HARASSMENT DIARY, by Paulette Cooper (1982) Part 2: Why I Got Involved
My 1997 editorial comments are enclosed in [[double square brackets]] and asterisks.
In the summer of 1968, an early boyfriend who had become a Scientologist after I dated him tried to get me to join. I took a weekend course, and decided to investigate it further. I had already established myself as a gutsy writer around this time by successfully stowing away for a week on an ocean liner. But I had no idea what I was about to take on. Most people were scared to talk to me, some told me about death threats, harassment, etc., and written material had completely disappeared from libraries. I finally found some information in court cases and a Government tribunal[[*]], and published my first article on Scientology in December of 1969 in England. I also received my first death threat that same month.
While I was writing "The Scandal of Scientology" in 1969-1970, I knew I'd have problems with them later. (1) Scientology also offered to give me another book to write which would make a lot of money if I would back off of this one, i.e., tried to buy me off. But I knew that everything I said in the book was accurate -- and it still is -- and that they were in bad need of exposure. I also felt that they were a Nazi-like organization, and kept thinking that if more people in Germany had spoken out in the '30's, my parents and millions of others would have lived. But despite this outward show of courage, I was already becoming afraid and anxious in 1970 and 1971 since there was already some harassment (following, phone calls, Scientology spies, libelous statements, 4 frivolous lawsuits etc. When in 1972 I found the remains of a phone tap, I sued them in New York -- foolishly thinking that that would make them leave me alone.
I probably would have gone on to other things after my book came out (especially since all 4 of the books published under my name care out within a year or two of that period), but I began getting phone calls and letters from people who badly needed help, and who had been totally destroyed by this cult, as former members, their families or critics. I tried to help them -- there was no one else to except Nan Mclean in Canada who was to become my close friend and confidante, but she didn't speak out publicly until 1973. I also tried to work with the press and various agencies to help them get information on Scientology.
It was in the summer of 1972 -- a few months after I had sued them -- that they first decided to frame me. (This I learned years later from their own documents which were seized by the FBI in 1977 and will hereafter he known a the Washington documents) Their object was to destroy my credibility by trying to get me institutionalized (which they hoped to do by either driving me insane, or, later in 1976, by having someone pose as me and act insane publicly), or get me incarcerated, which would also obviously destroy my credibility and curtail my activities.
In the summer of 1972, I had an operation for fibroid tumors and was seriously ill. I recuperated that summer at my parent's home, although I was constantly complaining about the pain from the operation. I was kept partially distracted that summer by the arrival of L. Ron Hubbard Jr, known as Nibs, the son of the founder of Scientology. Nibs had turned against his father, testified at court case against Scientology, and I ghostwrote a 50 page expose for him (called "1 1/10 of 1%.)[[**]]
(1) I expected perhaps a rough year, but nothing unbearable and nothing longer than that. Little did I realize what I was dealing with -- or they with me!
[[*]] This was the Australian Inquiry or Anderson Report. I obtained the first copy of it in the United States.
[[**]] Unfortunately, Nibs never paid me my half, which was the start of my lifelong love for him :-). I believe this article I ghostwrote was translated into German and appeared in the introduction to the German version of Bob Kaufman's book "Inside Scientology." Most or all of it appeared later under various articles Nibs wrote about his earlier years with his father.