‘I was There…’ Harlan Ellison Witnesses the Birth of Scientology

James Underdown

In 2014, I had a long phone conversation with Harlan Ellison, during which I took many notes. I had sent him a letter asking if he’d appear in (or at least consult on) a music video that my band, The Heathens, was considering shooting. Craig Else and I had written a song about L. Ron Hubbard and thought it would be fun to have Ellison be a part of it somehow.

Ellison was not interested in being a part of the video, because he had concerns for himself and his wife that there might be retribution from the Church of Scientology (CoS) and because he preferred to leave the criticisms of the church and its leadership to others.

During the conversation, however, he set the record straight about the night he personally witnessed a seed being planted that would eventually grow into the CoS.

This article is available to subscribers only.
Subscribe now or log in to read this article.