A few days ago Scientology put out its usual press releases about how it was at the scene of yet another disaster with its yellow-shirted "Volunteer Ministers," this time on the island of La Palma in the Canaries where a volcano began erupting on September 19.
As we've documented time and time again here, what's actually going on is that Scientology dispatches its members for the primary reason of setting up PR photos like the one you see above.
This time, at least, a Spanish news website, El Español, is calling out Scientology for its vulturish opportunism in a substantial piece that is pretty harsh.
On Wednesday, longtime reader PickAnotherID began taking apart L. Ron Hubbard's military service decorations like no one ever has.
A 20-year military veteran, PickAnotherID was frustrated not only by Hubbard's "stolen valor," but also the incomplete and incorrect criticisms of the medals and ribbons that the Church of Scientology claimed were earned by the Scientology founder.
In the first part, Pick went over the Navy marksmanship awards, which have caused a lot of confusion over the years. And now, he's on to the medals and ribbons that Scientology claimed for Hubbard when it delivered a photo of them to New Yorker writer Lawrence Wright for his 2011 feature story, "The Apostate."
2020-11-07, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Tracey McManus article reporting on a meeting David Miscavige had with the Clearwater Mayor and City Attorney last week isn't very revelatory on the surface.
But I will try to read between the lines and explain the significance of this meeting based on scientology policy and my experience.
The first thing to know is that short of testifying under oath (and even then, good scientologists have no fear of lying if they believe a lie is for the "greatest good"), the real story (either what happened in the past or intentions fo rthe future)is never going to be revealed in a casual meeting with David Miscavige.
Yet again a popular show is giving an anti-vaxxer a high-profile platform to spread lies and cause harm to an audience of millions. This time it's Bill Maher who last week hosted Jay Gordon, a controversial doctor who peddles misinformation about vaccines and is best known for providing hundreds of personal belief exemptions for families to forgo school vaccine requirements.
The 14-minute interview on Real Time with Bill Maher doubled down on all the dangerous views we've heard before: highlighting discredited work on vaccines and autism, disingenuously labelling measles a benign illness, and questioning a vaccine schedule that has been proven safe and effective by decades of research.
Like many who work in science and medicine, I am exasperated. How does this keep happening? Why do people keep giving snake-oil salesmen a microphone? And how can anti-vaxxers keep telling us the same obvious lies without shame, when they have been debunked and factchecked time and time again?
An apparent online leak of materials from influential neo-Nazi website Iron March, which has linked to several murders and acts of extremist terrorism, has the potential to identify hundreds of extremists around the world.
The material, posted anonymously to an online archiving site on Wednesday, US time, by a user identified only as "antifa-data". It apparently comprises the contents of the now defunct Iron March website's underlying database and makes it possible to match usernames with email addresses, IP addresses, forum posts and direct messages.
Material uncovered in the leak so far suggests some users on the platform registered with existing personal email addresses, including addresses associated with several US universities. Posts and direct messages suggest that some members were on active military service at the time they posted, according to the open source journalism website Bellingcat.
We've been looking a little more closely at the special "Clearwater edition" of Freedom magazine that recently came out after Freedom had not put out a new issue for a year.
It's quite obvious that the new issue was thrown together to counter the brilliant Tampa Bay Times investigation of October 20 which revealed that once again the Church of Scientology has pulled off a surreptitious and underhanded takeover of the Florida beach city's dormant downtown.
In a classic example of disinformation, Scientology's longtime propaganda magazine featured a story by editor John Sugg that smeared the Times and its reporter, Tracey McManus, blaming the newspaper for the city's inability to revive a downtown that Scientology has had a stranglehold on since its first secret takeover in 1975.
The law firms of Peiffer, Wolf, Carr & Kane and Meyer Wilson conducted a news conference today in which whistleblower Toni Caiazzo Neff laid bare allegations against GPB Capital and its Scientologist owner David Gentile.
Neff's revelations include David Gentile's ties to reputed Russian organized crime figure Mikhail Chernaya a/k/a Michael Cherney. From the news conference:
Russian crime connections. While the GPB Ponzi scheme formally began in 2013 the seeds of this fraud were sowed years before when David Gentile became involved with an Eastern European organized crime family headed by Michael Chernaya a/k/a Michael Cherney. Gentile's relationship with Chernaya, his organization, and his family ultimately led to GPB's first portfolio assets and GPB investor funds flowing to Chernaya's organization, an organization that included David Gentile. Michael Chernaya's ties to foreign crime syndicates, the mafia and Russian oligarchs are extensive and well-documented. He has been denied a visa by the United States. He has been barred from Bulgaria. Court documents reveal that although he is not in the United States, his two daughters, Rina and Diana Chernaya, live in Florida and have been the recipients of tens of millions of dollars from their father.
We've written several times about Carol Nyburg. Many ex-Scientologists remember her as the friendly accommodations registrar at the Flag Land Base — it was Carol's job to get you placed in the right rooms when you came for an extended stay at Scientology's spiritual mecca.
Like so many others, however, she was subjected to abuse as a Sea Org member and became disillusioned with leader David Miscavige. After 26 years in the Sea Org, Carol left, and was then declared a "suppressive person" — an enemy of the church.
One of the most difficult things about being declared for Carol was that her two children reacted to it in starkly different ways. Her son, Jeff, had also left the Sea Org and Scientology, but when his father asked him to cut off contact with Carol or risk being declared himself, he refused and stayed in touch with her.
Have you ever had a really hard time getting through to someone?
Have you engaged with people on social media or in real life about something that was important to you, about which you knew a lot, but you simply could not budge the other person no matter what you said or did? Let's talk about why it's so hard to talk to some people, why no matter what you say or how you say it, there is nothing you are able to do to crack them or even get them to acknowledge the things you said.
Video on denialism: https://youtu.be/JPEk7xkLdWs
2018-11-07, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This is a sad indication of the level of fawning praise those inside the bubble heap on David Miscavige.
They are so deluded they eagerly lap up his bs and believe he is leading them into a "golden age" of scientology ascendancy on earth. They think under his guidance scientology is being accepted everywhere and is expanding like never before. Truly it is the Emperor's New Clothes syndrome. Nobody wants to say it out loud — instead they praise his wonderful garments. I think some of them truly don't even see he is naked because they don't want to look.
Instead, they believe that it will somehow bring them to a state of spiritual freedom to fall over themselves in adoring the one True Leader.
A Lavish Banquet at Scientology's Celebrity Centre in Hollywood. This doesn't look like persecution.
In a previous article we reported on journalist Alexandra Bruell's exceedingly sloppy work in her Wall Street Journal article on Scientology. Essentially, Bruell uncritically repeated Scientology's undocumented claims of persecution arising from Leah Remini's Emmy-winning show Scientology and the Aftermath. As we noted in our previous article:
Without bothering to substantiate even one of Scientology's claims, WSJ columnist Alexandra Bruell uncritically quoted this bit of Scientology hysteria:
2017-11-07, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
While we await the season finale episode tonight, which I hope you will find to be one of the best, I wanted to further address the smears leveled at Chantal and Sherry. (BTW there are 3 more specials coming too...)
As has been my practice, I generally put some sort of response to the smears scientology publishes on the contributors to The Aftermath.
Leah Remini's A&E series ends its "regular" second season of episodes tonight with a dramatic and deeply satisfying segment as Chantal Dodson's mother, Ramina Nunnelee, reveals that she has walked away from Scientology as a result of Leah's show.
But let's deal first with that programming note, because we know it's confusing, and confusing viewers is what A&E seems best at. Besides moving the series an hour later, to 10pm, in the middle of the season, A&E has always counted episodes in a confusing way. Ten "regular" episodes were filmed for the second season, as well as four "special" episodes.
Only nine of the regular episodes are airing because, as we revealed last week, one of the regular episodes featured three of the women who are accusing Scientology actor Danny Masterson of rape. The LAPD began investigating those claims a year ago, and in April the Los Angeles District Attorney's office got involved, but it still has not made a decision whether to file charges. The DA's office asked Leah not to air the episode as long as they were still investigating, and Leah asked A&E to respect that request. So by calling tonight's show the season "finale," it suggests that A&E has given up on the notion of airing the Masterson episode.
2016-11-07, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This is the announcement of the latest "Ideal Mission" on the scientology.org website.
Here is the Mission's website that has NO MENTION of scientology — it is called the "Orange CountyLife Improvement Center":
Even when you click on "Counseling" this is what you see:
We are so glad this election season is finally almost over. But before you go to the polls tomorrow, we wanted to bring up one local race that has a connection to stories we've done in the past.
In 2013, we were paying a lot of attention to Scientology's flagship drug rehab center in Oklahoma known as Narconon Arrowhead. Three patients died at the facility in a nine month period, including 20-year-old Stacy Dawn Murphy, who died of an overdose on July 19, 2012.
Those deaths sparked numerous investigations at the local and state level, and by 2013 we were getting pretty impatient for some results from those probes. On the state level, an investigation that resulted in recommendations that Narconon Arrowhead should be shut down instead turned into a major debacle as state officials allegedly admitted that they were too afraid to take on Scientology and fired the investigators who had recommended closing the center.
And criminal investigations of the deaths by the local sheriff, Joel Kerns, and local district attorney also seemed to go nowhere.
We're still jonesing for the next issue of Scientology's propaganda magazine, Freedom, which completely missed putting out an issue in October. The magazine had been chugging along with monthly issues after it was retooled and relaunched in July 2014 with a new, very earnest focus on issues of the day rather than goofy attacks on Scientology's critics.
Did David Miscavige finally realize, after assembling what was probably a very expensive staff of editors and writers pretending to be doing actual journalism, that no one was reading this stuff? Well, we found it really amusing, anyway. And we hope a November issue shows up.
While we were at the magazine's website, we checked to see if there was anything new on the special page where Scientology collects its attacks on Alex Gibney and the people in his film Going Clear. It turns out there was yet another new video calling Gibney names and accusing his film of ignoring Scientology's glorious expansion and good works. But we're glad we forced ourselves to sit through the whole thing, because in the second half, the new video goes after someone Scientology normally pretends doesn't exist.
This event is organized by conservative radio host Kevin Swanson, whose greatest hits include advocating for the execution of gay people and support for Uganda's draconian anti-homosexual laws, (a country where homosexuals experience "corrective rape"). He also thinks God is going to wipe out America over homosexuality and that America's welfare system goes hand-in-hand with prostituting women.
Another two speakers appearing at the conference have also called for gay people to be executed. Reverend Phillip Kayser has said he would approve of executing gay people, though he thinks it's unlikely to happen in America. Joel McDurmon, president of the Christian organization American Vision, has written "the homosexual act as a civil crime deserves the death penalty."
Bob Vander Plaats, the president of the conservative organization The Family Leader, will also be in attendance. He has compared supporting gay marriage to supporting slavery.
2015-11-07, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Mariette's life in the church became a nightmare "I know of an anonymous call, people want to shut me up, they said that I can not continue to spread my " lies""
While scientology is unravelling in the face of Hurricane Leah here in the US, a different storm is raining on scientology's tiny parade in Sweden.
My old friend, Mariette Lindstein has written a book. And it is causing quite a stir.
2014-11-07, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Van Gogh may have had ideal orgs in mind....
Here are the pages of completions from the latest magazine of the Pasadena Org.
Of course, this is one the orgs that is "Clearing LA" and making "Planetary Clearing A Reality."
Our old friend Nathan Baca sent us a hot tip last night: He pointed out that Brent Jones had defeated incumbent Democrat James Healey in Nevada's 35th Assembly district in Tuesday's election, and no one had really noticed that it meant a Scientologist had managed to get himself elected to public office.
There's precedence for Scientologists to get elected. Sonny Bono, who served as a US Representative from 1994 until his death in a skiing accident in 1998, took Scientology courses, though he was careful to put "Roman Catholic" on official documents.
Brent Jones was also cautious. He makes no mention of Scientology in his official campaign bio. But there's no hiding his extensive involvement with the organization.
As I said in my first post on this blog, I want to try to add value to the world of Scientology activism by building a site for deep analysis, initially my own and, over time, building a community of like-minded folks to work together.
Why? Because analysis is the prelude to action. If you can do the following:
Understand the problem better
MailOnline spoke exclusively to ex-Church member Dylan Gill, who oversaw the building of the base reveals all its secrets.
Twin Peaks was built to the strict orders of the Board of Directors, who set aside a minimum $18 million for the project, which began in 1989, and isn't even known to most Church members.
'It's kept in secrecy, almost no-one in Scientology knows the base exists. To even get invited to the base, you've got to be in the highest of highest ranks of Scientologists knowing the most secret of secrets. Then there's a whole layer on top of that once you get there!' reveals Dylan.
Both DM and TO talked to apostate Dylan Gill, who worked at the base; he told TO that "CST Headquarters has several buildings that are used for housing workers and for doing the work of archiving - plans for the vaults include etching Hubbard's millions of printed words on steel plates and storing them in titanium boxes." It also has "upscale residences" and an exercise yard (a gyro-gym!). Work started in 1989 and was originally budgeted at $18 million, "but it cost way more," according to Gill, who says also that it is lousy with cameras and heat and motion sensors.
The nearly century-old Stevens Building in downtown Portland has changed hands, and signs point to a possible future as a restored hotel.
The first clue is the buyer of record's name: Stevens Hotel LLC paid $4.35 million for the building, at 812 S.W. Washington St., in a deal that closed Oct. 21.
The Church of Scientology acquired the Stevens Building for $5.4 million in 2008 as a future Portland headquarters. But it changed direction in 2010 and bought the Sherlock building at 309 S.W. 3rd Ave. for its headquarters instead, and put the Stevens Building back up for sale.
The Church of Scientology has run afoul of city ordinances again, prompting city officials to say that if the church doesn't begin complying with city laws, it won't get permits for two major events later this month and an annual New Year's celebration.
The church has installed a white privacy fence on the western and southern boundaries of the property where it erected a massive tent for upcoming events, effectively blocking the view of the tent property from beachbound traffic passing by on Court Street. The church did not obtain a required permit before putting up the fence.
Tony Ortega's Blog
Today's story was another installment in the interview series with legendary former cult marketing exec Jefferson Hawkins. Today, the review of Chapter 3 in the book Introduction to Scientology Ethics is all about statistics, which is the basis for so much of the craziness around "management tech," and, in my view, that is the craziness that drives so many businesses owned by Scientologists into criminal or at least incredibly short-sighted behavior. I think this one is well worth reading, since Jeff once again does a great job presenting the subject accessibly, and it's pretty easy to see how an already stupid idea of Hubbard's can be taken and turned into a source of even more evil and ineptitude than Hubbard could have ever dreamed of.
Tony also got a brief "fuck off" e-mail reply from former cult spokesman Tommy Davis on asking Tommy for confirmation that he was in New York (New Jersey, actually, at the CNBC studio, a place I've done dozens of interviews myself) shepherding the chairman of his fund on a press tour. It looks like Tommy's new title of "special assistant to the Chairman" is real. But it raised a question for me: a chairman of a big fund is not going to travel with an assistant he doesn't trust. And he's not going to trust a rookie assistant unless that assistant has already got a lot of face time with him. The only way to do that is to live in LA. So is Tommy living in LA? And if so, is wife Jessica with him? I seem to recall that Tommy either owns or has access to a house in LA in addition to his place in Austin. I am not starting a rumor; I'm just pointing out that a question worthy of further investigation has arisen.
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."
Jefferson where are you taking us today?
JEFFERSON: This week we're covering Chapter 3 of Introduction to Scientology Ethics, which deals mostly with statistics. It's a pretty detailed description of the importance of keeping statistics, exactly how you graph them, and how you determine statistic trends.
Anyone who wants to understand the devious, insane nature of the fraud known as L. Ron Hubbard should read this book cover to cover, and investigate all the footnotes. You will not only want Scientology ended forever, you'll feel the same way about any similar spiritual huckster that comes along in Hubbard's wake.
2013-11-07, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Here is a random selection of recent hype from a variety of sheeple.
What is interesting to note about these people and their comments is how well they duplicate what they are fed. They have been trained to hear and see things from "authority" and then regurgitate it as if it was their own thought.
There is not much comment required, but I, as is my wont, have included a few:
Tom Cruise has admitted in an explosive court deposition that actress Katie Holmes fled their marriage to protect their daughter from Scientology.
Cruise confessed that Holmes dumped him to spare their now 7-year-old daughter, Suri, from the celebrity-centric religion, according to the deposition, obtained by RadarOnline.
About 8,000 Scientologists would attend the downtown meeting from Nov. 29-Dec. 1, which will be held in a giant temporary tent already erected off Court Street, along a route to Clearwater Beach.
The Scientologists are asking for the city to close off some streets around the tent for their get-together.
The secretive Church of Scientology is to finally lift the lid on its £6 million plans for a listed mansion in Birmingham - seven years after targeting new headquarters in the city.
The American church, whose followers include Tom Cruise and John Travolta, is sending a representative to brief residents in a public consultation on the restoration of the former Pitmaston building in Moor Green Lane, Moseley.
You may not know this, but nearly half the world's population isn't human: they may look human, but they're another species called "humanoid." Humanoids don't have DNA like the rest of us; they have a Mobius strip that can create DNA. At least that's what a self-help organization called Access Consciousness tells us in this week's cover story. For a fee, you can wade into the Access pool of knowledge and find out which camp you fall into. If none of this made any sense to you, it's not because it's patently insane, it's because you're a stupid human, and you just won't understand.
You also wouldn't understand Access's statements about how "young children are incredibly sexy," or how your family is only any good to you if they have money. Humanoids can understand stuff like that, because they have achieved total awareness. And now Access's founder is trying to spread the humanoid message to kids.
It was difficult for the Houston Press to get humanoids on the horn, because they apparently don't like answering tough questions.
2012-11-07, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Last year I regularly referred to the 199 day siege upon our home in Ingleside on the Bay Texas by David Miscavige and Scientology Inc. Last month we discovered what we thought was evidence that extended that siege to two years, see David Miscavige - Cowardice and Paranoia. We reckoned the siege at two years because a Scientology Inc. agent responsible for the operation of the surveillance outpost at 201 Bayshore Drive (the green house noted in the linked post above) let slip that Scientology Inc. PI Monte Drake had leased the outpost since November 1, 2010 (the day we moved into Casablanca across the street). Well, further research determined that, in fact, Drake has been leasing 201 Bayshore since November 1, 2009 - one year to the day before we moved into Casablanca. This revelation was discovered while an employee of the cult was being interrogated about the November 1 2010 date coincident. "No, Drake moved in a year before you moved into your current home", was the plea in defense of David Miscavige's domestic terrorist squads. And proof of the November 1, 2009 move-in date was produced to divert attention from the domestic terror operations. However, the defense turned out to be a further admission; in fact, proof that the domestic terror siege has been in place since at least November 1, 2009. Further inspection of 201 Bayshore Drive, Ingleside on the Bay Texas proved that out. If you wish to follow all this, you will need to read all the posts linked above, and then carefully watch and listen to the following video:
Additionally, former Scientology private investigators Paul Marrick and Greg Arnold disclosed that they arrived to Ingleside on the Bay in February 2009 to 'case' the place in order to up the ante on the operation that Monte Drake had already begun several months before, (See, The Rest of the Story - Scientology Inc. Spies.) That brings us back to late 2008 - Four Years. Since Drake has put in writing another three year Scientology Inc. financial commitment to 201 Bayshore, we are looking at three (and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to then extrapolate from that commitment, Four) more years.
Now, there is a silver lining in all this sickness. That has to do with advice that I have regularly imparted on this blog over the past three years. That advice was predicated upon my prediction, and perception, that David Miscavige had made a terrible misestimation. That was that Miscavige's obsession with me was playing right into the expansion and guaranteed survival of the independent Scientology movement. Miscavige was so obsessed with knocking out whom he had so criminal-mindedly labelled the kingpin (yours truly) that his micro-management compulsion required all available OSA (Office of Special Affairs, the terror and propaganda wing of Scientology Inc.) resources be focused upon me and me alone. My advice was, and is, that given Miscavige's obsession, the best thing people who were concerned about the future of Scientology could do is to start delivering. Set up and produce to your heart's content, knowing that Miscavige and Scientology Inc. are all tied up in a war against an enemy he has conflated, and virtually created, as all-powerful and all-important. What we have disclosed about the over-the-top, spare-no-expense operations in our little hamlet over the past three years (including the revelations about surveillance outposts over the past month) is validation of my estimation and advice. There has not been a single report of OSA harassment or operations against other independents or freezoners for more than a year (but for the perpetual infiltration attempts and whispering campaigns). The focus of all of Miscavige Scientology Inc war resources is here. It can safely be assumed it will remain here given recent events and the trends they portend.
President Barack Obama was reelected yesterday here in the United States and, at nearly 2 in the morning, gave a rousing victory speech.
"You voted for action, not politics as usual," he said.
Action? Hey, we have some ideas about the kind of action the US government could engage in during Obama's second administration.
2011-11-07, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
X Factor's Stacy Francis "I have to defend what I know. And I know how serious domestic violence is, and I'm not with that. To be potentially accused of that is gross."
An exclusive here at the Voice this morning. We have the first interview with Michael Sandlofer, the first husband of X Factor contestant Stacy Francis, 42, who has gained a large following in part by selling a story that she suffered domestic violence from a man while she was in her late 20s to early 30s. On Thursday, she made it plain to The Hollywood Reporter that she was talking about Sandlofer, her first husband.
Sandlofer tells the Voice that not only has Francis lied about domestic violence in her relationship with him, but he says that Perez Hilton is correct in his complaints that Francis has been untruthful about her extensive professional singing career before she came to X Factor. We had a conversation yesterday with Sandlofer, a music producer, who told the Voice about his marriage to Francis, why it was annulled, and why she then turned to Scientology, an organization she has been heavily involved with ever since.
2011-11-07, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Notes from the bunker
David Miscavige has made much of his role in disbanding Corporate Scientology's infamous harassment arm called the Guardian's Office (GO). In a court declaration of 17 February 2004 Miscavige swore: "When further investigation proved the documents to be authentic, it was made clear that we had no choice but to overthrow the GO and dismiss everyone who had violated Church policy or the law. These activities ultimately led to a complete disband of the GO."
The Guardian's Office purge was essential to Miscavige's power push in the early eighties. Without it he could not have cut Scientology Founder L Ron Hubbard's last existing communication line to the last person with sufficient altitude and respect to actually share ideas and perspectives with him, his wife and Scientology Controller (overseer of Guardian's Office) Mary Sue Hubbard. In Miscavige's own words: "It must be noted that Mary Sue Hubbard believed her position as Controller and as the "Founder's wife" to be unassailable and beyond reproach by anyone but Mr. Hubbard — who was not around at the time, a fact that she was well aware of." Hence, Miscavige assailed both positions, all justified by the alleged crimes of the GO. Crimes that Miscavige characterized as: "There were also instances in which GO staff used unscrupulous means to deal with people they perceived as enemies of the Church — means that were completely against Scientology tenets and policy, not to mention the law."
This is the ending part of a surprise birthday party for Tom Cruise that had taken place on the Scientology religious retreat vessel called The Freewinds, were Stacy Francis "serenaded" Tom Cruise and his best buddy...the cult leader David Miscavige, with his entourage.
This is the ending part of a surprise birthday party for Tom Cruise that had taken place on the Scientology religious retreat vessel called The Freewinds, were Stacy Francis "serenaded" Tom Cruise and his best buddy...the cult leader David Miscavige, with his entourage.
2011-11-07, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
If you've been following along with the drama around X Factor contestant Stacy Francis, you know that her entire past has come under inspection as her fans and detractors have attempted to sift truth from legend.
In particular, we have noted that Francis has been quiet about her long membership in the church of Scientology, including her performances aboard Scientology's Freewinds ship in 2004 at a special 40th birthday celebration for the actor Tom Cruise. For years, videos of that performance have been available on the Internet in which Francis serenaded Cruise and Scientology leader David Miscavige.
2010-11-07, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Just after I blew RTC I spent 35 days on the road looking for a peaceful, faraway place to settle. I wound up by the Gulf of Mexico on the US-Mexican border. I later moved a tad north, but still in South Texas. I travel a bit, and I always love coming home. It is not just the ocean and the space. More important I think is the culture. You know what a big cattle rancher or oil man calls a lowly busboy in a taqueria down here?
He calls him "Sir." Every man initially refers to every other man as "Sir." Everybody starts out with respect. If one demonstrate's he is not entitled to respect, only then does he lose it. Sometimes it doesn't take much to accomplish that. Just be a cabron (loose translation: a prick) and see how long they keep referring to you as "Sir." But it is easy to keep respect. All you have to do is treat others with respect. Most folk who come here to visit remark on how friendly people here are. I think it has to do with their cultural upbringing and the workability of the idea of granting beingness to others indiscriminately. Christian folk refer to it as the Golden Rule.
I read a blog post of Jeff Hawkins recently that got me thinking about all this http://leavingscientology.wordpress.com/2010/09/30/a-quick-note/.
2009-11-07, Jefferson Hawkins, Leaving Scientology
The world is watching to see how rank-and-file Scientologists react to the growing reports of abuse, violence and criminality among Scientology's highest echelons.
How those individual Scientologists react will determine, to a large measure, how the subject of Scientology itself is perceived, now and in the future.
Consider the reaction of lay Catholics in the wake of the 2002Boston Globe coverage of the priest abuse scandal. Parishioner meetings in the basement of St. John the Evangelist church in Wellesley, Massachusetts, soon expanded, thanks to the internet, to conferences of thousands – lay Catholics, victims of clergy sexual abuse, theologians, and priests from around the United States and the world. The resulting organization, Voice of the Faithful (VOTF), grew to 30,000 members within a year and is now a strong advocate for lay oversight of their parishes and dioceses. Their motto is "Keep the Faith, Change the Church."
Watchman Fellowship materials housed at Southwestern's library, in addition to the organization's Fellowship's voluminous collection of books, includes files, periodicals and other media that provide original materials produced by groups such as the Church of Scientology, the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses.
The Sonoma Valley Ministerial Association has come out against putting the crèche back on the Plaza.
In a statement to the Sonoma City Council, which will be debating the issue at its meeting Wednesday evening, the ministers said they don't believe the "display of the crèche on the Sonoma Plaza would serve the religious and spiritual health of the community at this time."
Hemphill's wife said it wasn't the first time her husband had physically abused her, Ross said. She told Ross she did not report the previous abuse to police, but reported it to the Church of Scientology, of which the Hemphills are members. Ross said Mrs. Hemphill told him a Scientology counselor had been assigned to help the couple.
Church spokesman Ben Shaw said he does not know the Hemphills and knew nothing about the incident.
Most church auditors are trained in marriage counseling for church members, he said. Those sessions are confidential, he said.
1969-11-07, Joseph Martin Hopkins, Reprint, Christianity Today
After a hurried interview with Miss Anne Ursprung, top executive of the Founding Church, I managed an extension of time by driving her and fellow staff member Esther Mangold to the airport to pick up a couple of Scientologists, Leon and Mitch, who were arriving from New York. As we returned to the city, I asked if it were true that many hippies are interested in Scientology.