2018-01-07, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The weekly show where I answer viewer questions from the comments to my Q&A episodes or sent to me by email at AskChrisShelton@gmail.com. This week, the questions answered are:
(1) As a military veteran, I am versed in the rank structure of all the branches of the US military. I am also aware of what the different insignias represent, what the different levels of responsibility come with those particular grades or ranks, and what is required to be promoted to the next higher grade (each branch of the military having their own special type of requirements such as physical fitness, decorations, and testing procedures). What is typically required to be promoted from the lowest rank to the highest in the Sea Org? Does a new Sea Org member start off with the rank of seaman and progressively make their way up the chain?
(2) I am currently in the process of unravelling an array of spirituals ideas that I have taken on board over the last couple of decades. I realised that one big idea that I accepted without really looking into it was: "Advances in quantum physics are bringing science and spirituality together. We are seeing how consciousness creates the world around us." I can find lots of spiritual information about this online, and we all liked to quote the double-slit experiment as 'proof', I cannot find anything to debunk it. I have, on several occasions, pulled this one on scientists, and then shaken my head at them when they got angry. They were so close-minded, they just didn't get it man, LOL. Does Scientology use this line too? I would love to see you have a discussion with a scientist and take critical thinking to this.
2018-01-07, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The media reports that Paul Haggis is now being accused of sexual assault. He responds that scientology may be behind these claims.
There is good reason to believe this is no crazy conspiracy theory. Here is why.
L. Ron Hubbard, founder of scientology, took a very dim view of anyone critical of scientology. Whether politician, reporter, disillusioned former follower or his own family members, Hubbard designated them as "enemies" — not just of scientology, but of mankind. And he laid out in detail how those enemies were to be destroyed.
Rod Keller has a fun look for us inside the madcap attempt to unseat longtime Democratic incumbent Maxine Waters in Los Angeles.
Edwin Duterte is campaigning to represent California's 43rd District in the U.S. Congress. The district runs south of downtown from Inglewood to Torrance in Los Angeles. He wants to help President Trump make America great again, encourage the creation of high paying jobs in the district, which currently has very few, and he wants to end the tax exemption of the Church of Scientology. The Filipino-American hopes to unseat popular Congresswoman Maxine Waters, a member of the House since 1977. She has earned the loathing of many Republicans for her calls to impeach President Donald Trump whom she calls a "disgusting, poor excuse of a man."
The odds are against him, as the race is not considered competitive by most political observers. Waters received 76 percent of the vote in 2016. In that election Duterte volunteered for Omar Navarro in his failed bid to unseat Waters. The two Republicans had a falling out, and now Duterte and Navarro are opposing each other in the 2018 primary race, along with four other nomination hopefuls. Navarro is endorsed by singer Joy Villa, a Scientologist who is exploring a bid to run for the House from Florida.
Actress Leah Remini sits down with Dan Harris to discuss her fight against the Church of Scientology during a report that includes other former members who are crusading against it, as well as those who still practice outside of the official Church. Also: Remini explains her goal to have the organization lose its tax-exempt status as a religion; and defends herself against claims made by the Church.
2017-01-07, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Some somewhat random observations about the 20/20 show last night.
First, I am sure that scientology and David Miscavige HATED the show. They hate anything that is not presenting total puff PR for scientology. If it is not just glamour shots of scientology buildings, glowing statements by glazed-eyed "winning" scientologists or images of Miscavige yanking ribbons on new empty buildings, then it is "suppressive propaganda spread by merchants of chaos."
Miscavige does have reason to be upset. This show exposed a lot of the bad aspects of scientology to a larger audience than the A&E Show. For that, ABC 20/20 deserves kudos.
You should definitely watch the original to get this:
This is my favorite video released about the Message to Scientology video. It's a funny parody with outtakes.
Phil and Willie are back! After putting up billboards that call attention to Scientology's 'disconnection' policy in Los Angeles and Largo, Florida last year, Phil and Willie Jones say they're launching a new effort to get their billboard put up again in L.A. And that's where you come in.
This morning, Phil has launched a new gofundme page to raise money for a new run of the "Call Me" billboard. His goal is $10,000, which will keep the billboard up for about three months. And given the media interest for Scientology right now, we have a feeling that another billboard launch will get some attention.
Last year, our readers helped raise the money for Phil's first billboard, in the L.A. neighborhood of Los Feliz. Two billboard companies offered him contracts, but then rescinded their offers when they came under heavy attack from Scientology. But Phil found a third company that was willing to stand up to Scientology's pressure.
2016-01-07, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
On this channel and in my recently published book, Scientology: A to Xenu, I have worked to expose the underhanded and deceptive practices of the Church of Scientology. Scientologists in general are not bad people, although there are individuals in Scientology who find out how to game the system and use it to their personal advantage. Scientology's real problems are systemic, written in to its DNA by its Founder, L. Ron Hubbard. He created a system which sucks people in by taking advantage of their personal doubts, fears and vulnerabilities and then rapaciously tries to suck as much money out of them as possible. It has all the characteristics of a destructive cult and for many, becoming involved in Scientology has had tragic consequences.
While I know I have some interesting insights into Scientology, if someone is going to get a well rounded look at this subject, they have to get more than just my perspective. I did a series of interviews with Robyn Capella last year which offered such a perspective and now I've done another, this one with Tim Dewall. I'm calling these The Scientology Experience.
Tim and his wife Sylvia got out of Scientology just last year after decades of involvement. They didn't just do services as public Scientologists, but Tim was also a staff member at the Tampa organization, just a half hour from Scientology's largest service organization in Clearwater, Floria.
In September 2014, we published a story that we expected would get more attention. We reported that at a gala celebration in the San Fernando Valley, a gathering of about 500 Scientologists who had paid $100 each to attend were told that the Church of Scientology had benefited from its relationship with Google, which had given Scientology the equivalent of $5.7 million in advertising grants.
As evidence of this, we provided a transcript of a speech made at the event by Brandy Harrison, the young Sea Org "Building Expansion Director Int," who also said that Scientology had forged a relationship with Amazon and with the Chinese government, and had also had a huge success taking over the front page of YouTube for a whole day.
At the time, the story was widely read, but it didn't get picked up in the media the way we thought it might have. But then, out of the blue, this week it got hot again when Hacker News linked to the story, and then, yesterday, Jim Edwards at Business Insider picked it up.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, a deranged man in Illinois named Andre Barkanov has been arrested for making telephone threats against the Church of Scientology and its leader David Miscavige. The article stated:
Barkanov had been arrested several times by the Chicago Police Department, and he had twice been convicted of impersonating a police officer.
During my many years of being a public Scientology critic I have consistently called for peaceful and nonviolent means to dismantle the Church of Scientology in its present form. I deplore violence.
2015-01-07, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
A Special Correspondent sent this in.
I've recently started getting texts from Judy Fagerman, who seems to still be the VM I/C Tampa.
Here are a few texts she sent me in the last few weeks. I copied all text exactly. Typos included:
Kirby Delauter, the Frederick County, Md., council member who threatened to sue a local newspaper reporter for using his name in a story without permission, has apologized.
As we reported Tuesday, Delauter was mentioned exactly once in an article about local parking issues by Bethany Rodgers, a reporter for the Frederick News-Post. He did not like that his name was used at all and threatened to sue her in a Facebook post. The newspaper, in a tongue-in-cheek editorial titled "Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter," had a field day with its response on Tuesday. The editorial, predictably, went viral on social media.
Today, Delauter apologized in a statement, published by the News-Post.
Politico.com has a fascinating article this month on Vladimir Putin's efforts to burnish Russia's battered image in America. Entitled Putin's Washington, the article discusses the ways in which Russia has paid high-powered PR giant Ketchum some sixty million dollars in recent years with few solid results according to polls of what Americans think of Russia and Putin.
The artwork for the article shows Putin to be in the same position as David Miscavige and the Church of Scientology: Spending a fortune can't buy a heavy-handed and violent tyrant goodwill or respect:
Ketchum created a website called ThinkRUSSIA to help Russia tell its story. I was struck by the visual similarity between ThinkRussia and Scientology.org homepages. Both pages feature large lighted buildings at night; are predominated by the color blue; and seek to show how Russia and Scientology are very conscientiously engaged with the world:
Our pizza sources tell us last Friday the folks at the Hollywood Scientology building ordered 180 pizzas -- 100 pepperoni, 60 cheese and 20 veggies -- from Papa Johns. The bill totaled $2,094.89.
Two delivery guys made 4 separate trips to L. Ron Hubbard's palace, and when all was said and done, they got nothing. The credit card was for precisely $2,094.89 ... not a penny in tip.
We've been getting reports from readers that Scientology has been running a television ad in prominent places in the last week or so. The ad appeared before one of the NFL playoff games this weekend, and we heard that it also ran yesterday during a showing of The View and the Ellen Degeneres Show.
That's consistent with the way the church has done things over the last few years, as it has started out each new year with multiple showings of a new ad leading up to the Super Bowl.
We've tried, each time, in vain, to educate the media that Scientology does not pay the huge money for official Super Bowl slots (about $4 million for a 30-second spot), but instead runs its ad in only a handful of cities during periods that are reserved for local spots. (One expert told us the church might spend up to about a million dollars in total to run the ads in cities like New York and Los Angeles during the game.)
In modern times, bad tippers can expect to find themselves publicly shamed via the court of the Internet. Most recently, the Church of Scientology was caught stiffing two pizza delivery guys.
The Thetans were hungry one day at the Church of Scientology and ordered themselves 180 pizzas from Papa John's, TMZ reports. If you're curious how it broke down, it was allegedly 60 plain cheese, 20 vegetarian and 100 of your standard issue pepperoni.
It took two delivery men four trips to deliver all the pizza. However, when they presented the check for $2,094.89, they received nothing for a tip. Nada! Zilch! Zero!
2014-01-07, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Haven't had a chance to post this til now.
It's not especially important and is a bit of a throw away on a day when I don't have time to put anything else together. But it's another little piece in the puzzle, building the REAL picture of what is happening in the world of Scientology, as opposed to the propaganda they spew forth....
It seems all is not well inside the bubble. The wonders of Ideal Orgs and straight up and vertical and the Golden Age of Knowledge/OT/Tech has not really been all its cracked up to be... "Making it go right" to "persist" through these "interesting times" doesn't sound like the land of milk and honey.
And if you don't believe me that fights arise over trivial retirement home hijinks, this whole affair revolves around a card game. Bridge to be precise, and it's spawned over 600 docket entries and a federal civil rights suit…
The colorful lawyer is Samuel "Sandy" Rosen, formerly of Paul Hastings, and here's how he feels about an opposing lawyer:
The leader of the Church of Scientology, David Miscavige, went on a series of foul-mouth rants at employees while he desperately tried to sabotage a journalist filming a documentary about the organization, according to new court documents.
Yesterday, we got a look at the first 35 minutes of November's big IAS gala in Clearwater, Florida. The annual event gives Scientology leader David Miscavige an opportunity to boast about all of the church's successes over the past year for a few thousand people who have forked over large donations.
We couldn't help but enjoy it yesterday as our readers did a lot of fact-checking of the claims made by Miscavige in his presentation. And you have even more opportunities today!
Our source has put the rest of the gala online, and it's worth getting to the end.
Scientology's "pope" a foul-mouthed, violent bully?
A new book coming out today by BBC newsman John Sweeney makes use of secret electronic communications that portray Scientology's leader, David Miscavige, berating his underlings in texts with phrases like "You Suck!" and "Counter-Intentional Cock Sucker!" and "You Suck Cock on Hollywood Boulevard!"
Sweeney is famous for blowing up in a temper tantrum while filming his 2007 BBC Panorama special, Scientology and Me, and says he's wanted for years to write a book about his experiences making that documentary and its followup, 2010's The Secrets of Scientology.
2013-01-07, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
I'll say it again -
'If you tell the truth, it becomes a part of your past. If you lie, it becomes a part of your future.' - origin unknown
Three and one half years ago after and because of the Tampa Times original Truth Rundown series, the BBC launched an investigation. In response David Miscavige spent a year and millions of dollars attempting to discredit and attack the Truth Rundown witnesses and intimidate the BBC into silence. Miscavige rejected my repeated, public advice that 'If you tell the truth, it becomes a part of your past. If you lie, it becomes a part of your future.' Notwithstanding, Miscavige no doubt congratulated himself for having had a significant in terrorem editing effect upon the BBC. Reporter John Sweeney and his producer were apologetic after their one-hour documentary aired. Too much of the truth they had recorded, and intended to report, fell to the editing room floor at the over-the-top, threatening insistence of David Miscavige's Scientology Inc. attack dogs.
The group purchased the building from Florence Baptist Church, which relocated to a new facility on Mt. Zion Road, for $1.64 million in June 2009. Renovation began in April of last year and costs were estimated at $6.5 million, according to documents submitted to the Boone County Building Department.
"The work has included a full renovation of the interiors including extensive structural work needed to adapt the entire building for our use," Banks said. "We are also doing a complete upgrade of the interior, including all new HVAC, electrical and plumbing, and new interior finishes."
2012-01-07, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
There is not likely to be much breaking news on Debbie Cook's mission for a while: Cook re-iterates intention to handle it internally. So, let us not continue to kid ourselves that it is as simple as getting people to pledge allegiance to "following policy." People dedicatedly defending David Miscavige fully believe they are following policy.
David Miscavige has quite apparently implanted a new End Phenomena (the state or ability achieved by participating in a given grade of one on one counseling) for the auditing technique known as Objectives. It is evident from the fact that Objectives are being run in huge, arbitrary blocks of time on corporate Scientologists at all levels of Scientology. You can see the latest evidence in the mass email below this post from Barbara Dews, a prominent "Service Consultant" for Flag (Corporate Scientology's "Mecca of Technical Perfection" in ClearwaterFlorida) sent to corporate Scientologists far and wide. The missive seeks to demonstrate that everybody at every level of the Bridge ought to condition their minds to accept the need for massive doses of Objectives. The email ends off with this brag as to time of delivery:
In the TRs and Objectives course room in the Coachman, we've been completing people in a average of 130 hours.
In Scientologie: autopsie d'une secte d'Etat, Fansten has joined the dots on Scientology's lobbying activities not just in France, but worldwide.
Somewhere on my bookcase is a fat file containing news cuttings about Scientology in Europe over the past 15 years or so. Thanks to French journalist Emmanuel Fansten's new book, Scientologie: autopsie d'une secte d'Etat, I'll be able to trim it down considerably.
But Fansten's work is not just a cuttings job: it does more than simply summarise press reports of the developments in France and elsewhere. He has interviewed deputies, magistrates and members of France's internal security service, Renseignements Généraux, and gained access to hitherto confidential ministerial notes.
Though named the "Oxford Capacity Analysis," the 200-question Scientology assessment was not developed by Oxford University nor does it have any tie to the famed university. The Scientology "personality test" is described by various Internet sources as a Scientology recruitment tool used worldwide on Scientology websites, in Scientology churches and in public settings such as fairs and festivals. It also has been criticized by psychologists as not a bonafide personality test.
Former Scientologist Marc Headley's September 2008 speech in Germany marked a significant development in the campaign against the movement.
On September 4, 2008, Marc Headley adressed an invited audience in Hamburg, Germany about his experiences inside Scientology. Headley, in his mid-30s, explained that he had spent most of his life in Scientology: his mother had got involved in the early 1980s, when he was six years old.
From the ages of 12 to 16 he had been enrolled at a Scientology school before being signed up for what he called the "paramilitary branch of Scientology", the Sea Organization. He worked in increasingly senior positions at Scientology's International Base, in California, alongside the movement's current leader, David Miscavige.
2009-01-07, Cynthia Coleman, Silver City Daily Press
In other business, Grant County Detention Center Administrator Tom Moffett reported to the commission on the status of the Second Chance drug rehabilitation center in Albuquerque that has housed inmates from Grant County.
Referrals to the center have been put on hold, Moffett said, since its lease with the city of Albuquerque has been threatened with termination. One Grant County defendant sentenced to Second Chance remains there, and will be sent to prison following completion of the program.
"We have suspended placement until the dust settles,' he said.
According to Morton's book, Mr Miscavige even joined Cruise on honeymoon in the Maldives after his wedding to Katie Holmes in 2006. Cruise denies each of the claims, and Scientology lawyers are believed to be drawing up a lawsuit seeking £50m in compensation from Morton's publishers, St Martin's Press, based in New York.
Representatives for Tom Cruise wasted no time in speaking out against Andrew Morton's new book "Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography," saying that even though Cruise has been "a top star for 25 years, (Morton) never spoke to Cruise's business partners, directors, studio executives, friends or family, and the list can go on."
Andrew Morton's unauthorised biography claims Scientology has taken over the 45-year-old actor's life, with its officials selecting many of the staff at his Hollywood mansion.
The biographer of Princess Diana alleges Cruise is consulted by Scientology leader David Miscavige on "every aspect of planning and policy" and is tailoring his career to fit the aims of Scientology.
Biographer Andrew Morton also claims Cruise's former wife, Nicole Kidman, fears the release of tapes made with Scientologists revealing intimate sexual details.
Cruise has strongly denied the claims and has already instructed lawyers to draw up a $110 million lawsuit against the book's publisher, St Martin's Press.
Tom, 45, also denies claims that his ex NICOLE KIDMAN was told her sex secrets would be leaked if she criticised the "church", and that he aims to convert pals DAVID and VICTORIA BECKHAM.
He is set to launch a £50million lawsuit when the unauthorised biography goes on sale in the US on January 15.
In an unauthorized biography of actor Tom Cruise, Diana biographer Andrew Morton has made some claims that have the Church of Scientology planning to sue publisher St. Martin's Press for £50 million, the Daily Mail reported. The book, Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography, claims that Cruise is the second-in-command of the Church of Scientology and that the controversial religion has taken over his life.
The Church of Scientology has rejected media reports that Australian actress Nicole Kidman was threatened with blackmail after the breakdown of her marriage to its most famous follower, Tom Cruise.
Author Andrew Morton has written in his unauthorised biography of Cruise that Scientology played a major role in the breakdown of the Hollywood superstar's marriage to Kidman, with whom he has two adopted children.
Media reports said today that Scientologists threatened to blackmail Kidman if she spoke out against the controversial religion after her marriage failed.
Scientologists threatened to blackmail Nicole Kidman if she spoke out against the controversial religion after her failed marriage to its most famous follower, Tom Cruise, a new book claims.
Author Andrew Morton writes in his unauthorised biography of Cruise that Scientology played a major role in the breakdown of Kidman's marriage to the Hollywood superstar.
Lawyers for the Church of Scientology are believed to be drawing up a lawsuit against the British journalist Andrew Morton who has written an unauthorised biography of Tom Cruise claiming the actor is de facto second-in-command of the controversial sect.
But the idea that he is No. 2 in the organization is far-fetched, Abelson said.
"That's like saying I'm Jewish, so I have the ability to control the Israeli army," Abelson said, adding that there is no No. 2 in the organization.
"The church is run by executives for the church, and he is not part of that and has never been a part of that."
Tom Cruise has no plans to read an explosive new tell-all about his life, the actor's camp said Sunday, but he may be readying a multimillion-dollar legal assault against the biography that likens daughter Suri to "Rosemary's Baby.
For online oddsmakers, who have placed bets on every conceivable aspect of Cruise's life including what he and his wife would name their new born and whether Cruise would have a nervous breakdown, are now contemplating whether to offer betting odds on a lawsuit.
Tom Cruise has become the de-facto second-in-command of the Church of Scientology and is consulted on every aspect of the controversial group's planning and policy, according to a new book by the royal biographer Andrew Morton.
"He (Morton) has made a number of claims that are false and demonstrably so," said Fields, who added that he had read Morton's book, "Clearly the book is actionable, but I'm not commenting on anything to do with legal issues."
The Church of Scientology in London did not reply to an e-mail asking for comment on the allegations. Scientology was founded by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard in Los Angeles more than 50 years ago.
In a brief statement on Monday, St Martin's Press spokesman Steve Troha said: "We stand by our book and our author."
It was a sad day in the Dose.ca offices last month, when the British press reported muckraker Andrew Morton's upcoming biography on Tom Cruise was being shelved in the U.K. because it was "too boring." Imagine our delight to discover "too boring" is actually just Brit speak for "so scandalous the publisher is scared silly of getting sued." All hail, Xenu!
Devotees of the Church of Scientology have gained access to thousands of British children through a charity that visits schools to lecture on the dangers of drugs. A Sunday Times investigation has found that Marlborough College is one of more than 500 schools across Britain where the charity has taught.
Critics of the charity, Narconon, say it is a front to promote the teaching of Scientology — the controversial "religion" founded by L Ron Hubbard, the science fiction writer.
Dr. Louis Jolyon "Jolly" West, an internationally known psychiatrist, civil rights activist and expert on alcoholism, drug abuse and cults, has died. He was 74. West, who headed the department of psychiatry and the Neuropsychiatric Institute at UCLA for 20 years, died Saturday of cancer at his Los Angeles home.