Scientology Celebrities Who Partied on the Freewinds While Valeska Paris Was Held on the Ship Against Her Will


We’ve been reporting all week on the stunning story of Valeska Paris, the Swiss-born woman who now lives in Australia and who says that from 1996 to 2007, beginning when she was only 18 years old, she was held on Scientology’s private cruise ship, the Freewinds, as a virtual prisoner.

Valeska alleges that church leader David Miscavige put her on the ship to keep her away from her mother, who had sued Scientology. Her passport was taken, and she says she had no way of getting away from the ship.

As we noted earlier, it was the Freewinds — and with Valeska aboard — that was turned into one big Tom Cruise tribute when the actor was flown to the ship for a birthday celebration in 2004. But Valeska was on the ship for a long time. Which other Scientology celebrities enjoyed the ship while Valeska was being held on board?

The sharp-eyed researchers over at Operation Clambake and dug through Kristi Wachter’s helpful database that brings together lists of Scientologists who are named in church publications. One of those publications, Freewinds, specifically lists members who have completed courses on the ship. And among the many names can be found quite a few very familiar ones.

So sit back and enjoy the show as we bring you the happy Scientology celebrities who sailed the high seas while Valeska labored, and we’ll tell you a little about what they learned on their voyages…

Scientology’s own records show that Kirstie Alley sailed on the Freewinds in early 2005, taking something called the “London Congress on Dissemination and Help Course.”

And here’s L. Ron Hubbard’s own pitch for what he was selling in these particular lectures:

“Have you ever wondered how to persuade a stranger to get audited? Have you ever had to ‘sell’ a hostile family member Scientology before you could audit someone? Have you ever had trouble auditing anyone?

“Well, you’ll be pleased to know that these problems have been vanquished by some material I’ve developed.”

Jennifer Aspen played “Kendra” in the first season of Glee, but she’s also known for her work on Party of Five and the family show Rodney.

Scientology’s publications show that Jennifer took the “Route to Infinity Course,” in the summer of 2001.

Here’s Scientology’s own description of the course:

As Ron explained, “Technique 80 is the To Be or Not To Be Technique.” With that, he unveiled the crucial foundation on which ability and sanity rest: the being’s capacity to make a decision. Here, then, is the anatomy of “maybe,” the Wavelengths of ARC, the Tone Scale of Decisions, and the means to rehabilitate a being’s ability To Be … almost anything.

Lynsey Bartilson played Lily Finnerty on Fox’s Grounded for Life from 2001 to 2005. Lately, she seems to be slumming around on the Disney Channel.

In the summer of 2001, Lynsey went to the Freewinds for the Ability Congress course.

From Scientology’s description of this course, a quote from L. Ron Hubbard:

“The aberrated Third Dynamic is the summed irresponsibilities of the First Dynamic. An insane group is one formed by the weak to protect them against the strong. A sane group is an expression of communication by those who could each one stand alone.”

Catherine Bell has steamed up televisions in both JAG and Army Wives.

In early 2005, she took the same course (and at the same time) as Kirstie Alley, the London Congress on Dissemination and Help Course.

More from Scientology’s description of the course:

They were called the London Open Evening Lectures, for these were public lectures with everyone welcome, most particularly non-Scientologists. In attendance, then, were Scientologists, their friends and public who had never heard of the subject. And so it was, in the Empire Rooms on London’s Tottenham Court Road, that he lectured and demonstrated the use of these factors to revitalize anyone’s interest in life. Specifically, the factors of Presessioning weren’t only a means to get people “in session,” but could be used by themselves to revitalize life itself.

Nancy Cartwright has made a mint as the voice of Bart Simpson, and she’s given much of it to Scientology! In 2007 she was celebrated by the church for making a donation of $10 million.

So it’s not surprising that Nancy made more than one trip on the Freewinds during Valeska Paris’s imprisonment there. We know of at least two excursions: In the summer of 2003 Nancy enrolled in the Route to Infinity Course, and in early 2005, she took the London Congress on Dissemination and Help Course.

¡Ay, caramba!

Erika Christensen first blew us away in Traffic in 2000. She’s currently starring in NBC’s Parenthood.

In the summer of 2001, Erika sailed the Freewinds for the Basic Study Manual.

Here’s a Scientology description of this (remedial-sounding) class:

All fundamentals are covered, giving a firm grounding to successful learning in any pursuit With this basic data, an individual can grasp a subject and apply what he has learned to improve conditions in his life.

Jenna Elfman will always be Dharma to many of her fans. And to Scientology watchers, she will always be warmly remembered for such outbursts as “What crimes have you committed!” and “Have you raped a baby?” while defending her religion.

In the summer of 2005, Jenna sailed the Freewinds for the Anatomy of the Human Mind Congress Course.

Scientology’s description:

With new breakthroughs in place to reach any case, L. Ron Hubbard was ready to ‘throw the switch’ on planetary expansion. And here is where that switch connected: with a new course to present Dianetics and Scientology basics in a whole new way. It followed from the simple premise: While one can demonstrate chemical reactions or the workings of machines, how does one demonstrate the parts and phenomena of the human mind and spirit? Mr. Hubbard provides the answer, and shows how to do it with the Anatomy of the Human Mind Course.

Juliette Lewis has not only starred in films and television series, she’s had a career leading a rock band. How versatile!

Early in 1999, Juliette attended a State of Man Congress Course on the Freewinds.

Scientology’s description:

Beginning with Book One in 1950, and continuing through each successive year, it was a decade of monumental discoveries and milestone technology towards the goal of Clear. Here, then, is the Congress that launched the next decade, and set the whole of Scientology towards Operating Thetan.

Danny Masterson is, of course, best known for That ’70s Show, and his role as Steven Hyde.

In the spring of 2005, Danny sailed the Freewinds for the Route to Infinity Course.

From Scientology’s description:

What are the capabilities of a theta being? Just how powerful is a being who cannot die, who natively is not even a part of the physical universe? What forces, in the span of the whole track, could be responsible for bringing that vital being down to such a state that he would think he was a body?

Corin “Corky” Nemec has been with us quite a while as Parker Lewis, on Stargate SG-1, and in the miniseries The Stand.

Early in 1999, he sailed the Freewinds for a double dose of L. Ron Hubbard technology — both the Basic Study Manual and the Route to Infinity.

From the latter, he apparently learned the following, according to Scientology:

Rather than looking through all the tangle and confusion in the preclear’s bank, L. Ron Hubbard had discovered a new approach: “Technique 80 is the practice of beingness on each dynamic successively, and the practice of beingness on a dynamic until you can be that whole dynamic.”


Laura Prepon is another That ’70s Show refugee.

In the spring of 2005, she signed on for the Route to Infinity Course on the Freewinds.

Another tidbit about the course from Scientology:

In these lectures, he bridges the gap between the current scene and the ideal. Prepare yourself for an expansion of causative beingness across all of your dynamics. Technique 80 is your route to infinity.


In the summer of 2005, months before the wedding they put on for the outside world, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes reportedly had a Scientology wedding on the Freewinds with John Travolta and Kirstie Alley in attendence. Their press people denied that it happened, but I’m checking with Valeska Paris to see if she remembers this event.

Update: Just got this message from Valeska: “They were DEFINITELY on the ship. I know she was receiving auditing, but I was sent to England that year to do the Congress so I don’t know what went down.”

And finally, the big party that Valeska definitely remembers, because she wasn’t allowed to attend. For Tom’s birthday in 2004, he was flown out with his then-girlfriend, Penelope Cruz, and then was feted in this memorable bash…

That was some shindig, wasn’t it?

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
#6: Anonymous
#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.

@VoiceTonyO | Facebook: Tony Ortega


[All recent stories] | [Top 25 People Crippling Scientology] | [Commenters of the Week] [Thursday 2pm Stats!] | [Scientology vs. South Park]


[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]


[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]


[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”]


[“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”]


[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?]


[A review of Urban’s scholarly history of the church] | [An interview with Hugh Urban]


[Marc Headley: “Tom Cruise told me to talk to a bottle”] | [The Nancy Many interview]
[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]


[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”]


[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]