L. Ron Hubbard: The Man Behind Scientology


Study of L. Ron Hubbard

He was a naval officer, developed the self-help system called dianetics, and is most well known as a science fiction writer. What impresses me the most about LRH was how he gained such a large following for his cosmic and fantastic religion considering his reputation for writing science fiction.

Ron Hubbard wrote hundreds of books, and is known as “the most published author” in the Guinness Book of World Records. He also holds the positions of “most translated author in the world”, “most translated author, one book”, and “most audio books published for one author”. LRH had nineteen books that have been on the New York Times bestsellers list. He is considered to be one of the great writers of the Golden Age of Science fiction, publishing more than 250 science fiction, western, fantasy, and adventure novels.


Before his foundation of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard wrote a self help book called Dianetics. Dianetics is a book he developed that is centered around some basic beliefs about self improvement, it is the root of Scientologic beliefs. In the teachings of Dianetics the bad past experiences you have had stay with you as “engrams” and you need to repeat what they are to yourself until your cells get rid of the bad memories stored in your “analytical brain”. Another important part of this philosophy is going “clear”. Going clear, according to L. Ron Hubbard is attaining some kind of higher being, or, being released from the worst of one’s engrams.

Scientology is founded on Dianetics as a scripture, it is referred to by scientologists as Book One. Scientology was founded in 1954, L. Ron Hubbard discovered the origin story of humans while in North Africa, he wrote of Xenu, the dictator of a galactic confederacy, being the sole reason for human beings’ existence.According to The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements written by James R. Lewis Scientologists believe,  “75 million years ago Xenu 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.”

Understanding Scientology

Cults and New Religions, a book by David G. Bromley and Douglas E. Cowan, had this to say about the spiritual beliefs of Scientology:

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According to the Church, founder L. Ron Hubbard’s discovery of the thetan places Scientology at the heart of the human quest for meaning, and proves that “its origins are as ancient as religious thought itself.” However, Scientology considers that its understanding of the theta distinguishes it from other religious traditions, especially Judaism and Christianity, in three important ways. First, while many religions fuse the concept of the body and the soul, the thetan (spirit) is separate and independent. Second, unlike the three great world monotheisms, Scientologists believe in past lives and that the thetan has lived through many, perhaps thousands of lifetimes. Third, contrary to Christian concepts of original sin, Scientology holds to the intrinsic goodness of a being and believes that the spiritual essence has lost touch with its nature. “The spirit, then, is not a thing,” Hubbard writes. “It is the creator of things.”

Ron Hubbard founded this nearly science-fiction religion that now has 10 million members. It is very impressive to me that he accomplished this with a large sci-fi writing reputation.



Bromley, David; Cowan, Douglas. Cults and new religions: a brief history.
Lewis, James R. (2004). The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements. Oxford University Press.


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