On Saturday, Scientology held another grand opening of a new "Ideal Org," this time in Ventura, California, and angered local officials by releasing hundreds of helium balloons into the sky.
As we pointed out on Tuesday, Ventura mayor Matt LaVere called it "forbidden activity" in an angry posting on Facebook, and claimed that the city council had told Scientology not to release balloons.
Scientology initially was defiant, saying that it had a permit for the balloon release, but then yesterday apologized, claiming that there had been a communication mixup with the council.
On Saturday, Scientologists celebrated their new facility in Ventura County, which is a bit more than an hour north of Los Angeles. The occasion was marked by red and gold helium balloons being released over the scenic beach side community.
Church officials insist that they applied for permit for their event, which they say made clear there would be a balloon release. City of Ventura officials said the controversial church, which boasts Tom Cruise as one of its most celebrated members, was well aware that it would not be OK to discharge the mini-dirigibles, which can be ingested by animals and wildlife.
Representatives from the church reportedly said the balloons were environmentally friendly. Ventura Mayor Matt LaVere told CNN that was not the case and that Scientologists attended a city council meeting Monday where they apologized for their part in the alleged misunderstanding.
DAEGU/SEOUL, South Korea (Reuters) - An So-young had a gut feeling that the 31st person in South Korea to test positive for the coronavirus might be a member of the controversial religious sect she quit four years ago.
The person, dubbed "Patient 31," was the first of an explosive wave of cases that made South Korea's outbreak the largest outside of China. What caught An's attention was how health authorities were struggling to track the woman's movements before she was tested.
"That's their culture, they have to hide their movements, and that's why I guessed she was with Shincheonji," An, 27, said in an interview, referring to the Shincheonji Church of Jesus.
Last time, Sunny Pereira described how she was declared a "suppressive person" because she had briefly dated another woman in the Sea Org. (Homosexuality is considered a "perversion" in Scientology.) Sunny's punishment? Four months being held in the basement of Scientology's "Big Blue" headquarters in Los Angeles, three floors down below the entrance door you see in the photo above. Sunny now has another letter for us to see, one she wrote her mother from that basement.
In Feb 2004, after I had been under 24/7 watch and given a suppressive person declare order, I had done the first two steps of "redemption" as covered in Hubbard policy.
Shortly after writing that Step B, I reneged on my public announcement and wanted to get everything reviewed. I did not agree that the SP declare was correct. I simply did not feel that the "crime" deserved the "punishment" of being cast away, never to see my family again. I felt like I had worked hard for many years in the Sea Org and to end it in this way seemed a little unjust. I still wanted to leave, but maybe I was a little scared of being SP declared.
2019-02-27, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
This article about the fundamental principles of Dianetics (and later Scientology) called the "Axioms" was written for The Underground Bunker last week and is being re-published here so I'll have a record of my work on my own blog too!
Dianetics: The Modern
Science of Mental Health took the United States by storm when it was
2019-02-27, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The latest internet smear on me is a video from a person (Hans Smith) who claims I punched him.
That may be true, though I don't recall it and I had little interaction with him. But I have admitted (and so have many others) to punching people when in the Sea Org. At the top of scientology, if you were NOT willing to use physical violence you were considered too weak to hold your post.
There are numerous witnesses who can testify to the culture of violence at the top of scientology, many of whom watched David Miscavige dishing out beatings on an assortment of senior scientology officials. This was first disclosed by the St Petersburg Times back in 2009, but there have been numerous reports since then from virtually every person who was at the International Headquarters of scientology near HemetCalifornia. In fact, scientology itself has admitted that it was a culture of violence — though they claim it was all perpetrated by those who are no longer there (particularly Marty Rathbun, me and Tom DeVocht). They could never answer the questions posed to them by Anderson Cooper (among others) who wondered why if there was so much violence happening: a) it was not reported to law enforcement and b) how is it Miscavige could not know about it?
A 55-year-old Clearwater man faces felony charges for threatening former Congressman David Jolly on Twitter, writing "shoot David jolly shoot him."
Gerald Patrick McGuire, who goes by Jerry McGuire on Twitter under the handle @costaricancreat, wrote the tweet on Feb. 18 and has made other charged remarks about Jolly and Scientology.
McGuire admitted to the posting on Twitter during an interview with Clearwater police, according to an affidavit.
When the first notices for a memoir about Scientology coming out by author Sands Hall started appearing online some months ago, we distinctly remember former Scientologists and other Scientology watchers asking, "Sands who?"
Scientology memoirs are much more common today than they were just a few years ago now that the church's terror machine has been disrupted somewhat, but they still tend to be written by people whose names are well known in the ex-Scientology community: Janis Gillham Grady, Karen Pressley, Ron Miscavige, Leah Remini — just to name a few from the last couple of years, each of them very well known before their books came out.
Hall points out herself that she isn't a former Scientology celebrity like Leah Remini, and she's also not a former high-ranking Sea Org official dishing new revelations about the inner workings of the church.
2018-02-27, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Tampa "ideal St Hill size" org — the model, the org that raised the bar — has put out a new video.
This org is constantly touted as THE best Class V org on earth.
Of course, it should be. It is propped up by Flag. Many of it's staff are children of scientologists that live in the area or scientologists trying to be eligible for OT VII but they don't have a lot of money to give to the IAS so they "contr9ibute" this way.
2017-02-27, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
They put out these notices fairly regularly.
A few weeks ago they were trying to cast Allen Ginsberg and L. Ron Hubbard for $200-$300/day. Seems they are having some problems getting takers as they have raised the price now to $935/day.
I can imagine that in this day and age being identified as a "face" of WTH or Narconon is not a good career choice. And apparently the only applicants they had are english as a second language speakers. They even have to offer "gas reimbursement" which means this is being shot at Gold, not at SuMP. Apparently SuMP does absolutely nothing.
That was some Oscars last night, eh? By now you must have seen about a thousand different jokes about poor Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announcing the wrong Best Picture winner, and we laughed at just about every one of them.
But Moonlight's win over poor La La Land wasn't the only big awards news of the weekend. Your proprietor and a couple of dozen others were also winners in a different sort of awards category thanks to the Church of Scientology!
Well, the truth is, we've seen this before. Once again Scientology is trying to fight back against a tidal wave of negative publicity by claiming that the people exposing its abuses are all a bunch of religious "bigots."
2017-02-27, Tyler Hayden, Santa Barbara Independent
The SPLC report ― released February 15, soon after CAPS media director Joe Guzzardi spoke to The Santa Barbara Independent about his group's revitalization under Trump ― lists 79 hate groups in California, up from 68 the year before; 917 exist nationwide. "All hate groups have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics," the SPLC states on its website. That includes organizations openly critical of minorities, such as the Golden State Skinheads outside Sacramento and Jihad Watch in Sherman Oaks, as well as militant separatist groups, such as the Nation of Islam in Oakland and the New Black Panther Party in Los Angeles. SPLC says its hate index is created using publications, websites, citizen and law enforcement reports, field sources, and news stories.
In an article published February 23 supporting the CAPS "hate group" designation, SPLC research analyst Stephen Piggott describes CAPS cofounder and Malthusian philosopher Garrett Hardin as a "white nationalist" who laid the foundation for today's U.S. nativist movement. Hardin stated in a 1997 interview: "My position is that this idea of a multiethnic society is a disaster. That's what we've got in Central Europe, and in Central Africa. A multiethnic society is insanity. I think we should restrict immigration for that reason."
Hardin taught at UCSB and also served on the board of directors for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which, like CAPS, received funding from the now disbanded Pioneer Fund, whose original mandate was to ensure "race betterment" by preserving the genetics of those "descended predominantly from white persons who settled in the original thirteen states prior to the adoption of the Constitution."
Frequent contributor Jeffrey Augustine is back to help us with another look at Scientology's policies and procedures. In this case, what it means to turn over money for future use, and what happens when you ask for it back. Help us figure it out, Jeff!
It's a scenario all too familiar in the Church of Scientology: A Scientologist is pressured by a Scientology salesperson — called a registrar or a "reg" for short — to fork over a large sum of money to pay for courses he or she may not take for years. This is called "putting money on account."
"Putting money on account" makes it sound like the money is in a bank account, and can be added to or taken out. In practice, once a Scientologist puts money on account that money is no longer theirs. The money is treated as a donation and instantly becomes the Church's money. And per the terms of the donation contract the Scientologist signs when they make an "advance payment" – which is, legally speaking, a cash donation to the Church – they may never get their money back unless they complete a process that is deliberately designed to be obstructionist, glacially time-consuming, intimidating, and punitive.
2016-02-27, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Well, the truth is they never really had them (or anything else that requires spending money on anything other than buildings).
Remember Tim Bowles? Former "good guy" partner of Rick Moxon? He won an IAS Freedom Medal for his work with children in Africa.
The IAS repeatedly announces it's "support" for human rights, most particularly "Youth For Human Rights". They gave an IAS Freedom Medal to Mary Shuttleworth, the head if the whole show.
Alex Gibney tweeted about Scientology and the IRS Exempt Organizations Publication entitled Churches & Religious Organizations. This is IRS Publication 1828 (11-2013), Catalog Number 21096G; it is posted below as a PDF.
A related IRS publication is the 1994 document entitled Illegality and Public Policy Considerations.
The Church of Scientology is using 501(c)(3)tax-exempt dollars to engage in hate speech, libel, and defamation. This classic Scientology Fair Game was ordered by Captain David Miscavige and executed by CO OSA Linda Hamel.
NEW YORK (AP) — Since strutting onto the big screen in "Saturday Night Fever," John Travolta has had a career marked by dramatic ups and downs, from comeback king to Internet meme.
Travolta's latest step back into the spotlight at Sunday's Academy Awards was uneasy. He's been widely pilloried for his touching of Idina Menzel's face while he cooed "You, you my darling, my beautiful, my wickedly talented Idina Menzel."
"Apparently I played with her chin too much," Travolta told Jimmy Kimmel about his reunion with Menzel. At the conclusion of the Oscars, host Neil Patrick Harris predicted Travolta (booked to redeem himself for his infamous mangling of Menzel's name the year before) will be back at next year's show to apologize again for "all the face touching."
We have a special treat for you today. It's another full interview leaked for the first time from Channel 4's excellent 1997 documentary, Secret Lives — L. Ron Hubbard, and this time with Gerry Armstrong, who is probably very well known to most readers of this website.
The documentary is one of the better ones made about Scientology, and it contains numerous short clips of people who knew Hubbard. A source is releasing to us the uncut segments with these participants for the first time. So far, we've seen interviews with Hubbard's literary agent, Forrest Ackerman, his press assistant and lover, Barbara Klowden, one of Hubbard's fellow science fiction colleagues, Arthur Jean Cox, the former mayor of Clearwater, Florida, Gabe Cazares, and Hubbard's former medical officer, Jim Dincalci.
Gerry Armstrong is a special figure indeed. We've told his story before, and you might want to look at those pieces (one, two) before watching him here. But what's important to know is that Gerry worked closely with Hubbard in the 1970s, and he came across and preserved a vast collection of Hubbard's personal papers, which later became the subject of a nasty lawsuit as Scientology demanded that Armstrong return them.
2015-02-27, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Now, remember, out in the real world, we KNOW what this "rundown" consists of.
But in the scientology bubble, it is "confidential" and is not mentioned unless you have paid your entrance fee and are ushered into the special floor of the SP building, where you are then told that this "OT Rundown" consists of....
Running in circles. Literally. For a few weeks.
2014-02-27, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
It seems the wheels are coming off the Ideal Org bandwagon.
This from the land of superhype, where unreality is the norm and the KoolAid flows freely.- the "First Ideal Continent" springing forth from the Miscavige Minions of PAC.
Even with the Grand re-re-reopenings set for this weekend the lustre of the "Ideal Orgs" seems to have worn awfully thin. (As a note about this weekend, it occurred to me to wonder what Dear Leader is going to do for makeup on Sunday — his normal high-priced makeup artist Bruce has no doubt been booked for the Academy Awards for many months which probably has something to do with why there was so much resistance to changing the date?)
Arseniy Yatsenyuk Yesterday evening, Arseniy Yatsenyuk was nominated to be Ukraine's new prime minister in the wake of President Viktor Yanukovych's ouster.
Yatsenyuk is a former speaker of parliament and foreign minister, and led one of the factions of the opposition movement.
However, last week, when it looked like Yatsenyuk was likely to end up in a leading position after the country's upheaval, rumors began flying that he was involved with Scientology — rumors that have been around for at least four years. One conservative blogger in Dallas even suggested recently that Yatsenyuk was some sort of mole for both Scientology and billionaire financier George Soros.
"In the church, you're taught that everybody is lost," she tells the website. "They say they're loving, caring, non-judgmental people, but secretly, they were judging the world for not believing what they believed. To me, that is not a spiritual person. That's a judgmental person and that is the person that I was. I was a hypocrite, and the worst thing you can be in this world is a hypocrite."
Remini didn't like how her life with 9-year-old daughter Sofia was starting to parallel her own Scientology-centric childhood with her mother at a church compound in Florida.
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Leah Remini doesn't "want to be known as this bitter, ex-Scientologist." However, she opened up once again about her decision to leave the Church because she wants "people to know the truth."
The 43-year-old actress explained that her daughter's age -- Sofia is 9 years old -- was one of the most important factors in her resolve to leave the Church.
"She was getting to the age where the acclimation into the Church would have to start," she told Buzzfeed of the time children begin Scientology's "auditing" process.
2014-02-27, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Seems the Gods are not smiling down on Dear Leader.
Either that or some SP's have conspired to suppress the weather (though everyone else in California is no doubt pleased) and mess with his party on Friday and Saturday.
Confusion reigns inside the bubble — first they announced the date as last weekend, then changed to this Friday and Saturday ("to capture the Academy Awards crowd...."), then word went out that the events would be delayed until Sunday and Monday. Then that changed — like good OT's who will make it go right, "we will not be effect of the weather" and it was back to Friday and Saturday.
Teresa Wu, a family spokesperson, told Lateline that Ms Wu soon tired of her life in the Sea Organisation at Dundas and asked to leave.
"They put her into a place called the isolation room. She was still offered food but was locked in a room. It is an isolation room in the Sea Organisation," Teresa Wu said.
Scientology's lawyer Stuart Gibson denies the allegations on behalf of the group.
The Church of Scientology in Sydney has been accused of holding a young Taiwanese woman hostage after she suffered a mental breakdown.
In March 2012, Alice Wu was hospitalised after she punched a window at the Church of Scientology's headquarters in Dundas, in Sydney's west.
Ms Wu badly damaged her right hand in the incident. Her family claims she was trying to escape the facility at the time.
2013-02-27, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Disconnection in the church of Scientology is as blatantly applied as ever; even while it is vehemently denied. It is denialism, and a sort of dissociation, playing out in real time before our eyes. If you haven't seen it already, please read this story concerning the great pianist Mario Feninger and the wonderful soul Allen Barton, Mario Feninger Disconnects From Help. It demonstrates denialism and dissociation in living color.
I have been closely following this matter for some time. I came very close to initiating fundraising for Mario on this blog. The only reason I did not was because Mario made it very clear to Allen that he would prefer not to receive the inevitable blowback of being associated with our types. The story is very competently told by Ortega and it speaks for itself, so I will not focus on the details of Mario's plight.
Instead, I will focus on the journey of Allen Barton (for related earlier post see, Beverly Hills Playhouse.) Look at what his simple act of kindness and care has wrought. Examine the responses he received - disconnections, while denying 'disconnection' is an active policy - from Scientologists. Consider their 'rationale.' Consider the factors that resulted in such obvious denialism.
Lori Hodgson, with Jessica and Jeremy In January, in the wake of the Atlantic magazine disaster — when Scientology's paid "advertorial" extolling the virtues of leader David Miscavige was met with such public derision, the magazine yanked it down — the church tried another way to derail the overwhelming response to Lawrence Wright's book Going Clear by asking publications to run denunciations of the book by its spokeswoman, Karin Pouw.
Michael Calderone at the Huffington Post revealed that it was a Los Angeles crisis management specialist, Michael Sitrick, who was helping the church distribute these rebuttals to Wright's book, and that Sitrick had been hired by Scientology 3.5 years ago to help with its image.
By now, Sitrick must know what he got himself into. But just to be sure, Lori Hodgson sent him a remarkable letter recently to make sure he understands who it is he's working for.
A scathing report unveils the ways how leaders of a Florida charter school are using their position as a way to teach unknowing students the advantages of Scientology.
Students at The Life Force Arts and Technology school near Tampa, Florida were taught using methods championed by the creator of Scientology and they were taken to temples during school-sponsored field trips.
Though the school receives $800,000 in federal funds, it is still struggling financially and students were forced to print out their own reading materials at home in order get around mismanaged budgets.
2012-02-27, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Miscavige had his attorneys in on Saturday churning out juvenile threats in emailed letter form to Debbie and her counsel. One in particular is of interest to all who donated to the defense. George Spencer Esq of San AntonioTexas has warned that Debbie must preserve documentation of the amounts donated to her defense fund along with the names of all donors. He threatens that he is going to compel the production of such and that he intends to collect damages from the fund - of course leaving Debbie defenseless. Apparently Spencer's boss Miscavige is apoplectic over the fact that Debbie has managed to be represented by competent counsel. And since, as will be made clear below Spencer is now given to reading my blog, a word to you Mr. Spencer:
Your attempt to cut off Ray Jeffrey's office from being paid the minimal amounts he has agreed to take on Ms. Cook's defense for, while being paid sickening amounts of blood money yourself by the cult, can be characterized best by one word: UNETHICAL.
I wanted to let those who have donated through my blog know that your donations to date are safe from attachment since they have already been paid to counsel. Future donations will be similarly rapidly forwarded to their ultimate destination. Also, your identities are safe with me. I am committing right here and now to defy any order from any authority to produce the names of donors. I won't do it irrespective of the consequences to me personally. That is worse case scenario as we can find absolutely zero legal basis for Miscavige/Spencer's demand. But, in the interest of full disclosure, you all ought to know what Miscavige is up to with respect to the case you have so generously supported.
2012-02-27, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
David Miscavige opened yet another "Ideal Org" this weekend, showing up to cut the ribbon at the new Church of Scientology in Florence, Kentucky (servicing the Cincinnati area).
As you can see in the photo to the right, Miscavige showed up long enough to open the new building Saturday, which is just the latest in a string of openings happening all around the world.
As Miscavige has pushed his followers to raise money in extreme quantities to buy up these large buildings and renovate them, there's been a real question about their purpose. Church membership itself hasn't been growing, and the Ideal Orgs are replacing smaller facilities that weren't out of space.
He praised Scientology and its founder, L. Ron Hubbard. Farrakhan extolled the virtues of Scientology and its auditing process, which is considered spiritual counseling by its members.
"L. Ron Hubbard is so exceedingly valuable to every Caucasian person on this Earth," Farrakhan said.
"L. Ron Hubbard himself was and is trying to civilize white people and make them better human beings and take away from them their reactive minds. … Mr. Hubbard recognized that his people have to be civilized," Farrakhan said to a cheering crowd.
2011-02-27, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
The following threat was posted on a blog created and operated by the Office of Special Affairs, the dirty tricks intelligence operation of Church of Scientology "leader" David Miscavige. Last year I revealed on this blog that Scientology Inc was busy buying up every version of my name and Mike Rinder's name they could figure: https://markrathbun.wordpress.com/2010/06/25/david-miscavige-wants-to-be-like-mike/
Since this blog began, Scientology Inc has created more than twenty web sites and blogs devoted to attacking me. After we exposed one after another and the unlawful and tasteless content on each, and Scientology Inc shut one after another down, they settled on one central "anti Marty" site. Again they pirated my name in a vampirish attempt to garner an audience, "martyrathbunblog.com"
The following quotation is taken from the latest posting on that David Miscavige ordered and micro managed site:
What wasn't known at the time, but can now be revealed, was that the woman making the allegations belonged to Kenja, a self-empowerment group that many consider to be a cult, against which Mutch had been speaking out in Parliament for some time.
Though the allegations were ultimately dismissed, they changed the course of Mutch's life, and, together with testimony from former Kenja members, provide a chilling insight into the extraordinary lengths to which the group will go to defend itself.
Founded in Sydney in 1982 by a former encyclopaedia salesman, Ken Dyers, and his third wife, Jan Hamilton, Kenja billed itself as a non-political and non-religious personal development organisation offering a range of training seminars and courses. It offers the same seminars today.
A Scientology drop-out, Dyers wooed attendees with a carefully crafted personal mythology that included a hard-scrabble youth on Sydney's streets, a celebrated World War II record (that was largely falsified), and a barnstorming business career in which he traded precious stones, invented a tax-accounting system and worked as a trouble-shooter for Consolidated Press.
PirateofAnonymous has put together this look at how Supervisor Jeff Stone has railroaded an ordinance into place in Riverside County, California to try to stop protests at Scientology's desert compound near Hemet.
Called "Gold," this sprawling compound is where Scientology leader David Miscavige lives and rules over the organization. The gates are constantly guarded, the iron fence covered with spikes and barbed wire to keep members of the Sea Org (Scientology's elite paramilitary unit) from leaving.
Sea Org members sign a billion-year service contract, pledging to return lifetime after lifetime to work for Scientology to help "clear the planet," which means to convert everyone to Scientology. Some 2% of the population Hubbard described as Suppressive Persons. SP's should be eliminated "quietly and without sorrow," he wrote.
She's on the board of the Church of Scientology's Citizens Commission on Human Rights and has sponsored bills on its behalf to limit use of psychiatric medications, though at least one of her children has struggled with drug and mental health problems and another was an alcoholic.
2005-02-27, Clark Humphrey, Book Review, Seattle Times
Science-fiction fans, and even some scientists, can have an odd attraction toward the nonscientific, the magical and the mystical. Sci-fi, that realm of the plausible and the rational, shares bookstore shelves and convention costume parties with fantasy, that realm of the magical and the intuitive.
One striking example of this left brain/right brain duality is John Whiteside Parsons (1915-1952). One of the founding fathers of Los Angeles sci-fi fandom, he was friends with such authors as Ray Bradbury and Robert Heinlein, and he even lost a girlfriend to pulp writer and future Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. He was also a devotee of British occultist Alistair Crowley; Parsons' Pasadena mansion regularly hosted black masses and "magickal" group sex rituals.
And Parsons joined his imagination with his boyish love for blowing stuff up. In the process, he helped create modern rocket science.
Police and secret service agents raided the Moscow Scientology center for a second day, seizing files and trying to confiscate reporters' tapes of interviews with movement leaders. An investigator said the agents will continue searches until incriminating evidence is found. Investigators said they were looking for financial irregularities, but a spokesman for the church said authorities want "to frighten the staffers and force them to renounce their beliefs."
WASHINGTON (AP) _ A German parliamentary commission defended its examination of Scientology and other "so-called sects and pyscho groups" Friday, saying Germany's totalitarian history makes it wary of such groups.
Commission members strongly asserted there is total religious freedom in Germany, but insisted that Scientology is not a religion and its methods must be scrutinized because it is the subject of complaints by German citizens.
"We take the concerns of the people very seriously," said German parliamentarian Ortrun Schatzle, commission chairwoman.