Correspondent VillageDianne snapped the photo above of Nxivm defendant and Seagram's heiress Clare Bronfman, right, and her attorney Mark Geragos, left, as they left the Brooklyn courthouse yesterday. And she gave us her thoughts on how the hearing went...
The hearing started late, 4:30 instead of 4 PM because a previous case ran late.
The first thing you notice about Clare is how thin she is. Although she was wearing loose clothing, you could see how stick-thin her arms are, and how tiny her shoulders. Her shoulder blades protrude in the back, and sharply when she crosses her arms in front. It certainly looks as if she is still on the Nxivm diet.
2019-03-20, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
If you have not read the article on Tony Ortega's blog about Fair Game yesterday, I recommend you do so.
The author, Chris Owen, has been working for years compiling the facts and evidence about many aspects of the history of L. Ron Hubbard and scientology. Tony Ortega published another of his piece about scientology's relations with governments a month or so ago that is also very well worth reading. You will find other articles from him on Tony's site too.
Chris is performing an important function. Putting together the real and unvarnished history of Hubbard's creation — sorting out the PR bs from the truth.
An investigation by Channel 4 News has revealed how Cambridge Analytica claims it ran 'all' of President Trump's digital campaign - and may have broken election law. Executives were secretly filmed saying they leave 'no paper trail'.
Subscribe to us and get more videos from Channel 4 News
Ginger Sugerman is making a trip today to her local hospital — which is nearly two hours away by car. She lives in Sylvania, Georgia, a rural spot in the road about halfway between Augusta and Savannah.
On Friday night, she had to be airlifted to a hospital in Savannah after she was shot in the face from close range with a 9mm handgun.
"I could feel my lip was hanging off but I didn't want to touch it," she tells us. She had turned her head just as her husband, Arnie Lerma, fired at her from close range, and the bullet tore through her lip and took out two teeth. She then ran away, and later that night Lerma used the gun to end his life.
2018-03-20, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
They keep hyping the vital necessity of Orlando "ideal" org because there are so many tourists.
They've apparently got no better reason to try and persuade people this is important.
Of course, they don't mention that more people visit Los Angeles and New York each year, and they've had ideal orgs for decades. The result? Zip, nada and nothing.
2017-03-20, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Bubbles Champagne addresses huge audience assembled in her honor
Here is the other promo featuring Kaye "Bubbles" Champagne doing her bit for the Durban org. The crowd size speaks volumes — they managed to scrape together 12 staff and public to attend the special seminar from the head of the FLAG OT Committee. They haven't seen anyone this important in Durban org since never. And they had 12 people to show her Durban Determinism to Clear the Planet. Yet they are so proud of this turnout they put out a promo piece documenting it. Straight up and vertical expansion at a level never before seen. And it is all happening because of the brilliant guidance of the Dear Leader, Mr. COB.
This is yet another example of something sent out by the church that tells the REAL story of what is going on inside the bubble. Forget the hype videos and ribbon yanking events with imported staff and public. This is what is really happening. And Durban is no different than Detroit or Lyon or Canberra. They are hanging on by a thread, hoping the "next big thing" is going to do it for them. And don't think this is limited to the non-"ideal" orgs. Dallas is no different. Nor is Malmo or Pretoria. The only reason they don't get evicted is that the church owns the buildings. Because if they had to pay rent on their properties they would have long since been gone.
(Lemberger leaves court with Scientology's Eric Lieberman, Mattan Ben Shaul, and Monique Yingling)
Dani Lemberger is back from a well-deserved weeklong vacation in the country of Jordan and we talked to him briefly yesterday, asking him what he could say about his recently concluded trial in Tel Aviv, Israel.
We have talked to three people who were in the courtroom during the trial, and we also obtained transcripts of much of the proceedings. We knew that Dani and Tami Lemberger were suing the Church of Scientology for libel and fraud, but that they were asking for only a modest amount in damages — 80,000 shekels, which is about $22,000. The church, for its part, wanted the Lembergers to stop violating church trademarks and copyrights when they offer "independent" Scientology at their "Dror Center" in Haifa. So how did things turn out?
2016-03-20, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The weekly show where I answer questions left in comments on my Q&A videos or sent by email at AskChrisShelton@gmail.com. Thsi week, the questions I answer are:
(1) Chris, I like to hear the minutiae of processes so could you give any fun or absurd examples you experienced of "Rollbacking" and/or the "Truth Rundown" that may illuminate dynamics between passing-the-buck to the source of entheta someone does a KR on, and the self-blame game?
(2) Chris, what differences, if any, have you seen between people who joined Scientology as an adult, young children who were brought into Scientology via their parents joining and those born into Scientology? Is it the same for those born into and those who were young children when their parents joined? And also if you have any observations any differences between the 3 groups as ex-Scientologists... in terms of recovery ease or difficulty, letting go of the cult... ability or desire to speak out publicly, ability to lead a happy, fulfilled life beyond Scientology? Any thoughts? Thanks and LOVE this series.
Time again for Rod Keller's Scientology Social Media Review! Rod goes way back, having kept a meticulous eye on the church since 1992. He's well known for his indispensable "ARS Week in Review," which ran for nine years when ARS — the Usenet newsgroup alt.religion.scientology — was the most important daily source for Scientology news. More recently, Rod has made a specialty of hunting down the odd and wonderful things Scientologists post to social media. Rod is a chronicler who piece by piece builds a highly detailed assessment of what Scientology is doing around the world, and this is what he found for us this week…
Photos were made available this week of Valerii Kokura and Scientology Volunteer Ministers from the Kiev, Ukraine mission's visit to the Main Military Hospital in December. They visted soldiers wounded in the war against Russian separatists and delivered Scientology Touch Assists to the patients.
The First Baltic Hubbard College of Administration in Riga, Latvia celebrated its 5th Anniversary this week. The event featured the demonstration of a rarely seen E-meter, the "Learning Machine." The meter is used in WISE and some Applied Scholastics schools to assist the process of "word clearing," the Scientology practice of defining all words in order to fully understand study materials. A similar model was once auctioned on eBay, and details were posted to the Operation Clambake website.
2016-03-20, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Now that Ron Miscavige's book has been announced, I am offering some predictions on how his son will respond.
This is based on past experience and reading Martha Stoutt's The Sociopath Next Door. David Miscavige fits the personality traits profiled in that book as if it were written exclusively about him.
More than likely, the responses will come from "Karin Pouw," "Freedom" magazine or lawyers, even though dictated by Dave. He doesn't like to soil his image by commenting on things that are beneath his lofty station in life like a book by his father.
2015-03-20, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
For those of you who don't know me, my name is David Braverman and I live in East Falls, which is a suburb of Philadelphia, with 2 cats and an amazing Steinway baby grand built in 1914. I have 3 kids, although their mother Andrea and I are divorced. I own a wholesale bakery which delivers fresh European-style bread every day throughout Philadelphia, and frozen bread all over the country. It's really quite a big business, even though I didn't plan it that way.
Oh, and I'm an SP, and I didn't plan that either. In fact, I never would have believed it when all this started, which was in New York City in the early spring of 1971.
I was music major at NYU at the time, my junior year, and I was walking down 5th Ave towards Washington square. A cute lady in a miniskirt (her name was Molly Harlow) handed me a card which said "Scientology Works". I had no idea what Scientology was, regardless of whether or not it worked, even though I had been handed the same card hundreds of times before. But this time I asked the lady in the miniskirt "what is this?" and she said, "well, you want to see a movie?" and I said "when does it start?" and she said "right now" and grabbed my arm and took me into the (long-since defunct) 5th Ave mission.
Going Clear makes you empathise with Scientology's rank and file, who come off as victims of Church leaders' eager advertising. Yet what's most resonant about the film is that, like Scientology itself, it speaks to the tendencies of our age. The impulse to purge yourself of doubt and neurosis, the desire to seek out a leader who can save us – these are things that just about anyone can relate to. The twisted genius of L Ron Hubbard is that he figured out a way to define and exploit contemporary soul sickness. He was right about the disease. But Going Clear makes a powerful case that he came up with a cure that only made it worse.
Here's a screenshot of Jason Beghe from Alex Gibney's film Going Clear, which airs on HBO in nine more days, on March 29.
Beghe is one of eight former members of the Church of Scientology who make up the main subjects of Gibney's film. Our longtime readers know that we've been writing about Jason for a long time, since he made his very visible protest against Scientology in 2008, having left the organization a few months earlier.
In the movie, there's a reference to the full two-hour 2008 video of Jason Beghe that Mark Bunker filmed and put on YouTube. But actually, what happened was that Bunker first posted a three or four minute teaser that, on its own, went viral. The next day, we got a call from Tory Christman.
When an acclaimed director's new documentary about Scientology made its premiere at the exclusive Sundance Film Festival this winter, the church was watching closely, according to one of the producers.
"Two of our participants were surveilled when they arrived at Salt Lake City Airport," Lawrence Wright told NBC News.
I'm back. This post gives the story of what happened, what I have in the pipeline, and invites you to contribute to the return of my blog.
The Back Story
It's time to restart this blog after about three months on an unplanned hiatus. I got hit by several factors in late December that basically conspired to take me offline. No, I wasn't stalked by OSA or anything like that. Here's what happened:
2014-03-20, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
Consistency is King
This past week I attended a meeting of godless heathens, the main topic being the trouble with sparkleponies. Specifically, we discussed the pros and cons of a not-so-new book by former NFL punter Chris Kluwe entitled Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies: On Myths, Morons, Free Speech, Football, and Assorted Absurdities. In the midst of our discussions (mostly negative) and off-hand reviews of the book (thumbs down), the idea for this article occurred to me. This is not a book review. Instead, I'm going to use this book as an example of what NOT to do when trying to present a skeptical, rational or critical point of view.
I'm not a professional editor. I'm just a guy with a blog. I do know enough about logic, though, to recognize a well-reasoned argument versus someone spewing silly diatribe and trying to sound smart. I think there is a lesson to be learned from such people. If we in the "skeptical movement" are going to be successful at our mission, we have to recognize what works and what doesn't. We have to know how to communicate effectively. We are only going to get so many chances at holding someone's attention. So when we have it, we have to do it right.
2014-03-20, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The first post on this blog went up on 20 March 2013.
That day 316 people visited and they read 1881 pages of information - about 5 or 6 pages per visitor.
Exactly one year later we have come a long way.
As we noted last night, we're trying to land a breaking story this morning that's taking some time to confirm. In the meantime, we were fortunate that Carnegie Mellon University professor Dave Touretzky sent us this fun item.
It appears someone has scrapped a bunch of E-meters. How do we know? The meter movements are available for $5 each at All Electronics.
The item description says "125 DC Microampere = full-scale. High-quality 6" wide DC panel meter. Solid plexiglass enclosure, 6" wide x 4.25" oval. Removed from equipment."
Laura DeCrescenzo let us know there's been an interesting break in her years-long lawsuit against the Church of Scientology. She's suing because during the time she was a worker in the Sea Org — which prohibits its members from having children — she says she was forced to have an abortion, a claim that numerous other former Sea Org workers have also made. (See our previous story about her complex lawsuit.)
The church has argued back that DeCrescenzo took too long to bring her lawsuit after she left the Sea Org, and it has also fought every request to turn over her confidential "pc folders," which contain detailed information about her time in the church.
But now Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ronald M. Sohigian has put the case on hold until Scientology finally forks over those files, and he's given the church a deadline of May 6. It's potentially a huge new development in a case that has dragged on for years.
2013-03-20, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
For 4 years, Marty Rathbun's Blog – Moving On Up A Little Higher – has provided an invaluable service. It has been the best source of news on the current goings-on in the world of Scientology, exposed truths about what has happened in the past, provided a venue for those newly emerging from the bubble of the Church to announce themselves to the world, given insight into squirreling of the tech, offered helpful advice on sources of wisdom and became a place to find new friends or reconnect with old ones.
Marty has always said that it was his desire to help raise spiritual awareness, to move on up a little higher. If you are a regular reader you have probably noticed his blog evolving away from the daily news into higher concepts and discussions. This is something that is important. And it is a message directed to those who have well and truly left the church behind and are moving onward and upward.
But I feel there is still a need for coverage of day to day news and activities. And a place where those who may just be emerging from the bubble that is corporate Scientology can find information to help them to break free once and for all. And perhaps a place where even the seasoned veterans of Moving On Up can keep up with current news.
En ese inmueble viven extranjeros que están en el país con visas de turista y también mexicanos sin contrato ni prestaciones. Ven a sus familias un día cada dos o tres meses. Las mujeres tienen prohibido embarazarse; si lo hacen, las presionan para abortar. Si alguien se enferma, lo abandonan o lo echan. Las reglas internas son rígidas y están hechas para que nadie piense siquiera en la posibilidad de huir. Muy pocos cruzan la puerta de salida. El grupo castiga muy severamente la disidencia.
Se trata de la Organización del Mar, grupo semisecreto (muy pocos conocen sus reglas o saben quiénes la dirigen o cuántos miembros tiene) que controla desde aquí y para toda Latinoamérica las actividades de la Iglesia de la Cienciología (nombre extraoficial que se dan ellos mismos) o Dianética.
2012-03-20, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
In the mid 1980's a Class VIII Auditor named Ian Waxler headed a group called The Council for Spiritual Integrity. He recently sent me an April 1985 newsletter The Free Spirit that the council published. A copy of it can be accessed at the end of this post.
I highly recommend people giving it a thorough read. After having done so myself I recognized a couple of important things.
The parallels between what was happening in the field in the mid eighties and now are remarkable. The newsletter reads much like this blog in terms of issues the field was contending with. Though many doubt it, I had very little exposure to the "Independent" movement of the eighties. As will be made very clear in my book between 81 and 85 I was thoroughly consumed in dealing with dozens of lawsuits and a number of criminal investigations targeting L Ron Hubbard. It was not till November of 1984 that I was thrust into the Mayo/Advanced Ability Center lawsuit, in my position as Legal Executive Author Services Inc, as it was perceived that then-RTC honchos had thoroughly screwed it up. Even then, it was only one of dozens of disrelated lawsuits I remained involved in. By the time I got into RTC, March 1987, there was little to nothing going on overtly in the Independent field, at least nothing that effected the church very greatly. I give this brief history to make the point how remarkable I find it that Moving on Up A Little Higher so parallels The Free Spirit. Uncanny in some respects, like choosing July 4th for an annual Independents' get-together.
2012-03-20, Sabrina Canfield, Courthouse News Service
Michael Robichaux, an ear, nose and throat specialist, former state senator, and self-described "populist doctor" is running the clinic with chemical detox veteran Jim Woodworth of New York. Woodworth has provided the clinic with staff and funding.
Robichaux, 65, told Courthouse News in an interview that identifying illness from chemical exposure is difficult: "Nothing shows up on blood work. Nothing shows up on brain scans, nothing shows up on MRIs, anything."
Robichaux said what he is seeing appears identical to the reports of symptoms still haunting veterans exposed to toxic chemicals during the first Gulf War.
2012-03-20, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Last month, when a highly complex fraud trial was completing its appeal phase in France -- which considers Scientology a business scam, not a religion -- there was only one place we went for the latest information.
In the past, we've described Jonny Jacobsen's blog, Infinite Complacency, as "murderously rigorous," and we meant it. A blogger's blogger, Jacobsen is a British-trained journalist who lives in France and has relentlessly, and with laser focus, written about some of the most complex legal developments in the world of Scientology watching.
This week, Infinite Complacency celebrated its third anniversary, and Jacobsen reflected on being one of the first to reveal abuse of church executives at Scientology's California international base, and to watch the fraud trial unfold in Paris. And he jumped at the offer when we asked him to give us some perspective on what changes he's seen in this field of scribbling about the church since 2009...
A Moscow regional court has upheld a lower court decision declaring books on Scientology to be extremist literature and banning publication or distribution of books from Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
On Oct. 25 2010, less than 2 years later, Ginsburg was back in McAlester playing the violin in several events including "Take McAlester Back" a campaign "designed to get drugs out and arts back into the local community." The campaign was sponsored by Narconon, The McAlester Chamber of Commerce, Pride In McAlester, McAlester Main Street, according to TakeMcAlesterBack.com.
As a public relations spokesman for Narconon, Ginsburg's story was used its own website.
2011-03-20, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Mosey and I took a long drive across the South Texas plains yesterday to get some space and watch the wild flowers bloom. She had a very interesting take on the three-blog "debate" over the past couple days on the subject of OT abilities. Her introduction to Scientology had nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with any representations or hopes of attaining "OT abilities." She originated getting some auditing in hopes of getting a little bit of what I had, whatever it was she saw I had. Shortly into it she saw that it was bringing her closer to taking a peek behind a curtain that she just knew must remain closed, because she just knew that whatever was behind it was formidable, foreboding, and scarier than all hell. After a little more auditing, she began to peek, and after some more began to look a little more, and after some more decided to tear the curtains down altogether. Voila, the monkey on her back that had been terrorizing her all her life as-is'd (disappeared). The clouds parted, the sun shone, and lo and behold, happiness and being became effortless. According to her, never in her wildest dreams was such a feat possible. Ever since, we rarely use phones or texts to communicate, even though we spent ten hours physically apart most weekdays since. And we're in about as good comm as any two people could be expected to be. The less we try to label it or promote it the more it seems to manifest.
When Monique asked me what Scientology was initially I think I explained it with about the same few sentences I did when Anderson Cooper – and others since - asked the same question. Something like this: You ever hear the U2 song Stuck In a Moment? Goes something like this, "you've got to get yourself together, you got stuck in a moment and now you can't get out of it." Does that resonate with you? Well, Scientology is a pretty simple and effective method of getting you unstuck from those moments. And to me, that is the simplicity of it.
What that process leads to is as varied as the billions of personalities who inhabit this planet. From my experience in applying it, one thing can be said about just about everyone I've applied it to: wherever they were at when they started they ultimately felt like they had moved on up a little higher.
2011-03-20, Jefferson Hawkins, Leaving Scientology
Wow, that's a hot topic! Over 500 comments.
Thanks to everyone who has contributed their opinions and viewpoints. And I mean that sincerely. And thanks even to those of you who have contributed your viewpoint over and over and over again! (LOL) Please, keep posting, either on the earlier thread or on this one.
People sometimes give me grief for allowing anyone to post any opinion here, including (gasp!) "entheta." But as I believe and have said many times, you only learn from people who disagree with you. And I've personally learned a lot from this thread.
"Will you be celebrating Jim Jones and David Koresh's birthday?" gadfly Arnold Sacks dramatically said during public comment before the City Council voted to approve around $40,000 in fee waivers -- meaning the city absorbs the costs of paying overtime for workers to shut streets down -- for special events around the city, including $3,000 for a L. Ron Hubbard Birthday Event taking place Saturday at the Shrine Auditorium.
Local district attorney Frank Fowles was concerned about the activities of The Family. He contacted Interpol to discover what Manson's right-hand man, Davis had been up to. He learned that Davis had made a connection in the UK some months back with another controversial group, the Scientology religion.
Records showed Davis had been staying at a Scientology retreat in Felbridge, Surrey, before returning to the U.S. on April 25, 1969.
Second Chance owes more than $600,000 in tax liens, according to records in the Bernalillo County Assessor's Office. About $400,000 is due to the IRS, and more than $200,000 to the state.
Second Chance also owes the city of Albuquerque more than $17,000 in unpaid utility bills and is delinquent on about $55,000 in unpaid rent, which is due to the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Authority.
Officials are considering whether to file a lawsuit against Second Chance for the rent and utility bills. It is unclear whether the state or federal governments will take action against Second Chance.
Neither Joy Westrum, president of Second Chance, nor her husband, Rick Pendery, who is also listed as a Second Chance administrator, could be reached for comment.
IT'S FREAKIN' RARE THAT A GANG of purported Internet hackers can take on an established church and look like the good guys -- but, after all, this is Hollywood, and the humongous blue shrine and headquarters on Sunset Boulevard belong to the Church of Scientology.
If you cant beat them, join them. The Church of Scientology has enabled video on its Web site in an effort to further disseminate its religious message, a month after a widely publicized online campaign sought to discredit and "dismantle" the controversial religion.
Rantings of a Madman named Hubbard Episode 3
Batsh*t crazy Hubbard ranting more psychotic nonsense
From "Between Lives Implants", SHSBC #317. 23 July 1963:
"Mary Sue gave the cue on this thing. She said, "Look at how hard they have to work to keep you from being OT!" Hey, now, that's quite a thought! Isn't that quite a thought? Hm?
Now you look at this. You look at this, now. The complete idiocy of it. Somebody sits up on Venus -- there are probably some other stations around up in the system. This one's on Venus. I notice that we all believe that Venus has a methane atmosphere and is unlivable. I almost got run down by a freight locomotive the other day -- didn't look very uncivilized to me. I'm allergic to freight locomotives, they're always running into you."
The Metropolitan Police have agreed to give the Church of Scientology privileged information on security, the Evening Standard can reveal.
Under the agreement, the Met has placed the church on the database of groups provided with "current, fast-time"details about safety matters.
The revelation will raise further questions about police links with the sect of which John Travolta and Tom Cruise are devotees and which has entertained City of London officers on several occasions.
For more than 30 years, Clearwater has served as the worldwide spiritual headquarters of the Church of Scientology. But until now, St. Petersburg had largely remained virgin territory for the aggressively expansionist church.
2006-03-20, Roger Friedman, Celebrity Gossip, Fox News
Isaac Hayes did not quit "South Park." My sources say that someone quit it for him.
I can tell you that Hayes is in no position to have quit anything. Contrary to news reports, the great writer, singer and musician suffered a stroke on Jan. 17. At the time it was said that he was hospitalized and suffering from exhaustion.
BENJAMIN PELL, better known as Benji the Binman, yesterday won back £77,500 that he had paid John Mappin, a descendant of the Mappin & Webb jewellery dynasty, after he promised to make a "Hollywood blockbuster" about Mr Pell's life.
Mr Pell, known for rooting through dustbins for revealing documents about the rich and famous, sued Mr Mappin in the High Court for fraudulent misrepresentation after discovering that the "well-connected Hollywood film-maker" Mr Mappin had recruited was a hairdresser.
Psychologists chosen by the state and Godeka's defense agreed that Godeka suffers from schizophrenia, Chipman said. For about the past 15 years, Godeka has heard voices and thought he is controlled by other people and that ideas are being planted in his mind.
That was the case on Sept. 25, 1996, when Godeka walked into the Scientology center at 709 S.W. Salmon St. Police said he went into the center's reception area with a red can of gasoline and shot a woman at the lobby desk. The gunshot paralyzed her from the waist down. Godeka also is accused of shooting two men who went to the woman's aid in the center. A third man discovered he had been wounded about an hour after the incident. All four survived the shooting. Godeka held a fifth person hostage before police talked him into surrendering.
1997-03-20, Monique Yingling, Letters, St. Petersburg Times
Unfortunately, Frantz had the facts all wrong. As the tax lawyer who represented the Church of Scientology before the Internal Revenue Service, I am compelled to address one glaring inaccuracy in particular: The public record unequivocally establishes that the IRS made its decision to issue exemption rulings to the Church of Scientology in 1993 on the merits, following the most in-depth examination in the history of the IRS.
David Miscavige did not "march his way into IRS headquarters" and "demand to be seen by the head of the IRS without an appointment." There is no record of such a meeting on that day because there was no such meeting. The first meeting Miscavige had with former Commissioner Fred Goldberg and other senior IRS officials was a month later, duly scheduled through an exchange of letters. The IRS then began an examination of the church, which carried on for two years under three different IRS commissioners - Goldberg, Peterson and Richardson.
LEAD: L. RON HUBBARD: Messiah or Madman? By Bent Corydon and L. Ron Hubbard Jr. (Lyle Stuart, $20.) The Church of Scientology is a bizarre cult, and its founder and leader, L. Ron Hubbard, was a "cosmic outlaw," in the words of L. Ron Hubbard Jr. There is little of the son in this book but a good deal of Bent Corydon, who headed one of the Scientology "missions" in California during the 1970's until Hubbard decided to take over these lucrative franchises, leaving their well-rewarded leaders bewildered and broke.
PORTLAND, ORE. PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ The former executive director and board chairman of the Church of Scientology has testified that the church's organizations were "totally indoctrinated to get every last dime" out of prospective members.
William W. Franks, who once was designated to succeed Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard as head of the church, was the second witness in the retrial of a civil lawsuit brought by former Scientology member Julie Christopherson Titchbourne.
Ms. Titchbourne, who lives in Portland, is seeking punitive damages from the church on grounds she was defrauded by the church during her nine-month involvement with the religion in 1975 and 1976. Defendants in the case are Hubbard, the Church of Scientology of California and the Church of Scientology Mission of Davis.
The D.C. Police Department is conducting an internal investigation to determine how members of the Church of Scientology, a controversial religious group that has been investigated by law enforcement agencies, were able to set up a course for recruits at the D.C. Police Training Academy, police officials said.
The course, taught by church members, was set up without the approval of Chief Maurice T. Turner Jr. and is contrary to the department's procedures regarding outsiders teaching police academy courses, according to Assistant Chief Theodore Carr.
Two Scientology members taught the first half of the training course, based on the church's teachings, to eight recruits last month with the approval of Inspector Horatius Wilson, then head of the police academy, church members said. The course was intended to help officers communicate with crime victims and citizens under stress, church members said.