Jon Atack is the author of A Piece of Blue Sky, one of the very best books on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. He now has a new edition of the book out, and on Saturdays he’s helping 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.
Jon, we recently pointed out in our reading of a first-edition copy of Dianetics that L. Ron Hubbard’s description of a “dianetic reverie” sounded an awful lot like hypnosis. We got an earful from independent Scientologists who didn’t appreciate that comparison — Hubbard himself insisted that auditing was not hypnosis.
You’ve done some research on the relationship of the two. What can you tell us?
Continue reading Jon Atack on the Hypnotic History of Scientology Auditing
On Sunday, we reported that the Church of Scientology had put on its main website a photograph of last Saturday’s Portland “Ideal Org” grand opening.
The photo was posted along with a church press release which claimed that 2,500 people had attended the event. Our own eyewitnesses on the scene, counting people in images they had taken, estimated the crowd at more like 450 to 750.
Continue reading About that Scientology “Photoshopped” Image…
You just have to hand it to the folks in the San Fernando Valley. They’ve tried raising money for an Ideal Org with bowling nights and by selling doorknobs. And now, well, apparently it’s time for a little old-fashioned show biz.
For those just joining us, the Church of Scientology is in the grips of crisis, and is losing members in part from the endless rounds of fundraising to purchase new buildings dubbed “Ideal Orgs.” Church leader David Miscavige has made these projects a priority even though they’re replacing facilities that weren’t full to begin with. So local members, like the trio in this video, have to come up with creative new ways to convince wary parishioners to come on down for another round of heavy fundraising pressure.
In the Valley, that means trotting out reliable Nancy Cartwright and Jim Meskimen for a night of hilarity!
Continue reading And Now For Something Completely Different: Scientology Stand Up!
With its California Supreme Court petition shot down, Scientology learned in Los Angeles Superior Court today that it has a little more than six more weeks before it has to turn over thousands of pages of evidence that Laura DeCrescenzo (right) believes will bolster her lawsuit against the church. In her lawsuit, DeCrescenzo alleges that she experienced brutal treatment after starting to work for the church at only 9 years old and then joined the Sea Organization at 12. At 17, she alleges, she was forced to have an abortion in order to continue working 100-hour weeks.
After four years of complex fighting over whether DeCrescenzo had filed her lawsuit in time, Superior Court Judge Ronald M. Sohigian recently ordered the church to turn over thousands of pages of evidence that was contained in her “pc folders” — confessional material that DeCrescenzo believed would help prove her case. In recent weeks, the church petitioned California’s appeals and supreme courts in an attempt to fight Sohigian’s order, but as of this morning they had run out of appeals.
Continue reading Scientology Now Has Until July 2 to Turn Over Evidence in Forced-Abortion Lawsuit
Welcome to our ongoing project, where we blog a 1950 first edition of Scientology’s bible, Dianetics, with the help of ex-Scientologist, lawyer, and author Vance Woodward. Go here for the first post in the series.
Vance, we’ve now reached the longest chapter so far in this book, “Emotion and the Life Force.” We have to admit to being rather disappointed that L. Ron Hubbard, after finally tantalizing us with some specifics about dianetic therapy in the previous two chapters, chooses at this point to go back into theory with such a long digression.
Continue reading Babylon Surmising: Dianetics Rights an Ancient Wrong
Scientology strikes out again as it fights a court order to turn over thousands of pages of evidence to former Sea Org worker Laura DeCrescenzo.
This evening, without explanation or a written order, the California Supreme Court denied Scientology’s petition to hold up DeCrescenzo’s lawsuit. The church argued that forcing it to turn over DeCrescenzo’s confessional “pc folders” was a violation of its rights because California’s priest-penitent law itself was unconstitutional.
A similar petition had already been denied without written order at the state appeals level, now it’s struck out with the state supreme court, and the church has missed this session of the US Supreme Court. Tomorrow, there’s a status hearing on the case in state court, and we’ll see what the church does this time to try and get out of turning over Laura’s own information to her.
Continue reading CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT DENIES SCIENTOLOGY PETITION IN FORCED-ABORTION CASE
One of our tipsters knew we’d get a kick out of a viral video that is making the rounds of Mashable and other websites today. It’s an unusual video advertisement for a Los Angeles chiropractor named Ryan Lee. Here’s how Mashable describes it, under the headline “Creepy Local Chiropractor Ad Will Make You Wince”…
Continue reading Chiropractor in Viral Video Is Posing In Front of His Scientology Certificates
Last week, we reported the surprising news that Ron Miscavige Sr., father to Scientology leader David Miscavige, had begun to emerge into the public eye in a rather unusual way.
We learned last summer that Ron had escaped from Scientology’s secretive International Base east of Los Angeles after reportedly spending many years of his life there. And “escaped” was the word that Ron himself was using to describe it, we were told. We hoped that he would soon talk publicly about what made him run away from the organization his son lords over, and also how he managed to get away from Int Base, with all of its layers of security.
But for now, Ron has written a short book about his childhood experiences, and he’s also been posting videos demonstrating exercise equipment that he markets through the Internet.
Continue reading True Confessions of Ron Miscavige Sr., Father to Scientology’s Ultimate Leader
Will you be inspired?
[After our commenters showed up at the ABC site in force, the network has now taken down the video!]
Last Thursday, we told you about an interesting new federal lawsuit against a Miami chiropractor who allegedly forced his employees to take Scientology courses. Since then, other news organizations have pointed out the fun parts of the really remarkable press release that the EEOC put together…
“According to the EEOC’s suit, the company required…employees to spend at least half their work days in courses that involved Scientology religious practices, such as screaming at ashtrays or staring at someone for eight hours without moving.”
Continue reading ABC Features 4-Minute Dianetics Infomercial To Illustrate EEOC Lawsuit Involving Scientology (And Now It’s Down!)
Claire Headley is taking us on our journey to train as Scientologists. She and her husband Marc were Sea Org workers who escaped from Scientology’s International Base in 2005. She spent years working with Scientology’s “tech,” and was trusted to oversee the auditing of Tom Cruise. Go here to see the first part in this series.
Claire, last time you got us through Method One Word Clearing. And now we’re moving on to something really fascinating — the PTS/SP course?
CLAIRE: That’s right. I did PTS/SP course in 1989 at the Beverly Hills mission.
This is where you get down deep and personal with PTS/SP Tech — How to “Confront and Shatter Suppression” as it is heralded in the world of Scientology.
Continue reading How to Confront and Shatter Suppression, Scientology Style!