I feel really guilty saying this, but I find L. Ron so absolutely unattractive at times that he's almost repulsive. I mean come on - Jesus is handsome, and Buddha has that cute little stomach. With all those movies and pictures they were taking at the time, if they knew they were going to base their entire religion around him, couldn't someone have told LRH to lay off the carbs for a week or two and then get his "good side" in better lighting? I guess L. Ron had an inner charm that you can't capture on film, but it's strange to see pictures of the different missions where they keep busts of LRH. I keep thinking, couldn't the artist have cheated A LITTLE?
Is talking about another person's looks and mocking them by any means possible as deep as this conversation goes? 7+ billion people on earth, there are allot who look like L Ron Hubbard. Not everyone looks like George Clooney. I would love to meet this guy, he really dedicated himself to his passion, learning about people. His study and conclusions might not amount to a hill of beans but he tried to do something. He could have gone out and bought a hundred McDonalds franchises or many other ways that would have made him $ and made him the big boss. Instead he endeavoured to do what he did. How do people who never met him know so much about him and casually talk about him? Is it this TMZ culture we live in now where people feel that every living human being is fair game? Also, I am using the "fair game" term in the most common usage of the word not in the sense it has been associated with the cos.
Turtlez, I get your point here, and I actually hesitated a little before I posted what I did. Perhaps it is petty to comment on LRH's looks, when we should really stick to his ideas and concepts. At the same time, what really pisses me off about the guy is that he is so self-mythologized, to the point of being delusional, that one feels the desire to "take him down a peg", and I've felt that way about good-looking narcissists. Clearly, the guy didn't need defending as far as his self-esteem was concerned, in the original Sea Org, he had young teen-age girls waiting on him hand and foot like groupies, like he was some kind of rock star. (If you look at some of these photographs, they invite derision - they aren't just images of a writer, like pictures of Stephen King, or something, they are meant to be worshipped, deified. Michael Jackson took some of the same types of photos in the 80's and 90's when he was mythologizing himself after Thriller and they were just as ludicrous.)
LRH had people whose job on the base was to make sure his cigarette was continuously lit - one woman was famously sent to the RPF because she didn't get a chair for him in time when he wanted to sit down. (These stories are documented by witnesses). The teenage girls in the Sea Org would wake people up in the middle of night because L. Ron wanted to know something from someone at 3;00 am, and so he would send these young women to find out whatever he wanted - they would enter the guests room and whisper until the person was awake. Many of his assistants even begin to match his vocal inflections to try and sound like him. He certainly didn't seem to give a crap about some of his kids, and even declared his son an SP for defying him. Another son, possibly gay, committed suicide.
I am disgusted by L. Ron's narcissism, to be honest. There are two different kinds of narcissism - one is related to the body - the kind of a guy who stares at his own abs all day, and the other kind is intellectual, the kind of guy who thinks everything he says is so important that people should record his every word. (I think COB has some of both.) Tearing LRH down physically may be a cheap shot, but I have to admit, it's fun - like people who try to humiliate or denigrate Hitler - it may be a lame attempt to try and tarnish his legacy - but I think it can be empowering, too, especially in an organization that is so fanatically devoted to its leader that they have offices waiting for him all over the world for when he's ready to come back, including a mansion worth millions where his clothes are laid out each day for when he returns. Meanwhile people on the Int base RPF are sleep deprived, underpaid and malnourished for their "crimes".
I feel LRH encouraged this kind of worship, and I don't feel the same way about Eleanor Roosevelt, for example, who some have said wasn't very attractive, but I feel is actually beautiful, because of the generosity of her spirit. There is an ugliness to L. Ron that you can't cover up with a benign photo shoot, or a few shots of him at work in front of his typewriter or lecturing to the group. This man came up with the idea to throw people, in some cases, arms and legs tied, overboard, to "purge" them on their sins, including older women. Add to that, the concept of Fair Game, the racist things I've heard him say on recorded tape, his attacks on psychiatry which prevents the people who need it most (those who came in contact with him or his ideas) to get the help they need, the cruelty of disconnection, and the original RPF, where people were forced to sleep and eat slop on the floor or out of buckets, run around everywhere in filthy clothing and face humiliation in front of their peers, in some cases because they made a mistake in an auditing session. And that's just the *&^&* we know about.
So yes, while it may bring out the fifth-grader in me to joke about his looks and draw verbal mustaches on his pictures, I won't apologize for how I feel about him. He was an ugly bastard, inside and out.