Former Ontario resort was supposed to become a Canadian Scientology headquarters
The Church of Scientology's new national retreat centre was supposed to open in 2012 after the organization purchased it in 2009 and went public with their plans in 2012.
The faith, which boasts celebrity followers like Tom Cruise and John Travolta, is often accused of exploiting its followers for financial gain and is criticized for its beliefs, including its public rejection of psychiatry.
We have a little follow up for you in regards to a story we did last week. Our veteran readers know that for several years we've kept an eye on Nevada politician and Scientologist Brent Jones, who served a single term as a state assemblyman, and is now running for lieutenant governor, with a Republican primary scheduled for June 12.
A reader alerted us that Brent's wife, Aimee Jones, is also running for office, hoping to win the Assembly seat that her husband held until he was defeated in the 2016 election. Curious about her involvement in Scientology, we found a church publication which listed that she had completed the "L11 New Life Rundown" a very expensive auditing level only performed at the Flag Land Base in Clearwater, Florida, which would have run Aimee about $24,000. Brent also has the L11 experience under his belt, according to Scientology's own publications. Only very involved Scientologists have the chance to experience something like the L11 rundown, our experts told us.
But Aimee's campaign manager, Laurel Fee, denied that Brent or Aimee were Scientologists, telling us that the two of them had only taken some courses because they use L. Ron Hubbard's "admin technology" in their business, Affinity Lifestyles, which sells "Real Water," alkalized drinking water with added electrons.
2018-04-24, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
So, the building is done and is being yanked into life on Saturday.
But scientology NEVER tires of collecting money for their worthy causes (anything that results in more money for scientology is worthy/humanitarian).
Though they collect tens of millions for "dissemination campaigns" and "planetary dissemination" and "ideal orgs" (beyond just the building fundraising) there is NOTHING in scientology that is identified as a valuable CAUSE on which to spend money, unless it is also a cause to COLLECT money. And they ALWAYS collect more than they spend.
Thank you to the Canadian tipster who let us know that the W5 television program recently posted one of its all-time gems, a 1973 documentary about Scientology that featured one of our favorite old-school critics, former church member Nan McLean and her family.
We featured Nan in our book about Paulette Cooper, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely, because her story was intertwined with Paulette's in the early 1970s, as they will tell you, there was almost no one else who was called on regularly to talk to news organizations about Scientology, and both of them paid for it dearly.
This particular program is especially good because it catches Nan at an early moment in her move away from the church. Her own daughter calls her out, saying that she can't admit that she had simply been duped. Nan argues that in fact she still believed that there was good in Scientology and that she had not been duped.
2017-04-24, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The expansion is R eally setting in at the largest Ideal Org on earth, where, a month after their glorious ribbon yanking that heralded the dawn of clearing their zone, they are taking North Hollywood by storm.
Check out the amazing accomplishments they are so excited about:
There are "some" new people who started on a service out of the 20 total. I guess the number was too large to actually count if you only have two fingers so they settled in "some" which sounds better than 3
Journalist and blogger, Tony Ortega, joins Jim Paris Live. On this Scientology special, Jim shares his own experience of spending 24 hours in Clearwater on the Scientology campus, the visitors center, and participating a four hour training. Also discussed was Scientology's failed bid to acquire more downtown real estate in Clearwater, the plan for Tom Cruise to move to Clearwater, the next season of Leah Remini's Scientology series, and the strange atmosphere created in downtown Clearwater by Scientology's massive footprint.
2016-04-24, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
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. This week, the questions I take up are:
(1) Chris, your explanation of how you recovered people by first acknowledging that they had suffered a legitimate wrong got me wondering if those wrongs were ever redressed? Like, if they got bad auditing, were the auditors ever forced to apologize? If they were defrauded by desperate regges, were they ever refunded? Was anything other than an acknowledgement of what happened to them being wronged ever doled out on your authority or the authority of those you reported to, that you know of?
(2) I am very curious about this cult. I have seen many videos and read many articles. However I am still confused about how the financial portion works. If a person is earning pennies in the church how do they pay for auditing and books? And how could those employed outside the church spend hours auditing and studying while still maintaining their jobs? Could you please spend time explaining how the money works.
2016-04-24, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Several reports have come in from the LA area of people being called into orgs to be interviewed for a "Dead Agent" pack about COB.
They are being asked to answer up to such questions as:
How long have you been in scientology
The Texas Supreme Court has asked Monique Rathbun for a response to the Church of Scientology's petition for review of a lower court's ruling, and now she has until May 23 to file a highly technical legal document.
Monique had waived her right to respond after Scientology filed its petition, in hopes that the court might ignore the church's request to take the case up on appeal. But as our expert predicted, the Texas high court couldn't keep its hands off such an intriguing case.
Scientology wants the court to review a decision by Comal County district Judge Dib Waldrip, which was upheld by the Texas Third Court of Appeals. Scientology had filed an "anti-SLAPP" motion, objecting to Monique's harassment lawsuit as an unjust infringement of its First Amendment Rights. Monique is suing because she says the church subjected her to years of surveillance, being photographed, followed, and stalked, and for dirty tricks operations that left her humiliated and afraid.
Protesters are gathering in Basel, Switzerland to counter the official opening ceremony of Scientology's latest Ideal Org. We talked to some of the campaigners -- including the man who set up the first org there.
The entrance to the new Basel Ideal Org (Courtesy of Wilfried Handl) This might get loud.
Critics of Scientology - including local residents and former members - are mobilising Saturday in the Swiss city of Basel to protest the official opening of the latest Ideal Org.
LOS ANGELES, April 24 (UPI) -- British documentarian Louis Theroux reveals that the church of Scientology informed him of a new film about himself in response to his upcoming Stairway to Heaven.
Stairway to Heaven is Theroux's first theatrical feature documentary in partnership with BBC films covering the mysterious pull of the Church of Scientology. The director immerses himself in LA's Scientology community and records what he finds hidden behind the religion's promises.
Relayed in a tweet sent by Theroux, Scientology lawyers informed him that the Church is working on a documentary about him. He says he was "a little bit excited; little bit nervous," the Hollywood Reporter says.
After showcasing the underbelly of porn, swingers, Nazis and the American prison system, the filmmaker has turned his interests to Scientology.
However, it appears the religion has gotten on the front foot and are planning on making a documentary of its own.
Taking to Twitter last night, Theroux explained he had been informed by Scientology lawyers that he would be the subject of its documentary.
Our man in Paris British journalist Jonny Jacobsen has a special report for us today about what's been happening in Switzerland. Almost a year since the last new "Ideal Org" opened in Sydney on May 4, 2014, a new one is set to open this weekend. That's a much slower pace than Scientology leader David Miscavige was on in past years, an indication perhaps of how much more difficult it has become to raise funds from a dwindling membership.
Jacobsen has been talking to the locals, and he sets us up for this weekend's festivities. Take it away, Jonny...
Local residents and critics of Scientology including former members are mobilizing Saturday in Basel, Switzerland, to protest the official opening of the latest "Ideal Org."
2014-04-24, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Things are really heating up trying to force everyone, especially Field Auditors, onto the GAG II line up.
A number of reports have come in about methods being used, and a survey has been sent out to I HELP members.
The ASHO Qual Sec has been threatening Field auditors that if they don't complete the GAG II Student Hat soon they will cancel their Qual OKs to audit. Apparently ASHO has been underwhelmed with the rush of students on course. They can't cancel certs but someone came up with the bright idea to cancel Qual OKs.
The Church of Scientology is wealthy because it knows how to separate people from their money with great speed and this by using every trick in the book.
David Sonenfield was an extremely successful Church of Scientology "Reg" for many years. A "Reg" is a highly trained high-pressure Scientology salesperson who will use every form of flattery, apparent concern, tricks, connivance, dissimulation, threats, promises, or whatever else is needed to part a person from their money as quickly as possible.
David did a "hat write up" of the techniques he used. This "hat write up" was intended for use in training new regges in the techniques of selling Scientology where the focus is on urgency. Scientology has always used extreme urgency, emergency, and time pressure to create a sense that some horrible disaster is lurking just around the corner unless people act right now!
We're trying to catch up with all of the Scientology legal news happening around the country. Ryan Hamilton, the Las Vegas attorney who is turning suing Scientology's drug rehab network into a cottage industry, filed his fifth federal fraud lawsuit this week with another complaint against Narconon Fresh Start/Rainbow Canyon Retreat in Caliente, Nevada.
Meanwhile, Laura DeCrescenzo learned that Scientology is trying to get its hands on a computer stored in her garage, and we have numerous other filings regarding Hamilton's other Narconon lawsuits. Let's dig in.
Tom Cruise, KSW! 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.
Claire, it looks like this week's course is going to continue to build on what we've encountered before.
CLAIRE: Yes, "Student Hat" is the big daddy of the BSM the Basic Study Manual.
2013-04-24, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This is the second in a series of "I Am Out Life Is Good" postings. Mark was profiled on Marty's blog in 2010. He is a very smart guy who was a driving force behind Dianetics returning to the New York Times bestseller list. His story is worth reading and his perspective of life after the Sea Org is invaluable. Mike Rinder
Hi... My name is Mark McKinstry. I was introduced to Scientology in 1975 at the Davis Mission while attending UC Davis. I joined staff shortly thereafter and later transferred to St. Hill where I worked in the Guardians Office and Mission Office Worldwide.
I joined the Sea Org in 1988 at Bridge Publications and was the National Sales manager from 1988 until 2004. I routed out of the Sea Org shortly after I completed the RPF program in Pac. I was assigned for being a "stat crasher" based on the international sales of Dianetics. Needless to say these sales continued to fall long after my removal to the point that there is virtually no LRH book presence or marketing being done to raw public. So maybe I wasnt the "why" for this.
Luis Garcia, causing trouble Monday evening, the Garcia federal fraud lawsuit against the Church of Scientology heated up when the Garcias filed several declarations from former church members who said Scientology's refund process is designed to be a sham.
[ALSO IN THIS POST The New York Times strokes Tom Cruise]
Now, the church has fired back, asking federal Judge James Whittemore to allow Scientology to file a 10-page memorandum and a set of their own declarations in support of its previous argument and and here's the really ballsy part the judge should then butt out, because the church's position is a religious one and not something an American court can get involved in.
2012-04-24, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Jan Eastgate (Photo: Daily Telegraph) UPDATE: After the jump, Australian Senator Nick Xenophon's statement about this development -- and attorney Grรกinne O'Donovan helps us understand Australian law on this matter.
Stunning news out of Australia -- the public prosecutor in New South Wales has suddenly dropped serious felony charges against Jan Eastgate and apparently has no plans to pursue further the allegation that she had coached an 11-year-old girl to lie about being sexually abused.
"I have always maintained my innocence," Eastgate told Australia's Daily Telegraph after the news broke Tuesday morning, Sydney time.
She said she had much more to tell. She hoped out loud that raising the curtain on church abuses might spark "a reformation from within."
This week, her voice went silent.
Cook and Scientology settled a church lawsuit that backfired when she took the stand Feb. 9 in San Antonio, Texas.
Cook gave a riveting account of how she and other religious workers were physically and mentally abused at Scientology's desert compound near Los Angeles. She said she was detained and otherwise controlled when she and her husband, also a former church staffer, tried to leave the church's Clearwater campus in 2007.
2012-04-24, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Possession is the way you pin people down. If you give them enough possessions, you fixed them. You really fixed them. The way to ruin somebody would be to give him a million dollars! That would just ruin him. Right now there's a government on the face of the earth which is making a principle of giving everybody money. And I'll be a son of a gun if people don't take it. It's a sure way to ruin. To have, to have, to have, to have; a dependency, a dependency, a dependency it's ruinous. Because the only way to have is to create and then not have. Just create and not have, create and not have, create and not have will put you in full command of time and make you cause without ever getting an effect And the magician wanted this answer oh, my God, how he wanted that answer! And there it is for you. If you create, create, create, create, create, you never violate the second law of magic, "Do not be hoist by your own petard." "Do not be an effect to your own cause." And the only way you can be an effect to your own cause is to keep moving up the time stream and acting after you've postulated. So you want it if you can get it on the level of create, create, create, create, create, create, then you'll never have "have" You haven't got time!
So, how do you avoid this? Never borrow any money from a bank make it. Never accept a gift make it. Dealing in the MEST (Matter, Energy, Space, Time) universe you can shilly-shally around and monkey around a little bit if you want to, shift possessions around don't take them very seriously.
- L Ron Hubbard, 7 November 1952
2012-04-24, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Debbie Cook and Wayne Baumgarten have settled their litigation with Scientology Inc in a manner satisfactory to themselves.
For context I think it is important that people read my 12 February post Battle of San Antonio: A Review, and pay particular attention to its conclusion:
Greg Hughes, Debbie Hughes, Angie Blankenship and others similarly situated cannot take solace in the lack of official precedent invalidating their agreements. I know they would love to do so as some kind of synthetic balm for their aching consciences. Fact of the matter is, despite the lack of written judicial decision, the precedent has been set and it is clear as a bell to any literate individual aware of the Battle of San Antonio. David Miscavige has not nor can he use the courts to enforce his unlawful, unconscionable cover-up contracts. We have proven that when push comes to shove those "agreements" are as worthless as the paper they were written on. Further, we have established that when Miscavige attempts to isolate and tie anyone to the whipping post, there is a formidable movement out here that will protect them and lead them safely to the promised land; whether they agree with and support our aims or not.
2012-04-24, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Earlier this morning we reported that charges had been dropped against Scientology executiveJan Eastgate in Australia.
And now, another stunning development: Marty Rathbun just reported at his blog that the Church of Scientology has settled its lawsuit against former church executive Debbie Cook and her husband Wayne Baumgarten.
I just confirmed this with Debbie's attorney, Ray Jeffrey, who tells me he really can't say anything else about the terms of the settlement
Janice Meyer, an Australian citizen who lives in the US, had been charged with two counts of an act intending to pervert the course of justice in 1985 in Sydney.
She also goes by the name of Jan Eastgate.
I've reported before about Will Smith's donations to Scientology organizations in the past. But in none of the filings for the Will Smith Foundation was there ever listed a donation to the school he started with wife Jada Pinkett Smith in Calabasas, California. That school, New Village Leadership Academy, has been criticized in the past for teaching Scientology courses to its grade school students. For three years, NVLA never filed a Form 990 as a school, so it was hard to track their finances. But now a Form 990 Federal Tax filing has suddenly emerged on Guidestar.org just for the year 2010. It shows a few things of interest. For one, Smith donated $1,235,00 to the school in 2010 from his WSJ Trust, not from his publicly scrutinized foundation. That's why it never showed up before.
David Mayo was the senior spiritual technical person who L. Ron Hubbard initially entrusted to oversee the whole Scientology spiritual practice legacy in 1982, when the aging Hubbard realized he didn't have many years left. Mayo's title was the Senior Case Supervisor International. Mayo fell from grace just months after the April 1982 20 page despatch from Hubbard where Hubbard detailed to Mayo what Hubbard wanted. This talk discusses that 20 page despatch and other relavant events. This talk is one of several dozen talks recorded of David Mayo speaking in 1983 or 1984 at the center in Santa Barbara where David's group of ex official Scientologists were based. Mayo's Scientology splinter group probably formed the largest and most skilled schism group of ex official Scientologists in the history of the Scientology movement, and from these tapes of Mayo's group's informal weekly graduation ceremonies, it can be heard that his schism group's offered services were almost the same services official Scientology delivers, with just different names. Mayo's group operated within a milder atmosphere, minus the harsher atmosphere of official Scientology. Mayo's Santa Barbara group was hit with suits and infiltration by official Scientologists and the Mayo group fell apart within a few years. But while it was operating, Mayo's group constituded the largest schism group in the Scientology movement's 60 or so years of history so far.
2010-04-24, Jefferson Hawkins, Leaving Scientology
Just a quick note. If you missed it, Mike Rinder's article on Marty's blog is a must-read.
If anyone needs evidence that the Church of Scientology has entered its final meltdown stage, this is it. Four of the seven people who ganged up on Mike in a public parking lot were senior executives of the Church. For them to exhibit this much crazy in a public place is beyond the beyond. For this much insanity to be leaking out of the Church means that the level of crazy at Scientology's top level is a pressure-cooker of pure, gibbering lunacy.
If you're still a Church member - read Mike's account. These are your leaders?
The Riverside County district attorney's office will not pursue criminal charges against two protesters cited for trespassing at the Scientology compound outside San Jacinto.
Prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence to file charges after Mark Bunker and Douglas Owens were arrested and released Feb. 24 for blocking the driveway of Golden Era Studios on Gilman Springs Road.
The two men were part of a small protest that formed after the Riverside County Board of Supervisors proposed a no picketing ordinance prohibiting protestors from within 30 feet of any residences.
Last Thursday, the world's most popular video sharer removed the 10,000-subscriber-strong "Xenutv1" channel run by Mark Bunker, a television journalist/well-known Scientology naysayer. Earlier in the week, Bunker posted a teaser for his three-hour interview with Jason Beghe - a film and television actor who recently defected from the world of Scientology - and the account was yanked just before Bunker was due to broadcast the interview in full.
The Church of Scientology made it clear from its first contacts with "Nightline" that it would not publicly discuss the ecclesiastical circumstances surrounding the dismissal of Mrs. Hill from Church staff, regardless of the nature of her allegations.
Miscavige says Scientology can offer its followers greater ability in all areas of life, rid people of negativity, and make them "clear."
But some former members of the Sea Organization, or Sea Org (Scientology's version of clergy -- the group of people who essentially run the church), including a niece of Miscavige, see another side to the religion. They spoke to "Nightline" about how they became increasingly disillusioned with the Church of Scientology, until they decided it was time to leave.
I tried uploading my video here three times, and each time it failed. Youtube's encoder cannot handle the SHEER AWESOME it contains. I uploaded it on Vimeo, but even Vimeo is having a problem displaying it correctly:
You can download the original here:
2007-04-24, John Cook, Fresh Intelligence, Radar Online
The e-mail, posted by an alert Radar reader in our Comments section, also claimed that the Salvation Army had urgently sought the help of L. Ron's kids: "We have been asked by the Salvation Army staff ... to provide 24-hour help for the next two days in the form of grief counseling and trauma relief for the parents and families of the victims."
Well, not quite.
2004-04-24, James Cartledge, Evening Mail, Birmingham Post
Church leaders and council bosses were locked in a row today after a group branded "little more than a cult" was allowed to take over prominent public space.
The Diocese of Birmingham attacked the city council's decision to let the Church of Scientology launch its volunteer ministers' centre in Centenary Square.
The guardian's office, Bryan Levman explained in earlier testimony, was created by church founder L. Ron Hubbard as a separate branch to battle those who were seen as enemies of Scientology.
Two Scientology members, Cathy Wilkins and Donna Kavanaugh, infiltrated the OPP and succeeded in getting files concerning the church, Levman said.
Files were recopied and sent "from a non-Scientology address to a non-Scientology address" in England, Levman said.