2018-04-15, John P. Capitalist, John P. Capitalist
In Part Three, the penultimate segment in our examination of the third era in Scientology's criminal evolution, we'll look at how David Miscavige's assumption of power reflected a continuation of Hubbard's obsession with Scientology's ruthless utilitarianism, as well as how Miscavige's own violent, thuggish temperament reflected a Gotti-like use of fear as his primary mechanism of control. We'll also examine how Scientology's use of the legal system shifted from the harassment-focused days of Hubbard to a more nuanced strategic approach, as well as how several key incidents that occurred under Miscavige redefined how Scientology's La Cosa Nostra ("This thing of ours" or "Our thing") -like mindset operates to this day.
Miscavige as capo di tutti capi
While Miscavige's behavior during the Mission Holder shakeout was emblematic of his ruthless dedication to the cause, as well as reflecting his own "take no prisoners" personality, his later actions after Hubbard's death in 1986 were even more illuminating, as they offered a clear example of how Scientology under his authority would evolve over the following decades. More so, his actions therein made it abundantly clear that he was no Hubbard, nor was he going to try to be. Significantly, the controversy around his having seized control of Scientology from "Loyal Officers" Pat and Annie Broker, and later, his own conflicting courtroom testimony as to his then "official" role in the church versus the reality of the situation would continue to be provoke controversy. Questions about his legitimacy as LRH's successor would engender a pattern of secrecy, abuse of power, and up until his debut on Scientology TV in 2018, an unwillingness to be seen as the public "face" of Scientology. Aside from a disastrous 1992 TV interview with ABC's Ted Koppel, Miscavige's absence from the public domain has all the hallmarks of a reticent La Cosa Nostra (LCN) Don , one who orchestrates behind the scenes, allowing others to suffer the consequences of his own malevolence, poor judgement, and the organization's excesses.
Rod Keller reminds us that space opera is not just for the upper levels in Scientology, and it's actively part of what Scientologists learn today, as much as David Miscavige wants to promote a more businesslike, self-help image.
The CincinnatiIdeal Org is holding an event today with Jeanie Sonenfield and Rachel Kasle. The lecture is likely based on a non-confidential Scientology book, A History of Man, written by L. Ron Hubbard in 1952. It's one of "the basics" series of books that Scientologists are expected to purchase and complete a course on the contents of each.
A common misconception is that Scientologists are unaware of the science fiction aspects of the "technology" as the attempt to improve themselves through study, auditing, and other processes. When they reach the advanced auditing level of OT3 — which can take several years — they are introduced to the bizarre science fiction story of Xenu, the evil space tyrant. That revelation can be a shock, but the space opera of Scientology starts long before that, with A History of Man. OT3 was released in 1968, but all the elements of it existed as far back as 1952, just two years after the publication of Dianetics. Originally titled "What to Audit," History of Man describes alien invaders, memory implants, and other beings that exist inside one's body. The foreword begins: "This is a cold-blooded and factual account of your last sixty trillion years."
2018-04-15, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
A young SO member stopped in front of Doug and me. She held my routing form in one hand and a clipboard in the other. Her name tag read "Roxy Brand," and she looked about nineteen. Shiny blond hair just touched the top of her ears. "Rick," she said. Come with me."
Doug and I rose from the couch and followed her up to the fourth floor to the back of building. She stopped in front of a door with a brass plate on it that read Chief Justice. I wasn't excited. After knocking, a voice from inside said, "Enter."
Our young page told Doug that he could wait on one of the chairs across the hall before opening the door for me. I went inside. All my sensors on high alert.
2017-04-15, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
With the exception of a couple of old-timers, everyone in my bustling Scientology mission back in the day was in their late teens and early twenties. Now? The demographics have completely flipped. Everyone's grown old; most are in their sixty's or seventy's; a smattering of thirty-something, second-generation staff round out the ranks.
From what I can tell from all the pictures of Scientologists in magazines and promo pieces, this trend has spread worldwide. Ideal orgs have done nothing to reverse this upward demographic drift. The ones I've visited look like empty Christian Science Reading Rooms, their scant staff looking more like grandparents than Millennials.
The church has failed to attract young people. Over the last forty years the average age of its members has continued to climb. Those few remaining are ready to retire or already have. A decade from now, the majority of Scientologists will be too old to do services any more. Or will have died. Or run out of money.
There is no next generation of Scientologists.
We're getting very excited about Thursday's city council vote in Clearwater, Florida which may be that town's last opportunity to rescue its downtown from becoming Scientology's fortress against the outside world.
The council will be voting on whether to purchase a 1.4-acre parcel for $4.25 million that lies between City Hall and a couple of important Scientology landmarks, including the Fort Harrison Hotel, the centerpiece of Scientology's "Flag Land Base." The city wants the parcel to help build tourism and pedestrian traffic downtown. The last thing Scientology wants are outsiders near its facilities, and church leader David Miscavige has offered $15 million for the parcel if the city will vote against buying it.
One of the ways that Scientology tries to sway locals (and it appears to be working, judging by our conversation with one local business owner, Leif Oskarsson), is by claiming that, against all visual evidence to the contrary, the church is actually a boon to the local economy and the tax-exempt organization still somehow pays more property taxes than anyone.
Destructive cults, the media, politicians and governments use loaded language to influence thought and behavior. In this episode I discuss what this is all about, how it's done and give specific examples from my experience with Scientology.
Please comment away and let me know your feedback or if you have any questions or comments you'd like me to address on air.
CRITICAL MERCHANDISE IS AVAILABLE NOW!
(Scientology's 'disconnection' policy takes center stage)
From Phil and Willie Jones to Brian Sheen to Lori Hodgson to the Headleys to so many others. We're hearing from more and more people who have been affected by Scientology's policy of "disconnection" that is ripping families apart. Our friend and frequent contributor Jeffrey Augustine has been looking into Scientology's documents, as he does, and has been thinking about disconnection. Jeff, where should we start?
Jeffrey: Understanding disconnection, you first have to put it within the context of L. Ron Hubbard's system of ethics. According to Hubbard, disconnection is part of the "PTS/SP" model.
Given the controversy unleashed by Alex Gibney's Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, there's every reason to expect sparks to fly at Sunday's international premiere of John Dower's new documentary My Scientology Movie and its post-screening Q&A at the Tribeca Film Festival.
"I'd love for someone from the church to come see it," Dower told The Hollywood Reporter. "I don't think any of them have seen it yet. You know, hold your judgment. You might be surprised."
The film follows Louis Theroux — a guerilla-style BBC journalist who has been dubbed Britain's Michael Moore for taking viewers inside bizarre American subcultures like militias and the porn industry — in his quest to understand the psyche behind the average Church of Scientology member.
We have another leak of a lengthy interview that's never been made available in full before. It's a talk with Mike Goldstein, who had been a member of Scientology's Sea Organization in the 1970s and had been L. Ron Hubbard's financial controller.
Portions of the interview appeared in Channel 4UK's excellent 1997 documentary, Secret Lives — L. Ron Hubbard. Over the last couple of months we've been posting outtakes and uncut interviews from the documentary that are appearing for the first time. Goldstein, for example, is someone who isn't talked about a lot today, but he was at one time a key official in the Scientology superstructure.
He joined the Sea Org in 1971 and joined Hubbard at sea as Scientology was run from a small armada that plied the Mediterranean and Atlantic. By 1973, Goldstein had become the Finances "dictator" as Hubbard gave him a lot of responsibility over the movement's financial lines.
2015-04-15, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Desperate times call for desperate measures.
This is the "2X St Hill Size" LA Org. Desperate to get anyone onto the Purif with a "one week sprint game" offering to give free training plus commissions.
Not the message of a booming org. This is the message of an org that has had a short term surge with 200 Sea Org members injected into it, and is now in decline and they are in a panic...
If the Church of Scientology was hoping that HBO's withering documentary on the religion's practices would pass by with little notice, that turned out to be a miscalculation.
Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief has been seen by more than 5.5 million people since its debut two weeks ago.
It is likely to wind up being second only to a 2013 movie on Beyonce as the premium cable network's most-watched documentary of the past decade, HBO said yesterday.
A French investigation into the suicide of a Scientologist has stalled because police have been unable to interview key witnesses in the case. But the movement has not shared everything it knows about the affair. 1
(This story first ran on March 31 at Tony Ortega's Underground Bunker . Thanks again to Tony for helping us launch this investigation at his site.)
Gloria Lopez A judge investigating the 2006 suicide of a Scientologist in France may finally close the case because police have not been able to track down key witnesses.
Cults: France drops its guard French police failed to track down three Scientologists for questioning over the 2006 suicide of Gloria Lopez: but at least one of them has maintained her links with Scientology. Now French daily Libération has weighed in to the battle.
Scientologists told French police investigating the death of one their members that they did not know where three key witnesses, all Scientologists, could be found. But one of them at least has stayed a part of the movement.
And now French newspaper Libération, in an astonishing five-page broadside, has cited the lack of progress in the case to illustrate the inertia they say is gripping the French authorities over the issue of cults.
Okay, so you've filed your Form 13909 on the Church of Scientology.
What happens next? What does the IRS do? The IRS webpage details the steps it takes after it receives your completed 13909:
The Internal Revenue Service gives serious consideration to complaints made alleging the abuse of the tax exempt status granted to certain organizations.
2014-04-15, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
Hubbard's Way or the Highway
L. Ron Hubbard is the founder of Dianetics and Scientology. There is something very important and very basic to Scientology's core operation. It's the principle that everything Hubbard ever wrote in his books or said in a lecture is absolute fact and is to be followed exactly.
The most senior policy in Scientology is titled "Keeping Scientology Working." It was written on February 7, 1965 and its first line is
The Community Development Board Tuesday unanimously approved a Church of Scientology warehouse to be built in the city's industrial corridor.
The nearly 90,000-square-foot warehouse will be used to house parishioner records, according to an application submitted by the church.
Church officials declined further comment Tuesday.
Board members wanted to know more about why the church would only provide 10 parking spaces for a building zoned for 133 spaces on the southeast corner of N Hercules Avenue and Calumet Street.
2014-04-15, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
What next, ideal teeth brushing? Ideal garbage collection? Ideal ideals?
Or maybe this is a pilot for a new rundown — a round of Texas Scramble apparently generates "spiritual satisfaction!!" Could this be the new "Cause Re-resurgence Rundown"? OT IX?
With the help of experts like Claire Headley and Bruce Hines, we've been taking a journey to train as Scientologists. Claire spent years working with Scientology's "tech," and was trusted to oversee the auditing of Tom Cruise. Bruce was in Scientology for 31 years and spent about half that time as a senior case supervisor. Go here to see the first part in this series.
For more than a year, we've been exploring Scientology's "Bridge to Total Freedom," step by step. We last left off after Bruce Hines helped us understand Operating Thetan Level Seven. That leaves us with one final level on the Bridge, OT 8. We plan to dive deeply into that final step on our journey.
But before we do that, we wanted to take a detour. Since we want to end this series on OT 8, we thought we'd do things a little out of order and spend some time now on the "L Rundowns."
I've been listening to fake guru voices, watching videos of charismatic new age leaders, and making cosmic GIFs for two months, nonstop, as a way to make amends for the emotional damage I inflicted on office drones a few months ago. This—Introspections.me—is the result. I feel like it's warped my mind.
Let me back up and explain.
2014-04-15, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
More revealing details from inside the hushmail bubble....
Great to see the IAS coming along to the Flag OTC to quote from "COB's speech" and tell everyone they should be increasing their status as they move up the Bridge. Of course, if they were to be asked about this by the IRS they would claim there is NO relationship with moving up the Bridge and IAS statuses. But you know, that's just "wog" law. Not important to anyone important (like us in the IAS).
These guys lie about their own stats to themselves. It is remarkable to see how the culture of peddling bs and then buying what you are selling is so ingrained inside the bubble. What they REALLY mean to say is that 88% of all members of the OTC have enough money left on account that they can be debited for an extension course so they can say they are "on lines", with a few of them sporadically going to the course room and a handful proudly donning their blue and white "Purif Uniforms" or "Cause Resurgence Running Program running shoes" and passing through retina scans and frisk downs to enter the SP Cathedral and participate in the most astonishing, life-changing, OT wins imaginable this side of redoing their Objectives and Student Hat.
During the 1970s Synanon attracted a fair amount of attention from the media, though unlike the positive press it was getting in the 1960s for its drug rehab "successes," the coverage was overwhelmingly negative.
Major news networks had started slowly reporting on the organization, but much of the legwork that went into exposing Synanon as a violent cult was done by a tiny newspaper with a circulation of only about 1,700. The Point Reyes Light in Marin County was dogged in its pursuit of the Synanon story, which involved child abuse, wrongful imprisonment, assault and misappropriation of funds. Despite being constantly threatened for libel action, the paper didn't back down. The Light even won a Pulitzer Prize in 1979 for its reporting on the organization, something virtually unheard of for a paper of that size.
Members of Synanon didn't take kindly to the criticism. The group lashed out at anyone who dared question their organization; after an expose by NBC in 1978, members sent hundreds of ominous letters to NBC executives, threatening physical harm.
Hubbard's Way or the Highway
The third in my series detailing how the Church of Scientology is destroying itself through its toxic policies and the way it enforces those policies. In this video, I discuss how Scientology is a system that enforces black & white thinking (the "false dilemma" fallacy) and how it villifies dissidents and anyone who claims that Hubbard's methods don't work.
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.
2013-04-15, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
OK, the bizarre just keeps getting more bizarre.
This Email came in over the weekend from Plymouth Org.
In the time honored tradition of Ideal Orgs/Super Power, t hey first announced they were buying the building in late 2009 and that it would be opened by May 2010. Then announced it was actually purchased in June 2010 and in December 2011 had still not submitted any PLANS to do the renovations. Apparently still nothing happening as they are holding a "raffle" for the "Ideal Org."
The Underground Bunker is already largely fueled by its readers. Our worldwide tipster network keeps us informed of the latest breaking stories, and feeds us inside information that you can't get anywhere else. For 17 years we've been writing about the world of Scientology, and since this time two years ago, we've carved out something unique: a daily blog that breaks Scientology news, analyzes stories breaking elsewhere, and brings together one of the very best commenting communities anywhere.
[BREAKING NEWS: See below for news about Oklahoma's drug rehab bill]
We owe a lot of that to you. And now, we're asking you to help us out even more. Most of you are probably fully aware of how the journalism industry has been decimated by the Internet. But the 'net has also given rise to amazing new opportunities, like this singular website. We'd like to keep it going, but in order to do so, and in order to make plans that will help us keep it going for the indefinite future, we have decided to post a Paypal Donate button.
2012-04-15, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Izhar Perlman has established a central point for informing the public accurately as to the fraud that is David Miscavige's "Ideal Org" ponzi scheme.
Izhar's site is easy to find at idleorgs.com.
It is interactive. You just send a proposed post, text and supporting photos, exposing Miscavige false representations with evidence of the true state of affairs he lies about, to Izhar at email@example.com. In short order Izhar will post it for the world to see.
2012-04-15, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Oh my, do we have a treat for you today. For several weeks now, we've been reporting on the "L. Ron Hubbard Writers and Illustrators of the Future" contest. For several years, certain writers have questioned the connection between the contest and Scientology, which owns and operates it. And recently, we dug up surprising links between the contest and shocking abuse allegedly happening at Scientology's international headquarters.
2010-04-15, Jefferson Hawkins, Leaving Scientology
There's something called the Streisand Effect that the Church is apparently not aware of.
And please, don't tell them about it. I'd like them to remain blissfully ignorant!
Wikipedia describes it this way: "The Streisand effect is a primarily online phenomenon in which an attempt to censor or remove a piece of information has the unintended consequence of causing the information to be publicized widely and to a greater extent than would have occurred if no censorship had been attempted."
2008-04-15, David Krone, The Hoya, Georgetown University
Wearing masks, sunglasses, hooded sweatshirts and bandanas, protestors rallied for the third time in three months outside the Church of Scientology in Dupont Circle on Saturday to raise awareness of the church's practices.
Numbering 40 to 50, members of the leaderless online group Anonymous met at Dupont Circle at 11 a.m. and marched up to the red-bricked Founding Church of Scientology on 20th Street. At the same time, Anonymous groups in cities including Philadelphia, Boston and Madison, Wis., held similar protests at local Scientology sites.
The Boston Foundation recently awarded the planning grant to the proposed "Cornerstone for Success Academy," a high school for at-risk students that would base its curriculum on a model created by Applied Scholastics International - the educational arm of the Church of Scientology.
The celebrity-backed religious organization is often criticized as a destructive, mind-controlling cult, and critics have blasted the educational curriculum as a back-door avenue to recruitment.
An organization co-founded by actor Tom Cruise has raised $1.2 million to expand a treatment program for rescue workers exposed to potentially hazardous materials after the collapse of the World Trade Center.
The New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project said it has treated more than 200 workers who say they were suffering effects from breathing the air filled with smoke, dust and debris after the Sept. 11, 2001, destruction of the trade center.
An organization co-founded by Tom Cruise as part of the Church of Scientology is being credited with $1.2 million in contributions to expand a treatment program for rescue workers affected by the 9/11 collapse of the World Trade Center.
To date, the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project -- which reputedly was developed by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard -- says it has treated for free more than 200 workers claiming to have suffered after breathing the air filled with smoke, dust and debris around Ground Zero.
Last month, a judge ordered the documents, which include confidential correspondence, financial records and membership lists of the original CAN, put up for public sale. Scientology is expected to be the highest bidder.