UPDATED: Hold the presses! It turns out that another Scientology DVD also won a major award. More info after the break!
We get some complaints in our comments from Scientologists who say that we’re a little too hard on L. Ron Hubbard’s globe-spanning organization.
Just to show that we know how to give credit where it is due, we are happy and proud to pass on the information that was sent to us by Karin Pouw, Scientology spokeswoman, in a press release last week.
Karin and I have a little history, but I’ll get to that later. For now, the Voice would like to congratulate Scientology for its DVD How to Use Dianetics winning a coveted bronze “Telly” Award on June 13.
Yes, a Telly! Surely you’ve heard of it?
Well, we hadn’t either, so we punched it into Google and up came a Wikipedia entry on it:
The Telly Award is an award presented by the namesake, New York City-based organization. The stated purpose of the award is to “honor the very best local, regional, and cable television commercials and programs, as well as the finest video and film productions, and work created for the Web.”
Hmm. Television commercials.
But what really caught our eye was this line:
There is no set limit to the number of winners each year, but the total numbers in the thousands.
Official documentation provided to winners indicates that 7 to 10 percent of the approximately 11,000 entries receive Silver Telly Awards and 18 to 25 percent receive the Bronze Telly Award.
So according to Wikipedia, about 11,000 entries are sent in every year, and up to a quarter — or about 2,750 — end up with Bronze Tellys.
And after taking home such a rare, coveted award, Scientology is singing about it to the hills with a press release! From Karin’s e-mail:
“How to Use Dianetics contains more than 10,000 computer-generated special effects graphics, illustrating every component of Dianetics,” says Catherine Fraser, Director of Public Affairs for Golden Era Productions. “It enables the viewer to see each of the concepts presented in the book. Great care was taken to stay true to the book and bring the bestseller to life, making it as realistic as possible, even down to filming a real black panther to illustrate one of the key concepts in the book.”
Wait, Golden Era filmed a black panther, and ONLY WON A BRONZE??
I don’t quite know what to say.
Oh, but before we wrap up this congratulatory post, I promised to say something about Karin Pouw.
Back in 1999, I had lunch with Karin at Scientology’s Celebrity Centre in Hollywood. (She had actually invited my editor and publisher, but when the publisher decided not to go, I took his place.) I had a fine dish of Chilean sea bass.
She became a bit agitated at some of my questions, but her responses were priceless. Later, in my story about Graham Berry, a target of Scientology’s “Fair Game” policy, I included this line:
Pouw became angry at questions about the church’s theology: “So what if we believe Jesus is a figment of the imagination?”
Which makes me wonder, is there a Telly award for Best Spokeswoman Meltdown?
UPDATE: We just got word that yet ANOTHER Scientology DVD took home a coveted Bronze Telly award on June 13! That’s right, make room on the shelves at Golden Era, because here comes a statuette for “The Problems of Work,” a DVD whose title alone sends shivers of excitement down our spine!
But it’s no wonder this baby brought home the bacon. Take a look at this description:
Among the Scientology principles presented in the film are the triangle of Affinity, Reality and Communication, which are the Components of Understanding; the Anatomy of Confusion; the Anatomy of Control; the Secret of Efficiency; and the underlying mental and spiritual reasons for exhaustion and their remedy.
Get that thing in the player and someone, bring me some popcorn!
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 Robert Cipriano Case — A Hellacious Example of Fair Game
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 Aaron Saxton Accusation — Australia turns up the heat on Scientology
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
Scientology’s Enemies List — Are You On It?
Inside Inside Scientology — An interview with author Janet Reitman