A still controversial figure, Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (1911–1986) appears to have been largely self-educated despite having attended prestigious private schools and two years at George Washington University. As the son of a naval officer, her traveled twice to the Far East and claimed to have traveled to India and studied with holy men.
He wrote many pulp fiction stories, over a hundred adventure and science fiction novels and was reputed to have written a million words yearly at a steady clip of seventy words a minute.
He served as a Lieutenant JG in the Navy during WWII.
In 1945 he met Jack Parsons, a researcher at CalTech and an associate of occultist Aleister Crowley who said that Hubbard and Parsons practiced ritual magick including sex magick with Parsons’ girl friend. Later Parsons claimed that Hubbard stole both his girl friend and his money.
There are numerous reports that toward the end of the 1940s Hubbard said he would found a new religion to make money. In 1950 he published a self-help book, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, which sold 150,000 copies the first year but received mostly negative reviews. In August 1951 "Consumer Reports" called it "the basis for a new cult."
In December 1953 he founded the Church of Scientology and opened various branches and offices around the world providing various self-help counseling services.
Whether religion or psychology, it was profitable and Hubbard is reported to have left a $600 million estate.