L. Ron Hubbard and his stolen valor

| April 6, 2015


JAGC sends us a link to NPR which reports on Lawrence Wright’s research of the Church of Scientology’s founder L. Ron Hubbard and his record of service in World War II for an article in the New Yorker. According to the New Yorker article;

During the Second World War, Hubbard served in the U.S. Navy, and he later wrote that he was gravely injured in battle: “Blinded with injured optic nerves and lame with physical injuries to hip and back at the end of World War II, I faced an almost nonexistent future. I was abandoned by family and friends as a supposedly hopeless cripple.” While languishing in a military hospital in Oakland, California, he said, he fully healed himself, using techniques that became the foundation of Scientology. “I had no one to help me; what I had to know I had to find out,” he wrote in an essay titled “My Philosophy.” “And it’s quite a trick studying when you cannot see.” In some editions of Hubbard’s book “The Fundamentals of Thought,” published in 1956, a note on the author says, “It is a matter of medical record that he has twice been pronounced dead.”

But, according to Wright in the NPR article, Hubbard was never wounded, nor was he the hero that he made himself out to be during the war;

“I had found evidence that Hubbard was never actually injured during the war. … And so we pressed [Tommy Davis] for evidence that there had been such injuries and [Hubbard] had been the war hero that he described,” says Wright. “Eventually, Davis sent us what is called a notice of separation — essentially discharge papers from World War II — along with some photographs of all of these medals that [Hubbard] had won. … At the same time, we finally gained access to Hubbard’s entire World War II records [through a request to the military archives] and there was no evidence that he had ever been wounded in battle or distinguished himself in any way during the war. We also found another notice of separation which was strikingly different than the one that the church had provided.”

Furthermore, says Wright, the notice of separation that the church provided was signed by a man who never existed. And two of the medals that Hubbard supposedly had won weren’t commissioned until after Hubbard left active service.

Well, that’s the first time we ever heard of any of that happening, isn’t it? Of course, Hubbard’s version of his service explained that he was an intelligence officer, so the researchers at the CoS claim that he was so secret squirrel that the government had to change his records to hide his actual activities – you know, even though the biggest secret of the war, the fact that the US had used the Enigma Machine to break German coded messages, was declassified in 1975, Hubbard’s activities are still secret.

Category: Phony soldiers

Comments (62)

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  1. The Other Whitey says:

    Does this surprise anybody?

  2. Martinjmpr says:

    Obviously Hubbard enlisted the spirit of Xenu to help the US design the atom bomb. It’s all right there in The Book.

    Or, to paraphrase a bumper sticker I once saw, L. Ron Hubbard Said, it, I believe it, and That settles it. 😀

  3. ByrdMan says:

    Hubbard was a sci-fi hack and manipulative thug. Lying about his service is no big surprise.

    • AW1 Tim says:

      RAH knew Hubbard quite well, and the two were friends for a time. Eventually, Heinlein figured out that Hubbard was batshit looney and took leave of him.

      Hubbard was a hack writer, for sure, and when his SciFi writing failed to sell, he came up with the idea of creating his own church. Hubbard based it on some of his works, and worked the tax system and the gullible rich (and anyone else he could scam a dime off of) to enrich himself and gain the reputation (in his own mind) that he felt he truly deserved.

  4. O-4E says:

    People that buy into the Scientology BS deserve to get taken for every dime they have

  5. Bobo says:

    This has been known for a while. There are also some other dubious claims made by and about him regarding his education, his history as an explorer, his aviation career, and his family’s wealth. All what you’d expect from a first degree huckster who managed to turn some really bad science fiction into a tax free enterprise that made him rich.

  6. Martinjmpr says:

    For pure comic relief the only thing funnier than Hubbard’s “official biography” is that of the North Korean Kims (Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un.) Like the fact that Kim Jong Il, having never touched a golf club in his life, picked one up for the first time and played a near perfect game, 38 under par, with 11 holes in one.

  7. Pinto Nag says:

    Hubbard was a flim-flam man. Pure and simple. A hundred years earlier, he would have been selling snake oil out of the back of a wagon in a mining town somewhere.

    • ChipNASA says:

      Hubbard was a flim-flam man. Pure and simple. Almost 20 years earlier, he might have started a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business ( SDVOSB ) working systematically and consistently to defraud the Federal Government, civilian and DoD agencies.

  8. Thunderstixx says:

    One more reason to distrust anything or anyone involved in the Scientology debate…
    Tom Cruise as a spokesman???
    Oh yes, he’s a real fucking genius…
    Oh, and the work he does is harder than any of the men and women that serve or served in The War on Terror…
    Fuck them…

  9. “And two of the medals that Hubbard supposedly had won weren’t commissioned until after Hubbard left active service.”

    One of the medals I wear (and which innumerable other veterans now wear) was not created until LONG after I’d left military service.

    It’s the Korea Defense Service Medal, awarded to anyone who served in the Republic of Korea AFTER 1953.

    Also, my Air Assault Qualification Badge is an honorary award, sent to me by the Commandant of the Air Assault School at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, for it didn’t exist when I did what was required to earn it, and the award is NOT retroactive to Viet Nam service.

    Two (02) of my unit awards, the Meritorious Unit Award and the Republic of Viet Nam Civil Action Honor Medal Unit Award with Palm, are not listed on my DD-214, and I only learned I was entitled to wear them when I read my unit’s official history.

    Mox nix.

    While the point of the article is that L. Ron Hubbard lied about his military service, I just wanted to point out that there are legitimate exceptions to the rule.

    • dana1371 says:

      While that may all be true, an example is the CAR was authorized in 1969 and I got out in 1968, but am still authorized to wear it, you won’t see pictures of me in uniform with it in my “rack”.

  10. MCPO NYC USN Ret. says:

    He mis-conflated his story after an accidental traumatic alien anal probing meant for a non-believer.

    • Blaster says:

      Yeah that sucks. I’ve been looking for some payback since I was abducted by aliens, even though, to my knowledge there was NO anal probing.

  11. Steadfast&Loyal says:

    I read once that Navy records also show that he was relieved of command twice.

    • thebesig says:

      Originally posted by Steadfast&Loyal:

      I read once that Navy records also show that he was relieved of command twice.

      I saw snippets of that record. He was incompetent as a commanding officer, served mostly supporting roles, or stateside maritime roles, etc. He was recommended for a job position that didn’t require supervising other people.

      It has been a while since I saw this record, it may be that of someone else, but I do remember that this was the same guy associated with Scientology. It’s basically a record that one wouldn’t be proud of. 🙄

      • SidneyBroadshead says:

        He once was in command of a patrol boat. When on anti-submarine patrol off the coast of California, he got lost and ended up in Mexican waters. He then mistook a reef or rock outcropping for a sub and spent a great deal of ordnance attacking it. A court-martial relieved him of command and recommended that he not be allowed to command or supervise others in the future.

        Despite this, he created a paramilitary hierarchy similar to the Navy called the ORG. It’s some kind of psychic “space navy” that runs its own cruise ships and resorts. Cadets can sign up to serve for hundreds of years and will be supposedly reenlisted in their next lives to fulfil their contracts.

        • Hondo says:

          Two different incidents, actually. The submarine incident occurred (if I recall correctly) off the Oregon coast, where Hubbard’s boat “attacked” a known magnetic anomaly, then called for backup. The backup forces essentially told him to quit and that there was no sub; a later inquiry agreed.

          The Mexican island incident was a month or two later. During that incident, Hubbard ignored orders and conducted unsanctioned “gunnery practice” – shelling what he thought was a deserted island. As you observed, he’d screwed up his navigation and was actually in Mexican waters at the time and was shooting at a Mexican island – which some accounts say was garrisoned by Mexico. The second incident was the “final straw” that got him relieved of command.


          Yeah, it’s Wikipedia. But other sources say the same.

  12. DataDawgWP says:

    The activities of Scientology have been questionable for quite some time. I don’t dare say anything else, because the Scientology bastards are very litigious assholes, who will sue someone who hates them, like I do, for no other reason that they have the ability to copulate, for instance.

    • Silentium Est Aureum says:

      IOW, if L. Ron had been born 30-40 years later, he’d be a charter member of the DRC.

      Again, dude proves that Stolen Valor is but the tip of the iceberg.

  13. Dave Hardin says:

    Here we go. It’s not enough that every fake embellishing dipshit on the planet hates us; now we have to contend with the secret operatives from the Sea Org.

    With all the Thetans swirling around the planet its not wonder people get so screwed up. I got through all my secret squirrel training just fine but my swim buddy Jethro Bodine sure could have use that E-Meter.

    I am sure our training at Camp Clusterfuck is still classified. Even the MOS for a Marmooseal is secret and never talked about with the SPECOPS community.

    If I get taken by operatives from the Sea Org and subjected to interrogation with an E-Meter, the breech in National Security is on your conscience Jonn.

    • GDContractor says:

      I’m glad you stuck with it Dave. I was going to be a Navy Toad Man…. either that or a soda-jerk. When the Grunion invaded our shores, you and Jethro really gave ’em hell! Courage.

      Hey there’s a “flim flam” reference above. I read The Ballad of the Flim Flam Man by Guy Owen one summer up in Alaska. The quote I most remember from that book was when the preacher would introduce his attractive traveling companion by saying, “This is Miss. Smith. She handles my organ.”

  14. Instinct says:

    Always thought he was a douchebag, now it’s confirmed beyond all reasonable doubt by his records and that picture of him up there.

    Who the fuck, but a total asshat, wears an ascot?!?!?

    • 3E9 says:

      AF Pilots. Oh wait, most of them are asshats.(ducks under desk)

      • MustangCryppie says:

        Readin’ my mind!

      • SidneyBroadshead says:

        That’s because, like surgeons, they have a god complex. However, unlike surgeons, pilots can kill you from beyond the horizon in a rain storm while dodging a sky full of North Korean made homing anti-aircraft missiles. Even God would have to get a mulligan to pull that off.

    • SidneyBroadshead says:

      He looks like a creepy, fat, cretinous Vincent Price impersonator in that photo.

  15. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    L. Ron Hubbard is the worst kind of rat bastard fraud our society creates. He’s a miserable, depressed, introspective sociopathic liar who is so consumed with his own failings he has to believe all humanity exists as he does in order to place any meaning at all into his vapid, morally bankrupt excuse for intellect.

    Creating a fraudulent religion based on some nonsense that exists only inside his lying brain is a virtuoso liar’s performance though….

    Too bad his followers didn’t know that in reality he was so fucking incompetent that he was relieved of command twice and once fired on Mexican territory during the war…confused as to who our enemies were at the time apparently.

    There is no excuse for making shit up from whole cloth in an effort to build a power base of religious belief. It’s bad enough for established religions to pull this shit never mind some hack writer with mental competency issues creating their own magical fairy tales.

    L. Ron Hubbard is now and forever will be a liar and a fraud, that he was rewarded with financial success for those actions speaks more to the decided lack of intellect of those who fall for his bullshit than any ability of consequence on the part of Hubbard…

    Fuck. That. Guy.

  16. SP Browning says:

    Hubbard committed two substantial fuckups while on duty. While commanding a small subchaser, he spent well over 12 hours mistakenly depth charging an iron ore deposit on the seafloor which he mistakenly believed was a Japanese sub. When he called for backup, his superiors realized his error.

    Shortly thereafter, when commanding his boat south of San Diego, he use an unoccupied and Mexican island for gunnery practice. The Mexicans quite rightly had words with his superior and he was relieved of command.

    In the late 1960s, Hubbard formed his own “navy” (3 or 4 ships) which he used to sail around the med, and avoid process servers and governments that were interested in his questionable activities. He formed the “Sea Org” to man these boats, and gave people naval “ranks” which were continued after the organization came ashore in Clearwater Florida in 1975. The Seaorg is the priesthood of Scientology and use some termanology he learned in the Navy circa WWII.

    In the early 1980s a sea org member, named Gerry Armstrong offered to use Hubbard’s personal files to write an official biography of L Wrong, and discovered in the process that the flounder had made his combat claims up. When Gerry parted ways with Scientology there was a very nasty courtcase where some of these documents became part of the public record.

    Finally, the reason why we should care about what Scientology does, is because of how it treats the dependants and relatives of scientologists. They use disconnection to enforce loyalty and force members to shun other members of their families for such bullshit reasons as having a facebook friend who is a suppressive person.

    They engage in child labor law violations by recruiting children of scientologist into the sea org when they are in their early teens forcing them to give up any further “wog” education, and making them work 100 hour weeks. The best source on scientology is Tony Ortega’s blog “the underground bunker”

    This truly is an evil organization.

  17. Eric says:

    So does this mean that Tom Cruise and John Travolta are out of the closet? Or did they get back in the closet?

  18. GDContractor says:

    Hmmmm…. invent a religion out of whole cloth and get rich. Where have I seen that recently? Sure is getting warm in here.

  19. RM3(SS) says:

    Here, you don’t have to go through all the “stages” of “clearing”. I’ll save you a few hundred thousand bucks and just give you the last chapter.

    How the world began according to Scientology.

    Xenu (/ˈziːnuː/),[1][2][3] also called “Xemu”, was, according to Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, the dictator of the “Galactic Confederacy” who 75 million years ago brought billions of his people to Earth (then known as “Teegeeack”) in a DC-8-like spacecraft, stacked them around volcanoes, and killed them with hydrogen bombs. Official Scientology scriptures hold that the thetans (immortal spirits) of these aliens adhere to humans, causing spiritual harm.

    And for a just a few sheckles and an “E machine” they can detach all of those terrible creatures from you! Gotta be legit. lol

  20. Sapper3307 says:

    Don’t forget that Mutha Hubbard got relieved for malingering on sick call.

  21. Commissioner Wretched says:

    Hubbard created Scientology as a way to win a bet. Once back in the early 50s, when he was broke and his books weren’t selling all that well, Hubbard bet fellow sci-fi writer Robert Heinlein that he could create a new religion and live off the proceeds of that. Heinlein took him up on the bet, and Scientology was born.

    To his credit, Heinlein paid off on the bet. I believe I read where the bet was $100.

    • David says:

      Was once a story that Buck Owens asked Waylon Jennings to comment on a new song: Waylon purportedly told Buck “That’ the worst piece of sh*t I’ve ever heard!” to which Buck supposedly replied “yeah, but it’ll sell a million.” The song was “Tiger by The Tail”.

      In one of the greatest sci-fi novels ever written, “Inferno” by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, L. Ron Hubbard had a very nice tomb off a cool corridor – in Hell, where only he could hear himself.

  22. rgr1480 says:

    He reminds me of SNL’s “Pathological Liar” and “Master Thespian” Jon Lovitz:

    “That’s … ACTING!”

  23. SP Browning says:


    Here is an entire website devoted to checking Hubbard’s wartime claims. It is well written and comprehensive in its scope.

  24. Sparks says:

    L. Ron Hubbard…the L. is for LYINGSACKOFSHIT.

    If they weren’t brainwashed so thoroughly, Tom Cruise, John Travolta and their ilk would be upset by this. But for the brain numbed like them, this stuff just lends credence to their beliefs in Hubbard. After all, if Hubbard wasn’t all he said he was and hadn’t shown them all the only way to true “enlightenment”, why would these detractors go to all the trouble to defame him? They are simply jealous outsiders, blinded by their lack of the truth. Others, from other religions have their own word for us, “infidels”. I wonder what the enlightened, wealthy brainwashed call us?

  25. Ex-PH2 says:

    L. Ron is dead. Has been for some time now.

    I borrowed a used copy of his ‘book’ (use that word loosely) on scientology, got through 2 pages and my mind went numb. It’s how they get you to join their cult.

    He was and still is in his afterlife a crappy writer of drivel.

    The fact that tom (jump the couch) cruise is held tight in their grip but Katy Holmes had the common sense, like Nicole Kidman, to leave the idiot says a LOT about how braindead cruise really is.

  26. FatCircles0311 says:

    Frauds gonna fraud.

    Who’d have thought?

  27. C. Long says:

    Heh, scientology. Just the name alone is enough to not take it serious.

  28. Marine_7002 says:

    Hey, don’t knock “going clear” until you’ve tried it.

    Had to do that before having a colonoscopy. Drinking that stuff makes you “go clear” in a highly effective manner.

    Quite an emulsifying experience. Isn’t that what Lyin’ Ron had in mind?

  29. Hack Stone says:

    I guess that since Elroy Hubbard scammed the public with his religion, the next guy to come along with a fake story on Naval service heroics had to go with Plan B. And that is how All Points Logistics came to be. I heard via Jared Stern that Elaine Ricci has been located. That’s right, she is now a Scientologist.

    • Green Thumb says:

      I can only imagine that Commander Phil Monkress of All-Points Logistics has a copy of “Dianetics” on his nightstand right beside his whiskey, coke and triple-ended dildo.

  30. Flagwaver says:

    I could have told you he was Stolen Valor. He claimed to be a SciFi writer.

    50 Shades of Gray is a better cult book than Dianetics.

    • T-Bird Henry says:

      I wouldn’t call Hubbard a sci-fi author. About a year ago I compiled a “bucket list” of four books I wanted to read. Two of them were Das Kapital and Mein Kampf (having read the Communist Manifesto in college I knew DK would be VERY painful) the other two were Scientology and Dianetics. The reason: I did not want to subject my brain to any further meltdown from attempting to read Battlefield Earth or the Mission Earth Dekology. If Hubbard sucked I’d like to find out in as few pages as possible. Needless to say other folks dissuaded me from ANY LRon works, lest my brains flow out my ears. Actually if you want a cult Sci-fi/fantasy writer that doesn’t suck as bad as Hubbard try John Norman’s Gor series. Not good by any means but mildly stimulating for a little while at least.

      • Instinct says:

        I tried to read Battlefield Earth. I could only do so much WTF before I had to just throw it away

      • Commissioner Wretched says:

        I have a copy of “Mein Kampf” and managed (over the course of a LONG time) to read it. Today, I use it as a sleep inducer – if I can’t get to sleep, just a page or two of ol’ Adolf’s drivel and hideous writing will put me out like a light.

        • T-Bird Henry says:

          If you have never read Marx ( please do be careful) you’ll find he’s even worse. I had to read the Manifesto for a college class that even the prof agreed that Marx was a little off his rocker.

      • Commissioner Wretched says:

        The Mission Earth dekology …

        Any book series that needs a footnote to explain what its title means is something one should not just walk away from … they should run. Fast. Usain Bolt-type fast.

        The only thing Hubbard ever wrote that I found even mildly engaging was “Final Blackout,” and even that had more than its fair share of horse excrement.

  31. Just an Old Dog says:

    I waded through L Ron’s real service record. I was surprised he was in the Marine Reserves in 1930-31, doing a total of 5 weeks total training over that period. He was discharged and barred from reenlistment. Later in one of his self written resumes he claimed he was a Marine 1st Sgt and small arms expert.
    He was not physically qualified to jion the service in WW2 (eyesight) but managed to wrangle a direct commission to Lieutenant JG (02). His only foriegn service was a brief stint in Brisbane, Australia as part of the Naval Liason Staff when the ship he was on was diverted from the Phillipines after theyt fell. He was shit-canned from there because he was an abrasive prick and sent home. He had two attempts at commanding a small vessel in US coastal waters that ended up with his relief and recommendation that he only work under close supervison. He served another short stint as a Junior Officer on a cargo ship that he never deployed on.
    To top it off he consistantly tried to milk the VA after he got out, and eventually got 40%.

    • Mike says:

      He also claimed to be a Master of Steam/Motor Vessels of Any Gross Tons on Oceans (a Merchant Marine license) which they cannot find proof for. Apparently he used that claim to get someone to write a letter or recommendation for his commission in the Navy.

  32. Marine_7002 says:

    He wasn’t qualified to command a rowboat, yet he was able to build a pseudo-religious cult and make tons of $$ while gulling people into believing his nonsensical bullshit.

    P.T. was right!

    • Hondo says:

      Even better is the fact that after his death his followers were able to con the IRS into declaring it a valid religion and thus qualified for tax-exempt status.

      Your call as to whether the term “con” above stands for “convince” or another term. I have my opinion, but, hey – it’s a free country.

  33. ByrdMan says:

    I got really into this after reading the article and the LA times stuff Hondo linked up above. I found another site that talks in depth about his less than stellar Naval service. Complete with hyperlinked references and footnotes.


  34. Bobo says:

    The below link shows some of the actual documents from the Navy personnel files. Interesting reading.