Ron Hubbard’s accomplishments have had enormous impact on the lives of millions and he is rightfully regarded as one of the most important men of the twentieth century.
The furthest reaching of
His drug rehabilitation methods are used with great success in 39 countries with more than 140,000 people freed from the harmful effects of drugs.
His breakthroughs in the field of education have been employed around the globe for 30 years, and have helped bring learning and literacy to millions of children and adults.
These are only a few of the better-known accomplishments of
If Channel 4 had wanted to reveal little known facts about
Or that his published writings include more than 5,000 works, in genres as diverse as western, adventure, mystery, science fiction, poetry and philosophy.
He was also an accomplished master mariner, licensed to operate any vessel on any ocean, and as an explorer and expeditionary leader, Mr. Hubbard carried the prestigious Explorer’s Club flag on three expeditions.
Few are aware that while residing in England in the 1960s, he served as vice president of the East Grinstead Horticultural Society. His horticultural research included the means to improve crop yield in famine-prone countries.
Mr. Hubbard wrote and recorded three music albums; his professional photographs appeared in many publications including National Geographic; and he was repeatedly decorated for service in the U.S. Navy.
There is much more. Yet Channel 4’s “Secret Lives” programme was so far from the truth the man was unrecognizable.
How was such distortion possible? An examination of the tabloid journalism methods Channel 4 employed offers the answers. They selected a reporter who had proven her animosity in two previous hatchet jobs on Scientology, and relied on a virtual rogues gallery of “sources” most of whom had never met
One fled US law enforcement to evade arrest and $350,000 in fines after a court found him in contempt and barred him from spreading further lies about the Church and Mr. Hubbard.
Another boasted of his ability to distort the truth to suit whoever was paying him. The behaviour of yet another paid consultant for the show, who never knew
Channel 4 and 3BM knew all about these people before they even began editing their programme.
While they refused phone calls from the Church and pretended that no show was in the making, Church representatives documented the film crew travelling across the United States and Canada as they sought out these discredited sources.
In an effort to generate publicity for their programme they also “leaked” a letter written by long-time Scientologist John Travolta. What wasn’t reported was what he said: “I have firsthand experience about what is possible through Scientology. I know something of Mr. Hubbard’s life and I definitely know that the fruits of that life have meant much to the lives of others.”
Only the living can bring claims for libel. Thus shows like “Secret Lives” target the deceased—and thereby lie with apparent impunity. But in the absence of law, one would hope for decency and at least a passing concern for the truth as a deterrent. Channel 4 provided neither.
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