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L Ron Hubbard's science fiction quest against psychiatry
  1. Laura Hirshbein
  1. Correspondence to Dr Laura Hirshbein, University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry, 1500 E. Medical Center Dr.—SPC 5120, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5120, USA; lauradh{at}


Layfayette Ronald Hubbard (1911–1986) was a colourful and prolific American writer of science fiction in the 1930s and 1940s. During the time between his two decades of productivity and his return to science fiction in 1980, Hubbard founded the Church of Scientology. In addition to its controversial status as a religion and its troubling pattern of intimidation and litigation directed towards its foes, Scientology is well known as an organised opponent to psychiatry. This paper looks at Hubbard's science fiction work to help understand the evolution of Scientology's antipsychiatry stance, as well as the alternative to psychiatry offered by Hubbard.

  • Gender studies

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.