On Tuesday, Phil Jones signed the contract for his Scientology ‘disconnection’ billboard with Regency Media, and he then gave us the green light to tell our readers about its location and the date of its unveiling. On March 22, the billboard will be dedicated at a celebration held by Phil and his wife Willie at the sign’s amazing location — just a block west of the office where Scientology leader David Miscavige works when he’s in Los Angeles.
The next day, Scientology got to work. Phil heard from Regency that on Wednesday, it received two phone calls from a man named Dennis Holt of US International Media, who explained that he is the media buyer for the church. It’s Holt who arranges for Scientology’s many billboards that go up around the country.
In the photo above, he’s the gent in the center, receiving an award from his alma mater, USC.
Phil told us that Holt had initially told Regency that Scientology wanted to buy up every billboard on Hollywood Boulevard and wanted to know what was available. Later, he called back and dropped the pretense, complaining about the specific artwork of Phil’s billboard.
Phil tells us that a third call — he didn’t tell us if it came from Holt — tried to scare Regency that posting Phil’s billboard might get them into legal trouble.
“She [the Regency sales rep] also had an email from [Holt’s] media company offering to buy up all their billboard properties for the church in the entire area and up through the end of July,” Phil tells us.
Phil says that the intimidation attempt isn’t working, and that Regency is still in his corner. But we thought you might like to know about Mr. Dennis Holt, who is one of Scientology’s enablers.
A few years ago, a member of the church who was still in the organization but disaffected called us and told us that one thing he’d like to see more coverage of is the professionals who carry out so much of the actual work for Scientology, whether it was to help Scientology with its real estate deals, or to intimidate its membership into silence.
We told him that was a great idea, but it’s not an easy task. We’re grateful to Mr. Holt that he made the job so easy in this instance.
We called and left a message for Mr. Holt, and also emailed him directly. We’ll let you know if he gets back to us.
What Scientology paid for an empty building in Orlando
Our readers were all over it when Scientology was trying to buy a building for an “Ideal Org” in a real estate auction in Orlando recently. Pete Griffiths spotted a story that reveals how much Scientology forked over: The church paid $1.7 million for an office building in Lake Ellenor, Florida.
Scientology leader David Miscavige’s Ideal Org program has been running into snags in part because some of the building purchases have been less than super smart. What do you think of his choice this time? The price is lower than he’s been paying in other places, but this location doesn’t exactly suggest “foot traffic” to us.
More evidence of the rapidly shrinking world of Scientology
A great observation by former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder over at his blog this morning, regarding next week’s LRH Birthday celebration in Los Angeles, which will consist of people watching a video of the actual celebration which takes place in Clearwater this weekend…
Traditionally, there was a single March 13th event for all of the LA area — including Orange County and the Valley. It used to be held at the Shrine Auditorium, but that became embarrassing as they couldn’t even fill the lower level, let alone the upper. So, they moved it to the Dolby Theater, capacity 3,400. Now they have shifted it to the “Ray Dolby Ballroom,” capacity 2,000. But it seems they are having inordinate difficulty filling even that venue (this is not much bigger than the Flag auditorium) in the home of the “largest concentration of Scientologists on earth.”
Ouch. Not even 2,000 in L.A.? Things are truly getting desperate.
Will Scientology’s media studio ever open?
In an issue of Planetary Dissemination, Scientology gave another peek inside the new media center it’s created out of the old KCET studios in Los Angeles. As ever, it’s a pitch for more donations. Here’s what the text says…
While it is the industry norm to have production lines spread out across several different companies, often in separate locations, Scientology Media Productions will have the gear and equipment necessary to do set building, writing, shooting, audio recording, audio mixing, editing, broadcasting, design, marketing and more, all on its 5-acre lot.
To ensure all gear and equipment is a perfect fit, and to allow each separate space to fulfill its purpose at the highest quality and efficiency, top professionals in the industry and in their respective fields are being consulted throughout the establishment of Scientology Media Productions.
Bonus items from our tipsters
Here’s today’s treasure from XENU TV. Says Mark Bunker: “February 2000 – Bob Minton felt that the police officers who were being paid by Scientology should fall under the permanent injunction, especially after some experiences we had with the police.”
Actress Elisabeth Moss, from a new profile at the Guardian…
Moss was raised, and remains, a Scientologist. She has long since given up defending the religion, speaking with the honest conviction of someone who knows their own belief to be pure-hearted. “It is weird for me to be put in the position where I am like, ‘No, I can’t. I don’t really want to talk about this.’ You feel kind of like, I am a nice person who likes to talk about stuff. I also get the curiosity. I get the fascination. I become fascinated with things that are none of my business as well. I am just fascinated when someone breaks up with somebody. I want to know all about it. I am very interested in what people are wearing, and all of that kind of thing, but you have a right to your privacy.”
The latest come-on…
E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.
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: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | 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 | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | 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 | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | 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