On December 19, Dan Heching’s Daily Mail “reporting” consisted of the reproduction of a hate rant from anti-Scientology extremist Leah Remini—one Heching found on the blog of sex trafficking promoter Tony Ortega.
Heching publishes that “Scientologists are so manipulative and abusive,” thus smearing every member of the religion across the globe—very much including the thousands of Scientology Volunteer Ministers who, during the pandemic, distributed more than 5 million educational booklets in 21 languages to ensure their neighbors and communities had the information they needed to stay well.
“Heching’s ignorance and bigotry is appalling. He is now complicit in Leah Remini’s hate campaign, which has resulted in more than 600 threats and acts of violence against Scientologists and their children and families,” said National STAND Director Bari Berger.
“Nazi minister of propaganda Joseph Goebbels had much the same things to say about Jews as Leah Remini, in her extremism, declares to be true about all Scientologists. Heching readily publishes these vile incitements to hate.”
Tony Ortega, who first posted the string of anti-Scientology canards Heching draws from, lost his last job eight years ago due to his obsession with attacking the Scientology religion. He is known as one of the champions of Backpage.com—the largest online sex trafficking site in the world before its seizure by federal law enforcement agencies in April 2018. Minors trafficked on Backpage 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.”