The Commodore and the Colonels

CommodoreColonelsTitle: The Commodore and the Colonels

Author: John Forte

ISBN: 9781848970045 (paperback)

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Description: John Knox Forte (pronounced “Fort”) was British Vice-Consul Corfu in 1968, when the founder of Scientology (L Ron Hubbard) visited the island aboard the “Apollo” – the flagship of a small Scientology navy.

Although Hubbard’s stated aim was to establish a “University of Scientology” on the Greek island, he seems to have had the more ambitious objective of establishing a ‘Scientology homeland’ there.

Despite early progress, the ruling military Junta (the ‘Colonels’ of the title) declared Hubbard persona non grata, and expelled Scientology from the island only months later.

This short book (of 123 pages) is a closely observed account of those events. Forte’s official position gave him access to behind-the-scenes diplomatic discussions and confidential information, especially regarding the growing concerns of the Greek military government about Scientology. He also investigated the situation personally, and gathered intelligence from “[…] a Scientology defector”. Consequently, he possessed a unique range of documents – from diplomatic communications to copies of Hubbard’s “orders of the day” – many of which are reproduced in the book.

Modern readers should be warned that Forte was a man of his time – some of the opinions he expresses in passing are  eccentric, and others less than ‘politically correct’.  However, it is probably  worth putting up with this flaw for the detail and insight he brings to the events in Corfu.

The book was first published privately in 1980. The edition described is an expanded version published in 2009.

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