The Garcias aren't letting well enough alone. More than five years after they first filed a lawsuit against the Church of Scientology, and after three years wrestling against a ruling by Tampa federal Judge James Whittemore that forced them into Scientology's internal arbitration, Luis and Rocio Garcia have filed a notice that they are appealing Whittemore's latest ruling that they would have to live with the results of that arbitration.
We have to admit we were taken somewhat by surprise by this news. The Garcias have already been fighting against an uncooperative court for years, and Whittemore's latest ruling was a punch to the gut. Appealing it was not an automatic decision — the Garcias can look forward to a year or more of additional court filings and broadsides from Scientology without a guarantee that the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals will see things differently than Whittemore did.
From the beginning of their legal odyssey, the Garcias argued that they were lied to and defrauded by Scientology when the church hit them up for more than a million dollars of donations over their years as members. They were convinced, for example, to "pay for" an expensive cross on top of the Flag Building in Clearwater, but then learned that other couples had been hit up to pay for the same thing.
2017-08-17, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The second season of Leah Remini's Emmy-nominated Scientology and the Aftermath has now debuted on A&E and the first episode was a heavy punch in the gut to anyone with a heart or an ounce of humanity. The stories that Saina Kamula and Mirriam Frances told were horrifying and unfortuantely, are not isolated or singular instances. This, of course, is the point of telling these stories in the first place. Leah's show is a call to action to all of us to step up and do something. We can't change the past, but we can certainly act to stop these abuses in the future but only if we are aware of what the supposed "church" of Scientology is really all about.
This past week, before and after the premiere, Scientology and its enablers took to social media, Reddit and other forums in a vain attempt to denounce Leah and the guests on her show as liars and bitter apostates, a strategy that did not work in Season 1 and frankly, has never worked. Anyone with an ounce of common sense can look at what was portrayed in Season 1 and now what is rolling out in Season 2 and see that Scientology is a group that condones sexual and psychological abuses because its members are under the horribly mistaken notion that the philosophy and mission of Scientology are more important than the well being of its members, even its children. This is a pretty sick way of looking at the world and as a former member, I know because I used to be there.
Last year, I posted a video laying out five reasons Scientology and the Aftermath is more important than you may realize. A link to that video is below. Now here are five more reasons that Season 2 is even more important than Season 1.
With Season 2 of Leah Remini's Emmy-nominated Scientology and the Aftermath now begun, it's time to lay out 5 more reasons why this show is more important than most people realize, and why everyone should be watching it.
Link to first video: https://youtu.be/BDLftr9wIwo
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One sign that Leah Remini is really getting to David Miscavige and the Church of Scientology became very obvious this week. Our commenters have been talking about it for days — a Change.org petition started by a 13-year-old Indian boy, Ram Sharma, calling for the cancellation of A&E's series, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.
The petition quickly caught fire and has been signed by many well known and longtime Scientologists, who not only are leaving public statements about Remini but also are listing the cities where they're from. For Scientologists it's an unusually public act, and feels like a real departure — finally, Scientologists are standing up to be counted.
And that, of course, is part of their problem. At last count, only 4,882 people had signed the petition, with many of them identifying their locations as either Southern California or Clearwater, Florida.
Shocking But True: There are only three people in the entire US Government who can call for an investigation into Scientology's tax exemption. I outlined this in my previous detailed article on the IRS. The cut-to-the-chase version for non-wonks was published by Tony Ortega.
Bottom Line: In order to maximize our collective power, we need to petition the IRS Commissioner John Koskinen to open an investigation into Scientology's tax exemption. Accordingly, I am asking everyone to please sign and share my Change.Org Petition: We Demand the IRS Commissioner Begin an Investigation into Scientology's Tax Exempt Status. You do not need to be a US citizen to sign the petition.
Leah Remini and Mike Rinder are doing an incredible job and we need to support their work. This petition is all about a call to action whereby we demand the IRS do its job and open an investigation into Scientology's tax exemption.
2017-08-17, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Though I commented on this in my post of yesterday, I wanted to highlight the insanity of the scientology response to the new season's first episode while it is hot off the press (Thursday Funnies are on hiatus for a week).
In a word. Lame.
Their "defense" for child abuse is:
Once again our great tipsters come through, and we just want again to express our gratitude. We're deep into several big projects that we expect to turn into good things down the road, so for now we appreciate all the help we get from our great correspondents. (Speaking of big projects, these dog days of summer will soon end, and Scientology is going to have a very interesting autumn. We know of at least four major newspaper pieces coming, two television series, and several books, and that's all on top of Louis Theroux's movie, coming out in Australia in September and the UK in October. It's going to be some cornucopia at harvest time this year!)
Today's treat comes courtesy of a correspondent who pores through old newspaper files, tracking down things for us that may have been overlooked. He turned up a real gem this week, and we wanted to share it with you.
It's a rare interview of L. Ron Hubbard conducted on the yacht Royal Scotman in 1968, before the ship was renamed the Apollo. The ship was docked in the Tunisian port city of Bizerte (spelled Bizerta in the article), and Daily Mail reporter Peter Smith tracked Hubbard down there for this August 6, 1968 article.
2016-08-17, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
For the record.
These have been accumulating for a while. The Special Correspondent who so diligently forwards these to me noted that it is interesting to look at these over time as you can see the false promises and pitches roll out and the things that are said in March that will happen in April go by without comment and then you start seeing new targets on the same thing in June. It is truly the donkey with the carrot on a stick — the only difference being the donkey is being ridden by vampires that inexorably suck the blood out of it, til it falls to the wayside and they jump on a new donkey.
Remember, THIS is the most important ideal org in this universe. It is the pride and joy of the scientology world. Located in the largest concentration of scientologists on earth. They have every other org and Mission in SoCal and even the ILO (international management) staff working to achieve their idealiness. And 12 years into that program, it's still not close to being done (they are shooting for an opening in 2017).
2015-08-17, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Hooray, Miami finally completed their ballpark. I understand from watching Jon Oliver's show that it has fishtanks in the walls behind homeplate (something to do with the team being the Marlins apparently).
Oh, my error. Apparently this has something to do with ideal orgs.
And it seems, in spite of the headline, they didn't actually complete raising the "ballpark figure" — a euphemism for some interim step they can announce as a "completion" — because after a LOOONG time "Mighty Miami" is still not capable of getting and completing an ideal org building. In fact, they constantly tout their "Promise to Ron" (see latest promo piece at the bottom) — but at what point do you actually admit you are never going to fulfill your promise? Let's see, they made the "promise to Ron" back in the mid-70's. That is 40 YEARS. Isn't it time to admit to yourselves and others, that despite having the ONLY tech to salvage mankind, and the ONLY workable administrative technology, and the top 1% of the top 10% of the people on earth and homo novi and OT's, you are simply never going to make it?
OK, so you've been seeing a lot more of Scientology on social media over the past couple of years. Especially from overseas. So here's our question: Is Scientology actually doing more than before, or do we just get to see more of what they were always doing because they're finally less shy about using the Internet?
We look forward to your vote on that. And to give you some reality on our comm, here's some of what turned up on social media just yesterday...
Actual caption: "? ?????? ???!!!" Translation: "I spent $2,500 so I could run around a pole until my teeth were starting to come loose, my nipples were bleeding, and my trance state had me seeing lizard-aliens gnawing on my entrails. But the cognition — that I was a body thetan in Jesus Christ's left testicle — was worth every penny!"
Branstetter smartly connects Narconon's grand jury problem with the massive lawsuit filed by the National Association of Forensic Counselors. The suit involves 82 defendants, including Scientology's leader, David Miscavige.
But the most interesting new wrinkle in Branstetter's article is news that Narconon Arrowhead has filed for a new certification - as a "halfway house." Oh, how the mighty have fallen. We need to investigate whether this means that technically Arrowhead would no longer be able to deliver its most vaunted service - Scientology's Purification Rundown, a risky and non-scientific treatment of five hours in a sauna every day for weeks while ingesting insane levels of niacin.
2014-08-17, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Those who obsess on the motivator (object of victimhood attachment) about how David Miscavige is scientology's problem because he keeps revising scientology are like dogs barking up the wrong tree. There is a plain fact they are not coming to grips with. Scientology will forever be altered, revised, re-revised, repackaged, re-organized, and re-compiled. People on the outside have been at it as hard as scientology organization folk are on the inside. It is inevitable. That is not because misunderstood words, the reactive mind or body thetans will forever keep people confused and incapable of applying one-hundred percent scientology standard technology. Nor will it be because of the unstated (except in confidential upper level secrets), but actually held, scientology belief that humankind can't get it because humankind is inherently incapable of understanding. Instead, scientology will continuously be revised because there is no such thing as standard scientology technology. Like the substance of scientology itself, what constitutes the standard is wholly a subjective matter.
That fact is obvious if one can unlock himself from identifying with L. Ron Hubbard and his work and read the latter dispassionately. That of course is impossible for those who vow from the outset of their studies – and stick with it all the way through – to the notion that Hubbard is infallible and examination of any comparative data is potentially lethal. When one who can objectively study scientology does so – particularly when he has tested its methods through extensive practice - something becomes patently clear. That is by conservative estimate more than ninety (90) percent of everything Hubbard wrote and uttered on scientology and dianetics was about how wrong all those who attempted to apply it were. It is mostly a running stream of consciousness (albeit held together by a hard core, two-valued logic and persuasively conveyed by a convincing speaker and writer) record of assigning reasons why the promises in the book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health were never realized and how they might yet be. Highlighting that statement is Dianetics' promise of full memory restoration in 1950 and Hubbard's last 'breakthrough' (OT VIII) - as his 1986 dying declaration - promising to address the reason folk are apparently inherently amnesiacs.
Exacerbating the confusion is that many of the methods Ron educates his followers on as the mechanics intentionally used to control and damage the mind are simultaneously employed by him to do precisely that to his followers. It is diabolical in that the follower having been educated by Ron on those mental entrapment techniques would then never guess they would be used on the follower. You wind up with the curious phenomenon of apparently sincere people devoting their lives to vehemently defending their own entrapment.
2014-08-17, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Hear ye, hear ye. Step right up.
We need your money for a new scheme to clear the planet.
Note well: this adds to but does not take away from the IAS, Ideal Orgs, LRH Hall, New Advanced Orgs, Books Into Libraries, CCHR, WTH Campaigns or the David Miscavige Birthday Fund — each of which is THE solution to planetary clearing.
2013-08-17, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
We concluded the last post here, Scientology and Misogyny, with the following words:
Regardless, there is little question that the church of Scientology and its 30-year-tenured supreme leader David Miscavige are so misogynist as to qualify as anachronistic, if not outside of the law and boundaries of common societal mores on the subject of the sexes. We will shed more light on this subject over the next several days.
Now, let's address some facts.
Tampa Bay Times reveals the sadism within the headquarters of Scientology Inc. House of horrors. From 2000 to 2005 til the start of SP Hole, the internal violence escalated at INT base (Scientology inc headquarters in Southern California, 2 hours from Los Angeles.
"Seances", beatings, punchings, slappings, body slammings, enforced confessions of transgressions to the Sadist David Miscavige. This is filmed with testimony under oath in a Court of Law.
Full credit to Investigative reports Joe Childs, Thomas Tobin and "Mo" Maurice Rivenbark
The Tampa Bay Times broke the news Friday night: Finally, after almost 15 years since it first broke ground, Scientology's "Super Power Building" is set to open on Sunday, October 6.
On Friday the Church of Scientology approached the Clearwater, Florida city council to obtain permits for a grand opening celebration on that date.
Former top Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder, at his blog, has been reporting that church members were being told that the Super Power building — formally known as the "Flag Building" after dropping its previous name, "Flag Mecca" — would be opening about a month before the International Association of Scientologists (IAS) gala. And sure enough, the IAS gala (usually held in England in October) has been scheduled for the weekend of November 8-9 and will be held in a giant permanent tent in Clearwater that is being shipped over from the UK.
2013-08-17, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This morning I received 3 separate reports on "Graduation" from last night. The stats are going up!
I have combined them into one summarized report here. Thanks to those who continue to keep the world updated on the latest news from inside the bubble. As usual my comments are in italics enclosed in square brackets.
Also as usual, He talks about MEST logistics almost exclusively. It's almost bizarre to contemplate the leader of the "most important and fastest growing religious movement on earth" gives a weekly running commentary on the adventures of a tent making its way from England to the US.
2012-08-17, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Beghe, in Californication Breaking news that will be of interest to Scientology watchers: just this afternoon, Jason Beghe's lawyer notified church attorneys Gary Soter and Kendrick Moxon in a letter that the actor is accepting their offer to settle a lawsuit for $19,000.
After the jump, we have that letter for you.
I talked to Beghe today, and he explained his thinking about the settlement. The lawsuit had originated when a process server came to his Malibu house in 2009 to notify him that he would be deposed in the lawsuit brought by Marc and Claire Headley against the Church of Scientology.
Democratic state Sen. Tom Ivester said Friday that he believes the state should enact strict regulations on the type of treatments offered by Narconon Arrowhead.
Three patients of the center have died since October - the most recent in July. Pittsburg County Sheriff Joel Kerns has said his office is investigating the deaths.
2012-08-17, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Those who know Narconon president Gary Smith and have worked in or with his Narconon flagship facility might have a similar response to tonight's NBCRock Center episode on Narconon to mine. That is, what insane orders has David Miscavige's Scientology Inc issued that resulted in such a meltdown? Four people dying at Narconon? One person is too many. And even that would have been inconceivable ten years ago. And Narconon and Gary Smith showing the same type of disdain for human life that one has come to expect from David Miscavige? What has become of Narconon?
I predict that David Miscavige's scorched earth policies will result in the most fatal blow to the Narconon program. Those policies were evident in Narconon's responses to the program: no cooperation, lie and attack the attacker.
Those policies are also evident in a fresh piece of evidence that I have included below.
After years of clever promotion, the CoS detox programmes are now becoming popular in many countries, including the UK. They bring in good money. In 2009, the CoS was reported to charge $5,200 (£3,300) for the Purif programme and the price for the Narconon programme is reportedly even higher.
A typical course of treatment lasts several weeks and consists of many hours of exercise and sauna every day. This regimen is supplemented with megadoses of vitamins and minerals, which can cause problems. Niacin, one vitamin that is given in high doses as part of the regimen, can be particularly dangerous. The US National Institutes of Health warns that at high doses it can cause "liver problems, gout, ulcers of the digestive tract, loss of vision, high blood sugar, irregular heartbeat, and other serious problems." It should not be taken by people who already have liver damage.
Seven fatalities of people undergoing the Narconon programme are currently being investigated in Oklahoma, although the CoS says these deaths are not connected with the treatment regimen itself.
2012-08-17, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Last year's winner, L. Ron Hubbard: will he repeat? In the doldrums of August last year, we put together a little list that took on a life of its own.
We counted down the 25 people and groups who had been doing the most to get word out to the wider world about the Church of Scientology's many alleged abuses, and who have contributed to its steep recent decline. Our list included current and former church members, academics, attorneys, activists, and a couple of dead people.
This year, summer has not been languid and lazy. In the wake of the TomKat divorce, media interest in Scientology has never been greater and we've never been busier. But with August half over, we thought it was time to update our list from last year. This time, we've put a premium on what's happened in the last twelve months, so you might see some of your old favorites drop off the roster. But never fear -- you can always revisit our choices from last year, or the choices of our readers.
*** UPDATE: Tommy Davis began working for Australian billionaire James Packer in Feb 2016. His role is nebulous and he may have been charged with getting the billionaire back into Scientology***
Australian tv show "A Current Affair" asks "where's Tommy Davis" who appears to be MIA and whose absence was particularly noted during the TomKat separation. Includes interview with Tony Ortega of the Village Voice who mentions recent Scientology cult escapees - L Ron Hubbard's grand daughter Roanne Horwich and David Miscavige's father Ronnie Miscavige - and the up coming movie "The Master". Added to the recent fall out regarding Narconon, if Scientology thinks its had a rough year to date - the cult ain't seen nothing yet.
It now turns out that Tommy was slung out of the Sea Org after infuriating Sea Org Captain David Miscavige back in 2011 when Tommy was interviewed by Lawrence Wright for the New Yorker. In that interview Tommy stated that if L Ron Hubbard had not cured war injuries using Dianetics then the whole of Scientology was based on a lie. Guess what, L Ron Hubbard never had war injuries ; )
While her husband, accomplished pilot John Travolta, may fly through the air with the greatest of ease, Kelly Preston apparently has found a formula for staying grounded.
Asked how she coped with the death of 16-year-old son Jett from a fatal seizure in 2009, Preston, 48, tells Health magazine for its September issue: "To be honest, (it was) the Scientology Center. I don't know if I would have made it through without it."
She adds about life's lessons she's learned, "Don't sweat the small things. Love your kids like it could be the last moment."
2011-08-17, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
And as you can see from that screenshot, the title that Parker and Stone put up throughout the Xenu segment -- "THIS IS WHAT SCIENTOLOGISTS ACTUALLY BELIEVE" -- really shifts this episode from farce to political satire. This IS what high-level Scientologists are asked to accept, after several years of membership and several hundred thousand dollars in fees: that disembodied, indoctrinated alien souls are attached to us after they were brought here 75 million years ago by a galactic overlord named Xenu, and only Hubbard's techniques of "auditing" can remove them from you so that your superhuman potential can be unleashed.
There's something about putting the OT III story in a cartoon that makes it even more stark-raving mad than simple words can convey.
The city of Hamburg said this week it would suspend the work of its 17-year-old Scientology task force, one of the most vociferous critics of the secretive organization. Leader Ursula Caberta has successfully defended herself in numerous cases brought by Scientologists. However, the city says it will continue to monitor the group.
Sylvia Stanard (with Sue Taylor by her side) have been lying to everyone who will listen since (at least) 1997 when this small press conference was filmed. Constant lies, constantly trying to change the subject, constantly trying to deflect the crimes and the sheer stupidity of the CULT of Scientology away from the XENU Story and Fair Game policy. She is one of the biggest pieces of shit EVER....next to Kendrick Moxon of course. Let's not forget the newest piece of shit...Kim Belotte. Kim is happily and blindly following in the "lying piece of shit" footsteps of Of Sylvia and Moxon....for a CULT. A money grubbing CULT.
2010-08-17, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
For the past several days I've been sharing some thoughts. To some it evidently sounded like reactive venting. In fact, for the past two weeks, and throughout this thought-sharing period, I have been auditing others and solo auditing daily and I believe I have been expressing emotion appropriate to the circumstances I face. While I meant everything I wrote, I was also conducting a differentiation drill and a roll call or sorts. The former is important from time to time in order to pursue the larger goal successfully. A number of OSA Intelligence Black Ops lines were revealed and rendered ineffective in the process. Further, one learns in Scientology training and practice that the biggest lie in this universe is that we are all one – all the same – a=a=a. People who day in and day out promote the idea that we are all the same, we are all headed in the same direction, and thus every misdirected entheta attempt to cave people in is A-Ok, are on a more subtle level accomplishing the same goal as Miscavige's.
The latter (roll call) came to me from an LRH Guardian's Office Order, later converted to an OSA NW Order, in which he told of the Swedes' success in World War Two to illustrate and convey the datum: small groups, well organized, and with a higher purpose can defeat the largest and best armed armies. You don't survive a billion dollar war machine directed at your head by holding hands and singing Kumbaya.
I extend a heartfelt thanks to those who answered the call on back channels as well as here.
2009-08-17, Candice M. Giove, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Bright? Of course. Curious about the world around me? Sure. Idealistic? Sometimes. Like being the recipient of a compliment? Who doesn't? Take risks? From time to time.
So when Paul Grosswald, a former Scientologist-turned-anti-cult-lecturer, instructed those who checked off at least three of the nine general statements on a handout to raise their hands, everyone's digits reached towards the ceiling.
"You are exactly the type of people that cult recruiters are looking for," he said -- which, of course, elicited a peal of laughter since New York CitySkeptics, a group of local critical thinkers, was hosting the event last Saturday.
Landmark's corporate clients bring not just respectability but more warm bodies bearing checks. (Landmark relies entirely on word-of-mouth advertising.) The yoga apparel chain Lululemon pays for its employees to enroll in Landmark. Other firms have been sued by employees claiming they were pressured to attend the Forum: In 2007, a Virginia man accused his former employer of firing him for his "refusal to embrace Landmark religious beliefs." Not that Landmark itself condones such arm twisting. At the start of my session, we were asked to affirm that we were attending of our own free will. A couple of people who confessed otherwise were asked to leave. Still, I talked with several who'd been sent by their employers.
In 1993, Isaac became the International Spokesman for the World Literacy Crusade. Together with Applied Scholastics, ABLE and the Celebrity Center of the Church of Scientology, the World Literacy Crusade, led by Rev. Alfreddie Johnson, Isaac and Princess Ocansey, brought the gift of literacy to the rural villages of Ada and to other parts of Ghana.
S. belonged to the Church of Scientology for about six years. "I did a course on how to get people to become Scientologists, how to sell people what they need, at their most vulnerable point. There are special techniques for learning where a person feels that something is screwing him in life, and then you tell him that there is a chance that Scientology can help. But soon the person forgets why he got into it in the first place, such as to be calmer with himself, to make more money, to achieve cosmic identification - all those goals are cast out and the person understands that it's a lot more important to help Scientology develop and to clean the planet."
The Church of Scientology, known for its celebrity devotees, is making a big push to expand its empire along 125th Street, purchasing three properties there last week, and planning a major recruitment drive in the neighborhood.
The Rev. John Carmichael, president of the church in New York, declined to give details about the purchase, but reports put the total sales price at $10.2 million.
Memorabilia, including a cross, is displayed in a bedroom in the former Phoenix home of Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard Wednesday, July 25, 2007. Recently restored to how it looked in 1952, the home is regarded as a religious historic site, the birthplace of Scientology.
L. Ron Hubbard had a restlessness that led to a lifetime of traversing the globe. So it was scarcely three years that the eclectic writer and adventurer lived at his "House on Camelback."
That modest home in Phoenix, recently restored to how it looked in 1952, is regarded as a religious historic site – the birthplace of Scientology.
A group teaching the core moral values as outlined by Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard has been conducting workshops at Israeli summer camps this month without the knowledge of the children's parents.
During the month of August, most Israeli children attend summer camps, as both parents typically work.
News First Class, an online Israeli news agency, learned that at many of those camps, the children are getting morning lectures by volunteers from the Association for Prosperity and Security in the Middle East (APSME), a group that promotes Hubbard's teachings.
A drug rehabilitation center known worldwide for its successes will celebrate its grand opening on the banks of Lake Eufaula.
State Sen. Gene Stipe, D-McAlester, will cut the ribbon for the Narconon Arrowhead Drug Rehabilitation & International Training Center at a ceremony at 7 p.m. Saturday, said spokeswoman Sally Falcow.
The gala will represent a changing of venue for Narconon, which had operated since 1990 from the Chilocco New Life Center in Newkirk.
The gala will represent a changing of venue for Narconon, which had operated since 1990 from the Chilocco New Life Center in Newkirk.
Located on the former Arrowhead Resort, Narconon Arrowhead will have a staff of 110 and an annual payroll of more than $3.1 million, Falcow said. It will house 230 beds, an increase from the 105 at Chilocco, she said.
In a statement, FactNet charged that Scientology "has placed subliminal messages in the BattleField Earth film master to surreptitiously recruit new members from the movie audience," that it secretly financed the film, that it will use the film to recruit new members and that it has otherwise been involved in the development, production and promotion of the film.