bunav_november_5_hubbard_war_history

A little back history first –

1940 – 21 June – British Prime Minister Winston Churchill sent William Samuel Stephenson to the United States to covertly establish and run British Security Coordination (BSC) in New York City, over a year before U.S. entry into World War II. His initial purpose was to try and get America to fight this war for them.

Later this was expanded to include “the assurance of American participation in secret activities throughout the world in the closest possible collaboration with the British“.

1940 – 22 July – British intelligence umbrella organization called the Special Operations Executive (SOE) was formed. The BSC fell under that now.

1940 The Foreign Espionage function of the ONI (formed 1939) was transferred to the new ONI Foreign Intelligence Branch (code: OP-16-F-9).

The purpose of the Foreign Branch of the ONI was:

  • to collect and process information and to disseminate the intelligence derived there from, in order to keep responsible naval authorities informed of the war potentials and intentions of foreign nations and of the characteristics of actual or potential theatres of operations
  • to coordinate intelligence activities on foreign posts
  • to support the Naval Attaches and other Naval Intelligence personnel on foreign posts.1

1941 January – William Vincent Astor (ROOM secret society) is in charge of ONI intelligence in the Third Naval District in New York when the new ONI F-9 Special Intelligence division gets formed, the purpose of which was to recruit, train, and administer secret agents. Commander John L. Riheldaffer, was a retired naval officer called to active duty to head this new unit.

1941 February 3 – Riheldaffer writes a landmark document detailing “what is special intelligence” basically. (“special” means secret).

This is later used on March 11, 1942 by ROOM secret society member David K.E. Bruce (then head of Special Intelligence COI, the forerunner to the OSS) and British espionage man Wallace B. Phillips to write a “how to do intelligence” memo. This document by Phillips would form one of the backbone training documents of the soon-to-be-formed OSS Special Intelligence division. To see scans of this declassified CIA document click on these images to enlarge.

phillips11march1942aphillips11march1942bphillips11march1942cphillips11march1942dphillips11march1942e

Riheldaffer’s point 1 –

The Special Intelligence Section of O.N.I. (F-9) was conceived and set up with the mission of organizing and operating an overseas espionage system.

Point 6 –

“In order to develop an organization capable of carrying through the mission assigned F-9 to a successful conclusion…

Riheldaffer makes clear that the actual status of not only the agents, but this Special Intelligence section itself should be secret to the point of disavowing any connection between the agent and this espionage agency.

Riheldaffer’s point 4 –

The most basic principle on which such an organization must operate is SECRECY and this fact must be recognized if results are to be expected.

Riheldaffer’s point 5 –

The F-9 Desk in O.N.I. must become….a complete organization entirely divorced from all visible contact with the government. Furthermore, the government, and especially the Navy Department, should be able to deny all affiliation with the outside organization or such part of it as may not be open and above board.

1941 July 11 – The British SOE’s new choice to head ALL American foreign intelligence, William Donovan, was made the head of the Office of the Coordinator of Information (COI, subsequently OSS, Office of Strategic Services) -the first national intelligence apparatus in U.S. history with an overarching mandate to coordinate all branches of intelligence gathering overseas.

Donovan promised Franklin Roosevelt an international secret service staffed by young officers who were “calculatingly reckless” with “disciplined daring” and “trained for aggressive action.”

Most of the activities initiated by Riheldaffer in ONI’s Special Intelligence Section were transferred to the new COI. The transfer process began immediately and carried on well into the Fall of 1941.

Immediately thereafter a Liaison with COI was established initially under the Administrative Branch of ONI, and Cdr. Richard E. Webb was appointed as administrative liaison officer.

Not very long afterwards, LCdr. John L. Riheldaffer, USN (Ret.), replaced LCdr. Chandler in October when the liaison with OCI positon was placed under the Special Intelligence Branch (OP-16-F9  which Riheldaffer headed) where it remained throughout the war.1

  • Other References:
    • Administrative History of the Office of Naval Intelligence in World War II, Part VII: Special Activities (Z Branch), Operational Archives, Naval Historical Center, 849-52
    • Ethics of Spying: A Reader for the Intelligence Professional, Volume 2,  edited by Jan Goldman

To illustrate just how tight the ONI Foreign intelligence (espionage) division and the new COI were – look at the heading of this document from the Ethics of Spying book mentioned above. It’s showing Riheldaffers work!

Here’s where things get interesting –

Hubbard had joined that very section just a few days before the COI was formed, and the ONI Special Intelligence functions and personnel began being moved under the COI.

We can now document that Hubbard had been specifically recommended for Foreign Intelligence (that’s the special division) by Lucius Dunn on June 4, 1941.

lucius_dunn_re_hubbard_foreign_intelligence_june_4_1941

Full page document (click to enlarge)

lucius-dunn-recommends-hubbard-for-foreign-intelligence-june-4-1941

And…

A document from L. Ron Hubbard’s Navy records confirms that Hubbard is indeed being assigned to Special Service Intelligence duties on July 5, 1941.

Full doc – click to enlarge.

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A Century of Naval Intelligence documents for us that –

At the outbreak of World War II, the Special Intelligence Section (OP-16-F-9) comprised one retired officer, two Naval Reserve officers, two enlisted sailors, and one Naval Reserve officer undergoing training in London.1

It just so happens that it appears that we can now document that L. Ron Hubbard, a Naval Reserve Officer assigned to special intelligence, was actually out of the country when he was doing a special (aka secret) intelligence course.

On September 30th, 1941, Hubbard had been nominated to take the Special Intelligence course and was to report to Special Intelligence, Third Naval District, New York starting October 21.

Here is the highlighted record from the SECNAV/CNO office files – obtained courtesy of Margaret Lake’s research into Hubbard’s War History. The full image is from here originally (click to enlarge)

SecOfNavy record-Hubbard intelligence course

Hubbard_navy_intel_course_sec_navy_record(Source: “Name and Subject Index to the General Correspondence to the Secretary of the Navy, 1930-1942 (also includes Office of Chief of Naval Operations”, Microfilm Publication M1067, National Archives.)

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We now have clear proof that several versions of Hubbard’s ‘official’ Naval Records have been altered.

This course that he definitely did take has been hidden under “inactive duty” in several subsequent altered versions of Hubbard’s supposed war history – like the couple of them that I document in this post.

Here’s an example from my post –

Don’t see that course listed, do you…the whole period of time he was on it has been vanished from the record.

That is exactly as per the seminal document for the OP-16-F-9 secret intelligence division that Hubbard was in –

Riheldaffer’s point 4 –

The most basic principle on which such an organization must operate is SECRECY and this fact must be recognized if results are to be expected.

Riheldaffer’s point 5 –

The F-9 Desk in O.N.I. must become….a complete organization entirely divorced from all visible contact with the government. Furthermore, the government, and especially the Navy Department, should be able to deny all affiliation with the outside organization or such part of it as may not be open and above board.

It gets even more interesting, but first, note that by October 15, six days before Hubbard was to start his secret intelligence course, the ONI special intelligence division (OP-16-F-9) that Hubbard was with had now been fully shifted under Donovan’s COI, which was actually overseen by William Stephenson of the BSC and Tony Keswick of the British SOE.

The following document proves that Hubbard was out of the country when he was taking this course.

Specifically point 2: “Upon your return to the continental limits of the United States…

hubbard out of the US

This letter written to Hubbard is dated 5 November, 1941. It is responding to Hubbard’s letter of 31 October, 1941.

Both Hubbard’s letter and the response are within the October 21-November 11 time frame of this special intelligence course he took.

Ergo – he was out of the country doing this special intelligence training when he wrote that 31 October letter this document is answering.

And…

We have this document proving he knew he was going to be not residing ‘in country’ – because the day before his training was to start he changed his address of record to the Explorer’s Club of New York – October 20, 1941.

day_before_intelligence_course_starts_hubbard_changes_address_to_explorers_club_october_20_1941

Full document (click to enlarge)

hubbard-to-chief-of-bu-nav-changing-address-to-new-york-october-20-1941

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Now look at this again –

At the outbreak of World War II, the Special Intelligence Section (OP-16-F-9) comprised one retired officer, two Naval Reserve officers, two enlisted sailors, and one Naval Reserve officer undergoing training in London.1

There is only one place that I know of where L. Ron Hubbard apparently talks about having been to London prior to the end of WWII. This happened just after the war ended when he was assigned on another intelligence mission to monitor Jack Parsons and others in Pasadena. While there, Janet Reitman documented Hubbard had talked about that “while in England…had his skull measured by scientists at the British Museum.

Because a couple of documents slipped through the cracks,  we now know that Hubbard was out of the country doing a special intelligence course that has been erased from his record in many versions of his war history.

Ergo many, many people have been lied to about his background and not one journalist or historian or author has ever bothered to even consider that fact before Margaret Lake unearthed these documents, and not one has done so even now that she has unearthed them!

And since we also know that the ONI special intelligence unit that L. Ron Hubbard was in – was transferred under the COI (which in turn deferred to the Brits in London at the SOE to ‘train’ agents initially) ….Well.

I’d say it is getting increasingly difficult to deny that L. Ron Hubbard may just have been that “one Naval Reserve officer undergoing training in London“.

And no, I don’t think that makes him a hero.

Quite the contrary.

* * *

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References –

1 – A Century of U.S. Naval Intelligence

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All that Spy Stuff, Historical Research

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