The Scientology Money Project

The Church of Scientology’s Great Big Lie About the Death of Founder L. Ron Hubbard

LRHScientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard died at approximately 8:00 PM local time on January 24, 1986 at his ranch in Creston, California. Hubbard was 74 years of age when he died alone inside of the luxury Bluebird motor home in which he had been living.

Three days after Hubbard’s death on January 27, 1986 Church of Scientology officials, led by David Miscavige, announced that the Founder had “discarded his body” to Scientologists gathered at the Palladium in Hollywood.

The great big big lie these Church of Scientology officials told Scientologists was that L. Ron Hubbard’s body was still strong and in perfect health and that Hubbard had simply laid down on his bed and “causitively dropped his body.”

This post deals with the actual facts surrounding the death of L. Ron Hubbard the Church of Scientology officials withheld from Scientology parishioners and the public at large. L. Ron Hubbard’s death certificate, autopsy results, and the San Luis Obispo Sheriff-Coroner’s report are at the bottom of this article. The report can also be found here.

Hubbard’s attending physician was a Scientologist named Dr. Gene Denk. According to Denk, L. Ron Hubbard had suffered a stroke one week before his death. Denk stated that official cause of Hubbard’s death was the stroke, or what Denk dispassionately called in the death certificate, a “cerebral vascular accident.” Hence, Dr. Denk concluded that L. Ron Hubbard had a stroke and died about a week later as a result.

While the Sheriff-Coroner accepted Dr. Denk’s determination of the cause of death, the Sheriff-Coroner nevertheless conducted a formal investigation before allowing Denk to officially certify Hubbard’s cause of death as a stroke. The Sheriff-Coroner was concerned about three things:

1. The long delay between Hubbard’s death and the mortuary being called to arrange for an immediate cremation of Hubbard’s body. Indeed, it was the mortuary that contacted the authorities about Hubbard’s death. The mortuary expressed its concern about the time delay to the Sheriff-Coroner.

2. The possibility of foul play or suicide.

3. As was discovered, Hubbard had signed a new will the day before he died. The Sheriff-Coroner mentions this in his report with respect to Hubbard’s post-stroke mental condition.

Three additional elements must be factored into Hubbard’s death:

    • According to the late Robert Vaughn Young (see video bel0w beginning at 2:45), Dr. Denk was in Reno, Nevada on a gambling trip with David Miscavige and other Scientologists when Hubbard had his stroke. Denk had to travel 400 miles back to the ranch. This is a 6-7 hour drive. This is a critical post-stroke period during which Hubbard received no medical care.
    • Dr. Denk was in Reno he was notified of Hubbard’s distress. Denk knew he had a 6-7 hour drive ahead of him back to the ranch. Why then did Dr. Denk fail to order the stricken Scientology founder immediately transported by ambulance to the nearest hospital for emergency intensive care? Failing this standard of care, why was a local doctor not summoned to the ranch to care for Hubbard in the critical hours following his stroke? This is very suspect conduct.
    • No autopsy was ever performed on Hubbard. The Scientology founder had signed a document four days before he died forbidding an autopsy based on his religious beliefs. Absent an autopsy there is no scientifically conclusive way of knowing L. Ron Hubbard’s cause of death. Hubbard died alone in his Bluebird luxury motorhome.

The late Robert Vaughn Young discussed Hubbard’s declining mental state at the end of his life and the events surrounding Hubbard’s death.

Based upon what Dr. Denk told the Sheriff-Coroner, L. Ron Hubbard had a long standing history of chronic pancreatitis and a recent history of dysphrasia:

Hubbard.Autopsy.1“Dysphrasia” is an older medical term that has, in more recent times, been replaced by the word  aphasia which is defined as:Impaired or absent comprehension or production of, or communication by, speech, writing, or signs; due to an acquired lesion of or injury to a language center of the brain; may be transient if cerebral swelling subsides.”

The Sheriff-Coroner noted Dr. Denk’s remarks that Hubbard’s “recent history of dysphrasia” lasted for about eight days prior to Hubbard’s final and fatal stroke:
Hubbard.2One can safely assume that Hubbard’s stroke was the cause of his slurred speech and other symptoms of dysphrasia.

The evidence of Hubbard’s attending physician Dr. Denk conclusively proves that senior Church of Scientology officials, led by David Miscavige and Pat Broeker, deliberately and willfully lied to Church parishioners and the public. L. Ron Hubbard had long-term pancreatitis, suffered a stroke after which he experienced dysphrasia, and was being treated with the drug Vistaril in the days prior to his death. Pfizer Data Sheet on Vistaril.

The coroner found ten needle marks on Hubbard’s body. If we assume there were only ten intramuscular injections of Vistaril in the 2-3 days before Hubbard’s death, then this would argue for the use of Vistaril as an anti-anxiety medication. I say this because Vistaril, when used as an antihistamine, is used to treat itching caused by skin conditions such as dermatitis, rashes, and hives. However, the coroner’s examination of Hubbard’s body revealed no dermatological conditions. No hives or rashes were noted.

While the Church of Scientology claims that Hubbard was being treated with Vistaril for allergies, it has failed to substantiate its  claim by producing Hubbard’s medical records. Specifically, the Church would need to show Dr. Denk’s written diagnosis of a dermatological allergy. The dosage and frequency of dosing Hubbard with Vistaril is of interest. Specifically:

  • The recommended dose for treating itching (pruritus) is 25 mg given 3 or 4 times daily by mouth or by intramuscular injection.
  • Anxiety and tension are managed with 50 to 100 mg in 4 divided doses or 50-100 mg intramuscular injection in 4 or 6 divided doses.

A >25mg daily dose of Vistaril would tend to prove that Hubbard was experiencing post-stroke anxiety and thus Denk prescribed Vistaril to treat psychoneurosis.


The secondary problem with Hubbard’s death is this: We have here an elderly post-stroke man suffering from slurred speech; who may not be able to write or to comprehend written materials; is under the influence of a psychoactive drug; and who arguably has diminished mental capacity. However, we are asked by Church of Scientology officials to believe that L. Ron Hubbard was mentally fit to sign a new will on the day before his death. At the time, San Luis Obispo County Chief Deputy Coroner Don Hines expressed this precise concern:

LRH.DeathAfter conducting an investigation, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office determined that there was no foul play or suicide in the death of L. Ron Hubbard:

LRH.Death.2The Coroner, however, never ruled or opined as to whether or not L. Ron Hubbard was in a sound state of mind. Clearly, though, an elderly post-stroke man being treated with a psychoactive drug is suffering from diminished mental capacity.

The Church of Scientology swept all of this under the rug and, three days after Hubbard’s death, created and staged the phony myth of L. Ron Hubbard causatively dropping his healthy, fit, and strong physical body as it had become an impediment to his advanced spiritual researches.

How perfectly “Church of Scientology” it was for Hubbard to have died in hiding from the law and thereafter ascended into glory onstage at the Palladium in Hollywood. David Miscavige opened the program where the phony version of Hubbard’s death was announced to Scientologists. Thus, David Miscavige began his palace coup to take over the Church of Scientology with a lie about Hubbard’s death. Miscavige has continued to incessantly lie for decades since. Some of his lies were outright perjury. The LRH Death Event:

Scientologist and Church of Scientology attorney Earle Cooley helped spread the big lie about Hubbard’s death: 

Pat Broeker where are you?

Please contact me if you want to talk:

20 replies »

  1. You nailed it Jeff. What I’m most curious about after reading this is what did his earlier will say, before this faked one was “signed” and then used as the official version? It is known that there are any number of people in the upper levels of the Sea Org (including David Miscavige) who can write in Hubbard’s style exactly. It would be of great interest – although purely academic speculation at this point since it will never happen – to get a real handwriting expert to evaluate Hubbard’s last will and his previous ones to determine which was actually signed off by him.

    You can be sure that whatever ended up being done, was done purely for the benefit of David Miscavige.

  2. Pat was very close to Hubbard. If Hubbard’s OT levels had worked, then Pat would not have left. Nobody would leave and give up a working technology!
    Cause over MEST and life … Did not even work for Hubbard. Also the L’s: Stable exterior and hardly PTS to anything. But all illnesses are caused by suppression (PTS).
    Surely, the cult cannot admit any illness. I was wondering why they finally admitted Vistaril. My Ex-wife was still told that there was no Vistaril. The cult changed the story about half a year later.
    There was no cognitive dissonance … well brainwashed with sec checks :'(

  3. Hi Jeff,

    I’m wondering where the testimony of Sarge Pfauth fits into this timeline – whether it was just prior to these strokes , well before or between. I can’t find any reference that gives a specific timeline

  4. “Ladies and gentlemen the event starts now!” – This sounds like the start of an auditing session, “This IS the session!” They put the audience in a light hypnotic trance at the start of the show to make them more amenable. How deliciously evil

  5. Chris, the matter of the LRH wills is a subject for another post.

    Essentially, LRH’s “estate planning” was synonymous with All Clear and Corporate Sort Out.

    Also, LRH’s wife Mary Sue Hubbard was entitled to 100% of everything Hubbard owned in the event of his death. Therefore, Mary Sue had to be gotten out of the way before LRH died. David Miscavige and the other “Young Turks” saw to this.

    IMO, David Miscavige and Pat Broeker had no real interest in making it “All Clear” for LRH. Rather, it served their interests to keep running the Dangerous Environment Racket on him so as to keep him in hiding and offlines.

    Pat Broeker could easily give his side of the story to Surviving Scientology Radio and I hope he does.

  6. elaraitch, so many people would like to have an exact chronology of the last 30 days of LRH’s life. I’m very interested in the exact sequence of events after LRH’s first stroke.

  7. barefacedmessiah, the Church has always had a problem with Vistaril and the Founder. The presence of Vistaril in LRH’s blood was confirmed by laboratory analysis; Dr. Denk also confirmed it to the Sheriff-Coroner. Hence, there is unassailable evidence.

    The Church tries to argue that LRH had allergies because he lived on a ranch and that Vistaril was used for its antihistamine properties. Yet, LRH claimed his Tech could handle allergies and so much more. If so, then why did the Tech did not handle Hubbard’s allergies, stroke, pancreas, or cyanosis?

    In some sense, the Church expects LRH to get a free pass because he was old and lived on a ranch. However, LRH does not get a free pass on Vistaril. Why? Because he himself set the standard to which he was to be held when he created and made endless claims for Dianetics and Scientology. We can therefore hold Hubbard to his own standards. We can likewise hold the Church to the same standard.

    Vistaril is not indicated for a stuffy nose, itchy throat or bronchial irritation caused by airborne pollen and other allergens. As noted in the Pfizer prescribing data sheet, Vistaril — when used for its antihistamine properties — is prescribed for itching caused by dermatological conditions such as pruritus.

    Dr. Denk prescribed Vistaril in the absence of any skin conditions, and, the Coroner did not note any skin conditions on Hubbard’s body. Further, Denk openly discussed LRH’s health issues with the Coroner and did not mention any skin conditions.

    The deduction, therefore, is that Denk prescribed Vistaril for anxiety in the last few days of Hubbard’s life. In other words, Denk prescribed Vistaril for a psychiatric indication. Denk had to know Hubbard was dying. In this scenario, perhaps Denk opted for “care and comfort” in what was an end-of-life hospice situation for his patient.

    In any case, the Church would have to produce Hubbard’s medical records to conclusively put to rest the “Antihistamine or Psych Drug?” debate over L. Ron Hubbard and Vistaril. The Church will not and cannot do this as Hubbard’s medical records would show that the claimed benefits of the Tech did not work on the Founder. Thus, the Church has to take the hit on Vistaril and try to reduce its significance by claiming an intramuscular administration of Vistaril for Hubbard’s allergies.

    Wikipedia entry on Vistaril:

    “Hydroxyzine (/haɪˈdrɒksɨziːn/; sold as Vistaril, Atarax) is a first-generation antihistamine of the diphenylmethane and piperazine class. It was first synthesized by Union Chimique Belge in 1956 and was marketed by Pfizer in the United States later the same year,[2] and is still in widespread use today.”

    “Due to its antagonistic effects on several receptor systems in the brain, hydroxyzine is claimed to have strong anxiolytic and mild antiobsessive as well as antipsychotic properties.[3] Today it is used primarily for the symptomatic relief of anxiety and tension associated with psychoneurosis and as an adjunct in organic disease states in which anxiety is manifested. Because of its antihistamine effects it can also be used for the treatment of severe cases of itching, hyperalgesia and motion sickness-induced nausea, it has also been used in some cases to relieve the effects of opioid withdrawal.[4][5] Even though it is an effective sedative, hypnotic, and anxiolytic, it allegedly shares virtually none of the abuse, dependence, addiction, and toxicity potential of other drugs used for the same range of therapeutic reasons.”

  8. Sect check in the cult might always be a good thing! The reasons of Miscavige paranoia & having Pat broeker followed by som PI for some decades is reasonable be that David Miscavige took something that does not belong to him from Pat Broeker. Miscavige has not even been to the place Hubbard spend his last years.

    Miscavige might have lured Pat into signing some backdated document “in order to save the church of scientology” and “secure Hubbard’s will” without any intention of anything else but raising to power. that’s my guess.

    Whatever Hubbard said, did or wrote after the stroke it would wear sign of the stroke. Steve ‘Sarge’ Pfauth who worked under Hubbard for four years until the founder’s death in January 1986, said his owner regretted ever making up the Church. the fact that they not even been at the place Hubbard spend his last days is a lingo in itself.
    The little man had alway wanted to be big and strong and now, the little man saw his chance,

  9. Hubbard would supposedly sign the Personal letters written to him. This was a famous back page of each of the Org magazines. Around 1980/81 I found out that no way could Hubbard reply and sign all those letters while at Over The Rainbow. I was told by a Commadors Messenger that this was done by the Messengers instead of Hubbard. I stopped writing after I compared the signatures for the letters I received.

  10. Good point there! It seems to have been pre-signed letters in blanco, at the time and place of the action. But signing after a stroke can be hard to do and the sign might not at all be similiar to that one before the stroke.

  11. Obviously a plan was put into place prior to LRH’s death by David Miscavage to mask all physical problems and use of Vistaril in order to take over as head of this organization. Dr. Denk was clearly was involved and LRH’s mental capacity ruled him out to make any decisions, legally or otherwise.

    An investigation should have uncovered the deceit which would then produce malpractice charges on Dr.Denk and disallowed the Will.

    So many lies….and now a premeditated coup
    was accomished and the ultimate lie accomplished!

    Surely this only adds to the long list of abuse that our government (via the IRS & Justice Dpt) must be held accountable and revisit the tax exemption status for this unbelievably criminal group.

    Regarding charges that should be filed on medical personnel & Miscavage (and his lackeys), all IRS accomplises also should be reviewed as the religious status is disallowed.

  12. Wow, finally seeing where people are questioning things I have questioned! Where are all these top level people that David got rid of? It would seem they would answer some questions but no telling what happened to them or where! Where are his children? How many did he have? Since he was a senior he had to have a Son, why didn’t he take his place? Saw the part where he wished he never started the Church which means they could have done something to him (since no autopsy) so that the church would continue! So many questions and wonder why police aren’t checking into it! This could be a very big fraud case on David! I do believe a lot of the people in it do not know what is going on! All these tapes and books tha HAVE to be read could have subliminal messages in them! IMHO I think David is 666 and if we don’t get this stopped he will take over!

  13. Thank you Jeff for such a well written and thorough piece. I had heard tidbits about LRH’s death
    years back but this clarifies so much. Agreed. The depth of blatent lies by theChurch are ridiculous and over the top criminal.

  14. In the grand scheme of things what difference does this make? One would think Hubbard is on par with Jeff Epstein or Bezos. He was no billionaire for all you triggered morons to obsess over so. Not even a Rothschild. I’ve found his work and processes very liberating indeed. His work has been my barrier against the onslaught of the Bolshevik insanity that goes back at least three centuries. But none of the yahoo’s here can get out of their little Hubbard bubbles to see the bigger picture Hubbard so accurately tore asunder — psychiatry and people’s rights against statism.

  15. In the grand scheme of things, the difference it makes it that David Miscavige and the Church of Scientology told a massive and outright lie about how L. Ron Hubbard actually died. This is fraud and goes to the point that Scientology lies as the central principle of its own existence.

    Why didn’t Scientology simply tell the truth: L. Ron Hubbard grew old and died of a stroke. People grow old and die from heart attacks, strokes, cancer, pneumonia and other causes. That is the truth of human existence. Why lie about it?

    Instead, Scientology Cult leader David Miscavige and his minions manufactured a bullshit story about Hubbard “causatively” departing his healthy and robust body so he could go do research outside of the body. Sorry pal, but bullshit is bullshit. Scientology has to own it.

  16. Lol. It’s both sad and somehow genius, that these people are able and prepared to uphold and sustain both their own respective and collective, ultimately, delusion. Wow!

  17. “Why should I write cheap sci fi for a penny a word when I can found a religion and get lots of money?” Congrats LRH, you died surrounded by piles of Las Vegas laundered money you could not spend while incarcerated in a trailer you could not leave lest the FBI find you! Money changes everything!

  18. I had a lot of strange synchronicity with Hubbard and Scientology beginning in 1976. I also suspect that Frank Herbert was a ghost writer for Hubbard, when he wrote Dune, all six books. The impression I had was that Dune was basically a true story and that the people in the beginning of the story reincarnated in the middle of the story and again at the end. Duke Leto corresponds with Miles Teg at the end and Paul Atreides corresponds with Darwi Odrade at the end. Etc. There are also numerous correlations between Dune and Mission Earth. It seems that Hubbard was describing the same people as truly fictional characters in Mission Earth.

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