2017-09-25, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Are they going to explain to everyone that the solution is to hand out Way To Happiness booklets?
It's worked so well in Venezuela and other places...
How about human trafficking, fraud and destroying families? Not part of the agenda?
We heard from a lot of readers who were impressed by the candor and class exhibited by Oscar-winning director Paul Haggis in a piece he wrote for us that we published on Saturday.
In that piece, Haggis, who appeared last week in an explosive episode of A&E's Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, wanted us to have enough background to understand why the Church of Scientology's reaction to that show had stunned him in one particular way.
Haggis explained that when he was leaving the church in 2009, he and former top-ranking church member Mark "Marty" Rathbun had worked out with another defector, actor Jason Beghe, some code names for their encrypted conversations in Hushmail to keep the church and its spies from learning who else they were talking to, which included several Scientologists who didn't want their disaffection known.
On September 15, the Trump administration nominated former criminal investigator and Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association president Jon Adler as the Department of Justice's director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance. In that role, Adler will not only help set national criminal justice policy, he'll also oversee all relevant state and local grant programs. Judging by one of Adler's initiatives, this should make the Church of Scientology very, very happy.
That's because in addition to his official role at FLEOA, Adler spent a number of years on the advisory board of the Heroes Health Fund, a group that purports to offer support for "firefighters, police, EMTs, veterans, and others harmed by toxic exposures in the line of duty" using a detoxification program developed by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
That program has existed under a variety of names over the years, including Purif, the Purification Rundown, Narconon, and the Hubbard Method. It posits that bodies and spirits can be "purified" through a combination of extensive sauna-induced sweat sessions, a niacin-heavy multivitamin, light exercise, and the consumption of pure vegetable oil. Hubbard, of course, had no medical training of any kind, and his detoxification method has been denounced by countless institutions and medical professionals, such as the Los Angeles and San Francisco school districts, the California Medical Association, the National Council Against Health Fraud, and a former Surgeon General of the United States.
In 1987BBCPanorama broadcast an important show on Scientology that is now of great historical value. For example, this excerpt below features Don Larson, a member of Scientology's infamous finance police.
2016-09-25, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Next in the ongoing series of essays by Terra Cognita. See earlier posts here: The Mind, The Way To Happiness: Really? A Story, Auditing: a PC's Quest for the Holy Grail, The Knowledge Report, Integrity, The Almighty Stat, The Reg, The Horrors of Wordclearing, Why Scientologists Don't FSM, Respect, The Survival Rundown - The Latest Scam, Communication in Scientology... Or Not, Am I Still A Thetan?, To Be Or Not To Be, An Evaluation of Scientology, Fear: That Which Drives Scientology and Justification and Rationalization.
Condition of Doubtfulness
For those of you not familiar with L. Ron Hubbard's "Conditions," he wrote, "An organization or its parts or an individual passes through various states of existence. These, if not handled properly, bring about shrinkage and misery and worry and death. If handled properly they bring about stability, expansion, influence and well-being."
2016-09-25, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The weekly show where I answer viewer questions left in the comment sections of my Q&A videos or sent to me by email at AskChrisShelton@gmail.com. This week, the questions I answer are:
(1) Chris, when you say you had to go to different orgs to solve problems with a personal touch, can you give an example? Also, I tried to read Dianetics; after 230 pages I gave up (it is repetitive garbage). Regardless, looking at The Bridge, the level of sophistication is amazing as well as the infrastructure of Scientology. Do you believe LRH came up with everything himself?
(2) Do you believe studying the Bible as part of our cultural heritage and as a set of moral stories can be beneficial?
(Tom Cruise with Irish opera singer Amanda Neri)
Rod Keller keeps an eye on Scientology social media for us, and on Sundays he dives into the latest happenings with the organization's many front groups. This time, he's taking us to Ireland, where a new strategy is unfolding. Take it away, Rod...
The Church of Scientology is preparing to open a National Affairs Office at 4 Merrion Square in Dublin, Ireland. The opening is currently scheduled for October 15.
David Miscavige, the leader of the Church of Scientology, is one of the best-known Scientologists in the world. But Miscavige's wife, Shelly Miscavige, hasn't been seen in public since 2007.
The Church of Scientology says Shelly Miscavige isn't missing, and she hasn't been kidnapped. Instead, Scientology says she has been working inside the church.
The disappearance of Shelly Miscavige continues to be a high-profile mystery for Scientology critics and former members. A 2014 Vanity Fair article referred to Shelly Miscavige as "Scientology's Vanished Queen."
HOLLYWOOD, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- King of Queens star Leah Remini announced she is publishing a Scientology memoir titled Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology .
Remini, who had been raised as a Scientologist since she was child, famously quit the church in 2013.
The actresses' new book will chronicle her indoctrination into the religion at age 10 with her mother and sister and how her rise to Hollywood mixed with having to promote Scientology.
2015-09-25, Kirthana Ramisetti, New York Daily News
Leah Remini is finally ready to spill about her life in Scientology.
Two years after quitting the church, the actress is publishing "Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology" on Nov. 3, Ballantine Books announced Thursday.
Remini had been raised as a Scientologist since she was a child, but famously broke with the faith in 2013.
Her public disavowal of Scientology added to the increased scrutiny of the religious organization's alleged abuses and corrupt practices, as depicted in the recent HBO documentary "Going Clear."
(Jonny Jacobsen and your proprietor in Paris at the end of July)
Our man in Paris, Jonny Jacobsen, is one of the most thorough, accurate, and dogged reporters we know. And it excites us to no end that he's going to be covering an upcoming Scientology trial in Brussels that should be explosive. Like us, however, Jonny doesn't actually make a living with his expertise on Scientology. He's going to need some help if he's going to get to the trial and cover it with the kind of effort he puts into everything.
We told him we'd like to support him, and asked what we could do. He asked us to post the following description of his needs. We hope you can get behind what should be an epic adventure of reporting. Take it away, Jonny.
2014-09-25, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Oooooh - a new status! Ambassador of Dissemination
I don't think that this will be very desirable to the scientology elite without some precious metal or gemstone modifier or some sort of tortured pig latin. Silver, gold, platinum, emerald, diamond, maximus, laureate etc etc. Good luck Katie, you are the red-headed stepchild of scientology fundraisiung. Part of your problem is that the money has to be thrown away buying TV spots and nobody likes doing that....
But, on the other hand, perhaps he can get a post at a US Embassy (Palau? Andorra?) to "disseminate the tech in new lands."
Will this vision of the Alexandra ever come true? There have been numerous press reports about the sad state of affairs for the Church of Scientology in the fair city of Boston.
Like other cities in what Scientology considers the "East US Continent" (Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia), Boston's pursuit of an "Ideal Org" has been mired in a struggle for funds.
Despite Scientology leader David Miscavige sitting on a mountain of liquid assets - more than a billion dollars in ready cash, according to former church executive Debbie Cook - Miscavige insists that locals hold events so they can raise the millions needed to purchase, plan, and renovate the fancy new facilities he calls "Ideal."
2013-09-25, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
There comes a time when it well behooves one to review the bidding in the game called life.
What follows are some thoughts that some might find useful in such a review.
I have used the term 'construct' many times on this blog and in my books. This is the definition I have mainly been using:
During Wednesday hearing Judge Bland ruled that Narconon attorneys will have to produce records of alleged incidents of employees, trainees and students using illegal drugs and alcohol from 2004 until 2010.
During the hearing Narconon Attorney Bill Pettigrew said he would produce the documents within 15 days.
The ruling was part of pre-trial proceedings in a lawsuit filed in March 2010 on behalf of Heather Landmeier a Narconon graduate now in a vegetative state after overdosing on heroin and oxycontin.
2013-09-25, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Solution for future videos
It seems the flap is spreading. Time for some fast "damage control" to try to shore up eroding sandcastle of Ideal Orgs.
He has to do SOMETHING urgent to "prove" the Idle Orgs are not a massive waste of time and other people's money.
2013-09-25, Christian Boone, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
A controversial Norcross drug treatment facility with ties to the Church of Scientology will avoid any potential criminal charges after surrendering its license to the state.
But the investigation into allegations of insurance fraud by those running the facility isn't over, Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter said.
"Narconon as a corporate entity has been relieved of criminal liability but no individual is," Porter said Wednesday. "Certainly we've discovered discrepancies between what was billed and what was provided. The key now is to identify those individuals who were submitting the claims."
CLEARWATER— The Church of Scientology has bought a big chunk of downtown Clearwater's so-called "super block," a highly visible stretch near the waterfront that was long touted by city leaders and various developers as key to revitalizing downtown.
For years, plans conjuring visions of swanky offices, boutique hotels, destination restaurants and luxury condos came and went.
More recently, leaders of the nonprofit Clearwater Marine Aquarium considered the "super block" as a site for their proposed $160.5 million aquarium, but they decided the real estate was too important to take off the tax rolls. Even so, last month aquarium and city officials briefly eyed a portion of the "super block" for an aquarium parking garage.
Claire Headley is taking us on our journey to train as Scientologists. She and her husband Marc were Sea Org workers who escaped from Scientology's International Base in 2005. She spent years working with Scientology's "tech," and was trusted to oversee the auditing of Tom Cruise. Go here to see the first part in this series.
Claire, last week on our trip up the Bridge to Total Freedom we completed New Era Dianetics and went Clear. That was a big moment. But you were telling us that in recent decades, there's been an additional step at this point to make certain that we've actually gone Clear. Do we have that right?
CLAIRE: Yes, the Clear Certainty Rundown, or CCRD, is a set of steps to confirm the state of Clear, once the person has voiced the Clear cognition.
Scientology's drug rehab center in the Atlanta area, Narconon Georgia, has cut a deal with county and state officials, and in return for surrendering its license and shutting down an operation that was already on life support, the facility escapes prosecution on credit card fraud and insurance fraud that was said to be in the millions of dollars.
But Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter tells us that doesn't mean he's given up on prosecuting individuals.
"Our investigation is ongoing. If we find individuals were engaged in criminal conduct, we will prosecute them," he told us today by telephone.
These days, Heritage has a different crusade. The foundation's president, the confrontational former Senator Jim DeMint, spent the last month touring the country, drawing cheering crowds as he demanded that Republican politicians insist that Obamacare be defunded—and denouncing those who wouldn't go along. "Republicans are afraid," DeMint told NPR. "And if they are, they need to be replaced." The foundation's three-year-old activism arm, Heritage Action, spent half a million dollars on online ads targeting 100 Republican House members who didn't sign on to the defund crusade ("Tell Representative Tom Cole to Stop Funding Obamacare").
The push from Heritage helped the defund scheme gather momentum, forcing Republican leaders to pull their proposed funding bill and replace it with one the Senate has committed to block. The resulting confrontation may force a government shutdown. Republicans who once worked out legislative language with the help of Heritage's distinguished Ph.D.s felt whiplash seeing the group cheerlead for collapse. Heritage was supposed to be above politics, they grumbled. Heritage was supposed to be about serious ideas, not tactical fights. White papers, not political campaigns—and certainly not campaigns against Republicans.
2013-09-25, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Just what is it that the church is SO worried about? Why are they so paranoid about information "leaking" onto the internet?
Funny, David Miscavige seems to enjoy crowing about how they got "19 million hits" (I know its a lie as this blog gets MORE visitors than Scn.org and I average around 8,000 per day and even at 2.5 pages per visitor that only totals 7.3 million a year) and have numerous "state-of-the-art" websites and are on the "cutting edge." But they are terrified it seems about things showing up on the internet that they are not controling.
And for an organization that constantly proclaims how "open" they are ("we are NOT secretive") it's amusing to see them trying to keep everything secret.
2012-09-25, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Bruce Wiseman and Kevin Burke are corporate Scientology stalwarts. They are the name partners of Wiseman & Burke the firm that makes money by handling the money of corporate Scientologists with big bucks. Wiseman is the wise guy who puts out the creepy, world-conspiracy paranoia tracts that justify so much corporate Scientologist unlawfulness (some under the handle John Truman Wolfe). Incidentally, he rails about the bankers who produce nothing but make their money off of the labor and money of others; and guess what Wiseman and Burke does for a living? He also appears on television and lobbies elected officials on behalf of Scientology Inc front group CCHR (Citizens Commission on Human Rights). Burke has covered Wiseman financially for years so that he could play out the Scientology Inc. demagogue gig full time.
Wiseman and Burke are opinion leaders in the corporate Scientology field, and are fully backed and sponsored by the David Miscavige administration. Here are only two of many recent examples of church premises being used by the duo to ply their trades and pimp Miscavige causes:
Now, here's the rub. Scientologists who come to hear these guys are shielded by artful use of compartmentalization of information only possible under Miscavige's repressive Disconnect policies (keeping people it the dark by severing all their ties to friends, family and business contacts should they discuss or forward any unauthorized information about those in good stead with Miscavige).
A niece of controversial Scientology leader David Miscavige is planning a tell-all memoir about her life in the church and how she escaped its clutches.
Jenna Miscavige Hill, 28, daughter of David's older brother Ron, has been a frequent critic of the Church of Scientology since publicly breaking with it in 2005.
In 'Beyond Belief: My Secret Life inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape', she will reveal 'strange and disturbing' details about growing up in the church and will provide a firsthand account of Scientology's 'upper ranks', its publishers William Morrow say.
In 2008, Jason Beghe rocked the Scientology world with his frank and open discussion of his experiences in Scientology. Now he's back with even more details of life in Scientology and how things have changed since he publicly departed.
First Jason Beghe Interview:
2011-09-25, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
The highest levels of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington D.C. put an arbitrary, authoritative stop on a massive, widespread probe that its Los Angeles office had been carrying out from 2009 well into 2010. The church of Scientology was given assurances by high level US Department of Justice officials that the investigation was dead via the church's expensive, connected white shoe lawfirms. With at least the imprimatur of the FBI Director himself FBI agents were instructed to falsely inform many witnesses and informants that the investigation was continuing long after the church had been assured by senior Department of Justice officials that the investigation was over. These false assurances were provided in order to prevent the media from making the Department of Justice look weak or bought-off in the light of the many revelations of consistent criminal behavior being directed by the undisputed head of the church of Scientology David Miscavige. As a result, the Department of Justice knowingly, and callously, put a number of informants at risk. In effect, the Department of Justice made cooperating witnesses fair game for predictable church of Scientology retaliation tactics.
On a personal level, the 164 day siege of my own home began date coincident with one Scientology Inc lawyer (former high level Justice official) going on record with a media outlet that not only was there not an ongoing investigation into Miscavige and his cult, but the lawyer had been assured by Justice Department officials that no investigation had ever even occurred. And with that, Miscavige apparently felt immune to conduct the activity against me and my wife that is so over the top that only a madman or one knowing he had immunity would assay. I have a well documented file, well placed, with similar stories from a number of other FBI witnesses and informants who were similarly left to hang and dangle in the wind.
Many local law enforcement officials have heard my complaints against Miscavige and the church of Scientology (tangible, current assaults upon me and my wife), in four different states, who have shrugged their shoulders and asked me, "where's the FBI? This stuff is clearly a pattern and crosses state lines daily." And each time, I have covered the FBI's back by putting it back on the locals to stick to the narrow picture - granting the FBI's stupid request that I keep the fact of their investigation quiet. (I call the request stupid, because they continued to assert the church couldn't know of their investigation more than a year after I demonstrated for them it was impossible that the church did not know by then - based upon people whom the FBI had visited and briefed and based upon whom I know those visited had subsequently spoken to).
2010-09-25, Jefferson Hawkins, Leaving Scientology
I had an epiphany the other night, which goes something like this:
"If someone is telling you who to hate or fear, they are trying to manipulate you."
It's like the boogeyman, invented by parents in earlier times to get their children to behave. "If you don't do as you're told, the boogeyman will get you." If you couldn't be bothered to appeal to a child's reason or good sense, you could scare them into doing what they're told.
2008-09-25, David Ardia, Citizen Media Law Project
The Electronic Frontier Foundation reports on some good news, and bit of bad news, regarding the blizzard of DMCA takedown notices sent to YouTube on behalf of the Church of Scientology. Back in early September, the American Rights Counsel, Schaper Company, and Media House Enterprises, among others, sent hundreds of takedown notices to YouTube demanding the removal of videos critical of the Church of Scientology. According to EFF, "[i]t soon became clear that these entities did not hold the copyrights to the materials they claimed to be infringed, including footage from a Clearwater City Commission meeting and a man-on-the-street interview. In addition, many of these videos were obvious fair uses, such as independent news reports."
2008-09-25, Eva Galperin, Electronic Frontier Foundation
Here's the good news: YouTube quickly realized something was fishy, and began investigating. Within days, YouTube suspended the accounts that had sent out the allegedly fraudulent DMCA takedown notices, reinstated the accounts that had been suspended for multiple allegations of copyright infringement, and put most of the videos back up on YouTube, all without waiting to receive DMCA counter-notices from YouTube users who had had their videos taken down.
Well done, YouTube. The company identified a problem and worked to resolve it and protect users, rather than waiting passively for the takedown targets to send counter-notices. As we noted last month, online service providers play a crucial role in preserving and promoting online political speech, and YouTube seems to have taken that role seriously here.
Now, the bad news: if YouTube had not been proactive in dealing with what appeared to be fraud, the Anti-Scientology videos might still be down today. Very few YouTube users filed DMCA counter-notices in response to the takedowns, apparently out of concern for their privacy. The DMCA-compliant counter-notices must normally include the full name, address, and telephone number of the alleged copyright infringer. YouTube passes this information along to the party making the copyright infringement claim. Scientology critics, reportedly concerned about Scientology's alleged Fair Game policy, were reluctant to surrender their anonymity.
PORTLAND, Ore., Sept. 25 -- A gunman opened fire on four people at the Church of Scientology Wednesday, leaving one pregnant woman in critical condition, two others seriously injured, and another with a minor injury. Jairus Godeka, 38, originally from Kenya, allegedly walked into the downtown Portland, Ore. church at 11:30 a.m., and shot the pregnant receptionist in the shoulder. She was able to escape to a basement, where she hid. The gunman then shot three men inside the church, and spread gasoline in the building and lit it, said Lt. Cliff Madison, spokesman for the Portland Police Bureau. He then grabbed a fifth victim and held that person hostage and tried to flee out the side door, where he was confronted by police officers about 5 feet away. Police successfully negotiated with Godeka to release the hostage and the gun, and he was arrested. Godeka was charged in February with blackmail and extortion against the same church. Police did not provide details about his prior arrests at the church this year and in 1994. The man with minor injuries had a graze wound to his buttocks. The injury would have been more serious had his wallet not been in the way, Madison said. 'He didn't realize he was shot because it went through his pants and his wallet. But he felt pain in his rear end,' Madison said. The church received only moderate smoke and water damage because firefighters managed to put out the flames within a few minutes, officials said.
The suspect, identified as Kenya native Jairus Godeka, 38, surrendered after walking out of the church's Portland Celebrity Center with a female hostage whom he released unharmed. Godeka was promptly arrested, and firefighters quickly doused the flames.
PORTLAND, ORE. PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ A man carried a gun and a can of gasoline into a downtown Church of Scientology on Wednesday, starting a fire and shooting four people, including a pregnant woman.
The suspect surrendered after walking out of the church's PortlandCelebrity Centre with a female hostage who was heard shouting: "Don't do anything. He's got a gun to my head." Police talked the man into releasing the woman unharmed and dropping his handgun.
Firefighters quickly put out the blaze and it did not cause serious damage.
PORTLAND, ORE. PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ A man carried a can of gasoline into the Church of Scientology's Portland headquarters today, started a fire and shot at least three people.
Two men and a woman were taken from the downtown church to a nearby hospital. There was no immediate word as to the extent of their injuries.
One man was in custody and witnesses across the street at The Heathman Hotel said another suspect fled the scene. However, police spokesman Lt. Cliff Madison said that it was unclear if there was a second suspect.
At more zany talks, J.J. Pierce asserted that in their latest books Frank Herbert and Robert Heinlein had taken to "acting like Khalil Gibran." John Shirley, doing his Don Rickles routine, lashed out that fans were "all badly in need of analysis" and that sf novels were "sleazy, disgusting books that probably incited sex crimes." Meanwhile, Scientologists provided free issues of To the Stars, a fanzine largely devoted to founder L. Ron Hubbard's Battlefield Earth, which they felt had been wrongly denied a nomination for the Hugo (the Science Fiction Achievement Award). Rightly so, claimed the contentious Charles Platt, of The Patchin Review, who led a post-Hugo panel devoted to the burning question: "What's Wrong with the Hugo?" If, however, you didn't care for scientology and L. Ron, but were still looking for salvation, you could learn to "slack off' by joining J.R. "Bob" Dobbs and his Church of the Sub-Genius; as the buttons proclaimed "No Prob with Bob."
The criminal trial of nine members of the Church of Scientology, scheduled to start yesterday, has been postponed pending the outcome of negotiations between federal prosecutors and church attorneys seeking to avoid a lengthy court case.
U.S. District Judge Charles R. Richey reportedly has told attorneys for both sides in closed hearings that he still intends the trial to begin by next Tuesday at the latest if no agreement is reached.
The negotiations are said to center on a procedure by which the government attorneys will lay out their complete case against the Scientologists in court documents. The judge will then determine whether the church members are guilty or innocent of charges of conspiring to obstruct justice and burglarize government offices.