Scientology 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:
“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:
One 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:
After 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:
The Coroner, however, never ruled or opined as to whether or not L. Ron Hubbard was in a sound state of mind. Clearly, however, an elderly post-stroke man who is being treated with a psychoactive drug is likely suffering from diminished mental capacity. Nevertheless., 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 causitively 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 Pallidum in Hollywood:
Pat Broeker where are you?
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