Paulette Cooper clarifies misconceptions about herself

Here are two messages from Paulette Cooper, as posted on the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology, correcting some common misconceptions about her.

From: [email protected] (Paulettec)
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: Paulette--Why you're wrong about me(1)
Date: 9 May 1996 18:32:04 -0400
Message-ID: <[email protected]>

About a year ago I went on line, lurking on a.r.s. before posting to clarify several erroneous statements I had read about myself. But almost a year later, I still see these misconceptions, so let me explain....

1.The main reason I was harassed was not because of my book

Although some harassment was related to that, as well as to my later lawsuits and counter-claims against them, the real reason for the 15 years of harassment was because I was engaged in non-stop anti-Scientology activities throughout that time, trying to expose Scn and help people having problems with them.

After my book came out, reporters, parents, confused former members, law firms, national and international agencies-- even someone from the White House once-- all called me for help. Unfortunately, they had no other person to turn to.

I listed my number, and tried to assist all who called. There was no Internet or a.r.s., so someone had to disseminate supporting documents and information, and put people together.

Not surprisingly, Sci felt that I had to be stopped. There was only one other person (Nan McLean in Toronto) who was also doing this, so we ended up with all the harassment and litigation. For over a decade, they put the full weight of the entire B1 GO (equivalent of OSA) on me.

Imagine on a.r.s. if Steve, Arnie, Larry, Dennis, Ron, Henri, Martin, Jeff, Karen, etc., were all one person. And all of OSA and all Scientology lawyers and all their private eyes only had to deal with this person, using millions of dollars and limitless energy coming up with suits and ops against them. That was the situation I found myself in--without the kind of emotional support people now have today with the internet.

2. Operation Freakout took place over at least 4 years--and part of it lead to my arrest for forged bomb threats: threats that they sent themselves.

Although the book came out in 1971, it was late in 1972 that the harassment became truly unbearable. We found that my phone had been tapped. All the tenants in my building received disgusting anonymous smear letters about me. So did my parents. There was a flower delivery for me with a gun in it. And that's when the actual frame-up occurred, which I believe was the early part of Operation Freakout.

In December of 1972, the Scientology PR person received two bomb threats and named me as someone likely to have sent them. I was indicted on May 9, 1973--23 years ago today, the worst day of my life--and arrested and arraigned 10 days later (even worse.)

Those months under indictment, awaiting trial were the most horrendous in my life--I don't feel that I ever completely recovered. The charges were finally dropped by the government in October of 1973 when they learned enough to make them wonder whether I was really the one who had written those threatening letters.

In 1976, the Scientologists decided it was time to try to shut me up again with another bomb-threat frame-up, and they wrote up "Operation Freakout," which appears to be later attempts to duplicate the earlier successful frame-up against me of 1972-3.

3. I was never forced to settle-- I wanted to.

I continued my activities pretty much alone full time until 1981 when the seized documents were released. I went down to Washington (with Nan McLean) and spent 4 months photocopying Scientology internal (often dirty trick) documents, and then mailed copies to hundreds of people mentioned in them. (Payback time <g>)

Around then, others became involved in the fight, and I began to feel that I could think about stopping working 16 hours a day to fight them (and support my lawyers!) and live my own life.

The harassment was effecting my health, my emotional state of mind, my social life, and I was upset becaue the Scientologists were harassing my elderly parents, and had deposed 50 of my friends and editors, asking them personal questions about me, etc. Even so, I continued my anti-Scientology activities until the end of 1984, when I was assured that Scientology had changed and harassment of critics was a thing of the past. (LOL)

4. The Scandal of Scientology is weak now but it wasn't then.

As for why Scientology would care about my book at all, since it's so weak as compared to the ones that came out much later, it wasn't weak then, since most of the material was not known by the public at the time.

A few things had leaked out, but I think I was the first writer to uncover the Foster (Anderson) report, Hubard's academic background and marital problems and status, potential fears of blackmail, early auditing, Charles Manson, etc. Sure we know much more now, but the material was very startling then. And I am very proud of the investigative research job that I did.

to be continued.


From: [email protected] (Paulettec)
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: Paulette P.2--Why you're wrong about me
Date: 9 May 1996 18:54:54 -0400
Message-ID: <[email protected]>

5. Did I ever retract any part of "The Scandal of Scientology"?

When we finally went to court on this book--I believe in 1976--if I recall correctly, in pre-trial hearings the judge found only 9 statements (mostly lines) of the entire book as something that might be libelous and that a court should decide on.

Instead of going to trial, we settled the suits and Scientology paid my legal expenses for this suit they had instituted!

Scientology told me that one reason they were unhappy with my book was that no one could figure out my footnotes, and therefore people didn't know that I was reporting something and had not been at the event to make sure it happened.

I agreed to *clarify* certain sentences in an affidavit that was supposed to make it clear that I had gotten certain information from secondary sources and had no personal evidence of the events. (For example, in my book, I quoted the Anderson or Foster Report as saying something, but it may not have been apparent to readers who couldn't figure out the footnotes that I wasn't there to see it myself.)

I've never considered my clarification to be a retraction--regardless of what Scientology says--and I believe every word of my book to be correct today. Just too weak.

6. I am not and never was an anti-Scientology writer.

"The Scandal..." was my 4th book--and the first and only one on Scientology. The only other thing I ever wrote on Scientology was an article which appeared in England. (I also wrote and distributed a free newsletter, which I called "Scientology Clearinghouse," in which I reprinted excerpts from various anti-Scientology news stories--much as is done on a.r.s. today.)

My interest in Scientology has alway been solely as an investigative journalist, since I was never a former member. Although I got sidetracked after my book came out for many years with my crusade, I have since tried to go on with my life and write about other things. Indeed, I have written a total of 8 books on other subjects, and probably around 1,000 articles.

7. I have no desire to ever return to writing/speaking against Scientology.

I know some of you have expected me to do more, and some have written asking me to do more. But I feel that I did more than my share, and I want to continue to enjoy my harassment free life.

I am very happy I came to a.r.s.--- I have made some wonderful friends--- and I love the whole on-line world. (Thank you Ron for calling me a year ago to tell me about the Internet!) But I have no interest in doing any anti-Scientology activities any more.

(not so freaked out) Paulette Cooper