Scientology After Going Clear
Los Angeles Field Operations
Sunday, May 17, 2015, 10:45 AM & 3:30 PM
This is Fred G. Haseney, your West Coast Correspondent reporting from the Center For Inquiry (“CFI”) Los Angeles and, later, from Scientology Incorporated’s (“SI”) West Coast headquarters, the Pacific Area Command Base (aka “PAC Base” or “Big Blue”).
At 10:45 AM today, Tony Ortega and Paulette Cooper arrived at CFI, 4773 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles 90027 (a stone’s throw, or two, from the PAC Base):
As I waited in line for the Box Office and CFI’s doors to open, I saw (and later met) Spanky Taylor, who is a featured player in the Alex Gibney/HBO Documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief. Among Bunkerites in attendance at today’s lecture: “LMNOP,” “Missionary Kid,” and “Derek.” I also met Tory Christman and Jeffrey Augustine, who arrived with the beautifully regal Karen De La Carriere. I learned later that Tony Ortega’s mom sat in the audience; Tony is from Los Angeles originally.
Here are authors Ortega and Cooper unpacking their car; I believe the gentleman to Paulette’s left is her husband, Paul (notice the crisp boxes in the trunk of the car: they contain brand new copies of Tony’s first book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely—How the Church of Scientology Tried to destroy Paulette Cooper):
Here’s a close-up of Tony and Paulette (isn’t she a strikingly pretty woman):
Here the room is filling up while CFI’s audio visual department set up and test their equipment (I have a feeling that the lecture will be released on DVD or available as an online download in the near future):
The Steve Allen Theater is overflowing as the audience awaits the guest’s arrival:
Tony Ortega and Paulette Cooper take the stage (I haven’t quite figured how to take a good picture indoors with my new camera, my apologies):
On a CFI book mark I received with the purchase of Tony’s new book (a quote by Robert G. Ingersoll): “Science is the enemy of fear and credulity. It invites investigation, challenges the reason, stimulates inquiry, and welcomes the unbeliever.” CFI works “to promote reason, science, and freedom of inquiry in all areas of human endeavor.” Mr. Ingersoll’s statement may be CFI’s motto, because that’s where CFI’s James Underdown is headed as he introduced the audience to the lecture and, later, to Tony and Paulette (I’m paraphrasing from this point on, writing from notes I took during the lecture):
“Where is the story?” asks James (who appeared with Tony Ortega in the first episode of Penn and Teller: Bullshit! in 2003), “the ‘Xenu’ story doesn’t have a scrap of evidence. Xenu modifying a DC-8 just wouldn’t work. The tech, the foundation of Scientology, falls apart; it may be legitimate in Scientology stories, but telling the truth isn’t one of them.”
After James introduced Tony, Mr. Oretga exclaimed, “My body thetans are all a twitter!” Tony also thanked Tom Cruise (for jumping up and down on couches in 2005 as well as for his brilliant 2008 appearance on video), Anonymous, and actor Jason Beghe. Between Tony and Paulette sat a small table with a pitcher of ice water and two glasses, something Tony took advantage of as it appears that he’s nursing a little cold or hoarseness.
At one point before the Church of Scientology’s thwarted attempts to silence Paulette Cooper, she went to the New York Org. Apparently, when the staff caught on to her journalistic approach to their religion, the NY Org’s Ethics Officer (“EO”) hauled Paulette into the Ethics Department. Paulette, however, did not want questions asked by an unhappy EO, so Paulette excused herself to the ladies room, where she watched the EO’s office. When another person entered that office, Paulette took advantage of the situation and made her escape from the org (Paulette quoted this as her first negative experience with Scientology).
Nineteen years separated Paulette from her husband Paul: she met him in in 1968, and didn’t see him next until 2008. With a history of Scientology spies, double agents and private investigators, she eyed Paul, at first, rather suspiciously, not knowing if Scientology had sent him as a plant (they hadn’t and later married).
At the end of the lecture, Tony and Paulette welcomes questions from the audience:
Question: “What would it take to revoke Scientology’s tax exempt status?” In addition to Tony’s intelligent reply, CFI had four IRS Complaint Forms on-hand with instructions for filling them out.
Question: “How does Scientology still get people in? How long before Scientology goes up in smoke?” “There’ll always be a small group of people attracted to what Scientology offers,” Tony replied (and, again, I’m writing from my notes; this is not, word-for-word, what Mr. Ortega said), “and that is ‘certainty.'”
Question (directed at Paulette): “Do people still spy on you?” “Yes,” Paulette answered, “at least until two years ago.” Someone had hacked into the computer system of a hotel Paulette had been staying in; the hacker racked up a $16,000.00 valet bill which, when the hotel noticed it, knew it had to be bogus. “There’s no doubt,” Tony added, “that Paulette is being spied on.” Tony went on to disclose that someone Paulette had lunch regularly with over a period of time turned out to be a spy—and Tony knew the person as a Scientology spy.
In answer to a later question, we learn that L. Ron Hubbard Jr (“Nibs”) wrote a book,a 64-page unpublished manuscript that’ll never see the light of day. In the summer of 1972, Robert Kaufman, the author of the book “Inside Scientology” asked Paulette to write a a “Forward” for Nibs’ book, a tome filled with strong language against the Church of Scientology. A few months later, someone called in bomb threats, all against Scientology. Scientology, it turns out, pressured Nibs to recant his story and say bad things about Paulette. The bomb threat actually had word in that Paulette remembered Nibs using when he and Paulette worked together preparing that manuscript. The manuscript covered Nibs’ life, “a tortured soul,” as Tony said during the lecture.
Question: “Will a Scientologist in the audience who has attended the lecture stand up and be accounted for and allow questions from the audience?” No one did.
After another question, Tony Ortega and Paulette Cooper acknowledge Scientology’s benefits-benefits such as the initial courses, the $50.00 needed to cover them. “It’s not until later,” Tony said, “that Scientology’s problems of indoctrination and control set in.” All it takes is for a Scientologist to believe-that’s all it takes, Tony replied (a man taking notes much like I did during the lecture asked that last question; at his feet, a cute little, well-trained dog).
Question (asked more like a comment): “Scientology inspired a generation of people in the 1960s to actually do something about society.” (The commentator also cited Highest Ever Technical Delivery statistics in his division at a Scientology org, stats that have never been matched.) Included in Tony’s response (“A Scientologist will cite their stats,” Tony adds) is this statement: that while Scientology inspired a generation of young people, Scientology, at the same time, broke into government offices, forced young women to get an abortion, and broke up families with their Disconnect policy.
Question (directed to Paulette): “What actress would you like to portray you in the movie version of Tony’s book?” Paulette’s reply: Nicole Kidman.
Here’s a short video taken of the lecture (In this segment, Tony and Paulette discuss the lawyer’s fees necessary to defend her against the false criminal charges when the Church of the Scientology tried to frame her after the release of her first book, The Scandal of Scientology):
Since I missed normal (Christian) church service at 11 AM in order to attend the lecture (it’s Sunday), I excused myself early (at 12:30 PM) in order to attend later services, so I didn’t get to mingle, meet and greet others in attendance, including the honored guests.
The FBI raided the Church of Scientology in early 1977; Scientology’s PAC Base, if I’m not mistaken, is one of three locations at which the FBI seized boxes and boxes of documents. Among those document came the proof that later exonerated Paulette Cooper from false criminal charges in Scientology’s attempt to frame her and send her packing to prison. In “Operation Freak Out,” Scientology tried to smear Paulette Cooper after the publication of her first book, “The Scandal of Scientology.”
Scientology assigned Miss Cooper a code name: Miss Lovely.
After the lecture, I took Miss Lovely on a tour of the PAC Base, the place that most likely gave her the code name, Miss Lovely. How appropriate that Scientology “gave birth” to Miss Lovely and “delivered” her in a former hospital, the Cedars of Lebanon Hospital (I wonder if they used the former Maternity Ward at the PAC Base for the delivery)?
It’s an absolutely beautiful, sunny day in southern California as I introduce Miss Lovely to the gargantuan Scientology sign on Sunset Blvd., between L. Ron Hubbard Way (“LRH Way”) and Catalina Street:
Here I introduce Miss Lovely to the Los Angeles Organization (“LA Org”; that’s a Sea Org member talking on a phone to the right of Miss Lovely):
As I introduce Miss Lovely to the American Saint Hill Organization (“ASHO”), a Security Guard (the first of three that I see) shows up off-camera, watching my every move; protecting Scientology’s public from the evil Suppressive Person (“SP,” or so I’ve been told recently by Security Guard Otto “Odo” Huber, who I also greeted today in Spanish, with a smile: “Hola, Senor Huber”; in English, “Hello, Mr. Huber”; Mr. Huber, congenial and professional as ever, smiled and nodded “affirmatively” back at me):
Here I introduce Miss Lovely to the Canteen (look, there is actual Scientology public there… it’s the afternoon break from course):
Next, I escort Miss Lovely across LRH Way (saying “hello” to that Security Guard off-camera). Here I formally introduce Miss Lovely to the Advanced Organization of Los Angeles (“AOLA”):
When I arrived in Los Angeles as a Sea Org (“SO”) recruit in 1977 from Salt Lake City, Utah, “4833 Fountain Avenue” became my address. As I trained up as an SO member, I studied and worked in the Estates Project Force (“EPF”); all EPFers used this address for their mail. Here I introduce Miss Lovely to 4833 Fountain Ave:
Since a proper tour of the PAC Base is never really complete without a nod to the Main building, here I introduce Miss Lovely to where much of the activity at PAC Base has occurred since 1977, including, most likely, “Operation Freakout” (to the left of Miss Lovely is a sign “welcoming” you to Scientology’s administrative building, but what Scientology is saying is “YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED HERE,” and “GO AWAY”):
All Hail Xenu! Miss Lovely and I worship Xenu somewhere in the crown of the Main building and the SCIENTOLOGY sign:
There’s a blessing for those who believe on L. Ron Hubbard Way.
Do you remember the photo I posted at the end of Field Operations for the week of May 9, 2015, in which Dianetics turned 65? The next photo ended those operations as “the Last Word,” a clear message of God and faith posted across the street from LA Org:
This week, the fence (kind of) came down, and non-Scientology neighbors, who have cowered in fear of Scientology Incorporated for years, have realized that there IS something that can be done against the cult that sits across LRH Way from them. In place of the biblical reference (which will be reposted this week after it gets an upgrade), LA Org and all of the God-fearing victims of LA Org Body Routers can see the Virgin Mary and the thousands of dollars in beautiful flowers that appeared yesterday:
Here’s another angle of this beautiful, biblical layout:
With such beauty and light, there comes a little ugliness and darkness: shortly before I arrived, the police had just left and a police report had been filed. The charge? Vandalism. Someone or someones had knocked down five buckets of flowers; here’s a photo of dirt from the flower buckets after they were knocked onto the sidewalk (the gentle Los Angeles wind can’t knock over 40 lbs. of bucket, water and flowers, not unless it’s the kind of a wind that follows a tsunami, and we haven’t had one in recent history):
Blog photo courtesy of the Daily Beast, and found at The Underground Bunker (Tony Ortega on Scientology), “As seen in the Daily Beast: ‘The Unbreakable Miss Lovely’ is on sale and ready to startle you,” May 11, 2015.