Author: Russell Miller
Additional Material: The Bare-Faced Messiah Interviews (Online)
Description: If there was a University course in the history of Scientology, this book would be required reading. Written by British investigative journalist Russell Miller, it describes the life of Lafayette Ronald Hubbard in detail. A painstakingly professional work, it includes extensive references and a detailed index.
“Bare-faced Messiah” has been out-of-print for some time, and second-hand copies can be expensive and difficult to obtain. However, Silvertail Books are planning to release a new edition (containing some new material) in February 2014. The ISBN of this third edition is 9781909269149
Incredibly, since the publication of the of the original book was suppressed in the America by Church of Scientology legal action, this new edition will be the first time that this book has been widely available in the US.
There is a review of the book, including excerpts from an interview with the author by investigative journalist and Scientology expert Tony Ortega.
As is often the case with publications that are critical of Scientology, events behind the scenes tell a fascinating in its own right.
Invaluable source material (including many of Hubbard’s personal papers) was supplied to the author by Jerry Armstrong. In 1980 Armstrong, then a Scientologist, was given the job of compiling an archive of documents relating to Hubbard to be used as the basis for an official biography. Armstrong found that Hubbard’s claims (and the claims made by the Church of Scientology in his behalf) strongly conflicted not only with reliable official records, but also with the very documents that he was handling and organising.
Armstrong left the Church in 1981, and took this material to Miller. Armstrong’s intellectual courage earned him a lifetime of legal and extra-legal persecution by the Church of Scientology – tactics also used against Miller and his publishers in various countries, with the apparent aim of preventing the publication of his books.
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