|Letter: L. Sprague de Camp to Isaac Asimov re Hubbard, 1946|
|The Old Man's Case Book|
Subject: What L. Sprague de Camp wrote to Isaac Asimov in 1946 about Hubbard
Date: Sat, 19 May 2007 00:15:24 -0400
I've just picked up a copy of Strange Angel, The Otherworldly Life of Rocket
Scientist John Whiteside Parsons, by George Pendle. Hahahaha!
p.271, Chapter 11, Rock Bottom:
Parsons' pursuit of Hubbard had been closely followed by Hubbard's fellow
science fiction writers. For L. Sprague de Camp, a Caltech graduate in
aeronautical engineering and now one of the most popular science fiction and
fantasy writers of the day, the events confirmed his already low opinion of
Hubbard. In a letter to Isaac Asimov, he wrote:
The more complete story of Hubbard is that he is now in Fla. living on his
yacht with a man-eating tigress named Betty-alias-Sarah, another of the same
kind ... He will probably soon thereafter arrive in these parts with
Betty-Sarah, broke, working the poor-wounded-veteran racket for all its
worth, and looking for another easy mark. Don't say you haven't been warned.
Bob [Robert Heinlein] thinks Ron went to pieces morally as a result of the
war. I think that's fertilizer, that he always was that way, but when he
wanted to conciliate or get something from somebody he could put on a good
charm act. What the war did was to wear him down to where he no longer
bothers with the act.
(L. Sprague de Camp, letter to Isaac Asimov, 27 August 1946.)
L. Sprague de Camp later wrote the critical "El-Ron and the City of Brass"
about Hubbard, Dianetics and Scientology, August 1975.
According to rumour (which I hope to pin down), L. Sprague de Camp was
afterwards shuddered into silence on the topic by the usual methods.
Hubbard wouldn't want anyone who knew him back then telling it the way it
was, rather than Hubbard's pack of lies that the Guardians Office was
There's plenty more in the book, but that one dead-accurate prediction made
Ron of that ilk.
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