Given its rather unsavory reputation, the Church of Scientology usually has a hard time getting much love from politicians or other prominent personalities. For every glittering movie star that actually belongs to the wacky group, many, many more would never have anything to do with it.
But it’s those exceptions — big names that agree to shill for David Miscavige’s church — that tend to grab our attention.
In particular, the willingness of Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca to go to bat for Scientology has been something of a curiosity over the years. And just today, we were forwarded by one of our tipsters a rather surprising notice that Baca, this Sunday, will be helping out the church in an interesting way.
Here’s the e-mail that went out to church members which was forwarded to us, including its misspelling of the sheriff’s name (“Bacca”)…
And while you contemplate the image of the sheriff of Los Angeles handing out copies of L. Ron Hubbard’s 1980 booklet The Way to Happiness, containing Hubbard’s 21 precepts of anodyne life advice (“take care of yourself,” “do not murder,” etc.), you might keep in mind that Baca is having a hard time finding much happiness himself these days. At least with the county board of supervisors, which has been all over him lately about a decade of unchecked guard-on-inmate violence in the jails that he runs.
And if this mailer is correct, Baca will be inserting himself into one of Scientology’s most odd recent developments: its ongoing relationship with Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam, a partnership which has been spearheaded by Scientology’s Alfreddie Johnson, also mentioned in the flier.
Just last month, a similar “United in Peace Festival” motorcycle ride was held, and this is how the Nation of Islam’s Final Call described it…
Members from 15 different bike clubs started the Peace Ride at the Magic Johnson Park in South Los Angeles. They rode through the predominantly Black/Latino neighborhoods of Watts, Lynwood, Compton, and Carson….They distributed brochures of Minister Louis Farrakhan’s historic Million Man March Pledge and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s “The Way to Happiness” guides to better living.
With his jails melting down, Baca is lending a hand to an unholy alliance of Scientology and the Nation of Islam to distribute bland L. Ron Hubbard life advice as a way to solve gang violence in South Central L.A.?
L.A.’s in worse shape than we realized!