Our thanks to the readers who wished Jon Atack a happy birthday recently, because it inspired him to check in with us...
Thanks to all for the good wishes on my birthday! It was most gratifying to read so many kind comments.
I've been away from the Bunker for far too long, but have not been idle in my absence: I was working on the creation of the Open Minds Foundation. I have long been concerned that there is very little preventative information out there, so gave four years to putting that vital material online for all to see.
Wednesday morning saw the last bit of direct testimony from investigator Richard Guerci. He testified that the total charges to Pam Cafritz's credit card were approximately $135,000.
In cross-examination, Keith Raniere's attorney Marc Agnifilo displayed Pam's will. The will showed that not only was Keith executor of the estate, he was also the sole beneficiary. In direct testimony, after a certain point, card records showed purchases of baby-related items. It was not said in court, but presumably these were for the baby Keith fathered with Mariana. Agnifilo showed charges to Pam's card, before her death, to purchase plane tickets for Mariana. There were also plane tickets purchased for Keith, before Pam's death. Keith, Mariana, and Pam lived in the same house. There were utility bill payments on the card both before and after Pam's death.
Keith had signed checks from Pam's bank account. Agnifilo asked if the bank had rejected any of these checks. The agent said, not to his knowledge. Did Keith ever sign Pam's name on a check? Gureci: Not to my knowledge.
A staff member of the Church of Scientology working in Quebec City in December 2017 was paid just under $70 for what appears to be nearly 39 hours of work, according to documents obtained by Radio-Canada's Enquête investigative news program from a confidential source.
That's less than $2 an hour — and far less than the minimum wage, which was $11.25 per hour at the time in Quebec.
The minimum wage in the province rose to $12 an hour on May 1.
But the organization says its employees are "religious workers."
2018-06-13, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Scientology, neatly summarized in poster form.
The world of scientology revolves around money. Scientology organizations rape and pillage to get their hands on every dollar possible. Individual scientologists constantly struggle to hang onto enough that is not sucked into the religious vacuum cleaner to be able to live.
Then a few of the money-worshippers actually make THEIR money by convincing other scientologists to pay them for telling them how to make enough money to survive.
Scientology Sea Org member Cathy Bernardini
Scientology leader David Miscavige has panicked with the approach of Season 3 of Leah Remini's Emmy-winning program Scientology and the Aftermath. Eager to discredit the show, Miscavige has ordered an all-out Fair Game attack against Mike Rinder. Miscavige has even resorted to calling in Kirstie Alley for help.
Spearheaded by Mike's daughter Taryn, this Fair Game campaign has been exposed as a Scientology social media fraud held together by a tissue of lies. Of course, this latest Scientology pack of lies is paid for with tax-exempt dollars courtesy of Scientology's IRS 501(c)3 tax exemption. Please help by signing our petition asking the IRS to open an investigation into revoking Scientology's tax exemption for fraud, malfeasance, and material misrepresentation of facts.
(Scientology's latest patsies, Kevin Parker and Eric Adams)
Way back in 2013, we first told you about how easily a couple of sharp Scientology operators, Queens dentist Bernard Fialkoff and his daughter Meghan, were finding it to infiltrate New York City's schools with Scientology propaganda, and with the willing participation of the NYPD and local gladhanding politicians.
At that point, they had convinced then-city councilman Dan Halloran to celebrate them with a proclamation honoring the Scientology front group they run, a regional chapter of the Foundation for a Drug-Free World.
TPUSA does the same thing, only with memes. It has its own collegiate network, its own style, and its own multimillion-dollar endowment. But like its leader Kirk, the organization is more aggressive and certainly more controversial. When the rest of the conservative movement watched Kanye West's ideological conversion from afar, for instance, Kirk and TPUSA spokesperson, Candace Owens, rushed to Los Angeles to counsel the superstar in person.
Decisions like that have led to accusations that Kirk cares more about his cult of personality than conservatism. According to the YAF memo "his focus has always been on building his own brand, not strengthening the conservative movement."
Citing multiple news stories, the memo accuses Kirk of "making blatantly false claims about TPUSA's reach," of boosting membership "with racist and Nazi sympathizers," and of sponsoring "humiliating" events on college campuses.
(When is the best time to spring 'Dianetics' during your date at Pizza Hut?)
Over at Facebook in a private group, former Scientologist Neil Sarfati posted some very fun images from a flyer dated 1975 which feature him in a number of images. What we especially like about them is that they were photos shot by L. Ron Hubbard himself, and give us a good idea of how Hubbard wanted to market Scientology.
Neil was in Scientology from 1968 to 1976, and during that time he had some pretty amazing experiences with Hubbard as a member of the Apollo Stars, a jazz ensemble that recorded a single album with Hubbard's participation. Last year, Neil talked about the Apollo Stars experience for a very good piece about the band and its brief heyday.
Louis Theroux, the British broadcaster behind My Scientology Movie, a documentary prying into the secretive nature of the church and numerous allegations of abuse, has discussed his ongoing interactions with the organization a year after making the film.
Speaking during a Q&A at the Sheffield Doc/Fest over the weekend, the BBC journalist described how police officers came to his door in the U.K. following a call by the local branch of the church who said Scientology representatives were "worried you might get hurt."
"They said someone had seen your film and they really didn't like it and had phoned [the Church of Scientology] with a threat," he told the audience, adding "something about that really doesn't make sense." The exact nature of the threat wasn't clear.
2016-06-13, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
We have seen these crowing posters from Tampa before. But I haven't noticed this statement previously: We were the First and only Org on the planet to have over 60 Clears and OTs on staff.
Stop to think about this statement for a minute.
Only ONE org (which is both a Day and Foundation as they mention in 5 above) has 60 Clears and above on staff.
Recently, we told you that California pharmaceuticals entrepreneur Bob Duggan — a man currently worth $2.3 billion — had, through an agent, complained to Google about a story we wrote about him.
Duggan didn't complain directly to us, but then he must have known that the facts in the story we wrote are rock solid. We relied on first-hand accounts, court records, and photographic evidence to show that in 2013, at the same time that Duggan and his wife, Trish, were propping up failing Scientology facilities in South Africa with large donations, two of their six adopted children suddenly showed up in that country, and were being cared for by South African Scientology families.
It suggested a bizarre trade deal — Duggan largesse saved Scientology buildings while two of their children were taken off their hands — and yet, despite those bizarre allegations, everything about the story was nailed down tighter than John Travolta's hairpiece.
2015-06-13, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
I was in Scientology for 27 years, 6 years of that time as a Sea Org member in the LA area. I was posted at USLO, ASHOD, The Excalibur, Pac Estates, FOLOWUS, and the Pac RPF. I routed out of the SO from the RPF in 1978.
2014-06-13, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Rona has her knickers in a twist because the NUMBER ONE ORG IN THE WORLD HAD 2 PURIF/SRD STARTS IN ONE DAY, and they, the mighty ideal org of Pasadena had zero.
The astonishing fact that TWO STARTS in a day puts you on top of the world of Scientology seems completely lost on Rona (or anyone else inside the bubble for that matter). To justify these ridiculous buildings they are in they should have 10 starts every day. at that order of magnitude they MIGHT make 50 Clears a week if they did EVERYTHING right. Even then its only 2500 Clears a year.... And that would possibly make them viable. It would also make them bigger than the FSO, and STILL not even scratching the surface on "clearing their zone."
And not surprisingly, this is apparently all that anyone is interested in. Purif and SRD starts... This is par for the course. When GAG was released it was all GAG. Same with Basics. And Congresses. And ACCs. And Ron Mags. But even before that it was KTL. It was Grades. LOC. PTS/SP. You can run through the list, scientology exists on fads. "The latest" is the greatest and there is nothing more important. Until the next "latest" comes along.
Marc and Claire Headley are two of the most well known people to leave the Church of Scientology in the last decade. Marc's 2009 book, Blown for Good, is an exciting escape narrative of their time working at Scientology's "Gold Base," the secretive International Headquarters of the church in the California desert.
When Marc was growing up in the church, he was friends with Giovanni Ribisi, another child of Scientologists who lived in Los Angeles. We learned about this last night after we called up Marc to tell him we had heard Ribisi interviewed by comedian Marc Maron, during which the Avatar actor had said some surprising things about Scientology. We asked Marc Headley to give us his thoughts on the interview, and to tell us about his memories of Ribisi...
I like both of these guys. I grew up with Giovanni Ribisi — or "Vonni," as we used to call him when we were kids. Vonni and I both went to Delphi, which is a Scientology school, and I used to hang out at his house on occasion. He lived on Cumpston St in North Hollywood, right around the corner from Mrs. Gooches Market. They had a pool and we would hang out and skateboard and do all that sort of kid stuff.
2013-06-13, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Dani has earned the right to be heard. He and his wife Tami have put their money where their mouth is with their Dror Center. I have a great deal of respect for their demonstrated personal integrity. In addition to being stand up people, they are a lot of fun to be around. Mike Rinder
Ron's Single Biggest Mistake
I got into Scientology at the COSMOD Mission, San Francisco, in April 1980. Didn't take me long to become an avid Scientologist. I had huge wins on realizing I am an immortal spirit and on going exterior on TR0. I then did the NED Auditor Course, audited another student and then knew that this is the Tech to set man free. I knew we had, in Scientology, at long last, the road to individual freedom. A Cleared Planet became my goal.
2013-06-13, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
The following is a 1964 analysis of what had happened to religions over the millennia. Interesting how it was happening in real time, first generation, to Scientology while the words were being typed. It continues to play out in real time in the 'independent field' as evidenced by the commentary - and omission thereof - on this blog. If you find yourself not to be one of the sheep described (or no longer wanting to be one), you might be interested in investigating more deeply how this applies to Scientology, by reading Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior.
From Abraham H. Maslow's Religion, Values, and Peak Experiences :
When all that could be called 'religious' (naturalistically as well as supernaturalistically) was cut away from science, from knowledge, from further discovery, from the possibility of skeptical investigation, from confirming and discomfirming, and, therefore, from the possibility of purifying and improving, such a dichotomized religion was doomed. It tended to claim that the founding revelation was complete, perfect, final, and eternal. It had the truth, the whole truth, and had nothing more to learn, thereby being pushed into the position that has destoryed so many churches, of resisting change, of being only conservative, of being anti-intellectual and anti-scientific, of making piety and obedience exclusive of skeptical intellectuality — in effect, of contradicting naturalistic truth.
Welcome to our ongoing project, where we blog a 1950 first edition of Scientology's bible, Dianetics, with the help of ex-Scientologist, lawyer, and author Vance Woodward. Go here for the first post in the series.
Vance, as we near the latter stages of this book, we're still plowing through this lengthy chapter, "Mechanisms and Aspects of Therapy."
As we said last week, Hubbard tends to get into a groove as he describes dianetic techniques for troublesome engrams, which come in flavors like "denyers," "holders," "bouncers," and "groupers."
Scientology's insistence that Tory Christman give up her epilepsy medication almost killed her, she says.
Tory "Magoo" Christman has first-hand experience of Scientology's off-hand attitude to epilepsy: it almost killed her. Tory 'Magoo' Christman
Soon after joining the movement in 1969 Christman - better known online as Tory Magoo - signed the billion-year contract to join its elite cadre the Sea Organization.1 The Sea Org is made up of Scientology's most dedicated - and most ruthlessly exploited - members.
The Sun today issued an apology that combines aliens, Scientology and British tabloid wit to deliver a classic of the genre:
In an article on Saturday headlined 'Flying saucers over British Scientology HQ', we stated "two flat silver discs" were seen "above the Church of Scientology HQ".
Following a letter from lawyers for the Church, we apologise to any alien lifeforms for linking them to Scientologists.
2013-06-13, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
OMG - will I be struck by lightning for speaking his name?
The latest news from behind Miscavige's leaky dike. Usual typos and all.
Note, you had better get there early (if the doors open at 8 why get there before 8???)
Yuliya Keaton tells us that she had lost her three children — ages 9, 11, and 13 — to foster care and felt helpless and depressed. She figured she would never get them back, and didn't want to just sit around the house. She wanted to do something meaningful.
So she decided to infiltrate the Church of Scientology.
Yesterday, Keaton put a series of five short videos on YouTube explaining her spy mission and what happened once she was caught. This morning, we called her up to ask her some things she didn't address in those video segments.
2012-06-13, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Fagen One of the reasons Debbie Cook's infamous
New Year's Eve e-mail had such a huge effect was that it provided a look from inside at what was tearing apart the Church of Scientology.
Cook's e-mail spelled out in high relief what ex-Scientologists had been telling us were the issues causing so many longtime, dedicated church members to flee the organization. It had nothing to do with Xenu, the jokes of late-night comedians, the constant bad press, or even the global protests. Cook's complaints were all about a cancer eating away at Scientology from its guts: a crisis in faith over the leadership of David Miscavige.
2011-06-13, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Next month, Janet Reitman's book Inside Scientology will hit bookshelves, and the world of Scientology-watching, and for Scientology itself, will never be the same.
Subtitled The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion, Reitman's book delivers all it promises, and it promises a lot.
"It has been my goal to write the first objective modern history of the Church of Scientology," Reitman proclaims in her introduction. "It is the goal of Inside Scientology to translate [L. Ron Hubbard's arcane] language and separate myth from fact."
2011-06-13, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
I, Rocio Garcia, hereby declare myself as an Independent Scientologist.
I would like to acknowledge the staff that helped me and those who extended their friendship, all those who have the best intentions but remain trapped inside the church. My experience with the COS does not compare with those of many who have truly experienced hell.
I started in 1982 at the Orange County Org, in California. I took several courses and received auditing and attested to Clear in 1989.
2010-06-13, Sam Deeks, UK online reputation management
By the time you've read the hotel's own disconcerting copy on its website and the TripAdvisor and Holiday Watchdog reviews it's hard not to start to feel uneasy about the connection between the owners of this hotel and the 'Church of Scientology'.
A quick standard Google search for "Camelot Castle Hotel" reveals (as you'd expect) a P1 of Google stuffed full of neutral references (apart from this lone article now). These include the hotel's own website plus a range of other tourism directory listings. Nothing unusual there. In fact, almost nothing on the first 5 or 6 pages cause concern. Except this one listing on P2 beginning: "It takes a lot to freak me…" [update: this has since changed considerably]
But search for "Camelot Castle Hotel scientology" or "camelot castle scientology" and things will get much more interesting. Very quickly, you'll find yourself encountering owner John Mappin, his Khazakh wife Irina and artist Ted Stourton. A little more research on all three gets even more interesting - not least Mappin's short career as 'porn film' actor and his defeat in the High Court in a sordid fraud case. But these things are really only the beginning.
That said, the Church does not advocate abortion to church staff or parishioners. Anyone claiming to have done so on behalf of the Church, or alleging they did so in conformance with some alleged policy (written or "unwritten") is either lying or did so in contravention of the Church's view on the matter. At no time has any church staff member been "forced" to obtain an abortion. . . .
Individuals who join the Sea Org and later determine they want to have children, may then leave the Sea Org. They receive assistance from the Church, including immediate prenatal care, medical care, financial assistance. . . .
A St. Petersburg Times investigation found their experiences were not unique. More than a dozen women said the culture in the Sea Org pushed them or women they knew to have abortions, in many cases, abortions they did not want.
Some said colleagues and supervisors pressured them to abort their pregnancies and remain productive workers without the distraction of raising children. Terminating a pregnancy and staying on the job affirmed one's commitment to the all-important work of saving the planet.
Fox News bowed to pressure from Kelly Preston, Tom Cruise and other members of the Church of Scientology when it fired columnist Roger Friedman, the entertainment journo is expected to charge in a wrongful termination lawsuit this week.
2008-06-13, Janet Leiser, Tampa Bay Business Journal
The Church of Scientology -- the largest downtown property owner -- expects to begin work on the interior of its world spiritual headquarters almost 10 years after it first began construction of the building.
"We're not out selling a product," Grant Cardone, the CEO of Freedom Motorsports, the company behind the car, told The Scoop. But he says, he too, is a fan of "Dianetics," and if the Ignite Your Potential car helps troubled people, "that would be great."
According to Roecker, whose encounter was first reported on LA's KROQ-FM's Kevin and Bean Show, the invective started to fly after he made several references to Scientology theology and its reported central tenent, the story of Xenu.
Roecker says Jenna repeatedly said "What crimes have you committed?" and began screaming at Roecker, "Have you raped a baby?" as motorists on Los Feliz Boulevard drove by in snarled traffic.
New England millionaire Robert Minton came forward recently to say he wanted to set the record straight about lies he told in a wrongful-death lawsuit against the Church of Scientology.
But his confessions and testimony may bring him a heap of new legal problems.
Criminal charges against the Church of Scientology in the death of a church member who was under the organization's care were dropped yesterday because Florida prosecutors said they could no longer prove the accusations.
Although prosecutors said her "serious forensic error" ruined their case against the Church of Scientology, Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner Joan Wood said Monday she has no plans to resign.
But veteran lawyers predicted the case -- and particularly the 31-page memo from prosecutors that blasted Wood as "illogical" and "inconsistent" -- will dog her every time she takes the witness stand.
CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) _ Prosecutors have dropped abuse and medical neglect charges against the Church of Scientology, saying they couldn't depend on the testimony of the county medical examiner in the case of a woman who died in the church's care.
The church was charged in the 1995 death of Scientologist Lisa McPherson after 17 days in the care of fellow church members following a minor car accident and mental breakdown.
In a memorandum made public Monday, prosecutor Doug Crow said he still thinks a crime occurred, but that medical examiner Joan Wood's credibility would be difficult to defend because she changed the cause of McPherson's death from "undetermined" to "accidental."
CLEARWATER, FLA., JUNE 13 -- Although criminal charges have been dropped, controversy continued Tuesday in the case of a Church of Scientology member who died in the care of fellow members.
The Scientologists still are embroiled involved in a civil suit brought against them by McPherson family members in Texas.
No spokesman for the Church of Scientology would comment on the pending civil suit.
The 31-page document was filled with medical words that McCabe had never heard, but its essence was all too clear: The star prosecution witness, Medical Examiner Joan Wood, really didn't know why Scientologist Lisa McPherson died in 1995 while in the care of Scientology staffers in Clearwater. It said she had botched the case beyond repair.
CANADIAN - The state Health Department refused Monday to reconsider its approval of a Narconon drug rehabilitation center's plans to move to Arrowhead Lodge.
The 75-bed Narconon Chilocco New Life Center in Newkirk plans to move and expand to as many as 300 beds at Arrowhead Lodge, near Canadian in Pittsburg County.
Claiming to represent 1,300 property owners, elected trustees of nearby Arrowhead Estates had asked the department May 31 to conduct a public hearing. Trustees wanted the state to revoke a certificate of need granted to Narconon on May 2.
JOHN WOOD wants to tell your children the truth about drugs.
He is the UK president of an organisation which claims it has been educating young people about the dangers of addiction for 25 years.
It claims that message had been successful, and it claims it can also help those who have already fallen to drugs and drink.
In fact, Narconon makes rather a lot of claims, and the group has targeted Sussex with literature and glowing tributes from grateful "clients".
Church officials strongly deny that "The Way to Happiness" is a lure to attract potential converts. Still, the church is anxious to broaden its appeal by promoting Hubbard's various "technologies" for combating drugs, reforming criminals, teaching morality and learning how to study-and doing it through its sundry satellites: Narconon, Criminon, Applied Scholastics and The Way to Happiness Foundation. The church's encyclopedic reference text, "What Is Scientology?", claims that 23 corporate giants have used Hubbard's study technology. Yet a check of three of them-Mobil Oil, General Motors and Lancome-brought denials of any corporate involvement with the church. But if the nation's public schools are any measure, Hubbard's tracts will continue to turn up in the most surprising places.
State officials say a substance abuse treatment center should not be allowed to remain open, even though it now has been accredited.
"Just because you're accredited doesn't mean you're certified," Guy Hurst, assistant state attorney general, said Friday.
Hurst said state law requires drug and alcohol treatment facilities to be certified by the state, not just accredited by a professional group.
He said the one-year accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, based in Tucson, Ariz., will have no bearing on the state's efforts to close Narconon Chilocco, which has ties to the Church of Scientology.
RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- A judge ruled Monday that Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard is alive and well despite the claims of his estranged son and dismissed a probate suit against the reclusive church leader.
Ronald DeWolf, 49, who changed his name from L. Ron Hubbard Jr. after leaving the church 23 years ago, filed a petition last November contending that his father is either dead or mentally incompetent and unable to handle his huge fortune. DeWolf, manager of an apartment complex in Carson City, Nev., asked to be made a trustee of Hubbard's estate.
Superior Court Judge David Hennigan dismissed the case, saying he was convinced Hubbard was living in seclusion.