Another week finished, and what a week it was, fellow Scientology watchers.
We started things off like the shot of a gun, didn’t we? On Monday, we broke big news: that an L.A. sheriff’s deputy was under official inquiry for appearing in uniform on a Scientology mailer that encouraged parishioners to fork over their 401K money to the church.
On Tuesday, we posted a couple of new videos from the Scientology goon squad, Squirrel Busters, that continues its siege of former high-ranking executive Marty Rathbun outside his Corpus Christi-area home. We even earned the dubious distinction of appearing in one.
On Wednesday, we learned that Tom Cruise loves coconut cake, and that he dined with local pols as part of a 2003 charm campaign in which Scientology used its celebrities to help repair its image in Florida after the Lisa McPherson court cases.
And then yesterday, we began to unveil a project that we’ve been working on for a few weeks, consulting with experts who know this stuff far batter than us, to come up with “The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology.” We named Xenu, the galactic overlord, as #25, and we’ll reveal #24 on Tuesday morning.
Now, on to the awards…
Well, I’m going right to my favorite of the week. Sometimes, an observation about Scientology just hits home so well, it sort of puts the entire beautiful wreck into vivid focus, you know?
Commenters, including yours truly, had been trading jabs about Xenu and his legacy yesterday. The galactic overlord that L. Ron Hubbard describes in the upper level materials known as “OT III” not only infested the earth with countless disembodied space alien souls, but then implanted those souls with concepts like Jesus Christ. Yes, kids, Scientologists are asked to believe that Christ is a 75-million-year old idea implanted in the alien souls that hitch a ride on our bodies. To which replied frequent commenter “SFF”:
If you think about it, all the religions Xenu founded via implants seem to be doing a lot better than Scientology.
Subtle. Devastating. Genius. I’m still chuckling at that one.
But let’s get back to the start of the week, and the free-for-all that ensued when we broke news about the L.A. deputy shilling for the L.A. “org.”
At one point, accusations about a “UFO” church were being thrown around, and our favorite pro-church advocate, Mark Miglio, surprised us with this bit of refreshing honesty:
My feeling is that UFOs will play an ever increasing role in our civilization. Most of us savvy people know —or feel— that UFOs are already [doing] something on our planet. [There] are both positive and negative effects. The situation calls for proper evaluation and proper estimation of value and benefits.
We may never know if “Mark Miglio” is really a Scientologist or just a very creative troll, but if only more pro-church commenters were as forthcoming, it would help, wouldn’t it?
For the most part, our commenters reacted to a uniformed deputy encouraging his fellow Scientologist to fork over huge amounts of money with alarm, which may have been best captured by “I’drathernot”:
Oh wow. What is the cost of happiness now days? A cool half mil? Well I know my inner peace is priceless. Down with the future financial planning and stability. Forget your family vacations and silly things like college. Who needs a higher form of education? You can just stick a huge nipple on your bank account and let the COS suck on it for the rest of your life. Sounds more like a parasite than a religion.
In regards to the Squirrel Busters videos, we thought this was an interesting suggestion by “Tracy Chap”:
I must say, these squirrel busters are becoming quite famous. How are they not tourist attractions in and of themselves? Aren’t there any Anonymous down Marty’s way? According to M.R. they are there everyday. Getting your pics next to the infamous golf cart!!! What a scoop and Internet hit that would be!!!! Perhaps a signature on a mask ala T.C.?
And finally, we enjoyed this bit of mirth from “jgg”, who was responding to our revelation that Tom Cruise was enticed to have dinner with Tampa’s mayor because a Repubilcan operative’s coconut cake was something he couldn’t pass up:
Tony, every time I have made coconut cake, Cruise has come over. I wish he’d call beforehand, but he doesn’t. Oh, and the fact that all these celebrities Ms. Repper brought in were Scientologists, that’s just a coincidence. They all have the same birthday, too. And the politicians they were introduced to just happened to be walking by. Repper didn’t know them. Oh, and LRH really did learn an entire Indian language in one night, liberate Australia all by himself and cure nearsightedness (I know Heber Jentzsch wears glasses, but those are decorative).
‘Liberate Australia.’ You all really crack me up.
I responded to quite a few other messages directly this week. Our readers are doing an excellent job keeping me on my toes, and I’ll need even more of it as we continue to go through this amazing time of Scientology-watching together. Now, on to the rest of our countdown, as well as some really big stories that we hope to reveal in a short time. Watch the skies!
See all of our recent Scientology coverage at the Voice
Keep up on all of our New York news coverage at this blog, Runnin’ Scared
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
Scientology and the Nation of Islam — Holy Doctrinal Mashup, Batman!
Scientologists — How Many of Them Are There, Anyway?
Roger Weller’s Wild Ride — Scientology When it was Hip
The Marc Headley Infiltration — A Scientology Spying Operation Revealed
Placido Domingo Jr: Scientology’s Retaliation is “Scary and Pathetic”
An Interview with Nancy Many, Former Scientology Spy
The Paulien Lombard Confession — A Scientology Spy Comes Clean
The Deputy Benjamin Ring Hard Sell — Scientology wants your 401K
The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology