2018-12-24, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
Three years ago, I did a video about Scientology holidays. This year I thought I'd talk a bit about what Christmas specifically was like in the Sea Organization, Scientology's core group of the most fanatical devotees of Hubbard's work. My wife Melissa joined me for the fun. Enjoy!
2018-12-24, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Fortunately, Fast Eddie Parkin, the head of STAAD League and OSA International old-timer (he used to be Heber Jentzsch's assistant back before Heber was "disappeared") cannot block everyone on Twitter.
Fast Eddie makes a habit of sliming people scientology doesn't like with his STAAD League account (@EPStandLeague). But everyone he targets is blocked from seeing his Tweets, and anyone who ever responds to him with anything less than fawning agreement of his assessment of himself as a genius is instantly blocked. This is such a cowardly way of doing things — but is a typical scientology tactic in the era of Miscavige. Miscavige has created an environment in his image — he dispenses with anyone who does not agree to his self-asserted infallibility. He hides behind lawyers and "spokespeople" (who don't actually speak) to deliver his messages. He is a coward.
Fast Eddie is employed as an anti-Aftermath stirrer. The success of his efforts is apparently not a factor, as he keeps rolling out the footbullets. It is always interesting to read his hate-filled drivel, and I find it especially amusing when I see him complain that "scientology's side" is not presented. Fast Eddie is one of the "go-to" guys sent out to deal with camera crews if they find themselves in a circumstance where they cannot just hide inside their buildings being keyboard warriors. It's amazing to watch anyone try to ask him a question face to face. He calls the police or security... so much for "scientology's side."
Once again, we got a correspondent into a major Scientology event. Our tipster attended Saturday night's New Year's Event held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Scientology customarily films its New Year's event a few days early, pretending it's actually New Year's Eve, so that the video can be screened on December 31 at its orgs around the world. Here's what our stringer saw…
This year, the metal detectors and bag search were at the entrance to the outside waiting and social area. In the past, the metal detectors and bag search were at the doors to the Shrine Auditorium building itself.
As always, a ticket and photo ID were required for entry. The tickets were individually bar-coded, tied to one's ID, and scanned upon entry.
The Shine Auditorium (capacity 6,300) was easily 95 percent full. I don't know if the church hired seat fillers. All I can do is report what I saw, and the Shrine has not been this full for a New Year's Event for years.
2017-12-24, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
David Miscavige would make the perfect Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dicken's, A Christmas Carol. L.Ron Hubbard would of course play the part of Jacob Marley, his deceased business partner who comes back to haunt him.
I cast Mike Rinder to play the Ghost of Christmas Past; Tony Ortega to play the Ghost of Christmas Present; and Leah Remini to play Ms. Christmas Yet to Be.
A slightly hunched over Guilluame Lesevre will make the perfect Bob Cratchit. Karen De La Carriere will play his wife. A young Chris Shelton has been cast as their son, Tiny Tim.
2017-12-24, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
The weekly show where I answer viewer questions left in the comments sections of my Q&A videos or sent to me by email at AskChrisShelton@gmail.com. This week, the questions I answer are:
(1) At Scientology international events, it often seems like individual org growth is misrepresented, i.e. "Org A has doubled the number of Clears made" when in reality they may have increased from 1 to 2 Clears made. How do the staff react when they know the truth and can see the facts are being spun in the best possible way? Do you think it leads them to question anything else?
(2) When you add the structure of Scientology, with a single person on the top who must be obeyed at all times, the camps with barbed wire and guards, and the gigantic arrogance that a lot of Scientologists feel towards non-Scientologists, would you say that there is an element of nazism and/or fascism in Scientology?
2017-12-24, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Thanks to all for your friendship, continued support and contributions to this blog.
I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season.
I won't be taking much, if any, time to moderate the blog. This evening and tomorrow are the most delightful and exciting time for the boys. I hope you too are sharing some joy with family and friends...
We're continuing to look back at 2017's most significant stories here at the Underground Bunker and today it's a flashback to April in our annual Scientology year-in-review.
At the beginning of the month, Scientology leader David Miscavige was piling on the personal attacks against Leah Remini after word had broken that there would, indeed, be a second season of A&E's Scientology and the Aftermath. At a Church of Scientology website set up to attack Leah and her guests, short videos appeared that featured Scientologists saying that Remini was a big meanie. And it was as laughable as that sounds.
The next day, we reported that David Miscavige was promising that Scientology would have its own 24-hour cable television channel up and running by the summer solstice. Well, here it is the first week of winter, and there's still no Scientology TV. What gives, Dave?
How's this for a Christmas Eve miracle? We asked Bryan Seymour to give us a look back at 2016 for Scientology in Australia, and he was good enough to send us this dispatch.
In what has been one of Scientology's worst years since LRH dropped his body to continue his research on another planet somewhere, the church has fared poorly in Australia in 2016.
This is despite rushing the September opening of its new Australasian Advanced Ideal Org in Chatswood, just north of Sydney. Horrified neighbors report buses coming and going at all hours as "staff," mostly flown in from Taiwan, are put through the Scientology indoctrination process so they can give up everything they own. (See my report on the opening here.)
2016-12-24, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
One of the bigger buzzwords in Scientology is "Responsibility." With a capital "R." If nothing else, all Scientologists are "responsible." In fact, no group is more responsible than that dedicated group working to clear the planet and save mankind. And no one man is more responsible than the rest than David Miscavige.
Or so he wants us to believe.
L. Ron Hubbard defined responsibility as, "the ability and willingness to assume the status of full source and cause for all efforts and counter-efforts on all dynamics;" and "full responsibility is not fault; it is recognition of being cause."
Has DM assumed the status of full source and cause for all the counter-efforts that's happening to him and his church presently? No way, Jose.
2015-12-24, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
Tis the season for holiday cheer, but was does that mean for Scientologists? What holidays do they celebrate during the year and how do they celebrate exactly? Since Scientology is all about the money, their ideas of fun and good cheer are a little different from everyone else's. I break it all down in this video. Enjoy!
On this Christmas Eve, we wanted to tell you about an interesting exchange we had recently with a fellow reporter.
This is someone who writes about Scientology on occasion, and for several different outlets. But recently, he tells us, things have changed. Scientology is suddenly getting very aggressive with the places he normally places stories with.
The negative press for Scientology this year has been relentless, and we're seeing media giants that once were cowed by Scientology's legal tactics now openly mocking the organization. Has David Miscavige suddenly had enough of it?
Chart copyright 2015 Jeffrey Augustine. Please attribute when reposting.
The structure of Scientology Inc. is rife with self-serving conflicts of interest by David Miscavige and his enablers both in OSA and private practice.
Scientologists must confront this fact: Their "Church" has gone criminal and is in an out exchange condition. This is a rip off per Mr. Hubbard:
Luka Magnotta was convicted of first degree murder yesterday after a 10-week trial in Montreal, and he was given an automatic sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years. News of the verdict gave media organizations another chance to tell the grisly details of the crimes Magnotta committed in 2012.
Magnotta lured a Chinese engineering student by the name of Jun Lin to his apartment with the use of an online ad for kinky sex. Magnotta killed Lin, dismembered his body, and then mailed some body parts to Canadian institutions with messages that contained political screeds.
Two years earlier, he had posted videos of himself strangling kittens, and he'd been the target of an online effort to track him down.
2014-12-24, Freedom of Mind Resource Center, YouTube
Ex-Celebrity Center Top person, Sea Org member, worked directly for Miscavige 4 years Karen Pressley (kapcomm.com) and Attorney Paul Grosswald, ex-Scientologist, speak casually with me in my hotel room at 2010 ICSA conference (icsahome.com).
2014-12-24, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
A message to the Flag OTC from their ex-SO "Dissem Sec." She is obviously well acquainted with the tried and true methods of "raising stats" through manipulating numbers, coming up with new means of "padding" and in this day and age, offering the prize every fundamentalist scientologists covets above all else: STATUS (bought).
This is quite an amazing message.
Hi to all OTC members,
2013-12-24, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
These people have totally lost touch with reality.
80 NOTs completions in a YEAR is going to have absolutely NO effect on the "theta/entheta ratio." Less of these idiotic emails might make a bit of difference though....
At 80 per year, or even 100 per year its 100 years to make their 10,000 target. Only 50 if you give them the benefit of the doubt that they have gotten 5000 in 30 years.
2013-12-24, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission?, JD Supra
Dynamic Medical Services, Inc., a Miami company owned by Dr. Dennis Nobbe which provides medical and chiropractic services, has agreed to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
It's that time of year, when we look back at the past twelve months and recount the highlights here in the Underground Bunker.
As you settle in for the holidays, we want to give a big thanks to our amazing commenting community, which grew exponentially this year, and day in and day out has made this place what it is.
Now, let's look back on 2013 and what made it one of the toughest years for Scientology in its history.
We're looking back at this amazing year for Scientology watchers, and over the next several days we're going to refresh your memory about what got our attention in 2012.
Of course, one of the things that made this year so memorable was the level of involvement of our commenting community, and we hope you have plenty to say as we look back at the stories that mattered in the past twelve months.
As March began, the Debbie Cook lawsuit in San Antonio was still going gangbusters — that first week, Scientology filed for summary judgment against her, and her attorney, Ray Jeffrey, pushed for discovery.
2011-12-24, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
(Image blatantly stolen from shoopers at WWP)"Finally, a country that treats its people right!" We had a feeling that this week leading up to Christmas would be pretty quiet around the underground bunker. And boy, were we wrong! What a crazy week, and it all started Sunday morning with our usual Sunday Funnies. But many readers noted that this week's funnies weren't really all that funny at all -- in fact, they were kind of heartbreaking, showing how Scientology still wants your child for complete indoctrination and manual labor.
Monday, however, we lightened the mood by reporting on our breakfast that morning with one of our heroes, Paulette Cooper. We related for the first time her story of being plucked out of a Nazi camp as a child by a mystery man -- a Belgian who spent the equivalent of about $2 million to save 22 kids from the camp. And this week, more than one newspaper in Belgium followed up on our story. Paulette is hoping that the coverage will help her identify her benefactor.
On Tuesday, we came back to the subject of "Sea Org Success" poster boy Denny Chang. Our new friends Melissa Paris and Ramana Dienes-Browning each told us that Denny must have joined the Sea Org at only 14 to 16 in order to be as experienced as he claims in the flier.
It's three days before Christmas and employees at a controversial rehabilitation center worry how they'll pay their bills, much less buy presents.
"Who can afford to work for free now-a-days when I have a family to take care of?" said Janet, a Second Chance program guard.
Members of Anonymous,
For the past year we have crushed Scientologys infrastructure, city by city, org by org. On January 10th, we crush their spirits.
On January 9th, at noon Eastern Standard time, we will send a message to the American government, one of the last refuges left for Scientology. At precisely noon, that Friday, every member of Anonymous must go to President Obamas website, Change.gov , and request President Obama and his staffers to launch an investigation into the cult-like actions of Scientology, and revoke their tax exempt status.
How to File an IRS 501(c)(3) Complaint
The organization known as Scientology has gone too far.
Section 501(c)(3) of US Code Title 26, which governs tax-exempt organizations, reads: (3) Corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes, or to foster national or international amateur sports competition (but only if no part of its activities involve the provision of athletic facilities or equipment), or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation (except as otherwise provided in subsection (h)), and which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.
Pooled large amounts of money for private individuals, under the pretext of religious donations.
Illegally brought individuals in and out of the country for its own personal and financial gains.
2008-12-24, Cindy Cohn, Electronic Frontier Foundation
The well-known Scientology protester Keith Henson has filed an appeal to the Appellate Division of the Riverside County Superior Court of his criminal conviction in 2001 of misdemeanor "interfering with a religion" for picketing in front of a Scientology "base" in Hemet, CA. The ruling was roundly criticized as inconsistent with Henson's First Amendment rights to criticize Scientology: much of the evidence used against him consisted of general statements he made online that were very critical of Scientology but fell far short of the sort of "true threat" required to overcome his First Amendment rights. The trial court also limited his ability to explain his actions or present contrary evidence. The Court of Appeal should take a hard look at the case and reverse the conviction.
Under cover of darkness Wednesday the troubled Second Chance rehab center mysteriously shuttled nearly 50 patients or inmates away from its facility just ahead of a deadline to explain who it's been housing.
Albuquerque police who put the West Mesa facility under surveillance said they witnessed the bizarre twist in the Second Chance saga early Wednesday. Later in the day the rehab program was under a 5 p.m. deadline to document all its inmates and clients to the city of Albuquerque.
2007-12-24, Ann Pearce, Letters, Seattle Post-Intelligencer?
A recent Associated Press article about the Church of Scientology in Germany omitted the fact that the German Ministers of Interior conference mentioned in the article did not vote for a motion to instigate procedures to ban Scientology. Instead, those officials recognized that there is no evidence whatsoever to support such a motion. Furthermore, federal Minister of Interior Wolfgang Schauble, in an interview with German radio, conceded that there is no legal basis for such a procedure.
A judge presiding over a lawsuit concerning Church of Scientology properties sold one of those properties to the church nine years ago.
Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Howard P. Rives said there is no conflict in his role because he has ruled only on technical legal points in the case.
But he acknowledged a potential for an appearance of conflict of interest, especially as the broader issues of the case are addressed. He said he wants to remove himself from the case before then.