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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2017-09-24, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The weekly show where I answer viewer's questions from the comments sections of my Q&A videos or sent to me by email at AskChrisShelton@gmail.com. This week, the questions I take up are:
(1) I am interested in the period of time when all smaller Scientology orgs were told to have only OTs to run them - could you explain this policy? Were you the manager of Pacific Orgs when this was being implemented? Any insider stuff about how this change worked in practice would be interesting. Like, did the OTs actually want these posts? Most were public Scientologists, I think.
(2) If Pat Broeker had taken charge of Scientology when LRH passed away instead of David Miscavige, how different do you think Scientology would be today?
2017-09-24, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
A plug for my old friend Janis Gillham Grady's book Commodore's Messenger: A Child Adrift in the Scientology Sea Organization
If you are interested in the early years of scientology in Australia and St Hill and the Sea Org, this is THE definitive work. And it is just Part One.
It is truly encyclopedic in its detail of times, places and people and contains remarkable photos never seen before. Janis has a memory that would shame an elephant. I have long wondered how anyone could recall so many names, people and events so clearly and accurately.
Rod Keller brings us up to date on Scientology's response to various natural disasters around the world this past month...
The Scientology Volunteer Minister program claims to be "one of the largest independent relief organizations in the world." They are not that. They are poorly organized and depend on donations to get through each day of a relief mission. They depend on untrained volunteers to re-invent relief procedures for each emergency. The purpose is to show that Scientology is a real religion, but the help that reaches people in emergency conditions is fairly minimal.
When you donate to the American Red Cross or a similar organization for hurricane or earthquake relief, your money will probably be spent for the next emergency and not the current one. Large relief organizations pre-position supplies. The Red Cross has manufactured large supplies of blankets and clothing ahead of an emergency, and donations serve mainly to replenish their reserves. This is good planning and prevents spending to sort out, transport and store donated items. They don't want you to bring them a case of bottled water. They want you to donate money and they can buy water in a more efficient way. The Volunteer Ministers, or VMs work differently. They spent the first few days of the Hurricane Harvey crisis in Houston, Texas assembling cleaning products into kits for distribution.
2016-09-24, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Here is a new paid press release from scientology in Clearwater.
They are trying to make people think everyone is welcome to come on down to the Ft Harrison and hold their event under the grandeur of the Bohemian crystal chandelier.
Anyone, unless it is someone that espouses an idea the church disagrees with — despite its repeated claims to champion free speech.
We don't know if this is a record, but it sure impresses the heck out of us.
Back in 2011, we wrote a story about someone Scientology had tracked down after they left the organization 40 years earlier. The man had moved ten times since then, and across the country, but Scientology tracked him down and called him on his mobile phone to send him a DVD and try to get him to come back to the church.
We're sure you've seen plenty of other examples of this that pop up from time to time on social media. Scientology sends some of the most ridiculous letters to people who may have simply bought a copy of Dianetics 15 years earlier.
Church of Scientology former Executive Director International Bill Franks discusses L. Ron Hubbard, David Miscavige.
This is a knock out video with a lot of data never previously released.
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Ballantine Books announced today what we've known for some time: Leah Remini's memoir is finished and coming out soon. Titled Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, the book is scheduled to be released on November 3, and we expect there to be a tidal wave of publicity over it.
Since her very public defection from Scientology (a story broken here at the Underground Bunker in July 2013), Leah has worked hard to raise her profile, appearing on ABC's Dancing with the Stars and then in her own reality series, It's All Relative. Along the way, she's talked about leaving Scientology, but in largely vague terms.
What she hasn't said, but has held back for her book, are the really amazing details about her long process of disaffection from Scientology that we first detailed here at the Bunker. They include a spectacular scene in 2006 at the wedding of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes in a castle outside Rome, which included Leah daring to ask why Scientology's leader, David Miscavige, was there without his wife, Shelly.
It's on to the Twin Cities today after a great night in Ohio. We want to thank Miss Tia for showing us around Cleveland yesterday and then making sure we got to the venue in time. The Bunker contingent last night was something else. And how great to meet regulars like Frodis73, KnitNut, FlyOnTheWall, and Jimmy3.
Today, we're really looking forward to a special treat: We'll be appearing live, in-studio at the Lori & Julia Show at MyTalk 107.1, a show we've been on numerous times by telephone before. Lori & Julia are a lot of fun, and they care about getting things right when it comes to Scientology. How fun to get to meet them and talk about things in studio with them!
We hope you can join us at our event at 7 pm. It's in Roseville, at Grumpy's Bar & Grill, 2801 Snelling Ave, and it's being sponsored by Minnesota Atheists.
Monique Rathbun and the Church of Scientology are back in court today for a hearing before the Texas Third Court of Appeals.
In July, the same court overturned a lower court order that would have allowed Monique to depose Scientology leader David Miscavige in her harassment suit against the church. But that was for a jurisdictional question in a preliminary matter. This time, however, the entire ball of wax is on the line.
2014-09-24, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
I am seeking some information.
Anyone who has experienced first-hand, or has personal knowledge of anything like this happening to another, please make yourself known in the comments section and I will email you at the address you provide as part of posting your comment.
This exact scenario happened to one person, but I do not believe it is limited to this single instance. I believe that as the pressure to collect money (especially for ideal orgs) has grown, those held responsible for meeting the targets have become increasingly desperate.
Neighbors cheered when, in 2008, the Church of Scientology of Boston bought the historic but crumbling Hotel Alexandra in the South End and promised to fix the building, which has been blighted for decades. But six years later, work has yet to start. Instead, the church is struggling to close a multimillion dollar funding shortfall, fighting a potentially costly lawsuit that alleges it broke a real estate contract, and scaling back its ambitious renovation plans.
2014-09-24, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
We have to get "Under $8 million"...
This has to be the single most intensely focused and persistent fundraising campaign in scientology history. In the home of the largest population of scientologists on earth. Supported by Bart Simpson's cash matching everything they can scrape together, and STILL they cannot make a dent — they have MORE THAN $8 MILLION to raise before they even start "renovating" their white elephant.
Last night, on Dancing With The Stars, Leah Remini was heard telling her dance partner, Tony Dovolani, that Scientology, which she left this summer, wants her to fail on the program so its members would think that's what happens to anyone who leaves. "You're used to taking a lot of negativity on yourself," she said about being a part of Scientology.
We wanted to ask another actor who left the church recently what he thought about her words. We spoke to Jason Beghe last night and asked him, was Leah Remini correct to say that Scientology wants her to fail?
Beghe left Scientology in 2008 in a very public way, recording a YouTube video denouncing the church. Since then, the veteran film and television actor's career has taken off with recurring roles in Californication and Chicago Fire, and now he's filming episodes for his own spinoff series, Chicago PD. But in spite of that success, he's dealt with severe harassment from Scientology since he left, and he told us there was no question that Remini was right about what she said on television last night.
2013-09-24, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The old saying goes, "Never pick a fight with anyone who buys ink by the barrel."
A modern translation, "Never pick a fight with anyone who has a large social media profile."
And with that in mind, we see this statement from David Miscavige this morning:
2013-09-24, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
It don't get no realer than that.
The world is seeing the actual aftermath of Scientology real time, thanks to Leah Remini.
As Jason Beghe noted on Tony Ortega's blog, overcoming intense, directed negativity is not an exception for stars, it is the rule for those who dare to leave Scientology.
2012-09-24, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
A most significant advance in the cause of disintegrating DISCONNECTION (Scientology Inc. brand shunning) was announced here late last week. For those who missed it during the flurry of breaking news, you can see it here, Fairmans' Disarm Scientology Disconnection.
In the wake of that long bomb, Renata and Claudio Lugli advanced the ball further on a Italian national TV program. (English subtitles included) They also helped in our ongoing efforts to differentiate corporate Scientology from the subject of Scientology itself and the independent movement.
Karmic vortex*. Meet spiritual juggernaut.
2011-09-24, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Biggi Reichert: What happened to her before her 2006 suicide? When I talked to Marty Rathbun after his return from Germany recently, he mentioned that one of the things he and Ursula Caberta hoped would come from their new friendship was cooperation on a mysterious death involving a German Scientologist.
Today, Rathbun held up his end of that bargain, going public with what he knows in the apparent suicide of a woman named Biggi Reichert, and asking for the public's help in solving some strange unanswered questions in her death.
Rathbun had told me that Caberta, a German government official who has been working since 1992 to curb Scientology's influence there, considers this a very troubling and potentially damaging situation for the church.
2011-09-24, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
DM's minions keep dropping the ball! Before we look back at the week that was, we wanted to remind you of our upcoming schedule.
Monday morning at 9 am we'll reveal #3 in our big countdown, and then at noon we'll close voting on our readers poll. So if you haven't yet put in your own ballot, there's still time to tell us your own rankings in The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology!
Then, on Wednesday, it's time for the grand finale. At 9 am, we'll reveal #2 in the countdown, and then, only two hours later, we'll post the #1 person Crippling Scientology. At 1 pm, if all goes to plan, we'll also post the results of our readers poll and bring to a close this project that took almost two months to complete.
2009-09-24, Jefferson Hawkins, Leaving Scientology
If you were going to choose a leader for the Church of Scientology, how would you go about it?
1. Well, first, you'd probably do some research and see if LRH ever designated anyone as his successor. Given that this person's other qualifications were in place, they would probably be a top candidate.
2. You'd want someone who is technically trained, ideally a Class XII C/S. You'd want someone who has done a lot of auditing and C/Sing and has a good record of technical results. If they are going to make decisions that affect training and processing, you'd want them to know what they are talking about.
The Internet Archive, a site that preserves snapshots of old Web pages and bills itself as "a library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form," no longer contains links to archival pages of Xenu.net. Instead, surfers are pointed to a page telling them the site was taken down "per the request of the site owner."
However, Xenu.net operator Andreas Heldal-Lund said he never made any such request. Heldal-Lund, a Norwegian businessman and longtime church critic, said he's eager for people to read archived pages of his site.