On November 19, 2016, Scientology held the grand opening for its San Diego "Ideal Org" after years of missteps and miscalculations on where to build its new gleaming cathedral there.
Scientology had been in a building on 4th Street downtown for many years, but wanted a much larger and more impressive home for its "Ideal" church. First, it considered a futuristic looking office building that a wealthy member wanted to donate. But it spurned that offer and purchased a closed college campus that was too far out of town. Eventually, Scientology decided to stick with its 4th Street location, but turn the ground level parking into an actual floor of the building in order to gain more square footage.
As usual, Scientologists from other areas were brought in to put together a decent crowd, some local figures were brought in to give some speeches, David Miscavige gave his usual brief words, and then the ribbon fell and confetti flew. It was the same show we've seen in so many other places around the world, most recently in Amsterdam.
It was a weekday afternoon here in early December, and a gaggle of kids outside of Clearwater Academy International were playing with a ball, their laughter and shouts filling the air. The school is just a few blocks away from the spiritual headquarters for the Church of Scientology, and church volunteers appeared to be preparing for an event.
Garrett Cantrell, who is not a Scientologist, recalled his time at the school as he sat near Clearwater's harbor, surrounded by Scientologist retreat centers. The school was small and private, exactly what Cantrell was seeking in a high school after moving to Florida from New York in 2008.
He and his family, as they toured the school, had asked about its religious affiliations before he enrolled, specifically wanting to make sure it wasn't associated with Scientology. An employee told them, no. But a few months into the school year, Cantrell decided the answer was not so clear cut.
2017-12-11, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Today HuffPo ran an interesting article:
Within the article is this:
Karin Pouw, a spokeswoman for the Church of Scientology, told HuffPost in an email that while the church "and its members have proudly supported Applied Scholastics in numerous ways through the years ... Applied Scholastics is not part of the Church of Scientology or any other religious organization."
2017-12-11, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This is what the most senior executive in the Western United States has devolved into.
Begging people to do backlogged filing in one of her orgs.
In fact, begging "OT's" who have "such amazing abilities to create effects across the dynamics." Though apparently those effects do not include managing to get people into the org or enough people on staff to do the filing.
2016-12-11, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The weekly show where I answer viewer questions left 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 have always viewed high school's most important job as teaching critical thinking skills, but I feel that they have been farther and farther from that as they concentrate on teaching to take a test successfully. What are you feelings on this and do you think that it is or should be part of public schools mandate to teach such skills?
(2) Recently we were re-watching your What is Wrong with Scientology series. In, I believe the first one, you state that your focus and disagreement is with the abusive practices of the CoS and not with the dogma, or, technology. I'm wondering, now a few years later, if your view point on that has changed? As I understand it from a lot of things I've read, the technology is the primary instrument of indoctrination which creates the mental state where mind control is possible. One example: Boring, repetitive tasks such as word clearing a passage over and over again because one disagrees with the content can create enough mental discomfort that one will accept a disagreeable, dogmatic statement in order to end the boredom.
This was in fact an event entirely organised and funded by the controversial church.
East Grinstead Town Council promoted yesterday's all-day event on its website, on social media and through its sister organisations as 'East Grinstead's Christmas Fair and Winter Wonderland'.
It distributed festive posters produced by the church, which made no reference to it being a Scientology event aside from small print at the bottom that was impossible to read on the internet. On closer examination, the text appears to say that individuals may be refused entry 'for any reason' at the discretion of Scientologist staff.
(David Miscavige re-opens Scientology's DCNational Affairs Office on Sept 12, 2012)
Scientology wants so badly to have some influence in national politics, but most leaders are smart enough to be wary of it. Our man who watches social media, Rod Keller, updates us on the latest ways Scientologists are being encouraged to influence bills in Washington. (Go here our previous look at the Scientology baggage of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.)
Last week we saw Scientology's failure to prevent the U.S. House of Representatives from passing the 21st Century Cures Act which authorizes $6 billion in spending on a wide variety of healthcare programs. This week Scientology failed again as the Senate passed the measure, but the church has instead claimed a moral victory in a message to its members.
2016-12-11, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The never ending promise of "how we are going to Clear the Planet."
"Find out exactly what needs to happen to start operations at SuMP"
Seriously? Dear Leader yanked a ribbon on a facility that was not ready to start operations? But he told everyone this was now rolling? That was not true? How could that be? The most ethical man in the universe is not being ethical?
2016-12-11, Growing Up Scientology: From Cradle to Slave, YouTube
Nora Crest breaks down the Scientology viewpoint about gay people and why in no uncertain terms you can NOT be gay in Scientology.
If you are having thoughts of suicide or self harm, please contact: The Trevor Project: 866-438-7386 http://www.thetrevorproject.org National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255 https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org
Nora can be contacted at: email@example.com Twitter: @1ragingbuddha
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.
Jon, thanks for thinking of us this week. We know you have been busy putting out a new book that talks about a number of different subjects relevant to what we're interested in here. We're hoping to dig into it soon. In the meantime, you have an excellent meditation for us today.
JON: Believe it or not, I spend very little time thinking about Scientology, but occasionally something will bubble to the surface. A friend used the expression "case gain" last week and it gave me pause for thought.
It's hard to say what Legoland had in mind when it invited Jenna Elfman one of Hollywood's most outspoken Scientologists to light the Carlsbad, Calif., amusement park's 30-foot-tall Christmas tree Nov. 30. The next day, the park tweeted that it had donated $10,000 at the Dharma & Greg star's request to Youth for Human Rights.
Watchdog groups quickly accused the charity of being a Scientology front that focuses on youth recruitment. Legoland spokeswoman Julie Estrada tells THR, "We invite our tree-lighting guests without prejudice and provide a small donation to their charity of choice in appreciation of their participation."
Bert Deixler We heard from a couple of readers who have been keeping an eye on the federal docket in the Luis and Rocio Garcia lawsuit against the Church of Scientology that a new document had been filed by the church on December 5.
We thanked them, letting them know that we had noticed it, and that it was not a major new development in the case. But it is noteworthy, and we wanted to explain why.
The December 5 filing was a submission by a California attorney, Bert Deixler, to be admitted pro hac vice so that he can appear in the Tampa courtroom and act on behalf of the church.
2014-12-11, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Masters of MES
Not doing so well on the Time part.
These are two of the four invitations received on the SAME DAY by a single person. Two for the 7:00pm version of the event and two for the 7:30 version both at the Ft Harrison because apparently they can no longer fill Ruth Eckerd.
For years the Church of Scientology has waged a global campaign for acceptance as a genuine faith, keenly using the help of celebrity backing from the likes of Hollywood stars Tom Cruise and John Travolta. Its cause has now been rewarded in Britain by a landmark legal victory, with the Supreme Court ruling that the movement dismissed by some as a money-making cult should in fact be treated as a bona fide religion.
Thank you Mike Bennitt for sending this to me to mirror.
Today 11 December 2013 in Court, Church defending its stalking, spying, dirty tricks, fair game, lunatic obsessive conduct resulting in a Restraining Order (TRO). It continues this Friday.
We couldn't leave the Bunker today for the big hearing in New Braunfels, Texas, but our man Mike Bennitt is on the scene, and we expect to get numerous dispatches from him, as well as video.
On the docket today are two big issues in Monique Rathbun's harassment lawsuit against Scientology leader David Miscavige. Issue one: Miscavige wants out of the lawsuit, arguing that this Texas court has no jurisdiction over him. Issue two: Scientology has filed an anti-SLAPP motion, arguing that Monique Rathbun's action is a cynical one intended to stifle Scientology's free speech rights.
For both issues, Monique's attorneys have filed motions for continuances, hoping to delay both matters. Monique's attorney Ray Jeffrey will be making the argument this morning that these matters cannot be settled, and should be delayed, until Miscavige himself can be deposed under oath.
Speak of the devil!
Our old friend Chill E.B. is back, and none too soon.
Yesterday, after we posted the hip hop sensation of the season Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder and Nazanin Boniadi and Jamie Sorrentini and Tiziano Lugli rapping about the foibles of the Church of Scientology some of our readers wondered, rightly, how this might reflect on the church's in-house rapping phenom, Norman Berry, a/k/a CHILL E.B.
Tiziano Lugli just released at his website a new version of the "Blown for Good" rap that he and Marc Headley (author of the book Blown For Good) conceived and recorded.
When we were in Los Angeles, Tiziano played for us a version of the song that featured several ex-Scientologists, including Nazanin Boniadi, who was once "auditioned" by the Church of Scientology to be Tom Cruise's girlfriend.
We videotaped Tiziano playing that song back, and it is now circling the globe on the Internet.
2011-12-11, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
by Mike Rinder
Some of you may recall the Taiwan "Ideal Org" building, purchased by the IAS in 2005 accompanied by much fanfare and hoopla from POB himself about this being the first org in China. You may recall the CGI fly-through showing the grand lobby and the courserooms and auditing rooms. 100% smoke and mirrors.
Below are some shots taken within the last month of that building.
2011-12-11, 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.
So here at the Voice, we've come up with a Scientology Sunday tradition of our own, and we call it Sunday Funnies! Our sources regularly send us Scientology's wacky and tacky fundraising mailers, and each week we choose three of them to gaze upon, hoping that it inspires you to wax eloquent in our comments section. So here we go...
First up, you know you want to go to a PR convention on the Freewinds because, come on, who's had more success in public relations than the Church of Scientology?
2011-12-11, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Miscavige's total response to three intensive weeks of our exposing his NO DELIVERY, FRAUD, FALSE STATS, AND SUPPRESSION is:
When you hear Marty Rathbun accuse the Church of having an empty facility look at Rathbun's own "facility." See what he is "delivering." Ask yourself how Rathbun is doing in his "mission."
That is a literal quotation of what his minions recently put out on their anti-Marty sites and through their anonymous email system.
With such a checkered past and a low approval rating, Scientology desperately seeks legitimacy in order to attract new recruits. This is the goal of the Drug-Free Marshals. Scientology is on the drug-free bandwagon not to help the children, but for the public relations. It is also an effective means to draw in the unsuspecting and begin the brainwashing process.
Now that you know just a little about Scientology, do you really want them sponsoring anything in your community, let alone at your school?
It looks as though Tom Cruise's secrets are safe.
Despite breathless reports that Cruise lost his BlackBerry this week while in Toronto promoting his new film Valkyrie, a publicist says the device was only lost momentarily.
Tom Cruise is at the centre of a privacy scare after he lost his BlackBerry mobile device in Canada.
The Hollywood star is currently promoting his World War II film Valkyrie on Canadian TV shows and was dismayed to find his communication handheld missing.
Cruise, 46, appears to mislaid his BlackBerry when he was appearing on Entertainment Tonight Canada.
TEN YEARS AGO THIS MONTH, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, self-made guru of enlightenment, sensuality and wealth, suddenly abandoned the isolated little hamlet of Antelope in north-central Oregon. Washed away by a sea of criminal investigations of murder plots, poisoning, wiretapping and arranged marriages, the guru and his rosy-garbed disciples left behind a 64,000-acre ranch with a dubious and disputed future, and a legacy of bitterness and suspicion.
MADRID, SPAIN MADRID, Spain (AP) _ The president of the Church of Scientology and 10 other members arrested in an investigation of alleged fraud and tax evasion have been released on $1.1 million bail, their lawyer said Sunday.
A judge's order releasing church President Heber Jentzsch, an American, and the others came Saturday after facts were presented that "corrected" some allegations against the group, said the lawyer, Jose Luis Chamorro.
Jentzsch, 53, a native of Salt Lake City, is a resident of Los Angeles.
A federal judge ordered yesterday that participants in a controversial Fairfax County drug rehabilitation program be allowed access to their lawyers or lawyers hired by their parents on 24 hours notice.
Lawyers for Straight Inc., the drug program, disputed the need for the order, saying that that it already allows its participants such access -- a statement that was challenged by a lawyer who said that the participants may be "unable to speak . . . for fear of retribution."
U.S. District Judge Albert V. Bryan Jr. denied at the hearing in Alexandria two other requests by lawyers for Fred Collins, a 20-year-old Fairfax County man who has filed a lawsuit claiming he was held against his will by Straight personnel. Collins had asked that Straight be ordered to advise all participants over 17 years old that they are free to leave and to enjoin Straight from inflicting physical abuse on participants.