2019-09-10, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Here we go again.
On Memorial Day I wrote a post about this subject — Stolen Valor: Ron the War Hero
And now they are at it once more.
If you are planning to attend this event, or know someone who is, please be aware that this is ONLY a "PR opportunity" for "safepointing" scientology and that those who attend will be held up as examples of people who endorse scientology. Know too that that the founder of scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, told many tall tales (lies) about his military career, very well documented in Chris Owens' carefully researched book Ron The War Hero (available on Amazon here).
Joe Biden often reminds audiences that President Donald Trump once said the white supremacists who marched around Charlottesville chanting "Jews will not replace us" were "very fine people." But in August, when the former vice president made this point at the Iowa State Fair, an editor from Breitbart was waiting to confront him. For weeks, Joel Pollak had hounded Biden, accusing him of spreading a hoax about Charlottesville. "Are you aware that you're misquoting Donald Trump?" Pollak asked at the fair. "He never called neo-Nazis very fine people."
Trump never uttered that exact phrase, but during his press conference at Trump Tower three days after the rally, he did say there were "very fine people on both sides" of the confrontation. At the time, conservatives downplayed it, but two years after Charlottesville, they have moved on to denying it ever happened. Scott Adams, the creator of the comic Dilbert, harnessed his skills as a "trained hypnotist" on his podcast this March to demonstrate that the scandal was a "false memory," a kind of nationwide collective delusion. In August, the phony academic outlet Prager University published a viral video calling the "very fine people" controversy a hoax. Trump retweeted the clip. Meanwhile, Pollak has earned a reputation in Trumpian circles as a righteous truth-teller; in August, after the scuffle with Biden in Iowa, Rush Limbaugh praised Pollak for "traveling around trying to set the record straight."
It's no secret that conservative media outlets play fast and loose with facts, but by claiming that Trump's Charlottesville gaffe never happened, they are actively working to destabilize the public's recollection. In doing so, they're exploiting a distinctly postmodern turn in political commentary. Pundits paraphrase so much of what Trump says and tweets that it's easy to forget the substance of these utterances and outbursts. Add to this Trump's habit of rephrasing his own statements and you're further from anything resembling reality: Just last month, he declared he was "the chosen one," before saying he was only kidding; a few weeks earlier, he had joked "Too bad!" when Elijah Cummings's house was broken into, only to deny that he ever made light of the incident. Trump sees facts as fundamentally malleable—after all, he has claimed the notorious Access Hollywood tape that caught him bragging about sexual assault was doctored—so it only makes sense that his boosters in the media would realize anything he says can be modified, distorted, or simply erased after the fact. When the man you support is unambiguous about where his loyalties lie, it's easier to reply, "I don't know what you're talking about."
Does it ever strike you, the way it does us from time to time, the sheer amount of effort that Scientology puts into its various initiatives that are forever chipping away at the margins?
This example we have for you today, sent in by Phil Jones, is so apt. There's the Writers of the Future contest itself, which we've been writing about for years, and which must cost Scientology a boatload of money in an effort to keep L. Ron Hubbard's name associated with the pulp fiction he cranked out mostly before WW2.
Each spring, the contest names its big winners in a lavish ceremony that includes lots of genuflecting to Hubbard. We've marveled at the expensive sets, the tuxedos, and the wild interpretive dances of recent galas.
2018-09-10, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Apparently this is what passes for "dissemination" these days.
You know, if Planetary Clearing was really a thing, you would think they would spend some of their money to open some missions and orgs in India. Scientology is not banned there like it is in China. It's a MASSIVE population and there has never been a single org in the entire country.
Instead, they ask people for money to buy books to hand to "opinion leaders" and call this "planetary Dissemination at the correct order of magnitude."
There's always been strong interest in Scientology's controversies from concerned Canadians. We've written at length about some of them, and we've noticed an uptick in Canadian activism at Facebook in recent months. One of our longtime readers, M.C. Mayo, who goes by EmmaDaoust here at the Bunker, sent us an interesting dispatch from her adventures this weekend after she learned that Scientology's unhinged anti-psychiatry front group, Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), was opening a display at a public library in Toronto. We thought you'd want to see her account.
Mark Lawson found the event posted on the CCHR Canada Facebook page. Some of the Facebook group Canada Against Scientology posted comments there, which were of course eventually deleted. Mark put out a call for protesters and a few of us signed up.
There were no notices about the event posted in the library proper - until the day of the opening - and it wasn't listed on the library website.
2018-09-10, Australian Associated Press, The Guardian
The blogger who defaced the Melbourne memorial to slain comedian Eurydice Dixon must do 200 hours of community service for his crime, but has not been sentenced to jail.
Andrew Nolch, 29, pleaded guilty last Thursday to criminal damage for painting a 25-metre long penis at the Princes Park memorial in June.
Nolch committed the act just days after Dixon was raped and murdered, and the night before a public vigil was held. He said he was making "a statement for men's rights".
With the balance of power in Congress at stake in just under two months, the influential conservative Koch political network has added another campaign finance weapon to its arsenal, a new super PAC.
The latest entity, called Americans for Prosperity Action, is a sister organization to the Koch-backed nonprofit Americans for Prosperity, which describes its mission as fighting for less regulation, lower taxes and "economic prosperity for all."
"Americans for Prosperity has been a difference-maker supporting policy champions in tight races, and AFP Action is a new tool that will allow us to expand those efforts and make an even larger impact," said Bill Riggs, a spokesman for the PAC.
Michelle LeClair, former scientologist and author of "Perfectly Clear," shares her story of leaving the church after having been a member since 1989. In her book, LeClair claims that government investigations into her and her business partner were instigated by the Church of Scientology, a claim the church, as well as an official for the California Dept. of Business Oversight denies.
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Elena Cardone posted this on Facebook. She convinced Grant to open a non-accredited fund for friends and family. Elena mentions that this all per FCC rules.
Memo to Elena: The Federal Communications Commission does not regulate securities. What you meant to say was the SEC as in the Securities & Exchange Commission. This sort of mistake does not inspire confidence in potential investors. Report to Cramming and clear up this misunderstood so that your potential investors don't get jittery. Financial terms are very precise and must be kept that way, particularly as they relate the Federal regulatory agencies.
A "non-accredited investor" is defined as:
President Trump sees the Iran as America's biggest enemy. The MEK, a shadowy cult, is the group some of his advisers back for power.
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2017-09-10, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The weekly show where I answer viewer questions left in the comments section of my Q&A videos or sent by email to AskChrisShelton@gmail.com. This week, the questions I answer are:
(1) In your recent "Bridge to Nowhere" video you mention that Scientologists believe they're saving lives by clearing their body thetans in OT 3. Do they believe they're only saving human kind from the harm these clusters do, or do they also believe they're helping to free the thetans caught up mindlessly in these clusters?
It reminded me of the Mormon Temple rites that Mormons are encouraged to do, first for themselves, then for their deceased relatives in order to free them from the "Spirit Prison" their spirits ended up in because they died without receiving the Gospel (the Mormon version, at least), and can move into Spirit Paradise, which is a much more pleasant waiting room for spirits awaiting the Final Judgement. This motivates Mormons to keep going back to the Temple again and again (and paying the tithing and attending the meetings and following the rules they're required to follow to be allowed entrance into the Temple).
Scientology leader David Miscavige continues to push for new Ideal Org openings around the world, and tells his followers that the new orgs will bring in lots of new public to Scientology. That hasn't happened, and Miscavige has blamed it on a number of reasons — most recently, that the orgs aren't staffed up enough. But even that excuse is wearing thin. Our Rod Keller finds that with another Ideal Org on the horizon, Scientology has come up with a new formula that it expects will finally make the new Ideal Orgs boom.
Birmingham Ideal Org will be the next to open, set for this fall. As we previously reported fundraising has long since been finished to renovate the Pittmaston House, a Grade II listed building which protects the historic structure from major changes. The only question remaining is whether the opening will be before or after the IAS Anniversary extravaganza being held at Saint Hill in East Grinstead, England on October 6-8. We're betting after, since the org is still recruiting staff who will have to fly to the U.S. for training and be back in time for the opening.
At last count the org had 125 staff, and they want to recruit 75 more. That number is ambitious, but we count more than 25 new staff in August, each signing a standard 2.5-year or 5-year contract. Some auditors go to Flag Land Base in Clearwater, Florida for technical training, while staff in administrative positions fly to Los Angeles, where they train with the Sea Org-staffed LA Org. The idea is that in the past Ideal Orgs didn't meet expectations because they didn't fully understand L. Ron Hubbard's organizational policies. Now instead of the usual handful of executive trainees, Birmingham is sending them by the dozens.
2016-09-10, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Every scientologist has done the PTS/SP Course. Most good scientologists have done the course more than once and have been sent to retread it when they are deemed to have become "PTS" again — in itself pretty good evidence the course does not work. But then again, this is one of the most often used explanations as to why the "tech didn't work" — "you cannot make/lose your gains if you are PTS."
And even though the graduate of this course has "mastered the tech" of how to handle suppression and SPs, they do not then get to choose who they may or may not be connected to — they are told by the church. In fact, they are completely at the mercy of Suppressive Persons - the most powerful OT's, the highest trained auditors, the ultimate causative beings in this universe apparently melt in the presence of SPs.
It makes one wonder how they reconcile this quote they send around?
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 for more than three years he's been 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.
I want to expand on an earlier post about Leroy Fletcher Prouty, Scientology's hired gun, who managed to trick many people into believing that L. Ron Hubbard was active in US Navy Intelligence.
My first task on leaving the mother cult was to understand why the friendly group to which I thought I had belonged for nine years had turned so very sour. The "dead-agent" pack produced by Scientology about me says that I objected to the "tough and ruthless" attitude of the new leadership. I did and I still do.
2015-09-10, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
We pick up in this interview in 1990 when Robyn had just completed the Sea Org's version of boot camp, called the Estates Project Force or EPF. Once a person completes this, they are usually assigned to a specific sub-organization within the Church hierarchy where they will learn a new job or what they call a post, and spend quite some time doing that.
However, because the Sea Org tries to do so much and has so few people, resources are often stretched thin. It is a usual case that instead of establishing a person and training them well and keeping them on a post while they get more new recruits into the Sea Org, the people in charge of personnel in the SO will transfer staff around from place to place to solve whatever emergency situation has hit the lines. This can result in people being moved around many times a year and in Robin's case, that's exactly what happened.
There are some other details of Robyn's early Sea Org experiences that are also quite eye-opening and give us a realy great insight into what life is like in Scientology's elite corps and how long this group has been ripping off its members and worse. You are not going to believe what's at the end of this part of the interview. Remember while you are watching this that these people consider themselves to be the elite of planet Earth, the best and brightest of all Mankind and the people who are saving the world.
On August 28, we told you that Indianapolis attorney Jonathan Little and his firm had scored an interesting victory against Scientology's drug rehab network, Narconon. San Francisco federal district judge Edward M. Chen called for a trial in a class-action lawsuit that Little and others had filed on behalf of former patients of Narconon centers in California.
Chen ordered the trial in a preliminary matter in the class-action suit, and we remarked on how unusual it is that any lawsuit filed against the Church of Scientology or one of its front groups gets to any kind of trial. In fact, we couldn't think of a jury trial taking place since the major lawsuits of the 1980s in Oregon and California. (We're not counting the criminal trials against Rex Fowler and Reed Slatkin, which were only tangentially about Scientology.) So the prospect of a jury hearing serious allegations against Narconon in the California class-action — that patients were taken by rehab employees to their dealers to get high before being admitted — seemed like a pretty significant development to us, even if it may be a year or more before the trial actually happens.
And now, Little's firm has done it again. State circuit judge Sarah S. Lincoln in Battle Creek, Michigan (pictured) has ordered trial in a lawsuit filed by a woman named Candice Tyler. In her finding, Judge Lincoln knocked down, in part, a motion to dismiss filed by the defendants. The Scientology rehab — Narconon Freedom Center in Albion, Michigan — and its Scientology-run umbrella group — Narconon Eastern United States (NEUS) — have been ordered to stand trial. But it's not all bad news for Scientology. Two other defendants — Narconon International (NI) and the Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE) — were each dismissed as defendants.
2014-09-10, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
You know how unimportant this event is to Miscavige when:
a. He is not in it
b. It is not promoted as "the greatest event EVER" and "you do not want to miss this" and "everyone MUST be there to hear earth-shaking breakthrough in planetary clearing"
We've said it before: Scientology is really missing out by not being more open about its space-opera beliefs. Thanks to the Internet the word is already out, and there's just no hiding the fact that Scientology is all about time travel to your brutal experiences taming unruly planets 10 million years in the past, getting implanted with memory-wiping brain-scans on Venus or Mars between lives, and spending years exorcising unseen alien entities with electronics that were considered sophisticated when a guy named Ike lived in the White House.
Maybe that kind of Space Age excitement, especially at several hundred dollars an hour, isn't everyone's cup of tea. But it seems to us that everyone would be a lot better off if Scientology were to embrace its L. Ron Hubbard weirdness and actually try to reach people in a more open way.
And that's why we're super excited by some new videos put out by the "Advanced Org" in Copenhagen, Denmark, which at least go a little way towards embracing that weirdness.
They join to cross the Bridge to 'Total Freedom'. But first members of the Church of Scientology sign contracts locking them into the faith not only for this lifetime but all the lives they believe come after.
They are bound for a billion years by legal documents in which they sign away their spiritual, physical and mental freedom.
In never-before-seen contracts for potential members of the elite Sea Org - seen by MailOnline - members jettison family or friends opposed to Scientology, absolve the church of any liability, surrender their right to sue or reclaim donations and give the church license to hold them hostage under 24 hour guard with no limit of time.
2013-09-10, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Jon Lundeen has been a champion money grubber for a LONG time.
Way back in the 70's he was plying his trade at Flag.
He has been "Captain" at ASHO for many years now (a sure fire indication there is NO management structure in Scientology as one of the hallmarks of Scientology management is the musical chairs of org EDs/COs, especially for orgs like ASHO that have continued on a decades long slow decline).
On Monday's episode of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," Leah Remini finally spoke about her break from the Church of Scientology.
The former "King of Queens" star appeared on the show to promote the upcoming season of "Dancing With The Stars."
With the controversy surrounding her July defection from Scientology, though, DeGeneres asked why she joined Nicole Kidman, Jerry Seinfeld and Demi Moore in breaking from the organization.
Marty Rathbun and David Miscavige, back in the day When Mark "Marty" Rathbun filed an affidavit last week saying that his former employer, David Miscavige, firmly rules every aspect of the Church of Scientology and oversaw its dirty tricks campaigns in Texas, we expected that the church might respond by calling Rathbun a liar.
Instead, Scientology is crying foul because Rathbun told the truth.
In a stunning, if predictable, move, late yesterday the Church of Scientology asked Comal County, Texas Judge Dib Waldrip to disqualify Monique Rathbun's attorneys and cripple her harassment lawsuit because, the church says, Monique's attorney Ray Jeffrey and his team improperly used "confidential and attorney client privileged information" when it allowed Marty Rathbun to submit an affidavit in his own wife's lawsuit.
Anti-Islam groups in America have provided financial support to Dutch politician Geert Wilders, an anti-immigration campaigner who is seeking re-election to the Dutch parliament this week.
While this is not illegal in the Netherlands, it sheds light on the international connections of Wilders, whose Freedom Party is the least transparent Dutch parliamentary group and a rallying point for Europe's far right.
Wilders' party is self-funded, unlike other Dutch parties that are subsidized by the government. It does not, therefore, have to meet the same disclosure requirements.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court is considering a request to block a judge's order for a controversial drug treatment facility to produce records on staff misconduct.
Narconon Arrowhead, a drug detoxification facility rooted in Scientology, filed the request to block the judge's order last month in a negligence lawsuit filed on behalf of Heather Landmeier.
Re: Must be a way to work together | letter by Ralph Rugo, Sept. 4
Scientologists don't help area
It was interesting to read the letters from the "non-Scientologists" defending the Scientologists against the fines handed to them as a result of years of delay in completing their building. Of most interest was Mr. Rugo's comment on downtown Clearwater.
2011-09-10, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
We were feeling pretty whiplashed this week here at the underground bunker where we keep an eye on all things Scientology related -- on the one hand, our big countdown was really heating up, but we also needed to keep an eye on the big news breaking out in Germany, where Marty Rathbun and Ursula Caberta were giving David Miscavige reason to have the night sweats.
By spring, restoration should be complete on the ornate auditorium of the German House, the 82-year-old Lafayette Square landmark where the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra recorded in the 1950s.
The four-story brick and terra cotta building, at 2345 Lafayette Avenue, has been vacant most of this decade. Opened in 1928 as a German cultural center called Das Deutsche Haus, the building later carried the St. Louis House name and was home to two Christian schools before it was boarded up and seemingly forgotten.
The Church of Scientology, which paid $1.9 million for the building in 2007, is reviving it. After a year of planning, work began this summer to restore the building's main auditorium, a smaller side auditorium and the entrance facing Lafayette.
2010-09-10, Jefferson Hawkins, Leaving Scientology
I have wanted for some time to open this blog up to other contributors. Here is the first of what I hope to be many guest contributions, from Lunamoth, whom I consider a brilliant writer.
I had a visit from an old friend today. At least, she looked like my old friend. The woman who showed up at my door with the borrowed item she was returning looked a lot like her, but something important was missing. There was some intangible change, some diminution of life force like a lowered flame that made her almost hard to recognize. The experience was like seeing someone who looks so much like someone you know, but it's not really them.
2010-09-10, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Apparently, we are impinging of late.
The PIs are suddenly in the Corpus Christi Bay area en masse. They've been here all the time according to my observations, as confirmed by D/IG Legal Affairs' (Warren McShane) memorialized statement to the Riverside County Sheriff's office. But, now the king of knee-jerk has sent another platoon lead by Black Ops Specialist Dave Lubow.
Fresh from the Dead Brother Op in Los Angeles https://markrathbun.wordpress.com/2010/08/13/murder-outs/ , where his illegal acts have landed him as a target in a more senior law enforcement investigation, Lubow showed his weasely visage to local friends and former associates.
2009-09-10, Jefferson Hawkins, Leaving Scientology
According to the recent 80-page Freedom Magazine, extolling the many accomplishments of David Miscavige, there are plans afoot to create three more Advanced Organizations:
"To dramatically speed progress of parishioners up the Scientology Bridge to the Mecca in Clearwater, Mr. Miscavige has inaugurated a program to establish Advanced Organizations in every continent."
I just heard from a friend who lives in one of these areas. They tell me that the push now is to get all Scientologists in the area to donate towards the new AO. And if they don't? The usual – Sec Checks, Ethics interviews, HCO summons.
Scientology case: The Church of Scientology and seven top members are to stand trial in Paris on fraud charges after an investigation into allegations by a former member that the church swindled her out of more than $28,000. The church is considered a sect in France.
2007-09-10, Mike Donila, Business, St. Petersburg Times
It's a dramatic turnaround for an area that has been in a free fall since the mid 1970s, when the Church of Scientology arrived and secretly bought downtown's biggest hotel, then started gobbling up properties nearby.
In all, about $385-million in public and private sector investment is pouring into downtown Clearwater. After fits and starts, the city is attracting believers with deep pockets, ones willing to make plays where others - including Clearwater voters - previously saw too much risk.
Clearwater's downtown is an odd patchwork of government buildings, empty storefronts and Scientology's international spiritual headquarters.
On an average day, about 600 city workers, more than 1,700 county and court system employees, and 1,400 uniformed Scientology staffers are at work here.
2005-09-10, Gina Piccalo, Los Angeles Times, Seattle Times
The Church of Scientology has set up a tent there for volunteer ministers who are giving counseling, massages and anything else the officers might need. Actress Kirstie Alley paid a visit yesterday to the command center to talk to the officers and military personnel.