Back in the 80’s, Author Services Inc was created as L. Ron Hubbard’s “Literary Agency.” The actual function of ASI, then headed by David Miscavige as “Chairman of the Board”, Norman Starkey as “Trustee of L. Ron Hubbard’s Estate” and Terri Gamboa as Executive Director, was twofold.
- To shield Hubbard from legal liability that flowed through association with the church. This gave him a control vehicle that was a profit-making, non-church entity, but through the command structure of the Sea Org, was able to direct scientology without overt evidence of doing so. A lot could be said about this, but this post is focusing on the second function.
- Making money for Hubbard.
Author Services was not going to generate enough income for Hubbard simply from his collecting royalties on his book sales each week. Despite everything claimed about the tens of millions of books sold, the vast majority of those consist of Way to Happiness booklets. ASI had to get creative. They were the instigators of getting Dianetics into public bookstores and the massive Dianetics campaigns. They sold Hubbard’s “film scripts” and “treatments” to scientology for millions. They forced all orgs to order enormous numbers of books to be “fully stocked” with basements full of books they would never sell. Royalties were paid to ASI because the ORGS were forced to buy them from Bridge and New Era publications, even though they sat unsold in storage until they were pulped when “new editions” came out and they were forced to buy “minimum stocks” all over again.
And they created an artificial market in “L. Ron Hubbard collectibles.”
These included “special limited leatherbound editions” of Hubbard fiction and non-fiction books that sold for hundreds or thousands of dollars each. They sold special “L. Ron Hubbard signed editions” — that were not actually signed by Hubbard for thousand or tens of thousands, and they sold “Limited edition art prints” (almost exclusively for his fiction books) for ridiculous sums.
People who paid for these things were told it was for a great cause. The whales were given special briefings on how their money was being used to “preserve the tech for eternity” and that they were “investing in the future” as the value of these prints would continue to increase as they were all “limited editions” (though the number of limited editions continued to grow until there were dozens and dozens of them).
These days, there are thousands of these useless “limited edition” books and art prints floating around, most gathering dust in people’s garages buried under their old cassette binders of Briefing Course lectures and Mark VII E-Meters, CCHR propaganda videos and unopened editions of Source, Advance and Impact magazines. So, I was surprised to see Author Services (now going by the name of Galaxy Press) hawking the same old “limited edition Frazetta prints.” They must really be desperate.
If you look on their website, they sell these framed prints for $1,049. (A far cry from what they sold them for in years gone by).
Just for shits and giggles, I searched Frazetta prints on EBay. This popped up immediately.
Author Services never recovered to it’s former glory after the Battlefield Earth movie dumpster fire. They seems to hang around as a vehicle to try to keep Hubbard’s fiction works alive in some fashion. But the glory days of ASI sitting at the pinnacle of the scientology empire are long gone.