Addition to Chapter 10
Miscavige Announces LRH’s Death
AS THE MAN who ultimately intended to lead the Scientology world, David Miscavige emerged publicly by announcing the death of L. Ron Hubbard. Hundreds of Scientologists gathered at the Hollywood Palladium to news that rocked the Scientology world. Peter and I watched the broadcast through a video feed at the Celebrity Centre where a thousand Scientologists packed the exterior grounds.
Continuing from print pg. 87 to:
Miscavige told us that L. Ron Hubbard had completed all of the OT research he had set out to do. Then, on the 24th of January, AD 36 (in this context, “AD” means After Dianetics), LRH had moved onto his next level of advanced research done at an exterior state, completely outside the body. At that level of OT, LRH’s body had become nothing more than an encumbrance to any gain as an OT. This announcement brought thunderous applause, whistles and shout outs from the guests.
He advised us to put this news into the proper perspective. Miscavige told us that LRH believed the body was nothing more than an identifying form that facilitated the control of the thetan in the MEST universe (matter, energy, space, time). By that point in his announcement, the audience was hushed except for sobs that began creeping out from across the crowds. He wanted us all to realize that LRH still existed, but not in the body that we had come to know.
With an “over to you now” closing, he said that LRH left us with the idea that if he had fought for a quarter of a century against the enslavers of man to keep the tech free from destructive pitches and slants, you can carry this work out a bit further.
Next, he brought out Earl Cooley, our Portland crusade attorney, who handled the legal matters of LRH’s death. Cooley told us that LRH had left some very specific instructions for the handling of his effects. He said that he had been given the honor and responsibility to see that LRH would be cremated promptly with his ashes scattered at sea. And, that LRH’s body was strong and fully capable of serving him for many more years, had that suited his purposes. Cooley told us that he had carried out LRH’s instructions per the will, including the transfer of some assets to his family, and the rest of his assets, including his copyrights, real estate, and financial holdings, to the Church of Scientology.
Dozens of Scientologists signed Sea Org contracts that night, accepting the responsibility for Scientology now being on our shoulders. Before this time, I had already signed a contract; I just had to decide when to activate it.
It never occurred to me at the time to question the truth of Miscavige’s announcement, the actual circumstances of LRH’s death or what the coroner’s report might have shown. I don’t think I was alone in thinking that everything that had been announced that night was the truth. The mindset that assumed this was the mindset of the loyal Scientologist who accepted everything issued by Hubbard unquestioningly.
However, the questions that I did later raise on my own, which I never mentioned to anyone including Peter, were twofold: Who was going to take over for L. Ron Hubbard as the head of Scientology? It seemed like an outpoint for such a major announcement to be made without at the same time keeping the Scientology membership stable by letting everyone know who would be in charge to keep Scientology going. Even though I was a newer Scientologist, I had studied enough to know that Scientology organizations were all about “hats”—specific job descriptions and placement on an org board. I would have expected an announcement saying that LRH had written up his hat and turned it over to so-and-so.
My other question was: How could LRH just decide to “drop his body and go off to do research” without communicating to this tens of thousands of followers first, and at least writing some kind of a statement that said “goodbye—for now.” Many of Hubbard’s writings and lectures included personal phrases that made you feel connected to him, like he was talking directly to you. Executive Directives would come out from him to all of us, like personal messages (like “Winning” after the Portland Crusade.” He also had maintained the SO #1 line, where people would write directly to him and receive a personalized letter back in his name. In other words, it seemed like a very huge outpoint that there was no letter, no special directive, no nothing in writing from him to us to say goodbye. This in itself made me question whether he died before he had really planned to “drop his body.” And if that was the case, then why was he not in control of this event as the ultimate OT being we believed him to be?
Dr. Gene Denk, who had been L. Ron Hubbard’s doctor, was also my doctor along with Megan Shields at the Shaw Clinic in Los Angeles. Not until 1998, when I was free to read some actual facts about Hubbard’s death from the coroner that were posted in public records, would I wonder, why hadn’t Denk told the Scientology world the truth about Hubbard’s deteriorating mental and physical condition? Or that Hubbard had received multiple shots of Vistaril, a psychiatric drug? The answers to those questions are obvious. Had he told the truth about Hubbard’s deteriorating conditions, Scientologists would have lost belief in Hubbard’s OT abilities and being cause over matter including illness. Had they known that residue of a psychiatric drug had been found in his body, this would have destroyed the Scientology empire.
In later years, a friend showed me a report that Denk was actually gambling in a casino in another state at the time of Hubbard’s passing and had not actually attended him immediately before his death. How the truth about Hubbard’s death could have changed the course of my, and thousands of Scientologists’, lives! We had been duped by the top leaders, but I guess people only see what they want to see.
At my public level within the Scientology hierarchy at the time, I couldn’t learn all the truth. That only occurred many years later when I could freely access public information. Meanwhile, David Miscavige, Pat and Annie Broeker, Ray Mithoff, Gene Denk, Earle Cooley, Marty Rathbun and others, knew the truth about Hubbard’s death, but didn’t disclose it. It was too essential to the forward progress of the Scientology empire to hold the myths about Hubbard in place.
Continued to print page 87:
My conclusion? Deception and cover-ups defined life in the Sea Organization, at the highest realm of leadership—not to be understood by me until starting in 1990.