California authorities issued an arrest warrant for blundering conservative operative Jacob Wohl, who is now due to be arraigned on a felony charge next month, court records show.
As The Daily Beast first reported earlier on Wednesday, Wohl and a former business partner were both wanted on a warrant signed in Riverside County on Aug. 19.
The warrant was recalled after Wohl—best known for a spree of bizarre, half-baked political schemes—appeared in court on Wednesday. He was released on his own recognizance until his Oct. 24 arraignment on a charge of unlawful sale of securities, prosecutors said.
2019-09-04, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
"Books Make Booms" is an old adage from L. Ron Hubbard covered in numerous policy letters.
Of course, because Hubbard said it, this is absolute fact in the minds of true believers.
Never mind we are in the digital age.
It's true what they say about the alt-right: it's a tiny – I mean, really tiny – group of people and its members reside largely in the gloomier recesses of the internet. So why is such a small cabal having a profoud effect on our modern political discourse? Because, as I found out myself, when something goes wrong in life, it's so incredibly easy to slip down those dark rabbit holes.
The alt-right fantasy of a white ethnostate, which its leading proponents espouse, harks back to a set of ideas last popular in early modern history. We might have considered these now confined to the ideological dustbin but, for some, they are providing a new refuge from a world which makes them feel vulnerable and unheard – just like the alt-right orators they idolise.
Not that long ago, after a bout of debilitating depression which left me housebound, I found myself inadvertently spiralling down the alt-right rabbit hole. I went from watching videos by Paul Joseph Watson, a rather facile right-wing polemicist, to Stefan Molyneux, an alt-lite philosopher with a perverse fixation on race and IQ. Before long, I was fully immersed in the squalid depths of this sordid online subculture composed mainly of young men led by an elitist intellectual vanguard.
Yesterday, we showed you the lesser whales keeping Scientology afloat with their donations, as revealed in the latest issue of Impact magazine.
Today, we show you the real moneybags, the donors who were recognized earlier this year for donating more than a million dollars each, and to just one Scientology initiative, the International Association of Scientologists (IAS) slush fund.
As we pointed out yesterday, Scientology makes a game out of giving the church huge sums, begging big donors — we call them "whales" — to turn over more and more in the hopes of reaching a new status level, a bigger trophy, and the prospect of being included in Impact magazine. This recent issue included celebrations that took place in Clearwater, Florida and Beverly Hills, California. (And for each photo, we've indicated which event it came from. We've also included the descriptions of the donors from the magazine, with our own comments in brackets.)
Before founding the Church of Scientology, L Ron Hubbard authored a book called Dianetics, the Modern Science of Mental Health.
Hubbard described the book as an exact science. Other reviewers were not so kind.
Join Steve Cannane on a journey of false claims made by the founder of the Church, spanning his fake PhD in physics, war record and history of interplanetary travel.
2018-09-04, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This is a VERY good question....
They just throw out the horrendous reality that they have to get 327 million people to Clear.
Even though the vast majority of ideal orgs are in the US, those ideal orgs combined do not produce 10 Clears a week. Even if they produced 100, or even 1,000 a week (they would be going psycho if that ever happened) that is still only 50,000 in a year. The population of the US is increasing by 3 million per year.
The ever alert Scientology critic Justin Templer Sr. on Twitter caught Scientology Narconon in Europe engaging in what is blatantly illegal false advertising. This is where European critics of Scientology should contact the authorities to report this matter.
Background: Thomas Pettersson, a Narconon Europe Staff Member, wrote a post in Narconon Europe's blog with this headline:
I have now seen and helped hundreds of people to live and become drug-free
Two years ago today, Australian television journalist Bryan Seymour was on the scene to cover Scientology's grand opening of an "Advanced Org" in a suburb of Sydney. To mark the anniversary, we asked Bryan to update us on how this major facility is faring.
The silence is eerie at the National Acoustics Laboratory in Chatswood.
At one time it was a bustling hub for engineers, scientists, and researchers working on Hearing Science, Audiology, Behavioural Science, Communication Science and Digital Processing. They made breakthroughs and exported their technology and products around the world.
Its edgy advertising campaigns for lamb have offended vegans and Indigenous groups in the past. Now Meat & Livestock Australia has produced a spring lamb campaign full of deities which may just offend religious sensibilities.
Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard joins various gods, goddesses and prophets including Jesus, God, Aphrodite, Zeus, Buddha, Ganesh and Moses at a long dining table to enjoy a spring barbecue of lamb.
The prophet Muhammad calls up the atheist hostess to excuse himself from the occasion because he has to pick up a child from daycare.
2017-09-04, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Once there was a man who was walking nonchalantly through a beautiful forest. Not a care in the world did he have. Absorbed in the beauty of nature he descended serenely down a winding pathway to an open glen of multicolored blossoms. Many birds of varying throated syntax graced the air with inspired innocent melody.
He came to a big rock and decided to sit and lean against it. Taking out his packed lunch he took his first bite.
Then he looked down to his right and there, a foot away from him, was a large venomous snake hidden in the underbrush. Terror seized him. His heart rate pounded as if it were exploding out of his chest. Beads of sweat trickled down his forehead and paralysis seized his muscles. He was in fear for his very existence as deadly poisonous snakes were known to inhabit this forest.
Sitting there in terror with eyes closed he sent out a prayer for protection. His inner intuitional voice said," Don't be afraid. Look directly at the snake."
After three gut-wrenching victim-centered episodes of Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath's second season, A&E is shaking things up by running a "special" episode that we think is not only well timed, but a long time coming.
Tomorrow night, you will begin your training as Scientologists.
Well, that's the line we used a few years ago when we did a similar thing here at the Underground Bunker — give non-Scientologists a taste of what Scientology's "Bridge to Total Freedom" is all about in our series "Up the Bridge" with experts Claire Headley and Bruce Hines.
2016-09-04, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Next in the ongoing series of essays by Terra Cognita. See earlier posts here: Auditing: a PC's Quest for the Holy Grail, The Knowledge Report, Integrity, The Almighty Stat, The Reg, The Horrors of Wordclearing, Why Scientologists Don't FSM, Respect, The Survival Rundown - The Latest Scam, Communication in Scientology... Or Not, Am I Still A Thetan?, To Be Or Not To Be, An Evaluation of Scientology, Fear: That Which Drives Scientology and Justification and Rationalization.
Once Upon a Time
Once upon a time there was a Treasury Secretary in a Class 5 Org located somewhere in the United States. She'd taken a couple of accounting classes in college and had always been good with math and figures. All the bills got paid on time and the audits were always up-to-date. She liked working with numbers and he was good at her job.
Australian television journalist Bryan Seymour is sending us messages from the scene of Scientology's grand opening for its new "Advanced Org" in Chatswood, a suburb of Sydney.
Here are the messages we're getting from him.
— The gates are open and guests are filing in. [Where are you in relation to what's happening?]
2016-09-04, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The weekly show where I answer your questions based on what you wrote in the comment section of my Q&A videos or have sent to me by email at AskChrisShelton@gmail.com. This week, the questions I take up are:
(1) Hi Chris – Love your channel! Question: I was involved in an Muslim cult when I was in my college and university days. The cult was actually very similar to Scientology. I've never really fully 'recovered' as such. I've encountered many problems in my life but one problem really troubles me: dwelling on the past. I often in my mind obsessively debate scenarios from the past, I imagine myself yelling and refuting the cult I was with, embarrassing them the way they embarrassed me, making their leaders feel stupid etc. All of these are scenarios I ruminate on. I often debate them on social media and I get very obessesive on chasing and confronting them. This despite the fact that the cult has died down over the years and has few members left. Yet still, I rehash arguments and refutations against them in my mind, in the off chance I meet them on the streets and show them that I'm now in the know and can take them on easily.
Why am I like this? Is this something that ex-cult members face? Would you say that this is a form of OCD?
Rod Keller keeps an eye on Scientology social media for us, and this week he spotted a doozy. Take it away, Rod…
Florida Attorney GeneralPam Bondi is scheduled to speak at the Fort Harrison Hotel on October 1, to address Scientologists on her efforts curb illegal drug use and human trafficking. Scientologist Steve Sigal announced the event on social media, and said it would be "very theta," which is a Scientology phrase for having positive life energy. Sigal is a founder of the Clearwater-based marketing company SJS Associates, and was involved in a controversial campaign fundraiser for Bondi at the Fort Harrison in July, 2014.
The October 1 event is being sponsored by Florida Citizens for Social Reform, an IRS-registered non-profit, non-tax exempt social welfare organization co-founded by Steve Sigal's wife Joanie. Past events by FCSR have promoted the Scientology front groups Foundation for a Drug-Free World and a Narconon-like program to help Gulf War veterans detoxify their bodies.
If you thought it was fun to see Laura Prepon utter some strange Scientology lingo in a recent print interview, wait until you see actress Erika Christensen talk about the effectiveness of Scientology in a 2006 testimonials video that was only meant for other Scientologists to see.
"It's straight out of this universe," Erika says. "It is! It's straight out of this universe!"
The "it" she's talking about are lectures recorded between 1953 and 1962 by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology. In 2006, many of those lectures had been repackaged by current Scientology leader David Miscavige, and he had a video put together of church members talking about how much these old lectures had impacted their lives.
Going Clear doesn't answer all your questions about Scientology. It explains a lot. And it's far from the sensational exposé that some people imagine. Filmmaker Alex Gibney (who also made the great docs Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room and Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God) is simply methodical. The gist of the doc is finding answers to three questions: Where did this contentious religion come from? What are its core beliefs? And why does it attract so many people in Hollywood?
It paints a devastating portrait of L. Ron Hubbard, the sci-fi writer who cooked some sci-fi ideas into a religion. A troubled, charismatic man emerges, a con artist turned therapist. And yet, when the doc deals with the matter of those celebrities who have embraced the Church of Scientology, a good deal of the lure of Hubbard makes sense.
JW governing body member Stephen Lett coerces more donations. The new congregation monthly payments are discussed in more details on the JW Survey web site. Links below.
Behind the dubious medical claims of Dr. Mehmet Oz and Deepak Chopra is a decades-long strategy to promote alternative medicine to the American public. Twenty-three years ago, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) began to investigate a wide variety of unconventional medical practices from around the world. Five-and-a-half billion dollars later, the NIH has found no cures for disease. But it has succeeded in bringing every kind of quackery — from faith healing to homeopathy — out of the shadows and into the heart of the American medical establishment.
Go to https://reason.com/reasontv/2015/09/04/alternative-medicine-racket to read the full article and for downloadable versions of the video. Subscribe to ReasonTV's YouTube Channel to receive notifications when new material goes live.
Runs about 14:30.
Produced and edited by Todd Krainin. Additional photography by Alex Manning.
We have several correspondents on the scene today as the next dramatic showdown occurs in Luis and Rocio Garcia's fraud lawsuit against the Church of Scientology.
The Garcias first filed their lawsuit in January 2013, alleging that over their long time in the church, they had been victimized by fraudulent schemes to convince them to donate large sums of money. (In one memorable example, they claimed that they were asked to donate tens of thousands of dollars to pay for a Scientology cross to go on the top of the Super Power Building in Clearwater, only to find out later that other church members had been asked to pay for the same cross.)
WHILE WE WAIT for word from Tampa later today, we have some other documents for you to look at in another lawsuit that has become a huge headache for the Church of Scientology. Filed by the National Association of Forensic Counselors, it's taking aim at 82 defendants who, the NAFC claims, misused its logo and drug counseling certificates in a years long conspiracy to make Scientology's drug rehab network, Narconon, appear more legitimate than it is.
On November 13th 1998 State Attorney Bernie Mccabe charged Scientology Inc and David Miscavige on 2 felony indictments on her death. Office of Special Affairs, damaged control specialists moved heaven and heal to wiggle out of the charges. Much cover up, lies and spin.
Marty tells some of what happened from the inside.
David Miscavige was personally "supervising" her counseling and authorised her to attest to "clear" ~~ an advanced *Religious* state ! Subsequently Lisa took off all her clothes and walked naked down Fort Harrison Avenue. More of the story is told by Mark Bunker on my channel here:
Lawyers for the former parishioner joined the tax office in seeking the appointment of receivers to overcome the matter's long delays.
Leo moved to Fiji in 2010 after police raids of the Agape Ministries' properties seized guns, high-powered ammunition and explosives equipment in and near Adelaide.
The largest seizure was at Mount Magnificent, south of Adelaide, where detonators, fuses and 20,000 rounds of ammunition were found in a shipping container.
2014-09-04, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Here is the roundup of the ridiculous that doesn't fit in daily posts — and there is a lot more that is left out and I try to avoid using anything that has appeared elsewhere.
Gavin Potter Is Everywhere
If this guy knows so much and is so good at telling everyone how to get things done, how come the Freewinds is regging public for money to buy fuel so they can sail?
Recently, Adrian Chen tweeted out something interesting: a link to an internal NYPD document detailing a "surveillance request" to stake out a rally by Anonymous at the Church of Scientology. Its purpose? To "identify as many members of as possible." The report goes on to note that the difficulty level of this task might be upped significantly.
2013-09-04, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
A commentary sent in by a Special Correspondent that I felt worthy of broader coverage. It might be more appropriately titled with the astute observation MONEY IS THE ONE THING NOT TAINTED BY ASSOCATION WITH AN SP.
A few posts back you commented that Flag's systematic and systemic practice of purging "undesirable" staff and public deserved a post of its own. Indeed it does.
Having been a "purgee" I am personally familiar with this corporate policy. Furthermore I have witnessed numerous instances of others being purged. Interestingly enough, the purge flows both ways, as many people have voluntarily purged themselves, possibly in equal or greater numbers. An unintended consequence of Flag's practices which I am sure, in their arrogance, they never conceived would occur. And then there is the inevitable purge of life itself as Scientologists simply die, too many before their time.
At the end of July, the Canadian branch of Narconon International, a Scientology-based organization that operates non-medical drug rehab centres around the world, announced plans to bring a treatment centre to a 150-acre rural property along the Mono-Adjala Townline just north of Highway 9.
The announcement was met with overwhelming opposition by the community and since then residents have banded together to do what they can to stop the proposal.
Jonny Jacobsen In Paris today, Jonny Jacobsen attended the Scientology hearing before the Cour de Cassation, France's highest court, which is considering an appeal of the church's fraud conviction which was upheld last year. He sent us this report...
Scientology's lawyers argued today in France's highest court that they did not get a fair trial on appeal, because when the defendants walked out of the proceedings half-way through, the appeal court did not stop proceedings to get them new lawyers.
France's top court will hand down its ruling on Scientology's appeals against convictions for organised fraud next month.
Take off, Clark! Er, hoser! Oh, Narconon. For so many years you were Scientology's reliable cash cow, doing your best to pretend that you actually had nothing to do with the church itself, but basking in the glow of testimonials by Scientology's biggest celebrities — Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and Kirstie Alley, who all parroted that you were doing legitimate work as a drug rehab network.
And now, it's all falling apart so fast we can hardly keep up.
Last night, we confirmed the news that Narconon's attempt to purchase a 150-acre tree farm in Hockley Village, northwest of Toronto, for a large new drug rehab facility was foiled when the owner sold to a local buyer.
A French magazine explains how one of France's most dedicated Scientologists became its most effective critic - telling his story in the graphic novel format.
(© Renaud de Heyn) Roger Gonnet, an old friend of Infinite Complacency , is the subject of a special feature in the latest edition of French magazine XXI - not the first time his story has been told here.
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- The Church of Scientology denounced as "hogwash" a magazine's claims church officials screened possible companions for Hollywood film star Tom Cruise.
Vanity Fair quoted sources as saying church officials contacted actresses who were Scientology members under the pretense of auditioning for a training video, and then asked their thoughts about Cruise.
A Scientologist who watched the videos said whoever dated Cruise would not only have to please the actor, but also "toe the line for Scientology."
He moved to Philadelphia after graduating from the Boston school and began working as a pharmacist. Most recently he had been living in the Guest Inn near downtown Norcross working as a counselor at Narcanon of Georgia, a Norcross-based drug rehab center.
The details are a bit incomplete, but his mother said he had entered Narcanon for an alcohol addiction, and after finishing the program, he completed a training program in April to become a Narcanon counselor so he could help others.
But it wasn't until 2004 when Cruise fatefully fired his publicist, Pat Kingsley, and replaced her with his sister, Lee Anne De Vette, that it really became obvious who would follow in the ignoble footsteps of Hughes and Jackson in the media pantheon as Cruise, for really the first time in his life, was pummelled by various PR disasters. Cruise replaced his sister with a professional publicist a year later, but it was too late. When he sneered at psychiatry and then jumped on Oprah's sofa, he did the equivalent of extolling the joys of oxygen chambers and toting about a chimp. The final kicker for Cruise's reputation was when his third wife, Katie Holmes, fled their marriage this summer, and now the bloodied gloves are truly off.
A Quiet Belief in Angels by RJ Ellory is, according to a review in the Guardian, "thriller writing of the very highest order". High praise indeed, but one Amazon reviewer, "Jelly Bean", goes further. RJ Ellory's story of a man who as a child was at the centre of a series of brutal killings of young girls is "one of the most moving books I've ever read", Ellory himself is "one of the most talented authors of today" and "his ability to craft the English language is breathtaking".
Too much? No, because Amazon reviewer "Nicodemus Jones" agrees: the book is a "modern masterpiece", and "whatever else it might do, it will touch your soul". A reader wondering whether or not to make a purchase might be convinced by this breathless praise: the only problem is, Jelly Bean and Nicodemus Jones are both the pseudonyms of Ellory himself, who was outed this week by fellow crime writer Jeremy Duns as the author of 12 glowingly positive writeups of his own books on Amazon, as well as two reviews critical of his fellow crime authors Mark Billingham and Stuart MacBride. MacBride's novel Dark Blood is, according to Ellory's pseudonymous review, "another in the seemingly endless parade of same-old-same-old police procedurals that seem to abound in the UK".
On Monday, Ellory took responsibility for the reviews and apologised for his actions, both publicly to his fans and privately to Billingham and MacBride, but this has been a bad summer altogether for the credibility of authors and online book reviewing. It started when the bestselling thriller writer Stephen Leather admitted at the Harrogate crime festival to using various names online, and even having conversations with himself, to build buzz about his novels, sparking a huge debate among authors about the ethics of the practice known as "sock puppeting".
2012-09-04, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
The Vanity Fair affair is not going to be pretty. As folks are preparing for the Cat 4 or 5, I want the record to be crystal clear that I put Tom Cruise on notice more than three years ago that this was coming.
Tom Cruise Put on Notice in August 2009
You can check the history of this blog to see that I gave him every opportunity to consult his conscience and choose an ethical course. Instead, he chose to hunker down in David Miscavige's bunker.
2011-09-04, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
"I'm a little bit out of the loop on that." Fellow Scientology watchers, for this holiday Sunday I have a little nugget I thought you might find interesting. I'll be curious to see, in the comments, how significant you find this item -- just a fun diversion, or maybe a bit more portentious?
Anyway, I'll stop messing around and get to the point: On Friday, I received an e-mail from a man who has asked that I not name him. I can tell you that he's 62 years old and an attorney.
When he was much younger, he spent a couple of years in Scientology -- as he says, "I grew up in the 1960s and a lot of people were trying weird things back then." After his brief time in the organization, he hasn't had anything to do with it for almost 40 years.
2010-09-04, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
The story linked here is a real time example of how Miscavige (and yes Miscavige engineered every illegal step of it) uses money to abuse the rights of people and prevent them from any possibility of recourse. Mark my words, if Miscavige doesn't back off on this now this saga is going to get a whole lot more ugly before it is over.
Merryday got Potter and Dandar to agree to stop all proceedings in state court -- including the church collecting the $130,000 judgment -- until both sides can present Merryday with full briefings and oral arguments.
However, Senior Circuit Judge Robert Beach, who found Dandar in contempt and levied the $130,000 judgment, said he isn't sure such an agreement can really halt what he's done. In fact, Beach said, he believes only a state appeals court could overturn his decision, not a federal judge.
Belgian prosecutor Jean-Claude Van Espen said Tuesday that the Church of Scientology should be classified as a criminal organization after completing a 10-year investigation into the church's activities.
The Belgian authorities have indicted the Belgian chapter of the Church of Scientology, the European headquarters of the Church, as well as 12 of its leading members. According to the office of Public Prosecutor Jean-Claude Van Espen Scientology is a criminal organization which has committed several crimes including extortion, fraud, violations of the trade law, violations of the privacy law and the illegal practice of medicine.
Ketelhut's cause has also caught the attention of those in a national movement against the practice of psychiatry. Members of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights -- an organization founded by the Church of Scientology -- traveled to South Bend a few weeks ago to join Ketelhut's protest.
The chance is real that several leading figures in the Church of Scientology in Belgium could be issued with court summonses. The Federal Judicial Authorities plan to prosecute the church for being a criminal organisation that has defrauded its members.
A Belgian prosecutor on Tuesday recommended that the U.S.-based Church of Scientology stand trial for fraud and extortion, following a 10-year investigation that concluded the group should be labeled a criminal organization.
A Belgian prosecutor on Tuesday recommended that the U.S.-based Church of Scientology stand trial for fraud and extortion, following a 10- year investigation that concluded the group should be labeled a criminal organization.
Scientology said it would fight the criminal charges recommended by investigating prosecutor Jean-Claude Van Espen, who said that up to 12 unidentified people should face charges.
Van Espen's probe also concluded that Scientology's Brussels-based Europe office and its Belgian missions conducted unlawful practices in medicine, violated privacy laws and used illegal business contracts, said Lieve Pellens, a spokeswoman at the Federal Prosecutors Office.
Brian Haney labored to give his life fulfillment in many ways. The 37-year-old entrepreneur had been through two marriages, built a $100 million corporation, and attained the coveted state of "clear" as a Scientologist, meaning he had achieved the high level of freedom, personal control, and independence Scientology promises its followers. But none of these triumphs allayed his spiritual emptiness and dissatisfaction.