In 1950, L. Ron Hubbard referred to homosexuality as a sexual perversion that ought to be considered an “illness”, and anyone who lives with such an affliction should be considered “extremely dangerous to society”.
Four years later, his son Quentin Hubbard was born.
Quentin was Hubbard’s fourth child – his second son – to his third wife, Mary Sue Hubbard.
In this same year, Hubbard launched a new religion based on two books he had written, Dianetics: The Evolution of a Science, and Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. Within both texts lay a doctrine, originally intended to be a new type of psychotherapy. But something about the promise of spiritual healing, and a new conceptualisation of the “science of the mind”, appealed to Americans in the early 1950s.
His second book sat at the top of the New York Times bestseller list for six months, and according to Professor Paul Gutjahr, Dianetics has become the highest selling religious book of the 20th century, with the exception of the bible.
Hubbard indoctrinated his children into the Church of Scientology, deciding his eldest son, Ron Jr. Hubbard, would be the obvious successor. But in 1959, when Ron Jr. was 25 years old, he defected – never to return to the church. For the remainder of his life, Ron, who changed his name to Ronald Edward DeWolf, was vocally critical of his father and the “cult” he had created.
Among many others, Louis Theroux has produced a must-watch documentary titled ‘My Scientology Movie’. Post continues below.
It was then that Hubbard decided his second eldest son, Quentin, would be his successor and one day lead the organisation.
The Sea Organisation, a branch of Scientology, was in its infancy, and Hubbard took Quentin with him to live on the ship Apollo while he completed his auditor training.
Quentin was always outspoken, however, about the fact his ambitions did not lie within the church. At first, he wanted to be a pilot, and by the time he was 20, he had decided he wanted to be a dancer.
Although the timeline is somewhat unclear, it is understood Quentin was either gay or bisexual – a realisation he struggled to come to terms with.
Mike Goldestein, the former Financial Controller of the Church of Scientology, told Channel 4 in 1997, “Quentin really was a real sweet kid. He was a real nice guy, and very soft-spoken and it was very difficult for him being Hubbard’s son and being put in this very high position… I don’t think he was interested in.
“He just wanted to be a pilot and also the fact that he was gay and that’s a very tough thing in Scientology. Oh, that would be a horrible thing to be wrestling with.”
Hubbard cared about few things more than his children living up to their family name. And before long, he was hearing whispers.
Friends and church officials knew Quentin was grappling with his sexual orientation, and Laurel Sullivan, Hubbard’s former public relations officer, told the Los Angeles Times, “He thought Quentin was an embarrassment. And he told me that several times.”
That’s when Quentin, in his early twenties, made an attempt at suicide.
A friend found him, but as soon as Quentin recovered, his father sent him into relative isolation.
Kima Douglas, a former member of Scientology, described Quentin as a, “miserable, miserable boy… His father crucified him – had him com-eved [tried in a Scientology court], thrown in the RPF [forced labour], declared out-tech [heretical].
“He was not a boy with a manly demeanour.”
Then, in 1976, Quentin mysteriously went missing from his home in Florida.
He was soon found unconscious in a car next to Las Vegas airport, with the engine on, and a hose running from the exhaust pipe. It was presumed – with good reason – to be suicide, but soon it became clear a number of things did not add up.
When Hubbard was informed his son was unconscious and likely dead as a result of suicide, it was reported, “he didn’t cry or anything”. He was immediately concerned about how this would reflect upon and ultimately discredit Scientology.
He was also found with a beard, which hadn’t be trimmed for some time. People who knew Quentin maintained he would never allow himself to look so dishevelled, as he was always meticulous in his presentation.
Bizarrely, the license plate of the car was missing, and was later found under a rock a fair distance away.
His wallet was missing, an almost empty bottle of alcohol was found, which didn’t make sense as Quentin had not been drinking, and there were visible needle marks in his arms, when he was not a drug user.
Researchers claim that Scientology has, historically, pushed people into taking their own lives. There is also significant speculation that many deaths have been framed as suicides, when they believe they were actually murders. Some theorise Quentin was kidnapped and abused, before being dumped in a car with carbon monoxide.
Quentin’s death has been officially labelled a “possible suicide”.
Dr. Christopher (‘Kit’) Green, a CIA agent who has assessed the autopsy summary and hospital charts, states Quentin’s death was inconsistent with carbon monoxide poisoning.
The scene of the suicide therefore appears staged.
If Quentin was, in fact, murdered, we cannot be sure by whom. Perhaps it was someone wanting to exact revenge on Hubbard, knowing ‘suicide’ would bring shame upon his organisation.
Or maybe, it was the Church of Scientology themselves. Did Hubbard detest his son so much he would order to have him killed?
We might not ever know.
It is unequivocal, however, that the Church of Scientology has more than 60 years of secrets, and we might have only just begun scratching the surface.