DEFENDANT ARMSTRONG'S LETTER TO CIRRUS SLEVIN
25 Nov 1981
HCO Cope Officer CMO Int
LRH PA Archivist c/o CECP
cc: Spec Pjt Pjt Ops
cc: Spec Pjt IC
cc: Spec Pjt 2nd (NS)
re: Norman's Report/Biog Research
Thank you for showing me Norman Starkey's report on me. I understand his stand and attitude, although some of the statements presented are not totally accurate. I feel too that he missed the main point I was making, as this was not mentioned in his despatch.
I will go over that "main point" then cover the various points Norman touches on in his report.
What I brought up when talking to Norman, and in fact my working basis as a biographical researcher, is to not present anything for publication on LRH which is not known to be fact.
C of S published biographical sketches, copyrighted in LRH's name, have in the past contained a number of easily disprovable claims. These things have been disproved and shot at by various enemies at various times.
I've attached what is in fact a "false report correction" on some of our claims, prepared by an enemy researcher, Michael Linn Shannon. Much of Shannon's material is accurate. The slant he gives the material is entheta. My emphasis, and I think the emphasis we all must give, to the handling of LRH biographical material is accuracy with a theta slant.
If we present inaccuracies, hyperbole or downright lies as fact or truth, it doesn't matter what slant we give them, if disproved the man will look, to outsiders at least, like a charlatan. This is what I'm trying to prevent and what I've been working on the past year and a half.
I'm sure you've seen examples of this. Take Kima Douglas. For years she claims to be "registered nurse". And for years she handles LRH's medical needs, apparently successfully. Something happens and it is "found out" that she never was an RN. Kima and all that she did are thrown into discredit and she carries her blemish with her. And it doesn't matter even if Kima was better than many certified RN's.
Even in our system it would be severely dealt with if someone pretended certification. Someone claiming to be a Class XII when in fact he had not completed his Academy Levels, or someone claiming to be a C/S when he had only read some HCOBs does not last long. All his work becomes suspect.
It seems to have the effect in people's minds of lessening the stature of not only the person but his work and products when claims he has made, or others have made about him, are debunked.
And that is why I said to Norman that it is up to us to ensure that everything which goes out about LRH is 100% accurate. That is not to say that opinions can't be voiced, they can. And they can contain all the hype you want. But they should not be construed as facts. And anything stated as a fact should be documentable.
We are in a period when "investigative reporting" is popular and when there is relatively easy access to documentation on a person (see Shannon again). We can't delude ourselves I believe, if we want to gain public acceptance and cause some betterment in society, that we can get away with statements, the validity of which we don't know.
The real disservice to LRH, and the ultimate make-wrong is to go on assuming that everything he's ever written or said is 100% accurate and publish it as such without verifying it. I'm talking here about biographical or non-technical writings. This only leads, should any of his statements turn out to be inaccurate, to a make-wrong of him, and consequently, his technology.
That's what I'm trying to remedy and prevent.
To say that LRH is not capable of hype, errors or lies is certainly not granting him much of a beingness. To continue on with the line that he has never erred nor lied is counterproductive. It is an unreal attitude and too far removed from both the reality and people in general that it would widen public unacceptance.
Of course LRH can err. I recall something about Norman being removed from the bridge and as Captain of the "Apollo" by LRH and LRH saying Norman was running the ship aground. Years later Norman disproved this statement. It was an error.
I've attached an item "Data Sheet on Lafayette Ronald Hubbard" in his handwriting which was for use by the PR's and for publication. It contains a number of claims which are not totally accurate, or are flatly untrue.
a. "graduated from Columbia College George Washington University, Washing DC in 1932" He didn't graduate.
b. "attended Princeton University Post Graduate" He didn't.
c. "Led Caribbean Motion Picture Expedition 1933 It was 1932.
d. "West Indies Minerals 1934" It was 1932.
e. "Columbia Pictures 1935" It was 1937.
f. "Many "screen credits" on major stars and pictures". Hyperbole.
g. " Provost Marshall Korea 1945". Untrue
h. " Hollywood Director and writer 1946 on" Untrue, hype and undocumented.
The whole point is that these things are absolutely irrelevant. LRH's contributions to the world, and why we are in this game, are the philosophy and technology he developed. These things stand without false "supporting claims".
When one has a certainty on the validity of the subjects he is not shaken by the personal "flaws" of the man. On the other hand, if the man can be pointed up as false in his personal claims, the subject can be thrown into disrepute to anyone who is not sure in his knowledge of the subject's workability.
That is what the enemy is trying to do, and that is why I feel the falsities must be corrected, and why we must verify our facts and present them in a favorable light.
If LRH's position and PR were strong and secure right now, I could be corrected on this viewpoint, but they aren't, and I can't. Even if all the legal cases are won, the PR must be handled if LRH is to have the freedom and success he deserves.
The fact is, LRH's true life story is far more interesting and poignant than the BS and hype show. They detract from the man and his story. The truth, well presented, is a fabulous story.
It is not logical that I should be targeted for digging up the facts. LRH always has a good reason for doing what he does, so where there are untruths or contrary facts, we'll someday, when there is a line to him, have to ask him. For now, we can't go on making up stories to cover up undocumented "facts", untruths or contrary facts. We don't even know why he said what he said at the time. All we can go on is the documents and what is known for certain.
Now to cover the various points I recall from Norman's report:
1. Commander Thompson. I never said this is a lie. I just said we don't have any supporting evidence, so why use it. We just shouldn't until we get the documentation.
There are contrary facts surrounding Thompson. Eg. VMH: "Between the years 1923 and 1928, he received an extensive education in the field of the human mind from Commander Thompson..." Same article, previous page is the statement: "From 1925 to 1929 L. Ron Hubbard journeyed throughout Asia." Did Thompson accompany him? Was it a correspondence course? We just don't know.
2. LRH's Grandfather's cattle ranch in Montana. Well, it just doesn't exist. I've interviewed LRH's Aunt, Uncle, 4 cousins, all of whom deny the existence of a cattle ranch. Montana State records don't show the existence of a cattle ranch. Yet there it is in the Biographical Sketch attached.
Again, this is not to decry LRH, just the opposite. He doesn't need lies told about him.
3. I believe Norman mentioned something about the claim of being a nuclear physicist. This is just an indefensible claim. It neither accurately describes LRH's status nor his accomplishments. Plus it opens the door to attack. It may have been okay at some point, but not when he is being held up to public scrutiny and ridicule.
Again, it isn't that it is right or wrong that he has said what he has said. That point is irrelevant. It's just a matter of workability. This is not the age for hype and untruths; they haven't worked.
4. Nibs. What I stated was that the situation with Nibs is to a great degree our creation. He has been mishandled and dealt with dishonestly.
Dishonesty begets dishonesty. Nibs has known he was getting SO#1 letters; not LRH letters. That's just not a 100° honest handling of the man's son. It doesn't excuse his own acts and condition, but it helps in their understanding.
I believe that unless there is an understanding and acknowledgement that the guy was mishandled and dealt with dishonestly, even if to a very tiny degree, the situation can't resolve. I'm not saying tell Nibs, just get honest about it. That's all I said.
As far as Omar Garrison's attitude is concerned, I've attached 4 statements:
1. His statement about LRH from "Hidden Story of Scientology". This lays out OVG's opinion of the man.
2. OVG's "LRH Biog -- Workpoints" which show his appreciation for the man and job of doing the book.
3. LRH's response of 16 Mar 1977 to Omar's "Workpoints".
4. LRH's comment in 1976; " Omar is a great writer." This indicates LRH's appreciation of OVG.
As far as I am concerned, I feel the, biography is perhaps the single most important PR action we've ever taken. And I feel it must be 100% accurate. My job is documentation. Facts, not opinions.
Norman's report showed his concern about what data is being given to Omar. I would like it known that I have simply delivered copies of the documents I have here. Omar is intelligent. He is an adult. He draws his own conclusions. And he is writing the book himself. I have not given him one word of advice on the content or direction of his book.
I'm sure he would be very willing to talk to anyone, in fact his complaint has been an apparent lack of concern about the biog.
My integrity leads me in the direction I've laid out above. If this is unsatisfactory and I should not be on the project with this viewpoint, please let me know right away. Omar depends on me to a great degree and I would want to get a replacement grooved in speedily as the book project nears completion.
I'm open to any response from any of the recipients of this note.
And it would be good if Norman got in comm with me. I'd welcome the opportunity to show him the documentation I've assembled.
Let me know back soon as I feel my existence has been unstabilized.