How did the late kitsch artist Thomas Kinkade become the benefactor of antireligious bigot Tony Ortega?
The answer: through the machinations of Ortega cohort Karen de la Carriere.
De la Carriere has always known that Ortega, and his fellow antireligionists and anti-Scientologists, are up for sale. They each have a price, and de la Carriere has always been willing to meet it, and can, because of her profits from a Kinkade franchise.
She made Ortega one of her charity cases after he was fired as editor of The Village Voice in 2012. Ortega likes to think of himself as a journalist, but he hasn’t held down a full-time journalism job since he was booted from the Voice. He makes ends meet apparently from his wife’s U.N. attorney salary and donations from other antireligionists to his online blog that specializes in spewing invective, particularly against Scientology. There’s not much money in that.
In stepped de la Carriere who, according to fellow anti-Scientologist Mark Rathbun, “was boasting and bragging to people that she owned Tony Ortega, she was boasting and bragging to people that she owned Mike Rinder [another anti-Scientologist], because of the amount of money that she’d invested into them and that she had kept them going.… She’s notorious for bragging about that.”
Ortega himself rhapsodized in 2019, “If you only knew what a huge asset Karen has been to this place over the years. We are eternally grateful.”
Why is Karen de la Carriere bankrolling the likes of Tony Ortega? She is a bitter anti-Scientologist, expelled from the Church in 2010 for unethical and abusive conduct. She’s been on a revenge mission ever since, propping up Ortega, Rinder and other anti-Scientologists to carry out her dirty work, and theirs.
She funded an Ortega book tour and reportedly became a permanent donor to his website, continuing to pay Ortega “generous” sums for his bigoted rants.
She also significantly donated to Rathbun. “I even gave him his own Platinum American Express credit card to use at will while I paid the bills.”
In 2017, Rathbun explained: “Here’s the reality with Karen de la Carriere. She donated to my blog. She continuously tried to influence what I put on my blog. I continuously told her that ain’t ever going to happen.”
Mike Rinder, expelled from the Church of Scientology for malfeasance, was another dependent on the de la Carriere dole. Rathbun said that when it comes to Mike Rinder, de la Carriere “famously makes it known to others that he cannot turn on her or say anything negative about her…because she’s his matron.”
She funded other anti-Scientologists, including convicted criminals, with recurring payments of $100, $200 at a time, up to thousands.
A former de la Carriere operation insider posted, “There is a payment network that Karen and Jeffrey [Augustine, her current husband] run using funds from Karen’s Kinkade business.”
Her former anti-Scientology buddy Corey Andrews tweeted a video for Karen, and when he did, she tweeted to him, “Thanks a million, Corey. I would like to send you a little gift. Do you have a Paypal account?”
De la Carriere was born with the plainer name Christine Ann Rosair on July 12, 1944, in Calcutta, India. She later moved to London where she said she engaged in a sex life that was “fairly promiscuous” (50-60 men in a year) and served as the paid mistress of married British lobbyist Christopher Powell from 1968 to 1971.
Saying she wanted to reform her life, she joined staff in the Church of Scientology. When her immoral behavior was discovered, she admitted in a signed statement, “I did have sexual relations with the above said persons because I enjoyed the money and gifts they bestowed upon me.”
“I am aware that the Church of Scientology does not condone the above said activities and that said activities are in violation of Church policies.”
After she was dismissed from staff, in her 50s she went back to work in her old line of business, promoting herself as 30-something “Snow Suzy” and “Doll Body” in advertisements for her services and provocative photos of herself. She wrote that she wanted a “mistress relationship” with a single or married white man over 45: “You should be very successful, an achiever, affluent and generous” and “want to support another female in your life.” Her rates were $300-$500 per visit, or $1,000 for an entire day.
She hooked up with married occultist Jeffrey Augustine, who believes that voices in his head give him the secrets of the universe and advised him to destroy Scientology. She used her money to get Augustine onto websites like Ortega’s, as a so-called Scientology “expert.” Mark Rathbun said, “Augustine is not an expert in anything.”
Together, they push out lies and sow hatred and discord.
At 79, de la Carriere is left to fume in futility, seeking to keep hatred alive, and paying others to do the hating for her.
Tony Ortega and his ilk will carry on as compliant mouthpieces for Karen de la Carriere as long as the money keeps coming.