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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Scientology, Insanity, David Letterman: A Foray into Madness!

posted by on July 26 at 13:26 PM

This morning’s post by Jen Graves about the poor, confused couple who killed themselves because they thought Scientologists were hunting them gives me, as they say, much pause. And then even more much pause. And then maybe even a little more. Much pause.

But even more importantly than all the pausing, the story puts its finger quite firmly upon a bizarre seeming Scientology-and-crazy-people connection that has truly puzzled me for centuries. Is there some unfathomable connection between Scientology and the paranoiac ravings of the mentally ill? Is there?

Let me paint a picture:

Me, bright and bubbly and fresh from college, cooling my heels in a nice mindless job as a devastatingly sexy graveyard bellman at a fabulous Portland five star hotel. (Can you see me? Tight black single-breasted suit with red accents, gold buttons, and some sort of blondish surfer-hair thing going on? That’s me. Shut up.) In my rather short but highly eventful tenure at the hotel (the sex! The drama! The Whitney Houston hairballs! Jesus, I am SO not kidding!), I was fated to experience separate and unlikely adventures with two of the CRAZIEST women ever to set crazy toe in this crazy, crazy world.

These two women had an alarming amount in common. Both of them were paying guests in very expensive rooms. Both of them looked to be in their late 30s-early-40s and traveled alone. They were both really quite lovely, and they both dressed beautifully. (Someone much less gay than I might even say they were “entirely fuckable”.) They both were also—-and pay attention here this part is important—irredeemably INSANE—-legitimately, lock-her-ass-up-in-a-rubber-room, CRAZY. Totally and utterly. Mad, mad, MAD! (I’m telling you!) But the oddest commonality between these women haunts me still, and it is this: BOTH of these women insisted (INSISTED!) in their madnesses that SCIENTOLOGISTS WERE PLOTTING TO DESTROY THEM.


Indeed. Here’s how it all went down:

Crazy Lady #1, Mrs. David Letterman

When I clocked in, security was already as they say “on alert”. The guest in room 527 (I’ll never forget it) had already caused several disturbances in the hotel. I was informed by the head of security that the lady was quite seriously batshit, there was nothing to be done about it, that she was hounding the desk, that she had already requested help from a bellman for something, and she was waiting for me. Oh, joy. I was also told that I must under no circumstances go to the woman’s room alone, nor at any point ever enter the room, and security was to stand on either side of the hallway, out of sight, watching me, just in case. Fabulous. So. Two security guards and I set off.

My knock on room 527 (with two guards on either side of the hall, peeking around the corners) was answered immediately by a lovely woman with long brown hair. She wore a sleeveless black velvet dress and a very calm, but very intense gaze that demanded steady eye-contact. (It actually gave me a headache.) Of course, she immediately insisted that I come into her room. No, I can’t, I told her. Not allowed. She asked again. Nope. Come on in! Uh-uh. Okay. She pointed to the threshold of the door, where the room service food she had ordered earlier lay neglected on its tray at my feet. “See that?” Yes. “Have them take it away. I can’t eat it. The Scientoligists poisoned it. They poisoned it with poisoned shit. The Scientologists are following me. They are trying to kill me. Come, in, I want to show you something.” Oh. No. Fucking. Way, lady. “Okay, just a minute.” She retreated into the room for a moment, and returned with a piece of paper covered—-every fucking inch of it!!!—-with very tight, deep writing …sideways, vertically, in spirals, looking like English, totally indecipherable. “My husband is David Letterman. Do you know who David Letterman is? He’s my husband. You have to send this fax to him. He’s my husband. Do you have the number? He has to get this—-the Scientologists are trying to kill me…” She pointed to the room service tray again, “They shit in my oysters!” Of course they did. I took the tray. I took the fax. I had a migraine for the rest of my life.

And then, several months later….

Crazy Lady #2, Mrs. Jesus

A completely different woman. Around 1:00AM, she left her room and came the lobby. It was a Saturday, so the lobby, with its lounge and restaurant and piano bar, was still rather off the hizzle. She dove into the crowd and began to engage other guests in quiet conversation. Then she turned and approached me at the desk. “Can you help me?” Of course! What can I do for you? She paused and put her fingers urgently to her temple. “Okay. Okay. Okay…” She said…but not to me. “Alright. Alright. Look,” (she’s talking to me now) “My husband is CIA. I talk to him with a transistor in my brain.” She began talking to her brain again, forgot me and wandered back into the mulling heard of guests. I was then approached by one of the other guests, who wore a concerned expression. “Excuse me,” said the other guest, “That woman? Is she a guest here? Well, she says she is talking to someone in her head, and that she has to blow up a Delta flight tonight. I’m wondering if maybe we should call somebody.”

Hmm. Maybe.

But just then, the crazy CIA-transistor-in-her-brain woman rushed back up to the desk where I stood still gossiping with the other guest about her and not really calling anybody. Crazy-pants regarded us, then paused with her fingers to her temple, in conversation with the voices in her head again. Finally she said, “The Scientologists are trying to kill me. Don’t listen to what this woman says. She’s a Scientologist. They follow me. They want to kill me and my husband.” Then she wandered over to the elevators, and presumably back to her room. But that was not the last of it. She emerged again two hours later, when the lobby was much emptier, but not so empty that a dozen people didn’t get an eyeful when she, in a fit of excitement, lifted her shirt, exposed her pendulous and un-bra-ed boobs, and screamed, “I FUCKED JESUS CHRIST! THE SCIENTOLOGISTS ARE TRYING TO KILL ME!!!” and rushed out the front door.

So. These events (and at least two other crazy-people-think-Scientologists-are-after-them tales that I won’t get into just now) leave us with some dark and disturbing questions. Does some inherent and undiscovered element of madness lend itself to cumpulsory delusions of murderous Scientologists somehow? Or, more simply and possibly most obvious…have these poor crazy souls had some kind of horrible brush with a shadowy something you and I know nothing about? A shadowy something that touched their minds and made them insane? Are these people merely reaching up to us dimly through their madness to warn us about…something? Is there something we should know about this so-called “Scientology”? And what the hell does David Letterman have to do with it?

Only Tom Cruise knows for sure.

No, wait. So does this asshole…


RSS icon Comments


You keep spelling Scientologists incorrectly, but I still love you!

Posted by Mr. Poe | July 26, 2007 1:57 PM

Mr. Ryan, please accept my invitation to join me on a Sea-Org cruise. I really can't take no for an answer.


Posted by I Put the Cruise in Cruise Director | July 26, 2007 1:58 PM

Adrian, this post only confirms that you are now my favorite stranger writer. Sorry David.

Posted by wisepunk | July 26, 2007 2:00 PM

poe: i do that on purpose so it is harder for them to trace my posts.

Posted by adrian! | July 26, 2007 2:08 PM

Too much font bolding, didn't read.

Posted by Matthew | July 26, 2007 2:15 PM

Adrian! The trickery! The brilliance!

Posted by Mr. Poe | July 26, 2007 2:15 PM

Adrian, Adrian,

they probably were trying to kill them.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 26, 2007 2:29 PM


It is curious that you would choose to write in a post that you didn't read.

Posted by In Oz | July 26, 2007 2:30 PM


Unfortunately for both of us, I just fell in love with you a little bit.

Posted by Callie | July 26, 2007 2:40 PM

We want to know more about this purported sex summer!

Posted by fun shaped | July 26, 2007 2:41 PM

According to, David Letterman was married once, divorcing in 1977.

I wonder if this woman's marriage to Letterman was part of her delusions?

Posted by David in Wedgwood | July 26, 2007 2:44 PM

So John Travolta's face really bothers me. Ever since it got really wide.

Posted by Dianna | July 26, 2007 2:48 PM

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain...Adrian, if you don't come on a Sea-Org Cruise. Join us.


Posted by I Put the Cruise in Cruise Director | July 26, 2007 2:48 PM

david in wedgewood: INDEED! you are on to something. a billion years ago, a famous schizophrenic got media attention for insisting that she was mrs david letterman, and moving into his house (sans his permission, express wishes and utter knowledge) to prove her point. she stalked his forever and she was arrested, i think? i have always wondered, WAS THIS THE SAME WOMAN? it had to be! i hope so. if not...well. david letterman, scientology, crazy....WHAT????

Posted by adrian! | July 26, 2007 2:49 PM

Was the second woman the magical Faye Dunaway?

C'mon, Adrian please, the "lifted her shirt, exposed her pendulous and un-bra-ed boobs, and screamed, “I FUCKED JESUS CHRIST! THE SCIENTOLOGISTS ARE TRYING TO KILL ME!!!” and rushed out the front door" part totally gave it away.

Posted by Original Andrew | July 26, 2007 2:55 PM

Rich people get mental illnesses too.

Adrian, it's GOT to be the same woman, doesn't it?

Posted by Fnarf | July 26, 2007 3:12 PM

The fact is that members of Scientology under the Fair Game doctrine have indeed conspired to destroy people, usually ex-members and journalists, using various tactics including intimidation, blackmail and allegedly murder made to look like suicides/ODs. They even broke into IRS offices to steal government files. This must provide a great alternative source of peril for paranoid people to draw from when they get tired of their cliched struggles against the worldwide CIA/Alien/Jewish Conspiracy.

Of course just because these people were crazy doesn't mean that the Scientologists weren't out to get them. Rich unstable women seem like just the sort of rubes that Dianetics might suck in and then alienate.

Posted by dirge | July 26, 2007 3:14 PM

5 + 2 + 7 = 14

Minus 1 for no apparent reason = 13.


Posted by Mr. Poe | July 26, 2007 3:27 PM

wasn't Letterman being stalked by a scientologist-obsessed woman in the mid-90s?

Posted by jzilla | July 26, 2007 3:30 PM

oops, the answer apparently, is yes.

Posted by jzilla | July 26, 2007 3:32 PM

OK, two things: first, the unstable are often attracted to things like Scientology that promise calmness will be yours if only you drink the Kool-aid. The Scientologists also like their converts to be well-off and to will them all their money. I find it not entirely inconceivable that many inherently unstable people have been harassed upon leaving the cult, and have interpreted such harassment as attempts to kill them.

Second, I have to know the Whitney Houston hairball story. You can't just drop that into the conversation and then not reveal the details.

Posted by Geni | July 26, 2007 3:35 PM

a few things. tom...WHAT? please to be emailing my people at

@21: the rumors of whitney houston's hairball go all the way back to HERE..., and if you google adrian ryan whitney houston's hair" or something...i'm sure something will pop up.

i love you all.

Posted by adrian! | July 26, 2007 3:41 PM

Dave's been through this before. From Wikipedia:

In 1988, Margaret Mary Ray was arrested while driving Letterman's Porsche near the Lincoln Tunnel in New York City. Ray claimed to be Letterman's wife, and was repeatedly arrested in subsequent years for trespassing and other charges. In one instance, police found her sleeping on Letterman's private tennis court at his home in New Canaan, Connecticut. Ray spent nearly ten months in prison and 14 months in a state mental institution for her various trespassing convictions. On October 7, 1998, Ray was struck and killed by a train in an apparent suicide in Colorado. Letterman issued a statement expressing sadness for all of Ray's sufferings.

In December 2005, a fan named Colleen Nestler (whom Letterman claimed he had never met) sought a temporary restraining order in a Santa Fe, New Mexico court against Letterman, claiming he used code words and gestures on television broadcasts to convey romantic feelings toward her. She claims that the incidents caused her "mental cruelty." After a judge granted the order, Letterman's lawyer declared the order "absurd and frivolous" and filed a motion to end it. At a December 26 hearing, the order was lifted.[9] As usual, Letterman was able to make fun out of the situation: during one of his monologues soon after the story broke, he told the audience after they laughed at a joke he had made: "That wasn't a joke, that was a coded message."

And let's not forget the people who tried to kidnap his son. To help us forget, here's my letter on Viewer Mail from 1991:

(Letter #3, 4:25 in.)

Posted by Jason Josephes | July 26, 2007 3:45 PM

Rich people go insane best! Check out the Northern regions of L.A. It's replete with reclusive, eccentric has-beens who think it's just fine to eat at Denny's on PCH in their robe, mumbling to themselves about he Getty's and then crescendoing into a screaming, "Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up!"

I worked in th call center of a ginormous lender back in the 90s. Best call I ever got was some rich old bag who lived in Bel Air and had a $6k per month mortgage that had never gone delinquent once in it's 12 year history.

The payment was late because her movie man husband was out of town, she went off her meds and spaced it. She immediately paid the bill over the phone but she wouldn't hang up. All she wanted to do was talk about how Musad was out to kill her because she knew where the Ark Of The Covenant was hidden but that she was protected by Hamas and Hezbollah so she had a shot at staying out of their clutches if she was dilligent.

True story.

I told her that I was hiding out at the Nolte Compound under the name Manolo and that I was under the protecton of Captain Lou Albano of The World Wrestling Federation because Nambla and Pflag had a price on my head for dissemminating the true location of Jim Hensons grave to The Police (the rock band, not the law enforcement apparatus).

Posted by Dress Yo Zwinky! | July 26, 2007 3:47 PM

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