2018-06-07, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
This week I discuss the new series on A&E called Cults & Extreme Beliefs, an investigation of these groups by host Elizabeth Vargas and featuring survivor stories from former members. I give some pros and cons of the show and some points I feel could improve the show greatly, while still recommending that everyone watch it.
II Corinthians 6:14-17: "Don't team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever?
Scientologists Joy Villa and Stacy Francis appeared this week at Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition's "Road to a Majority" event in Washington D.C. The event featured keynote speaker Vice President Mike Pence; several US Senators and Congresspeople; and other Christian Evangelical luminaries including Kellyanne Conway.
This creates quite a tangled mess for Ralph Reed as the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam is a part of the Church of Scientology whereas the Faith and Freedom Coalition are staunch supporters of Israel and the Jewish people, this as shown by Faith and Freedom's tweets:
Today we're continuing to bring you highlights from a stunning new document found by historian Chris Owen, a 30-page affidavit by the "World's first real Clear" — John McMaster. After our highlights, we're posting the entire document in text and pdf forms.
The Sea Org was billed by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard as a fraternal order of the most dedicated Scientologists, equipped with the most advanced training and ready to bring Scientology to a needy planet. What John McMaster and others found, however, was an oppressive environment in which arbitrary, sometimes sadistic punishments were routine.
McMaster had risen to prominence as one of Scientology's most effective spokesmen. When he joined the Sea Org in 1969, he was confronted with Hubbard's unrestrained authoritarianism and the harsh system of "Ethics" created to enforce Hubbard's will. He became one of the many Sea Org members who found the contradictions between Hubbard's humanitarian promises and the reality of life aboard Hubbard's motley fleet too much to bear. McMaster fled from the Sea Org and continued to believe in Scientology for a while, but rejected Hubbard's leadership and his Ethics system. He was expelled from Scientology in 1971.
It's Leah Remini's world and we're all just living in it. The King of Queens actress continues to surprise us after she defected from the Church of Scientology in 2013, wrote a bestseller about it in 2015 (Troublemaker: Surviving Scientology and Hollywood), and then rolled the dice last year with an A&E television series, Scientology and the Aftermath, that became a huge hit for the cable network.
Season two of her series — which she executive produces — is being filmed now, and Leah has also been reunited with her King of Queens co-star, Kevin James, on his CBS series, Kevin Can Wait, where she will become a regular cast member in the show's second season.
And now, as if that weren't enough, we received confirmation that Leah will be producing a Lifetime movie version of Troublemaker that we cannot imagine is going to make Tom Cruise and the gang very happy.
2017-06-07, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The disaster capitalists are at it again...
They are helping the victims of terror by giving them (not the terrorists) copies of the WTH. I am sure they will find the precept about not murdering someone really helpful.
Once again, the insanity of this is that THIS IS WHAT THE IAS CLAIMS IT IS FOR. You give us your money and we use it to help at every disaster all over the world.
Marty Rathbun released a Scientology-esque video yesterday discussing telling a different side of the Scientology story, the Anti-Scientology cult (ASC) and hinting at three people controlling the ASC. I wanted to continue my expose on Marty and reveal more secrets and details about Marty and his lying habit. I share my personal experiences working with Mr. Rathbun and consult a few Scientology experts who tell me about Marty's possible settlement arrangement and whether or not he is back in good graces with Scientology and David Miscavige. This is a video you do not want to miss!
| VIDEO LINKS |
Marty's Video "INTRO": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFJdO...
Florida's attorney general personally solicited a political contribution from Donald Trump around the same time her office deliberated joining an investigation of alleged fraud at Trump University and its affiliates.
The new disclosure from Attorney General Pam Bondi's spokesman to The Associated Press on Monday provides additional details around the unusual circumstances of Trump's $25,000 donation to Bondi.
We talked yesterday with David Keesling, the attorney who is representing the National Association of Forensic Counselors. In 2014 the NAFC filed a massive, complex, and highly technical lawsuit against the Church of Scientology, its leader David Miscavige, and 80 other defendants associated with Scientology's drug rehab network, Narconon.
The NAFC accused Scientology of misusing the NAFC's trademarks in a conspiracy aimed at making Narconon appear more legitimate than it actually is. NAFC president Karla Taylor initiated the lawsuit after she learned from former Narconon employees Lucas Catton and Eric Tenorio allegations that NAFC certifications for individual drug counselors were fraudulently obtained, and that Narconon's websites misleadingly made use of the NAFC's logo.
Some of the defendants in the original lawsuit, including Miscavige, have managed to get themselves dropped from the suit. But as we explained earlier, Keesling plans to make Miscavige a defendant again in a refiled version of the lawsuit in a new venue. (The original lawsuit was filed in Oklahoma, where Scientology's flagship rehab center, Narconon Arrowhead, is located. Keesling says Miscavige will be a defendant in a version of the lawsuit filed in Indiana, where the NAFC is located.)
It's no secret that Donald Trump has been using powerful tools of persuasion to swing voters to his side. It's also no secret that the Trump campaign has amassed a zealous group of supporters, many of whom have sworn their allegiance to him despite a string of embarrassing revelations, racist gaffes, and violent incidents.
If you're like most Americans, you probably have friends or family members who support Trump, and plan to vote for him in November. And if you've tried to convince these people to change their allegiance, you know that it's not easy. Arguing with Trump supporters generally doesn't help. Neither does shaming or insulting them.
Convincing a Trump supporter to back down from their views requires a tactical, professional approach. So I called a cult deprogramming expert, and asked him how to convince Trump supporters to change their minds.
2015-06-07, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The eight installment of my question-and-answer video show, where I take up questions subscribers and commenters have asked me in my videos and answer them as best I can. Questions taken up in this video:
(1) You have previously discussed 2 big catalysts for your departure from the Church in 2012: the intense push for fundraising and ideal orgs, and the fact that you were required to tell so many lies in the normal course of your daily life. Were there were any other points during your years in the Co$ that you seriously considered leaving, but ultimately chose to stick it out? Thanks! ??
(2) I must not invalidate a person's experience: alien close encounters, near death visions, etc. I can not use what they tell me because it lacks empirical proof. Could you talk about the social and cognitive aspects of this dissonance?
2015-06-07, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The answer to the question "How will the LA Org pattern boom Cambridge Org?" is VERY simple.
1. Miscavige is not sending 200 Sea Org members to Cambridge to work from 9am to midnite 7 days a week for free.
Karen de la Carriere and Jeffrey Augustine shared a fun piece of history with us, and we thought you might be interested in seeing it. It's a page from a 2005 copy of Impact magazine, the publication Scientology uses to name and congratulate its biggest donors.
In more recent years, the top donors are off the charts with huge amounts in the tens of millions of dollars, and they tend to be business types (especially the Duggan family) or Venezuelans, for some reason.
But in 2005, a couple of celebrities were listed among the biggest givers: Tom Cruise and Leah Remini.
2014-06-07, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
Hi. I'm Chris Shelton. I'm a writer, blogger and video producer. I grew up in the Church of Scientology and worked for the organization for 25 years.
People call Scientology a cult. And they're right. It is a cult.
But the last people who are ever going to realize that, are the Scientologists.
This is my parody of the "I am a Scientologist" campaign which the Church of Scientology has run in the past to try to convince people that Scientologists are regular people with totally normal beliefs just like everyone else.
I have many more videos and written articles on my blog about Scientology and critical thinking, at http://mncriticalthinking.com. Check it out.
This video was also inspired by Brian Keith Dalton ("Mr Diety") and his parody of the I Am a Mormon campaign. His video of this is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfkHJ... and I got his ok to style my video after his before producing this.
"On one occasion, a Narconon counselor explained that she wanted to give Ben a touch assist on his back. Intead of touching his back, however, the counselor grabbed his crotch."
Ben decided to leave, but found that Narconon's staff wouldn't let him go. After he persisted, they took him to a homeless shelter in Fort Collins, "without any money or [Levy's] credit cards." Levy then had to make his way home to Basalt, Colorado, which was hours away.
2014-06-07, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This is a classic example of the over-the-top insanity that is born and nurtured inside the bubble.
If this woman said "I am feeling better and more able to confront life" everyone (myself included) would simply wish her well. There may still be some who think she is crazy for announcing any "wins" from scientology, but generally normal people would be happy for her to be finding herself in a better place in life.
But to assert nutty stuff like she does is only proof that she is simply pandering to the captive audience who all know what she is doing and nod their heads in agreement, not because they believe her, but because they do the same thing.
2013-06-07, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Here are a couple of recent emails sent out by what can only be classified as rumor-mongers extraordinaire.
I am posting them as a matter of interest and to comment on a few things within the confusion bombs they dropped on their "selectees."
My of my, with official rumor spreaders like this, who needs SPs to create confusion?
Nepal Police is collaborating with NARCONON Nepal, hoping to mobilize some 60,000 people in the anti-drug awareness campaign within six months, according to Thursday's Republica report.
Nepal Police announced the start of the campaign through a press conference on Wednesday. Both sides tried to assert the relevance of the campaign and highlighted its goals. They however, did not give any details about how the campaign would be effective in grassroot levels.
"Whenever Manson left the Spahn Ranch, he left Bruce Davis in charge," Kay said. "Manson was also very interested in Scientology, and he sent Bruce Davis to London to study at the Scientology headquarters so he could come back and brief Manson on all he had learned there."
Although Davis was later kicked out of Scientology for his drug use, he returned to California in time to take part in the Family's infamous crime spree that terrorized Southern California through the summer of 1969, Kay said.
Day 3 (May 27): a Paris court heard how a company director's massive spending on Scientology put his business at risk.
The court had been due to hear from Pierre Auffret, a businessman who had spent more than a million francs of his company's money on Scientology training.
In the end, however, he wrote to inform the court that he would not be able to attend, so Judge Château set out the details of his story.
BROOKSVILLE — Teena Fager used to enjoy her back yard, but that was before the new neighbors moved in behind her.
What really put her off was the night earlier this year when she heard yelling coming from the property along her back lot line.
"It was some guy," she said. "It was like someone being tortured."
"We've only blocked the work sites; they can edit from their laptops, their kid's computer at home," said Roger Davies, the committee member who wrote the exhaustive report after more than five months of fact-gathering and deliberation. (The material in the case file was half a megabyte of data, or more than 400 pages printed out, he said.)
The Association for Prosperity and Security in the Middle East has recently distributed an email to directors of summer camps in Israel, offering a range of activities free of charge.
An inquiry by Ynet revealed that the messages and materials offered in the email originated from the Church of Scientology, whose activities in schools have previously been prohibited by the Education Ministry.
The church, which has been criticized for aggressive canvassing in Ybor City, met with its neighbors this week and discussed that very question.
After the meeting, Ybor civic leader Vince Pardo was pleased. The Scientologists, he said, had agreed to dispatch no more than two people at a time to recruit new members from the streets of Ybor.
But church spokeswoman Ana Tirabassi didn't remember it that way. She said the church didn't limit itself to a number but simply agreed not to overwhelm the neighborhood.
2002-06-07, William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
He's known to be pathologically shy of the press but there was no hint of this as he smiled the killer smile and gregariously shook hands around the table. Clearly, no one here was about to ask him about Scientology, the lawsuits against his various defamers or the breakup with Nicole.
Asked if he's ever played a character he'd like to revisit, Travolta paused for several moments before answering, 'No.'"
The answer is an interesting one given the fact that he vowed to do a sequel to the box-office bomb "Battlefield Earth" when he was promoting the film based on L. Ron Hubbard's best-selling novel last year. It is worth noting that Hubbard founded the Church of Scientology, of which Travolta is a devout member.
Travolta is still defending the movie despite the terrible reviews both he and the film received, stating that it has earned $100 million since being released almost a year ago. "It's doing fantastic (on video and overseas)," he adds.
The unrepentant Scientology foe was arrested in a parking lot in Oakville by Halton regional police and detectives from the Toronto fugitive squad a few days ago, in a scene that, to hear a friend who was with him tell it, was right out of America's Most Wanted.
The German government decided yesterday to put the Church of Scientology under nationwide surveillance by counterintelligence agents because it contends the church is a threat to democracy, Interior Minister Manfred Kanther said. He refused to say exactly how the church's 30,000 German members would be monitored.
NEWKIRK - An intertribal group has turned over management of a former Indian school and surrounding land to the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Four of the five tribes of the Chilocco Development Authority have passed resolutions to end the organization. The group manages the former Chilocco Indian School seven miles north of Newkirk.
Julia Langan, superintendent of the BIA's Pawnee agency, said in a letter to tribal officials that the authority will be dissolved when it turns over records and signs over the lease with its single tenant.