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--headless is not strictly mandatory, but you want it.
Without it, the document is still converted (it says "converted /.../ .txt using text" on stdout) but an empty GUI is also started (and the command doesn't exit until you close the GUI).

More importantly, headless conversion silently does nothing if any LO is already open; see http://ask.libreoffice.org/en/question/1686 for a solution.

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corrected stdout message

--headless is not strictly mandatory, but you want it.
Without it, the document is still converted (it says "converted /.../ .txt (note "convert /.../filename.doc -> /.../filename.txt using text" message on stdout) but an empty GUI is also started (and the command doesn't exit blocks until you close the GUI).

More importantly, headless conversion silently does nothing if any LO is already open; see http://ask.libreoffice.org/en/question/1686 for a solution.