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Fitzroy House, in the 1950s, was the London home and office of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Dianetics and Scientology. The public can visit for free and see the restored building and exhibits of his life and works.
This museum is included in the list of:
Famous London People Museums and Houses.
About L. Ron Hubbard
Writer, philosopher, mariner, founder of Dianetics and Scientology.
It's hard to label L. Ron Hubbard as he did so much. He holds the Guinness Book of World Records title for Most Published Author - 1,084 publications (including lectures). Now that's prolific! His works have been translated into 71 languages and he is the 2nd most translated author, after William Shakespeare.
Hubbard spent some of his formative years traveling in Asia as his father was in the US Navy. He was sent back to the US to attend university in Washington DC and while there joined a motion picture expedition to the Caribbean to shoot movie footage and collect specimens.
Hubbard started his published writing career with American pulp fiction stories. He wrote for 3 days a week and did his own research for the rest of the week. He was already creating so many stories that he had to use multiple pen names to get them all published.
He was quite the mariner and joined the NYC Explorers Club in 1940, attained the Master Mariner's License and was a Lieutenant in the US Navy during World War Two.
It was during a year-long stay in hospital after the war that he researched 'Dianetics' - the concept that you need to deal with the mental aspects to help heal the physical.
Dianetics is the all-time best selling self help book and you can see a first edition on display at Fitzroy House. It was published in 1950 with a 5,000 print run but had to reprinted 7 times in the first year!
About Fitzroy House
Fitzroy House was built in 1791 and has Georgian architecture imitating the style of architect Robert Adam. Fitzrovia has been well-known for its writers and artists and George Bernard Shaw lived on the first floor with his mother in 1881-2.
In the 1950s, L. Ron Hubbard used Fitzroy House as his London base and wrote many of his best-known works whilst in London. After years as an office block it has been bought back and restored as a 1950s time capsule and a museum about L. Ron Hubbard and his life.
Fitzroy House also co-ordinates the non-religious activities such as education programs and drug rehabilitation.
Fitzroy House Visitor Information
37 Fitzroy Street
Nearest Tube Station: Warren Street
Use Journey Planner to plan your route by public transport.
Telephone: 020 7255 2422
Admission: Free, but by appointment.
Opening Times: Daily, by appointment only.
Visit Duration: 1-1.5 hours.
Fitzroy House Tour Review
My tour guide was Sarah who, for one so young, has an incredible knowledge about L. Ron Hubbard and Fitzroy House.
Fitzroy House has four floors and can currently only be visited by appointment, although the tour is completely free.
After an introduction, the tour starts in L. Ron Hubbard's ground floor office where you can see an early electrometer which is said to measure resistance to stress.
Then the Communications Office, where his assistants would have worked. Look out for the Dinafone which is a type of dictaphone that used wax records instead of tapes. I also liked the red light by his office door and the sign stating "Recording - Do not enter or knock while red light is burning".
Also on the ground floor are pictures and exhibits about his early life including childhood awards and travels with his father who was in the US Navy.
On the first floor is the main museum space and there are photos of London taken by L. Ron Hubbard, plus images of Saint Hill Manor - the palatial estate he bought south of London, which is also open to the public. He bought it from the Maharajah of Jaipur in 1959 for "the price of a Californian bungalow" so we can only imagine the bargain he got it for.
The 2nd floor is the library and the top floor is a boardroom and meeting space.
I arrived knowing nothing about the man and his work and left enlightened. Sarah is an excellent guide and there's no way I could have discovered so many interesting facts without her expertise.
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