Scientology's Obsession With Hollywood Proving Costly In Its Time of Crisis

Categories: Scientology

TomCruiseJohnTravolta.jpg
In 1955, Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard announced "Project Celebrity," coming up with a list of Hollywood stars he wanted his followers to treat as "game" to hunt down for the church.

And while Hubbard didn't succeed in bagging Danny Kaye, Sid Caesar, or Liberace (!), his organization did eventually have a good run of attracting actors and musicians to its ranks.

You know the list. Cruise. Travolta. Alley. Elfman. Archer. Corea. Hayes. Rimini. Beck. Etc.

These celebrities not only gave the relatively small organization some luster, they were trained how to talk about Scientology -- in positive, but always very vague, terms -- and entertainment reporters knew not to pry.

But now, with Scientology going through several serious crises -- from flagging membership to investigations of deaths at its drug rehab centers -- the church's biggest problems are only being magnified because of the involvement of its celebrities.

Could its obsession with Hollywood stars ultimately hasten Scientology's demise? Let's go over the evidence.

-- Celebrities have left Scientology over the years, but they usually do so quietly. That changed in 2008 when character actor Jason Beghe left noisily with a viral YouTube video. Then, his friend, Oscar-winning director Paul Haggis, went him a step further by talking to New Yorker writer Lawrence Wright for a 16,000 word story last year and an upcoming book. After Beghe and Haggis went public, every celebrity suddenly seemed like a potential noisy defector.

-- With its drug rehab center in Quebec already shut down after health officials there found its methods questionable, Scientology's flagship drug treatment operation in Oklahoma -- Narconon Arrowhead -- is under investigation by local and state agencies because of three deaths there in a nine-month period. When NBC covered the problems at Narconon recently, it led its segment with endorsements of the program by Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and Kirstie Alley. In other words, Narconon's troubles are only more newsworthy because of those celebrity connections.

-- We've reported previously that some of the accusations against John Travolta by male massage therapists were utter garbage. But the accusations keep coming, and Travolta is increasingly being portrayed by the media as a publicity train wreck. Invariably, Travolta's disastrous PR brings up his involvement in Scientology, and the church's legendary homophobia.

-- In July, New York magazine's Richard Rushfield wrote a brilliant analysis of Tom Cruise's rise as Scientology's ultimate celebrity zealot, calling him the church's "best advertisement" -- until, that is, Katie Holmes filed for divorce, and suddenly Cruise and Scientology were front page news around the world. "And so it proves ironic that the religion, which has historically been so adept at squashing bad press through lawsuits and intimidation, now finds itself under an onslaught of negative scrutiny -- and it's largely thanks to Cruise," Rushfield wrote.

Now, of course, the relatively quick and painless divorce with Holmes feels like only a foreshock of the news hitting this week in Vanity Fair about Scientology "auditioning" actresses in 2004 to be Tom Cruise's next girlfriend.

Even before Maureen Orth's VF story actually appears, it got a major confirmation from Paul Haggis thanks to longtime celebrity reporter Roger Friedman.

Friedman is definitely in a position to comment on Orth's subject matter. As he reminded us this weekend, he was reporting on the "auditions" way back when they were actually happening. From a 2005 story Friedman wrote when he was then at Fox News:

We know that Cruise auditioned several actresses for this role before settling on Holmes. This column reported a story about Jennifer Garner. There have been published stories about Kate Bosworth, Lindsay Lohan and Jessica Alba being approached.

But even if the "auditions" story is not new, Orth's identification of Nazanin Boniadi as the woman whose audition led to a three-month tryout as Cruise's possible wife #3 is a revelation, and the details promise to be shocking.

However, we're already seeing the old benefits of celebrity trying to assert themselves in the face of adversity for Scientology. Barbara Walters's sad defense of Tom Cruise yesterday on The View -- saying that she didn't believe a word of the accusations, and complaining that Cruise's "faith" should be off limits -- is a reminder of how efficient Scientology's strategy of celebrity used to be.

Can Walters seriously think that top Scientology officials getting involved in vetting a new companion for Cruise has anything to do with "faith" or religion? If she really feels that way, I'd like to see her have Laura DeCrescenzo and Claire Headley on The View to talk about their forced abortions while working in Scientology's "Sea Org." Should they just shut up about those experiences because they were working for a church, Barbara?

I've been writing about Scientology for 17 years, and I can tell you that "auditioning Tom Cruise's next wife" is not a commandment in Dianetics or anything else L. Ron Hubbard committed to paper or dictaphone.

This is not about religion. This is not about faith. It's about a toxic organization that asserts inappropriate levels of control over its members, and hides that methodology by using smiling celebrities as fronts.

It's a strategy that's worked swimmingly for more than 50 years. But now, it appears to be imploding.



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The Best Way Scientology Can Refute the Vanity Fair Story

While it flails with unwise public statements (see below), Scientology must know that it has a very simple and effective way to shut down talk of Tom Cruise's girlfriend auditions.

It's simply this...

Produce Shelly Miscavige to tell us her side of the story.

Orth's article in Vanity Fair will say that Shelly, the wife of church leader David Miscavige, was running the 2004 project to audition women for the role of Tom's next girlfriend.

So obviously, the best way for the church to refute that story is for Shelly herself to come out and give interviews about her side of the story.

It's an easy solution, COB.

Go on. I dare you.



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Us Weekly Participates in Church Slime Job

There is never a reason for a publication to shield the identity of a corporation's official spokesperson when that person is speaking on behalf of his or her organization.

None.

So how can Us Weekly justify keeping out of a story it published yesterday the name of the Church of Scientology "rep" who spoke on behalf of the church, and while doing so slimed director Paul Haggis and actress Nazanin Boniadi?

When that rep called Haggis "a status obsessed apostate," it sounded a lot like Scientology's longtime spokeswoman Karin Pouw, who is known (comically) for calling every ex-church member a "bitter apostate." But if it was Pouw, why would she not want to use her name? And more importantly, why would Us Weekly go along with it?

The answer to that question comes a little later in the article, when the unnamed church representative engages in some old-fashioned Scientology "Fair Game," sliming Haggis and Boniadi by implying that they are or were in a relationship. The statement is made in a way to imply that there is something inappropriate about Haggis speaking out about Boniadi's alleged mistreated by the church, but is unsupported by any verifiable facts.

In other words, it's extremely scummy.

The thing is, we expect that kind of behavior from the Church of Scientology. Anonymously sliming people it considers enemies is what it does regularly and has done for decades.

But what's your excuse, Us magazine?

I called Us Weekly's owner Wenner Media yesterday and left a detailed message with a media relations person there. I'll let you know if they get back to me.

I also called Marty Rathbun, who for years as Scientology's second-highest ranking official was often tasked with handling public relations disasters for the church.

"It's such trash," Rathbun says of the Us Weekly accusation. "They're only doing this because Tom is calling in a chip. That's the way they do it."

Rathbun says he watched it happen from the other side, when he was still at the church's highest levels and was also Tom Cruise's personal auditor.

"They'll say, Us Weekly owes us this, People owes us that. It's like a big poker chip," he says. "This is Tom Cruise. There's no way that Us would run Freedom magazine drivel for the Church of Scientology," he says, referring to Scientology's propaganda vehicle, Freedom.

"This is Cruise, I'm telling you."


UPDATE: PAUL HAGGIS RESPONDS. We received an e-mail this morning from Haggis, who is in Italy making a movie. We brought the Us Weekly story to his attention, and he sent us a statement with more about the Vanity Fair article, Boniadi, and Scientology's attack.


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Vanity Fair writer Maureen Orth on ABC This Morning




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The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology -- 2012 Edition

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.


#6: L. Ron Hubbard

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Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard is revered by longtime church members, even the ones who are souring on the organization and walking away from the church in increasing numbers. But the man's ideas, policies, mannerisms and supposed charisma have a hard time coming across to an increasingly Internet-savvy world, where Hubbard often comes off as a relic of a paranoid past. (Here's a sample of what he was like, in his own words. Judge for yourself.) Hubbard topped our list last year, and he's still a major reason why the church is in big trouble today. Many of Scientology's worst abuses -- from the ripping apart of families to the extreme retaliation against perceived enemies -- all can be sourced to Hubbard himself.


#5: Tom Cruise

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This week, Tom Cruise is very much in the news again with a Vanity Fair piece about how Scientology "auditioned" actresses to be his wife after his break-up with Penelope Cruz in 2004. But in the past year, the most remarkable thing we learned about Cruise came from a man named John Brousseau in our story about his 32-year career in Scientology's hardcore "Sea Org." We had always assumed that as Cruise became such a visible companion to Scientology leader David Miscavige at church events in the mid-2000s, it was Miscavige who was being a bit of a fanboy to the charismatic actor. But no, Brousseau told us -- it's the other way around. Brousseau, who had once been Miscavige's brother-in-law, and had worked extensively with Cruise (even in his household), told us that "Tom Cruise worships David Miscavige like a god." It's amazing to think that the world famous actor is so in thrall of Scientology's diminutive chief, but everything we've learned about him confirms that Cruise is really gone on Hubbard and Miscavige. Yikes.

See also: 25. Xenu, 24. Kate Bornstein, 23. Lisa Marie Presley, 22. Dani and Tami Lemberger, 21. John Brousseau, 20. Jamie DeWolf, 19. Jefferson Hawkins, 18. Amy Scobee, 17. Marc and Claire Headley, 16. Dave Touretzky, 15, Mark Bunker, 14. Tory Christman, 13. Karen de la Carriere, 12. Debbie Cook, 11. Astra Woodcraft, 10. Anonymous, 9. Tom Tobin and Joe Childs, 8. Stacy Dawn Murphy, 7. David Love and Colin Henderson

Look for the next installment of our Top 25 on Friday. 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.



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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210 comments
ClamOnAHalfshell
ClamOnAHalfshell

I still think Elwrong Hubtard belongs on the top of the list like he was last year. But well done, Tony O. :) 

bobisbob
bobisbob

I predict that the remaining 5 are:

5: Mike Rinder

4: Marty Rathbun

3: PTA

2: Kathy Holmes

1: David Miscavige

It totally sucks that Tommy Davis ain't gonna make it!

bplancha
bplancha

My prediction of the remaining 4:

 

4. Mike Rinder

3. Paul Thomas Anderson

2. Marty Rathbun

1. David Miscavige

jonathan.nyc
jonathan.nyc topcommenter

Scientology never needed to "attract" Beck.  He was born into it. 

media_lush
media_lush

For entertainment purposes only:

 

Here's a recent Howard Stern bit from his radio show where he rags on scientology (I didn't know about the Travolta laying hands on people to cure a broken leg on set).

 

.... and they totally destroy Cruise in his famous 'see a car crash we're the only ones who can help' vid.

 

There are some great laugh out loud moments. I think video paps should make it a point of asking Stern about the cult every time they come across him

 

http://youtu.be/jE5LqXbMc_s

the1d
the1d

Mabey Tom Cruise needs to have his next wife sign a billion year contract to be married to him just like sea org.members have to do.I wonder if Kelly Preston signed one with John.

 

My ex left me even though she has nothing because I slamed her cult though I was only trying to open her eyes and think on her own.I stopped having sex with her and told her that I didn't want my sex life exposed to strangers while she was holding 2 cans and telling all.She will not even talk to me now which is fine but the point is is that I tried to help,so I failed but in my heart and mind I feel I was doing the right thing.The worst part is is that she really is a caring person.Go figure.

JohnPCapitalist
JohnPCapitalist

The cult is on the horns of a significant strategic dilemma in the way that they deal with celebrities. Despite the significant pain their celebrity worship is causing them, particularly around Tom Cruise, I do not predict any significant change in the way that the cult embraces celebrities.  I thought I would put together some quick points to do a +/- strategic analysis of the cult's celebrity outreach program, from the standpoint of a management consultant. 

Positives to the cult from the Celebrity Center operation, even after the craziness from some of the celebrities, includes:

*  Financial rewards from catering to celebrities are likely to continue to be significant. Though Jason Beghe was only in for a few years, he said he gave the cult over $1 million. Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson, has given the cult over $10 million, earning her an immense and extremely tasteless trophy. I would be willing to bet that if one goes through the records of donors to the IAS, a disproportionate share of donations come from people with some greater or lesser connection to the entertainment industry.

*  Celebrities can be pressed into service to boost donations from other members.  Videos of the annual Celebrity Center gala are recycled and played at the local orgs to solicit donations.  Look at how the cult dragged in tons of celebrities to this year’s Writers of the Future event, to deflect criticism that the group was too closely tied to the cult (nothing like responding to criticism by validating it…).  

*  Some washed-up celebrities become successful “reg” people, raising a lot of money for the cult. The best example is Jeff Pomerantz, a minor actor whose last role in IMDB was 20 years ago.  He now does the voice overs for the various events where David Miscavige appears, and travels around collecting 10% for getting members to part with their money.  For his trouble, he drives a Maserati and lives in a fairly nice house on the West Side of LA.  

*  Existing cult members get major validation from having celebrities, no matter how far down the list they may be, validate regular member's decisions to join this cult. This is part and parcel of the overall hunger for external signs of approval that cult members seem to need almost desperately. Other examples include the awarding of medals whether deserved or not for community service, including the example of a Scientologist who was an administrative manager in the training department at the NYFD awarding the "Volunteer Ministers" a "Medal of Valor" for their efforts during the aftermath of 9/11. Unfortunately, the real medal of valor is only awarded posthumously to firefighters who died in the line of duty. 

Negatives include:

*  Effect of negative press for the cult, particularly about celebrities, is cumulative.  And bad news increasingly lives forever.  The press typically doesn’t forget earlier scrapes involving celebrities any more; your own prior coverage as well as that of your competition is only a quick Google search away.  Recent stories about Travolta’s alleged gay sex life include detailed interviews with pilot Doug Gotterba, who worked for Travolta from 1981-1987, and last saw Travolta in 1992.  The only reason that this story came back to life, 20 years after the last event, is that someone was able to discover a prior publication referring to it in a matter of minutes.  If someone had to go through a manually compiled index of prior press coverage about Travolta, this story could well have stayed buried.  

*  The cult increasingly can’t control the lives of celebrities when they live under a microscope, with citizen journalists becoming an even more potent factor than paparazzi and tabloids.  As an example, look at the story that ran in TMZ a few years back.  Jenna Elfman comes across as a complete loon in this one.  http://www.tmz.com/2006/06/13/when-elfmans-explode/.  The only time the cult can control the lives of celebrities is when they have engaged in a multi-year campaign to infiltrate their staffs… perhaps the only place where this is happening today is chez TC.  All the rest are free to wander around and get into trouble as they please.  

*  Difficulty in getting access to celebrities.  When the celebrity project was first proposed in 1955, most celebrities were very approachable. Bing Crosby, one of the most popular singers in the world, lived a fairly normal life and was frequently seen shopping on the main street of Burlingame, California, his main home town.  No body guards, no entourage, no PR people.  But today, almost any celebrity worth anything has drivers, security, PR, and other people traveling with them, even on a quick trip to the supermarket.  So it would be hard for someone to insinuate themselves into the lives of a celebrity to recruit them for the cult.  Look at what percentage of the younger Scientology celebrities are kids of Scientologists.  They don’t appear to have closed the deal on a “green field” recruitment in years.  

------

MY GUESS AT A SCENARIO:  I conclude that the cult will stay in the celebrity business, well past the time when the Celebrity Centers have grown dusty from lack of any actual celebrities darkening the doors.  I predict they’ll do the following:

*  Re-purpose celebrity centers for other events.  They’ll try to turn rank and file members into some sort of imaginary “celebrities” as a way of using the facilities.  I see this as paralleling the way they are using the Freewinds ship for all sorts of courses, despite the original intent of the ship being only for doing OT VIII classes.  Apparently, the Freewinds sails only about half full most of the time, even with four or five classes trying to fill slots.  

*  Keep minor celebrities in the cult by turning them into FSM “regs” as their careers tank and as they get older.  In other words, bribe them.  This is how Jeff (“I haven’t had an acting gig in 20 years but still call myself an actor”) Pomerantz makes a living.  Look for others to do the same, perhaps even more blatantly.  It probably pays better than trying to make a living doing your 40-year-old standup routines in the dining rooms of assisted living facilities throughout Florida.  

*  Push appeal of younger celebrities, now that the “Big 3” (Cruise, Travolta, Alley) are seen as bizarre, aging crazies.  This may not work well, as the younger less established crowd is facing ever-greater challenges getting steady work, but the cult is likely to try this anyway.  This will likely work with kids of Scientologists, since the cult can hold disconnection from their parents over their heads.  

They may allow some celebrities to fade quietly (Lisa Marie Presley, Travolta), and they may jettison a few (Cruise, if the bad news doesn’t stop, and if his career fades over his next few movies).  

But I believe that they will be in the celebrity business for a long time to come, even if it is a more hollow undertaking than the empty Ideal Org scam.  Celebrities were the first class of super-being that Hubbard identified. And the whole point of the cult, allegedly, is to turn you into a super-being, no matter how humble your antecedents.  So taking celebrities and turning them into even more capable celebrities should be child’s play for Scientology tech. Hubbard said celebrity worship was important, and he was never wrong.  

 

markebner59
markebner59

Yes Tony, I humbly accept the honorary Crippler award coming my way this season.

dbloch7986
dbloch7986

Barbara Walters....a Scientologist!? Us Weekly....a bunch of Scientologists!? Hidden Scientologists popping out of every corner!? Oh my God! It's all those Soviet spies from the 50s being activated! Danger Will Robinson!

 

Oh wait, this is real life. Sorry my Scientology programming kicked in there. I was about to grab "The Catcher in the Rye" from my dresser.

 

Thanks for the great coverage ( @TheProprietor )Tony. What will you be moving on to after Scientology bites it?

LaLa104
LaLa104

Thank you TONY! WOW.. That ABC interview.... I can't wait till Tony shares that email from Paul Haggis. This is blowing up BIG TIME... The underbelly is being exposed and flayed on display. I wish I could eloquently explain how I'm feeling. I just can't truly imagine how TC and DM is going to handle this without a full out threatening and denying campain, which no doubt has begun. I haven't been online to check the other stories of them refuting this article but I gotta say I am just giddy with excitement over this.

Delling
Delling

Oooh, Hubbard and Cruise showing up already, I'm getting excited about the top of this list....

LemonLemon
LemonLemon

Regarding the CoS making those comment about Haggis anonymously -- ironic.  Who would have thought that scientology would want anything to do with "anonymous".  They are the ones who stand by calling Anonymous "cowards" for hiding their faces.  NOW who is hiding their face?

LemonLemon
LemonLemon

If, down the road, Tom decides to leave scientology, he's not going to have clue one about how to find a date on his own.  He's going to sit in his mansion waiting for the girlfriend auditions to begin with a bewildered look on his face.

sugarplumfairy32
sugarplumfairy32

@bobisbob Brousseau has to be in there this year.. or was he listed already?

JohnPCapitalist
JohnPCapitalist

 @bobisbob Disagree.  Marty hasn't been as hard-hitting as usual; many days between posts and lots of fluff on the site.  I doubt he and Mike Rinder will make the top 5.  My guess: 

 

4.  Lisa Marie Presley, for blowing the cult but without bringing the wrath of Miscavige down on her.  Biggest celebrity defector in a number of years. 

3.  Alexander Jentzsch/Karen De La Carriere.  Tragic and (probably) wholly preventable death of son of president of CSI under suspicious circumstances leads grieving SP "mother lioness" to send out another epic e-mail that gets under the skin of the thousands of "on the sidelines" and "under the radar" Scientologist, because of Karen's high visibility in the cult.  Stories about the death may lead to a police investigation or to a wrongful death suit that will expose even more scummy details of the cult. 

2.  David Miscavige.  All around screw-up. Another awful year when he got even more out of touch with reality. 

1.  Katie Holmes.  Brilliantly played divorce strategy; got all she wanted out of the famously litigious cult. Katie is the face that launched over 50,000 press articles, of which 95% mentioned the Scientology connection, almost uniformly in a suspicious or outright hostile way.  Probably 75% of the citizenry of the G-8 countries and 50% of the citizens in the G-20 were thus exposed to the creepiness of the cult.  Those are numbers that Hubbard could not have even dreamed of. Too bad the publicity he got was his worst nightmare. 

 

Potential names, chosen for comic value or grossness factor, but not all that important: 

*  Travolta and myriad allegations of creepy behavior.

*  The designer of the oiliness table in the still-not-occupied Super Powers building.

victoriapandora
victoriapandora

 @the1d

 Wow, yeah. Having every intimate detail written down and or recorded when you yourself are not even involved in the cult is a huge "outpoint." Sheeesh.

PoisonIvy
PoisonIvy

 @JohnPCapitalist Excellent analysis.  Another way CO$ can remain in the celebrity business is if they back-channel the celebrities into the cult by way of the "humanitarian" organizations, like APS, CCHR, Narconon, etc.  In other words, fool them into giving endorsements. But of course they will have to think up new front groups as the old ones are about done, PR-wise.

PreferToBeAnon
PreferToBeAnon

 @JohnPCapitalist As always, good analysis and I agree with your conclusion. I do, however, think you missed one point: it feeds DM's ego. He thrives on bestowing medals on superstars in front of an auditorium full of clapping seals. Don't forget DM's strategic approach to *everything* is based solidly on his narcissism--not something that makes sense to the rest of the world.

sugarplumfairy32
sugarplumfairy32

@JohnPCapitalist the women I work with are all huge Oprah fans.. i ewmember a few years ago Oprah remodeled kirstie alley's kitchen.. my coworkers were kinda irritated, stating "she's a celebrity--she can afford to remodel her own kitchen" .. when I explained about scientology and it's voracious financial appetites, they didn't believe me.. in fact here at work today, they're still not believing.. and as I enlighten them (with the assist of the voice, my iPhone and the www) I'm almost embarrassed by how knowledgable I am.. I soooo need a life..

stella
stella

 @LemonLemon On the record for the article are the following:  JB Brouseau (big time - as he was around a LOT during both the recruitment of Naz and Katie), Claire and Mark Headley, Bruce Hines, Amy Scobee,Tom DeVocht  and of couse the 2 MRs.  There isn't much new (other than a juicy detail here of there) in the article that those of who have been following the cult for the past few years don't already know. But is it is a compelling read -- and goes into detail about a a number of abuses the cult perpetrates on its members as well as the wacked out relationship between TC and COB (JB  and Amy Scobee did not hold back!).  

victoriapandora
victoriapandora

 @LemonLemon

 At this point their are more apostates than kool-aid drinkers, maybe he'll have better pickins' out in the real world. I'm thinking definately a brunette for him, since he obviously prefers them. Spike heels and a whip she's not afraid to use seems the perfect match really;)

PoisonIvy
PoisonIvy

 @LemonLemon He won't have to worry about it.  Michael Lohan can still get girlfriends, for crying out loud.

bobisbob
bobisbob

 @JohnPCapitalist  @bobisbob 

Very good analysis John! However, Lisa Marie Pressley is already at 23 and Karen De La Carriere at 13. Also it wouldn't be fair to put Holmes above Miscavige just because of a divorce. MaybeMaureen Orth from Vanity Fair will make it, else I stick to my list. (Speaking about Vanity Fair, its a pity Christopher Hitchens while he was alive never seriously targeted Scientology.)

 

Hubbard diserved a higher position and so did Tommy "so on, so forth" Davis who won't even make it this year!

bplancha
bplancha

 @Sherbet no, but she was included in the discussion of Tom Cruise. Maybe Mike and Marty get combined into one entry and she gets listed too.

PreferToBeAnon
PreferToBeAnon

 @PoisonIvy  @JohnPCapitalist As a side point, I think DM will use this to further his us-versus-them, we-are-being-attacked-by-the-world agenda in order to stir the troops.  He has no other choice.

JohnPCapitalist
JohnPCapitalist

 @PreferToBeAnon Agreed that DM's ego is a big part of the overall rationale for why he does things. But surprisingly, there is a seed of rational economic behavior behind most of what he does.  

 

It is just like North Korea. People think that recently dead Kim Jong-Il (Nut Boy 2.0) and new leader Kim Jong-Eun (Nut Boy 3.0) are insane and irrational. However, if you read serious foreign policy analysis of their decisions, they are actually extremely rational and predictable in how they play the geopolitical hands they're dealt.  So you can have a lot of strangeness grafted on top of what, at its root, is rational behavior.  

 

And that was the point of the analysis -- the damage that wayward celebrities (particularly Tom Cruise) are doing to the cult is significant, but that will not be sufficient reason for the cult to exit the celebrity business. They'll lop off individual celebrities if needed, but they won't change the model.  They'll adapt it within the limits of their framework and move on, even if they keep losing money.  But they won't walk away. It's in their DNA. 

Anonanonsong
Anonanonsong

 @sugarplumfairy32  @JohnPCapitalist Whether Kirstie could afford it or not wasn't the impetus of Oprah's show, I think. Oprah is a spiritual loon but a saavy businesswoman. The latter explains why she's not a scientologist, but I'm pretty sure the former explains her woo-woo lurv for Kirstie and any excuse to have her on her show.

victoriapandora
victoriapandora

 @sugarplumfairy32  @JohnPCapitalist

 LOL, similiar here. This morning my husband casually asked if I'd heard about the latest Tom Cruise flap and I immediately filled him in with about 20 minutes worth of background history particular just to the wife shopping incident. Yep, I surprised myself a little.

Capt._Howdy
Capt._Howdy

 @PoisonIvy just copypaste the title and paste it into YT search and substitute 2 or 3 for 1.

exileandcunning
exileandcunning

 @media_lush  @LemonLemon "Washed up ex-cult member and three-time divorcee seeks 4th wife, primarily to enhance my public persona.  I like criticizing people's battles with depression, burlwood pens (a LOT!!), women who are taller than me, men who are shorter than me, laughing WAAAY too hard and jumping on couches.  Don't EVER tell me "Very well done" because don't you know that's the worst insult ever??  Also, no sharp incisors (or other prominent teeth for that matter -- they should all be the SAME SIZE!).  

 

Oh the hell with it -- DM, ARE YOU READING THIS???  I can't believe you disconnected from me -- CAN'T WE STILL BE BEST FRIENDS??!?!  I promise I won't bring any more women around...

 

love, Tom

XOXOXOXO

 

PS Please write back!!

PPS Pretty please!!!!!!!!

PPPS I'll let you touch my burlwood pen again... heh heh!"

PoisonIvy
PoisonIvy

 @PreferToBeAnon  @JohnPCapitalist  Playing the victim was a big part of LRH's later playbook as well.  It is definitely one way to unite a group - rile them up against a common enemy.

jonhendry
jonhendry

 @Anonanonsong  @sugarplumfairy32  @JohnPCapitalist 

 

Kirstie's weight problems are probably also a draw for Oprah. It's something Oprah and her audience can relate to, and there aren't many celebrities who have been so public about their weight problems. (At least, not with obesity. Being too _skinny_ due to anorexia or bulimia, yes. Obesity, not so much.)

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