“Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man….”

 On the Blue Water by Ernest Hemingway, published 1936 in Esquire’s First Sports Reader


In 1954 and early 1955, L Ron Hubbard was already deep into working with Miles Copeland’s right-hand man Bob Mandelstam to use scientology as a CIA front for “political action”. By the time Miles Copeland returned from his black op in Egypt and took over things in July of 1955 (the same month Hubbard formed the Founding Church of Scientology in Washington D.C.) Hubbard and Mandelstam had things well underway. Hubbard had already been in bed with the CIA as far back as the very first foundation, the Dianetics Research Foundation, back in 1950, which Miles also talks about in his auto-biography The Game Player.

Hubbard incorporated occult elements into the new scientology religion, also as requested by Bob Mandelstam, starting with appropriating MI6 occult agent Alistair Crowley’s cross and even the name of the original occult group that Alistair Crowley had first joined – The Golden Dawn – which was also what Hubbard named a mailing in August of 1954 “testing” the new religious angle.

Hubbard’s Project Celebrity, the topic of my post today, was certainly being true to Miles Copeland’s basic idealogy – it went after leaders.

But the arrangement we made with Moral Rearmament gave us useful secret channels right into the minds of leaders not only in Africa and Asia but also in Europe. When Bob made similar arrangements with Scientology…

– Miles Copeland, The Game Player,


I hoped to devise political actions which would boost aspirants of my choice into them, keep them there and channel them into paths leading to prosperity and security for both them and us.

identifying potential leaders and guiding them to their rightful destiny, through democratic means if such were available but unhesitatingly by other means if they were not.

– Miles Copeland, The Game Player, p. 144 (Scientology and the MRA had been “officially” chosen by Miles in 1955)
See these posts for further information:


The basic goal of this Political Action group was –

In its original form, my theory was that properly ‘charismatized’ leaders, placed in certain positions in the ‘free world’s’ ‘key’ bureaucracies, could be used as political levers by which an enlightened American foreign policy could uplift the world.

…the judicious application of my theory would enable a properly employed CIA to fulfill the Wilsonian pledge to ‘make the world safe for democracy’ while removing certain goings-on here and there that were inconveniencing the American way of life.

None of the operations that got their guidance from my little Political Action Staff has ever been publicized…p. 179

– Miles Copeland – The Game Player “political action description” – Chapter 15


Mandelstam and Copeland’s (and also Ron Hubbard’s) CIA marching orders were also based on this –

If the U.S. is to survive, long-standing American concepts of ‘fair play’ must be reconsidered. We must learn to subvert, sabotage, and destroy our enemies by cleverer, more sophisticated, and more effective methods than those used against us. It may become necessary that the American people become acquainted with, understand, and support this fundamentally repugnant philosophy.

– from pages 1, 2,3 of the Introduction of Doolittle’s Report – Special Study Group, J.H. Doolittle, Chairman, Report on the Covert Activities of the Central Intelligence Agency (declassified), September 30, 1954 – and from, p. 15,16 (of 78) of the PDF itself. Here is also an Internet Archive version in case it goes missing.


And so…

In the February 15th, 1955 2nd issue (minor) of Ability magazine, Hubbard announced Project Celebrity. Filled with words like “hunt”, “game” and “quarry”, it much more reminds one of Hemmingway’s quote than of something even vaguely innocent.

Note: regarding dating, on the back of the Ability it says that the minor issue comes out on the 15th of the month and the major comes out on the 1st.

An interesting side point is that there is no name associated with the original announcement, but yet in a strange twist the earlier Ability 2 (major) carried a note by John Sanborn saying the project was announced by Tom Esterbrook.



Who is Tom Esterbrook?

L. Ron Hubbard.

Hubbard had started writing some of his more explosive ideas and concepts under an old pen-name – Tom Esterbrook – one he had also used previously in his sci-fi fanzine days. The fact that this was one of Hubbard’s pen names was proven in the Gerry Armstrong legal case.

Here’s the description of Project Celebrity from Ability 2 minor. You can see that issue in full here and I have included the full plain text below the image.

 scientology Project Celebrity Ability 2 Minor (1955).

If we are to do anything about the society at large, we must do something about its communication lines.

One of the parts of this plan is Project Celebrity.

There are many to whom America and the world listens. On the backs of these are carried most of the enthusiasms on which the society runs. It is vital, on our Third Dynamic operation, to put such persons into wonderful con­dition.

It is obvious what would happen to America if we helped its leaders to help others. Project Celebrity is part of that program. It is obvious what would happen to Scientology if prime communicators benefiting from it would mention it now and then.

Herein you find a list of celebrities. If you want one of these, write us at once, giving the ONE celebrity you have selected. We will then allocate this person to you as your game.

Having been awarded one of these celebrities, it will be up to you to learn what you can about your quarry and then put yourself at every hand across his or her path, and not permitting discouragements or “no’s” or clerks or secre­taries to intervene, in days or weeks or months, to bring your celebrity into a formal auditing session and deliver an amount of good auditing necessary to

(1) make him much more effective, and

(2) make him aware of the benefits of Sci­entology on the Third Dynamic.

Finance, your pay, your expenses on this hunt are up to you. Obviously, at whatever future date, the investment will repay itself some dozens of times.

The HASI and HDRF will do this for you:

  1. Award the celebrity to you as your quarry.
  2. Restrain any other auditor from bothering your game.
  3. Give you, tuition free, two weeks of special coaching at the Hubbard Professional College in Phoenix, (You would have to pay your transport and living costs.)
  4. Assist by mailings to the celebrity, your actions.

Here we have Project Celebrity. Much later, as part of the Third Dynamic action of Scientology, we will have other comm-lines to take over. Just now we have these. They are powerful lines.

These celebrities are well guarded, well barricaded, over-worked, aloof quarry. If you bring one of them home you will get a small plaque as your re­ward.

If you want one of these celebrities as your game, write us at once so the notable will be yours to hunt without interference.

– L. Ron Hubbard using the pen-name Tom Esterbrook;  Ability 2 Minor, February 15th, 1955

Note: other sources have misrepresented that scientologists were then somehow paid after they brought in a celebrity. As you can see, that’s false.

In Ability #3 (March 1955) there is another announcement about how the Celebrity Project is going – it states there won’t be any announcements of who is going after the quarry, or which celebrities have been requested, but indirectly points out that some have already been chosen and the hunters are wished “excellent hunting.”



In Ability #4 news section – (April 1955) they announced indirectly that two celebrity hunters had been through their special coaching on proper “hunting” techniques”. Remember – one of the perks for the would-be celebrity hunter was two weeks of special coaching at the “college” of scientology.

TWO PROJECT CELEBRITY AUDITORS have just checked through the Phoenix briefing…


So what we have here are:


The Hunters

The Hunters - Ability 2 Major (1955)


………………The “Game”…………….

Walter Winchell Gabriel Heatter Lowell Thomas
Edward R Murrow Arthur Godfrey Frank Edwards
Ed Sullivan George Gobel Joe Lewis
Marlene Dietrich Fulton J. Sheen Vincent Price
Robert Q. Lewis James Stewart Red Skelton
Orson Welles Howard Hughes Joshua Logan
Ernest Hemingway PhilipWylie Henry Luce
Danny Kaye Billy Graham Walter Lippman
Joseph Alsop Hedda Hopper Groucho Marx
Stewart Alsop Bob Hope Darryl Zanuck
Sid Caesar Artie Shaw Cecil B. DeMille
Louella Parsons Pablo Picasso Leopold Stokowski
Liberace Al Capp Arturo Toscanini
Walt Kelly Walt Disney Bing Crosby
Charles Laughton Milton Berle Edward G. Robinson
Gaylord Hauser Duncan Hines Greta Garbo
Eric Johnson Dorothy Kilgallen Robert C. Ruark
Fred Allen Gene Fowler Earle Stanley-Gardner
Harry Seeger Jimmy Hatlo Charles Addams
John Ford Gordon MacRae Robert Montgomery
Elliott W. Springs Jackie Gleason Donald O’Connor


That’s quite a list!

I guess that even now, not much has changed. So I think we can safely say – Celebrities beware!


You’re being hunted

paparazzi-hiding-bushes - scientology hunters celebrities


It’s a jungle out there and to the CIA-front scientologists – you’re still the game.


hunters hiding.


Virginia McClaughry


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