You probably saw the story that hit yesterday, reporting that American Atheists had convinced the LAPD to remove a Scientology kiosk from its Hollywood Division station house, but the police department refused to turn over any information about what it was doing there in the first place.
What the stories about that kiosk didn't mention was something we reported back in March 2017 when we first broke the story that Scientologist actor Danny Masterson was being investigated by the LAPD over allegations that he had violently raped multiple women.
In that initial story, we revealed that one of the three women who had come forward (a fourth came forward later) wrote a scathing letter to the LAPD's then-chief, Charlie Beck, complaining about the shabby way the investigation was going. She made numerous complaints about how she and the other accusers were being treated, but she also specifically referred to being told by LAPD Detective Esther Reyes that they needed to take her case out of the Hollywood station house on Wilcox Avenue because it was a conduit to the Church of Scientology…
2018-08-30, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
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!
(Ron DeWolf and his dad, L. Ron Hubbard)
We have yet another FBI document release for you today, the result of a lawsuit by journalist Emma Best that has pried loose several interesting files from the law enforcement agency in recent weeks. Previously, we published a file about the FBI's 2009 human trafficking investigation of the Church of Scientology's "Sea Org," a 2008 investigation of the Anonymous movement, and a 1996 probe of a bogus bomb threat.
Today, we have an FBI file on L. Ron Hubbard Jr., also known as "Nibs," and as "Ron DeWolf." And the best thing in it is the unsparing look that Nibs provides of his famous father, L. Ron Hubbard Sr.
2017-08-30, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Another tough episode. That was an example of the "ideal" scientology family. About as successful as their "ideal" orgs.
It will be a bit of a breather next week as we take a look at Miscavige's rise to power.
Elizabeth Gale is a courageous, strong, woman, mother and role model. We will be waiting (probably not for more than a few minutes) for the hate videos and smear site to go up that the busy little OSA beavers have been working on. Of course, every time they put them up they prove what is being exposed about them. But they don't care because they "know" (because L. Ron Hubbard told them so) that this is the "right" thing to do. Eventually the rest of the world will come to their senses and join the scientology team and all will be well.
Garden Grove's first-ever district elections for City Council representatives will include a candidate with deep ties to "Scientology's rabid anti-psychiatry front, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR)," according to a national watchdog of the religion.
Clay Bock is running for the seat in the Third District, his home of 28 years, this November, states his campaign Facebook page.
Among those who have examined that page and other Bock campaign materials is Tony Ortega, the former Village Voice editor who previously lived in Fullerton and Buena Park, graduated from Savannah High School in Anaheim and got his bachelor's and master's in English from Cal State Fullerton.
2016-08-30, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Another of our Special Correspondents was inspired to send in a report about the state of St Louis org.
This is of course home of the mighty "101st Airborne" fundraisers (cringe) and part of the first "ideal continent" (because the main part of the city is West of the Mississippi and so arbitrarily is part of the "WUS continent" of the scientology world).
This article appeared almost exactly 6 years ago. And that was already 6 years in to the "ideal org" ponzi scheme as the single most important thing all scientologists were supposed to be working on.
When we came out of the courtroom in Los Angeles in April, we talked to Laura DeCrescenzo's attorney, John Blumberg, about the motion for summary judgment that the Church of Scientology had filed in Laura's forced-abortion lawsuit that has been dragging on for seven years now.
Scientology had lost that day as the motion was denied by Judge John P. Doyle, clearing the way for Laura finally to get a trial, perhaps in a year's time. But Scientology rarely gives up without an appeal. When we asked Blumberg if he thought the church would petition the motion's denial to the state appeals court, he told us that he not only expected that Scientology would appeal, but that the motion looked to him like something that had been written with the US Supreme Court in mind.
He may be right about that. After the state appellate court refused to overturn Judge Doyle's decision, the Church of Scientology has now petitioned California's State Supreme Court, asking it to take a fresh look at Judge Doyle's decision. The US Supreme Court may be next — and it wouldn't be the first time in this lawsuit.
This is the first, and thus far only, drone flight over the secret Scientology base near Twin Peaks, CA. This base has a vault containing all the works of L. Ron Hubbard etched onto steel plates. It is part of a series covering all of the major Scientology bases in the Western USA. This video was created for use in documentaries and may be used by anyone without credit or restrictions.
2015-08-30, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The weekly show where I answer your questions! This week, I take up these questions from my viewers:
(1) With funds coming in to the Church of Scientology dwindling, even the whales have limits. I feel Miscavige will be forced to dip into their huge reserve funds to keep the lights on in the Orgs. Do you agree? If so does that mean they are in a death spiral?
(2) Hey Chris, I was always curious about Scientology from the day I heard about it (I wasn't looking to convert or anything, just curious in my study of religions) and I was wondering: Why, after everything that has been revealed about the church, do you think people still would convert to Scientology, or are there still people who are converting?
2015-08-30, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Since the release of GAG II, various Special Correspondents have been forwarding the somewhat regular "Good News" briefings from Flag. Over the course of that time (nearly two years now) I have received a total of 37 of these reports. They have skipped some weeks and the intervals between them are irregular, but just as an aggregate they show the big picture of the "expansion" that has occurred at Flag since the advent of GAG II and the opening of the $200 million SP Building.
I graphed these figures as you can see below (along with the latest reports following that).
I stopped graphing Purif and Objectives Completions. They made a huge deal of these when GAG II was released. But then the reporting became erratic and then simply stopped altogether. Apparently when the stats were not "good" they just decided not to mention them. Probably many of the weeks where there have been no reports were weeks when the stats sucked. And as there is many no reports (only have "good news" for 37 out of about 85 weeks since the release of GAG II) one could reasonably assume that if all those weeks HAD been reported, it would show an even worse scene.
On Saturday, Paulette Cooper met a man named Peter de Hoo for the first time. Her husband Paul captured the moment in this photograph. For those of you who have read our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely, you may already know what a significant meeting this is.
In 2011, we met Paulette for the first time at a breakfast in New York after corresponding with her for years. She was already well known for being the most legendary target for the Church of Scientology's infamous "Fair Game" policy of ruination after the publication of her 1971 book The Scandal of Scientology. But at that breakfast, not all of the discussion was about L. Ron Hubbard's spies: Paulette also happened to mention that she and her sister Suzy had still never figured out how the two of them had survived the Holocaust in Belgium, when they were small children. We mentioned that fact in the story we wrote about our meeting for the Village Voice, and a couple of newspapers in Belgium and the Netherlands picked up on it. Soon, Paulette began to hear from de Hoo, who claimed that his father, Sijbren de Hoo, had been a close friend to Paulette's biological parents, Chaim and Ruchla Bucholc (Paulette's birth name was Paula Bucholc).
Paulette got us involved, and the two of us quizzed Peter to make sure what he was saying was authentic. He soon proved without a doubt that his father had been a close friend of Chaim Bucholc, a Polish leatherworker who had emigrated to Antwerp in the late 1920s. Peter not only had a leather item, a bookcover, Chaim had made for his friend Sijbren, but the de Hoo family also had in its possession a photograph of Paulette's sister as a young child. With the help of the de Hoo family, and the meticulous records kept by the Nazis, we were able to piece together the fates of Paulette's parents, who were sent to Auschwitz to be killed, and to get a solid idea of how Paulette and Suzy had avoided that fate. The two of them, like their parents, had been brought to a concentration camp and were scheduled to be sent to Auschwitz in the summer of 1943, but Sijbren de Hoo and other close friends scrambled to raise enough cash and black market goods to bribe the corrupt commandant of the camp, and the girls were smuggled to the first of several orphanages that became their refuge. In 1948, Paulette was adopted by Ted and Stella Cooper of New York, and she's lived in the US ever since. Without Sijbren de Hoo and a few others, however, she would not have survived the war. And now, for the first time, she was meeting Sijbren's son.
Martin Ottmann is a longtime critic of the Church of Scientology who is known for his dogged search for documents that describe every aspect of Scientology management and 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.
Martin sent us a 1974 document written by L. Ron Hubbard, who was apparently irritated by flagging sales at Scientology outlets.
"This is the infamous Registration Program #2," Martin tells us. "Without exaggerating, I would say that the enforcement of this program has caused more misery among the public Scientologists than any other management program within the universe of Scientology (at least until Miscavige launched the Ideal Org program).
IT was a cough that ended up costing $35,000.
When a doctor referred Ira McClure for further treatment she had no idea the health facility was supportive of a controversial spiritual healing/new age group based in northern NSW.
During the course of her two-year treatment Ms McClure says she was sent to Universal Medicine for "esoteric" treatments.
2014-08-30, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Wonder what happened to this scheme?
Funny how there is so much promotion to collect the money for the "what will happen" and then NO REPORT whatsoever after the fact.
Of course, that is because there is NO RESULT.
A year ago, we told you about a surprising discovery made by Paulette Cooper when she was looking through Patty Moher's collection of Scientology materials during a gathering at Patty's house in Connecticut — Paulette stumbled on a pamphlet put out by the church in 1969 that featured an interview with a 7-year-old Neil Gaiman.
The interview was a transcript of a 1968BBC radio show which featured the young Gaiman, who had been kicked out of a school because of his family's affiliation with Scientology. A year later, the church included the transcript in a political pamphlet because Scientology was under attack in Parliament, and the young Neil made such a fine example of a budding member of the organization.
At the time, we hoped someone at the BBC could track down the original audio of Neil's interview, and we asked again in June, when Neil's new book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, was published.
2013-08-30, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Finally, some (accidental) truth in advertising.
This IS what the orgs and "Humanitarians" have been led to believe "If you build it, they will come" — so it's interesting to see it being stated overtly.
But it is NOT the whole truth. The truer statement would be the actual Miscavige Motto — "If you build it, they will believe me." THAT campaign has worked with the sheeple. They DO believe that the purchase and renovation of buildings is proof of massive international expansion. It even worked with some media for a while (you never see ANY statement from the church that doesnt include how the media are missing the real story about church expansion with 37 "new churches" opened in just the last few years). They are still trying to use it though it it wearing thin.
Scientologists are allowed to deduct the amounts that they pay for "auditing sessions" under a closing agreement that was entered into with the IRS in 1993 – after the IRS had won a case to deny the deductions as quid pro quo in the Supreme Court. Michael Sklar thought the principles of that agreement should allow him to deduct at least some of the payments made for his children to attend religious schools. The Ninth Circuit ruled that Sklar's tuition payments were not that similar to Scientology auditing charges, but went on to observe:
we would not hold that the unlawful policy set forth in the closing agreement must be extended to all religious organizations.
Ronald Joseph Corona Jr., 39, of Berwick, passed away on Monday, August 13, 2012. Born in Berwick on November 19, 1972, he was the son of Joanna Ursi and the late Ronald Joseph Corona Sr., who passed away on January 18, 2011.
2011-08-30, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Six months ago, The New Yorker uncorked a delicious 24,000-word takedown of Scientology in the form of a profile of Paul Haggis, the Crash director who defected from the church in 2009.
Six months later, after a hell of a lot of effort and (clearly) a lot of money, Scientology is striking back with the most bizarre, utterly stupid, and breathlessly vacuous slime job imaginable.
But the art looks good.
2011-08-30, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
The Village Voice has obtained an audiotape secretly recorded in December 2009 at a meeting between Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis and a man named Shane Clark. The purpose of the meeting: Clark was facing the prospect of being declared a "suppressive person" by the Church of Scientology, carrying with it the prospect of Clark being "disconnected" by his entire family, who are all Scientologists.
Contrary to your description of the Church of Scientology Flag building as an eyesore, it has looked beautiful since, with the concurrence of Clearwater officials, the church installed over $300,000 in landscaping in 2007.
Also, during the past five years, the Church of Scientology in Clearwater has paid $4.2 million in property taxes while at the same time completing massive construction, renovation and restoration of three landmark buildings, totaling almost a million square feet — the Oak Cove, the Fort Harrison and the Flag building. The church has further paid the city and county over $3 million in impact fees for improved city infrastructure, while also paying for all sidewalks and hardscaping that would otherwise have cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars.
2010-08-30, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Viktor Fankl survived several Nazi concentration camps, including Auschwitz.
Only one out of twenty-eight so imprisoned survived the ordeal. Frankl closely observed for the common denominator of those few who did survive. He did not find a single physical, physiological, cultural, or religious factor in common.
Instead, he discovered that those with a strong enough purpose (he calls it a meaning) to carry out were the ones who made it. There was no common purpose shared among them all. There was not even a predominant commonality of purpose. Some simply had a purpose to see a loved one again. Some felt work they had begun prior to incarceration was so important they found a way to endure what for others was certain death. Frankl himself fell into the latter category, and it so happened that the work he wanted to complete paralleled the observations he wrote about.
Other recipients include: The Adoption Exchange ($5,000); Junior Achievement of New Mexico ($18,000-three-year grant); and Narconon Rio Grande Inc. ($7,500).
The PNM Foundation was formed in 1983, and has granted more than $4 million to IRS-qualified, non-profit organizations; it is governed by a board of trustees, elected from current PNM employees and directors.
The Narconon Chilocco New Life Center has applied for certification from the state Department of Mental Health, the first step toward licensing drug treatment centers.
Rosemary Brown, spokesman for the department, said it could be late fall before an inspection team is sent to the site on Indian land north of Ponca City.
The state Department of Health is seeking a temporary injunction against Narconon, which opened in June, because it alleges the center has been treating Indians and non-Indians without a license.
NEWKIRK Officials of Narconon Chilocco New Life Center have taken the first step toward state licensing.
The substance abuse center has operated near here the past several months without state approval. Tuesday, they applied to have their treatment plan certified by the state mental health department.
It might be January until the state mental health board will be able to act on the certification request.
1987-08-30, Robert N. Jenkins, St. Petersburg Times
Across the bay, St. Petersburg's small port facility should get its new tenant by mid-December. There hasn't been a ship based there since a Scientology faction bought the Boheme and sailed it away in September 1986. But in the shipyards of Copenhagen, the Knud E. Hansen engineering firm is busy converting a vacation ferry into the Fiesta Princessa.
Nine members of the Church of Scientology pleaded innocent yesterday to charges of conspiring to steal from the government, and at the same time, lawyers for some of them asked the judge assigned to the case to withdraw.
Leonard B. Boudin, attorney for Church of Scientology matriarch Mary Sue Hubbard, accused the government of improper conduct in the judge selection process, and later attorney Philip J. Hirshkop, who represents two other officials of the church, said prosecutors had "shopped" around the court to get a judge sympathetic to the government.
Judge George L. Hart, who heard the Scientologist's pleas at their arraignment in U.S. District Court, referred their requests for a new judge to his colleagues responsible for such matters.