2018-09-06, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
This week I am posting the short talk I gave at the 2018 ICSA Annual Conference. I didn't think this had been recorded but turns out it was! I briefly discuss my own background in Scientology and talk about some specific things in Scientology that make it hard to get on with your life after you leave and what to do about some of those things.
A state Inspector General who wanted to shut down the Scientology-based Narconon Arrowhead drug treatment facility is suing the state. Kim Poff says she was fired after blowing the whistle on an attempted cover up.
A motion asking for a jury trial in the case was filed in Federal Court Tuesday. In the filing Poff says she not only lost her job with the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse when she pushed to shut down Narconon, but was then fired from her new job at DHS when her attorney told News 9 about what was going on.
On August 19th, 2014 in this story - Narconon Investigators Sue Department Of Mental Health And Substance Abuse - News 9 reported on Poff's firing from the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse. In court filings at that time, Poff alledged that Commissioner Terry White and other leadership in the agency attempted to hide the findings of her investigation into the deaths of three people at the facility because they "did not want to get involved with litigation involving the Church of Scientology." Poff says she was terminated when she continued to push the state to shut down the facility.
2017-09-06, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
A bit of a breather tonight.
We have 5 "Special" episodes this season that will be interspersed with the "regular" episodes that recount more person stories. These episodes are intended to be more educational and explain some of the terminology and activities of scientology that are often touched upon in the main episodes.
We began with a more detailed explanation of the Bridge. It is something we are asked about often and we touched on it in an episode in Season 1 where Leah and I spent a little time with one of the show producers explaining to him what the Bridge is.
Last night's episode of the A&E network's Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath was special in a number of ways. Through the first season and into the second, Leah had said she didn't want to get into specific Scientology "beliefs," and she mentioned the Xenu story in particular, saying that it was irrelevant to her mission to expose Scientology's abuses. But last night, she got into Xenu and the rest of Scientology's "Bridge to Total Freedom" in a big way.
In our preview on Monday, we suggested that if there was one thing this episode should be remembered for, it was the way Leah exposed Operating Thetan Level 8 — the top auditing level in Scientology — in a way it never has been explained for a large audience.
She and her mother eviscerated the top of Scientology's "Bridge."
Maybe it's all our fault. In the spring of 2012, Academy Award-winning producer Simon Chinn (Man on Wire, Searching for Sugar Man) took us to lunch at the Dos Caminos restaurant on Houston Street in Manhattan to talk about Scientology.
He told us he was planning to make a feature film on the church and had decided to cast BBC presenter Louis Theroux in it. But he was still trying to figure out what aspect of Scientology to cover.
Oh, that's easy, we told him. If you wanted to understand what was happening with Scientology in 2012, you needed to consider former high-ranking Scientology executiveMarty Rathbun, we said, and we told him all about the Squirrel Busters, and Rathbun's blog.
I expose the truth behind what happened on set between Marty Rathbun and the BBC on the film set of My Scientology Movie. In My Scientology Movie, I discuss my story, as well as performed in reenactment scenes of experiences of others within the Church.
Marty Rathbun posted a blog discrediting the BBC and My Scientology Movie. However, I was on set with Marty and I tell the truth of how it was actually working on set with Mr. Rathbun.
Marty's Blog: http://markrathbun.wordpress.com/2016...
Greta Van Susteren, who has anchored early evening and primetime programs for Fox News Channel since 2002, has left the cable-news outlet, a separation that one person familiar with the matter attributed to "a financial disagreement."
Brit Hume, a veteran journalist who spent more than a decade as a senior news executive in Fox News' Washington bureau, will take over her 7 p.m. slot on the 21st Century Fox-owned cable-news network at least through the election. He will appear this evening, the network said Tuesday.
Van Susteren could not be reached for immediate comment. Her husband, John Coale, an attorney who has worked as her agent in the past, could also not be reached for immediate comment. In an exchange with Fox News veteran Geraldo Rivera, the anchor told him, "Geraldo, I will miss you." Van Susteren last revised her contract with Fox News in May of 2013.
2016-09-06, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This is the state of the Phoenix "ideal" org.
The have put out a "Big announcement." Might even be epic. Milestone. Unprecedented.
TWO people "graduated" something this week. Likely they finished reading a book.
TALLAHASSEE — Attorney General Pam Bondi is preparing to speak next month to a group that has ties to the Church of Scientology.
Bondi will discuss human trafficking and anti-drug initiatives at an event sponsored by Florida Citizens for Social Reform, a social welfare group and onetime political committee associated with the Church of Scientology. Bondi's Oct. 1 appearance will be held at the Fort Harrison Hotel, the flagship of Scientology's Clearwater spiritual headquarters.
"Considering the seriousness of this issue, the attorney general is open to talking to any organization about what our office is doing to combat this awful crime and educate them on what they can do to help," Bondi spokeswoman Kylie Mason said.
2015-09-06, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The show where I answer your questions. Here are the questions from this week:
(1) Thank you so very much for your important and interesting videos! My question is: I heard that the OT courses consist of the attendee just being delivered a number of documents to read, handwritten by LRH. So for x-thousands of dollars they just sit there and read a couple of pages, that they then have to give back? Is that true? If so, couldn't the absurdity of the situation rather be seen as a test about the status of indoctrination? Or, are the OT courses in a classroom situation, with one or more attendees and a tutor? Would you describe this? Thank you very much & viele liebe Gruesse from Germany.
(2) When you were in Scientology did you or any of your fellow members ever ask why L Ron Hubbard would drop into that strange faux Boston accent for certain words then back to his regular voice for the rest of the sentence?
CNM was set up in the UK in 1998 by Hermann Keppler, who then established colleges in Ireland, America, Canada and South Africa. He owns 80% of CNM's operations in Ireland, which include branches in Dublin, Cork and Galway, according to the Companies Registration Office.
Internal records of course completions at the Church of Scientology have been published online by Anonymous, a hacking collective that has protested against the church worldwide, and held demonstrations outside its Dublin mission. These records indicate Keppler has spent years progressing up the ranks of the church, which was founded by science ?ction writer L Ron Hubbard in the 1950s.
A separate internal document disseminated by the church shows an image of Keppler with his arm around a woman who was campaigning for a Scientology media centre.
On Friday, we showed you a wild five-minute Scientology testimonials video which featured actress Erika Christensen. The video included dozens of Scientologists gushing in rapid-fire manner about how some repackaged 1950s lectures by L. Ron Hubbard had changed their lives.
"It's straight out of this universe," Christensen said at the tail end of the video. "It is! It's straight out of this universe!"
It turns out, that five-minute testimonials video was first revealed at a very special gathering: Opening night at Maiden Voyage2006.
2014-09-06, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Excerpt from upcoming book Clear and Beyond:
The fundamental two-way communication process that all scientology methodology derives its workability from existed before L. Ron Hubbard ever wrote a word on the subject of the mind. All of its components were developed, far beyond the degree of sophistication that scientology ever treated them, while Hubbard was still engaged in black magik rituals in Pasadena. They were perhaps best explained and demonstrated in Rogerian client-centered therapy. It would behoove scientologists to study of it. The best place to start would be On Becoming a Person by Carl R. Rogers (Houghton Mifflin, 1961).
What made Hubbard popular initially with publication of Dianetics was his simplifying and codifying critical principles of client-centered therapy thus potentially opening the process of self-actualization to far more people. Hubbard himself has acknowledged that Dianetics' fad-like initial appeal rested largely on the promise of taking therapy out of the hands of professionals and putting it into the living rooms of lay people. Much of that particular appeal was lost as dianetics and its progeny scientology became more mass-production oriented, expensive, exclusive, and cult-like. Not surprisingly, those negative developments can be traced to dianetics' and scientology's attempts to short-cut vital client-centered therapy principles in the first place.
Scientology has an interesting history with Washington D.C.
On July 4, 1955, the "Founding" Church of Scientology was opened there, even though churches had already been created in Camden (1953) and Los Angeles (1954).
The first raid on a Scientology church happened in Washington in 1964 when the Food and Drug Administration decided it had heard enough of L. Ron Hubbard's health claims and the agency confiscated about a hundred of his "e-meters."
Jon Zegel was a scientology defector and somewhat involved with David Mayo's Advanced Abilities Center. He made Three of these tapes discussing Scientology's structure, finances and more. Then after some issues with the "church" he released a fourth tape where he recanted the data in the first three. The original cassettes caused quite a flap inside Scientology when they were released. I hope you enjoy them. I will be posting all four as time allows.
Jon Zegel was a scientology defector and somewhat involved with David Mayo's Advanced Abilities Center. He made Three of these tapes discussing Scientology's structure, finances and more. Then after some issues with the "church" he released a fourth tape where he recanted the data in the first three. The original cassettes caused quite a flap inside Scientology when they were released. I hope you enjoy them.
2014-09-06, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Here is the pitch being presented to the local residents about the planned new AOSHANZO and CLO ANZO building.
And it is clear now that they plan to move the CLO Offices here from the Dundas white elephant.
But if that is true, they are being very dishonest about the hours they will be keeping — everyone will vacate the premises by 10 each night? Not likely. I have never seen a "management" organization that did not work until midnight as their published schedule, all night on Thursday night, and routinely until 1 or 2 in the morning.
2013-09-06, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
There has been considerable discussion about the email circulated yesterday requiring information be sent in to Wig Adams at Flag for photo ID cards to be issued.
Here is the email being sent out from Flag in response to that with a much shorter list of information being asked for. What made the email yesterday so believable is that they ARE in fact planning to issue ID cards to keep the unemployed, bitter defrocked apostates on the fringes of the internet out of Dave's Palace and Nuremberg Rally Events. See earlier post on this here.
Notice the non-committal tone of this email "you received an email" and "to answer the many inquiries we prepared a special information sheet". They don't want to acknowledge they were scammed and that the outrageous email asking for all sorts of personal information was not in fact real because so many people thought it was! What a joke this whole operation has become.
2013-09-06, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Fresh news hot off the gossip train. These guys just let 'em rip and apparently expect everyone to be too polite to comment on their crassness.
New prices are part of GAG II! How special.... AND, based on a thorough study of everything LRH ever wrote or said about pricing (wonder if that includes the fact that that Academy Levels are supposed to be equivalent to one month average wage...?)
They already cancelled Service Completion Awards — funny, I read the despatch traffic from LRH where he came up with that idea. Believe me, nobody OTHER than LRH could implement an org giving people cash for completing service. But I guess their thorough review didn't include that.
We have some rare video of David Miscavige, leader of the Church of Scientology, giving a drawn-out and very strange explanation for why and how the IRS battled and ultimately caved to the church over its tax exempt status in 1993. The speech is from the New Year's Eve2000 Scientology event, which we hadn't seen before, and it was edited into a funky video presentation that was assembled in 2007 by J. Swift, who tells us the thing hasn't been online for several years.
We'd love to get your thoughts on this pre-Anonymous bit of church criticism, and Miscavige's weird explanation for what motivated the IRS.
We've watched it a couple of times now, and Miscavige's rap seems to go like this...
The Church of Scientology tried to bargain with two of its most high-profile antagonists after defeating them in civil court recently by offering to wipe out a $42,000 debt in exchange for information about other church critics.
Former church staffers Claire and Marc Headley battled Scientology in state and federal court in California for 3½ years over unfair labor practices, forced abortion and human trafficking claims. They lost on appeal July 24.
2012-09-06, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
David Miscavige's personal counsel has promised Vanity Fair:
The sting of the jury verdict will last longer still; far longer than any pleasure from racing to publish a poorly researched and sourced story.
Dave Miscavige, if you follow through on your threat, I will grant you power of forgiveness. Don't bother retaining a process server to deliver my deposition subpoena. Save the parishioner donations, and send it FED EX cash-on-delivery. My treat.
2012-09-06, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Well, they even gotta lie when the truth would serve them better.
Please see the Tampa Bay Times coverage of the Headley suit fiasco reported on here and the Village Voice earlier today.
In particular see this statement by David Miscavige church of Scientology Inc. spokesperson Karin Pouw:
2012-09-06, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
The Voice has obtained a remarkable document -- a letter from Scientology's attorneys which explains how the church would agree to forgive almost $43,000 in court costs if Marc and Claire Headley agree to turn over information about former Scientology executiveMarty Rathbun and "others involved in disparaging" the church, "including any media contacts."
2012-09-06, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
As reported last month, the Marc and Claire Headley vs. Scientology Inc lawsuit dismissal was upheld on appeal, see Headley Case Dissmissal Upheld. The case however is not over.
While using the litigation process to make things as painful financially for the Headley's as possible, Scientology Inc lawyers very carefully racked up a 'costs bill' designed to ruin the Headleys. A cost bill lists those costs associated with litigation (filing fees, deposition and hearing transcript orders, etc.) that a prevailing party may collect from the defeated party at the end of the case.
What some people do not know is that when the case was dismissed by the lower court in 2010, and while the Headleys were preparing their appeal, Scientology Inc took the unusual course of aggressively pursuing collection of their $40,000 plus cost bill from the Headleys. The Headleys had to prepare and argue more costly motions to stay collection pending appeal. The lower court denied their motion, but the court of appeal granted it - putting collection of costs on hold pending the appeal.
Actor Tom Cruise co-founded the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project, where participants were each given vitamins and nutritional counseling and participated in daily exercise and sauna sessions. He defended it at the time as helping the workers recover.
Critics, many of them scientists, have said there is no evidence the 'Hubbard Method' does any good.
It was unclear if the Vietnamese government was aware of those concerns before agreeing to try the project.
The Evening News revealed last weekend that the controversial group had applied for a street traders' licence for the Newkirkgate shopping centre, where they planned to carry out "stress tests" and discuss the organisation's beliefs with passers-by.
In the wake of the news, the Scientologists' Edinburgh base, Hubbard Academy of Personal Independence on South Bridge, received the threat, contained in a letter, on Tuesday.
2010-09-06, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
I've got two and one half words for those Miscavige sheeple who might point to the following promotion piece and repeat to you some hackneyed propaganda line like, "you see, Miscavige really is following through!" Check out the promo and then I'll give you a good two and one half word response.
In my opinion, the only appropriate two and one half words in response are: You're Welcome.
If anyone attributes this "committment" suddenly being made by Miscavige to open the mecca in the near future to anything other than word spreading far and wide in the field that Super Power is a Miscavige Ponzi scheme, he or she must be a full-fledged, diamond encrusted, DM sheeple, with honors.
After a ten-year investigation, Belgian prosecutors have charged twelve members of the Church of Scientology. The accusations include fraud, extortion, illegal practice of medicine, and infringement of privacy law, among others. The decision opens the way for Scientology to be considered a criminal organization.
The story of the FairTax's provenance is one that I can tell with some firsthand knowledge. In 1993, fresh from a stint at the Treasury Department, I spent a few months at the Cato Institute. I was filling in for Steve Moore -- now an editorial writer at The Wall Street Journal -- who took a brief leave from his job as director of the think tank's fiscal studies program to advise former Texas Representative Dick Armey. It was there that I was visited by a man named Steven L. Hayes, the founder of group called Citizens for an Alternative Tax System (cats) that promoted the nrst, and who was, as Moore pointed out to me, a prominent Scientologist.
It wasn't hard to figure out the Scientologists' motives for hawking the nrst. The IRS had refused to recognize Scientology as a legitimate church -- a fact that seemed to enshrine their popular reputation as a "cult." To remedy this situation, Scientologists waged war against the IRS. At various points, the Church attempted to infiltrate the tax authority and even hired private investigators to examine the private lives of IRS officials. And the same impulse behind these measures led them to devise the nrst. One church spokesman told National Journal's Paul Starobin, "We thought, If this [discrimination] is happening to us, there must be a lot of people to whom this is happening.' ... How could some positive changes be made?" Since nearly every state has a sales tax, it would be a simple matter to get them to collect a federal nrst, rendering the IRS instantly superfluous, a ripe target for abolition.
STUTTGART, GERMANY STUTTGART, Germany (AP) _ A court ruled Friday that a German bank can refuse to handle business accounts for the Church of Scientology.
At issue were accounts the group had at the postal bank, a common conduit for businesses and individuals to transfer funds throughout Germany. The banks are located in post offices.
District Court Judge Hans-Juergen Voigt ruled that, although everyone has a right to postal services, that did not apply to Postbank, which was changed in January 1995 from a public to a private credit institution.