The seventh episode of Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath delved deeper into the view of family in Scientology, particularly when it comes to the members of the Church's Sea Organization.
Explained Remini's partner, former Scientology spokesperson Mike Rinder, "Family, in the Sea Org, is something that is given lip service but isn't considered to be important. If you are married, you're unmarried, if you have kids, if you don't, if your parents are dead, if they're alive, all of that is completely irrelevant to are you doing your job in the Sea Organization? Are you doing the greatest good and absolutely nothing else?"
Remini described Scientology's eight dynamics, which separates a person's life into eight parts, including self, family, groups/job, mankind, living things, infinity/God. In making any life decision, a Scientologist will consider what will do the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics.
In 2012, we talked to Mimi Faust for the Village Voice after she had dropped a bombshell on VH1's popular show Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta. At 13, Mimi had been abandoned by her mother, who chose Scientology's Sea Organization over raising her own daughter. Mimi then became homeless.
It's an incredible story of how Mimi's life was so shattered by her mother's dedication to Scientology, and how she managed to survive and flourish despite being left to her own devices.
She tells that story to Leah Remini and Mike Rinder in a powerful way in tonight's episode of Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.
2017-10-17, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The Scientologists Taking Action Against Discrimination (STAAD) League has been playing the victim card for a while now and have come up with a new tactic of orchestrating a letter writing campaign to advertisers on The Aftermath.
You may recall their earlier "victory" of claiming to get copies of People magazine removed from the shelves of a Target store because Leah Remini was on the cover. It was a "huge blow for religious freedom" — even though it almost certainly didn't happen — but didnt do much for the concept of freedom of speech that scientology spouts as one of their causes.
Now they are providing form letters to their members to send out to advertisers. Of course, when they say they are calling for a boycott they don't mention that this amounts to perhaps 100 people who will not be buying a Hyundai (most scientologists use virtually all of their disposable income for scientology — they are not big new car buyers, so out of the 100 they probably won't lose a single sale...)
A couple of our great tipsters alerted us to the amazing new brochure that Scientology has put out in the Los Angeles area, and we wanted to share some highlights from it with you. Because now, more than ever, there's every reason to get your billion- and trillion-year traumas exhumed at Scientology's main Los Angeles complex, "Big Blue," and then enjoy a tasty meal!
Scientology painted the place blue after buying the old Cedars of LebanonHospital on Fountain Avenue in 1977, just a few months before the FBI raided the place that year. It houses a number of different Scientology facilities, including the Los Angeles Ideal Org, the American Saint Hill Organization (ASHO), and an Advanced Org (AO), where wealthy church members move into the beginning "Operating Thetan" levels. Scientologists sometimes refer to the entire complex as PAC Base, for "Pacific Area Command."
We've also interviewed former workers who began their adventures in the "Sea Org" and its billion-year contract by working at PAC Base. (See this story about several young women who began their Sea Org work there, and there's this story about a young woman, Jillian Schlesinger, who made her escape from PAC Base a few years ago.)
2016-10-17, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
You can tell how much fear is permeating the scientology PR bubble by what they send out as paid press releases.
Here is their latest.
This is an attempt to shore up the walls against the increasing cries for them to lose the cloak of religious protection.
2015-10-17, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Our old friend Ken Kramer has gotten himself into the fundraising business.
It seems to have become part of the ethnicity of being a scientologist.
You can bet that he is making his living doing this. He found a little niche and is making a pitch for people to give him money to "destroy the psychs" — he is a mini-IAS!
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.
It was great to see you again in London, Jon. And thanks again for sending along a new piece. We talked a little about this subject at the Old Mitre Pub the other day, but we're glad to see you go into it at length...
JON: Former members often tell me that when they were in the cult, I was considered extraordinarily dangerous: a bête noir, indeed. Thirty years on, I should be used to this thought, but when I look in the mirror I don't see a fiend with horns and a tail. Instead, I see a usually smiling and generally genial man who has always been puzzled by the fear and loathing of Scientologists.
2014-10-17, Roger Collier, Canadian Medical Association Journal
Several Alberta Health Services' employees complained about being pressured to attend seminars by Landmark Education Corp., a self-improvement company that has been accused of using coercive and manipulative methods. Internal documents obtained by CBC News indicate one human resources advisor warned that making employees attend the controversial seminars could be "seen as a form of harassment."
On September 23, we told you about the struggles of a process server who was trying to serve a lawsuit on Scientology leader David Miscavige. Despite the best efforts of the security guards at the Hollywood Guaranty Building to keep the process server from getting anywhere near Miscavige, he managed to succeed under California law by making three attempts and then mailing a copy to the Scientology honcho.
The clock then began ticking for Miscavige to do something after all the time he's spent ignoring the lawsuit filed in May by the National Association of Forensic Counselors.
The NAFC accuses Miscavige and Scientology of a years-long conspiracy to misuse the credentialing organization's logos and certifications in order to make Scientology's drug rehab network, Narconon, appear more legitimate than it is. The lawsuit names 82 defendants, and since the suit was filed in federal court in Oklahoma, those defendants have been scrambling to get representation and file motions to dismiss or "special appearances." In the latter, a defendant argues that the court has no jurisdiction over them.
Yesterday, France's highest court laid down an historic decision, upholding a verdict that found the Church of Scientology's ParisCelebrity Centre had fraudulently harmed people simply by applying Scientology's normal processes.
It was the culmination of years of prosecutions, countered by the usual circus-like Scientology court shenanigans in appeals, but ultimately, France held fast. In that country, Scientology is not a religion, it's a business that harms people. One more conviction, pointed out a member of the parliament, and Scientology could be dissolved utterly in France.
Then, just a day later, a very different verdict a few hundred kilometers to the north in the country of the Netherlands, which granted tax-exempt status to Amsterdam's Scientology "org." News organizations here in the United States are treating both verdicts as if they were of equal import. (Meaning, they're running short wire stories with no real details about either case.)
2013-10-17, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
OK, someone screwed up.
They sent out an email with a bunch of earlier emails attached. Including travel itineraries and internal emails that presumably were not intended for public consumption, let alone showing up on a blog on the very outer fringes of the internet....
To remind you who Dennis Nobbe is, see the story here at Tony Ortega's blog. In very abbreviated terms, the US Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) took the unusual step of suing him for forcing people to take Scientology courses as part of his dental practice.
A Dutch court has ruled the Amsterdam arm of Scientology is a charitable organization and exempt from paying taxes.
The ruling by the Amsterdam Appeals Court overturns a lower court ruling that Scientology should be taxed because it charges adherents for classes.
The ruling by the Amsterdam Appeals Court overturns a lower court ruling that Scientology should be taxed because it charges adherents for classes.
The appeal court ruled that Scientology's classes "don't differ significantly from what other spiritual organizations do, or can do." It noted there are payment exemptions for members who can't afford them.
A French appeals court has refused to overturn a 2009 conviction for organized fraud against the Church of Scientology. The organization had claimed the original verdict violated its right to freedom of religion.
The judge also upheld rulings pronounced against six individual members of the church, including Alain Rosenberg, its head in France.
France's top appeals court on Wednesday upheld a fraud conviction and hundreds of thousands of euros in fines against the Church of Scientology for taking advantage of vulnerable followers.
The Cour de Cassation rejected the organisation's request that a 2009 conviction for "organised fraud" be overturned on the grounds it violated religious freedoms.
The group has previously indicated it will appeal the conviction to the European Court of Human Rights.
The verdict overturns a lower court decision which said the tax office is right in the way it treats Scientology. The court case stemmed from a tax office refusal to grant Scientology ANBI status, which is applied to religious and spiritual organisations and allows them, for example, to benefit from gifts.
The tax office had argued Scientology does not qualify as an ANBI institution because it also charges members for its audit and training programmes. However, the appeal court ruled that other churches also charge for training, such as becoming a priest.
2013-10-17, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Jefferson Hawkins began an insightful deconstruction of Scientology ethics in an interview with Tony Ortega at his Scientology Underground Bunker page. I believe the techniques Jeff exposed had (have) broader application in the process that Scientology employs in implanting its constructs as hard-bound reality. It is not limited to the indoctrination on ethics. I had noted this myself while spending several months of each day listening to a Hubbard lecture from the fifties and sixties.
In an early chapter of The Tao of Physics, Fritjof Capra gives an accurate and concise history of the evolution of logic and thought in the West and the East. In doing so, he necessarily mentions virtually every significant philosopher who lived and wrote over the past couple millennia. I read that after the stint of listening to dozens of Hubbard lectures given over a two decade period. Here is my contemporaneous margin note at the end of the chapter on evolution of thought in The Tao of Physics:
'By this point (20th Century) in history, Hubbard has invalidated and laid to waste every great thinker who made possible and contributed to his way of thinking.'
Jefferson Hawkins was once the top marketing executive for the Church of Scientology and helped it reach its greatest extent with the famous "volcano" TV ads in the 1980s. He's told his tale of getting into and out of the church with his excellent books Counterfeit Dreams and Leaving Scientology, and he's helping us understand the upside-down world of Scientology "ethics."
Jeff, we're thrilled that you've offered to help us slog through L. Ron Hubbard's book Introduction to Scientology Ethics. If there's one subject we'd like to have a better understanding of, it's the complex system of control that Hubbard invented. One of the things that non-Scientologists have trouble understanding is how Scientologists can talk so much about "ethics" and yet do things that a normal person would consider unethical — such as disconnection, the RPF, participating in shady business deals, and a host of other questionable actions. Do they have a different definition of "ethics" than the rest of us?
JEFFERSON: Very much so, and this is the book where Hubbard lays out his own definition of ethics and his system of "getting one's ethics in."
Future anthropologists might describe the first 10 years of widespread Internet use as a decade defined by the embarrassment of coming to terms with a new mass technology. Because embarrassed is how even the adventurous could sometimes feel: Am I doing it right? Are you sitting in your basement trolling for fun? Nerd. Are you green enough to be offended by a little trolling? Loser. A significant portion of early online communication involved everyone telling everyone else to get a life.
In We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists, former Frontline producer Brian Knappenberger's fascinating, incisive social history of the online network known as Anonymous, those early grapplings are the source of a strange and amorphous moral awakening. That awakening occurred within a nascent society with its own culture (with trolling its first art form), language ("lulz"and "moralfag" being two coinages), value system (freedom of expression and information above all), and sense of identity (where anonymity is claimed as a collective sensibility, political position, and moral imperative). Having aspired only to the expression of unmitigated id, its members began to discover and develop their power to effect real-world change along with good-time plunder.
According to a slick television ad that played earlier this year, Scientology is adding 4.4 million new members around the world every single year. At that rate, Scientology is adding more members than all the Jews in the world in just a little more than every three years!
Some of us have expressed some skepticism about those numbers. But now, even David Miscavige himself has gone and punched a big hole in his public relations efforts.
Recently, the Scientology leader's attorneys filed a court document which asserts, quite vociferously and repeatedly, that...
2011-10-17, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Some witting or unwitting agents of David Miscavige within the Freezone have been running a vicious black PR campaign against me of late. I use the alternative "unwitting" as they could simply be what L Ron Hubbard referred to as "dupes." In the early eighties Hubbard wrote of unintelligent types who are false data prone. That means people who are so confused in life and about society that they are prone to accept any lie they encounter. The more energetic within the dupe category make a pastime of spreading such accepted lies as far and wide as they can - for a variety of reasons. They can be motivated by jealousy, vengeance, or just plain parasitism, attempting to raise one's status by attacking someone who they consider more important than themselves.
The particular propaganda line that is getting some traction apparently in particularly out-ethics sectors of the Freezone is that I allegedly censor free speech. The story goes that moderators on this blog are wholesale preventing comments from appearing that might stir dissent.
Let me set the record straight. Here are actual statistics tracked and logged electronically by Word Press, the company that hosts my blog.
2011-10-17, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
We also have a rich, robust free-for-all going on in our comments section between Scientology church members, Scientology critics, and independent Scientologists. I even get in there myself and spar with folks from time to time. It keeps me on my toes!
However, despite the presence of that forum, some church members still prefer to e-mail me directly. Knowing that some of our readers would like to see how these folks react to our coverage, I thought I'd share with you a few of their letters!
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles believes the majority of voters do not want the "controversial organisation" to be given the kind of treatment usually reserved for charities.
He said local authorities should note the rulings of the Charity Commission, which in 1999 rejected an application by the Scientologists for registration as a charity after finding it was not a religion.
If you've been down a mine for the past couple of months, a reminder: John Dixon, a previously obscure Cardiff councillor, wandered past a Scientology centre while on a wedding ring-buying trip to London, and wrote on Twitter that he better get away "before the stupid rubs off".
A Scientologist complained to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, who launched an inquiry.
2010-10-17, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Some of you may know me. My name is Mark McKinstry.
I did my first Scientology service in October 1975 at the Davis Mission, while a student at the University of California. I joined staff a few months later. My staff experience has been primarily on dissemination lines:
I was part of the Davis Mission Division VI, which was one of the largest on the planet at the time.
During the filming of a discussion between Nan McLean and Gerry Armstrong we overhear somebody talking about Scientology and a cat.
Info on Nan's incredible story.
June 16: The Scientologist who supervised the Purification Rundown had no case to answer: her accusers had decided she was guilty simply because of her beliefs, her lawyer argued.
Aline Fabre's lawyer Maître Aurélie Cerceau, had not been impressed with what she had heard on the other side of the court.
Her client was charged with the illegal exercise of pharmacy for her part in running Scientology's Purification Rundown at the ParisCelebrity Centre.
2009-10-17, Jefferson Hawkins, Leaving Scientology
That's right, six. Four OT VIIIs and two OT VIIs.
The flash point for these and many other Scientologists has been the increasing "Thought Police" interviews, as described in my last post.
That, and the fact that they are finding out that many of their friends have also left the Church in disgust. They are finding that many of their fellow OTs and Scientologists share their opposition to the current off-Policy and criminal direction of David Miscavige's Church of Scientology.
2008-10-17, Veronique de Turenne, Los Angeles Times
Anonymous, the loosely-knit global group that targets Scientology with pickets, demonstrations, spooky YouTube videos (3.2 million views so far) and cyber-attacks became a bit more transparent today as one of its members was charged with hacking a church website:
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Federal authorities in Los Angeles say they have charged a New Jersey teenager in a January cyberattack that crashed Church of Scientology Web sites.
Dmitriy Guzner, 18, Verona, N.J., was charged Friday and had already agreed to plead guilty in connection with the distributed denial of service attack that swamped the Scientology sites, the U.S. Attorney's office in Los Angeles said in a written statement.
Prosecutors said Guzner had considered himself to be part of "Anonymous," an underground group that has led recent protests against Scientology.
2008-10-17, Robert McMillan, IDG News Service, PC World
An 18-year-old New Jersey man will plead guilty to the January online attacks that took down the Church of Scientology's Web site, federal prosecutors said Friday.
Dmitriy Guzner of Verona, New Jersey, was part of an underground hacking group called Anonymous that has made the church a target of several attacks. He was charged Friday but has agreed to plead guilty sometime in the next few weeks, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement.
A New Jersey teenager who considered himself a member of "Anonymous," the shadowy underground group that has targeted the Church of Scientology, was charged today with an online assault on the church's web sites earlier this year. Dmitriy Guzner, 18, allegedly was involved in a denial of service attack on Scientology web sites in January, a plot that "contributed to the unavailability of the web sites," according to a criminal information filed today in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.
Practicing Religious Intolerance
To prevent a repetition of the persecution of religious minorities in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s, the country's post-war Constitution guarantees the right to religious freedom and practice. However, to circumvent the Constitution and justify their attempts to deprive members of the Church of Scientology of their civil rights, German officials have bluntly asserted that Scientology is not a religion.
The delay will give the state Board of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services more time to review the transcript from the four-hour hearing as well as "other documents related to the program's operation," Brown said.
The board had been scheduled to consider Narconon's certification Thursday. A new date has not yet been set, she said.
A critical issue will be whether Narconon's approach to treatment, which emphasizes saunas and vitamins, "falls within generally accepted treatment practices," Brown said.