s likely that what happens in practice is that it simply doesn’t work, so people compromise- and rationalise that compromise away. They followed Hubbard’s instructions somewhat – and that’s good enough to save face.

        It’s just as well, really. If people weren’t pragmatic like that, there would be an awful lot of seriously malnourished kids out there. Perhaps the fact that the ‘formula’ is labour-intensive to prepare also influences Scientology carers, who just don’t have the time.

        The treatment of Children in the Sea Org, and the notion that family life (a human right in the Universal Declaration) is secondary to ‘saving the planet’ with Scientology is sad and horrible. I’d be interested to hear from someone with first-hand knowlege of that.

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