2018-11-11, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The weekly show where I answer viewer questions left for me in the comment sections of my Q&A videos or sent to me by email at AskChrisShelton@gmail.com. This week, the questions I answer are:
(1) On the RPF, people are generally poorly fed and sleep-deprived, but they also get auditing and sec-checking. At the same time, I remember hearing that any time anyone gets on an E-meter, they are supposed to be well-fed and well-rested. So how does the RPF manage to Keep Scientology Working in this situation?
(2) Can you explain the origin of (and I know I won't spell this right) sum-gum-war-sue-up? I know it's part of a meter drill, but does this and other gibberish have a purpose other than perhaps as a control statement to see if you have a reaction?
Rod Keller digs in to a small mystery happening in Michigan...
In early October this sign appeared on a property in Birch Run, Michigan. Residents noticed; some began to Google "Narconon" and found it to be associated with Scientology. Township officials became concerned. They had received an application for an alcohol and drug rehab facility in February 2018 and had responded in August with a letter noting some deficiencies in the application. They haven't heard back since. The application hadn't mentioned Narconon, now were they opening the rehab facility without getting the proper permits?
The property at 7273 Birch Run Road was purchased in 2015 by Gregory and Lori Hetzer. There are seven bedrooms in the main house and three more over the four-car garage. Sitting on 10 acres, the estate has two ponds, a beach area, a volleyball court, indoor pool, exercise room, home theater, and four fireplaces. It's a massive home and "The Castle" seems an appropriate name. The application says they plan to have up to 24 patients at a time in drug or alcohol rehab.
We talk to Ontario Proud founder Jeff Ballingall about how he created one of Canada's most influential political tools and the wealthy donors looking to cash in on Ontario Proud's digital machine.
To read more: http://cbc.ca/1.4891245
2018-11-11, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Valley Ideal Org and its empty parking lot
Remember when they used to issue these commendations BEFORE the "Ideal Org" opened and publish their "OTC Minutes" listing the attendees? They don't do that any more because they were embarrassed about them repeatedly being leaked and appearing on this blog. Ah, for the good old days...
And remember the 10X expansion that is guaranteed when an org has its ribbon yanked by the only True Leader, David Miscavige?
2017-11-11, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
It's Sunday morning. The sun is shining brightly. I'm writing in a coffee shop with the person I love the most in the whole wide world: my spouse. God is good. Or…at least life is.
I was raised an atheist. Despite three-plus decades in Scientology, I'm pretty sure I still am. And you know what? I think LRH was too.
I never attended a place of worship while growing up. No churches, no synagogues, no mosques. Like Karl, "religion was the opiate of the people," in my household. God was a crutch in the minds of the weak.
On Wednesday, Erin Hodges Plumb wrote up her visit to the San Jacinto City Council, which briefly considered the notion of closing Gilman Springs Road before approving a motion never to bring the subject up again.
Closing the road has long been a dream of the Church of Scientology, whose secretive 500-acre "Int Base" management compound is split in two by the highway. But we were surprised that Scientology might still be trying to make that happen for one simple reason: Int Base is becoming an afterthought.
Once, the Southern California base housed some 800 Sea Org workers, and was the primary home of Scientology leader David Miscavige. It was also the location of Miscavige's notorious prison for his top lieutenants, known as "The Hole." But after the conditions in The Hole were made public in 2009, Miscavige has lessened the compound's importance. The population at the base has fallen to around 250, a new set of studios was opened in Hollywood so the base's "Golden Era" studios have less reason to exist, and recent defectors claim that Miscavige himself hasn't been at the base in four years.
2016-11-11, John Dupuis, Confessions of a Science Librarian, ScienceBlogs
This time around, I'm going to start a project about science in the new Donald Trump administration. I believe Trump will be terrible for science, technology, the environment and public health. And I intend to document that here. Of course, Trump won't be terrible for science in exactly the same way that Harper was in Canada. For example, he may not target research funding in the same way. On the other hand, the environment may fare much worse and ultimately muzzling may also prove to be a problem. It's only over the course of the next couple of years that we'll really and truly get a sense of the implications.
But why wait until we see the share of how exactly Trump is bad for science to start keeping track?
You probably heard the news last night that Leonard Cohen died at 82. And today, you'll be seeing some really great remembrances of him and the many different chapters of his life as an author, a songwriter, and a performer. (New Yorker editor David Remnick profiled Cohen in a brilliant piece just last month.)
Cohen's stature is such that when it was announced last month that Bob Dylan had won the Nobel Prize in literature, fans couldn't help wondering how Cohen would greet the news that he'd been passed over for it.
Cohen's reaction was classic. He said that giving Dylan a Nobel Prize for writing was "like pinning a medal on Mount Everest for being the highest mountain."
Attorney General Pam Bondi was named today as a member of Donald Trump's top transition team, joining a group of political insiders and newcomers, including members of Trump's family.
Bondi was with Trump for most of the campaign, save for a couple months when she stayed off the trail amid questions of a political donation Trump gave her in 2013 around the same time Trump University was being investigated. Bondi served as a prominent female voice for Trump as he reeled from the release of a video in which he made sexually aggressive comments toward women and suggested he attempted an adulturous affair. Bondi said his comments were "disgusting" but "I believe in forgiveness."
In a statement Friday, she said: "I'm honored to serve President-elect Donald J. Trump in making this historic transition and assisting in finding the best individuals to bring change to Washington on day one, grow our economy, protect our children and families, and be unafraid to stand up for Americans."
Aaron Smith-Levin and Mike Rinder interview each other discussing what it's like growing up in Scientology.
This is Part 2 of a many-part series. In this part Aaron and Mike take turns discussing their earliest experiences on the Flagship Apollo (for Mike) and at the Flag Land Base (for Aaron).
Mike discusses his job duties and living conditions aboard the Apollo. Aaron discusses living / working / studying at Flag full time from 13 to 15 years of age, and David Miscavige's involvement at Flag during that time ('93-'96).
2015-11-11, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The latest collection of reports from Flag.
Remember, these reports ONLY come out when they have "good news" — the weeks there is no report the stats are no doubt bad.
They used to report the number of Clears Made per week, but stopped mentioning this for the last 4 "Good News" briefings. I guess the "Clears" have dried up.
The mother of Cathriona White has talked about her daughter's suicide in a new interview.
Brigid Sweetman discussed the moment she learned that her 30-year-old daughter - who had been dating Jim Carrey - had taken her own life, as well as the note she left on her daughter's grave two days after her funeral.
'That note was very personal, private,' Sweetman told People.
Rather long rant of mine at the end. This particular shit really just pisses me off. I hate how they prey on people's ignorance.
Yes, I get rather aggressive. I'm only there for a short while. There was more to the video, but I recorded it wrong in the beginning.
If you want to rag on me for being so confrontational, go right ahead.
In August, we told you about Jonathan Little (pictured), an Indiana attorney who is handling several lawsuits against Scientology's drug rehab network, Narconon.
He turned heads with his outspokenness. Referring to Scientology's delaying legal strategy, he said, "If Narconon and Scientology want to have a decade-long war, I have nothing else to do and I'm not going away."
We called him yesterday to get his thoughts on our story about how David Miscavige is making major changes to the Narconon system. He told us he thought our story was "spot-on," and he updated us on his own lawsuits against Narconon centers.
Australian Education City is led by Bill Zheng, a Chinese-born businessman who once worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers, and who has made a fortune investing in property and other areas via his firm Investors Direct Financial Group.
The state government wants bidders to deliver, over a time frame of 20 to 30 years, a precinct that is more than just broad-acre housing such as the nearby Point Cook. Instead, it wants to see an innovation and research hub built, with high-skill, high-wage jobs.
Australian Education City has promised a 1.5 million-square-metre city on the site, including soaring towers and Australian and overseas universities.
According to the lawsuit, their report "determined that the Narconon facility violated numerous state laws and recommended that the facility be shut down."
After that report aired, Kim Poff was fired again from her new job as an investigator with DHS. According to Rachel Bussett, Kimberly Poff's attorney, the day after the story aired, Poff's file was pulled at DHS and she was gone by the end of the week.
"This is retaliation and that's illegal," said Bussett.
Jett Travolta, 1992-2009. Requiescat in Pace.
It is a terrible thing to lose a child.
John and Kelly created a foundation to quietly honor the memory of their late son Jett Travolta. IMHO, this should not be sensationalized for the sake of Jett. Therefore, posted in the public interest to show the facts: The Jett Travolta Foundation2013 Form 990.
Kim Poff Now it can be told: Just days after we reported, along with local Oklahoma media, that Kim Poff had filed suit against the state's Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuses Services (ODMHSAS), she was fired by another Oklahoma state agency, the Department of Human Services.
Her attorney, Rachel Bussett, tells us she believes those events are directly connected.
"On August 18, you and News 9 reported her lawsuit. And then on the 19th of August, the story was reported by the Daily Oklahoman and the Tulsa World," Bussett told us by telephone yesterday. "It's our understanding that Kim's file was pulled the next day, on the 20th, and she was fired on the 22nd."
2014-11-11, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Another in the ongoing series exploring the "explosive international growth" of scientology and its "straight up and vertical expansion," according to the gospel of David Miscavige.
A Special Correspondent happened to be in Calgary recently and sent in this report.
Although not listed on the official church website, Scientology maintains a Mission in Calgary Canada.
I won't be publishing a daily digest for tonight. I must plead exhaustion.
This has been a brutal week. In the midst of a lot of other things going on, I managed to write a total of almost 17,000 words since launching the blog seven short days ago. I'm utterly exhausted and need to crash before another long day tomorrow. I have three feature articles to run over the next couple of days that I hope will interest you.
I would like to thank you who have supported me, by reading what I write, by contributing your thoughts to the comments, by sending me data points and ideas, and by your kind words.
2013-11-11, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Even though the building is officially complete, you can STILL give us money and pretend you contributed to making it happen.
We will ALWAYS be happy to take your money and tell you anything you want to hear — even inscribe your name on the COMPLETED building as if you helped "make it happen."
The big selling point is not "we need to build a building" but "you can still buy some status if you buy now!"
The *Church* of Scientology has not sued the media in some 14 years. The last time it sued was Time Magazine a to a resounding LOSS for the Church, millions of dollars later....
In more recent times, Vanity Fair was threatened and threatened *See you in Court....*
Hot Air, Bogus Threat.
Larry Wright on the book "Going Clear" bogus threats to him and his Publisher
Jenna Miscavige Bogus threats to Publisher
CNN threatened over and over again before airing of "Scientology,. a History of Violence"
BBCPanorama, numerous bogus threats to Panorama Legal
"Scientologists at war" documentary (recently sold to VOD) numerous threats to the videographers and the lawyers of the documentary film company - all bogus, all hot air.
Burt Fields (Tom CruiseLawyer) bogus threat to Marty Rathbun.,
On and on and On.
Idle threats. Bogus threats. Hot air.
The tactic is to huff and puff and beat on one's chest like a Tarzan.
Toothless. Dysfunctional. Duplicitous.
We're still pinching ourselves that this Sunday, after all this time, Scientology's "Flag Building" — better known as the "Super Power Building" — will be opening up, 15 years after it was begun.
Back in January 2012, we gave the most comprehensive peek inside the project, publishing renderings from every part of the city-block-sized, seven-story, 300,000-square-foot behemoth. From the Sea Org food hall in the basement to the elegant offices of Scientology leader David Miscavige on the seventh floor, but especially on the fifth floor with its space-age "perceptics" installations (like the fancy equipment you see above), this thing is a marvel.
And finally, on Sunday at 1 pm, it formally opens!
Start here for exhaustive coverage of the Paris trial of Scientology for organised fraud: reports from inside the courtrooms and details of the broader political controversy.
Listed below is Infinite Complacency's complete coverage of the Paris trial of Scientology for fraud, organised fraud and the illegal practice of pharmacy.
You will find reports from the original trial in 2009, the 2011 appeal, all the way through to the final ruling at the Court of Cassation, France's top court, in 2013. There is extensive analysis too of the battles fought outside the courtroom.
2013-11-11, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The South African Scientology field is being treated to some history lessons from some of its most illustrious members. While the church is busily trying to black PR the Joburg 18, they are simply sending out their stories. Anyone with half a brain can read this and the letter from Gaye Corbett and know without a shadow of a doubt "This is no SP, in fact, if someone declared her and her husband they are either insane or a sociopath."
Thank you for standing tall Wendy and all the rest of the Joburg 18 and friends.
There was an old term "Founding Scientologist" reserved for those who had been involved in the very earliest years and had helped nurture the subject to adulthood. It is ironic that on Veteran's Day we are reminded how little respect is afforded those whose shoulders today's generation stand on. Miscavige era corporate Scientologists look upon these people with disdain (just peruse that list of the Joburg 18 again for proof) — they are reminders of a kinder, gentler Scientology that is anathema to the 21st century Vulture Culture that circles the few that have not yet been reduced to skeletons.
On Sundays, we reveal the latest Scientology fundraising mailers that get sent to us during the week. And we have some good ones to show you this time. But first, we wondered if you had noticed, like we did, that Connor Cruise's big action-movie debut is coming up!
Tom's son appears in the remake of Red Dawn which opens on Thanksgiving. (Connor's only other film credit was his appearance as Will Smith's younger self in 2008's Seven Pounds, which New York Times reviewer A.O. Scott called "Among the most transcendently...crazily awful motion pictures ever made.") Take a gander at the Red Dawn trailer in all of its survivalist-porn goodness, and keep your eye out for Connor aiming a really big gun.
Connor takes aim!
2010-11-11, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
After much looking, soul-searching, researching, evaluating and arriving at conclusions, I decided to leave the church. But how do I do it? Stable datum: I am a Scientologist who applies Scientology.
2010-11-11, Jefferson Hawkins, Leaving Scientology
I just read an amazing letter from an OT VIII, which I am linking to here:
Letter to COB
It is probably the best summary I have read of the case against David Miscavige, from a Scientologist point of view. It is intelligent, well researched, concise and lucid. It cites all of the main Scientology references that Miscavige is violating.
But, according to The Register, this 318-page exposé of the practises of the Church has been withdrawn from sale by Amazon UK "for legal reasons". The book was removed from the site on 23 October. Amazon US is reporting that it is "out of stock".
Ms. Ambrose became one of the first black Scientologists.
"She was already famous," said the Rev. Charles Kennedy, pastor of the Glorious Church of God in Christ in Tampa. "She wanted something to help the African-American community. She embraced it fully."
Along with her daughter, Ms. Ambrose founded Ebony Awakenings, a group that has worked to honor African-Americans and create partnerships between Scientology and churches, including Kennedy's.
The Supreme Court, rejecting an appeal filed by the Church of Scientology of California to obtain government tax records, ruled Tuesday that the public has no right to get information kept by the IRS.
The tax agency "has no duty under the Freedom of Information Act" to disclose internal records, even if names and other confidential information could be easily deleted, the court ruled.