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Excalibur


In 1938, L. Ron Hubbard had a Near Death Experience. In my opinion, more can be found in there as to the real origin of Scientology than on the theories to the effect that he assembled a relatively coeherent and original system out of bits and pieces he supposedly stole from various sources. The book he wrote in the immediate aftermath of this experience (in addition of the Axioms and Logics, the real core of Scientology) is supposedly called "Excalibur", though the very existence of this book is as yet unsubstantiated. Here are references I could find on the net about this experience and about this book. They have to be read critically, of course, as much of this information is unverified and some of the sources, such as Paulette Cooper, even dubious.


 

Usenet post from the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology.

Source: Excalibur

mail@bernie.us-inc.com (Bernie)

Fri, 08 Oct 1999 21:11:26 GMT

Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: Excalibur
Message-ID: <3804407a.4381509@enews.newsguy.com>

On Sun, 03 Oct 1999 21:32:22 GMT "Melanie Brookes"
<melaniebrookes@hotmail.com> wrote in
<GXPJ3.3591$L6.2317932@news1.rdc1.on.wave.home.com>:

> He wrote a silly book called Excalibur based on his nitrous oxide "insight" called "Excaliber" and unsuccesfully peddled it to numerous publishers, all rejected it.

From Russell Miller in http://xenu.phys.uit.no/bfm/bfm08.htm :(Link doesn't work anymore)
 

The gate opened and just beyond he could see a kind of intellectual smorgasbord on which was outlined everything that had ever puzzled the mind of man. All the questions that had concerned philosophers through the ages.

'Basically what he told me was that after he died he rose in spirit form and looked back on the body he had formerly inhabited. Over yonder he saw a fantastic great gate, elaborately carved like something you'd see in Baghdad or ancient China. As he wafted towards it, the gate opened and just beyond he could see a kind of intellectual smorgasbord on which was outlined everything that had ever puzzled the mind of man. All the questions that had concerned philosophers through the ages - When did the world begin? Was there a God? Whither goest we? - were there answered. All this information came flooding into him and while he was absorbing it, there was a sort of flustering in the air and he felt something like a long umbilical cord pulling him back. He was saying "No, no, not yet!", but he was pulled back anyway. After the gates had closed he realized he had re-entered his body.

'He opened his eyes and found a nurse standing over him looking very concerned. Just as a surgeon walked into the room, Ron said, "I was dead, wasn't I?" The surgeon shot a venomous look at the nurse as if to say, "What have you been telling this guy?" But Ron said "No, no, I know I was dead."

For the next 48 hours, at a blinding rate, he wrote a work called Excalibur.

'The next part of the story I would find very difficult to direct realistically if I was a movie director. According to Ron, he jumped off the operating table, ran to his Quonset hut, got two reams of paper and a gallon of scalding black coffee and for the next 48 hours, at a blinding rate, he wrote a work called Excalibur, or The Dark Sword.

He also said that as he shopped the manuscript around, the people who read it either went insane or committed suicide.

'Well, he kept the manuscript with him and when he left the Navy he shopped it around publishers in New York, but was constantly turned down. He was told it was too radical, too much of a quantum leap. If it had been a variation of Freud or Jung or Adler, a bit of an improvement here and there, it would have been acceptable, but it was just too far ahead of everything else. He also said that as he shopped the manuscript around, the people who read it either went insane or committed suicide. The last time he showed it to a publisher, he was sitting in an office waiting for a reader to give his opinion. The reader walked into the office, tossed the manuscript on the desk and then threw himself out of the window.

'Ron would not tell me much about Excalibur except that if you read it you would find all fear would be totally drained from you. I could never see what was wrong with that or why that would cause anyone to commit suicide.'

Later that morning he telephoned Gordon Dewey and Peter Grainger, repeated the story Ron had told him and asked them if they would take a look at the manuscript. His sly hint of the potential risk only served to whet their appetites. 'They were mad keen to see it,' Ackerman said. 'I remember Dewey saying, "No combination of words, ideas or philosophy will have that effect on me!"'

Ackerman reported the good news to his client, but Hubbard, suddenly and uncharacteristically bashful, refused to produce the manuscript. 'He said it was in a bank vault and it was going to stay there. I think he was quite sincere. He seemed like a man who had seen too many people go crazy or commit suicide, who had enough on his conscience already. I never did get to see the manuscript or show it to any publisher. In fact, I never encountered anyone who said they had seen it.'

 

From Martin Gardner in
http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Library/Shelf/gardner/ :
 

While he was dead, he had received a tremendous inspiration, a great Message which he must impart to others ... Dianetics, I was recently told by a friend of Hubbard's, is based upon one chapter of Excalibur.

The amazing story behind Excalibur was revealed by Arthur J. Cox in the July, 1952, issue of Science-Fiction Advertiser, a magazine published by science-fantasy fans in Glendale, California. In 1948, Hubbard told the California fans that during an operation performed on him for injuries received while in the Navy, he was actually dead for eight minutes. As Cox tells it, "Hubbard realized that while he was dead, he had received a tremendous inspiration, a great Message which he must impart to others. He sat at his typewriter for six days and nights and nothing came out -- then, Excalibur emerged. Excalibur contains the basic metaphysical secrets of the universe. He sent it around to some publishers; they all hastily rejected it.... He locked it away in a bank vault. But then, later, he informed us that he would try publishing a 'diluted' version of it.... Dianetics, I was recently told by a friend of Hubbard's, is based upon one chapter of Excalibur."

On Hubbard's advertising sheets, the blurb for Excalibur is worth quoting. "Mr. Hubbard wrote this work in 1938. When four of the first fifteen people who read it went insane, Mr. Hubbard withdrew it and placed it in a vault where it remained until now. Copies to selected readers only and then on signature. Released only on sworn statement not to permit other readers to read it. Contains data not to be released during Mr. Hubbard's stay on earth. The complete fast formula of clearing. The secret not even Dianetics disclosed. Facsimile of original, individually typed for manuscript buyer. Gold bound and locked. Signed by author. Very limited. Per copy ... $1,500.00."

 

From George Malko in
http://wpxx02.toxi.uni-wuerzburg.de/~krasel/CoS/books/malko/2.htm (Website doesn't exist anymore)
 

He implied that *Excalibur* was something that had been put there to create interest.

Whatever the price tag, *Excalibur* has actually inspired fans to try and buy it. Jack Horner told me of being with Hubbard in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1953, when Hubbard was living and lecturing there, "and some guy came to the door trying to buy it. Well, Hubbard sent the guy away - handled him - and then looked at me and Jim Pinkham, and smiled." The moment seemed right, so Horner, who had begun to wonder if *Excalibur* really exists, got up enough courage and asked Hubbard point-blank. "I don't really recall word for word what he said," Horner went on, 'but he implied that *Excalibur* was something that had been put there to create interest."

 

From Arthur J. Burks in
http://wpxx02.toxi.uni-wuerzburg.de/~cowen/essays/burks.html (Website doesn't exist anymore)
 

There is some question as to whether there was such a manuscript, but I assure you there was.

I'M GOING to try to tell something of "Excalibur" - as much as I remember, without having the manuscript by me. If its author, L. Ron Hubbard, told me the truth, I am the first person to read "Excalibur". [...] There is some question as to whether there was such a manuscript, but I assure you there was, and probably still is, somewhere. It was a source of considerable disappointment to Ron Hubbard that he didn't get it published.

[...]

I think the time was about mid-1938 - maybe a little earlier, May or June. I had known Ron off and on for six or seven years. [...] Ron called me one day - the strange thing about this was that he called during the day - and said, "I want to see you right away. I have written THE book." I never saw anybody so worked up - and he was disturbed over a lot of angles. Apparently, he started to write the book, and had written it without sleeping, eating, or anything else - and had himself literally worked to a frazzle.

He was so sure he had something "away out and beyond" anything else that he had sent telegrams to several book publishers.

He was so sure he had something "away out and beyond" anything else that he had sent telegrams to several book publishers, telling them that he had written "THE book" and that they were to meet him at Penn Station, and he would discuss it with them and go with whomever gave him the best offer.

Going back to "The Book", I don't remember how long it was. It probably was under 70,000, which is considered an average book. He told me what he wanted to do with it - it was going to revolutionize everything: the world, people's attitudes toward one another. He thought it was somewhat more important, and would have a greater impact upon people, than the Bible.

I am the one who suggested "Excalibur", because Excalibur was King Arthur's sword. This had a certain mystical meaning that suited Ron.

After I'd read the manuscript, we got to arguing over different titles. I asked him what he wanted to accomplish. He wanted to make changes. He wanted to reach inside people and really work them over, and he had to have a title that would be attractive. I am the one who suggested "Excalibur", because Excalibur was King Arthur's sword. This had a certain mystical meaning that suited Ron, and so "The Book" became "Excalibur".

As I remember "Excalibur", it started - in the introduction only - with a king who got all his wise men together and told them to prepare and bring to him all the wisdom of the world contained in 500 books.

[...]

Then he really gave them an assignment. He said, "Now go away and bring to me all the wisdom of the world in one word."

What was the one word? I don 't know how many times we argued, Ron and I, to discover what this one word was. It may have been the creative fiat, it might have just been the word "Be", it might have been the word "Survive". I don't think we ever settled it. But the book "Excalibur" from there on had to do with survival.

He started with the very first life - the very first cells - how they struggled for survival - how they tried to be and be "it" the whole time.

I'll try to remember some of it, chapter by chapter, and to explain why it was so squirmy. For example, he started with the very first life - the very first cells - how they struggled for survival - how they tried to be and be "it" the whole time. Im order to do it, gradually thru the ages they associated with other cells, one with another, and they reached the place where they could divide so they would become bigger. This is strictly science as far as it's gone.

[...]

Away back then, we began to develop motives for things. Now, it is seldom that what we tell somebody our motive is, is the real one - and this is where you start to squirm.

[...]

Other things I remember is Ron's explanation as to why there is no such thing as a crowd - that a group of people actually still consisted of individuals - but a crowd could get out of hand and do things other people wouldn't.

[...]

These two people were very wary of each other, like a couple of bantam roosters running around waiting to get in a thrust, but they knew that they needed each other, and each one felt that he needed the other more and that he didn't wish to be taken advantage of, and so there was always this pulling and hauling between two people that kept them at razor's edge all the time.

[...]

Then he moved in with these two people a third person and you still have all the difficulties, all the problems, and all the squirminess - the questioning as to motive and everything.

Then he moved in with these two people a third person - could be of the same sex - and you still have all the difficulties, all the problems, and all the squirminess - the questioning as to motive and everything, and wondering why, for example, three males would get together, or three women. If you have a person of the other sex come in on two who were together, you begin to see where the problems are.

[...]

Probably the part of the book that has stuck with me the most thru this period of time was the story of the lynch mob going to the prison to take out somebody to be lynched. He puts you with the person who is waiting to be lynched. The warden comes and looks at the person and says, "Well, they're coming for you, Bud. I don't know whether I'm going to be able to stop them, but I'll tell you one thing, it's not going to cost me my life to do it. If they come in and get you, they'll get you." The warden just looked and sort of gloated over the person who couldn't get away. He enjoyed the sadistic feeling of seeing a person who was bound and hog-tied and couldn't get away. He goes on with this to the place where you were both the warden and the person in the cell, and you really get to feel pretty terrible for everybody connected with it.

Then you take a look at the stiff-legged march of the lynch mob. This is something I'll never forget. I don't remember a single word Ron used, but he started back from there with showing how a lynch mob started - somebody got up and said something, and somebody pulled others together - and as soon as they were together, the person who had started it might or might not lead, but the chances were that he would vanish into the mob that he had started in order not to be responsible. Each person knew that very dreadful things were going to be done, but he scarcely would be responsible. He would be there but he wouldn't actually do much taking part in it. Each one felt he was going along for the ride, so to speak, but he walks just as stiff-legged as the other fellow.

And when the mutter, or the growl, of this crowd comes to you, it's something that just simply makes the shivers move up your back from your heels to the top of your head.

Ron has them marching down the street at night, blazing torches to show the way. And when the mutter, or the growl, of this crowd comes to you, it's something that just simply makes the shivers move up your back from your heels to the top of your head.

[...]

[The manuscript] was being passed, page by page, to others. ... I watched until that manuscript was scattered all over East 41st Street in New York. The upshot of it was that they were afraid to publish it.

I was so impressed with the book I wanted to publish it. I was interested in a small publishing company called Egmont Press. I took it to my associates. I took it to my managing editor, who sat down and started to glance thru it. When he realized he couldn't get any place by thumbing thru it, he went back and read a little of it. I could see a strange look come into his face as he read it. Then he passed it on to a reader, and after awhile, there were several people involved in it, and it was being passed, page by page, to others, and they were having all kinds of results. It was a squirmy thing - and I watched it. I watched, in fact, until that manuscript was scattered all over East 41st Street in New York.

The upshot of it was that they were afraid to publish it. Ron was angry, and threatened: "You will publish this book and I will have a half-interest in the company that publishes it or we'll know the reason why." But it never came to that. Ron did something that he's frequently done: he went sour on the idea and went back to Seattle

 

From R.V. Young in http://www.lermanet.com/vaughnhot.htm
 

Let's start in late 1981, when I happened to acquire the archives that contained Hubbard's private papers. (These were the ones that Gerry Armstrong started.) The truly essential material came down to perhaps 15 linear feet of paper. Over the months, with nothing else to do, I had a chance to read private letters, papers and manuscripts (including the three, yes, three, versions of the infamous Excalibur, which has to be the most overblown piece of hype he EVER produced and, no, it has NOTHING to do with OT3), which also gave me the full uncensored view of this man.

 

From Paulette Cooper in
http://wpxx02.toxi.uni-wuerzburg.de/~krasel/CoS/books/scandal/sos-21.html (Website doesn't exist anymore)
 

Perhaps some of these discrepancies have appeared because of the nature of Hubbard's "research" discussed in the last chapter. According to his second wife, who was married to him at the time he was supposed to be doing his research, there was no research done, no subjects run, the book was written in three months off the top of his head, and the "case studies" were the figment of his fertile imagination. Furthermore, as many people have suspected, she said the 1938 supposedly stolen manuscript Excalibur did not exist. She said it was one of those books that Hubbard always said he might like to write one day.

 

From Russel Miller in http://www.discord.org/~lippard/bfm/bfm05.htm#81

Unquestionably, Ron himself believed in Excalibur, for in October 1938 he wrote a long and emotional letter to Polly in which he expressed his hope that the manuscript would merit him a place in history.

Unquestionably, Ron himself believed in Excalibur, for in October 1938 he wrote a long and emotional letter to Polly in which he expressed his hope that the manuscript would merit him a place in history.

[...]

Then he turned to the subject which was clearly in the forefront of his mind: 'Sooner or later Excalibur will be published and I may have a chance to get some name recognition out of it so as to pave the way to articles and comments which are my ideas of writing heaven.

I have high hopes of smashing my name into history so violently that it will take a legendary form even if all books are destroyed.

'Living is a pretty grim joke, but a joke just the same. The entire function of man is to survive. The outermost limit of endeavour is creative work. Anything less is too close to simple survival until death happens along. So I am engaged in striving to maintain equilibrium sufficient to at least realize survival in a way to astound the gods. I turned the thing up so it's up to me to survive in a big way . . . Foolishly perhaps, but determined none the less, I have high hopes of smashing my name into history so violently that it will take a legendary form even if all books are destroyed. That goal is the real goal as far as I am concerned . . .

When I wrote it [Excalibur] I gave myself an education which outranks that of anyone else. I don't know but it might seem that it takes terrific brain work to get the thing assembled and usable in the head

'When I wrote it [Excalibur] I gave myself an education which outranks that of anyone else. I don't know but it might seem that it takes terrific brain work to get the thing assembled and usable in the head. I do know that I could form a political platform, for instance, which would encompass the support of the unemployed, the industrialist and the clerk and day laborer all at one and the same time. And enthusiastic support it would be. Things are due for a bust in the next half dozen years. Wait and see.'

Ron was clearly worried that he would be hampered by his reputation as a pulp writer: 'Writing action pulp doesn't have much agreement with what I want to do because it retards my progress by demanding incessant attention and, further, actually weakens my name. So you see I've got to do something about it and at the same time strengthen the old financial position.'

Towards the end of the letter he wrote about strange forces he felt stirring within him which made him feel aloof and invincible.

Towards the end of the letter he wrote about strange forces he felt stirring within him which made him feel aloof and invincible and the struggle he had faced trying to answer the question 'Who am I?' before returning to the theme of immortality: 'God was feeling sardonic the day He created the Universe. So it's rather up to at least one man every few centuries to pop up and come just as close to making him swallow his laughter as possible.'

Bernie -- http://welcome.to/ars

 

Usenet post from the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology.

Source: Excalibur

"AndroidCat" <androidcat99@hotmail.com>

Fri, 8 Oct 1999 18:21:10 -0400

Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: Re: Excalibur
Message-ID: <37fe702e.0@news2.lightlink.com>

You missed this in BFM:
`Later, when I was working for him doing research in Phoenix, I was out at his home late one afternoon with Jim Pinkham, who did all the recording at the org, and someone knocked at the door. Ron went

__________
12. Interview with Ray Kemp, Palomar, CA., Aug 1986

-- end page 216 --

and talked to a guy outside for about five minutes and came back with a big grin on his face. He said the guy at the door wanted to give him a cheque for $5000 for a copy of *Excalibur*. Then he laughed out loud and said, "One of these days I'll have to get round to writing it." We cracked up. It was the only time Ron ever admitted there was no such book.

Ron of that ilk.

 



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