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Bare-Faced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Bare-Faced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Russell Miller(Author)

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Bare-Faced Messiah tells the extraordinary story of L. Ron Hubbard, a penniless science-fiction writer who founded the Church of Scientology, became a millionaire prophet and convinced his adoring followers that he alone could save the world. In the words of his 'official' biography, Hubbard was an explorer, engineer, scientist, war hero and philosopher. In the words of a Californian judge, he was schizophrenic, paranoid and a pathological liar. What is not in dispute is that Hubbard was one of the most bizarre characters of the twentieth century. His was a unique life. While writing pulp science fiction, he claimed to have made discoveries about the workings of the human mind that would enable cures to be found for everything from cancer to the common cold. He soon founded his own 'church' and then rampaged around the world variously pursued by the CIA, the FBI and outraged governments. For nearly ten years he sailed the oceans as the commodore of his own private navy, served by nymphet messengers in hot-pants who dressed and undressed him and were trained like robots to relay orders in his tone of voice. Back on shore in the US, he directed an operation aimed at infiltrating government offices to launder their bulging files on the Church of Scientology. In 1980, fearing arrest, he disappeared. He was never seen again. Bare-Faced Messiah exposes the myths surrounding the fascinating and mysterious founder of the Church of Scientology and provides the definitive account of how the notorious organisation was created. Using all his skills as a top investigative journalist, Russell Miller reveals that the true life of L. Ron Hubbard - a man of hypnotic charm and limitless imagination - was even more astounding than the fiction

'A brilliant exposé of Scientology's conman king' John Sweeney'Unfolds like an epic and ultimately tragic film' Tony Ortega'Russell Miller did the groundbreaking work on Hubbard and the Church of Scientology that every future biographer relies upon' Lawrence Wright

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Book details

  • PDF | 396 pages
  • Russell Miller(Author)
  • Silvertail Books; New edition edition (11 Dec. 2015)
  • English
  • 4
  • Religion & Spirituality

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Review Text

  • By Gail on 9 September 2017

    Slow. Still plodding thorough this.

  • By Nan on 24 July 2014

    What a fascinating book! The author writes such details and never failed to grab my interest. I am old enough to remember when all this was taking place and recall how one daughter at university was warned about the cult. Sounds like Hubbard was indeed a great pulp science fiction author at the beginning but he obviously then confused his fantasies with fiction and lived his life under delusions of grandeur . Incredible how so many people were conned by him and believed in such weird things. A wonderful read and I was relieved at the end to hear that it all came out in public at long last. Great research done by author!

  • By C. DeBurgh on 13 August 2014

    More biographies on insane people please!L. Ron Hubbard is the maniacal ego-maniac here.Bought during a Kindle book sale this was a snip at 99p.LOVED IT!As initiates of Aleister Crowley’s black magic cult the OTO, Hubbard and Jack Parsons performed the two-man babalon ritual. This notoriously difficult ritual was predictably fouled up (Crowley described them as idiotic louts in an earlier memo), the upshot of which they both seem to have become possessed by some rather cranky demons. It was not long after that L. Ron, or whatever was operating him, came up with Dianetics and converted this into the Church of Scientology. Parsons later just blew himself up. Hell-Ron’s son under oath in court said; “you’ve got to realise that my father did not worship Satan, he thought he was Satan.”There are many great and hilarious lines in this book detailing L. Ron’s many absurd scams and lies, here are some faves:‘Hubbard told his friend that in a past life on another planet he had been in charge of a factory making steel humanoids which he sold to ‘Thetans’, offering hire purchase terms if they could not afford the cash price.’‘I don’t think he ever expected me to take his war stories seriously, although I knew he had been wounded because one night he kept complaining of a pain in his side and when he stood up a little bit of shrapnel fell out from under his shirt. He said it was something that often happened – fragments of shrapnel still in his body were working their way out.’A local on finding scientologists invading East Grinstead:‘As if it was not bad enough having strange Americans walking round the streets [they were] wearing badges saying ‘don’t speak to me, I’m being processed’…’fun fun fun

  • By Nodoid on 25 November 2014

    If ever there was a reason to despise a person, this book gives the evidence in a clear and concise form to say that person should be the cult leader Hubbard. It is clear from the start what Hubbard wanted and through the narrative showed just what he would do, who he would hurt and the depths he would go to reach that goal.Was it worth it to die in virtual isolation believing that everyone, in some way, was out to get him? The answer is no, but then the fault was his.This is a great read about a liar, thief, con artist and cult leader. May his cult die the way he did.

  • By Etienne Hanratty on 23 September 2014

    Having read the foreword, which discusses in detail the author's alleged encounters with the Church of Scientology when researching this book, I'm almost afraid to comment. Ultimately, I suppose I'll have to accept that Tom Cruise is never going to play the protagonist in a hypothetical film adaptation of my book (even if an anthropomorphic fish from Warrington would probably be less of a stretch for 'Mapother' than Jack Reacher). This is terrific book.Hubbard is one of the most divisive characters of the 20th century and this is a soup to nuts account of his life, preceded by a brief overview of his family history. Initially, the structure of the book is a little repetitive with most of the early chapters beginning with one of Hubbard's more outlandish autobiographical claims which Miller will then insist is fabrication. In some cases-Hubbard's university career, for example-, he's able to set out evidence to support his case; in others, though, it boils down to 'he said, she said' arguments. As evidence, these aren't particularly robust and his sources, typically disgruntled ex-scientologists or estranged friends of the Hubbards, are likely to have their own axes to grind. I found myself wanted to believe Miller, but he never quite managed to argue his position beyond reasonable doubt.When the book came out, much of the critical revolved around the fact Miller was felt to have sat on the fence when addressing the question of whether Hubbard's endeavours were entirely for personal gain or the product of a genuine if misguided belief. Given the fact he cites no less than three separate comments from LRH regarding the potential financial arguments in favour of establishing a new religion, it's difficult to see how this perception arose. As should be obvious from the title alone, Miller doesn't pull his punches.If there is a criticism to be levelled at this book, it's that it's weighted too heavily towards the early part of his life. As things start to get interesting, the narrative pace quickens with the result that episodes like Operation Snow White get glossed over. It could also be argued that, having left little doubt as to his beliefs regarding the genuineness of scientology, he seeks to present the organisation as rather more benign than other authors would suggest to be the case. Read this book alone, for example, and you'd get the impression that the Church punishes transgressions with little more than a change in uniform and a little light dusting. That may or may not be the case, but there was a time, about two thirds of the way through the book when I wondered if it wasn't a particularly ingenious piece of propaganda.Bare-faced messiah is a well-written book with a compelling narrative that reads, at times, like a thriller. In focussing on Hubbard rather than the organisation he created, this necessarily only tells part of the story but it's a useful starting point.Disclaimer: Naturally, the Church have argued that much of the book is misleading or inaccurate but the author gives the impression of having undertaken thorough research. The reader, of course, is free to decide whom he chooses to believe.Etienne Hanratty: Don't Carp, Marley a Tiffin.

  • By Christine Frost on 11 April 2015

    If you read a novel telling the story of a bipolar fantasist with a flair for writing science fiction who started a crackpot religion that attracted hoards of followers and made him rich....you might well hurl the book into the bin as totally preposterous and unbelievable. But the story of L Ron Hubbard's rise from pulp science fiction writer to the head of a worldwide cult is, unfortunately, true. This well-researched biography tells this incredible story very well...and is unlikely to inspire any readers to join the Church of Scientology!


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