Sunday Funnies: The Writers of the Future and more success stories! - 2014-04-13
Is it that time of year again already? Tonight, Scientology puts on its annual celebration of SF and Fantasy, the Writers of the Future gala. The celebration will anoint this year's winners in writing and illustration, who are also featured in another year's anthology (see right).
Once again, leading lights of speculative fiction will pretend that this is not Scientology's attempt to burnish its image through the imprimatur of the likes of Orson Scott Card and Larry Niven. Over the years, some writers have wondered about the veracity of assurances they got from the Sea Org executives running the event that it was separate and independent of the church itself. And since so many stories about the dystopic world of Scientology workers came to light in the last several years, those questions were getting more pointed.
Then, two years ago, we proved a direct link between the contest and some of the most brutal behavior of Scientology. The Sea Org executive at Author Services Inc who oversaw the contest, Barbara Ruiz, was seen by eyewitnesses helping church leader David Miscavige run the hellish and strange office-prison for church executives, "The Hole," early in 2004. Both Ruiz and Miscavige were seen at the Writers of the Future gala later that year. But some time after that, Ruiz disappeared. She hasn't been seen since.