Before Scientology's Xenu was a genocidal galactic overlord, he was a ... mountain? - 2017-04-17
This doesn't happen every day: A tipster recently pointed us to something buried in a 1958 L. Ron Hubbard lecture that really knocked us for a loop. And so we showed it to half a dozen of the best experts we know on the subject, and not only had none of them noticed the item before, most of them admitted they were stumped about it.
What was it that had us puzzled? It turns out that Hubbard mentioned the name "Xenu" ten years before that word became such a famous part of Scientology's secret lore.
Even if you're the most casual Scientology watcher, you've no doubt heard of Xenu. Hubbard famously described him in a February 1968 handwritten document for the "OT 3" auditing level, and then in more detail several months later in a taped lecture in which he said the name "could be spelled X-e-m-u." Nine years later, Xenu became one of the main characters in "Revolt in the Stars," a screenplay Hubbard wrote while he was hiding in Sparks, Nevada from process servers and the FBI.