One of the tough things about reporting on the Church of Scientology is that its tax-exempt status allows it to hide much of its financial information from the public. In some countries, however, Scientology and its front groups have to open their books. Among them is the Netherlands, where once again we're getting a look at the annual financial report from the Narconon drug rehab center there. And just like last year, we've asked our resident money man, John P. Capitalist, to go over the numbers...
I've taken a preliminary look at the 2016 Narconon Netherlands (NN NL) financial statements just filed with the Dutch government. I welcome additional perspective from the several Dutch activists who keep an eye on such things, including TrevAnon and scamofscientology.
Revenue & Expenses
In this video I breakdown the specific steps of the upper-half of Scientology's Bridge to Total Freedom, developed by L Ron Hubbard in the mid-1960s and representing the steps every Scientologist takes in their supposed journey to spiritual immortality.
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2017-09-07, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
This is the second part of my breakdown of Scientology's Bridge to Total Freedom, otherwise known as the Grade Chart. This is L. Ron Hubbard's step-by-step guide to spiritual freedom and personal immortality, or at least that's what he said it is. What it actually represents is a one-size-fits-all guide to an increasingly more expensive series of training and counselling services which result in a person having spent hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars to end up pretty much exactly where they started. I don't mean that no one ever gets anything from doing Scientology services. That would not be true. What I mean is that Scientologists these days are literally being made to re-do Bridge steps they've already paid for and completed, sometimes more than once.
In my own case, I was officially involved with Scientology for 27 years. I received thousands of hours of auditing and training. I made it to the state of Clear in the early 1990s but didn't really move much on the Grade Chart after that. The day I left the Sea Org at the end of 2012, I was told that I had been sent back down to the bottom of the Bridge because it turns out I had not standardly completed any of the steps I'd done. In other words, every auditing service I'd received had somehow been so badly performed on me that it was impossible for me to really be Clear or even be done with my Grades or the Objectives or the Purification Rundown. So my next step would be to re-start the whole thing with the Purification Rundown.
I was not alone in this. Almost every Scientologist who had attained the state of Clear was told that a review had been done and it turned out they were not really Clear so they had to re-do many of the actions they'd already done to get back to Clear, at their own expense, of course. Then it turned out that everyone's Objectives hadn't been done right and people were sent wholesale back down to that step at the bottom of the Grade Chart. Then it turned out that actually, it wasn't just the Objectives but the Purification Rundown that was also not done right so everyone had to re-do that.
2017-09-07, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
As has become usual now, BEFORE the show finished airing scientology had a new webpage up attacking the contributors, and deployed their twitter and Facebook bots to announce to the world that the people who appeared on the show were some very bad hombres.
Of course, nothing to respond to the CONTENTS of the show. That would not be scientology.
Strictly ad hominem.
2016-09-07, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Things are desperate aboard the Moneywinds it seems.
All those spectacular seminars by the world's most voracious "FSM's" do not appear to be doing the trick. Nor the "how to make money" seminars from CO FSSO and her crew who cannot generate enough income to buy the fuel to sail out of port.
So, they are trying to get people there with give-aways. It tells you everything you need to know about the state of the "Top of the Bridge" of scientology that they have to try and entice people to get others to arrive — with a SPECIAL AWARD for OT VIIIs that can be conned into going to the ship to the do the PURIF and OBJECTIVES.
Recently, the Underground Bunker was contacted by an anonymous source who said he had something rather spectacular he wanted to share with our readers. We were stunned when we saw what he was talking about. He has made super-high-quality films of Scientology facilities, using a 4K camera mounted on a drone.
You have never seen Scientology's secretive compounds like this. Our source says that he complied with local laws when he made these videos, but we have a feeling Scientology will be contacting YouTube to try have these films taken down. So while they're available, please give them a good look.
Today, we're embedding two flyovers of Scientology's 500-acre international management headquarters near Hemet, California. Known as "Int Base" to Scientologists, it's also called "Gold" or "Gold Base" because it houses the studios of Golden Era Productions, where Scientology makes its films.
The controversial leader of the Church of Scientology, David Miscavige, has alleged that someone has threatened to kill him after receiving a number of threatening telephone calls.
An unknown person kept calling the main telephone number of the group's office in Hollywood threatening to kill Miscavige in July, according to TMZ.
The Los AngelesPolice Department (LAPD) launched an investigation after Miscavige, 55, informed officials of the alleged threats.
2015-09-07, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Laurie Webster, vampire extraordinaire has continued to haunt those she previously bled dry for the SP Building in the hopes they have a bit more to give.
The pitch isn't as dramatic as it was for the SP Building. She can no longer promise that by giving money you would make planetary clearing a reality with the release of Super Power (how is that planetary clearing working out Laurie?). So she has a new pitch to try and get her message heard among the demands for money for the IAS, Ideal Orgs, Planetary Dissemination, Narconon, CCHR, Criminon, book packages, re-do of old services and whatever else I have forgotten.
A hall so Dear Leader doesn't have to venture out and mingle with the "wogs" at Ruth Eckerd Hall or the Shrine Auditorium in LA is going to make it possible for the world to find out about L. Ron Hubbard's life and legacy and the technology of Dianetics and Scientology.
It was late summer 2005. That much our sources agree on. It might have been late August, or it might have been early September. But it was a full ten years ago, say our eyewitness sources, that Shelly Miscavige vanished.
When we started writing about Shelly and her strange situation, back in 2012, there was some confusion about the timing of her disappearance. But since then we developed new sources who were at Int Base and personally saw the events leading up to Shelly's sudden departure. And those sources are sure of one thing: It was ten years ago, they tell us.
Ten years ago.
2014-09-07, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
Critical thinking and logic have radically changed my life for the better. Unfortunately, when I bring up 'critical thinking' I notice that some people's eyes seem to glaze over. People seem to think these are immensely philosophical and deep subjects which only college-educated intellectuals want to have anything to do with.
I'd like to break through that, so let's talk about something really practical and useful, which also just happens to be the very heart and soul of critical thinking.
I think it's safe to say that we've all fallen for some nonsense in our lives. I dare say, most everyone probably has some part of their life where they are being taken advantage of and they don't have a clue it's going on. Their friends or family sadly shake their heads when they aren't looking, hoping that somehow they will "wake up" and stop being idiots. It could be anything from politics to religion to relationships to diet to...whatever. And trying to "talk sense" into them goes nowhere, right? It just makes them hold on to the nonsense even harder. It's almost as though they are held captive in a prison of belief.
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.
2014-09-07, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Of course, there are ALWAYS one or more "campaigns" to get books into libraries. There have been plenty of reports of people subsequently checking the libraries and finding no or few books, return of books from numerous libraries and copies of still wrapped books on the "10 cent table" at library "get rid of the junk we don't want" sales.
So, it is hardly a surprise to see a new campaign (this one has been sent out again recently even though it says they are shooting to have it "done for Maiden Voyage") for an old book that supposedly was ALREADY in all libraries around the world when it was first published. It has not been "revised" as it was a compilation of HCOB's to begin with. And unless there is something I am not aware of — the only changes in the GAG II Purif are the "standard" vitamin dispenser and uniforms all participants are expected to wear. Nothing that appears in CBCM even so.
But, there are some interesting things in this "new campaign."
In Part 1 of this series, we featured a magazine article by Patrick J. Kiger describing The Epic 1990's Blowup between PR Giant Hill & Knowlton, the Church of Scientology, and Prozac Drug Manufacturer Eli Lilly.
The Church of Scientology filed a lawsuit against Hill & Knowlton, Eli Lilly, et. al. However, as the case never went to the jury there are virtually no public documents. One court document I found online offers an extremely revealing look into the Church of Scientology and its PR concerns.
As contained in the court document posted below, the Church of Scientology International specifically hired Hill & Knowlton to perform the following duties:
Thanks for joining us in the Bunker today for our weekly feature, Sunday Funnies, when we take a look at the best Scientology fliers that tipsters forwarded to us.
Once again, this week's items give us a snapshot of Scientology's obsession with fundraising as individuals are asked to give up any thought of themselves for the good of the group.
But hang on, what's this? Our first item, which comes to us from the 'Silicon Valley Ideal Org' push in Mountain View, California, is somewhat out of character for your typical celebration of people who write big checks.
2013-09-07, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Charlie Chaplin would have had a field day with the unfolding insanity of Radical Corporate Scientology.
David Miscavige, who, according to the church is "following in the footsteps of founder L. Ron Hubbard" (Karin Pinocchio Pouw) is apparently solidifying his position as "Founder II" with his imminent GAG II release.
Clearly, GAG II is eagerly anticipated and will "follow in the footsteps" of LRH's filmed briefing where he introduced the Grade Chart.
Jon Atack is the author of A Piece of Blue Sky, one of the very best books on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. He has a new edition of the book for sale, and on Saturdays he's helping us sift through the legends, myths, and contested facts about Scientology that tend to get hashed and rehashed in books, articles, and especially on the Internet.
Jon, we have a feeling you're going to get us in a lot of trouble this week. You've been unearthing some real gems for us recently, but in this investigation, you've found some connections in the early writings of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard that suggest he owes a greater debt to some psychiatric techniques than his followers might like to admit. We have a feeling today's comment section is going to be lively!
So what did you find, Jon?
-- UPDATE: the appeal reached its target total on Tuesday, Sept 18 --
Marc and Claire Headley have refused an offer from Scientology to inform on fellow critics of the movement in return for having their hefty legal costs waived - and now their supporters are rallying round.
Marc and Claire Headley, faced with a $40,000 legal bill after unsuccessful lawsuits against Scientology, have nevertheless refused the movement's offer to waive the fees in return for informing on fellow critics.
2012-09-07, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Der Spiegel magazine in Germany has published a feature article on the mysterious and heartbreaking case of Alexander Jentzsch: Der Spiegel. See the German to English translation at the end of this post.*
Karen De La Carriere and I - along with appropriate law enforcement agencies - are actively investigating the death of Alexander. There are too many unanswered questions to let this matter rest. Scientology Inc. has gone into full-scale cover-up mode in hiding the circumstances of Alexander's untimely death. It has taken the following extraordinary measures to keep the truth hidden:
a) "OT VIII" Stan Gerson is a numbered OSA agent. He is listed in the OSA spies list maintained by OSA and published on this blog, Scientology spy network exposed. On that list, under 'production data' Stan is listed as 'spokesperson at events .' He is also listed as "trusted" by OSA. Gerson was directed by OSA Int to send out a creepy Public Relations email broadly about Alexander's funeral event at Scientology Inc's celebrity center. The event and email were a thinly veiled 'proof of life' photo op for the imprisoned president of church of Scientology International (and father of Alexander) Heber Jentzsch. The email also attempted to cover-up the plethora of questionable circumstances surrounding Alexander's untimely death. The funeral event itself was an attempted P.R. handling after Karen publicized that Scientology Inc promised her that no such event would occur.
2011-09-07, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Scientology watchers around the world are watching keenly for any news out of Germany as today Marty Rathbun made his first public remarks there in the presence of Ursula Caberta.
Quick background: Rathbun was once the second-most powerful executive in Scientology. He left the church in 2004 and has been criticizing Scientology leader David Miscavige on his blog since 2009. Caberta, meanwhile, has been leading an official German government effort to curb Scientology in that country since 1992.
As Rathbun explains in the video above (which he just posted himself), even though he still practices Scientology independently, there's a good reason he's now willing to help Caberta in her efforts.
2011-09-07, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Update videos courtesy of Hamburg Anons:
Incidentally, the Hamburg Anons have been nothing but helpful and friendly.
The church of Scientology's total contribution to date has been a literal dramatization of the Spanish Inquisition which Mosey caught a glimpse of on our way into the Ministry of the Interior:
2011-09-07, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
We noted last week how insane was the attack by Scientology's propaganda organ, Freedom magazine, in its parody of issue of The New Yorker and writer Lawrence Wright. We also pointed out how, in a related video, Scientology's slander-mongers took their best shot at director Paul Haggis, subject of Wright's epic 24,000-word article, which described Haggis's disaffection with Scientology and his high-profile defection in 2009.
Earlier this evening, screenwriter Skip Press offered his own thoughts about Haggis's career and the stupidity of Scientology's attack. It's a fascinating read, and contains several key nuggets of pure gold.
Press describes how he and Haggis, in the late 1970s, were part of a Scientology writers' group. Press says he watched as his talented friend paid his dues, writing for shows like Welcome Back, Kotter and The Facts of Life -- a path Press himself was wary of.
2011-09-07, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Nearly five years ago, Nick Xenophon, the independent federal senator from the state of South Australia, was discussing a story with Seven Network journalist Bryan Seymour when the topic turned to Scientology. Seymour says that Xenophon expressed some concern about the tax breaks given to Scientology, and said he was going to look into it further.
Boy, did he. In November, 2009, Xenophon stood up in Australia's federal Parliament at the capital, Canberra, and detailed the shocking stories of several Australian ex-Scientologists. He made a declaration that day in Parliament that is still ringing in the ears of Scientology watchers Down Under: "Scientology is not a religion. It is a criminal organization that hides behind its so-called religious beliefs." Two years later, Scientology in Australia is battered and bruised, and a government decision coming in the next couple of weeks could bankrupt the church there.
In a breakthrough for Senator Nick Xenophon's campaign against Scientology, an Australian senate committee has backed his call for closer monitoring of groups that enjoy tax-exempt status.
An Australian senate committee has endorsed Senator Nick Xenophon's call for a charity commission to monitor charities and religious groups that enjoy tax-exempt status - a keystone of his campaign against Scientology.
The Senate's economics committee called for the new body to apply a public benefit test, like the one already used in Britain and New Zealand, to ensure that groups deserve their tax-exempt status.
2010-09-07, Jefferson Hawkins, Leaving Scientology
I've been in LA for the last couple of days, visiting old friends and making some new ones. Today I had lunch with a couple of old friends from college. We had a wonderful time talking about the old "gang." They happen to live in Silverlake, close to the Complex, so after I said goodbye to them I headed over to see what I could see.
The place was a graveyard, of course, but there were some work crews cleaning up and moving things, so I decided to take a walk around and see if I could spot anyone I knew. I was walking up Catalina Street when I saw two young women coming my way, and I stopped in my tracks.
It was Manu (Manuela) Spencer and Sam (Samantha) Pouw.
As more Scientologists spoke up for the defendants and their own beliefs, the gulf between their vision of accused and that of the plaintiffs grew ever wider.
As the testimony of the character witnesses continued, predictably enough, an unbridgeable gulf opened up between their accounts and those of the plaintiffs.
For their fellow Scientologists, the defendants were not the relentless hard-sell merchants described by the former members who believed they had been swindled.
2009-09-07, Jefferson Hawkins, Leaving Scientology
Just read a disturbing post on Marty Rathbun's blog, an example of the way David Miscavige has been "editing" LRH's works.
In fact, it has to do with the quote that I posted on the right-hand sidebar about Orwell's 1984.
That quote is from the Philadelphia Doctorate Course, at least, it used to be from the Philadelphia Doctorate Course. In Miscavige's new edition, it's been edited out.
2009-09-07, Jefferson Hawkins, Leaving Scientology
Over the last two days, I have spoken with three more OTs who have left, two OT VIIIs and one on OT VII. Same story. They were hauled in and told to donate money to their "Ideal" Org. They couldn't afford it, and refused. They were hauled into Ethics and given a Sec Check for "missed withholds." After they returned home, they received an HCO summons to "report or else." They took the "or else." Frankly, they don't care if they are declared by David Miscavige's Brave New Scientology. They're in good company.
Sources told the Tulsa World that FBI agents have asked questions about the amount of time the employee has spent on state business and his connection with the planned Narconon Chilocco New Life Treatment Center at Newkirk.
Several weeks ago, it was learned, a federal grand jury subpoenaed state records concerning the state employee's work schedule, mileage and annual leave.
Specifically, a source said, FBI agents expressed interest in the state employee's appearance along with a Health Department official, at a public hearing on the proposed drug treatment center. A Health Department official also was present.
In making the ruling, [Samuel Hughes] overturned the decision in 1984 by Supreme Court Justice Jean-Charles Sirois, who had granted Drapkin's request without consulting the church, said lawyer Clayton Ruby, who represents the church.
The church still hasn't received an answer to its petition to perform marriages, Ruby said, adding that he next will ask the court to declare Drapkin incapable of making an impartial decision and asking it to appoint someone else to conduct the review.