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2018-04-16, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The weekly show where I answer viewer questions left for me in the comments sections of my Q&A videos or sent to me by email at AskChrisShelton@gmail.com. This week, the questions I answer are:
(1) Love the work you're doing! It's helping me figure out how to talk to a friend of mine who is wanting to pursue Scientology. What I'm concerned with is that, with Scientology being a money-making cult, what do they do to people without much money that actively pursue them? My friend does not have money to spare, and their finances aren't great, but they can pay their bills and they work a humble job. Since Scientology is all about the money, what would they do if my friend showed up, eager to join?
(2) You have mentioned the RPF often and at least once you mentioned the RPF's RPF. What does one have to do to get on the RPF's RPF and how does one get off it? How does it differ from the RPF?
Researchers who promoted an alleged cult and showcased its bizarre healing claims in published studies have embroiled one of Australia's top universities in an academic misconduct probe.
•UQ faculty members promote unproven treatments linked to alleged cult
•International journals considering pulling research
•University launches conflict-of-interest investigation
The University of Queensland (UQ) and two international medical journals are investigating alleged ethical violations in research around Universal Medicine (UM), an organisation based in Lismore in New South Wales, which touts the healing power of "esoteric breast massage" and other unproven treatments.
Founded by Serge Benhayon — a former bankrupt tennis coach with no medical qualifications who claims to be the reincarnation of Leonardo Da Vinci — UM is a multi-million-dollar enterprise with 700 mostly female followers in 15 countries.
A former security guard for the Church of Scientology has revealed the behind-the-scenes rivalry between the church's most high-profile members and how he was allegedly brutally punished for speaking to them.
Working at its global headquarters in Clearwater, Florida, Brendan Tighe, 37, had an unrivaled view of 'Scientology VIPs' Tom Cruise, Kirstie Alley and John Travolta.
A Scientologist for 30 years, he has given DailyMail.com his experiences and observations about the celebrity culture within the Church and the Travolta/Cruise rivalry, as they furiously vied for the official Number Two position under leader David Miscavige.
2018-04-16, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
I have often noted that scientology's claim about "new churches" is a semantic sleaze to try to fool the bubble-dwellers and outside world alike that they are actually expanding.
They are not.
What they have done is moved existing orgs into new buildings and called them "new churches." And those new buildings are EMPTY. They have not opened any new organizations in a decade other than one in Dublin for no good reason, though they have shuttered quite a number by "combining" them into one.
(He is risen?)
Secrecy is one of the things that most makes Scientology what it is. Although we know plenty about the origins of Scientology, its underlying materials, and much of its controversial history thanks to countless media exposes and court cases and defections, Scientologists themselves are still very tight-lipped about what Scientology is and how it works.
And that's one of the reasons we're glad that there's such a thing as "independent Scientology," those former church members who got fed up with leader David Miscavige and his heavy-handed ways, and went off to practice Scientology on their own. No longer under the control of the church, "indies" or "freezoners" will often talk freely of things like body thetans, the "OT" levels, and other really strange and bizarre things that church members try to keep quiet.
2017-04-16, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
They STILL don't have 50,000 completions on the Basics?
You realize this is not "Full Basics Completions" — there are only a handful of those. No, this is the total number of BOOKS and LECTURE SERIES that have been read by ALL SCIENTOLOGISTS over 10 YEARS, in the biggest "push" in scientology's history. Every single scientologist they could get their hands on has been ordered, cajoled, pressured, threatened, begged and bribed to "get through the Basics"...
2017-04-16, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The weekly show where I answer questions from viewers left in the comments section of my Q&A videos or sent to me by email at AskChrisShelton@gmail.com. This week, the questions I answer are:
(1) I've read stories of Scientology parishioners who may choose to go to another location/country, aside from their own, to partake in services for a price that is less expensive (due to a more beneficial exchange rate as an example) as opposed to paying more for the same services offered at their closest office. I'm speaking more about OT levels or other services that are limited to one of the six (I believe) places where these costly services are limited for delivery, but I suppose it could apply for any service. Can you discuss this?
(2) In the comments section of your Q & A #102 a commenter posted a link to a video of a Scientologist/ pro-Scientology man who was attempting to lampoon your efforts to expose the dark world of Scientology. What are your thoughts about this type of thing? I would like to point out that the rather crass man in the video employed all of the techniques and buzzwords that you've said Scientologists would use when attacking the church's detractors. My opinion about this subject is that it is a rather positive sign that you're having a negative effect on the Church of Scientology, or they see you as a threat. Either one of those things is a good thing on their own, taken together they make a promising combination!
Rod Keller is back with a grim update to one of his previous stories for us...
My friend Wendy Lee Westling died of a heroin overdose in Reno, Nevada on April 8. Wendy was one of three women I interviewed for the first story I wrote on substance abuse-related deaths among former Narconon staff members. Karl Tempest, Kevin Vavrinka, Tabatha Fauteux, Nathan Dwyer, Jacob Heider, and now Wendy Lee Westling have all relapsed and died after serving as staff members at Scientology's drug rehab network.
She was a Narconon "student" and staff member at the Rainbow Ranch in Caliente, NV and also staff at Narconon South Texas in Harlingen. While every drug treatment program has patients that leave prematurely and relapse, deaths among drug addiction counselors in other programs are more rare. Narconon has lost at least six in the past few years.
2016-04-16, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The desperation emanating from the "ideal org" in Auckland is palpable.
A bunch of Sea Org members have been dispatched on mission to try and get the org done, get their filing backlogs handled and recruit enough staff to have at least one person covering reception full time.
A measure of how desperate they are is who they are reaching out to try and recruit.
Previously, we posted video of Scientology leader David Miscavige giving his oration on April 2 to open the new "Ideal Org" in Atlanta, which was shot by a couple of very resourceful Underground Bunker readers who had secured a strategic position across the street from the festivities.
But our informants didn't want our readers to miss the ribbon-cutting ceremony! And we want to thank them for the painstaking work of captioning the words of Scientology mouthpiece Erin Banks in this clip.
Just as an aside, we also mentioned Erin Banks in our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely, because her mother, Paula Tyler, was one of the Scientology operatives who Paulette Cooper suspects ran the scheme to obtain her fingerprint on a piece of paper that was turned into a fake bomb threat and mailed to the New York org, resulting in Paulette being indicted and facing 15 years in federal prison.
The massive message was placed in Echo Park this month by Phil and Willie Jones. The former Scientologists say they have lost their two adult children, Mike and Emily Jones, to a practice known as "disconnection," which believers describe as a last resort — ending communication with people who are "antagonistic to Scientology" to protect themselves from being torn from the religion.
Phil Jones told NBC's "Today" his son has told him he never wants to speak to him again.
"That's what they do," Jones said, sobbing. "It's a cruel and vindictive organization to do something like that."
2015-04-16, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Last year I spent a day with Investigation Discovery (ID) filmmakers outlining the story of my involvement with scientology. They took what they considered interesting and created a one hour piece from the several hour interview. It can be seen at this link, Investigation Discovery.
On April 7, film director and screenwriter Paul Haggis received an email asking for a Time magazine interview. Haggis tells us the request seemed reasonable. The writer, Mark Webber, said he was talking to a number of directors for an article about the "golden age of film." Webber also mentioned Crash, the Oscar-winning Haggis film that is coming up on its 10th year anniversary since it was released in theaters on May 6, 2005.
Haggis forwarded Webber's email to his staff, asking them to set up a time for a phone interview. But once they got a look at it, they thought the request seemed a little off. They decided to do a little checking before scheduling the call for Haggis.
One of the director's representatives noticed that "Mark Webber" not only didn't appear to have any Time clips, he didn't seem to have any national arts bylines of any kind. A message was sent to Time arts editor Sam Lansky, who said that he didn't know anyone named Mark Webber, and he hadn't assigned an interview of Haggis.
When Tony Ortega posted the "Shock Dox" on April 7, 2014, he asked Mike Rinder for his thoughts on the documents.
Mike Rinder gave Tony Ortega this statement:
"I suspect the figures listed as "book value" are the lowest valuations of assets they think they can get away with. But these are fascinating documents despite not listing income (other than 'unrelated business income').
Social Betterment Properties International is a Church of Scientology entity that holds properties for the Church's so-called "social betterment" groups.
No 990-T's are available at present. However, the stated 2008 asset value stated for Social Betterment Properties International was $39,647,311.
This increased by at least $5,000,000 when Tony Ortega reported that SBPI had purchased the late actor Larry Hagman's Ojai, California estate for $5,000,000 in cash.
More than a year ago, Luis and Rocio Garcia filed a federal fraud lawsuit against five Scientology corporate entities, alleging that while the Garcias were in the church, they were defrauded as they were constantly hit up for donations.
When the lawsuit was filed in January 2013, it seemed like a landmark case — many former Scientologists are in the same position as the Garcias, having given large amounts to the church and wishing they could get it back now that they've left.
But our readers, who have been following the case closely, know that the lawsuit ran into a strange snag. More than nine months after it was filed in Tampa, Florida, Scientology's attorneys suddenly announced that the Garcias had chosen the wrong venue. Although the Garcias gave much of their donations to Scientology's Florida operations, three of the defendant entities in the case had trustees in California, where the Garcias live. According to a basic concept of law known as "diversity jurisdiction," it was not proper for the Garcias to have sued those three entities in Florida.
2014-04-16, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
by Jeffrey Augustine
With over 1,500,000 views and 8,300+ subscribers in one year, Karen's Surviving Scientology YouTube channel is a tremendous success in exposing the human rights abuses, lies, and greed of David Miscavige and the Church of Scientology.
In order to build on that success, Karen and I have just launched Surviving Scientology Radio so we can do podcasts. Podcasts allow for in depth interviews with people. We can also break news faster as it happens.
2014-04-16, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
We would not want the undesirables getting a glimpse of Dear Leader, the Emperor with No Clothes.
So the long-anticipated, joyous occasion of finally yanking the ribbon on this building that has been put there in order to move 5+ million people onto and up the Bridge, is being done out of the public eye.... Hardly consistent with the message "we are here and everyone is welcome" that they will tell the media and repeat endlessly on their website. Funny, I dont think the Australian media is going to buy it. Hell, I dont think the Australian public are going to buy it? "You want us to come in and find out about Scientology but you won't let us stand on the street and watch your highest leader speak to open the building we are supposed to come into? No, thanks mate, I'm busy watching the paint dry on the Sydney Harbor Bridge,"
Miscavige proudly refers to himself as the "leader of a worldwide religion."
2013-04-16, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
The communication training routines in Scientology are very much downplayed in my opinion. Supervised with the requisite attention and emphasis, in and of themselves they are a tremendous advance toward the state of Clear. Ron Hubbard at one time made that point rather plain.
From L. Ron Hubbard's lecture Scientology and Effective Knowledge (15 July 1957):
I woke up eventually to discover that these training drills (communication training routines) all by themself, practiced with sufficient rigor and coached well enough and instructed well enough, were steps on the road to Clear, all by themselves, without any further processing...
2013-04-16, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This needs no comment.
Except — Oh, how f***ing predictable. Way To Happiness Booklets? Come on... I think what these people really need is a set of the "LRH Encyclopediaa". Or the ACCs.
House OKs Narconon bill
The House approved a bill Monday that would allow the state Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Department to inspect recovery support facilities, such as Narconon Arrowhead where three patients have died in recent months. The House voted 80-13 to pass Senate Bill 295. It now goes back to the Senate. Rep. David Derby, R-Owasso, the House sponsor of the measure, said the intent of the bill is to make sure recovery support facilities such as Narconon Arrowhead are usual and customary.
Claire Headley is taking us on our journey to train as Scientologists. She and her husband Marc were Sea Org workers who escaped from Scientology's International Base in 2005. She spent years working with Scientology's "tech," and was trusted to oversee the auditing of Tom Cruise. Go here to see the first part in this series.
Last time, Claire introduced us to "study tech." This week she's got a huge amount of material for us. What's this course called, Claire?
CLAIRE: The Hubbard Qualified Scientologist course. This was my first official "hard course" in Scientology. I started this at age 12. The course took me about eight months to complete, and approximately 200 hours of study.
2013-04-16, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
A report from our man in Brisbane, Australia.
Brisbane, like Adelaide, Perth and Canberra (ACT) in Australia is not an "Ideal Org" and doesn't even seem to be on the horizon for idealishness.
This is the real state of the vast majority of Scientology Orgs around the world in this era of "massive international expansion, greater in the last 5 years than in all 50 years before, straight up and vertical like a runaway train on a downhill thundering avalanche of destiny unlike anything ever before witnessed in the history of mankind searching for answers on a collision course between destiny and destruction, given all that has come before and all that will follow into the future of planetary clearing!!!!!"
2012-04-16, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
I have appended below excerpts of a verified transcript of an interview by the BBC's John Sweeney with corporate Scientology celebrityKirstie Alley. The interview was ordered and orchastrated by David Miscavige. It was conducted on 21 March 2007 at church of Scientology Celebrity Center International in Hollywood Caliornia. I think this interview demonstrates a couple things that Scientologists ought to know about David Miscavige and his management of Scientology Inc.
First, the interview shows how celebrities are used to cover up the serial crimes of David Miscavige himself. As we all know by now, the premise of the initial questions by Sweeny about the penalties for daring to harbor a thought contrary to Miscavige's views is based on well-established fact.
Kirstie does a yoeman's job of pretending those facts do not exist and diverting the conversation by positioning Sweeney's question as akin to asking about alien sightings.
L'Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de la Mauricie a rencontré lundi les dirigeants de Narconon, un programme de désintoxication liée à l'Église de Scientologie dont Québec aurait révoqué la certification
Sept à huit heures de sauna par jour pendant 21 jours, engueuler un cendrier, ingurgiter des doses massives de vitamine. Voilà le traitement que propose, entre autres, Narconon Trois-Rivières à des toxicomanes.
The tale is stranger than fiction.
Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, a guru from India, gathered 2,000 followers at a remote eastern Oregon ranch. Arriving in search of enlightenment, the Rajneeshees became a political and social force that collided with traditional Oregon.
Ultimately, the conflict led to attempted murder, global manhunts and prison time.
Twenty-five years later, long-secret government files and now-talkative participants make it clear that things were far worse at Rancho Rajneesh than many realized.
The tale is stranger than fiction. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, a guru from India, gathered 2,000 followers at a remote Eastern Oregon ranch. Arriving in search of enlightenment, the Rajneeshees became a political and social force that collided with traditional Oregon. Ultimately, the conflict led to attempted murder, global manhunts and prison time. Twenty-five years later, long-secret government files and now-talkative participants make it clear that things were far worse at Rancho Rajneesh than many realized.
2011-04-16, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
With all the talk of squirrels this past week, let us focus for a moment on the undisputed King of Squirrels, David Miscavige.
Since he is also the indisputable "Ecclesiastical Leader" of the "churches of Scientology" let us be very clear about the basis for anointing him with this King of the Squirrels title. The earlier beginning to my having even gotten into this terrain, was a controversial comment of mine to the effect that folk promoting their skype auditing, and long-distance internet NOTs supervision was, in my view, squirrel. That evaluation was predicated on the idea that the interposition of mest forms of electronics between a pre clear and an auditor is a grotesque perversion of the original formula that makes auditing work:
Auditor plus pre clear is greater than bank.
Conference planners include Shaindl Diamond of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) and the Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault and Bonnie Burstow, a senior lecturer at OISE, a specialist in community organizing and marginalized populations and a self-described antipsychiatry activist.
Three years ago, Burstow announced plans to endow a scholarship funding research into homelessness and the belief that strong communities pulling together can do far more good than drug companies and psychiatrists advocating electroshock and pills.
PsychOUT hopes to provide a venue for those with alternative ideas to network and develop strategies that "promote empowerment and equality."
Scientology describes its Flag Land Base in Florida as "The Friendliest Place in the Whole World". New recruit Maureen Bolstad got a very different impression.
Maureen Bolstad agreed to sign the billion-year contract for Scientology's Sea Organization because of the promises her recruiter had made her - none of which were ever kept, she said.
He told her she would be able to finish high school; that she would get regular visits home; and be trained in Scientology skills that would help her mentally ill mother.
MontrealIdeal OrgFundraising Technique
This video was filmed 6 hrs 30 into a 8 hrs 30 long fundraising event. It was 1:30 am at the time of the filming.
This is a prime example of the fundraising techniques used to gather money in scientology.
He was so successful as a celebrity auditor, he says, that David Miscavige, the head of the sect, referred to him as "the poster boy for Scientology."
But now that Beghe and his wife have left the sect, the actor has concerns. They can be, he says, a vicious and vindictive group. When he asked for money back that he had banked for future study -- some $60,000 to $70,000 -- it was returned and he was banished.
"Once you ask for refund and repayment, that's what it's called, you're not allowed to take another course or speak to another Scientologist ever again," Beghe says.
1. Boston Scientology Protest 4/12/08 Larry Brennan Part1
2. Boston Scientology Protest 4/12/08 Larry Brennan Part2
3. Boston Scientology Protest 4/12/08 Larry Brennan Part3
4. Boston Scientology Protest 4/12/08 Larry Brennan Part4
5. Boston Scientology Protest 4/12/08 Larry Brennan Part5
6. Boston Scientology Protest 4/12/08 Band Stand Larry Brennan
7. Boston Scientology Protest 4/12/08 Band Stand Larry Brennan2
8. Boston Scientology Protest 4/12/08 Patty Pieniadz -Snippet-
Photos at http://s281.photobucket.com/user/FreePressTelevision/library/?sort=3&start=all&page=1
Ballo's father, Olav Gunnar Ballo, is a member of the Norwegian Parliament for the Socialist Left (SV), and he's gone public with both his daughter's suicide and the circumstances surrounding it. He's won support from fellow politicians in Norway.
"All indications are that the Scientologist sect has played a direct role in Kaja's choice to take her own life," another member of parliament, Inga Marte Thorkildsen, and an acquaintance of the younger Ballo, told Oslo newspaper Dagbladet.
The daughter of a Norwegian politician killed herself after she received negative results on a personality test by the Church of Scientology, officials said.
Kaja Ballo, daughter of Norwegian politician Olav Ballo, took a personality test administered by a Scientology center in Nice, France, Aftenposten said Wednesday.
Family and friends described the 20-year-old in a generally good mood until Friday, March 28, when she "changed" after reading the results from the test.
She took her own life hours later.
A Boston city councilor is raising concerns about a pilot school's proposed curriculum and its ties to an arm of Scientology, while a prestigious Hub charitable foundation is taking a second look at its grant to help launch the controversial school.
"We're reviewing the grant proposal in light of new materials," Boston Foundation spokesman David Trueblood said of the organization's $20,000 gift to the proposed "Cornerstone for Success Academy."
2008-04-16, Stephen Crittenden, Religion Report, ABC News (Australia)
In the wake of Andrew Morton's biography Hollywood actor Tom Cruise we look at how Scientology uses Hollywood celebrities to get what it wants in Washington. With leading sociologist of religious cults, Professor Stephen Kent of the university of Alberta in Canada.
In their extremely misguided, Nazi-like effort to rid the world of psychiatrists (and, in fact, all mental health practitioners), the Criminal Cult of Cruise is now using the Virginia Tech shooting tragedy as a platform for their latest, ill-advised recruitment drive. Scientology has not attempted so publicly, so grotesquely to capitalize on a national tragedy since they descended like vultures at Ground Zero post-9/11. While hindering legitimate, heroic rescue efforts with their spurious "therapies" at the site, Scientology claimed they were from the non-existent National Mental Health Assistance outfit, and falsely aligned themselves in the media with the Red Cross. Prior to that, the cult [see press release excerpt below] actually claimed to have solved the Columbine massacre.
"Drug abuse is ruining our culture," said Noelle North LA coordinator of the Drug-Free Marshals, sponsored by the Church of Scientology. "Overcoming this scourge requires real drug education about exactly what drugs do to our bodies and minds. Effective drug education at all levels of society can and will bring about drug abuse prevention."In the last decade, Scientology churches worldwide have printed and distributed more than 8.3 million informational brochures laying out the facts about drugs and including the Truth About Drugs booklets.