You have to hand it to Scientology. No matter how much L. Ron Hubbard's creation is battered and bruised by bad press, shrinking numbers, and ridicule on social media, Scientology never, ever gives up.
And what a coup it has today. At 9:15 a.m. Eastern, Scientologists Meghan Fialkoff and Rebecca Minkoff will ring the bell to start the trading day at Nasdaq's market site in New York while representing one of Scientology's sneaky front groups that work to get L. Ron Hubbard's influence in the public schools.
We've been writing for years about Meghan and her father, Queens dentist Bernard Fialkoff, and we've marveled at how hard they work to push Scientology's "Foundation for a Drug-Free World" into New York City's schools, and with help from the New York Police Department.
This week, Karen Pressley is on board to talk about her past Scientology and Sea Org career including being married to musician Peter Schless, working at Scientology's secret international headquarters under David Miscavige and overseeing the progress of celebrities.
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The Church of Scientology is infamous for its rabid attacks on Psychiatry and what it calls "Big Pharma." In the tweet above we see Scientologist and OSA operative John Alex Wood going straight for the jugular by candidly and publicly admitting that the true purpose of Scientology's lunatic Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) is, "the total ANNIHILATION of psychiatry world wide."
Scientology is opposed to psychiatric drugs in particular and all pharmaceuticals in general. This opposition is driven by Scientology's belief that drugs "mask the symptoms" of the underlying spiritual distress that is actually responsible for illnesses.
Scientology does not believe that mental illness exists. Scientology utterly dismisses Psychiatry as a fraudulent science and claims that "psych drugs" are part of a money-making racket designed to enslave and destroy people by drugging them into a crippled and helpless state solely for the profit of drug companies.
2016-09-15, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
Hey everybody. This video is the next in my ongoing series taking apart this collection of essays and academic papers all bundled together under the name Scientology, edited by James R. Lewis. I've said from the beginning that I'm not objective in my views on Scientology and most of my critiques so far have been pretty harsh since the quality of the academic work in this book is frankly disgustingly bad. However, this week I was pleasantly surprised by Danish writers Peter B. Andersen and Rie Wellendorf who wrote chapter 7, Community in Scientology and among Scientologists. This is the first chapter I've read where the authors not only show their familiarity with the subject but use statistical and research information smartly to come up with sensible conclusions about Scientologists' actions and views. Let's get right into it.
Like most academic papers, they start by stating their basic theme and intentions in writing this and compared to some of the highbrow academic linguistics we've seen in earlier chapters, this is surprisingly readable.
"The Church of Scientology has been seen as a privatized religion fitting into the present age with hardly any 'communal expression or community activity'. Based on observations, interviews and a questionnaire handed out to about 500 core members of Scientology in Denmark between 1986 and 1999, the chapter argues that the teachings and organization of the Church of Scientology, gnostic and arcane though they may be, still allow for community in a religious sense of the word, but that it is established through other channels and therefore expresses itself in different ways than in, for example, a Catholic community in which all members have equal access to salvation through one initiation.
Yingling also forwarded a signed declaration from Powell, recanting his statements to police about the phone call from David Miscavige.
"Certain statements I allegedly made to the West Allis Police Department have been misinterpreted," it read in part.
Police in that Milwaukee suburb stand by their account: "There is no confusion in the statements that were made by Dwayne and Daniel Powell," Chief Patrick Mitchell said in an email.
Now, in the latest twist in the saga of church-sanctioned surveillance, Powell says he was paid thousands of dollars to sign the declaration after church attorneys summoned him to a meeting last year in Atlanta.
More than seven years after Laura DeCrescenzo filed her lawsuit alleging abuse at the hands of the Church of Scientology, she has moved one step closer to a trial with the latest rejection of a Scientology time-wasting appeal.
The California Supreme Court has denied the church's petition to review a state appeals court decision that upheld the trial court's denial of Scientology's second motion for summary judgment in the lawsuit. As we explained in August, Scientology is unhappy that its motion, which tried to have the lawsuit thrown out on First Amendment religious rights grounds, was denied by Judge John P. Doyle just before he disqualified himself from the lawsuit once he revealed that he had cousins in Scientology's Sea Organization.
Scientology's position is that because Doyle had to disqualify himself, his decision to deny the church's motion should also be disqualified. But the state appeals court disagreed, and now the state's highest court has refused to hear the matter.
(Thank you, reader SeriouslyWTF, for this image.)
Wow, it's great to be back in Phoenix. Your proprietor spent some very important formative years of his journalism career here in the Valley of the Sun, and it's great to see that despite some new trolley tracks, a freeway shooter, and some new coats of paint, the place essentially remains the same.
In other words, gorgeous.
2015-09-15, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The big push is on — open the unwanted Narconon "celebrity/VIP" centers across the world so Miscavige has something to talk about at the IAS Event. This is the latest. Narconon Ojai... It's been a long time coming, but the heat is on now, because it's just a month til the IAS event. Tony Ortega first reported on it way back in April 2014 (where I predicted it would be a Celeb/VIP Narconon)...
And while Narconon, ABLE and the church scream like stuck pigs when the plaintiffs in the numerous lawsuits filed over abuses in Narconon claim they are part of "scientology" and are controlled by the church, here is just another example of what a lie that is.
Desperate to get people there to be in the video, the CO CLO WUS sends out a last minute plea to anyone and everyone pitching them to be put on the list. "This CANNOT be a broad invitation..." even though she sent it out to everyone she possibly could hoping she would get more than 200 people who want to attend and can weed out the riff-raff so Mr. Cruise and COB don't have to mingle with the hoi-polloi. But even more ctastrophic, if she can't find 200 people in the largest concentration of scientologists on earth, she will have to send SO members to fill up the shots. That means she will have to hire buses and they will waste an entire day going to Ojai and they won't be on post regging for the IAS and selling Basics and overstocks of Congresses from the Bridge warehouse.
2014-09-15, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
Admiration and the Scientology Mindset
After coming out of a cult experience like Scientology, I've seen a lot of former members try to make sense of the experience. I've been doing a lot of thinking and learning in the past year since I've been out, trying to undo the psychological damage that being in a cult for 27 years does to you. I'm not even close to being in a place where I can say I have it all figured out but I think it's good to take note when one hits certain milestones and I believe this is one of those. None of what I'm saying here in this article (or in any of my public writings) are an attempt to demean or insult current or former Scientologists.
I don't imagine my experience is so different than ex-members of any other cult or religious fundamentalist group either. Life in the real world is quite different from the bubble world that all mass movements create for themselves. Scientology's founder, L. Ron Hubbard, preached that reality is agreement, and there is a certain degree of truth there, in that people in any group certainly agree to see things a certain way and actively block out anything that opposes "their reality."
It's always fun to see Scientology's plans for taking over the world. No matter how much trouble the organization is in, no matter how many oldtimers ditch the place because of leader David Miscavige's excesses, you can always count on Scientology acting like it's actually about to catch fire and overwhelm the world with L. Ron Hubbard fever.
And how does Scientology think it's going to reverse its recent downward spiral this time? Through media!
That's right, the cabal that's a laughingstock on television and radio somehow thinks it's going to turn that around with its new television studio — the old KCET studios in Los Angeles it purchased a few years ago.
2014-09-15, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This is a bit old now, but still relevant.
The "ideal" fad is really rolling inside the bubble. — now they have Rev. Alfreddie preaching to the converted about what an "ideal scientologist" is.
My concept of what embodies today's "ideal scientologist" is seen in the illustration above.
Geir Isene left the Church of Scientology in 2009, after being a member for 25 years. He is the only person in Norway that has reached the highest spiritual level in Scientology, OT 8. He recently released an autobiography where he writes openly about Scientology's inner secrets - the OT levels are described in detail. Link to his book release: http://isene.me/2013/09/01/1984/
2013-09-15, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
One of our Special Correspondents sent in this very well constructed chart.
In keeping with recent posts, it highlights once again, USING THE CHURCH'S OWN BOOKS AND WEBSITE, how there is NO EXPANSION anywhere other that supposed Missions in Asia and Russia and former Soviet satellites.
There is no real expansion since the mid 90's. Funny, the granting of tax exemption to the churches at the end of 1993 was supposed to have marked the beginning of the golden age of Scientology. At least that is what Miscavige said. He announced that because HE had personally brought the IRS to its knees, "The War Was Over" and an era of unprecedented expansion was upon us. He is STILL saying it today. He always HAS to be right, so he is going to keep saying this til his last breath.
We're back in our underground bunker after a rather eventful trip to the Texas hill country.
The cats genuinely seemed happy to see us. The dog even came over for a rub.
We're still in recovery mode, and we hope by tomorrow to be more caught up on the things going on in the rest of the Scientology Watching world that need our attention. We have Narconon news to catch up on. More court documents to show you. A couple of interviews that we've meant to get done. But we had to put everything on hold for what turned out to be a fateful couple of days at the Comal County courthouse.
SERGE Benhayon, the former bankrupt tennis coach turned multimillionaire "esoteric healer", plans to open a college where he is chairman for life so his teachings can't be "bastardised".
Mr Benhayon, who has been accused of running a new-age cult that offers "six levels of initiation", has registered his College of Universal Medicine as a tax-exempt charity and is seeking $750,000 in donations.
His supporters include St Andrew's Hospital chest surgeon Samuel Kim, who says therapies including "esoteric breast massage . . . work in great partnership with traditional medicine".
But an academic who researches alternative medicine groups said Universal Medicine's "prophetic aspect and its over-reliance on a personality rather than a transparent set of techniques" were concerning.
In 1991's "Delirious," actress Emma Samms mentions to her brother that Candy's character has a strange power over her. "Do you think he's a Scientologist?" the brother replies.
As soon as the filmmakers began showing a rough cut of the film, someone in the church's extensive network of spies tipped off headquarters about the gag. The producer and director began receiving letters and phone calls from others in the industry saying that the joke was offensive and asking that it be cut.
Soon, the communications became more sinister. Lawsuits were threatened. Director Tom Mankiewicz's house was broken into, his personal effects rifled, Premiere magazine reported. The filmmakers eventually caved and cut the line.
In the wake of publicity over the movie "The Master" and Tom Cruise's divorce, the Church of Scientology opened its national office last week in Washington, D.C., drawing support from Houston Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and other officials.
Their attendance marked a significant endorsement from members of a government that was once partially at war with the organization.
Lawmakers in attendance were Texas Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Indiana Republican Rep. Dan Burton and Illinois Democratic Rep. Danny Davis. Liz Gibson, Senior Program Manager at the Federal Emergency Management Agency was also in attendance.
2012-09-15, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Claudio and Renata Lugli just arrived home to Italy from a Power mission to Israel. Their purpose was to assist in the set up of the first Independent Advanced Scientology Organization in the Middle East.
As a result, Dani and Tami Lemberger's Dror (Freedom) center is now delivering OT Levels auditing and training through OT VII.
The Dror Center delivers most of the Bridge in Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, and English. It is an international marvel.
2011-09-15, Steve Cannane, Lateline, ABC News (Australia)
STEVEN LEWIS, SLATER AND GORDON: They came to us with some fairly horrendous stories, but in addition they gave us a lot of evidence to say that they had not been paid proper wages. We have undertaken an investigation into that and we've come to the conclusion that indeed they were employees and entitled to be paid wages, back wages and other entitlements including superannuation under the Fair Work Act.
2011-09-15, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
I mentioned in the Village Voice that one of the most important results of our visit to Germany was helping to get Independents, and future Independents, out from the shadows and into communication. I am going to share with you one of several significant results we've already seen from this.
For those who haven't seen the videos within that post, please take a close look at the face of the OSA spy that Mosey so alertly spotted at the Berlin wall.
2011-09-15, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Urban, with Nancy Jesser, their daughter Maya Urban-Jesser, and Shiva the dog In June, we reviewed a remarkable new book about Scientology. A review copy of Hugh Urban's The Church of Scientology: A History of a New Religion, put out by the Princeton University Press, had arrived at our desk almost the same day as Janet Reitman's highly anticipated book about the church, Inside Scientology.
We were impressed by the way Urban, in only 216 pages, not only laid out a robust history of Scientology in a highly readable narrative, but also did what others really hadn't before: put L. Ron Hubbard's creation in the cultural and political context of its time -- Scientology is a Cold War product, and absorbed all of that era's paranoia and desire for secrecy.
Urban's book was also impressive for its depth of research -- here in one volume were citations of many of the most significant court decisions that have rocked Scientology over the decades, as well as concise rundowns of many other church controversies. The book makes for a great companion to Reitman's journalistic approach: both books have come out at about the same time, and both with common goals of looking at a controversial subject from an objective, scholarly point of view.
Authorities found nothing hazardous after evacuating the Scientology headquarters in northwest Thursday afternoon.
The building in the 1400 block of 16th Street NW was evacuated because of a suspicious package.
2011-09-15, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Tony Ortega at the Village Voice recently posted an article on a new book, A History of a New Religion by Hugh B. Urban. I recommend the article, and when I receive and read the book I'll probably recommend it too based on Tony's review.
I think it is significant that the two latest books on the subject of Scientology by outsiders, both journalistic and scholarly, fully acknowledge the Scientology Reformation.
According to Lightbourne's trial lawyer Carlson Shurland, the first person to find Jett after he collapsed was the Travoltas' maid, who alerted the front desk of the holiday resort where the family's residence is situated.
About 15 minutes passed before the emergency services were called, he says.
When Lightbourne and Rolle arrived, at about 10.45am, they were led to the bathroom, where a number of 'white people', he recalls, were huddled around a boy, who was naked and covered by a towel, lying on the marble floor.
Sept. 15: A hitherto unnoticed change in French law will prevent a court from dissolving the two Scientology organisations charged in the Paris trial, as prosecutors had recommended.
Judges will not be able to follow the prosecutors' recommendations to shut down two organisations charged in the Paris trial of Scientology thanks to a law passed just before the case was tried.
The law, voted May 12, was part of a package designed to simplify existing legislation. But buried in a long list of measures was one removing the power of judges to order the dissolution of an organisation found guilty of fraud.
A NEW law has been "discovered" that means that whatever the outcome of France's Scientology trial, the French branch of the group cannot be dissolved.
French Scientology - considered to be a cult by the government - has been on trial, accused of swindling people out of money in an organised gang.
A judgement is expected next month and prosecutors are demanding that the organisation be dissolved.
However it has come to light that the Simplification and Clarification of the Law act, which the government passed just before the trial started in May, has a clause in it which means courts can no longer dissolve associations found guilty of fraud.
Television viewers who turned to Fox News on Friday for coverage of the terrorist attack also saw a message scrolling across the bottom of their screens -- National Mental Health Assistance: 800-FOR-TRUTH.
Unknown to the cable news channel, the phone number connects to a Church of Scientology center in Los Angeles, where Scientologists were manning the phones.
A Clearwater doctor who declared Scientologist Lisa McPherson dead when she arrived at a New Port Richey hospital in December 1995 has paid her estate $100,000 to settle his portion of a wrongful death suit McPherson's family filed against the Church of Scientology and others.
James Felman, the Tampa lawyer who represents Dr. David Minkoff, said two medical malpractice insurance companies paid the entire amount.
In a victory for the Church of Scientology (a.k.a. the Religious Technology Center), a district court in Sweden has ordered Zenon Panoussis to pay the church $164,000 for infringing its copyright by distributing confidential records on the Net in 1996. Aside from the online posting, Panoussis also sent the church's copyrighted training manual to the Swedish parliament, which according to law, is required to make documents it receives available to the public.