The Conspirator A Stable of Liars, Losers and Misfits

The Conspirator
A Stable of Liars, Losers and Misfits

Today, bloggers such as Tony Ortega, who answer to no one, abuse the channels of the internet to churn out whatever they wish to pass off as “news.” Headquartered at his kitchen table, when he isn’t making up stories himself, Ortega goes to a stable of unreliable, disgruntled and bitter anti-Scientologists and apostates for any “tidbit” about Scientology.

Tony Ortega’s sources by ton

The Credit Card Karen de la Carriere & Jeffrey Augustine

Karen de la Carriere
Karen de la Carriere

Karen de la Carriere is Ortega’s top “source.” In more than 200 blogs, Ortega credits her and her husband Jeffrey Augustine as sources on Scientology. Yet neither de la Carriere nor Augustine knows anything about the Church. De la Carriere was expelled from the Church more than 30 years ago and Augustine never was a member and likely never set foot in a Church of Scientology.

But there is a factor in this relationship that far surpasses information exchange. According to sources close to Ortega’s circle, de la Carriere has been secretly funding him, possibly with the ultra-exclusive black American Express card she has made available to anti-Scientologists.

Jeffrey Augustine
Jeffrey Augustine

De la Carriere can best be described as a retired mistress for hire with a long history of metal instability. In the early 1960s she moved from India to England where she worked as a casino croupier and prostitute. She negotiated a long-term “arrangement” with a British parliamentary advisor who set her up with a posh apartment, expensive clothing and a monthly stipend to ensure she would be available whenever her services were needed.

When she learned about Scientology, she was given a unique opportunity to turn her life around. But de la Carriere could not live up to the standards required of her in the Church’s religious order and was dismissed more than three decades ago for severe ethical misconduct.

Then well into her 50s, she returned to her call girl roots. Spending relentlessly on plastic surgery, she set herself up under the name “Snow Suzy” and fired off email solicitations to potential clients, complete with price lists and photographs.

Quote from LA Superior Court Judge Michael Johnson

De la Carriere’s lack of credibility is a matter of public record. In 1992, she ran a dating service called Amicus. When an employee who was owed more than $7,000 in back pay left the company and sued, de la Carriere fought the case in court and lost resoundingly.

In another court case involving de la Carriere’s former accountant, William Greene, Los Angeles Superior Court judge Michael Johnson made these observations about de la Carriere:

    “untruthful, about many aspects of the case—presenting testimony that was false, conflicting, exaggerated and evasive.” “Carriere’s evidence… is not credible and has been rejected.” “Carriere has tried to back away from this admission, but her testimony is not credible.” “At trial, even Carriere begrudgingly admitted that the signature was hers. Carriere’s charge that Greene had forged her signature was reckless and desperate, and it is illustrative of why the Court has so little confidence in what Carriere has said.” “The Court also finds that Carriere signed the 2003 Note and DOT [Deed of Trust] with full knowledge of and consent to all of its terms. Greene so testified, and this aspect of his testimony is credible. Carriere’s evidence to the contrary is not credible or persuasive. Carriere’s testimony that she did not sign a complete version of the instrument is not credible. The testimony by Carriere and her husband Jeffrey Augustine that Carriere first learned of the instrument in 2012 is not credible. “Carriere has argued that she was naive and gullible, and that Greene took advantage of her at every turn. But Carriere’s evidence on this subject is not credible and has been rejected.” “Carriere testified that Greene assured her that she would not have to pay principal or interest on both the 1998 Note and DOT and the 2003 Note and DOT, but this testimony is not credible.”

Now into her 70s, de la Carriere spreads bigotry and hate against the Church of Scientology, posting internet ramblings under various pseudonyms and holding the dubious position as Tony Ortega’s top source of made-up “news” concerning Scientology and Scientologists.

Her lack of credibility has never fazed Tony Ortega and never will—as long as the black Amex card keeps working.

The Liars Marc and Claire Headley

Karen de la Carriere
Marc and Claire Headley

Marc and Claire Headley brought a lawsuit against the Church of Scientology; lost it; were ordered to pay costs; tried to avoid paying by filing an appeal; lost the appeal; ended up having to pay.

Although their false allegations about Scientology were resoundingly rejected by the courts in a judgment that ordered them to pay $42,000 in costs, that has not stopped Tony Ortega from continuing to repeat the same lies as often as possible.

The Headleys’ road to destruction was paved with a desire for revenge.

Marc Headley is a disgraced former staff member who bolted after it was discovered he was selling Church audiovisual equipment on eBay and pocketing the proceeds. Embittered and humiliated that the scam had been discovered, Headley and his wife Claire left, vowing to get even.

In 2009, the pair filed twin ill-founded lawsuits against the Church which made false and inflammatory allegations of human trafficking, sought millions in damages, and went nowhere.

U.S. District Court Judge Dale Fischer court order

The lawsuits were dismissed by U.S. District Court Judge Dale Fischer, who ordered the Headleys to pay the Church $42,000 in court costs. Judge Fischer also found that in contrast to the false allegations of hardship while working for the Church, the couple in reality had a good life while serving in the Church’s religious order. Far from working under conditions they described in their suit, the couple had free access to come and go as they pleased. When Judge Fischer’s decision was upheld by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals in Headley v. Church of Scientology International, et al. 687 F.3d 1173 (2012), the opinion stated:

“Rather, the record overwhelmingly shows that the Headleys joined and voluntarily worked for the Sea Org because they believed that it was the right thing to do, because they enjoyed it, and because they thought that by working they were honoring the commitment that they each made and to which they adhered. We think it telling that the Headleys protest very little about their actual day-to-day jobs with the Sea Org—for Marc, film creation and production; for Claire, management and supervision.”

In the course of the litigation, Marc Headley admitted under oath that he was on the payroll of some of the media’s most disreputable tabloids that were spreading lies about Scientology. Specifically, Headley admitted he had been paid at least $16,000 by the now-defunct News of the World and Bauer Media’s Life & Style.

News of the World imploded at the height of the British phone-hacking scandal when it was revealed in 2011 that, among other crimes, it had hacked into the phone of a 13-year-old girl after she had been abducted and murdered, and a reporter then lied to police about it. As for Bauer Media, an investigation by The Wrap found “there is a darker side to the privately held company, including publication of at least one magazine appealing to neo-Nazis, as well as significant involvement in the distribution of pornography—including Nazi-themed porn movies.”

Headley and Anonymous cyber terrorist hate group

Headley is also an active member of the “Anonymous” cyberterrorist hate group, some of whose members have been convicted of hate crimes against Churches of Scientology. Headley willingly and publicly associated with the hate group, “demonstrating” with them in front of the Church in 2008, wearing the chilling Anonymous mask and appearing with a crowd of Anonymous at a hate rally in Germany, this time without the mask.

The Conspirator Hana Strnad-Strachan-Eltringham-Whitfield

Another Tony Ortega leading go-to for absurd statements about Scientology is Hana Whitfield, a bitter apostate who has been consumed with hate for the more than three decades since she was expelled from the Church.

Hana Strnad Strachan Eltringham Whitfield
Hana Strnad Strachan Eltringham Whitfield

Shortly after being expelled, Whitfield tried to wreak vengeance as one of the plaintiffs behind a bogus $1 billion class action lawsuit that attempted to seize control of the Church’s assets. Their case was dismissed six separate times, with a judge calling the suit “devoid of facts” and the allegations “incomprehensible.” In May 1990, an appeals court upheld the dismissal.

Denied her $1 billion litigation lottery ticket, Whitfield went to work as a “deprogrammer” for Cult Awarness Network (CAN), now defunct. Deprogramming—kidnapping for hire, often involving coercion, forcible restraint, assault, rape and other personal violence—has ended with convictions for some of its perpetrators. One victim described how the Whitfields had charged his parents and others thousands of dollars for a failed deprogramming that all but destroyed his family.

Most chilling, however, are court documents and sworn testimony regarding Whitfield’s involvement in a 1964 plot she hatched with her mother to murder her father when the family was still living in South Africa. Whitfield came within arm’s reach of knifing her father, but didn’t go through with it and left her brother to carry out the murder. The brother was convicted and went to prison, while Hana left the country.

And this is yet another of Tony Ortega’s trusted “sources” for stories about Scientology.

The Thief John L. Joseph

John L. Joseph: The Thief

Ortega described John Joseph as one of his “most productive and most trusted sources about what was happening inside the Church of Scientology.”

Joseph’s productivity and trustworthiness in providing information rested on one method: theft.

Excommunicated from the Church for severe ecclesiastical transgressions, Joseph’s MO was to break into the mailbox of the Church of Scientology Mission in Tucson, Arizona, and steal mail—letters, DVDs, publications and packages—which he then sent along to Karen de la Carriere and to Tony Ortega, some of it finding its way to Ortega’s blog.

Joseph sometimes published his stolen materials under a pseudonym on a website in Panama that had been set up to trafic in stolen goods.

John L. Joseph steals mail

When Joseph was caught on a security camera stealing mail from the Tucson Church, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service opened an investigation. Joseph died of a long-term illness before the probe was completed.

Attempting to avert legal consequences for routinely receiving stolen mail, Ortega portrayed Joseph as a “hero” rather than the perpetrator of a federal crime. No matter how Ortega tried to whitewash it, theft is theft.

The Neo-Nazi Anarchist Arnie Lerma

For more than 20 years, Arnie Lerma was a source of false propaganda about Scientology for Tony Ortega and others. Lerma was a copyright anarchist with two civil judgments against him for copyright infringement.

Arnie Lerma

He was also an ultra-right-wing conspiracy theorist who aligned himself with Holocaust deniers, neo-Nazis and the cyberterrorist group Anonymous. His history included harassing and intimidating Scientologists with hate mail, planning and participating in anti-religious demonstrations, and running his own private underground channel on the internet to spread hate about the Church of Scientology and its parishioners.

As a copyright anarchist, Lerma was slapped with two permanent injunctions prohibiting him from posting stolen Church Scripture on his website. Federal marshals seized his computer and he was enjoined from further infringement and assessed a judgment of one one million dollars for any violation of the injunction.

Lerma was not only a source for Tony Ortega, but an ardent follower who posted regular comments on Ortega’s blog. All of that ended when Lerma committed suicide on March 16, 2018, after shooting his wife Ginger Sugerman in the face.

On his blog, Ortega eulogized Lerma as a hero rather than the criminal he was.

The Followers

In addition to his regular sources, Ortega enjoys a collection of toadys who drift around the edges of his orbit, currying his favor and trying to make it appear he is a “legitimate” journalist rather than an unemployed blogger working from coffee shops that offer Wi-Fi.

David Love

One such enabler, David Love, a long-term drug addict, was given an opportunity to free himself from addiction by participating in the Narconon drug rehabilitation program. He reverted to a life of drugs, crime and violence, then tried to extort those who had attempted to help him. His own daughter calls him delusional and believes he changed his surname from Forsland to Love to hide from his past criminal record.

Katherine Mary McBride, aka Mary McConnell (and a host of other online false identities), has been described as extremely angry, unstable and sometimes irrational. After she unleashed a tirade against her son’s school staff, the principal banned her from school property unless she obtained a note in writing from him personally. A violation would subject her to arrest. She “can’t work” so is on welfare, yet can spend endless hours posting hate messages against people of good will.

Peter Griffiths

Peter Griffiths is an avowed anti-religionist, spreading disinformation about groups across the religious spectrum—the International Church of Christ, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Islam, the Unification Church, Church of Scientology and more. He regularly trespassed on Church property while staging one-man “pickets.” His unrelenting harassment of two Church staff members earned him a restraining order and fine of more than $2,000.

Rosanne Seibert is a member of Anonymous, another fake-identity-rich supporter and source of Ortega. Her assumed identities include AnonLover and Heidi Macavoy. She claims to be a devout Catholic with numerous family and friend connections to the Vatican. She spends days and weeks writing hate-inspired messages.

Donald Meyers Angry Gay Pope

Donald Meyers is a fraud and a criminal who describes himself this way: “I’m an alcoholic. I’m a pothead. I am a crystal meth addict. I have taken donations without so much as a ‘thank you.’ I suck in donations and spend them on booze, pot, crystal meth and more! And I can’t wait to be arrested so I can get ‘prison buttseks.’”

Mark Bunker

Mark Bunker is a member of the cyberhate group Anonymous and a wannabe documentarian who has for many years lived off other people’s money. He is notorious for online begging, dreaming up one gimmick after another to finagle donations for the “documentary” he has been working on for years—collecting more than $80,000 to date for a film that has never materialized.