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Posts Tagged ‘(L. Ron) Hubbard’

Scientology Plaintiff Recasts Hubbard, Miscavige as Bond Villains

Five years after FishbowlLA first wrote about it, the legal crusade by Florida-based litigant Peter Letterese against the Church of Scientology continues. When Letterese recently reached out to us once more, he used an analogy that – regardless of the merits of his various complaints – lingered.

“In numerous places within his own writing, L. Ron Hubbard openly wrote about being a big Ian Fleming fan,” Letterese explained via email. “Every bit as dangerous as the Nazis, who used tanks, guns and ships to “conquer,” Hubbard, who didn’t have the financial resources for all that, created his own SPECTRE.”

In other words, Letterese is drawing a line from real-life USSR organization SMERSH and Fleming’s book-inspired version SPECTRE (SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion) to the idea that Hubbard was the equivalent of Ernst Stavro Blofeld and David Miscavige, ostensibly, Ernst Blofeld Jr. The current leader of the Church of Scientology does not have a white Persian cat, but as Janet Reitman‘s 2011 book about the non-profit religion alleged, he has owned dogs that come pretty close:

Miscavige would arrive flanked by his wife and Lou Stuckenbrock, a retinue of aides and, often, his beagles. He had five dogs, two of which, Jelly and Safi, wore tiny blue sweaters with commander’s bars. Miscavige was known to make his staffers salute the dogs, who held ranks higher than those of many people on the base.

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Latest Church of Scientology PR Crisis Heats Up

As we reported earlier this week, Paul Haggis’ comments about the shocking Vanity Fair October cover story involving Tom Cruise, the Church of Scientology and an alleged 2004 audition process was met with an almost equally disturbing response from the church. The CoS pointed to Googled proof of a prior Haggis “relationship” with the woman at the center of Maureen Orth’s article, Nazanin Boniadi (pictured).

Today, there is more of what will be much more as the Vanity Fair October issue begins to circulate. Over at Tony Ortega’s Village Voice CoS blog, Haggis has chimed in with a few more thoughts. He clarifies that although his emails to Showbiz 411 columnist Roger Friedman were taken as confirmation of the VF report, “Like everyone else, I have not even read their story.”

But Haggis stands firm on the central point of his reaching out. Vouching for Boniadi’s character:

“I am simply coming to the defense of a woman who has been publicly called a liar… Perhaps it’s just me, but I have never found Scientology’s blanket denials equally credible… It is my understanding that Naz is the subject of this article, not the source of it. Scientology has a long and well-documented history of attempting to bully its critics into silence. Here they are bullying a woman who has yet to even speak. I guess I just don’t like bullies.”

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Village Voice Editor Shares Another Huge Scientology Scoop

Tony Ortega has done it again. Over the weekend, on his Scientology-focused blog Runnin’ Scared, the Village Voice editor-in-chief published a groundbreaking two-part interview with John Brousseau, a 32-year member who very methodically “blew” Hemet’s Int Base in 2010.

Ortega remains the church’s number one journalistic foe, tirelessly publishing scoop after scoop. But FishbowlLA figured that this latest Saturday-Sunday opus must rank pretty high on his list of feature articles. Via email, Ortega concurred.

“I think this is definitely one of my favorite four or five Scientology pieces I’ve ever done,” Ortega says. “And people are telling me it fills in some interesting gaps in the historical record, so that’s nice to hear.”

“I was talking to JB for more than a year,” he adds. “In February 2011, Larry Wright’s New Yorker piece described some of the work Brousseau had done for Tom Cruise, and then I actually put his photos of that work up (Marty Rathbun had already done that too). Then, over the last year JB helped me here and there with stuff and questions about people like Ann Tidman [link] and Shelly Miscavige [link].”

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Ex-Scientologist Sounds Out Church’s ‘Big Gay Problem’

Last week, LA author Skip Press delivered a fascinating three-part report about the Church of Scientology for The Morton Report, a blog created by British author and journalist Andrew Morton. No surprise there; as a former Scientologist (1973-1996), Press knows his subject as thoroughly as anyone.

The focus of Press’ must-read and refreshingly condensed three-part investigation is the Church’s seemingly conflicted dealings with gays and lesbians. In Part 1, Press recalls how a Church case supervisor made disparaging and confidentiality-breaching remarks about musician Jimmie Spheeris, brother of film director Penelope. He also revisits a disastrous auditing session involving Rock Hudson.

In Part 2, Press examines the departure of long-time Scientology advocate John McMaster. But it is in his final installment, published September 23, that Press veers into the most explosive aspect of his “Scientology’s Big Gay Problem” series—the idea that church founder L. Ron Hubbard had some early formative homosexual experiences.

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Scientology Defector Paul Haggis Tells All in Upcoming Book

Hollywood’s favorite cult isn’t going to be happy about this. Scientology‘s most famous defector, Oscar-winning screenwriter and director Paul Haggis, is breaking his silence in an upcoming book. The Heretic of Hollywood: Paul Haggis vs. The Church of Scientology is being written by the well-respected Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright, and according to his agency is, “The most profound reckoning to date with this powerful and secretive organization.”

Haggis publicly renounced the Church of Scientology in 2009, after thirty five years as a member, but has stayed largely mum on the subject since. Not for much longer. The book will serve as both a chronicle of Haggis’ personal experiences and an in-depth investigation of the cult — including the human rights abuses of its members, which the authors allege includes violence, conditions approaching enslavement, and forced abortions.

Full description of the book from the Wylie Agency catalog after the jump.
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Letterese Never Says Die re: Scientology and Cruise

cruise4.jpgPeter Letterese, who filed a $265 million lawsuit against the Church of Scientology and Tom Cruise, just won’t let the Scientols alone.

Now, he’s offering to reimburse (press release here) anyone as much as $100 million (out of his lawsuit settlement) who feels Scientology stole from them or even misled them.

“I have been thinking for some time…concerning thousands and thousands, perhaps millions of people who have stated that they severely regret having placed their trust in (L. Ron) Hubbard and Scientology only to have been…both lied to as well as defrauded by Scientology across the world over many decadeds,” Letterese railed.

The ex-Scientologist wants to make whatever earnings he may glean from the Church available to reimburse “lost savings or college funds, to rescue overstressed mortgages or help rectify any other financial crisis which their ‘investment’ in Scientology may have or contributed to.”

Nobody is quite convinced that Letterese will win in court, but if he does, it may be party central in Florida.

He includes his personal email in case you’re interested: endjudicialabuse@aol.com.