MTA poster full of plugs for religion

DailyNews City News/October 29, 2004
By Owen Moritz

New subway poster is full of plugs for Scientology, including W. 46th St. center & founder's book; Web sites; artist's book and agent.

A poster being sold to mark the 100th anniversary of the subway has an underground message - and it has nothing to do with trains.

The poster, which depicts a crowded Times Square subway station, contains what seems like an endless number of plugs for the controversial Church of Scientology.

On the left side is a plug to visit Scientology's Purification Center on W. 46th St. and a promotion for a book by the late L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology.

The poster, by well-known folk artist and author Kathy Jakobsen, also showcases at least half a dozen Web sites with connections to Scientology - including and

The Web addresses are printed on T-shirts and shopping bags all through the poster, which celebrates the "bustling life of the subways."

Jakobsen also unabashedly includes plugs for one of her children's books, "My New York," the book's publisher, Megan Tingley, and her agent, art gallery owner Frank Miele.

Miele, reached at his gallery yesterday, confirmed that he is a Scientologist and that Jakobsen is a "committed Scientologist."

He said Jakobsen, who lives in Connecticut, was visiting relatives in Michigan and could not be reached.

Tom Kelly, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, defended the $10 poster as depicting "the actuality of Times Square and what is going on here."

"We have no reason to believe she tried to work in" Scientology references, Kelly said.

Scientology counts among its disciples such celebrities as Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley.

Hubbard founded the controversial religion in 1954 in California.

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