2018-11-20, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Everything's Cool, Just Hang in There
If some god whisked me away from Earth, granted me eternal life and ridiculous powers, I would still come back and visit my friends. Or I'd at least drop 'em a note. Tell 'em I was okay. "Good roads, good weather," right?
If you believe in L. Ron Hubbard's blueprint of the universe, that he dropped his worn out body so he could tend to Target Two and clear more planets, and if you believe he was cause over matter, energy, space, and time—or at least pretty powerful—then wouldn't you think he would take a few minutes from his busy schedule to let us peons here on Earth know that everything was going to plan and he had everything under control? Like "one hundred forty-five planets cleared; only sixty-eight to go!"
A police department in Washington has opened an investigation into the death of Casey Kasem more than four years after the radio icon's death.
"We received information from the family that alleges the death to be wrongful and we are conducting an administrative review of that information. The case is being titled Death Investigation," Gig Harbor Police Chief Kelly Busey told NBC News. He said the review was opened on Oct. 29.
Casey Kasem died in June 2014 in Washington state, where his wife, Jean Kasem, took him after removing him from a medical facility in Southern California where he was receiving around-the-clock care.
Rod Keller told us about some shenanigans aimed at his old website. We asked him to write it up, because we think you're going to want to hear about the attack he fended off so skillfully...
In October 2014 I started a WordPress blog called SecCheck. I posted photos and videos I found on social media similar to Mike Rinder's Thursday Funnies and somewhat like the articles I write today for the Underground Bunker. SecCheck still exists but hasn't been updated since December, 2015.
On October 12 of this year I received notice that Vimeo had removed a video for alleged violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
On October 23 I received notice from WordPress that the SecCheck article linking to the video had also been removed.
Somebody didn't want information about The Trial of Hugo Colomba on the Internet.
In 2013, author Jeff Guinn produced a formidable book, Manson, about one of the 20th century's most enigmatic figures. We enjoyed Guinn's new look at Charles Manson, and we were interested in the way he carefully placed Manson's Scientology involvement in context.
With Manson's death last night in California, we know there's going to be a huge surge in interest in the 83-year-old prison inmate known for ordering a bizarre and horrific murder spree in 1969. And with that new interest will come questions about Manson's involvement in Scientology.
It was the New York Times that first revealed the connection between Manson and Scientology in 1969. Paulette Cooper then added details in her 1971 book The Scandal of Scientology. And Scientology's own internal documents, seized in a 1977FBI raid, also show that the church was concerned about Manson's activities and how they might reflect on Scientology.
2017-11-20, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This is an editorial in the Washington Post.
Whether you are liberal or conservative — this should be of concern to you. If you are a Republican and supporter of President Trump, set aside your distaste of the liberal media and absorb the information contained within this editorial. It is important. It is not fake news.
From a purely tunnel-vision perspective, I do not want scientology gaining the ability to influence and buy politicians like they can buy lawyers and private investigators. The possibility of removing existing restrictions on politicking by religious organizations makes it even more imperative for the IRS to withdraw scientology's exempt status.
2016-11-20, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The weekly show where I answer questions posed by viewers either in the comments sections of my Q&A videos or sent to me by email at AskChrisShelton@gmail.com. This week, the questions I answer are:
(1) Thank you so much for your helpful series. I have learned more from you about Scientology than I ever did from reading Hubbard's books.
I have a background in psychology and philosophy, and was excited back in 1987 to read Dianetics for the first time to find out what I was allegedly missing in my study of the human mind. As I read, I remember thinking how shockingly shallow and offensive the book was, and how poorly written (and unedited) it appeared to be. I was getting more insight into Hubbard's personality disorders than I was about any "modern science of mental health." But I always try to give everything a fair shot. I read the entire book, even though it left a horrible taste in my mouth, with the words "charlatan" and "con artist" constantly at the forefront of my critical thoughts.
2016-11-20, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The Communication Course was one of the best courses I ever did in Scientology. It was also the first course where I was introduced to the importance of intention. With enough of it, I could do just about anything.
In no time, I was delivering my lines with meaning and purpose! "Do fish swim?" "Do birds fly?" or "Off with their heads!" from Alice in Wonderland.
Intention was an integral component of LRH's Comm Formula (Cause, Distance, Effect with Intention, Attention and Duplication with Understanding) and he defined the word as: "…the command factor as much as anything else. If you intend something to happen it happens if you intend it to happen. Verbalization is not the intention. The intention is the carrier wave which takes the verbalization along with it."
Yesterday, Scientology leader David Miscavige made the scene in San Diego to open Scientology's newest "Ideal Org." We asked Rod Keller, who keeps an eye on the program, to update us on where it stands today.
The number of people joining Scientology may have declined, but the real estate owned by Scientology is still being upgraded. David Miscavige plans to grow that property portfolio until every normal org has been renovated as or replaced by an Ideal Org version. He also wants an Ideal Advanced Org on every continent, and each of those is supposed to have its own associated Ideal Org, which is sometimes called a Continental Ideal Org.
Former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder explained the origin of the Ideal Org program. In 2002, Miscavige found for various reasons that he needed to replace orgs in three cities — Buffalo, Tampa, and Johannesburg. He decided that the new facilities should be larger, more elaborate, and updated with the latest A/V equipment. Thus was born his obsession with replacing all of the rest of the world's regular orgs with Ideal ones, and putting intense pressure on local members to raise the money for it.
In 2008, the website Business Pundit listed Scientologist Reed Slatkin's Ponzi scheme as the 8th worst in all history...
Earthlink co-founder and Scientology minister Reed Slatkin posed as a brilliant investment advisor for A-list Hollywood residents and corporate bosses. Working out of his garage, Slatkin cheated the rich and famous out of roughly $593 million, creating fake statements referring back to fake brokerage firms to prove his mettle. He fed the Church of Scientology with millions of his winnings. In 2000, the SEC caught wind that Slatkin wasn't licensed, and busted the scheme.
Although later eclipsed by Bernie Madoff and his billions, Slatkin's Ponzi scheme was one of the largest in American history. It was the Los Angeles Times that first broke the news, in 2001, that Slatkin was under investigation by the SEC.
City Councilman Dan Halloran (center), in 2013 with Bernard and Meghan Fialkoff See also: What's in that 'world exclusive' in the National Enquirer?
Back in March of 2013, we told you about a sneaky Scientology infiltration of New York City schools. In a place like New York, Scientology doesn't do very well — residents here are on to L. Ron Hubbard and his wacky organization, and this city has never had the kind of Scientology presence you see in places like California and Florida.
So that means Scientology has to try harder, and play things a little more under the radar. But thanks to our tipsters, we caught on to the sneaky attempts to get L. Ron Hubbard into the local schools through the efforts of a wealthy Queens dentist and his energetic daughter.
Finally, we have a new trial date in Laura DeCrescenzo's forced abortion lawsuit against the Church of Scientology. Filed in 2009, the lawsuit has had a very complex history as the church challenged it on statute of limitation grounds, resulting in the suit's dismissal. But an appeals court revived it, Laura then fought all the way to the US Supreme Court to get key records of her own confessional auditing sessions, and then she survived Scientology's motion for summary judgment — a dramatic day in court we were present for.
Through all of that legal wrangling, Laura has simply been trying to get to a trial so she can tell her story to a jury — that as a member of Scientology's Sea Org, she was mistreated and enslaved as a young child, and then, at 17, was forced to have an abortion so she could continue to work extremely long hours. She finally faked a suicide attempt by gulping some bleach in order to get away from the Sea Org in 2004.
After she defeated the motion for summary judgment, Judge Ronald Sohigian retired, and the case was reassigned three times before landing in the court of Judge Rolf Michael Treu. And now, Judge Treu has announced a trial date: December 7, 2015.
We couldn't help being intrigued when the National Enquirer claimed that it had "bombshell" documents which were the "FBI's secret Scientology files" and that they described what John Travolta and Tom Cruise were "hiding."
Scientology watchers know that thousands of pages of FBI files about L. Ron Hubbard and the church with information going back to the 1940s have been freely available on the Internet for a long time, and that most of what they describe has already been thoroughly hashed over in books by Russell Miller, Jon Atack, Bent Corydon, Janet Reitman, and Lawrence Wright, not to mention in many websites such as Operation Clambake and the archives of Caroline Letkeman.
But the Enquirer seemed to claim that it had something new. Here's how they describe it:
CLEARWATER — After the Church of Scientology removed a wrap from a massive tent Tuesday, it's up to the city's code enforcement board to decide if the church deserves a fine for violating the city's sign laws.
Mayor George Cretekos said that the board's decision at its meeting today will receive a lot of scrutiny from community.
"All eyes will be on that board and what decision it reaches," Cretekos said. "We'll take it one step at a time."
Meanwhile, city officials said the church has indicated that different wraps will be placed over the tent for upcoming Scientology events.
How many trillions of years back can you go? Claire Headley is taking us on our journey to train as Scientologists. She and her husband Marc were Sea Org workers who escaped from Scientology's International Base in 2005. She spent years working with Scientology's "tech," and was trusted to oversee the auditing of Tom Cruise. Go here to see the first part in this series.
Once again, Bruce Hines joins us this week as Claire continues to take us through Scientology's legendary "OT" levels. And today, we're beginning Operating Thetan Level Two, which Bruce last week promised us would be "bizarre." Is that true, Claire?
CLAIRE: OT 2 was absolutely the most complicated, esoteric, and ethereal level I experienced in Scientology. And I do believe that's saying something!
CLEARWATER— A wrap that until Tuesday covered a massive Church of Scientology tent downtown violated the city's sign laws, a municipal board ruled Wednesday.
The Code Enforcement Board also said if the church places other illegal wraps around the 150,000-square-foot tent that it could be fined $500 a day as a repeat offender. No fine was imposed Wednesday.
The church removed the controversial wrap Tuesday, prompting city officials to wonder if the church planned to attach other wraps for celebrations later this year.
Programming note: Again, exhaustion overtook me in trying to get this done last night. That and a desire to maintain some semblance of an actual life. Apologies to Faithful Readers who may depend on this before bedtime.
Perhaps the most unexpected news item today is that Marty and Mosey Rathbun recently became parents, with little William James Rathbun entering the world a few days ago. Ironically, William James is considered "the father of American psychology." Congratulations! And, of course, this makes Mosey Rathbun a mother lioness; Miscavige would do well to remember that messing with a mother lioness (think Karen De La Carriere after the loss of her son Alexander) is almost always a low-percentage shot.
The best Facebook comment by a cultie hyperventilating over the ultra-amazing events of the weekend goes to this unnamed Kool-Aid drinker, posted to BlackRob's WWP thread of crazy cult Facebook posts.
The lack of any new developments in the ongoing investigation of deaths at Scientology's flagship Narconon drug rehab center in Oklahoma didn't prevent the Fox affiliate in Oklahoma City from putting together this lengthy and hard-hitting two-part series, which aired last night.
A lesson for other media: This is how you keep a story in the public consciousness, even as you're waiting for the next news peg.
Fox 25's Marisa Mendelson does a terrific job in this package, bringing out the family anguish left in the wake of the deaths of three patients at the rehab facility. And we get to see Gary Richardson, attorney for the families who have filed lawsuits. He looks like a formidable litigant.
2012-11-20, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
The CBS affiliate in Corpus Christi is educating the region on the cult of corporate Scientology and the underground railroad necessitated by its abuses:
Scientology segment on KZTV Corpus Christi
Thanks to Marc and Claire for helping in the educational process.
2011-11-20, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Ok, I'm catching up this Sunday morning. I was greeted with this little number on the St Pete Times website, "Another 50,000". This is the response Brian Culkin gets after stepping up and sharing important history: "The fundraisers involved have no recollection of the incident." Well Miscavige, who are the fundraisers you now acknowledge did work Brian over? Why did you not allow Tom and Joe to question them? I guess the holocaust never happened either - since apparently your institution cannot remember two years ago, let alone seventy years.
2011-11-20, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
That one line from the latest (Part III) of the St Petersburg Times Money Machine series says it all. To Miscavige, being the suppressive person that he is, there is only one way to make himself "get big". That is, systematically reducing the size of everyone else.
Please see all articles in the latest installment at the above link. Tobin and Childs have outdone themselves. The sheer number of witnesses and their clear corroboration of one another gives corporate Scientology but one route, the most absurd, incredible, unbelievable denials to date. A tipping point I believe has been reached this evening. Corporate Scientology has zero credibility from here on out. Miscavige, in my view, has now spent every last dime of credibility capital that other, conscientious staff managed to build up for the church of Scientology over the decades. In my opinion, it is all gone, spent, ever last dime of it. There is not one thin dime of credibility left.
Time to pick up the pieces and get the show on the road folks. The matinee is over and there ain't no more showings scheduled.
Excerpts from the Church of Scientology's response, in the words of its spokeswoman, Karin Pouw:
Due to the unique nature of its ministry, the Church of Scientology has found that a donation system for participating in religious services is its most practical method of support. Scientology auditing and training require the time of and facilities for a large number of highly trained ministers and other staff, but the resources of Churches of Scientology are determined by its parishioners' level of support. Thus, churches seek financial support from those engaging in the religious services that require the greatest dedication of time and resources of the church. This donation system is the most fair and equitable method of accomplishing the religion's purposes.
• • •
"Contrary to the St. Petersburg Times' mischaracterizations, parishioners donate to the church because they enthusiastically support their chosen faith," spokeswoman Karin Pouw said.
"They continue to do so because those donations fund programs that parishioners are proud to support: The opening of new Ideal Scientology Churches throughout the world, and the implementation of global humanitarian initiatives and social betterment programs."
Those parishioners, in the thousands, far outweigh the "handful of disaffected apostates" who spoke to the Times, the church said.
Dozens of former Scientology parishioners told the St. Petersburg Times that they donated five- and six-figure sums to Scientology churches but were never given a financial report. They said the same held true for the IAS. Former church staffers said they didn't see reports either.
Scientology insists that its churches and the IAS give members "considerable details" about how donations are spent. Spokeswoman Karin Pouw said this information is "broadly communicated through the church's own publications, including Impact magazine and International Scientology News."
A review of Scientology magazines found large amounts of positive information about the church and its affiliates, but no financial reporting.
Records show how Miami dentist Rene Piedra took in large fees from patients and sent much of it to Scientology.
THE TREATMENT PLANS
Here, a ledger shows how Rosa and Mauricio Hernandez got comprehensive "treatment plans" that took months to complete.
Always mysterious since coming to Clearwater under a fake name in 1975, the church became all the more inscrutable as its big building just sat there, finished on the outside, raw inside.
But unknown to those wondering about the delay was the whirl of activity just across the street.
In an office off the mezzanine in the church's Fort Harrison Hotel, a savvy team of fundraisers was raking in millions.
The Super Power project has been a bonanza for the Church of Scientology. Far from a financial burden, it has been a money magnet, a powerful come-on for L. Ron Hubbard's master vision.
The curtain shielding the Church of Scientology's high-pressure fundraising in Clearwater and elsewhere has been raised, and the view is not pretty. In a revealing St. Petersburg Times series, former Scientology fundraisers detail the coercive methods they used in their desperate efforts to meet weekly quotas. Former church members describe how they were repeatedly harassed into making contributions and buying Scientology materials they could not reasonably afford. The revelations warrant a review by the Internal Revenue Service of Scientology's practices and a debate in Congress about requiring more openness from religious institutions about their finances.
The Times' series by Joe Childs and Thomas C. Tobin offers an unprecedented inside look at Scientology's continuous money machine and the strategies used to keep it humming. Scientology brings in $100 million a year just from services sold in Clearwater, and former fundraiser Hy Levy recounted being paid $50 a week for years to meet weekly sales targets of $200,000 and higher. Former church members recounted how they were intimidated into giving money by repeated phone calls, unexpected visits to their homes and intimidating encounters on church property. Church officials say they are "very proud" of the donations and insist the contributions are voluntarily made by members who want to support the organization. That characterization is at odds with the first-hand accounts by the former fundraisers and donors in the Times series.
The remarkable pressure created by the Scientology money machine is felt by all sides. Levy and other fundraisers described being verbally berated by supervisors, fed meals of rice and beans, and forced to wash dishes if they failed to meet their weekly quotas. Former church members described how they were pressured to max out credit cards, home equity lines of credit and tap other sources of money for counseling or Scientology materials. While the church says its fundraising practices are no different than those used by other religious institutions, the year-round obsessive fundraising and Scientology's aggressive tactics are not commonly associated with other religions.
Lynne Hoverson and Bert Schippers quickly pitched in with a $12,000 donation when Seattle Scientologists started raising money for a new church in 2000. They later boosted their gift to $160,000.
On a late-autumn evening in 2005, a trio of church fundraisers arrived at the couple's home. They wanted more cash for the $13 million project.
Ninety thousand dollars.
2011-11-20, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
We have some especially good Sunday Funnies for you this week as we open up a thread for our loyal readers to jabber on about whatever they want.
We figured they better be good Funnies, because chances are Tobin and Childs are sucking up all the attention in the Scientology watching world this morning with the next installment on their epic new series. (And if so, how happy we will be, actually.)
So on we go to the latest images from our friends at Scientology, who come up with such creative ways to beg for cash, or hard labor, or whatever...
2011-11-20, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
As advertised, last night's "fancy raid" put on by the local chapter of Project Chanology (the Anonymous wing that protests Scientology) was a sartorial riot.
About 20 young Anonymous members showed up with Snidely Whiplash mustaches (even the women!) and with interesting choices in head wear. I hope this rough video I threw together gives you some sense of it. I also went into Scientology's org itself in search of a comment about the protest. More about that after the jump.
As usual, the protesters were confined to a small area on the street across from the 46th Street church.
FOR 40 years beginning in the 1950s, IRS officials sorted through the maze of corporate entities that compose Scientology, trying to make sense of the organization. So when the church made a bid in the early 1990s to have its tax-exempt status reinstated, the agency had questions.
What about all those lawsuits against the church, including many saying it was slow to refund parishioners' money?
If so many of Scientology's staff members and so much of its writings were devoted to making money, wasn't it really a business?
2011-11-20, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Here is yet more evidence that David Miscavige's obsession with splitting married couples for the purposes of empowering his own criminal self has made it clear on down to the local organizations of Scientology.
Please watch the video, The $350,000 Wedge.
Also, please read the "Knowledge Report" of Orange County Executive Director Ed Dearborn that Luis Garcia refers to in his interview.
The Northern Territory (NT) Health Department of Australia on Saturday warned Church of Scientology that a drug detoxification therapy, promoted to Aborigines in Australia could kill the people with kidney problems.
The Scientologists has been moving through remote Australia and targeting alcohol-dependent Aborigines with a "drug bomb" therapy, in a move to recruit indigenous members.
Church of Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis said neither the church nor any of its related entities were involved in any way in the management of Dr. Rene Piedra's former dental practice.
Scientology also denies the bankruptcy trustee's allegations that Piedra and various church entities schemed to defraud patients while transferring $715,364 in patient payments to the church.
Agape Ministries has been stripped of its legal status as a religion, lost its tax exemption and will be sued by the Federal Government for a decade of unpaid debt.
The District Court yesterday gave the nation's banks 72 hours to hand over all records concerning alleged cult leader Rocco Leo, his wife, his closest confidants and the two-state empire he controls.
The Advertiser has learnt those records are essential to the Australian Taxation Office's efforts to calculate the former church's total debt, which could exceed $1 million.
The pamphlet also gives a recipe for a calcium-magnesium drink to alleviate withdrawal symptoms.
But a nurse at the Tennant Creek Hospital has advised the Northern Territory Government the church's program is dangerous and "potentially fatal" for patients with renal disease, which is common among Aboriginals in the Northern Territory.
Coerced abortions, chasing down runaways, disconnection orders: in his letter, Aaron Saxton described how, as well as suffering abuse, he dealt it out to other Scientologists - including members of his own family.
In his letter to Senator Xenophon, former Sea Org member Aaron Saxton detailed the abuse he had suffered during his time in the movement.
But he also described what he had inflicted on other Scientologists - including his own family.
On Thursday night, the city's planning commission recommended approval of a rezoning request that will allow the religious group to renovate a vacant office building on the corner of Roswell Road and Glenridge Drive.
The approval, which will be forwarded to the Sandy Springs City Council for a vote on December 15th, was granted after an attorney for the Scientologists submitted a renovation plan that did not add square footage to the building, placed a maximum occupancy for the building at 170 and included restriping and repaving of the parking lot to create 111 parking spaces.
The Palin hack was revealed after someone named "rubico" posted a mea culpa on 4chan.org, an online bulletin board frequented by individuals associated with "Anonymous," an amorphous, largely unorganized movement of hackers who gained notoriety after some adherents targeted the Church of Scientology. The hacker later posted about how easy it was to access her account.
As well as summarising former Scientologists' allegations against the movement in his Senate speech, Australian Senator Nick Xenophon tabled edited versions of the letters they wrote him. This section covers the main points.
Australian senator Nick Xenophon's broadside against Scientology in Tuesday's adjournment speech has attracted media interest around the world.
The opportunity to cover such serious allegations with the legal protection accorded to reports on a parliamentary speech was too good to miss.
The Samara city court has banned work of Dianetics Center as its staff-members worked without license and practiced hypnotherapy and Ron Hubbard teaching.
The Samara Region Prosecutor?s Office reported that staff-members of the Dianetics Center lectured at seminars and courses on dianetics and scientology without having special licenses.
A drug information booklet sponsored by the Church of Scientology, and free condoms from a health provider will be available to school-leavers letting off steam when official celebrations start on Saturday.
About 7000 Victorians will flock to the Gold Coast, at least 5000 will party at Lorne and Torquay, and up to 3000 teens are anticipated at Phillip Island after exams finish today.
Prison return rates for New Mexico, after 12 months from release date:
Without Scientology's Second Chance program, 12 months after release: 32.50%
With Scientology's Second Chance program, 12 months after release: 68.29%
TOM Cruise yesterday took his best man on honeymoon with him and new wife Katie Holmes after their lavish but bizarre wedding in Italy.
The 44-year-old star was allegedly spotted hopping on a private jet to the Maldives with senior Scientologist David Miscavige, 46, as other boozed-up guests headed for the US.
A former French Scientology official has been sentenced to two years in prison for fraud, along with four other Scientologists who received suspended sentences of six months to two years.
Xavier Delamare, former head of Scientology's branch in the southern French city of Marseille, was sentenced Monday in connection with a 10-year-old case in which he was found guilty of operating sham "purification" courses between 1987 and 1990.
The church's recent softening of tone and tactics does not answer the troubling questions raised by the criminal charges. Details of the 36-year-old woman's final days held inside a room at the Fort Harrison Hotel, the church's spiritual headquarters in downtown Clearwater, are horrific and cannot be explained away simply as an "unfortunate incident."
An 18-page affidavit filed with the charges details how Scientology employees lied to investigators, lost or destroyed crucial evidence, used medically suspect practices such as force-feeding McPherson herbal concoctions, injected her with prescription drugs without a doctor's evaluation of the patient, and ordered those who questioned the ill woman's care to "butt out."
Delbert Cole, chairman of the Ponca tribe's business committee, said his tribe's objections to Narconon International's rehabilitation center north of Newkirk have nothing to do with competition for potential patients.
The Ponca facility is for Indians only, while Narconon International's center, located on the grounds of the old Chilocco Indian school, is open to all, Cole said.
Cole said the Ponca tribe, which has operated a substance abuse center for almost 20 years, is upset with Narconon Chilocco New Life Center because it has failed to live up to its lease agreement to adhere to all state, federal and Indian laws.