John Mappin – a bit of history


A little insight into John Mappin’s past (including possible addiction issues) can be found in this piece by William Cash on Freelibrary.com. The following is an extract from that article:

“My old friend John Mappin, 41, scion of the Mappin & Webb jewellery dynasty, had his first ‘revelation’ as a teenager watching The Muppet Movie. ‘There’s a scene where a Hollywood agent says to Kermit that they’re looking for frogs in Hollywood,’ John says, as we sit in my drawing room, eating Jaffa cakes.

‘And Kermit’s not interested. The agent says: “Not to worry, but you never know, you could make millions of people happy.” From then on I had this urge to go to Los Angeles because I thought, how amazing to create something that makes people happy. I wanted to get into the entertainment business. But when I went out there, aged 27, I found it a tough place. I failed completely.’

Instead of becoming the next Jim Henson, John, a Winchester educated Anglican, became part of the hedonistic Brit pack that included Elizabeth Hurley, Hugh Grant and Birgit Cunningham, the eco-toff who also, for a time, became a Scientologist and was one of the 5,000 at the opening of the new London centre. Mappin’s career as a producer suffered as he had a thoroughly enjoyable bad-boy time, usually with a different girl at a different party every night.

Then, in 1991, in the middle of all this excess, he walked past a party going on at the Director’s Institute on Sunset. ‘I said, “That looks rather fun,” and my friend said, “You don’t want to go there, that’s the Scientologists!”‘ He didn’t gatecrash the party, but it was Mappin’s first introduction to the religion that was to transform his life. ‘I waved through the window and a person waved back and I thought they looked perfectly normal. At the time, a few celebrities were starting to use Scientology: Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Kirstie Alley. I thought, “What is it about?”‘ All that he read was hostile, such as an expose of the sect in Time magazine. So Mappin bought Dianetics.

‘By the time I got to chapter four, I was so excited because it was the first thing that I had read on the mind that actually made sense. A few days later I met the president of the Church of Scientology in LA. I bombarded her with questions. It was a very positive thing. And although I’m yet to meet Tom Cruise, I’ve met Travolta a few times and I’ve never looked back. God knows how many people I’ve introduced to Scientology.’ Mappin now lives in the UK and is married to Irena (a Romanian who has converted to Scientology, along with the rest of her family), who wears Prada and carries a Louis Vuitton bag. Mappin runs a chain of local newspapers as well as owning Camelot Castle, a luxury hotel in Tintagel, Cornwall.

Anyhow, he must be doing well, or his Scientology must be working for him, because he picks me up in a new Bentley sports coupe with the personalised number plate ‘MAP’ (the back seat of which is strewn with Scientology DVDs)…

….Scientology was John Mappin’s salvation and, although he will have a glass of wine occasionally, his party days are over.”

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