Tony Ortega is a journalist who was formerly the editor of The Village Voice. He's written about Scientology since 1995, and in May 2015 released a book about Scientology's harassment of Paulette Cooper titled 'The Unbreakable Miss Lovely.' He continues to monitor breaking developments in the Scientology world from an undisclosed location in an underground bunker he shares with four cats and one of them wrinkly Shar Pei dogs. Despite his super-secret security protections, you can still reach him pretty easily by sending him a message at tonyo94 AT gmail.com (Drop him a line if you'd like to get an e-mail whenever a new story is posted.) [Header image courtesy John Rickard]
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As you watch Leah Remini’s show tonight, keep these people disappeared by Scientology in mind

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[Shelly Miscavige, Angelo Pagan, and Barbara Ruiz, circa 2004]

UPDATE: We’re living blogging Leah’s show in the comments at a new post. Please join us!

Forty five years ago this week, on Saturday, November 27, 1971, the daily notices that were sent to the crew of the yacht Apollo, known as the “Orders of the Day,” included a notation about a new crew member.

Continue reading As you watch Leah Remini’s show tonight, keep these people disappeared by Scientology in mind

How Liz Gale came to disconnect from her own mother, Scientology style

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“Today I cut ties with my mother, the most dedicated Scientologist I know.”

That’s how Liz Gale opened an essay published last month at former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder’s website.

Continue reading How Liz Gale came to disconnect from her own mother, Scientology style

What you’ll find on the menu at the clinic run by a physician who’s also a Scientologist

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[David Minkoff and Lisa McPherson]

Rod Keller is back to help us by examining Scientology’s footprint on the web…

David Minkoff is one of the few medical doctors who is currently a member of Scientology. (With the death of Megan Shields, perhaps he’s the only one.) The organization is well known for being hostile towards psychiatry, but that extends to traditional medicine in general. The book Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard set the precedent that most illnesses are to be considered psychosomatic in nature, and should be treated using Hubbard’s brand of counseling, called “auditing.”

Continue reading What you’ll find on the menu at the clinic run by a physician who’s also a Scientologist

‘Radar’ magazine latest to peddle ‘Tom Cruise leaving Scientology’ fake news

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We’ve had a pretty good relationship with the National Enquirer’s online sister publication, RadarOnline. It often jumps on our stories before anyone else, and can usually be counted on to provide a link and a shout out. We really appreciate it. And its own stories about Scientology have often been solid. But then, earlier this year, Jen Heger left the publication, and lately, well, Radar has been shoveling pure shit into Scientology cyberspace.

Continue reading ‘Radar’ magazine latest to peddle ‘Tom Cruise leaving Scientology’ fake news

That time when Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard didn’t invent surfing in California

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[L. Ron Hubbard, circa 1934]

On Saturday, Scientology leader David Miscavige blessed the newest “Ideal Org” with another grand opening ceremony, this time in San Diego, California. After the ceremony we heard from local journalist Ken Stone, who told us he found it very odd that Scientology had held an event with what they claimed was a crowd of 3,500, and had done so without notifying the local press.

Continue reading That time when Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard didn’t invent surfing in California

Leah Remini’s Scientology series opens with a gut-wrenching story of ‘disconnection’

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[Rinder and Remini, on the case]

Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, the A&E series that begins airing Tuesday night at 10 pm, opens with Leah Remini talking directly to you against a black background.

Continue reading Leah Remini’s Scientology series opens with a gut-wrenching story of ‘disconnection’

Before Leah Remini burns it to the ground, here’s Scientology’s side of the story

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Yesterday, we posted the demands from Leah Remini’s attorney that Scientology fork over $1.5 million for trying to interfere with her upcoming A&E series. Scientology’s spokeswoman Karin Pouw has been sending letters trashing Remini’s reputation to A&E’s network executives, and Leah wants her to knock it off.

Continue reading Before Leah Remini burns it to the ground, here’s Scientology’s side of the story

Leah Remini demands $1.5 million from Scientology for interfering with her A&E series

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Since at least August, the Church of Scientology has been sending letters attacking Leah Remini to executives at the A&E network and its parent, ABC, in an attempt to head off her upcoming A&E series that premieres on November 29, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.

Continue reading Leah Remini demands $1.5 million from Scientology for interfering with her A&E series

Shelley Duvall is ill, but is Scientology’s Vivian Kubrick the best person to step in?

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[Vivian Kubrick and Shelley Duvall]

On Friday morning, we described our own encounter five years ago with Shelley Duvall and her sad mental state. In a phone call, she tried to convince us that Scientologists were trying to get into her Texas house to assassinate her. We suggested that she get some professional help, and we decided not to write a story about it. As we explained Friday, journalists get calls and messages like this all the time, if not always from former Hollywood figures.

Continue reading Shelley Duvall is ill, but is Scientology’s Vivian Kubrick the best person to step in?

Scientology is making this world ideal, one renovated building at a time

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Yesterday, Scientology leader David Miscavige made the scene in San Diego to open Scientology’s newest “Ideal Org.” We asked Rod Keller, who keeps an eye on the program, to update us on where it stands today.

Continue reading Scientology is making this world ideal, one renovated building at a time