(Pastor Willy Rice, during his July 23 sermon)
Pastor Willy Rice of Calvary Church in Clearwater, Florida told his congregation that the church would host a "public forum" about Scientology on July 22 with Leah Remini and Mike Rinder which would be filmed as an episode of their A&E series, Scientology and the Aftermath. But after the pastor sent out a message about the plan, the event was canceled. Rinder said something about it at his blog, and on July 23, Pastor Rice talked about it during his Sunday sermon. One of our readers, Glen Alpert, took the time to transcribe Pastor Rice's message, and we thought you'd find it interesting. It's a shame that the event didn't happen, but Pastor Rice doesn't appear to be giving up on his idea about educating people about Scientology.
We're going to be talking today about a city full of idols, a city full of idols from the Book of Acts, Chapter 17 beginning at verse 16. As you turn there, I would like t take a few moments though to talk about things that happened over the last couple days, just if I can, just kind of pastoral prerogative here to make sure that you're aware.
2017-08-01, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The Flag building used for "public" events
More of the recent, increasingly desperate efforts scientology is making to try to gain legitimacy.
This "press release" is so lame it is laughable. Absolutely nothing happened. A choir sang some songs. No photo of the attendees, nor any indication of how many there were.
'I didn't know I was being auditioned [to be Cruise's girlfriend], so I was being asked on camera: "Where are you from? What level are you on? Then, "What do you think of Tom Cruise?"
'I thought I was auditioning for a training course, so when he asked about Tom Cruise, I said: "I can't stand him, I think he's a narcissistic baby!" I said, "I'm really bummed about him splitting with Nicole". I hate the guy, even before I was in Scientology I didn't like him.
'I then go on a litany about him and I remember saying at the end: "Do I have a script now? What do I need to do?" And they said: "No, you're finished." I was like, "Huh, I thought this was a training video".
Built in 2008, the XEBEC Sheila Industrial Center at 6130 East Sheila Street is a single-story Class A structure. The religious group had been a longtime tenant of the property, which is uses for printing and distribution, and it already brandishes the Scientology logo.
The Church of Scientology is known for its vast portfolio of properties around the world. While it's unclear the precise number of properties it owns, representatives told the Hollywood Reporter in 2011 that the church had purchased more than 60 properties globally in the span of five years.
In L.A. alone, the group owns at least two dozen buildings, including its sprawling, cerulean-hued storefront at 4810 Sunset Boulevard. As of last year, $1.5 billion out of the church's book value of $1.75 billion is tied up in real estate holdings, author of the blog the Scientology Money Project told Fortune.
If you think about it, it's kind of amazing. Eight years ago — eight years — the Church of Scientology finished purchasing two buildings on 125th Street in East Harlem as part of its "Ideal Org" program. (They had actually started buying the lots in 2003, 13 years ago, for a total of about $8.5 million). One of buildings would be the org — Scientology's version of a church — and the other would be a community center.
But besides the millions spent to buy the buildings, there was millions more to spend on renovating them. And then tens or hundreds of thousands more spent just on the grand opening event itself, with an elaborate but temporary event space set up on a parking lot across the street. And who knows how much spent on scores of security guards, police presence, and other costs.
But even with all of that work and all of that money spent, Scientology wanted no media or any outsiders at its event.
2016-08-01, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This was sent to me by a Special Correspondent.
What is a mother doing putting a 10 year old through this program? Paying good money to have her engage in something that is at best completely useless and at worst physically harmful (See my earlier post Danger of Niacin). Apparently this woman understands how stressful and physically debilitating the Purification program can be as in her proud "announcement" of the fact that her daughter didn't even complain about 5000mg of naicin and handfuls of vitamins she had to swallow daily.
Jesse Prince was in the Church of Scientology from 1976 to 1992. After extensive training at Scientology's "Flag" spiritual headquarters in Cleawater, Florida, Jesse became a "Class IX" auditor. Jesse was then ordered by L. Ron Hubbard to report to Scientology's secretive international management headquarters near Hemet, California, Gold Base, to serve as the Cramming Officer in the Inspector General network In this capacity Jesse became auditor to the man who would take over for Hubbard, David Miscavige.
This is Video 1 of an ongoing series from Jesse.
After being rescheduled once, The Church of Scientology has requested a second delay on the hearing regarding their plans to hang a 15-story LED sign of their logo on Sunset Boulevard.
The original public hearing had been set to occur on June 16 in front of the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council (LFNC) during their monthly governing board meeting. It was then rescheduled to July 21, at the church's request, in order to allow them more time to prepare their case.
Again, the Church of Scientology has asked for another postponing in order to give them more preparation time.
2015-08-01, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The Big Being concept is spreading. More and more people are trying to shoehorn in on the exclusive club reserved for COB and Mr. Cruise.
I wonder if the IAS is telling people that giving them money makes them "Big Beings", like giving money for ideal org buildings makes you a "humanitarian"? Seems like this is a good possibility.
Sooner or later the IAS can do away with scientology altogether. They don't really need it — you can get all the case gain and OTness and become a Big Being just by giving them money. No need to be bothered with any "bridge" or redoing the bridge or buying endless packages of books and lectures. They are all just unnecessary vias. And they are costly too. No outlay whatsoever required to rocket people up to Big Beingness in the IAS. Maybe COB could announce it with an Epic, Monumental, Milestone confidential briefing — the new Golden Age of Streamlined Progress (GASP) where EVERY single arbitrary has been removed and progress to full attainment of true spiritual enlightenment now has NO barriers. Nothing to learn. No time wasted with arbitrary "bridge steps" that were NOT what LRH intended. No MEST interjected to block the flows — like books or those endless boxes of lectures that were entered in as a total arbitrary by some SP typist. No, it is now a straight shot to Big Beingness. All you need is a checkbook and a the desire to hand over everything you own to free yourself from the traps of the MEST Universe.
We recently saw Jesse Prince in Toronto, and we were struck by how healthy he looked. If you've followed his blog, you know that the former high-ranking Scientology executive struggled through cancer treatments which at one point had nearly destroyed his spine. But now, he's looking great, and he's back on the scene. He sat down with frequent contributor Jeffrey Augustine recently to talk about his days working at Scientology's secretive international headquarters. We asked Jeff for a synopsis, and he sent us this...
Jesse Prince was in the Church of Scientology from 1976 to 1992. After extensive training at Scientology's "Flag" spiritual headquarters in Cleawater, Florida, Jesse became a "Class IX" auditor. Jesse was then ordered by L. Ron Hubbard to report to Scientology's secretive international management headquarters near Hemet, California, Gold Base, to serve as the staff auditor. In this capacity Jesse became auditor to the man who would take over for Hubbard, David Miscavige.
In this interview, Jesse recounts being ordered by Hubbard to do a "sec check" — a security check, or intense interrogation — on Miscavige. Hubbard also had another rising young executive, Pat Broeker, sec checked. Did Hubbard doom himself when he ordered Miscavige and Broeker sec checked?
Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Kirstie Alley, in happier times Kirstie Alley has been in the news again this week. Her TV Land series Kirstie was cancelled after one season, but the really hard shock came from her former Dancing With The Stars dance partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who revealed on the Bravo network that the two aren't speaking anymore.
Chmerkovskiy implied that Kirstie had ended their friendship because of his association with Leah Remini, who left Scientology last year and has been pretty public about it.
"I got a message now that I am associating with other people that she can't be associated with. I am no longer to be spoken with, and sorry, but it is what it is," he said on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live. And then he made it even more plain that the dispute was based on Alley's fervent connection to Scientology.
2014-08-01, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Of course, the church cannot directly endorse any political candidates as this would be a violation of their exempt status (possibly the least egregious one they would be guilty of, but nevertheless very visible and thus difficult to deny).
So, they grab some "OT Committee" people and have them do the dirty work for them. These ventriloquist puppets are NOT sending this out without coordinating with the church first. In fact, apparently the efforts to influence the local community are heating up — OSA recently held a briefing (it's funny how this, like everything else, is tied to the new SP building, even though its harder to get into than the NSA headquarters).
New reports indicate there's now going to be a monthly meeting ("Coordination Council") between various project I/Cs at Flag, some OSA PR people, and a small number of trusted public and volunteers. (First meeting is to be held this coming Sunday in the large conference room at the FH.)
2013-08-01, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Here is the latest self-hyping propaganda from the "OT Ambassadors" inside the bubble.
It is the minutes from their last meeting.
Mathilde, Public Sec FSO spoke about the importance of "getting ready." She said that she knows we've been hearing about it at graduations, but wanted us to realize just how close it is, announcing that the New Flag Building will be opened sometime in September, followed by the IAS Event here at Flag in October. She said that as soon as precise dates are known, she will let us know. Mathilde said that now is the time to get everyone on board here in Clearwater, and for everyone to spread the word: Get ready for Super Power and Golden Age of Tech II. [Wow — they only get the hottest news. "It's coming!" Don't know what "it" is, or when — but boy, it's time to get EXCITED!! And you had BETTER be excited or it's time to write a check for some more sec checking]
Claire Headley and the boys: Are these kids so threatening, they deserve to be stalked by Scientology's private eyes? Since it was revealed that Leah Remini was breaking away from the Church of Scientology, her family has been anticipating that Scientology will do its thing and go on the warpath.
Now, we have evidence that a massive campaign of Scientology "Fair Game" has begun — aimed not at Remini and her family, but at longtime critics who have in the past couple of weeks seen a huge increase in harassment.
Karen de la Carriere was pranked by someone who called the Los Angeles City Health Department on her. Marc and Claire Headley are being stalked by private investigators again, but this time it was so brazen, their children were targeted with surveillance while out playing. Mike Rinder, meanwhile, has undergone a sleazy new round of online targeting and in-real-life snooping. And we know of several others who are also suddenly being watched and harassed.
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- Canadian filmmaker Paul Haggis is praising his fellow former Scientologist Leah Remini for leaving and speaking out against the controversial church.
Haggis quit the organization in 2009 after 35 years.
The "Crash" filmmaker and "Million Dollar Baby" scribe-producer said in an open letter to The Hollywood Reporter Remini was "one of two Scientologists who had refused to 'disconnect'" from him when he left. He also describes her as "a class act and a lovely human being."
Representatives from Meridian Planning (Meridian), Narconon International and Narconon Canada were greeted by a crowd of concerned citizens that filled the small meeting room in the Hockley Community and Seniors Hall Tuesday evening.
West Coast Property Investments Inc. is looking to acquire the property at 994091 Mono-Adjala Townline, about a mile north of Hockley village on the Adjala side of the townline. Currently listed for $2.9 million, the site would house a private drug addiction recovery centre.
2013-08-01, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The Hollywood Reporter published an open letter written by Paul Haggis this morning.
In typical Haggis style, he zero'd in on the crux of the matter and showed himself once again to be a man of principle and dignity who clearly articulates his calm and well reasoned points.
Of course, Karin (David Miscavige) Pouw just HAD to respond. In a page out of their normal "attack the attacker" playbook, they launched an illogical, poorly composed ad hominem assault on Paul Haggis. It does not respond to a SINGLE POINT of his Open Letter.
2012-08-01, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
The following is the unedited introduction to my next book Scientology 101. It will be published when I make sufficient time to complete it.
Scientology vs. Scientologism
One idea I tried to introduce in the book What Is Wrong With Scientology? (Amazon books, 2012) was Scientology's need for integration.
2011-08-01, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
I just got off the phone with Steve Whitmore, Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca's spokesman, who tells me that an official inquiry has been opened in the matter of an LA sheriff's deputy named Benjamin Ring. The deputy appeared in a Scientology mailer that encourages church members to spend money on expensive services rather than invest in real estate or put it away in a 401K.
Images of the mailer first showed up about a week ago on the Internet, but the message on it, accompanied by an image of Deputy Ring in his full police gear, was so outlandish, we suspected a hoax. Only after we'd received a physical copy of the mailer and verified with the Church of Scientology Los Angeles that it had put out the document did we contact the LA Sheriff's Department for comment.
"Your concerns about the text are our concern. We're going to get to the bottom of it," Whitmore told me this afternoon as he let me know that an official inquiry -- which may lead to an internal affairs investigation -- was already underway.
2011-08-01, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Another IAS Medal Winner has bitten the dust thanks to David Miscavige's diversion of IAS donations toward suppressing the truth.
Barbara Ayash was one of the early IAS Medal Winners. She was famous for her Set A Good Example campaign. Apparently, her husband funded it for two decades. When he passed away Barbara was left destitute by Miscavige, IAS, and the "church." Miscavige it seems is too busy bankrupting people with rolling thunder events, while wiping out the human resources goodwill that enables him to do so. Barbara has been reduced to begging on her own in a noble effort to make ends meet and keep the campaign going.
Here is a very recent email from Barabara which serves as proof as to Miscavige's and IAS's true, hidden policies with respect to the overblown hype they feed followers in order to clean out their bank accounts.
An appeal court ruling has put Laura DeCrescenzo's lawsuit against Scientology back on track, while a case at the Supreme Court just might offer fresh hope for the Headleys.
A California appeal court has reinstated a lawsuit filed by Laura DeCrescenzo, who is suing Scientology for abuse she says she suffered during her time in the movement's elite cadre, the Sea Org.
The Headleys, meanwhile, are appealing a district court judge's dismissal of their lawsuits.
The Church of Scientology says the book "Inside Scientology" is little more than gossip-mongering and has accused author Janet Reitman of shoddy journalism.
"Ms. Reitman's book is filled with inaccuracies," the Church wrote in a seven-page letter to TheWrap. "It is neither scholarly nor well-researched and bears no resemblance to an "inside' story."
The church claims that Reitman, a contributing editor for Rolling Stone, never interviewed, nor requested interviews, with Scientology officials and instead relied on former parishioners who are disgruntled and members of Anonymous, the internet activist group that the church labels a cyberterrorist organization with an ax to grind against the religion.
2009-08-01, Jefferson Hawkins, Leaving Scientology
How does a sane person react to criticism?
Let's take your Uncle Fred, who seems to like the bottle too much. He always has alcohol on his breath and yells at his kids a lot. So you take it up with him. Does he:
Take your concern to heart and promise to do better, or
This is the Church of Scientology's response to the St. Petersburg Times story that, in addition to the four church defectors the newspaper wrote about in June, quotes 11 more defectors who have provided accounts of physical or mental abuse by Scientology leader David Miscavige.
The Church of Scientology provided 25 affidavits and declarations from current and former church executives and staffers who uniformly describe David Miscavige as a kind, compassionate, inspiring leader who never has been violent or abusive, physically or mentally.
Yael Lustgarten's statement was typical. "In all the times I have worked with Mr. Miscavige or seen him working with others, I have never known him to be furious, mad, pissed off, much less hit, punch, kick, slap, choke, push, or inflict any form of abuse," wrote Lustgarten, who left the church staff in 2004 after 18 years. "I never witnessed that, ever."
Now their stories have prompted other former Scientology veterans to go public about physical and mental abuses they say they witnessed and endured.
Some want to support and defend the initial four, whom church representatives labeled as liars attempting a coup. Others say they feel more secure now that Rathbun, Rinder and the others are on the record with their unprecedented accounts of life on the inside.
But fear still prevents many defectors from talking. For every former church staffer willing to speak out, one or two more refused.
Those who talked confirm the earlier defectors' stories of erratic, dehumanizing treatment and provide a deeper view into the controlling environment in which members of the religious order known as the Sea Org live and work.
Four men joined Rinder, De Vocht and Rathbun in saying: David Miscavige assaulted me.
The Church of Scientology is out and California-based First Republic Bank is in as a new owner takes control of the historic Helmer building in the heart of downtown Portland.
The Goodman family, which owns or controls numerous commercial sites in downtown, closed its purchase of the Helmer building at 969 S.W. Broadway on July 25 in a deal worth about $5 million.
Among the 'garbage' that was washed ashore in Sri Lanka in the immediate aftermath of the tsunami were a number of foreign-funded, unscrupulous evangelist groups. Among these were the 'Scientologists' trying to fish in troubled waters. After exposure by several foreigners including some German journalists as well as the Venerable Medagama Dhammananda of the Asgiriya Buddhist Chapter Sri Lanka, the group kept a low-profile, while 'helping' in the tsunami relief operations for sometime.
It now appears that these nefarious crusaders are creeping back into the island. Buddhists and followers of other established religions here need to be the high alert against these frauds.
2007-08-01, Steven Wells, ON THE RADAR, Philadelphia Weekly
So let's cut Tom Cruise and co. some slack. Let's welcome the Scientologists to Philadelphia. Let's smile understandingly when they double-park outside their brainwashing center in the exact same way Christians double-park outside their brainwashing centers all over Philadelphia every single Sunday.
And so -- on behalf of all spiritual Philadelphians -- I'd like to say: Aloha, crazy, swivel-eyed, ridiculous-stuff-made-up-by-a-not-very-good-;science-fiction-author-with-a-silly-name believers. Welcome to the City of Brotherly Love. Good luck with the human hunting. Now how about paying some taxes?
It's worth adding one footnote to today's Post story on the tight relationship between Margarita Lopez and groups affiliated with the Church of Scientology. (Short version: She steers city funds into their, er, unconventional health programs; they give her campaign money.)
Some observers of the sect attribute Cruise's sudden outspokenness to his attainment of one of the most advanced grades along the "Bridge to Total Freedom", invented by Hubbard. Scientologists become "clear" (after it has been proved to them that their personal flaws result from trauma built up over trillions of years of reincarnation) by taking multiple courses, and through "auditing" via an "E-Meter", a Scientology brain-monitoring gadget. Church members past and present say reaching the highest levels usually takes between ten and 30 years. Conservative estimates for the cost of this are roughly $30,000, but some people claim to have spent $250,000 on the "journey".
The company has teamed up with the Rev. Alfreddie Johnson in a grass-roots campaign to bring Hubbard's "Study Technology" to church and community tutoring programs in low-income areas.
The Hubbard methods and their relationship to Scientology have come under scrutiny in recent weeks because of a proposed charter school in the Los Angeles Unified School District that would rely on the techniques.
Although California's Department of Education has the responsibility to make sure that books are consistent with certain social content laws -- so they do not proselytize for a religion or reinforce stereotypes, for instance -- the state sets few other restrictions on how schools can spend about a third of the textbook money it doles out.
And there are virtually no restrictions on what books can be used by charter schools -- such as the one now proposed in Los Angeles by educators hoping to give students textbooks inspired by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
State officials said this week that although a charter school cannot be tied to a religion, and cannot proselytize for any faith, it would be free to buy the Hubbard books or any others.
Actress Kirstie Alley said the end of the television show "Cheers" may free up time for her to work with patients in a treatment program similar to the one she said helped end her addiction.
Ms. Alley hosted a dinner Friday that kicked off a three-day powwow at the Narconon Chilocco New Life Center.
At a news conference following the dinner, Narconon Chilocco president Gary Smith said the powwow was a way of reaffirming the center's goals to create a drug-free society.