PALM BEACH — Palm Beach socialite Paulette Cooper was among the first to warn the world about the Church of Scientology’s abuses of power.
She faced years of church harassment and surveillance for her scathing expose in a 1971 book The Scandal of Scientology, and all she suffered has just been chronicled in a new book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How The Church of Scientology Tried to Destroy Paulette Cooper.
In case you’re wondering, Miss Lovely was the Clearwater-based church’s code name for her.
Released earlier this month, the new book was written by Tony Ortega, former editor-in-chief at The Village Voice.
The book details the years when Cooper got sued 19 times by the space alien-loving church made famous by Tom Cruise and John Travolta.
There was also the time when she was indicted by the federal government for making bomb threats after, she says, church henchmen stole her stationary and used it to write a bomb threat against the church.
Cooper’s travails eventually brought her to the brink of suicide.
Ultimately, her troubles ended when prominent Scientology leaders got locked up when the FBI eventually dug out church paperwork that spelled out some of its campaigns against critics.
Since then, Cooper’s kept a low profile, even if she’s well known on the Palm Beach society circuit.
But with the new book, which also tells her life story from being a child of the Holocaust during World War II to being adopted by Americans, Noble knows she will come under scrutiny again.
In late June, she’ll appear in Clearwater — of all places — for a book tour event with Ortega, and she admits she’s a little nervous about it.
“It’s very close to where people hate me,” Cooper said. “But after what I’ve been through, everything else is a piece of cake.”