L. Ron Hubbard founded Scientology in 1952, as a body of beliefs and practices. In 1953, Scientology would come to be characterized as a religion. Hubbard was also a writer of pulp fiction in 1930’s and wrote several books under his own name or pseudonyms.

As a teenager he traveled from America to Asia including China, India and Tibet. In a short autobiography written for Adventure magazine in 1935, Hubbard said:

“it was not until I was sixteen [in 1927] that I headed for the China Coast …. In Peiping . . . I completely missed the atmosphere of the city, devoting most of my time to a British major who happened to be head of the Intelligence out there. In Shanghai, I am ashamed to admit that I did not tour the city or surrounding country as I should have. I know more about 181 Bubbling Wells Road and its wheels than I do about the history of the town. In Hong Kong – well, why take up space?”

His second trip to China, this time with both parents was in 1928. The Hubbards then traveled inland to Peking, spending a week here. Still, L Ron Hubbard remained unimpressed – with the Chinese architecture and the Great Wall which he thought would be used as a roller coaster.  But later in another notebook entry he would describe the Great Wall in more sedate terms. He did not have much to say about Shanghai.

His teenage notebook entry also makes unflattering and derogatory reference to the Chinese including “They smell of baths they didn’t take.”

His debatable interaction with Eastern philosophies and adolscent impressions apart (which would later change), L Ron Hubbard took photographs during his China visit. One photo credited to L. Ron Hubbard and purportedly it is the Scientology founder only, was that of a Shanghai Sikh policeman:


Photograph by L Ron Hubbard