For several months now, we've been bringing you stunning examples of Scientology's predatory financial behavior, with church staffers pressuring members, some of them elderly, to agree to outrageous charges on their credit. In each of the cases we've told you about, Los Angeles attorney Graham Berry was able to make those victims whole, convincing the church to return huge amounts.
Now, Berry is telling us about another case of Scientology's high-pressure financial chicanery, but this time his client has not been made whole, and the church is stubbornly refusing to respond to requests to return more than $189,000.
Once again, Berry is sharing some eye-opening legal documents with us, taking us inside a case of his that is happening right now.
Conservative institutions in the Donald Trump era have often sought to portray themselves as shocked and appalled by the so-called "alt-right." White nationalists have also engaged in their own efforts to differentiate themselves from the neoconservatives who dominated the GOP for decades. But neither narrative is true. The reality is that a host of supposedly veritable right-wing institutions have become a safe haven for the far-right.
Indeed, there is a burgeoning underground network of group chats, message boards, and email chains serving as the breeding ground for incubating white nationalist ideas, and as a forum to strategize around how to launder those ideas through mainstream conservative publications. And, judging from a large series of messages from one of those email groups obtained by Splinter, it's working.
These endeavors are often tactical in nature. As Paul Gottfried, a far-right political theorist, observed in the 2008 speech that is widely credited as birthing the term "alternative right," "we must try to do what is possible rather than what lies beyond our limited material resources." This new right, Gottfried said, could only win by conquering the institutions that neoconservatives then dominated. It needed the institutions it sought to annihilate to thrive. (Gottfried, who once told a journalist that he co-created the term "alt-right" with Richard Spencer, has since sought to distance himself from his former collaborator, though he has also mounted defenses of the overall movement on far-right websites.)
2019-08-29, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
There are some real gems in this one
"Dr." Hubbard, the nuclear physicist expounds on his understanding of radiation.
Basically, as long as you gulp some vitamins and get some auditing it can't hurt you....
A couple of weeks ago, visitors to the Hollywood Community Police Station, a division of the Los Angeles Police Department, would've seen a giant kiosk consisting of a large TV flanked by posters and pamphlets discussing human rights, children, how to cleanse your body of drugs, and how to achieve happiness.
If that seems like a strange mix… you're right. The display was put there by Scientologists.
The kiosk's origins remain a mystery. That means a kiosk was installed in a police station with no public request to put it there, no public record of who created the display, and no public indication of who gave them a green light.
2018-08-29, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Scientology touts itself as a champion of Human Rights. They claim this all over their websites, throughout their CSN TV shows and at the Miscavige propaganda events. In fact, they are so enamored with the concept that they call their most sacred members — the ones that give the most money — "humanitarians."
L. Ron Hubbard laid out his thoughts on this in a POLICY LETTER OF 3 FEBRUARY 1969 entitled PUBLIC IMAGE:
For a long while we have not had an exactly stated policy on building a public image.
Once again, the Netherlands gives us a rare opportunity to see inside the financial health of a Scientology entity, in this case the Narconon Holland drug rehab center. The Netherlands is one of only a few countries that force Scientology to open their books, and once again we have numbers man John P. Capitalist giving us his analysis of what those figures mean. We asked him to look at the most recent report from the drug center for its 2017 financial year. (See John P.'s previous reports from the 2015 annual report and from 2016.)
The overall impression of the 2017 financial statement is that it was thrown together hastily without regard to whether anyone will take the information on it seriously. The 2015 document appeared to have been created by an accountant, and it had all sorts of helpful notes for understanding the details of what's going on. It was consistent with what anyone thinking of investing money or donating to a non-profit would want to see in order to feel that the information is presented fairly and accurately. The 2016 document was probably not prepared by an accountant, but it had some useful notes as to what was going on during the year.
The 2017 statement is a shoddily thrown together spreadsheet and with no explanation of any of the issues or concerns a reader of the financial statement would have. If I were a government official overseeing this organization, I would note that this almost certainly doesn't meet minimum standards of financial reporting, and I'd put them on the list of companies meriting further investigation, especially in the wake of one line item on the financial statements.
This week I am continuing my long-form interview with former Scientologist and recording professional Geoffrey Levin. We talk this time a lot about the fall out from the Dianetics marketing campaign and his continuing involvement with Scientology after that as well as his second big project with the Church, the United for Human Rights song and video which the Church has been using to promote human rights education via the UN. Turns out they might not own this song after all because of their usual sneaky nonsense. Enjoy!
#Scientology #CultSurvivor #Cults
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2017-08-29, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
We have been tracking the progress of the Largest Private Relief Force on Earth response to Hurricane Harvey.
This is a new update from the "CEO" of WISE International — I have highlighted a few things of interest.
I've been moved to put out another update on my email from last night concerning the ongoing scene in Texas today, based on what I've just witnessed.
I have been struggling with severe bouts of depression and loss of purpose every since I left Scientology. I am in the middle of a mental breakdown that has gone on over the last few months. I wanted to share with you my thoughts on what it was like losing my faith and how hard it has been to pick up the pieces in my life since I departed the cult. I have not been able to stop crying and I hope soon my life turns around since it hasn't since I left Scientology.
Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/stevenmango *Donate to me & my channel*
(Marc Wiegand and Marty Rathbun in court when they were on the same side. Photo: Jennifer Whitney)
Although half of Texas is underwater, your proprietor managed to get himself to the Lone Star State in time for this morning's portentous court hearing in San Antonio, where we hope to be providing live updates direct from the courtroom.
Later this morning attorneys Ray Jeffrey, Marc Wiegand, and Elliott Cappuccio will be arguing their petition to the Bexar County court, asking that a judge order their former clients, Monique and Mark "Marty" Rathbun, to turn over financial records and sit for sworn depositions to get to the bottom of what's been more than a year of puzzling behavior.
This is a list of domains and websites that have been registered against people that have spoken out against Scientology abuses. This list is not all the sites that have been registered, but ones that have been set-up in the last few years. At $5/domain this list would cost over an estimated $50,000 USD per year to maintain.
Full list of Scientology Stalker sites here - https://umbraxenu.no-ip.biz/mediawiki...
The book Blown For Good - 15 years at the headquarters of Scientology. https://www.amazon.com/Blown-Good-Beh...
The city of Garden Grove, which is in Orange County, California and is home to one of the largest Vietnamese populations in the country, is changing the way it elects its city council this year. It's moving from an at-large system — which has each city councilmember elected by everyone in the city — to a district system, which will elect six councilmembers from six separate districts.
District elections are held in about 40 percent of US cities, and political science experts will tell you that electing by district increases the chances that minority candidates can get elected, which is a good thing.
But there's another effect of voting by district. Voters already pay little attention to municipal elections, and dividing them into even smaller zones increases the possibility that voters won't take the time to learn who they're voting for.
2016-08-29, Danielle E. Gaines, Frederick News-Post
A judge will decide whether Frederick County government must turn over emails to attorneys representing the Church of Scientology's real estate arm.
The church has two open court cases against the county relating to its effort to open a group home for drug and alcohol abuse treatment operated by Narconon, a program based on the writings and techniques of L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology's founder.
Frederick County Circuit Judge Scott Rolle heard arguments Monday in one of the cases, a dispute over a Maryland Public Information Act request.
I do not own the video thus all rights are reserved to the author and producer of the material.
No copyright infringement intended, use for news report purposes only to serve public interest.
An isolated community in British Columbia, a dominatrix, and a strange cult leader who believes he's the reincarnation of an Egyptian god. What could possibly go wrong? The disturbing and remarkable tale of Nanaimo's infamous cult leader, Brother XII.
2016-08-29, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
NarcononLouisiana went under. Literally. Drowned in the recent flooding.
They started a Go Fund Me page to try and collect money to clean the place up and get operating again. They claim to need $75,000 (and in 13 days managed $11,520).
$75,000 is pocket change for the IAS.
Scientology and its front groups work very hard to ensnare unsuspecting local officials for photo opportunities. We see a lot of local law enforcement officers, city council members, and even some state representatives get corralled for Scientology PR. But it's really something when Scientology manages to snag a state attorney general or a member of the US Congress for some gladhanding.
Last year, we shared with you a flier which showed that Florida's attorney general, Pam Bondi, was going to be the guest of honor at a fundraiser in Clearwater, Florida held by some of Scientology's biggest "whales" — major donors. Also invited to that shindig was the local congressman, David Jolly. Jolly is now running for US senate, and he's once again going to be feted by Scientology when the church hosts a 100th anniversary musical tribute for the city of Clearwater on Saturday at the Fort Harrison Hotel.
Then, another nice snag for Scientology: In Louisiana, Congressman Garret Graves, who represents the state's 6th district, posted the photo you see above on his Facebook page. (Graves is in the middle.) Scientology's drug rehab system, Narconon, has a facility in Denham Springs in the 6th district, which it calls "New Life Retreat."
2015-08-29, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
I thought the 4th Dynamic Campaigns were funded by the IAS? They say it often enough in their magazine and at their events.
What the hell does this "rock and fortress of humanity" do other than take money from people and give them gaudy trophies?
Here is Barbara Kalergis begging for people to donate shit for a "garage sale" to raise money to fund Criminon, right there in the home of the largest concentration of scientologists on earth and the home of IAS Administrations, and Criminon International and ABLE International.
2014-08-29, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Here is an entire page from the latest International Scientology News reporting on the wonders of the "25th Anniversary" MV Cruise for the math challenged.
Dear Leader seems to have outdone himself with his presentation of big lies and small stats to "support it" — yet the "small stats" are REALLY small, but just hyped as being "big." It is really quite bizarre how they can break down stats into "completions per hour" and make the most pathetic appear to sound big and "booming." And it seems nobody EVER does the math to see what is really being said.
Everyone else is obviously out of step with Dear Leader making announcements about 5X expansion since GAG II. By his calculation (is there any other?) it is actually 47X.
FilmmakerMark Bunker was dubbed "Wise Beard Man" by the Anonymous movement in 2008. We've been reading Mark's observations about Scientology since the late 1990s, and we're eagerly awaiting his documentary about Scientology, "Knowledge Report."
Bunker's recent return to Clearwater to live has us very intrigued. He told us he was going to approach the city's new police chief about the infamous injunction that defines how protesters and the Church of Scientology can interact downtown, and we told him we wanted to know how it went. So he sent us over a full report! How did it go, Mark?
MARK: I attended Wednesday night's meet-and-greet with Clearwater's new police chief, Dan Slaughter (pictured). It turned out to be a rather small affair. The meeting room was set up for a large crowd but only five locals attended along with former mayor Rita Garvey and three others from the police department, so Chief Slaughter gathered as all around in a circle for an intimate chat.
2013-08-29, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
If you ever wanted a visual encapsulation of the Vulture Culture, this "Ideal Org" promotion says it all.
There is no pretense here. "Get Prosperous" = "Bridge Ascent."
The "old" line in Scientology used to be "Get Trained" and now it's "Get Prosperous" and we are going to teach you how to do that by "Upping Your Ask" to increase your "Closing Skills"....
We were amused to see the word "EXCLUSIVE" slapped onto the title of yesterday's story in the Daily News about Scientology building a community center in Harlem.
Back in 2007, the Village Voice, where we worked, was one of several publications to write stories about Scientology spending millions to buy some properties on 125th Street, saying that it would open a new community center in "a couple of years."
Yesterday, the "Exclusive" news in the Daily News was that a chapel and cafe are still a year away from opening (or so church spokespeople claim), and the community center is even farther from completion.
2012-08-29, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
There's been a lot of attention focused on Scientology's flagship drug rehab in Oklahoma -- called Narconon Arrowhead -- because of recent deaths there and investigations by multiple local and state agencies.
But as we indicated previously, there are also serious questions being asked about Narconon's facility in the Atlanta area. The 2008 death of Narconon patient and employee Patrick Desmond produced a lawsuit by his family, and documents in that case provide a startling look at the deceptions that appear to be a part of the Narconon business model.
We now have court testimony from the lawsuit which shows that Narconon deceived a Florida drug court in order to keep quiet that it didn't have licensing to house patients.
2012-08-29, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
David Letterman nailed the personality of the corporate Scientologist, still apparently understood by public opinion as "Scientologist" without any modifier. Please see the story - and particularly the video clip of his interview with Amy Adams.
David Letterman on Scientologists
Note how Adams is lost for words, and her recognition exhibits by genuine laughter, when Letterman tells her that is how she too feels. Also, listen to the audience agreement with Letterman's evaluation. Unfortunately folks, that is what we have to work with. That is the legacy of Miscavige.
Jamie DeWolf is most well known for being the host of Tourettes Without Regrets, a renegade show in which he displays weird, artistic, hilarious, vulgar, sexual, and insanely talented performers. Tourettes has won "Best of the Bay" from the SF Guardian and "Best Underground Cultural Event" by the East Bay Express.
You might also know that DeWolf is very charismatic, with an on-stage magnetism and swagger that few can rival. What you might not know, however, is that DeWolf is the great grandson of L. Ron Hubbard, the man-made saint of Scientology.
The location of the "Ideal Church", which will be Australia's second after Scientology's leader David Miscavige opened the first in Melbourne last year, will be decided within a year.
Perth Scientologists are believed to have made donations ranging from $100,000 to $1 million to allow the group to move out of its rented base in Murray Street, city.
2011-08-29, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
I am CLEAR.
That which I have wanted since starting in Scn in 1976, I have just attained. Last Friday evening, my auditor and I acknowledged the state. Nothing could have been easier, cleaner or more the way that LRH intended as it was right then.
2011-08-29, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Andreas Heldal-Lund was not the first person to provide information critical of Scientology on the Internet, and he was not the only one who fought attempts by the church to have his website taken down. But for many years, Heldal-Lund's "Operation Clambake" has been among Scientology's biggest Internet headaches around the world. A Norwegian computer engineer who became interested in a local Scientology court case in 1996, Heldal-Lund quickly came to symbolize the free-speech fight that was galvanizing Internet activism against Scientology and its heavy-handed methods. As his website grew to be an enormously comprehensive depository of information about the church, Scientology targeted it and Heldal-Lund with retaliation. In liberal Norway, however, they found it tough slogging.
2010-08-29, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Today, on the day Moving On Up A Little Higher hit two million visits, I happened to receive the following good news from our friends in Italy. Incidentally, it took just over nine months in service to reach the first million visits, and just under five months to reach the second million. Realize in reading the Italian report that Italy is already the third most active country on this original English language blog, behind only Australia and the United States. And now Gary Baldi informs us his Italian language blog – which largely reflects this one, while also creating an expanding independent Italian field – is in a several month affluence. In the face of suppression, flourish and prosper indeed.
I am writing you to keep you updated on the "INDIPENDOLOGO" progress.
A succession of defence witnesses lined up to defend Scientology: an internationally recognised concert pianist, a distinguished academic - and a psychiatrist.
During the third week of the trial, a string of witnesses stepped forward to speak up for Scientology as a philosophy and a religion - and for individual defendants.
As well as the Dr. David Root, the doctor who had defended the Purification Rundown's medical credentials, a French academic was on hand to put it in its religious context.
2009-08-29, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
On Thursday August 20 I attended to some work in St. Petersburg. That evening Amy Scobee and Mat Pesch and I had dinner downtown. After walking me to my hotel Mat and Amy drove back to Clearwater. Anyone who has been to downtown St Pete knows one needs a PHD in Traffic Science to get out of there. Mat drove around and around the maze of one way streets trying to get to the main street to Clearwater. Lo and behold, he noticed he was being followed by the same black cadillac with blacked out windows that surveilled he and Amy after their meeting with some reporters – incident recounted earlier on this blog.
Mat was able to record the plates this time – Florida B39-7TM. Mat did some investigating. Turns out the vehicle is registered to a Jeffrey Woodcock, owner of Comitatus Protection Services LLC.
Le Berre, 21, keeps the machine as a memento of his mother's life. Four days before Christmas 2006, Gloria Lopez, a 47-year-old secretary, tidied her kitchen, hung out her washing, left her dull, suburban apartment overlooking the railway in Colombes, west of Paris, and walked the 30 metres out on to the tracks. She stood with her arms outstretched, smiling at the driver of the oncoming commuter train. He couldn't stop in time.
The pending recall election in late September will mark a pivotal point in the City of Lynwood's history. Both sides appear resolute in their respective positions and of course, the incumbent elected officials are well-equipped to garner additional support to overcome a recall and in support of this controversial project.
Koth said Sequoia will be the first Applied Scholastics school in Wisconsin. She said her application to be a licensed home day-care center is being processed. She is aware of the state regulations for private schools and would comply with them if she begins teaching school-age children, she said.
And, while she understands people will have questions, she"d like to put this Scientology connection behind her because, she said, there really is no connection between what she does and the Church of Scientology.
The CCHR and the Church of Scientology have, at times, discredited psychiatrists who have criticized their religion. One local psychiatrist organization would not speak to Free Times about Scientology out of fear that the church would hire private investigators to dig up dirt on its doctors.
The State Attorney's Office has decided not to pursue charges against a Scientologist accused of assaulting a church critic who was shooting video of Scientologists downtown next to a sandwich board that read "Cult Watch."
Assistant State Attorney Kendall Davidson, after viewing a video of the confrontation captured by a Church of Scientology security camera on a nearby building, determined "it is just not going to be a prosecutable case."
A school that bases its curriculum on the teachings of Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard has opened in the former Skycrest Christian School.
The True School recently moved to the Skycrest buildings at 1835 Drew St. from its previous location at 611 S Greenwood Ave., south of downtown.
A sign at the entrance to the campus describes it as a private, non-denominational school, open to students from preschool to high school age.
Sherry Payson, spokeswoman for the school, said about 90 students are currently attending.