Paulette Cooper, With Help From the Voice, Discovers Her Heartrending Past

PauletteSuzy1980.jpg
Paulette and Suzy in the 1980s
In December, I finally got the chance to meet Paulette Cooper when we had breakfast near the offices of the Voice. For many of us who toil in this business of reporting on Scientology, we have no greater hero. Paulette's 1971 book, The Scandal of Scientology, was one of the first exposes of the church and remains one of the best. And no other writer who revealed Scientology's secrets paid a higher price: As we told in new detail on Thanksgiving Day, Paulette was framed by Scientology operatives who were determined to get her imprisoned. She faced 15 years in prison at one point, indicted for sending bomb threats that had actually been faked by the church. She lived with extreme harassment from 1969 to 1985, when the last of 19 church lawsuits against her were finally settled.

Even today, 35 years after an FBI raid on the church turned up documents revealing that Scientology had set out to frame Paulette, there are still mysteries about the plot against her, which church operatives called Operation PC Freakout -- we are making progress even today filling in those details, the subject of a future story.

But there was another, unpredictable outcome from that December breakfast, another part of Paulette's story that suddenly opened up to her in dramatic fashion. And today, we have those details.

You might remember from that earlier piece that Paulette had been in town to see her sister, Suzy, and we casually mentioned what she said the two had been talking about...

...the two of them are still trying to piece together exactly what happened when, as young children, they were rescued from a Nazi camp in Belgium, sparing them the fate of their parents, who were shipped to Auschwitz for extermination. A Belgian man rescued the girls by paying the equivalent of what today would be about $2 million to save 22 children from the camp, and to this day Paulette would like to learn his identity.

Within two days of us mentioning that, Paulette tells me, she had heard from people in three different countries -- Belgium, Israel, and the Netherlands -- and newspapers in both Belgium and Holland had picked up the story.

Since then, we've worked with Paulette to piece together information from people who knew her parents, as well as newspaper archives and other official sources of historical data. Over Presidents' Day weekend, I visited with Paulette at her home in Palm Beach, Florida, and we went over some new photographs and information she'd gathered. We're still hoping to fill in a few gaps, but today we have a much clearer picture of her origins.

This is what we were able to put together.


Four Friends

In July 1930, a Dutch man named Sijbren de Hoo was a member of an unusual voyage. On a minesweeper named the Nautilus that had been christened just the year before, he was part of a Dutch naval expedition to the island of Jan Mayen -- a desolate, remote, and strikingly beautiful place in the Greenland Sea that is dominated by the only volcano north of the Arctic Circle, the Beerenberg.

The island had been awarded to Norway by the League of Nations just 9 years earlier, but the Dutch Navy sailed there to commemorate seven whalers from Holland who had attempted to winter on the island in 1634, but had all perished.

JanMayen.JPG
Jan Mayen, in a photo from the 1930 expedition

The trip would be arduous, even in summer, but de Hoo had prepared well. Among his things were leather items of clothing that had been especially made for him by a good friend -- a Polish man living in Belgium named Chaim Bucholc.

De Hoo had met Bucholc at some point a few years earlier, probably through an aunt who lived in Antwerp. Along with a man named Ghislain Jules de Wulf and another named Leonard Alexander Rodrigues Lopes, de Hoo and Bucholc formed a circle of friends -- they were between 25 and 30 years of age, and people who knew them described them as a tight group.

JanMayen3.JPG
Dutch naval officials on Jan Mayen, July 1930. Judging from a photograph of him taken years later, the man on the left may be Sijbren de Hoo.

De Hoo was a man of ambition. Besides taking part in the expedition to the Arctic Ocean, he would become a local official of some importance. We know less about de Wulf. But about Rodrigues Lopes -- a Dutch Jew of Portuguese descent -- more is known. A journalist, he worked for a London newspaper, the Daily Express, and was said to be feeding British intelligence as Europe descended toward a second world war. Rodrigues Lopes would spend the 1940s fleeing one country for another and surviving a couple of assassination attempts.

But that was in the future. In 1930, Rodrigues Lopes and de Hoo and de Wulf had befriended Bucholc, a man who had emigrated from his native Poland a few years earlier. A highly skilled leatherworker, Bucholc had brought with him to Antwerp his young wife Ruchla (née Minkowski).

More than 80 years after the Nautilus sailed to Jan Mayen, de Hoo's family still remembers that he took with him special items of clothing fashioned by Bucholc. And at the time, the voyage was celebrated. De Hoo's daily diary entries were published in the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, perhaps through the help of his journalist friend, Rodrigues Lopes.


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De Hoo's account of the expedition not only appeared in De Telegraaf, but also in other papers, such as this piece in Tilburgsche Courant

Some warm clothes weren't the only items that Bucholc crafted for his friend.

Sijbren de Hoo's family still has in its possession a leather book case made by Bucholc, which gives some indication of his skill...

ChaimBookcase.JPG

Throughout the 1930s, the four men remained close, even though de Hoo lived in Holland and Bucholc and Rodrigues Lopes lived in Antwerp.

Then, in 1938, de Hoo was presented with what seemed like a promising business opportunity: He was offered the position of running the famous Bata shoe factory in Warsaw. He planned on taking Bucholc with him, and even talked with Rodrigues Lopes about joining them. But doubts about conditions in Poland convinced them not to go.

The next year, as Europe was once again plunged into war, de Hoo and Rodrigues Lopes each went through divorces; Rodrigues Lopes moved to Holland, but in 1941 he returned to Belgium as conditions for Jews in Amsterdam deteriorated more rapidly than they had in Antwerp, which had fallen to the Nazis in May, 1940.

De Hoo, meanwhile, had continued to rise in Holland, and was now director of the Central Distribution Office of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, and had jurisdiction over food rationing, a critical role as supplies during wartime dwindled. Increasingly, he was in a difficult position: he had to serve the Nazi occupiers to distribute food to the population, but he also wanted to help his Jewish friends, who were running out of options. (When the war ended, de Hoo was fired from his position at the Ministry for working with the occupying Germans. De Hoo defended himself in a letter, saying that his attempts to bribe Nazis to help Jewish victims was misinterpreted as his enriching the occupiers to save his own skin.)

For families like de Hoo, after the war there would always be questions about how much they had helped, or how much they had benefited as Jewish families were rounded up and sent away.

DutchFamily.JPG
A still from the film that can be seen at Joods Monument
That question is enshrined in a particularly remarkable way for the de Hoo family. At the Joods Monument, a digital museum of the Dutch Jewish experience in the war, there's a stunning and rare film, secretly made, of a Jewish family being rousted out of its Leeuwarden home. In the short film, you can see the family gathering their belongings as they begin a journey to their deaths.

The family, in fact, were cousins to Sijbren de Hoo, and after they were sent to be killed in Auschwitz, de Hoo inherited their house. The de Hoo family lives in it to this day.

Across Holland and Belgium, that story was repeated as Jews were rounded up and sent to be transported.

And on July 22, 1942, it was Rodrigues Lopes who brought the news to his friend de Hoo that neither of them had wanted to hear.

Chaim Bucholc had been taken to a Jewish concentration camp.


Hiding, Arrests, Corruption

When Bucholc was taken away, he left behind a two-year-old daughter, Sarah, and his wife Ruchla, who was very pregnant.

In fact, just four days after Chaim was taken away, on July 26, Ruchla gave birth to their second daughter.

She was named Paula.

After receiving records confirming the dates, Paulette wept when she learned for the first time in her life that her father never actually laid eyes on her.

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The Dossin barracks at Mechelen in the summer of 1942
Chaim was likely held for only about a week at the Breendonck concentration camp before he was among some of the first Jews moved to the Dossin barracks at the new Mechelen transport center, from which Belgium's incarcerated Jews were sent to the Auschwitz extermination camp.

On September 10, 1942, Chaim Bucholc was among 1,048 prisoners on Transport VIII, a train that took its passengers to Auschwitz. This early in the war, the transport would have appeared to be a normal passenger train, and not the cattle trucks that would come into use later, after the Nazis became concerned about escapes.

After leaving Mechelen, the train's cargo would arrive three days later at Auschwitz-Birkenau in Nazi-controlled Poland, where the men would be separated from women, children, and the infirm, who would be gassed right away. We don't know how long after his arrival that Chaim Bucholc was led into the gas chambers himself. He was 38 years old.

Back in Belgium, Ruchla had to rely on friends to stay hidden with her two young children, Sarah and Paula, who would come to be called Suzy and Paulette. A network of support was run by people like Chaim's friend Ghislain Jules de Wulf, about whom we know little. For three months, Ruchla and the girls managed to escape detection. But then, Ruchla was discovered.

Paulette doesn't know how she and her sister managed to stay hidden while their mother was taken away. A family legend has Ruchla being given up for a bag of sugar by a friend who betrayed her. But there's no independent confirmation of that, and accounts like the popular new book The Twentieth Train by Marion Schreiber suggest that Belgians were particularly sympathetic with what was happening to Jews inside their country. Writes Schreiber...

After the war 200,000 Belgians were acknowledged as having been active members of the Resistance. It was thanks to many of these that the chances of survival of those hunted by the Nazis in that small country were relatively high. At any rate, over 50 per cent, about 30,000 of the 56,000 Jews registered in Belgium, escaped the Holocaust. In Holland only 12 per cent did so.

However she was discovered, Ruchla was taken to Mechelen for transport. But she managed to get a handwritten note to a friend (which Paulette has seen), asking the friend to "play and be happy with the children."

"She apparently realized that she would never live to see us again," Paulette says.

Ruchla Minkowski Bucholc, prisoner 950, was sent on Transport XIV, one of 995 Jews who left for Auschwitz on October 24, 1942 to their deaths. She was 31 years old.

Paulette and Suzy continued to remain in hiding for several months. And there's evidence that one person who was making sure they were getting what they needed was a man in a position of some power.

The de Hoo family credit a Belgian official, Robert de Foy, with helping to keep the girls hidden as they were pursued. Both bureacrats, de Foy and Sijbren de Hoo would have known each other, de Hoo's family says.

RobertdeFoy.jpg
Robert de Foy, 1893-1960
Like de Hoo, Robert de Foy was in a tricky position. He had been head of the Belgian State Security Service before the war, and was sent to Germany as a prisoner. But the Nazis then sent him back to Belgium to help administer the country. In 1943, he was appointed Secretary General of the Department of Justice. After the war, however, he was not jailed by the Belgian government as it returned from exile in London, and in 1975, he was posthumously named one of the "Righteous Among the Nations" by the Yad Vashem Museum in Jerusalem for his efforts to help Jews in Belgium. (Just recently, a new claim has been made that De Foy had been a hardliner against Jewish emigration to Belgium in the years before the war and had some 50 Jews repatriated to Germany, which should outweigh the hundreds of Jews he saved during the war itself. Yad Vashem has opened an investigation into this claim, which could apparently take years to be completed.)

But even with de Foy's help, the girls were ultimately discovered by Nazi troops. On June 18, 1943, they were taken to Mechelen to await transport to Auschwitz.

Paulette was assigned to be the 843rd passenger on Transport XXI, the next train scheduled to leave.

It would be only the second transport to use windowless cattle cars to prevent escapes. (About 200 passengers managed to escape in April when the Belgian resistance derailed Transport XX about 6 miles after it left the camp.)

Now, Sijbren de Hoo and Leo Rodrigues Lopes, who had been powerless to stop the extermination of their friends Chaim and Ruchla Bucholc, began a desperate attempt to save their children.

Their one advantage, it turned out, was that the Nazi running the Dossin barracks, SS Sturmbannführer Philipp Schmitt, was as corrupt as he was brutal.

PhilippSchmitt.jpg
Commandant Philipp Schmitt and his dog Lump [Credit: Otto Spronk/CEGES-SOMA]

The de Hoo family says that Rodrigues Lopes had some kind of connection inside the camp -- a prisoner who was being used in the camp administration, perhaps -- and through that connection Rodrigues Lopes believed a bribe could be paid to Schmitt.

He and de Hoo worked rapidly to raise cash. De Hoo used an inheritance to come up with 100,000 Dutch Guilders, and Rodrigues Lopes somehow gathered another 10,000 of his own through friends. A wealthy man in manufacturing may also have helped contribute, as well as some Catholic organizations. The de Hoo family says that some of the cash was converted to food, bought on the black market through de Hoo's Ministry contacts -- Schmitt was apparently willing to accept a combination of such goods as well as hard cash. Other specifics are missing -- whether de Foy played a part, or another wealthy man who was said to have paid large sums to get children out of the Dossin barracks.

Rodrigues Lopes and de Hoo had very little time for their scheme to work. Not only were the girls scheduled to leave on the next transport, but Schmitt himself was so crooked, even the Nazis considered him a disaster and soon replaced him. (In fact, records show that although Schmitt was deposed in November, he had been put "on leave" by that April. But the de Hoo family says that the bribe was gathered in order to pay off Schmitt and perhaps another man named Lauterborn -- we're not positive whether this was the notorious Flemish Jew Hunter named Felix Lauterborn who was later prosecuted.)

On July 31, 1943, Transport XXI left Mechelen bound for Auschwitz with 1,553 prisoners, including 174 children, 71 of them girls.

Paulette and Suzy were not on that train. The next month, in August, a record of them appears, showing that they had been moved to an orphanage. The bribe had apparently worked.

PauletteSuzy.jpg
Suzy and Paulette, at an orphanage in 1945. From Paulette's collection.



Adoption, Emigration, Safety

In 1944, there is a record of them at a second orphanage. And Paulette remembers at least two more as she became old enough to have memories of her early life.

SuzySmall.jpg
A photo of Suzy found in the papers of Sijbren de Hoo.
They survived the Nazi occupation, but they had lost their parents. In 1946, Suzy was adopted by their aunt and uncle. Two years later, Paulette was adopted by the Coopers, a wealthy couple who took her to the United States.

"Suzy stayed in Belgium, and then married an Israeli and moved to Israel. She became a widow. During the Gulf war, I flew her over and she now lives in New York," Paulette says.

Paulette became a copywriter at a New York ad firm and a freelance magazine writer, and then an author.

Her adoptive mother died in 1995. Last month, when I visited Paulette and her husband Paul Noble, a former television executive, she showed me the small condo building next to her own where she moved her father so they could be close by. "We had breakfast and dinner with him every day for the last five years of his life. He died last summer. We were very close. I was enormously lucky," she says.

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Paul Noble and Paulette Cooper, when they still lived in New York City

We have been piecing together what happened to the people who helped her escape Nazi extermination. Leo Rodrigues Lopes, the risk-taking journalist, managed to get himself out of Belgium and to Spain, Portugal, and eventually to London. Highly critical of the behavior of the Dutch government, he was jailed for a time on the Isle of Man. He then returned to Holland after the war and reunited with his own children, who had been in hiding. As editor of Ochtendpost, he continued to criticize the Dutch and British governments for their conduct of the war. He also survived two assassination attempts.

Rodrigues Lopes was working on a book that he intended to expose the Dutch government's war record when he died of a heart attack in 1952. His manuscript was never published.

For several years, until 1949, he had been living in the house his friend Sijbren de Hoo inherited during the war.

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Leo Rodrigues Lopes

In 1960, Paulette traveled to Europe with her parents. In Belgium, they were told an old man who was dying wanted to see her. She has only a dim memory of it, but she remembers meeting an ill older man who had medals pinned on his pajamas. She was told he had saved many children during the war, and had wanted to see them again.

On the ship home, she and her parents received word that the man had died. Today, she now realizes that it was Robert de Foy.

Sijbren de Hoo, the man who traveled to the Arctic with Chaim Bucholc's leather garments and who held on to the book case his friend made for him, suffered ill health after 1960, and died in 1965.

SijbrenDeHoo.jpg
Sijbren de Hoo (the Dutch would pronounce it "de HOE")

The de Hoo family, who were one of several to get in touch with Paulette after seeing stories in Belgian and Dutch newspapers, have mailed to her the leather case that Paulette's father made for his friend.

She expects it to arrive today or tomorrow.


UPDATE: And here's a photo we are very happy to append to this story...

PauletteBook.jpg

Paulette says her father's initials, "CB," are on the case. "It is probably the only thing my father ever made that has lived on -- besides my sister and me."



**********
Tony Ortega has been the editor in chief of the Village Voice since March, 2007. He started writing about Scientology in 1995. You can reach him by e-mail at tortega@villagevoice.com, and if you ask nicely he'll put you on his mailing list for notifications of new stories, which tend to come out each and every morning at 8 am, but can suddenly appear at any time of the day. You can also catch his alerts at Twitter (@VoiceTonyO), at his Facebook author page, a Tumblr, and even this new Google Plus doohickey.

New readers might want to check out our primer, "What is Scientology?" Another good overview is our series from last summer, "Top 25 People Crippling Scientology." At the top of every story, you'll see the "Scientology" category which, if you click on it, will bring up all of our most recent stories. As for our regular features, on Thursdays we do a roundup of world press, on Fridays we visit L. Ron Hubbard on the yacht Apollo circa 1969-1971, on Saturdays we celebrate the week's best comments, and on Sundays we publish Scientology's wacky and tacky advertising mailers that people send us.

As for hot subjects we've covered here, you may have heard about Debbie Cook, the former church official who rebelled and is now being sued by Scientology. You might have also heard about the Super Power Building, Scientology's "Mecca," whose secrets were revealed here. We also reported how Scientology spied on its own most precious object, Tom Cruise. (We wrote Tom an open letter that he has yet to respond to.) Have you seen a Scientology ad on TV lately? We debunked some of the claims in that 2-minute commercial you might have seen while watching Glee or American Idol.

Other stories have looked at Scientology's policy of "disconnection" that is tearing families apart. You may also have heard something about the Sea Org experiences of the Paris sisters, Valeska and Melissa, and their friend Ramana Dienes-Browning. We've also featured Paulette Cooper, who wrote about Scientology back in the day, and Janet Reitman, Hugh Urban, and the team at the Tampa Bay Times, who write about it today. And there's plenty more coming.


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163 comments
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Sid
Sid

Thank you Tony for researching and documenting this amazing story. The holocaust shows more vividly than maybe any other story in history the wide spectrum of mankind's capacity for cruelty and kindness.

That Scientology has not been allowed to reach the level of destruction wrought by Nazism, we must thank people like Paulette Cooper, who stuck her neck out to warn others. It is almost as if she repaid the kindness and bravery shown to her in her early life.

I would ask Scientology lurkers to consider taking the time to follow the links in the above story, and read about how the Church of Scientology persecuted Paulette Cooper in the early seventies, when L Ron Hubbard was firmly in control. We can argue all day long about the motives and mentality of Mr Hubbard, but no one can deny that he was capable of incredible cruelty.

SP 'Onage
SP 'Onage

Tony, thanks for the update, you've got a kind heart.

I'm so happy for you Paulette! Please visit us more often and leave comments. There is so much more to learn from you.

I wish you'd write another book. :-)

Myriam_Breitman
Myriam_Breitman

What a cute picture of Paulette with her father's case.

anne
anne

I am really happy for her right now, what a miraculous gift for she and her sister. Beautiful!!

California
California

Paulette's stories are living examples of:  "The only thing necessary for the triumph (of evil) is for good people to do nothing," a quote attributed to Edmund Burke, although there is no written documentation of when or where he stated this.  The quote has at least 12 variations but the central message remains the same:  good people must act when they see evil.

Paulette and her sister were rescued from a horrifying death at the hands of the Nazis and, yes, Paulette is now rescuing others (children and adults) from another form of Nazi-ism that is hiding behind a "religious" cover.  Even back in the late 1960's/early 1970's she recognized that real evil was taking place and moved to expose it.

I am so very happy for her that her suffering at the hands of Scientology (and her bravery in exposing this evil) led to the most important personal journey of all of us:  finding her family.

Artoo45
Artoo45

This story made the immensity of the holocaust very real and personal. The scale of the Nazi genocide does indeed make L. Wrong Hubbard's tinpot dictatorship look foolish and reveal his cult as nothing more than cheap, sci-fi theatrics. Comparing the millions lost to Hitler's madness to the cult's death toll can be seen as disrespectful. On the other hand, $cientology's death toll may be relatively small, but it's a death toll nonetheless. Real lives have been lost and ruined by one man's greed and madness. Comparing the second reich of the Tiny Terror™  with his mini Nuremburg rallys, in all their tacky, faux grandiosity, to Hitler's third reich, may be odious, but it does reveal the potential for megalomania's terrible destruction in everyone. In Hubbard's and Miscavige's case, it was prevented by a lack of numbers, not a lack of will.  "Clearing the Planet" if carried to its (il)logical extreme would have marched millions of low-toned wogs (including me) into massive RPFs for reeducation, or to be as Hubbard so quaintly put it, "eliminated quietly and without sorrow." Clearing the Planet is just another name for Final Solution.

Do not kwetch
Do not kwetch

Tony, it would be interesting to get the names of all the people who were involved(even remotely) in originating, planning, writing up and implementing the "operationPC freakout. Once we have the church reformed all these ex US GO thugs and allthe people who were attached in any way in implementing this despicable programshould be made to do a full confession of their involvement (time, place, form andevent) and then a full amends program to Ms Paulette Cooper. Oh, they will have their justifications for what they did, but with a full confessionand all the justfiers out of the way the impact of what they did should hit them square between their eyes and then they would be able to take responsibility fortheir misdeeds and crimes.So, names would be helpful (especially the ones who are still living).

Unex Skcus
Unex Skcus

Off topic: (   but thanks to PC and OT. :)   )

Follow the Money. ALWAYS follow the money.

Tony O, don't know how (?) you are managing an article ***every*** day on Co$, I take my hat off to you.

May I suggest a new article: "Co$ Cash Stash - Where Is It?".

This would be a BIG BIG BIG expose. (crap, did I word clear that ok?)

There are loads of people ready - and willing - to provide financial details. From those who 'donated' $1000, to those in the six figures, and of course the ex-Co$ people who can also verify numbers...

Come on, you guys n gals, let's Follow the Money.

scilonschools
scilonschools

I am stunned, one person to have such sorrow and bizzare good/bad luck in waves.To have suffered so much and yet to have such strength and to have paved the way for all those who seek to expose the abuses of  the CoS.We are very lucky to have had Paulette in the world, and those who helped her so many years ago as a helpless child may never know the legacy they left in her later work.

I thnought i felt sickened before in all the CoS attempts to destroy her, knowing her difficult journey, sacrifices and loss to her and her parents (birth and adoptive), it was only a pail shadow of that emotion in relation to how i feel NOW!

It is ironic that an Organistion (Church of Scientology) that has simular routes to the Nazi Movement (Occult speaking) and has grown so closely to ressemble the same horror that were responsible for Paulette's family, should have been dealt such a huge blow by a small child who 'got away'

Paulette you strength makes us so proud, but i suspect that it pails into insignifigance in relation to the pride of your birth parents where ever they are now looking onto you.

Soderqvist1
Soderqvist1

Dodobirdthe fundamental difference is that L. Ron Hubbard was on the other side of the “Bridgeto Total Freedom” at the end of his life and yet needed tranquilliser meanwhilemost “wogs” in their end of life isn’t prescribed Vistaril. Btw L. Ron Hubbard gave order toGO to attack Paulette Cooper with his Mafia methods because he knew that shewas telling the truth and couldn’t face her allegations in court. Thus neverdefend always attack!

 

 

 

 

SP 'Onage
SP 'Onage

Oh Paulette, our beautiful, strong, Paulette. I am finding it hard to type through blurry silent tears...I don't want anybody else in the house hear me blubber like a wuss, god, the lump in my throat.. it hurts worse holding my emotions in. ((((hugging you))))

You were spared twice from death and 15 years of possible incarceration. You beat the odds not because you were lucky, but because your mom and dad (guardian angels) are watching over you. Everything you have been through/done up until now is for a reason, a divine purpose. Thanks to Tony, we are now all intertwined in your incredible, miraculous life story of survival against all odds. You will always be my number one heroine.

Love you Paulette.

I am so glad Paulette lived to tale the tail. The world needs to listen, open their eyes, and stay diligent to what scientology is doing. One of my purposes here and in my community is to inform the public that scientology is a Master Race group hell bent on dominating the world. It's chilling to see the similarities of scientology and the Nazi party. The Sea Org is much like the Gestapo, OSA is much like the Schutzstaffel (Nazi SS) and the Jews forced to work in Ghettos reminds me of scientology's RPF.

We must at all cost prevent another Holocaust from ever happening again. That's why I align myself with the critics, the protesters. I am proud to be part of the resistance.

Some of my friends tell me Scientology is a ridiculous joke and think I am wasting my time here at VV.

Yep, it sure is ridiculous isn’t it. Sure is. But remember how at first the world laughed at Hitler?

SP 'Onage
SP 'Onage

WTF? Tale the tail?!? Sorry, hehe.

tale the tail = tell the tale

Well, everybody knows already my grammar, spelling is crap. Thanks for not crushing me about.

wannabeclear
wannabeclear

I minored in Judaic Studies in college, studying the Holocaust and Nazi Germany as part of my education.  I have always had a particular interest in survivor stories and the great fortune to meet and interview several survivors who were rescued as children.  The unifying thread of most of these stories is the extraordinary acts of bravery by ordinary people.  That's a wonderful legacy to which Paulette has remained faithful, even before she understood her history completely.  Standing up to evil, at great personal risk, even when others are afraid to do so, is a profound tribute to Paulette's parents and all of the other people who made certain that she and her sister did not perish.  

DodoTheLaser
DodoTheLaser

I heard LRH is going to turn 101 years old on March 13, if he would be still alive, that is.I postulate he reads this expose from Target 2 or wherever he is, using his perceptions,or simply the internet, because I am pretty sure LRH was personally involved in the wholecampaign of "fair gaming" Paulette. Every vicious part of it. No? Was it Mary Sue's fault?Too bad the "Ol' Man" is dead. And he is not coming back.

(P.S. Dear RTC/IJC, let me know if LRH came back, so I can do my A-E steps, in order to unbecome an SP and ask L. Ron Hubbard about his treatment of Paulette Cooper on the meter. I will check LRH's metab, I promise.)

Good day.

DodoTheLaser
DodoTheLaser

Is anyone else finds it completely fascinating that L. Ron Hubbard managed to come up with fine pieces of common sense like The Way To Happiness, Creed of the CofS and a lot more, yet he also managed to manipulate others to contradict it all, KSW supported? 

Or should I check for MU's and evil purposes? Just wow.

Artoo45
Artoo45

Broken clock. Twice a day.

David Edgar Love
David Edgar Love

WOW! She is such a distinguished looking woman and went though so much. Incredible. A very moving article Tony - - awesome work.

DodoTheLaser
DodoTheLaser

Message to OSA personnel: - this is a good time for a little self-reflection. 

touretzky
touretzky

It may surprise you to learn that the copyright to Paulette Cooper's book The Scandal of Scientology is owned by Scientology itself. This transfer was part of the settlement agreement between her and the cult. Nonetheless, some brave person typed in or scanned the manuscript, and it circulated on the Internet as a raw text file until 1995, when my friend Dean Benjamin, moved by Paulette's story, decided to create a new HTML edition with fully hyperlinked footnotes and references, and additional material about what happened to Paulette after her book came out. This edition is what you'll find hosted at Operation Clambake (xenu dot net), and at my Secrets of Scientology site at Carnegie Mellon. The next year Dean and I had the honor of meeting Paulette in person. She's a lovely lady.

Another surprising fact (from Wikipedia): in 1974 Scientology threatened to sue Canadian libraries merely for carrying the book on their shelves. Google "The Scandal of Scientology", read some of Paulette's book, and see how little this vicious cult has changed in 40 years.

Stef
Stef

touretzky, my hero!

Seriously, you have offered so many people a glimpse in to the evils of scientology via your website resources!

Keep up the awesome work, professor! 

DamOTclese2
DamOTclese2

Utterly fascinating. The behavior of the Dutch government is something that would be well written about, it's a shame that the manuscript was never completed and published. We know that Christianity throughou8t Europe supported, applauded, and assisted the Third Reich since Nazi Germany's ideologies were in literal lock-step with Christianity and all of that has been written, re-written, and written again to distraction, yet an eye-witness review of how the Dutch managed to lose 88% of the Jews in country would be worth reading.

Myriam Breitman
Myriam Breitman

If you can read or translated the wikipedia entry about Rodrigues-Lopes in Dutch, you'll learn that he criticised the Dutch government for allegedly selling out a group of Resistance fighters to the Nazis, because these fighters were communists [some were Jews].  As for the behaviour of Christians during WWII in the Netherlands - google Corrie ten Boom and her family.  They were christian Dutchmen hiding Jews precisely because of their christian believes. Also many would think that Italy is a catholic nation. But Italians were very helpful to the Jews during the war and not anti-Semitic in any way.  So while I am not a giant fan of Christianity, I can't deny that many churches, priests and nuns helped save the Jews.

Heather Grace
Heather Grace

"Nazi Germany's ideologies were in literal lock-step with Christianity"

Rubbish.

Lliira
Lliira

It's much more complicated than that. While the leaders of the Catholic Church were culpable in the Holocaust, many Christian families of various denominations, including Catholics, often risked their own lives to save Jewish people. Many Christians also gleefully participated in the Holocaust, of course. But "Christianity throughout Europe" was never a monolith, not even in the Middle Ages, and certainly not in the 20th century. 

There are certainly plenty of Christians who are anti-semitic, and who claim that the story of Jesus backs up their hatred, but they are wrong. And many Christians tell them so regularly. 

Artoo45
Artoo45

In the future, try not to make me weep helplessly at work, Tony. Maybe a little kleenex box logo or something akin to NSFW as warning? WMYW? What a powerful story, and what a great gift you have given this brave woman.

Beth
Beth

The history revealed here should create new heroes, long past, to be remembered in the hearts of generations to come.  These heroics should be cherished by all, not spit upon as the Wiesenthal Center has done by awarding holocaust revisionism.  Shame on you for rewarding the revisionism cult.  Shame on the Wiesenthal Center for rewarding those that would re-write history to the advantage of the persecutors of the holocaust. 

Beth
Beth

We were placing the blame on the Wiesenthal center, not anyone else

ShellyMiscavige
ShellyMiscavige

Wow Tony that was awesome. Paulette is more of a woman than I ever imagined.

Speechless.

And the irony of being persecuted by the nazi style tactics of Scientology cult members is not far from the mind here.

Good job.

richCriminal
richCriminal

In the bizzaro world of Scientology Commandant Philipp Schmit, the Nazi who accepted vast bribes in exchange for sparing a handful of Jewish children, would be considered a "big being", someone to admire and emulate.

Why would this monster who profited from blood-money be so praised? Because according to Scientology doctrine anyone who has wealth, no matter by what vile crime it is arrived at, is a person with power over "MEST" (Matter Energy Space and Time).

Power over MEST is one of the carrots that the Scientology corporation hangs in front of their clients to trick them to give away their life savings. The small handful of clients who have actually achieved some wealth are held up as examples to the rest of what they all can attain if only they would give more of their money to the company.

ShellyMiscavige
ShellyMiscavige

I think comparing the cult of cowards, this Miscaviage melodrama, to the holocaust.. it's a ridiculous comparison. Sure, there is a salt added to a far deeper wound, but right here??

Fuck Scientology. LRH wanted to make it big with Leni Rifenstahl or however you spell it. He'd have sucked Adolf's dick if it meant he got noticed.

Fact is he surrounded himself with little girls in hotpants and died hiding from the law.

Miscaviage is even more of a coward.

Who cares about that pissy little sect after reading this?

Paulette Cooper is braver and has more integrity than all the Scientologists on the planet combined.

That is what matters here.

 Thetan-X
Thetan-X

Hmmm...Not one Pro-Co$ commenter ?? interesting ..

TheHoleDoesNotExist
TheHoleDoesNotExist

I couldn't help thinking of the contrast of the parents and the entire community advocating for these children in Paulette Cooper's story;  no excuses why it couldn't be done, many giving their own lives in efforts to save as many as they possibly could.

Contrast that with that scientologist mother's note to her daughter, basically saying get the fuck out, and never contact me, just because her child chose not to follow Hubbard up a bridge.   Or the scientologist father who took away his son's medications and left a gun in a bedroom, just because Hubbard was told No by mental health professionals.  Or  the scientologist "minister" who threatened the parents or the children if they "told" or if they "spoke up", because Hubbard ran and hid from the law all his life. Or the scientologists who tan themselves on the deck of the Freewinds while young slaves, white as ghosts, serve them on hand and foot, for whatever the reason.

The good news is that there have always been many in the background, some who will never be known, helping to dismantle this evil business as well as those in the forefront, and it is working.  The scientology business model has always depended on keeping the whales happy as long as they paid well  for their "protection".

Now that the membership is melting down,  the current leader has unleashed his lions into the last safe houses, the  VIP lounges of scientology and locked in all weapons to attack mode.  All you have to do is read what is happening in the legal arena with Debbie Cook and realize there is no one at the controls anymore.  It's all on auto pilot.   Some have referred to it as cannabilistic.

Fine by me.  It's just that this is the time when the children (I include any under the age of 18) need to be given protection more than ever and insist on any and all authorities to act the moment any information comes to light.   I hope Human Trafficking advocates are especially watching closely.   I hope any scientologists just waking up not wait years if they have Any information about children within scientology's clutch that need help of any kind.  No  More   Excuses.

NoMoreVisitsPlease
NoMoreVisitsPlease

I agree with you totally, but do you think the difference is that obviously the Jews were taken by force and murdered, whereas Scientologists (for the most part--except for the kids) are there willingly?  It's not like Scientology is snatching people off the street by force.  It makes it hard for outsiders to help.  It's like knowing an alcoholic...you kind of have to wait and hope and pray that the alcoholic wants help, and THEN you can help.

Heather Grace
Heather Grace

Yes, you're right. Indoctrination complicates matters. Some members of the sea org are there because they have freely chosen to be there. Others were subject to duress before or after joining. This makes the task more complicated. But we are making good progress.

Bruce Hines
Bruce Hines

I recommend a book, In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin, by Erik Larson. For me, the parallels between the CO$ and the methods by which the Nazis rose to power in Germany are staggering.

Chocolate Velvet
Chocolate Velvet

Kudos to you, Tony O, for more exemplary work as a journalist! This story took my breath away. It stands in stark contrast to the way COS demonized Paulette. Her humanity is an antidote to the daily inhumanity of this whole sordid situation.

Tony, I can tell you love your job, because you do it so well - and with style! :)

anne
anne

The photo of Suzy and Paulette holding hands outside the orphanage is so incredible, they had eachother at least for that  moment. What these brave men did to save their friends baby girls has moved me.. And the note left from Paulettes mother was actually quite powerful,,,she wanted happiness for her children. A story  with such history, friendship, loyalty, and sadly the evils of Nazism. By some miracle it is also a story of survival. It's nice to think of Paulette and Suzy being together again,Sisterhood! Great story Tony, thank you.

anne
anne

And a heartfelt "Thank you" to Paulette.

Aragorn_ii
Aragorn_ii

Did anyone else want to some how leap through time and space into that picture of the 2 little sisters holding hands? I would in a heart beat. One arm opened wide to hug them tight and the other clinched in a fist to beat the crap out of anyone who would dare harm them.

 That image brings to mind the most disgusting practice of the church of scientology. Disconection. Fom where does anyone or any orginazation get the balls to break up families? Man I need to take a walk or something to cool down.

Arthur
Arthur

 Not balls, pure fear.  Scientology is in abject fear of their membership having any connection to any outside source of information.  It is pure fear that drives their crimes, lies and abuse.

Kim O'Brien
Kim O'Brien

This blog has turned into a teaching tool for me as a parent. My 10 year old daughter is reading the Diary of Anne Frank now. This morning..I had her sit and read this story after I did. She was so moved ..it brought home to her that there are people still around us today who can attest to the horrors of Nazi Germany. To her it seems like a million years ago . Thank you so much for this story and the work that you do . 

LightOfTruth123
LightOfTruth123

 One of the scariest things about Nazi Germany, is that only about 10% of Germans were active Nazis. Just 10%.

You might want to show your daughter "The Wave" on Youtube:

www (DOT) youtube (DOT) com (SLASH) watch?v=BVRXXbU-z7U

That's how quickly it happens, and why something like Scientology can never be allowed to grow beyond their miniscule size.

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