2017-08-20, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The weekly show where I answer viewer questions based on what is left for me 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) So Scientologists believe that they have lived millions of lives before and done everything before, like be in a high management person in the Sea Org even if they still are teenagers. How do they then explain away why they have not cleared the planet a few million lives ago then since everyone already knows everything? And how did Hubbard explain away that he just now figured out how to save the world? I mean, would he not be a pretty lousy thetan to be that late in the game?
(2) In the Catholic Church, canonisation does not create a saint but only recognises officially that someone was a saint all along. In Scientology, when someone is declared a Suppressive Person, is the process similarly recognising officially that the person was an SP all along? If so, Study Tech was invented by SPs (being in fact the creation of two Scientologists who were subsequently declared). In like manner, at least one of the upper OT levels was written by an SP, David Mayo. Leaving aside how Hubbard could know that 2.5% of the population at large are SPs, one has the impression with the blizzard of SP declares among ex-Scientologists that the percentage of latent SPs in the Church is far higher than 2.5%. Can we put a ballpark figure on this actual percentage? If it is indeed much higher, how is this explained inside the Church? Presumably not because the Church is naturally attractive to criminals.
Rod Keller is all over a new development that Scientology is rolling out in Australia...
The Universe Corps is coming to Melbourne, Australia. That's the news intended to encourage Scientologists to join staff now. It's a big carrot, particularly for those without the financial means to move up the Scientology "Bridge." But as with many things in Scientology, the reality has historically not always met the promise.
The Universe Corps! The name is either inspiring or reminiscent of the more space opera aspects of Scientology, or both. Traditionally the Corps sends a team of Sea Org members to a Class V org that has achieved "Saint Hill Size." Org size is measured against the high standard set by Saint Hill in East Grinstead, England in the 1960s when people were joining Scientology staff in droves. But what was it, exactly, that defined Saint Hill Size?
2017-08-20, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
All Scientology Operating Thetans—OTs—are handed the responsibility of clearing their environments after returning home from Flag and the Freewinds. They're expected to transform their local communities—ideally, into some sort of Scientology-based utopia. If that's too much, tidying up their neighborhoods and/or giving touch assists to Uncle Dick is helpful. At the least, walking Rex more regularly is good for their Fifth Dynamic.
Before the Golden Age of Tech, the Basics, and the "ideal" org program, the big plan was for OT 7 and 8s to return home and supercharge their communities. They would be so able after completing these levels that their mere presence would cause major advances everywhere they set foot. Witnessing these supermen and their feats, the public would flood the local orgs and missions. Stats would skyrocket. In no time, local environs would be operating on a whole new level of existence.
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 three years he's been helping 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.
I left Scientology because I believed in Scientology. The "Church" was clearly not following the strict policy laid down by Hubbard. It was not about to "maintain friendly relations with the environment and the public" as Hubbard's "First Policy" demanded. David Miscavige had appeared unannounced, and without sanction from Hubbard, as far as we could tell. He was an unknown who had somehow replaced Hubbard's chosen heir, David Mayo.
The organization was "down-tone" – somewhere around "blame." Policies on justice had been flaunted with a list of over 600 people who had been expelled without charge, let alone a committee of evidence. The fundamental right to be faced with an accuser and allowed to speak in one's own defense had been removed.
2016-08-20, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Somewhat buried under the coverage of the demise of Gawker and its greatest hits including publishing the infamous 2004Freedom Medal of Valor video of Mr. Cruise making an ass of himself" comes this from the International Business Times (and apparently Us Magazine, though I haven't bothered to check that).
It's a strange position to be in for scientology. They deny it's "not them" keeping Tom away from Suri. Yet, if they are to be taken at at their word, they are throwing Mr. Cruise (they don't want him referred to any other way — just like Mr. Miscavige and NOT Captain Miscavige) under the bus. He has apparently not denied the repeated stories that he does not see Suri. That would be the obvious thing to do if it not true. He used to file lawsuits over things like this and Bert Fields letters flew to the media outlets. So, the only explanation left is that he doesn't care about his daughter enough to visit with her? Wow. Good going there footbullet kings....
Here is the statement scientology is reported to have made, defending itself and trashing Mr. Cruise:
2015-08-20, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
Today I'm going to talk about the power of knowledge, of knowing things, and how those who can manipulate the information you have can manipulate you in ways you wouldn't believe possible. We seem to live now in an era where knowledge has never been so abundantly available and yet it seems fewer and fewer people are taking advantage of that. It's almost as if some people are choosing to remain ignorant. Is that true? I don't really think so, but I do think people can appear to be purposefully ignorant because of where they choose to get thier facts from and how they are manipulated to believe they know everything they need to.
Critical thinking and reason are not only built on a foundation of knowledge but on the principle that a person needs to continually ask questions and be able to look for more, so let's see how important this really is.
Knowing Stuff is Important
The church of Scientology was none-too-pleased about the Buzz noting that U.S. Rep. David Jolly planned to appear at the church's upcoming concert to celebrate the city of Clearwater's centennial.
The item noted that Jolly, an Indian Shores Republican running for U.S. Senate, is listed as a guest of honor at the Aug. 29 event titled "Clearwater: A Century in Music." It will take place at the Fort Harrison Hotel, one of the church's signature buildings in the city's downtown. Jolly's spokesman said he is attending to present a proclamation to Mayor George Cretekos to celebrate the city's 100th birthday.
The post referenced the controversy that has swirled around the church for years, most recently by HBO's release of Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief. And the post noted that Jolly's wife Laura will be appearing as a model in the church's annual charity fashion show next month.
David Pomeranz may not be a household name in America — even if he's a well known figure inside Scientology — but over in Asia, he's practically the second coming of L. Ron Hubbard or something.
We thought you'd enjoy these clips that turned up yesterday showing Pomeranz belting out everyone's favorite Scientology ditty, "We Stand Tall" (note the Freedom Medal), and then enjoying the adulation of some of his Taiwanese fans.
Does David Miscavige understand what a rock star he'd be considered in Taipei? Has he thought about moving Int Base over there?
2014-08-20, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The leak plugging efforts just don't seem to be working. They even have a full time person in OSA Flag assigned to get to the bottom of this situation. But the OTC Minutes just keep rolling in. And though they have taken out a lot of embarrassing statistical specifics, they still have what should be embarrassing details (I think most of these people are oblivious to how ridiculous they are). Part of the problem is that they can turn ANYTHING into good news and "huge impact" so they THINK they are relaying good news. The delusion is a sight to behold. They remind me of the proverbial fleas climbing up the elephant's leg with rape on their minds.
Let's begin with the mighty powerhouses at Flag. The biggest and baddest OT Committee in this sector of the universe.
Two completions is pretty impressive, including a Purif for the OTs. Remember when they had the "game" of 100% of the OTC on service and they were touting that virtually everyone was on service? Hmmm, doesn't quite add up to two completions. But then again, there has been no mention of that game for some time, so as with everything else in scientology, when the pressure eases off things revert to their usual dead state. Oh, and one person was helped with an ethics condition. Woohoo.
A TUTU-wearing gardener has been forced to shut up shop over $200,000 in unpaid taxes.
Chris Lucas, famous for his pervasive "Hello, hello" catchphrase, has had to hang up his pink tutu and wand after Chris and Marie's Plant Farms were put under control of court-appointed receivers.
Today, we have even more bad news for Scientology's rehab network. Three new breach of contract and fraud lawsuits, filed by an Indianapolis law firm, are targeting a Narconon facility in Albion, Michigan and seem obviously patterned after the 19 lawsuits that have been filed against Narconon centers since January by Las Vegas attorney Ryan Hamilton.
Legal experts had told us that other attorneys might get into the act if Hamilton continued to have success with his lawsuits. And speaking of Hamilton's success, today we have a court order in one of Hamilton's suits which bodes ill for Narconon's prospects of having the suits dismissed.
Narconon, it seems plain, is now in serious trouble.
Scientologists call themselves "the most ethical people on the planet" because, well, founder L. Ron Hubbard told them to say that, and Ron had a great talent for saying things that were the complete opposite of what they meant.
Anyway, it's always fun to keep in mind that Scientologists believe they're more ethical than the rest of us when in fact they're so truthy and fraudy. And that only seems to be picking up speed now that the organization is getting increasingly desperate. Thanks to our great tipsters, we have a couple of memorable examples to share with you.
First, we were tipped that Scientology's drug rehab in Egypt (there's a Narconon in Egypt? We had no idea) put the advertisement you see above on its Facebook page.
An aspiring artist and spiritual seeker, Elli Perkins, joins her local Church of Scientology and believes she's finally found the path to happiness. | For more Deadly Devotion, visit http://investigation.discovery.com/tv...
Subscribe to Investigation Discovery! | http://www.youtube.com/discoveryid
Watch full episodes! | https://play.google.com/store/tv/show... -
The lawsuit says investigators on the case found the facility broke numerous state laws and they wanted to shut it down. But leadership at ODMHSAS "attempted to hide the findings" because they believe "the Department did not want to get involved with litigation involving the Church of Scientology."
"That would be extremely concerning and disappointing in light of the legislation we passed giving them the authority to do something," said Sen. Tom Ivester, (D) - Sayre.
Ivester was behind a new law that took effect in 2013 giving the Department of Mental Health greater oversight into the facility.
"They would be able to go in for inspections unannounced, announced," he explained. "And if the allegations are true the Department of Mental Health hasn't done it, they just haven't done it. We gave them the authority and they haven't done it."
2013-08-20, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
I have known Mike Eldredge since December 1975 when he and his wife Penny were the first two new recruits to arrive at Flag in Clearwater. At the time the location was still confidential and they had not been told where they were going until they were given tickets at the airport. They were excited to be at Flag, but a little disappointed as they had only come from Miami! Mike went on to become a cramming officer, auditor and C/S who worked on many projects directly for LRH. I did a few Missions with him at various times. This write up only touches upon his history and experience. Perhaps he will decide to write more in the future.
He recently sent this letter to David Miscavige and others.
It is good to have another very knowledgable person contributing to the effort to end the abuses in the RCS.
Claire Headley is taking us on our journey to train as Scientologists. She and her husband Marc were Sea Org workers who escaped from Scientology's International Base in 2005. She spent years working with Scientology's "tech," and was trusted to oversee the auditing of Tom Cruise. Go here to see the first part in this series.
We're continuing to learn what Scientologists actually do as they pay hundreds of dollars an hour to move up the "Bridge to Total Freedom." This week, Claire tells us about Expanded Grade 1. What's this level all about, Claire?
CLAIRE: We've covered "objective processes" before and how they are targeted to deal with "Control, Communication, and Havingness" (CCH). This level specifically deals with addressing the issues most people have with help, control, and problems.
Former President of Narconon Arrowhead, Lucas Catton, is speaking out about why he thinks the facility is more affiliated with Scientology than it claims. Gary Smith said in a statement to Fox 25: "Narconon has always acknowledged that our organization receives support from the Church of Scientology." There have been four deaths at Narconon Arrowhead - three within the past nine months. Senator Tom Ivester said he will author legislation aimed at regulating questionable practices of a drug treatment program with close ties to the Church of Scientology. The lawmaker said a quick legal search revealed no less than 15 lawsuits against the facility on Lake Eufaula, Narconon Arrowhead. Where there's smoke, there's usually fire, he said.
Harsh words from one Oklahoma lawmaker for the controversial Scientology-affiliated drug treatment center on Lake Eufaula.
State Senator Tom Ivester of Sayre calls Narconon Arrowhead in Pittsburg County a "predatory business" and says it is a disgrace to have it operating in Oklahoma.
The Church of Scientology on Whalley Avenue pulled building permits to convert a former furniture store to a church in 2004, but lacking any progress, it lost its tax-exempt status and now is fighting a foreclosure action by the city that is trying to recoup taxes it says it is owed.
2011-08-20, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
While rain falls in south Texas, things were dry and cozy this week in the underground bunker where we keep an eye on all things Scientology.
We started out another eventful week with a look at church attorney Kendrick Moxon, who came in at #21 in our countdown of The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology.
On Tuesday, we looked at Ed Bryan, and how he's using his OT VIII powers as the ultimate example of superhuman Scientology power!
2010-08-20, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
One of the items of "evidence" collected is "Apple I-Phone, #G, Model 16 GIG, Serial #82011479A3NP with charger and headphones." However, I took my iPhone with me when I blew and absolutely did not leave it behind. What does this mean? Are they saying they have my iPhone? Did they load it with some "manufactured evidence"?
It is described in more than one place that the "RTC Administration Building" is a locked building. Sorry, not true. I was the RTC Estates Manager and I would have known if the building was ever kept locked. Never. Maybe now, but never while I was there.
2007-08-20, James Silver, Special reports, The Guardian
Nursing a pint of cider in a defiantly non-gastro north London pub, Sweeney, 49, attempts to make sense of his "Mr Shouty" moment. "It was like an animal cry of rage," he says, before going on to claim that he felt like the victim of a "psychological attack" by the Scientologists. "Their midnight presence at our hotel, the weird creeps who followed us around on the streets of LA and Davis in my face all the time had got to me."
No fewer than 50 programs (though not the Rotenberg Center) can trace their treatment philosophy, directly or indirectly, to an antidrug cult called Synanon. Founded in 1958, Synanon sold itself as a cure for hardcore heroin addicts who could help each other by "breaking" new initiates with isolation, humiliation, hard labor, and sleep deprivation.
Today, troubled-teen programs use Synanon-like tactics, advertising themselves to parents as solutions for everything from poor study habits to substance misuse. However, there is little evidence that harsh behavior-modification techniques can solve these problems. Studies found that Synanon's "encounter groups" could produce lasting psychological harm and that only 10 to 15 percent of the addicts who participated in them recovered. And as the classic 1971 Stanford prison experiment demonstrated, creating situations in which the severe treatment of powerless people is rewarded inevitably yields abuse. This is especially true when punishment is viewed as a healing process. Synanon was discredited in the late 1970s and 1980s as its violent record was exposed. (The group is now remembered for an incident in which a member placed a live rattlesnake—rattle removed—in the mailbox of a lawyer who'd successfully sued it.) Yet by the time Synanon shut down in 1991, its model had already been widely copied.
On Tuesday, Rosen implored those jurors to award heavy punitive damages against the lone lawyer who for six years has waged a now-legendary legal battle that has caused nightmares for the church.
The battle stems from the wrongful death lawsuit Dandar filed on behalf of the estate of Lisa McPherson, a Scientologist who died in 1995 after 17 days of care at the church's spiritual headquarters in downtown Clearwater.
The case now before the jury is an outgrowth of that lawsuit.
Church officials cried foul when, more than two years into the wrongful death case, Dandar sought to add as defendants several top church officials, including the church's worldwide leader, David Miscavige.
The church plans to construct a 300,000-square-foot counseling and office building across from its landmark Fort Harrison Hotel. It also plans a parking garage, a 3,500-seat auditorium, a major renovation of the Fort Harrison and a three-story addition to the Sandcastle, a Scientology resort and counseling complex on Drew Street overlooking Clearwater Harbor.
The state mental health board has piledup legal bills of$177,295 to fight the certification of a controversial drug-treatment center - to which it granted a certification exemption last week.
The board has already paid $167,650 to the Oklahoma City law firm Ryan, Corbyn and Geister, said state mental health department spokeswoman Sarah Dunn.
The department is still processing bills for June and July and is to receive one for August, she said.
Legal battles with the Narco- non drug center cost the state Mental Health Board at least $177,295 and the state attorney general's office untold hours of work, state officials say.
The board apparently ended the battles last week when it granted the center an exemption from state certification.
The board already has paid $167,650 to the Oklahoma City law firm Ryan, Corbyn & Geister, state Mental Health Department spokesman Sarah Dunn said.
The department is processing bills for June and July and waiting for one for August, Dunn said.