L. Ron Hubbard/Return to US

French indictment and flight to New York


In December 1972, Hubbard learned that Church of Scientology was to be indicted in France for the crime of Fraud. There was the possibility that Hubbard could be extradited from Morocco to France. Hubbard ordered the crew to flee via ferry to Lisbon, while he flew to Lisbon directly.[1] Accompanied by his bodyguard Paul Preston, Hubbard flew to New York; The pair was 'shadowed' by Jim Dincalci who was to report any trouble immediately to fellow Scientologists elsewhere. Carrying $100,000 in case, Hubbard had booked passage from Lisbon to Chicago via New York. To avoid detection, Hubbard and his party stopped at New York rather than travelling onward to Chicago. [2]

Arriving in New York, Hubbard's briefcase full of cash was inspected and he was required to explain its origin to Customs. [2] After a stint in a Manhattan hotel, Hubbard and company relocated to 'The Executive', a 15-story apartment building in Queens. Just before Christmas 1972, Hubbard was informed by Jim Dincalci that he was "in the clear", as the U.S. did not extradite its own citizens. The Guardian's Office, however, cautioned Hubbard against revealing his location and identity. [2]

Return to ship


In September 1973, Hubbard was informed that it was safe for him to return to the ship, and he traveled with Paul Preston to Lisbon.[2] Once back aboard the Apollo, the ship traveled along the Iberian peninsula before heading to the Canary Island port of Tenerife. On Tenerife, Hubbard was riding his motorcycle when it skidded on gravel and he lost control of the vehicle. Injured by the accident, he agreed to be seen by a local doctor and was prescribed painkillers.[2]

Several of Hubbard's Messengers would later recall the motorcycle accident as a turning point in Hubbard's mood. Jill Goodman reported "Before the motor-cycle accident he was a very nice, friendly person ... Afterwards, he was a complete pain in the ass." [2] During this time, Hubbard created the Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF), a sort of penal system, where participants were required to be segregated from the rest of the crew, wear black boiler suits, eat the scraps left from the Crew's meal, and be subject to harsh discipline.

On May 28, 1974, Hubbard applied to the Navy Department for the war medals he had falsely claimed to have been awarded. Biographer Russell Miller cites this event as evidence that "perhaps indicated that he was losing his facility to distinguish, even in his own mind, between fact and fiction".[2]

Quentin Suicide Attempt


In Summer 1974, Hubbard organized the "Apollo Stars", a band made up of volunteers from the ship's crew. His son Quentin enjoyed dancing with the troupe so much that his father forbade him to perform. While the ship was docked at Funchal, Quentin attempted suicide by swallowing pills. Hubbard induced vomiting and then assigned Quentin to the RPF.[2] On October 9, 1974, while docked in Funchal, a crowd assembled around the Apollo and began chanting "C-I-A" at the crew. Stones and bottles were thrown, and the crowd threw the two of the ship's cars into the harbor. [2] The following day, the Apollo left port and headed to St. George, Bermuda. Hubbard planned to enter the US at Charleston, but was warned that FBI would might arrest him if he entered Charleston.



In Spring 1975, while the ship was docked at St. Vincent, the crew was visited by Harry Ross Hubbard, L. Ron's 88-year-old father. The crew was instructed to conceal all evidence of Scientology from Hubbard's father.

While staying in Trinidad, a tabloid newspaper published speculation that The Apollo was linked to the CIA and potentially tied to the Sharon Tate Murders. [2]

In Mid-1975, Hubbard suffered a minor stroke while docked in Curaçao. He spent two days in intensive care and another three weeks in the hospital.

In August 1975, Scientologist Frankie Freedman rented a run-down motel (The Neptune) in Daytona Beach for the three months for the sum of $50,000. [3] Hubbard and his wife [4] flew to Daytona Beach, where Jim DinCalci had arranged adjacent suites at a hotel near The Neptune. Meanwhile, Sea Org members began to enter the US via multiple points in order to not arouse suspicious, with their shared ultimate destination being The Neptune in Daytona Beach. In October 1975, Scientology front-organization Southern Land Sales purchase the Fort Harrison Hotel, an 11-story landmark in Clearwater Florida; The organization paid $2.3 million dollars, in cash. Days later, the same organization paid $550,000 in cash for the old Bank of Clearwater building, and on December 5, 1975, Hubbard, wife, and entourage moved into a condominium called King Arthur's Court in Dunedin Florida, a mere five miles away from Clearwater.[3]

On January 28, 1976, Scientologist Arthur J. Maren held a news conference announcing that Fort Harrison Hotel and Bank of Clearwater buildings had been purchased by the Church of Scientology.[3] On February 6, the Church filed suit against Gabriel Cazares, the mayor of Clearwater.[3]

Hubbard sought out a tailor who was a science-fiction fan. Hubbard revealed his identity to the tailor, who spoke openly about the encounter, resulting in a reporter's visit to Hubbard's "secret" location at King Arthur's Court. Accompanied by Kima and Mike Douglas, Hubbard fled to the safety of an Orlando hotel. [3]

Once in Orlando, Hubbard instructed Mike Douglas to purchase a new car, providing him with $5000. Hubbard, accompanied by the Douglases , set out for New York. When reaching New Jersey, there was a change of plans and the car turned south towards Washington D.C. Kima rented a home in Washington for $1300 per month. [3]

Snow White Arrests and flight to Los Angeles


On June 11 , 1976, two operatives of the Guardian's Office (Church of Scientology "spy" wing) were discovered by the FBI in the US Courthouse Library. The two, Michael Meisner and Gerald "Silver" Wolfe, presented false identification to the FBI and were permitted to leave. Upon being informed of these events, Hubbard decided to flee - traveling by plane from D.C. to L.A., again accompanied by Kima Douglas. [3]

In Los Angeles, Scientologist Gerry Armstrong had rented four apartments for Hubbard and his entourage. Scientology operative Gerald Wolfe was arrested, while his partner Michael Meisner went into in a Scientology organization in Los Angeles. [3]

Next, Hubbard (via agents) purchased Olive Tree Ranch in La Quinta, California for $1.3 million. After ordering renovations, Hubbard took up residence at the La Quinta ranch in early October 1976. [3]

Death of Quentin Hubbard


On October 28, 1976, Quentin Hubbard was found unconscious a running car with a vacuum cleaner tube leading from the tail pipe to the passenger's window. When Las Vegas Police discovered him, the tube had fallen out of the tail pipe and he was alive but unconscious. He was admitted to the hospital as a 'John Doe' and never regained consciousness. He died on November 12. [3]

On November 15, the Los Vegas Coroner's Office traced the vehicle to Quentin Hubbard of Clearwater, Florida, and the Clearwater police were contacted. A senior Guardian's Office agent traveled to Los Vegas to view the body. Although he told the medical examiner that he could not be sure, he reported to his Guardian's Office superiors that the body was indeed that of Quentin Hubbard. [3]

Kima Douglas and Doreen Smith observed the Hubbards' response to the news of Quentin's death. Mary Sue reportedly sobbed, while Hubbard himself was furious and reportedly screamed "That stupid fucking kid, Look what he's done to me!". [3]

On November 18, Scientologist Arthur Maren arrived at the coroner's office and positively identified the body. Maren ultimately persuaded the coroner to say the cause of death was "undetermined" in a press release. On November 22, Mary Rezzonico presented herself with an authorization from the Hubbards for the release of Quentin's body, which was cremated the following day. [3]

La Quinta


In early 1977, Hubbard worked on the Purification Rundown, a regime to 'purge the body of toxins'. Hubbard ordered that "unlimited funds" should be used in order to secure him a Nobel Prize for his work on the Purification Rundown.

Michael Meisner, wanted by authorities for his role in SnowWhite, had been in hiding for eight months. Unhappy with the situation, Meisner threatened to leave ("blow"), at which point he was placed under guard. On June 20, 1977, Meisner escaped Scientology custody and telephoned the FBI to give himself up. [5]

On July 8, the FBI staged a raid of Church of Scientology offices in Los Angeles and Washington D.C. [5] On July 15, Hubbard fled Olive Tree Ranch in La Quinta, leaving in the middle of the night in a car with its lights off, in the company of three Messengers: Pat Broeker, Diane Reisdorf, Claire Rousseau. They ultimately settled in Sparks, Nevada. Hubbard cut off all direct communication with the Guardian's Office and his family, relying exclusively on the messengers for communication.[5] While in hiding in Sparks, Hubbard began working on film ideas, such as "Revolt in the Stars", a film version of Hubbard's Xenu material.

The last week of 1977, Hubbard learned he was unlikely to be indicted, and on January 2, 1978, Hubbard returned to Olive Tree Ranch in La Quinta; Mary Sue, presumably still under FBI scrutiny, was required to leave the ranch, and move to Los Angeles. Back in La Quinta, Hubbard organized the "Cine Org", a film-making unit and workers constructed a studio out of a barn.[5]

Scientology agent Ed Walters contacted the FBI, prompting Hubbard to flee yet again.[5] As before, Hubbard was accompanied by Mike and Kima Douglas, leaving after dark. Hubbard next resettled in Hemet, California. [5]

On October 8, 1979, the Snow White defendants reached a plea bargain, each agreeing to plead guilty to one count. On October 26, Mary Sue Hubbard was sentenced to five years in prison.[5] On November 23, an appellant court lifted the seal on the case, allowing journalists to view Snow White documents.[5]

Hubbard's two most-trusted aides, Mike and Kima Douglas, defected from the organization; this contributed to Hubbard's paranoia. [5]

  1. https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Library/Shelf/miller/bfm18.htm
  2. a b c d e f g h i j https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Library/Shelf/miller/bfm19.htm
  3. a b c d e f g h i j k l m https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Library/Shelf/miller/bfm20.htm
  4. also Kima Douglas
  5. a b c d e f g h i https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Library/Shelf/miller/bfm21.htm