Tuesday night's Scientology and the Aftermath episode was another stunner, and contained surprises even for some of us jaded, longtime Scientology Watchers.
Sure, many of us knew a lot about the terrible Lisa McPherson story, and that her 1995 death spawned a reaction in the form of years of protests in Clearwater, Florida put on by the Lisa McPherson Trust, a feisty organization funded by a Boston businessman, Bob Minton. And we knew that Minton was put under such a ferocious "Fair Game" campaign by Scientology's secret police, the Office of Special Affairs, he ended up switching sides before his untimely death of a heart attack in 2010.
But Leah Remini's costar, and former head of OSA, Mike Rinder, stunned us with details about the operation that he personally oversaw against Minton, and offered his apologies for, he admitted, destroying the man. It made for amazing television.
Miscavige's biggest accomplishment was gaining tax-exempt status for the Church of Scientology in 1993, assuring that both the Race and Chestnut locations would not be taxed. In 2017, the Inquirer reported that the city was taking a hard look at nonprofit tax exemptions, and according to Rebecca Lopez Kriss of the city's Department of Revenue, Scientology's tax exemption for the Chestnut Street site was revoked that year.
"We're currently in litigation," Lopez Kriss said.
According to the Department of Revenue's website, the church currently has a $373,722.85 tax bill.
We've written a couple of fun stories about Rebecca McKee McCaffrey, who most recently regaled us with some sketchy stories about growing up as a teenager in Scientology. Since then, she's been going through her family's files, and we want to thank her for sending us some interesting items from Scientology's heyday.
One of them was a photo of young L. Ron Hubbard that Hubbard's daughter, Katie Gillespie, sent to Rebecca's mother, Elaine. According to the note that Katie sent, the photo was taken a month before Hubbard turned 17.
That would put it at February 1928 when Ron was a junior at Helena High School in Montana, after spending the previous summer in Asia with his mom, and seeing his dad in Guam. (For a review of Hubbard's high school years, see our previous story which for the first time revealed his mediocre school grades.)
2018-01-31, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Of course, though the STAAD League blocked me from seeing their tweets (though I am the subject of a lot of them...) people send me some of their drivel every now and then.
This one came in a little while ago.
If you looked up "brown-nosing" in the dictionary you might well find this tweet presented as an example.
Jim Carrey won't be going to trial this spring in an ugly legal battle over the apparent suicide of his former girlfriend Cathriona White, as The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed the matters have been dismissed.
Both White's husband, Mark Burton, and her mother, Brigid Sweetman, had sued Carrey and claimed he was to blame for her 2015 death by drug overdose.
Thanks again to reader Rasha, we have a first look at another entertaining Scientology publication today, in this case Source magazine, the publication of the Flag Land Base in Clearwater, Florida.
Source does its best to entice wealthy Scientologists to "Flag," where they can progress up Scientology's "Bridge to Total Freedom," to some of its most expensive upper-level offerings.
That includes, of course, Scientology's crown jewel, its "Flag Building" that was opened in 2013 and is more colloquially known as the "Super Power Building." It takes up a full city block, and Scientology raised something like $200 million to construct it, which took about 20 years. Mike Rinder found documents that spell out what Scientology is charging members to set foot in the place, and he estimated that a typical Super Power experience is going to run a Scientologist about $32,000.
Scientology is utterly homophobic. They believe that gays are 1.1, or covertly hostile, and are sexual perverts. I read you quotes from L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology's founder, regarding homosexuality. I also share with you some auditing processes they use to cure someone from being gay. Lastly, I share some of my experiences being in the closet while being in Scientology and reveal to you their stance on gay marriage.
Please comment your thoughts below! Don't forget: please subscribe to my channel!
My Second Channel (Please watch & subscribe!): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcrJ...
2017-01-31, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This is an essay contributed by Brian Lambert. An interesting topic for sure, and one of the things hammered in by Miscavige.
If you have never read Hubbard's writing of this title, there is a link at the bottom of the article. I suggest you read the document as this essay will not make a lot of sense without reading what Hubbard wrote.
Also, it is important to note that the other thing hammered in by Miscavige along with Responsibility of Leaders is "Keeping Scientology Working" — the demand that Hubbard's words, and his alone, be followed to the letter. While some will try to excuse the Responsibility of Leaders as allegory, to scientologists there really is no such thing. If L. Ron Hubbard said it, it becomes truth. If he writes Bolivar failed because he didn't blackmail his political enemies, then blackmail is acceptable if it is for "the greatest good" (ie will help scientology, Hubbard, or today Miscavige). Had Hubbard wanted this to be understood as mere musings on a subject, it would not have been issued as a POLICY of the organization, to be studied as part of numerous courses on how to "run" scientology and how to deal with "ethics."
2016-01-31, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The weekly show where I answer questions from the comments section of my Q&A videos or sent to me by email at AskChrisShelton@gmail.com. The video I mentioned in my answers about Scientology's organizational structure is here. This week the questions I answer are:
(1) What is your opinion of Anonymous and project Chanology? Have they been useful in disseminating the abuses of the church? Have you ever picketed with them? What advice would you give them? Thanks for the all the work you do, it's excellent quality and of course, compliment as we say in Italy for your book, great read. I am waiting for the audio version so that I can listen to it again whilst gardening.
(2) Hello Chris. I've been watching your videos for a couple of years now and have recently read your book. Needless to say I've found the information you provide about Scientology and destructive cults very interesting and very useful. I want to pose a hypothetical scenario to you where Scientology had either taken over or formed its own city-state or maybe even its own country.I want to know how you would think such a society would be run and organised, how it would interact with the global community, what its transportation system would be etc...I ask because I've read and watched things that suggest that Hubbard had once tried to do something like this with Rhodesia, but more importantly because I wanted to hear how you think Hubbard's management, study and ethics technology would look like if applied on a much much larger scale than at present. Thanks and keep up the good work.
A television production company filming an upcoming series about Scientology has apparently rattled the organization, judging by the nasty threat letter that attorney Bert Deixler sent out to Karen de la Carriere yesterday and which she shared with the Underground Bunker.
Several weeks ago, the flier you see above was found around parts of Hollywood at Scientology's Celebrity Centre. It was put together by a familiar reader here at the Bunker, Phil Jones, who in our comments section goes by the name "Sid."
Jones, a former longtime Scientologist, was in Los Angeles trying to reconnect with his son Mike and daughter Emily, who are members of Scientology's hardcore "Sea Organization." As part of his attempt to reunite with his son, Phil posted the flier hoping to get information about him while cameras were rolling for the upcoming television series.
2015-01-31, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
I have finally made it home. The red eye lived up to its name. I have had this posting sitting on the back burner for a week or so, and I think it is always valuable to have a reminder here that it is possible to practice scientology outside the church. It is one of the things that is used to keep people toeing the church party line "we are your only hope" and for anyone that believes scientology is the answer to their spiritual happiness, this is a powerful control mechanism. "If you leave the church, you forfeit your eternity" (as if it were something you could give up, or something anyone else can give you). "The only people out there are squirrels, and they will kill you with out tech" (though I must say, if you are going to be harmed by out tech, the less you pay for it the better and the MOST expensive out tech is the exclusive domain of the church). These two lies keep a lot of people from straying outside the electric clubbed seal fences.
And yet here is a shining example that utterly disproves the lies.
Dani and Tami Lemberger are two of the nicest, most caring people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. They are long time, highly trained scientologists. They have a team of like-minded people working with them. The "ideal org" in Tel Aviv is like all the rest, an ideal morgue. Empty, shiny floors and vacant custom built chairs. Yet, a few miles away sits a flourishing center of activity. No marble floors. And no IAS Regges. No FART Div 6. And no FacebookPolice. No GAG II. And no teenage Hitler Youth Ethics Officer.
Jon Atack is the author of A Piece of Blue Sky, one of the very best books on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. He has a new edition of the book for sale, and for more than a year on Saturdays he helped us sift through the legends, myths, and contested facts about Scientology that tend to get hashed and rehashed in books, articles, and especially on the Internet. He was kind enough to send us a new post.
Jon, we've wondered about the earliest group around L. Ron Hubbard when he published Dianetics, and where were the results of this research he had supposedly done before the book came out. As you point out, we thoroughly went through the book and were pretty surprised by its claims about how easily it would be to create Clears. And so we're very excited that you're taking a close look at that period and the claims Hubbard made for Clear and later "OT." Take it away!
JON: I spend very little time surfing the Internet. I find that researching my pieces for the Bunker uses every moment of my spare time. I did spend a little while in Jeff Hawkins' fascinating corner of the Bunker, last year, but I've finally peeked at the equally fascinating Blogging Dianetics series, with Vance Woodward, and was struck by this L. Ron Hubbard statement (as I have been several times before, in the - oh, no! - forty years since I first read it):
The Church of Scientology has reacted very badly, and very predictably, to the Sundance Film Festival debut of Alex Gibney's HBO documentary Going Clear: Scientology & the Prison of Belief. Gibney's documentary is based upon Lawrence Wright's best-selling book of the same name.
As it always does when it is exposed as a fascist and inherently violent organization, the Church of Scientology has collapsed into its usual Paroxysms of Hysteria.
The Church is Scientology is well-known for the hyperventilating and venomous North Korean style propaganda it churns out when its dark side is exposed.
2014-01-31, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
A message from a veteran Los Angeles Scientologist who was recently "declared" resulting in her children disconnecting from her. She is speaking out in the hope that it opens the eyes of others and helps bring the abuses of the RCS to an end.
"It is necessary to happiness of man, that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving; it consists of professing to believe what he does not believe." Thomas Paine
I have been under the radar for too long now. I will not compromise my integrity any longer. It is important for Independent Scns to stand up and be counted so that this suppressive reign can end and lives can be saved.
Last summer, we broke the news that Leah Remini had ditched Scientology. Part of the surprising news of her defection was the detail that Leah had dared to file a "Knowledge Report" about ethical violations by David Miscavige, the leader of the church. This would be something like a Catholic turning in the Pope to the Vatican. A month later, we reported that Leah had filed a missing-person report on Shelly Miscavige with the Los AngelesPolice Department. Remini had aimed another dart directly at David Miscavige, forcing the LAPD and the world's press to ask questions about the church leader's wife, who vanished in late 2005.
Since then, however, Leah Remini's criticism of Scientology and its leader has been more subtle. After she joined the cast of Dancing with the Stars, for example, she took advantage of that huge media platform to skewer Scientology again — but in the form of an interpretive dance. Our sources told us that Leah was under a lot of pressure by her professional advisers to stop talking about her defection publicly and concentrate on reviving her acting career. (She now has a recurring role on TV Land's The Exes.)
But Leah hasn't given up taking swings at Miscavige and his policies.
Scientologist Carla Moxon is married to notorious Church lawyer Kendrick Moxon of http://www.kendrickmoxonesq.com . In this scene from a performance at the Sci Celeb Center chapter of "Toastmasters" Carla tells an exclusive "story" about her and her husband.
Toastmasters is a group of people who gather regularly to share their interest in public speaking both listening and talking.
Carla has reached the highest level of Scientology training: New OT 8. Despite this her performance in the video is pathetic and bizarre. Completely lacking the communications skills the cult claims to enable, she fumbles through a weird sci fi story that seems more about being unable to tell fiction from reality than about keeping the Toastmasters crowd awake.
Scientology Inc is firewalled and protected by a glut of attorneys.
The money extortion rackets extort maximum dollar out of the public and there appears to be no limit to what the Church will spend to protect themselves legally...
Famous for their huff and puff is the threat Ken (Rick) Moxon gives Pope at the end of this video.
Already facing a wrongful death and civil conspiracy lawsuit in the 2008 overdose of a patient and battling revocation of its license by state regulators, Narconon of Georgia is now being investigated because of allegations of insurance fraud.
In a joint investigative enterprise with Channel 2 Action news and the AJC, News-Talk WSB has uncovered allegations that the Scientology-based drug and alcohol rehab program headquartered in Norcross is accused of trying to bill United Health Care $166,000 for treating 19-year old Emily Morton of Rome, Ga.
Tomorrow, Ursula Caberta will retire from her post with the Hamburg state government after spending more than 20 years investigating Scientology's influence in Germany.
Yesterday, we had a lengthy telephone conversation with her, and reviewed some of the highlights of her career, which was one of the most troublesome for Scientology in Europe.
"I'm done with my work for Hamburg. I'm free to do other things, including finishing my final book on Scientology," she says.
2012-01-31, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
David Miscavige has ordered Flag Service Organization to sue Debbie Cook and Wayne Baumgarten in order hide his own crimes. The suit is summed up competently in a story just released by the Tampa Times, Flag Service Org Inc v Debbie Cook. Also see Village Voice coverage.
I predict the litigation will make clear that the sole intent of suing Debbie is to stifle the revelation of just how David Miscavige authored and dictated compliance to every off-policy action protested in Debbie's 1 January email.
Miscavige had virtually all of the OSA (Office of Special Affairs, dirty tricks and propaganda arm of Corporate Scientology) Network working feverishly for the first 26 days of January to destroy Debbie's and Wayne's business and to deplete their finances so that he would have an easy, broke target.
The judge in Scientology's Paris appeal trial deferred a decision on French counter-cult group UNADFI's status at the trial, effectively allowing them to play a full role in proceedings - a major blow to the defence.
The proceedings on Tuesday, November 15, were markedly more civilized than the shouting match that closed the previous week's session
After all the sound and fury that had brought the last hearing to a close, the fifth day of the trial was something of an anti-climax.
2012-01-31, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Cook, from her website Monday evening, the Tampa Bay Times reported that the Church of Scientology filed a lawsuit Friday in San Antonio against Debbie Cook and her husband Wayne Baumgarten. The lawsuit, which accuses Cook of violating the terms of a non-disclosure agreement when she dared to criticize the leadership of her church, should draw major media attention to various issues that have been splitting Scientology apart, as we've been reporting over the last few years here at the Voice
On January 1, the Voice was the first in the press to report that on New Year's Eve, Cook sent out a remarkable e-mail to thousands of her fellow Scientologists which harshly criticized the "extreme fundraising" of the church under leader David Miscavige. Carefully citing the words of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, Cook made it clear that she was not an outsider, but a member in good standing who wanted her fellow members to question where the church was headed.
Now, Scientology reveals that Cook and Baumgarten were paid $50,000 each to sign non-disclosure agreements as they left their staff jobs with the church in 2007. By speaking out in the e-mail, Cook violated her agreement, Scientology's lawyers claim. (Baumgarten is accused in the suit of being a "co-participant" in sending out the e-mail.)
This video section covers some of Sheila's experiences with Scientology teachings, including the lower-level training routines and top-secret OT3 information. She shares some funny stories and reflects on implications of the Scientology doctrine.
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PREMIER Ted Baillieu has questioned Lord Mayor Robert Doyle's judgment in welcoming one of the world's biggest Scientology churches to Melbourne.
Cr Doyle has been strongly criticised for addressing the opening of the controversial group's new Ascot Vale headquarters on Saturday.
Victoria's Deputy Premier, Peter Ryan, is backing a campaign to have the Church of Scientology stripped of its tax exempt status.
Independent Senator Nick Xenophon has been leading the push to overturn the church's formal recognition as a religious body.
Mr Ryan says he does not agree with the Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle's decision to attend a Scientology function on Saturday.
2011-01-31, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
The internal Church of Scientology documents reprinted below demonstrate Tom Cruise's personal personnel are chosen, handled and controlled by David Miscavige's personal office. The originator of the communication is a Church of Scientology staff member. She works full time on Miscavige's and Cruise's vehicles. The recipients of the communications are as follows:
COB Asst RTC - Shelly Miscavige (since sent to a Miscavige gulag) was Miscavige's personal assistant for two decades and his wife.
COB Comm RTC - Laurisse Stuckenbrock in that capacity filtered ALL of Miscavige's communications. She usurped Shelly Miscavige's position when Miscavige sent his own wife to the gulag.
http://www.BlockCenter.com Dr. Mary Ann Block Receiving The Citizens Commission on Human Rights International Human Rights Award. Dr. Block is shown receiving the award from Academy Award-Wining Writer, Producer and Director, Paul Haggis.
2009-01-31, Milo Yiannopoulos, Blog, The Telegraph
As the editor of Counterknowledge.com, a site where we debunk cults and conspiracy theories, I spend hours every day agonising over whether to run stories about the Church of Scientology. As anyone who has dealt with the Church will know, you have to be jolly careful what you say about them. I certainly can't afford an encounter with their lawyers.
But I'm considerably less apprehensive than I was even a year ago about running Scientology scoops. Why? Because the Church is now a victim of The Streisand Effect.
Now Scientology is under attack from a group of internet activists known only as Anonymous. Organised from a Wikipedia-style website (editable by anyone) and through anonymous internet chat rooms, "Project Chanology", as the initiative is known, presents no easy target for Scientology's lawyers.
Mailings of a suspicious white powder to 10 Church of Scientology addresses prompted the evacuation of dozens of people and the closure of a major thoroughfare Wednesday as hazmat teams were called to examine the packages.
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Hazmat teams were asked to study a mysterious white powder mailed to 10 Church of Scientology locations in California.
Scientology facilities were evacuated and temporarily closed Wednesday and Brand Boulevard in Glendale, Calif., was closed for two hours after a Scientology church there received one of the suspicious mailings, the Los Angeles Times reported.
"Initial field testing by LAPD indicates the powder is harmless. However, further testing will be conducted. We will also work to assess what threat, if any, was associated with the mailings and determine whether any federal statutes were violated," FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.
A group calling itself the Association for Prosperity and Security in the Middle East, which denies any connection with the Church of Scientology, has sent e-mails to social workers in Sderot offering to help the residents cope with the Kassam rocket attacks.
Just because Tom Cruise has never foisted the likes of "Battlefield Earth" on us doesn't mean he's not doing his best to spread the word of L. Ron Hubbard.
Why, just the other day, in fact, Cruise took the opportunity to turn a "Vanilla Sky" PR stop in Germany into a Scientology stumpfest.
The row over the status of Scientology in Germany culminated last year with the publication of a newspaper article in which Scientology compared the treatment of its members in Germany with the Nazi persecution of the Jews.
For two weeks, the room was locked. The German had been placed on an 'isolation watch' - or what Scientologists more informally refer to as a 'baby watch'. It is a treatment that was prescribed by the founder of the cult, L Ron Hubbard, a science fiction writer, for members showing signs of psychosis or mental ill-health - people who are, literally, plagued by evil spirits. It is the last resort for dealing with difficult Scientologists. It is a treatment that the organisation has so far kept secret.
The subject of the watch is observed at all times, and not allowed to talk to anybody. He or she is, in the language of the cult, 'muzzled'. Our witnesses, who have asked to remain anonymous, remember that the German was sometimes incontinent and that they had to wash him down at the sink in the otherwise bare room. The five people who guarded him were only allowed to communicate with him in writing. Eventually, he was allowed to return to Germany.
A February hearing is scheduled on the state's request to shut the center, on Indian land six miles north of Newkirk near the Kansas border.
Narconon attorneys on Thursday asked District Judge John Amick for a permanent injunction against any state-ordered closing. Amick upheld a restraining order last month allowing Narconon Chilocco to stay open despite the state denial of certification.
Narconon Chilocco's request came one day after another Oklahoma County judge refused to issue an order that would have let the center keep operating while it appeals the certification denial in Oklahoma and Kay county courts.
NEW YORK (AP) _ A federal judge on Tuesday blocked a critical book about Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, finding that it violated the copyrights of his authorized biographer.
U.S. District Judge Louis L. Stanton said the book, which is still in manuscript form, could be published after infringing passages were deleted.
Melvin Wulf, lawyer for the book's publisher, said the decision was "a dagger in the heart of the First Amendment" and would not hold up on appeal.
The court made the finding in a ruling yesterday in which it upheld the validity of search warrants used by police to raid the Yonge St. headquarters of the Church of Scientology and the Toronto home of a church member.
"These are serious allegations that can only be resolved at a trial on proper evidence, but clearly they are triable," court said. "The . . . crown does not contend that Scientology is a sham. However, it does not follow that because Scientology is a religious organization, it could not also be a money-making organization and thus disentitled to status as a non-profit organization."
In Hubbard's absence, Scientology is deeply riven by bitter disputes. A dozen or so of Hubbard's youngest followers, who have spent much of their lives in the cult's bizarre world, have seized control of the organization. Claiming to be "on Source" with Hubbard, and to be acting under his direction, they are also trying to gain control of the church's assets, estimated to be more than $280 million. About 75 senior leaders have been purged by the young zealots in a coup that has shaken the 29-year-old church.
Fighting these activists for Scientology's riches is Hubbard's estranged son, Ronald DeWolf, 48, who changed his name in 1972 in an effort, he says, to escape harassment by Scientologists.