L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology's Phoenix Roots

l-ron-hubbards-phoenix-house.jpg
The Phoenix house where L. Ron Hubbard dreamed up Scientology.
See also: Scientology Opens Phoenix Ideal Org; Mayor Greg Stanton Touts City's Status as Alien-Based Religion's "Birthplace"

See also: Paul Thomas Anderson on Researching Scientology for His New Film


As strange as it may seem, Scientology -- the religion established by pulp fiction writer, explorer, and Lieutenant in the U.S. Naval Reserve, L. Ron Hubbard -- was founded right here in the Valley.

As Ray Stern reports, Hubbard and his teenage bride moved to a small, rental home near Camelback Mountain in April 1952. Hubbard founded Scientology that same year.

Here's an excerpt from Stern's story, "Explore the Phoenix Roots of L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology":

Building on the past-life doctrines Hubbard first described in the 1950 bestseller Dianetics, which purported to teach techniques that could improve mental health, Hubbard created a universe populated with alien "Thetan" souls. (He later would reveal, in church materials that followers paid tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars to read, that the souls are really the ghosts of alien beings destroyed 75 million years ago by the evil galactic overlord Xenu.)

Although Hubbard was gaining groupies, not everyone bought into his new-found religion. Stern writes, journalist Russell Miller's 1987 biography, Bare-Faced Messiah, referred to Hubbard's Scientology: A History of Man as "possibly the most absurd book ever written," adding that "it was treated with great reverence by his followers."

Read the full story about Scientology's Phoenix roots.

Check out the slideshow Inside the Strange World of Scientology With Paul Thomas Anderson's New Film, The Master


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4 comments
eva20258
eva20258

As strange as it may seem, Scientology -- the religion established by pulp fiction writer, explorer, and Lieutenant in the U.S. Naval Reserve, L. Ron Hubbard -- was founded right here in the Valley.

 

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Margaret2011
Margaret2011

[Re-posted from Ray Stern's very good article.]

 

Actually, an excellent book on Scientology is called "The Phoenix Lectures".  As the title suggests, it's based on some lectures that Hubbard gave in 1954 in Phoenix.  The book goes into the philosophical underpinnings of Scientology, as well as some historical influences, and may give readers an idea of why people might be attracted to the subject, if not the organization.  The book is out of print these days, but I've seen old versions listed for pennies on ebay. Definitely worth a read for the curious.

marcy
marcy

You have to be a real fruitcake to lap up L Ron's fantastical space opera and think it is real.

 

But then again you have to have a screw loose to be buying what the Pope is selling too.

davelog
davelog

 @marcy It is hard to make any distinction between faith movements.

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