Over the last couple of days, we’ve all seen a lot of photographs from the big Scientology grand opening of its new media center in Los Angeles. Some of our readers were snapping photos outside of the event and came up with some revealing looks at all the security the church had in place to keep onlookers away.
We also saw the photos and videos that Scientology posted which claimed that “more than 10,000” people had showed up (which was a wild exaggeration).
But even after all that, we hadn’t really found an answer to the question we asked Saturday morning: Which of Scientology’s vaunted Hollywood celebrities would show up for this all-important David Miscavige extravaganza?
Scientology’s press releases didn’t mention any celebrities, and our readers didn’t spot anyone very significant.
But then, one of our eagle-eyed researchers realized that the VIPs in the front row were shown in a photograph posted by the church — but at a far distance, so the figures looked really, really small…
But our friend also realized that Scientology can’t help itself and loves to show off its high-tech toys. This photo was in fact a huge one that could be blown up quite a bit without losing detail. And once he did that, he could definitely make out who was in the front row at Saturday’s event…
And that’s when we realized that the biggest “stars” that Miscavige could convince to come to his big Hollywood coming out party were…
Jenna and Bodhi Elfman.
Jenna’s fame largely comes from her run as Dharma Freedom Finkelstein Montgomery in ABC’s 1997-2002 comedy series Dharma and Greg. We also thought she was good as Professor Veronica Micelli in 1998’s Krippendorf’s Tribe. But she’s also been known as one of Hollywood’s most militant Scientologists. There was the infamous 2006 “Have you raped a baby?” episode, as told by TMZ. And more recently, she has provided a different sort of entertainment with a video series she’s done with her (generally insubstantial) husband Bodhi that had her exclaim, at one point, that she’d “blow a horse” if it meant she could simply relax and watch Netflix all day.
In other words, this is Hollywood royalty!
Also in the front row, we spotted Her Royal Governness of the Vast Valley Territory, Scientology’s cute nickname for Nancy Cartwright, better known as the voice actor behind Bart Simpson. The others we recognized were a couple of Scientology’s wealthy whales, Bob Duggan and Tom Cummins.
But where was Tom Cruise? (Filming in England, apparently.) And Travolta? Alley? Or any of the young celebs? Beck, Elisabeth Moss, Erika Christensen, Danny Masterson?
Too busy, apparently.
We’re sure you’ll be able to identify some of others in the crowd. Give it a good look and let us know who you spot. (We’re going to post it at full resolution. If it messes with your device’s display, we apologize in advance)…
And before you get too excited — no, that’s not Tommy Davis next to and behind Nancy Cartwright, as another angle shows…
So where were Scientology’s really big stars? We were already pretty underwhelmed by this event, which had Scientologists going through elaborate security procedures and standing in bright sunshine for hours so they could witness another brief appearance by David Miscavige. Maybe it’s no wonder that the church’s brighter lights didn’t want to bother with it.
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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: 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