A Pentagon working group established in the wake of the January 6 Capitol riot to root out domestic extremists has circulated a list of prospective partners that includes representatives of a conservative Christian group and an anti-Muslim extremism group, according to an internal Defense Department document obtained exclusively by The Intercept. In several cases, these potential partners were themselves involved in the misidentification of Muslims as terrorists.
On April 9, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced the establishment of the Countering Extremism Working Group, which would "receive information from both internal and external Subject Matter Experts," who would serve as consultants. The document shows that those experts could include representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union, anti-hate groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League, as well as the conservative First Liberty Institute and the anti-Muslim Middle East Media Research Institute.
The document, which was provided to The Intercept by a Pentagon source on condition of anonymity to avoid professional reprisal, is not dated, but the source said that it was disseminated late last month. The document states, "The Countering Extremism Working Group (CEWG) would like to partner with experts on counter extremism and counter terrorism to better understand the scope of the problem and inform the 90-day report for the Secretary of Defense. These experts may come from advocacy groups, academia, and other areas that contribute the to the fight against terrorism."
It was just a couple of days ago that we posted mailers from Scientology which claimed that the new AustinIdeal Org would be the first to open now that the pandemic is ebbing.
But hang on a minute! Our tipsters in the Chicago area sent along mailers which claim that Chicago's Ideal Org will be the next to open, and staff is now being signed up. When will it open? We're not sure, but in this flier, there's an "all-Ideal" event being held on May 23. So the grand opening for the Ideal Org will happen at some point after that...
Both the Chicago and Austin Ideal Orgs had been completed and were preparing to hold their grand openings when the pandemic hit last year, and they've been on hold ever since.
Over the years we've told you a lot of things about Scientology's bizarre set of underground vaults, where it stores L. Ron Hubbard's words and ideas for future generations in case of civilization collapse.
The vaults get some breathless tabloid coverage, which hyperventilates about the idea that these underground spaces are supposed to be bomb shelters for Scientologists to ride out an apocalyptic war, and that Tom Cruise and John Travolta have a place to run to when the bombs start landing.
Nah. These underground bunkers aren't designed for people to live in them, they really are just storage spaces for Hubbard's words which, when the idea was being developed in the 1980s, would need a lot of room for storing all of Hubbard's lectures on gold laserdiscs.
A group of volunteers helping to distribute free food for the Pinellas County public school system last week inserted pamphlets produced by the Church of Scientology into dozens of student meal boxes.
The activity violated school district policy against engaging in religious activities on school property and sparked criticism from some parents. It also brought an apology from a church spokesman, who said the volunteers were trying to do some good but were in error.
The pamphlets contain information about safety and prevention regarding the coronavirus, including tips on hand-washing and social distancing, and are part of Scientology's pandemic safety campaign. The only mention of the church is on the back cover, which reads "Courtesy of Church of Scientology International."
2020-05-12, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
One thing you can be absolutely certain of.
No matter the circumstances, scientology will ALWAYS be asking for money. It is the real Axiom 1 of scientology. Hubbard said it was "Life is basically a static" but that was just an acceptable truth. He really meant to say "Life is basically a source of income."
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday hears arguments in a major showdown over presidential powers arising from President Donald Trump's attempts to prevent Democratic-led congressional committees and a New York City prosecutor from getting his financial records.
Three months after Trump avoided removal from office in a Senate impeachment trial, Trump's lawyers want the Supreme Court to endorse their expansive view of presidential powers that would severely limit the ability of Congress to conduct oversight of presidents and of prosecutors to investigate them.
The Supreme Court has a 5-4 majority including two justices appointed by Trump. He has won key victories at the high court including over his hardline immigration policies but lost a big case a year ago regarding the U.S. census when conservative Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court's four liberals.
Authorities in Curacao announced Saturday that 17 crew members and 11 passengers must stay aboard a ship owned by the Church of Scientology that is under quarantine following a confirmed case of measles.
Dr. Izzy Gerstenbluth said the group is required to stay on the 440-feet Freewinds ship until May 13 because they are still at risk of contracting measles after a female crew member contracted the disease.
He said the remaining crew members and passengers, which totaled 318, are free to leave the ship.
"They are not a threat to anyone anymore, and they cannot become sick anymore," he said.
2019-05-12, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Last Tuesday Tony Ortega wrote a disturbing piece highlighting yet another atrocious story involving the Freewinds and scientology's attitude towards its children.
It somehow seems sadly appropriate to focus on this issue on Mother's Day to remind us that many mothers have been split from their children by scientology and how powerful the control over minds this cult has to be able to break this bond. My mother disconnected from me and it was heartbreaking. I really believed that would never happen. I know many mothers who have had their children disconnect from them. It is achingly painful. It is wrong. It is scientology.
But as terrible as disconnection is, it pales in comparison to the abuse of children that stems from the same twisted belief system that pretends to be the champion of family values.
2019-05-12, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The weekly show where I answer viewer questions left for me in the comment section of my Q&A videos or sent to me by email at AskChrisShelton@gmail.com. This week, the questions I take up are:
(1) At what point does the church officially consider you a Scientologist? After taking the introductory courses? Once you start processing? Etc.
(2) Chris, do you have any plans on studying to become a clinical psychologist? I believe that the best way for you to get back at the Church of Scientology is for you to become a licensed clinical psychologist.
WILLEMSTAD, Curacao — Authorities in Curacao announced Saturday that 17 crew members and 11 passengers must stay aboard a ship owned by the Church of Scientology that is under quarantine following a confirmed case of measles.
Dr. Izzy Gerstenbluth said the group is required to stay on the 440-feet Freewinds ship until May 13 because they are still at risk of contracting measles after a female crew member contracted the disease.
He said the remaining crew members and passengers, which totaled 318, are free to leave the ship.
Actress and former Scientologist Leah Remini used the occasion of Mother's Day to once again sound the alarm about Scientology's practices, sharing photographs of people protesting against the organization's "disconnection" doctrine that allegedly requires believers to cut ties with family members who stand in opposition to the group's teachings.
"To moms who can't see their kids today because of Scientology's Disconnection policy, I celebrate you for never giving up the fight to get them back," the actress wrote on Twitter. "And to the moms who disconnected from their kids, I hope you realize this breaks their hearts. You DO have a choice."
She then resurfaced posts from Twitter users who said they had been disconnected from their families as a result of Scientology, later charging the organization with "ruining families" since its founding by L. Ron Hubbard in the 1950s.
Grant Cardone has a side hustle going on with Fundwise Capital LLC of Sandy, Utah. In exchange for a cut of the action on lines of credit and loans made by Fundwise, Grant Cardone provides a landing page for Fundwise on his grantcardone.com website.
Fundwise looks for "referral partners" that 1) Are selling entrepreneurial "How to Get Rich" coaching services and have a large online presence, and 2) have social media followers who want to be entrepreneurs, who want to get rich, but need to borrow capital to invest in the things recommended by their gurus like Grant Cardone.
Why is Grant Cardone — who talks a big game — paddling around in an inflatable wading pool as an online affiliate of Fundrise Capital? We personally expect more from a guy who flies around in a Gulfstream 500. This begs an even larger question: Why does Cardone put 30% down to buy a property and then borrow the 70% balance? It makes no sense to do a Reg D offering for a 30% down payment on a property when one can just as easily do a Reg D for the entire purchase price plus the costs of improvements. Why doesn't Cardone do one $800 milllion Reg D offering to pay off his existing loans and wipe out his ~4% monthly interest expense? ~4% monthly on $640 million is a very large amount of money he could keep for Cardone Capital instead of paying it to his lenders. We have no idea why Cardone stays 70-80% leveraged on his AUM when he could take it all in house on a big Reg D offering. We see Cardone's commitment to 60-80% leverage (debt) in his recent Reg A circular:
Ninety-one percent of passengers and crew aboard a cruise ship belonging to the Church of Scientology that is quarantined off the coast of Curacao are now immune to measles and are free to leave the ship, local health officials say.
The Freewinds was quarantined after arriving at St. Lucia on April 30 and a female crew member was placed in isolation aboard the vessel as health officials on the Caribbean island feared more people could be sick.
The St. Lucia Department of Health and Wellness said it provided the ship's doctor with 100 doses of the measles vaccine while it was there.
Scientology orgs around the world are receiving visitors from Scientology Media Productions, or SMP. It's the new Sea Org Org that occupies the former KCET television studios in Hollywood and created Scientology TV. They are on tour because staff members have to be shown how to use the latest attempt to boost recruiting of new Scientologists – the QR Code.
The Quick Response (QR) Code is a 2-dimensional bar code invented in 1994 for the Japanese auto industry. It has since grown in popularity on product packaging in stores and online to provide an interested customer with more information about a product. Just open your iPhone camera app and point it at the code. You will see a link notification that you can touch to open. It works on most Android phones also, but you may have to load a separate app. Now Scientology intends to use them to promote the Scientology Network using their oldest recruiting tool – body routing in public.
Once Scientology was known as the people handing out free movie tickets that turned out to be a creepy showing of "Orientation: A Scientology Information Film" which ended with the line "If you leave this room after seeing this film, and walk out and never mention Scientology again, you are perfectly free to do so. It would be stupid, but you can do it. You can also dive off a bridge or blow your brains out. That is your choice." That movie was replaced by video kiosks in Ideal Orgs that show a variety of videos about Scientology and its humanitarian efforts. With the use of QR Codes, Scientology hopes to reach those that can't be persuaded to enter the org to see those movies.
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.
SHOP FOR CRITICAL MERCHANDISE
"Alicia Selverson" is not a real person. Rather, the image is actually a stock photo the Church of Scientology purchased to create a fake Scientologist on social media.
Scientology critics exposed Scientologist "Alicia Selverson" as a fake person in 2017. Scientology's Office of Special Affairs purchased numerous stock photos and pretended these were real Scientologists who were members of OSA's equally fake STAND League. What OSA didn't count on was Google reverse imaging. This allowed critics to download images of STAND members and discover these people to be stock photos.
Scientology was caught and exposed for using fake people in a social media fraud. One notable example was fake Scientologist and STAND member "Ellis Craig." This "Scientologist" turned out to be the male model Gert Rappenecker whose image is for sale as a stock photo:
More than a year ago, in January 2017, we wrote a story about Bernie Headley that got us pretty worked up. Here was a man who was fighting cancer and was being prevented from seeing his own daughter, Stephanie, by the Church of Scientology.
We've written about Scientology's toxic policy of "disconnection" for many years — it's Scientology's horrific form of extortion that is central to the way it rules its membership through fear. Specifically, the fear of being separated from loved ones. Because Bernie is attached to his son, Marc Headley, a former Scientologist and member of the Sea Org who is an outspoken critic of the church, he can never again see his daughter, who remains in the church.
After that story was published, on February 4 last year, we started a new feature which now appears at the end of every story we do here at the Underground Bunker. We made a list of people we've written stories about who are being kept from loved ones by Scientology's policy of disconnection, and we keep track of how many days it has been since they saw their son or daughter or mother or father that has been taken away from them.
2018-05-12, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The holes in the decaying fence around scientology's shrinking empire continue to grow. Those holes are about the only thing that IS expanding in the scientology world.
Today, the Chairman of the Bored is supposed to yanks his ribbon in the parking lot of a new building in an Orlando office park. Last time they postponed at the last minute. They now moved it forward a week at the last minute. Maybe it will just be all CGI - the first Jurassic Park style yanking? They could still show it at the next event along with all the other CGI "fly through" and "exploding graphs" and that's what is really important so it's not out of the realm of possibility. They keep talking about Orlando magic...
But if Dear Leader does show up he will spout forth Shermanspeak gibberish about how this "new" "church" is bringing hope to Orlando blah blah. Miscavige will try to make it appear that this facility has been opened in response to the enormous demand for scientology in yet another city where scientology would be grateful to be included as a footnote in anything. Of course it's a massive lie that any demand for scientology exists anywhere.
Scientology may be shrinking, and it may be having a harder time finding new celebrity members, but there's one thing that the church is still the undisputed champion of.
Whole forests are denuded on a regular basis so Scientology leader David Miscavige can slap founder L. Ron Hubbard's name on piles of new pamphlets and fliers and books, manufactured at a dizzying rate in a 185,000-square-foot plant in Commerce, California that the church says is the largest all-digital printing facility in the entire world.
Santa Monica High School has canceled a series of substance abuse prevention lectures after parents complained that a Scientology front group was responsible for them, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The Foundation for a Drug-Free World held three morning assemblies in recent weeks for ninth and tenth grade students following a troubling academic year marked by drug incidents, including the fatal March rooftop fall of a 15-year-old freshman high on LSD. Questions appear to have arisen after the organization, one of the religion's social-betterment initiatives, held a workshop for 200 parents on May 9. Word soon circulated of the program's Scientology affiliation. After a number of families complained, the school agreed to discontinue the program.
Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District spokeswoman Gail Pinsker tells THR that the school's principal Dr. Antonio Shelton "fully vetted this organization and felt that it would be excellent for our students," adding that "the presentations and materials do not have any reference or mention of Scientology."
Santa Monica High School canceled an anti-drug program after parents learned that it is affiliated with the church of Scientology.
The Foundation for a Drug Free World recently held three assemblies at Santa Monica High School. But the principal scrubbed the rest of the series on substance abuse prevention.
Parents were upset after they got wind the Church of Scientology sponsored the talks.
2016-05-12, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
Hi everyone. This video is not about my personal conservative or liberal views and it's not about endorsing any particular candidate or issue. Instead, I want to present some ideas about extremism and critical thinking in politics.
Here in the United States, we are in a Presidential election cycle of extreme views and divisive attitudes, perhaps more so than ever before in our history. I'm not a political pundit but lately I feel like I'm becoming one because of how much we've been talking about politics on my podcast and how much work and research this has involved. It's become more clearer than ever before that extremist views are not just something one encounters in destructive religious cults like Scientology. Politics is a passionate subject for some because they not only become invested in a particular candidate or issue, but because they feel that their very survival is predicated on the success or failure of that issue or candidate. This kind of passion can be dangerous when it crosses the line from rationality to fervor.
There is nothing wrong with having strong beliefs or ideals in any part of life, so long as those passions do not then exclude the rights of others to have different or even opposing ideas and allowing them to express those ideas rationally and openly. While this sounds great, what happens all too often is people on one side of an issue bash or insult those they disagree with or even attempt to frighten them or overwhelm them so they won't communicate anymore. it equates to irrational behavior to silence opposition and that actually has shades of totalitarian thinking. In a free society, everyone has a voice and should have a chance to use it.
Was John Sugg (left) hired because he has the same "OT Charm Factor" as Scientologist Kirstie Alley?
The internal structural collapse of the Church of Scientology has occured.
The Church of Scientology no longer has anyone inside capable of speaking intelligently, or even coherently, on its behalf. The Church must therefore pay non-Scientology professionals to defend it. The journalist John Sugg is the latest non-Scientologist to take a big payday to defend the Church of Scientology. Sugg probably doesn't realize that his new employer, the Church of Scientology, embodies L. Ron Hubbard's nightmare Master Race doctrine and Call for a Scientology Genocide against all person's 2.0 and below on the Scientology Tone Scale.
Monique Rathbun's harassment lawsuit against the Church of Scientology which she filed in August 2013 has now ended with a document she filed Tuesday in Comal County, Texas.
The "motion for entry of nonsuit," a two-page document that Monique filed, asks Judge Dib Waldrip to sign an order confirming the lawsuit's demise, but our experts tell us that once Monique filed the nonsuit document with the court, her case was officially over.
Once again, Monique blamed her former attorneys, whom she fired in January, for convincing her to drop the lawsuit, despite the winning streak she had been on, including a recent appeals court victory that seemed to put her in the driver's seat.
DURING the mid-1980s, cable television in America became a hub for motor racing.
It also played host to a plethora of infomercials including an advertisement promoting L. Ron Hubbard's self-help book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.
Somehow, these vastly different entities became intertwined and what ensued was a series of bizarre events involving religion, million dollar sponsorship offers and John Travolta.
2015-05-12, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This email pretty much encapsulates the "think" of the fundamentalist scientologist.
Clubbed seals who have totally bought into the "ideal org" "strategy" and who firmly and stubbornly believe that they can do no wrong (i.e. "it isn't an overt") if they are forwarding the survival of "the church."
See text in red below (all of it is wacky, the red bits especially so).
We have another segment for you from a secretly-recorded audiotape which captures a briefing inside a Scientology church.
This is our fourth portion of the recent briefing given by Andres Rodriguez, a senior executive in the organization. Besides becoming known for being captured on tape, Rodriguez is also notable because he was married at one time to Jessica Feshbach, who became notorious as the pushy "handler" of actress Katie Holmes during her first years married to Tom Cruise. Jessica is now married to former Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis, and they are no longer in Scientology's elite Sea Org.
Rodriguez is the Senior Case Supervisor West US, which means he oversees the delivery of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard's "technology" for half the country. But as we've seen, his description of that technology is not familiar to oldtime Scientologists who have left the church.
Brought up in Christian Science to believe the world is imaginary and thoughts, ideas are reality. CS never "worked" for me, Scientology claimed to know why and have the solution. Ended up spending 25 years in the Scientology "Sea Organization" including 10 in OSA, their Legal, PR, and Intelligence branch. Scientology didn't work either. Left in 2001, studied physics and math in college. Turns out reality is real.
The Frederick News-Post sat down Monday with Church of Scientology National Affairs Office Deputy Director Sylvia Stanard and her husband, Church of Scientology National Director of Social Betterment Programs and Policy John Stanard.
The following is a partial transcript of the conversation.
2014-05-12, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
Enforced Disconnection – The Ultimate Evil
In part 5 of this video series, I described the policy of Fair Game as L. Ron Hubbard's method of getting even with people who were labelled as enemies of the Church of Scientology including anyone who is declared a suppressive person. I'm going to elaborate now on the most extreme aspect of this fair gaming, which in Scientology is called Disconnection.
Like so many other things in Scientology, what nominally appears to be an honest attempt to help a church member who may be having difficulty with another person has been corrupted into one of the most hideous and awful practices you can imagine, with consequences that are nothing short of tragic.
A close lieutenant of NXIVM founder Keith Raniere has broken with his Colonie-based life-coaching enterprise and fled with her young son from his inner circle, according to court papers filed as part of a federal lawsuit.
"I have completely left NXIVM and New York," says an email message said to have been sent by Kristin M. Keeffe; the email was quoted in court papers filed by New Jersey attorney Peter Skolnik, the lawyer for Rick Ross, leader of an organization called the Cult Education Institute. Ross has been sued by NXIVM, which denies that it is a cult, for publicizing portions of its training program.
That email and others alleged to have been sent by Keeffe and quoted in the court filing include numerous untested allegations, and refer to Keeffe's turning over to the authorities "evidence of massive criminal conduct" by Raniere as well as NXIVM President Nancy Salzman and Clare Bronfman, who oversees its operations.
2014-05-12, Associated Press, Associated Press, People
A judge on Monday ordered an investigation into the whereabouts of Casey Kasem after an attorney for the ailing radio personality's wife said the former Top 40 host had been removed from the country.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Daniel S. Murphy ordered a court investigator and adult protective services to find out where Kasem is being treated and report back to the court.
Kasem, 82, suffers from advanced Parkinson's disease, can no longer speak and has been in various medical facilities chosen by his wife, Jean Kasem.
From the purification centre with sauna to 'free individuals from mental and spiritual damage' to the chapel with 'holy roller' lighting, the Church of Scientology's newly refurbished $14 million headquarters has opened for business.
Furniture custom-made in the US is stamped with special Scientology symbols and built to an exact height that is replicated in the church's centres throughout the world.
The centre, which has plushly decorated rooms with 'touch therapy' beds and sleekly designed 'e-metres' to diagnose psychological ills, is designed to lure new followers through its doors.
Several federal lawsuits now target an unlicensed Nevada drug and alcohol rehab center first exposed by the I-Team. Patients and the families say the rehab center isn't curing addictions; it's trying to recruit people into Scientology.
Patients at Narconon have told the I-Team they were exposed to mold, lice and treatments forcing them to try and lift objects with their mind. State lawmakers tried and failed to write a new law allowing inspectors to check out Narconon. Instead, one Las Vegas attorney gathered families nationwide and is taking Narconon to federal court.
Just a few days ago we told you that Scientologists in the UK had started archiving their publications on the 'net. It was a surprising move for an organization that remains very conflicted about the web. Shortly after we pointed out that the magazines were online, they were yanked down.
Now a tipster has pointed us to another interesting and puzzling Internet adventure by another Scientology entity. The TampaIdeal Org for some reason thinks it's a good idea to recruit for staff members with a primitive website that presents a series of self-promotional pages.
Take a look for yourself at jointampa.org — at least before it gets yanked down after we bring it to your attention.
2013-05-12, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
See the idiotic lengths Corporate Scientology went to in order to try to prevent Mark Bunker from shooting the ribbon cutting ceremony of the "Ideal Org" in "Scientology City" (known to the rest of the world as PortlandOregon). Tony Ortega has had a running commentary provided by Mark Bunker documenting the events on his blog.
One has to ask the question: Why bother?
Miscavige jets into Portland to speak, along with some other duped "OLs" to "the public" on THE STREET. Yet he is absolutely paranoid about Mark Bunker accessing a vantage point to film the proceedings. The church pulled some sort of film permit that allowed them to limit access to a 4 block area. You can sort of understand that a movie studio may not want the key scene of a movie given away many months before it is released to the public. But an event supposedly to "announce the opening of our new facility to SERVICE this community and people from all walks of life" (and believe me, that WILL be in the speech by Miscavige and probably by the other "officials" they conned into taking the stage with the Chairman of the Blind).
May 12, 2013 - CRAZIEST Scientology, Narconon promo video I've seen in a long time. Clips taken from a 17 minute Rutube video site "Narconon Vista Bay ED Video 2011 Excerpt". Link to full version here:
Police went looking for the Scientologist known to us as "Eat My Ass Girl", who earned her nickname for her propensity of telling protesters to eat her ass.
Update: Eat My Ass Girl was arrested at another of our protests a few months later for battery! See the video:
2013-05-12, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
When you try to claim that a crowd of 400-500 is actually a crowd of 2,500, Photoshop is your best friend. The Radical Church of Scientology is no stranger to photoshopping audiences and their "man with no head" audience member went viral after the 1999 New Years Event. Scientology Audience Doctored.
However with all the attention on the Portland ("Scientology City") opening and the months of pressure to have Scientologists from all over the world fly in to puff up the crowd at the event, apparently the disappointment of unused chairs and low attendance was too much.
So when the obligatory PR WEB paid press release was put together they doctored the main crowd shot. And not very well either. If you look closely under the confetti you will the the entire crowd there is on a slightly different perspective than the rest of the photo. Photoshopping in an audience and then covering them in confetti to hide the low quality work - what is vulture culture coming to?
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Washington Times reported that the Church of Scientology denies that it doctored this photo. We compared Scientology's photo of the crowd (which it estimated at 2,500) against photos taken by our correspondents (who said the crowd was more like 450 to 750 people) and pointed out that an entire row of shrubs had somehow been erased and there were people seemingly standing in a street that was actually empty. The church has been caught manipulating crowd shots in the past to inflate attendance at its events. Some of our own commenters pointed out that a very wide angle lens in the right position might create the effect in Scientology's image. We'll be interested to see further analysis of the image by experts. UPDATE: Please see our latest statement about Scientology's photo.
David Miscavige had his underlings frantically trying to stop me from filming him speak in Portland. While I got video of his address, he turned the speakers down really low so I couldn't get good sound.
Stacy's Law requires the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to create a set of rules for certification for organizations that treat people with drug and alcohol related substance abuse problems. It is intended to ensure that only certified facilities treat these issues and criminally punishes facilities that attempt rehabilitation without certification.
The law is named for Stacy Dawn Murphy, who died of an overdose while seeking treatment for addiction at Narconon Arrowhead in July 2012.
2011-05-12, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
We were looking forward to some reports from last Thursday night's gala at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Beverly Hills, where Tom Cruise received his humanitarian award. But we noticed, as it approached, that normally assertive anti-Scientology protester-types in Los Angeles had put out the word not to show up, for some reason.
Well, no one apparently told Angry Gay Pope, flamboyant anti-Scientology protester extraordinaire (check out his website at angrygaypope.com, it's a riot), who showed up only to find he was a one-man demonstration. But that may have actually helped make his video even funnier. (My favorite part: Check out the ponytail on the doofus who keeps telling AGP to "get a life.")
For some background on Cruise's award, check out our earlier post. And don't miss Paulette Cooper's remarkable denunciation of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's decision to decorate the man who is synonymous with Scientology.
2011-05-12, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind.
- attributed to Buddha
Another "church" of Scientology Office of Special Affairs "intelligence" memo is appended below. This one is dated 11 April, 2006 and is a follow up to the last post on this blog concerning Corporate Scientology's war on Washington Post Senior Editor Richard Leiby.
South Australia's Opposition Leader says he has referred to police fake documents which he used in Parliament to make false claims against the SA Premier and other Labor Party figures.
Liberal leader Martin Hamilton-Smith also responded to a letter from Premier Mike Rann demanding that he apologise publicly for using the papers in State Parliament.
2008-05-12, Candice M. Giove, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
At Saturday's "Operation: Fair Game: Stop," Anonymous' latest installment in a series of monthly global protests, one local member abandoned his ridiculous three-pronged disguise of glasses, a fake nose and a mustache. Instead Mike Vitale wore his name in white letters emblazoned across a black cotton T-shirt.
For Vitale, it's no longer necessary to obscure his face with the cheap gag getup. The Church of Scientology already knows who he is and where he lives. Days before the protest focusing on "fair game," the method L. Ron Hubbard concocted in 1967 to silence critics, Vitale received an ominous and vague letter from a Church of Scientology-connected law firm threatening legal action against him for his involvement with Anonymous. "People were definitely quite concerned," he said of his fellow Anons. "I got asked more than a few times if this means I'm going to cut out."
But he arrived, undeterred by the warning or the creepiness that the Church of Scientology learned of his once-guarded identity.
Forgive us if we're breaking rules 1 and 2, but it didn't take us long to figure out that this fake Wii Battletoads website (site has changed, see Google cache for original) was a viral marketing campaign against the Church of Scientology's "Fair Game" policy.
Although Mr Stewart insisted he was not a Scientologist, the news is the latest evidence of the extent to which the group has managed to forge links with the City police.
Last year it emerged that officers from the force had accepted £11,000 worth of hospitality from the Church of Scientology
In December 1980, two months after completing Battlefield Earth, Hubbard informed his followers: "I was a bit disgusted with the way the psychologists and brain surgeons mess people up so I wrote a fiction story based in part on the consequences that could occur if the shrinks continued to do it."
Scientologists view psychiatry and psychology as abusive and misguided because both fields, they argue, regard people as "animals" and not "spiritual beings." Doctors in the field are referred to derisively as "Psyches."
The parallel is clear in Battlefield Earth, where Psychlos (read "psyches") refer to their human prey as animals.
It has not been left unnoticed, by anyone, that Travolta is a Scientologist and that Scientology's founder, L. Ron Hubbard, wrote the novel upon which this film was based.
There's even been concern that the movie would be some sort of recruitment film for the belief, as if every 24th frame might blink "Buy Dianetics." Hardly. The only people this film could recruit are members of the rock band Kiss, who, with their high-heeled boots and face paint, might figure they've got a spot if this alien thing ever really came down.
A million monkeys with a million crayons would be hard-pressed in a million years to create anything as cretinous as "Battlefield Earth." This film version of L. Ron Hubbard's futuristic novel is so breathtakingly awful in concept and execution, it wouldn't tax the smarts of a troglodyte. And when it comes to star John Travolta's performance, well, hammy William Shatner's hairpiece is more convincing.
In the future, turkey cognoscenti will be heard to say: " 'Ishtar,' pishtar! You haven't endured pain till you've seen 'Battlefield Earth.' "
The author, better known as the founder of the Church of Scientology, set his post-apocalyptic thriller in Denver in the year 3000. Humans remain civilized but are now an endangered species. Most were wiped out during the nine-minute war between Earth and invaders from the planet Psychlo. The cities are in ruins (at least Denver is), the government's kaput and the Psychlods are stripping Earth of her natural resources.
THE VERDICT on "Battlefield Earth": Much ado about nuttin'.
It's a bad movie, end of story. There is no Scientology controversy here worth wasting your time over. Yes, yes, this film was based on the 1982 novel by L. Ron Hubbard, the science fiction writer and founder of the Church of Scientology.
And yes, yes, super Scientologist John Travolta produced the movie, and stars as a nasty Psychlo alien named Terl. And yes, yes, the novel and movie have indirect connections to Hubbard's religion that space (not to mention my towering lack of knowledge) forbids me even attempting to explain.
Generally, Hollywood executives are relieved when their movies are screened for the first time and hilarious laughter erupts from the audience.
But not when the movie isn't a comedy.
"Battlefield Earth," John Travolta's epic, expensive and bizarre science fiction film based on a book by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, was greeted with guffaws and hoots from an audience of entertainment journalists, critics and others at a packed theater in Century City this week.
The Church of Scientology in Clearwater says it is immune from criminal prosecution in the death of Lisa McPherson and wants the felony charges against it dismissed.
In lengthy motions filed this week, Scientology's lawyers argue that the charges filed against the church last November "are both unnecessary and impermissible."
Church staffers gave "spiritual assistance" to McPherson, a fellow Scientologist, in the days before she died, thus their actions were protected under the First Amendment and the state's new Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the motions state.