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(redirected from The Enemy Within)

Mission Earth - The Enemy Within

You mean you've actually made it to the third book in this series? I congratulate you for your stamina, because you're really going to be put to the test in your attempt to make it through all ten of the Mission Earth books – especially since most of them move at a glacially slow pace, such as you see in the The Enemy Within.

By now, we're aware of the general framework for the series: Soltan Gris is trying to stop Jettero Heller's mission to save the Earth; but because of Gris' greed and incompetence, Heller's plan stumbles forward regardless. So it is in the third book, as Heller recruits volunteers from a college campus (including a rejected nerd who happens to be a financial genius) and puts together the first steps in his plan. Unfortunately, the evil Rockecenter corporation is already aware of him, and they're out to destroy him using the most insidious and evil weapon in their arsenal: black PR. (The parallels between Soltan Gris, Lombarr Hisst, the Rockecenter Corporation, and the Church of Scientology are uncanny…especially with the idea that the best way to ruin a person utterly (ahem) is to smear his reputation through a baseless media campaign.) It's here that we are introduced to one of the sickest and most inane characters ever written in a fiction series, science fiction or otherwise: J. Walter Madison, the mad PR genius (also known as "J. Warbler Madman"). He's media-obsessed, he lives and breathes PR, and he's out to destroy Heller by making him a media star known as…ahem…"The Whiz Kid." We'll be seeing a lot more of Madison in the rest of this series, rest assured…

…and meanwhile, Gris proves himself to be a complete idiot, time and time again. The Enemy Within also introduces us to another despicable supporting character, the "concubine" named Utanc. "Utanc" is another blatant pun, an anagram for a certain part of the female anatomy…and "she" is another glaring example of L. Ron Hubbard's hatred of women (as if the near-rape scene at the end of Black Genesis didn't already show us that). But don't worry: if you're sick and tired of Gris by now, you'll enjoy the scene in which he proves what a paranoid, insane coward he is, by agreeing to undergo a surgical implantation of a chip in his head without any anesthesia or pain killers.

What's more, Hubbard's twisted views of psychiatry begin to make themselves clear here, as we see how the Rockecenter Corporation uses "psychiatry and psychology" to keep the population under control with mind control and torture. We'll be seeing much more of that as the series progresses, too.

We haven't even begun to get into the absurd, disgusting, and borderline-obscene depravities that this series has to show us…but if you can make it through The Enemy Within, then get ready. The perverted parts will be coming at us very soon now, beginning in the next book, An Alien Affair. (It's a good thing Hubbard never tried to make a career for himself as a writer of pornography – he would have been penniless and unknown if he did.)