A real estate trade with the Church of Scientology that the city asked for, then shot down, then revived, only to kill it all over again is back for another round, giving whiplash to all involved.
Here's what's at play: the city owns three small properties downtown, one with a vacant building and two with a handful of parking spaces, the church wants for its campus. The church owns a vacant lot east of downtown the city wants for retail parking.
If a good old fashioned land swap sounds straightforward here, oh just wait.
Recently, I've been looking into L. Ron Hubbard's claims regarding his military career as a US Naval Reserve intelligence officer in the Pacific theatre early in WWII. I was curious as to the contexts of these claims, given the variances in accounts from Scientology historians such as Chris Owen, Jon Atack and Jeffrey Augustine. The Scientology Myths website also provides an excellent resource for source documentation regarding Hubbard's naval service, as well as his brief time in the Marine Corps Reserve, though with a distinctly revionsist position as to Hubbard's claims. While I'm interested in Hubbard's brief Marine Corps service and will be examining that in the future, in this, the first of a multi-part series, I'll be deconstructing his claims as to having been involved in espionage against the Japanese on Java in 1942. Future posts will look into his role as an intelligence officer in Australia from 1942 onward, as well as his postwar service and hospitalization.
My purpose here is to add to the existing body of research on the matter, by bringing my service background and life-long interest in military history to bear. The Pacific Theatre is of great personal interest to me, as my father served there as a Naval aviator. Indeed, his stories and those of friends and family, along my own reading on the subject, engendered a great deal of respect for those who fought in the Pacific, and were all significant motivators in my joining the Marine Corps. In revisiting Hubbard's record, I hope to provide some useful additional context regarding his claims, and in doing so, further expose the exaggerations and outright lies of Mr. Hubbard in regards to his service early in WWII. For the most part, Hubbard served his country honorably in a time of war; it's his exploiting his time in the Navy to further Scientology, as well as embellishing his service record, personal decorations, and overall contribution to the war effort that I find repellent.
Hubbard Joins Up
In this week's Some More News, we discuss the Kanye West of it all, his new BFF Candice Owens, Prager University, their really smart "professors" Charlie Kirk, Ben Shapiro, Steven Crowder and Dave Rubin, the Koch Brothers and how it all ties into the illusion of Free Thought. Basically, it's all horseshit. In other news, we still love you Kanye!
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Thanks again to one of our alert tipsters, it was brought to our attention that Joy Villa's "testing the waters" web pages for a Congressional run have come down.
Both "bringjoytocongress.com" and "joyvilla.com/testingthewaters/" now redirect us to Joy's general website.
On February 9, the Internet Archive took a snapshot of "bringjoytocongress.com" that showed she was still soliciting donations…
2018-05-07, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This new poster says a lot.
This is the "final world class ideal org for America"??
Wow. Scientology of course has no problem making outrageous statements and blustering on through as though everyone will simply agree because they say so. But I wonder how Boston feels about being relegated to the "non-world class" category? Or Philly? Austin? Detroit?
2017-05-07, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The weekly show where I answer questions from viewers left in the comments of my Q&A videos or sent to me by email at AskChrisShelton@gmail.com. This week, the questions I answer are:
(1) I was reading the Technical Dictionary of Dianetics and Scientology and found it fascinating. For non-Scientologists, it offers an inside look into the pseudo-scientific and pseudo-military language of the cult. The dictionary defines the Sea Organization as "an organization which functions at a high level of confront and standard. Its purpose is to get ethics in on the planet and eventually the universe." The dictionary further states in the definition of "Ethics" that "When one is ethical or 'has his ethics in' it is by his own determination and is done by himself."
If, according to Hubbard, one can be ethical only by doing so himself, how can the Sea Org get "ethics in" on the universe? Doesn't this imply forcing Scientology ethics on everybody? This makes it sound like the purpose of the Sea Org is world domination. As a Sea Org member, how were you taught to understand the phrase "get ethics in"? Presumably this is a very important concept for Sea Org members, as it is the stated purpose of the organization.
Rod Keller continues to keep an eye on things going on south of the border for us...
Last week we reported that local officials in the greater Mexico City neighborhood of Lomas del Olivo had shut down renovations being done on Scientology's new Advanced OrgSaint Hill LATAM facility because of an expired permit. This week Scientology played a cat and mouse game with officials as it attempted to continue work despite the ban. The banners announcing the closure that had been torn by unknown parties were taped back together, but trucks and workers continued to use the gates.
In an interview with news site La Silla Rota entitled "Scientologists have documents in order," Scientology spokesperson and Sea Org member Jonathan Rico said "I do not see that there is anything wrong, there must be an administrative confusion because we have our papers in order, and if there is anything that needs to be remedied, we will be carrying out the necessary administrative resources and clarifying the confusion."
2017-05-07, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
I noticed this comment on Tony Ortega's blog a couple of days ago and thought it worthy of being preserved in a more easily searchable place.
Thank you Panopea Abrupta — I quote your comment in full and then add some further thoughts below:
There are 14 , no, 15 oops, actually 16 states so far with NO $cientology Mission or Org.
"The connectivity that is the heart of globalisation can be exploited by states with hostile intent to further their aims.(…) The risks at stake are profound and represent a fundamental threat to our sovereignty." Alex Younger, head of MI6, December, 2016
"It's not MI6's job to warn of internal threats. It was a very strange speech. Was it one branch of the intelligence services sending a shot across the bows of another? Or was it pointed at Theresa May's government? Does she know something she's not telling us?"Senior intelligence analyst, April 2017
In June 2013, a young American postgraduate called Sophie was passing through London when she called up the boss of a firm where she'd previously interned. The company, SCL Elections, went on to be bought by Robert Mercer, a secretive hedge fund billionaire, renamed Cambridge Analytica, and achieved a certain notoriety as the data analytics firm that played a role in both Trump and Brexit campaigns. But all of this was still to come. London in 2013 was still basking in the afterglow of the Olympics. Britain had not yet Brexited. The world had not yet turned.
2016-05-07, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Over the years, David Miscavige has gradually been positioning himself as not only the "anointed" one, but as the actual successor to L. Ron Hubbard in every way.
He is not only the "Finder of Lost Tech" and the originator of "Command Intention" he is now mandatory to "acknowledge" in all "success stories." If you fail to recognize and thank "COB" it is treated as a bad indicator that you are disaffected or perhaps a plant. They sell the water and whatever else that "COB uses" at Flag like it is the American Dental Association seal of approval on your toothpaste.
And now, the final step. "COB quotes." For decades "LRH quotes" have been a "thing" in scientology. The old saying is "what would Ron do?" and that is supposed to resolve all problems. Now we have "COB quotes" being circulated as if they are infinite wisdom. Amazing. 10 years ago there isn't a scientologist anywhere who would have ever considered scientology would be promoting anyone else's quotes than L. Ron Hubbard.
Jon Atack is the author of A Piece of Blue Sky, one of the very best books on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. He has a new edition of the book for sale, and for more than three years he's been helping us sift through the legends, myths, and contested facts about Scientology that tend to get hashed and rehashed in books, articles, and especially on the Internet.
To be a true Scientologist, it is necessary to submit to various phobias. It has long fascinated me that certain topics are simply beyond discussion.
As a teenager, I was taken by a friend to a Christadelphian meeting, where the whole audience joined in mirth at the idea that we might be related to primates. It was the same sort of knee-jerk humour that Scientologists show whenever psychiatry is mentioned. No thinking is required.
It is a telling commentary on downtown Clearwater's desire to be known as something other than the silly make-believe navy sailor suit capital of the world that the city's fathers found themselves relying on a famous dolphin to blunt the influence of the Church of Scientology.
Close, but no bottlenose.
And so it came to pass that the Clearwater Marine Aquarium pulled the plug on ambitious plans to build a $68 million facility on the downtown bluff overlooking Clearwater Harbor as a new home for international film star Winter the Dolphin and her pal, Hope.
One of the many things the Church of Scientology has done as a reaction to Alex Gibney's documentary, Going Clear, is to post numerous letters it wrote to Gibney and HBO in the lead-up to the film's release, as well as in its aftermath.
Collected at the website of its propaganda magazine, Freedom, the letters vary in their interest for us. But one of them is really something to behold. It's a long exegesis by one of Scientology's longest-serving and most notable attorneys, Eric M. Lieberman (pictured).
Lieberman's letter is addressed to two of HBO's attorneys, and was sent on March 19, six days after Going Clear debuted in theaters for its short run in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco to qualify it for Oscar consideration. (A little birdie tells us that the movie is going to get another theater run in the Fall, so Scientology has that to look forward to — and you heard it here first.)
Comme le rapportaient mardi Métro et Les Affaires, un édifice du centre-ville de Montréal acheté par l'Église de Scientologie en 2007 reste toujours inoccupé. Loin d'être une exception, cette situation s'inscrit dans un schéma qui se répète dans une trentaine de villes partout dans le monde. Deuxième partie d'une enquête sur le parc immobilier fantôme de la scientologie.
Sur le site officiel de l'Église de Scientologie de Montréal, on peut cliquer sur une section intitulée «Futures églises de scientologie». On y voit défiler une vidéo qui promeut l'ouverture imminente d'une nouvelle Ideal Org (organisation idéale, sorte de mégacentre de la scientologie) à Birmingham, au Royaume-Uni.
La vidéo montre une maquette en trois dimensions de ce à quoi ressemblera l'Org quand ce bâtiment, construit en 1930 et acheté par l'Église de Scientologie en 2008 pour près de 7M$, aura été rénové.
We had a laugh when Scientology shocked many people in Los Angeles by purchasing the historic studios that had long housed the local public television station KCET. The thought of Scientology operating its own television network led us two years ago to speculate about the fabulous shows the wacky group could put together.
But since then, we've heard very little about what Scientology actually plans to do with the facility. We had heard that church leader David Miscavige was shifting some of the work that used to take place at the "Gold" studios on the International Base, which is near Hemet, to the KCET studios. It was part of Miscavige shifting a lot of activity from Int, we were told, which is causing the sprawling compound to become something of a ghost town.
Yesterday, former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder said at his blog that the draining away of activity at Gold continues, and he revealed new information about the KCET studios — Scientologists are now being told that it's going to be reborn as the "Scientology Media Center."
2014-05-07, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This was recently sent out by ASHO.
Some have accused me of being a grammar nazi, but for an organization that claims it has the ONLY solution to literacy, this stuff is just so out there it isn't funny.
This odd little LRH quote has been utterly misduplicated. She actually thinks it says you "recover your infinity of future" not that you will "not recover in your infinity of future." How one loses an infinity of future is illogical enough. Then how you recover it makes no sense at all.
A controversial proposal for a Scientology-run drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility at Yarramalong has been rejected by Wyong Council after it was found to be incompatible with local land zonings and regulations.
2013-05-07, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This is a bit old, but one of our Special Correspondents came across it recently.
It follows the Captain Harvey the Clown posting perfectly, illustrating how far the Command IntentionVulture Culture has trickled down. This guy is theoretically the Dir of PUBLIC BOOKSALES of Tampa Day Ideal/St Hill Size super org. And here he is begging for donations to create OTHER "Ideal Orgs" for an "Ideal Florida" Not even "donations" for books.
And they are doing it because they "are part of Flags total amount, but we get credit for the raising of what we bring in." What sort of Admin Scale are these people operating on? "Others Stats"?
2013-05-07, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
At its core Scientology revolves around the auditing process. The word auditing comes from the Latin root audire which means to listen, or to listen and compute. The entire purpose of a Scientology auditor is to provide a construct through which an individual may look at his or her life in such an honest fashion that that which is viewed no longer has a hold on that person. Scientology postulates that 'charge' (mental energy) 'erases' through that process. One could just as easily postulate that one's witnessed experience objectifies. That is, one's experience moves from the subjective (part of, and thus affecting, oneself) to the objective. In that construct, matters of the mind that tend to drive one on an automatic basis are no longer hidden and automatic. Objectivized matter of the mind is no more capable of driving you than any other person or idea that you can clearly see as apart from yourself. Your own choice in the matter of what to do, what to choose, what to pursue and what to react to is restored to you. Each time one witnesses in this wise one recognizes that much more the true nature of self, apart from, and thus less subject to, matter, energy, space and time. Witnessing led the Buddha toward recognizing the impermanent nature of matter, energy, space and time.
It is my view that any time devoted to honestly viewing the content of your mind, your experience, is progress in moving the external world back out of one's head where it no longer drives you. There used to be a saying in Scientology, 'any auditing is better than no auditing.' No matter what processes, what grades, what levels attained or not, every hour spent objectivizing the subjective is net gain. There is so much emphasis included in Scientology about the attainment of grades and levels, and purported permanent states of consciousness that the failure to attain very high on the Scientology Bridge (the chart of progressive grades and levels of spiritual attainment) tends to serve to invalidate the work a person did execute in witnessing his or her own mind.
Scientology contains so much dogma asserting superiority to and difference from all other forms of witnessing that people tend to lose site that they spent a tremendous amount of time and effort doing just that, witnessing. I use the term 'witnessing' because it is a generic term that captures what is at the heart of all effective psychotherapeutic and spiritual practices. Most forms of meditation (Buddhist, Hindu, Taoist, et al), most forms of psychotherapy, and Scientology too, create a desirable effect to the extent the individual applying it fully, honestly views the mind.
A bill giving the state oversight of Narconon Arrowhead and other drug rehabs according to legislation signed today by Gov. Mary Fallin.
Senate Bill 295 co-authored by a Senate Democrat Tom Ivester D- Sayer and House Republican Jason Murphey R-Guthrie was signed today at the Capitol after passing the Senate unopposed last week.
The legislation was written after an investigation into a string of deaths that happened within months of each other at Narconon Arrowhead.
Gov. Mary FallinOklahoma Governor Mary Fallin today signed SB 295, turning "Stacy's Bill" into "Stacy's Law."
On July 19, 2012, Stacy Dawn Murphy died of an overdose at Narconon Arrowhead, the Church of Scientology's flagship drug rehab facility near Canadian, Oklahoma. Hers was the third patient death in only nine months, and it launched county and state investigations, multiple lawsuits, and now a new law that will give the state greater oversight of the facility.
Governor Fallin took less than a week to sign the bill after it was forwarded to her by the state legislature.
The bill originally passed the Senate unopposed in February. Then in April the legislation passed the House Public Health Committee 9 to 1 with an amendment, the amended legislation went on to pass the House 80 to 13. The final Senate vote was Wednesday. It is now headed to Gov. Mary Fallins desk.
Wednesday, Ivester said he wrote the bill because of the deaths at Narconon Arrowhead.
"It was the repeated deaths, that's what did it for me," Ivester said.
"That, and that nothing was being done legislatively about it."
He said the legislation will force drug rehabs such as Narconon Arrowhead to be certified by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Heath and Substance Abuse, giving the state oversight over such facilities.
2013-05-07, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Here is a new email laying out the priorities for the Flag OT Committee as directed by the clown in charge of the FSO.
A couple of comments:
The FIRST priority for the FSO is "Ideal Orgs"? Bizarre. More evidence that "Command Intention" (ie Miscavige orders) has taken the place of all other policy/programs/orders in the RCS. Believe me, this ONE thing alone would be enough for Miscavige to be declared by LRH. There are enough old timers around who can recall the wrath that rained down on anyone who cut across the FSO's main line business...
2012-05-07, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
L Ron Hubbard wrote the following in 1954:
Axiom One: Life is basically a static. (Definition: A life static has no mass, no motion, no wavelength, no location in space or in time. It has the ability to postulate and to perceive.)
2012-05-07, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
After the jump: Surprise! A second unnamed plaintiff has been sloppily added to Okorocha's sloppy lawsuit.
The Internets are buzzing this afternoon with news that actor John Travolta has been sued by an unnamed masseur for touching his penis.
Travolta has long been the subject of speculation that he's a gay man who is one of several celebrities in the Church of Scientology who the church encourages to "handle" their homosexuality by trying to appear hetero.
The altercation happened 400 yards from the church, on the other side of the street.
Public Works pulled all of the permits taken out for the Scientology event. The permits -- all of them for sidewalk closing and lane blocking -- are for the wrong day. They're for the day before the event and expire before the scuffle occurred.
In addition, three of the five security guards were off-duty Spring Hill police officers working in Nashville, which can only be done if local police are notified and officers are wearing uniforms clearly identifying them as off-duty police officers.
For the fourth time in as many months, the Internet-based group Anonymous will stage a protest against the Church of Scientology in downtown Clearwater.
The street protest is set for Saturday, the day after the anniversary of the book "Dianetics" by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, Anonymous says in an e-mail.
The Church of Scientology was not mentioned at the televised meeting, but commissioners have said they are uncomfortable with the church being named in a visible way on the library's walls.
They voted unanimously to accept money from anyone but to recognize donors only discreetly on a small plaque instead of naming rooms or areas after large contributors.
In a Los Angeles court, his wife charged L. Ron Hubbard, 40, disciple and founder of dianetics, "the modern science of mental health," with bigamy, cruelty and "systematic torture." He is also a paranoid schizophrenic, she added, and she wants a divorce.