If only ISIS were Scientology.
On Saturday night, I witnessed a horrible atrocity. It happened at the Scientology center that has recently been remodeled, and has since reopened across the street from my house. On the roof of the building, there were about a hundred or so parishioners chanting “L. Ron,” and holding a Dianetics book in their hands. They all had their faces covered. At first, what I thought was maybe a Scientology party, for the reopening, turned out to be something very different. All of a sudden, a young man who didn’t have his face covered, and appeared to be in his teens, was tossed off the roof of the building.
I, truly, will never forget the rage and hate on those parishioners’ faces, truly never. Then, out of nowhere, a light from the sky appeared, coming from a circular ship, and beamed all of those parishioners into the night sky. I could almost swear that I heard the song “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins being played, as the man in his mid-twenties lay dead on the street. Rumors are he was a gay transsexual Jew who couldn’t accept L. Ron or Tom, and he was audited to hell. It’s tax season for Scientologists too.
All major media outlets were, and are still there, and the LGBTQ community has been holding vigil ever since. There are signs like “Tom is Hitler” written brilliantly enough on toilet seats. The protesters, in unison, have been singing “Staying Alive” and they can be seen burning what appear to be DVDs of Battlefield Earth. I have decided to stand with them and so should you. We need to shut down Scientology today.
Wait! That didn’t happen across the street from me. There are no protests and no vigils. But it did happen in Iraq, and was committed by ISIS. It happened, and it’s been happening. A young man in his mid-teens was tossed off a building because he was “different.” Or Isis so eloquently stated, it is acting against men who are guilty of “the transgressions of homosexuality.” No protests or vigils.
Why am I more upset by a gay teenager being thrown off a roof and then stoned while lying on the ground than by a gay person or protesting dance troupe outside of Ivanka and Jared’s house. This is metaphor and analogy delinquent, but what it does do is show you that left and liberal ideology is an empty vessel of absolute nothingness. Crying about Hitler, whining about bathrooms, and absolute fear mongering over unjustified fears do not equate to gays are being slaughtered. Where is your God D***ed outrage? Where are your pipeline protests, your HBO Specials, and your calls to stand “with”? Or, does it just not fill your empty narrative?
That you are more outraged over Mike Pence’s seating arrangements with his wife, and that you are more offended by coal than by those tortured by a burning coal, shows your absolute disregard of any reasonable and cognitive thinking. Yes, your issues are important, because they are important to you. But, as you are deciding and choosing whether or not to chop off your privates, and that’s your fight and right, think for one moment of your brothers who are getting them cut off. Not because they chose to, but simply because they are “different” and they live in a region where they have no rights.
So, yeah, Scientology is evil, GMOs will kill you, Islam is a religion of “peace,” and Donald Trump is Hitler. You have no rights, as you protest and live freely. But the Trump posse is rounding you up, and the pillow cases are fluffed and folded, right? Please, I beg of you to say that to the man as he is being tossed off a building after being rounded up by a gang of men wearing “pillowcases.” Put that image in your empty heads, or just dance for something, and “fall” for everything, or off a roof.
The company, Australian K9 Detection Unit, lodged a writ in the County Court last week, claiming the secluded Narconon rehab centre in the Yarra Valley stopped paying bills racked up from the daily use of a narcotics dog and handler in late 2015.
The controversial international drug rehabilitation program Narconon was founded in 1966 and is based on the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard, the creator of the Church of Scientology.
The program has drawn criticism for its focus on detoxing from drugs through the heavy use of saunas. It has operated at O’Shannessy Lodge in Warburton East since 2001.
Court documents show Australian K9 Detection Unit began providing sniffer dogs and handlers to the Narconon program, which was also run under the name Get Off Drugs Naturally, in October 2013.
Sniffer dogs were on site at Narconon seven days a week between 6pm and midnight, according to court documents, with extra late-night services provided on Friday and Saturday.
The unit was also stationed at the 48-bed centre for family visiting day on Sunday afternoons.
The security company provided “student control”, according to a statement of claim lodged in court, which involved regular sweeps of the facility to ensure drugs were not brought on to the premises.
A photo posted on social media shows employees with a German Shepherd outside the facility.
The security company claims the centre fell behind in payments in late 2015.
But dogs were still being provided until July 31 last year after the centre assured the plaintiff it would pay up “once a large donation was received”.
Australian K9 Detection Unit is seeking $158,767.75 that it claims is still outstanding, plus late fees. Small weekly payments of between $500 and $2000 were still being made by the centre when the action was lodged, the writ said.
The writ was filed against the Association for Better Living and Education, an offshoot of the Church of Scientology, as well as the previous secretary and executive directors of Get Off Drugs Naturally.
The program was investigated by Consumer Affairs Victoria in 2015 and subsequently fined after claiming on its website that it had a high success rate of curing drug addiction with detox treatments.
Clients are charged about $30,000 for a six-to-nine-month stay, as well as $260 weekly fees for board.
Association for Better Living and Education was blocked by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal in 2015 from opening a new centre in central Warburton after more than a year of intense community opposition.
In the decision, VCAT ruled the residential site was an inappropriate location for the centre, due to the program’s insufficient security and management regime.
The objectors cited 26 police callouts to the centre since 2005, including an incident in which a student threatened staff with an axe, a psychotic offender threatened to kill and an offender detoxing from heroin and ice harassed neighbours.
According to its website, Australian K9 Detection Unit also provides bomb detection dogs for government and private companies, including music concerts.
The company’s CEO declined to comment on the case on Tuesday. Get Off Drugs Naturally was contacted for comment.
The Church of Scientology may be getting its own 24-hour cable channel by the summer of 2017.
Several media outlets are reporting after a brutal year of public relations headlined by former member Leah Remini’s harsh depiction of the church in her Scientology and the Aftermath docuseries on A&E, Scientology Media Productions could be headed to Time Warner Cable, now known as Spectrum.
Scientology expert Tony Ortega recently shared the church already has a channel guide that highlights the network’s upcoming programming. In addition, at a recent birthday celebration for deceased church founder L. Ron Hubbard, current leader David Miscavige is said to have formally shared the news with parishioners.
Sources claim among the programming that will be featured is footage by Freedom magazine, at least nine hours of biographical episodes on Hubbard, a “Meet a Scientologist” series and videos about the church’s “Fourth Dynamic Campaigns.”
Besides Remini’s series, the church has also recently been forced to endure such unflattering depictions as Alex Gibney’s 2015 HBO documentary Going Clear: Scientology and Prison of Belief, each of which describes the church as a suspect religion that attempts to ruin the lives of those who try to leave the church or criticize it, with leader Miscavige at times even turning to physical abuse.
The Church opened its own TV studio last year in Los Angeles that Miscavige later described as “our uncorrupted communication line to the billions.”
Miscavige later justified the move by sharing “if you don’t write your own story, someone else will. So, yes, we’re now going to be writing our story like no other religion in history. And it’s all going to happen right here from Scientology Media Productions.”
Meanwhile, church members bitterly reacted to recent news that A&E had renewed Remini’s series for another season.
The former King of Queens star announced she was leaving the religion she has known her whole life about four years ago.
“It became clear to us that although we were telling painful stories of former members of the Church of Scientology, this show was resonating strongly with people everywhere,” she said after network officials announced plans for a second season. “The show is really about standing up for what is right and not letting bullies have their way. I feel it is important for people to know that you can take action to bring about change, both for yourself and for others.”
Over its first season, the critically acclaimed show averaged about 3 million viewers an episode.
Scientology officials have responded to its success by accusing Remini of falsely representing the church and network officials of paying her sources to tell their untruths on the show.
“Real transparency would be for A&E to detail all forms of compensation made to sources spreading religious hate and bigotry on Leah Remini’s show,” a Scientology rep said in a recent statement. “When the network cancelled ‘Generation KKK,’ the network claimed that paying sources violated company policies. Yet at the same time it was hypocritically compensating Remini’s sources with money and significant in-kind payments. A&E can’t have it both ways.”
Meanwhile, the first season of the show has already sparked more than just controversy. The LAPD recently launched an investigation into claims made by three women alleging That ’70s Show star and longtime church member Danny Masterson once sexually abused them.
Prior to going to the police, each of the women is rumored to have met with Remini, who encouraged them to meet with authorities and tell their story. Masterson has staunchly denied all the allegations, and a rep for the actor recently blamed Remini for all his troubles
Spectrum is part of Charter Communications, the second-largest cable provider in the U.S.
Tom Cruise gains 50 pounds to play L. Ron Hubbard in Scientology Media Production’s upcoming LRH biopic The Way to Make a Fortune is to Start a Religion!
In this series featuring the Old Guard Ex-Scientologist critics who Mike Rinder has fair-gamed, we turn to one Arnaldo Lerma. His Lermanet.com, was one of the websites I POURED over in 1999/2000 when I was waking up from Scientology.I am very grateful to Arnaldo for his courage in getting that website up in the early days of the Internet, keeping it up, and enduring the legal actions and fair game that the Church of Scientology’s Office of Special Affairs – led by Mike Rinder – waged against him.
Here is a great interview with Arnie, videoed by videographer by Burt Leahy:
I owe him a great deal. I would think that many Ex-Scientologists do, too – maybe even including Mike Rinder?
Possibly something for Mike Rinder to think about.
Here’s his donate button, Mike.
Hey Mike! Maybe you can send some of that Season 2 money his way.
Mr and Mrs Bellend being pretty shitty
In downtown Clearwater, Scientology’s bid for an expanded role is a matter of scripture
CLEARWATER — The Church of Scientology’s proposal to bring retail and entertainment downtown is a novel new development, but the recent rollout of its plans has a tone that goes back decades.
Scientology’s long-standing zeal for expansion and penchant for secrecy have manifested in several ways: the scale of its plans for Cleveland Street, its private meetings with elected officials and its hushed effort to snap up millions of dollars worth of property after promising the city it wouldn’t.
It’s an assertive approach that comes up time and again in teachings by founder L. Ron Hubbard and other writings. When it comes to handling governments and widening its influence, the church’s strategy is a matter of scripture.
In a 1961 series of letters on church policy called “Keeping Scientology Working,” Hubbard writes about skirting government approvals.
“Do they think a society in this shape will approve Scientology into power? Hell no! And to hell with this society. We’re making a new one. So let’s skip the approval button from a lot of (non-Scientologists) and settle down to work to make new people and better people.”
Scientology spokesman Ben Shaw said in a statement that other religions like Christianity and Judaism also seek to make people spiritually better, and he objected to a non-Scientologist wanting to interpret the passage.
The context of Keeping Scientology Working, Shaw said, “is something you could not be expected to understand, and your inference as to its meaning is both inaccurate and inappropriate.”
But the meaning of that and similar passages is just what it sounds like, said Mike Rinder, who spent 25 years as a senior Scientology executive before defecting in 2007. Once the church’s international spokesman, Rinder said Scientology leader David Miscavige’s retail plan for downtown is an embodiment and fulfillment of its preachings “to take over governments.”
“Really it’s not specifically Clearwater,” he said. “Scientology believes that they are going to take over the world. This means bringing everybody into compliance with the goals and objectives of Scientology.”
With the church’s international spiritual headquarters located downtown at the 300,000 square foot Flag Building, Rinder said insulating that footprint is a priority for church leaders.
If Miscavige succeeds and recruits retail to the struggling downtown, Rinder said he will instruct local and visiting Scientologists to frequent the shops. That, he said, would create a “perimeter of safety” around the Flag headquarters and the Fort Harrison Hotel, so parishioners can take courses and buy church counseling sessions and not have to cross paths with outsiders.
“It’s to create a buffer,” Rinder said. “It’s an attempt to protect what makes the income.”
In private meetings March 14, Miscavige described to City Council members his strategy to recruit retailers to empty storefronts downtown and bankroll a facade overhaul for buildings along Cleveland Street.
The plan includes building an entertainment complex along Myrtle Avenue with actor and noted Scientologist Tom Cruise. The redevelopment, Miscavige suggested, hinges on the church’s ability to buy a 1.4 acre lot adjacent to its 13-story Oak Cove religious retreat owned by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
In addition to the $260 million in property Scientology owns under its name in Clearwater, the church also bought $26 million in downtown real estate over the past two months through shell companies after Community Redevelopment Agency Director Seth Taylor said he was assured in October the church’s plan did not involve buying more property.
Mayor George Cretekos said Miscavige told him the church had to quietly acquire property for its retail strategy so sellers would not inflate prices.
But one of those properties the church bought through a shell company in February has no retail purpose at all. The landmark Atrium tower on Cleveland Street leases office space to more than 30 local businesses and is anchored by SunTrust Bank.
Aaron Smith-Levin, 36, who oversaw courses and counseling as a member of the church’s Sea Org workforce before leaving in 2013, said controlling sectors of society to push Scientology dogma is explicit policy.
“Once a (business) is known as being antagonistic to Scientology, Scientologists are told not to go there,” Smith-Levin said. “The SunTrust building is where a lot of local companies have taken up office. Any one of those who becomes known as being anti-Scientology … are not going to have a lease renewed.”
The strategy for bringing businesses and governments into compliance with Scientology is outlined in a policy called “The Special Zone Plan.”
Written by Hubbard in 1960, it gives the example of a Scientologist housewife who takes over a women’s club as secretary and “straightens up the club affairs” by pushing Scientology into areas like marriage advice — and taking fees for it.
The founder encourages members to get jobs like secretarial staff or bodyguards with access to department heads so they can influence the environment. He describes a police officer selling Scientology by “handling the familial problems of the commissioner as his driver or making the rookies gasp at how fast he could train them.” Soon, Hubbard writes, the officer will have “altered the whole character, ability and effectiveness of the police force” and, in time, change “the whole approach to law enforcement in that area.”
“The cue in all this is don’t seek the cooperation of groups,” Hubbard writes. “Don’t ask for permission. Just enter them and start functioning to make the group win through effectiveness and sanity.”
Shaw said the Special Zone Plan is “simply an idea of how to help every area of society to do better in life.” He said passages from the Bible also could be misinterpreted to infer ulterior motives of Christians working near government.
When Scientology arrived in Clearwater in 1975, it purchased the Fort Harrison Hotel for its headquarters under a false name with $2.3 million cash. It took a year for the church to identify itself. In the meantime, Scientologists ran a smear campaign against then-Mayor Gabe Cazares and other officials, journalists and citizens who questioned the church.
The operation was outlined in various documents, including “Project Normandy,” which described church operations to investigate everyone in the Clearwater area — from the sheriff to the city attorney — to determine whom Scientology officials needed “to penetrate and handle in order to establish area control.”
Shaw said the church office responsible for the Normandy plot was disbanded long ago for unethical behavior.
Karen Pressley, a former Sea Org staffer who left the church in 1998, said investment in real estate and retail is a strategy to make it appear Scientology has influence in the corporate world at a time when membership is reportedly declining.
She said Miscavige was demonstrating that influence by meeting with City Council members privately and using a policy called “safe pointing” to make area leaders feel comfortable with Scientology. That, in turn, makes it easier to persuade them to align with his objectives.
“Without a safe point established,” Hubbard writes, “it is a waste of time to rush into dealings with a government or to promise them anything. It is too easy to step on hostile toes and to arouse suspicion of you or make you difficult to account for.”
Pressley, a fashion designer, worked directly under Miscavige when she was brought to Clearwater in 1995 from her post as commanding officer of the church’s Celebrity Center in Los Angeles. Her job was to design new uniforms for the Sea Org.
She said if Miscavige recruits retail to the downtown core, and the general public doesn’t feel it’s a welcome place for non-Scientologists, it will still be billed a success within the church.
“My job used to be making Scientology look good in terms of the staff,” she said. “It’s the same concept with making Scientology look good with buildings. Even if people don’t come into the buildings, it’s enough for Scientology to show that they bought the property and they are going to hold control of the real estate. Scientology is all about public perception.”
In a 1996 article, the church’s Source magazine discussed goals for moving Scientology to the forefront of society and advanced the notion of making “Clearwater known as the first Scientology city in the world.”
“At Flag,” the article states, “we are deadly serious about making these goals happen.”
Shaw said the church is attempting to finalize its retail plan for downtown so it can become public. If those plans come to fruition and are released, he said they will be for the benefit of everybody.
“A beautiful, thriving downtown is something we desire as much as anybody in Clearwater,” he said.
Contact Tracey McManus at [email protected] or (727) 445-4151. Follow @TroMcManus.
… and finally, this happened