2019-05-27, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
See the excellent piece at Tony Ortega's blog this morning concerning L. Ron Hubbard's stolen valor.
I was sent a couple of promotional items from this year that have a different focus. Many will find this just as crass as the fake medals and war hero status of Ron the War Hero.
This day is supposed to be about remembering those who have fallen, but any excuse to get some suckers in so they can be victims of some good old fashioned "hard sell" is an opportunity scientology does not want to miss.
On this Memorial Day here in the U.S., we've been thinking a lot lately about Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard's lies about his war service thanks to the release of Chris Owen's eye-opening book, Ron the War Hero.
To commemorate this day, we thought we'd reprint a piece sent to us years ago that sums up how a lot of people feel about Hubbard and his war boasting, which was all built on fabrication. And to keep the theme going, we have some items from Laurie Harness that we think you'll also find edifying.
First, here's the tribute to Lt. Hubbard that we have posted in the past...
Among the fatal flaws of Scientology TV is that it never once mentions or discusses the actual financial costs of Scientology. Our friend Aaron Smith-Levin just did a tweet that shows actual parishioner statements with real dollar costs:
Look at these two invoices showing the prices for Scientology auditing at their largest facility in Clearwater, FL. Members pay up to $800 per hour for 1-on-1 auditing sessions. All this is fully tax-exempt revenue. (An "intensive" = 12.5 hrs of auditing). pic.twitter.com/i0n2SjewZj— Aaron Smith-Levin (@GrowingupinSCN) May 25, 2019
2019-05-27, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
Female member's of Scientology's elite Sea Organization have had extreme pressure and undue influence exerted over them to have abortions rather than leave the Sea Org to raise their child. What is this all about? Why is it being done? I tackle this from my knowledge and experience in this short video.
The show where I answer your questions. Please leave any comments or feedback in the comments section here below. I see everything and want to hear from you.
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2018-05-27, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
This week I did a live stream Critical Q&A with my wife, Melissa. We answered many questions about our wedding and honeymoon as well as many more questions related to Scientology, future content on my channel and much more.
We'll admit that we're huge fans of Scientology hip-hop going way back, and although Chill EB is the unrivaled king of the genre, we can't help having a special appreciation for the Aussie-flavored rap that comes out of the church.
One of our biggest disappointments was losing track of a copy of the Melbourne Day Rap Battle Team's epic video that was apparently taken down from YouTube after we brought it a lot of attention. Oh well. But now, our man Rod Keller has discovered a new source of that sweet Down Under sound, and we're going to let him tell you about it. But first, here's Rod explaining why rap is so perfect for Scientology's wacky lingo...
In his groundbreaking 1961 book Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of "Brainwashing" in China, Robert Jay Lifton describes a series of interviews he conducted with American service members who had been indoctrinated during their captivity during the Korean War. The book is best known for Lifton's Eight Criteria for Thought Reform, a list of aspects shared by cults and brainwashing groups.
2018-05-27, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The eleventh installment of the first draft of a novel written by our old friend Terra Cognita. Our Sunday Serial.
Terra welcomes all suggestions and feedback — this is draft — you can note them in the comments.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month so we wanted to discuss Scientology and its war on Mental Health and Psychiatry.
CCHR Booklet on Terrorism : https://goo.gl/d4suDn
10 Bizarre Claims From the Scientology War on Psychiatry : https://youtu.be/6cg2jZ6iVUY
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.
My Critical Picture channel: https://goo.gl/zzKx7p
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2017-05-27, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
If we're all free-willed spiritual beings—L. Ron Hubbard called us, "thetans"—with god-like powers, including cause over matter, energy, space, and time, then why are we all so similar? Relative to the immense size of the universe and the diversity that must exist, everyone here on Earth is practically identical. And not just physically.
Wouldn't you think there'd be more variety amongst the sentient beings on this planet after trillions of years? Or did we all simply "decide" to play the "being human" game and surrender our most precious abilities?
Wouldn't you think that with over seven and half billion thetans inhabiting planet Earth, at least a few rebels would have mocked up another game, or at least changed up the rules a bit? Mocked up different bodies? Added a pair of wings to their terrestrial bodies? Chose to walk around on four legs instead of two? Decided on a better game than war?
Thanks again to Rasha for finding us the latest copy of Source magazine, the official propaganda organ of Scientology's worldwide "spiritual Mecca," the Flag Land Base in Clearwater, Florida.
This issue has some great stuff in it for Scientologists who are thinking about going to Flag for the most standardly delivered standard tech in the whole wide world, and we wanted to highlight some of it for you.
We'll start with the cover (above) which, gosh, suggests that "Going OT" is maybe still kind of important in Scientology?
Former Church of Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis has a new job, and with a surprising boss. In February, Davis went to work for James Packer, the Australian billionaire Tom Cruise lured into Scientology in late 2001, but who hasn't been involved in the church since 2006. Davis left his job as church mouthpiece in 2011, and testified in a deposition in December 2013 that he was on leave from Scientology's "Sea Org," but was still a member of the church itself.
Davis and his wife, fellow former Scientology spokesperson Jessica Feshbach, moved from Austin to Los Angeles a couple of years ago, and recently added a second daughter to their family. Packer, meanwhile, is engaged to singer Mariah Carey, but the press in Australia reported that their wedding has been put on hold "indefinitely."
Packer and Davis knew each other well during the time the Aussie billionaire dabbled in Scientology. Davis, the son of actress Anne Archer, was serving as a handler for Tom Cruise, who had brought Packer into the church after a disastrous year of business failures and other pressures. And now, a decade later, Packer has made Davis his "general manager North America" for the family investment firm, Consolidated Press Holdings. According to Tommy's LinkedIn profile, that means he'll be helping Packer with, for example, his investments funding movies through CPH's subsidiary, RatPac Entertainment.
Per Wickstrom has been working to open a drug and alcohol rehab center in Cheraw since 2003. Now the Life Solutions CEO has set his sights on the recently closed Marlboro Park Hospital as a possible location for his newest facility.
The facility would be his first in South Carolina and seventh in the nation. Wickstrom said the facility would be a "gigantic employment opportunity" for the area, as it would need a variety of medical professionals on staff
"If we can get the hospital to entertain an offer, we can open the place up and bring hundreds of jobs back in the industry," he said.
2015-05-27, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Denver ideal VM Van and Rockies fans parking lot
Remember, this is an "ideal" org.
They have SO LITTLE to talk about that they have resorted to announcing the big news that ONE PERSON PAID for their "Clear Package."
In a recent solicitation email to supporters, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) attacked Jewish philanthropist Nina Rosenwald for donating to "groups that exist to make people fear and hate Islam."
Referring to Ms. Rosenwald as "a Sears, Roebuck fortune heiress," the email cites Ms. Rosenwald's 2013 contributions totaling $1,057,000 to "Islamophobic groups." The self-described "civil rights and advocacy group" chose Ms. Rosenwald as an example of "the U.S. Islamophobia network [that] has people ready to throw buckets of money around to support anti-Muslim hate."
Seeking clarification of CAIR's reference to Ms. Rosenwald in its fundraising email, I posed the following questions to the organization in an email:
We've posted here a remarkable photograph of a man named John Coale, who was one of the few human beings in the stands at a notorious baseball game held recently in Baltimore, Maryland.
The game, played on April 28, was the first in Major League Baseball history that had no fans in attendance; ticket holders had been told not to come to the stadium while the city was still experiencing unrest during protests over the death of a man named Freddie Gray at the hands of Baltimore police. The Orioles jumped out to a 4-0 lead and eventually won the game 9-2. Journalists who covered it said it was one of the strangest events they've ever witnessed.
Coale managed to get a photograph of himself in the otherwise empty stands at Camden Yards because he's a member of the Maryland Stadium Authority's executive board. And that's where we recently sent a message to him, and confirmed with the Authority that our message did get to him.
2014-05-27, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Clive's "big release" event over the weekend, with vital news that everyone MUST hear, seems to be encapsulated in his email below. (I haven't received any report concerning attendance — it was difficult for any Special Correspondent to attend as when you are one of 3 people in the audience even OSA can narrow down who leaked it after 2 guesses).
I realized today that Clive reminds me of Mr. Bean, so in his honor, I included a visual to get things off on the right foot. If it's not fun it's not scientology....
The "big news" is that once they reach the 10,000 onto or through Solo NOTs, they will move on to the NEXT 10,000. Wow. That's a shock. I hope everyone was sitting down.
A federal lawsuit is filed in Oklahoma against the Church of Scientology and its Narconon drug rehabilitation centers. The lawsuit alleges the centers faked certifications of some of its counselors.
The lawsuit lists The Church of Scientology, Narconon International, and 80 other Narconon related defendants. It was filed on behalf of NAFC: The only organization to offer a Certified Chemical Dependency Counselor certification on a national level.
Yesterday, we mentioned that there's been something of a baby boom among former Scientology officials who left the church in a small wave in the last several years.
We thought we'd follow up on that by pointing out that leaving the Church of Scientology appears to be very beneficial for the people who accomplish it.
Not that it's easy. Marc Headley explained in his escape narrative Blown for Good that one of the ways the church controls 'Sea Org' workers — who sign billion-year contracts and work for pennies an hour — is by convincing them that if they leave the quasi-naval organization, they'd soon perish in a cruel outside world, bereft of skills or money. Fear of that outside world, or of being 'disconnected' by family members who remain in the church, can keep a person from leaving, or convince them to return even if they manage to get away.
Hector Xavier Monsegur, better known by his handle Sabu, received a sentence for time already served from a US District Court on Tuesday at the recommendation of prosecutors. Sabu had faced twelve felony counts which carried guidelines of 259 to 317 months imprisonment.
Among the attacks to which Sabu is said to have contributed were high-profile breaches at HBGary, Fox Television, PBS.org, and Nintendo. A specialist in code analysis and vulnerability detection, Monsegur operated as a "rooter" – someone who can gain root access to systems – in multiple attacks.
According to documents filed by New York Southern District Attorney Preet Bharara, the man once touted as the head of the LulzSec hacking crew was able to escape time behind bars for contributing what attorneys termed "extraordinarily valuable and productive" assistance to investigators in not only helping to track down other members of the group and gather evidence, but also in helping to prevent a number of additional attacks.
The Citizens Commission on Human Rights presented itself as a group working to help veterans avoid suicide and asked to put inserts in the program for the annual Memorial Day service Monday at a local cemetery.
What the group didn't say was that it has ties to the Church of Scientology, and the fliers reflected the church's opposition to psychiatry by attacking mental health care for veterans and suggesting the federal government is responsible for "psychiatric drugging gone rampant."
If you've been following our coverage of Scientology even tangentially, you know that one of the big stories to emerge in the last year is the surprising meltdown occurring in the church's drug rehab network, Narconon.
Four deaths since 2009 at Narconon Arrowhead, its flagship facility in Oklahoma, has resulted in multiple investigations and lawsuits. A devastating wrongful death lawsuit at its Georgia facility has produced criminal investigations of insurance and credit card fraud. And additional lawsuits and document leaks have revealed deceitful practices at centers in California, Michigan, and Florida.
Narconon's controversies have garnered a lot of problematic publicity for Scientology, including a series of damaging segments at NBC's Rock Center.
2013-05-27, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Ten reasons why you should not read Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior:
If you read it, you might get the idea that Scientology is something that one ought to graduate from. This could be particularly troubling for folk who can't seem to get over the reunion-of-the-folks-from-the-good-old-days mentality.
If you read it, you might get the idea that for Scientology to assert the idea some of its ideas are sacred and ought to remain hidden is the height of hypocrisy. This could be particularly difficult for those who cling to a sense of mystical superiority over mere mortals.
2013-05-27, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Here is some update information about the activities of the International Association of Scams. Now you too can get one of those neato IAS jackets, portfolios or messenger bags to make your outfit complete.
Note the "quote" that is used here without attribution: "The single most dauntless, defiant and resolute group this world has ever seen". Dear Leader is going to be raising hell about that...
It is interesting that orgs now have "targets" for the IAS and "targets" for "Ideal Org fundraising" — I wonder if they have any targets for auditors made or releases? Probably the only "target" that isnt money is number of people sent to Flag for GAT II training....
2012-05-27, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Folks, it looks like Scientology has finally cracked the math on expansion. We can soon expect Ideal Orgs opening up all over the world every few days. (On the other hand, it looks like spelling will continue to be an issue as the church continues its planetry goals.)
2012-05-27, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
News Flash. The real action in the Indie 500 occurred at Steve Hall's Scientology-cult.com. Brad Halsey roared out of the house!
I am gonna' try and keep this write-up short and sweet.
I was on staff for D.C. Fdn. from 1987 to 1997 (was on tech posts the entire time).
2011-05-27, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
In late 2003David Miscavige shared with Interntional Managers of Scientology (Watchdog Committee, International Management Exec Committee, and related staff) one of the endless supply of alleged unpublished L Ron Hubbard writings he alone possessed by virtue of his "tunnels" of LRH archives (see, https://markrathbun.wordpress.com/2011/04/01/miscaviges-new-shock-squads/)
Of course Miscavige did not produce any document. As was his wont and privilege, he simply said that the document existed. Miscavige was addressing a room full of people who had devoted their entire adult lives for the Scientology religion. They had for the most part forsaken family, friends, and all connection to the world outside the razor wire fenced Int Base compound. They had gone several weeks holed up at Int Headquarters, which consisted of makeshift offices constructed within the confines of a couple of double-wide trailers. They had very little sleep and irregular food over that several week period. They had been beaten and hazed mercilessly by Miscavige, then by others within the group who were encouraged to do the same to one another by Miscavige. Miscavige was whining and sneering about how these international managers were acting lifeless, unresponsive to his dictates, and acting in what he termed an apathetic fashion.
Miscavige told the assembled that he was sickened by their lethargy and berated them for "non-compliance" with his grandiose plans to take over the planet. Miscavige told the managers that L Ron Hubbard had written a prediction for how long planet earth had left; after which it would exist no more. He did not say what cataclysm would end life as we know it – but stated definitively L Ron Hubbard said the planet would be no more by a date certain.
The Jesuit novitiate in Sheridan, where young Jesuits were formed for decades, is now the Delphian School, a private boarding school that developed in the 1970s and uses study methods developed by L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church of Scientology.
The death of a 10-year-old Haitian earthquake survivor who recently fell off the roof of her Scientologist sponsor's home has been ruled an accident, a two-week investigation by Clearwater police detectives has found.
Third District Supervisor Jeff Stone (whose district includes Golden Era) and Riverside County District Attorney Rod Pacheco are both accused by protesters of colluding with a Golden Era attorney and the facility's public relations staff. Specifically, they question the drafting of Ordinance 884, a countywide residential picketing ban enacted in February 2009. The ordinance, passed by the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, is designed to keep any protester at least 30 feet away from the property line of a targeted residence. This prohibits Anonymous protests and demonstrations from taking place near Golden Era's staff dormitories.
Still, many Anons refused to stop protesting.
"Some of us felt it was important because of what information has come out about what goes on there," says protester Mark Abian of Tustin. "It's probably more extreme there than any other Scientology location."
Attempts by Anons to investigate the drafting of Ordinance 884 led them to public financial reports that show campaign contributions from Scientologists between 2007-2010 to various Riverside County supervisors and the DA's office. From 2007-2009, Fraser donated $600 to Jeff Stone's campaigns for supervisor. Stone also got $835 from Dufresne during those two years. That's in addition to contributions made by Dufresne to the four other members of the Board of Supervisors, Pacheco and Riverside County SheriffStanley Sniff.
The question: what makes a cult?
Some say that the word "cult" or "sect" is a pejorative label used to discriminate against "new religious movements."
However, it seems disingenuous to ignore the historical significance and modern day applications of the word cult or sect.
The San Diego chapter of the controversial Church of Scientology is moving its focus to La Mesa with the May 21 purchase of a Coleman College campus at 7380 Parkway Drive.
The Church of Scientology's San Diego offices are located at 1330 Fourth Ave. between A and Ash streets.
The church purchased the new site for $9.3 million. The two buildings, which are 53,400 square feet and 11,000 square feet, will be used as an educational campus, said the broker on the deal, Vince Provenzano with Commercial Properties.
2008-05-27, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Jason Beghe tried to get inside the Scientology building on E. 46th Street yesterday, but was turned away by three beefy security men who told him it was their job to keep him out.
The confrontation happened while a contingent of about 50 protesters from the anti-Scientology "Anonymous" movement cheered on Beghe from across the street. Members of Scientology itself didn't make an appearance during the late afternoon protest.
Beghe, who had tipped off the Anonymous activists that he'd be making the attempt to talk to Scientology officials, was pleased with the turnout, but disappointed that he didn't get to discuss Scientology with any church members.
In 2007, the Rosses twice tried to buy houses in Miramar Beach as a 30- or 28-bed "educational center" for patients who have already completed a 30-day stay at the Destin facility. Some Miramar residents objected to having a rehab center in their neighborhood, while some were concerned about Narconon's ties to Scientology.
Ross said the Destin home they want to open would be much smaller, holding about six adults who have been in Narconon's program for at least two months.
Members of the City Council say they've heard from Destin residents who object to Narconon's operations. Gallander said that City Land Use Attorney Scott Shirley has reviewed the law, and concluded that Narconon has the right to open a "small community residential home" as the city's codes define it, in a single family neighborhood.
Affidavit a former director of church of Scientology's intelligence agency reveals a sinister web of deception and fraud under the direction of both founder L. Ron Hubbard and current leader David Miscavige.
Scientology's cloak of religion was a maliciously calculated scheme which allowed organized Scientology to perpetrate and mask illegal activities without governmental interference or liability.
The ruling, issued Thursday, overturned a lower court's decision, and barring the unlikely chance of a rehearing or a quick reversal by the Supreme Court, the biography will be published in its original form next month. Michael Lee Hertzberg, who argued the case against the publisher, said the plaintiff had not decided whether to appeal.
The book is ""A Piece of Blue Sky: Scientology, Dianetics and L. Ron Hubbard Exposed,"" by Jon Atack. The author was a longtime member of the Church of Scientology. But he later turned against the church, contending that it was a dangerous cult, and his book is critical of Mr. Hubbard, a prolific author who died in 1986.
1988-05-27, Richard Haworth, Letters, St. Petersburg Times
I am responding to your May 18 article regarding the misuse of Clearwater Building Department computer codes.
What struck me as interesting is that, with all the people who were quoted or discussed in the article, the various building department officials, including the one who inadvertently gave away the secret computer codes, the only religious affiliation mentioned was that of Mr. Hoeffer and his association with the Church of Scientology.
Certainly this whole thing was an unfortunate occurrence, and, fortunately, no harm was done as the building in question evidently did pass a bona fide inspection.
But why is the religious affiliation of Mr. Hoeffer any more relevant than the church attended by Mr. Bob Zacker, who inadvertently gave away the secret codes, or the religion of Mr. Christiansen or Lt. Jack Dowling of the Clearwater Police Department or. .. ?
I have read your paper for many years and, by and large, find the information contained in your stories relevant. But what puzzles me about the building department computer codes story is why anyone's religious affiliation makes any difference.
Does it? Richard Haworth, public affairs Church of Scientology, Clearwater