The Scandal of Scientology
In 2007, Cooper wrote about the events that occurred as a result of her original publication of an article called "The Scandal of Scientology" in Queen, in 1968. In the article "The Scandal of the Scandal of Scientology," in Byline, Cooper commented on her motivation for writing the book: "I had a master's degree in psychology and had studied comparative religion at Harvard for a summer and what I learned during my research about the group founded by L. Ron Hubbard was both fascinating and frightening. The story cried out to be told."
The book earned Cooper negative attention from members of the Church, and she was subsequently the target not only of litigation but a harassment 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". Members of 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.
In June 2007 Paulette Cooper wrote about her experience with the Church of Scientology and Operation Freakout from "beginning to end" for the first time. Another account of Cooper's testimony can be found in Bent Corydon's L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman? in part 1, chapter 14: "Freaking Out Paulette: A Six Year Operation to Drive a Journalist Insane."
Attempt to remove book from libraries
The Church of Scientology of Canada attempted to suppress the book in libraries in Canada. In June 1974, libraries were advised that if they do not remove the books Scientology: The Now Religion, Inside Scientology, The Scandal of Scientology and The Mind Benders from their shelves, they would be named in a lawsuit. Two different library boards in Ontario, Canada had been served with writs.
After obtaining out-of-court settlements of USD$7,500 and USD$500 and apologies from the publishers of two of the works (Dell Publishing and Tower Publications), Scientology further threatened to sue any library or bookstore that carried them. After certain libraries in Canada refused to remove the books from their shelves, they were sued by Scientology. One Canadian library reported the theft of a book critical of Scientology from its shelves.
Reception, use in other works
The book was used as a reference in Jon Atack's later work, A Piece of Blue Sky. Atack wrote: "I happened upon the hard-to-find Scandal of Scientology by Paulette Cooper. Now I was fascinated, and started collecting everything I could get my eager hands on — magazine articles, newspaper clippings, government files, anything." Later, when A Piece of Blue Sky was dropped from Amazon.com listings in a controversial move, this was compared to court actions that initially limited distribution of The Scandal of Scientology.
J. Gordon Melton recommended reading both Cooper's book and the church's refutation, False Report Correction/The Scandal of Scientology by Paulette Cooper, for "insight" into the Scientology controversy in his 1978 work, The Encyclopedia of American Religions.
- Bercovici, Jeff (June 22, 2007). "Xenuphobia, Writer: I Was Stalked by Scientologists". Radar (Radar Magazine). Retrieved 2007-10-22.
- Cooper, Paulette (June 2007). "The Scandal of the Scandal of Scientology". Byline.
- Golson, G. Barry (1983). The Playboy Interview II. Perigee Books. pp. Page 297. ISBN 0-399-50769-8.
- Text of Operation Freakout document at the Wayback Machine (archived October 11, 2011)
- Ortega, Tony (December 23, 1999). "Double Crossed: The Church of Scientology has a reputation for ruthlessly going after its enemies. Robert Cipriano claims Scientologists rewarded him for helping them do just that. Now he's turned on them.". Phoenix New Times (Village Voice Media). Retrieved 2007-10-23.
- Marshall, John (1980-01-24). "Hubbard still gave orders, records show". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2006-09-14.
- Looking over my shoulder, The Inside Account of the Story That Almost Killed Me, Operation Clambake, June 23, 2007. (Shortened version)
- Libraries Face Libel Threat, Winnipeg Free Press, 27 June 1974
- Anti-Scientology Books Targets of Lawsuits, The Library Journal, November 1, 1974.
- Censorship in British Columbia, BCLA Intellectual Freedom Committee, 1970-1979., retrieved 2/28/07.
- Welkos, Robert W.; Joel Sappell (June 24, 1990). "Burglaries and Lies Paved a Path to Prison". Chicago Tribune (from the Los Angeles Times).
- Staff (February 19, 1972). "Paulette Cooper". Charleston Gazette. pp. Page 4A.
- A Piece of Blue Sky, Jon Atack, Bibliography, References Summary , Chapter One.
- Sprenger, Polly (May 20, 1999). "Amazon Drops Controversial Book". Wired (CondéNet, Inc.). Retrieved 2007-10-23.
- Melton, J. Gordon (1978). The Encyclopedia of American Religions. McGrath Pub. Co. pp. Page 511.
- Paulette Cooper
- Full-text sites