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Controversial New Religions$
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James R. Lewis and Jesper Aagaard Petersen

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195156829

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2006

DOI: 10.1093/019515682X.001.0001

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Inventing L. Ron Hubbard

Inventing L. Ron Hubbard

On the Construction and Maintenance of the Hagiographic Mythology of Scientology's Founder

(p.227) 11 Inventing L. Ron Hubbard
Controversial New Religions

Dorthe Refslund Christensen

Oxford University Press

More than a decade after his death, the work and person of L. Ron Hubbard remain at the very core of the Church of Scientology. The steps that were taken both before and after Hubbard’s passing are partly responsible for the ease with which the church navigated the potential crisis that could have been initiated by Hubbard’s death. The most important of these initiatives is the hagiographic production, the most significant attempt by the church to continually renew interest in Hubbard and thereby his religion, by pointing to him as the ultimate source and legitimizing resource. This essay analyzes part of such a hagiographic account. The analysis of the hagiography will be placed in perspective by introducing other church initiatives to promote and protect Hubbard and Scientology, and will include introductions to basic Scientological ideas, practices, and important parts of the church’s literature.

Keywords:   Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, hagiography

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