Discovery Channel’s true-crime sister network, Investigation Discovery, is airing a 1-hour dramatization of Nancy Many’s amazing life in Scientology next week, at 10 pm on Wednesday, January 16.
Many has been very effective at keeping this a secret, but recently she let us in on it and now that she’s seen the final edit, she’s very happy with how the production turned out.
“Out of the blue I got a request last spring from two separate production companies wanting to put my book in a docudrama format,” Many says, referring to her harrowing account of surviving Scientology’s notorious “Rehabilitation Project Force” and many other experiences in My Billion-Year Contract. She chose a British production company whose executives had some previous experience working on Scientology stories.
“This past summer they came to the US and interviewed me and several other people, including Paulette Cooper,” she says. “They asked me about my experiences with the manipulative mind control environment of Scientology.”
For part of her career in the church, Nancy was a Boston-area volunteer who helped the church carry out covert operations. In one of her assignments, she was asked to tail Cooper, who had written a book about Scientology in 1971 and was considered the church’s biggest enemy at the time.
“I was briefed as to when she was coming into Boston, and exactly which clothes she’d be wearing the next day,” she says, and she admits it puzzled her how her handlers knew what Cooper would be wearing in the future — later, she learned that Scientology was being fed information by Cooper’s roommate, an operative who called himself Jerry Levin.
“I followed her around, but they knew she was coming to Boston to meet with her attorney, F. Lee Bailey, and I never understood why that exercise was done. Because they knew when she was coming, what she was wearing, where she was going. It has never made sense to me why she needed to be followed when she was doing something they already knew she was doing.”
In Many’s book, one of the most disturbing episodes describes her time as a prisoner in the RPF, five months pregnant, forced to live in a parking garage in Clearwater, Florida. Later, she was running the Celebrity Centre in Los Angeles when she and her husband made a break for freedom after they were threatened with further RPF stints — then had to go back for their 2-year-old son.
All of it is covered in the Investigation Discovery docudrama, which is part of a new series called “Dangerous Persuasions.”
“They act it out. It’s a dramatized documentary,” she says. With voiceover provided by Many herself.
“Scientology: My Eternal Contract” is the title for the episode.
The theme of the series is stories of “good people who are made to do bad things,” she says. “Scientology indoctrinates people so they do things they would normally never do.”
A death in the family is going to keep us off the blog for the next couple of days. Please bear with us.
Posted by Tony Ortega on January 8, 2013 at 01:00