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Scientology’s websites try a little too hard to convince you that all is right in crazy town

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We have some really big stories coming down the pike for you, and we’re also waiting eagerly for the November 29 launch of Leah Remini’s series Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. But while we wait for new court documents to come in and other juicy material, we do experience a little downtime. And so we took advantage of it to root around Scientology’s various slick websites.

We don’t usually spend a lot of time over there. We can only take reading about Scientology’s amazing “expansion” for so long before our eyes glaze over. But we did manage to find a few items that entertained us.

For some reason, we enjoyed the photo above of Scientology leader David Miscavige giving a talk at a past Maiden Voyage celebration aboard the cruise ship Freewinds. Can you imagine sitting through one of his three-hour stemwinders about how he’s saving the world?

One annual event that we tend to overlook is the Celebrity Centre gala which occurs each August in Hollywood. Here’s a glimpse of what it looked like at the party in 2014…

 
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And what would a Scientology event be without some “safe pointing” of local elected officials. At this event, a city councilman was convinced to provide Scientology with one of those elaborate proclamations drawn up with nice calligraphy…

 
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Here’s the caption from Scientology: “Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell presented the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre with a proclamation in honor of the Church’s 45th anniversary and in appreciation of the Church’s invaluable service to the community.” (O’Farrell is the one on the right.)

And a close-up on the item itself…

 
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We wondered if councilman O’Farrell had gladhanded the church in other ways, and found this reference to him at another page on the website…

For their continued efforts, Mitch O’Farrell, Councilmember, 13th District, awarded The Way to Happiness Foundation a Certificate of Commendation which reads,

“On behalf of the City of Los Angeles and the constituents of the 13th Council District, I would like to commend The Way to Happiness Foundation for its programs to increase social responsibility and help the people of Los Angeles lead healthier and happier lives. Your leadership is outstanding and further helps our common goal of making our city a better place in which to live, work and play.”

Hitting up local politicians and police for help with Scientology’s sneaky front groups is one of Miscavige’s main strategies these days to convince his wealthy donors that all is well. And two people he counts on to massage and manipulate New York City’s police and public schools is the dynamic duo of Queens dentist Bernard Fialkoff and his daughter, the glamorous Meghan Fialkoff.

We hadn’t seen this photo before of the two of them receiving their Freedom Medals last month in England at the annual IAS gala. They look happy.

 
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Back to that Maiden Voyage celebration from the summer, we never get enough of L. Ron Hubbard official biographer Dan Sherman. It’s Dan’s job to tell Scientologists spiritually uplifting tales about Hubbard’s past, which can be tricky when you consider what a knave and a scoundrel the man actually was.

 
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At another section of the website, we found some photos from the opening of a Scientology mission in Los Feliz, California, which included this shot of a familiar face. That’s actor Patrick Renna, who was apparently the angel investor behind this mission’s renovations.

 
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…although you might have better luck remembering him like this…
 
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Is that mission still functioning? We’ve seen numerous facilities like that get a big build up and grand opening, only to then suffer in silence. We’d appreciate a new report from our folks on the ground there.

Speaking of celebrities showing up to grace the dedication of a new local Scientology mission. A few years back, John Travolta and Kelly Preston showed up to help launch a new mission building in Ocala, Florida, and posed here with Ocala’s mayor, Randy Ewers and his wife Lorri. We bet the Ewers still talk about this one at dinner parties.

 
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And finally, for you tech heads, we’d love to hear what you think about the Scientology website’s official statement about what “Operating Thetan” means. Isn’t it more forthcoming than you’d expect? After all, there it is in black and white — the end process of Scientology is to make you a free-floating immortal being separate from your physical body.

Hey, sign us up!

 
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3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on November 16, 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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