1971, 25, June. Scientologist Susan Meister found dead aboard the "Apollo"
while in the port of Casablanca, Morocco. Her father flies in a few days later
to investigate this apparent suicide. Hubbard refuses to see him and the local
authorities are mysteriously silent. Meister came to believe that the events
that transpired concerning his daughter's death were very different from the
official line given him by Scientology. He would later testify at the
Paulette Cooper writes "The scandal of Scientology," and is rewarded for her
efforts by the Guardians Office with years of persecution. An all out effort is
made against this woman in hopes of ruining her mental sanity or getting her
put into jail. She is sued dozens of times, threatened with death and spied
upon. This campaign of terror is code named "Operation Freakout." Her
"boyfriend" who is in reality an agent of Scientology, obtains her fingerprints
on a blank piece of paper and uses it to write Henry Kissinger a death threat.
Cooper narrowly averts a prison sentence. Eventually documents proving
Scientology's complicity in this nefarious affair come to light when The FBI
raided Scientology offices ending operation "Snow White.'
1972 Hubbard begins this year seriously ill with a variety of complaints. He
takes up residence in a small villa near Tangiers. His staff do their utmost to
curry favor in that country. All came to naught though as word comes that
Hubbard is about to be indicted in France for fraud. Fearing extradition he
flees to Lisbon. Later in the year he travels to NYC where he lives in
1973 Word comes from Mary Sue Hubbard who by now had been established as head
of the "Guardian's Office," that the threat of extradition had diminished
enough for Hubbard to return to his ships. The GO had the responsibility of
providing intelligence/counter-intelligence as well as handling any and all
enemies of Scientology. Over the years they sued or hounded many critics of
Scientology into submission. The "Apollo" begins further aimless cruises off
the coast of Spain.
November. Hubbard breaks an arm and two ribs while on a motorcycle in
Morocco. He declines any medical attention and is in pain and miserable for
months to come.
1974 Hubbard who had told the same lies year after year about his decorations
and citations from the US Navy apparently came to believe his own tales. He
gives permission to his staff to apply to the Navy for his decorations which
were presumably lost. Their efforts come to nothing as the navy fails to find
any record of them ever being issued.
October. The "Apollo" is stoned in the port of Funchal. Madeira. The locals,
under the mistaken idea that Scientologists were members of the CIA, riot and
throw cars and motorcycles belonging to crew members over the end of the dock.
1975 Having worn out his welcome in the Mediterranean Hubbard sets sail for the
US. He intends to go to Charleston, SC but he is tipped off the IRS and FBI
agents are lurking around the harbor so Hubbard enters the Caribbean. Sometime
during the summer he suffers a heart attack and is hospitalized in Curacao.
Soon though his ship is ejected by the Dutch prime minister.
July. Michael Shannon, an obscure and mysterious person in the history of
Scientology, begins to take a very close look at the life of L. Ron Hubbard. He
obtains Hubbard's school records, his war record and conducts a general one man
investigation of Hubbard. His work would later be circulated among those
interested in the subject, including biographer Omar Garrison and Gary
Armstrong. Most of what Shannon unearthed was at complete odds with accounts of
Hubbard's life as published by Scientology.
CIA cable 16 October 1975 : REVIEW OF AVAILABLE INFO REGARDING OVERSEAS
ACTIVITIES CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY REVEALS ONLY THAT ITS FOUNDER L. RON HUBBARD
IS ECCENTRIC MILLIONAIRE WHO HAS BEE EXPELLED FROM RESIDENCE IN SEVERAL
COUNTRIES BECAUSE OF HIS ODD ACTIVITIES AND BEHAVIOR. HE IS OWNER OF SEVERAL
SHIPS WHOSE APPEARANCE IN PORTS HAS STIMULATED QUERIES . . . FROM OTHER
GOVERNMENTS ASKING INFO RE VESSELS MISSION AND CREW. RESPONSES INDICATE WE KNOW
August. The Sea org comes ashore in Daytona Beach, FL in great secrecy. The
"Apollo" is sent back to the Caribbean. Hubbard looks around for a land base an
rests his eye on the quiet city of Clearwater, just north of St. Petersburg.
October. "Southern Land Sales" buys the Ft. Harrison Hotel for $2.3 million
and the old Bank of Clearwater building for another $550,000. The deals are
concluded in great secrecy. Soon it is announced that "The United Churches of
Florida" had leased both properties.
5 December. Hubbard moves into a small condo complex in Dunedin, immediately
north of Clearwater. Elaborate security is maintained.
"Operation Snow White," the code name for efforts by the GO's office to
infiltrate various government agencies, is in full swing. Hubbard had planned
it a few years previous as sort of an early warning system to advise him on
government plans to prosecute him. He worries constantly about the IRS and the
FBI. His wife, Mary Sue, is in overall charge. Soon they would clandestinely
steal thousands of government documents and infiltrate the FBI, IRS, Coast
Guard and the Drug Enforcement Agency. But their success almost became the
Waterloo of Scientology in time to come.
In Clearwater mayor Gabriel Cazares publicly wonders why the "United
Churches of Florida" need uniformed security guards who are armed with mace and
clubs. He, along with other area politicians and public figures, is put on
Scientology's "enemy" list.
1976 January. Betty Orsini, a reporter for the "St. Petersburg Times," is
reported by Scientology agents to be close to finding out the truth about who
the latest group of immigrants to Clearwater really are. Scientologist June (
real name was "Phillips") Byrne, working undercover at the Clearwater "Sun"
reports that newsman Mark Sableman is also beginning to put two and two
together. The coverage of Scientology would someday net the "Times" a Pulitzer
Prize, besides the inevitable lawsuits.
28, January. Scientology forestalls a planned coup by the "Times" and spills
the beans at a press conference.
29, January. Scientology sues Clearwater mayor Cazares for libel, slander
and civil rights violations. He would fight Scientology in the courts and press
for years to come and was undaunted in his efforts to clear his name and show
the world the dark side of Scientology.
Hubbard flees the Clearwater area after a tailor who is a science fiction
buff recognizes him as the famous author and cult leader. Hubbard goes to
March. Scientologists fake a hit and run car accident in an effort to smear
Gabe Cazares while he is attending a national conference of mayors in
Washington, D.C. This attempt to ruin Cazares's career comes to light when
"Snow White" is blown.
11, June. Two Scientologists are questioned concerning their presence in
the U.S. Courthouse Library at the foot of capital hill. Their passes are
bogus, "Snow White" begins to unravel.
October. Hubbard moves his family into a ranch La Quinta, CA. They are
guarded by two of Mary Sue's dogs both of whom are "clear" and therefore will
only attack suppressive persons.
28, October. Quentin Hubbard commits suicide in Las Vegas. Due to a lack of
identification on the body the Hubbards don't learn of it until November 17.
Mary sue is heartbroken, Ron furious. Trusted agents are sent to clean up the
matter and distance Hubbard as far from this sad event as possible. Hubbard's
dynastic hopes die with Quentin.
1977. Hubbard develops the "Purification Run-Down." It is a system of
saunas and mega doses of vitamins designed to rid the body of toxins and
chemical residues. He hopes to get the Nobel Prize for this but only gets
lawsuits from people injured by the toxic doses of vitamins and injured from
the too lengthy time in the sauna.
8, July. One of the most massive raids in the history of the FBI smashes
"Snow White" and Scientology. More than 130 agents raid Scientology
headquarters in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Thousands of documents (48,
148) are seized. Activities of the Guardian's Office come to light making
headlines throughout the country. Hubbard flees to an obscure town in Nevada
knowing that he is only one step ahead of the law. From this point on the
number of people knowing his true whereabouts will decline. Many people,
including Paulette Cooper's lawyers, would love to know where Hubbard is
1978, 15 August. A federal grand jury indites 10 Scientologists, including
Hubbard's wife, for their participation is Snow White. There are a total of 28
counts: conspiring to steal government documents, theft of government documents
, harboring a fugitive, perjury and obstruction of justice. Hubbard himself is
listed as an "unindicted co-conspirator." He stays in seclusion leaving his
wife to face the music alone.
1979. 26, October. All Scientologists on trial are found guilty. In a plea
bargain Mary Sue Hubbard gets five years in federal prison. As operation
"Freakout" comes to light concerning Paulette Cooper and the fake accident
involving mayor Gabe Cazares, Hubbard is relentlessly pilloried in the press.
1980. Hubbard now disappears for good to a remote ranch in CA. He fears
summonses from the IRS, Dept. Of Justice and Paula Coopers lawyers. Only three
people know where he is: Annie and Pat Broeker, David Miscavige. Hubbards
personal income at this time is about a million dollars a week.
For the hidden story of the Sea Org (including names, dates and places) see: