In 2016, with the help of our source at the Celebrity Centre, we put together a list of the 20 most important Scientology celebrities, and gave the list a unique twist: We ordered it by the likelihood that celebs might ditch the church.
Among those we predicted had at least some small chance of leaving, we listed musician Beck Hansen as third most likely, after Juliette Lewis and Giovanni Ribisi. So after the news broke this weekend that Beck has filed for divorce from his Scientologist wife, actress Marissa Ribisi (and Giovanni's twin sister), naturally people asked us if we thought this represented not only Beck's break from a marriage but also from the church itself.
First, we'll point out again as we did when we put together that list in 2016, Beck has never been a big proponent of Scientology. He rarely ever mentions it, and there's little record that he's participated very heavily in courses on Scientology's "Bridge to Total Freedom." Also, Beck has always been more loyal to his mother, Bibbe Hansen, who has left the church, than his estranged father, David Campbell, a musician still heavily involved in Scientology. (One indication of Beck's loyalties is that he took his mother's last name.)
2019-02-18, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
I have written a number of articles concerning the scientology's Fair Game doctrine and practice.
L. Ron Hubbard proclaimed those designated as "enemies" of scientology should be destroyed. It is a literal admonition to lie, trick, frame, smear, harass anyone scientology does not like. In scientology, the words of L. Ron Hubbard are the words of God — they are to be taken literally and it is deemed a "crime" in scientology to alter, deviate from or seek to interpret his words. They are not seen as parables, allegories or things to be interpreted, they are to be followed to the letter, without fail.
The list of people Hubbard did not like is a long one. First and foremost are those who speak about its abusive practices, followed by psychiatrists, psychologists, the FBI, CIA and IRS, any government intelligence organization, the media, law enforcement, judges and a whole host of others.
San Diego did not stay classy.
Instead, US Navy brass allowed pretend Top Gun fighter pilot Tom Cruise to save face over the social media flap that was created when the actor was rude to crew members. US Navy brass resorted to standard operating procedure and blamed the crew for a problem Tom Cruise created. Bad form. Read the screenshots of what TR crew members posted to social media.
It was all a big misunderstanding of orders claimed a very brief article that, incredibly, required two reporters to write. The need for two reporters obviously went to the fact that both are incompetent. The writers Andrew Johnson and Jamie Reis did nothing more than to write a mediocre public relations piece for Tom Cruise and the US Navy brass. It was very transparent: Tom Cruise is special and the TR crew was blamed for Cruise's conduct.
In this post, I'll further examine how Scientology morphed from a radical, insurgent mindset, to one of totalitarian monolith, ironically becoming the target of asymmetric tactics, rather than a practitioner. It starts with Hubbard's embrace of the occult in pursuit of methods of control over an individual or situation. However, the natural progression never stops at one; it invariably leads to an obsession with subjugation and power over an ever-increasing group, rather than simply individuals. Motivation is key in determining the intent of a foe, more so if there's asymmetry or incoherence in their strategy, especially if their motivations appear highly ideological-based. While financial gain and ideological dominance were part of Hubbard's motivations, occultism was a founding ethos in Scientology, indeed a vital pillar underpinning Scientology's abhorrent world view.
In my previous installment, I looked at how the Guardian's Office (GO) morphed from an insurgent, proto-asymmetrical mindset to one of monolithic, highly-reactive malevolence. But as long-time Scientology watchers know, malevolence was not exclusive to the GO, nor to its more current iteration, the Office of Special Affairs (OSA). Indeed, malevolence is systemic in all facets of Scientology, given its highly retributive-based, punishment-driven amoral operating philosophy. More so, this is not in organizational terms, an organically-evolved phenomenon; it is a direct reflection of the mentality of founder L. Ron Hubbard, who deliberately incorporated methods and processes that arguably ensured malevolence was a founding principle of his "religion."
Parsons' and Hubbard's dalliances with the occult are well known to Scientology historians, primarily as acolytes to English mystic and neo-pagan Aleister Crowley's Thelema religion. Much of Crowley's Thelema religious beliefs were perverted by these two, to the point where in a letter to another follower, Crowley essentially disavowed and damned the efforts of Hubbard and Parsons' in attempting to create a "moon child," during a series of occult-based events undertaken in early 1946, known as the "Babalon Working" rituals. While Parsons was in communication with Crowley during these rituals, Crowley was both encouraging Parsons as well as besmirching Parsons' reputation to other Crowley followers. Having compiled a list of Parsons' supposed transgressions against Thelemic practice, Crowley further stated in no uncertain terms that both Parsons and Hubbard were deranged, and that he wanted no part of any of their "discoveries." It's saying something when one of the most proudly louche and ethically and morally flexible individuals of the age calls you "deranged."
The show where I answer your questions. Please leave any comments or feedback in the comments section here below. I see everything and want to hear from you.
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2018-02-18, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The weekly show where I answer viewer questions left for me in the comments sections of my Q&A videos or sent to me by email to AskChrisShelton@gmail.com. This week, the questions I answer are:
(1) Recently you posted a video about the effect(s) of Anonymous' 2008 protest of the Church of Scientology. In that video you mentioned that if it weren't for the work of Anonymous that you would have never been able to make it as far as you have in exposing the ills of Scientology. Would you please explain this a little more in depth please? What would have happened to you had you started speaking out if there had been no Anonymous? What do you think that you would be doing now? Do you think that the Anonymous protests can be seen as the tipping point in Scientology's death spiral?
(2) You say that Scientologists believe that you control what happens to you, or that you "pulled it in," but Scientology blames its bad reputation on Big Pharma, evil psychs and SPs. Does David Miscavige pull these groups in because of what HE did in a prior life?
2018-02-18, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
It's a big weekend of ribbon yanking for the Chairman of the Bored.
These HAVE to be done this weekend or they will not make it into the March 13th event — and he doesn't have anything else to hype at that event other than to bring the Sherminator on stage to ramble on with some more fascinating tall tales about the life of LRH, and handing out some awards to pre-ordained winners of the "Birthday Game" (you will see, the ONLY winners allowed now are "ideal"). So, it is absolutely imperative these ribbon yankings were made to happen. After YEARS of endless PR pieces about Silicon Valley, there was nothing until 3 days ago when suddenly "we are holding a grand opening." No last minute files pleas for help, no desperate recruitment pitches. When push comes to shove, everything is unimportant compared to the photo of op of COB yanking his ribbon.
Saturday: Salt Lake. This "org" is a complete joke — there are about a dozen scientologists in the entire state and they raised virtually NONE of the money for this ideal org. But as I predicted some time ago, the desperation to have something to show and claim "look how we are expanding with these "new" orgs" is paramount for Miscavige. So, eventually, in areas where there are no whales and virtually nobody to raise funds from, he will start just paying for the buildings and renovations out of Sea Org Reserves. As I have also said many times, IF it is true that the "ideal orgs strategy" is what is going to "clear the planet" (as Miscavige has often claimed) then why didn't he just buy EVERY org a new building and renovate it? The same logic follows — if 10,000 onto OT VII is the make-break point of civilization and they haven't been able to crack 7,000 in 35 years, why not just put ALL SO members and ALL staff onto full time auditing and get them up to OT VII? It would reportedly handle all ills of this planet...
Rod Keller is helping us keep up with David Miscavige's busy "Ideal Org" program, which today is setting a record for two grand openings in a single weekend.
Scientology held a grand opening for the Salt Lake City Ideal Org yesterday, just a day before opening one in Mountain View, California today.
In a city known for the grand architecture of Temple Square, Scientology has chosen a rather mundane office building at 709 E. South Temple Street. This is a big upgrade from the previous mission to Class V status so this is a new org, not just the renovation of an existing org to the "ideal" standard. Every division and department on the Scientology seven division org board has a space in the building.
Frequent contributor Jeffrey Augustine was inspired by a story we did earlier this week to tackle one of the great mysteries: What, exactly, is a Scientologist?
On Wednesday, Tony wrote that a Tampa federal judge continues to uphold his ruling that a California couple, Louis and Rocio Garcia, must submit their allegations of fraud to Scientology's internal arbitration scheme — which doesn't, actually, exist. And part of their frustration, the Garcias allege, is that every time they select a Scientologist they want to make an arbitrator in the Orwellian scheme, Scientology finds a way to declare that person "not in good standing." Even the judge admitted it was pretty impossible to figure out who is and who isn't in "good standing" in the church.
What is a Scientologist in good standing anyway?
The show where I answer your questions. Please leave any comments or feedback in the comments section here below. I see everything and want to hear from you.
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2017-02-18, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
LRH said Suppressive Persons—SPs for short—were turned suppressive by getting profoundly crushed by another somewhere in the distant past—like way distant. Apparently, they've been stuck in this incident and fighting this battle ever since—sometimes for quadrillions of years. Everyone they see in present time is an enemy from this traumatic event.
LRH wrote, "The technical fact is that they have a huge problem, long gone and no longer known even to themselves, which they use hidden or forthright vicious acts continually to 'handle.' They do not act to solve the environment they are in. They are solving an environment, yesterday's, in which they are stuck."
How Can I Tell if Darth Vader is Really Bad?
2016-02-18, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
How do you talk to a friend, family member or loved one when they have become part of a destructive cult like Scientology? What do you say? What do you not say? How do you get them to think critically about something that they have no desire or willingness to question?
As we expected, as soon as the Texas Supreme Court temporarily lifted the stay in Monique Rathbun's harassment lawsuit against the Church of Scientology, a motion was filed this week in Dib Waldrip's Comal County court, and we have a copy of it for you. And sure enough, there was a surprise — the motion asked for substitution of counsel.
For a moment, we got pretty excited. Was Monique revealing that she'd hired new attorneys to replace the ones she'd fired?
But then we noticed that it was Scientology leader David Miscavige who had filed the motion about his attorney, Lamont Jefferson. It turns out that since Miscavige first hired Jefferson to represent him in Texas, Jefferson has left the firm of Haynes and Boone and has formed his own firm, Jefferson Cano.
2016-02-18, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
One thing for sure — it will involve taking your money. All of it.
Craig Mathieson? Been in the SO for 40 years and doesn't have a post worth mentioning? And they can't figure out who their top technical terminal is?
The Russian response confirmed that the rejections were in violation of freedom of religion, pointing out that the decision in the case was based on the Russian law and security reasons. Russia further pointed to similar cases reviewed by the ECHR concerning UK and Austria.
The ECHR upon reviewing the application, ruled in favor of Scientologists, awarding them 7,500 EUR as moral damages compensation.
Russia requested that case be referred to the Grand Chamber the Grand Chamber of ECHR. However, Grand Chamber refused to review an appeal. Therefore the Court ruling came into effect.
Attorneys for the church and two plaintiffs who say Scientology staffers pressured and deceived them into making large donations are expected to question more witnesses and complete their arguments, ending two days of hearings.
At issue: whether Scientology's internal justice system takes precedence over the U.S. legal system when it comes to former church members who want their money back.
Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore has drawn criticism over a comment about concealed weapon permits.
The Las VegasRepublican came under fire from Assembly leaders and women's groups after she was quoted in the New York Times as saying 'hot little girls' need concealed weapons to defend themselves from rapists.
'If these young, hot little girls on campus have a firearm, I wonder how many men will want to assault them,' Fiore told the newspaper. '
This is certainly a day we've been waiting for here at the Underground Bunker. Luis and Rocio Garcia filed their federal fraud lawsuit against the Church of Scientology back in January 2013, alleging that they had been lied to in order to get them to donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to Scientology's building projects and other campaigns.
The lawsuit has been delayed and complicated by numerous preliminary matters, but today a major issue in the case will finally get heard and possibly decided: Can the church force the Garcias into Scientology's internal arbitration scheme?
As a church, Scientology says any grievance it has with former members like the Garcias is a religious matter, governed by the complex agreements that the Garcias signed with the highly bureaucratic and litigious institution.
Claire Headley and Bruce Hines are taking us on our journey to train as Scientologists. Claire spent years working with Scientology's "tech," and was trusted to oversee the auditing of Tom Cruise. Bruce was in Scientology for 31 years and spent about half that time as a senior case supervisor. Go here to see the first part in this series.
Bruce Hines is helping us again as we push on into the upper Operating Thetan levels, and boy, are we excited. This week, we're up to Original OT 6, and the title for this level's materials is "Familiarisation as a Thetan Exterior with the Physical Universe." Hey, that's sounds major!
After some review and preparation, we proceed to Step One.
2014-02-18, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Something very amusing is happening in the bubble.
Either they are so paranoid, they are sending out invitations to the "Grand Opening" and "ribbon cuttings" in LA and telling people "not to forward this email" "for obvious reasons,"
Sixteen-year-old Jett died after suffering a seizure on a family holiday in the Bahamas in January 2009. The Saturday Night Fever star opened up to veteran broadcaster Barry Norman about the tragedy during an on-stage interview at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in central London at the weekend, the BBC reported.
Travolta confessed: "The truth is, I didn't know if I was going to make it. Life was no longer interesting to me, so it took a lot to get me better."
The 59-year-old actor and his wife Kelly Preston have two other children: 13-year-old daughter Ella Bleu and three-year-old son Benjamin.
Travolta credited the Church of Scientology with helping him to recover in the months following his son's death.
"I will forever be grateful to Scientology for supporting me for two years solid, I mean Monday through Sunday," he said.
2014-02-18, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
David Miscavige and his Scientology Inc picked yet another losing war against freedom of the press and of speech. This one was an official complaint and proceeding launched against UK Channel Four and Roast Beef Productions for their documentary Scientologists at War. Of course, only the finest and most expensive lawyers that could be bought in London took up the Scientology cudgel. The results were published in the official publication of England's official agency (Ofcom) tasked with upholding standards of fairness in media. The Scientology case can be found at page 43 of OfComm's latest journal. It is an informative read.
2013-02-18, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Learning the art and honing the skills of differentiation, identification and association increases accuracy of observation. It increases intelligence. It increases ability. L. Ron Hubbard aptly defined the application of those skills as sanity.
When one observes while exercising differentiation, identification and association one has assumed and assigned identity, differentiated himself from and made associations between himself and those phenomena and things that he observes. By doing so, one is experiencing duality in the mode of causation.
Continued practice in these skills can reduce complexities and systems to simplicity and create a heightened sense and certainty of oneself and his place and role in the cosmos. It can bring about an unrepressed, self-determined, well and happy state of being. Scientology technology, sans cultish policy/group think indoctrination, is well equipped to bring about that state (the means and reasons why are covered in some detail in the book What Is Wrong With Scientology? – along with vital data on how to steer clear of the policy/group think cult indoctrination).
Last week, we learned that Tom Cruise is playing hardball in his $50 million defamation lawsuit against Bauer Media, publishers of In Touch and Life & Style. Cruise sued after the magazines said he'd "abandoned" his daughter Suri following his split with Katie Holmes last summer. Cruise has indicated that he'll use depositions and document discovery to portray Bauer as a publisher of porn and magazines that appeal to neo-Nazis.
But if Cruise goes forward, he'll be subject to his own deposition by Bauer, and that gave us an idea. What sort of questions might the actor be asked, and how might he answer — if he were being completely truthful, that is? An actual deposition could take months to happen, but we've asked some people who know a lot about his involvement in Scientology to help us come up with this simulated interrogation. We only hope the real thing turns out to be half as fun!
State your name, please.
2012-02-18, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Somehow we're thinking Scientology's idea of "camp" isn't this fun It never seems to be a quiet week here in the underground bunker where we keep an eye on all things Scientology related. The cats had barely settled down from our brief trip to Texas when the bat signal on the Antipodean circuits went off, alerting us to an imminent bombshell.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves. The week started out calmly enough, with our usual roundup of hilarious Scientology mailers, Sunday Funnies.
And on Monday morning, we noted the weekend's worldwide celebrations of Project Chanology's 4th anniversary, as Anonymous once again raided orgs with their signs and masks and irreverent dance moves.
When Canadian film director and writer Paul Haggis ended his 34-year relationship with the Church of Scientology he wrote a letter to Tommy Davis, church's spokesman.
Haggis had a number of issues with the church including its position on gay marriage. His resignation from the church was a big deal because he was one of its highest profile members.
2011-02-18, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
The book "Cowboy Dances" (1939) talks of this Texas trademark, "The real two-step should be smooth and beautiful to watch." Take a look at the way Kay does it - real straight-ahead, dignified, and with a pleasing tempo. Welcome home Kay!
HCO PL 4 March 1965 : Reserved Payment Account
The New Yorker put the "long" in long-form this week with "The Apostate: Paul Haggis vs. the Church of Scientology," a piece by Lawrence Wright that weighs in at around 25,000 words. The article has generated a lot of buzz for its compelling storytelling as well as its subject matter: a week later the story still sits atop the magazine's most popular and most emailed lists.
Last week, the mother of Kyle Brennan filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Scientology's Clearwater-based Flag Service Organization and three Scientologists, claiming they took away Brennan's medication. The suit names the boy's father, Thomas Brennan, as a defendant; along with Denise Gentile, who is the twin sister of the church's worldwide leader, David Miscavige; and her husband, Gerald.
Clearwater police on Tuesday released more than 200 pages of documents from the investigation of Brennan's death. The reports don't provide evidence of a key claim in the lawsuit: that Brennan was denied access to the antidepressant Lexapro.
Very quickly put together edited highlights of the recently leaked tape, Ron's Journal1968. In it the convicted criminal L Ron Hubbard discusses tactics to use against Scientology critics, and his thoughts on psychiatry in general. Oh, and we also get to learn that Hubbard is not from planet Earth!
Link to full 60 minute Ron's Journal audio: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=B8FWEHHN
Download this video: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=CQIFYIMB
Work being done in Sweeney Canyon south of Rock Springs has come to a standstill, according to Sweetwater County Attorney Brett Johnson.
County residents had expressed concerns over IGSS building something unknown in Sweeney Canyon in 2008.
Rumors flew as suspicions surfaced about possible links between IGSS and the church of scientology, and people started to make formal complaints.
As concerns rose, multiple notices to stop the work were issued from the Sweetwater Planning and Zoning Office.
Representatives made multiple visits to the Planning and Zoning office, but failed to declare their intent with the land, or pursue the proper permitting procedures.
Since then, the case has been turned over from the Planning and Zoning office to the County Attorney's office.
"There is no litigation at this point," Johnson said. Johnson explained operations have ceased in the canyon.
"I hope they will choose to go through the proper permitting process before resuming work," he added.
The intent of IGSS remains unclear at this time, as county officials continue to monitor the situation for any changes.
2008-02-18, Michael Shermer, Opinion, Los Angeles Times
And yet this latest turn against the organization founded in 1954 by science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard has an air of farcical comedy to it. Why? Why aren't civil rights organizations and anti-hate-speech activists pouncing on these protesters? The reason, I suspect, is that most of us do not consider Scientology a religion, at least not a religion that resembles in the slightest the world's major faiths.
2008-02-18, Scott Pilutik, realitybasedcommunity.net
In short, the Church of Scientology is at least constructively aware that the e-meters being listed on eBay are authentic, and so have no basis under trademark-or under any other intellectual property basis, for removing these listings. What's actually going on here is that Scientology is abusing eBay's VeRO program, knowingly alleging Intellectual Property violations that clearly don't exist, so that they can limit the secondary market for e-Meters, controlling both the price and who can get them.
CLEARWATER - This evening's black-tie celebration of Black History month at the Fort Harrison Hotel is a clear signal Scientologists are forging fruitful relationships with persuasive voices in some of the nation's black communities.
Among the four black clergy to be honored at Scientology's annual Ebony Awakening awards ceremony is Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam.
The Reno Republican said introducing a bill to try the program in Nevada would be useless because of Democratic opposition. Democrats hold 23 of the 42 seats in the Assembly. Majority Leader Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, opposes the program.
Angle said she will cancel a March 1 trip by legislators to an Ensenada, Mexico, prison to look at the Second Chance Program. The trip would have been paid by Randall Suggs, an Arizona businessman with ties to the Scientology church.
Nevada Assemblywoman Sharron Angle says she's ending efforts to have women prisoners enter a drug rehabilitation program devised by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
The Reno Republican said introducing a bill to try the program in Nevada would be useless because of Democratic opposition. Democrats hold 23 of the 42 seats in the Assembly.
Mr. Clinton personally took on Mr. Travolta's pet cause after meeting the actor at last spring's conference on volunteerism. Time broke that story last September, but it was ignored until it resurfaced in the new George magazine. Now that both Bill Clinton and Scientology are defending themselves against scandalous headlines, a question arises: Could the President have offered to pimp for Scientology, currently battling a nasty wrongful-death suit in Florida, in exchange for a more favorable portrayal in the screen version of "Primary Colors"?
U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on Monday downplayed the U.S.-German differences over the treatment of Scientologists in talks with German leaders and dismissed members' claims they suffer from Nazi-style persecution as "distasteful."