The Business Insider om Hubbards karriere i marinen

The Business Insider går Hubbards karriere i marinen etter i sømmene:

The founder of Scientology has one of the strangest US Navy records ever

(National Personnel Record)Before creating the Church of Scientology, Layfette Ron Hubbard was a successful science-fiction writer and served in the US Navy.

(HBO/“Going Clear”)L. Ron Hubbard wearing the rank of Lieutenant.Strangely, the US Navy and the Church of Scientology have produced drastically different accounts of Hubbard’s military career.
In one version, Hubbard was a college graduate and Purple Heart recipient.

Another narrative shows Hubbard was two years shy of finishing college and had minimal military training.

These stark differences are most notably found on Hubbard’s “Notice of Separation from US Naval Service” form, as pointed out by the New Yorker.

The documents, produced by both the Church of Scientology and the US Navy, have discrepancies in the most basic areas:


Tony Ortega mener artikkelen er noe “rotete”, og at artikkelforfatteren burde ha tatt en prat med noen som kan mer om emnet. Han kontaktet derfor historikeren Chris Owen, som har skrevet en hel bok om Hubbards tid i marinen, for å få et innspill:

L. Ron Hubbard’s Navy record: Chris Owen critiques the ‘Business Insider’ story

One of the great results of Lawrence Wright’s New Yorker article on Paul Haggis and Scientology, which grew into his book Going Clear, was that he got the Church of Scientology to turn over a huge amount of documentation of L. Ron Hubbard’s life.

In that trove turned out to be a number of records concerning Hubbard’s career in the US Navy and the 21 medals Hubbard had supposedly been awarded, including two Purple Hearts for being injured in combat. But Wright had his own set of records that he’d acquired directly from the Navy, and they differed from the church’s documents in a number of ways, including a lack of any Purple Hearts or any other medals having to do with combat — since Hubbard hadn’t seen any. The implication seemed clear: Scientology wasn’t above doctoring things to make Hubbard’s World War II career appear more valorous than it was.

On Tuesday, Business Insider decided to take a look at the discrepancies in those sets of war records in what appeared to be a very detailed and rigorous article. Our readers noted that it made the front page of Yahoo News, so that tells us it was seen by a lot of people.

But when we took a close look at it, the story actually seemed somewhat muddled. Although we’re not experts on Hubbard’s war years, Business Insider’s piece was hard to follow and seemed to lack consultation with people who know this period well.

We thought this was pretty important material and ought to be treated with care. So we turned to a couple of researchers who know the Hubbard war record in minute detail. One of them was historian Chris Owen, who literally wrote the book on this subject. Here’s what he had to say about the Business Insider piece.


Tony Ortega har noen nye avsløringer:

Recently, we heard from Chris Owen, the preeminent historian of L. Ron Hubbard’s war record. We had contacted Chris after a news story appeared that had a hard time making heads or tails of Hubbard’s convoluted war record, and ended up making some conclusions that were a bit off.

Chris helped us set the record straight on that, and we’re grateful to him for it. He acknowledged that Hubbard’s war record is complex, but it really isn’t “mysterious,” as the press account had it, and it is possible to draw some solid conclusions about Hubbard’s war service based on a 1979 review that was compiled.

Right after we had that exchange with Chris, one of our researchers noticed that there was yet another set of documents about Hubbard’s war service that had never been posted online before. They had been compiled by the Food and Drug Administration in 1963, much earlier than the 1979 review. Did that earlier assessment jibe with what was put together later?

In 1963, the FDA was investigating Hubbard and Scientology for health claims they were making regarding the use of e-meters. As part of that investigation, the FDA looked into every aspect of Hubbard’s history, which included making a request to the Navy for a summary of Hubbard’s career.

We reviewed that 1963 document and shared it with Owen, who had never seen it before. And it was obvious that this was yet another, independent review of Hubbard’s war record which agreed precisely with the 1979 assessment and supported the conclusions that Owen has previously drawn.

“As you say, it corroborates what we already know from the records,” Chris said to us.

But there were also some interesting notes in that assessment of Hubbard which appeared at the end of the document…