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]
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Rick Ross has a new book that will help you get someone out of Scientology

CultsInsideOutBack in the fall of 1995, we noticed an interesting letter to the editor in the Arizona Republic. It was from a man named Rick Ross who complained that the Republic‘s story about a lawsuit (which had gone against Ross) had failed to include the most important things about it — namely, that the newspaper had left out all mention of the Church of Scientology’s role in it.

We’d read a little about Scientology and were intrigued by it. And the newspaper we worked for at the time, the Phoenix New Times, encouraged us to find stories that the local dailies had ignored or had done badly. We reached out to Rick, and it led to our first cover story for the paper. It also put us on a path of developing sources about Scientology, a path we’ve been on for 19 years now.

Continue reading Rick Ross has a new book that will help you get someone out of Scientology

New investigation of Scientology in France on criminal charges

Olivier Morice

Olivier Morice

We have a breaking news story from our correspondent in Paris, British journalist Jonny Jacobsen. What’s the latest, Jonny?

[UPDATED: See correction, below.]

A French investigating magistrate is pressing charges against Scientology’s Celebrity Centre after a long-running probe into the movement’s activities at a school here.

Also, Cabinet Morice, the law firm representing the plaintiffs, tells The Underground Bunker that two other Scientology organizations are still under investigation.

Continue reading New investigation of Scientology in France on criminal charges

Scientology’s Clark Carr: Those letters after my name were no good and I didn’t know it

Clark Carr

Clark Carr

We have a few legal updates for you today as we do our best to keep track of the many different lawsuits that Scientology is involved in around the country.

There’s more back and forth between Narconon International’s president, Clark Carr, and the National Association of Forensic Counselors. If you recall, the NAFC filed a massive lawsuit — with 82 defendants — against Scientology and its drug rehab network, Narconon, alleging that Scientology had been misusing the NAFC’s trademarks and logos for several years in an attempt to make the rehab program appear more legitimate than it is. The ultimate aim of this effort was to attract people into the program and then into Scientology itself, the NAFC alleged. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Oklahoma, because that’s where the rehab system’s flagship facility is — the ailing Narconon Arrowhead.

Continue reading Scientology’s Clark Carr: Those letters after my name were no good and I didn’t know it

Scientology attorneys ask Garcia judge — Keep Mike Rinder away from us!

Mike_Rinder3We mentioned the other day that Scientology had brought in a ringer for the depositions it plans to take in the next phase of the federal fraud lawsuit brought by former church members Luis and Rocio Garcia. We said that the Garcias, as well as former Scientologists Mike Rinder and Christie Collbran and others expect to be deposed by Scientology’s special attorney, Bert Deixler.

On the other side, the Garcias will be focusing on one deposition in particular. They’re planning on questioning Scientology’s “International Justice Chief,” Mike Ellis.

Continue reading Scientology attorneys ask Garcia judge — Keep Mike Rinder away from us!

More about the goons Scientology sent to intimidate Marty Rathbun and Louis Theroux

SmithStithWe had to scramble yesterday evening to bring you some information about the latest Scientology ambush video that former church official Mark “Marty” Rathbun posted to the Internet.

Now, some hours later, a more complete — and more depressing — picture of what happened Saturday in Los Angeles is emerging, thanks to the eagle-eyed researchers at ESMB and our own sources in the church itself.

Continue reading More about the goons Scientology sent to intimidate Marty Rathbun and Louis Theroux

Another Scientology ambush, this time of Marty Rathbun with Louis Theroux present

SciAmbushMarty Rathbun has been ambushed by odd Scientologists asking strange questions yet again, and this time Marty not only managed to catch them in his short video of the encounter, but filmmaker Louis Theroux can also be seen in it.

In October, Rathbun posted video of three top Scientology officials ambushing him at the gate of a terminal in Los Angeles International airport. He managed to capture a blurry video of the three executives telling him to get a life while carrying cameras of their own.

Continue reading Another Scientology ambush, this time of Marty Rathbun with Louis Theroux present

Scientology Sunday Funnies: What’s a little human trafficking between friends?

LtAndreDawsonSciWelcome to another collection of Scientology Sunday Funnies! Each week, we post some of the better Scientology fundraising fliers we’ve been forwarded by our great tipsters.

This week, we wanted to start off with something that our commenters have been talking about — a Los Angeles Police Department gladhander, Captain Dave Storaker, who runs a Twitter feed that’s about as smarmy as it gets. And the breathless way he promoted a “human trafficking” conference at Scientology’s LA headquarters was pretty awful. Scientology itself was investigated by the FBI for human trafficking violations in 2009 and 2010, and that probe was derailed for unfortunate reasons.

Continue reading Scientology Sunday Funnies: What’s a little human trafficking between friends?

Jonny Jacobsen: New Scientology legal setbacks in Belgium, France, and Holland

Jonny Jacobsen

Jonny Jacobsen

Once again we have a special report from our man in Paris, British journalist Jonny Jacobsen. He has news of three new developments: Scientology’s maneuvering has been cleared away so that a Belgian prosecution of fraud against the church can occur, an attempt by Scientology to sue one of its biggest critics in France for libel has been denied, and Holland’s highest court has reversed and remanded a ruling about Scientology’s tax exemption in Amsterdam. Jonny, take it away…

 
Belgium’s highest court has rejected Scientology’s last appeals and sent 13 senior members and two of its organizations there for trial, a Belgian newspaper reports.

Continue reading Jonny Jacobsen: New Scientology legal setbacks in Belgium, France, and Holland

Jon Atack packs a lot into a new short book — ‘Scientology: The Cult of Greed’

SciCultOfGreedWhat do you do if you’re Jon Atack and you’re already known for writing one of the best and most comprehensive books about the history of the Church of Scientology? Apparently, you do it again, but in digest form!

We’re pleased to announce that an 83-page, 13,000-word e-book by Jon that gives an excellent overview to L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology is now available at Amazon under the title “Scientology: The Cult of Greed.”

Continue reading Jon Atack packs a lot into a new short book — ‘Scientology: The Cult of Greed’

The questioner: Scientology brings in its legal ringer for a Florida showdown

Bert Deixler

Bert Deixler

We heard from a couple of readers who have been keeping an eye on the federal docket in the Luis and Rocio Garcia lawsuit against the Church of Scientology that a new document had been filed by the church on December 5.

We thanked them, letting them know that we had noticed it, and that it was not a major new development in the case. But it is noteworthy, and we wanted to explain why.

Continue reading The questioner: Scientology brings in its legal ringer for a Florida showdown