Would I have some grounds to call former 1950's Science Fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard possibly a "story book writer"? I don't know, it is possible ...
... many witnesses have reported Hubbard making statements in their presence that starting a religion would be a good way to make money. These statements have led many to believe that Hubbard hid his true intentions and was motivated solely by potential financial rewards.
Editor Sam Merwin, for example, recalled a meeting: "I always knew he was exceedingly anxious to hit big money—he used to say he thought the best way to do it would be to start a cult." (December 1946) Writer and publisher Lloyd Arthur Eshbach reported Hubbard saying "I'd like to start a religion. That's where the money is." Writer Theodore Sturgeon reported that Hubbard made a similar statement at the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society. Likewise, writer Sam Moskowitz reported in an affidavit that during an Eastern Science Fiction Association meeting on November 11, 1948, Hubbard had said "You don't get rich writing science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion." Milton A. Rothman also reported to his son Tony Rothman that he heard Hubbard make exactly that claim at a science fiction convention. In 1998, an A&E documentary titled "Inside Scientology" shows Lyle Stuart reporting that Hubbard stated repeatedly that to make money, "you start a religion."
According to The Visual Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, ed. Brian Ash, Harmony Books, 1977:
" . . .[Hubbard] began making statements to the effect that any writer who really wished to make money should stop writing and develop [a] religion, or devise a new psychiatric method. Harlan Ellison's version (Time Out, UK, No 332) is that Hubbard is reputed to have told [John W.] Campbell, "I'm going to invent a religion that's going to make me a fortune. I'm tired of writing for a penny a word." Sam Moskowitz, a chronicler of science fiction, has reported that he himself heard Hubbard make a similar statement, but there is no first-hand evidence."
However, who knows if that is the truth and, if someone finds merit in the man's teachings, it does not matter I suppose. (I am not saying, by the way, that any of the story writers in Buddhism were "out to make a buck", although we have had such types too. However, they may have had their own reasons for writing embellished tales ... or the embellished tales may, if fact, be true and not embellished at all).
L. Ron's teachings may be true and not embellished at all ... who am I to say? L. Ron Hubbard taught that "Xemu, was ... the dictator of the "Galactic Confederacy" who 75 million years ago, brought billions of his people to Earth in a DC-8-like spacecraft, stacked them around volcanoes and killed them using hydrogen bombs. Official Scientology dogma holds that the essences of these many people remained, and that they form around people in modern times, causing them spiritual harm
Almost any religion seeks to explain away its more "hard to understand" beliefs ... The most fantastic stories of the New and Old Testaments can all be explained then as merely "cover" for the higher meanings they represent. Even the Scientologists, to be fair, also appear to explain their own beliefs in similar terms, which we must likewise respect and not criticize ... I very much appreciate this interpretation of L. Ron Hubbard's wilder teachings by some folks in Scientology ...Authors Michael McDowell and Nathan Robert Brown discuss misconceptions about the Xenu text in their book World Religions at Your Fingertips, and observe, "Probably the most controversial, misunderstood, and frequently misrepresented part of the Scientology religion has to do with a Scientology myth commonly referred to as the Legend of Xenu. While this story has now been undoubtedly proven a part of the religion (despite the fact that church representatives often deny its existence), the story's true role in Scientology is often misrepresented by its critics as proof that they 'believe in alien parasites.' While the story may indeed seem odd, this is simply not the case." The authors write that "The story is actually meant to be a working myth, illustrating the Scientology belief that humans were at one time spiritual beings, existing on infinite levels of intergalactic and interdimensional realities. At some point, the beings that we once were became trapped in physical reality (where we remain to this day). This is supposed to be the underlying message of the Xenu story, not that humans are "possessed by aliens". McDowell and Brown conclude that these inappropriate misconceptions about the Xenu text have had a negative impact, "Such harsh statements are the reason many Scientologists now become passionately offended at even the mention of Xenu by nonmembers."
If ya look at it that way, it almost makes sense ... and is just expedient means to heal and help others.
Again, and to be clear, I am in no way criticizing ... and only celebrating ... the right and freedom of anyone to find the path calling to them, be it Buddhist, Christian, Jew or Muslim, Atheist or Scientologist ... whether it be the Shurangama Sutra
or Hubbard's Dianetics/Battlefield Earth
Priest/Teacher at Treeleaf Zendo, a Soto Zen Sangha. Treeleaf Zendo was designed as an online practice place for Zen practitioners who cannot easily commute to a Zen Center due to health concerns, living in remote areas, or work, childcare and family needs, and seeks to provide Zazen sittings, retreats, discussion, interaction with a teacher, and all other activities of a Zen Buddhist Sangha, all fully online. The focus is Shikantaza "Just Sitting" Zazen as instructed by the 13th Century Japanese Master, Eihei Dogen. http://www.treeleaf.org