Ontario Premier Doug Ford is offering a glimpse of his strategy for winning a second term in office, more than two years before the next election.
In a speech to Progressive Conservative party members in Niagara Falls this weekend, Ford reeled off figures about the health of Ontario's economy and went on the political offensive — but not against the official opposition NDP.
Ford's target was the Ontario Liberal Party, which holds just six seats in the legislature and remains without a leader until its convention on March 7. Ford attacked the leadership candidates with a tone that suggests — regardless of who the Liberals choose — that he will run in 2022 on a similar message as in 2018.
An anonymous drone pilot captured the scene at Saturday's Scientology 'Ideal Org' grand opening in Ventura, California, providing some stunning views of the event.
Scientology is normally extremely tight with security at such events, keeping out local press and other onlookers, so it's always fascinating to get a view of what's going on thanks to someone getting a perch from across a road, as in Atlanta, or through infiltrations by our readers, such as at the New Year's Event.
But having a bird's eye view of a lavish David Miscavige production is a real treat. Soak in these views and then we'll discuss our impressions of this grand opening, which was billed as Scientology's success at making California "all-Ideal."
A group led by Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, is driving a White House effort to purge government officials seen as "disloyal" to President Donald Trump and replace them with vocal supporters who regularly appear on Fox News, according to Axios.
Trump recently rehired Johnny McEntee, a 29-year-old personal aide to Trump who was abruptly fired in 2018 amid an investigation over "serious financial crimes," to lead the presidential personnel office and purge officials believed to be "anti-Trump," Axios reported last week.
This effort has apparently been in the works since at least 2018, when Thomas' group Groundswell submitted a number of memos urging the firing of so-called "Never Trump" and "Deep State" officials as aides complained that the government was filled with "snakes," according to the report.
2020-02-24, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
A tidal wave of Shermanspeak engulfed Ventura county as scientology's Dear Leader yanked his ribbon in front of his latest real estate investment in an industrial area next to a freeway.
The screaming headline at scientology.org is typical:
SCIENTOLOGY IDEAL ORG RISES LIKE A LEGENDARY KING WAVE IN VENTURA'S SURF CITY
More than two-dozen American Museum of Natural History curators called for the removal Republican megadonor Rebekah Mercer from the museum's board in 2018, citing her habit of giving to organizations that deny the reality of climate change. Now, it would seem, those demands have finally been met—though it's unclear who made the decision to discontinue the relationship.
Mercer's term expired in December, the museum confirmed, but it declined to comment further. The Mercer Family Foundation, which Rebekah Mercer chairs, did not respond to requests for comment.
The foundation has donated tens of millions of dollars to climate change-denial organizations such as the Heartland Institute. She and her father, Robert Mercer, were also among the biggest Republican donors in the 2016 election cycle, spending more than $49 million that year, including $15.5 million to organizations supporting Donald Trump's election. They introduced the president to former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, whose Breitbart News they also financed, and to then campaign manager Kellyanne Conway. Rebekah Mercer was also part of Trump's transition team ahead of his taking office.
When researching the origins of the Church of Scientology, the first place to begin is the life of L. Ron Hubbard prior to May 9, 1950 when Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health was released. This pre-Dianetics period reveals the Thelemic Sex Magick ritual known as the Babalon Working which Hubbard performed with Jack Parsons. During this period in 1947, Hubbard also wrote his notorious Affirmations in which he declared (among other things):
Your psychology is advanced and true and wonderful. It hypnotizes people. It predicts their emotions, for you are their ruler.
You will make fortunes in writing.
2019-02-24, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
I mentioned recently that we would have a write up from one of latest people helped by the The Aftermath Foundation. Here it is. With some interesting insight into the reality of the latest "ideal org" demonstrating the massive international expansion of scientology.
I was introduced to the world of Scientology in June of 2012 when I traveled from Utah to Michigan to do the Narconon program at the "Freedom Center" in Albion. After completing the program I was recruited to remain at the Narconon center as a staff member, which is a common practice at Narconon.
I was a withdrawal specialist for almost two years. I had to deal a lot with the sales staff telling lies to get people in the door. I would have to chase students down if they tried to leave. I was made to work 12-hr days 6 days a week. I would maybe get one paycheck a month.
2019-02-24, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
This week is the 200th episode of Critical Q&A - a landmark in any series and certainly one I didn't expect to cross when I started this so many years ago. Thanks to all of you for your love and support and friendship. This is a watershed moment for my channel and work. The questions were great and we really enjoyed doing this.
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.
#Scientology #LRonHubbard #SeaOrganization
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Rod Keller has another lesson for us today about Scientology's front groups and fundraising...
Being a Scientologist means constant exposure to fundraising efforts. Above the cost of the Bridge to Total Freedom and the cost to open Ideal Orgs there are solicitations for donations for causes large and small. The large donations are always to the International Association of Scientologists (IAS) and donors can attend the annual Patron's Ball for answering the call to fund Scientology's many Fourth Dynamic, or 4D causes. But where is the IAS when each 4D group needs money? Apparently absent as members regularly receive requests from these groups.
Is this campaign for the Foundation for a Drug Free World or is it United for Human Rights? It doesn't matter much as Sea Org member Betsy at the Los Angeles Org apparently runs them both and needs copies of L. Ron Hubbard lectures in Chinese to give to visiting human rights activists. The IAS apparently doesn't have the $560 to make that a reality. Not that it really costs Scientology $14 per copy to print. It's probably a dollar or two and the rest is profit.
Mike's Bio from his blog site https://www.mikerindersblog.org/mike-rinder-bio/:
I was raised a Scientologist from the age of 6.
By the time I was fifteen I had traveled from Australia with the rest of my family to L Ron Hubbard's home in England twice – the first time in 1966 when my parents completed through Power Processing and the second time in 1969 when they did the Hubbard Standard Dianetics Course and through to OT 7.
Geoffrey Blackwell, Counsel for American Atheists describes how his group was able to get the Scientology Kiosk removed from the LAPDHollywood station.
This kiosk was placed there by the order of LAPD Capt. Corey Palka, a long-time ally of the Church of Scientology. This relationship raises questions about the propriety of Capt. Palka's conduct as a public official.
Jeffrey Augustine then asks Geoffrey's impressions of Scientology's four basic contracts whereby it strips Scientologists of their civil and legal rights to the greatest degree possible.
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.
SHOP FOR CRITICAL MERCHANDISE
In October, the Church of Scientology held its first-ever internal arbitration procedure. It heard the case of Luis and Rocio Garcia, former members who had given about a million dollars to the church and wanted a good portion of it back.
The Garcias sued the church claiming fraud, but a Tampa federal judge, James Whittemore, stayed their lawsuit and agreed with the church that contracts the Garcias had signed as Scientologists obliged them to take their grievance to the internal arbitration — even though the church had never actually carried one out before.
The arbitration was held October 23 and 24 in Los Angeles, and the panel of three Scientologists decided to give the Garcias $18,495.36 — money that reflected what the couple had put on account for accommodations at the Flag Land Base in Clearwater and for the Freewinds cruise ship but that they will never use.
2018-02-24, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
In HCOPL, The Anti-Social Personality, The Anti-Scientologist, L. Ron Hubbard wrote that among his twelve attributes, the Anti-Social Personality "speaks only in very broad generalities. 'They say…' 'Everybody thinks…' 'Everybody knows…' and such expressions are in continual use, particularly when imparting rumor. When asked 'Who is everybody…' it normally turns out to be one source and from this source the Anti-Social Personality has manufactured what he or she pretends is the whole opinion of the whole society. This is natural to them since to them all society is a large hostile generality, against the Anti-Social Personality."
Despite LRH's pronouncement that generalities were the instruments of the anti-social personality, much of what he preached was based on assumptions plucked right out of the tool chests of these merchants of chaos. He made huge, broad-sweeping generalities about whole segments of society: psychiatry, the press, the military, the Internal Revenue Service, governmental workers, and the American Medical Association, to name a few. You'd almost think the man was paranoid!
Not only were these aforementioned industries evil, but so was everyone associated with them. If LRH got snubbed by someone within an organization, the whole organization was rotten. Everyone in it was a crook. Psychiatry in particular was loathed by LRH, "psychs" being the cause of all of mankind's woes since the beginning of time. No doubt it was a psych who introduced the concepts of misunderstood words, overts, and masturbation.
It's that time of year again! The new Impact magazine is out and it gives us a chance to see which of Scientology's most wealthy donors — we call them whales — were celebrated at the annual IAS gala last October.
We're fortunate once again to have the help of a tipster in Italy who received the Italian-language version of Impact, and then got us these images as soon as he could. We're so lucky to have so many great tipsters around the world who help out the Underground Bunker on a daily basis! Our thanks to all of our unsung heroes.
If you're new, we'll give you the quick rundown on what you're about to see from the pages of this special Scientology magazine. Every year, all Scientologists are under intense pressure to donate huge sums for a variety of different projects and in a variety of different ways. But one of the most important ways a member contributes to the cause is by donating to what started out as a defense fund for the church in 1984. The International Association of Scientologists (IAS) celebrates that founding every year in October under a giant tent in East Grinstead, England (except for in 2013, when it was held in Clearwater, Florida). The big whales are recognized if, during the past year, they have reached a new cumulative goal in their total overall spending.
A sharp-eyed observer pointed out to us that the Texas Supreme Court's docket posted a countdown date for Monique Rathbun to file a response to the Church of Scientology's petition in her harassment lawsuit. That date is set for March 21.
We asked commenter TX Lawyer about that, and he explained that it's an automatic date set after Scientology filed its petition. Monique can filed a response by that date, or, if she doesn't, then the court will decide if it wants her to file one and will formally ask her to. Or, he says, in some cases a party will waive the right to file a response if they feel the appellant has such a weak case the court is not likely to take up the case for consideration.
On Saturday, TX Lawyer told us that he does think the court will find Monique's lawsuit and Scientology's appeal interesting, and will likely want her to file a response. So, for now she's on the clock, but she might wait it out and be asked to submit one.
2016-02-24, Erik de la Garza, Courthouse News Service
The Church of Scientology asked the Texas Supreme Court to review a judge's rejection of its First Amendment argument in a lawsuit from a woman they filmed, surveilled and outside of whose home they protested for 199 days.
Monique Rathbun sued the Church of Scientology International, its leader David Miscavige, and four people she accused of harassing her, in 2013. Her husband, Marty Rathbun, was known as Scientology's number two executive behind Miscavige, before he walked away in 2004 after 27 years on the inside, according to court records.
Five years after he deserted the church, Marty Rathbun began denouncing Miscavige's "criminal mistreatment of Scientology clergy," his wife said in her original complaint.
2016-02-24, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
There has been plenty of discussion about scientology's ads during the Super Bowl and Grammy's. Much of it very derisive - the twittersphere lit up with comments as soon as the ads appeared. Many of them were pretty humorous.
They have run two ads — and neither sell anything. Instead they ask a lot of questions and direct people to scientology.org website. Maybe this is modeled on the original Jeff Hawkins Dianetics "question ads" that sent Dianetics back onto the NY Times bestseller list.
Back then, the success of the ads was measured by the number of books sold in bookstores (today, there are virtually no Hubbard books in any bookstores anywhere...). The success of these ads would be seen in visits to the scientology.org website. Fortunately this is easy to track with Alexa.
2015-02-24, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Jeff Mintz is not as regular as he once was, and for a while I thought he had been given the permanent heave-ho. It's a terrible thing when "good news" turns up on this blog as proof of stagnation.
Then, after a month of silence, the FSC San Jose stole his thunder and put out the Mintzmeat(tm) report from herself. She even stole his format, but changed it from blue to red (Mintz had changed "Good News" to "Late Breaking News" probably because of how much fun we had with his "good news" but Ms. Dodwell seems oblivious for now).
As always, I have added the latest figures to the end of the list of same stats that Mr. Mintz has been putting out over the last year.
Hubbard in 1928 We have another surprising set of documents recently unearthed by a researcher who is a friend to the Underground Bunker and has been making use of the Muckrock website for submitting Freedom of Information Act record requests.
For several weeks now, we've been plowing through documents released by the Food and Drug Administration, which investigated L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology for a 1963 raid of the WashingtonDC "Founding Church," and then continued to gather information during 8 years of intense litigation over health claims made by Scientology for its "E-meter."
We have found that FDA inspectors looked into every aspect of Hubbard's life, and in these new documents, we learn that in 1963 they dug up a pretty complete set of Hubbard's school records. Longtime Scientology watchers know that transcripts of Hubbard's brief college career have been online for many years. But now, for the first time, we have his high school grades.
The Church of Scientology recently found a new space in the Sherlock Building on the corner of Third Avenue and Oak Street in downtown Portland. Judging from the propaganda in their windows it appears as though they are attempting to "purify" Portland of its weirdness.
For the sake of responsible journalism it is also worth mentioning I have not found any connections between 2BWell.net and the Church of Scientology.
'Jamie DeWolf, Great Grandson Of L. Ron Hubbard, Says Katie Holmes Probably 'Horrified' By Scientology':
2015-02-24, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
It is heartening to see that established, credible media is now seeing the reality of what we set out to accomplish six years ago and suggested we had accomplished a year ago.
On 10 February 2014 we posted Miscavige's Obsession With the Rathbuns.
On 24 February 2015 the New York Times posted Scientology's Chilling Effect.
But the film doesn't really tackle the intimidation of journalists. One of the first journalists to take on Scientology, in the early 1970s, was a young freelance writer named Paulette Cooper. Scientology's retaliation was astounding. It framed her for supposedly sending bomb threats to the church. The documents it forged were so convincing that she was indicted in 1973 and was fully exonerated only when the F.B.I., acting on a tip, raided Scientology offices and discovered the plot against her in 1977.
Over the course of the next three decades-plus, there were a handful — though only a handful — of tough-minded articles like Behar's. "Everybody who wrote about Scientology knew they were taking a risk," Wright told me. You've heard of the "chilling effect?" Scientology offered a prime example of how it works.
Note: The following essay will be tl;dr for everyone except serious Scientology watchers. As such, it is not as accessible as other posts on the Scientology Money Project. Nevertheless, I wanted to post this in reference to what is happening to the Church of Scientology in Australia. Ref: Tony's Ortega's article of February 23, 2015.
Former Church of Scientology Sea Org executive Mick Wenlock wrote in 2006 that Scientology's Advance Payments Received (APR) liability was in excess of one billion dollars. Mick also wrote the following in 2006 at xenu.net:
"The basic idea that orgs should be 'upstat' is a core administrative belief in Scientology - it comes from Hubbard hisveryownself. Where they are raising the money from their local members they are merely following in the footsteps of almost any other religion. I am not sure why anyone would find that surprising except for the fact that Scientology came very late to this idea.
Independent senator Nick Xenophon has vowed not to give up on his quest to bring the controversial Church of Scientology to task over tax exemptions.
He failed in an attempt to have parliament approve a public benefit test to assess the aims and activities of entities receiving tax exemptions.
On Wednesday, the Senate voted 28-6 to reject the move, his third attempt to have parliament act on the church.
2014-02-24, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
More of the paranoia. It is becoming almost laughable.
Following on from the new staff "non-disparagement" contract comes this.
Apparently, the fringes of the internet are causing an unwanted effect on the mighty Cause Over Life OT's....
2014-02-24, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Tony Ortega had a fascinating document on his blog amongst the weekly "Sunday Funnies."
It is indicative of how paranoid things have become inside the bunker. And how much effect the work of those who have spoken out about abuses within the church has been. And how mortally wounded Dear Leader really is and how desperate to end the "torture" of exposure he is.
They are actually trying to get new people to sign a bizarre document, something so astonishing it bears as much exposure as possible. This says everything about the state of the RCS.
On Friday, Monique Rathbun upped the ante on her objections about Scientology's legal behavior by filing a motion for contempt in her harassment lawsuit against the church and its leader, David Miscavige.
Previously, she had filed a motion for sanctions, complaining that Scientology was holding back evidence that she was entitled to. Now, she's gathered more proof that the church is holding back documents, editing video it is required to turn over, and otherwise engaging in "dirty tricks" that she charges is a traditional part of Scientology's long litigation history.
In the motion, Monique Rathbun puts her struggles getting documentation from Scientology in the context of Scientology's record of litigation tactics, and even reaches back to Scientology's notorious "Guardian Office," the church's spy wing that was involved in a four-year-long infiltration of the US government in the 1970s, resulting in the prosecution of 11 top Scientology officials.
2014-02-24, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Because I feel like piling on today.
Steve Hall took the new RCS Non-Disparagement Covenant and revised it to substitute North Korea for the CoS, to show how just insane this document and the CoS mentality has become. It is both amusing and disturbing.
The church of Scientology is becoming a parody (Parodi?) worthy of the further attention of Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Miscavige and His Merry Band of Minions could become the perfect sequel to Team America: World Police or The Book Of Mormon.
LONDON, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- In what they called a victory against religious injustice, a British couple have become the first to marry in a Church of Scientology chapel in England.
The ceremony took place five years after officials refused to register the church's London chapel as a place of marriage, the Guardian reported Sunday.
The couple, Alessandro Calcioli and Louisa Hodkin, both 25, sued to have their religious rights recognized and in December, the supreme court sided with them. Justices ruled the chapel was a "place of meeting for religious worship" and overturned a 1970 ruling that religious worship involved a supreme being.
On Sundays, we like to reveal to you the wackiest Scientology e-mails, fliers, and other come-ons that were sent out to church members during the past week. And this week, the most exciting news that they received was about one of their celebrities, Marisol Nichols.
Nichols reached new heights of fame after her role as Special Agent Nadia Yassir in 24's sixth season. But she's also reached new heights in her career as a Scientologist. As you'll see in an exciting e-mail that was sent out to church members, Marisol has reached the pinnacle of spiritual achievement, and she's going to speak at her graduation on Friday at the HollywoodCelebrity Centre!
We learned about this when one of our tipsters forwarded to us an e-mail from Tom Cruise's former personal assistant, Andrea Doven, who just recently celebrated a graduation of her own at the Celebrity Centre. And now, look how excited she is to announce Marisol's event...
When you tune into the Academy Awards show tonight at 8:30 pm Eastern, please join us as we provide a Scientology watcher's view on the proceedings.
This is the biggest Oscars night for Scientology in many years, and we have been assured by sources who would know that the show will be watched at the International Base by the church's "Sea Org" members.
(And as if we'd signed Sea Org contracts ourselves, tonight's show is apt to feel a billion years long.)
However, Ms Paris's claims were backed up by a former senior executive on the Freewinds, Ramana Dienes-Browning.
"She made it very clear she did not want to be there," she claimed. "She had been sent to the ship so as not to be in contact with one of her parents and that is not what she wanted. She was very, very distressed."
2012-02-24, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
In November we started a new feature here on Fridays: the Voice has obtained hundreds of copies of L. Ron Hubbard's previously unpublished "Orders of the Day," which he gave to crew members as he sailed the Mediterranean. Our documents cover the period from late 1968 through 1971, and this time we're looking at what was happening the week of February 19 through 25 during those years.
After the jump, Hubbard surveys his latest land purchase and welcomes new recruits...
[Confused? Go here for our primer, "What is Scientology?" For recent controversies in the church, check out our stories on Debbie Cook, secrets of the Super Power Building, and spying on Tom Cruise. We know these 40-year-old ship's documents aren't for everyone, but they've been giving us some interesting insights into the mind of Hubbard as he ran Scientology from a yacht in the Mediterranean. Check back here often for more breaking news about the church.]
2011-02-24, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Casablanca turns out to be an apt name for our modest abode. There is never a dull moment. People scheduled months in advance are likely to meet the most fascinating folks who come through on an emergency basis. While what people face on the other side of the Wall contain similar elements, each being and the story he or she lives and the challenges they face are unique.
In the the past three weeks alone we have hosted four people who have informed me about being approached by OSA agents to infiltrate and disrupt our lives. Four people in three weeks. Four people who refused, and made their way half way across the country to tell me about it. Now, if the subjects of four failed attempts have made it to my place in a three week span, how many attempted infiltrations and disruptions do you think OSA operatives have attempted in the past two years?
What does all this mean?
Murder victim Thomas Ciancio was happy and upbeat about working at Fowler Software until early 2009, when the business began to fail, witnesses said Wednesday.
Many of the company's financial woes could be linked to a decision by the company's founder, William Rex Fowler, to funnel as much as $250,000 of the company's funds to an outside group.
That organization was the Church of Scientology, according to testimony.
2011-02-24, Jefferson Hawkins, Leaving Scientology
I ran across the following fable in a book by Gene Sharp, called From Dictatorship to Democracy (available as a free download here).
Sharp, Professor Emeritus of political science at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, is known for his extensive writings on nonviolent struggle, which have influenced numerous anti-government resistance movements around the world. Known as the "Clausewitz of nonviolent warfare," Sharp has influenced resistance organizations around the world, most recently the protest movement that toppled President Mubarak of Egypt as well as the movements in Tunisia and Libya. This fable, a Fourteenth Century Chinese parable by Liu-Ji, offers insight into the nature of political power.
In the feudal state of Chu an old man survived by keeping monkeys in his service. The people of Chu called him "ju gong" (monkey master).
While I was in Philadelphia with Peach, Nick and Abby we dropped in to a Scientology center and they offered to let me do a stress test. the camera this video was filmed on was dangling around my neck at the time so sorry for the wobbly footage. The camera I used to record this video is called an MD80 Pocket Camera Recorder. You can get them on ebay for under $100
Opponents of proposed picketing restrictions supported by the Church of Scientology raised questions Tuesday about Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone's relationship with the church's lawyer, Samuel Alhadeff.
Stone has pushed supervisors for months to approve an ordinance that would limit protests targeting residences in unincorporated Riverside County, including dormitories at the church's compound near Hemet. Alhadeff has championed the ordinance on behalf of the church at several meetings.
Riverside County supervisors today approved an ordinance that bars protests within 30 feet of residential property lines. The action comes a few months after a demonstration outside a Church of Scientology compound near Hemet. A protestor ended up in a scuffle with a security guard hired by the church. Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone drafted the ordinance.
The original proposal stemmed, in part, from complaints by the Church of Scientology regarding protests outside its 500-acre "Gold Base" compound near Hemet. The facility combines the church's "Golden Era" production studios with residential dwellings on either side of state Route 79.
Church officials described feeling threatened by the half-dozen or so picketers who gathered outside Gold Base's front gates last fall, shouting anti-church slogans and carrying signs condemning the church for alleged abuses. One person was arrested.
Sheriff's deputies arrested Mark Bunker and Douglas Owens shortly before 2 p.m., releasing them later with citations for trespassing, said Lt. Patricia Knudson. They did so after church members made citizens' arrests, she said.
Less than two months into 1992, well before the opening of the main season for journalistic awards, and we have already bagged a big one. The American Society of Journalists and Authors has selected associate editor Richard Behar for its Conscience in Media Award, in recognition of his expose of the Church of Scientology in the May 6, 1991, issue. The award, honoring "those who have ^ demonstrated singular commitment to the highest principles of journalism at notable personal cost or sacrifice," has been conferred only seven times previously in the 17 years it has existed. Needless to say, we are delighted and proud.