Richard de Mille

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Richard de Mille
Born(1922-02-12)February 12, 1922
Monrovia, California, U.S.
DiedApril 8, 2009(2009-04-08) (aged 87)
OccupationAuthor, investigative journalist, psychologist
EducationColumbia University
University of California, Los Angeles (BA)
Margaret Belgrano
(m. 1955)
William C. deMille,
Lorna Moon
Cecil B. DeMille,
Constance Adams DeMille
RelativesHenry C. de Mille (grandfather)
Beatrice deMille (grandmother)
Katherine de Mille (sister)
William C. deMille (uncle)
Agnes de Mille (cousin)
Peggy George (cousin)

Richard de Mille (February 12, 1922 – April 8, 2009) was an American author.

Early life and education

He was born in Monrovia, California, to William C. deMille and the Scottish author and screenwriter Lorna Moon, when William C. was still married to his first wife, Anna George de Mille. 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 with the class of 1944,[1] 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 joined 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". He was attracted to Hubbard because, as he later said, "I thought he was a great man who had made a great discovery, and whatever his shortcomings they must be discounted because he had the answer."[2]: 31  On February 24, 1951, De Mille assisted Hubbard in kidnapping the latter's wife, Sara, from her apartment in Los Angeles in an unsuccessful bid to have her declared insane by a psychiatrist. They eventually released her in Yuma, Arizona. The two men had already taken Hubbard's daughter Alexis and a few days later flew together with Alexis to Havana, Cuba.[2]: 37  In 1953, he was an associate professor at Sequoia University and taught at the Department of Scientology.[3] It was during this time that he wrote "Introduction to Scientology" published by Scientology Council, at the time an affiliate of Sequoia University. By 1954, however, he had become disillusioned with Scientology and left the organization, explaining that he "didn't like all the contradictions and I was becoming more and more sceptical of the whole thing".[4]

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 remained 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.

He also wrote a biography of his birth mother, screenwriter Lorna Moon entitled My Secret Mother: Lorna Moon.[5] Fellow writer Carol Easton (author of No Intermission: The Life of Agnes de Mille) remarked: "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".

Writings on Carlos Castaneda

De Mille wrote Castaneda's Journey: The Power and the Allegory in 1976, a book describing the detective work through which he said that Carlos Castaneda was a hoaxer and plagiarist and that don Juan is fictional.[6][7] He edited a second book on the same subject, The Don Juan Papers in 1980, when he found that his exposé did not lead Casteneda's most ardent followers to fall away.[7] This book contains documents representing views of Castaneda across the spectrum.


  • 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 Quark, Capra, 1973.
  • (as B. Grayer Dimrecken) A Skeleton Key to "The Transuxors", Capra, 1973.
  • Castaneda's Journey: The Power and the Allegory, Capra, 1976. ISBN 0884960676, OL 4893124M
  • The Don Juan Papers: Further Castaneda Controversies, Ross-Erickson, 1980. ISBN 0534121500, OL 2197063M
  • My Secret Mother: Lorna Moon, Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 1998 ISBN 0374217572, OL 700026M
  • (with Bernard Stein) Benjamin Brief, DeMille Files & Reford Folder, 2001.


  1. ^ "Columbia Daily Spectator 23 September 1940 — Columbia Spectator". Retrieved December 9, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Reitman, Janet (2011). Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 9780618883028. OL 24881847M.
  3. ^ Hart, Alphia (1953). "Son of Dr. Hubbard is Phoenix College Head". The Journal of Scientology. 11-G: 2.
  4. ^ Miller, Russell (1987). Bare-faced Messiah : The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard. Henry Holt and Company. p. 214–15. ISBN 0805006540. OL 26305813M.
  5. ^ Eyman, Scott (April 29, 1998). "The secret of the other de Mille : Love child shares Tinseltown tale". The Standard-Times. Cox News Service. Archived from the original on March 29, 2006. Retrieved February 6, 2023.
  6. ^ Koote, Anton F. "A Critical Look at Castaneda's Critics". University of Florida.
  7. ^ a b Wallis, Robert J (2010). The A to Z of Shamanism A to Z Guides. Scarecrow Press. p. 67. ISBN 9780810876002. OL 26142427M.

Further reading