Ron the War Hero
Scientology® Inc. insists that you believe the opposite of each of the above statements -- and more -- about Hubbard: they want you to believe a thousand lies. In Hubbard's diary and in his self-hypnotic affirmations, Hubbard wrote many times about how ashamed he was of his "war record:" if Scientology® Inc.'s claim that Hubbard was a "war hero" were true, why would Hubbard be tortured with shame about his "war record?" One may read them here.
Hubbard was released from active duty December, 1945. He was dismissed
from command in the Navy as being unfit for command.
Hubbard was relieved of command of two ships, including the PC 815, a submarine chaser docked along the Willamette River in Oregon. According to Navy records, here is what happened:
Just hours after motoring the PC 815 into the Pacific for a test cruise, Hubbard said he encountered two Japanese submarines. He dropped 37 depth charges during the 55 consecutive hours he said he monitored "the subs," and summoned additional ships and aircraft into the "fight."
He claimed to have so severely crippled the submarines that the only trace remaining of either was a thin carpet of oil on the ocean's surface.
"This vessel wishes no credit for itself," Hubbard stated in a report of the incident. "It was built to hunt submarines. Its people were trained to hunt submarines."
Hubbard got what he asked for: no credit.
"An analysis of all reports convinces me that there was no submarine in the area," wrote the commander of the Northwest Sea Frontier after an investigation.
Hubbard next continued down the coast, where he anchored off the Coronado Islands just south of San Diego. To test his ship's guns, he ordered target practice directed at the uninhabited Mexican islands, prompting the government of that neutral country to complain to U.S. officials.
A Navy board of inquiry determined that Hubbard had "disregarded orders" both by conducting gunnery practice and by anchoring in Mexican waters. A letter of admonition was placed in Hubbard's military file that stated "that more drastic disciplinary action would have been taken under normal and peacetime conditions."
From L. Ron Hubbard's Diary:
"I carried this fear of the disease [gonnohorea] to sea with me. I was reprimanded in San Diego in mid-43 for firing on the Mexican coast and was removed from command of my ship. This on top of having sunk two Jap subs without credit, the way my crew lied [about?] me at the Court of Inquiry, the insults of the High Command, all combined to put me in the hospital with ulcers."
Hubbard the naval fuck-up
As a Navy lieutenant Junior Grade, Hubbard commanded at least three ships during the war, including one in the Atlantic - a converted fishing boat, the YP-422, refitted during several months in 1942-43 at the Boston Navy Yard, Navy records show. None of his commands saw battle.
In early Scientology biographies it was claimed that Hubbard fought German submarines in the Atlantic. And as recently as January, the Church of Scientology's official Internet site said Hubbard "saw action" in the North Atlantic during the war.
But, in an interview with the Herald, a sailor who served on Hubbard's ship contradicted that claim. "The YP-422 never saw combat," said former Navy fireman Eugene LaMere, 78, an upstate New York native who now lives in Maryland.
The YP-422 was refitted as a freighter armed with only a 3-inch gun and two .30-caliber machine guns, said LaMere, the first former crewman with direct knowledge of the ship's activities to publicly dispute Hubbard's claim to have seen combat as commander of the YP-422.
And Hubbard's claim of combat, or war wounds, is definitively ruled out by Navy records, according to published reports in Time and Forbes magazines, the Los Angeles Times, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, and books by critics and "defectors" Jon Atack, Russell Miller and Bent Corydon.
Hubbard was relieved of his command of the YP-422 soon after it set out from the Neponset River on a 27-hour shakedown voyage in September 1942, the reports say.
"Lt. L.R. Hubbard... is not temperamentally fitted for independent command. It is therefore urgently requested that he be detached," the commandant of the Boston Navy Yard wrote in October 1942 to the vice chief of naval operations, the reports said.
According to a court affidavit written by his son, L. Ron Hubbard Jr., the elder Hubbard was "relieved of (military) duty on several occasions," including once in the Pacific in 1944 when he "apparently concealed a gasoline bomb on board the USS Algol in order to avoid combat."
The affidavit - obtained by the Herald - is on file in U.S. District Court in Boston in connection with a 1991 suit filed by Scientology against the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI's Boston office. The church had sued under the Freedom of Information Act to gain access to government documents.
And there were other incidents that marred Hubbard's Navy career. He once ordered a depth-charge "battle" against nonexistent Japanese submarines off the Oregon coast, and he illegally fired on Mexican territory, according to published reports.
An admiral wrote in 1943 that Hubbard was "lacking in the essential qualities of judgment, leadership and cooperation," and the U.S. naval attache to Australia wrote in 1942, "He is garrulous and tries to give impressions of his importance," the reports said.
From L. Ron Hubbard's Diary:
"My service record was not too glorious. I must be convinced that I suffer no reaction from any minor disciplinary action, that all such were minor. My service was honorable, my initiative and ability high. I have nothing to fear from friends about my service. I can forget such things as Admiral Braystead. Such people are unworthy of my notice."
From: Chris Owen
To: Fortean Times
Date: Mon, 19 Jun 2000
Mr. Bob Keenan ("From Ron's Office", Letters, FT 136) repeats many long-disproved claims about L. Ron Hubbard's naval service, which the FT rightly called "less than distinguished".
The US Navy's records show that Hubbard was awarded only four of the 21 medals claimed, all being very routine service awards. There was no Presidential commendation. Two of the other 17 medals do not even exist. The US, British and Dutch military authorities have confirmed that the document on which Hubbard's claim was based is a poorly executed forgery. It credits him with non-existent and non-awarded medals, with academic qualifications that he never earned, serving on a ship which was scrapped long before World War II and bears the purported signature of a non-existent officer.
From: Chris Owen
Subject: NAVY: Official - Hubbard's "record" *is* forged
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 1999 19:42:30 +0100
A few months ago, Karin Spaink put on her website a scan of what Scientology claims to be L. Ron Hubbard's Notice of Separation (US Navy form DD214). This document has been used as the basis of Scientology's claims that Hubbard "won 21 medals and palms" for his service in the US Navy during World War II. It can be found on Karin's website at http://www.xs4all.nl/~kspaink/pix/lrhmedals.gif, with a covering note by Scientology at http://www.xs4all.nl/~kspaink/pix/lrhmedexp.gif
This morning I received confirmation from the US Navy itself that the DD214 distributed by Scientology is not authentic:
As the Naval Historical Center comment dryly in their letter, "several inconsistencies exist between Mr. Hubbard's DD214 and the available facts".
Other "inconsistencies" which I have independently confirmed:
A final damning fact is that the DD214 distributed by Scientology is very different to that in Hubbard's US Navy file --- that one does fit the records of Hubbard's naval service.
The only possible conclusion is that Scientology's copy of the document is in fact an incompetently executed forgery. The only question remaining is whodunnit. Does anyone know a graphologist? It would be interesting to see if there were any similarities between L. Ron Hubbard's signature and that of the fictitious Lt Cdr Thompson, which I suspect there are.
One other interesting thing which the Navy sent to me was a copy of the USS PC-815's Movements Card (a form recording the movements of a Navy vessel), which provides a complete history of the PC-815. It seems to have had a very quiet career before its unfortunate sinking in 1945:
Depart: 19 May 1943 from Portland, OR
Here's what the Navy said in their letter:
Dear Mr. Owen:
As part of my research into L. Ron Hubbard's career in the US Navy (due to be published on the web in about two weeks' time), I've asked three serving British military officers of my acquaintance to comment on Hubbard's performance records. I asked three officers - an Army Brigadier, a Royal Air Force Wing Commander and a Royal Navy Commander - the same question:
"You have an officer under your command, of lieutenant / captain / flight lieutenant rank [as appropriate], for a period of four years. He has had average performance reports for most of that period. However, over an 18-month period he is relieved of duty three times, twice for poor performance and arguing with his superiors and once for disobeying orders, for which he is formally admonished. How do you rate him at the end of his service?"
This is what they said:
Being relieved of duty is a very serious matter. If it happened repeatedly it would normally result in the officer being sacked. An officer with that sort of record would hopefully see the writing on the wall before it reached that stage. However, the system can be merciful. People can be victims of personality clashes or unsuitable postings. Tours of duty can be terminated prematurely without ending careers.
Wing Commander, RAF:
A very poor officer, obviously obstreperous and very difficult to manage. At that level you would expect to be able to give him tasks to do unsupervised. You would have to micro-manage him if you wanted to get good work out of him. If he is repeatedly relieved from duty in different posts, that is a clear message that he has a problem taking commands from his superiors. I would not want him working for me. I would seek to give him an administrative discharge or perhaps a court-martial if he misbehaved again. Indiscipline is a court- martialable offence, if you have clear and persistent evidence.
He sounds like a poor officer. Average reports do not cancel out repeatedly being relieved of duty. You would need to supervise him closely. A lot depends on the circumstances. Perhaps he just had a bad spell - e.g. as a result of adverse personal circumstances, like a close relative being killed - which may offer some mitigation.
From L. Ron Hubbard's self-hypnosis affirmations:
"You did a fine job in the Navy. No one there is now 'out to get you.' You are through with its Navy and will utterly forget any derogatory instances."
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