The show where I answer your questions. Please leave any comments or feedback in the comments section here below. I see everything and want to hear from you.
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2017-09-17, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The weekly show where I answer viewer questions left in the comments sections of my Q&A videos or sent to me by email to AskChrisShelton@gmail.com. This week, the questions I answer are:
(1) Hi Chris! I've been following you since day-1. My friends think it's really strange that I'm so into Scientology news. I wish I had an outlet or someone to talk to about it with. Due to your recent podcast with the Scientology-watcher who hosts the podcast "Come Get Sum", journalists like Tony Ortega, and the new Leah Remini show, I'm realizing it's not that strange that I'm a Scientology-watcher. I live in the San Diego area now and I'm wondering if people ever meet up to chat about it—outside of the internet. Do you know of any resources like that? I've heard of Howdy-con and I'd love to go to that if it ends up near me this year or my resources are right to travel to it. Thanks a lot for your thoughtful and articulate responses to everybody's questions!
(2) I wonder if you have noticed the anti-Leah Remini and her show attack ads on Youtube. I seem to get them when I'm watching videos by ex-Scientologists, as well as with some other videos. I have to admit that I haven't actually watched any of them because I skip them after 5 seconds. Is the church responsible for these ads? I noticed one of them involves her dad talking, I assume about what a bad daughter she was. Is this video taken directly from her hate site?
Rod Keller keeps an eye on Scientology's "Ideal Org" program for us, and he reminds us today of just how much empty real estate the church has lined up so David Miscavige can hold grand openings for years to come...
Scientology has opened four "Ideal Orgs" this year - Auckland, (San Fernando) Valley, Miami, and Copenhagen - but they are in no danger of running out of real estate. The church owns unused property on every continent, and some that we once thought were lost causes are now being renovated. The plan is to recast every Scientology org as an Ideal Org, along with a host of Ideal Advanced orgs and Continental Narconon drug rehab facilities. Here's a look at Scientology's unused properties.
[Chicago Ideal Org Renovations]
2017-09-17, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
They closed up shop well before Irma arrived.
The mighty Volunteer Ministers of the Church of Scientology swung into immediate video action in downtown Clearwater following Hurricane Irma.
One of our local Special Correspondents has been documenting their activities. Photos of the photo ops...
2016-09-17, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Below is a recent email from one of the unfortunate SO members in PAC.
The delusion is amazing — promoting an entirely new era of EXPANSION and WINS at a whole new order of magnitude.
And for this reason, they are re-showing the 1993 IAS event. That makes a lot of sense.
(A man and his film camera)
Well, we told you this was probably the case. Jason Lee confirmed yesterday to a Denton, Texas blog that he and his wife "don't practice Scientology" and aren't interested in opening any Scientology centers in their new adopted hometown.
In other words, Jason Lee is out, joining Leah Remini, Lisa Marie Presley, Paul Haggis, and Jason Beghe in the growing tide of celebrities ditching the celebrity-obsessed organization.
2015-09-17, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
In order to provide more points of view and experience on my channel, I'm interviewing people involved in Scientology and other destructive cults and getting their stories.
In this episode, we talk about her time at the LRH Life Exhibition and what it was like to promote the nonsense story the Church tells about Hubbard's life, who actually bothers to come see this exhibit and where all those awards Hubbard gets actually come from. We then get into how she was transferred to work in Scientology's monolithic management bureaucracy, the insanity of life as a local org staff member and the unexpected twists and turns her life took as a result.
Last December, we brought you some pretty bizarre footage. It was shot by Marc Headley, who was visiting Scientology's secretive Int Base near Hemet, California with a Danish film crew making a documentary about a Danish former Scientologist, Robert Dam.
Dam had spent 20 years in Scientology before leaving in 2004. Headley himself grew up in Scientology and worked at Int Base as a Sea Org worker before he made a dramatic escape in 2005, which is described vividly in his excellent 2009 book, Blown for Good.
Marc told us that their plan in December was to approach the compound's front gate, and if any Scientologists came out to confront him, Robert would get a chance to ask them questions. Instead what happened was that several Sea Org officials came out and began berating Headley, aiming cameras at him, and Marc captured some of it on his smartphone for us.
2015-09-17, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
CF has its own newsletter!
It's taken on a life of its own... But OMG, after all this time they have done 2500 out of 65,000. At this rate it's at least another 10 years of work. Luckily they are not generating much new filing to be done so perhaps they may eventually catch up.
2014-09-17, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Imagine having this poor woman's job...
But as a public service to readers here who may receive unwanted mail or email from scientology, she is offering her phone number so you can call "between 10 and 11:30 am California Timezone."
It might strike you as a little strange for an organization that claims more than 10 million members to assign a single person one and a half hours per day to keeping their lists up to date, but this is apparently how easy it is "applying LRH tech."
Sometimes it's important to remember that Scientologists believe that not only had L. Ron Hubbard discovered, for the first time, the actual nature of the human mind — a breakthrough on par with the discovery of fire — but that he had found a way to improve human beings and make them 'homo novi,' an entirely new race.
Scientologists take pity on us mere wogs, who are stuck on this prison planet, blinded by our reactive minds. If only we could be like the superhumans who are using Ron's technology to take over the galaxy.
Keep that superior attitude in mind as you watch this new batch of videos that we just received. Especially this first one, which celebrates the efforts of folks on Long Island as they try to raise money for an "Ideal Org" out there.
2013-09-17, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
My mother, Barbara, disconnected from me after I spoke out about Miscavige's abuses to the Tampa Bay Times.
Prior to that, even though I had escaped from the Sea Org (not as the church now likes to claim "that I was removed from all positions of authority") she maintained a mother/son relationship with me, corresponding back and forth about things that had nothing to do with Scientology. Her dogs, garden, grandchildren and great grandchildren, the weather, anything but Scientology. She told me I was her firstborn and that would always trump anything else, no matter what decisions I made in my life. I was careful to keep the communication light and unrelated to Scientology — sort of a reverse "good roads/good weather" PTS handling to ensure she was not upset. I knew it would break her (transplanted) heart to be forced to disconnect from me. Due to her age and physical condition (she had a heart transplant and two very serious car accidents that had nearly killed her) she lived with my brother and sister-in-law (until they moved her into an assisted living facility).
When Jenna and Dallas were in New York in February, we got to see the whole family The paperback version of Jenna Miscavige Hill's memoir comes out today, so we thought we'd give her a call to talk about several different things.
Back in February, when her book, Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology And My Harrowing Escape, first came out, we called it "one of the most complete and compelling narratives of how someone grows up in, and falls under the spell of, this organization which wields so much power over its members through interrogation, intimidation, and control."
At the time, Jenna was just beginning an extensive publicity campaign that has hardly let up in the seven months since. We asked her about that, and about some recent news stories that she says were exaggerations of what she told reporters.
Opposition to the proposal has grown over the past two months, with some residents who attended a consultation meeting between ABLE and objectors on 22 August saying their concerns around risk management increased rather than decreased following the meeting.
"They don't seem to be accountable to anyone, either as a health or education provider," said group member Nicole who claimed representatives of Narconon who spoke at the meeting were 'evasive' and unable to provide their policy on aspects of their operation such as the ratio of staff to residents.
2012-09-17, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
The following doubt announcements were sent to me by the, until very recently, Course Supervisor of the church of Scientology Mission of Anchorage, Alaska, and her Class VIII husband. These are important documents, on the order of potential impact as A Letter from Garcia and Class XII Karen De La Carriere's independence announcement. Please carefully read them and do everything you can to give them the furthest possible dissemination among Scientologists. Their data is fresh, and their research is remarkable. What a couple of magnificent thetans!
Forrest & Susan Crane on Kenai Penisula
Doubt Announcement 9/16/2012 by Susan Crane
A local business owner wants to make clear first he is a devoted Southern Baptist.
Too many people come into Travis Wilkinson's business, Berry Beautiful Salon and Spa, assuming he is a member of the Church of Scientology because of the shop's proximity to downtown Clearwater.
"And as a devoted Southern Baptist, for people to think I'm a Scientologist is very hurtful to me personally," Wilkinson said.
2011-09-17, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
This kangaroo is volunteering its time and no contract is implied Every Saturday, we say "what a week." But this time -- What a week! Right? With Scientology news breaking Down Under, and the countdown getting to single digits, and wacky stuff leaking in the UK -- the underground bunker was ringing with alarm bells all week long.
We started things Monday with #9 in our countdown, actor Jason Beghe, whose 2008 video denouncing the church is still a remarkable declaration of independence.
On Tuesday, a draft copy of a labor agency's report in Australia became news in that country, and we updated our earlier post about this investigation as, at this point, many of us watching these developments expected that the agency was about to lower the boom on Scientology's Down Under operations.
THE celebrity-studded Church of Scientology in Australia wants negative media reports about the controversial religion outlawed.
Scientology, which boasts members including Tom Cruise, said it wanted a law "to prevent the dissemination of anti-religious propaganda in the media, which is based on unfounded hearsay and either known or reasonably known to be untruthful".
2009-09-17, April Hunt , Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The Church of Scientology should not move to Sandy Springs, the city's Planning Commission decided Thursday night.
In a 3-2 vote, the commission denied the church's request to rezone a former office building at Roswell Road and Glenridge Drive into its Georgia headquarters. Members David Rubenstein and Donald Boyken dissented.
The flap erupted in June, after the Defense Ministry announced that it was going to bar filming at the Bendler Block. A key reason behind the decision, according to officials at the time, was Cruise's affiliation with Scientology. In Germany, where the government provides assistance to organized religions, a 1995 court ruling determined that Scientology was a cult "masquerading as a religion to make money." Moreover, the film's subject is close to the hearts of many in the German military. Cruise is playing Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, a square-jawed young Prussian colonel who tried to assassinate Hitler on July 20, 1944, but who was executed after his plot failed. Von Stauffenberg was resurrected as a resistance hero to many who rejected the war and its legacy.
A Scientologist was charged recently with assaulting him though the charges were later dropped. Lonsdale shrugs. More good footage for the documentary.
In Lonsdale, the Church of Scientology has encountered a confusing and difficult nemesis. Unlike most ardent Scientology critics, Lonsdale was never a member. And unlike other critics, Lonsdale has proved difficult to squash.
The National Mental Health Association (NMHA) today is warning the public and media to beware of representatives of the Church of Scientology who are claiming to be mental health professionals assisting individuals in New York City.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has refused to reconsider the convictions of Elizabeth Eagleton Weigand and her attorney, Stephen E. Poludniak, on charges of trying to extort $220,000 from Senator Thomas F. Eagleton, Democrat of Missouri, who is Mrs. Weigand's uncle.