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Richard de Mille


Richard de Mille

Richard Demille (Monrovia, California, February 12, 1922 – April 8, 2009) was an American Scientologist, author, investigative journalist, and psychologist.

Early life and education

His 19th century Dutch American ancestors; Thomas Arnold Demill (1799–1877), Henrietta Elizabeth Demill (1821–1881), William Edward Demill (1824–1873), and Richard Mead Demill (1828–1905) owned and operated a Commission Merchant (shipping and trading) company, Demill & Co. in New York City at 178-1/2 Water Street, serving the ports of the Eastern Seaboard, including but not limited to Halifax, Nova Scotia and (Little) Washington, North Carolina throughout the American Civil War. A very close family friend, J.J. Reford, was identified as a person of interest and known associate of John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln, as the result of a letter dated N.Y. 20th Feby/65 from Reford being discovered amongst Booth's belongings during the government's search of the actor's room at the National Hotel in Washington, D.C. as part of the official investigation after the assassination.

He was born in Lorna Moon. His uncle, Cecil B. DeMille, adopted and raised Richard, not telling him of his true parentage until the death of his birth father when Richard was 33 years old. He first enrolled at Columbia University, later transferring to the University of California, Los Angeles before graduating.

Writing career

He served with the United States Army Air Corps from 1943 to 1946. That year, he became a writer and director at KTLA, remaining in that position through 1950. Around this time he became an early convert to the movement that was to become Scientology leaving KTLA to become an editorial/personal assistant to founder L. Ron Hubbard. De Mille used the nom de plume "D. Folgere" (an Anglo-Saxon phrase meaning "follower") when editing and/or ghost-writing during that time, despite Hubbard's protests that it would appear "Dick de Mille wasn't a true believer". Still, he remained with Hubbard through 1953, when the two men finally parted company due to "mutual dislike". He then became a freelance writer and editor. In 1955, he completed his B.A. degree at Pepperdine University and married Margaret Belgrano. He went on to get a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California in 1961. He would remain with that institution as a research psychologist until 1962, when he became a lecturer in psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In 1965, he left that position, becoming editorial director of the Brooks Foundation the following year. He stayed there until 1967, becoming a research psychologist at the General Research Corp. in 1968, where he remained through 1973.

De Mille wrote Castaneda's Journey: The Power and the Allegory (publ. 1976), a book describing the detective work through which he alleged that controversial author Carlos Castaneda was a charlatan and plagiarist. He edited a second book on the same subject, The Don Juan Papers (publ. 1980), when he found that his exposé did not lead Casteneda's most ardent followers to fall away. Nor did he expect them to. This book contains documents representing views of Castaneda across the spectrum. He also wrote a biography of his birth mother, screenwriter Lorna Moon entitled My Secret Mother: Lorna Moon. Fellow writer Carol Easton (author of No Intermission: The Life of Agnes de Mille), had this to say about him and his life: "None of Richard de Mille's extraordinary relatives, not even the legendary Cecil B. de Mille himself, could have invented this riveting true story of celebrity, passion, betrayal, and tragedy".


  • Introduction to Scientology, Scientology Council, 1953.
  • Children's Imagination Games, Dunbar Guidance Center, 1955.
  • Put Your Mother on the Ceiling: Children's Imagination Games, Walker & Co., 1967, revised edition, Viking, 1973.
  • (with R. P. Barthol) Project ECHO, Management Information Services, 1969.
  • Two Qualms and a
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