L. Ron Hubbard is the founder of the Church of Scientology, the largest of the groups devoted to the practice of Dianetics, a philosophy of Hubbard's based on Eastern religion, psychology, and mental health. Founded in 1954, the Church of Scientology has come under much scrutiny and criticism, but still boasts many celebrity followers, including Tom Cruise and John Travolta. Hubbard was born on March 13, 1911, in Tilden, Nebr. and attended George Washington and Princeton universities. He began his career as a writer for pulp magazines and later as a science fiction writer, and it was in this role that Hubbard first developed the large following that helped make his religious beliefs such a… huge success. Hubbard's science fiction works include the Mission Earth Series, The Kingslayer, and Black Towers to Danger. It was with the publication of Dianetics in 1950 that Hubbard became a nationally bestselling author. As Hubbard's following grew, he further developed his theories in later books. Hubbard's Church of Scientology soon came under scrutiny for misuse of funds, causing Hubbard to go into seclusion in the early 1980s. Hubbard's son claimed that his father was dead and that church officials had stolen millions of dollars from him. While these allegations proved false, Hubbard continued to write, working on the 10-volume Mission Earth Series. L. Ron Hubbard died from a stroke on January 24, 1986.