“Scientology and all the other cults are one-dimensional, and we live in a three-dimensional world. Cults are as dangerous as drugs.
They commit the highest crime: the rape of the soul.” L. Ron Hubbard Jr.
Penthouse, June 1983
For more than twenty years L. Ron Hubbard, Jr., has been a man on the run. He has changed residences, occupations, and even his name in 1972 to Ron DeWolf to escape what he alleges to be the retribution and wrath of his father and his father’s organization– the Church of Scientology. His father, L. Ron Hubbard. Sr., founder and leader of Scientology, has been a figure of controversy and mystery, as has been his organization, for more than a generation. Its detractors have called it the “granddaddy” and the worst of all the religious cults that have sprung up over the last generation. Its advocates– and there are thousands–swear that the church is the avenue for human perfection and happiness. Millions of words have been written for and against Scientology. Just what is the truth?
L. Ron Hubbard, Sr., and the very few who have worked at the highest echelons of the organization have never spoken publicly about the workings and finances of the Church of Scientology. Firsthand allegations about coercion, black-mail, and just how billions of dollars the organization is said to possess have been accrued and spent is lacking: that is, until very recently. In an extraordinary petition brought November 10, 1982, in Superior Court in Riverside, Calif., by L. Ron Hubbard, Jr., to prove that his father is dead and that his heirs should receive the tens of millions of dollars being dissipated from his estate, some of the mystery about Scientology has begun to unravel. Some of the details are shocking.
L. Ron Hubbard, Jr., is a survivor. His appearance on earth, May 7, 1934, was the result of failed abortion rituals by his father, and Ron, after only six and a half months in the womb and at 2.2 pounds entered the world. His mother, Margeret (“Polly”) Grubb, was to have one more child, Catherine May, before her husband ditched her in 1946 to enter into a bigamous marnage with Sarah Northrup. A half sister, Alexis Valerie, survived that union. Soon after that, the founder of Scientology married Mary Sue Whipp, the current Mrs. L. Ron Hubbard, Sr., who at this writing is serving four years in federal prison for stealing government documents. There were four childrens: Diana and Quentin, who died under mysterious circumstances in 1976; Arthur, who has been missing for several years; and Suzette.
Ron Jr. says that he remembers much of his childhood. He claims to recall, at six years, a vivid scene of his father performing an abortion ritual on his mother with a coat hanger. He remembers that when he was ten years old, his father, in an attempt to get his son in tune with his black-magic worship, laced the young hubbard’s bubble gum with phenobarbital. Drugs were an important part of Ron Jr.’s growing up, as his father believed that they were the best way to get closer to Satan –the Antichrist of black magic.
Ron Jr. also recalls a hard-drinking, drug-abusing father who would mistreat his mother and other women, but who, when, under the influence, would delight in telling his son all of his exploits. Finally, Ron Jr. remembers his father as a “broke science-fiction writer” who espoused that the road to riches and glory lay in selling religion to the masses.
Nineteen fifty was a watershed year for the sixteen-year-old Ron Jr., when his father’s book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health was published. While in the 1980s self-help books hold little novelty, Dianetics was a pioneer of that genre. Happiness in 1950 could be a reality, if only one practiced the strange amalgam of science fiction and psychoanalysis offered in the senior Hubbard’s best-seller. It was an unexpected success for Hubbard, then living in New Jersey, when the mailman would deliver daily sacks of letters from the unhappy and desperate who had read the book and wanted L. Ron Hubbard to take them to the promised land. It was a dream come true –a science-fiction writer who not only created a world of fantasy but packaged it and sold it as reality.
In 1950 L. Ron Hubbard opened a Dianetics clinic, where the hopeful and newly cenverted could come, for a fee, and their ills –from loneliness to cancer –would be cured. Danetics was the new Scientific Revolution. and L. Ron Hubbard was its prophet.
Scientology is essentially a self-help therapy. It is based on one premise that by recalling negative experiences or “engrams”, a person can free himself from repressed feelings that cripple his life. This liberation process is assisted by a counselor called an “auditor” who charges up to hundreds of dollars a session. The auditor’s basic aid is the “E-meter”, a skin galvanometer that is said to help him ascertain the problems of his client.
Soon the New Jersey authorities and the American Medical Association challenged the veracity of the new faith. L. Ron Hubbard met the challenge by fleeing the state (not the last time this was to happen). A frequent memory of Ron Jr. is his father’s packing up shoe boxes with thousands of dollars to move on to greener and safer pastures.
Coming into manhood in the early fifties, Ron Jr. learned the virtues of flimflam and keeping one step ahead of the law and creditors. But he admits that he accepted his father’s teachings and example as correct. By the time his father started the modern Church of Scientology in Arizona and New Jersey in 1953, young Hubbard was not only a disciple but a willing organizer in the new movement. He was to be so throughout the 1950s.
While Ron Jr. may never have questioned his father and the mushrooming cult of Scientology, a growing uneasiness began to take hold of him. In 1953 he married Henrietta, whom he never allowed to join the church. They were to have six children –Deborah, Leif, Esther, Eric, Harry and Alex, age twelve, who suffers from Down’s Syndrome– plus six grandchildren, none or whom were ever members of Scientology. The importance of family life, especially in contrast to his own up-bringing, caused Ron Jr. to question his life as a member of Scientology, albeit privately. Other factors also caused Ron Jr. to think about breaking away from the cult that was dominating his life. His father’s autocratic and arbitrary control of Scientology often led to violence, and the young Hubbard began to be disturbed by his own participation. Certain questionable transactions involving drug dealing and the transfer of large sums of money abroad by his father was another troubling factor. But, he says, the breaking point came over his father’s involvement with the Russians. Finally, in 1959, when his father was in Australia, Ron, his wife, and two children fled the Church of Scientology.
According to Ron Jr., life was to become a nightmarish existence. No matter, where the family went in the United States, it would not take long for a member of the organization to find them. Because he knew too much about Scientoiogy and its founder, Ron says, attempts were made to ensure his silence. For many years L. Ron Hubbard, Jr. kept a low profile.
Keeping silent did not end Ron’s terror of what his father and followers might do to him and his family. In 1976 his half brother Quentin died under mysterious circumstances that Ron is certain was murder. Quentin, a son of Scientology’s leader, was a drug abuser and an embarassment to his father. Whether all these questions were signs ot paranoia finally became less important to Ron than discovering, once and for all, the truth about his father. In 1980 Ron became convinced that his father was dead, and that his death was being kept a secret by the Church of Scientology, lest knowledge of his death cause chaos in the organization. He filed his petition and an open war was declared. Should he win the suit by proving that his father is either dead or incompetent, Ron and other family members will receive the millions of dollars believed to be part of L. Ron Hubbard’s estate.
For some thirty years, stories, rumors, and innuendo about the Church of Scientology have been whispered, and sometimes reported, internationally. Obviously, the final judgment of L. Ron Hubbard. Jr., and his allegations remains to be made. But because of his high-level involvement for such a long time with this controversial organization, he himself has become a newsworthy figure. To find out what this man at the center of an international firestorm is like. Penthouse sent contributing editor Allan Sonnenschein to Carson City, Nev, where he met Hubbard in the small three-bedroom apartment in which he lives (he manages the apartment complex). “DeWolf.” Sonnenschein told us, “is a stocky and ruddy-complexioned man, with thinning red hair. Despite his almost continuous involvement with lawyers of both sides of his case, DeWolf was very relaxed during the several hours. I spent with him. He seemed convinced that his desire to tell his story after all these years was of vital importance … and he spoke with a firmness and intensity befitting a person who claims to be risking his life by speaking out.”
Because of the seriousness of Mr. DeWolf’s charges and because his father has affected the lives of thousands, if not millions, of people, Penthouse will be launching an independent investigation of these charges. The results will be published in a forthcoming issue.
Penthouse: Before you filed your lawsuit and began speaking openly about Scientology, there was very little news of it in the media. Why do you think there has been so little investigation of Scientology?
Hubbard: it’s very simple. Scientology has always had a “fair-game doctrine”–a policy of doing absolutely anything to stop an investigation or publication of a critical article in a magazine or newspaper. They have run some incredible operations on the several people who have tried to write books about Scientology. It was almost like a terror campaign. First they’d try throwing every possible lawsuit at the reporter or newspaper. We had a team of attorneys to do just that. The goal was to destroy the enemy. So the solution was always to attack, full-bore, with every possible resource, from every angle, instantaneously it can certainly be overwhelming. A guy would get slapped with twenty-seven lawsuits, and our lawyers would start depositioning absolutely anybody who ever knew the man, digging up dirt while at the same time putting together an operation that would get him into further trouble. I know of one case, concerning Paulette Cooper, who wrote a book called The Scandal of Scientology, in which they spent almost $500.000 trying to destroy her.
Penthouse: So you think the press was intimidated?
Hubbard: Oh, absolutely. All the way through, since the fifties. I found this very sad. It seemed very much like Germany in the thirties. The freedom of the press seemed buried. They got scared. They thought. “Well, who wants to go through ten years of lawsuits, just because we printed the name L. Ron Hubbard?” I’m delighted to see that Penthouse has the balls to print this interview.
Penthouse: Why do you think it’s so risky?
Hubbard: My father drilled into all of us: Don’t go to court thinking to win a lawsuit. You go to court to harass, to delay, to exhaust the enemy financially, physically, mentally. You file every motion you can think of and you just lock them up in court. The courts, for my father, were never used to seek justice or redress, put to destroy the people he thought were enemies, to prevent negative stories from appearing. He just wanted complete control of the press –and got it.
Penthouse: What exactly is Scientology?
Hubbard: Scientology is a power-and-money-and-intelligence-gathering game. To use common, everyday English, Scientology says that you and I and everybody else willed ourselves into being hundreds of trillions of years ago –just by deciding to be. We willed ourselves into being ourselves. Through wild space games, interaction, fights, and wars in the grand science-fiction tradition, we created this universe –all the matter, energy, space, and time of this universe. And so through these trillions of years, we have become the effect of our own cause and we now find ourselves trapped in bodies. So the idea of Scientology “auditing” or “counseling” or “processing” is to free yourself from your body and to return you to the original godlike state or, in Scientology jargon, an operating Thetan –O.T. We are all fallen gods, according to Scientology, and the goal is to be returned to that state.
Penthouse: And what is the Church of Scientology?
Hubbard: It’s one of my father’s many organizations. It was formed in 1953, basically to avoid the harassment of my father by the medical profession and the IRS. The idea of Scientology didn’t really exist before that point as a religion, but my father hit upon turning it into a church after he started feeling pressured.
Penthouse: Didn’t your father have any interest in helping people?
Hubbard: My father started out as a broke science-fiction writer. He was always broke in the late 1940s. He told me and a lot of other people that the way to make a million was to start a religion. Then he wrote the book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health while he was in Bayhead, New Jersey. When we later visited Bayhead, in about 1953, we were walking around and reminiscing –he told me that he had written the book in one month.
Penthouse: There was no church when he wrote the book?
Hubbard: Oh, no, no. You see, his goal was basically to write the book, take the money and run. But in 1950, this was the first major book of do-it-yourself psychotherapy, and it became a runaway best-seller. He kept getting, literally, mail trucks full of mail. And so he and some other people, including J. W. Campbell, the editor of Astounding Science Fiction , started the Dianetics Research Foundation in Elizabeth, New Jersey. And the post office kept backing up and just dumping mail sacks into the building. The foundation had a staff that just ran through the envelopes and threw away anything that didn’t have any money in it.
Penthouse: People sent money?
Hubbard: Yeah, they wanted training and further Dianetic auditing, Dianetic processing. It was just an incredible avalanche.
Penthouse: Did he write the book off the top of his head? Did he do any real research?
Hubbard: No research at all. When he has answered that question over the years, his answer has changed according to which biography he was writing. Sometimes he used to write a new biography every week. He usually said that he had put thirty years of research into the book. But no, he did not. What he did, reaily, was take bits and pieces from other people and put them together in a blender and stir them all up –and out came Dianetics! All the examples in the book –some 200 “real-life experiences” –were just the result of his obsessions with abortions and unconscious states… In fact, the vast majority of those incidents were invented off the top of his head. The rest stem from his own secret life, which was deeply involved in the occult and black-magic. That involvement goes back to when he was sixteen, living in Washington. D.C. He got hold of the book by Alistair Crowley called The Book of Law. He was very interested in several things that were the creation of what some people call the Moon Child. It was basically an attempt to create an immaculate conception –except by Satan rather than by God. Another important idea was the creation of what they call embryo implants –of getting a satanic or demonic spirit to inhabit the body of a fetus. This would come about as a result of black-magic rituals, which included the use of hypnosis, drugs, and other dangerous and destructive practices. One of the important things was to destroy the evidence if you failed at this immaculate conception. That’s how my father became obsessed with abortions. I have a memory of this that goes back to when I was six years old. It is certainly a problem for my father and for Scientology that I rememoer this. It was around 1939, 1940, that I watched my father doing something to my mother. She was lying on the bed and he was sitting on her, facing her feet. He had a coat hanger in his hand. There was blood all over the place. I remember my father shouting at me. “Go back to bed!” A little while later a doctor came and took her off to the hospital. She didn’t talk about it for quite a number of years. Neither did my father.
Penthouse: He was trying to perform an abortion?
Hubbard: According to him and my mother, he tried to do it with me. I was born at six and a half months and weighed two pounds, two ounces. I mean, I wasn’t born: this is what came out as a result of their attempt to abort me. It happened during a night of partying –he got involved in trying to do a black-magic number. Also, I’ve got to complete this by saying that he thought of himself as the Beast 666 incarnate.
Penthouse: The devil?
Hubbard: Yes. The Antichrist. Alestair Crowley thought of himself as such. And when Crowley died in 1947, my father then decided that he should wear the cloak of the beast and become the most powerful being in the universe.
Penthouse: You were sixteen years old at that time. What did you believe in?
Hubbard: I believed in Satanism. There was no other religion in the house! Scientology and black magic. What a lot of people don’t realize is that Scientology is black magic that is just spread out over a long time period. To perform black magic generally takes a few hours or, at most, a few weeks. But in Scientology it’s stretched out over a lifetime, and so you don’t see it. Black magic is the inner core of Scientology –and it is probably the only part of Scientology that really works. Also, you’ve got to realize that my father did not worship Satan. He thought he was Satan. He was one with Satan. He had a direct pipeline of communication and power with him. My father wouldn’t have worshiped anything. I mean, when you think you’re the most powerful being in the universe, you have no respect for anything, let alone worship.
Penthouse: Let’s get back to how you saw Scientology working on an individual basis. What if someone wrote to your father asking if he could cure their cancer?
Hubbard: He’d say, Oh, yes, he could handle that.
Penthouse: And what would be the charge for curing cancer?
Hubbard: Back in those days it was anywhere from $10 to $25 an hour. Now, it’s up to $300 or more an hour.
Penthouse: What exactly did that pay for?
Hubbard: To be audited. In the old days, the patient would lie on a couch and the auditor would sit in a chair and counsel. The words auditing, counseling, and processing are really the same in Scientology.
Penthouse: What would be discussed?
Hubbard: They would say that the cancer and its cure are just incidental to the main problem of one’s “spiritual development.” And according to Dianetics and Scientology, the explanation for cancer is basically that you have a sex problem?
Penthouse: A sex problem?
Penthouse: How did he figure that?
Hubbard: Quite simply, according to my father. Cancer is basically cells that are dividing out of control, and so, according to my father, the problem is a sexual thing. Therefore the cancer is rooted in a sexual problem. If you have cancer, you are really screwed up on sex. So what would happen in this auditing –I don’t know what it’s like now, but it’s probably just the same as in the old days –is that they would address a guy’s entire sex life. There was certainly an incredible preoccupation. In Dianetics and Scientology, about sex was a great means of control. You have complete control of someone if you have every detail of his sex life and fantasy life on record.
Penthouse: What if someone who went thought the training just wanted to drop out?
Hubbard: There was no way. There were thousands of people, back in the fifties who would come in and receive various levels of training, such as a Hubbard Certified Auditor’s Certificate or a Bachelor of Scientology or a Doctorate of Scientology, and if they didn’t toe the mark as my father wanted them to, then we would cancel their certificates. And then he would notify the Scientologists in the area where the man lived not to have anything to do with him, to disconnect from him. And if information was available about him, we would spread that information around to his wife, his family, his children, where he worked, everywhere. It was straight blackmail. It was “Stay in the fold or else.” Then, later on, they developed what they called an ethics review board. If you didn’t toe the mark, you’d be put on trial in front of a kangaroo court and then be sentenced to maybe scrub floors. I heard that you had to walk around with a dirty rag tied around your arm like a badge. You could be made to do anything. You would be locked in a chain locker or handcuffed to a bed. This is in later years. We were simpler in the fifties, more direct. I just went out and beat them up.
(For my father, the courts were used to destroy people he thought were enemies … I’m delighted to see that Penthouse has the balls to print this interview.)
Penthouse: Physical beatings?
Hubbard: Yeah. We’d strong-arm them. I did it myself. And you had to realize that I weighed around 240 pounds in those days. When I taught Scientology, no students ever blew my courses! I would go out and physically retrieve my students. You know, the Scientologists are now trying to make me out to be the worst person since Attila the Hun. They forget that when I was director of training for the organization, I trained literally thousands of people. I created a lot of the Scientology processes and procedures throughout the fifties. I really helped create and run the organization. I was very deeply involved, very directly, for seven years, during its formulation and building. So I find their attempts to discredit me amusing. I used to have a thing about saying that nobody ever ran out of my courses. If you think est is tough, you ought to have taken courses under me in the fifties!
Penthouse: What would happen if someone went to your class, decided it was bullshit, and never came back?
Hubbard: If you signed up for a course and you came to my class, I’d keep you there or go physically retrieve you if you left.
Penthouse: You’d already gotten the money, so why did you bother?
Hubbard: Because I thought I was all-knowing, all-powerful –totally arrogant and egotistical –for one thing. I was quite insufferable.
Penthouse: Your father knew this was going on?
Hubbard: Well, sure. Nobody did a thing in Scientology without his direct knowledge or consent or without his orders.
Penthouse: Did it ever go beyond these physical beatings?
Hubbard: I remember locking one girl up in a shack out in the desert for at least a couple or weeks.
Penthouse: Why were things like this never publicized?
Hubbard: Because the same reign of terror that occurred under Robespierre and Hitler occurred back then in the fifties, as it occurs now. You must realize that there is very little actual courage in this world. It’s pretty easy to bend people around. It doesn’t take much to shut people up, it really doesn’t. In the fifties all I had to do was call a guy up on the telephone and say, “Well, I think your wife would like to know about your mistress.” The response would be a shocked “Oh, my God!” I’d say, “Well, nobody really wants to divulge that kind of information. I think it would be absolutely terrible if your wife found out, so I’m going to make absolutely sure that she doesn’t find out. Now, if you just drop in here for a little more auditing … Now you know in your heart that the critical things you’ve been saying about Scientology are just vindictive. They’re not really true in your heart. You know that, don’t you?” And the guy says. “Yeah, sure, I sure do know that!” And then, if Scientologists couldn’t blackmail you, they’d create some dirt on you through their “special operations.” There were quite a few of those operations. This one, for example, happened recently. I wasn’t involved in it, but Scientologists tried to get an assistant attorney general of the state of California embroiled in a fake operation where a Scientologist pretended to be a nun and pretended to get pregnant by him and filed papers against him. Then in another scheme they tried to set up the mayor of Clearwater, Florida, for a fake hit-and-run accident. I could give you operation after operation that they set up like this.
Penthouse: This has been going on since the fifties?
Hubbard: Sure. It was pretty tame back then compared to very sophisticated operations like they have now. When we hid assets, for example –I remember being in Philadelphia when the FBI anc the U.S. Marshall’s Office were after my father on a contempt-of-court charge. There I was running across town with my father with our complete mailing list and a suitcase full of money! Heading for the hills!
Penthouse: Where did the money end up?
Hubbard: A lot of it went abroad. But my father always kept a great deal of it around his bedroom so that he could flee at a moment’s notice. In shoe boxes. He distrusted banks.
Penthouse: What kind of money are we talking about?
Hubbard: Back then? Hundreds of thousands at least. The last time I saw my father, in 1959, he mentioned that he had at least $20 million salted away.
Penthouse: Did he invest the money?
Hubbard: No. He wanted to stay really liquid. Very fluid, so he could cut and run at any time.
Penthouse: Where did all this money come from? How much did it cost to be audited, in Scientology parlance?
Hubbard: It cost as much as a person had. He had to stay in the organization, getting audited higher and higher, until he paid us as much as he had. People would sell their house, their car, convert their stocks and securities into cash, and turn it all over to Scientology.
Penthouse: What did you promise them for this price?
Hubbard: We promised them the moon and then demonstrated a way to get there. They would sell their soul for that. We were telling someone that they could have the power of a god –that’s what we were telling them.
Penthouse: What kind of people were tempted by this promise?
Hubbard: A whole range of people. People who wanted to raise their IQ, to feel better, to solve their problems. You also got people who wished to lord it over other people in the use of power. Remember, it’s a power game, a matter of climbing a pyramidal hierarchy to the top, and it’s who you can step on to get more power that counts. It appeals a great deal to neurotics. And to people who are greedy. It appeals a great deal to Americans, I think, because they tend to believe in instant everything, from instant coffee to instant nirvana. By just saying a few magic words or by doing a few assignments, one can become a god. People believe this. You see, Scientology doesn’t really address the soul; it addresses the ego. What happens in Scientology is that a person’s ego gets pumped up by this science-fiction fantasy helium into universe-sized proportions. And this is very appealing. It is especially appealing to the intelligentsia of this country, who are made to feel that they are the most highly intelligent people, when in actual fact, from an emotional standpoint, they are completely stupid. Fine professors, doctors, scientists, people involved in the arts and sciences, would fall into Scientology like you wouldn’t believe. It appealed to their intellectual level and buttressed their emotional weaknesses. You show me a professor and I revert back to the fifties: I just kick him in the head, eat him for breakfast.
(My mother was lying on the bed and my father was sitting on her, facing her feet. He had a coat hanger in his hand. There was blood all over the place.)
Penthouse: Did it attract young people as much as cults today?
Hubbard: Yes. We attracted quite a few hippies but we tried to stay a way from them, because they didn’t have any money.
Penthouse: A poor man can’t be a Scientologist?
Hubbard: No, oh no.
Penthouse: What do you think of the great popularity of cults in this country?
Hubbard: I think they’re very dangerous and destructive. I don’t think that anyone should think for you. And that’s exactly what cults do. All cults, including Scientology, say, “I am your mind, I am your brain. I’ve done all the work for you, I’ve laid the path open for you. All you have to do is turn your mind off and walk down the path I have created.” Well, I have learned that there’s great strength in diversity, that a clamorous discussion or debate is very healthy and should be encouraged. That’s why I like our political setup in the United States: simply because you can fight and argue and jump up and down and shout and scream and have all kinds of viewpoints, regardless of how wrongheaded or ridiculous they might be. People here don’t have to give up their right to perceive things the way they believe. Scientology and all the other cults are one-dimensional, and we live in a three-dimensional world. Cults are as dangerous as drugs. They commit the highest crime: the rape of the soul.
Penthouse: You mentioned that Scientology attracted a great many well-known or important people. Can you give us some examples?
Hubbard: Two of the people we were involved with in the late fifties in England were Errol Flynn and a man who was high up in the Labor Party at the time. My father and Errol Flynn were very similar. They were only interested in money, sex, booze, and drugs. At that time, in the late fifties, Flynn was pretty much of a burned-out hulk. But he was involved in smuggling deals with my father: gold from the Mediterranean, and some drugs –mostly cocaine. They were both just a little larger than life. I had to admire my father from one standpoint. As I’ve said, he was a down-and-out, broke science-fiction writer, and then he writes one book of science-fiction and convinces the world it’s true. He sells it to millions of people and gets billions of dollars and everyone thinks he’s some sort of deity. He was really bigger than life. Flynn was like that, too. You could say many negative things about the two of them, but they did as they pleased and lived as they pleased. It was always fun to sit there at dinner and listen to these two guys rap. Wild people. Errol Flynn was like my father also in that he would do anything for money. He would take anything to bed –boys, girls, Fifty-year-old women, ten-year-old boys, Flynn and my father had insatiable appetites. Tons of mistresses. They lived very high on the hog.
Penthouse: And what about this Labor Party official?
Hubbard: He was a double agent for the KGB and for the British intelligence agency. He was also a raging homosexual. He wanted my father to use his black-magic, soul-cracking, brainwashing techniques on young boys. He wanted these boys as his own sexual slaves. He wanted to use my father’s techniques to crack people’s heads open because he was very influential in and around the British government –plus he was selling information to the Russians. And so was my father.
Penthouse: Your father was selling information to the Soviets?
Hubbard: Yes. That’s where my father got the money to buy St. Hill Manor in East Grinstead, Sussex, which is the English headquarters of Scientology today.
Penthouse: What information did your father have to sell the Soviet government?
Hubbard: He didn’t do any spying himself. What he normally did was allow these strange little people to go into the offices and into his home at odd hours of the night. He told me that he was allowing the KGB to go through our files, and that he was charging £40,000 for it. This was the money he used for the purchase of St. Hill Manor.
Penthouse: Do you know any specific information that the KGB got from your father that might have been harmful to security?
Hubbard: The plans for an infrared heat-seeking missile in the early fifties. They obtained the information by extensive auditing of the guy who was one of the head engineers. There were great infiltrations clear to this day. There has always been an inordinate interest on the part of Scientology in military and government personnel. There’s no way for me to prove it sitting here, but I believe that the KGB trained East German agents who came via Denmark to London to the United States who were, supposedly, Scientologists. They made very good Scientologists. They were very well trained.
Penthouse: Did your father do this just for money?
Hubbard: Yes. The more he made, the more he wanted. He became greedy. He was really just interested in the use of money and power, wherever it was or whosoever’s it was. Morality and politics made no difference to him at all.
Penthouse: Did the Labor Party official get any of his young men via Scientology?
Hubbard: Yes. The British were ripe for Scientology. The British school system fosters lesbianism and homosexuality, because from the time you’re born until you’re in your twenties, all you see is the same sex. The schools are so segretated. And you’ll notice in Scientology the focus on sex. Sex, sex, sex. The first thing we wanted to know about someone we were auditing was his sexual deviations. You know, in actual fact, very few people exclusively practice missionary-style sex. So all you’ve got to do is find a person’s kinks, whatever they might be. Their dreams and their fantasies. And if you find that central core, their sexual drives and desires and fantasies, then you can fit a ring through their noses and take them anywnere. You promise to fufill their fantasies or you threaten to expose them –very simple. And People do have outrageous sexual fantasies. Nothing wrong with that –I’m the last guy on earth who should make a value judgment about somebody’s sexual practices. But once you find their sexual core, you’ve got them. And you find this by brainwashing, through auditing, through interrogation, investigations, following them, photographing them, tapping their phones, whatever.
Penthouse: You did all that?
Penthouse: Were there any other high level British government people in Scientology?
Hubbard: There was a member of Winston Churchill’s medical staff. We had him by the balls.
Penthouse: Did he give you any information about Churchill?
Hubbard: Yes, certainly. You see, these people didn’t realize where their information was going. They always thought that in Scientology auditing they had the priest-confessor’s confidentiality –but it was never that way. People just assumed it, and still do. But everybody knew what was in everybody’s files.
Penthouse: What was the first example you can remember of your father’s espionage activity?
Hubbard: I remember one day in 1944 when he came nome from the naval base where he was stationed in Oregon with a big, gray metal box under his arm. He put in our little attached garage and put a tarp over it. That weekend a couple of funny little guys came over to the house. I remember it was summer and they were wearing heavy woollen overcoats –dark brown overcoats. It stuck in my mind: what are they doing wearing overcoats when it’s hotter than hell? I was only about ten at the time. Anyway, these big, sweating guys take the box and put in in their car and drive off. But before they’d come, I’d snuck a look in the box. It had this strange-looking object in it. I didn’t know what the hell it was. Later on, in the fifties, I was walking through a war surplus store and I suddenly saw an object that was just like the one I’d seen in the box. It was the heart of the radar. During the war –when those men took it from our garage –it was super-secret, super-valuable, worth thousands of dollars. I remember that people were told to commit suicide if it ever got captured in order to blow it up.
Then, in 1955, I went to work in the Scientology office in London. I noticed a woman in the office doing strange things with strange people in the office, so I investigated her. I found out she was a card-carrying member of the Communist Party. I got very angry at her and broke into her apartment, where I found dozens of little code pads. They looked like little milk pads with a whole mess of letters and numbers on them. I had people follow her to the Russian Embassy. I finally wrote a long report to my father about her. He was furious. He told me not to investigate anymore, not to write anymore, not to tell anyone what I had found out, to destroy all my evidence. I yelled at him, “The goddamn Russians are running around the office and doing God knows what.” He yelled back. “I want’em there!” He told me that she was placed there by the KGB with his knowledge and consent. This really bothered me. My grandfather, who was a lieutenant commander in the navy, had impressed me with his red-white-and-blue honor and integrity. He was an officer of the old school. 180 degrees different from my father, in fact, I credit him a great deal with my ability to get rid of Scientology and get my head straightened out, because his patriotism had gotten through to me and made me sour on what my father was doing in dealing with the Russians.
Penthouse: Was this why you became disenchanted with Scientology?
Hubbard: It was the beginning. I began to see that my father was a sick, sadistic, vicious man. I saw more and more parallels between his behavior and what I read about the way Hitler thought and acted. I was realizing that my father really wanted to destroy his enemies and take over the world. Whoever was perceived as his enemy had to be destroyed, including me. This “fair game” policy since the beginning. The organization couldn’t exist without it. It keeps people very quiet.
Penthouse: Do you mean killed?
Hubbard: Well, he didn’t really want people killed, because how could you really destroy them if you just killed them? What he wanted to do was to destroy their lives, their families, their reputations, their jobs, their money, everything. My father was the type of person who, when it came to destruction, wanted to keep you alive for as long as possible, to torture you, punish you. If he chose to destroy you, he would love to see you lying in the gutter, strung out on booze and drugs, rolling in your own vomit, with your wife and children gone forever: no job, no money. He’d enjoy walking by and kicking you and saying to other people, “Look what I did to this man!” He’s the kind of man who would pull the wings off flies and watch them stumble around. You see, this fits in with his Scientology beliefs, also. He felt that if you just died, your spirit would go out and get another body to live in. By destroying an enemy that way, you’d be doing him a favor. You were letting him out from under the thumb of L. Ron. Hubbard, you see?
Penthouse: It’s been said that many Scientologists have similar philosophies.
Hubbard: Yes. Many are sadistic, just like he was. Very Teutonic, very Gestapo.
Penthouse: Do you think they would stop at murder?
Hubbard: Many wouldn’t. The one super-secret sentence that Scientology is built on is: “Do as thou wilt.” That is the whole of the law. It also comes from the black magic, from Alistair Crowley. It means that you are a law unto yourself, that you are above the law, that you create your own law. You are above any other human considerations. Since you came into being by an act of will, you can do anything you will. If you decide to go out and kill somebody –bam! –that’s it. An act of will. Not connected, to any emotions or feelings, not governed by any ethics or morality or law. They are very vicious people. Totally into attack. Most people think these people are so insane and wild and berserk and unpredictable. Not to me. Insane people are very predictable, because they’re trapped on the same mental and spiritual merry-go-round and all they can do is go round and round. For years I’ve been able to Counter them –to stay alive –simply because I was one of them. I had a helluva good teacher.
Penthouse: Was your father violent in his behavior with his family?
Hubbard: Not to me. But he beat up a lot of women very badly. Blood, black eyes, busted teeth, the whole thing. He beat the holy hell out of women. His rages were incredible. I’ve read reports of the kinds of rages Hitler used to have, and they sound just like my father’s. He was especially touchy about food. He would always have somebody else at the table sample everything on the table before he’d eat it. I’ve seen him pick up an entire dinner table and throw it against the wall if he didn’t like the food or thought it was suspicious. He got very strange in the fifties. He had to have his clothes washed and washed and washed. He would take showers half a dozen times a day. I have often wondered if all of this might have been caused by the massive amounts of drugs and medication he took.
Penthouse: Did your father take a lot of drugs?
Hubbard: Yes. Since he was sixteen. You see, drugs are very important in the application of heavy black magic. The personal use of drugs expands one’s conscious ability to break open the doors to the realm of the deep.
Penthouse: What kind of drugs did he generally use?
Hubbard: At various times, just about everything, because he was quite a hypocondriac. Cocaine, peyote, amphetamines, barbiturates. It would be shorter to list what he didn’t take.
Penthouse: Did he encourage you to do drugs?
Hubbard: Well, he used them with me. He was a real night person. We used to sit around all night, sit around his office or home, get loaded up, and talk. He had a pretty liquid tongue. He loved to talk. And of course, in the fifties, he decided that I was the heir apparent, so he wanted to teach me everything he knew. He started me out by mixing phenobarbital into my bubble gum, when I was ten years old. This was to induce deeper trances in order to practice the black magic and to get an avenue to power.
Penthouse: How exactly would this work?
Hubbard: The explanation is sort of long and complicated. The basic rationale is that there are some powers in this universe that are pretty strong. As an example, Hitler was involved in the same black magic and the same occult practices that my father was. The identical ones. Which, as I have said, stem clear back to before Egyptian times. It’s a very secret thing. Very powerful and very workable and very dangerous. Brainwashing is nothing compared to it. The proper term would be “soul cracking.” It’s like cracking open the soul, which then opens various doors to the power that exists, the satanic and demonic powers. Simply put, it’s like a tunnel or an avenue or a doorway. Pulling that power into yourself through another person –and using women, especially — is incredibly insidious. It makes Dr. Fu Manchu look like a kindergarten student. It is the ultimate vampirism, the ultimate mind-fuck, instead of going for blood, you’re going for their soul. And you take drugs in order to reach that state where you can, quite literally, like a psychic hammer, break their soul, and pull the power through. He designed his Scientology Operating Thetan techniques to do the same thing. But, of course, it takes a couple of hundred hours of auditing and mega-thousands of dollars for the privilege of having your head turned into a glass Humpty Dumpty –shattered into a million pieces. It may sound like incredible gibberish, but it made my father a fortune.
Penthouse: When was the last time your father was seen in public?
Hubbard: Sometime in the sixties he granted an interview to British television. After that he didn’t appear in public and just slowly became a recluse. One of the reasons he became a recluse was his own physical and mental condition was deteriorating so badly that he couldn’t let the public or the Scientology membership know just what kind of shape he was in. He was a testament to the fact that Scientology didn’t work.
Penthouse: Looking over the past twenty-odd years of your life, what would you have done differently?
Hubbard: That’s a complex question, guess if I had it to do all over. I would do the same thing. With a father like mine. I don’t think I could live it differently. It’s been twenty-three years of hell, but sometimes you have to go through hell to get to heaven. It’s been a very exciting life. I can say that. We come from a long line of rogues and scoundrels, going back 200 or 300 years, at least. And so I guess we’re built for this kind of life. I’ve said that I am a preacher of adversity and controversy, and I thrive on it. Plus maybe by our example, people will quit trying for god-ship.
Penthouse: What if your father’s alive? Would you be able to confront him?
Hubbard: Yes I would love to.
Penthouse: Do you have any fear of him?
Hubbard: No if he is sick, I would make sure he receives the best treatment I could find in the world for him. I consider him a victim of all this as much as I consider myself a victim of his own involvement with black magic, drugs and his own delusions. He became a victim of himself.
Penthouse: Many people would say that your father is guilty of a great many sins and crimes. Do you think he should be punished?
Hubbard: He hasn’t escaped punishment. I think at this juncture, dead or alive, he fell into his own insanity, and that’s quite sufficient punishment. That is the most terrible jail of all, to be trapped inside his own head. With him it must be like being locked inside an exploding fireworks factory with no way out.
Penthouse: Have you ever wished your father dead?
Hubbard: I don’t believe so, no. Regardless of the things he’s done to me –we had a helluva good time!
Penthouse: Ripping the world off?
Hubbard: We did! I enjoyed my life then, and I enjoy it now. And really, as far as crimes go. I think my father has received the ultimate punishment, which is being locked and trapped in his own insanity. There’s no way out for him.
In order to present both sides of the controversy involving the Church of Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard Sr. to our readers, Penthouse Contributing Editor Allan Sonnenschein conducted a lengthy interview by telephone with the Rev. Heber Jentzsch, president of the church. Excerpts from that interview follow.
Jentzsch: Let me say this: The media have been hyped by a number of people who are criminal – extortionists – perverts – etc. – and they make all these claims, and then you’re supposed to respond to them. The credibility of the individual is just out the bottom. And I don’t find it instructive for us to just sit and respond to a bunch of allegations.
Penthouse: Is it true, as DeWolf claims, that Scientology is an extremely expensive and time-consuming process?
Jentzsch: It isn’t expensive if one is looking at something that works. And Scientology is an extremely workable system. The churches that I know of – and I deal with religious leaders all across the country – some of them have a tithing system, and they pay it for their entire lifetime. That can be quite a bit of money, and it’s also worthwhile. But let’s move it out of the religous field and look at the psychiatrists, and they’re running all this crazy stuff, you know? You’ve got psychiatrists who are essentially charging an arm and a leg for electric shock psychosurgery, drugging, all kinds of things which really are destructive to the individual. And they’re funded by the state for those activities, into the billions. So Scientology comes along. First of all, it can be done from a person picking up a book like Dianetics as I said. And it costs them the price of the book. Or it can be done from the standpoint of the professional counselors and so forth. Mr DeWolf hasn’t been with the church for twenty-four years, so he’s hardly an authority on where we are at the present time. But it’s like yo say – is it expensive or time consuming? Well, long before I joined the staff, I did Scientology extensively. I didn’t find it time consuming. I found that I was able to do it and still carry on at a profession and do both.
Penthouse: Can a poor man go through Scientology counseling?
Penthouse: He can?
Jentzsch: Sure. I mean he can go on the staff, and for that he receives his counseling, and he can do the whole thing.
Penthouse: Is it true that the media have been intimidated by church members when they try to report on the organization?
Jentzsch: Ha! Well, I just say, look with your own eyes. If they’re intimidated, boy, how do you explain Time magazine, 20/20 on ABC TV, Cable Network News national, ABC TV’s World News, the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Times, reporting all in one day on Scientology? I mean, how do you explain that? I mean, give me a break!
Penthouse: The allegation has been made that the Church of Scientology has hounded ex-members who have spoken out negatively about the church.
Jentzsch: Can you give me the names?
Penthouse: Gerald Armstrong is the first that comes to mind.
Jentzsch: Mr. Armstrong is my step-son-in-law. I know him quite well. He was a clerk, and he also drove a car. And that’s all he ever did. When he left, he sort of tried to raise his status. If he thinks he’s been hounded by Scientologists, I’ll offer this: he says he’s getting phone calls? We’ll go to the police and put a tap on the phone. You know what a tap is, right? It just traces the phone call. So let’s find out where the phone calls are coming from, because it isn’t coming from our people. And I want to know. So to every guy who’s screaming that, that’s the thing I offer.
Penthouse: How do you respond to charges that L. Ron Hubbard, Sr. may no
longer be alive?
Jentzsch: Mr. Hubbard wrote me a letter last week. He wrote the court that has the records under seal and is keeping them in safekeeping, per our request. Now, he wrote, and he carboned me, with a very well-documented, extensive kind of forensic background in this letter. What it is is one of the top forensic scientists in this country put together an ink that could have been formulated by the second of February, 1983. He put that ink in a pen, and sent it to Mr. Hubbard. Mr. Hubbard wrote a letter to the court, carboning me, and he also placed his fingerprints on that letter underneath the ink and to the side. And top forensic analysts have proven that, that is the ink that was formulated the second of February 1983. Number two: that is his writing. Number three: those are his fingerprints. End of theme. But this letter establishes, in terms of forensic science and in terms of court-acceptable records, that Hubbard Sr. is very much in control of this whole scene and his own monies, his own life, his own activities…
Penthouse: Is it possible to speak to Mr. Hubbard?
Jentzsch: I…I don’t think that Penthouse magazine, given its past activities, would ever do a decent article on Mr. Hubbard. I think they would do everything they could to try to denigrate, to try to impugn the man, to try to destroy any credibility he has… I’ve read Penthouse and the hate they have for anyone who is opposed to psychiatry, anyone who is opposed to electric shock and psychosurgery, as we have been… I have only to characterize it; that’s the only reason they’re opposed to it –that Hubbard has instituted an incredible educational capability. They hate it. Absolutely hate anything… [Editor’s note: Reverend Jentzsch is not as familiar with the editorial content of Penthouse as he thinks. Among the very many critical articles on psychiatry the magazine has published are ” Psychiatric Holocaust” (January 1979), “Psychiatry Kills” (April 1981), and “Electroshock: The Horror Continues” (June 1982)] My current frame of mind is that the media will have to prove to us that they have some sort of modicum of ethics and integrity… At this current point, I have no reason to trust them. None at all. I find them rapacious. I find them to be not interested in anything… Six and a half million people who are living good lives, with a tremendous capability…but I don’t find the media wanting to cover any of that…
Penthouse: We feel that Mr. Hubbard has a right to respond to the allegations made by Mr. Hubbard, Jr.
Jentzsch: What you’re saying is that you give a man who’s a criminal the same right as a man who is not.
Penthouse: We’re just trying to determine the truth.
Jentzsch: I’ve got to tell you, I’ve heard the same thing from every major media that has talked to me. And every one of them had just not one modicum of integrity.
Penthouse: We would be willing to work out any problems you might have before we meet with Mr. Hubbard.
Jentzsch: Well, I don’t know that you could meet him, because I have no idea where he is… I will tell you this: if I were ever asked by Mr Hubbard, I will make sure that all of the media who have currently interviewed him will never, ever, ever, get a personal interview. I mean, I can guarantee you that Time magazine will not… I can guarantee you ABC-TV will not: I can guarantee you that all the others will not. I will promise that, and I will campaign for it if he ever decides that he wants to do a major media event of any kind or an interview of any kind. I will make sure that every one of those gentlemen never, ever, ever, ever, ever, gets an interview with him.