Rod Keller keeps an eye on social media for us, and this week he dives into another Scentology infiltration that was hiding in plain sight.
On October 19 Westside Christian High School held a drug education seminar. Westside is a small bible-based private school of about 250 students located in Tigard, Oregon, a suburb of Portland with about 50,000 residents. The presenter was John Bitinas, who is a Scientologist on staff at the Portland Ideal Org. The students were not told of his affiliation, only that he represented “Obstacle Champion LLC,” an entity that does not appear on the Oregon Secretary of State’s web site of registered corporations.
School officials did not return emails or phone calls for comment, but students I spoke to were surprised to learn of his affiliation. “He spoke at a Christian school. I think he’s a Christian, is he not?” asked one. At last report Bitinas is a Course Supervisor at the org. In January, 2015 he attested to the state of Clear, meaning that he no longer has his own reactive mind.
From 2007 to 2012, Bitinas served as Director of Drug Education at the Scientology-run drug rehab facility Narconon Arrowhead in Canadian, Oklahoma. In 2013 he served as Public Relations Officer, dealing with news that a flurry of lawsuits against Arrowhead were filed that year. The photo below shows Bitinas at a 2011 meeting of the Stillwater, Oklahoma Rotary Club, captioned “John Bitinas, center, provided an overview of the Narconon Arrowhead Rehabilitation Program, which has a 70 percent success rate with graduates of its unique drug and alcohol addiction treatment and recovery program.” Critics of Narconon dispute their claimed success rate.
Photos of the Westside Christian event show that Bitinas is following in part the script of longtime Narconon staff member Bobby Wiggins.
The presentation put on by Wiggins starts with getting the audience into “present time” through a brief series of commands, such as “Look at a person. Look at another person. Shake one person’s hand. Shake two people’s hands at the same time. Give one person a Hi-Five.” Here’s what that looks like in a video of the talk by Wiggins…
And in the talk by Bitinas at Westside Christian. The drill is designed to prevent students from being stuck in the past, to take their attention off incidents in their “reactive minds”
The presentation included a section on Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s theory of how drugs become stored in fatty tissue. From HCO Bulletin 27 March 1990 “The Purification Rundown: A Long-Range Detoxification Program”:
It has been said that in middle age and past middle age, a body’s ability to break down fat lessens. So here we have, apparently, a situation of beings who have toxic substances locked up in their body’s fatty tissue and the fatty tissue is not actually getting broken down, and so such toxic substances could accumulate.
The theory being presented is that drugs travel from the veins into fatty tissue, can be stored for years, and are released back into the blood during strenuous exercise or stress. This theory was criticized in a 2005 report by the California Department of Education as being inaccurate information and unfit for use in schools. Again, from the Bitinas presentation and the Wiggins video and script:
Bitinas introduced the Emotional Tone Scale, a ranking of human emotions numbered and ranked based on desirability, and also a key theory in Scientology. A Westside Christian student told me “We all chose a partner and demonstrated the emotion we were given. The main point of the activity was to show us the different emotions that we can have because of drugs. He explained how one emotion led to another which led to another and so forth.” This Bobby Wiggins video discusses Narconon and Scientology’s belief that drugs can affect one’s position on the Tone Scale.
Students responded positively to the presentation. “He was such a great speaker, and he was also very kind! I gave him a thank you and a handshake in the end, and he had a big smile on his face. It was fun and informative. Some of my friends said it was the best speaker we had that year so far, and I agree.”
Bitinas also gave a presentation this week to the Portland Pearl Rotary Club on drug abuse. The club posted it on their Facebook page, repeating the false information about drugs and fat cells.
The drug stays in the body through stored fat cells for years. It is through the release of fat cells, that will re-release the drug into the blood stream and system, thus creating a cycle of addiction and stimulant depencency, even though the person has been clean for some time.
The Portland Ideal Org is hosting an event on November 3, “Cannabis: Education Before Use,” describing Scientology’s groups as “the largest non-governmental anti-drug education initiative on Earth.” The Portland Org is putting much effort into anti-drug “social reform” initiatives.
The anti-drug push comes at a time of contraction for the Portland Org, as the nearby Ideal Mission of Lake Oswego closed its doors. The mission opened with a celebration in 2014.
The mission was supported in large part by Portland businessman Yoav Gueron and his wife Anete, seen here at Scientology’s Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater, Florida.
Sources report that funding from the Guerons dried up when Yoav was declared “PTS,” or a Potential Trouble Source. The couple has not left Scientology, and it’s not known what might have caused the declaration.
— Rod Keller
Yesterday, this happened in Los Angeles
Leah Remini is a troublemaker.
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Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…
BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of L.A. attorney and former church member Vance Woodward
UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists
GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice
SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts
Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ
Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield