I would like to be able to thank the officials of the Church of Scientology for their help in compiling this biography, but I am unable to do so because the price of their co-operation was effective control of the manuscript and it was a price I was unwilling to pay. Thereafter the Church did its best to dissuade people who knew Hubbard from speaking to me and constantly threatened litigation. Scientology lawyers in New York and Los Angeles made it clear in frequent letters that they expected me to libel and defame L. Ron Hubbard. When I protested that in thirty years as a journalist and writer I had never been accused of libel, I was apparently investigated and a letter was written to my publishers in New York alleging that my claim was 'simply not accurate'. It was, and is.
This book could not have been written without the assistance of the many former Scientologists who were prepared to give freely of their time to talk about their experiences, notwithstanding considerable risks. Some of them are named in the narrative, but there were many others who provided background information and to them all I pay tribute. I was deeply impressed by their integrity, intelligence and courage.
This book could also not have been written without the existence of the Freedom of Information Act in the United States, which may give pause for thought to those who care about the truth yet are opposing the introduction of similar legislation in Britain.
A special word of thanks is due to Jon Atack, a former Scientologist resident in East Grinstead, who has assembled one of the most comprehensive archives about Scientology and its founder and generously made his files available to me. I would also like to thank George Hay and John Symonds in London; Lydia and Jimmy Hicks in Washington DC; David and Milo Weaver in San Francisco; Connie and Phil Winberry in Seattle; Skip Davis in Newport, Rhode Island; Diane Lewis in Wichita; Arthur Jean Cox, Lawrence Kristiansen and Boris de Sidis in Los Angeles; Ron Newman in Woodside, California; Ron Howard of George Washington University; Sue Lindsay of the Rocky Mountain News, Denver; Dave Walters of the Montana Historical Society; and the ever helpful staff of the Library of Congress. Too many people to name patiently replied to queries by mail and searched their records for the answers to innumerable obscure questions. Their contribution to the whole picture was invaluable.
My editor, Jennie Davies, polished the manuscript with her usual skill and diligence, despite the demands of her newly-born twins. My wife, Renate, read every chapter as it was written and always offered constructive advice. She had to put up with my long absences abroad while I was tracking down the truth about L. Ron Hubbard and then endure the misery of living with an obsessive author through the long months of writing. I could never thank her enough for her patience, love and support.