Though difficult to believe I guess it’s been over two years since I first met Lawrence Wright. The details are hazy as to how I came to allow myself to be interviewed by him. As per standard usual, someone I’ve known and worked with in the past will insist that I talk with this person or that person and that’s usually how it starts. I am notorious for a few things, not doing interviews or associating myself with news and entertainment reporters is high on that list. My usual way of handling reporters who request an interview with me is to refer them to what I’ve already said or written before and politely disappear. I wasn’t always that way, not at first. I’ve involved myself with news and entertainment reporters for at least a decade. The finished report published from these interviews was invariably the same. The reporters would take my words, my story and convert it into their story or special interest they wanted to report on.
In the past I’ve interviewed with reporters who only wanted to talk about celebrities in Scientology or some recent high profile defector. An interview with Entertainment Tonight comes to mind. I sat with a reporter for hours talking about Nicole Kidman after Tom dumped her. Scientology lawyers threatened to sue and the segment was cancelled. I also interviewed with Der Spiegel in Germany in the late 90’s. I tried to explain to the reporter how Scientology uses its technology and policies to manipulate people, politicians, lawyers and judges alike, in an effort to subvert the system. When I finally read the article that came out I wondered whom they interviewed, someone had just made up a different story and published it instead.
Just over two years ago, I decided to write my own story about my experiences and associations with Scientology. In this way there would be no interpretations or make nice alterations of what I have to say.
I was rolling along pretty good, writing and freely publishing on the Internet via my blog Jesse’s Place the story I wanted people to know; but then I got very sick and nearly died.
This is the backdrop story of how and when I met Lawrence Wright. Someone strongly recommended that I read an article he had written in the New Yorker magazine. I remembered that article; it was painfully long, 26 pages in fact. There was an unusual quality about the writer’s presentation that held my full attention even through the pedantic parts.
I agreed to talk with Lawrence but this time I did something I had not done before. I looked him up on the Internet and I researched who he was and what were his credentials. My research on Larry revealed he is a Pulitzer Prize winning Author of The Looming Tower, a screenwriter, blah, blah, blah. What caught my attention was his involvement in performing and playing music. I learned that Lawrence was a keyboard player in a blues band in Austin, Texas. I have always been a deeply committed blues fan, especially rock style blues. One of my favorite Texas blues musicians is Johnny Winter whom I’ve listened to since the early 70’s. The other Texas blues superstar was Stevie Ray Vaughn. Both of these artists admit a major influence on their music came form the King of Texas style blues, Mr. Albert Collins. There are other places like Chicago and Memphis that have great blues history. Each of these great blues centers has a distinct sound that distinguishes it among its peers. Lawrence’s literary resume was impressive enough but the fact that he was a Blues man kicked him up a few hundred notches with me so I agreed to talk with him and eventually we met up in Chicago.
Lawrence informed me he would be in the Chicago area visiting family and he asked to visit with me. We agreed I’d meet him at his hotel; I was not ready to bring him home yet.
When I met with Lawrence he appeared to be somewhat shocked by my appearance. I could tell he was being polite about it but he was not prepared for what he saw. No picture of me from the past could have prepared him for what he saw in front of him. I was in the middle of my chemo treatments and my body was literally breaking down. My Oncologist explained to me that the bones in my neck and spine were more of the consistency of a hard cheese as opposed to bone. I could not support the weight of my upper body without assistance. I had a metal cage type brace that started at my waistline and extended up my back and chest to my armpits.
In addition, I had to wear a full neck brace to support my neck to hold my head up. I had lost over 40 lbs. and all of my hair everywhere. I had taken to habitually wearing a scarf to cover my baldhead to stay warm. I have always had thick coarse reddish hair but it was gone. My clothes were baggy, I had black circles under my eyes; I know I looked like shit and death was riding my ass real hard. I felt like I existed by my will alone.
I had lost feelings on the right side of my body and had something called “Drop Foot” were I couldn’t flex my right foot up or down anymore. The cancer was attacking the nerves in my spine. To compensate I walked with a cane. So I come staggering in to see Lawrence with this unforgiving condition wearing plastic and metal apparatus just to get around, he was cool about it though. He asked me if he could record and videotape our meeting. In my heart I reluctantly agreed because it seemed apparent it was a good time to make and leave a record while I could.
I explained to Lawrence that I was there to help him in any way that I could but I cautioned him that the story he was engaged in about Scientology was his story. I informed him that I myself was working on a book to tell my story. I told him I did not want my story to become his story. In other words I would help him in anyway I could but he did not have permission to make my story his story.
That was the hard part. After that, we talked and he disarmed me faster than a drunken high school girl at the Prom after party. I answered all of his questions plus some! I also asked him about his band and his interest in the blues. We talked as two blues aficionados would about the music. All to soon his time in Chicago was over and we promised to stay in touch, which we did.
Out of necessity, I went on to focus on my health and recovery full time. Occasionally over the months and years, Lawrence would call and ask me questions or he would ask for my opinion, which I always freely gave to him. I once again had to put my writing project on the shelf to deal with unexpected complications from my disease and it’s cure for a time.
Some months ago, Lawrence called me and left a message saying he had a question for me and asked that I call him back. It took some weeks for me to call him back, possibly longer. After we exchanged brief salutations I asked him about his band and if he had been performing recently. He responded to my inquiry with a hardy chuckle. He told me about an incident that happened at a well know club in Austin, TX. The club was raided by the Feds, something about suspicion of drug trafficking. I’m not entirely certain on the details but the point being, the judge who granted the search warrant on the club had a niece that was a fledgling musician that wanted to perform for the crowd. Lawrence told me the club had sponsored a talent contest for young people and this young lady who was the niece of a federal judge was invited on stage to perform with Larry’s band. I know I ‘m making this sound complicated put its really not. Larry told me the warrant-issuing judge watched his niece perform on stage at the club with his band. A short time after, the Feds raided the club. Fortunately, Larry’s band was not there for all of that confusion. Now that’s the kind of story two blues aficionado’s could share and find infinitely amusing!
We had this conversation some time in December of 2012. Finally I got around to asking him about his book and when expected it to be published. He said right after the first of the year in 2013 the book was due to be released. He told me there were some complications with getting the book released in Canada and the UK, but he was pretty sure the book would be released after the first of the year 2013. I told him I would look for it for sure. In closing, he remarked I think you will find a few things in the book that you didn’t know about. I chuckled and said okay we’ll see. I informed him that I no longer had to walk around with all the body armor anymore. I told him I didn’t even walk with a cane and I grew this huge Afro. He got a good laugh from that, again we promised to stay in touch.
Sometime towards the end of January, 2013 my brother Ron called and said there was a package for me that had been delivered to his address in Chicago. At the time I was visiting my elderly father in Memphis, TN. My father is the real Jesse Prince; I’m Jesse Prince Jr., a mere copy of the original. Within a matter of days I traveled on an Amtrak train from Memphis to Champaign, Ill. From there I drove to my brothers place in Chicago and picked up my complementary copy of Lawrence’s book, which his publisher graciously provided to me. Lawrence had really piqued my interest when he said there was information is his book that even I didn’t know.
The last book I’d read on the subject of Scientology was titled; Counterfeit Dreams by Jefferson Hawkins. Anything written by a person who was involved in the inner workings of the Sea Organization and no longer patronizes dead L Ron is as rare as hen’s teeth or honesty in any government in the world. I found Jeff’s account brutally honest and humbly forth coming. Maybe for the first time I better understood Jeff’s commitment to the application of marketing principles he strongly believed in and the brilliance of his ritual application of what he believed in. The results he was able to achieve can only be defined as a modern day, full display of Alchemy or ritual magic or a miracle. Through execution of ritual steps and his intent, Jeff was able to navigate Dianetics, The Modern Science of Mental Health back onto the New York Times Best Sellers list for weeks in a row. How can a long ago discredited pseudo science by a known Science Fiction writer and Flim Flan man, the late and very dead L Ron Hubbard be resurrected like that in these modern times? How do you explain that? Maybe it’s my use of the word ritual that may throw you off?
I’ve read other books written about Scientology but this one by Lawrence is different. Because of the shear amount of people interviewed he was able to add facts and bring clarity to many issues surrounding the past and recent history of L Ron Hubbard and his new religion.
Starting with the first chapter The Convert through to the second chapter Source.
The last place to go find out what is Scientology is a Scientology Organization! I’ve had plenty to say about L Ron in the past but I never accused him of things I was not personally aware of. I had never really read or heard anything about L Ron getting too loose with the ladies until I began to research his history for my writing. The information I was able to find was minimal or complete lies because the Scientology public relations machine authored it.
Before I read this book I thought L Ron was mild when it came to acting out sexually. I had only heard of one instance of his infatuation with one of his converts, Yvonne Gilliam. Come to find out, dead L Ron had a voracious appetite for young ladies. I also didn’t know his last wife who he abandoned; Mary Sue was 20 years younger than he was!
I had no idea of the constant physical and mental abuse he inflicted on his multiple wives. The riveting tale of how Sara was finally able to escape from him with her child Alexis (pg. 75-78) mirrors what others have had to do to escape Scientology, it amounts to a prison break.
To read how L Ron punched Sara in the stomach to try and induce an abortion of their daughter Alexis doesn’t seem to be good conduct for a humanitarian. I also appreciated how Lawrence took the time to explain why Sara would hang on and try to help Ron through the abuse. The complexity of human nature is showcased through Lawrence’s revelations of the complex relationship between L Ron and Sara verses her maternal instincts. L Ron had issues with personal insecurities, and abandonment. Sara was a nurse by trade and felt obligated to support L Ron even though she knew he was insane.
L Ron’s military career has been written about by others and disputed by corporate Scientology since that conversation began. In my opinion Lawrence’s account of L Ron’s military record is completely unbiased and fair. His information about dead L Ron’s military record far exceeds anything I could find on the Internet. Lawrence’s account does fill in some gaps though.
I was also impressed by the way Lawrence chronicled L Ron’s progress and achievements as a writer. Opinions aside, L Ron was a prolific writer without equal to this day. The usefulness or validity of what he wrote can be argued and debated but the amount of writings he produced earned him a place in the Guinness Book of World Records, which speaks for itself.
As a result of my own research on the genesis of Scientology, I’d come to the opinion; the premise of L Ron’s theories for Dianetics and Scientology was primarily derived from the works of Aleister Crowley, Madam Blavatsky, Albert Pike and Sigmund Freud. L Ron Jr. commented on his father’s fascination with Crowley; saying he even wanted to be him (pg.44). I appreciate Lawrence’s candid, unbiased interpretation and rendering of what he was able to discover about L Ron’s associations and participation in ritual magic and Lucifer worship. Finally I was shocked to learn about L Ron’s homosexual liaisons with the late Robert Heinlein. L Ron may have had a guilty conscious about his sexual activity with a man because he sure tried to put some distance between himself and gay sex through his strange books Dianetics and Science of Survival.
The next chapters, “Going Overboard through The Faith Factory” chronicles the genesis of the Sea Organization along with its original crew. Lawrence is able to bring insight and reason into the bizarre behavior of abuse and torture, which became a right of passage for any successful Sea Organization member. For a person who was never, and I’m pretty sure will never be a Sea Org member, Lawrence was able to understand the psychology of the unspeakable within the group; as arequirement to move up the ladder to Hubbard’s crows nest, an individual had to be willing to be severally abused and be willing to abuse, or tolerate the severe abuse of another or others. I refer to it as demon and zombie training. Later on in the book, the current leader of Scientology Miss Cabbage refers to the end result of this training as “Pie Face.”
I am not one to bite my tongue so I speak plainly and simply. It’s no secret that I do not like Mike Rinder and I don’t like hearing about him. That’s how I use to feel about him, I don’t feel that way anymore. Lawrence was able to disarm Mike and look inside of his pain and confusion to find a diamond of truth to explain the madness that is Scientology. The reference to the “Pie Face” look reminds me of pictures of starving children who’s face lack any expression, or a child that has been abused and has no facial expression. It’s the same look of total defeat and hopelessness and it’s the look a person gets just before death. It’s the face of a human or animal for that matter who’s will has been overwhelmed and nearly destroyed.
I don’t wish that on anyone but this is the new “Technology” being created in Scientology by the new master David Miscavige. If this isn’t Zombie training than what is?
I liked the way Lawrence told the story of how Scientology was able to antagonize some IRS officials into submission thus ending the Department of Justice criminal investigation. It was at this moment Scientology became too big to fail. Like it or not Scientology has a pretty impressive record with out smarting law enforcement here in America. They are able to do this because they hire former FBI and CIA agents to subvert the system. Scientology also pulls from its ass an impressive list of Hollywood Celebrities to do its bidding. Scientology has such deep pockets now it will always be around in some form or another here in America. It’s so crazy here in America that the law says corporations have rights like people. How can an individual person ever compete with a billion dollar corporation?
I realize a good percentage of information about the IRS, John Travolta and Tom Cruise came from Marty Rathbun. Only he would have the details as provided in this book. I appreciate the fact that Marty decided to no longer keep all secrets for Tom and the rest.
Starting with the chapter, In Service to the Stars to the books conclusion; this is the most disturbing part of Lawrence’s book. Let me start with Tom Cruise. I met Tom at the Gold Base while he was in the middle of his divorce with Mimi Rodgers. This was when he was in production with the movie Day’s of Thunder.
When I met Tom he was genuinely shy, but once he got comfortable with you he was amazingly normal and playful. He seemed like a big playful kid. I spent hours in the Scientology Studio (Studio Two) with him listening to sections of his movies. Tom was unhappy with the sound because you couldn’t understand what he was saying in certain sections of the movies. Of course, Scientology had the answer; it was called “Clear Sound.” I’m not going to get into the whole story about that now but suffice to say Tom was a nice person who was very appreciative of any help or assistance he got to help him with the problem. He even offered to PAY us for our time. He would buy food and fruit baskets for the staff because he was not allowed to pay. He had that million-dollar smile and a trademark infectious laugh that made him a joy to be around.
Now look! Scientology takes perfectly good people and transforms them into monsters! The story of Tom’s transformation and subsequent demon training has changed him completely. Lawrence painfully chronicles Tom’s moral decent with his goody and vulgar awards he’s received for being a good bitch dog to David Miscavige.
While earning hundreds of millions of dollars, Tom now prefers free slave labor to cater to his every decadent need. The book also details how Tom is so socially inadequate he can’t even find a girlfriend with out Miscavige arranging him a date. I hate to go all vernacular on you but how fucking pathetic is that? Oh but Scientology has convinced Tom he is a communications genius!
Lawrence finally brings some truth to John Travolta and his gay tendencies. John is also a pathetic bitch dog to Miscavige. He uses his airplane to facilitate kidnapping staff who try to escape the cult. Both he and Tom are criminals against decency and humanity. Both are in a position to do great good for their fellow human. Instead they choose to join the small crowd of insecure people that have to have their foot on another’s neck. Evil sociopathic tendencies are developed and magnified in Scientology; Lawrence does a good job detailing how it happens.
Lawrence’s book makes it painfully clear that Scientology has a death grip on Hollywood and has for a long time.
Lawrence has done a great service to humanity by taking up the challenges this book obviously brings. He put himself in personal danger to bring the information in this book out in the open and available for those interested in the subject, and we all should be.
Lawrence even provides information about a United States President, Bill Clinton who was shilling for this crazy ass cult.
Scientology is all about deception and lies but there is some truth there. When something walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and swims like a duck, than it’s probably and duck.
The last revelation L Ron makes at his death (OT 8) besides being a total failure; he says he is the Satan of the bible. In his mind dead L Ron’s intent was to be a god and to enslave every man. At a conference in Hamburg, Germany someone who represented himself as Anonymous asked a question. The question was; can Scientology be reformed? My answer; reformed to what? Shit is shit no matter how many flowers or perfume or nice pictures someone may spray or lay on it. It’s still shit.
Thank you Lawrence for taking the time to produce this work, it was sorely needed.