One of two private detectives who were allegedly paid $10,000 a week by Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige to spy on Miscavige's elderly father was evidently not particularly fond of his employer. "David probably has reason to be afraid," PI Daniel Powell tells police in an interview recording obtained by TMZ, when asked about Miscavige's paranoia. "He's a terrible person."
On Friday afternoon, two narcotics officers with the Burbank, Calif., police department reportedly showed up at Tom DeVocht's door on an anonymous tip—complete with dubious photographic evidence—that the former Scientology executive was selling drugs in the area. The documentary Going Clear, in which DeVocht appeared as an interviewee, had premiered on HBO five days before. Was the apparent frame job the church's way of getting revenge?
L. Ron Hubbard began Scientology’s “Project Celebrity” in 1955, offering a list of 63 high-profile targets and a “small plaque” as a reward to anyone who successfully brought the likes of Bob Hope and Ernest Hemingway into the church. “There are many to whom America and the world listens...” Scientology’s blustery founder wrote in a newsletter announcing the plan. “It is obvious what would happen to Scientology if prime communicators benefitting from it would mention it now and then.” Sixty years later, was Project Celebrity a success?
Leah Remini, the King of Queens star who noisily and publicly left Scientology after three decades of membership over disagreements with church leader David Miscavige, filed a missing person report for his wife Shelly who supposedly hasn't been seen in public in six years. The LAPD has taken the report and "ruled as unfounded." The missing person case is closed.
New Yorker staff writer Lawrence Wright's long-awaited Scientology book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief, will be released this Thursday, and the reviews are already coming in. Based in part on a 2011 profile of director and former Scientologist Paul Haggis, the book focuses primarily on the legacy of L. Ron Hubbard and his successor, David Miscavige. It contains over 200 interviews with both "current and former" Scientologists from all ranks within the organization.
Today's edition of The Independent offers a profile of Marty Rathbun, a member of the Church of Scientology for 27 years, now considered a "heretic." As a high-ranking official, Rathbun worked with high-profile Scientologists like Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, and Greta Van Susteren. Since he left the Church, he has been hounded by damaging allegations and a weirdly persistent "documentary crew" known as the "SQUIRREL BUSTERS."
As a member of the Church of Scientology, Valeska Paris says she lived on the organization's religious cruise ship Freewinds for twelve years, working as a Sea Org manual laborer from the age of 18. Among her tasks: Preparing for Tom Cruise's 42nd birthday party, which Freewinds hosted. Above, Tom hamming it up with singer Stacy Francis at the party.
The one thing Scientology has always been missing, as far as dangerous cults go, is a good apocalyptic prophecy. It was always more about destroying enemies and controlling time, matter, and energy than heralding the end of days. But it turns out L. Ron Hubbard actually did predict the Earth's destruction.