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Louis Theroux’s movie comes to Oregon, and Jefferson Hawkins is there to talk Scientology

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Jefferson Hawkins sent us this dispatch from the great state of Oregon after he attended a screening of My Scientology Movie there. If you’ve seen the film, you know that Jefferson provides some of the most sobering words about the state of Scientology and the role its enforcers played. We’re glad to hear that Jeff got some recognition for his part in the movie…

I was invited by the Bend Film Festival to come down this past weekend and do the Q and A after the showing of Louis Theroux’s My Scientology Movie. The festival discovered that I was only a few hours away in Portland, so contacted Magnolia Pictures, who contacted me. I was happy to do it – always glad to have a chance to talk about Scientology!

 
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I had seen the film before – Magnolia Pictures had sent me a link – but this was the first time seeing it on the big screen. The auditorium was nearly full, about 200 people I’d say. The audience reception was very positive. They laughed at all the funny parts (Louis was a bit concerned that American audiences wouldn’t get his subtle British humor, but they definitely did!), and applauded at the end.

I spent about an hour fielding questions. A lot of very intelligent questions about Scientology, Hubbard, and Miscavige. Most of the audience stayed for the Q and A and I would say they were really enthralled.

 
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I spent over an hour outside in the lobby, talking to people one-on-one and signing books. Again, a lot of interest, and many people thanked me for speaking out. The Film Festival staff were also very interested and supportive.

Overall, a lot of interest in the film. I think it is going to do very well in the US!

— Jefferson Hawkins

 
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The rabbi and Scientology

A tipster pointed out to us that Scientology has posted a new entry at its YouTube channel that sets some kind of new record for shilling. Pennsylvania inter-religious figure Rabbi Michael Shevack describes Scientology in a way that makes it clear he has no idea what he’s talking about, but he thinks it’s the best thing since bagels and lox…

 

 
Here’s a little bit about who Shevack is…

“Hi. I’m Michael Shevack. After my bar mitzvah, I left Judaism because I found it empty and a sham. For years, I wandered in the spiritual wilderness with different philosophies and religions. I really didn’t know what I was searching for, or even that I was searching. I hated Judaism because it was a lot of rules and regulations and guilt, but, inwardly, I was deeply-connected emotionally, though I didn’t want to ‘be religious’; I’m still not ‘religious’.

I’ve found over the years, that I’m not alone. I meet many people that want a place that’s a breath-of-fresh-air. A place where they can explore the Truth, being totally themselves, without rules! They want to try to figure out the meaning of Life for themselves, in a spirit of freedom and individuality. They want a place where they can bring their personal spiritual-experiences and knowledge. If that’s what you’re looking for, I hope The Bucks County Free Synagogue can be that place. Thanks for taking the time to look over the website.”

Michael Shevack was privately-ordained by a Reform Bet Din, in 1995. He is an inter-religious leader who has worked for two decades to help heal relations between Christians, Jews and Muslims. He affiliates with the Association for Progressive Judaism.

 
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Michelle Sterling’s open letter to Monique Rathbun

Michelle Sterling, who, under the screenname “Emma,” started the Ex-Scientologist Message Board and paid a heavy price for it, has written a set of questions for Monique Rathbun that sure would be interesting to see answered.

Meanwhile, in England…

Piers Morgan, while having John Sweeney on as a guest, challenged Scientologists to come on his show and speak up for the church, calling them “sinister little weirdos.”

 
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Paulette_Cooper‘The Unbreakable Miss Lovely’ audiobook now on sale

Audible.com 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.

 
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3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on October 11, 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

 

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