The former home of the Messenger newspaper group in Port Adelaide is set to spread the word of L. Ron Hubbard following the site's recent acquisition by the Church of Scientology.
The church paid $3,238,000 for the 4700-square-metre property at 1 Baynes Place in an off-market deal, having received council consent to convert its use to a designated place of worship.
The Church now plans on refurbishing the 3535-square-metre building.
Our longtime readers know that we've watched for years (at least as far back as 2013) as 'Princess Joy Villa' went from Scientology Celebrity Centre wannabe to Make America Great Again icon, Congressional maybe-candidate, and then fell from political grace almost as quickly as she arrived.
Within months of her Grammys 'MAGA dress' coup in 2017, she was at the White House, meeting with the likes of Steve Bannon and Roger Stone. Even the president, in a tweet, seemed to endorse her idea of running for Congress. But then it all fell apart by the end of 2017, with some top conservatives starting to realize that they were being played by a Scientologist grifter. We talked to her former manager about how Joy seemed to squander a lot of opportunities because of her Scientology loyalties, including standing up Donald Trump Jr. at an appearance. By the spring of 2018, Joy had taken down her Congressional exploratory website as she was relegated to the conservative minor leagues.
But as marginalized as she appeared to be, she never gave up, gradually working her way back, and started showing up again at Fox Business and other outlets, promoting herself as a new style of young conservative, and playing down Scientology as a set of "life skills" that didn't prevent her from being an anti-abortion Christian. (In fact, she's a Scientology 'Clear,' for years she's helped promote Scientology in its publications, and with her husband, photographer Thorsten Overgaard, she's a Patron Meritorious of the IAS, donating at least $250,000 to the church. In a March event in Los Angeles where church leader David Miscavige celebrated the second season of Scientology TV, Joy was seated in the front row with other Scientology celebrities. And this month, she took part in a special July 4 Scientology cruise event in Marina del Rey.)
A federal judge in Missoula says the publisher of a neo-Nazi website should have to pay over $14 million to the victim of an internet trolling campaign.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah Lynch said in his recommendation Monday that Andrew Anglin should also have to remove all posts that encourage his readers to contact real estate agent Tanya Gersh.
Lynch's recommendation must be approved by U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen to take effect.
The Trump era has not, it seems, been kind to Breitbart. The rabid far-right media company, which was previously run by Trump's hyper-nationalist former campaign CEO and chief strategist Steve Bannon, has experienced plummeting traffic since the president for whom they were one of the leading cheerleaders took office.
According to a report in the Washington Post earlier this month, the site has lost 75 per cent of its readership since Trump was inaugurated, going from more than 17 million monthly unique browsers at the beginning of 2017 to less than 5 million in May 2019. What went wrong?
Breitbart was launched in 2005 and named for its founder, a right-wing media maverick called Andrew Breitbart. He had been a protégé of Matt Drudge, whose site The Drudge Report remains one of the most powerful and influential news aggregation sites on the web, especially for those on the political right. Breitbart's idea was to create a "Huffington Post of the right" – a site on which he had also worked.
2018-07-15, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
On January 21, 2017, Auckland was graced by the presence of the Dear Leader himself, yanking his red ribbon in semi-public view (only his dedicated followers are allowed to catch a glimpse of the great man in person) as he swung open the doors to another of his "gifts to the community."
18 months later, they have apparently (and proudly) produced their 8th clear. That's 5 or so per YEAR.
That is what passes for "ideal" as far as scientology is concerned. The population of the country is 4.8 million, growing about 200,000 per year. There is no other in the entire nation (even though Auckland is one of the first orgs on the planet — I think it might have been the first one outside the US) so they are responsible for the whole place.
The show where I answer your questions. Please leave any comments or feedback in the comments section here below. I see everything and want to hear from you.
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2018-07-15, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The weekly show where I answer viewer questions left for me in the comment section of my Q&A videos or sent to me by email at AskChrisShelton@gmail.com. This week, the questions I take up are:
(1) Some time ago, you posted a video of your conversation with Nora Crest. One story Nora told was about having a conversation with a friend from before Scientology who was on active duty in the U.S. Navy at the time of the conversation. She recalls him being offended by her Sea Org uniform. Have you heard similar stories from other Sea Org members? A lot, a few, none other than Nora's? Any personal experience or comments?
(2) I have a background of being a Fundamentalist Bible-believing Christian. It's awkward to admit, but I bought it hook line and sinker to the point that I thought that there were even Satanist Illuminati conspiracies. In fact there was certain brands, music and other things I'd avoid as if I could catch Satanism from them or something. You can imagine how funny it was to me when I found out the Church of Satan is actually an athiest activist group. With the conspiracy mindset of the Church of Scientology, did you have similar experiences in avoiding certain things? I heard one former Scientologist saying that their mother would always buy those cheap off-brand generic plasters instead of Band-Aids, because apparently Johnson & Johnson has a large psychiatric drug business and she didn't want to give them money. Did you ever experience or see anything like that, or is that example more of an outlier?
Leah Remini joins me for an in-depth discussion on her experience with Scientology and her relationship with Shelly. We also discuss the upcoming season of Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.
"Ron Miscavige Life After Scientology" will explore Ron's time with the Church of Scientology and expose information that the Church does not want you to know.
Please support my Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/itmuststop
Rod Keller once again finds Scientology trying to capitalize on the misfortune of others...
The moors around Manchester are on fire. These are peat fires, slow and smoky rather than the blazing inferno fires of the American west. Fire crews have battled to contain fires at Saddleworth Moor in Tameside, Winter Hill in Bolton and in Denshaw around the clock and supplies for the crews are running low so the call went out for donations from the public.
"We are in urgent need of the following at Stalybridge Community Fire Station, SK15 1RF: - Sun cream - Insect repellent - Baseball caps - Pairs of socks, thick and thin" reads a tweet from the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service.
2017-07-15, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
A while ago, Mike posted a letter from Pete Sokoloff imploring Santa Barbara and Ventura Scientologists to donate more toward their "ideal" org. Pete included the following quote:
"Anything for which the individual feels any misemotion—antagonism, anger, fear, grief, apathy—is something for which he has not accepted responsibility; and there is misemotion only when an individual refuses to accept responsibility in that sphere of action. He can control anything for which he has accepted the full responsibility. He is unable to control that for which he has not accepted responsibility." L. Ron Hubbard, The Dianetic Auditor's Bulletin, February 1952, CAUSE AND EFFECT.
Although he seems to include just enough kernels of truth to make me think the whole thing is true, this is another example of one of LRH's completely unattainable platitudes. Maybe if I'd been Buddha or Gandhi in another lifetime I would have fully understood… But even then, he's talking about more "control" than I've ever seen demonstrated.
IRS tax forms show that the Scientology billionaire power couple Bob and Trish Duggan placed 1,000,000 shares of AbbVie Inc., a pharmaceutical manufacturer, into their private foundation in December 2015. At that time, AbbVie shares were trading in the $59.00 range. This gave their foundation a fair market value of $59,240,000.
As of July 15, 2017, AbbVie shares closed at $73.11, thus giving the Bob and Trish Duggan Foundation an asset value of $73,110,000. The dividends paid by AbbVie will be donated to Scientology churches and social betterment groups per the terms of the Duggan's Foundation.
As this Scientology Money Project research was first exclusively reported on Tony Ortega's Underground Bunker, AbbVie makes Humira, the best-selling pharmaceutical drug in the world. In an ultimate irony, then, the Church of Scientology, a group that attacks "Big Pharma" as an evil, will profit each year into perpetuity on the dividends from a major pharmaceutical company in Big Pharma.
It's a warm Saturday afternoon in Clearwater, Florida. Are you nearby? Got a thirst that needs quenching? In a mood for a little Scientology watching as well?
We have just the thing.
Three days ago, a tipster sent us this Scientology flier announcing that a "block party" was going to be held in downtown Clearwater to celebrate two years since the church constructed its Potemkin Village of storefronts on Fort Harrison Avenue. These were happy looking places built to handle curious visitors who wanted to learn more about Scientology's front groups — a real magnet of interest for out-of-towners, to be sure.
Our thanks to the tipster who sent us the new issue of Scientology's Impact magazine! We adore Impact, the official publication of the International Association of Scientologists, because it lets us see who are the big donors propping up Scientology as it faces so many challenges around the world.
This is the mid-year issue, so it's not as important as the copy of Impact which comes out early in the year to show us who was celebrated at the annual IAS Patrons Ball held in October, usually at Saint Hill Manor in East Grinstead, England. The Saint Hill party is the one for Scientology's biggest whales (our word for the really big donors) and even Tom Cruise is known to show up wearing his Freedom Medal of Valor as a special sop to the richies who turn over truly huge sums.
This mid-year issue is for another party called Maiden Voyage, the one held for a week on board Scientology's private cruise ship, the Freewinds, to commemorate its launching under Scientology ownership in the summer of 1988. This issue of the magazine shows us which wealthy whales were celebrated aboard the Freewinds last month somewhere in the Caribbean.
The leader of a right-wing anti-abortion group is calling on the group's supporters to buy up memberships in Alberta's Progressive Conservative Party as part of a "strategic" plan to help make Jason Kenney Alberta's "pro-life premier."
In a recent message to supporters, Alissa Golob, head of "Right Now," an organization "formed to nominate and elect pro-life politicians," tells supporters to go out and "buy a PC membership" so "you can vote for Kenney."
Golob, who was previously executive director of Campaign Life Coalition's youth wing and a frequent guest on Sun TV, also suggests Wildrose supporters could take out PC memberships to help Kenney seize control of the party and still continue to "support the Wildrose."
(Fred Haseney, with 'Call Me' sign, at June 24 'Battlefield Earth' event)
"Fred Haseney has entered into a settlement agreement, and he will be continuing his First Amendment activity around Big Blue," says attorney Graham Berry, explaining why there will not be a court hearing today over a Scientology lawyer's request for a restraining order against Haseney that accused him of stalking a Scientology employee.
For months, Haseney has been documenting Scientology activities with his camera, particularly Scientology's attempts to "body route" new people into its L.A. facilities. A former Scientologist himself, Haseney told us that he had decided to leave the church after reading pages from this website. And his activities were not popular with the church. In May, Scientology vice president Janet Weiland visited the transitional home where Haseney lived (he's been out of a permanent job since 2009), and tried to get the Baptist pastor who runs it to convince Haseney to stop his photography sessions. The pastor refused.
2015-07-15, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The good news?
Things are falling to pieces at the Mecca of Technical Perfection and Vulture Capital of The World.
In the face of GAG II, the brilliant ideal org strategy, the most massive international dissemination campaigns in history and the period of greatest expansion ever, the stats are crashing and the crowds are dwindling. Even with He Who Shall Not Be Named present.
Aaron Smith-Levin and Nick Lister have released the second of their clips for their "Growing Up in Scientology" video series, and it's another jaw-dropper.
Lister was talked about in Alex Gibney's documentary Going Clear. He's the son of Sara Goldberg, who was forced by the Church of Scientology to choose between her son Nick and her daughter Ashley. Nick had been kicked out of the church, and by sticking by him, Sara herself was kicked out ("declared a suppressive person") and then her daughter had no choice but to "disconnect" from the two of them in order to remain in the church.
Nick's story is much more complex than what was relayed in the film, as he's beginning to explain in these clips. In this segment, he talks about trying to get back into Scientology's good graces by doing his "A to E steps" — programmed measures of contrition that are supposed to allow a fallen member to regain his or her status. But Lister found that doing these steps weren't enough.
Police served search warrants Wednesday at several locations connected to Addiction Canada, which bills itself as this country's largest private drug and alcohol treatment organization.
Investigators said the searches were part of a continuing probe into accusations some employees of the Ontario-based company were passing themselves off as doctors without proper licences.
Reproduced below in PDF is a very hard-to-find and out of print article on the epic 1990's blowup between the monster PR firm of Hill & Knowlton, the Church of Scientology, and Prozac manufacturer Eli Lilly.
This blowup offers any firm a cautionary tale about the potential cost of doing business with the toxic entity known as the Church of Scientology. As Hill & Knowlton learned the hard way, Scientology brings its bad karma into all of its arrangements.
Originally posted on my OTVIIIisGrrr8! blog, this article merits a repost here because, while it reads like black comedy, it actually happened in real life.
2014-07-15, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
So much wrong in such a short announcement.
First, "UK's Latest" is pretty badly behind the times. These Basic books and lectures have been around now for 7 years, I don't really understand the logic of promoting someone who is not even FINISHED but is "at the tail end." Don't have anything else to promote so have to get a "success" out of him before he is done so we can use that.
Second, Thomas Fehn is ex-Sea Org. In fact, I believe he was the CO FOLO UK at one point. This is sort of like using a success story from David Mayo on the Running Program... Poor Thomas, still trying to make up the damage for leaving the SO.
We just got our hands on a legal complaint that was filed back on June 30. It's yet another fraud lawsuit filed by Las Vegas attorney Ryan Hamilton against Scientology's drug rehab network, Narconon.
In this case, Hamilton represents a California family that searched the Internet in January for a rehab center. Barbara Knoflick wanted to find a place for her son, Terney.
Someone at a generic referral site took her info, and then she was contacted by Mike DiPalma of Narconon. According to the complaint, DiPalma told Barbara that Narconon Redwood Cliffs in Watsonville has an 85 percent success rate, that her son would be cared for by medical professionals, and that he would receive personalized drug counseling.
2013-07-15, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Bomb is loaded. Until it hits the ground, here is a little something to go on with....The latest angle on "PR by redefinition of words".
What you get is not an ORG, it is wood floors and a reception desk. With a completely disrelated quote that gives the gloss of "On Sourcyness".
Funny, it IS "what your donations buy" — MEST. And its even degenerating into PICTURES of MEST. But not even REAL pictures. It is mock ups of MEST generated by computers.
LOS ANGELES, July 15 (UPI) -- Kirstie Alley is angry with another U.S. actress, Leah Remini,for leaving the Church of Scientology, The Huffington Post reported.
Remini released a statement last week confirming she had left the church and thanking her friends for their support.
Although she didn't disclose her reasons for her departure, the New York Post said she had been interrogated and intimidated by church officials after questioning their practices.
Last week, the Church of Scientology claimed in a filing to federal Judge James Whittemore that it needed to depose Boston resident Brian Culkin in Massachusetts because the yoga teacher was too afraid to attend an evidentiary hearing scheduled for September 26 in Tampa, Florida.
Culkin feared for his life, the church said, because of nasty comments made at this blog and other reactions after Culkin signed a declaration that the church used to complicate a federal fraud lawsuit brought against the church by Luis and Rocio Garcia of Irvine, California.
But now Culkin has hired San Antonio attorney Ray Jeffrey, who has won two recent high-profile cases against Scientology, and Jeffrey has filed a scathing letter that may have left Scientology's motion in tatters.
In June, Atlanta attorney Jeff Harris filed a class-action lawsuit against Scientology and its drug rehab network, Narconon, with seven named plaintiffs who are alleging fraud, deceptive practices, and negligence.
Harris had earlier handled a wrongful death lawsuit against Narconon Georgia following the 2008 overdose death of Patrick Desmond, a patient and employee of the Atlanta-area rehab center. The lawsuit was settled this past February, but documents that Harris obtained helped launch ongoing local and state investigations of credit card and insurance fraud, and resulted in a raid of the facility by law enforcement agents.
Now, Scientology is fighting back against the class-action lawsuit by having it removed to federal court and filing multiple motions to dismiss. We have the documents.
The director of Narconon in the Netherlands responded to our story about the Dutch authorities' tighter supervision of her operation, providing a unique perspective on the affair.
"Fatty residues? Seriously?"
Last month's story about the Dutch Health Inspectorate's decision to put Narconon in the Netherlands under enhanced supervision produced an interesting response.
The story struck a chord, generating a debate that was still going strong more than a week after the story was posted – not least because one of the key players chose to get involved.
2012-07-15, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
The David Miscavige dark star chamber continues to cough out poisonous, oily smoke according to the latest below from Ron Minor of Las Vegas. Good on you Ron for clearing the air and making it known and available to those still choking on Miscavige's noxious fumes in Scientology Inc.
I began my scientology adventure in 1973. While stationed at Nellis AFB I did the comm course and started training in the academy up to Cl IV. During this time I decided that Scientology was the best way to make a positive effect on the world and joined staff in 74. I was on staff in the Las Vegas org from 74 until 83 holding various technical posts up to Grad V Case Supervisor. I moved to Georgia for a time and did some volunteer work for the Atlanta mission for a brief period of time. I returned to Vegas in 89 and gave staff another try from 90 to 92. Could see how things had changed from the 70's and left. I've recently retired from the manufacturing sector (30 years) and have been working with friends here in Vegas on expanding the independent field.
Recently I've learned that a declare has finally been issued on me. I've been dead filed for many years now, but someone forgot to issue a declare on me.
THE Church of Scientology has been quiet about Tom Cruise's divorce but the split has put the religion in the spotlight.
The church has made barely a single comment since Katie Holmes dropped her June 28 bombshell on the Hollywood A-lister, probably the most high-profile member of the nearly six-decade old organisation.
Going by online reports on the work of the Scientology Volunteer MinistersIndia Goodwill Tour, these volunteers did more than just work on the participants' communication skills. In reports that were written only a little after 26/11, the volunteers are said to have trained the Home Guards and Civil Defence trainers on disaster management so thoroughly, that they are now better equipped to serve the people of Maharashtra. This, though, leaves Virkar even more puzzled. "The main focus of the scientologists was to develop more responsive and effective human beings and leaders. They may call the course by whatever name, but it had nothing to do with disaster management."
2012-07-15, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
FilmmakerMark Bunker put together this video of Friday's memorial held for Alexander Jentzsch aboard the ship Spirit out of Long Beach Harbor in California.
It's a simple event with a few people on a boat. But don't underestimate its significance. Since she sent out a message to thousands of Scientologists about the death of her son, Karen de la Carriere tells me that she's hearing from many people inside the church who are appalled at how she's been treated. And here at the Voice, since Karen sent her mass mailing, we've also experienced a big increase in the number of church members contacting us under the radar.
A programming note: This has been such an overwhelming couple of weeks, our regular tipsters were apparently too busy reading Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes articles to forward us any Scientology fliers. For that reason, "Scientology Sunday Funnies" is on hiatus until I get some fun new stuff in the mail.
2011-07-15, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
The despatch below from Tommy Davis to the head of the Office of Special Affairs Network concerning Tom Cruise is revelatory in several respects. I have included some comments in between certain paragraphs in the following document to clarify and provide context. All inserted comments by me are in italics. The rest of the text is the original document in full.
For those who are concerned about me being a little tough on Tom, I invite you to use the search function on this blog with his name and see how thoroughly I put him on notice about the serial human rights violations his support of Miscavige has wrought. I probably would not even have posted this, except that I saw the Int Scientology News New Years 2011 edition with Tom Cruise front and center of the two page Shrine spread worshiping at the feet of his lord, Miscavige. Publication of such would absolutely require Tom's personal green light. Ethics gradients, my friend, and believe me to date they've been light.
The internal church of Scientology memorandum:
2011-07-15, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
You'll remember that former church executive Marty Rathbun complained to local government in his Corpus Christi-area town of Ingleside on the Bay, Texas, that he was being surveilled and harassed by a goon squad sent to watch him by Scientology, which considers him an arch-nemesis.
The town rallied to Rathbun's defense, and the goons with their cameras fended off criticism by saying they were renting property nearby and even filming him from a paddle boat because they were making a "documentary." Yeah, a "documentary" in the style of an SNL music spoof, complete with high-level Scientologists dancing on boats. (Seriously. Click the video already.)
2009-07-15, Jefferson Hawkins, Leaving Scientology
Okay, humor me for a minute. Let's say you are a member of a small Christian Church. You go to church every Sunday and you are active in church volunteer programs. You don't know the pastor well, but you enjoy his sermons. Then one day, scandal hits the community. Four young men have come forward, claiming that they were abused by the pastor when they were boys. A local paper is preparing to run a story. You go to church that Sunday and the pastor devotes his sermon to a vehement, strident denial of the charges. He viciously attacks the young men, calling them "agents of Satan." He claims they are "trying to destroy the church." He reads sections from their private confessions to prove how "sinful" they are. And finally, he forbids anyone in the congregation to read the upcoming newspaper articles. If you do, you risk ostracism from the church, and shunning by other members, not to mention eternal damnation.
Given that scenario, would you:
1. Keep your nose down, refuse to read the newspaper articles and keep quiet, lest you damage your standing in the church.
2009-07-15, Jefferson Hawkins, Leaving Scientology
Looking through the latest issue of International Scientology News, I was amazed to see a full 26 pages (out of a 72-page issue) devoted to buildings. That's right, buildings. Big, empty buildings.
Like the one downtown in my city. I sometimes walk by it. It's a huge, massive office building. Far more space than my local org needs or can immediately use. And it's been empty for two years. It was bought, not with Church building reserves, but with donations from local public. A few people ponied up millions. Others gave what they could. And the building was purchased. It has stood empty ever since. Now, we are told there are many more millions needed to do the renovations. And guess who pays? The main display in an Org used to be the Grade Chart. Now it's a thermometer of donations. Apparently at the latest OT Committee meeting that's all they talked about - how to raise money to renovate our "Ideal Org."
"Ideal" by whose standards? My ideal isn't a big empty building, it's an org packed with people, alive, excited, inspired. That's the way I remember Orgs when I first got into Scientology in the late 1960s. We didn't have fancy buildings. The old LA Org was a two-story house. The offices were cramped, the courserooms had bare concrete walls. But the place was electric.
2009-07-15, Jefferson Hawkins, Leaving Scientology
When I was a new Scientologist in the late 1960's, I proudly displayed a bumper sticker on my Ford Pinto that said "Ask Me About Scientology." I had gotten it from the Org. And people actually did ask me. One guy pulled me over and insisted I tell him about Scientology. And I was happy to.
This was the era of spellbinding intro lecturers, enthusiastic FSMs, late night discussions about Scientology. It was a time of excitement.
That was then. This is now. According to an article on Entertainment and Showbiz:
Police say they cannot find who was responsible for compiling fake documents used by the South Australian Opposition in Parliament.
The affair involved fake emails, used by Martin Hamilton-Smith in Parliament, to try to show that an agency of the Church of Scientology had made donations to the Labor Party.
"On July 12th, at a rally that was part of the monthly global Anonymous demonstrations, Scientology created more bad PR for themselves. During the peaceful rally at the same location, a female Scientologist entered the Subway sandwich shop and posted another "No Anonymous" sign. The woman then forcefully blocked a 6-year old girl and her parents from entering the shop, telling them to "respect the sign" and causing the child cry. Additionally, the woman physically harassed members of Anonymous inside the store, attempting to shove one protestor out the door. The Los Angeles Police Department officers assigned to monitor the demonstration entered the shop and removed the sign."
On July 5th, the organization shut down pedestrian access on Sunset Blvd and Fountain Ave, fearing that their special event would be picketed. Local residents and hospital visitors were often denied access to the sidewalk, particularly if they showed any interest in the protest. In one instance, a Scientology security guard attempted to deny a disabled senior citizen from walking to her home; this was documented on a popular YouTube video which has spawned a new internet catch phrase to describe Scientology: "Bad People".
The Education and Childrens Services Minister in South Australia has attacked the controversial Church of Scientology, branding its faithful as bastard.
Jane Lomax-Smith made the comment earlier this year while talking to a group of protesters outside the churchs offices in Adelaide.
2008-07-15, Jeanne Lang Jones, Puget Sound Business Journal
But Paccar's recent purchases are what have people especially puzzled. In January, Paccar paid Leonard and Debra Giannola $2.89 million for the 0.14-acre Church of Scientology parcel at 10575 N.E. Fourth St., which includes a one-story office building built in 1964.
"They'll probably tell you they have a 50 percent attendance rate -- that is important for them to tell you because that helps them keep their brand as the fastest growing minority religion," Jacob Mercy told WW Saturday morning. "This brand makes numbers seem so large people wouldn't possibly think it could be a cult."
Put the word on the street that you're writing about Milton Katselas, and every student he has ever had will want to tell you about the best acting teacher in the world, the man who took them from fresh-faced, straight-off-the-plane-at-LAX ingénues looking for work -- commercials; God willing, someday a sitcom -- to being real artists.
To hear his disciples tell it, Hubbard, who died in 1986, was the subject of "universal acclaim" and one of the greatest men who ever lived. Not only did he devise the church's founding theory of Dianetics, which promises to free mankind of psychological trauma, he was a source of wisdom about everything from jazz music to nuclear physics.
Led by its increasingly power-crazed and deluded guru - Asahara now claimed to be Christ and the Lord Buddha - Aum span out of control. Followers were starved, doped with LSD and forced to undergo bizarre initiations. The cult's enemies were murdered and incinerated in purpose-built microwave ovens. The madness culminated in a rush-hour assault on Tokyo's subway, an attempt to halt a police investigation into the cult. This unprecedented crime stunned Japan and forced security experts in major cities around the world to rewrite their anti-terrorism manuals.
If you are a Scientologist, your church is hoping that you'll get online and build a Web site endorsing your religious beliefs. In fact, the Church of Scientology will give you a Web starter kit to do just that. It will even host your site for you, alongside those of thousands of fellow Scientology members.
But if you want to visit alt.religion.scientology, the Web site of Operation Clambake or just about any page that mentions the word "Xenu," you"re out of luck. In fact, you"d probably be unable to read this article. Because the starter kit that you just used to build your Web site also installed what Scientology critics are calling the "Scieno Sitter": a filtering program, like those used to hide pornography from children, that prevents Scientologists from seeing terms and phrases that the church has decided to block.