Sounding the Sheep Dip for Bubbles

I cannot find where anyone at Tony Ortega’s blog has spoken up to correct inaccuracies in Jon Atack’s September 10, 2016 article about Scientology cult collaborator L. Fletcher Prouty, so I am doing my best now. The article and the inaccuracies I’m correcting also concern testimony in the 1984 trial in the case the Scientologists brought against me in Los Angeles Superior Court. The Scientologists and their collaborators still black PR me and wage lawfare against me relating to this case, and inaccuracies in the public record about the Scientology v. Armstrong war can often serve their hostile purposes.

Jon Atack: Indeed, Scientology produced Thomas Moulton to support its case against Gerry Armstrong, back in 1984. Moulton’s testimony agreed entirely with the Navy record – they had fought a 55-hour battle off the Oregon coast against a known magnetic deposit on the ocean floor and gone on to shell the Los Coronados Islands, for which Hubbard was censured.1

Good old Captain Moulton’s testimony definitely did not agree with the US Navy’s record.

Moulton did not testify about Hubbard’s shelling of the Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado o Islas Coronados), other than to state that he was not on the PC 815 and did not know anything about the incident, having already transferred off the ship.

Here attorney Michael Flynn is questioning Moulton at p. 3973:

Q Now, shortly after this incident, in July 1943 do you recall whether Mr. Hubbard was relieved of command for firing on the Mexican coast?

A That did not occur while I was on her, sir. I wouldn’t know.

Q You don’t know anything about that?

A No.2

Moulton did not testify that he and Hubbard and the 815 had fought a battle against a magnetic deposit. Moulton’s testimony agreed with the Scientologists that the engagement off Cape Lookout was against two Japanese subs. The Navy’s position and its official record disagreed with Hubbard and Moulton on the existence of the subject subs and the actions taken to attack whatever they thought they were attacking.

Here, Scientology attorney John Peterson is questioning Moulton starting at p. 3920:

Q And did you, after listening to the return sound on the sonar reach a conclusion?

A After we had evaluated it, there was more to it than just listening to the return echo.

You checked the width of the target. Because you knew the tapered width of the beam, you could estimate the length of the target that you were getting a return from.

You also checked it for a doppler which would be an indication of whether the range was opening or closing.

This, you detect in the sound. You listen for screw noises or anything else that could help you evaluate the contact.

In this case, after evaluation, we had determined it was a submarine.


Q And could you tell if the ship, the under water target was coming toward you, away from you, or moving in what direction?

A We would have been able to know from the doppler effect on the sound as well as once we began an evaluation, sooner or later we would start a time plot and start plotting what the target was doing, whether it was stopped, whether it was moving, and, if so, what course.

This was done both with what was then a highly classified attack piece of electronics, now, knowledge and obsolete. But it was then the very latest that very few people knew about. We had one of the earliest ones. And we kept that going for a plot along with our own manual plot with a stop watch.

Q And you had determined that the target was a submarine?

A Beyond any question.


Q After making the determination that it was, indeed, a submarine, what did you then do?

A Well, we took some time — it has been so many years I can’t remember how long – but we took some time to evaluate it.

During that time we would know that a submarine would hear our pinging inside its hull.

If he were friendly, he would have made recognition signals.

We received no recognition signals; so we proceeded to attack.


Q And this 60-hour attack on the submarine, did you ever at any time make a sighting or a discovery of any other target in the area?

A Yes. Yes. Oh, I believe it was toward the close of the second day when we made — we had lost contact with our submarine. And after one of the attacks when the water had been roared up, we were searching around to pick him up and we picked up a second contact which was not where it should have been at all if it had been ours.

We swung our sound gear back and forth and determined that we now had two targets.

We went through the same procedure and identified the second one as a submarine also.

Vice Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher, Commander Northwest Sea Frontier, conducted an investigation of the Cape Lookout incident and analyzed the battle reports. He submitted his results to the Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz in a memorandum dated June 8, 1943, a copy of which was entered into evidence in the Scientology v. Armstrong trial.

1. At the time of the incident reported herein PC 815 was enroute to San Diego, California, in accordance with orders of Commander Fleet Operational Training Command, Pacific.

2. It is noted that the report of PC 815 is not in accordance with
“Anti-Submarine Action by Surface Ship” (ASW-1) which should be submitted to Commander In Chief, U.S. Fleet.

3. SC’s 536 and 537, CGC’s BONHAM and 78302, and blimps K-33 and K-39 engaged in this submarine search. Reports have been received from the Commanding Officer of each of these ships in writing and in personal interviews. An oral report has also been received from Lieutenant Commander E. J. Sullivan U.S.N., Commander Airship Squadron 33, who made a trip to the area during the search on one of the

4. There is a known magnetic deposit in the area in which depth charges were dropped.

5. An analysis of all reports convinces me that there was no submarine in the area. Lieutenant Commander Sullivan states that he was unable to obtain any evidence of a submarine except one bubble of air which is unexplained except by turbulence of water due to a depth charge explosion. The Commanding Officers of all ships except the PC 815 state they had no evidence of a submarine and do not think a submarine was in the area.

Moulton’s testimony also disagreed with the Navy’s records on other points. Here, Peterson is questioning Moulton at p. 3910:

Q And in all the times that you knew him in Portland did he wear dark glasses?

A It was necessary for him to wear them, yes.

Q And when you knew him in Miami did he wear dark glasses?

A Yes, he did, the same glasses.

Q Did he ever tell you why he had to wear the dark glasses?

A Yes.

Q What did he say?

A He said that his eyes had been injured in the flash from a large caliber gun. I think it was a four or five-inch gun on a destroyer he had been on.

The gun was fired prematurely. He was standing adjacent to the muzzle and he received a bad flash burn which did not impair his vision, but it was very painful for him to go around in any sort of light without the glasses on.

The Navy’s records show Hubbard claiming his eyes were damaged by sunlight. (“excessive tropical sunlight”)

Peterson questioning Moulton at p. 3911:

Q Now, at any time when you were with Mr. Hubbard in Portland did he have any complaints about pain in his low back or any area like that?

A He frequently complained of pain in his right side and the back in the area of the kidneys which he said was due to some damage from a Japanese machine gun very early in the war.

And from that he had considerable difficulty in urination. And upon at least one occasion I saw him urinating bloody urine. He had great difficulty in urinating.

Flynn questioning Moulton starting at p. 3953

Q BY MR. FLYNN: First, when did Captain Hubbard tell you that he was injured by a Japanese machine gun?

A This was while we were in Miami which would have been in the fall of ’42. It was the fall of 1942.

Q Is that —

A While we were in Miami.

Q Did he describe the circumstances under which he was injured by the Japanese machine gun?

A Yes, in some detail; not entirely.

Q What did he tell you?

A That he had been in Soerabaja at the time the Japanese came in or in the area of Soerabaja and that he spent some time in the hills in back of Soerabaja after the Japanese had occupied it.

Q Now, Soerabaja was where, sir?

A That is a port on the north part of Java in the Dutch East Indies.

Q So you understood from Captain Hubbard that he had been in Java fighting the Japanese and was hit by machine gun fire?

A Not quite as you put it. He had been landed, so he told me in Java from a destroyer named the [Edsall] and had made his way across the land to Soerabaja, and that is when the place was occupied. When the Japanese came in, he took off into the hills and lived up in the jungle for sometime until he made an escape from there.


Q BY MR. FLYNN: So he told you he was in the South Pacific in Soerabaja when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor?

A That is correct. He had been landed by the [Edsall] and she was sunk shortly after that. He was, as far as I know, the only person that ever got off the [Edsall] because he wasn’t aboard when it happened. She was sunk within a few days after that.


Q And that is when he was hit by the machine gun fire?

A Some time during his chasing up and around through the jungle before he made his escape.


Q So you believed Captain Hubbard at the time?

A Certainly. I had no reason not to.

Q Did he tell you exactly where he was hit by the machine gun fire?

A In the back, in the area of the kidneys, I believe on the right side.

Q And did he tell you what caliber machine gun it was?

A No, sir, he did not.

Q And it damaged his urinary system?

A Somewhere in the urinary system. I know he had a great bit of difficulty in urinating.

There of course is no mention in Hubbard’s Navy record of him being shot, by machine gun or any other weapon. There is also no mention in the record of Hubbard ever being on the Edsall, ever being on Java, ever life-rafting to Australia, or ever life-rafting anywhere else.

In his Affirmations in 1946 he tells the truth about his urinary difficulty that Moulton observed. This does not appear in Hubbard’s Navy records because he went to a private doctor for treatment.

In 1942 – December 17th or thereabouts – while training in Miami, Florida, I met a girl named Ginger who excited me. She was a very loose person but pretended a great love for me. From her I received an infection of gonnohorea (sp?). I was terrified by it, the consequences of being discovered by my wife, the navy, my friends. I went to a private doctor who treated me with sulfa-thiazole and so forth. I thought I was cured but on a plane headed to Portland, Ore. I found I was not. I took to dosing myself with sulfa in such quantities that I was afraid I had affected my brain.3

JA: Now, the purple heart is only awarded for injuries received in combat. The first difficulty is that Hubbard only claimed one wound – he said he had been machine-gunned when the destroyer Edsall was sunk and that after this injury he had rowed his way to Australia (about 800 miles). In fact, he was actually never on board the Edsall, and no one could row that far after being riddled with machine gun bullets. His arrival in Australia was via more conventional means, as the record demonstrates.

I’m not sure about Hubbard claiming he rowed his boat from Java to Australia. Moulton testified that Hubbard said he and another man “sailed a life raft.” Presumably, in Moulton’s mind, this was one of the Edsall’s life rafts, in which Hubbard had shortly before been put ashore. Moulton would have also understood that Ron the Master Mariner would have rigged a sail, and with Japanese lead in him, or having just passed through his abdomen, could hardly have been expected to row hundreds of miles in open ocean, but merrily, merrily sailed. Regardless, Moulton and the Navy would certainly agree that for anyone either sailing or rowing his raft from Java to Australia it would have been a remarkable piece of navigation.

Flynn questioning Moulton starting at p. 3955:

Q BY MR. FLYNN: So he told you he was in the South Pacific in Soerabaja when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor?

A That is correct. He had been landed by the [Edsall] and she was sunk shortly after that. He was, as far as I know, the only person that ever got off the [Edsall] because he wasn’t aboard when it happened. She was sunk within a few days after that.

Q And Captain Hubbard told you all this?

A Yes, sir, but I also know that she was sunk.

She is carried in the records as having been sunk with all hands.

Q And all hands were lost except Captain Hubbard?

A He was ashore at the time.

Q And that is when he was hit by the machine gun fire?

A Some time during his chasing up and around through the jungle before he made his escape.


Q And did he tell you how long he remained hiding in the hills with these machine gun wounds before he was removed from the combat area?

A I know that he told me he had made his escape eventually to Australia. I don’t know just when it was.

He apparently, he and another chap, sailed a life raft, I believe, to near Australia where they were picked up by a British or Australian destroyer.

Q And that would have been late 1941, early 1942?

A I would imagine it would have to have been early ’42 because it would take some time from December 7.

Q Now, Captain Hubbard gave you all of these details that you are giving the court today; is that correct?

A Well, I have no other knowledge except what he told me.

Q And did he tell you how far he sailed the raft?

A He told me he was picked up — again, I’m trusting my memory — but it was on the order of 75 miles off Australia.

I know it was under 100, but it was somewhere around 75 because it was a remarkable piece of navigation.

JA: Hubbard only began to claim heroism after founding Scientology. In an interview with Look magazine, published in December 1950, Hubbard said he was hospitalized at Oak Knoll for a year, suffering from “ulcers, conjunctivitis, deteriorating eyesight, bursitis and something wrong with my feet.” Save for the problem with his feet, the other conditions are all attested by the official Navy record (in the Affirmations, Hubbard gave himself the hypnotic affirmation: “You have perfect and lovely feet,” but nothing about war wounds).

When Hubbard began to claim heroism is probably the most important point I’m commenting on here.

In that Hubbard claimed to have started Scientology, including naming it “Scientology,” in 1938, then yes, he began to claim WW II heroism after starting or founding Scientology. All his heroism or absence of heroism in WW II was after 1938 because all of WW II was after 1938.

If by “after founding Scientology” is meant after he started advertising or publishing as “Scientology” or after he incorporated the first Scientology organization, then no, he began to claim heroism considerably earlier.

Moulton’s testimony shows that Hubbard was hyping his heroism in 1942 when they were in training together in Miami, Florida. Hubbard continued telling Moulton his heroic tall tales in 1943 when they were outfitting the PC 815 in Portland, Oregon.

Even earlier, upon his ignominious return to the US from Australia, Hubbard communicated a far more heroic account to John W. Campbell, his science fiction editor, which Campbell wrote about in a letter dated May 13, 1942 to Robert Heinlein.

L. Ron Hubbard’s in town—temporarily confined to the Sick Officer’s Quarters. He’s angry, bitter, and very much afraid—afraid he’ll get assigned to some shore job, which he does not want, and kept from going to sea again.

Angry and bitter because, I suspect, he was among those licked. He collected a piece of Jap bomb in his thigh during the battle of the Java Sea, as far as I can make out. He was aboard ship at the time, apparently, and Allied air power was not giving adequate coverage.

He is a graduate C.E., but is also rather competent in several lines. He was barnstorming for a living for a while, and has a private pilot’s license. He did some fairly useful mapping along the Alaska coast by a new radio-beam survey method. And he has imagination, of course.

If the guy is hooked for shore duty—he’s got a limp; how permanent I don’t know, nor how bad—he might be useful. His own feeling is that his direct experience with Jap weapons, methods and tactics might be his prime asset.

Hubbard communicated similarly to Heinlein and limped so convincingly that Heinlein passed along his tales of wounds and heroics. He wrote about Hubbard’s “injuries” in letters to colleagues during that time, and even described these “injuries” in 1985 in an introduction he wrote for Theodore Sturgeon’s book Godbody.

I had been ordered [by the Navy] to round up science-fiction writers for this crash project [on antikamikaze measures] —the wildest brains I could find, so Ted was a welcome recruit. Some of the others were George 0. Smith, John W. Campbell, Jr., Murray Leinster, L. Ron Hubbard, Sprague de Camp, and Fletcher Pratt. On Saturday nights and Sundays this group usually gathered at my apartment in downtown Philadelphia.


The first weekend Sturgeon was there he slept on the hall rug, a choice spot, while both L. Ron Hubbard and George 0. Smith were in the overflow who had to walk down the street. In retrospect that seems like a wrong decision; Hubbard should not have been asked to walk, as both of his feet had been broken (drumhead-type injury) when his last ship was bombed. Ron had had a busy war—sunk four times and wounded again and again—and at that time was on limited duty at Princeton, attending military governors’ school. © 1986

I think that Hubbard’s lying about his heroic exploits to his fellow officers, his fellow writers, his Navy superiors, his editor, the Navy’s medical examiners, the VA, his wife, etc., and apparently getting away with it all, made it so easy for him to lie to us and con us, his elemental Scientologist pigeons.

It is, of course, possible that Heinlein and Campbell were aware, or at least suspected, that Hubbard was BSing about his injuries and his claimed heroism. They all told and sold yarns for a living. Campbell and Heinlein and other writers enjoyed Hubbard’s patently BS bear stories. From the record they left behind, they didn’t always let on how much they believed of what Hubbard said or wrote.