Former Scientologist Allen Barton tells a tale of how nasty Scientology can be; not that it is a surprise to those of us who know just how little regard the cult has for anything other than their weekly financial stats. This is taken from the Village Voice Blog,6/24/11.
Milton Katselas Pleads With Scientology After Grant
Cardone’s Attack: A Church Jihad?
On Monday, we told you about Grant Cardone, NatGeo’s “Turnaround King” whose new reality television show about rescuing ailing small businesses premiered Sunday night.
What the show didn’t say was that Cardone is a wealthy and high-level Scientologist with cozy ties to Scientology leader David Miscavige. In 2007, Cardone sent an e-mail to fellow Scientologists attacking Milton Katselas, a well-known and admired acting coach who had, in the view of the church, not kept up his duties as a compliant Scientologist.
Now we have more detail about that, with an additional letter that Cardone sent directly to Katselas, the acting teacher’s reply to Scientology, and also Cardone’s public responses since we outed him as someone willing to do Scientology’s dirty work.
After our story ran Monday, we were contacted by Allen Barton, owner of the Beverly Hills Playhouse, who has a 20 year history there and worked closely with Milton Katselas.
Barton himself was a Scientologist for a time, but hasn’t been involved for many years (despite what a New York Times story about Katselas said about Barton).
Over the years, Barton says, actors did come in contact with Scientology when they studied with Katselas, but that wasn’t the point of what the great teacher was doing. “There was a time when people would come to the school, find out about Scientology, and become interested,” Barton says. “But Milton never proselytized in class. Never. And he never gave a shit. He was interested in acting.”
Although Katselas had been involved with Scientology since 1965, Barton says the ties between the Beverly Hills Playhouse and Scientology reached a sort of peak in 1999. “When Jenna Elfman won a Golden Globe, that was the height of that connection, between Milton and successful Scientology actors. Jeffrey Tambor was nominated for an Emmy. Catherine Bell was on a series. Giovanni Ribisi was becoming successful…Jenna did a big public relations spread where she had a photo taken with him.”
But soon after that period, Barton says, there came a “disaffection.” Katselas had been stuck on OT V, three levels under the highest of upper-level training in the church, and he didn’t seem interested in pursuing that any further. He had stopped going to events. And, Barton says, Milton was a single, straight male. “He had female students who were interested in him. He didn’t always refuse it. I’m not saying it was a good thing, but there it is.”
Around 2003 or 2004, Barton says, “there came what I call this ‘jihad’ about Milton.”
That’s consistent with what Marty Rathbun wrote on his blog Monday — that about that time, he was asked by Scientology leader David Miscavige to begin pressuring Katselas to get back on the straight-and-narrow path of Scientology development.
“It was a jihadist puritanical path,” Barton says. “They were pressuring him. Was he really on board with the church, with Miscavige. All of this stuff that Grant Cardone put out in his e-mail.”
To read the full story go here: http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2011/06/milton_katselas.php?print=true