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Posts Tagged ‘Marty Rathbun’

Tony Ortega Gifts Gawker with Ex-Scientologists Rap Song

The latest Church of Scientology scoop fomented by former Village Voice editor-in-chief Tony Ortega is a Thetan level doozy. One that will be reverberating across MSM outlets for days.

The video itself is posted exclusively on Gawker together with a story by John Cook. It showcases a work-in-progress rap song recording laid down by a group of big-name former Church members. Led by Nazanin Boniadi (pictured), the British-Iranian actress at the center of a recent Vanity Fair cover story claiming she was hand-picked by the Church to be Tom Cruise’s girlfriend. One of Boniadi’s lyrics goes like this – ‘It’s a blind alley, like Kirstie Alley.’

In both the Gawker item and on Ortega’s blog, the critical role played by the tireless CoS watchdog reporter in helping flush out this material is explained:

In November, I was in Los Angeles and was hanging out with a British television crew that is making an hour-long documentary about Scientology for Channel 4 that will air in March. I told them about the song, and they were anxious to see if we could get [Tiziano] Lugli to play it for us. We met him at his Hollywood Hills home, and he took us into the studio.

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Tom Cruise Publicist: He Never Forced His Religion on Katie Holmes

As part of their evaluation of how fallout from the scandalous Vanity Fair October cover story might affect the way Tom Cruise promotes his next movie (Jack Reacher), THR reporters Daniel Miller and Kim Masters share a couple of interesting official denials of the magazine’s Nazanin Boniadi claims.

The first comes from attorney Bert Fields, who says that if someone were foolish enough to believe Maureen Orth’s article, “even she [the reporter] doesn’t claim that Tom knew what she claims the church was doing.” The other is delivered by Cruise’s 42West publicist Amanda Lundberg (pictured). She says the VF piece was nothing but “lies designed to sell magazines” and then adds this bucket of cold water:

Lundberg denies that Cruise ever forced his religion on Holmes. “He has a right to believe what he wants to believe,” says Lundberg. “Do I think fans care about it? No. Do I think he owes anybody an explanation? No. He has a job to do, and he does it better than anybody. He has nothing to apologize for.”

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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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Inside Edition Reports on ‘David Miscavige’s Personal Gulag’

Will the quick divorce settlement reached between high-powered attorneys for Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes put an end to the epic bad press run shrouding the Church of Scientology? Only time will tell.

For now, it remains a full-fledged PR nightmare. Per ex-Scientologist Marty Rathbun’s latest blog post, Inside Edition yesterday ran a Jim Moret report during which L. Ron Hubbard’s former personal chef Sinar Parmen said he was forcibly prevented three different times from leaving the church’s sprawling Gold Base compound in San Jacinto. He also vouched for the existence of a prison-like portion on the grounds know as “The Hole:”

In the same post, Rathbun also links to an ABC 7 profile by Marc Brown of a Southern California couple’s experiences with the church and August 2006 escape by Tanja Castle from the Hemet/San Jacinto HQ.

Marty Rathbun: The Go-to Guy for Cruise-Holmes Scientology Elucidation

This morning, there are already two new interviews with high-profile ex-Scientologist Marty Rathbun about the Cruise-Holmes divorce.

Village Voice editor-in-chief Tony Ortega, the single biggest media thorn in the side of the Church of Scientology, chats with Rathbun about the latter’s experiences handling the Nicole Kidman split while at the Church a decade ago as well as Rathbun’s general thoughts on how Cruise should handle this third instance. Meanwhile, Radar Online assistant managing editor Jen Heger talks to Rathbun about some clandestine intel gathering about the church that he says has been going on at the Holmes family end for at least four years.

This holiday week, expect more fireworks as the church battles its biggest PR crisis yet, framed by a now-infamous Rupert Murdoch tweet. Many new readers are hitting the blogs of Rathbun and Ortega – hard. Over the weekend, Rathbun posted a devastating primer, highlighting ten key prior pieces of coverage about Cruise, church leader David Miscavige and the slave labor reportedly caught in the middle of their rekindled bond.

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Renegade Scientologist Turns Down the National Enquirer

Guy Adams, LA-based correspondent for UK’s The Independent, recently traveled to Texas to interview Marty Rathbun. The resulting article made it clear why this former high-ranking (and now self-proclaimed “independent”) Scientologist has become such a thorn in the side of the Church since publicly resurfacing in 2009:

His blog, Moving on Up a Little Higher, gets around 10,000 hits a day. It has been visited a total of six million times, is credited with encouraging scores of former Scientologists to quit, and has broken a string of sensational news stories about the Church, including film director Paul Haggis‘ resignation, in 2010, and January’s decision by Debbie Cook, a senior member of Church clergy, to quit in protest at what she called its “extreme” fundraising. Almost every former Scientologist I have spoken with checks it daily.

True to form, Rathbun has shared another dramatic post today. He reveals a recent email exchange with Belinda Robinson, a reporter for the National Enquirer, during which he was offered $20,000 to spill his Tom Cruise auditing-session secrets. Rathbun had zero interest in the payola journalism pitch, but he does use it as an opportunity to link to some older pieces and warn the actor:

As the recent email cycle between a National Enquirer “journalist” and myself clearly demonstrates, you have nothing to fear from me or the independent Scientologist community. As a matter of well-demonstrated fact, we have your back. As the referenced posts above clearly demonstrate you have every reason to continue to distance yourself from [David] Miscavige (any perceived “leadership” abilities notwithstanding) and corporate Scientology…

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