Geir is a former Scientologist who before leaving Scientology completed through OT 8, the highest level of auditing in Scientology.
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Due to audio problems, this 44-minute interview has been edited down to 24 minutes, but the important points of discussion have been preserved.
One month from today, Laura DeCrescenzo is finally scheduled to get the trial against Scientology that she first asked for more than eight years ago — and the church is scrambling to keep leader David Miscavige out of it.
Today, the court will hear a request by the church to shorten the time it can file a motion to keep Miscavige out after he was served with a notice to appear by Laura's legal team. As we've seen in previous cases, particularly one in Texas, the church will go to enormous lengths to keep Miscavige out of a witness chair, and it seems pretty clever for Laura to demand his presence so close to her trial.
Laura joined the Sea Org at twelve, alleges she was forced to have an abortion at seventeen, and was so desperate to leave the Sea Org she drank bleach. She also believes she was intimidated by the church from filing her lawsuit sooner, which is a central issue in this first of two trials, scheduled for August 13 at Los Angeles Superior Court.
Peter Nyiri shares an inside view of the Sea Org culture within: How does Sea Org act towards each other? For example, Peter had several bosses who constantly gave him multiple and conflicting orders -- and this while expecting him to get all orders done all at once. Peter also talks about the constant screaming and endless mental abuse inflicted upon Sea Org members by Sea Org managers.
Almost 12 years ago now, Scientology leader David Miscavige made his wife Shelly disappear.
In late August or early September 2005, Shelly vanished from Scientology's secretive "Int Base" near Hemet, California, a place she had helped her husband run as a hard-as-nails Scientology "Sea Org" official in her own right.
We've written numerous times about the events that led up to her disappearance, that Miscavige blew his stack, for example, when he found out that Shelly had filled some job openings while he spent some time away from the base in Los Angeles. Mike Rinder told us that Shelly was also concerned about whether her husband was still wearing his wedding ring. It was obvious to him, he told us, that Shelly was very concerned about the state of her marriage.
2017-07-13, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The subject of critical thinking is important. It's important enough that it drives all of science and discovery and has given our modern culture great power and ability. Everything we have that makes our life easier and better: our technology, our system of government, our entire way of life, is founded on good critical thinking that was and is done by very smart people. It's important that we have a clear understanding of what critical thinking is, but it's also important that we show what it's not. Just because someone says they are a critical thinker doesn't mean they are. This is a label that actually means something. So let's talk about this.
What do all of these things have in common:
Global conspiracy theories
Did the data analytics company Cambridge Analytica play a role in the UK's EU referendum? BBC Newsnight's Gabriel Gatehouse reports.
Newsnight is the BBC's flagship news and current affairs TV programme - with analysis, debate, exclusives, and robust interviews.
Congressional investigators looking in to potentially illicit ties between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russia are probing whether Jared Kushner's digital operation "helped guide Russia's sophisticated voter targeting and fake news attacks on Hillary Clinton," according to McClatchy.
Investigators believe that the extensive efforts on behalf of Kremlin-sponsored actors to disseminate negative and fake news about Clinton must have had American help coordinating where in the country to target those efforts:
This video is my reply to Marty (Mark) Rathbun's video titled "Leah Remini and her Troublemakers, Part 16".
In Marty's video he attempts to blow holes in the credibility of Scientology & The Aftermath S01 E06, which covers some important events in my life.
In this video I reply to each point he brings up.
Clearwater, Florida Baptist preacher Willy Rice of Calvary Church had a bold statement to make about the Church of Scientology. The problem is, he might have made that statement too soon. Or at least, someone who works for him did.
That's the story we're hearing now that it has turned out the July 22 taping of an episode of A&E's Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath series at Calvary Church was initially confirmed to us by the Aftermath team, and then was pulled after Pastor Rice's "premature" announcement created chaos for the network.
Aftermath's co-star, Mike Rinder, had developed a relationship with Pastor Rice, as numerous Facebook posts show, going back several months. Pastor Rice then wrote up his announcement to his congregation, saying that on July 22, a taping of the show would be held there that would not be a church event or even a Christian event, but a chance for Clearwater residents to get answers about Scientology and about Remini's show. The message also denounced Scientology as a cult and said, "Our community has been tormented by this Goliath for far too long."
Clearly, personality quizzes have some sort of perennial appeal. Facebook newsfeeds are filled with BuzzFeed quizzes and other oddball questionnaires that tell you which city you should actually live in, which ousted Arab Spring ruler you are, and which Hogwarts house you belong in. But these new online quizzes have a dark edge that their analog predecessors didn't. In the wake of the U.S. election, a secretive data firm hired by Donald Trump's campaign boasted that it has been using quizzes for years to gather personal information about millions of voters. Its goal: the creation of digital profiles that can predict—and possibly exploit—Americans' values, anxieties, and political leanings.
Whether this firm, Cambridge Analytica, has actually used predictive profiles to influence people isn't certain; reports suggest it hasn't, at least not directly. But the company's methods nonetheless expose the growing scale of personality analysis online—and the dangers that come with it. On the internet, anything you do is like taking a personality quiz: Everywhere you click reveals something about you. And you're not the only one who sees the results.
2017-07-13, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down
Give 50 pounds to Plymouth and you get a teaspoon! Going to take a LOT of teaspoons to get an ideal org. Nothing like thinking small.
Still trying after all these years...
As our correspondent Commodore H. McCringleberry learned at an event in Houston recently, Scientology is crazy for surveys. Church members are always being asked to fill them out, even though they tend to ask the same questions over and over again in a poorly disguised attempt to sell church services.
Another of our readers pointed out something very interesting to us this week. He noticed that Scientologists were asked to fill out an online survey about the Sea Org, Scientology's inner hardcore of workers who sign billion-year contracts and work for pennies an hour. We've grabbed the questions from the survey...
Have you ever considered joining the Sea Org?
2016-07-13, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
I have not previously witnessed such a concerted online "dead agent" campaign as the one the church is waging against Ron Miscavige.
Not since the days of the Squirrel Busters camped outside the home of Marty and Monique Rathbun for months on end has there been anything like this.
And it is indicative of just how concerned Miscavige is about the damage his father continues to inflict. The minions that put these campaigns together are only going over the top because this is "command intention" (ie what COB has ordered). They don't act against COB's dad without explicit orders, believe me.
Back on July 2, your proprietor asked his colleagues for some help. Star magazine had announced that Tom Cruise was leaving Scientology, and we thought it was awfully convenient for the story to come out just a few weeks before the press circus around Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation starts up. Now, with so many other media outlets repeating the Star's fact-free story like it was gospel, entertainment reporters would be off the hook, and wouldn't have to hit Tom with tough questions about Alex Gibney's documentary Going Clear.
For fun, since we assumed Star had been played by Tom's PR people, we asked a few fellow reporters to help us compile a list of tough questions that reporters should ask Cruise when he finally makes himself available in advance of the movie.
No one sent us better questions than our friends Down Under, Australian television journalists Steve Cannane and Bryan Seymour.
The Church of Scientology is starting a TV news network being dubbed 'Scientology's CNN' in a brand new $50 million Hollywood studio.
And it's being built by being built by 50-cent an hour workers, claim former Scientologists familiar with the project.
While all the buzz last week was that Scientology's biggest star was leaving the church, Daily Mail Online can reveal that nothing could be further from the truth.
The Boston branch of the Church of Scientology is sitting on a potential gem near the South End-Roxbury line, a historic building that has sparked interest from dozens of potential buyers who want to turn it into the next boutique hotel or luxury condominium complex.
But the Scientologists say they're in a bind: They want to sell but can't find an affordable place in Boston to relocate their local headquarters.
The religious group, founded in the 1950s by L. Ron Hubbard, said in December that it would put the dilapidated Hotel Alexandra on the market. But it says it must wait until a new permanent headquarters is found in Boston with at least 50,000 square feet of space — a mandate handed down from the International Church of Scientology.
Yup, the faith associated with flashy Hollywood — Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Elizabeth Moss, Jenna Elfman, Laura Prepon and recruitment at "Celebrity Centres" — has its roots in blue-collar Camden.
On Dec. 18, 1953, the church's founder, science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard Sr., and four others, met on the second floor of the Smith-Austermuhl Building at 5th and Market streets in Camden's downtown with lawyer William C. Gotshalk. The two-story brick and marble building, which still exists, housed insurance companies, financial institutions, and several law offices, including Gotshalk's.
Built in 1920, the building sits catty-corner from City Hall and just down the street from the Federal Court House, amid the once-bustling hub of commercial Camden.
2015-07-13, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
OK, shred your commendations. Hide you "Humanitarian" cards. Give your special bronze, silver and gold Valley hard hats to the nearest construction site. Send your Infinity Club leather jackets to the Salvation Army.
Valley has a NEW status symbol.
You don't want to be caught not keep up with the Joneses (Cartwrights?) and have an OLD status symbol do you?
Who knew? So honored. Flattered, even. In the name of Xenu, I am thrilled to report that @Showbiz411 has been blocked from following or reading Tom Cruise's official Twitter feed for Mission Impossible 5. Viacom shareholders, please take note. It's your $250 million movie. But I can't follow it anymore.
In Australia, the press is reporting there that journalist Bryan Seymour, who writes about Scientology frequently, was banned from covering the Mission Impossible junket in advance. He never even asked; his editors were told not to send him.
2014-07-13, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Well, it seems there is one good thing to come out of Super Power. Howard Becker has finally realized what everyone who has ever dealt with him already knew. He has been a dead thetan for 45 years. A zombie in an animated body (even though he completed all those OT levels and L Rundowns and Objectives a few times and Purif and read all the "Basics" and and and....)
Unfortunately, I am quite certain that this "realization" will not result in any change in his persona. You get a clue to what this is all about as immediately after this "cognition" he vows to keep on gouging money for the IAS for eternity and then gives his most heartfelt, brown-nosing, fawning thanks to... COB.
I guess the real question remains — can a vampire ever be converted back to life? Apparently not in the case of Vampire HB who must get his daily dose of green blood direct from the veins of his victims.
We have a lot of fun looking through Scientology's wacky fundraising mailers each Sunday. They give us a snapshot of just how hard the church works to convince its members to fork over more and more money in leader David Miscavige's unquenchable thirst for more cash.
But on occasion, these internal church fliers also let slip some pretty important admissions that aren't intended for the larger public. And this week, we have a beauty.
Along with so many other initiatives, we've seen in these fliers that Scientology's imprint Galaxy Press constantly pushes newly printed editions of pulp fiction that Hubbard wrote in the decades before he shifted his focus to fleecing, er, helping his fellow man with Dianetics and Scientology.
2013-07-13, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Word just in: the handful of people who were planning to show up to the Greatest Event In History tonight in order to participate in the food and babysitting services have been told the event is cancelled.
Instead, Graduation starts an hour earlier next week....
I would say Miscavige and His Minions are making the Keystone Kops look like a well-drilled machine.
John McMasterJon 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.
This week, the media is buzzing about a woman who left the Church of Scientology after protesting the way it interrogates and discards people, and pits members against each other. Longtime Scientology watchers, however, know that these are not new concerns about the church. And Jon Atack makes that point by telling us what he went through when he left the church in 1984...
JON: I left Scientology because a close friend of mine was declared Suppressive. Well, actually, his name was put on a list — the formal declare took rather longer. According to strict policy, there must be a Committee of Evidence before a Suppressive Person declare is issued, but, as with many others, his name went on a list and that was that. A week before, his friend Peter Shantz, who was Ethics Officer at Saint Hill had called me in and said he was concerned that our mutual friend might be declared. He wanted my help to oppose this. A week later, he called me back in to tell me the deed had been done. I asked what we were going to do about this, and was told that suppressives can be very devious. His friend of over a decade was thrown to the sharks, because his name was on a list. That was all the evidence that Shantz needed.
2013-07-13, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Studies in science and consciousness (e.g. Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra, Biocentrism by Robert Lanza, The Field by Lynne McTaggart, My Big T.O.E by Thomas Campbell, etc.) have demonstrated through a variety of means that time and space are constructs of human and animal minds. They have no independent, observed or tangible reality in and of themselves. We create them in order to establish dimensions within which to survive amongst and with other organisms and to play games.
Transcendent experiences, such as enlightenments, peak-experiences, even Scientology releases, are instances where the automaticity of creating time/space constructs are ceased – even if for the briefest of spans. At those moments we experience more of the true nature of the universe and its interconnectedness. Here is the realm where psi (psychic phenomena – or theta perceptics – such as clairvoyance, precognition, psychokinesis, and telepathy) activities are observed and exercised. That reality only appears perceivable and achievable outside of our mental time and space constructs, which by their very purpose and definitions create the apparency of separateness. Those transcendent experiences are often far and few between for folks because they have so permanently implanted upon themselves – and begun to mistake for ultimate reality – the reality of the time and space constructs they create. But, the more frequent a practice makes their experience possible, the more chance we have of, as Ken Wilber put it, converting temporary states more toward more permanent traits.
L. Ron Hubbard's Dianetics and Scientology processes are exercises in restoring the ability to cease the automaticity of creation of time and space. Understood in this context, it is very easy to run processes, to run groups of them (grades/levels), or even the complete program (or Bridge), to their fullest potential gain. Not a lot of duress and dogma designed to instill unswerving devotion and surrender is required to bring about ability when that simple, if all-encompassing, framework is kept in mind. When viewed against this scientific/consciousness field of evolving, tested context Hubbard processes can become as natural and simple to deliver as driving an automobile.
2013-07-13, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The report from last night's graduation (12 July) featuring You Know Who:
- The special GAT II Objectives have been launched for Cornerstone members in the Fort HarrisonCrystal Ballroom, 126 Scientologists are currently on that course. [Paying once again for the privilege of redoing the bottom of the Bridge....]
- Speaking of which, Objectives is going to be renamed to something else. He can't tell it what as it would reveal too much. The service will still follow Purif RD on the Bridge and will contain more processes than the current Objectives. No more information will be given at this point. [Hmmm, maybe he is going to rename it OT IX?? The "marketing" and "come on" has just about reached saturation level — I guess He figures that "renaming" something will fool some people into doing it again like it's "new"]
2012-07-13, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Welkos, left, and Sappell In 1990, just before he and his colleague Joel Sappell were about to publish a landmark series exposing Scientology's secrets in the Los Angeles Times, Robert Welkos found that someone had placed in a manila envelope against his home's front door a brochure from a mortuary, encouraging him to plan his own funeral.
He checked with the funeral home, but it said it would never solicit in that way. Then another brochure showed up two days later, left by a man spotted scurrying away by Welkos's wife.
I would never know if the deliveries were just a mix-up or a sinister prank. Just as I have never known who made the dozens of hang-up telephone calls to my house; what caused my partner's dog to go into seizures on the day the Times published the secret teachings of Scientology; why a bogus assault complaint was filed with the Los Angeles Police Department against Sappell by a man whose address and name proved to be phony, or why car dealers we had never dealt with were making inquiries into our personal credit reports...
2012-07-13, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Last year, the Church of Scientology bought the studios that had been the home for KCET, the public television station in Los Angeles.
Now, news organizations are reporting that Scientology plans to use the facility for its own TV station, and broadcast the way other religions do. So far, however, none of those news reports have explained what it is the church plans to broadcast.
And that's where we come in. We watch enough Scientology TV to know what's going to be hitting the airwaves -- or would be, if David Miscavige just let us be his programmer.
My sources say Tom bought the place after doing Risky Business, so it has sentimental value for him and he'll never get rid of it, even if he's not really there a lot of the time. (And now Katie won't be there at all anymore.)
They also joke that since it's a rooftop duplex, it's easy access to the spaceship.
(It's a big Scientology building.)
2012-07-13, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
I suggest that the following letter from Dani Lemberger will cause effects on the order of those created by the letter of Luis Garcia, the email of Debbie Cook and the email of Karen De La Carriere concerning her son Alexander. It is a reference work worth studying. Please see that it gets the distribution it warrants.
Mosey, Dani, Tami, and Marty at Casablanca, Tejas
Dani Lemberger, Dror Center, Haifa, Israel
2011-07-13, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Marc Headley now knows which of his friends were spies Update after the jump: More OSA documents that explain the goals for OSA spies, as well as instructions for how to get your flight information!
For Scientology watchers, one of the reasons this is a particularly exciting time is that we're getting our hands on remarkable church documents, smuggled out through one of Scientology's top former executives.
At Marty Rathbun's blog, formerly secret documents made public in recent days have revealed a Western U.S. "enemies list," as well as an accounting of that region's ordinary (and celebrity) Scientologists willing to do intelligence work. Another leaked e-mail showed how a high-level and wealthy church member trashed the reputation of a well-known Hollywood acting coach because he had fallen behind in his Scientology training.
2011-07-13, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
As Sinar Parman has several times noted, Danny Sherman (who is supposed to be writing the L Ron Hubbard biography, but instead has acted as DM's personal public relations hack full time for twenty years) has carefully omitted from David Miscavige's puff biographies an interesting bit of history.
L Ron Hubbard personally busted Miscavige from his Camera Boy post for making Joker and Degrader videos with Golden Era Production equipment. Well, as Miscavige likes to say about others, Miscavige has gone back to native state.
First, one of the only two Maiden Voyage 2011 events that Miscavige spoke at this year on the Freewinds was largely consumed by Miscavige Joking and Degrading about the Joker and Degrader events local orgs are carrying out across the world. Those events of course are designed to push public out of valence and overwhelmed to the point they tap out their 401ks or 2nd mortgage their homes for a Idle Org status. We've posted about some of them - talent contests, out of valence hysteria whippings up in pirate garb, Top Gun garb, etc. One might have thought Miscavige would rein in such activity with the exposure it has gotten here. No, it turns out he was the author of it in the first place, and spends the better part of an entire event aboard the Freewinds joking and degrading about it...and giggling (a giggle horrifyingly similar to that of Jim Jones just prior to the Jonestown massacre).
The piece (read it here!) is, plainly, retribution for Cooper's CNN reports about Scientology's nefarious goings-on down there in Clearwater; last year the magazine went after the St. Petersburg Times for similar reporting.
The Church of Scientology doesn't like it when the media gives it less-than-positive coverage (which is pretty much the only type of coverage the media gives it), and its members tend to get rather aggro with the journalists who produce such features.
In retaliation against these types of pieces, sometimes Scientologists get stalkey. Sometimes they make threatening phone calls. And sometimes they produce 95-page magazines attacking a journalist and then hand out copies in front of his place of work.
Under the heading "Anderson Cooper: A History Of Lies," the church accuses Cooper of ignoring the information it provided him and of refusing to speak with top church officials. It also proclaims Larry King to be the only CNN host qualified to interview Scientology leader David Miscavige, and Cooper of supporting an anti-Scientology group that the church calls a terrorist organization.
Beyond the eighteen separate articles attacking Cooper, his ratings and those of CNN, and the guests he brought on during the week-long series, the church also compiled videos. In one of them, it slams Cooper for what it calls his "fantasies of intrepid reporting":
Under hostile questioning from the plaintiffs' lawyers and the prosecution, the former president of the Celebrity Centre became increasingly emotional.
Judge Château gave Maître Olivier Morice, the lawyer for the plaintiffs Aude-Claire Malton and Nelly Reziga, his chance to put questions.
How had Aude-Claire Malton come to be at the Celebrity Centre, he asked? Malton had already testified that she had been recruited after having filled in a personality test.
Notice the big tent? The one for 3,000 people that takes up most of a downtown city block? The roughly 150- by-200-foot tent was erected by the Church of Scientology to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the maiden voyage of the Scientology training ship Freewinds. Church spokeswoman Pat Harney said the celebration usually is held in the church's auditorium. But because of renovations and because Ruth Eckerd Hall wasn't available on all the dates the church wanted, Scientologists put up their own tent on an empty lot south of Franklin Street and just east of Garden Street. Festivities are expected to last throughout July, Harney said.
The Los Angeles-based Church of Scientology Western United States, which brings in ministers to work with non-English-speaking parishioners, has also weighed in. The proposed requirement that ministers be "fully trained" is biased toward Christianity, assistant secretary Kenneth Long wrote in public comments to the immigration service.
"Scientology religious teachings and counseling are arranged in a gradient fashion, proceeding from relatively simple and straightforward truths to ever higher and more complex heights of spiritual understanding and awareness," Long wrote. "Scientology ministers and ministers-in-training never cease in their study of Scientology scriptures."
The St. Petersburg City Court has closed down the city's Scientology Center, accusing it of offenses such as unlicensed teaching and other activities not stated in its charter, the city prosecutor's office said.
The term "cult", says the Cult Information Centre in London, applies to a group which demonstrates five different qualities (see fact box).
Scientologists are by no means averse to suing when the faintest scent of defamation is in the air. And the centre does not say that the church is a cult.
MADRID, SPAIN MADRID, Spain (AP) _ A $2.3 million fraud and tax evasion case against the Church of Scientology International has been sent to a national court after a district judge ruled it was too big for his jurisdiction, court sources said Thursday.
Scientology President Heber Jentzsch and 10 others arrested in a police raid on a Madrid hotel in November remain free on bail pending formal charging in connection with the case.
Jentzsch, now in the United States, must report to court officials July 18, the sources said.