We’ve been telling you that Luis and Rocio Garcia are nearing another important date in the life of their federal fraud lawsuit against the Church of Scientology. They’ve asked to drop three Scientology entities as defendants in the case, and they’ve asked Judge James Whittemore permission to file an amended complaint (which they have submitted, and we previously posted).
In other words, they’re asking for a do-over, after it turned out that the two California residents had erred in suing in Florida three corporate trusts that had trustees in California. (The Garcias are suing in Florida because that’s where they gave most of their donations.)
Continue reading The Garcias take one more shot at Scientology before their fraud suit will live or die
Our man in Paris, Jonny Jacobsen, has another dispatch for us about developments with Scientology in France. Take it away, Jonny…
In the interest of tying up loose ends, here are a couple of items, both fall-out from France’s definitive conviction of Scientology for organised fraud last year.
The first deals with Scientology’s latest attempt to persuade people that the French state was the prime mover behind its recent fraud convictions, rather than the courts that actually judged them.
Continue reading Convicted of fraud by France’s highest court, Scientology still pursues creative appeals
Hey kids, happy Easter Sunday! We have a selection of treats for you to hunt down this morning, and we’re starting off with another surprising tax document that shows the astounding wealth of the Church of Scientology!
Jeffrey Augustine has been helping us find these gems, and he tells us this one is hot off the presses — it’s the 2012 return by the Church of Scientology International, the mother church as it were. This is again a 990-T form, which reflects “unrelated business income” that since 2006 even churches have been required to submit if they’re taking in money unrelated to their main purpose. We’re less interested in the relatively small amounts of revenue listed on these documents than we are a single figure that appears on the first page — the entity’s “book value.” This is an estimate based on CSI’s total assets, including real estate.
Continue reading Easter Sunday Funnies: David Miscavige has risen, & Scientology has more money than ever!
We contacted Google’s media relations as soon as we saw what former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder posted to his blog yesterday. It was a mailer from the Orange County chapter of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), the Scientology front group that advocates against the psychiatric profession.
The mailer claimed that CCHR Orange County had secured a “grant” from Google and would be receiving $10,000 in advertising each month, which would be used in the organization’s “anti-psych campaigns.”
Continue reading Is Google aiding a Scientology front group that claims the Holocaust was caused by psychiatry?
On April 1, a story at Forbes.com caught us by surprise.
It was about a man named Aaron Smith-Levin, who made a living in an unusual way. Forbes writer Nathan Vardi explained that Smith-Levin was becoming known for the complex and deep research he did for hedge fund managers who desire intelligence about companies they might want to invest in.
And it was how Smith-Levin developed his skills that was particularly interesting. Though he never went to college, Smith-Levin learned his craft working for Kurt Feshbach, a prominent Scientologist and formerly the manager, with his two brothers, of a billion-dollar hedge fund in the 1980s and early 1990s. Learning the ropes at Feshbach’s Falcon Research, Smith-Levin had led investigations of multilevel-marketing enterprises, warning investors that they were scams. One investigation had even led to a crackdown by the Chinese government.
Continue reading The rising business star, his mother, and Scientology’s attempt to rip them apart
Leah Remini and Tony Dovolani, during their run on DWTS
In her public appearances since she left Scientology last summer
, actress Leah Remini has talked about losing many longtime friends who were ordered by the church to “disconnect” from her and her family.
She’s talked about how stunning it was to see how quickly people she’d known for decades suddenly turn their backs on her.
Our sources told us that she was devastated by that reaction, and her family worried that Leah might also experience Scientology’s infamous “Fair Game” operations — intimidation campaigns carried out with the use of private investigators.
Continue reading Leah Remini ‘Fair Gamed’ by Scientology? Her sister gets a visit, and Tony Dovolani is tailed
More than a year ago, Luis and Rocio Garcia filed a federal fraud lawsuit against five Scientology corporate entities, alleging that while the Garcias were in the church, they were defrauded as they were constantly hit up for donations.
When the lawsuit was filed in January 2013, it seemed like a landmark case — many former Scientologists are in the same position as the Garcias, having given large amounts to the church and wishing they could get it back now that they’ve left.
Continue reading Scientology takes aim at the latest move by the Garcias in their federal fraud suit
With the help of experts like Claire Headley and Bruce Hines, we’ve been taking a journey to train as Scientologists. Claire spent years working with Scientology’s “tech,” and was trusted to oversee the auditing of Tom Cruise. Bruce was in Scientology for 31 years and spent about half that time as a senior case supervisor. Go here to see the first part in this series.
For more than a year, we’ve been exploring Scientology’s “Bridge to Total Freedom,” step by step. We last left off after Bruce Hines helped us understand Operating Thetan Level Seven. That leaves us with one final level on the Bridge, OT 8. We plan to dive deeply into that final step on our journey.
Continue reading Jefferson Hawkins helps us understand Scientology’s L Rundowns!
We’ve been keeping an eye on Ryan Hamilton’s lawsuits against Scientology’s Narconon drug rehab facilities in part because they’re so thorough. The Las Vegas attorney has obviously done his homework, and in the complaints he’s filed, he lays out the history of Narconon and its many deceptions with detailed citations. With references to testimony in other cases, he’s clearly trying to anticipate all of the objections and moves that Scientology has made previously.
So what does Narconon do? You’re going to love this. In one of the four federal lawsuits Hamilton recently filed, Narconon’s attorneys have complained that Hamilton’s complaint is too detailed.
Continue reading Scientology litigation always has surprises: A new wrinkle from Narconon’s attorneys
Is it that time of year again already? Tonight, Scientology puts on its annual celebration of SF and Fantasy, the Writers of the Future gala. The celebration will anoint this year’s winners in writing and illustration, who are also featured in another year’s anthology (see right).
Once again, leading lights of speculative fiction will pretend that this is not Scientology’s attempt to burnish its image through the imprimatur of the likes of Orson Scott Card and Larry Niven. Over the years, some writers have wondered about the veracity of assurances they got from the Sea Org executives running the event that it was separate and independent of the church itself. And since so many stories about the dystopic world of Scientology workers came to light in the last several years, those questions were getting more pointed.
Continue reading Sunday Funnies: The Writers of the Future and more success stories!