L. Fletcher Prouty's Letter to Miller's Publisher

The following was posted to alt.religion.scientology by Scientology spokesman Andrew Milne in early 1996, in response to a review of Bare-faced Messiah posted by Martin Poulter. I have added HTML tags as I saw fit; however, I have made no content changes. Any spelling, typographical or stylistic errors are Milne's or Prouty's, as the case may be.

Disclaimer: The views of Milne and Prouty do not reflect my own. Andrew Milne proved himself on countless occasions to be a consummate liar, easily refuted, until he ducked out of a.r.s. Having read one of Prouty's books on JFK, I find him unscholarly and inaccurate, to say the least. Let the reader beware.

Subject: Re: UK MEDIA 1987: Review of Bare Faced Messiah
From: milne@crl.com (Andrew Milne)
Date: 1996/03/19
Message-Id: <4in7j5$kb6@crl2.crl.com>
References: <DoIsD0.Eo2@uns.bris.ac.uk>
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Martin Poulter (plmlp@mail.bris.ac.uk) wrote:

: Sunday Times
: 15 Nov 87
: Books: Face to face with fanaticism /
: Review of 'Bare-Faced Messiah' by Russell Miller


:    BARE-FACED MESSIAH by Russell Miller/Michael Joseph Pounds 12.95 pp390

The following is a letter written to Miller's publishers in 1987, showing the venality and falsity of Miller's book.

4201 Peachtree Place
Alexandria, Virginia 22304

October 4, 1987

Alan Brooke, Managing Director,
Michael Joseph Ltd.,
27 Wright's Lane
London W 8,

Dear Mr. Brooke,

I am addressing you and your good organization on a matter of current and signal importance. Quite simply put, it involves the question of the moral philosophy and responsibility of your publishing house, and has been instigated as a result of a reading of the manuscript of a work by Russell Miller on the life of L. Ronald Hubbard.

The particular reason for this letter stems from reading a copy of a book to be published under your imprimatur with the title "Bare Faced Messiah" and written by Russell Miller. This book purports to be a biography of L. Ron Hubbard. As a work of the biographer's art, this book takes the low read.

Would the New Testament be read and cherished by anyone today if Judas Iscariot had been the author of the "Life of Christ?" To be believed and to be honest a true biography must be written by an honorable man who himself reveres the memory of his subject. The biographer must agree with most of us that "To live in hearts we leave behind, is not to die." The most despicable kind of murder is that committed by the false biographer. Nothing is more distasteful than the discovery that a man, who claims to write the story of another's life, does so with evil intent.

Such is the book you plan to publish and distribute. This is the work done by your minion, Russell Miller. It is a disgrace to your house and those who have chosen to take such a course.

I was alerted to the course this work was taking when I read on page two of the Preface the name of one, Gerry Armstrong. I know quite a bit about this young man and about his machiavellian schemes and malicious sponosrs.

Some years ago I discovered that there is a regular "Dog and Pony" show that had been put together by unscrupulous principals and their lawyers who intended to get rich suing and defaming Mr. Hubbard and the Church of Scientology. To do that they had collected, trained and financed a selected group of dissidents from the Church of Scientology and used them in many courts, on TV and in the media to tell stories that have been fabricated or warped from the inexperience, venality and immaturity of their court-room puppeteers. The London Sunday Times broke a spear on that one not too many years ago.

When I first came into this work, I discovered that many of the people with the Church, among them many who were working with their own lawyers to develop a defense in these cases, did not know, themselves, the intricate workings of deep, Navy intelligence...where Hubbard worked. Unlike MI-5's Peter Wright, Ron Hubbard was of the old school. He never revealed important intelligence sources and methods. As a result, in some cases, these Church members themselves had been unable to properly brief their own counsel in order to defend themselves from these imaginative lawyers as they ought to have done. This factor appeared to lend credence, in court documents, to many untrue and highly imaginative stories.

From the "Gerry Armstrong" in the preface and on through the manuscript Miller has exploited these shameless puppets choosing the low road rather than going to those who might have provided him with the facts. He was given the chance. He refused it.

Among the many weaknesses of this troubled writing one stands out above the rest, and strangely it is a veiled one of ommission. In his endeavor to paint this man Hubbard in as bad light as he could this hack almost totally ignored the fact that L. Ron Hubbard had served with the U.S. Navy on active duty from a period beginning before America's entry into WW II on Dec 7, 1941 and throughout the war...in that silent service... Naval Intelligence. He uses that military term once in his manuscript.

From this contrived point of view, Miller handles the subject adroitly. On page 87 in the Chapter "The Here Who Never Was" he writes:

"On 24 November [1941], after six weeks' leave [sic] he [Hubbard] was posted to Headquarters, Third Naval District, in New York, for training as an Intelligence Officer."
There it is! This is the way this pseudo-biographer handles one of the most important periods of his subject's lifetime. Nothing reveals the venality and sham of Miller's work more than this cavalier treatment of Hubbard's intelligence service. This writer tackles this subject by the simple expedient of ommission. He never mentions the word again. This would be like writing a biography of Charles A. Lindbergh without mentioning the fact that he was a pilot, or of writing about Winston Churchill without some mention of his role during WW II.

Since this is an important subject, the book becomes less than worthless without it. Let me explain who I am and why I feel so strongly about what you and your writer are doing.

I joined the U.S. Army in June of 1941; Hubbard joined the Navy in July 1941. We served contemporaneously during the long years of WW II. I served in the Southwest Pacific area during WW II as an air force pilot. I stayed with the Air Force after the war and in 1955 I began a nine-year assignment with the headquarters U.S. Air Force as Chief of the office of Special Operations. This use of the term "Special Operations" covers the meaning of "Air Force support of the clandestine operations of the CIA." After five years in that capacity I was assigned to the Office of the Secretary of Defense [Gates and McNamara] in the same function. This was followed by two more years as Chief of Special Operations with the office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff [similar function including responsibility for all services.]

As a result of this vast experience, and related military service, I know the intelligence business at first hand, at the highest levels, and quite thoroughly. I have written a book on the subject, "The Secret Team" published by Prentice-Hall and later by Ballantine.

It may be pertinent to note here, that during my long and top-level relationship with the US/CIA I had frequent contact with our friends in London. In fact I worked with authors and knew about the special arrangements that existed between those authors, our CIA and its friends in the British publishing business. I have on my shelves books written by Americans, fully funded by the CIA, and first published by your more prominent associates in London. It may well be that certain elements of that peculiar experience add to my unique understanding of the possible relationship between Michael Joseph Ltd and Russell Miller and why they have chosen to take this pejorative position with respect to L. Ron Hubbard. Would you agree with that?

Some ten years ago, or more, because of this unusual experience and background, I was asked by a law firm representing the Church of Scientology to provide it with "expert witness" assistance on, among other things, matters relating to the military record of L. Ron Hubbard. As a result I have read most of the public record, in fact I wrote some of it, that Miller neglected to utilize, and much more.

I have worked with various of the law firms on behalf of the Church of Scientology on a number of cases in many countries on these subjects. In this process I discovered many things about what was available of Hubbard's military record that had been misinterpreted or ignored by others...many important things.

For example: Almost all of Hubbard's millitary record is replete with markings that signify deep intelligence service at the highest levels. Many of his records, copies of official records, revealed that even the originals had been fabricated in the manner peculiar to the intelligence community in a process that we call "Sheep Dip". I myself have supervised a lot of that function in the offices I managed during 1955-1964.

"Sheep Dip" is a process that provides, customarily, three files. One is the true civilian record of the agent. One is his agency or military true record. The third is his "cover" personality and all that it takes to support it.

Thus when one researches these files, in a routine manner, he may get copies from any one of three...or of various kindred files that are maintained for special reasons. Some of Hubbard's records are kept in from 8 to 18 files as is clearly noted in codes on the records.

Many of Hubbard's critics make light of his "war related injuries". The official "Notice of Separation from the U.S. Naval Service" dated and signed 6 Dec 45 includes a Section 34 that lists "Purple Heart (Palm)".

The Purple Heart medal is awarded only to those wounded in action. The Palm is awarded in lieu of a second Purple Heart and signifies that the recipient had been wounded in ation on at least two occasions.

Miller treats the subject of Hubbard's "wounds" as though they were non-existent; yet, on page 218, he quotes a "Ray Kemp... a Royal Navy radar technician" saying:

"I knew he had been wounded because one night he kept complaining of a pain in his side and when he stood up a little bit of shrapnell [sic] fell out from under his shirt."

As with the subject of "Intelligence" and with the "wounds", this author simply dropped the subject when it did not fit his contrived scenario. The official U.S. Navy record establishes that Hubbard had sustained wounds in action before Dec 1945.

Miller closes out Hubbard's military career with the statement:

"Unfortunately, his US Navy record indicates he was awarded just four medals-"
As mentioned above, he had two medals, ie. the Purple Heart with Palm. This same Section 34 of the Notice of Separation lists "Asiatic-Pac. Theatre (3 stars)." The Asiatic- Pacific Theatre was a most active region and during Hubbard's service therein, early 1942, bitter combat was frequent. The award of that medal was for participation in that theatre during time of war and the Three Stars were awarded for participation in three combat campaigns in that theatre. Lacking data to the contrary it is not too difficult to conclude that his wounds wre received there and that this was the basis for the award of these two Purple Heart medals during action in those three combat campaigns.

Since Hubbard's service at that time was with an intelligence activity, available records do not provide details of the action or of injuries sustained in the Asiatic-Pacific theatre. (I myself have an award, the Legion of Merit, that was given to me by the U.S.Air Force in lieu of an award made to me by Allen Dulles when he was the Director of Central Intelligence. Those data surrounding that award have never been released...not even to myself for my own keeping.]

Something most important that Miller chose to overlook was the fact that Hubbard has been awarded (see document cited above) a "Unit Citation". This award is most important and special. Unit Citations are made only by the President of the United States to those combat units performing particularly meritorious services, for example: to the Nineteenth Bomb Group in Indonesia in early 1942. Hubbard's citation came from such service at that same time when he was serving with "Asiatic Fleet Intelligence" as cited above.

From that same Section 34, see above, there is the citation "Br. & Dtch. Vict. Medals." This citation is found on very few U.S. military records and signifies notable service with the British and the Dutch during WW II. From what we know of Hubbard's Naval Intelligence Serivce in the Pacific it is beyond question that these awards were earned in and around Indonesia (Dutch at the time) and in Australia and the seas around it (British Zone).

It is important to note that Hubbard had been awarded the "Marine Medal". This medal is awarded rarely to Navy line officers, least of all to those serving with Intelligence. To back up this unusual award you will note that this Naval Inteligence officer also held "Rifle, Pistol Expert" marksmanship ratings. Both of these awards signify ground action that is not typical of the sea duty expected of Navy officers. You may recall that 400,000 Soviet Navy personnel took part in the battle of Stalingrad. Hubbard met his major battles in a different locale.

In the Miller scenario even the course of Hubbard's transition from civilian life to Navy duty is handled lightly. The famous Congressman from Washington, Magnuson, did write to President Roosevelt urging that the President expedite Hubbard's request for active duty. This was during early 1941. I was being commissioned and placed on active duty at the same time. I can assure you that it was a most unusual experience, in those times, for a Congressman to single out one of his constituents for such a reason...and particularly to do so by writing directly to the President...formerly Secretary of the Navy.

Miller treats that lightly and fails to note that it was James Forrestal, later to be Secretary of the Navy and the first Secretary of Defense, who acted for the President and signed Hubbard's active duty orders. For those familiar with the way this was done it will be noted that the channel chosen for the processing of those papers marked Hubbard as an Intelligence recruit. He was then sent to New York where he began his special duties under Vicent Astor the President's friend and appointee as Chief of Intelligence in New York...Bill Stephenson's beat.

Miller failed to note that Hubbard's first Active Duty Orders were signed by none other than Chester Nimitz, later the famous five-star Admiral and hero of Pacific campaigns. A small code number on those same orders identifies Hubbard as being placed on duty with Naval Intelligence (ONI). From that intelligence duty in New York City Hubbard was ordered to another intelligence school in San Francisco and thence en route to Cavite Navy Base in the Philippines. Cavite was the site of the Navy's primary intelligence operation related to the MAGIC program that broke the Japanese Code.

It is hard to understand the enormous oversight we have here. In fact I have evidence that Miller has, or had been offered all of these records that I had worked on; but declined the offer. I can't use that word "oversight". He simply ignored vital facts.

One other subject relevant to Hubbard's unique service record made no impression whatsoever on Miller. Or perhaps I should understand that his programmed scenario did not permit its use. On Page 109 he writes:

"Her [good ship ALGOL] erstwhile Navigating Officer, meanwhile was on a four-month course in 'Military Government' at the Naval Training School, Princeton,"
and later,
"...Ron was transferred to the Naval Civil Affairs Staging Area in Monterey, California for further training,..."
Did Miller just muff this one? The special training at Princeton for select Navy Intelligence personnel was to groom them for unique duties in the Far East. The course at Monterey was the higher grade training. This was a course derived from the Army's "Civil Affairs and Military Government" experience in Italy. It was so important that this was the first and only time that the fabled Office of Strateigc Serices moved some of its choice operators from Europe to the Pacific. This placed the OSS and the Navy in the same work. Some rarity in itself. The end of WW II foreclosed the wartime activity of this speciality.

It should be noted that the "Civil Affairs and Military Government" curriculum gave birth to the famous U.S. Army "Green Berets" Special Forces of Vietnam, and more recently to the newer Low Intensity Conflict doctrine.

Any prescient writer ought to have recognized, at least with the benefit of hind-sight, the deep significance of Hubbard's assignment for that work at Princeton and Monterey...two facilities not noted for catering to the dregs of anyone's Navy.

It would be a pleasure to comment on other sections of this bit of writing. I know the military and I know Intelligence. So, I have written about that. I am not a Scientologist; yet I admire those with whom I have worked over the years. I wish I could dip into other aspects of the book with some authority. I reserve comment for one other amazing part of the book.

Hubbard submitted his resignation from the U.S. Navy Reserve, simply a paper matter, on May 27, 1950. The magazine Astounding Science Fiction of that month broke the news of Dianetics. The book "Dianetics" was published on May 9, 1950. Miller has a good time playing with all these dates and events. One might say he was making fun of them...important as they are.

What he avoids mentioining is the relevance of these dates to events that were taking place in the United Staets and among its allies. Thse were the days of Project BLUEBIRD and ARTICHOKE, the fore-runners of the infamous CIA project MKULTRA. These were the days when the concepts of "Mind Control" and "Brainwashing" were born. LRH was smart enough to get clear of that.

For example, there was an "Organization of the Special Defense Interrogation Program" dated Feb 10, 1961 nee earlier. Among its professional interests was something on Shock Technique. It says:

"Psychiatrists in many nations have used insulin and electric shock as methods of choice under certain circumstances in their psychiatric work. Electric shock is more rapid than any of the above techniques...etc."
A Project Artichoke memorandum of 25 January 1952 spells out more of the same:

"(1) Drugs.

It remains the dream of the interested agencies that a drug is imminently forthcoming that can be given a person orally without his knowledge that will result in his revealing anything the interested party would like to know,..."

"(3) Hypnosis.

There is no known hypnosis research being conducted for ARTICHOKE purposes in the US today, except what is being done by the members of the ARTICHOKE Team. There is evidence that unethical actions are definitely within the realm of hypnosis and it has been proven by the present team that a hypnotised person can be made to lie to the polygraph...etc.

"(4) It is known that there is expressed interest in electro-psycho-therapeutic techniques, psycho-surgery, supersonic radiations, and extra-sensory perception, but to the writers's knowledge there is little more than the interest, etc."

This goes on, ream after ream. In the inner sanctum of CIA and certain sectors of the military establishment this period of 1949 through 1955 was one of tremendous growth in the desire to push on the frontiers of this type of forbidden rseearch and experimentation on humans.

Hubbard was well aware of all of this research. He knew many of the principals involved in the "mind control" underground. I discovered a few years ago that L. Ron Hubbard had been awarded a special "Man of the Year" bronze plaque by the prestigious American Ordnance Association, this is the oldest and most exalted of the Munitions Group. Since I was with Headquarters, USAF at that time, I attended most of their annual meetings. I know that the only people chosen for such outstanding awards were those who had genuinely contributed to the "cause of Defense". Hubbard was singled out for that award. The bronze plaque hangs, today, on the walls of the Scientology Office one block from Capitol Hill in Wasington, DC.

OK, Mr. Brooke, and your hired hand Russelll Miller, fit that into the picture you have ordered to be drawn of this man. What kind of a job have you done? Has it been honorable?

I'm an old hand in this business of writing. My first text was published in 1949. When I crossed the Atlantic from London to Washington last February I was making an ocean crossing by air during a sixth consecutive decade of my life. One could say I have been around. I can see the hand of the "High Cabal"...the term--according to Lord Denning--so frequently used by Winston Churchill when recognizing his masters...in this work.

This may be so, and even if so, it is unwise. The concept may have some merit dating back to the halcyon days of Halybury College; but in terms of this "biography" it is flawed. May I suggest the terms under which this despicable book ought to be consigned to the trash heap?

I have learned from a fine, old-time former Editor of the New York Times, A.M.Rosenthal:

"Substitute your own name in a story for the person you are writing about and if you can say, Well I am going to get hurt but the facts are right and there is no innuendo or anonymous attack, your story is fair. If not, do it over."
Think that over. Is it fair? Is it honorable? Would you hire Russell Miller to do your own biography...under similar terms?

Very truly yours,

L. Fletcher Prouty

(Reproduced with author's permission)

Critic Clark Merrill responded to Milne's post (which response, unfortunately, I do not have), discrediting Fletch Prouty as an unreliable source and a "well known kook." To this, Milne replied as follows:

Subject: Re: UK MEDIA 1987: Review of Bare Faced Messiah
From: milne@crl.com (Andrew Milne)
Date: 1996/03/21
Message-Id: <4is9tu$cm6@crl8.crl.com>
Distribution: world
References: <DoIsD0.Eo2@uns.bris.ac.uk> <4in7j5$kb6@crl2.crl.com> <4ipem6$k7i@noao.edu>
Organization: CRL Dialup Internet Access (415) 705-6060 [Login: guest]
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology

Clark Merrill (merrill@stosc.stsci.edu) wrote:


: In article <4in7j5$kb6@crl2.crl.com>, milne@crl.com (Andrew Milne) writes:
: >Martin Poulter (plmlp@mail.bris.ac.uk) wrote:
: >: Sunday Times
: >: 15 Nov 87
: >: Books: Face to face with fanaticism /
: >: Review of 'Bare-Faced Messiah' by Russell Miller
: >
: >
: >:       By BEN HOOBERMAN
: >
: >:    BARE-FACED MESSIAH by Russell Miller/Michael Joseph Pounds 12.95 pp390
: >
: >
: >The following is a letter written to Miller's publishers in 1987,
: >showing the venality and falsity of Miller's book.
: >
: >
: I snipped the letter, the less I see of that man's writings the
: better.

: The Letter was written by Fletcher Prouty, in my opinion, a well
: known kook.  The following is from A FAQ on the Willis Carto & The
: Institute for Historical Review.  They are a bunch of racists who
: believe that the Holocaust never happened.

Whatever Prouty's views in that area ( and I suspect they are not at all what you have represented) his credentials in the field of intelligence are impeccable. A retired Air Force colonel, he worked closely with intelligence services for more than 30 years. He rose through the Defense Department chain of command to a point where all CIA military activities were channelled through him. Between 1955 and 1963, he served as chief of special operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and in a similar capacity with the Office of Special Operations of the Office of the Secretary of Defense and headed the Special Operations Office for the US Air Force. All of these position wer charged with the military support of the clandestine operatioins of the CIA.

It is with this background and experience that he evaluated Miller's book as incompetent, badly researched -- really not researched at all -- and worse of all, malicious.

Perhaps Milne should have checked into Prouty's credentials more carefully. Not only is he associated with the same hard-right groups Scientology has attempted to discredit, but "incompetent, badly researched -- really not researched at all" describes his own writing style accurately enough.

As an aside, I do recommend the alt.revisionism FAQ, which Merrill quoted in his post, and The Nizkor Archive as two good, well-researched and well-presented Internet resources on the Holocaust. Read them and let the authors know what you think.

The Amoral Cult

Created January 26, 1998 (Dead Ron Day) by Scott McClare. Revision A02 February 9, 1998

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