Jul 30, 1994 03:55 PM
Here're a few thoughts on BARE-FACED MESSIAH:
Subtitled "The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard," this 390-page volume
by Russell Miller [Holt, 1987, and now widely available in
Half-Price Books-type bookstores for around $5.00] reads better
than most novels. I think it might interest the type of
theosophist who has never really cared whether HPB was "guilty" of
the deceptions etc. which she was accused of--i.e., those who can
recognize that her contributions were so singular and enormous that
she certainly doesn't need to be placed on any supposed pedestal of
personal probity in order to be appreciated.
Although the founder of Dianetics and Scientology was not, at least
in my opinion, even close to being in the same league as HPB,
reading this biography left me with a renewed respect for his
pioneering work in practical psychological techniques etc. LRH was
tapping into something powerful, no doubt about it.
But naturally, much of my interest in the book was in learning
about his behind-the-scenes shenanigans etc. Some personal
interest, I suppose, also comes from the fact that Ron actually
wrote me a letter one time. It happened like this:
I had heard about E-meters, so naturally in my role as the "Gimmick
Master" among high school English teachers I had to have one in
order to let my talented-and-gifted class fool around with it. I
put a classified ad in the Madison newspaper, and soon a
Scientologist came along and sold me his older, semi-functioning
model. All well and good.
Except for one thing. It seems that the Scientolgist put my name
on his organization's many mailing lists. What followed was a
paper blizzard that lasted two years or more. I kept writing
different branches, sub-branches, and sub-sub-branches asking to
get off their mailing lists. They would write back saying nothing
more would come to me. But more did come. Much, much more.
I was about to give up until I happened to notice that one piece of
literature had a statement by L. Ron Hubbard to the effect that
"all mail addressed to me shall be read by me personally." Hey,
what did I have to lose?
So anyway, I wrote "Ron" a creative letter explaining that I didn't
mind an occasional advertisement for the Sea Org etc., but that the
volume was getting to be such that I feared that the only way I
would be found in the future was by means of some archeological
dig--down through the different Scientological strata etc.
A few weeks passed. Then an important-looking letter arrived. It
contained one line, written (don't disabuse me, please) in Ron's
"Who are you?" the great man queried.
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