L. Ron Hubbard's Navy record: Chris Owen critiques the 'Business Insider' story - 2015-04-10
One of the great results of Lawrence Wright's New Yorker article on Paul Haggis and Scientology, which grew into his book Going Clear, was that he got the Church of Scientology to turn over a huge amount of documentation of L. Ron Hubbard's life.
In that trove turned out to be a number of records concerning Hubbard's career in the US Navy and the 21 medals Hubbard had supposedly been awarded, including two Purple Hearts for being injured in combat. But Wright had his own set of records that he'd acquired directly from the Navy, and they differed from the church's documents in a number of ways, including a lack of any Purple Hearts or any other medals having to do with combat — since Hubbard hadn't seen any. The implication seemed clear: Scientology wasn't above doctoring things to make Hubbard's World War II career appear more valorous than it was.
On Tuesday, Business Insider decided to take a look at the discrepancies in those sets of war records in what appeared to be a very detailed and rigorous article. Our readers noted that it made the front page of Yahoo News, so that tells us it was seen by a lot of people.