Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Jaime-Lynn Spears Baby

On December 18, 2007, it was announced that an article in OK! Magazine, to be released on December 19, 2007, that Jamie-Lynn is 12 weeks pregnant. She and her mother spoke to the magazine in an exclusive interview. Nickelodeon, the network that carries Spears' series Zoey 101, issued the following statement shortly after the announcement:

"We respect Jamie-Lynn's decision to take responsibility in this sensitive and personal situation. We know this is a very difficult time for her and her family, and our primary concern right now is for Jamie Lynn's well being".

The father is Casey Aldridge, whom she met through church,though Spears stated shortly before Thanksgiving that she had no steady boyfriend.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

High Tea (Not as Distinguished as Americans Think)

High Tea at the Istanbul Kampinski Hotel
High Tea at the Istanbul Kampinski Hotel

The term high tea is sometimes used in the United States to refer to afternoon tea or the tea party, a very formal, ritualized gathering in which tea, thin sandwiches and little cakes are served on the best china. This usage comes from misunderstanding the term high to mean formal. This form of tea is increasingly served in high-end U.S. hotels, often during the Christmas holidays and other tourist seasons, and a rising number of big-city teahouses.

High Tea (also known as Meat Tea) is actually an early evening meal, typically eaten between 5 and 6 o'clock in the evening. It would be eaten as a substitute for both afternoon tea and the evening meal. The term comes from the meal being eaten at the ‘high’ (main) table, instead of the smaller lounge table. It is now largely replaced by a later evening meal.

It would usually consist of cold meats, eggs and/or fish, cakes and sandwiches. In a family, it tends to be less formal and is an informal snack (featuring sandwiches, biscuits, pastry, fruit and the like) or else it is the main evening meal.

On farms or other working class environments, high tea would be the traditional, substantial meal eaten by the workers immediately after nightfall, and would combine afternoon tea with the main evening meal.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Wall Street (Yahoo Finance) Wonder Kid

Jonathan Lebed (born September 29, 1984) is an American who, between September 1999 and February 2000, made hundreds of thousands of dollars by posting in internet chat rooms and on message boards encouraging people to buy penny stocks he already owned, thus, according to the SEC, artificially raising the price of the stock.

This is an extremely interesting concept to me. It seem like the situation is half pyramid scheme half legitimate. The reason it seems legitimate is that most of the reason people go into these penny stocks is to day trade or to gamble on the fluctuations. For Lebed to make money other people need to take his advice. So to a certain extent he was making people money besides him self and that is how he made a reputation that could be trusted. Plus even if they don't make money they where gambling in the first place.

Though on the other hand this seem like it had to be a pyramid scheme to begin with there are always going to be losers. The people that buy in early make money off the people buying in latter, which makes the scheme no longer a bet but scam.

The SEC under Arthur Levitt prosecuted him. In 2001 Lebed and the SEC negotiated an out-of-court settlement in which Lebed forfeited $285,000 in profit and interest he had made on 11 trades without admitting any wrongdoing — allowing him to keep close to half a million dollars. Another fascinating thing about all of this is the fact that Lebed made over $750k in 5 months.
The case was controversial — the SEC had never prosecuted a minor — and produced significant media interest. Lebed contended that his activity forecasting stock prices was no different from and no more illegal than what professional Wall Street analysts do every day, only he utilized the internet. Despite the negative press and SEC inquiry, Lebed continues to trade actively. He also sells his trading advice through a newsletter.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Euphemism / Dysphemism Treadmill

Euphemisms often evolve over time into taboo words themselves, through a process described by W.V.O. Quine, and more recently dubbed "the euphemism treadmill" by Steven Pinker. This is the well-known linguistic process known as pejoration. When I had first heard of the concept I thought that it was a result peoples tendency to be offended by labels. I had heard of the Euphemism Treadmill occurring with the word Black being a euphemism for Colored which was originally a euphemism for Negro and so on.

But after seeing how there is an opposite trend, words that are purposefully offensive to becoming more mainstream( the Dysphemism Treadmill), my thoughts have changed. Our culture wants to use the offensive term so when a euphemism is created it is co-opted because it is simply the new negative term. If some grew up using Colored as an insult for Black or "African American" people then when the term black or "African American" is introduced you put it on as a mask to the word Colored. And you will use the euphemism to seem polite but in reality it has the same connotations as the original word. In some cases, the euphemism may be used mockingly and become dysphemisms.

And a word goes from being a dysphemism to being a more neutral word because we want to be able to use the negative or scandalous word. Then in order to seem polite we deny the words real meaning.Then as time goes on people learn the word with out its real meaning.

And example of the euphemism treadmill is that idiot, imbecile, and moron were once neutral terms for a person of toddler, preschool, and primary school mental ages, respectively. The word mentally retarded was pressed into service to replace Idiot, imbecile, and moron because negative connotations tend to crowd out neutral ones. Now that too is considered rude, used commonly as an insult. As a result, new terms like developmentally disabled, mentally challenged and special have replaced retarded. .

In these cases, notions of profanity, obscenity and other words once called “offensive” are later described as “objectionable,” then “questionable,” and in some cases, they reach near or outright acceptability. One modern example is the word "sucks". "That sucks" began as American slang for "that is very unpleasant", and is shorthand for "that sucks cock", referring to fellatio; along with the exactly synonymous phrase "that blows", it developed over the late-20th century from being an extremely vulgar phrase to near-acceptability. Likewise, scumbag, which was originally a reference to a used condom, now is a fairly mild epithet.

The same may be said of the use of “screw,” often used as a dysphemism for sexual intercourse, is now in not such usages as “to screw up” (to make a major mistake).

Sometimes a term will go from being a euphemism to being a dysphemism and then go back to being a euphemism. “Queer” and “gay,” for example, both started as euphemisms for “homosexual,” and then got on the euphemism treadmill and became insults—but are now the preferred adjectives amongst the gay community themselves. Though This is often the result of intentional reappropriation campaigns.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or Treating & The Posioned Candy Scare

Trick or treating has a awkward place in my heart. As a young child I didn't get to go Trick or Treating because of the poisoned candy scare and because it being linked to the ancient evils of sorcery and Catholicism. So when I read that it is a strongly American tradition it gave me greater resolve that I will force my kids Trick-or-Treat from the time they can walk until they are in High School.

Trick-or-treating may have developed in America independent of any antecedent. Though some people claim that it is derived from the Irish or British custom of "Souling" where poor folk would go door to door, receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day (All Hallows Day). There is no evidence that souling, was ever performed in America.

There is little primary documentation of masking or costuming on Halloween — in Ireland, the UK, or America — before 1900. The earliest reference to ritual begging on Halloween in English speaking America occurs in 1915, with another isolated reference in Chicago in 1920. The thousands of Halloween postcards produced between the turn of the 20th century and the 1920s commonly show children but do not depict trick-or-treating. Ruth Edna Kelley, in her 1919 history of the holiday, The Book of Hallowe'en, makes no mention of such a custom in the chapter "Hallowe'en in America."

It does not seem to have become a widespread practice until the 1930s, with the earliest known uses in print of the term "trick or treat" appearing in 1934, and the first use in a national publication occurring in 1939. Thus, although a quarter million Scots-Irish immigrated to America between 1717 and 1770, the Irish Potato Famine brought almost a million immigrants in 1845–1849, and British and Irish immigration to America peaked in the 1880s, ritualized begging on Halloween was virtually unknown in America until generations later.

Trick-or-treating spread from the western United States eastward, stalled by sugar rationing that began in April 1942 during World War II and did not end until June 1947.[14]

Early national attention to trick-or-treating was given in October 1947 issues of the children's magazines Jack and Jill and Children's Activities, and by Halloween episodes of the network radio programs The Baby Snooks Show in 1946 and The Jack Benny Show and The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet in 1948. The custom had become firmly established in popular culture by 1952, when Walt Disney portrayed it in the cartoon Trick or Treat, Ozzie and Harriet were besieged by trick-or-treaters on an episode of their television show, and UNICEF first conducted a national campaign for children to raise funds for the charity while trick-or-treating.

Although some popular histories of Halloween have characterized trick-or-treating as an adult invention to rechannel Halloween activities away from vandalism, nothing in the historical record supports this theory. To the contrary, adults, as reported in newspapers from the mid-1930s to the mid-1950s, typically saw it as a form of extortion, with reactions ranging from bemused indulgence to anger. Likewise, as portrayed on radio shows, children would have to explain what trick-or-treating was to puzzled adults, and not the other way around.

Despite the falseness of these claims the news media promoted the story continuously throughout the 1980s, with local news stations featuring frequent coverage. During this time cases of poisoning were repeatedly reported based on unsubstantiated claims or before a full investigation could be completed and often never followed up on. This one sided coverage contributed to the overall panic and caused rival media outlets to issue reports of candy tampering as well.

Over the years various experts have tried to debunk the various candy tampering stories. Among this group is Joel Best, a University of Delaware sociologist who is considered the foremost expert on candy tampering. In his studies he researched newspapers from 1958 on in search of candy tampering. Of these stories fewer than 90 instances might have qualified.

The first event took place in 1964, where an annoyed New York housewife started giving out packages of inedible objects to children whom she believed were too old to be trick-or-treating. The packages contained items such as steel wool, dog biscuits, and ant buttons (which were clearly labeled with the word ”poison”). Though nobody was injured, she was prosecuted and pleaded guilty to endangering children.

Upon closer examination nearly all of these claims were false or hoaxes created by the child. Within the reports of candy tampering Best has only found five child deaths that were initially thought to be caused by homicidal strangers.

In 1970, a 5-year-old boy died after eating his uncle's hidden heroin stash. The family tried to protect the uncle by creating a story about drugs being found in the child's Halloween candy.

In a 1974 case, an 8-year-old Houston boy died after eating a cyanide-laced package of Pixy Stix. A subsequent police investigation eventually determined that the poisoned candy had been planted in his trick-or-treat pile by the boy's father, who also gave out poisoned candy to other children in an attempt to cover up the murder. The murderer, who had wanted to claim $40,000 in life insurance money, was executed in 1984.

By 1985, the media had driven the hysteria about candy poisonings to such a point that an ABC News/Washington Post poll that found 60% of parents feared that their children would be injured or killed because of Halloween candy sabotage.

Advice columnists entered the fray during the 1980s and 1990s with both Ann Landers and Dear Abby warning parents of the horrors of candy tampering.

"In recent years, there have been reports of people with twisted minds putting razor blades and poison in taffy apples and Halloween candy. It is no longer safe to let your child eat treats that come from strangers." –Ann Landers
"Somebody's child will become violently ill or die after eating poisoned candy or an apple containing a razor blade." –Dear Abby

What is so sad to me about the whole Poisoned Candy conspiracy is that I am just a victim of the times. I was born in 77 so it was just starting to become a frenzy as I was entering prime Trick-Or-Treating years. I only remember going Trick-or-Treating twice as a kid. Both of which I was already in High School.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Maggot Therapy Not Just for the Mayans any More

Records have documented that maggots have been used as wound treatment since antiquity . There are reports of the successful use of maggots for wound healing by Mayan Indians and Aboriginal tribes in Australia. There also have been reports of the use of maggot treatment in the Renaissance times.

Many military physicians observed that soldiers whose wounds had become colonized with maggots experienced significantly less morbidity and mortality than soldiers whose wounds had not become colonized. Dr. Joseph Jones, a ranking Confederate medical officer during the American Civil War, is quoted as follows, "I have frequently seen neglected wounds ... filled with maggots ... as far as my experience extends, these worms only destroy dead tissues, and do not injure specifically the well parts." The first therapeutic use of maggots is credited to a second Confederate medical officer Dr. J.F. Zacharias, who reported during the American Civil War that, "Maggots ... in a single day would clean a wound much better than any agents we had at our command ... I am sure I saved many lives by their use. " He recorded a high survival rate in patients he treated with maggots.

During World War I, Dr. William S. Baer, an orthopedic surgeon, recognized on the battlefield the efficacy of maggot colonization for healing wounds. He observed one soldier left for several days on the battlefield who had sustained compound fractures of the femur and large flesh wounds of the abdomen and scrotum. When the soldier arrived at the hospital, he had no signs of fever despite the serious nature of his injuries and his prolonged exposure to the elements without food or water. When his clothes were removed, it was seen that "thousands and thousands of maggots filled the entire wounded area". To Dr. Baer's surprise, when these maggots were removed "there was practically no bare bone to be seen and the internal structure of the wounded bone as well as the surrounding parts was entirely covered with most beautiful pink tissue that one could imagine". This case took place at a time when the death rate for compound fractures of the femur was about 75-80%.

After the publication of Dr. Baer's results in 1931, maggot therapy for wound care became very common, particularly in the United States. The pharmaceutical company, Lederle, commercially produced in large numbers "Surgical Maggots", larvae of the green bottle fly (Phaenicia sericata), a facultative, necrophagous organism that only consumes necrotic tissue. Between 1930 and 1940, more than 100 medical papers were published on maggot therapy. Medical literature of this time contains many references to the successful use of maggots in chronic or infected wounds including osteomyelitis, abscesses, burns and sub-acute mastoiditis.[4][5]

With the advent of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, Dr. Ronald Sherman, a physician presently at the University of California, Irvine, successfully re-introduced maggot therapy into the armamentarium of modern medical care as a safe and effective therapy. In 1989, he set up fly breeding facilities at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Long Beach, California, in order to use maggots for the treatment of wounds. That year, he initiated the first prospective controlled clinical trial of maggot therapy in spinal cord patients with pressure ulcers using a Paralyzed Veterans of America grant. The successes of this clinical trial in patients who had failed two or more courses of conventional wound care, were published and generated significant international attention to maggot therapy. The therapeutic maggot used by Dr. Ronald Sherman is a strain of the green bottle fly (Phaenicia sericata) and marketed as "Medical Maggots".

In just the last four years, over fifty scientific papers have been published that describe the medical use of maggots. Six thousand maggot therapy patients have been included in case histories or other studies. About 400 patients have been documented within clinical studies. In the medical literature, limb salvage rates with maggot therapy are about 40% to 50%. Some report success rates of 70% to 80%, though definitions of "success" can vary.

In a 2007 preliminary trial maggots were used successfully to treat patients with Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureu, a bacterium which has developed resistance to all penicillins.

The current use of maggot therapy is estimated to involve over 3,000 doctors, clinics, and hospitals in over 20 countries. In 2003 approximately 30,000 treatments were administered to an estimated 6,000 to 10,000 patients.

In the United States, Medical Maggots are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration as a prescription only medical device. Medical Maggots represent the first living organism ever allowed by the Food and Drug Administration for production and marketing as a prescription medical device. With acceptance of premarket notification 510(k) 033391 in January of 2004, the Food and Drug Administration granted Dr. Ronald Sherman permission to produce and market maggots for use in humans or other animals as a prescription use medical device for the following indications:

"For debriding non-healing necrotic skin and soft tissue wounds, including pressure ulcers, venous stasis ulcers, neuropathic foot ulcers and non-healing traumatic or post surgical wounds."

Currently, there are over 500 health care centers in the United States that have utilized maggot therapy.

Monarch Labs is the exclusive supplier of Medical Maggots (disinfected Phaenicia sericata larvae) for maggot debridement therapy in the United States. So I am thinking I need to get into the production of Medical Maggots since there is so little competition.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Weekly World News

So I was wandering the internet out side of the safety of Wikipedia and I came across an article about Paulo & Benedetta Cipriani the worlds heaviest couple and how they gave birth to a baby that weighed over 28 lbs. After doing some research, in order to find pictures of this baby, I discovered, to my horror that the internet had lied to me. The story of the Ciprianis is not true it is in fact the product of the great minds at the Weekly World News.

I have never read the Weekly World News but from what I have read about it on Wikipedia it is one fantastic periodical. Unfortunately because of this bad experience of reading non-collaboratively written content I won't be able to read the the actual Weekly World News. But I take solace in the fact that like most other media it is probably better to just read what Wikipedia has to say
about it. It is kind of like why teachers have kids do book reports (so they don't have to read the boring parts themselves.

The Weekly World News (The WWN) was launched in 1979 by American Media as a means to continue using the black and white press that their higher-profile tabloid, The National Enquirer, had been printed on before they switched it over to color. Which to me is an awesome concept, like they say waste not want not. The WWN like many supermarket weeklies in the U.S., was published in Boca Raton, Florida. It was unique as a tabloid because was it printed entirely in black and white.

The WWN has traditionally claimed it always prints the truth (typical slogan: "Nothing but the truth: The Weekly World News!"). Many stories, however, appeared to have comedic intent. While the tabloid's main rival, The Sun, carried a fine print disclaimer, the WWN never publicly questioned the accuracy of its own stories. In recent years, The Sun has moved more toward articles on health, and miracle cures, mostly. This has left the WWN to alone cover it's niche of "news" that the traditional media dared not report, such as sitings of Elvis Presley and the Loch Ness monster. Some people believe that in the 21st century, the tabloid has grown even more farcical.

The article talks about a lot of great stories that The WWN has reported on. Probably the most famous are the fact the Elvis is still alive and the story of Bat Boy. Bat Boy is "half human and half bat". He has done such varied things as graduated with an art degree form a small liberal arts college in upstate New York to attacking a fifth-grader in a park in Orlando, Florida. Another notable event in Bat Boys life is that he was instrumental in the War on Terror when he found and captured Saddam Hussein. I am sure this put a damper on Saddam's relationship with Osama Bin Ladin. Then there is the story of the cannibal food critic, who rates the people he eats, based on their nationalities. He didn't like Mexican or Chinese people as food, because they were "too spicy." Germans, on the other hand, were fattening and "greasy" while the one American he had eaten was rated highly for "taste, texture, and appearance."


The most detailed account from the Weekly World News, recorded a mermaid being caught in a fishing net off of the coast of Florida on April 17, 2004. She was at least half-human, very sociable, and extremely intelligent. The mermaid measured five feet from the tip of her upturned nose to the end of her spiny, translucent tail. Experts which talked with WWN reporters say she was able to talk in a sophisticated "three dimensional language" that depends heavily on noises that could possibly be connected to the "click languages" prevalent in parts of Africa and on hand movements that look like sign language instructed to deaf people around the globe. A linguist who had spent several hours with the mermaid at an undisclosed marine study facility in Florida declared that once they are able to establish communication, everything known about human evolution, the specialness of human intelligence, everything thought about fish - "It's all going out the door".

The location of the research facility where the mermaid was being studied was never released to the public, but some 'sources' have led to an abandoned seafood-processing plant as an assumed location. DNA testing taking shortly after her capture proved that the mermaid's genes are split between both humans and fish; specifically, Homo Sapiens and a sea bass species that has been extinct for over forty thousand years.

U.S. Customs agents labeled the creature "an exotic fish not cleared for importation into the United States". Within hours of the exotic find, she was airlifted to the unknown marine research facility where the government scientists are said to be giving a complete medical check-up to see how closely connected to man is to the bizarre creature. One expert was quoted thusly: "If it can be recognized that humans share a substantial amount of genetic coding with the mermaid, the understanding of our origins may change. Instead of looking for missing links between man and monkeys in the jungles of Africa, we'll have to start searching for the missing link between humans and fish, and between humans and merpeople — the mermaids and the mermen."

Since she was so strong, two crewmen had to pin down the mermaid to the deck by putting their knees on her shoulders while a third blew marijuana smoke in her face to sedate her. President George W. Bush took a keen interest in the mermaid and her well-being. He felt so deeply about the mermaid that he ordered two personal chefs to help with the creature's dietary needs. The dishes which he believed would benefit the half-human, half-fish were "two of his favorite comfort foods — Texas catfish and hush puppies with jalapeño bits. Details were released claiming the mermaid had a hearty appetite, thoroughly enjoying the food. In latest reports, she seems happy, broods when she's left alone, and perks up when she sees a human.

Freeze-dried baby

A series of several articles dealt with a couple whose doctor told them they could not have more children, and whose only son, Christer, climbed out of his crib one night and drank chemicals under the kitchen sink. They decided to take his remains to a taxidermist and freeze dry him so he could stand in the corner, his hand grabbing the waistline of his diaper. The next story had them going to prison because it is illegal to dispose of a corpse in any manner other than burial or cremation without a statement in writing from the deceased. The parents eventually died in a boating accident. The final story had a billionaire collector of weird things buy Christer's remains in the couple's neighbors' garage sale for ten cents.

Miss Adventure

Miss Adventure is the"The Gayest American Hero". He is a homosexual man and worked as a hairdresser in his hometown of Teaneck, New Jersey. He has climbed Mount Everest in mink and high heels ("The mountain was gorgeous, the snowmen abominable"), journeyed to the center of the earth ("When I go down, honey, I go down"), was shot off in a space shuttle ("I'd wish they'd find another way to describe that"), infiltrated the Mafia ("The FBI has a noble drag queen tradition"), discovered the Lost City of Atlantis ("Not much different from a trailer park, really"), traveled out West ("When they call a guy a cowpoke they really mean it"), and survived an overturned cruise ship ("Trust me, it's not the first time I've seen that many sailors with their legs in the air").

So it seems like the Weekly World News is truly a page turner. My only fear is that they are part of some conspiracy to throw us of the track of the real conspiracies.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Freeganism it's not Just a Joke

I first heard the term freegan as part of a funny story about a friend of a friend who is a vegan that eats meat and dairy when it is free in order to save money. When confronted with the question "How can you eat meat aren't you a vegan?" the vegan replies "I am a freegan, I eat things that are free."

So it was weird to me when I came across the above video that talks about how freegaism is a movement. It is an anticonsumerism lifestyle where people employ alternative strategies for living based on "limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources.

The word "freegan", is a portmanteau of "free" and "vegan". Freegaism got it's start from groups like Food Not Bombs serveing free vegetarian and vegan food that was salvaged from food market trash by dumpster diving.

Dumpster diving is a technique that many freegans employ. They get free food by pulling it out of the trash. Freegans find food in the garbage of restaurants, grocery stores, and other food-related industries, and this allows them to avoid spending money on products that they claim exploit the world's resources, contribute to urban sprawl, treat workers unfairly, or disregard animal rights. By foraging, they believe that they are preventing edible food from adding to landfills and sometimes feed people and animals who might otherwise go hungry. Many freegans participate in "Guerrilla" or "Community" Gardens, in order to rebuild community and reclaim the capacity to grow one's own food.

There is some confusion as to what constitute freegan practices, and numerous misconceptions. One misconception is that all freegans are also vegans. Some freegans, sometimes called "meagans", consume meat and other animal products as long as they would otherwise be wasted; others are strict vegans.

Some meagans claim that even seemingly benign products are produced exploitatively under capitalism, so there is nothing "pure" about a vegan diet. Some freegans - meanwhile - use the label because they are willing to pay for vegan or vegetarian food but will only eat meat if it is free, abstaining only from the economic support of animal exploitation. In essence calling themselves freegan because their diet is "vegan unless its free" though for these individuals the use of the label is often intended only as a clever wordplay.

The freegans have been known to support the Really, Really Free Market (RRFM) movement. The concept is to form a temporary market based on an alternative gift economy. Where you come and if you need something you take it and if you have things you don't need you offer them up. The RRFM movement aims to counteract capitalism in a non-reactionary way.

It holds as a major goal to build a community based on sharing resources, caring for one another and improving the collective lives of all. Markets often vary in character, but they generally offer both goods and services. Participants bring unneeded items, food, skills and talents such as entertainment or haircuts. A RRFM may take place in an open community space such as a public park or community commons. Here is a link to a blog about a RRFM in Pasadena.

Friday, September 21, 2007

President for a Day?

David Rice Atchison's tombstone.
David Rice Atchison's tombstone.

Some claim that Atchison technically was President of the United States for one day—Sunday, March 4, 1849.

Outgoing President James Polk's term expired at midnight, March 3/4, and his successor, Zachary Taylor, refused to be sworn into office on the sabbath (Sunday). Taylor's Vice Presidential running mate, Millard Fillmore, likewise was not inaugurated. As President ProTempore, under the Presidential Succession Act of 1792, Atchison was believed by some to be Acting President.

Atchison never took the oath of office, although there was no constitutional or legal requirement, for an Acting President to do so. Though Article II Section 1 Clause 8 mandates that the president must take the oath before "...he enter on the Execution of his Office.." so Taylor was not president . Fillmore was not constitutionally mandated to take the oath of office to be Vice President, though it is currently prescribed by statute that he take an oath. So while Atchison might have been Acting President, Filmore might also have been a possible Acting President if there wasn't a law mandating a Vice Presidential oath at the time. Or for 36 hours the US might not have had a President. Which would have been the cause for 12 of those any way.

Atchison discussed the claim in a September 1872 issue of the Plattsburg Lever:

It was in this way: Polk went out of office on the 3d of March 1849, on Saturday at 12 noon. The next day, the 4th, occurring on Sunday, Gen. Taylor was not inaugurated. He was not inaugurated till Monday, the 5th, at 12 noon. It was then canvassed among Senators whether there was an interregnum (a time during which a country lacks a government). It was plain that there was either an interregnum or I was the President of the United States being chairman of the Senate, having succeeded Judge Mangum of North Carolina. The judge waked me up at 3 o'clock in the morning and said jocularly that as I was President of the United States he wanted me to appoint him as secretary of state. I made no pretense to the office, but if I was entitled in it I had one boast to make, that not a woman or a child shed a tear on account of my removing any one from office during my incumbency of the place. A great many such questions are liable to arise under our form of government.

Atchison was 41 years and 6 months old at the time of his "presidency", which, if it had been official, would still make him the youngest President in American history. Theodore Roosevelt, the youngest to serve, was 42 years and 11 months old when he was sworn in following the death of William McKinley in 1901, and John F. Kennedy, the youngest to be elected, was 43 years and 7 months old when he was inaugurated in 1961.

A museum exhibit in his honor (claiming to be the country's smallest "presidential library") opened in February 2006 at the Atchison County Historical Museum in Atchison, Kansas.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Cobra Starship, Addictive TV and Salvador Dali

I have a personal objection to the movie Snakes on a Plane, it seems like such a horrible concept for a movie. Such a horrible concept that the mere idea of it should be shunned. So when I first heard of Cobra Starship I immediately blocked them out of my mind. Because the band surged in popularity and recognition, because of the film Snakes on a Plane. Though today I was cruising the web looking for interesting things to write about and I came across and interview with the band. In the article Gabe Saporta recounts an interesting story of how he came up with the name of the band and why it was formed.

Gabe Saporta the band's lead singer claims that he sought to discover his true purpose and meaning in the desert of Arizona on an Indian reservation. One night after doing large amounts of peyote a cobra, from the future who had come through space to find Gabe, bit his neck. Upon waking a week later the cobra, telepathically told him ( 'cause that is how alien cobras from the future speak) of the eventual demise of the world and mankind.

The mystical cobra revealed to Gabe his mission and point of existence. Gabe's mission is leading the human race into "the end" with "style." That he is called to "[teach] hipsters to not take themselves so seriously and by telling emo kids to stop being pu....". Gabe says that the way he knows the cobra was real was that the the fact that he got offered to work with the movie Snakes on a Plane.

Despite my best intentions I was inexplicably drawn to look at the Snakes on a Plane Wikipedia article. It turned out to be a good move for me because it introduced me the the group Addictive TV. Addictive TV was commissioned by New Line Cinema to create trailers for the US television networks. It turns out that Addictive TV specializes in audio-visual film remixes. Addictive TV combines video mashups that are set to the beat of their music mashups.

With the rise of Youtube these video mashups have been gaining popularity, but Addictive TV have been doing it since 1992. This concept of taking clips from existing media and mashing it together has been around for along time, with most notably Salvador Dali's film called An Andalusian Dog, doing it in 1928. Dali mixed footage he shot with completely unrelated footage.

Here is an example of Addictive TV's work.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Lafayette Ronald Hubbard

I have heard some crazy things about Scientology, though for the most part it has always just seemed some sort of fanciful oddity and I never paid too much attention to it. But since I was obsessing about Beck for several days and it turns out he is a Scientologists it perked my interest. I don't really care what the church believes I just wanted to get the back story.

Lafayette Ronald Hubbard
was an American pulp fiction writer. Hubbard was and still is a highly controversial public figure. I figured the best way to write about such a controversial figure would be to give the Church of Scientology biography of L. Ron Hubbard side by side with the Wikipedia version of his biography. The parts for the COS website will be highlighted.

13 March 1911:

L. Ron Hubbard is born in Tilden, Nebraska.

In 1913, settling in the city of Kalispell, Montana, L. Ron Hubbard first encounters the Blackfoot Indians at a tribal dance on the outskirts of town. The Indians are much taken with young Ron’s inquisitiveness and the beginnings of a bond are established. From Kalispell, L. Ron Hubbard moves to Montana’s capital at Helena, where during the summer months he usually resides at the family ranch, affectionately known as the “Old Homestead.” During the harsh winter months, a three-story red brick house near the corner of Helena’s Fifth and Beatty Streets serves as Ron’s home. Among other colorful figures in this still pioneer setting, Ron meets Old Tom, a Blackfoot Indian medicine man. A unique and rare relationship is established as the elderly shaman passes on much of the tribal lore to his young friend. Many a Saturday finds Ron and his friends panning for gold in the gullies for pocket money, while afternoons are spent riding broncos on the surrounding plains. At the age of six, L. Ron Hubbard is honored with the status of blood brother of the Blackfeet in a ceremony that is still recalled by tribal elders.

Accoring to wikipedia contemporary records do not record the existence of "Old Tom". The white Blackfeet historian Hugh Dempsey has commented that the act of blood brotherhood was "never done among the Blackfeet", and Blackfeet Nation officials have disavowed attempts to "re-establish" Hubbard as a "blood brother" of the Blackfeet. What is weird about this to me is that this whole thing takes place from when Hubbard is 3 until he just turned 7, how much could he really have learned that many thing he would remember the rest of his life?


L. Ron Hubbard moves north to Puget Sound in Washington State. He joins the Boy Scouts of America in April 1923. As a member of Tacoma Troop 31, he becomes a Second Class Scout on 8 May and two months later, on 5 July, advances to First Class Scout.

In October, Harry Ross Hubbard receives orders to report to the nation’s capital. Ron and his parents board the USS Ulysses S. Grant on 1 November 1923 and sail to New York from San Francisco through the recently opened Panama Canal. They then journey to Washington, DC. During this voyage, Ron meets Commander Joseph “Snake” Thompson, who has recently returned from Vienna and studies with Sigmund Freud. Through the course of their friendship, the commander spends many an afternoon in the Library of Congress teaching Ron what he knows of the human mind. By 11 December 1923, Ron, now part of Washington’s Boy Scout Troop 10, earns his Carpentry, First Aid and Fireman merit badges.


In the month of January 1924 Ron earns his Electricity, Personal Health, Photography and Public Health merit badges.

In February, after earning his Safety First, Craftsmanship, Swimming, Physical Development and Pioneering merit badges, Ron obtains his Life Scout and Star Scout medals.

In March, Ron obtains his Handicraft, Automobiling and Pathfinding merit badges. On 20 March Ron represents Troop 10 while visiting President Calvin Coolidge and five days afterwards, on 25 March, becomes the nation’s youngest Eagle Scout. The next day, Ron leaves Washington and returns to Montana by cross-country train.

While in Montana, Ron continues his scouting activities, organizes scouting events and acts as an Assistant Scoutmaster.

L. Ron Hubbard joined the Boy Scouts of America and became an Eagle Scout at the age of 13. Church biographies routinely state that he was "the nation's youngest Eagle Scout."which is based on a March 25, 1930, report of the "Evening Star" and Hubbards Boy Scout Diary of 25 March 1924. According to the Boy Scouts of America, their documents at the time were only kept in alphabetical order with no reference to their ages — thus there was no way of telling who was the youngest.


After completing the school year in early June 1927, Ron travels to San Francisco, boarding a steamer to meet his father in Guam. By way of Hawaii, Japan, China, the Philippines and Hong Kong, Ron arrives at the island of Guam during the first week of July 1927. There, he befriends the local Chamorros and teaches in the native schools. Throughout these travels, Ron’s observations and adventures are carefully recorded in diaries. A few years later, Ron will draw upon these experiences for his adventure and action fiction.

By late September 1927, Ron returns to Helena where he joins the Montana National Guard’s 163rd Infantry. While at Helena High School he becomes an editor of the school’s newspaper.

1927 According to his estranged son, L. Ron Hubbard Jr., when Hubbard Sr. was sixteen years old and living in D.C. he obtained a copy of the Book of the Law, by Aleister Crowley, which introduced him to the world of Occultism, black magic, and Satanism, a tradition which Hubbard Jr. claims greatly influenced his life at home and the teachings of Scientology.

For the annual Vigilante Day Parade on 4 May, Ron organizes and enters a group of classmates dressed as pirates of the Spanish Main and wins the prize for “Most Original” cast.

Finding classrooms and schools too confining, Ron ventures out alone again and travels aboard the USS Henderson, returning to the Orient.Through the next fourteen months Ron journeys inland to the Western Hills of China, out again to Japan, then down to the Philippines and further south to Java. He plies the waters of the China coast as a helmsman and supercargo aboard the Marianna Maru, a twin-masted coastal schooner. In China, he becomes close friends with British intelligence officers, Buddhist priests, US Marines and the last remaining magician from the line of Kublai Khan’s court. By late September 1929, he returns to the United States, completing his high-school education in Washington, DC. Writing and delivering a speech on the United States Constitution and the guarantees of individual liberty, he wins a scholastic oratory contest.

Hubbard sometimes displayed attitudes that were at odds with the picture his followers try to present of him. For instance, during his visit to China at the age of seventeen, he made diary entries such as: "As a Chinaman can not live up to a thing, he always drags it down." and "They smell of all the baths they didnt [sic] take. The trouble with China is, there are too many chinks here."Similarly, Hubbard described the Lama temples as "miserably cold and very shabby . . . The people worshiping have voices like bull-frogs and beat a drum and play a brass horn to accompany their singing (?)" and called them "very odd and heathenish".

He also wrote about colored people in Scientology: Fundamentals of Thought : "Unlike the yellow and brown people, the white does not usually believe he can get attention from matter or objects. The yellow and brown believe for the most part ... that rocks, trees, walls, etc., can give them attention"and " we see the African tribesman, with his complete contempt for the truth, and his emphasis on brutality and savagery..."


Graduating from Woodward School for Boys in 1930, Ron enrolls at George Washington University. Here he studies engineering and atomic and molecular physics and embarks upon a personal search for answers to the human dilemma. His first experiment concerning the structure and function of the mind is carried out while at the university.

After studies at Swavely Preparatory School in Manassas, Virginia, and graduating from Woodward School for Boys in 1930, Hubbard enrolled at the George Washington University, where he majored in civil engineering. His grades varied widely, and university records show that he attended for only two years, was on academic probation for his second year, and left the University in 1932 without a degree. One of his classes was indeed a second-year physics course entitled "Modern Physical Phenomena; Molecular and Atomic Physics", for which he received a grade of "F."

Ron joins the 20th Regiment, Company G of the US Marines, becoming a drill sergeant and turning out a prize-winning company. Hubbard's first military service was with the 20th Marine Corps Reserve, which he joined in May of 1930 before his enrollment at George Washington University. The COS website has mentions this time in the military directly after Hubbard's time at George Washington University. As you can see above the Church of Scientology's account of this service states that Hubbard joined "the 20th Regiment, Company G of the US Marines" with no mention of this being a Reserve unit and credits him with "turning out a prize-winning company" with no mention of what prize was won. Hubbard received a honorable discharge from the Marine Reserve on October 22, 1931; though there are two unexplained notations on his service record (written in different handwriting) read "Excellent" and "Not to be re-enlisted".

Hubbard performs as the balladeer for the local radio station WOL and writes serial drama shows. He also becomes a surveyor as part of a team sent to verify the Canadian/US border in Maine.Taking his thirst for adventure to the skies, he is introduced to glider flying and quickly becomes recognized as one of the country’s most outstanding pilots. With virtually no training time, he takes up powered flight and barnstorms throughout the Midwest. Due to reports he files on airport conditions, twelve unsafe airports are closed.A national aviation magazine reports that Ron set a national soaring record for sustained flight over the same field. Writing for the nationwide Sportsman Pilot magazine, Ron details the latest aviation developments and advises fellow pilots on flight procedures in adverse conditions.He helps run the university flying club and is secretary of the George Washington University chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers. As an editor and writer with the college newspaper, The University Hatchet, he writes his first published fiction story, Tah. He also wins the Literary Award for the best one-act play, The God Smiles.

In the spring of 1932, Ron organizes and heads the Caribbean Motion Picture Expedition. The two-and-a-half-month, 5,000-mile voyage aboard the 200-foot, four-masted schooner, Doris Hamlin, proves a unique and rewarding experience for over fifty college students. The voyage collects numerous floral and reptile specimens for the University of Michigan, and photographs are sold to the New York Times. Shortly after L. Ron Hubbard’s return to the US he embarks on another adventure, the West Indies Mineralogical Expedition. Through April of 1933, Ron not only completes the first mineralogical survey of Puerto Rico, but writes articles for Sportsman Pilot magazine on flying through the Caribbean islands. He additionally investigates and explores some of the area’s diverse cultures and beliefs, including that curious blend of Catholicism and voodoo known as Espiritismo.

Returning to the mainland in the spring of 1933, Ron begins his professional fiction-writing career. Ron writes a story a day and after a few short weeks of work nets his first sale to New York publishers. February 1934 sees the publication of Ron’s first adventure fiction story, The Green God.


Throughout this period, L. Ron Hubbard writes. Seated at his Remington manual typewriter, he easily produces 100,000 words of fiction a month.

Ron writes western, detective, adventure, action, and even romance stories. In 1935 he is elected president of the New York chapter of the American Fiction Guild, offering leadership to such stellar names as Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett and Edgar Rice Burroughs.

In his capacity as president, he also pens articles for writer magazines. He appears on radio shows advising both novice and professional colleagues on how to improve the quality and saleability of their stories. Illustrating his prolific output as a writer, he completes 138 novels, novelettes and short stories in six years in just the genres of adventure, action, western, mystery and detective. This is an average of over one published story every two weeks, three times the output of most other writers.

So great is his production in so many varied styles and genres that he employs numerous pseudonyms so as not to dominate too many magazine covers. Among them: Winchester Remington Colt, Lt. Jonathan Daly, Capt. Charles Gordon, Bernard Hubbel, Michael Keith, Legionnaire 148, Rene Lafayette, Ken Martin, B.A. Northrup, Scott Morgan, Kurt von Rachen, Barry Randolph, Lt. Scott Morgan, Legionnaire 14830, Capt. Humbert Reynolds. So intense is the demand for Ron’s stories, that one complete issue of Top-Notch magazine is entirely written by him. In 1936 Ron writes his first book, Buckskin Brigades.


L. Ron Hubbard’s popularity is now such that Hollywood seeks film rights to his stories and then enlists his services as a writer. After purchasing film rights to his novel, Murder at Pirate Castle, Columbia Pictures requests that he adapt this work for the screen under the title Secret of Treasure Island. Arriving in Hollywood in May 1937, Ron begins work on Secret of Treasure Island and goes to work on three other big screen serials for Columbia: The Mysterious Pilot,The Great Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok and The Spider Returns.

According IMDB he did not work on any of these last 3 movies. They list the movies and the writers and even the writers not credited and neither Hubbard nor any of his alias' where listed or credited. This is in direct contradiction to the claim made on the COS website that Ron worked "on four of Columbia’s big screen super serials. In his ten weeks in Hollywood, he not only writes over a quarter of a million words of scripts, but also continues producing for his New York editors."

Upon returning to New York, executives from Street & Smith, one of the world’s largest publishing concerns, enlist Ron’s expertise for their newly acquired magazine, Astounding Science Fiction. Ron is asked to help boost sagging sales with stories about real people – not robots, planets and spaceships. He accepts their proposal and the face of science fiction is changed forever. His first science fiction work, The Dangerous Dimension, appears in the July 1938 issue of Astounding Science Fiction. Among other L. Ron Hubbard stories appearing in the pages of Astounding is the much acclaimed Final Blackout which is later released as a bestselling book.

In 1939 Street & Smith launch a second new magazine, Unknown, and it is soon filled with Ron’s fantasy writings which could not be accommodated in Astounding. His first story in this genre is The Ultimate Adventure, appearing in the April 1939 issue. Many more L. Ron Hubbard fiction works appear for the first time in Unknown including such legendary stories as Fear, Death’s Deputy, Typewriter in the Sky and Slaves of Sleep. These stories are subsequently released as books in their own right. 'No one who read "Fear" in Unknown during their impressionable years would ever forget it,' claimed Brian Aldiss, science fiction writer and historian.
On 19 February 1940 L. Ron Hubbard is elected a member of the prestigious Explorers Club. Concurrently he plans an Alaskan expedition, and on 27 July 1940 his Alaskan Radio Experimental Expedition embarks from Seattle. His vessel is the 32-foot ketch Magician, and she sails under Explorers Club flag number 105. Ron completes a voyage of some seven hundred miles, charting previously unrecorded hazards and coastlines for the US Navy Hydrographic Office. He also conducts experiments on radio directional finding, and examines local native cultures, including the Tlingit, the Haidas and the Aleutian Island natives. On 17 December 1940 the US Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation awards Ron his Master of Steam and Motor Vessels license.

In December he returns to Seattle, resuming his writing while presenting the US Navy with the hundreds of photographs and notations they had requested.


On 29 March 1941 L. Ron Hubbard receives his Master of Sail Vessel license for “Any Ocean.”

On 2 July 1941 he is commissioned as Lieutenant (jg) (the jg here stands for Junior Grade a rank below an actual Lieutenant) of the United States Navy Reserve. With the outbreak of war in December 1941, Ron is ordered to Australia where he coordinates intelligence activities. His division's sole mission was to "seek out and report" on the advancements in other nations' navies. Upon arrival Hubbard asked the Naval Attaché if he could leave the Polk in order to secure faster transport to the Philippines. He was unsuccessful in attempting to locate other transport, and instead began working as a sort of self-appointed liaison for a deployed Army unit. This duty had not been ordered and made somewhat of a nuisance by working outside the established chain of command. After using his assumed authority to re-route a transport around Australia by a Southern course, the Attaché was forced to act. Hubbard was then sent back to the United States, with a note stating: "This officer is not satisfactory for independent duty assignment. ... and will require close supervision for satisfactory performance of any intelligence duty."

Returning to the United States in March, Ron takes command of a convoy escort vessel in the Atlantic of USS YP-422. A fishing trawler undergoing conversion into a shipyard patrol vessel at the Boston Naval Shipyard, it had been called Mist by its civilian owners. Shortly after arrival a personality dispute evolved into a situation which Lt. Hubbard did not feel was handled properly by the Commandant of the shipyard. Ignoring the chain of command, he then spoke with the Commandant's C.O. the Vice Chief of Naval Operations. Subsequently the Commandant requested Hubbard be relieved of command noting he is: "...not temperamentally fitted for independent command."[8][1] He then repeated his mistake, and asked again for the intervention of the Vice Chief's office. The second request was not acted upon either, and Hubbard was relieved of command.

then a subchaser in the Pacific.

The request was approved and he reported to class in Clearwater, Florida. There he was trained in anti-submarine warfare, and graduated in the bottom half of his class. He was then assigned as prospective Commanding Officer of the USS PC-815. The 175 foot vessel was in the last stages of construction near Astoria, Oregon. His first duties were supervising her fitting out, training of the crew, and finally deployment to San Diego, California, her assigned port. In the early hours of May 19, 1943, the crew of the PC-815 detected what Hubbard believed to be first one then later two Imperial Japanese Navy submarines approximately 10 miles from the shore of Cape Lookout. The SONAR operator, Hubbard, and his Executive Officer, Lt. Moulton, evaluated the echo of an active sonar ping, combined with what they perceived as propeller noises ("screws") heard through the ship's hydrophone indicated contact with a submarine.[13] Over the next two and a half days, the ship expended 37 depth charges and saw no telltale signs of a sunken submarine. Hubbard did identify orange oil "erupting" to the surface at one point, however the color and lack of other debris consistent with a pressure hull compromised submarine were not seen. The US Navy blimps K-39 and K-33 arrived on the scene to search the area with magnetic anomaly detectors, resulting in detection of an indeterminate magnetic reading. The US Coast Guard patrol boats Bonham, 78302 as well as other Navy subchasers USS SC-536 and USS SC-537, also responded to Hubbard's report of enemy submarine activity as reinforcements. According to his report, these vessels were placed under his command for the duration of the "battle". On May 21, with depth charges exhausted and the presence of a submarine still unconfirmed by any other ship, PC-815 was ordered back to Astoria.[13] In his eighteen page after-action report, Hubbard claimed to have "definitely sunk, beyond doubt" one submarine and critically damaged another though he wished no credit for his ship[14] However, reports from other units involved as well as the subsequent investigation by the Commander NW Sea Frontier, directly contradict Hubbard's claims

He also serves as an instructor and chief navigation officer, and is selected to Princeton University’s Military Government School.

Hubbard attended a course in civil governing which was run by the Navy on campus at Princeton. The purpose being to prepare for the eventual occupation of Japan and the various civil administration duties that would be necessitated. He was unable to pass the course, and as such didn't get assigned to duty with the occupation force.[1] He continued to draw disability pay for arthritis, his ulcer, and conjunctivitis for years afterwards, long after he claimed to have discovered the secret of how to cure these ailments. About the time of his discharge, Hubbard was petitioning the Veterans Administration for psychiatric care to treat "long periods of moroseness and suicidal inclinations."

In early 1945, while recovering from war injuries at Oak Knoll Naval Hospital, Ron conducts a series of tests and experiments dealing with the endocrine system. He discovers that, contrary to long-standing beliefs, function monitors structure. With this revolutionary advance, he begins to apply his theories to the field of the mind and thereby to improve the conditions of others.

'Hubbard broke up black magic in America . . . because he was well known as a writer and philosopher and had friends among the physicists, he was sent in to handle the situation [of black magic being practised in a house in Pasadena occupied by nuclear physicists]. He went to live at the house and investigated the black magic rites and the general situation and found them very bad . . . Hubbard's mission was successful far beyond anyone's expectations. The house was torn down. Hubbard rescued a girl they were using. The black magic group was dispersed and never recovered.' (Statement by the Church of Scientology, December 1969)
Ron drove out of the Officer Separation Center in San Francisco at the wheel of an old Packard with a small trailer in tow, both of which he had recently acquired. Home and the family were to the north, up in Washington State. But Ron headed south, towards Los Angeles, to a rendezvous with a magician in a bizarre Victorian mansion in Pasadena. John Whiteside Parsons, known to his friend as Jack, was an urbane, darkly handsome man, not unlike Errol Flynn in looks, and the scion of a well-connected Los Angeles family. Then thirty-one years old, he was a brilliant scientist and chemist and one of America's foremost explosives experts. He had spent much of the war at the California Institute of Technology working with a team developing jet engines and experimental rocket fuels and was, perhaps, the last man anyone would have suspected of worshipping the Devil. For Jack Parsons led an extraordinary double life: respected scientist by day, dedicated occultist by night. He believed, passionately, in the power of black magic, the existence of Satan, demons and evil spirits, and the efficacy of spells to deal with his enemies.[2] While still a student at the University of Southern California, he had become interested in the writings of Aleister Crowley, the English sorcerer and Satanist known as 'The Beast 666', whose dabblings in black magic had also earned him the title 'The Wickedest Man In The World'. Crowley's The Book of the Law expounded a doctrine enshrined in a single sentence - 'Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law' - and Parsons was intrigued by the heady concept of a creed that encouraged indulgence in forbidden pleasures. In 1939, Parsons and his young wife, Helen, joined the OTO, Ordo Templi Orientis, an international organization founded by Crowley to practise sexual magic.[3] A lodge had been set up in Los Angeles and met in a suitably sequestered attic. Meetings were conducted by a priestess swathed in diaphanous gauze, who climbed out of a coffin to perform mystic, and painstakingly blasphemous, rites.[4] Parsons quickly rose to prominence in the OTO and by the early '40s he had begun a regular correspondence with Crowley, always addressing him as 'Most Beloved Father' and signing his letters 'Thy son, John'. When Parson's father died, his son inherited a rambling mansion and adjoining coach-house on South Orange Grove Avenue in Pasadena.

While convalescing after the war, Hubbard met Jack Parsons, an aeronautics professor at Caltech and an associate of the British occultist Aleister Crowley.[51] Hubbard and Parsons were allegedly engaged in the practice of ritual magick in 1946, including an extended set of sex magic rituals called the Babalon Working, intended to summon a goddess or "moonchild." The Church says Hubbard was a working as an ONI agent on a mission to end Parsons' supposed magical activities and to "rescue" a girl Parsons was "using" for supposedly magical purposes. In a 1952 lecture series, Hubbard recommended a book of Crowley's and referred to him as "Mad Old Boy" and as "my very good friend".[54] Hubbard later married the girl he said that he rescued from Parsons, Sara Northrup.[55] Hubbard also described Parsons as his friend in his Scientology lectures rather than a person he was investigating. Crowley recorded in his notes that he considered Hubbard a "lout" who made off with Parsons' money and girlfriend in an "ordinary confidence trick."


After discharge from the US Navy in February 1946, Ron returns to writing, although his primary thrust continues to be the development of a means to better the condition of men. To help support this research, he writes thirty-one science fiction, fantasy, western, mystery and detective stories over the next three years. A few of the titles included in his work at this time are: Blood on His Spurs, Ole Doc Methuselah, Killer’s Law, Hoss Tamer and The Obsolete Weapon.

Sara Northrup became Hubbard's second wife in August 1946. It was an act of bigamy, as Hubbard had abandoned, but not divorced, his first wife and children as soon as he left the Navy (he divorced his first wife more than a year after he had remarried).[2] Both women allege Hubbard physically abused them. He is also alleged to have once kidnapped Sara's infant, Alexis, taking her to Cuba. Later, he disowned Alexis, claiming she was actually Jack Parsons' child. Sara filed for divorce in late 1950, citing that Hubbard was, unknown to her, still legally bound to his first wife at the time of their marriage. Her divorce papers also accused Hubbard of kidnapping their baby daughter Alexis, and of conducting "systematic torture, beatings, strangulations and scientific torture experiments."[58] The furor actually made it into several newspapers and from there into Hubbard's growing file at the FBI.


Ron opens an office near the corner of La Brea Avenue and Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, where he tests the application of Dianetics among actors, directors, writers and others of the Hollywood community. These are the people who first receive the benefits of Ron’s revolutionary breakthroughs in the field of the mind.

With test cases and research material in hand, Ron travels to Washington, DC where he compiles into manuscript form his sixteen-year investigation to determine the dynamic principle of existence. (The result of this work is published today as the book The Dynamics of Life.)


Ron accepts an appointment as a Special Police Officer with the Los Angeles Police Department and uses the position to study society’s criminal elements.

Moving on to Savannah, Georgia, he volunteers his time in hospitals and mental wards, saving the lives of patients with his counseling techniques.


His as yet unpublished manuscript on Dianetics,Campbell's Astounding Science Fiction magazine. It was in the pages of this magazine that the first article on Dianetics appeared; while some fiction works appeared after that (including "Masters of Sleep," which promotes Dianetics and features as a villain "a mad psychiatrist, Doctor Dyhard, who persists in rejecting Dianetics after all his abler colleagues have accepted it [and] believes in prefrontal lobotomies for everyone") most of Hubbard's output thereafter was related to Dianetics or Scientology. Hubbard did not make a major return to non-Dianetics fiction until the 1980s. which had been passed to a few friends for review, is copied and copied again until it circulates around the world. As a result of this enthusiastic response, Ron is urged by associates to write a popular book on the subject of Dianetics.

Late in the year, L. Ron Hubbard’s “Terra Incognita: The Mind,” the first published article on Dianetics, appears in the Winter -Spring 1950 issue of the Explorers Club Journal.


Ron is contracted by Hermitage House Publishing to write Dianetics. In the first week of March he completes Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. In April 1950, Hubbard and several others established the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation in Elizabeth, New Jersey to coordinate work related for the forthcoming publication of a book on Dianetics. The book, entitled Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, was published in May 1950 by Hermitage House, whose head was also on the Board of Directors of the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation.

L. Ron Hubbard writes Dianetics: The Evolution of a Science for magazine publication to promote and accompany the release of Dianetics.

On 9 May 1950, Dianetics is released and appears on the New York Times bestseller list, 18 June 1950. It remains on the bestseller list for twenty-eight consecutive weeks and launches a national movement which will soon become the fastest growing such movement in America. Dianetics sold 150,000 copies within a year of publication.[2] Upon becoming more widely available, Dianetics became an object of critical scrutiny by the press and the medical establishment. In September 1950, The New York Times published a cautionary statement on the topic by the American Psychological Association that read in part, "the association calls attention to the fact that these claims are not supported by empirical evidence," and went on to recommend against use of "the techniques peculiar to Dianetics" until such time it had been validated by scientific testing.

On 7 June L. Ron Hubbard delivers his first recorded lectures on Dianetics in Elizabeth, New Jersey, where the Hubbard Dianetics Research Foundation is formed.

On 10 August, after moving to a new residence in Los Angeles, California, Ron delivers a lecture on Dianetics to a sell-out crowd of over 6,000 people at the Shrine Auditorium.

Through the remainder of the year, L. Ron Hubbard continues to tour and speak in major cities and by the end of December he has delivered over one hundred lectures and crisscrossed the country.


Ron writes six books which outline his discoveries in the field of the human mind and give practical technology to better human existence.

In addition to the printed word, he delivers more than 100 lectures on the subject of Dianetics.

After returning from Havana, Cuba, where he completes the book Science of Survival, he opens the first Hubbard College in Wichita, Kansas, delivering lectures and conducting courses.

In the fall of 1951, having discovered that man is most fundamentally a spiritual being, he begins a new line of research to determine what can be done to help an individual regain natural abilities. These discoveries form the basis of Scientology.

Consumer Reports, in an August 1951 assessment of Dianetics,[65] dryly noted "one looks in vain in Dianetics for the modesty usually associated with announcement of a medical or scientific discovery," and stated that the book had become "the basis for a new cult." The article observed "in a study of L. Ron Hubbard's text, one is impressed from the very beginning by a tendency to generalization and authoritative declarations unsupported by evidence or facts." Consumer Reports warned its readers against the "possibility of serious harm resulting from the abuse of intimacies and confidences associated with the relationship between auditor and patient," an especially serious risk, they concluded, "in a cult without professional traditions."


Ron moves to Phoenix, Arizona where he opens his office and establishes the Hubbard Association of Scientologists International.

In September, traveling to England, he establishes the Hubbard Association of Scientologists International in London.

In late November Ron returns to the United States, where in Philadelphia he delivers a Doctorate Course in Scientology with 62 lectures in 18 days providing a wide analysis of human behavior. On February 10, 1953 Hubbard was awarded an honorary Ph.D. by Sequoia University, California, "in recognition of his outstanding work and contributions in the fields of Dianetics and Scientology." (This non-accredited body was closed by the California state courts some 30 years later after it was investigated by California authorities on the grounds of being a mail-order "degree mill " The lectures are known as the Philadelphia Doctorate Course Lectures. He then travels back to England where he begins plans for a research trip across Europe.

In addition to delivering 190 lectures on subjects such as emotional tones, communication and creativity, Ron writes of his further research on man’s spiritual potential in four new books.


Motoring across Europe to Barcelona, he follows World War II invasion routes to study the effects of devastation on populations; he also researches European university systems.

Ron returns to Phoenix, where he releases new breakthroughs which enable the individual to explore his past and improve his reactions toward life. During this period, Ron also researches the basics of organization, developing principles that any group can use to survive and prosper. He delivers 232 lectures and writes two more books.

In one letter dated April 10, 1953, he says calling Scientology a religion solves "a problem of practical business," and status as a religion achieves something "more equitable...with what we've got to sell."

In December of 1953, Hubbard declared Scientology a religion and the Church of American Science' (incorporation papers) and the 'Church of Scientology' (incorporation papers) where incorporated on December 22nd 1953.


'Church of Spiritual Engineering', (incorporation papers) on 18th January 1954 is incorporated in Camden, New Jersey.

In recognition of the spiritual nature of Ron’s philosophy, a number of Scientologists in Los Angeles, California form the first Church of Scientology in February.

Ron further researches and develops the religious philosophy of Scientology in Phoenix, delivering more than 460 lectures and continuing to write extensively. The Website makes no refferece to the fact that Church was incorporated by Hubbard in the previous year.


In March, Ron moves from Phoenix to Washington, DC, where the Founding Church of Washington, DC is formed with Ron as Executive Director. He drafts organizational policies and intensifies his work in developing an administrative technology to allow Scientology churches to run smoothly and expand. During October Ron returns to England to deliver lectures in London, while further establishing the London organization. Ron delivers over 200 lectures in this year, on subjects from counseling techniques to education and alcoholism. In December he travels to Ireland to initiate the formation of an Irish organization in Dublin and then returns to England.


Returning to Dublin, L. Ron Hubbard researches and develops the exact steps and actions a person follows to establish a successful Scientology mission anywhere in the world.

He also writes a book containing simple but powerful precepts that allow anyone to immediately improve their life.

In Barcelona, Spain he conducts additional research, then returns to Washington, DC where he delivers a series of lectures which cover spiritual and material requirements of man. He then sails back to England aboard the Queen Elizabeth, during which time he writes a book providing solutions to day-to-day job stress. After delivering 12 lectures on human problems in London, he again returns to Washington, DC.

While delivering more than 130 lectures, detailing solutions to such problems as environmental radiation and the failings of groups, Ron also runs both the Washington and London organizations during this year and finds the time to write two more books.


In February Ron travels to Puerto Rico where he continues researching and writing. In April he flies to London to deliver a series of lectures on auditing techniques and then travels to Washington. While still concentrating on further organizational and administrative developments and delivering over 145 public lectures, Ron also writes two books to better speed an individual’s spiritual progress.


Ron delivers 133 lectures in 1958, including the Clearing Congress Lectures in Washington, DC, the first six of which are filmed. In October Ron sails to London aboard the RMS Statedam. In England, he delivers 45 lectures, while reorganizing local offices. With this accomplished, he sets sail back to Washington in early December aboard the Saxonia.


Ron defines the duties in various Scientology churches and delivers 16 lectures on auditing refinements in Washington, DC.

In March he begins negotiations to purchase Saint Hill Manor in Sussex, England which will be his home for the following seven years. By May, negotiations are completed and Ron moves his residence to the 55-acre estate. The worldwide headquarters of Scientology is moved to Saint Hill.

In yet another line of research, this one involving different orders of life, Ron conducts horticultural experiments in greenhouses at Saint Hill which bring about major increases in plant growth. His discoveries are written up in horticultural magazines internationally and receive wide coverage in daily newspapers.

The first E-Meter designed and built to Ron’s exact specifications is produced.

The COS website does not metion that the E-Meter was invented in the 1940s by Volney Mathison, an early collaborator with Hubbard. The Mathison Electropsychometer (as it was then called) was produced for use by psychotherapists and chiropractors. It was adopted for use in Dianetics by Hubbard in the early 1950s, before being temporarily dropped in 1954 during a dispute with Mathison. Then in 1958 when Scientologists Don Breeding and Joe Wallis developed a modified, smaller battery-operated version which they presented to Hubbard he again used it. This was christened the Hubbard electrometer.

On 16 October Ron begins an around-the-world trip, traveling to Greece, India, Melbourne, Hawaii, San Francisco and New York, arriving back at Saint Hill the first week of December.

In Melbourne alone, he delivers 38 lectures, and while in the United States he writes and issues an organizing board for American Scientology churches (a board which shows what functions are done, the order they are done in, and who is responsible for getting them done).

Upon his return to England, L. Ron Hubbard appears on BBC television discussing his horticultural experiments. Shortly afterwards Ron travels to Washington, DC.

In all he gives 102 lectures this year and writes one book.


While in Washington, Ron delivers 18 lectures in one week outlining his discoveries on such subjects as the importance of honesty and individual responsibility. He then returns home to Saint Hill.

In March, after extensive research and investigation, Ron writes the book, Have You Lived Before This Life?

After delivering over 30 more lectures at Saint Hill and London, he travels to South Africa in September where he standardizes the operation and administration of South African organizations. At the end of the year, he once more returns to Washington, DC and finishes out the year by delivering three lectures.


After extending his stay in Washington for an additional 13 lectures he returns to Saint Hill for a week, then travels back to South Africa in late January. Here he not only delivers more than 20 lectures which further detail the means of realizing man’s spiritual goals, but also develops a refined pattern of organization for Scientology churches.

Ron is awarded his second Explorers Club flag for his “Ocean Archaeological Expedition to study underwater sites of historical interest such as submerged cities.”

In late March Ron returns to Saint Hill and in May he begins to give lectures to Scientologists on the Saint Hill Special Briefing Course – a comprehensive training program for Scientologyauditors in which the entire history of technical development is covered.

For the following five years, Ron dedicates his time to continuing his research into states of existence and releasing his breakthroughs and new technology to students of the Saint Hill Special Briefing Course. His discoveries and developments from this period become an important part of the route to Clear and advanced spiritual states. This time is also devoted to developing and standardizing administrative policy for the churches.


In the first week of September, Ron takes a short break from Saint Hill and travels to Washington, DC to deliver an eight-lecture congress in three days.

In addition to running the Saint Hill organization and the Briefing Course, during 1963, Ron films a movie entitled An Afternoon at Saint Hill. The film provides a tour of Saint Hill and a view of activities there.


While continuing his work at Saint Hill, Ron conducts photographic shoots in the surrounding area and carries out a study of promotional actions at the request of a well-known local promoter of events.

In June L. Ron Hubbard begins a series of lectures in which he unravels the complexities of study and education, giving a technology which anyone can use to improve the study of any subject. This becomes study technology, which is used around the world today in both Scientology churches and in private and public education systems.


In January Ron travels to the Canary Islands to begin intensive research on the spiritual nature of man and his origins. He returns to Saint Hill later that month.

His activities during the remainder of the year bring major organizational and technical breakthroughs as a result of his years of work at Saint Hill.

The Classification and Gradation Chart is released, laying out the exact steps to follow in Scientology counseling and training to achieve higher states of awareness and ability.

In November Ron announces and implements the seven-division organizing board. This is a major breakthrough in the successful pattern of operation of any group. It has universal application and is in use today in all churches of Scientology and an increasing number of other organizations.


In February L. Ron Hubbard returns to the Canary Islands to continue his advanced research of the spiritual nature of man. On 18 March he flies to Rhodesia where he investigates the ability of a single individual to single-handedly assist a small country to overcome its problems.

In July he returns to England and delivers the final lectures of the Saint Hill Special Briefing Course.

He releases the first advanced levels of Scientology auditing which take one beyond the state of Clear originally postulated in Dianetics. On 1 September 1966, L. Ron Hubbard resigns from all directorships and management of Scientology churches.

He subsequently accepts his third Explorers Club flag for the Hubbard Geological Survey Expedition, which will find and examine ancient Mediterranean civilizations, amplifying man’s knowledge of his history.

In December Ron purchases the sailing vessel, Enchanter (later renamed Diana).


In 1967, L. Ron Hubbard further distanced himself from the controversy attached to Scientology by resigning as executive director of the church and appointing himself "Commodore" of a small fleet of Scientologist-crewed ships that spent the next eight years cruising the Mediterranean Sea. Here, Hubbard formed the religious order known as the "Sea Organization" or "Sea Org," with titles and uniforms. The Sea Org subsequently became the management group within Hubbard's Scientology empire.

On January 2, Ron arrives in Tangier, Morocco, to continue his research into higher states of spiritual being. He travels to Las Palmas, Canary Islands, where he meets the Enchanter which arrives on 25 February.

With a group of dedicated Scientologists, most of whom had never been to sea, Ron forms the Sea Organization. He trains this inexperienced crew into a team of competent and professional mariners in a matter of months.

Joined by yet another vessel, the Avon River (later renamed the Athena), Ron and his crews conduct the Hubbard Geological Survey Expedition in the Mediterranean.

Ron’s search for the truth results in one of his most significant breakthroughs in removing the barriers to man’s ability to achieve full spiritual freedom. This research is fully codified and made available to advanced Scientologists.

In November Ron travels to England and accepts delivery of the 3,200-ton vessel Royal Scotman as a further expansion of the Sea Organization.


Ron continues training the ships’ crews while living aboard the Royal Scotman (which is renamed Apollo). Ron issues more than three hundred instructional letters, covering all nautical duties from engine room maintenance to fire drills and from navigation to small boat handling.

In the fall of 1968, aboard the Apollo, he delivers 19 lectures and develops a new advanced course, the Class VIII Course, to train auditors to a point of complete, invariable certainty on all the fundamentals of auditing, and flubless application of those principles.

During 1969 he researches the effects and causes of drug addiction and drug use, developing procedures which address and solve the causes of, and remove the harmful mental effects brought about by such abuse. He issues these findings for broad use.

A letter Hubbard wrote to his third wife, Mary Sue, when he was in Las Palmas around 1967: "I’m drinking lots of rum and popping pinks and greys...". The author of an unauthorized Hubbard biography also says that "John McMasters told me that on the flagship Apollo in the late sixties he witnessed Hubbard's drug supply. 'It was the largest drug chest I had ever seen. He had everything!'". This was confirmed by Gerald Armstrong through Virginia Downsborough who said in 1967 he returned to Las Palmas totally debilitated from drugs.[84] We found him a hotel in Las Palmas and the next day I went back to see if he was all right, because he did not seem to be too well. When I went in to his room, there were drugs of all kinds everywhere. He seemed to be taking about sixty thousand different pills. I was appalled, particularly after listening to all his tirades against drugs and the medical profession. There was something very wrong with him... My main concern was to try and get him off all the pills he was on and persuade him that there was still plenty for him to do. He was existing almost totally on a diet of drugs. For three weeks Hubbard was bedridden, while she weaned him off his habit."[2] His experimentation with drugs appears to pre-date the 1967 accounts. [85] A letter written by Hubbard to his ex wife was given special attention in the Church of Scientology v. Armstrong case, I do love you, even if I used to be an opium addict.


Having developed a successful and standardized pattern of organizational form and function, Ron turns to resolving the problems of how to manage an international network of organizations.

Ron streamlines organizational management technology – laying out highly workable principles of personnel, organization and financial management and handling which are found today in the Management Series volumes.

His breakthroughs at this time include the first significant advances on the subject of logic since ancient Greece. Ron conducts a comprehensive study of all existing public relations theories and practices and also releases his discoveries in the field of public relations, providing an entirely analytical and ethical approach to the subject.

In 1972 L. Ron Hubbard carries out a sociological study in and around New York City. Through the remainder of the year and into 1973, he researches vitamins and nutrition which will later become significant in his breakthroughs in the handling of the residual effects of drugs.


In February 1974, while aboard the Apollo, Ron forms a music and dance troupe to provide entertainment and goodwill at Spanish and Portuguese ports of call. He personally instructs the musicians and dancers in artistic presentation, music, composition, sound, arranging and recording.

During October 1974 the Apollo sails across the Atlantic to Bermuda and then on to the Caribbean.

From February through June 1975, while in Curaçao, Ron takes a series of photographs for the island’s tourist bureau and completes six photography projects for release in Scientology books and publications.

By mid-1975 the activities on the Apollo outgrow the vessel’s capacity. Ron returns to the United States.

Ron settles in Dunedin, Florida, where he continues his research into music, examining choir music at local churches. He writes the scripts for the first Scientology educational films.


Ron moves to a southern California desert ranch in La Quinta and establishes, trains and supervises a film production unit. Over the following three years he writes not only a feature-length screenplay, Revolt in the Stars, but also the scripts for thirty-three Scientology instructional films.

During this same three-year period he also shoots, directs and produces seven films which are used in training Scientology counselors.

Ron discovers that drugs remain in the body even years after usage has ceased. Consequently, he develops the Purification Program to rid the body of harmful residual substances. Coupled with his 1969 discoveries, Ron’s development of the drug rehabilitation program is complete. These techniques used by churches of Scientology and drug rehabilitation organizations around the world, allow anyone to free himself from the debilitating effects of drugs.

It is also in 1979 that Ron isolates and solves the problem of increasing illiteracy. His discoveries and solutions later become the published Key to Life Course widely acclaimed for its miraculous results.


During this period Ron devotes the majority of his time to writing.

He composes a nonreligious moral code, The Way to Happiness, as a solution to the eroding morals in society. The broad distribution and widespread acceptance of this code contributes to a grass-roots movement for improved moral values.

Ron also writes two feature-length screenplays and fifty film treatments for public films on Dianetics and Scientology.

To mark his fiftieth anniversary as a professional writer, Ron writes the international blockbuster, Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000, the largest science fiction novel written to date.

As part of his two-million-word output during this period, he also writes his science fiction satire, ten-volume magnum opus, Mission Earth.

1982-24 JANUARY 1986:

L. Ron Hubbard establishes a California home on a ranch outside of San Luis Obispo. He researches and releases new Scientology technical materials which further expand the route to total freedom, all the way to the highest levels of Operating Thetan.

Battlefield Earth is released in 1982 and becomes an international bestseller. Ron composes music and lyrics for an accompanying album – the first-ever soundtrack for a book.

While the acclaim for Battlefield Earth continues to grow with its publication in new languages, the first volume of Ron’s Mission Earth is published in 1985. As each volume of the dekalogy is released it becomes an immediate bestseller. The successive appearance of these volumes on the New York Times bestseller list constitutes a first in publishing history. Ron accompanies Mission Earth with another new music album.

Hubbard's later science fiction sold well and received mixed reviews, but some press reports describe how sales of Hubbard's books were inflated by Scientologists purchasing large numbers of copies in order to manipulate the bestseller charts.

In 1986 the music album The Road to Freedom is released. With music and lyrics written by L. Ron Hubbard, it is Ron’s statement of many basic principles of Scientology.

On 24 January 1986, having accomplished all he set out to do, Ron departs his body. With millions using his technology daily and crediting him with providing the sole means for their happiness and spiritual fulfillment, he has become one of the most beloved men in history.

Hubbard died at his ranch on 24 January 1986, aged 74, reportedly from a stroke. Scientology attorneys arrived to claim his body, which they sought to have cremated immediately per his will. They were blocked by the San Luis Obispo County medical examiner, who ordered a drug toxicology test of a blood sample from Hubbard's corpse. The examination revealed a trace amount of the drug hydroxyzine (brand name Vistaril).[104][105][106] Vistaril is an antihistamine and mild sedative sometimes used for symptomatic treatment of anxiety, neurosis or as an adjunct in non-related diseases in which anxiety is apparent. It is also useful as an anti-emetic (to prevent nausea), and in treating allergic pruritus such as chronic urticaria and atopic and contact dermatoses.[107]

His many friends continue to express their thanks in acknowledgment of the fact that although his physical presence is gone, he is still very much with us in spirit and the legacy of his work lives on.

"In addition to violating and abusing its own members' civil rights, the organization [Scientology] over the years with its "Fair Game" doctrine has harassed and abused those persons not in the Church whom it perceives as enemies. The organization clearly is schizophrenic and paranoid, and the bizarre combination seems to be a reflection of its founder LRH [L. Ron Hubbard]. The evidence portrays a man who has been virtually a pathological liar when it comes to his history, background, and achievements. The writings and documents in evidence additionally reflect his egoism, greed, avarice, lust for power, and vindictiveness and aggressiveness against persons perceived by him to be disloyal or hostile. At the same time it appears that he is charismatic and highly capable of motivating, organizing, controlling, manipulating, and inspiring his adherents." -- Superior Court Judge Paul Breckinridge, Church of Scientology of California vs. Gerald Armstrong, June 20, 1984

The accuracy of Hubbard's self-representations was also addressed in court in a 1984 custody case of a Scientologist and his former wife about two of their children. The judgment of the High court of London (Family Division)[93] quotes the single judge, Latey, that Scientology is "dangerous, immoral, sinister and corrupt" and "has its real objective money and power for Mr. Hubbard."[2] Justice Latey also addressed Hubbard's representation of himself: ... he has made these, among other false claims:
That he was a much decorated war hero. He was not. That he commanded a corvette squadron. He did not.That he was awarded the Purple Heart, a gallantry decoration for those wounded in action. He was not wounded and was not decorated. That he was crippled and blinded in the war and cured himself with Dianetic technique. He was not crippled and was not blinded. That he was sent by U.S. Naval Intelligence to break up a black magic ring in California. He was not. He was himself a member of that occult group and practiced ritual sexual magic in it. That he was a graduate of George Washington University and an atomic physicist. The facts are that he completed only one year of college and failed the one course on nuclear physics in which he enrolled.There is no dispute about any of this. The evidence is unchallenged.

In 2006, Guinness World Records declared Hubbard the world's most published and most translated author, having published 1,084 fiction and non-fiction works that have been translated into 71 languages.[112][113]

Hubbard has been interpreted as "The Friend of Mankind" and a con-artist. These sharply contrasting views have been a source of hostility between Hubbard supporters and critics.