#TheGodProject: Johannesburg’s Home of Scientology

by | Feb 8, 2016 | Johannesburg, Museums and Buildings, Religion | 11 comments

A few months ago, my friend Ang at JOZI.REDISCOVERED and I started #TheGodProject. The point of the project is to visit and document different places of worship in Johannesburg.

For the first installment, we started relatively simply with the one of Joburg’s Catholic churches. For the second installment we’re really going for it, investigating the Church of Scientology in Joburg.

When I say “we”, I really mean Ang. This project was her idea, and I’m just the girl trailing along behind her with a camera. My job in this project is to post a few pictures and refer you over to Ang’s blog, where the real action is taking place. In this case I am more than happy to do so, because the Church of Scientology is a pretty complex phenomenon and I am in no place to explain it to you right now.

Photos of Johannesburg’s L. Ron Hubbard House

I am, however, excited to share a few photos of the L. Ron Hubbard house in Linksfield Ridge, where Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard lived in 1960 and 1961. This beautiful historic house, built in the 1950s, is a registered Joburg heritage site and really worth a visit, whether you’re interested in Scientology or not.

Outside the L. Ron Hubbard House, JohannesburgThe house in Joburg’s eastern suburbs where L. Ron Hubbard lived for about six months in 1960-61.

Lounge of the L. Ron Hubbard House, JohannesburgThe living room of the house, which has been restored to look exactly as it did when L. Ron lived there.

Puneet and Ang at the L. Ron Hubbard HouseAng (right), interviewing Puneet Dhamija, the curator of the L. Ron Hubbard House and a staff member of the Church of Scientology, with L. Ron Hubbard memorabilia in the background.

Photos and memorabilia at the L. Ron Hubbard HouseSeveral rooms in the house are filled with museum displays documenting L. Ron Hubbard’s life. Let me summarize things for you: L. Ron Hubbard learned to read at age three, became an honorary Native American and an Eagle Scout, learned to type 94 words a minute, became a pilot, a ship captain, a doctor, a policeman, an author, a photographer, and a movie script writer, and basically did everything faster and better than any human ever has before or since. Okay, there might be a few things that L. Ron Hubbard didn’t do faster or better than any human ever has before or since. But I didn’t learn about those things at the museum.

Memorabilia at the L. Ron Hubbard HouseL. Ron’s special police badge.

Desk at the L. Ron Hubbard HouseL. Ron’s telephone.

Ang at L. Ron Hubbard's deskAng contemplates the meaning of life at the desk in L. Ron’s study.

The L. Ron Hubbard House kitchenL. Ron’s beautiful kitchen. I really love the blue floor tiles.

Swimming pool and view at the L. Ron Hubbard HouseThe swimming pool at L. Ron Hubbard House, with the downtown Jozi skyline in the distance. 

Dog at the L. Ron Hubbard HouseSheba, the dog mascot of L. Ron Hubbard House.

Scientology videos at the L. Ron Hubbard HouseScientology DVDs.

The Aims of Scientology
The sun never sets on Scientology.

I’ll leave it there for now. Go on over to Ang’s blog to get the real scoop on L. Ron and Scientology in Johannesburg. More #TheGodProject posts coming soon.

PS: The official website doesn’t really indicate this, but the L. Ron Hubbard House in Joburg is a public museum and anyone can rock up for free and take a tour. There’s more information on the L. Ron Hubbard Heritage site Facebook page.

11 Comments

  1. Gail Scott Wilson

    It’s a beautiful retro house that I will visit soon. Have been watching Oprah’s documentary called ‘Belief’ which always makes me wonder if you and/or Ang are watching it.

    Reply
    • 2summers

      I think maybe Ang has watched it…I should check it out.

      Reply
  2. Sine

    Fascinating. It looks like one of Frank Loyd Wright’s houses!
    Okay – so does this mean the founder of Scientology lived in South Africa? Even more fascinating. Heading over to Ang’s blog now to find out more…

    Reply
    • 2summers

      You’re right, it totally does. Probably a Wright copycat 🙂

      Reply
  3. Mrs Suvi

    Interesting, I never knew Hubbard had a house in SA. But then, I don’t really know much about Scientology. Except that it’s weird. And Tom Cruise. LOL. Enjoyed your post nevertheless!

    Reply
    • 2summers

      Hahaha. I never either, until quite recently. It’s an amazing house!

      Reply
  4. Jaina

    Recommend you watch Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief – most excellent and eye opening documentary on Scientology. L. Ron Hubbard was one crazy dude, who looks like he had an awesome house.

    Reply
    • 2summers

      Oh yes, that’s the documentary that Ang was telling me about. I need to watch it. And yes, the house is awesome.

      Reply
  5. Namz

    Oh you have de-mystified Ron Hubbard for me Heather! I have been driving past a sign on queen street for the last three years which says – Ron Hubbard house. And have always wondered who/what it was…but obviously not enough to dig deeper! And I also happen to have met Puneet Dhamija before but never joined the dots! But thanks to you 🙂 I know it all now.

    Reply
    • 2summers

      Ha! So now you know. Funny that you’ve met Puneet.

      Reply
      • Namz

        Met puneet on a few meetup groups when I first moved here! Seems like ages ago now

        Reply

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