You’re lucky if the worst thing that happens is they recommend Dianetics to you. I still think they’re watching me.
Are you crazy?! They can still track you that way, they’ve probably hacked into all the library systems, not only would they know when you check out one of Hubbard’s books but they’d also know where you live. No, the safest thing is a used bookstore, pay cash, pass a powerful magnet over the book a few times to deactivate any tracking devices and wear a disguise. Also, don’t let anyone see you reading it.
When I was a teenager and in my early 20s I used to collect hardbound fantasy and sci-fi books. My thinking at the time was that someday they’d be cool to still have, and maybe be worth something. I still have most of them, and I doubt they’re worth anything, but I’d like to think another fantasy or sci-fi geek looking at my collection would be impressed that I have, say, all of Raymond E. Feist’s books in hardback as far back as A Darkness At Sethanon.
One of the series I picked up back then was Mission Earth. I didn’t know about all of the Scientology crap, I thought Hubbard was just a science fiction writer. I bought all ten in hardback from the bargain bin for $3 or $4 a piece. That should have been my first clue: due to not having a lot of money at the age of 15 or 16, it took me a month or two of repeated trips to the bookstore before I’d collected them all, and they were never in short supply. In the bargain bin.
Once I had the whole series I read it, and I remember thinking it was kind of dumb, but something must have held my attention because I made it all the way through. I don’t remember much about them, but looking back my main memory is “stupid.”
Fast forward to the present: less than six months ago, I’m looking at my bookshelves, trying to decide on something that I haven’t read in a while. Those Mission Earth books had been there all along, but I’ve always just kind of ignored them. I started thinking about it though… I’ve been lugging these dumb books along with me every time I’ve moved, and if someone else saw those in my collection it would have the opposite effect of the others - I’d be frightfully embarrassed. Why the hell am I keeping these damn Hubbard books?
So I got a garbage bag, loaded the Mission Earth series into it, and took it out to the dumpster. I hated to throw away books, but I wasn’t about to donate them to the library or anything; that would have meant admitting to another human being that I owned books by L. Ron Hubbard, which was out of the question.
The Doc Savage books are classics of modern literature compared to Mission: Earth. My earlier post may have undersold the horribleness of M:E – A single chapter was enough to dissuade the man who has reread Battlefield Earth four times, and liked it; who has picked books out of the trash and read them twice just because he couldn’t stand to see them go to waste; hell, I even reread the Gondwane epic! (And if there’s a worse crap pulp writer who actually got published than Lin Carter, I can’t imagine who it is; he was an even worse writer than Hubbard, but at least he was brief.)
I attempted to read the first book, from the library, when they were coming out. I don’t believe I made it through the first 2 chapters. I did not understand how they were on the bestseller lists, until I talked to someone I knew that worked at a mall bookstore. When they would sell out of the books, they would or course order more in. And when they received the boxes and took the books out, many time the books already had price tags from other bookstores on them. The CoS was buying the books, keeping them on the bestseller lists, then shipping them back out to the bookstores. One way to keep printing costs down I guess.
I read them, all ten. Nowadays I’m older and wiser and if I see that a book is crap I’ll lay it aside, but back when I was in my early teens and read them I just didn’t do that for some stupid reason.
How are the books? Well, let me put it this way: The books hate gays, lesbians, strong women in general, mental health professionals, advertising executives (okay, I can sympathize with this one) and just basically anyone who isn’t just how Hubbard would have liked himself to be (or mobsters, strangely enough). Apparently rape cures lesbians. Also, apparently lesbians suck goats and have sex with dogs because they aren’t getting enough human penis. S&M involves cheese graters and Tabasco sauce and if your dick is bigger than a horse’s women you never met will get in line to have sex with you. Homosexuality is somehow contagious and spread through drug use and television (and gays are universally effeminate and use make-up). Also, there’s sex with underage girls and necrophilia. It’s amazing how, despite metric tons of sex scenes described in loving detail and featuring any and every kink I can think of, there’s not one single passage that is even remotely sexy. Based on the novels I’m forced to conclude that either Hubbard died a virgin or he simply disliked the idea of sex.
Those were the worse novels I have ever read and I’ve never regretted reading anything more in my life. Honestly. Besides the interminable parade of sexual depravity, the action moves incredibly slowly and what little we get in each installment is usually ludicrous beyond belief. Literally. I couldn’t believe that the guy actually wrote some of that stuff on purpose.The characters are so one-note that to call them two-dimensional would be an insult to breadth. And, to top it all off, Hubbard also hates grammar and style but loves! exclamation! POINTS!!!
It’s worth pointing out the thing about Scientology making sure the books continue to be circulated. One of the main reasons I decided to read them is because the series seemed to be present in every library and bookstore I happened to frequent. I figured they must be well-written to be that popular; I got sucked in. Laughably, L. Ron includes a quasi-scholarly introduction in which he discusses the importance of satire to a society, and basically treats his little turd of a novel like it’s a widely respected and important contribution to literature. Utterly delusional.
Hello all. I’ll qualify ths by stating that I listened to the audio novels… As much as I love reading, I’ve found myself going through a LOT of audionovels while at work, driving, or doing other productive things. Everything the people above have said is true, but doesn’t really cover it… Not by half. These books are the literary equivalent of a child fingerpainting with feces. If the man weren’t already dead, I would have suggested steps be taken to arrange it. I just may have to wipe and reformat my blackberry to remove any residue… As for my mind… Perhaps some therapy and a lot of alcohol. The absolute lack of subtlety used by l ron in pounding out his propaganda was unbelievable. The storyline was rubbish, and I couldn’t possibly find a single complimentary thing to say about this… Effort… HA! Wait, I have something! We will never again see its like! Well, not from hubbard anyway…
I’ll confess to reading, and mostly enjoying the entire series when I was 23-24 years old. They were recommended to my by my then-girlfriend. Neither of us was really aware of the Scientology connection at the time.
IIRC, wasn’t the premise that the world(?) government had basically brainwashed the population into homosexuality (and sadomasochism) as a method of population control? At least that’s how I read it. It wasn’t that “rape cures lesbians”, it was “rape broke the brainwashing”.
I haven’t tried ME yet, but I bought some of Elron’s early pulp stories (republished by $cientology). These were written when Hubbard was in his late 20’s-early 30’s-they are uniformly bad. You can sense how crazy the guy was even then-he just churned out the same crap, over and over again. How these things became "best sellers’ is easy-the poor dupes who are scientologists are made to by them.
I’ve never read the books fortunately, but then idea that rape “cures” lesbianism is an old one. It used to be standard practice for police to rape lesbians arrested under anti-homosexuality laws here in America I understand, and “corrective rape” is still practiced some places. So for all his other evils, Hubbard didn’t come up with that one on his own.