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Thread: The Violent Man

  1. #1
    Crusader Mimsey Borogrove's Avatar
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    Default The Violent Man

    I have always loved A.E. van Vogt's books. When I was in high school I would skip lunch and take the lunch money my mom gave me and buy Si Fi pocket books. That's where the love affair with his writing began. Slan - the story of a man with great intelligence, and telepathic abilities delved into the fear people have of the more able, The Weapon Shops of Ishar - about a company selling guns with chips that were keyed to the emotions of the wielder, and wouldn't fire in anger, The war of the Rull, the world of Null-A, I read all I could get my hands on.

    I just finished reading The Violent Man published in 1962 by Pocket Books. I read a post on ESMB that said he modeled the hero on Hubbard. Van Vogt was an early Dianeticest and knew Hubbard well, from the accounts I read. Naturally, I had to get the book, though yellowed with age. It is set in post Korean war Red China, and the subject is brainwashing. Van Vogt has researched the book extensively - it goes into Marx, Lenin, Pavlov, Red Chinese communist propaganda, the prejudices of the Chinese at the time, the history of china's interaction with foreigners, communism in various other countries.

    The hero is a sociopath, though that word wasn't used in the book ( it was coined sometime in the 50's ) the protagonist, Seal Ruxton is a philanderer, convinced of his own rightness in all matters. The story opens as he is being transported to distant prison in the center of China for brain washing along with about 30 others from different countries.

    One of the key elements of the story is the authors belief that when you truly understand yourself, in this case through self reflection, and through interaction with Major Mai, the warden of his prison and the executer of the brain washing, himself a sociopath, and bent on converting Ruxton to communism no matter the cost, Ruxton is forced to confront his true self.

    He does have some secondaries as elements of the story, though not labeled as such. For those that don't know - a secondary is part of Dianetic theory - a moment of loss or threatened loss that has an adverse effect on a person when it gets revived subconsciously. He uses it to really good effect in the story.

    The book is well written, and if you plug Hubbard into the place of Ruxton, you get an insight Van Vogt had of the man. However, I think much of Hubbard's bravado was window dressing, here, Ruxton is the real deal. I can't see Hubbard withstanding what Ruxton goes through.

    It's a good read - give it a go.

    Mimsey

    https://www.amazon.com/Violent-Man-V.../dp/0671820044

    Last edited by Mimsey Borogrove; 6th July 2017 at 06:41 AM.

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  3. #2
    BT-free since 2003! EZ Linus's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Violent Man

    That is interesting. Thanks. I might read it and I'm not that into SciFi.

    It might not be super on-topic, but this story reminds me a little bit of the interview with Maria Pia -- the really long one with Stacey Brooks -- where she talks about how Hubbard straight up lifted the Xenu story from a specific SciFi story whereby she names the book and the author. Does anyone happen to know what book she is referring to?

  4. #3

    Default Re: The Violent Man

    Quote Originally Posted by Mimsey Borogrove View Post
    I have always loved A.E. van Vogt's books. When I was in high school I would skip lunch and take the lunch money my mom gave me and buy Si Fi pocket books. That's where the love affair with his writing began. Slan - the story of a man with great intelligence, and telepathic abilities delved into the fear people have of the more able, The Weapon Shops of Ishar - about a company selling guns with chips that were keyed to the emotions of the wielder, and wouldn't fire in anger, The war of the Rull, the world of Null-A, I read all I could get my hands on.

    I just finished reading The Violent Man published in 1962 by Pocket Books. I read a post on ESMB that said he modeled the hero on Hubbard. Van Vogt was an early Dianeticest and knew Hubbard well, from the accounts I read. Naturally, I had to get the book, though yellowed with age. It is set in post Korean war Red China, and the subject is brainwashing. Van Vogt has researched the book extensively - it goes into Marx, Lenin, Pavlov, Red Chinese communist propaganda, the prejudices of the Chinese at the time, the history of china's interaction with foreigners, communism in various other countries.

    The hero is a sociopath, though that word wasn't used in the book ( it was coined sometime in the 50's ) the protagonist, Seal Ruxton is a philanderer, convinced of his own rightness in all matters. The story opens as he is being transported to distant prison in the center of China for brain washing along with about 30 others from different countries.

    One of the key elements of the story is the authors belief that when you truly understand yourself, in this case through self reflection, and through interaction with Major Mai, the warden of his prison and the executer of the brain washing, himself a sociopath, and bent on converting Ruxton to communism no matter the cost, Ruxton is forced to confront his true self.

    He does have some secondaries as elements of the story, though not labeled as such. For those that don't know - a secondary is part of Dianetic theory - a moment of loss or threatened loss that has an adverse effect on a person when it gets revived subconsciously. He uses it to really good effect in the story.

    The book is well written, and if you plug Hubbard into the place of Ruxton, you get an insight Van Vogt had of the man. However, I think much of Hubbard's bravado was window dressing, here, Ruxton is the real deal. I can't see Hubbard withstanding what Ruxton goes through.

    It's a good read - give it a go.

    Mimsey

    https://www.amazon.com/Violent-Man-V.../dp/0671820044

    I've read all his books at least 3 times. This one I never heard of.

    Its also available for $1 on Abes Books. They don't ask for a mailing address it seems?

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    Patron with Honors Orglodyte 2's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Violent Man

    I've read almost all of Van Vogt. I'm struck over and over by how much Hubbard seems to have been influenced by him. Are Dianetics and Scientology attempts to make Van Vogt's vision of future humanity come true?

    Had a great laugh rereading World of Null-A when Gosseyn gets an appointment with a psychiatrist ... on Thursday at 2 PM!

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    Bitter defrocked apostate Freeminds's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Violent Man

    I've read virtually everything that A.E. van Vogt wrote. There is some good space opera, from what might be considered a second golden age of pulp sci-fi: I particularly liked Empire of the Atom and The Wizard of Linn, back in the day. I'm not sure there's much in this guy's catalogue there for the modern adult reader, though.

    His output featured some disjointed crap, produced as a result of van Vogt's writing practice of setting an alarm clock to wake him, and working into his story whatever he happened to be dreaming about... and there's the curious issue of the 'Bloodsucker Gryb' story of a man deliberately marooned on a moon with a companion who has brought him there to die... that's worked into two entirely different books even though it's the same event.

    I think van Vogt had a very cynical view of what his readers could be persuaded to buy - which may or may not be a consequence of his time as a Scientology victim. There are a few jewels among the shit, but let's face it, this wasn't really a genre expected to produce literature back in that era.

    If you want something with depth when reading sci-fi, you'd be reading Iain M Banks or Douglas Adams, I guess. Maybe a few others.
    You don't have to worry about squirrels
    unless you are a nut.

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    Crusader Mimsey Borogrove's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Violent Man

    Quote Originally Posted by Freeminds View Post
    I've read virtually everything that A.E. van Vogt wrote. There is some good space opera, from what might be considered a second golden age of pulp sci-fi: I particularly liked Empire of the Atom and The Wizard of Linn, back in the day. I'm not sure there's much in this guy's catalogue there for the modern adult reader, though.

    His output featured some disjointed crap, produced as a result of van Vogt's writing practice of setting an alarm clock to wake him, and working into his story whatever he happened to be dreaming about... and there's the curious issue of the 'Bloodsucker Gryb' story of a man deliberately marooned on a moon with a companion who has brought him there to die... that's worked into two entirely different books even though it's the same event.

    I think van Vogt had a very cynical view of what his readers could be persuaded to buy - which may or may not be a consequence of his time as a Scientology victim. There are a few jewels among the shit, but let's face it, this wasn't really a genre expected to produce literature back in that era.

    If you want something with depth when reading sci-fi, you'd be reading Iain M Banks or Douglas Adams, I guess. Maybe a few others.
    I never much liked Doug Adams. Walter Jon Williams, Theodore Sturgen, Bradbury, Joan Vinge, Andre Norton, Frank Herbert to name a few are more to my liking.
    Mimsey

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    Oh, a wise guy,eh? F.Bullbait's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Violent Man

    I used to read science fiction by the yard. I had bookshelves of the the stuff. I quit reading the genre about 30 years ago, maybe.

    My only recent exposure to science fiction would be LRH lectures.







    "Go to heaven for the climate and hell for the company." –Mark Twain

    "Religion and theology must not be confounded. Religion is not doctrine, but a new birth." - R. Falckenberg History of Modern Philosophy (on German mysticism).

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    Crusader Mimsey Borogrove's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Violent Man

    Quote Originally Posted by F.Bullbait View Post
    I used to read science fiction by the yard. I had bookshelves of the the stuff. I quit reading the genre about 30 years ago, maybe.

    My only recent exposure to science fiction would be LRH lectures.

    Yeah, I "went flat" on si fi myself. Then I began listening to classics, grisham, steven king, english stuff like jane eyre. The dune series were great, but the one written after he passed away were bland.
    I liked Lawerence Wright's Al quida stuff, Lianne Moriarty's
    Little Big Lies etc.
    Mimsey
    Last edited by Mimsey Borogrove; 7th July 2017 at 09:18 PM.

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    Gold Meritorious Patron phenomanon's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Violent Man

    Quote Originally Posted by Mimsey Borogrove View Post
    I never much liked Doug Adams. Walter Jon Williams, Theodore Sturgen, Bradbury, Joan Vinge, Andre Norton, Frank Herbert to name a few are more to my liking.
    Mimsey

    Van was active in the Bay Area for a long time. He ran a practice in Sausalito he advertised as "emeter clearing center".
    That was @1966-7.
    Then, of course, he was President of CADA for many years. I knew Van for years.
    AFAICR, Van never embraced Scientology, but rather remained a Dianetic practitioner.

    phen
    phenomanon

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