The apparent “double suicide” of a New York couple leaves friends in the art world “shocked,” “confounded and disturbed” reports the Los Angeles Times.
Jeremy Blake (35) and Theresa Duncan (40) were considered a “glamorous, intellectual couple, ” but in the wake of what appears to be two suicides, there are more questions than answers.
On July 10th Duncan was found dead, an apparent suicide.
One week after her death Blake was seen “wandering into the ocean.” He is now presumed dead. His wallet and a suicide note were found near the beach.
Blake was a rising artist reportedly “well on his way to bona fide star status with museums.”
Duncan was according to reviews “brilliant,” an accomplished woman with a gift for creating CD-ROM games or girls.
What made this couple that seemed to have everything give it all up?
According to friends “the two believed they were being stalked and harassed by Scientologists.”
“They thought Scientologists were really harassing them. They would say, ‘They are following us, harassing our landlord,'” one close friend told the press.
Blake had done an album cover for rocker Beck, who is a Scientologist. But the musician’s manager said through a publicist that they hadn’t talked in “three years.”
The couple moved from Los Angeles to New York in February.
An official Scientology spokesperson said, “Never heard of these people.” And pronounced their claims of harassment “completely untrue.”
Scientology though does have a habit of harassing its perceived enemies.
As reported just recently by BBC journalist John Sweeney, who said the group stalked him.
Eventually the former British war correspondent exploded, screaming at a Scientology official on camera.
Sweeney said that Scientologists “dogged him for six days” reported The Observer.
Another British citizen Bonnie Woods left Scientology and was reportedly subjected to “a six-year campaign of hate.” In 1999 the church was officially ordered by a court to apologize to Woods and pay her £155,000 for what was called a “dirty tricks campaign.”
CAN was harassed and ultimately legally hounded into bankruptcy after dozens of lawsuits. The organization’s executive director was also personally targeted.
Time Magazine reporter Rich Behar was “dogged” like Sweeney too.
And Scientology has a history of hurting people.
The church settled a wrongful death claim with one family in Florida three years ago.
And in 2002 Scientology paid a man $8.7 million dollars because it pushed him until “he actively contemplated suicide.” A California court said that the “church’s conduct was manifestly outrageous.”
According to friends Theresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake’s story about Scientology was “woven in paranoia and conspiracies,” which eventually “took over part of their lives.”
Scientology has reportedly taken over a part of many people’s lives through its influence.
But former members brave enough to speak out often tell a different story.
Duncan’s last entry on her blog was this cryptic quote from author Reynolds Price: “A need to tell and hear stories is essential to the species Homo sapiens — second in necessity apparently after nourishment and before love and shelter. Millions survive without love or home, almost none in silence; the opposite of silence leads quickly to narrative, and the sound of story is the dominant sound of our lives, from the small accounts of our day’s events to the vast incommunicable constructs of psychopaths.”
Update: Police believe they have recovered the body of Jeremy Blake.
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