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In court today: Flop filmmakers who met in Scientology face 75 years for Ponzi scheme

sewardsoref

[Michelle Seward and Dror Soref]

In Los Angeles Superior Court today, a preliminary hearing is scheduled in the criminal prosecution of two defendants with ties to Scientology who face 75 years in prison each for a bizarre illegal scheme to fund a failed 2009 Simon Baker film, Not Forgotten.

Director Dror Soref and his insurer, Michelle Seward, face 72 criminal counts for running a Ponzi scheme by convincing investors to put up money for the movie that raised about $21.5 million, some of which was used to pay earlier investors. As the Los Angeles Times described it last year…

They were charged with 56 counts of securities fraud, 15 counts of sale of unregistered securities and one count of using a device to defraud a securities transaction. Authorities accuse the pair of operating the scam for three years from 2007 to 2010 and luring in nearly 140 investors, many of them elderly. One victim lost nearly $400,000, prosecutors allege.

What the Times didn’t mention, however, is that Seward and Soref had gotten to know each other through Scientology. Both were longtime church members; Seward had not only raised money for Soref’s film but had also invested in her friend Kirstie Alley’s short lived diet supplement business, Organic Liaison. (Alley was a defendant in at least one of the lawsuits filed against Seward and Soref after the movie flopped.) Another longtime Scientologist, actor Jim Meskimen, plays a role in the film.

Despite a few good reviews and the participation of Simon Baker, Chloë Grace Moretz, and Paz Vega, Not Forgotten ran in only four U.S. theaters and took in only about $54,000. It made another $88,000 internationally. And this was after investors had been told to expect amazing returns of 10 to 18 percent.

 

[Scenes from the movie’s opening night in Los Angeles in 2009]

 
Seward reached out to us a few years ago, wanting to tell her side of the story about how she’d gotten mixed up with Soref, about what happened with the movie, and about the resulting lawsuits and bankruptcies after the film flopped. She blamed Soref for the film’s failure, claimed to have had her clients’ best interests at heart, and said she was trying to make them whole with a special trust she’d set up. But then, in 2015, she and Soref were arrested, and by then she’d stopped answering our phone calls.

Until she stopped talking to us, she had wanted us to write that the real story was that she was doing her best to help her investors get their money back, but it was the Church of Scientology that was encouraging California’s Department of Insurance to pursue an investigation of her. And the reason Scientology wanted to see her sued by the state and prosecuted criminally, she told us, was for retaliation after Michelle came out publicly as a lesbian in 2009 and the church then excommunicated her.

She provides some of these details in a website she put up in January 2015 after a lawsuit filed against her and Soref by the Department of Insurance was settled. In that telling, she says that it was her volunteer work with a Scientology front group, Youth for Human Rights, that first introduced her to Soref.

She claims that Soref convinced her that his film project was a sure thing because it already had basic financing and an international distribution deal. Seward agreed to begin introducing her insurance clients to Soref and the film project, but she admitted that Hollywood was new to her and she was “out of her depth.”

Meanwhile, Seward says she was becoming disillusioned with Scientology because it kept asking members to pay for updated “technology” that they’d already paid for, and also because of the organization’s homophobia. Seward’s marriage had ended while she was raising young twins and her two other children. She then began dating a woman who is a successful performer in the entertainment industry (Seward asked us not to reveal the woman’s identity). Seward writes at her website that her mother, also a Scientologist, first tipped her off that the church was beginning to investigate her because she was breaking away and had come out publicly as gay.

Speaking of herself in the third person, Seward’s website makes the suggestion that Scientology’s involvement led to her being sued (and now facing prison)…

Coincident? Seward speaks out against the Church and an internal investigation is launched in 2010. Seward leaves the church and finds herself and her companies being investigated by the CA Department of Corporations by early 2011 and Soref then walks away from the companies and files bankruptcy. At this time, the CA Department of Insurance starts an investigation on Seward and uses Soref’s statements as “evidence” against Seward.

Seward hasn’t updated the website since her arrest. According to the Los Angeles Times story on the case last year, prosecutors are trying to prove that Seward and Soref both knew that they were defrauding investors.

After the film’s completion, Seward and Soref solicited more funds from investors to produce several films through a company called Windsor Pictures LLC. However, money used to form Windsor Pictures was instead used to pay back investors in the movie flop. The alleged scheme is thought to be among the most elaborate film investment frauds the department has investigated.

And there’s one more twist in this bizarre story. We learned recently that a Pulitzer Prize-winning author is scheduled to come out with a book on Seward this spring. We have a feeling the ending on that book won’t be finished, however, until Seward’s fate in court is revealed. And with a preliminary hearing happening today, that may still be quite a ways off.

 
——————–

3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on November 15, 2016 at 07:00

E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information about the book, and our 2015 book tour, can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

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

 

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  • Rasha

    If they’d stayed in Scientology, they could claim this is religious persecution against ecclesiastical practices, and get away with it… just sayin’…

  • Panopea Abrupta

    Joni wrote a song about $cientologists’ proclivity for scams,
    A Ponzi scheme?
    Hell, yeah – it could pay for my Bridge

    Both Sides Now

    I’ve looked at clowns from both sides now
    From up and down and still somehow
    It’s clowns’ delusions I recall
    I really don’t know clowns at all.

    I’ve looked at lies from both sides now
    From up and down and still somehow
    It’s lies’ delusions I recall
    I really don’t know lies at all.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8e2ca86a6fd30dcb3b981a7f10b3ec7c16c5a2802d5699579993b371f7d7b04e.jpg

    • salin

      Well done. Am perplexed by the image – haydinosaur? Haypopotomus? Haypy Hippo?

      • A straw T-Rex?

      • Robert Hanna Moore

        Hungry Hungry Hippo (thalidomide birth defect limited edition).

    • PickAnotherID

      Tyranno-Hayfever Rex

    • ze moo

      Is the guy peeing on the monster? Or just avoiding dog poo?

  • LongtimeLurker

    Dror!

    Skip and I were just talking about him the other day.

    Dror was married to sometime actress Virginia Pereira, who was in Not Forgotten (of course she was), Spartan (with Christian Scientist NOT Scientologist Val Kilmer) and ….. Magnolia, with Tom Cruise.

    But I’m sure she got that last role on her own merits. (she probably did, but I reserve the right to snark).

    (Today I Learnt; the US has a Department of Insurance)

    • Rasha

      ‘Department of Insurance’! Ha! Don’t be silly, there’s no such thing a– hey… Well, tie me to the train tracks on Venus and call me Clear – we do have one! Never noticed that silly little thing before! Ha… ‘The More You Know’, huh?

      • LongtimeLurker

        I wonder if we have one?

        Going to check…

      • What do they do, insure all the federal buildings? “Nice government you have here, shame if anything happened to it.”

    • salin

      I think it is a State govt agency in California. Though a quick check found there is a division of the US Dept Treasury that is for Insurance. Who know?!

      • Bobby Tolberto AKA TDA

        The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act established Treasury’s Federal Insurance Office (FIO) and vested FIO with the authority to monitor all aspects of the insurance sector, monitor the extent to which traditionally underserved communities and consumers have access to affordable non-health insurance products, and to represent the United States on prudential aspects of international insurance matters, including at the International Association of Insurance Supervisors. In addition, FIO serves as an advisory member of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, assists the Secretary with administration of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program, and advises the Secretary on important national and international insurance matters.

        Regulation of insurance companies was left to the States by a bill signed into law over 70 years ago.

        • salin

          Thanks. Learn things beyond CoS, every day here.

    • Xenu’s son.

      Mark Isham (music)with his magical OT powers was involved too.

      Mark Isham SUPPRESSIVE PERSON RUNDOWN Celebrity 214 1988-01-01
      Mark Isham SP RUNDOWN Celebrity 222 1988-10-01
      Mark Isham GRADE II Source 66 1989-05-01
      Mark Isham GRADE III Source 66 1989-05-01
      Mark Isham GRADE IV Source 66 1989-05-01
      Mark Isham L11 RUNDOWN Source 66 1989-05-01
      Mark Isham L11 RUNDOWN Source 66 1989-05-01
      Mark Isham STUDENT HAT STUDY COURSE Celebrity 232 1989-12-01
      Mark Isham DIV 4A SERVICES Celebrity 232 1989-12-01
      Mark Isham L 12 RUNDOWN Source 70 1990-03-01
      Mark Isham DIV 4A SERVICES Celebrity 240 1990-09-01
      Mark Isham STATE OF CLEAR Source 72 1990-09-01
      Mark Isham L 10 RUNDOWN Source 72 1990-09-01
      Mark Isham HQS Celebrity 244 1991-02-01
      Mark Isham PRO TR COURSE Celebrity 252 1992-03-01
      Mark Isham INT BY DYNAMICS RUNDOWN Source 84 1992-11-01
      Mark Isham DYNAMIC SORT-OUT ASSESSMENT Source 84 1992-11-01
      Mark Isham FALSE PURPOSE RUNDOWN LISTS Celebrity 266 1993-07-01
      Mark Isham FALSE PURPOSE RUNDOWN LISTS Celebrity 278 1994-07-01
      Mark Isham FALSE PURPOSE RUNDOWN LISTS Celebrity 290 1996-02-01
      Mark Isham OT PREPARATIONS Source 104 1997-01-01
      Mark Isham GRADE 0 Celebrity 309 1998-02-01
      Mark Isham METHOD ONE WORD CLEARING Celebrity 319 1999-06-01
      Mark Isham OT PREPS Advance 159 2002-07-01
      Mark Isham SOLO COURSE PART II Advance 159 2002-07-01
      Mark Isham OT ELIGIBILITY Advance 159 2002-07-01
      Mark Isham HUBBARD SOLO AUDITOR COURSE PART I Celebrity 341 2002-09-01
      Mark Isham OT ELIGIBILTY Advance 160 2002-10-01
      Mark Isham OT II Advance 161 2002-11-01
      Mark Isham OT III Advance 162 2003-01-01
      Mark Isham OT IV Advance 162 2003-01-01
      Mark Isham OT V Source 154 2004-04-01
      Mark Isham OT V Advance 172 2004-04-01

      • LongtimeLurker

        Wow.

        Man, post-production musta been just a swirl of uptone, not-entheta beingness and doingness, what with Grant, Dror, Mark, Virginia and who knows what other OTs hangin’ around.

    • ze moo

      Insurance is usually managed and licensed at the state level.

      • LongtimeLurker

        That makes more sense. I was sure I would have heard of a federal Dept of Insurance.

  • Science Doc

    Anyone who promises returns greater than maybe 2% on an investment is clearly a scammer. At my stage in life I would kill for a secure investment with 6% returns. A couple of years ago I was getting emails from an operation in DTLA that was promising 8% through an elaborate scheme involving commercial rental property. I didn’t even waste the time to report them to the Feds. They were apparently targeting people on the cusp of retirement. I recently came into an unexpected windfall, and I’m leaning towards an atypical investment strategy- spend it on shit that makes me happy.

    • LongtimeLurker

      As they say – “If it sounds too good to be true, why the **** are you even considering it? Snap out of it!”

      • kemist

        Exactly.

        If everybody took that to heart, we wouldn’t be in this shit.

        • LongtimeLurker

          …sigh…

    • PJK

      Interestingly enough my government has decided that for determining the level of property tax we have to pay they assume that everybody is capable of getting a return of at least 4% on their capital, so we have to pay 30% of that figure or at least 1.3% (on any capital above the tax exempt limit of 24437 euros or about 26282 dollars). This percentage was determined just before the crash of 2008 when even savings accounts where giving you 4.5%, with the assurance that this percentage would be corrected if the situation changed.

      Since the average savings account these days gives you 0.3% to 0.4% interest, you can understand that having any capital that isn’t invested in some high-yield investment fund is basically losing us money.

      • Science Doc

        I’ve yielded 8 to 10% in the California real estate market averaging over booms and busts, and that is where half of my assets remain. But we’ve generally decided on purchases based on the quality of life we expect from using those properties, and the appreciation has been a huge bonus. The problems with taxing people based on anticipated real estate appreciation include the fact that people have to live someplace near work, and until retirement you generally can’t cash out of a pricey urban market. The US capital gains exemption on residences is one very nice feature of the US tax code for homeowners, and mortgage interest deduction is valuable as well. A sad truth in California is that if you have a couple million dollars with some of it liquid, you can usually make an additional half million in five years by buying into the right market and taking the run up in appreciation. We’re in the process of doing this once again. Just watch out for busts like 1991 and 2007 and stay out of marginal areas where lots of people are upside down.

    • ze moo

      Look at all the websites that say that Obama is going to give you money or that Gold is the best investment one can make because Obama gave away all the cash. The scamming universe is full of scammers. I am still waiting for Bill Gates to pay me for all those emails I sent. And my big pharma check is always lost in the mail.

  • Xenu’s son.

    This is what Village Voice said:

    A thriller that wants to be taken seriously probably shouldn’t feature Borat’s hairy, rotund comic, Ken Davitian, in the role of a somber Catholic priest, but that’s just one of the problems affecting director Dror Soref’s off-kilter Not Forgotten. Mild-mannered banker Jack (Simon Baker) lives in a Texas border town with his new wife, Amaya (Paz Vega), and his daughter, Toby (Chloe Moretz), who clings possessively to the memory of her dead mother. When Toby goes missing during soccer practice, Jack suspects she has been abducted, possibly as part of an elaborate payback for something he did in his Mysterious Past. Not Forgotten overcooks just about every ingredient in its narrative chile con queso, from the occasional flash-cut editing to that most desperate of dramatic devices: juxtaposing a quietly intense dialogue scene with the sound of a shrieking kettle boiling on the stove. But if the film’s first two-thirds are dreary and preposterous, give Soref credit for a truly—what’s the proper cinematic terminology?—batshit-crazy finale, which involves demented religious sects, ridiculously bloody face-offs, and a gaggle of cross-dressing Mexican prostitutes. As with everything else in Not Forgotten, it’s impossible to call the closing stretches accomplished, but at least their feverish urgency elevates the material into the realm of the truly whacked-out, which is always preferable to dull incompetence.
    More reviews(all pretty negative) at:https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1218218-not_forgotten/reviews/?type=top_critics

    • LongtimeLurker

      Thank you.

      I am so going to watch this now.

      Also, one can only imagine what Dror’s idea of a “…demented religious sect…” is.

      It’ll either be really, really crazy, or just normal Christianity misrepresented.

      • gtsix

        Jews for Jesus?

        • LongtimeLurker

          Those demented, zombie-messiah loving bastards!

    • Rasha

      “…otherwise, it’s pretty good…”

      • Fred G. Haseney

        “Otherwise”!

        • Rasha

          ^_^

      • ze moo

        Except for all the sucking….

        • Rasha

          Exactly. Other than all that, it’s bound to be award-considered.

    • Chee Chalker

      Oh man….now I want to see it! (checking Netflix….)

    • Xenu’s son.
    • Xenu’s son.

      From the Wikipedia page written by (guess):
      Soref co-wrote and directed the critically acclaimed thriller Not Forgotten,The film was accorded rave reviews by Variety”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dror_Soref

      There is Moore’s law and there is the Scientology law:.”If it is not a lie it is not Scientology”
      Both holding up pretty well although Moore’s law is slowing down a bit.

    • villagedianne

      Why is it that Scientology-connected productions are always so over the top, never any nuance or subtlety.

    • salin

      Classic review!

    • Xenu’s son.

      Seems the longer you stay in the bubble the more you think you know exactly what people want because you are homo novis after all.All Scientologist after a couple of year suffer from telescope bias.They are looking at the dumb wogs through the right side of the telescope.The dumb wog looks through the wrong side.The end result is a movie like tthis.Of course nothing was learned from a simulary overacted,confused prior effort Battlefield Earth.

    • Fred G. Haseney

      Now that’s what I call a movie review.

  • Jack99

    It’s not the wisest name for a film. I can see the titles of the reviews.

    FORGETTABLE NOT FORGOTTEN

    IS IT ANY GOOD? I’VE FORGOTTEN

    UNFORGETTABLE. NOT!

  • Mockingbird

    Good fair game filled day Bunkeroos.

    Remember the first rule of fair game. Scientology doesn’t fair game anyone and will ruthlessly fair game anyone that says otherwise. Get it.

    Trying to utterly ruin someone for being gay is disgusting. It’s a inhuman policy. It’s unfortunately rapidly becoming normalized. The legal system is likely to rapidly have a series of actions occur that will culminate in a revocation of the rights gay people now have. That Scientology does it is terrible and at this point something I have accepted as a routine part of the cult’s hideous behavior. I now have to face a future with far, far right judges only appointed to the supreme court specifically to eradicate gay rights and overturn Roe V Wade and rule to the extreme far right on every single issue.

    Along with Mike Pence and his “electrocute the gay out of people” and “don’t hire gay people” policies leading the way on domestic policy as the vice president of the United States we will see Hubbard’s values supported by US law.

    It’s bad enough when a tiny cult takes a stance against gay rights and gay people. It ruins the lives of people. But when it’s institutional in the society and made law ? That’s much, much worse. Congratulations Scientology, some of your most oppressive and fascistic values are becoming America’s.

    I am curious how much must be taken from how many people before they realize they supported an oppressive regime ? Will they wait until everything is taken from them ?

    • villagedianne

      Pence is scary. Let’s pray for Trump’s good health and long life.

      • Robert Hanna Moore

        It occurs to me that Trump’s selection of Pence, while appealing to the religious right, also reduces the odds of assassination. Well played, Donald.

      • kemist

        Yeah.

        Leave us something to laugh about at least. All that evil shit without comic relief would be depressing.

      • Mockingbird

        I have given this a lot of thought. Pence is supposed to be a useful idiot for Trump. Trump wants to round up and indefinitely detain millions of people. He will never have to bring charges against them or give them trials or legal counsel. That’s tyranny.

        Under current law from the Patriot act and NDAA 2012 Trump can indefinitely detain ANYONE with no charges forever. He never has to prove anything to do this.

        He will start with two groups. Immigrants and people he will call terrorists. They are the most vulnerable legally and are already demonized and considered criminals. By starting with them and normalizing his actions he can get this accepted.

      • ze moo

        Pray for a Congress that actually does it job and keeps Pence and Trumpy in check. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to exercise My Little Pony. That not a euphemism for any sexual.

    • Mymy88
      • Mockingbird

        Trump’s America. The greatness he brought is great racism.

  • Chee Chalker

    Other than that, (Mrs. Lincoln) how did you enjoy the show?

    Once again, the truth shines through the coolest religion and the most ethical religion.

  • Xenu’s son.

    Dror Soref in Scientology’s Published Service Completion Lists

    The following 39 individual completions for Dror Soref appear in official Scientology publications:

    Dror Soref HQS Celebrity 26 1977-10-01
    Dror Soref ARC STRAIGHTWIRE Celebrity 1982-01-01
    Dror Soref ARC STRAIGHTWIRE Celebrity 1982-05-01
    Dror Soref MARRIAGE COURSE Celebrity 200 1986-08-01
    Dror Soref PILOT COURSE Celebrity 202 1986-11-01
    Dror Soref CINE COURSE Celebrity 204 1987-01-01
    Dror Soref ADMIN TRS COURSE Celebrity 218 1988-05-01
    Dror Soref E-METER COURSE Celebrity 226 1989-04-01
    Dror Soref SUNSHINE RUNDOWN Source 67 1989-08-01
    Dror Soref L 11 RUNDOWN EXPANDED Source 67 1989-08-01
    Dror Soref PTS/SP Course Celebrity 258 1992-09-01
    Dror Soref MARRIAGE COURSES Celebrity 258 1992-09-01
    Dror Soref PROSPERITY RUNDOWN Source 83 1992-10-01
    Dror Soref SUCCESS THROUGH COMMUNICATION COURSE Celebrity 264 1993-05-01
    Dror Soref DANGER RUNDOWN Celebrity 270 1993-11-01
    Dror Soref LIFE ORIENTATION COURSE Celebrity 276 1994-05-01
    Dror Soref GRADE 0 Celebrity 306 1997-09-01
    Dror Soref GRADE 1 Celebrity 306 1997-09-01
    Dror Soref GRADE 2 Celebrity 306 1997-09-01
    Dror Soref GRADE 3 Celebrity 306 1997-09-01
    Dror Soref FALSE PURPOSE RUNDOWN Celebrity 306 1997-09-01
    Dror Soref GRADE 4 Celebrity 309 1998-02-01
    Dror Soref ROUTE TO INFINITY COURSE Freewinds 31 1999-02-01
    Dror Soref STUDY CERTAINTY COURSE Celebrity 325 2000-05-01
    Dror Soref RESPONSIBILITY AND THE STATE OF OT Freewinds 46 2002-06-01
    Dror Soref ROUTE TO INFINITY COURSE Freewinds 46 2002-06-01
    Dror Soref MARRIAGE COURSES Celebrity 355 2004-02-01
    Dror Soref SOLO COURSE PART I Source 154 2004-04-01
    Dror Soref SUCCESS THROUGH COMMUNICATION COURSE Celebrity 357 2004-04-01
    Dror Soref SOLO COURSE PART I Advance 172 2004-04-01
    Dror Soref OT ELIGIBILITY AOLA NEWS 002 2009-06-01
    Dror Soref OT ELIGIBILITY AOLA NEWS 002 2009-06-01
    Dror Soref OT ELIGIBILITY AOLA NEWS 002 2009-06-01
    Dror Soref OT ELIGIBILITY AOLA NEWS 002 2009-06-01
    Dror Soref OT ELIGIBILITY AOLA NEWS 002 2009-06-01
    Dror Soref SOLO AUDITOR COURSE PART TWO Advance 202 2009-08-01
    Dror Soref SOLO AUDITOR COURSE PART TWO Advance 203 2009-12-01
    Dror Soref SUNSHINE RUNDOWN Advance 205 2010-05-01
    Dror Soref CLEARING COURSE Advance 205 2010-05-01

    • LongtimeLurker

      Man, he’s into it, ain’t he?

      Looks like the DANGER RUNDOWN didn’t take for Dror.

    • Rasha

      …so, if, in 1977, he’d started putting the money he used for courses into proper investments instead…

      …Is there. D’OH! Rundown available?

    • ze moo

      That ‘CLEARING COURSE’ stuff refers to bank accounts, right?

  • TheMirrorThetan

    The name Grant Cardone was listed as an executive producer. I wonder if it was The King of the Douches?

    • Soref and Cardone were partners in crime stuff.

      Skyline motivates Soref September 8, 2003, Claude Brodesser, Variety

      • TheMirrorThetan

        Thanks. Not surprised. Arseholes, scammers and Douches usually cluster together. Like attracts Like.

        • It’s too bad that Grant was just outside the blast radius for this bomb.

          • TheMirrorThetan

            Yeah. Slimy Git he is.

        • Fred G. Haseney

          “Cluster”!

      • chukicita

        ““Defendants specifically targeted unsophisticated senior investors,” says the suit, filed by the state’s corporations commissioner Jan Lynn Owen. The targets allegedly were invited to “free” seminars where they were told they would get investment advice and were then offered a “no risk” investment in movies that would have “high rates of return.”

        http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/not-forgotten-lawsuit-ponzi-scheme-paz-vega-372735

        I wonder where the “free” seminars were held.

    • LongtimeLurker

      Really?

      IMDB only lists;

      Jamie Beardsley … executive producer
      Howard Behar … executive producer
      Alejandra Cárdenas … line producer: Mexico
      Kirk D’Amico … executive producer
      Jeff Geoffray … executive producer
      Warren Goz … executive producer (as Warren T. Goz)
      Frederick Johntz … co-producer
      Walter Josten … executive producer
      Shea Kammer … co-producer
      Jefferson Keith Langley … co-producer (as Jefferson Langley)
      Stewart McMichael … executive producer
      Tomás Romero … associate producer
      Michelle Seward … executive producer
      Dror Soref … producer
      Donald Zuckerman … producer

      • TheMirrorThetan

        Look at the metacritic link Tony linked to.
        Scroll down and hit see all details.

        • LongtimeLurker

          My experience has been that it’s not that easy to get IMDB to alter their listings (I was listed as three different LongtimeLurkers for a couple of years, even though I only had three credits).

          Having said that, it’s not impossible.

          But I would guess that Metacritic is easier to game. If, say, one was a slimy douche who wanted to big-note himself.

          I’m downloading the film now, and will check the actual credits. But my internet has suddenly slowed down, so it could be a while.

        • Jimmy3

          Good catch. It’s odd that he’s listed as an executive producer while IMDB doesn’t even credit him as a producer. And then I noticed he has only 1 IMDB credit, as an actor in some dump. I’d think a self-absorbed blowhard like him would insist he gets IMDB credit every time he gives money to a film project.

          • LongtimeLurker

            That Cardone IMDB credit is for his own fucking YouTube channel, believe it or not.

            I’m tempted to see if I can get IMDB to remove it. But they’re really irritating to deal with and I’m lazy as shit.

            • Jimmy3

              Yeah I’m so lazy I didn’t even check out what that dump was. Also can’t deal with any Cardoneing this early in the AM. Should wait at least until Bob Duggan puts some pants on.

            • LongtimeLurker

              I almost didn’t bother myself.

              Goddam pantsless Duggan.

      • Sherbet

        Is the title “producer” synonymous with “investor” in this case? It seems to be the carrot on the stick; i.e., “Yeah, yeah, you will be a producer if you invest!”

        I’m thinking of the plot of “The Producers” with none of the benefits of producing a flop.

        • LongtimeLurker

          Almost certainly.

          But you’d still get an IMDB credit.

      • Sherbet

        And Jimmy Mathers as The Beaver

    • LongtimeLurker

      Further to our discussion, get this;

      1) – This film has the second worst titles/credits font I’ve ever seen.

      2) – Grant is in them!

      3) – Not only is Grant not on the film’s IMDB page, the film is not listed on Grant’s own IMDB page.

      Possible answers;

      A) – Grant’s embarrassed, had his credit removed from IMDB himself (hard to make this edit stick, in my experience), but forgot about Metacritic.

      B) – Whoever submitted the cast & crew listing to IMDB (usually one of the producers) hated Grant so much they deliberately left him off, and no IMDB editor has noticed because who cares about this film, right?

      C) -It’s just an accident. But it proves the universe hates Grant.

      F5

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fbad6bd682671227c6df1dc9fb629616e64187ea5ab973d80069d3488693ca0e.png

      • ze moo

        Are not ‘Executive Producers’ investors in the film? I have to wonder how Cardone et al got their pay?

        • LongtimeLurker

          Not always, no. There are other reasons you can get that credit.

          But very often, even “almost always”… particularly in the low-budget arena – yes.

          Getting paid would depend on the deal, after/before break-even etc.

          Unless Cardone had a real ball-tearer of a deal (before break-even, before everyone else, etc, etc) and his investment was tiny, there’s no way he got his money back, imho.

      • Grant embarrassed? Nah. I think he could see that it was going to go boom, was first out the door, and stopped to erase most of the traces.

        • LongtimeLurker

          But, in true Grant fashion, he wasn’t smart enough to think of other sites.

          Now I’m seriously thinking of adding him back in on the film’s listing, just to piss him off.

          Then he and I can get into an edit war, until eventually I send IMDB a screen grab of his credit and they lock the page for edits.

          Good times!

          • Graham

            Do eet!!

            • LongtimeLurker

              I just had such a crap time with my own listings…

              But since it seems like it will at least bring you and me some joy, I’ll seriously consider it.
              ; )

            • Princess Squishy

              joy here too.

              P.s.
              What ‘own listings’?

            • LongtimeLurker

              I’ll bear it in mind. : )

              I have written and directed some stuff.

              Mainly video game cutscenes (which IMDB now lists), some TV commercials (Australian only) and a few animated shorts.

              Anyway, every time my name came up in a new project, they’d list me as a different LongtimeLurker, even though my IRL name is unique on IMDB.

              So like; LongtimeLurker (I), LongtimeLurker (II), LongtimeLurker (III).

              I didn’t really care, cause it’s not like anyone uses IMDB listings to give you work, but my friends kept bringing it up. So I sent a bunch of emails and there was a whole lot of back and forth.

              I also acted in some no-budget crap, but I’m pretty sure none of it’s listed on IM..D…b…

              …oh god… I better go check.

            • Princess Squishy

              I found one of the guys I went to high school with on IMDB because he was in a few episodes of some kind of prank show (not jackass) or something similar to a prank show. I was just checking on him because he acted in all the plays in high school and I knew he wanted to be an actor and had moved to California to pursue that. I guess he didn’t really make it. But it’s interesting how even the little things will be on there.

            • LongtimeLurker

              Yeah, we were saying elsewhere that Grant Cardone is listed as “actor” for his crappy sales-guru YouTube channel.

              Although I’d bet he made that edit himself.

      • TheMirrorThetan

        Ha. Wouldn’t be surprised if he did have his name removed. To keep himself unstinky when the shit hit the fan.

  • Mighty Korgo of Teegeeack

    When I read the headline I thought, “This is what happens when HAVINGNESS becomes the goal”. I don’t know if that is fair. But Scientology does want a person to be at cause and wants them to be Tone 40 which should be called, Tone Delusional or Tone Half-Baked. It seems to be a bad combination. Echoes of Reed Slatkin.

    Dror Soref. Is that a Jewish name? Easy folks. It is OK to wonder. Sometimes I wonder a bit more what with Bernie Madoff and Reed Slatkin (and Michael Milken). Is there something in my own group’s upbringing that turns us into, in a few well publicized instances anyway, this sort of schemer? I hope not. I hope we are just a hard working people who through our work, education and determination often do things well including criminal acts. It is complicated and I certainly don’t want to go off, half cocked, about the Jews. Too much history of it and it can be very hurtful. But I would be a fool not to wonder.

    So I will give the Scientologists the same break. It is tough to analyze these things, and as Tony points out so well we are quite a distance from having the whole story.

    EDIT: Checked. Yeah. He’s one of our boys.

    • LongtimeLurker

      He’s Israeli, iirc.

      And I think he was involved in politics there before he emigrated.

      EDIT: Wrote before Korgo’s edit.

    • villagedianne

      Years ago I read somewhere that we Jews are over-represented in the new religions. compared to our numbers in the population.

      • Mighty Korgo of Teegeeack

        A rabbi told me that quite recently. He said that we are taught to be inquisitive. He mentioned the Krisha as being a group we are highly represented in. I had always had to wonder about that.

        • Sherbet

          I often wonder why there are so many former Catholics in scientology. I guess it attracts people who want to scrap the mysticism required in Catholicism and align themselves with a “religion” that professes to be scientific.

          • ze moo

            Also, Catholics are conditioned to accept the ‘authority’ of the leader.

            • Sherbet

              Yes, there’s that, too.

          • Bobby Tolberto AKA TDA

            Catholicism also believes in saints, i.e. people who manifest abilities not found in ordinary mortals due to their enlightenment. Sound familiar?

  • Jimmy3

    At least the title wasn’t a lie. People would have to have seen it or even been aware of its existence in order to forget it.

  • j238

    I just heard an ad for Scientology tutoring services at the Harlem org on Pandora. A short time later, an ad for “The Addiction Network.” (No idea if that’s a front.)
    You can let Pandora know what you think of them enabling Scientology’s efforts to recruit children. http://help.pandora.com/customer/portal/emails/new?email%5Bsubject%5D=Contact%20Support

    • Scott H

      If it’s the Addiction Network that I’m familiar with then no, it’s not affiliated with any particular organization including Scientology. It’s a pay-to-advertise addiction center referral service. The center I work for is listed there.

      • salin

        Thanks for the clarification, Scott.

    • LongtimeLurker

      The Addiction Network sounds like part of a terrible basic cable package.

      Or a great one…

      • Sherbet

        An offshoot of the Home Shopping Network?

        • I would buy a subscription to the Home Slapping network, as hosted by David Miscavige.

  • RandomSP

    Regarding Seward, my guess is that she was naive and fell into the common misconception that one’s fellow Scientologists are “the most ethical beings on the planet”. The Scientology setup is ripe for predatory personalities to take advantage of such hopeful naivety and I have personally known at least one such character that used his membership to prey on women.

    Edit: Reading Seward’s web page a bit, I see that is exactly what she claims. She was raised as a Scientologist and the mindset that Scientologists are ethical and that the Church’s ethics and justice system will protect the public Scientologist would have been deeply ingrained. Both of those are misconceptions; Scientologists are no more (or less, in my experience) ethical than the general population, and the ethics and justice system is very weak on protecting any public Scientologist in a dispute with another.

    • Chee Chalker

      ‘Hey baby….wanna see my OT bracelet?’

      • ze moo

        Want to see my IAS trophies?

  • Chee Chalker

    If that ‘trailer’ is any indication of what the movie was like, we didn’t miss anything.
    Except Simon Baker’s abs

  • Robert Hanna Moore

    Jim Meskimen mugging at the premier! Perhaps the least important part of this story, but so satisfying.

    • BosonStark

      It was Jim Meskimen approved, so you know it’s gotta be good. The premier looked exciting, and from all those people, I bet they could hire a slew of every-which-way-walkers for SMP’s first major production, ORG STORY.

  • Chee Chalker

    Here’s a link from her website that TO linked to above.

    This one seems more Co$ centered:

    http://michelleseward.tumblr.com/

    • Jimmy3

      Jimmy thinks it’s really cute when Scientologists use common, everyday words and then define them. ‘Cute’ is defined as an adjective: “attractive in a pretty or endearing way”

      • Chee Chalker

        Exhibit A: The definition of ‘exhibit’

        Oh boy…….this is going to be a long trial……

        • Jimmy3

          Hah!

  • BosonStark

    Which of these is true?

    1. A small percentage of people are drawn to Scientology because they see it as a social group of people who can be used for fundraising or fraud schemes. The trust Scientologists place in Hubbard and each other makes them vulnerable to becoming people like Reed Slatkin, or the victims of people like Reed Slatkin.

    2. Some people in Scientology use the hard sell tactics and comm tech they learn to sell Scientology, to sell other shady things.

    3. Some people in Scientology, once drained of money by the cult, seek desperate ways of draining others of money. They are drawn to elaborate schemes because Scientology is an elaborate scam.

    • LongtimeLurker

      Trick question.

      D. All of the above.

    • chukicita

      All are true, but I would add to #3 – the pressures inherent in “spiritual” progress “up the bridge” and sense of urgency fostered by Scientology, Inc’s policies and behaviors contribute significantly to the desperation.

      • joan nieman

        Indeed.

    • joan nieman

      I say all three too.

  • Observer

    I just can’t even today. 😖

  • BosonStark

    After a certain time in Scientology, such fraud schemes seem natural, organic liaisons.

  • Entity Name: SKYLINE PICTURES, LLC
    Entity Number: 200322110157
    Date Filed: 08/07/2003
    Status: SOS SUSPENDED
    Jurisdiction: CALIFORNIA
    Entity Address: 5555 MELROSE AVE HOPE BLDG #102-108
    Entity City, State, Zip: HOLLYWOOD CA 90038
    Agent for Service of Process: (AGENT RESIGNED 05/09/13)

    That’s pretty dead. The entity number is non-standard for California, so it’s probably not the real company.

    • Entity Name: WINDSOR PICTURES, LLC
      Entity Number: 200917510070
      Date Filed: 06/22/2009
      Status: FTB SUSPENDED
      Jurisdiction: CALIFORNIA
      Entity Address: 5555 MELROSE AVE HOPE BLDG #102-108
      Entity City, State, Zip: HOLLYWOOD CA 90038
      Agent for Service of Process: (AGENT RESIGNED 3/6/13)

      Much the same. Those non-standard entity numbers are suspicious.

      • April

        I’m genuinely curious. What do those non-standard entity numbers cause you to suspect?

        • They look like they were incorporated elsewhere, like Nevada, and somehow moved to California. Except that I didn’t think California did that.

    • chukicita

      Hm. They show up on backstage, an industry site, as a production company that does mini-series work, although none is listed in their Credits. Gotta wonder if they might become the in-house company for SMP:

      http://www.backstage.com/resources/detail/productioncompany/skyline-pictures-llc-64074/

      [In their “Credits” listed below: Basic was a Scientology-soaked Travolta vehicle where Soref is listed among producers; The 7th Coin is a 1993 indie film Soref directed; Not Forgotten, we know about here. Twist, An American Musical was a stage production with weak libretto that as far as I know was never made into a film…]

      Skyline Pictures, LLC
      • PRODUCTION COMPANY
      • MINISERIES

      PERSONNEL:
      Dror Soref, Producer/Director
      Michelle Seward, Executive Producer
      Jerald Welch, COO
      Noga Ashkenazi, Director, Development
      Heather Trump, Development Assistant
      Patrick Murray, Production Finance & Distribution
      Tina Pace, Director, Finance

      PRODUCTION TYPES:
      Miniseries, Made-for-TV & Cable Movies, Scripted TV, Film

      CREDITS:
      Basic
      The 7th Coin
      Not Forgotten
      Twist, An American Musical

  • BosonStark

    Using the tech, they will figure out a way to knock it down to 71 criminal counts. Anything they can use to bring David Miscavige into court to testify?

  • madame duran

    Scientology: a birther of scams.

    ===

    Before I forget…
    Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath will do considerably better in terms of viewership than the stinking cinematic flop that was “Not Forgotten” (Simon Baker….WHY????).
    Countdown to the docuseries debut: https://www.timeanddate.com/countdown/to?iso=20161129T22&p0=179&msg=Leah+Remini%3A+Scientology+%26+The+Aftermath+%28docuseries%29&font=slab&csz=1

  • Andrew Robertson

    As today’s theme is films and money, here is a motivational clip from the BBC’s Religious Anthropomorphism Unit in which an actor in a lizard suit playing a hapless member of the public walks into his local Org for a free personality test and is approached by a number of Registrars dressed as snakes.

    Will he escape with his sanity and his wallet intact?

    Andrew

    https://youtu.be/B3OjfK0t1XM

    • Sherbet

      Hee hee!

    • chukicita

      It was a snakeskin wallet. ;D

  • Phil Kuhlman

    Looks like a real touching movie. Such a shame it went nowhere.

    • joan nieman

      Pity.

  • PickAnotherID

    Speaking of “Not Forgotten”, today is international: (f5)
    http://www.pen-international.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/doiw21.jpg

    An annual, international day intended to recognize and support writers who resist repression of the basic human right to freedom of expression and who stand up to attacks made against their right to impart information. And I’m sure $cientology wishes Tony were among those imprisoned.

  • MarcabExpat

    Oh geez. Now we’ve lost Gwen Ifil. Can we just have New Year’s Day already so this cursed year can’t take any more awesome people?

  • We in Global Capitalism HQ know the odd thing or two about investing hundreds of billions of dollars and about the amount of work it takes to make an above-average return for our clients.

    Film projects are among the riskiest of all possible investments. The only people who should invest in films, even people in the film business, should be those who can lose 100.00% of their investments without having it affect their lives. In other words, film investments should be money you could light on fire in the street and not miss it.

    So if anyone promises you guaranteed returns far above the stock market in an illiquid investment in a single film project, you should decline in the calmest, most soothing voice you have and back away slowly until you are out of sight. Then, once out of sight, you should run away as fast as you can. Either that or call the Feds immediately.

    For Michelle Seward and Dror Soref to have promised any kind of return on a film project is ludicrous, especially returns in the 18% to 21% level. At that level, a $21.5 million total raise would have to deliver a profit of $50 to $60 million in five years (which is the amount of time it typically takes a film to go through development, production, theatrical release and then downstream deals such as DVD/digital release and a mature international release cycle). That’s after the budget for the film, which in this case might have been $10 million, plus perhaps an equal amount of marketing costs. So the film would have had to gross $75 million worldwide. Only about 90 movies grossed $30 million in the US in 2009 (I looked it up), out of 521 theatrical releases. And many of those that were near the $30 million domestic gross were flops from major studios.

    Incidentally, in 2009, the top 100 releases grossed $9.86 billion domestically (a pretty good year for the industry). The top 10 of those releases including monster hits like “Avatar”, and pics from the Harry Potter, Transformers, Star Trek and Twilight sagas, together grossed $3.26 billion, about 1/3 of the domestic gross of the top 100 movies. The top 25 grossed $5.58 billion of the $9.63 billion. In other words, the top films suck up all the money from the pockets of the public, and the deck is stacked against smaller films to make money.

    Even a quick look at the director’s track record would have sounded an alarm bell or two — Soref’s claim to fame is having directed a handful of Weird Al music videos. Not a bad achievement — Weird Al has dominated the “novelty” record genre for going on 40 years and is known for great videos for his songs — but not enough to convince a major studio that he could helm a long-form project.

    And, of course, Seward’s guilt or innocence is completely irrelevant of her sexual orientation or her involvement in Scientology. Even if the cult went to the trouble of trying to expose her crimes as part of throwing her out over sexual orientation, the document trail of payments to investors ought to make it pretty clear pretty quickly whether she’s guilty or innocent.

    Typically, Ponzi schemes, once exposed, are pretty easy to prove. All you need is the trail of bank records showing receipts and payments. These days, after 9/11 and the “PATRIOT Act” stripped away a lot of secrecy in the banking system, it’s very easy for investigators to track movement of money across corporate entities that 30-40 years ago would have tied investigators in knots for years. So having a ton of shell companies to move money between in an attempt to hide a Ponzi scheme is no longer a viable way to stay ahead of the Feds. Also, modern forensic accounting tools are pretty good at putting together a clear picture of money moved around to stay ahead of the feds, and they are good at presenting it to the jury.

    The Feds love to prosecute Ponzi schemes because they’re so much easier to win than other types of financial crimes, just because of that paper trail. Had Seward and Soref been smarter, they could have just steered investors’ money to companies that they had an ownership interest in, and charged exorbitant fees for editing, camera rental, staffing etc. Then they could have raked “profits” (i.e., kickbacks) from those businesses and pocketed just as much money as they had hoped to reap from a Ponzi scheme. But they could have avoided criminal charges and simply fought off some number of lawsuits when the whole thing fell flat, but they probably could have retained some profits and been able to enjoy them by not being in jail.

    • Ivan Mapother

      Thanks for nothing John P I’m currently raising money for a re-boot of “3 Men and a Baby” with Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Kirsty Alley to be filmed at SMP. Your analysis will do nothing to help my cause.

      • Your project might benefit from a title change. “Three Loons and a Thetan” might be more appropriate. The increasingly husky-voiced Kirstie Alley as one of the “men” could work, just as Travolta did quite well in drag in the “Hairspray” remake of a few years ago (though I really loved Christopher Walken and his cool shirts in that particular flick).

        • Ivan Mapother

          I’ll get you a writing or producing credit. I have heard back from John and Tom’s people and they insist on “back end deals.” I’m a little confused on how they mean that.

        • April

          Because Christopher Walken is freaking awesome.

        • Robert Eckert

          Kirstie would work better as the baby.

        • Nightflyer

          “Three Loons and A Thetan,” starring Tom Cruise and Rome…I had a crush on Kirstie Alley until I found out she was a total nut job.

      • LongtimeLurker

        Which one of those is playing the baby?

      • Ella Raitch

        Maybe you could look a selling bridges instead

      • ExCult.Jan

        You haven’t cashed my check yet, right?

    • Graham

      Thanks for the analysis John P. As a footnote: I often see people loosely referring to Scientology as “a Ponzi scheme” which of course it is not. As you’ve described, ‘Ponzi’ is a specific rip-off whereby early investors get a pay-out of fake “profits” which are actually capital belonging to later investors (Commonly these early investors are so pleased with their returns that they encourage others to invest, which can be an important element of the scam).

      Whilst Scientology is a scam, no way is it a Ponzi scheme. With a Ponzi at least some people get their money back. No way does that happen with Slappy Dave’s long con.

      • Sherbet

        Being pedantic, I grit my teeth when I see scientology referred to as a “Ponzi scheme,” because I, too, know the difference.

        • Graham

          Welcome to Pedants’ Corner (Or should that be Pedantry Corner?).

          • Banrion

            A new restaurant idea “Pedantry Pantry!” printing costs for accurate menus may be cost prohibitive. 😉

            • Sherbet

              No more “baked potatoe,” huh?

      • ze moo

        $cientology was a self help pyramid scheme. All that IAS crap the Miscavage has instituted is just window dressing for that scam. Window dressing that is now the biggest money maker for the Lroners. I have to wonder if IAS ‘donations’ now bring in more money than auditing and courses?

        • Elizabeth Lavet

          I went to a Scientology Sunday “Church” service, checking them out, prepared to give a small token donation. They did not pass the offering plate but I was asked to donate to their latest IAS project, so I gave what I would have put in the offering plate. I was informed it was not worth them writing down (it was more than I generally give at my own church). I now know this is their ploy to shame you into giving more. I can’t understand that they do not see their behavior makes them look so dumb and rude. The guy was shocked when I said “all right” and simply took my money back. Eventually he decided he would take it after all (I should have said no, but I was ill informed). He asked if I wanted a receipt. After I told him to do whatever they generally do with donations, he wrote paperwork and gave me a carbon copy. I now know there is no accountability for those donations, collecting many times over what they need for each “project”. At the front group drug and rights events I have to wonder how many people are hit up for donations. They are so used to saying and doing whatever they want to get money it is no wonder that behavior carries over to real life.

          • iampissed

            Geez if you didn’t ask for a receipt he might of had a descent meal that night.

            • Elizabeth Lavet

              I thought more about what you said. That is the sad truth. I thought of that. It seemed like he was kind of trying to check out what he could get away with by asking me what to do with it, did I want a receipt. When I told him to do whatever you usually do with donations like that, he looked a little disappointed. I think he was pushing it asking me for money in the first place as two of them had a discussion about whether I qualified to be regged having been in the buildings only X amount of times or X number of days.. Since I had actually walked into a Scientology building three times in two days they decided I was live meat for the taking. A lamb to the slaughter. Evidently there is a policy about asking new people for money.It is hard to see people have to hit bottom before they wake up and face the truth. I felt bad for a long time for keeping a young man “out of trouble” by writing a declaration of how wonderful the class was in their words like he asked, or he would get in trouble. He should have gotten in trouble. No one should be pressured to write something they do not mean. Putting off them suffering the consequences of their own cult just means they waste more of their life there and takes longer to get out, in my opinion. If I had known what was going on then, I would have said something reasonable, I hope, but I did not. But I am glad I did not make it easier for him to be in the cult. That may seem hard, but that is the way I feel.

          • Bob Crouch

            I’ve been to more than one church where they would say something to the effect of “if this is your first time here, keep your money. This is for those who have made this their regular church.”

            In fact, when I was a penniless student, I went to a church in a city where I had just moved to attend grad school. I went to a church there for the first time. I didn’t tell them I needed anything as I really didn’t (I was poor but getting by). A few days later, they sent me a completely unsolicited check, just to show they care about a new person in town. And it was clear they wanted nothing in return: There were no follow-up calls to hustle me to join up, or anything like that. And it was apparent to anyone attending: This was NOT a rich church by a long stretch.

            Makes for a good comparison between a real and a phony church!

            • Lady Squash

              That’s a great story. I had a similar but different experience with a new church I went to after leaving Scientology. I actually was in need. A friend said the church had programs to help people with certain problems. I applied for the help and was instantly given money to get me by. No questions asked. No pressure. Nothing. It was a complete reversal from my Scientology experience. And yes, that is how a REAL church operates.

          • Lady Squash

            You’ll love this. Many years ago I was being hounded by a reg to give a donation to IAS. I said that I couldn’t afford to. The reg kept pushing my “help” button…
            the planet is in dire straights, don’t you want to HELP” and all that crap. I said, “Sure, I want to help. Do you have some envelopes I could stuff or something?” The reg just gave me a disgusted look and walked away.

            • Elizabeth Lavet

              perfect!

      • chukicita

        You’re right – it’s not a Ponzi. But what do you call the commission-based salvation program (FSMs)? Some have made mad bank taking a percentage of every book and service they sold to “selectees.”

        • Graham

          A Hubbard?

      • Jgg2012

        “‘Ponzi’ is a specific rip-off whereby early investors get a pay-out of fake “profits” which are actually capital belonging to later investors” and Scientology is not a Ponzi scheme or network marketing or Amway, etc. It does, however, use similar tactics: it discourages listening to critics or outsiders (Ponzi schemers call them “dream stealers,” Scientology calls them wogs); you are told that, if you fail, it’s your own fault; they keep raising the bar (in Ponzi schemes, it is making you buy more product to qualify for commissions which you thought you were already qualified for; in Scientology, it is re-training because the earlier training had errors); they make unbelievable product claims and practice medical quackery. They prey on new, vulnerable, unaware people (recent college graduates, people who just moved to an area.

      • abdaman

        I too get upset when i see someone refer to Scientology as a ponzi or pyramid scheme. It’s like they think calling something a ponzi/pyramid scheme is a sophisticated way of calling it a scam – they are not the same thing! A ponzi scheme is a TYPE of scam the way that say, water is a type of liquid. But all liquids are not water (dr. pepper anyone!) and all scams are not ponzi or pyramid schemes. The most important difference is that in pyramid schemes individual members go out and recruit other people who pay THEM (the original member) money and then those people recruit some more people who pay them money, and this is what creates the pyramid organizational setup. In $cientology everyone just pays the church, there is no pyramid scheme, all money just goes straight to the church. Scientologists do not get money for recruiting other scientologists and new members do not pay existing members for auditing. Money flows to just one place, the Church. This is the most important distinction to be made to people who aren’t sure they know the difference.

        • pluvo

          “Scientologists do not get money for recruiting other scientologists”

          There is a system where an FSM (= Field Staff Members) gets commissions when their selectee pays for Scn services.

          FIELD STAFF MEMBER COMMISSION, 1. the official Scn organization to which the Field Staff Member is attached will pay the Field Staff Member a percentage of all training and processing fees received by that organization through its Field Staff Members. […]
          FSM percentages are corrected and established as follows: 15% will be paid for any selectee routed on for auditor training, 10% will be paid for any selectee routed on the solo line. […]

          http://www.xenu-directory.net/documents/corporate/fsm.html

          Some people like e.g. Jeff Pomerantz supposedly live quite good from it:
          http://tonyortega.org/2015/07/03/scientologys-billion-dollar-slush-fund-its-slick-operators-and-how-it-gets-around-regulation/comment-page-1/

          • Elizabeth Lavet

            Yes, your right.My friend stated to me she got so many people into scientology that she did not have to pay anything – went far. The professional man that got me into Scientology got a check from services I did after I mentioned he referred me.Also, there is mention in some of the videos/books of executives getting big bonuses, large sums. Don’t know how often this happened.

            • Bob Crouch

              I guess it’s like being a drug dealer: You can go far as long as you don’t run afoul of your associates and don’t dip into the “product” yourself. And, of course, as long as the IRS does not know what you’re really up to.

            • Elizabeth Lavet

              My friend’s comment kind of confuses me since some other people got checks directly, she instead, got services paid for. She left when Xenu was revealed stating that she and her husband were Christians.

            • Bob Crouch

              Well, that’s what I meant by not dipping into the “product.” The moment you do that, the drug dealer as well as the scn re-seller are goners!

            • Elizabeth Lavet

              Oh, I see, yes.

            • chukicita

              Your friend may have been on staff. In theory, staff members receive ‘free’ services. When people point out that Scientology is an expensive belief system, they are told that you can get services free by joining staff.

              However, if a staffer ever leave they are given a ‘freeloader bill’ for all the services they enjoyed while working for pennies. This bill must be paid before they can get any more services, and can extend into tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.

          • abdaman

            That is still. not. a. pyramid scheme. Please look up pyramid scheme. In a pyramid scheme small portions of money move up multiple distributor levels (the pyramid) with the largest portion going to the top person. So in your example, if those people the FSM recruited then went and recruited more downline distributors and then they got a percentage of the money they spent, then the original FSM got a percentage, and then the Church finally got the biggest percentage, it would be close to a pyramid scheme, except for money is being made through sale of a product which immediately disqualifies it from being a pyramid scheme (as you describe it, it would be better described as a kickback that downlines one level, which would be the most crappy pyramid scheme ever invented) The most important part is that the only way the top makes any profit is by distributors recruiting other downline distributors and not through sales of actual products or services. That has to be the way they make the vast majority of their money to meet the definition of a pyramid scheme, look up MLMs like Amway, ItWorks,

            • abdaman

              Just to be clear I am NOT saying scientology is not a scam, it absolutely is! And I also totally understand the idea that the corporate culture surrounding business that are ponzi or pyramid schemes probably have a LOT in common with scientology!

            • H. Keith Henson

              Some years ago I turned the bright light of evolutionary psychology on scientology and related cults. If you want to read the long form, Google sex drugs cults and take the first link. The shorter form is that for darn good reasons humans are highly rewarded by attention. What happens is that intense attention causes the release of brain reward chemicals, dopamine and endorphins. It’s more indirect than shooting up cocaine and heroin, but for a lot of people, it’s just as addicting. So if you wonder why cult members act like addicts, neglecting children and their own well being, what’s going on in their brains is identical to a strung out doper.

              Taking it back a step, why are (at least some) humans so rewarded by attention?

              There is a reason rooted in the nature of social primates. Males in particular have little chance of reproducing unless they obtain a degree of social status. Status is built by attention over a period of time. So it is no wonder that we evolved to be rewarded by attention. To put it crudely, the hunter who dragged back a big chunk of meat got a lot of attention (and got laid that night).

              I suspect there are common brain mechanisms for drugs and attention rewards. If someone wanted to look into it, they might find the same brain reward pathways for attention and nicotine explain the well known propensity for scientologists to be heavy smokers.

            • abdaman

              Thanks for the reply Keith, this is super interesting! As a former addict myself I feel like this helps me empathize more with former cult members. Re the widespread smoking, doesn’t CoS view all drug use and addiction as bad? And nicotine is the one of most addictive drugs known to man, more addictive than heroin. It certainly causes a lot of health problems. So what gives?

            • H. Keith Henson

              LRH smoked, so smoking is somewhere between OK and a sacrament.

            • pluvo

              Yeah, you are right about the pyramid scheme. I didn’t say it was. I was just replying to your “Scientologists do not get money for recruiting other scientologists”, because they do because those that donate money for example to the IAS (as you can see from the link from the Underground Bunker which I was giving above).
              Most people invest the money right back into the CoS. They get also pushed to recruit people for that reason: to pay to upgrade their IAS status and to pay for their “Bridge”.
              However… when I was in Scn the push for the “FSMing” reminded me at the pyramid scheme even then (also when you say technically it isn’t). Whatever – they are good in pressing out money from people and it goes up lines and ruins people; it’s rigged like this.

            • abdaman

              It is kind of pyramid-y I feel after sleeping on it. Lol!

            • abdaman

              I have been reading up a lot on pyramid schemes ever since the John Oliver episode about mlm’s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6MwGeOm8iI&feature=youtu.be

            • JJ

              Maslow’s hierarchy of greed.

    • Kestrel

      Oil and gas exploration is another investment opportunity only for those who literally have money they can throw away.

      • The days of the legendary Texas “wildcatter” who, armed with a lease on a couple of dusty acres and a good hunch, could drill successful wells, vanished decades ago. I actually met a couple of those guys years ago, and they are as colorful as they’re portrayed in the movies. But they’re no match for companies with lots of money and rooms full of Ph.D. geochemists with really big computers.

        There was some money 5-10 years ago in buying up mineral rights to support the current “fracking” boom (now rapidly turning into a fracking bust), but that’s all pretty much done as well. I would not want to be an oil & gas fund manager these days even if it paid an annual bonus an order of magnitude greater than my own.

        • Kestrel

          A lot of those folks live here in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Decades ago, when I worked for a large bank that was one of the biggest energy lenders in the country, I had an opportunity to bump into them from time to time.

        • Techie

          Come on now, JP, you know the price dropped out the bottom on oil because OPEC nations agreed to underprice their product hoping to drive US domestic production out of business. Since that didn’t work, oil prices will probably seek their proper level again and the laws of supply and demand will right themselves. Western civilization runs on black blood from underground and will go on that way until the LFTR nuclear plants http://energyfromthorium.com/lftr-overview/ get built. China is way ahead of us on that but maybe we will catch up. Then emissions-free reliable cheap energy will power us into a new expansion phase. Well a man can dream anyway.

          • Any discussion of the macroeconomics of the oil business takes either multiple hours or several thousands of words in print. You’re right, up to a point, about the “oil war” where the Mideast producers tried to drive US production out of business. That was a result of an attempt by the US to stimulate domestic producers to drive the Middle East thugocracies out of business. Given the budget deficit in Saudi Arabia eating away at their foreign currency reserves, the state of the Iranian economy, and the situation in other countries in the region, it looks to me like we hurt them more than they hurt the US.

            Incidentally, the lack of production from Libya and Iraq due to wars in those countries plus the lack of production from Venezuela due to its own self-inflicted political woes has not significantly driven prices up. That ought to tell you something about both US demand (we’re the biggest consumer of Venezuelan oil) and global demand.

            I would use that to argue that oil prices right now are at a “proper level.” The $150 barrel of oil we saw in 2008 was an aberration due to several geopolitical and speculative factors and not reflective of underlying demand. At the time, most experts thought the supply/demand-based price of oil was about $50 a barrel, about where it is today.

            The state of the Chinese economy is the key swing factor that will probably keep prices low for the next few years. It’s been the major driver of the increase in oil prices in the past and will now have the opposite effect. It’s pretty clear that GDP growth in China is far lower than the government’s official figures, probably approaching close to 0.0%. They’re headed for a major bust, given that growth in corporate debt (used to fuel growth) is far outstripping actual growth in the economy. And that bust is going to last for a while. Once the Chinese economy gets stuck in a Japan-style stagnation, that should keep oil prices low for the medium term.

            In the past, that would be bad news, as long-term stable oil prices have been a disincentive for conservation of oil. However, things appear to be different going forward. Electric power from solar is now lower than power from any other fuel-based source and could be closing in on hydroelectric in the next few years. Cutting the price of oil in half is unlikely to sway investment decisions in solar-based systems.

            Energy storage in the form of effective batteries for both cars and homes is likely to succeed in the near term — there are already millions of cars on the roads with batteries in them (Prius, Tesla, Chevy Volt, etc.) and that will grow. Local energy storage will ultimately kill demand for oil as a source of electricity as national and regional grids can be replaced by relatively inexpensive local solar grids.

            There are also likely improvements in chemical storage of solar electric energy. In particular, it seems easy to scale up the 100 year old simple and energy-efficient Sabatier process for converting the hydrogen made by separating water with solar electricity into methane, which is far easier to store and which already has a great nationwide distribution network for use in building heating and cooling, which is 40% to 50% of US energy usage. Hydrogen from solar is a great fuel in fuel cells but it’s hard to transport because it leaks through valves and joints in pipes. By the way, how can burning methane help cool buildings as well as heating them? Look up something called a “gas fired water chiller.”

            Finally, yes, new reactor designs have the promise to reignite nuclear power, which can provide significant base load capacity in developed economies, but it’s not clear that there will be the appetite for the concentrated financial risk and political wizardry needed to get those plants on line. They’re a multi-billion dollar investment to prove the designs in pilot plants then to scale them up, and then at least $1 billion per plant. And political changes could halt construction on plants at any time. So while the technology, safety and economics are all there for next-generation nuclear, I don’t see that being a significant contributor, particularly in the US, Japan (think: Fukushima) and Germany (already committed to phasing out nuclear no matter what).

            • Banrion

              Have you written any books, have a newsletter I could subscribe to?

            • Thanks for the implied compliment in your request. Alas, no. I write for the internal consumption of the investment team at Global Capitalism HQ only. Most of what I’m writing here is pulled from (admittedly faulty) memory of high-level research that others have done at GCHQ and is not what I would consider to be sufficiently rigorous for investment advice.

              Incidentally, I would note that investment newsletters are inherently worthy of suspicion. Why is a guy selling subscriptions for $250 a year to some newsletter if his investment advice worked all that well? The best investment strategy is one that a) works and b) nobody else knows about. The moment that a strategy becomes widely known, it disappears into the background of the market and is worthless ever after. If a newsletter author’s stuff worked consistently, the last thing he’d want to do is let other people know.

              While there are some legitimate newsletters out there that teach you how to think about investing, the majority are a vehicle for crooked investment promoters to drive you to invest in a losing sector (anything involving gold, for example) or as a way to aid and abet a pump-and-dump scheme with some crappy penny stock.

            • Rather like the National Lottery systems which promise to make you a sure-fire winner.

              If you actually had such a thing you would keep it to yourself because if it worked and became widely known, the prizes would be shared between so many people they wouldn’t be worth having.

            • Banrion

              Yes, I should clarify, I have neither the patience or means for any substantial investing. I have my 401k that Vanguard manages just fine. 🙂 I do like to read analysis of the deeper workings of the markets and about the not so obvious variables that contribute to seemingly random volatility. You have the ability to discuss this heavy and occasionally dry material into narrative that is easy to follow, which is the closest thing to a superpower I have ever seen demonstrated.

              Edited to add: My father-in-law fancies himself a day trader. I get ALL the bad investment advice from him at the dinnertable.

            • ze moo

              The problem of peak/non-peak use and storage of electricity is one of the largest costs of the modern electrical grid. Converting the products of electrolysis into methane is a no-brainer.

            • kemist

              One particular concern though for electrification of transport is that China has been stockpiling rare earth metals – they have both the existing mines and recycling facilities, and are not selling them anymore.

              Rare earths are necessary both for manufacture of the best permanent magnets (one component of many types of electrical motors) and electronics. They might be counting on that in trade agreement negotiations.

            • ze moo

              Those rare earth magnets were patents stolen from an American firm in Kentucky. In 1996!

              http://www.joc.com/maritime-news/kentucky-maker-magnets-wins-patent-battle-chinese-rivals_19960610.html

            • kemist

              All I can say is… Good luck enforcing those patents in China.

            • ze moo

              All the court could do was ban their importation from China.

            • If you average it out, Germany already produces more (renewable) energy than it consumes. The problem is (and always has been) that the power is not available when you need it.

              This is why new storage technologies are being researched – if you were lived in a super-insulated house with a lot of solar panels and a large storage battery (Tesla are now selling such a product) you could cut loose from the grid, providing you were willing to watch your consumption carefully (and resort to a generator, a few times a year).

              These technologies are appearing in industry – super-capacitors are now being used to with wind turbines to insure continued output for a while, when the wind isn’t blowing.

              Alternatively, you could a lot of domestic systems like the one above to a ‘smart grid’ and have greater security at the cost of independence.

              The principal reason that these things will be difficult is that vested interests will fight tooth and nail to insure that they own any future system, and that it does no break them.

            • Techie

              The supercaps in windmills just keep the controls alive so the blades can feather when the wind is too strong and the grid is down. I love supercaps, just did a design with them, but they do not have anywhere near enough energy density to be useful at utility scale. The way it works with existing technology you have to have non-renewable energy plants on standby whenever you use renewables. Just a fact of life. Germany is backed up by French nuclear plants and coal plants in other parts of Europe. No conspiracy theories about “vested interests” are necessary, the technology is simply not there. A battery with enough lithium in it to store a few seconds of utility scale power would be a bomb more impressive than Hiroshima if anything went wrong. When it becomes economical to do utility scale storage it will be done, but the most sensible methods are unacceptable to the greens, such as pumped water in reservoirs. Best bet is the LFTR. Cheap fuel. No storage problems. Inherently safe. No bomb grade byproducts. No high pressure vessels. Check it out.

            • OTVIIIisGrrr8!

              John P., while your so-called analysis is brilliant from a wog perspective, it fails to answer three crucial questions for we in RTC:

              1. Even with the cost of oil down, where does the Freewinds get enough money for the fuel it needs to get out of port? As it now stands, unless the Scientologists onboard can make it go right and cough up $86,000 for fuel, port charges, potable water, and charges to empty the sewage tanks that rust bucket is going nowhere for the foreseeable future. So the question is this: Can The Freewinds be converted to electric, or, do we just tow it out to sea and sink it for the insurance money?

              2. COB’s 2008 investments of large sums of money from the IAS reserves into the Venezuelan oil industry seemed like a can’t miss at the time. So did his large personal investments in a film called Not Forgotten. However, due to SP British Bankers destroying these investments in order to harm Scientology, where does COB go now to recover those losses?

              3. COB personally thinks sardine farming is the next big thing because sardines, pilchards, and other fish from the family Clupeidae are protein rich and are high in Omega3 fatty acids. Moreover, given the astonishing abilities of Gold Base to bake its world famous breads and pastries, COB believes that a line of frozen Gold Base Pilchard Pies could make a fortune in the gourmet food segment. May COB count Global Capitalism in for an initial $250,000,000 in funding? BTW, your complimentary pilchard pie is on its way to GCWHQ:

              https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/33ce89aeb287115b76ea8ece4286d38f4b3cfbb2fab9ee51b93899ef2b3a2f79.jpg

            • We in Global Capitalism HQ are always glad to hear from you in RTC, and are delighted you seek our financial wisdom from time to time.

              1. I would suggest that you start an “ideal fuel tank” campaign to drive the havingness of the fullness of the fuel tanks on the Freewinds. That will cover you in the short term. As far as sinking that particular floating hunk of junk to collect the insurance money, I’m not sure you could get it far enough away from the dock to make a plausible sinking claim, and the value of the ship is so low that you wouldn’t get enough of an insurance settlement to make even a token down payment on a replacement. A similar sized cruise ship today would cost you about $400 million, and the insurance settlement on the sinking of a 50-year-old converted ferry would be pennies above scrap value, perhaps $5 million.

              2. I think your best chance to recoup your Venezuelan losses would be to send people in to Venezuela and distribute Way To Happiness booklets. You’ll handle crime in Venezuela exactly as you did in next-door Colombia. And once you do, the economy will instantly rebound and throngs of grateful citizens will shower you with far more money than you would have earned had the country not nationalized the oil business to begin with.

              3. Regarding the pilchard and sardine pie business, we in Global Capitalism HQ are always looking to invest in forward-looking consumer businesses. Given that burritos and burgers are a little overdone as concepts right now, who’s to say that sardines are not the next big thing? If you guys are willing to convert the unused space in your “Ideal Orgs” (which is to say, basically all of it) to a casual dining pilchard pie concept, then we might be interested, particularly if you’d put the titles to all those ideal orgs in trust with us as surety against a failure of the concept. We’d happily invest $250MM in your concept to have a crack at $1.5 billion in real estate assets that you own debt-free.

            • OTVIIIisGrrr8!

              John P., thank you for your sage advice as always.

              As to your proposal to secure funding: COB is opposed to using the Ideal Orgs to secure financing of his sardine pie venture, particularly as these properties are currently 100% owned by the David Miscavige Trust of Curacao.

              Alternately, COB proposes securing the loan with $1,000,000 in Church of Scientology subordinated debentures payable in 2021 at 11.75% interest. COB is prepared to go as high as $2,000,000 if needed.

              https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cd0554b767d78e6bb1e67c28a5a75da23d0dc6d59a4fd46d28860f14394d44d7.png

            • JJ

              I don’t want that.

        • Elizabeth Lavet

          OT: Now they are selling shares in the big wind turbines. You can own one or part of one.

    • kemist

      I think you should always run away from somebody who guarantees that kind of return on anything, or promises that you’ll make loads of money doing a job with no particular qualifications or skills.

      It’s very simple : ask yourselves why the fuck anyone would pay that kind of interest for a loan, or who the fuck would pay such a wage for something anyone could do.

      If you can’t find a satisfying answer, keep your money / old job.

      • ze moo

        In the early/mid 00’s, I saw a print ad for Bernie Madoff’s investment fund. The ad featured a graph {with labeled axis} that showed a 45% return on investment. I thought to my self, why hasn’t the FTC and SEC looked into this?

        • kemist

          Here that kind of scam is a little more underground.

          My cousins got caught in one, and tried to get my dad involved. It involved cash exchanged in brown envelopes. I don’t know why my cousins fell for this, but my dad didn’t and tried to reason with them to no avail.

          Nowadays the local scams touch two particular domains: condo projects and debt consolidation services. Two poorly regulated fields. That’s why when some ignorant doofus comes to me arguing about how good deregulation is, I get pissed.

          • ze moo

            In far too many cases, ‘deregulation’ means you get to screw your ‘clients’ and they have no recourse to get said money back.

        • abdaman

          Apparently a lot of people tried to raise the alarm to the SEC over the years to no avail. The SEC even investigated madoff after some complaints once and found that everything was in good order, inexplicably. This is what deregulation does in capitalism imo

          • Harry Markopolos, a former portfolio manager, reported Madoff to the SEC on multiple occasions and was ignored. He wrote a book which is a pretty good read even if you’re not up on all the financial arcana. Markopolos was asked to design a trading system for another fund manager to mimic Madoff’s trading strategy. He quickly realized that the particular strategy of options trading to boost returns could not possibly deliver the returns that Madoff claimed and that he had to be a fraud of some sort.

            Incidentally, I would agree that deregulation in financial markets is a bad thing. Long term, you don’t want to reward dirty money as it squeezes high-quality capital allocation skills out of the market and the market then tilts increasingly towards dishonesty. If the SEC enforcement budget were increased by 10x (unlikely), I would be extremely happy because it would ultimately put my sleazier competitors out of business, allowing me to attract more Assets Under Management (AUM). The more AUM, the greater the management fees that a fund company reaps. And the more your management fees, the more money is available to pay in bonuses to people like me.

            • abdaman

              I remember someone wrote an article before the stuff hit the fan about how he determined Madoff had to be a ponzi scheme, maybe the same guy? And then when Madoff got to prison in good old Butner NC he applied to be the treasurer of like, the the inmate groundskeepers or something, and on the application he put “chairman of the Nasdaq” lol

  • Missionary Kid

    My first thought was that they got their idea from The Producers.

    • Rasha

      ^_^ Me, too!

      • Missionary Kid

        GMTA

  • Meepthorp

    Mary Jo White, head of the SEC just resigned. She’s getting the hell out of Dodge before Tramp takes office. The job will be untenable for anyone who wishes to keep our financial system in check. The Bush Era of Wall Street Lawlessness will look like children playing patty cake compared to what we will see in the next 4 years: the plan is to completely deregulate Wall Street, roll back Dodd Frank and any protections against these kinds of financial crimes. I hope the case gets completed before all financial regulation is completely excoriated.

    DISCLAIMER: This comment refers to future events possibly influencing the outcome regarding the above case in the article. It is not intended to derail or spark an off topic political discussion.

  • Graham

    Off topic but hopefully of interest to Brit-Bunkeroos. Rory Bremner is famous over here as an entertainer (Impressionist). I’ve just listened to him on BBC Radio 4 Extra doing a very sensitive piece on ADHD. Can be heard here, tho sadly I assume it can only be accessed from the UK: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b011c0nn

    Towards the end there is discussion of the role of medication. Considered as a ‘last resort’ and potentially able to transform the lives of people with severe symptoms, it’s a long way from Scientology’s parroting of “They’re medicating all our kids”.

    • PJK

      It played for me here in The Netherlands. Maybe the BBC didn’t find this important enough to put behind the iPlayer paywall.

  • Fred G. Haseney

    The thriller Now Forgotten is available at the YouTube Channel, “TheKing Game” (its name is written as found, lacking the space between the words “the” and “king”). A few screen grabs from the movie reveal, or prove:

    1. Grant Cardone as an Executive Producer.
    2. The participation of scientogist, musician Mark Isham.
    3. Ditto for Tamra Meskimen. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ac3a29b82905ea2223ea121ad3bb4acf126edecd3800cc850aae111d64e53caa.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/11f31e4f54b59afe4cb270d3fd175edfdf8598ba6f35546a75350b68ed42034c.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cef360a2dc298f608d0acbee38e2853e74c4bef471c4476ed7f80546cc8a4789.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/742f15ea88326145b5dc82f37455596899658a94530a5ed492917809cc07cf66.jpg

    • Sherbet

      “Now Forgotten — is that a Freudian slip, Fred?

      • Fred G. Haseney

        But of course, my dear Watson!

    • Chee Chalker

      Thank you! Bad movies are my guilty pleasure. That and Nutella

      • Fred G. Haseney

        Not Nutella! Oh, how the mighty have fallen!

    • richelieu jr

      Listen: It s not unusual for someone who suddenly gets the money to make a film to hire those they know, especially ones who are either relatively established or famous (cf Isham), or just takented and innee dof a job.. I have done it, for sure. And Scilons ONLY hang out in PhotocopyPlaydohWordClearDaDoRonRonLand.. so..

      Still, the EP role of Cardone is telling.

      Whilst it s true that EP can mean truly almost anything, from ‘had the rights’ to ‘wouldn’t act in otherwise’, to ‘needed money laundered’, ‘wrote it’, ‘I owed her”, etc…

      Still, you can be sure Cardone’s “What’s that fetid odor beneath the expensive cologne, pungent cigar smoke, constant stream of BS, “LOOK AT ME!!, Young Trump-jobbing” veneer of snake oil and the highest quality smegma produced by any Cordone’s junk that morning, led a good many young scilons, and lesser beings to put some cash into this bonfire.

      Wha tis more, most (if not all) of them paid it back into the ‘Cherch’ which makes it smell very, very much mike a Miscavige Money Laundering Scheme, whose ‘Ancient Chinese Secret’ is throwing unsuccessful scilons under the bus as they belatedly discover that Pyramids only have one point, at the top, far above al us squares, and it is so specific, so sharp, that there is only ONE VERY LITTLE PRICK on top.

  • flyonthewall

    Should of made a porno instead. Guaranteed money shot right there boy. Skeet skeet

    • Eivol Ekdal

      Go to your corner!

      • flyonthewall
        • Eivol Ekdal

          Are you going to HowdyCon?

          • flyonthewall

            Nope. You?

            • Kim O’Brien
            • flyonthewall

              I saw that, looks awesome. I love the Things To Do in Denver ref, very funny movie. One question – How is my avi not on that wall?? I am deeply hurt and offended

              eta – No J3 either! What a farce

            • Kim O’Brien

              somethin about grabbing them by comments or something . I dunno … old avis maybe in there ?

            • flyonthewall

              Yeah I see a lot of peeps who haven’t commented in God knows how long. I was just giving you trouble anyway

            • LongtimeLurker

              Great work!

              Saw my avatar, lol.

            • LongtimeLurker

              wtf?

              I can’t go.

              This is like you’re turning down a scholarship to Yale, while I’m stuck in community college.

              …or something…

            • flyonthewall

              I did turn down a scholarship to Yale actually. Yale Plumbers College but Yale all the same

            • Eivol Ekdal

              I want to – now I don’t see the point though.
              🙁

            • flyonthewall

              You’d just be disappointed anyway, it’s for the best

        • Princess Squishy
  • Rasha

    I just tried to read the plot of Not Forgotten on Wikipedia, and all I have to say is Santa Muerte!!

    The only thing that this storyline is missing is Johnny Goodboy discovering that Jack’s previous employer’s maid used to be named Becky, and her lawyer hired a hitman to bribe a banker, Arch, to murder the laundromat owner, who is the uncle of the drug lord, and who knows that Becky – now Amanda – once lied under oath about a vehicular homicide that happened in Stony Ridge, NM, where Jack had an affair with Grezelda Pitfarken, a local down-and-out waitress who runs a drug cartel out of her Vistacruiser station wagon behind the police station where Bill Goodboy (no relation) is a janitor…….

    • richelieu jr

      Classic Scilon Name.

    • LongtimeLurker

      It watches even “better” than it reads.

      Or at least the first 20 minutes did.

      • Missionary Kid

        I’m wondering if it looks better stoned. I haven’t done that for 20 years, but it sounds like it might be better if one turned the sound off and blasted some rock & roll while viewing it.

        • LongtimeLurker

          It does have some unique visuals scattered through it.

          • Missionary Kid

            The freakiest experience I had doing that was watching the results on TV from the California Primary of June 6, 1968, stoned, sound off, rock playing, when the news flash came on about RFK being assassinated. It took a while to understand that it was real. At first, the thought was that they were talking about JFK’s. assassination.

            All we could say was, WOW.

            • LongtimeLurker

              I’m glad that didn’t happen to me, is all I can say. ; )

    • Princess Squishy

      Saint Death?

      • Rasha

        That’s the drug cartel in the story.

        • Princess Squishy

          okay. I knew it meant Saint Death, I didn’t realize it was a theme in the movie.

  • Fred G. Haseney

    Actor Greg Serano is cast as “Deputy Valdez” in the thriller Now Forgotten. There’s a Greg Serano at The Truth About Scientology’s website: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cddd5a163801cab6891b0e4610a26581f0e6a436d3d10b38c97f45acf291b541.jpg

  • Fred G. Haseney

    Actress Virginia Pereira is cast as “Karen” in the thriller Now Forgotten. There’s also a Virginia Pereira at The Truth About Scientology’s website: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c521d2d5a885fb40a399b0d71d9eac0ae4cbad0563ec5acd949fa9da3e02aa32.jpg

  • ze moo

    Are $cientologists more prone to financial crimes? There have been so many famous ponzi schemes and outright frauds in the news that you would think they are every day occurrences. Yes, they are every day occurrences. How can any clam ‘loan’ money to another clam for their bridge payments? They have to know they have better payoff chances from the Lottery. But are $cienoes more prone to such things? Some certainly are.

    Most limit themselves to ‘salesmanship’ crap, or things like time shares or reselling electrical and natural gas. Business that are legal, but shady or just plain hype. Cardone is nothing but hype. Hype that we can easily ignore. Those trying to motivate their sales force probably look at him differently. TenX of crap is still crap.

    Look at all those web ads that tell you that the economy is about to collapse and that only gold will protect you. Look at all the ‘free money’ stuff that pervades the intertubz. Yes, E-{or I} PT Barnum, a sucker is born every minute.

    Still 72 criminal counts is a lot. I will enjoy seeing these clowns sent to jail But then other financial criminals, like Jamie Dimon are headed for important positions in the Trumpy Administration. Will Martin Shkreli administrate Medicare Part D?

    • Rasha

      Hey – that Bridge ain’t gonna pay for itself!!!

    • noseinabk

      Makes me think of all the attempts and some success with selling alkaline or oxygenated water to other clams. They are so insular that they are the perfect breeding ground for scammers. I’ve seen them promote other clam company’s and woo many times on facebook.

    • Harpoona Frittata

      “Are $cientologists more prone to financial crimes?”

      Sure seems like it, huh? Could be due to that generalizability of gullibility effect in which once you put that part of your brain involved with critical thinking into a prolonged coma and chump for the Xenu myth and disembodied space alien possession delusion, then you’re fully primed to believe most anything. When I was in, decades ago, all manner of sales fads were rampant – from vitamins to frozen steaks, you name it, $cilons were eager to do jump on whatever bandwagon that passed by.

      That’s certainly bad enough, but some small percentage of sociopaths join the cherch and blend in with the flock in order to fleece the sheeple, who they rightly perceive as being as gullible as early stage dementia seniors. Like being overboarded into the Amazon during a piranha feeding frenzy, these poor souls with more money than sense find themselves chewed to pieces by $cn reges on the inside, while being stripped to the bone by WISE-affliliated scammers on the outside.

      The corporate cherch under the malign administration of lil davey the savage appears to have mastered the art of the long con, in which those that have no money are either barred at the door or set to work for prison industry wage, while those with means are not only stripped of their assets over time, but coerced into huge debt before being cast off when they’re completely tapped out and then sent off to “make it go right”. The direct effect there is to sift out the obstreperous and critical, while winnowing down the size of the group to a smaller and smaller proportion of, let’s call’em, SP’s (Super Persuadables) who have proven time and time again that they will chump for the most outlandish and unbelievable bullshit ever imagined.

      What’s even more odd and remarkable about this $cn SP group, though, is that instead of just being overly susceptible to the oily charms of very personable grifters, they’re extremely masochistic and appear to need to be treated very badly as they’re being fleeced. $cn has somehow set itself up in a way that acts as a kind of Strange Attractor for folks who are both super persuadable and have a deep and implacable need to engage in “beat me, f*** me, make me write bad checks” behavior. The Venn diagram intersection there has to be vanishingly small as a proportion of the total population, but $cn just dominates that sector and by concentrating its efforts upon it has been extracted untold wealth from these poor marks.

      • ze moo

        While clams are represented in all manner of scams, they are not the most numerous group. My question is, what proportion of clams engage in such schemes? Are they taught to engage in them or are they being manipulated into them by others in the clampire?

        I almost have to agree about the ‘if you can swallow Xenu and KSW, you’ll swallow almost anything’. But $cientology is not a Nigerian email.

  • When I first met Dror in the lobby of Celebrity Centre on La Brea in Hollywood, I thought he was an interesting con man. I never took his filmmaking seriously even when he made a movie written by Michael Lewis, whose actor son Jonny later ended up dead after murdering a woman. One day, Dror wanted me to meet over a script of mine he admired (the only one I ever gave him, which he’d heard about and wanted to read). He said he could get it financed and wanted to discuss it. As soon as I arrived, he said, “So this is drug money. That’s OK, right?” No, it wasn’t, and I was gone, last time I saw him. From my experience, he probably very well deserves prison.

    • LongtimeLurker

      Hey, I’m pleasantly surprised he was so up-front about it!

      • Chee Chalker

        C’mon! He’s a SCIENTOLOGIST! (said in the TC black turtleneck way)
        They don’t lie, do they?

        • LongtimeLurker

          No. They don’t.

          But when they do, they’re much better at it than normal human ‘wogs’.

          • You’re either on the playing field, or outside scalping tickets for it.

        • richelieu jr

          They don’t lie, do they?

          Only to themselves.

          And other Scientologists.

      • Most criminals assume that you’re as crooked as they are at heart, or can be coerced to be.

        • LongtimeLurker

          That’s a good point.

  • Fred G. Haseney

    Actress Adriana Paz is cast as “Pregnant Maid” in the thriller Now Forgotten. There’s also an Adriana Paz at The Truth About Scientology’s website (Ms. Paz, possibly at the suggestion of a fellow scientologist cast or crew member, completed that introductory course about a month before the September 11, 2009, release of the movie): https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/00d949ebdae0d43152238f4b5f2b55d9e096af95d6693b12980cfcf3508bcfd4.jpg

    • Princess Squishy

      great reporting Fred

  • I don’t believe for one damned second that Michelle Seward was thrown out of $cientology for being a lesbian. Hell, at the first Briefing Course at St. Hill in England under Elwrong, there was a group who called themselves the Cleared Queers. That was when one of them, first Clear John McMaster, kept rebuffing sex maniac Hubbard’s advances. I knew numerous lesbians and gays over the years in $cientology and never heard of a single one getting kicked out over their dalliances – too much money could be had from security checks!

    • kemist

      I’ll make a wild guess : as long as you give them money, they’re all right with everything you might have done, including fraud and child molestation, but once you stop and/or become too much of a PR problem, it becomes grounds for expulsion.

    • richelieu jr

      In response to Sunny’s story:

      `Hmm.. Thinking I may know who you are..! 😉

      I certainly hope you liked it!

      A kiss than can knock you right out of Scientology is one hell of a SMACK!

      If ‘deprogramming’ had worked like that, there might have been fewer complaints and hell of a lot less scilons…

      The girl deserves thank you notes on the anniversary (and my phone number,if she’s single)!

      (sorry to make light of the shitty blow you took, I just can’t help it!)

      (what’s up with DISCUS? First it told me the post I was responding to hd been removed by a moderator, then it refuses to let me post because I had ‘already posted this comment’.)

    • Tony Ortega

      Derek Bloch, Nora Crest, and Sunny Pereira say otherwise. And I’m sure there are others.

      • There’s a lesbian named Derek? Well, OK, this must’ve started when Lil Davey couldn’t get a couple of hookers to do each other in Vegas.

        • Kim O’Brien

          shut up stupid

          • Looking in the mirror again, Kim? Hey, did you hear about PRESIDENT TRUMP? 🙂

            • When they told you you would get super powers, you said “Count me in.”
              And when Trump said “I love the poorly educated”, and “I could shoot people and not lose voters”, you said, “Sounds good.”

            • LongtimeLurker

              President Elect, actually.

              Still plenty of time left for him to completely pussy out (maybe fake an illness or something?).

              – Just like he did when he met Enrique Peña Nieto.

              – And Obama.

              – And on the Sanders debate.

              – And when he threatened to sue Ted Cruz over “voter fraud” when Trump lost the Iowa caucuses fair and square but couldn’t handle it.

              – And when he threatened to sue The Washington Post for a completely true story about the Trump Taj Mahal bankruptcy.

              – And when he threatened to sue Bill Maher when Maher said on television that Trump’s mother “[had] sex with an orangutan.”*

              Still plenty of time to pussy out. Plenty. Of. Time.

              * Wow, personally I wouldn’t have let this one slide.

              But then, I’m not the gutless, pussying-out big-mouth Trump is.

            • PRESIDENT TRUMP – get used to it for the next eight years. Meanwhile, if you want actual facts about the evil Clintons, watch this, but you probably shouldn’t because it would make your addled head explode. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ayHf7qbZGA

            • LongtimeLurker

              Nope. Still only President Elect. Fact.

              And I bet you won’t vote for him after his first term (or you’ll have to grit your teeth when you do).

              If he even makes it to (or through) his first term.

              Regarding your link – I’ve only ever said I would have voted for Hillary to stop Trump, not because I’m a blind Clinton supporter.

              But, you know, keep on assuming.

              By the way, notice how I only called Trump names, not you. But you immediately responded by insulting me directly?

              That’s a telling insight, isn’t it?

            • Princess Squishy

              My favorite is Mango Mussolini

            • Robert Eckert

              il douche’

            • LongtimeLurker

              lol

            • LongtimeLurker

              Mine too. Genius.

            • kemist

              What do you think of the people he’s appointing ?

              Honestly, I’m curious.

              This “draining of the swamp” he spoke of looks more and more like the overflow of a backed-up sewer.

            • Draco

              Recycling sewerage – nothing wrong with that. ;P

            • So good, so far. I’m always skeptical of “drain the swamp” statements, though. I remember Nancy Pelosi saying that, but then I knew about his Mafia daddy and her husband investment interests, so I knew that was bullshit. GW said something similar, but then I knew about the Bushes involvement with the Clintons going back to Mena, AK (but Bush was still not completely insane like Gore, who grew up under the tutelage of Joe Stalin’s pal, Armand Hammer). So I held my nose. The Saudis have mostly owned the last four Presidents, though, so now that’s over and Trump doesn’t owe anyone and can’t be bought. Fingers crossed, hope he’s another Eisenhower, who was better than Reagan, with a dose of Harry Truman thrown in.

            • Robert Eckert

              “hope he’s another Eisenhower” Uh, you do know that Eisenhower served in the military first, for like a long time?

        • MarcabExpat

          Skip, Derek is a well-known commenter here and I thought we were all aware of that.

          • Since you come from Marcab, I should probably let you know that on Earth aka Teegeeack we call that a “joke”.

            • Robert Eckert

              No, Skip, on Earth we use the word “joke” for things that are funny.

            • That’s the lamest attempted slam I’ve ever seen here. Congratulations on finally achieving something in your life.

            • Robert Eckert

              That’s only because you can’t see yourself. We have seen far lamer slams.

            • Oh, OK, the old “I speak for we” dodge. Yeah, that always works, huh? Might I suggest some gotu kola? When your brain power is lagging as badly as yours, it usually works. Your continual attempt to hate at all costs is fascinating.

            • Robert Eckert

              I do, in fact, speak for others here. I bet you have probably had a friend at least once in your life. You just don’t have any here.

            • Just think of what you last thought will be. Mostly likely, as usual, hatefull and wrong. But be of good cheer – there’s a chance that someone will be around to communicate with you, even if it’s from the other side where it’s hot and dark.

            • Robert Eckert

              I have more love in my life right now than you will ever know.

  • LongtimeLurker

    The Rondamned, shameless ****ing hypocrisy!!!

    I think Not Forgotten is about a violent, secretive cult that kidnaps people!

    (I haven’t finished it yet, I have to watch it in pieces.)

    Also – F5
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2559b92dbd9e9e6f881a04a5f0a36692f087bf79e22f7113917af0dfd3e8a3dd.png

    • richelieu jr

      “I haven’t finished it yet, I have to watch it in pieces.”

      RIP Longtime Lurker

      Long Live PartTime Pauser!

    • April

      Thanks for taking one for the team.

      • LongtimeLurker

        You bet.

        It’s not the worst film I’ve ever watched. Not by a long shot.

        But I watch between 5 and 10 films a week. So I see a lot of utter crap.

        I’ll report back tomorrow.

  • Fred G. Haseney

    Actress Carmen Perez is cast as “Carolina” in the thriller Now Forgotten. There’s a Carmen Perez at The Truth About Scientology’s website (I’ll lay odds they’re same person, especially since her service completions were reported by Celebrity magazine): https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ba54e1050af60ea0ee626674651845ebbbc84857a57ab989c9c05bafe0a839df.jpg

  • Fred G. Haseney

    Actor Greg Safel is cast as “Canta” in the thriller Now Forgotten. There’s a Greg Safel at The Truth About Scientology’s website (as reported by Celebrity magazine): https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/57a8cccef82e87fd2c0cc4852d454697d8230b4ffe2cc23fb1c0a38358670902.jpg

  • Fred G. Haseney

    Actress Elena Lyons is cast as “Newscaster” in the thriller Now Forgotten. There’s also an Elena Lyons at The Truth About Scientology’s website (as reported by Celebrity and Freedum magazines): https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8a0c338c1370afa96c64687ae1408ad289fcedcaaed4e7c80f9d84c82d306193.jpg

    • M from Toronto
      • Fred G. Haseney

        For real, M from Toronto?!

        • M from Toronto

          For real, Fred (although, how much is ‘for real’ about the Cardones is up for debate) she has plenty of credits, including Victim #3 (and THE most annoying character) in one of my favourite movies of all time, Club Dread.
          To this day I have no idea if she’s noticed her character died in a yellow tee shirt, reminiscent of the VMs.
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/04177d59a506d3ea2712870844eba108cceb74691717cf98c9f3d364b2a5a0ca.jpg
          Here is a link to her Internet Movie Database page (and she actually is willing to have her husband publicly claimed).
          http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0529050/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

          • Fred G. Haseney

            Now, that’s unreal! Thanks, M for Toronto; I’ve updated my blog since I now know she’s Cardone’s wife (and have credited you, of course).

            • M from Toronto

              Not necessary, but kind of you, Fred! It’s a funny thing, when a person becomes horribly fascinated by the machinations of CO$ it never ceases to amaze me how quickly you can find connections, or have suspicions, once you know the front organizations, the loaded terms, the modus operandi, or verify a few names. Our Proprietor and the posters here keep saying it; the world of the CO$ is already insular, now shrinking, and the taint of it is toxic in the mind of an average person.

  • richelieu jr

    Well, both viewers loved it, so that’s enough for me!

    • LongtimeLurker

      That’s 100% approval! Hard to get!

  • richelieu jr

    “…not sure if it’s an action film or a trhiller flm, but it gives you both…?”

    I’ll slap down 14 bucks just to hear what the fuck Scilon jr is on about!

  • richelieu jr

    My Brain Cloud is settling in again, but wasn’t Paz Vega the bikini babe who wandered in on Louis and Marty in My Scientology Film?

    • flyonthewall

      you need some of them brain pills. My man J3 will hook you up

    • Tony Ortega

      That was Paz de la Huerta.

      • LongtimeLurker

        People with weird first names shouldn’t be allowed to have the same weird first name as someone else’s weird first name.

        Imagine how confused we’d all be if there was like, an Uma McPhee floating around.

        Or a Chevy Fairbanks.

        Or Demi Wellington-Boote.

        • Princess Squishy

          I’ll give you Demi and Uma, but Chevy’s given name is Cornelius.

        • Eivol Ekdal

          Her full name is…
          María de la Paz Elizabeth Sofía Adriana de la Huerta y Bruce

  • Princess Squishy

    Well Still no butterfly today. I thought yesterday would be Mr. Pickles’ birthday, maybe today. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8650122f5626ca9d9897685470f6f56a7b63a5593832437ab2ba6041585b341d.jpg

    • Princess Squishy

      @TheRealRasha:disqus did you see Mr. Pickles’ most recent portrait? You’re the one that has been most interested I think

  • Dror Soref’s next venture: NOVA FILMHOUSE, INC. 12/11/2013 Status: FTB SUSPENDED.

    D’OH!

  • Princess Squishy

    Also O/T I found out my Angel Trumpet is still blooming in mid November in Middle/Western Tennessee https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e3064e3214c5d1973423c57228e2161b166c739c034ec1872a4a125b4fa5dbe9.jpg

  • 3feetback-of-COS

    What’s wrong with gypping elderly investors out of thousands of dollars? It’s the $cientology way: the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics. /sarcasmof off

  • Xenu’s son.

    Interesting stuff on michelseward.org.
    A typical Scienology bubble world scenario.A big being scientologists with 3 bankrupties Dror,goes after an insurance saleswomen with money connections.(No not the Richie Acunto type)
    Unemployed Celibrity Center actors get rounded up.Big stories about powerful connections get made.
    Michelle”s clients, probably mostly scientologists get hit up for cash.Pay to play promises get made.
    After all with so many OT”s involved and co-directed by the DouchebagDuke,Mr Big Being no 4 1/2 Grant Cordone himself,what could go wrong?
    Come to think of it a much better script than Unforgotten.
    Come to think of it again.Probably a worse script:Sigh,nobody would believe that such brainwashed people really exist.

    Her story:Michelle Seward , CEO and owner of Protégé Financial & Ins Services and Saxe Coburg Insurance did something that is unheard of in Hollywood and in the financial world, she has committed to pay for her clients’ losses because she feels it is the right thing to do.

    August 1, 2013 an $8.75 million Seward Recovery Settlement Trust was created by Seward. An assignment of all the business assets of Protégé Financial and Saxe Coburg, the majority of Seward’s large personal assets and also 35% of her future earnings were transferred to the trust. A trustee, retired Judge, has been assigned to liquidate the assets and distribute funds to the creditors, which the trustee is currently in the process of liquidating the assets.

    Seward has had to stay quiet for quite some time, due to existing litigation and fear of retaliation from the Church of Scientology.

    Seward’s involvement with the Church of Scientology and her departure in 2009, are a big part of this case and the tragedy that has occurred with her clients, family and friends.

    Seward has been a successful insurance agent for over 20 years. Relying on the guidance of mentors and her own initiative, Seward has built a career for herself within the insurance world, carving out a niche where she worked with her clients to help them purchase life insurance policies and other insurance products. Seward built a multimillion dollar producing agency by the time she was 33 years old.

    Seward was and still is heavily involved in a number of charities. For example, Seward was involved with Youth for Human Rights International, which is a nonprofit organization that promotes human rights in the developing world. Seward has long been passionate about human rights and children and adopted a baby from her work in the Los Angeles area.
    Unfortunately, Seward’s involvement with Youth for Human Rights International
    (which is an affiliate of the Church of Scientology) led to the introduction Soref. Looking back now, Seward can see that she was targeted by Soref, who began attending the same human rights events as Seward and ingratiating himself into her inner circle.
    Seward immediately let her guard down with Soref and trusted him because they were both Scientologists. Seward was raised in the Church of Scientology and her mother was at one point a Director of Marketing for the Church. Seward has since broken with the Church of Scientology and regrets placing her trust in Soref. Seward felt that she had a connection with Soref and his wife, through their common belief in Scientology and therefore placed a great degree of trust in him. Seward was also the “God Mother” to their daughter.
    Starting in late 2006, Soref began pitching a movie venture to Seward as a “no fail” way to make money because the movie was backed by a bond from Film Finance and had already been sold for international distribution, had an executive producer who owned over 1200 theaters, and the film had “A list” actors.
    Most people would think, “how can you trust Hollywood?”

    As a Scientologist, you do not question another Scientologist that is in “good standing”.

    Seward eventually agreed to introduce her clients and family to Soref’s film investment.
    Not only Seward’s best friends and father contribute 100’s of thousands to Not Forgotten , but so did her clients.

    This was Seward’s first foray into the movie business and while she was experienced at selling insurance, Seward realizes in hindsight that she was out of her depth in the area of film projects.

    Soref set up Not Forgotten, LLC to raise money for the film project, titled “Not Forgotten”. Soref was the sole managing member and also the only signer on the bank accounts. Soref also set up Windsor Pictures, LLC to be a production company. The retainer agreement with the attorney, also a Scientologist, was signed only by Soref. The Los angeles based attorney was responsible for providing the correct paperwork to Soref for Seward’s clients.
    Soref has provided government agencies with emails of Seward communicating to the attorney to make it look as if Seward was in control, yet Seward’s communication was based on making sure that Soref was held responsible as the managing member.

    Seward has declarations from employees and insurance agents as to Soref’s control.
    Seward had separated from her spouse at this point and would go through a difficult divorce process while pregnant with twins who were born premature, in addition to caring for her other two young children, with little help or support.

    Also during this time, Seward started questioning Scientology’s constant “reissue” of new technical data as purely a scheme to get parishioners to donate more money. Additionally, the church’s anti-gay views were no longer acceptable to Seward.

    Soref was well aware of this and became Seward’s confidant while he was also covertly taking control of Seward’s staff and other life insurance agents to fulfill his funding needs.

    Seward’s mother informed her that the Office of Special Affairs at the Church of Scientology had launched an internal investigation on Seward and her Life insurance business.
    (Seward’s mother has recently left the Church after 24 years when she became aware of the covert actions that the Church was taking against her daughter.) Seward believes it was during this period when the international distributor for Not Forgotten backed out. Soref kept this crucial fact a secret from everyone involved – including Seward — and continued to state that international distribution was in place. Because of Soref’s deception, Seward still does not know exactly what happened to the international distribution. She only knows that at some point the international distribution fell through and the consequences for the potential profitability of the film were impacted significantly.

    To date, Soref claims no responsibility for the investors. He claims he was unaware of anything financial and has handpicked a small amount of specific emails that he has provided to
    government agencies to try and prove Seward’s control. He has contacted “other Scientoogists”, such as people who made commissions off of Seward donations to help him go against Seward.

    Yet, Seward has many binders of emails showing a completely different picture and a copy of a report that Soref sent to many terminals in the Church of Scientology and affiliates, dated 2/27/2010 ,where Soref states:

    “After sitting in on countless presentations on this, I have yet to hear that [fraud theory] from Michelle. As a matter of fact, I am surprised that the “informal investigation’ of Michelle Seward has not been summarily dropped.”
    “I am the person assigned to legal. I make sure that all legal rudiments of our organization are in. I know EVERY legal detail. I routinely talk with ALL of our lawyers, who specialize with insurance and other related legal fields.”
    “If there is anyone who can attest to this is yours truly.”

    At the end of the day, the most important facts are :

    Seward has committed to pay for her clients’ losses

    Soref denies responsibility for the clients’ losses

    Soref has more than twenty-five years of experience in the film industry and is, in our view, the real perpetrator here.
    This 62-year old film producer has filed bankruptcy three times (See Soref BK info tab), including recently to try to escape liability in the Department of Corporations case and in relation to the various investors and lenders that he took advantage of through his entities.

    Soref continues to start many production companies (search through google) and states in his BK testimony that he has raised more capital.
    As Seward learned the hard way, Soref uses other people’s money to fund his films, pays himself an exorbitant salary in the process, and then walks away unscathed when the project fails.
    Soref exercised control over Skyline Pictures, Not Forgotten, and Windsor Pictures. He directed the agenda for meetings, hired support staff, supervised the website design teams, approved scripts, prepared budgets, provided financials, directed and/or produced the film, was in charge of seeking to secure distribution for the film, managed the operations, and had the full view into the flow of money in his bank accounts. Soref controlled the bank accounts of his companies, Skyline Pictures, Not Forgotten, and Windsor Pictures.
    He is far from an innocent party here –indeed, he is the chief architect of the plan to set up these three companies.

    ​COINCIDENT?
    Seward speaks out against the Church and an internal investigation is launched in 2010.
    Seward leaves the church and finds herself and her companies being investigated by the CA Department of Corporations by early 2011 and Soref then walks away from the companies and files bankruptcy. At this time, the CA Department of Insurance starts an investigation on Seward and uses Soref’s statements as “evidence” against Seward.

    September 2012, the CA Department of Corporations filed suit against Seward, her entities, Soref, his entities and another life insurance agent Scott Foulk.

    ​Due to the expense of further litigation, all parties agreed to settle.

    The suit was settled on Dec 22, 2013 and approved by the court in January of 2014.

    It was a neither admit nor deny settlement.
    The parties agreed to not sell securities without a license, but may apply for one if they choose. They agree to not act as an investment advisor and agree not to misrepresent a security.

    Additionally, the parties agreed to pay back the balance of the funds owed to clients, as restitution totaling $16.8 million.

    Seward was creating the Creditor Settlement Trust well before the Department of Corporations filed suit.

    93% of creditors signed on to the Seward Settlement Trust by August 2013.
    Unlike Soref, Seward has never walked away and has never stopped trying to help her clients, friends and family and also repair her own reputation and career.
    The lenders / investors oppose further action by any agency against Seward and would instead like to see Soref held accountable.

    See client statements in the Client Declaration page of this website.
    These declarations show a different view of the facts than portrayed in the Department of Corporation suit.

    Seward recognizes her role in this situation and is taking responsibility for her introductions by committing to repay her clients through the trust that she set up, in an effort to lessen the burden.

    Seward was deceived by Soref and relied on the involvement of attorneys to make sure that all legal requirements were met. The involvement of counsel also explains why those involved thought the offering was exempt and why there is little likelihood of anything like this repeating with Seward. This experience has been costly and traumatic for Seward, her clients, friends and family. Seward believed in the Not Forgotten venture, perhaps naively in retrospect, but she believed in it nonetheless.

    ​There is MUCH more to this story that eventually will make its way out, but it needs to be known that Seward will work non stop to help her clients, friends and family and she will NEVER associate herself with the Church of Scientology or its members again.

    Seward is grateful beyond words for the support of her legal team and all others who have believed in her and she is focused on rebuilding her business to help her clients and raise her four young children.

    • Yeah, but:

      According to a news release from the California Department of Insurance Fraud Division, Michelle Seward, a 42-year-old resident of Flintridge, in the hills above Pasadena in northern LA County, worked with Soref on producing the Not Forgotten film. Seward is a former licensed insurance agent and CEO of Protege Financial and Insurance Services, Inc., and Saxe-Coburg Insurance Solutions, LLC. She reportedly convinced many of her clients to invest their life savings in Not Forgotten, an unsecured investment.

      In some cases, Seward advised her clients to surrender annuities early, paying penalties with the promise of big returns on the film of ten to eighteen percent. It was later found that the investors lost a total of more than $600,000 in early withdrawal penalties when they pulled their money to invest with Seward and Soref.

  • Andrew Robertson

    It’s interesting how the words ‘Scientology’ and ‘Hubbard’ have slipped into the vernacular to become synonymous with criminality and fraud.

    I was reading an article in ‘Popular Mechanics’ about the history of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and noticed this sentence for which I would normally have wanted facts and proof, but instead found myself thinking “Well I’m not surprised – seems likely.”

    “The founders, a group of students from the California Institute of Technology (notably including a guy named Jack Parsons, who looked a little bit like Errol Flynn and may or may not have been assassinated by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard).”

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/space/a23666/right-kind-of-crazy-nasa-jpl/?src=nl&mag=pop&list=nl_pnl_news&date=110316

    Andrew

    • Tony Ortega

      Yeah, I thought that was a completely irresponsible line in an otherwise legitimate publication. When Parsons died from an accidental explosion in his home lab, Hubbard wasn’t even in the same state. They hadn’t communicated in something like five years. I have never even seen an accusation that Hubbard had anything to do with Parsons’ death.

      • LongtimeLurker

        OT explosion powers?

        • Princess Squishy

          sounds legit to me. One way to demonstrate your OTVIII Super Powers with nobody being able to see you do it

          • LongtimeLurker

            Right?

            God, maybe all the bad things that happen are remote OT powers…

    • Harpoona Frittata

      That’s a great point! Since South Park, you just about can’t bring up the subject of $cn in a casual conversation out in Woglandia without someone laughing derisively about Xenu…love that!

      I enjoy trying to come up with new memes that have the potential to go viral, so phrases like, “a scam of truly scientological proportions” and “Xenu, save us!” are constantly popping to mind for me 😉 They’re effective because they telegraph the message and imply that this killer cult has been so thoroughly debunked and dismissed as evil and silly that no one will be offended by savaging it in that way.

      How will we know that $cn has truly “jumped the couch”? Well, one of the signs and portents of its approaching collapse has to be the almost reflexive association that now pervades pop culture in which if I say “scientology,” you think “Xenu”…and we both laugh uproariously!

      • and Body Thetans… they love BT’s on social media

        • Harpoona Frittata

          And I ask you, who wouldn’t be enchanted by the concept!? I sincerely think that the best thing that $cn could do for its public image would be to lighten up and just lean into the whole Xenu thing. Maybe come up with a great plush toy, cartoon series and line of Xenu products. It’s a great name, with excellent public recognition, and they totally own it already!

          Besides, now that the horse is that far out of the barn, there’s just no way to make Xenu secret again…and you just end up looking ridiculous denying his existence or getting all huffy when the subject gets brought up. And they might as well come clean on the whole exorcism of disembodied space aliens deal too while they’re at it.

          Of course it’s some mighty whacky shit, but it’s YOUR whacky shit, $cn, so just own it!

          • He he! I had said before that they should have their own theme park in Disney World as they do have all the characters. Shoulder devils have been around before BT’s, um i could be wrong!

    • Ann B Watson

      Very Interesting.Old Jack Parsons & Ron & Crowley are awfully busy these days.I wonder if there is a photo of Parsons with hand on chin.❤️

    • did you see the article where they went on a cruise with a cult like MLM promotion tour?
      ETA: and got off-loaded when the cult leaders found out

  • Xenu’s son.

    Michelle has collected an army of I know every inch of his body wives eh clients.
    In true Scientology fashion they are always called B.T: or R:S.
    Their blackwhite formulation “he is an sp” gives them away as fingerpointing Scientology Dupes who got taken for a ride when they went inside the real world..

    * All Statements are excerpts from longer declarations written by real clients


    “If an injunction is granted against Seward, everyone loses. The State of California spends money to sue someone who is trying to do everything they can to right the wrong, the State of California loses tax revenue because Seward is a VERY GOOD salesperson and has the potential to make a lot of money, the lenders and investors lose because without the means to make a living, there is no way that Seward can earn enough money to repay the losses, and Seward’s children lose because their mother may not be able to provide the same opportunities for them.”
    Client D.F. “[S]he is still fighting for us and her clients, and only a person with exceedingly strong moral principles would do so.”Client R.S.

    “Seward – and not Soref – has been standing up for me and her other clients and making arrangements to pay us back whatever she can over her remaining working years.”
    Client S.G.

    “It was very obvious from the first meeting that I attended in 2011 that Soref was in charge. He led the meeting through his forceful direction, questions, and obstinate behavior. He was very forceful in his voice wanting to know people’s job descriptions, what they were actually doing, and details about the clients. He was in control. His controlling manner and demeanor continued through all meetings where I was present with him . . . . Approximately half of the meetings included what important people Soref was meeting with, scripts, or projects Skyline Pictures was working on, and the progress of Not Forgotten. . . . Soref made it seem like everything was progressing very well. I attended these meetings for several months.”
    Employee of Seward’s company

    These lenders /investors also clearly parse out the actions of Seward as a salesperson, from the actions of Soref, as the “Managing Member” of Not Forgotten and Windsor: “Soref is responsible for the loss of other people’s money in which he was entrusted, and the failed opportunity for success falls directly on him, the Managing Member. Soref is responsible for gross negligence, fraudulent statements, mismanagement, and possibly embezzlement of all those who invested and trusted him, including me, my wife, Seward, her family, and friends.”
    Client T.C. “I believe that Dror Soref was managing the money that was loaned to Windsor Pictures and that he did not properly account for these funds and is responsible for the loss of the funds we and others loaned to Windsor Pictures.”
    Client P

    “I believe that Soref is the bad person here, and he used [Seward].”
    Client J.B.

    “[Seward] was, in my view, mislead and taken advantage of by Soref, as were others.”
    Client J.L.
    “From what I know and have observed, I believe Seward was taken in by Soref and led to believe Soref’s lies.”
    Client S.G.

    “My belief is that Seward was misled by Soref, and that Soref is responsible for the failed investments.”
    Client R.S. “Soref did all the talking and Seward said hardly a word. Soref provided us with a copy of the movie’s script, told us about the film, and told us about a $1,000,000 sum being provided by the State of New Mexico. Soref also told us about the actors he had on board such as Simon Baker and Paz Vega. I asked Soref about the performance bond, and he assured me that it was in place and a great protection device.” Client R.T. “[W]e discussed Not Forgotten, how editorial was going, the release date, future projects, and possible future work with Soref as a cameraman or director of photography. Soref was upbeat and had very positive remarks concerning all that was discussed. I wanted to meet Soref to confirm his experience in the motion picture industry.”
    Client T.C.

    “Unfortunately for us Michelle wrongly trusted in Dror. Michelle Seward has been working with her clients, lenders and others to resolve this situation as fairly as possible.”
    Client A.F.

    “Michelle has with great expense of her own, set up a trust to help refund our money. We believe in Michelle and her character. Have we seen Dror? No, he is hiding! Dror has done nothing to take responsibility to help in any way. He has not even so much as called to say he is sorry for what has happened…..We believe in Michelle.”
    Client D. G.

    “The only one who truly seems concerned for our plight is Michelle. She seems to be settling millions of dollars lost by investors. ”
    Client S.M.

    “Quite frankly, Michelle could have filed bankruptcy just like Dror, but her heart wouldn’t let her do that. Doesn’t that show her integrity? She is spending her own time and monies to help us. ”
    Client S. G.

    “I am absolutely amazed at Michelle’s moral standing, commitment and what she is promising to do for the people that invested. Only a person with outstanding strong principals would still be in this fight. i don’t know the proper words to really state the depth of my feelings of respect for her as a person of outstanding moral character.”
    Client R.S.

  • LongtimeLurker

    OT
    I thought you guys and girls were my friends.

    Why does no one ever stop me from getting involved in political discussions on other sites?

    …it’s like you don’t care anymore…

    • Graham

      Other sites. There are other sites?!

    • Draco

      Other sites? You are cheating on us with “Other Sites”?!
      You are toast!

      • LongtimeLurker

        They show up on my Disqus alerts page, and tempt me while I’m waiting for new comments here.

        It’s not my fault!

        • Draco

          Yeah yeah. I’ve heard that one before…

    • Princess Squishy

      On that same note you ̶j̶e̶r̶k̶s̶ super awesome people don’t stop me from getting into meatspace political discussions with people here in the deep south and people in my family. How dare you.

      • LongtimeLurker

        Yeah, cut that crap out right now, missy.

        That’ll take years off your life.

        • Princess Squishy

          YOU CAN’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO YOU’RE NOT MY REAL DAD!

    • daisy

      We cannot do anything , we just barely ( me included ) stop political discussions here. Since I am already talking to you , Paul Ryan is a p***y .Donald Trumps circus monkey.

    • Rasha

      *Slaps in fresh nail coil*

      *a la Kathy Bates* …this is for your own good….

      • Draco

        I haz got to get me one of them nail guns…

    • The White House is the new Reality Show… Deal with it!

      • Draco

        I can’t wait to see the “All New Gold Presidential Suite”

        • I really hope NSA, FBI, CIA etc.. has bugged the place down!

          • Draco

            They have to gild all those teeny tiny cameras and mics – but they are on it!

          • LongtimeLurker

            Even if they haven’t, we’ll know about every last thing that goes on.

            “@realDonaldTrump
            Just had great meeting with Sec Defense. We start bombing China tomorrow. They have no idea. Sad.”

            • i kinda hope he start messing around with the jews. Then he can stay in his tower.

    • Princess Squishy

      HEY! What’s with the binary gendered language? You’re excluding a tiny percentage of people!

      • LongtimeLurker

        I sure am.

        All this time I was pretending to be a caring, sensitive guy …

        …don’t you see, you fools? I’m not trapped in here with you…you’re all trapped in HERE WITH ME!!!

    • DoveAlexa

      Make it so people can follow you on disqus and I’ll follow your ass ’round the whole internet if you like.

      • LongtimeLurker

        Awww. I ‘barrased.

        Thx.

        • DoveAlexa

          You’re not going to un-private your account, are you :P?

          • LongtimeLurker

            You may not believe this, but I (and my ego) immediately went to look after your lovely comment.

            WIll my real name be visible?

            I sort of don’t care, but…

            • DoveAlexa

              Well, even though it’s private right now, I can still see your username is [REDACTED BY MARCABIAN ORDER], and then I google searched it and got a twitter with some videos so…
              edit: missed the [REDACTED] at the end

            • LongtimeLurker

              I’m an idiot.

              Thanks. Okay then.

              I’ll unprivate it right now.

            • DoveAlexa

              I feel like I made your day worse, so have this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_MyUGq7pgs
              1 minute should do it

            • LongtimeLurker

              God no…

              You’ve actually done me a huge favour. Seriously – xoxo

              Sorry, I was just thinking about myself then and not how my comment would affect you.

              btw, that Twitter account that you Googled? “Follower of YESHUA JESUS, Led by the HOLY SPIRIT, A Watchman on the Wall. Colorado.”

              That’s not me.

              I’m sure he’s a lovely fellow…but just based on that…we couldn’t be more different. Dunno why I even had an ‘@’ in front of my name.

              Also, the wine guy in Italy and the creepy boy scout leader…they’re not me either.

              Could you do me one more favour though? Could you edit my name out of your previous comment?

              I’m not worried about OSA or Scientologists, just normal Internet losers.

              ps – that video clip is amazing.

            • DoveAlexa

              I’m replying by lines:
              line 2: *Hugs*
              line 3: I’m sure I’ll live XD
              line 5: Sweet Slimey Cthulhu, that’s a relief!

              line 6: There is suppose to be a way in disqus to automaticly notify a user about a post by typing their username with the @, but it doesn’t work.
              line 8: sure
              Line 10: I KNOW RITE!?!?!?!?!

            • LongtimeLurker

              This new system is great!

              Your line 2: Thanks. And *hugs* to you. We’re all good.

              Line 3: Right?! Actually, that was the thing that most freaked me out today, that you would think I was him. lol

              Line 7: Thanks for the edit.

            • LongtimeLurker

              lol. thx

          • LongtimeLurker

            Actually…omg…can people see my real name now?

            Where it says LongtimeLurker by XYZ…

            Am I that stupid?

  • Kim O’Brien

    Hello …this is OT but I wanted to let ya know that the HowdyCon web site is done 😉 Dice is a rock star and I can’t thank him enough . I would like some feedback before Tony adds it to a post 🙂

    Howdycon.org

    • or just Howdycon.org – what ever you like to bookmark it with!

    • This branding professional approves heartily! Three cheers for KOB and Dice! Love the avi montage.

      • Kestrel

        I didn’t see Our Proprietor’s avi in the montage. Did I miss it?

        • you right, the top row has been cut off… thanks

        • Ella Raitch

          He’s next to Fly, keeping an eye on him I think

    • Rasha

      YAY!!! ^_^

      • Kim O’Brien

        couple of tweeks to work out ..comments are not getting to my email but Dice is working on it . I was thinking about you all weekend since the email 😉 hugs

        • Rasha

          ^_^ There’s enough Bunkersnark to make that site even more awesome! Go you and Dice!

    • LongtimeLurker

      Great work. It’s great, you’re both great.

      Need to knock over a fuckin’ bank or something, dammit…

      • Princess Squishy

        knock over one for me too then maybe I can afford a car.

        • LongtimeLurker

          Deal!

    • Kestrel

      Kim, and Dice, the site looks great!

    • Michael Leonard Tilse

      The site looks great! I’ll try be there.

    • littlefish

      In addition to your warnings about sunscreen, water, etc… maybe add “be very very careful with edibles.” They’re more potent than you realize and can really fuck up your day if you eat too much and/or have a drink with them.

  • Draco

    Disqus has gone mad…
    “You must authenticate the user or provide author_name and author_email” is what I got when I tried to post.
    WTF does that mean?

    • LongtimeLurker

      I got this, repeatedly, a couple of days ago.

      I went to my Disqus account page, signed out and signed back in again. That fixed it.

      Make sure you know your password. I forgot mine.

      • Draco

        That’s what I ended up doing, even though I had posted earlier with no problems, and my profile indicated I was signed in. Looks like Super Moon is doing a number on Disqus! ;P

        • LongtimeLurker

          Exactly the same, I had just posted, I was still signed in.

          Craycray.

    • LongtimeLurker

      Oh, also…wtf does it mean?

      Beats me.

    • Jimmy3

      It means you’re logged out of Disqus, but your browser wasn’t informed. Happens all the time on my iPad.

      • daisy

        Are you ok ? You didn*t answer with a smart asses comment.

        • Jimmy3

          I don’t do that anymore.

          • daisy

            What does that thing on top that says oldest , newest and best mean?

            • Jimmy3

              You already know. Just the other day you told someone to sort by oldest to see a particular comment.
              Don’t try to troll me, flower.

            • daisy

              Oh Acorn i just like your smart assed comments. but i will adjust to the new you,

            • gtsix

              That’s no fun. Troll on Daisy!

  • Adam Mackwood

    Typical Scientology criminals. EVERYTHING about these right wing Scientology assholes is crime.

  • Lousy Ratatouille

    It seems to me that, in a case like this, the Ultimate Beneficial Criminal is the Church of $cientology, which usually remains unpunished.

  • Draco

    From Soref’s Wikipedia page:
    In 2012, Soref was named as one of 13 defendants in a lawsuit alleging securities violations surrounding the 2009 movie Not Forgotten, in which he served as the director, co-writer and one of the producers.[13] Soref was not involved in, nor compensated for, fund raising for the movie.[14] According to the lawyer who was retained to represent Not Forgotten, LLC, an entity that was created to finance the Picture: “It was made very clear to me early on in the relationship that [Soref] wore many ‘hats’… raising money for the Picture was not one of those hats.” “It was evident from day one that [Soref] formed a relationship with a third party to handle financing, an activity that was outside of his expertise.” The suit was settled and approved by the court on February 25, 2014, involving no admission of wrongdoing or liability. In a statement on March 12, 2014, Soref noted: “From the time I set out to make Not Forgotten in 1999 until it was filmed in 2008, my intentions were that of any artist: to make the best film possible. I served as co-writer, director and one of the film’s producers, and I’m extremely proud of how it turned out. The film was critically acclaimed, receiving a spectacular review in The Hollywood Reporter and favorable reviews in Daily Variety and other publications. The Society of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror nominated Not Forgotten for a Saturn Award. Regrettably, when the film was offered for distribution in November 2008, the nation was on the precipice of the Great Recession, and this impacted sales and distribution, thereby harming the success of the film.”

    The suit was settled in 2014? Doesn’t sound like it…

    • Rasha

      If it wasn’t for that global economic collapse, it would have been a cinematic triumph!!!! Damn you, Global Economy!

      • Jimmy3

        For example, Avatar came out in 2009 and it only made $2.79 at the box office!

        • Rasha

          Sorry, that was me, but I did get the deposit back on the glasses…

          • Jimmy3

            I kept my glasses from Avatar, like they’d be some really cool souvenir. A couple weeks later I yelled at myself for being an idiot and threw them out. I’m kind of a dork. I’m pretty sure I still have the poster they handed out tho.

          • LongtimeLurker

            Wait…do they really ask for a deposit on 3D glasses over there?

            • Rasha

              (no, but you are expected to return the glasses after the movie)

            • Draco

              So people are wearing glasses other people had on their faces? Ewww.

            • Rasha

              Sure! All they do is throw ’em in a big bin after the movie, then before the next showing, we take ’em, then put them….. put them…. on……

              …oh. Oh ugh. OH! UH! (swipes at face to get rid of…. stuff) AACCKK!!!!

            • Draco

              Nods head. Yup. Did you know that one of the germiest places on your body is behind your ears?

            • LongtimeLurker

              One of the many reasons I cut mine off.

            • Draco

              I knew it! Vincent! Wuz wondering where you reincarnated.

            • LongtimeLurker

              Actually, have you seen the Eric Bana film Chopper?

              About famous Australian criminal and guy-who-cut-his-own-ears-off, Mark “Chopper” Read?

              I kind of met him once (Chopper, not Eric..actually I’ve met Eric too…god I’m interesting) and he was wearing sunglasses.

              Even though he has (mostly) no ears.

              That was very OT. I should probably lie down.

            • Draco

              LOL….Have not seen the movie or even heard of “Chopper”.

            • LongtimeLurker

              It’s what got Eric Bana noticed in Hollywood.

              Chopper was a notoriously violent career criminal and street fighter. He cut his own ears off in jail to get transferred to the prison hospital to avoid being killed by a rival gang.

              The film’s intense, but pretty great.

              Further reading for any interested bystanders;

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_%22Chopper%22_Read

            • pffft

            • LongtimeLurker

              Alright, I actually had a friend cut them off.

            • Rasha

              *slowly removes bubble gum and sticks it in sock….*

            • Draco

              You made me LOL! For realz! Hee hee.

            • Rasha

              =^_^=

            • Princess Squishy

              This comment made me LOL for real.

            • LongtimeLurker

              Ahhh. Same here.

          • Princess Squishy

            I’ve seen exactly two 3D movies, one was The Lego Movie and the other was Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The first time I left with a headache and felt sick. But I have a headache a good 50-75% of the time and I figured maybe I ate too much popcorn. So then we saw the second one and again I left with a massive headache, but I don’t think I was sick. Mr. Squishy also got a headache from watching them (and his headaches are rare) so we decided 3D movies are not for us. But, yes, both times we wore borrowed glasses.

        • Jimmy3

          I think I’m reading this wrong. What does ‘B’ mean?

          • LongtimeLurker

            B for “bucks”.

            What, did you think it was like “billion” or something?

            Pffft.

        • Missionary Kid

          Hey Jimmy, you forgot to add the word “billion” after the amount grossed by Avatar.

      • Sherbet

        I’m curious: What’s lrh’s scripture for the recommended number of flop movies scientology may be involved with?

        • Draco

          Do we include all the tech films when we count?

          • Sherbet

            I don’t think so. I’m thinking commercial movies for which people are supposed to pay admission fees. Tech films have a captive audience, right?

            • Draco

              Yes, but they are definitely flop movies…I’ve seen a few, and I can’t unsee them.

        • Rasha

          Zero. They are all Amazingly successful, and help to salvage the planet.

          • Sherbet

            I AM a silly goose, aren’t I.

            • Rasha

              ^_^ Glad I could help before I had to write up a KR!

    • LongtimeLurker

      That whole “controversies” section you quoted is a recent addition.

      I visited the page a few weeks back and I don’t remember it.

      Interesting.

      • Draco

        Yes. It sounds like a piece of fiction written, directed and produced by ??
        Hmmmm – something is rotten in the state of Denmark, methinks.

    • TonyOrtega

      Yes, the lawsuit brought by the state Dept of Insurance against Soref and Seward was settled at the end of 2014 and finalized in Jan 2015, which is when Michelle then put up her website, as I indicated in the story. And there have been numerous other civil lawsuits filed over the failure of this movie.

      But Soref and Seward were arrested on criminal charges last year, and that’s the case which is having a preliminary hearing today.

      It’s confusing, I know.

      • LongtimeLurker

        Not as confusing as why Soref thinks he’s a filmmaker.

      • Draco

        Thanks for the clarification. It is confusing. To me, anyway 🙂

        • LongtimeLurker

          I’ve been watching the stupid film while reading the comments here and playing a strategy game on my ipad.

          At 5am.

          Imagine my conf…

          …can anyone else see that centaur in my kitchen?

          • Draco

            A centaur?! Normally it’s a dragon! You must be conf…
            Okay – he’s in my kitchen now.

            • LongtimeLurker

              Genuine lol.

            • Rasha

              …this hemisphere sucks…..

          • Princess Squishy

            I specifically ordered a unicorn for your kitchen. I’m on the phone with faerie customer service trying to clear up this mess.

            • LongtimeLurker

              No, it’s fine. He seems nice.

              Thanks.

            • MarcabExpat

              Oh sure they seem nice when they’re small. Once it grows up, I hope you enjoy boarding up your china cabinet 🙁

            • Princess Squishy

              and keeping your unmentionables under lock and key

  • Lousy Ratatouille

    NOT FORGOTTEN: The title alone is no good! The whole movie fails, if the title sucks! Of course, the investors will never forget!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKCyUe4syc4

    • LongtimeLurker

      Star Wars was originally going to be called The Star Wars.

  • Panopea Abrupta

    Not Forgotten
    $cientology: Lisa – Not Forgotten
    $cientology: Kyle Brennan – Not Forgotten
    $cientology: Kaja Ballo – Not Forgotten
    $cientology: Elli Perkins – Not Forgotten
    $cientology: Susan Meister -Not Forgotten
    $cientology: Noah Lottick -Not Forgotten
    $cientology: All the disconnected – Not Forgotten

    A perfect title for a $cientology movie

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/bdf28401b12f5976b526862184d30a69f2bf0fce8cf3d0e322893de4d0319bd1.jpg

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c464849d29e9a908a44b8b1924d8ce13e59f4530076c5b43cd61edf9933fd7a8.jpg

    • LongtimeLurker

      Thank you Pan.

  • LongtimeLurker

    Serious question.

    Is ex-Sea Org Sunny Pereira related to sometime actress and Dror Soref’s recently estranged wife Virginia Pereira?

    • Draco

      No clue, but did you know:
      Pereira is a common surname in the Portuguese and Galician as well as Sephardic languages, namely in Portugal, Galicia, Brazil and other regions of the former Portuguese Empire.

      • LongtimeLurker

        No.

        No I did not. Interesting.

        So it might just be a coincidence.

        I’d just never seen the name outside those two occurrences,

        I really like Portuguese food.

        • Draco

          It’s quite common here in our Portuguese communities.
          Their food is good. Now I’m hungry…

          • LongtimeLurker

            Me too, dammit.

            Almost breakfast time.

        • Princess Squishy

          that was Trump-level Non-sequitur 😉

          • LongtimeLurker

            I should run for office!

            • grundoon

              I wish you had.

            • LongtimeLurker

              I wish anyone else had…

        • flyonthewall

          name one Portuguese dish. No fair googling either

          • LongtimeLurker

            The one with the prawns and the garlic that comes in the little terracotta dish and the oil is still all sizzly out of the oven.

            • flyonthewall

              *side eye* ok fine

          • Rasha

            Portuguese S’mores.

            • flyonthewall

              Is that really a thing? Keep in mind I am very gullible

            • Rasha

              …………yes?

            • flyonthewall

              man, wish I had some Portuguese S’Mores. Sho am hungry

            • iampissed

              Yes your gullible.

          • LongtimeLurker

            I can’t. I lived around the corner from a Portuguese restaurant for a while and ate there every couple of weeks.

            But I can’t remember a single dish name.

            I went out with a girl who spoke Portuguese (although she was Irish) and she taught me how to say “The kiss of the dancing monkey”.

            Does that count?

            • flyonthewall

              On one hand I suspected that you were just being funny when you said you like Portuguese food. On the other hand I doubted there was even such a thing as Portuguese food. I mean, who ever heard of “Portuguese food”? It just sounds like a made up thing to me, no offense to you

            • Jimmy3

              I just assumed they eat Spanish food. Which is called paella.

            • LongtimeLurker

              It sure is Jamon3, it sure is.

            • LongtimeLurker

              It’s really nice.*

              Seriously.

              Kind of Mediterranean-ey.

              I’m not offended, fuck ’em. And like I said, that ex wasn’t even Portuguese.

              *Except for the stupid meat stew, and this other meat dish that was just a pile of too many different meats.

            • Rasha

              It’s really tasty, and there is a wide variety of spices and other enhancements and I lied about Portuguese S’Mores but I’m afraid to tell Fly because I panicked and said they exist and I really like some of the seafood dishes they make because they remind me of the Mediterranean mmmmmm-mmm!

            • LongtimeLurker

              Right?

            • Rasha

              (thanks for covering for me!)

            • LongtimeLurker

              He’ll be fine.

              He’ll Google for a while to find a local supplier and then I’ll say something Lego or some troll will say something Trump and he’ll just have a Snickers and forget all about them.

            • Rasha

              *whew* Thanks. It just would’ve kept me up all night. *hangs head in embarrassed shame*

            • LongtimeLurker

              Could be nice tho’

              I wonder how we’d make ’em?

            • Rasha

              Graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate, prawns, garlic butter, all dipped in a nice Malbec? Just throwing that out there….

            • LongtimeLurker

              …this may be the no sleep talking, but other than the dipping (I’ll have my Malbec on the side) I could come to that party.

            • Rasha

              To be honest, I’m currently craving prawns marinated in garlic butter, with a nice Malbec on the side. Yes, I take red wine with my seafood when I feel like it. Pbbttbhhtbbbpp!

              I guess the jumbo shrimp and Merlot will have to do when I get home tonight. (crap – two and a half more hours of pretending to work! AAGGHH)

            • LongtimeLurker

              I support not bothering with that red with meat, white with fish nonsense.

              Jealous of your shrimp/Merlot plans.

            • Princess Squishy

              I don’t eat red meat, or any shellfish (or any fish that isn’t breaded and fried), and I don’t care for wine. You want to join me for some pineapple rum and a bag of chips? I can too be fat and vegetarian. I’ll sit on PETA and squish them if they keep up with their fat shaming.

            • LongtimeLurker

              Stupid PETA.

              I was vegetarian for a decade and vegan for a couple of years.

              So, yeah I can be tempted by rum and chips.

            • Sunny

              Reminds me of a story…..
              I was in Portugal with my then husband, visiting his family for a few days. We were in a bar playing snooker. I had never played, and I was not very good at it either. But man, I swore like a horse the whole time. Basic Sea Org language. Non-stop, it was bad. I had assumed everyone there only spoke Portuguese….
              An hour later, this lady, the owner of the bar, came over and asked me with a South African accent, “Would you like me to teach you how to play?”.
              I wanted to melt into the ground. I KNEW I was going to hell for all the swearing.

            • LongtimeLurker

              HA!

              You bad! ; )

          • all i know is that the Portuguese words for “bread” and “dick” are way too close in pronunciation for a novice to attempt in the presence of someone’s Brazilian grandma

            • LongtimeLurker

              Right?

              You’re trying to seduce a Brazilian grandma and she thinks you’re talking about making toast.

              Awkward.

            • pretty much 180° opposite of that is what really went down that day

            • flyonthewall

              *high five*

            • LongtimeLurker

              I think that might be the comment I’m most proud of, ever.

            • flyonthewall

              I’m proud for you. Took a screenshot and everything

            • LongtimeLurker

              lol.

            • Rasha

              …thus begins your PC File in the Bunker CF department……

    • Sunny

      Pereira is a Portuguese name, translates to “pear tree”.
      As the owner of the name Sunny Pereira, I can tell you no relation to Virginia, though she was on services at CC when I was there.
      Pereira is not my maiden name. I was married to a French/Portuguese for about 8 years in the Sea Org. I kept the last name after we divorced because I guess I liked it more than my maiden name. (and because I could sign my initials “SP” everywhere! Ha!)

      I heard there is some famous boxer named Sunny Pereira…. who knows? Maybe spelled differently?

      • LongtimeLurker

        Holy cow.

        Hi Sunny. Thank you.

        I hope that question didn’t seem weird. It’s just that I’d typed Virginia Pereira a few times today, and suddenly thought “hang on a minute”.

  • Dror Soref. Hmm. In 1978 LRH began making tech films. When it became painfully obvious that the crew did not know anything about making movies calls went out to Hollywood Scns to become involved with the project. Dror was one of the people brought to the base in La Quinta, in early 1979 (as I recall, maybe it was earlier) to help work on the films. I gave him a series of sessions after he injured his leg somehow and he seemed like a decent sort. Israeli. Maybe he was taking lessons from Reed Slatkin.

    • Tony Ortega

      Oh, so this is all your fault.

      Now everything makes sense.

      • Yes, I take full responsibility for everything!

    • flyonthewall

      Oi vey!

  • nottrue
  • Flaming plastic dollies on cheapo slasher movie-posters is SO passé, my dears; altars of Mammon, on the other hand… (refill napalm-tanks): https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e847ef8f9833543a8ce7a9cc42f087107ff9c17acf855ffe533d94c4b76b5e87.jpg

    • Rasha

      You have, among other things, the best fonts EVAR!!! ^_^

      • I recognised that ‘Garamond Celtic’ in the original title straight away—it was all the rage about 10 years ago 😉

        • Sherbet

          The producer’s name is the BEST!

    • Xenu’s son.

      Seriously funny Mark.Robin Peter to Pay-Pal.

  • abdaman

    “Kirstie Allie diet supplement business” has about the same ring to it as Casey Anthony daycare or Bill Cosby bartending school to me. Like, I don’t think that venture is going to turn out the way you planned.

  • What an interesting pickle Scientologists get themselves into when they trust other Scientologists in business partnerships like this one. I saw that over and over and over again when I was in, to the point where I told myself that I would never, ever involve any of my money with any investment or scheme with another Scientologist. There is just something about the way the average Scientologist deal with their finances which lends itself to disaster and of course Scientology doesn’t help at all since it’s trying to simply rake in all that money for itself. There are rare exceptions like Duggan or Packer but for the most part they made their big money before they got involved with Scientology. The only people I know who got rich off Scientology itself were a very small number of FSMs who had to run herd on hundreds of selectees at a time to see ROI on their time and energy in keeping them going on the Bridge. These days, I think there are literally about four or five of these people all over the world. Anyway, the best advice anyone could ever take about this is that if a Scientologist approaches you in any way with an investment or partnership deal, run – don’t walk – run as fast as you can away from them.

    Now, OT and shameless self-promotion, but I realized if I didn’t post something here about this, you might never know. I have been doing some t-shirt/merch designs and most of these have had to do with critical thinking stuff, or other things that amuse me but this weekend I finally got around to doing the Xenu ideas I’ve had for months. Here they are and you can get them on t-shirts and mugs and stuff at http://shop.spreadshirt.com/chrisshelton

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/35b35102999da55c5b05e4e9c8f12218329b63c38c2e5523eb8e5198efffa894.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a1af5d69493d2a72afc378a2838f0d166d5292d65f1f821ac26e94b113efa047.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/66689aedf6e1d04c72cb8b67e3ed20fe34e207f22c730ea1beb1353e795a65b4.jpg
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6dc608229b78458f63c7bcab856587dbd0253e90f574c473a08aa4975bb7155f.jpg

    • LongtimeLurker

      New Bunkerues; FSM = Field Staff Member. Mercenaries who recruit people for Scientology and get a 15% profit of the value of services purchased by their recruits in return.

    • flyonthewall

      Scientology and Lego!? Why didn’t I think of that??

      • Jimmy3

        You didn’t piece it together, blockhead.

        • flyonthewall

          In Legoland, being called a blockhead is a compliment

          • Jimmy3

            Autocorrect. I mean to say cockhead.

            • flyonthewall

              I’m sure that is also a compliment somewhere. I must research, brb

            • flyonthewall

              I did some research and now my computer is full of viruses. Thanks a lot dick

            • Jimmy3

              You were looking for dick, now you’re mad you found one?

            • flyonthewall

              Nooo..hey! No fair confusing me! You all hopped up on brain pills make you think good n stuff

        • LongtimeLurker

          Delightful!

    • Chee Chalker

      Tshirts are great!

    • abdaman

      Cute shirts, is this how you are making some money now days? I will check out some xenu coffee cups. Re the shirt about our savior, isn’t xenu more like the devil? Or do you think this distinction is unimportant to the average person? I have always wondered if all the ancient people turned into thetans when they died does that mean someone now has Xenu (in thetan form) attached to their body? Or is he still alive in his mountain trap somewhere?

      • flyonthewall

        Chris also sells artisan cured meats. Little pricey but is very very tasty, you can tell the difference.

        • LongtimeLurker

          Laced with plenty of bonus psyche drugs, I assume?

          • flyonthewall

            I just assumed it was thousand island dressing but you’re prob right

        • Eivol Ekdal

          Any biltong?

          • flyonthewall

            Biltong!? Chris has biltong comin’ out the wahzoo!

      • I’m just killing time while I wait for that check from Big Pharma.

        Xemu is apparently still alive according to Hubbard and is trapped forever in a prison with an infinite power source.

        • Techie

          Chris, weren’t you the one who was supposed to replace the “eternal batteries” on the Prison of Xenu? OMG, he is free and took over the body of the Demented Dwarf of Gilman Hot Springs! That explains Everything! I’ve got to channel Captain Bill and find out what to do! Captain Bill will save us. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5qOxlC61Xo

        • Todd Tomorrow

          Big Pharma checks came this quarter. You’ll have to wait a bit.

          • LongtimeLurker

            If we’re not getting more money for a while, could you at least send me a couple of those Good Time Jumbo Size Pharma-Fun Packs™ ?

            If there’s any left after last year’s Drug All Children All The Time campaign.

            • TheMirrorThetan

              “After last year’s Drug All Children All The Time campaign.” LOL.

            • LongtimeLurker

              Good times, weren’t they?

        • abdaman

          Yes I do wish Big Pharma would get our mailing addresses correct so we could all finally get our checks, since apparently that’s the only reason we protest scientology lol. And omg at Xenu still being alive, how is that possible? Scientology believes in reincarnation but not in eternal life in a single body…right?

          • The intricate nonsense of OT III is covered in detail in my book, Scientology: A to Xenu, where I spend an entire chapter breaking down all the details of the OT levels. Hubbard said that back in the days of Xenu (atually Xemu), we lived extremely long lives and did not age the way we do now. That aging was itself part of the implant of OT III.

            • abdaman

              I guess he has an answer for everything! lol. 40 million years is a pretty loooong life span

      • LongtimeLurker

        Scientology presents Xenu as evil, and exes and Scientology protesters as evil.

        Pretending to embrace Xenu is designed to defuse this slander and enturbulate Scientologists.

        Average persons just think it’s funny, because Xenu is a ludicrous concept.

        That’s my take on it.

    • Harpoona Frittata

      Some nice merch there, Chris. Here’s the Xenu T-shirt that I’ve been waiting to see: “FREE Xenu!” with a him pictured imprisoned inside Space Mountain. Maybe do the back with “Free Shelley!” for the two’fer and add the international human rights hotline number at the bottom for good measure 😉

      He was bad, maybe even very bad, but isn’t his sentence up yet!?

    • Xenu is my Homeboy

      I endorse those t-shirts.

  • (((semi-literal OT alert and fun challenge!))) i know you cats & kittehs of the Bunker lurv rabbit holes … see if you can make it past :35 of this video* re: declassified CIA documents confirming superhumans are among us:
    https://youtu.be/qB9sbrZjwLM
    *without laughing

  • Fred G. Haseney

    In my blog today (“Will Scientology Keep the Dror Open for ‘Not Forgotten’ Filmmaker Despite Legal Woes?”), I examine what the policy of L. Ron Hubbard dictates as regards the scientology director of the ill-fated thriller Now Forgotten (2009). (Many thanks to Tony Ortega’s blog today about those pending legal matters.)
    https://jennyatlax.wordpress.com/2016/11/15/will-scientology-keep-the-dror-open-for-not-forgotten-filmmaker-despite-legal-woes/

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/297b0f5de314f65e1154b9aed3539053eaf46f705af769e28ddf170b27c6e052.jpg

  • LongtimeLurker

    Holy cow, this movie…

    I still haven’t finished it yet, but;

    1 – Long Duk Dong from Sixteen Candles in a serious role. And he’s kinda okay.

    2 – Mark Rolston, who played Vasquez’s pal, and the second Smart-Gunner, PFC Drake in the classic Aliens “Ah, Vasquez…you just too bad!” (image below)

    3 – Freakin’ Elena Cardone* (image below)

    F5
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2bd81ddade3a868bf22c0459cc43729dfd5a556713eb31db0aaea0aceedae385.jpg
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/69c6f650045ac541fb1862628af6ce64f1f4fc8947d73f11ecfe756ab0e7b192.png

    *Thanks to Fred G. Haseney and M from Toronto

    • chukicita

      oh nice catch on Elena’s big screen appearance!

      • LongtimeLurker

        Small/big screen.

        She says 20 words on a TV.

        • chukicita

          That would be enough for me.

  • Man, Radar is such a mess these days! It’s like they printed out everything from the Bunker, shredded it, tried to glue it back together, and called it an “exclusive”.

    http://radaronline.com/celebrity-news/tom-cruise-scientology-secrets-hidden-bunker/

    They need to smoke better drugs.

    • Jimmy3

      Maybe they’re huffing the same glue they’re using to piece the Bunker back together.

  • Missionary Kid

    Not Forgotten should be.

    Don’t forget to click on the heart just below the number of comments.

    • LongtimeLurker

      I had actually forgotten.

      The first time in weeks.

      Thanks.

  • OOkpik

    OT — New Zealand is still getting rattled and banged by earthquakes.
    https://www.geonet.org.nz/quakes/region/wellington/felt
    Good thoughts be with you, one and all.

    How are you faring, Andrew Robertson?

    • Liberated

      Sorry about the mix-up last night it’s all good, I know your comment was meant for our Aussie buddy Lurker.
      I do appreciate the kitty pic and I still always love your comments.
      One thing I didn’t know is that you’re a female bunkerite. I’m not sure why I thought otherwise,
      maybe it’s the pic with a guy and a German Shepard on his head going back and forth.
      I just assumed you were the fella, I laughed for a week.
      Anyway, Dice straightened me out.❤️

      • LongtimeLurker

        What happened? Am I in trouble?

        Did I get someone else in trouble?

        • Liberated

          No no and no….just a silly mix-up.

          No KR’s will be written, no reporting to the rpf, no need to write up overts and withholds, no lower ethic condition assigned….just keep being funny and making me laugh.

          • LongtimeLurker

            Okay, you got it.

            ; )

        • OOkpik

          I made a wise-ass remark to you about finding your posts annoying…
          because I couldn’t hear your lovely Aussie accent.

          The glitch was that I mistakenly posted it under Liberated’s comment, causing some confusion.
          Embarrassing, to say the least.

          It IS your fault though!
          If you posted with an Aussie accent, it would never have happened. XD

          • LongtimeLurker

            Ahhh, I hate when that happens.

            But wait…seriously…do you actually find my posts annoying?

            I know some do, and I absolutely get it.

            • daisy

              Your posts are delightful.

            • LongtimeLurker

              Thanks. You too, lovely.

              But you and I are predisposed to enjoying each other, so god knows what some others are thinking.

              Still, can’t please everyone.

            • OOkpik

              No, silly. It was a joke! *sigh*
              I find you very bright and entertaining.

            • LongtimeLurker

              Just checkin’.

              Thanks, I like you too.

          • LongtimeLurker

            You’ll hear it when i get round to doing my wombat video.

      • OOkpik

        <3

    • Andrew Robertson

      Shaken and stirred! I was mistaken yesterday when I wrote that NZ had on average 5,000 earthquakes a year. It’s actually 14,000. I could divide that number by 365 but it would depress me too much.

      Andrew

      • Andrew Robertson

        The good news is that the northerly gale has become a gentle zephyr with gusts of no more than 81 km/h. The bad news is that it will turn to a severe southerly gale tonight with heavy rain.

        ‘New storm heads for Wellington’

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/86505941/only-a-brief-respite-from-the-rain-for-some-drenched-central-areas

        Andrew

        • OOkpik

          Good lerd!
          Keep your chin up and your head down, Sir.
          Cyber-hugs to you and yours.
          Thanks for keeping us posted.

        • Ella Raitch

          My goodness Andrew – what hae you folks been doing over there to bring on such a biblical reaction?

          • Andrew Robertson

            [Consults Bible]

            Obviously someone has broken open the Sixth Seal:

            Revelation 6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

            I can think of no other reason.

            Andrew the Apostle

  • Sherbet

    Do we know how the preliminary hearing went?

    • TonyOrtega

      Unfortunately, we didn’t have anyone there today. I will keep an eye on the docket for new info.

  • flyonthewall

    OT – Before the election one of my fav bands said they weren’t voting, some nihilist bullshit, now they’re posting fan made vids of anti-trump protests set to a soundtrack of their songs. Fans made the soundtrack and everything, not them. So what, now it’s cool to be jumping on the protest bandwagon but it wasn’t worth your time to go and fucking vote? Assholes

    • Todd Tomorrow

      Total bullshit. I live in a liberal mecca and people didn’t vote for important issues or for president. Like helping the homeless. Pricks! Big business won in a landslide here. Guess who’s minding the store folks? Nobody.

    • LongtimeLurker

      Well, that’s what you get for still following the Baha Men.

    • Rasha

      Tell me it wasn’t Rockapella….

    • i’ll have a little talk with them, i’m sure it’s just a misunderstanding

      • flyonthewall

        would you? Thanks. You want to know who they are or…? I am actually tweeting about it now with the lead singer. Gotta love technology. It’s 3teeth btw.

        • yes, I had a hunch

        • LongtimeLurker

          omg…going to the Twitter machine!

        • LongtimeLurker

          Okay

          “@AlexisMincolla Further more Trump was elected by delegates. Not the popular vote.”

          That’s just dodging the question.

          And reality.

          And decency.

          …good luck fly…

          • flyonthewall

            and he hasn’t even been elected by the delegates yet, that’s not until 19Dec, so there!

    • Jimmy3

      People who don’t vote should be denied government services. No Medicare/Medicaid, no Social Security, no income tax refund (but you still have to pay), and obviously no fucking food stamps on any level. Corporations should be significantly penalized via taxes and fines if they employ people who don’t vote. People who don’t vote should not be allowed to visit the monuments in Washington D.C., or any of our beautiful National Parks.

      I’m not crazy… They shouldn’t have to disclose who or what they voted for. Just be able to prove that they voted.

      • flyonthewall

        yes yeS yES YES!! Hello?? Why is this not a thing?

      • LongtimeLurker

        I like your verve.

        Can I suggest an intermediate step?

        Australia has compulsory voting. If you don’t vote you get fined.

        iirc, it’s under $100, personally I would increase the bejesus out of that, but I would also introduce phone and internet voting so as not to punish the disadvantaged.

        But I digress.

        Partly because of this system we have one of the highest civic participation rates in the world – 94% voter turnout in the last federal election.

        Now, admittedly some of those meatheads screwed up or donkey-voted or whatever, but that’s another issue.

        So, maybe we try that.

        Then after a couple of election cycles, if it hasn’t worked, you, me and Fly go round to everyone’s house with baseball bats in hand and go-pros on our heads.

        I’m just spitballing here.

        • Kestrel

          I had to look up “donkey vote.”

          • LongtimeLurker

            Darn.

            Normally I try to translate into more commonly used international and/or US parlance.

            Sorry ’bout that.

            • Kestrel

              Don’t be. I like learning new things.

    • Kay (aka Nasty Lady)

      ITA !!!!!!

  • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

    I’ve just been reminded of this screenie BlackRob posted to ESMB in 2012 – F5

    I wonder whether Brian has buyer’s remorse yet. Or whether he took Pietro’s advice for that touch of sophistication.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f0a50af19a09d6ddcaa9994f0279487440c18158b82e32abaf5cc60a9d1ee7ca.png

    • LongtimeLurker

      Oh Brian, Brian, Brian.

      I can’t even laugh.

      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        You wish you could be this fly!

        • LongtimeLurker

          I did at one time, but now I have surpassed the master.

          For you see, ’twas witnessing Brian’s work in progress a couple years back that inspired me to start on my Bunker sleeve.

          It’s 90% finished.

          I’ll post pics next week.

          • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

            I’m having full body dot-work depictions of some of Observer’s best shoops.

    • Todd Tomorrow

      This would look better around your neck.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_bag

      • LongtimeLurker

        Now come on!

        • Todd Tomorrow

          It’s true and you know it!

          • LongtimeLurker

            Oh, I still upvoted you… ; )

    • Rasha

      Of course, he ok’d this with Scientology’s corporate copyright lawyers and the RTC, before he had their trademarks (mostly) permanently inked onto his living flesh…

      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        What’s the story about little TommyD’s SO tat? Was he forced to have it lasered off?

        • Rasha

          Honestly don’t know. Probably gets special dispensation. I would like to think he had to have it removed, and I would like to think it was some method other than laser, but, again, I have no idea.

          • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

            Like a cheese grater?

            • Rasha

              ……..okay! *holsters nailgun*

      • LongtimeLurker

        “Go to ethics and take this vegetable peeler with you, we’re taking back our symbols.”

        • Rasha

          If he was truly hardcore, he would get his tats like Caine did in Kung Fu..

          …just sayin’.

          • LongtimeLurker

            With the hot burniness?

            Man…we should start a rumor that high level Sea Org do that.

            • Rasha

              …but wouldn’t it sound kind of craz— ah, yes. I see. Yes, we should.

    • Rasha

      Pietro… if he’s this far into it… he ain’t GOT no gold….

      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        😛

    • Super Power Wogsy

      But why….*eyeroll*

      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        Because it’s so pretty and lux!

        • LongtimeLurker

          +1 lux

    • Harpoona Frittata

      As soon as Brian can save up a few more pesos he’s off to his tattoo artist’s studio to get that last, but most important of $cn symbols…a big block letter “L,” right in the middle of his forehead 😉

      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        Haha!

    • Rasha

      The one in front looks like a “B” with an “S” though it. Just sayin’, Bri!

      Still, “go for the throat”, eh? VWD!

    • Rasha

      He did get 5 “likes”, though, so… there’s that…..

    • Rasha
      • flyonthewall

        ahhh, red snapper!! Very tasty!

        • Rasha

          Weavah! You so STUPID!!!

    • yo, he gots that touch of gold all up in his grill. he was at muhfuckin’ Fiestos the other night poppin’ bottles and throwin’ money (do the regs know this?) 2 legit 2 quit now, son. i’m talkin’ ’bout you know what i’m sayin’.

      eti – after watching all of his videos on TubeYourself, i will confidently say there is a 0% chance this guy is a Scientologist…. or still alive. prove me wrong… pleeeeeeease
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKDJsokYiwU

    • Sherbet

      The tattoo is ugly enough, and then he had to add the goofy sun rays around it. What, did a second grader design it?

      • LongtimeLurker

        Did Miscavige even complete the Second Grade?

        • Rasha

          If Miscavige over saw this project, that poor dupe would look like pulled pork by now…..

      • MarcabExpat

        There’s an official logo that includes the goofy sun rays! Does not translate well to cut-rate tattoo ink. F5
        http://sweptmedia.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/scientology-symbol.jpg

        • LongtimeLurker

          I know we know this…

          …but man that sucks…

        • Sherbet

          Or to a lumpy neck.

    • Kestrel

      It’s bad enough to have tattoos on your face, head or neck. But to have those tats be related to such a toxic organization? It reminds of a guy I knew who had green skulls tattooed along his hairline. Sure limits the job prospects.

        • daisy

          I see he is carrying on the scientology tradition of rotting teeth.

        • Kestrel

          I wonder where he put tat #3? Tramp stamp, perhaps? You know, dude, if you cut back on the tattoo budget, you might be able to afford a frame for that artwork.

        • Rasha

          Is that the guy? Does he know his ears haven’t grown? Also, and I don’t know Scientology’s stance on brushing and flossing, his… oh… his… jeeze, his teeth. Obviously, he’s strung out right now, but, dude…. brush, then sleep, then see a certain set of professional individuals who can help.

          • i hope it’s same guy. if not, that means there are TWO guys w/ Scientology neck tattoos… O.o? giving him the benefit of the doubt, and using only the videos I’ve seen as reference, that’s his “grill” … i’m also willing to bet you a round of pneumatic nails he’s not actually a Scientologist.

            • Rasha

              …even sadder…..

  • exccla

    while i’m surprised to see the mess dror got himself in, it makes me realize that iwas right in how i handled him in the late 70’s. we were dating for several months and had been trying to get a script that john ausley had written off the ground with several other scilons. he wanted me to marry him, not because we were in love [we weren’t] but so he get his green card. he was in l.a. to do scn and a movie-hopefully. he was from israel and didn’t want to go back there. i obviously said no to him. i think a girl who was going to be an associate producer, did get him his green card. as an aside he married a scn writer named su falcon. they had t least 1child, a boy who joined the s.o. and tried to reg me years later. wonder what he thinks about his dad now.

  • I had a discussion with someone here about the 1972 Ann Arbor Jazz and Blues Festival, and John Sinclair in particular. A true hero of mine, and historical figure.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Sinclair_(poet)
    http://www.johnsinclair.us/

    I mentioned that John was having a book and CD release party, and I was asked to report. Otherwise I wouldn’t bother y’all. (Yeah, I probably would have anyway) https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d6d884fbcc0807f4e3cca85bfc31ae585b801062050509a73cc81a0ae6119fc2.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6d3e3c6b858f2fddd0880d8c74ea5902ee6b19b414e932cfb0ef6fcc18b6392c.jpg
    It went well.

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      That’s a great message 🙂

      • Its kind of an inside joke.
        I got Tony to sign his book the same way in Chicago (and even Christian Stolte got in on the joke and wrote “He couldn’t have done it without you”) , but in this case there’s a bit of truth to it.
        We go back a long way.

  • Bob Crouch

    Well, let’s not jump to conclusions here. At a stellar 15% critical approval rating (per RottenTomatoes), this film still seems to be 5 times as good as Battlefield Earth!

    • Rasha

      It sucked that bad????? Wow…..

      *falls back into chair, takes drink*

      …I… I never knew… that was possible…..

      eta: 5 times as good as BE…. that bad…….

      • Bob Crouch

        BE, BO, BT’s–something like that…

  • Kestrel

    Tony reports above that they raised $21.5 million to make this film, so it’s interesting that an Austin, Texas movie blog from May, 2009 reviewed the movie and reported, “Soref and Zuckerman mentioned that incentives affected their choice of locations; New Mexico incentives covered $1 million of their $10 million budget.” I don’t know how movie budgets work, but it sure looks like somebody walked away with a lot of money.

    • LongtimeLurker

      ” I don’t know how movie budgets work…”

      Neither do a lot of people in charge of movie budgets.

      • Kestrel

        So it would seem.

    • This is like a twisted version of “The Producers”.

  • Stephanie Loving

    Apropos for what is happening today in Scientology and as a response to this election.
    This song from 1983, The Walls Came Down, by The Call (written by Michael Been) was relevant when Reagan was President. Dark brilliant lyrics. Garth Hudson plays a mean guest spot wailing on the organ. However cynical, when I crank this up, I get a buzz in my belly that feels like hope. Something can be done about it all.

    https://youtu.be/_kX8lqXAONg

    Well they blew the horns
    And the walls came down
    They’d all been warned
    And the walls came down
    They stood there laughing
    They’re not laughing anymore
    The walls came down

    Sanctuary fades
    Congregation splits
    Nightly military raids
    The congregation splits
    It’s a song of assassins
    Ringin’ in your ears
    We got terrorist thinking
    Playing on fears

    Well they blew the horns
    And the walls came down
    They’d all been warned
    But the walls came down
    I don’t think there are any Russians
    And there ain’t no Yanks
    Just corporate criminals
    Playin’ with tanks

    Ya ya ya ya ya ya
    Ya ya ya ya ya ya

    • abdaman

      Thanks Stephanie. I’m not sure if anything can really be done and not going to lie I have been really depressed the last week since the election. Just chain smoking and eating chocolate. When you start to pine for the days of George W. you know shit is fucked up.

      • flyonthewall

        Right! Remember when we thought he was the devil? Lol! Aww man, that’s sad.

        • LongtimeLurker

          I’d rather Thatcher.

          And I took a police horse rump to the face protesting against her.

          • flyonthewall

            Word? And you lived to tell the tale, sweet.

            • LongtimeLurker

              Actually, I kinda enjoyed it…

            • flyonthewall

              smh

        • abdaman

          I know it’s like “awww remember when we only had to worry about the president being a war criminal, those were the days”

      • Stephanie Loving

        This will never happen but it’s an interesting pipe dream.

        Scott Schulkin, PhD, MFT says:
        “I came across this and I thought I would pass it along. Apparently the electoral college does not vote until December 19th. This link was posted on NextDoor. There is a petition to the electoral college to change their votes to Hilary Clinton. I was not aware such a thing was possible.”

        Here is the link on Change.org:
        https://www.change.org/p/electoral-college-electors-electoral-college-make-hillary-clinton-president-on-december-19

    • here’s Michael’s son, Robert, paying tribute to his Dad. this, to me, is also the sound of hope:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmtQwtcaqLM

      • Stephanie Loving

        Yes Yes … I love Let the Day Begin. Cranking it up.

      • flyonthewall

        nice!

    • flyonthewall

      I really like this. Check this early Ministry out from 1984. Was before they turned to the dark side. Is a silly love song but the sound is incredible.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ij1GeZGxhds

      • Stephanie Loving

        Wow thanks for sharing Fly ;o) This is definitely before their chain-link fence stage. As Sir Paul said, “Some people wanna fill the world with silly love songs. And what’s wrong with that?” And although I wasn’t a fan of Paul’s song, I defend the right to be silly and loving 24/7. And seeing Ministry “Work for Love” just underscores my sentiment.

      • Chee Chalker

        I saw Ministry when the played at a local high school. Must have been 1983. Good times. A trip down memory lane!

    • ExCult.Jan

      Thanks for the reminder. I had a similar sick feeling when Regan got elected. But then the wall came down. I still remember the moment when I heard.

      Maybe a glimmer of hope that Dump, and those who voted for him, can also learn it’s better to take down walls than to build them.

      • JJ

        I remember sick but not terror. God, people even here (Spokane, WA) we have rebel flags flying on pick ups. We are so far away from that. And a woman in group, when a cab arrived to pick her up she looked and said: “And it’s a black guy…pause…I’m a racist.”
        Good God! We were just standing there and she says this like she is saying “I’m a Pisces.” or “I’m a power knitter.” or “I’m a home-maker.”
        My hand shot out and I touched her arm and said sadly: “Don’t do that.” It just came out like that.
        Sick. I feel sick. I hope to the god I don’t believe in we are not tripping down the not so bright bart trail to Germany 1930.
        The I Ching read Po. “The bad men may leave but they will always return.”
        Is that what we are about to live through? I’m not moving to Canada and letting the bully faction take America down. Short sighted morons. Where did THEIR ancestors come from? Oh The Great White Home Land. Didn’t start out that way. And what are they gonna do with the millions of “mixed race” people. Break it down to percentages? How 1840’s of them.
        Those job they claim to want. They are gone. They went over seas where a person will do they same job for cents on the dollar with no safety regulations. And the man they elected makes money from that.
        What ever happened to if you don’t like America get out. Only applies to “others”?

  • JJ

    I read the last of the three readable LRH novels. Done. I don’t want to talk about it.

    • Jimmy3

      How was it?

      • JJ

        Eh. Jeeze I don’t know, it was so so. It followed the line of a writer writing his friend INTO the story and him being transported into the story and the man fighting to control his story line but the author being omniscient and the man not being able to change the outcome… He is the villain, dies, doesn’t get the girl then does, then wakes up back in real life.

    • LongtimeLurker

      There’s not 3!

      Is there?

      Really?

      Assuming we’re not counting Fear (which is only a novella), that leaves…

      To the Stars?

      Final Blackout?

      Oh…I guess maybe Battlefield Eurgh?

      • JJ

        Theres three from a review I read they are yes, Fear, Final Black out and Typewriter In The Sky.

        • LongtimeLurker

          Ahhh…Typewriter in the Sky. Of course.

          I hated that.

          migod I feel bad for you.

          Did you do them one after the other…BAM! BAM! BAM! like a tennis ball machine full of poop aimed at your face?

          Or did you at least break them up with the works of some real writers?

          And/or alcohol?

          • JJ

            Had to break em up, all ILL s from library LIKE I’d buy them!

            • LongtimeLurker

              Well…you’re a better Bunkerue than I.

              I salute you.

            • JJ

              No, just cheap.

        • Elegant Mess

          I STILL haven’t been able to get past chapter 3 of Final Blackout. I think I finally saw a female character, but all she did was cry. I had to put it down after that. Frankly, I just couldn’t be bothered to care about the plight of any of the characters.
          You are a brave man for reading all of that terrible “literature”. 😉

    • iampissed

      There were readable ones…never knew.

    • iampissed

      Please follow up with a dose of Heinlein.

  • Rasha

    Okay, Bunks. Early night for Rasha. *curls up on sofa* Imma let y’all… you jus’…. mmmmph…mrrwwmmmm…. zzzzzzzzz……

    • LongtimeLurker

      goooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO night

      rAAAaaaaaaaaaaaAAA SHA!

      Man, I can’t sing at all. Sorry about that.

      • Rasha

        *curls up tail, stretches and paws the air….*

        *curls back up* ……zzzzzzzzzz…..

    • Rasha is typing in her sleep – she is using a pillow app

  • salin

    Reminder – click recommend (make the heart beat) for today’s edition of the UB.

    As an reminder image – an awesome image of the super moon: http://spaceweathergallery.com/indiv_upload.php?upload_id=130842&PHPSESSID=7glag9jlkfn6esvbl074vlnl40

  • Bob Crouch

    The film’s opening event looks about as lively as an ideal org. Not a good sign…

  • iampissed

    Dose anybody know about a flag that looks like the American flag only black and white with some blue on
    it? I saw it a couple of days ago off a truck and had never seen one before. I only saw it for a short bit.

  • iampissed

    Wanted to share a story with ya. I’ve been privileged to travel what I think is quite a bit, France, Italy, Canada, Jamaica, Mexico and quite a bit of the USA. My favorite travel moment was traveling though
    Mexico. We have driven from S Calif to Cabo San Lucas three times with my kid when he was about
    10 yo or so. It’s never been about Cabo, it’s always been the journey. We tend to stay in a town call
    Gureeo Negro for the first night. They have a great restaurant with a small motel that is wonderful,
    but I digress. On our first morning out after said town my wife and son say they are hungry. Well we bring
    Some provisions with us but always count on supplementing with local, you can only take so much stuff with ya. So we are on highway 1 looking for tortillas, small dirt town we pull over for said tortillas. Really small store front with no one inside but we here noise from the back. So here are three gringos walking to the back and ya have to remember my wife is a redhead. The family in the back were cranking out tortillas like no tomorrow and were unaware of us until we rounded the corner. They were covered in flour and might have been more white then we were. We didn’t speak Spanish and they not English. We did know how to say how much and it was like 1.50 US for 3 dozen piping hot corns. The proprietor and his family were so surprised I thought the girl who was about my sons age eyes would pop out seeing a redhead.
    As we got back in the car and down the road spreading cream cheese with olive on our treasure my wife pipes up….this is as good as it gets…I answer yes. It is to this moment my fondest memory of all my travels. I keep looking for those moments and I can’t have them with a closed mind.

    Big ETA …I would like to thank Dr Metcalf from UCR for helping me with his blog which he no longer
    maintains but is still online.

    • iampissed

      Forgot Japan…sorry

    • Jimmy3

      $1.50? Now that’s a deal. Those kinda prices leave you with plenty of money left over to pay the inevitable ransom fee.

      • iampissed

        Yea but we had 3 dozen tortillas, that a dozen each…LOL.

      • iampissed

        No we had a 10 yo with us the Federales don’t want to deal with kids. Ask me about the tootsie
        pops we took with us for the check points…second best story.

        • Jimmy3

          What about the tootsie pops you took with you for the check points?

          • iampissed

            Well Dr Metcalf at UCR who has gone down so many times suggested that bringing down something for the Check points was a good thing to do as they were all about 18 yo and didn’t want to be there but the USA drug thing was in full force. He said that sodas were very good, but we as three people didn’t really have the space to do so, we were in a Ford Taurus, yea dumb. So we had a system worked out as we hit the check points my son (10 yo) was told to be ready. When we got there we let the Feds inspect the car after….and only AFTER my son would pop his head out of the backseat and offer the tottise pops to the guys who didn’t want to be there as he counted them and a few more for the ones in the shack.

            • iampissed

              So yes I paid my Mordida

            • Jimmy3

              And the tootsie pops are actually made of cocaine? That’s brilliant.

        • OOkpik

          OK
          What about the tootsie pops you took with you for the check points, hmm?

          • iampissed

            Look down

      • iampissed

        In three trips down never a mordida…not once!

  • iampissed

    I would like to add if you have interest. It’s a dead blog with great insite.
    http://math.ucr.edu/ftm/
    ETA never met the Dr, would have loved to…To You Dr Metcalf!

    • a site without cookies! That’s rare 🙂

  • Mymy88

    I just had an epiphany. Trump is gas lighting America.

    • edge

      All the racists and misogynists feel more strident now. Honestly, I never felt more relieved to be Canadian than I did watching the election and realizing Trump was going to win.

      • Mymy88

        I never felt like blowing my head off like I did watching the election and realizing Trump was going to win (KIDDING). What I actually felt like doing (which I did do) was get my teddy-bear, my blanky and my little doggy and stayed in bed crying for like 3 days, except to occasionally get on-line and bitch and then go back to bed. I have been assured repeatedly I am not alone. So there’s that.

        • edge

          It’s weird. You know what the worst thing that was said between opponents during the Canadian election? Prime Minister Harper would say that Trudeau “wasn’t ready”, and would call him by his first name “Justin” as if to imply talking to a child. That’s it. Compare this with the “lock her up” chants and the groping revelations and the seeming re-emergence of the KKK in this campaign. It made me sick.

          • Mymy88

            Aaannnddd don’t forget “An ‘extremely credible source’ has called my office and told me that @BarackObama’s birth certificate is a fraud.” and many many more.

          • Mymy88

            I don’t know whether to roll on the floor laughing or throw my laptop through the window. Hmm.

            HEADLINE: Immigration hardliner says Trump team preparing plans for wall, mulling Muslim registry

            NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An architect of anti-immigration efforts
            who says he is advising President-elect Donald Trump said the new
            administration could push ahead rapidly on construction of a U.S.-Mexico
            border wall without seeking immediate congressional approval.
            https://www.yahoo.com/news/immigration-hardliner-says-trump-team-preparing-plans-wall-015354176.html

            • Liberated

              We don’t need no stinking constitution.

      • Liberated

        I feel sick everyday, I can’t even look at his face.

        • Snippy_X

          me too

    • Liberated

      Wow, that makes sense

    • Mockingbird

      YES. I wrote about that over a year ago. He is a narcissist with extreme sociopathic tendencies.

      • Liberated

        How is this different from the Kardashians being in the white house?

        • Mymy88

          OMG You’ve just had your own epiphany and now I share in your revelation. There is no difference. AAAAAHHHHHHHH!! We are doomed.

        • daisy

          The Kardashians do not incite hate speech. Well Kanye maybe ? So I would rather have them.

          • Mymy88

            Ima let you finish but why would Trump need to use hate speech? He’s already told us repeatedly how everybody loves him. “The Latino’s love me… everybody loves me.. blah blah.. blah

          • Liberated

            Warren Beatty was just on tonight show, he still looks good at 80.

            • daisy

              I do not like Jimmy Fallon.

            • Mymy88

              He’s cute as can be but he sold his soul. Oh well, get in line.

            • Mymy88

              Oh wow. So Warren Beatty is 80. Okay, well that doesn’t make me feel old. 80? Really?

            • Liberated

              Yep

            • Liberated

              Whoa, my bad, he’s 79.

            • Mymy88

              “Whoa, my bad, he’s 79.”

              Oh, well that’s different. I’m good.

        • Mockingbird

          The Kardashian family would be much, much better than Trump. They would bumble incompetently through four years of follies. Trump wants to assert white supremacist values and hurt a lot of people.

      • Mymy88

        So Jedi Mockingbird, what is the great screaming yam’s weakness? What is his Achilles heel? Where is the weak link in his gold chain?

        • Mockingbird

          Simple but difficult. If enough people rise up in relentless massive civil disobedience he can’t win. If everyone unites and says we won’t accept his abuse of ANYONE then he won’t win. He can’t get the military to kill millions of Americans. That’s the breaking point.

          Other countries have had leaders fall when their military wouldn’t kill their own citizens.

          So, just bring twenty million people to demand his resignation and his entire administration to leave with him and the job is done.

    • Mockingbird

      He has a simple plan. To get the country to relax he will act calm and moderate. He wants to take away the rights of a lot of people. Too many to do all at once.

      He said on 60 Minutes that he will imprison OR deport two or three million immigrants.He claimed they are criminals. He will find a few actually bad guys. He will show us murderers and drug dealers and rapists. Then he will round up many more immigrants.

      We will have accepted indefinite detention without trial or legal representation already.

      He may require involuntary labor and so enslave them.

      He said he might not deport them until the border is straightened out. That means labor camps for people who are never convicted or charged with crimes.

      They get no legal representation and so cannot prove they were wrongfully accused.

      Trump will go after people he labels terrorists, so indefinite detention and torture and involuntary labor are accepted. He will likely space out his policies so he attacks one group at a time. Women, gay people, Muslims, black people will all get a turn. Reporters and protesters too.

      This is reality now. The wall is an excuse for the mass incarceration of immigrants so mass incarceration without trial or legal representation becomes normal.

      Here we are.

      • Liberated

        The Stalinist “purge”

        • Mymy88

          There has GOT to be a bright side somewhere.. Hmm… I am looking very forward to getting my new marching tennis shoes. They are gonna be so fly and comfortable. I’m gonna march my ass off every chance I get holding a sign that says Love Trumps Hate and one on my back that says Trump Hates Love. I’m not joking. Watch me.

          • Liberated

            I don’t think there is a bright side, I really don’t.
            Just found out tonight trump doesn’t want to live entirely in the White House, he wants to live part time in NY and helicopter in to D.C. when he feels like it.
            I really want to protest, just tell me when and where.
            Clinton has 2million more popular votes than orange Mussolini, I’m signing petitions to end the electoral college. In fact B.Boxer introduced a bill today to to do just that. There’s a petition at change.org.

            • Mymy88

              Yup, yup and yup. Boxer, protests, and tonight Steven Colbert said Trump will be the only president in US history to consider the White House as slumming it.

          • abdaman

            The bright side is that the comedy shows are going to have a lot a great material for the next four years just like they did under W. Remember how funny it was turning on the daily show every night and seeing the newest dumb-ass thing Dubya had said that day. Whether it was “I hear there’s rumours on the internets (plural)” or “The border between canada and mexico has never been better”

            • Mymy88

              “The Google” LMAO

        • Mockingbird

          Yes. It may eventually surpass Stalin’s purge if continued long enough. That’s a huge accomplishment in genocide circles.

      • Mymy88

        Wow Mockingbird, I think I’ve just it a new low of realizing how tough this going to be. I really really really need dog up or I’m never gonna make it through this.

        • Mockingbird

          I know it’s tough. I have spent a lot of time looking at how abusive leaders operate. Hubbard’s example and Hitler’s are relevant. Like Hubbard himself I believe Trump borrowed heavily from Hitler’s playbook on both propaganda and goals.

          Hubbard worked towards fooling people and disposing of his targets quietly and without sorrow. Hitler had his final solution hidden from most of the world. Trump has his own vision to make America great again.

      • Elegant Mess

        As a direct descendent of Japanese Americans who were interned under E.O. 9066, this fucking terrifies me.

        • Mymy88

          …….

          • Liberated

            I’m rooting for ya, sometimes hitting the sauce is all ya got!

        • Mymy88

          Hello. I have a relative that unfriended me on Facebook today, that is married to a man who is part Japanese. She doesn’t have a clue and I’d love to kick her ass but I’ll have to be sitting at the same table with her at Thanksgiving Dinner. Alcohol, alcohol will lend me its
          strength and I shall rise above it all and then probably pass out under the table. It would be a mercy.

          ETA: She unfriended me because I jumped on her ass for saying on Facebook that
          “Protestors have been rioting for 5 days straight. They must not have jobs.”

          • Elegant Mess

            I hear ya. This has been one polarizing election. My partner is Jewish, so he and I have been both alternately terrified and saddened by the racist rhetoric being bandied around lately. We both can’t help but hear echoes of WW2 anti-Japanese and anti-Semitic sentiments in the Trump mandate. How we as a nation have not learned from our own past is beyond me.

            • Mymy88

              I hope we have. I hope we have caught it in time this time. Nip it in the bud.

            • JJ

              Why it may be hard. Like in Nazi Germany, before it was NAZI Germany. It was a bunch of scared, angry people worried about their economy, reeling from a previous war and looking for a savior. You throw in a marginalized immigrant population and call on the factions to dredge up ancient hatreds, convince them it is all or nothing and time to “take a stand” and there you go.
              Maybe Trump being so overt in his biases and hostilities is a good thing. Like it will appear too extreme to be real. But when people are voting from terror and want the easiest, quickest solution to their problems really unreasonable concept become more and more compelling. The ends justifies the means and so forth.

            • Mymy88

              I’m on pins and needles, really. But I do think I’m on my way to being better able to block out thinking about it entirely, for long stretches of time. Maybe days at a time. I think that might be a good thing too.

            • JJ

              I don’t even know. Part of would like to be sedated for four years but I don’t want to wake up to see the result if people lie down and do nothing in the face of this, literal threat to American democracy.

            • Mymy88

              Me either. I am disappointed in some of my family members and it’s much more about how disrespectfully they treated me when I voiced my opinion. It was low. It was way below the belt. It wasn’t just “don’t be stupid” or “you’re crazy”. It was “you’re a lying sack of shit. Go fuck yourself.” I don’t think I will ever get over that. I know I won’t. From here on out, I’ll feel much differently about that family member.

            • JJ

              On some level, divisive doesn’t seem to cut it for how bitter and disenfranchising this last election has been. It is like someone ripped the top off a festering boil and it is all spewing out now! Everywhere ya turn there is someone holding a handful of salt. That’ll do ya.

            • Mymy88

              Yes. What is the deal with that? I guess it is a matter of intense emotional reaction. Trump really knows how to press those buttons. Wow.

            • Mymy88

              Yes I agree and now we have the internet and twitter and the like, and things get around so fast. Things happen so fast. I’m just hoping the good things well happen faster than the bad things, but I’m not holding my breath, at all.

        • Mockingbird

          GOOD. It should outrage EVERYONE. Seeing this as acceptable is absurd. It’s the beginning of a human rights abuse and could lead to slavery and genocide. I wish everyone was terrified and refused to accept this.

          • Elegant Mess

            Yes, I completely agree. That, plus getting active in advocating for the causes that are most important to you. I have already started volunteering my time with our local LGBTQ Headquarters, our ACLU branch, donated to Planned Parenthood and re-joined my chapter of the JACL. I’ve also written letters to all of my State and Federal representatives. Still none of this seems like it is enough.
            It is going to take a massive effort on everyone’s part to defend our civil rights and the rights of our neighbors, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, political orientation, immigration status or gender.
            How? How are we even discussing Roe v. Wade? How are we discussing registration lists for Muslims? How is this country so fragmented?

            • Mockingbird

              First, our country has always had discrimination and unequal protection. It seemed to be more or less improving at a glacial pace. But we had a long, long way to go.

              The system unfortunately doesn’t recognize the legitimacy and strong need to protect human rights.

              If it did it would be entirely different. We need to stand up so strongly for equal rights that it’s undeniable and we can’t accept being denied.

            • Elegant Mess

              Thank you, MB. It is comforting to know I am not alone in my rage and willingness to fight.

            • Mockingbird

              Thank you. The ease and odds of our success are directly related to how many people get active, get involved, march, protest and refuse to accept Donald Trump. He is unacceptable. His behavior and conduct towards people is unacceptable.

              It isn’t changed by the election. That’s a fallacy millions of Americans have fallen for.

      • Mymy88

        Soooooo, I hear Obama is on his way to Europe to tell everybody everybody “calm down, don’t worry, be happy”. I can’t imagine how he’s going to pull that off because you know damn well he’ll ‘ be able to say the words he needs to say but anyone will be able to tell from looking at his face that he’d rather be having a colonoscopy without any anesthetic.

        • lol

        • Mockingbird

          President Barack Obama has a keen mind and great facility with language. He reassured people that Trump isn’t an ideologue and is pragmatic. I believe That is wishful thinking. I believe Trump is far more an ideologue than he is pragmatic.

          I believe he ran for president to get attention, admiration and unfortunately revenge. He wants to humiliate president Barack Obama and millions of people he sees as inferior to himself. That’s very, very bad news for vulnerable people that he has scapegoated. He will continue to scapegoat the most vulnerable groups in society. He is essentially a bully. But he will take lives and rights and not lunch money.

          I saw the president after his meeting with Trump and he looked stunned as he struggled for words. I think he can’t fathom that Trump beat Hillary Clinton despite the president’s best efforts to help her.

          I think Trump is conning the president. I think he wants the president to think he is a bumbling fool so he won’t warn anyone about what Trump could do.

          I think Trump intentionally uses small simple words with extreme repetition. I think Trump read Hitler’s book and takes several ideas to heart. He uses the big lie. He uses simple propaganda as slogans and phrases designed so even the stupidest person will understand and a tremendous amount of repetition, repetition and repetition.

          I think he actually is smarter than he usually shows. I think he acts dumb in person in many situations. He does it to seem like an incompetent fool so people underestimate him. He actually is hiding many ideas he has and gives some things he means. The things he means are often the most offensive things he says. The terrible things are his true feelings or even minimized or watered down versions. The people that don’t take everything Trump says as possibly true are in deep trouble.

          • Mymy88

            C’mon Mockingbird, no one can “pretend” to be that dumb. Not even Trump. When it comes to the dumb, I think it is completely authentic n his case.

            • Mockingbird

              I am afraid that is wishful thinking. I realized recently that he employs so many communication and persuasion techniques that resemble the methods Hitler used that he took the book he studied in Hitler to heart.

              Additionally if you pretend to be dumb it is more acceptable than being evil.

              I think we should prepare for the worst case scenario: Trump conned EVERYONE.

              He acts like a simple minded bully to appeal to the masses and when cornered acts dumb.

              It is horrifying.

        • Mymy88

          Sheeesh, even Twitter is trying to calm things down. Wow just think, instead of Trump lifting a single fat orange cheeto stained finger from one of his tiny little hands to try to calm things down, it’s being left up to Zuckerburg and Twitter. Right now it’s all about ‘escalation’. We need some deceleration of escalation at the very least.

        • Mockingbird

          That is something I support. Breitbart and several media organizations are in fact supporting and promoting white supremacy and lies about the targets of white supremacists.

          It’s disgusting that Breitbart has support from Sirius radio and other media. It’s not acceptable to me.

          • Since you first mentioned this odd collection of individuals, i have been reading up on it. It was a real WTF moment 🙂 lol…

            • Mockingbird

              They are disturbing.

        • Mockingbird

          His hate speech is extremely important. It’s something that cannot be overstated. It terrifies and traumatizes millions of people, Americans and citizens of the world.

          I saw a woman at the Trump protest who spoke and said as a victim of sexual assault she could never discuss it with her family members that supported Trump. She is retraumatized by the way their support of Trump makes her feel.

          Many Trump supporters are exhibiting his bullying, racist, misogynistic and immoral behavior in disgusting and harmful ways. They aren’t being gracious winners. They are being cruel, racist, religious bigots and harassing and threatening many people. This is going to only grow. As the principle of consistency shows we tend to keep doing the kinds of behavior we start as we see our behavior as correct usually and so if an act is proper one day it remains so after. Their behavior also has tremendous social support. So by joining the crowd on the bandwagon Trump supporters get an instant group, solidarity and something to keep doing.

          Aside from the influence Trump has had on supporters and victims he also has the threat of real harm to people and deprivation of human rights to deal with. If we don’t deal with that he will deal with us.

          • well… just don’t let it influence your good sense of humor, even how nasty this is! Remember he has the whole world to deal with not just Americans. but time will change and we have to regroup. As i see it – now we can see who it is, that has been growing a little Fascist, in their backyard over the years. So let’s call them out in the open!

            • Mockingbird

              I think it’s more than a little fascistic to me. Unfortunately we are past calling them out. They must be repudiated sufficiently to be neutralized. I don’t know how that will be accomplished.

  • Mymy88

    Fatigue slam. G’night. Thanks for letting vent off-topic.

  • Mymy88

    Oh wait, wait, I’m sorry, wait. One more thing. YOU KNOW IT’S BAD WHEN YOU SEE THIS HEADLINE from CNN:

    Glenn Beck: The alt-right is truly terrifying

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/15/politics/glenn-beck-bannon-appointment-white-nationalists-anderson-cooper/index.html

    • Mymy88

      We are talkin “Glen Beck”. Yeah, I know he’s a little nutty but oh my Jesus.

      • abdaman

        Hahahha mymy everytime I see something from Glen Beck talking about how bad the republican party is right now i’m like “ok, when Glen Beck starts saying shit has gone too far you know shit has gone TOO FAR” when glen beck has magically grown a conscience every needs to step back and re-evaluate where this country is headed

        • Mymy88

          OMG I’m laughing. Thank you lol.

  • Mymy88

    Is it just me, or is anybody else starting to get a really really bad feeling about all of this? Please tell me to calm down, that it’s just me.

    • Mymy88

      Okay, just call me Oracle, but anyway, another breaking story: (CNN)

      Donald Trump ditches his press pool again, spurring sharp criticism.For the second time in a week, president-elect Donald Trump has abandoned precedent and traveled without the “press pool,” a small group of journalists assigned to cover his movements. His surprise trip on Tuesday evening was met by sharp criticism from some journalists.

      Edited: I left out the headline of the article, now fixed.
      http://money.cnn.com/2016/11/16/media/donald-trump-press-pool-tension/index.html?iid=hp-stack-dom

    • Liberated

      No dear….it’s not just you…it really is this bad.
      I feel hopeless and helpless, and it’s only the beginning.

      When people say…go with the flow, uh well , I don’t like the way the flow is going….so no can do.

      All I can do is whine to the bunker, youz guyz seem to get it.

      • Mymy88

        Oh, now get this, Liberated. This was weird. It happened tonight. A neighbor called me asking me to re-send her some pictures because her phone got erased or whatever.

        So she asks how’s it going, yadda, fine, thank you.. yadda. I ask her how are you folks doing.. and she says the weirdest thing.. she says “oh, not so good. It’s not been so good around here”.

        This was strange because I had never EVER heard her or anyone else give such a negative reply in all the years I’ve known them when asked a casual how are ya.

        I said “Did something happen?” She says “The state of the union”. Yes, that was a very weird reply and I wasn’t sure what she meant exactly so I said “are you talking about the Trump stuff going on”?

        She was all “Yes! That mo**er fu**er!!!”. At this point I’m thinking she probably has family members within earshot which is why the code language “state of the union”.

        Then I said “so are you having arguments?” She says YES!

        I told her “us too”. This is just weirdness. True weirdness.

        • Liberated

          I understand, it used to be when someone (especially a family member) and oneself had a political difference it was so what, who cares and go on about your business.
          Now it’s completely different, the differences are so extreme and scary. I want to shake them by their head and say “what’s the matter with you have you lost your mind”

          We are entering strange times and I don’t think any of us know what the hell to do!
          I think I’m losing it.

    • Calm down!

      • Mymy88

        Thanks. I needed that lol.

        • he he! put i sign on your door that says Fuck Off! – i want one for x-mas

          • Mymy88

            IKR! Okay, I must be hallucinating. Just now CNN said breaking news and it says “Trump: “Supreme Court Justice Picks will be Pro-Life”

            • Start rehearsing the good old values of being an American, like reading the founders papers or something. Build up your arguments and be your own statue of liberty! Reclaim your privacy etc… does this help 🙂

            • Mymy88

              I did like the reclaim your privacy part. I’d like to reclaim my privacy alright. I’d like to be left alone with my animals with no human contact for at least a week.

            • it’s a long forgotten human right to have privacy. It’s like this concept has been wiped out in people’s vocabulary, especially with all this surveillance going on. After years with this Cult i had no idea about any privacy. Why would I? Everyone was honest with me and so was i. Good Lord 🙂 Today i say – It’s none of your freaking business and Fuck Off.

            • Mymy88

              lol… you have to set your boundaries because people these days seem happy to be all up in your business otherwise. I go by – you don’t need to know mine, and I surely don’t want to know yours.

      • Snippy_X

        Sure, let’s talk about Steve Bannon getting a security clearance instead.

        • don’t know who he is, but i am told that his whole family is getting security clearance lol
          ETA: Trumb i mean

        • Mymy88

          Plop! Ouch, my head. It started involuntarily banging itself against the wall. Is that bad?

    • Mymy88

      I am getting all of this from CNN.com

      CNN: Breaking News Nov. 15, 2016: 7:30pm ET – Ana Navarro – Trump ‘unleashed’ feelings of racism. Racist Incidents being Reported around the US. (end snip)

      Tony Ortega will like this one because I saw him tweet something similar:

      (CNN): The post-election coverage has largely ignored the reactions of one segment of American society: people of color. (end snip)

      This one is nice (sarcasm):

      CNN: Headline: Why we can’t forget the racism of this campaign

      Issac Bailey has been a journalist in South Carolina for two decades and was most recently the primary columnist for The Sun News in Myrtle Beach. He was a 2014 Harvard University Nieman fellow. Follow him on Twitter: @ijbailey. The views expressed are his own.

      Issac Bailey

      I noticed the waiter lingering around my table a little more than usual. For the first time at this buffet-style restaurant, the waiter seemed agitated. Normally, he would be singing to mesmerized patrons in between busing tables and asking if customers needed any assistance in a place that is essentially self-serve.

      “That man called me boy,” he finally told me, unprompted, while pointing his eyes toward an older white gentleman in blue overalls. He said, ‘boy, go get me some sweet tea,'” the waiter went on, mostly under his breath. He didn’t want anyone else to hear.

      “I’m a man! I’m a father,” he told me. I could see that he was fighting back tears and the urge to show that man, in no uncertain terms, that he was no one’s boy.

      The waiter, a black man in his 30s, told his white supervisor about the incident but was told to just ignore it, that maybe the man didn’t mean any harm. But he couldn’t — it hurt too much — and that’s why he was standing at my table, commiserating with the only other black person in the restaurant. He had no other option. He couldn’t confront the man directly without the potential of being called overly sensitive or,
      worse yet, losing his job. (end snip)

      • Liberated

        That breaks my heart, I know I wasn’t there but I think I might have given that hillbilly some righteous shit.

      • Draco

        🙁 SMH

        In a good world – the supervisor should have politely asked the old gent to apologize or leave the premises. God forbid that we go back to putting up with that BS

        • Mymy88

          Unbelievable. We are going back to that 🙁

    • Mymy88

      I am laughing. Thank you again Dice. You’re awesome lol.

      • if you haven’t… try go to the twitter account, it’s very calming 🙂 > 7000 followers

  • OOkpik

    PLEASE WATCH YOUR STEP
    At this hour, expect to find the Bunker cleaning crew hard at work.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3608f5b0ae827d98f467075af51b671672e3668601f096e29b6b7747e7ee1d94.gif

    • so is it scratching the itching up the stairs or down the stairs?

      • OOkpik

        Scratching? Itching? Such nonsense!
        Our new automatic stair duster gently massages each step, never missing even those tricky corners.
        To end the task, simply open the refrigerator door.

        • you have a cat that does that?

          • OOkpik

            Umm – no.

    • JJ

      Dude. Cats.

  • abdaman

    Sometimes when I’m mad at scientology (or just in a b1tchy mood) I read the IRS commissioner’s revocation of Tony Alamo’s church’s tax exemption. He was the little dictator perv that ran the Alamo Christian Foundation/Music Square Church. It had its tax-exempt status retroactively revoked by the IRS in 1996.
    The IRS’ exact reasoning was:

    “MSC was so closely operated and controlled by and for the benefit of Tony Alamo that it enjoyed no substantive independent existence; that MSC was formed and operated by Tony Alamo for the principal purpose of willfully attempting to defeat or evade federal income tax; and that MSC was inseparable from Tony Alamo, and failed to operate for exclusively charitable purposes.” Then in June 2013, the federal government filed forfeiture and collection actions on 27 properties owned by members of Tony Alamo Christian Ministries, arguing that the properties remained in Alamo’s control and that the purported owners were “owners in name only.”

    The IRS commissioners report reads like a forensic autopsy of CoS from 1983 on. You could literally swap out every instance of Tony Alamo and replace it with David Miscavige (and then their corresponding churches) and the indictment would stand. What a glorious day it would be if the IRS not only revoked CoS’ tax exemption but also retroactively revoked it forcing them to pay back taxes for all those years. If they can prove this stuff for one quack church why can’t the prove it for another?