Historian Chris Owen has another exclusive for the Bunker, and this one is a real doozy. You may know that in 1966 Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard made an effort to become influential in the African nation of Rhodesia until he was unceremoniously deported. But new documents show that subsequent to that embarrassing failure, Hubbard tried another gambit, offering the government of another African country an incredible cash offer. Here's Chris with the stunning details...
In the mid-1960s, L. Ron Hubbard became obsessed with the idea that Scientology had to establish a secure base in southern Africa as an insurance policy against the threat of a nuclear war in the northern hemisphere. He attempted to ingratiate himself with the apartheid government of H.F. Verwoerd in South Africa, and tried to set up a base for Scientology in Rhodesia but was forced to leave in 1966 when the white supremacist government there tired of his attentions.
He decided not long afterwards to buy a flotilla of ships on which he could cruise the high seas with his newly established Sea Org, free from the influence of "suppressive" governments. But recently released papers from Interpol and the Malawian government show that just before the Sea Org went to sea in 1967, Hubbard made one last unsuccessful and previously unreported attempt to take over a southern African country this time Malawi.
2018-04-03, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Despite what they tell themselves about their expansion, this was found on "MeetUp" and I thought it fascinating.
Scientology is back to trying to recruit "wogs".
Melbourne presents itself as one of the more successful "ideal" orgs and yet they apparently don't have a flow of new people to sign up for staff to deal with the inevitable attrition of those who leave because they cannot take the hours/insane demands or cannot survive on "staff pay", or both.
2017-04-03, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
It is always interesting to see the publicly available information from some of these orgs standing in stark contrast to the PR lies that are spouted at the "international events."
The New YorkIdeal Org has a Facebook page where they keep track of each Clear they make. As you can see, one of their staff members attested to Clear a couple of weeks ago. It's the latest entry on their FB page.
But they are very diligent about announcing their clears apart from a few random posts about CCHR or the Birthday Event, it is pretty much all that appears on this FB page (which by the way, has a grand total of 1264 likes...)
Scientology leader David Miscavige is demonstrating some real concern about Leah Remini's upcoming second season of her A&E series, Scientology and the Aftermath.
As we mentioned earlier, since Leah's defection became public in 2013, Miscavige had seemed to treat her with kid gloves, holding back the kind of retaliation he let loose on other prominent members who had turned critics, such as Jason Beghe, Paul Haggis, Amy Scobee, and Mike Rinder. Each of them had been smeared mercilessly with the use of private investigators and online attacks. But for the most part, Leah had escaped that treatment, despite her high profile. Even when the first season of her show proved to be a huge unexpected hit for A&E this past fall, the website Scientology put up to attack it was targeted more at her guests than at Remini herself.
But then, with the news two weeks ago that A&E had approved a second season, the gloves came off. Suddenly there were pages at the attack site which made it clear that Scientology's private eyes have been digging into Remini's past, interviewing former friends and family members, all in an attempt to attack her in personal ways.
2016-04-03, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The weekly show where I answer questions from viewers left in the comments of my Q&A videos or sent to me by email at AskChrisShelton@gmail.com. This week, the questions I answer are:
(1) Chris, as you know I watch all your video posts and have recently read your book which I love and enjoy. I still have some questions. I think the answers might have something to do with the mindset of Sea Org/Staff members, but here goes: why does 'going Clear' and getting to the higher OT levels take so long? An example was Tim DeWall who explained his mission to get to Clear and years later he's no nearer. If the primary goals are to 'clear the planet' and 'save all mankind' and the Scientologists believe they are in 'a race against time' - why is it so difficult? I know it might be to drain money out of people and the 'levels' actually don't work, but, if the Sea Org and Staff members genuinely believe what they are doing (rather than knowingly perpetuating the con) why are the Case Supervisors not approving people moving on more quickly/easily?
(2) What do you think of Russia's recent banning of Scientology in the country? I have seen anti-Scientology people who say that the way Russia went about it was morally wrong.
Time again for Rod Keller's Scientology Social Media Review! Rod'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
Scientology posted its official photos from yesterday's opening of an Ideal Org in the Atlanta area. The Bunker's own correspondents on the scene reported that there were fewer than 400 folding chairs and the overall crowd may have numbered around 500 which, Mike Rinder had found, was mostly bussed in from places like the Flag Land Base in Clearwater, Florida. But on its website, Scientology is claiming that 1,500 were in attendance.
Following the ceremony, rug merchant Kaye Champagne is traveling to the Freewinds where she will join Jim Bridgeforth, Rafferty Pendery, Andrea d'Agostini, Emmett Osborn and Tom Cummins in leading a week-long Personal Prosperity course.
2016-04-03, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
It's as inevitable as day following night. A pitch for money from scientology following a disaster.
Hand one of these WTH booklets to the next terrorist you meet and calm will prevail.
And of course, we don't have any money to do this most vital action we need it from you. NOW.
Is Donald J. Trump the new George Wallace? Silvio Berlusconi? Adolf Hitler?
Could be. But at least as much as a southern segregationist, rich pervert turned politico, or genocidal fascist, Trump fits the profile of a cult leader, and one cult leader in particular: L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the pyramid-scheme-masquerading-as-religion known as Scientology.
Consider: both men are (or, in Hubbard's case, were) narcissistic, autocratic, money-obsessed, pathological liars and would-be sexual conquerors who built business empires for the primary purpose of self-enrichment under glitz-drenched brands maintained by fraud and advanced by uncompromising litigiousness and occasional physical aggression against critics.
The Church of Scientology Atlanta held the grand opening of its new facilities in Sandy Springs on Saturday.
The new Church will deliver all Scientology services as well as offer our array of humanitarian programs to the community at large.
Empire-building has been part of many a religious group's strategy throughout history. But no one does it better than Scientology. The documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, which debuts on HBO tonight, offers the first in-depth survey of Scientology's practices, including its ongoing quest to acquire high-profile real estate.
g Clear, the HBO documentary on Scientology, and the sinister truth about the church is discussed with former Scientologist, Tom Devocht. His decades-long exploitation by the group, the dark side of David Miscavige, and how Scientology corrodes the will of members from the Sea Org up to Hollywood stars including Tom Cruise are exposed by the whistleblower in an uncensored Media Mayhem, hosted by Allison Hope Weiner.
Tom Devocht is a former member of the Church of Scientology who has since departed the group and appeared in the HBO Documentary, GOING CLEAR.
Media Mayhem Full Episodes Playlist:
Media Mayhem Short Clips Playlist:
00:00 Welcome Tom DeVocht to Media Mayhem
01:55 Did he have reservations about participating in Going Clear?
02:40 Going Clear's depiction of Scientology.
04:00 Being in the church of Scientology as a child.
06:10 How did the church get away with working children and not educating them?
08:00 What was happening at Hemet.
12:00 DeVocht's relationship with Miscavige.
18:45 Miscavige's violent tendencies.
25:00 Miscavige's pathological paranoia, fear of children, and thetans.
26:50 Sea Org members couldn't have children.
27:35 Tom Cruise and David Miscavige
31:55 Why did Miscavige care about who Tom Cruise was dating?
33:55 How Katie Holmes came to be in the church.
35:32 Why Shelly Miscavige disappeared.
36:44 Scientology's view of homosexuality.
37:40 How many times did Miscavige beat DeVocht before he left?
42:20 Who did DeVocht leave behind when he left the church?
44:30 Growing up in the church.
45:42 Marriage in the church.
48:35 Shelly's disapproval of David Miscavige's behavior.
49:45 Is there a successor?
51:00 How are celebrities and their children treated differently in the church?
51:55 Why does DeVocht feel the need to speak out against the church?
53:35 Thank you and goodbye.
Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief directed by Alex Gibney and featuring Paul Haggis and Jason Beghe is reviewed by Ben Mankiewicz (host of Turner Classic Movies), Matt Atchity (Editor-in-chief Rottentomatoes.com), Alonso Duralde (TheWrap and Linoleum Knife podcast) and Christy Lemire (http://www.ChristyLemire.com).
See what other critics are saying: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/going...
Directed by Oscar winner Alex Gibney and based on the book by Pulitzer Prize winner Lawrence Wright, Going Clear profiles eight former members of the Church of Scientology-whose most prominent adherents include A-list Hollywood celebrities-shining a light on how the church cultivates true believers, detailing their experiences and what they are willing to do in the name of religion. One of the most talked about films at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, this powerful documentary highlights the Church's origins, from its roots in the mind of founder L. Ron Hubbard to its rise in popularity in Hollywood and beyond. Going Clear is a provocative tale of ego, exploitation, and lust for power. (C) HBO
On Sunday morning, we published a compilation of entries written by many former Church of Scientology members, journalists, and others as they expressed their thoughts about the airing of Alex Gibney's documentary, Going Clear.
Many of our contributors expressed some hope that Scientologists still in the church but perhaps on the "fence" would watch the documentary and be motivated to leave the organization.
But is that happening? On Tuesday, HBO revealed that Sunday's broadcast had brought in nearly 1.7 million viewers, the most for the premiere of a documentary since 2006 and Spike Lee's When the Levees Broke about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Going Clear is now repeating on HBO, and can be seen at any time on demand. So what are Scientologists doing about it?
Megyn Kelly does 3 interviews on Mike Rinder and the *Cherch* huffs and puffs but refuses to come on Fox TV.
Mike Rinder was the face of Scientology Inc and Church Spokesman for some 20 years.
He takes part in the new HBODocumentary "Going Clear and the Prison of Belief".
2014-04-03, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
A lesson from the rewritten history of the Church of Scientology. Truly a blast from the past and a sort of time capsule into how things were 25 years ago before the Vulture Culture became the order of the day.
People talk about the "good old days." Others sometimes comment that there were no "good old days" because everything was always bad because everything sprang from the evil mind of L. Ron Hubbard. Well, this makes for interesting reading, as it is evidence that at least one thing about the church really HAS changed dramatically, and it is not because of what LRH wrote. Back in the 70's and 80's there may have been heavy regging but it was exclusively for services. And that IS a different kettle of fish from today's stinking carcass.
In today's Vulture Culture, regging for donations, or "fundraising" as it has now been renamed, is the order of the day and nobody gives it a second thought. In fact, it is the first thought of all dedicated bubbledwellers. They are hailed or hated depending on their fundraising. They became "internationally famous celebrities" based on their ability to squeeze donations.
Claudio and Renata Lugli Last year, we were fortunate enough to find ourselves in northern Italy at a lovely time of year. We made a jaunt to Venice. We strolled through Milan. We even happened to catch the final day of professional cycling's Tour of Italy - Giro d'Italia - in the city of Brescia.
And while we were in that town, we made a pilgrimage.
We stopped by to meet Claudio and Renata Lugli, parents to Tiziano Lugli, the well-known Los Angeles ex-Scientologist who tends to get mistaken for Tom Cruise by tabloid media.
Gary Smith We can hardly keep up with the documents that former Narconon officials Luke Catton and Eric Tenorio have been making public. The most recent is a stunning e-mail that Catton released yesterday, showing how much Scientology's flagship drug rehab facility, Narconon Arrowhead in Oklahoma, has turned to revenue from insurance companies to bolster its bottom line.
Catton gave us a copy of the e-mail, which he says he received from Narconon Arrowhead CEO Gary Smith early in 2010. Catton himself was once the president of Narconon Arrowhead, but he had left by this time and was operating numerous websites that directed new clients to Smith's facility. It was important for Catton to be kept up on what was happening at the rehab center, he says, and Smith's update was a crucial one.
In it, Smith explains that after Narconon Arrowhead had figured out ways to charge insurance companies for parts of its Scientology-based treatment program, revenue had gone through the roof.
This was my very first video created by Mark Bunker after I escaped out of Scientology in July of 2000. I wasn't even planning to "make a video"...was just there to talk with the staff. I'd escaped out 2 weeks earlier, so I was still, as you'll hear, very much a Scientologist at the time. I still believe "Communication is the Universal Solvent" which was really taught to me by my parents. Obviously Scientology (C of $ members) DO NOT. Thanks to Mark Bunker for this wonderful video.
BROOKSVILLE A federal judge has denied a request by the operator of a Spring Hill drug rehabilitation center to force Hernando County to give the center a permit to expand.
With the denial, U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore closed the case filed against the county in 2011 by Toucan Partners LLC, the owner of the property, and Narconon Spring Hill Inc., the operator of the program.
Suncoast Rehabilitation Center on Cessna Drive in Spring Hill announced a month ago plans to expand from 27 to 60 beds. According to a news release, a larger facility would help meet the increased demand for services under the federal Affordable Care Act.
2013-04-03, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
I received a report that IAS was pressure regging for vital projects that the church's anti-psych arm CCHR (Citizens Commission on Human Rights) is working on. CCHR hack Bruce Wiseman is doing briefings on the vital necessity of killing some federal health budget. The reason? It includes funding of facial recognition technology research to detect and prevent terrorist attacks and mass murders.
Now, certainly there are abuses with facial recognition most notably by criminal commercial identity theft operations. But, to attack the technology of micro facial expression qua micro facial expression technology is pure caveman regression. Unfortunately, the impetus for such regressive activity is woven into the woof and warp of a 'science' that was once heralded by one pundit as on par in terms of importance as 'the caveman's first discovery of fire.'
Let me illustrate how ironic, and regressive, this mentality is.
Tom Cruise has played his fair share of heroes during his career, and Irish researchers have discovered that being a good guy could be in his genes.
The actor was presented with a certificate celebrating his Irish ancestry during a trip to Dublin for the premiere of his new film, Oblivion.
It has been revealed one of his forefathers helped stricken farmers in the nineteenth century, and prior to that, his bloodline can be traced back to days of knights in shining armor.
Viele'??s parents both worked at the Gilman Hot Springs resort, where he hit his first golf ball as a child. His father, Don Viele, moved to Gilman Hot Springs in 1935 and worked as a resort carpenter. His mother worked for the resort, too, and was Gilman Hot Springs' postmaster from the mid 1950s to the mid 1970s. His father died in 1970. His mother died in 2008.
Viele has fond memories of fun at Gilman Hot Springs, which now is the site of the Church of Scientology's Golden Era Studios.
2011-04-03, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
By Mike Rinder
This segment of the event is a study in the hardest outpoint to spot: Omitted Data.
First omitted. Guillaume Lesevre used to be introduced as ED Int. Then it became "from International Management" after he had been removed from post. Now he is just "Mr. Guillaume Lesevre." Miscavige only tolerates him being in the same event because he doesn't want to stoop to handing out awards to Missions and orgs (he doesn't mind doing it to the Platinum Gluteus Maximas who provide his vacation trip/party/meal/tailor/manicurist allowance). What's it going to be next year? "Please don't clap, here's Lesevre to hand out the stupid awards."
Carmen Llewellyn says Scientology "ruined my life and my career. I ended up addicted to painkillers." She blames Scientology for Tom Cruise's divorce from "Suppressive Person" Nicole Kidman and says the Travoltas hid their son Jett from the church.
Damian DeWitt, the pseudonym of one of the supporters of the anti-Scientology group "Anonymous", has just sent the following letter to Cardinal Oswald Gracias. Quite how His Eminence or the civil authorities are supposed to stop followers of Hubbard from flooding Mumbai with their material is unclear. But I think you'll be interested in the contents of the letter, and in particular the claim that Scientologists exploited 9/11. Here it is:
2010-04-03, Jefferson Hawkins, Leaving Scientology
Well, I don't know about you, but I'm glad the series is finished. After AC 360, I spent a nice evening watching Monty Python. John Cleese and Eric Idle sounded positively sane and rational after listening to Norman Starkey.
I have to agree with the Village Voice:
"Mostly, we have to give Anderson credit for bringing us the utterly unhinged former wives of David Miscavige's accusers. These women oozed the crazy."
Wanganui Prisoners' Rehabilitation (Pars) manager Steve Treloar said yesterday that even though the centre was still very much in the planning stage they (the Wanganui Bible Chapel, a Brethren group) hoped to have it up and running within two years.
The former winery, part of the Holly Lodge complex in Papaiti Road, has several outbuildings including a former restaurant and some large sheds, he said.
The original historic Holly Lodge homestead was moved. The rehabiliation programe follows Scientology's Narconon programme established by church founder L Ron Hubbard more than 40 years ago for drug addicts in Arizona State Prisons.
The church, known for its belief in aliens, is thought to have stumped up as much as £4.25million to buy the old Pitmaston building in Moor Green Lane, to use as its Midlands HQ.
It will become the organisation's second biggest base in the UK.
TOM Cruise and John Travolta head up Scientology's all-star list of celebrity disciples.
Others include former Cheers actress Kirstie Alley and Grammy-winning musician Beck but, perhaps tellingly, a string of big names including Brad Pitt, Sharon Stone and Nicole Kidman turned their backs on the lifestyle.
Early in my career, specifically when I wrote a 12-part series on the rise of the Church of Scientology that had the Tom Cruises of that era in a tizzy, I learned some of the nuances of the libel laws in this country.
For example, if you write a letter to me calling me all sorts of libellous things, then you are perfectly within your rights to slag me.
But do not copy that same letter to anyone else, as a senior Scientology official once did in an vain effort to sully my reputation.
If you do, you are technically publishing a libel.
In other business, the district has reached a deal to sell its former computer center on Fourth Avenue North in Lower Queen Anne for $2.25 million. The buyer is the Church of Scientology of Washington.
The computer center is the last of four properties that became surplus when the district last fall opened its new headquarters, the John Stanford Center for Education Excellence, south of downtown.
Next came highlights from the previous year: When race riots in Cincinnati last year left 87 people dead, said the simulcast's emcee, Scientology volunteer ministers (VMs) were among the first on the scene to quell the violence (never mind that not a single person actually died in the riots). While race-fueled shootings continued across the city, in Cincinnati's "ghetto," where VMs distributed Scientology's "The Way to Happiness" pamphlets, not a single act of violence was committed. And on a local radio show not much later, "a leading government official" presented "her vision of how to bring tolerance to her city." That vision, of course, was "The Way to Happiness."
At no other time in Scientology history, gushed the emcee an early Don Knotts type has L. Ron Hubbard's message been so potent. "Just since September, that LRH way to a world of decency has been placed in the hands of 1.7 million people planetwide."
According to his biography, Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard moved to Seattle with his family at the age of 12 and immediately applied for membership in a Boy Scout troop. A year later he was an Eagle Scout, purportedly the youngest ever to achieve that award.
I could have done that. The fact that I didn't reflects more on Scout founder Robert Baden-Powell than it does on Yr. Obdt. Correspondent. Baden-Powell had a fixation on knots. The fact that I never learned how to tie two half-hitches and a tautline hitch hindered my progress toward the rank of Tenderfoot. Since the invention of handcuffs and bungee cords, nobody needs knots any more. But just try telling that to your Scoutmaster.
In the wake of the massacre at Columbine, Col., CNN interviewed Dr. Mary Ann Block, author of the book No More Ritalin -- Treating ADHD Without Drugs. She quoted a study noting Ritalin's similarity to cocaine in its ability to cause psychotic episodes.
The network later discovered Dr. Block is a medical consultant to CCHR, and the study she quoted was a report written the day after the massacre by CCHR vice-president Marla Filidei, amid reports that one of the Columbine killers, Eric Harris, had been taking the antidepressant Luvox.
Ms. Filidei stands by her report, which she says was drawn from medical literature. Despite its bizarre origins, much of Scientology's stand on ADHD and the overprescription of Ritalin comes across as common sense.
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Twelve-page pink pamphlets are being handed out on street corners across the country, sounding frightening alarms in bold-face type about Ritalin, a prescription drug used for three decades to calm hyperactive children.
WARNING: Ritalin can lead to suicide.
WARNING: Ritalin can be addictive.