Today we have an interesting little find that I came across when I was randomly reading in some of the recently declassified FDA records. I do that from time to time, in and around my more focused work, and I just pick something and start scanning through it at what I call fast-read pace. I find it relaxes me.
Anyway – an FDA hearing officer named Charles H. Everline, interviewed a man named Samuel (Sam) Moskowitz on August 30, 1970. He was living in Newark, New Jersey at the time.
Moskowitz (center) – photo from 1971
Mr. Everline’s notes say that the reason he was there is because Moskowitz had told Bud Loftus (FDA – assigned to the Scientology case) that he had first heard L. Ron Hubbard say at a meeting that: the only way to make a million dollars was to form your own religion.
Here are the images of the documents containing that interview, extracted from Cd #3, the PDF named Volume 13 of 18, starting on p. 400.
Here’s the text of the first page, and part of page 2 –
By prior appointment, I visited Mr. Moskowitz at his home to discuss information he reportedly had concerning the early history of Mr. L. Ron Hubbard. Mr. Moskowitz had informed Mr. Bud Loftus that he first heard Mr. Hubbard say at a meeting that the only way to make a million dollars was to form your own religion.
Mr. Moskowitz stated that the meeting referred to was held at the Slovak Circle Hall on Morris Avenue in Newark, New Jersey on November 7, 1948. That the meeting was held with Mr. Hubbard in attendance was verified by two reports.
FANTASY TIMES 12-15-48 issue on Page 6 states that the Society held a meeting on November 7th with Mr. L. Ron Hubbard as guest speaker.
The FANTASY ANNUAL 1948 issue on Page 54 contains a summary of the monthly meetings of the Eastern Science Fiction society. This also stated that Mr. Hubbard was guest speaker at the November Meeting.
Mr. Alex Osheroff; Treasurer at the time, has advised Mr. Moskowitz that the minutes of the November 7, 1948 meeting are in existence.
These minutes show that during a question and answer period, Mr. Hubbard spoke on his work “EXCALIBUR”. It was during these remarks that the statement about forming your own religion was made.
Twenty-three people were in attendance at the meeting. These included: Mr. Moskowitz, Mr. Osheroff, Mr. Alan Howard, Mr. Martin Greenberg and Mr. Oswald Train.
The current addresses for Mr. Howard and Mr. Greenberg were not known by Mr. Moskowitz.
Mr. Train is a publisher whose address is 1129 West Wingohocking Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvaia (phone no. DA 4-7738).
Following the meeting, several of the people in attendance, and Mr. Hubbard, went to the Hickory Grill and subsequently to Mr. Moskowitz’s home. While at the home, Mr. Train was hypnotized by Hubbard in an attempt to treat Mr. Train’s stuttering problem Mr. Moskowitz had offered to pay Hubbard $100 if he could cure or even improve Mr. Train’s speech impediment.
Mr. Hubbard was unsuccessful.
Mr. Hubbard did not attend any other meetings of the Society, and Mr. Moskowitz was not in· attendance at any other meetings where Mr. Hubbard may have spoken about forming your own religion.
[…] Mr. Arthur Cox current address unknown. Mr. Cox is a friend of Mr. van Vogt and wrote a two-part article on van Vogt which ‘appeared in the “Science Fiction Adventiser”.
The second of the two articles appeared in the July 1952 issue.
The editor of this booklet was Mr. Edward Ludwig. In the second article, Mr. Cox refers to various letters from Hubbard to van Vogt discussing ”EXCALIBUR” and “Dianetics”. The article also mentions that Hubbard was present at the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society on several occasions in 1948.
The minutes of these meetings were reported in Shangri-la issues Nos. 5, 6 and 7. The one of primary interest is the April 15, 1948 meeting which is reported in Shangri-la No. 6 on Page 9. A copy of this page is attached for the record.
The part about Hubbard, the supposed master hypnotist, trying to hypnotize Moskowitz friend out of stuttering, and failing utterly, was pretty entertaining.
What I think we have here though, is the earliest example of the infamous “start a religion” statement by L. Ron Hubbard. The problem is, it looks like it’s really just hearsay – not that that matters, but there is no hard reference of this. Not yet, anyway.
However, put in context of 1948, BEFORE Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health was even written, let alone published, if Hubbard (and his OSS/CIA connections such as Parker Morgan) were so hot to have the thing start as a religion? They would have done it. But yet, two years later, no religion. It wasn’t until after the Dianetics Research group in Elizabeth, New Jersey came under fire, that that idea began ‘getting its feet’ so to speak.
There is some very fun stuff in the helpfully provided fanzine excerpt from 1948, although just one page, its enough.
You’ll notice in the interview notes, that it specifically mentions Shangri-La number 6, from 1948.
I did find an image of the cover for the issue just before it, which is actually signed by Forrest Ackerman (Hubbard’s Literary agent at one time) funnily enough, so at least you can get an idea of what they tended to look like.
Here’s the image of the #6 issue excerpt, from the FDA files –
There’s lots of fun stuff here. I’ve typed it all out for you to make it easier to read, and we’ll do a little at a time.
April 14th; 436th consecutive meeting:
At this meeting we added still another distinguished guest to our rosters – L. Ron Hubbard, author of “FINAL BLACKOUT”. Mr. Hubbard spoke briefing about himself and his stories.
“THE END IS NOT YET was not intended to be a great story; it’s sole purpose was to implant a half-dozen ideas in the minds of certain people. It has already had some results.”
Oh, man. Was I right, or was I right?
That’s exactly what I’ve been saying for about 5 years now about that damn story. And what was one of the main ideas that Hubbard was helpfully implanting for the Slavemasters and their New World Order?
Nationalism is the cause of war.
See my post The End Is Not Yet #1 – Allied Scientists of The World for more ideas Hubbard was ‘implanting’.
Hell, he even did that story (The End is Not Yet) right on the heels of Cord Meyer doing the same thing (along with several other major propagandists for the new ’empire’).
See my post: From The FDA Files – L. Ron Hubbard’s OSS/CIA Connection: Charles Parker Morgan for more about that.
Wow, what a fun find that was.
He refused to discuss his philosophical work, “EXCALIBUR”, but simply said that he had “finally realized how dangerous it was (illegible) so, had stored it in a bank vault, where it now is.”
Wait, I thought it was stolen by the Russians already – can this man never make up his mind about this elusive and alleged writing called EXCALIBUR? Sheesh.
He told us about a ‘taboo’ which he has recently written; all editors have rejected it, while crying their eyes out.
It seems that the Catholic-Fathers-Something-Or-The-Other and the Protestant-Brothers-Something-Or-The-Other would not like the story.
(Briefly, it concerns a little preacher who collects together some funds from his flock and, building a space-ship, sets out into the universe in search of God—).
Going on a spaceship to find God?
Dang, it sounds like Hubbard predated Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and the Alien series prequel: Prometheus.
I guess finding God in a spaceship is a big ‘button’ for all those Catholics (Christians) out there.
Hubbard is the founder of the “VIGILANTES SOCIETY FOR THE REPRESSION OF VICE-SQUADS”.
That one was…well, you know.
Last, and unfortunately cut off –
He spoke about UNKNOWN WORLDS, Back in 1942, Campbell was having a hard time keeping the magazine going. It wasn’t lack of paper or lack of subscribers but simply a lack of good stories. He, himself, (Campbell, that is)….[cuts off]
On page 3 of the documented interview with Moskowitz, did you notice this part?
5. Mr. William Blackbeard — Mr. Blackbeard wrote an article entitled “Pip-squeak Prometheus Some Remarks on the Writings of L. Ron Hubbard“. This article originally appeared in 1948 in a local Journal and later was republished with some changes, in the October 1962 issue of “Inside” starting on Page 23. Mr. Moskowitz has a copy of this article. It is an interesting analysis of Hubbard as a writer and also mentions the E-meter.
Hubbard as “Pip-squeak Prometheus” – that’s hilarious! I thought stuff like that was referred to Mr.
That article was actually in 1950, not 1948.
This is Bill Blackbeard, who wrote it.
A description of it found online says it was in Shangri La #20:
“Pipsqueak Prometheus,” a “devastating dissection” of L. Ron Hubbard appeared in Shangri La, # 20. Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society, 236 ½ North New Hampshire, Los Angeles 4, Calif., at 15¢ each. The article was reprinted in 1962.
An online review had this to say about it (excerpted) –
The reason I am rating Shangri-La as EXCEPTIONAL, is that it contains one of the best articles I have ever seen in a fanzine, an item which in my considered opinion is easily the fan article of the year 1950. I am referring to “Pipsqueak Prometheus” by William Blackbeard, a devastating dissection and evaluation of L. Ron Hubbard and dianetics.
Since dianetics can not be criticized without merely revealing that the critic is “either a moron or a psychotic” (see Hubbard in the current Brass Tacks in Astounding), Blackbeard has chosen to analyze Hubbard himself, and through him the so-called science of dianetics. He has done a painstaking, thoroughly documented, and lucid job; and has highlighted it with a number of glorious punchlines.
If you have the faintest interest in dianetics, pro or con, or if you like high-class iconoclasm, you’ve got to read Blackbeard’s article.
…At the moment I think there is about one chance in a thousand that Hubbard has made an excessively vital contribution to civilization. But it is likely to be discredited and lost if the crackpots, including maybe even Hubbard himself, are permitted to move in and make a second Rosicrucian Faith out of what should be a psychiatric technique.
Sounds like a great article, I think I’d like to see that. Anyone out there have it?
Update – 1/19/2016 Thanks to a comment left pointing to where might have it, I obtained a copy of this which I discuss separately in this post: