For some time we've been planning to name Scientology's dirty tricks operators as #5 on our list of those employees and underlings and hired thugs who enable Scientology. But then, while we were recently a guest on Leah Remini's podcast, Mike Rinder said something that threw a wrench into our plans.
He pointed out that since a certain 2015 court case, Scientology's dirty tricks ringleader, Dave Lubow, has been neutralized.
Mike was referring to the criminal prosecution of private investigator Eric Saldarriaga, which publicly connected Scientology to an attempting hacking case.
2020-03-07, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
See my announcement on Friday — I am revisiting earlier posts during my vacation. Each day there will be a different one. While I might write this a bit differently today it still overall delivers the same message...
Dear Andrew, Taryn & Cathy,
You made a big issue out of my failure to respond to your letters, so I am responding herewith to the letters each of you sent.
jon answers the following questions from his friend Rex:
How did your friends (who were still in) treat you when you left? And then later when you wrote Blue Sky?
Following Blue Sky and the subsequent harassment, do you regret speaking out?
On January 30, Valerie Haney's lawsuit against the Church of Scientology was stopped in its tracks when Judge Richard Burdge Jr of the Los Angeles Superior Court granted Scientology's motion to force her to take her grievance to "religious arbitration."
It was a shocking development, and we scrambled to learn what Valerie's options were. We learned from a legal expert that she had two choices, and neither of them were very good. She could go through with Scientology's kangaroo court, putting herself in the hands of her abusers as it were, and then appeal the court's decision after the judge accepted the result of the arbitration. Her second option would be to take a chance on petitioning for a writ of mandamus, appealing to a higher court that would have no obligation to hear her matter, and in most cases wouldn't bother.
Now, a little more than a month later, Valerie and her attorney, Bobby Thompson, are trying a third option. They've filed a motion to reconsider with the court, asking Judge Burdge to change his decision, and they're citing some pretty fabulous evidence to support their argument.
There's a fun new letter in the Nxivm case file to Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis from Keith Raniere's lead attorneys asking the judge to look past the odd situation involving Raniere's lawyer Teny Geragos.
Raniere's co-defendant, Seagram's heiress Clare Bronfman, is being represented by Teny's father, famous defense attorney Mark Geragos. After prosecutors pointed out the potential problem with that arrangement, Teny responded in a letter to the court today.
"Counsel has made it clear to both Raniere and the government that she is aware and takes seriously her ethical duties to her client — including the duties of confidentiality and loyalty," says the letter from Teny and attorney Marc Agnifilo. "These duties have not and will not be impaired by her 'close family relationship.' We do not believe there is a conflict."
What's this? Some good news in the Luis and Rocio Garcia lawsuit against Scientology? You don't say.
It might be a relatively small development, but at this point the Garcias will probably take whatever they can get. This week, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta denied Scientology's attempt to derail the Garcias' appeal of their disappointing result in a Florida US district court, and their appeal will continue on.
In January 2013, the Garcias initially filed their lawsuit against several Scientology entities, claiming that they had been defrauded by a church that lied to them in order to convince them to make more than a million dollars in donations over their years as members. But Scientology's attorneys convinced US district court judge James Whittemore that because the Garcias had signed contracts obliging them to take all grievances to Scientology's internal arbitration, he couldn't interfere without violating Scientology's First Amendment religious rights.
Five Star Carting of New York is owned by GPB Capital
ProPublica today reported that the FBI and the BIC raided the offices of Five Star Carting, a waste management firmed owned by GPB Capital Holdings, a firm owned by Scientologist David Gentile. As we have been reporting, GPB Capital is under investigation by the SEC, FINRA, the FBI, and the BIC. This raid occurred last week and was coincident with the FBI and the BIC showing up unannounced at GPB's New York Office to obtain documents. From the ProPublica article:
The FBI and New York City regulators raided the corporate offices of a major private trash hauler last week, the latest sign of trouble for an industry under fire.
For better or worse, the Church of Scientology has become somewhat of a household name. The controversial church — which counts stars like Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and Kirstie Alley among its devout followers — has been making headlines since its formation in 1954, reportedly for its cult-like atmosphere and allegedly manipulative commercial practices.
The religious organization has been profiled numerous times by the media, but the church remains an enigma to many standing on the outside.
Sands Hall knows a lot about the often contentious religion after spending a decade of her life as a member of the Church of Scientology. When the church encouraged her to cut ties with some of her loved ones, Hall made the decision to leave the organization, and is now releasing a memoir titled "Flunk. Start.: Reclaiming My Decade Lost in Scientology."
In September, former Spy magazine co-founder and New Yorker columnist Kurt Andersen penned a widely discussed essay for the Atlantic with the wonderful title "How America Lost Its Mind."
The essay's penetrating look at the post-truth culture of Trumpism was a masterpiece of the form, blamed anti-science movements of both the left and the right for the predicament we find ourselves in, and, best of all from our perspective, mentioned Scientology a couple of times (as well as Scientology favorite Thomas Szasz).
Andersen included Scientology as one of the many harbingers that the rest of the country would lose pretty much all contact with reality by the early 21st century.
Katrina Reyes was eleven years old and living in poverty in Siberia, Russia when her mother joined the Church of Scientology. The Cult quickly exploited the mother and daughter and recruited them into it's notorious Sea Org. Katrina and her mother were shipped to Clearwater, Florida. Scientology used Katrina as child labor and she received no formal education. In Part 3 we hear how Katrina escaped from Scientology and started her new life.
A part of another project we're working on here at JohnPCapitalist.com, I've been taking a dive into one of the more esoteric bits of Scientology "tech": the "Data Series" in the Management Series, Volume 1. Volume One also contains the Organizing Series and the Personnel Series. The Management Series or "Green Volumes" are an extensive set of works that cover every permutation within the organizational domain of Scientology management.
Written over several years starting in 1970, the Data Series is defined as "a series of policy letters written by L. Ron Hubbard which deal with logic, illogic, proper evaluation of data and how to detect and handle the causes of good and bad situations within groups and organizations." Hubbard felt that Scientology management was failing in certain areas of understanding and leadership, and in writing the Data Series. He created a highly prescriptive set of policies, procedures and instructions in dealing with every conceivable challenge those in management might face on a daily basis. Starting with "The Anatomy of Thought" (HCO PL 26 April 1970R), Hubbard pontificates on "Logic," "Breakthroughs," "Data and Situational Analyzing'" and "Information Collection" among other topics, all in his uniquely bloviating and paradoxical fashion. However, what struck me most while reading through this "guidance," was not only his convoluted, typically tortured syntax, but more so, the abundance of nonsensical historical analogies and examples he alludes to throughout as a means of "illustrating" his points.
Hubbard begins by offering his definition of "sanity," derived from his unpublished work Excalibur, which apparently included a "fundamental truth," which was his definition of "sanity." Hubbard defined sanity as "the ability to recognize differences, similarities, and identities;" he further goes on to state that "this is also intelligence." Aside from the usual Hubbardian bluster, none of this is even remotely close to the universally accepted definition of both "sanity" and "intelligence." If anything, it may vaguely resemble "cognition," which is "the process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses."
(Paul Haggis and Nancy Cartwright)
Last week our man at the HollywoodCelebrity Centre let us know that Nancy Cartwright's movie, In Search of Fellini, had screened, and he wanted us to understand that it was a movie with more Scientologists involved than maybe any other ever. From Nancy, who wrote it, to its director, to many of its actors, and plenty of other people on the crew, this is a film that Scientology is hoping will do well.
Well, since then, we learned from Roger Friedman that there was a bit of a surprise about that first screening, which happened on the closing night of the 12th annual Los Angeles Italia film festival on February 24...
A more unusual complication is emerging in Clearwater, where city officials are about to surrender responsibility for economic development and business recruitment in much of the city's downtown. As reported in the Tampa Bay Times, the Church of Scientology has a plan to control a large swath of downtown real estate and create a master retail district that will operate under its management and oversight.
City manager Bill Horne tells the Times he's willing to let Scientology officials take the lead on recruiting businesses in the hope they can find the economic solution that has eluded the city government.
"We have to try something," Horne said. "We haven't been successful on our own."
The Los Angeles office of an outdoor advertising company has backed out on a deal that would have placed an anti-Scientology billboard just blocks away from the LA headquarters of the religious organization.
According to the Underground Bunker, former Scientologist Phil Jones signed a 3-month contract worth $8,200 with Outfront Media — formerly CBS Outdoor — to place the billboard within walking distance of the headquarters.
Jones states that he was informed the contract was shot down by the New York office of the advertising company but he has yet to receive an explanation.
2016-03-07, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
What you see below are 4 letters asking someone in Clearwater for money for Orlando "ideal" org.
All 4 of them were put into one envelope.
Apparently the Orlando org does not have enough money to mail 4 separate letters. Nor do they have money for letterhead. Or anything but the cheapest paper and envelopes.
If Caitlyn Jenner is going to be Ted Cruz's trans ambassador, her newest co-star Kate Bornstein has offered to be his court jester instead.
The 68-year-old former high-ranking Scientologist turned beloved auntie of the genderqueer is living her latest incarnation as a reality TV star, parking her outsider status as she boards an RV Sunday night with America's most famous family.
"I promise to give him at least one giggle a day, and I'd offer him a fair and balanced counterview to anything he's got," Bornstein texted this reporter about Cruz a day after our interview on the new season of Jenner's show, where Bornstein is now a series regular.
(The claim that got this 2015 Scientology ad banned.)
When we saw the news last week that the U.K.'s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) had banned a Scientology television commercial, we immediately assumed that we knew who had made the complaint about the ad that eventually got it taken down.
The TV ad made the same claim — about Scientology's "Volunteer Minister" program aiding some 24 million people — as appeared in a print ad last summer which was the subject of a complaint to the ASA by Underground Bunker commenter Once_Born, who runs the the excellent Scientology Books and Media blog.
2015-03-07, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
I have known Andy Porter for many, many years.
He was somewhat of a legend due to his work opening Russia and many of its former satellites to scientology. Andy spent many years defining the term "pioneer." He was an unsung hero who did a lot of the REAL work behind the scenes that ended up being glorified in IAS Freedom Medal winner videos and other event presentations.
Andy now hails from the northwestern corner of Washington State where he lives with his wife and 10 year old son. He is an accomplished landscape photographer focused on capturing the beauty and majesty of the North Cascades. He sells fine art prints, teaches photo classes and gives photo tours. You can see more about Andy and his images here: www.AndyPorterImages.com
Jon Atack is the author of A Piece of Blue Sky, one of the very best books on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. He has a new edition of the book for sale, and for more than a year on Saturdays he helped us sift through the legends, myths, and contested facts about Scientology that tend to get hashed and rehashed in books, articles, and especially on the Internet. He was kind enough to send us a new post.
Jon sent us just a short anecdote this time, which only whets our appetite for more. But we know he's a busy man and has a lot going on that will come to fruition later this year. We'll take what we can get. Tell it, Jon...
JON: In 1993, I was in Chicago, working on a documentary project with Carlos Cornier. The documentary did not see the light of day, though some of my footage went into an A&E piece, which also featured David Miscavige. We had done a week of filming in England. Now Carlos wanted to add some American colour.
On Sunday, Brad Halsey took his own life. He was 56.
Many of you know him for the 11-minute video he posted last year to YouTube, calling out Tom Cruise for the way Scientology was declaring people "suppressive persons" — excommunicating them, sometimes for no reason at all.
Brad was also a critic of the Underground Bunker. He had left the Church of Scientology because of his unhappiness with its leader, David Miscavige, but he still believed strongly in L. Ron Hubbard and the ideas behind Scientology. So he would skewer us, usually at our Facebook page, about the way Hubbard's ideas tend to be criticized here. We really got into it with him a few times, trading barbs and zingers — and he usually ended up calling us "bro" in a sarcastic manner.
2014-03-07, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The church lawyers who stand on their hind legs in court and proclaim the absolute sanctity of pc folders should get a load of this.
The lies the church tells the public, media and courts about how NOBODY can access pc folders except the auditor and C/S are exposed by the "CF I/C OTC DK Org" (I guess the OTC is now a "shadow org" with duplicate posts to the org itself). The fact that a public person is recruiting other random public to "go through pc folders" and "pull out data" is one of the more remarkable FB posts I have come across.
So typical of the RCS. Virtually everything they say in court is a lie designed to forward their objectives. If they don't want to turn over evidence of their abuses, they tell the courts nobody can access pc folders. Meanwhile, this is reality. If they want to prevent Miscavige from having liability, they tell the courts he has NO involvement in the activities of the church — meanwhile, he is micromanager par excellence (and if they think you want to hear how amazing he is, his own staff will tell you he does literally everything — see the declarations they filed with the Tampa Bay Times).
2014-03-07, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Just how many ribbons is too many?
Is there such a thing as ribbon envy? Small ribbon syndrome?
Seems that the magnitude of his ribbon pulling events is now being measured by the size and quantity of his bows and sashes.
2014-03-07, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
The following is a report from Invest Aide OSA INT (Office of Special Affairs International, the propaganda and dirty tricks arm of David Miscavige's church of Scientology International) on dealing with Scientology critic David S. Touretzky - professor at Carnegie Mellon University. Note that it is titled "DR". That stands for Daily Report. There are dozens of these daily reports in OSA INT files on Touretzky. There are hundreds of such reports on more effective critics. There are thousands of these types of reports on those critics whom David Miscavige considers a threat to himself personally and who have withstood Scientology's wrath over time. Ask yourself: should United States taxpayers be subsidizing an organization that spends its considerable dollars on such hijinks? And, what is with Scientology's apparent predilection for inserting sex toys into their operations?
April 27, 2006
D/CO EXT OSA INT
Welcome to our ongoing project, where we blog a 1950 first edition of Scientology's bible, Dianetics, with the help of ex-Scientologist, Bay Area lawyer, blogger, and author Vance Woodward. Go here for the first post in the series.
[ALSO TODAY: Below, we have analysis of the Garcia federal fraud lawsuit from attorney Scott Pilutik, and our first SMERSH Madness match that features an online forum — ESMB!]
After that last chapter, with Hubbard's exploration of perversion, it's only natural that the next one, "Emotions and the Dynamics," would prove to be something of a letdown. But there are some good passages here for us to explore.
The Underground Bunker has learned that Gary Smith, CEO of Scientology's flagship drug rehab facility, Narconon Arrowhead, has been stripped of his drug counselor certification by the National Association of Forensic Counselors.
The NAFC's CEO and president, Karla Taylor, confirmed today that her organization has sent out letters that suspend or revoke Certified Chemical Dependency Counselor (CCDC) certifications to numerous employees of Narconon programs in Oklahoma and Georgia — two facilities that have been the center of controversy after patient deaths, criminal investigations, and multiple lawsuits. Taylor says she has confirmation that Smith has received his revocation notice.
Mary Rieser has also lost her CCDC, but the former Narconon Georgia executive director may have bigger problems with the state continuing a criminal insurance fraud probe of the facility.
A woman claims in Superior Court that Narconon of Northern California offered incompetent care for her sister's addiction, misrepresented its "success rate," and failed to inform her that the place is "a recruiting tool for the [nonparty] Church of Scientology."
The Tampa Bay Times reported last month that administrators at Life Force, which earns about $800,000 in public funds a year, compelled students to learn "study technology," a methodology devised by Scientology's late founder, L. Ron Hubbard.
Students at the public charter school advertised as the SMART Academy were also taken on a field trip to a Scientology church in Ybor City. More than $30,000 in school funds has been given to the World Literacy Crusade, a California-based group that promotes Hubbard's "study tech."
2012-03-07, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Last night, we learned about the church's countermove: its attorneys asked the court to delay the production of documents until their motion for summary judgment has been adjudicated. And if the motion is not granted, to delay the deposition and limit it in scope.
Oh, and one more thing: "That Rathbun and Rinder be excluded from the deposition."
2011-03-07, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Shortly more than a month ago on this blog Mike Rinder predicted the following:
"Next up on the Vulture Culture agenda, once all personal possessions, teeth fillings and hair are sold off:
BLOOD, SWEAT AND TEARS"
2010-03-07, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Scientology's diminutive leader, David Miscavige, takes another body blow Laurie Goodstein's lengthy and well-written article on Scientology in today's New York Times, backed up with a slideshow and a nifty multimedia timeline, provides a solid overview of what the St. Petersburg Times and others have been writing about L. Ron Hubbard's wacky cabal for many, many years.
The big news, of course, is that it's the New York Times weighing in.
That's good news for Anonymous, for longtime critics like Mark Bunker and Andreas Heldal-Lund, and for others who work tirelessly to get the word out about Scientology's nefarious nature.
It means that any alleged offenders who 'abuse' or 'threaten' the Church of Scientology can be charged under the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006.
It is understood the decision was made this month after the Police Diversity Directorate asked the CPS to clarify its position on the organisation.
It follows the arrest last summer of a 15-year-old boy for calling Scientology a 'dangerous cult' during a demonstration outside the Church's £23million headquarters in London.
After taking precautions by changing my name, getting myself an underground bomb-proof bunker, and having plastic surgery, I can finally reveal the truth behind the FAKE Tom Cruise IAS Medal of Valor video!
Drs. Michael M. Baden and Cyril H. Wecht also suggested their work is so conclusive the case should be dropped.
Their primary conclusion: McPherson, 36, died suddenly and unpredictably of a blood clot in her left lung that originated from a knee bruise she suffered in a minor auto accident 17 days earlier.
"This is Forensic Pathology 101," said Baden, once part of O.J. Simpson's "dream team" defense. "This is not complicated."
A former member of O.J. Simpson's "dream team" defense says Lisa McPherson's death was accidental, caused by a blood clot.
As prosecutors consider whether to proceed with criminal charges in the death of Scientologist Lisa McPherson, the Church of Scientology on Monday presented two nationally known pathologists who said they have scientific evidence that the 1995 death was accidental.