November 1995
IVy 24

Reminiscences of Ron - Part IV

More of the 50's
by Dennis H. Stephens

A few months after the stolen HASI1, a guy strolled in one Monday morning and announced that he had a letter in his pocket from the old man in the USA to say that he had been put in charge of HASI London. This fellow was a book auditor: middle-aged, did not look anything special; a bit of a merchant of fear.2 Later, we found out that he had never had a case gain in his auditing, yet there he was, put in charge of everything. And it had all been done by a letter, over the Atlantic. He had written to Ron, said how bad things were in HASI London, and Ron had put him in charge. Just like that, as far as I know.

Ron would believe such characters rather than his own true and trusted staff whom he had spoken with and knew to be trustworthy. This was the oddity in the man, a quirk in his personality that did not make any sense.

I mean, a rational man, even if he believed the entheta, would write to his faithful staff with a copy of the letter he had received, saying: "Comments, please. Explain this. I want a full report." Then act accordingly. But Ron would not do that. He would receive the entheta, act on it, make no inquiry, but start firing people right, left and center in his organization.

Later, much later, we began to understand why Ron Hubbard did this. Around 1960, it became very obvious that there was a paranoid streak in his personality. When first I knew Ron, in 1952 and '53, the paranoia was not there. From 1954-55, his paranoia became more marked, manifesting in the area of trust.

I had arguments with Ron in his office when he was going on about the psychiatrists. Remember, I was a senior executive in HASI London, knew him personally, and felt that I could offer advice. I would say: "Ron, just leave the psychiatrists alone. Don't bother them. If we don't bother them, they won't bother us." He would say: "No, Dennis. Those damn psychiatrists are out to get us. They are upsetting our commlines. So we got to get them first."

And I would say: "Ron, there's nothing there. They are not doing a thing. If we leave them alone - we've got the tech! AIl we got to do is to apply our tech and we'll win. We don't need to start going into games conditions and opposing the psychiatrists." But no, he would not have it. And I would bite my tongue. After all, he was the managing director.

That was the beginning of his paranoia, which is a mental state where a person believes that the world is against him. He has a lowered level of trust. A gradient scale of paranoia goes from just a slightly diminished level of confidence--a person has difficulty trusting at distance--then becomes a difficulty trusting close up; then they begin to feel that the whole world is against them. Coupled with it is: self is always right and the world is against me.

Those are the characteristics of paranoia. During the latter part of his life, Ron was no doubt markedly paranoid, and many of his activities quite proved it. The condition worsened as time went on, which is typical, for paranoia worsens as a person grows older.

Eventually, his paranoia almost led to the collapse of Scientology, and was a direct cause of the organizations falling into the hands of unscrupulous people.

Ann and I emigrated to Australia in 1957. The next time I saw Ron was in 1962, for the Saint Hill Briefrog Course (SHSBC), and when I spoke with him I noticed a big difference in his personality. Ron was a lot heavier, much older looking. He looked far worse physically, not just grosser (his body was fatter); but, I would say, speaking as an auditor and a Scientologist, that he was under enormous psychological restimulation of his bank during the SHSBC period.

In later years, I realized that his research of goals, in 1962, had been killing him. When I began my own investigation into conflicting goals and purposes, I realized the pit-falls that Ron had fallen into and how dangerous those are. Those traps nearly slaughtered me too but, fortunately, I solved them. Ron never did, and he suffered cruelly from his bank in the 1960s, which stayed in restimulation for the rest of his life.

In '62, Ron really felt that he was unraveling the thing. We all thought that he had done so, for he would talk so highly about his technology - yet it was killing everyone who tried it. I know no-one who got any benefit from it. That was the awful thing. Once you play with goals and put them into conflict with each other, you must do it exactly right or you will slay the preclear. That is a technical datum. (In TROM I know how to do it right, and it is the only technology known to me that will do so.)

Ron never got it correct technically. If he had solved postulates in conflict, he would have been free.

By the mid-1960s, according to people who were with him at the time, Ron was almost impossible to communicate with. He was always right, had to be right, trusted no-one, and was convinced that everyone was out to steal Scientology. The paranoia was marked.

Ron was doing all sorts of things to try and save the organizations, which he believed were under constant attack - but they were not. He brought in the Ethics policies. Follow the cycle, and you will see the decline of personality of the great man that Ron was.

Sex life
Another facet of his personality, which few know about, is that he had considerable sexual difficulties. I became aware of this on the HPA course in 1952. Ron gave his one and only lecture on Sex, and it was the sole time ever that he looked physically uncomfortable when he spoke (and I sat through hundreds of his live lectures).

Ron spoke for an hour, and it hit him really hard. In retrospect, adding in other data, I realized that he had more than average difficulties on the subject. Sex is so important to human beings, yet there is hardly any mention of it in the technology of Scientology.

He did not study Sex. There are a few throwaway lines in one or two of his tapes, and it is mentioned in a couple of his books, but Sex was almost totally neglected in Scientology. (I filled the gaps when I researched TROM, for I have no bugs on the subject, which was easy for me to study.)

Poor Ron, the topic was too tough for him, which is why he kept away from it. So it did not surprise to me to discover the atrocious way he treated one of his sons, when he found that the lad was homosexual. Ron virtually threw him out of his life, practically disowned him. Only a person with great difficulties on Sex could do that to his own son.

Ron never did get his sex life resolved in therapy. I doubt that he had the courage to mention it to an auditor, because he did not trust auditors to audit him. Possibly in his latter years, with David Mayo, he did so; I do not know what sort of relationship they had. But I would be very surprised if they did anything but work on various OT techniques and so forth. I would be astounded to learn that, one day, David Mayo dug out an E-meter and said: "Right Ron, we're going to talk about Sex...right, here we go." The sessions would have been run by Ron. In my experience, Ron always did this, whether he was auditor or preclear.

Wasting the best
One of the more interesting off-shoots of his paranoia was that, from the 1950s all the way through to 1986, he had a selection of the greatest Dianeticists and Scientologists in the world working for his organization. Without exception, he let every one of them slip through his fingers. That is quite an achievement: he had the pick of the crop, the best, and he lost the lot.

Ron went through a cycle: he welcomed them in, the relationship soured, there was an ARC break, he threw them out. Some, he brought back afterwards, and a number of people went in and out of the organization many times. Inevitably, they parted company, realizing that it was impossible to work with Ron; nor did they need to, for each was good enough in his own right and did not have to tolerate a constant emotional strain from Ron.

Across the years, Ron Hubbard could have collected the most distinguished Scientologists that passed through the colleges and training schools - had he been different. Some of them were brilliant. He could have made darn sure that they ended up in his organizations around the planet, and his staff worldwide would have been the cream of the cream. Although he knew how to evaluate them, his paranoia beat him every time.

Sometimes Ron believed lies told of them; fired them on lies. At other times, he was simply jealous of them. Some of the best Scientologists who worked for him were fired because they were too good. He was scared that they were going to take over his glory. Again, paranoia: he had to be the Only One.

Yet, if you have that idea about yourself but create an organization, who are you going to hand it over to eventually? Ron neither trained a successor nor made provisions for continuation, so when he died the organization fell into the hands of incompetents in their mid-twenties who knew little of life.

Many had spent their lives, even their childhood, in the Sea Org, and had no idea of life at large. All they knew were Scientology policies. Suddenly, some of them were senior executives in charge of a worldwide organization. Yet they had no claims at all to these positions, for they lacked the technical expertise and ability to hold down those new positions.

So, of course, the subject suffered, which is why we find the organizations of Scientology today in a powerless state.

Inevitably, the personality of Ron governed the future of his organizations. The situation today was brought about entirely by the nature and actions of L. Ron Hubbard, the Founder of Dianetics and Scientology.

One of the saddest things happening on this planet is that (I have this on quite reliable authority) his work is being plundered, alterised and not-ised by the very church that he left it to. These incompetent juveniles are methodically changing his works, chopping them up, throwing out bits that they think are no good.

It is as if the Tech has been left to a group of children that does not understand the material but tinkers with it to try for a fit with their notions of how it ought to be.

That is what is happening to Scientology on this planet today. The keepers of the archives are in there with the scissors, chopping up the material. Their excuse is: to make it more marketable, more profitable. For their only goal is Profit.

What is my final assessment of Ron himself? At this stage of my life, I am not the same person that met Ron in September 1952: the stars are no longer in my eyes, and I can view the man more objectively.

Second to none
As a psychotherapist and philosopher, he was second to none: the greatest man in his field in this century. His researches and contributions to the sum total of knowledge of the psyche have added more than all the rest ever did.

When you think of the miserable things that the psychiatrists and psychologists came up with in their universities, with vast funds to play with...! Ron financed his own research and came up with enormously workable technology.

It is the difference between plodders and a genius. Ron was a genius; flawed, yes, but he can be excused for that. (The last perfect genius, if I remember rightly, was nailed on a cross.) We are immensely fortunate to have had Ron during that period from 1911 to 1986.

During the 1950s, when Ron was at his best, I believe, as a research Scientologist, some of his material was breathtaking in its simplicity and its application.

I think his creative spark was fading in 1962, but it is difficult to be sure of that as Ron was under enormous restimulation (the subject of purposes in conflict), which was not a feature of the 1950s. On the 1962 SHSBC, the quality of his lecturing was far below what it was in the 1950s.

Some SHSBC talks were downright boring, but he did try to make them interesting. .

At the time, a great sadness in his life was that he could not communicate his material to Mary Sue. Although she was publicized as a technical expert, she never was, and was defmitely second or third rate in her grasp of Scientology tech. Mary Sue could not even follow what he was talking about. At home, when Ron tried to talk to Mary Sue about these things, it was like talking to a brick wall.

So he loved to come down to the org and talk to guys like Jack Parkhouse, Ray Kemp, Ann, me and others. We would listen, and could comment intelligently. Mary Sue could not. Ron used to burn the midnight oil trying to make Mary Sue into a technical expert, but she just had not got it in her. She was very good at raising babies, but a technical wizard in Scientology she was not.

I am truly glad to have met Ron Hubbard. I consider it a great privilege to have worked with him - and for some of his greatness to have brushed off on me, as I think it did.

1 IVy 22, page 11. (Dennis' first article in this series is in IVy 18 page 25 - this is the final article). Ed.
2 Probably what was called Suppressive Person in later parlance - Ed.