Post by iTal
Post by Mike Goldstein IDENICS
I have been reading the various posts about L.Ron Hubbard and
following what people have been writing about him over the past 20
some years. Generally, people in the CofS see him as a god or
messiah. People who have left the CofS generally view him as a devil
I had the experience of knowing and working with him quite closely on
the Flagship, Apollo, between 1972 and 1975. Of the maybe 300 people
on board only a few had any real personal contact with the man. I had
the experience of not only working directly with him quite a bit, but
also having a personal relationship with the guy. Unlike others I
know who had bad experiences with the man, I only had good experiences
with him, and considered us very good friends. My view of Hubbard is
not as a god or devil, but just as a man - a very able man who did
some very good things but who also had his share of screwups.
If anyone is interested, I would be happy to relay any experiences I
had with Hubbard or answer any questions that I can from my own
knowledge of the guy.
It would be very interesting to hear about your first hand experiences
with LRH; any insights, evaluations you had/have about him and what
you know about how he treated/interacted with others and how others
felt about him.
Usually you hear nothing but on one side, the idealized PR spin and
blatant fabrications made in CofS publications to pump up his image
and clueless churchies echoing the same and, on the other side critics
and ex-Scienos talking about him with nothing but vile contempt and a
negative spin. The reality is probably not at either end of those
I certainly agree with what you say above about many people seem to
view him at either one end of the spectrum or the other. But he(like
anyone)had many "ways of being" and therefore at times he appeared
extremely sane and at other times, pretty nutty. So even if you are
given an opinion of him from a person who actually had a personal
contact with the man, the opinion would be based on that person's
experience of how Hubbard was in that occasion. For example, I
remember an incident when I was sitting in my office when I was the
Flag Banking Officer on the ship. Hubbard's dinning room was just
outside my office and I could hear him talking with the person who was
his Staff Captain at the time outside the dinning room. She had
fucked up on something and he was in a tirade just reaming her out,
and this usually dynamic woman was just squeaking
an occasional "Yes, Sir" between tirades. All the office doors in the
corridor started shutting as apparently people were very uncomfortable
with hearing all this. I guess I was a little weird as I was
fascinated by this aspect of the guy I'd not seen previously. Maybe
some person walking nearby, though, hearing all this and having
little or no other contact with the man, may later relay an opinion of
Hubbard as a complete madman. He certainly was being a madman in that
occasion, but he wasn't ALWAYS that way.
I remember another time, outside his dinning room, when he was
standing outside the dinning room reaming out his son, Quentin, for
something. He was standing over Quentin as Quentin was kind of
cowering in the corner. People who were approaching the area, once
they heard or saw what was going on, just quickly turned on their
heals and went the opposite direction. But I, being weird again, just
walked up behind Hubbard and listened, fascinated. He then stopped
yelling at Quentin and turned and gave me a look like, "Enjoying the
show!" I held out my hands in front of me with a look like, "OK! OK!
Sorry!" and left.
But once again, he wasn't always like that. He never yelled at me,
and I worked with the guy a lot. I only mention these things because
many people I knew, later described him at a "madman". It's true the
man could get really pissed off and rant and rave. And who of us
haven't snapped once in a while under stress. So what. He could also
be very charming and sane, and was that way during most of the contact
that I had with him.
I'm sure you have heard of the incident of the CofS hiring the
author, Omar Garrison, to write a biography on Hubbard. Probably,
Gerry Armstrong has posted lots on this over the years. When all
sorts of unknown data about his life started coming up upon
investigation, a lot of people got very upset. To discover that
things previously published about Hubbard were not true and that he
had done some things that discredited the image the CofS was
portraying of him, this was all very unstabilizing for those who were
"true believers". These people, who had believed the guy was some
sort of "god", were devastated by this information. For those who
wanted to hate him it reinforced their viewpoints. To me, it all just
sort of humanized the man. Not knowing or seeing him as a god or
devil, I remember just thinking, "Interesting, but so what". It didn't
take away from the good things the guy did, and he did do some good
things. Actually, I was not too surprised by this data. Once, when I
was on a post that Hubbard created for me called "LRH Properties
Chief", I had an assignment to write a biography on him for the PRO
Office. It wasn't much of a biography, just a 9 or 10 page issue to
go into PR packs. I was on the ship with only what information was
available there and didn't do any real research. I just went to
various things already published about him in articles, book jackets,
and the like. One of the experiences I was writing about was how LRH
supposedly studied with Snake Thompson, a personal student of Sigmuend
Freud. It was a story I had heard previously about Hubbard and saw a
little written somewhere. I wanted more details for my biography so I
asked Hubbard. He told me it was no big deal, that he was just a kid
traveling with his father or something and met Thompson, that was all.
I thought the whole thing was rather strange. Even though Hubbard was
honest with me, he apparently knew about the false rumors but had not
done much previously to quell them. Who knows, he may have even
It's true that the Church presented a "squeeky clean", dynamic
image of Hubbard and that he was in favor of this. I believe that
this was one of his failings that came back around to "bite him in the
ass" later. There are similar things such as in "Keeping Scientology
Working" where he says that no one other than him ever came up with
any real worthwhile technical advancements. But, there are plenty
examples of worthwhile tech advancements that someone else did come up
with that he took credit for, as well as tech fuckups that he made
that he blamed on others. From some viewpoint he thought this sort of
behavior was "pro-survival" for the advancement of "the cause". I
think that the old, "Greatest good for the greatest number of
dynamics", gives a good insight into this point of view. It justifies
doing shitty things as long as they are done for a "greater purpose".
However, I think that it's just another way of saying, "The end
justifies the means". People have been using this justification for
eons and creating all sorts of bad shit. Personally, I don't buy into
either of those datums. If you have to lie or do some unethical
action to keep some purpose or thing continuing, maybe that thing
should not continue. But whether it should or shouldn't continue, the
one thing I do know is that by doing such an unethical action and
justifying it you might as well be "selling your soul to the devil".
Such a cycle will just lead to more unethical actions and screw things
up sooner or later. Lots of examples of this in and out of
Anyway, I guess that I've been rambling on for a while and should
probably end this post. I was asked by the Anthony Phillips, the
editor of Ivy, to write an article on an experience I had with
Hubbard. I wrote the article for him some time ago but don't remember
if it was published or not. It's kind of a strange story, but it
talks about my first meeting with Hubbard. Here it is for what it's
AN EXPERIENCE WITH RON
By Mike Goldstein
Co-founder of Idenics
I had many experiences with Ron during the years I worked closely
with him on the ship, Apollo. But the most memorable experience is my
first face to face meeting with the man. As it turned out, this first
encounter proved to be the weirdest of experiences. I haven't relayed
this occurrence to too many people because it was so strange.
However, since so many people find "strange" interesting, here goes.
Prior to being posted on the Apollo I spent a year in the Sea Org
working in Los Angeles. During that year my only goal was to get to
Flag (another name for the flagship of the Sea Org, the Apollo) and
work with Ron. The day finally came when I was ordered to take over a
high post at Flag. The trip from Los Angeles to Flag turned out to be
a several day adventure, but during that trip I kept getting a very
bizarre thought in my head. I kept thinking that the Commodore (Sea
Org rank Ron gave himself) should meet me at the gangway when I got to
the ship. This, of course, was a bizarre thought as I was just a new
recruit coming to Flag, not worthy of any such attention. But I
couldn't get it out of my head! The more I tried to stop the thought
the stronger it was, and the more I kept telling myself, "Shut up!
Are you nuts!"
When I arrived at the ship, Hubbard was not the gangway to greet
me, and part of me was relieved that I could get that insane thought
out of my head. However, another part of me was pissed off! As
the days went on, the upset with Hubbard got stronger, just as strong
as the thought about him greeting me when I arrived. This anger
seemed just as insane as the thought and I just kept it all to myself.
I did have communications from Hubbard via dispatch and messenger,
but this was just normal stuff relating to my post, or job. But, the
upset persisted. Crew on the ship were encouraged to write daily
reports to Ron, but each time I tried to write one I just got pissed
off and trashed it. Finally, the only way I could get these bizarre
thoughts out of my mind was to put all my attention on my post. The
post was quite demanding. I was the ship's banking officer (FBO which
stood for Flag Banking Officer) in charge of managing all the ship's
money as well as all of Sea Org Reserves. It took submerging myself
in my job and even going several days without sleep to finally quell
these inner "ravings".
The day after I was finally feeling "sane" again, I had been doing
a banking mission on shore. The mission, itself, was very stressful
as I was trying to get local banks to do something that was not being
done in their existing services. As I returned to the ship in my
silly looking suit and briefcase in hand, my thoughts were riveted on
the mission problems. My office was located about amidships on "A"
deck. "A" desk was composed of the Commodore's dinning room and two
rows of cabins. The cabins were where Hubbard's family living
quarters, Hubbard's aides living quarters, and my office were located.
Amidships, outside the dinning room was a set of stairs, one going
down to "B" deck, and the other going up to the "prom deck". At the
top of the stairs on the prom deck was Hubbard's research room where
he worked, with two corridors of offices facing the research room used
by Hubbard's aides. One of these offices was just used as a sort of
library and communication center. The communication center is where
Hubbard's, his aides and my in/out baskets were located.
When I came aboard I decided to first go check my in-basket before
returning to my office. I walked up the stairs pensively looking down
as I climbed, thinking only about the banking mission. About half way
up the stairs I was suddenly struck with the feeling that someone was
watching me. I came out of my thoughts and looked to the top of the
stairs. Standing there with his hands on his hips, glaring down at me
with a frown on his face, was Hubbard. Without thinking I just glared
back at him. Then he barked at me, "I hope you have money in that
briefcase! You're the FBO! You should have five dollar bills you're
just throwing around!" Once again, without thought, I barked back at
him, "I will!" At this response, hands still on hips, he threw his
head back bellowing with laughter. He then looked at me with a big
grin on his face saying, "Come here", motioning me with one hand to
approach. As I approached the top of the stairs I noticed one of his
personal staff to his right and one of his messengers to his left,
both looking at me with dumb expressions of surprise. Then, when I
reach the top of the stairs, something really strange takes place.
As I step on to the platform at the top of the stairs with Hubbard,
it's as if the two of us are suddenly somewhere else. It was very
weird and it's hard to put into words, but it's like our bodies are
standing there but we're talking somewhere else. Not only that, but
I'm different. I'm not just this 22-year kid without much experience.
I'm also another "me", more experienced and extremely confident.
It's as if I were "split in two", with the 22-year old Mike Goldstein
watching this other guy having this lengthy conversation with Hubbard.
At first he asks me about the banking mission on shore. I start
telling him about it and my displeasure with the bankers, using words
like, "****-sucker", "mother-******", and "***-hole", to express
myself. He's laughing and we're talking like two old sailors.
At this point of the conversation, things turn a little more
serious. He starts telling me about problems he's having in
management and with the orgs and starts asking me for advise. For a
moment then, I sort of "split" again, with the 22-year old me
thinking, "Why is he telling ME this stuff, I don't know about any of
that!" But then there I am as this other "me", not only understanding
what he's saying and asking, but I am actually giving him advise as to
what to do and he's taking it all in!
I don't really know how long all this conversation is taking, as
time was kind of different in this "place". But there comes a point
when I, the 22-year old me, kind of pulls out of this thing and is
standing there at the top of the stairs again. I notice that the guy
to Hubbard's right is standing, sort of "plastered" against the
bulkhead with his eyes rolled back in his head and his body jerking
about. The guy to the left of Hubbard is sitting in a chair, hands on
the arms of the chair, his back "plastered" against the back of the
chair, eyes rolled back and body jerking around. All I can think
about what I'm seeing is "That's weird."
Then, 22-year old Mike Goldstein had another thought "I'm sure
he's busy and maybe I'm taking up too much of his time". The next
instant I'm walking toward the corridor. I stop, turn my head around
and see Hubbard's back to me, talking with one of the guys in normal
conversation. I turn my head back and kind of shake it a little, and
continue walking toward the office where my in-basket is located, a
little dazed and thinking, "That was weird."
When I get to my in-basket, things are pretty much back to
"normal". I start getting somewhat excited, thinking, "I was just
talking with L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Dianetics and Scientology!"
And then the only thing I can think is, "And I said "****-sucker", and
I said mother-******!" "What's wrong with me!" All I could think now
was how I had used such bad language. This freaked me out so much
that I just hid out in the communications center office until Hubbard
went into his research room. Then, I scurried out the office, down
the stairs and into my office where I closed the door and sat down. I
sat there thinking, "What the HELL was that all about?!" Not coming
up with any answer I just decided not to think about it anymore. I
didn't, and the anger and upset that I had previously had and
suppressed, was gone. I just put it all out of my mind and went back
The next day I had been ashore again with the banking mission.
Upon returning I went up the stairs to my in-basket again. Just as I
walked past his research room and entered the corridor, I had the
feeling someone was behind me. I turned around and it was Hubbard,
and it all started happening again. Then, as I am using all those
same swear words, I sort of pull out again at that point, thinking,
"I'm doing it again!" then pause and think, "Oh, what the hell." and
just let what was happening, happen.
Similar "conversations" happened many other times after that but it
felt pretty good and I just "went with the flow" and let it happen.
Of course, I've done some inspection over the years as to what exactly
was occurring. I've come up with some "explanations" but none really
seem to give me the entire story. So, I won't try to explain what
happened with me and Hubbard. All I know, for sure, is that it did
happen and that it happened exactly as I've related it.
Told you it was weird.