Tony Ortega is executive editor of The Raw Story and is formerly the editor of The Village Voice. He's written about Scientology since 1995, and has a forthcoming book about the subject. He continues to monitor breaking developments in the Scientology world from an undisclosed location in an underground bunker he shares with four cats and one of them wrinkly Shar Pei dogs. Despite his super-secret security protections, you can still reach him pretty easily by sending him a message at tonyo94 AT gmail.com (Drop him a line if you'd like to get an e-mail whenever a new story is posted.) [Header image courtesy John Rickard]
Facebook

Subscribe to our e-mail list

Scientology’s drug rehab network hit with lawsuit number 22 by attorney Ryan Hamilton

sp-175-palmer
Las Vegas attorney Ryan Hamilton has filed another federal fraud lawsuit against Scientology’s drug rehab network, Narconon. That brings to 22 the suits he’s filed against Narconon facilities in Colorado, California, and Nevada.

This time, the plaintiffs are Ricky and Jana Martin and their son Wes, who live in Texas. According to the complaint, on July 23, 2014, the Martins were looking for a rehab facility for Wes, and they talked to Dan Carmichael of Narconon Fresh Start.

Continue reading Scientology’s drug rehab network hit with lawsuit number 22 by attorney Ryan Hamilton

Does a judge’s order in the Garcia fraud lawsuit suggest trouble for Scientology?

Luis_Rocio_Garcia3We’re still waiting for a major decision from Federal District Judge James A. Whittemore in Tampa that will determine if Scientology can dodge a fraud lawsuit by insisting its former members have to submit all grievances to its internal arbitration system rather than litigate in a civil court.

But in the meantime, Scientology asked, and Whittemore granted, a seemingly minor request which we can’t help thinking hints at some trouble for the church’s arbitration gambit.

Continue reading Does a judge’s order in the Garcia fraud lawsuit suggest trouble for Scientology?

Jon Atack takes his presentation — ‘Scientology: The Cult of Greed’ — to Russia

Jon_AtackJon Atack is the author of A Piece of Blue Sky, one of the very best books on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. He has a new edition of the book for sale, and for more than a year on Saturdays he helped us sift through the legends, myths, and contested facts about Scientology that tend to get hashed and rehashed in books, articles, and especially on the Internet. He was kind enough to send us a new post.

Jon, tell us about your recent trip to Russia.

Continue reading Jon Atack takes his presentation — ‘Scientology: The Cult of Greed’ — to Russia

Celebrating two years in the Bunker: Jonny Jacobsen on Russia, and Sunday Funnies!

BunkerCommand2Two years ago today, we switched on the circuits here in our underground bunker. The cats have been especially needy this week, anticipating our anniversary, and we made sure and stocked up on kibble and booze for today’s celebration.

For those of you who have been with us since the start — and many of you who were with us earlier, during our days at The Village Voice (2007-2012) or even before that, at New Times LA (1999-2002; Tory Christman and Mark Ebner and Mark Bunker, among others) or even a few of you who stretch all the way back to the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999; Rick Ross and Jeff Jacobsen, for example) — we humbly thank you for putting up with our adventures into the weird world of Scientology for so long.

Continue reading Celebrating two years in the Bunker: Jonny Jacobsen on Russia, and Sunday Funnies!

Ryan Hamilton files lawsuit number 21 against Scientology’s drug rehab network

Roberto_ClementeLas Vegas attorney Ryan Hamilton continues to add to his total of breach of contract and fraud lawsuits against Narconon, Scientology’s drug rehab network. Hamilton has now filed 21 lawsuits against Narconon facilities in Colorado, California, and Nevada, and all but one of them in federal court.

The latest suit involves the Koslow family of New Mexico, and it involves very recent events. On April 3, 2014 Donna Koslow spoke with Admissions Director Nick Morrill about sending her daughter to the facility.

The Koslows were told that although concepts of L. Ron Hubbard were used, it was “completely secular and had nothing to do whatsoever with Scientology.”

Continue reading Ryan Hamilton files lawsuit number 21 against Scientology’s drug rehab network

Scientology prepares for its big party in England, Maureen Bolstad on the Purification Rundown

RidersSmallScientology’s big fall shindig, the October gala for the International Association of Scientologists, is making its triumphant return to England, and we have a couple of fun images for you to help you get excited for the big party.

Last year, you’ll remember that Scientology leader David Miscavige had a wild hair and shipped the big IAS tent over to Florida so the gala could take place in Clearwater. But now it’s back in England, and that just feels right.

Continue reading Scientology prepares for its big party in England, Maureen Bolstad on the Purification Rundown

What the Boston Globe left out of its story on Scientology yesterday

Will this vision of the Alexandra ever come true?

Will this vision of the Alexandra ever come true?

There have been numerous press reports about the sad state of affairs for the Church of Scientology in the fair city of Boston.

Like other cities in what Scientology considers the “East US Continent” (Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia), Boston’s pursuit of an “Ideal Org” has been mired in a struggle for funds.

Continue reading What the Boston Globe left out of its story on Scientology yesterday

Rathbun v. Scientology: Another appeals court hearing, this time with everything on the line

Monique Rathbun

Monique Rathbun

UPDATED with an account of today’s hearing, below

Monique Rathbun and the Church of Scientology are back in court today for a hearing before the Texas Third Court of Appeals.

In July, the same court overturned a lower court order that would have allowed Monique to depose Scientology leader David Miscavige in her harassment suit against the church. But that was for a jurisdictional question in a preliminary matter. This time, however, the entire ball of wax is on the line.

Continue reading Rathbun v. Scientology: Another appeals court hearing, this time with everything on the line

NARCONON DENIED: Damaging Oklahoma report on Scientology rehab facility will be turned over

Jim_BlandToday, Pittsburg County District Judge Jim D. Bland (pictured, right) agreed that the families suing Scientology’s flagship drug rehab facility, Narconon Arrowhead, should be given copies of a controversial state report that recommended the rehab center be shut down.

The report came to light when, last month, two lawsuits were filed by a former Oklahoma state inspector general, Kim Poff, and one of her former investigators, Michael DeLong. In the lawsuits, they claimed that they had investigated Narconon Arrowhead in the wake of three recent patient deaths, found evidence of wrongdoing, and recommended in a report that the place be closed. They allege that their superiors buried the report because they were too afraid to take on Scientology, and then fired Poff and DeLong when they complained. Their report was forwarded to Oklahoma’s attorney general.

Continue reading NARCONON DENIED: Damaging Oklahoma report on Scientology rehab facility will be turned over

David Miscavige, you’ve been served: Leader of Scientology will need to respond to NAFC suit

DavidMiscavige2What’s it like to try and serve Scientology leader David Miscavige with a lawsuit? We now have a pretty good idea.

Back in May, the National Association of Forensic Counselors filed a lawsuit against 82 defendants, including Miscavige, as well as various entities and people associated with Scientology’s drug rehab network, Narconon.

The lawsuit accuses Scientology of conspiring to misuse the NAFC’s logo and trademarks in order to make Narconon appear more legitimate than it is, and ultimately to draw more people into Scientology itself.

Continue reading David Miscavige, you’ve been served: Leader of Scientology will need to respond to NAFC suit