2018-02-25, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The weekly show where I answer viewer questions left in the comment sections of my Q&A videos or sent to me by email at AskChrisShelton@gmail.com. This week, the questions I answer are:
(1) On a recent video you did with with Jon Atack, he mentioned that Hubbard didn't actually write most of his books regarding Scientology. I think he said Hubbard only really wrote Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. Can you provide any further elaboration on this? Are Scientologists generally aware of this? Who, besides David Mayo, actually wrote all that gibberish? What about all the policy letters and the other near constant utterances issued before Hubbard's death?
(2) How does a person overcome the anxiety that comes with not being dogmatic? For instance, given your intimate experiences with the subject of Scientology, you can easily and in good faith respond to the two most common retorts of "that's not real Scientology" or "it would work this time if we just changed X." However with other religions, economic systems, ideologies, etc. given their diversity and complexity, it just doesn't seem feasible to be able to answer those same two questions with a good degree of certainty especially given how broad those subjects are and how big their consequences are if true.
2018-02-25, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Tony Ortega covered the recent openings of Salt Lake and "Silicon Valley" ideal orgs with some interesting on-the-ground reports from observers.
I have, as is my wont, a few observations of my own.
Salt Lake City:
Rod Keller keeps his eye on Scientology's upcoming 'Ideal Org' projects, and this time takes us into central Florida's big tourist town.
Renovations are under way at 6770 Lake Ellenor Drive in Orlando, Florida. We think it will be the next Ideal Org for Scientology in the U.S., ahead of Austin, Detroit, Philadelphia or Kansas City which have all started demolition. The former headquarters of Red Lobster restaurants will be another in a recent series of Ideal Orgs far from pedestrian traffic, in an office park an hour by car from downtown Orlando.
Orlando is being promoted as the final piece of a Clear Florida, joining Clearwater, Tampa, and Miami and completely ignoring the fact that Jacksonville is by far the largest city in Florida. There is no Scientology org or mission there, nor is there any in the state capital of Tallahassee. The expansion is being driven by proximity to Clearwater, the Flag Land Base. Clearwater first spawned the Tampa Ideal Org, and now both are funding Orlando.
2017-02-25, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Scientology has always been a decade behind in technology with regards to books, tapes, CDs, film, computers, and database management. For a man who professed to be smarter than anyone else, LRH and his church have failed to keep up.
Year after year, the church rolls out their version of something Microsoft and Sony already perfected and released. Not only is Scientology's version out-of-date, it's of lesser quality.
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Last July, we told you about the odd way Scientology had become an issue in a criminal case involving the illegal trafficking of art made of rhino horn, ivory, and coral.
At that time, Joey Chait had been sentenced to a year in federal prison for falsifying sales slips and otherwise aiding in the illegal sale of prohibited items that had been sold through his father Izzy Chait's famous Beverly Hills auction house.
What caught our interest was that Joey Chait's attorney, Judith Germano, had tried to convince the court that Joey had experienced significant abuse growing up in a Scientology family and working in its harsh "Sea Organization" and then for his father, who was really making the decisions about what items to sell. The Chait gallery had been caught selling objects made of rhino horn in a federal sting, but by the time charges could be brought, Izzy Chait had suffered brain damage during a heart attack and was mostly incapacitated. Charges were brought against Joey instead, but his attorney Germano's sentencing memorandum seemed to influence federal Judge J. Paul Oetken, who disregarded prosecutors' request for a 3-year sentence and instead gave Joey twelve months and a day.
2016-02-25, 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?
Laura DeCrescenzo's legal team filed its latest brief in advance of a crucial hearing, and we have the document for you. Laura's forced-abortion lawsuit against the Church of Scientology is almost seven years old now, and trial dates have been set a couple of times. But there's a final hurdle that she needs to get past, a motion for summary judgment that the church filed that will be considered on March 7.
The hearing was supposed to happen in November, but Judge Rolf Treu, who had inherited the case after Los Angeles Superior CourtJudge Ronald Sohigian retired, seemed to panic just the day before the hearing and asked both sides to submit new briefs that would more plainly explain the issue.
Hey, we know it's a complex case, but that just seemed like a complete amateur move to us. And now, just a couple of weeks before this crucial hearing, we've learned that Treu is off the case and it's now in the court of Judge John P. Doyle, who has to do a lot of reading, and quick.
2016-02-25, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Oh No Ross and Carrie
Love these two. The second installment is worth listening to, just like the first. Smart, funny people explaining their experiences being sucked into the scientology bubble, including attending the New Year's event. It is humorous to get their take on how things come across to normal people that walk in the door. Listen here.
The IAS "Inglewood Edition"
2015-02-25, Tom Demeropolis, Cincinnati Business Courier
The downtown Cincinnati building that was once the home of the Church of Scientology of Ohio is set to undergo a $6 million renovation into market-rate apartments.
The building, located at 211 W. Fourth St., will be completely renovated into 39 apartments and two store-front retail spaces. Walnut Street Parking Inc. purchased the building for $650,000 in September. Karen Blatt, one of the owners of Walnut Street Parking, said this will be this company's first rehab project, but Blatt and her family have been involved in redeveloping Cincinnati real estate for years.
What a week of "dox" we have going on this week in the Underground Bunker. Scientology Australia had to open up its books because of changes in the law there, and on Monday we had the latest numbers and a rare peek inside Scientology finances. Yesterday, a release of government documents gave us our first look ever at L. Ron Hubbard's high school grades. (Random, we know.)
And now, today, another telling disclosure. We have the latest filing for the finances of Scientology's organizations in the UK which, for bizarre reasons we'll explain in a minute, are actually registered with Australia's national charities commission.
It was journalist Bryan Seymour who publicized what a strange setup Scientology UK has in South Australia. See, in the UK, Scientology does not have charity status. So, in order to get around regulation there, the UK orgs are registered as a company called "Church of Scientology Religious Education College, Inc. or COSRECI, which is based in Adelaide, Australia, where Scientology is recognized as a church. And that has all of the orgs and missions in Britain being registered to a suburban address on the other side of the world, probably for tax avoidance reasons.
2015-02-25, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The Valley Vultures are back at it, with another BIG PUSH for more money.
Come and be regged, and we will give you "treats, snacks and music!"
Let's "have fun and finish this" by you giving us more money.
2014-02-25, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The panic is becoming palpable in PAC.
The latest timing is now apparently set for the grand re-re-opening of AOLA and ASHO for 2pm Saturday (though it could change by tomorrow).
Various people have forwarded the emails they are being bombarded with. There are reportedly no bulk emails. Each one is personalized. And with admonitions NOT to forward them or send anything out in bulk.
2014-02-25, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This is another unintentionally revealing look at the true state of affairs with GAG II.
It makes a graveyard seem like a bustling hive of activity.
First — 90 Student Hat Completions (supposedly a GUARANTEED two week course) means that this is the size of the existing active AOSHUK field. Everyone had to redo this course (you can bet that the 90 did not include any NEW comps as they admit they didnt do 90 in the 7 previous years). Funny how this is what they hype — at an AOSH they are proud of their Student Hat Completions and that this is 30X. They have 30Xed something that didnt even need to be done by anyone at an AOSH since the dawn of time as nobody would arrive for the BC or OT levels who had not done the course at their local org when they first started. Woohoo! In 3 months they have scraped together 90 public from the entire UK. (You can almost guarantee there are staff included in these figures too — though not many as staff in the SO traditionally do very little study, their enhancement when it occurs consists almost exclusively of sec checks).
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 is along with us again this week as we dive into New OT 6. Despite all of the work we've done on OT 3, 4, and 5, we're still exorcising our space cooties on this level — or, in Scientology jargon, auditing our "body thetans" or "BTs." All of the things we've been learning over so many levels is all coming together now, with our BTs hanging together in clusters, and our learning how to telepathically communicate with them and see if they've got leftover issues from "Incident 1" (of 4 quadrillion years ago) or "Incident 2" (the Xenu genocide of 75 million years ago).
The set of New OT 6 materials we have is incredibly long and contains all of the New Era Dianetics for Operating Thetans (NOTs) stuff that Bruce first told us about on New OT 5. There's so much material, we've just put together some titles and a few outtakes for samples...
[BREAKING: See below for an important new story that aired this morning in Australia about a young woman reportedly held against her will by Scientology after having a mental breakdown.]
Roger Friedman over at Showbiz 411 put up an interesting story on Friday. He said that Anne Archer's "Artists for Human Rights" - a Scientology front group - was going to host a cocktail party for documentary filmmaker Rebecca Richman Cohen, and he wondered if she was aware that Archer and her Scientologist husband, Terry Jastrow, were connected with the church.
2012-02-25, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Paul Staffer posted his resignation from the church of Scientology here on Wednesday this week. He sent me an email this morning asking that I delete the post. He said he could not share the reason for the take-down. I just deleted the post. Thought you all should know. Stuff happens.
2012-02-25, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
This was some spooky week here in the underground bunker where we keep an eye on all things Scientology related. Some downright eerie things showed up in our stories this week: Surfers who can see the future. Beings living in clouds. Egyptian gods showing up in some lady's kitchen. And The Great Beast himself, of course. Freaky!
Looking for a little protection, we had a tough time corralling everyone into the magic circle we drew on the middle of the floor. But then all we had to use was catnip, so the felines kept messing it up.
Anyway, things started out with a special edition of Sunday Funnies -- we loved the mailer announcing that Chill EB was coming to the Melbourne Org! There's something about Melbourne these days, and we're big Chill fans going way back. (Well, to November at least.)
2011-02-25, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
I call Daniel Montalvo the Cisco Kid. He got that title after I found myself listening to War's classic by that title shortly after Daniel had stood up to a considerable wall of suppression late last year. You know, the dashing Latino-American cowboy hero with one hell of an integrity quotient - he fits the bill.
Here's how Daniel earned the moniker. First, he was coerced into a trap by Scientology Inc in-house counsel Kendrick Moxon. Moxon promised Daniel that he would be greeted at the airport by his wife and be provided with a hotel room so that he could route out if he returned to Los Angeles from the safety of Tom Devocht's home near Clearwater. Instead, Daniel was picked up by an OSA agent and couriered to a room where he was interrogated by the best LA lawyers Scientology Inc could buy. Daniel was coerced to throw me and Mike Rinder under the bus by confessing to a conspiracy of Miscavige's imagination. When Daniel held firm to the truth, he was escorted to a dank cell at the East LA branch of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's office. Without Miranda Rights being read he was treated to more interrogations by an LA County Sheriff Deputy Detective, bought and directed by Scientology Inc. Again, the demand to thow me and Mike Rinder under the bus became, well, extreme. Luckily, Cisco had strength and the good sense to utilize his one phone call to get hold of the Tiziano and Jamie.
We got to spend some time with Daniel in November at the Beghe ranch and at the Luglis' place. Thanks to you all, he's done a hell of a job in getting this strength up. "Coincidentally", the church sent a couple of gumshoes to Tiziano and Jamie's house while we were visiting. Scn Inc paid one Frank Salerno (one of many retired LA County Sheriffs who has claimed to be THE solver of the Hillside Strangler and other high profile cases) and his partner to put the screws to Cisco, as you can see here:
Anonymous has attracted plenty of attention from all sorts of news organizations; but their recent pro-Wikileaks hack attacks have finally landed them on the most important show in all of television: "The Colbert Report." Colbert dug into the twisted saga of Anonymous vs. the security firm HBgary, which ended with HBGary employees' inboxes spilled all over the web. Colbert at his geekiest, and good press for Anonymous-here's a rare mainstream outlet portraying them in almost heroic light, compared with usual darkness.
2011-02-25, Sophia Tareen, Associated Press, Seattle Times
The Nation of Islam, long known for its promotion of black nationalism and self-reliance, now is calling attention to another core belief that perhaps isn't so well-known: the existence of UFOs.
When thousands of followers gather in suburban Chicago this weekend for the group's annual Saviours' Day convention, one of the main events will include a panel of scientists discussing worldwide UFO sightings, which they claim are on the rise.
The Riverside County Board of Supervisors tentatively approved an ordinance Tuesday to restrict residential picketing to 30 feet or more from a person's property.
In a 4-1 vote -- with Supervisor Bob Buster dissenting -- the board accepted the final draft of the proposed measure, which is expected to be formally adopted next Tuesday.
"This ordinance reduces the risk of a violent confrontation and the likelihood of residents becoming captives in their own homes, where they should enjoy tranquility," said board Chairman Jeff Stone, who first proposed the measure in November.
Video uploaded for educational purposes protected by S.107 of the U.S.C.
A compelling look at the treatment of those trapped within Scientology's slave camps, otherwise known as "RPF" camps. They describe sleeping in squalid conditions next to rattlesnakes and scorpions. This documentary is rather old, and many have already seen it. But if this mirrored video helps just one person it will have served its purpose.
German Documentary/February 25, 1999
Dubbed into English
By Ina Brockmann and Peter Reichelt
The agency's board voted unanimously Wednesday to allow bus ads that propose only "a commercial transaction." The decision means that public service messages traditionally bought by such groups as the Salvation Army and the United Way no longer will be allowed.
Opponents of the measure called it a violation of the First Amendment and said they probably will challenge it in court.
One ad, in the form of an open letter addressed to Kohl, particularly stung the Germans because it was signed by 34 Hollywood celebrities, none of whom are Scientologists themselves. (The ad was sponsored by Bertram Fields, the Hollywood-based lawyer for Tom Cruise, who is a Scientologist.) "It's a mockery, a scandal," says Anna Rühle, the representative in the Berlin Senate in charge of keeping watch over sect activity in Berlin, "and very clever. Because it's an old story. Back in 1994, the Scientologists released a booklet called "Hate and Propaganda" drawing the same parallel."
LOS ANGELES -- The Church of Scientology tried to control Larry Wollersheim by separating him from all he valued, then started a campaign to destroy him, a lawyer contended Tuesday in a $25 million fraud trial against the church.
'Their aim was to destroy everything he held dear -- his family, his memories, his religion, his country,' Wollersheim's lawyer, Charles O'Reilly, said in his opening statement.
'Anything he valued, he had to admit they were harmful and evil to him and had to get rid of them. Only then could be be processed and become a full human being,' O'Reilly said.