Tony Ortega article: https://tonyortega.org/2017/07/13/almost-12-years-ago-shelly-miscavige-vanished-heres-why-we-keep-asking-about-her/
From Critical Q&A #25
Scientology TV features so much repetitive and boring content that it has taken to inviting desperate filmmakers to screen their documentaries on its platform. These filmmakers are able to overlook the appalling human rights abuses of Scientology in order to get their documentaries about other appalling human rights abuses broadcast. The mental gymnastics of this aside, Scientology TV has become the broadcast channel of last resort for those who have run out of money for promotion and traveling to film festivals.
The Scientology Ideal Org in the San Fernando Valley has a similar problem. The Org has so much empty and unused space that it has to look for something with which to fill that space. When we last reported on the Valley Ideal Org in January of this year, it was hosting a fake interfaith press conference attended by tens of people. As an adjunct to this faux ecclesiastical nonsense, the Valley Org conducted a grim conference on its vast and windswept plain of empty carpet:
In late August 2018, Lisa and John Welch weren't feeling great about the future of QAnon, the ludicrous conspiracy theory that posits that Donald Trump is engaged in a secret battle with pedophilic elites in Hollywood, big banks, and the Democratic Party.
Lisa had bought into the theory first, then convinced her husband to sign on. But none of the mysterious Q's predictions in anonymous internet forums had come to pass nearly a year after it started in October 2017, and QAnon believers were starting to lose faith. After yet another Q prediction failed to materialize in 2018, an armed, crazed QAnon fan allegedly shut down a bridge near the Hoover Dam with an improvised armored truck.
The Welches decided they needed some way to show how many Trump supporters believed in the mega-conspiracy theory, which has pulled in Pizzagate and a wide range of other conspiracy theories. They printed up T-shirts and signs that said "We Are Q" and passed them out at a Trump rally in Tampa, Florida.
Federal investigators are probing the conduct and practices of Mithril Capital, a venture capital firm co-founded by Peter Thiel, Recode has learned.
US officials — including the FBI — have in recent months questioned some people close to Mithril regarding concerns of possible financial misconduct at the firm, according to people familiar with the matter who insisted on anonymity given its sensitivity. Mithril confirmed in a statement that its lawyers are in touch with government authorities.
Mithril's leader, Ajay Royan, has worked with Thiel for almost two decades and has used that relationship to raise over $1 billion. But in recent years, Royan has frustrated some of his investors by sitting on some of their money rather than investing it in startups — while almost certainly raking in millions of dollars in fees for himself.
2019-09-12, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
A new pitch
"Pledging" for Ideal Orgs and the IAS "works". People think they are escaping the pressure by agreeing to "pledge" money they don't have — they dont realize the pressure they will be under to "make good" on their pledge, even being routed to ethics for not "keeping their word."
So, why not use it for services too?
As the IAS letter (scroll down for the full text) makes clear, only card-carrying IAS members will now be allowed into Scientology events. David Miscavige, it seems, has become increasingly paranoid that spies, critics, or even journalists will get into Scientology events.
For new Scientology watchers, here are specific details about Scientology's unregulated slush fund aka the IAS.
Here is the PDF. Note: Please hover your cursor over the document to invoke the page up/page down controls at the bottom of the page frame.
One of the least examined and yet most pervasive of our mental hardware are assumptions. In this critical thinking episode, I examine how inferences and assumptions are related and the kinds of basic assumptions we all make which can set the course for our whole life.
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Florida's utopian future is here now!
Our thanks to Rasha for sending us the new Scientology Source magazine, which contained a somewhat understated story noting a monumental advance for planet earth. It's so historic, we're surprised that the magazine didn't make an even bigger fuss about it. The news? FLORIDA IS IDEAL, people!
The magazine noted that when the Orlando "Ideal Org" was dedicated (on May 12), it meant that all of Florida's orgs — Scientology's word for churches — had attained that designation.
Jonathan Lockwood came to drop bombs.
Historically, much of the written communication Oregon's political parties produce is on par with low-calorie mayonnaise. Lockwood changed the game when he became a GOP spokesman last year—first for the Oregon Senate Republicans, then for two GOP candidates for governor and a PAC set up to attack incumbent Gov. Kate Brown.
Lockwood, 29, attacked Democrats relentlessly. In recent tweets, for example, Lockwood called Portland's Asian Pacific American Network Organization "yet another fake group that is nothing but a storefront for a corrupt political party in Oregon," and he referred to EMILY's List, a national political action committee that backs women candidates and recently gave Gov. Brown $500,000 a "Harvey Weinstein-funded abortion-promotion group."
2018-09-12, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This is a new one on me — and also a reflection of just how desperate things have become inside the "ideal orgs."
Why not offer the person who joins staff the $500? It will be the last money they will get from scientology, and they will need it...
Instead they are giving money to anyone who can offer someone ELSE up to join staff (presumably they are too smart to do so themselves). "Hey, if you volunteer someone else for this suicide mission we will pay YOU good money."
2017-09-12, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
One of our South African Special Correspondents sent us the latest news from Durban Org. It's not looking good for scientology in Durban. Her comments follow, and then the item to which she refers.
This is Durban org's OTC Newsletter for August. To all intents and purposes it looks like they're sliding into total oblivion.
First pic shows something that happened in July - and at Joburg Org. 6 people – 2 of whom are Sea Org (on the left – they're a married couple posted at Durban Org). The two chaps kneeling I THINK might also be staff. The other two are Nick & Marina Howarth – pretty much the sum total of the Durban OT Committee. Well attended??
The fifth episode of Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath's second season focused on David Miscavige — head of the Church of Scientology since L. Ron Hubbard's death in 1986 — and his rise to power.
Remini and her partner, former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder, alleged that Miscavige has spent the years following Hubbard's death pushing out high-ranking church officials including the creator's widow, Mary Sue Hubbard, and more than 20 other executives (Rinder included).
If L. Ron Hubbard is responsible for the millions of words that spell out every aspect of Scientology, what, exactly, qualified David Miscavige to take over as church leader after Hubbard died in 1986?
That's one of the questions that tonight's episode of Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath tries to answer, and we think you're going to find that answer pretty compelling. Once again, Leah Remini shows that she has huge respect for her audience, and isn't afraid to dive deeply into Scientology's arcane ideas and complex past.
2016-09-12, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Patter is a term used in scientology to describe a script that is given to people to say out loud. According to Wikipedia: Patter is a prepared and practiced speech that is designed to produce a desired response from its audience.
Whoever wrote this has a misunderstood word. He or she thinks the word is "pattern" because it seems to make more sense to them. It might be a "pattern" if it was an "outline" of things to say. In fact, this is a verbatim script.
Learn how to parrot this, call enough people who tell you "Yes, put me down again as a confirmed for the damn event and tell everyone to stop calling me" and you can even earn yourself a commendation.... Wow.
ST. PETERSBURG —The Rev. Manuel Sykes, pastor of Bethel Community Baptist Church, former president of the local chapter of the NAACP and would-be politician, announced his retirement to his congregation on Sunday.
Sykes, 59, has spent two decades leading Bethel Community, one of the city's most prominent African-American congregations. February would mark his 24th year there.
On Monday, he said that he had long planned to leave the church at 2901 54th Ave. S when he turned 55.
He stares into the camera.
"We Scientologists can fix this," he says in a Times video interview in his attorney's office. "My solution is simple."
He names the Religious Technology Center, where Miscavige is chairman of the board. Speaking as though he's talking directly to its three trustees, even though he doesn't know who they are, he says: "Two trustees of RTC can convene a board meeting to remove David Miscavige as a director.
"You should know: It only takes two of you."
The "Creative Arts Emmys" are being held today at Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles, and we're looking forward to finding out how many trophies Alex Gibney's Scientology documentary Going Clear takes home.
It has some stiff competition — some of it from its own network, HBO — and the event won't be televised for another week. But we're hoping our correspondents on the scene will let us know what's happening.
Your proprietor will be away from the Bunker for much of the day, so our readers may actually learn the results through Twitter or some other method. But however we learn it, we're really excited and we hope you are too.
2015-09-12, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This email went out one minute before the scheduled start of this "seminar." They dun cansulled it.
Maybe not so much unlimited expansion and prosperity for the seminar leaders.
One of two things happened:
1. Nobody showed up.
2. Message from on-high that having NSO's doing seminars in the all-SO pride of the Miscavige fleet, LA Org is a no-no.
2014-09-12, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Bryan Seymour did a piece on the nightly 7 news in Australia about the church misappropriating the term ANZAC.
Some alert readers had picked up on my comments about it yesterday and made it known that there is a law in Australia that forbids the use of this term.
Bryan contacted the Australian Government, who have now apparently launched an inquiry, and the head of the Retired Serviceman's League (RSL) who was outraged, as well as interviewing some people on the street. It confirmed what I had felt when I saw the promo piece originally, even though I haven't lived in Australia for 40 years and was unaware of the law. It also confirms how completely out of touch with the world those inside the bubble are.
Recently, we received a message through Facebook from someone we didn't know. She was frantic, worried about getting her cousin out of a drug rehab clinic in Michigan. The clinic, Best Drug Rehabilitation, is one of several Michigan facilities either owned or run by Per Wickstrom or a member of his family, and is modeled on Scientology's drug rehab network, Narconon. Like Narconon centers, Best Drug uses Scientology training rather than drug counseling on its patients, who are not informed ahead of time of that link. We've provided this transcript from actual Facebook messages, with only slight edits for clarity and spelling, and we've changed the name of the woman who contacted us to "Anne."
John Travolta is an enigma. To cineastes and pop culture enthusiasts, the 60-year-old actor is an intriguing mélange of iconic film performances, bizarre sexual allegations, and that whole Scientology thing. His latest legal entanglement concerns an alleged former pilot who claims the two engaged in a six-year affair and is threatening to unleash a tell-all. And the media silence on the part of the notoriously tight-lipped Travolta, who doesn't grant too many interviews, only adds to the actor's overall mystique. One thing that's undeniable is the man's resume, including film classics like Carrie, Saturday Night Fever, Blow Out, Pulp Fiction, the list goes on.
He's in Toronto for The Forger, a drama that stars Travolta as a two-bit art forger who strikes a deal to get out of prison by working for his father (Christopher Plummer) so that he can be closer to his dying son (Tye Sheridan, Mud) who has been diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer. The film, directed by Philip Martin, made its premiere at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.
The Daily Beast sat down with Travolta for a wide-ranging discussion about his greatest hits and public persona.
The grieving mother of a 32- year-old man who died at Narconon Arrowhead joined a group of protesters called "Mothers against Narconon" on Saturday.
Shirley Graves, mother of Gabriel Graves who died at facility in October, stood silently holding a poster with picture of her son with several others were stationed at the Arrowhead Park Ranger station, less than a mile from the Narconon facility.
During the demonstration, a moment of silence was interrupted when a photographer from the direction of the Narconon facility proceeded to closely photograph Graves mother while she held the American
Scientology is under fire for using the ANZAC legend to raise money.
The RSL has branded the campaign a disgrace and the Department of Veterans Affairs has now waded in, launching an investigation.
It is a fundraising campaign called the Scientology ANZAC.
For a donation of $10,000 you can help build a new Scientology centre in Auckland, New Zealand, and you will be awarded the title ANZAC.
Signs proclaiming "NO Narconon in Hockley" were just about everywhere in the hamlet, which straddles the Mono-Adjala Townline, and concerned residents filled a meeting room in the Hockley Community and Seniors Hall last month to challenge representatives of Narconon International and Narconon Canada when they sought to allay fears that the facility would pose a threat to community safety.
Several attempts by the Times to reach Narconon for comment have so far been unsuccessful.
Kitchener-based physician Dr. Terry Polevoy has committed himself to revealing fraudulent health schemes in the medical field. He says he's been following Narconon and the Church of Scientology since the 1990s.
"Their own website leads you to believe that they're doing something (in Cambridge)," he said.
2013-09-12, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
A denizen of the fringes of the internet (not sure if he or she is unemployed to boot), sent me an email that got me thinking.
The message was quite simple:
I've been an avid reader of your blog for a long time, and before that your posts on Marty Rathbun's blog. I'd like to let you know about corporate Scientology's straight up and vertical expansion in Houston, a city of over four million people. While Dallas has an Idle Morgue, opened by COB himself, Houston has only a dingy, run down mission, barely visible from the street. The fastest growing religion on Earth has a presence in America's 4th largest city equaled only by the Bahai faith and Eckankar, both of which also have one church in the metro area. The city is certain to go clear soon at this rate.
Today and tomorrow, at the Comal County Courthouse Annex on Seguin Avenue in downtown New Braunfels, Texas, a temporary injunction hearing is scheduled to take place in the lawsuit filed by Monique Rathbun against the Church of Scientology and its leader David Miscavige, who is responsible for a campaign of harassment against her, Monique alleges.
Monique herself is prepared to testify today in a hearing to determine if a temporary restraining order will be converted to a temporary injunction, which will keep Miscavige and the church from surveilling and harassing her throughout the life of the lawsuit.
But will the church pull a fast one and grant the injunction, preventing any testimony today? That might be one outcome, or the church may be in for some of the most damaging testimony since Debbie Cook's day in court in February 2012.
On 12 September 2013 a temporary injunction hearing of Monique Rathbun's harassment lawsuit against David Miscavige and the Church of Scientology was held in Comal County's 433rd District Court with the honorable Judge Dib Waldrip presiding.
Miscavige is the Sea Organization's Supreme Leader for life and therefore the Supreme Leader of Scientology.
Day One just ended in the temporary injunction hearing of Monique Rathbun's harassment lawsuit against the Church of Scientology and its leader, David Miscavige.
We live-blogged the first half of the day's session, which included opening statements by attorneys on both sides. But then Judge Dib Waldrip called for a ban on recording devices during Monique's testimony in the afternoon, so we had to quit live-blogging and went back to pen-and-paper tech. It was old school time!
Monique gave two hours and twenty minutes of testimony guided by her attorney, Ray Jeffrey, and after a short break, she then was cross-examined by Church of Scientology International's San Antonio lawyer, Les Strieber, for another hour or so.
Walk down the front steps of their home. Take out the trash. Sit on their back deck. Climb into their pickup. A group of Scientologists called the "Squirrel Busters" were always there, taunting, pointing cameras at them, telling Marty Rathbun to stop what he was doing. They often rolled up in a golf cart, coming from a rented house down the street.
And they kept it up for 199 days, until September 2011, Monique Rathbun told a Texas courtroom Thursday as testimony opened in her lawsuit alleging that Scientology leader David Miscavige directed a three-year intimidation campaign against her husband that ricocheted and harmed her as well.
Kirstie Alley, Scientology member and friend of Tom Cruise, has come forward to defend Cruise against Vanity Fair's recent claims that the church devised a secret process to audition wives for the actor in 2004.
2012-09-12, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Today at 6 pm, Scientology will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a building in WashingtonDC's Dupont Circle neighborhood.
For the last couple of years, Scientology has opened "Ideal Orgs" -- fancy, superfluous new churches in cities around the world in an expensive ploy to make it look like the church is expanding. (It isn't.)
But today's dedication is especially curious.
2012-09-12, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Now that we've had a look at the outside with The Tipping Point and the Indie 500, would you like to take a look at the inside to see how Scientology Inc. is faring at the top? Let's go straight to inside of David Miscavige's bunker to see what the world looks like to him. Things have taken a definite turn for the worse since we last updated on his inner circle, October 2011 Miscavige Bunker Report.
For those who have not followed this blog for long, a little history is in order. In June 2009, the then-St Petersburg Times (now the Tampa Bay Times) published the first installment (number of subsequent ones followed) of a series appropriately titled The Truth Rundown.
In those articles Amy Scobee, Tom Devocht, Mike Rinder and I spoke out about the sorry, straight facts demonstrating that David Miscavige had gone stark-staring mad to the degree that the very future of Scientology itself was seriously threatened.
2011-09-12, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Jason and me August 2008Jason Beghe was just written up by Village Voice editor in chief Tony Ortega for his important role in "crippling Scientology", http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2011/09/jason_beghe_top_25_crippling_scientology.php
While I respect Tony for his ability to confront the cult and his intelligence in understanding the goals and purposes of Independent Scientology vs those of Radical Corporate Scientology, I don't see eye to eye with him on what Jason Beghe's products and intentions are. The video interview Jason did with Mark Bunker in early 2008 accurately captured the raw, painful truth that was Jason's shortly after he made the lonely and courageous step through the wall of fire that is cutting ties with Miscavige's cult. But, to define Jason by that moment does him a tremendous injustice in my view.
2011-09-12, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
On August 5, we started a countdown that will give credit -- or blame -- to the people who have contributed most to the sad current state of Scientology. From its greatest expansion in the 1980s, the church is a shell of what it once was and is mired in countless controversies around the world. Some of that was self-inflicted, and some of it has come from outside. Join us now as we continue on our investigation of those people most responsible...
The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology
#9: Jason Beghe
2010-09-12, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Mid morning yesterday I posted mention of an Independent Church of Scientology. Less than a half day later Lil' Dave (Private Investigator/Black Ops Specialist) fled Corpus Christi too quickly to be orderly. He zoomed a couple hundred miles north to Kemah Texas. He went straight to my personal Certified Public Accountant's home (yes, home at 7 p.m. on a Saturday night). Lil' Dave announced to the CPA that I had set up a new Church of Scientology and Lil' Dave demanded to know whether my CPA had consulted on it. The CPA having never heard the word Scientology before looked at Lil' Dave like he was looking at Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. Incidentally, creating such reactive Miscavige orders winds up netting us all manner of evidence. Because of the nature my relationship with my personal CPA, the only the way the church could have made the connnection was the commission of a felony. Thanks Dave(s) on that score. Beside the point, but I'll mention it for kicks, Miscavige will find the Independents' legal and accountancy professionals when those folks decide it is time to summons Miscavige.
A few weeks ago, only a few short days after this blog broke out into a lengthy discussion of Miscavige's re-definition of a floating needle, his missionaire Hansuili Stahli announced to someone he was trying to herd back into the pen, "Oh, three swings has been cancelled." Lord knows when and what - of course Hansuili did not elaborate - definition out of Miscavige's bank it has been replaced with. Incidentally, multiple reports on tech from the inside reflect the only changes inside are PR reports about how everything is changing - an unconvincing staff PR campaign.
In the past several months there have been a number of similar cause and effect cycles. We publicized the Int base staff being cut off from the outside world and families. Suddenly, Miscavige is organizing base "tours" for irate families worried about abuses. Of course, the visitors are given no tour at all. Instead, they are taken to the studio castle, put in a room (wired for sound and video) to visit a relative who looks like he or she just walked off the set of Night Of The Living Dead reciting a litany of pre-rehearsed PR lines. We educate people that Freeloader bills are, per LRH, literally only for freeloaders by definition. When enough of Miscavige's "recovery" missions are stultified by educated ex-staff telling his representatives to take your bill and shove it, suddenly, the Creator of Lost Tech finds that LRH never intended for Freeloader bills to apply to Sea Org members. After Marc and Clarie, followed by several others, exposed the forced abortion scandal sufficiently wide, Miscavige orders newly pregnant mothers offloaded (as opposed to coerced to obtain an abortion and then if unsuccessful shipping them out to a small, failing, broke org).
Concerns have been raised about a partnership between the Federal Government and a drug awareness group run by members of the controversial Church of Scientology.
Corporate lawyer and researcher Grainne O'Donovan said the partnership could potentially be used by the church, through Drug Free AmbassadorsAustralia (DFAA), to try to recruit members from schools and youth groups.
2009-09-12, Angelique Chrisafis, Sydney Morning Herald
Four days before Christmas 2006, Gwen's mother Gloria Lopez, a 47-year-old secretary, tidied her kitchen, hung out her washing, left her dull, suburban apartment overlooking the railway in Colombes, west of Paris, and walked the 30 metres on to the tracks. She stood with her arms outstretched, smiling at the driver of the oncoming commuter train. He couldn't stop in time.
After divorcing Pascal Le Berre, a French teacher, Lopez met Scientologists and signed up. The church was to become her life. Eventually, she moved to Paris, leaving her two children behind, to be nearer the Scientology Centre.
When asked about their training, McClung and Matthews said most seminars they went to while working for Biery related to Scientology. McClung said she went to one training seminar in anesthesia.
Jeff Swingholm, 54, a registered nurse anesthetist who has worked with anesthesia for 30 years, said that during his employment in 2002 and 2003, he told assistants they weren't qualified to give medicines.
"I was very concerned," he said. "They didn't even know they should be concerned."
Swingholm also described morning "huddles" where employees discussed financial goals like earning $20,000 for the day or signing up 100 new patients. Employees who met the goals would be rewarded with movie tickets or massages, he testified. Swingholm said he didn't participate in the huddles but overheard the discussions.
South Loop residents will soon have a new neighbor-the Church of Scientology.
The church's new flagship center of Chicago will move next summer into the former Artcraft Building, 650 S. Clark, and become the hub of Scientology-related activities and social services.
"It's going to be a beacon of life," said Allyne Rosenthal, president of the Church of Scientology of Illinois.
A federal judge has refused to throw out Nebraska's one-of-a-kind newborn blood screening law. Ray and Louise Spiering of Saunders County filed a lawsuit challenging the law in 2004, arguing that the mandatory blood test would violate a tenet of their religious beliefs as members of the Church of Scientology.
2004-09-12, Neil Strauss, Interviews, The Observer
But the most surprising change is that the famously press-phobic Cruise seems more open about his commitment to Scientology, having provided funds for a detoxification clinic to help New York firefighters who became sick after 9/11. Since Scientology, in the popular imagination, is such a loaded word - often associated with heavy-handed recruitment tactics, strong-arm lawyer assaults and steep membership and course fees - one would think that Cruise wouldn't be so willing to take a journalist through that world.
"Who are those people that say those things?" Cruise asks when I bring it up over lunch one day. "Because I promise you, it isn't everybody. But I look at those people and I say, "Bring it. I'm a Scientologist, man. What do you want to know?" I don't mind answering questions."
'Who are those people that say those things?' Cruise asks when I bring it up over lunch one day. 'Because I promise you, it isn't everybody. But I look at those people and I say, "Bring it. I'm a Scientologist, man. What do you want to know?" I don't mind answering questions.'
He lists some of Scientology's selling points: its drug abuse, prison-rehabilitation and education programmes. 'Some people, well, if they don't like Scientology, well, then, fuck you.' He rises from the table. 'Really.' He points an angry finger at the imaginary enemy. 'Fuck you.' His face reddens.
IT WAS WITH some astonishment that I read this week that a Dutch court ruled on September 4 that writer Karin Spaink could keep the Scientology materials on her Web site. The original case, in which this is the third ruling, began in the Pleistocene era in Internet terms - nine years ago. I had no idea it was still doing the Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce thing.
2000-09-12, Nanette Asimov, San Francisco Chronicle
The church is the Spiritual Rights Foundation. The Academy for Psychic Studies is its seminary. Inside, a few dozen ministers and students are promised a world of health and wealth, a haven far better than where they have been.
Yet members of that world are expected to give nearly a third of their earnings, sending some into bankruptcy. The church has prospered, meanwhile, buying real estate in several states, stocking up on Cadillacs and running a handful of local businesses.
Beyond the view of casual visitors to the church, say McKinley and other former members, children are hypnotized, schooling is an afterthought, and fathers are purposely alienated from their sons and daughters.
And hanging over it all is a cloud of highly charged sexual tension.
Robert S. Minton, a Boston millionaire who has spent nearly $2-million on anti-Scientology causes, was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and jailed briefly before posting $25 bail.
According to Boston police, the weapon was the stick from a picket sign Minton was holding as he protested against Scientology outside the church's Beacon Street headquarters. Police said Minton used the stick to strike Frank Ofman, a Scientology public affairs officer.
Minton said Friday that he reacted after Ofman struck him with a fist to his temple and slapped his cheek.