Exclusive: Scientology's Big Gay Problem, Part 3: Was Founder L. Ron Hubbard Bi-Sexual?

Did early childhood sexual experiences influence Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard's views on homosexuality?

By , Contributor

Scientology founder, L. Ron Hubbard

Here and there after leaving Scientology, I would be told or read things that allowed me to continue to connect the dots about L. Ron Hubbard, such as the "Babalon Working" 1946 sex magic ritual that Hubbard participated in with Jack Parsons, rocket scientist and fellow follower of Aleister Crowley. As described by Richard Metzger in Book of Lies: The Disinformation Guide to Magick and the Occult:

Parsons used his "magical wand" to whip up a vortex of energy so the elemental would be summoned. Translated into plain English, Parsons jerked off in the name of spiritual advancement whilst Hubbard (referred to as "The Scribe" in the diary of the event) scanned the astral plane for signs and visions.


Aleister Crowley, Jack Parsons and L. Ron Hubbard

The ritual is, by every description I could find, homosexual in nature. Aha, I thought.  Finally I had an explanation to Hubbard’s apparently lifelong crusade against homosexuality.

When I learned that fine artist Michael Pattinson (whose work is one of the favorite pieces in my house) had left Scientology after completing the highest available “level” of OT8 (described as “Cause Over Life” at the time I got involved), I was thrilled. I knew Michael had battled with the organization over his homosexuality for years, and it pleased me to know he would now be free of that.

By then, I thought I had figured out most of the neuroses and psychoses of Lafayette Ronald Hubbard. In the fifteen years since leaving Scientology I had studied quite a bit about hypnosis, psychology, and religion. It became clear to me that Dianetics was simply altered abreaction, which Carl Jung referred to as "trauma theory.” I could see that elements of the beginning courses of Scientology such as the Training Routines where people sit across from each other at a comfortable distance and gaze at each other without flinching, were hypnotic in nature, as was “auditing.”

Black magic and the Parsons ritual explained, I concluded, Hubbard’s homosexual problem. He was embarrassed, and didn’t want that found out.

And then someone gave me a manuscript, a very well researched, very thick manuscript, that chronicled Hubbard’s life from start to finish. I’d never read anything like it, and I learned it was deeply sourced. It opens with some scenes aboard the USS U.S. Grant, a transport ship that had originally been a German ocean liner. Ron Hubbard and his mother were on that ship in the autumn of 1923 enroute to Hampton Roads, Virginia from Seattle via the Panama Canal. There was another person onboard who would become very influential to young Ron’s life, Commander Joseph Cheesman “Snake” Thompson (below left) who was a San Francisco psychoanalyst and career medial officer in the U.S. Navy. Thompson died in 1943 at the age of 68. As Wikipedia states:

commandercheesman.jpgAccording to the Church of Scientology, Thompson "took it upon himself to pass on the essentials of Freudian theory to his young friend." Hubbard himself later said that through Thompson's friendship, "I attended many lectures given at naval hospitals and generally became conversant with psychoanalysis as it had been exported from Austria by Freud." Another Scientology text says that Thompson spent "many an afternoon in the Library of Congress teaching L. Ron Hubbard what he [knew] of the human mind."

This means that when Thompson was spending a lot of time with young Hubbard, Thompson was 48 and Hubbard was about 12. That to me seemed a bit odd, as did the fact that when Thompson died, although he was married, he left $10,000 to his Siamese Pak Kwai Mau (“White Devil Cat”).

photo02.jpgBut back to the manuscript. In one scene, Thompson invites young Hubbard (right) to his stateroom, and teaches him about hypnotism. One thing about L. Ron Hubbard is certain - he was a master hypnotist. And then Thompson teaches Hubbard about something else - sex - and young Ron goes along, because there is much to learn.

As I’ve outlined, auditors talk. Hubbard received a good deal of auditing during his time in Scientology and despite the church’s claim that Scientology auditing is completely confidential, it is not. In previous years, I might have doubted writing that claimed young Ron Hubbard had sexual relations with “Snake” Thompson but Hubbard’s own words convince me otherwise. Specifically, Hubbard’s “affirmations."

I met author Omar Garrison while still on staff at the Celebrity Centre. He wrote The Hidden Story of Scientology, which was a favorable account, and had been hired to write the definitive biography of L. Ron Hubbard. The problem he encountered was that, the more he dug into the facts, the more he was convinced that Hubbard was crazy. This led to Scientology staff member Gerry Armstrong forming the same conclusion, and Armstrong escaped Scientology with some of Hubbard’s own highly incriminating documents. Consider this entry, an “affirmation” Hubbard wrote about his own sexuality:

"I have a very bad masturbatory history. I was taught when I was 11 and, despite guilt, fear of insanity, etc. etc. I persisted. At a physical examination at a Y when I was about 13, the examiner and the people with him called me out of the line because my testicles hung low and cautioned me about what would happen if I kept on masturbating. This "discovery" was a bad shock to me."

Armstrong worked with Hubbard's personal archive in 1980 and 1981 and provided the biographical above material to Garrison. In 1984, he read portions of them into the record at the in Scientology v. Armstrong trial, Los Angeles Superior Court, Case No. C 420153. One result of the trial was that Judge Paul G. Breckenridge, Jr. described Hubbard as a "pathological liar." 

tomato.jpgWas Hubbard (left, e-metering a tomato) lying when he wrote that someone “taught” him to masturbate at age 11?

Or was he telling the truth? If so, who taught him? Did Hubbard feel violated about that, and harbor a lifelong, even subconscious hatred for the person who had also taught him hypnotism and the psychological methods that would later be called Dianetics, and thus make homosexual masturbatory sex rituals with Jack Parson seem like no big deal?

Whatever the real truth may be, it remains that Scientology has a big problem with homosexuality, and it goes all the way back to its founder.

Paul Haggis was disgusted with it.  How little he knew.

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Skip Press is an author and teacher who has been active in Hollywood for decades. He knows as much about the inner workings of celebrity Scientology as anyone alive.

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