Phil Spickler is one of those old-timers that knew the original Ron Hubbard and he is of the opinion that there is more than one Ron and that the original one – the #1 Ron – was a good one, if only for breaking into the, then, very closed field of mental health and the treatment thereof.
As far as I listened to him and read about him, he does not talk too much about the Rons #2, #3, etc. I can imagine that he was a well-respected, near-celebrity in the church as his daughter, Mimi Rogers, was Tom Cruises’ first wife and the one who signed up Mr. Cruise. That should have given him some credit, but apparently not enough to keep him in the church because he is now an independent.
There is good material from him on his From Stanford With Love Blog and I just take an interview with him as an example (update: this was at a time when the blog was hosted at the freezone website, which does not seem to exist any longer. Some kind soul apparently has moved all the content to a blog hosted on wordpress.com so that it might live forever.)
This from the Feb 9, 2013 article My Days are Numbered.