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Posts Tagged ‘Skip Press’

Reporter Rummages Through Church of Scientology Celebrity PR Artifact

The biggest thorn in the media side of the Church of Scientology remains Village Voice editor-in-chief Tony Ortega. Every other day, or so it seems, he is sharing another arcane or shocking aspect of the religion’s operations.

This morning, Ortega passes on a document sent in from a reader. The five-page, June 1977 “Executive Directive” is now long-outdated, but this “Celebrity Media Handling Checksheet” still provides a fascinating window into the disco era mindset of the organization. Per Ortega:

About 50 individual steps. Involving the writing of essays, summarizing of books, using specific words in sentences. And the steps must be done, the document says, in sequence. No exceptions. One of the steps has the celebrity solving a PR problem by modeling it in clay. Hey, Tom? Tom Cruise? Um, did you learn how to talk to reporters by first modeling it in clay?

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Scientology Watcher Wonders: What’s Up in Commerce?

The Morton Report contributor Skip Press has another intriguing entry today about the Church of Scientology. Although he does not (by his own admission) have the resources to connect all the dots, he gets the ball rolling by raising the possibility that a massive printing facility recently  outfitted by the Church of Scientology in Commerce may be about more than just publishing the organization’s own materials.

Press, who once worked for the Church’s “Author Services” division, starts at a book option (Internet Dates from Hell) by Tom Cruise‘s former agent and production partner Paula Wagner, and ends some 1,200 words later with the idea that the output capabilities of the 185,000 square foot operation on Badini Blvd. greatly exceed the Church’s internal needs. Especially, he argues, since they already have another similar facility on Olympic Blvd. in east LA:

I did a bit more investigation and found out there are special padded floors inside [the Commerce facility], so workers can stay on their feet all day long without getting so exhausted… What in the world could they be doing to keep those presses going?…

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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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