More than a year after it was first published in the U.S., Leah Remini’s bestselling book Troublemaker: Surviving Scientology and Hollywood will be published in the U.K. for the first time on March 9 by Silvertail Books.
Silvertail publisher Humfrey Hunter is also releasing Troublemaker as a paperback and ebook in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and once again he’ll be testing Scientology’s resolve in a country, the United Kingdom, where it’s easier to sue a publisher and win.
Full disclosure: Silvertail is also the publisher of The Unbreakable Miss Lovely, our history of Scientology’s attempt to destroy the life of journalist Paulette Cooper. Hunter is also the UK publisher for Ron Miscavige’s memoir Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige and Me, Lawrence Wright’s 2013 history of Scientology, Going Clear, John Sweeney’s Church of Fear, and he brought back into print Russell Miller’s biography of L. Ron Hubbard, Bare-Faced Messiah.
And now, with Troublemaker, Hunter shows again that he’s not afraid to take on the church. Says Hunter: “I am delighted that Silvertail is publishing Troublemaker. It is a bold and brilliant book, a description which will not come as a surprise to anyone who is aware of Leah. The book’s extraordinary contents and the fact they have now been made public mark this as a significant moment in the history of Scientology. I don’t know whether we are at the point of talking about edifices crumbling, but what I do know is that the more people hear Leah’s story and the more Leah speaks out, the less likely new people are to join and that is no small thing.”
The book will be available at Amazon in those countries, but Humfrey notes that it can also be put on pre-order at Silvertail’s website.
David Miscavige to strongarm Clearwater city council members?
Tracey McManus has some fascinating news this morning at the Tampa Bay Times about Scientology leader David Miscavige making some last-minute moves in an apparent effort to head off a $4.25 million sale for a 1.4-acre parcel in downtown Clearwater that the city intends to buy.
The parcel is owned by an aquarium company that had previously intended to expand its operation to the plot, which lies right across the street from Scientology’s holiest location, the Fort Harrison Hotel, which is part of Scientology’s “Flag Land Base,” a collection of buildings in the Clearwater downtown. The city wanted the aquarium expansion to help revive a dead downtown that features little besides the church and its zombie-like Sea Org troops. But Miscavige, behind the scenes, killed the aquarium deal because he wants the parcel for the church. Now the aquarium owners plan to sell to the city for its own development of the parcel.
It’s a transaction that just needs a city council vote to approve, but ahead of that vote, on Tuesday and Wednesday, David Miscavige, in a surprise move, wants to meet individually with the council members to talk to them about the deal.
Hey, that’s not super creepy or anything.
The aquarium told McManus that the sale is a done deal. But will Miscavige be able to talk the city out of it? Do these city council members have pets?
We can’t wait to hear what sort of rap Miscavige lays on these people.
Germany freaking out over Scientologist running art museum
Very unusual story developing in Bavaria, where Scientology has long been looked on with suspicion by the regional government. An investigation has been launched to find out how a suspected Scientologist had, over a couple of decades, worked his way into a powerful position at a Munich state art museum, the Haus der Kunst, that was founded by the Nazis in the 1930s.
Acting on a tip, authorities were stunned to learn that the person is in charge of personnel and has a great deal of responsibility at the institution, even though they had started out as a sort of outside consultant in the 1990s and had never really been official hired or something. Oh, those sneaky Scientologists!
Here’s what we heard from one of our readers about it…
Apparently, the guy in charge of all the staff and personnel – including hiring and firing – has been treating employees very poorly and numerous complaints about him have been made over the last years. The paper reveals he is an outspoken Scientologist (which might explain some of the strange practices and complaints) and to make matters more interesting, he wasn’t even an employee by the art gallery – he was hired as far back as 1995 as an external employee – and news people now are apparently surprised at how many posts he held considering his “external” status: Supervising basically all personnel, the security staff, scheduling, etc. The German version of the FBI (Verfassungsschutz) is investigating if possibly the cult of Scientology (what the press called it!) is undermining this art gallery. Which, by the way has a slightly delicate history, being founded and built under the personal supervision of Hitler from 1933-1937.
Well, that’s slightly crazy. We’ll check back with our correspondent there to see how that develops.
Chris Shelton compares Scientology and Mormonism
Says Chris: “I have been asked many times whether Mormonism is a destructive cult. I have a couple of Mormon friends, watched the South Park episode about it and have read a few articles but never really dug in too deeply but I’ve been wanting to interview an ex-Mormon to find out more about it. The opportunity finally afforded itself and here is the result. Jonathan Streeter does ex-Mormon advocacy like I do ex-Scientology work and we had a great chat about both subjects. I think anyone who is curious about this will find this interesting. Enjoy!”
HowdyCon 2017: Denver, June 23-25. Go here to start making your plans.
Scientology disconnection, a reminder
Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,679 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 1,782 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,276 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,316 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy in 1,028 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 495 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,613 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 1,783 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,103 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,078 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 434 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin in 4,736 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 843 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,245 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,118 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 699 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike in 1,204 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,448 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,557 days.
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, Kindle, and audiobook versions. 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.
The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2016 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Undergound Bunker (2012-2016), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)
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