Scott Pilutik

I am an attorney and consultant living and working in Manhattan, focusing primarily on church/state constitutional law. I'm a recognized expert on the Church of Scientology organization. I also have strong interests in intellectual property law where it intersects with emerging media, and free speech.

I support the efforts of the Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the National Lawyers Guild, the ACLU, Creative Commons, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. I am a member of the New York County Lawyers Association and the New York State Bar Association. I also enjoy (watching) hockey and (doing) photograhy.

Online I can be found on Facebook, Twitter. My resume can be viewed here. I can be reached by phone at 212.645.6241 or by e-mail at pilutik[at]

thoughts on the tom cruise video

I don’t talk about it much here but I’ve long been vocally critical of the Church of Scientology; indeed, long enough to get onto their shitlist. I worked for the lawyer representing the estate of Lisa McPherson in that case and have authored and co-authored a few websites dedicated to various Scientology related topics. I’ve met other critics even and consider more than a few close friends. And since everyone on the interwebs is wondering what the hell they’re looking at, I figure I’ll weigh in.

First a point on Tom Cruise’s behavior. The interview seems like it’s been cut to make him seem crazier but it’s actually been cut by people who are deeply empathetic toward what he’s saying. They don’t see his behavior as odd because Scientologists don’t view Cruise’s rabid intensity as creepy, but rather see him as projecting Tone 40, that is, “a positive postulate with no counter-thought–expected, anticipated or anything else; that is, total control.” Watch the video again–does this look like a man who tolerates much less even entertains counter-thoughts? Not Tom Cruise.

A few points on the Scientologese used by Cruise are also in order.

“SPs” are Suppressive Persons–innate enemies of Scientology (comprising some 2.5% of the population according to L Ron Hubbard). The organization owes its deep paranoia to Hubbard, who saw enemies everywhere.

“PTS” stands for “Potential Trouble Source,” which is similar to an SP. The term most often comes up in relation to a skeptical family member who has the gall to ask questions like: “Your jobless ass has maxed out how many credit cards so you could become ‘clear’? WTF?” Scientologists are encouraged, for obvious reasons, to either “handle” or disconnect from potential trouble spots.

“Keep Scientology Working,” or “KSW” is probably the single most important precept in all of Scientology and also its scariest. KSW operates as a sort of parental or umbrella concept to govern all the other ideas that comprise Scientology, sort of like the first rule in Fight Club (i.e., Do Not Talk About Fight Club). KSW establishes the supremacy of Scientology’s “technology” and mandates that Scientologists rabidly guard it against any alteration or attack.

Tomorrow or the next day I’ll discuss the legal issues surrounding the publishing of the video, Ava Paquette’s C&D sent to Gawker, Gawker’s response, and postulate (heh) the likelihood of particular outcomes. I’ll also discuss the irony that Scientology most likely did not obtain a license to use Lalo Schifrin’s Mission Impossible Theme as backing music to the Tom Cruise interview.

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