2018-08-09, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
This week I have former Sea Org member Marc Headley on for an extended-length interview about his history in Scientology and the Sea Organization, how he met David Miscavige and what life is really like at Scientology's International Headquarters and he talks about tales Miscavige used to tell about Tom Cruise being the most dedicated Scientologist on the planet.
2018-08-09, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Well, if you're so good at this...
How about generating ANY expansion in ANY org ANYWHERE?
Kevin Wilson was touted as the person who was taking over Valley Org. That place is deader than a doornail. Why not go there and prove you can accomplish anything? No commissions?
After yesterday's disturbing report about a convicted child molester being a featured performer at Scientology's exclusive "Maiden Voyage" celebrations, we received this sobering report from former Sea Org member and Scientology "technology" expert Sunny Pereira. We think it pairs pretty well with what we learned in yesterday's story.
I can tell stories from each of the decades that I was in Scientology about how sexual deviants were dealt with in the organization. In each decade — the 1970s to the 2000s — the stories would all be the same. And now stories similar to the ones I witnessed are coming out on Leah Remini's television series.
Why is this such a persistent problem in Scientology? It goes back to its core ideas. L. Ron Hubbard was very specific that only he could be the one to tell the world anything about Scientology — this was made clear in an important Scientology policy letter, "Keeping Scientology Working." And since his death, those ideas can't be altered. Taken as a whole, Hubbard's policies created a haven for sexual abusers.
(Scientologists taking part in 'money processing,' to teach them to 'flow' cash to the church.)
One of our readers was in a local org recently, and happily for us she was handed a pamphlet that included a price list. Thinking quickly, when the staff wasn't looking she snapped a couple of photos of it and then sent them to us.
Thank you, tipster! Now, it's always good to get an updated Scientology price list to see what folks are paying to move up the Bridge to Total Freedom. But we want you to keep something very much in mind. This pamphlet shows prices specific to what's called a "Class V" org, the kind of thing you'll find in your garden-variety large American city. So the prices are lower than the ones we've seen for courses and auditing levels at Scientology's "spiritual mecca," the Flag Land Base in Clearwater, Florida where all Scientologists have to go for the really high-end stuff.
Nearly a decade after Scientology prompted a high-profile internet protest movement — sparked when the church attempted to remove a damaging YouTube video of member Tom Cruise speaking about the religion — comes the discovery of a new covert campaign to subvert online criticism of the organization's social work. A series of forged court orders were submitted to Google (and possibly to Yahoo and Bing as well) in 2016 in an attempt to convince the search giant to expunge links to written objections to Scientology's controversial anti-drug program Narconon. The U.S. Department of Justice declined to comment when asked whether it is investigating the issue, which involves the bogus signatures of judges from multiple states.
Collectively, the material seeks to mend the standing of unbranded Narconon facilities in Michigan and their owner, a prominent Scientologist named Per Wickstrom, whose reputations have been battered by statements on a number of dedicated websites and message boards critical of the church and the program, including WhyWeProtest.net and Exscn.net, as well as the general consumer watchdog service RipoffReport.com. (Neither Wickstrom, reached through his Serenity Point facility near Grand Rapids, Michigan, nor the Church of Scientology returned requests for comment.)
Four fabricated orders, dated May and August 2016, ostensibly grant injunctions against the tech companies, preventing them from linking to material that, the documents assert, the courts found defamatory in Hamilton County, Ohio; Fulton County, Georgia; and Philadelphia. Some of the orders appear to be templated on an authentic Hamilton County court order from March 2015, which also was submitted to Google on behalf of a small San Francisco production company called Wild Strawberry Entertainment.
2017-08-09, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
When Miscavige feels most threatened, he invariably pulls the 1993 IAS event out of mothballs for re-airing in all orgs. This is Miscavige's crowning achievement and when he feels his PR is being assaulted, in his mind this is the antidote.
Getting people to come into an org to watch this video yet again is a Sisyphean task. There is no current scientologist who has not seen it numerous times. And there are no NEW scientologists. So it's a tough sell.
Miscavige is convinced this is the best reputation damage control he can do. Not come out in public and actually answer questions or make any appearance in the media. No, re-show a 25 year old video which represents the pinnacle of his achievements.
There's a new book out about the Creative Artists Agency called "Powerhouse" by James Andrew Miller. It's an oral history and a lot of it is fluff. A lot of it reads like a corporate PR offering. But as we go through it this morning, there a few nuggets. Here's an interesting bit from founder Mike Ovitz (Cruise's agent) and Paula Wagner (Cruise's agent and producing partner) about dealing with Tom Cruise's interest in Scientology:
On Friday, we told you about Vick Tipnes, CEO and founder of Blackstone Medical Services in Tampa, who is being sued by a man named David Bunting. According to the complaint filed by Bunting in federal court, Tipnes pushed him to get involved in Scientology, and threatened him with "financial penalties" if he didn't comply. Bunting refused, and claims that he was fired as a result.
Before we filed that story, we called Blackstone Medical and asked to speak with Tipnes. We were told he was in a meeting, and we left a message. Tipnes hasn't called us back. But we did hear from Vick's attorney, Hunter Chamberlin, who told us that Tipnes vigorously denies the allegations in Bunting's lawsuit.
Before he filed his lawsuit, Bunting filed a discrimination claim with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Chamberlin then filed a detailed response, describing Bunting not as a victim of religious discrimination, but as a disgruntled former employee who had failed to live up to expectations. Not only did Tipnes say he had not forced Scientology on Bunting, but his response to the EEOC included affidavits from twelve Blackstone Medical employees who all said Tipnes had never brought up Scientology with them.
2016-08-09, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Been busy, so just a bit of a throw-away today. Was just sent the latest edition of the Flag "OT Committee" newsletter (though it contains little "news," mostly rah-rah imploring people to do something).
Clearly their delusions of grandeur are reinforced each year by the "Maiden" Voyage events. Bubbles Champagne and her team returned fully replenished with hype.
This mightiest of mighty forces has yet to see a done on Miami, Orlando or Puerto Rico ideal org — let alone Tampa org's CF.... This after a dozen or more "Maiden" voyage celebrations and returning with newfound enthusiasm to git er done. I guess the Force just isn't what it used to be. In light of the mightiest civilizing influence on earth, planetary clearing happening at lightning speed, OT's being turned out at a higher velocity than ever who can control the universe and postulate anything into existence, the successful gypsy cabaret just doesn't seem to be the right "orders of magnitude" (oh, that is OT IX, no wonder....)
2015-08-09, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The weekly show where I take up and answer questions people have left for me in the comments of my Q&A videos. The questions I take up this week are:
(1) Could you elaborate on touch assists? I do not hear it mentioned often but to my understanding it is actually one of the more unbelievable bits of hogwash the church tries to sell you on.
(2) Hi Chris thanks for all the information you have presented so far. I was curious about some of the OT material and found that LRH handwritten material hard to read (very poor handwriting). My question: For the lower level up to Clear, does he have a lot of handwritten material for the courses? If so how does anyone understand that horrid handwriting?
2015-08-09, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Here is an email and promotional piece WISE just sent out.
The masters of administration are STILL operating in the dark ages — selling BOOKS that are "fully indexed" and contain "glossaries" and not even a MENTION of a soft-copy version that would be searchable. What better index could there be than "control F"? And, newsflash, you can click on a word on the computer (or your phone) and it will be defined for you!
But of course, you couldn't charge $1350 for a flash drive or a downloadable file.
Jeffrey Augustine is back with another delicious dive into Scientology's own policies and documents. In this case, he's looking at Scientology's own statements about whether you should ever believe a word they say...
In 1996, the Church of Scientology warned everyone that it takes no responsibility for any statements or claims made by any member of its staff (the people who work with the public at Scientology "orgs) or with members of the Sea Organization, who sign billion-year contracts and dedicate themselves entirely to working day and night for the organization. This warning was contained in "Scientology Policy Directive 13 March 1996 Issue II," under the title "Statements By Staff Members":
Incredibly, this same document contains the bald-faced lie that Founder L. Ron Hubbard never promised anyone anything:
2014-08-09, Josh Boatwright, St. Petersburg Tribune
Redevelopment has been a challenge in downtown Clearwater.
A large portion of land is owned by the Church of Scientology, which has undertaken significant construction projects, such as the seven-story Flag Building that opened in the fall, but these primarily serve Scientology members.
John McMaster was declared the world's "First Clear" on March 9, 1966. There had been other clears, most notably Sonia Bianca, the actual "First Clear." However, L. Ron Hubbard had purged her from Church history.
Two pages excerpted from Religion Inc.: The Church of Scientology by Stewart Lamont. Harrap Books, London. 1986.
Below is the Church of Scientology's 1968 PR article on John McMaster — look for the added bonus on "Galactic Trading and Ethnic Advancement" using "doll bodies" on pages four and five:
Jon Atack is the author of A Piece of Blue Sky, one of the very best books on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. He has a new edition of the book for sale, and for more than a year on Saturdays he helped us sift through the legends, myths, and contested facts about Scientology that tend to get hashed and rehashed in books, articles, and especially on the Internet. He was kind enough to send us a new post.
Jon, over the past couple of years, you've written for us about the struggle Scientologists go through to escape the kind of thinking that comes with deep involvement in the writings of L. Ron Hubbard. But this time you've really outdone yourself. We're looking forward to responses from our readers on this one. Take it away, Jon, and help us pierce Scientology's veil.
2014-08-09, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
A recent email from one of the people that delivers seminars in orgs and is touted as one of the "great disseminators" of our time.
It provides some interesting insight into the general public's view of scientology and how things are going from bad to really bad. You've got to make sure you "inoculate" everyone, because all they know about scientology is bad.
And this is the fastest growing religion on earth?
2013-08-09, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
A lot of what I do has come to be characterized by my wife and me as assisting folks to graduate above Scientology. It is somewhat of a unique notion. In fact, the vast majority of people who devoted much time to Scientology ultimately go through the graduation process; reconciling what they learned and gained, differentiating it from the entrapment mechanisms involved, and finding ways to integrate with society, and to evolve and transcend as a person. As far as Scientology-understanding assistance along that route, resources have been slim.
To date there has really only been a couple of paths for Scientologists and ex-Scientologists; at least ones that are assisted by Scientologists or ex-Scientologists who understand something about the subject. Both avenues are of the least resistance variety; the easy, least effective ways that ultimately don't lead toward graduation.
First, one can cling to his firmly held Scientology religious beliefs and continue with the installed cognitive dissonance that entails. He or she can be guided to pretend that it is all 'over-there' in the church and play the 'I am the resurrection of the real Scientology' game. That ultimately leads to a sort of bitter, secluded 'victorious Confederate soldier' megalomania and melancholy. Second, one can be guided to redirect the implanted Scientology need for an enemy and spend years in a state of suspended enturbulation, senselessly flailing at the church or Scientology itself. The latter route leads to much the same state of mind and consciousness as the former.
Leah Remini can't seem to cut ties with the Church of Scientology.
The "King of Queens" actress, who made headlines after she publicly announced she was leaving the church, has filed a missing persons report on Scientology leader's David Miscavige's wife, Shelly, who hasn't been seen for the past six years.
"We can confirm that the missing person report has been taken and that's all the information we have at this time," an LAPD spokesperson told Us Weekly.
A medical detox center in Pittsburg County that is based on the teachings of the Church of Scientology has lost its temporary state certification to conduct medical detox services, a spokesman for Oklahoma's top substance abuse agency said Friday. The Narconon Arrowhead facility in McAlester did not meet the state's requirements to obtain full certification to conduct medical detox services, said Jeffrey Desmukes, a spokesman for the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health Substance Abuse Services. "Their temporary permit for operation has expired," Desmukes said. The facility, which opened in 2011, lost its temporary certification at the end of June, Desmukes said.
In 1952, L. Ron Hubbard published What to Audit, a slim volume he later renamed A History of Man, to help guide the participants of Scientology through their explorations into the vast stretches of time experienced by their immortal souls. It's a remarkable piece of work with a bold agenda and page after page of startling discoveries. Inexplicably, Hubbard's biographer, Russell Miller, called it "possibly the most absurd book ever written."
Earlier, we read through the entire length of Hubbard's 1950 masterpiece, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health with former Scientologist and author Vance Woodward. But because A History of Man describes the evolution of life on earth, we thought it would be helpful to read it with one of the Internet's best-known scientists, University of Minnesota Morris professor of biology, PZ Myers. If you aren't reading Paul's daily musings at his science blog and his freethought blog, well, what's wrong with you? Also, we want to thank Kate Bornstein for the lovely illustration of PZ gnawing on the 1960s cover of Hubbard's remarkable book. So let's dive in!
THE BUNKER: Thanks for reading this book with us, Paul. We know it's probably not the kind of thing you read every day. Take the first sentence in the book, for example...
The genius duo the Good Liars are back, this time with a hilarious send-up about the not missing status of Shelly Miscavige. And after their parody website, Help Will Smith, got torpedoed by the actual Church of Scientology, they've come roaring back with a hilarious replacement — Help Scientology!
Meanwhile, we just got back from a whirlwind of interviews about the current situation with Shelly Miscavige and Leah Remini. We want to thank Lauren Green and the folks at FoxNews.com Live for giving us this much time to blather about current events...
Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com
2013-08-09, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Miscavige sockpuppet, Karin Pinocchio Pouw is at it again.
The "church," as they always do, have turned the Shelly Miscavige missing person report into an excuse to launch more of their patented footbullets.
With a straight face, they are alleging to the Hollywood Reporter and other media that this is "ill-advised, ludicrous self-promotion"? Say what?
The Bernie Madoff of the Drug rehab industry Per Wickstrom is trying to get Tanquility Detox, aka Narconon, open in South Bend, IN. Please help spread the word to the good people of South Bend. The city of South Bend should not allow this deadly program to be issued a permit. Scientology is trying to enter South Bend, please don't let this happen.
2013-08-09, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Another in our series of Fact Checking claims made by the Church of Scientology on their internet sites.
Our hardworking Special Correspondent has taken the time once again to attempt to verify the generalities put forth. This is no easy task....
I recently received the latest IAS mag unironically titled "Indiscriminate Help Anytime Anywhere" and so I added a little section of my own to the end of Natasha's good work.
2012-08-09, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
What follows is a despatch from David Miscavige (supreme leader of Scientology Inc.) to the top marketing 'executive' in corporate Scientology, as Miscavige addresses him: Acting, Temporary Marketing Executive International In Training (A/T/MEI I/T). The adjectives (acting, temporary, in training) overlap and are duplicative in some sense, but all are combined to nullify the person in question. The preamble, A-D, serves no purpose other than to further nullify the recipient.
4 MAR 2001
When the alleged plot to bomb the Scientology Center, involving a truck filled with gas canisters and 300 liters of gasoline, failed, the men were ordered to set the building on fire, police said. That alleged attempt ended in failure as well.
He allegedly ordered the mobsters to harm Shota Hovel, the head of the construction oversight department at the Tel Aviv Municipality, following Hovel's decision to knock down the building in Jaffa owned by Scientologists due to violations of building regulations.
2011-08-09, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
On Friday, we started a countdown that will give credit -- or blame -- to the people who have contributed most to the sad current state of Scientology. From its greatest expansion in the 1980s, the church is a shell of what it once was and is mired in countless controversies around the world. Some of that was self-inflicted, and some of it has come from outside. Join us now as we continue on our investigation of those people most responsible...
The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology
#24: David Touretzky (and other academics)
"A major purpose of Scientology is to destroy psychiatry and replace it with its own pseudo-counselling techniques. And CCHR is one of Scientology's front-group weapons attempting to achieve that goal," says Stephen Kent, a University of Alberta sociologist specializing in new religions and cults.
1994-08-09, Richard N. Leiby, Washington Post, Seattle Times
Lisa Marie Presley, the King's only daughter and heir, has been a Scientologist since childhood; her mother, Priscilla, is said to have joined the church about a year after Elvis' death. Lisa Marie was married to a prominent Scientologist, Danny Keough, but quickly and quietly dissolved that union to marry Jackson in the Dominican Republic in May.
Keough's younger brother, Thomas - also a Scientologist - was an official witness of the Jackson-Presley nuptials. The Church of Scientology International issued a statement this week wishing the newlyweds "the very best for a joyful future."