2018-12-04, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Once again, as if by magic, the Flag OT Committee Minutes appeared.
A new status above humanitarian! Nothing more important to scientologists than status.
A poem! Oh a poem. And about collecting money! What could more in keeping with the scientology "christmas spirit."
In one of our favorite moments from tonight's episode of Scientology and the Aftermath, Leah Remini admits to an emotion she hasn't felt before as she and Mike are on their way to another of their stunning interviews with a Scientology whistleblower.
This time they will be talking not to a former Scientologist, or to a person who is being harassed by Scientology as we saw in last week's episode. This time, they are going to sit down with someone who just a few years ago carried out such operations for the church, a private investigator who worked for Scientology — and Leah admits to being nervous and a little afraid.
We have to hand it to her, Leah knows how to draw the viewer in, how to make each episode more than an informational journey into Scientology history or Scientology controversy. For her, it's personal, and she knows how to make the viewer feel that.
We hope you are drawn in as tonight's episode dives into a subject that has come up in the series before, but not at this level. Tonight, Leah and Mike talk to a very brave woman who is taking a huge risk to bring us her story. Her name is Cierra Westerman.
2017-12-04, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
A bit of history to introduce another of the methods Hubbard used to try to gain acceptance and win friends and influence people.
In 1974 when the Apollo was experiencing continuous problems maintaining "safe ports" (in fact, in the previous year Hubbard had fled the Apollo when things got too hot in Morocco and moved to Queens NY using a fake name until he deemed it "safe" to return to the ship — now plying Atlantic Portuguese and Spanish ports) he hit on a "bright idea" to gain "acceptance" for the Apollo.
He pulled together musicians (and then dancers) and formed two musical groups — the Apollo Stars and The Troubadors. The latter were "second billing" and primarily served the purpose of a backup band for flamenco dancer Paco Suarez.
We continue to explore L. Ron Hubbard's statements about sex and children since Leah Remini made that subject such a part of the second season of her series, Scientology and the Aftermath.
We understand that these stories are uncomfortable for some former Scientologists. But we believe these are important examinations of who Hubbard was, and what ideas he put into Scientology that had terrible consequences for so many people over many years.
We have followed up with victims featured in Leah's show, like Mirriam Francis. We started a new occasional series with the help of Sunny Pereira and Mark Plummer about the way kids were treated in the Sea Org. We have been working to make more people aware of a very disturbing statement by Hubbard about how a 7-year-old girl should react to being kissed by a man which appears in Scientology's most important book, Dianetics. We've examined a horrifying 1952 lecture about past lives and the sexual abuse of children, and Scientologists have explained to us how this resulted in an environment that condoned child abuse in Scientology.
Rod Keller keeps his eye on Scientology's front groups, and he's back this week with CCHR's latest freakout...
Scientologists received a call to arms this week from the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR). CCHR is a Scientology front group that works to oppose all forms of mental health care, but in particular against psychiatric medicines and electroconvulsive therapy, or ECT. About 100,000 people receive ECT in the US each year to treat severe depression It is effective for 75 to 90 percent of patients who receive it and should be followed up with prescription medicine that helps prevent a relapse.
Scientology has seen Psychiatry and ECT as a social evil since the 1950s when the medical profession rejected Dianetics as a new tool for treating patients. Psychiatrists are demonized by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard as mad scientists, and ECT is seen as a tool to implant false memories rather than treat severe depression.
2016-12-04, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The weekly show where I answer questions from viewers left for me in the comments section of my Q&A videos or sent to me by email at AskChrisShelton@gmail.com. This week the questions I answer are:
(1) I believe there was a bit of a misunderstanding in Episode 83 where you answered Jon Stewart's question about the decorated forms and your answer related solely to certificates. Please see the attached where, in this instance, a routing form has been decorated with highlighter pens etc. These pop up quite often on Thursday Funnies pages etc. I also would like to know where this originated. Any ideas?
(2) Everyone is intrigued by the story of Michele (Shelly) Miscavige, the "vanished" wife of Scientology leader David Miscavige, who is supposedly at an isolated mountain retreat. Do you think she remains wherever she is of her own free will, or is she imprisoned, either physically, or mentally? Is "COB" still married or did he divorce her, as some reports speculate? Is the LAPD officer who talked with her a Scientologist himself? (as per Tony O's writings) or did she have someone else present while she was being questioned? I'd really like to know this.
2016-12-04, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
1978 was a crazy year, very tumultuous.
LRH arrived back to La Quinta in January of 1978 after Mary Sue had moved to LA to handle her criminal case from the Snow White FBI Investigation.
While he was gone, during the last half of 1977, the messengers and most of the crew on base were preparing for the making of the tech movies. During 78 and 79 we called this the Cine Org; it was not named Gold until later years. Recruitment had been done to get more people for this unit and we messengers had typed the scripts LRH had sent us via mail.
Police have been directed to ignore any requests from the Church of Scientology asking officers respond to peaceful protesters "exercising their First Amendment rights" on public sidewalks near the church's downtown Flag Building.
The advisory, sent in a department email recently by Assistant City Attorney Rob Surette, was prompted by multiple calls dispatchers have fielded from church members about Alex Hageli, who has picketed in front of the building several times this year.
Hageli, 40, a lawyer who lives in Illinois and owns a home in Belleair, said in a recent interview that he has never been a member of Scientology but has made it his mission every time he visits to stand outside the church's headquarters and urge members to seek help in escaping the religion.
Inside the room there was hardly anything other than a bed and the person being given the silent treatment. Outside the room, there was someone watching to make sure that the door stayed closed and the person inside didn't get out.
It was Scientology's first "Introspection Rundown," and it happened more than 40 years ago on a ship sailing the Atlantic that was called the Apollo. The person inside the cabin was a member of the crew named Bruce Welch, who had temporarily lost his mind.
The person sitting outside, providing security, was a young Australian Scientologist named Mike Rinder.
UPDATE: SAG-AFTRA's publication will no longer sell ads to Scientology. See update below.
Christian Stolte is well known here at the Underground Bunker both for his recurring role in the NBC drama Chicago Fire, but also because he's a knowledgeable critic of Scientology who has been a regular presence here.
When Kirstie Alley appeared to take potshots at Leah Remini for leaving Scientology in 2013, Stolte went after Alley on Twitter in a very entertaining way. It was then that we learned what an expert he is on Scientology and that he was a regular reader here.
After winning a nearly $2 million settlement from Hernando County over a botched land use decision five years ago, the Church of Scientology-affiliated Suncoast Rehabilitation Center has announced plans to move from Spring Hill to a new, larger facility under construction in Clearwater.
The new facility, which is expected to be ready next year, will offer 35,000 square feet for treatment of patients with addictions, compared with 5,000 square feet at the current facility off Cessna Drive.
2014-12-04, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Likely it will be omitted...
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of people who have been PROMISED exactly this, but because they no longer goosestep in lockstep, their names don't appear on the plaque in the building they gave a great deal of money to purchase. They are prevented from even entering "their" building, but of course, they don't get their money back. And by the time they get around to opening these things, there will be hundreds and thousands more long gone... Maybe they should put up a chalkboard listing the names rather than an engraved plaque.
PS: Every month has a new announcement "We are completing by...."
Obama administration departments lobbied by Scientology include the State Department, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Homeland Security.
Greg Mitchell, founder of the small firm The Mitchell Company, is the Church of Scientology's official lobbyist in Washington, D.C. and also a Church of Scientology member. Insiders say that his role is to help the Church gain mainstream credibility with influential decision-makers.
2013-12-04, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Just because I like the no nonsense FACTS I am reprinting this article.
This sort of coverage is a hallmark of the new South African blog. If you are not checking it out regularly, you are missing some good stuff.
South Africa is predictably going to be the first area that will be lost to corporate Scientology. It is like a ship that has left the dock and the "missionaires" are trying to get it tied back down by throwing mud, hoping it will stick to the side and weigh it down so much it will sink. Lots luck with that. I guess the Mission briefing sort of missed the real scene....
Now, after six years of little to no progress apart from the plywood covering doors and windows, the city has had enough.
Philadelphia's Department of Licenses & Inspections is taking the church to court, which could result in daily fines of several hundred dollars.
The big news on the day came early in the evening, when Tony Ortega posted a story with a major wave of filings by Monique Rathbun, plaintiff in the harassment suit against the cult. We predict there's enough detail there that the Court in the Rathbun case will have to order that Miscavige be deposed. In my view, this may lead Miscavige to propose a settlement if the cult loses this motion, but I believe that Monique will insist on a far larger amount than was paid in the Debbie Cook case plus permanent restrictions on the cult's conduct towards her and towards Marty. However, I predict that the cult will not be able to resist breaking the permanent injunction; it'll be interesting to see what a Texas court will do to the cult if they don't follow a negotiated permanent injunction.
Don't forget that tomorrow is the anniversary of Lisa McPherson's death. As the Anons say, this is why.
Tony Ortega's Blog
One of the more exciting results of Scientology's new product release was the slick new E-meter that all church members will now be expected to purchase, and for the low price of only $5,000!
We asked the one person who probably knows more about this device than anyone else to give us the lowdown on its history — welcome back to the Bunker, Marc Headley!
Marc is the author of Blown for Good: Behind the Iron Curtain of Scientology, one of the best escape narratives ever written about the church. Before he left the Sea Org in 2005, Marc and his wife Claire had worked at Scientology's secretive International Base near HemetCalifornia. And while he was there, Marc was an audiovisual specialist who oversaw or participated in many of Scientology's technical projects — including the manufacturing of E-meters.
A week from today, on December 11, the next dramatic chapter in Monique Rathbun's lawsuit against Scientology and its leader, David Miscavige, will take place in the Comal County courthouse in New Braunfels, Texas.
In August, Monique filed the lawsuit, accusing Miscavige of orchestrating a years-long retaliation campaign against her husband, Mark "Marty" Rathbun, that had the effect of subjecting her to harassment, surveillance, and distasteful pranks. Miscavige argued back in something called a "special appearance" that he has nothing to do with the state of Texas and should be let out of the lawsuit. That jurisdictional question has been scheduled to be heard on December 11.
Earlier this week, Monique's attorney, Ray Jeffrey, asked for a continuance to delay the hearing, arguing that the people Scientology has made available for depositions didn't adequately address the question. It's Miscavige himself who should answer questions about his involvement in Texas, Jeffrey says. Judge Dib Waldrip has indicated that he will consider that continuance request at the previously scheduled December 11 hearing, and Jeffrey will get a chance to argue for deposing Scientology's leader.
More enquiries revealed that the trip's organisers had hired an agency that specialised in arranging for crowds for celebrity events.
An official from that agency, who was present at the airport, said that each person was paid an average of Rs 300 to be a part of the crowd and cheer for Tom for 15 mins. "We asked them to reach here by 4 pm as we were told that he would arrive at 5:15," the official told this newspaper on condition of anonymity.
As far as the police were concerned, however, the paid crowd had its advantages. "Mobs that randomly gather to see celebrities can be extremely unruly and tough to control. A hired crowd is better. It behaves itself and listens to us," said a security officer outside the terminal.
2011-12-04, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Ramana Dienes-Browning, happy to be out of Scientology (Photo: Jason Sinclair) Last week, Steve Cannane of Australia's ABC network and its program Lateline broke the story of Valeska Paris, a woman who says she was held against her will on Scientology's private cruise ship, the Freewinds, from 1996 to 2007.
In that story, Cannane also talked to Ramana Dienes-Browning, a former senior executive on the ship who backed up Valeska's claims. "She had been sent to the ship so as not to be in contact with one of her parents and that's not what she wanted. She was very, very distressed," Ramana said of Valeska. "Do you consider it now it to be imprisonment?" Cannane asked her. "Yes, yes, I would definitely consider it imprisonment because there was no choice in the matter," she answered.
The church denied that Valeska was held captive, and Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw's statement (available below) made no mention of Dienes-Browning.
2011-12-04, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
The latest is in from Gabriel. He provides actual statistics of the Mission network. The uncooked facts demonstrate that you have been reading quite a bit of truth on this blog if you have been following for a while. Corporate Scientology, it seems, has become little more than an expensive lie production and dissemination factory.
Attached you'll find the Mission LRH Birthday Game standings as of 11 February 2010:
Mission LRH Birthday Game Standings
2011-12-04, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Scientology doesn't really have a Sunday service. They like to say that they do, because they crave mainstream acceptance. But unless Xenu rested after six days and L. Ron Hubbard just forgot to mention it, there's no reason for Scientologists to treat Sunday any differently than every other day of coursework, detoxes, fundraising, and generally clearing the planet.
After Fairman was ousted, the actor claims he received a letter from the family chiropractor -- an active Scientologist -- informing him she would no longer treat the Fairman family. Fairman also claims she refused to hand over a copy of the family's medical records.
When the world's biggest star and possibly the most famous Scientologist on earth, Tom Cruise, stepped out of the Mumbai domestic airport on Saturday with his entourage, little did he know that the screaming crowds he was waving out to were not his Indian fans at all!
In fact, the 200-and-odd people gathered there didn't even know who he was and they couldn't care less. They had been hired at the rate of Rs 150, or $3 per person approximately, by a model coordinator to do the same!
2010-12-04, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
We have come to discover the crux of Miscavige's Black Dianetics implant technique. My own awakening experience has been shared in greater or lesser degree by the many O.T.s who have made their ways to the Shack (the original and Casablanca). In my view, here is how Miscavige reverses Scientology to create the product of unquestioningly loyal sheep at the upper reaches of the Bridge.
First, as most of you know the ability gained from OT III is Freedom from Overwhelm.
How, then, are so many OT 3s, OT 4s, OT 5s, OT 7s, and OT 8s (not to mention Clears and Releases) finding themselves in the unmistakable condition of overwhelm?
Investigators quickly determined after the Nov. 23 shooting that the guard had acted in the defense of himself and others, and Wednesday prosecutors said they agree.
Mario Majorski, a 48-year-old former Scientologist from Oregon, had threatened the church for years before he pulled up in front of the Scientology Celebrity Centre in a convertible, pulled out one sword then another and was killed by the security guard, a 64-year-old retired Seal Beach police officer.
Last week we learned that Amazon.co.uk has bowed to pressure to stop selling a book by a former senior Irish Scientologist. The Complex: An Insider Exposes the Covert World of the Church of Scientology (Merlin Publishing, Dublin) describes John Duignan's 21 years in the religion, not all of it a happy tale. According to Amazon, "Unfortunately, we have had to withdraw The Complex by John Duignan in the UK because we received a specific allegation that a passage in the book is defamatory regarding an individual named in the book". Other bookshops are also thought to have been warned not to stock the book. And everyone who has ever encountered the Church of Scientology sighs and says, "Here we go again."
Scientology has a long history of trying to suppress material written about it that it doesn't like. Several times they've taken legal action to try and stop websites revealing their teachings – particularly those which, to outsiders, might look a bit odd. (I won't quote them, but just type "Xenu" into a search engine, then sit back and marvel.)
With books, their usual tactic is to get their solicitors to send out letters alleging defamation; I had one myself a few years ago. If bookshops receive such a letter, most of them chicken out immediately. They lose very little by not stocking a book - except their honour.
Second Chance has been ridiculed for its expensive carrot juice and sauna approach to cleaning up addicts and now some people are questioning whether it's a good use of taxpayer dollars.
"Let's put that money, especially right now, when were on real hard economic times, let's put that money where we know it has a proven successful track record," said Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White.
Hamburg's Interior Minister Udo Nagel wants a national ban in Germany on Scientology, which claims many high-profile adherents, including Hollywood actor Tom Cruise. Nagel's opposition to Scientology is premised on his view of the religion as a commercial enterprise and an anti-constitutional body with aggressive tactics.
A tax exemption has been awarded to the SA Church of Scientology by the SA Revenue Services (SARS), the Church said on Tuesday.
"We cannot confirm the exemption due to a confidentiality clause, but if the public wishes to donate money to the church - then they could ask to view the certificate," Lackey said. - Sapa
TOM CRUISE & KATIE HOLMES NOV. 18, 2006
Sparing no expense, Tom and Katie treat their families and famous friends to a spectacular affair in Italy, complete with a medieval castle, fireworks—and an awww-inspiring Suri
The first of many stunning moments at Tom Cruise's wedding to Katie Holmes came early: As guests—seated inside a converted 15th-century armory in Italy's majestic Odescalchi Castle—waited for the bride to walk down the aisle, the entire candle-filled room fell silent. "It was, by far, the most charged moment of the evening," says designer Giorgio Armani, who created Holmes's romantic off-the-shoulder gown. When the bride appeared on the arm of her father, Martin Holmes, "I saw the look on Tom's face and on her face," says actress Jenna Elfman, who was among the evening's more than 150 guests. "He was very proud. Her father looked so proud too." While the groom, in a navy two-button Armani tux, "was beaming that Tom smile," there was someone else who couldn't conceal her delight: the couple's 7-month-old daughter Suri, dressed in an ivory silk tulle Armani frock to match her mom's and carried down the aisle by her 11-year-old brother Connor. "There were several choruses of 'Awww!' from the crowd," says Cruise's cousin, actor William Mapother. "And some wet eyes." At one point during a pause in the ceremony, "it was quiet, and then Suri cooed loudly," says a guest. "It was so sweet."
A Spanish court yesterday acquitted 15 members and employees of the Church of Scientology on charges of criminal conspiracy, closing a case dating to 1984.
The court said there was no evidence to support prosecutors' allegations that drug rehabilitation and other programs sponsored by the church in Spain amounted to illicit gatherings aimed at activities such as bilking people of money.
1998-12-04, Kathy Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal
One way to rid the body of drugs is to use exercise and niacin to increase circulation. That's supposed to mobilize toxins lodged in fat and get the body to excrete them. Once toxins are mobilized in the bloodstream, patients drink plenty of purified water and undergo stints in the sauna to promote excretion. Water, salt and potassium are taken to prevent dehydration or mineral deficiency. The daily treatment takes three to five hours.
The Foundation for Advancements in Science and Education, a nonprofit research group in Los Angeles, has sponsored several tests of the technique. A 1982 study that reviewed more than 100 case histories -- and others since then -- concluded that the method is safe and effective at reducing chemicals in the body, according to a 1995 research report by the foundation.
A Federal Court justice has dismissed a Danish company's attempt to stop the Canadian publication of a biography of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the Church of Scientology. In a 10-page written decision Wednesday, Justice Bud Cullen rejected an application by New Era Publications of Copenhagen for an injunction to prevent Toronto-based Key Porter Books Ltd. from publishing Barefaced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard. New Era is planning an authorized biography and paid $100,000 to Hubbard's estate for the rights, company lawyer Ken McKay told the court. But Cullen said the company failed to prove it owned the rights to Hubbard's materials and agreed with the Key Porter lawyers it waited too long to go to court.
Army agents secretly sprayed passengers at Washington's National Airport and a city bus terminal with harmless bacteria to test how a smallpox epidemic might be started by enemy forces, documents made public today reveal.
The experiments, which may have also included bus terminals in Chicago and San Francisco, were carried out in 1964 and 1965, according to a heavily censored document obtained by the Church of Scientology under the Freedom of Information Act and released today.
The Central Intelligence Agency may have been involved in "open air" biological warfare tests in streets and tunnels in the New York City area in 1955 and 1956, according to an analysis of CIA records released yesterday by the Church of Scientology.
The four-month analysis suggests that The CIA purchased supplies for experiments that included the dissemmation of unknown substances for aerosol devices mounted in suitcases and in the exhaust of a specially modified 1953Mercury, according to the church's report.
The church's analysts said they examined about 600 pages of CIA financial records that were part of the agency's MK-ULTRA mind control experiments. The documents have been made public by the CIA during the last 2 1/2 years. t
Federal prosecutors yesterday urged a U.S. District judge to impose maximum criminal penalties on members of the Church of Scientology for their roles in a massive conspiracy to infiltrate and burglarize government offices.
In a 70-page, harshly worded memorandum, the prosecutors contend that the defendants "brazen and persistent" acts against the government were only a "mirror aspect" of wider activities that included smear campaigns, spying and theft directed at public and private individuals critical of the church.
"No building, office desk, or file was safe from their snooping and prying. No individual or organization was free from their despicable conspiratorial minds," the government said in the memorandum filed with the court.
Still, Ryan was intrigued by Houston's story, partly for personal reasons. He had been a high school English teacher before going into politics, and young Houston was one of his pupils. Moreover, Ryan's own nephew had mysteriously disappeared after joining the cult of Scientology. "Leo was not content to sit behind his desk relying on information from bureaucrats," says Rep. Stephen Solarz, who served with him on the International Relations Committee. "He felt he had a responsibility to help people who couldn't help themselves." Already involved in the congressional investigation of the Moonies, Ryan committed himself that night in Houston's home to find out the truth about Jones' temple as well. It was to be the last cause of the congressman's life.
The mass suicide of more than 400 members of the Rev. Jim Jones' Peoples Temple in Guyana is the latest and most sickening example of the power of cults to control the personalities of their disciples. For four years researchers Flo Conway, 37, and Jim Siegelman, 28, studied this bizarre phenomenon, and they now have written a book about it titled Snapping: America's Epidemic of Sudden Personality Change (Lippincott, $10). Conway has an M.A. in communication, psychology and anthropology and completed her doctoral work at the University of Oregon, while Siegelman is a Harvard honors graduate in philosophy and English. They combined disciplines in a project that took them to 29 states for interviews with more than 200 ex-members of cults. The authors also talked with former evangelical preachers, "deprogrammer" Ted Patrick and ex-Manson family member Leslie Van Houten. Conway and Siegelman, both single and residents of Manhattan, talked about their findings with Cheryl McCall of PEOPLE.
What is snapping?
It is a sudden, drastic personality change. In our opinion it represents a new form of mental and emotional disorder, a growing phenomenon unlike anything this country has witnessed.