James O'Keefe's Project Veritas has been on a tear against Google lately, with the most recent salvo coming this Monday. Like most of O'Keefe's work, it's deceptively edited and doesn't add up to much, but he managed to catch one executive in a pretty poor choice of words. In a hidden camera conversation with Jen Gennai, Google's Head of Responsible Innovation, the executive is caught saying the following:
Elizabeth Warren is saying we should break up Google. And like, I love her but she's very misguided, like that will not make it better it will make it worse, because all these smaller companies who don't have the same resources that we do will be charged with preventing the next Trump situation, it's like a small company cannot do that.
If you substitute "Cambridge Analytica" for "Trump Situation," it's more or less the argument Facebook and Google have been using to fend off antitrust proposals all year. But if you're inclined to think the whole media is biased against the president, it was exactly what you'd been waiting to hear. When the video was pulled off YouTube for "privacy violations" the next day, it only fueled the paranoia.
Joel Beaton, Address Management Director for the Church of Scientology International states in an interview that the Church's active mailing list contains "about 3.5 million active names." This video is posted at What They Think, a premiere printing industry website. The article is dated June 26, 2019.
We still get asked often about Scientology's former spokesman Tommy Davis, and so we try to give an occasional update about him. This time, we have some happy news.
Tommy is getting married to Egyptian actress Maie Ibrahim in Morocco, and we want to extend the happy couple our congratulations.
Tommy somehow forgot to include our invitation, but we're not entirely surprised by that. In our last email exchange with him, the son of actress Anne Archer called us an "asshat" and told us never to contact him again.
Sunny Pereira has another startling tale from her days in Scientology's Sea Org today. With medical standards like these, it's a miracle there haven't been more deaths (that we know of.)
"Oh, there you are, murderer."
She said it so nonchalantly. It was something she had been calling me for years. It was old habit by now.
2018-06-27, David Neiwert, Southern Poverty Law Center
Apparently, Milo Yiannopoulos didn't get the memo about the need for civility in our discourse.
"I can't wait for the vigilante squads to start gunning journalists down on sight," the far-right provocateur texted a reporter for the New York Observer this week. When the reporter inquired further, Yiannopoulos explained that he had simply issued his "standard response to a request for a comment."
But this wasn't simply a toss-off remark. Yiannopoulos appears to be dead serious – that is, he sincerely believes that right-wing assassins should begin taking out targeted reporters. He's been saying so on a number of forums, and it's clear that he isn't being simply "ironic" in the classic alt-right hall-of-mirrors fashion.
2017-06-27, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
And this is their write-up. Just sad on so many levels. Not the least of which is that the IAS is so proud of this they turned it into a promo piece so everyone could share this amazing success.
OMG we just did Patron with Honours.
Back story: applied for a loan, loan disapproved, banker says after a couple of impossible solutions, by the way there is a credit card on file here from a long time ago that's never been activated for the exact amount you are asking for. I had no idea I even had this card. If I get a card like this I usually bin it. We don't use CCs. To make the cycle happen before Thursday 2pm and it's now 15 mins before shut off point, I had to activate the card then locate the card for the ccv number. I just thought about where I might have put this and I went straight to it. I'd put it with other similar items. Now the card could be run by IAS office AOSH ANZO. The card was declined so I called the bank and the security Falcon had stopped it as they thought it was a suspicious transaction. He said it would take another 20-30 minutes to be reactivated. We didn't have that time. We tried the card just a few minutes later and it went through with about a minute to spare. This was due to having done CRRD, Super Power and L11. Tone 40 demonstrated.
Much of what we know about the highest echelons of the Church of Scientology in recent years comes from a number of former high-ranking executives who left the organization between 2004 and 2010. Those former execs — Marty Rathbun (who left the church in 2004), Marc and Claire Headley (2005), Amy Scobee (2005), Tom DeVocht (2005), Jeff Hawkins (2005), Mike Rinder (2007), and John Brousseau (2010) — fueled numerous newspapers series, television shows, and also a feature film documentary (2015's Going Clear), which gave us our clearest view yet of how Scientology leader David Miscavige ran the church.
We learned about "The Hole," for example, a prison for top executives that Miscavige created at Scientology's secretive "Int Base" near Hemet, California in 2004, when the St. Petersburg Times revealed its existence in its 2009 series, "The Truth Rundown." After that series, Miscavige made some changes to the Hole, something we learned from Brousseau, who came out after the others, in 2010.
But what about since then? Ron Miscavige Sr. left the base in 2012, but he was not a top-ranking executive, and we didn't get a lot of information about how conditions had changed at the base from his 2016 book, Ruthless. We've been hungering for any new information about the conditions at Int Base in more recent years. What little information we had received suggested that since a 2009/2010 FBI investigation of Scientology for human trafficking which was focused on the base, David Miscavige had been placing less emphasis on the compound as its population had shrunk.
To hear me spill tea tonight about Marty Rathbun & Scientology, catch me live on YouNow. You can interact with me and I will be answering your burning questions! Also, I will allow special guests and subscribers to video into my stream through the YouNow app.
Download YouNow on the App Store, find me (StevenMango) and turn on Notifications so you will know I am going live. I will be live around 6:30-7:00PM LA start time. I will only see your comments if you are watching through the app, not through YouTube.
Looking forward to chatting with you all then!
We figure it's about time that we revealed what we've known for some time about upcoming television projects that feature Scientology, because it's getting really interesting.
We've known for more than a year that a television series about Scientology's disconnection policy has been in production, and that it has run into pushback by the church. (You may remember an earlier story about Karen de la Carriere receiving a threat letter from Scientology, even though she's not involved in the production of the series.) We actually know quite a bit about this series, but we've done a little consulting work for the company producing it, and we're not at liberty to tell you much about it.
But what's especially exciting for Scientology watchers is that the same network is also developing another series, also about the way Scientology rips apart families, and this one is being produced by former Scientology celebrityLeah Remini. We broke the news in 2013 that Leah ditched Scientology, which she had grown up in. The King of Queens actress came out with a bestselling memoir last November, Troublemaker, with juicy anecdotes about what it was like to be a celebrity in a celebrity-obsessed church.
Russian security services have raided dozens of locations across the country linked to the Church of Scientology as part of a long running battle between authorities and the US-based organisation.
The Federal Security Service (FSB) said officers 'conducted simultaneous searches' at 14 addresses in Moscow and St Petersburg as part of a probe into alleged money laundering and illegal businesses dealings by the Church of Scientology.
Russia's justice ministry has long been pushing to prohibit the organisation, which some countries treat as a legitimate faith but others consider to be a cult.
Seely said he learned that the drug rehab industry was overrun with SEO firms when he began researching rehab centers in Seattle for a family friend who was struggling with substance abuse and addiction issues. A simple search on Google for "drug rehab Seattle" turned up multiple local search results that looked promising.
One of the top three results was for a business calling itself "Drug Rehab Seattle," and while it lists a toll-free phone number, it does not list a physical address (NB: this is not always the case with fake listings, which just as often claim the street address of another legitimate business). A click on the organization's listing claims the Web site rehabs.com – a legitimate drug rehab search service. However, the owners of rehabs.com say this listing is unauthorized and unaffiliated with rehabs.com.
As documented in this Youtube video, Seely called the toll-free number in the Drug Rehab Seattle listing, and was transferred to a hotline that took down his name, number and insurance information and promised an immediate call back. Within minutes, Seely said, he received a call from a woman who said she represented a Seattle treatment center but was vague about the background of the organization itself. A little digging showed that the treatment center was run by Narconon.
Pastor Manuel Sykes wasn't going to drop out of this time. The influential St. Petersburg Baptist minister and civil rights activist told the Tampa Bay Times last week that nothing would dissuade him from exiting a crowded field of Democrats vying for the nod in House District 70.
In 2014, Sykes considered jumping in the 13th Congressional District race before a voice mail message from the then-county party chairman -- telling Sykes he'd be "persona non grata" if he got in -- -touched off an intraparty squabble.
"I won't be daunted this time, I'm not kissing the rings of anyone this time," Sykes told the Times last week. He said he planned to officially file as a Democrat by Friday's deadline.
2016-06-27, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Another in the continuing series of thought provoking posts from Terra Cognita.
TC's previous posts: Communication in Scientology... Or Not, Am I Still A Thetan?, To Be Or Not To Be, An Evaluation of Scientology, Fear: That Which Drives Scientology and Justification and Rationalization.
The Survival Rundown – David Miscavige's Latest Scam
A long time resident of Hollywood tells the Angry Gay Pope how the Church of Scientology systematically takes over neighborhoods. They threw him out of his own apartment! Eventually main Sci properties, like the Celebrity Centre, get surrounded by a ring of cult buildings even though the structures don't say "Scientology" on them.
I lived at 1831 Bronson Avenue in an apartment building located there from 1992 to 1998. I went through the great Northridge earthquake there.
2015-06-27, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The begging never stops, and apparently has no limit.
This little gang are children of Australian SO Members (at least two of them are, I presume the others are too) located in Los Angeles.
They are sending this begging letter out to people all over the world to solicit money for New Zealand's one and only small and failing org. You would think that New Zealand, which had one of the first orgs on earth way back in the 1950's would have another one by this time. Or even a single mission. More than 60 years and there has been NOTHING new in all that time.
As Eric Saldarriaga was leaving a ninth-floor courtroom at the old federal court house in New York City following his sentencing yesterday, he was in tears.
I couldn't help wincing.
I'd just been in the courtroom myself, and had testified. The document I had read from, my "victim impact statement," was the kind of thing a judge uses to decide how severe a crime is. Typically, a victim is trying to convince a judge to throw the book at a defendant.
A New York private investigator who hacked the e-mails of dozens of people he was investigating got jail time — but a judge stopped short of helping to expose the clients that hired him to do their dirty work.
Manhattan federal judge Richard Sullivan sentenced Eric Saldarriaga to three months in jail for pilfering some 60 e-mail accounts, saying he hoped to send a message about the seriousness of cybercrime.
"Anything less than that would lead people to think … ahh, who cares?" Sullivan told the courtroom on Friday.
Notes on how the Church of Scientology is actually structured.
1. As previously discussed, there is no such entity as "the Church of Scientology." This is what the Church of Scientology itself told the IRS:
The term "the Church of Scientology" is a term of convenience used to refer to all of the separate and distinct legal corporations that are referred to as "churches" and "organizations" within the Scientology ecclesiastical hierarchy. Example: If you sign a contract for religious services with the Flag Service Organization you agree to the following:
We have another video that you normally can only see inside a Scientology "org." It's another "quote video" that the church uses to convince members to purchase L. Ron Hubbard's lectures.
In this case, we have quite a doozy. It's a clip from Hubbard's December 1956 "WashingtonCongress on Anti-Radiation & Confront," a set of lectures which Bridge Publications sells for $150.
Here's how Bridge Publications summarizes the Congress...
2014-06-27, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
For readers of this blog who have decided scientology is not for them, this posting will be of no or very limited interest. But for those who still consider themselves scientologists, those who are still "on the fence" or "under the radar" this is information that is absolutely for you. It is FACTS about what goes on inside the church of scientology under the guise of "bringing spiritual freedom" and "uniting families."
Ronit and Yossi sent this message out to all their contacts yesterday. I have waited to publish this until after they sent it out in the hope it might reach more of the people that are its intended audience before the black PR, whispering campaign against them begins for overtly telling their story.
2013-06-27, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Dirk Niblick just put up an interesting comment quoting from "The Wake Up Call."
For those who may not have heard of this — though if you spent any time in the church and attended even a single event, it is hard to imagine you have NOT — it is one of Miscavige's favorite "accomplishments." Written after 9/11 it was intended to be the "Come to Jesus" message for the faithful to get busy.
It was mostly written by Dan Sherman. Miscavige wanted to put out the issue, but did not plan on writing it himself. So, he called Marc Yager, Greg Hughes, Guillaume Lesevre, Lyman Spurlock, Ray Mithoff, Norman Starkey and others to his 11th floor conference room in the Hollywood Guarantee Buildiung and spent hours explaining to them what they were to write. Of course, nothing was acceptable, and he would spend more hours berating them for their "incompetence" in not writing something "like he would" (he could have written the whole thing in about 1/10th the time he took explaining, berating and J&Ding those executives). Eventually he called in Dan Sherman to write it for him.
Dutch officials have put Narconon on warning that they are under "enhanced supervision" - and could even face closure - after spot checks raised concerns about patient safety.1
on warning Dutch health officials have put Narconon under six months of special monitoring because of concerns about patient safety, warning them they could face closure if they fail to make improvements.
Judge James Whittemore has scheduled an evidentiary hearing for July 24 in Luis and Rocio Garcia's federal fraud lawsuit against the Church of Scientology.
At issue will be the church's motion to disqualify the Garcias' attorneys — Ted Babbitt and Ronald Weil — who, the church alleges, improperly worked with Robert Johnson, an attorney who previously represented the church in numerous matters between 1982 and 1998.
Each side has until July 18 to turn in a list of witnesses and exhibits, and we'll be curious to see if either side plans to subpoena Brian Culkin (pictured), whose declaration was such an important part of the church's motion.
2013-06-27, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
The following is an excerpt from Mark Bunker's upcoming documentary 'Knowledge Report'. It is an accurate vignette of the kind of perfidy that is common at the highest levels of corporate Scientology. Recent events in the 'independent' field caused me to ask myself, borrowing a phrase from the immortal Yogi Berra, "Is this deja vu all over again?"
2013-06-27, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
I borrowed, or coined by inspiration, from Viktor Frankl (Man's Search For Meaning) the idea that decompression was the first and most important step in recovering from the Scientology experience with an upward trajectory. Frankl – having himself survived years of imprisonment in Nazi concentration camps, and attempted to help others similarly situated upon release – noted that an adjustment period was critical for someone coming out of a strictly controlled environment to a relatively free society. He likened it to a deep sea diver submerged for several hours far beneath the surface. One must bring the diver back out from under the tremendous pressure he has adjusted to on a gradient basis or he will suffer from Decompression Sickness, also known as the bends. Similarly, if a person imprisoned – even mentally - in inhumane conditions, conditioned to think and act in super-compliant ways while developing all manner of deceitful (albeit as justifiable as they may be) means to survive, comes out acting like he owns earth he is going to be in for big, ugly and possibly devastating losses.
Over time I have exchanged observations with other counselors about a number of folks that we guided and assisted through the Scientology Underground Railroad - or Decompression Road. One pattern we all have observed, and taken terrible losses on, is Scientologists entering the family of humanity with the exclusive, arrogant and judgmental attitudes they developed to survive in Scientology culture. All of us have expended a great deal of resource and effort in helping to clean up messes such attitudes have created, and in getting people who exhibit those attitudes back on their paths after the inevitable smack downs society tends to deliver in response. For those going through that process now, and who are discomforted absent orientation to L. Ron Hubbard references, everything I have noted thus far in this article is in complete accord with Scientology notions of the efficacy of tackling problems,development and life on a gradient scale; and even the ethics conditions formulas (see Non- Existence condition and formula).
One of the first posts on the Milestone 2/iscientology blog – created largely in protest of my books and this forum – was a piece attempting to discredit this idea of decompression as some psych-based attempt to belittle Operating Thetans and put people at introverted effect. It reasoned that former Sea Org members and public OTs who bought into the idea they could use a tad of decompression as part of their gradient entry into the community of fellow human beings were victims of an attempt to put them at groveling effect of the psych-indoctrinated 'wog' world. By God, the MS2ers proclaimed, we need to bring society up to our standards, Revenimus! (In keeping perhaps with the Class VIII indoctrination, 'you are the people who own the planet' – see Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior). This mentality of wanting to cling to the inside is understandable (see e.g. the films The Shawshank Redemption and One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest - I know you have all seen them, but watch them again with the Scientology experience in mind).
Within minutes, I was at the Scientology "org" (their term for organization) and Mike had disappeared. I was the only person in a back room listening to a lecture about "Dianetics, The Modern Science of Mental Health." Dressed in a tan corduroy suit with a yellow shirt (they loved that color) and dark green knit tie (ditto), bearded lecturer Bill Johonnessen explained to me the structure of the "reactive mind." It sounded a lot like the subconscious, but who was I to quibble, I was stoned. I listened intently and made mental notes, only once wondering why Bill hadn't asked whether or not I was stoned. I felt like it was obvious.
Finally he said, "So that's how it works. Any questions?"
2012-06-27, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
David Miscavige is apparently so out of touch that he thought that sending me his absurd, hype-ridden press release on the Phoenix Idle Morgue would have some sort of impingement on me. OSA sent it directly to me.
Its text comes right out of the blocks with a misleading representation. That is, it more than implies that the Phoenix organization has more than 1,500 active participating members. In a photo of the scene its caption reads "1,500 Scientologists and their friends"; while the press release text calls it "1,500 Scientologists, friends and dignitaries."
Of course, Dave and OSA did not bother to mention in their press release, nor in the email to me, where they got the several hundred shills to bark approval at Miscavige's every shermanisn in Phoenix. From the streets of LA, a seven hour drive from Phoenix. What follows is only one of many slick promo pieces they sent out in advance of the event recruiting LA area Scientologists for an all-nighter shilling expedition to Phoenix:
Israeli Educational Television.
The Third Wave was the name given by history teacher Ron Jones to an experimental recreation of Nazi Germany which he conducted with high school students.
AnonymousHamburg interviewt Wilfried Handl.
Er spricht über seine Vergangenheit, seine Sicht der aktuellen Lage der Scientology und über die OSA.
Wir freuen uns auf weitere Interviews und interessante Reden beim MEGARAID in Irland!
"It is not our intention at this point in time to extradite Rocco Leo from Fiji but we will reconsider that if necessary at a later date," Superintendent Jeffery said.
In March, Customs officers uncovered ingredients for making weapons, instruction manuals, batons and throwing stars in a shipping container bound for Mr Leo in Fiji.
The cult leader, 53, fled to Fiji in May last year after raids on 12 Agape Ministries properties uncovered 20 illegal guns, assault batons, detonators, fuses and more than 65,000 rounds of ammunition.
Mr Leo had allegedly stockpiled weapons and told members they would be used to defend themselves if needed.
2011-06-27, Tony Ortega, Runnin Scared, Village Voice
The award winner! UPDATED: Hold the presses! It turns out that another Scientology DVD also won a major award. More info after the break!
We get some complaints in our comments from Scientologists who say that we're a little too hard on L. Ron Hubbard's globe-spanning organization.
Just to show that we know how to give credit where it is due, we are happy and proud to pass on the information that was sent to us by Karin Pouw, Scientology spokeswoman, in a press release last week.
2011-06-27, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
At his most powerful, Rathbun says he answered only to Scientology's ultimate leader, David Miscavige.
Rathbun was an enforcer, a fixer, someone Miscavige could turn to when the church was in trouble. For that reason, many church critics refuse to forgive him for his acts, even seven years after leaving the church and becoming one of Miscavige's chief tormentors.
Agape Ministries International was granted charity organisation tax breaks from July 2000 by the Tax Office.
It was stripped of the status last month after police raided its properties around Adelaide and seized 15 allegedly illegal firearms and other weapons.
2010-06-27, Jefferson Hawkins, Leaving Scientology
There are several films that I think every Scientologist should see. One of them is The Truman Show, the 1998 film starring Jim Carrey. If you haven't seen it, rent it and I think you'll get a kick out of it.
The plot centers around a reality television show, "The Truman Show," whose main character, Truman Burbank, has lived his entire life since before birth in front of the cameras for the show, though he himself is unaware of this fact. Truman's life is filmed through thousands of hidden cameras, 24 hours a day and broadcast live around the world. Truman's hometown of Seahaven is a complete set built under a giant dome and populated by the show's actors and crew, allowing full control of every aspect of Truman's life. Everything he experiences is supplied by the show – his "family," his "friends," his "job," the newspapers he reads, the TV shows he watches, and so on.
To keep Truman from discovering the false reality of his life, he is bombarded with false news reports and advertising about how dangerous and hostile the world is outside of Seahaven, and how good and safe it is to stay at home. Despite all these precautions, Truman begins to notice oddities, and his sense of "cognitive dissonance" grows, particularly after he falls in love with an extra (not part of the script) and she tries to tell him the truth about his life. The girl mysteriously disappears (disconnection?).
The St. Petersburg Times' June 24 editorial The abuse behind Scientology's facade proves beyond doubt that any aura of objectivity in the Times' so-called "special report" was illusory. The report attempted to give the appearance of balance by quoting statements from Church of Scientology representatives, but the editorial exposes this exercise as a hollow pretense.
The editorial uncritically accepts as true statements from a handful of former church staff without ever addressing their lack of credibility, their underlying motivations and the voluminous evidence proving their stories were false. These individuals lost their positions of authority within the church for incompetence and for serious misconduct. Your sources' statements to the Times plainly targeted the man who removed them, David Miscavige.
Popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia has banned Scientology's more vocal friends and foes from editing articles about the religion, a move that worries some in the Internet community.
Wikipedia has blocked contributions from computers at the Church of Scientology's Los Angeles headquarters, as well as some critics of the religion.
The Church of Scientology Religious Trust has bought the Fall School Business Center on 8th Avenue.
The Scientology trust purchased the executive suit building at 1130 8th Ave. S. along with adjacent properties at 1112 and 1114 8th Ave. S. for $6 million from Fall School Associates June 26, according to records and the Davidson County Register of Deeds.
The German government has banned the makers of a film about a failed assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler from shooting in the country because its lead is Tom Cruise. And Cruise, as he has ensured everyone knows, is a Scientologist. "[The ban] is a good thing," says Antje Blumenthal, a Christian Democratic Union (CDU) politician who has campaigned against Scientology in Germany. "I don't like that whenever Tom Cruise is written about, it always says he is a Scientologist. I am concerned it could encourage young people to join."
Before Katie Holmes' devoutly Catholic parents officially sign their daughter over to the Church of Scientology, they might want to get in touch with Philip J. Spickler. One of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard's original disciples, Spickler is the father of Mimi Rogers, Tom Cruise's first wife and the person responsible for recruiting him into the cult in the mid-"80s.
In that story, the magazine asked Cruise - who helped set up a tent staffed by Scientology ministers on the War of the Worlds set - if he sees it as his job to recruit followers for Scientology.
"I'm a helper," he replied. "For instance, I myself have helped hundreds of people get off drugs. In Scientology, we have the only successful drug rehabilitation program in the world. It's called Narconon."
"That's not correct," the interviewer responded. "Yours is never mentioned among the recognized detox programs. Independent experts warn against it because it is rooted in pseudo science."
"You don't understand what I am saying. It's a statistically proven fact that there is only one successful drug rehabilitation program in the world. Period," Cruise said.
Today, Scientology executives insist that the organization is law-abiding, that the offenders have been purged and that the church has now entered an era in which harmony has replaced hostility.
But as the movement attempts to broaden its reach, evidence is mounting that Hubbard's devotees are engaging in practices that, while not unlawful, have begun to stir memories of its troubled past.
"We need to be able to approach the right people in order to get things done," wrote Heber Jentzsch, president of the Church of Scientology International, in the newspaper Scientology Today. "We need to to find out how to reach key people in the media, in government, in the control points of society, the people who run things."
The Scientology movement's Foundation for Advancements in Science and Education has befriended one of America's most celebrated teachers, Jaime Escalante of Garfield High School.
Escalante is the East Los Angeles teacher profiled in the hit 1988 film "Stand and Deliver," which chronicled his success in teaching advanced calculus to barrio students.