On Excalibur

Caroline

clerk #2
There are a number of threads on the original ESMB that get into Hubbard's 1938 Excalibur manuscript:
One of the most revealing documents about Excalibur, is a letter Hubbard wrote to his wife Polly, apparently also in 1938. Russell Miller obviously possessed this letter, quoted from it and discussed it in Barefaced Messiah. Following the initial publication of Miller's book, Professor Dave Touretzky posted a side-by-side comparison of the UK and US editions of BFM. The UK edition contains more substantial excerpts of Hubbard's letter:

When, by and by, it became important to promote an image of Ron as one of the world's great thinkers and philosophers, these two stories would be presented as clear evidence that L. Ron Hubbard had begun his research into the workings of the mind. Science fiction, it was explained, was 'merely the method Ron used to develop his philosophy'.[5]
It was a philosophy which was supposedly fully expounded in Excalibur, an unpublished book Ron was first said to have written in 1938. Modestly described as 'a sensational volume which was a summation of life based on his analysis of the state of Mankind',[6] much would be heard of this great work in later years; indeed, it would become a cornerstone of the mythology built around his life. It was claimed that the book derived from Ron's 'discovery' that the primary law of life was to survive, although, naturally, the part played by 'his explorations, journeys and experiences in the four corners of the earth, amongst all kinds of men, was crucial'.[7]
The first six people to read the manuscript were said to have been so overwhelmed by the contents that they went out of their minds. Curiously, however, few of Ron's fellow writers were aware of the existence of the book, with the exception of Art Burks: 'Ron called me one day and said, "I want to see you right away, I have written the book." I never saw anybody so worked up. Apparently he had written it without sleeping, eating, or anything else and had literally worked himself into a frazzle.
'He was so sure he had something "away out and beyond" anything else that he said he had sent telegrams to several book publishers telling them that he had written the book and that they were to meet
_______________
5. Ron The Writer, Author Services Inc., 1982
6. L. Ron Hubbard, Mission Into Time, 1973
7. Ibid.
79
him at Penn Station and he would discuss it with them and go with whoever gave him the best offer. Whether he did this or not, I don't know, but it is right in line with something he would do.
'He told me it was going to revolutionize everything: the world, people's attitudes to one another. He thought it would have a greater impact upon people than the Bible.'[8]
Burks's recollection of the manuscript was that it was about seventy thousand words long and began with a fable about a king who gathered all his wise men together and commanded them to bring him all the wisdom of the world in five hundred books. He then told them to go away and condense the information into one hundred books. When they had done that, he wanted the wisdom reduced into one book and finally into one word. That word was 'survive'.
Ron developed an argument that the survival instinct could explain all human behaviour and that to understand survival was to understand life. Burks particularly remembered a passage in which Ron explained how emotions could be whipped up to the point where a lynch mob was formed. 'It made the shivers move up your back from your heels to the top of your head,' he said.
Burks was sufficiently impressed by Excalibur to agree to write a brief biographical sketch of Ron for use as a preface. It was the usual 'red-headed fire-eater' material, with only one surprising new claim - that 1934 was the year Ron 'rounded off his application of analytical geometry to aerial navigation'.
The preface also mentioned a facet of Ron's character which few members of the American Fiction Guild had noticed - his unwillingness to talk about himself. 'Long ago he discovered that his most concrete adventures raised sceptic eyebrows and so, without diminishing his activities, he has fallen back on silence. We hear of him building a road in the Ladrone Islands or surveying the Canadian border and bellowing squads east and west with the perfection of a trained military man and delve though we may, that is as far as we can get.'
Burks concluded with a tactful reference to the difficulty of reconciling the adventurer with the author of a philosophic treatise: 'One envisions the philosopher as a quiet gray-beard, timid in all things but thought. It is, withal, rather upsetting to the general concept to think of L. Ron Hubbard as the author of Excalibur.'
Although Excalibur was never published - Burks was convinced that Ron was deeply disappointed he could not find a publisher - Ron assiduously stoked rumours about its existence and its content. 'He told me once that he had a manuscript in his trunk that was going to revolutionize the world,' said his friend Mac Ford. 'He said it was called Excalibur, but that's all I know about it. I never saw it.'[9]
_______________
8. The Aberee, Dec. 1961
9. Author's interview with Ford, 1 September 1986
80
Unquestionably, Ron himself believed in Excalibur, for in October 1938 he wrote a long and emotional letter to Polly in which he expressed his hope that the manuscript would merit him a place in history.
Polly had recently had a riding accident which resulted in her losing the tip of one finger. Ron tried to cheer her up with a funny catalogue of his own imagined ailments and promised her a jewelled Chinese fingernail holder which she could be 'snooty' about. He wrote of his frustration about his work, the constant shortage of money ('I still wonder how much money we owe in incidental bills. It's grave, I know . . .') and the need to spend so much time in New York, away from her and the children.

Then he turned to the subject which was clearly in the forefront of his mind: 'Sooner or later Excalibur will be published and I may have a chance to get some name recognition out of it so as to pave the way to articles and comments which are my ideas of writing heaven.​
'Living is a pretty grim joke, but a joke just the same. The entire function of man is to survive. The outermost limit of endeavour is creative work. Anything less is too close to simple survival until death happens along. So I am engaged in striving to maintain equilibrium sufficient to at least realize survival in a way to astound the gods. I turned the thing up so it's up to me to survive in a big way . . . Foolishly perhaps, but determined none the less, I have high hopes of smashing my name into history so violently that it will take a legendary form even if all books are destroyed. That goal is the real goal as far as I am concerned . . .
'When I wrote it [Excalibur] I gave myself an education which outranks that of anyone else. I don't know but it might seem that it takes terrific brain work to get the thing assembled and usable in the head. I do know that I could form a political platform, for instance, which would encompass the support of the unemployed, the industrialist and the clerk and day laborer all at one and the same time. And enthusiastic support it would be. Things are due for a bust in the next half dozen years. Wait and see.'
Ron was clearly worried that he would be hampered by his reputation as a pulp writer: 'Writing action pulp doesn't have much agreement with what I want to do because it retards my progress by demanding incessant attention and, further, actually weakens my name. So you see I've got to do something about it and at the same time strengthen the old financial position.'
Towards the end of the letter he wrote about strange forces he felt stirring within him which made him feel aloof and invincible and the struggle he had faced trying to answer the question 'Who am I?' before returning to the theme of immortality: 'God was feeling sardonic the
81
day He created the Universe. So it's rather up to at least one man every few centuries to pop up and come just as close to making him swallow his laughter as possible.'
Ron's nickname for Polly was 'Skipper' and hers for him was 'Red'. The letter finished with a single encouraging line: 'I love you, Skipper, and all will be well. The Redhead.'
Source: https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Library/Shelf/miller/bfm05.htm#79

Excalibur contained, by many reports including Hubbard's, his foundational science for Dianetics/Scientology. I believe that because of this, his contemporaneous statements to his wife about this book are extremely relevant and helpful. I'll post what I think are the pertinent portions of his 1938 letter to Polly:

August 1938
Thursday

Dearest Skipper,
[...]​
As I have been for a long, long time, remember I'm still faced with the necessity of somehow getting lined up on steady money. whether that be the sales of Excalibur or a movie job or something.
[...]​
So just how to bring about financial freedom was a problem. Still is, for that matter. It does not and never will lie in, the realm of magazines unless one is a hack like Kelland. And I notice that Kelland still grinds them out at pulp pace, getting no younger and really no richer.
I love to write. But sometimes I get as sick as I would if I prostituted you to every man that came along, having to hammer bang-bang and accumulate, hot peace, but further grief.
Hollywood's major studios don't work a man too hard and I want a chance to breathe. And so I am not going to do anything to jeopardize a decent paying job. I know that that down there is far, far from creative art. But at the same time a major studio, unlike Columbia, isn't very demanding of sweat and there's time to sit back and figure out things and write only when the old bean gets to boiling.
Sooner or later Excalibur will be published and I may have a chance to get some name recognition out of it so as to pave the way to articles and comments which are my ideas of writing heaven.
Living is a pretty grim joke, but a joke just the same. The entire function of man is to survive. Not for what but just to survive. The outermost limit of endeavor is creative work. Anything less is too close to simple survival until death happens along. So I em engaged in striving to maintain equilibrium sufficient to at last realize survival in a way to astound the gods. I turned the thing up so it’s up to me to survive in a big way. Personal immortality is only to be gained through the printed word, barred note or painted canvas or hard granite. Foolishly perhaps, but determined none the less, I have high hopes of smashing my name into history so violently that it will take a legendary form even if all the books are destroyed. That goal is the real goal as far as I am concerned. Things which stand too consistently in its way make me nervous. It's a pretty big job. In a hundred years Roosevelt will have been forgotten - which gives some idea of the magnitude of my attempt. And all this boils and froths inside my head and I'm miserable when I am blocked. Let the next man concentrate upon "peace" and "contentment". When life was struck into me something else accompanied it. And when I leave things in the lap of the gods who seem to be interested in my destiny, boy, things happen!
My fight right now is to get into a spot where I can tide across the gap until the next blaze. Excalibur may be fought, accepted or forgotten. I don't care. I seem to be the only one that has attained actual personal contact with it. Others take it mentally and seem to be at a loss to apply it. When I wrote it I gave myself an education which outranks that of anyone else. I don't know but it might seem that it takes terrific brain work to get the thing assembled and useable in the head. I do know that I could formulate a political platform, for instance, which would encompass the support of the unemployed, the industrialist and the clerk and day laborer all at one and the same time. And enthusiastic support it would be. Things are due for a bust in the next half a dozen years. Wait and See.
Writing action pulp doesn't have much agreement with what I want to do because it retards my progress demanding incessant attention and, further, actually weakens my name. So you see I've got to do something about it and at the same time strengthen the old financial position.
Anyway, I won't burden you with any more of that sort of thing. But the things I do often seem pretty weird when judged from the standpoint of nice, quiet surroundings and peaceful old age. I haven't started to get old and I won't seek peace until I'm stretched on a marble slab., And I won't be stretched on any marble slab until I've done the things assigned. I'll lay a sizeable wager that hell will begin to break loose within the next twelvemonth and continue to go for many a year. I seem to have a sort of personal awareness which only begins to come alive when I begin to believe in a destiny. And then a strange force stirs in me and I seem to be completely aloof and wholly invincible. It is the problem of "Who am I?"
Psychiatrists, reaching the high of a dusty desk, tell us that Alexander and Jenghiz Khan and Napoleon were madmen. I know they were maligning some very intelligent gentlemen. So anybody who dares say that maybe he's going to out things up considerably is immediately branded as an egomaniac or something equally ridiculous so that little men can still save their hides in the face of possible fury. It's one thing to go nutty and state, "I'm Napoleon, nobody dares touch me," and quite another to say, "If I watch my step and don't let anything stop me, I can make Napoleon look like a punk. That's the difference.
A man wouldn't have to be either very tall or very smart to whip any leader of today hands down.
It's a big joke, this living. God was feeling sardonic the day He created the Universe. So it’s rather up to at least one man every few centuries to pop up and come just as close to making Him swallow his laughter as possible.
Anyway, these are the things about which I revolve. I can't blame it on environment or experience, strangely enough. When I was eight I remember figuring out how long it would take me to achieve these ends, still saying to myself, "Who am I?" And I said it at sixteen and I'm saying it at twenty-six even though the old cards persist in getting stacked against me and people are often like tugs trying to shunt me into a dismally peaceful berth. A few months of cold logic on the subject I struck upon in February have shown me that I didn't have it all under control. Hence I must needs slow down on my concept, though it broadened in another way which compensates and it has some popularity angles now which it lacked before. I guess I'm thirty percent showman after all because I instinctively dive toward popular huzzahs. And so, quite magnanimously for me, I gave man back his human soul and created a new explanation for creative urge which the lads will love. Nonetheless, the things are as true as can be.
Here's the time at three-thirty and I've got to go downtown. Maybe I shouldn't have written such a letter to you but I just got going and, so here it is.
I love you, Skipper, and all will be well.
[Signed]
The Redhead
 

Xenu Xenu Xenu

Well-known member
Burks's recollection of the manuscript was that it was about seventy thousand words long and began with a fable about a king who gathered all his wise men together and commanded them to bring him all the wisdom of the world in five hundred books. He then told them to go away and condense the information into one hundred books. When they had done that, he wanted the wisdom reduced into one book and finally into one word. That word was 'survive'.


Hubbard must have read Somerset Maugham's, OF HUMAN BONDAGE. That story about the king is in that book. Hubbard, it appears merely changed the story with the inclusion of "the word survive".
 

Caroline

clerk #2
Burks's recollection of the manuscript was that it was about seventy thousand words long and began with a fable about a king who gathered all his wise men together and commanded them to bring him all the wisdom of the world in five hundred books. He then told them to go away and condense the information into one hundred books. When they had done that, he wanted the wisdom reduced into one book and finally into one word. That word was 'survive'.


Hubbard must have read Somerset Maugham's, OF HUMAN BONDAGE. That story about the king is in that book. Hubbard, it appears merely changed the story with the inclusion of "the word survive".
Russell Miller's source was The Aberee, Dec1961. From The Compleat Aberree:


page0001.png page0007.pngpage0008.pngpage0012.png

Here's Burks' language about the king and his wisdom reduction mission:

Yes, There Was a Book Called "Excalibur" by L. Ron HUBBARD
By ARTHUR J. BURKS
From "The Aberee", Dec 1961​
[...]
Going back to "The Book", I don't remember how long it was. It probably was under 70,000, which is considered an average book. He told me what he wanted to do with it - it was going to revolutionize everything: the world, people's attitudes toward one another. He thought it was somewhat more important, and would have a greater impact upon people, than the Bible.
After I'd read the manuscript, we got to arguing over different titles. I asked him what he wanted to accomplish. He wanted to make changes. He wanted to reach inside people and really work them over, and he had to have a title that would be attractive. I am the one who suggested "Excalibur", because Excalibur was King Arthur's sword. This had a certain mystical meaning that suited Ron, and so "The Book" became "Excalibur".
As I remember "Excalibur", it started - in the introduction only - with a king who got all his wise men together and told them to prepare and bring to him all the wisdom of the world contained in 500 books. In the course of time, they succeeded, and the king was very pleased and said so. Then he told them to go away and cut down these 500 books into 100 books. It took them a bit longer this time, but they did it and came back and insisted all the wisdom of the world was contained in these 100 books. He said, "Now, do it over again, and bring it to me in one book."
This was quite a trick, but they did it, and came back some years later and they had, indeed, reduced all the wisdom of the world into one book.
Then he really gave them an assignment. He said, "Now go away and bring to me all the wisdom of the world in one word."
What was the one word? I don 't know how many times we argued, Ron and I, to discover what this one word was. It may have been the creative fiat, it might have just been the word "Be", it might have been the word "Survive". I don't think we ever settled it. But the book "Excalibur" from there on had to do with survival.
Source for text: http://www.xenu.net/archive/oca/burks.html
Letter (Burks) (1941-05-10).png

Incidentally, Burks wrote this May 10, 1941 letter of recommendation for Hubbard, in which he claimed he had known Hubbard intimately for about seven years.
 
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Caroline

clerk #2
Hubbard and Robert Heinlein discussed Excalibur in letters during 1948 and 1949. Here's the first mention I saw in the Heinlein archive. Clearly the conversation was already ongoing.
Box 1036 GPO NYC
November 24, 1948
Dear Bob;
Well, well, well! How delighted I was to hear from you. And you sounded so much like yourself. Five thousand deer and twenty-three men, indeed.
You know, of course that your letter made me writhe with envy; imagine having a place to live and not only that but a place off the atom bomb beat. I should think your situation completely ideal and complete. Charming wife, security, fame and fortune. Some guys just can't help but catwise on their feet.
I am dizzily going daffy trying to solve my problems in existence. 1. I am bomb bait here. 2. I have no home town. 3. I have no home. 4. I may be but am not yet retired, and so am roller coastering up and down the graphs. 5. I got a million dollar book ready to write and no time to write, said publisher offering no gratuity in advance. 6. I hate the soot, streets, buildings, people, monuments, cops, business men, curbstones, taxicabs, yes and even the pigeons of this here New York. Everything else I got licked.
I sent a note to a gent in New Orleans asking him about housing but his data is obviously b-6. I don't know anybody in Santa Fe. I wouldn't go back to Los Angeles for a starring part.
Africa beckons but somehow I can't recall losing anything there. South America has itself confused with 1928. England may not be there long, poor place. Asia Minor has too much proximity to the Bear. We didn't leave enough of the South Pacific to be idyllic over even in a costume historical.
In short, the only place I would really like to go is Alpha Centauri's New Earth and that hasn't been completely settled yet.
Robert, count your blessings!
I will do better than give you those principles aforestated. I will soon, I hope, give you a book risen from the ashes of old Excalibur which details in full the mathematics
[2]
of the human mind, solves all the problems of the ages and gives six recipes for aphrodisiacs and plays a mouth organ with the left foot.
Soon as the Navy makes up its collective mind about my retirement I can plan better for the future. Right now I am admiral hurdling with M&S and SecNav. Went to the hospital for a checkup, took two weeks getting checked, saw so many decripit characters thereabouts that I finally bogged down and got sick myself which said state lasted me for another four weeks. I am getting back into the running now. I am planning to get a white outfit so I can wear all my miniature medals in case they don't retire me. I've got to get some good out of the war.
The main difficulty these days is getting sane again. I find out that I am making progress. 0f course there is always the danger that I will get too sane to write.
Yore Rocket Ship is displayed prettily about the bookstores. Hope it is selling well. Beyond is liberally plastered around the windows and is stiil on display at the Book Festival, the sf section having been considered too fascinating by the Industrial Museum at RCA (where it was held) to be thrown out. Of all the publisher's displays, only the sf remains for posterity. People keep swiping my DD copies off it. Not from supprior merit but from the pocketability of that volume, I fear.
I am going out to the Campbells, me and Sara, for Thanksgiving. John is a hot ham now. Last time I saw him, he and Dona spoke most kindly of thee. If you have a ham in Colorado Springs you can undoubtedly make a contact with W2ZGU of Scotch Plains by prearrangement in the mails and probably talk to John. The reception is usually superior to telephone.
Robert, if you know of any town in the US which has climate and housing, please send me some of your very excellent advice.
I suppose you will be having venison for Thanksgiving in the tradition of your ancestors. Make sure it ain’t hunter.
My very best to Ginny. Sara sends her love.
Love and kisses,
[signed]
Ron
PS: Sara is here. Her ma is still sick but you can live just so long in a hurricane. I will send you a wedding present when I get somewhat richer. LRH
Source: The Heinlein Archive (CORR306-02:007)
 

Caroline

clerk #2
In a March 8, 1949 letter to Robert and Virginia Heinlein, Hubbard compared his Excalibur system with Heinlein's making supermen in his Coventry story. Hubbard claimed his Excalibur system makes "nul Ās" and abolishes religion.

Wikipedia: a) The World of Null-A; b) Coventry

Box 1996
Savannah, Ga.
Mar 8, 1949
Dear Bob & Ginny--
Work stares me in the face and urgent letters have been stacked here for answer and so, with laudable industry, I take my pen in hand to chin-chin.
Markets were flooey in NY three-four mos ago and have just now broken open, looks like. But slick is particularly capricious even yet, advertising and slick not being very flush, making the quill pen- blue-slip regiments rather noxious in their nervousness.
Argosy ordered a re-write on a 10,000 worder (I'm the Great Dallas Strudemeyer there) and I re-wrote exactly what they said, adding
[2]
not one word to their ms, just cutting several lines as ordered. Got the ms back couple days ago with the comment that they couldn't use it because the ending was suddenly improbable. Hadn't been touched. So we wasted 10,000 words of re-type. Sure sore. But that's the way the Ritz Boys act. Pulp was stagnant for a long while but now I've got several orders--Standard western and sf. I expect rates will fall. They have already at Columbia Pub. They sent me back a 33,000 worder, asking me to add 7,000 or more words for a flat rate of $300. That's about the record. But old S&S and Standard are still up, though I'm not sure for how long. S&S is 2 cents, Standard 2 [cut off]
[3]
Got a series at Standard - The Conquest of Space -- in Startling. One an [isane]. Two others series going elsewhere but less steady. Crawling slowly up again. That damned Shasta Pub. in Chi is trying to pay me percentage on their wholesale book price --$1.25 for a $3 book or 12 1/2 cents/copy on a contract calling for 3 [cut off] Hadley is paying me $25 quarterly interest on what they owe me. Fantasy Pub, unless it swamps or something is the best book pay.
Some serious fiction is in the making around here, but it's all pretty much side-tracked by my re-write of Excalibur, of which you ask. For two months I have been shirking my coffee and cake work for this
[4]
magnum opus. I am going to publish it. Have an offer. But when I re-read it, my war experience pointed several necessary alterations and inclusions and so I slave away. I'll be glad to pitch a galley at you when I get one in a few months. If it drives you nuts, don't sue. You were warned!
On this book thing, I trained up Sara into the routine. Never had anybody around before with enough time to spare, so I had never used the work on myself--couldn't! Case of Physician etc. So anyway, I been agonizing around losing some of the bitter years. My hip and stomach and side are well again--which
[5]
pleases me and makes a fool out of Polly. But most important I am straightening out the kinks that held down production on the money machine. Should be back to my 100,000 a month fiction plus non-fiction come April. My joi de vive is sliding up smoothly and my plotting ability is cranking back up like a Pratt and Whitney. Most important to me and yea, to my friends, is that the old wingding I went into in 1945 is vanishing, leaving a more virile, adventurous and fearless Hubbard, or is it Fosdick?
Poor Sara, she didn't know what she was in for when she consented to digest this old ms and pour me full of the necessary
[6]
swamp root oil. She's invested over a hundred hours to date and has about twenty more to go before I'm in level flight -- 30,000 feet up, flat on my back.
Strange thing. You recall your Coventry? Well, you didn't specify in your book what actual reformation took place in the society to make supermen. Got to thinking about it the other day. The system is Excalibur. It makes nul Ās. So even if it does upset a few applecarts and blow a fuse in the current moral and political system, I'm releasing it and to hell with the consequences. Know a good hide-out?
[7]
I fear the Catholic Church is going to take one look at that book and heave a fit that would make the Mindszenty affair pale. It ain't agin religion. It just abolishes it. It aint agin anything, which is wherein lieth its deadly poison. It's science, boy, science. That's a godly word we all love.
Anyway, I'll send you a galley so you kin man the barricades in time. Cause like the chicken that et the Japanese beetle in good faith, this one is going to come straight out through the side of any society what digests it.
With this cheerful thought, we leave Savannah the beautiful. If you sniffed quick when you opened this you smelled sunshine.
My love to you both--
[Enrs? Unintelligible word] the Red
Source: The Heinlein Archive (CORR306-02:015)
 
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Hatshepsut

Active member
Hubbard and Robert Heinlein discussed Excalibur in letters during 1948 and 1949. Here's the first mention I saw in the Heinlein archive. Clearly the conversation was already ongoing.
Box 1036 GPO NYC
November 24, 1948
Dear Bob;
Well, well, well! How delighted I was to hear from you. And you sounded so much like yourself. Five thousand deer and twenty-three men, indeed.
You know, of course that your letter made me writhe with envy; imagine having a place to live and not only that but a place off the atom bomb beat. I should think your situation completely ideal and complete. Charming wife, security, fame and fortune. Some guys just can't help but catwise on their feet.
I am dizzily going daffy trying to solve my problems in existence. 1. I am bomb bait here. 2. I have no home town. 3. I have no home. 4. I may be but am not yet retired, and so am roller coastering up and down the graphs. 5. I got a million dollar book ready to write and no time to write, said publisher offering no gratuity in advance. 6. I hate the soot, streets, buildings, people, monuments, cops, business men, curbstones, taxicabs, yes and even the pigeons of this here New York. Everything else I got licked.
I sent a note to a gent in New Orleans asking him about housing but his data is obviously b-6. I don't know anybody in Santa Fe. I wouldn't go back to Los Angeles for a starring part.
Africa beckons but somehow I can't recall losing anything there. South America has itself confused with 1928. England may not be there long, poor place. Asia Minor has too much proximity to the Bear. We didn't leave enough of the South Pacific to be idyllic over even in a costume historical.
In short, the only place I would really like to go is Alpha Centauri's New Earth and that hasn't been completely settled yet.
Robert, count your blessings!
I will do better than give you those principles aforestated. I will soon, I hope, give you a book risen from the ashes of old Excalibur which details in full the mathematics
[2]
of the human mind, solves all the problems of the ages and gives six recipes for aphrodisiacs and plays a mouth organ with the left foot.
Soon as the Navy makes up its collective mind about my retirement I can plan better for the future. Right now I am admiral hurdling with M&S and SecNav. Went to the hospital for a checkup, took two weeks getting checked, saw so many decripit characters thereabouts that I finally bogged down and got sick myself which said state lasted me for another four weeks. I am getting back into the running now. I am planning to get a white outfit so I can wear all my miniature medals in case they don't retire me. I've got to get some good out of the war.
The main difficulty these days is getting sane again. I find out that I am making progress. 0f course there is always the danger that I will get too sane to write.
Yore Rocket Ship is displayed prettily about the bookstores. Hope it is selling well. Beyond is liberally plastered around the windows and is stiil on display at the Book Festival, the sf section having been considered too fascinating by the Industrial Museum at RCA (where it was held) to be thrown out. Of all the publisher's displays, only the sf remains for posterity. People keep swiping my DD copies off it. Not from supprior merit but from the pocketability of that volume, I fear.
I am going out to the Campbells, me and Sara, for Thanksgiving. John is a hot ham now. Last time I saw him, he and Dona spoke most kindly of thee. If you have a ham in Colorado Springs you can undoubtedly make a contact with W2ZGU of Scotch Plains by prearrangement in the mails and probably talk to John. The reception is usually superior to telephone.
Robert, if you know of any town in the US which has climate and housing, please send me some of your very excellent advice.
I suppose you will be having venison for Thanksgiving in the tradition of your ancestors. Make sure it ain’t hunter.
My very best to Ginny. Sara sends her love.
Love and kisses,
[signed]
Ron
PS: Sara is here. Her ma is still sick but you can live just so long in a hurricane. I will send you a wedding present when I get somewhat richer. LRH
Source: The Heinlein Archive (CORR306-02:007)
Hmmm. It actually seemed Ron thought he had a 'friend' or two back then, before his paranoia set in with the tendency to destroy them. It's actually kinda touching. Wouldn't be long though before the distrust and warring would begin over the distribution rights for this 'gift' to mankind where he gave humanity back its 'soul'.

The year of this letter to Bob and Ginny, Ron would finally become domiciled in a home with Sara.
the real estate

BAY HEAD: THE BIRTH OF DIANETICS

In 1949, Hubbard moved into a Victorian at 666 East Ave. in Bay Head, where, he wrote in a letter to a friend, "The ocean is just outside the front door but it knows its place and never makes a real nuisance of itself. And if it does, why, we just go to a movie until the house has settled back down on its foundation again."
 
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Caroline

clerk #2
From Heinlein to Hubbard:
1313 Cheyenne Blvd.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
26 March 1949
Dear Ron,
I wish you were around today. Ginny and another girl have been out panning for gold in the creek across the street from us. I patted them on the head, told them to have fun, and paid not much attention. Now they have come back with what they believe to be a nugget---and I don't know enough about it to tell real gold from pyrites. It looks like gold, but I can't be sure.
I still want to see Excalibur as soon as possible, in its old form, its new form, or both---and preferably in carbon in advance of publication. The subject intrigues me immensely. Your last letter had numerous references to disciplines, drills, hours of study[*]---and was not very clear because I don't know what the hell you are talking about. More light, maestro, more light!
Which reminds me---long ago you were going to write down for me the so-many principles of the agent saboteur and the thus-many principles of the agent provocateur. You talked about them, but you never did. From a famous German work on Geopolitick and Realpolitick I believe. How about coming through on it?
I've seen some, maybe all, of your space-pioneering series. Two, I think. They are good---but my heart belongs to Old Doc Methuselah. I'll keep my eye open for Dallas Strudemeyer; I usually see Argosy since I sell them occasionally. Oh, yes: I hit a new market for me and the last in the world I would ever expect to hit. Calling All Girls, a mag for bobby-soxers---with a short containing no fantasy and having a teen-age girl as the central character. Now they want a series and I am a little bit dumbfounded. "Don, oh Don: What I do now?" I don't know anything about teen-age girls; the story was a freak, a random idea which I wrote in an hour and a half, then tossed on the market.
Your warning about Shasta appears to have saved me from signing a trick contract. Thanks!
On rereading your letter I am still more intrigued by the Excalibur business. If if does you that much good, it ought to be good for me. In my own way I came out of this war battle-happy myself---from not having been shot at. Ginny has me about put back together but a bit more therapy would do no harm.
No real news at this end. I work away at the machine, with enough success to keep us eating but nothing startling. We skate, we read, we sleep, we chew the fat. The surroundings remain a constant joy but I am wondering seriously whether or not my lousy sinuses can stand the dry climate. Nevertheless I am happier than I have been in ten years. Sara seems to have been just what the doctor ordered for you---Ginny is the same for me.
Love and kisses to you both,

Emphasis added
Source: The Heinlein Archive (CORR306-02:023)


[*] I was not able to find a letter from Hubbard that fits this description.
 

Caroline

clerk #2
Hubbard's reply to Heinlein's 26 March 1949 letter:

L. RON HUBBARD
Box 1796
Savannah, Ga.
March 31, 1949
Dear Bob,
Sara is out in California, having shove off suddenly last week when her mother was stricken with a heart attack -- which leaves Sara sole nurse 24 hours a day and the old lady in on oxygen. Naturally, the second she showed up, everybody left and discharged the practical day nurse. That family of hers will be the death of itself yet. When I'm around I won't let them impose on Sara so thoroughly and that makes me as popular as the measles. So I am giving up my apartment here and looking for other local quarters. And I sat around getting gloomy about moving and the first thing I know I recalled that I had some correspondence. A writer will do anything -----
I sure am battered up with equipment these days. Got a new IBM, strictly streamline, and Audographs. Got a ratty old 1941 Ford station wagon - parts are cheap; ever repair a Cadillac? - and a distaste for professional southerners. So I am homeless with the dawn. Now if a couple man-sized cheques romped home come morning mail I might try conclusions with highways. But I probably won't. I'll probably sit tight sir and make my fortune.
Just wrote John W a letter and gave him hell, the air-conditioned sort. I sent him an athletic sort of yarn and he bounced it - just a lousy old short. But his emphasis on the esoteric these days graveled me, since he doesn't know what the hell he's talking about. Which is what I told him. So to take the editor taste out of my mouth I am writing a love letter to thee.
Glad if I really was of service in any Shasta matter, not because I want to hurt them but because it might aid the profession a bit - which is all too full of pitfalls as 'tis. A greased pig is non-skid compared to those lads.
Fascinated with this CALLING ALL GIRLS business. My lord! But it's a good idea, though. Personally lately I have another tekneekew.
[2]​
(that's a French word meaning "methods employable in getting into things") I completely apprehend your idea. You write a story. Then you get fan letters. Then maybe some of the fan letters are close to home. Then maybe....
Your request about the agentes techniques recalls me that this here area is shore revolutionary, pard. They just ain't fergot nothin' about Reconstruction. Down at the library, all the way back in the vault, are four full lengths shelves of books such as THE PSYCHOLOGY OF REVOLUTION, ERRORS MADE BY REBESPIERRE, THE POWER OF THE RABBLE, LAWS GOVERNING LEVEE EN MASSE, HOME BOMB MANUFACTURE, ASSASSINATION AS A POLITICAL TECHNIQUE, etc. etc for about three hundred big, authoritative volumes. And I've never before seen a single one of them.
Robert, if I hadn't heard your last plan for Armageddon, I wouldn't even think twice about separating myself from this data. But what would you do with it? You'd go and put it in books. And then maybe the conservatives would pick it up and what would right wing people like myself do then? No spoofing, though, I'll dictate them off one of these days when I get this condemned southern girl up to a point where she can spell elementary English. I get a phone call every couple hours when she's working with a long list of words. Then she plays a record back over the phone so she can fill in the first draft. And loddie, she can really stretch a point, which is to say a syllable. Pretty, though. Awful pretty.
I'd sure like to help pan that gold. My golly, of all the things I do poorly I pan gold the least poorly. I can pan gold where they ain't no water, without a regular pan, without proper dirt and even without gold. Although I often find gold, that is the poorest part of it because then I have to stop looking and start working. So don't let Ginny find herself a gold mine. It would be entirely fatal on your typewriting. You got any idea of how much a shovelful of wet blue clay weights? Don't find out. Just keep on telling her everything is pyrites but save it. Actually you can tell the two apart too easy to worry about. It it's yellow and you can dent it with your nail or knock a corner of it flat (an ounce of gold will thin out to a sheet an acre in extent) and if she flattens, she's gold. If she breaks, she's pyrites. Also get yourself a little nitric or hydrochloric acid. Put a little in a saucer, put in the article to be tested. If she stays there, even
[3]​
if she stays black, she’s gold. In one or the other everything else under the stars dissolves. Gold dissolves only in aqua regia, a combination of those two acids. But once you see a piece of gold even if it's tiny, in a pan, you'll never make another mistake.
Boy, I'm sure not typing worth shucks. But that’s because I'm just plain weary. Or maybe lazy.
Sure would like to hit the road, but I'm planning to have a little fun anyway. This hellbroth I cooked up works remarkably well on kids. I hadn't tried it in that department before to amount to anything and if it jumps an adult IQ about double, you ought to see what it does to kids. John W's mutation infants - and I begun to consider mutation a kind of corn - are downright ignorant, really. Took a scared little kid that was supposed to be stupid and was nailing everything and worked on him about thirty-five hours just to make sure. That was last month. So now he turns up this afternoon with all A’s and all of a sudden reading Shakespeare. His teacher was out in the car. I went down and she was kind of flustered and scared - said good-bye in a hurry like maybe I was going to throw a spell or an incubus or something at her. Science fiction is wonderful. van Vogt and the rest of the crew are getting the irons all hot, thinking they are pulling somebody’s leg with fiction. But if they knew just how high the human mind really can soar they’d feel like pikers. They’re doing good ward work, though.
Most trouble I had with this was bailing out my own green slime. Being the only "expert" has its drawbacks. Poor Sara. I swear her hair stood right up straight a few times, hyperbolically speaking. But she was game. I’m not out in complete level flight yet because I didn’t have the heart to push her into the fifth tone drills. So I am sweating those out on my lonely. My working speed has about doubled and I am cruising on four hours sleep a night. But the most interesting thing is, I’m up to eight comes. In an evening, that is.
I see some of the above won’t make sense. So let me explain myself. At first glance this business is a trifle involved unless it is derived from its keys. But this much can be
[4]​
said: the general condition, which is to say the chronic behavior of a human being can be classified on a tone scale (corresponding to musical wave lengths, for instance). They start at One, the lowest and worst. The First and Second tones lie under the insanity break point. The First tone is apathy, the second is chronic anger. The Third tone is where the bulk of humanity lives. It’s above the break point. But it has its liabilities and will sink into anger or apathy on rather minor cause. These can be mathematically graded, actually, such as 0.4, 1.7, 2.9. The first two figures are in first and second tone bands. The last figure is a pretty darned sane individual as the norm runs. Now we move up into the Fourth Tone. 3.2 would be a good, happy, industrious Fourth Tone. This is very high above average and it can be found in its natural state. This, incidentally, has no bearing on I.Q., the most overrated gimmick in the whole gamut of “psychology”. It is just a measuring stick, but it happens to be a very useful one when teamed up with all the rest of this mathematics of mind. The first Four Tones are determined by the depth of the”unconscious” mind, a misnomer incidentally. At the bottom, the "unconscious" has the full grasp, the tones are devised to measure its finite — and believe me, I mean finite-extent. We get up to 4.0 and the “unconscious” isn’t there anymore. It is gone. In that the "unconscious" in this sense is only one of the three divisions of Mind, that simply means that the pain is all missing now. In order to haul to 4.0 (and the Navy grading is accidental as it was computed on its own), it is only necessary to eradicate all the basic heavy pain the individual has experienced in his lifetime with all of its associatives. Now that can be done because for the last year I’ve been doing it. And it can be done very fast - ninety hours, for instance, compared to two years of "modern psychiatry" which even then doesn’t accomplish it or effect any cure of aberrations or illnesses. But once you’ve drained off the pain content of the individual some astonishing results take place. His general health and activity markedly increase. Such things as asthma, migraine headaches, arthritis, sinusitus, (no dictionary at hand), menstrual cramps, glandular cessations, astigmatism, ulcers etc. etc. disappear for keeps and don't come back no matter what happens to coerce them. His errors and accidents fall nearly to zero, subjects which before balked him
[5]​
are now very simple, skills hitherto denied him convert into facilities and so forth. We are not talking about sane and insane, now. These are just norms, pain removed and boosted to Tone Four. The former difficulty that "people liked their aberations" has been vanquished. They don’t but they sometimes think they are necessary for a while.
Now you’ve got a Tone Four. In the normal course of living one gets a broad e[d]ucation even if one is pretty "uneducated". Mental sensitivity entering in here and the ability to associate or differentiate facts plus education gives us the finite limits of the rational mind. The "unconscious" - which should be called the reactive mind - is not rational or any part of it. The reactive mind obscures large segments of the rational mind - which is no more or less than the frontal lobe, peculiar to man. Tests on animals can only deal with the reactive mind because the animal hasn’t got a frontal lobe to amount to anything or to be rational with. Now here lives IQ., if you want to use the term. And if you haven’t deserted me, by now, wouldn’t it be lovely if this were the end of the problem. But it would only be lovely for the memory boys and the clerks because the third segment of mind is powerful enough to overset the most beautiful I.Q. which ever went down on an examination form, and which cannot be examined in any way except observing behavior in an environment.
The third mind I would rather not name. We’re moving now right up against the Prime Mover Unmoved and no matter my studies of this segment, I am going up against so many contrary semantics that I would rather not argue. But anyway, here resides the Force or the Drive which, in four branches, pretty well regulates the personality and measures the ultimate ability of the individual. When you get into this rarified air, the first thing which comes out strong is that artistic genius is more Third Segment than it is rational. In other words genius can have a low I.Q. and still whip a weak Third Segment with an astonishingly high I.Q.. Naturally, most creative people have both fairly high I.Q.s and high Third Segment. In short, this last factor of the mind is both the steam in the boilers and the standard compass. The reactive mind and, to a lesser extent, the rational mind are deviation and variation
[6]​
respectively. The latter two are finite, measureable and altogether very simple affairs once you see them all apart. But in what I am calling here - and I’ll have to give it a better name finally ‘but designate it to myself only as O - the Third Segment we cruise on off into infinity. A lot about it is not so much Unknowable as "not worth knowing". But its intention and desire from one man to the next is constant even if its quantity from person to person is variable, It has four forces branching from one force and obeys one rather simple law.
Now the whole thing becomes a sort of a wheel with the Third Segment being the First and the First being the Second and the Second being the Third. But again this is almost "not worth knowing". In short, we have a trinity, a good, solid old trinity which is a unity and no "let’s all praise Allah" jimming the equation.
Understanding these things, with a Tone Four attitude (and Robert, that’s really some attitude I being no basic change whatever from what the man wanted in the first place and what he could do but so much more of it that the opposition just plain collapses), we can train up to a Tone Five. There are Ten Tones, as high as I can calculate on this slide rule, but when you get to about Six you levitate and live forever, so why tackle Tenth Stage Emergence?
Well, well, didn’t mean to get going on all that. I might add that it is highly classified even if the above is fragmentary. It’s fast and sloppy in its outline. But. it gives you something of an idea of what one red-head has been tackling. I have under a thousand case histories and will have to realize that number before I publish. So the school kids and the orphan asylums around here (it’s so quick to work on kids, though I have to throw in a few adults as I go to keep up appearances, there being absolutely no difference in the mind at eight and at sixty barring strokes and VD paresis) have been getting a run for it. I spend about two and a half hours a day on research and it’s boiled down to routine now. I have more than enough for me and almost enough for the professors.
[7]​
So here goes the Hiroshima fuse for psychology as far as I can see from where I sit. And vV with, his nul A is going to be an awful surprised young man! I am running 97% into Tone Four and l00% into Tone 3.6 or better including the "hopelessly insane". I finished up the work on. criminals just before I went to Washington and I sure don't want to resume it until our laws get better. Poor guys: square them up, give them better than normal outlook and then they go back at the demand of "society" (what the hell is society anyway, Bob?) and finish out their terms.
People around here give me wonderful cooperation. They are not deserving of my assignation of epithet to their Reconstructive manias. I got the whole city Guidance Center, the Federal Probation Officer, five orphan asylums and two schools ready to roll out carpets when my poor old clunk clatters up. And the chief of police, Monday afternoon, sidled up to me while I was in the Post Office and said he'd been bothered lately with "an inferiority complex" - whatever that is.
The worst of this moving is shifting my working set-up which is pretty exact. But there’s a dog that howls all night out here and I haven’t been able to catch him and give him any therapy. So I give up.
Tomorrow I load everything into the clattercrate and then go find me a room for a week while I see if anybody has a house. I really don’t have any great desire to stay here - I’ve gotten tired of curing Reconstructionosis (it’s quite real as a part of the southern reactive mind) - but I‘m not inspired enough by any other place to move.
Consider yourself wrote to.
My very best to Ginny and my love to you both.
[signed]
Ron
[Handwritten] PS: Too tired to proof. You're a crytographer anyway.
Source: The Heinlein Archive (CORR306-02:024)
 

Caroline

clerk #2
Hubbard to his literary agent, Forrest (4E) Ackerman:

Box 1796
Savanah, Georgia
Jan. 13, 1949
Dear 4E: (Proper name should be in capitals)
I have been meaning to back up the last note of Sara’s but didn’t, been powerful busy trying to nail down a stack of copy. Been using an old dictaphone arangement which was on the verge of driving me stark staring.Finally today managed to get my big paws on a new Audiograph setup. They were used by the airforce in planes in the war and transcribe or record in any position with a minimum of breakdown. They use a half hour per side vynolile (sp?) plateing which means an hour of dictation per record. The stuff is clear and the transcribing is very easy and simple. They are very light and streamlined. Been out for two or three years now in commercial work. Rather high priced so I really have to grind now to suport my writing.
Have a nice office. Had another one but didn’t take to [the] noise. Present one is in the same apt. building, very neat and very quiet, with its own silk and gilt. Could become a den of vice very easily, I fear, so I only allow women over 16 in there.
Wanted to tell you that Sara is beating out her wits on fiction and is having to do this DARK SWORD -cause and cure of nervious tension – properly – THE SCIENCE OF MIND, really EXCALIBUR – in fits, so far, however she has recovered easily from each fit. It will be considerably delayed because of this. Good as my word, however, I shall ship it along just as soon as decent. Then you can rape women without their knowing it, communicate suicide messages to your enemies as they sleep, sell the Arroyo Seco parkway to the mayor for cash, evolve the best way of protecting or destroying communism, and other handy house hold hints. If you go crazy, remember you were warned.
Good publishing trick, by the way, is to have the bookseller make the buyer sign a release releasing the author of all responsibilities if the reader goes nuts.
Scanning it to insert a few case histories I’d come across here and there, I got interested again and have not decided whether to destroy the Catholic church or merely start a new one. And I grow restless when I think of all the charming ladies and young boys who walk around without the slightest taste for LIFE.
Thought of some interesting publicity angles on it. I might post a ten thousand dollar bond to be paid to anyone who can attain equal results with any known field of knowledge. A reprint of the preface, however, is about all one needs to bring in orders like a snow storm. This has more selling and publicity angles than any book of which I have ever heard, I think, and may very well be able to support them without much effort.
Looking over its project, I find a son of a luckless millionaire here has taken to drink and the millionaire wants him cured bad. Might undertake it for ten grand some afternoon.
Don’t know why I suddenly got the nerve to go into this again and let it loose. It’s probably either a great love or an enormous hatred of humanity. Just a few months ago I would now and then decide [to] use it and start right in to apply and I would lose my nerve. But lo! courage rose and the book is going out before it sinks again.
So here you have the dope.
Looking at all the fantasy movies, how about you contacting Laura Wilck in poisonally and making her scout around when we go in hard covers.
So far what’d Bill Crawford do about assembling the TRITION. Did he like MAN EATS MONSTER?
Best regards my friend, don’t Kroshak the little kids in the neighborhood.
Love and Kisses,
Ron
P.S. This here epistle is confidential, pard.
 
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