From the moment the Church of Scientology learned about Bare-Faced Messiah, Miller and his publishers were threatened with legal action to suppress the book. Courts in England, Canada, and Australia rejected the Church's claims of copyright infringement; but the U.S. publisher, Henry Holt and Co., partially yielded to the pressure and -- without consulting Miller -- removed some dozen of the disputed quotations from Hubbard's unpublished writings. If Holt thereby hoped to avert a lawsuit, they were sorely disappointed. Scientology sued for copyright infringement as the first printing was being shipped.
As may be evident from the comparisons below, the outcome was not necessarily a victory for Scientology. The anonymous editor at Holt, forbidden to let Hubbard speak for himself, was freed to draw the reader's attention -- with gentle wit -- to the Commodore's often absurd claims.
|U.K. Edition (page 40)||U.S. Edition|
following years, from 1925 to 1929, saw the young Mr Hubbard, between
the ages of 14 and 18, as a budding and enthusiastic world traveller
and adventurer. His father was sent to the Far East and having the
financial support of his wealthy grandfather, L. Ron Hubbard, spent
these years journeying through Asia ...
'With the death of his grandfather, the Hubbard family returned to the United States and [Ron] enrolled at the George Washington University in the fall of 1930. At George Washington L. Ron Hubbard became associate editor of the University newspaper, "The Hatchet", and was a member of many of the University's clubs and societies ... Here, also, he was enrolled in one of the first nuclear physics courses ever taught in an American university.
'As a student, barely 20 years old, he supported himself by writing and within a very few years he had established himself as an essayist in the literary world ... He made the time during these same busy college years to act as a director with the Caribbean Motion Picture Expedition of 1931. The underwater films made on that journey provided the Hydrographic Office and the University of Michigan with invaluable data for the furtherance of their research.
'Then in 1932, the true mark of an exceptional explorer was demonstrated. In that year L. Ron Hubbard, aged 21, achieved an ambitious "first". Conducting the West Indies Minerals Survey, he made the first complete mineralogical survey of Puerto Rico. This was pioneer exploration in the great tradition, opening up a predictable, accurate body of data for the benefit of others ...' (Mission Into Time, published by the Church of Scientology, 1973)
amazing adventures as an explorer are graphically described in
Mission Into Time, a book published by the Church of
Scientology. It seems that Hubbard spent more than four years, from
1925 to 1929, journeying throughout Asia, financed on on his travels by
his 'wealthy grandfather'. After his grandfather's death, the 'budding
and enthusiastic world traveller and adventurer' returned to the United
States, where he enrolled at George Washington University as a student
in one of the first nuclear physics courses ever taught in an American
university. Naturally, he quickly became an associate editor of the
university newspaper and a prominent member of many of the university's
clubs and societies.
Cruelly deprived of funds from his wealthy grandfather, the young man supported himself by writing and soon established for himself a reputation as an 'essayist in the literary world'. In 1931, between studies and toiling as an essayist, he also found time to become director, at the age of twenty, of the Caribbean Motion Picture Expedition, which apparently provided invaluable research for the University of Michigan and underwater films for the Hydrographic Office.
Yet this was nothing compared to what was to come in 1932, when L. Ron Hubbard demonstrated his true worth as 'an exceptional explorer' by carrying out, as leader of the West Indies Mineral Survey, the first complete mineralogical survey of Puerto Rico. 'This was pioneer exploration in the great tradition, opening up a predictable, accurate body of data for the benefit of others. ...'
|U.K. Edition (page 62)||U.S. Edition|
| Ron was, as always, optimistic about the future.
'Here's the point,' he wrote. 'I am going to get me a glider next
spring. A big Franklin. It took me two months of waiting on good flying
days and inspectors the last time I took the commercial exam. I don't
want to have to go through all that next springs [sic], for
springs at best are fleeting. I've flown a great deal more than most
glider pilots. Maybe you've seen one of my glider articles in aviation
magazines. My one ambition is to get a glider of my own.
'And here's my plea. Isn't there some way you can extend this thing in view of the circumstances ... Isn't there something you can do about it?'
|Ron was, as always, optimistic about the future. He said he was planning to get his own glider, a Franklin, in the spring. He was particularly anxious not to let his license lapse as he had to wait two months for good flying days in order to get his commercial exam and he did not want to go through the whole rigamarole again. He added that he had flown a great deal more than most glider pilots and slyly suggested that perhaps the Bureau of Aeronautics had seen one of his glider articles in aviation magazines. 'Here's my plea', he concluded. 'Isn't there some way you can extend this thing in view of the circumstances ... Isn't there something you can do about it?'|
|U.K. Edition (page 81)||U.S. Edition|
| Then he turned to the subject which was clearly in the
forefront of his mind: 'Sooner or later Excalibur will be
published and I may have a chance to get some name recognition out of
it so as to pave the way to articles and comments which are my ideas of
'Living is a pretty grim joke, but a joke just the same. The entire function of man is to survive. The outermost limit of endeavour is creative work. Anything less is too close to simple survival until death happens along. So I am engaged in striving to maintain equilibrium sufficient to at least realize survival in a way to astound the gods. I turned the thing up so it's up to me to survive in a big way ... Foolishly perhaps, but determined none the less, I have high hopes of smashing my name into history so violently that it will take a legendary form even if all books are destroyed. That goal is the real goal as far as I am concerned ...
'When I wrote it [Excalibur] I gave myself an education which outranks that of anyone else. I don't know but it might seem that it takes terrific brain work to get the thing assembled and usable in the head. I do know that I could form a political platform, for instance, which would encompass the support of the unemployed, the industrialist and the clerk and day laborer all at one and the same time. And enthusiastic support it would be. Things are due for a bust in the next half dozen years. Wait and see.'
Ron was clearly worried that he would be hampered by his reputation as a pulp writer: 'Writing action pulp doesn't have much agreement with what I want to do because it retards my progress by demanding incessant attention and, further, actually weakens my name. So you see I've got to do something about it and at the same time strengthen the old financial position.'
Towards the end of the letter he wrote about strange forces he felt stirring within him which made him feel aloof and invincible and the struggle he had faced trying to answer the question 'Who am I?' before returning to the theme of immortality: 'God was feeling sardonic the day He created the Universe. So it's rather up to at least one man every few centuries to pop up and come just as close to making him swallow his laughter as possible.'
| Then he turned to the subject that was clearly in the
forefront of his mind - his unpublished manuscript,
Excalibur. He said that in writing the book and assembling his
ideas he had given himself an education far better than that available
from any university. If he was to enter politics, he averred, he would
engender enthusiastic support from all classes of people, from the
unemployed as well as industrials, from white-collar workers to
blue-collar labourers. 'I have high hopes', he wrote 'of smashing my
name into history so violently that it will take a legendary form ...'
This supreme self-confidence was interspersed, in the letter, with passages exhibiting crushing self-doubt. He fretted about writing pulp fiction for a penny a word, the time it was occupying and the possible damage it was causing to his reputation as a serious writer. He was clearly nervous about his precarious finances and was subject to fits of depression. He wrote of life being a 'grim joke' and the difficulties he was experiencing in surviving and maintaining his equilibrium. But it was also evident that he was expecting great things from the publication of Excalibur, in terms of personal and professional recognition.
|Ron's nickname for Polly [...texts agree...]||Ron's nickname for Polly [...texts agree...]|
|U.K. Edition (page 138)||U.S. Edition|
|'I cannot imagine how to repay this $51', he whined in a letter to the VA dated 27 January 1948, 'as I am nearly penniless and have but $28.50 to last me for nearly a month to come. Since leaving school in mid-November I have made $115 from various sources - about $40 from the sale of two bits to magazines in late November and the repayment of a bad debt for $75. These comprise my income to date except for the sale of a typewriter tonight for the above $28.50. My expenditures consist of $27 a month trailer rent and $80 a month loud for my wife and self, which includes gas, cigarettes and all incidentals. I am very much in debt and have not been able to get a job but am trying to resume my pre-war profession of professional writing. My health has been bad and I feel that if I could just get caught up financially I could write a novel which has been requested of me and so remedy my finances. It would take me three months and even then I would not be able to guarantee solvency. Is there any provision in the Veteran's Administration for grants or loans or financing so that I could get back on my feet?'|| 'I cannot imagine how to repay this $51', he whined in a
letter to the VA dated 27 January 1948, 'as I am nearly
penniless'. Since leaving school in November, he said, he had
only made $40 from the sale of two articles to magazines. This money,
plus the repayment of a $75 debt, comprised his entire income for the
previous two and a half months. Such was his plight that he had been
obliged to sell a typewriter for $28.50, which was all he had to
support himself and his wife for the next month. Since he was paying
$27 a month rent on his trailer, and food, cigarettes and incidentals
were setting them back another $80 a month, it was hardly surprising,
as he said, that he was very much in debt.
With his usual impudence, Ron suggested that the VA might like to help with a grant or a loan to enable him to finish the novel that he had been asked to write and help him get back on his feet financially.
|Nothing came of this hopeful inquiry. [...texts agree...]||Nothing came of this hopeful inquiry. [...texts agree...]|
|U.K. Edition (page 144)||U.S. Edition|
|Although he continued in similar vein, suggesting promotion gimmicks like requiring readers to sign a release absolving the author of any responsibility if they went crazy, it was clear that he expected the book to he a success: 'Thought of some interesting publicity angles on it. Might post a ten thousand dollar bond to he paid to anyone who can attain equal results with any known field of knowledge. A reprint of the preface, however, is about all one needs to bring in orders like a snow storm. This has more selling and publicity angles than any book of which I have ever heard ...'||He continued in similar vein, suggesting promotional gimmicks such as requiring readers to sign a release absolving the author of any responsibility if they went crazy and posting a ten thousand dollar bond to be paid to anyone who could attain equal results with any other known field of knowledge. 'This has more selling and publicity angles', he added, 'than any book of which I have ever heard ...'|
|U.K. Edition (page 186)||U.S. Edition|
|'The money and glory inherent in Dianetics was entirely too much for those with whom I had the bad misfortune to associate myself ... including a woman who had represented herself as my wife and who had been cured of severe psychosis by Dianetics, but who, because of structural brain damage would evidently never be entirely sane ... Two of the early associates, John W. Campbell and J.A. Winter, became bitter and violent because I refused to let them write on the subject of Dianetics, for I considered their knowledge too slight and their own aberrations too broad to permit such a liberty with the science ... Fur coats, Lincoln cars and a young man [...texts agree...]||Fur coats, Lincoln cars and a young man [...texts agree...]|
|U.K. Edition (page 193)||U.S. Edition|
|Sara did not give evidence in court. All she cared about was that she was awarded custody of Alexis. Clutching her baby, she caught the first Greyhound bus out of Wichita and out of the life of L. Ron Hubbard.|| Sara did not give evidence in court. All she cared about was
that she was awarded custody of Alexis. Clutching her baby, she caught
the first Greyhound bus out of Wichita and out of the life of L. Ron
A few months later, Hubbard took a final swipe at his former wife. Writing in Dianetics: Axioms he claimed that the 'money and glory' inherent in Dianetics was too much for those with whom he had the misfortune to associate himself, most notably 'a woman who had represented herself as my wife and who had been cured of severe psychosis by Dianetics, but who, because of structural brain damage would evidently never be entirely sane ...'
Every Dianeticist knew he was referring to the hapless Sara.
|It did not take Don Purcell long [...texts agree...]||It did not take Don Purcell long [...texts agree...]|
|U.K. Edition (page 213)||U.S. Edition|
|Three weeks later, the humble tenderer of gifts to mankind was writing to Helen O'Brien in a rather less pious fashion about a particular member of the species who continued to be a thorn in his side - Don Purcell. 'The obvious intention of Purcell is to attack and wipe out by public odium anything and everything he can in Dianetics, thus leaving him, he thinks, with a monopoly on the subject. Sooner or later it is quite obvious that this man ... who is probably the most hated man in the city of Wichita because of his business dealings, will run up against somebody insane enough to put a bullet through him ... Patently the man is insane. He has actively refused processing many times. He's about as safe to have around as a mad dog ... The only surprising part of all this is that the American public by their attention to Purcell and what he says, demonstrates their complete incompetence and their desire to be swindled.'||Three weeks later, the humble tenderer of gifts to mankind was writing to Helen O'Brien in a rather less pious fashion about a particular member of the species who continued to be a thorn in his side - Don Purcell. It was obvious to Hubbard that Purcell was trying to stir up public odium against him and take control of Dianetics, and Hubbard employed some choice phrases to vent his anger. Purcell, he wrote, was patently insane, probably the most hated man in Wichita, about as safe to have around as a mad dog and would inevitably soon run up against someone who would put a bullet through him. The only surprising part of all this, he concluded, was that by paying attention to Purcell the American public demonstrated its complete incompetence and 'desire to be swindled'.|
|U.K. Edition (page 221)||U.S. Edition|
|Two weeks later, on smart new printed notepaper headed 'L. Ron Hubbard D.D., Ph.D.', he wrote again to say he had received an invitation to go to Russia. It had come from an 'unimpeachable source' who suggested that as he was about to be ruined by the IRS he might as well accept the offer. 'It seems I can go to Russia as an adviser or a consultant and have my own laboratories and receive very high fees. And it is all so easy because it has already been ascertained that I could get my passport extended for Russia and all I had to do was go to Paris and there a Russian plane would pick me up and that would be that.' He did not wish to reveal the name of his contact, he added, 'because he is a little too highly placed on the [Capitol] Hill'.||Two weeks later, on smart new printed notepaper headed 'L. Ron Hubbard D.D., Ph.D.', he wrote again to say he had received an invitation to go to Russia. It had come from an 'unimpeachable source' who suggested that as he was about to be ruined by the IRS he might as well accept the offer. It seemed, he wrote, that he could go to Russia as an adviser or consultant and not only be provided with his own laboratories but also receive very high fees. Passport formalities were already more or less complete - all he had to do was go to Paris, where he would be picked up by a Russian plane. He did not wish to reveal the name of his contact, he added, 'because he is a little too highly placed on the [Capitol] Hill'.|
|U.K. Edition (page 224)||U.S. Edition|
|Aside from occasional temper tantrums, Hubbard considered things were going very well in London. 'I am busy at a headlong rate of speed,' he wrote to Marilyn Routsong, an aide left behind in Washington to keep an eve on his interests, 'really got things rolling off over here. Hope to have some films that will help us before long, and am now dickering around on an international radio'. He ended the letter with a titbit of information that must have made Miss Routsong's nerves tingle: 'Just between ourselves, I actually do have a method of as-ising the atom bomb. Anyway I'm not quite as far away as you think. Love, Ron.'||Aside from occasional temper tantrums, Hubbard considered things were going very well in London. In a letter to Marilyn Routsong, an aide left behind in Washington to keep an eye on his interests, he wrote to say how busy he was, how everything was rolling along at high speed and how he was hoping to have some promotional films ready for use soon. He ended with a titbit [...texts agree...]|
|U.K. Edition (page 230)||U.S. Edition|
|'The story starts when I was 12 years old', he began, 'and I met one of the great men of Freudian analysis, Commander Thompson, a great man and explorer. He was a commander in the US Navy. His enemies called him Crazy Thompson and his friends called him Snake Thompson. He was a personal friend of Freud and had no kids of his own. On a big transport on a long cruise he started to work me over. He had a cat by the name of Psycho with a crooked tail. The cat would do tricks and the first thing he did was teach me to train cats ...'||The story started, he said, when he was twelve years old and met Commander Thompson, an explorer and 'one of the great men of Freudian analysis'. Thompson, who was called 'Crazy Thompson' by his enemies and "Snake" by his friends, apparently had no children of his own and took a shine to little Ron when they found themselves together on a US Navy transport. The first thing the 'great man of Freudian analysis' taught the boy was how to train cats. Thompson's own cat, Psycho, had a crooked tail, Ron recalled, and would perform tricks.|
|U.K. Edition (page 267)||U.S. Edition|
|All these activities were supposed to remain a closely guarded secret [...texts agree...] Had I departed, that letter, following me, would have sentenced me to death before a firing squad!'||All these activities were supposed to remain a closely guarded secret [...texts agree...] Had I departed, that letter, following me, would have sentenced me to death before a firing squad!'|
|It was a narrow escape that did not bear too much scrutiny. First, Hubbard was not in the US Navy in 1940 and second, mail was not usually forwarded to secret agents working undercover in hostile foreign countries.|
|While Hubbard was in Las Palmas [...texts agree...]||While Hubbard was in Las Palmas [...texts agree...]|