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HUBBARD'S BOOK

By JOAN HANAUER, United Press International

If science fiction writer and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard is dead or mentally incompetent, as his estranged son claims, what about Hubbard's current best-seller, 'Battlefield Earth'? Calls to Hubbard's book agent, Ned Leavitt of the William Morris Agency in New York, were routed to his assistant, Don Strone, who said Leavitt had been in touch with Hubbard's Scientology associates, but 'has never met or talked with Mr. Hubbard.' Asked if Hubbard's book were a new work, or perhaps an earlier, unpublished manuscript, Strone said, 'We understand it to be consistent with the writing he's done in the past.

The fact is, we've only been in touch with his people.' Strone said the agency has another Hubbard manuscript, tentatively titled 'Mission Earth,' under consideration at a publishing house.

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