It was routinely claimed by L. Ron Hubbard and the Church of Scientology that, as Mission into Time (LRH, 1973) puts it,
As his father's career kept the family on the move, his parents decided to send their son to his maternal granfather's cattle ranch in Montana. It was here that he spent his childhood years.This claim comes directly from Ron himself - he declared that
L. Ron Hubbard found the life of a young rancher very enjoyable. Long days were spent riding, breaking broncos, hunting coyote and taking his first steps as an explorer ...
When he was 10 years old, in 1921, he rejoined his family.
Until I was ten, I lived the hard life of the West, in a land of 40-degree-below-blizzards and vast spaces.Even now, he is claimed to have lived in a "still pioneer setting" (http://www.lronhubbard.org/p_jpg/profile/chron.htm) and to have faced "a near-death brush with maddened coyotes" and "the regular braving of forty-below blizzards" (Images of a Lifetime, page 4).
In fact, as the following collection of images from the Helena City Directory between 1914-1922 shows, Harry Ross Hubbard was a struggling white-collar clerk, drifting from job to job, trying to make ends meet. He had served four years in the US Navy between 1904-1908 and re-enlisted in 1917, finally retiring in 1943; he did not become a Lieutenant Commander (note: NOT a full Commander, as Ron claimed!) until 1934.
Likewise, Ron's grandfather Lafe was not a naval Captain, as Ron claimed in an Oregon Journal article of 22 April 1943, nor a wealthy cattle rancher; he was a lower-middle-class veterinarian (as is now acknowledged by the CoS) and coal merchant.
At no point during his pre-teen years was Ron separated from his family; his surviving relatives recall no such separation. It is probably as a result of the overwhelming evidence to contradict Ron's version of events that the CoS has quietly dropped its earlier claims and has now adopted an account which, though still containing a few dubious claims, is essentially correct.
Harry Ross Hubbard, 1914 - resident manager of the Family Theater
Harry Ross Hubbard, 1916 - bookkeeper of the Ives-Smith Coal Co.
Harry Ross Hubbard, 1917 - teamster for the Capital City Coal Co.
Lafayette O. Waterbury, 1917 - President of Capital City Coal Co.
(Ron's aunt and uncle are also listed as CCCC staff)
Harry Ross Hubbard, 1918 - US Navy (rank: Ensign)
Harry Ross Hubbard, 1920 - "sailor" (actually US Navy)
Harry Ross Hubbard, 1922 - "moved to San Diego, Calif." on USN duty
Last updated 7 Dec 1996