Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at


Chris Shelton dives into Scientology culture with the Larisa Smith story, part two


Chris Shelton continues his new video series, interviewing a young woman, Larisa Smith, who grew up in Scientology and suffered the consequences…

Here is Part 2 of my three-part series with Larisa Smith and Tim and Sylvia DeWall about the culture of Scientology and what it’s really like to be raised in and around it. Larisa’s story is not so different from any other American teenager except for the fact that Scientology was always there, behind everything and always pretending to help but consistently making things worse and worse. The experience of going to the Mojave Desert School for a couple of years changed Larisa and the influence of her friends from Los Angeles was very strong, so much so that it pervaded her whole life after going back to Clearwater. As she got more and more involved in this scene, Scientology became a stronger and stronger influence on what happened to her.

There has been a lot of positive feedback on the first part of this series, but I want to stress that the whole series really should not be missed as the reveals and things that Larisa experienced really do become more and more intense as we go forward. In fact, the first two parts and all the details and minutiae we cover are really just setup for what is talked about in Part 3. I hope that when this whole series is done, Larisa’s story goes far and wide. People need to know that Scientology is a lot more than just some “stupid people falling for a con.” For those of us who were second, third or even fourth generation Scientologists, we had no choice in getting involved in this insanity and we never asked for any of it. Destructive cults like Scientology don’t just prey on the pocketbooks of the gullible. They work to influence every aspect of their members’ lives under an umbrella of ruthless control. Larisa’s story is but one of many and I hope as we move forward, that I’ll get the chance to somehow tell the entire story of the multi-generationals. This video series is a start.

— Chris Shelton




Paulette_Cooper‘The Unbreakable Miss Lovely’ audiobook now on sale has released the audiobook version of The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper and you can get the book for free if you’re signing up at Audible for the first time!

Read by the author (that’s us), the book tells the incredible tale of a journalist who was among the first to expose Scientology’s controversies, and nearly paid for it with her life. Go to Audible’s website for more details — [US version] [UK version]

To support the Audible launch, Paulette Cooper joined us for an “Ask Me Anything” session at Reddit on September 29, which covered a lot of topics about the book and about this website.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on October 6, 2016 at 07:00

E-mail 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. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information about the book, and our 2015 book tour, can also be found at the book’s dedicated 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 L.A. 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

Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | 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 | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | 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


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email