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Witness: Hubbard used black magic

Title: Witness: Hubbard used black magic
Date: Wednesday, 16 May 1984
Publisher: Clearwater Sun (Florida)
Author: George-Wayne Shelor
Main source: link (134 KiB)

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LOS ANGELES—Bigamy and black magic were a part of the life of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, according to documents introduced Tuesday as exhibits in Superior Court.

And according to a former high-ranking Scientologist, Hubbard wrote a series of "Admissions" in which he acknowledged to himself bis systematic manipulation of the U.S. Navy and the Veterans Administration to increase his disability pension.

Basing his testimony on 11 years of firsthand knowledge and thousands of documents under court seal, Gerald Armstrong said the handwritten papers prove the 73-year-old founder of the worldwide Church of Scientology "has lied from his earliest youth."

If the court documents are true and authentic records of Hubbard's past, they apparently indicate a dark and decadent side of a man revered by six million devotees worldwide as an author, scientist and religious leader.

Armstrong is the subject of a sect suit charging him with taking 10,000 papers, recordings and pictures when he fled his position as Hubbard's personal archivist in December 1981. The Scientologists, and Hubbard's wife, Mary Sue, claim ownership of the contested material and are demanding the return of the documents—unsealed—and unspecified damages.

Armstrong's attorney, Michael Flynn, was discussing the papers under seal when he made mention of the documents called "Admissions," bringing sect attorney Barrett Litt to his feet. Litt was adamant in his argument that those particular documents not be discussed in open court. He said the papers, reportedly in Hubbard's own hand, have not been authenticated and are protected from introduction by the California evidence code.

Nonetheless, Superior Court Judge Paul G. Breckenridge allowed Flynn to proceed, stipulating that he restrict his inquiry to certain areas of the "Admissions" described on a list of sealed documents as:

* Hubbard handwriting RE: Feigning injuries and illness.

* Hubbard handwriting admissions RE: Control over all mankind and naval records.

* Hubbard handwriting RE: Psychoses.

* Hubbard handwriting admissions RE: Hubbard's control over others.

The information in those candid, introspective papers, Armstrong , testified, "shocked me. And I knew at that point (Hubbard) was opportunistic and had lied with impunity."

Armstrong also said the documents indicate an "unbalanced state of mind" from Hubbard's use of opium and, added Flynn, sulfa-thiazole.

Although not allowed to go into any great detail, Flynn and Armstrong discussed a number of documents allegedly indicating that in the 1940s Hubbard was married to two women at the same time, denied paternity of his daughter, experimented with drugs and dabbled in black magic.

Armstrong said Hubbard had claimed he once worked for U.S. Naval Intelligence and, in the line, of duty, infiltrated a black magic group to rescue a young woman.

Holding papers called "The Blood Ritual," Armstrong said it is "a magical rite which Mr. Hubbard has written and invokes the powers of various Egyptian gods."

"I found that Mr. Hubbard was not connected with Naval Intelligence (and) was part of the black magic group," Armstrong said. That revelation shocked him, said Armstrong, formerly one of Hubbard's most trusted lieutenants.

But attorney Litt, again arguing the documents not be discussed in open court, said: "These particular documents do not lend themselves ... for one to conclude ... that the statements are statements of fact.

"They are (being interpreted by Armstrong) completely out of context."

Breckenridge agreed in part, saying Hubbard's writlngs "made be totally allegorical" or even evidence of "deficiencies" Hubbard saw within himself.

Breckenridge would not allow Flynn to talk in any context about alleged references to Hubbard's use of opium. But the judge himself acknowledged "the reference is here" as he read from a document often referred to as "the most sensitive" of those under seal.

After the 37-year-old Armstrong's testimony Tuesday, Scientology spokesman Sandy Block compared him with presidential assassin John W. Hinckley Jr.

"(Armstrong) is the John W. Hinckley Jr. of character assassination," Block said. "He's trying to make a big name for himself by attacking a famous man."

The trial, now entering its third week, continues today with the completion of Armstrong's testimony. Scientology lawyers said they expect the cross-examination of Armstrong will take 10 days.