Why does Scientology, a tiny organization with maybe 30,000 worldwide members at this point, have so much money? As we told you yesterday, having tax exempt status for more than 20 years, combined with paying workers pennies an hour, allows Scientology to amass stunning wealth.
Which is why it has the ability to run so many retaliation campaigns against its perceived enemies with the use of private investigators and attorneys — a practice it has now fully admitted to in court records submitted in a Texas lawsuit.
We have another example of that kind of operation today.
Mike Bennitt is a former Scientologist who has increasingly become involved with recording events — particularly his stunt of hiring a helicopter to fly with Mike Rinder over the opening of the Super Power building in November. Mike has also been at every recent court hearing in Monique Rathbun’s lawsuit in Texas, and he’ll be in court tomorrow when oral arguments are heard in Scientoloy’s appeal regarding the decision to allow Monique to depose Scientology leader David Miscavige.
Like others who keep an eye on Scientology, Mike now finds himself being targeted by people who say they are “working on a story” and need information — even though the person asking for the information doesn’t appear to be a legitimate journalist.
This is a favorite tactic of Scientology in recent months. We’ve talked to a number of people who have been approached and asked intimidating questions, supposedly for a story that never appears. It’s not hard to conclude that these are simply more examples of Scientology’s “noisy investigations” that founder L. Ron Hubbard described in policies that go back to the 1960s.
Mike decided to share with us the e-mail he recently received from someone who, naturally, has no record as a journalist, and whose e-mail address doesn’t seem to work. You can see plainly that although he pretends to be asking about Mike’s friendship with Karen de la Carriere, he’s actually making it plain that someone has been looking into Mike’s own business attachments and history.
To: mike bennitt
Sent: Friday, April 4, 2014 at 1:15 AM
I am working on a story involving Karen de la Carriere. You apparently work in some capacity for her and your background is very important to show the variety of people Ms de la Carriere embraces.
1. Your business address [redacted] is listed at [redacted] in Irvine, which is a storage facility with no mailing address. Mail to this address gets returned by a dubious vitamin store not in Irvine but in Hollywood. Where is your business registered and is it active?
2. Can you explain your relationship with [redacted] or [redacted]? Is Mr [redacted] still your mentor?
3. Are you aware of a debt of $4,000 that you have with a former [redacted] partner? Do you have reason to think that the debt does not need to be paid back?
4. You recently trained as a Gelato chef. Does this represent a second or third leg of income for you or did you leave the social media business altogether? Is your work for Karen de la Carriere related to ice cream or social media marketing?
5. Are you allowed to enter the State of Illinois? Do you have tax liens in the tune of $100,000 or more? Is there some reason you cannot visit your parents?
6. Did you analyze your failure at the Chicago mercantile and is this the reason you turned to multi-level marketing?
7. Lastly, as a fan of Texas, do you have any kind words to say about this State?
Please provide any answers you please by Friday, 6 am GMT.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Michael is unfazed. In fact, he’s going to record a video talking about what it’s like to be targeted by a creepy campaign like this. We’ll post it once it’s ready.
Posted by Tony Ortega on April 8, 2014 at 15:30
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Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…
UP THE BRIDGE (Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43
SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING (Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46