Watch Mimi Faust Talk about Losing Her Mother to Scientology


Viacom has blocked some YouTube versions of the therapy scene from Monday night’s Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta that features Mimi Faust talking about her mother choosing Scientology over her own children.

But at this VH1 link, you can see her dealing with what is still deeply felt trauma over being abandoned at only 13 years of age by a mom who had joined Scientology’s “Sea Org.”

We’ve put in interview requests with Mimi through her own website and through VH1.

As we reported yesterday, Mimi’s mother, Gloria Olaiya Odufunke Simmons, died in 2003. She was a Sea Org member in Los Angeles when Mimi was a young teenager. Sea Org members — Scientology’s hardcore elite of workers — toil up to 100 hours a week for almost no pay, and that demanding schedule means they have little time for anything else, including their own children. (In fact Sea Org members are encouraged not to have children, and numerous women have claimed in recent lawsuits that they were forced to have abortions when they got pregnant in the Sea Org.)

A friend who knew Mimi (who was then “Mimi James”) says that the young girl was forced to live with friends because of her mother’s total focus on the church. Here’s how Mimi puts it in the scene above, with the father of her child, Stevie J., and her therapist, Dr. Jeff Gardere…

When my mother joined Scientology, they wanted me to sign a contract to work for them and I refused. I was kicked out at 13, and my mother was so consumed with her life in that religion, that we lost contact for many years.

…And where she ended up, she stayed there until she died. And she gave up her kids, everything, for what she wanted to do.

By “contract,” we’re assuming that Mimi was pressured to join the Sea Org and sign its billion-year contract, but refused. Judging from what was said in our comments yesterday, our readers are giving her a lot of credit for that.

She’s currently an entrepreneur, and starring on the highest-rated cable TV show on Monday nights. We’ll keep trying to reach more people who know about her experience with Scientology.


Even Google Is Piling on David Miscavige

David Miscavige just can’t catch a break right now. An alert reader notified us that if we entered Miscavige’s name in a Google search, the result was what you see below, which we grabbed before it changes.

Yes, that’s a photo of Lisa McPherson, in extremis, and surely not something the leader of the Church of Scientology would want to represent him. We have a feeling Google would blame this on an imperfect algorithm, but we have to wonder if someone over there isn’t having Miscavige on. (Also, Google is using a photo of Terri Schiavo for Lisa McPherson in the small thumbnail. What’s up with that, Google?)


Connor’s Beats

Posted without comment: the latest dope remix posted by Connor Cruise on Monday night:


Ben Stiller Channeling His Inner COB?

While we were talking to John Brousseau yesterday, he shared something with us that we’re still trying to assimilate.

“You want to know what David Miscavige is like? I swear, Ben Stiller in Dodgeball is doing a perfect impression of him,” Brousseau said.

Well, we’re sure the resemblance is an accident, but we’ll let you watch some of Stiller’s performance, and those of you who have worked with Miscavige can tell us if the resemblance holds up…


Tory’s 90’s Hair

Yesterday, Tory “Magoo” Christman posted this precious look back to her days as a Scientologist to Facebook. If you’ve seen her very entertaining videos, you’ll recognize her way of speaking, but oh, that Scientology lingo is something!

Well, that’s a pretty weird mix of stuff for a Wednesday morning. Let us hear it in the comments (we know you will).

See also:
What Katie is saving Suri from: Scientology interrogation of kids
Scientology’s new defections: Hubbard’s granddaughter and Miscavige’s dad
Scientology’s disgrace: our open letter to Tom Cruise
Scientology crumbling: An entire mission defects as a group
Scientology leader David Miscavige’s vanished wife: Where’s Shelly?
Neil Gaiman, 7, Interviewed About Scientology by the BBC in 1968
The Master Screenplay: Scientology History from Several Different Eras
And a post that pulls together the best of our Scientology reporting

Please check out our Facebook author page for 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 catch his alerts at Twitter (@VoiceTonyO), at his Facebook author page, on Pinterest, 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.