Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at




We have a stunning announcement to make. Silvertail Books is bringing back into print the book which revealed for the first time the true life story of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology.

Bare-faced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard by Russell Miller was first published in 1987, after a long legal battle between its original publisher, Michael Joseph, and the Church of Scientology. The book’s original US publisher, Henry Holt, became mired in legal problems after a series of lawsuits in the American courts, and the book was never properly published here.

Silvertail publisher Humfrey Hunter bought world English rights through Michael Sissons and Fiona Petheram at PFD. Hunter tells us, “Bare-Faced Messiah was a sensation when it first came out and is every bit as relevant today as it was then. By telling the full, true story of L. Ron Hubbard’s extraordinary life, and calling out the untruths told about it, Russell tells an incredibly colorful story and reveals the origins of Scientology in riveting detail. It’s an astonishing read — your jaw drops on virtually every page.”

Miller says, “I am delighted that Bare-Faced Messiah is being re-published, particularly as the Church of Scientology continues to make ludicrous claims about the life and times of its founder.”


The new edition will contain a foreword by Miller in which he describes how the church tried to thwart his research for the book, tactics which included him being repeatedly followed, accused of various crimes including murder, alleged to be an intelligence agent and threatened with a pistol.

In January this year Silvertail published another book about Scientology, The Church of Fear by John Sweeney, which has since sold 14,000 copies across all editions. It will publish Bare-faced Messiah in hardback and ebook in February 2014.

“Russell Miller did the groundbreaking work on Hubbard and the Church of Scientology that every future biographer relies upon. He was able to interview key sources that have since been silenced. It’s great to know that his own voice will be heard once again,” says Lawrence Wright, whose own recent book about Hubbard and Scientology, Going Clear, was a finalist for the National Book Award.

“Russell Miller is one of the great biographers of the generation, and his book remains the only full biography of Hubbard,” says Jon Atack, author of another great book about about Scientology, 1990’s A Piece of Blue Sky. “My book was aimed at those who had been involved with Scientology, so it focuses on material relevant to an understanding of the cult. Russell focuses on the man and is a fine portrait of a troubled and narcissistic charlatan, who managed to extract over a billion dollars from his followers, and then had the gall to say, ‘The work was free. Keep it so.’ He lived in extravagant luxury, while followers were even denied toilet paper to save on costs. Russell’s book is a better introduction for people who have never heard of the cult. The title, of course, says it all.”

“Compelling reading. You won’t want to put this book down once you start it — so start it,” says Paulette Cooper, author of 1971’s The Scandal of Scientology

As soon as we find an order page for Miller’s book, we’ll post it. — The Bunker


December Five



Posted by Tony Ortega on December 5, 2013 at 07:00

E-mail your tips and story ideas to or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. Here at the Bunker we try to have a post up every morning at 7 AM Eastern (Noon GMT), and on some days we post an afternoon story at around 2 PM. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email