After Voice Story, Scientology President Heber Jentzsch Calls Brother To Complain

HeberTravolta4.jpg
Heber Jentzsch and John Travolta
Friday morning, the Voice published an interview with David Jentzsch, 80, who said that it's been more than three years since he's heard any word from his brother, Heber Jentzsch, 76, the president of the Church of Scientology.

As we've been reporting, Heber, although he's been the president of the church since 1982, had so fallen from favor in the eyes of Scientology leader David Miscavige, he had been seen in public only rarely since around 2004 -- and multiple former church executives say that from at least 2006 to 2010, he was being held in Scientology's hellish office-prison at its International Base, known as "The Hole."

David said that not only has he been told by Scientology workers at the base that he could not talk to his brother, but that if he attempted to come see Heber, he would be turned away.

I just talked to David again, who says our story produced a very surprising result: this morning, Heber called him and angrily berated him for talking to the press.

"I'm glad that it happened," David tells us, "because it got him out of his cage to talk to me."

I asked David, who lives in Utah, how this morning's phone call went, and this is how he described it:

"He called me and said some of these things in your article aren't true. I said you damn well know that they're true."

David says they argued over the scene we portrayed in Friday's story, about the visit that David made to Scientology's Int Base and the meal they had. When Heber asked him what he thought of the base, David told him that it was "straight from hell."

David says he told Heber this morning that those were his exact words.

"He said, 'Well, this is my religion.' I told him, that this is how I feel," David said to me.

"He said that I should call him. I said: Shoot, Heber, I do try to call you."

David told Heber that he believed others were listening in on the conversation.

"He said he didn't want me talking to any more reporters. I told him, Well, what I said was true, and you know darn well it's what is going on there."

David said that Heber actually sounded quite good. "He sounds like he's in better shape now than when I talked to him a few years ago. But he's only calling me because they want him to get me to stop saying those things."

David says Heber insisted that he was not a prisoner on the base.

"He said he could go where he wants, which is a lie. I asked him what he's doing. He said he's a 'corporate officer.' I don't believe it," David said.

When I talked to David for our earlier story, he was unaware that Heber had made a rare appearance in Los Angeles, for the memorial of Heber's son, Alexander, 27, who died under mysterious circumstances. As we've been reporting, Heber's ex-wife and Alexander's mother, Karen de la Carriere, was denied access to her son's body before he was cremated and then was not invited to the church's memorial because she was excommunicated by Scientology in 2010 for speaking out about the way Heber was being treated.

"You won't allow the mother of the child to be there," David chided his brother. "He said, No, I didn't want her around. She's given too much hell to Scientology already."

David said his opinion of the church hasn't changed after today's phone call.

"Scientology's not honest. It's a terrible organization. As far as I'm concerned it's straight from hell. And I know a lot of things he doesn't know. I think they had someone there to make sure he didn't say the wrong things."

At one point, David says, he told Heber, "I thought Ortega was your friend." He says Heber's response was "We're not friends anymore."

(Actually, I've never spoken to Heber Jentzsch.)

David says Heber's reason for the call was to convince him not to say anything else to the media.

"Don't talk to anyone else ever again, he said. I told him, you got too many henchmen taking care of you there. He said, You can come see me. No, I can't, I told him. They told me don't come, I can't get in," David told me.

"I told him I don't think you're telling me the truth. But at least I got him out of his little hole to talk to me."

He didn't like that, David told me.

"This is not funny, he said. Heber, I said, you know as well as I do that I worry about you. I've called several times, and you just will not let me talk to you. I told him you sound more like a young man again. All the other times you sounded like you were practically dead."

I told David that Heber did look surprisingly healthy in a photograph taken at the memorial. Our last reliable information from the base had Jentzsch in The Hole in 2010. Since then, has he been receiving better treatment?

"The management there is really upset about it," David said, referring to our article on Friday.

"He told me, You can call, I'll make sure you get to talk to me. OK, I'll try again," David says he told Heber.

I told David I was thrilled that our article prompted his brother to talk to him for the first time in years, even if Heber sounded angry.

"You can feel good about this," David told me.

I do.



Our Alexander Jentzsch Coverage:

On Thursday, July 5 we broke the news of Alex's death after receiving word from his mother, Karen de la Carriere.

On Saturday, July 7 we reported that Karen was being denied a final look at her son before he was cremated because she of her excommunicated status.

On Monday, July 9 we broke the news that Karen had sent out an e-mail about her son's death to more than 10,000 Scientologists.

On Wednesday, July 11 we were first to report that Scientology had relented and was holding a memorial service for Alex, but his mother wasn't invited.

Karen held her own memorial for Alex, spreading rose petals at sea, and there was also video from the event. She then went on KFI radio for a wrenching interview.

On Tuesday, July 17, we reported that the LA Coroner's office was unhappy with unusual answers given by Alex's in-laws regarding his death, and was investigating.

On Thursday, July 19, we published an e-mail sent out to Scientologists which blamed Alex's death on "reaction to a prescribed painkiller."


See also:
What Katie is saving Suri from: Scientology interrogation of kids
Scientology's new defections: Hubbard's granddaughter and Miscavige's dad
Scientology's disgrace: our open letter to Tom Cruise
Scientology crumbling: An entire mission defects as a group
Scientology leader David Miscavige's vanished wife: Where's Shelly?

Please check out our Facebook author page for updates and schedules.



**********
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. You can also catch his alerts at Twitter (@VoiceTonyO), at his Facebook author page, on Pinterest, 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 hot subjects we've covered here, you may have heard about Debbie Cook, the former church official who rebelled and was 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.


My Voice Nation Help
244 comments
butseriously
butseriously

I was being ironic when I used the term "due process" because it is a process which Heber, in his years with the Church, was only too happy to consider justice when applied to others. It was a process that he considered so inoffensive that he told the brother urging him to abandon the "evil" organization "I can't leave. I'm making too much money. I'll be a millionaire soon."David Miscavige would have been impotent if not for all the others proping him up and who now blame Miscavige not only for his sins-but for THEIR sins. Cradling the evil doers who abandoned their children and persecuted others.......nope. Guess I haven''t reached that plane of "spiritual developpment" yet.

honeycat155
honeycat155

still nothing,nearly half hour now,,,,,is this set up broken,have the scientologists broken our communications with their superminds??

honeycat155
honeycat155

why is this page not moving,i only joined yesterday,but conversation was buzzing,now my post has been top of my page for past nearly ten mins,is there something i should be doing??

honeycat155
honeycat155

mr ortega,i am hooked,i cannot get enough of your stories,fascinating ! thanks for enlightening us about this dangerous cult,im not talking about a persons chosen beliefs but the set up that miscavige is leading,scary stuff!

ClamOnAHalfshell
ClamOnAHalfshell

From one cult to another...From the polygamist fundamentalist Mormons to the $cilons. Poor Heber....Honestly.

damotclese
damotclese

"I'm glad that it happened," David tells us, "because it got him out of his cage to talk to me."

 

That's because the screaming insane dwarf ordered Heber to.

 

michelekalis
michelekalis

Douchebag Monster is already known to be a liar with Small Man Syndrome.  It's no surprise that he pulled Heber out of his Hole (maybe that sounds wrong...um...nah) so he could say he's fighting the VV and Ortega.  Sad, but true.  DM treats people like sock puppets, he moves their mouths and does a horrible ventriloquist number while his fearful underlings applaud anyway.  Very sad, but I'm glad David got to talk to Heber.

Killian
Killian

DM could save himself and his organization a lot of embarrassment and trouble by simply following the strict rules of the Sea Org concerning family and relatives, which state that a Sea Org must remain in regular contact with outside family and friends and visit family and relatives at least once or twice a year. This applies to even people on the RPF (at least at PAC). And all of this is to ensure that no one creates trouble for the org.

 

By keeping anyone locked up and hidden in a desert base in the middle of nowhere with no access to the outside world to the extent that rumors fly around that someone might be dead, is just very pathetic and begging for trouble.

 

I just don't get it. Literally everything DM does gets Scientology into trouble. Every decision he makes is the wrong one. He can't get anything right, and whatever he does with the intent to help or protect Scientology has the reverse effect. The man is a walking, talking PR disaster.

 

And yet there has never even been one attempt at mutiny within the organization against him? In normal society, a corporate dictator who goes around beating the living daylights out of his subordinates and imprisoning them would have been shot dead long ago.

ardiva
ardiva

Glad to hear that Heber is alive and well..altho still ornery.

EinsteinontheBeach
EinsteinontheBeach

At the very top of this page, it says there are 146 comments.

 

At this top of the box I'm typing in, it says 203 comments.

 

That's quite a discrepancy!

smallchange
smallchange

Okay, so I just got a notice for a new comment and there was nothing there. Ghost in the machine. I guess.

EinsteinontheBeach
EinsteinontheBeach

OK, I admit I liked the little icon that would indicate "new post" and point either up or down (or both).  Kind of like playing whack-a-mole.

 

But now it's gone, and I'm back to scrolling through the whole thread to search for new posts. 

 

Anyone know how to get those "new post" icons back?

PoisonIvy
PoisonIvy

I don't know if anyone has asked this question, but did anyone besides the writer of the email sent to Scientologists actually admit to being at the Memorial Service?  Is there any other evidence that the Memorial Service really took place?

I know, I sound like a nutty conspiracy theorist.  But if the photo is possibly from another event years earlier, and the only info about the service is what is contained in the email, did the tree fall in the forest?  

Since no one has asked this question I'm assuming there was hard evidence, i.e. witnesses to the service happening.

Jgg2012
Jgg2012

  This is strange.  Heber should be grieving his son's death, not complaining that his brother spoke to the media.

BurytheNuts
BurytheNuts

DM is losing his grip.

 

Hi Midget....waves! Did you read Rinder's screed on Rathbun's blog yesterday Davey? It was rockin'. I bet you hated those two almost as much as you hate Heber. What did you do with Tommy Davis lately? You have lost so many minions we can't keep up. The new (and not very impressive) batch you have tried to unleash as your uh...spokespersons...well...Weak, Davey, just weak. 

Oh, and you let Heber make a phone call. You must be getting battle weary to direct that action!

Now that your armor is crumbling I bet you are back suckin' on that inhaler and cuddling your blankie. 

Deep down you are just a cowardly little pussy. You are going to look great in jailhouse stripes!

Maybe you can get Armani to make you custom jumpsuits. It's not like he would need more than a yard of material.

Enjoy the next few weeks there bucko!

__________________________________

 

And MariannaP is right about the com system. I was away for the weekend with my trusty IPad, but it was only helpful as a reader. I am sure they will get it all worked out...but for now it is terribly frustrating.

smallchange
smallchange

Have the police had any contact with Heber? You would think that they would, as generally, they'd talk to close family members to get background info. I wonder if he would make himself available for a person to person chat with them.

LocalSP
LocalSP

Now if I were David I would call at least twice a week and write down everything that was said.

smallchange
smallchange

Heber sounds like an a*hole. He denies Scientology has anything to do with not seeing his brother and then, in the same breath, he makes justification for his son's mother not being permitted to attend his memorial because she caused hell for the church. Way to talk out of both sides of your mouth, Heber. Which is it now?

victoriapandora
victoriapandora

Are there really no new comments since this morning? I find that unbelievable.

collon88
collon88

 @Killian 

 

It's because Miscarriage is a true SP.  It's what they do.  It's their nature.

 

People who have blown and are declared SP are not SPs. That is just character assassination, not in any way diagnostic of their case.  People who have not studied Scientology are confused by this distinction.  I hope this clears it up.   

ClamOnAHalfshell
ClamOnAHalfshell

 @ardiva At least he's still alive. I hope he manages to use some of that orneriness to help himself.

RobertEckert
RobertEckert

 @EinsteinontheBeach The comments stat is expanding all the time, straight up and vertical!  There are 153,438 comments on this thread!

ClamOnAHalfshell
ClamOnAHalfshell

 @PoisonIvy The completely non-transparent, utterly opaque, completely given to lying, disengenuous,  lying-with-their-pants-on-fire world of $cientology only invites conspiracy theories. It's like the old Soviet Union. What does that cryptic statement from the Kremlin actually mean? Let us parse that phrase....

damotclese
damotclese

 @zolotoy6 That's nothing compared to Kendrick Moxon after the Scientology  crooks murdered his daughter. Moxon didn't seem to care one bit, he just took a jet to Florida and pretended his daughter's murder didn't matter one bit. It's why the shitting insane criminal was given the title "Father of The Year."

smallchange
smallchange

 @zolotoy6 Precisely. He also bitched about the hell his wife caused the church, instead of having any empathy for the woman who gave birth to his son. Fucked up priorities.

tetloj
tetloj

 @BurytheNuts Aah you've cleared something up for me. This is why Suri is carried everywhere with her blankie and stuffed toys. TC wants her to be just like the dwarfenfuhrer.

Meelah
Meelah

 @victoriapandora 

 

I was a member on disqus before coming to this site and I'm sure many others were as well.  Some make take issue with the fact that this comment system initially sets your screen name as whatever your e-mail name is before the "@" which might worry some who don't want a flood of e-mails from COS members.

 

If anyone was wondering you can go back in your profile and change your nick name to whatever you want. 

MariannaP.
MariannaP.

 @victoriapandora 

 

It's all about Sunday, but I feel that with the old com system there was much more comments here (I can't check it, old comments are not available yet).

Really, I feel it's all about this system, check previous hot articles, less comments than usually.

The system is not only new and confusing, it is also not new-comers friendly, people can't comment as guests, can't like as guests...

 

KimLoss
KimLoss

 @collon88 I don't believe in SPs per se, but I will agree with you that David Miscavige is a psychopathic personality. I hope to see him behind bars some day. 

 

And you're right. The Sp Declare is a form of character assassination and serves to insulate the faithful from the disaffected. 

EinsteinontheBeach
EinsteinontheBeach

 @smallchange Still got nothing on my end.  I guess I just have track the number of posts, since the "new post" indicator is out-ethics:)

AndrewRobertson
AndrewRobertson

 

Well Fred, the TR's (Training Routines) teach Scientologists to be able to repress their emotions and generate false ones. But Kendrick Moxon's sudden apoplectic rage during a three-way conversation with Keith Henson and one of Graham Berry's attorneys in 2001 when Keith said he was going to Gold Base to protest Stacy's death, suggest to me that he was grief stricken and unable to hide his real feelings.

 

It is believed that he didn't want his daughter to join the Sea Org anyway, knowing full well the régime, but she was the one who insisted.

 

smallchange
smallchange

 @Meelah Could be, but he started out in the role as "the kidnapper", no? Maybe "enforcer" is a better term?

ClamOnAHalfshell
ClamOnAHalfshell

 @Meelah  @victoriapandora Change screenname: yes. Change log-in email: no. And log-in email shows to other people! This is not good!  So I'll log on anonymously this way. At least screen name shows...I can't get paragraph breaks to work.   Thus far, LifeFyre can kiss my shiny heiny.

ClamOnAHalfshell
ClamOnAHalfshell

 @MariannaP. You can log on as "anonymous" with a screen name. That's what I'm doing. You can call yourself "Guest" if you like. Or "Guesty." Or "GuestyGuestGuest." Just no spaces. Stupid LiveFyre!

EinsteinontheBeach
EinsteinontheBeach

 @MariannaP.  @victoriapandora 

 

I think also there are fewer "likes" getting handed out by the people that registered to post here.  I personally don't like seeing my avatar on someone else's post when I click "like."  I think SkipPress had around 80 likes on one of his comments before we switched.

smallchange
smallchange

 @MariannaP.   Yeah, I miss getting replies in my profile, too. Plus, You go from one page and back, and then comments are missing, then they reappear, it's too strange and pointless. But I imagine that they are committed to it, so complaining is probably pointless as well.

smallchange
smallchange

 @EinsteinontheBeach Well I just received notification before any posts were up, so I am enjoying the clairvoyant commenting system.

JohnPCapitalist
JohnPCapitalist

 @MariannaP.  No, it was developed by an equally destructive force: a bunch of 26-year-old computer geeks in San Francisco who lack adequate adult supervision and who think their digital hipness excuses lack of attention to the boring details such as performance tuning and actually testing the browser compatibility that they are supposed to deliver.   

 

26-year-olds are not generally as evil as the OSA but do seem able to cause as much "enturbulation" to the user base. 

smallchange
smallchange

 @MariannaP. I wanted to "like" this earlier, but I had logged out and didn't feel like logging back in. I have no church experience myself, but I'm learning from you guys.

 

Here ya go with the "like".

MariannaP.
MariannaP.

 @smallchange 

Making it :

complicated

unfriendly

controlling (log in, your avatar everywhere, etc.)

engaging

with lots of technical problems

driving people dizzy/crazy/frustrated/angry

 

It is SO OSA (or Hubbard as you wish)..LRHFyre!!!

 

 

smallchange
smallchange

 @MariannaP. Must be cheaper than Disqus. At least I hope so. Otherwise, they may not be getting their money's worth.

:)

MariannaP.
MariannaP.

 @smallchange  @EinsteinontheBeach  @victoriapandora 

 

It can even be their first step into participation before they figure out whether they like the place and people or not. It's a lot of mess to register, fill everything, choose the avatar and so on, it needs motivation. Before people could just like if they didn't want to write, they could post as guests if they didn't want to be engaged with the whole site and everything, they could register afterwards if they felt like they stay for a long time. The new system is like : "No dates, you see me, if you want me, you marry me"...

smallchange
smallchange

 @EinsteinontheBeach  @MariannaP.  @victoriapandora  Sometimes I just want to read and not have to log in to "like" a comment. I appreciated that Disqus gave you that option. I would imagine that unregistered people "liked" comments as well. Some people simply want to lurk and not post, yet agree with some of the posts...so that may be the loss of additional "likes".

MariannaP.
MariannaP.

 @smallchange 

Ah Ok, seems like I got it...you miss the edit option as well, I suppose :)

MariannaP.
MariannaP.

 @smallchange 

I'm getting angry! That message is a perfect exemple. You message just showed off in the middle of something and I can't get what are you talking about...whaaaa...

smallchange
smallchange

 @MariannaP. Well wha was cool about Disqus was that you could comment on different sites, and still get messages/replies in one place. You can't do that with livefrye.You can't even get replies from livefrye, you have to scan the entire page to see if someone answered your question etc. It's not convenient, and not geared toward a really good user experience.

MariannaP.
MariannaP.

 @smallchange 

Huh, I take time off as well, but I still believe that it's something about the system, cause it dropped really hard from the very moment it was in place.

smallchange
smallchange

 @MariannaP. Yes, that can make you dizzy if a lot of people are commenting. I think it's partially that the new system isn't all that user -friendly, but also that it isn't hot as hell out and people are taking advantage of that. I know I did.

MariannaP.
MariannaP.

 @smallchange 

Yeah...but I'm somewhat worried. Just remember how many comments there was usually for one single article and how many there is now. I don't have an impression that the comments became more thorough or informatif or whatever, there is even more of chit-chatter (well, what can you do more with this crazy system of "alert!alert!new comment I don't know where I don't know why")...

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