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‘Miss Lovely’ in London: Paulette Cooper writes another chapter in her amazing story


On Saturday, Paulette Cooper met a man named Peter de Hoo for the first time. Her husband Paul captured the moment in this photograph. For those of you who have read our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely, you may already know what a significant meeting this is.

In 2011, we met Paulette for the first time at a breakfast in New York after corresponding with her for years. She was already well known for being the most legendary target for the Church of Scientology’s infamous “Fair Game” policy of ruination after the publication of her 1971 book The Scandal of Scientology. But at that breakfast, not all of the discussion was about L. Ron Hubbard’s spies: Paulette also happened to mention that she and her sister Suzy had still never figured out how the two of them had survived the Holocaust in Belgium, when they were small children. We mentioned that fact in the story we wrote about our meeting for the Village Voice, and a couple of newspapers in Belgium and the Netherlands picked up on it. Soon, Paulette began to hear from de Hoo, who claimed that his father, Sijbren de Hoo, had been a close friend to Paulette’s biological parents, Chaim and Ruchla Bucholc (Paulette’s birth name was Paula Bucholc).

Paulette got us involved, and the two of us quizzed Peter to make sure what he was saying was authentic. He soon proved without a doubt that his father had been a close friend of Chaim Bucholc, a Polish leatherworker who had emigrated to Antwerp in the late 1920s. Peter not only had a leather item, a bookcover, Chaim had made for his friend Sijbren, but the de Hoo family also had in its possession a photograph of Paulette’s sister as a young child. With the help of the de Hoo family, and the meticulous records kept by the Nazis, we were able to piece together the fates of Paulette’s parents, who were sent to Auschwitz to be killed, and to get a solid idea of how Paulette and Suzy had avoided that fate. The two of them, like their parents, had been brought to a concentration camp and were scheduled to be sent to Auschwitz in the summer of 1943, but Sijbren de Hoo and other close friends scrambled to raise enough cash and black market goods to bribe the corrupt commandant of the camp, and the girls were smuggled to the first of several orphanages that became their refuge. In 1948, Paulette was adopted by Ted and Stella Cooper of New York, and she’s lived in the US ever since. Without Sijbren de Hoo and a few others, however, she would not have survived the war. And now, for the first time, she was meeting Sijbren’s son.

“He’s a terrific guy. We talked all day,” was all we could get out of Paulette about her meeting with Peter. We hope to get more when she has a little more time. (And by the time this story appears, there may already be a piece in the Daily Mail about their meeting with more details — we’ll add a link if that’s the case. UPDATE: Here’s the story in the Daily Mail.)


Paulette made her way to London on a cruise ship. Paul sent us this photo of her, and slyly mentioned that this time, at least, she’s not a stowaway…


Again, readers of Miss Lovely will be in on that one. In 1970, in order to make a splash as a magazine writer, Paulette became the first woman in modern cruising history to become a stowaway, spending a week without a ticket on the Leonardo da Vinci for a trip to the Caribbean and back to New York. She later wrote up the experience for the Washington Post and the London Sunday Times.

When she got to London this week, Paulette met with our publisher, Humfrey Hunter, who was on stage with us just a few weeks ago at Conway Hall…


After our talk at Conway Hall, we repaired to the Old Nick pub and had a drink with the likes of Jon Atack and Peter Griffiths. And so Paulette met many of the same people at the Old Nick herself. We only wish we could have been there! Here she is with Chris Owen, Griffiths, and Atack…


And with the rest of the motley crew. Can you name them all?



Bonus photos from our tipsters

Jenna Elfman and Kate Ceberano — plotting Scientology’s takeover?


…At the same time that Nancy Cartwright is comparing notes with Denice Duff? Is this a Scientology celebrity operation developing? (Um, probably not, but…)


Hey, which of our experts recognizes this Freedom Medal winner, spotted at the Fort Harrison?


Some photos are starting to come in of last night’s Clearwater Centennial musical celebration at the Fort Harrison Hotel…


Mayor George Cretekos (left) gave Congressman and US Senate candidate David Jolly some kind of proclamation. Hey, what’s the point of attending a Scientology party if you don’t go home with a cert?


Actress and Scientologist Anne Archer was the master of ceremonies…





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)…

Sept 15: Phoenix, 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, sponsored by Minnesota Atheists — venue TBD

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, venue secured (announcement coming later)

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), Boston (8/24)


Posted by Tony Ortega on August 30, 2015 at 07:00

E-mail your tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT 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 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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