2017-07-03, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
Five years ago today, on July 3, 2012, a Scientologist was found dead. Whatever ideas come to your mind when I say the word Scientologist, I want you to clear them out of the way because those aren't significant in deciding how to think about the death of this young man. He was not some nameless, faceless religious zealot. He was not some low IQ idiot who deserved what he got because he was stupid enough to join a destructive cult. In fact, objectively speaking, none of these extremist labels apply to him. Just the opposite actually. He never was asked whether or not he wanted to be a Scientologist. At the time of his death, he was a former Sea Org member, he was a son, he was a husband and he was my friend. His name was Alexander Jentzsch and this is his tragic story.
People come into this world and leave it every single day. Some of them are remembered but most are forgotten in the mists of time. This life and death was special. It was special to those who were lucky enough to know him and as we are going to talk about in this video, it was special to so many more people who never got a chance to meet him. I am making this video because I don't want Alex to ever be forgotten. This is my memorial to him. It is a tragedy in three acts.
Act One - Growing Up in Scientology
Alexander Jentzsch died five years ago today on July 3, 2012. Alexander was only 27 years old. The son of Heber Jentzsch and Karen de la Carriere, Alexander died due to Scientology's brutal policy of Disconnection.
The Church of Scientology would not allow Karen to see her dead son's body and kiss him goodbye one last time. This cruelty is unspeakable and unforgivable.
The Scientology Money Project was one of the outcomes of Alexander's death. Nothing can bring Alexander back, but I vowed to do whatever I could do to help expose the Church of Scientology.
Alex Jentzsch, the son of Heber Jentzsch, died on July 3, 2012 at 27 years old. He was one of the good guys in Scientology and his whole story is a tragedy. This video is my memorial to him.
We have pointed out numerous times that the first week of July in 2012 was perhaps the most eventful in our 22 years of reporting on Scientology. So much was happening that week as the media scrambled to cover the fallout over Katie Holmes splitting from Tom Cruise at the end of June.
We also reported that week on a development that had a much more direct impact on Scientology itself: Word reached us that church leader David Miscavige's own father, Ron Miscavige Sr., had literally escaped from Scientology's secretive "Int Base" in a bid for freedom. (He had actually made his move in March. His book about that escape, Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me, came out last year.)
We also received the stunning news that week that an entire mission had broken away from the church as Dani and Tami Lemberger in Haifa, Israel provided one of the most visible examples of the "independent" movement that was challenging the church.
Jon Atack & Jeffrey Augustine Discuss L. Ron Hubbard Jr., Captain Bill, and Scientology. L. Ron Hubbard Jr., or "Nibs" as he was called, was the #2 figure in Scientology from 1952-1959. Among his other duties, Nibs served as an Enforcer for his father. Nibs left the Church. He later spoke out against his father and even sued to gain control of his father's estate. Nibs famously granted Penthouse Magazine an interview in which he said that Scientology was Black Magick spread out over time and that his father thought of himself as the Antichrist. Nibs was eventually "recovered" by the Church of Scientology for an undisclosed sum of money. In exchange, Nibs recanted everything he had said about his father and thereby destroyed his own credibility forever. Jeffrey asks Jon, "Is Marty Rathbun the new L. Ron Hubbard Jr.?"
2017-07-03, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This article is by regular commenter Bruce Ploetz. Bruce was in the SO for 25 years, at the Int Base for 19 years — one of the few true genuises I have ever met. He is an Associate of Science in Electronics Technology. When it comes to the E-Meter, there is likely no more qualified expert on earth. Bruce is named on five patent applications for work concerning the MK VII E-Meter and Learning Accelerator and won a patent with one other for the Drills Simulator. An Electronics Technician, he worked up from that to Electronics Engineer in Silicon Valley, then Director of Research and Design for Hubbard Electrometer, various design and technician posts in the Sea Org, and is now a Design Engineer in the real world.
Why use an E-Meter?
As Professor Stephen Kent of the University of Alberta recently averred on the two-hour special episode of Leah Remini's Scientology, the Aftermath, L Ron Hubbard was a malignant narcissist. So it is understandable that he would make grandiose pronouncements, based on nothing but his own pride and authority, and expect others to accept them unquestioningly. That's what narcissists do.
2016-07-03, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The show where I answer questions left in the comments section of my Q&A videos or emailed to AskChrisShelton@gmail.com. This week, the questions I take up are:
(1) Have you ever thought the irony that several years after you escaped from what Tory Magoo calls "The Scientology Truman Show" you cast yourself in your own " Truman Show"?
What I mean is, I've been watching all your videos since you started and at times I almost think I know you, even though we've never met. You've told your whole life story in pieces. Sometimes you're consciously doing it in big chunks, sometimes in little snippets you've included in other conversations. You've let the whole world, or at least the whole internet, eavesdrop on conversations with your mom, your therapist friend, your pal Ruth, that Jehovahs Witness guy with the awesome voice…..
2016-07-03, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This email was recently sent out from the executive in charge of getting new people onto the Bridge in London's "ideal" org. And of course this is the ONLY org for a city with 10 million resident - imagine if there was ONE laundromat in all of London and the owners were announcing "we are cleaning London's clothes" and actually stated their goal for the last 25 years was to do the laundry of every person in London, but they still only had one small laundromat that nobody even used because their prices were too high.
He is so very proud of the fact that one person a WEEK is getting onto the Bridge! (this DOES qualify for an exclamation point) Lookat us, we are doing one load of laundry per week!
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 staff members have received briefings on the re-release of the 1982L. Ron Hubbard science fiction novel Battlefield Earth. Each org has a quota to sell books, and the potential customers are mostly active Scientologists. Although a work of fiction, the book is seen by Scientologists as an introduction to the works of L. Ron Hubbard in a process Scientology calls "dissemination." Copies of the book cost $25.00 and the books sold will be donated to the U.S. Military as part of Scientology's battle against psychiatry. The novel is allegorical, documenting the battle between a group of primitive Scottish farmers representing Scientologists, against the alien Psychlos representing Psychiatry. Hubbard taught that psychiatrists in real life are not like other humans, but come from the planet Farsec, and came to Earth to control the population, much like the fictional Psychlos.
HELLO everyone!! So for the ones that don't know I'm a staff member at Tampa day org and I got an AMAZING briefing today at the org about the NEW BATTLE FIELD EARTH book so check this out, basically the book has 100 new pages of original LRH content and the book includes the last interview LRH did with the media in the mid 80 which is totally amazing because it's a perfect dissemination line and we are doing it with the purpose of taking this book to the NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER LIST.
2015-07-03, Austin Siegemund-Broka, Hollywood Reporter
Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief is going international, but not without challenges from the Church of Scientology, which has succeeded in postponing its broadcast in the United Kingdom.
The damning documentary on the Church, which premiered in the United States on HBO in March, did open theatrically in several international markets during the last week. It has done respectable box office numbers in each but is facing threats of lawsuits from the Church, director Alex Gibney tells The Hollywood Reporter.
Hernando County got off relatively easy last year when a jury levied just $74,000 in penalties after finding the county discriminated against a Scientology-affiliated drug rehab center in Spring Hill that wanted to expand.
Even with the $425,000 in legal fees and other costs, the award was far less than the $6.2 million sought by Narconon Spring Hill, which operates the program, and Toucan Partners LLC, the owners of the Suncoast Rehabilitation Center on Cessna Drive.
Two recent newspaper reports indicate that despite the opening of its "Ideal Org" in Berlin seven years ago, Scientology is essentially defunct in the city, with only about 130 members in a metropolis of more than 3 million.
Drawing from the most recent report from the country's Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the Berliner Zeitung BZ, Berlin's largest newspaper, reported that 130 members is also the same number Scientology had the year before.
"Scientology tried everything. An open house every day, free copies of an encyclopedic biography of L. Ron Hubbard sent to libraries (which were shipped back at Scientology's expense), and an anti-drug campaign. But Berliners are smart, and they ignore Scientology's headquarters at Otto-Surh-Allee," the newspaper reported.
2014-07-03, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Remember Shake and Bake Flash's recent post about how the IAS is pulling off massive international dissemination, driving millions onto the Bridge.
I guess it is happening everywhere but Houston.
This candid email tells the truth about what life is like out there on the fringes of the bubble where they actually contact the public. While she dutifully offers the required worship of GAGII and the MV event with a tired sockpuppet "sock blowing" it gets real from there.
Your article ("Why the Hobby Lobby decision stinks," June 30) contains an offensive reference to Scientology. Substituting any other religion in place of Scientology in your comment illustrates how bigoted and inappropriate it was.
You would never write: "whether you believe their science-fiction space opera BS or not. Roman Catholics believe that the use of any form of birth control—including pills, which are among the most prescribed medicines in the United States—is tantamount to a sin."
The only product of a comment such as yours is to spread bigotry against Scientology. And if the press popularizes prejudice against one faith, whose faith is next?
2013-07-03, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
I recently caught wind of a whispering campaign wafting amongst independent Scientologists. The message warns true believers to stay away from Memoirs Of A Scientology Warrior. Apparently, some folks consider it a threat to orthodox, unchallengeable thought (belief).
For the benefit (or detriment, depending on one's point of view) of those who might have had some of the campaign's sentiment rub off on them, I am posting here some other points of view from people who have actually read the book. I pulled several of them from the comments section of the blog - recognizing that a lot of people either don't read comments or only some of them. A few of the entries are reviews posted at the Amazon Books page for the book. I have included the names or handles of the authors they were posted under.
Thanks to all of you who took the time to share your impressions and thoughts.
Back in 2007, when John Sweeney of the BBC (right) came to Los Angeles to film an episode of Panorama entitled "Scientology and Me," he was treated rather roughly by the church's two top media handlers, Tommy Davis (left) and a gaunt-looking Mike Rinder, who had just been plucked out of "The Hole" for assignment after more than a year on thin slop and sleeping under desks at the church's bizarre ecclesiastical office-prison.
Now, for the first time, Rinder, who left Scientology not too long after this photo was taken, has fired a broadside directly at his former colleague, telling Davis that it's time he started spilling his guts about abuse he witnessed in the church.
At his blog, Rinder takes aim at Davis and his wife, Jessica Feshbach, who also worked as a top media handler for the church — it was Feshbach who was often seen herding Katie Holmes around through interviews and otherwise shadowing the actress to within an inch of her life.
Scott Campbell has lived to TELL a tale of imprisonment on the Scientology cruise ship "The Freewinds".
It is an ongoing story of atrocities and reveals what the "Church" will do to cover up
Bad Public relations. Ashamed that one it's *ELITE* Sea Org members had a mental breakdown, a cocktail of Valium and Chloral Hydrate was covertly mashed up and given to Scott in his food. See what happens next.
2013-07-03, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
How is it that Tommy Davis and Jessica Feschbach have never stepped out into the sunlight?
They left a trail of destruction in their wake and witnessed a lot of things they KNOW hurt people or were just plain wrong.
The Tommy/Jessica (Tomica) story is darker than most realize. I wouldn't doubt that if anything keeps David Miscavige up at night it's the thought of Tomica growing a conscience. That's probably right up there with Shelly escaping. Or Heber exposing the abuses he has been subjected to over the last 20 years.
Acting on a tip from a parent that was posted over at WhyWeProtest.net, we contacted a former teacher at New Village Leadership Academy to ask if the school in Calabasas, California has shut its doors permanently.
He said that it has, and forwarded us to a Facebook message that was posted on June 28 by Eva Sanchez, who worked at the school: "Today, I closed a beautiful beautiful book full of great people, wonderful memories & endless stories that I will never forget. Tough day!"
We have confirmed directly with a member of the academy's board of directors that the school has closed down.
These pictures reveal the headquarters of Scientology's higher order where members pledge their allegiance for one billion years - and which may have cost Tom Cruise his marriage.
The prospect of sending six-year-old Suri to the Sea Organisation, or Sea Org as it is known, is what is said to have been the final straw for Katie Holmes before she filed for divorce.
The clergy like group is run like a military clique from the Scientology Gold Base in California which has a sniper-style nest bunker on the site.
Katie Holmes isn't just parting ways with A-list husband Tom Cruise, she is also divorcing the Church of Scientology.
Holmes is seeking sole custody of their daughter reportedly in part to extricate Suri, 6, from her father's faith before Suri's heavy-duty Scientology education starts.
2012-07-03, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
I spent a good part of the day yesterday attempting to educate dozens of inquiring media on the issues likely impacting the Cruise/Holmes dispute. For the most part, it was a failure. With their limited attentions spans, and overriding obsessions to be first with the most bizarre allegations, the media jammed the airwaves and cables with ill-informed assertions (sometimes even retracted) and speculation. Reviewing the fall out I noted a couple of pieces that stood out as fair and informed journalism that served to edify.
First there was editor in chief of the Village Voice, Tony Ortega's interview on Current TV:
2012-07-03, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
You're going to hear a lot about the troubles that Tom Cruise finds himself in as he turns 50 years old today.
We thought we'd take a different tack. We've often thought that Rona Barrett's 1984 interview of a pre-Scientology Tom Cruise is one of the most revealing. We see a young man with half a dozen movies under his belt who is becoming a big star at the same time that he's vulnerable, even damaged, after growing up through the divorce of his parents. He was a religious seeker who briefly dealt with his psychic scars by running to a seminary. Bright, curious, but suffering, Cruise was almost the perfect example of a young person open to a new religious movement. Is it any wonder that he went willingly to a group that offered certainty, belonging, and structure?
If that helps explain why he was susceptible to the undue influence you find in a group like Scientology -- which he ran into a few years after that interview -- that doesn't explain what he's still doing in it so many years later.
Janet Reitman spent five years researching and writing Inside Scientology: it was worth the wait.
For years, journalists had been warned that the subject of Scientology was off-limits in interviews with Tom Cruise: then, suddenly, you couldn't shut him up about it.
He scolded actress Brooke Shields for taking medication to tackle her post-natal depression. He enjoined NBC newsman Matt Lauer not to be glib about psychiatric drugs. And generally, he acted like he had the answer to the world's problems.
2011-07-03, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Collette's piece is very well done, but what we found most amusing was Scientology's constant refrain that they were renting property near Rathbun's house, filming him from a paddle boat in a canal, and getting in his face on his porch with cameras strapped to their foreheads because -- get this -- they're making a "documentary."
Well, we're certainly the first to agree that Rathbun is worthy of attention. But how much b-roll footage of the man puttering around his bayside home or munching in local eateries do you really need?
2011-07-03, Harper Barnes, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
In "Inside Scientology," her richly narrative history of the organization, Reitman writes that Scientology "over the past fifty years has been the subject of more than a dozen wide-scale government investigations around the world, and thousands of lawsuits."
The story of Synanon, the renegade cult led by Charles Dederich, and the battle waged by a young lawyer named Paul Morantz on behalf of the people trapped inside this renegade organization. Synanon attempted to murder Paul Morantz, but he persevered, and ultimately won, freeing children and reuniting families, and creating the legal battle that would unravel Dederich's house of cards. For more information on Synanon and attorney Paul Morantz, go to www.paulmorantz.com (produced and edited by Jacob Davis)
"Mock Up on Mu," an experimental collage of sci-fi, spy, Western and horror genres, intersperses found footage with new live-action scenes. "Mu" wittily speculates on how history and cultural messages were shaped by three significant Californians and their interrelationships: jet-propulsion pioneer and Aerojet Corp. co-founder Jack Parsons; New Age movement instigator Marjorie Cameron, Parsons' third wife; and sci-fi writer and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. The Examiner spoke with director/writer Craig Baldwin.
More controversially, the site has begun posting confidential documents from the secretive and litigious Church of Scientology, and from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Those leaks demonstrate that the site has veered from its mission to expose the secrets of repressive governments, says Aftergood, treading instead on the dangerous ground of religious persecution.
Deborah Wright, executive liaison for the registrar-recorder, said her office has never handled a case like this.
Lynwood officials, she said, seem intent not only on blocking the election but also on learning the identities of residents who signed the petition - which would be a violation of state law because the documents are supposed to remain confidential.
"It seems clear to me that what the council really wants is someone under their control to get a look at those signatures," Wright said.
As outlined in an affidavit filed by Grays Harbor Deputy Prosecutor Joseph F. Wheeler, Scott told police his mother, then known as Kathy Tonkin, that Ross and three other men held him for four days in an Ocean Shores condominium while attacking his religious beliefs.
The editor of the Newkirk newspaper says he would rather go to jail than pay court costs to an unlicensed substance abuse treatment center. The costs were incurred when the center tried to force the editor to divulge his sources of information about the center.