Like anything else in Scientology, how children are treated is governed by a huge number of policies and reports, and in this series we're looking at documents that show how children were treated under the ideas of L. Ron Hubbard. We're fortunate that one man has done so much to collect huge numbers of such documents — Mark "Warrior" Plummer, who left Scientology in 1983, and is pretty legendary for the collection of church materials he's amassed. Also helping us is Sunny Pereira, who spent several weeks working with Mark to pull out key documents for us to discuss.
The Bunker: Sunny, today we have another 1979 document, this time about an outbreak of hepatitis at Scientology's Los Angeles headquarters, known as Pacific Area Command, or PAC base.
Sunny: I've been able to confirm that when this outbreak occurred, there were approximately 600 Sea Org members at PAC, and of those 600, at least 240 adults were infected with hepatitis A. The document doesn't reveal what caused the outbreak. But one floor of one wing at PAC base was closed down and became off limits to everyone except those with confirmed cases. That's 45 percent of the staff, a very high percentage, and that doesn't include the children who were infected.
2016-11-24, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
Hey everyone. This is the next installment in my deconstruction of the book Scientology, edited by James R. Lewis. We've gone through the introduction and eleven chapters so far and except for the bit of bright light we saw last week, so far it's been a real slug-fest trying to just wade through the verbiage as well as counter most of the frankly asinine statements these academics have made about Scientology in their quest to make it seem like a legitimate religious movement on the same order as Christianity, Islam or Buddhism. I've shown time and again how their data is off, their thinking is flawed and their conclusions are almost imbecilic. So where are we at now?
We are on what looks to me like the last chapter that goes over whether Scientology is a religion, the last chapter in the section called "Sources and Comparative Approaches" where the authors offer up comparisons of Scientology to other religious practices in a vain effort to show how Scientology is just like (fill in the blank) religion and therefore should be given serious consideration, respect and tax exempt status. That last is the only thing Scientology really cares about and is the only reason they went around commissioning religious scholars to write about Scientology in the first place. Believe me, Scientology officials could care less what any of these religious scholars say, think or feel. They are all viewed as a means to an end for Scientology to secure and keep its tax exemption so it can continue raking in millions of dollars without having to pay a penny in property or income tax and can get away with the most egregious human rights abuses under the cloak of religious freedom.
That all being said, this week's chapter is a very convoluted read that ends in no solid conclusion one way or the other about Scientology but is more critical of it's religiosity than most other authors we've covered. The fact that it's conclusion is so convoluted left me very dissatisfied with this piece and so we are going to cover it as rapidly as I can while still making a few good points I think you'll be interested in.
The San Diego org features a Hubbard display next to the ground-floor Information Center, where 500 videos can be viewed about the religion spawned by his mid-20th century best-seller "Dianetics."
Also here: a "Purification" area with treadmills and saunas, a small cafe, classrooms with seating for 400 to learn how to "audit" members, small rooms for "exams" with e-meters (ultramodern styles are on display; "we think they're snazzy," Banks said) and a bookstore — carrying Hubbard materials and lectures but not his science fiction or fantasy works.
The church — transformed in 16 months and designed by elite international firm Gensler — has no traditional sanctuary or signs of God.
(Rinder and Remini, on the case)
Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, the A&E series that begins airing Tuesday night at 10 pm, opens with Leah Remini talking directly to you against a black background.
It's an unusual start for a show that wants to explain itself as it goes along. Throughout the first hour of the series, Leah narrates almost as much about how and why she's doing the program as what's happening on screen. We found this quality of self-awareness to be one of the episode's strengths.
2016-11-24, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Thanksgiving and food is the theme of today's Funnies. But nothing ever really overshadows MONEY.
Seems so odd for a church NOT to PROVIDE a Thanksgiving dinner for those in need. In scientology bring your own and then we will rape your wallet when you get here seems to be the norm.
2015-11-24, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The details are skimpy so far, but the essence of it seems to be that a Moscow City Court has ordered the church of scientology in Moscow to close up shop within 6 months for being in violation of business laws. They seem to conclude that scientology must be a business because the name (and other things) are trademarked. Tony Ortega has a pretty concise summary at his blog.
This order will of course be appealed by scientology. And the last time the government in Moscow refused to register the church it eventually made its way to the European Court of Human Rights which sided with scientology.
Ultimately, this will likely end up in that same Court. Though sooner or later one of these actions will stick.
Yesterday, some of our commenters seemed confused that your proprietor wasn't celebrating the news coming out of Russia that a Moscow city court had called for Scientology to be banned and its Ideal Org in that city to be shut down within six months. (Scientology vowed to appeal.)
An Ideal Org, vaporized? What an affront to Scientology leader David Miscavige, right? So what gives with the grumpy reaction, Ortega?
Let us spell out a little more clearly why we greet any news from Vlad Putin's dystopic fief with extreme skepticism and dread. It's because Russia, and its news media in particular, is a Bizarro World where up is down, and nothing is as it seems.
HBO is planning to release a documentary on the Church of Scientology, based on Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright's controversial book "Going Clear." HBO collaborated with Oscar winner Alex Gibney on the film, and it will be released in 2015, according to the Hollywood Reporter – and HBO is already preparing for pushback and a barrage of litigation. "And this time," Nevins told THR, "We'll be ready."
Åkerbäck contends that members are very enthusiastic in their first few years and take a lot of courses in a short period of time, while Scientology applies more pressure on its members than before, as its membership numbers are in decline.
"My impression is that Scientology is experiencing problems because a lot of high-profile members have left the organisation over the last five years," Åkerbäck said.
Alex Gibney and Louis Theroux — who will be first? The Hollywood Reporter spilled the beans this morning, so now we can say what we've known about for more than a year — that Alex Gibney, perhaps the best documentary filmmaker in the business, is finishing up a movie for HBO about Scientology, and he's hoping to get it into the Sundance film festival in January.
Your proprietor sat down for a two-hour on-camera interview with Gibney earlier this year, and we'll be interested to see if any of it makes the final cut.
Gibney's project started out as a documentary based on Lawrence Wright's 2013 book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & the Prison of Belief — Gibney had previously based an HBO film on another of Wright's books, The Looming Tower, about al Qaeda.
And the network will be prepared for the litigious onslaught they'll most likely face from the Church of Scientology. HBO Documentary Films president Sheila Nevins told The Hollywood Reporter, "We have probably 160 lawyers [looking at the film]."
The documentary is based on Lawrence Wright's 2013 book, Going Clear, which arose from his controversial 2011 New Yorker interview with filmmaker Paul Haggis, a former longtime Scientologist who left the church in 2009. Going Clear was also a National Book Award finalist. The book has faced some major opposition from the church; its UK publisher, Transworld, dropped it after fearing they would face a lawsuit, and the book never saw the light of day in the U.K.
THR has learned that Oscar winner Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side) is putting the finishing touches on a film that tackles the Church of Scientology and its Tinseltown tentacles. HBO, no stranger to controversy, having ushered such hot-button docs as The Case Against 8 and the Paradise Lost trilogy to the screen, is eyeing a 2015 airdate for Going Clear, which is based on Lawrence Wright's controversial book that was also exclusively excerpted in THR.
Words to alert lawyers (and maybe unnerve Tom Cruise): HBO is finishing up a tough documentary on the Church of Scientology.
The Hollywood Reporter says that a "bombshell" film on Scientology and its hold on some Hollywood stars will air in 2015.
HBO confirmed only that Oscar winner Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side) is doing the film and HBO plans to run it.
Jon Atack is the author of A Piece of Blue Sky, one of the very best books on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. He has a new edition of the book for sale, and for more than a year on Saturdays he helped us sift through the legends, myths, and contested facts about Scientology that tend to get hashed and rehashed in books, articles, and especially on the Internet. He was kind enough to send us a new post.
We always enjoy it when Jon dives deep into the origins of Dianetics and Scientology to teach us more about L. Ron Hubbard and how he managed to capture the imaginations of people who came to believe that he had unlocked the secrets of the universe. Take us on another journey, Jon!
JON: After 40 years of involvement with the teachings of Ron Hubbard, I believe that the key to Scientology is paralysis through contradiction. Hubbard would very often contradict a statement, making it impossible to decide which statement to believe without further interpretation. He had stumbled on the law of cognitive dissonance, developed during the early 1950s, by Leon Festinger.
2014-11-24, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
How many times have you been caught out trying to fake knowing all about something which you really know very little or nothing of? How many times in life do we pretend in order to impress, to try to entertain or at least not appear foolish? It happens all the time. We delight in catching others out when they do this, yet dread when we ourselves are met by someone smarter or more experienced or who can just see through our shenanigans.
Now imagine doing that all the time. Habitually pretending you know all about everything - especially all of the "important" things like what is the meaning of life, why everyone acts the way they do, where we all came from and where we are all going with our lives. If you were to live under this pretense for long enough, you would likely forget any real questions you yourself still had and would develop a surety that you have all the answers to everything that matters.
That is what life is like in a cult or mass movement such as Scientology.
2014-11-24, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The evening of the "grand opening" of the "ideal" CLO EU they held a fundraiser. The crush for cash NEVER takes a break. It flattens all other factors in its path.
Nothing is more important than squeezing some more cash out of the sheeple. Cannot have a day to "celebrate" — nope, it becomes another excuse to round everyone up to hand over more.
And a Sea Org "honor guard" for the whales? Oh, how the mighty have fallen. The Sea Org now forms "honor guards" for people based on their "donations". In the pantheon when of weird scientology insults to Sea Org members, this is on a par with Miscavige announcing Tom Cruise as "the most dedicated Scientologist I know." These SO Honor Guards had always been reserved exclusively for Sea Org accomplishments.
We always love to hear from Jenna Miscavige Hill, niece to Scientology's leader, David Miscavige, and a successful author. We wondered what she thought about last week's hoopla over her uncle's big gambit — to release a revamped "Bridge to Total Freedom" (the "Golden Age of Technology Phase II") as well as opening the long awaited "Super Power Building." She not only sent us some thoughts on Scientology's big events, she also caught us up on what's been happening in her world...
I can't believe people still buy any of this BS about 'discovery' of 'lost tech.' It's just such an obvious and blatant money making scheme.
As far as updates, all is well with the Hill family. We are just enjoying our life and freedom. I still have a few media things happening here and there. Balancing spreading the word about Scientology with living my life and raising my kids.
2013-11-24, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Here is the first promo for the Warehouse Mark VIII.
Funny that something that has sat in a warehouse for 9 years is presented as "the future has arrived"...
The over the top claims are as ridiculous as they sound.
2013-11-24, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
A Special Correspondent sent this in. Hilarie Rockl was formerly the DSA Vancouver and before that the CO OSA Canada. Now they are public still trying to "get in good standing with COB." No idea who Colleen Weinstein is. Setting up public with pre-written "personal emails" smells of desperation. Big time.
Just received this message from Ray and Hilarie Rockl of Vancouver OT Committee. As I read it, it became hauntingly familiar. A friend had just forwarded me a message sent to Seattle Scientologists from Colleen Weinstein.
What a freaky coincidence that their seemingly personal messages describing their experiences at Flag were identical - I mean word for word - right down to the 10,000 people at the opening! HMMMM....
2012-11-24, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Beginning sometime around the turn of the new year and through the rest of the winter, the reputations of L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology are going to take perhaps the biggest press shellacking they have ever received. Some news outlets have reported that Lawrence Wright's book about Scientology (Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief) is going to have an initial print run of 150,000 copies. That means the unbecoming photo of LRH on the cover will be peering at Americans from virtually every book outlet in the country for several months. What I expect will appear in the book will make the photo look complimentary. Wright's publishers have invested heavily in the production of the book and will have to invest that much more in making it, and its author, omnipresent - or they will lose money. Wright will appear on virtually every widely viewed television and radio talk show. And a headline topic will be revelations about less than admirable events in L. Ron Hubbard's life. Wright will be followed by the far less influential, but likely as scandalous, book by Jenna Miscavige Hill. That book too is bankrolled by a large publishing outfit that will roll out the ready-made, full-scale press tour for the author.
If someone you know who cares about the future of Scientology has not read my books I recommend they do before the long, cold winter begins. It has nothing to do with concern for my book sales. They are not even in the same universe in terms of distribution and readership the Wright book is headed for. Instead, the concern is that absent a good gradient on loosening up and reckoning one's 'faith' and 'belief' in Scientology (and an increase in one's independent thinking and contemplation about what he or she actually knows and finds valuable about the subject), the Wright avalanche is likely to create a huge ridge between corporate life and independent life. Many of those who are under the radar, on the fence, or sitting on the sidelines are liable to get sufficiently disaffected from the subject that they are likely to blow from it entirely. Those drinking kool aid will no doubt be implanted into some bizarre new world order conspiracy theory to explain the far-flung effects of Wright's expose. They will be herded into an even more black and white, us versus them mentality than they already harbor. Their ears will be shut off to reason entirely.
I wanted to put the issues into complete and full context (understanding philosopher Ken Wilber's and Quantum Mechanic's understanding that to get to the most accurate picture requires subjective as well as objective reality). But, given the cost and diversion time created by corporate Scientology's four year siege I have yet to complete my extensive volume on the history of Scientology. Having been resigned to come on the tail end of the Wright storm to do what I can to give the more complete context, I am also resigned to suggest that in the interim to get my existing books into the hands of those whom you care about. I think those books, What Is Wrong With Scientology? and The Scientology Reformation, will help prepare folks mentally and emotionally for what is coming.
We're tracking down some interesting stories on this holiday weekend, and should be able to post some fascinating dox very soon. In the meantime, we thought we'd plague you with our latest radio appearance.
WCCO's John Hines
WCCO in Minneapolis has had us on a couple of times before, and it's always been a great experience. The radio station's hosts really ask great questions and take the time to get into the subject of Scientology in satisfying detail.
David MiscavigeFlorida attorney Ken Dandar has added David Miscavige as a defendant in his federal lawsuit, a case that has already resulted in stunning new allegations that the Church of Scientology spent millions to cover up the 1995 death of church member Lisa McPherson.
Dandar represented McPherson's estate in a wrongful death lawsuit that was settled in 2004, but Scientology is suing him for taking on another case against the church in 2009, and on Monday, in a hearing closed to the press or public, Dandar expects a state judge to award Scientology more than a million dollars in sanctions against him.
Dandar was unable to stop that hearing with his federal lawsuit, which he filed on October 31. But now he's filed an amended complaint in that suit, added Miscavige as a defendant, and put in more detail about what he claims was a conspiracy between Scientology and Florida state Judge Robert Beach to violate his civil rights. We have obtained a copy of that amended complaint, which we have posted below.
2011-11-24, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
In gratitude to our many loyal Scientology watchers who have made this year so special, here at the Voice we are excited to present a Thanksgiving tribute to Scientology's first and worst nightmare, the one, the only, Paulette Cooper.
40 years ago, Paulette published her stunning expose of the church, The Scandal of Scientology, and we also didn't want that anniversary to go unmarked. So over the last several weeks, I've been in touch with Paulette, talking to her about her book, about its famous aftermath, and learning about someone who has been encouraging me over my entire career. Here then is the Paulette that I've gotten to know.
The prosecutor in the Paris appeal trial for organised fraud and the illegal practice of pharmacy wants to more than double the fines handed down to the two Scientology organisations convicted at the original trial.
The defendants and their lawyers walked out of the trial on appeal after the court rejected their procedural and legal objections.
So it was the prosecutor, Hugues Warhaye, who closed proceedings, setting out what penalties the state wanted to see the court impose on the defendants.
2010-11-24, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
For those who have not lived and worked around David Miscavige, it is sometimes hard to believe the magnitude of Miscavige's psychosis. The following Blackberry message threads between Miscavige and "Lou" (Miscavige's Communicator) on one side and Tommy Davis and Mike Rinder on the other end of the line gives a taste of what it's like within the bizarre, insane world of Miscavige.
First, realize that Lou types Blackberry messages (dictation style as Miscavige dictates) and puts them in her own name so as to cover Miscavige's ass (the same policy applies to despatches). You will see in later messages we post that Lou sometimes pendulum swings between first and third person when referring to Miscavige when she is frantically trying to keep up with his dictation.
The first thread below starts at 8:35 Miscavige's time and ends at 8:40 Miscavige's time. In it, he addresses Tommy severely denigrating Mike Rinder who at the time is in the same physical location as Tommy and is actually cc'd on the messages. CICS means Counter Intentioned Cock Sucker. Mfing means Mother Fucking.
Dean and Ana Detheridge provided further evidence of the hard sell tactics used inside Scientology in their letter to Senator Xenophon, corroborating the allegations made by Aaron Saxton.
Husband and wife Dean and Ana Detheridge wrote separate letters to the senator, both of which were admitted into the parliament's archives.
In his letter to the senator, Dean Detheridge explained he had spent 17 years working in Canberra, Sydney and in Los Angeles as a staff member - 10 of them full-time - though he did not serve in the elite Sea Organization itself.
Newtown's Athena School is licensed by Applied Scholastics International, which is strongly linked to Scientology. The school's website says it teaches from the booklet The Way to Happiness, written by Hubbard.
The Athena School will receive $751,519 in recurrent funding from the Government for the 2009-10 funding period. It has also been allocated $135,287 for new library, $114,713 for primary classroom refurbishments and $50,000 for other refurbishments under the Rudd Government's Building the Education Revolution program.
THERE was no evidence of Church of Scientology material distributed at Gladstone state schools, executive director for schools, Central Coast District Dave Manttan said yesterday.
The Church of Scientology has hit the headlines with the revelation that a group sponsored by the church has been targeting children in schools across Australia.
The New South Wales Government has ordered principals not to distribute material funded by the church which likens the views of the founder, science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, to those of other 20th century leaders.
THE Church of Scientology is denying claims by Nick Xenophon of a cover-up, while the senator remains frustrated in his call for a parliamentary inquiry into the religion.
Yesterday Stephen McBride, whose Scientologist brother committed suicide two years ago, travelled to Canberra to plead with the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, to order an investigation of the church.
A man shot and killed Sunday in front of a Scientology building in Los Angeles was a Florence resident on probation for stalking a Lane County judge who recently had served time in a Florence jail for threatening a tow truck driver.
A security guard shot Mario Majorski, 48, after Majorski threatened guests and another security guard with samurai swords at the Scientology Celebrity Centre in Hollywood, Los Angeles police said.
A security guard at the Church of Scientology's Celebrity Centre in Hollywood today shot and killed a man wielding two samurai swords, police said.
Police detained the guard for questioning but said a surveillance tape at the facility backed his claim that he fired his gun to protect himself and two colleagues.
A security guard has shot and killed a man on the grounds of a Hollywood building owned by the Scientology church, Los Angeles police say.
Reports say the unidentified man arrived at the Scientology Celebrity Centre wielding swords.
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- Los Angeles police say a sword-wielding man shot to death at a Scientology facility in Hollywood apparently had psychological problems.
It remained unclear Monday why Mario Majorski showed up at the church with a pair of samurai swords and allegedly accosted an armed security guard, but the Los Angeles Times said Majorski had caused problems at the facility in the past.
"We believe there is some sort of mental issue," Los Angeles Police Department Detective Wendi Berndt told the newspaper, adding that Majorski appeared to have been a former Scientology member.
The Los Angeles Times reports today that an Oregon man named Mario Majorski, 48, was shot to death yesterday at the Church of Scientology's Hollywood Celebrity Center (pictured above, courtesy MSNBC) on Sunday after he allegedly brandished two samurai swords at security guards.
A website that follows Scientology provides some information about Majorski's past association with the church.
He also appears to have sued UCLA for a professor's stance toward the church in 1994.
The armed guard was questioned after a 48-year-old man was gunned down on Sunday when he arrived at the Scientology Celebrity Center in Hollywood and began waving two Japanese ceremonial swords at security staff.
Police said a security surveillance video confirmed the armed guard's story that he opened fire with a semi-automatic handgun to defend himself.
TMZ has obtained a photo of the guy who was shot to death yesterday after allegedly brandishing two swords and threatening security guards in front of the Scientology Celebrity Centre in Hollywood.
The photo of Mario Majorski is a mug shot taken from one of his arrests in Oregon. Officials won't release any details about Mario's criminal background.
Los Angeles police said a security guard at a Scientology building shot and killed a sword-wielding man Sunday.
Detective Wendi Berndt said Monday that 48-year-old Mario Majorski of Oregon was shot once as he tried to attack guests with a pair of samurai swords. A Scientology spokesman said Majorski had been a Scientologist in the early 1990s but appeared to have left the church about 15 years ago.
Kyle Jarrow, the author of "A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant," is grooving along with this warm, yet somewhat disturbing scene on the sidelines at a rehearsal space in Watertown. He's watching a cast of 8- to 15-year-olds rehearse his script for a Boston Theatre Works production while across the ocean, the world's most famous Scientologist takes wedding vows for a third time. Tom Cruise, for better or worse, may have brought Scientology into the pages of People and Us Weekly. But Jarrow has created a musical about L. Ron Hubbard that is, in its own sardonic way, much more funny and touching than any of Cruise's diatribes against Ritalin. It starts previews at the Boston Center for the Arts tonight.
A hotel in Cornwall will no longer offer its guests alcoholic drinks because of their "destructive" effects.
The management of the Camelot Castle Hotel in Tintagel has decided to withdraw beers, wines and spirits from all its menus and bar areas.
Managers John Mappin and Ted Stourton said that the move signals a tidal change of public opinion in relation to the alcohol consumption.
In an unusual step, Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner Joan Wood has agreed to reconsider her conclusions in the 1995 death of Scientologist Lisa McPherson. Lawyers for the Church of Scientology have given Wood new evidence that, they say, casts doubt on Wood's original opinion: that McPherson was severely dehydrated when she died while in the care of Scientology staffers.
Scientology's leader was ordered jailed without bail in Spain on Wednesday pending possible charges of engaging in criminal acts. If convicted, he could face more than 30 years in prison, officials said.
Heber Jentzsch, 53, president of the Los Angeles-based Church of Scientology International, was interrogated by Judge Jose Maria Vasquez Honrubia.
The judge ordered that Jentzsch and 10 other church members be held pending possible charges including illicit association, coercion, fraud, labor law violations, tax evasion and flight of capital, officials said.
Bail "won't be allowed in this case," said Helga Soto, a spokeswoman at the Spanish Embassy in Washington.
Officials of the Church of Scientology routinely plotted in recent years to leak to newspapers information aimed at embarrassing government agencies and former President Nixon and misleading the public about the church's founder, L. Ron Hubbard, according to internal church documents released here yesterday.
Using such code names as Operation Chaos Leak and Operation Bulldozer Leak, church officials sought to defame and confuse the church's critics or anyone who might be investigating the church and its activities, the documents show.
The thousands of pages released yesterday by the U.S. Court of Appeals are part of the massive collection of evidence that the federal government seized in raids 2 1/2 years ago here and in Los Angeles at church offices.