Tony Ortega: Receipt of Stolen Goods

When John Joseph was expelled from the Church of Scientology he embarked upon a life of crime, and it all began with mail theft.

There was really no pattern to what he would take when John Joseph began stealing mail addressed to his former church in Tucson, AZ. Personal letters, DVDs, publications, miscellaneous packages, it didn’t seem to matter to him.

Perhaps it was a case of stealing for the rush of stealing? Whatever his initial motivation might have been, sauntering up to snatch the mail directly from the church mail box seemed to quickly lose its thrill.

It was then he began to focus on DVD recordings of events and celebrations which he would pass on to the likes of Tony Ortega and Karen de la Carriere for them to disseminate on their hate-blogs or YouTube channels.

John Joseph also published some of these stolen materials under a pseudonym on a website owned by David St. Lawrence. Joseph and St. Lawrence had an FTP site set up in Panama where they uploaded some of the DVDs that Joseph stole.

It wasn’t exactly James Bond, and the mail thief quickly found himself under investigation by the Arizona authorities. Regrettably, however, John Joseph died before he could be brought to justice for his crimes. But that didn’t stop Tony Ortega from praising his former criminal source in a blog entry he published July 5th of that year:

John Joseph, 1955-2014: a friend to the Underground Bunker. We knew him only as Plain Old Thetan. He began communicating with us during our Village Voice days, and quickly became one of our most productive and most trusted sources about what was happening inside the Church of Scientology.”

True to form, Ortega who never lets the truth get in the way of a good story, tried to portray his thief as some kind of ‘hero’.

Of course Ortega intentionally left out one important detail, namely that his “most trusted source” was repeatedly committing mail theft in plain daylight. And how convenient that he, ‘big boy reporter’ Tony Ortega, failed to report his own receipt of stolen goods.

Ortega’s tipsters, Karen de la Carriere and Jeffrey Augustine, are equality guilty.


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