Part I: The Great Mystery of Scientology’s 1972 Moroccan Missions

Saturday, 31 October 2015 by

Part I of the Research Series, Morocco Phase, for the upcoming book Watergate: The Hoax

[NOTE: This research series of blog articles arose out of recent research efforts concerning the second half of the book Watergate: The Hoax, currently in editing for release. This series of blog posts represents only a small part of the research done for the book, but the results of this phase were of such a nature that we felt a duty to make them public prior to the book. The relevance of these events to Watergate is fully covered in the book. These posts are for informational, historical, and educational purposes, dealing with issues of very broad public interest. Creative Commons License This work, meaning expressly the research series of articles on this blog, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.—Ed.]

L. Ron Hubbard

L. Ron Hubbard

There have been numerous published claims that in 1972, sometime after the Watergate arrests, L. Ron Hubbard ordered that three “missions” be sent out from his Scientology Flagship, the Apollo, to interact with the highest military intelligence levels of the Islamic monarchy of King Hassan II of Morocco.

At the time of the alleged missions, as the stories go, Hubbard reportedly was either onboad the Apollo in the port of Tangier, Morocco, or was residing in a villa in Tangier, called the Villa Laure, along with his wife, Mary Sue Hubbard, and some number of his most trusted retinue. The reports about where he was, and when, during the purported missions are both vague and contradictory, which will be addressed later in this series.

In tracing back the source of the claims about these alleged Scientology missions involving Hassan II’s security forces, they all seemed to originate from one primary source, a man named Amos Jessup, who has claimed to have been involved as a participant with all three of the missions. No earlier source could be found.

At the time of the purported missions, Jessup was highly placed in Hubbard’s “Sea Organization,” or “Sea Org,” the command and control organization that managed all of Scientology around the world for Hubbard. The Sea Org also sent out Scientology “missions”—groups of Sea Org members ordered to various locations for various purposes related to Scientology management and expansion.

According to our best information and belief, Amos Jessup is the son of John Jessup, who had been part of the inner circle of the Time-Life conglomerate in its several incarnations. Getty Images, for instance, has a photo from 5 August 1960 of “Time Inc.’s John Jessup, Henry Luce, & Otto Fuerbringer with presidential candidate Senator John Kennedy and others at the Time Life Building.” The image and caption can be found in several places:

A Look Back At The Early Days Of The Original “Mad Men”

A Tour of the Time & Life Building in the 1960s

Henry Luce, head of the Time-Life publishing giant, was a key player in the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird:

Allen Dulles [CIA Director at relevant times] often interceded with his good friend, the late Henry Luce, founder of Time and Life magazines, who readily allowed certain members of his staff to work for the Agency and agreed to provide jobs and credentials for other CIA operatives who lacked journalistic experience.


…Luce, according to CIA officials, made it a regular practice to brief Dulles or other high Agency officials when he returned from his frequent trips abroad. Luce and the men who ran his magazines in the 1950s and 1960s encouraged their foreign correspondents to provide help to the CIA, particularly information that might be useful to the Agency for intelligence purposes or recruiting foreigners.


Carl Bernstein
The CIA and the Media

Luce repeatedly used his publications to smear, ridicule, and denigrate L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology.

With almost uncanny insight, Hubbard himself recognized the insidious connections all the way back in 1968, long before Operation Mockingbird and the CIA connections had been exposed to the public. In LRH Executive Directive 63, dated 12 December 1968, he wrote:

It is interesting that “Life” Magazine in the US has been a violent foe of Dianetics and Scn for 18 years.


Their connection to the enemy is not yet established.


But it certainly exists.

Yes, it certainly did exist. The muckraking started as far back as 24 July 1950, with Time magazine’s “Of Two Minds” article, when Hubbard’s Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health “was steadily climbing the U.S. bestseller lists.” The article began: “A new cult is moldering through the U.S. underbrush,” giving Luce the dubious distinction of being the first CIA mouthpiece to label the wildly unorganized grass-roots popularity of Dianetics at the time a “cult.”

A greater irony is that this disdain for readers of Dianetics as a “cult” came just three months after the CIA had launched its long-running and very well organized mind-control cult under the name Project BLUEBIRD on 20 April 1950, which would metastasize in the dark for decades under shell-game name changes, such as ARTICHOKE and MK-ULTRA.

Given that kind of pedigree and those kinds of one- and two-degree connections for Amos Jessup, it was intriguing to find him at the end of the research trail of stories about the alleged Scientology-Morocco missions. As this series will demonstrate, the stories of the missions, when inspected even casually, seem like plots that Ian Fleming would have dismissed out of hand as being far too unbelievable for James Bond spy fiction.

Don’t miss Part II of this research series: Amos Jessup and the Amazing Moroccan Missions.


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