LRH Stories

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LRH Stories
Author Antony Phillips
Type of Article Category:Blog

LRH Storie, a 3½ hour DVD, see (broken link - to LRH Stories on DVD - try Ebay), is a very exciting thing to get hold of, but why have we waited so long for it?

The items were recorded between 1997 and 2000, but not released until near the end of 2014. Why wait so long?

The opening item, by Arte Maren explains that there was an association known as Old Timers Network (OTN) which was under the auspices of the Church of Scientology and was "in close communication with senior management and in fact ASHO sponsored the 2nd annual old timers reunion", and "we push power" to them. My suspicion is that with their open goal of making data on LRH known and their method of doing it they ran foul of church management, and 2000 was the last official meeting.

Therefore you had a small bunch of people, appreciative of LRH, with data which they believed all should have, but in the "bad books" of the regime.

I have had recent knowledge of how enturbulated things can get, for in February of 2014, a very old contact of mine, Rhona Swinburn (who became Rhona Smit) contacted me. She had been in Scientology since 1957 (when I was in contact with her) and had remained in until a few years ago, when one of her two daughters drew her attention to many outnesses in the organisation. Up to that time, because of her associations with L Ron Hubbard, she had been treated very well by the "Church" and brought forth at events as a show piece (which she disliked!). She was probably treated like celebrities and high paying clients are, so they don't believe the stories of the bad side of Scientology.

It is a very sad story with Rhona, for although (about) 80 years old she seemed in good health. However her other daughter was staunchly in the "Church" – and Rhona was dependent on both daughters. The daughter in the Church took her on a plane trip from Johannesburg to Cape Town, which was going to be the last time that daughter spoke to Rhona, and Rhona died on the plane. You can read on her, a biography the daughter out of the church has devised, just look at [[1]] . I had great expectations of working with Rhona to get more of Scientology's history recorded. My impression, having since been in comm with the daughter who had left the "Church" was of a very cynical organization, which was very difficult to leave.

My guess is that the members of the Old Timer's Network, faced with lack of co-operation (and cynicism) from the Church, but still "bound" by the idea of "never withdraw allegiance once granted" and "never dessert a group to which you owe your support" (both quoted from the Scientology Code of Honour), had great difficulty over many years in coming to an agreement about publishing this marvellous set of accounts of Ron Hubbard.

No doubt at some time the facts will come to light on the history of these DVDs, and my theories are of little importance compared to the value of what has come to light her, but I raise them here because I just had an email from a friend about the LRH Stories, asking:

When ordering them, we had the impression that it was a bunch of oldies from the free zone that had made the videos. But while listening, it became quickly quite obvious, that the people talking were still in the church.

So in case you have similar curiosity that was my view, and this being a blog, you can add yours.

My friend also added (in an email):

And one gets the feeling that the audience has been instructed to act enthusiastically. So even though the stories are certainly true, the whole thing sounds a bit phoney ... like a promotion piece in disguise.

I had also thought of that, but I think that what you see here is what I (an elderly person) call the "Elvis Presley effect" - the moment a "star" appears on the stage or is mentioned the members of the audience swoon, scream and generally behave rather over enthusiasticly. It rather irritates me, and I get a bit impatient waiting while the unnecessary cheering dies down and we get on to something important. But it is certainly not necessary to instruct the audience! I doubt whether the audience was instructed to act enthusiastically. Their behaviour, unfortunately, is normal when a great person appears or is named. There were negative things about Ron in his daily life, but you are hardly likely to hear of them in front of such an audience. In fact you would be unlikely to hear of them in a private but recorded interview, unless the circumstances and interviewer are something special. You could get it in a privately written set of reminiscences of Ron, and indeed I can point you to such a written record of Ron in the early 60's at Saint Hill. Go to and scroll down to page 13, the article by Ken Urquhart, which shows blemishes in Ron, as you find in most (all?) humans. Ken, when he gave a talk directly to a conference, read verbatim from his notes. Can you imagine how his reading of that little article to a conference of "Elvis Presley effect" Scientologists would have? I guess it would fall a bit flat :-)

But the important point is the material on the DVD (actually, for a limited period, there are two DVDs) is "hot stuff". I've been "snooping around" for some years now (well, 60 yrs!) and this filled in some of the gaps, both early days (1950, and even before) in much later (marvelous bit by a Ron's messenger that worked for Ron from 78 to 82 – that was revealing compared to some data I have received).

I include here below some of the points I got out of it, and this being a blog, you are invited to contribute with your questions and comments:

  1. Data on the typewriters he used from 1939.
  2. Data on the goings on in 1950, including before the issue of DMSMH
  3. That Ron stopped smoking, made daily "to do" lists, studied early black and white films, did regular physical activity (various sorts).

There was a lot more.

But the door is open, this is a blog and is open for your comments, theories and any surprises you got.

Antony A Phillips 10:54, January 5, 2015 (MST)

Postscript. I have realised that Ken Urquhart did give a talk about LRH which included not positive remarks. There is a link to it at the bottom of . You need to switch off that silly man talking there. Antony A Phillips 03:01, January 6, 2015 (MST)

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