Yesterday we tried to answer the question whether Scientology would turn on Danny Masterson now that the That '70s Show actor has been charged for raping three women and is facing 45 years to life in prison.
With the help of Mike Rinder, we explained that because Scientology is so involved in those cases, it would be difficult for the organization to simply drop him as he faces prosecution.
But now we want to look at the flip side of that equation: If Scientology will find it hard to drop Danny, will Danny feel the same way toward Scientology?
2019-06-19, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Presented personally by Mr. David Miscavige with both "Ideal Org'" AND "St Hill Size" status, Joburg org epitomizes the pinnacle of scientology organizations on earth (not counting the artificially inflated Tampa Org that is home to the many Flag rejects and people trying to avoid Flag registrars).
And here we see what they are so proud of: 2 Clears in one week and one person "flying through his training" — apparently they didn't have a single course completion to announce in the same week as the 2 Clears.
This is the best. of the best. And compared to other scientology orgs, it is. Most orgs don't make 2 Clears in a year.
It only recently came to our attention that an apologist journal, CESNUR, published a couple of breathless articles in recent months trying to prove that L. Ron Hubbard never claimed to have a civil engineering college degree, and that any mentions of his "C.E." were incorrectly included in books and magazine articles or Church of Scientology publications against his wishes.
We hope you weren't drinking a cup of something when you read that. We can imagine your reaction.
Anyway, the journal tries mightily to prove that any time Hubbard and a college degree was mentioned, there was something mysteriously off about the letter or document, and that Hubbard himself was unaware that people were crediting him with such a thing.
Scientology Sea Org Captain David Miscavige in his War Room
Jane Doe has sued the Church of Scientology and its leader David Miscavige. The inhumane, corrupt, greedy, exploitative and soul-killing system of Scientology has been addressed within the initial filing by Jane Doe's incredible legal team.
A team of eight victims' rights attorneys on Tuesday filed the first of what they promise will be a series of lawsuits against the Church of Scientology and its leader, David Miscavige, on behalf of defectors who say they suffered a range of exploitation from child abuse, human trafficking and forced labor to revenge tactics related to the church's Fair Game policy.
The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of an unnamed Jane Doe born in 1979, outlines her lifetime of alleged suffering in Scientology where she was subjected as a child at the Clearwater headquarters to abuse inherent to auditing, Scientology's spiritual counseling that can more resemble interrogation. It states she joined the church's clergy-like Sea Org in California at 15, where people worked 100 hours a week for $46. She was at times held against her will. When she officially left Scientology in 2017, Doe was followed by private investigators and terrorized by the church as it published "a hate website" falsely stating she was an alcoholic dismissed from the sect for promiscuity, according to the complaint.
"This isn't going to be the last of the lawsuits being filed," Philadelphia-based attorney Brian Kent told the Tampa Bay Times, declining to say how many more are forthcoming. "We've seen what can happen when there is truth exposed in terms of child abuse within organizations. You've seen it with the Catholic Church, you're seeing it with the Southern Baptist Convention now. We're hoping for meaningful change."
Dianne Lipson came out of the courtroom long enough to tell us that the jury in the Nxivm trial had found Keith Raniere guilty on all counts.
After 25 days of testimony and closing arguments, the jury deliberated for less than five hours to reach its lightning-fast verdict.
Dianne has gone back in to get some reactions. We'll add to this story soon.
Mr. Lesko addressed the jury:
Thank you for your attention. This is an important trial.
There's no dispute that Keith Raniere knew the inner circle of DOS. They revered him. They worshiped him. Keith was part of DOS. That is no longer in dispute. Time and time again Mr. Agnifilo attempted to distract you from the evidence. Mr. Agnifilo does not want you to focus on the evidence. He says 'I think this' or 'I think that.' What he thinks is irrelevant. It's what you think that matters. There's a mountain of evidence. What Mr. Agnifilo says is not evidence. It's speculation and theory, but it's not evidence.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) first appointed the Oklahoma native in 2018. His term as the group's chair will be effective for one year.
News of Perkins' new role drew a fiery response from LGBTQ rights advocates. Among those to condemn the appointment was David Stacy of the Human Rights Campaign, who called it "another weapon" in the Trump administration's "anti-LGBTQ crusade."
"Tony Perkins has devoted his career to limiting the legal rights of LGBTQ people," Stacy, who is HRC's director of government affairs, said in an email sent to HuffPost on Tuesday. "In his America, LGBTQ people would be forced to hide who they are or face criminal sanction, and their relationships would be outlawed and undermined."
Public transit, Americans for Prosperity says, goes against the liberties that Americans hold dear. "If someone has the freedom to go where they want, do what they want," Ms. Venable said, "they're not going to choose public transit."
The Kochs' opposition to transit spending stems from their longstanding free-market, libertarian philosophy. It also dovetails with their financial interests, which benefit from automobiles and highways.
One of the mainstay companies of Koch Industries, the Kochs' conglomerate, is a major producer of gasoline and asphalt, and also makes seatbelts, tires and other automotive parts. Even as Americans for Prosperity opposes public investment in transit, it supports spending tax money on highways and roads.
2018-06-19, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This was a recent article in Canada about the Quebec City "ideal" org.
There are a few things of note.
The sleaze that scientology staff are "volunteers" has worked in a lot of countries and states. Apparently, their luck ran out in Quebec. It is a farce to claim that people who often work 60, 70 or 80 hours a week on a "staff pay system" with contracts that have enforcement clauses if the full term is not served are "volunteers." It strains all credibility when you see the recruitment pitches to join offering $500 to $1000 per week (see last Thursday Funnies).
We've been watching Scientologist singer Stacy Francis for a long time. At the Voice, we covered a controversy over the stories she was telling about herself in order to become an X-Factor contestant. It was obvious even then that for years she had downplayed her extensive connection to Scientology when it suited her, and that she was someone who would turn on just about anyone if it meant advancing her "career."
Since then, we've watched as she became an attack dog for the church against her former close friend Leah Remini, and in a 2013 article Mike Rinder laid out some fascinating background on how that relationship blew apart.
From serenading Tom Cruise aboard the Freewinds in 2004, to feting Louis Farrakhan at the Celebrity Centre in 2006, to attacking Leah Remini in 2013, Stacy has a very colorful history of advancing Scientology's interests while crying and caterwauling her way for the cameras.
"The cost is entirely on you," Carlson told his audience in a Monday night monologue in which he warned of immigrants moving to their neighborhoods, "but don't complain, or else they will call you 'Hitler.'"
But Carlson's monologue wouldn't have been far out of place on a white supremacist forum. Hours after ProPublica released disturbing audio of immigrant children who had been separated from their parents at the U.S. border, Carlson told viewers the immigrants were coming "to change your country forever."
In a screed against what he termed as the "ruling class," Carlson (a millionaire who went to aristocratic Rhode Island boarding school St. George's) defended the separation of immigrant families by forecasting "the collapse of the American family." His rhetoric, intentional or not, plays into textbook white nationalist claims about traditional family structures and the white race.
We have some follow-up information for you in the case of Clay Irwin and the camera he found facing his house in Clearwater, Florida.
On Saturday, we told you that Irwin, owner of the Lucky Anchor Irish Pub on Cleveland Street, had sent us some photos of a time-lapse Brinno camera he found on the property next door.
Irwin opened his pub at the beginning of the year, and at the time he expressed an eagerness to get along with the Church of Scientology, whose "Flag Land Base" surrounds his bar. But since then, he's had some run-ins with the church, which began in February after he made an impromptu visit to the unfinished penthouse being prepared for Scientology celebrityTom Cruise just down the street.
Political data gathered on more than 198 million US citizens was exposed this month after a marketing firm contracted by the Republican National Committee stored internal documents on a publicly accessible Amazon server.
The data leak contains a wealth of personal information on roughly 61 percent of the US population. Along with home addresses, birthdates, and phone numbers, the records include advanced sentiment analyses used by political groups to predict where individual voters fall on hot-button issues such as gun ownership, stem cell research, and the right to abortion, as well as suspected religious affiliation and ethnicity. The data was amassed from a variety of sources—from the banned subreddit r/fatpeoplehate to American Crossroads, the super PAC co-founded by former White House strategist Karl Rove.
Deep Root Analytics, a conservative data firm that identifies audiences for political ads, confirmed ownership of the data to Gizmodo on Friday.
Proof from L. Ron Hubbard's own mouth that he was blinded and crippled & claimed he used Dianetics to heal himself. This video is excerpted from the film "The Secret Lives of L. Ron Hubbard." See:
This video puts the lie to Part 20 of Marty Rathbun's claim that Hubbard never said any such thing.
Scientologists have been branded 'vultures' who are 'trying to capitalise on people's heartbreak' after setting up an enormous tent at the scene of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
Members of the controversial religion were seen offering massages and handing out promotional leaflets from the bright yellow structure just days after the horror blaze.
They were first outside the sports centre on Friday but came back on Sunday with their huge tents and flags which read 'communication' and 'conflicts'.
2017-06-19, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This is "sea org" command.
Here, "Command" means assuming an unearned position of authority (bestowed strictly by signing a billion year contract) where you order people around as if they are all your personal slaves. "I am counting on you" and "I am expecting" etc etc. The email below from the "CO FSSO" is a perfect example of the entitlement such people feel.
Of course, no one would want to miss these events.
2016-06-19, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The weekly show where I answer questions posed by readers in the comments section of my Q&A videos or sent in by email at AskChrisShelton@gmail.com. This week, the questions I take up are:
(1) My questions have to do with your thoughts on the Independent Scientology movement. You probably need to know most of my knowledge of this comes from YouTube videos, and a few books on the subject, not exactly representative but all I have available. In many of them, the independent scientologists seem to be saying that Hubbard's Scientology is valid and that Miscavige has perverted it. Does this mean that they still believe in fair game, no psychologists, disconnecting, SPs, policies on homosexuality, mind control etc? Someone said this was just an evolutionary process and that in the future, they will change. Has that happened? Why does no one confront them about these questions? Again I didn't want to betray my ignorance because I can hardly get a good picture from my limited media. Is there any worry that some of the people who enjoyed power might want to recreate it in Independent Scientology? Ok sorry that was an earful. I don't want to sound judgmental about people I don't know but this kind of thing has historically been frequent. Thanks for your time.
(2) Nice work on the channel. Having been involved with Scientology for over 30 years myself I do respect the work you are doing. I am interested in learning critical thinking skills. What's out there that you recommend?
2016-06-19, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
I usually publish these after I have accumulated a few and add some points to the long term graph.
But it has been more than a month now, and no word from either Jeff Mintz or Sandy Dodwell about ANY "good news" at Flag. It's a pretty good indicator that things are not going too well at the top of the Bridge. They ONLY put out these things when they have something THEY think is "good news."
Remember back when they first put these out they included all of the following completions? Purif, Objectives, Running Pgm, Super Power, Clears, L's, OT's, OT VII's. They long since dropped mentioning Purif and Objectives Completions. Then they dropped the Clears. Then the "OT's".
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...
Scientology followed its dramatic Hollywood Boulevard book launch last week with promotions at individual Barnes & Noble bookstores yesterday. Phil Jones, of "Call Me" billboard fame, showed up at one store, where a life-sized cutout of Terl, the book's villain, invited people to purchase the 34-year-old novel.
In 1990, as part of its landmark series about Scientology, Los Angeles Times reporters Joel Sappell and Robert Welkos revealed that the church had relied on individual members to buy books by the armful in order to get Hubbard's works on New York Times bestsellers lists. More than 25 years later, the strategy is apparently the same, but with social media, Scientology is much more open about what they're doing...
2015-06-19, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
When you start to look at the main things that are wrong with dangerous cults, or any kind of mass movement in general, you quickly find your attention going to the nature of belief itself and what is real versus what is fantasy. What I'm talking about doesn't just apply to religion, although that's one of the easiest things for most people to see. This also works out in politics, economics, consumerism and even civil rights and gender issues.
How many times have you been caught out trying to fake knowing all about something which you really knew very little or nothing of? How many times in life do we pretend in order to impress, to try to entertain or at least not appear foolish? It happens all the time. We delight in catching people out when they do this, but hate it when we meet someone smarter or more experienced or who can just see through our shenanigans.
Now imagine doing that all the time. Habitually pretending you know all about everything -
Andres! It's time to take your final bow! Today we have the last section of the lengthy, secretly-recorded briefing that Scientology Sea Org official Andres Rodriguez gave to a gathering of Scientologists at an org recently somewhere in the United States.
This is our sixth and final portion of the recording of Rodriguez. (Previous sections can be found here: First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth.) He's also notable because he was married at one time to Jessica Feshbach, who became notorious as the aggressive "handler" of actress Katie Holmes during her first years married to Tom Cruise. Jessica is now married to former Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis, and they are no longer in Scientology's elite Sea Org.
Rodriguez is the Senior Case Supervisor West US, which means he oversees the delivery of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard's "technology" for half the country. But as we've seen, his description of that technology is not familiar to oldtime Scientologists who have left the church.
2014-06-19, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The hype is rolling out for Maiden Voyage...
Our Whole New Universe is the one that only we can perceive I guess. The one where scientology is saving the world and clearing the planet and flourishing and prospering like never before with the real LRH tech available for the first time ever...
And now, some reports from on the scene, with a liberal sprinkling of "awesomes," "incredibles," and exclamation points and a very large YUK factor.
With his new film, Third Person, opening on Friday night, Paul Haggis is on a media blitz, and he's being asked, naturally, about his defection from Scientology.
He provided a particularly interesting answer during an interview at HuffPost Live yesterday, which we've posted below. Haggis had predicted, in a Rock Center segment more than a year ago, that he might be smeared by Scientology. That hasn't happened, but Haggis mentioned that it's been happening to other people he knows — and he uses Jason Beghe as an example.
Haggis mentions that Beghe faced Scientology's legal onslaught, and faced bankruptcy. At the time it was happening, Beghe wanted no publicity about it. (We did write about the conclusion of that episode.) He survived the attempt to silence and destroy him, and today Jason is the lead of his own series, Chicago PD. Here's the clip of Haggis talking about Scientology harassment...
Subscribe for new episodes every Thursday: http://bit.ly/thisexists
Watch my episode about jihadist rap: http://bit.ly/1Jb3DaG
Every religion has its own music. Chants, or hymns, or MXPX. But not every religion is Scientology.
According to a new report by the National Enquirer, the Fat Actress star settled quietly with a customer of her products who claimed they were fraudulent, paying her $130,000.
"This is a major setback not only to Kirstie's profitable business enterprise, but also to her reputation," an insider told the magazine.
Fellow Scientology Watchers, we're really looking forward to your thoughts about today's document leak.
We want to thank the tipster who forwarded this item. It's a script for introducing the latest rah-rah videos that Scientology leader David Miscavige is having sent around to local "orgs" in the hopes that church members already exhausted with years of high-pressure fundraising can be amped up to give just a little more.
It's part of a trend we've noticed in recent months. Miscavige doesn't seem to trust his own people to deliver Scientology's message, whether it's statements to the press, or introductory videos for the public, or fundraising stemwinders for the membership.
2013-06-19, Miss Fortune, Glistening, Quivering Underbelly
It's an instrinsic part of Per Wickstrom's public mythology -- his claim that he'd started drinking at age 13, and by age 15 he had been kicked out of his house for using marijuana. While he was still in high school, Wickstrom claimed he was introduced to cocaine. Believing he had no other means to support himself, Wickstrom began dealing cocaine to make money.
Wickstrom says his drug dealing career culminated when he was 27, when he was arrested in a sting operation on "COPS" in front of a national audience. He claimed he spent eight months in jail before his case came up for trial. Facing a likely sentence between 2 and 5 years, Wickstrom says he was lucky enough to convince the judge that he did not need to be sentenced to jail. Instead, the judge put Wickstrom on probation for five years and gave him a hefty fine of $20,000.
But the truth is way more mundane than the myth.
2013-06-19, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This is the St Petersburg "Life Improvement Center" of the Tampa Org on Tuesday afternoon.
Yes, the doors are closed, the lights are off and there is nobody home.
Similarly, the "Mission of Old Tampa Bay" that was opened with great fanfare, closed up shop more than a year ago.
2013-06-19, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Well, it turns out that the reason students are getting through the "Student Hat Tapes" in "record" time is that the lectures were EDITED.
To remove "all the unnecessary technical data" that would cause them to bog.
Dave himself personally oversaw this effort.
Former Scientology officer Debbie Cook, who rocked the church early this year with damaging testimony before agreeing to stay silent forever, will move this week to the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, friends say.
She and her husband, Wayne Baumgarten, have sold their car, their furniture and many other household possessions, said Jon Donley, a Web designer and media consultant who worked for the couple in 2010 and 2011 at their now-defunct marketing company in San Antonio, Texas.
The couple is keeping their home on the outskirts of that city and will rent it, Donley said.
2012-06-19, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
The following is an excerpt from chapter eight of What is Wrong With Scientology:
'Reason,' as L. Ron Hubbard first defined 'ethics,' has become the prohibition of reasoning. Self-determinism, the restoration of which is the goal of all Scientology processes, has been replaced by the enforcement of group-determinism. In short, a culture whose members once reveled in the restoration of their liberty to think freely is now forced to think "our way or the highway," "the ends justify the means," and "by any means necessary."
In precisely this manner, ethics in Scientology has been replaced by enforcement of Scientology Inc. morals. The morals in play are the policies and mores of Scientology Inc. Those morals have evolved over the past three decades, increasingly influenced and dictated by the arbitrary decisions of one, single, rather ruthless individual. That one person is Scientology Inc. Chairman of the Board, David Miscavige. Here are some of the most commonly observed, tacitly-enforced tenets of Miscavige's new moral code within Scientology Inc.:
2012-06-19, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
The second trailer to Paul Thomas Anderson's upcoming film The Master was just released, and this time we get a look at Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams along with Joaquin Phoenix.
We gave PTA credit for being wily with his first trailer -- for years, we've all been waiting to see how much The Master parallels the life of L. Ron Hubbard in the early years of Scientology, but Anderson managed to dodge that question with our first glimpse of the film, which featured Phoenix's character before meeting up with Hoffman's Hubbard.
Now, in this second trailer, there's really no doubt who Hoffman is portraying.
2011-06-19, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
This has been a long time coming. A lonnnnnng time coming. I have been heartily "out of the closet" since Michael Fairman was descended upon by the undead, but I hadn't figured out where to begin to unfold my story - so I procrastinated.
After meeting with Marty and Mike a few Tuesdays ago here in L.A., witnessing the keystone-cop-esque ABSURDITY (to be kind) of "the squirrel-buster" brigade and after being part of the conversation which encouraged Michael to write his latest post, I decided I had done enough procrastinating.
My name is Joy Graysen. Some of you know me as Joy Stimmel, Joy Veikley, Joy Fairman, Michael's wife, Sky's mother. Some of you know me as the voice of Flag's anthem "Flag Is Here". Some of you know me from all of the church events I have sung for over the last 25 years. And some of you don't know me at all. After this open letter, hopefully you will just know me as Joy — one of you.
[[Image:WeStandTallCast.jpg|thumb|right|300px|The main executive cast.]]
BEHOLD, a hilarious pile of fluff that was dug up and leaked to the internets. *Make sure you watch it quick, before David Miscavige's minions have it yanked down*.
Speaking of Dave, he can be seen right at the front of this "We are the World"-type singalong that was put together in 1990. We can't see how many phone books he's standing on, but all around him are some famous names from Scientology's past and present:
During the 1980s, Feshbach and his two brothers, Kurt and Joe, built up a $1 billion Feshbach Brothers investment fund that specialized in short selling -- or betting on stock declines -- winning him praise and vilification on Wall Street.
Feshbach Brothers generated rich returns over 30 percent from 1982 to 1990, but later suffered a reversal of fortunes and liquidated in 1992.
A former employee of a Southland telecommunications company claims the company's required training included courses "designed to indoctrinate employees" in Scientology, and when she objected to the religious aspects of the training she was fired.
Margaret Warfield, of Montgomery, filed her religious discrimination lawsuit in federal court Monday against BTI Communications Group.
New housing is now available for members of the Church of Scientology's staff after $1.7 million in renovations were completed at Sherwood Gardens, a 106-unit apartment complex located three miles east of downtown Clearwater.
2001-06-19, Christina Headrick, St. Petersburg Times
Negotiations involving the city, the Church of Scientology, Pinellas County and the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority failed to produce a deal to make the project work. Several months of talks ended last week, after one last-ditch effort to save the project.
Referring to the Church of Scientology as "this little church," defence lawyer Clayton Ruby yesterday said its Toronto members were "regular parishioners" unaware of any crimes that were committed.
In his closing address in the breach-of-trust trial of Scientology's Toronto branch, Ruby urged the 12-person jury to judge Scientology as they would their own church.
NEW YORK (AP) _ Some subjects of unflattering magazine profiles are content to write a letter to the editor or cancel their subscription. The Church of Scientology, pilloried in Time as "The Cult of Greed," is fighting back with a $3 million ad campaign.
After several weeks of taking out full-page color ads in USA Today, the church has released a glossy, 28-page booklet that purports to refute Time's charges and expose its motivation for the May 6 cover story.
Titled "The Story that Time Couldn't Tell," the booklet was inserted in Friday's editions of the newspaper.