2018-02-26, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
My good friend Shel Goldberg sent this to me. I thought it fascinating.
Obviously, scientology has been spending a lot lately on TV commercials. The ad is on youtube and has over 1.8M views so far. Of the 1.8M views, only 297 comments and ZERO likes or dislikes. I've never noticed a youtube video that had no likes or dislikes, unless it had 0 views.
The church must be so paranoid of dislikes. I can only imagine.
Our readers know that we enjoy bringing you L. Ron Hubbard in his own words from time to time in order to get a better understanding of what Scientology is really all about.
Often, it's enough to see and hear Hubbard's words on their own. But since Hubbard claimed to be an authority on science, we thought it might also help to bring in an actual, you know, scientist to look at Hubbard's claims. (And this isn't the first time. We had a lot of fun asking famous biologist PZ Myers about a particularly bizarre Hubbard book.)
Today we're looking at a very early lecture Hubbard gave in the wake of his big success publishing the book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. Hubbard put out that book on May 9, 1950, and we've gone to the effort of blogging it from cover to cover in a previous series.
2017-02-26, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The weekly show where I answer questions from viewers left for me in the comments section of my Q&A videos or sent to me by email at AskChrisShelton@gmail.com. This week, the questions I answer are:
(1) I've heard Aaron Smith-Levin and Mike Rinder refer to the staff of the Tampa org as "Flag rejects." What does that mean? How does one become a Flag reject?
(2) Chris, a question on critical thinking and social justice warriors (SJWs). Just recently I found myself irrationally prompting some feminists via Facebook. All I did was make a comment that asked a lot of questions because the status poster was speaking on behalf of other people, and not just describing her experience. The funny thing is: When I merely asked some questions about her claim, I was bombarded by her fellows (mostly female and some male) with an onslaught of ad hominem attacks. To "defend" their precious friend being questioned, I was subjected to an unending character assassination. It didn't bother me, but it's interesting to see. At one point a couple people even commented that I can't just rattle "Ad Hominem" as an argument. In the era of the Social Justice Warrior, where they don't follow proper rules of argument but demand that you do, how are we to initiate any sort of change, or engage in any kind of dialogue? I have always held the view that if you disagree and don't want to have a reasonable discussion about a topic, then you aren't worth my time....but now there are SO many of them that it seems we need to find a way to get through. What are your thoughts on this?
(CCHRFlorida President Diane Stein)
Rod Keller keeps an eye on Scientology various front groups for us, and once again he's got the drop on CCHR...
Scientologists receive regular legislative updates from the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), Scientology's front group that lobbies against the mental health industry. This week, Scientologists are receiving a flurry of requests from CCHR Florida President Diane Stein urging them to write their representatives to oppose bills in the Florida legislature that would allow physician assistants and advanced registered nurse practitioners to execute certificates under the Baker Act. CCHR is against the Baker Act entirely, which allows for a 72-hour involuntary psychiatric examination of a person who may be in danger of hurting themselves or others. It is one way Scientology is fighting the "psychs."
J ust over a week ago, Donald Trump gathered members of the world's press before him and told them they were liars. "The press, honestly, is out of control," he said. "The public doesn't believe you any more." CNN was described as "very fake news… story after story is bad". The BBC was "another beauty".
That night I did two things. First, I typed "Trump" in the search box of Twitter. My feed was reporting that he was crazy, a lunatic, a raving madman. But that wasn't how it was playing out elsewhere. The results produced a stream of "Go Donald!!!!", and "You show 'em!!!" There were star-spangled banner emojis and thumbs-up emojis and clips of Trump laying into the "FAKE news MSM liars!"
Trump had spoken, and his audience had heard him. Then I did what I've been doing for two and a half months now. I Googled "mainstream media is…" And there it was. Google's autocomplete suggestions: "mainstream media is… dead, dying, fake news, fake, finished". Is it dead, I wonder? Has FAKE news won? Are we now the FAKE news? Is the mainstream media – we, us, I – dying?
In the first episode of a new series aimed at shining a spotlight on Watchtower-related news, I discuss the Stephanie Fessler lawsuit in Pennsylvania in which Watchtower's legal team was forced to reach a settlement after only four days of testimony. Joining me is Covert Fade, JWsurvey's editor, together with John Redwood, who was present for all four days of the trial.
2017-02-26, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This is a recent promo piece put out by the IAS.
It would lead one to believe that it is the IAS that "reached" 117 million people with the WTH over the last 12 months. That the hundreds of millions of dollars they receive annually is what finances the "4th Dynamic campaigns."
Remember all the promotion you see from the IAS about how their job is to carry out the "4th Dynamic" campaigns to salvage earth? And how THEY are the ones who are doing this to "guarantee the future of scientology"?
We know you've been looking for answers about some of the strange twists and turns affecting Scientology litigation lately. We've been pounding the pavement and ringing up our sources constantly, looking for answers. And now, we've hit paydirt.
We stumbled on the secret playbook of what's really happening in Scientology litigation today. And it's in graphic form!
We hope you find it useful. (Any similarity to anyone living or dead or living past lives is purely accidental.)
We're calling on the super-sleuths who frequent the Underground Bunker to help us out in an intriguing little mystery.
It involves a large payment to one of Scientology's key entities, and in a manner that seems to defy explanation.
Here's the background. About a year and a half ago, a man named Jonathan Ramsay inquired with the Church of Scientology about the accounts left behind by his father, Peter Ramsay, a Toronto Scientologist who died three years ago.
Today's post is a reluctant challenge. I'm nominating my own alma mater, the University of Toronto, as the new pseudoscience leader among large universities – not just in Canada, but all of North America. If you can identify a large university promoting or embracing more scientifically questionable activities, I'll happily buy you a coffee. Yes, it's personal to me, as I have two degrees from U of T. But I'm more concerned about the precedent. If Canada's largest university is making decisions that appear to lack a careful consideration of the scientific evidence, then what does that suggest about the scientific standards for universities in Canada?
The "Church of Scientology" is a term of convenience; as the Church itself told the IRS:
When people say "The Church of Scientology got IRS tax exemption in 1993" what is really being said?
The answers are surprising.
This story first appeared in the March 13 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
At regular intervals, Tom Cruise's devotion to Scientology makes a media splash. One of the first to call attention to it was John Richardson in a 1993 story for Premiere magazine, to which Cruise heatedly objected (though that didn't keep him from appearing on the magazine's cover to promote Interview With the Vampire a year later). The actor had not participated in the article, which focused on his friendship with Scientology head David Miscavige and the high value the church places on recruiting celebrity members, but had answered the magazine's fact-checking questions, calling them "repulsive" and "offensive." The Scientology reaction was swift. "Within three days of them finding out I was doing the story, my neighbors were approached by people asking questions about me, and my wife got a call asking about our sex life — then later the magazine was threatened with lawsuits," Richardson tells THR today. "The creepiness of Scientology cannot be underestimated."
2015-02-26, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Not Funny: Very Good News
Allen Barton announced yesterday that his play, DISCONNECTION has been extended to March 29 - fifteen more performances.
Encourage everyone you know to attend, everyone who has seen it RAVES about how good it is.
2014-02-26, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Every year, Miscavige bestows IAS Freedom Medals on individuals who have "eradicated psychiatry" or "brought peace" to "entire nations" through their "tireless efforts" to implement LRH tech and distribute the Way to Happiness as a "calming influence" on society.
But one only has to look at the real world to see how contrived these "accomplishments" are.
In 2005 (coincidentally) he lauded dedicated IAS members for their work in Venezuela and Ukraine. If you glance at the news, you will see both of these nations undergoing massive internal upheaval and civil unrest.
2014-02-26, Megan Gallegos, Courthouse News Service
A mother calls Narconon's $33,000 rehab treatment for her son a fraudulent and dangerous recruitment tool for Scientology, which, though mentioned throughout the 20-page lawsuit, is not named as a defendant.
Cathy Tarr and her son Michael Tarr sued Narconon Fresh Start dba Rainbow Canyon Retreat in Federal Court, alleging fraud, breach of contract and negligence.
2014-02-26, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Scientologists take a great deal of arrogant pride for allegedly possessing the only effective technology for producing super literacy. But is it super literacy or super literalness that it ultimately produces? Try asking a dedicated Scientologist a simple question under oath where the honest answer might not make David Miscavige and Scientology out to be infallible, and you will understand the question I pose. I have spoken to many journalists who have been driven around the bend dealing with Scientology's form of super literalness. Honestly review the arumentation you have received, or even used yourself, from Scientology staff and field staff members, registrars, public and officials at mass events. It is even omnipresent in the never-ending streams of publications spit out by Scientology organizations.
Here is an example of how this super literalness plays out in institutional behavior of Scientology organizations and how they interact with the world at large, from Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior:
"By way of example, until I just recently re-read the following Hubbard Guardian's Office Order, I would have vehemently argued that Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard never countenanced blackmail. Sure, they promote aggression, intimidation and fighting fire with fire, but just as surely not the commission of felonies as serious as blackmail. L. Ron Hubbard uttered the following on July 1, 1968, in a briefing to Mary Sue Hubbard about how her Guardian's Office ought to be conducting itself:
Under the guidance of Director Meghan Fialkoff, the Youth for Human Rights New York chapter hosted six human rights events for students at Marie Curie Middle School 158 in Bayside and Nathaniel Hawthorne Middle School 74 in Oakland Gardens to inspire borough students with tolerance and peace. The group reached more than 1,800 city kids with lessons on human rights and respect.
2013-02-26, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Here is a reality check on where the Scientology Bridge leads, at least within corporate Scientology. The following is a published 'success story' of a recently minted OT VIII. With all you have read on Super Power and the Super Power building on this blog - use the search feature in the right hand column if you haven't read much - please consider just how hard this OT VIII is working on creating delusory reality after expending God knows how many years and how much money attaining the supposed state of not having to continually do such. Really take some time to think about this.
Don't get me wrong, I feel for the guy. But, look at what's what here. He's apparently been listing incessantly why, after completing the highest pinnacle of the Scientology Bridge, he caved to ruthless regging not only for more rundowns (Super Power) but no doubt status-raising donations for completing the grounded space ship that is going to take the planet by storm (the $200 million plus Super Power building).
If it is even possible that a person could spend decades and hundreds of thousands to achieve the state of 'cause over matter, energy, space, time and life' and wind up in such a delusory, perhaps even hallucinatory, state don't you think it might behoove you to take a little time to evaluate this path against some standards not instilled along that path?
Sydney's Church of Scientology has denied putting a Taiwanese woman in isolation and holding her hostage, after she suffered a mental breakdown.
ABC reports Alice Wu was 20 at the time when she signed Scientology's billion-year contract in 2011.
She joined the elite Sea Organisation and moved to Sydney from Taiwan.
A family spokesperson, Teresa Wu, has told ABC's Lateline that soon after joining, Alice Wu asked to leave.
Mario Feninger Scientology's reputation for cruelty, for embodying the concept of a "bully," is well earned. But few of its acts of inhumanity have affected us like the story we have for you today.
It involves a man who is renowned for his skills at the piano, a teacher who has been hailed for his technique by such well known students as Chick Corea and Tom Constanten.
And now, at the age of 90, the man's church has compelled him to cut off all contact with a pupil who had been helping to support him financially. Why? Because that pupil dared to walk away from Scientology.
Revelations that the drug-free ambassadors were given taxpayer cash to publish drug awareness pamphlets based on Scientology teachings, have also sparked a review by the Department of Internal Affairs.
The group, and its sister organisation Drug Free Aotearoa, received around $10,000 from various Community Organisation Grants Schemes committees during 2011.
Drug education experts say the information in the pamphlets funded by the grants is not based on science, and should not be given government money or disseminated by schools.
Some parents and former teachers at Life Force, which receives about $800,000 a year in public funding, say the Pinellas County charter school has become a Scientology recruiting post targeting children.
Opened to serve a low-income Clearwater neighborhood and advertising classes in computers and modern dance, Life Force had begun pushing Hubbard's "study technology," which critics call a Trojan horse Scientology uses to infiltrate public classrooms.
And while Life Force students and teachers worked in poorly stocked classrooms and teachers went unpaid, the bankrupt school funneled tens of thousands of dollars more to Islam's business interests than she told the bankruptcy court she would charge.
2012-02-26, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
The Tampa Bay Times has done it again with another explosive report on the Church of Scientology. Drew Harwell's thorough report shows an alarming partnership between Scientology and the Nation of Islam that has drained dry a troubled charter school in Dunedin, Florida.
We also have a startling report out of Israel, where a new court pleading has Scientology's own attorneys accusing church leader David Miscavige of lying in order to drum up donations.
With reports like that coming in, we couldn't wait for our usual Thursday worldwide roundup. So hold on to your hat as we summarize this Sunday's bombshells.
2012-02-26, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Scientologists don't really have a Sunday service. They like to say that they do, because they crave mainstream acceptance. But unless Xenu rested after six days and L. Ron Hubbard just forgot to mention it, there's no reason for Scientologists to treat Sunday any differently than every other day of coursework, detoxes, fundraising, and generally clearing the planet.
So here at the Voice, we've come up with a Scientology Sunday tradition of our own, and we call it Sunday Funnies! Our sources regularly send us Scientology's wacky and tacky fundraising mailers, and each week we choose three of them to gaze upon, hoping that it inspires you to wax eloquent in our comments section. So here we go...
LATE-BREAKING ENTHETA: Just a few hours ago, an amazing, in-depth investigative report from Tampa Bay Times reporter Drew Harwell hit the Internet this morning. Harwell has done a killer job exposing how an unholy alliance of Scientologists and Nation of Islam thugs is sucking dry a Clearwater, Florida charter school while pushing L. Ron Hubbard's "study tech" on mostly Black and underprivileged kids. This story has so many troubling elements, we're still absorbing the enormity of it. Congratulations to Harwell for pulling together so many different pieces to the puzzle in this hard-hitting report.
2012-02-26, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
You need a scorecard these days to keep track of who is in and who is out of Scientology Inc in Toronto.
On the 31st of August, 1973, I stepped through the front door of the Toronto org for the very first time. I was introduced to the Public Reg, Judy Breaks. (She later became Judy Light, a Flag reg for some time, I believe.) I began the HQS course that evening. I was on the Bridge to Total Freedom.
On the 31st of August, 2011, exactly 38 years later, I stepped through the front door of the Toronto Org possibly for the last time. I came for a meeting with the Toronto Day Org's Ethics Officer, David Felske (David is the son of the local, Toronto DSA, a woman named Pat Felske). He showed me the two written official Flag Ethic's Orders that he had received that morning. I read them both. The first one declared me to be a Suppressive Person. The second one expelled me from the Church. The EO told me I would not be given a copy of either of these two published Ethics Orders. I left the meeting. I left the building.
There is, however, something of a question mark over the extent to which the powers-that-be at the university should be grateful for the 10 boxes of books, CDs and papers that are now stacked up outside the office of James Langman, the president of the Union.
They contain the collected works of L Ron Hubbard, the founder of the controversial Church of Scientology. They were bequeathed to the Union by David Gaiman, the church's publicity director in Britain in the Sixties, who died, aged 75, in March 2009. Langman tells Mandrake: "One of my predecessors invited Gaiman to address us, but he died before the appointed date.
William Rex Fowler, whose software firm faced ruin in part because he donated around $200,000 to the Church of Scientology, argued that he had been about to kill himself when his partner, Thomas Ciancio, interrupted him -- and wound up with multiple gunshots to the head. But a jury didn't buy it, convicting Fowler, who survived his suicide attempt, of murder.
As noted by the Denver Post, the jury didn't spend ages wrestling with its decision, returning its verdict in just a little over two hours. And while the judge overseeing the trial forbade attorneys from mentioning Scientology while delivering their arguments, the controversial church was the subject of much debate among observers, as is clear from our earlier coverage, on view below.
Authorities have shut down a child-care facility in Munich, saying it was trying to indoctrinate young minds with Scientology. The war between the California "church" and the German government continues.
At first glimpse, it might have seemed a joyous family reunion. On Feb. 9 Nicole Kidman's mother, Janelle, and sister Antonia arrived in L.A. from Sydney and were whisked away to the Pacific Palisades home the actress shared for two years with her husband, Tom Cruise. Friends dropped by to visit and play with the couple's daughter Isabella, 8, and son Connor, 6. Only the man of the house was missing. By the time of the couple's stunning announcement, on Feb. 5, that they had separated after years of marriage, Cruise had moved out. The presence of family and friends did little to boost Kidman's spirits. "Nicole is not upset," says one. "She is devastated."
And not just because a marriage that was the toast of Hollywood for 10 years has ended. As more comes to light about the breakup, it seems clear that Cruise, 38, is calling the shots—and calling them fast. His decision to file for divorce just two days after the couple announced their separation left Kidman, 33, "high and dry" and humiliated, says one friend. What's more, the pair had only begun talking seriously about a separation a couple of weeks before they split, when tensions over differences as abstract as religion and as concrete as where to vacation came to a head. "Even though there were strains," says Kidman's close friend, Australian director John Duigan, "the actual final breach was sudden and jarring."
With so much at stake—custody of the children, at least $250 million in cash, homes and other property, not to mention the images of two of Hollywood's most bankable movie stars—those close to the pair are bracing for what could prove a messy battle. "Just prepare for the cannons," says one Kidman friend. "This is going to get so ugly."
MOSCOW (AP) _ Police seized boxes of documents from the Scientology movement and questioned its leaders today, in the latest government action against religious groups in Russia.
Tax police and other security services spent 16 hours confiscating materials from the Scientologists' Moscow center on Thursday, and they returned today to question the leaders, the group said.
Authorities said they were investigating possible tax evasion and other financial irregularities.
Police seized boxes of documents from the Scientology movement and questioned its leaders today, in the latest government action against religious groups in Russia.
Tax police and other security services spent 16 hours confiscating materials from the Scientologists' Moscow center yesterday, and they returned today to question the leaders, the group said. Authorities said they were investigating possible tax evasion and other irregularities.
MOSCOW (AP) _ Police and secret service agents raided the Moscow Scientology center for a second day Friday, seizing files and trying to confiscate reporters' tapes of interviews with movement leaders.
Tax police and other security services spent 16 hours collecting boxes of documents and sealing rooms at the group's headquarters on Thursday and returned Friday to look for more materials and question members.
It was the second raid on the group's Moscow office in less than a year.
The Church of Scientology's magazine is again taking aim at the ClearwaterPolice Department.
The magazine Freedom has published many articles critical of the department and its employees, once describing an undercover detective as a "bad cop" who was "on a private mission of anti-religious hate."
Now magazine representatives are researching the personnel and internal affairs records of police Chief Sid Klein and other department supervisors, calling black police officers and contacting a lawyer who represents several officers.