All of them, those in power, and those who want the power, would pamper us, if we agreed to overlook their crookedness by wilfully restricting our activities.
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THE author of a book that allegedly blows the whistle on the bizarre founder of the Church of Scientology says he has been terrorized by cult fanatics seeking to suppress the shocking exposé.
"They've sent out thugs to intimidate me, threatened my family, tried to bribe us and even tried to jail the publisher," says Bent Corydon, author of L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah Or Madman? (Lyle Stuart).
Corydon, a loyal disciple of Hubbard and his cult for nearly 22 years, now denounces him as an evil, drug-abusing dictator. "This is material the church wants silenced," the author told GLOBE.
"It has been a tremendous struggle to get my book on the stands — very dangerous at times. They have been desperately trying to stop me with every means they have available.
"My wife gets mysterious phone calls, a man in a wolf mask bashed on our door screaming abuse. Another time, a hearse circled our house with the driver honking the horn constantly."
Corydon's book includes revelations that Hubbard was:
* A callous disciplinarian who imprisoned young children in the squalid holds of ships.
* A drug abuser and bigamist who often surrounded himself with scantily-clad teenage nymphets.
* An embezzler who transferred up to $200 million of church funds to his own account.
Corydon says he began his book with help from L. Ron Hubbard Jr., but he claims that the guru's son was bought off by the church for a reported $250,000.
Recently, the threats to Corydon have been hitting closer to home, he says.
"I had been doing some promotion for the book for a TV station in California.
"When I came out, a man about 6ft. 5in. tall and pretty mean-looking was waiting for me. I ignored him as best I could.
"But he bent over me and started calling me names. I'm only 5ft. 7in. I got in my car and drove away."
Hubbard's followers — including celebrities like John Travolta, Priscilla Presley and Sonny Bono — revere him as a messiah, the reincarnation of Buddha.
But there is a lot they don't know about their hero, Hubbard, who died 18 months ago, Corydon says.
For example, in mid-1966, Hubbard took his church and many of his most loyal supporters to sea in a yacht and two other ships he bought in England.
The followers lived a hellish life, says the book. In one shocking incident, Corydon tells how a four-year-old boy was tortured for tampering with Hubbard's telex machine.
"He was held for nearly 48 hours in the chain locker of the flagship Apollo," he says. "His knees and hands were raw with cuts and bruises from chipping rust."
Another time, Corydon reports that Hubbard had a little deaf girl thrown in the chain locker because he thought it would cure her deafness.
He says Hubbard was attended by a platoon of teenage girls who all wore white boots, mini-skirts and skimpy tops.
"The girls would put cigarettes in his mouth and light them," says the book, "and wipe drops of sweat off his forehead."
In a sworn affidavit in the book, given before he allegedly was bought off, Ron Hubbard Jr., says:
"My father regularly used illegal drugs, including amphetamines, barbiturates, hallucinogens and cocaine."
Corydon left the cult in 1983. "At first, I truly thought Hubbard was a messiah," he explains.
"But now I think differently — I think he was always a madman."
[Picture / Caption: Author Bent Corydon]
[Picture / Caption: L. Ron Hubbard: An evil drug-abusing dictator?]