On August 3, 1976, Gabe Cazares, the Texas-born mayor of Clearwater, Florida, contacted the FBI with a complaint about a letter that had been mailed to several Florida Democratic Party officials.
By the summer of 1976, Cazares had been putting up with several months of intense harassment by the Church of Scientology, and he knew immediately that the letter was just the latest "operation" being run against him.
The letter accused him of being a passenger in a car that had been in a hit-and-run accident in WashingtonDC and had possibly killed someone. The letter writer claimed that she was behind the wheel during the accident, and that Cazares had been "a good guy" about it, but she worried that their secret was going to ruin his political career. The letter hinted that Cazares had been in the car for illicit reasons, which is why he had asked the driver to keep the accident quiet.
When Cazares heard about the letter from a local newspaper reporter, he knew he had to act, and fast.
2017-12-12, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Tony Ortega has a must-read article on his blog this morning.
Researcher R. M. Seibert obtained Freedom of Information Act documents from the FBI about the "ops" (the scientology term — short for operations — to describe campaigns against enemies) against former Clearwater Mayor Gabe Cazares. The stories about what was done to Cazares are horrifying.
But it's also worth noting the underlying POLICY of scientology that resulted in these actions against enemies of scientology.
2016-12-12, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Really — "give yourself the gift of giving us your money"?
They can twist ANYTHING into a reason to give them your money.
And once again, they are "discounting" their "statuses" to try to convince people to hand over cash now. Is a 3/4 patron still a patron? It is so absurd that you want people to give you $50,000 and you tell them if they do, you will tell them they are a "patron" and put their name on a list so they can have status with their fellow dupes. Then, when you want more money and things are drying up, you tell them "give us your money now" and we will reward you the same status everyone else paid us $50,000 for at the discounted price of $37,500. You are not buying a car here. It just shows that it is the STATUS that matters to these people, not the good they are doing with the money. If so, they would insist that they NOT be awarded a "discount status" as that is not the purpose of giving the money.
Leah Remini's A&E series, Scientology and the Aftermath, has kicked up a lot of new interest in Scientology, particularly on social media. So we're seeing a lot of great questions about the subject popping up on places like Twitter. (And we've tried to answer some of them at our feed, @TonyOrtega94.)
Naturally, people new to the subject tend to express amazement about some of Scientology's more bizarre space opera tenets. And a few Scientologists do their best to tamp down that interest. In particular, some church members are touchy about the subject of outer space "aliens" in the cosmology of Scientology.
Two years ago, actor Giovanni Ribisi, during an appearance on Marc Maron's podcast, said, "I have never ever heard of aliens in Scientology, and I've been a Scientologist all my life." When Maron then asked him if, in fact, the idea of "thetans" in Scientology was the church's version of space aliens, Ribisi objected...
Our video source is back to help us keep tripping through Scientology recent history. Last time, we showed you the first portion of the 2006 IAS gala in England. We would show you the rest of that celebration, but it melted our brains in boredom, so we're going to spare you.
Instead, we're moving ahead to the next big date on the Scientology calendar, and today we have the first portion of the New Year's Eve2007 party in Los Angeles.
After another patented 10-minute intro reviewing Scientology's accomplishments in 2006, leader David Miscavige once again comes out on stage to soak up the adulation of the crowd at the Shrine Auditorium.
A COURTROOM in Belgium heard final arguments on Friday in the trial of the Belgian branch of the controversial Church of Scientology over fraud and extortion allegations it vehemently denies.
Eleven members of the church and two affiliated bodies have been charged with fraud, extortion, running a criminal organisation and violating the right to privacy.
Lawyers said the verdict, which could see the Scientology church banned in Belgium, would land early next year, most likely in February.
2015-12-12, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Here is that "secular" WISE "non-church" organization doing what they do best.
Trying to sucker money out of people for scientology stuff.
Funny, they announced this "SMP" was going to completed and opened in the summer time.
2014-12-12, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Tony Ortega already included a bunch of this series of posters in his Sunday Funnies last week — but he left some out (there are 13 of them in total).
Two I felt were important as they highlight points made by David Miscavige where he sold the brilliance of his "ideal org" strategy.
Just think about this for a second.
2014-12-12, Catherine Carlock, Boston Business Journal
The Church of Scientology of Boston has decided to put the Alexandra Hotel up for sale and search for a larger space for its new headquarters.
The church bought the five-story historic landmark in 2008 for $4.5 million with the intent to renovate it for its new headquarters, and renewed its renovation pledge four years later. The former hotel is located at the corner of Washington Street and Massachusetts Avenue in Boston's South End.
What do you do if you're Jon Atack and you're already known for writing one of the best and most comprehensive books about the history of the Church of Scientology? Apparently, you do it again, but in digest form!
We're pleased to announce that an 83-page, 13,000-word e-book by Jon that gives an excellent overview to L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology is now available at Amazon under the title "Scientology: The Cult of Greed."
Atack's lengthy previous book about Scientology, A Piece of Blue Sky, came out in 1990, and after 1996 Jon retreated from the field. We noticed that he began to resurface in 2012, and we thought it would be amazing to make his acquaintance and perhaps interview him. But things turned out even better, and Jon became a regular contributor here at the Underground Bunker. We're still stunned at our luck.
If you've been following our coverage of Luis and Rocio Garcia's federal fraud lawsuit against the Church of Scientology, you know the suit recently hit a strange snag.
Ten months after the lawsuit was filed in January, Scientology suddenly announced that the Garcias had chosen the wrong venue for their complaint, because several of the defendants — Scientology entities which are trusts — have their trustees in California, where the Garcias live. Under a basic legal concept known as "diversity jurisdiction," those California trustees make a Florida federal court the wrong place for the Garcias to file.
But the Garcias complained that Scientology had sand-bagged them by waiting so long to bring this problem up, and they also complained that Scientology's information about the trusts and trustees was incomplete and confusing. And now, Judge Whittemore has agreed, and is giving the Garcias the right to gather information about Scientology's secretive entities.
Cruise's Scientology played a role, but only toward the end. Before that, there had been just one serious conflict with reps for the religious organization, "but it was taken care of very early in the game," says Kingsley. "I felt that they were involved in a story that I was doing on Tom, and I said: 'It's not your story, it's Tom's. You have to step aside.' And they did."
Later, however, Cruise wanted to be more vocal about his beliefs. "I did have that conversation with Tom, about cooling it," notes Kingsley, saying she told him: " 'Scientology is fine. You want to do a tour for Scientology? Do a tour for Scientology. But Warner Bros. is sponsoring this tour.' That was for [2003's] The Last Samurai. He didn't say yes or no, except he did not discuss Scientology on that European tour."
2013-12-12, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The masters of the internet and cutting edge technology (see Warehouse VIII and the state-of-the-art paper printing plant) seem to have a rough time keeping their website relevant. Let alone problems with credibility.
They finally just put up an announcement about the opening of the Ideal Org in Kaohsuing. Though it might be best to just leave the Ideal Org thing to die an unlamented death. This is the 4th "Ideal Org" this year — though the first since the first clear city of Portland in May, preceded by the bust in Pretoria and the non-event in CambridgeOntario. This is a big thumbs downstat from the claimed 11 last year? How come there are only ONE THIRD as many Ideal Orgs this year as last year???
You still find this on the webpage:
After all the new "Ideal Org" churches David Miscavige has been opening around the world in the last decade, there must be a giant surge of new members joining the Church of Scientology, right?
Um, well, no. In fact, the figures from the 2011England and Wales census are out, and they are grim. In the second most important country to Scientology in the world, only 2,418 people claimed that they belonged to the church.
That's not the only alarming number that came out this week regarding Scientology's fortunes. Let's dig in.
2011-12-12, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
My name is Eliana Alaimo and I have been in Scientology since 1987.
I did my Bridge both sides, Auditing and Training. In January 2003 I started OT VII as public and my training Level was Class IV. In September 2004 I joined the Sea Organization on the Freewinds. I blew the first time while I was doing my Class IX Internship because I refused to squirrel as a pc and as auditor as well.
As interned on the Class IX Course we were forced to do a lot of videos and receive our passes from RTC on the various Class IX procedures so as to demonstrate we were able to audit paying Pre-Ots in the HGC. However, instead of running the procedures and so really getting trained and becoming competent on them we were just flying each other's Rudiments in co-auditing and also were doing TRs; and those hours were considered "practical" training hours anyhow.
Somehow, we got nearly to the end of the three hours, when something happened that was really interesting -- at least to us here at the Voice. Miscavige started talking about a place we've actually been to and reported on. He started talking, in other words, about the new "org" in Jaffa, Israel, that is associated with attempted murder, two arson attempts, and a hairy new lawsuit. Oh, this ought to be good, we thought!
Somehow, Miscavige left all that good stuff out. We've taken about four minutes from the video so you can see how he characterized the new building...
This video section covers some of Sheila's experiences inside Scientology and her long, difficult road out of the organization.
She mentions Ivan Obolensky - at the time, he was the Commanding Officer of AOLA (the Scientology complex where Sheila worked).
2010-12-12, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
First, let us get some historical perspective. Here is Adolph Hitler's New Reich Chancellery, designed by his personal architect Albert Speer:
Now, let's compare the look with Miscavige's newest (yet to be announced) multi-million dollar monument to himself:
This edifice has been constructed and completed for many months. Evidently, as we visited at five p.m. on Friday, there is no production in sight. It is the culmination of a twenty-five year effort by Miscavige to wipe out dissemination and distribution divisions internationally. Since the passing of LRH, Miscavige has steadily worked to prevent Dissemination and Distribution Divisions from disseminating and distributing. First, he forbade them to originate and print promotional materials promising that a centralized center would provide them with such. Then he systematically prevented Central Marketing Unit from producing and distributing promotion to orgs. Then he destroyed the Central Marketing Unit altogether. Certain non-compliant orgs continued to do their own promotion and survived. Miscavige's answer to that is a multi-million dollar building proving no need for orgs to produce and distribute promotion. The proof of the intent is that the new building, like the orgs, sits idle.
2010-12-12, Jefferson Hawkins, Leaving Scientology
You'll never convince anyone that something works by explaining away its failures.
Imagine a scientist demonstrating his new invention – an anti-gravity device – in front of an auditorium of his peers. He tries to make it work, and it fails again and again. And each time it fails, he has another explanation: "the temperature isn't right in here," "there's too much humidity," "the planets aren't aligned properly," or even "there are too many negative vibes in here." Well, you'd see people walking out, disgusted. The man is obviously a charlatan.
Well, let's give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he did get it to work in his temperature- and humidity-controlled lab. But then he should have demonstrated it in his lab and explained its limitations.
BRONWYN HERBERT: Its status as a religion is fiercely contested, but the Church of Scientology is undisputedly one of the world's fastest growing groups, as Reverend Bob Adams explains
BOB ADAMS: From one church in 1954 to? we're in 165 nations now; we have 8,000 churches, missions and groups right across this fair earth of ours.
BRONWYN HERBERT: And that includes about a quarter of a million Australian members*. But many of the church's former followers have raised serious allegations of abuse.
South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon used parliamentary privilege last month to detail some of the cases.
*Editor's Note: (December 23) These figures should have been attributed to the Church of Scientology which says it based the number on its mailing list. The 2006 census found the number of Australians identifying themselves as Scientologists to be 2,514.
Unbeknownst to her, throughout the fall Tom had been writing on the Canadian website, Freedomain Radio, comparing family life to a prison, in posts with titles such as "Confirming the evil of my parents ."
The man running the website is a Toronto-area resident named Stefan Molyneux, who encourages people to cut contact with their parents, even outlining scripts they can follow in the breakup.
2008-12-12, Press Release, US Department of Justice
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit today rejected taxpayers Michael and Marla Sklars' argument that they were entitled to claim deductions for tuition and fees paid to their children's Orthodox Jewish day schools, the Justice Department announced.
The Sklars sought charitable deductions under section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code for portions of their tuition payments made to the religious day schools their children attended, asserting that those portions of the tuition payments were for "intangible religious benefits." The Sklars made three arguments in support of their position, each of which was rejected by the Ninth Circuit.
McCarran Airport is being accused of religious discrimination after ordering the expulsion of a religious group from a main terminal. Members of the Raelians say they were waiting for their prophet to arrive at the airport when they were threatened with arrest.
The court of appeals affirmed a decision of the tax court. The court held that neither Internal Revenue Code amendments nor their legislative history have substantively changed the rule under Hernandez v. Comm'r 490 U.S. 680 (1989) that payments to religious organizations for religious education are not deductible as charitable contributions.
"Flaherty stated he had taken Dowell's truck and driven it to Canadian, Okla., where he was trying to check into Narconon rehab center," Rudd said.
Rudd said he then called the Pittsburg County Sheriff's Department in Canadian and spoke with an officer who went to the rehabilitation center where the truck and Flaherty were located.
The settlement of a lawsuit against the Front Sight Firearms Training Institute near Pahrump appears to be falling apart. During a hearing in San Jose, the company admitted it had not lived up to the terms of the agreement.
Several Front Sight members filed a class action lawsuit against the company claiming it defrauded them out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. In an effort to stay out of court Front Sight settled, or so it seemed, until its lawyers admitted that the company missed its mark.
Perhaps so, but I couldn't help wondering whether this was the same Doug C. Dohring whose name also appeared on the board of Digital Lightwave when it was involved in a big mid-90s stock swindle - a case to which, oddly, the Church of Scientology was central.
Like other key executives, Dohring and his wife Laurie are L. Ron Hubbard enthusiasts.
I was flabbergasted to read your Dec. 6 Style article about a Scientologist who died very unfortunately. I just don't understand why someone who went psychotic three years ago and died in Florida rated a huge story in your paper. She wasn't a resident and had no previous connection to the Washington area, so why cover this old story? I am a Scientologist and have been one for more than 18 years. The Church of Scientology has helped me in school, made me into an advanced-placement student and helped me find a wonderful husband.
Shouldn't normal, average Washington-area Scientologists rate coverage instead of a three-year-old accidental death in another state?
-- Guineviere Stanard
1997-12-12, William C. Walsh, Letters to the Editor, International Herald Tribune
As human rights counsel for the Church of Scientology of Germany, I must inform you that Mr. Dornberg's statement is flatly incorrect. I have personally documented hundreds of cases of Scientologists who have been seriously discriminated against in Germany. In some cases they have been forced to leave their country and seek asylum abroad.