(2012's) Top 25 People Crippling Scientology, Nos. 17-20

Categories: Scientology

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Last summer, we put together a little list that took on a life of its own.

We counted down the 25 people and groups who had been doing the most to get word out to the wider world about the Church of Scientology's many alleged abuses, and who have contributed to its steep recent decline.

A year later, we thought it was time to update our list. This time, we've put a premium on what's happened in the last twelve months, so you might see some of your old favorites drop off the roster. But never fear -- you can always revisit our choices from last year, or the choices of our readers.

So let's see who's next on the list!




The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology -- 2012 Edition


#20: Jamie DeWolf

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L. Ron Hubbard's great-grandson moves up a few spots on our list this year after the way his profile has been rising lately. After the TomKat split, DeWolf was asked to make some comments, and an interview he gave to a Bay Area local television station got picked up and went around the world a few times. We'd predicted big things for Jamie, who has a lot of talent and charm, and isn't afraid to speak freely about his great-grandad.

Jamie's grandfather was L. Ron Hubbard Jr., the first of his father's children. Nicknamed "Nibs," LRH Jr. tried to fit in with his dad's weird invention, Scientology, but after being in and out of the movement, Nibs finally walked away from the church and for good measure changed his name to "Ron DeWolf." His grandson was born Jamie Kennedy, but as Jamie's career as a "slam poet" and performance artist blossomed, he found himself getting confused with a comedian by that name. So he too adopted the name "DeWolf," and he developed a spell-binding bit about his grand-dad's relationship with LRH. As the media fascination with Scientology stays hot, we expect to see Jamie get more opportunities to talk about his odd family.


#19: Jefferson Hawkins

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Last year, when we cited Jeff Hawkins, we talked about his role as the man who marketed Scientology to the world, helping it expand to its greatest extent in the 1980s. Since making our previous list, he's put out a new book and has been an invaluable resource for this blog. Hawkins has proved time and again to be among the most rational and reliable former Scientologists, and can be counted on to put the church's changing fortunes into perspective and context.



#18: Amy Scobee

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Amy Scobee has been much in demand since the TomKat split. She spent 27 years in Scientology, and as a high-ranking Sea Org official, she was witness to the harrowing conditions at the church's secretive International Base east of Los Angeles. Recently, Amy helped us out enormously by putting together short and informative descriptions of the many Scientology executives who have spent time in Int Base's notorious office-prison, "The Hole." She put a lot of effort into it, and we figure it's going to be a valuable resource for years to come. Amy was also invaluable for our story this week about Isabella Cruise considering the Sea Org as a career. When we asked if Tom Cruise's daughter would really have to put up with harsh conditions if she signed the Sea Org's billion-year contract, Amy nearly shouted her response: "Yes! You are signing over your entire life."



#17: Marc and Claire Headley

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Marc and Claire Headley may have lost their recent appeal and their lawsuit against the Church of Scientology on human trafficking violations, but this couple remains one of the most important sets of former Scientology workers ever to come out of the church. We're still hoping someone gets around to turning Marc's book Blown For Good into a major Hollywood film.



See also: 25. Xenu, 24. Kate Bornstein, 23. Lisa Marie Presley, 22. John Brousseau, 21. Dani and Tami Lemberger

Look for the next installment of our Top 25 on Sunday. We have things timed so that we'll reveal this year's number one just a few days before the opening of "The Master," Paul Thomas Anderson's new film that should explode interest in all things Scientology.


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Scientology's Tel Aviv Ideal Org Finally Opens

We've written several times about the fairly astounding problems dogging Scientology's attempts to open an Ideal Org in Tel Aviv. It's a sordid tale of arson, attempted murder, and lawsuits. But finally, this week, the beautifully renovated former movie theater in Jaffa was opened with the usual pomp and circumstance.

As we've noted before, Scientology leader David Miscavige seems to enjoy flying in for the photo opportunities that come with opening a new building. We couldn't help point out that he almost always ends up being shot standing in the same exact position, whether it's in Seattle or Nashville, as in the following two photos.

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But this week, Miscavige was in the Holy Land, and even the leader of a billion-dollar organization has to pay attention to local customs.

At least, that's what we figure he must have been thinking when he posed in his usual style at the Jaffa opening, but surrounded by signs in Hebrew, he remembered to read things right to left...

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Astra Woodcraft at AOL

After the TomKat split, Astra Woodcraft told her story of escaping the Sea Org at the Daily Beast and it got a huge reaction. Now she's made a video for AOL, and this thing should bring even more attention to what the Sea Org is like for young people. Wow...



See also:
"Tom Cruise worships David Miscavige like a god"
Scientology's president and the death of his son: our complete coverage
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?
Neil Gaiman, 7, Interviewed About Scientology by the BBC in 1968
The Master Screenplay: Scientology History from Several Different Eras
And a post that pulls together the best of our Scientology reporting

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.


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251 comments
sue03
sue03

Just started reading Amy Scobee's book, I can't put it down, absolutely fascinating!!

ClamOnAHalfshell
ClamOnAHalfshell

What's with the bear suit eating the drumstick? Now I want a drumstick. Yummy.

1subgenius
1subgenius

Re: :Creation of Human Ability". LRH invented Furries. Trufax.

SvenBoogie
SvenBoogie

I dabble in humorously re-editing videos as something of a hobby, I've been wanting to play with a $ci video just for the lulz, but I can never decide which would be best to use as a source. Suggestions? 

media_lush
media_lush

Tony, if you ever get bored you could always do a companion piece:

 

"25 people we'd LIKE to see crippling scientology"  [I made my spellcheck 'learn' the lower case spelling as the capital S always annoyed me]

 

Larry David holding the cans scene in Curb Your Enthusiasm

 

Charlie Sheen

 

David Letterman (Kudos to Conan for his efforts but I think Dave could do it better)

 

Mitt Romney (oh, the hypocritical lulz)

 

Louis CK

 

Gary Busey (the one the church doesn't admit to)

 

Justin Beiber

 

..... just a few suggestions - feel free to add your own

media_lush
media_lush

Two strange snippets from the scion poster boys:

 

Why in the World Would John Travolta Star in a ‘Toxic Avenger’ Remake?

 

John Travolta is no stranger to camp. We know this not because of any colorful conjectures about his personal life, but because he took on Divine’s role in the 2007 remake of Hairspray. (There is also, of course, his pet project Battlefield Earth, although we wouldn’t dare characterize his participation in that L. Ron Hubbard adaptation as anything less than sincere.) So, OK, this isn’t entirely out of the blue. But we’re still pretty surprised to hear that Travolta is attached to Akiva Goldman and Troma head Lloyd Kaufman’s PG-13 reboot of the latter’s thoroughly enjoyable 1984 cult trash-fest The Toxic Avenger.

 

And Tom Cruise in a Hertfordshire, UK Indian restaurant with his bodyguards without UK money to pay bill  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2192640/Tom-Cruise-stops-surprise-dinner-curry-house-UK-visit-paying-220-Mission-Impossible.html

 

.... the obvious answer would be they're both losing their minds, of course.

 

 

 

Sherbet
Sherbet

I'm watching the Koppel-Miscavige interview, and I have to keep taking a break from the lunacy.  I don't know how Ted Koppel kept himself from laughing out loud as DM ranted about psychiatry's complicated (and ridiculous) master plan against the people of the world and against cos ("I have documents!").  DM is either as insane as Hubbard was, or else he's just pretending he's a true believer because it pays well. 

ChocolateVelvet
ChocolateVelvet

Aiiigh!!  Not that Teddy Bear Child again!   I still don't understand what that has to do with the creation of human ability, and I still think that is one delightfully strange, disturbing image.  I only just recovered from the last time we saw that creepy chick, gnawing on that yummy chicken leg, in the Sunday Funnies..  Now, she'll be haunting my dreams again, only this time instead of OOD's she'll probably belt out "Thank You For Listening", LRH style.  It's at the top of the story, too, where it hits you without warning.  You gotta give some warning, Tony O!  My engrams have been restimulated, or whatever...  ;)

all.clear
all.clear

Tony, please make bear suit wearing, drumstck eating lady the 16th person most crippling Scientology. Please!

BosonStark
BosonStark

I like Astra's AOL video, because it hits people with the information about the Sea Org in the very beginning. When I first heard of the Sea Org's existence, I thought just the name was peculiar.

Many people who know a little about Scientology, have no idea there is such thing as the Sea Org. Also, the "have sex before marriage, and get sent to a labor camp." That was excellent. All it needs to do, is resonate with young people, to search further, for either Astra's name or anything about Scientology.

Also, not being able to ride a bike or go to a store. Just imagine growing up in the U.S. or Europe like that? It is really unimaginable for a lot of people.

PreferToBeAnon
PreferToBeAnon

I used to have so much empathy for the Indies and, for the most part, believed that we had a common purpose in bringing $ci down. The exchange today on Marty's site about the Village Voice had me cringing.  Pretzel logic is an understatement. 

http://markrathbun.wordpress.com/2012/08/20/add-child-endangerment-to-the-list-of-miscavige-crimes/#comments  It starts with "Chris" at 12:16 a.m.  They think the VV and commenters are full of degenerates because Tony "fairgames" folks.  WTF? I think "The Oracle" has missed the critical point about the articles referenced.

I tried to ignore it a few days ago when one poster over there said the crime about $ci trying to influence Rock Center’s was that "producers will make a bigger show of this and NN will be the one suffering – worse, LRH’s valid tech will be denigrated and that’s flat out WRONG!"  Yeah, LRH's reputation is the critical issue here--not kids dying.

They are starting to scare me. They keep missing the critical issues. I guess critical issues require critical thought.

tetloj
tetloj

 @DodoTheLaser Marty is having to twist and turn so hard to not make it all LR's fault he's in danger of disappearing up his own arse. I love the use of 'fellow' - just like El Wrong. Maybe he's channelling.

ClamOnAHalfshell
ClamOnAHalfshell

 @SvenBoogie Edit together the couch-jumping video, "Matt, you're so glib," Tom Cruise's scibot speech, and some of Tom Cruise's stupider movie moments. A Tom Cruise $cilon mashup. C'est manifique.

StillKeyedOut
StillKeyedOut

 @SvenBoogie 

Take Pulp Fiction.

When Travolta opens the briefcase, and Samuel L. Jackson asks him "are we happy?" cut to a close up of an E-meter. (instead of the drugs)

You get the idea.

Throw in some "Top Gun" to the rescue?

wannabeclear
wannabeclear

 @media_lush There was an Off-Broadway musical of The Toxic Avenger a couple of years back and it was hilarious.  Maybe they are making that into a movie?  Travolta doing another movie musical could be interesting.  Not to point out gay stereotypes or anything, but...drag, musical theater.  Johnny boy is very comfortable in these two worlds.

DodoTheLaser
DodoTheLaser

 @Sherbet Ted Koppel-David Miscavige = Matt Lauer-Tom Cruise 2.0

Funny thought...

DeckardCain
DeckardCain

 @Sherbet I vote for a third option - David Miscavige is a deluded idiot that managed to pick up a torch and inflame it further.

jonhendry
jonhendry

 @all.clear I think Anonymous should make that their new uniform for protests.

ClamOnAHalfshell
ClamOnAHalfshell

 @PreferToBeAnon Are all Indies Rathbun disciples? I thought some of them were genuinely on their own. Isn't that what the Freezone is supposed to be about? I'm not advocating it, I'm just curious.

SvenBoogie
SvenBoogie

 @PreferToBeAnon I still don't understand why anyone continues to give Rathbun the web traffic and attention he so desperately craves. He left the cult for the most selfish reasons, continues to shill LRH's con, and screams at and/or deletes anyone who ever dares question him. 

Capt._Howdy
Capt._Howdy

 @PreferToBeAnon I get the impression that the Indies seemed to be under the impression that there was some sort of " the enemy of my enemy is my friend" truce and that the "wog" critics here would temper and self censor their criticisms and mocking of LRH and the "Tech". How they arrived at this I don't know, but I personally would never agree to that in a billion years.

PreferToBeAnon
PreferToBeAnon

I am still so angry about this I am replying to my own comment! lol The bit about the Village Voice CONDUCTING child endangerment has me seeing red.  There is a part of me that wants to stick my big toe in and respond, but I can't bring myself to face the wrath of an Indie and wrestle with their thought processes.  Hell hath no fury like a Scientologist scorned. 

Ok... I'm better now.

PoisonIvy
PoisonIvy

 @PreferToBeAnon God, I hear you.  I was always rooting for the indies because I can truly empathize with the idea of having everything you ever believe yanked out from under you (along with the people you love and the life you knew.)  It made sense to me that people would reach out to one another to help each other heal, and to try and sort out the good from the bad of their experience, since such a majority of Scn's believed that they did get positive results from the lower levels.  But I hear the lockstep of marching jackboots over there more and more...and the same kind of "la la la I can't hear you" response to questions and debates that don't have easy "LRH tech-explainable" answers.  I hope I am wrong but I fear that Marty risks turning into a more intelligent, better read and much more socially adept version of DM, if he keeps insisting that anyone who doesn't agree with him or, especially, speaks critically (or factually) about LRH is "the enemy."  

Capt._Howdy
Capt._Howdy

 @PreferToBeAnon If you're expecting logical behavior from people who believe in reincarnation, astral projection and telekinesis..oh shit what can I say ?

BurytheNuts
BurytheNuts

 @PreferToBeAnon I have been feeling the same things lately. I wanted to think it was a gateway.

But I don't even want to read anymore. You are right. 

I have decided not to go there anymore because it confuses me...and then it really PISSES me OFF.

It is starting to be more and more clear that it is nothing more than a power play.

NO LESSONS LEARNED.

Sad...so sad.

You cannot rationalize a madman....and yet they continually do. (and that includes thier own egos)/

Sherbet
Sherbet

 @DeckardCain I hear his voice, its inflections, the way he prefaces his sentences with phrases like "Let me tell you about this," or "But this is my point," his calling Ted by name repeatedly in a way to ingratiate himself and pretend he and Ted are philosophical buddies, his constantly talking and gesturing and reluctance to give up the floor, the way he sidesteps criticism and assails the listener with words to cloud the issue  -- all I can think of is SALESMAN.  It's not communication; it's sales.  He's got a bill of phony-baloney goods he inherited from LRH, and, it's sad to say, some people are still buying.

Capt._Howdy
Capt._Howdy

 @jonhendry  And the turkey drumsticks shall set the carbohydrated enslaved silicons free once they get a taste of the gobbler godhead !

DeckardCain
DeckardCain

 @Capt._Howdy  @PreferToBeAnon Captain Howdy, please understand that the Indies are folks that are still in a cult.  Cults survive when they conjure up 'enemies' (whether the enemies be real or imagined).  For the Indies, we are their new enemies because that's how they are trained to view the world........'us' versus 'them'.  Obviously we are only a threat to their belief system so because they are still in a cult and taught to think in a binary black-white system.

 

Pity them.  They are still stuck in a crippling mindset.

AussieCase
AussieCase

 @PoisonIvy  @PreferToBeAnon

I mentioned Jim Logan in a previous post, he replied to a couple of my posts on Marty's blog. He appears to be Marty's "Hubbard literature rock and library expert." Logan was Annie Broeker's partner, this is the man that she was on her way meet in Cape Breton when Marty managed to catch up with her as she was boarding a small plane in Boston.

 

He is a drummer and former Scientology band leader. He refused to take requests from David Miscavige, and he is proud of being blacklisted for not playing George Michaels. Ultimately DM had him declared.

 

Apparently Jim Logan has read every anti-Scientology book his family could find. He is a diehard true Hubbard believer. I can imagine such a person building up an Indie movement in his own image, but I do not see such a person actually joining a corporate structure. 

 

You can find Jim Logan talking on youtube.

DeckardCain
DeckardCain

 @BurytheNuts  @PreferToBeAnon One cannot cure a disease with more disease.  While I'm sad to see the lemmings on Rathbun's blog stoop to this level, I'm glad to see that they proudly illustrate what most of us already know because perhaps it will wake up a few more of Rathbun's folks and help them see his transparent bullshit.

BurytheNuts
BurytheNuts

 @PreferToBeAnon However...with that said...I still think Rinder has the possibility to break free. because he is such an Ass...And I mean that In a HUGELY good way....That I think his brain still fires in the right directions..

Shit MIKE..................RUN

wannabeclear
wannabeclear

 @media_lush  @Sherbet  @DeckardCain  This video completely underscores the fact that Tom Cruise is a humorless moron who takes himself way too seriously.  Poor baby, someone shot a water gun at him.  

media_lush
media_lush

 @Sherbet  @DeckardCain if you see his hand movements they're very similar to what Tony Blair was famous for.... obviously had the same 'how to handle the press' PR guru dude.

 

and for the lulz we always have this classic...... you can actually see Cruise trying to channel his theta powers dealing with this guy

 

http://youtu.be/DONrKwEFgbE

 

.... incidentally I originally saw the the full length video of this on TV years back which had Cruise come back and have a second go at the squirter but can't find that version on youtube.

PoisonIvy
PoisonIvy

 @Sherbet  @DeckardCain Oh So well said Sherbert..."It's not communication; it's sales."  But isn't that what Scientology teaches?  It certainly doesn't teach give and take, mutual respect, kindness, forgiveness or tolerance, does it?

PreferToBeAnon
PreferToBeAnon

 @DeckardCain  @Capt._Howdy I keep thinking about their paradigm shifts. First, they enter the cult seeking the personal wins. That gets transformed into clearing the planet--something more altruistic. A raison d'etre that has more appeal than the 9-5. Then, after leaving (by being declared or voluntary), they are back to seeking the personal growth again while doing the 9-5.  No more saving the planet. Their way of moving in the world has changed again. The sense of community identification is shifting as well. You are right DC--they are falling back on what is comfortable and what they believe to be solid ground. They are vulnerable again...I hope Marty really has the beneficent integrity that they all think he does.

DeckardCain
DeckardCain

 @PreferToBeAnon  @PoisonIvy PTBA.....I am right there with you (in regards to the feelings of indignation and disbelief) about the Rathbun-FlavorAid drinking Indies.  Sometimes I can't tell if they are professional trolls or lacking firing synapses.  Either way, I wish them well and hope that they don't hurt anyone.  

AussieCase
AussieCase

 @PreferToBeAnon  @DeckardCain  @BurytheNuts I'm not sure what these "wins."  Hardeep had an indoctrination of sorts, Training routines, studying Hubbard, travelling together Europe with Dom, a decent guy, but a guy who really believes in Hubbard's teaching.

PreferToBeAnon
PreferToBeAnon

 @AussieCase  @DeckardCain  @BurytheNuts Yes, I've thought about this video as well.  It's the early wins that keep you hungering for more.  Clearly there is some value... that is what had me empathetic with the Indies.  As long as it doesn't hurt anyone... but now, I'm not so sure anymore. Anything that prohibits critical thinking makes my stomach contract.

AussieCase
AussieCase

 @DeckardCain  @BurytheNuts  @PreferToBeAnon My post from a few days ago turned into a discussion of sorts. Ahh!

 

I think they Indies, and Scientologists, see everything is through the filter of what Hubbard said. Hubbard really grabs hold of peoples minds. 

 

After posting there, I was thinking about the Hardeep and Dominic video. Hardeep is educated, he has a law degree; he is inoculated against Scientology, he has heard bad things; and he is intelligent. Ultimately, Hardeep's was starting to buy in a little.

 

This is a video of indoctrination light. Dominic is not an aggressive salesman. Pair him up with one, and let him play good cop to a bad cop salesman who will really point out Hardeep's flaws, and if you catch Hardeep at a moment of weakness, I think he could be converted at least a little.

 

Perhaps the bad reputation Scientology has would help Hardeep keep his head.

 

http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=1786568759674213741

 

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