Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise's Split Becomes an Advertisement (Also, Guide to Our Scientology Archives!)

Categories: Scientology

Southampton, England-based P&O Cruises put this advertisement in a newspaper somewhere, and it was naturally posted to the web.

We can't decide, however, if P&O understood just how brilliant its advertisement is, as it not only riffs on Tom Cruise's name, but it also recalls one of Scientology's biggest controversies of 2011, and a big favorite here at our blog -- the Scientology cruise that would never end!

We're talking, of course, of Valeska Paris, whose shocking story of being kept against her will from 1996 to 2007 on Scientology's private cruise ship the Freewinds was voted the best of 2011 by our readers.

We also revealed the Freewinds horror stories of another young woman who worked in the Sea Org, Ramana Dienes-Browning. And we also told the story of Valeska's sister Melissa, who says she was forced to marry at 16 while she worked as a child for the Sea Org in the UK. In four years she was paid a total of $40. We also put together a slide show of the Scientology celebrities who took courses on the Freewinds during the period that Valeska says she was being held there.

The thing is, we've uncovered a lot of surprising stories about Scientology in the last couple of years, and we keep hearing from new folks who are diving into our archives for the best stuff.

With that in mind, we thought it was time to come up with a guide to our best stories for the new people, and a reminder for our loyal commenters.

Here's most of the good stuff we've done in the past two years. How many have you read?

(For a quick primer on Scientology itself, we put out this handy guide on the first day of the new year.)

Scientology in the Village Voice

We interviewed Janet Reitman about her book Inside Scientology, and reviewed the book as well.

Scientology claims to have millions of members; we pulled together the real numbers, and they're a lot lower.

Placido Domingo Jr., son of the great tenor, told us that he quit Scientology because of the way it harassed him for refusing to "disconnect" from his ex-wife, Sam Domingo.

We published secret Scientology documents laying out the church's plans to spy on one of its former members, Marc Headley.

We introduced the world to Dede, Scientology's most lovable fundraiser.

We caught an L.A. Sheriff's deputy, in uniform, encouraging people to empty out their 401K accounts to pay for Scientology services.

Last August, we started a wildly popular series, Top 25 People Crippling Scientology.

We published a secretly-recorded conversation showing Scientology executive Tommy Davis pressuring a young church member to quit his job working for an "SP" or risk losing all contact with his family.

We showed how Scientology hunts down former members with telemarketers -- even if they haven't taken a course or bought a book in 40 years!

We interviewed Hugh Urban, an Ohio State U. professor with deep knowledge of Scientology's history.

We kept a close watch on last year's bizarre "Squirrel Busters" siege outside the home of former Scientology executive Marty Rathbun, which included his arrest.

We covered a breaking news story that involved another depressing case of "disconnection" -- when Lori Hodgson's son was seriously injured, her family tried to keep her away from his hospital room because she was no longer a church member.

We explained how a man trying to get a life-saving invention to market had been prevented from doing so because of the harassment he was getting from Scientology. His crime? He dared to hire a critic of the church. And don't miss part two.

Last October, we confirmed with filmmaker Lloyd Kaufman that he'd been hit up for information about South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone in what turned out to be a widespread investigation of the animators by Scientology. You can find our other stories about the South Park probe from that piece.

There was the strange story of Scientology retaliation against a woman who dared forward information that proved to be embarrassing to Tom Cruise and his daughter Suri.

We paid a visit to the Scientology "Ideal Org" in Jaffa, Israel, and learned its salacious history.

We can't get enough of Chill EB, Scientology's in-house rapper. After a lot of asking, we managed to get a rather interesting and strange interview with him one night.

There was the strange confrontation that protester Tommy Gorman found himself in outside the San Francisco Scientology "org." That led us to a pretty wild story about Tommy's wife, as well.

We published video of Scientology leader David Miscavige proclaiming his respect for the coolness of black people.

We had fun annotating an e-mail sent out on New Year's Eve by Debbie Cook, a popular former Scientology executive who really rocked the church with her accusations about Miscavige's leadership problems.

The Super Power Building in Clearwater, Florida -- Scientology's $100 million boondoggle that will only be accessed by its wealthiest and highest-ranking members -- is still not open, but we can tell you what's going to be inside!

One of our more explosive stories earlier this year was our investigation showing how, for years, Scientology spied on its own most precious object, Tom Cruise.

We reported a disturbing "disconnection" story from Missouri, which included the intimidation of a 71-year-old grandmother by Scientology officials.

We showed how Scientology's Australian spokeswoman took to the airwaves to deny that "disconnection" occurs -- but didn't tell her interviewers that she'd disconnected from her own father for 23 years.

We uncovered new information in the mysterious death of David Miscavige's mother-in-law, Flo Barnett, who somehow managed to kill herself by shooting a rifle at herself, four times.

We covered the death of Ann Tidman, a legendary Scientologist also known as Annie Broeker, who died in anonymity, 25 years after she'd been among the last to care for L. Ron Hubbard in his seclusion.

We explained the five biggest lies in that 2-minute television Scientology ad that you see pop up on Hulu all the time.

We published the most comprehensive story -- with maps -- about Scientology's most secretive organization, CST, which builds vaults for storing L. Ron Hubbard's materials to survive a nuclear holocaust.

We wrote an open letter to Tom Cruise.

Hugh Urban helped us explore the extensive connections between L. Ron Hubbard's ideas and the place he stole them from: Aleister Crowley and the occult.

We uncovered David Miscavige's secret compulsion behind the Ideal Org push.

We had the rare privilege of telling in full the history of harassment experienced by Paulette Cooper after she wrote her 1971 book, The Scandal of Scientology. We then had the amazing luck to discover facts previously unknown about her escape from the Holocaust in 1944 Belgium.

We demonstrated how even something as seemingly secular and beneficial as the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest is, in fact, tainted by Scientology's abuses.

We found out more about the FBI investigation into Scientology that Lawrence Wright's New Yorker profile of Paul Haggis had first brought notice of to the world -- and explained that it was already dead before we ever heard of it.

We showed how a flub by Scientology's spokeswoman, Karin Pouw, proved a connection between the church and slimy anonymous attack websites that former church officials always told us were actually operated by Scientology's spy network, the Office of Special Affairs.

We interviewed former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder in a series of videotaped conversations, during which he described what it was like in "The Hole," Scientology's bizarre office-prison.

We revealed portions of Scientology's amazing L. Ron Hubbard birthday event held in Clearwater this past March.

With "The Hole" revealed for what it is in numerous press accounts, we wondered where Miscavige would now put his out-of-favor executives on the International Base. We revealed lots of great photos of the base supplied to us by Sinar Parman.

We interviewed David Edgar Love after he managed to get a Scientology Narconon drug treatment center shut down in Canada.

We explained why we're pretty sure Lisa Marie Presley is no longer a Scientologist.

We looked at the homophobia in Scientology while we told the story of Derek Bloch, kicked out of his own family for daring to question the church and its policies.

We broke news of two major defections from Scientology's International Base east of Los Angeles -- L. Ron Hubbard granddaughter Roanne Horwich, and David Miscavige's own father, Ron Miscavige Sr.

We found L. Ron Hubbard's policy of "security checking" children as young as 6 years old -- Suri's age -- which helped explain why Katie might want to get her out of there.

Katie was also smart to stay away from Scientology's marriage counseling nuttiness. (Part two was even nuttier.)

Press interest in David Miscavige's vanished wife, Shelly, motivated us to explain what we know about it.

On July 5, we broke the news of the death of Alexander Jentzsch, son of Scientology's president, Heber Jentzsch. We've been following the investigation of the death ever since.

We broke the news that an entire Scientology mission, in Haifa, Israel, is breaking away from David Miscavige's church.

When it was reported that Tom Cruise would get visitation rights to his daughter, ex-Scientologists whose families have been ripped apart by the church's policy of "disconnection" called it hypocrisy.

Former Scientology executive Marty Rathbun published a manifesto of sorts for the "independent Scientology" movement. We gave him a lot of credit for criticizing abject Hubbard-worship, but he still wasn't really thrilled with our review.

Laura DeCrescenzo's 2009 lawsuit against Scientology over her forced abortion was mentioned in the press, so we called her up to get an update of her legal struggles.

We've tried to keep on top of the developments that are sinking Scientology's quack drug program, Narconon.

We offered an explanation for how Scientologists are able to accept L. Ron Hubbard's bizarre "OT 3" teachings, that we're all infested with invisible alien souls left here 75 million years ago by Xenu, the galactic overlord.

With the help of Paulette Cooper and Patty Moher, we uncovered a remarkable 1968 BBC interview with Neil Gaiman, who at 7 years old was the church's idea of a model young Scientologist. (Gaiman told The New Yorker in 2010 that he's no longer a member.)

We got a hold of a copy of the screenplay for The Master, Paul Thomas Anderson's movie opening in October, and explained not only that it is entirely about Scientology, but even which eras of Scientology history it draws from.

We told John Brousseau's amazing story -- over his 32-year history as a Sea Org member, he seemed to be at the center of everything happening in Scientology, from driving L. Ron Hubbard to working in the Tom Cruise-Katie Holmes household. Part One. Part Two.

Brousseau and Mike Rinder and Amy Scobee then helped us put together a comprehensive list of all the church executives who have spent time in Scientology concentration camp, "The Hole."

When reality TV celebrity Mimi Faust revealed on VH1's Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta that she'd been abandoned at 13 by her Scientologist mother, we tracked down information about her mother and then interviewed Mimi about her harrowing experience.

With the scandal over deaths at Scientology's flagship drug rehab center in Oklahoma deepening, we took on Narconon's claims that it isn't a part of the church itself. Oh yeah? Then why is the president of its umbrella organization in Scientology's concentration camp? Also, a former president of the Oklahoma drug center came forward to admit that Narconon is just "watered-down Scientology."

We broke the news that Isabella Cruise, Tom's daughter, was under a lot of pressure to join the Sea Org after her boyfriend, Eddie Frencher, signed the Sea Org's billion-year contract and had gone to its boot camp.

We wrote about Keith Relkin, who at one time was Scientology's token gay guy in West Hollywood. Relkin died in February, and his friends turned over to us Keith's emails and other writings which showed that privately, he was frustrated by the church's legendary homophobia.

We read and summarized Maureen Orth's great Vanity Fair story about Scientology auditioning Nazanin Boniadi to be Tom Cruise's next girlfriend back in 2004. And director Paul Haggis told us that he was speaking up for Boniadi and that Scientology was attacking her because it's a big bully.

We revealed that Scientology had asked Marc and Claire Headley to become spies for the church in return for waiving nearly $43,000 in court costs. The Headleys instead sold off an automobile and other goods in order to scrape together the money. Our readers then raised more than $42,000 to replace what the Headleys had spent.

Whew. And that brings us up to date. I need a drink.

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

ok, the People Magazine article that hit news stands today was appalling.  Basically said that Katie ran off and left Tom for no good reason and she is a witch who is keeping him from his daughter because closed minded Katie has a problem with Tom's religion.  (What? I had to read something in the checkout line!) Every other tabloid seems to be covering the fact that Katie needed to run far, far away because Co$ is a nasty, harmful cult... I wonder how many staffers at People mag. are 'church' members? hmmmm..... 

wwwRESEARCHcom like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

 @ashleybee I wonder how many at people mag. are being harassed?

At this point, I don't think it is going to matter. I have been all over people mag's articles and no matter what the article is; it turns into Scientology, links, research the  links etc. and so on. Then OSA comes in and Katie turns into a Catholic golddigger, backstabber, etc. Her lawyer father and Katie have set this up from the beginning and she did it for PR. etc. Catholic is a cult, all religions are a cult etc. You get the picture here? It only makes it worse for Scientology.  When the Catholic is a cult issue comes up, I send a link reply of: Research Scientology sexual abuse.  Operation clam bake, sea org.  anything L. Ron Hubbard, a lot of his stuff are court dockets. Let the people readers see and judge for themselves.

( The word is certainly getting out ) 

 I try to send links to the village voice as well, because Tony does awesome work here! When they get here ( like I did ) they find not only the great articles but the commenters here are of people that have been following the Sci-fy bunch along time and ex- Scientologist as well. You gain more knowledge here.

Thanks everyone!!!  To all of the ex-Scientologist that have escape and are in recovery, accolades' to you! I see a lot of you trying to reach out and help the others that don't see what they are into. accolades'.


To fistofXenu I was trying to respond to your rifle question, but ran into issues. Answer is: a Ruger 10 22


Most of this is just fantasy.  Reminds me of how the Anglicans used to say that the Pope ate rabbit fetuses.  Just a bunch of nonsense!

DodoTheLaser like.author.displayName 1 Like

Well, it's Thursday, before 2 pm.

deElizabethan like.author.displayName 1 Like

Great PR. Love the banner.

Really enjoyed going over your links. Some I hadn't seen before and all on the new system too, nice!

Really good research material, will keep this page on my own list.

OTVIIIisGrrr8! like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 10 Like

We in RTC will be ordering Bert Fields to sue P&O for using Tom Cruise's name in its advertisement. Furthermore, we have ordered OSA to Fair Game all P&O executives in retaliation for their felony joking and degrading.


We will invoke the 9th  Circuit ruling for protection as Fair Game is a protected religious sacrament. To comply with legal requirements, COB RTC David Miscavige has taken the decision to invest $100 million dollars in a "Fair Game Warning" PR campaign.


Under the legal doctrine of "permissible warnings of adverse but legitimate consequences" we in RTC (as agents for the Church of Scientology) will warn wogs of the legitimate consequecnes of attacking the Scientology religion. Our lead is taken from the German government's published warning prior to the commencement of WWI that persons traveling in the Atlantic on steaming ships flying the flag of Great Britain and her allies were subject to being torpedoed and sunk by German U boats. 


Hence, our warning:




"Non-Scientologists intending to embark on attacks against the Church of Scientology are reminded that  a state of war exists between the R6 Reactive Bank and Homo Novis; that, in

accordance with formal notice given by the Religious Technology Center, any persons engaging in hate speech against the Church and its affiliated groups are liable to the destruction of Fair Game. Persons attacking the Church of Scientology do so at their own risk.


"Religious Technology Center

1710 Ivar Ave #1100  Los Angeles, CA 90028"


Alternately, if we in RTC are attacked we will file criminal charges claiming that our attackers are engaging in acts of hatred based upon our sincerely held religious belief that this sector of the universe suffers from a great catastrophe that occurred 75,000,000 years ago.


We in RTC own this sector of the universe.


You have been warned.


AndrewRobertson like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 6 Like


Meanwhile, above the skies of northern Idaho, the Fifth Invader Fleet is massing its forces to strike where least expected.


Knowing full well that at its bastion of power in Los Angeles, Loyal Officers from the Space Org in silver boots are striding around the rooftop of 'Big Blue', with their mighty intentions beams more than a match for his interstellar battle cruisers, the Marcab Commander is planning a stealthy guerrilla invasion through Wyoming, then eastward to New York where advance units have already established a base camp at 36 Cooper Square, New York City and are spreading enturblation across the nation.......


[Transmission ceased]


OTVIIIisGrrr8! like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 5 Like

 @AndrewRobertson Andrew, we in RTC frantically need the rest of that transmission!!!


May we send a special team of highly trained Flag technical terminals with e-meters to help regain the signal?

AndrewRobertson like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 6 Like





A spokesman for the New York City Police Department said that Commissioner Kelly had been given strict instruction by the Mayor that the police's priority was to crack down on sellers of sodas greater than 16 ounces as this was the major threat the city faced, consigning millions of its residents to obesity and early death.


Any reports of 12 foot high space aliens with tubes in their noses destroying city blocks with ray-guns would of course be investigated, but only when police resources were available and it was established that these misdemeanors were not just high-spirited pranks by beings from another world.





AussieCase like.author.displayName 1 Like

To those who haven't done OTIII, I haven't, thetan is just the $cn word for spirit or soul. Body thetans are what needs to be exorcised, wikipedia seems to have it right.Many people who I met in $cn had not done OTIII. There were some long time (over 5 years) public, staff members at smaller organization, and old and young sea organization members. In my experience in the late 80's and early 90's, most people I met had not done OTIII. Ideally, from a $cn prospective, it is kept secret until you have really bought in, likely after many confessionals and incurring a lot of debt. I was working at a company where some staff were $cn when I began to drift away. It was there where a non-$cn coworker told me the Xenu story, he had read it in a book. I initially didn't believe him, but he simply asked me why a  $cn's coworker (much longer time $cn then me) was covering his ears and yelling. Today OTIII is relatively common knowledge, and it must be harder for people to cover their ears and yell.


In $cn there is this thing called a missed withhold, it is basically some dodgy thing you did that may be bad and that you suspect people almost found out about--missed.  Jason Beghe mentions masturbation and this is a good example.


$cn auditors will ask questions like:"Has a withhold been missed?"

"Have I missed a withhold on you?""Is there something I've almost found out about?"

"Is there something you are afraid I'll find out?"


You get the idea. 


For an amusing response you could say you were thinking about the auditor's mother when ____.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reTx5sqvVJ4 (This type of answer may not improve your IQ by 20 points)


Sometimes this is done in auditing, and sometimes, if you are in trouble, the auditor will say at very the start, "I'm not auditing you." Then you are suppose to confess, the auditor will write a report, and you will go off to meet an ethics officer and so you can figure out how to make amends. This "not auditing you" sort is called an HCO confessional.



It amuses me no end the way some of you people react when a troll posts a comment. It's like it's red alert time on the Enterprise. I've seem reactions like " Tony make it stop ! Please remove the comment" to "oh it's a troll ignore it and it will go away". It's painfully obvious most of you people have little if any experience dealing with trolls, scilon or otherwise.


PRO-TIP: You should want scientologists to post here so you can debate them and you can prove your point as opposed to just patting yourselves on the back for having the correct POV.

media_lush like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like


a typical Mordechai reply:


"Wow brilliant retort, but what should I expect from some limey poof wanna be gossip columnist with a nutsuck for a head ? And I've forgotten more about scientology then you'll ever know sonny. I've read Touretzky (do you even know who that is?) and all the rest, so bite me."


.... yeah, "PRO", lol


 @media_lush  You shouldn't start something you're obviously incapable of finishing there Louella.

RobertEckert like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 5 Like

 @Mordechai "Debating" and "proving" anything are meaningless concepts in this context.  Sometimes we are dealing with the robotically close-minded, sometimes with distracting provocateurs, sometimes it is not a troll at all but just someone with an opinion that seems odd but is actually being misunderstood.


Didn't realize deleting one's original post doesn't remove the responses to it, sorry for the unneeded mess...

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Octecdkc2 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Curse you, JohnP.


You've undone me; we are not entirely satisfied with the fact that we should have typed "c" for the last letter, which will upset us for a 1.13478598981535  trillenia (at least). 


Keep in mind, JohnP, we were not using our escalated encryption mechanisms which were engaged by some Canuck. 


Luckily for you, these new readers just needed a hint, not the full Canuck-encrypted puzzle.


RU marco? cuz I miss that piss ant marco


You people do not know what you are taking about.  What do'nt you understand about "Science" Of The Mind, Dianetics... it is not a new thing, pretty common, it' is one of the corenerstones and definitive discovereries in history, as the author, LRH most nobly noted.It increases your IQ by 20 points, easy.


Have you ever even been audited?  The auditor asks you a lot of questions, and maybe you get spacey or feel sleepy, but you always get a big win so what is so weird about that anyway since it is not super unaffordable.

Ceci9 like.author.displayName 1 Like

 @Octecdke2      IQ rises by 20 points, you say?  So before dianetics yours was around 50.   Go and stick that e-meter where Tommy likes to put his button mushroom.   Scilon.



JohnPCapitalist like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 6 Like

 @Octecdke2 Welcome to our new comment system, Aibacram (Marcabia spelled backwards).  For those who think he's for real, add two letters to "Marcabia" and you'll get "Octecdke" (except for the last letter, which is 4 removed from the "a." 


Much better job on trying to emulate the poor spelling of a real high school dropout Sea Org member than your first trolling effort a couple weeks ago, though I think adding vowels a la "corenerstones" is a stretch; they probably would have done it as two words.  And it seems unlikely that a barely-literate real Scientologist would have spelled "definitive" correctly -- most uneducated people would write "difinitive" or "difenitive." 


Kudos, however, for "it is not super unaffordable."  One of the better ironic understatements I've seen in a while.


But you've still got game... dragged a couple of the newer people in... 


@JohnPCapitalist @Octecdke2 Curses!!! Fooled again!

Sherbet like.author.displayName 1 Like

 @JohnPCapitalist Bravo!  That was brilliant!  I didn't think it was Marco.  His syntax is off, but his spelling is generally good.


 @Octecdke2 Welcome to VV... always good to have someone with a great sense of humour!

dbloch7986 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

 @Octecdke2 Cognitive dissonance hurts. Especially in it's final phases. We all have to go through it.

ThatClose like.author.displayName 1 Like

Has anyone read  A piece of blue sky : Scientology, Dianetics, and L. Ron Hubbard exposed / by Jon Atack. Atack, Jon. call number:299.936092 ?  


I just requested it at the library.  Apparently it's the last copy in the OC Library system.


 @ThatClose Personally I vastly prefer "Bare Faced Messiah" as far as a work that covers Hubbard's real life and who he actually was. 

FistOfXenu like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 4 Like

 @ThatClose Brilliant book - read it 3 times. Gave me a good grasp of how all the bits of the history fit in time, and I was able to see how all the pieces of Hubbard's personality flowed together to create the madness of his alter-ego we know as $cientoology. Seeing how $cientoology grew out of LRH's own personality disorder and his early fascination with Crowleyism makes a lot of sense out of it all for me. Also made it really plain to me that the nastiness of the cult isn't some accident or an aberration. It's built into $cientoology from day 1. The evil is a picture of Hubbard's soul. 


Other books will fill you in on a lot of other stuff but when it comes to the history and seeing how it all started, for me this book is the Daddy. 

AndrewRobertson like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

 @ThatClose  If you're impatient, you can download 'A Piece of Blue Sky' from Professor Touretzky's 'Secret Scientology Library', along with many other equally interesting Scientology books and documents books here:




 @AndrewRobertson Wow, great link.  Thanks for the tip.  I seem to have caught the Scientology watcher's addiction and can't get enough of this blog either!


worstcultever like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 4 Like

 @SvenBoogie  @ThatClose  @AndrewRobertson I read Bare Faced Messiah online last weekend and couldn't put it down (so to speak). There was a lot about Hubbard's life I hadn't known. I did have to take breaks from the intensity of his awfulness. It is mindboggling to ponder the ruinous power of a single madman. Hubbard was a true sociopath who lied like he breathed.


I read Reitman's book last year and then donated it to my local library!

AndrewRobertson like.author.displayName 1 Like


There was a time when Scientologists used to prowl around public libraries borrowing critical books about their organization and forgetting to return them.


Their intent was to reduce entheta in this sector of the galaxy.


It didn't work.



 @AndrewRobertson Almost right. When I first tried to get the book the librarian told me they used to have the book until some men came in and threatened to tie the library up with a "dissemination" suit if she didn't let the men take the book right then and there. She let them take it. Bastards!

roggy_mcgee like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like


 Yes.  It is definitely worth reading.  However, I would read Janet Reitman's Inside Scientology first (assuming you haven't already read it).  Atack's book is significantly more detailed about the history and early days of Scientology, IIRC.  It's also a denser read because of that detail.  One other substantial difference is that Atack's book is, for lack of a better word, old. A lot of the major scandals that have faced Scientology occurred after it was written.  I would love to see Atack tackle a revised addition with a handful of new chapters, but that does not appear to be forthcoming.


 @roggy_mcgee  @ThatClose I'm with you on that revision, roggy. The guy really created a flap with that book. Wish he was still around to do some more. 

ThatClose like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

 @roggy_mcgee Hi Roggy, I read Inside Scientology earlier this year and loved it.  I feel so much compassion for people being oppressed and frightened into staying.  I was interested in "sky" because it is old, maybe to gain some insight into how LRHs "teachings" got  twisted into this mess it is today.


 @SvenBoogie I guess that shows how 2 people can see the same "data" in 2 different ways. Good thing we're not in the cult or at least one of us would be in ethics for altering tech. :) 


Seriously, I think the key to Atack's book is the way he structured the chapters to be grouped into parts. Part 1 is his credentials for writing the book. He lays out his background in $cientoology and why he left. That was really important back then although you'll notice it's still pretty common now. 


Part 2 gives us how LRH grew into his role as a liar who used his lies to make himself heroic and legendary. It also shows us the truth behind the lies. Parts 3-6 document the evolution of Dianetics and $cientoology from the baby monster of 1949-50 up to 1982. Parts 7-8 show the start of the indie movement and more recent stuff from 1984 to when the book was released. Part 9 sums it up. 


As for your concern with chronology, as I recall the main topic of each part is titled and dated for the years it focuses on. And I also recall that when he strays out of those boundaries it's usually because he's showing the connection with something that happened outside the boundaries to see where the topic originated or where it ended up. 


Maybe that layout doesn't help everybody the same but for me, it was useful to see how the different elements of $cientoology developed and the way their development overlapped. And it meant he could pour a lot of detail into the documentation. 


But Miller's book is also a good read.  And I don't think it's worth fighting about. Russell writes the preface to Atack and thanks him for all his help with Bare-faced Messiah. And IIRC he calls Atack's book more comprehensive than his own. No need to choose. 

SvenBoogie like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

 @FistOfXenu I couldn't disagree more. I found Atack's book lacked any sense of narrative or structure, and just kind of leaps around to whatever point he felt like making after the previous one. Bare Faced Messiah has a much clearer, chronological flow to it, and presents a lot of detail about Hubbard that Atack doesn't get to. 

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 @roggy_mcgee  @ThatClose Read them both. Blue Sky is a better read and clearer. Atack has a precision in his writing and a real clear grasp of the big picture that rates with me over Barefaced Messiah.  

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 In that case, you'll really like it.  I remember it going into detail about Hubbard's early mythology (he was made a blood brother to the Blackfoot? Indian tribe at ~ 6 y.o.!), the Cecil Rhodes insanity, the CMO, the Black Magick, the early Missions, etc. 


That said, I wonder if someone might want to weigh in on A Piece of Blue Sky vs. the Barefaced Messiah.  Those two books seem to almost completely overlap in terms of content.  IDK which is the better investment of time because of the two I have only read Blue Sky.

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