Chris Owen continues his two-part series today with a look at what became of L. Ron Hubbard's hoax, a "Brainwashing Manual" that he pretended had been written by a Soviet academic. Yesterday, Chris traced the origins of the hoax. Today, he looks at its lasting implications.
L. Ron Hubbard's fraudulent "Brainwashing Manual" might eventually have faded into obscurity but for political events in 1956 and the intervention of a high-profile far-right activist. On January 18, 1956, the House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill to improve mental health care in the then Territory of Alaska. Six days later, prompted by the far-right American Public Relations Forum and Minute Women of the USA, the conservative Santa Ana Register newspaper published a lurid warning about the bill under the headline, "Now — Siberia, U.S.A." It claimed that the bill was the cover for implementing a scheme to turn Alaska into a psychiatric concentration camp, to which the government could deport political opponents from across the United States. It prompted a wave of activism from far-right groups.
Within weeks, the bill became one of the most controversial pieces of legislation before Congress for many years. Congressmen were deluged with thousands of calls and letters from outraged constituents. Some undoubtedly came from Scientologists, who Hubbard urged to write to their congressmen to protest the "Siberia Bill." He also appears to have stepped up the distribution of the Brainwashing Manual. It was likely no coincidence that an Alaskan legislator received it — it was quite possibly sent to every Alaskan representative in a bid to incite them against the bill. But its biggest impact was on the far right more generally.
2018-02-21, John P. Capitalist, John P. Capitalist
I recently posted an article showing why success stories are not sufficient to prove that Scientology auditing actually works, even though there are many people who claim to have received life-changing "wins" while using this technique. That's because of the nature of establishing the statistical validity of a hypothesis. The essence of the argument is that "the plural of anecdotes is not data."
But here's another reason that we can be fairly confident that auditing is a relatively ineffective tool for fueling personal growth: "independent Scientology," the practice of L. Ron Hubbard's "tech," should be a much bigger movement than it actually is.
When I first fell down the rabbit hole of Scientology watching in 2011, I read many stories of ex-Scientologists who claimed, in the wake of auditing, to have achieved life-changing results such as deciding to leave a bad marriage, etc. I concluded that auditing techniques, while dubious, could deliver results in some percentage of cases, though the success rate was likely to be far lower than evidence-based psychological techniques like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
2018-02-21, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
I was forwarded this "LRH quote" being handed out by scientology as a source of wisdom and inspiration.
It did inspire me to wonder how this squares with scientology spending tens of millions of dollars to advertise on TV and even starting up their own TV station with the SuMP?
Isn't scientology in direct violation of the word of Source? Aren't they, according to Him, actively participating in putting kids "in the middle of Hiroshima"?
Almost a year ago, former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder posted an explanation of what it meant when Scientology talked about one of its churches going "Saint Hill Size."
That phrase refers to Saint Hill Manor, in East Grinstead, England, the estate where L. Ron Hubbard lived from 1959 to 1966, and where Scientology was for a time a real going concern. Saint Hill is still the UK headquarters of Scientology, but when Scientologists refer to something being Saint Hill size, they're referring to those halcyon days while Hubbard actually lived there.
As Rinder explains, in 1982 Hubbard (who was in seclusion at the time) announced a new goal — for Scientology orgs to achieve Saint Hill Size by booming their stats by 5.4 times in a single year...
CLEARWATER — The City Council is moving forward with buying a vacant 1.4 acre lot across the street from City Hall owned by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
City Attorney Pam Akin said Tuesday that a purchase contract will be presented for approval at the regular meeting March 16.
The purchase will coincide with city plans to sell the current City Hall site at 112 S Osceola Ave. to a developer for residences, retail or other uses. A 10-year, potentially $55 million downtown revitalization plan unveiled this month encouraged redevelopment of underused parcels along Osceola Avenue to help stimulate the waterfront and promote economic development.
CLEARWATER — An Ybor City real estate broker has been snapping up downtown property on behalf of a buyer working very hard to remain secret.
This month, a newly former LLC called 601 Cleveland registered to Fred Edmister, acting as the broker, paid $13 million for the city's largest office tower, the nine-story, all-glass Atrium building, in the center of downtown.
On Jan. 13, a business called 715 Laura LLC, also registered to Edmister, bought an auto garage at that street address, less than a block from the Atrium, for $1.7 million, according to property records.
Is Scientology a Cult? Cult and Court Expert Rick Alan Ross from CultEducation.com provides information regarding L Ron Hubbard, Sea Org (Sea Organization) from The Church of Scientology, with notable famous (and non-famous) past and present members consisting of the likes of John Travolta, Leah Remini , Tom Cruise, and many more.
The Church of Scientology is a multinational network and hierarchy of numerous ostensibly independent but interconnected corporate entities and other organizations devoted to the practice, administration and dissemination of Scientology, a new religious movement. The Church of Scientology International (CSI) is officially the Church of Scientology's parent organization, and is responsible for guiding local Scientology churches. At a local level, every church is a separate corporate entity set up as a licensed franchise and has its own board of directors and executives.
Cult Expert Rick Alan Ross via CultEducation.com
2017-02-21, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This is something one of our readers sent in last week that highlights another facet of the fraud of scientology.
You may have heard of the recent situation with the Oroville dam in Northern California and people being evacuated. This story in the LA Times tells of the Sikh temples in Sacramento that opened their doors to displaced persons. There was also a link to other shelters and churches who had taken in refugees. NOT included on the list was the "ideal" Church of Scientology of Sacramento.
Here is an excerpt from the story:
2016-02-21, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The weekly show where I answer questions from my viewers left in the comments section of my Q&A videos or sent to me by email at AskChrisShelton@gmail.com. This week, the questions we take up are:
(1) On my final try in Scientology I realized that there are no real friendship connections between "Public" Scientologists and it seems to be frowned upon by the system itself. Every minute is monitored by staff and there is a great suppression of mutual communication and friendship. "Public" in the church keep to themselves and avoid each other mostly. The only place that seems to be safe to meet and chit chat is in the Sauna on a Purificiation Rundown! So bad that one woman was in the Sauna nightly for 6 months! She was only looking for a Scientology man, showing off her body, while checking out prospects. Got one. Done!
Question is: Are you aware of how disconnected these PUBLIC Scientologists actually are between each other and how badly communication is blocked by the system itself and why?
She was a Scientologist for 12 years. Three of them were spent as a lieutenant on founder L Ron Hubbard's ship in his Sea Org fleet. "He was a physically unattractive man," she says. "He had a deathly fear of dentists, so his teeth were a mess and so was his breath. Despite all of that, he made you feel like he was your daddy and you just wanted to please him. He would come out on deck at night, under the stars, and spin wonderful stories. He would tell us about who we were millions of years ago, the battles we fought back then, saying that now is our chance to move back in and free Earth from the slavery of the psychiatrists."
She left after they subjected her to six hours on a lie detector machine, refusing a place on its punishing Rehabilitation Project Force. Instead, she chose excommunication, which meant leaving behind her then nine-year-old daughter, who is still a member of the Church of Scientology along with her mother, who hasn't spoken to Bornstein since.
2016-02-21, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This is a recent (paid for) "press release."
These come out periodically as an effort to generate any sort of semi-positive media in the face of the overwhelming barrage of negative coverage that scientology continues to generate.
What is amazing about this one is what it DOESN'T say.
One of Scientology's early run-ins with the law resulted in a remarkable letter by L. Ron Hubbard that has previously never seen the light of day — in it, Hubbard claimed to be a psychologist, and proposed that a vast conspiracy had been aimed at his Phoenix, Arizona operation. It's a remarkable letter, and we have our friend and researcher R.M. Seibert to thank for bringing it to us after she managed to pry it out of the possession of the Food and Drug Administration with the help of the MuckRock website.
From 1958 to 1971, the FDA investigated Hubbard and Scientology, including a raid of the WashingtonDC Scientology church in January 1963. For more than a year, we've been posting remarkable documents from the FDA files, some of which have never been posted online before.
This time, we have documents that the FDA obtained from the files of officials in Phoenix, where Scientology faced one of its early legal challenges. L. Ron Hubbard had published Dianetics in 1950 while he was living in New Jersey, and that's where the first Dianetics "foundation" was formed following the book's surprising popularity. He also promoted Dianetics in Los Angeles, where another foundation was formed. But Dianetics proved to be a passing fad, and by 1951 Hubbard was in financial trouble and his foundations were bankrupt. He regrouped in Wichita with the help of an oilman millionaire there, and then moved to Phoenix in 1952, coming up then with his new idea he called "Scientology" and creating the "Hubbard Association of Scientologists International," HASI.
The one-minute trailer for Alex Gibney's HBO documentary has gone viral with >143,000 views in 24 hours:
Given the buzz surrounding the documentary, Alex Gibney and HBO have become the target of yet another Scientology smear campaign. Why is the tax-exempt "religion" of Scientology behaving in such a lurid and bizarre manner?
It is quite simple to explain.
My first episode of what I intend to have as a regular on-going show where I answer questions/comments from you the viewers which you've asked me in the comments section of my videos.
If you don't have a Google+ account and want to send me questions, you can email me at AskChrisShelton@gmail.com or use the contact form on my blog.
You can find out more and see other articles/videos I've made on my blog at http://mncriticalthinking.com
A 20-minute French programme on Scientology from 1972 includes interviews with some key figures from the movement. Can you help name some of the other members interviewed?
Here's a little gem that turned up during a rummage around the website of France's broadcasting archive, l'Institut national de l'audiovisuel.
This is an extract from a 20-minute report on Scientology, broadcast in January 1972. It was filmed mainly at Saint Hill, East Grinstead, southern England - Hubbard's base in the 1960s until the authorities made it clear he had outstayed his welcome.
2015-02-21, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
In the face of the enormous interest and critical acclaim for Alex Gibney's Going Clear documentary, Scientology is in panic mode. So, they do what they have always done in times of disaster: fall back on trying to gain sympathy by claiming to be the object of bigotry and religious persecution.
In typical arrogant Miscavige style, he refused to cooperate in making the film, not agreeing to an interview and making sure nobody else under his spell did either. It was a strategy he has used plenty of times in the past. And once the reporting is done, the whining begins: "they only looked at one side of the story," "they ignored all our information." It's the "victim of the media" card. But that tactic seems to be losing traction. People have caught on to the game and realize scientology tries to manipulate the media far more than it manipulates them. Not many fall into that category, but scientology has managed to scratch and claw its way into such an unenviable position.
Neither do people find the scientology "dead agent" smears convincing. In fact, they are more often than not seen today as proof that the central contentions of the "critics" and media (and this new movie will be the ultimate in this regard) are born out by the the church responses.
Jonny Jacobsen, our man in Paris, sent over a fun item today. We'll let him explain what it is.
I stumbled across this 20-minute reportage on Scientology, shot mainly at their Saint Hill base and broadcast in January 1972 on French television.
This two-minute extract introduces you to a number of people occupying important positions at the time, but they are not all identified by name here or even in the complete 20-minute piece. (Some of them don't even appear beyond this introduction.)
2014-02-21, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This one goes in the "Hall of Shame."Now, this is what I call "Pretense PR".
How can you have an entire building and staff devoted to "PRing" "Opinion Leaders" in WashingtonDC and they are afraid of identifying the people they have contacted?
Why even put out a promo piece with pictures of people if you are worried about anyone knowing who they are?
Federal District Judge Steve C. Jones (pictured, right) has dismissed a class-action lawsuit against Scientology and its drug rehab network, Narconon, that was filed by seven plaintiffs last June.
Atlanta attorney Jeff Harris filed the lawsuit on behalf of seven people who said they had been defrauded by Narconon Georgia, a troubled drug rehab center that gave up its license last year as a way to escape prosecution in a deal with a district attorney. That investigation included a raid of the facility, and is ongoing.
Harris filed the class-action lawsuit in a Georgia state court, but Scientology had it removed to federal court and then filed motions to dismiss on behalf of all four defendants — Narconon Georgia, the facility's parent organization Narconon International, the drug rehab network's parent the Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE), and Scientology's nominally controlling entity the Religious Technology Center (RTC), which oversees ABLE and the rest of the Scientology movement.
Our video source has come through for us again, sharing with us a short film that normally doesn't get shown outside a Scientology "org."
Like the other "quote videos" that we've been leaked, this was a short film which was intended to help sell a particular L. Ron Hubbard lecture or book. In this case, it's the "Special Course in Human Evaluation," which you can purchase from Bridge Publications for only $170.00!
Here's how Bridge Publications describes it: Who can you depend on? Who can you trust? Who will be a valued friend or a trusted associate? In the Special Course in Human Evaluation Lectures, L. Ron Hubbard shows you how to apply the technology of Science of Survival and the Hubbard Chart of Human Evaluation across your dynamics.
But perhaps the greatest Scientology mystery is that of Michelle "Shelly" Miscavige, the wife of David Miscavige, the Church's head honcho. As a Vanity Fair expose reports, she has not been seen in public in seven years.
Eric Tenorio It's been stunning to watch Scientology's drug rehab network, Narconon, plunge into crisis over the last year after several deaths at its facilities in Oklahoma and Georgia.
But a key part of that crisis has been the emergence of former Narconon employees who have come forward to detail the network's deceptive practices. Last year, we published the first damning accusations by Narconon Arrowhead's former president, Luke Catton, who has become a vocal source about Narconon's methods (and he has a new book out).
And now, another formerly high-ranking Narconon employee has gone public with damning new allegations that are quickly having an effect. Because of Eric Tenorio's allegations about the way Narconon has certified its employees as drug counselors, some of those certifications are being revoked as a new investigation is being launched, the Underground Bunker has learned.
On Tuesday, we noted that Scientology not only has still not opened its "Super Power" Building — which it started building almost 15 years ago — but that it says its Clearwater, Florida "mecca" won't be complete until it builds a major new auditorium — the L. Ron Hubbard Hall — on Super Power's south side.
The Hall was always part of the plans dreamed up for the mecca in the 1990s, but we wondered if waiting for the Hall to be built will set back the opening of Super Power even further. We don't know about that yet, but one of our tipsters did us a favor by visiting the site of the future Hall to snap some photos yesterday. After the jump, our tipster's report on what the place looks like.
Writes our source...
A minor controversy has erupted over a fundraiser that's planned for Saturday evening at the Fort Harrison Hotel. It's a celebration of the life of Shelly Leonard, a 2010 Democratic state House candidate from Clearwater who recently died. It's also a fundraiser for the Martin Luther King Center Neighborhood Coalition, which hopes to reopen the closed MLK Center in Clearwater. However, Leonard's family does not endorse the event, which costs $35 per person and includes live music and dancing. Meanwhile, some of Leonard's associates are moving forward with the event, saying it's what she would have wanted. Leonard was not a Scientologist, but the Church of Scientology offered the venue for the event because it agreed with Leonard's stance on reopening the MLK Center, her associates said. Leonard's family suggests donating directly to the Martin Luther King Center Neighborhood Coalition, a nonprofit group.
2012-02-21, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Mike just posted the following as a comment in response to another comment. To me it is one of those gems that cuts right to the heart of matters. It is timely since literally thousands of Corporate Scientologists have had some eye opening revelations come their way over the past two months. It behooves us all to consider who we are dealing with, what motivates them, and what considerations and concerns they harbor. It also is useful to examine the other side of the coin, and so, below the first article please see "Why We Leave" by Steve "Thoughtful" Hall.
Why We Stay by Mike Rinder
This is a really difficult subject to explain. I look back and wonder why I stayed as long as I did. And I have given this a lot of thought, and I am sure there are a lot of scholarly and learned treatises that would explain this phenomena. I have only analyzed this for myself and what I have seen or heard with others.
William Rex Fowler's trial should be about first-degree murder, pure and simple, Adams County District Judge Francis Wasserman said last week.
Still, the controversial and somewhat mysterious Church of Scientology will cast a shadow over the proceedings, which begin Tuesday.
2011-02-21, Jefferson Hawkins, Leaving Scientology
A poster at ESMB, "dianaclass8," wrote about the latest issue of Flag's Source Magazine, Issue 213, which she just received in the mail. Interestingly, their completions are listed as follows:
Clears - 5
OT 1s - 1
The City Council last week approved a proclamation declaring March 13 as L. Ron Hubbard Centennial Day in West Valley City. The proclamation will be sent to Tampa, Fla., where a celebration marking the day is planned for next month.
West Valley Mayor Mike Winder said the city routinely grants requests for similar proclamations, which only cost a few minutes of time, and that proclamations recognizing other religious figures, such as Joseph Smith or Mother Teresa, would be treated the same.
The Friends of L. Ron Hubbard Foundation in Los Angeles submitted the proclamation, but the request originated from followers in Utah, according to foundation representative Louis Ricketts.
Taking on the Church of Scientology in court is like picking a fight with the Russian army. When attacked, the church defends itself aggressively, wearing down opponents with a barrage of litigation while peering into their personal lives.
Ken Dandar knows this better than anyone. In the 7-year-long Lisa McPherson case, the Tampa lawyer and the church waged one of the most grueling, fiercely contested legal battles in Tampa Bay history
2008-02-21, Jonathan D. Silver, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Mr. Wilson spent much of the afternoon showing Ms. Young numerous invoices she sent to Dr. Wecht's private clients -- including Exxon Mobil Corp., the Church of Scientology and a Jewish center in Florida -- that overcharged for airfare, sometimes by more than $1,000.
On the fifth day of February, a video overlaid with a computer-generated voice described a movement that had been watching Scientology since the mid-1990s, and that it had taken note of the human rights abuses, the bribery and corruption of state legislators and lies the Church had used to achieve tax exemption and religious recognition from the IRS in 1993.
The voice went on to describe how the group called Anonymous would systematically dismantle the Church and closed with the chilling statement: "We do not forgive, we do not forget. Expect us."
"Part of me thinks they fixed up this dump and they don't bother anybody," says one neighbor. "But for an organization with a secretive and cultish reputation, I'm not really comfortable with the way they came into this community, telling everyone a dozen different stories."
Prosecutors will not pursue criminal charges in the unusual November case of a man and two female friends who restrained the man's wife with electrical tape so he could take her to a doctor
The State Attorney's Office last week dropped false imprisonment charges against Terry R. Hemphill, 54, Jamie J. Popa, 34, and Laurie Lynn Miller, 33. A domestic battery charge against Hemphill also was dropped.
Largo police arrested the three after finding they had bound Hemphill's wife, Cathleen, with electrical tape. Police were summoned to the Largo home after a neighbor reported seeing a suspicious vehicle in the area.
France's bitter 10-year legal battle with the Church of Scientology will reach a critical stage today when a Paris court will for the first time hear charges against the organisation itself rather than individual members.
The case, which could well decide the movement's future in France, is the first since the adoption there last year of tough anti-cult legislation that allows the dissolution of suspected sects found guilty of common offences.
2001-02-21, Laura Meckler, Associated Press, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Religious groups are voicing other concerns as well, including government infringement on churches' freedom. Others worry about government funding of religious groups outside the mainstream, such as the Church of Scientology and the Nation of Islam.
A judge ruled Friday that a frequent protester of the Church of Scientology cannot be blocked from going near its Golden Era film studios in Gilman Hot Springs or its studio manager.
Golden Era Manager Ken Hoden received a temporary restraining order against Keith Henson last month after Henson picketed outside the church's complex along Highway 79. Hoden argued Henson harassed and threatened him with a pool cue attached to a sign.
The roots of Scientology's opposition to psychiatry date to 1950, one month after Hubbard published Dianetics, a self-help book that provided the basis for the Scientology religion, which Hubbard launched in 1954.
According to Scientology literature, psychiatrists "on government payrolls" were calling Dianetics a hoax even though they hadn't read it. The church contends these critics were concerned that psychiatrists would lose millions of dollars in government money when people realized that Dianetics could solve their mental and emotional problems "for only the price of a book."
1997-02-21, Thomas C. Tobin, Scientology, St. Petersburg Times
In the days leading up to her unexplained death, a 36-year-old member of the Church of Scientology was being kept in isolation at the church's Clearwater headquarters and had started banging her fists against the wall, a Scientology lawyer now says.
Lisa McPherson was kept "from the secular world" by her own choice after an emotional breakdown left her wandering naked near downtown Clearwater, said Elliot Abelson, a Scientology lawyer based in Los Angeles.
During her isolation, he said, McPherson entered "kind of a self-destructive mode."
Abelson and other Scientology representatives insist McPherson was well-cared for at the Fort Harrison Hotel. They say the church's attention was supportive and benign.
The Supreme Court yesterday refused to review a controversial copyright ruling that severely restricts the ability of writers to quote from diaries, letters and other unpublished material.
The justices let stand without comment the decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York that quotations from letters, diaries, and other documents in a critical biography of Church of Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard constituted copyright infringement. The appeals court refused to issue an order prohibiting distribution of the book, "Bare-Faced Messiah," but only because the church's publishing arm waited too long to file suit.
The appeals court ruling has created alarm among publishers, historians and non-fiction writers because it suggests that such unpublished primary source materials "normally enjoy complete protection" from being quoted and that courts should generally enjoin publication of books or articles that copy "more than minimal amounts" of such material.
A judge has granted a two-month delay to the estate of the late Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard in filing documents detailing his wealth. Hubbard, also known for his science-fiction writings, died 13 months ago on his Creston ranch of natural causes. His will was filed last February, setting up a trust fund for his wife and four of his five children. The will cut off one child from any inheritance and left most of his money to the church in Los Angeles. An inventory of Hubbard's personal property not listed in the will had been scheduled to be filed Wednesday in San Luis Obispo County, but Superior Court Judge Warren C. Conklin granted the delay. A similar delay had been granted in December.