2018-01-02, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This is what the bubble-dwellers experienced on New Years Eve — being stuffed with bs like a Christmas goose.
While the rest of the world takes a moment to wish everyone good luck and good cheer, peace and happiness, scientology takes the opportunity to pat itself on the back and reaffirm it's importance and how it is saving all mankind.
The claims and hype are quite astonishing:
We're so glad to kick off 2018 with a new piece from historian Chris Owen. We think you're really going to enjoy his look at L. Ron Hubbard's family dynamics.
Scientology's practice of disconnection is one of its most controversial and frequently criticized policies. It goes against basic human nature to force people to break the closest ties in their lives – separating husbands from wives, parents from children, brothers from sisters, friends from each other. Unsurprisingly, it does not endear Scientology to people.
Disconnection originated with L. Ron Hubbard, as with most other things in Scientology. Its basic principle is simple: if someone is critical towards Scientology or Scientologists, then contact with them should be severed. Ostensibly this is intended to reduce the "enturbulation" (Hubbard's term) that they cause, which could supposedly hinder or set back the spiritual growth of a Scientologist connected to them. In practice, it serves as a mechanism for social control. It draws Scientology's members closer to the church and pulls them further inside a bubble where only its views can be heard.
Rod Keller is back with his first social media round up of the new year. And once again, he keeps us updated on Scientology's plans for new buildings around the world...
The Auckland, New ZealandIdeal Org is scheduled to open on January 21. Scientology has set up more openings for 2017, including Ideal Orgs in Mexico City, South Africa and the U.K.
The San Fernando Valley and Miami Ideal Orgs are also undergoing renovation, and Scientology leader David Miscavige, in his New Year's event speech, said both would open this year. In the past, org openings have been subject to delays of many months, but for now the Auckland date seems firm.
2017-01-02, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
In about August 1981 Dede Reisdorf Voegeding had been removed from her position as CO CMO INT and was doing manual labor. This is described in Part 6. Her sister Gale Reisdorf Irwin who had been the deputy CO CMO INT (mainly dealing with "internal" CMO matters), was now made CO, which also included holding the position of Chairman of WDC. Gale did not receive a "hat turnover" for this new position, and was now responsible for all of International Management of Scn. From August to December of 1982 – the atmosphere at Int (Gold in Hemet, CA) was unbelievable, Gale was feeling very overwhelmed by all her responsibilities. This is the period of time I thought I was living in some alternate universe. The stress level was palpable amongst all of us. I lost a lot of weight as I could not eat; I was just a nervous wreck. David Miscavige (DM) was acting out of control and no-one really knew what was going on.
Gale was finding it incredibly hard to deal with her two posts while also attending secret meetings with Pat Broeker that would go for hours at any hour of the day or night. Usually Gale and DM would drive to a payphone to make the connection and then wait for Pat. They would meet at a fancy restaurant near LAX airport. Pat and DM mainly chatted about nothing important. Gale therefore decided that it was better for her to just focus on church management and for DM to deal with Pat. DM then started going on his own to meet with Pat. This is when things started going downhill for Gale.
As WDC, we started receiving "orders" which were apparently from LRH wanting to know about the International statistics and what was happening in the church. We had no way to know for sure if these orders were coming from LRH or from Pat as there were no signatures, but we assumed they were coming from LRH. Each WDC member then started preparing reports for LRH to read about each sector of the church – for instance – one person would do a report on the stats for Europe, or Africa, or Flag Service Org. Taking into account LRH had had no info on what had been happening for more than a year.
On New Year's Day 2012 the now famous Debbie Cook e-mail reached thousands of Scientologists. We applaud Debbie Cook for her courage in speaking out. Debbie's e-mail was truly the shot heard round the world. We celebrate the four year anniversary of Debbie's e-mail by republishing here in its entirety:
December 31, 2011
I am emailing you as a friend and fellow Scientologist. As we enter a new year, it is hoped that 2012 can be a year of great dissemination and a year of real progress up The Bridge for all Scientologists.
2016-01-02, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
A Special Correspondent (clearlypissedoff) sent this to me.
They did a lot of work to compile this information and it deserves to see the light of day as it is an invaluable resource for those looking for a summary of problems and sources of data. It seems like a perfect posting to get the New Year started with something both memorable and useful.
1. DISCONNECTION & STORIES OF FAMILIES DESTROYED BY SCIENTOLOGY'S DISCONNECTION POLICY:
Last year, former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder predicted that 2015 would bring his former employer "pain." And it sure was a tough year for David Miscavige and his followers. With Alex Gibney's documentary Going Clear and Leah Remini's book Troublemaker, more people than ever are learning about Scientology and its controversies.
But not everyone is apparently happy about that. Back when Gibney's movie was first getting a lot of publicity, we heard from a couple of national figures who criticized the idea of singling out Scientology for examination. One of them was Reza Aslan, a rising star in the religious writing field and a frequent presence on television. Here's what he told CNN:
I don't think it's fair to refer to Scientology as a cult. I mean, really the difference between a religion and a cult tends to be how long the religion lasts. Christianity was a cult for three hundred years. Mormonism was considered a cult for a hundred years. In fact, there are people today who still refer to Mormonism as a cult. Is it somehow different than other religious traditions in the way that it deals with its internal structure, in the disaffection of its former movement members? No, I don't think so.
The Church is giving out checks in the form of "business contracts" to ensure those that leave do not sing like canaries. So they sign up for a billion years to *SERVE* the cause and a huge percentage are gone in the first 5 years. How strange that they do not examine themselves to find out why so many flee. The solution is to muzzle and gag them with hush money.
Filming was still going on just a few weeks ago on the Louis TherouxBBC feature about Scientology, so we don't expect it to be in theaters for some time yet. But now we do have a glimpse, at least, of what BBC Films says its movie is going to be about.
In an online catalog, a complete two-page spread is devoted to Theroux and his documentary, which now has a title: Stairway to Heaven: Louis Theroux and the Church of Scientology.
While the media has been focusing on Alex Gibney's HBO-produced documentary about Scientology, Going Clear, which is premiering this month at the Sundance Film Festival, we pointed out that Theroux and the BBC were also working to make a feature-length movie and seemed to be talking to some of the same subjects. But now that the two works are getting closer to release, we're beginning to see how different they might be.
With the Ideal Org program stalled (Nancy Cartwright just can't seem to raise enough dough to put the Valley project over the hump) and Scientology leader David Miscavige's other big surprises all worn out, this New Year's Eve announcement was one of Scientology's most underwhelming ever.
You see, Miscavige is really stuck in a bad situation now. It's been nearly 29 years since the old man dropped his body, so no new "technology" is coming from L. Ron Hubbard, wherever he is. Meanwhile, there's massive disillusionment among the rank and file, who are sick of being hit up for donations and told about "massive expansion" when in reality the church is dwindling fast.
But Miscavige keeps going back to the old playbook: Announce a new initiative, whether it's needed or not, and put on a full-court press for donations as if the funding was the difference between prison world and a cleared planet.
2015-01-02, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
The single most fundamental, sweeping and powerful truth in all spiritual study, contemplation and practice was probably best summed up in a single sentence. It is an aphorism that has been popularly attributed to the Buddha:
You are what you think.
The Bible (Proverbs) succinctly echoes the same idea:
Jefferson Hawkins was once the top marketing executive for the Church of Scientology and helped it reach its greatest extent with the famous "volcano" TV ads in the 1980s. He's told his tale of getting into and out of the church with his excellent books Counterfeit Dreams and Leaving Scientology, and he's helping us understand the upside-down world of Scientology "ethics."
One of the things we've tried to do, in our radio and television interviews, is make people understand what a paranoid culture of snitching that Scientology promotes among its members. It's really something that the rest of the media rarely ever explains, but we think it's one of the most characteristic results of L. Ron Hubbard's "ethics" rules. This week, in our ongoing series, Jeff helps us see where that idea of turning in your friends, family, and neighbors comes from.
JEFFERSON: this week we're having a look at Chapter 9 of Introduction to Scientology Ethics, "Ethics Reports." This is a short chapter, but a vital one in the overall system of Scientology ethics. This is where Scientologists are taught to report on each other.
Things are heating up again in Monique Rathbun's harassment lawsuit against the Church of Scientology and its leader, David Miscavige.
Previously, Comal CountyJudge Dib Waldrip had granted Monique's request for a continuance so she could have the time to depose Miscavige, who wants out of the lawsuit on jurisdictional grounds.
On Tuesday, Scientology filed a motion for reconsideration, trying once again to keep Miscavige from being questioned. This time, they've asked Judge Waldrip to go ahead and rule on Miscavige's "special appearance" request to be dropped from the suit now, based on several depositions which have already taken place.
2014-01-02, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Here is a new twist.
You are in the middle of a service (one of Miscavige's certified "On Source" checksheets that came with the "Golden Age of Tech") and He reverts it back to an earlier version ("just how LRH intended it"), raises the price and then expects you to pay for the "upgrade". Mid-service. Wow.
Wonder if they ever thought of recrediting people for all the extra auditing they had to get in the "old" GAT Bridge before the release of the new, streamlined, extra on-Sourcy "upgraded" GAT II Bridge? You know, the "pilot" that was being delivered at Flag for 9 years while the Class V orgs all continued "doing it wrong, NOT how LRH intended." Aren't all those people sort of entitled to having at least SOME of those extra hours they had to pay for — when He KNEW it was wrong but didnt tell them — returned to them? Isn't that according to the policy He claims to follow? You know, the one about "Exchange"?
A tip of the hat to Jane White, who spotted this disturbing photo at the Facebook page for ClearGhana, which describes itself as a "group of Scientologists working...to bring this technology to as many people of Africa as possible."
That apparently includes presenting the standard Sea Org contract to a couple of youngsters who don't look much more than 10 years old. The sad truth is, we've documented cases of children that young signing the commitment form, which asks them to serve Scientology for a billion years.
How the children of the Sea Org fare as they work ungodly hours for little to no pay will soon become the subject of major media coverage when Jenna Miscavige Hill's book debuts on January 29.
Scientology is a very small, if wealthy, organization of probably no more than about 40,000 people around the world. But one of the reasons it garners so much attention, particularly online, is the way it repeatedly has taken on the Internet as one of its chief foes.
In the 1990s, Scientology tried to keep its secret teachings off of Usenet, and tried to crush the people who kept putting them there. It also handed out software to its members to keep them from visiting certain websites with negative information about the church. And to this day, members police each other on Facebook, making sure they don't accidentally "friend" people who have been excommunicated.
In the last couple of years, however, we've noticed that Scientology has been making better use of the Internet, and has been encouraging its members to take advantage of its jim-dandy whizzer features.
En première instance, en 2009, la Scientologie avait été condamnée. Pour la première fois, au côté de plusieurs scientologues, les deux principales structures du groupe parisien, avaient été mises en cause en tant que personnes morales et condamnées à 400.000 et 200.000 euros d'amende. À l'encontre de ses membres, des peines allant jusqu'à deux ans de prison avec sursis et 30.000 euros d'amende avaient été prononcées.
2012-01-02, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
The new year has already started with a bombshell, but we wanted to get a longer view of how 2012 might turn out for Scientology watching. So we asked a couple of far-seeing church observers to give us their thoughts.
We have some fascinating prognostication from Mark Bunker, whose film Knowledge Report should be coming out this year. And from Mike Rinder, the former church spokesman with some thoughts on what sort of a year Scientology leader David Miscavige may experience. (And as a bonus, Bunker sent over the clip you see here of Rinder from the upcoming documentary!)
We asked Bunker for his 2012 plans, and Wise Beard Man was kind enough to send this reply...
Scientology lawyerKendrick Moxon interrogates me about my medical history during the beginning of my second deposition with him. I am being deposed because I know a fellow protester who is suing Scientology for beating him. Details at http://www.angrygaypope.com .
2011-01-02, Jefferson Hawkins, Leaving Scientology
I love the Rose Parade – it is one of my New Year's rituals. I grew up in Pasadena, and never missed the parade when I was a kid. My grandmother's house was a block from the parade route, so going down to see the parade was a much-anticipated family treat.
Well, imagine my thrill when I saw this breathless e-mail from Theresa Bloch at the Pasadena Org, replete with OMGs and multiple exclamation points:
"OMG!!! EXCITING NEWS!!!! We have just gotten the word that one of the sponsors of this years Rose Parade is: THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY!!!!!! The IAS has funded the Church of Scientology as one of the sponsors of this year's Rose Parade on KTLA!! KTLA is THE station that has the contract for the Rose Parade and then is nationally syndicated from there. (You know, when they say, "Brought to you by Honda and... THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY!") And the new ads will play, of course! This is amazing!!!"
Its in-house publication arm, Bridge Publications, Inc., opened a 274,000-square-foot digital printing and manufacturing facility in Los Angeles that has the capacity to print half a million books and 925,000 CDs every week.
It also opened a publishing facility in Copenhagen.
TOM Cruise, who fights the Nazis in "Valkyrie," might now have to battle a San Francisco advertising executive who says the couch-jumping star used a replica of one of Adolf Hitler's prized possessions in the movie without permission.
Robert Pritikin - who penned such jingles as "Rice-a-Roni, the San Francisco Treat" and has a $40 million art collection - owns several Hitler artifacts, including the Fuehrer's notorious globe, which he used to plan U-boat attacks from his compound in the Bavarian Alps.
Greetings, drones of Scientology.
Anonymous hopes you are still having as much fun with this as we are.
Almost a year ago now, Anonymous launched Project Chanology in response to your attempts at internet censorship. What started as just another raid became a full-scale war against the Cult of Scientology. Let us review the year in the spirit of auld lang syne.
A South Carolina man who says he was emotionally damaged, forced to study Scientology and tossed out of a local treatment center is asking for damages, court costs and more.
In a lawsuit filed in Pittsburg County District Court, attorneys for Joshua Ryder state that Narconon Arrowhead failed to protect Ryder from foreseeable harm or provide competent professional care for him and also that it failed to properly hire, train or supervise a counselor whose actions directly impacted Ryder's stay at the facility.
Andrew Sharman, who was ordained a minister in the Church of Scientology in 1987, says the Ontario government's refusal to authorize him to solemnize marriages is a denial of his religious rights under provincial and federal law.
Sharman, one of several Scientology ministers seeking a licence to conduct weddings, said Scientologists are not licensed to conduct the ceremony in Ontario.
The suit, filed Wednesday by Lawrence Levy, a lawyer, contends that church officials or their representatives committed fraud and breached fiduciary duties. It says information obtained in purportedly confidential ""auditing"" sessions with a lie detector-like device was used ""for purposes of blackmail and extortion.""
The one-story brick building near an industrial park in Springfield seems as nondescript as the warehouses it borders. Inside the one-time sporting goods store, however, one of the toughest drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs in the country is waging what it calls a life-or-death battle for 143 children of the "chemical society."
For 12 hours and more every day, teen-aged patients, or "clients" of Straight, Inc. must come here to confess and renounce their habits in front of their peers. There is no sanctity of the confessional: Straight claims that through this "reality therapy" and concentrated peer pressure, it can excise the habit and the frustration and confusion that caused it.
According to William Oliver, Straight's national executive director, the organization turns "adolescent drug-users into highly motivated, goal-oriented, drug-free members of society." He and other Straight officials claim that the drug and alcohol treatment program has had a 60 to 70 percent success rate among some 3,000 patients treated around the country since the program was founded in Florida in 1976.