My name is Mark Bunker and I am running for Clearwater City Council. I have been speaking out against Scientology fraud and abuse for 20 years and will fight just as hard on affordable housing, transparency and other issues facing those of us who call Clearwater home. Join me for a bite to eat this Thursday night at 7 p.m at Hacienda Corralejo at 1238 Cleveland St in Clearwater and visit my website at www.markbunker.com
CLEARWATER — For an elected body, the Downtown Development Board's power goes only so far. It does not have authority to pass city ordinances or hire and fire staff.
Its influence lies in helping shape how the world sees downtown. Its $267,000 operating budget, funded through a special tax on downtown property owners, is spent on items like festivals and holiday lighting.
But this modest, volunteer board could make history next month with what might be the first elected body comprised of a majority of members of the Church of Scientology, downtown's largest property owner.
2019-09-30, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
It is quite remarkable the level of foolishness a devoted scientologist is willing to accept if it is the words of "Ron."
As I have mentioned often, all that is required for any scientologist to buy into the most incredible statements is to attach the letters LRH to the end of the sentence. It is so absurd that it is seen as especially "impinging" if the statement is nonsense on its face. This seems to be proof that the "LRH quote" is profound — something us mere mortals perhaps don't have the capacity to comprehend. The condescending "good scientologist" will assume the knowing look of "how could you not see the brilliance of this - you obviously have misunderstood words if you don't see the truth of this brilliant piece of "tech"."
Sea Org members are so indoctrinated into this that they devote hours and hours to searching out the most outrageous and ridiculous sounding "LRH quotes" to use to sell his stuff. If you asked the person who selected this quote to explain what it means they would of course be unable to. So why choose it? Because it creates a "mystery sandwich" — something Hubbard said is good for selling anything. You confuse people and they think there is more to find out so they can understand it.
Last week, Leah Remini made a remarkable post on Instagram about the death of her estranged biological father, George Remini, and how she had heard nothing about him being sick. She didn't even learn about his death until after a funeral had been held.
In her post, Leah made only a partial reference to the way Scientology had used George Remini for a set of videos trashing his famous daughter, which took place after her A&E series, Scientology and the Aftermath, was renewed for a second season in 2017.
Most of the press coverage of Leah's Instagram post was confused on that point: The press stories didn't seem to understand why Leah said that Scientology had "dictated" the final years of her non-relationship to him, and some of the stories allowed Scientology to trash her without any context of how the church had used George for its dirty tricks against Leah.
Remember 'Freedom' magazine?
Scientology's propaganda organ is going through another down time. It has now been a full year since the last issue of the magazine was published in September 2018.
In two weeks, on October 14, it will also be a year since church leader David Miscavige has opened a new Scientology "Ideal Org" somewhere in the world. He did preside over the opening of a new "Advanced Org" in South Africa on January 1, but the grand opening of the Detroit Ideal Org on October 14, 2018 is the last time he cut the ribbon in this country or any other for one of those gleaming new cathedrals.
2019-09-30, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Sadly, too many people pass away without the opportunity to say goodbye to their loved ones. Those who die in tragic accidents or without warning. Others in other cities or countries that make it logistically impossible for a final face-to-face meeting. Some are estranged for whatever reason and don't reach out to them, even when they often regret it as they take their final breaths and it has become too late.
Then there are those who have had their familial relationships sundered by their beliefs — that it will be spiritually harmful to associate with "non-believers" or those who have been cast out.
And finally, there are those who are victims of scientology's vindictive and unrepentant efforts to destroy those who speak out against its abuses. And this leads to deaths of family members with no opportunity to reconcile, but even beyond that, a legacy of hatred in words and videos that are intended to live on as hurtful reminders forever.
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Scientology is one of the newest religions in the world and the target of many jokes. But what makes this religion unique and how was it founded?
"Ron Miscavige Life After Scientology" will explore Ron's time with the Church of Scientology and expose information that the Church does not want you to know.
Please support my Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/itmuststop
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For a couple of years we've been keeping an eye on the ailing Narconon rehab in the Netherlands, which has served only three patients in two years. Rod Keller tells us that Scientology has plans for a new clinic there.
Joanna Kluessien retired as the Executive Director of Narconon Zutphen in July. The facility is located over 100 Km east of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. This Narconon's future has been in question since 2013 when the Dutch Inspectorate for Health Care (IGZ) put it on "enhanced supervision" following a finding that none of the staff had any medical training, and the patients were being put in danger with unscientific methods based on Scientology. The facility's finances have been unsteady since then and Kluessien's departure could have been the last straw.
Scientology is investing instead in what will be known as Narconon Netherlands, a new name and a new identity as an "Ideal" Narconon. Staff is being recruited to be trained at the Continental Narconon in Helsinge, Denmark. All positions are included, from Executive Director down to Estates, which handles sanitation and repairs.
2018-09-30, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Terra joins us once again for some more thought provocation.
Terra Math, L. Ron Hubbard, and Wacky Cosmology
Definition of cosmology (Dictionary.com): the branch of philosophy dealing with the origin and general structure of the universe, with its parts, elements, and laws, and especially with such of its characteristics as space, time, causality and freedom.
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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Wow, what a treat we have for you today. Thanks to a tipster who wants to remain nameless, we have something super rare in the world of Scientology — home video from an event, and not just any event, but the first L. Ron Hubbard birthday celebrated on the MV Freewinds, the church's private cruise ship.
The Freewinds took its maiden voyage under Scientology ownership in June 1988, and so the following March 13, in 1989, was the first Hubbard birthday to be celebrated on the boat.
While one group of members was visiting the ship for a few weeks as they completed OT 8, the highest auditing level there is, one of them had brought along a video camera to record things. And on the night of March 12, 1989, they captured the scene we're sharing with you today.
2017-09-30, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
I didn't know Scientology was a religion until well into my HQS course (Hubbard Qualified Scientologist course). And even then, I didn't accept that it was a bona fide religious entity but more of a new-age, self-help type of outfit. Werner Erhard and EST had set up shop locally, Moonies and Buddhists were common sights at airports, and yes, the field of psychology had become the lifeblood of American mental health.
If people wanted to call Scientology a religion, so be it. I didn't care. I just wanted to handle my life and go Clear.
L ouis Theroux's My Scientology Movie pulls off the neat trick of finding a revelatory approach to a topic that's been well covered of late: the Church of Scientology. For longtime Scientology obsessives, the last few years have puked up a glut of Scientology exposés. Paul Thomas Anderson downplayed similarities between The Master and the early years of L Ron Hubbard's group, but the film still gives a good idea of how it may have developed. More worrying for Scientology and its leader, David Miscavige, was Lawrence Wright's Going Clear – rich in accounts from church apostates, lawyered-up and fact-checked to the nth degree – and the no-less-excoriating Alex Gibney documentary based on it. Both book and film were devastating for Scientology's reputation.
Going Clear review – chilling and damning
2016-09-30, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Unfortunately, extenuating circumstances dictate a Regraded Being Redux again this week. RB selected another favorite, from March 2015. You get to enjoy another Regraded Being take on the scientology bubble you may never have seen (unless you are a long time reader of this blog) or may not really recall. RB promises to have all technical difficulties resolved for next week.
We're very happy to see that Steve Cannane's book, Fair Game: The Incredible Untold Story of Scientology in Australia has been getting a lot of press since it was released on September 19. Naturally, media reports have tended to focus on celebrity hijinks in the book, as well as recent stories of abuse in Scientology that Steve uncovered.
But one of the things we enjoyed most about Steve's book — and frankly, didn't expect from a book with a focus on Australia — was the tough new look it takes at Scientology's founder, Nebraska-born L. Ron Hubbard.
Cannane takes a brutal look at Hubbard's background, and he seems astonished that given Hubbard's personal history anyone took him seriously at all. In 1948 Hubbard was brought so low, he was prosecuted in San Gabriel Township Court in Southern California for writing bad checks. Steve writes, "Following his visit to the San Gabriel Township Justice Court, Hubbard could have been classified as a petty thief, a con artist, a bigamist, a wife-beater, a dead-beat dad, a valour thief, a malingerer and a liar. Yet his next scheme was to convince others that he had found a way to solve any and all of their life problems. Hubbard was working on a book he would ultimately describe as a 'milestone for Man comparable to his discovery of fire and superior to his inventions of the wheel and arch.'"
After the devastating loss of Cathriona White, Jim Carrey's on-and-off girlfriend, from an apparent suicide, her heartbroken stepmother is now traveling to Los Angeles to make arrangements to bring her daughter's body back home to Ireland.
"It's a terrible journey for her (step)mother to have to make," a close family friend tells PEOPLE. "Everybody is hoping that her body can be returned home quickly now."
White's sister accompanied her stepmother on the tragically unexpected trip, PEOPLE has learned.
When Cathriona White, Jim Carrey's on-off-girlfriend, was pronounced dead at her L.A. Residence on Monday night, it was characterized as a possible suicide due to evidence found on the scene. The coroner's report noted that not only were there pills located near her, but there was also a suicide note - and the note contained Carrey's name, PEOPLE has learned.
Though Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said he did not personally see the note, he confirmed to PEOPLE that the Los AngelesPolice Department told him Carrey's name was in the letter.
"The LAPD evidently said (it contained Carrey's name)," Winter tells PEOPLE.
2015-09-30, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
A Special Correspondent just forwarded this to me. It contains the latest "mind-blowing" "expansion news"
Oh my, can you say hype? It is really hard to comprehend the delusional world these people live in.
A new Purif completion every 15 mins on this planet. Let's ignore the fact that 90% of them are old Purif completions. People being recycled. Let's just take their figure at face value.
Friends of Jim Carrey's ex-girlfriend have spoken of their despair that they missed her call for help on Twitter before she apparently took her life.
Make-up artist Cathriona White, 28, was found dead from a suspected drug overdose on Monday just days after breaking up with the comedian for a second time.
They are believed to have split last Thursday, the same day she wrote a worrying message on Twitter, saying: 'Signing off Twitter, I hope I have been a light to my nearest and dearest.'
The death of Cathriona White, Jim Carrey's on-and-off girlfriend, from an apparent suicide came as shock to everyone who knew her, and her family is reeling from the loss.
On Tuesday, her family issued an emotional statement to the Irish Independent, expressing their devastation at White's sudden death: "The family of Cathriona White sincerely regret the untimely passing of their beloved daughter and sister."
"Cathriona was a shining light in our lives who was loved deeply by her entire family. We will miss her terribly and at this difficult time we ask to be left in private to mourn our loss. There will be no further statements on behalf of the family."
Actor Jim Carrey and his girlfriend Cathriona White were spotted in New York earlier this year after the couple apparently started dating again following a breakup. Now, news organizations are scrambling for more information about their relationship after the 30-year-old woman killed herself this week.
People magazine and other publications are reporting that Cathriona was an Irish citizen, had first started dating Carrey in 2012, worked as a make-up artist in the fashion industry, and was pronounced dead on Monday night.
But two of her friends tell the Underground Bunker what the rest of the media hasn't reported: That Cathriona (pronounced "Katrina") was a Scientologist who took classes at the HollywoodCelebrity Centre, and was currently working on her "objectives" in the "Survival Rundown."
The man who shot four people 19 years ago at Portland's downtown Scientology center earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Oregon last spring, worked in the campus cafeteria part time while a student and now lives in a group home in Springfield.
Jairus Chegero Godeka appeared Wednesday before the state's Psychiatric Security Review Board, arguing that he poses no danger to the community and should no longer be under the board's control.
He asked to return to his native Kenya and offered to give up his right to come back to the United States. He even asked to be placed on the no-fly list to prevent it. He promised to find a reputable psychiatrist in his home country to continue with treatment.
"Cat" - as many of Cathriona White's friends called her - may have been leading a "very private" life with boyfriend Jim Carrey, but whenever his name was brought up she couldn't help but gush.
"The last time I saw her in May, she had just gotten back from New York with Jim Carrey and she was happy about it," White's friend Judd Weiss tells PEOPLE exclusively about her recent trip with Carrey, 53.
Cathriona White Coleman-Rayner (2) White was found dead at her L.A. residence of an apparent suicide on Monday night, leaving those closest to her shocked and devastated - including Carrey.
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"Going Clear" journalist Tony Ortega discusses Scientology's dirty tricks -- then and now
In 1971, a New York magazine freelancer named Paulette Cooper published The Scandal of Scientology, one of the first books to give the public a view into this secretive organization. She nearly paid for it with her life. What even Paulette didn't know at the time was the extent that Scientology and its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, would go to destroy someone it perceived as an enemy. By 1973, Paulette had been framed in an elaborate plot involving fake bomb-threat letters, and she faced 15 years in federal prison if convicted. Newly unearthed documents show that by that time, Scientology had kept her under tight surveillance for several years and proposed many ways to destroy her reputation and life. She was finally exonerated after the FBI raided Scientology in 1977 and found those documents, which referred to her by the code name "Miss Lovely." Eleven top Scientology officials went to prison after that raid, but more than 30 years later, Scientology is still around -- and so is Paulette.In his new, and first, book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely, journalist Tony Ortega tells Paulette's story in full for the first time, with eyewitness accounts and new documents which describe the full extent of her ordeal -- and her continued fight against a group now seriously in decline. The book also describes her childhood survival of the Holocaust, and her much calmer life in Florida today with her husband Paul, as well as the latest developments in the controversies facing Scientology today. Ortega is the executive editor of TheLipTV. From 2007 to 2012, he was editor in chief of The Village Voice, and he's been investigating and writing about Scientology since 1995, when he was a reporter for the Phoenix New Times. He also wrote for or edited weekly newspapers in Los Angeles, Kansas City, and Fort Lauderdale. Originally from Los Angeles, he lives in New York and maintains a breaking news website about Scientology news, "The Underground Bunker" (tonyortega.org). He is also featured in "Going Clear," Alex Gibney's documentary about Scientology, which first aired on HBO in March.
We're still waiting for a major decision from Federal District Judge James A. Whittemore in Tampa that will determine if Scientology can dodge a fraud lawsuit by insisting its former members have to submit all grievances to its internal arbitration system rather than litigate in a civil court.
But in the meantime, Scientology asked, and Whittemore granted, a seemingly minor request which we can't help thinking hints at some trouble for the church's arbitration gambit.
2014-09-30, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
A Special Correspondent in Australia sent me this latest promo piece on Ideal Orgs.
It contains some startling information that may not be evident at a quick glance. But once again, they have hoisted themselves on their own petard.
Apart from the obvious conceit that they are EVER going to get "ideal orgs" in Canberra, Adelaide and Brisbane (first step is to get an ORG in those places, they have had part time missions for decades now and no sign of that changing....) what this reveals about the overall strategy in a simple graphic is pretty stunning.
A judge on Monday denied a request by one of Casey Kasem's daughters for about $160,000 in attorneys' fees in connection with her initial bid to establish a conservatorship over the late radio icon.
Los Angeles Superior CourtJudge Lesley Green said that even if Julie Kasem believes her stepmother did not honor the terms of their conservatorship settlement agreement, she could instead pursue other options such as a breach-of-settlement action.
2013-09-30, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
A little humor to start the week.
Battle has been joined. Another crazy email clearly signals David Wilson is determined to wrest the crown of FSM Wacky Maximus from Mike Smith.
While Smith has had no challengers to his undisputed title for over a year, Wilson is quickly making a name for himself in the status stakes. This is a battle for the ages and the prize has never been higher — the entire future of mankind and this planet hangs in the balance. And these two titans of titillation are not taking that lightly.
Hey, everyone, the Church of Scientology went and hired a kickass journalist to be the new editor of its humorous house organ, Freedom magazine!
It's John Sugg, a name that's pretty well known in the part of Florida where Scientology has one of its headquarters. It's an exciting choice, as we'll explain.
Last night, St. Petersburg, Florida blogger Peter Schorsch noted that he'd received a copy of the "re-launched" Freedom magazine, which he said arrived this week. He provided an image of the magazine's masthead, to show his discovery.
1985 at David Mayo's Advanced Ability Center Pam and Ray Kemp give a talk about their time with L. Ron Hubbard and the technology. They talk about the take over of the church (also make a point that Scientology is not a religion) by that little rascal David Miscarriage (oops, David Miscavage). And the rest is history.
2013-09-30, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
So much for the first month — a big fat nothing. None of the four epic accomplishments was done....
Wonder how many people are sitting around at Flag waiting for anything to happen — desperately trying to avoid the regges? (Good luck with that)
Now they are piling on. Promoting the wonders of the IAS event "directly following" the opening of the SP Building and release of GAG II.
The Sun revealed last month how Narconon told how secret Scientologists working for Narconon had tricked their way into primary schools posing as drugs campaigners while parents were kept in the dark.
It has also bragged of support from a string of High Street names and bagged cash from the Queen's bank, Coutts.
In issue 21 of the Narconon newsletter, Challenge UK, the charity says: "Over the years he (Simon) has also delivered the lecture to juniors in the following football clubs: Tottenham Hotspurs, Oldham Athletic, Bolton Wanderers and Rochdale FC.
"In all he has probably reached over 20,000 children with the truth about drugs."
2012-09-30, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
The Tampa Bay Times has published a rather startling expose', Scientology Inc. Private Eyes Come Clean.
Notice that David Miscavige's denials confirm pretty much the entire story.
When Paul and Greg asked CO OSA INT (Linda Hammill, head of Scientology Inc.'s intelligence operation) what the church was going to do when I exposed this operation in 2009 to the Times (see, segment 'Spying on Pat Broeker' at Marty Rathbun Tampa Times videos), she said that David Miscavige's plan was to "blame it on Marty." Greg and Paul knew then and there that Miscavige and his crime syndicate had lost any sense it might have once had.
So where were we? Oh yeah, we remember:
Just about every day, we receive the latest wacky and tacky fundraising mailers put out by Scientology orgs around the world. Thank you, tipsters, for forwarding them to us! On Sundays, we love to reveal them to you.
Things here in the underground bunker have been a bit chaotic of late. Sirens keep going off, circuits are out of whack, the booze is barely holding out. The cats are a wreck. But we've rallied, and data is streaming in as we try to keep an eye on all things Scientology-related that are happening around this backwater planet. So let's get to what the bunker's pneumatic tubes brought us this week along with a much-needed delivery of Chinese takeout.
2011-09-30, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
With all the chatter about L Ron Hubbard's alleged shortcomings, it got me to thinking about what the effect of the unprecedented ad hominen attacks against the man were. Hubbard was demonized by the Cold War establishment perhaps more than any other civilian figure. One cummulative effect of it all was to to one degree or another de-humanize him in the public eye. We see remnants of those effects to this day. Tony Ortega has even come to the conclusion that my mission - and that of many other Independents - is made hopeless by this historical landscape. That landscape is not easy to contextualize given its long-lived nature and Miscavige's daily efforts to make the myths into reality. Providing context to the entire picture is a longer term project that I never lose site of, but unfortunately I have not found the time to devote to it that it deserves.
So, in the interim I play the game of trying to provide morsels of food for thought from time to time that might ever so slightly shift a viewpoint or two.
Today, I address a propaganda line that developed some legs during the take-down-Hubbard Cold War. That is, "Hubbard's writings rarely mention the word 'love.'"
Earlier this week the National Post ran an advertisement that has caused some controversy. The ad, bought by the Institute for Canadian Values, argued against aspects of the Ontario school curriculum that include instruction about certain aspects of human sexuality. Specifically, it objected to teaching young children — those between junior kindergarten and Grade 3 — about transsexual/transgender/intersexed/two-spirited issues.
The National Post has procedures in place for vetting the content of advertising, especially advocacy advertising. The procedures are intended to ensure that such ads meet a standard of tone and respect that is consistent with furthering constructive dialogue about important public policy issues.
In this case, those procedures were not followed. An ad that should not have run in its proposed form was allowed to run.
The recent report by the Fair Work Ombudsman on Scientology may be a more cautious version of the draft document, but it still packs a punch - and there's more to come.
The way Scientology tells it, the report released by Australia's Fair Work Ombudsman earlier this month represents a crushing victory for the movement.
A statement they released on September 16, the day the report came out, certainly gave that impression.
But for years, the 'Scientology school', the Delphian, in Sheridan, Oregon has largely remained a mystery.
Now former students are speaking out about the controversial $42,000-a-year school where the unconventional curriculum includes learning through clay modelling and students are encouraged to report each other for breaches of the school's extensive list of rules.
2010-09-30, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Some commenters wondered where Tommy was for the new BBC show. Well, as DM's hand-picked public relations representative he was dutifully and accurately interpretting his master's activities. Namely, HIDING. In contrast, where was Mike today? In East Grinstead directing a photo shoot of some lovely independents paying homage to the Founder at his home, St Hill. Enjoy.
Schmidt had long denied claims that he came by his merchandise through unscrupulous means. But earlier this year he agreed to plead guilty to attempted extortion after federal authorities said he contacted Cruise's representatives and threatened to release photos of Cruise and Holmes' wedding in Italy last year unless he was paid $1.2 million to $1.3 million.
Schmidt's last and latest deal involved wedding photos of Tom Cruise, without question the biggest name with which he had dealt. But it would prove to be his unraveling. At the time of his death, Schmidt was a few days away from entering a guilty plea on a federal charge of trying to extort Cruise by offering to sell the unauthorized photos back to him for upwards of $1 million.
The FBI arrested Schmidt in July. The case shattered his public persona, and most likely his method of making a living, and left his tattered personal life exposed.
A MAN who was due to face court after agreeing to plead guilty to plotting to extort more than $US1 million ($A1.14 million) from actor Tom Cruise for the star's stolen wedding photos has been found dead.
David Hans Schmidt, 47, had been under house arrest and was looking at up to two years in jail.
Authorities said it appeared Schmidt had committed suicide, according to an AP report.
CLEARWATER - Former Clearwater Mayor Gabe Cazares, a civil rights advocate, champion of the disadvantaged and archenemy of the Church of Scientology, died Friday (Sept. 29, 2006). He was 86.
As a politician, Mr. Cazares led the local Democratic Party and won public office at a time when few Hispanics even lived in Pinellas County.
As a community activist, he worked to help the poor and build bridges across racial lines in Clearwater during the early years of integration.
But after the Church of Scientology came to town in late 1975, Mr. Cazares became an outspoken critic. That led Scientologists to hatch plans to smear him with sex allegations and a phony hit-and-run accident.
The Church of Scientology last week gave Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, and Baylor University professor Derek Davis its Freedom Magazine Human Rights Leadership Award.
The magazine, published by the church, recognized Jackson Lee for her defense of civil rights in the United States and abroad. She was praised for her support of African development.
Davis, who directs Baylor's J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies, was cited for advancing religious liberty.
2000-09-30, William R. Levesque, St. Petersburg Times
Chief Medical Examiner Joan Wood, the embattled doctor who swore never to resign after 18 years at the helm, finally closed out her last autopsy, cleared out her office this week and headed for a new start.
Federal-court jurors delivered their verdict yesterday after deliberating eight hours, ending a trial that began when Jason Scott sued deprogrammer Rick Ross, Ross' associates and Cult Awareness Network (CAN), a Chicago-based group that monitors cults.
1995-09-30, Steven Goldsmith, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Jason Scott, now 23, smiled broadly after the six-member U.S. District Court jury gave him a near-total victory in his civil rights lawsuit against the Cult Awareness Network and three men hired by his mother to wrest him from his church congregation.
A private drug treatment center in Fairfax County has been cited by Virginia officials for failing to notify county officials of allegations that a 13-year-old boy in the program had been sexually abused by an older client, according to state documents.
After an investigation, state mental health officials also found that Straight Inc., a Springfield drug treatment program for teenagers, allowed a 19-year-old client to stay in the program after he had been accused of sexually abusing two other clients in earlier incidents.
The citation is one of at least 45 violations found in recent years by the state against Straight, which also has been the target of lawsuits locally and nationally.