1940 Hubbard science fiction "One Was Stubborn" and Dianetics

Discussion in 'Media' started by The Wrong Guy, Feb 15, 2016.

  1. The Wrong Guy Member

    Chuck Beatty is right: L. Ron Hubbard lofted culty cosmic ideas a decade before ‘Dianetics’

    By Tony Ortega, The Underground Bunker, February 15, 2016

    We have finally done something that former Church of Scientology member Chuck Beatty has been asking us, or really anyone, to do for the longest time. Yes, Chuck, we have finally read L. Ron Hubbard’s 1940 short story, “One Was Stubborn.”


    Chuck managed to survive the RPF and the Sea Org, and then he became one of the most active critics of Scientology. He comments a lot here at the Bunker, and time and again he has reminded us about a particular short story that L. Ron Hubbard wrote in 1940, a full decade before he foisted Dianetics on the world.

    OK, so we finally decided to do something about it, if for no other reason than to throw Chuck a bone. Anyone who survived seven years in the RPF deserves some consideration.

    Well, we looked around to see if “One Was Stubborn” was already online, but we didn’t see it there. We kept running into descriptions of a live performance of the story that had been put out as a DVD by the Galaxy Press troupe of actors who dramatize Hubbard’s stories for retirees and schoolkids. We weren’t interested in that. We wanted the unadulterated source material, not an interpretation from a poorly disguised Scientology front group.

    So we continued to search around and then found that a copy of the November 1940 issue of Astounding Science-Fiction was available for a decent price on eBay. Before long, it was in our mailbox.


    Yes, if you know Scientology, you’ll find a lot of interesting things about “One Was Stubborn” — not the least of which is the date when it appeared, more than five years before L. Ron Hubbard got up to his Crowleyian sex magick rituals with Jack Parsons in Pasadena, and nearly a full decade before he presented his theory of the human mind in his 1950 bestseller, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. In this story you’ll find…

    — The physical universe existing at the whim of powerful minds.

    — The followers of a messiah figure winking off into nonexistence to “return to our proper position as a compound idea.”

    — The last hold-out, the most stubborn man in the universe, trying to fight back against nonexistence by willing earth and sun to appear with the power of his mind.

    It really isn’t very far from these science fiction tropes to the basic concepts undergirding Scientology and its origin story for the physical universe. That life is a “static,” with “no mass, no motion, no wavelength, no location in space or in time. It has the ability to postulate and to perceive.” And that the universe came into being when powerful thetans — immortal soul-beings — got bored and willed the cosmos into existence and then were trapped in it.


    “One Was Stubborn” literally predicts a cultish Messiah figure taking over the universe by convincing people they can make physical reality vanish with the power of their minds. This is “cause over life, thought, matter, energy, space and time” — and 27 years before Hubbard dreams up OT VIII.


    Ten years after this short story appeared, in the May 1950 issue of Astounding, Hubbard’s “Dianetics” would make its first public appearance in the pages of John W. Campbell’s magazine, followed a few weeks later by the book version itself.

    We expect that none of the magazine’s readers at the time made any connection between Hubbard’s “modern science” of the mind and a shaggy dog story printed a decade earlier under the name René La Fayette. But with hindsight, it looks like that’s a connection we need to pay closer attention to.

    Here's the whole article:
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  2. Incredulicide Member

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  3. DeathHamster Member

    Man, what a stinker! It's like Hubbard's brain reset several times while banging it off.
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  4. CIF Rundown for Clinically Insane Fruitcakes
    Disturbed racist, convicted fraud LRH: verrrroom, sherroooom, not 1 dianetic clear ever surfaced, none, zero, thanks for the science fiction scam, Ron, you crazy, tyrannical cult leader!

    L. Ron Hubbard's 'research' was spearheaded by the consumption of pinks, grays, and rum mixed with a vivid space alien imagination = the master of matter, energy, space and time in his warped mind mixing science fiction with religion and voila, Dianetics, the Modern 'Science' (fiction) of Mental Health.

    A failing student in high school and college, this convicted fraud fooled many with his space age phony 'science' that he changed to a fake 'religion' to protect himself from medical malpractice and fraud lawsuits when it was all scientifically debunked and none of the promised results of his bogus 'Tech' ever materialized.
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  5. The Wrong Guy Member

    Science Fiction smackdown: L. Ron Hubbard, the pith helmet-wearing ‘pipsqueak Prometheus’

    By Tony Ortega, The Underground Bunker, February 16, 2016

    Yesterday, we had fun exhuming L. Ron Hubbard’s bad science fiction by looking at a telling 1940 short story, “One Was Stubborn.” In it, Hubbard’s main character, Old Shellback, reveals that the downfall of the United States would come as a result of nefarious religious cults protected by tax exemption. Spooky, right?

    Well, continuing with the subject of Hubbard’s fiction, we have been sent a gift by one of our readers. It’s the full original edition of author William Blackbeard’s damning analysis of Hubbard’s work, published just as Dianetics was coming out in May 1950.

    Blackbeard’s piece, “Pipsqueak Prometheus: Some Remarks on the Writings of L. Ron Hubbard,” came to our attention last month when we published a document that researcher R.M. Seibert had pried out of the Food and Drug Administration as part of the FDA’s long investigation of Hubbard and Scientology from 1958 to 1971. In 1970, FDA inspectors interviewed science fiction fan and New Jersey resident Sam Moskowitz, who had witnessed Hubbard say at a 1948 science fiction gathering that “the only way to make a million dollars was to form your own religion.”

    When the inspectors asked Moskowitz for other sources of information they could turn to about Hubbard, he mentioned that author William Blackbeard had written the harsh takedown about Hubbard’s fiction in 1948. Actually, it appeared in the Los Angeles science fiction fanzine “Shangri La” in 1950. One of our readers managed to get his hands on a copy at eBay, and then sent us scans of “Pipsqueak Prometheus.”

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  6. The Wrong Guy Member

    Hubbard’s fiction gets a healthy going over

    By Tony Ortega, February 2, 2017


    We highly recommend novelist Alec Nevala-Lee’s insightful essay at Longreads surveying L. Ron Hubbard’s pulp career, “Xenu’s paradox: The fiction of L. Ron Hubbard and the making of Scientology.”

    Nevala-Lee isn’t the first to look into Hubbard’s life as a writer in order to understand how he managed to produce something as esoteric and durable as Dianetics and Scientology. We thought Susan Raine did an excellent job with her scholarly approach in 2014, showing how the tropes Hubbard used in his fiction ended up forming much of the furniture in the edifice that became his “church.”

    But Nevala-Lee has produced one of the best examinations we’ve seen that not only explores Hubbard’s fiction but tries to understand how it reflected what was going on in Hubbard’s life at the time, and how his relationship with Astounding Science-Fiction editor John W. Campbell and the readers of that magazine helps us see how Scientology survived its infancy.

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  7. The Wrong Guy Member

    Read This: The pulp fiction that L. Ron Hubbard gradually turned into a religion

    By Caroline Siede, The A.V. Club, March 13, 2017


    L. Ron Hubbard is a figure of endless fascination, what with the whole “founding an insane religion that has somehow got its grips on a surprisingly large portion of Hollywood” thing. In a new piece for Longreads, author Alec Nevala-Lee digs into a lesser explored side of Hubbard’s life: his work as a writer. Nevala-Lee takes an impressively close look at Hubbard’s literary output, though even he admits he can’t make it through all 10 parts of Hubbard’s Mission Earth series. But he charts Hubbard’s rise from disinterested pulp writer to religious cult leader whose short story about a galactic dictator named Xenu has become literal dogma for his worshipers.

    Hubbard began working as a pulp writer in the 1930s, churning out a huge amount of writing in order to earn a living. But though the rise of Scientology has firmly associated Hubbard with science fiction, Nevala-Lee notes that Hubbard was never really a sci-fi fan. In fact, most of his published stories were adventures or Westerns, and he wrote sci-fi solely because he knew it would sell.

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  8. The Wrong Guy Member

    What happened when we had a scientist look at L. Ron Hubbard’s ‘science’ of life in the womb

    By Tony Ortega, February 26, 2018


    Our readers know that we enjoy bringing you L. Ron Hubbard in his own words from time to time in order to get a better understanding of what Scientology is really all about.

    Often, it’s enough to see and hear Hubbard’s words on their own. But since Hubbard claimed to be an authority on science, we thought it might also help to bring in an actual, you know, scientist to look at Hubbard’s claims. (And this isn’t the first time. We had a lot of fun asking famous biologist PZ Myers about a particularly bizarre Hubbard book.)

    Today we’re looking at a very early lecture Hubbard gave in the wake of his big success publishing the book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. Hubbard put out that book on May 9, 1950, and we’ve gone to the effort of blogging it from cover to cover in a previous series.

    In Dianetics, Hubbard was largely preoccupied with bizarre ideas about your time in the womb, and what sorts of traumatic memories you might have picked up there. Later, after Dianetics crashed in popularity and Hubbard went bankrupt, in 1952 he regrouped with something he called “Scientology” which supplanted a womb-obsession with the idea of picking up traumatic memories in past lives, going back millions or billions of years.

    But on August 31, 1950, just a few months after Dianetics had been published, Hubbard was in Los Angeles still giving lectures related to it, and he explained his ideas about fetal development and traumatic memories.

    Unfortunately, we don’t have audio for this lecture, but we do have a transcript. And so we decided to bring in an expert to help us read it.

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