When L. Ron Hubbard tried to convince the BBB that Scientology was raking it in - 2016-01-21
We're getting yet closer to that big anniversary — 30 years since L. Ron Hubbard shuffled off this mortal coil to surf the galaxy in thetan form — and so we're still looking back through our files to remember the Great Thetan in his time.
Once again, we have a fun document for you that researcher R.M. Seibert managed to pry out of the FDA as part of its 1960s investigation of Hubbard and Scientology. And this one gives us a nice peek at Hubbard's days before he absconded from the US.
To put this in context, remember that Hubbard published Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health in May, 1950, which set off a brief national craze, with Dianetics clubs setting up around the country. Hubbard cashed in by setting up "foundations" in places like New Jersey and California, but soon enough the craze subsided, and Hubbard's nightmare year of 1951 had him mired in a nasty divorce with his second wife, Sara Northrup. With the help of a rich Kansas oilman, Hubbard regrouped and went to Phoenix to start over, coming up with something called "Scientology" because, for a short time, he couldn't use the name "Dianetics." By 1952, he was married to his third wife, Mary Sue Whipp, and he was still struggling to get Scientology hitting on all cylinders. When he did have success, it tended to attract the attention of the government, which was more vigilant then about people making outlandish health claims. So, in 1953 Hubbard proposed to his loyal follower Helen O'Brien that they try out "the religion angle" to throw the government off, and in December of that year Hubbard created the first "Church of Scientology" corporation in Camden, New Jersey. A second Church corporation followed a few months later in Los Angeles.