Scientology Officials Accused of Falsifying Hubbard War Records

The New Yorker article by Lawrence Wright on the Church of Scientology is getting a great deal of attention. The article details the departure of screenwriter and director Paul Haggis from the church after 35 years. However, I found one of the most interesting aspects to be Wright’s confrontation of Church officials over the alleged heroic record and severe battle scars of founder L. Ron Hubbard.

The Church has long maintained that Hubbard was a war hero who was left blind and a ‘hopeless cripple’ at the end of World War II. The story is the basis of Hubbard claim that he healed himself with his own science that later became the basis of Dianetics.

Wright asked Church leaders and large contingent of Scientology lawyers to back up the claims. Church official Tommy Davis responded with what Wright says were forged documents:

Eventually, Davis sent us what is called a notice of separation — essentially discharge papers from World War II — along with some photographs of all of these medals that [Hubbard] had won. … At the same time, we finally gained access to Hubbard’s entire World War II records [through a request to the military archives] and there was no evidence that he had ever been wounded in battle or distinguished himself in any way during the war. We also found another notice of separation which was strikingly different than the one that the church had provided.”

What I find interesting about this account is that, if true, it is hard to believe that these Church officials actually believe that stuff that they are instilling in followers. Self-delusion is rather difficult if you are actively creating false documents. This would tend to support those who insist that the Church is a criminal and fraudulent organization so I am waiting to see the response of the Church to this particular allegation.

What is also interesting in this account is the possible legal consequences of forging U.S. military documents. Here they were not used commercial purposes technically, but it could still run afoul of the federal code. It is also an ironic twist on the “stolen valor” debate — here allegedly stealing valor for a dead man. Of course, if true, it was Hubbard who could be accused of building his church — and deriving financial benefits — from these claims.

Source: NPR

52 thoughts on “Scientology Officials Accused of Falsifying Hubbard War Records”

  1. I heard the original Long John Nebel program when Hubbard made a bet that is was easy to establish a religion. The result of that bet was the book, “Dianetics” which became the bible of scientology. It is a complete fraud.

    1. Nancy,

      Thank you. I too heard that Long John show, but it’s been so many years that my memory is dim, so you have brought it back.

  2. This actually destroys the base of their belief. Hubbard claimed he was crippled and blinded in the war and healed himself, and DISCOVERED DIANETICS in the process, on which all of $cientology is based. Even $cientology’s spokesperson Tommy Davis said that that would be the conclusion. Slip of the tongue?

  3. Scientology is no more unbelievable than any other “religion” , they all ask you to take what they sell on “faith” because if you really think rationally they are all science fiction. Why are there no bible stories about dinosaurs ? If Adam & Eve are the first two people does that mean everyone else is the product of incest ? Rediculous questions to be sure but men wrote the bible to keep the masses in check and themselves in power, nothing devine there just plain old greed and thirst for absolute power, it always corrupts and makes one insane.

  4. Vince,

    Love the Asimov/Campbell/Hubbard story. Campbell was a great writer in his own right and an even better editor, but from what I’ve heard about the man? That his and Hubbard’s egos were on a collision course is not surprising.

  5. The young Isaac Asimov was appalled when John W. Campbell, Jr., his revered mentor since the late 1930s, began promoting dianetics in 1949 and 1950.

    In his autobiography, In Memory Yet Green (1979), page 625, Asimov relates that Campbell told him in 1951 that he had broken with Hubbard and was out of the dianetics movement:

    “This didn’t surprise me, really, I knew Campbell and I knew Hubbard, and no movement can have two Messiahs.”

  6. Diane Titian-

    You said: “Dianetics is a superior system and the people who have become “clears” are at very top positions within our government and some of our industries. Many “clears” run our daily life and you have L.Ron Hubbard and his wonderful system to thank.”

    And I always thought that was called “the Military-Industrial Complex”. If I have L.Ron Hubbard to thank for that, all I can do is quote our next President, Sarah Palin:

    “Thankssss, but no thankssss.” (Is that “clear”?)

  7. Nothing real is threatened
    nothing unreal exists
    therein lies the peace of…
    the noodly spaghetti monster (sent by G*d….;)

  8. Eugene,
    Thanks for the further good info. By the way the correct answer to the greeting “Excelsior” is “Seltzer Bottle.”

  9. “Dianetics has saved many people from a life of misery. Before you denounce it, you should try a few sessions.”

    I’ll try a few sessions when I am able to scrape up the money they will cost. I’m glad it’s helped you, but I still believe Hubbard was a sophisticated conman, who developed a good get rich scheme. In the process he also created a cult in the worst sense of the word. The difference between Scientology and EST is that Scientology wrapped itself in a religious cloak, which has helped to keep the con going. While EST promoted itself as science and so became discredited when the “science” failed to work. The fact that many “clears” run our daily lives may be the reason that our daily lives are so screwed up.

  10. Dianetitian is parroting the dogma of his religion. We’re all, in that view, afflicted with masses of “body thetans” and the “engrams” of unresolved stressful experiences from our current and previous lives, and crucially, from a time 70 million years ago when we were all dumped into a volcanic crater in Hawaii and resolutely nuked to a cinder by an evil space emperor.

    If only we paid a few thousand dollars to go to Scientology level OT3 we’d realise how sensible and true this is, and the facts would change and Battlefield Earth would win the Oscar for best picture every year forever in one big blissful Ground Hog Day.

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