While much of the reaction to HBO’s new documentary “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief” has been focused on the shocking allegations of abuse and manupilation within the church, the film also examines how a struggling science-fiction author by the name of L. Ron Hubbard used his talents for telling fantastical stories to create the controversial modern-day church known as Scientology.
After dropping out of George Washington University in 1932, the Nebraska native started his career as a writer doing pulp-fiction works for which he was paid a penny a word.
Hubbard published over a thousand books and holds the Guinness World Record for the number of books published, according to the film. In fact, he also holds Guinness records for the most translated author, most audio books published by an author, and most translated author of the same book (“The Way to Happiness”).
Most of his writing was science fiction, specifically about missions into space — themes that would later come up again in Scientology’s unbelievable theory of how the world began.