Phil & Willie Jones, Anti-Scientology Celebrities for Their Famous “Call Me” Billboards, Chose Not to Speak to Their Own Children

Caption: Phil and Willie Jones Stand in Front of The Billboard They Claim Made Scientology Take their Adult Children Away From Them. But did it?

Phil wrote this in a comment on Tony Ortega’s blog:

Phil Jones wrote

“At one point Scientology offered to let us have contact with our kids if we stopped doing billboards and no longer criticized them. One of the most difficult things I ever did was to tell them “no, not unless all families are reconnected”. When I see the love that Lori has for her children it just strengthens my resolve. Though I have to admit I do second guess that decision at times. Willie and I talk about the kids every day. We dream about them almost every night.”

scientology disconnection

Link here:


I know it seems heartless and cruel of me to point this out, but you really have to get past all the emotional manipulation which is the basis of the Anti Scientology Disconnection Theater here. You have to think past the drama on this.

If you view this situation rationally, grounded in your own experience with your own family, you’ll see what’s real and what’s being manipulated here as theater.

Phil and Willie Jones’ children are adults, and they were adults when they decided to disconnect from their parents for putting up billboards all over Los Angeles to trash their Church.

This selfless act of heroism that Phil admits to above might have been just that – they will not speak to their own children until “all families are re-connected”. It seems so courageous and selfless, doesn’t it?

But was this the only choice Phil and Willie had? Or were there other factors at play than just the villain in this play: mean old Scientology?

To a person who has never been in Scientology, it may appear that way. But to anyone who has been in Scientology for any length of time, you know it is not that way. Scientologists get around complying with bullshit orders from the Church all the time. And you know that if there was a family whose members each truly wished to stay together, they did, no matter what the Church ordered.

This is the reality of Scientology disconnection vs the perception Phil and Willie and Tony Ortega and the rest of the cast in Scientology Disconnection Theater are trying portray to you.

If speaking to their children was the most important thing in the world, then Phil and Willy could have said yes to withdrawing from the billboard campaign – and gotten someone else to take over their spots – AND DONE BOTH. They could have re-established contact with their adult children (IF their adult children wanted that) AND continued to be critics of Scientology. They could have gone under the radar and been even more valuable as Anti-Scientology assets. They could appear to be no longer criticizing the Church and just set up sock accounts in the Underground Bunker.

But if you are a member of a family where staying together is the most important thing to you and every other member, then you can easily see that there was something more important to Phil and Willie than talking to their adult children:

Their big billboard project.

And being celebrity anti-Scientology critics.

Celebrity and praise for being courageous and selfless warriors is a huge part of being an anti-Scientologist, especially among those who seek to be high profile anti-Scientologists, like Phil and Willie.

There is also another factor here that no one is mentioning – the choices of Phil and Willie’s adult children and whether THEY wished to speak to Phil and Willy any more after their stunt. Phil and Willy make it seem like the Church held all the cards here, and that the Church could order their adult children to have a relationship with their parents that the adult children did not wish to have – if only they would drop their billboard project.

But the Church can’t do that. No one can do that.

So the real life here is very different from the drama: Family members who have never even heard of Scientology frequently become estranged – without the help of Scientology in any way. They get into fights at Thanksgiving dinner and don’t speak for years, they fight over a piece of furniture after a parent dies. Non-Scientology family members become estranged and disconnect from each other all the time.

And sometimes, as any psychologist will tell you, it’s the best for all concerned.

I’ll bet that most people reading this have some member of your own family that you have not spoken to for whatever reason for years and it has nothing whatsoever to with Scientology, right?

Look Beyond the Anti Scientology Disconnection Theater

The reality of Scientology disconnection is much more complex and nuanced than Scientology Disconnection Theater wants you to think about.

And what you are looking at here is the Anti-Scientology Theater of Scientology disconnection that relies heavily for your suspension of disbelief on your own sense of codependency, rooted in the Karpman Drama Triangle.

If you learn the concept of the Karpman Drama Triangle above very well, lots of Anti-Scientology Theater has a harder time working on you. It can help free you from the emotional manipulation that every cast member is using to draw you in and hold your attention.

If the most important thing to Phil and Willy – and to their adult children – was having a good relationship with each other then they would have one right now. But they don’t have one. So it must not be the most important thing to them.

End of story.

I recognize the very real heartache of a dysfunctional family here. But we should all recognize the other nuanced and complex factors here as well. Maybe Scientology is the Super Inhuman Villain in this piece. As with all Scientology Disconnection Theater dramas, there’s likely lots more going on here. But that’s just too messy for good theater.

As drama goes, unfortunately, this drama is way too simplistic.

And thus, not very true to life.

2 thoughts on “Phil & Willie Jones, Anti-Scientology Celebrities for Their Famous “Call Me” Billboards, Chose Not to Speak to Their Own Children”

  1. Ok. Let’s break down Willie’s statement. It is implied by the language that they would have to stop speaking out PERIOD. No blog, no online comments, etc which then implies a NDA or full cease and desist. Would I agree to something like that after a religion took most of my family from me? NO. NEVER. NOT HAPPENING.

    Soooo in order for my kids to talk to me, I have to sign legal stuff and STFU? No, that’s a decision that their kids need to make outside of the church. And IMHO I think that’s the point of the billboards Alanzo. Get people to wake up and question the dogma that’s keeping them from their families. Hell, that’s a genius idea! Wish it were more pan-religious, but more power to Phil and Willie.

    Kinda renders your point moot and I’d have you for lunch in a debate (using Harvard rules and pure logos). Maybe that’s my own take, but your point has two legs. You know me, I just call it as I see it no matter who dislikes it.

    • I’ve learned a lot of good stuff over the years and one of them is called the null hypothesis. Are you familiar with this concept? It comes from science.

      It’s the recognition of the possibility that the thing you are experimenting on has no causative relationship to the effect you are trying to prove. It’s something that you always have to keep in mind if you want to make a scientific claim.

      It’s also a good thing to keep mind just generally in life too, if you want to claim that x causes y.

      The null hypothesis in this case is that Scientology is not causing Phil & Willies adult children to not talk to them. It implies that there are other causes for what we are observing here.

      When you look at your own family dynamics, and how complex they are, and how often members of families become estranged without any connection to Scientology at all, don’t you think the null hypothesis is a good one to consider?

      What if there was a lot more going on in Phil & Willies relationship with their adult children than just Scientology? Do you think that might be a possibility?

      What if trashing their church with a big publicity stunt using those billboards was just the last straw in a long line of incidents for them? What if what we are seeing is a dysfunctional family relationship in the Jones family? And what if Scientology is just an over simplistic excuse that’s being blamed as agitprop drama?

      Shouldn’t that be considered too?

      If you step back and look at all the disconnections that Tony Ortega updates on his blog every morning, don’t you think that saying Scientology is the cause of all those is just a might childish, and even naive?


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