When asked his favorite novel in an interview shown yesterday on the Fox News Channel, Mitt Romney pointed to “Battlefield Earth,” a novel by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology. That book was turned into a film by John Travolta, a Scientologist.
There’s a little family history behind this connection. My grandfather, Chet Warrington (right) was a major figure in Washington, DC aviation during the 1930’s. He was evidently a big talker, too: Ernie Pyle, who later became famous as a correspondent in World War II, declared that those who met to talk about aviation at Washington-Hoover Airport were the “Bologna Club” and that “Chet Warrington is chairman of the board of the Bologna Club…The club’s insignia is a bologna sausage, equipped with wings.”
Lafayette Ron Hubbard, who went on to found Scientology and write Battlefield Earth, was also a reporter covering the Washington aviation scene, and did an article about my grandfather for the October 1933 issue of Sportsman Pilot. I spend some time discussing the relationship between the two here, but it struck me that, given his subsequent career, Hubbard himself assumed the chairmanship of the Bologna Club.
Now Mitt Romney is taking up the torch…or the sausage. Either way, it’s à propos.