The Scientology Money Project did an article recently on the US Bankruptcy Court's denial of Matt and Kathy Feshbach's attempt to discharge $3.8 million in back taxes via bankruptcy. This led me to do further research on Matt Feshbach's Bahamian stem cell medical company called Okyanos Heart Institute. The result an article on Matt Feshbach and Okyanos at the Scientology Money Project. In the course of my research I found Feshbach and his business partner and fellow Scientology OT Manuel Vianna listed in the Paradise Papers:
Curious as I am about Scientology and its sources of money, I checked into Okyanos and discovered its $14.2 million dollars in capitalization largely came from a Scientologist named Ali Shawkat, a man whose father is Mudhar Shawkat, a former member of the Iraqi parliament. The ICIJ Offshore Leaks Database page on Mudhar Shawkat states that Appleby Global — an offshore law firm that some have compared to the notorious Panamanian firm of Mossack Fonseca — set up the "Passion Group S.A." for the Shawkat family. "S.A." is a business term meaning "Society Anonymous." A person who owns shares in an S.A. corporation can have those shares held by an offshore law firm. An S.A. grants a certain degree of anonymity.
There were concerns at Appleby about the Shawkat money and its Passion Group S.A., this according to an internal Appleby e-mail leaked by the Paradise Papers:
2017-11-28, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Today is "Giving Tuesday" — the idea is to stimulate online charitable giving to help those in need. When I got the email from the IAS I had to google this to see if it was a "thing" or just the latest invention of scientology to get people to part with their money.
Here is the first thing that showed up on my google search — and it is a typical example of the orrganizations that participate in this:
But here is what is even more important about this organization and others who participate in this program:
You have to understand something, dear reader. L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, used to give lectures on practically a daily basis — and sometimes more than one a day — for decades. This character could talk and talk about anything for hours and hours, and his followers giggled and applauded their way through whatever he threw at them.
The sheer volume of Hubbard's output is staggering. So forgive us if we're only now running into a very troubling set of statements that Hubbard gave which were buried inside a lecture that was itself buried in an obscure series of talks he gave during a brief trip to London in September 1952.
Why did we stumble on this lecture now? Thanks to Leah Remini's second season of Scientology and the Aftermath, there's a much greater awareness and public interest in Scientology's treatment — and mistreatment — of children. For some time now, we've been telling you how shocking it was to find what appears to be an outright statement endorsing pedophilia in Scientology's most important book, Hubbard's 1950 breakout bestseller, Dianetics. And so we've been on the lookout for other material about children and sex that we might have overlooked before.
"Today I cut ties with my mother, the most dedicated Scientologist I know."
That's how Liz Gale opened an essay published last month at former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder's website.
We found it startling for a couple of reasons. Not only for the circumstances of an ex-Scientologist disconnecting from her Scientologist mother rather than the other way around, but also because we had met Liz Gale and knew something of her family's complicated and tragic background.
Actress Leah Remini, a former member of the Church of Scientology, is now out with a new documentary that makes dramatic accusations about the church's alleged conduct. She tells TODAY's Savannah Guthrie that she's "not going to get a dime" for her efforts: "It's for the victims… it's for people who just maybe don't have the strength to fight."
Original source: http://www.today.com/news/leah-remini-her-battle-against-scientology-i-m-doing-victims-t105367
2016-11-28, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
Leah Remini has produced a new television series called Scientology and the Aftermath which will be premiering tomorrow, November 29, on A&E. I was given an opportunity to see the first episode in advance and I wanted to give you my thoughts and feelings about it as someone who not only grew up in Scientology but who worked at its highest levels as part of the Sea Org for 17 years.
There have been a lot of shows, books, videos and interviews done about Scientology over the years, many of them mediocre or sensationalized but some completely spot-on and really nailing the subject from an insider's perspective which communicates just how insidious and horrible Scientology truly is for its members and anyone unlucky enough to fall within its area of influence. Probably the best of these was the documentary Going Clear, directed by Emmy-award winner Alex Gibney and written by Pulitzer prize winning author Lawrence Wright. This two-hour film was shown in selected movie theaters before premiering on HBO last year. Up until seeing that, I didn't think it was possible for anyone to truly communicate the culture, attitude and reality of what it was like to be a Scientologist, but Gibney and Wright pulled it off. Now, Leah Remini has taken a swing at this and based on the first episode, she has produced what is perhaps the best TV show I've ever seen on the subject of Scientology.
I respect Leah immensely but honestly, I did not have high expectations for this show. It's way too easy to sensationalize Scientology, to turn it into entertainment news fodder about its main celebrity members like Tom Cruise or John Travolta. Personally I'm sick and tired of hearing this subject trivialized into celebrity gossip about how often Tom Cruise doesn't visit his daughter or how John Travolta is trapped because of some blackmail Scientology may have about his secret gay lifestyle.
2016-11-28, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
PART 4 - MY LIFE WITH LRH - 1977
1977 Started off really great with my marriage to Gary.
Gary Reisdorf and I started going together from the time we arrived in La Quinta in 1976 and planned to get married as soon as we could, but due to my age I needed parental approval. We had to wait for quite a few months for that approval from my parents due to the slow lines between the US and South Africa. In the letters to my Mom I constantly asked for them to send the approval papers. I was also describing the wedding, my dress etc. I even drew pictures of what the dress was going to look like. I sewed my own dress on the sewing machine LRH had bought for us messengers. It was quite beautiful and was pretty good sewing for a 16 year old! I still have it.
A number of our readers noticed that Scientology has been putting out gushing news about its unstoppable "expansion" in press releases that show up in the oddest places, like in a piece masquerading as a story that showed up in Digital Journal and in Jim Cramer's news website The Street. We have to wonder at the people who might take such claims of Scientology's growth seriously.
Yes, David Miscavige has convinced some of his followers to fork over huge amounts to pay for some new buildings, but these "Ideal Orgs" have replaced perfectly serviceable facilities and didn't actually represent any growth in the movement. Meanwhile, the orgs and missions that haven't gone Ideal are suffering as fewer and fewer people visit them.
We want to thank the tipster who has given us a glimpse of what's going on in Brighton, England, for example. He sent us the photo above, explaining that a few years ago, the Brighton org was housed in the top floor of the building you can see on the left. And, at one time, it was a thriving concern on a busy street.
The new issue of Impact magazine is out, and the publication - from the International Association of Scientologists - includes this great photograph of Bob and Trish Duggan with their newest piece of hardware from Scientology leader David Miscavige, given to them at the October IAS gala in England. They've reached yet another new donation status (which had to be invented for them) - Patron Invictus! And look at that trophy shine!
For our newer readers, we'll try to explain what's going on in this picture. You see, Scientology has always been about money. Sure, in the old days, the amounts were more modest, but from the beginning L. Ron Hubbard held out the tantalizing prospect that if you followed his highly regimented and detailed counseling procedures, step by increasingly pricey step you'd get closer and closer to some kind of space opera godhood. In more recent years, the prices for those steps have become hugely expensive, and it can take half a million dollars just in course fees to reach the top of the "Bridge to Total Freedom." But at least you were working toward that goal.
In the last ten years or so, current church leader David Miscavige has made a big shift when it comes to Scientology and money. He has asked members to give even more cash than ever - but rather than for their spiritual advancement, members are being asked to fork over this money simply for the sake of donating money itself.
2014-11-28, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
John Mappin is at it again...
Now THIS is a true OT 7 success. The sign on his building is rusting and a letter fell off. How "OT" — now it spells "CAME OT". Amazing cause over MEST. And 580 people "like" it.
Just Plain Weird
2013-11-28, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Happy Thanksgiving everyone. A day to be relieved that you are no longer giving to the organization that doesnt thank you for what you have given, but simply looks upon you with little vulture eyes "we got this much out of him/her, there has to be more where that came from."
The only thing true about this email is that this IS "bombastic." I guess the author is unfamiliar with the words she uses as bombastic means: high-sounding but with little meaning; inflated.
The nerve of these people. "In 3 days we are going to announce the biggest/best/over-the-top/bombastic/largest/highest-ever..." Now give us your money by Thursday at 2 so we can fund it!!!
Have you ever seen an SP, Tom? Jefferson Hawkins was once the top marketing executive for the Church of Scientology and helped it reach its greatest extent with the famous "volcano" TV ads in the 1980s. He's told his tale of getting into and out of the church with his excellent books Counterfeit Dreams and Leaving Scientology, and he's helping us understand the upside-down world of Scientology "ethics."
Where are you taking us next, Jeff?
JEFFERSON: This week, we're taking up Chapter 7 of the Ethics book, "The Basics of Suppression." We'll actually split this chapter into two articles, one on Suppressive Persons, and another, next week, on Potential Trouble Sources. Both concepts are so integral to the Scientology control system that they each deserve their own analysis. So this week, we'll take up Suppressives.
2013-11-28, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
What is it that makes Thanksgiving such a powerful notion and valued celebration? In studying all manner of philosophy and contemplative practice of late, I have noticed a widespread, repeating thread that might begin to answer the question. That is, the power of the practice of gratitude. To get an idea of how popular the idea is, try googling 'practice of gratitude' and explore the results. One high-rated result is a short spot by Brene Brown (who was featured earlier on this blog) that serves as a great introduction to the subject:
"Hey, I was just in the neighborhood and thought I'd stop by..."
Ken Dandar continues on his quest to convince federal Judge Virginia Covington that he was the victim of a conspiracy by the Church of Scientology to corrupt Florida's state court system.
On Sunday, Dandar filed an affidavit by Sue Rudd, the former clerk of the late Susan Schaeffer, a Florida state judge who presided for two years over the contentious Lisa McPherson wrongful death civil lawsuit, from 2001 to 2003. (The case was settled in 2004.)
2012-11-28, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Reference: 30 Million Dollar Cover Up
According to the judicial assistant of the late Judge Susan Schaeffer, David Miscavige's advances toward the judge were rejected during the McPherson case:
Declaration of Sue Rudd
New revelations in the 17-year Lisa McPherson saga keep coming as evidence mounts that the Church of Scientology spent tens of millions of dollars in an attempt to corrupt the investigative and judicial systems in the state of Florida.
Now, we have found more evidence from inside Scientology that tends to corroborate testimony given by Marty Rathbun, formerly the second-highest ranking official in the church.
Could Scientology be a game?
While reading the fabulous article in the New Yorker about Paul Haggis on his experience and ultimate departure from scientology.. I was also reading a book on gaming theory at the same time....
Check out the connection!
2011-11-28, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
NEW: See our lengthy interview with Valeska Paris, with much more information about her background, her time aboard the Freewinds, and her memories of Tom Cruise's infamous 2004 birthday aboard the ship.
Australian journalist Steve Cannane of the ABC program Lateline e-mailed us early this morning with this stunning new report which aired only a few hours ago in that country.
Valeska Paris tells Cannane that she joined Scientology's hardcore Sea Organization -- signing its standard billion-year contract -- at only 14 years of age. Three years later, after her stepfather committed suicide and her mother denounced Scientology on French television, Paris was ordered to "disconnect" from her family. She says that church leader David Miscavige then enforced that disconnection by having her put on the cruise ship, the Freewinds, that sails the Caribbean and caters to high-level church members.
2011-11-28, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Valeska Paris Guider has added her testimony to the growing body of evidence that David Miscavige runs an elaborate, worldwide Human Trafficking operation in violation of International law.
Valeska Paris Guider on ABC Lateline.
Thank you Valeska for having the courage to speak out, in spite of the reported legal threat. Corporate Scientology's response that Valeska breached an alleged contract to remain silent about Miscavige's serial violations of law is an effective admission to the facts she shares. Virtually everyone who has witnessed corporate Scientology's criminality and spoken out have signed their worthless, unenforceable, against-public-policy muzzle contracts. Dozens in the past two years have been heard. Corporate Scientology's response has been to slime the witness with character assassination with no reference to the muzzle agreements. Now, apparently out of desperation, Miscavige directs the response: "well, they are legally barred from disclosing my crimes." Brilliant. A regular Edward Bernays (nephew of Sigmund Freud and father of the subject of Public Relations).
2011-11-28, Steve Cannane, Lateline, ABC News (Australia)
Her mother had denounced Scientology on French TV after her ex-husband, Albert Jaquier, had committed suicide. A self-made millionaire, his last days were spent in poverty. In a diary he kept, he blamed the Church of Scientology for fleecing him of his fortune.
Valeska Paris says the Church was so worried her mother would take her away that Scientology's leader David Miscavige intervened, ordering she be taken to the Church's cruise ship, The Freewinds.
An Australian woman claims she was held against her will on a Church of Scientology cruise ship for 12 years.
The Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported Valeska Paris said the church's leader, David Miscavige, sent her to the cruise ship The Freewinds when she was 17 to stop her mother from taking her away from Scientology.
The broadcaster said she was born into a Scientology family in Switzerland and at age 6, moved to the church's headquarters in the United Kingdom, where she was placed in its youth wing, then joined its Sea Organization at 14, ABC said.
THE Brumby Government has banned a group linked to the Church of Scientology from Victoria's public schools after it sponsored an art prize.
The Government acted after learning from the Herald Sun that thousands of dollars of taxpayers' money was used to back a school art prize run by the Scientology-sponsored Youth for Human Rights. It follows a similar move by the NSW Government last week.
A group linked to the Church of Scientology is mounting an emergency campaign to "flood Mumbai" with hundreds of thousands of booklets by L Ron Hubbard in order to spread its message to residents traumatised by the terror attacks.
As Counterknowledge.com reports, Scientologists have sent out an email which says: "Flood Mumbai with TWTH [Hubbard's The Way to Happiness] booklets! This will help calm down the area! … 100,000 booklets can be printed in India. We need to raise £21,000 on an immediate basis to make up the full amount." The operation is being mounted by ABLE, the Association for Better Living and Education, which is officially described as "Scientology-related".
CLEARWATER — Once upon a time, downtown was a place where you could get your hair cut, buy a suit, catch a movie, try on shoes, shop for toys, replace your tools, and even kick the tires on a new car.
"Everything you could think of was downtown. No matter what you were looking for, you could find it," said Lillian Trickel, owner of Trickels Jewelers.
Trickel, 91, has stayed in business downtown for an astounding 63 years, through thick and thin, prompting Clearwater officials to recently award her the key to the city.
Among the religions on the rise are Buddhism, up 79 per cent since 1996, Islam, up 40 per cent, Hinduism up 42 per cent, and Penatacostalism, up 11 per cent.
Nature religions, including Wicca and witchcraft had grown by 130 per cent and Scientology had 37 per cent more followers.
Something otherworldly is happening inside Hangar 12, something they're trying to keep secret. But we can tell you this much: John Travolta is involved, and so are space aliens.
Soldiers have secured the perimeter. "Warning: This establishment is under permanent surveillance by the military police," a sign says. Absolutely no trespassing, by order of Canada's minister of national defense.
But through the 10-foot-high chain-link fence topped with triple strands of barbed wire, you can spy pieces of weird aircraft. They look like menacing insects. Occasionally a large, hairy creature will amble into view.
According to court records, Erlich, who is now a church critic, began his postings to a Usenet news group through Netcom in 1994. He posted a 17-page transcript of Hubbard's confidential lectures. That was followed later with the postings of other church documents. Usenet is a popular area on the Internet in which users can read or post messages that others with Internet access can read.
Last February, Scientology attorneys secured a court order to raid Erlich's home in Glendale, California. Erlich says they seized 400 computer diskettes, copied them, then deleted his hard drive.
Netcom also claimed a victory of sorts from the ruling. The judge denied a preliminary injunction request from the Church of Scientology to prevent Netcom from posting the documents. The judge said the church had not sufficiently proved its copyright infringement claim.