I’m posting three email exchanges I had with Steve Cannane prior to the publication of his book Fair Game, which was in September 2016. These demonstrate certain relevant facts: he had my contact information; we were communicating; I had provided detailed, accurate data; he knew this to be true because he sought my data and credited it in his emails.
Cannane initiated this exchange with an email question on February 2, 2016 about L. Ron Hubbard’s “military pension.”
From: Steve Cannane
Sent: Tuesday, February 02, 2016 4:48 PM
To: ‘Gerry Armstrong’
Subject: a quick question
Hope you are going well.
I am closing in on finishing my book. I’m just reviewing my chapter on Hubbard’s war service in Brisbane. Do you know if he claimed a military pension his whole life? Is there proof of this?
I emailed Cannane:
From: Gerry Armstrong
Sent: February 2, 2016 8:16 PM
To: ‘Steve Cannane’
Subject: RE: a quick question
The issue of Hubbard continuing to receive a disability pension came up in my trial in 1984.
I was interested in his story of being in perfect mental and physical condition after curing his war injuries with Dianetics. And there was a disability taboo in Scientology that I learned early on. People receiving disability pensions, Hubbard said in the tech, were incentivized to not get well with auditing. I know there are other mentions, but for now I found this one in a 23 August 1961 lecture, “Auditing Basics:”
We’ve run into somebody who was on a pension or who was getting a disability payment. And if we’d cured the disability payment he would have had problems, you see. So we cured the disability payment and then all of a sudden we had an ARC breaky pc and we’d lose him as a pc. you see, it looked like because we’d gotten rid of his pension, you know, he was upset with us, or that he wouldn’t give up his bad heart, or something, because this’d mean he’d give up his pension, or something. So auditing sort of stalled there someplace.
Here is a discussion from my trial about a letter from Hubbard to the VA that showed he was receiving his disability pension in 1958:
Q [Attorney Michael Flynn] And with regard to 500 triple R, why did you send that to me, Mr. Armstrong?
A this letter from Mr. Hubbard is dated 1958, April 2, 1958, and it is to the Veterans Administration and in my mind there was a conflict between the fact that here he is asking to have his V.A. checks sent to a particular address in 1958, and in all the publications about Mr. Hubbard he had claimed that he had been given a perfect score, perfect mental and physical score by 1950 and by 1947 had completely cured himself, and here he is still drawing a V.A. check for this disability, and maybe it is okay to do that. It seems like there was at least a contradiction and possibly an unethical practice on his part.
Q And that was on April 2, 158?
Q And do you know what the percentage of disability that he had under his Naval pension?
A Originally it was at 10 percent. I believe it went up to 50 percent.
Q And do you know whether between 1945 and 1950 he was continually filing appeals with the Veterans Administration to raise the disability?
A There were a number of such documents.
I had a recollection of learning that he was still receiving his disability pension when I was on the biography project and dealt with his secretaries and the SO#1 Unit, but I cannot provide usable facts about this. Here is a statement from Ken Urquhart, who had been LRH Personal Communicator in the 1970’s, saying he was receiving “monthly VA pension checks:”
Not until the seventies did money become the supreme importance for either the organization or for LRH personally. Until he took action in the seventies to force some of the income into his own pockets he did not receive large amounts. I was close to the top up until 1978. I was responsible until around (I think) 1972 for the safekeeping of the money he did receive: his weekly pay of $80 (if I remember the figure aright) and his monthly VA pension checks.http://www.clearing.org/cgi/archive.cgi?/bluesky/part2.txt
I don’t know of anyone else who can confirm that Hubbard received his pension between when Urquhart handled his finances in the 1970’s and when he died in 1986. I also have no reason to believe that he ever instructed the VA, or the Navy, or the US Treasury, to stop sending him money. Neither because he had enough and others needed that pittance even more, nor because after all that auditing and all those OT levels he finally really had cured his disabilities.
Seriously looking forward to your book.
I received a reply from Cannane:
From: Steve Cannane
Sent: February 3, 2016 1:20 PM
To: Gerry Armstrong
Subject: Re: a quick question
Thanks Gerry, I knew you would have access to some good details like this. When it’s out I will be sure to send you a copy. Regards, Steve