2018-04-22, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The weekly show where I answer viewer questions left for me 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'm a therapist for individuals who have experienced adult sexual assault or child sexual abuse and have worked with clients from Bible based cults. Say I were to work with a former Scientologist, what are some things it would be helpful to know in working with former members? What are the top 3 things that you believe are the most difficult for Scientologists coming out of the organization?
(2) I've been thinking about what's next after all orgs have been turned into Ideal orgs. Miscavige has to be thinking ahead about what his next fundraising scheme will be. I can think of several potential schemes he could be planning, but thought it would be a good brainstorming exercise to consider some options. Could he be planning: (a) a second round perhaps to create all "Super Ideal Orgs" with bigger buildings or expanded/improved space; (b) a bigger/better cruise ship; (c) new facilities for delivery of OT 9 & 10; (d) perhaps a Hubbard University requiring a campus of buildings and acres of real estate. Any opinions or ideas? Are there any hints out there about what might be next?
Rod Keller keeps an eye on Scientology's Ideal Org program for us, and has an update from the heartland!
Renovations have begun at the Kansas City Ideal Org. Scientology purchased the building in 2007 for over $5 million and have been raising the funds to renovate it for the past decade. The current org is tiny with very few staff or publics, located on the second floor above an H&R Block tax office. Local Scientologists have donated to the project, but the bulk of the money appears to come from Clearwater, where many large donors live. In the US the Orlando Ideal Org will open very soon, with Detroit and Kansas City next in line.
[Materials arrive at the Ideal Org building]
As she was led from court in Brooklyn on Friday, Allison Mack appeared to wipe away a tear. The actor, best known for a role in the TV series Smallville, had entered a plea of not guilty to sex trafficking and forced labor charges which carry mandatory minimum sentences of 15 years and could lead to life in jail.
Flanked by lawyers and closely shadowed by FBI agents and federal marshals, the 35-year-old's distress provided the first glimpse of what the future may hold for senior members of an alleged cult known as Nxivm.
Prosecutors claim Mack was second-in-command at the upstate New York headquarters of the group, and therefore instrumental in forcing new recruits to conform to the sexual demands of leader Keith Raniere.
2018-04-22, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Roxy and I were sitting in a sauna in the basement of the same building that housed the big course room. We sat facing each other, each leaning back on opposite walls. Rivulets of sweat ran down our bodies. I wore an old pair of gym shorts; Roxy word a red bikini. I looked like I'd just finished a race. Roxy looked like a Santa Barbara lifeguard. Her tight little body more than made up for the lack of tan. I couldn't help staring.
"When you're not keeping tabs on wayward boys, what's your actual post?" I asked.
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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"There's nothing we don't miss about her. She was just a lot of fun. Even when you were having the worst day of your life, she could figure out how to get a smile out of you," Guy Fauteux told us yesterday about his daughter Tabatha. "It's the worst. And she was doing so good. She wanted to do so good."
We called him to catch up on what's been happening in a wrongful death lawsuit that he and his wife Sheila filed against Scientology's Narconon International and the Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE) after Tabatha Fauteux's heroin overdose in November 2015.
You may remember our stories about Tabatha's death. She had gone through Narconon's rehab program in Texas and then was hired on staff. She was then flown to Los Angeles with her boyfriend, another Narconon staffer, to receive special training from ABLE on a new change being made to the Narconon counseling regime. While staying in Los Angeles at an apartment paid for by ABLE, Tabatha died of a heroin overdose.
2017-04-22, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Self-determinism is a highly touted state of being in Scientology. Being self-determined is a goal of every Scientologist. "Other-determinedness": not good. Deciding for oneself: good.
"Self-determinism is that state of being wherein the individual can or cannot be controlled by his environment according to his own choice. In that state the individual has self-confidence in his control of the material universe and the organisms within it along every dynamic. He is confident about any and all abilities or talents he may possess. He is confident in his interpersonal relationships. He reasons but does not need to react." L. Ron Hubbard, Advanced Procedures and Axioms.
If self-determinism is good, pan-determinism is even better. Someone who is pan-determined is in control of not only his own life, but of all those in his universe. He has "the ability to regulate the considerations of two or more identities, whether or not opposed." LRH, Creation of Human Ability. A pan-determined person takes full responsibility for both sides of the game.
(Lori Hodgson and her lovely mom, Dee)
What a couple of days we've had here in the Underground Bunker, eh? On Wednesday, we took you into the disconnection problems that are splitting apart the most powerful family in Scientology, the Miscaviges. And then yesterday we revealed that those problems had pulled in Lisa Marie Presley, who has gone on the warpath against Scientology leader David Miscavige.
What she's going to do next, we don't know. But we surely do look forward to finding out. (Sorry to those readers who for some reason thought yesterday's story promised a third installment. We have been told by our sources that Lisa Marie is planning more salvos against Miscavige, but we don't yet know what they are.)
Radio Canada reports this morning that the city is threatening to seize the church's downtown property for back taxes.
The Scientologists owe nearly $90,000 on a building on Saint Catherine Street in the Quartier des Spectacles. The building is unoccupied and the church's plans to renovate it have stalled.
Because it is not being used, it is not eligible for the tax exemption for places of worship.
L'Église de scientologie doit près de 90 000 $ à la Ville de Montréal en taxes foncières non payées pour l'édifice historique qu'elle possède dans le Quartier des spectacles, rue Sainte-Catherine.
L'édifice La Patrie, qui appartient à l'organisation controversée depuis 2007, est aujourd'hui laissé à l'abandon. Les scientologues montréalais avaient pourtant d'importants projets de rénovation pour ce bâtiment, qui ne se sont toujours pas concrétisés.
La semaine dernière, Montréal a mis en demeure l'Église de scientologie, lui demandant de payer 39 855 $ pour des dettes datant de 2015, indique Gonzalo Nunez, du service des communications de la Ville. Si la note n'est pas réglée dans les prochains mois, l'immeuble sera mis en vente aux enchères en novembre.
Radio-Canada has discovered that the Church owes about $90,000 in back taxes.
The church has owned the La Patrie building, which is a historic building on Ste-Catherine Street in downtown Montreal's Latin Quarter, since 2007.
The building, which was built in 1905 to house the newspaper La Patrie, is now abandoned. Church members had plans to renovate it, but no work has been carried out yet.
The Church of Scientology has told Jackson County over the years that they're working hard at renovating the building at 1801 Grand it purchased in 2007. But city permit records indicate that local Scientologists are hardly working.
In the current edition of The Pitch, which hit the streets on Wednesday, we examined how scant work appears to have been done on the stately downtown Kansas City building since Scientology bought it in 2007 for a shade more than $5 million.
The apparent inactivity begged the question: Does Scientology deserve to have a property tax exemption at a piece of real estate valued at $3.5 million if it's not doing much of anything with it?
A vote on whether to add the Trout Run property along Catoctin Hollow Road near Thurmont to the Frederick County Register of Historic Places has been delayed once again. The County Council on Tuesday agreed to put off a decision on this request for more than 30-days so that members can read through some additional materials which have come forward.
The passing motion made by Council Vice President MC Keegan-Ayer also states that the record for this case was officially closed on Tuesday afternoon.
Peter Robinson has made clear that he does not regret blocking libel reform in Northern Ireland, despite the situation reportedly leading to a major film about Scientology being pulled across the UK.
The Observer has reported that Sky shelved plans to broadcast Going Clear, a controversial exposé of the religious organisation, because of Northern Ireland's more restrictive free speech laws.
Paul Tweed, the Belfast lawyer who represents chief Scientologist David Miscavige, also has acted for Mr Robinson and has been the main voice arguing against the extension of the 2013 Defamation Act to Northern Ireland.
In 2003, your proprietor moved to Kansas City. It was something of a leap of faith. We're from Los Angeles, and we'd lived in New York, and we didn't have a lot of familiarity with the middle of the country. But it turned out to be one of the best moves we ever made.
We're still best friends with some of the people we met during the two years we lived there, and we have fond memories of our time as managing editor of The Pitch, a weekly newspaper.
We were pleasantly surprised to receive a call recently from a writer currently working for The Pitch who wanted to get some help with a really interesting story he was putting together.
2014-04-22, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
They are not going to have any real news for the Maiden Voyage — just a lone ribbon yanking from Sydney.
So, the call has gone out for EVERY ORG to do an "iconic" or ironic"? event.... Even the ALREADY "ideal orgs"- because these are virtually all the "big" orgs so there would not be much left to show if they are not included, but I wonder what sort of "iconic" event they are going to do in Pretoria or Portland or Nashville where they have tapped out everyone and are left with completely empty "ideal" orgs?
Maybe they should hold an event that is "iconic" to the RCS. They can all dress up like dollar bills, credit cards, check books or gold bars (or gold fillings?)
2014-04-22, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
I had my first podcast interview with Jeffrey Augustine this past week and it was a boatload of fun. We had just gotten into this first interview and quickly discovered that there is so much territory to cover and so many topics to talk about that we were all over the boards very fast. Open up one barrel of monkeys and then another appeared and another until it was like we were in the monkey house at the zoo. Quite a wild time.
Getting on the show was a piece of cake. Their first podcast was announced just a few days ago and I was listening to it and fascinated by what Jeff and Mike Rinder were talking about. I thought that this would be a fantastic medium to get information out quickly and easily, especially in response to current events as well as to talk about past history. So while the first podcast was still running, I emailed Jeff and Karen Delacarriere and volunteered to be interviewed. Before I was finished listening to the podcast, they had emailed me back and we'd set up our appointment for a Skype call to do it.
I very much enjoyed being on the receiving end of answering someone else's questions, instead of having to come up with the topics and ideas and what to say all on my own. Being a writer is a lot of fun and I love being in total control of the final product, but it's also a little lonely sometimes.
2014-04-22, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
You're Free to Say What We Want You to Say
In part 3 of this series, I explained how L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, invented the Scientology Bad Guy - the Suppressive Person - and how this was done to not only explain away Scientology's failure to universally produce results but also to vilify anyone who didn't want to do Scientology or who said it didn't work.
I want to elaborate more on this now and talk about how the Church of Scientology is actually like Opposite World. Its policies, methods and history are filled with contradictions and conflict.
This video discusses the recently revealed Church of Scientology 990-T's. (*Tax documents) In essence, the Church is wealthy and has no financial emergency. The Church's endless fundraising will never stop because the very structure of the Church of Scientology is based on the greedy grab for money each and every week. Stats are due at 2:00 PM on Thursday and the money had better be there or else! The Church of Scientology is all about the endless accumulation of money for its own sake. How is this endless fundraising in any way in the public interest?
See the tax forms here ~~
We've been telling you that Luis and Rocio Garcia are nearing another important date in the life of their federal fraud lawsuit against the Church of Scientology. They've asked to drop three Scientology entities as defendants in the case, and they've asked Judge James Whittemore permission to file an amended complaint (which they have submitted, and we previously posted).
In other words, they're asking for a do-over, after it turned out that the two California residents had erred in suing in Florida three corporate trusts that had trustees in California. (The Garcias are suing in Florida because that's where they gave most of their donations.)
Scientology is asking Judge Whittemore to dismiss the lawsuit in its entirety, and denied that it had acted held back information when, more than nine months after the Garcias first filed their lawsuit last year, the church revealed that its trusts had California trustees. The Garcias should have known they were making an error, the church said.
2014-04-22, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Copper Ridge Sunset
This article was sent in by Special Correspondent Andy Porter. Andy is one of the most accomplished Div 6 people in the history of Scientology. He is also a world-class photographer — one of his shots is above. You can see some of his portfolio here — truly spectacular.
But more relevant to the blog is the interesting perspective he offers on the state of scientology.
You're Free to Say What We Want You to Say
The fourth 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 like "Opposite World" with a creed and methodology that preaches openness and honesty while its policies call for censorship of free thought and are totally intolerant of free speech.
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.
2013-04-22, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
If you thought you had seen the bottom of the RCS begging barrel, just keep checking here for updates. I cannot even comprehend what else they will come up with.... Like watching a train wreck, it is both horrifying and compelling.
One of our Special correspondents in the UK sent in news of an innovation being pushed by Tony Hollom ("OT8") and the AOSHUKOT Committee.
Here is what she sent us:
Marty Rathbun in his RTC days On Monday evening, Luis and Rocio Garcia filed more than a dozen documents with the court in their federal fraud lawsuit against the Church of Scientology. There's a lot of really interesting stuff in them, including declarations by Luis Garcia and others, as well as current price lists and bills from Scientology's private cruise ship, the Freewinds.
The Garcias are responding to the church's previous request that federal judge James Whittemore dismiss the lawsuit and compel the Garcias to participate in Scientology's internal arbitration procedures. This has been a successful strategy for the church in the past when ex-members have sued for the return of money they put on account for services they never received.
Now, the Garcias are making the case that Scientology's arbitration scheme is inherently unfair, and its refund policies are fraudulent. And they're doing it through a series of declarations by longtime former church members and officials, including the man who was once the second-highest-ranking executive in the organization, Mark "Marty" Rathbun.
Margery Wakefield surprised us this week by sending us a new affidavit that she decided to put into the public record.
We certainly remembered an affidavit she made in 1993. Margery had startling things to say about working as a volunteer for Scientology's intelligence operations, the Guardian's Office, back in the 1970s and early 1980s.
Now, she's revealed even more about her time in Scientology. And though she says it was difficult for her, this time she's going public with a shocking part of her past: she says the Church of Scientology forced her to have six abortions during her time as a member.
2013-04-22, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Today marks the first month of the existence of this blog, and I looked over the statistics of these first 30 days. I thought some of you may be interested and in order to refine the content I also include a short survey that I would appreciate you responding to.
In the first month 10,500 different people have visited, or about 1800 per day on average. Just as a comparison, Ruth Eckerd Hall where Miscavige holds his events in Clearwater, seats 2180.
These people have visited 56,904 times.
The Birthday Game explanation from the Scientology 2012 LRH Birthday Event.
This video contains some copyrighted material as informational resources only, in support of the democratic process, consistent with the non-profit, public interest mission of this site.
We believe this constitutes a Fair Use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law.
Two people have died in the last six months at Narconon Arrowhead, also the subject of an earlier lawsuit and an ongoing investigation into recent deaths into the facility. Narconon Arrowhead in Canadian is a non-profit drug and alcohol rehablitation center. Hillary Holten, 21, and Garbriel Graves, 32, were found dead at Narconon Arrowhead wthin the last six months according to a report from the Pittsburg Sheriffs Dept.
2012-04-22, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Scientologists don't really have a Sunday service. They like to say that they do, because they crave mainstream acceptance. But unless Xenu rested after six days and L. Ron Hubbard just forgot to mention it, there's no reason for Scientologists to treat Sunday any differently than every other day of coursework, detoxes, fundraising, and generally clearing the planet.
So here at the Voice, we've come up with a Scientology Sunday tradition of our own, and we call it Sunday Funnies! Our sources regularly send us Scientology's wacky and tacky fundraising mailers, and each week we choose a few of them to gaze upon, hoping that it inspires you to wax eloquent in our comments section. So here we go...
Hey, Earth Day! Didn't L. Ron Hubbard invent that? Right after he put down that insurrection by Linus Pauling?
2011-04-22, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
You may have seen that I informed "OT VIII" OTA John Allender, his three companions, and their boss David Miscavige by extension, that they were interrupting the delivery of Scientology services at Casablanca. Allender annoucned that they would be here "for weeks and weeks" and his Sonny Barger wanna be sidekick, added "for as long as it takes." Based on information from excellent sources, the "it" is very clear. Miscavige has ordered me closed down by any means necessary. Even if that does inestimable damage to the image of Scientology in the process. Miscavige is reading the successes, he is seeing that his institutional implants are being remedied and exposed in short order here in a very safe environment. Therefore, he "reasons", make the environment unsafe.
Just so people are not confused about the intentions and PRODUCT of David Miscavige, let's see an example of what it is that he is investing millions in trying to STOP.
April 6, 2011
MOSCOW, April 22 (UPI) -- Russia is adding the works of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard to its list of extremist literature, the Russian attorney general's office says.
The Prosecutor General's Office said Wednesday Scientology materials qualify as "undermining the traditional spiritual values of the citizens of the Russian Federation," The Moscow Times reported. People found holding extremist materials can be held for up to 15 days or fined $100.
The issue had been initiated by transport prosecutors in the Siberian city of Surgut and Khanty-Mansiysk customs officers, the newspaper said.
2009-04-22, Norman Ingram, Opinion, Montreal Gazette
No one denies the right of Scientologists to say whatever they want, however wrong and untrue it might be. What some people are concerned about, however, is the fact that they are being given a publicly-funded, intellectual soapbox - the Atrium of Concordia University's library building - from which to make their crackpot claims. That is the issue.
2008-04-22, Roger Friedman, Celebrity Gossip, Fox News
When actor Jason Beghe finally explained Scientology to pal David Duchovny, they fell down laughing.
This is one of the many revelations that come out of Beghe's seven-part video with Mark Bunker on vimeo.com.
2008-04-22, Gary Seman jr, ThisWeek Community Newspapers
The Church of Scientology has been given the go-ahead to build a new facility on Dublin Road.
Columbus City Council on Monday night voted 7-0 on a variance that will allow the organization to construct a 50,000-square-foot church in the old Time-Warner headquarters, 1266 Dublin Road, just outside of Grandview Heights.
"However, there is absolutely no evidence to support these extraordinary claims made by the Church of Scientology.
"They can believe what they wish. But of the studies considered by the highest body in this field, the Cochrane Panel, none would validate their position.
"Counselling is a profession. It takes five years to become a registered and accredited practitioner with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. Counselling isn't happening just because someone claims they are listening or "have got a theory"."
Legal experts say the episode highlights problems with the law that can make companies or individuals liable for linking to sites they do not control. And it has turned Google, whose business is built around a database of two billion Web pages, into a quiet campaigner for the freedom to link.
The church sent a complaint to Google last month, saying that its search results for "Scientology" included links to copyrighted church material that appears on a Web site critical of the church. Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, which was intended to make it easier for copyright holders to fight piracy, the complaint meant that Google was required to remove those links quickly or risk being sued for contributing to copyright infringement.
With First Lady Nancy Reagan for a namesake and Fairfax County Supervisors Jack Herrity, Nancy Falck and Martha Pennino for godparents, what more could an elephant ask?
Well, not much, other than a blessing and a big turnout for its christening, plus elephant-sized donations for Straight Inc., the drug rehabilitation program.
It's all scheduled to happen at Pet Farm Park in Vienna on Saturday at 1 p.m., when a new baby African elephant will be named for Nancy Reagan and sprinkled with holy water by the Rev. Gilbert Hermley, a Catholic priest. From then on, says a Pet Farm Park spokesman, Nancy the elephant will add her considerable weight to opposing drug abuse by urging park visitors to contribute to Straight.