Tony Ortega is the go-to guy when it comes to anything Scientology: if you’ve got questions, he probably has the answers. Reporting about Scientology since 1995, he’s pretty much not been out of the loop since – he currently runs The Underground Bunker, a blog that monitors breaking developments in the international world of Scientology.
This past May saw the release of Mr. Ortega’s book, “The Unbreakable Miss Lovely,” documenting the story of how Paulette Cooper was harassed by Scientology. Cooper famously wrote, The Scandal of Scientology (1971), following which she experienced years of atrocious torment and harassment by Scientology – at one point, she was even facing 15 years of imprisonment, as well as verging on the brink of suicide. In fact, the Church of Scientology officially launched Operation Freakout in 1997 against Cooper, of which the explicit aim was, "To get P.C. incarcerated in a mental institution or jail, or at least to hit her so hard that she drops her attacks.” Her story is a terrifying one, though definitely not in vain. Now, for the first time, her story can be read in full, thanks to Tony Ortega.
We were lucky enough to catch Ortega for an interview this past Sunday and, needless to say, it was informative and engrossing – though admittedly a type of morbid fascination, it’s a subject that’s nevertheless fascinating, and with Ortega’s encyclopaedic knowledge of Scientology, we were certainly kept on our toes. We talked all kinds of things, including Sea Org; Scientology’s stance on psychiatry; their dwindling numbers (despite their claims of growth); the inhumane treatment of their own members; and of course their personal attacks, both within (most notably on those that try to leave, e.g. Miscavige’s own father) and outside of the organisation (Paulette Cooper, for starters). What’s more important, though, is that people become aware of Scientology and its murky history, and it’s people like Cooper and Ortega that help to spread that information, so cheers to that.
The Underground Bunker at http://tonyortega.org
his Twitter - @TonyOrtega94
and his Facebook author-page.
And now for the interview: