Port Orchard Washington & L. Ron Hubbard, Founder of Scientology

Port Orchard Washington & L. Ron Hubbard, Founder of Scientology

Russell Miller has written a book Bare-Faced Messiah, The true story of L. Ron Hubbard. As we all know, Hubbard was the founder of Scientology – think Tom Cruise and John Travolta. Hubbard began as a writer Hubbard of science fiction stories. Then he claimed he had made a discovery that would change the world – Dianetics. In 1950 he published a book Dianetics, The Modern Science of Mental Health. In his book Hubbard claimed memories were a "time track" where every experience was recorded. He believed it was possible to go back and "erase" the memories which caused our mental and health problems and would result in physical as well as mental good health. Or, as Hubbard put it:

"The purpose of Dianetic therapy was to gain access to the engrams in the reactive memory banks and re-file them in the analytical mind where their influence would be eradicated."

By doing this, the mind would be "cleared" of these harmful influences. Eventually Hubbard created an organization where people paid to be trained as "auditors" to carry out the process of auditing others in order to clear these engrams. People who wanted the benefits of the services paid money for it. Later, Hubbard introduced his "E-meter" which he said would measure emotions to give the auditor insight about engrams that needed to be cleared. The E-meter was a device which measured galvanic skin responses and gave simplistic information about emotional responses. The goal was to register no responses to a series of questions Hubbard had developed which, he said, would show the person was now "clear" of these engrams. E-meters were sold by Hubbard’s organization at a substantial profit.

For awhile Dianetics was very popular, but it slowly fell out of favor and eventually into debt. But, in 1952 Hubbard offered Scientology which he claimed would overcome all disease of mind and body. It was based upon the principles of Dianetics. Hubbard promoted it as a religion which meant it had legal privileges exclusive to religions including tax exemptions. It soon became the focus of the FBI and other government agencies. As it spread around the world other governments became concerned about it’s secrecy and it’s practices resulting in more investigations. As a result, Hubbard would frequently move. First, around the U.S. and then to other countries. Finally, he purchased a large ship as well as smaller support vessels and ended up as the commodore of a fleet of ships. For ten years this fleet sailed around the world from port to port. Lafayette Ron Hubbard was quoted as saying "if you want to get rich, start a religion." This apparently was true since, according to the author, this private navy always paid cash for everything and his followers joining the fleet would be carrying suitcases filled with money.

As government agencies became more and more aggressive about the practices of Scientology, Hubbard in the 1970’s decided to have his followers infiltrate government offices to gain access to government files investigating the Church of Scientology. Before long his operatives were caught and arrested. Hubbard’s wife had lead the program and she ended up being convicted and sent to jail. Hubbard, fearing arrest, disappeared and was never seen publically again.

The connection to Washington State is that Hubbard’s father was in the Navy and had been stationed at Bremerton. They moved to Seattle for awhile when he was a teenager. When his father was transferred to Guam he ended up back in Bremerton to attend school. Hubbard ended up living in Bremerton with his wife, Polly. Hubbard left her and moved on with another woman and carrying on his program. Polly lived in Port Orchard where she eventually filed for divorce from Hubbard.

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