Luka Rocco Magnotta is in custody now and has pleaded not guilty to charges that he killed, dismembered, and even ate some of his Montreal boyfriend before absconding to Berlin, where he was apprehended.
Meanwhile, Magnotta’s extensive online legacy is still being mined by the curious, and our tipsters made us aware of yet another claim Magnotta made that he was an ardent Scientologist.
We told you earlier about some other online statements he made in 2007 and 2008 about joining Scientology and then defending the church at an Amazon.com forum.
But now we’ve discovered a defense of his involvement in Scientology that Magnotta posted on July 1, 2009. It appears to be the most lengthy and detailed description of his interest in the religion that he ever posted.
Taken together with his other writings, we’re getting the definite idea that before he became an accused kitten killer and boyfriend devourer, Magnotta was obsessed with his looks and his pursuit of fame, and found in Tom Cruise and Scientology one way to achieve his dreams.
In June and July of 2009, Magnotta briefly blogged at estrip.org, a Buffalo-based community blogging platform.
A sample entry, from June 23 (all spelling is Magnotta’s)…
People Say Im Hotter Then a Prince
People say im so sexy, that i should be royality, im not joking. I walk down the street and they come up to me and want to get with me and they tell me how beautiful I am. I just can’t help myself. Im good looking….its hard when I can’t go anyplace without being mauled.
Here’s the photo he posted with it…
Two days later, he put up another entry which also suggested he was a young man with issues…
I Hate My Family
I hate my family. I never felt like I belong in this family at all. Everything they do annoys me, the way they walk, talk, and even breath. I just get so irritated with EVERYTHING they do. I can’t stand them. I feel like they don’t like me very much either. They have all been extremely jealous of my success and life for years. They all hang onto me and just want money…
And the accompanying photo…
The next day, on July 1, Magnotta posted a lengthy piece titled “Scientology Saved My Existance [sic]”
In the previous two blog posts we found from 2007, Magnotta’s declarations about Scientology seem canned, like they were material he’d simply copied from one of the church’s own websites. In this case, although there’s more attitude, the opening paragraphs again feel rote, like they could have come from any Scientologist’s website…
I feel everyone has a defining moment somewhere in life. Whether it be achieving a 3.0 grade point average, or being the most valuable player on a basketball team. It seems that no matter how great or small this event may seem to the rest of the world, it means everything to the person experiencing it. Sometimes the moment is happy such as the first examples.
But after that stiff intro and a set of canned paragraphs defining Scientology, Magnotta starts writing about himself…
While walking one night alone down the streets of Toronto I was approached by a nice woman who offered me a “stress test” I happily went inside and was amazed at how accurate and true the things she was speaking of were. I ended up purchasing some books, one was called Dianetics, by L. Ron Hubbard.
Then things get that canned feeling again, as Magnotta includes this cute (and correctly spelled) detail…
I ended up leaving the office and by chance I forgot my Rolex Watch, the man quickly ran outside and after me to return it, this goes to show how much character these people have and how helpful and honest they were.
But the next paragraph sounds like Magnotta again…
It really bothers me to hear constantly that untrue rumors that the “church is a cult” and “its nothing but mind control” Let me tell you all something, I have experianced only good from going to the church and it has changed my life for the better. I have noone, no family or friends who I am able to trust and the church acts like my family everytime I go there.
And after that, we’re right back into canned language with vocabulary that doesn’t sound at all like Magnotta (“I believe that there are certain characteristics that abide in all of us.”)
Then, things get interesting again…
I have gone through so much in my life and after reading the books I realized that life gets better and not worse. Tom Cruise is onr of my idols, I have always admired him for his charity work and personal lifestyle. He helps everyone and anyone whenever he is able to. When I was a boy I wished every night that he would adopt me. Even my girlfriend when I was a teenage knew how much I respected him, I have followed his career from the beginning. It makes me hurt inside when people say negative things about this good man and the church, who have both helped so many.
More artificial blather follows, and Magnotta then seems to reappear…
Well having noone I am able to trust is hard, but still id risk my life to save or help the ones I love. Scientology changed how I think and ofcoarse in the past I have done wrong things, who has not? But I have learned from my mistakes and gained from my negative experiances. Everything happens for a reason I believe and I am now a stronger person from having gone through so much. Tom Crusie was my inspiration. I thank him for that. I did not want my past to dictate my future. My main goal in life is to help others and to make myself happy by becomming a model and actor and I have been doing a great job so far of schieving this.
The post then goes into two lengthy paragraphs that are simply bizarre, but except for Jeffrey Dahmer’s last name, the spelling is suspiciously clean. It makes references to Dahmer, Timothy McVey, and the fate of Jesus, and it’s hard to believe that it was written by either Magnotta or a Scientology website.
Then, Magnotta seems to come back for the finish…
I enjoy helping people, It makes me happy, If I can bring a smile to one persons face then I know I have done my job well. Through modelling and acting I can express myself and IT makes ME happy and fullfilled when I am able to live my dream.
I just have to set the record straight befroe I go, to all of you who claime to have been “cheated” by the church, that is your opinion and you have the right to make that claim, but to all of you who don’t even know anything about the church, how can you make fun of it? is that not making you a hypocrite?
Bottom line is, don’t knock it until you try it.
It was the last post he made in that blog.
The repeated references to Tom Cruise are telling. I went back to the 2007 blog posting and noticed that although it was completely canned and said nothing about Magnotta’s own life or about Cruise, the item was still tagged with “Tom Cruise” and “Katie Holmes.”
How involved in Scientology was Luka Magnotta? Maybe very little. But over a period of two years, he went to the trouble of claiming multiple times that he had an affiliation to it, and to defend it from detractors. (We asked the church for a response about Magnotta’s claims, but have never heard back.)
Magnotta is obsessed with his looks, with how he is perceived, with becoming famous. He may have thought that aligning himself with Cruise would be one of many little things to help him get what he wanted. Now, of course, we are learning that his obsessions were rather more unfathomable.
A preliminary hearing in his case has been set for 2013.
Will and Jada Smith Shill for Scientology
One of the most disappointing celebrity affiliations with Scientology in recent years is Will Smith’s involvement — which is, to this point, still somewhat mysterious.
What is known with some certainty is that Smith has been a big funder of a school in Calabasas, California that makes use of Scientology educational concepts, known as “study tech.” Roger Friedman reported in April that Smith’s donations had totaled $1.2 million to the New Village Leadership Academy in 2010, about enough to cover the salaries at the school.
Earlier, Will and Jada had fired the school’s principal, Jacqueline Olivier, because she resisted using the L. Ron Hubbard “study tech” in the curriculum, Radar reported in 2009. Olivier was replaced with a Scientologist, Franca Campopiano, also known as Piano Foster. (See Carnegie Mellon professor David Touretzky’s pages explaining how “study tech” is used as a recruitment tool for Scientology itself.)
And now, the gossip site ohnotheydidnt has posted several photos from a fundraising event for the Academy that was held recently.
In what is becoming a common theme this week, a local politician showed up to endorse Scientology…
That’s Congresswoman Maxine Waters, on the right, with Piano Foster, the school’s leader.
Entertainment was provided by Robin Thicke…
And MC Lyte.
Will.i.am also made the scene.
As did, of course, the hosts, Will and Jada Smith.
No doubt all involved were convinced they were gathered for a good cause.
Say Goodbye to Disqus
Over the past year we’ve built a big commenting community here at Scientology Watching Central, and for that we thank you, our loyal readers. It’s been really pretty amazing to see things develop, so that now we have a remarkably thug-free conversation with lots of great regular contributors.
But that doesn’t mean there haven’t been issues, particularly with the Disqus system, which is often wonky.
As we write this, however, our database of past comments is gradually being transferred over to our new system, Livefyre, which should go live in a few days.
Will there be big changes? You bet. But I trust that our brainy readers will quickly adapt to the new way of doing things. From what I’ve seen, the new system will be far more rich and nimble than what we’ve had to put up with.
Big stories are on the way. Please check our Facebook author page for the latest updates and schedules.
Tony Ortega has been the editor in chief of the Village Voice since March, 2007. He started writing about Scientology in 1995. You can reach him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, and if you ask nicely he’ll put you on his mailing list for notifications of new stories. You can also catch his alerts at Twitter (@VoiceTonyO), at his Facebook author page, on Pinterest, a Tumblr, and even this new Google Plus doohickey.
New readers might want to check out our primer, “What is Scientology?” Another good overview is our series from last summer, “Top 25 People Crippling Scientology.” At the top of every story, you’ll see the “Scientology” category which, if you click on it, will bring up all of our most recent stories.
As for hot subjects we’ve covered here, you may have heard about Debbie Cook, the former church official who rebelled and was sued by Scientology. You might have also heard about the Super Power Building, Scientology’s “Mecca,” whose secrets were revealed here. We also reported how Scientology spied on its own most precious object, Tom Cruise. (We wrote Tom an open letter that he has yet to respond to.) Have you seen a Scientology ad on TV lately? We debunked some of the claims in that 2-minute commercial you might have seen while watching Glee or American Idol.
Other stories have looked at Scientology’s policy of “disconnection” that is tearing families apart. You may also have heard something about the Sea Org experiences of the Paris sisters, Valeska and Melissa, and their friend Ramana Dienes-Browning. We’ve also featured Paulette Cooper, who wrote about Scientology back in the day, and Janet Reitman, Hugh Urban, and the team at the Tampa Bay Times, who write about it today. And there’s plenty more coming.