Bare Faced Messiah - Hubbard Children

Bare Faced Messiah - Hubbard Children

Because their loyalty was unquestioned, the messengers knew more about what was going on in Scientology than anyone other than Hubbard and Mary Sue. They knew all about Operation Snow White, for example, because the Hubbards often discussed its Machiavellian twists and turns over dinner. They were also privy to the family's intimate secrets. One afternoon, while Hubbard was away from his office, Doreen Smith came across a pile of letters Quentin had written to his father. She was surprised: she knew the Commodore had not replied to any of them because all his mail went out via the messengers.

'Out of curiosity, I pulled the letters out and read a couple,' she confessed. 'It sounded like Quentin had gone crazy. He was talking about people coming from outer space and what we were going to do about it and how he knew the Marcabs were coming every five thousand years to check on our development. It seemed like he had taken his father's space odyssey stories and plumped them in his own reality. It was real loony tune stuff.' She told no one about this except, of course, all the other messengers.

Doreen was close to the younger Hubbard children and was shocked by Quentin's letters. She was even more shocked by what happened when the Commodore fell out with his youngest daughter, Suzette. 'She was dating another Scientologist but for some reason the Commodore didn't approve of him and so he sent a messenger with $5000 in cash to buy him off. The messenger was told to threaten the guy that he would be declared SP if he didn't take the money and sign an agreement to stop seeing Suzette.

'But the agreement also made it look as if the guy was blackmailing Hubbard and threatening to take her away. That's what Hubbard told Suzette was happening. I was in his office when he called her in and showed her the agreement, shouting things like, "I told you so." Suzette might have seen through it, but she was a toughie. She started dating wogs and then, when she was being audited - auditing is like a confessional - she would describe everything she had done on the date in great detail, knowing that her father would read her folder. It was her way of getting back at him. The only form of communication she could have with her father was through her auditor.

'He went purple with rage when he read her folder with all that stuff in it and her saying things like, "If my father doesn't like what I'm doing, I don't give a damn." When he had finished reading it, he threw it across the room and then threw a yellow legal pad at me and told me to take down a letter. He started dictating a letter disinheriting Suzette and I began to cry. In the end I said, "I can't do this." I put down the pad and let him have it. "Quentin's dead," I said, "and now you're tearing your family apart. You can't do this to your family and to Mary Sue. If you want to send this letter, write it yourself." Then I excused myself from the watch and ran out. Afterwards, I discovered he tore up the letter. He never did disinherit Suzette.' (Doreen was a particular favourite with the Commodore and one of the few people at Olive Tree Ranch who would have dared suggest he might have made a mistake. He called her 'Do', had a little engraved dog-tag made for her and in rare moments of amiability he would give her an affectionate pat her on the head and say, 'That's my Do.')

Arthur, the youngest of the Hubbard children, was in rather better favour with his father, although he made a pest of himself with everyone else at Olive Tree Ranch by riding his motor-cycle around the property at breakneck speed. 'He was a brat,' said Jim Dincalci. 'All the time.' His talent as an artist was being employed to paint a series of watercolours illustrating incidents in his father's early life, which were to be used in a glossy, coffee-table tome published by the church under the title, What Is Scientology?

There were pictures of little Ron riding on his grandfather's cattle ranch, sitting by a campfire with the Pikuni Indians, journeying 'throughout Asia' at the age of fourteen, as a university student attending one of the first nuclear physics courses and supporting himself as an essayist and technical writer (the caption somehow failed to mention his science fiction). Two paintings showed him crippled and blinded in a naval hospital after the war and a third depicted him miraculously restored to health by the power of mind. Arthur's pictures were unremarkable art, but fascinating inasmuch as they illustrated most of the significant lies told by his father about his life before Scientology.

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