The founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, was exposed as a fraud 30 years ago by British diplomats who were investigating his qualifications.
The science-fiction writer, who invented a religion now followed by celebrities such as Tom Cruise, awarded himself a PhD from a sham “diploma mill” college that he had acquired, the diplomats found.
Such was the climate of fear and paranoia surrounding Scientology that the U.S. believed the sect had sent bogus doctors to declare a high-ranking legal investigator mad and then taken his papers relating to the case.
Scientologists threatened to sue the British Government for libel after it acted in 1968 to ban followers from entering the country to visit the sect’s world headquarters in East Grinstead, West Sussex.
To defend itself, Britain needed to establish whether Lafayette Ron Hubbard was a charlatan.
Department of Health files, some closed until 2019, have been released early to The Times of London by the National Archives after a successful request under the Freedom of Information Act.