Rod Keller checks in with how the new Scientology Network is playing with Scientologists themselves...
The media buzz about Scientology TV is over, but members are being told the network is thriving and achieving all the goals set out for it. This is being played out in typical Scientology manner - through "Success Stories." They are the counterpart to the statistics given at major events about how many books were sold, or how many volunteers were sent to disaster areas. Scientologists must write a success story with all the details about how much they have been helped in order to graduate to the next service on the Bridge. Similar anecdotes serve to convince members that their donations are well spent to combat Black PR and antagonism, and that Scientology is constantly expanding.
It's true that many people saw and heard Scientology TV ads on billboards, online and radio. It's impossible to say if this "film coordinator" and "attorney" exist, but anonymous sourcing is typical of this kind of success story. The narrative is that network is succeeding in recruiting "allies," which is the main goal of safepointing Scientology. Recruiting new members is secondary to keeping Scientology safe from attack, which L. Ron Hubbard instructed is the purpose of safepointing.
As my introductory post mentioned, my goal in this series is to provide a historical perspective on money in the church in roughly three eras: the first era will address Hubbard's financial behavior up until the time of his final days; the second, David Miscavige's assumption of power and the 1982Mission Holder's shakedown, and third, money in the church under Miscavige following the Mission Holder shakedown up to the present day.
This historical arc provides a convenient means of analyzing the church's transition from its roots in providing Dianetics-based therapy into a pseudo-religious conglomerate with all the trappings of a cartel, or more so, demonstrating many of the characteristics reflective of a Transnational Criminal Organization (TCO) of significant proportions. Key to understanding any crime are the factors of means, motive, and opportunity. While the past certainly provides valuable context in understanding both L. Ron Hubbard's role and Scientology's means, motives, and opportunities for accumulating wealth, understanding the doctrine, ideology, and psychological profile of the church is also crucial. Thus the rigid adherence to Hubbard as "Source" for all of Scientology's teachings, doctrine and operational foundation, and the resultant cult of personality that compels its malevolent zealotry, are the nexus for its criminality.
Hubbard's Financial Motivation
2018-04-01, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Her hands on her hips, Brenda stared down at Joan. "Fuck, fuck, fuck," she said. "Jesus, fuckin, Christ."
I turned to Doug. "You never called an ambulance, did you?"
"Why? You think we need one? You think some paramedic is gonna bring her back to life?"
The show where I answer your questions. Please leave any comments or feedback in the comments section here below. I see everything and want to hear from you.
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2017-04-01, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Once religions reach a tipping point, they're hard to close down. After accumulating thousands of well-to-do followers, amassing a fortune in real estate, accruing Midas-like money, and establishing a worldwide presence, religions are damn hard to get rid of. Not only has too much been invested in the physical infrastructure, its faithful have devoted too much of their spiritual lives to let go.
The written word is more resilient than we mere mortals. Organizations can be demolished, its property seized, and all its assets given back to those who were duped. But unless society goes all Fahrenheit 451, it's nearly impossible to get rid of doctrine. Especially in the digital age when information is disseminated with the push of few keystrokes.
Scientology meets the above criteria. They have the money, they have the real estate, they have the members, and LRH made sure they have the requisite number of written words.
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 three years he's been helping 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.
L. Ron Hubbard's list of characteristics for the "antisocial personality" seem to derive largely from Hervey Cleckley's earlier work, published as The Mask of Sanity. Cleckley laid the foundation for the contemporary understanding of the personality disorder, known elsewhere as psychopathy, sociopathy, and narcissism in its variants.
It is interesting to look at the characteristics in light of Hubbard's directives to the Guardian's Office – rebranded as the Office of Special Affairs, after Mary Sue Hubbard and ten others were convicted of burglary, breaking and entering, false imprisonment, kidnapping and theft (Thirty-eight others, including Hubbard and Scientology's lead attorney, Kendrick Moxon, were named as "unindicted co-conspirators" and there were also successful prosecutions in Canada and France stemming from similar conduct.)
Jeffrey Augustine is back, continuing on his investigation of Scientology's governing documents and what they mean for members and ex-members. This time, Jeff tells us about the thing every ex-member of Scientology should do as soon as he or she has decided to leave...
In America, freedom of religion is typically considered in positive terms: Americans are free to embrace or reject religion as they please. Monotheism, polytheism, pantheism, animism, and every other religious form under the sun are allowed to be practiced in America without any interference from the government.
2016-04-01, Patti Borda Mullins, Frederick News-Post
The Church of Scientology's real estate arm is continuing to lay the groundwork to sue Frederick County for religious discrimination if the Narconon drug treatment program is not able to operate at the former Trout Run camp site.
Social Betterment Properties International filed complaints in March with Frederick County Circuit Court to get all of the records mentioning Trout Run in the period of time last year when the county was deciding whether the property should be designated a historic site.
Social Betterment bought the 40-acre camp south of Thurmont in September 2013 to open a group home for drug and alcohol abuse treatment operated by Narconon. The Narconon program is based on the writings and techniques of L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology's founder.
The HBODocumentary called Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief has impacted the world like few other documentaries and is shaking up the Church of Scientology by exposing its abuses to everyone. Here are some of my thoughts on this and what actions we can all take to get its tax-exempt status reviewed and hopefully revoked for good.
White House Petition to revoke Scientology's tax exempt status: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/revoke-scientologys-tax-exempt-status
IRS Form 13909: Tax-Exempt Organization Complaint: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f13909.pdf
For more articles and videos about Scientology and critical thinking, see my blog at http://mncriticalthinking.com.
2015-04-01, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The new documentary from Alex Gibney called Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief has now aired on HBO and the public reaction to this has been outstanding.
The night it aired, #GoingClear was a nationally trending topic on Twitter as people live-tweeted their responses. Other than the few Tweets that Scientology purchased to forward their own messages of hate against the people speaking out in the film, almost every tweet expressed horror and outrage that the Church of Scientology would do the kinds of things depicted in the documentary, and even worse, that it has the luxury of spending tax-exempt monies to do them.
I wrote a review of the film when I first saw it at an advanced screening in Austin, Texas. Now that it has premiered on HBO and I've had a chance to see it again, I wanted to give some of my thoughts as to the importance of this film and its multi-layered messages about not only Scientology but also the nature of belief.
Catapulting from the success of Las Vegas attorney Ryan Hamilton, who spent the past year filing 27 lawsuits against Scientology's drug rehab network Narconon, three attorneys who have watched Hamilton closely have filed a new class-action lawsuit against two Narconon corporations in California with two initial plaintiffs.
Indiana attorney David Miller, California attorney Michael Ram, and Seattle attorney Beth Terrell filed their suit in federal court in Northern California, and have asked for both national and regional classes to be certified as their clients sue for breach of contract, negligent representation, false advertising, and unfair competition.
In other words, they're hoping to add potentially many more plaintiffs around the United States who believe they have been harmed by what the suit characterizes as Narconon's deceptive business practices.
The controversial Church of Scientology has proven to be a ratings-magnet for the US channel HBO, with its documentary, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, setting a ratings record.
According to overnight ratings data, roughly 1.7 million viewers in the United States tuned into the documentary which detailed, among other things, the shocking conditions for low-ranked workers in the church, and the history of its battle to win tax-free status.
That number is expected to double once subsequent broadcasts, DVR playback and plays on the HBO streaming service HBO Go are factored in.
2015-04-01, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
In light of the news that Going Clear is the biggest HBODocumentary since Spike Lee's Katrina doc nearly 10 years ago, and #GoingClear was trending on Twitter for more than 24 hours, it is enlightening to look at the scientology efforts to deal with the shitstorm.
Scientology bought Twitter ads — see this article in Adweek.
Of course, this was a massive fail. Sort of like their "advertorial" in The Atlantic earlier. It resulted in even more negative coverage. They are 100% tone deaf to public opinion.
VISION of a vandal who smashed almost windows at a city church has been released by police.
In the early hours of Tuesday, March, 18 an unknown man is seen causing damage to the church on North Terrace, according to reports.
2014-04-01, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
I hear they finished turning the Oak Cove back into a hotel.
And its empty.
The big influx to Flag hasn't been so big. Now they have too many empty hotel rooms, too many idle Russian housekeepers and maids, and too little income.
This Thursday, a who's who of Florida big shots will hold a private, $1,000-a-head fundraiser for the Republican Party of Florida and Gov. Rick Scott's reelection effort, led by a host committee that includes Mel Sembler, the founder of a notorious substance abuse rehab program that folded after allegations of extreme abuse were lodged against several of its facilities.
The program, Straight Inc., was founded in 1976 by Sembler, a developer, and his wife, Betty. In the 17 years that it operated drug treatment centers, Straight Inc. was plagued by news reports and at least one civil suit claiming that its staff kidnapped its adult patients and mentally, physically, and sexually abused their underage charges. Two state investigations substantiated reports of abuse.
Oh, you naysayers. Sure, you made fun of Scientology's new E-meters, the ones that were made years ago and then gathered dust in a warehouse. The gleaming machines that David Miscavige expected every Scientologist to buy at $5,000 each (and a second one as a backup). The machines that still, 60 years after Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard first introduced them to the organization, remain extremely simplistic contraptions that measure fluctuations in skin galvanism. Or, if you're a Scientologist, they read your mind! You cannot defeat them! They can see into your soul!
Anyway, the first reviews are in, and we are happy to announce that the Mark Ultra VIII E-meter is blowing expectations out of the water. How do we know? Because Bridge Publications tells us so!
2014-04-01, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
I think this guy may already have attended Laurie Websters special course on how to fundraise (as opposed to reg).
His letter is chockablock with cookie-cutter "save the whales/children/environment/old people" fundraising promotion that appears to have been taken from some sort of fill-in-your-name-here text. If you cannot be bothered reading the whole thing, at least go to the last page. If you just want to see some of the highlights, look at the sections circled in red....
And just as a note, the furniture they are to purchase is dictated to them. They are not making "bulk purchases" — they just pay whatever exorbitant amount the Int Landlord office tells them is required if their planning ever gets approved.
Destruction is in its DNA
In this first of a multi-part series, I discuss the overall problem with Scientology and how its operating policies cannot help but bring about its eventual destruction as an organized religion.
See my blog for more details of my history in Scientology and my written articles describing specific problems with the Church and how I got out of it. http://mncriticalthinking.com.
This smoking gun is particularly redolent. As smoking guns go, this one is high caliber and billowing.
Scientology's drug rehab program, Narconon, is in serious trouble because of a series of patient deaths, government investigations, and civil lawsuits. And as we've pointed out numerous times, former Narconon employees and leaked documents have revealed that nearly every step of Narconon's business model involves some sort of deception.
Now, another stunning disclosure. Former Narconon employee Eric Tenorio has turned over to the Underground Bunker a remarkable e-mail written by a Narconon International legal affairs officer who admits that "we do not have scientific evidence of" the 70 percent and higher rates of success that the rehab programs advertise.
2013-04-01, Stephen Kent, Rutgers Journal of Law and Religion
This article examines the anti-juridical doctrines and actions of various religious and religiously-related sects and cults in the United States and Canada. When these groups reject the "rules of the legal game," they then follow their own laws, including ones about legal procedures and decorum. These self-established procedures and their related court decorum easily translate into outright hostility toward the law and those who enforce it.
2013-04-01, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
By Mike Rinder
This email was sent out on 7 March. Tony Ortega put it on his blog on March 13. However, I feel it bears a little more scrutiny as one of the most jarring emanations from the twisted world of the RCS (Radical Church of Scientology) in recent memory.
Apparently the sickening irony of it is missed by those in the bubble.
2012-04-01, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Many people have asked me about the meaning of the title of this blog.
One of the original inspirations for doing what we have been doing for the past three years came from listening to an early 1960's interview of gospel singer and civil rights activist Mahalia Jackson conducted by American popular historian and civil rights activist Studs Terkel. For the next several decades until he died in his nineties Studs often told a story about Mahalia that he often characterized as "what it is all about" and "what this world needs now."
Studs Terkel on Mahalia Jackson
Farrakhan also said he had spent time at the Church of Scientology's celebrity center in Los Angeles and had been impressed with the church's method of "auditing" -- a process he said was comparable to therapy.
He said the church's founder L. Ron Hubbard had a mission to "civilize white people," adding that Hubbard "is so exceedingly valuable to every white person on this earth."
Scientology books were available for sale at the Savior's Day event, but Farrakhan said he was not converting and did not need a new religion.
2011-04-01, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
One major reason why we are having such huge and lasting effect on Scientology Inc is that we have refused to underestimate the calculating cunning of David Miscavige. While I have noted that he is a virtual idiot when it comes to understanding such building blocks of mankind as ARC and compassion for one's fellows, I never said he was anything but a genius at Macheavellian maneuverings to take out potential threats to his power and greed.
Try as we do to prevent people from listing out of session, this listing question seems to have taken on epidemic proportions: How does Miscavige get away with his smoke and mirrors gig to this day?
I haven't been listing on this question for some time. The answer lies in the first paragraph above.
2010-04-01, Scott Roxborough, AP, Hollywood Reporter
A German TV-movie about Scientology that claims to reveal the dark side of the organization was a huge ratings hit for public broadcaster ARD, with 8.7 million viewers tuning in Wednesday night, a 27% market share.
Germany has long been at odds with Scientology. Most here view the organization with suspicion. During the shooting of Brian Singer's war film "Valkyrie" in Berlin, famed Scientologist Tom Cruise was savaged in the German press for his beliefs.
The ARD film, "Till Faith Do Us Part" is a drama inspired by a real events. It focuses on a young couple in Hamburg. They both join Scientology. The husband becomes disenchanted as the group takes his money and brainwashes his wife. They separate and he begin a legal battle over the custody of their young child.
2010-04-01, Jefferson Hawkins, Leaving Scientology
"If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything"
One of the accusations that Tommy Davis leveled against the whistleblowers was that we had all gotten together somehow and coordinated our stories. How we did that is a mystery, considering that we live thousands of miles apart. Presumably there was a big meeting somewhere and big storyboards and timelines were pasted up on the wall and we all had to memorize the details. Unfortunately, I must have missed that meeting, so I just say what happened. And amazingly, it is consistent with the stories told by Marty, Amy, Tom, Steve Hall and many others. What a coincidence.
"I was actually one of the older ones at 17. There were 13-year-olds, 12-year-olds," Bolstad recollects. "There was just one kid, 12-years-old that was given an executive responsibility doing something. He had a complete nervous breakdown."
This is how Maureen spent her teenage years: making videos for the church. Looking at her social security tax forms, she says nobody ever told her about minimum wage.
"I was taught to lie too. I got a worker's comp claim form. They ask you how many hours do you work a week. And I was told to put 40 hours."
This video is copyright free for educational purposes.
Feel free to mirror these videos with or without accreditation.
-Indeed in the current case mirroring is encouraged as it propagates the message and ensures that the media cannot be disabled by a single action.
"While the data presented in this paper was collected in the context of routine outcome monitoring rather than in a controlled study, the results are encouraging. The number of WTC-exposed individuals (more than 500) who have achieved the rehabilitative goals of sauna detoxification therapy, restoring quality of life and job fitness, is significant. The improvements in self-reported symptoms, an indication of a marked return to wellness, are supported by reduced need for medication. These findings are further confirmed by objective measures."
1999-04-01, William A. BeVier, The Discerner, Religion Analysis Service
The Church of Scientology has a Creed. The copy in my possession has 20 points. Among these are: "...all men have inalienable rights to their own defense." "...the souls of men have the rights of men." "...man is basically good." "he is seeking to survive (Hubbard claimed this is the essential of humanity.). "...the spirit alone may save or heal the body." God is mentioned twice in the Creed and Christ not at all. Only a Scientologist would know what these statements really mean to them.
It all sounds like the plot of a (mediocre) science fiction novel: strange beings with names like the Cancelbunny, an144108, XS4ALL, and Scamizdat, fighting on a battleground with no fixed location anywhere on earth, using strings of binary digits as their weapons. But science fiction it is not; it is the ongoing battle in cyberspace between the Church of Scientology (CoS) and its critics, the first War -- or Warre -- in the Age of the Internet.
The trial attracted a parade of the unusual, as one Philadelphia Inquirer headline put it. There were parents of children who had joined cults and Lyndon LaRouche operatives. Reporters were presented with damning affidavits about Galen Kelly from a group calling itself the Deprogramming Survivors Network, which appeared to be operating as a front for the Church of Scientology. Their mortal enemy was the Cult Awareness Network (can), a clearinghouse for cult information based in Chicago, with which Kelly was affiliated and to which Newbold Smith had contributed generously.
1988-04-01, Margery Wakefield, Letters, St. Petersburg Times
Editor: I came to Tampa six years ago to bring a lawsuit against the "Church" of Scientology. In 1982 I gave a speech at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Clearwater to more than 1,000 people. I begged the people attending that speech to become informed about the activities of this notorious organization and not to become apathetic about this situation.
Scientology is a terrible nightmare. I know, because I have been on both sides of it. The most terrible thing about Scientology is what it does to parents. Parents literally lose their children to Scientology. Their children become cold, calculating strangers who come to believe that their parents are the evil enemy, the dreaded Suppressive Person of Scientology.