Our Interview Subject
Programming note: Even just two weeks in to this adventure, I am beginning to discover that the new blog is attracting sources who have interesting perspective to contribute, but whose voice wouldn’t fit in a standard news story. This is the first example of a source with a unique perspective on Scientology that I’m writing up as part of my “useful anecdotes” series. Recall my article last week about the importance of anecdotes in the research process.
Background: I received an e-mail last week from MidwestMom, a much-adored commenter in our little community who has been scarce for a while. She announced that she would be in New York this weekend to see some plays and to hit some of the sales in the “Mecca of Shopping Perfection,” an endless row of trendy boutiques on upper Madison Avenue. Apparently, winter has already set in in her bucolic paradise in the far north of the Midwest (further north, even, than parts of “Canada,” that rural enclave of upstate New York) and “the boys” were out doing their thing on the first days of deer hunting season, so it was time for a getaway.
What MidwestMom and Supermodel #1 got to do on Friday
Naturally, Supermodel #1 is always up for a trip to the stratospherically expensive Manolo Blahnik and Christian Louboutin shoe stores, especially when it involves spending other people’s money. I was stuck in the office on Friday morning, so Supermodel #1 took MidwestMom out to brave the pre-Black Friday sales.
What I got to do on Friday
Later, while Supermodel #1 was busy fixing tea in the kitchen, the super-secret Analysis Hotline in the penthouse apartment rang. Again. Since I started the blog not quite two weeks ago, the unlisted phone has been ringing off the hook with people longing to tell their story. MidwestMom, presumably tiring of the incessant ringing, decided to answer out of curiosity.
The oddly muffled British-accented voice at the other end claimed to be very, very close to the festivities taking place in Clearwater and offered a unique perspective on David Miscavige and on the content of the events. Our guest knew a potential scoop when she saw it, grabbed a pen and paper, and decided to conduct a full-scale interview. After a careful review of this source’s bona fides, I realized that we might have a unique perspective on the Most. Important. Events. Ever.
Here, without further ado, is an interview with the tent sheltering the most theta events in history, with questions formulated by and answers transcribed by MidwestMom.
A Por-tent-ious Interview
You’ve now hosted a few rehearsals for the event. What is it like having David Miscavige under your roof? How does he treat the people around him? Is he utterly con-tent-ious?
The Analysis Hotline, in the library of stately John P. manor in Gotham City
Picture a Tasmanian devil on PCP. That’s what he’s like. He is indeed con-tent-ious and extremely desperate for at-tent-tion. He’s unbearable. I’d rather be stuck in an elevator with Kanye West, Chris Brown and Alec Baldwin, with all the attendant paparazzi, than hang around Miscavige for another second. He’s whack! He gives me the tee pee gee vees.
He also has a freaky obsession with forks and socks.
“Fork this! Fork that! Fork you!” and “You chuck socks on Hollywood Boulevard, you ser-fac-y sock chucker!”
The dude is a few beans short of a burrito, if you know what I mean.
You were at Saint Hill in England before you moved to the US to start a new phase of your tenting career. What do you think of the stage decoration for this event versus the decorations in the UK? Are they more conservative and humdrum in the UK or do they get as colorful there as they do here?
Yes, I’m originally from the UK and endured previous embarrassing and horrific treatment from the cult. Garish decorations, long, boring speeches, and all around unpleasantness. Everything was way too os-tent-tatious for the classically reserved British style I was brought up in. I forced myself to get through it, somehow. At least I had some friends working at festivals or garden parties nearby and I could hang out with them after the cult gigs and pick up extra money working at the Chelsea Flower Show. I even did some craft service engagements for James Bond movies. That Daniel Craig, by the way, makes a much better super-secret agent than David Miscavige’s BFF.
I want to point out that I am not a Scientologist and have absolutely no desire to ever be one, either. I’m Anglican and belong to the Church of England and one of my uncles is a Vicar in Stoke-on-Tent.
The tent’s brother, Ger, on holiday in Mongolia
To be honest with you, I always wanted to travel. My older brother, Ger, lived with some yurts in central Asia for a year and my cousin, Bivy, hiked and camped the trails in the Pacific Northwest, and I thought it would be fun to travel abroad, as well.
Let me tell you something. What I was promised and what I have experienced here are completely different experiences. I was duped, and I’m angry. Real angry! I thought I’d be hanging out at the beach every day and working as a cabana. Instead, I’m treated like a circus tent sheltering some second-rate freak show.
Here is a publicity photo for “A Flock of Seagulls” 1984 tour. We agree wholeheartedly with the tent.
How would you feel if someone humiliated you with what appears to be the leftover lights and stage props from the “Flock of Seagulls” ‘84 tour and dressed you up in hideous draping last worn as costumes by John Travolta from “Hairspray” and Kirstie Alley in “Fat Actress”? It’s not flattering.
I’ve seen the photos. I look stupid. I know it, and you know it. The rest of the American people know it. Someone told me the other day that I reminded them of Totie Fields, which I don’t think was a compliment. I’ve also been taunted and bull-baited by all of the cult’s awnings, canopies and tarps.
I’m a shell of what I used to be and I’m flapping angry about it.
What would you be doing now if you hadn’t been tricked into coming here to be Scientology’s Big Top?
The last Céilidh hosted by the tent. Happy people = happy tent.
There were some Highland Festivals that my friend Scot had set up, which are always fun. I’m always hip for a pipe and drum band. My father used to play the pipes (to the dismay of the neighbours) and I’ve played the drums ever since I was a young pup tent. I have strong Highlander roots — don’t ask me what I wear under my kilt. By the way, I’m pretty competitive in the caber toss event and I’m always up for a good ceilidh!
I regret now that I’m going to miss out on being at the Hard Rock Hell gig in Pwllheli. It would be heaven to be among the doom, stoner and sleaze metal brigade compared to the Scientology culties in Clearwater. I mean, I’m missing Lawnmower Deth perform live! Ooh Crikey!
“Go on a cruise,” my agent said. “All expenses paid! You’ll meet celebrities and big beings, blah, blah, blah…” What a crock! Oh, and the Miscavige dude? Old COBcakes is such a joke. I call him “Pimp Frantic”. I can’t even bring myself to call him “pope” in jest. He’s a pre-tent-ious fool. You can quote me on that, too.
How have you felt about all of the press you attracted?
I feel embarrassed about how ridiculous I look, for one thing. Who wants to look like a flapping circus tent unless they are indeed, a flapping circus tent? Not me, bro.
I realized that in order to try to get the city of Clearwater to force the cult of Scientology to remove me from their land, I had to endure the photos and the media coverage. This was the only way I could get people to complain on my behalf. Sunny Sands, the Supah Powah photogaphah for the Underground Bunker is now a very good friend of mine. She visits every day and gives me encouragement to stand tall and not let the cult’s abusive behavior force me to cave in to their pressure. If I cave, it’ll be on my terms.
Charlie Frago from the Tampa Bay Times is another bud of mine… He’s done a great job of showing how the cult is abusing their power with me and Tony Ortega has been the biggest source of exposure for my plight. Tony traveled all the way to Clearwater to see me. I mean, if that doesn’t exemplify what a dedicated journalist he is, then I don’t know what does. Tony was even kind enough to pose with me for some photos, as did some others from the Underground Bunker Brigade. That was cheeky fun! Good times, my friend. Good times. There’s no fun in store for me during this weekend’s, festivities, though.
Guy Fawkes “Anon” masks are hard to find in sizes big enough for tents; our classy interview subject doesn’t want a cheap graffiti job like this one!
I’d like to thank Mike and Marty for their help, too and the folks at WWP, ESMB, OCMB, and all of the peeps who have been trying to help me, and now including John P. for his blog. I hope he’s able to run this interview and show what it’s like for a “wog” tent to have to endure this gig. I appreciate everyone’s help a great deal and hope that there will be a huge turnout of protesters this weekend. I hope Bury_The_Nuts remembers to bring my Guy Fawkes mask. I’m a size 60 foot, extra-wide.
How were you able to get in possession of the cell phone you are using for this interview? Are you safe?
I actually had help from a few friends. I’ll call them “Joe Kerr” and “Dee Grayder” to protect their identities. They were hip to the Katie Holmes story and how she was able to maneuver her escape with her daughter from the cult of Scientology when she left Tom Cruise.
Let’s just say that little Davey Miscavige has no clue that they have been helping me, and they have had full access to the party plans this weekend. Remember, when I said not to ask me what is under my kilt? Davey would have a stroke if he knew what was going on right under his nose.
By the way, Laurisse, if you’re reading this – and I know you are – why don’t you try putting on some makeup for a change? You look like death warmed over and not very theta. Davey wears more makeup than you do, which is pretty creepy, if you ask me.
Where was I? Oh, yes; thanks for your concern. I’m having a difficult time hearing you on my end of the phone. The wind is really whipping around and I was hit pretty hard by airborne bunting. I thought I was going to lose an eye hook. I sure hope this horrible tarp that they put on me blows into the ocean! It’s so tacky. I feel like Rip Taylor, especially since the cult is going to throw around confetti and balloons. It keeps getting worse by the minute.
Gotta go! A whole posse of guys with walkie talkies is coming. I think they’ve found the flap holding the phone, and it’s hard to get the wind to blow the fabric just right to hang the damned thing up. I hope they just think it’s a member’s phone that someone dropped.
Epilogue: At this point, just when Midwest Mom was beginning to come up with more questions, the phone went silent, and after a couple of minutes, a male voice says, “Hey, this phone is actually ON! Better call COB; I think we have a leak.” Then a click. Then ominous silence.
Please join me as I wait in a state of heightened tent-ion with prayers that our interview subject is not repurposed after the event to become the new RPF facility at the cult’s new North Slope Ideal Org, in the northernmost portion of Alaska, where the temperature this time of year drops to 40 degrees below zero.