A tip of the hat to Jane White, who spotted this disturbing photo at the Facebook page for Clear Ghana, which describes itself as a “group of Scientologists working…to bring this technology to as many people of Africa as possible.”
That apparently includes presenting the standard Sea Org contract to a couple of youngsters who don’t look much more than 10 years old. The sad truth is, we’ve documented cases of children that young signing the commitment form, which asks them to serve Scientology for a billion years.
How the children of the Sea Org fare as they work ungodly hours for little to no pay will soon become the subject of major media coverage when Jenna Miscavige Hill’s book debuts on January 29.
Titled Beyond Belief: My Secret Life in Scientology and My Harrowing Escape, the book is likely to get a lot of mainstream press attention — which is quickly becoming a theme in January.
The BBC’s John Sweeney has proved to be a master of publicity, taking a couple of relatively old Scientology stories — the CST vaults and the infamous “musical chairs” episode — and turned them into front-page publicity for his book, The Church of Fear: Inside the Weird World of Scientology, which comes out on January 7.
And in tomorrow morning’s New York Times there’s a glowing preview of Lawrence Wright’s forthcoming book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief, which appears on January 17.
What a difference a year makes. A year ago, arguably one of the biggest stories to hit Scientology in a decade — the Debbie Cook affair — rocked the church and continues to cause it problems. But getting that story out to the mainstream media was difficult at best. That all changed in June, when the Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes split suddenly whetted the appetite of just about every news outlet in the land and Scientology stories popped up all over the place. And so far, 2013 is all about big, splashy publicity, which the church has almost no response for.
We can’t help enjoying the show.
We’ve had a full day of travel, but after the cats chastised us for being away from the bunker for several days, we’re happy to be back underground. We managed to keep the blog going while we were on the other side of the planet, and we are grateful to our acerbic commenting community for stoking the fires.
We have so much work in progress, and can’t wait to reveal a few surprises. But for now, it’s time to unpack, open a cold one, and enjoy being home.
Posted by Tony Ortega on January 2, 2013 at 20:00