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Preview: Secret Lives

The Guardian - The Guide (TV listings supplement), Wednesday November 19th 1997

9pm, C4

Having gained instant fame as the film John Travolta didn't want you to see, Jill Robinson's expose of L Ron Hubbard, sci-fi fantasist turned self-proclaimed messiah, goes ahead as planned. Of course, accusations of fraudulent behaviour are hardly a recent phenomenon. Hubbard spent half his life on the run from charges of being a gold-digging charlatan - at one point escaping to the high seas, and encountering investigation by the US authorities with Operation Snow White, a military-styled exercise to infiltrate high office. What's so damning is the personal recollections by Hubbard's former associates: the man who wanted out when L Ron's son - under the influence of speed - recounted his past life as a promordial clam. Or the woman who watched aghast as Hubbard, by this time suffering from a paranoia of almost Stalinist proportions, imprisoned a young boy for two days for some minor misdemeanour. Church of the poisoned mind indeed.


Up: Martin Poulter > Scientology Criticism > UK Media Archive