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This week in our series of excerpts from books about Scientology, we have an excerpt from the newest addition to the pile, Chris Shugart's Fractured Journey: A Personal Account of 30 Outrageous Years in the Church of Scientology. We specifically asked for this portion of the book, which practically drove us nuts when we read it. Couldn't Chris see the disaster he was walking into? Ah, Scientologists. From the books chapter ten, "Rising Costs," here's Chris's setup for what became a world of hurt.
With the beginning of 1982, came a series of events that turned my life in a completely different direction. And I never saw it coming. It actually all started in 1978, when my dad, Al Shugart, founded Seagate Technology. He was already a prominent figure in the Silicon Valley computer industry, but this new venture would soon become his best known accomplishment.
In 1980 my dad gave me a few thousand shares of Seagate stock as a Christmas present. It wasn't worth anything then because the stock hadn't gone public. My dad suggested I hang on to it because he said, in a casual way, "one of these days it might be worth a million dollars." I laughed and said, "Hey, you never know."
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?
(Illustration by Observer)
On Wednesday, we told you that Tampa federal Judge James Whittemore informed the Church of Scientology that arbitration was "imminent" in the Luis and Rocio Garcia case. Now, just a couple of days later, we're not so sure.
Judge Whittemore followed up his ruling by placing into the court file a copy of the letter that he's apparently just now sending out to 20 Los Angeles-area Scientologists out of a list of 500 members in good standing and their contact information that the church supplied him under seal.
2016-06-30, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
Scientology has operated in Russia for over 20 years and in all likelihood, will continue operating there in one form or another for many more years to come. However, recent developments have caused me to look more deeply into what is going on there and how the Russian government has chosen to deal with what they clearly consider the Scientology threat. Watching a somewhat totalitarian government regime deal with an authoritarian destructive cult should be entertaining, but unfortunately that is not the case. The way things are going in Russia now, it appears they are falling right back into Stalinist thought policing which will only mean more trouble for everyone.
Let's look at how this began. When the Iron Curtain came down due to events throughout Eastern Europe in 1989 and 1990, Russia's borders opened up and new religious movements and destructive cults flooded in, including the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Unification Church as well as Scientology.
They were aided in this in 1990 when Mikhail Gorbachov signed the "Law of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic on Freedom of Worship. " This new law stated that freedom of worship "...shall include the right of each and every citizen to freely select, possess, and disseminate religious and atheist beliefs, to confess any faith or no faith, and to act in accordance with his or her beliefs, while observing the laws of the state." This was much needed in Russia to allow for freedom of religious belief, but with that freedom also comes the freedom to be deceived and cheated by those who use religion for their own nefarious ends. Unfortunately, when you open the door to the good, you can also let the bad slip in too.
Jim Marrs on a satellite broadcast pimping L. Ron Hubbard's Battlefield Earth. Photo from Pacific Television Center.
Doomed forever to repackage and resell the same old works of L. Ron Hubbard over and over ad infinitum, the Church of Scientology has now decided to relaunch one of the worst SciFi books ever, and here we speak of Battlefield Earth — which was also one of the worst movies ever. That the movie starred Scientologist John Travolta was perhaps the main reason for the epic awfulness of the movie. The book and the movie were bad because L. Ron Hubbard's "Battlefield Earth" fails in so many areas. The plot, characters, dialogue and the writing itself are idiotic, turgid, and laughable. The book is unreadable in its present form.
A cursory look at the Galaxy Press website show the original 1982 first edition of Battlefield Earth still being offered at $75.00. This means Galaxy was never able to move all of its 1982 Battlefield Earth stock — and yet it is now trying to sell a 2016 edition.
We want to thank the tipster who sent us our favorite section of Scientology's newest Advance! magazine, the publication of the Advanced Organization of Los Angeles (AOLA).
We really enjoy the "OT Phenomena" in each issue, a collection of fun stories submitted by advanced Scientologists with all of the miraculous things they can now do since Scientology made them superhuman.
You see, Scientology tries to keep this from the public, but what its members are really doing is getting themselves up the "Bridge to Total Freedom" so they can get to the point where they will be paying several hundred dollars an hour for counseling to remove invisible alien beings from themselves. It's a form of space-age exorcism that helps you rid yourself of hidden "body thetans." As a result, your immortal self, a thetan, can then do all sorts of amazing, supernatural things that low-level Scientologists can only dream about.
2016-06-30, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
New Bright Idea
It seems they are trying to match the success of the "Extension" courses the church offers. They apparently don't realize the Extension Courses have become the preferred method of avoiding regges and Call In people — "I am doing my Basics Book Extension Course so leave me alone..."
What Do You Get?
The national charity regulator has told an Australian Senator that it has the power to investigate allegations of abuse within the Church of Scientology and review its charity status.
In a letter to Independent Senator Nick Xenophon, seen by Pro Bono Australia News, Director of Compliance and Reporting at the ACNC, Stewart Donaldson, said concerns raised about the Church of Scientology in Australia had been looked at.
It follows a request from Xenophon in April this year that the charity status of Scientology be reviewed following fresh allegations of abuse which were aired in the documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief.
Scientologists at War investigates the pressure tactics used to discredit and silence members who leave the church. The documentary provides a rare insider's view of one of the world's most mysterious organizations courtesy of its highest level defector. As the former Inspector General of Ethics, Marty Rathbun worked closely with leader David Miscavige and celebrity follower Tom Cruise. He claims that for many years he was Number 2 to Miscavige and acted as an enforcer punishing anyone who questioned the church's leadership.
Mark Bunker got very good video of Sunday's event in Clearwater. But about ten minutes into it your proprietor knocked his lapel microphone off, and in general the setup wasn't ideal for sound. But blame us, not Bunker.
This was our largest room so far, with 240 people, and they were really intensely watching us. Paulette is mesmerizing, and the crowd was really with us, even if you can't see it in this video.
If a certain Mr. Miscavige was watching, we can't help wondering what went through his mind when we arrived to the facility riding in a white Rolls Royce. (With the Nobles, we were taken to brunch by their old friends, publishers in the area, a fascinating couple.)
Ron Miscavige Sr., 79, the father to reclusive Scientology leader David Miscavige, 55, has signed a deal with major publisher St. Martin's Press to issue his book about his son and Scientology titled "If He Dies, He Dies."
The title is a reference to a now infamous story that came out in the Los Angeles Times this April about the arrest of two private investigators in Wisconsin, who told police they were being paid $10,000 a week by David Miscavige to surveil his father, and had been doing so for more than a year.
At one point while they were watching Ron in a Walmart parking lot, he clutched at his chest and the private eyes believed he was having a heart attack (he was actually fumbling with his phone). When they called their handlers for advice, the private eyes say David Miscavige himself came on the line and told them to do nothing — if it was Ron's time to die, then so be it.
2015-06-30, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
You can glean a lot from a single promotional item as the bubble world of scientology continues to shrink and they increasingly lose track of what they are actually saying.
Let's take a look at the latest Moneywinds seminar promotion piece and the blurb they sent out with it:
First, isn't it just a little odd that the two "other" speakers apart from the International KeyNote Speaker and Officer from the Freewinds have their case level listed? It's never been an outpoint to anyone that the majority of people who are "running the church" at "top levels" are not even clear, let alone OT. I would bet that after 25 years in the Sea Org (or however long it is) this international speaker and D/COB for Poster Images is NOT OT.... This would be like the cardinals in the Vatican not having ever participated in Holy Communion. It is such a huge, crashing "departure from the ideal scene" that nobody can confront it. It's relegated to "we don't think about that."
2014-06-30, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Why do they keep advertising their failures?
Seriously, this guy didnt handle the restim from a general anaesthetic on Dianetics or NOTs or two previous Purifs?
For sure they didn't give his money back for those failures — or even credit.
Attorney General Pam Bondi, who already has raised millions for her re-election campaign, can expect to pull in more dollars tonight at a Clearwater fundraiser where all six organizers are prominent members of the Church of Scientology.
Yesterday, in our Sunday Funnies, we showed you a flier (pictured, right) announcing a set of L. Ron Hubbard lectures that the folks at Scientology's LondonIdeal Org claim were never previously released, and that would be on sale for £200.
"Ron talks about the anatomy of the body and gives a glimpse at one of his past lives in the nineteenth century when he wrote a textbook on the subject," the flier said, and we thought that sounded great. But never before released? The flier itself said the lectures of the Special Hubbard Professional Auditor Course were recorded in 1959. Have they really been under wraps all this time?
Well, of course not. And it didn't take us long to find an excerpt from one of the lectures referenced in the flier. We think you'll find it fascinating as L. Ron Hubbard describes what it's like to be an immortal spirit that gets into the most embarrassing hijinks when the body dies and he has to go find a new one.
It probably seemed a routine arrest. But the woman was Denise Gentile, and in her world, this was anything but routine.
Gentile, of Clearwater, is a well-known Scientologist and the twin sister of the church's worldwide leader, David Miscavige.
Her marijuana arrest is messy for the church because Scientologists have zero tolerance for mind-altering substances. They believe street drugs and psychiatric medicines make spiritual growth impossible.
Joe Childs at the Tampa Bay Times sent reverberations across the world of Scientology-watching last night with his stunning investigative story about the arrest of Denise Gentile, twin sister to Scientology leader David Miscavige.
Gentile, 53, was arrested in January for DUI, possession of nine marijuana "blunts," and failure to yield. Childs painstakingly pieced together the background of the arrest, which is sordid and fascinating. According to Childs' reporting, Denise Gentile and her husband Gerald owned and rented numerous run-down rental properties in Pinellas County, Florida that became havens for drug dealing. Denise, the article says, even took rent from one tenant in the form of marijuana cigarettes.
A dope-smoking slumlord is certainly not the preferred image for Scientology's ruling family. As Childs points out, Scientology not only eschews drug use, but touts its various anti-drug campaigns. In recent months, however, David Miscavige has had to contend with numerous image problems involving his own family, which only exacerbate the numerous crises currently gripping Scientology itself.
2013-06-30, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Joe Childs of the Tampa Bay Times filed a story about Denise Miscavige this evening. You can read it here.
Perhaps more than anything, it exposes the hypocrisy of "true believers" who have absolute certainty that they KNOW the answers to all problems in society. The quotes from sworn testimony cited in the article highlight just how unreal this mentality is.
I hope this is enough to wake Denise up. And I hope she comes through this OK — she was the first auditor I ever had in the Sea Org at St Hill in 1973.
2013-06-30, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
I am catching up. Just a couple of days behind now.
This is the report from last Friday's graduation.
Good news everyone — HE is still here and still doing graduation, much to the excitement of the locals. Wonder if he will stay in town now that his twin has shamed him so?
2012-06-30, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
A number of news media covering the divorce of Katie and Tom have linked to this blog. For those linking in to understand the Scientology dynamic in the relationship and how it might play out in the divorce, you will likely be interested in the following posts published on this blog. Several are backed by photographic and documentary evidence demonstrating the degree of control and influence Scientology Inc's supreme leader David Miscavige wields over Cruise.
1. Target, Tom Cruise. Details how Scientology Inc's supreme leader David Miscavige (Cruise's best man at his wedding) has infiltrated the Cruise household and used personal assistants and family members to serve as informants on every aspect of Cruise's personal life.
2. Miscavige and Cruise Caught Lying. A documented expose of Scientology Inc leader Miscavige using church of Scientology slave labor to design and construct custom-made motorcycles and vehicles for Cruise. Demonstrates the depth of Cruise's loyalty and commitment to Scientology Inc's sociopathic head.
2012-06-30, Tony Ortega, Runnin Scared, Village Voice
We talked with them about the oddities of Scientology schooling, and about the religion's form of counseling -- called auditing -- which can begin as young as Suri's age. But what may have convinced Katie to run was the frightening prospect that faces all Scientology kids beginning at 6 years old: a form of interrogation known as "sec checking."
[See also: there was more blockbuster Scientology news yesterday, involving the defections of L. Ron Hubbard's granddaughter, Roanne Horwich, and the father of church leader David Miscavige, Ron Sr., who each have escaped from Scientology's secretive international headquarters -- "Int Base" -- east of Los Angeles. And: Our open letter to Tom Cruise.]
2011-06-30, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Last week we reported that Marty Rathbun, former high official in Scientology, had written an open letter to his neighbors in little Ingleside on the Bay, Texas, explaining that he's under constant surveillance by Scientology goon squads. That was punctuated by a sad and hilarious video Rathbun took of Scientology's klutzy crew filming his house from a listing paddle boat in the canal behind his backyard.
Yesterday, the Ingleside Index reported that Ingleside's mayor proposed a ban on film crews filming in the city without the city's permission, and the rest of the council passed it unanimously. Talk about quick government action!
Now, whether it's enforceable or not, we'll have to see. Scientology historically loves nothing more than a legal fight...
2011-06-30, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Church of Scientology members would do well to read the writings of Martin Luther King. In the following one sentence King pithily describes the danger of what they have become individually and collectively:
Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
That people would continue to forfeit their homes, their retirement funds, and their children's educations in order to line the pockets of a head of a cult who spends that money consistently, and now very overtly, for the purposes of destroying the constitutional rights, the livelihood, and the very life of anyone with the fortitude to step out of cult lock-step is anathema to the very principles Scientology is built upon (not to mention America, and Western Civilization). The church's "creed" for example:
2010-06-30, Jefferson Hawkins, Leaving Scientology
My dear friend Karen De La Carriere has finally come out publicly - read her post on Marty's site.
I've known Karen for over 30 years, and she's always been a class act - a woman of rare integrity, intelligence and honesty. It is a credit to her loyalty to Scientology and her patience that she put up with Miscavige for as long as she did. But of course the Church pushed it too far, using her son, Alexander Jentzsch, against her. And so Miscavige has created another enemy - something he is very good at.
Karen knows she has my full support.
The Scientologists have bought the building, so Sen. Lamar Alexander's re-election headquarters will have to move out.
The Church of Scientology paid about $6 million for the Fall School Business Center, a former elementary school in Nashville that has been home to several Republican campaigns.
That's not to say they're taking it in stride. In response to Anonymous' constellation of indictments-ranging from an alleged history of tax fraud to more than a few disturbing human rights violations-operatives within the church, and definitely the local organization, have taken to the streets themselves, although without the en-masse presence that Project Chanology has maintained. While Anonymous' unnervingly exhaustive manifesto stops short of dropping the t-bomb, Scientology's response has been peppered with truncated, unofficial quotes lifted from YouTube and 4chan, essentially profiling the web-based movement as a band of hate-motivated terrorists.
Late last Thursday, the church purchased the Fall School Business Center along Eighth Avenue South for $6 million.
The property reportedly will become the new home of the church's Celebrity CentreNashville, which currently sits in a small house along Music Row.
The Fall School site has roughly 36,000-square-feet of space.
The Church of Scientology Religious Trust purchased the executive suit building at 1130 Eighth Ave. S. along with adjacent properties at 1112 and 1114 Eighth Ave. S. for $6 million from Fall School Associates June 26, according to records and the Davidson County Register of Deeds.
As we noted last month, the New Village Academy is a private school in Calabasas set to open its doors Sept. 3, founded by Will Smith and wife/appearances-upholder Jada Pinkett Smith. It has become a source of much controversy for having several Scientologists on its staff, who espouse a number of L. Ron Hubbard-advanced learning concepts in the curriculum: among them, the meaninglessly designated "study technology" programme for effective and complete child mind-absorption.
Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, have founded the New Village Academy in Los Angeles, scheduled to open in September. It will use instructional methods developed by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard called study technology.
But the couple say they are not Scientologists, and the academy's director insists the facility has no religious affiliation.
"We are a secular school, and just like all nonreligious, independent schools, faculty and staff do not promote their own religions at school or pass on the beliefs of their particular faith to children," New Village Academy director Jacqueline Olivier told the Los Angeles Times.
2008-06-30, Stone Martindale, Monsters and Critics
At the old Indian Hills Continuing Education High School on Las Virgenes Road in Calabasas, actor Will Smith has poured over $1 million into the leased property transforming it into a toney private school that bases some of its curriculum on Scientology teachings.
California's New Village Academy of Calabasas curriculum uses different educational theories including 'Study Technology' a method of teaching created by cult founder, L. Ron Hubbard.
Numerous media sources claim at least six members of the academic staff employed are confirmed Scientologists.
In a testy exchange on the Today show, Cruise called psychiatry a "pseudo-science" and told co-host Matt Lauer: "You don't know the history of psychiatry. I do."
Cruise's behaviour has ignited speculation he might damage his image and undermine the success of his movies.
For anyone interested in the Church of Scientology, the May 6, 1991, issue of Time magazine remains a milestone in news coverage. For those who back the church, it ran an outrageously biased account that eventually led to a libel suit by the church -- later dismissed -- and prompted Scientology leaders to launch a counterspin that continues today.
But for many who have long questioned the church, founded by the late L. Ron Hubbard and embraced by a string of Hollywood stars, that article represents one of the genuinely aggressive reports on the organization. And their concern is that what subsequently happened to Time -- and to other publications that tried to peek behind the church's cheerful exterior -- explains why few investigative reports on the church have followed.
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) _ Switzerland's supreme court threw out an appeal by the Church of Scientology on Wednesday, upholding a law aimed at keeping people from being "dishonestly" accosted on the street.
The Federal Tribunal ruled that the law, introduced last November in Switzerland's second-largest city, Basel, involved an intervention in religious freedom but did not infringe it.
But the judges questioned whether the law, which was prompted by efforts to curb Scientology, could be enforced and said a blanket ban on recruitment in public places would be inadmissible.
With EarthLink preparing for its first public stock offering, this is not good publicity. On the Net, the Church of Scientology is the antichrist. It slaps lawsuits on church critics who post quotes from copyrighted church documents, sometimes getting federal marshals to search homes and seize computer disks. There's no evidence that the church currently uses extralegal weapons against online critics -- pries into their e-mail, say. Still, among the desirable qualities of an Internet access provider -- the company whose computers all your e-mail and cyberwanderings pass through -- "Church of Scientology affiliated" does not rank high.
Leaders of five Indian tribes - who own landhere on which Narconon is operating an unlicensed drug andalcohol treatment center - passed a resolution Friday callingon Narconon to comply with state and federal law.
Narconon officials said they will do so, said Robert Chapman, who chaired Friday's meeting of the Chilocco Development Authority at which the resolution was approved unanimously.
The Church of Scientology used a special filing system with the code name of "Red Box" to conceal any "proof that a Scientologist is involved in criminal activities," according to Scientology documents seized in an FBI raid on church headquarters in Los Angeles last July.
The disclosure of the "Red Box" filing system came at a hearing last month before U.S. District Judge Malcolm Locas in Los Angeles, who is considering a motion by the church to have the search ruled illegal.
Prosecutors disclosed at the same hearing that when the "Red Box" system was discovered during the search, they obtained a search warrant for another California location where additional "sensitive Red Box" documents were allegedly kept by the church. However, by the time FBI agents had arrived at that location, witnesses there told them the files had been hastily removed earlier that day, investigators said.