It’s been a light posting week, but our commenters did not let us down. We’ve had so much fun with singing on the Scientology ship Freewinds and other madcap adventures, even as we ventured outside the underground bunker.
We started things off this week with a new feature, Sunday Funnies, which consisted of a couple of recent Scientology mailers and then an open thread for our commenters to discuss whatever was on their minds. It seemed to be a big hit, and we have another installment of funnies prepared for tomorrow morning.
Then, Monday morning well before dawn, we uncorked this week’s big scoop: our exclusive interview with Michael Sandlofer, first husband to Stacy Francis, who had accused him of abusing her. Like just about everything the X Factor contestant has said about her past, Francis’ claims looked a lot shakier after this conversation with Sandlofer, a local music producer.
Monday night, we posted more video from Stacy’s past: footage of her singing with Tom Cruise aboard Scientology’s floating cathedral, the good ship Freewinds. Other scenes from the infamous 2004 party to celebrate Cruise’s 40th birthday are readily available online, but we wanted to highlight the best part, when Cruise joins Francis to belt out “Old Time Rock and Roll.”
On Thursday, we rounded up the week’s news for our regular Stats Roundup, which included a dispatch about Operation Clambake proprietor Andreas Heldal-Lund in Norway, and a fun new series just starting over at Wired magazine.
Now, let’s get to the awards…
Readers really seemed to like the idea of our Sunday open thread, and juliusstahl also gave us credit for the timing…
At last, a REAL Scientology Sunday service!
Commenter Ron went into more detail…
The “Sunday Service” is a big scam in Scientology. They advertise it, but don’t actually have it unless some pigeon shows up. Then they stall while gathering random people from the org to be “parishioners”, and dressing someone up as a “reverend” in accordance with the policy called “The Minister’s Mock-Up” based on the “religious image check sheet”. It’s all part of the facade Scientology uses to maintain its religious cloaking.
But all of this cynical snickering at Scientology’s expense riled up one of our favorite church defenders, Mark Miglio, who blasted back…
I don’t know about you, but isn’t this the most anti-religious, mis-tolerant Sunday Service that you have ever seen? How can human beings be so unkind to others, and take so much fun in trying to find things that are wrong about fellow human beings rather than trying to find that which is good about them. But I won’t play this game too. These spiritually-challenged people play a significant and very needed role in the construction of a better world. They are wonderful people, too. I embrace them as I embrace my fellow Scientologists.
Miglio’s comment got a lot of people talking, and we couldn’t help chuckling at this response by LoyalOfficer:
Wait until you get to OT3 and learn about Xenu and the Wall of Fire and why you have all those nasty crawly body thetans! Then work your way on up to OT8 where you find out it was all just a scam. YOU mocked it up! Didn’t you get PAID recently? YOU NEED TO COME INTO THE ORG FOR SOME AUDITING. NOW!
Our exclusive interview with Michael Sandlofer kicked up a lot of different responses, most of it rather negative feelings about X Factor contestant Stacy Francis. CofS Exit Zone put up this comment…
Stacy lied, got busted, and lied some more.Then once her lies began to catch up with her, she went on the attack spewing even more lies. “Acceptable Truths” and “Always Attack, Never Defend” — The hallmarks of every good little Scientologist. Thank you, Michael Sandlofer, for setting the record straight. God only knows where her non-stop lies would have gone if you hadn’t spoken up. Now there’s just one more sordid kink in Stacy Francis’ story to come out — the farce of her church-loving claims that ramped up so intensely after Simon plugged her “gospel” marketability.
Infrequent commenter Mike showed up again, this time to let us have it for picking on poor Francis, who for some reason has kept quiet about her involvement in Scientology:
Another new low for Tony Ortega…let’s pile on this girl just because she is a Scientologist. So what of she sang for Tom Cruise? What does that mean? Except she was a damn good singer! Just pitiful and Tony you should be ashamed of yourself!
And we couldn’t help smiling at a comeback by SP ‘Onage:
So you admit she is a Scientologist. Thank you for clearing that lie up. Now go remind her, it seems to have slipped her mind.
After we posted video of Tom Cruise and Stacy Francis singing “Old Time Rock and Roll” together aboard the Freewinds, we sort of had to agree with Media_Lush:
my eyes……. they burn, they burn…… so do my ears, come to think of it!
Kimob2 also seemed to catch the general drift of most commenters…
I think the words ” holy shitballs , that guy is crazy ” pretty much sum it for me.
And Skydog had similar feelings for Tom’s heartfelt thank you to Francis and the others who had celebrated his birthday in such gaudy fashion:
In the second video, Cruise says “I don’t even know where I am right now; you know you have to kind of be here to understand this kind of reality.” While that explains a lot, I still want to barf.
And finally, during our weekly Stats Roundup, we thought JustCallMeMary captured the general trend of things with her astute observation:
I don’t think Scientology has had an upstat week in a long time. Every week that goes by is filled with yet more evidence that they just cannot catch up with and try to erase from the internet and the minds of those that read it.
Overall, a great week of commenting, and we thank our loyal readers for helping us to keep things going, even as we had to post lightly while at our undisclosed location. (More about that next week.) And keep checking in, because we have a feeling this next week is going to be a big one for Scientology watchers!
The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology
#1: L. Ron Hubbard
#2: David Miscavige
#3: Marty Rathbun
#4: Tom Cruise
#5: Joe Childs and Tom Tobin
#7: Mark Bunker
#8: Mike Rinder
#9: Jason Beghe
#10: Lisa McPherson
#11: Nick Xenophon (and other public servants)
#12: Tommy Davis (and other hapless church executives)
#13: Janet Reitman (and other journalists)
#14: Tory Christman (and other noisy ex-Scientologists)
#15: Andreas Heldal-Lund (and other old time church critics)
#16: Marc and Claire Headley, escapees of the church’s HQ
#17: Jefferson Hawkins, the man behind the TV volcano
#18: Amy Scobee, former Sea Org executive
#19: The Squirrel Busters (and the church’s other thugs and goons)
#20: Trey Parker and Matt Stone (and other media figures)
#21: Kendrick Moxon, attorney for the church
#22: Jamie DeWolf (and other L. Ron Hubbard family members)
#23: Ken Dandar (and other attorneys who litigate against the church)
#24: David Touretzky (and other academics)
#25: Xenu, galactic overlord
Tony Ortega is the editor-in-chief of The Village Voice. Since 1995, he’s been writing about Scientology at several publications.
Keep up on all of our New York news coverage at this blog, Runnin’ Scared
SCIENTOLOGY IN THE VILLAGE VOICE
[Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis secretly recorded discussing “disconnection”]
[Tom Cruise and Baby Suri embarrassed by news item, so someone must pay]
[Benjamin Ring, LA deputy sheriff, wants you to spend your 401K on Scientology]
[Scientologists: How many of them are there, anyway?]
[Scientology hates clean ice: The “Fair Game” operation that should turn your stomach]
[Scientology hates clean ice, part 2: Another target, and the web as weapon]
MARTY RATHBUN AND THE SIEGE OF SOUTH TEXAS
[Scientology has Rathbun arrested] | [Rathbun and Mark Bunker reveal surprising ties]
In Germany with Ursula Caberta: [Announcing plans] | [Press conference] | [Making news about Tom Cruise, Bill Clinton, and Tony Blair] | [Post-trip interview]
The Squirrel Busters: [Goons with cameras on their heads] | [Rathbun’s open letter to neighbors] | [Ingleside on the Bay, Texas rallies to Rathbun’s cause] | [Squirrel Buster’s claim to be making a “documentary”] | [VIDEO: “On a Boat”] | [“Anna” sent to creep out Monique Rathbun] | [Squirrel Busters go hillbilly] | [A videographer blows the whistle on the goon squad] | [Ed Bryan, OT VIII, shows the power of Scientology’s highest levels]
SCIENTOLOGY SPYING AND “FAIR GAME”
[Secret Scientology documents spell out spying operation against Marc Headley]
[Scientology’s West U.S. spies list revealed] | [Scientology’s enemies list: Are you on it?]
Spy operation against Washington Post writer Richard Leiby: [Part 1] | [Part 2]
[A Scientology spy comes clean: Paulien Lombard’s remarkable public confession]
[Scientology advertises for writers in Freedom magazine]
[Accidental leak shows Scientology spy wing plans to “handle” the Voice]
[Lori Hodgson and Disconnection: “No one’s going to take my eternity away”]
SCIENTOLOGY AND CELEBRITIES
[“Tom Cruise told me to talk to a bottle”] | [Tom Cruise likes coconut cake] | [Tom Cruise has a sense of humor] | [“Tom Cruise not a kook!”] | [Paulette Cooper on Tom Cruise]
[Paul Haggis, director of Crash, issues an ultimatum, leaves the church]
[Character actor Jason Beghe defects noisily] | [Actor Michael Fairman reveals his “suppressive person” declaration] | [Michael Fairman talks to the Voice]
[Giovanni Ribisi as David Koresh: Scientology-Branch Davidian link makes sense]
[Russell Brand weds ex-Scientologists in wild ceremony] | [Skip Press on Haggis]
[Placido Domingo Jr.: Scientology’s retaliation is “scary and pathetic”]
Grant Cardone, NatGeo’s “Turnaround King”: [Doing Scientology’s dirty work?] | [Milton Katselas complained about Cardone’s smear job] | [Cardone runs to Huffpo]
[Philip Boyd, Saving Grace actor, rips “the business that is Scientology”]
JANET REITMAN’S INSIDE SCIENTOLOGY
[Our review of Inside Scientology] | [An interview with Janet Reitman] | [A report from Reitman’s first book tour appearance] | [At the Half-King: Reitman not afraid]
[Scientology doesn’t like Inside Scientology] | [Q&A at Washington Post]
[A roundup of Reitman’s print reviews, and why isn’t she on television more?]
HUGH URBAN’S THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY
EX-SCIENTOLOGISTS SPEAK OUT
[Marc Headley: “Tom Cruise told me to talk to a bottle”] | [The Nancy Many interview]
[Sympathy for the Devil: Tory Christman’s Story] | [Jeff Hawkins’ Counterfeit Dreams]
[86 Million Thin Dimes: The Lawrence Wollersheim Saga] | [Mike Rinder on spying]
[Scientology dodges a bullet in Australia] | [Scientology exec Jan Eastgate arrested]
[All hell breaks loose in Israel] | [Scientology sees fundraising gold in the UK riots]
[Aussie former rugby pro Chris Guider calls David Miscavige “toxic” and “violent”]
[Stephen Cox, UK church newbie, pledges 20K pounds] | [Biggi Reichert: A German Lisa McPherson?] | [The Birmingham trove: 7,000 internal e-mails]
[Australian farmer blamed for giving Tom Cruise a bad shrimp, loses her friends, family]
ODD VIDEOS AND ODDER NEWS
[Scientology singalong, “We Stand Tall”] | [Captain Bill Robertson and “Galactic Patrol”]
[Scientology wins a major award!] | [Scientology wants your money: Meet Dede!]
[Birmingham in the House! The “Ideal” dance mix] | [Scientology and the Nation of Islam]
[When Scientology was hip] | [Sad: David Miscavige makes fun of his own fundraisers]
[Freedom magazine parodies The New Yorker. Hilarity ensues.]
[Scientology surf report: Anonymous parties outside the New York “org”]
THE VIEW INSIDE THE BUBBLE
[A scientologist’s letter to the Voice and its readers] | [Scientology silent birth]
[Tad Reeves: Scientology might listen to this guy] | [More Tad Reeves and family]
[Scientology never forgets: A heartwarming telemarketing holiday miracle]
[Scientology High School, Dating and Super Powers!]