2017-10-23, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
My oh my — trying to smear lipstick on the IAS pig.
Clearly, the number of new members is plummeting. So, as with all things scientology, the answer is money. In this case, cut the cost of the membership to try to get more.
But if the cost of admission of $500 is too high — these people are NOT going to be able to be scientologists. You cannot buy anything of significance in scientology for $500. So, they just want NUMBERS and they clearly believe that if they charge less they are going to get more membership sign ups and annual renewals.
On Saturday, Scientology leader David Miscavige opened his newest "Ideal Org," his ongoing and very expensive effort to create a Potemkin Village of new and empty cathedrals to pretend that the rapidly shrinking church is actually undergoing "unprecedented expansion." If this weren't just all about fakery and PR, then Scientology wouldn't expend so much energy keeping out onlookers and the press. But we're fortunate that one of our regular readers, "Graham," managed not only to visit the event but get inside. He sent us this account, and we figured you'd enjoy it.
By a peculiar twist of fate, I found myself on Saturday needing to do business with one of the non-Scientologist residents housed adjacent to the new Birmingham Org. Anticipating Scientology barriers at the entrance, I rehearsed all kinds of speeches in order to insist on my right to proceed.
Very surprised on the day to see that the barriers were not merely at the entrance gates but across the whole road, with a surly Scientologist holding things closed. Fortunately I was approached by a paid professional security guard, obviously trained in correct procedures. I only had to state that I needed to access the on-site apartments for him to turn to the Scientologist with a curt "let him in."
Secretive, star-studded and litigious – the Church of Scientology holds a risky, irresistible allure for a certain kind of investigative journalist.
There's been some excellent reporting on Scientology in recent years, including documentaries from Alex Gibney (Going Clear) and Louis Theroux (My Scientology Story). Now, Walkley Award-winning journalist Steve Cannane digs deeper into the local activities of the religion with his new book, Fair Game.
Scientology and Australia have had a strange, troublesome history. In 1963, the world's first official government inquiry into Scientology was held here, and the state of Victoria subsequently (and briefly) became the first place in the world where the religion was banned.
2016-10-23, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The next Terra Cognita essay. See earlier Terra Cognita: Cause Over Life — Really?, BT's in the Belfry, Two New Conditions!, The Condition of Liabilitiness, Condition of Doubtfulness 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.
The Is-Ness of Is-Ness
LRH lectured and wrote about four related conditions of existence: Is-ness; As-is-ness; Not-is-ness; and Alter-is-ness. Which is a lot of isness, let me tell you.
Several weeks ago, we pointed out that a lot of observers are making comparisons between Donald Trump and L. Ron Hubbard. And while we understood why, we pointed out that it was Hillary Clinton who would actually bring more Scientology baggage with her to the White House. Now, Rod Keller, who keeps an eye on social media for us, takes a look at how Scientologists themselves are talking about the coming vote.
Presidential elections in the U.S. are just a little more than two weeks away, and Scientologists are sharing their political opinions on social media with the writings of L. Ron Hubbard in mind. English Scientologist John Mappin (pictured above) cannot vote, but has long supported Donald Trump. He has now has issued a press release using Hubbard's theories to explain those who are opposed to the candidate.
In Scientology, this is known as an Overt-Withhold, or O/W, in which the only reason a person is critical of Scientology is that they are afraid of their own crimes being exposed.
The Belgian branch of the controversial Church of Scientology said today it had "no doubt" it would be cleared of fraud and extortion charges when it goes to court next week in a case that could see it banned in Belgium.
"The Church of Scientology goes to court with the firm intention of seeing the fundamental rights of its Belgian members finally recognised," it said in a statement.
"Not only does the Church contest the charges against it, which affect the fundamental rights of all Scientologists, it also intends to denounce the serious judicial abuses (against it) of the past 18 years," it said.
The charges are similar to others over the years, such as in France where Scientology is considered a cult and was fined thousands of euros (dollars) for taking advantage of vulnerable followers.
In Belgium, it faces an outright ban if the case, which opens Monday in Brussels, ends with a conviction on charges of fraud, extortion, running a criminal organisation and violating the right to privacy.
The Belgian authorities launched a first investigation in 1997 after several former members complained about its practices.
A second followed in 2008 when an employment agency charged that the church had made bogus job offers so as to draw in and recruit new members.
Just a few months after Alex Gibney's Going Clear added a few kilograms to the outgoing mail of the Church of Scientology's lawyers, another documentary prying into the religion's affairs is set to kick the hornet's nest once more.
Louis Theroux, the British broadcaster known in the U.K. for fronting a series of BBC TV documentaries for almost two decades, has taken his almost trademark non-confrontational yet powerfully disarming and frequently hilarious style of filmmaking to the big screen for the first time, with the Church as his subject.
My Scientology Movie, which had its world premiere at the London Film Festival on Oct. 14 to superb reviews, sees Theroux speak to various ex-Scientologists, including former senior executive and "Mister Fixit" Marty Rathbun, while recreating famous interviews with church leader David Miscavige, but using actors to make up for the complete lack of access. The move sees him soon become a target himself, with cameramen — revealed later to be employed by the church — recording his own activities in the U.S. and his interviewees harassed in public, all of which is included in the documentary.
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 previous written a series about Scientology "ethics" for the Underground Bunker.
This is the first of what I hope to be a series of articles on Scientology's marketing, advertising and recruitment techniques. As most people know, I was a key player for many years in Scientology's marketing and advertising efforts. My hope is that by unpacking some of Scientology's recruitment techniques, I can give a peek "behind the curtain" and help lessen their effectiveness.
Scientology is essentially about manipulation, and that begins right at street level, with "finding a ruin." When I was a Scientologist, I heard some of the top Scientology disseminators routinely refer to this step as "ruining" a person. That's right, they would actually talk about "ruining" people.
A DRUG rehabilitation group offering counselling based on the controversial teachings of the Church of Scientology is to move its UK base to Heathfield.
Narconon, which up until now has operated mainly out of the United States, promotes the theories of Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard and has been widelycriticised by mainstream medicine.
Forrest Ackerman In Russell Miller's 1987 book Bare-Faced Messiah - the best book ever written about Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard - there's a letter that Hubbard wrote to his friend Forrest Ackerman that Miller mentions briefly.
It was only recently, however, that we looked at the entire letter and realized how much Miller had left out of his book about it. In some ways, the 1949 letter is one of the most remarkable windows into what kind of a man Hubbard was, and we're surprised it isn't quoted more often.
In early 1949, Hubbard was working on what would become in May of 1950 his book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. He would eventually get a lot of support on that project from his friends in science fiction, including John W. Campbell, editor of Astounding Science Fiction, who published a version of the material, "Dianetics: The Evolution of a Science" in Astounding's May 1950 edition.
A doctor who cared for Casey Kasem during his final days in Washington state believes moving the radio icon from a home to a hospital, where he died June 15, only made his condition worse, court papers show.
Dr. Donald Sharman said in a letter prepared on behalf of Kasem's widow that her husband would have been better off returning home to Silverdale, Wash., rather than being kept at St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor.
A week ago, we told you that in their fraud lawsuit, Luis and Rocio Garcia had filed an affidavit by former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder to convince Tampa federal Judge James A. Whittemore that the church's internal arbitration rules were a sham.
It turns out Scientology wasn't very happy about that.
The church has filed a motion to strike Rinder's affidavit, and they're referring back to an earlier attempt by Scientology to have the attorneys for the Garcias disqualified. Although rare in most litigation, for Scientology it's a standard part of its playbook - to try and get a plaintiff's attorneys disqualified by making various allegations about breached confidentiality or other supposed ethical lapses.
As reported by Tony Ortega, the Church of Scientology has moved to strike the affidavit of Mike Rinder in the Garcia case.
Essentially, the Church of Scientology wants to prevent the Garcia's from using Rinder's specific knowledge that Scientology created sham legal documents designed to deter and defeat refund requests from Scientologists who request refunds.
As we noted in our earlier blog entry, the entire purpose of Scientology contracts is to legally cripple its own members:
2014-10-23, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
They are pulling out all the stops to try and convince people to show up to the local re-airings of the decidedly underwhelming earth shaking IAS 30th Anniversary event.
But they are REALLY out of touch with their public. A "testimonial" from a medic at the tent or "local shop owner" isn't going to convince a member of the IAS to show up. And I guarantee that if anyone who is NOT a member shows up, they will not be allowed into this event for fear that they are really a bitter defrocked apostate in disguise sent from the fringes of the internet.
We're in Los Angeles this morning for a crucial hearing in Laura DeCrescenzo's lawsuit against the Church of Scientology. DeCrescenzo is suing over the abuse she says she suffered while a member of Scientology's "Sea Org," including, she alleges, being forced to have an abortion by the church at 17.
The hearing comes less than two weeks after DeCrescenzo filed explosive new evidence gleaned from thousands of pages of documents that Scientology was forced to turn over after the church appealed all the way to Supreme Court to try and keep the material hidden. Please see our story about the contents of those files, which describe Laura's struggles as a homesick 12-year-old working 98-hour weeks for pennies an hour.
There were also documents which bolstered Laura's assertion that the church knew that she had not wanted an abortion when she found out she was pregnant in February 1996. She was told by supervising Sea Org officials that she needed to do what was best for "the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics," and she felt pressured to terminate the pregnancy.
2013-10-23, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
They are at it again. MEGA status is the latest term to enter the Scientology dictionary — you know the dictionaries that Voldemort announced in 2001 (or maybe before?) that are STILL not complete and released.
This now joins the other coined terms of late in the world of the RCS:
Humanitarian — someone who went into debt to give money to buy MEST for those not in need
We have to hand it to reporter Amy Jones of The Sun — she really punked Scientology leader David Miscavige and his obsession with security.
Late Monday night, the British newspaper published Jones's account of walking into Scientology's big annual gala which takes place in the UK each October to celebrate the International Association of Scientologists. The big IAS party is one of half a dozen major events put on by the church at different places around the world, and they all feature Miscavige on stage, feeding thousands of followers a lot of hard-to-believe assertions about Scientology's expansion around the globe.
We've reported on leaked videos of past IAS and other events. But for her story, Jones managed to get inside and watch this IAS party while it was going on, and was never challenged by Scientology's legendarily tight security.
Narconon Arrowhead representatives gave a Red Ribbon Week presentation to students Canadian High School on Monday and are hoping to give a presentation at the McAlester Boys and Girls Club this week, according John Bitinas, public relations spokesman for Narconon Arrowhead.
2011-10-23, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Stone and Parker - Targets of Corporate Scientology
The following internal Corporate Scientology memorandum is being published as part of a series that exposes the standard operating pattern and methodologies of the Office of Special Affairs (OSA – the harassment and terror network of Corporate Scientology). Hubbard once noted the truism that that which one knows the technology of he cannot be the adverse effect of. So it behooves those who have decided to expose and reform the beast to know a little about the tactics it employs to combat such efforts.
To this day OSA operates mainly on Cold War era intelligence and propaganda techniques much like those of the CIA, the FBI, the KGB, and STASI of the fifties and sixties. Their main activity entails stifling criticism by an escalating gradient of techniques beginning with quiet investigation and moving up to infiltration, identification of and use of influential friends and contacts of the target, loud investigation, threats, attempts to harm the target financially, intense propaganda to discredit and ultimately, if all else fails, utter destruction of the target through overt harassment. While in this age of information many OSA operations result in epic failures, the well-heeled - if desperate - cult continues to muzzle many a would-be reformer and news agency.
Apparently so: Ex-Scientologist Marty Rathbun has posted on his website the contents of a Scientology-penned document discussing an investigation into the private lives of South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker conducted back in 2006-not long after the controversial Scientology-mocking SP episode "Trapped in the Closet" appeared on the teevee. The Scientological spy memo-brought to our attention by the Village Voice-is just "one of a trove" of docs that Rathbun plans to reveal about the investigation, which involved rooting through Stone and Parker's garbage (scary), using public records to turn up info on John "America's Uncle" Stamos and other friends (creepy), and deploying Tom Cruise to break into their homes, jump up and down on their couches, and shake loose all of the deep, dark secrets stuck between the cushions (terrifying). [Village Voice, Marty Rathbun's Website. Image via AP]
2011-10-23, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
"These connections are being PRC'd," reads the document, and Rathbun explains that the acronym stands for "public records check." Scientology's standard procedure would be to put its private eyes on a complete check of these people and their property, legal, and other public records. If they owed taxes, or had been in messy divorces, or had been arrested, Scientology would soon know about it.
"There are some strings that will be pulled on the PRC on Stone," the document reads, suggesting that investigators had already found something about Matt Stone in public records that would make him vulnerable.
2010-10-23, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
After watching Clint Eastwood's latest masterpiece Hereafter last night I was inspired to open a new forum. I highly recommend Hereafter to every Scientologist. There are many parallels in the experience of the protagonist (Matt Damon) to Scientologists and other spiritualists who perceive and act in the theta universe. The built-in prejudice and violent denial reaction to matters spiritual in this civilization was well portrayed. Doesn't exist? Then, why were Mosey and I surveilled during the movie and all the way home? Contemplating the absurdity of such expensive spying at such an innocuous event, made me recognize that ultimately, this is why Miscavige spends millions in attempts to thwart us. It is our recognition of the theta universe, our agreement to not invalidate perception of it, and our use of Scientology to make it more real and permanent.
Hereafter illustrates how lonely and desperate life can become for those who recognize the spiritual in an environment that willfully remains ignorant of it. It prompted me to realize the corporate church's war has had its toll. When I am doing what I do for a living, counsel Scientologists with Scientology, and I am in communication with those people to whom I apply Scientology, magical things happen quite routinely between us. Telepathic communications, effortless postulate realization, premonitions of great accuracy, the power of ARC over great distances, you name it. At bottom I attribute it to validation through recognition of theta and the theta universe as transcendent to the physical universe.
Most importantly, the movie artistically represented how as-isness occurs when a person seemingly alone with what the non-spiritually inclined write off as ethereal, nutty ideas unites with one or more others who see what he sees.
June 17: The former executive director of Scientology's Celebrity Centre should not be convicted because three people out of thousands of happy Scientologists had filed complaints, his lawyer argued.
Alain Rosenberg was the last of the six individual defendants to be defended in the final week of closing arguments.
Like Sabine Jacquart, he faced charges of complicity in the illegal exercise of pharmacy and organised fraud because of his executive position at the Celebrity Centre at the time of the events in question.
THE Church of Scientology refused to provide records demanded by a coroner investigating the death of a soldier who committed suicide two days after finishing one of the church's intensive courses.
It emerged yesterday that the American headquarters of the church instructed its Australian branch to send the soldier's "audit file" to the US -- which is outside the coroner's jurisdiction -- before warrants were issued.
Edward Alexander McBride was found electrocuted and hanged at an Energex substation at Everton Park, in Brisbane, on February 7, 2007. The soldier, who was based at Brisbane's Enoggera Barracks, was on leave from the army at the time and had been doing Scientology courses almost full-time for about a month.
Over two days, we've examined allegations against the leader of the Scientology church; the relationship between the church and its celebrity members; and a belief system many critics consider bizarre.
The church vehemently denies any wrongdoing -- and defends itself as a religion.
So tonight we ask: Should Scientology continue to enjoy tax exempt status as an organized religion?
Some call it a manipulative cult. Others say it's a well-established religion that helps people reach their potential.
Since its inception in the 1950s, the Church of Scientology has rarely been far from controversy. And now the Church is under attack again. Former senior insiders claim the Church's current leader, David Miscavige, has created and encouraged a climate of violence within senior staff and was frequently violent himself.
2009-10-23, Jefferson Hawkins, Leaving Scientology
In case you haven't noticed, the Church is fighting a new war. They have a brand new enemy. They're no longer fighting the Psychs, or Big Pharma. That's old hat. They're not even fighting Anonymous any more. They have a new enemy, one that's more dangerous, more capable, more formidable than any they've ever faced.
That's right, they are at war with their own members.
2009-10-23, Jefferson Hawkins, Leaving Scientology
Tommy Davis is a liar.
He's smooth. Polished. Convincing. But a liar nonetheless.
Consider this gem, from a 2008CNN interview with John Roberts. Roberts asked him about disconnection, asking if it was true that "if you are a member of the Church of Scientology and someone in your family, a friend or spouse is skeptical or critical of the Church of Scientology, you're supposed to disconnect from that person."
In a world wracked with uncertainty, there is at least one thing you can bet on: pick a fight with the Church of Scientology (CoS), and its leaders will fight back -- always with vigor, often with a vengeance, and sometimes with litigation that can be long and costly.
2008-10-23, Roger Friedman, Celebrity Gossip, Fox News
The last will and testament of the late superstar Isaac Hayes's is being probated right now. And guess what? Hayes left nothing to the Church of Scientology.
This news must sting something awful, as numerous well-known Scientologists attended not one but maybe four different funerals and memorial services for Hayes in August after he died.
There cannot have been many such occasions when Chief Superintendent Hurley has been greeted with such enthusiastic whooping from an audience, his image simultaneously magnified on huge screens.
Under massive red banners hanging from the front of the building and proclaiming DIANETICS - the underlying creed of the church - and SCIENTOLOGY, the officer was wildly applauded when he praised the "positive" work of its members in their anti-drugs work and their assistance in the wake of last year's 7 July bombings.
2006-10-23, Sandra Laville, Special reports, The Guardian
For two hours yesterday Hollywood glitz supplanted British mundanity on the streets of London as the most senior figures within the movement joined 5,000 members from all over the world for the opening of their £24m "church" in the heart of the Square Mile.
On this, our lucky day, Kevin Trudeau is introducing us to his personal electromagnetic chaos eliminator.
Trudeau, who has sold millions of books by touting the curative properties of things such as magnetic toe rings and crocodile protein peptide, believes the sole thing keeping his brain from being "microwaved from the inside out" by cell phones and radio waves is this electromagnetic whatever. We are intrigued.
"Would you like to see this magical device?"
The Church of Scientology lost a bid Thursday in a British court to ban a biography of its founder, the late science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard. The secretive religious movement, which has a headquarters in Clearwater, had asked the Court of Appeal for an injunction against publication of Bare Faced Messiah by London journalist Russell Miller. Such a ruling would have reversed a High Court decision dismissing their application as "mischievous and misconceived."
LOS ANGELES -- The wife of Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard has filed a $5 million lawsuit against her stepson, alleging him guilty of fraud and malice for claiming Hubbard dead and trying to become trustee of his father's estate.
The suit, filed Monday by Gary Bostwick, who represents Mary Sue Hubbard, names Hubbard's son, Ronald DeWolf, and his attorney, Michael Flynn of Massachusetts.
The court document states that DeWolf and Flynn 'attempted a massive hoax' and charges they are guilty of 'oppression, fraud and malice' in their unsuccessful 1982 probate bid.
ST. LOUIS -- A niece of Sen. Thomas F. Eagleton, D-Mo., testified Thursday she wanted one of Eagleton's lawyers to believe she had damaging information about her uncle that she would make public if the senator did not buy $220,000 in stock from her.
The niece, Elizabeth Weigand, made the admission for the first time in open court during her federal extortion trial.
She was asked by government prosecutors if she wanted J.J. Thyson, manager of an Eagleton family business, to think she would disseminate harmful information about the senator if Eagleton did not buy her interest in the business.
Attorney Paul Morantz unlocked the door of his house in Los Angeles last week and put his left hand into the mailbox. "I felt a sharp pain, and then it felt as though my hand was in a vise," he recalls. When he pulled his hand back, he brought with it a 4½-ft. diamondback rattlesnake, its fangs buried near his left thumb. He managed to shake off the snake and ran screaming to a neighbor, who applied a tourniquet that saved Morantz from almost certain death. Fire department paramedics chopped off the snake's head with a shovel, and discovered that the rattles had been removed so that the snake could attack without warning.