Bare-faced Messiah - Reaction From Hubbard's Followers - Harassment of The Author and Publishers

Harassment of The Author and Publishers

The Church of Scientology refused all cooperation with Miller and sought to obstruct his research. He wrote in his "author's note" at the start of the book:

he Church 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.

Miller had been warned before he began his work that he would face difficulties, but was unprepared for the level of harassment that he endured. While researching the book in the U.S., he was spied upon and was constantly followed. His friends and business associates also received hostile visits from Scientologists and private detectives trying to find "dirt" on him. In October 1987, Miller commented: "There are teams of private detectives in the U.S. and this country questioning my friends and trying to discredit me." Attempts were made to implicate him in the murder of a private detective in South London, for a fire in a Wiltshire aircraft factory and for the murder of American singer Dean Reed. Reed had died the day before Miller had arrived in East Berlin to interview him. Miller's family was approached by private detectives seeking to implicate him in Reed's death, although they would not say who their client was. Another private investigator interviewed Miller's friends and associates, claiming to be acting for Reed's family, though they denied employing him. A former Scientology insider told the Sunday Times that Miller "is kept under constant watch. Every time he goes abroad a two-man mission will be waiting for him at the airport when he arrives. They will monitor where he goes, who he sees, where he stays. This information will be added to his file, which is already more than 100 pages thick."

Senior executives at publishers Michael Joseph and at the Sunday Times, which serialised the book, received threatening phone calls and a visit from private investigator Eugene Ingram, who worked for the Church. Another private investigator, Jarl Grieve Einar Cynewulf, told Sunday Times journalists that he had been offered "large sums of money" to find a link between Miller and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), as the Church reportedly believed that the CIA was driving investigations into its tax affairs in the U.S. According to Cynewulf, Miller's mail and phones were intercepted and his home was under constant surveillance. The newspaper reported that Cynewulf had chased its reporter and photographer through the streets of Bristol, armed with a pistol which he fired at them, saying, "You'd better go now unless you want to end up in a wooden box. Do you want to be another Hungerford martyr?"

In 1990, nearly three years after the book's first publication, a defector from the Church of Scientology provided the Sunday Times with internal documents detailing the smear campaign against Miller. These records listed several private investigators who had been hired to keep Miller under surveillance and feed false information about him to neighbours and the police. A Scientology executive had flown from Los Angeles to a flat in London where he and a private detective co-ordinated the campaign. Rubbish from the publisher's offices was regularly emptied into the flat's bathtub to be picked through. According to the informant, the investigators used contacts with the British police to try to implicate him in unsolved crimes: "People were brought in from abroad posing as journalists to arrange interviews with Scotland Yard where they would drop innuendoes about Miller. Other investigators were used to smear his name with colleagues, friends and neighbours. They worked hard on the line that he was an undercover British intelligence man." A Church spokesman dismissed these allegations, saying, "anyone giving you this sort of information must be crazy or on drugs."

Read more about this topic:  Bare-faced Messiah, Reaction From Hubbard's Followers

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