A Role Made for Brando

It is rare, despite all the coverage that the Church of Scientology continues to generate, to actually get a good anecdotal picture of the religion’s late founder L. Ron Hubbard. But thanks to a fascinating interview article of Church pariah Gerry Armstrong in the Canadian magazine Maisonneuve, one thing quickly becomes clear: had Marlon Brando, late in his career, found his way to a biopic of the man fondly referred to by followers as “LRH,” the results could have been dynamite. “He [Hubbard] was bigger than I thought, a very big man,” former Scientologist and one-time would-be LRH biographer Armstrong tells the magazine in recalling his first encounters with the red-haired giant aboard the good ship Apollo. “Very bulky with huge forearms and deep voice… “ “He surrounded himself with young girls, they were the messengers,” he continues. “Wherever he went he had this group of young girls with him, to carry his ashtray for him. He chain-smoked non-filtered Kools, never stopped.