We learned recently that Scientologists can not only become "patrons" and "laureates" and "meritorious" based on how much money they give to the IAS (Scientology's main slush fund), but they can also become "ambassadors" and "luminaries" if they help pay for book dissemination campaigns.
There are so many ways Scientologists can get fancy trophies and certificates and swag! Why should they have all the fun?
We decided it was about time we started awarding statuses to our amazing commenters, who have been in the trenches with us in this absurd pursuit for many years now.
TSG Ep226 - Nathan Rich was born in Hollywood to a Scientologist family. After being sent to the infamously abusive Mace-Kingsley Ranch twice, he escaped and was disowned by his family. He spent seven years a homeless drug addict before turning his life around. Nathan appeared on \"Scientology and the Aftermath\" produced by ex-scientoligist and actress Leah Remini, and has since written a memoir called Scythe Tleppo: My Survival of a Cult, Abandonment, Addiction and Homelessness.
Check us out at www.ThatSoberGuy.com
Connect with us on instagram @realthatsoberguy and @shaneramer on twitter
2018-10-04, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
Hey everyone. Thanks so much for coming out. I want to thank the Secular Hub for hosting this talk and allowing me a platform to speak on my ideas about cults and critical thinking.
Before we get into the meat of this, there's a couple points I like to make. For those of you familiar with my work, you may have heard some of this before but it is really important and bears repeating.
There are these two things called tolerance and understanding and I put a lot of value on them because as far as I'm concerned, they are the grease that smooths the cogs and wheels of human interaction. Without tolerance and understanding, there can be no common ground or basis for communication and you just get fighting and even violence. There are a lot of misunderstandings and weird ideas about cults out there and if we are ever going to do something about the cult problem we need to approach it from a problem solving point of view instead of a violent or antagonistic one.
I gave a talk at the Secular Hub in Denver about the psychology of the cult mentality, what cognitive mechanisms are involved and a Q&A session addressing various aspects of cult behavior.
#DestructiveCults #Scientology #CultIndocrination
Thanks to BetterHelp for sponsoring this channel. Here is the link to their site so you can sign up: http://betterhelp.com/Cshelton
2018-10-04, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Everything is INCREDIBLE and ON FIRE
We are fundraising for our construction documents... Woohooo.
And the AO Africa is opening (maybe — been promising that white elephant for a decade now). And that is important because?
There are so many horror stories about what Scientology's "Sea Org" members have experienced while serving in the "Rehabilitation Project Force," the organization's prison detail.
Among the first that come to mind are both Nora Crest and Laura DeCrescenzo separately attempting suicide by gulping down bleach, so desperate were they to get out of the RPF's degrading conditions. Originally, the RPF had lasted weeks or months, but by the 1990s it took years to complete its cycle — we've talked to people who spent up to 12 years as prisoners on the RPF.
Chuck Beatty was on it for seven years. He's told us about sitting outside in the dark at the Happy Valley RPF desert compound on the night of December 31, 1999, knowing that around the world, human beings would be celebrating the coming of the year 2000. But after being in the RPF for years, he had no connection with them. No connection with the outside world at all. He sat and looked at the stars, and wondered what he was missing.
2017-10-04, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This is pretty much a throw-away post for today.
The relentless drive for "donations" gives birth to some really cray cray stuff.
The opportunities for innuendo and puns are almost endless with something like this. I will leave that to the many humorous commenters that frequent this site. As I said, for personal reasons I don't have much time to devote to putting together a decent post today.
While the Church of Scientology has been showing off its new eye-popping $57million headquarters on Sydney's north shore in a bid to attract new members, the secretive religion has been quietly working on its former flagship facility.
The secretive religion's former headquarters tucked in Dundas, in western Sydney, which is believed to be used as a punishment camp for members who stray, is receiving its own massive renovation, including a birthing unit, Daily Mail Australia understands.
Scientologists practice 'silent birth' and discourage any words from being used from any person in the delivery room.
The sun was about to set on a July evening in 2013 when Betsy Steg heard a knock at the door.
She peered out her front window and wondered how two uniformed Scientologists got the code to her gated cul-de-sac in Harbor Oaks, an affluent neighborhood overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway.
As Steg opened the door, church official Peter Mansell delivered a warning.
"He said, 'You're an enemy of the church and we're going to harm and destroy you,' " Steg recalled.
Once again our tipsters have come through for us. We have several interesting things for you today, and we struggled over how to order them. We'll be interested to see which of these items you found most disturbing, ominous, or wacky.
Let's start at the Church of Scientology's spiritual headquarters, where Florida Attorney GeneralPam Bondi made an appearance Sunday at Scientology's most holy site, the Fort Harrison Hotel, and gave a talk about her fight against illegal drugs and human trafficking.
Bondi has a relationship with Scientology going back awhile. Two years ago, we noted that she was having a fundraiser hosted by Scientologists.
2016-10-04, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The next Terra Cognita essay that follows closely the last 2: The Condition of Liabilitiness and Condition of Doubtfulness — Terra is injecting a little more humor into this one. Though of course, satire is often mistaken for fact when it comes to the bubble of scientology.
See earlier Terra Cognita: 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.
Nothing Stopping Us Now! Two New Conditions!
2015-10-04, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The weekly show where I answer questions from viewers left in the comments section of my Q&A videos or sent to me by email at email@example.com. This week, the questions I answer are:
(1) You seem to have recovered so well and so quickly compared to the many ex-Jehovah's Witnesses I know who were in the cult for a similar amount of years (including myself). That's all the more surprising considering that Scientology seems to do a much greater mindf@@k on the followers than even the JWs, but of course, there's no good or healthy cult. What has been most helpful to you in your own recovery and what would you recommend to new cult escapees?
(2) I am a retired psychiatric nurse practitioner who has become fascinated by Scientology and its mind control methods. Fifteen years ago I was teaching Psychiatric Nursing at a state university and had two young men in my class. They kept to themselves, did not mingle with the other students, and seemed uncomfortable with the class material as well as the clinical experience in my Psychiatric Nursing course. After the final exam, they told me their beliefs about psychiatry, which were, of course, shocking to me. They confessed that they thought all psychiatrists were evil and were intentionally trying to harm people.They asked me if I had ever heard of Scientology and invited me to their "church." I politely declined, and as they were walking away, they turned and said, "Oh, she's just a wog." At the time, I had no idea what that word meant. Do you know if Scientology in the past has actually sent some of its parishioners or Sea Org members to universities to become nurses? This is a chilling thought, as I do not think that the philosophy or practice of nursing would be compatible with the belief system and practices of the cult of Scientology.
The story of Cathriona White has played out across the world like a Hollywood tragedy; the beautiful Irish country girl trying to make it in Los Angeles who caught the eye of one of the biggest movie stars in town; a doomed love affair, all underscored by a reported dalliance with a religious cult.
The reality of the 30-year-old's death by suspected suicide last Monday night is a bleak, dark and devastating affair for her family and the tiny Tipperary community from which she came.
Cryptic messages announced her withdrawal from social media. Concerned friends drove around to her lovely rented home and found Cathriona dead, a bottle of pills nearby and a note mentioning her on-and-off-again millionaire-actor boyfriend Jim Carrey, who has battled his own demons.
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.
Link to recommended reading list: http://goo.gl/8oek6w
Link to Shelly Miscavige article: http://goo.gl/aieB2q
In 2009, Cathriona White moved from Ireland to California. That same year, this photograph was taken. It was posted by celebrity photographer Joshua Shultz, who is sitting at the right. Next to him is a small-time actor named Tyler Hynes (in the red cap). Next to him is a man who is labeled "shmayle," then actress Erika Christensen, Tama Leia (McCormick) Stewart, and Tama's husband, Taylor Newton Stewart.
They are young Scientologists, and soon most of them will become part of Cat White's life.
Cathriona is famous now because on Monday she was discovered dead, apparently at her own hand, four days after her boyfriend, comedian Jim Carrey, reportedly broke up with her. On Wednesday morning, we broke the news that Cathriona — known as "Cat" to her friends — had been a Scientologist, and that Carrey was aware of that fact.
2015-10-04, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Remember when the prerequisite for OT IX and X was that you had to be a Class VI auditor and all specialist auditor training courses? And thus the OT VIII's were all being hammered to get on auditor training.... Could not do that these days, as there is no Briefing Course.
Of course, like most of what happens in the church of scientology today — this is a moving goalpost.
The prereqs are whatever thing Miscavige is pushing as his latest fad.
Jon Atack is the author of A Piece of Blue Sky, one of the very best books on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. He has a new edition of the book for sale, and for more than a year on Saturdays he helped us sift through the legends, myths, and contested facts about Scientology that tend to get hashed and rehashed in books, articles, and especially on the Internet. He was kind enough to send us a new post.
Jon, it looks like you have found another fun way to turn the words of L. Ron Hubbard back in on themselves. Let's hear it.
JON: "More communication, not less, is the answer," or so L. Ron Hubbard asserted, some time before introducing "disconnection" as a core policy. And there is a key in this statement as to how we might help current inmates of the cult. John McMaster, the "World's First Real Clear" — who left after struggling with a broken collar bone for three hours, having been hurled from a ship into the sea — used to call Saint Hill just before the bus took the poor slaves back to Stonelands and engage a registrar in conversation. I have little doubt from my meetings with John that these were rambling and long, but they were well meant. And by the time he was done, the registrar would have accumulated some first-hand material about "Tubby," as John called his former master.
2014-10-04, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This is a page from the latest Advance mag (soon to be renamed Consolidate mag and thereafter Fall Back mag). This comes out maybe a couple of times a year, though I believe it is supposed to be monthly.
Just for sake of giving them the benefit of the doubt, let's assume this is the production for a single month. (Though of course the same people appear on here for several services that SHOULD take more than a month).
Even just a single month — being kind — it is astonishingly bereft of volume.
2013-10-04, Douglas R. Clifford, Editorial, Tampa Bay Times
The judges in two separate lawsuits against the Church of Scientology have made the right call to keep the focus on the church's behavior and reject its efforts to sidetrack the cases. The church should address the accusations of misconduct directly rather than delay and obfuscate by trying to force its accusers to change lawyers.
A security guard at the church at 505 N. Wabasha St. was showing a man around the building at 3:30 a.m. Thursday, and later discovered that an "electrometer" valued at $5,000 was missing, according to St. Paul police spokesman Sgt. Paul Paulos.
2013-10-04, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
There are two new videos this morning that everyone should see. I am having some difficulty getting videos to post on this blog, so I am including the url for the first:
The first is from Good Morning America:
Unfortunately your browser does not support IFrames.
The Underground Bunker is privileged to debut a new video by Los Angeles music producer and ex-Scientologist Tiziano Lugli. We've shown some of his previous efforts that feature ex-church members talking about Scientology. But none of them have quite had the impact of this four-minute film.
We expect that regular readers of this website will recognize most of the people who appear. Some of them are less familiar. All of them are telling their own stories. One face that we haven't seen in Tiziano's previous films is the one you see to the right. That's Yannus Sufandi, the only person who appears in the video who was never a Scientologist. But if you read our story last month, you know that his nine-year relationship with dancer Manuela Oliveira ended when she decided to join Scientology's "Sea Org" after spending only a few months in the church. The Sea Org takes total dedication. After Manuela signed its billion-year contract, she moved out, leaving Yannus wondering what he'd done wrong.
Let us know who you recognize in the video, and what you think of Tiziano's latest effort. And please, play this at full screen...
Oregon Labor and Industries Commissioner Brad Avakian said Thursday he has ordered Engel and his dental practice to pay nearly $350,000 in damages to the former employee who fled her job when ordered to attend a three-day Scientology-affiliated symposium or be fired.
Engel, whose Bend practice is AWE Dental Spa, issued a brief statement Friday through Portland attorney Michael Gordon, who said they will appeal the state labor commissioner's decision to the Oregon Court of Appeals:
A phone message at Engel's practice said he was out until Monday. He gained his dental license in Oregon in 1998. State Board of Dentistry records show the body has never taken disciplinary action against Engel.
Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian said the penalty will cover the woman's lost wages and damages as well as moving expenses and emotional distress.
Employees should feel "secure from an employer's pressure to do something that conflicts with their religious beliefs," he said in a written statement.
2012-10-04, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
by Luis Garcia
"On Saturday, June 2, city and state dignitaries joined thousands of Scientologists in downtown Santa Ana to dedicate the new Church of Scientology of Orange County."
And so starts the magnificent tale of the opening of yet another exuberant, oversized and empty building, disguised as a "church" where "Visitors are invited to take a self-guided tour of the expansive Public Information Center, presenting informational and documentary films on every aspect of the religion, including the life and legacy of Founder L. Ron Hubbard."
A FULL HOUR of Wise Beard Man? Grab some popcorn and find a comfy chair, because you're going to want to hear Radio Paul interview Mark Bunker about his experiences as one of the most reliable and level-headed of Scientology Watchers.
Hearing this only makes us want to see his movie Knowledge Report more than ever. Get that thing done, Bunker!
Also, we are deeply grateful for the shout-out from WBM, who explained to folks at home how to find this blog.
I wanted to explore the world of Scientology and did just that with former Scientologist and author Jefferson Hawkins. He had a bitter split with the Church and talks about physical and emotional abuse.
Hawkins spent some time on my show this evening. It was an eye-opening conversation.
2011-10-04, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
L Ron Hubbard's many spoken and recorded words that specified the vital necessity for a comprehensive Dictionary of Dianetics and Scientology have been burned and buried by David Miscavige.
L Ron Hubbard directed the compilation of the original red covered Dianetics and Scientology Dictionary. He did not edit it nor did he approve the final edit. Through use of it over the years he often wrote about the need for improvement. Most particularly when Hubbard was developing the Key to Life course in the late seventies he wrote many despatches directing the compilation of a complete Dianetics and Scientology dictionary.
David Miscavige cross ordered all of that – just as he did the completion of LRH's six month project to complete the Technical Training Films – until the mid nineties. By that time Miscavige had destroyed most tech veterans in the church and began a dictatorship on technical matters which continues to this day. He did that in the mid nineties around the time he announced the completion of the Tech films, after spending hundreds of millions of dollars making them cinematographically to his liking, and technically abhorrent.
2011-10-04, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
reference: my last blog post, Miscavige Cancels Hubbard's Dictionary, at https://markrathbun.wordpress.com/2011/10/04/miscavige-cancels-hubbards-dictionary/
With inexorable promptitude (stolen phrase from a Hubbard Journal) Tony Ortega, editor in chief of the Village Voice, happened to run into an actor who was blown away (in a bad sense) by church of Scientology Celebrity Center International three years ago, post about it, and in the bargain verified in real time just about everything I wrote in the above referenced post this morning. Take for example this passage from Ortega's recounting of the story of Philip Boyd:
Another time, he encountered the word "enturbulation" in a Hubbard book. "I tried to look it up and realized it was something Hubbard invented," he says. (Hubbard used it to mean agitation or disruption.) Boyd asked a supervisor about it and says he was told, "Hubbard was highly educated, and used words that weren't on this planet." Boyd says he found that pretty ridiculous.
The anti-Muslim activist John Joseph Jay has issued a call for the mass murder of the leadership of both parties in Congress, the governors of seven states, and prominent academics, along with a demand to "burn all mosques. period."
Jay helped in the founding of anti-Muslim activist Pam Geller's group American Freedom Defense Initiative. AFDI is the umbrella organization of the prominent Stop the Islamization Of America (SOIA). Jay's signature can be seen below those of Geller and fellow arch anti-Muslim activist Robert Spencer on AFDI's incorporation document (PDF), as Charles Johnson at LGF pointed out. The P.O. Box listed for Jay is also the same as Geller's.
But while those organizations have stopped short of calls for violence, Jay crossed way over that line in a rambling post on his blog called "start the revolution," which fantasizes about the painful medieval deaths of perceived enemies (screenshot here, cached version here):
2011-10-04, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Another time, he encountered the word "enturbulation" in a Hubbard book. "I tried to look it up and realized it was something Hubbard invented," he says. (Hubbard used it to mean agitation or disruption.) Boyd asked a supervisor about it and says he was told, "Hubbard was highly educated, and used words that weren't on this planet."
Boyd says he found that pretty ridiculous.
The Church has launched a new offensive against its critics in the US media, accusing an author who attempted to lift the lid on secrets of a $42,000-a-year boarding school it runs in rural Oregon of making "a number of false claims" about the institution and its teaching methods.
Benjamin Carlson's two-part series on Delphian School, which has about 250 teenage students, made headlines last week when it described how teachers there follow a curriculum designed around "Study Technology", a controversial teaching method designed by Mr Hubbard in the 1960s.
2010-10-04, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
There have been some questions of late about what my intentions are for this blog. These come from people that seem offended by my allowance of comments that question aspects of Scientology and my posts suggesting reading outside of Scientology. I think one huge impediment - if not the biggest of all - to people realizing the gains attainable from Scientology is the Org inclulcated false sense, even beingness, of "certainty." It is an injection of the biggest barrier to learning - thinking one already knows. I see Scientologists being created who taste a bit of "Know About" on the Know to Mystery scale and buy into some bullshit that they have achieved KNOW. They have been denied achieving KNOW by learning how to talk the talk without ever learning to walk the walk. And therein lie some seeds that grow into what people on the outside perceive as a cult.
One does not achieve KNOW without passing through NOT KNOW. (Know to Mystery Scale)
NOT KNOW lies above CURIOSITY on the CDEI Scale.
2009-10-04, Jefferson Hawkins, Leaving Scientology
We got into a bit of a discussion last week on the RPF, and someone calling themselves "Surprised" posted a comment saying, "any RPF people I ever ran into, in LA and elsewhere, were always very carefree, I saw them smiling, they looked healthy and not stressed at all, and often sang, or told jokes or stories when working."
This got me thinking. Is this the way most Scientology public view the RPF? As a bunch of carefree, singing people, happily "rehabilitating" themselves?
Well, certainly, the Church would like that to be the perception. According to their website, the RPF is "a second chance" for "Sea Org staff members who would otherwise be subject to dismissal for serious and/or continuous ecclesiastical violations"– an opportunity to experience "complete rehabilitation" for "personnel burn out." Sea Org members who have gone through the program, we are told, "attest to its enormous personal benefit, and express their appreciation for being able to avail themselves of redemption as opposed to dismissal."
Hundreds of Christian believers in Samoa from Pentecostal churches and ministries have marched in protest against the government's support of the Scientology religion.
They marched to the front of the government building in Apia where Scientology tents have been put up as the main venue for its disaster training and seminars over the next two weeks.
Samoa's Minister of Police, Tole'afoa Apulu Fa'afisi, says a goodwill visit by Scientology volunteer ministers is crucial for the country as their mission is to provide disaster seminars and training for everyone.
The minister, who opened the Scientology training programme yesterday was responding to more than a hundred Christian protesters from various denominations who marched to show their disapproval of the Scientologists visit.
The firefighters take saunas, engage in physical workouts and swallow pills -- all of which together constitute what for years has been known, amid considerable dispute, as Mr. Hubbard's detoxification program, one meant to wash the body of poisons or toxins. The firefighters are not charged for their trips to the clinic, called Downtown Medical.
According to Lawrence Wollersheim, a founder of the Fight Against Coercive Tactics Network, FACTNet has been consigned to a peculiar kind of Internet hell by a "search engine sabotaging tactic" employed by the Church of Scientology.
Jairus C. Godeka conversed freely with the television set. He would laugh aloud for no reason. He said the FBI was watching him and bugging his telephone. He heard voices that commented incessantly on his behavior.
Godeka spun out these and more suspicions and fears during a 1987 interview at a Northeast Portland mental health clinic. But never once did he mention what was to become a grinding obsession - the Church of Scientology.
PORTLAND - The man accused of shooting four people in a Church of Scientology branch pleaded not guilty today to 13 criminal counts arising from the Sept. 25 incident.
Along with the shootings, Jarius Godeka is accused of taking a hostage and setting a fire at the church's Celebrity Centre.
Always controversial, in recent months a.r.s. has become the primary battleground in cyberspace in the dispute over Scientology's Advanced Technology documents -- and a test of the Internet's vaunted ability to police itself.
DENVER (AP) _ A judge backed down on his threat Tuesday to hold the Church of Scientology in contempt for refusing to return computer materials to two men who have been attacking the church on the Internet.
Instead, U.S. District Judge John Kane appointed a special master _ University of Colorado computer science professor Gary Nutt _ to determine just what happened to the computer equipment.
Larry Wollersheim and Robert Penny _ former Scientologists who have accused church members of engaging in mind-control _ have struggled to get their computer bulletin board operating again since the church had the equipment seized by court order in August.
DENVER (AP) _ A judge has decided not to hold the Church of Scientology in contempt for failing to return computer equipment to two men who have been attacking the church on the Internet.
His order last month instructed that the materials be placed in custody of church lawyers, but U.S. marshals mistakenly returned them to the church, U.S. District Judge John Kane said Tuesday.
"For this reason, my order did not involve any First Amendment issue concerning the free exercise of religion nor can (the church) be held in contempt for violating that order," he wrote.
City commissioners learned Monday that Clearwater's legal battle with the Church of Scientology has cost about $75,000 in the past nine months - triple the expense that had been projected by the city's lawyers.
Lawyers estimated last fall it would cost about $25,000 to fight the Scientologists' lawsuit up to the point of filing a motion that the suit be dismissed.
But attorneys for the Scientologists have scheduled several time-consuming motions and depositions that have driven up the city's legal costs, said Alan Zimmet, one of the lawyers representing the city in the case.