Hubbard may have many followers, but he does not have any friends.
No one really gets close to, or really knows Hubbard.
– A.E. Van Vogt
Surfing around in the recently declassified FDA records again, I found a document concerning an interview by two FDA officers of writer A.E. Van Vogt. This was in Cd #4, second PDF, page 20.
The officers were Inspector D.L. Dovel and Inspector Dale E. Harper.
On 2/21/63 Inspector Howard I. Niss of Boston District interviewed Isaac Asimov who is assistant Professor of microbiology at the Boston University School of Medicine. It was thought that Professor Asimov had some knowledge pertaining to the background and character of L. Ron Hubbard. During the interview, Professor Asimov stated that a former associate of Hubbard’s on the West coast, A.E. van Vogt might be a good source of information with respect to Hubbard.
Pursuant to DRM request of 2/28/63, Inspector Dale E. Harper and I interviewed A.E. van Vogt at his headquarters. He is presently operating a Dianetics center in Hollywood at 7089 Hawthorn called Hollywood Dianetics. Although van Vogt was the Director of the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation in Los Angeles until he severed his connections with Hubbard in 1950, he furnished us with very little factual information.
He stated that he first met Hubbard in 1945. As they were both science fiction writers, the two men had a common bond. He was unable to provide any background on Hubbard other than from his limited personal experience with the man.
Kenneth E. Kimmel, Supervisory Inspector, March 8, 1963
The Interview notes themselves (p 2 and 3)
The subject took an interest in Hubbard’s ideas and became his associate, rising to the head of the Los Angeles office of the organization. In 1949 another member of the organization told van Vogt that Hubbard was beginning to adopt a metaphysical philosophy with respect to the cult. As van Vogt stated he was of the “rational school”, and against bringing in any religious or metaphysical ideas into the organization, a basis of conflict between the two men was now apparent. In 1950 Hubbard openly proposed that the organization adopt the new religious ideology to van Vogt and the remainder of the following.
About half the group went along with Hubbard and his ideas, however, van Vogt and the remaider split off from the organization to continue with a strictly Dianetics approach. The Dianetics group was then formed which van Vogt now heads.
According to van Vogt he has seen Hubbard only three times since their split in 1950…once in 1951, 1953, and 1954. He stated when he saw Hubbard in 1954, at one of Hubbard’s lectures in Phoenix. He did not have any conversation with Hubbard at this last meeting of the two men. Van Vogt stated that he has had no communication or connection with Hubbard or his organization since they came to the parting of the ways. He claims he does not have any knowledge of the cult’s current activities.
While he was associated with Hubbard, van Vogt stated that he knew very little of Hubbard’s actual activities. He explained “Hubbard may have many followers, but he does not have any friends”. He mentioned that Hubbard was out of town most of the time during their association. Hubbard would not disclose his plans to his wife according to van Vogt, as Hubbard would leave on a trip without even giving her any notice of his plans to take a trip. Van Vogt stated “no one really gets close to, or really knows Hubbard.”
We asked van Vogt if he thought Hubbard were normal with respect to the later’s mental state. After some thought on the matter, van Vogt would offer no definite comment.We also inquired if he thought
Hubbard were sincere in his endeavors. He replied that he thought the man was very sincere and “believed every word of it”. Van Vogt stated that Hubbard “knew advertizing and how to attract a crowd”. Otherwise, he knew little of the character or activities of Hubbard and his organization.
He thought Hubbard may have been married four times as he said he once saw a letter from a woman in New Orleans who intimated that she was once married to Hubbard. He did not remember the woman’s name or any other facts about this alleged marriage. Hubbard may have taken some courses at U.C.L.A. according to van Vogt.
Mr. van Vogt was unable to supply any additional details. He impressed the Inspectors that he knew a great deal (handwritten word more added) than he told us during our interview. From the appearance of van Vogt’s operation, it is the Inspector’s opinion that his version of the organization is not very successful. He may have retained much information because he is currently operating a similar type organization as to the form practiced during his association with L. Ron Hubbard.
Van Vogt’ s parting remarks to the Inspectors was that we could gain a better picture of the “Hubbard type” by reading his (van Vogt’s) new book The Violent Man.
When Van Vogt said:
“no one really gets close to, or really knows Hubbard.”
It may not have been in reference to what some might think, the usual pat conclusion being “he’s crazy”.
I don’t think so, not in that way, anyway.
I say that, put together with the observations by the inspectors that they felt Vogt was holding back on them, it’s probably more on the mark that both Vogt’s observation and his reticence were because of Hubbard’s intelligence background.
The Pemberley obvious characterization of Hubbard says something very similar. While being assessed by British Intelligence in a training camp during WWII, he gets categorized as a “lone wolf”.
The other rather cryptic point made by Vogt was this reference to the “Hubbard type”.
What did he mean by that?
Well, let’s get into his background just a little, one that rather parallels Hubbard’s in at least one way – he was around “secret” doings. In his case, for the Candadian Department of Defense.
At the beginning of WWII, Vogt had been turned down by the Canadian local draft board for his poor vision. He was assigned to “administrative” duties at the Canadian Department of National Defense – the DND. While that may sound innocuous, I rather doubt it was. The DND was mixed up in all sorts of bad juju ideas. For example, it was the DND that first fostered Dr. Ewen Cameron’s “psychic driving” work as well as Dr. Hebb and the sensory deprivation experiments.
And so it goes, while working at the DND Vogt became inspired to write a story about a totalitarian society where people who have telepathic powers must live in hiding.
An interesting topic, especially considering one of the number one points of interest of mind control research officially starting in the 1940’s – was development of esp, remote-viewing, moving objects with one’s mind and –
His story was called Slan, and it was published as a four part serial in the September-December 1940 issues of Astounding Science Fiction – Campell’s magazine. The Slans had a particularly interesting type of telepathy – considering where he was when he wrote it this gets amusing – they could: detect enemies at a distance.
Sounds rather defense related to me, how about you?
A year later, Vogt was suddenly transferred, and he ended up being “free” to write more stories like this.
Not like they needed propagandists during WWII, or anything.
John Rhees made it quite clear that they did – it was all part of creating that “world citizen” idea of the British/Catholic slavemasters.
In fact, it was the same year even, as this re-allocation of Vogt.
As John Rawlings Rees put it – Let us all, therefore, very secretly be “fifth columnists”.
fifth column – a group of secret supporters of an enemy that engage in espionage, sabotage, and other subversive activities within the borders of a nation.
…I feel we need a long-term plan of propaganda. I doubt the wisdom of a direct attack upon the existing state of affairs…that would still raise opposition, whereas the more insidious approach of suggesting that something better is needed -” why shouldn’t we try so and so”- is more likely to succeed.
The evolutionary process is essentially British, and I think that we should make it a fundamental in our propaganda plan.
Next we see Vogt pop up in California, where other British intelligence assets were busy making sure that Hollywood carried out this “plan” properly.
Alfred Etan Van Vogt
He moved to Hollywood in 1944, and he met up with fellow “world citizen” propagandist, L Ron Hubbard, in 1945.
Hubbard in his Hollywood Days –
By 1950, Hubbard had offered Vogt his Dianetics techniques to help Vogt’s wife Mayne, who had suffered from headaches for over 13 years. After receiving Dianetic auditing, she was actually permanently cured* and then she became involved in Dianetics and stopped her own writing in 1950.
*Reference – Roger Russell sci-fi pages
As you can see from the FDA document –
[…] another member of the organization told van Vogt that Hubbard was beginning to adopt a metaphysical philosophy with respect to the cult. As van Vogt stated he was of the “rational school”, and against bringing in any religious or metaphysical ideas into the organization, a basis of conflict between the two men was now apparent. In 1950 Hubbard openly proposed that the organization adopt the new religious ideology to van Vogt and the remainder of the following.
About half the group went along with Hubbard and his ideas, however, van Vogt and the remainder split off from the organization to continue with a strictly Dianetics approach. The Dianetics group was then formed which van Vogt now heads.
They had a disagreement over the cloaking mechanism for these experimental processes – which Hubbard felt should be religion.
Vogt later claimed that after he had left Dianetics, Hubbard’s followers continued to harass him and he actually stopped writing for a few years but by 1954 he was inspired yet again.
This is where that “Hubbard Type” comment that he made to the FDA comes into play.
In 1954, Van Vogt began work on a war novel called The Violent Man, which was set in a Chinese prison camp. The commandant of the camp is one of those savagely authoritarian figures who would instantly, and without hesitation, order the execution of anyone who challenges his authority.
Although I can’t find an online version of the book, an interesting review of this was found here – I think it does gives us a good feel for what Vogts book had as the facets of this “Hubbard Type”.
It seems L. Ron Hubbard was apparently the model, or inspiration for this book!
Van Vogt was creating the type from observation of men like Hitler and Stalin. And, as he thought about the murderous behaviour of the commandant, he found himself wondering: ‘What could motivate a man like that?’ Why is it that some men believe that anyone who contradicts them is either dishonest or downright wicked? Do they really believe, in their heart of hearts, that they are gods who are incapable of being fallible? If so are, are they in some sense insane, like a man who thinks he is Julius Caesar?”
…Looking around for examples, it struck Van Vogt that male authoritarian behaviour is far too commonplace to be regarded as insanity. […] [For example,] marriage seems to bring out the ‘authoritarian’ personality in many males, according to Van Vogt’s observation.
… ‘the violent man’ or the ‘Right Man’ […] is a man driven by a manic need for self-esteem — to feel he is a ‘somebody’. He is obsessed by the question of ‘losing face’, so will never, under any circumstances, admit that he might be in the wrong.”
…Van Vogt points out that the Right Man is an ‘idealist’ — that is, he lives in his own mental world and does his best to ignore aspects of reality that conflict with it.
…Perhaps Van Vogt’s most intriguing insight into the Right Man was his discovery that he can be destroyed if ‘the worm turns’ — that is, if his wife or some dependant leaves him.
…The Right Man hates losing face; if he suspects that his threats are not being taken seriously, he is capable of carrying them out, purely for the sake of appearances.”
…Van Vogt makes the basic observation that the central characteristic of the Right Man is the ‘decision to be out of control, in some particular area’. We all have to learn self-control to deal with the real world and other people. But with some particular person — a mother, a wife, a child — we may decide that this effort is not necessary and allow ourselves to explode.
…He feels he [is] justified in exploding, like an angry god. […] he feels he is inflicting just punishment.
Sounds like Vogt had some pretty good insight about Hubbard, if you ask me.
The Violent Man – was first published in 1962
There was also an actual report done on the same subject, with brit Colin Wilson.
The Violent Man?
Maybe so, maybe so.