Scientology is the best soap opera tragi-comedy reality show going, bar none! From ABC News:

The actress who was allegedly selected by the Church of Scientology as a candidate to be Tom Cruise’s real-life girlfriend “was told she was being chosen for a mission” and was “really going to save the world,” according to the author of Vanity Fair’s magazine article detailing the couple’s relationship.

As particulars of Maureen Orth’s story continue to surface — and Cruise and the Church of Scientology continue to vehemently deny the allegations — Orth, the magazine’s special correspondent, told “Good Morning America” today that as Iranian-born, London-raised actress Nazanin Boniadi was being carefully vetted, she did not know what was in store for her.

Yesterday Yahoo! released an exclusive trailer for The Master, Paul Thomas Anderson’s film about a troubled young drifter who develops an intense relationship with the leader of a new religion which according to most is a barely concealed Scientology.

As one of America’s most provocative contemporary filmmakers, Anderson certainly has the chops to examine the perplexing allure of Scientology, but given the cult’s religion’s ubiquity among Hollywood’s elite…

This Easter enjoy the strange case of “Church” of Scientology’s very own Judas Iscariot, as told by Guy Adams in the Independent: The men who came for Marty Rathbun wore a kind…

On Preventing the Ceremonies of Dumb People in Hollywood From Being a Burden on Their Parent Companies or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Public “I am giving an account…

Guy Adams provides details on a senior Scientology member’s letter to 12,000 followers attacking their leader’s “obsession” with money, in the LA Times: A simmering conflict at the Church of Scientology has…

Scientology Touch HealersPatrick Winn writes on GlobalPost:

BANGKOK, Thailand — After Cyclone Nargis left a trail of corpses along Burma’s coast in May 2008, foreign aid workers clamored to enter the military-controlled backwater.

Despite the world’s pleading, Burma’s paranoid generals forbade most foreign relief workers from entering the disaster zone. A frustrated U.K. threatened unauthorized air drops. The U.S. Navy was forced to float vessels loaded with life-saving supplies offshore.

But among the few who managed to access Burma’s worst-hit areas included adherents of the California-based Church of Scientology.

According to the church, miracles ensued after Scientologists touched down. Their team sought out traumatized Burmese for Scientology’s touch-healing techniques, professed to revive the spirit…

From the Village Voice:

Adding to Scientology’s woes, some of the people who have been making defections in recent years are turning around and writing damning tell-alls.

Regular publishers won’t touch these books — even though some of them are actually very well written — so the authors have had to go the self-published route.

Last year’s killer I-escaped-from-Scientology narrative was put out by Marc Headley. His Blown for Good made for a gripping read, about a low-level grunt who spent years at Scientology’s secret HQ in the California desert until he finally made a mad dash for freedom.

This year, we can report that Headley’s book has been equaled. In Counterfeit Dreams: One Man’s Journey Into and Out of the World of Scientology, ex-Scientologist Jefferson Hawkins not only provides his own dramatic tale of getting sucked into and ultimately escaping from Scientology, but Hawkins was no low-level scrub.

He, maybe more than any other single person, may be the reason Scientology ever became as popular as it did…

From now on in Russia, only outlaws will have Scientology pamphlets, as the writings of L. Ron Hubbard have been criminalized. That’s right, no more free “Are You Stressed?” quizzes in the subway for the people of Moscow. From Yahoo News:e9wsoxahz3uzezwz

Under a new law empowering the Russian government to ban written work categorized as “extremist materials,” the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has declared that the work of L. Ron Hubbard, the American founder of Scientology, belongs on a list of materials “undermining the traditional spiritual values of the citizens of the Russian Federation.”

The law lays out fines of 3,000 rubles ($100) for anyone in possession of such materials, or a jail term of up to 15 days — with harsher penalties imposed on repeat offenders and/or those with a criminal history.

According to the Moscow Times, 28 Hubbard-penned titles are now on that forbidden-readings list, including such works such as “The Factors, Admiration & the Renaissance of Beingness” and “The Unification Congress. Communication! Freedom and Ability.” The writings were reportedly intercepted by Russian transport officials, who forwarded them to a panel of “psychiatrists, psychologists, and sociologists” for review…