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A New Genre for L. Ron Hubbard

To celebrate “his very golden (50th) anniversary as a writer,” 71-year-old Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard (who hasn’t been seen publicly since March 1980) has written and composed a sound track for a science fiction novel--Battlefield Earth-- “of such epic proportions it can and will only be referred to as a masterpiece!” That announcement sprawled across two pages of the 14 October Hollywood Reporter--one way 85 of Ron’s friends were making “a fuss over him,” thanking him for using “his amazing communication skills to not only excite, enchant, and totally enthrall, but also to rekindle dreams that may have seemed too far out of reach to come true.”

Earth, specifically Riverside, California, is indeed a battlefield since Hubbard’s eldest son, Ronald E. DeWolf, recently filed a petition for trusteeship of his father’s $100 million estate, hearings for which begin 30 December 1982. DeWolf’s 30,000 documents “portray Hubbard as a conniving fraud who was addicted to a variety of drugs, practiced black magic, performed bizarre abortion rituals, and suffered from severe mental illness” (Newsweek, 6 December 1982). DeWolf charges that his father is either dead or incompetent, and he suspects that the Church of Scientology has been forging Hubbard’s signature since October 1981. To prove that their leader is both alive and sentient, church members produced an autographed copy of Battlefield Earth which two handwriting experts verify is Hubbard’s own script. One suspects, however, that nothing short of a personal appearance by Hubbard himself will quell the protests of DeWolf and other Scientology observers.