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  Home > Chronicle > 1922-1929

L. Ron Hubbard moves north to Puget Sound in Washington State. He joins the Boy Scouts of America in April 1923. As a member of Tacoma Troop 31, he becomes a Second Class Scout on 8 May and two months later, on 5 July, advances to First Class Scout.

In October, Harry Ross Hubbard receives orders to report to the nation’s capital. L. Ron Hubbard and his parents board the USS Ulysses S. Grant on 1 November 1923 and sail to New York from San Francisco through the recently opened Panama Canal. They then journey to Washington, DC. During this voyage, he meets Commander Joseph “Snake” Thompson, who has recently returned from Vienna and studies with Sigmund Freud. Through the course of their friendship, the commander spends many an afternoon in the Library of Congress teaching L. Ron Hubbard what he knows of the human mind.

By 11 December 1923, L. Ron Hubbard, now part of Washington’s Boy Scout Troop 10, earns his Carpentry, First Aid and Fireman merit badges.

In the month of January 1924 L. Ron Hubbard earns his Electricity, Personal Health, Photography and Public Health merit badges.

In February, after earning his Safety First, Craftsmanship, Swimming, Physical Development and Pioneering merit badges, L. Ron Hubbard obtains his Life Scout and Star Scout medals.

In March, L. Ron Hubbard obtains his Handicraft, Automobiling and Pathfinding merit badges. On 20 March he represents Troop 10 while visiting President Calvin Coolidge and five days afterwards, on 25 March, becomes the nation’s youngest Eagle Scout. The next day, L. Ron Hubbard leaves Washington and returns to Montana by cross-country train.

While in Montana, L. Ron Hubbard continues his scouting activities, organizes scouting events and acts as an Assistant Scoutmaster. In 1925 he moves to Seattle where he attends Queen Anne High School.

After completing the school year in early June 1927, L. Ron Hubbard travels to San Francisco, boarding a steamer to meet his father in Guam. By way of Hawaii, Japan, China, the Philippines and Hong Kong, he arrives at the island of Guam during the first week of July 1927. There, he befriends the local Chamorros and teaches in the native schools. Throughout these travels, L. Ron Hubbard’s observations and adventures are carefully recorded in diaries. A few years later, Mr. Hubbard will draw upon these experiences for his adventure and action fiction.

By late September 1927, L. Ron Hubbard returns to Helena where he joins the Montana National Guard’s 163rd Infantry. While at Helena High School he becomes an editor of the school’s newspaper.

For the annual Vigilante Day Parade on 4 May, L. Ron Hubbard organizes and enters a group of classmates dressed as pirates of the Spanish Main and wins the prize for “Most Original” cast.

Finding classrooms and schools too confining, L. Ron Hubbard ventures out alone again and travels aboard the USS Henderson, returning to the Orient.

Through the next fourteen months L. Ron Hubbard journeys inland to the Western Hills of China, out again to Japan, then down to the Philippines and further south to Java. He plies the waters of the China coast as a helmsman and supercargo aboard the Marianna Maru, a twin-masted coastal schooner.

In China, he becomes close friends with British intelligence officers, Buddhist priests, US Marines and the last remaining magician from the line of Kublai Khan’s court.

By late September 1929, he returns to the United States, completing his high-school education in Washington, DC. Writing and delivering a speech on the United States Constitution and the guarantees of individual liberty, he wins a scholastic oratory contest.


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