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Anorak | The Church of Scientology’s rambling paranoid letter to Vanity Fair: the ‘herculean’ David Miscavige

The Church of Scientology’s rambling paranoid letter to Vanity Fair: the ‘herculean’ David Miscavige

by | 10th, September 2012

IN this month’s Vanity Fair, Maureen Orth talks about the Church of Scientology. She mentions David Miscavige and Tom Cruise. She asks The Church of Scientology 32 questions. Jeffrey K. Riffer, of the law firm Elkins Kalt Weintraub Reuben Gartside LLP, writes a response: It’s dated August 16, 2012.

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Some choice cuts:

We are writing regarding your, your editor’s and reporter’s shoddy journalism, religious  bigotry and potential legal liability arising out of Vanity Fair’s upcoming story about the Tom Cruise divorce. Significantly, while Maureen Orth was preparing her story, Vanity Fair ignored  its staff and contributors who have firsthand knowledge of Mr. Cruise and of Mr. Miscavige and  who would burden her story with the truth…

Her request for an “interview” of Mr. Miscavige was a  disingenuous sham, since she couldn’t possibly have thought that an “Oh, by the way” phone call  to the Church’s Public Affairs office requesting an interview with the ecclesiastical leader of the religion could possibly be accommodated. If she were serious, she would have done at least a  molecule of research in seeing that Mr. Miscavige travels across the country and around the world almost non-stop, unlike the anti-Scientologist apostate sources who form the basis of her  already-written story and who are available on a moment’s notice at the press of “send” on any anti-Scientology hate-site blog. Is it usual for you to take over the editorial direction of Vanity Fair articles or is that reserved for hatchet-jobs of minority religions and its members?…

Subsequently, Vanity Fair sent a list of 31 questions (and later a 32nd question) to the Church about the article – questions that evidence the tabloid nature of the article, Ms. Orth’s  reckless disregard of the truth and her religious bigotry. In addition, she copies the style of her  ex-Scientologist sources by using banal questions that assume a “frat house” mentality to  disparage Mr. Miscavige and the Scientology religion. For example, Vanity Fair, which once had a reputation for journalistic integrity, is now reduced to asking the leader of a religion in its 32nd, and final question: “Would David Miscavige comment on the notion that he has been a kind of third wheel in Tom Cruise’s relationships and  marriages?”…

Mr. Miscavige is the leader of a dynamic global religion expanding across five continents. His duties are herculean and accomplishments monumental. He is not a “third  wheel” to anything or anyone…

If rabid anti-Scientologist/anti-David Miscavige apostates long ago kicked out of the Church are considered “sources” of information, then certainly a respected and objective Vanity Fair employee with no axe to grind and who has seen Mr. Miscavige at Church convocations and celebrations year after year in the present time is a far better source of information. And if Ms. Orth never considered this or, worse, was unaware of the relationship, then it means she lept to Mr. Graydon Carte the grassy-knoll of the internet for “information” while ignoring truly objective sources of  information in her own offices-current information, in contrast to the stale and ever-changing fiction manufactured by bitter apostates who haven’t a clue…

Ms. Orth appears to have only gleaned her information from fringe hate sites and their webmasters. If she were writing a story about a Sikh religious leader, would she first latch onto the sites of white supremacists, then interview their most virulent and violent members and follow it up with mere “fact check” questions to the Sikhs themselves? At the eleventh hour? And refuse to give the names of her white supremacist sources?

The scenario is no different here. Scientology is a new religion and its beliefs not as well known as those of more ancient history. That does not excuse you or Ms. Orth for being ignorant. Rather, it demands you be even more sensitive to finding out what the true beliefs are of Scientology-which can only be told by the religion itself. Just because you don’t think you are bigoted doesn’t mean you aren’t. Bigotry and ignorance go hand in hand and you are definitely and wilfully ignorant of the actual beliefs of Scientology and the activities of its Churches…

Mr. Miscavige has never had any involvement with the hiring of Mr. Cruise’s professional staff or press agents, certainly has never spoken to Mr. Cruise’s sister about them and allegations of joking around about Mr. Cruise’s romantic relations are manifestly false since it is inconceivable (to the entire world) that Mr. Cruise would have difficulty getting a girlfriend. This goes beyond not wanting to dignify a question with a response, but goes to the credibility and ethics of your journalist….

If Vanity Fair goes forward with publication of such defamatory allegations, now that it is on notice that the story is false, the stain on its reputation will last long after any reader even remembers the article. The sting of the jury verdict will last longer still; far longer than any pleasure from racing to publish a poorly researched and sourced story…

There is no need to rush to publish the scurrilous allegations at issue here. This is not a story about national security, physical safety or “hot news.” It is a story based on fictions manufactured by unsavory individuals who wish to do Scientology and Mr. Miscavige harm. Accordingly, we trust that Vanity Fair will not publish anything defamatory about Mr.  Miscavige and that we will not need to meet at a deposition or in a court.

Is he paid by the word?



Posted: 10th, September 2012 | In: Celebrities Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink