Portrait of Paulette Cooper
|Born||July 26, 1942|
|Occupation||Author and journalist|
Paulette Marcia Cooper (born July 26, 1942) is an American author who is best known for activism against the Church of Scientology and the harassment she suffered as a result. Cooper's books have sold close to a half a million copies.
Cooper was born in Auschwitz to Belgian parents who were killed shortly thereafter. After the war, she spent years in various orphanages in Belgium, until she was adopted by the Cooper family and moved to the United States at age 6. At age 8, she became an American citizen.
She began her freelance writing career in 1968, after completing a master's degree in psychology. As a result of her earlier study of comparative religion at Harvard University for a summer, she became interested in religious cults and began studying Scientology/Dianetics in 1968 in order to write about it.
Conflict with Scientology
The Scandal of Scientology
Cooper's conflict with the Church of Scientology began in 1970 when the Church filed suit against her in British court for an article she wrote that was published in London's Queen magazine. An expansion of this, her first book, The Scandal of Scientology, came out in 1971; it was a critical exposé of the activities and beliefs of the Church of Scientology.
The book earned her more negative attention from members of the Church, and that same year saw a second lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court against her by the church. Further lawsuits and countersuits followed throughout the years, totaling nineteen suits from all over the world that Scientology instituted against Cooper, and three counterclaims that she instituted.
Through the years as she continued to expose the Church, Paulette Cooper was the target not only of litigation but of several harassment campaigns including a Scientology campaign known as Operation Freakout, the goal of which was to deter Cooper from criticism of Scientology by having her "incarcerated in a mental institution or jail or at least to hit her so hard that she drops her attacks." In a previous campaign titled Operation Dynamite the church sent itself forged bomb threats, purportedly from Cooper, using her typewriter and paper with her fingerprints on it; further plans included bomb threats to be sent to Henry Kissinger. The Church's campaign was discovered when the FBI raided Scientology offices in 1977 and recovered documents relating to the operation. Sometime in 1977, an assassination of Paulette was possibly planned, along with another murder, but it is unknown whether or not it was attempted.
The Church finally agreed to an out-of-court settlement with Cooper in 1985.
Cooper has written a total of 17 books on a wide variety of subjects (see bibliography below).
- The Scandal of Scientology. Tower Publications, 1971. OCLC 921001
- Growing up Puerto Rican. Signet, 1973. ISBN 0-451-61233-7
- The Medical Detectives. D. McKay Co., 1973. ISBN 0-679-50382-X
- Let's Find Out About Halloween. Reader's Digest Services, 1977.
- Reward! (co-written by Paul Noble). Pocket Books, 1994. ISBN 0-671-87020-3
- The 100 Top Psychics in America (co-written by Paul Noble). Pocket Books, 1996. ISBN 0-671-53401-7
- 277 Secrets Your Cat Wants You to Know (co-written by Paul Noble). Ten Speed Press, 1997. ISBN 0-89815-952-0
- 277 Secrets Your Dog Wants You to Know (co-written by Paul Noble). Ten Speed Press, 1998. ISBN 1-58008-014-6
- 277 Secrets Your Snake and Lizard Wants You to Know. Ten Speed Press, 1999. ISBN 1-58008-035-9
- The Most Romantic Resorts for Destination Weddings, Marriage Renewals & Honeymoons (co-written by Paul Noble). S.P.I. Books, 2002. ISBN 1-56171-914-5
In 1992, the American Society of Journalists and Authors awarded her their highest honor, the prestigious Conscience-in-Media Award. She has also won five other writing awards for her other books and numerous articles on a variety of subjects unrelated to cults.
- Cooper, Paulette (1999). 277 Secrets Your Snake and Lizard Wants You to Know. Ten Speed Press. p. 175. ISBN 1-58008-035-9.
- Paulette Cooper harassment diary, part 1
- Church of Scientology of California vs. Paulette Cooper, et al., Los Angeles Superior Court, Docket No. C18558
- Text of Operation Freakout document
- Marshall, John (1980-01-24). "Hubbard still gave orders, records show". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2006-09-14.
- Margery Wakefield (April 13, 1990). "Affidavit of Margery Wakefield". Retrieved 2013-03-25.
- The Scandal of Scientology
- Paul Noble website
- Scientology documents about Paulette Cooper seized by the FBI.
- Paulette Cooper homepage
- Paulette Cooper's description of her frame-up
- The Scandal of Scientology by Paulette Cooper
- The 1982 Clearwater Hearings, Day 4 - May 8, 1982