Garden Grove's first-ever district elections for City Council representatives will include a candidate with deep ties to “Scientology’s rabid anti-psychiatry front, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR),” according to a national watchdog of the religion.
Clay Bock is running for the seat in the Third District, his home of 28 years, this November, states his campaign Facebook page.
Among those who have examined that page and other Bock campaign materials is Tony Ortega, the former Village Voice editor who previously lived in Fullerton and Buena Park, graduated from Savanna High School in Anaheim and got his bachelor's and master's in English from Cal State Fullerton.
Ortega is best known in recent years for his book The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology Tried to Destroy Paulette Cooper, his appearance in the HBO documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief and his website The Underground Bunker, which exposes the secrets of Scientology.
His post Monday is dedicated to Bock, who, like every Catholic, Muslim, atheist or Rotarian certified to run for office, has every right to seek a city council seat.
Bock is already known to long-time residents, having foisted something he called Concerned Parents of Garden Grove on the Orange County Board of Education in 1997. At that time, with “Back to Basics” education reform all the rage in California (Is it ever not?), Bock was trying to recruit local support for his own version tinged with anti-psychology flavor. But prominent Back to Basics supporters backed away from Bock when they discovered his ties to Scientology.
“I've been a Scientologist for 20 years,” Bock would tell the Orange County Register. “I don't make it a secret. But this has never been about that. I have two kids in public schools. I have a right to speak out on that.”
By the following year, Bock had worn out his welcome from Garden Grove school officials, the Weekly reported back then.
“That’s some background in the local schools and politics,” Ortega writes on The Underground Bunker. “We’re sure the voters of the third district will do their homework before they make their choice between Clay and his opponent, mother of three and research scientist Diedre Thu-Ha Nguyen.
“We'll be watching.”
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.