Tony Ortega is executive editor of TheLipTV and is formerly the editor of The Village Voice. He's written about Scientology since 1995, and in May 2015 released a book about Scientology's harassment of Paulette Cooper titled 'The Unbreakable Miss Lovely.' He continues to monitor breaking developments in the Scientology world from an undisclosed location in an underground bunker he shares with four cats and one of them wrinkly Shar Pei dogs. Despite his super-secret security protections, you can still reach him pretty easily by sending him a message at tonyo94 AT gmail.com (Drop him a line if you'd like to get an e-mail whenever a new story is posted.) [Header image courtesy John Rickard]
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Scientology’s billion-dollar slush fund, its slick operators, and how it gets around regulation

IASSetPrepare for Jeffrey Augustine to blow your mind as he takes us on another deep dive into Scientology’s finances, this time laying bare the IAS slush fund even more than he did last time. We think you’ll find this is Jeff’s best piece yet!

 
As discussed previously, the International Association of Scientologists (IAS) is not a church; it is an unincorporated membership organization. Per its charter, the IAS functions autonomously from the so-called “Mother Church” i.e. the Church of Scientology International (CSI):

Continue reading Scientology’s billion-dollar slush fund, its slick operators, and how it gets around regulation

How to read a tabloid magazine story about the Church of Scientology: A primer

Star2015Four years ago, we set out on this adventure to report about Scientology every day. And one of the results of that experiment is the amazing community that has built up around the Bunker. We set out to create a place where Scientology could be discussed, but without the wild rumors and mistaken myths that clog up so many other places. We wanted the facts, and we wanted them first.

Continue reading How to read a tabloid magazine story about the Church of Scientology: A primer

Is David Miscavige really planning to extend Scientology’s ‘Bridge’?

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We don’t always see the newest issue of the Freewinds, a Scientology publication that gets passed around a little less often than Impact or Celebrity or International Scientology News.

Continue reading Is David Miscavige really planning to extend Scientology’s ‘Bridge’?

Scientology leader’s father signs a book deal, for ‘IF HE DIES, HE DIES’

RonMiscavigeSrRon Miscavige Sr., 79, the father to reclusive Scientology leader David Miscavige, 55, has signed a deal with major publisher St. Martin’s Press to issue his book about his son and Scientology titled “If He Dies, He Dies.”

The title is a reference to a now infamous story that came out in the Los Angeles Times this April about the arrest of two private investigators in Wisconsin who told police they were being paid $10,000 a week by David Miscavige to surveil his father, and had been doing so for more than a year.

Continue reading Scientology leader’s father signs a book deal, for ‘IF HE DIES, HE DIES’

Paulette Cooper back in Clearwater for the first time since the 1982 Scientology hearings

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Mark Bunker got very good video of Sunday’s event in Clearwater. But about ten minutes into it your proprietor knocked his lapel microphone off, and in general the setup wasn’t ideal for sound. But blame us, not Bunker.

Continue reading Paulette Cooper back in Clearwater for the first time since the 1982 Scientology hearings

Augustine: Taking a hard look at Scientology’s slush fund, the unlicensed and unregulated IAS

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We’ve been on the road with our appearance yesterday in Clearwater, but thankfully, our friend Jeffrey Augustine sent in another of his deep dives into the weird world of Scientology infrastructure. Take us down the rabbit hole again, Jeff…

 
In our last article, we showed that the word “Scientologist” is a collective membership mark used by members of the affiliated churches and missions of Scientology:

Continue reading Augustine: Taking a hard look at Scientology’s slush fund, the unlicensed and unregulated IAS

Project Normandy, 2015: Paulette Cooper has landed in Clearwater — Scientology’s ‘Mecca’

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Now this is going to be fun. We arrived in Clearwater yesterday and reunited with some great people and met plenty of new folks. And it’s all been in advance of perhaps the most anticipated stop on our book tour so far.

Continue reading Project Normandy, 2015: Paulette Cooper has landed in Clearwater — Scientology’s ‘Mecca’

Did Scientology hire the man sent to prison for hacking us? Not his job to find out, judge said

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As Eric Saldarriaga was leaving a ninth-floor courtroom at the old federal court house in New York City following his sentencing yesterday, he was in tears.

I couldn’t help wincing.

Continue reading Did Scientology hire the man sent to prison for hacking us? Not his job to find out, judge said

Jefferson Hawkins on how Scientology closes minds — a new podcast

Jefferson_Hawkins_ObeyAfter we posted yesterday’s story about how Mike Rinder and I had learned that we had each been victimized by the same private investigator, Eric Saldarriaga, I received an invitation form the US Attorney’s Office to speak at Saldarriaga’s sentencing today.

I decided to take it. The sentencing happens at 2 pm, and we are looking forward to it. But we’re also trying to prepare for this weekend’s book tour stop in Clearwater, Florida, so it’s going to be a busy day.

Continue reading Jefferson Hawkins on how Scientology closes minds — a new podcast

MIKE RINDER AND REPORTER: MAN CONVICTED OF HACKING WAS WORKING FOR SCIENTOLOGY

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Eric Saldarriaga faces sentencing Friday for the attempted hacking of the former church spokesman, who asks feds to look into Scientology’s alleged culpability

By Tony Ortega

Tomorrow in New York, Eric Saldarriaga, a 41-year-old Astoria, Queens private investigator, will be sentenced in federal court after pleading guilty to hiring a hacker to access private email accounts on behalf of his clients.

Continue reading MIKE RINDER AND REPORTER: MAN CONVICTED OF HACKING WAS WORKING FOR SCIENTOLOGY