When Scientology was in trouble in 1955, L. Ron Hubbard told prosecutor he was a 'psychologist' - 2016-02-21
One of Scientology's early run-ins with the law resulted in a remarkable letter by L. Ron Hubbard that has previously never seen the light of day — in it, Hubbard claimed to be a psychologist, and proposed that a vast conspiracy had been aimed at his Phoenix, Arizona operation. It's a remarkable letter, and we have our friend and researcher R.M. Seibert to thank for bringing it to us after she managed to pry it out of the possession of the Food and Drug Administration with the help of the MuckRock website.
From 1958 to 1971, the FDA investigated Hubbard and Scientology, including a raid of the Washington DC Scientology church in January 1963. For more than a year, we've been posting remarkable documents from the FDA files, some of which have never been posted online before.
This time, we have documents that the FDA obtained from the files of officials in Phoenix, where Scientology faced one of its early legal challenges. L. Ron Hubbard had published Dianetics in 1950 while he was living in New Jersey, and that's where the first Dianetics "foundation" was formed following the book's surprising popularity. He also promoted Dianetics in Los Angeles, where another foundation was formed. But Dianetics proved to be a passing fad, and by 1951 Hubbard was in financial trouble and his foundations were bankrupt. He regrouped in Wichita with the help of an oilman millionaire there, and then moved to Phoenix in 1952, coming up then with his new idea he called "Scientology" and creating the "Hubbard Association of Scientologists International," HASI.