If you're going to base a religion on the writings of a science fiction writer
Given my recent post about what lunacy Scientology has led Tom Cruise into, I kept wondering why a religion based on the writings of a bad science fiction writer has become so popular. (And make no mistake about it, L. Ron Hubbard was an awful science fiction writer. I actually read Battlefield Earth--Lord knows why--and it barely reached the level of acceptable SF pulp. In a way, Norman Spinrad's The Iron Dream seems almost to have been written as a parody of this very novel.)
Now, via Yet Another Weird SF Fan, I discover that I'm not the only one who's pondered this. But, better than that, someone has decided to do something about it. Yes, Hog On Ice has proposed a different SF writer upon whose writings to base a religion: Philip K. Dick.
Indeed.Tom worships L. Ron Hubbard, a bad science fiction writer. Whether he realizes it or not. Why not have a religion that worships a GOOD science fiction writer? I'm thinking of Philip K. Dick. We'll kick their ass.
Although I like YAWSFF's other proposed prophets, Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein (although I've always been partial to Asimov over Heinlein myself), I had a couple of ideas myself. How about Alfred Bester? (OK, he probably wasn't prolific enough to provide an adequate quantity of writings upon which to base a religion, but he did write two of the best short novels in SF.) Another possibility: Arthur C. Clarke. His novel Childhood's End seems custom made to base a religion upon. Perhaps an even better possibility: Greg Bear. His Blood Music (very similar in theme to Childhood's End, just with a lot of modern molecular biology thrown in) and Darwin's Radio (plus its sequel Darwin's Children) seem sufficiently apocalyptic and the latter two propose the next stage of human evolution. Better yet, Bear isn't in his 80's, like Clarke. Perfect.
Any of these are orders of magnitude better SF writers than L. Ron Hubbard.
Of course, if we want a really obnoxious and cantankerous prophet who'll totally kick L. Ron's ass left, right, up and down, there's still always Harlan Ellison, isn't there?