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Jenna Miscavige Hill Continues Her Media Blitz; More Scientology News in Thursday Roundup

JennaDallas2

Sure, she’s done The View and Anderson Cooper and Piers Morgan — but surely the media highlight of Jenna Miscavige Hill’s whirlwind New York tour was sitting down with The Underground Bunker!

Well, at least her kids, Winnie (left) and Archie, seemed pretty thrilled to meet us, as you can see from this picture. And we had a great time talking with Jenna and her husband Dallas Hill about what they’re going through now that her full story is finally getting to the outside world.

We also got to ask her the question that so many of our readers were puzzling over: what the hell is Jenna sitting in front of in the photograph on the cover of her book?

BeyondBelief

Jenna laughed. She said the photograph had been taken on a day that she was on a family outing playing mini-golf. She’s sitting in front of one of the golf contraptions, which is why it’s so unrecognizable.

Jenna also told us that she’s been writing the book for years. She’d been frustrated that her story came out in such bits and pieces during her Nightline appearances in 2008, which tended to dwell on the hardships of physical labor at the Happy Valley kids’ ranch, but divorced it from larger ideas about Scientology’s philosophies of interrogation and control. She’s been anxious for that more complete picture to come out, and we told her she’d succeeded in that goal.

Clearly, however, her publisher, HarperCollins, has been scared witless about what the Church of Scientology might do about the book. No review copies were sent out until Tuesday’s date of publication arrived, and we had to scramble to get a review posted as quickly as we did.

Jenna told us copies of the book were kept so secret, her own family members were just now reading it along with all of us. And she’s still waiting for their reaction. She also seemed a bit taken aback by the reaction her television appearances were generating online. She knows she’s not a polished public speaker, and each appearance has been an ordeal. But that morning, she had spent time on Anderson Cooper’s daytime show, and we thought she did a particularly good job turning the church’s photographs of the ranch school into a damning indictment of the way children were used to build the place…

 
Both Jenna and Dallas seemed very relieved that the book was finally out, and were looking forward to getting back to their regular lives in San Diego.

Meanwhile, Lawrence Wright’s media juggernaut continues. Yesterday, he showed up at The Colbert Report, and Stephen Colbert had plenty of fun poking at Scientology and also putting Wright on the spot…

 
Blue_Sky_CoverJON ATACK’S A PIECE OF BLUE SKY BACK IN PRINT

We mentioned this to you earlier: Jon Atack’s 1990 history of L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology, A Piece of Blue Sky, is still one of the very best books on the subject, and now, there’s a new edition of it available for purchase.

Blue Sky‘s original publication was the subject of vicious reprisals from the church, which launched legal attacks that have tended to make copies of the book hard to find. It also caused Atack to expurgate some passages before he could put it on the market. Now, he’s restored those sections to their original form, and he’s putting out both paper and digital versions of the book. Initially, the physical book is for sale at CreateSpace, but he tells us a Kindle version will soon be available from Amazon.

At the CreateSpace page, you’ll also see praise for the book, including an endorsement from University of Alberta professor Stephen Kent, who calls Blue Sky “an unrivalled piece of superb scholarship.”

 
MARGERY WAKEFIELD SHOWS YOU HOW TO DO SCIENTOLOGY

Margery Wakefield has written several books about her experience in Scientology, and now she’s expanding into a new form: video. If you’ve ever wondered what goes on in the church’s “communication course” — the introductory course that has sucked in so many new members — she demonstrates how it works in a new 8-minute video.

As you watch Margery and her subject go through “TR 0” by staring at each other and then “bullbaiting,” you’ll get a very good idea how Scientologists learn to develop that thousand-yard stare and flat affect.

 
GERMAN SCIENTOLOGY WASTING NO TIME AFTER URSULA CABERTA’S RETIREMENT

A week ago, we told you that German politician Ursula Caberta was retiring after spending 20 years investigating and fighting the spread of Scientology in that country. She told us she was worried that after she stepped down, the church would quickly move to increase its activity there.

Now we’re learning that Scientology is doing just that, and it’s causing controversy in, of all places, Germany’s advertising industry.

On January 30, a story appeared at Horizont, a German marketing publication, which said that Scientology had mailed proposals for a major new advertising campaign to 70 of the country’s agencies.

This morning, however, Horizont is reporting that Germany’s advertising trade group, the GWA, has announced through its president, Lothar Leonhard, that it is taking a stand against doing business with Scientology.

Lothar Leonhard: Don't take Scientology's money

Lothar Leonhard: Don’t take Scientology’s money

“Cooperation with such organizations is not consistent with the understanding of the association,” Leonhard wrote in a letter to all agencies that are part of the GWA. Leonhard told Horizont that he didn’t believe any GWA agency, at least, would accept work from the church.

 
NARCONON CONTINUES TO GRAB ATTENTION AS GEORGIA TRIAL NEARS

Monday, a trial is scheduled to begin in Atlanta that will consider whether Scientology’s drug rehab facility there, Narconon Georgia, is liable in the 2008 death of one of its patients, Patrick Desmond. We’ve been covering the case, which has produced stunning documents that spell out the deceptive practices which appear endemic to the Narconon business model. And those revelations, along with patient deaths that occurred at Narconon’s flagship operation in Oklahoma, is raising awareness that Scientology’s drug rehab program is more about spreading the church’s philosophies and making money than delivering care.

As a sign of that, check out this report which aired last night in Tampa, home to one of Scientology’s main strongholds, and also the location of several Narconon centers. While we think the report could have gone even further to show how Narconon has been controlled by Scientology, this is still a remarkable report and a sign of how the media is catching on to this aspect of Scientology’s moment of crisis…

 
FIVE YEARS OF CHANOLOGY

Finally, we wanted to point out that it’s been five years since the Anonymous movement sprung up with stunning demonstrations around the world, protesting Scientology’s abuses. To mark the event, protests are being planned over the next couple of weeks at different places around the globe.

In St. Paul, Minnesota, Anonymous asked for a noise permit to hold a protest at the Scientology org this Sunday, February 10. And as this story in the Pioneer Press indicates, a church representative asked the city council to reject the permit.

“The intent of the group is to actually harass and intimidate church members, and we’re hoping you will vote against it,” the woman, Nancy Schumacher, told the council at a hearing.

No one from Anonymous bothered to show up.

The council, however, approved the permit anyway.

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Posted by Tony Ortega on February 7, 2013 at 08:45

 

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