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Tonight, it’s Boston! And that has us thinking about Beantown’s connections to ‘Miss Lovely’

HongKongHey, we’re in Boston tonight for the resumption of our tour. While Paulette Cooper is cruising to London, we’ll be near Harvard Square talking about the book we wrote about her. (We’re hoping to reunite with Paulette for another joint appearance this fall.)

Our appearance tonight has us thinking about a couple of mentions of Boston in our book.

In the summer of 1973 Paulette had been indicted after Scientology operatives managed to get her fingerprint on a piece of stationery and then typed up a bomb threat they mailed to the New York org, then called the FBI and told them Paulette was threatening to blow up a church. Paulette was facing fifteen years in federal prison and a $15,000 fine, and she was looking for ways to build a defense before her trial, which was scheduled for October. Desperate for legal help, she decided to pay a visit to famous defense attorney F. Lee Bailey, who was actually disbarred at the time. So she took the train to Boston, and here’s what The Unbreakable Miss Lovely says happened next…

Waiting for her to arrive at the Back Bay Station was a young woman named Nancy Many. Nancy had joined Scientology a few years before, and while she was waiting to go to Florida to join the Sea Organization—the church’s dedicated core of workers who signed billion-year contracts—she was asked to do some work for the local Guardian’s Office.

Nancy’s first assignment had been to infiltrate a mental health facility so she could secretly copy records of the doctors who worked in the area and deliver them to her GO superiors. She knew that similar operations were gathering information at other offices, including the Massachusetts state attorney general’s office, the American Red Cross, American Cancer Society, the YMCA, and the Better Business Bureau. That way, if someone made a complaint about Scientology to the BBB, for example, the church would know about it right away.

Nancy was told that Paulette Cooper was coming to town, and she was asked to tail Paulette to Bailey’s office. Nancy didn’t know how the GO’s office knew Paulette was coming to Boston the next day, or how they even knew what she would be wearing – a tailored yellow suit, cream blouse, and peach scarf. But that’s exactly what Paulette had on when she stepped off the train from New York.


Nancy tried to tail her without being seen, and she panicked when she suddenly lost sight of Paulette. She went into a nearby hotel to find a phone booth, but then by sheer luck Paulette also walked into the place. She then followed the petite writer to Bailey’s office. Nancy never really understood why it was important to follow Paulette if the GO already knew where she was going.

What neither Paulette or Nancy knew at the time was that Scientology had a spy in Paulette’s own apartment — a man who called himself Jerry Levin, who was rooming with Paulette and supplying Scientology with information about her, such as what she was wearing when she left for Boston.

The other episode that came to mind was something that happened a couple of years later. Paulette, with the help of her attorneys and a truth serum test, managed to avoid prosecution and no trial happened in 1973. But Scientology continued to run other operations against her for years. Early in 1975, the members of a Guardian’s Office cell that called themselves “Eric’s 11” and shared a house in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, were selected to target Paulette in a remarkable way.

They focused on her college psychiatrist, Dr. Stanley Cath, whose office was in the town of Belmont. One night, members of Eric’s 11 broke into Cath’s office and stole Paulette’s file, which contained medical and counseling notes spanning numerous years.

The job of making photocopies of Paulette’s records from Dr. Cath’s file took several weeks, for some reason, and then the GO volunteers had to break back into Cath’s office to replace the original documents. But perhaps because they were in a hurry, they misfiled Paulette’s folder.

Later in 1975, as the Guardian’s Office moved on to the next phase of its operation against her, Paulette began receiving copies of her medical and psychiatric records in envelopes with no
return address. The harassment was starting up again – after she’d managed to survive the indictment and put her immediate legal troubles behind her. And this time, it devastated her.

The year before, pages from her teenaged diary had been delivered (by Len Zinberg, but she didn’t know that) to her father’s office. The pages had been chosen for embarrassing comments
she had written about her parents when she was 17. She still had no idea how Scientology had managed to get copies of pages from her diary, which she kept in a closet at her apartment.

But now, it was her medical records that were coming in mailed envelopes. She knew they could only be coming from one place. And it suddenly brought back to her how she had felt when she went to Dr. Cath as a college freshman. She was having a personal crisis after, that summer, traveling to Belgium and reuniting with her sister Suzy for the first time since they were separated after the war. Her survival of the concentration camp in Belgium – and the deaths of her biological parents, whom she saw in a photograph for the first time – were almost too much for her. She loved her adoptive parents, but she fought with them like any teenager would, and had written in her diary that she hated them. She also dealt with feelings of survivor’s guilt, and feelings of never being good enough for Ted and Stella Cooper and it all combined to send her into an existential crisis in her first semester at Brandeis.

Now, those feelings welled up again as she realized that Scientology agents must have broken into Cath’s office. She called him, explaining what was going on. He went to check her file.

“It’s missing,” he said, not realizing that the burglars had misfiled it.

Scientology, she knew, had some of her most intimate secrets, and the thought of what they might do with them made her nauseous.

Later in the book, there are other connections to Boston, like attorney Michael Flynn, who represented Paulette as well as Gerry Armstrong and others. So we’re going to feel right at home tonight as we think about all the Boston stories in the book. We sure hope you’ll be able to join us for some talk and drinks! We’ll be on the third floor of Hong Kong restaurant at 1238 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge, and admission is free.


Miss Lovely on parade

On a New England hamlet green, listening to a klezmer band…


In Idaho Falls!


And enjoying Scientology’s new Potemkin Village in Clearwater. Human Rights? Hardly!



Bonus photos from our tipsters

He’s back!


Joy Villa continues to show her power over MEST by continuing her “waist-training”…


Hey, girl. We have booklets for you!




We didn’t get a chance to include photos in our book, so we’ve posted them at a dedicated page. Reader Sookie put together a complete index and we’re hosting it here on the website. Copies of the paperback version of ‘The Unbreakable Miss Lovely’ are on sale at Amazon. The Kindle edition is also available, and shipping instantly.

Tony Ortega’s upcoming appearances (and check out the interactive map to our ongoing tour)…

August 24: Boston, Boston Skeptics in the Pub, Hong Kong restaurant (1238 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge) 7 pm, free

Sept 15: Barrett the Honors College, Arizona State University, ASU in Downtown Phoenix campus, Walter Cronkite Theater, 5:30 pm

Sept 23: Cleveland, Parma Heights Library, 7pm sponsored by Center for Inquiry – Northeast Ohio

Sept 24: Minneapolis

Sept 27: Portland, Friendly House, 1737 NW 26th Ave, 12:45 pm, sponsored by Humanists of Portland

Sept 28: Seattle, Razzi’s Pizzeria, 7 pm, with Seattle Skeptics and Seattle Atheists

Sept 29: Vancouver, BC, Seven Dining Lounge, 7 pm

Oct 23: Sydney, Giant Dwarf Theatre (with Sen. Nick Xenophon)

Oct 25: Melbourne

Oct 28: Adelaide (with Sen. Nick Xenophon)

Oct 30: Perth

Past dates: Santa Barbara (5/16), Hollywood (5/17), Orange County (5/17), San Diego (5/20), San Francisco (5/22), New York (6/11), Chicago (6/20), Toronto (6/22), Clearwater (6/28), Washington DC (7/12), Hartford (7/14), Denver (7/17), Dallas (7/20), Houston (7/22), San Antonio (7/24), Austin (7/25), Paris (7/29), London (8/4)


Posted by Tony Ortega on August 24, 2015 at 07:00

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Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of LA attorney and former church member Vance Woodward

UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists

GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice

SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts

PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer
The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill
The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield


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