L. Ron Hubbard’s Alternative to the Bomb Shelter: Scientology’s Emergence as a Pseudo-science During the 1950s


In the 1950s, L. Ron Hubbard founded Scientology and offered it as the key to surviving nuclear fallout. Hubbard’s success in promoting his claims depended on his ability to convince some people that Scientology was a unique science with more authority to state the truth than orthodox science. These claims contributed to both Scientology’s and Hubbard’s financial well-being, but provided little to no benefit for followers and may have harmed some patients. Despite diminished fears of nuclear holocaust, Scientology continues to promote purification programs based on the radiation claims Hubbard made.