The book Scientologists stopped from being published in America for 27-years: Banned biography of L. Ron Hubbard claims leader had bizarre sex-rituals, phony war record and used racist slurs. Bare-Faced Messiah was first published in 1986 but the Church of Scientology has successfully kept it off the American shelves for 27-years



  • Alleges that Hubbard lied about his education and childhood in official Scientology biographies
  • Claims to refute Hubbard's assertion that he was one of the nation's first nuclear physicists and a doctor
  • During his research Miller found unpalatable opinions on Chinese people written by the teenage Hubbard
  • Alleges that Hubbard would observe and documents bizarre sex rituals with a prominent Caltech rocket scientist
  • Outlines how Hubbard realized branding Scientology as a religion would be better for business concerns

The Church of Scientology strongly opposed the book's publication. The Church was accused of organising a smear and harassment campaign against Miller and his publisher, though it strenuously denied this accusation, and a private investigator involved in the campaign denied that the Church was his client. However, a leak of internal Church documents to the press in 1990 disclosed many details of the campaign. The Church and related corporate entities attempted to prevent the book's publication in court, resulting in cases that reached the Supreme Court of the United States, the Court of Appeal of England and Wales and the Federal Court of Canada. The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to let a lower court's ruling stand, denying fair use protection for the book's use of unpublished sources, set a precedent favouring copyright protection of unpublished material over biographers' freedom of speech. Courts in the UK and Canada took an opposite view, allowing publication of Bare-faced Messiah in the public interest.

The American science writer Martin Gardner's review in Nature called Bare-faced Messiah an "admirable, meticulously documented biography". Gardner had previously written about the start of Scientology in his classic 1952 book Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science, at which time he regarded Hubbard as a harmless crank, but Miller's book persuaded Gardner that Hubbard was "a pathological liar who steadily deteriorated from a charming rogue into a paranoid egomaniac". Sociologist J. Gordon Melton has stated that along with Stewart Lamont's Religion Inc., Miller's book is "by far the best" among the books published by Scientology critics, though he notes that the Church of Scientology has "prepared statements on each indicating factual errors and omissions."[40] According to Melton, Miller's book is compromised by its author's lack of access to documents charting the early history of the church. Marco Frenschkowski, in a survey of the available literature on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology, called Bare-Faced Messiah the "most important critical biography of Hubbard. Like [Friedrich-Wilhelm Haack's Scientology — Magie des 20. Jahrhunderts] and [Bent Corydon's L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman?] it is extremely polemical and very much tries to pull Hubbard to pieces." He added that Miller's book had "definitely exposed some inflated statements about Hubbard's early achievements," but that the Church of Scientology had been able to counter a number of the points made by Miller: "Hubbard's assertions about his military career in WWII, e.g., have been much nearer to the truth than Miller is trying to show."

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