The house where L. Ron Hubbard lived in Phoenix, Arizona in 1952 has been restored to the way it looked then, including many of the original decorations, furniture, carpets, drapes and so on. It is (from what I’ve heard from people who visited it) like stepping into a time machine to the early 1950s. 1952 was the year L. Ron Hubbard’s research led him inexorably to the conclusion that the human mind (the subject of which was covered in his book “Dianetics, the Modern Science of Mental Health” was only one part of the oganism that is a human. There was, of course, the human body, which everyone could see. Then there was the human mind, which everyone has. He broke down the mind into three parts — the analytical mind (the one containing pictures of what you see, which you think with most of the time) the reactive mind (which records things when you are unconscious) and the somatic mind (the one that takes care of bodily functions, regulating heartrate, the endocrine system, etc., and on which most of us have little attention.) But there was something else — the thing that looked at the pictures. In the Dianetics book he called it the “awareness of awareness unit” and didn’t speculate on it too much as it wasn’t important at that time. But in 1952, it became very important and he realized he was dealing with a “spirit” or “soul”. Since those words already had a lot of baggage associated with them, he coined the word “thetan” to cover it cleanly.
The exact physical location where he did that is this house on Camelback in Phoenix. To Scientologists, it represents the birthplace of our religion.
And the photos show it is wicked cool!
The restoration project recently won the Governor’s Heritage Preservation Honor Award 2007 for “The Friends of L. Ron Hubbard” and the Church of Scientology International.
My friend Marlyse Brock was one of those accepting the award. I’m very happy for her – it was quite a project and I can’t wait to get to Phoenix to tour the house.