Scientology's very sketchy history in the Florida city of Clearwater gets a nice going over in tonight's episode of Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.
As Mike Rinder points out early in the episode, some of us may take for granted Scientology's incredible history in the Gulf Coast town, but many viewers today may be completely unfamiliar with it.
For Leah, it's an emotional return to a city where she was a child Sea Org member, something she wrote about in her book, Troublemaker. She talks about living in a rat-infested hotel dorm room with eight other girls in the year 1984.
2019-01-22, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The most common question we are asked is "What can I do to help?"
First, understand that your support of our show and on social media is tremendously valuable. Both to us and to let the contributors to our show know there are people out there that support the cause.
Second, if you want to offer help in terms of professional counselling or you have job opportunities or a place for someone to stay, please contact The Aftermath Foundation which is established to be a clearing house to connect those who are trying to leave scientology or have recently done so to a network of people who have graciously offered to help.
In the fallout from Toby Young's resignation from the Office for Students this month, it emerged that University College London has been unwittingly hosting an annual conference attended by race scientists and eugenicists for the past few years. This might have come as a shock to many people. But it is only the latest instalment in the rise of "scientific" racism within academia.
Researchers with extreme views on race number relatively few but, having languished on the margins of their fields for many years, they are now managing to push their ideas into the mainstream, including into respectable scientific journals.
Yale psychologist John Bargh: 'Politicians want us to be fearful. They're manipulating us for their own interest'
2018-01-22, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This is a page from the Int Scientology News "New Years" edition where they repeat what was said at the New Years event for the few hundred remaining scientologists who managed to ignore the dozens of phone calls, visits, texts and emails about attending the video showing of the annual spectacle of bullshit.
A big feature of every Miscavige Event is numbers. Strange numbers. Weird "factoids" that you cannot wrap your mind around as you sit at the event.
Marc Yager ("Cueball" to Miscavige, who loves calling people by derogatory names) is the master of this technique. It's an official "hat" he has of creating sort of impressive sounding numbers and comparisons out of very much less than impressive numbers.
We first heard from Katrina Reyes some nine years ago, when Jason Beghe encouraged her to talk to us for a story at the Village Voice. For various reasons, Katrina wasn't ready yet to tell her tale.
We've been waiting patiently ever since. And after you read what she's been through, we think you'll agree the wait was worth it.
Yekaterina Tihonova was born in November 1987 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, because her grandmother Nina had moved the family there from Siberia. But when she was 3 years old, Katrina and her mother Yelena and grandmother moved back to Siberia and the city of Barnaul, a town that is about as close to the center of the Asian land mass as you can get.
However, Narconon Arrowhead, where Murphy and three other clients died, continues to operate legally because the law allows only limited supervision from the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.
"I am very surprised they are still open, I sure am," said Gary Richardson, a Tulsa attorney who represents former Narconon Arrowhead clients and their parents, including Murphy's parents, in nearly a dozen lawsuits against Narconon.
Murphy, a former waitress from Owasso, sought treatment for heroin addiction at Narconon Arrowhead. She died of an accidental drug overdose at the program in July 2012. Her parents are suing for negligence and wrongful death. The case is set for trial later this year in Pittsburg County District Court at McAlester.
Rod Keller is on the case again this week, looking into Scientology's many front groups and their activities...
Scientology usually has its front groups hide their connection to the church in order to gain acceptance. But sometimes they're invited through the front door with full knowledge of their actual role. That is the case at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, which has been showing a video from the Scientology front group United for Human Rights since its opening in 2014.
The Center was built on land donated by the Coca-Cola Company, and sits between that company's World of Coca-Cola museum and the Georgia Aquarium in downtown Atlanta. Civil rights leaders Evelyn G. Lowery, Juanita Abernathy, and Congressman John Lewis were instrumental in establishing the center, which has on display personal papers from the Morehouse College Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. collection, including drafts of Letter from Birmingham Jail and many others.
We have some major stories coming for you soon. In the meantime, we wanted you to know that Scientology is having an open house! Yes, a week from today, our friends in Clearwater, Florida have the opportunity to visit the fastest growing church in the world to see how they do it.
And even better, the event will be held in that new little Potemkin village of storefronts that church leader David Miscavige opened along Fort Harrison Avenue recently. Here's the full announcement, as it was posted in the little local Clearwater Beacon...
Scientology center to host open house
Las Vegas attorney Ryan Hamilton has filed his 27th lawsuit against Scientology's drug rehab network, Narconon, and Jeffrey P. Ray, an attorney in Michigan, has added two of his own in just a week's time.
Endorsed by Scientology's most well-known celebrities, such as Tom Cruise and Kirstie Alley, Narconon was for many years one of the organization's most reliable money-makers. But recent patient deaths, negative press attention, and lawsuits around the country have turned Narconon into one of Scientology's biggest headaches.
Unprotected by the religious cloaking that has proved so effective for Scientology itself, Narconon is vulnerable because it advertises one thing (individualized drug counseling with medical professionals and sky-high success rates) and delivers quite another (Scientology training with no medical personnel on hand and no proof of high success rates).
A new documentary on Scientology and its ties to Hollywood premieres Sunday at the Sundance Film Festival, before heading to HBO.
The film, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, is quickly gaining buzz in the lead up to its premiere at the MARC Theater on Sunday. The film is based on the similarly named Lawrence Wright best-seller, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief and features vintage video of the religion's founder, L. Ron Hubbard, of Tom Cruise and other inside gatherings, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
2014-01-22, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Thanks so much to the temporary moderator who seems to have gone above and beyond the call of duty to keep things moving along in my absence. We had a wonderful vacation with the Headley clan and also got to see some old friends in Denver, including one VERY long time friend from Gold who I had not seen since I left in 2007.
I may be posting something here that is already known, I really wasn't able to keep up with everything. But someone sent me an email last evening enclosing this article which I found interesting. Not really a new story, but just further proof of the absolute tin ears of Miscavige and Sherman (who has apparently been quite ill — confirming what he looks like on stage). So desperate were they for ANYTHING to show at the New Year's event that they decided to go with a fairy tale about the the amazing expansion in Ireland. Miscavige is notoriously US-centric in his perception of the world. If it is not happening in his backyard, it isnt important. So, he paid no attention to the history of media coverage in Ireland. I would estimate that only France, Germany and Australia have had a more consistent flow of "entheta" media over the last two decades. All the more remarkable in that there isnt even an ORG in Ireland (though Miscavige made much of the astonishing discoveries LRH made in his organization in Merrion Square — the "PE" and that THIS is the great intro route that Miscavige "recovered" to boom Scientology).
Imagine if there were interested media in the other places He pontificated and condescended about in that event. The Mexican prison officials who had no idea they would be paraded by the "leader" of Scientology (in a video that was a repeat of several others that had earlier proclaimed the same thing about getting "LRH tech" into the prison system). They would be issuing denials as soon as they heard the word Scientology. Or the Italian Narconon people who have "cut the mediterranean drug routes" with a video that looks IDENTICAL to the two previous IAS Freedom Medal winners from Narconon Italy — the first was Gabrielle Segalla in the 90's. Or the Malaysian Government and businesspeople being "ushered into the 21st century" by study tech who had no clue Scientology had any part of it.
2014-01-22, John MacCormack, San Antonio Express-News
According to the lawsuit, the aggressive harassment by a bizarre church unit called the Squirrel Busters began in Ingleside on the Bay in 2009 and followed the Rathbuns when they moved to Comal County last year.
The suit claims Miscavige was behind the campaign, and as his lawyers made clear Wednesday in strenuous argument, he has emerged as the central figure in the fight.
The BBC's John Sweeney sets up today's court clash for us Monique Rathbun is back in court today in New Braunfels, Texas for her harassment lawsuit against the Church of Scientology and its leader, David Miscavige. Several different issues may come up for discussion today. Monique filed a notice to depose David Miscavige on January 29, and Scientology responded with a motion to quash the deposition. Scientology also asked Judge Dib Waldrip to reconsider his order allowing Monique to depose Miscavige. But the main action today may be Monique's motion for sanctions. She's asking Judge Waldrip to punish Scientology because its employees, she says, have been dishonest in depositions and because Scientology has not turned over evidence.
In order to prove that Scientology must have a great deal of evidence after surveilling the Rathbuns for several years, Monique submitted a stunning collection of evidence from a previous case of Scientology spying. When BBC reporter John Sweeney came to the US to make a documentary about Scientology in 2007, he was followed and harassed by the church. A striking set of text messages documented that harassment operation, and we expect that evidence to be a key subject of discussion in court today. For more about those texts, we're fortunate to have a piece written for us by John Sweeney himself. As for the hearing, we have Nick Rogers and Mike Bennitt delivering us accounts and photos of the action. Live updates will appear at the bottom of the post.
In Texas, battle royal is taking place in a courtroom between lawyers representing the 'Pope' of the Church of Scientology, David Miscavige, and Monique Rathbun, the wife of Marty Rathbun, the former Inspector-General of the Church and now one of the pope's most feared critics.
2013-01-22, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Blogger note: Op Ed means 'opposite of the editorial page', where views are published whether they align with or collide with the editorial positions of a publication. While it doesn't technically mean the opinions stated are opposite of that of the publication in question, the page is often filled with such opposing views. The essay below submitted by Tom Martiniano clearly is challenging the views I have been expressing on this blog for 4 years and in my book What Is Wrong With Scientology? and probably is best characterized as an Op Ed. I happen to know it represents the views of at least a handful of others who are not so bold as Tom to express their positions despite my continuing invitations that they do so. It is my hope that some of those folk muster the courage to pipe up here. Tom and I have something in common - beyond Scientology - that makes me appreciate him and his views. We have both been on the wrong end of a gun on more than one occasion and lived to express our views. Nonetheless, I will likely soon post clarifying precisely where I part company with his viewpoints (attempting to succinctly sum up what I have been attempting to do here for 4 years). In the meantime, I would love to hear your views.
L Ron Hubbard
For four years now I have been an "Independent Scientologist", a title borne of the blog "Moving up a Little Higher", owned and penned almost every day by Marty Rathbun.
This report from CNN today gives you an indication of how the Church of Scientology is fighting back at Larry Wright's book, Going Clear. It's really quite entertaining. And should be even more so when, we hear, Wright appears on Anderson Cooper 360 tonight. Let's all tune in! (Go here if you can't get enough of the hilariously huffy lawyer letters that Scientology has sent CNN.)
Also, we hear that a major new Scientology story is going to break tomorrow, but we can't say anything about it yet. We're full of secrets today.
So we'll take this brief lull to catch up on some of the items that have reached the bunker while we've been dealing with so many recent emergencies.
2012-01-22, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Scientologists don'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...
Another creative come-on from the folks in South Africa! Last week we marveled at their Arabian Nights stylings, this week they thrill us with the "thrill" of...fundraising? Ahem. Well, there's still time to sign up for next week's fun -- we're sure it will be a gas!
2011-01-22, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
They say everything is bigger in Texas. I think they meant in Italy. Check out below what's happening there. If you read Italian you can learn more at: http://indipendologo.wordpress.com/
With this letter of resignation myself Giovanni Servalli, my wife Giovanna Ongaro and our son Luca are hereby announcing our leaving the current Church of Scientology because we have observed for a long time, it has not been working as planned by Ron.
We applied "Look don't Listen" and we arrived to the conclusion that the head of the Church David Miscavige is a Suppressive Person.
Psychopath, conman, liar, fantasist, fraudster, bully, tax evader, megalomaniac – it's fair to say L Ron Hubbard's death was a blow to global humanitarianism. Happily, there is a silver lining to the cloud that has hung over Earth since the founder of Scientology shed his corporeal form in 1986. That silver- lining is the high profile, expansionist figures who represent his organisation today – and the good news is that they're turning their thoughts to Haiti.
Were an idiot like you to itemise the myriad things that this most wretched of disaster zones currently lacked, chances are you'd omit "militant Scientologists who claim post-traumatic stress is a conspiracy created by the evil psychiatric profession, and who believe the correct response to extreme shock is to touch sufferers with one finger, before attempting to convert them to the ways of Hubbard".
All I can say is, thank God for John Travolta. The Wild Hogs legend has unveiled his response to the unfolding crisis, announcing: "I have arranged for a plane to take down some Volunteer Ministers and some supplies and some medics." For the medics and supplies John must obviously be thanked, but for the Volunteer Ministers – arriving in Haiti via Air Travolta along with scores from other Scientology churches – the same cannot be said.
A former senior writer in the Church of Scientology's "Central Marketing Unit" has left the organization to join a dissident group of independent Scientologists. A rambling account of Steve Hall's life inside Scientology's headquarters can be found on Rediscover Scientology, the dissident group's web site.
Rep. Ted Hoskins, a Democrat from Berkeley, will speak at an anti-psychiatry exhibit sponsored by a group affiliated with the Church of Scientology.
Hoskins will introduce "Psychiatry: An Industry of Death" at the Jamestown Mall in Florissant on Saturday afternoon.
The touring exhibit, which made an appearance earlier this week in the Capitol rotunda in Jefferson City, has been put together by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, which was founded by Scientologists to further the group's views on psychiatry.
The biography – Tom Cruise, An unauthorised biography by the almost-as-famous British author Andrew Morton – is, according to the Church of Scientology, nothing more than a tissue of lies and, in accord with the church's standard operating procedures, no effort has been spared to disparage book and author.
But Australian readers won't get the chance to make up their own minds. Aware of the church's litigious approach to anything critical of its beliefs or philosophies, Australian publishers and distributors have decided it's not worth the trouble to stock the volume. So, whether the Cruise book would have been a best seller here, we'll never know.
The video of Cruise enthusiastically endorsing Scientology, and his own role in it, as the panacea for all the world's ills is a different matter. Various edited and unedited versions of it are on the internet.
But on to the actual celeb scoop. After a 1991 article in Time came out claiming John Travolta was being held hostage in the church, scared that by defecting, they'd reveal everything he'd confessed to them about his homosexuality, he announced his engagement to Kelly Preston two days later. 17 years later, he's still a proud card-carrying member.
Knopp said: "It may be the case that Cruise's delivery style is not uncommon in certain religious movements in the U.S.
"But for Germans with an interest in history, that scene where he asks whether the Scientologists should clean up the world and everyone shouts 'yes' is inevitably reminiscent of Goebbels' notorious speech."
British author Andrew Morton - is, according to the Church of Scientology, nothing more than a tissue of lies and, in accord with the church's standard operating procedures, no effort has been spared to disparage book and author.
But Australian readers won't get the chance to make up their own minds. Aware of the church's litigious approach to anything critical of its beliefs or philosophies, Australian publishers and distributors have decided it's not worth the trouble to stock the volume. So, whether the Cruise book would have been a best seller here, we"ll never know.
A CONTROVERSIAL Scientology orientation film which was pulled from websites after it provoked outrage has been leaked onto the web.
The film - which makes accusations that the US Government has tried to "steal" Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard's work - is called Orientation: A Scientology Information Film.
And the footage also alleges that the US Government has spent millions of dollars on mind control techniques.
A SCIENTOLOGY orientation film which accuses the US Government of spending millions on mind control techniques and attempting to "steal" church founder L. Ron Hubbard's work has reappeared online.
The grainy 36-minute video, entitled Orientation: A Scientology Information Film, appeared to have been uploaded after being captured by a handheld camera from inside one of the church's introductory sessions.
A copy of the e-mail was forwarded to Mohave Mental Health. Dr. Ernest Harman, director of inpatient psychiatry, responded to it.
"First of all, you have to recognize where (CCHR) is coming from," Harman said. "They're a mouthpiece for the Church of Scientology, which is big on anti-psychiatry drugs.
2007-01-22, Boston University School of Public Health
Second Chance is the only Scientology-based treatment center for inmates in the U.S. A former chief district judge from Albuquerque, W. John Brennan, is a paid consultant hired to promote the program to his former colleagues. But the current chief district judge, William Lang, doesn't want judges to make referrals to the program, saying he is suspicious of its relationship with the Church of Scientology even though program officials say there is no link.
Brennan was arrested four years ago and charged with drunk driving and cocaine possession. He first sought treatment at the Betty Ford Center, but later tried Scientology. Judge Lang also has battled alcoholism and attends 12-step meetings.
Randall Suggs, a Scientologist who is part owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball teams, had provided $300,000 to launch the program, and the state of New Mexico contributed $300,000. Second Chance later received $350,000 in federal funds, but that money is about to run out. Brennan has appeared before the state legislature to request $3.6 million to fund the program.
1988-01-22, Richard Danielson, St. Petersburg Times
Allweiss also participated in a state-wide grand jury investigation into drug-smuggling and an investigation involving the Church of Scientology.
In addition to handling of high-profile cases as a prosecutor and defense attorney, Allweiss has been the victim of violent crime.
In June 1983, Allweiss had just arrived at work in St. Petersburg and was stepping from his black Ferarri when a former client, Charles "Chick" Plummer, ambushed him with a .38-caliber pistol.
Confidential documents from various Ontario Government offices including an attorney-general's communication about police intelligence operations have been found in U.S. Church of Scientology files.
The documents were part of the evidence submitted by federal attorneys in the Washington prosecution of U.S. leaders of the cult on charges of conspiring to steal government documents and obstruct justice by coverups and by kidnapping an informer.