The evergreen L. Ron Hubbard is back in town, despite having died in January 1986. Dude!
As I struggled into the flat yesterday clutching two shopping bags filled to bursting with wine, real ale, rolling tobacco & Nitromors, I spotted a flyer in amongst the many destined for recycling which blazed ‘Has Your Body Become A Toxic Waste Dump?’ Now, I’m no great fan of the door drop school of marketing (too blunt an instrument and we need the trees), but I figured they had a point so I took it upstairs. And yes, I gave it a few precious moments of the limited time I have left on the planet, only to find out that it is, in fact, the latest ruse from our dear old chum L Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church of Scientology, brains behind the crappest film ever made Battlefield Earth and purveyor of the grand-scale whopper. Who died in January 1986.
I have to admit, I do have a bit of a soft spot for L Ron. Back in 1983, I left a house party in Dorking, somewhat worse for wear and about two hours before the first train back to London, and what I saw at the end of the High Street as dawn broke must surely rank as one of the most ill-conceived book launch campaigns of all time. A monstrous purple metal beast lay in wait for its quarry, clutching a plethora of monochromatic handouts in which it declared itself as Terl, the Alien Psychlo. Quite who (or what) its target market was, given the time of day and stockbroker-belt location was anyone’s guess, but I did admire the balls of the thing and took home its offering. I later discovered it was pushing ‘the greatest sci-fi novel ever written’ by the man himself. He’d even composed a soundtrack to go with it (available separately) which I thought bold. Further research revealed that he had also declared war on Mexico, fired torpedoes at a magnetic ore deposit off the coast of Oregon believing it to be two Japanese submarines and spent several years in prison for fraud. Dude…
So how come he’s now back in Crystal Palace, attempting to cleanse my rotting carcass of self-imposed excess? What can there possibly be in it for him, what with him being dead and that (apparently from self-imposed excess)? And are the pollutants of yesteryear still rattling around inside me like it says in his new book Clear Body, Clear Mind (£8.99 online, no soundtrack)? I must say, I’m intrigued. Almost enough to go for the free toxic test, available at his Purification Centre which also happens to be the Church of Scientology HQ. The reviews are glowing:
“I’ve been living in a fairyland. Many thanks to L Ron for caring enough to invest his life in bettering mankind” G.S.
“Fifteen years of brain fog has dissipated in a few weeks” L.P.
And many more. Maybe this time he’s really stumbled upon something and death, as they say, becomes us all. I’ll let you know.