2018-09-13, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
We all know that assuming is bad because it makes an ass out of you and me, right? But beyond that sort of childish word play, do we really look at the assumptions we make every single day? And could it help us to do so? Could it be a valuable part of our critical thinking skillset to be aware not only that assumptions exist but what kind of things we assume to be true? I think so.
I've talked in other critical thinking videos about the role of emotions in our thought process and I've also gone over things like labels, beliefs vs facts and thought-stopping cliches. Recent discussions and reading I've done about the state of affairs in other countries as well as subjects like the Middle East and Islam have challenged a lot of my basic assumptions about the world and made me realize what an important part of critical thinking this can be. Critical thinking isn't just having strategies to win arguments. The best critical thinking we can do for ourselves is to deeply examine not just what we think but why we think it and confirm that our reasoning is built on solid foundations. When we just assume things to be true that aren't necessarily true at all, we can make some really big blunders. I think any of us can see how preconceived ideas get in the way of how we view things.
According to the Foundation for Critical Thinking website, here's the difference between an inference and an assumption.
Today we have a remarkable account from a woman who asked not to be named. We're also not identifying by name the business she has written about. But considering stories we've done recently (and some in years previously), we feel that her narrative is very timely and provides a really stunning look inside a Scientologist-run business operating on Scientology principles and interacting with some of this country's biggest and most important corporations. For years, we've written about businesses run by Scientologists that are involved in the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises (WISE), a Scientology front that tends to target chiropractors, dentists, and veterinarians. Here's a look at one WISE clinic that is pulling millions out of Silicon Valley firms in the name of "wellness."
In 2010 I was hired by a business claiming to be a medical center, and at my initial interview I was advised that they ran the business using the L. Ron Hubbard business model. They explained that it was a legitimate business practice that had nothing to do with Scientology.
I was hired because of my extensive experience in medical billing, especially success with appeals and my understanding of physical therapy billing.
2018-09-13, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
1000 Basics Completions...
10 years later and they still don't have 1,000 people done on the Basics? There are more than 1,000 staff in LA??
And NOW she is equipped for eternity? Guess those OT levels were sort of a waste of money if you can get this from reading books.
We heard this week from Ford Greene, the California lawyer who was involved in important litigation against the Church of Scientology and who also recently appeared on a special 2-hour episode of Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. He's also the former two-time mayor of San Anselmo, California.
Ford wanted to share a couple of items with us in regards to the things that Mark "Marty" Rathbun said about him in a short video segment that was posted to YouTube on August 20.
It was one of dozens of short videos Rathbun has posted to his blog and his YouTube channel, many of them critiquing Remini's show, including the episode that featured Ford Greene. Rathbun ridiculed Greene, saying that what Remini said about him was exaggerated. Greene was one of several attorneys involved in Lawrence Wollersheim's epic legal saga, for example, but Rathbun says that Greene must have been pretty unimportant, because Rathbun was personally involved in Wollersheim negotiations and didn't see the California attorney.
Neo-Nazi Auernheimer even maintains relations with people close to the U.S. president -- such as Charles Chuck Johnson, one of the first "alt-right" trolls, who now runs his own fake news website. In earlier days, Johnson worked for the "alt-right" platform Breitbart, where Trump confidant Steve Bannon is back at the helm now that he is no longer at the White House.
Johnson spent election night at Trump's victory party in New York. He and Auernheimer have known and supported each other for years. Johnson even collected more than $150,000 on the crowdfunding portal WeSearch for the Daily Stormer's legal costs.
The "alt-right" movement also maintains contacts with pro-Russian networks. The American activists distributed information in the internet stating that Hillary Clinton had received support during the election campaign from the Ukrainian government, with money they alleged had been provided by the International Monetary Fund. The fake news is ascribed to the hacking group CyberBerkut, which is known to have attacked targets in Ukraine multiple times. Western intelligence services believe that the group has ties to the Kremlin.
It has long been known that Moscow attempts to influence political debates in Germany as well. At the respected London School of Economics, a working group that includes Pulitzer Prize-winning American author and journalist Anne Applebaum and Russian-born writer Peter Pomerantsev, has been analyzing these efforts. They have also looked into the conspicuous affinity Moscow seems to have for the AfD. Since the publication of his book "Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: Adventures in Modern Russia," Pomerantsev has been considered an expert on Russian info wars.
2017-09-13, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Tonight's episode scratched the surface of a subject that many wonder about.
What is David Miscavige like and how did he get where he is?
Understand, he was NOT anointed by L. Ron Hubbard. Though he likes to show a declaration that HIS lawyers drafted for L. Ron Hubbard to sign in the Ron De Wolf probate case and takes a statement Hubbard made about "good scientologists" in Portland and claims it is about him — Hubbard did not choose him.
Clay Bock, Scientologist of 40 years, exposed for harassment of a Scientology critic in September of 2008, during City Council Meeting Garden Grove, September 13, 2016. More on: http://tonyortega.org/2016/09/16/vide...
2016-09-13, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Here is further proof of the total fail that is the ideal org program.
This is one of the very first ideal orgs. 2004 if I recall correctly.
The premises were procured at enormous expense and the old London Org, which had been at Tottenham Court Rd forever, was converted into a "Test Center" and Div 6 feeder for the main org that was moved to a deserted street right near St Paul's cathedral.
Clay Bock, Scientologist for 40 years, admits to harassing a critic of Scientology stating: "We went to his house to give a little bit of his own medicine." More on: http://tonyortega.org/2016/09/16/vide...
2015-09-13, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The show where I answer your questions based on what you have sent me by email or left me in the comments section of my Q&A videos. This week we start with a wonderful comment from a subscriber.
Comment of the week from DreamingCatStudio
Hi Chris I enjoy videos so much. I've never been involved with a cult, but I'm interested in the psychological states (for example vulnerability or disconnection from meaning and purpose) that can be the precursors for otherwise intelligent and healthy people to get sucked in, because there are other life experiences-working for a corporation, social pressure-that can have similar results as a cult experience.
The Tampa Bay Times has just published another blockbuster story on the Church of Scientology. The story focuses on CPA and attorney Jim Jackson who was in the Church for decades.
While I will publish an analysis in a future post, I want to note here that Church of Scientology spokesperson Karin Pouw has just effectively destroyed Scientology in her attack on Jim Jackson:
Pouw then said Jackson was telling people he was communicating with the dead, including Hubbard. That indicates he is "delusional" and "certifiably insane," she said.
(Alex and Anne Gibney and Tom DeVocht at the Emmys last night)
What a night for Alex Gibney and his documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief. Not only did the film win the Emmy for outstanding documentary, but Gibney also won Emmys for writing and for directing.
We brought you some of the scene last night at the awards ceremony in downtown Los Angeles. After the win, we asked people who took part in the film for their reactions to the awards sweep for Gibney.
2014-09-13, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
This is an excerpt from an upcoming book with the working title 'Deconstructing Scientology.' It is directed toward those who are considering the possibility of dipping a toe into dianetics or scientology study or participation. My failures over the past three years in attempting to help former members graduate from the subject informed a whole new line of research into some of the darker arts that L. Ron Hubbard mastered to make people so apparently incapable/unwilling to learn.
The most diabolically effective form of hypnotism would probably thoroughly convince the subject that it was impossible to hypnotize him. It seems that only in that case could the idea be implanted that no awakening and de-hypnotism would ever be desirable or even possible. It would inculcate the opposite of the old adage applicable to any reform, or even education, activity that the first step to recovery or learning is the recognition that there is something to recover from or to learn. If you were thoroughly convinced that you were more awake than virtually all of humanity, there is no chance that anyone could convince you to possibly take a look at waking up.
Las Vegas attorney Ryan Hamilton has filed another federal fraud lawsuit against Scientology's drug rehab network, Narconon. This one involves a New Hampshire family that was convinced to send their son to a Narconon facility in San Diego County.
Also, this case is very recent - Linda Keller was looking for a rehab facility for her son, Christopher, in April 2014.
2013-09-13, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
While things are hopping in Texas, I am hoping a lot of people are putting together their paragraphs about their local areas pursuant to yesterday's post. I think I have received about 20 responses so far, I am expecting more to come in soon....
But in the interim, here is a fascinating email from the beggars trying to build the sandcastle of Joburg North.
What makes this so interesting is that Joburg already HAS an "Ideal, St Hill Size Org" (see the report about it here). Now this is a city with a population less that Houston which doesn't even have ANY org or even a real Mission. But they are working on soaking their few public for a SECOND idle org.
Day 2 - 13 September 2013. The temporary injunction hearing is being put on hold as Scientology's motion to disqualify Monique Rathbun's attorney, Ray Jeffrey, becomes the focus today.
Good morning from New Braunfels, Texas, where we will be providing a second consecutive morning of live-blogging from the Comal County courthouse.
Yesterday, Judge Dib Waldrip allowed opening statements and testimony in Monique Rathbun's request to convert a temporary restraining order into a temporary injunction in her harassment lawsuit against the Church of Scientology.
But today, the temporary injunction hearing is being put on hold as the church's motion to disqualify Monique's attorney, Ray Jeffrey, becomes the focus.
David Miscavige took over in '87. In 1988 Miscavige persuaded me to become executive chef for the Gold Base, [near Gilman Hot Springs, Calif.] From '88 to about 1990 I was basically the executive chef. We renovated the main cooking and dining facilities at Gold Base. Three of us feeding 500 people. Miscavige didn't have a personal chef at the time. I was cooking for everyone.
In 1990 when Tom Cruise came by I was assigned as his personal chef. He was doing training, doing courses, he was also getting some auditing. He came with his assistant, Andrea Morris. He had a nice luxury apartment renovated for him. Miscavige set up a whole bunch of facilities for Tom Cruise. He even made a couple of tennis courts. There was a rifle range operated just for Tom Cruise.
A new national affairs office opened Wednesday in the Dupont Circle area of Washington, D.C., for the Church of Scientology. Located in the historic Fraser Mansion, the new office "stands as the central point from which the church coordinates its many social and humanitarian initiatives on a national and international level," according to a statement posted on the Church of Scientology Web site.
2011-09-13, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
This TV image couldn't have gone down well at Gold Base UPDATE: After the jump, Anonymous provides a poignant reminder that this is the end of an era.
The siege in South Texas is apparently finally over. Marty Rathbun has returned from his trip to Germany, and he tells me that only one member of the Squirrel Busters goon squad that was previously planted outside his house -- a former cop, and not a Scientologist -- has been seen hanging around.
"Everyone else is gone," Rathbun said this afternoon. "Some clumsy private eye cased us out at dinner yesterday. I don't know if that's the new strategy."
A DRAFT report by the industrial umpire into the Church of Scientology says the group could have potentially breached laws dealing with slavery by underpaying its staff.
A final report by the Fair Work Ombudsman is due for release later this week, but the preliminary report has found some workers were paid as little as $10 a week by the church despite it earning more than $17 million in 2009.
It contains allegations of false imprisonment and forced labour.
"The allegations ... may potentially be a breach of the provisions of the Criminal Code Act 1995 dealing with slavery ... the Fair Work Ombudsman will refer the witnesses' allegations to the relevant authority for further investigation," ABC Television quoted the draft report as saying.
2011-09-13, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
UPDATE: After the jump, new video from Australia about the labor violations report which may end up costing Scientology millions -- the final report is due to be released later this week.
On August 28, Melbourne's Herald Sun reported that the Australian government may be about to hand down a decision that will likely bankrupt Scientology in that country.
Ursula Caberta answers questions at a press conference in Hamburg 07th September 2011 about the abuses of Cult leader David Miscavige
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2011-09-13, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Trouble Down Under for Miscavige:
In case it was lost on anyone, check out Karnac - I mean Mike - Rinder accurately predicting the future. Actually, not difficult for a guy who understands Miscavige better than he understands himself.
Also, More on Germany:
This "sacred trust to protect Scientology", he says, would likely explain the Church's recent unsuccessful attempt to access the emails of psychiatrists Professors Ian Hickie and Louise Newman under an FOI request.6,14
CCHR has also made several further FOI requests about the funding and research of psychiatrists, including Professor Hickie, under the guise of seeking transparency on conflicts of interest with the pharmaceutical industry.
Vicki Dunstan, president of Scientology in Australia, told MO the Church had sought the chain of six emails – now understood to also include Professor McGorry, an unidentified member of Senator Xenophon's office and David Crosbie, CEO of the Mental Health Council of Australia – to correct misleading information about itself, and empathically rejected Professor Hickie's claim of harassment.
But Mr Schofield believes it is an example of Scientology's "fair game" policies – whereby anything goes when responding to the Church's critics.15
THE state government has been accused of sponsoring a Scientology recruiting ground by granting the group's controversial drug treatment arm long-term control of a historic property in the Yarra Ranges.
Critics including former Scientologist Paul Schofield and independent South Australian senator Nick Xenophon have called on the government to review a Parks Victoria offer of a 21-year lease on O'Shannassy Lodge to Narconon, a group closely linked to Scientology.
A former member and critic of the Church of Scientology should be getting his research on Scientology back from the church. A federal judge Tuesday ordered the church to return the files that another judge had ordered seized.
CLEARWATER - In the late "70s, about the time the Church of Scientology was fighting and trying to frame the Clearwater mayor, city commissioners and members of the press, some less-visible turmoil was bubbling beneath the surface at the Fort Harrison Hotel.
Guards stationed at the doors of Scientology's spiritual headquarters forcefully dissuaded malcontents from leaving, according to a book by a former Scientologist. In the hotel's basement, "suppressive" individuals - anyone who tried to escape was suppressive - were reportedly kept in conditions that visitors seldom if ever saw.
That was eight years ago. But Bent Corydon, a church member for almost 20 years and the author of L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman?, says little about Scientology has changed.
The Church of Scientology delivered a letter to the St. Petersburg Times Friday that threatened to sue the paper if it wrote a story about the book L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman? The letter was hand-delivered by Richard Haworth, public affairs director for the church in Clearwater.
The letter was from Timothy Bowles, a lawyer in Beverly Hills, Calif., and was given both to a Times reporter and to George Rahdert, a St. Petersburg lawyer who represents the Times in First Amendment cases. The letter reads as follows:
Re: Review of Bent Corydon Book
Dear Mr. Rahdert:
I represent a number of Churches of Scientology.
It has come to my attention that a Mr. Koff and perhaps others at the St. Petersburg Times are considering publication of a review of L. Ron Hubbard, Messiah or Madman? by Bent Corydon.
We have evidence that your paper has a deep-seated bias against the Church and that you intend to hit the Church hard with this review. You are the only even semi-major paper that is bothering to consider a review of this book. In light of this it is quite apparent and can be proved that your motives in reviewing this book are not literary or for putting forth "news," but are to attack and denigrate the Church through any vehicle you find available.
Corydon's book is so scandalous, full of lies and unprofessional that no major publication has touched it. If you forward one of his lies you will find yourself in court facing not only libel and slander charges, but also charges for conspiracy to violate civil rights. If you publish anything at all on it, you may still find yourself defending charges in court in light of what we know about your intentions. We know a whole lot more about your institution and motives than you think.
Very truly yours,