In September 2014, we published a story that we expected would get more attention. We reported that at a gala celebration in the San Fernando Valley, a gathering of about 500 Scientologists who had paid $100 each to attend were told that the Church of Scientology had benefited from its relationship with Google, which had given Scientology the equivalent of $5.7 million in advertising grants.
As evidence of this, we provided a transcript of a speech made at the event by Brandy Harrison, the young Sea Org “Building Expansion Director Int,” who also said that Scientology had forged a relationship with Amazon and with the Chinese government, and had also had huge success taking over the front page of YouTube for a whole day.
At the time, the story was widely read, but it didn’t get picked up in the media the way we thought it might have. But then, out of the blue, this week it got hot again when Hacker News linked to the story, and then, yesterday, Jim Edwards at Business Insider picked it up.
So, while the story is hot again, we thought we’d throw a little kindling on it.
Our original story was based on a transcript of Brandy Harrison’s speech. But today, we have an actual recording of it. Yes, now you can hear for yourself the claims she made to that audience at the Valley Ideal Org fundraiser and experience the oohs and ahhs of the crowd.
We’ve included captions so you can follow along with what she’s saying — but the recording is pretty clear and Brandy enunciates well. She actually said quite a few things that should raise eyebrows. Here, give it a listen…
After the event, Scientology sent out this flier about it…
More than a year later, and after countless similar fundraisers, the Valley Ideal Org is still not open. It has to be one of the biggest frustrations in the Ideal Org program for David Miscavige, and we wonder why he doesn’t provide an “IAS grant” of a few million dollars and just get the thing done. The International Association of Scientologists is a slush fund of more than a billion dollars, former insiders tell us, and lately Miscavige has been drawing from it to pay for Ideal Orgs in places where local fundraising obviously wouldn’t be sufficient.
Anyway, let us know what you found most surprising about Brandy’s speech.
Chris Shelton interviews Tim DeWall
Oops, meant to post this in the morning. It’s the first part of an interview that Chris did with Tim DeWall, whose story you might remember.
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Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information about the book, and our 2015 book tour, can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.
Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…
BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of L.A. attorney and former church member Vance Woodward
UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists
GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice
SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts
Other links: The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ
Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield