Worshiping Idols, “The Green God”, a Pulp Fiction Classic

Primitive man was fearful of all manifestations of power and he worshiped the natural phenomenon he could not comprehend. The powerful natural forces, such as storms, volcanoes, fire, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, landslides, extreme heat, and cold, created a tremendous impression upon the minds of man. Inexplicable things that happen in life are termed, even today as “acts of God!”

Ancient man, feeling insignificant compared to the immenseness of the earth and sky, needed to believe in something greater than himself – his belief in a deity. Nowhere was this more evident than mans interest in the night sky. It was filled to capacity with billions of stars, the sun and the moon – a representation of the almighty!

Early nomadic man worshiped the stars but as man moved to enclosed habitats so began his indoor ceremonies. Indoor ceremonies were then provided with wooden or stone idols as a representation or symbol of the chosen god who they believed protected them.

Depending upon geography, tribes and clans worshiped different gods. The mighty Mayan culture worshiped the sun god. Archeologists have recovered beautiful and sometimes terrifying, intricately carved stone idols. In parts of Africa the serpent was revered with awe and deference. The Hindu is famous for their exquisitely carved multitude of deities in white or black marble. Easter Island has its monolithic stone carvings that draw tourists annually and Asia has its share of idols in the form of jade birds and beasts. It was (and still is in some cases) believed to ward off evil influences and provide safety and security to those who own or wear them.

And so it was the perfect backdrop for the master story teller, L. Ron Hubbard who wrote “The Green God” which was published in 1934 in Thrilling Adventure magazine. This classic from the Golden Age of Pulp Fiction introduces the character Lieutenant Mahone of Naval Intelligence in a harrowing tale in his quest to recover the Green God, a stolen sacred idol. The Chinese city of Tientsin is under siege with half its quarters up in flames. As the dead pile up it is abundantly clear that the mass looting and murders will continue unless the sacred idol is returned to its rightful place in the temple. Mahone is convinced the idol is buried with the fallen General Tao Lo. His quest to restore order by returning the idol become far more deadly than he anticipated when Chinese officers want nothing more than to have him join the General eight feet under.

Hubbard, who began his writing career in the 1930s, was a well traveled man who adventured more than most and could draw upon his many experiences to churn out at an incredible pace, stories like “The Green God.”

Galaxy Press Publishing has reproduced Hubbard’s work as an exciting collection of audio books on CD, available through their website. Over 80 actors have worked on this project and as well as multi-cast, unabridged audio books, they feature 153 stories written by L. Ron Hubbard in the 1930s and 1940s in any of the several popular genres of the day – mystery, thriller, adventure, science fiction, fantasy and western.

With the resurgence of interest in the pulp fiction stories, connoisseurs of the pulp era now have access to classic stories like “The Green God.”