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Paulette Cooper turns 76: ‘I found my best friend from the orphanage — from 70 years ago’

[Paulette, right, and her sister Suzy, at a Belgian orphanage]

Paulette Cooper, the “Unbreakable Miss Lovely” herself, turns 76 today, and she has an amazing update for us. We are so in awe of this lady.

Here’s my birthday update: It’s been an incredible few months, all while you and I have been completing Battlefield Scientology: Exposing L. Ron Hubbard’s dangerous ‘religion’.

A year ago, you told the story of how a woman in Brussels purchased a house last year and discovered it had been a major orphanage during the war. She found some early photos of me, and tracked me down indirectly through you. (Your story in the Village Voice led to a related story in Belgium and Holland that listed my birth name and adopted name, and she found a photo in her house with my birth name and traced me through that story.)

At any rate, all my life I wondered what happened to my two best friends in the orphanage: Deedee and Janet. We were called the “Three Graces,” and they wanted us to be adopted by Americans.



[L to R: DeeDee, Janet, and Paulette]

You wrote in The Unbreakable Miss Lovely about one of them, Deedee, who was adopted when I was about four and taken away to America which was very traumatic for me. I kept in touch with her until I was about 16 years old.

But what happened to my other best friend, Janet? I often thought of her – especially because I made “Janet” the answer to my security question as to who was my best (or first) childhood friend…


[Janet, at the orphanage]

The woman in Belgium tracked down Deedee, who I learned a few months ago had died 8 years ago. So I’ll never have a chance to talk to or see her again.

But she sent me Janet’s adopted name and I located her on Facebook.

After my messages to her went unanswered, I contacted each of her 44 Facebook friends asking where she was. One finally responded with the name and phone number of a nursing home. I called there this month and spoke to her nurse who told me a sad story.

After Janet’s parents were killed and she came to America, she was adopted by her aunt, who died about 15 years ago. (Janet also found in her papers that she had a brother she never knew about who was also killed in Auschwitz. She was devastated about that.)

Anyway, after she graduated college, she was crossing the street and was hit by a car. She was thrown on her head and was in a coma possibly for as long as a year. When she came to, she was pretty much paralyzed and brain damaged. She has spent all these years unable to walk, or use her hands or read — her Facebook posts had been posted by a nurse. She never married and has been in and out of hospitals, possibly also for depression. She is understandably bitter about how her life turned out.

The nurse told me that she doesn’t always speak and that she never talks about the orphanage or her early past. She didn’t think Janet would be aware enough to know who I was or want to talk to me. So, I sent the caretaker some photos of Janet as a child and some of us together (that you printed in last year’s story)…

And then the nurse e-mailed me this…

Dear Paulette!
I talked with Janet about our conversation, She got very excited, I showed her the picture and she recognized herself and you and the third girl. Tomorrow she will write to you and we will see if she is strong enough to talk with you by phone. It is a story!! Thank you very much!

About two weeks ago I finally spoke to Janet on the phone. It was a difficult conversation because we were all on a speaker phone and she can’t hold a phone so someone was holding it next to her but we managed to say a few words – mainly that she wants me to come and visit her. (I would but, she’s 6,000 miles away!)

She has friended me on Facebook and I received the nicest comment after our first contact…

“Thank you very much for the effort to find me HeartHeartHeart”

Finding Janet after more than 70 years looking for her has been a great birthday present. (I still tear up when I think about it.)

Also, in Miss Lovely, you told the story of how the father of a Dutchman named Peter de Hoo saved me and my sister one week before we were to be sent to Auschwitz.

But I still wanted to know, where were we hidden after we were saved from that train?

In your article, you quoted a note from Peter’s father saying… “…I was informed that the children ‘B’ are now in the house of Sister Louise.”

Well, this Belgian woman found (and recently sent me) what is now the earliest known photo of me at around 11 to 12 months in which I was being held by a nun — who was probably Sister Louise!


You also printed a photo of three of us, but there was also a boy with us. I have learned that his name was Bernard Baror, and this woman in Brussels mailed me his adopted name. I found him living in Los Angeles and we spoke on the phone last month for about an hour. He’ll be in Florida this winter and we’ll meet.


[L to R: A boy named Arthur, Janet, Bernard, and Paulette]

And finally, my sister Suzy came to Florida and we got together a few months ago. She had a stroke last month and had to cancel her trip to Holland where she was finally going to meet Peter de Hoo. But she’s doing fine, with no residual problems


So that brings you up to date!

— Paulette Cooper


Chris Shelton on changes in Scientology

Says Chris: “This video references a couple of your stories recently and gives some of my thoughts on why some of the changes we’ve been hearing or seeing lately inside Scientology, and what Scientology would really have to do in order to show substantive change.”





Please join us at the Underground Bunker’s Facebook discussion group for more frivolity.


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,187 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,790 days
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 333 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 221 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,396 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,170 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,944 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,290 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 10,856 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,524 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,784 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,824 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,536 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,062 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,151 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,291 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,611 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,586 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 942 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,244 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,350 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,753 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,625 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,207 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,712 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,956 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,065 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on July 26, 2018 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 can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2017 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Undergound Bunker (2012-2017), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

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 | 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 non-Scientology stories: Robert Burnham Jr., the man who inscribed the universe | Notorious alt-right inspiration Kevin MacDonald and his theories about Jewish DNA | The selling of the “Phoenix Lights” | Astronomer Harlow Shapley‘s FBI file | Sex, spies, and local TV news


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