FBI: HASI letter to Better Business Bureau
Records from http://usminc.org/FBIFILES/FIVE/05008.pdf
HUBBARD ASSOCIATION OF SCIENTOLOGISTS INTERNATIONAL
806 North Third Street
June 12, 1954
Better Business Bureau
834 North Central Avenue
For your interest, the Hubbard Association of Scientologists, an Arizona Corporation, has brought about certain changes in Scientology, and of which we would like to acquaint you.
Scientology is described as a science of knowingness. It is actually a modern approach, using mathematics and physics to the philosophic subject of epistemology. The goal of Scientology is to bring about greater capabilities in human beings such as increases in recognition, memory, and reaction time. Such a science would of course address various phenomena such as psychosomatic illness, aberration and behavior.
The subject of Scientology is largely the work of L. Ron Hubbard, author and scientist, who began his work in 1932 while a student of nuclear physics at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Hubbard was also trained in psycho-analysis, studied personally with Freud and who instituted psycho-analysis in the U.S. Navy for use in flight surgery. Hubbard was also trained by Dr. William Alan White, then superintendent of St. Elizabeth’s, the government asylum at Washington.
Hubbard’s interest in the mind was from the standpoint of physical energy and, later, anthropology. A member of the Explorer’s Club in good standing for eighteen years, Hubbard has led several expeditions and has widely studied, in Asia, Alaska, and Latin America barbaric cultures for what they might reveal concerning the motivations of humanities. In World War II he served with distinction as a naval officer and was selected as Naval Civil Affairs by reason of his knowledge of the Oriental psychology.
In 1947 Hubbard published a book for the Gerontological Society and the American Medical Association called “Scientology A New Science.” Politely received, the data yet remained unstudied and so unused and Hubbard eventually followed this original publications with an article in the Explorer’s Club professional journal. This article attracted the attention of some people, amongst them members of the Russian government. Hubbard saw a need to release his work in more detailed form, and received an offer from Hermitage House, Inc., one of the better publishers of psychiatric texts, he consented to write a formal book.
Here, if anywhere, Hubbard erred. Hermitage House insisted on a popularized version and a more popular name for the subject (Dianetics) and Hubbard, foreseeing no more than a few thousand copy sale, agreed. Hermitage House, altering the manuscript and writing a new introduction (a fact which became the subject of a suit) unwisely chose to publish an article about “Dianetics” by Hubbard in a pulp magazine. Hubbard, as in the case of almost any nuclear physicist, often wrote for amusement, science fiction. Hermitage House desired to capitalize on this fact to gain a sale amongst those who were familiar with Hubbard’s name.
The book, called “Dianetics: Modern Science of Mental Health” startled the publishing world, and Hubbard, by climbing high into the best-seller listing of the New York Times and staying there for months. Such instant popularity found Hubbard unprepared for the floods of mail and pleas for help.
Hubbard, interested only in research, financially independent, without such royalties, was glad to listen to a proposal from one C. Parker Morgan and his publisher to let them form a Foundation to service this demand. Seven trustees, of which Hubbard was only one, formed on June 1, 1950 the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation of Elizabeth, New Jersey. Hubbard gave them the book and its royalties and returned to his own pursuits.
This organization, however, pressed heavily upon him for lectures and disturbed his own routine. Yet this corporation insisted on growing, forming other corporations in Illinois, California and Hawaii, each with a duplicate directorate.
In November, 1950 Hubbard became convinced that the corporation was not sound and that it would not attain to its professed goal of helping people. He attempted to withdraw his name from it and was variously inveighed against. He had only one vote in seven. Forced to leave it in possession and continued use of his name, he retired in December to Palm Springs, California where he set up a modest research laboratory. Although he did not seek them, many people began to come to him in Palm Springs. This seriously impaired the business of the Foundation such [unintelligible] in Los Angeles for Hubbard charged nothing.
A.E. van Vogt, the principal mover in the Los Angeles Foundation and others were intensely provoked at Hubbard’s withdrawal. Hubbard’s wife, from whom he had been separated, also became incensed at him. For public appearance she had been a Foundation director. With the obvious coming failure of the Foundations and with it a failure of the income she drew from i[t] she threatened Hubbard with a public scandal if he did not support the Foundations.
Hubbard, busy writing a new book, refused to lend any credence to these threats or those of the Elizabeth board and went to Cuba where he completed a 125,000 word book in the next many weeks. As their young child had always been under his, not her mother’s care, the child accompanied him.
True to her threats and those of the Foundation trustees a great deal of scandal was stirred up. A receivership was ga[ined] in Los Angeles by this woman and the trustees to seize control [of] the Foundations and many statements were made to the press.
Hubbard made no statements of any kind during all this period and when he became aware that they had been made, ordered his separated wife to him, had her sign a confession to perjury (copy enclosed) and applied for and received a divorce from her without alimony to her.
Meanwhile the Elizabeth Foundation over which Hubbard had never had power beyond his personality, sold itself to one Don G. Purcell, an oilman in Kansas.
Purcell moved the Foundation to Wichita, Kansas and Hubbard, having completed his book, went to Kansas to settle various affairs.
Considering that Purcell wished only to make money from Dianetics, Hubbard sought to reform the attitude of the Foundation. To accomplish this he supported himself in Kansas by writing and lecturing and finally, after a few months, unable
to bring about a good public presence on the part of the Foundation and Purcell, he resigned from all connections in early 1952 and refused Purcell and others any further permission to use his name or work.
Purcell’s answer was to file for bankruptcy within one month conceiving that the Foundations could not continue without Hubbard’s support. Purcell bought the Foundations from bankruptcy as his personal property shortly after and continued them in business, but, unable to use Hubbard’s name or additional work, the organization The Dianetic Foundation of Kansas came to exist only as a shell, quite inactive today.
After resigning in early 1952, Hubbard came to Phoenix to visit his parents, liked the city and with his wife Mary Sue whom he married early in 1952, settled here. He opened a quiet office which became that fall (1952) the Hubbard Association of Scientologists. He had reverted “Dianetics” back to its original name, Scientology.
This organization was founded by some five hundred people in various parts of the world who had long been interested in Hubbard’s work. Publishing a few books locally and issuing twice a month, the Journal of Scientology, the HAS has continued a quiet carrer [sic] in Arizona. It has opened up branch offices in Camden, New Jersey and London, England. The association exists to publish material related to behavior and to [unintelligible] [people in] Scientology.
The HAS is the first organization in the field of “Dianetics” and Scientology to be controlled by Hubbard. It pays its bills promptly as any Phoenix business firm with which it deals can attest. Although any organization dealing with behaviour can attract hangers-on, there has been no consequences of this in the HAS. Hubbard’s policy of quiet, orderly business and investigation is clearly manifested in the general good repute of the HAS in Phoenix.
In so far as possible the HAS has sought to associate itself with steady and reliable people. It does permit its name and the name Scientology to be used by autonomous organizations. Such, called associates or groups, exist in many ci[ties.] They use HAS materials and pay a membership fee but otherwise have no connection. When they err financially or seem to hur[t] HAS repute, their membership is cancelled. This has happened recently in Los Angeles. The HAS has no other control over such persons.
The addresses of the HAS are 806 North Third Street, Phoenix, Arizona, 507 Market Street, Camden, New Jersey, 163 Holland Park Avenue, London, England. The Camden and London offices are run by committees.
The HAS, under the management of Hubbard, has a two year record of good repute and responsibility. It is aware, as is Hubbard, that the 1950 blatant use of Hubbard’s name in early Foundations has often reflected against HAS progress. It is aware of the mountains of publicity generated by the sudden and strange popularity of a book. The HAS is also aware that it is the first organization controlled by Hubbard and it enjoys good public reputation as well as good credit. It is content to pay its way, has no great ambition to riches and builds solidly as it goes.
The HAS recently rented quarters at 401-A East Roosevelt and 616 North Third Street. The latter address was once occupied by a psychologist, Dr. Gordon Beckstead, who was in no way connected with the HAS.
Awakening recently to the fact that many of its interested people were ministers, the HAS has assisted them to form churches such as the Church of American Science and the Church of Scientology. Also, when friends of Hubbard in Euro[pe]
pointed out to him that the home organization of psycho-analysis, the Freudian Institute of Vienna, was now in the Russian zone of Austria and desired removal, Hubbard helped finance the organization of the “Freudian Foundation of America” to be offered to those in Vienna should they desire to avail themselves to it. In the latter and in the churches the HAS has no further control or interest.
As Scientology is proving it can do much for disabled veterans and others such as they, the HAS may soon make Scientology available to the disabled as a public service.
The HAS business gross is about $10,000 a month. It has no profits or dividends. It pays Hubbard’s expenses in writing and investigation. It finances the processing, with Scientology of indigent and disabled people.
There is no broadly stated medical opinion of Scientology, mainly because it does not in any way intend or pretend to encroach upon medicine. Its field in the study of Knowledge itself and its benefits are more closely allied to philosophy and religion than to medicine or psychology. If one “gets well” in the process of knowing more about himself or Mankind the benefit derived from knowledge gained, not treatment received.
Aside from offering public services, the firm two-year policy of the HAS will continue to be followed. To neither defend nor attack on the public stage, but to keep [unintelligible] house, financially and ethically sound.
Board of Directors
Hubbard Association of Scientology
by John Galusha, Secretary