L. Ron Hubbard New York City, circa 1939
L. Ron Hubbard dedicated his life to helping others lead better lives. What followed were workable solutions that span the entire breadth of our culture.
There are only two tests of a life well-lived, L. Ron Hubbard once remarked. Did one do as one intended? And were people glad one lived? In testament to the first stands the full body of his life’s work, more than 160 million words of both fiction and non-fiction in circulation today, including the more than 5,000 writings and 3,000 tape-recorded lectures of Dianetics and Scientology. In evidence of the second are the tens of millions of individuals whose lives have been demonstrably bettered because he lived.
They are the more than 3 million children now reading because of L. Ron Hubbard’s educational discoveries; they are the thousands of men and women freed from substance abuse through L. Ron Hubbard’s breakthroughs in drug rehabilitation; they are the millions who have been touched by his nonreligious moral code; and they are the many millions more who hold his work to be the spiritual cornerstone of their lives.
“I have gone through the world studying
man in order to understand him and he, not my adventures in doing so, is the important thing.” — L. Ron Hubbard
Although best known for Dianetics and Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard cannot be so simply categorized. If nothing else, his life was too varied, his influence too broad. There are Bantu tribesmen in Southern Africa, for example, who know nothing of Dianetics and Scientology, but they know L. Ron Hubbard the educator. Likewise, there are factory workers in Albania who know him only for his administrative discoveries, children in China who know him only as the author of their moral code, and readers in a dozen languages who know him only for his novels. So, no, L. Ron Hubbard is not an easy man to categorize and certainly does not fit popular misconceptions of “religious founder” as an aloof and contemplative figure. Yet the more one comes to know this man and his achievements, the more one comes to realize he was precisely the sort of person to have brought us Scientology — the only major religion to have been founded in the 20th century.