Ex-Scientologist story #221, Gerry Armstrong: the witness to history.

Gerry Armstrong was a fervent follower of L. Ron Hubbard for many years.  He was in Hubbard’s bathtub navy: when Hubbard moved to Clearwater he was head of Hubbard’s household.  When Hubbard wore out his welcome in Clearwater and moved to California, Armstrong went him.  Below are quotes from author Russell Miller’s book Bare-Faced Messiah.  This is where the book began, and this is where Gerry Armstrong’s troubles with Scientology began.  When Gerry was confronted with the real facts concerning Hubbard’s life he had a choise to make: he chose the path of Truth much to the dismay of Hubbard and his followers.  To make a very long story short Armstrong became the foremost opponent of Scientology.  He has fought them at every turn in the road earning him their fanatical hatred.

Gerry Armstrong, the man kneeling in the dust on the top floor of the old Del Sol Hotel at Gilman Hot Springs that afternoon in January 1980, had been a dedicated member of the Church of Scientology for more than a decade. He was logging in Canada when a friend introduced him to Scientology in 1969 and he was immediately swept away by its heady promise of superhuman powers and immortality. During his years as a Scientologist, he had twice been sentenced to long periods in the Rehabilitation Project Force, the cult’s own Orwellian prison; he had been constantly humiliated and his marriage had been destroyed, yet he remained totally convinced that L. Ron Hubbard was the greatest man who ever lived. . .

At the time Armstrong discovered the treasure trove of memorabilia at Gilman Hot Springs, Hubbard had been in hiding for years. His location was known only as ‘X’, but Armstrong knew that it was possible to get a message to him and he petitioned for permission to begin researching an official biography, forcefully arguing that it would prepare the ground for ‘universal acceptance’ of Scientology. He saw it as the forerunner of a major motion picture based on Hubbard’s life and the eventual establishment of an archive in an L. Ron Hubbard Museum. . .

Armstrong had no experience as an archivist or researcher, but he was intelligent, industrious, honest and enthusiastic. He moved all the relevant documentation from Gilman Hot Springs to the Scientology headquarters in Los Angeles, where it filled six filing cabinets, and began cataloguing and indexing the material, making copies of everything and reverently preserving the originals in plastic envelopes, acutely aware of their historical importance.

Scientologists were enormously proud of the fact that the founder of their church was a much-decorated war hero who had served in all five theaters and was wounded several times; indeed he was the first US casualty of the war in the Pacific. It was then, with a sense of mounting disbelief and dismay, that Armstrong leafed through Hubbard’s records after they had arrived from Washington. He went from one document to another, searching in vain for an explanation, still refusing to believe the evidence of his own eyes: the record seemed to indicate that Hubbard, far from being a hero, was an incompetent, malingering coward who had done his best to avoid seeing action.

Armstrong would not believe it. He set the documents aside and resolved to start his research at the beginning, in Montana, where Hubbard had grown up on his grandfather’s huge cattle ranch. But he could find no trace of any property owned by the family, except a little house in the middle of Helena. Neither could he discover any documentation covering Hubbard’s teenage wanderings through China. In Washington DC, where Hubbard was supposed to have graduated in mathematics and engineering from George Washington University, the record showed he dropped out after two years because of poor grades. And of Hubbard’s fabled expeditions as an explorer there was similarly no sign.

The above was taken from the Preface of Miller’s book, go here to read it: http://www.xenu.net/archive/books/bfm/preface.htm

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Published in: on July 10, 2011 at 8:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

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