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It's interesting to look at the reviews of the ''Mission Earth'' books over at Amazon.com. Notice how the number of glowing five-star reviews of the Mission Earth books drops drastically after the first book? This series is so mind-numbingly, stupefyingly boring that even Scientologists can't get through it. Of course, most of them aren't even reading the book reviews on amazon.com – they've been ordered to post glowing reviews of Hubbard's books there, in the hope that you'll be interested enough to fall for the bait.
By now, nearly halfway through the series, you'd think we could make some kind of profound statement about Hubbard's story. He's hoping for comparisons to Voltaire (note the resemblance to the name "Voltar"), Huxley, or Swift. But unfortunately for Hubbard, his satire is far too blatant and obvious: by now, the theme of the series has been spelled out (Earth is under control by evil psychiatric demons), and the story is beating us over the head with it, again and again and again. Furthermore, Hubbard's non-fiction writings of the previous thirty years had all given the exact same message: that the world is controlled by a massive psychiatric conspiracy, and only Scientology (and its founder Hubbard) can free the human race from its monstrous masters. The Mission Earth books, then, are Hubbard's attempt to sum his entire "philosophy" up and package them in a way that would appeal to a wider audience. But unlike Swift's biting social commentary, Hubbard's satire promotes a world view that exists only within Scientology. When I first read these books in the 1990s, I got the message that Hubbard was trying to show us that the world is sick and needs to be saved; but by the time I finally finished the books, I was exhausted by his repeated shouting of this message into my head, time and time again.
Interestingly, one scene in An Alien Affair demonstrates to us that Jettero Heller isn't as warm-hearted and kind as we're supposed to think he is. The Narcotici mob (good grief) has made several attempts to murder him by this point. In the process of one attempt here, Heller traps ten mob hit men in a warehouse, blocks the door with a Mack truck, and floods the warehouse with exhaust fumes from the truck, suffocating all ten of them to death. At this point, Gris tallies all of the people who have died so far as Heller's mission has proceeded (not counting the ones murdered by Gris himself, of course). As Gris points out here, "He was dangerous!" (In the next book, Fortune of Fear, we get a look at the Countess Krak and see that she can be as cold and ruthless as Heller – as if the couple were made for each other.) These actions dim the reader's enthusiasm and make it harder to root for Heller, though he is still unalterably cast as the "good guy" in this series.
Furthermore, it's in this book that Hubbard begins exploration of the disgusting, perverted sexual depravities invented by Earth's cruel corporate overlords and used to keep the population under control. Not only is this demonstrated in the character of Utanc the concubine; it's further elaborated by one plot development, in which the "cellologist" Prahd Bittlestiffender (the second one in this series, after the laughably insane Dr. Crobe was introduced in the first book) enlarges Gris' manhood to a size that competes with most porn stars. ("Ummm…"Bittlestiffender?" "Stiff end?" Really?) Once this change is made, Gris becomes a lustful, drooling maniac who seeks to have sex with every female in the series…and, what's more, most of the women agree to it. In the world of Mission Earth, women are insatiable sex maniacs who'll "[bleep]" any man with a decent set of equipment…and this happens in abundance in the remaining six books. (Hubbard's idea of rock and roll music as a tool to spread sexual deviancy will make you roll your eyes in disbelief.) The second aftereffect of Gris' sudden malehood enhancement won't be revealed here so as not to spoil it for the reader. It has to do with where the cellologist got the "genetic material" from in order to grow Gris' ghastly groin google to such Brobdingnagian proportions.
Actually, An Alien Affair is one of the better books of a truly awful series. Why is this book better? Because Hubbard spices up the story by sticking the main character, Soltan Gris, into a disgustingly twisted sexual affair with two lesbian man-hating women! See Hubbard's drooling descriptions of what he thinks lesbian sex is like (complete with BDSM scenes involving tobasco sauce)…and if you can stick with it, wait until the next book, in which Soltan Gris cures these women of their lesbianism by raping them!
Wow, this SATIRE is just so FUNNY!