Scientology origins

This question has come up in another thread, but belongs here. Does anyone know of any hard evidence that L. Ron Hubbard created Scientology because Robert Heinlein bet him after a few drinks that he couldn’t found a religion? The alt.folklore.urban FAQ pagehas it categorized as “Believed true but not conclusively proven.”

So which God inspired Hubbard? Jehovah or Bacchus? Or maybe Mammon?

I don’t know anyone who believes that Scientology was created as a result of a bar bet with Heinlein. I think you may be cionfusing this with Hubbard’s often-quoted statement that the way to get rich wasn’t writing science fiction for a penny a word, but by starting your own religion. Both issues have been discussed on the SDMB before, with (IIRC) people coming down against the bar bet story (I know of NO evidence for this) and probable for the making money quote. The Bar Bet just doesn’t sound like Heinlein to me.

You can find lotsa info on the origins of scientology at http://www.xenu.com and its links.

In Asimov’s first autobiography (so arrogant, he had to write two), he describes how he, Heinlein, Clarke and Hubbard use to get together socially. However, they all three broke off from Hubbard once the scientology crap started, and they all questioned his sanity at the time. I’m sure the good doctor would have known of any bet between Hubbard and Heinlein.

During the War, Hubbard was involved with O.T.O. buddies Aleister Crowley and Jack Parsons (from Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory). Parsons published this doggerel in the O.T.O. newsletter:

I hight Don Quixote, I live on peyote,
Marijuana, morphine, and cocaine.
I never know sadness but only a madness
That burns at the heart and the brain.
I see each charwoman, ecstatic, inhuman,
Angelic, demonic, divine.
Each wagon a dragon, each beer mug a flagon
That brims with ambrosial wine.

Apart from their occult capers, Hubbard and Parsons went in on some unsuccessful business ventures that led to their falling out. Then Parsons was killed in a lab explosion, and Hubbard went on to fame & fortune.

Here’s a link to Harlan Ellison’s recollection of it. The interview took place in 1978.

Thanks, everyone, especially alonicist.

And the winner is … Mammon!