The Church of Scientology and one of its former members on Monday settled a lawsuit she filed nearly a decade ago alleging she was forced to work long hours as a pre-teen and was coerced to have an abortion at 17.
Los Angeles Superior CourtJudge Mark Mooney met privately with attorneys for the church and plaintiff Laura Ann DeCrescenzo and then announced the settlement in court. Trial was scheduled to begin Aug. 13.
John Blumberg, an attorney for DeCrescenzo, said terms of the deal are confidential. Attorneys for Scientology didn't immediately return calls seeking comment.
Last week we published a report from an eyewitness at the third "Maiden Voyage" event held on L. Ron Hubbard Way at Scientology's "Big Blue" headquarters in Los Angeles. This week, our inside source was once again in attendance Saturday night when the fourth Maiden Voyage event took place. Our source had some pretty interesting observations about what went down...
Maiden Voyage Night Four on LRH Way: Ideal Orgs, Dissemination, and the Scientology Media Production studios.
Joy Villa attended and sat in the front row. I did not see Nation of Islam Minister Tony Muhammad or Fred Shaw, who were so prominent the week before. It is possible they were there somewhere and I missed them, but don't think so.
After nine years of characteristic scorched-earth legal maneuvering which included numerous appeals and delays and long-shot Hail Mary passes, Scientology has finally chickened out of actually going through a trial over the forced-abortion allegations of Laura DeCrescenzo. The two sides hammered out a settlement to end the case before trial was scheduled to begin on August 13, more than nine years since Laura first filed her lawsuit. The settlement of the case was announced in open court this morning.
The sides won't divulge the terms of the deal, but we can tell you it's pretty likely that Scientology leader David Miscavige cut the largest check he ever has to end a lawsuit, and for good reason. As attorney Scott Pilutik explained just a few days ago, this trial was going to be very ugly for Scientology, with evidence that it works children under horrific conditions, over endless hours, and that it forces young women to have abortions to keep them working around the clock.
Scientology threw two motions for summary judgment at the case and lost them both, appealed one ruling about turning over Laura's personal files all the way to the US Supreme Court, and most recently filed its own lawsuit against Laura in federal court. Add several judge changes, a dismissal and successful appeal, and it took an enormous time to get here. But with the trial only weeks away, Scientology had run out of its last chance to delay things, and Laura's attorney John Blumberg cranked up the pressure recently by serving Miscavige with a notice to testify in the proceeding.
Lawyers for the Church of Scientology and a former member settled a lawsuit she filed nearly a decade ago, in which she alleged she was forced to work long hours before she was a teen and was coerced to have an abortion at age 17, lawyers for the parties told a judge Monday.
Los Angeles Superior CourtJudge Mark Mooney met with the attorneys for the church and plaintiff Laura Ann DeCrescenzo in chambers, then announced from the bench that the upcoming Aug. 13 first phase of trial was vacated in light of the settlement.
Lawyers for both sides confirmed outside the courtroom that a resolution was reached, but they declined further comment.
Events in a mediation last weekend signaled that the Church of Scientology was preparing to settle with Laura DeCrescenzo in her nine year old lawsuit that detailed numerous abuses she suffered at Scientology's hands as a Sea Org member: Forced abortion, sleep deprivation, brainwashing, and false imprisonment.
Scientology's Religious Technology Center (RTC) was named as a defendant in the lawsuit. Scientology dictator David Miscavige exercises supreme control over Scientology from his position as Chairman of the Board RTC. DeCrescenzo's lawsuit threatened to pierce Scientology's corporate veils and show that Scientology is the alter ego of David Miscavige.
2018-07-23, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Despite what scientology says, apparently people are NOT "Curious?" At least not to hear the official propaganda from scientology.
The problem with the internet is that it makes it so much harder to hide your bs.
This is an image from Google Trends. It is not doctored. It's not lies from bitter defrocked apostates on the fringes of the internet. It is available for anyone in the world to see (including the scientologists). No bias. Just raw numbers comparing the interest in scientology tv to the interest in Scientology The Aftermath (don't forget, The Aftermath is not currently airing new episodes).
That story is recalled in the one-woman show Squeeze My Cans, a bawdy-sounding reference to the metal cylinders attached to an e-meter, employed to measure electrodermal variations in a Scientologist's body during "audit" sessions.
It's a hair-raising story, but it's told in an entertaining and engaging manner that transcends the subject of the religion started by science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard.
"The show isn't just about a cult and Scientology," Schenkelberg said. "It's about: what did you survive? Did you have a job you hated? Were you in an abusive relationship?"
Janis Grady was born into the Church of Scientology. She joined the Sea Org at age 11 and was one of the first four original messengers in L. Ron Hubbard's Commodore's Messenger's Organization (CMO). Janis' mother was Yvonne Gillham Jentzsch who founded the Scientology Celebrity Centre.
2017-07-23, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The weekly show where I answer questions from viewers left in the comment sections of my Q&A videos or sent to me by email to AskChrisShelton@gmail.com. This week, the questions I answer are:
(1) In your talk with Aaron Smith-Levin, you mentioned memory recall (ARC Straightwire) not thinking of any possible down side. I would be curious if it could lead to false memory construction. Is it supposed to be real memory recall or do the people involved know that you are reconstructing a "memory"?
Marty Rathbun's 2012 warning to OSA staff. Filed here for forensic and dossier purposes. Rathbun alleges that David Miscavige is engaging in an ongoing criminal conspiracy. Enough said. Inferences can easily be drawn.
2017-07-23, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
I don't remember where exactly, but somewhere L. Ron Hubbard talked about and created his hierarchy of churches in which new public would start their services at lower orgs and work their way up the lines, ultimately ending up on the Freewinds. He created this system because, as usual, he knew better.
This design system has never worked and Scientology churches at every level have been insolvent and failing for decades.
At the bottom of this hierarchy, LRH created Field Groups made up of one or more people offering basic, introductory Scientology services such as Life Repair and the Purification Rundown. These groups are fairly independent and designed to feed people to missions and Class 5 Orgs. Most Field Groups operate out of their homes.
Rod Keller keeps a close watch on Scientology's numerous front groups, and today he tells us about a new group emerging...
Scientology front group CCHR (Citizens Commission on Human Rights) is opening a new front against psychiatry. CCHR is the protest and lobbying organization under which Scientology battles the "psychs," taken to mean all psychiatrists, psychologists, pharmaceutical and device manufacturers. The focus has always been to battle mental health professionals in legislatures and courtrooms, but a new initiative in development may shift the group's focus towards parents and schools.
Coming soon - fightforkids.org, which will "use innovative technology to create a global movement of advocacy and engagement for the love and protection of children." The metadata on the placeholder page states:
I'm heading in for triple bypass surgery in a few days, showing that I do not control Matter, Energy, Space and Time. If only I had a Tardis I could go back and tell myself to stop eating those donuts.
One of our tipsters came through for us today with some hilarious screenshots from the latest testimonials video that was sent out to Scientology members. In that past, we've had the video itself, and we hope eventually to get this one. But for now, we're just really happy to get these glimpses of Scientologists high on L. Ron Hubbard. What a gas.
The video appeared on a DVD which came with the new issue of International Scientology News, the magazine that documents all of church leader David Miscavige's claims of expansion. Over at Mike Rinder's blog, the former Scientology spokesman has been breaking down those expansion claims from the new issue.
But we always love the testimonials video for its driving beat and the wacky claims that Scientologists make about whatever product they're pushing this year it's always the bestest ever.
2016-07-23, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Next in the series of 2016 MV Event coverage.
Really there is nothing worth saying about this. Somehow they keep coming up with new "accomplishments" for L. Ron Hubbard. Now he created the "space race" to distract from the nuclear arms race (except it didn't).
Wonder when they are going to cover the biography section "Ron's family life and accomplishments" - they could do a nice Ron Mag on that subject. Not of course covering what he told everyone else to do, but detailing HIS family life. There is a lot of fascinating material to cover.
2015-07-23, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
"Once you label me you negate me."
S๘ren Kierkegaard (Danish philosopher, 1813-1855)
It's been said that no one is born naturally hating other people and that's something I happen to agree with. So where does that hate come from? I have a few points I'd like to bring up and I want you to hear me out on this because this is important.
This legislative session, Greg Abbott vetoed Senate Bill 359, which would have given hospitals a modicum of power to hold a patient for four hours if doctors consider that patient to be a danger to himself or others.
The line between Scientology dogma and actual science fiction is blurry at times. But for those who have suffered through Scientology's now-notorious tactics of bullying and intimidation, the rules that its members live by are all too real.
That's the conflict which drives Tony Ortega's new book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely. Ortega, a former Village Voice editor and veteran of the Scientology beat, tells the story of Scientology's campaign against Paulette Cooper, who wrote a scathing indictment of Scientology in the 1970s.
Ortega documents the death threats, lawsuits and other machincations by senior Scientology leadership meant to bring Cooper down. Ortega called the effort "one of the most sinister personal campaigns the free world has ever known," driving Cooper to the brink of suicide.
Across social media, news and entertainment, generalized labels are be used to foster intolerance and hatred towards those who we do not understand or care to find out about. This creates irrational thinking, keeps prejudice in place and prevents true understanding.
For more information and articles from me, check out my blog at http://mncriticalthinking.com
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The organisation officially opened their new continental liaison office at its nationwide base in East Grinstead with a lavish ceremony last week.
The opening was officiated by the church's worldwide leader David Miscavige and was attended by more than 1,500 Scientologists.
The Church of Scientology has long promoted itself as the most ethical group on the planet. However, the following thirty examples, collected by our friend Jeffrey Augustine and listed here chronologically, present a prolific portrait of Church belligerence, profanity, paranoia, and violence in recent years. We sense a trend.
1. September 2004: Scientology OTTom Cruise in Rolling Stone, "The Passion of the Cruise," sets the tone for bad behavior. As the world would later learn, the church was secretly auditioning wife candidates for Tom Cruise that year.
2. 2008 and later: New OT VIIIGoodwill AmbassadorKirstie Alley is obviously not aligned with the principles contained in The Way to Happiness as she spreads entheta around Los Angeles. Even as Kirstie is giving the "OT Salute" to the paparazzi, she is also on Twitter attacking those who disagree with her views. Alley has grown increasingly belligerent online, including her personal attacks on Leah Remini.
2015-07-23, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
If this is true, it argues you should be giving your money for the ideal orgs in Manchester and Leeds too. Oh, that's right, there aren't even orgs there. More expansion in the last decade than the 50 years previously doesnt seem to apply to the UK. They have not had a new org there in at least 25 years.
Please join us tonight as we watch a dramatization of one of the most disturbing Scientology deaths, the 2003 murder of Elli Perkins by her own son, Jeremy.
Several months ago, the ID Network interviewed your proprietor for the show, and tonight we'll get a chance to see the result. ID previously did a really good job with the story of Nancy Many, which aired last year.
Judging by the show's trailer, below, the producers interviewed Mark Sommer, the Buffalo News reporter who did such a good job investigating Elli's life and death. They also interviewed your proprietor for more general questions about Scientology itself. The trailer has us optimistic that the resulting piece is going to be pretty interesting...
2014-07-23, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Apparently, only one of the four traditional biblical Gospels relates inarguably that Jesus Christ was God temporarily visiting earth. The book of Luke could and has been interpreted to say that Jesus was an extraordinary man who ascended or was ascended - from humble beginnings to develop the message that humankind has found so inspiring for 2000 years. Only the Gospel popularly known as that related by John was definitive about Jesus' other-worldly provenance. As noted by religious scholar and bestselling author Elaine Pagels in her book Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas:
"Unlike Luke, who depicts Jesus as a man raised to divine status, John, as does the hymn Paul quotes, pictures him instead as a divine being who descended to earth temporarily to take on human form."
Of course it is understood that all of the Gospels were written up to a century after Jesus strode the earth, all reporting their own interpretations of words Jesus purportedly spoke and deeds he had carried out long before. In the past one-hundred and twenty years, more significant purported Gospels have been discovered including those of Thomas and Mary Magdalene. Those discoveries have added to the rich diversity of opinions, interpretations, and faiths of Christianity. That includes the idea that Jesus communicated that every human potentially had within themselves the same abilities and divinity as Jesus.
2014-07-23, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
More indicators of how poorly thing are going at Flag. The recent post about the "goodwill mission" in DC is now followed by this the "Flag World Tour" going to Phoenix...
Ignoring the horrendous grammar and typos, this email contains some interesting insight into what is happening at Flag.
The FWT is going to outnumber the people that come to their event in Phoenix this is how desperate they are. They are not sending just a reg and a single Tech terminal no, it's a Super Power Auditor AND a Qual Consultant, along with Kaye Champagne and 3 regges. They will be lucky to "consult" with 6 people total in Phoenix. The "ideal org" there is completely empty. But clearly they don't have anyone to audit or consult at Flag, and this is a new low, taking along the OTC Chairman as a featured speaker! There are a LOT of LRH issues, evals and orders concerning the Flag World Tour. None of them even CONTEMPLATED a public person being the "featured speaker." This is a pretty remarkable turn of events and is a startling indicator of how desperate they are.
Jenna Miscavige is the niece of David Miscavige. Having lost her childhood to the "Church" who do not believe in the family unit, Jenna wrote a book "Beyond Belief" and did a series of media interviews. Parental time is minimal when a child is raised in the Church. See my other video "Anti -kids, Anti Family, Anti-Psychiatry."
2013-07-23, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The Corporate Church of Scientology is going all out to attempt damage control internally on the withering blasts that have been exposing some of the nasty, not to be spoken about underbelly of life in corporate Scientology. We see the media "handling" of claiming its all just lies made up by a couple of "self-promoting bloggers on the fringe of the internet" or a "small handful of bitter, defrocked apostates", but where the real panic is occurring is in trying to keep the faithful on board. The Ethics Officers are working overtime, but Miscavige's personal troops, the "OT Ambassadors" are also being sent forth to do battle with the forces of evil.
And here is a perfect example. It is a recent Facebook posting from one of the "OT VIII's" who has made a name for himself as a "Model OT Ambassador."
He epitomizes the perfect Corporate Scientologist (though to be fully truthful, he lacks the financial resources to be truly lauded and tries to make up for it with his actions).
Claire Headley is taking us on our journey to train as Scientologists. She and her husband Marc were Sea Org workers who escaped from Scientology's International Base in 2005. She spent years working with Scientology's "tech," and was trusted to oversee the auditing of Tom Cruise. Go here to see the first part in this series.
Claire, you wanted to interrupt our journey up the Bridge this week?
CLAIRE: That's right. Once again, Scientology has managed to create public uproar with its bald-faced lies, denying that it engages in the forced disconnection of families.
2013-07-23, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
My practice is grounded in client-centered education techniques. That is not because I sought to duplicate them. Instead, I recently came to learn that the way I coach and counsel toward recovery and graduation from Scientology was discovered and written about long before I was born. Reading of it helped me to improve what I was already doing. Carl Rogers covered this approach in his book, On Becoming a Person, explaining how educational techniques logically evolve out of client-centered therapy.
That I gravitated in this direction during my own recovery and graduation should be no surprise, given the authoritarian, religious discipline all Scientologists studied under for so many years. The client-centered approach is tailored to consulting the understanding of the client or student. In that regard, it radically differs from Hubbard's training approach that was memorialized as follows:
If you can't graduate them with their good sense appealed to and their wisdom shining, graduate them in such a state of shock they'll have nightmares if they contemplate squirreling (defined as departing one iota from the letter of what is taught). L. Ron Hubbard, Keeping Scientology Working
2012-07-23, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
The following is from a special guest who is sitting in limbo within the corporate Scientology community. Scientologist X provides a bird's eye, real time view of what is like to begin questioning the contradictions within.
WHAT I KNOW
I'm a third generation Scientologist. I am not ready to "come out".
2012-07-23, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Alexander Jentzsch I just got off the phone with Lt. Paul Vernon of the Los AngelesPolice Department, who is overseeing the detectives handling the investigation into the death of Alexander Jentzsch. He just gave me this statement about the police department's understanding of the case so far:
"While I understand people's concerns about the circumstances of this death, by all indications there was no foul play. And given that some medications were present at the scene, and the circumstances leading up to the death, we believe that after the toxicology results comes back, this will end up being either a natural death due to illness or an overdose. And if it is an overdose, it would probably be accidental and not purposeful."
Vernon would not elaborate on the nature of the medications, but the Voice has learned from two sources that Methadone was one of them. Methadone is prescribed to people trying to free themselves from a heroin addiction. (Note: It's also important to point out that methadone is prescribed for chronic pain, and the coroner had been told that Jentzsch was taking medication for a back problem.)
Services were held today -- for an Owasso woman who died at a controversial drug treatment facility. 20 Year old Stacy Murphy was a patient at Narconon, where 3 other people associated with the facility have died since 2009. It's located in Canadian -- the town is located about 15 miles north of McAlester. The deaths at this facility are generating national attention from New York to California. The most recent death happened Thursday.
2012-07-23, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Hoffman gets his LRH on. On Thursday, Marc Headley settled things once and for all. In a story he wrote for The Daily Beast, he showed conclusively that Paul Thomas Anderson's script for The Master is about almost nothing but Scientology, providing 22 direct comparisons as proof.
Marc did a great job showing some of the parallels between the script and Scientology history. For example: From 1967 to 1975 Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard ran things from a former cattle trawler he refurbished as a yacht and renamed the Apollo; in the script, Lancaster Dodd ("The Master" character, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman in the film) runs things from a refurbished cattle trawler dubbed the Alatheia.
Now that I've read the script myself, I can say that the parallells go even deeper than Headley indicated, and in this piece I'm going to talk about how not only the names and dates and places in the script echo L. Ron Hubbard's life, but also how the narrative of The Master explores multiple eras of Scientology's history to paint a compelling portrait of Hubbard and his enterprise (but I'll do my best not to spoil the film itself).
2011-07-23, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
So anyway, Scientology is well named. It is the road to truth. It is a study of the truth. And total truth is total power. And when the guy hasn't got any lies left in him he's OT. And all the mechanics of OT work out too. So, the subject is very, very well named. - L. Ron Hubbard, Class VIII Course
Having worked closely with about a dozen OT VIIIs over the past year, it has been demonstrated for me several times that LRH's definition of OT above holds true to this day, because it is truth. Reversing the damage Miscavige has visited upon those who have traversed to that level of the Bridge is relatively easy; once they arrive with us.
The difficult part for them is travelling through the valley of the shadows of death before their arrival. It is during that lengthy sojourn where they attempt to exercise their attained awareness level at truth revealed, despite all peer pressure, case evaluation, twisted ethics, and propaganda to remain in a clueless state. It requires strength and courage. It requires getting into valence after having been through years of OT Levels that ought to do that, but as practiced in the church create and instill the most arrogant, ignorant valences imaginable.
Cook's comments follow a scandal this week in which executive member John Dixon found himself amid a Twitterstorm following comments on the social networking site. Dixon is now facing a disciplinary hearing following a tweet last year which read:
"I didn't know the Scientologists had a church on Tottenham Court Road. Just hurried past in case the stupid rubs off."
2010-07-23, Jefferson Hawkins, Leaving Scientology
Okay, here is the promised post on the subject of thought-stopping an interesting subject and one that every Scientologist or ex-Scientologist should understand.
The term originated with Robert Jay Lifton in his 1961 book Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism (a book that I recommend reading by the way, particularly Chapter 22, where he lays out the seven characteristics of the totalist thought reform environment).
In the book, Lifton describes what he calls the "thought-terminating clich้."
2009-07-23, Jefferson Hawkins, Leaving Scientology
I had earlier posted about an incident reported on Marty Rathbun's blog, about how he had been tailed by noted PI and celebri-shamus Vinnie Parco through a Houston airport. A reader, Thoughtful, then posted some details about Parco's questionable past, as reported by Wikipedia.
Parco, his knickers thoroughly twisted, objected to the details of his life as reported by Wikipedia. Well, he can take that up with them - I don't have a dog in that fight.
That's not the point. I don't care whether Parco is a paragon of virtue or shadow-world scum. I do care that the Church of Scientology is hiring private investigators to stalk and harass its critics. And I think all Scientologists should know that this is where their hard-earned donations are going.
Here is Noelle North implementing Scientology's "Jim Crow Law" brand of bigotry in Los Angeles. Noelle has tried to bar Anonymous with their little kids from coming into Subway Sandwiches for a bite to eat.
2007-07-23, Tony Paterson in Berlin, Irish Independent
The criticism of Mr Cruise, who is in Germany to make a film about an attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler, was the most vitriolic in a series of attacks on the actor over his membership of Scientology - regarded as a cult in Germany and kept under surveillance.
Thomas Gandow, 60, chief spokesman on religious cults for the German Protestant Church, described Scientology as a "totalitarian organisation" and said that Mr Cruise had become "the Goebbels of Scientology".
The Ukrainian Security Service and experts in religious studies report more totalitarian and destructive cults spreading in the country, the Zerkalo Nedely weekly said on Saturday.
According to the Ukrainian Orthodox Bishop Anthony of Borispol, the most dangerous cults are the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Scientology, Hare Krishna, the White Lotus, and some charismatic groups including the Embassy of God.
So who is he? A Wisconsin judge, ruling in 1997 on Breggin's credentials as an expert witness, described him this way: "He's a fraud, or at least approaching that." In a 1995 medical malpractice case a Maryland judge said Breggin showed "blinding bias" and called his testimony a "house of cards." His conclusion: "I find that there is no rational basis for his opinions."
In the scientific community the consensus is that Breggin is not just wrong about Ritalin, but dramatically so. The surgeon general, the American Medical Association and the National Institute of Mental Health have all recognized attention deficit as a mental disorder for years. "He takes the scientific literature and sort of twists it to make it sound very scary and very dangerous," says James Swanson, a professor of pediatrics at the University of California at Irvine.
Joyce Bulifant, executive vice-president, says "Dyslexia is not a disease that can be cured. Research at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Hospital has shown that the dyslexic brain is shaped differently and perceives things differently. Building self- confidence is extraordinarily important for a dyslexic, and if Scientology has done that for (Tom Cruise), that's good. But spreading misinformation can be harmful and it would be nice if he understood the disease better. He's obviously learned how to cope with the problem as he's gotten older. We all develop such skills as best we can."
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Scientologists vowed to fight a $30 million jury award to a man who said his 11-year membership in the church had brought him financial and emotional ruin.
The Rev. Ken Hoden, a Church of Scientology official, said up to 10,000 Scientologists would gather at the downtown courthouse today to protest the jury's finding for Larry Wollersheim, 37.
"For 20 weeks, the beliefs of the church were dragged through the mud in a mocking manner and we are not going to put up with it," Hoden said after the decision Tuesday.
U.S. District Court Chief Judge William B. Bryant indicated yesterday that he had deep concern about th legality of a search warrant executed against the Church of Scientology here and in Los Angeles, but said he would not rule on its legality until at least next week.
Bryant's concern was expressed over a provision in the warrant that allowed FBI agents to search for "any and all . . . evidence (at this time unknown) of the crimes of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and theft of government property . . ."
Although acknowledging that the language had been sanctioned by the U.S. Supreme Court in another search case, Bryant indicated that it troubled him that it was used in a search as wide-ranging as one at the Scientology church.