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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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

EXCLUSIVE: See the letter Scientology sent to scare A&E out of airing Leah Remini’s series

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Just ten days now until Leah Remini’s A&E series about Scientology debuts, and we are getting pretty excited. Last night, Leah made public a short spot of herself reading some of the things Scientology said about her in a letter to A&E’s producers, trying to frighten the network out of airing the show.

Continue reading EXCLUSIVE: See the letter Scientology sent to scare A&E out of airing Leah Remini’s series

Even the local Scientology mission is hiding a horror show of abuse: Kelly Jordan tells her tale

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We noticed Tim DeWall made an interesting comment at his Facebook page about a new set of people coming out of Scientology and reaching out to him and his wife, Sylvia. You may remember the story we did about the DeWalls, and the audiotape that recorded the moment Sylvia was learning that a young ethics officer at the Flag Land Base planned to have her declared a “suppressive person,” forcing her to cut off all of her relationships with other church members.

Continue reading Even the local Scientology mission is hiding a horror show of abuse: Kelly Jordan tells her tale

San Diego’s new Scientology ‘Ideal Org’ looks like it’s ready for its close-up

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[Coming soon to San Diego?]

This summer, we covered the opening of Scientology’s newest Ideal Org in this country, its two new buildings in Harlem. We wrote at some length about the methods that Scientology used to try to keep us from reporting that event, and what fun we had. So which will be the next Scientology “Ideal Org” opened in the U.S.? After a photo we received from a couple of tipsters this week, we think the next David Miscavige grand opening event might happen in San Diego.

Continue reading San Diego’s new Scientology ‘Ideal Org’ looks like it’s ready for its close-up

Scientology’s websites try a little too hard to convince you that all is right in crazy town

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We have some really big stories coming down the pike for you, and we’re also waiting eagerly for the November 29 launch of Leah Remini’s series Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. But while we wait for new court documents to come in and other juicy material, we do experience a little downtime. And so we took advantage of it to root around Scientology’s various slick websites.

Continue reading Scientology’s websites try a little too hard to convince you that all is right in crazy town

In court today: Flop filmmakers who met in Scientology face 75 years for Ponzi scheme

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[Michelle Seward and Dror Soref]

In Los Angeles Superior Court today, a preliminary hearing is scheduled in the criminal prosecution of two defendants with ties to Scientology who face 75 years in prison each for a bizarre illegal scheme to fund a failed 2009 Simon Baker film, Not Forgotten.

Continue reading In court today: Flop filmmakers who met in Scientology face 75 years for Ponzi scheme

At an early age, Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard learned how to captivate the press

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[L. Ron Hubbard in Guam]

Our helper who tracks down newspaper clippings about L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology continues to find rare gems for us, and we thought we’d share another one with you today.

Continue reading At an early age, Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard learned how to captivate the press

Scientology saw a tempting target in a Tampa pastor gaining fame for her compassion

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Our man Rod Keller keeps his mindful watch on Scientology’s social media presence, and that’s once again netted him a dynamite story…

In July, Tampa minister Savanna Hartman became Internet famous when her Facebook video, apologizing through tears for her “white privilege,” went viral. It’s now been seen more than 17 million times.

Continue reading Scientology saw a tempting target in a Tampa pastor gaining fame for her compassion

Leah Remini schools us on what motivates Scientologists to toe the line

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Last month, we found ourselves having dinner in some pretty special company. We had flown out to Los Angeles and sat down for a meal with BBC journalist John Sweeney, longtime Scientology critic Mark Bunker, former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder, and the person who had brought us all together, actress, producer, and Troublemaker author Leah Remini.

Continue reading Leah Remini schools us on what motivates Scientologists to toe the line