lthough long celebrated as a writer, novelist and explorer, it was the 1950 publication of Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health that initially focused world attention on L. Ron Hubbard. That book, which marked a turning point in history, provided the first workable approach to solving the problems of the mind, the first hope that something could be done about the causes of irrational behaviorwar, crime and insanity. Dianetics is something that anyone can use to help improve himself and his fellows. Hence, when the book was released, Amherst College Political Science Professor, Dr. Frederick L. Schuman’s declaration in the New York Times: “History has become a race between Dianetics and catastrophe. Dianetics will win, if enough people are challenged in time to understand it.”
Although most men might have been satisfied with such an accomplishment, L. Ron Hubbard did not stop at Dianetics. Yes, he had solved the riddle of the human mind, but there still remained unsolved questions regarding the nature of the human being himself, outstanding puzzles concerning that long-sought-after “something” we call life. And from his methodical and wholly scientific research into this problem came the applied religious philosophy of Scientology, offering not only greater happiness and ability but also solutions to such seemingly hopeless social problems as drug abuse, the decline of moral standards and illiteracyalways providing effective and workable solutions as he found them.
The story of Dianetics and Scientology began long before the publication of Mr. Hubbard’s first book on the subject. Indeed, even in his early youth he exemplified a rare sense of purpose and dedication which, combined with his adventurous spirit, made him a living legend. His life-long search for answers to the human condition was equally adventurous; for unlike other philosophers content to view events from an ivory tower, he knew that to really understand one’s fellow man, one had to be part of life. One had to rub elbows with all kinds and types of people. And, one had to explore the nooks and crannies of all existence.
This chapter will cover the key incidents that shaped L. Ron Hubbard’s life, and the important milestones on the road to his discoveries. By any measure, it was an immensely full and interesting life, but the true value of it lies in the legacy that he left mankind.