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Gay Ribisi, our friend Mark Ebner has your Scientology plaques — want ’em back?

Gay_RibisiOur old friend and fellow Scientology aficionado Mark Ebner tells us that on Saturday he and his lovely wife, Michelle Scott, enjoyed a brief repast at HMS Bounty, an old-timey bar and restaurant on Wilshire Boulevard in LA’s Koreatown section.

Afterward, they walked west on Wilshire, when Ebner spotted something unusual. It was a collection of what appeared to be discarded items, like someone had hastily cleaned out an office and had piled a few things — including a drawer from a desk, and some other items — in a pile on the ground. But what caught his eye, Mark says, was the glint of metal on a couple of wall plaques.

He took a closer look, and was stunned by what he’d found. They were Scientology plaques, the kind that you receive when you donate large amounts of money to the International Association of Scientologists.

Both of them had been awarded to Gay Ribisi (pictured, above). One celebrated her achieving the status of IAS “Patron,” and the other named her a “Patron with Honors.”

Ebner posted photographs of the two plaques to Facebook yesterday, and Scientology Watchers — many of them readers of this website — reacted with astonishment. They knew immediately how strange and significant Ebner’s find was.

According to a 2006 price list, Gay Ribisi would have had to donate $50,000 to the IAS to be named a Patron, and she only qualified as Patron With Honors by donating twice that — $100,000. That’s above and beyond what a Scientologist pays for expensive courses — some reaching $1000 an hour for longtime members like Ribisi.

Ebner tells us that the two plaques appeared to be made of cheap materials, but they were both in excellent shape.


But what’s even more unusual than the notion of a Scientologist tossing out mementos that cost so much to acquire was that they came from Gay Ribisi.

Gay is part of Scientology royalty and tied into a wide network of Scientology celebrities and other important members. Gay and Al Ribisi are the parents of twins Giovanni and Marissa Ribisi, both successful Hollywood actors. Marissa is married to the musician Beck, who is also a second-generation Scientologist. And Gay is the manager of other Scientology actors — including Jason Lee, who got into Scientology through Giovanni and the rest of the Ribisi clan.

Just this June, we told you about how Giovanni Ribisi had defended Scientology on Marc Maron’s podcast and had denied that “aliens” had anything to do with the organization. He sure didn’t sound like he was on his way out the door.

Mark Ebner and Michelle Scott, who were married in August

Mark Ebner and Michelle Scott, who were married in August

Could it be possible that Vonni’s mother has grown disillusioned with Scientology and is throwing out her treasured artifacts? And wouldn’t that cause a major earthquake throughout the Scientology celebrity network? Ebner agreed that it would represent a seismic shift.

But we don’t know that that’s the case. We only know that two of her plaques ended up in a pile on Wilshire Boulevard. Could it be possible that Gay, or someone in her household, was merely tossing out some aging mementos to make room for newer certificates or plaques?

We asked Karen de la Carriere, formerly a Class XII auditor in Scientology, whether that would be unusual. Do Scientologists hold on to every certificate or plaque they receive, even as they pile up over a career of going up the “Bridge to Total Freedom,” and donating ever larger amounts to the IAS?

“When I was in, I was very social, and I went to a lot of homes of wealthy Scientologists,” Karen tells us. “These people who got all these plaques, they would create like a museum in their homes to show them all off. They’d create a shrine. It blows my mind that someone would throw any of them them away.”

We’re attempting through multiple channels to reach Gay Ribisi and learn if she’s grown disillusioned with Scientology.

But Mark Ebner wanted to make it clear — he’s happy to return the plaques to Gay if she wants them.

So which is it, Gay? We’d be pleased to put you together with Ebner so he can return your mementos, or, alternatively, we’d love to talk with you about why you don’t want them around anymore.

In the meantime, probably our favorite part about this episode is that Mark Ebner is laughing at the irony of it. He points out that in 2006, Scientology’s Office of Special Affairs — the church’s intelligence wing — was sending operatives to go through his trash looking for a way to smear him because of his involvement in the infamous 2005 South Park episode.

It is a special form of cosmic justice that of all the people who might have come across Gay Ribisi’s trashed plaques, it was Mark Ebner.

OK, it’s your move, Gay. We’d love to hear from you.


Posted by Tony Ortega on October 27, 2014 at 07:00

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Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS (We read Scientology’s founding text) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25

UP THE BRIDGE (Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48

GETTING OUR ETHICS IN (Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING (Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49

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