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Federal judge once again finds for Scientology’s nonexistent and Orwellian ‘arbitration’

[Luis Garcia and Judge James Whittemore]

On Monday, we wrote about Scientology’s obsession over whether its few remaining members are “in good standing” or not. That subject had come up in a court filing that the church made in the federal fraud lawsuit brought by a California couple, Luis and Rocio Garcia, in 2013.

The Garcias were pointing out how Scientology had made it exceedingly difficult to find out which members were in good standing or not, which mattered to the Garcias because they were attempting to comply with Tampa Judge James Whittemore’s order and were trying to find a Scientologist in good standing to act as an arbitrator who might rule independently on their allegations of fraud.

Now we’ve learned that Judge Whittemore has once again rejected the Garcias’ motion to jettison the arbitration order and restore their lawsuit, even though he acknowledges how difficult Scientology is making it for the Garcias to select someone. (Previously, he had acknowledged that Scientology doesn’t really have arbitration procedures and had never done an internal arbitration, but ordered the Garcias to submit themselves to it anyway.)

It does appear that Plaintiffs have had difficulty determining who is in good standing with the Church, and that some individuals they have contacted may not even be aware of their standing with the Church, particularly considering that there appear to be no benchmarks for or documentation of any such determination. However the determination of who is in good standing seems to be a determination solely within the province of the Church. Simply put, on the evidence presented, this difficulty is a product of the religious agreements Plaintiffs signed.

In other words, Whittemore is once again reluctant to intervene in Scientology’s internal matters, however Orwellian and venal they might be, for fear of violating the organization’s First Amendment rights of religious expression.

The judge did, however, call for a status hearing in the case on April 6, and we’re hoping it might provide some kind of interesting hashing out about these strange issues.

Garcia v. Scientology: Order to Deny Waive of Arbitration by Tony Ortega on Scribd

 
——————–

Wikipedia is stupid, again

Your proprietor has long been a Wikipedia detractor, for various reasons that we won’t go into now. But yet another example of the encyclopedia website being stupid turned up yesterday, and thank you to Pete Griffiths for pointing it out.

Last year, as the interminable presidential election was going on, we tried to refrain from weighing in on it here at the Underground Bunker because for the most part we find that readers from both sides of the political aisle share concerns about the Church of Scientology. Personally, we were frightened by the thought of a Donald Trump administration, but we weren’t going to use the Bunker to advocate for either side.

That said, we felt a responsibility to write about the two candidates in light of Scientology’s past and its controversies. And so, for that reason we wrote in August about the race in regards to the subject we cover here. Namely, that many in the media were pointing out the similarity in style between Mr. Trump and L. Ron Hubbard, and the methods of his supporters and those of the Church of Scientology. While we recognized why people were making that comparison, we could see only the most tenuous of connections between Trump and the church itself. On the other hand, we pointed out, Bill Clinton had been the best friend Scientology has ever had in the White House, and we went over that history, admitting that we didn’t know what Hillary Clinton’s attitudes toward Scientology might be if she were elected.

Then, just a week before the election, we learned that in one of the John Podesta emails that had been made public by Wikileaks, there was information suggesting that Mrs. Clinton had considered a former Texas chief justice as a possible nominee to the US Supreme Court. That former judge, Wallace Jefferson, had represented Scientology leader David Miscavige in a Texas harassment lawsuit that we followed very closely here.

Again, we felt obliged, as a news website, to point this out because of its obvious connection to Scientology, not because we were taking a political position.

But the geniuses over at Wikipedia apparently thought differently. On January 22, they added us to a page that lists the notable people who endorsed Donald Trump for president in 2016.

In the footnote citation for why we were added to the list, it says this, but without a link: “Trump endorsed November 2, 2016 On Tony Ortega’s Blog The Underground Bunker.”

On November 2, we actually ran a story about the first trailer for Leah Remini’s upcoming A&E series, Scientology and the Aftermath. The previous day, on November 1, is when we wrote our story about how Hillary Clinton had considered for Supreme Court justice an attorney who had represented David Miscavige.

These idiots can’t even get the citation right.

No, we did not endorse Donald Trump in the election. We wrote about Hillary Clinton’s connections to Scientology because it was news, and for no other reason. We voted for Bernie Sanders in the New York primary, and Hillary Clinton in the general election, but we did not use this website to endorse any candidate. We write about Scientology here. And if politics has come up in the comments section, we don’t really think that’s unusual, especially considering how chaotic Mr. Trump’s first month in office has been.

We’ll stick to Scientology. We only wish Wikipedia might stick to facts.

 
——————–

 
HowdyCon 2017: Denver, June 23-25. Go here to start making your plans.

 
——————–

Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,664 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,261 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,301 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy in 1,013 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 480 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,598 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 1,768 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,088 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,063 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 419 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin in 4,721 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 828 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,230 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,103 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 684 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike in 1,189 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,433 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,542 days.

 
——————–

3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on February 15, 2017 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.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2016 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Undergound Bunker (2012-2016), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

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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  • Jack99

    Just the alternative facts, ma’am.

  • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

    What’s with all the pussy-footing around Whittemore? How many times must they prove it’s b.s. before you believe them?
    https://media3.giphy.com/media/B4ORVnBvJCVvq/200.gif#9

    • Kestrel

      I suspect he can’t do anything until the “arbitration” has run its course. Only then can he rule on whether the process was conducted in a fair manner. He seems to be dropping hints that the court recognizes the trap the Garcias find themselves in.

      • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

        I hope you’re right. The constant merry-go-round is annoying.

        • Peter

          Getting reversed on appeal would be pretty annoying to the judge, too. 🙂

  • Newiga

    “In other words, Whittemore is once again reluctant to intervene in Scientology’s internal matters, however Orwellian and venal they might be, for fear of violating the organization’s First Amendment rights of religious expression.”

    Oh, the FRUSTRATION of it all… *sigh* Using the 1st Amendment as a shield, a hiding place and an excuse. *sigh*

  • kemist

    Someone is looking really, really hard for any media people who support Trump and don’t sound like blabbering idiots.

    They’re hard to find, so they make it up. Alternative facts FTW.

  • Simply put, on the evidence presented, this difficulty is a product of the religious agreements Plaintiffs signed.

    In other words, it’s the victims who are at fault for signing a contract that can be construed as a ‘religious agreement’ because the law cannot hold the administrators of such a contract to account.

    The people who create these contracts can make definite promises, and then decline to fulfil them by making the appeals procedure into a Kafkaesque nightmare that is impossible to participate in. They are a law unto themselves.

    If it wasn’t for the fact that the CofS loves legal delay, because it costs the plaintiff money, to seems to me that they could just tell the court that nobody’s getting their money back, no matter what our contracts say because religion – and there’s nothing you can do about it.

    This is tantamount to giving religious organisations carte blanche to ignore their own rules and procedures whenever they feel like it. It’s one thing to say that a religious agreement falls outside of the scope of the law. It’s another to say that the religion which made that agreement can ignore its own rules and commit fraud with impunity.

    • Chee Chalker

      I took from that comment (“on the evidence presented”) the judge is saying ‘I want to help…find me something I can hang my hat on’
      But yea, it sucks

      Lurkers….be careful what you sign!

      • Yes… he’s saying that his hands are tied by the letter of the law – while the spirit goes flying out of the window to a Scientology implant station.

        • Chee Chalker

          The implant station, but NOT the Van Allen Belt, because, as we all heard yesterday, David Miscavige has never heard of that

          Of course 20/20 had the information for only a few weeks or months and they managed to find it
          Miscavige had 20+ years and had never heard it

    • Peter

      Judges have *always* been loathe to make decisions which may be reversed on appeal. This judge is no different. I think they cringe at getting anywhere near 1st Amendment cases.

    • The court, maybe. How about the IRS?

      • As I say elsewhere, in more detail, they would fact not only Scientology (which is bad enough) but also a religious lobby would support them because they feared ‘the thin end of the wedge’.

        • ze moo

          Corporate $cientology has several swords hanging over it.

          First is the corporate structure of the scam. The 93 IRS agreement demands that checks and balances be placed on Miscavage. Proving that is going to be a huge, expensive problem. So the IRS ignores it, for now.

          Second is the lack of a real refund process. The 93 agreement is very much on trial with the Garcia case. The clam lawyers are skating on very thin ice on this one. They have to show a real refund and dispute resolution process or they are in violation. If tales of massive refund fraud are even proven, a class action suit would be a lot of fun to watch. Not that any Federal court would allow that. The bar for class action suits can be set very high by clam attorneys.

          Third is the use of ‘religious study’ visas. If it can be proven that ‘unvetted’ foreigners have been brought to the US and allowed to run away, the clampire faces all sort of Immigration nightmares.

          There must be more swords hanging over them, but I can’t think of more at the moment.

          • The problem with enforcing the IRS agreement (and many other things to do with the CofS) is not the fact that they have clearly broken laws, rules and agreements.

            It is the question of whether or not the agencies tasked with taking violators to task have the political will to take on well-resourced and notoriously litigious organisation.

            As the new regime starves regulators of resources (or dissolves them altogether) I don’t think this likely – especially since those agencies would then have to explain why they didn’t act before.

  • Chee Chalker

    Wikipedia, Schmikipedia…..last week the Oracle reported the same thing (you backed Trump) on the Movin on Up (but not to the East Side) blog.
    So, I’m sorry, Wikipedia may be incorrect, but she is an Oracle after all…..

    • PerpetualOutflow

      So the Orifice thought she would embarrass Tony with fake news. Why is that not surprising.

      • Chee Chalker

        You know, the sad thing is I think she may actually believe it

        • Frodis73

          Wow. I haven’t been over there in months, so I def missed that one.

          • Chee Chalker

            All kinds of crazy going on over there

            • Frodis73

              I may have to stop in later tonight and update myself.

    • It was a one-shot editor, seeming created just to do that edit.

      • Chee Chalker

        Interesting, no?

    • Frodis73

      Did she believe it or was she mocking it in some way? is she really *that* dumb to think tony would endorse trump?

  • Scream Nevermore

    What planet is Whittemore on?

    • Mighty Korgo of Teegeeack

      Teegeeack.

    • kemist

      A strange planet where contracts with abusive clauses are legal.

      • Well a pocket universe called ‘religion’ where contracts do not have to be honoured if the party with the most power does not care to do so.

        It seems to me that whoever framed the amendment that gave religious organisations such sweeping immunities should have at least tried to define what a religion was.

        In the absence of a legal definition, a religion is de facto an organisation that claims to be religious and has the money to hire lawyers and make that claim stick, no matter how absurd it is.

        In Scientology’s case, Hubbard is on record as claiming dianetics to be a scientific therapy, and denying that Scientology was a religion before pondering (in writing) about ‘the religious angle’ that would get him out of paying tax.

        The historical evidence is there that Scientology initially strongly denied that it was a religion, and then changed its tune as part of a transparent tax avoidance scheme. But it’s still a religion because it says so, and has the money to make that claim stick.

        • Frodis73

          That is another bit that can be used as proof against the church if the IRS ever got to review them again. So much proof that it was all a scam it seems impossible if reviewed it would be denied.

          • My view is that, in this case, cultural considerations have at least as much influence as the law itself.

            Thanks to the the first amendment has enabled religious organisations to become rich and powerful – which may be why the US has bucked the trend of secularisation in the rest of the Western world

            Despite their beliefs, most religious organisations would lobby against any review of Scientology to protects themselves from the ‘the thin end of the wedge’. For example, Mormonism was founded by a genuine con man too, who made it’s basic scriptures up. They would see themselves as being the next on the legal hit list.

            Even respectable religions whose origins are lost in time would likely support Scientology in this situation, as a matter of political expedience.

            The IRS, with its limited resources, is unlikely to want to to take on such a powerful religious lobby

            • Frodis73

              I know, it is just so damn frustrating…esp to a “heathen” like me. 🙂

        • dchoiceisalwaysrs

          Mason, Jefferson and especially Madison were involved. As well as the House in 1791.

          http://uscivilliberties.org/historical-overview/4083-madisons-remonstrance-1785.html

          Madison anticipated arguments he would later explicate more fully in Federalist No. 10 regarding minority rights. Such a tax, he declared, would ‘‘overleap the great Barrier which defends the rights of the people,’’ and even if a majority of the state supported establishment (which Madison defined as any governmental support of organized religion), the legislature lacked the authority to enact such a measure….

          …‘‘Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians?’’

          Madison and his allies, especially Jefferson, wanted a wall of separation to keep the secular state free from the biases of religion. Establishing religion— even supporting multiple establishments, as Henry proposed—would ‘‘enervate the laws in general, and slacken the bands of Society.’’
          He pointed out the history of religious warfare in Europe, in which the intrusion of the state to enforce the views of one group had inevitably sapped the moral force of all religion. Instead of men being governed by true moral and religious values, they fell prey to ‘‘superstition, bigotry, and persecution

          But the ‘‘Memorial’’ also spoke for Madison’s deeply held convictions about religious liberty. Throughout his adult life he opposed establishment and use of the state in any way to further religion. He fought for the Statute of Religious Freedom and the First Amendment in order to secure ‘‘the rights of Conscience in the fullest latitude’’ and, as president from 1809 to 1817, consistently opposed even the smallest efforts to use the resources of government in aid of religion.

          Madison, then a member of Congress, drafted the religion clauses of the First Amendment in 1789.

          And here is that first draft. Compare it to the altered and flawed version of today.

          From

          https://www.au.org/church-state/march-2001-church-state/featured/james-madison-and-church-state-separation

          Throughout August of 1789 Congress deliberated what would become the religion clauses of the First Amendment. Madison’s first draft read, “The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretext, infringed.”….

          I highly recommend reading both items at the links.

          I haven’t yet managed to read the transcripts of how the discussions went in the house to understand how the draft got changed.
          Maybe it was the great great great grandpa of el Con’s GO And OSA. Or maybe the Anglican Church retaliating and distracting Madison through Rhetoric or ” the war is over” battle tactics.

  • ONEpointONE

    I was reluctant from the start to buy the idea the Judge’s pro-scientology rulings were to allow for a final incontestable decision. I thought at once he was simply punishing the Garcia’s for getting involved with a cult and that is exactly what I think now.

  • PickAnotherID

    In honor of our ‘North of Albany’ Bunker Bugs, I’d like to mention today is National Flag of Canada Day, celebrating the adoption of the Maple Leaf flag in 1965.
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/c/cf/Flag_of_Canada.svg/1280px-Flag_of_Canada.svg.png

    • Phil McKraken

      I think the maple leaf flag is one of the awesomest in the world. I gotta say, you New Zealanders dropped the ball on flag selection. Your ideal org outta sort that out.

    • ze moo

      From maple syrup to good beers and hockey, I salute my Canadian brothers and sisters. And I’ll have a Molsons with dinner.

  • April

    “… on November 1, is when we wrote our story about how Hillary Clinton had considered for Supreme Court justice an attorney who had represented David Miscavige.

    These idiots can’t even get the citation right.”

    Can you imagine Trump supporters saying anything negative about him? Because you said something about Clinton that could be viewed negatively by voters, they believe that you supported Trump.

    We live in a time of rabid political partisanship and it’s driving me bonkers.
    For the record, I also voted Bernie in the primary and Clinton in the general.

    • Phil McKraken

      Heck, I voted for Clinton (in Nov), and I’ve said negative things about her that would curl your hair.

      • Frodis73

        Same here. I was in the never hillary camp until trump’s threat became real.

        • April

          Holy smokes, you’re not kidding. I wonder about the emotional and intellectual IQ of people who could not (or would not) forsee the shit show we are now witnessing.

          • Frodis73

            You know what else pisses me off? There have been rumblings about how many in the Republican party are now concerned he might not be mentally stable. Oh really,you think? Now though? Recently? What was your first clue FFS and why the hell didn’t you notice that a YEAR ago (or even longer). This ass hat is such an embarrassment and has done more to damage our reputation and our stability in less than a month…ARGH. I just want to scream.

            • Scream Nevermore

              I think they did know, but thought he could be controlled/contained. Having seen what happened when he thought he was the de facto ruler of Scotland, I could have told them that was never going to work.

            • Frodis73

              LOL! Did you see the Samantha Bee show where she talked to a bunch of Scots and called them “the original trump haters”? It’s on yt but might be geo blocked for you.

            • Scream Nevermore

              I’ve seen it – we’re all rather proud of it over here! He’s a nasty, nasty wee fud. He left a woman in her 90s without water in her home, for years. and did his usual making things up stuff in the press, calling them all sorts of names. Just because they didn’t want to sell their farm to him. He also decided to take on the then First Minister, Alex Salmond. Now, I hate Salmond, but he handled Trump pretty well. But the letters that were coming from Trump’s company to us were unbelievable, both in content and in the laughable way they were written. I can’t say more (Official Secrets Act!) but his current shenanigans are no surprise to anyone who’s dealt with him. It’s all par for his increasingly unstable course.

            • Frodis73

              I actually semi-followed that a bit when it was happening. I hope he somehow pays for all this many sins, but that lady w/out water in particular. What he has done there (and well anywhere he goes) is indefensible! I will have to go refresh my memory on the finer details tho…maybe not though it will just make me angry again. I am glad you got to see the Sam Bee thing tho. She is very funny.

            • Scream Nevermore

              His bullies still hassle people on the beaches there (there’s a court case coming up soon in Edinburgh), and Mrs Forbes only has water because her son finally managed to repair the damage Trump’s goons did. The thing about Sam Bee is you just know he can”t take being laughed at. He probably has a file on her too now!

            • Frodis73

              I am sure he does too!

            • Kestrel

              I think there are many in the Republican party who were not happy that Donald Trump was their candidate in the election.

            • Frodis73

              Oh i know, those are not the ones I am talking about. I am referring to leaks/rumors on the others that are now suddenly worried.

            • Robert Eckert

              I noticed that DECADES ago. Of course, while he was just a C-list celebrity, it didn’t matter.

          • 3feetback-of-COS

            Well, this is the same electorate that elected George W. Bush, not once, but twice.

            • Robert Eckert

              The electorate did not choose George W. Bush the first time (I am agnostic about the second time; serious irregularities were alleged but nothing was proven).

            • Teegeeack AV Club Secretary

              And one of the great ironies of the “irregularities” was email. Those emails were stored on a private server and Rove refused to produce them, claiming they were “lost” after a purported hard drive crash.

  • gtsix

    So get real.Garcias.

    Nominate Shelly.
    When that fails, Nominate Heber Jensch.

    And when that fails.
    Nominate Ben Rinder.
    Then nominate Mike Jones.

    Take.that disconnection list, and go through it all.

    At least you could tell their parents what they look like.

    • Frodis73

      I really do like this idea of nominating those people…esp Shelly as I wonder what the excuse would be.

      • Kestrel

        She’s been assigned a status of PTS for not sending a card and a box of chocolates to her husband on Valentine’s Day.

    • Juicer77

      And insist that they be asked in person IN COURT if they are in good standing with the church? The speed with which the Co$ attorneys leap from their seats might shock the person being questioned.

    • nateht

      Nominate David Miscavige, Shelly and Ron Hubbard’s body thetan. Which one? The paranoid bt of course.

    • Jgg2012

      Wouldn’t it be great if the judge ordered Shelly to arbitrate.

    • PeaceMaker

      I think there would be a risk that the CofS might actually agree to one of those, and it wouldn’t be to the Garcia’s advantage.

      My take is that the judge feels that he needs to let this play out long enough that Scientology’s bad faith and vexatious approach to litigation are so apparent that there is no chance of any ruling that he makes being overturned on appeal.
      I hope that the Garcias get a steady supply of under-the-radar candidates who would see their side but who are not formally declared suppressive, so that they can continue to propose arbitrators who look like reasonable choices to outsiders like the judge but who Scientology can’t accept without risking a good chance of the arbitration going against them.
      On the topic of “religion,” I’d like to see someone press the point that Scientology’s specific “scriptural” direction to use lawsuits to harass is not normal religiosity and means that the CofS should always be treated as a vexatious litigant.

  • Scream Nevermore

    A friend just deleted the offending Wiki entry, but keep watching, because it may well be put back.

    • Newiga
      • YellowSubmarine

        There is only one ‘Source’

        • Newiga

          and he never had a second wife.

          • GrangerFX

            “I have been married twice. I never had a second wife.”
            And stop calling me Shirley.

    • I’d have added a comment that the cited article wasn’t an endorsement.

      • Scream Nevermore

        It’s now flagged as ‘watch’ so if it gets put back in, it’ll be possible to see who does it. I might have to learn to do this stuff myself now! Edit – a note has been added in the ‘Talk’ for the page, saying what you said, RM.

        • Phil McKraken

          It will be changed back, and you know by whom. If Tony had just changed it without saying anything in the Bunker, then no one would have noticed. But OSA will not be able to restrain themselves.

          • It might be butthurt rather than OSA. It seems strange mud for them to be flinging.

            • Phil McKraken

              Even though a WP contributor who created that article (most likely) inadvertently included the Underground Bunker in the list, just the fact that Tony made a stink about it is enough for OSA to make moves to make his life miserable. It’s for tomorrow’s stats. And if they get to change it back yet again after tomorrow, then all the better for next Thursday’s stats.

            • So an edit war would transport them into ‘power’ – until the whole thing was stomped on by the administrators.

          • nateht

            OSA can never restrain itself.

    • PickAnotherID

      Was today’s post cited as the reason for removal? If not, it may get reverted back.

  • Like many things, Wikipedia only works properly in a culture of civilised discourse with a basic respect for reason and facts.

    However, seems, just now, that,

    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity

    Idiots are allowed play with the levers of power, and their followers have been emboldened to interfere with other things that they don’t really understand – and spoil them for everybody.

    Personally, I think what the US Government is forced to do next is more important than the corruption of Wikipedia – then again I understand Tony’s objection. If my views were so grossly misrepresented, I wouldn’t be happy either.

  • Panopea Abrupta

    We are the con sultants, the con sultants of sting

    Jefferson called for a “wall of separation between chuch and state.”
    The First Amendment is an excellent thing, allowing free exercise of religion.
    Fraud is not protected however nor are Kafkaesque Catch 47s such as the
    Co$ are proposing to the Garcias.
    It is patently obvious that they are obliged by Mike Ellis to choose only those
    who the “Church” says they must choose.
    The Bridge to Freedom?
    Or the Highway to Hell?
    A pox on you, Mike Ellis – you wouldn’t recognize justice if it dragged you into
    an alley and chomped on your ample arse and then took a selfie of you both on
    your phone.
    Your “Church” resembles this –

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a126596cb0c212883952d706850cb8a2495a6963134fac3b772bff588c978494.jpg

    • Juicer77

      How dare you mock my favorite song? 😉

  • ONEpointONE

    Were I publicly accused of voting for Mr. Trump I would pursue litigation.

  • Frodis73

    WTF Whitemore? I get the whole religious angle, but afaik the Constitution does not protect fraud. This is just bonkers. I hope at that April meeting you slam them.
    Yikes about the wiki goof. I would be very mad about that endorsement. So few did endorse the Orange Menace that they have had to scour the web for any bit of positive news and twist it.

  • nateht

    This is rich. From Rinder. COS making a movie about Ron using all wogs because their past films all used members since declared.. http://www.mikerindersblog.org/l-ron-hubbard-the-movie/
    Big kick in face to all those aspiring actors who joined COS to get noticed.

  • Jack99

    For a while there Kirstie Alley considered checking out this blog.

  • Phil McKraken

    Philip Pullman fans, take note: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/feb/15/philip-pullman-unveils-epic-fantasy-trilogy-the-book-of-dust

    “Philip Pullman unveils epic fantasy trilogy The Book of Dust”

    Publication of first volume: Oct, 2017

  • Michael Leonard Tilse

    It’s really late but my mind won’t let me sleep without writing something about this.

    Yesterday, I made a post in response to Phil and Willie Jones and their new Call Me billboard in Hollywood. Phil had noted that Scientology had caused some people they knew to call them and ask him if he had been given “Pain Drug Hypnosis” or PDH, and if that was why he was ‘attacking’ Scientology.

    So I wrote a bit about the Scientology idea of PDH being an evil process that is used to control people by the “Psychs”, but that Scientology Auditing is in fact itself a form of the much feared “Pain Drug Hypnosis.” PDH, a supposed Psychiatric process which Scientology uses to scare it’s members away from mental health professionals.

    That lead me down a path of thinking about how Scientology Auditing might actually be much more insidious than usually thought.

    For instance, consider this: Scientology and Dianetics processes have many similarities to hypnosis. Hubbard was quite familiar, even expert at, hypnosis and it’s techniques. It has been remarked that Scientology or Dianetics auditing is in fact hypnosis in disguise. It is repetitive. It uses authoritarian methods based on Hubbard being infallible and the Auditor trained to be in complete control. The e-meter is presented as being infallible and trustworthy and accurate, another authoritarian guise. All powerful elements used in Hypnosis.

    Scientology auditing delves deeply into a person’s thoughts and their past with personal invasive questions. The structure of rules, physical arrangements and the consequences of violation of those rules and arrangements of auditing prevent any avenue of refusing to answer. As such auditing is coercive as well as hypnotic.

    Another aspect that I brought up was the issue of pain. We can also include trauma along with pain. Physical pain, mental pain, memories of all kinds of discomfort and pain and anguish. These are brought up repeatedly in auditing. Instances of pain and trauma and distress are relived and recounted time after time after time until the Auditor and the meter are satisfied. The satisfaction is that the person feels better and has “good indicators.”

    But what is actually happening in this process? One thing I seem to have grasped is that repeated or intense pain can cause a biochemical change in the body. The body has the reaction to pain and trauma of releasing it’s own pain relieving biochemicals, such as endorphins. These can even be similar to opiates such as heroin or morphine. Perhaps even BE morphine. Perhaps it is not the “release of the trauma” but rather the hit of the drug like chemicals the body releases to combat the repeated assault of traumatic memories.

    Such physical, biochemical responses to pain (in this case remembered mental or physical pain) help relieve the pain and produce euphoria.

    Well, one of the end results of an auditing process recognized in Scientology is a kind of ‘release’ from the pain or problems of the memory, a good feeling and ‘good indicators.” What if, and this is my conjecture, that the End Phenomena of an auditing process is merely the body releasing opiate like biochemical substances into the body resulting in a euphoria and a feeling of well being.

    Almost anyone might have “good indicators” from an opiate like substance released into their blood.

    What if that is all auditing really does? It brings about enough trauma and pain to get the body to release its powerful pain management chemicals. And after a while it does it in almost a Pavlovian way even without specific memories of pain. The session triggers the autonomic response of opiate secretion. The Scientologist begins to secrete while on the e-meter just as Pavlov’s dogs salivated to a bell.

    Taking this further, what about that funny feeling of “exteriorization” that often accompanies Scientology auditing. Something that is touted and even sought after? Well, I found a clue in this article about something called “Depersonalization disorder”:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depersonalization_disorder

    What struck me about the disorder’s description is that it seems to mirror many of the sensations that I experienced in Scientology auditing that I then identified as “going exterior.”

    Things that seem to be sources of this disorder include trauma, emotional abuse and stress. So it leads to the idea that what I was experiencing as “being exterior” was really a depersonalization disorder resulting from massive amounts of repeatedly experiencing painful memories real or imagined, which basically covers almost all Scientology auditing.

    This all seems to make a new picture of Scientology auditing: Hypnotic processes focused on remembering and repeatedly reliving real or imagined painful, degraded or traumatic incidents until the person being audited has a biochemical release of pain relieving euphoria inducing opiate-like substances within their body giving a temporary feeling of well being and release while also building up a Pavlovian style stimulus-response relationship very like drug addiction while also triggering an ongoing depersonalization disorder mistakenly assumed to be “exteriorization.”

    I’m interested in what you think about this conjecture. It’s kind of a new way to view what happened.

    • stillgrace2

      This is an interesting conjecture, MLT, thoughtfully presented. I’ve always wondered about the long-term effects of auditing (and vicious sec-checking). I know that the general consensus is that there is not enough current administered to do any harm. But how do we know how the mind/body ultimately responds to the repetitiveness of being on a meter?

      It seems that there is a higher incidence of cancer in scientologists compared to the general populace. Sifting through all the variables that could explain this is difficult. Food for thought.

      You must be a hard-core night owl! On our shared coast, this time of the day is considered EARLY, not late!

      • Michael Leonard Tilse

        I’m kind of messed up on my sleep right now. And when my mind is spinning on something, it’s worse.

        This concept might be a basis for considering Scientology physically and mentally damaging to the Scientologists. There is no protection for a ‘religion’ that is physically and mentally damaging it’s adherents. And I think this sequence I have laid out explains a lot about what I experienced and how debilitating it was.

        • stillgrace2

          I think the sequence you have explained has merit. I am glad you are out and no longer exposed to it. “It” can no longer do you harm. Carrie Fisher said: “If my life wasn’t funny, it would just be true, and that is completely unacceptable.”

      • kemist

        Normally, if there is a specific environmental cause for an increase in cancer incidence, there will be an increase in a specific kind of cancer. Also, to conclude that this particular factor caused an increase in cancer rate, you have to control for other factors, like age, whether the person is smoking, if they have been exposed to other known carcinogens (like unsanitary work environments, asbestos, ect.).

        I don’t think emeter current per se influences cancer rates. But the repeated chronic stress of it all (sec checking, pressure to disconnect, harassment for donations) however, is probably not very good for overall physical and mental health.

      • One of the problems of dealing with Scientology is that it is next to impossible to obtain reliable facts about the membership – even the basic number of members is absurdly exaggerated.

        There is, as far as I know, no reliable evidence that the incidence of cancer is higher is Scientologists. Many people report that cancer mortality among OTs is higher than they would expect, but this is explained by the fact that Scientologists will typically not present to a proper doctor for treatment until the disease is dangerously advanced or inoperable.

        While stress and poor nutrition can’t help, if there is increased cancer mortality among Scientologists that’s the likely reason.

        • stillgrace2

          Those are good points. I don’t deny that there are many variables when evaluating cancer incidence among populations. I still think MLT may be on to something with his observations that auditing may cause harmful mental dissociations. If LRH were here now, he’d say scientologists who got cancer didn’t smoke enough Kools.

          • Dissociation (as I argue elsewhere) is a psychological state that is induced by Scientology practice. People in a dissociated state are more suggestible and manageable (which is good for the registrar).

            I also believe that those who ‘keep their TRs in’ can induce a dissociated state at will (without being aware of what they are doing) to remove themselves, psychologically, from challenges to their ‘faith’.

            It’s no coincidence that the unresponsive “fixed dedicated stare” is in evidence at protests. Scientologists have been extensively trained to go away to their ‘happy place’ and not engage with reality at all.

            I don’t know if this is a cancer risk. I think it unlikely. However, Scientology is associated with many other, physical risk factors – poor nutrition, stress, a culture that seems to encourage smoking, sleep deprivation, over-work and, above all, the denial of timely medical treatment.

            If you are looking for reason for an elevated cancer risk, I thing those factors overpower any others.

            • stillgrace2

              I don’t know if holding the cans is a cancer risk either. All cancers aside, however, my gut tells me (for sure) that long, extended auditing (and especially sec-checking) are not good for a person’s mental well-being.

            • There is no known mechanism by which exposure to a very small DC current could have serious health effects nor any evidence that it does (and we live in a world where we are constantly subjected to all kinds of induced currents).

              I think that notion is a non-starter.

              However, I completely agree that hours and hours of Scientology practice (not to mention that the social isolation brought about by all that time spent at the org) are bad for your mental health and well-being.

            • stillgrace2

              For the record … I never stated that “notion” as a definitive declaration. I wrote: “I’ve always wondered about the long-term effects of auditing (and vicious sec-checking). I know that the general consensus is that there is not enough current administered to do any harm. But how do we know how the mind/body ultimately responds to the repetitiveness of being on a meter?” I wasn’t referring to the DC current as the source of possible harm.

      • Bobby Tolberto aka TDA

        A testable hypothesis is this: Stress has already been shown to have an adverse impact on the immune system. Therefore someone under considerable psychological/physical stress would have a compromised immune system that would be unable to deal with cancer in the early stages, as a normal immune system can.

    • Unchanging sensory input (TR0) and repetition (just about all of Scientology, really) can bring about a dissociated state. There is good scientific evidence for this https://scicrit.wordpress.com/2015/08/27/the-compelling-effects-of-simply-staring-understanding-the-scientology-mindset-part-13/

      It’s my view that ‘keeping your TRs in’ is a way for Scientologists to learn to enter a dissociated state almost at will – a state in which they experience a feeling that are are separated from their body and feel like an outside observer of your own experiences, as you are having them.

      I observed this at Saint Hill Manor, last October, in Sea Org personnel who were standing about at gates and in fields to prevent protesters getting onto the grounds during the IAS event.

      Not only were these people clearly detached from their own experience but, when stressed, detached themselves even further by pulling out a camera and mediating their direct perceptions through a tiny LCD screen.

      They were taking heroic measures not to directly experience anything that happened that day, and I’m sure the ability to enter a dissociated state at will helps them not to show the dreaded ‘human emotion’.

      This state also makes you more suggestible and complaint – and the feeling of it harmonises with the Scientology doctrine that you are not your body but the ‘Thetan’ which controls (and can leave) it.

      • Michael Leonard Tilse

        I also understand this. I experienced “disconnecting” my responses from my perceptions while doing the TRs.

        I’m still sad that I was being so Scientological when my Father died, that I could not allow myself to experience an appropriate grief over his loss.

        • I should think that you did experience grief – but were robbed of the ability to express it, and deal with it – something that often has consequences years later.

        • Dee Findlay-DeElizabethan

          MLT. YES!

    • Sherbet

      Interesting, plausible, and it ups the scientology creep factor. You don’t think lrh had a clue what he was doing, though, do you?

      • Michael Leonard Tilse

        I think he was very attuned to how susceptible his followers were and steered his techniques for maximum effect.

        I don’t think he had any clue to the psychological, pathological or biological foundations that were the actual sources of what he was observing. He mis-assigned cause to everything and mis-interpreted whatever and however was useful.

        • Sherbet

          My opinion, too. He happened upon something that worked in a very dark and dangerous manner.

        • Scream Nevermore

          A gifted amateur is sometimes the worst thing that can happen to you.

        • PeaceMaker

          I think you are right that Hubbard was rather clever about figuring out how to adapt his techniques to create an organization and get what he wanted.

          One of the big questions is, what were Hubbard’s intents. I think he ended up often being driven by basic functional considerations or even just responding to what was going on in his organizations, like figuring out how to make auditing most attractive so that his followers would continue participating, and how to avoid or correct problems and upsets. He wasn’t originally the only one working to develop auditing, so there would have been a sort of collective drive towards not only what worked in auditing itself but what reinforced the organization. When it comes to the big picture, I always have to look back to the evidence that Hubbard was deeply interested in the auditing process and what it provided people, but given what we know about him I have to wonder whether the intent was really humanitarian, or whether he just was invested in a process that he knew was training footsoldiers who would would help him in “smashing my name into history so violently that it will take a legendary form” (1938). In that respect, I wonder if Hubbard wasn’t more like Saruman overseeing the creation of his ruthless ork army in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.

    • ze moo

      “in almost a Pavlovian way” …sums up what ‘auditing’ is supposed to do perfectly. That ‘3 feet behind your head’ thing is very much a disassociated state of mind. Exactly as Lron wanted. All that happiness at the end of an auditing session is just the imagined or real stress being relieved by the session ending.

      • Michael Leonard Tilse

        I don’t think it’s that simple. I think there are real effects that occur in the mind and body as a result of auditing, that are damaging, yet Scientology interprets the damage as “gains.”

        It is not just relief the session is over. The seeming happiness or euphoria is a really fucked up state of mind that is generated BY the stress and trauma of the session and being mistaken for gain, ends the session. Not the stress being relieved by the session ending. It is not useful to be glib or blasé about what happens. What is useful is to understand exactly what happens.

        I’m trying to understand it, not explain it away.

        • Perhaps you are taught to interpret the changes brought about by auditing as beneficial – that dissociation is socially defined as something good, and Scientologist go along with this because it supported by doctrine.

          Also… (and bear with me here…)

          London taxi drivers (those of the iconic ‘black cabs’) are required to take an incrediblydemanding test which demonstrated they can get from one part of the capital’s exceptionally messy and complex road system to another without hesitation. It’s called “The Knowledge”. It’s hard to pass.

          There is excellent scientific evidence (based on MRI scans) that physical changes take place in the brains of people who pass ‘The Knowledge’. These changes favour navigation at the cost of some other cognitive skills https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/london-taxi-memory/

          The 5-year study that made this determination commented that:

          It shows you can produce profound changes in the brain with training. That’s a big deal

          In the case of taxi drivers those changes are functional, and the drawbacks are not serious. However, consider what changes might take place in the brains of Scientologists after decades of repetitive ‘processes’ and staring contests. That ‘training’ results not in a useful skill, but in dysfunctional behaviour and cognitive impairment.

          The good news is that the changes in the taxi drivers typically reversed themselves in retirement. Scientologists may face an arduous recovery process, but recovery is possible.

          • PeaceMaker

            I recently ran across an article on a study of meditation, which showed that meditation generally increased brain function, but those who practiced it for the most intensively long durations over an extended period of time then started to show decreased brain function. Unfortunately, I can’t readily find a reference to that.
            While searching, I also ran across studies on the harmful effects of chronic stress on the brain, something that Sea Org members are certainly subject to.

            • When you say ‘increased brain function’ I assume you mean that subjects performed demanding cognitive tasks better after meditation.

              This is a feature of any regular regime of relaxation, along with improvements to mood and attitude. I suspect that, if you like the outdoors, a regular walk in the park in summer would have the same effect – that there’s noting uniquely effective about meditation.

              Certainly, chronic stress, poor nutrition, sleep deprivation, lack of free time in which to assimilate life events, the culture of smoking and the acute stress of ‘severe reality adjustments’, Sec Checks and the like are going to leave a psychological and neurological mark.

          • Michael Leonard Tilse

            I think I caught some of a show on PBS that talked about the London Taxi drivers and the changes you are talking about. It was some time ago.

            I have no doubt that Scientology does something similar, in a debilitating way. Learning to think with the false mental construct of Scientology damages your ability to think with the real world. It probably does in fact change brain structure and interconnection. Until you cannot even perceive the world except through the Scientology trained in construct.

            Another aspect that seems evident is that Scientology rituals, need for the addictive high of auditing, secret special language for things, throwing away your real life interactions with non-scientologists mirror the behavior of long term drug addicts. (from the point of view of a non-drug addict, but former Scientology addict.)

            • I think there are three important things going on inside Scientology.

              First, there is what sociologists call ‘the social construction of reality’. People see the world in certain way because those around do, and they naturally conform. In other words, Social reality is agreement.

              Normally, this has to do with the kinds of beliefs and attitudes that mark people’s political affiliations, or concepts of what it is to be polite and all the other ways that you see the world without really thinking about it (or being aware of it).

              Scientology can take this to extremes, inculcating bizarre beliefs because it gradually isolates people from dissenting opinion. Even if you are not in the Sea Org (and physically isolated, too) you have to spend long hours at the org, are taught that wogs are corrupt and dangerous and might even have a Scientologist for an employer. This Social isolation gradually enables the CofS to persuade some people to accept crazy things like OT3.

              Secondly, there is also the dissociated state that in induced by ‘training routines’ (especially TR0) and reinforced by the endless repetition of the other TRs and auditing. I believe that the practice of ‘keeping your TRs in’ is exploited to keep people suggestible and compliant in the belief that ‘achieving’ this state is a sign of ‘spiritual development’. In fact, it is what creates that distinctive ‘Ronbot’ demeanour.

              Finally, there are likely structural changes in the brains of people who maintain this kind of life for an extended period, as we have discussed today.

              The first things for ex-Scientologists to do, I think, is to completely remove themselves from that socially isolating situation. That’s hard to do. Some people leave and come back because the challenge of restocking their entire lives with some kind of content proves too much for them.

              The next is to stop using Scientology words and phrases and to start thinking about more realistic ways of interacting with the world.

              Even as an outsider, I can understand how difficult this must be and urge people to discuss this with trusted friends outside of Scientology (or in places like this) or seek therapy if they feel they need it. For my money, cognitive behavioural therapy seems to be a good fit for this situation.

    • 3feetback-of-COS

      Interesting theory, might be hard to prove. Although I never so much as smoked pot, I had a very long dianetic drug rundown for medicines and light drinking, I’ll mull this over a bit.

    • Shivani33

      I hear you and also haven’t slept much, at least in part because of very similar thoughts. Thank you for what you’ re putting into words here. From the same post yesterday, other information was given by Mockingbird in a response to SPWannabe, and it’s fairly early on in the comments.

      Mockingbird begins with, “I am going to post a long excerpt from a blog post here with several relevant quotes on this from tapes in the early fifties. It’s a lot but points in the right direction in my opinion.
      These quotes are from the Philadelphia Doctorate Course tapes, a series of lectures delivered by Hubbard in the early fifties.”

      What follows in the quotes from Hubbard is very revealing and, I think, crucial information. It rocks the boat. To me, these quotes from Hubbard are like a tidal wave with a very long reach, all the way from the 1950’s to the here and now. This is my viewpoint as a never-in who was immersed elsewhere and is late to the party. Nevertheless, I learn so much from the Underground Bunker and the commenters, and it helps me to keep studying, to keep digging with ever new enthusiasm. And gratitude.

      • Michael Leonard Tilse

        Hi. I can’t seem to find the Mockingbird post in response to SPWannabe. Do you have a link? I’d like to read it. Thanks.

        • Shivani33

          From Feb.14, 2017: “25 years ago today: Scientology leader David Miscavige’s Nightline appearance,” this particular post of Mockingbird’s is the 66th comment, starting from the oldest comments. I hope that this will help you to find and read it.

          • Michael Leonard Tilse

            Thanks! I’m working on it and it is definitely informative.

    • PeaceMaker

      Michael, I have seen most of this before in pieces here and there, certainly including hypnosis, and also the idea that the “high” of auditing could be addictive. The idea that the “high” of auditing comes from biochemical processes rather than just psychological ones (like the placebo effect) is now.
      The one thing I can think of in that context which wants additional explanation, is how scientologists who depart deal with the end of the auditing “fix,” and why any addictive aspects of the auditing experience don’t result in more scientologists pursuing independent auditing rather than falling away entirely.
      This is certainly the sort of thing that could be scientifically researched with modern methods and equipment – there may even be some research that sheds at least partial light on the subject.

      • Michael Leonard Tilse

        I wonder if it isn’t like having a favorite drug, available from only one pusher. You don’t want to risk a bad fix. But you can’t afford the real one. Or maybe the independent version just does not include all the factors of authority, coercion, superiority affirmation, save-the-world, etc., that the “REAL” true Scientology drug has, that are essential to the experience.

      • PeaceMaker

        Also, as far as hypnosis, I suspect that Dianetics and Scientology tend to select for people who are more susceptible to hypnotic suggestions. There is a reliable and rather simple scale for gauging hypnotic suggestibility, so that could be easy to test.

  • Jeb Burton

    Chaotic first month? What the hell are you Nordstrom shopping tree huggers talking about? His approval ratings are through the roof. In Russia.

    • Frodis73

      Yeah, wasn’t it great how the first comments to come out of Russia about Flynn being fired were all angry about how damaging this was to Rus/US relations and then 2 hours later they changed their tune to it is none of their business what the US does? (eye roll) Nothing to see here folks…no, America your prez is not compromised at all.

    • kemist

      In Soviet Russia, the roof gets through the approval ratings.

  • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

    I’m going to change the Wiki entry to “Tony Ortega eats Cheez-Whiz straight from the can nozzle and teaches his cats to dance to Steely Dan.”

    I’m feeling “alt-facty” today. 😀

    • Scream Nevermore

      Sorry babe, the entry is gone, for now at least!

      • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

        Ah well, it was a fun thought while it lasted. LOL

        • Scream Nevermore

          Hold the thought – in case we need it!

    • Scott H

      Alt-fact indeed. Tony’s cats actually dance the lambada to Van Morrison. Wikileaks have the videos.

      • ze moo

        What, no Macarena?

    • Noesis
      • Frodis73

        This is pretty great! I bet TO will get a good laugh at this.

        • Noesis

          Maybe.

          • Frodis73

            Nah, Tony has a sense of humor. I would be very surprised if he was mad or something.

            • Noesis

              Or something.

      • kemist

        Joy Villa will be pissed.

        • John Prince

          she should be pissed ON, instead of pissed off ..

          ‘Sxcuse me 😝

      • KingofSweden

        How many milligrams were in that endosement?

      • PerpetualOutflow

        Hahahaha…Tony as a Trump advisor. Look out $cientology.

      • Sine qua non

        It’s all Tony’s fault! 😂

    • John Prince

      “Bodhisattva”?

      • My Rival.

        • John Prince

          ..didn’t want to step on anybody’s toes. .but I couldn’t help smirking, imagining Cats dancing that fast 😹

    • Suzy

      My cats dig Steely Dan

      • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

        They know good music when they hear it. 🙂

    • GeorgeJ1952

      Late, as always. But I likes me some Steely Dan 🙂

      My Maine Coon kitteh will only dance to Englebert Humperdinck, though.

  • Some Form 990 changes, mainly aging-off some old records.

    A new 2015 Form 990 for:
    Applied Scholastics Online Academy
    I wonder if they’re CoS’s new go-to for fraudulent GEDs to exempt Sea Org from child labor laws?

    Foundation for a Drug-Free World’s last Form 990 aged-off of the EIN site. It’s not listed as religious, so how are they not providing those since 2010??

    http://umbraxenu.no-ip.biz/mediawiki/index.php/Special:Contributions/EyeOfArgon2

  • Under the Radar

    This lawsuit is a waste of time and money. As long as Scientology is a “religion” – no judge is going to get involved PIERCING THE RELIGIOUS VAIL.

    The Garcia’s can do more DAMAGE TO $CIENTOLOGY – with a book about how they, along with other members, were fleeced for Super Power for 20 plus years and the $220,000,000 Scientology collected comprised of an oily table and a pole one runs around for $40,000 until they have a win…

    and then there is the “Scientology / Rosy Aleistar Crowley Cross” they had to pay for now, now, now at the tune of $65,000 a pop and Garcia’s found out 5 other people they KNEW also paid for that cross.

    GRAB Ron Miscavige Senior, Hurricane Leah and Mike Rinder and start a Docu-series. Title it – “How Scientology Fleeces Members Dry”

    PLAY OUT ON TV – HOW THE REGISTRARS FLEECE PEOPLE OF HUNDREDS, THOUSANDS AND MILLIONS OF DOLLARS.

    Include how Scientology, using lies, deceipt and fraud – gets members who TRUST a Church – to sign legal documents that will prohibit their rights if they find out the truth and leave.

    Scientology peddles snake oil. No science. This is easy to prove.

    Just because people believe Xenu threw beings into volcanoes and blew them up with H Bombs – does not mean it is true. Especially, when $ciendollatry charges $500,000 to get those disembodied spirits – off of you.
    $ciendollatry is sitting on Billions of dollars while their members work for free. The leader lives a lavish lifestyle and HIDES it from the slaves while they live in dorm rooms and eat slop.

    THAT is how you apply JUSTICE to Scientology!!

  • Observer
    • Frodis73

      That is one of my favorite (well, not favorite, but you know what I mean) quotes by him. smh

      • Observer

        One of the most damning, imo

        • Frodis73

          Yes and one I have used quite a few times to prove his intent.

    • It seems to me that a recent political candidate relied on the same principle.

      You can imagine him saying, ‘my policies are so crazy that nobody is going to believe that I will actually try to put them into effect until I’m in power – by which time it will be too late’.

      Rule one of dealing with demagogues: take them seriously – they really do mean what they say, no matter how stupid it is.

      • Frodis73

        Bingo! Pres Bannon is counting on thinking like this.

      • Observer

        The parallels are truly disturbing.

  • Juicer77

    “Simply put, on the evidence presented, this difficulty is a product of the religious agreements Plaintiffs signed.”
    So simply because it’s considered a “religion,” the courts cannot allow the plaintiffs to sue for fraud and misrepresentation. As they would in any case concerning a business contract. And win, easily.

    So the courts will intervene in cases when a child’s life is in danger (i.e. blood transfusions for minor Jehovah’s Witnesses in spite of parents’ objections), or when an adult’s human rights are violated in abuse cases, but not in a case where the major consideration is money.

    He’s probably sick of this case, but would be great to have some more comment from Scott P.

    • Frodis73

      As to your question about intervening when a child is involved, it depends on what state you are in. I read something awhile back about that exact topic and they had a map showing which states you could basically murder your kid w/ religion as the excuse via abuse, w/holding medical, etc. As an atheist, freedom of religion is a great thing as I would not be happy if I was forced to partake. It also comes with some serious downsides though, and way too much freedom being abused by orgs like scientology is just one.

      • Religious practice is, surely, still required to obey the law.

        If I moved to the US, successfully revived the Aztec religion, announced that I was going to perform a human sacrifice upon a willing participant, and that this was a protected religious practice, how far do you thing I would get?

        Don’t child endangerment law similarly trump religious belief?

        • Frodis73

          One would hope. I do not have time to find the original story I am referring to, but a quick search brought this up.
          http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/08/12/most-states-allow-religious-exemptions-from-child-abuse-and-neglect-laws/

        • ze moo

          The child endangerment and undue influence questions will be answered in the Laura DeCrescenzo lawsuit.

          • Robert Eckert

            I really was hoping we would hear the court schedule some kind of hearing to move Laura’s case forward by the end of last year.

        • Where do I sign up? I love feathers and gold.

          • We have great costumes. We even warm the slab for you before you lie down on it. As a bonus, you get to keep the feathers and gold for… er… as long as you live.

  • Racnad

    “This is a list of notable individuals and organizations who have voiced their endorsement of a Russian spy for the office of the president, including those who subsequenntly retracted or withheld their endorsement…”

    Yeah, people have been taking their emotions out on this article….

  • Sherbet

    I don’t pretend to know what’s going on in Judge Whittemore’s head. Who knows — maybe he’s positioning the church for further failure by insisting that the arbitration goes on. However, conning wealthy people out of a portion of their fortune doesn’t seem to be a crime the Judge wants to explore. Disconnection, credit fraud, inurement, forced abortion, slave labor, abuse of children — these are bigger issues and they deserve to be dissected in court and the church slammed financially and punitively for what it’s been getting away with for years.

    As cold-blooded as I may sound, though, the church is the snake the Garcias have been stroking for years. They shouldn’t be surprised when the snake turned around and bit them. How many scientologists have been left with huge debts and financial ruin? The Garcias have not. No one said life is supposed to be fair. Move on.

    • Jeb Burton

      What’s funny to me is that they didn’t think they were fleeced til they found out about the cross. Wake up Garcia, you were being conned and fleeced the day you joined.

      • Sherbet

        Don’t get me wrong — it’s still fraud, and it still stinks. But a lot of things connected with the church stink.

      • flyonthewall

        That’s not true. If you paid attention to the Garcia’s story then you’d know the turning point for him came on the Freewinds when he was regged to buy more copies of the Basics. The Basics push woke up a lot of people, Garcias being one of them. The cross was just the tangible provable thing they could try to build a legal case on.

        • stillgrace2

          The pain of being forced to RE-buy the “Basics” and having to RE-do courses (at your own expense) due to errors in the materials was one of the points made by Jason Beghe in his famous Mark Bunker video.

    • Michael Leonard Tilse

      So, the people who can afford to sue, don’t, just suck it up and move on.

      While the people who can’t afford to sue, can’t, have to suck it up and move on.

      And the law, which should prosecute, won’t. So there is no recourse for anyone.

      It’s a win, win, win world for Scientology then. Until it isn’t. Someone is going to refuse to suck it up, do something about it even if they can’t and THAT carnage will finally get the law involved.

      • Sherbet

        But they did sue and they seem to have taken it to the full extent of what the court is willing to do for them.

        People like Laura DeCrescenzo are willing to keep going, and, to me, that’s more important than continuing the Garcias’ suit against all odds and obstacles the court has put in front of them.

        • Michael Leonard Tilse

          Yea, I understand that feeling. But you never know when something might break toward justice.

          I wouldn’t give up on the Garcia’s yet. I have great hopes for Laura’s case.

          • Sherbet

            OK. Maybe I’m too harsh. I always defer to the feelings and impressions of an ex like you. I was just voicing my opinion.

            • Juicer77

              I see it both ways, too, Sherb. It’s just so frustrating trying to pierce that religious cloaking. Perhaps I will just shut up and listen to MLT. 🙂

            • Sherbet

              I, too, see it both ways. Fraud is fraud. But how far can the Garcias go if they’re stymied? And how much more money should they throw at lawyers until they get what they want?

            • Michael Leonard Tilse

              And I do appreciate your opinion. I tend to have wishful thinking, even though it seems that Scientology and Miscavige squirms out from under the weight of justice repeatedly.

              I hope someday they are made to account.

            • Juicer77

              ^^^

            • Sherbet

              Ditto that. It just doesn’t seem as if the Garcia case is the one to bring the church to accountability.

        • Observer

          Except that If the Garcias persevere and eventually win it would set legal precedent benefitting all the people who can’t afford to pursue it as far through the process as the Garcias have. Their win would be a win for everyone who’s been defrauded. And, IANAL, but I would think a victory could also be cited in suits like Laura’s as evidence of Scientology’s criminal conduct.

          • Sherbet

            You may be right. I was picturing the Garcias’ suit as being whiny at this point, but there may be far-reaching consequences to their winning.

            • Observer

              It seems trying to bring Scn to any kind of justice is a very long game indeed.

            • Sherbet

              🙁

      • Noesis

        There is justice of a sorts happening in that the church is shrinking and its reputation is so poor that very few people are willing to publicly support it…or even admit they are members.

        That’s the sort of general shift in politics that needed to happen so that both civil and criminal actions escalate and have a greater chance of success.

        It only a matter of time before the dam breaks. We are closer to the end than the beginning.

    • gtsix

      I hope they don’t give up. Other cases have taken 20 years. One never knows what might happen. If they can afford to keep going, I hope they go all the way. And then, in a twist, I hope they win, and nullify the arbitration clauses in Sci docs.

      • Sherbet

        That would be great if this case is the final straw to collapse the fraud. Maybe I’m just too old to look too far into the future. Tony has presented so many really sad, tragic cases of disconnection and human rights violations, that I’m feeling annoyed at the Garcias. But I’m glad to have opened this conversation, because, as usual, the Bunkerites have differing and thoughtful opinions, and that’s what the Bunker is all about. Communication.

        • It’s often difficult to feel sorry for the very wealthy.

          • Sherbet

            Yes, true, but I don’t begrudge them their attempt at recouping their financial losses. They tried. They’re still trying. I’m tired of watching them try when they’ve had no encouragement from the courts, especially when their story doesn’t touch my heart like other stories do. That was the gist of my original post.

    • stillgrace2

      I predict there will be an out-of-court settlement. Miscavige will give Mr. Garcia ONE of the five Crowley crosses that were paid for by “parishioners”.

      • Sherbet

        Could be, but, since they seem to be holding all the cards, the church has no reason to make any conciliatory gestures toward the Garcias or anyone else who was defrauded in this particular incident (the cross).

        • stillgrace2

          I was going for a cheap laugh. What would the Garcias do with a huge crossed-out scientology cross anyway? On a more serious note, I feel the Catch-22 nature of scientology’s arbitration farce is getting exposure, at least.

          • Sherbet

            Ha! I wasn’t sure if you meant give them the sponsorship of one cross, or give them a big ol’ metal cross to stick on their back lawn!

            I’m gratified by the give and take of the conversation here in the Bunker. I said something unpopular, and, as far as I know, nobody is disconnecting from me or going after my dog (I don’t have one). The Bunker is a really unique place.

            • stillgrace2

              Scientology crosses are the new pink flamingoes!
              I will never disconnect from you, Sherbet!

            • Sherbet

              Laughing!

            • If you got a metal cross to stick in your front lawn for donating, you would probably get a burning cross for your front lawn if you asked for your money back

            • Sherbet

              It seems to be going that way.

    • Frodis73

      I feel the same some days. All things considered the Garcia’s got off pretty easy as far as I know. They are not disconnected, jobless or bankrupt. In fact they must have a decent amount of cash to keep this going. I also want something, anything at this point, to finally hit the church. This case does have that potential.

      • Sherbet

        And, if so, I’ll be the first to pipe up and say, “Well, darn it! I was wrong! WTG, Garcias!”

    • I agree with you as regards the whole positioning the church for further failure concept. I don’t think Judge Whittemore (edit) is stupid. I think he understands where he can take action and where he can’t. That leaves him the “keep feeding them rope” option. That he’s following the arbitration process is promising.

      • Sherbet

        I suspect a lot of people agree with that. What the Garcias do after another loss — that’s the part where people disagree with me. We’ll see what April brings.

        • Juicer77

          At the very least, this case has already brought out enlightening Co$ sworn statements and documents entered into evidence. It may not sway this judge, but one can hope it could be used in future cases.

    • Harpoona Frittata

      In legal cases in which the losing side has deep pockets and skilled legal representation, the likelihood that a lower court’s ruling will be challenged on whatever grounds that can be found or manufactured is high. Knowing that, lower court judges, such as Whittemore, often take great care to see that no valid grounds for overturning their rulings at a higher court level will exist. And if there was ever a defendant that you can be certain will attempt to find or manufacture grounds for appeal to a higher court in anticipation of a ruling at the lower court level not going their way, then the Co$ is it.

      With that factor in mind, Judge Whittemore may be keenly aware of the cherch’s bad faith intentions in this case, but just be taking the necessary precautions to preclude the possibility that the cherch will have any technical/procedural grounds upon which to appeal to a higher court in case it loses at the current judicial level it is being adjudicated.

      You’d think that at some level of the justice system the fact that $cn has never had a formal system of in-house dispute arbitration – despite requiring that parishioners seeking cherch services contractually obligate themselves to settling disputes within something that the cherch was fully aware did not exist at the time they signed their contracts – will be viewed as intentional fraud and willful misrepresentation. Indeed, it seems that the cherch has been running a classic bait and switch con on all of its parishioners who’ve been required to sign that same contract as a condition of receiving cherch services because there’s never been any kind of system or procedure in place to settle potential disputes through in-house arbitration.

      If the cherch’s intent was to establish a fair and equitable in-house system of arbitration, then they would have done so in earlier instances in which parishioners have asked for repayments of funds on account. Instead, at this very late date, the cherch is being dragged kicking and screaming into civil court, which is exactly what an in-house system of dispute arbitration is supposed to prevent.

  • chuckbeattyxquackologist75to03

    Tony,

    Someone from this forum (or rather the smartie readership) who is in or above your league, prods you to write your book about it all. You so obviously deserve to put down in a book, your big long most important thoughts about it all.

    Maybe you got it planned for later in life, I imagine you are chipmunk storing away stuff for that book.

    Stay healthy and do it at least when you are retired.

    You are historically a “one of a kinder” in this subject you so graciously provide unprecedented daily coverage.

    Chuck

    • Sherbet

      I’m waiting for book #2, on any subject. It’s been two years, Tony. Let’s get going.

  • DexterSka

    Good lord Tony, can’t you say a bad thing about one candidate without endorsing the other in this day and age? I have read some of your work on the Raw Story and it’s safe to assume that you’re not a Trump supporter. I’m glad you didn’t let that stop you from pointing out some truths about Clinton. Coming from you it means a lot because you have no reason to lie.

    • Kristen

      can’t you say a bad thing about one candidate without endorsing the other in this day and age

      Nope. It’s false dichotomies all the way down, and on all sides.

      • Juicer77

        Sigh…

      • DexterSka

        People are so obsessed with dichotomy. The real world rarely has 2 choices.

  • Jimmy3

    Summary: Judge Whittemore endorsed Beezlebub for President on Wackapedia.

    • gtsix

      tl;dr

      • Rasha

        tldr

        This response has been corrected and is now as Source Intended®. Please see the reg and do over. ^_^

        • gtsix

          VERY WELL DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • ML

        • did you just removed a semicolon from that first sentence? Rashavige…

  • flyonthewall

    I may be white and nerdy but I don’t edit wikipedia. Isn’t there a way to correct that entry or remove it?

    • Observer

      Already done, courtesy of Scream Nevermore’s friend.

      • flyonthewall

        Thank you Radda-Ray. That’s the name I made up for Scream Nevermore’s friend

        • Scream Nevermore

          I’ll tell her to change her Wiki login to that!

          • flyonthewall

            winning!

      • Jimmy3

        I was going to tell him there’s a wiki edit button behind each electrical outlet, but it seems we can’t have any fun here anymore.

        • flyonthewall

          I already know to verify anything you tell me with Obs first. She has my best interests at heart and I trust her implicitly.

        • Observer

          You have to be quicker with your trolling.

          • Jimmy3

            I just woke up and my troll sugar is low 🙁

  • ze moo

    Whittemore is going to get back sprain with all his gymnastics. I do like the status update in April, if the Garcias can prove that Ellis has not provided a reasonable pool of clams in ‘good standing’, the arbitration could be in jeopardy. ‘Alex, I’d like infamous cult leaders for $400 please’.

    Wackipedia has some good pages on history and technical things, but is only as good as the volunteer editors. Someone didn’t just drop the ball on this one, they spiked it in the opposing teams end zone. Bad Wackerpedia, bad.

  • flyonthewall

    That must of been hard to vote for Hillary, Tony. I’m proud of you buddy

  • Ann B Watson

    A Big Thank You Tony for All you do here and elsewhere. Also thank you for showing the reminder about Disconnection. Very sad but very important to keep all those affected by this terrible policy in my heart. 💛

  • Douglas D. Douglas

    I am reading and commenting a little too early here. I saw this: “…for fear of violating the organization’s First Amendment rights of religious expression.”

    But read this: “…for fear of violating the organization’s First Amendment rights of religious oppression.”

    • Sherbet

      I’d say your eyesight is perfect.

  • Mockingbird

    Good morning Bunkeroos.

    I will start today by saying I appreciate Tony Ortega taking the time to point out the inaccuracies Wikipedia produced regarding him. I have found some good articles at Wikipedia and good leads for starting to look at things there but frankly see reading actual books on topics as essential. I have in the process of leaving Scientology found the investment in time and money for reading several books on subjects to be far, far better than just reading online articles.

    I have run into some ex Scientologists that read an online article or two on a subject and consider it fully settled. Some use Wikipedia as their beginning and end for all subjects, no matter how complex or what their history is. If it ain’t in Wikipedia for them it never happened. Um, I think there is a lot more to learn out there and Wikipedia isn’t an infallible source.

    I am slightly amused that Tony Ortega voted for Bernie Sanders as I did in the primary and Hillary Clinton in the general election too. He did a good job of keeping his preferences well hid. Who anyone votes for is their personal choice, so he had no obligation to tell us.

    • Jimmy3

      Yeah. I was wondering who Ortega, the former editor of RawStory, voted for.

      • Mockingbird

        Some folks don’t read Rawstory and stick to the red feed of Fox news, Breitbart, Storefront, Rush Limbaugh, etc. They will never read anything else.

      • Mockingbird

        Besides, he could have either not voted or gone independent.

    • kemist

      TBH, I don’t understand how someone might have thought Tony ever supported Trump.

      I’m not even on Twitter, and even I could see that he is not fond of him. His Twitter feed is on the left side of the page, FFS.

      • Mockingbird

        Lots of people read things into situations. We all make assumptions.

        Some Trump supporters assume every intelligent person automatically supports Trump.

  • Mockingbird

    I am sad but not surprised at the ruling. It’s consistent with past decisions. I don’t support it but understand it is what you get in these situations.

    Regarding the Orwellian reversals in Scientology I personally think Orwell had a brilliant and extraordinarily clear understanding of certain aspects of language and human thought. I feel advances in psychology and neuroscience have made it so we should be able to coordinate information from multiple sources to gain a better understanding of the underlying factors and elements that are responsible for what Orwell described.

    Orwell of course gave the go to description of double think:

    “The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them….To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies — all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.” 1984

  • Ben Franklin

    As I stated a few days ago, the Church currently have Garcia on a bind on this case. In my opinion, he has only two options. One option is to choose arbitrators from a list provided by the church and then go through arbitration process which will be fully controlled by the church under their own rules. Another option is to save himself time and money and just drop the whole thing altogether. Neither option is a good option, but it all depends on how much Garcia is willing to continue to fight the case.

    I know we are all hoping that the Judge might change his mind on April 6 and rule for Garcia, the truth is, he can’t, and he won’t change his mind based on the current law. The April 6th date is just to try and get the two parties to get the arbitration process started as soon as possible. April 6th could be a bad day for Garcia if he still refuses to accept arbitrators provided by the church, because I believe the judge will likely terminate the case altogether if they cannot go to arbitration.

    Judge Whittemore is in no position to rule in favor of Garcia at this time in the case and I hope that Garcia and his team realize that. It is not Judge Whittemore’s fault though, he has to follow legal precedent, and there is not much he can do for Garcia right now until the arbitration process is over with. It is pretty obvious reading the ruling that the Judge understands the problems Garcia is facing but there is zero he can do to rectify the situation at this stage. Everything Garcia is complaining about right now are things that are within that church’s First Amendment Right to do.

    As I said, if the two parties cannot find a way to go to arbitration by April 6th, Judge Whittemore is very very likely to terminate this case, not because he wants to, but, because he will have no other choice.

    • Robert Eckert

      The Garcias should just go ahead and ask for Shelly as arbitrator or some such head-exploding choice. What do they have to lose anymore?

      • Kristen

        THAT’S an idea!!

      • Ben Franklin

        Unfortunately, If they do that, the Church will just say that Shelley is busy with something and that she can’t make it, and then ask Garcia to chose another person from a list they have provided.

        The more Garcia refuses to pick someone from the list the Church provides to him, the more the church will paint Garcia as just playing games and not interested in solving this case. Of course the Church is not interested in solving this case either, but, they will use the opportunity to paint themselves as the saints who are doing the right thing and Garcia as the bad guy

      • Jimmy3

        I can hear Judge Ben Stein saying “Heber…? Heber…? Heber…? Heber…?…..”

        • Juicer77

          I’m smiling but making kind of a sad face, too. You always bring out the mixed emotions in me, J.

          • Jimmy3

            I am an emotionally manipulative son of a witch. That’s what my Farsecian says.

      • Frodis73

        I think that idea is really good as we have recent statements by the church insisting she is hard at work furthering the cause. They will probably say what she is doing is too important for her to take time to sit in on an arbitration tho. It is more bad PR at any rate.

    • If I was running the ‘church’ case, I would proffer a list of Scientologists who could be relied upon to vote the ‘right way’, organise a majority verdict (for appearances sake) and get the whole thing out of the way.

      However, I suppose I’m not a Scientologist. They seem to consider even asking for arbitration to be a sin that must be punished, and providing a tribunal, as promised, to be a dangerous precedent.

      The problem is that the contract that the Garcias signed is a nonsense, giving absolute power to one party.

      I fear you may be right, and the blanket protection afforded by the first amendment will prevent the Garcias even getting a hearing before a fixed tribunal – and that the law will be helpless to intervene.

      • Ben Franklin

        Everything is definitely in the Church’s favor at this point because even though Garcia can chose arbitrators, it is not really a choice because the Church can disqualify anyone chosen by Garcia as not in “good standing”. Based on current law, only the church can determine who is, or is not in “good standing” and no one can argue with them how they decide, not even a Judge. It is completely within the church’s first Amendment Rights to declare someone not in good standing for whatever reason they decide.

        Second problem, the church will be in charge of setting up all the rules and procedures of the arbitration process. Again based on the Church’s First Amendment rights, no one outside the church can decide on the fairness of the rules or procedures of the arbitration process. This means that the church have total control over what rules to be used, and how the arbitration process is to be run from start to finish.

        Here is the nasty part, as a condition to go through arbitration process, the church can try and force Garcia to sign away his right to appeal the case outside the church. If Garcia refuses to give away the right to take the case back to Court, outside the control of the church, then the case can end up in a stalemate. It would be completely within the Church’s right to demand that an appeal to any decision by the arbitrators be handled internally and not by a Court of law.

        • Harpoona Frittata

          I follow your arguments here, but I wonder if the fact that the cherch has admitted that it did not have a formal system or arbitration in place at the time the Garcias signed their contracts is the more fundamental legal issue here.

          It seems to me that, although the cherch has the right to set up their system of arbitration in whatever manner it deems appropriate, to have no system of arbitration whatsoever in place at the time that it required parishioners seeking services, such as the Garcias, to agree in advance to take any disputes that may arise to it, instead of seeking recourse through civil court proceedings, is knowing and willful fraud. If the cherch requires, as a binding contractual obligation, that parishioner’s disputes be dealt with through an in-house system of arbitration, yet no such system has ever been established to do so, then that seems like a blatant and knowing false representation on the cherch’s part.

          • Ben Franklin

            The fact that the Church did not have a formal arbitration system in place to show is not a legal issue at all because it is within the Church’s legal right to create such a system. The court has no authority based on the supreme court decisions to decide, when or how such a system should be put in place. In other words, as long as someone agrees to go to a religious tribunal or arbitration process, no one outside the organization can decide whether it is a fair system or not. The argument is that no one outside a particular religion should be able to decide whether a “religious” rule or practice of a particular religion is fair, unless in very very extreme circumstances.

            The fact that arbitration system did not exist is not even an issue that can be argued successfully in court as long as it is acknowledged that a religious organization has a right to put in place such a system. When or how they set the arbitration system is outside the Courts purview. Under the current laws, all a religious Organization have to show is that someone agreed to solve the case through a religious tribunal and they can even set up the tribunal after the fact. They do not even need to prove that there is anything in place at all. In this case, the Church of Scientology did not even have to go out of their way to prove to the Judge that they had an arbitration system in place, because they can just create one at any time and still be within their First Amemndment Rights.

      • Harpoona Frittata

        It seems like the cherch is overplaying its hand here and, as you mention, attempting to avoid setting the dangerous precedent of even going through a semblance of fair arbitration.

        Although the fine print of $cn’s carefully crafted contracts that parishioners are required to sign in order to receive services are completely skewed to favor the cherch and to prevent lawsuits from ever reaching jury trial, it seems to me that the cherch’s admission that it has never had a formal procedure of arbitration to begin with is an admission of fraud. The more fundamental issue here is not whether whatever the cherch can come up with now as a formal arbitration procedure meets established legal standards, but whether or not it had an actual formal system of arbitration in place at the time the Garcias signed contracts that contained clauses specifying that disputes with parishioners over refund/repayment requests be handled within the cherch through arbitration.

        If there was no formal system of arbitration set up within the cherch at the time that the Garcias signed the contracts that this case is based upon, then their decision to donate funds at that point was based in part on the understanding that some formal system of arbitration was already in existence at that time. The question of whether any given organization’s arbitration process is fair and conforms to whatever legal standards that have been previously established is a fundamentally different one than the question of whether or not an actual formal procedure for arbitration existed at all at the time that the contract was signed. If it didn’t, then the cherch either knowingly engaged in fraud or made that false representation through error or oversight, but with no fraudulent intent.

        I suppose that if the Garcias’ repayment request was the very first one that the cherch had ever received, then the cherch could plausibly deny that they’d knowingly committed fraud by willfully failing to establish a formal system of arbitration. However, I’m pretty sure that is not the case and, quite to the contrary, many folks with money on account have requested repayments in the past which should have triggered the implementation of the cherch’s arbitration process, if the cherch had been acting in good faith. The fact that prior requests for repayment did not cause the cherch to put into place an actual procedure and system of arbitration that their contracts specify strongly suggests intentional fraud, rather than mere oversight or unintentional error.

        I’m sure that the fact that $cn is legally recognized as a non-profit religious organization and has managed to get away with having parishioner’s fee-for-service payments bogusly mis-classified as donations muddies the issue considerably. Hopefully, Judge Whittemore, or some other presiding judge at a higher level of appeal, will see through the cherch’s smoke-and-mirrors act and recognize that the cherch has been acting in bad faith toward the Garcias from the outset, and thus, set precedent which will enable other former parishioners to obtain repayments of funds on account in the future.

        As it stands now, the cherch’s actions in doing everything it can to prevent the Garcias from obtaining a fair and objective arbitration process is completely consistent with its fraudulent behavior in making in-house arbitration of disputes a legally binding contractual obligation imposed on parishioners, when it knew full well that no formal system of arbitration existed to begin with.

        • That’s a good argument.

          However, if the judge found that the arbitration system was a pretence, the CofS would turn around and say that it was a religious practice over which he had no jurisdiction.

          The Garcia’s contract stipulates that they will accept the arbitration of the Scientology religion. Game over.

          Since they also agreed to be bound by arbitration, the question of fraud will never be addressed, because they cannot get the arbitration process going .

          In fact, it’s also doctrine, written down by Hubbard that it is a mortal sin to ask for your money back, or sue a Scientology organisation. Arguably, it is impossible for a panel composed of Scientologists to find for the complainant – and that’s a ‘religious practice’ which is untouchable by the court, too.

          There’s surely a difference between a real religious practice and the secular administration of the practical aspects of a religious organisation. A formal grievance procedure surely falls under the heading of the latter.

          However, Scientology seems to muddy the waters by claiming that everything they do is a protected religious activity (including, presumably, going to the bank to pay the rent).

          To Scientology, ‘religion’ means never having to obey the law that applied to the rest of us.

          • Harpoona Frittata

            ” Arguably, it is impossible for a panel composed of Scientologists to
            find for the complainant – and that’s a ‘religious practice’ which is
            untouchable by the court, too.”

            That’s a very good point that, at some point in the legal process, needs to be factored in for any kind of real justice to result. For $cilons following Elron’s explicit policy on the matter, anyone who sues the cherch is, by definition, a suppressive person who can never be supported by any member in good standing because to do so would relegate that individual to no longer being in good standing with the cherch…a classic Catch-22 situation.

            “There’s surely a difference between a real religious practice and
            the secular administration of the practical aspects of a religious
            organization. A formal grievance procedure surely falls under the
            heading of the latter.”

            I completely agree, especially given the fact that, despite its legal status as a religious organization, its revenue-generating activities are unquestionably direct fee-for-services ones and can in no way be seen as being based on voluntary donations. The cherch’s attempt to guise its money-making operations as being based on parishioner’s donations is transparently bogus because all of its services have a set price, and there’s not even a sliding scale of fees through which less well off parishioners can participate in the essential cherch services.

          • Harpoona Frittata

            Perhaps the legal question of whether or not the Garcias were the victims of purposeful fraud at the time they signed their contracts can not be addressed in this particular case, due to how it was framed from the outset.

            However, if it were framed differently by the Garcias in another civil action, or by others who’ve been similarly affected in their own lawsuits, then the fact that the cherch did not have a formal procedure for the in-house resolution of disputes with its parishioners, yet required them to sign contracts as a condition of receiving services as if one did exist at that time, seems to me to be a very clear case of willful misrepresentation that amounts to purposeful fraud.

            A person’s decision to enter into binding legal contract is based on the conditions and terms of that contract being an accurate and truthful representations of the facts. But if those terms and conditions contain false representations (e.g., that a formal process of arbitration actually exists at that time), then the contract would seem to me to have been voided from the outset, especially given the fact that the Garcias are hardly the first individuals to request repayment from the cherch and fail to have their requests processed through any kind of formal arbitration system.

            If the cherch had been acting in good faith, then earlier requests by other individuals for repayment would have already triggered the arbitration process and any oversight or unintentional error in failing to establish one prior to that time should have been corrected by now. Since that never occurred, it’s very hard to see the cherch as acting in good faith now in this particular case.

            • That’s a good legal argument – that the CofS would keep tied up for centuries due to its complexity giving so many openings for delaying tactics.

              Sooner or later, somebody is go decline a settlement (that part is vital) win a case and establish a precedent. Scientology’s defences are so interdependent that just one major decision would make victories in other areas easier to obtain, and begin a chain reaction -so I commend the Garcias for trying.

              However, even if such a process began tomorrow, it would take years before it started to have a significant effect.

              I still think that the CofS will suffer an organisation collapse due to declining membership and the way it which it treats its own people, and that the courts and the government will only ever intervene to mop up the money afterwards.

            • Harpoona Frittata

              I think the cherch perceives this case as being potentially precedent setting and is prepared to spend whatever that’s required to either get it tossed or, if all else fails, settle the case before it goes before a jury, with the usual gag clauses in place.

              While the cult’s appetite for initiating civil suits against others has dropped off to almost nothing, they’re still every bit as “fool strength” when it comes to defending itself against civil actions, such as the Garcias’, than they’ve always been. Whenever the cult runs out of legal tricks and delaying tactics, and it’s facing jury trial, the cult ends up settling out of court, with very strict gag agreements in place.

              Although I can completely understand why folks who’ve taken on the cult very often choose to settle their cases prior to jury trial, it is an absolute necessity that some folks in that situation refuse to settle and see their cases all the way through trial and preserve their ability to speak out in public about the cult.

  • Douglas D. Douglas

    The Proprietor has issues with Wikipedia? Perish the thought! What could possibly go wrong with a site devoted to crowd-sourced facts, democratically agreed upon by the consensus of a group of completely anonymous editors???

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Wolf_Moon

    • Robert Eckert

      The Outlaw Jimmy Wales

  • Todd Tomorrow

    My sister’s ex-husband and father of my neice and nephew had a Wiki page that stated he’d get sexual massages with a certain defrocked, Tour de France champion. Long story but it was so funny it was up there for years. Then last time I checked the entire page had been redone. Never understood who decides what is fact or fiction on Wiki. Not that I don’t think it wasn’t true.

    • Robert Eckert

      Nice triple negative there.

      • “If you’re not against me, don’t cross this line! If yes, do.”
        (Corrected quote from “The Life Aquatic”.)

  • Todd Tomorrow

    O/T Pete put this up. Free download and a fun rabbit hole to get lost in for awhile.
    https://scicrit.wordpress.com/2017/02/14/the-pulp-sf-magazine-amazing-stories-assesses-10-years-of-dianetics-scientology-in-1970/

    • Juicer77

      Hip, hip hurrahs to Once_Born for that blog. It’s absolutely terrific.

  • Panopea Abrupta

    Tony, it’s hard separating frack from friction under the current misadministration.
    Wikipedia is a paragon of virtue and truth by comparison.

    First there was the Paleo Diet – people in cities pretending they were troglodytes.
    Now we have the Paleo Government – troglodytes in DC pretending they can govern.

    And with $cientology, we risk getting Paleo Justice – arbitrary “arbritration” from a
    “Church” designed to abuse the constitution, abuse members and profit only one
    “man,” a small pustulence most probably created from the oozing of a certain
    sebaceous cyst.

    It is a cold hard furrow the Garcias are trying to plough.
    I wish them luck – they need it.
    Let DM eat rocks – he’s from the Stone Age and will club them to death with
    legal obfuscation, crooked contracts, weasel words and a “Justice Chief” who
    is but a pawn in this game.
    Whittemore is bound by an over-generous interpretation of the First.
    As long as freedom of speech and protest remain, I’ll live with it.

    (And for the record, I do not know Putin nor have I ever spoken to any
    Russian ambassador or intelligence agency, nor do they have any compromising
    video or audio of me.)

    There’s some strange mammal in the room.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e4ce190bb8eb2e92a01ea31ddb8bc728407d77a25bea8942e35b2fc4a5633a14.jpg

  • Lousy Ratatouille

    Scientology’s ‘religious contracts’? I would call them SO-CALLED religious contracts.
    When the Scientologist agrees to sign them, you could say he’s still in The Shire, but he might end up in Mordor (The Black Land) quite soon.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAdXWM1btG4&index=1&list=LLE5AXz6WwQVTCVFRFoOpa9w

  • Fink Jonas

    Trying to figure out what a “scientologist in good standing” is, is as difficult as trying to find out where Shelly Miscavige is.
    Scientology needs to define what “in good standing” means with all the if and buts, and base on that have the Garcias look for one, even thou once he finds one they would never want to speak to him. Big lesson never sign anything or enter in any kind of business with Scientology.

    • Jimmy3

      Standing on crate: Good standing. Powerfully awesome theta flows. Well-coiffed pomp.

      Not standing on crate: Bad standing. Weak, impish. Restrictive service facsimiles. Definitely criminal in nature.

      • ze moo

        Is there a difference between Apple and Orange crates?

        • Jimmy3

          One is made by Taiwanese children in Taiwan and the other is made by Taiwanese children in Florida

        • Observer

          Apple crates have to be a lot higher for the user to appear anywhere near average height.

    • Ben Franklin

      It is a rigged process because Garcia will never know who is in “good standing”. The Church can declare anyone at anytime not to be in good standing, even people they already placed on their own list as Scientologists in good standing. The worst part is, no one can legally challenge the church on why or how they found someone not to be in good standing. If Mike Ellis says someone is not in good standing, that’s pretty much it, and Garcia have to choose someone else. Trying to argue why, when, or how he decided that someone is not in good standing would be a waste of time that will not get you anywhere in a Court of Law in the United States.

  • Panopea Abrupta

    A sea shanty I wrote a while back, but when I see whales being
    harpooned again and again by DM and his “able-bodied” Sea Orgers,
    it does seem apposite to repost it.
    Only Iceland, the Faroes and Japan continue whaling.
    And $cientology.
    It’s for scientific purposes, no doubt 🙁

    The $cilon Whaler

    Solo: A $cilon ship sold you down the river
    Chorus: Blow, boys, blow
    Solo:All to keep Lord Hubris rich in silver
    Chorus:Blow, my bonny boys, blow

    Solo:How do you know she’s a $cilon whaler?
    Chorus:Blow, boys, blow.
    Solo:The scars and strife flow out behind her
    Chorus:Blow, my bonny boys, blow

    Solo:And who d’you think is Captain of her?
    Chorus:Blow, boys, blow.
    Solo:Why, Dismal Dave, that mad rapscallion
    Chorus:Blow, my bonny boys, blow

    Solo:Her bilges reek and her plate is rotten
    Chorus:Blow, boys, blow.
    Solo:Her blue asbestos is not forgotten
    Chorus:Blow, my bonny boys, blow

    Solo:What do you think she’s got for cargo?
    Chorus:Blow, boys, blow.
    Solo:Slaves and knaves and an oily farrago
    Chorus:Blow, my bonny boys, blow

    Solo:What do you think they’ll get for dinner?
    Chorus:Blow, boys, blow.
    Solo:Rice and beans, Dave a pickled liver
    Chorus:Blow, my bonny boys, blow

    Solo:Where’s she headed, to what city?
    Chorus:Blow, boys, blow.
    Solo:To the gates of Hell and that’s no pity
    Chorus:Blow, my bonny boys, blow

    Solo:Then blow, my boys, and all together
    Chorus:Blow, boys, blow.
    Solo:Blow, me lads, for fairer weather
    Chorus:Blow, my bonny boys, blow

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f1151c27e6923792a986a8b375ff62373c77a5d6ed8b34e46fcf0be0cbfe8860.jpg

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ae3f181511864265fed43bcf94f6b9efeebc5f37edfe4f76f99d749a6f917ddb.jpg

    • Juicer77

      That’s it. There must be a HowdyCon singalong. Live broadcast. XD

  • Ben Franklin

    The problem with Wikipedia is that the information contained within it is often entered and edited by the general public. There are some pages on Wikipedia that are locked depending on the risk of a targeted smear campaign. Locked pages can only be edited by a few trusted contributors to the site. For example, a Donald Trump page would be locked because people would vandalize it with all sorts of rumors, innuendos, and alternative facts on a daily basis if it was not locked.

    • DoveAlexa

      Yes, Wikipedia is not a newspaper or magazine. It is a wiki. Hense Wikipedia. Its total articles in English alone number at 5.3 million, with 20k some odd articles added each month. However the total number of admins are only 1,274.
      Also, none of these admins are omnipotent wisdom genies, who immediately know when an incorrect statement is added to a page. It’s up to it’s 30 million users to find and correct errors, like Ben said.
      If you [Tony] find a problem, go and edit it out, leaving all your evidence with the edit reasoning in the talk page. If for some reason the INDIVIDUAL PERSON (not some malevolent internet hivemind that runs wikipedia) who made the untrue edit to your page comes back to change it, you can get mods involved just like mods have been involved in stopping the edit wars Scientology likes to engage in on that very wiki.
      Also, have a fun anecdote, because I’m feeling like a ramble: my husband once edited the page on Lenin to say ‘and he smelt of wee’. It was removed almost immediately. Another time a guy I knew tried to post a new (and absurdly long) page to the wiki that pretended that the fictional monster Slenderman was a real entity. His whole new (and gigantic) article was removed immediately.
      If you really care so much about your article on a site you believe is worthless, just give someone the task of checking and editing it once in a while, for a beer or something. Which begs the question of how you got your page anyways, maybe some users are worthy of a thanks for that, perhaps?

      (Besides, it was probably just Nat.)
      I am so dead for writing any of this…

  • otviii2late

    Judge Whittemore knows what’s going on. This is not about logic but his ability to rule within the confines of the law. First Amendment law is particularly dicey. If he doesn’t allow enough time and effort for the Scientology arbitration to play out, he will just get overruled later in arbitration. In other words, he’s doing all he can right now. How he rules, once this phase plays out–based on law, first amendment, arbitration expectancy–will be the real test.

    • Ben Franklin

      If the Church decides to follow a scotched earth policy, which is very likely they will, they will kill this case in arbitration. The church can unbelievably prolong the process, make impossible demands on Garcia, or quickly rule in their favor.

      Another remote possibility is that the Church might finally decide to show itself as humane and give Garcia, some or all his money back. Unfortunately, Miscavige is very vindictive person and it’s hard for me to believe that he would find it in himself to do the right and moral thing here and give Garcia his money back

  • Kay (aka Nasty Lady)

    OK…this is weird. It has to do with the glut of Jerry Macguire videos and a guy who is recycling them. Enjoy.

    http://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2017/02/01/jerry-maguire-video-store-pyramid-orig.cnn/video/playlists/they-did-what/

    • Elegant Mess

      Oddly enough, that video store is/was in my neighborhood. Glad they got some coverage on that crazy art project.

  • daisy

    I thought after the election when someone said * We will be ok *and you answered * We are fucked * You made your position clear. I personally wished you hadn*t said anything about the Clinton politics in the past with scientology . I also wish you could say Trump was a big doofus cheetos . I wish you would say * daisy is the most thoughtful , wise poster … but well you are a journalist.

    • Juicer77

      Why would you want him to leave out the Clinton connection? It was factual and newsworthy, IMO.

      PS Daisy is the most thoughtful, wise poster.

      • daisy

        When he wrote that story there were 2 candidates. I wanted Clinton to win at that point. I did not want anyone to see that they might be favorable to scientology. It was factual and newsworthy. that is why I didn*t want it seen.

        It is about time someone wrote the truth , now write that I am the prettiest and I can go back to bed.

        • Juicer77

          You’re an honest lady. You are also the prettiest with the most ungrateful dog. Hee hee

          • gtsix

            get a room you two!

    • flyonthewall

      I think that some people confused Tony talking about Clinton’s history with Scientology as an endorsement of Trump. Yes, there are some similarities in an abstract way b/w Trump and Scientology (which Tony did write about) but nothing like the concrete history the Clintons had with Scientology and the latter is the type of thing a journalist would talk about, obviously. It’s not Tony’s fault that the Clintons have a history with Scientology and therefore gave him more to talk about. If Trump had that history Tony would of talked about that.

      I will admit to being frustrated that Tony wouldn’t use his large platform to tear up Trump but at the same time I respect Tony for keeping the blog on Scientology during such a crazy election. Yes, the election was inevitably talked about a lot in the comments but this was largely an oasis from the political craziness and we should be thankful for that.

      • daisy

        I agree , I did not think Tony was endorsing Trump . He was just reporting the factual historty .At that time , I would have preferred alternative facts.

    • kemist

      That was buried in the comments, so it’s quite likely a casual reader might have missed it. Not so for the Twitter feed though.

      What I find funny is the weird assumption that anyone who has once criticized Hillary Clinton is a Trump fan.

      I don’t know, but almost every time I see a Trumpkin respond to a criticism of Trump, they still come back to Hillary Clinton. As if it mattered anymore.

      But I guess it’s the only defense they feel they have when considering how incompetent and batshit insane the Trump administration has shown itself to be in less than one month.

  • joan nieman

    I hope the Garcia’s get there day in court. It is a tough reality that they did donate the money but they were deceived in what it was going to be used for. That seems to be the only card they hold. If they are willing to take the long road with this case, it would be a relief to get some compensation . I do think it is a tough one and may not ever be resolved.Much luck to them.

    • flyonthewall

      I think the end of the road on this case is pretty much here

      • joan nieman

        Could very well be Fly.

  • Joe

    I’m pretty sure the fact that the Garcias’ conclusion that someone could be possible of not siding with Scientology 100% of the time is enough to cause that person to not be in good standing.

  • richelieu jr

    God, do I feel for you Tony–

    I wasted a couple, of years, and several thousand dollars, fruitlessly trying to get those Wikidiots to remove an untrue allegation that I had hit someone with a chair and spent the night in prison in a Central European country during a talk show appearance….

    I finally got a sort of ‘sit down’ with a dozen ‘editors’ of the hive mind that let speipe pull stuff out of their asses, but you cannot correct it yourself, because, well.. you are to, and therefore biased, right? It was in a gaudy, Trumpian-level of faux gold decor Chinese place, around a YUUUGE round table that I confronted the powers that be… that be… not old enough to drink or grow more than Prince-like facial hair.

    Average estimated age: 14-15?

    Average estimated IQ: roughly the same?

    No go.

    Finally, years later, after constantly complaining about it to frineds and other poor unfortunates I was able to corner, I got a notice that my entry was being taken down, not because of its largely fictional content, but because… (wait for it)….

    I wasn’t really a celebrity.

    For fucks sake! I could have told them that!

    (In fact, I am pretty sure I did. Repeatedly)

    Funny thing, is, Now I kind of miss it… It was nice complaining about eh weight of celebrity without the pain of, you know, actually being one,,,

    • Juicer77

      Ugh.
      Remind me to meet you at a stand-up cafe. 😉 Too soon?

  • nottrue
    • kemist

      This is so pathetically grasping at straws.

      Must have been put there by a scilon.

    • Observer

      He’d probably like it.

      • MarcabExpat

        Nah, she too brown.

        • Observer

          Omarosa had better look out!

    • Juicer77

      Spotlight has faded. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

    • gtsix

      No “princess”. No.

    • Frodis73

      Ugh.

    • Frodis73

      Lol, it only has one signature.

    • Phil McKraken

      It would be a dream come true. The cheesiest meets the sleaziest.

  • BuberZionist

    I am sorry you were a BernieBro but that’s the way it is. I voted for Hill both times.

  • nottrue
    • Juicer77

      This is from 2014. Sound by Mark Bunker, Wise Beard Man. 🙂

      • Thanks… it’s annoying when it’s not clear when and where on the youtube description.
        btw: 1st comment there – LOL

  • itsIBBy

    I dont really have much to add about the Garcias other than I wish it were mature and ethical to slap the judge with a salmon.

    I’m preparing myself to take my older dog friend to the vet on friday to be put down. Shes 14, and starting to fail in all of her faculties, but its still really sad, and I’m really sad, and I could really just use a hug

  • Jgg2012

    Judge Whitmore needs to consider the Hooters v. Phillips case, decided in 1999 the 4th Circuit.

    In that case, the arbitration offered by the defendants was close to non-existent (they could cancel the agreement at any time; they could tape the arbitration at any time, and the plaintiff could not, etc.) and thus the 4th Circuit found that it was unfair.

    • Observer

      The difference is that Hooters doesn’t pretend it’s a religion. That word is to the legal system as a cross is to vampires.

      • flyonthewall

        Hooters is a spiritual place for me

        eta – boobies

        • Observer

          🙄🙄

        • Robert Eckert

          Booby thetans

        • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

          My sisters may scorn me for this but I support you Fly. As long as you’re looking only. 👍🏼

          • flyonthewall

            *thumbs up*

            I’ll tell you a secret. I haven’t been to a Hooters since idk when, prob 20yrs for real lol

      • That’s the fascinating about this situation to me. Who’s to say that Hooters couldn’t get away with pretending it was a religion if it put its mind to it, and enjoying all of the protections of the first amendment? Who’s to deny them this status when that same amendment omits to define ‘religion’ in law.

        Hooters possibly has a better case than L Ron Hubbard, when he decided to transform a business which he claimed was a new science-based therapy into a pseudo religion in order to evade tax.

        Being accepted as a religion seem to me to involve little more than spending lots of money and time in court to make it stick. If Scientology is anything to go by, it has absolutely nothing to do with the sincerity of your claim, or the nature of your beliefs. It doesn’t even have anything to do with whether your organisation is socially beneficial or not.

    • I suspect that the judge has a working knowledge of Hooters.

  • Lousy Ratatouille

    Whatever can be said about Wikipedia, about either true or false entries, Scientologists are NEVER allowed to read Wikipedia on Scientology or any subject related to Scientology. Maybe there’s just TOO much truth in Wikipedia.

  • Jgg2012

    “No, we did not endorse Donald Trump in the election.” I didn’t think you would endorse an orange haired bully who married three times and made bloviating claims about his own accomplishments and who savagely attacked his critics.

  • Username

    Would be great if the Garcias found a few scientologists still in good standing ready to head out the door, who would love to stick it to the tiny Man on the way out by being a part of the arbitration.

    • Ben Franklin

      It won’t matter because the church controls the process and can change the ruling behind closed doors if they don’t like it. No one would ever know, even if Garcia complained about it, no one outside the church would be able to do anything about it.

      • Username

        You’re so right. Here I’m thinking it will be conducted all out in the open with fairness that would protect both side. Hello… it’s Scientology…. what was I thinking.

        • Ben Franklin

          It is a very messed up catch 22 situation. The Judge knows that he is literally throwing Garcia to the wolves but there is nothing he can do about it because he has no legal choice.

          • Username

            The Garcias made a deal with the devil and signed his contract. Scientology really opened up the Pandora’s box in this country in terms of the definition of a religion and the right to religious freedom. So I can say I’m a satanic religion, and the IRS will give me tax exempt status?

            • Ben Franklin

              An organization does not have to be a religious organization to get tax exempt status. Getting tax exempt status also does not give an organization religious status.

              The problem is, when the the Courts identify an organization as a religious organization, that is when the First Amendment Rights starts to apply to the organization. Over the years, the Church of Scientology have been able to convince various judges including Supreme court Judges that it is a religion, that is why lower courts have no choice but to treat Scientology as a religion rather than an ordinary business enterprise.

            • Username

              Thanks for explaining this. I’ll read up on it further. I wonder what kinds of rulings the upper courts would need to start making in order for the veil of religious protection to be lifted.

            • Ben Franklin

              Everything starts with the Supreme Court of the United States, once they start treating Scientology as a business and not so much as a religion, lower court Judges will follow suit.

  • Missionary Kid

    In Touch magazine makes something out of nothing, claiming that Katie Holmes reached out to TC with condolences for the death of his mother. Big whoop. http://www.intouchweekly.com/posts/tom-cruise-mom-died-katie-holmes-125460

    • Juicer77

      Agreed. She was Suri’s grandma. At the very least this is common courtesy.

      • Missionary Kid

        That was my thought, exactly.

      • Todd Tomorrow

        Tom doesn’t care after all she just dropped her meat body.

    • Observer

      Shows how much more class Katie has than her erstwhile husband.

      • Missionary Kid

        True. Disconnection = no class.

  • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

    Tony, I personally don’t give two fucks who you voted for or who you support politically. You’ve taught me invaluable lessons about journalism and for that reason alone I remain a reader & a supporter. Just keep doing you and you’re cool with me man. 👍🏼

    https://media3.giphy.com/media/G3dGV4JKp12ko/200.webp#4

  • AngryNotSoOldHippy .

    “Whittemore is once again reluctant to intervene in Scientology’s internal matters, however Orwellian and venal they might be, for fear of violating the organization’s First Amendment rights of religious expression.”

    So basically anyone may avoid civil lawsuits merely by proclaiming themselves to some how be a “religion.” Any profitable, criminal and non-criminal corporation or individual may declare themselves a “religion” and this Judge says they can do whatever they want to their customers.

    Isn’t this right wing third world quasi-theocratic Oligarchy’s “justice system” just wonderful?

    • Never attribute to right wing third world quasi-theocratic Oligarchy’s “justice system” that which can easily be explained by stupidity.

    • flyonthewall

      weird that a right wing third world quasi-theocratic Oligarchy’s “justice system” would reject Trump’s Muslim ban EO. That’s weird right or was that just a fluke?

  • GrangerFX

    “We’ll stick to Scientology. We only wish Wikipedia might stick to facts.”
    And we will keep referring to ourselves as we. Don’t worry about it though. We do it too!

    • Observer

      He has explained numerous times that it’s an editor thing. He’s far from the only one who does it.

      EDIT: Autocorrect sucks.

      • GrangerFX

        We were being serious when we said we do it too. We have a business making apps. When we refer to ourselves we use we because speaking for a business it sounds wrong to use the singular term “I”. The way we see it, there are two legal persons: Ourself and our business. So it’s we. We also like to revel in the rediculous.

        • Juicer77

          We just like sounding snotty. Now bring me my sceptre! 😉

      • kemist

        I though it was to include the cats and dog.

        • Juicer77

          LOL

  • Observer

    OT: I have just encountered someone whose last name is Natterer.

  • AngryNotSoOldHippy .

    “On January 22, they added us to a page that lists the notable people who endorsed Donald Trump for president in 2016.”
    “These idiots can’t even get the citation right.”

    It should be obvious that who ever added that idiot claim — and the user account can easily be checked to see if it’s a troll or not — added the fake endorsement claim merely as a troll, not seriously and not because the editor is an idiot.

    It was added by user Cocobud — an account which was created specifically to add Tony Ortega to the list of people.

    So no, it was not “those hapless idiots at Wikipedia” who did this, you were trolled, Tony.

    Also the fact that it was detected and removed by an editor due to lack of citation to support the claim, and then was re-added by someone who did not log in — 2604:2000:b8c7:f900:911e:ddac:44f5:4cf3 — does not speak of “Wikipedia idiot,” it shows that an editor took responsibility to remove the entry and the troll came back and re-added it.

    eventually it was removed again however it wasn’t “those idiots at Wikipedia,” it was a troll, and an editor caught it the first time, someone else the second time.

    Wikipedia works, it’s constantly having to deal with trolls.

    • Juicer77

      Perhaps the issue is that the editors and trolls have nearly the same amount of access? As long as we recognize Wikipedia for what it is – a group effort that does not always cite sources, or reliable ones. Lesson number one in Do Your Research.

  • Observer
    • Missionary Kid

      Miscavige may be king of footbullets, but Trump is trumping him.

    • flyonthewall

      ok that isn’t an official or Congressman saying Trump should be impeached. It’s just some guy

      • Observer

        A judge for 30 years and lifelong Republican guy.

        • flyonthewall

          he’s old school Republican and they’re way out of fashion. Trumpican is the way of the future!

          • Observer

            The “I’ve Got Mine, Screw You Guys” party.

            • kemist

              If only it was that.

              Trump’s party is the “I’ll FUBAR Our Country While Pretending I Know What I’m Doing And Have a Vicious Tantrum When People Start Asking Pointed Questions” party.

          • Missionary Kid

            The traditional Republicans are older, white, and conservative, but they’re also workers for the party, which worked hard for Trump, once he got the nomination. That same group is also suspicious of Russia.

            If the old school Republicans pull their support for Trump, he’ll lose support for many of his nominations for office. All it will take, as in the case of his present nomination for Labor Secretary, is two Senators to defect. It looks like there are 4 senators who won’t vote for the nominee.

            The old school Republicans may be on their way out, but their organizational skills and support got Trump the Presidency, along with Russian help, which they chose to ignore because they wanted to win, and probably didn’t know the scope of that help.

            Trump can’t function without those old school Republicans. He’s screwed if he continues his present course.

            • Jimmy3

              I’ve heard that old school Republicans don’t wipe correctly in the bathroom. Is that true?

            • flyonthewall

              I heard they pee sitting down

            • Jimmy3

              I’ve heard they won’t eat at McDonald’s, but they go there to use the Play Place.

            • flyonthewall

              hitler

            • Missionary Kid

              You tell me. I don’t watch people in the bathroom or sniff their butts.

            • Missionary Kid

              Weird. Disqus notified me of your post, but it didn’t show up on the window I had open.

            • Ben Franklin

              Who keeps these kind of statistics? and why?

            • Jimmy3

              The public needs to know. It’s a health risk.

            • Ben Franklin

              I am just glad it is not my job

            • Jimmy3

              One call to my mannon Bannon and it will be your new job. Shape up.

            • daisy

              They do not need to , they poop through their mouths

            • Kestrel

              If the old school Republicans withdraw their support from the current administration, maybe there is hope that they will work toward a congress sufficiently united to thwart whatever machinations the administration attempts. The Trump legacy could result in the most impotent presidency since William Henry Harrison’s.

            • flyonthewall
            • Robert Eckert

              Trump’s Presidency to date has still been five days shorter than William Henry Harrison’s.

            • Ben Franklin

              The Old school republicans are scared of the more extreme and violence prone republicans. Unfortunately, at this point, I don’t see the old school republicans having the guts to pull their support away from Trump because they don’t want to anger the far right and tear their party to pieces.

            • Missionary Kid

              The far right doesn’t love Russia, either. Trump’s support came from all over the spectrum of the right, plus frustrated people who haven’t recovered from the financial meltdown that voted for him, even though they were traditionally considered Democratic voters.

              Right now, even Rep. King is at least equating the leaks about Trump’s buddy’s contacts with Russia with concern about Trump’s dealings with Russia. That’s big.

            • Ben Franklin

              The Republicans have to make a decision, either they come clean and get rid of Trump for his actions, or they continue supporting him while complaining about how disgusted they are with his actions yet do nothing about it.

            • Kestrel

              Push will come to shove eventually. Hopefully, sooner rather than later.

            • Missionary Kid

              I believe that eventually he’s going to piss off enough of them by his imperious presidency that doesn’t believe that the other two branches of government have any say in what he declares.

              It will take time, but so far because he’s got a bunch of bomb-thrower (not literally) supporters who are aligned with Bannon. Bannon believes in Armageddon, and, because he believes Christians will be saved, so he looks forward to it. Unfortunately, there’s a fair amount of fundamentalist Christians like Jerry Fallwell Jr. (Liberty “University” and law school) and Pat Robertson (700 Club) who are aligned with Bannon, thinking the same way, and supporting him.

            • daisy

              For the life of me I cannot remember his name. He ran for pres. with Sarah Paley. He does not and never has supported Trump.

            • kemist

              Is it “Mittens” Romney ?

            • daisy

              no

            • Jimmy3

              John Came To Bring The Pain McCain

            • daisy

              yes

            • kemist

              The guy who thought there is a common border between Irak and Afghanistan.

              It’s alarming that this kind of ignorance is almost cute now.

            • Jimmy3

              He was a POW in Vietnam, and Trump’s public response to that was, “I like the people who weren’t captured.”

              Our Commander-in-Chief, ladies and gentleman.

            • kemist

              Class.

              Somehow, everything Trump does is the opposite of it.

              BTW, I wonder where his orange ass was hidden during the Vietnam war.

            • Robert Eckert

              He was deferred for a crippling medical condition, heel spurs– while simultaneously playing at first base for his academy’s baseball team, and according to him of course he was the best baseball player in the history of the school.

            • Frodis73

              I really thought he would loose a big part of the right with that statement…nope. It did reveal their hypocrisy more though.

            • Observer

              I know a number of people who voted for Trump only because his opponent was Hillary. I don’t think he’d have won if the democratic candidate had been anyone else.

            • Frodis73

              Same here and I agree. The DNC underestimated (or ignored the people saying this) the dislike for HRC. Some of it deserved, some of it not.

            • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

              My earrings came off by themselves when I heard that.

              I still find it repugnant and offensive. There may be things I don’t see eye to eye on with John McCain but you cannot denigrate his service to me, not with what I’ve seen the soldiers in my family go through.

            • Ben Franklin

              True, but even him (McCain) almost lost his re-election because he was very much against Trump. I believe at one point even McCain had to make amends with Trump just so that he could get his endorsement to smooth things out. As much as McCain has been outspoken against Trump, I haven’t heard him call for impeachment at all because the far right would be on him like nobody’s business, and I don’t know if he is strong enough to fight them at this point. Most senior republican politicians are have been choosing their words very carefully. The most vocal Republicans have been those outside the political arena (i.e those who do not hold any political office)

            • daisy

              As far as I know there has been no amends between the two. I respect him. The ones who hold their noses and still support Trump are pussies. Paul Ryan should be ashamed of himself. Of course he cannot call for impeachment. He needs others and proof.. He has called for an investigation . That is even after the head of the ethic committee said he did not need to investigate Flynn, it was already being handled. Something else he did in the run for president is deny the birther argument . One of his supporters at a town hall called Barack a Muslim who was not born in the USA. McCain told her he was not a Muslim and was born in Hawaii . It was not in his best interest to correct her. It was the right thing to do. I think there are many honorable Republicans , they are just not getting any press.

            • Ben Franklin

              Well… it has been an up and down relationship but here is some proof to show that there were times when the two tried to support each other. In all fairness to McCain though, he later withdrew his support for Trump but it was mainly after McCain was in the clear from his re-election problems.

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

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xW9JqUa28Pg

            • daisy

              I was wrong .( I often am )

            • Ben Franklin

              Nah. It is very hard to keep track of these things as politicians change their tunes very very often depending on which direction the wind is blowing.

            • Frodis73

              Don’t be too proud of Mcain Daisy. Ben is right, he held his nose and voted for trump and has not really said anything to strong against him. He has spoken out about Russia, but it has been very wimpy. He was great during that moment at the debate with Obama years ago, but he seems more desperate to hold on to his job at all costs at this point.
              There are some good repubs. I have been following Evan McMullin on twiiter. I disagree with most of his positions, but he is horrified by the turmp/russia stuff and has been very outspoken.

            • daisy

              I was speaking to the fact that the remark that any of the old republicans are all pro – Trump. I felt he has criticized Trump enough to dispute that. I am not too proud of most of the GOP.

            • Frodis73

              I love that you are more engaged and know more about our govt and politicians than most citizens do.

            • daisy

              xoxox

            • Missionary Kid

              Good points.

          • His future is already in the past.

    • Now THAT’s a Troll *lol*

    • This has significance.

    • Frodis73

      It is good to see another republican speaking out against this nightmare.

    • kemist

      All of them need to wake the fuck up.

      Apart form the unashamed grifting and constant lies, the guy gave access to classified information to representatives of foreign nations, paraded around with the nuclear codes, pissed off friendly nations.

      Letting him go on is like letting a toddler play with matches and gasoline in your living room.

      • Robert Eckert

        Hell, he gave access to classified information to waiters and golfers at his club.

        • Frodis73

          But, but her emails.

          • kemist

            – Look, I don’t care about Clinton. Look at what Trump has done, how can you support that ?

            – You’re just a sore loser… *insane gibberish* … Anti-Trump cult … Hillary … EEEEEEMAILLLS !1!1!!1

            – He’s sharing classified information with people with no clearance !

            – You and you conspiracy theories about Russia, har-har-har.

            • Frodis73

              I thought you were taking me seriously from your first sentence.
              Yeah, we are the ones that believe in conspiracies and fake news yet they read infowars and brietbart. Ok, sure. Got it.

  • What to do. What to do.

    30,000 expected at Nation of Islam convention in Detroit
    http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2017/02/14/30000-attend-nation-islam-convention-detroit/97390394/

    And this is just a block from the Detroit Ideal Org.

    What to do. What to do.

    (Add: I couldn’t even get near the last one to post some signs for all the mobs of people.)

  • davegrille

    There is an unjustifiable faith that many of the Bunker-ites have in government.

    • Ben Franklin

      Hey, Government is perfect, it is the people that ruin it.

    • flyonthewall

      i got a letter from the govt the other day
      i opened and read it and said they were suckers
      they wanted me for the army or whatever
      tellin me to give a damn I said never

      • Fly Lady

        that’s funny… I got a letter from the DMV the other day. I opened and read it, it said they were suckers.

      • davegrille

        Cool!

    • Observer

      Not faith. Just the reasonable, if unfulfilled, expectation that it should do what it’s supposed to.

      • davegrille

        When an unfulfilled expectation is allowed to go unfulfilled for the better part of fifty years it resembles closely faith.

        • Observer

          How do we disallow it? It happens no matter who we elect, and protests fall on deaf ears. I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to overthrow the government.

          • davegrille

            Through the ballot box it is perfectly legal to overthrow the government .

            • Observer

              Reread my post. It happens no matter who we elect. And voting for someone is no guarantee that they’ll win, as we’ve seen with the second president this century who won because of the electoral college while losing the popular vote.

            • davegrille

              Voting doesn’t do as much as chastening politicians ,especially on the local level .For instance if a local sheriff who for many years runs unopposed ,suddenly is forced to explain publicly why he is diverting half the county’s resources to the COS ,we may get some desirable results.High level appointed officials are also subject to political pressure .

            • Observer

              Your last post said voting them out is the answer, now it’s not. I do what I can to hold my elected officials accountable, and it’s not enough because there are more people who don’t.

              This conversation is going nowhere. I’m answering your points, and you’re just telling me how I’m wrong. I’ll keep doing what I’m doing. That is all.

            • davegrille

              I am sorry ,I did not mean any disrespect.

            • Observer

              I didn’t take offense. We’re just talking at cross-purposes, and I didn’t want to ignore you, so I thought I should let you know I’m done with the subject. Thank you though.

    • kemist

      I seriously don’t understand how you guys perceive your (or indeed “a”) government.

      The thing is, somebody will govern, whether you like it or not. If you make your government impotent, it will be corporations, including outfits like scientology.

      Most of you do not vote in the corporation’s shareholder meetings, and the corporation’s purpose is to make money, not to serve you. What it does will not be in your best interest.

      That’s why you’ve got a government, to protect your interests.

      If it’s not doing its job, it needs to be fixed, not made impotent.

      • Jimmy3

        There goes the Department of Kemistry.

        There is no Department of Kemistry?

        Exactly.

      • davegrille

        There is no serious way in which government can be rendered impotent.The enforcement of bad-faith arbitration agreements or giving Narconon a total pass on false advertising and on the criminal portion of mail fraud are not compelled by natural or Constitutional law.

        • kemist

          Demolishing its regulations and agencies renders it impotent in practice. Narconon, for instance, could be closed if there existed any regulations (and personnel to enforce it) regarding who is allowed to offer addiction treatment. After all, our health ministry, while not perfect in any way, did close it here. Same for labor regulations and child protection laws and agencies – we do not have any SO kids here, because a judge would take away custody of a child from any parent signing them off to the SO.

          Your constitution acts like doctrine – laws are written following how it is interpreted. Laws as they stand right now must be enforced by your judicial system and government. They are not the only possible interpretation of the constitution – I don’t think the constitution says that anything that calls itself a religion can enforce abusive contracts

          With sufficient pressure, these laws can be modified to allow judges to void any abusive clauses from such contracts – again, this is something that is regularly done here. Abusive clause in adhesion contracts (that includes clauses with confusing formulation) are regularly voided here. Scientology’s lawyers would have been greeted with “ORLY ?” from any competent judge, all the way to the supreme court.

          Your government reflects the pressures which are put on it. You cannot give up on it because you need it. It should be afraid of you, not the other way around.

          • Frodis73

            It should be afraid of you, not the other way around.

            ^^^This!

          • davegrille

            Yes!

      • davegrille

        Issue criticism ,run primaries when government officials collude with cults.

    • Frodis73

      This is not the place to get into a detailed discussion about this, but I really hate the idea that all govt is bad and it does nothing to help…especially when people are helped all the time via the govt. They are just unaware or unwilling to acknowledge that fact.

      • daisy

        Frodis I agree with you about that. I am so govt. fatigued keeping up with this exhausting nonsense of Trump and supporters . Everyday both of us think , WTF does he have to do to get them not to . I can see why people have lost faith in govt. He sexually assaulted women for God sake. I have to remind myself on an hourly basis , he is not my president , he is not my president. You were right about McCain . I hadn*t seen those interviews. I am disappointed .He was a war hero , for that I respect him.

        • Frodis73

          I do understand govt fatigue…and the right has totally controlled the narrative that govt is bad for a couple/few decades now. That will be hard to change. It is frustrating when the people have who have so little faith in Congress keep sending the same guy back again and again!! Then they wonder why nothing changes or gets done…well, that is one reason why.
          With the whole P grabbing comment, the Christian right/moral majority/Evangelical crowd lost ALL respect and should never open their mouths about personal matters again. These people bitched and moaned because Michelle Obama had bare arms FFS!! Yet Melania posing nude is no big deal? And she is bring class back to the WH?? (For the record, I do not care about her posing nude).
          You are lucky that e is not your president. We both know the US prez has a lot of power and influence though and that can be bad for everybody.

      • davegrille

        The COS is enabled to enforce bad-faith arbitration.

        • Robert Eckert

          And if there was no government, the COS would be “enabled” to do whatever it damn pleased.

          • davegrille

            And they don’t do what the hell they please?

            • Robert Eckert

              If you want that to change, you want an effective government, not no government.

      • davegrille

        OK ,acknowledging ,whatever you want to be acknowledged ,when locally elected officials appear in COS propaganda films or massive field service of police forces are diverted,the politicians should face primaries.

    • Douglas D. Douglas

      And yet I keep getting phone calls from heavily accented individuals claiming to be from “the government agency” and who have urgent instructions for me. I just hang up on them.

      • davegrille

        They may actually be from OSA ,unless ,of course ,they don’t exist.

        • Douglas D. Douglas

          I doubt it’s OSA, as there are a lot of voices in the background, and OSA doesn’t have all that many people these days…!

  • EricS

    Re Garcia arbitration:

    I would think that the judge would have noticed that the terms of the arbitration, concerning how the three arbiters are selected, is impossible to achieve.

    The arbitration agreement states that the arbiters are selected thus:
    One arbiter chosen by the “Church”,
    One arbiter chosen by the “plaintiff”,
    And the third a mutually agreed upon person.

    This is pretty standard format used in many arbitrations, it seems. But that little caveat about all the arbiters having to be “in good standing with the Church”, makes a total sham of the fairness of arbiter selection.

    Beings as the arbiter, presumably wholly chosen by the plaintiff, is already being selected and vetted by the “church” (through it’s representative, the International Justice Chief, a Sea Org member) then there is no possibility of the plaintiff choosing an arbiter that is not “mutually agreed upon”.

    The Garcias cannot possibly select an arbiter that is also not “agreeable to the church”, so the terms of the “arbitration procedure” are invalid, since they are impossible to meet.

    The “in good standing” clause automatically makes it so that the church is in total control of the “arbitration.”
    That effectively turns what is being called “arbitration” by the church, into a “sentencing court”. (a kangaroo court)

    It amazes me that that alone is not enough to have the whole “church arbitration procedure” thrown out by the court.

    • flyonthewall

      Judge said 1st Amendment prohibited him from evaluating their arbitration process, after he basically agreed that it was non-existent

      • EricS

        Right, it is being recognized as a sham, but the judge is treading so softly around the “1st Amendment” issue as to be totally ineffective. I can sympathize with his problem here, but I just hope he has a plan to bypass the “arbitration” once he has sufficiently allowed the church to hang itself.

      • Jgg2012

        Remember, he had a one day mini-trial on the arbitration process, where Scientology admitted that it has never held an arbitration.

    • Frodis73

      I know, but I think the sticking point is that the Garcia’s signed dox saying they agreed to all of this when they first got involved, so it really doesn’t matter what it says, they agreed and signed it.
      It is so frustrating. I don’t know how they get so many people to sign those contracts as they are so unfair a middle school age kid would see it.

      • EricS

        Yes, the old..”but they signed the agreement…” ploy, cloaked behind the 1st Amendment Rights misdirect and the church can have a real belly laugh at people trying to get any kind of fairness here.

        About people signing such nonsensical “agreements”, I am one of those dupes myself. When you believe in something you forgive a whole boatload of nonsense it seems. I never thought that I would be so thoroughly betrayed by the “sanest group on the planet.”

        • Frodis73

          I know and that is why most probably do not read what they sign. I am a dork and pretty much read everything I am signing. Plus, most don’t think their church is going to screw them. The only thing I probably flat out ignore are TOS agreements for software.

          • Observer

            I do too. It’s surprising how annoyed people get when I do it. “It’s just a standard contract!”

            I’ll decide that for myself, thank you,

            • EricS

              Yes, I do too.

              But damn.. that sure looks like my signature at the bottom there..

            • Frodis73

              I bet you have caught some questionable things too. I had a girlfriend that would ask me to read stuff like that for her just to double check.

            • kemist

              In the only law class I ever took* (business law), we got to study Canadian and Quebec contract law. One particularly interesting part of it was Contracts of Adhesion (the “standard” contract written unilaterally by companies for their customers), the jurisprudence that exists about abusive / confusing clauses, and how easily they could be voided in court here, even when someone decided to represent themselves.

              That’s why I’m very curious about what would happen if someone filed a similar lawsuit in Canada. I have a feeling there would be lulz galore.

              * It’s much more fun than I ever expected law to be.

        • Techie

          The government of the lawyers, by and for the lawyers, with lawyers over all. All the agreements and the fake corporate structure were not actually created by Hubbard or Dave Miscavige. They are a smoke screen intended to create the situation that is playing out now. Denise Brennan (RIP) lays it all out here: https://scientologymoneyproject.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/lies-of-david-miscavige.pdf It sounded good to the lawyers to put in an arbitration clause, and lots of similar agreements that you sign to get cable TV or rent an apartment and so on have the same exact language. Proven in court to provide the maximum pain to consumers and the minimum loss to the corporation. But Scientology puts an extra special twist on it. Where a big corporation might have some kind of actual arbitration system actually in place, with Scientology it is a complete figment of the imagination. They literally cannot actually set up an arbitration procedure because the infallible L Ron Hubbard never did and his every word is infallible scripture now and forever ramen. So they have to somehow repurpose the justice procedures like the Committee of Evidence. But there was never a kangaroo court as marsupial as the typical Committee of Evidence. In a committee of evidence (comm-ev) the Convening Party has to approve every part of it. They get to choose the members. They approve or reject the findings. They often let the findings they want become known to the members. The Convening Party in this case is probably some Sea Org executive. The members will be brainwashed toadies. So the whole procedure is a joke. The chance that they will find for the plaintiffs is zero. http://anonhq.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/kangaroo-court-1.jpg

          • EricS

            I am actually proud to say I was on some Committees of Evidence in my day.
            In one of them I was the chairman. Fool that I was, I thought that my purpose, and the purpose of the committee, was to find out why a particular situation was occurring, and to recommend an effective handling. (The stated purpose, of these committees) I ran afoul of the “convening authority” because I dared question her husband and his activities in the matter. Instantly the committee was dissolved, all of the testimony of the committee was seized, (all recorded on tape) and all the members were assigned a condition of enemy.
            As far as I know, a new committee of evidence was never convened. None of the documents were sent to the IJC.

            Not long after that I routed off staff. For that reason and others, my position was no longer tenable.

            Fool that I was, I actually thought that “justice” meant JUSTICE. But not within the church.

          • Harpoona Frittata

            “But there was never a kangaroo court as marsupial as the typical Committee of Evidence.”

            Killin’ me here and with that Roo court shoop!

            The cult, under Moonchild Miscavige’s absolute control, has paid millions upon millions to employ packs of very high-dollar legal weasels to ensure that all monies flowing into the cult from parishioners never ever (EVER) find its way back into their pockets without an epic struggle.

            Although Elron’s Wall o’ Fire is a completely confabulated piece of space opera nonsense, $cn’s Wall o’ Litigation is a very real gauntlet that any brave ex-$cilon seeking repayment of funds left on the account must run. Just one precedent-setting ruling in a plaintiff’s favor would cause lil davey to lose his shit completely because it would open the door to many more similar suits. So, you can bet your BTs that he’ll fight tooth and nail to prevail. And further along, if it begins to look like they won’t be able to, then the fall back strategy is always to settle and insist upon very strict gag restrictions as part of the settlement agreement.

            Xenu only knows how many millions that the cult is holding in monies on account, and the very last thing that it wants to do is to be forced to give it all back…lil davey goes Type 3 just contemplating that scenario coming to pass, then someone gets beat (or RPF’ed, or made to salute his parakeet, or all of the above).

            • EricS

              Ever since forever, whenever a refund check was issued, there was a stamp that was imprinted onto the back. It went something to the effect of.. ” by signing this cheque you agree that you will no longer be elegible for any services within the Church of Scientology.”

              If you would not sign that then you supposedly could not cash the cheque. (because it is on the back is where banks require you to sign.) (it seems possible that you could just deposit the cheque, which requires no signature on the cheque) Also since the Church requires the return of all cashed cheques from the bank, any identifying data (drivers, licence #, etc.), that the bank teller writes on the cheque, will be available to Scientology to use in further harassment.

              I am guessing that one could overwrite that with a nonacceptance of that caveat, in a different color ink, and then, in yet a different color ink over-sign your own statement.

              But it wouldn’t surprise me that you are right about required NDAs in order to get the cheque. I would also guess that some iteration of an NDA is printed on the back of the check stating that “your signature is acceptance of those terms.”

              Somehow Scientology will do everything it can to deny you your rights.

      • Harpoona Frittata

        I suspect that it has a lot to do with the fact that very few people actually read and fully understand the terms and conditions of the contracts and binding agreements that they sign.

        I guess that the ultimate take-home here is that the cherch has thus far been very successful in being able to legally defraud, scam and con its members, so that it is nearly impossible to get any money back from the cult at any time and for any reason. As a result, if you’re foolish enough to give the cult money for whatever reasons, and under any conditions, then you can just kiss it goodbye as soon as it changes hands.

        • EricS

          I briefly thought to myself that ” if a lawyer had read over that agreement, he would definitely have advised against signing it, and then you wouldn’t…” Catch is that When I thought about my own situation,I am pretty sure that I would likely have signed it anyway. Such is the depth of the indoctrination.

          The one agreement document that stopped me cold is the one where you are required to sign away your rights of control over to scientology. You sign that you agree that should Scientology deem that you are “type three”, (having a nervous breakdown, or out of touch with reality) then you agree that the church can apply whatever Scientology procedures it feels necessary, to return you to sanity. You sign away your right to sue them for ANYTHING that happens as a result of those procedures.
          That particular scenario is one of the things of which nightmares are born.

          Luckily I backed away on that one.

          • Frodis73

            That contract should make the blood run cold.

          • Harpoona Frittata

            Yes, that mental advance directive is particularly chilling to me as well!

            I can’t imagine anyone in their right mind who knows the history of how ineffective and potentially harmful that the cult’s dark age “treatment” of acute psychosis truly is signing that one.

            I can’t remember the exact words contained in that clause, but it’s something to the effect that scientologists believe that all acute mental illness are solely a manifestation of spiritual distress. This benighted view is about as anti-science as a belief in demonic possession and the need for exorcism….oh wait, the cult believes in that one too 😉

    • Ben Franklin

      Yes, the terms of the arbitration procedures are impossible to meet but don’t forget that that this is not a normal contract situation. Due to the church’s First Amendment Rights, the judge in this case has no legal authority to decide on the “fairness” of the terms of the arbitration procedure put in place by the Church.

      • EricS

        That seems to be true, but the judge basically ordered the arbitration. If it is demonstrated with enough evidence, that the arbitration is impossibly stalled, perhaps he will be able to bring the issue back under the control of the court.

        • Ben Franklin

          The judge ordered arbitration because the two parties had agreed to solve the matter through arbitration. If the judge did not order arbitration, his decision could have been overturned on appeal because the church would argue that it was unfair for the judge not to allow the parties to go through arbitration as was stipulated in the contract. In other words, ruling against arbitration would have ended the contract prematurely. The terms of the contract will not be fully satisfied until the arbitration process is carried. No one knows what the outcome of the arbitration process will be. The Judge cannot just presume that it will be unfair and rule against it. That would have been the argument by church lawyers.

          Even if the case was stalled in arbitration, I don’t see the judge ruling against Scientology because for the Judge to do so, he would have to consider why the case stalled. Once he starts considering the reason why the case stalled, then he is the process of trying to decide whether it was a good reason or a bad reason or whether it was fair or not fair. Judges in the united states do not get into discussing whether a religious tribunal is fair, or whether it is being run properly, how it should be run, or how they should decide things.

          To be honest, I think Judge Whittemore is just providing a lifeline to Garcia to hang on to for the time being. I believe the Judge would rather end this case as soon as he can because it is turning into a quagmire that is going to end up in a legal stalemate. I don’t think that at the beginning the Judge had contemplated some of the major legal issues that have come up in this case, especially, those to do with the First Amendment. If the judge contemplated the complications the First Amendment would bring to this case he would have probably turned down hearing the case in the first place. The church can literally kill this case in arbitration if they choose to and Judge Whittemore might not be able to do anything about it because of currently established law.

          • EricS

            Yes… All that… but hopefully there is a crack somewhere that will let the light get in…

            • Ben Franklin

              For this case to go forward in favor of Garcia, the judge would have to decide that either the rules, procedures, or the outcome of the arbitration system was unfair. Discussion of fairness of a religious tribunal is something that Judges in the United States stay away from like a plague.

              I don’t see this case ever being ruled in favor of Garcia by a Court of law other than the Supreme Court of the United States. The case can only be ruled in favor of Garcia if the Supreme Court choose to reverse course on giving deference to religious organizations on how they set up and run their religious tribunals. There is no way one can rule in favor of Garcia without being able to consider whether the rules of the arbitration process were fair, unfortunately, that is the situation we have here. The judge cannot make his decision based on the fairness of the Church’s arbitration system.

      • The first amendment says:

        Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

        So… the judge has no right to rule on ecclesiastical matters because no law can be made applying to that domain.

        The Garcia’s complaint seems to me to be a secular matter – an arbitration of a dispute over money. I can’t understand how this can be protected by the 1st amendment because there is no issue of religious freedom – it’s like ruling that the pastor doesn’t have to pay his rent because… religion.

        This case seems to be complicated by a failure to distinguish between the two – or deliberate obsufaction.

        • EricS

          Exactly, and the malicious juggernaut that is Scientology rumbles blithely through the loophole.

        • Ben Franklin

          It is not a secular matter because the case is against a “religious” organization, which makes the arbitration process not a normal arbitration, but, a “religious tribunal” if you want to use a more technical term.

          I know they use the word arbitration but, legally speaking it is a religious tribunal, or a religious arbitration process which brings the First amendment rights into play big time, not just for the church but for Garcia too. If the case was against a regular organization with no First Amendment protection, the judge would have probably ruled in favor of Garcia by now.

          • What perplexes me it how it can be considered to be a ‘religious tribunal’ when it is not being asked to judge a religious matter. This is not a question of doctrine or orthodox behaviour.

            When you are operating a religious organisation in the secular world you can’t claim that everything you do is an ecclesiastical matter, protected by the first – and a dispute over money surely belongs to Mammon.

            Again – religious people are not allowed to leave their cars anywhere they like because laws about parking do not apply to them. There has to some kind of line of demarcation between the sacred and the secular.

            • Ben Franklin

              For Scientology this is nothing but a “religious matter” even though they know it is BS because that is how they protect themselves from the law. It is the same thing they do by referring to payment made for Church services as “donations”, it is all BS, but, since they have been essentially recognized as a religion they get away with it because an ordinary Judge in an ordinary court can not do anything about it. Scientology has been very adept playing the legal system and I wish the Supreme Court will wake up one day and start reining in this beast that is the Church of Scientology

            • Ben Franklin

              “Again – religious people are not allowed to leave their cars anywhere they like because laws about parking do not apply to them.”

              True, because there are certain things that Society has deemed not to be protected under religious rights. For example, criminal activities. One can use religious right for defense but it cannot save them from everything.

            • And that’s my point. Nobody in power has the balls to draw a reasonable line between sacred and secular matters.

        • Ben Franklin

          Not paying rent is not a religious right, but, solving a dispute through a religious tribunal is a religious right. I think that is the big difference in the scenario you provided.

    • Yes – an arbitration procedure should be an administrative matter which is entirely separate from religious considerations.

      A conventional Church is immune from government interference in matters of faith, but paying the rent on the Pastor’s house regularly is not a matter of faith. It is a matter of administration. They are two separate domains.

      It seems to me that the CofS deliberately conflates the two, and everyone is afraid to call them on it for fear of offending the wider religious lobby.

      Constitutional provisions designed to insure freedom of belief (however poorly drafted) were not designed to protect secular activities, but that’s what the CofS manage to make them do regardless..

      • Harpoona Frittata

        It also conflates the meaning of the word “donation” with fee-for-service business pricing. If there’s a set schedule of required fees that must be paid in order to receive auditing, and no one receives that religious service without ponying up the set price, then that’s not a donation in the sense that its meaning is understood in any other mainstream religion that I’m aware of.

        A donation is something that’s freely given, in the amount of one’s own choice and never in some sort of quid pro quo arrangement. By sanctioning the cult’s misuse of the term, the IRS’s ruling has made it possible for a venal and money-grubbing cult of greed to operate under the cloak of religion and to defraud us all as taxpayers, while enabling a dangerous criminal organization to continue to operate long after it should have been forced into bankruptcy.

        • EricS

          I was never comfortable with the designation of fees paid in advance, as “donations”, because that would suggest that they were not going to be refundable, but when I challenged it the response was something like, “oh, don’t worry about that. It is just to make certain that the government won’t be able to tax us on it”.

          It was also beneficial for the donator, because, in the United States, you could claim these “donations” on your income tax.

          What I find curious is that the church never separated the “donation” from the service it was for. When you gave the church money you had to specify what good or service it was for. That was partly due to the fact of the constantly rising prices on services. By stating what service the money was for, you fixed the price at that rate. Otherwise they could not have milked the “buy now” promotions for all they were worth.

          • Harpoona Frittata

            Exactly! It wasn’t just money placed on account for whatever, it was advanced payment for specifically designated services.

            The cherch provides no free or even reduced price services to less well off parishioners either, so it doesn’t even provide any charitable benefit to its own members, let alone to the wider society.

    • Chee Chalker

      What I found most upsetting is that the he judge did not seem to be swayed by testimony (from Mike and even Marty IIRC) that these contracts were drafted to intentionally deprive any ‘plaintiff’ from achieving any kind of justice
      The judge states that he needs other evidence, but for whatever reason, he’s unwilling to hang his hat on the statements of two individuals who were involved with these shenanigans for years.
      I don’t know what the judge expects of the Garcias…..he has set a very high burden on them.

      I believe people should be careful with what they sign, but when the document is drafted in such a way as to ensure that there is no recourse for one side….it’s just disgusting

      But that’s what happens when you are dealing with the ‘most ethical people in the planet’

      • Frodis73

        Yes, this! That is they thing that I thought might change it all. Esp when sci couldn’t disprove those statements or show that they had successful arbitration in the past.

        • Chee Chalker

          Yeah….I am scratching my head on this one….
          I wonder if the Garcias submitted a video with David Miscavige evilly clapping his hands saying ‘this contracts are a fraud! No one will ever be able to ask for a refund! Mwah hahah (evil laugh)’ if the
          Judge would say ‘gee….sorry….need a little something more….’

      • EricS

        The cleverness (or pure evil) of Ron cloaking Scientology behind the guise of religion sure has proved beneficial to the “church” and a detriment to pretty much anyone else.

        I am thinking that, from the comments that he has made, that he just hopes that the Garcia’s hang in there until he has enough to bring the case back into his courtroom.

        Problem is, he has to be soooooooo carefuuuulll to not step across the “1st Amendment Rights” line.

        Or maybe he hopes they give up so that he does not have to put his career on the line by somehow making some error.

  • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

    Be truthful, Tony. You’re actually cross that Wikipedia have banned your favourite broadsheet, The Daily Mail, as a source 😛

  • Kim O’Brien

    Heads up …between all this ” paid protester ” and ” big pharma money ” i have been making …..i am now officially super rich $$$$

    HowdyCon is in Fiji

    • flyonthewall

      website still says Denver

      • Kim O’Brien

        typo. but you can still use my house 😉

        • flyonthewall

          you got any good stuff to steal?

          • Kim O’Brien

            no . which is why it is very safe and you can sleep with the doors unlocked .

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      When you say “super rich” are we talking: plane tickets and hotel accommodation (plus sundry expenses) for all Bunkeroos are on Kim? Oh Kim, you really shouldn’t. I really couldn’t. No, no, really. What’s that you say? Oh, go on then, but only because you insist so sweetly.

      • Kim O’Brien

        yup . And Richard Branson will be giving everyone water-ski lessons . If the boys want a a naked super model strapped to their back …they have to pay for that themselves. In regards to Branson ….when my daughter was like 8 or 9 …she asked my ex what a virgin was . He freaked out and told her it was an airline .

        • Frodis73

          Lol about the airline answer. If that answer seemed okay to her, I bet it wasn’t for very long!

          • Kim O’Brien

            she rolled her eyes and i took her into the other room to tell her the truth LOL

            • I was driving at the time, and after hemming and hawing, she said, “Oh, you mean butt sex.”

            • Kim O’Brien

              i am DYING right now LOL

            • Sherbet

              Oh, the things they learn on Sesame Street!

            • Today, Sesame Street is brought to you by the number 69

            • Sherbet

              Oh, God, I’m dying laughing, O_B!!!

            • Kim O’Brien

              my birthday is 6/9/69

              no joke

            • Kestrel

              I knew you were a youngster.

            • Frodis73

              I bet the young boys loved when you told them that.

            • daisy

              lol

        • Good recovery.
          Mine asked me what sodomy was.
          I said it was the theft of lawn.

          • Kim O’Brien

            i just fell off my chair

          • My friend was innocently asked by his 10-year-old son, “Dad – what’s a blow job“. I’ve never seen him speechless until that day.

            • More points if it was in public.
              A friend was in an crowded elevator, and his little boy said, “Daddy, this makes my penis tingle.”

            • beauty for ashes

              HAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!

            • Kim O’Brien

              my daughter asked me that question when she was around 10 or 11 . I excused myself …went into the garage , and cried . THEN …i sat down and told her what it was . She was horrified . ” OMG …MOM !!! THAT IS SO GROSS !!! I AM NEVER GOING TO DO THAT ”

              i said that was good …cuz every time a person does , a kittens head explodes.

              My guess is …she will be able to suck the chrome off a bumper and I will get a guest house

            • Sherbet

              Laughing…but good for you for telling the truth (except about the kitten’s head. That isn’t true, is it?). I was that kind of mom, too. No cutesy fables. The kid asks; you give ’em a straight answer that doesn’t involve the word “wee-wee.”

            • Frodis73

              That is how I was raised. I just cannot imagine going to the dr and saying something like, well I am having an issue/pain “down there/my special place/wee-wee”. I do love va jay jay as a nickname though.

              A good friend of mine was in 4th grade or so and was in Catholic school. Well, the nun one day started giving them the lecture about not touching themselves. My friend went home all confused asking her mom wtf the nun was talking about. She was like why am I not allowed to touch my arm or leg? I wish you all could hear her tell the story because it is a lot funnier than it sounds.

            • Sherbet

              Ah, yes, the (un)enlightened nuns…if the kid wasn’t curious about touching herself to begin with, the nuns made it seem, oh, much more interesting and seductive. Forbidden fruit. I didn’t have nuns until I was in jr. college, so I missed out on their skewed lessons for life.

              I hope your friend figured out touching vs. touching eventually.

            • Frodis73

              Oh yeah, she had NO clue what they were talking about and her mom had to explain. Her mom was pissed about the whole thing and went to the school and complained. She was offended they didn’t use proper words for one thing. Pretty cool actually.
              I am glad I was never exposed to the whole Catholic guilt about sex and body hangups either…there is enough of that out there w/out them compounding the issue!

            • Sherbet

              Right. There are only so many things one can talk about during therapy with the hour ticking away.

            • Frodis73

              I think I just peed a little!!

            • Heck, when I was like 7, my older (I think he was 14) smartass neighbor told me to ask my parents if they fuck each other. So I did ask my Mom (Dad was at work). She was not very happy at all. Pretty sure smartass got his ass spanked that day. Good memories.

            • Kim O’Brien

              i walked in on my parents once .As a result , I was a virgin until i was old enough to vote

            • Lol!

        • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

          Amazing, on all counts! You have a brain I wouldn’t mind taking holidays in 😀

  • Jimmy3

    Does anyone know where the love of Ron goes
    When the regges turn the minutes to hours?
    They barred up the doors, people crying on floors
    Til the wallets and purses open like flowers

    • Paul V. Tupointeau

      Upvote for Gordon Lightfoot reference :-)))

      • Jimmy3

        I knew someone would get it 🙂

        • flyonthewall

          did Gordon Lightfoot ever OD on heroin or smash up a hotel room? Beat up a hooker at least? Doubt it. *thumbs down*

          • Jimmy3

            Your Canadian race war will never work! Give it up!

            • Sherbet

              Helter Skelter, eh?

      • beauty for ashes

        Just curious, is that your real last name? Does anyone ever pronounce it right? It’s a beautiful name if you get if right btw. 🙂

  • nottrue

    A&E new small clip… https://youtu.be/XIliJrm6pf4

    • beauty for ashes

      Leah, when you are done with that jumpsuit, I am dying of love for it. <3 <3 <3 Beauty

  • flyonthewall
    • Kim O’Brien

      oh snap

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      The NME Awards are live from London tonight. They’re a pretty big deal so this is fantastic news.

      • flyonthewall

        you’re a pretty big deal

        • daisy

          .. and she is just pretty

      • daisy

        Oh Happy Birthday , darling . You look wonderful for any age . I will have a little toast and big gulp for you.

        • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

          Thank you, Daisy! How did you know it was my birthday? I have had such a great day at work. They made me a cake and decorated the office, and sang Happy Birthday at me gratuitously until I put my head in my purse with embarrassment 😀

          • Jimmy3

            Kim ratted you out! Now I’m ratting her out! Happy Birthday!

          • Sherbet

            Happy Birthday from the green alien, too!

            • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

              Thank you, Sherbalicious Lady!

          • daisy

            Kim up thread told us. I am so glad you were treated special .

            • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

              Bless her 🙂

              And thanks, again!

      • The VO5 NME Awards 2017 prize for Best Film has gone to Louis Theroux’s ‘My Scientology Movie’.

  • Dave Reams

    I’ll say it again – the Garcias might want to consider nominating Scientology celebrities – unassailable members in good standing

  • Kim O’Brien

    Everyone knows that it is Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner”s birthday today, right ?? 🙂

    Happy birthday you foxy lady …you are wonderful

    • Jimmy3

      So is this a good time or a bad time to hit on her? Birthdays are confusing.

      • Kim O’Brien

        i’m thinking …good time .

      • Sherbet

        It depends on what she wished for when she blew out the candles. Jimmy…or celibacy…what to choose?

        • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

          Snort!

      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        In the UK we get a free bus pass at 65. Just think, in 18 years time you and I can travel on trains and buses absolutely gratis. See what a relationship with me brings to the table. Irresistible, I know.

        • Jimmy3

          I’ve waited longer than 18 years for a bus. I’m in.

          • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

            Fab! Now, if you could just oil the wheels on my granny stroller and ensure I packed some extra Depends, it’s you and I for the Scottish Border and Gretna Green! As it’s a Scottish wedding you may feel free to wear your kilt the traditional way: sans knickers. Wha Hae!

            • Q: Is anything worn under the Kilt?
              A: Nae lass – it’s all in perfect working order.

            • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

              Hahaha!

      • Birthdays are acceptable.
        Provided that they meet or exceed the legal requirements..

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      Aww, thank you ♡

      Caek for everybody!

      Not really, I ate it all. Nevertheless…caek for ALL!!

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a61c8c5699b266328c119a78832df1b530315bba71af4d65c7352dd27ebad0d0.jpg

      • Sherbet

        Four candles in Bunker years?

        • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

          I think they only had 4 😀

          • Sherbet

            Excellent reason.

          • Nar… fork handles – handles for forks

            (and have a good ‘un)

            • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

              I’ve not heard that for years! Thanks, O_B 🙂

      • Chee Chalker

        Happy Birthday 🎊🎈🎁 iBetty!

        Yay! Caek!!

        • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

          Thank you for my…bumblebee?, balloon and present. They are lovely 🙂

          • Sherbet

            I’m not sure what it is, either, but it looks festive.

      • Happy Birthday love! 🍒🍹🎉😊

        • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

          Thank you so much, handsome Dodo 🙂

      • Kestrel

        Happy Birthday, Andrea!

        • Sherbet

          You won’t like the cake. There are no voles in it.

          • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

            You’re on fire tonight, Sherb!

            • Sherbet

              That’s not necessarily a good thing! I’ll go sit with Mr. Sherbet and leave the Bunker to the young ‘uns for now.

            • Kestrel

              Sherbet just realized USA Network is running an NCIS marathon and she doesn’t want to miss a minute of the Silver Fox.

            • Sherbet

              Nope, that’s too funny for me to improve on. Your quip stands, as posted. Good job.

            • Kestrel

              My job here is done. (I still miss Kate.)

          • Kestrel

            Kestrels shall not live by voles alone.

        • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

          Thanks, my avian friend 🙂

      • Paul V. Tupointeau
        • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

          That’s pretty much what I looked like earlier today 😀

      • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

        Love you doll!! Happy Birthday. 😘😘😘

        • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

          I love you, too! Thanks so much, little Nolly <3

    • Chee Chalker

      Thank you for telling us! .Andrea thought she was going to sneak out of here without a birthday shout out…..

      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        Dib dib dob 🙂

        Do American girl scouts say that? Our girl guides do! I think. I have never known what it means.

        • Sherbet

          No no nope.

          “…puzzling camp-fire chant: ‘Dib dib dib, dob dob dob.’ Puzzling indeed. The correct version, as anyone from the 23rd S-E Leeds could tell them, is ‘Dyb dyb dyb’ – meaning ‘Do your best'”

          This was from a Daily Mail article.

          • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

            Well I never! I really never knew that. I was pretty sure we used to chant it, though. Thanks, Sherb!

            • Sherbet

              Presumably, DOB is Yes, we’ll Do Our Best.

            • Well, its purpose was totally lost. On you at least.
              Chanting things one doesn’t understand….were you ever a Hare Krishna, or into Transcendental Meditation by any chance?

            • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

              No, but mum and dad took my sister and I to a hippy fayre in Thetford Forest when I was around 12 or 13 years old. The Hare Krishnas made me eat lentils and bang a drum. I was secretly livid!

            • True story.
              They were chanting on a corner, and I stood in front of them and started singing doo-wop songs like they were my back-up group.

            • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

              Hur hur 😛

            • OOkpik

              Happy Birthday, SweetStuff,

              It was a Cub Scout thing. ” Akela! We’ll do our best. Dyb – dyb – dyb,- dyb. We’ll dob – dob – dob.” It’s from The Jungle Book and had a cheerleader-like routine that lead into the Cub Scout salute. I thought it pretty cool. My brothers brought it home. The Brownie and Girl Guide chants were not so memorable – something about toowit, toowoo.

              ETA: Akela is the Wolf Pack leader. Dyb is Do Your Best. The answer is We’ll dob – Do Our Best.

            • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

              So cool! What did we used to call the ring that held our neckties on? Was it a woggle? I’m pretty sure that’s what we called them. Amazing word. How can you call something a woggle and not expect a room full of 12 year old girls to dissolve with laughter every time it was mentioned? Thank you very much for the birthday wishes, Owl 🙂

            • OOkpik

              IIRC, we had to tie our neckerchiefs. Back in those days, young girls were expected to live a woggle-free existence. Kids these days! XD
              <3

            • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

              Pffft, they don’t know they’re born! *Tries to shake irate fist at the skies but elbow is too creaky to raise above waist-height. Makes do with a pointed haruuumph*

          • Jimmy3

            I think someone left a campfire unattended. You are the only one trained to help. Dyb dyb dyb.

            • Sherbet

              KSW ARC DYB

            • Jimmy3

              ML DYB DOB NAS CAR TTYS HNK

            • Sherbet

              Could you spell that for me?

            • Jimmy3

              My lady, drink your beer before the date of brew, nascar is on, talk to you soon, honk

            • Jimmy3

              How would you drink it before the…? I get distracted and confused when nascar is on. I have to go anyway. HONK

            • Observer

              YSCOHB! YSYSYSYSYSYSYS

              Wait, wrong context

          • I bet the “dob” is “do our best”.

            • Sherbet

              Yes.

        • You had that look of purpose and idealism even then.
          You haven’t lost it.

          (Edit to add: but your hair has more body now.)

          • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

            Heh, I like that. Determined idealism. Of course, it might just be constipation.

            • Frodis73

              You are killing me! Happy birthday beautiful English rose!

            • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

              Thank you, Fro! 😀

            • Have been?
              I’m not sure I want you to confirm or deny that, but thanks for over-sharing.

        • Scientology scouts have a merit badge in crush-regging old ladies.

        • beauty for ashes

          Happy birthday to the nicest protester, the sweetest skeptic, and one of the funniest women ever to give an offer of a spanking.
          Oh and just a general JOY to be around <3 <3 <3
          HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! **traditionial family screaming off key**

          • OOkpik

            Perfect!

          • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

            Wow, thank you, Beauty! How sweet you are. This place does such a great job of boosting everyone. Lots of love to you 🙂

        • gtsix

          Not that I recall. We just sold cookies.

        • Free Minds, Free Hearts

          Happy birthday!!!

          • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

            Thank you for the most cheerful happy birthday I’ve received all day!

      • Sherbet

        This is what we need: A troop of Bunker Scouts. We’ll have a pledge, badges, silly hats, everything.

        • I’ve always harbored a secret desire to wear a sash.
          There. I said it. I feel better now.

          • Sherbet

            Admitting it is the first step. To what, I don’t know.

            • Coming out of the sash closet.

            • chukicita

              Doooooeeeet.

      • Needs more upvotes or I will spam this site with it.
        How precious a picture is that?
        We’ve got one idealist, one enthusiast, and one don’t really care I’ve got better things to do my mum made me.

      • beauty for ashes

        this is adorable 🙂

        • It truly is.
          I’m sure she may regret her tendency to over-share.

          • daisy

            That is so sweeet. How or why do you have it ? I am so confused ,

            • She over-shared it here.
              And I’m cyber-stalking her so I saved it.
              Oooops, did I say that out loud?

            • It is incredibly sweet though.
              She seems to be that same person today.
              She seemed to be “all growed up” even then.
              Or child-like now.
              Could be both.

            • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

              Heehee, I think our Shorp has been getting creative with Photoshop!

      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        Oh, for goodness sake. I have only just realised that you put my face on the middle girl and I’m not even drunk. Hilarious!

    • Free Minds, Free Hearts

      Happy Birthday to i-Betty Andrea!!!!!

      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        Thank you so much, Hearts! 🙂

  • nottrue
    • beauty for ashes

      this Arthur Dailey needs to word clear PhD.

      • chukicita

        And dissertation.

  • Hey what kind of a film critic would you be if you liked everything you saw?

    “Louis Theroux’s My Scientology Movie is nothing more than a desperate bid to get in on the hype”
    http://www.montrealgazette.com/entertainment/movies/louis+theroux+scientology+movie+nothing+more/12922935/story.html

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      Boo, hiss! That’s me shouting abuse at the critic from the back row of the theatre. Who do you fink you are? You don’t know nuffin! *lobs un-popped pocorn*

      PS. Ooh, Tony, you’re en vogue, apparently. We could have told him that!

      • chukicita

        Congratulations on another lap around the sun!
        Cause Resurgence Birthday! Shoes extra!

        • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

          Thanks, Chuki! It has been the most incredible day, topped off by many wonderful greetings from my Bunker friends.

          • stanrogers

            Sorry I missed the fun. It was my birthday, you see. (Great minds think alike, even when planning their emergence into the world.)

            • daisy

              Oh Happy Birthday Stan. Another toast, another gulp. I hope you had a nice day.

            • Kestrel

              Happy Birthday, stanrogers!

            • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

              It really is your birthday, Stan? Many happy returns! I really can’t think of a nicer person to share the day with 🙂

              https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/84d4bc3daf265384d7e2603f1f97d9ab6df479dbe8c88626092ea95c66df8cfb.jpg

            • stanrogers

              Thank you, and I feel quite the same way. Yes, really. Although I have reached the point where a birthday serves mostly as a reminder that now would be a good time to enjoy the use of [insert functional body part] before it either stops working or starts hurting. And cake.

            • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

              I know exactly what you m—

              Sorry, index finger fell off, am now typing with nose 😀

    • Observer

      Cynical hipster contrarians are so passé

      • Eh, I’m giving the critic a pass.
        He has some points.

        But yeah, skepticism good.
        Cynicism bad.

      • beauty for ashes

        Hmm.. what’s next then?

        • Observer

          Fascist racist billionaires, apparently.

    • April

      Wasn’t Louis Theroux’s My Scientology Movie filmed *before* Leah’s series came out?? It may have even been filmed before the Going Clear movie was released. smdh

      • Yeah, I don’t think he’s saying it was created after Leah, etc., but implying it lacks impact because of them. But it is a bit muddled.

        • April

          Well that makes sense, but it’s not the way I interpret “…a desperate bid to get in on the hype.” It’s like he’s saying Louis Theroux’s My Scientology Movie is a “me too” project conceived and filmed *after* all the hype surrounding Going Clear and Leah’s series in order to garner recognition for himself.

          I very well could be wrong. I feel like crap today. I want to know which of you peeps is my PTS.

          • Observer

            It’s probably me.

            • April

              I *knew* it was you! Just a heads up, if I make it through the next couple hours of work without passing out, I’m going to disconnect from you for about 12 hours while I get some much needed rest.

            • daisy

              aww

            • Observer

              Fair enough. I deserve it.

          • beauty for ashes

            Maybe its PMS?

            • April

              No I’m too old for that. I think it might be the flu coming on; I’m not sure because I rarely get sick.

            • beauty for ashes

              🙁 I’ll say a prayer to saint nasus the patron saint of the sinuses for you 😉

      • chukicita

        But Americans didn’t get to see it until after they knew about Leah’s show. And nothing exists until Americans get to see it.

  • nottrue
    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      Great pic. Shared 🙂

  • Jimmy3

    Yes, yes, we all know Louis Theroux will win Best Use of Conditioner. I’m much more excited to see who wins the Vidal Sassoon Lifetime Achievement Award.

    • Observer

      It won’t be COB. Too much Aqua Net.

      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        And camouflaged Bumpits.

    • flyonthewall

      i just use regular soap in my hair, it’s all the same thing

      • Jimmy3

        Me too, but I’m bald.

        • flyonthewall

          you’re still cute though, I’d do you

          • Jimmy3

            Thank you, buddy. That really does mean a lot coming from you.

      • beauty for ashes

        I’ve seen pictures of your hair, it’s like copper wire strong.

        • flyonthewall

          yeah, it works out

          • beauty for ashes

            It’s a Croatian thing. Do you have the ability to eat an endless amount of bread with every meal too and not gain weight?

            • flyonthewall

              *nods* sshh!

            • beauty for ashes

              so jealous. its a sooper power I tell ya!

  • This appears to have become an “i-Betty” Birthday Love Fest.
    Let’s not fight it, she has an endless need for approval.
    And will do anything to get it. Even if it means furthering a cause for great justice.
    Once again, in case you missed it, or have a Trumpian attention span…
    Ooops, the cable guy is here, gotta go…..
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/83d1357fefd52f3c90d1f6b8d3b79425339c400f33525eebf3d6faa99bc1ff20.jpg

    • beauty for ashes

      Don’t let him install whole home dvr its a HUGE pain in the ASS!!!!

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      That can’t possibly be me. I was never standing to attention at the front, looking all shiny and enthused. I was in the loos smoking a cigarette out of the window and squirting hairspray in the air to cover my tracks 😀

      • gtsix

        Trying to claim street cred. As baby would say:

        pffllllbbtt

        • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

          Oh, I was a terrible teenager. My poor mum ran the local Guides which made it a bit uncomfortable when the parents complained that her daughter was teaching their girls to smoke at 13! As a parent myself – and with my rebellious years far behind me – I cringe for mum now! Thankfully my sister became even more rebellious so she took the spotlight of shame off me, but I was pretty much in disgrace for 5 solid years for one reason or another.

          Oh God, I’ve just remembered my poor dad receiving a phone call at the school where he taught from the head of year at my school asking why I hadn’t turned up for my English Language O-Level (very important exam at age 15/16). He had to get on his motorbike and shoot home only to find me passed out in bed with a crashing hangover. He didn’t even let me brush my teeth before frogmarching me round to the school, incandescent with fury. I typed a lot more than I meant to, sorry!

          • gtsix

            Ahhh haaa. No sorries. I’ve now read a bit about your dad and stairs marching! 🙂

            I got kicked out of the girl scouts. Some silly rule about not making screwdrivers for 13 year olds whilst on a sleep away weekend. Pfft, who doesn’t like screwdrivers?

            • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

              Poor Glenn! All my friends went to dad’s school – he was the deputy head at the time – and he was renowned as the really strict teacher you did not want to cross. Those were the days when it was perfectly acceptable to give naughty kids a short, sharp shock and his aim with a piece of blackboard chalk was deadly. Imagine how horrifying it was when we all left school and became friends and they had to knock at my door knowing they ran the risk of it being opened by my dad. And they still all call him Mr Garner to this day whereas all the other dads get called by their first names.

              PS. My dad is absolutely lovely, btw!

            • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

              Also, you sounded like my kind of girl scout 😀

          • JaxNGold

            LOL at “frogmarching”!

      • You know, I looked at the picture more closely.
        Its a shoop isn’t it?

        • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

          You reckon? 😛

          • Now I feel like such an ass.

  • TonyOrtega

    Best wishes to i-Betty from the Underground Bunker!

    Hey, night crew. In the morning, at 9 am, I’ll be in studio for a big national radio show. (Not naming it yet because I think you know who will freak out a little and try to quash it.)

    This is going to be one of those times when the host will likely tell me they don’t understand why people are so critical of Scientology.

    I know how I’m going to approach it, but I was wondering what you would do to explain why shows like Leah’s and Going Clear were necessary.

    • Observer

      I’d go for the tax angle. They’re tax dodgers on a Trumpian scale. And human rights abuses.

    • These shows are necessary because they portray documented facts and first hand experiences.
      Versus “weird Xenu cult with some celebrities”.

    • Going Clear and Leah’s show are necessary first steps to get the general public to realize the secretive internal issues are happening, and affecting/manipulating/destroying real lives, on an emotional level that anyone with a family member can relate to.

    • flyonthewall

      because they are not forthright about their beliefs/practices and have an undue influence over their members’ lives. People have been harmed and intimidated/attacked for speaking out about said harm.

      • Kestrel

        In other words, they are bullies with billions of dollars at their disposal.

        • flyonthewall

          what K said

    • BlueHeronBay

      Because the conned and the manipulated and the abused need champions to make noise on their behalf, when they are unable to do so for themselves.

    • OOkpik

      Because recognizing a virulent disease is the first step towards curing it.

    • Tenacious Texan

      I would make a distinction in this Reality TV world that this really isn’t the same genre. These shows are not slightly/mightily scripted. These are real experiences spanning decades of abuse. All levels and types of good people thinking they were helping other people. These are Really Real Reality TV/documentaries. I’m sure you will do an awesome job, Tony. I have NO doubts, my friend.

    • chukicita

      I think shows like Leah’s and GC reach never-ins in a way that other programs haven’t because they put human faces of people in front of you to tell their stories. And you realize, there but for the grace of Xenu go I. And this organization is taking advantage of the good graces of people and communities to enrich itself at their expense and to their detriment.

    • OOkpik

      “This is going to be one of those times when the host will likely tell me
      they don’t understand why people are so critical of Scientology.”

      That would be proof that s/he could maybe get some reality on the subject by watching shows like Leah’s and Going Clear.

      Break a leg, Tony.

    • Kestrel

      “In the morning, at 9 am, I’ll be in studio for a big national radio show. (Not naming it yet because I think you know who will freak out a little and try to quash it.)”

      NOBODY expects the Mike & Mike Show!

    • flyonthewall

      if you could plug my scientology lego blog that I haven’t updated for a year or more that’d be great, thnx. thebrickcult.com

      • the brick cult says it all, no need for further exploration – 🙂 you really should do more on this Meme. I will promote it :-O

        • flyonthewall

          i should do no such thing!

          • if i could, i would…but i can’t

          • can i buy your domain?

            • flyonthewall

              neh I couldn’t do that. I want to get back to sci legos but I have a lot of equally plausible excuses for not doing so, better to just leave it at that.

              Maybe I’ll add the non-sci sets I been working on? The latest one is pretty cool, will post pix when done

      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        You and Jimmy are two of the lights of my life 🙂

        • flyonthewall

          awww

          but mainly me right?

          • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

            Oh man, it’s like I’m speaking to my kids.

      • daisy

        that is such a cool blog !!!

        • flyonthewall

          thank you Daisy. Sorry for never adding anything

    • Big national radio show on Thursday before 2pm? How rude.

    • To make a safe path for people to come forward and not fear the subjective consequences.

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      Thank you, Tony. I feel all warm and squishy now 🙂

      I think documentaries and shows like Leah’s are important because religion itself is important*. The very premise that an American citizen can believe freely in whatever or whoever they wish without fear or favour is very special, but when a religion turns to the dark side, who speaks for the victims when the religion that is harming them is protected by those same safeguards? The law isn’t set up to protect them so often their only recourse is the media.

      You will be wonderful as always. Good luck!

      *I am an atheist but I’m trying to put myself in the mindset.

    • Missionary Kid

      Shows like Leah’s and Going Clear are necessary because Scientology does all it can to first, hide its misdeeds, both immoral and illegal, and second, because it attacks anyone who even talks about or exposes the cruelty that it visits on, not only anyone outside of Scientology, but also its own members.

    • EricS

      “…why shows like Leah’s and Going Clear were necessary.”

      These shows, and those like them are one of the few that have been able, or willing, to break through the massive bullying by the church that had heretofore fairly effectively squashed broad public knowledge of some of Scientology’s more heinous crimes and practices.

    • HillieOnTheBeach

      “but I was wondering what you would do to explain why shows like Leah’s and Going Clear were necessary.”

      Why have the onus to explain the necessity of people sharing amongst themselves and with others their common-denominator experience and pain?

      Or… you could pull a Kellyanne and say the opposite of everything sensible, factual thing that comes through your mind.

    • Harpoona Frittata

      Fewer and fewer people read much of anything anymore, so exposing the ongoing crimes and abuses being perpetrated by the cherch requires that the content be put into an audio/visual format in order to disseminate it most widely. Young folks are at highest risk of cult recruitment and they are even less likely to become informed through reading then the average.

    • dungeon master

      I would say people are so critical about Scientology because it has been run like a South American Dictatorship. People, who so desparatly look for hope, want to believe that they can learn a science of the mind that will make their lives better. When, in truth, it will suck the life blood out of them and discard them, like a psychic vampire. It’s important for people to hear, from the exes, what was their moment of truth and recognition, and how it has impacted their lives – for the better and the worst. Scientologist fear the wog world, when in fact the wog world is a cake walk compared to Scientology. And Scientology has lost the power to imtimidate it’s critics to the extent it used to. This is a huge step toward total freedom.

    • Michael Leonard Tilse

      Because of “pink legs.”

      I’m serious. Those two words contain a whole universe of associations, motives, drives, reasoning, and assumption of the correct response to threats. To a Scientologist. But to you (before you were educated) or 99.9999% of people it means nothing.

      Hubbard created not just a forest, but a Sargasso Sea algae mat of associations and interlinking thought processes. Being in Scientology, you learn how to parse it. To others it is nonsense. He loaded it with significant weighting that is non obvious. Because it is authoritarian and recursive actually using his concepts and rules result in behavior that is not predictable. For instance: Pink Legs. “The responsibility of leaders” is read as an allegory, to non scientologists. They think it’s management speak, human potential rah rah. They don’t really think that “pink legs” would ever actually be done to a detractor. But to a Scientologist, “pink legs” are operational instructions, explicitly detailed and expected to be followed. Creativity in following it is thought as a bonus.

      When people discover what “pink legs” looks like when really applied by Scientologists in real life, they are appalled.

      So “Going Clear” and Leah’s show zoom in on the human scale of how this nest of meaning and association plays out in real life. They bring into peoples homes examples of the destruction and horror that is applied Scientology. Pink Legs is just a single line in a single article. Multiply this kind of non-linear response by the millions of words in the hundreds of thousands of pages Hubbard wrote to guide his captive readers and the problem of Scientology takes on it’s real scope.

      • It all boils down to semantics and the meaning of words

    • gtsix

      Because factual information is needed in a just society.

      Because abuse cannot be hidden by any “religion”.

      Because 50 years is far too long for a con to go on.

      Because Captain David Miscavige COB RTC is going to have to buy 5 new livers to deal with the entheta.

      Because it might help people to blow.

      Because it might help people to not get pulled into a cult.

    • Scientology has TR-L. We know we won’t get the truth from them.

    • Bavarian Rage

      It’s the loudest, most effective form of activism against human rights abuses and injustice. (The repeated personal stories are too similar and vast to dismiss as disaffected apostates.) Media educates and shines a light on a large scale. It holds the greatest potential to effect change.

    • Free Minds, Free Hearts

      Because most people haven’t heard much and think it is just a harmless group that believes in alien beings and caters to celebrities, and thank of the silly example of Tom Cruise jumping on the couch.

      Leah and Going Clear and the Bunker go into depth about the abuses, which are much more serious but less amenable to sound bites and jokes.

    • PerpetualOutflow

      Because most people are tolerant, believe in the free exercise of religion, and find it incomprehensible to believe that a group calling itself a religion engages in the criminal, vengeful, creepy, coercive behavior that $cientology does and gets away with it. The story of $cientology is stranger than fiction, and shows like this are needed in order to show people that $cientologists really do these things routinely to their members, their ex-members, their critics, the media and the government. Only once this is widely known and believed will $cientology disconnection, fair gaming, black PR, physical violence, human trafficking, and financial abuses be stopped.

    • Happy Birthday, Andrea!

      Oh, and the mind-fuck goes so deep that the PTSD takes years to wear off (as found in the Laura D court case) and some ex-victims stay silent for ever rather than face the armies of PIs funded by the tax payer.

    • PeaceMaker

      This may be too late, but let me add two quick things that stand out most.
      First, because a number of the foremost experts (including, I think, Steve Hassan) has said that it is perhaps the most powerfully and insidiously damaging of all cults or high control groups, so it certain stands out.
      Second, because their highly refined methods for imposing as much totalitarian control as possible within a democracy and its legal system, demonstrate some of the dangers of groups operating under the color of “religion” that we will have to figure out how to face in the 21st century.

  • OTVIIIisGrrr8!

    Section 5.B.c Arbitration Once three “Scientologists in good standing” are found and approved, all parties must find their way, at their own expense, to the bottom of the Marianas Trench. There, the arbitration may only take place using WWII German Enigma code machines that transmit signal via RTC approved vacuum tube radio-telexes between the bathyscaphs of the parties. The Enigma codes must be changed every ten minutes to provide security. The new code packs must be capable of somehow being mechanically delievered to each of the bathyscaphs of the parties by a series of mechanical arms that can feed code packs into airlocks. The IJC will mediate the arbitration from a zeppelin aloft at 12,000 feet (4,000 meters). The IJC will transmit and receive signals from cables connected to the bathyscaphs of the parties. All parties are required to take turns providing coffee and donuts for all other parties on alternating days as agreed to before the beginning of the arbitration. The transport of coffee and donuts between the bathyscaphs of the parties and the IJC’s zeppelin must be worked out prior to the beginning of the arbitration.

    • OTVIIIisGrrr8!

      Judge Whittemore rules on Section 5.B.c Arbitration: This complicated set of arrangements, which seems to be nothing more than cynical machinations by the Church that are both technically impossible and even silly — for indeed how can Enigma code packs, donuts, and coffee be transported or shuffled between the bathyscaphs of the parties at the bottom of the Marianas Trench and the IJC’s zeppelin as described — is nevertheless the sole provenance of the IJC and so the court upholds Section 5.B.c and orders the parties to comply and report back on compliance efforts in 30 days.

      • flyonthewall

        you just want the arbitrating parties at the bottom of the Mariana trench so the water pressure crushes them like grapes!

        Well played sir

        • Michael Leonard Tilse

          He’s devious. Wait until Judge Whittemore rules that David Miscavige has to be the onsite transport of the physical messages between the bathyscaphs or the arbitration is invalid.

          David Miscavige can’t swim. Garcia’s win!

          • flyonthewall

            we all win!

  • Jo

    That makes no sense, Garcias, were conned.

    • So was the IRS.

      • gtsix

        Conned, cowed, caved. All of the above.

  • https://nowtoronto.com/movies/reviews/my-scientology-movie-is-yet-another-brilliant-expos%C3%A9/

    MY SCIENTOLOGY MOVIE (John Dower). 99 minutes. Opens Friday (February 17). See listing. Rating: NNNNN

  • Joe

    I’m just drunk, but honestly. You guys are my Cheers.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KtAgAMzaeg

  • Liberated

    Never before have I seen a Supreme Court justice nominee have an ad on tv telling everyone how great he is. Doesn’t seem right…but now days, not much does.

  • Liberated

    I’m watching the Late Late show and Zach Galifianakis just used the cult in a joke….”Oh, you mean Bill Nye the scientology guy”

    Ha…looks like the cult really has become the big joke everyone thinks it is!

  • OmegaPaladin

    Both you and Mike Rinder have been doing a fairly admirable job of avoiding crazy political stuff, which is probably due to the fact that you have experience with genuine totalitarian sociopaths devoted only to power. Trump is a jerk, but he’s no Deviant Miscarriage, not even an El Ron. Coming from the political right, I appreciate it. Scientology should be one of those things like Islamic Supremacists / ISIS wannabes, the KKK, or Westboro Baptists – we all can say they are evil rat bastards.

  • My god! That tweet i send to the FBI last month have so far 10K Views…ups!

  • Todd Tomorrow

    Just got home and this popped up as “New”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTtzc7sTZ-8

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      Not new but still very good 🙂

    • Yeah… it should be from 2014 according to Juicer… but still valid

  • Ella Raitch

    I went back pretty far and didn’t see this posted – Daily Beast are on to Joy Villa

    Joy Villa, Pro-Trump Grammys Troll, Is a Scientologist Who Backed Bernie
    The singer made waves when she posed on the Grammys red carpet in a “Make America Great Again” dress. But that is not the full extent of her unpopular beliefs.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/02/16/joy-villa-pro-trump-grammys-troll-is-a-scientologist-and-ex-bernie-supporter.html

  • Bert Allen

    Federal and State courts unreasonable support for arbitration under the legal fiction that individuals have equal power in the negotiation, drafting, and execution of contracts is a travesty. I understand the judge’s order that the parties continue to search for agreeable arbitrors, but I strongly believe that after all of these months that he should have ordered the COS to provide the Garcias with the list of all members in good standing. Such an order, if upheld on appeal, would result in the settlement of the case, because the COS would rather settle than comply.

  • mrssandoval

    In my freshman year of college, many moons ago (although I didn’t start school until I was 22, because of partying and all), we were specifically told that if we cited Wiki, our papers would be thrown out. Now, if Wiki has a legit link, click on that link and site that source.

    TO, I wish we’d all refrain from politicking. Personally, I thought both candidates were too dirty, should have been thrown out, then have an unheard of redo. The only president I’ve ever liked since I’ve been alive is Reagan.

    Moving on, you’re an idiot if you get your info from Wiki. Just sayin.

    On another note, sadly, a lot of people don’t know the person they’re friends/acquaintances/coworkers/etc. are scientologists. My parents, like many others, told me to never speak of religion and politics (I’m Korean/German-American, Lutheran and a liberal conservative. Ha! I said it!!) I found that out the hard way when a lifelong friend got irate with me for calling cos a cult. I mean, he went ballistic on all the “good” they’ve done for him.

    He knows I’m Lutheran and I’m not sure why he never tried to convert me. I mean, Christ, I was a drug addict at one point! Isn’t that an “in”? Actually, I was balls deep into my addiction when this fight broke out, so…

  • BlueJene

    Is it possible that one of the “editors” at Wikipedia is also a scientologist and decided to throw you into the current political lions den?
    Btw, I applaud your ability to not allow your political leanings to overtake this site. I feel that most Americans

    still have the countries best interests at heart, whether they lean left, right or middle.