L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology - 1986-01-28
L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the controversial and secretive Church of Scientology, was a little-known science fiction writer until his book 'Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health' appeared in 1950. It landed on American best-seller lists and Dianetics -- a kind of amateur psychotherapy -- became a national fad.
The medical profession called Dianetics hokum. Hubbard called it 'a milestone for man comparable to his discovery of fire and superior to his inventions of the wheel and the arch.'
After interest in Dianetics faded, Hubbard in 1952 founded the Church of Scientology, described as an 'applied religious philosophy.'