HUBBARD, L. Ron (1911-1986). An archive of early correspondence to friend and fellow writer Russell R. Hays (1904-1989) featuring 26 typed letters signed and one autograph letter signed (“Ron,” or in one instance, signed in type), various places, 8 May 1935-9 October 1985 (the majority dating between 1935 and 1951); together with Buckskin Brigades (New York: The Macaulay Company, 1937), Slaves of Sleep (Chicago: Shasta Publishers, 1948) inscribed (“To my best friend Russell Hays / L. Ron Hubbard NYC –’48”), Fantastic magazine October 1950, and an annotated flyer picturing Hubbard and advertising “L. Ron Hubbard / Writer / One Million Words Published.”
65 pages, 216 x 279mm (creased where folded for mailing); some chipping to printed material.
An important correspondence from Hubbard in the pivotal years leading up to the publication of Dianetics in 1950 and the founding of the Church of Scientology in 1954. In 1934, Russell Hays and L. Ron Hubbard met in Encinitas, California, where both men were working as writers (Hays was toward the end of his career, Hubbard was just getting started – he would publish Slaves of Sleep in 1938) and raising their families. They quickly bonded and when Hays moved to Kansas, they stayed in touch. In the late 1930s Hubbard’s letters begin to discuss Excalibur – the unpublished work that eventually became Dianetics – before dropping off from 1940 to 1948. On 15 July 1948 he announces, “Been much titillated with a new idea about psychology – loud boos from Lawrence! – and been amusing myself making a monkey out of Freud. He continues later, “A psychiatrist, who can do practically nothing for anybody; he uses psycho-analysis; he works two to three years on a customer [...] Well, I’ve been rolling this sort of thing back to twenty hours of work average for a total cure and complete shift of personality. Takes as high as fifty hours of work sometimes, but the thing works on about 80% of all patients, sane or otherwise. Now the question is, how do I go about doing something with it? I’ll have a book, AN INTRODUCTION TO TRAUMATIC PSYCHOLOGY, but I have no license to practice (really none required for psychology but it looks better); I am not connected with any institution and I have no capital to start a fancy clinic. Your advice would be extremely welcome, swami.”
Hubbard’s last lengthy letter is dated 2 April 1950, a few days before Dianetics is published, and things are already in full swing for him: “Time and the NY Times both carrying a long story,” and he mentions having “formed up a foundation this week.” “The Dianetics Foundation, of course, is for dianetics. The Hubbard Research Foundation, the second one, is for little items like a euphoria drug I dreamed up, how the sex practices of the Ancient Zulus compare with Hollywood stenographic personnel, why inventors refuse to make money out of their inventions and a few other minor affairs. Book may not catch hold right away but I think it should do its three hundred thousand copies in the next couple years.” He continues, “All of which is good and excellent news to me because I’ve got my eye on the dollar sign. With other books, magazine articles, lectures and maybe a rich patient or two I think I can clean up a few bucks. I want a good home in some sunny clime, a nice yacht small enough to keep going without much expense, a pretty steno to take care of my typing, a good smart boy to look after the business affairs and thereafter a lot of peace in which to monkey around. If I can attain all this I shall be a happy man.” Provenance: Russell R. Hays – by descent to the consignor.