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
(Laura DeCrescenzo and Scientology attorney Bert Deixler)
Yesterday in Los Angeles, a state court judge denied the Church of Scientology's latest attempt to delay a lawsuit alleging forced abortion and other abuses in the Sea Organization that has already taken nine years to reach trial, which is scheduled for August.
Laura DeCrescenzo was only 12 years old when she joined Scientology's inner hardcore, signing a billion-year Sea Org contract and going to work more than 90 hours a week for almost no pay. When she turned 13, she was moved to the adult schedule — 112 hours a week. When she was 17, she alleges, she was coerced into having an abortion in order to keep working around the clock — which was church policy at the time.
2018-06-09, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
What are they afraid of by never including anyone's name?
I'll tell you:
Either the person does not really exist, and this is just made up copy like testimonials for the local greasy spoon written by the owner, his wife and family members, or
As we write this, Marty Rathbun has put out three segments of a video that he shot recently with professional help. He says in these videos that he is going to expose the "anti-Scientology cult" that uses Lawrence Wright's book Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief as its "bible."
It's truly fascinating, we're sure. But as Rathbun emerges after months of silence, he's avoiding a particularly important question that we'd like to see him answer.
We're letting Dani Lemberger himself ask that question, from the old harbor at Caesarea, the Roman port built by Herod the Great which today is a charming place in Israel to have a glass of wine and catch up with old friends. Here's Dani's question, asked in our very unprofessional, not shot by Golden Era Productions video. (Sorry for the wind noise.)
2016-06-09, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
Attending the Reason Rally this past weekend was an amazing experience and educational in ways that went far beyond what I think the organizers intended. I've been quite angered over the past couple of weeks as some things have started coming to light for me which I would like to start to share with you. None of what I'm about to say is meant to tarnish or paint any broad group of people or activists with the hate brush or say that I'm in any way against equal rights for everyone. I think I've made it pretty clear on my channel so far that I am an ardent supporter of anyone being who and what they want to be so long as that doesn't harm anyone else or infringe on basic human rights for everyone.
Being a critical thinker and doing my best to apply those principles to my life, I've tried to keep an open mind about things, especially those that I am not an expert in. I am someone who admittedly led a cloistered life until just a few years ago since I lived in the bubble world of Scientology's Sea Organization. I spent quite a bit of time off the beaten path of the world's news and social internet world.
One of the many unexpected and unpredictable consequences of coming out of that world was a kind of culture shock and reality adjustment that comes with immersing oneself in social media. In a way, this has its advantages because I have had the viewpoint of a "stranger in a strange land" - someone who gets to see a lot of this for the first time and wonder just what the hell it's all about.
(Dani and Tami Lemberger)
July 2012 was one of the craziest months in our 20-year history of watching and writing about the Church of Scientology. The media was in a frenzy because, at the end of June, Katie Holmes had amputated her ties to Tom Cruise in a highly calculated surgical strike. But so much else happened then. We broke the news that month that Ron Miscavige had escaped from his son's organization. (He had actually left in March, but it had taken a few months for the news to get to us, and now his escape is the subject of Ron's bestselling book, Ruthless.) We also reacted to the tragic death at 27 of Alexander Jentzsch, son to Karen de la Carriere, who had been cut out of her son's life on orders from the church.
But with that all going on, perhaps our favorite story from July 2012 was the lengthy piece we wrote about the remarkable Dani Lemberger, his wife Tami, and their Scientology mission in Haifa, Israel that had dared to break away and become independent from David Miscavige and the official church.
La Commission des affaires municipales de l'Ontario rejette le projet de centre de désintoxication de l'Église de scientologie à Milton, en banlieue de Toronto.
Trois ans après la fermeture par la santé publique de son centre à Trois-Rivières, l'Église, connue pour des fidèles comme Tom Cruise et John Travolta, voulait transformer une résidence unifamiliale d'un secteur rural de Milton en établissement de traitement pour toxicomanes.
Toutefois, la Commission ontarienne des affaires municipales a refusé sa demande de changement de zonage, concluant que le projet ne respectait pas les réglementations municipale et provinciale qui limitent l'usage du site à des fins agricoles. La maison en question fait partie de la ceinture verte provinciale et n'est pas reliée au réseau d'eau et d'égout municipal.
2015-06-09, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
You hear David "Let Him Die" Miscavige prattle on in his endless shermanspeak about how popular scientology is and the "massive demand from the public for the answers only we can provide."
Much ado has been made by him about the amazing statistics of "hits" on the internet and "visitors" to the the scientology.org site, "3.1428 people every 1.7 seconds think about clicking on one of our fair and balanced videos" blah blah blah....
But of course, there is no evidence to support any of his bold assertions, and everyone not in his thrall laughs, shakes their head and goes on with life slightly amused by the idiocy of it all.
2015-06-09, Caroline Sparks, Courthouse News Service
A Florida couple failed to convince the Florida Supreme Court to overturn a decision allowing the Church of Scientology to arbitrate a dispute with them over how their donations were spent.
Maria Del Rocio Burgos Garcia and Luis A. Garcia Saz sued the church in January 2013, claiming it tricked them into giving the organization hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund a building project known as the "Super Power Project."
The Garcias claimed their donations were misspent. The Garcias also alleged that the church took money from them for counseling sessions, training, and accommodations which they were never provided. The church refused to issue refunds to the Garcias, according to the original complaint.
Over the last few months, we've been publishing documents that a researcher has been able to pry out of the Food and Drug Administration regarding its 1960s investigation of L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology.
Using the MuckRock website, researcher R.M. Seibert has tracked down some real gems for us, including the first glimpse of Hubbard's high school grades. (They weren't good.)
In the late 1950s, the FDA became suspicious about health claims being made about the Scientology E-meter. (Back then, the FDA actually took medical quacks more seriously. Now they get shows on TV.) So the agency infiltrated the DC Scientology church and then raided it in January 1963, seizing copies of the machines. The FDA then spent several years in litigation with the church until a 1971 settlement. During that time, the agency continued to investigate all aspects of Hubbard's life and looked for witnesses they might call in court.
2014-06-09, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Seems the wheels have come off in Austin (not only....). You may recall I happened to be in Austin for the last big event they held. That one was the "Victory Grand Slam Event." And now this. I wonder if they even knew the XGames were in Austin over the past weekend — 150,000 showed up to watch and the opening event was a mile away in front of the Texas State Capitol. Almost begging to ask if anyone is interested? But here is the real story. Their last massive fundraiser and "milestone announcement" (funny these milestones seem to happen at every event) was in fact a bomb. And here is the their OWN documentation to prove that AUSTIN IS RAISING NO MONEY.
Over the years, we've been pretty good at staying away from family law stories. Why? Because in family court, everyone lies. The stakes are just too high. It makes reporting on such cases mostly an exercise in futility.
For that reason, we've been loathe to write anything about the sad custody battle over Casey Kasem, 82, the golden-voiced American Top 40 deejay who retired in 2009 and now suffers from a common form of dementia that has left him unable to speak.
You no doubt have heard that a battle has broken out between Kasem's wife of 34 years, Jean, and the children of Kasem's first marriage, most prominently his daughter Kerri Kasem.
2013-06-09, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Excerpted from "The Paranoid Style in American Politics", a 1964 essay by Richard J. Hofstadter:
"The paranoid spokesman, sees the fate of conspiracy in apocalyptic terms — he traffics in the birth and death of whole worlds, whole political orders, whole systems of human values. He is always manning the barricades of civilization... he does not see social conflict as something to be mediated and compromised, in the manner of the working politician. Since what is at stake is always a conflict between absolute good and absolute evil, what is necessary is not compromise but the will to fight things out to a finish. Since the enemy is thought of as being totally evil and totally unappeasable, he must be totally eliminated — if not from the world, at least from the theatre of operations to which the paranoid directs his attention. This demand for total triumph leads to the formulation of hopelessly unrealistic goals, and since these goals are not even remotely attainable, failure constantly heightens the paranoid's sense of frustration. Even partial success leaves him with the same feeling of powerlessness with which he began, and this in turn only strengthens his awareness of the vast and terrifying quality of the enemy he opposes.
"The enemy is clearly delineated: he is a perfect model of malice, a kind of amoral superman — sinister, ubiquitous, powerful, cruel, sensual, luxury-loving. Unlike the rest of us, the enemy is not caught in the toils of the vast mechanism of history, himself a victim of his past, his desires, his limitations. He wills, indeed, he manufactures, the mechanism of history, or tries to deflect the normal course of history in an evil way. He makes crises, starts runs on banks, causes depressions, manufactures disasters, and then enjoys and profits from the misery he has produced. The paranoid's interpretation of history is distinctly personal: decisive events are not taken as part of the stream of history, but as the consequences of someone's will. Very often, the enemy is held to possess some especially effective source of power: he controls the press; he has unlimited funds; he has a new secret for influencing the mind (brainwashing); he has a special technique for seduction (the Catholic confessional).
2013-06-09, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The Golden Age of "Suppressive Persons"
For many years now the Church of Scientology has been declaring people as "suppressive" as control mechanism in a losing battle to limit questioning and criticism of the David Miscagive's Brave New Scientology World. (See Disconnection Scientology's Nasty Secret to understand this practice)
The impetus for this survey was the response to a series of postings on the subject of Disconnection and particularly one concerning "SP Declares" . I wondered what the bigger picture looked like. I know my own experience and that of others I had read about or spoken to, but I was curious just what is this new breed of SP?
Back in March, we had fun talking with historian Jon Atack about L. Ron Hubbard's 1977 screenplay, Revolt in the Stars. At the time he wrote it, Hubbard was hiding out in Nevada after the FBI had raided Scientology in Los Angeles and Washington. We figure it must have irked him that Star Wars was raking in the big cash while being an homage to the throwback space opera that had once been Hubbard's bread and butter. How could he not want to cash in?
Anyway, when we discussed the screenplay earlier, the only version of it we could find on line was in treatment form, not a proper script.
Well, now we've managed to get our hands on the full screenplay itself (that's the title page to the right), and it's a real hoot.
Update: April 2012
Charges dropped by the prosecutors. For more information see Tony Ortega's round-up at Village Voice.
A high-profile Scientologist has appeared in an Australian court on a charge of perverting the course of justice.
Kirstie Alley needs to dance her way on over to a checkbook -- she owes more than $41,000 to Pinellas County.
Records show the 'Cheers' star hasn't paid last year's property tax bill on her $1.73-million mansion in Clearwater. Now there are late fees, interest, and penalties.
2011-06-09, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Koresh, left, to be played by Ribisi So I'm late to this story, but I only found out recently that Giovanni Ribisi is portraying David Koresh in a movie about the 1993Waco raid that is scheduled to come out later this year. (The movie will also reportedly star Adrien Brody, Kurt Russell, John Leguizamo, and Sharon Stone, according to imdb.com.)
I'm having deja vu on all kinds of levels over this nugget of news, and the reason is I believe I may have been the first, way back in 1995, to prove a connection between Scientology and Koresh's Branch Davidians in a story I wrote for the Phoenix New Times.
And now, Ribisi, a third-generation Scientologist, will be portraying Koresh on the big screen.
2011-06-09, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Rapunzel got the knots out of her hair, braided it and is climbing out of the tower window.....
I am here = Crime no 1.
I have duplicated what has been, is happening in the Cof$ and the history of Scientology = Crime no 2.
THE Church of Scientology is set to open its new multi-million pound Midland headquarters in Moseley within weeks.
The well-known Grade II-listed Pitmaston building, in Moor Green Lane, was snapped up by the church for £4.25 million two years ago.
The course, owned by the Church of Scientology, is available free of charge for nonprofit groups to use for fundraising events.
"We don't charge them. That's our way of contributing to the community," said Muriel Dufresne, Golden Era Golf Course Community Center's community affairs director.
"We made over $35,000 this golf season for different local charities," she said. Any nonprofit group can schedule a golf tournament at the course.
After listening to concerned neighbors for more than an hour Tuesday, the Hernando County Commission squashed plans to expand a drug rehabilitation center in Spring Hill off Cessna Drive.
Toucan Partners LLC, a firm with ties to the Church of Scientology, owns the 3-acre site where the facility is located.
The Church of Scientology is on trial in Paris for organised fraud. Six individuals and two organisations have been charged and if they are found guilty the Church may well have to wind up some or all of its activities in France.
This trial had been talked about for months here as being a make-or-break affair for Scientology and it began last Monday. The two organisations being tried are the Spiritual Association of the Church of Scientology and the Scientology library, SEL. The individuals are all members of the Church of Scientology.
Several people brought the case to court, all of them filing complaints for alleged fraud and or mental and emotional abuse. They allege that the Church put heavy psychological pressure on them to invest thousands of euros in Scientology products and services.
2008-06-09, Tom O'Connell, New Mexico Business Weekly
Albuquerque's land use hearing officer has 10 days to present his recommendation to the City Council for the special zoning of a church for the Church of Scientology in Downtown.
In a public appeal of a code compliance official's declaratory ruling on churches in the City Council Committee room this morning, Church of Scientology of New Mexico attorney David Campbell told Land Use Hearing Officer Steven Chavez that the Downtown 2010 Sector Plan is not allowed, per state and federal law, to make a distinction between religious and secular uses.
Scientology denies that they teach abut Xenu (a.k.a. Xemu). Here's proof they do, right from L. Ron Hubbard's mouth. By the way, to learn about Xenu/Xemu in scientology would cost you hundeds of thousands of dollars! You can get to tthe entire 90 minute lecture here: http://tinyurl.com/5lh898
2007-06-09, James Donaghy, The Guide, The Guardian
It's a busy time to be a publicity officer for the Church of Scientology. First the controversy caused by the Panorama programme with the John Sweeney meltdown and now the creeping unease about My Name Is Earl. The Scientology-Earl connection begins with Earl himself - actor Jason Lee is a Scientologist, as is show creator Greg Garcia and Ethan Suplee who plays Earl's slow-reader brother Randy. So far, so creepy. But there has also been a guest appearance from Juliette Lewis, Suplee's sister-in-law and a practising Scientologist. Also down with the Church is Giovanni Ribisi, who plays recurring character Ralph Mariano. Church membership beats the crap out of having a union card and relevant experience, some might suggest.
SAN FRANCISCO, June 9 (UPI) -- A widely used U.S. school anti-drug course includes all Scientology and Dianetics Handbook basics, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Wednesday.
Scientology correspondence obtained by the Chronicle on the free anti-drug program called Narconon Drug Prevention and Education said it teaches concepts directly taken from the Church of Scientology, including some medical theories many addiction experts describe as "irresponsible."
The Chronicle said Narconon's anti-drug instruction rests on key church concepts, such as the body stores all kinds of toxins indefinitely in fat that creates havoc on the mind until "sweated out."
2004-06-09, Nanette Asimov, San Francisco Chronicle
A popular anti-drug program provided free to schools in San Francisco and elsewhere teaches concepts straight out of the Church of Scientology, including medical theories that some addiction experts described as "irresponsible" and "pseudoscience."
2004-06-09, Nanette Asimov, San Francisco Chronicle
The program's instructors tell kids that drugs are poison. But here are some other things they tell kids about addiction, which the medical experts interviewed by The Chronicle rejected as not scientifically based:
While constant conflict between Clearwater officials and Scientology would serve no good purpose, there are hazards in becoming too accepting, including failing to represent the majority public view of the church and forgetting that skepticism is warranted when it comes to Scientology.
Some Tampa Bay area public figures who lately have sounded like supporters and defenders of the church - including Pinellas County Commissioner Susan Latvala and political consultant Mary Repper - should know of those hazards. So should Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio, who accepted campaign support from Scientologists earlier this year and recently had dinner with actor Tom Cruise, a celebrity Scientologist, at Repper's house.
The Church of Scientology agreed yesterday to pay £55,000 libel damages to a former member the church accused of waging a "hate campaign" against it.
The controversial church, founded in the early 1950s by the late science fiction writer L Ron Hubbard, apologised at the high court in London for publishing a defamatory leaflet about Bonnie Woods, an American who became a Scientologist in the 1970s but left the church in 1982.