Last night, a man named Ian Rafalko posted a TikTok video which has quickly blown up, with more than 90,000 likes by this morning.
Here's what he says in it:
So after I make this video and it goes public my life will be over. That uh… my life's been over for a while, so. I thought I might at least go out with a bang.
Some of you might know this guy. He has a few thousand videos on YouTube. He's pretty popular at this point. He gives a lot of health advice. He's a chiropractor, as you can see, so…
Not only is this man a Scientologist but he donates copious amounts. His profit margins are insane, they're through the roof. So he's donated probably around 7 plus million dollars to Scientology?
Former Nxivm sex slavery cult leader Keith Raniere was found guilty last June of crimes that could put him away in prison for the rest of his life, but numerous delays have put off his actual sentencing while he sits in jail in Brooklyn.
Two weeks ago, Judge Nicholas Garaufis delayed the sentencing again until June 23, but this time he said there would be no more delays. If the pandemic keeps them from holding the event in a courtroom, the sentencing would happen by video.
But now Raniere has objected, filing a letter saying that his rights would be violated if he could not be sentenced in a courtroom with his attorneys present.
Great news, everyone. Now that Florida has begun reopening businesses, you can now take your infant or toddler down to the Mace-Kingsley center for some Scientology auditing!
Over the years, we've brought you various fliers and mailers with Mace-Kingsley advertising (see below), and now we have a video from M-K's executive director (E.D.), Marcy Sargeant, alerting Scientology parents so they can start making appointments for their little ones.
In Scientology, after all, "children" are really trillion-year-old thetans in small packages who are the products of countless previous lives and it's really only an illusion that they have any connection to you at all. And with your messed-up parenting skills, you keep "restimulating" traumatic incidents from your kid's prior lives on other planets and stuff, and wow, that's gotta be stressful for junior!
In March we told you how surprised we were to see that Tom Cruise's daughter Isabella had allowed herself to be featured in a Church of Scientology mailer put out by the London org. It was yet another sign of how dedicated Tom and his older two children are to David Miscavige's church.
And now, we are equally stunned to see John Travolta's daughter Ella Bleu making a very visible splash of her own by showing up at an awards ceremony held at Scientology's most holy site, the Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater, Florida on one of Scientology's holiest days on the calendar, May 9, which is Dianetics Day.
It was May 9, 1950 when L. Ron Hubbard published the book that changed everything for him, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, and it's celebrated every year by the church. In the photo you see above, Ella is posing with the man who posted the photo, Antonio Rosales, a Scientologist who was awarded for being "Top Producer Book One Auditor" for 2019.
Dianne Lipson is out of the court after the Nxivm trial's morning session, which saw the conclusion of Mark Vicente's direct testimony and the beginning of his cross-examination by Keith Raniere's attorney, Marc Agnifilo. Here are her impressions…
First, there didn't appear to be a ruling yet on the evidentiary matter that was brought up in court yesterday.
Vicente continued his testimony, saying that in March 2017, a Sara (not Bronfman) tried to get him to influence his wife. Vicente asked her, are you being asked to do this? She said yes.
All of the passengers and crew of a cruise ship owned and operated by the Church of Scientology have been cleared from the risk of spreading or contracting measles after a female staffer on board was isolated with the highly contagious disease, Scientology officials said Tuesday.
The ship, named the Freewinds, was originally quarantined in St. Lucia late last month before it set sail for its home port of Curacao with about 300 people on board.
Those aboard the ship who had been vaccinated or had the measles before were free to leave the 440-foot vessel, health officials said May 4. Everyone else would be vaccinated while on board. A doctor aboard the ship had ordered about 100 doses of the measles vaccine before leaving St. Lucia.
2019-05-15, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Here we have a couple of recent promotional pieces pushing the "religious angle" of scientology.
Though I must say, this one above looks more like a screen shot from a Ricky Gervais mockumentary.
But even at Celebrity Centre, they are promoting "Reverend" Nancy Delaney. Cross in the background, but thankfully no phony dog-collar.
2019-05-15, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
Somehow despite hundreds of people coming forward in interviews, books and media reports exposing Scientology's abuses, law enforcement constantly seems to turn a blind eye, allowing this destructive cult to continue ruining people's lives under false pretenses, coercive persuasion and emotional blackmail. Why won't law enforcement bodies like the FBI step up and do something about this? Here is my concise answer to that question. Enjoy!
2018-05-15, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This is the headline scientology has on their website announcing the "new" org in Orlando.
A STAR BURSTS IN "THE CITY BEAUTIFUL" AS A RIBBON FALLS ON THE NEW CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY
Complete gibberish. And it goes on for paragraphs, starting with this:
Well-regarded California attorney Bert Deixler has once again genuflected to his client, Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige, filing a notice of appeal after the church got roundly defeated in a calculated move to slow down a lawsuit that scares the bejeesus out of Miscavige.
We're talking about the forced-abortion lawsuit filed nine years ago by former Scientology employee Laura DeCrescenzo, who was but 12 years old when she indentured herself to the servitude known as the Sea Organization, which requires signing a billion-year contract and, in her case, working 90-hour weeks until she turned 13, when she was put on the 112-hour adult schedule.
When she was 17, she's testified, she was coerced into having an abortion because that's been Scientology policy since at least the 1970s, that its Sea Org women end their pregnancies so they can keep up the grueling schedule. The policy was supposedly ended in 2010, but we've seen some evidence that it's still continuing today.
The Church of Scientology's mother-daughter duo of Cathy Bernardini and Taryn Teutsch have been engaged in a classic Scientology Fair Game campaign of lies. The purpose of their duplicitous campaign is to demand that Disney fire Mike Rinder from Leah Remini's Emmy-winning A&E show Scientology and the Aftermath.
Taryn and Cathy claim that Mike assaulted Cathy in 2010. This is an utter and complete lie. As documented in our previous article, Cathy and Taryn were part of a Scientology mob that ambushed Mike Rinder in a Florida parking lot in 2010. The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office report noted that there was only "incidental contact" as Mike was trying to move away from the angry group of Scientologists. There was no assault. Cathy Bernardini received an abrasion on her arm due to incidental contact. The Sheriff's Office report closed the case as a simple non-criminal incident.
Cathy and Taryn are Sea Org members. Along with Scientology's dirty operators in OSA, they have knowingly created and perpetuated a false narrative about an event that happened eight years ago. In doing so they are cynically hoping to take advantage of the #MeToo movement by arguing that all abusers should be fired, and, as Mike is an abuser he too should be fired. However, inasmuch as Cathy, Taryn, and OSA are lying, the Church of Scientology has now been caught in a cynical, self-serving, and transparent attempt to exploit the victims of rape, sexual harassment, and abuse for its own malevolent purposes of Fair Game. This disgraceful conduct is yet another reason why Scientology has only itself to blame for being called a sinister cult.
Scientology Fair Game Practitioner Taryn Teutsch
In our series on Taryn Teutsch and her mother Cathy Bernardini, we noted that both are Scientology Sea Org members. Their current assignment from Captain David Miscavige is to conduct a sleazy Fair Game campaign to get Mike Rinder fired from his job with Leah Remini's Emmy-winning show Scientology and the Aftermath.
While this is being done to punish Mike for his many long and courageous years of speaking out against Scientology's many abuses, Taryn's Fair Game campaign is also being waged to harm Leah Remini's show because it has been so successful in exposing the depravity and sadism perpetrated upon individuals, families, and society by the Church of Scientology.
They banned my first video but this one is even better! Examining the theology of the WMSCOG. I really hope this helps a lot of people to come out of this group and come to simple trust in the truth of Christ. God the Mother is unbiblical and irrational and this video will explain what the Bible teaches about God the Mother as well as respond to the teachings and theology of the World Mission Society Church of God and their worship of Zhang Gil-ja.
Links I mentioned:
The WMSCOG propaganda video: https://youtu.be/AnEByCPkjt4
The anonymous drone pilot just had to go back for a closer look.
In September, we posted footage shot by a drone operator who has kept himself unidentified. He had shot images of several secretive Scientology locations in the Western U.S., and he allowed the Underground Bunker to premiere his videos. He's made the footage free to use without strings, and we've started to see some of his crisp 4K video show up in television shows.
One of the places he went over in detail was the headquarters of Scientology's most clandestine entity, the Church of Spiritual Technology. CST is a very odd organization. Its mandate is to dig vaults where L. Ron Hubbard's words can be preserved for centuries. His words are etched on stainless steel plates which are held in titanium boxes filled with inert gases, and then stored in the underground vaults, three of which are located in California, and one is in New Mexico.
2017-05-15, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Recent articles at Tony Ortega's blog and the Tampa Bay Times recount the stillborn scientology FBI investigation based on FOI documents obtained by RadarOnline.
There is not much else to say about the investigation itself, it has been covered at length by Tony Ortega, the Tampa Bay Times and Lawrence Wright, first in his New Yorker article then more extensively in Going Clear.
What is interesting is to look back at how scientology responded when asked about the investigation in earlier years. A number of people who had been interviewed by the FBI (including me) had confirmed that an investigation had been conducted.
2016-05-15, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The weekly show where I answer your questions based on what you've 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 take up are:
(1) Why in the world does the CofS interact with the Nation of Islam (NOI)? Their philosophies and purposes are so divergent. All indications (from agencies and groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, etc.) are that the NOI (the American "Black Muslims" group) are a racial solidarity group; anti-white, anti-Jewish, misogynistic, and their core beliefs hold that white people and NOI members should not intermingle (let alone inter-marry, etc) - in short they are a racial-hate group (and so classified as such by most agencies) so why is there now an alliance between the CofS and the NOI? It's unfathomable to me. I know that the NOI has a "creation philosophy" as strange as Scientology's Xenu story. The NOI holds that an evil scientist named Yakub bred all the good out of people, along with the pigment of their skin, so that white people are inherently evil. This story is so unbelievable as to make the Xenu story seem reasonable in comparison. It seems so strange that Scn/NOI have any interaction. Can you shed any light on this?
(2) In the Sea Org, is there any privacy in the bunk-bed-filled rooms? If there's no privacy in those crammed rooms and nobody is allowed to masturbate...what is everybody doing in the shower? I'm very frustrated that ex-Scientologists rarely complain about privacy and having 50 people share 1 toilet.
It's time again for Rod Keller's Scientology Social Media Review. He's made a specialty of hunting down the odd and wonderful things Scientologists post to the 'net. He's a chronicler who piece by piece builds a highly detailed assessment of what Scientology is doing around the world, and this is what he found for us this week…
Scientologists and members of the Nation of Islam marched from Woodruff Park in Atlanta to protest the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association at the Georgia World Congress Center. They are protesting Psychiatry in general, as well as the proposed reclassification of electroconvulsive therapy equipment from class III to the less regulated class II devices. One of our local correspondents was on the scene and tells us that only about 150 people showed up, and nearly all of them were Scientologists, even though non-Scientology groups had also endorsed the march.
Long-time Sea Org member Dusty Rhodes (right) visited the Kiev, Ukraine mission this week. Rhodes was a well-liked crew member on the Apollo (from which L. Ron Hubbard ran Scientology while sailing the Mediterranean, Atlantic, and Caribbean, 1967-1975), and was posted at Flag and Gold base during his career. About 20 Scientologists signed Sea Org contracts during the event, although few, if any, will ever arrive to a Sea Org base to activate and join the EPF. It's common for Scientologists at emotionally charged events to sign such contracts without ever joining the Sea Org. Other Ukrainians signed a Pledge Board, promising to come to Flag for services at some point. Members are told that it's important to get their postulate in writing in the physical universe, and the details can be worked out later. Once a pledge is made members can be pressured to pre-pay for services in Clearwater, even if they have no way to get there
Churches are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to comply with a new crackdown on charities' financial reporting standards.
The Church of Scientology filed their annual returns last week, more than 10 months overdue. They received nearly $1.4m, and spent just under $600,000.
Charities who spend more than $1m per year are being forced to open up their books, in some cases for the first time, under new laws which came into effect this month.
2016-05-15, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The lies roll off their tongues so easily. The SuMP (scientology's useless media productions) is the next big thing that is going to absolutely, definitely bring about planetary clearing for reelz.
But as with everything like this, the absurd joke of this is also very revealing of the desperation inside the bubble.
This poor sap is "ordered" to relay this information.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Daniel S. Murphy ordered adult protective services and court investigators to try to locate Kasem after an attorney for his wife told the court that the former American Top 40 host was no longer in the United States but he did not know where he was.
Kerri Kasem's attorney Troy Martin said during the hearing that Kasem had been moved to an Indian reservation but was not sure because he had been frequently moved from medical facilities.
Sgt. Ken Dickinson of the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office told NBC News that deputies "performed a welfare check" on Casey Kasem Tuesday afternoon to make sure "he had his medications and was receiving proper medical care, which it appeared to be that he was. He appeared to be alert and in as good health as it could be. He didn't appear to be in any distress."
Although Dickinson would not say where the legendary disc jockey was located, his wife, Jean Kasem told police that "they were visiting friends," Dickinson said. The Sheriff's Office contacted Adult Protective Services in California to let them know Kasem had been found. Dickinson said he does not know why the agency would not have told Kasem's children that their father was safe.
The Scientology Money Project has already gained serious attention from government agencies, journalists, cable news networks, major networks, Pulitzer prize winners, and even an Emmy winner.
The Scientology Money Project has also gained the attention of Scientology's Office of Special Affairs.
Using inferential methodology, I can tell you of recent behind-the-scenes developments in which Church operatives are seeking to accomplish at least five goals:
Jamie is a 'slam poet' and the great grandson of the founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard. To say that Jamie has things to say about his great grandfather would be an understatement. Jamie's grandfather, Ronald DeWolf, helped build Hubbard's Scientology empire in the 1950s but later denounced him as a "fraud."
Jamie's mother and ex-girlfriend have been visited by Scientology agents asking about his references to Scientology in his poetry. As he put in his own words -- "In high school, a psychiatrist asked me if I had a history of mental illness in my family. I had to say...YES!"
Recorded at Flag Down 2014 - Exposing the fraud and abuse of the Scientology cult
John's experience began by walking in off the street and asking the Dublin Scientology mission to "Give me all you have", and they duly began to oblige. Some €10,500 later, he began to see that things were clearly wrong. He regularly lent cash to senior members for food, and was once accompanied to an ATM to prove he didn't have more. People around him were running up debts, losing their temper and falling ill -- the opposite of what he was promised. But he couldn't get anyone to see it that way, and eventually stopped questioning it.
He says "They honestly believe they're on to a good thing and it's more important than their children or mothers and fathers. They think they can clear the planet of "reactive minds", but they can't even do it in the mission. There are lads there 20 years without a penny to their name who glorify Scientology. And I think, what did it actually do for you?"
Recorded at Flag Down 2014 - Exposing the fraud and abuse of the Scientology cult
2014-05-15, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
In The Tao Of Physics, Fritjof Capra makes some interesting observations on the subject of myth in mysticism and what those of insight come to understand about such. I had as much in mind when I wrote of constructs in the book 'What Is Wrong With Scientology?', but clearly did not articulate it nearly as well.
"Indian mysticism, and Hinduism in particular, clothes its statements in the form of myths, using metaphors and symbols, poetic images, similes and allegories. Mythical language is much less restricted by logic and common sense. It is full of magic and paradoxical situations, rich in suggestive images and never precise, and can thus convey the way in which mystics experience reality much better than factual language. According to Ananda Coomaraswamy, 'myth embodies the nearest approach to absolute truth that can be stated in words.'
"The rich Indian imagination has created a vast number of gods and goddesses whose incarnations and exploits are the subject of fantastic tales, collected in epics of huge dimensions. The Hindu with deep insight knows that all these gods are creations of the mind, mythical images representing the many faces of reality. On the other hand, he or she also knows that they were not merely created to make the stories more attractive, but are essential vehicles to convey the doctrines of a philosophy rooted in mystical experience."
It is interesting to find a view of Scientology Inc from the non US. Whether cartoon, satire or comedy, it is just interesting to view how news from the US exports and translates abroad.
They even have Marc Headley "Blown for Good" escaping on his motorbike !
2014-05-15, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Here is something truly gag-worthy.
As with virtually everything else that emanates from the Vulture Culture of Scientology, it is a pitch for money.
And as with everything else, it contains many flat out lies as well as complete unreality on the state of scientology and the world in which it exists. These people don't just have tin ears, they also have hallucinogenic vision and speak in tongues. Kind of messed up for those who supposedly can hone all 57 perceptics to razor sharpness.
Former Scientologist and music producer Tiziano Lugli has given us the opportunity once again to debut one of his highly polished short films about the Scientology experience.
Previously, Lugli made us laugh with 'Shit Scientologists Say,' and hit us in the gut with 'The Shrinking Cult of Scientology.'
Now he's got a parody of a film made by Scientology itself, 'No Slavery,' which it uses as part of its cynical 'human rights' campaign aimed at teenagers.
Scientology strikes out again as it fights a court order to turn over thousands of pages of evidence to former Sea Org worker Laura DeCrescenzo.
This evening, without explanation or a written order, the California Supreme Court denied Scientology's petition to hold up DeCrescenzo's lawsuit. The church argued that forcing it to turn over DeCrescenzo's confessional "pc folders" was a violation of its rights because California's priest-penitent law itself was unconstitutional.
A similar petition had already been denied without written order at the state appeals level, now it's struck out with the state supreme court, and the church has missed this session of the US Supreme Court. Tomorrow, there's a status hearing on the case in state court, and we'll see what the church does this time to try and get out of turning over Laura's own information to her.
One of our tipsters knew we'd get a kick out of a viral video that is making the rounds of Mashable and other websites today. It's an unusual video advertisement for a Los Angeles chiropractor named Ryan Lee. Here's how Mashable describes it, under the headline "Creepy Local Chiropractor Ad Will Make You Wince"...
Remember that amazing/weird/hilarious/musical local auto ad that set the web on fire a couple weeks ago? The guys who made that, YouTube duo Rhett & Link, are back with a follow-up ad for another local L.A. business.
This time it's the Ryan Lee Chiropractic Center that gets the duo's bizarre treatment. The super awkward spot, embedded above, features Dr. Lee earnestly addressing the camera while performing a series of wince-inducing adjustments on prone human models. At one point he even sticks his finger in a woman's mouth, but we're not quite sure what that's about.
2013-05-15, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
L. Ron Hubbard once designated the entry level of Scientology as Scientology Zero. Scientology Zero consisted initially of demonstrating to a person that the environment was not as dangerous as he had been led to believe. It educated a person on the existence of merchants of chaos who traffic in painting a picture of danger so that they can profit by protecting one from that danger. It is the old organized crime protection racket.
As we have seen over the years Scientology has become that which Scientology Zero warned of. The church continually plies its public with end-of-world scenarios that can only be handled by contributing more greenbacks to the church. Some folks on the outside engage in a similar game of designating the church as the enemy that will consume humanity if not combatted continually.
One purpose of this blog from the outset was to demonstrate that the church of Scientology was not something to be feared; that it in fact had simply perfected the protection racket game, giving folk the illusion that it was something to continually fear.
Last week, we reported the surprising news that Ron Miscavige Sr., father to Scientology leader David Miscavige, had begun to emerge into the public eye in a rather unusual way.
We learned last summer that Ron had escaped from Scientology's secretive International Base east of Los Angeles after reportedly spending many years of his life there. And "escaped" was the word that Ron himself was using to describe it, we were told. We hoped that he would soon talk publicly about what made him run away from the organization his son lords over, and also how he managed to get away from Int Base, with all of its layers of security.
But for now, Ron has written a short book about his childhood experiences, and he's also been posting videos demonstrating exercise equipment that he markets through the Internet.
Is Lisa Marie Presley lashing out at Scientology on 'So Long?', Is Lisa Marie Presley lashing out at L. Ron Hubbard's Church of Scientology on "Storm and Grace?" It's kind of hard to read the words to "So Long" any other way if you're at all familiar with the rumors that she's left the Church. It's still no "Sexy Sadie," though.
2012-05-15, Michael Musto, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
This is from Joan's hilarious new book, I Hate Everyone...Starting With Me:
"First of all, he's always got this shit-eating grin on his face, like he just got a note from his managers telling him that Mimi Rogers and Nicole Kidman are extending their confidentiality agreements.
"Second, in TV interviews, Tom laughs inappropriately and much too vociferously at non-humorous declarative statements, which is ironic because in real life he can't take a fucking joke at all.
According to federal court records, the two parties met in a mediation session on March 26.
The consent order filed on March 30 says the church and the city didn't finalize an agreement during that session but says both sides are willing to consider a revised parking plan. The consent order says city staff needed 30 to 45 days to review the plan, and said any zoning changes would require public notice 15 days in advance of a public hearing. The order also extends the deadline to submit a "proposed consolidated pretrial order" to June 15.
2011-05-15, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Below is a public announcement by a recently reaccredited Radical Scientologist. It has been widely circulated around the Southern San Francisco Bay Area. Susan Lewis was accepted back into the Radical Scientology community only after blowing the whistle on every Scientologist she knew was committing the sin of seeking truth.
The announcement couldn't be more timely. I was working on a post urging more people from the South Bay area stand up to take some of the heat off of Lorie Hodgson and her mother Dee McMurdie. But, as has become almost tradition, Miscavige and OSA just have beat us to the punch in driving people from their cult.
This write up might remind some of you of the fear, the pack mentality, and the stultified intellect you may have felt when you were a member of the Radical cult. It is a fascinating study too in the subject of brainwashing. Brainwashing? Isn't that a tad extreme?, you might ask. My answer is no, it is not extreme at all. Look at the two rock bottom stable datums Ms Lewis is convinced by the likes of John Allender and Mark Warlick (from the blue shirted shock squad that visited my home recently) are lies. Two of the most obvious, well documented FACTS established about David Miscavige:
At 11 a.m. Monday, Front Sight Firearms Training Institute and its president, Ignatius Piazza, went into receivership.
All financial transactions involving the firearms training facility -- from accepting payment for classes to paying staff and vendors -- must take place through a court-appointed administrator.
The facility and all assets have been seized by the court, down to the hundreds of firearms included as part of new members' benefits.
The protests in Clearwater have been peaceful, without a single arrest, but they do look a bit bizarre. The protesters wear masks or bandannas to cover their faces because they believe the Church of Scientology will target them if they are recognizable. It is not an idle fear, since in the past the church has been accused of using private investigators to follow critics or contacting their employers.
Downtown Clearwater merchants who signed the petition told the St. Petersburg Times that the protests are keeping away customers and the masked protesters look scary to children. The Church of Scientology also has objected to the tenor of the protests, accusing Anonymous of using hate speech -- signs carried by protesters often refer to Scientology as a cult or a scam -- and claiming that Anonymous members have phoned in death threats to the church and attacked the church's computer systems.
However, Clearwater police have closely monitored the Anonymous protests, and they have seen no reason to arrest or cite the protesters.
2008-05-15, Candice M. Giove, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
The YouTube video doesn't embed, but as you can some from the above screen grab, the Black Panthers briefly joined forces with Anonymous last Saturday. Only in New York, kids, only in New York.
Causes collided in Times Square this past weekend when Sean Bell protesters glimpsed an Anonymous member's sign. On it was a quote you'd never find in Bartlett's, "You shouldn't be scrubbing the floor on your hands and knees. Get yourself a nigger; that's what they're born for." Allegedly plucked from a letter L. Ron Hubbard sent to his first wife, the placard's inflammatory, racist pull-quote, with the N-word pronounced in red letters, momentarily united the two groups.
Former high ranking Scientologist and L. Ron Hubbard confidant Gerald Armstrong claimed that those words could be attributed to the Scientology founder. While the validity of his claim cannot be verified because no copy of the letter is available, critics believe it when put in the context of other racist Hubbard statements.
And in a rare example of north Asian collaboration, it appears authorities in China, Japan and South Korea are discussing where he will face a long list of charges.
South Korean-born Jung, 61, was a member of the Unification Church led by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon - the "Moonies" - in the 1970s, before establishing his own group.
The cult's name came from a biblical reference - Revelations 2:24-29, in which Jesus promises believers: "He shall rule them with a rod of iron - and I will give him the morning star."
The Church of Scientology last night launched a fresh attempt to discredit the Panorama reporter John Sweeney, following the broadcast of a prime time BBC1 programme investigating its controversial beliefs and recruiting methods.
As Panorama editor Sandy Smith took to the airwaves to defend Sweeney's investigation following the furore around his furious YouTube outburst captured by Scientology cameras, the war of words and online propaganda intensified.
Mark Bunker has a very different take on "Battlefield Earth." He sees the movie as a devious recruiting device for one of the nation's wealthiest and most dangerous cults: "It's designed to introduce L. Ron Hubbard to a whole new generation of kids. It's there to plant a favorable seed in children's minds."
Bunker, a spokesman for the Lisa McPherson Trust in Clearwater, Fla., is not among those Scientology critics who allege that subliminal messages have been hidden inside this cacophonous film, which opened Friday to savage reviews but finished second in weekend boxoffice receipts with an estimated take of $12.3 million.
Earle Cooley, the chairman of Boston University's board of trustees, wants you to know that he believes in freedom of expression.
Never mind that the gruff, avuncular 64-year-old, one of Boston's top trial attorneys, has played a leading role in the Church of Scientology's efforts to use copyright law to keep secret church documents off the Internet.
Although the church has won some significant courtroom victories, critics, legal observers, and even judges criticize the zeal with which it has pursued its goals.
For instance, U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema, in throwing out a copyright-infringement suit against the Washington Post late last year, called it "reprehensible" that church lawyers -- including Cooley -- would go after the newspaper for running a 46-word excerpt that was clearly covered by fair-use provisions. The church's aim, Brinkema wrote, was "the stifling of criticism and dissent of the religious practices of Scientology and the destruction of its opponents."
In an interview with the Washington Post in 1985, Cooley said that he was a Scientologist. His current relationship with the church is unclear. He now refuses to discuss whether or not he's a member, calling it a "vicious question."
Die Scientology-Sekte gerät in Deutschland zunehmend in Schwierigkeiten: Die Immobilienspekulationen von Scientologen werfen weniger Geld ab, seriöse Banken geben kaum noch Kredite - die öffentlichen Proteste gegen rüde Methoden von Firmen, die von Sektenanhängern gesteuert werden, beginnen zu wirken.
District Judge Neal Beekman's permanent injunction reinforces the state mental health board's December order that the center close. The board denied certification to the center, saying its treatment methods were experimental and unsafe.
Beekman issued his order Wednesday. It took effect when it was delivered to Narconon officials Thursday.
District Judge Neal Beekman had ordered a permanent injunction that reinforces an order by the state mental health board in December that the center in Kay County close because its treatment methods are "unsafe and ineffective."
Today, Beekman issued a ruling that gives the treatment center 10 days to file an appeal with the Supreme Court, the judge said.
A request for a new trial was overruled, Beekman said.
The judge said his order to stay the injunction means Narconon can remain open, but he was unsure if the center can accept new patients.
PONCA CITY - A controversial drug and alcohol treatment center, told last year by state officials to shut down, has been ordered by a district judge to stop treating patients.
The order to close Narconon Chilocco New Life Center took effect Thursday when the ruling by District Judge Neal Beekman was delivered to officials at the center, six miles north of Newkirk.
Beekman issued a permanent injunction to close Narconon Chilocco on Wednesday, after taking the matter under advisement for more than two months. He presided over a hearing Feb. 27.
District Judge Neal Beekman's permanent injunction reinforces an order by the state mental health board in December that the center in Kay County must close because its treatment methods are "unsafe and ineffective."
Gary Smith said today that Narconon lawyers have filed motions to stay Beekman's order and also are asking for a new trial.