A newly discovered laptop, the FBI, a trove of emails, October, a presidential election—it sounds familiar. Especially when you add in a Russian disinformation campaign. On Wednesday, the New York Post released what it hailed as a bombshell: an unidentified computer repair store owner in Delaware had come to possess a laptop that contained Hunter Biden emails (and purportedly a sex tape), the hard drive and computer was seized by the FBI, the store owner at some point passed a copy of the hard drive to Rudy Giuliani, and one of the emails suggested that Hunter, who served on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma, may have in 2015 introduced a Burisma official to his dad, Vice President Joe Biden. The story depicts this as a big scandal, and Guiliani tweeted, "Much more to come."
But the key point of the article was predicated on false information that Giuliani has been spreading for a long time—and that appears to be linked to a Russian disinformation operation that the Post neglected to note in its article. That is, the Post piece, based on an unproven smear, is in sync with Moscow's ongoing effort to influence the 2020 election to help President Donald Trump retain power. (The FBI and other parts of the US intelligence community have stated that Vladimir Putin is once again attacking the US political system to boost Trump.) And this story presents a challenge to the American media: how to report on an orchestrated campaign to affect the election that relies on disinformation, salacious and sensational material, and the revival of allegations that have already been debunked.
The bad faith animating the Post story is demonstrated by its open embrace—in the first sentence—of a demonstrably false narrative and by its failure to report Giuliani's association with a Russian intelligence agent who the Department of Treasury has accused of interfering in the 2020 election.
On September 26 we told you how intrigued we were by the idea that a former Sea Org official, Brittany Ruiz, was running for city council in McMinnville, Oregon.
It's rare for Scientologists to run for public office, but this was especially interesting, because there is plenty of evidence of Ruiz's involvement not only helping to run a major Scientology facility (the Advanced Organization of Los Angeles), but she also has a social media footprint demonstrating what a hardcore enforcer she was even after leaving the Sea Org.
It was also surprising that Brittany would run for office when she was connected to some of Scientology's darkest recent moments. We're talking about Leah Remini's path to leaving Scientology: Leah was motivated, she told us, in part because of the sudden disappearance of two major figures in the church, David Miscavige's wife Shelly Miscavige and Barbara Ruiz, a Sea Org official who had run the 'Writers of the Future' contest.
2020-10-14, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Frankly, they don't have a whole lot to say about this — but they simply cannot let any appearance of Leah Remini go unchallenged.
But as usual, their flailing brings up something worth commenting on. Scientology invariably lies in their attacks on the media.
This time, their complaint is this: Dr. Oz permitted Remini, a known bigot, to spread the blatant lie that the religion does not "believe in" traditional medicine and its members are thereby endangered.
Well, our wild speculation was wrong, wrong, wrong.
Because David Miscavige has held zero "Ideal Org" grand openings this year and none since the ceremony in Detroit last October, and because he's talked about the rest of the renovations opening "simultaneously," we believed (and still believe) that it's his way of putting off any additional personal appearances in the U.S. because he knows that process servers are out looking for him to serve a series of devastating new lawsuits.
However, we also guessed that he might stay away from this weekend's IAS gala in East Grinstead, England and beam in his annual speech in order to keep underground. That didn't happen. He did show up, although looking like he's lost some weight, perhaps out of worry, and his 59 years seem to be catching up with him a bit.
We're seeing a lot of people who oppose groups like Scientology and Jehovah's Witnesses celebrating today after California Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 218.
Like a New York law that also recently went into effect, the new California law will allow a longer window of opportunity for victims of sexual assault to file lawsuits against their attackers. The change especially has in mind victims of clergy abuse who were victimized as children.
At Facebook, ex-JW activist Mark O'Donnell said this about the new law today...
2019-10-14, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Here we have it, straight from the horses mouth - an ideal org is supposed to have 268 staff.
Along with their usual foolishness, the Flag OT Committee announced that Chicago has "finished its fundraising" (right....) and that they can now concentrate on getting the staff they need.
They have 29 staff now...
A convoluted crew of far-right wing meme makers and attendees of pro-Trump conferences in Miami and Washington have denied creating a doctored video showing the president killing members of the news media — but they are reveling in the attention.
The "Trumpsman" video parody, which was first posted by TheGeekzTeam YouTube channel in July 2018, sparked social media outrage Monday after The New York Times reported it was played at the latest American Priority Conference in Miami last week. The edited clip of the 2017 film The Kingsman shows President Donald Trump's face superimposed onto actor Colin Firth's head as it depicts him killing people inside a church as Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Freebird" plays in the background.
Two individuals who met the president in July at the White House social media summit denied creating the Trumpsman video, but claimed a "friend" made the video.
A violent parody aired this weekend at President Trump's Miami-area golf resort — and the video's mass sharing afterward — is yet another example of how Trump and the once-fringe movements of online trolls and meme-makers who support him have reshaped mainstream politics and the media.
The meme video, a spoof derived from a bloody action film, drew outrage from some for its depiction of Trump shooting journalists and attacking political figures who have been critical of him, both Democrats and Republicans. Some warned that the clip and others like it could incite real-world violence.
But that outrage also helped ensure the video, which had been available on YouTube for more than a year, would be circulated more widely. TheGeekzTeam YouTube channel, where the video is displayed, was viewed more than 129,000 times on Monday, up from an average of about 600 views a day, according to data from the tracking site Social Blade.
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.
Tom Cruise video story: http://www.forum.exscn.net/threads/the-story-behind-the-tom-cruise-video-leak.24610/
SHOP FOR CRITICAL MERCHANDISE
For more information please see these stories at The Underground Bunker...
The stage is set for Scientology's Ideal Org grand opening in Detroit today at 1 pm. We hope to have live reports from a couple of correspondents on the scene.
This is the first Ideal Org opening in the US since Orlando in May. Scientology was very secretive about that shindig, but it was even more stealthy about its September grand opening in Stuttgart, Germany.
The local Detroit press has been all over today's event, probably at least in part because the location is so prominent — no one could miss the giant "Scientology" sign on the top of the old Standard Federal Savings and Loan building on West Jefferson at Griswold, though Scientology kept the sign under wraps until the last minute.
2018-10-14, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
I came across this quote in a recent Scientology promo piece:
"A family is simply a group for the purpose of sexual pleasure and the rearing of children and mutual economic advantages amongst ourselves. You know, it's a small group. Therefore, we have this actual group. The race wouldn't be anywhere without the family."
— L. Ron Hubbard, Classic Lecture, On the Second Dynamic—Sex, Children & the Family (6 April 1955).
2017-10-14, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Being declared" in Scientology—short for "being declared a suppressive person,"—lets one know he or she is an evil, despicable, and degraded being, and that everyone associated with this person should disconnect from him or her immediately.
LRH said an SP is someone who, many lifetimes ago, got squashed so severely that he or she took on the valence of his suppressor. He listed the characteristics of these people in HCOPL 7 August 1965, Suppressive Persons, Main Characteristics.
"Nobody puts baby in a corner."
About two years ago, a reader first made us aware of a shocking passage in L. Ron Hubbard's book Dianetics that somehow seems to have been overlooked by generations of commenters on that important volume, the very basis for what became the Church of Scientology.
We had missed it ourselves. We blogged Dianetics cover to cover in 2013, and didn't notice it.
In our first edition copy of the 1950 book, the passage appears in Book Three, Chapter IX, Part Two, under the subheading "Differences" on page 336...
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.
SHOP FOR CRITICAL MERCHANDISE
2017-10-14, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The weekly show where I answer viewer questions left for me in the comments sections of my Q&A videos or sent to me by email at AskChrisShelton@gmail.com. This week, the questions I answer are:
(1) Your comment about peeling off layers of belief and thinking, "How could I have ever believed X", got me to thinking more broadly. In a sense a family is a cult, though not always destructive. The local community, school, and so on are similarly cults as they support beliefs and values common to their respective communities. I have found as I grow older that certain non-Scientology things I learned or came to believe earlier in my life have elicited a similar "how could I" response. I do think that much of this is the process of aging and maturing, and/or keeping up with the times on social changes that come about. Any thoughts on that?
(2) How is it possible to have "natural" Clears, let alone "natural" OT's? Let's grant that maybe someone is a natural Clear, a prodigy or freak of nature. But the content of the OT levels was "discovered" by Hubbard alone for the FIRST time ever, and by enduring great perils to himself. This was unprecedented, in the entirety of history as he was the first one to brave the sizzle of the "Wall of Fire." So if someone is a natural OT, they would have either "discovered" the OT contents by themselves. This would make them equal to Hubbard. Unthinkable! Or, they would have received auditing in a past lifetime. Yet how could they have been audited on this, as Hubbard's inexpendable "research" did not commence until the 1950's?
Scientology made an attack video on me after I appeared on A&E's Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath on October 10th, 2017
On Aftermath I helped expose the Mace-Kingsley Ranch, a Scientology punishment camp for children, now notorious for its poor treatment of children and numerous child abuses.
The attack video has the same family that disconnected from me trying to portray me as a living a life of crime. Unfortunately for Scientology and my family that suddenly remembers I exist, I don't care at all about anything they are saying about me.
The family of Jim Carrey's late ex-girlfriend Catriona White have accused the actor and his lawyers of hiring private investigators to dig up dirt on them.
Brigid Sweetman, White's mother, filed a lawsuit against Carrey on Monday, claiming he was responsible for her September 2015 suicide.
She alleges the actor gave her daughter sexually transmitted diseases, supplied her with drugs and 'abused' her throughout their on-again-off-again romance between 2012 and 2015.
(L. Ron Hubbard, circa 1954)
Previously, our tipster who searches through old newspaper clippings found for us a rare interview of L. Ron Hubbard that took place in Tunisia in 1968. One of our favorite revelations in that interview was that Hubbard didn't deny that he'd claimed to have made trips to "Heaven."
This time, our archives wrangler found another interesting item, from an earlier era. It was June 1954, and Chicago magazine ran an unbylined piece about visiting some local Scientologists as they went through processing at the local org.
2016-10-14, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This is a special Regraded Being - it is the 2 year anniversary of the first Regraded Being, which appeared Oct 09, 2014.
Thanks for your hard work, insight and a lot of genuinely funny moments over these past 2 years RB. Your intelligence and humor has built a fan base that looks forward to Friday mornings - plainly demonstrated by the uproar that has occurred when technical difficulties or other commitments have prevented you from providing a new episode.
Hope you will be around for as long as it takes to get the job done.
Former high-ranking Scientologists claim the church and its autocratic leader, David Miscavige, have taken on the modus operandi of a terrorist network in the latest documentary film to examine the secretive religion.
The BBC's My Scientology Movie places the spotlight on the church's extraordinary alleged attempts to control the actions of both its members and its ex-members.
Tom DeVocht, a Scientologist from 1977 to 2005, claims the church's inner workings have evolved into a system of devotion on a par with the fanatical recruiters and brainwashers of al Qaeda and the so-called Islamic State widely known as ISIS.
I've always been fascinated by Scientology – intrigued by its status as a 20th-century religion (founded by a colourful, self-mythologising science-fiction writer), and oddly beguiled by its glossy promotional videos. It's an unlikely combination of religion, science, spirituality and a Fortune 500 corporation. Leaving ethical questions to one side, there is something wonderfully American about an organisation that uses the business model of McDonald's to sell enlightenment and salvation. True believers of Scientology seem to know with utmost certainty that they have found the answer to the deepest riddles of all time – they may or may not be right, but that kind of self-belief is very appealing.
The church is a gold-plated example of something I've tried to make a central theme in my documentaries: well-meaning people making decisions that might look bizarre to the outsider, but making them for very relatable human reasons.
London Film Festival, My Scientology Movie review. It's no hard-hitting exposé, but Louis Theroux's attempt to get under Scientology's skin is a giddy, Pythonesque delight. 4/5 stars
Louis Theroux versus the Church of Scientology. It's a near-irresistible contest: the very face of deadpan scepticism, up against that many-headed hydra of indecipherable rage.
My Scientology Movie is the second documentary on the subject this year, following Alex Gibney's more thorough and methodical Going Clear. Where Gibney circled the movement right from its beginnings, seeking to analyse its methods and impugn its motives, Theroux just gets right in there and jabs it in the ribs, that imperturbable mask of irony driving its partisans even more bananas than usual.
An unpunctuated "Don't go there big man" is among the messages Theroux received from caution-advising Twitter followers, on announcing his intention to investigate Scientology for this BBC-financed doc. Another warns him that "the crazies" will soon be out in force against him, as indeed they are.
His efforts in Los Angeles to speak to their current membership meet with stony refusal, so only the apostates come forward: figures such as Marty Rathbun, former "Mister Fixit" of the organisation, and now Public Enemy No. 1, as far as the church and its much-feared leader, David Miscavige, are concerned.
More than three years ago, we first heard from producer Simon Chinn that he planned to make a feature film about Scientology that would star Louis Theroux. Since then, the BBC-backed producer hired a director named John Dower, won an Oscar (for Searching for Sugar Man), and tonight will finally reveal what he and Dower and Theroux have been up to.
We're on the scene, and we're really looking forward to tonight's premiere of My Scientology Movie at the London Film Festival. We've been enjoying Theroux's work since we first ran across him as a correspondent on Michael Moore's 1990s series TV Nation. Theroux's deadpan humor and fascination for America's quirky subcultures should be a perfect fit for the Church of Scientology, which reportedly did its best to keep him from getting any access to its members and ended up sending people to film Louis as he filmed them (which is going on in the picture, above).
We really don't know what to expect from this film — here it is the day of the premiere and we haven't even seen a trailer from the BBC — but we're ready for a great experience and we'll tell you what we can after we've seen it.
International religious freedom now has its own "special advisor" -- which reports to an ambassador, rather than a "special envoy" which reports to the Secretary of State, the White House has announced. And Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) is challenging how that approach to key U.S. foreign policy objectives works -- especially since the "special envoy" position has been vacant for a while.
"The Administration has taken the position that 'promoting and protecting religious freedom is a key objective of U.S. foreign policy,'" the senator wrote in an open letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, "yet the Ambassador-at-Large for religious freedom is buried in layers of bureaucracy rather than reporting directly to you like the Ambassadors-at-Large for the Office of Global Women's Issues and the Office of Global AIDS Coordinator."
A special envoy reports directly to Secretary Kerry, while a special advisor may report to an envoy or ambassador.
2015-10-14, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The church of scientology loves to toss around the term "bigot" to describe anyone who expresses opinions that differ from their own. They shout long and hard that those bigots are discriminating against them and are "attacking their religion."
But the truth of the matter is that the church is the source of a great deal of discrimination against those who do NOT wish to be scientologists. Such people, especially those who may have once called themselves scientologists, are singled out for disconnection, libel, harassment, trickery and various forms of fair game. Of course, when the church engages in these activities they proclaim they are simply exercising their constitutional rights to freedom of religion and/or freedom of speech. For a perfect example, see the arguments they presented to the court in Texas claiming their repulsive "squirrel busting" and fair game tactics were "religious activities."
Of course, there has still been no final determination of that matter, though the Judge was not impressed with this argument. It remains on appeal.
The latest celebrity scandals and meltdowns-from Stephen Collins child abuse allegations, Ke$ha's civil suit against former manager Dr. Luke, Amanda Bynes involuntary commitment in a psychiatric facility -- as well as the shady influence of TMZ and Harvey Levin in the wave of celebrity insanity journalism are all discussed. Scientology's celebrity fraud involving female comedians is also aired out by
Mark Ebner is an investigative journalist who has covered celebrity and crime culture for such publications as Rolling Stone, Maxim, Details and Spy. Mark has investigated such controversial subjects as Scientology, dog fighting and the Ku Klux Klan. A published author, Mark co-wrote the New York Times bestseller "Hollywood, Interrupted" with Andrew Breitbart and Six Degrees of Paris Hilton. Most recently he co-authored "We Have Your Husband," a story about a kidnapping in Mexico. In addition to writing, he has served as a commentator on NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, NPR, Court TV and E! Entertainment Television to name a few. Mark was a consultant on the Emmy nominated episode of South Park's "Trapped in the Closet" and also consulted for NBC/Dateline on the Paris Hilton Tapes report. Ebner runs a blog at hollywoodinterrupted.com where he reports on breaking news from Hollywood.
Frank Pate On August 13, a man named Frank Pate was indicted on federal wire fraud charges in the Eastern District of Texas. According to Pate himself, who has written a short blog about his legal troubles, he was arrested in Phoenix on September 2 and arraigned in Texas later in the month. At the arraignment he entered a plea of not guilty.
Pate was the CEO of something he called the Infinity Companies, an investment firm. According to the indictment, from July 2004 to April 2013 Pate perpetrated "a scheme and artifice to defraud persons and to obtain money and funds from persons by means of false and fraudulent pretenses."
The indictment accuses Pate of using new investors to pay off earlier investors, a method which is known as a "pyramid" or "Ponzi scheme."
2014-10-14, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This is for posterity's sake. A bit of relative calm before the storm on the horizon.
This is a list of the unfortunates who have handed over cash for the Valley "ideal building" (there is no "org").
I notice the SilverHumanitarian Taufer-Gregorian Family — I assume they are in some way connected to Quinn The Eskimo... ? And Bart Simpson (Nancy Cartwright) is now identified as "Nancy" rather than the Royal Governess OT Rockstar Princess Queen etc etc etc. Apparently it is still embarrassing to include her full name, though I cannot fathom why this is? And I had no idea my old handcuffed friend and paddleboat captain Ed Bryan is now supported by Pat Frey?
2014-10-14, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
There are those who dismiss L. Ron Hubbard as the consummate con man. They insist that with conscious aforethought he created and operated dianetics and scientology as a fraudulent bait and switch operation fooling and fleecing tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of relatively intelligent adults. So cunning was Hubbard according to some anti-scientologists that if you were to take their words for granted you would have to rank Hubbard as one of the more able and intelligent minds of the twentieth century. The complexity, the breadth, and the duration of Hubbard's alleged fraudulent scheme would be a virtual impossibility for any mere mortal to accomplish.
At the opposite extreme pole hard core scientologists truly believe that L. Ron Hubbard was 'Source', a sort of God from which nothing but ultimate truth was issued. They have trained their own minds to reject any information even tangentially relating to mind or spirit that does not come from Hubbard's mouth or pen.
The anti-scientologist with his name-calling, absolutist statements and lampooning serves to reinforce the scientologist believer's conviction that Hubbard and scientology deserve undaunting and vigilant defense. Likewise, the Ron-quoting scientologist's aggressive certitude serves to reinforce the anti-scientologists' views that Hubbard's work is good for nothing more than creating unthinking, conformist zealots.
Tonight's episode of ABC's Dancing With the Stars had a theme — contestants were asked to describe their most memorable year, and then turn that story into a dance, or something.
Anyway, during the week, Leah had revealed that this year was her most memorable, and we can imagine why — it's been a big year for us, too, ever since we broke the news in July that Leah was ditching the Church of Scientology. "You can't let anybody dictate to you how you should live," Leah said in tonight's preview, and so we prepared for another unloading on Tom Cruise's weird church.
But she did so without actually using the word "Scientology." And we think we know why.
2013-10-14, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Ideal Orgs is COB's strategy. It's an incredible strategy and one that is going to work.
When is the working part going to start. There has been 11 years of "get-ready" — by now you would think the first Ideal Orgs (Buffalo, Joburg, NY, Tampa, SFO) would have something to show as a result of this brilliant strategy being implemented.
I mean even if this was a 100 year strategy, by now 10% of those cities should be clear.
Bert Leahy We've told you Bert Leahy's story before. He was the Texas freelance videographer who worked briefly for Scientology's "Squirrel Busters" caper, helping to snoop on Marty and Monique Rathbun in 2011, before his conscience got the better of him.
Bert soon realized that working for "Dave Statter" wasn't really the documentary project he thought he was working on — he and his fellow Squirrel Busters were obviously just stalking the Rathbuns, and had been told, in Statter's words, to "Make Marty's life a living hell."
Leahy quit after a couple of days, and then felt so lousy about taking part in something so nefarious, he contacted Rathbun to apologize. That's when, after talking to Rathbun, the two of them realized that "Statter" was really Scientology private investigator Dave Lubow.
2013-10-14, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Reference: Pursuit of Understanding
Tao Te Ching, A New English Version by Stephen Mitchell.
Scientology begins with the Tao. It works to the extent it parallels the Tao. It ends up going against the Tao. Scientology departed from attaining toward harmony and equanimity and headed instead toward attempting to conquer the natural balance that is the universe in which we live. That leads to the creation of ego, mental mass, conflict, individuation, and ultimate misery. It effectuates that departure by mocking up constructs as reality, complete with imagined or created or adopted nemeses, enemies, fears, paranoias, and delusions of superiority.
2012-10-14, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Many have speculated just how far Tom Cruise has gone into the Scientology Inc. bedlam created by his best man David Miscavige. The book The Scientology Reformation answers that question rather definitively, now available in Kindle e-book format.
Excerpt from Chapter 8: The Gates Of Hell
…Miscavige's reaction to my escape was chilling. He ordered John Brousseau, his resident handyman – and the architect of most of the Tom Cruise vehicle and home upgrades – to install prison bars on all windows in the Hole so that no one else could escape.
Former high-ranking Church of Scientology official Mark "Marty" Rathbun has released a book that condemns current church leader David Miscavige for taking Scientology away from the concepts of its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, and blasts Miscavige and his best friend Tom Cruise for a litany of malfeasance and corruption.
In Scientology Reformation: What Every Scientologist Should Know, Rathbun argues that since the death of Hubbard in 1986, Miscavige has damaged the church he took over by placing an emphasis on fundraising for projects that have little do with what Hubbard wanted. Along the way, Rathbun says, Miscavige has discarded Hubbard's plans for expansion in favor of raising huge sums that he can spend on himself and his friend Cruise, while imprisoning and violently assaulting his underlings.
Much of what Rathbun covers in this book we have heard about in news stories over the last few years. But Rathbun also provides startling new information about what he witnessed working closely with Miscavige, and also includes details of the Nazanin Boniadi/Tom Cruise story that seem as if they could have only one possible source — Boniadi herself.
On Sunday mornings, we love to reveal the latest Scientology fundraising mailers that tipsters have forwarded to us over the past week. And this week, our sources have not let us down.
On tap in this installment of Sunday Funnies: Jim Meskimen wants to party with you, librarians are going crazy for Ron's new encyclopedia, and you really need to get to Flag to discover the abilities you've had for billions of years! Oh, where do we sign up.
While Scientology's celebrities have been going through some tough times, the church can always count on good old Jim Meskimen to step to the plate. In this case, he's going to be on hand as the American Saint Hill Organization in Los Angeles — "Big Blue" — celebrates...
2011-10-14, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Anyone who has followed the news and/or this blog for very long knows David Miscavige, head of Corporate Scientology, has spent millions of dollars attempting to spread the sickness of his cult compound to the world at large. Miscavige has given his go-to private investigator Dave Lubow unlimited funds to buy phone records, stalk through illegal electronic surveillance through phone gps devices,harass and annoy, spread rumor and innuendo, and organize KKK-like gangs to stalk and attempt to intimidate. Now Miscavige has sunk to even further depths. His agents have set up phony internet links to targets' names that go back to child porn sex chat sites.
Read all about it at the Village Voice:
2011-10-14, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Checked your cubes for bacteria lately? On Wednesday, we told you about a Scientology "Fair Game" operation that seems beyond the pale: the church, known for its vindictive treatment of perceived enemies, is accused of harassing a business to keep it from bringing to market a potentially life-saving machine for hospitals that produces bacteria-free ice. Why? Because the company employs a former high-ranking church member that Scientology now considers a threat to its existence.
In that first story, we talked at length with Robert Almblad, the machine's inventor, a man who spent 35 years in Scientology but was never a high-ranking official, and after his departure from the organization in 2007, never publicly criticized the church. Two years ago, after he hired Mike Rinder, Scientology's former chief spokesman, Almblad came under intense surveillance and interference to his business by a longtime Scientology private investigator and his squad of cameramen and bodyguards.
Today, we're bringing you another side of the story: a woman who has been slandered online, followed, harassed, and says she can hardly believe what she's been through.
2010-10-14, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Before I get started on another IAS fraud story, a short announcement. On the day of the IAS event, tomorrow Friday Oct 15th, a one hour interview with Mike Rinder will be aired on the Edge with Tom Smith in Tampa. You can tune in at 12:30 p.m. eastern time at www.hawkradio.com.
With the annual IAS event just around the corner, here is some timely news.
Below you will find an actual casting call notice in the United Kingdom. It was issued the week of the IAS event 2009. Rumors swirled about this in certain forums many months ago. I couldn't believe it was looking for extras for the IAS event. I guess I was reasonable. Recently I met with an actor who actually answered the call. He confirmed that five busloads of extras were shipped out to fill up the Great Hall at St Hill Manor for the 25th Anniversary event. The actors were briefed that they were not to let on that they were extras. They were instructed to act enthusiastic as if they were thrilled to hear Miscavige's bombastic claims at the event.
A protest group calling themselves Anonymous contacting The Observer this week to say they would be coming to town on Saturday October 27.
According to organisers they will direct their protests against two local organisations which the group claim have links to the controversial organisation.
Here is a typical experience I had early on with the Echo. I had been approached by a group of residents concerned that the Church of Scientology was intending to use a local health clinic to promote their work. The residents felt this was a misuse of public space and that the clinic's reputation might confer some legitimacy on the Scientologists' claims. When I told the news editor about the story, he looked mortified. "We never run stories about the Scientologists," he said. Why, I asked. "Because they have money and sue every time we mention them in the paper."
I am not even sure whether his excuse was genuine. Had I written the story for the Advertiser, I doubt we would have been sued. But, looking back, I think his comment concealed some bigger truths about the difference between the Echo and the Advertiser.
Hello, leaders of Scientology.
Eight months ago, we launched our campaign to end the evil practices of the Cult of Scientology. We had become aware of the atrocities perpetrated by your cult, and it became our sworn duty to put a stop to the criminal, immoral, and totalitarian policies that the Church has now become notorious worldwide for.
Moscow, RUSSIA. Representatives of the Church of Scientology in Nizhnekamsk have brought a case at the European Court of Human Rights against the Ministry of Justice in Tatarstan, which has refused to register their church.
The city has not received property taxes from Scientology during the 11-year battle over whether the group's property should be tax exempt, and any tax money the city would have gotten would have been an unexpected bonus, said Finance Director Dan Deignan.
But Deignan figures that if the IRS decision had gone the other way, the city would have been in line for nearly $2-million in back taxes on the more than 11 Scientology-owned properties, valued at $25.4-million.
The Government said today that it had agreed to grant a tax exemption to the Church of Scientology and more than 150 of its related corporations, ending one of the longest-running tax disputes in American history.
"This puts an end to what has been an historic war," said Marty Rathbun, president of a Scientology organization that received a tax exemption. "It's like the Palestinians and the Israelis shaking hands."
Officials at the Internal Revenue Service and the Scientology group declined to spell out the details of the settlement and would not explain why it had finally been reached after four decades of costly and bitter court fights.