The two-hour finale of A&E's Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, which explores sexual assault allegations against That '70s Show actor and Scientologist Danny Masterson, aired last night after two years of postponement, an LAPD investigation, and an elaborate protest campaign from the Church of Scientology.
The special episode, which ends the three-season show, arrives less than two weeks after Huffington Post contributor Yashar Ali reported that four women had sued Masterson, the Church of Scientology, and its leader, David Miscavige, over allegations that Masterson had raped them and conspired with the church to cover it up by way of "stalking" and "illegal and unethical conduct."
One of the four women, Marie Bobette Riales, alleged that, while dating Masterson in 2002, he repeatedly drugged her and assaulted her while she was unconscious. Another woman, Chrissie Bixler, who also dated Masterson and lived with him in the '90s, claimed he was often "controlling and violent," regularly insulted her appearance, and once dragged her across their bedroom when she didn't want to have sex. The other two women were not named in the complaint.
TORONTO – In his most recent column, National Post writer Rex Murphy lamented Canada's laughable forest fires compared to more industrious infernos in countries like Brazil.
"Many Canadians, particularly this government, think that a few thousand hectares in Northern BC is sufficient in the shadow of smouldering giants like Brazil or the USA," touted Murphy. "The glories of the 2016 Fort MacMurray Fire have long disappeared like Justin Trudeau's shirt at a crowded beach. The embers of productivity are being put out post haste and the only one being burned in all of this are the little people like our corporations."
Murphy illustrated the threats of the "green economy" and pined for the return of a smoke-filled Canada when the country was a lead exporter of forest fires.
The conservative op-ed website Quillette announced Monday night that controversial right-wing writer Andy Ngo is leaving his job as an editor at the site, an announcement that comes on the same day that a Portland newspaper published a story revealing that Ngo witnessed a far-right group planning violence but never reported it.
Ngo, a photographer who was until recently a sub-editor at Quillette, became a celebrity on Fox News and other pro-Trump media outlets after he was attacked by left-wing demonstrators at a Portland political rally in June. Ngo then became prominent as an opponent of political violence, with most of his criticism aimed at the left.
But footage taken by an undercover liberal activist in May and described on Monday by the Portland Mercury showed Ngo witnessing activists from the far-right group Patriot Prayer planning a violent confrontation at a bar associated with left-wing activists. Ngo never reported on what he had seen the Patriot Prayer members planning, and some of the people involved in the attack at the bar now face felony riot charges.
Right-wing blogger Andy Ngo went from relative obscurity to a national conservative hero in the struggle against antifa after antifascists beat him up during a rally in Portland, Oregon, earlier this summer.
But now video has surfaced of Ngo smiling and laughing with members of the far-right group Patriot Prayer shortly before they allegedly orchestrated an attack on a group of antifascists at a leftist bar in a separate incident in May. A female bar patron was knocked unconscious and said she suffered a fractured vertebrae.
In his coverage, Ngo framed the incident as an "antifa brawl" and did not mention that he was with members of Patriot Prayer as they donned body armor, helmets, and weapons before launching their alleged attack.
When Barack Obama took office in January 2009, white supremacists were fragmented and without charismatic leaders. That quickly changed with the arrival of Richard Spencer, Matt Heimbach and Milo Yiannopoulos, a generation of new leaders who created and captured a following that capitalized on white unease over a black president.
The good news is that over time these leaders were marginalized and neutralized, finally demonized by the media and subjected to public humiliation for their neo-Nazi views. They were disrupted. But the sentiments they embraced had taken hold, bursting into full view in Charlottesville in 2017, with white supremacists carrying torches and chanting, "Jews won't replace us."
They're fragmented again post-Charlottesville, and post-El Paso, seeking other social media platforms while law enforcement plays whack-a-mole, beating them back until they pop up somewhere else. The American people are left to wonder what more can be done to counter this growing threat that government has left unattended for too long, while keeping quiet what information it has collected, including a document showing that white supremacists were responsible for all race-based domestic terrorism incidents in 2018.
2019-08-27, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Thank you to everyone who watched the show last night, and to all those who were on social media.
All the kind thought and good wishes and thanks were a bit overwhelming but greatly appreciated.
A new chapter has begun, and as things unfold we will be sure to keep you informed as soon as we can.
The complete and original Johannesburg Confessional List or Sec Check of 1961 — reissued 1987. This is the actual Scientology document. Note: Please hover your cursor over the document to invoke the page up/page down controls at the bottom of the page frame:
Wow, did Leah Remini and Mike Rinder finish off their run at A&E with a dynamite special episode last night.
And before we go into specifics, we want to say it again: It seems like a miracle that Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath happened at all. Three full seasons of revelations about Scientology, never shying away from telling things in detail, and trusting viewers to absorb Scientology's most arcane and most sickening aspects. And last night's finale episode was no different.
But we want to hear from you about your thoughts after watching the episode. We've collected what we felt were the most important things said during the 2-hour episode. Which had the most impact on you, and which do you think will go on and resonate long after this series is gone?
General Mena meets with Tom Cruise in 2015. Photo from El Espectador.
Thanks to scientia posting today in comments on Tony Ortega's article on Colombia, we learn that Tom Cruise met with General Mena in 2015 when the actor was filming American Made. This is the same year David Miscavige opened the new Ideal Org in Bogota. El Espectador did an article with photos on Cruise meeting General Mena.
It was General Mena who, after he had retired, awarded David Miscavige an unauthorized medal in Barbados. This has caused a great deal of controversy in Colombia and hearings are being held by the Senate. Colombia Reports noted in its recent article that Colombia's police are embarrassed over the medal the retired General Mena gave Scientology leader David Miscavige:
Wow, we are so fortunate that one of our tipsters was able to dig this up for us. It's key footage of Scientology leader David Miscavige boasting about the inroads he was making into Colombia's military and national police — exactly what the media in Colombia has been looking for these last few weeks.
Scientology's relationship with Colombia's military burst into a national scandal about three weeks ago, after the press there started asking questions about something we've watched unfold for a number of years: Miscavige using Colombian officials as props while making ludicrous claims about L. Ron Hubbard booklets reducing crime in that country. The capper came on June 23, when Miscavige had a retired national police general, Carlos Ramiro Mena, pin a medal on him at a ceremony climaxing the annual "Maiden Voyage" event in Barbados.
Since the scandal broke, the Colombian media has been digging up photos and videos of Scientology's yearslong infiltration of Colombian government, and we reported last week that the Colombian senate has demanded an investigation from the country's defense minister and attorney general.
Pam Bondi is still the attorney general of Florida, at least for another four months.
But last week Bondi had a different job: co-host of Fox News' The Five. She subbed on the news talk show not once, not twice, but three times, appearing as a panelist Wednesday through Friday.
The situation was so unprecedented for a sitting elected official that Bondi first sought guidance from the Florida Commission on Ethics, the government body that oversees conduct of public officials. Tallahassee lawyer Richard Coates "spoke to the Commission on behalf of the Attorney General" prior to her appearing on the show, her spokeswoman Kylie Mason said.
The baseless allegations are being lobbed daily by self-described "patriot researchers." Their harassment of Voodoo Doughnut and Sweet Jesus are just part of a larger war — waged on Twitter and in private groups on Facebook and Discord, a gaming-focused online chat program — against the politicians, celebrities and businesses they claim are part of a global conspiracy to harm children.
Their paranoia is partly fueled by Big League Politics, which has published articles that glorify the anonymous peddlers of the Qanon conspiracy theory and promote unfounded allegations that the Democratic National Committee had ordered and covered up the 2016 murder of staffer Seth Rich.
Run by former Breitbart News reporter Patrick Howley, who often writes the website's most conspiracy-oriented content, Big League Politics has amassed a readership that prominent Republicans and their supporters have increasingly found attractive. Among the groups and GOP politicians that have used the Big League Politics email list to fundraise this year are the National Republican Congressional Committee; House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana; Rep. Devin Nunes of California; and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.
The show where I answer your questions. Please leave any comments or feedback in the comments section here below. I see everything and want to hear from you.
Video on Scientology and Death: https://youtu.be/5yPrEz2vBzo
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2017-08-27, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The weekly show where I answer viewer questions 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) When you began questioning your beliefs in Scientology, I imagine that ended up completely destroying everything in your life that you had built as a Scientologist. Do you have the courage to continue questioning your present beliefs, or are you done questioning things for a while?
(2) Did they have a pomp-and-circumstance type of funeral for L. Ron Hubbard or were they cavalier about his body, thus not giving much ceremony to his death but rather choosing to focus on the idea that he had gone to Target II? How does a Scientologist deal with death? Are they discouraged to mourn because the dead (especially if old) are now moving on to a better situation? How will one know in a future lifetime that they signed a billion year contract if they were in the Sea Org? If they miracuously "would know" somehow, how come there are not those that have died of say some disease in 1972 that are not now saying, "Okay, I'm a different person but I remember I signed a billion year contract in the Sea Org, so here I am again?" And if you didn't show up to fulfill your billion year contract, would you be in breach of said contract and if so, what and who would enforce the punishment?
Rod Keller is on assignment and we don't get a day off this week. So we're going to have a little fun today at the expense of Star magazine.
Not even our most vigilant correspondents who scour the Internet for Scientology news seem to have noticed that on Wednesday, Star published a "bombshell" about Scientology based on new FBI documents. Here's some of the magazine's breathless reporting...
Tom Cruise, Kirstie Alley and John Travolta are all marked for death in a terror threat against the Church of Scientology!
2017-08-27, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Our thoughts are with those in South Texas, hoping they are dry and safe. We have a lot of friends in those parts from Ray Jeffrey and his co-counsel to Mike Laws and plenty of others in between. I hope the Rathbun's weathered this storm OK as they were in the most vulnerable location of all and I do not wish ill on anyone - only that they stop abusing others.
That being said, of course scientology is busy as little beavers collecting money and activating their VM's.
I have written many blog posts in the past about scientology's disaster capitalism — using disasters as a way to milk money from the sheeple.
In 1999, revelations surfaced that Hillsong founder Brian Houston's father, Frank, himself a pastor at the Sydney Christian Life Centre, had sexually assaulted at least one boy for years in the 1970s, beginning when the child was 7.
Brian, who was president of the Assemblies of God in Australia at the time, confronted his father, who confessed to the abuse. Frank was removed from the ministry, and the church was told in private correspondence he'd committed a grave "moral failure," but Brian never went to the police.
He also helped his father pay the victim $10,000. The payment was agreed upon at a meeting in a McDonald's, where the victim was given a dirty napkin to sign in exchange for the money, according to the findings of a 2004 royal commission. The commission found that Brian had been in a conflict of interest while attempting to deal with the controversy.
When Phil and Willie Jones took their idea to Florida for a billboard about Scientology's toxic 'disconnection' policy — an idea that had garnered them a huge amount of press in Los Angeles — they were able to crowdfund enough money to post their sign just off E Bay Drive in Largo, only a few miles from Scientology's spiritual headquarters in Clearwater.
There was less press at their Florida dedication party than there had been in Los Angeles, but the appearance of so many people familiar to readers of the Underground Bunker — including Jamie DeWolf, Nora Crest, Meshell Little, Brian Sheen, Skip Young, and Valeska Paris — was still pretty impressive.
This time, however, Phil and Willie weren't able to raise as much money as they had for their first billboard, in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, so they were only able to pay for their Florida sign to remain up for a single month.
2016-08-27, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Here is an interesting item sent in by a special correspondent.
One of our favorite "ideal" orgs is the Colorado Rockies overflow parking lot in Denver.
They continue to hold regular IAS "briefings" there, though it is a wonder they can cover the airfare it costs to get there. It is touted by Miscavige and his PR minions as one of the "50 ideal orgs that PROVE the massive international expansion of scientology under the brilliant leadership of Mr. David Miscavige." Everyone inside the bubble is pretending this (and all the rest of idealish orgs) is a functioning, ongoing, viable activity.
2015-08-27, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
It's time for us to have a talk about the subject of religion.
To say that religion is a hot topic for some people is the understatement of the ages. It's even possible that you may be become upset with me over something I say here even though nothing I'm about to say is meant as a direct attack on anyone's personal beliefs.
Yes, this means you. I'm not attacking you. Really.
Back on August 12, we shared with you a rather bizarre video of Simpsons voice actress Nancy Cartwright telling Scientologists in Mexico City that she was coming to town to help with an Ideal Org fundraiser.
It featured her on Hollywood Boulevard, talking about getting a star on the Walk of Fame, and it was apparently done impromptu with onlookers standing by. One of them can be heard saying, "Was that Harry Potter?" which is a pretty strange question.
Here, take another look for yourself...
2015-08-27, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This should have been a DC 8 not a DC 3. And that is an awfully slow way to travel, the WW II era DC3 is not renowned for its speed....
Just a month or so ago, Andres was touring around as Snr CS WUS. Wonder if his coverage on the fringes of the internet got him in trouble?
America's white nationalists have spoken, and they've spoken loud and clear: Donald Trump is their presidential candidate of choice.
From former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke on down, the proudly racist fringe of the American electorate supports Trump. For his part, the candidate is not welcoming their support.
"I don't need his endorsement," Trump told Bloomberg TV of Duke's praise. "I certainly wouldn't want his endorsement. I don't need anybody's endorsement."
Martin Ottmann was in Scientology relatively briefly: He first got involved in Stuttgart in 1989, joined the Sea Organization and went to Clearwater in 1990, and by the end of 1992, after returning to Germany, he was out. Since then, however, he's become known for his dogged pursuit of documents that reflect every possible detail of Scientology management and Scientology life. We asked him to bring some of his expertise to the Underground Bunker and help us dig into the dark corners of this secretive organization.
To start things off, Martin sent us a 1989 document that was smuggled out of Scientology's Pacific Area Command (PAC Base), its big Los Angeles complex in the former Cedars of LebanonHospital. The document describes a change in policy that made it even more difficult for Sea Org parents to spend time with their children. Sea Org members are Scientology's most dedicated workers — they sign billion-year contracts and work 110-hour weeks for pennies an hour.
A stamp on the document, Martin points out, shows that it was probably used in a deposition of Scientology's nominal president, Heber Jentzsch. We have for you a difficult-to-read image of the document itself, and then a transcript.
2014-08-27, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Any time there is a post about ideal org failures, there is a lot of speculation about "Why?"
I have written various posts and comments about this from time to time, but realized I had never put it all in one place.
There are two reasons for the ideal org program that go hand in hand. And it explains why, in spite of the clear failure of this program to bring about planetary clearing, or anything at all aligned with the "Aims of Scientology," it will continue to be pushed until the very end.
CLEARWATER — The city said no, but the Church of Scientology did it anyway, cutting down two healthy live oak trees this weekend near its downtown headquarters to make way for a massive tent being erected for an international gathering of Scientologists in November.
The removal of the approximately 20-foot-tall trees caught city officials and even the church's own contracted arborist by surprise on Monday.
"I was working on relocating those trees," said Rick Albee, a retired Clearwater arborist who now owns his own consulting company, Urban Forestry Solutions. "I didn't recommend it."
2013-08-27, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
I have in the past analogized Scientology Disconnection to the evils of Segregation overtly practiced in the US until the mid 60's.
It bears repeating and seems especially appropriate on this, the 50th anniversary of the "March on Washington" and Dr. Martin Luther King's famous "I have a dream" speech.
I believe that if the church was no longer able to control its followers through the threat of disconnection, there would be virtually nobody remaining loyal to David Miscavige and his Empire of Vampires.
What happened? Hollywood veteran manager and producer Jeff Wald sent his two youngest daughters to New Village. I spoke to him yesterday. Wald had a lot of praise for Will and Jada, and for Piano Foster (real name Franca Piano Foster). He told me that despite the reports from "bloggers," there was never talk of Scientology at the school.
But, he said, "We could never get past the association. We couldn't raise any money. And the Smiths were putting in $2 million of their own each year. They couldn't keep supporting it."
The temporary restraining order that prevents Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige from surveilling Monique Rathbun has been extended to September 12, when a two-day hearing has been scheduled which could see dramatic testimony about electronic snooping, sexual taunting, and other alleged harassment by the church.
Monique is married to Mark "Marty" Rathbun, who was once the second-highest ranking executive in the church until his defection in 2004. Since 2009, he's operated a blog critical of Scientology leader David Miscavige, and as a result, the Rathbuns have been the subject of years of surveillance and intimidation by the church, much of it documented at this website.
On August 16, Monique filed suit against Miscavige, two top Scientology entities — the Religious Technology Center and the Church of Scientology International — as well as Dallas private investigator Monty Drake, and a man named Steven Gregory Sloat.
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.
Claire, you've been helping us see how much of Scientology is all about indoctrination and control as church members move up the "Bridge to Total Freedom." We've now reached something called "Expanded Grade 2," and there's more repetition — once again we'll be drilled on "overts and withholds" (moral transgressions, and making them worse by trying to keep them hidden). But for many folks, this is also when they first encounter the dreaded "security check" or "sec check." In other words, Scientology's interrogation culture now kicks into high gear.
CLAIRE: That's right, and it includes (but isn't limited to) what is known as the "toughest" sec check in Scientology, the "Joburg." It was developed in Johannesburg for the most hardened of criminals.
In this revealing interview trans-activist Kate Bornstein talks about her involvement with Scientology and how she was L. Ron Hubbard's first mate. She also divulges that Hubbard was like a "daddy" figure to her. Bornstein's autobiography, A Queer and Pleasant Danger is now out. See story here: http://bit.ly/PmEgLH
Just a half hour before protestors marched on Narconon's Lake Eufaula facility Saturday, Narconon Arrowhead CEO Gary Smith addressed the growing concerns against the program including its ties to the church of Scientology.
2011-08-27, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
We've battened down the hatches here at the underground bunker, but the seas they are a-risin', and the cats are nervous wrecks. As we wait for Hurricane Irene's impact, we're still watching all things Scientology -- as long as the power remains on, that is.
We started off this past week with a report on last Saturday's "beach party" protest put on by the NYC Anonymous chapter outside Scientology's org on 46th Street. A sandy, be-lei'd good time was had by all.
2011-08-27, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
The old saying goes that one can't really begin to understand what difficulties a man or woman is going through until one walks in his or her shoes. That "stroll" took place for Joy and me on Tuesday, August 23, 2011, in Orange CountyCalifornia.
On the previous day, I received a call from Marty Rathbun, asking me if I was still wearing my "racing driver" hat. I told him no, I was pretty calmed down from my extreme driving habits, thanks to him. It was an intriguing question and I told him I wasn't wearing that hat anymore, "Why?" His answer was even more intriguing.
Marty told me he was coming to Southern California on a mission of mercy and needed to escape from the constant harassment by Miscavige's goons and their vehicles in order to accomplish that mission in peace. If there were a welcoming party, we would have to lose David Lubow and his hired thugs in the rush hour traffic. Were I and my car up to the task? I told him my car was, and asked if I could bring Joy along and then we'd both be up to the task. He said he would welcome her.
2010-08-27, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
They finally found a use for the new Idle Org Pasadena; and for its "1,000" seat auditorium. And it ain't training auditors. They are going to reg public for $300 for the privilege of listening to an outside professional (along with the Jensens) teach them the tricks of the trade of getting people to depart with their monies for no exchange. I kid you not. It is promoted in their own slick promo:
A former member of cult Kenja Communications has been granted an apprehended violence order following allegations the co-founder instigated a bizarre plot to intimidate and harass her.
Alison Pels, 20, thought Jan Hamilton and another Kenja co-member "were going to kill her" when she discovered they had disguised themselves and posed as directors at a stage audition she attended, Fairfax newspapers have reported.
"My whole body had shut down, I was in absolute terror," Ms Pels, who left the "personal development" cult in February last year, was quoted as saying.
2008-08-27, Bellinda Kontominas, Sydney Morning Herald
ALISON PELS thought she had finally escaped the grasp of the cult Kenja Communications when she left the group in February last year.
But six months later the then 20-year-old found herself the subject of a bizarre plot by Jan Hamilton and other members of the group, who disguised themselves with fake facial hair and wigs while posing as directors of a play.
Ms Hamilton co-founded Kenja with her late husband, Ken Dyers, who committed suicide last year amid allegations of multiple sex offences against children.
Reports are circulating that the star so angered Paula Fortunato, wife of Sumner Redstone, boss of the studio's parent company, that she told her husband she was "boycotting Cruise's product for ever".
As the executive director of the Utah Chapter of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights of Utah and a proud member of the Church of Scientology, I can state unequivocally that I hold Dr. Ann Blake Tracy in high esteem and have great admiration and respect for her dedication.
However, CCHR does not financially support her, and it is common knowledge that she is a member of the LDS Church.
SANTA BARBARA, CALIF. SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) _ Bob Dole is fond of telling crowds that no matter how hard he thinks about it, he can't come up with anyone whose vote he doesn't want.
Apparently some of his advisers think otherwise _ at least when it comes to Scientologists.
As the vacationing Dole made his way down Santa Barbara's main drag, heading for dinner Monday at Joe's Cafe, he and a crush of autograph seekers drew near a building prominently labeled "Dianetics _ Church of Scientology Center."