Of all the reactions to the controversy over possible VP choice Karen Bass's 2010 appearance at a Scientology event, we sure didn't see this one coming: Nazanin Boniadi, the actress who was auditioned and chosen by Scientology to date Tom Cruise in 2004, has for the first time spoken out publicly in any way about the organization she was once a part of.
Yesterday afternoon, Nazanin posted three tweets calling out Bass for the statement she made — and then corrected — about why she shared a stage with Scientology leader David Miscavige at the grand opening event for the Los Angeles "Ideal Org" on April 24, 2004...
1/ @RepBass, your statement is insufficient given the countless people who have bravely come forward to expose their personal abuses by this organization — abuses that amount to no less than oppression, at a very large scale.
2020-08-06, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This is a thought-provoking, and somewhat alarming article by Professor Marci Hamilton, Founder and CEO of Child USA
Marci appeared on The Aftermath and was part of the team who filed the civil lawsuits on behalf of the Masterson victims and Valerie Haney.
She is one of the country's foremost experts on First Amendment Law as it relates to religion.
Canada is lagging behind in combating right-wing extremism.
Recent intelligence efforts and new funding to study right-wing groups is not enough, experts argue. The government needs to move beyond just researching groups — and quickly.
"Extremism and extremist sentiment is being normalized in mainstream media, language and communication, and it's being normalized into children's lives"
The product of a Scientology family, Charlie has emerged as a notable fixture at Scientology's LondonIdeal Org. He shows up frequently in the org's promotional materials and videos. It's his job to give the impression that Scientology is exploding in popularity in London. It isn't, but he succeeds, at least, in appearing to be the org's tireless cheerleader and its mascot.
It was Charlie's wife, Kate Wakley, who emailed London Scientologists a wild success story written by Isabella Cruise, Tom Cruise's daughter, about her struggles with learning to be an auditor.
And now Charlie has sent out his own email to the org's members, and we think you'll see why it gave us a shiver up the spine.
2019-08-06, Stephen Rex Brown, New York Daily News
The founder of Students for Trump pleaded guilty Tuesday to running a $46,000 scam in which he posed as a lawyer and gave legal advice.
John Lambert, 23, created a website for a fake law firm called Pope & Dunn and claimed to be Eric Pope, a graduate of NYU Law School with a finance degree from the University of Pennsylvania and 15 years of experience in corporate and patent law, prosecutors said.
In brief remarks in Manhattan Federal Court, the babyfaced fraudster from Knoxville, Tenn. said he engaged in the scheme with an accomplice who was not identified.
2019-08-06, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Scientology routinely claims it has the ONLY workable method of teaching someone how to learn.
They proclaim they bring literacy to millions around the world — here are just a few excerpts from the scientology.org website. These are not even the hype statements they dish up at "international events":
But their own promotional pieces put these claims to the sword.
On Monday morning, President Donald Trump finally took the time to issue a (hollow and thoroughly unconvincing) denunciation of white supremacy in the wake of mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas over the weekend that collectively resulted in at least 31 deaths and scores of injuries—in the latter case involving a gunman whose manifesto clearly reflected Trump's racist immigration rhetoric and reportedly targeted Hispanics.
Of course, it never takes long for him to return to his usual bullshit. So it's the opposite of surprising that by Monday evening, Trump was posting clips from a Fox News interview with a former Google engineer who claimed the company discriminated against him for his conservative political views. In reality, said employee had reportedly urged other Googlers to contribute to a "bounty" to find an individual who punched white supremacist Richard Spencer, as well as suggested that the Golden State Skinheads (GSS) rebrand so as to provide better "branding" for the "American nationalist Right."
We joined Lloyd Evans, Mark O'Donnell, and Javier Ortiz on the latest episode of Watchtower In Focus. Here's Lloyd's description of the subject we discussed...
"At first glance, this looks like a case where Watchtower has nothing to lose. Their mostly-volunteer legal team has delivered a petition, likely to be almost instantly discarded by the Supreme Court, that offers the organization the slim chance of setting a precedent that would alleviate most of their legal woes at a stroke. But what Watchtower doesn't understand is that they are throwing their proud history of securing civil liberties rights at the Supreme Court under the bus at considerable cost if only in terms of their reputation.
"History will never forgive an organization that sneers at the Roman Catholic church while enviously seeking to co-opt its confessional exemptions, and reassures its members that it takes seriously its duty to report child sex abuse while simultaneously fighting for its constitutional "right" to protect child molesters from the law."
On Saturday, a gunman opened fired in a Walmart store in El Paso, killing 22 people and injuring more than two dozen others.
The authorities said the suspect, Patrick Crusius, a 21-year-old white man, wrote a hate-filled, anti-immigrant manifesto that appeared online minutes before the massacre. Echoing the man accused of fatally shooting dozens of people at two mosques in New Zealand in March, the El Paso gunman's manifesto mentioned the "great replacement," a conspiracy theory that warns of white genocide.
The man often said to be behind the great replacement theory is Renaud Camus, a French writer who in 2017 was profiled by Thomas Chatterton Williams, a journalist and author who has written extensively about race.
Peter Bonyai asked us if we'd seen a three-year-old video put out by Scientology which features one of our favorite performers, Scientology's in-house hip hop giant, Chill EB. We told him we weren't sure, but we really didn't need much excuse to visit it again as long as the Chillmaster was in it.
Unfortunately, you have to sit through a lot of really boring scene-setting by the masters at Golden Era Productions in his video as it tries to build a mood and cast a spell over its intended audience — Scientologists who are likely sick and tired of forking out their hard-earned cash to the International Association of Scientologists (IAS). But once it gets going, not only are we treated to a few glimpses of Chill, but the hard rap line is laid down by none other than Rev. Alfreddie Johnson — yes! The Literacy King himself!
Alfreddie may be Scientology's most visible African-American figure, and he's been in the middle of a lot of Scientology history, including the strange merger of Scientology and the Nation of Islam. But perhaps his greatest exploit was somehow escaping criminal charges when just about everyone else around him at his former literacy center was caught up in a state insurance fraud prosecution. Alfreddie made himself somewhat scarce after that first went down, but we've noticed in recent months that he's starting to make a comeback as a man on the scene. This video reminds us of just what a big deal he was considered at one time.
2018-08-06, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
They actually sent this out.
Perhaps the most blatant admission ever that their photo ops are staged fake news.
No doubt this photo (if they actually got anyone there) will be touted as evidence of how booming things are with "10x the number of graduates at ASHO" or some other blatant lie. What is so amazing is that the participants become willing partners in the deception, almost proud that they are helping to show the world how scientology is expanding.
2017-08-06, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The weekly show where I answer questions from viewers left in the comments section of my Q&A videos or sent to me by email at AskChrisShelton@gmail.com. This week, the questions I answer are:
(1) How in the world did LRH allow himself to be sealed off from all of Scientology management so thoroughly by David Miscavige and Pat Broeker? LRH was a pretty savvy fellow, so it should have been a red flag when practically the entirety of Int Mgmt was declared. Seems to me he would have had someone's head on a pike for cutting all his comm lines for more then just the time it took to get himself to a safer location. By all I read, David Mayo was his most trusted friend who actually saved his life from illness. You don't just blindly accept someone removing all your appointed officers from the highest positions the minute you leave the vicinity. This is a mystery, shrouded and clouded in history. I do not believe for a minute that LRH would himself have declared all of those hundreds of senior Sea Org members. Can you shed any light on how Broeker and Miscavige isolated LRH, and did LRH really trust those two that much?
(2) Everyone knows about Sigmund Freud's interest in bananas, cigars, and your repressed love for Mommy and hatred of Daddy, but LRH turned his crazy up to 11 and directed all of his fire at Mommy Dearest. For me, Dianetics always comes to a screeching halt when I get to the uterine memories. Thanks to L. Ron's genius, we now know that our reactive minds are packed full of engrams we received while in the womb: memories of our parents fighting, our mother's repeated infidelities, our mother's flatulence and the countless times she tried to abort us. Happy Mother's Day!
Fiona O'Leary is an autistic advocate and campaigns for the rights of the autistic community. She has filed a complaint against the Mace Kingsley Family Center, a Scientology field group, in Clearwater, Florida for performing the Purification Rundown on children, and advocating auditing as a cure for autism.
For years, we've been telling you about Mace Kingsley Family Center, a place where Scientologists have their children — even infants — subjected to Scientology procedures. And now our Rod Keller looks into a new effort to bring this place to the attention of authorities.
Fiona O'Leary, an autism activist from Cork, Ireland is taking on a Church of Scientology field group in far away Clearwater, Florida. This week she filed a complaint with the Florida Department of Children and Families, alleging that children are being harmed by taking the Purification Rundown there, and is urging others to follow suit. She also alleges that autistic children are being mistreated by subjecting them to Scientology auditing.
The Mace Kingsley Family Center is named after founders Debbie Mace and Carol Kingsley, long time Scientologists who have had a disastrous history in bringing the technology of Scientology to children. The motto of the center is "We Audit Kids."
2016-08-06, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Commenter Mike Wynski linked to this article in a recent comment. I was unfamiliar with this term and found the article fascinating in light of my scientology experience. Especially in how scientology "defines" anyone who has escaped the bubble.
This is an abbreviated version of the article with all links and citations removed and focused on what is relevant to the scientology experience:
The No True Scotsman (NTS) fallacy is a logical fallacy that occurs when:
Well, so much for that. Tampa federal Judge James D. Whittemore has denied the latest motion by Luis and Rocio Garcia, who were attempting to revive their fraud lawsuit against the Church of Scientology and avoid struggling any further with the church's Kafkaesque internal "arbitration."
But no dice. After considering the matter for a couple of months, Judge Whittemore has ordered the Garcias and Scientology to press on and find a way to get past their disagreements and arbitrate their differences.
"While the record indicates that Plaintiffs have had difficulty designating an arbitrator of their choice who is a member in good standing with the Church, it cannot be said that Defendants have acted in a manner inconsistent with arbitration," the judge writes in his order dismissing the Garcias' motion.
2016-08-06, Joseph S. Pete, Northwest Indiana Times
"'Squeeze My Cans' gives us a rare, first-person account of America's foremost intergalactic and secretive religion, the Church of Scientology," said Dunes Summer Theater Artistic Director Tara Lonzo. "Cathy's sharp wit and humor entertains audiences throughout the tale of this bizarre and often shocking 20-year experience. Though the story is hilarious for its shear weird factor, there is a very relatable struggle and ultimately a resilience that comes through. By the end, you feel this brave woman is your friend and you are so proud of her. Together with Shirley and their entire team, Cathy has created a fun and intimate experience for theatergoers."
2015-08-06, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard created the Scientology religion and ran it as a sort of dictator for many years until he died in 1986. Like all destructive cult leaders, Hubbard created a culture that centered around his ideas being the most important things in the universe and that personal salvation was only possible if people followed what he said to the letter.
Scientologists believe so passionately in Hubbard's works that they are willing to give almost over all of their money, forsake family and friends and some even give up their whole lives and work full time for Scientology, all in order to pursue their path to personal spiritual immortality as promised by Hubbard.
so how does Hubbard convince people to do this? What do they find so convincing in Scientology? Well, back in 1965, he wrote what became the most important and core policy for the group, entitled Keeping Scientology Working. In my last video, I started a critical analysis of this issue and what Hubbard was actually doing and saying when he wrote it. This is Part 2, where we will carry on to the end and I'll offer more of my views on what this is all about. If you need to see the first part, here is the link.
2015-08-06, Alex Gibney, Guest Column, Hollywood Reporter
Writes 'Going Clear' helmer Alex Gibney: "Human rights are more important than Hollywood stunts on the wing of an airplane."
I love Jon Stewart.
So I was disappointed when, with only a few episodes of The Daily Show left, he didn't confront Tom Cruise about human rights abuses in the Church of Scientology.
2015-08-06, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
These just get more and more bizarre. Bird's custard is a reason to give money for an ideal org?
Oh, man, if only you had mentioned earlier that Jasper Carrott (?) was from Birmingham I would have turned over everything I own...
Jaden, Willow, Jada, and Will Smith, from a 2010BBC appearance You may have run across a very confusing story about Scientology, Will and Jada Smith, and a "refund" that spun out across tabloid news websites yesterday.
Like lemmings, many sites simply repeated what started with a RadarOnline story claiming that tax records showed Will and Jada had received a $1.2 million refund from a "church-affiliated" school which shut down in 2013.
Well, we're pretty sure that Radar's story is just flat-out wrong, even though it was copied like gospel by dozens of other sites.
2014-08-06, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
image credit: www.gapingvoid.com/office-art
Well, the "minutes" have become virtually useless. With no information included, they are certainly not going to inspire anyone into action...
I let a few stack up and if I don't have anything urgent I publish them just for the sake of having a record. And letting OSA know that their efforts to prevent these from falling into the "wrong hands" are not going so well.
2014-08-06, Miss Fortune, Glistening, Quivering Underbelly
A simple game, or another "Trojan horse" pitch for client Per Wickstrom?
The story...and the story behind the story!
Left: Former Detroit Lion Herman Moore and former professional wrestler Diamond Dallas Page during an appearance at Per Wickstrom's "A Forever Recovery" on May 31, 2014.
We have a potent set of videos for you today. First, we're going to show you the very latest Scientology promotional message that's been smuggled out to us. Then we're going to go back in time thanks to filmmaker Mark Bunker.
To begin, wasn't it just the other day that we remarked how Scientology seems to be focusing so much attention on its "Ideal Org" program in the western United States, and the eastern half of the country is almost an afterthought?
Renovation projects in Chicago, Detroit, Boston, and Philadelphia are all either moribund, in trouble with city officials, or are just barely showing any progress at all.
Mary DeMoss created a front group called the Foundation for Religious Tolerance as a tool to attack critics of Scientology then lied to politicians and the media about its true nature.
The story began on the night of May 19, 1943, when a U.S. patrol boat put out a call to sub chaser SC-536 that it had made contact with an enemy submarine but was out of depth charges. The patrol boat was under command of L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church of Scientology.
2013-08-06, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Someone posted here once a lecture reference where L. Ron Hubbard pronounced that 'action' and 'games', were the places to aim for in terms of chronic emotion or state of consciousness (see Real Emotions for how Scientology tends to collapse the two ideas). The idea was that the top of the scale 'serenity of beingness' was far too boring for a being to stay with for very long. For those who made those 'emotions' their chronic targets, or their aspired to states of consciousness, here is something to think about. Games and Action are not emotions. They are activities. One could and does engage in 'games' and 'action' at every level of emotion. The next higher 'emotion' on the Scientology emotional tone scale, Postulates, too is not an emotion – and like 'games' and 'action' is engaged in during all manner of actual emotion. While 'Serenity' may well be an emotion, 'serenity of beingness' is probably something else entirely (more on that at another time). Perhaps the placement of activities on the emotional tone scale contributed to some of the confusion that occurs in Scientology with respect to the role and purpose and worth of emotion.
This begs the question, are there emotions higher than exhilaration (perhaps the highest Scientology tone scale position that is fairly sure to be an emotion)? I think it is a worthwhile exercise for people to work out for themselves how the emotional tone scale should or could or can be logically and intuitively seen to be. That is particularly so for those who have set their life goals around the achievement of the non-emotions placed at the top of the Scientology tone scale. It can be a liberating exercise. I have done a lot of work on it myself – by self-observation and observation of others. I share some of my notes on it below. This sharing is not for the purposes of indoctrinating or selling an idea. Instead it is provided in order to stimulate thought and conversation and input. The plain type items accompanied by numbers are from the original Hubbard Tone Scale In Full. The italicized typed items are tones on the existing scale that I question as being emotions in the first place (as noted above). The bold-faced, italicized entries are emotions I added by observation in their relative positions to the existing Tone Scale In Full.
Bliss, Pan-equilibrium (Non-Duality)
We have a tale that our Los Angeles readers in particular are going to find fascinating. It involves Scientology, a weird final will, an extremely long-lived pooch, and expensive real estate!
One of the many odd little stories involving Scientology has to do with a very fancy house at 2345 Chislehurst Drive in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles. Close to Griffith Park, the finely-appointed estate, on 0.31 acres, was the place where Mary Sue Hubbard, the third and final wife of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, lived out her last days.
Mary Sue's story is a fascinating one. Recently portrayed as Peggy Dodd by actress Amy Adams in Paul Thomas Anderson's film The Master, Mary Sue Whipp was a fiery redhead who was a no-nonsense administrator and helped Hubbard run his worldwide empire after marrying him in 1952. They ran Scientology from England after 1959 and then from the helm of the yacht Apollo from 1966 to 1975. After that, they moved around in the US until a 1977FBI raid ensnared Mary Sue in a subsequent criminal prosecution.
2013-08-06, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Mike: I'm a Scientologists living out in the sticks in British Columbia, Canada, quite far from any Org. I have been working on a Doubt Formula and I'm making my announcement. Thank you for this blog.
Step 6 of my Doubt formula submitted by Nora Curiston
The U.S. Appeal court's rejection of the Headley lawsuits against Scientology is not carte blanche for future abuse, says the attorney who filed the original complaints: but the judgment still got it wrong, he argues.
On July 24, Barry Van Sickle got word of a California appeal court ruling in two lawsuits he had filed for former Scientologists against the movement more than three years earlier.
It was not good news.
2012-08-06, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
For having protested David Miscavige's systematic distmantling of the church 0f Scientology, Mark Shreffler is now being subjected to a systematic black PR campaign by Scientology Inc. Mark is actively challenging accusations about him to his friends emanating from Flag (Scientology Inc's "mecca"). A letter he recently sent to a Flag MAA (Master at Arms - the Ethics Officer) evidences just how deep the rabbit hole of falsehoods goes in corporate Scientology. It also sums up very accurately how Miscavige has decimated Scientology Inc.
AO FSO MAA (Slavka) August 2, 2012
2011-08-06, Mark Collette, Corpus Christi Caller-Times
"He had like a control station, like a war room," Leahy said. "Laptops, GPS's, paperwork. He's on the phone saying I need to order 55 more Squirrel Busters hats. He was constantly on the phone to people in Los Angeles."
In the room, Leahy grew increasingly worried with what he saw. He wondered why he had been allowed into this inner circle. But he tried to stay calm and buddy up to the group. He asked Statter about the overall goal.
"Dave flat-out said our goal is to make Marty's life a living hell," Leahy said. "That's a quote. He never said 'stalk,' but he said make Marty's life a living hell with every means possible of impeding his everyday living, and make it so miserable for him and his neighbors that his neighbors will want him to move."
The Church of Scientology was considered such a threat to the UK that in 1975 the Government put its members under secret surveillance, according to newly released files.
Previously classified documents reveal that Ministers wanted to undermine and discredit the group because it was said to be 'mafia-like' and its activities 'harmful and evil'.
They believed senior Scientologists were inflicting 'barbaric' punishments on followers and drove them away from their families.
The papers show the Government held clandestine meetings to discuss how to reduce the activities of Scientologists in the UK, which included moves to tax the church's income and turn down visa applications from foreign members.
The Church of Scientology won an important victory in federal court Thursday when a judge dismissed two lawsuits that accused the church of labor law violations, human trafficking and forced abortions.
Claire and Marc Headley, who left Scientology in 2005, said the church controlled them with threats of harsh punishment and other tactics that prevented them from leaving the Sea Organization, Scientology's religious order.
Dithering, stitch-up and dismay within the Government over how to treat the challenge of Scientology emerges from the confidential papers.
L. Ron Hubbard's choice of East Grinstead as the headquarters of his religion made the West Sussex town a Jerusalem for a certain kind of adherent in the 1960s.
Kenneth Robinson, as Health Minister, in 1968 banned followers from entering Britain to study or teach Scientology, which was accused of exploiting the vulnerable. His successor, Richard Crossman, thought the ban excessive and commissioned a report by Sir John Foster, QC, a Conservative MP, who recommended letting them return.
It now emerges that the exercise was a sham. Sir Keith Joseph, as Health Secretary in the early 1970s, had a quiet word with the author, then wrote in confidence: "Sir J Foster would say PRIVATELY that he was appointed to provide an excuse for my predecessor to reverse his predecessor's decision to ban entry." When the Scientologists sued the Government for libel, Whitehall sought proof they were dangerous. In 1976, one health official wrote that the evidence could lead to "a public outcry against the sect and a demand for further action against it".
2007-08-06, Mark Wellborn, The Real Estate, New York Observer
In 2003, the Scientologists acquired 220 East 125th Street for $3.45 million. They're currently building a 33,000-square-foot church on that property and will build a new community center on the more recent acquisitions, according to Karin Pouw, a public affairs representative for the church.
MIRAMAR BEACH -- Controversy over a proposed drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility has moved from one beachside neighborhood to another.
Narconon Gulf Coast Inc. wants to purchase a beach house at 263 Snowdrift Road and turn it into a 28-bed residential facility.
The nonprofit organization drew heated opposition earlier this year with its plan to buy a house on Scenic Gulf Drive for the same purpose.
That purchase has since fallen through, and Narconon is now hoping to buy the house near the beach on Snowdrift Road.
Though police kicked them out in 2005 for violating New York City Transit rules about vending in the subways, it seems they"ve still had a presence down there and, from this photo (taken in late 2006), they're still selling Dianetics (translated in 50 different languages, no less).
2007-08-06, Roger Friedman, Celebrity Gossip, Fox News
After all, Cruise went on TV in the spring of 2005 and denounced Shields for taking pharmacological drugs to help her through postpartum depression. Then Brooke retaliated by denouncing Cruise's opinions.
Cruise, of course, was espousing the philosophy of Scientology, his religion, which doesn't believe in psychiatry or any of the drugs that come along with it.
It wasn't a pretty scene. But then, all of a sudden, things changed. Somehow, all was forgiven. Brooke and Chris and Tom and Katie were presented as best buds.
2003-08-06, Teri Figueroa, San Diego Union-Tribune
A Murrieta woman has sued Temecula Mayor Jeff Stone, a pharmacist, claiming his pharmacy filled a prescription that contained "lethal" concentrations of a thyroid drug.
Sharon Di Meglio has suffered "catastrophic brain injury" as well as "neurologic injury, pain and suffering," according to the lawsuit.
Because it is a medical device intended to affect the structure or function of the body, Rejuvenique "is not safe except under the supervision of a practitioner licensed by state law," the Food and Drug Administration wrote in a July 12 warning letter to the company.
TAMPA -- For 13 years, Lisa McPherson took courses and counseling from the Church of Scientology, and all the while the church kept records of what she said.
Scientology's strong belief that those records should remain private was at issue Wednesday in a hearing concerning the wrongful death lawsuit filed against the church by McPherson's family.
Tampa lawyer Ken Dandar, hired by the family to represent McPherson's estate, says he needs to see the notes to prepare his case.