Former Scientology members Phil and Willie Jones reportedly miss their adult children and want to let them know. In order to send a message to their estranged children, the Jones family is erecting a huge billboard on Hollywood Boulevard that is visible from the Los Angeles Church of Scientology headquarters. The sign reads, “To my loved one in Scientology… Call me.”
The billboard, marked with the web address for a group wanting to stop Scientology disconnection, is expected to upset Church of Scientology members and especially their leader, Dave Miscavige, according to Page Six. That doesn’t matter much to Phil and Willie, who really just want to talk to their loved ones. The couple raised $12,500 to pay for the billboard and hope that the message resonates with their own children, who reportedly attend the Scientology center closest to where the billboard was placed.
Former members raised enough money to hang the billboard one block away from the Church of Scientology in LA https://t.co/linyhsiiDq
— New York Post (@nypost) March 10, 2016
It is the common practice of “disconnection” that has Phil and Willie upset. When they decided to leave the Church of Scientology, they left behind two adult children. Often when someone leaves the church, those they left behind are told to disconnect with their non-Scientologist friends and family members. Disconnection is defined as “the severance of all ties between a Scientologist and a friend, colleague, or family member deemed to be antagonistic towards Scientology.” Essentially, when the parental family members of the Jones family decided they did not want to be Scientologists anymore, their children were told to disown them.
It turns out that their daughter, Emily, just might be rubbing shoulders with some of Scientology’s elite. According to the Telegraph, Emily is a member of the very influential Sea Org religious order that boasts some of Scientology’s most devout members. She reportedly works for Author Services, the literary company owned by the church and has reportedly worked for both Tom Cruise and David Miscavige.
— Scientology (@Scientology) February 22, 2016
Phil Jones said that he heard his daughter got married but does not know when it happened. Phil and his wife haven’t heard from Emily in more than two years despite efforts to contact her. It seems that Emily is following a directive to disconnect from her family after they chose to walk away from the church.
As for the Jones’ son, Mike, they say he works at the Hollywood Celebrity Centre, one of the most popular and influential centers for Scientology in the Los Angeles area. Phil and Willie Jones initially got their idea for the billboard while placing missing person posters around the Hollywood Celebrity Centre in hopes that their son would contact them.
Phil and Willie Jones initially started a GoFundMe campaign to raise enough money to place the “Call Me” billboard just blocks from the Church of Scientology headquarters in Los Angeles for three months. They wrote that the total cost would be $8,200. It looks like the Jones family has, even more, support than they even imagined because, in just 13 days, they have raised more than $12,500 in support of the anti-disconnection billboard.
The Joneses belonged to the Church of Scientology for more than 40 years. According to Phil, they decided to leave the church “because there were a lot of demands for money and we could not get ahead. And some of the things we’ve seen over the years — the way people were handled and screamed at.”
The anti-Scientology billboard is set to be unveiled on March 22. Those in support of Phil and Willie’s efforts fear that efforts to put the billboard up might meet heavy opposition from Scientologists. They reported that representatives of the Church of Scientology have already contacted the billboard company in an effort to stop it from going up.