Prior to writing the Philadelphia Doctorate Course, Hubbard had a chance to visit Aleister Crowley's estate. This provides the context for the following passage from the PDC, where he reveals himself to be a student of Aleister Crowley.
"Now, he could simply say, "I have action." A magician - the magic cults of the eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth centuries in the Middle East were fascinating. The only modern work that has anything to do with them is a trifle wild in spots, but it's fascinating work in itself, and that's work written by Aleister Crowley, the late Aleister Crowley, my very good friend. And he did himself a splendid piece of aesthetics built around those magic cults. It's very interesting reading to get hold of a copy of a book, quite rare, but it can be obtained. the Master Therion, T-h-e-r-i-o-n, The Master Therion by Aleister Crowley. He signs himself "The Beast"; "The Mark of the Beast, 666." Very, very something or other, but anyway the ... Crowley exhumed a lot of the data from these old magic cults.", The Philadelphia Doctorate Course, L. Ron. Hubbard, Tape #18, Dec 5, 1952.Real Audio (USA) [296K]Real Audio (UK) [296K]
According to his son, Hubbard assumed the throne of "The Beast" when Crowley died [Corydon], thus the additional modifier of "late Aliester Crowley" is significant - the PDC was done after Crowley's death, and most likely provided the inspiration for it.
Hubbard sounds like a salesman hawking Crowley's book, s-p-e-l-l-i-n-g out the name in a way reminiscent of late-night TV commercials. Perhaps he was selling "a piece of blue sky" to his followers.
The inflection in Hubbard's voice reveals a great deal. In an example of Hubbard's extemporaneous style of speaking, he segues into identifying Crowley as "The Beast, six-sixty-six" in a rather grandiose way. Hubbard probably then remembered he had also just called Crowley "my good friend" and realized his gaffe toward Christians in the audience, since "Beast" and "666" are alternative names for Satan and the Anti-Christ. In this passage, Hubbard links Crowley and the OTO to Satanism. [In fairness to the OTO, their web page contains no discernable reference to direct Satanic worship, but rather appears to be a gnostic magic[k] religion.]
Hubbard stammers the nonsensical "very, very something or other, but anyway the ..." until he recovers his wits. The pauses in his speech reveal times when his mind was elsewhere, perhaps realizing his gaffe and searching for the words to dig himself out of what he just said.
Jon Atack reports on Hubbard and the Occult, with references.
L. Ron Hubbard, Jr. talks about his father's Satanic rituals .