So why did this brilliant young man die? Did his involvement in Scientology do him significant damage? And just what was his connection to the cult of L. Ron Hubbard? Writer and serious thinker Mark Ebner takes a look at this in his story, “Death of a Nethead.”
“In 1999, Rolling Stone assigned Hollywood reporter Mark Ebner to the story of Philip Gale, an MIT prodigy born into Scientology who killed himself on the birthday of the cult’s founder. The organization sent Rolling Stone a damning dossier on Ebner and the story was spiked. Ebner says he was told by his assigning editor that Rolling Stone owner Jann Wenner was close to John Travolta, one of the sect’s most prominent Hollywood supporters. Since then, the Church of Scientology has softened in its response to critics; and internet outlets have proven less easily browbeaten. So here—after the jump— is Ebner’s original piece, Death of a Nethead.”
This unfortunate youth did manage an entry into the Wikipedia, too bad he didn’t live, his final entry after a lifetime of work could have been much larger and more positive.