We want to thank our reader in Greece who alerted us to a pretty amazing situation. An entire 2-hour Michael Chan talk given to Scientologists in Athens had been posted to YouTube, and if we hurried we could get a look at it before Chan pulled it down (which Chan said would happen soon).
Michael Chan is such an interesting figure in Scientology. You see, church leader David Miscavige may have given himself the role of emcee and ringleader at Scientology's major annual events, but his rah-rah addresses really have very little content that one would characterize as "the tech." What we're saying is, Miscavige is no preacher. You're just not going to hear him give a room a speech about the wonders of auditing and what they can expect to experience on the OT levels.
But if you're the Church of Scientology and you need to convince people to fork over the big bucks for those pricey levels, you really do need someone to preach the gospel about L. Ron Hubbard. In recent years, that role has largely fallen on a single man — Michael Chan, who is constantly barnstorming around the world, giving what he says are about a thousand different talks about all aspects of Scientology in order to wind up the local rubes and get them to fork over the big bucks for the mysteries of the upper levels.
2018-12-13, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
I attended the premiere of Second Act last night and it is a movie worth seeing.
It's also why there are no Thursday Funnies this morning.
Second Act is funny, touching and uplifting without being corny.
2017-12-13, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This "success story" caught my attention for a couple of reasons.
First, the idea that it could be considered a "win" to decide that you could now help with fundraising is rather comical. Tells you what is important in the world of scientology. It is obviously a point of shame to NOT be participating in fundraising for ideal orgs.
But there is a larger point here, concerning scientology "success stories" in general.
JournalistEmma Best, at the Muckrock website, has convinced the FBI to cough up even more documents about the Church of Scientology, and in the latest batch there's a pretty interesting 15-page letter written by Ron DeWolf to the IRS in 1985.
"Ron DeWolf" was the name that L. Ron Hubbard Jr. adopted in order to distance himself from his famous father after he turned away from the senior Hubbard and his Scientology movement. DeWolf's family nickname was "Nibs," and he was a fascinating and problematic figure in Scientology history.
In 1952, Hubbard pulled his son out of high school to help as he was regrouping from a disastrous year of bankruptcy and divorce to start something he called "Scientology" after the failure of his "Dianetics" movement.
In 2013, The King of Queens actress Leah Remini filed a missing person report on Shelly Miscavige, the wife of Scientology leader David Miscavige, who has not been seen in public since the summer of 2007. Three years later, Remini has never received a formal response to her report from the Los AngelesPolice Department, which instead leaked news to reporters that it had checked on Shelly and closed the case.
Now Remini, through her attorney Douglas E. Mirell, has made a formal records request with the LAPD regarding her 2013 missing person report, asking the department to respond with detailed information about how it determined that Shelly Miscavige was alive and well.
Remini's request comes as her docu-series about her former church, Scientology and the Aftermath, has become a hit for the A&E network, where its first episode drew 2.1 million viewers and was the most-watched series premiere for the network in two years. Tonight, the third episode of the series airs, and press interest in the show is running high — Remini's records request is well timed to produce pressure on the LAPD to give her answers that she didn't get three years ago.
2016-12-13, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Things keep popping up showing the desperation within the bubble.
This is one of the strangest in recent memory.
Sharron Weber, the Captain FSSO — the woman responsible for moving every human being on earth through OT VIII, the first "true OT level" has so little to keep her occupied that she is sending out letters begging people to come in to do filing at Valley Org.
Last night, A&E fed the huge fascination for its new series, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath with a remarkable sneak peek of tonight's third episode. The network played the first fifteen minutes of the episode, which featured Remini and Mike Rinder explaining to executive producer Alex Weresow how Scientology's "Bridge to Total Freedom" was laid out, including the ludicrous prices that Scientologists are expected to pay.
We're super impressed with how Remini and Rinder have convinced a bunch of reality-TV folks used to less serious fare (Weresow's previous credits include Celebrity Wife Swap) to create a show that is methodically and systematically taking apart the Scientology story, from how it sucks people in and takes over their lives to how it rips families apart.
In tonight's episode, Remini and Rinder keep the education going with their explanations about how Scientologists must pay enormous amounts, often for courses that they've been forced to redo, or for books that they already own copies of. Members also pay ridiculous amounts to be interrogated so that the church has a file of their most damaging secrets. "You may be paying someone $800 an hour to sit and interrogate you," Rinder says. "If you keep doing that to someone, you get them to the point where they will say basically anything in order to put an end to it."
Leah Remini isn't done battling the Church of Scientology, which she left in 2013 and has been criticizing publicly ever since.
Following a bestselling book — Troublemaker, in which she details her life growing up in the church — and her popular A&E series, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, the 46-year-old is still working to combat the organization she claims brainwashed and indoctrinated her and abused other members.
Speaking in a new essay in the latest issue of PAPER magazine, the King of Queens star repeats her claims that Scientology is a nefarious organization, adding that she hopes the FBI will open a new investigation into its activities.
2015-12-13, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The weekly show where I answer questions from 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) How do the ranks work in the Sea Org? I understand some are permanent and other's temporary based on your job level. How does one get promoted in rank and when do you get real rank? I understand the former President of Scientology had a low Sea Org rank. Are their others who share the rank of Captain with David Miscavige?
(2) How does a Scientologist feel when the promised "super powers" fail to materialize after attesting to Clear or an official OT Level?
The saga at Trout Run continues as Scientology's property arm produced another court filing and let loose with a whine of epic proportions.
We've been following developments in Frederick County, Maryland where Scientology tried a stealthy move to put one of its Narconon drug rehab facilities in a rustic location through an end-around of local zoning rules.
Scientology, through its property-buying front group, Social Betterment Properties International (SBPI), paid $4.85 million for a location known as Trout Run, a decaying fish camp that had stood in for Camp David on The West Wing. Although the parcel was not zoned for a drug rehab center, SBPI learned that if the property could be put on the county's list of historic places, it could get a special exception as a group home.
2014-12-13, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Here is yet ANOTHER "seminar" on making money pushed by the "church" of scientology.
It's thrust upon the world by the "Senior Administrative Consultant" (whatever that is?) of the "new" LA Org. Obviously a Sea Org member, as everyone in LA Org is now SO, which makes this guy an expert on money — he rakes in and manages an annual income of $2500 in a good year.
Of course, what would a scientology promotional piece be without a glaring typo — commonly in the headline as here (also check out the copyright notice).
Intended to be read from bottom to top, this is the latest draft copy in my series of wall charts that attempt to explain the Church of Scientology.
Chart 4 argues that the weak link in the Church of Scientology is the Sea Org.
Jpeg on top; scroll down for PDF version.
Jonny Jacobsen Once again we have a special report from our man in Paris, British journalist Jonny Jacobsen. He has news of three new developments: Scientology's maneuvering has been cleared away so that a Belgian prosecution of fraud against the church can occur, an attempt by Scientology to sue one of its biggest critics in France for libel has been denied, and Holland's highest court has reversed and remanded a ruling about Scientology's tax exemption in Amsterdam. Jonny, take it away...
Belgium's highest court has rejected Scientology's last appeals and sent 13 senior members and two of its organizations there for trial, a Belgian newspaper reports.
Ex-Narconon Trois-Rivieres staff member reveals how he had to fight and scream with Narconon executive, Thérèse Sansfaçon, to help save a Patient's life and send him to the hospital before he died. Narconon Policy evidence and witness list is being compiled for Lawsuit filed against Thérèse Sansfaçon, Yvette Shank (OSA CANADA), Narconon Trois-Rivieres Corporation, Scientology Montreal, Jean Larivière, and others. This short Audio File is edited from a lengthy interview, and only one of numerous ex-Narconon staff coming forward willing to give statements and evidence.
The Church of Scientology is putting the Hotel Alexandra on the market after deciding to pull the plug on its long-stalled plans of restoring the blighted South End landmark into its new Boston headquarters, church officials announced yesterday.
Just recently we've had some changes in our programs - some upgrades have caused a need for more space for course-rooms. With that, our international office told us that the Hotel Alexandra will not work because we need at least 50,000 square feet," said Kevin Hall, a spokesman for the Church of Scientology Boston.
Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige must submit to a deposition in a lawsuit filed against him and two church entities by Monique Rathbun, wife of high-profile church critic Marty Rathbun, a Texas judge ordered Friday.
The ruling was a blow to Scientology's legal team, which had tried to keep Miscavige distanced from the contentious action. Miscavige has testified in only a handful of cases during his 27 years as the church's leader.
2013-12-13, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
A report from one of our Bay area Special Correspondents with some perspective on the recent events replayed in the local orgs. Not a lot of detail about the contents of the events, but an interesting overview of the state of these "ideal" orgs and their public.
One thing is certain — I recently listened to an audio recording from one of these events — the Shermanspeak has reached absolutely mind-numbing levels.
Voldemort never utters a simple sentence. Long, run on, convoluted wordplay peppered with "if that wasnt enough" and "not withstanding" and "not to mention" and all manner of other contortionist twists and devices. You literally move from one seal clapping pause to the next wondering what just happened and what, if anything, He said. Word are coming out but they seem to be some strange foreign language (Shermanspeak?) that has its own rules of grammar, sentence structure and meaning of words. Although I did catch Him proclaiming that GAG II "is the greatest recovery of lost tech ever" and it is "busting open eternity."
For three months prior to the celebration, city officials had butted heads with church leaders over permits, illegally cutting trees and other violations. The church paid fines and was cited by the city's Code Enforcement Board for a massive tent wrap that the city deemed a sign.
Cretekos said he wanted a fresh start.
UPDATE: Judge Dib Waldrip has decided that Scientology leader David Miscavige will be deposed in Monique's lawsuit. See our new story for the latest updates.
Monique Rathbun's harassment lawsuit against Scientology and its leader, David Miscavige, resumes today in the Comal County courthouse in New Braunfels, Texas, and we should be getting dispatches from both Mike Bennitt and Derek Bloch.
Judge Dib Waldrip will continue to consider Monique's request for a continuance — a delay in the case — so she can depose Miscavige, who has asked to be let out of the suit because he says the court has no jurisdiction over him. And that means both sides will continue to argue whether Miscavige was the kind of hands-on leader who would have obsessed over every aspect of the years of surveillance and harassment Monique and her husband Mark "Marty" Rathbun experienced (Monique's version of events) or Miscavige's version, that he's the spiritual leader of a thriving church and had nothing to do with the surveillance that was being run by one of Scientology's entities he has little do with.
Ray Jeffrey We talked to Ray Jeffrey, attorney for Monique Rathbun, who confirmed that Judge Dib Waldrip has granted Monique's motion for a continuance in her harassment lawsuit against the Church of Scientology so she can have the time to depose its leader, David Miscavige.
And although Scientology attorneys asked that it be a written deposition, Jeffrey tells us the judge did not agree to that.
"He has ordered the deposition of Miscavige with no restrictions. It will be a regular deposition like any other," Jeffrey said.
The Church of Scientology announced that it is about to begin renovations its Yonge Street location, according to Urban Toronto. No word yet on when the renovations will start or when they are expected to be completed.
Whatever one's opinion of Scientology is, it's hard to deny that the building the church occupies is in need of rejuvenation (contrast the rendering to a picture below of the building's current facade). Plus, a better Scientology building also means a more beautiful Yonge Street. So, um, praise Xenu, I guess?
Those wishing to get their Thetan level tested can still do so at the church's temporary location at 77 Peter Street.
The Church of Scientology announced that it is about to begin renovations its Yonge Street location, according to Urban Toronto. No word yet on when the renovations will start or when they are expected to be completed.
2012-12-13, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
One of the primary dangers of Scientology is the potential for, and its proclivity toward, the abuse of the confidences its members entrust the organization with. It is a most insidious operation.
Scientology counselors are drilled for months – and sometimes years - on communication skills that are designed to make a seeker completely comfortable with sharing her innermost feelings and every detail about all of her frailties and shortcomings. Scientology counselors are trained to overcome their own possible misgivings about invading the privacy of another in order to ensure they probe every dark corner of another's mind. The seeker is carefully indoctrinated that in order to achieve any gain in Scientology it is first and foremost necessary that she willingly discloses every secret, dark or light, she may possess. Scientology counselors are trained to naturally and thoroughly note for posterity every detail of the confessions that their counselees so disclose.
Scientologists are indoctrinated to fully believe that the ends of the Scientology organization justify whatever betrayal of an individual's rights might be considered necessary for the organization's survival.
For at least eight months, the US Department of Homeland Security has been investigating allegations of human trafficking in the Church of Scientology, TONYORTEGA.ORG has learned.
Since at least the spring, agents with Homeland Security working out of its Tampa office have been interviewing former members of the church who have information about the way children are used as laborers in Scientology's "Sea Organization" and other matters.
We put in a call to the lead investigator of the probe at the Tampa office, Justin Deutsch, who has been questioning former church members. We have not received a reply.
That meany Jon Stewart and just about everyone else has made fun of this video from America's favorite cute movie couple, Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsson.
But we know that our readers will have special affection for this darling Christmas carol that features so many of the things that make the holidays special.
There's the lovely holiday tradition of flying your private jet to see the kids, for example. Which of course reminds us of the heartwarming time when John Travolta gave up his private jet so Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige could use it to keep a church member, Ann Tidman, from reuniting with the man she loved in a daring 1994 caper, as explained by former Scientology exec Marty Rathbun.
2011-12-13, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
While I was out of town once this summer, Mosey had a lengthy, frank, off-camera conversation with the non-Scientologist minders of the corporate Scientologists who harassed us every day for one hundred and ninety nine days straight. Monique asked them "what do we need to do to make you people go away?" The answer was "Marty needs to stop talking to the media." Besides the fact that that unguarded, presumably honest answer put the lie to the entire "Squirrel Busters" front of being here to burn heretics, Mosey did not hesitate for a moment to inform the hired guns that their answer demonstrated the double-digit IQ mentality of their boss, David Miscavige. Mosey informed them that "Marty hadn't spoken to any media for months, until you goons showed up and made it an ongoing hard news story."
Apparently so much so, that Village Voice Editor in Chief Tony Ortega listed it first in introducing a year-end poll on the top Scientology story of the year. Here's Tony's summation:
1. Marty Rathbun besieged by the Squirrel Busters
2009-12-13, Jefferson Hawkins, Leaving Scientology
Just a quick note. An OT VIII recently had a meeting with their local DSA and a prominent field Scientologist. The message? "You will attack the Church. If you leave, you will attack the Church because that's what always ends up happening."
Desperation? Or maybe apathy?
Makes you wonder if the DSA or the field Scientologist ever connected the dots. Maybe people leave because they are tired of the lies, fraud, abuse and pressure. And maybe they "attack" the Church because the only way to effect any reform these days is to go outside the Church and speak up about the abuses. One certainly can't express any criticism inside the Church!
The Ninth Circuit yesterday affirmed the Tax Court (125 T.C. 281 (2005)) in holding that a couple's tuition and fee payments to their children's Jewish day schools do not qualify for the charitable deduction because they received a substantial benefit from their payments and lacked charitable intent. Sklar v. Commissioner, No. 06-72961 (9th Cir. Dec. 12, 2008). From the DOJ press release:
Casper, Hombre and Smurf goes to the Scientology testing center to take down the stress tests and bumps into our old friend Dan Murnan. This leads to a verbal standoff as Dan tries to outsmart the brave Anons.
We were there for about 1½-2 hours.
Number of stress tests given during our precense: 2
2003-12-13, Greg Gittrich, Special Report, NY Daily News
But the Fire Department has no use for Downtown Medical and its disputed detoxification program.
FDNY officials are concerned that many of the 120 firefighters who sought help at the clinic stopped using inhalers and medications prescribed by department doctors.
Fire officials also say the department has no proof that the clinic's regimen of moderate exercise, vitamins and saunas removes toxins from the body.
"Our doctors went down there and checked it out," said Deputy Commissioner Frank Gribbon. "Their opinion was this was not a detoxification program. We don't endorse it."
Van Susteren and Coale are Scientologists. But unlike members of established religions, whose own beliefs might seem improbable if they weren't so widely held, these part-time Clearwater residents are not exactly eager to draw attention to this fact.
"Washington is an extremely conservative place. Anything that starts to go out of the ordinary in one's personal life doesn't make it," said Coale, dressed in a green knit vest and red-striped tie. Van Susteren declined comment.
A state representative says he will look into a Church of Scientology organization's claims that the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health is condoning or covering up the deaths of mental patients.
Sanford Block, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights' executive director, made the allegation in a letter to Rep. Jeff Hamilton, chairman of the House Committee on Health and Mental Health.
Meanwhile, the Mental Health Commission was scheduled today to decide whether to grant a permit to Narconon-Chilocco New Life Center near Newkirk. Both the Citizens Commission on Human Rights and the Narconon center are affiliated with the Church of Scientology.
A Church of Scientology organizationis urging the Oklahoma Legislature to establish a stateagency to investigate abuse of psychiatric patients.
The Citizens Commission on Human Rights issued a news release Thursday, accusing the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health of condoning or covering up the killing of mental patients.
The commission said the Mental Health Department refuses to investigate thoroughly 11 suspicious deaths at state mental institutions.