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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Richest Scientologist in the world is one of the donors behind offensive Arkansas radio ad

[Trish Duggan getting a trophy from David Miscavige in 2017]

Yesterday, a political radio ad playing in Arkansas went viral nationally to widespread criticism when it was pointed out that a conservative group was endorsing a white Republican incumbent congressman by using black voices in a pretty unseemly way.

Continue reading Richest Scientologist in the world is one of the donors behind offensive Arkansas radio ad

Scientology has to open its books again, and we dig into the numbers

[Narconon United Kingdom]

In some parts of the world — namely, in various parts of Europe — Scientology can’t keep things as secret as they do in the US, and they’re forced to open their books for inspection. Recently, a number of new Scientology financial reports became available, and we turned to our financial maverick, John P. Capitalist, to dive into the numbers and tell us what they mean.

 
Continue reading Scientology has to open its books again, and we dig into the numbers

Read the ‘disconnection letter’ from a brother telling his sis — Sylvia DeWall — so long forever

[Sylvia and Tim DeWall]

Yesterday, Sylvia DeWall made her declaration to friends and family who had turned their backs on her. Today, we’re following up with even more about her journey out of Scientology.

Continue reading Read the ‘disconnection letter’ from a brother telling his sis — Sylvia DeWall — so long forever

Scientology tried to ruin her. Now, Sylvia DeWall has a message for her former friends and family.

 
Some of you will remember the blockbuster audio recording we posted in 2014 that captured the sounds of a woman, Sylvia Wagner DeWall, being kicked out of the Church of Scientology as it was happening.

Continue reading Scientology tried to ruin her. Now, Sylvia DeWall has a message for her former friends and family.

Growing up in Scientology, and growing together outside of it: An appeal

 
I wanted to open up a bit more about my experiences since leaving Scientology, and adjustments, some rather large adjustments, I’ve had to make. I hope this hits a note with other second and third generation Scientologists, and helps others better understand us.

I grew up in Scientology and spent many years working in the Sea Org and experiencing its deprivations before breaking free. There are many aspects to adjusting to life outside of Scientology. And for those born and raised in it, adapting to the outside world can take decades. For the majority, the struggle is always there.

Continue reading Growing up in Scientology, and growing together outside of it: An appeal

US Sheriffs, dead or alive — Scientology is happy to use them for self-promotion

 
Rod Keller once again gets the drop on Scientology’s sneaky front groups…

Continue reading US Sheriffs, dead or alive — Scientology is happy to use them for self-promotion

Detroit going Ideal! Scientology throws its invite-only party in Motor City today

 
The stage is set for Scientology’s Ideal Org grand opening in Detroit today at 1 pm. We hope to have live reports from a couple of correspondents on the scene.

Continue reading Detroit going Ideal! Scientology throws its invite-only party in Motor City today

A queer story about Scientology, gender, and L. Ron Hubbard’s sweet pile of Swiss cash

[The fabulous Kate Bornstein]

 
One of our favorite stories at the Village Voice was the chance we got to write about Kate Bornstein’s unique journey in Scientology and later as a well-known New York transgender performance artist, captured in the 2012 memoir, A Queer and Pleasant Danger. Kate has had an amazing year with a run on Broadway and ever-increasing fame as a gender theorist. We’re thrilled to get the chance to run this lengthy excerpt from Kate’s deliciously written book. This is chapter 11, “All Good Things,” and we’re in the 1970s as Al Bornstein, the former first mate of the flagship Apollo, had been through one marriage, to Molly, which had produced a daughter, Jessica. But now Al was alone and working around the clock for the Sea Org in New York…

 
Continue reading A queer story about Scientology, gender, and L. Ron Hubbard’s sweet pile of Swiss cash

Dave’s shrinkage: Help us determine turnout for Scientology’s IAS 2018 gala

 
Pete Griffiths brought our attention to something interesting yesterday. He noted that Scientology, as usual, posted numerous pretty photos from its most recent big event at its various websites. In this case, we’re talking about the annual gala for the International Association of Scientologists (IAS) held in a giant tent at Saint Hill Manor in East Grinstead, England over the weekend.

Continue reading Dave’s shrinkage: Help us determine turnout for Scientology’s IAS 2018 gala

Dave Richards, 1948-2018, ran the Founding Church of Scientology in DC

[Dave Richards and Ron Miscavige, after the Eagles Super Bowl win in February]

We were saddened to learn from Ron Miscavige and Becky Bigelow last night that Dave Richards died unexpectedly yesterday at his home in Phoenix. He was 69.

Continue reading Dave Richards, 1948-2018, ran the Founding Church of Scientology in DC