Scientology Critical Information Directory

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Russell Miller

Investigative journalist and writer.

(1987): "Bare-Faced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard"

While he was in New York, Ron [Hubbard] naturally looked up his old science fiction friends and one of them introduced him to Sam Merwin, who was then editing the 'Thrilling' group of magazines. 'I found him a very amusing guy,' Merwin recalled, 'and bought several stories from him. He was really quite a character. I always knew he was exceedingly anxious to hit big money - he used to say he thought the best way to do it would be to start a cult.'

How the Church of Scientology tried (and failed) to suppress Bare-Faced Messiah

Russell Miller started work on Bare-Faced Messiah in 1985, not long before L. Ron Hubbard's death. He was well aware that he would face problems. Every author who had written 'unsanctioned' books about the Church of Scientology, and many journalists as well, had been threatened with legal and sometimes physical reprisals; many had been harassed and defamed as well. He knew that the Church could go to extreme lengths to suppress critical comment - in the 1970s, New York journalist Paulette Cooper very nearly went to prison for alleged terroristic activities before the FBI found that the Church leadership was responsible for framing her.

Given this background, it's to Miller's credit that he persevered. The threats were not long in coming. When the Church learned of his project,

"[it] did its best to dissuade people who knew Hubbard from speaking to me and constantly threatened litigation. Scientology lawyers in New York and Los Angeles made it clear in frequent letters that they expected me to libel and defame L. Ron Hubbard. When I protested that in thirty years as a journalist and writer I had never been accused of libel, I was apparently investigated and a letter was written to my publishers in New York alleging that my claim was 'simply not accurate'. It was, and is." (Bare-Faced Messiah, page ix) The death of Hubbard in January 1986 reduced the Church's hand in dealing with Miller - the dead cannot be libelled or defamed (at least in the eyes of the law). Even so, it soon became apparent that the Church's 'secret police' - the Office of Special Affairs (OSA) - regarded Miller's work as being a major threat. As publication day (October 1987) moved closer, the Church's efforts to suppress the book became increasingly desperate - and vicious.

The Bare-Faced Messiah Interviews

L. Ron Hubbard would have got nowhere without two advantages which, in hindsight, he was extremely fortunate to enjoy: great charisma and a lot of devoted friends and followers. When he was doing the research for Bare-Faced Messiah, Russell Miller conducted interviews with a number of people who had known Hubbard at various times of his life - family, friends and followers. The documents linked below are the transcripts of these interviews. Curiously, even though several remembered Hubbard behaving in a sometimes appalling manner towards those in his power, the great majority remembered him with some affection.

Gerry Armstrong: "CSC v. Russell Miller et al."

Barefaced Messiah by Russell Miller
Preface: The Gerry Armstrong Story

Chaleff Affidavit 10-05-1987
Long Affidavit [1st] 10-05-1987
Long Affidavit [2nd] 10-05-1987
Long Affidavit [3rd] 10-05-1987
Long Affidavit [4th] 10-07-1987
Long Affidavit [5th] 10-08-1987
Judgment 10-09-1987

See also:
Armstrong Declarations of 03-15-1990 and 12-25-1990


Russell Miller's CV

Russell Miller is a prize-winning journalist and the author of eleven previous books. He was born in east London in 1938 and began his career in journalism at the age of sixteen. While under contract to the SUNDAY TIMES MAGAZINE he won four press awards and was voted Writer of the Year by the Society of British Magazine Editors. His book MAGNUM, on the legendary photo agency, was described by John Simpson as 'the best book on photo-journalism I have ever read', and his oral histories of D-Day, NOTHING LESS THAN VICTORY, and the SOE, BEHIND THE LINES were widely acclaimed, both in Britain and in the United States. His most recent book is CODENAME TRICYCLE, the story of playboy and WWII double-agent Dusko Popov.

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