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Did a fashion website give a big boost to a Scientology infiltrator of NYC schools?

City Councilman Dan Halloran (center), in 2013 with Bernard and Meghan Fialkoff

City Councilman Dan Halloran (center), in 2013 with Bernard and Meghan Fialkoff

See also: What’s in that ‘world exclusive’ in the National Enquirer?

Back in March of 2013, we told you about a sneaky Scientology infiltration of New York City schools. In a place like New York, Scientology doesn’t do very well — residents here are on to L. Ron Hubbard and his wacky organization, and this city has never had the kind of Scientology presence you see in places like California and Florida.

So that means Scientology has to try harder, and play things a little more under the radar. But thanks to our tipsters, we caught on to the sneaky attempts to get L. Ron Hubbard into the local schools through the efforts of a wealthy Queens dentist and his energetic daughter.

Bayside Hills dentist Bernard Fialkoff and his daughter Meghan for years have given presentations in local schools on behalf of Scientology’s front groups the “Foundation for a Drug-Free World” and “Youth for Human Rights.” Lately, Meghan has been showing up at NYC schools with the last couple of Miss New Yorks. We’ve reached out to the newest Miss New York, Jillian Tapper, to find out if she even realizes that Meghan and her father are longtime Scientologists, that their front groups operate out of Scientology’s Times Square facility, and that the drug concepts in the booklet they hand out are dated and unscientific. We’ll let you know if she gets back to us.

 

Meghan Fialkoff, right, with the past two Miss New Yorks -- Amanda Mason (left, 2013) and Jillian Tapper (2014)

Meghan Fialkoff, right, with the past two Miss New Yorks — Amanda Mason (left, 2013) and Jillian Tapper (2014)

 
Here’s what else we know about Meghan Fialkoff. She’s 30 years old. She is an event planner with her own company called “Meghan Fialkoff Event Productions,” and this past May, MF Events put on an art sale at the Scientology org which featured Israeli artists…

 
NYOrgArtShow

 
The reason all this came up again is that earlier today, a profile of an unnamed Scientologist showed up at the fashion website Refinery29. Penned by Kelsey Miller and apparently edited by Mikki Halpin, it was an attempt to portray Scientology from the point of view of “Elaine,” a “typical millennial.” And while the piece featured numerous links that showed Miller had done substantial research on the subject, the story was so generous to “Elaine” and what sounded like standard Scientology PR, it was met by an enraged mob in its comments section.

Those comments featured numerous former church members who were outraged to see a piece accept so uncritically “Elaine’s” point of view, including her off-handed dismissal of stories of abuse in Scientology that have been well documented.

Other commenters were over the top, accusing Miller of being a Scientologist herself (she’s not), and otherwise accusing her of advancing Scientology’s agenda. (We don’t think that’s true, but we do wonder about the way the piece was written and edited.)

While we found the reaction fascinating, we were more interested in what clues Miller had included to the identity of “Elaine.”

— She’s 30.

— She lives in midtown Manhattan.

— She has an event-planning business.

— In “early summer,” she hosted an art sale featuring Israeli artists.

— “She also directs the Northeast chapter of a Scientology-sponsored drug education program.”

Hm. Sounds familiar.

We left a voice mail and sent an e-mail to Meghan Fialkoff, asking for her thoughts on Miller’s piece. We doubt that she’ll get back to us. More importantly, we sent an email to Miller and Halpin asking them why they would try to give anonymity to a person like Meghan Fialkoff.

Shouldn’t readers have been given the information that Meghan Fialkoff has dedicated much of her adult life to surreptitiously delivering L. Ron Hubbard’s ideas and forwarding his organization’s aims before accepting her portrayal as an average church member?

Miller tells us near the end of her piece, “Elaine knows she doesn’t fit the Scientologist stereotype, which is why she is all the more eager to tell you that she is one. She’s made a conscious decision to be open with friends and colleagues about her beliefs.”

But is that really true? Meghan Fialkoff tirelessly tries to get L. Ron Hubbard and his debunked drug claims into New York City schools — to children — and downplays her foundation’s connections to the Church of Scientology.

And now, a popular fashion website has given her aims a big boost.

We’ll let you know if we hear from either Miller or Halpin.

Meanwhile, on Twitter, a fascinating back-and-forth emerged between Miller and Amelia McDonnell-Parry, who had worked as Janet Reitman’s research assistant on her 2011 book, Inside Scientology. At The Frisky, McDonnell-Parry wrote a devastating takedown of Miller’s piece.

[UPDATE: And now McDonnell-Parry has written another great article about the Refinery29 item.]

The two then took to Twitter. We’ve put their tweets in chronological order.

Amelia started things off…

 

 
Then Kelsey spoke up…

 
And Amelia answered…

 
And Kelsey responded…

 
And Amelia got the last word…

 
Well, that was fun.

 
——————–

Posted by Tony Ortega on November 20, 2014 at 21:30

E-mail your tips and story ideas to tonyo94@gmail.com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. Here at the Bunker we try to have a post up every morning at 7 AM Eastern (Noon GMT), and on some days we post an afternoon story at around 2 PM. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

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

PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer
The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

 

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