What was Hubbard doing in Dublin?

I NOTE with interest the project about L Ron Hubbard brought to your readers’ attention by Gerard Ryan of the Office of Special Affairs of the Scientology Mission in Dublin (Letters, December 10).

In a book by Russel Miller called Bare-Faced Messiah (1987), there is a quotation from a good friend of Hubbard’s, Ray Kemp, who accompanied him to Dublin in late March 1956:

“He (Hubbard) wanted to see if there was something he could do for Ireland,” Kemp says. “He felt that Ireland’s troubles were based on the fact that it was a bit like a Third World nation and had never been able to apply the skills of its people. We were there for ‘two or three days’ and he spent the whole time speaking to people ... His idea was to open a personal efficiency foundation in Dublin to teach people how to apply whatever skills they had got, but don’t think anything ever came of it.”

Hubbard also went on to try to support the white minority regimes of South Africa and Rhodesia, but was thrown out even though he believed he had been Cecil Rhodes in a former life. It is likely the visit to Ireland, as to South Africa and Rhodesia, was about trying to locate a new base for Scientology. This happened in East Grinstead in Sussex in 1959.

It’s possible Mr Ryan is mistakenly linking the current AmericanCollege on Merrion Square with the unfulfilled aspiration of a short visit in 1956. Mr Ryan would hardly be asking the public for help if he had hard evidence that Hubbard was here for an extended time? What would be of interest is if there is anyone alive who remembers that visit in 1956? If they had met Hubbard, they would remember him as a hypnotic personality!

Mike Garde

Director Dialogue Ireland Trust

7/8 Lr Abbey Street

Dublin 1

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