A VERY STABLE SUPER GENIUS!!
Following the USS Rexburg's story from World War II to the Church of Scientology.
Under the Church of Scientology
The Excalibur in the San Diego harbor. Photo by Howard Dickman.
The ’60s and ’70s marked the genesis of Scientology’s Sea Organization, a group created by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard to provide crew for his ships while evading law enforcement around the world.
According to “Bare-Faced Messiah,” an unofficial biography of Hubbard by Russell Miller, “In 1967, Hubbard raised a private navy, appointed himself Commodore, donned a dashing uniform of his own design and set forth on an extraordinary odyssey, leading a fleet of ships across the oceans variously pursued by the CIA, the FBI, the international press and a miscellany of suspicious government and maritime agencies.”
Hubbard served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, but was relieved of command.
The USS Rexburg was one of the ships purchased by the mysterious Sea Organization, called the Sea Org by those familiar with it. The Rexburg was rechristened the Excalibur, sent around the West Coast and initially used as a training vessel for new members of the Sea Organization. Hubbard had grown frustrated at the crew of his flagship, Apollo, who were mostly young people with no experience on board a ship.
After 1974, the Excalibur was partially crewed by the Rehabilitation Project Force, or the RPF, a group where Scientologists who misbehaved or underperformed were sent.
Howard Dickman aboard the Excalibur. Photo from Howard Dickman.