For months now we've been getting reports from readers on several different continents that Scientologists have been out in their neighborhoods, clad in PPE and looking like government or medical officials, and are handing out booklets about the coronavirus while wearing masks and gloves and other protection.
We've discussed here that it's a naked attempt on Scientology's part to grab some good publicity, and that Scientology's actual beliefs about illnesses being psychosomatic, and generally being critical of western medicine, and refusing to wear masks when they're not drumming up good PR, belie the image that the church is trying to put out during the pandemic, that it's a force for good and not just an opportunistic sham of a church on the make.
Well, this week one of our readers in England found something that helps prove what a put-up job Scientology's COVID response has been.
2020-06-29, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
I originally posted a version of this in early 2017. I have updated it with additional information and quotes.
It's important, especially in light of the ongoing prosecution of Danny Masterson, other investigations, and civil cases. Anyone who confronts scientology witnesses needs to understand the nature of the beast.
While repeatedly asserting that they are "the most ethical group on earth" and that they are constantly having to "get rid of" people who "cannot live up to their ethical standards," in truth, every dedicated scientologist is a liar. Why?
In this video former Sea Org member and Scientology expert Aaron Smith-Levin offers us an excellent analysis of an interview in which Joel Beaton, Address Management Director for the Church of Scientology International, stated that the Church of Scientology's active mailing list contains "about 3.5 million active names."
Mr. Beaton gave this number in an interview with Richard Ramano of the In-Plant Printing and Mailing Association (IPMA). This video was released in June 2019. The Church of Scientology's Bridge Publications has been very active in IPMA for many years.
Aaron analyzes past claims made by the Church of Scientology in which numbers of eight million, nine million, and ten million members were publicly stated by various Scientology officials. For Joel Beaton to now publicly topple these fake numbers by offering a real number is extraordinary.
2019-06-29, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Our old friend Terra Cognita is back again this week...
Central Files and the Ability to Confront
Little is more important to a Scientologist than his ability to confront. According to founder, L. Ron Hubbard, all our problems since the Big Bang stem from our inability to confront. From the physical to the spiritual, seeing any problem as it really is can be vanquished by just looking at the damn thing—like really, really looking at it. In layman's terms: confronting the shit out of a problem makes it go away. Scientologists pride themselves on their ability to confront.
A constant theme of Scientology watching is that we see church members getting hit up for money in so many ways. For their progress up the 'Bridge to Total Freedom,' for new (and unnecessary) buildings, for book campaigns, for their status as donors, and on and on.
But even we were surprised when a tipster showed us that a mission in California had literally gone to the Internet to beg for money so it could go "Ideal."
By the time we looked, the Riverpark Mission's GoFundMe had been taken down, but not before our tipster had grabbed screenshots of its $20,000 appeal.
The Church of Scientology has moved to reassure East Grinstead residents that letters claiming it was trying to buy up homes to prevent Muslims moving to the area are bogus.
The letter, stating to be from the Saint Hill-based organisation, has been received by a number of householders in the town.
It has also been circulated on social media.
The letter claims the church wants to buy properties at a 25 per cent premium to provide homes for its followers and stop Muslims moving to East Grinstead.
Jeffrey Augustine was so excited about a software upgrade to his podcast, he immediately used it to interview Karen de la Carriere, his wife! And although Underground Bunker readers are pretty familiar with each of them, we think you're going to get a lot out of this conversation.
Here's how the topics break down:
In this video Karen discusses Hubbard's secret instructions on what a Scientologist is supposed to do when he or she is dying, and then what they are to do immediately after death. She next discusses Disconnection in terms of Scientology's ethics policies. Scientology's claim that Disconnection is a "personal choice" is shown to be a lie. The State of Clear is examined. Karen and Jeff review how unstable and completely revocable the State of Clear is in Scientology. Clear is essentially a leased state that depends upon a Scientologist remaining in good standing with the Church, not friending the wrong people on Facebook, and other whimsical and arbitrary conditions imposed by Scientology. The podcast concludes with a discussion of the fraudulent nature of refunds and repayments in Scientology. "Advanced Payments" actually means "We in Scientology will never give you back one penny if we can possibly avoid it by a long time-wasting series of tricks, stratagems, and devices."
Description: Aaron Smith-Levin and Jeffrey Augustine discuss Marty Rathbun's video series in which he uses lies, distortions, and falsehoods to attack those who speak out against Scientology. Marty has no credibility according to the Church of Scientology itself. So why are Marty's videos on Scientology's website?
The uptick over the past six months of homeless downtown has been noticeable, with people sleeping in the foyers of buildings, lounging in Station Square Park and at the patio tables of restaurants, and lining up for near-daily meals at Peace Memorial Presbyterian Church. It also overlaps with the launch of the city's aggressive $55 million waterfront revitalization, Imagine Clearwater.
And the Church of Scientology's directive in May for its Sea Org staff to avoid downtown while in uniform took away a dominant presence on the streets, making the homeless even more conspicuous amid minimal foot traffic from shoppers.
Saturday night in Denver, those of us who were there had the privilege of hearing London-based Australian journalist Steve Cannane address the crowd at our annual gathering, HowdyCon. He had prepared remarks for his talk, and we obtained his permission to publish those notes here on the blog today. Here's what Steve told us that night…
I was one of a number of journalists who got a mention in Marty Rathbun's surprisingly well shot video diary and I asked Tony if he wanted a response for the Bunker.
I told him I'd wait until Marty finished, because in one of his earlier posts he said he had more to say about Lawrence Wright's analysis of the Australian inquiry and I thought I better wait and see what else he had to offer.
The new Church of Scientology Marty Rathbun denies everything. Nothing bad ever happened in the Church even though Marty said it did for seven years. So was he lying then or is he lying now? Or has his entire life been one big and continuous lie?
2017-06-29, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
They came from near. They came from far. They came to laugh and hug and talk and celebrate. What were they coming for? HowdyCon 2017.
And just what is HowdyCon? It's a wild and wooly get-together of the commenters and contributors to Tony Ortega's blog, The Underground Bunker. Started in 2016 and named for Steven Cox's alias Captain Howdy, the denizens of the Underground Bunker decided they wanted to dare the impossible and bring their tight-knit commenter community into real life. Not only did it work at their initial meeting in Cleveland in 2016, but it was so such a good time that a tradition was born and so they did it again, this year in Denver, Colorado.
Some of us attendees only had to drive down the road to get there, while others flew in on Squirrel Airlines from all over the United States and even as far away as Ireland. What is it about the Underground Bunker that would call people together for such an event?
This is my tribute video to HowdyCon 2017 and Tony Ortega's blog, The Underground Bunker. This was a great and very fun event that took place here in Denver last weekend. I interviewed some of the attendees and got their feedback on the event which is also included here.
2016-06-29, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Things are not too rosy at old St Hill.
Their new Auditor mag clearly demonstrates how pathetic St Hill is — and this is what ALL ORGS are striving to be like!
Of course, they no longer have a Briefing Course to deliver - the original PURPOSE of the organization. But without having to devote resources to delivering the BC, one would imagine they would be doing a bang-up job of making up for that with everything else...
Russia's Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a lower court's ruling to ban the Church of Scientology Moscow, RAPSI reports from the courtroom.
In November, the Moscow City Court granted a motion filed by the Russian Justice Ministry and ordered the liquidation of the branch of the Church of Scientology within six months.
The Justice Ministry found during an audit that the charter of the Church of Scientology Moscow runs counter to the federal law on the freedom of religion, and that the word "Scientology" is a registered trademark of the US Religious Technology Center. Following the audit, the ministry requested that the Moscow City Court outlaw the Church of Scientology Moscow.
In this podcast Mark Fisher — who was David Miscavige's former assistant for many years at the Corporate Liaison Office and later RTC — discusses how L. Ron Hubbard never appointed David Miscavige as his Successor. Instead, Mark describes how David Miscavige, who then worked as an employee of the privately-owned for-profit company Author Services Inc., used ASI to stage a palace coup to take over RTC, and thus the Church, after the death of L. Ron Hubbard.
Mark Fisher also discusses how he took personal possession of L. Ron Hubbard's auditing folders and the OTVIII - OTX materials after Hubbard's death, this at the direct order of David Miscavige.
In my previous article Scientology claims L. Ron Hubbard chose David Miscavige to succeed him, proving he didn't, David Miscavige used Scientology attorney Eric Lieberman to insist that he, David Miscavige, had rightfully inherited the mantle of L. Ron Hubbard. Lieberman insisted the Church has documents from L. Ron Hubbard supporting this claim. However, neither Lieberman nor the Church has ever publicly produced these alleged documents. It stands to reason that if such documents existed then David Miscavige would certainly have produced and publicly circulated these documents immediately upon the death of L. Ron Hubbard in January 1986. This never happened. Therefore, Lieberman's claim must remain unsubstantiated until such a time as the purported documents are publicly posted online and made available for one and all to examine.
In April, we laid a bombshell on you: In 2014, Lisa Marie Presley attempted to have a showdown with Scientology leader David Miscavige, but he chickened out and sent his two sisters in his stead.
Presley was fed up after hearing all of the things Miscavige had been doing with "The Hole" — a prison for Scientology executives — and other allegations that had come out in the press in the last several years. But the final straw, our sources told us, was the way Miscavige was treating his own father, Ron.
When Lisa Marie tried to confront him about it in October 2014, Miscavige trotted out his sisters, Denise and Lori, who screamed at Presley about their father Ron and brother Ron Jr., apparently trying to justify their brother Dave's behavior.
2015-06-29, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The eleventh installment of my question-and-answer video show, where I take up questions subscribers and commenters have asked me in my videos and answer them as best I can. Questions answered in this video:
(1) Hubbard, in many of his writings, talks about a fair exchange being necessary between his org and the students as the foundation of good business practices but since COB took over, this idea has been purged. How do the "in" folks square the circle on this inconsistency? There must be some mental gymnastics at play, or am I missing something? Thanks for all you do!
(2) Since we already know that Scientology is a fraud, and that organized religion in general is not positive, what would you suggest to someone who wants to expand his spiritual horizon, but does not want to delve heavily into philosophy books?
We've been on the road with our appearance yesterday in Clearwater, but thankfully, our friend Jeffrey Augustine sent in another of his deep dives into the weird world of Scientology infrastructure. Take us down the rabbit hole again, Jeff...
In our last article, we showed that the word "Scientologist" is a collective membership mark used by members of the affiliated churches and missions of Scientology:
This statement is found in the fine print of Impact, the official magazine of the International Association of Scientologists. Curiously enough, and as documented last week, the IAS itself is not a part of the ecclesiastical hierarchy of Scientology churches and missions:
2015-06-29, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This is becoming positively absurd.
Check out the latest begging letter.
The person sending this, Roy Sarkovitch, has been around forever. He was the Flag Flag Rep for many years, and an org "programs chief" in the Flag Bureau. He was a senior international scientology executive.
I don't know whether Scientology hired Saldarriaga to spy upon its critics, and whether that was why all those email accounts got hacked. But it's clear that the investigation shouldn't end with Saldarriaga's imprisonment.
2014-06-29, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This tells you everything you need to know about the state of the GAG II "boom" at Flag.
It's a massive bust.
Not only are they desperate to get people onto Solo NOTs, they don't even have public on Super Power or the Running Program. If they did, they would not be able to afford to send out their tech staff to try and convince people to arrive for services — they would be too busy delivering.
2014-06-29, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Identifying with that which arises in consciousness - as opposed to simply viewing its coming and going to, through and out of one's own spacious awareness – is the process by which breadth of consciousness, space, process, and ability declines. When one identifies his mind becomes the object, concept, idea, or picture rather than the spacious field through which such pass. By identifying as a member of a particular class of people one begins to crave for and cling to that which that assumed identity craves for and clings to. One also begins to automatically resist entire classes of objects arising in consciousness; all of those that are repelled by that with which he identifies. All of this grasping and resistance results in persistence of dissonant energies within one's field of awareness.
The first and most common means by which messiahs and gurus (wannabe or proclaimed; religious or secular) and their cults have entrapped, controlled, and enslaved well-meaning people by manipulation of the simple mechanics of awareness or consciousness (see Basics) is requiring the assumption of a specific identity. Application requires one assume the identity of 'member.'
The moment a seeker of truth assumes the identity of a designated category of person he has lost his mastery of that which arises in consciousness. The degree he does so is the degree to which he has departed with the ability to perceive or be truth. Once he identifies he becomes an object continually present within his own consciousness, with all its attendant baggage. He begins to view what arises in awareness not as it is and for what it is but instead through the continuous via of the viewpoint of whatever 'ist' he has chosen to become. All of the pre-determined prejudices, likes, dislikes, and judgments of his adopted ism shade and alter everything that he would otherwise view as it really is.
Watch out! Nancy Cartwright is having some kind of naval restim and she's reaching for your wallet!
Yes, it's time for another wacky collection of Scientology's latest mailers and fliers as the church tries desperately to find a new strategy to get members to actually come to events and open up a few more credit cards for donations!
Speaking of donations, a tipster pointed out that Scientologists are helping to raise money for Florida Attorney GeneralPam Bondi in her re-election effort.
2013-06-29, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This report is a week out of date as I am still trying to catch up with all the emails and tips sent to me during the past week....
While a large concentration of SPs was within a mile, Voldemort snuck into the Auditorium to deliver his latest "come-on" for the miraculous divine revelation that is to be "GAT II". He was so worried about all the SP's around possibly enturbulating his Super Powerful OTness that he hired off duty police to guard the buildings for days before, through and for days after the wedding. Along with the CWPD Officers were additional PI's and Flag Security who were all on extended shifts to keep the boogeymen at bay. Everyone except the SO members (and the public that paid for it) were happy as they make good money for standing/sitting around and doing absolutely nothing to "protect" a paranoid victim from an "enemy" that is mocked up in his head.
Here is a brief summary of what he said, just as it was sent to me. If it doesnt make a lot of sense, don't spend a lot of time worrying about it as this is a series of lies that are very hard to keep reconciled and consistent — starting with the BIG lie that this is NOT in fact fixing the blocks to training he put in place with GAT I.
2013-06-29, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
I came across an interesting passage in a book – the passage originally published in 1963 – by a prominent psychologist predicting quantum advancements in human consciousness by the marrying of religious and philosophic wisdom with rapidly evolving science. It is fifty years later and it seems Scientology is only now beginning to go through the throes of differentiating the adults (truth seeking spiritualists and values inspired scientists) from the children (flat earth religionists and reductionist-mechanistic inclined scientists). Scientology seems, to steal a verse from U2, stuck in a moment that it can't get out of. From Religions, Values, and Peak-Experiences, by Abraham H. Maslow:
These two groups (sophisticated theologians and sophisticated scientists) seem to be coming closer and closer together in their conception of the universe as 'organismic', as having some kind of unity and integration, as growing and evolving and having direction and, therefore, having some kind of 'meaning.' Whether or not to call this integration 'God' finally gets to be an arbitrary decision and a personal indulgence determined by one's personal myths. John Dewey, an agnostic, decided for strategic and communicative purposes to retain the word 'God', defining it in a naturalistic way. Others have decided against using it also for strategic reasons. What we wind up with is a new situation in the history of the problem in which a 'serious' Buddhist let us say, one who is concerned with 'ultimate concerns' and with Tillich's 'dimensions of depth', is more co-religionist to a 'serious' agnostic than he is to a conventional, superficial, other-directed Buddhist for whom religion is only habit or custom, i.e., behavior.
Indeed, these 'serious' people are coming so close together as to suggest that they are becoming a single party of mankind, the earnest ones, the seeking, the questioning, probing ones, the ones who are not sure, the ones with a 'tragic sense of life', the explorers of the depths and of the heights, the 'saving remnant.' The other party then is made up of all the superficial, the moment-bound, the herebound ones, those who are totally absorbed with the trivial, those who are 'plated with piety, not alloyed with it', those who are reduced to the concrete, to the momentary, and to the immediately selfish. Almost, we could say, we wind up with adults, on the one hand, and children, on the other.
Jon Atack is the author of A Piece of Blue Sky, one of the very best books on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. He now has a new edition of the book out, and on Saturdays he's helping us sift through the legends, myths, and contested facts about Scientology that tend to get hashed and rehashed in books, articles, and especially on the Internet.
Jon has a special treat for us today. He thought readers might want to see the document that he prepared back in 1984, declaring Scientology leader David Miscavige a "suppressive person" — the church's version of excommunication.
Says Jon: "We sent it to every Org and Mission and it was actually read out to rejoicing at staff muster in several. It is amazing to me that subsequent to this, he was able to remove Hubbard's assigned heirs — the Broekers — and take control, simply because all around were terrified of him."
2012-06-29, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Please see this. It is a an utterly racist, xenophobic, sexist, political statement by David Miscavige and his dysfunctional Scientology Inc.
Now, I ask you, is the following a more accurate, rational, sane positioning for this fellow? I won't condemn you if you disagree. Please express your true feeling on this one. John Allender has perfectly snapped terminals with his demigod David Miscavige.
If you lack reality on the latter, go here and read, and I suggest it will make perfect sense:
Scientology describes itself as the world's fastest growing religion, but in Australia it is going backwards.
Figures released to Lateline from the Australian Census show that in 2011, just 2,163 Australians called themselves Scientologists, a decrease of 13.7 per cent from the 2006 census.
2012-06-29, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Scientology leader David Miscavige has reportedly lost a Hubbard family member and his own father as his church continues to split apart. NEW: See all of our most recent stories detailing the crises currently facing Scientology.
Multiple sources are telling the Voice that Scientology's International Base in California has experienced stunning new defections -- Roanne Leake, who is L. Ron Hubbard's granddaughter, has "blown" the base, which was her home for more than 20 years. But just as shocking, at about the same time, the base was also abandoned by David Miscavige's father, Ron Miscavige Sr.
We sent a request for comment to Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw, but have not received a reply. But starting several days ago, we began hearing from multiple, independent sources that Leake had left the base about two months ago, and about a month earlier she was preceded by Ron Sr. and his wife, Becky.
2012-06-29, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
As I noted on 20 May, 2012, David Miscavige was going to face a "long, hot summer." At that time, I could not share details so as not to compromise the safety of a number of important folk quietly riding the Underground Railroad. (for background on the Underground Railroad and a real time account of John "JB" Brousseau's travel upon it, see JB Goes Mobile.)
As reported today in the Village Voice, there have been two notable departures from Scientology Inc's international headquarters (Int base). David Miscavige's father Ron Miscavige Sr. and L. Ron Hubbard's granddaughter Roanne Horwich left the Int base some months ago. I have not reported on the details so as to afford Roanne and Ron time and space to resists Miscavige's extraordinary efforts to corral them back into his prison camp (Int base, near HemetCalifornia). As you can imagine, the efforts were extensive and some of the means were ruthless. But, Roanne and Ron (who left separately, with his wife Becky) have weathered the storm and further human trafficking efforts by Miscavige and Scientology Inc applied to them now will simply serve as fodder for more exposure on this blog and in the news media.
Ron Miscavige Sr. was the last of Miscavige's immediate family members to remain loyal and obedient to the tyrant. The last remaining member of L. Ron Hubbard's family still remaining loyal and obedient to Miscavige (even while silently seething toward Miscavige) is Roanne's mother, Diana Hubbard Horwich.
After five years of marriage, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are getting a divorce, PEOPLE has learned exclusively.
"This is a personal and private matter for Katie and her family," says Holmes's attorney Jonathan Wolfe. "Katie's primary concern remains, as it always has been, her daughter's best interest."
Cruise's rep tells PEOPLE: "Kate has filed for divorce and Tom is deeply saddened and is concentrating on his three children. Please allow them their privacy."
2012-06-29, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
NEW: What Katie Holmes is trying to spare Suri -- at six, Scientology kids are conditioned to become informers.
People magazine is reporting that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are ending their marriage, which should surprise just about no one.
Holmes was hand-picked for Cruise by a nervous David Miscavige, as Scientology's leader wanted to prevent what had happened during Cruise's previous marriage, when a Scientology-wary Nicole Kidman kept Cruise all but out of the religion during their ten-year relationship.
2011-06-29, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Hi! My name is Mike Wilson.
I'm from West Texas and I've been in Scientology since 1976.
I've done all the original OT levels, OEC, FEBC and the New OT levels. I had great wins with all of it with the exception of OT8.
Day 4 (June 2): The onetime executive director of Scientology's ParisCelebrity Centre, presented a vigorous defence - to the point that he had to be called to order by his own lawyer.
Having heard from the two defendants charged in connection with the vitamins used in Scientology's Purification RundownJudge Sophie-Hélène Château next called Alain Rosenberg.
Rosenberg founded the Celebrity Centre in 1979 and was its executive director at the time of the events in question. For this reason, he had been charged with organised fraud and complicity in the illegal exercise of pharmacy.
It is one of several initiatives by the couple, including a new foundation that will give grants to young people in the arts and education. About 80% of New Village students will receive financial assistance in the fall.
But the school's Sept. 3 opening, on the leased campus of a former school in Calabasas, will be accompanied by a whiff of controversy. Some of its teachers are members of the Church of Scientology, and it will use teaching methods developed by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
Touretzky said many phrases and concepts on the school's website are specific to Scientology. For example, the school lists a "Director of Qualifications" and another teacher who is an assistant in the "Qual" department. The "Qual," said Touretzky, is where people who have completed a Scientology counseling, or "auditing," session or a course in the Church of Scientology are tested by a qualifications teacher.
2005-06-29, Anderson Cooper, Anderson Cooper 360°, CNN
And in this half-hour, we're trying to get at the facts about Scientologist's critique of psychiatry and antidepressant medication.
Joining me from Los Angeles, in a 360 exclusive interview, is Bruce Wiseman, a 35-year member of Scientology and U.S. national president of its Citizen Commission on Human Rights, a Scientologist group dedicating to fighting, what it calls, psychiatric violations of human rights. [Transcript]
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has sharply criticised actor Tom Cruise for televised remarks in which he called psychiatry a "pseudo science" and disputed the value of anti-depressant drugs.
"It is irresponsible for Mr Cruise to use his movie publicity tour to promote his own ideological views and deter people with mental illness from getting the care they need," APA President Dr Steven Sharfstein said in a statement.
PARIS (AP) _ The organization that acts as a watchdog over French judges will investigate the handling of an inquiry into members of the Church of Scientology after evidence disappeared, the Justice Ministry said Thursday.
The announcement came a week after Justice Minister Elisabeth Guigou said she believed fraud was involved in the disappearance of the dossiers. Her comments were based on a report by the General Inspection of Judicial Services.
Hundreds of documents disappeared in October 1998 in a case that had been opened in 1983 against 16 members of the Church of Scientology suspected of "fraud and illegally practicing medicine."
Both sides in the case, stemming from infiltration of the Ontario government and three police forces in the 1970s, claimed some victory when the church and three members were each found guilty on two counts and not guilty on charges of theft.
After receiving private complaints against the church in Toronto, and then discovering documents from the Ontario attorney general's office in a raid of church property in the U.S., the Ontario Provincial Police began an exhaustive investigation.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Hill & Knowlton, the public relations giant, has quit working for the Church of Scientology because it posed a conflict with another of its clients, a top agency official said Friday.
The PR firm was also under pressure from its parent, WPP Group PLC, to drop the Scientologists, but the agency executive said that was not the determining factor in Hill & Knowlton's decision.
WPP also owns the ad agency J. Walter Thompson, whose clients include Eli Lilly & Co., an Indianapolis-based drugmaker that has been feuding with the Scientologists over Prozac, a Lilly anti-depressant drug.
1991-06-29, Rhonda Holifield, St. Petersburg Times
The Church of Scientology is continuing its $3-million public relations campaign to offset a Time magazine story that called the organization "The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power."
Scientologists had 48-page advertising supplements in 1.8-million copies of USA Today on Friday, said newspaper spokesman Steven Anderson.
Critics call Scientology a cult or money-making organization. Scientologists say it is a religion.
Since the litigation began, Yanny says, he and his friends have been the target of harassment.
He says that his Century City law firm was burglarized four times and that Scientology-related documents turned up missing; that he has been spied upon by a church "plant" working as a secretary in his office; and that private investigators have camped outside his Hermosa Beach residence and shadowed him when he left.
Jon J. Gaw, a Riverside-area private investigator who has handled a number of Scientology-related probes in recent years, said in a deposition that he used as many as "seven or eight" investigators to conduct surveillance of Yanny between June, 1988 and March, 1989. Two of his operatives took up residence on a nearby street, Gaw said, and tailed Yanny whenever he ventured outside.
Over the past three decades, the IRS has revoked the tax-exempt status of various Scientology organizations, accusing them of operating in a commercial manner and of financially benefiting private individuals. From the late 1960s through mid-1970s, IRS agents classified Scientology as a "tax resister" and "subversive," a characterization later deemed improper by a judge.
In 1984, the IRS's Los Angeles office launched a far-ranging criminal investigation into allegations by high-level Scientology defectors that the movement's founder, L. Ron Hubbard, had skimmed millions of dollars from the church.
Ministers mingle with private detectives. "Sacred scriptures" counsel the virtues of combativeness. Parishioners double as paralegals for litigious church attorneys.
Consider the passage that a prominent Scientology minister selected from the religion's scriptures, authored by the late L. Ron Hubbard, to inspire the faithful during a gala church event.
"People attack Scientology," the minister quoted Hubbard as saying. "I never forget it; always even the score."
The crowd cheered.
The Church of Scientology hates "squirrels."
That is the scornful word L. Ron Hubbard used to describe non-church members who offer his teachings, sometimes at cut-rate prices. Most are ex-Scientologists who say they believe in Hubbard's gospel but left the church because its hierarchy was too oppressive.
"We call them squirrels," Hubbard once wrote, "because they are so nutty."