In “Hells’ Kitchen,” New York a Friend Saves the Life of a Dying Neighbor

Over the past month, the Information Center has highlighted unique videos depicting the importance of friendship and looking out for one another. In these vignettes, everyday people share stories of their youth when their paths crossed with L. Ron Hubbard, Founder of Dianetics and Scientology.

In this week’s highlighted video, John then a young man, tells the story of meeting L. Ron Hubbard, then a Naval officer, in 1946 who visited his father – a painter living in Hell’s Kitchen, NY. Hubbard was in town after transporting a military ship to the Brooklyn Naval Yard on the eve of Thanksgiving and decided to pay a visit.

“Hell’s Kitchen” generally refers to the area from 34th to 59th Streets and in the 1940s, was a melting-pot, like city itself, of affluent artists and the struggling poor.

On that fateful day Hubbard learned the friend’s less prosperous neighbor, Denny, a longshoreman (dock worker) had a gangrene-infected foot and that the infection was swiftly moving up his leg, endangering his health and foretold of possible amputation.

In 1946 Penicillin was sold over the counter at pharmacies. In John’s words, “Ron went down to the corner drug store and bought injections of penicillin and gave him a shot and so forth… Ron also talked to the man and kinda got him to get his grief out of his system.”

“Despite the difference of their walks of life and the man’s circumstances, Mr. Hubbard did everything in his power to help the man recover,” said Amber Skjelset, Manager of the Scientology Info Center.

“I attribute Mr. Hubbard’s willingness to help the stranger to what he says about honorable conduct, ‘Never desert a comrade in need, in danger or in trouble.’ Mr. Hubbard treated everyone he met as a friend.”

After surviving the almost fatal evening the longshoreman’s leg healed after some weeks and he penned a letter thanking Hubbard for saving his life.

A copy of Denny’s letter and Mr. Hubbard’s journal detailing the account are available for view in the biographical reference book, “Ron: Philosopher& Founder – Dianetics Letters & Journals” in the Scientology Information Center upon request.

The International Day of Friendship was designated by the United Nations General Assembly (UN). First becoming popular in the United States in 2011, International Day of Friendship encourages people to connect and build bridges among cultures, countries and ideologies.

No appointment is necessary. Masks are required indoors in accordance with the Pinellas County mandate, and are provided complimentary along with travel-sized bottles of hand sanitizer for guests.

For more information about the Scientology Information Center please contact Ms. Amber Skjelset at 727-467-6966 or email amber ( @ ) cos dot flag dot org or visit during its hours of operation: Sunday-Friday 10am-7pm and Saturday 1-7pm dot

The Scientology Information Center, located in the century-old Clearwater Building in downtown Clearwater, opened on July 11, 2015, and currently houses a gallery of audiovisual displays with some 400 videos. The Center is open to all and provides a self-guided tour showing basic Scientology beliefs, Churches around the world, ongoing social programs and the life of L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology’s founder. The Center offers tours to the broad public; and opens up the use of its conference room to social, civic and non-profit groups.

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