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Tom Shippey, 5 May 1988

Bare-Faced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard 
by Russell Miller.
Joseph, 390 pp., £12.95, October 1987, 0 7181 2764 1
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by L. Ron Hubbard.
New Era, 605 pp., £3.50, February 1988, 9781870451185
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Mission Earth. Vol. V: Fortune of Fear 
by L. Ron Hubbard.
New Era, 365 pp., £10.75, July 1987, 1 870451 01 5
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Mission Earth. Vol. VI: Death Quest 
by L. Ron Hubbard.
New Era, 351 pp., £10.95, October 1987, 1 870451 02 3
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... As its title so obviously shows, the main thesis of Russell Miller’s book is that L. Ron Hubbard, inventor of Dianetics and founder of Scientology, was all his life an incorrigible liar. That being the case, it is a pity that the book starts off with a statement which sounds hypocritical at best. ‘I would like to be able to thank the officials of the Church of Scientology for their help in compiling this biography ...

Religion, grrrr

Rachel Aviv: The Scientology Mythos, 26 January 2012

The Church of Scientology: A History of a New Religion 
by Hugh Urban.
Princeton, 268 pp., £19.95, September 2011, 978 0 691 14608 9
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... Empirical study led L. Ron Hubbard to the principles on which Scientology is based. He never claimed to have had a revelation. He spelled the principles out in 1950 in Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, the bestselling self-help treatise in which he presents rationality as our birthright. The human mind, he wrote, is a perfect computer corrupted by ‘incorrect data ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Adopt a Book, 22 June 2000

... Earth, scientologist John Travolta’s sprawling film version of a story by high priest L. Ron Hubbard.) Tickets cost ...

Out of the Gothic

Tom Shippey, 5 February 1987

Trillion Year Spree: The History of Science Fiction 
by Brian Aldiss and David Wingrove.
Gollancz, 511 pp., £15, October 1986, 0 575 03942 6
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by Greg Bear.
Gollancz, 504 pp., £10.95, October 1986, 0 575 03861 6
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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Trilogy in Four Parts 
by Douglas Adams.
Heinemann, 590 pp., £9.95, September 1986, 0 434 00920 2
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Humpty Dumpty in Oakland 
by Philip K. Dick.
Gollancz, 199 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 575 03875 6
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The Watcher 
by Jane Palmer.
Women’s Press, 177 pp., £2.50, September 1986, 0 7043 4038 0
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I, Vampire 
by Jody Scott.
Women’s Press, 206 pp., £2.50, September 1986, 0 7043 4036 4
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... Age’ to now, or almost now – for instance, Heinlein, Asimov, van Vogt, the late L. Ron Hubbard. The gap between old celebrity and present ability is barely credible. Asimov’s Foundation’s Edge of 1982 sold a million copies in one year: the kindest thing one can say about it is that its author (who has written over three hundred books ...

The Power of Sunshine

Alexander Cockburn, 10 January 1991

City of Quartz: Excavating the Future of Los Angeles 
by Mike Davis.
Verso, 462 pp., £18.95, November 1990, 0 86091 303 1
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... Los Angeles. It also finds itself in the cults nourished by spiritual boosters such as the late L. Ron Hubbard and his Church of Scientology, Aimée Semple MacPherson, or, more recently and at a coarser commercial level (though Hubbard was pretty coarse at the arts of primitive accumulation), the promotions of Charles ...


Nick Richardson: Elves and Aliens, 2 August 2018

... founded To The Stars – the title of one of DeLonge’s solo albums and of a sci-fi novel by L. Ron Hubbard – as a media company. Around that time he gave an interview to Paper magazine in which he talked about his ‘sources from the government’ and claimed his phone had been tapped. He sounded crazy then, but less so now. When To The Stars ...

Vermin Correspondence

Iain Sinclair, 20 October 1994

Frank Zappa: The Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play 
by Ben Watson.
Quartet, 597 pp., £25, May 1994, 0 7043 7066 2
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Her Weasels Wild Returning 
by J.H. Prynne.
Equipage, 12 pp., £2, May 1994
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... Canyon, cottage industry, family man. Zappa: boastfully non-PC, polymorphously perverse, the L. Ron Hubbard of multi-tracked deviance. An agnostic refusenik who gets paranoid standing next to his own shadow. Watson: educated, upper middle-class boy with limited experience (respects to Wittgenstein?) of washing-up. Cambridge punk (no convictions) who ...

These Staggering Questions

Clive James, 3 April 1980

Critical Understanding 
by Wayne Booth.
Chicago, 400 pp., £14, September 1979, 0 226 06554 5
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... like Scientology. It would be a pity to see Einstein posthumously co-opted into the role of L. Ron Hubbard. The same thing could happen to Sir Isaiah Berlin, who has been getting praise in the reviews for his alleged pluralism. To a certain extent he has brought this on himself, for appearing to be impressed by Machiavelli’s discovery of ...

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