Anti-Scientology extremist Tony Ortega has continued his assault on religious freedom, selling false stories to tabloid media as part of his campaign to attack Scientologists for their beliefs.
“Like the anti-Semitic ‘blood libel,’ Tony Ortega peddles anti-Scientology tropes fabricated to generate hate against members of a minority religion,” said National STAND Director Bari Berger. “To understand the true motivations Ortega attempts to conceal, one need only study any white supremacist manifesto. Ortega feels that those different from him, and those who subscribe to a set of beliefs not his own, do not deserve rights and freedoms. He would prefer they cease to exist, hence his continuous efforts to intimidate Scientologists and spread anti-Scientology hate.”
The hate campaign Ortega has championed has resulted in more than 600 threats and acts of violence against individual Scientologists, including one murder. But in a disquieting display of indifference and inhumanity, Ortega continues.
Ortega feels that those different from him, and those who subscribe to a set of beliefs not his own, do not deserve rights and freedoms.
Like many fanatics and bad actors, Ortega, an unemployed blogger, has a checkered past. He is known for his promotion of Backpage.com, which had become the largest online sex trafficking site in the world before its seizure by federal law enforcement agencies in April 2018. (Prosecution is still ongoing.) Minors trafficked on the site include a teenager who describes being gangraped, choked and forced to perform sexual acts at gunpoint. Another was stabbed to death and another murdered in 2017, with her corpse burned. In attacking CNN for seeking to bring greater awareness to the tragedy of child sex trafficking, Ortega described the channel’s coverage as creating “the current panic about a nonexistent epidemic of sexual slavery.”
Like her husband, Arielle Silverstein, Tony Ortega’s wife, has a documented history of religious intolerance and discrimination against minorities. Using a pseudonym, Silverstein promotes her online bigotry through postings referring to Christians as “suckers,” declaring her refusal to work with ultra-orthodox Jews due to her “dislike” of them, and making sweeping assertions about “Muslim society” and its “unhealthy” attitudes. Astonishingly, the United Nations, where Silverstein is employed and where she pretends to support human rights, has to date taken no action.