Scientology Eruption: Commenters of the Week!


It’s been another big week of Scientology news here at the Voice. On Monday, we put up what we think was the ‘Net’s first review of Janet Reitman’s masterful new book, Inside Scientology. Then we followed that up with a nugget from the book about how Scientology dictator David Miscavige encourages staff to salute his favorite beagles.

But it was our third story of the week, revealing that Marty Rathbun had made public a secret Scientology list of parishioners who had volunteered to be spies for the church, that really kicked up a commenter kerfuffle. After the jump, we’ll reveal our favorites from both the pro- and anti-Scientology side of things.

First, from the pro- side of things, we enjoyed this skeptical jab at our story on Rathbun’s revelation of spying church members by someone who called himself “Mike”:

“Here is a list of communists in the State Department…oh, I mean OSA spies…” I think it odd that a Church would keep a list of loyal volunteers that can be counted on. You guys are so gullible.

And from the anti- side, we got a chuckle out of this uppercut by a commenter who called himself “Jim Dandee”:

Does having your own private Gestapo disqualify you for having tax-exempt status as a religion in the US?

Good questions both! Congrats to both Mike and Jim Dandee.

We have plenty of more Scientology stories simmering on the burner. Make sure to be around next week to jump into the fray!


Tony Ortega is the editor-in-chief of The Village Voice. Since 1995, he’s been writing about Scientology at several publications. Among his other stories about L. Ron Hubbard’s organization:

The Larry Wollersheim Saga — Scientology Finally Pays For Its Fraud
The Tory Bezazian (Christman) Story — How the Internet Saved A Scientologist From Herself
The Jason Beghe Defection — A Scientology Celebrity Goes Rogue
The Paul Haggis Ultimatum — The ‘Crash’ Director Tells Scientology to Shove It
The Marc Headley Escape — ‘Tom Cruise Told Me to Talk to a Bottle’
The Jefferson Hawkins Stipulation — Scientology’s former PR genius comes clean
The Daniel Montalvo Double-Cross — Scientology lures a young defector into a trap
A Church Myth Debunked — Scientology and Proposition 8
Daniel Montalvo Strikes Back — Scientology Hit with Stunning Child-Labor Lawsuits
When Scientologists Attack — The Marty Rathbun Intimidation
A Scientologist Excommunicated — The Michael Fairman SP Declaration
The Richard Leiby Operation — Investigating a reporter’s divorce to shut him up
The Hugh Urban Investigation — An academic takes a harsh look at Scientology’s past
Giovanni Ribisi as David Koresh — A precedent for a Scientology-Branch Davidian link
Janet Reitman’s Inside Scientology — A masterful telling of Scientology’s history
The Western Spy Network Revealed? — Marty Rathbun ups the ante on David Miscavige