A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled Wednesday that lawyers for the Church of Scientology are not entitled to obtain additional documents they say they need to defend the church against a former member's claims that she was forced to work long hours before she was a teen and was coerced to have an abortion at age 17.
Judge Samantha Jessner said the church's attorneys could have asked for the information sooner and that she was not going to re-open discovery in the case, which was brought by Laura Ann DeCrescenzo in April 2009.
Lawyers for the church had sought documents reviewed by plaintiff's witness Stephen Kent, who is an expert in the sociology of religions. They wrote in their court papers that Kent used the records to form his opinion that DeCrescenzo, now 44, was subject to brainwashing and mind control that delayed her filing of her lawsuit.
We've seen numerous stories reporting that Jared Fogle, the disgraced former Subway restaurants pitchman, tried to pull a fast one with a bogus appeal written by a fellow inmate, a jailhouse lawyer, whose attempt to get Fogle's conviction overturned on jurisdictional grounds didn't fly with a U.S. district judge.
Fogle is serving 15.5 years in prison for receiving child pornography from Russell Taylor, a man who worked for Fogle at his foundation, and for traveling across state lines in order to procure sex with a minor. He's been in prison since November 2015.
Most of the news coverage on this new appeal is focusing on a single line from it, which, the news coverage tells us, argues that Fogle's conviction should be overturned because he's a "sovereign citizen."
2017-11-15, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
With two specials in 3 days, scientology has been working overtime on concocting smears about the show contributors. Of course, they NEVER respond to anything the people say, never dispute the abuses or the lies exposed by any of the contributors or on the show in general. They just sling mud.
They have nothing they CAN dispute, so their only avenue is to try to "discredit the source"...
Let's take their smears in sequence.
(Michelle Seward and Dror Soref)
In Los Angeles Superior Court today, a preliminary hearing is scheduled in the criminal prosecution of two defendants with ties to Scientology who face 75 years in prison each for a bizarre illegal scheme to fund a failed 2009 Simon Baker film, Not Forgotten.
Director Dror Soref and his insurer, Michelle Seward, face 72 criminal counts for running a Ponzi scheme by convincing investors to put up money for the movie that raised about $21.5 million, some of which was used to pay earlier investors. As the Los Angeles Times described it last year...
2016-11-15, Families Against Cult Teachings and Abuses, YouTube
http://www.familiesagainstcultteachin... Seven of the most dangerous, disturbing and extreme cults in the world.
This video is uploaded under terms of the United States Fair Use Act of 1976, subsection 107, for educational purposes as a warning to those people caught up in religious cults.
For information about currently active destructive groups or to get help for yourself or a loved one, please visit our website: http://www.familiesagainstcultteachin...
2015-11-15, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The weekly show where I answer questions from viewers or those sent in by email to AskChrisShelon@gmail.com. This week, the questions I take up are:
(1) I don't understand why Scientology needs slave labor in its "priesthood", the Sea Org? This is a very wealthy church, that could easily afford to pay their clergy well, give them first class accommodations, food, education etc., correct? If we compare Scientology to The Catholic Church (whom has a live-in clergy) which treats its priests, bishops, and cardinals well, then why can't Miscavage do the same? Even The Salvation Army, provides good housing, pay, retirement, and health benefits for its officer corps.
I don't understand why the concept of respecting ones own management structure, is such a foreign concept here. How can Miscavage expect top performance of individuals, who have no real incentive to do so? If the pay and benefits were good, perhaps they could recruit top individuals voluntary. Perhaps if they were to pay a good percentage commission on services sold, then sales would rise. People are much more effective when they want to be and when they enjoy their job and life's position.
2015-11-15, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Every day things arrive in my email from people around the world that highlight the absurdity of the scientology bubble.
Many of them concern the claimed "straight up and vertical" international expansion Miscavige talks about at every event. You know, international expansion greater in the last 437.3 days than the 12,469,873.2 minutes cumulative previously... 12 million scientologists. New orgs opening everywhere. Governments fully adopting scientology. LRH tech pervading society. More awards for Hubbard than any many or beast in history. Square inches of new marble inlaid. Specks of duct removed from frames of film. You can just keep rattling them off.
Well, yesterday, a couple of new ones arrived in my inbox.
Twenty years ago today, on Wednesday, November 15, 1995, Lisa McPherson and her friend Brenda Hubert drove from Clearwater, Florida to Orlando and checked into a hotel. Lisa had not slept much the night before, so she went up to her room for a nap while other employees of AMC Publishing were still arriving.
Lisa and her co-workers were in Orlando for the annual meeting of the National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies. The NAILBA conference was an important one for AMC, which catered to brokers, and while Lisa napped the others helped out at the registration desk, meeting attendees.
Later that afternoon, Lisa came down to join the scene at registration. And that's when AMC employee Craig Burton noticed that something about her was off. Lisa was known for being outgoing and extroverted, but also polite. So Burton was surprised to see her go up to a man at the conference and get in his face. He couldn't hear what she was saying, but whatever it was she was just inches from the guy's face, berating him about something until Brenda came over and pulled her away.
Judge James D. Whittemore Here's a little bit of a surprise. We had expected that Tampa federal District Judge James D. Whittemore would be nearing a decision on the Church of Scientology's motion to compel Luis and Rocio Garcia to submit to internal church arbitration and dismiss their fraud lawsuit.
Instead, he's called for an evidentiary hearing on February 18.
It will be a sort of mini-trial, which will not be the first in this lawsuit since it was filed by the Garcias in January 2013. We were present for the first one, a courtroom battle over a Scientology motion to have the attorneys for the Garcias disqualified. Whittemore denied that motion.
2014-11-15, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
One of our Special Correspondents just sent me a package of scientology "fundraising issues."
I am going to publish them as a public service as a series of articles. The original Part 1 of this series is in an earlier posting from a Special Correspondent in Seattle ("Scientology Fundraising Techniques - The Use Of Shills").
They should be broadly known and available as they show the true nature of the Vulture Culture that is scientology today. Much of it is repetitive, but it is good to have it recorded for posterity.
Ten months after the Garcias filed the lawsuit in January, Scientology said it suddenly discovered that some of the trustees for the entities in the lawsuit are in California, where the Garcias live. Because of that, the church argues, the fraud lawsuit should not have been filed in a federal court in Tampa. The Garcias complained about the lack of information in the church's motion and asked for the ability to do discovery on the church's entities and trustees.
2013-11-15, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The lunacy games continue. The Scientologists Facebook page is all aflutter.
It is truly a comedy show. Steven Colbert could do an entire week of shows with this material.
Amongst all the hyperventilating exteriorization and OT powers on display, dire warnings are surfacing. There are holes in the dike.
Given its rather unsavory reputation, the Church of Scientology usually has a hard time getting much love from politicians or other prominent personalities. For every glittering movie star that actually belongs to the wacky group, many, many more would never have anything to do with it.
But it's those exceptions — big names that agree to shill for David Miscavige's church — that tend to grab our attention.
In particular, the willingness of Los Angeles County SheriffLee Baca to go to bat for Scientology has been something of a curiosity over the years. And just today, we were forwarded by one of our tipsters a rather surprising notice that Baca, this Sunday, will be helping out the church in an interesting way.
2011-11-15, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Scientology's unopened building in Jaffa Here at the Voice we've reported this year on some pretty hard to believe worldwide developments in the ongoing Scientology saga -- from allegations of lying about child molestation in Australia, to splitting up families in California, to a months long siege by an intimidation squad in South Texas, to bizarre interference with a company trying to bring a life-saving machine to market in Florida.
But nothing seemed quite as strange, as wild, as ready for a Hollywood movie, as what has been happening with a Scientology building in Jaffa, Israel. We could hardly believe our eyes as we read about an attempt to blow up the Scientology facility -- and allegedly by Scientology's own agent. There was a botched car bombing that hurt a man and his young daughter. There were allegations of a religiously-themed frame job, of a failed attempt to assassinate a local government official by thugs dressed as police officers -- it just got stranger and stranger. We devoured stories about the allegations, but it was difficult to tell exactly what was going with Scientology's "org" as it attempted to open. What was really happening?
Then, last week, we found ourselves in Israel. So we stopped by.
Doug Dohring made a bundle selling a Website called Neopets that let young kids earn make-believe money by playing online games. Now he plans to reward them for studying math and reading.
Dohring's new venture, Age of Learning Inc., plans to launch a Web site called ABCmouse.com Early Learning Academy designed to teach basic reading, math, science and other subjects to children between the ages of two and six. In some ways, the site is a big departure from Neopets, which Dohring sold to Viacom Inc. in 2005 for $160 million.
Former Scientologist and Sea Org member, Astra Woodcraft, is interviewed on the British TV show Richard and Judy about life inside Scientology and the policy of compulsory abortions for the female members of the "Sea Org". Also interviewed is Janet Laveau, a spokeswoman for the cult.
2008-11-15, Candice M. Giove, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Anonymous' monthly events in Times Square are becoming an attraction in their own right. Today passers-by took in the young and occasionally costumed protesters on West 46th Street.
The curious giggled and took a flyer. Some chatted with Anons about more serious issues with the Church of Scientology, and even let themselves be taken on brief, fanciful "tours" of Scientology.
He has not been in touch with any of his relatives since. But Tom is not a missing person. His family know roughly where he is. It's just that he won't talk to them and they suspect he never will. "He got hooked in by an online cult," Barbara says. "The website convinces vulnerable people that they should hate their parents and should leave their family."
Even the wording of Tom's letter is from the website. Its founder says, "The letter should buy you six to 12 months before your family come looking for you and that will give you time to get used to living without them."
2005-11-15, Diane Taylor, Special reports, The Guardian
The Prison Service has warned that activists linked to the Church of Scientology are targeting offenders in British jails with unauthorised anti-drug and education programmes. Narconon, the drug detox and rehab programme developed by Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard, and Criminon, his drugs education and rehab programme, are both being offered to prisoners through correspondence courses. Though officials frown on the programmes, they are unable to stop the practice because they cannot justify tampering with inmates' mail in these circumstances.
Narconcon is also under fire for its drug treatment programmes within the community. The group advocates that cocaine users detox by spending five hours a day in saunas and ingesting large doses of vitamins to cleanse the body of narcotics. But health experts and drug charities have told the Guardian that there is no scientific basis for the programme personally developed by Hubbard.
Via and the other Scientologists get food donated by area restaurants. An arrangement with the church allows him to stay free in a New York hotel.
As time has passed, the volunteers have fallen into a routine -- traveling New York neighborhoods and trolling the subway.
"I talked to a lady in the subway in Brooklyn as I was passing out booklets there. She was grieving -- not for anyone she lost Sept. 11 but just over the situation in her life," Via said.
State Senator Tom Smith spent time recently in a Mexican prison. And loved it. Now, Smith (who was just visiting the jail, not locked up in it) and some of his colleagues are clamoring for Arizona to be the first state to use an experimental drug treatment program for prisoners. Inmates would swallow massive amounts of vitamins, sweat in a sauna for up to five hours a day and massage each other.
At Smith's urging, officials at the state departments of corrections and juvenile corrections are devoting public resources to investigating the efficacy of "Second Chance," which is based on the principles of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology.
Second Chance, which also incorporates self-esteem and life skills training, has reportedly had remarkable results in Mexican prisons, including an Ensenada facility that Smith and others toured. But critics warn that the "body disintoxication" process -- which includes large doses of niacin (a vitamin commonly used to regulate cholesterol and metabolic rates) and is similar to the "purification" program Scientologists follow when joining the church -- does not rid the body of drugs and can be very dangerous. Others worry the program has not been adequately tested.
A French court found five members of the Church of Scientology guilty of fraud today, a setback for the group's efforts to become recognized in France as a religion, not a sect.
A court in the southern city of Marseille gave regional Scientology leader Xavier Delamare a two-year sentence. He will not go to jail, however, because the court suspended 18 months of the sentence and credited him with six months for time he served in 1990. He also was fined $1,700.
A court in the French city of Marseilles has found five members of the Church of Scientology guilty on fraud charges over courses offered by the organisation.
The former leader of the church in southern France, Xavier Delamare, was sentenced to two years in jail, including 18 months suspended, and fined 16,000 dollars for manipulating people into giving money to the church.
The Church of Scientology has been charged in the 1995 death of a member whose family claimed she became severely dehydrated after being held against her will for 17 days.
Prosecutor Bernie McCabe on Friday charged the church with abuse or neglect of a disabled adult and unauthorized practice of medicine, both felonies. An attorney for the woman's family told the Tampa Tribune that the church would face only a fine if it is convicted.
The church noted that prosecutors did not specifically charge the church or any individual member with killing Lisa McPherson, 36, who died on Dec. 5, 1995, after being under the 24-hour care of fellow church members at the church's Fort Harrison Hotel. She had been taken there reportedly to recover from a mental breakdown, but records indicated she was in good physical condition.