As if Los Angeles educators didn't have enough to worry about with school re-opening in a couple of weeks, Scientology has chosen this moment to make another push with its "Applied Scholastics" front operation.
Our source with access to a private Scientology social media feed forwarded a notice that Scientologists were encouraged to read, urging them to take part in a campaign to convince local schools to sample the free curriculum resources Scientology has pushed for decades.
"I'm sending over a free resource that will help your teachers improve their students' literacy and test scores," says the email message which Scientologists are encouraged to send out under their own names to random local schools.
2020-08-05, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Scientology's quest for money is unrelenting.
They rake in tens of millions (perhaps hundreds) each year. But they have to spend at least some of it to satisfy IRS requirements. They don't ever give it away. One of the things they spend it on is new buildings (they always say they have opened "a new church" but in fact they have not opened any new churches since the one in East Harlem NY and before that the one in Inglewood and before that, nobody can recall). Buildings remain assets on their books, so the statistic of "total reserves" does not go down (total reserves is cash, property, gold, stocks).
But these new, large buildings sit empty. Most of them don't have enough staff to have even one person in each room.
2019-08-05, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Scientology loves to claim they are responsible for "Clearing the planet" and "bettering society" — proclaiming they are "slaying the four modern horsemen of the apocalypse, drugs, illiteracy, criminality and immorality." They routinely take credit for all sorts of things: reducing crime in Colombia by 50%, increasing literacy rates in third world countries, eradicating gang violence etc. They find a statistic and then claim "we handed out 74,000 copies of WTH and the number of divorces in Denmark is lowest in a decade. " It is clear (in their minds) that this is incontrovertible evidence that "WTH solved divorces in Denmark" and "we are making a better society thanks to the IAS and COB"... This scenario is repeated in every scientology major event ever held. (They ignore their role when the divorce rate goes back up — that of course is the psychs at work).
This is what is known as correlation without causation. Less eggs were laid in Georgia last year than the year before. More red M&Ms were consumed than ever last year. Thus eating red M&Ms causes chickens not lay eggs. This is scientology "logic".
Scientology also loves graphs - though they often have no numbers on them and are not verifiable in any way.
Copenhagen has done it again.
Just when if feels like it couldn't get any more miserable in this terrible modern world we live in, and the news is so grim we try not to catch sight of the national news, along come our Danish friends to remind us that things could always be worse: we could be Scientologists!
You might remember a previous incident, way back in 2011, when the Advanced Org in Copenhagen put out one of the best Scientology hip-hop videos of all time, with staffers lip-syncing their way through a Chill EB song written for the International Association of Scientologists (IAS). The song was titled "Dauntless, Defiant, and Resolute" — the IAS slogan — and with its break dancers and a cameo appearance of a Mercedes-Benz convertible, it's one of our favorite things ever.
Aaron's YouTube channel reads as follows:
Growing Up in Scientology is here to discuss what it's like growing up in the Church of Scientology as a 2nd or 3rd generation member and how growing up in Scientology, whether as a public, staff member or Sea Org member shapes one's worldview.
Rod Keller has another sobering look at what Scientology's "Volunteer Ministers" are really up to...
The Carr fire has been burning in Northern California since July 25. It's a large and destructive fire, and despite the work of thousands of firefighters it's no more than 37 percent contained. Redding, California remains at risk with more than 90,000 residents. For Scientology the fire is an opportunity to put on the yellow Volunteer Minister T-shirts and head north. As we have seen during the Hurricane Harvey recovery and more recently in Manchester, England the VMs are promoted as one of the most important disaster response teams on the planet. And as with previous disasters the VMs are gathering donated supplies at the last minute rather than prepare supplies in advance as major relief agencies do.
[Carr fire area]
2018-08-05, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Our old friend Terra Cognita has provided another thought-provoking essay.
Clear on the 1st Dynamic? I Think Not
When people weren't going "Clear" during Scientology auditing, L. Ron Hubbard—or someone within the church; I don't know who—decided that pre-OT processing only cleared people on the First Dynamic. "Clears" were told that they no longer had their "own reactive mind." In other words, people who'd been audited on Dianetics and the Grades were now superhuman and self-determined, but still screwed up on their other seven Dynamics. Apparently, seven-eighths of their problems and hang-ups still existed.
2018-08-05, 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 answer are:
(1) Do you ever worry or feel that OSA may, in fact, spend money on fake Patreons for you, or does that explicitly contravene the edict that an ex-member/SP may be "ruined utterly"? The way the policy is applied certainly does not seem to be either equal or make sense to me - for example, an OSA operative infiltrated some people's business for several years while being quite a good sales person & was therefore temporary an asset for them (I seem to recall). Actually, there are countless instances of this "policy" being applied rather haphazardly, so perhaps the question above isn't that silly after all!
(2) In your Santa Barbara years, have you ever come across a dude named Reed Slatkin? He worked at the Celebrity Center between approximately 1975 and 1984, then moved to Santa Barbara and started offering investment management services to fellow Scientologists (among the high-profile Scientologists he roped in were Anne Archer, Giovanni Ribisi, Greta Van Susteren, and Sky Dayton). In reality, it was a Ponzi scheme, which gradually unraveled between mid-1990s and 2001, when he was arrested. He pleaded guilty in 2003 (he actually claimed something along the lines of "Scientology made me do it", but the Church retained Latham & Watkins to fight the allegations). He was sentenced to 14 years of prison, served ten, was released to a halfway house in Long Beach in 2013, and died in 2015.
In his review of "Death of a Nation,"Variety's chief film critic Owen Gleiberman says, "Dinesh D'Souza goes over the top — of hate, and of truth — in his latest documentary, a radical-right screed that equates liberalism with Nazism." He adds, "Dinesh D'Souza is no longer preaching to the choir; he's preaching to the mentally unsound."
Though the doc currently holds a 0% on review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, it has generated some positive sentiment among conservatives. "This film is a great reminder about what the left really stands for and why conservatives must never stop fighting for freedom and liberty," Stephanie Hamill, a journalist with right-wing publication the Daily Caller, wrote on Twitter.
It also garnered praise from the Trumps, including Donald Trump Jr., who co-hosted a screening of the documentary in Washington D.C. He also tweeted about the film, saying, "It's going to fire up Republicans for the midterms."
(The 'Cine Castle' at Int Base, home to the studios of Golden Era Productions)
We have an intriguing item today that appears to be rather modest, but in investigating it, it opened up a new window on a place we never lose interest in: Scientology's Int Base.
The item we're talking about was an ad that was placed on a closed Facebook group for a union of Los Angeles set painters. You know, the folks who give TV or movie backdrops the right look for whatever historical era or mood you're going for. These are very talented people who know how to make a surface come alive with some paint and some know-how.
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.
SHOP FOR CRITICAL MERCHANDISE
2017-08-05, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
At the end of a process in Scientology, it isn't enough for a PC (Pre-Clear; basically anyone receiving auditing) to say "Thanks, I feel a little better," and walk away. Likewise, "I feel like I'm done," or "You know…I think I've gone as far I can go with this," doesn't signal the end of a session. "I'm already in PT (present time)," or "Nah, I really don't believe in past lives," will not be accepted as an "end phenomenon"—EP for short—in the Church of Scientology.
Unlike other therapies, L. Ron Hubbard thought it necessary to append specific EPs to every auditing process, rundown, course, or level of his Bridge to Total Freedom. Rarely, have other practices in the field of mental health made such conceits. Nor guaranteed unqualified cures or promised patients they wouldn't relapse. LRH never had such reservations.
Why couldn't he have left well enough alone? Why did he feel he had to make such fantastic claims? Why did he have to append specific EPs to the end of everything? Did he really believe his processes produced these phenomenal "gains" on everyone, uniformly, without exception? Was the man so sure of his genius that he couldn't conceive his processes wouldn't work unvaryingly, one hundred percent of the time? Or did he devise these EPs as simply another carrot to lure people up the Bridge?
(Blackstone Medical Services CEO Vick Tipnes)
Another lawsuit against an employer accused of forcing Scientology on an employee was filed this week, this time involving a Florida man who alleges that the CEO of a Tampa medical company harassed him and ultimately fired him because he wouldn't subject himself to Scientology courses.
We've seen this kind of thing numerous times in recent years, including a dentist in Oregon, a chiropractor in Florida, and a plastics company in Pasadena. This time, the employer is a man named Vick Tipnes who maintains a somewhat eye-opening page about himself at his company's website. Tipnes writes that he was born in London but moved to Florida as a child, and then worked as a car salesman as he looked for business opportunities.
Nancy Cartwright just did a video in which she attacked Going Clear. After watching the video, I've concluded that Cartwright is just another Scientology celebrity pawn who has been played to do the bidding of the Office of Special Affairs.
OSA may not have given Nancy the news: Going Clear earned seven Emmy nominations and won three Emmy's. Going Clear also made the Oscar short list for Best Documentary. Alex Gibney won an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature for his 2007 work Taxi to the Dark Side.
In Nancy's video she uses the same tired old PR line and tells people to find out for themselves what Scientology is by reading a book. Okay. I have met this requirement and more. I have found out for myself what Scientology really is and does and I think it is a malicious and dishonest criminal Cult. And I am hardly alone in my informed opinion.
The Church of Scientology has landed in Harlem, and it's opening its doors to the community. The religion has set up a mega center on 125th Street between First and Second avenues. The complex is made up of two buildings, a community center and a church located two doors down. Sandwiched in between the buildings stands a branch of the New York Public Library.
In a shocking YouTube video, Scientologist and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan calls for black people to rise up and kill white police officers as retribution for the black people who have been killed by police officers:
Scientology has done no good for Farrakhan. Scientology's self-proclaimed "Tech" has not given Farrakhan any solutions beyond calling for the murder of cops.
Scientology claims to be about creating "a world without war, crime, or insanity" and yet Farrakhan calls for murdering police officers.
2015-08-05, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
It's been some time since any news about Debbie Cook has surfaced. Then last weekend Tony Ortega posted that she has just published a book on Amazon about recovering from Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue.
Although I haven't spoken to Debbie in years, I have thought about her and Wayne many times and after reading some of the comments on Tony's blog, I felt some background information might be of interest to fill in a few blanks and perhaps dispel some misconceptions.
There hasn't really been a reason for me to write about this before. Marty covered the activities of her case and the subsequent settlement on his blog at the time and I concurred with what he said.
Sky said Wednesday that it will air Scientology documentary Going Clear in September.
The pan-European pay TV giant has been holding off on setting an air date as it was reviewing its plans amid concerns that the airing could cause legal issues in Northern Ireland. Sky originally planned to air the doc in April, but put those plans on ice because Northern Ireland is not subject to Britain's 2013 Defamation Act, which observers said could expose Sky to libel claims there.
The doc, which has already been screening in British theaters, will air on the company's Sky Atlantic network across the U.K., including Northern Ireland, and Ireland next month, the pay TV giant said Wednesday.
Hey, we're still recovering from last night's wild time in London. Thankfully, Aaron Smith-Levin has sent over a couple of new videos interview Nick Lister in their series, "Growing Up Scientology." We'll let Aaron introduce them...
In this first clip Nick talks about his time at Scientology's biggest drug rehab facility, Narconon Arrowhead, located two hours east of Oklahoma City. When it's convenient, Scientology claims it has no relationship to or responsibility for the Narcnonon organization. At Scientology events, it's another story — leader David Miscavige openly talks about Narconon as a branch of the church that's intended to expand Scientology's influence.
As Tony has documented many times, Narconon doesn't actually deliver drug counseling, but instead puts its patients through Scientology drills — the same drills you get in the church itself. The rehab program is a sequence of three steps 1) Scientology's "purification rundown" 2) Scientology's communications drills called "Training Routines" and 3) basic Scientology auditing processes called "Objective Processing."
1. August 16, 2012: Church of Scientology attorney Jeffrey K. Riffer of Elkins, Kalt, Weintraub, Reuben, Gartside LLP, sent a legal threat letter to Graydon Carter, Editor, Vanity Fair Magazine. The threat was an attempt to kill a story about Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. Vanity Fair ignored the threat. Written by Maureen Orth, What Katie Didn't Know appeared in the October 2012 edition of Vanity Fair.
2. January 21, 2013: Church of Scientology attorney Jeffrey K. Riffer of Elkins, Kalt, Weintraub, Reuben, Gartside LLP, sent a legal threat letter to David C. Vigilante, Senior Vice President & Associate General Counsel of Turner Broadcasting Systems, Inc. as counsel for CNN. The threat was an attempt to kill Anderson Cooper's 360 piece on the culture of physical violence inside the Church of Scientology, particularly as described in Lawrence Wright's book Going Clear. CNN ignored the threat. Inside the Church of Scientology aired on January 23, 2013.
Mareka Brousseau was born a third generation Scientologist. She discusses her childhood and the harsh conditions in Sea Org nurseries. Mareka signed a Sea Org contract when she was nine years old. Mareka's mother and stepfather are Haydn and Lucy James.
Her husband John Brousseau did a couple of amazingly revealing interviews with Tony Ortega.
We've talked to Mareka Brousseau numerous times for stories at the Village Voice and the Underground Bunker. And she was a key character in John Sweeney's 2010BBC special, The Secrets of Scientology. And now Jeffrey Augustine has given us a treat and interviewed Mareka at length for the Surviving Scientology podcast.
It's really eye-opening to hear about Scientology's attitudes toward children from someone who actually grew up in the church. Mareka's account is bleak. She talks to Jeff about growing up with Sea Org parents who are too busy 'clearing the planet' to have much to do with their kids.
2014-08-05, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Some of you may have noticed this item in the Sunday Funnies at the Underground Bunker.
I found it a bit disturbing, but not for the usual Valley money grubbing reasons.
This is the poster promoting the event:
2013-08-05, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Scientology culture is recognizable by its collective, synthetic 'cheerful' or 'enthusiastic' emotional tone. Scientologists learn to put on a happy face. If they are seen without one, a fellow Scientologist considers it his duty to 'handle' it. And that primarily means making the person mentally deal with the life situation causing the lower emotion so that he can easily mentally cope with putting on a happy face in spite of it. In a Scientology group one is expected to act happy. To display any emotion less than that results in Scientologists almost instinctively interceding with a person's psyche to remedy the perceived problem. A Scientologist learns eventually to convincingly act happy all the time, even when he or she is feeling deep sorrow, a sense of devastating loss, or is suffering pangs of conscience.
Scientologists will bridle at the notion they are taught to play act through life. But, the technology they are applying day in and day out is plain:
'Force yourself to smile and you'll soon stop frowning. Force yourself to laugh and you'll soon find something to laugh about. Wax enthusiastic and you'll very soon feel so. A being causes his own feelings.' - L. Ron Hubbard 25 August 1982
2013-08-05, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The email below perfectly illustrates the "party lines" that are being pushed within the corporate church to the sheeple.
All focus is on the magnificence of Dear Leader — even the "Ideal Orgs" and "GAG II" take a backseat to recounting the glories of Miscavige.
(Previously unpublished photo of Shelly Miscavige circa 1990 courtesy of Claudio and Renata Lugli)
Our celebrity sources in the Church of Scientology tell us that church leader David Miscavige is planning a bold stunt later this month at the 44th annual Celebrity Centre gala in Hollywood, California.
On July 8 we revealed that Leah Remini was breaking away from Scientology in part because she dared to ask, persistently, about the disappearance of Miscavige's wife, Shelly, who hasn't been seen by the general membership of the church in six years. Since then, the mainstream media has given momentum to a question that has been asked for years in Internet forums: "Where's Shelly?"
2012-08-05, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
The image you see here means a lot to us at the underground bunker, where we keep an eye on all things Scientology related. And on this lazy Sunday morning, we hope you'll indulge us as we attempt to explain what it represents.
Andreas Heldal-Lund, meet Chill EB.
Chill, meet the devil.
2011-08-05, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
But we think it's time Xenu got more credit for all that he's done. Think about it, for about 19 years, after L. Ron Hubbard dreamed the sucker up in a pill-popping and boozy haze while sailing the Atlantic and Mediterranean in the mid-1960s, until the Los Angeles Times finally made Xenu's story public during the Larry Wollersheim trial in 1986, only high-level Scientologists even knew that the alien leader existed.
UPDATE: Ah, the beauty of a blog -- instant updating! Maybe for many of us the L.A. Times was our first glimpse of our mighty galactic hero, but I've just been reminded that one of the giants of Scientology reporting, Richard Leiby, beat the Times by five years!
Watch from about 1:25 until 2:02
Miscavige tries to pull a typical fast one but Ted Koppel stops and asks "who was the sponsor...". Little David flickers his eyelids and then stumbles, "I have a copy and...." Then he continues on with the LRonHubbard sounding, "Oh yes! oh yes! oh yes!...." and then the Tommy Davis sounding, "major, major, major...."
David Miscavige channeling LRonHubbard, Tommy Davis and Tom Cruise ALL IN 37 SECONDS!!!!
Want to work in one of Scientology's fresh new "Ideal Org" churches? Then get ready to put on your 20-piece uniform, mandatory for all cult staff. Planetary humanity is not going to be perfected by slobs, after all.
These uniforms are manufactured by some sort of magical logistics pipeline called a "conveyor belt" for the "Ideal Org," a purportedly superior new type of church, according to International Scientology News. The uniform is intended to unite staff on "six continents" and help them look the part of "emissaries of a new civilization."
2009-08-05, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
One Day One Destiny - Tom Cruise (FR English subs) from Sic Transit on Vimeo.A tip of the hat to Wise Beard Man, Mark Bunker, for bringing this French television documentary to our attention. "One Day One Destiny" is a fascinating look at Tom Cruise and his history in Scientology.Remember that video of a crazed-looking Cruise explaining how only Scientologists can help at a car accident? Well, here's some eye-opening context for that video, and plenty of other background on the star that few others have put together so well.Scientology watchers will appreciate the terrific interviews with Marc Headley, Karen Pressley, Bruce Hines and other former Scientologists who watched Cruise become Scientology leader David Miscavige's special project.Enjoy!
A man who holds no truck with established religion is unsurprisingly unlikely to have much good to say about Scientology, which purports to use scientific tools such as its controversial "E-meter". "It's purely made-up. It just taps into some 'gullibiligy'. They find some film star or somebody like Tom Cruise or whatever his name is who's thick as two short planks and he becomes a sort of advertisement."
In a series of three stories and an editorial that began Monday, the New York Post reported that Lopez was the key City Council player in securing $630,000 in city funds for the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project, a center on Fulton St. that offers September 11 first responders treatments based on large amounts of Vitamin B-3, sauna baths and exercise, in lieu of traditional medical therapies. The treatment is based on theories developed by L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology's late founder. Scientology's most famous exponent, Tom Cruise, was on hand with Lopez for the center's groundbreaking.
The Post reported that the treatment is widely dismissed by medical professionals and noted that the adverse public reaction led the firefighters' union to pull its support for the project.
The lawsuit is the second time Stone's work as a pharmacist has thrust him into the spotlight during a political campaign.
The first instance came about four years ago when Stone admitted committing four improper business practices. In exchange for that admission, 16 other accusations lodged against him by the state Board of Pharmacy were dismissed.
In December 1999, Stone said he agreed to settle the case because he wanted to put the unpleasant experience behind him. He said all the serious allegations against him were dismissed and his attorney showed state officials that he had complied with the law.
A doctor was suspended for a year for improperly prescribing Valium to unlicensed Church of Scientology workers caring for a church member who had suffered a mental breakdown.
Dr. David I. Minkoff, 53, of Clearwater, Fla., also a Scientologist, will lose his medical license for a year and will be required to practice under probation for two more years, the Board of Medicine ruled Friday. He was fined $10,000.
It's been a difficult couple of years for Scientology, which is trying to polish its fringe image as it awaits word from Revenue Canada about its application for charitable status.
But positive PR may be coming to a theatre near you. Screen star John Travolta, Scientology's most famous promoter, has embarked on a film adaptation of Battlefield Earth, the doomsday sci-fi thriller penned by the church's messianic founder, L. Ron Hubbard.
SAN JOSE, CALIF. SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) _ The Church of Scientology has settled a copyright dispute with an Internet provider that many in the computer industry worried would restrict freedom of expression in cyberspace.
The church and Netcom On-Line Communication Services, one of the nation's largest Internet access providers, agreed not to discuss details of the out-of-court settlement reached Friday in San Jose.
They did say, however, that the online service has posted a warning to its subscribers telling them not to use Netcom to "unlawfully distribute the intellectual property of others."
Many Internet legal analysts are disappointed by an out-of-court settlement between Netcom and the Church of Scientology because now they"ll have to wait for another case to come to light before a court sets a firm precedent on Internet access providers' liability for online copyright infringement.
A lawsuit that many in the on-line community feared would set a precedent restricting freedom of expression on the Internet has been settled out of court.
Netcom On-Line Communications Services Inc. announced Saturday it had settled the intellectual property dispute initiated by Religious Technology Center (RTC), a wing of the Church of Scientology.
RTC had sought to prohibit Netcom subscribers from posting sacred writings expressing the church's belief that man's spiritual problems stem from an intergalactic holocaust 75 million years ago. The church claimed some of the writings were protected under U.S. copyright laws. Both parties agreed not to disclose specific details of the settlement.