A new issue of Scientology's 'Impact' magazine contains yet another gallery of wealthy donors who were awarded trophies for turning over the big bucks.
The biggest of Scientology's donors are celebrated each year in England in October, but in this case it was a special set of richies who attended the grand opening of Scientology's new "advanced org" in South Africa in January.
As always, we're interested in the names of any big donors keeping Scientology flush even in a time of declining membership.
2019-07-05, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
RB is taking a well deserved long weekend for July 4th, so we have an oldie-but-goodie.
When I look back on all these masterpieces from RB, I realize how timeless they are. They truly capture the insanity of scientology, and as that insanity will never change, at least not until Ron returns from Target 2 (havent heard of "Target 3" so once he is done with 2 he can come back and straighten out the mess he left on Target 1).
Share this... Facebook Pinterest Twitter Linkedin
This week I welcome Dr. Marci Hamilton to the show. She is a legal scholar and accomplished lawyer who has not only argued before the US Supreme Court but specializes in the Establishment Clause of the Bill of Rights, meaning she is an expert on the legal ramifications of freedom of religion. We talk in detail in this episode about Scientology and its legal travails and what rights religious groups do and don't have in the legal arena. Enjoy!
#FreedomOfReligion #Scientology #ChrisShelton
The Great Courses Plus link: http://thegreatcoursesplus.com/critical
For several weeks, one of the stories that's going to be featured on the third season of Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath has been spinning out of control on social media, and at this point, especially after the last couple of days, it's impossible to ignore what's going on.
A young woman who goes by "Z" on Twitter has been very publicly fighting with her mother about her claims of being molested as a child by a Scientologist, and about her decision to leave the church and appear on Leah's show.
We're sure the episode itself is going to be powerful stuff, but at this point Z is putting out some explosive claims on social media that we can't turn away from.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation, a self-described non-partisan tax watchdog and taxpayer advocacy group once headed by Alberta Opposition leader Jason Kenney, has always been tight-lipped about the sources of its own funding and support.
This may be mildly ironic, given its vocal demands for transparency in government policy, but as a private organization that aggressively fundraises for small donations — it claims to receive about 30,000 individual donations yearly – it is certainly within its legal rights to do so.
However, given the CTF's tight ties to conservative Canadian political parties and its vocal advocacy of policies those parties support — often co-ordinated with conservative candidates through public policy pledges — it is troubling that mainstream media never seems to press the organization on this issue, and continues to treat it as if it were a non-partisan authority on tax policy.
2017-07-05, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
I cringe at the tortured prose of Sakhi Guma, trying too hard to make it seem he has some sort of talent as a poet. (Sakhi, throw away your thesaurus and use less flowery adjectives for starters - nobody thinks of NY as having "mighty" mountains, nor California's slopes as "curvaceous").
But I shudder at the conceit of L. Ron Hubbard.
He actually said that he was here to help make sure the United States delivered the goods. Without irony.
Our San Fernando Valley tipster is back, the one who took such excellent photos of people outside Scientology's new "Ideal Org" there.
The first time we posted some of his high-quality photos of Scientology workers outside the facility, it turned into a moving story about Jamie Sorrentini Lugli recognizing the father she hasn't seen in seven years.
With that in mind, when our tipster was alerted that some sort of event was happening last week at the facility, he hurried down with his camera to capture the scene.
2016-07-05, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
First impressions: not as bad as some of the other reviews I've seen made it out to be, but this was not a great movie. However, it was competently made, the acting is good on everyone's part and David Yates keeps a steady hand in moving the story forward and providing some truly breathtaking cinematography.
Without getting into spoilers, The Legend of Tarzan takes two completely fictional characters, Lord John Clayton (aka Tarzan) and Jane, and sets them into a true historical setting of the Belgian Congo in the late 1800s, a period when the atrocities against the native black population of the Congo were indeed being committed in order for the Europeans to profit from ivory, rubber and slaves. I did some reserach on this after I watched the movie and yeah, the history of this place and time is truly horrible.
The movie has this historical context, but it is a Tarzan movie. And Tarzan is basically a superhero if you go back and look at the original literature. He was setup to be something of the ideal man from a 1912 perspective, and Alexander Skarsgaard's abs are certainly as impressive as Tarzan's physique was supposed to be according to Edgar Rice Burroughs. They did find the right guy to play Tarzan and I will say that he does a good job of it both in the English city setting as well as out in the jungle when his shirt inevitably comes off and those chiseled abs come out.
(Rigina Hikmatulina and her mother, Dina Tylevich, in a photo taken yesterday for the Underground Bunker)
Rigina is back. But is she there to stay?
Rigina Hikmatulina's involvement in Scientology became an international incident when her mother, Dina Tylevich, 44, took to social and mass media and proclaimed that the church had lured her 20-year-old daughter from Kazakhstan and was holding her prisoner at its Florida "Flag Land Base." With the use of the hashtag #????????????? (BringRiginaBack) and other methods, Dina got plenty of attention in the Russian-language press. Even we took note, writing a story about it on June 20.
A burglar walked into Harlem's Church of Scientology last week and stole nearly $600 worth of items, police said.
A man, whose age was undisclosed, entered the church, located at 2035 Fifth Ave., around 7 a.m. Thursday, police said.
He let himself in through an unlocked door and walked away with a 26 inch Samsung television, a Blu-Ray player, a video recorder, a drill, a razor and a pair of pants, according to police.
Nearly a year after her death, new details are emerging about Jim Carrey's former girlfriend's suicide.
According to autopsy and toxicology reports obtained by PEOPLE, Cathriona White, 30, who fatally overdosed on prescription medication in Sept. 2015 shortly after breaking up with Carrey, was found with a suicide note addressed to the actor.
"I've spent 3 days now in disbelief that you're not here. I can go on brokenhearted and try to put the pieces back. I could, I just don't have the will this time," she wrote in a note found by police. She added, "I'm sorry you felt I wasn't there for you. I tried to give you my best part."
2016-07-05, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This is the latest bulletin from the largest, most powerful and most effective OT Committee on earth (at least that is what they claim, and it is probably true, they really don't have much competition).
They single-handedly purchased a building for Orlando and Puerto Rico and opened the Atlanta ideal org all in 3 weeks. They need to be put on Miami as that has been dragging on for years now - oh wait, they are already.... These people are delusionary cause.
And on top of that, one of their members completed the student hat! OMG! How OT is that?
2015-07-05, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The twelfth 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) During 2008-2010, Anonymous protests were relatively frequent and popular worldwide. Would you describe what it was like being in the church during this movement? Have you picketed Scientology churches since leaving?
(2) You have talked about the abuse of power in Scientology. Most of the other documentaries and web casts about Scientology, and any cult/mind control organization talk a lot about the abuse of power, the kind of abuse that pops up all the time in any organization where someone has power over someone else, the kind we hear about in sports programs, the military, corporate boardrooms, summer camps, high schools and colleges: sexual harassment. Ex-members talk about all the horrible degrading things L. Ron Hubbard, David Miscaviage and/or their lieutenants manipulated and pressured them into doing, but none of them ever say what I kept expecting them to say. They never bring up anyone trying anything sexual on them. Has this happened in Scientology?
Scientology leader David Miscavige is scheduled to open the latest "Ideal Org" today, this time in Bogotá, Colombia, and we have a correspondent on the scene.
It's been less than three months since Miscavige opened an Ideal Org in Basel, Switzerland, which is a much faster pace than he set the last two years. (There was only one Ideal Org opened in all of 2014, in Sydney, though the existing Advanced Org in Copenhagen also got a facelift that year.)
We've written extensively on the Ideal Org push by Miscavige, but if you're new to Scientology watching, what's important to know is that beginning in 2003, the Scientology leader set a goal to replace all of the existing churches — called "orgs" in Scientology parlance — with gleaming new cathedrals, financed by local members. These are not new outposts for the church, but merely replacements for facilities that already existed. But the purpose of it is to give the impression that with new buildings opening, Scientology is expanding — when voluminous evidence actually suggests the opposite. After an initial push of new buildings, things have slowed down as fundraising efforts in places like Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Boston, Montreal, Toronto, Kansas City, and in California have left the church with decaying buildings the locals can't afford to renovate.
A complicating factor is the presence of the Church of Scientology, which owns significant chunks of downtown and brings some activity there in the form of believers who travel to Clearwater for religious services. But some locals stay away from the district largely because of Scientology's presence.
The organization is downtown's biggest taxpayer because it pays taxes on the hotels that it maintains. But about two-thirds of its property is tax-exempt. Also, land owned by the church is kept out of the hands of private enterprise.
2014-07-05, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The rah-rah is reaching nutball levels in PAC — promoting completing Valley org will make them the first "Ideal City"? How do they figure these things out? There are lot of cities that only have one org and it is "ideal" so arent they "ideal cities"? Or do they require more than one org (of course they do — even 5 orgs in LA is not even scratching the surface). But you will hear the sheeple in London talking about how their ideal org is "going to Clear London" and the same in Melbourne and Joburg and everywhere else. They have long since considered themselves an "ideal city." Ah well, anything to motivate the sheeple to keep on giving.
But also buried in here is another remarkable piece of news: The Children's Org? Really? Just a spur of the moment money-raising gimmick has now turned into "the only org in the Americas with special facilities to cater to the child Scientologists to guarantee their ascent up the Bridge" (even though it doesnt exist yet....)
And you will note, the entirety of what is talked about is MONEY, MONEY, MONEY.
We knew him only as "Plain Old Thetan."
He began communicating with us during our Village Voice days, and quickly became one of our most productive and most trusted sources about what was happening inside the Church of Scientology.
On Thursday, Plain Old Thetan — whose real name was John Joseph — died after suffering complications from appendicitis. He was 59.
Marc Headley describes more details of life at Scientology's Gold Base. Even though the wealth is obvious and there are multi-millions available to purchase those slick "Ideal Orgs" the food company Sysco was not paid for weeks so no food was available at INT Base, the Church Headquarters.
Whereupon rancid Tacos dipped in Oil were fed to the crew mixed in with old old meat. Listen to what happens...Marc also discusses his trip to Scientology's secret CST base in Trementina, New Mexico and more.
2013-07-05, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This is a glimpse of the distorted, unreal world of illusion where nothing is normal that is the church of Scientology today.
As the Mad Hatter has made clear, EVERY org has to have trainees through GAT II before it can be released (and that doesn't seem to be going too well as instead of a GAT II release event there is a special international showing of his 1993 self promotional video, see last post "Miscavige Waving Red Flag")
And as he has also stated every Friday, ongoing right now, right here is the largest training program in the history of Scientology: GAT II. 800 trainees are now at Flag (that is MORE than 4 for every org) though several people who have been in downtown Clearwater to see all these trainees have been unable to locate them at meal times or at the end of the day? (Maybe this is like the 10 million Scientologists — they are really hard to see because they don't exist?).
Recently, we got a tip from one of our better sources that Leah Remini had left Scientology in an angry fit.
We didn't have any more details, but we knew that the King of Queens actress was in a family of Scientologists, including her husband Angelo Pagán, who is a Los Angeles restaurateur.
We put in a call to Pagán, and he was kind enough to call us back. No, he told us, what we'd heard was incorrect. Neither he or his wife were angry with the church, and even if they were, he said, that would be something they would work out with the church itself.
2012-07-05, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Good Luck. It is sort of like showing up to a nuclear war with a squirt gun.
The following is a write up posted by an Office of Special Affairs (dirty tricks and propaganda arm of Scientology Inc.) operative on how to counter free speech on the internet. It is posted currently with specific reference to those commenting on the break up of Tom Cruise and Katies Holmes and Scientology Inc's role in the affair. The recipient Ray McKay is a well-known OSA operative. "Razzline members" refers to members of a corporate Scientologist on line collective. When will David Miscavige (supreme leader of corporate Scientology and Tom Cruise's best man) ever learn that attempts to suppress communication and expression only make more news than the news he attempts to censor?
From: Daniele Lattanzi [mailto:email@example.com]
2012-07-05, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
One of Scientology's many intriguing mysteries is the disappearance of church leader David Miscavige's wife, Michelle "Shelly" Barnett, who hasn't been seen in public since around 2007.
We've written about Shelly Miscavige in the past, about her strange disappearance, and about the equally mysterious death of her mother, Flo Barnett.
And now that the news media is crazy for any information about Scientology, it's only natural that it would become interested in Shelly. The Business Insider brought up the story on Tuesday, summarizing what Lawrence Wright had said about Shelly in his amazing 2011 profile of Paul Haggis for the New Yorker.
2012-07-05, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
This is addressed to the infotainment industry and its 'insider' 'sources', and hopefully Katie will catch wind of it. If I were in Katie's shoes and reading your coverage and the allegations of 'insider sources' who, in reality, know not of what they speak, I'd be plenty freaked out.
I have tried to explain this to a number of media who have eschewed my informed advice in favor of 'sources' who are talking on subjects they have no first-hand experience with yet nonetheless make alarming, definitive allegations.
I was Tom Cruise's auditor (Scientology counselor) between 1996 and 2004. I was his liaison to Chairman of Scientology David Miscavige during those same years. I advised on all aspects of Cruise's 2001 divorce with Nicole Kidman. I set up the initial Scientology indoctrination of Conner (then age 6) and Bela (then age 9), and supervised it subsequently. I was also the senior church official over Scientology Inc's Office of Special Affairs (the dirty tricks and propaganda arm of Scientology Inc) from its inception in 1982 through 2004.
Scientology investigator Mark Ebner opens his mouth and doesn't hold back when discussing the Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes divorce and the sordid details of Scientology. After spending years following the Church -- and being followed by them -- Mark has amassed a scary amount of information on the group he calls a 'cult.'
De-mystifying and scandalous, the talk sheds light on the shadowy corners of the group and Mark fills in the blanks on the group's hold on it's converts, John Travolta's recent troubles, and the Celebrity Poker Ring.
2011-07-05, Mark Collette, Corpus Christi Caller-Times
A Scientology group trying to discredit one of the religion's most influential ex-members by filming and surveilling him in this small bayside town plans to continue its activities - described by law enforcement as harassment - despite a new city ordinance.
The Squirrel Busters, who say they are making a documentary about Scientology defector Mark Rathbun, told the City Council they won't abide by the ordinance that would have required them to apply for a film permit.
Instead, they submitted a letter saying their lawyers told them the city ordinance violates their free speech rights and could draw the city into lawsuits. The letter did not explicitly threaten to sue the city.
2011-07-05, Antoine Oman, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
"In 1967, Scientology was a natural to go to from the drug culture. The New York org, it was a cool thing," he says. "There was something interesting about it. Here I was, all freaked out on acid, and here were all these people who seemed so focused. I told them I wanted to go to India. They said I needed auditing."
MAN ARRESTED: A 19-year-old Muskegon man was arrested on a charge of carjacking and two counts of assault after Calhoun County Sheriff Deputies said he used a letter opener to steal a car Thursday. The incident occurred in a parking lot at 253 S. Mary's Lake Road near Narconon Stone Hawk where the suspect was a patient. He was later apprehended in Nashville by the Michigan State Police and lodged in the Calhoun County jail.
It's a reflection of how Hollywood's rich and famous generate positive buzz for Scientology, recognized by the federal government as a religious organization but denounced by critics as a cult that extracts tens of thousands of dollars from its followers.