Witness to Dianetics: For the first time, the letters of key Hubbard ally Donald H. Rogers - 2018-05-08
Jon Atack has provided us a marvelous exclusive. He's provided us with copies of letters he received from a man name Don Rogers in the mid-1980s. And we've asked historian Chris Owen to help us understand just how valuable these letters are and what's in them, followed by the first of three Rogers letters in full (we'll post the second and third tomorrow). It's quite a week of early Dianetics history here at the Bunker!
Over the course of about a year in 1984-85, Scientology's leading unauthorized historian, Jon Atack, exchanged a series of letters with one of Hubbard's earliest collaborators, Don Rogers. Atack had reached out to Rogers in the course of researching "Hubbard Through the Looking Glass," a manuscript that later became his book A Piece of Blue Sky – a title prompted by a statement that Rogers attributed to Hubbard. The letters, which the Bunker can now publish following Rogers' 2003 death, provide many insights into the earliest days of Dianetics and Scientology.
Rogers was a young electrical engineer when he met Hubbard in 1949, just as Hubbard was in the process of developing Dianetics. He was a member of the "Bay Head Circle," a small group of collaborators who met at Hubbard's beach cottage at Bay Head, New Jersey. The others involved were John W. Campbell, the science-fiction editor; Art Ceppos, the head of the Hermitage House publishing firm; Dr. Joseph Winter, a Michigan physician and contributor to Campbell's magazine Astounding; and Sara Hubbard, who played a major but regrettably poorly documented role in the development of Dianetics. All of the group, plus a lawyer named C. Parker Morgan, became the board of directors of the Hubbard Dianetics Research Foundation established in Elizabeth, New Jersey in April 1950.