L Ron Hubbard was a bright man with a talent for 'sounding' educated. In reality, Hubbard was not well read in the academic subjects he pretended to have mastered. According to Hubbard's first wife Sara, Hubbard was a "cut and paste" scholar who plagiarized encyclopedias and abridged texts in order to pass himself off as a learned man.
Template:PTo impress audiences, Hubbard had a constant habit of making false references to philosophers and philosophy. Hubbard bragged that his ideas surpassed all the great thinkers, name-dropping individual philosophers to suggest he was deeply familiar with their work. Since most general audiences have little background in philosophy, it's probable Hubbard expected few would call his claims into question.
Template:PIt is significant that Mr. Hubbard never made references to original philosophical texts. Given Hubbard's flamboyant ego and penchant to impress audiences, it's hard to imagine him mastering original texts like Plato's "Phaedrus" and NOT referencing them directly.
Template:PWhatever knowledge Hubbard had of philosophy was gained by skimming popular books and encyclopedias, In fact Hubbard dedicated "Dianetics" to the historian Will Durant. Durant's popular "Story of Philosophy" likely being a favored source of Hubbard's plagiarism. Interestingly, Hubbard's references to philosophy only include 'thinkers' outlined in Durant's work and his indictments of philosophy rarely fall on anyone not included in Durant's books. Template:P File:LRHDurant.jpg Template:P Template:PIt also seems that Hubbard preferred to skim easier textbooks rather than read more in depth works.
Template:PAccording to one biographer, Hubbard:
Template:PHubbard's limited knowledge of philosophy and his method of co-opting the subject for personal aggrandizement is made clear in these examples from his 1950 lecture, Education and Dianetics.
Template:PIn it, Hubbard says:
Template:PThese two paragraphs reveal Hubbard's typical m.o. Setting up famous thinkers as a "straw men", Hubbard claims the superiority of his work, "Dianetics". Inevitably, Hubbard's factual references to Hume, Locke, and Kant are are incorrect and misleading.
Template:PImmanuel Kant never collaborated with Hume and Locke, attempting to "delineate the basic laws of philosophy." David Hume and John Locke were 'empiricists' distrustful of Kantian "metaphysical" approaches. This makes these three an unlikely trio. It's doubtful that anyone was ever "frightened" by these philosophers.
Template:PHubbard's lecture continues:
Template:PHubbard consistently indicts philosophy for failing to perfect society. He misrepresents philosophers, throughout history, as somehow holding the reigns of power. Using this conceit, Hubbard presents himself as the first philosopher to solve the world's problems.
Template:PIronically, in the period Hubbard cites, philosophy had a rather profound impact. In the 162 years comprising the 19th and early 20th century, changes in political structures, social organization, concepts of democracy, materialism, individual rights, and jurisprudence were fostered by such thinkers as: Jeremy Bentham, James Mill, J. S. Mill, Arthur Schopenhaur, S. Kierkegard, Frederiech Nietzsche, Auguste Comte, William James, Ludwig Wittgenstein, E. Durkheim and F. H. Bradley to name a few.
Template:PIt's notable that Mr. Hubbard's guiding principle for Scientology, "The Greatest Good For The Greatest Number of Dynamics" is plagiarized from Jeremy Bentham's "Utilitarian" catch-phrase "Greatest Good For The Greatest Number". Bentham and J.S. Mill's normative ethics had enormous influence on the laws and institutions of western society in this period that Hubbard denigrates.
Template:PKarl Marx and Charles Darwin also lived during the 162 years that Hubbard deems moribund. However, it's rather hard to picture Marx and Darwin as the 'stuck-in-the-mud - backwards' thinkers Hubbard portrays as:
Template:PNonetheless, Hubbard claims that the failed notions of these 162 years became a pivotal point and the "...reason Dianetics has suddenly come into this society..." Touting his own intellectual superiority Hubbard concludes Education and Dianetics by discrediting every thinker from the period:
Template:PIt would seem that for all those years, philosophic 'epistemology' was waiting for Mr. Hubbard to push aside Bentham, Marx, et. al. and (in Tom Cruise's words) "clean this place up"!
Template:PMr. Hubbard's lecture, Education and Dianetics typifies the manner in which Mr. Hubbard manipulates the subject of philosophy to elevate himself and the false claims of Scientology. Hubbard names a famous thinker and then fabricates a rhetoric to enlarge his own point.
Template:PMr. Hubbard's references to philosophy are rarely accurate and typically superficial. He demonstrates little grasp of academic subjects and for a man pushing a reputation for profound intellect, reveals startlingly little evidence to his reading habits. There are no footnotes in "Dianetics" or other books Hubbard wrote. In all the many Hubbard biographies, only a handful of academic texts are mentioned, Machiavelli's "The Prince", Alfred Korzybski's "General Semantics" and several essays by Sigmund Freud. Whatever he derived from these works, Hubbard's main sources were Durant's books and encyclopedias. Hubbard was not an academic.
Template:PHubbard's favorite reading material, which he devoured, were pulp fiction novels, the same genre he himself authored.
Template:PThe only subject Hubbard studied lifelong and closely, appears to be magic and the occult. 'On the lam' in the 1980's, Hubbard spent hours in the Library of Congress researching occult materials. Hubbard was also a lifelong follower of the Satanist, Aleister Crowley, reading and referencing Crowley's writings throughout his career.
Template:PAside from these works, the evidence suggests that Mr. Hubbard was not heavy reader, but rather a collator of encyclopedia articles and reference texts.
Template:PBiographer, John Atack said of Hubbard:
Template:PFormer accolyte, Bent Corydon wrote of Hubbard:
Template:PIn actuality, throughout most of his life, Hubbard had little time to read academic texts. He spent innumerable hours writing pulp fiction, as well as the voluminous tracts and policy letters pertinent to Scientology. Hubbard was a driven entrepreneur, traveling, giving lectures, and promoting his money making ventures. He was a 'hands on' manager of his enterprises, disinclined to delegate much authority to others. These activities, along with Hubbard's lifelong drug abuse, militate against any likelihood that he devoted much time to study.
Template:PHubbard was a promoter. A man with abundant energy, a vivid imagination, and a relentless drive to succeed. Hubbard was not a scholar and not even especially well read. Caroline Lettke wrote that Hubbard 'cobbled up' whatever ideas he found, probably the best summation of this "intellectual".