Tony Ortega, a former editor of the Village Voice who became equally well known for his relentless pursuit of the Church of Scientology and its inner workings is in Houston today to talk about his research and to promote his book The Unbreakable Miss Lovely about Paulette Cooper, a critic of the church.
The Humanists of Houston are sponsoring the talk at the Fox and Hound, 11470 Westheimer, at 7 pm today. Ortega, who's now with TheLipTV, says Cooper who wrote one of the first books critical of Scientology in 1971 was spied upon by the Church which sued her repeatedly in the years that followed.
Ortega has himself experienced some of the the church's retaliatory tactics. "The New York Times recently confirmed that the Church of Scientology was behind an illegal hacking attack that sent a private investigator to prison, and that I was one of the targets of those attacks. Scientology could not have more succinctly proved the point of my book, that it has always engaged in dirty tricks against the people it considers enemies, and always will," he says.
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"You can't write about Scientology without people asking if you're being harassed and if you've heard of what happened to Paulette Cooper. Once I got to know Paulette, I realized there was much more to her story than the public knew, and we told her entire history in this book."
"Paulette Cooper warned the world about Scientology's abuses in 1971. For that act, she was followed, illegally phonet-tapped, smeared, harassed, framed for a felony, and sued 19 times over a nearly 20 year period. But she survived it all, and she's bravely making appearances for this book, as feisty as ever."
Here's Ortega discussing his book with Paulette Cooper: