A BILLION YEARS: MY ESCAPE FROM SCIENTOLOGY with Mike Rinder and Tony Ortega (Virtual)
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January 19 • 7:00 pm - 8:00 pmFREE
Emmy Award-winner Mike Rinder, one of the highest-ranking defectors from Scientology and co-host of Scientology: The Aftermath with Leah Remini, discusses the secret inner workings of the powerful organization with journalist and Scientology critic Tony Ortega (The Village Voice, The Underground Bunker)
Mike Rinder’s parents began taking him to their local Scientology center when he was five years old. After high school, he signed a billion-year contract and was admitted into Scientology’s elite inner circle, the Sea Organization working directly with founder L. Ron Hubbard. In the 1980s, Rinder became Scientology’s international spokesperson and the head of its powerful Office of Special Affairs. He helped negotiate Scientology’s pivotal tax exemption from the IRS and engaged with the organization’s prominent celebrity members, including Tom Cruise, Lisa Marie Presley, and John Travolta. Yet Rinder couldn’t shake a nagging feeling that something was amiss—Hubbard’s promises remained unfulfilled at his death, and his successor, David Miscavige, was a ruthless and vindictive man who did not hesitate to confine many top Scientologists, Mike among them, to a makeshift prison. In 2007, at the age of fifty-two, Rinder finally escaped Scientology. Overnight, he became one of the organization’s biggest public enemies. He was followed, hacked, spied on, and tracked. But he refused to be intimidated and today helps people break free of Scientology.
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Copies of A BILLION YEARS are available for purchase through the Mark Twain Store; proceeds benefit The Mark Twain House & Museum. Books will be shipped after the event. We regret that we are NOT able to ship books outside the United States as it is cost-prohibitive to do so.