L. Ron Hubbard (the "L" stands for Lafayette"...no, REALLY) who died at the age of 74 in 1986 was a darned good writer of what used to be called "Pulp Fiction". If you've never read his story FEAR ( first published in 1940 and which provided the inspiration for Alice Cooper's album WELCOME TO MY NIGHTMARE) then you probably should. It's become fashionable to run him down lately but let us remember that this guy was one of the early greats of Science Fiction and Fantasy along with Heinlein, Asimov, Sturgeon, and THAT crowd. There's even a touch of Lovecraft in Hubbard's early work...indeed...one might say (without too much strain) that screen writer Michael De Luca fashioned his character "Sutter Cane" (IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS) as much on Hubbard's pre-Scientology career as he did on Lovecraft, Derleth, Clark Ashton Smith, Frank Belknap Long and the rest of the "Cthulhu Circle".
But then, one day, Hubbard had an idea for a great science fiction story about a "Modern Messiah" who founds a new religion (something along the lines that Heinlein would explore some eleven years later with the publication of his classic STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND) but, unlike Heinlein, Hubbard said to himself "Now, wait a minute...if i WRITE this I'll make a few hundred...maybe a few thousand out of it." (Remember, this was in 1950 when that was still fairly decent money).
"Why don't I LIVE it, instead?"
Which he did.
(He was helped to this decision by his earlier involvement with Jack Parsons of CalTech and the whole "Crowley" (remember, it rhymes with "Holy") Movement aka Thelema).
And so, DIANETICS (the Modern Science of Mental Health) was published the same month and year I was born (May, 1950) and the rest is, as they say, History.
His net worth (estimated in 1982) was $200,000,000
Which ain't a bad way for a pulp writer to finish up, now is it?