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More federal charges for Scientology family that sold rhino horn products

[Jake Chait; Photo by WSJ.com]

Last July, we told you about the odd way Scientology had become an issue in a criminal case involving the illegal trafficking of art made of rhino horn, ivory, and coral.

At that time, Joey Chait had been sentenced to a year in federal prison for falsifying sales slips and otherwise aiding in the illegal sale of prohibited items that had been sold through his father Izzy Chait’s famous Beverly Hills auction house.

What caught our interest was that Joey Chait’s attorney, Judith Germano, had tried to convince the court that Joey had experienced significant abuse growing up in a Scientology family and working in its harsh “Sea Organization” and then for his father, who was really making the decisions about what items to sell. The Chait gallery had been caught selling objects made of rhino horn in a federal sting, but by the time charges could be brought, Izzy Chait had suffered brain damage during a heart attack and was mostly incapacitated. Charges were brought against Joey instead, but his attorney Germano’s sentencing memorandum seemed to influence federal Judge J. Paul Oetken, who disregarded prosecutors’ request for a 3-year sentence and instead gave Joey twelve months and a day.

Now, we’ve learned that Joey’s younger brother, Jacob Chait, 34, has also been charged with selling rhino horn and faces five years in prison. According to the US Attorney’s office in New York…

From approximately 2009 to 2012, Chait and his co-conspirators purchased rhinoceros horns and taxidermy mounts in the U.S. and sought to sell them to foreign buyers in private deals, including in at least eight separate deals or attempted deals involving 15 rhinoceros horns worth an estimated $2.4 million. This included one alleged incident in which Chait personally smuggled two endangered black rhino horns to China in his luggage. Rhinoceros horn is worth more per pound than gold due to the high demand in Asia and increasing scarcity of supply.

That sounds to us to be a little more serious than the allegations that had been leveled at Jake’s brother, Joey. And adding to interest in this case is that in 2012, Jake co-starred in a short-lived Discovery Channel reality series, Final Offer, that had Jake and his co-hosts buying and selling unique art and collectible items.

 

[Jake Chait on ‘Final Offer’]

 
Will Scientology become an issue in Jake Chait’s prosecution, as it did in his brother Joey’s? We don’t know yet.

Izzy Chait was a hugely influential art buyer who specialized in Asian art and built up a major reputation for his Beverly Hills auction house. He was also very well known in Scientology, and rose to OT 8, the highest level of courses. He came to our attention when he helped out the “Squirrel Busters” intimidation squad by showing up at the Los Angeles airport to confront former church executive Mark “Marty” Rathbun in a bizarre 2011 incident that was caught on video.

Chait’s gallery was previously in some hot water over the questionable sale of art objects. Izzy, in 2007, sold a Mongolian Tyrannosaurus bataar skull to actor Nicolas Cage, and after the skull’s provenance was uncovered, Cage had to return it to the Mongolian government in 2015.

Joey Chait will be getting out of prison later this year. We’ll try to get an interview with him about the charges his brother is facing.

 
——————–

Not Scientology related: Finding Robert Burnham Jr.

 

 
Some of our readers have expressed an interest in our non-Scientology writing, and we have another of our lengthy features that we’re resurrecting today.

In 1997, we managed to track down the fate of someone whose name is very well known to a certain small set of enthusiasts: People who use telescopes and a particular guide to the night sky. Burnham’s Celestial Handbook became an indispensable and totally unique set of books that were unlike any other. Here was a comprehensive guide to everything in the sky you could see with a small to medium sized telescope, described in pages that seem to have been put together on a typewriter. Thousands of objects, described with great skill, over thousands of painstakingly put together pages. Who had completed such a Herculean task? What made it even more mysterious was that Burnham had seemed to have written almost nothing else.

On a whim, we started asking questions — who was Burnham, and what had happened to him? Thanks to a few lucky breaks, we managed to discover his amazing and sad story, and we put together a lengthy biography of him.

Our story is still posted at the Phoenix New Times website, but after 20 years, it no longer has any art, and it is poorly presented. So we decided to create a page for it on this website and include some of the photos from our collection. We think we owe it to Bob to present his story as best we can. We hope you can set aside some time and give it a look, then come back here and let us know what you thought of it.

 
——————–

 
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 4,674 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 1,777 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,271 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,311 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy in 1,023 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 490 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,608 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 1,778 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,098 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,073 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 429 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin in 4,731 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 838 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,240 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,113 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 694 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike in 1,199 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,443 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,552 days.

 
——————–

3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on February 25, 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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  • Panopea Abrupta

    Bastards dealing in endangered species deserve all the jail time they get.
    $cientology is an endangered species itself, mind you, but one that will be no loss.
    In fact, a Darwin award would be appropriate if there were such a thing for cults.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/86e88cdf937814c5072f1f83bad8e0ededf86f7796efd2a95fdfbbce1f59dfb5.jpg

    • Peter

      If there isn’t, Pan, you’re the perfect writer to create one!

    • Newiga

      Agree completely with this: “Bastards dealing in endangered species deserve all the jail time they get.”

      *weeps for the rhinos and elephants*

    • PickAnotherID

      Instead of jail time, let them do a full season of ‘Naked and Afraid’ in the middle of the African savannah. But without the camera crew or emergency back up team.

      • I’ve always thought that hunting (except when done for culls that are essential to the health of a population) should be set up so that the hunted has a equal chance of getting the hunter.

        Yes… you are allowed to hunt big game – but you only get two bullets for the crucial encounter. Miss, and the lion eats you. Also, Fox hunting should take place in a minefield, in which the location of the mines has treated with fox repellent.

        You want to go back to nature and pit yourself against wildlife. Fine. Lets just make it fair.

        • Missionary Kid

          You’re saying that we should arm bears?

          • No. I’m saying that people who want to kill them should not have the amazing technological advantage they usually do. That’s not hunting – that’s easy killing from a distance.

            If they want a bear, they should approach it with weapons that would make it a fair fight.

            • Missionary Kid

              I was being a wise ass, but your answer showed much more class. Thanks.

            • Ah.. thanks to RE I get it – bear arms, arm bears… I’m English remember. Gags about the US constitution are rare here πŸ™‚

          • Robert Eckert

            At least we should have the *right* to arm bears.

        • JJ

          whats a matter with bow and arrow, that’s way more sporting.

          • As long as the hunted has a fair change of getting you before you get them… fair enough.

            Come to think of it, the idea of what is and isn’t “sporting” is based on giving the creature you are killing a fair chance of merely getting away.

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      Bastards.

      That’s such a beautiful photo πŸ™‚

    • The Darwin Awards, while funny, also have a cruel element.

      Many Scientologists have (and continue to) experience serious medical symptoms and present to doctors only after it was far too late. Irreversible damage has been done, which sometimes will lead to their death.

      They delayed because auditors told them (as per doctrines) that ‘the way out is the way through’ and ‘what turns it on turns it off’ and that scientific medicine was a conspiracy and all of the nonsensical rest.

      It’s genocide in slow motion, but each of those people, qualify for a Darwin Award. Hubbard, in fact deserves a special award for lifetime (and afterlife) achievement – for killing off so many of the people who were credulous enough to fall for his pitch.

      On balance, I think the Darwin Award, in this context, is just cruel. It’s black humour, as the very least.

      • ze moo

        The Darwin Award is given to individuals who have died or rendered themselves incapable of reproduction through their own stupidity.

        By all of his actions, Davy Miscavage has earned his Darwin Award. First by killing off the Mission Network and then by driving out everyone who had any talent in management. Ok, Lron his magnificent self, ordered the death of the Mission Network. But Davy run that operation, thereby earning his bones in the scam. Is it ‘earning his bones’ or ‘breaking his bones’? I am not all that familiar with Mafia lingo.

        • I wonder if Hubbard didn’t issue that order or the basis of information carefully fed to him by his gatekeeper (Miscavige).

          It has never seemed to me to be something Hubbard would have suddenly decided needed doing, because the Mission system had worked so well up to that point – the commissions motivated the staff, and insured delivery of good candidates for fleecing at ‘advanced’ orgs.

          Killing the goose that was laying golden eggs for the sake of total central control is, as we have seen over the years, characteristic of Miscavige mismanagement.

          I suspect Hubbard had ordered the persecution of the Mission holders because (for example) Miscavige had assured them they were swindling Hubbard and laughing about it.

          We don’t know. What we do know is that Miscavige started his rise to power at that point, and could have engineered the whole situation to advance himself.

          • Missionary Kid

            Who knows, aside from Ratcavige, whether it was LRH’s idea or Ratcavige’s manipulation of LRH that lead to the Mission Massacre? In any event, LRH was a greedy SOB, and, true to his word, he wanted “More money, more money, more money.”

            If he wasn’t so greedy, he couldn’t have been manipulated. He knew his time on earth was short, so he wasn’t looking at the long range consequences of his actions.

            • dchoiceisalwaysrs

              I’d say there is a good chance Pat Broeker would know even better and more than DM regarding LRH’s mindset and impetus on these matters. Sure there would be controversy, but the educational value of him both laying it all down in recordings And being available for open online discussion would yield tremendous benefits in so many varied and possible ways for thousands if not tens of thousands. Thank you for listening Pat!

          • PeaceMaker

            Once Born, I had some experience of the mission network and can tell you that it was more of a mixed bag than the nostalgic old-timers would have you think – though like everything in Scientology, it depended on where you were and when. Some of the missions were indeed great, but others had truly gone “squirrel,” getting into things like “de-dinging” and other abuses of their members. And there are reliable reports of how some of them kept 2 sets of books and were withholding money they were supposed to be sending “uplines,” though that may have been partly a response to Hubbard’s increasing demands for money.
            I don’t think it’s surprising that Hubbard would have wanted to crack down on the missions given some of what was going on; and I think it’s also in keeping with his push for strong centralized control and maximum cash extraction from the mid-1960s on, that the whole network was brought to heel. Hubbard’s own crazy policies like the monthly price increases of that era were already transforming the basis of Scientology towards getting larger amounts of money from a smaller number of people. I’m sure Miscavige was playing some devious games, but he is also channeling the old man more than the nostalgic types are willing to admit.

            • As an outsider, I have no nostalgia for the Missions, and don’t doubt that, back then, desperate (and sometimes corrupt) practices were required of people just so that they could keep their head above water.

              However, the commissions did motivate people, and leaving the system alone to some extent was likely to net more money than micro-managing it.

              However, it’s interesting that you should describe this period (at the beginning of Hubbard’s self-imposed isolation and decline) as the point when the process of “[..] transforming the basis of Scientology towards getting larger amounts of money from a smaller number of people” originated.

              Miscavige does not seem to have an original thought in his head, and it would make sense if his present dysfunctional tactics were something he had learned from Hubbard and was still blindly putting into practice. It would certainly help to explain his lack of concern for the collapse in recruitment.

              I do like to argue for the theory that Miscavige abused his position as gatekeeper to manipulate Hubbard because it’s not one that is often considered. However, I’m also willing to yield to arguments like yours, informed by experience. You make a good case.

              I think we can agree that, however he came about the ‘authority’ to decimate the Mission holders and take their money, it was a significant first step on his journey to road to power.

            • Robert Eckert

              My take (based on no knowledge whatsoever) is that Hubbard was aware he was coming toward “end of cycle” and wanted to grab as much money as possible, immediately, without any concern about long-term consequences which would come due after he was gone.

            • PeaceMaker

              Once Born, from what I can tell the missions situation was very complex, with some people really starting to go off in strange directions, and others rather astutely trying to correct the ways in which Scientology was hobbling itself. Hubbard and his top managers may well have thought they could do better by cutting out the middleman, so to speak, and Scientology did apparently reach peak size afterwards around 1990.
              By the way, my analysis is that Hubbard cynically decided to exercise more heavy-handed control about 1965, but that it took time to work out and implement. The price increases were instituted around 1977, but crush sales came in around the early 1970s, so I’m not sure when it might be said that Hubbard decided to go for a strategy of less volume but higher cash yield, but at some point Scientology did effectively switch to working that way.
              I do suspect that at the end Miscavige (and Broeker) must have realized that Hubbard was losing it, and probably started acting more on their own initiative, and even ignoring some craziness. Whether Miscagive just did what he thought needed to be done to keep Hubbard’s organization under control, or actually abused his position and manipulated Hubbard, I think is hard to say without testimony from someone who was there.

          • abdaman

            Mis(cavige)management

            • My spellchecker suggests ‘miscreant’ when I don’t capitalise ‘Miscavige’. I’m surrounded by smart AIs.

        • BaaadaBing

          It’s “making your bones” ; ) baaadabing!
          Though DM breaking his bones has a nicer ring to it.

      • JJ

        We had to do reports on these in school and come up with a review of the persons behavior that did not involve just saying they were stupid. It got hard. Woman who was mauled to death by African lions because she went to “re-position one of the lion cubs because it wasn’t posed correctly for her photographs got “hubris”, from me.

        • That’s quite reasonable. Some people are incredibly dumb and sometimes it kills them.The basis of the Darwin Awards website, though is that other people come to laugh at them. That’s very black humour at best, cruel at worst.

    • chuckbeattyxquackologist75to03

      Makes me want to go today to my city’s best museums, where the most interesting things of earth are at least on display for upclose viewing for everyone.

    • Izzy son’s they had an axe,
      and off the rhino’s horns did hacks.
      When feds saw what they had done
      They jailed dad Izzy’s eldest son.

  • Xenu’s son.

    Scientologz the gift that keeps on giving.Which other cult have you heard of that is good for two OMG per day on the Bunker and Rinder.Year after year.
    Scientology.It is always worse than you think.

  • Newiga

    I’ll definitely read your story about Robert Burnham Jr, Tony. It’ll be perfect “snack” for this evening. πŸ˜‰

    • Todd Tomorrow

      test…

      • Newiga

        ..ing?

      • Johnny Tank (Forever Autumn)

        …icles?

        • Missionary Kid

          As the instructor said, “I’m giving the test, so I’m the tester, so you know what that makes you.”

      • BraveBloggers

        osterone?

        • Todd Tomorrow

          No, there was a vid I was replying to but it must have been pulled.

  • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

    I am ALL for prosecuting traders in endangered animals and animal body parts – my family have supported animal rights charities since I was a child, and my son and I make regular donations to an ape rescue sanctuary in the south of England which does amazing work internationally – so I would usually be first in line behind the prosecutor with my metaphorical pitchfork in cases like these, but there’s something about Joey Chait that broke my heart a little bit and made me wish for clemency…and a different father. Jacob Chait might be more like his father, or he might be another pawn of his father’s bullying and greed. We will see. I so hope Joey will speak to Tony. It would be a determined step away from the shadow of his family.

    • Princess Poopypants

      Joey asked for some reading material, so I sent him Jenna’s book, Leah’s book and TUML. He is reading and sharing them.

      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        You are so kind, Sunny!

      • Juicer77

        You’re a good friend.

      • Missionary Kid

        Tory Christman says that it was kindness that caused her to leave $cientology. Hopefully, your action will help Joey leave it all behind, as well.

      • MarcabExpat

        That was super compassionate of you.

  • PickAnotherID

    Speaking of clams, today is ‘National Clam Chowder Day’. Have some:
    http://images1.houstonpress.com/imager/u/original/6423316/manhattan_clam.jpg

    • Missionary Kid

      I happen to like New England style better than the Manhattan style pictured. πŸ˜‰

      • PickAnotherID

        I actually prefer ‘Firehouse Style’, with the clear broth. And that’s actually ‘Narragansett Bay’ style chowder. Before air conditioning, rich New Yorkers went there in the summer and “borrowed” the recipe. When resteraunts in NY started offering it, they weren’t about to name it for another state’s landmark and slapped the “Manhatten” name on it. Seeing as how there were more New Yorkers than Bay residents, the name stuck.

        • Missionary Kid

          Thanks. At first, I thought you were referring to ‘Firehouse Style’ when you cited ‘Narragansett Bay’ as the original name for what has become known as ‘Manhattan Style’.

          Another reason that it became known as ‘Manhattan’ instead of ‘Narragansett’ is that not many people outside of the New England area even know how to say ‘Narragansett’, let alone order it.

          • ze moo

            There is a 1/2 crappy, 1/2 decent beer called “Narragansett’. Ok for clam bakes…

            • Missionary Kid

              That’s the kind of beer I use to marinate things in. Interestingly enough, once cooked, to me, the food tastes like its been cooked in wine sauce.

  • chuckbeattyxquackologist75to03

    “What caught our interest was that Joey Chait’s attorney, Judith Germano, had tried to convince the court that Joey had experienced significant abuse growing up in a Scientology family and working in its harsh β€œSea Organization” and then for his father, who was really making the decisions about what items to sell.”

    Sea Org staffers are like workaholics, even more workaholic and similarly “paid” their staff allowances as are nuns and monks of Catholic religious orders.

    The workforce “team” mentality of Sea Org for sure is a communal tightnit group working “all-nighters” and suffering the same pay (allowance rate), it’s really a huge leap of lifestyle from normal middle class, and Sea Org life is vastly more consumer deprived than even working poor or even the poor classes.

    I was frankly elated, when I finally quit, to learn that even the lowest Social Security bracket, us with NOTHING put into Social Security, would be getting more in a month, when we turn 66, (700 bucks plus a month) compared to my TOTAL income in a year, when I was on the RPF.

    If one really thinks of what one’s “income” is in the Sea Org, during dry years, like when one is on the RPF, one accumulates LESS than 650 bucks a year, I did.

    It’s a communal “new age” almost UFO (since Scientologists believe in science fiction like past lives in advanced space civilizations where when practicing Scientologists finally get themselves up to the “Clear” auditing band, they will receive New Era Dianetics auditing which is pseudo-crank-quack past-lives trauma therapy) believing, and the past-lives trauma pseudo-therapy is a warmup to later learning of the Xenu trauma mega incident that showered earth with the “body-thetans” that infest all humans today, per Scientology theory that they cannot discuss—sad because how can their religion be taken as a religion practice unless they admit to their past-life trauma therapy and their later steps of massive amounts of exorcism Scientologists do of their “body-thetans” that infest their human bodies, so they believe.

    It’s a pretty wrapped up alternative view of the universe, and the Sea Org members absolutely are working on ideals that are foreign to average citiziens of any country in the world.

    Sea Org members are galactic soul-salvaging workaholics, and it’s such an intense alternative mentality, it constantly needs good description of the key details, by media, because official Scientology’s censorship and misuse of language describing Scientology constantly does NOT fill in the correct full picture of what Sea Org members have as their mental rationale (all based on Hubbard’s writings, and based on the whole past-lives trauma “case” that supposedly we all have as souls, including the “OT case” which is all the massive amounts of spiritual leakage trauma that our “body-thetans” are leaking into us, Scientology’s basic theory, needs understanding, so that the Sea Org’s mentality makes sense, as the Sea Org organizations are where the “body-thetan” secret (no longer due to past era critics, and media and the books and chat sites and WikiLeaks and this blog) exorcism is trained on and performed. Scientology’s “churches” are galactic demur science fiction soul-“case”-salvaging quack pseudo-therapy/exorcism (exorcising Xenu’s “body-thetans”) training and delivery centers.

    Sea Org staffer full pay today is 45 bucks a week, but that’s not a given, and in earlier years in dry times, my RPF year erratic “1/4 pay” was the following:

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a6d3508d15fd72d65da3136c0477414f92736bac97b05c768c19b9cb22f78f3b.png

    These were my TOTAL incomes for my RPF years! – Chuck Beatty, ex Sea Org, 1975-2003

    • Todd Tomorrow

      Jesus Chuck that is just awful.

      • chuckbeattyxquackologist75to03

        You’d be surprised how communally dismally non-consumerism the individual stark staffers’ lives are.

        I wasn’t in it for the money, but for the soul-flying ESP “spiritual case” improved abilities which I gullibly believed we were producing in one another to the whole universe’s benefit.

        Hubbard’s “tech” of all the training and delivery of Hubbard’s soul-salvaging-crank-quack-pseudo-therapy was the “priceless” focus of what I presumed was the most important stuff of life, more important than my yearly “income.”

        Quitting out of the Sea Org, was a long pleasurable coasting back to normal life’s “havingness” (a Hubbard idiotic word which means having the cozy feel-good feeling of having things).

        • ze moo

          How much ‘training’ did you get in the Sea Org?

          • chuckbeattyxquackologist75to03

            I used to post this following, next to my name, and it’d take an article to even lay it out.

            [ex-Sea Org (1975-2003). Flag 1975-1983 (TTC, Course Sup, Word Clearer, Sup, D of T, T/CO ITO). 83-84 Int Base & PAC (on CMO Int Routing Forms Pjt). 84-87 Flag Bureaux (FB) (Snr HCO Int) in LA. 87-88 Supervisor retraining, Int and FB in LA. Fall 88- Feb 89 Snr C/S Int Office (RTRC). Int RPF Feb 89. PAC RPF Mar-May 89. HGB (ITO) 89. INCOMM (Routing Forms Pjt) 89-90. INCOMM Computer Operations 90-92 (both at Int and LA computer rooms). ASI Computer Operations 92-95 (LA). Int Decks Dec 95-Jun 96. Int RPF Jun 96-Nov 2000. PAC RPF Nov 2000 – Mar 2003. (Began routing out Jan 2002, while on the RPF’s RPF, and I was finally given okay to route out after 15 months of bureaucratic leaving procedures and finally departed Scientology on Mar 29, 2003)]

            In terms of simply reading almost all of Hubbard’s crap, I have a very high “training” in terms of just raw reading. Training in the sense of being qualified to BE a position in the various jobs, on the quack-therapy side, I did one Flag Internship successfully, and audited 3-4 Flag paying “public” ultra briefly before then being demoted off of being the quack-therapist job and I then embarked on 6 years of Course Supervisor training and service all Flag Internships, all under the then much closer to Hubbard’s style era of then Sea Org (1975-1983), all Flag Clearwater “highest” level of “standardness”. Then 4 years “training” (in just raw reading sense, it was then that I then got into the administrative full history traffic and up to the latest Hubbard administrative orders as of then, 1983). Later in 1980s, and early 1990s, I then studied the full blown INCOMM traffic history. Then later, 1993-1994, I read all of the ASI mundane general staffer full Hubbard orders, minus the sensitve legal stuff, like I didn’t read legal stuff about the oil wells in depth, I brushed throught the ASI stuff mostly, but I got the “important” stuff from the mentality of what Hubbard wished for the ASI staff to embody of Hubbard’s hertitage of forwarding his final years intent for ASI.

            In terms of appreciating the “tech” and appreciating the quack therapy and exorcism procedures, I studied that all with full clarity and retain that attitude toward it, not that I believe any of it, but I can parse the finest details of tech procedure. For instance I tend sometimes to be misunderstood due to my extolling the “C/S 53” and “GF 40XXX” if you even understand what those two Repair Program correction lists consist of, in terms of “what can go wrong with a case”.

            I can appreciate whatever “tech” comment even the most advanced Scientology “tech” people make, and I can even grade their comments in terms of orthodoxy, and this gets mistaken for me being a sympathizer.

            I do detailed parsing of it, just to place it in terms of Hubbard’s overall mentality hisself, about his own “case” from his view of his “case” and for all other humans’ “cases”.

            I can think with anyone wishing to go into the thicket of “tech” details.

            If you know the Flag “Case Cracker” auditors, I thought highly of them, for their skills in taking the “botched cases” into session, which used to be Flag’s primary cleanup role, in the Hubbard final era of Flag tech stuff, and I myself when on the RPF, in my 7 years of tech crap on the RPF, I do understand every line of all of the infamously detailed jam packed “correction lists” which get into the tiniest of rules and details.

            It’s all crap to me, but I understood it and will “go there” when I read of any freezoner or Indie or when I read of Hubbard’s own quoted public domain statements about every detail in his whole writings.

            In terms of “training”, it’s Hubbard’s writings. Even trained Class 12 auditors may not appreciate Hubbard’s final statements to Sarge, at the Crestin Ranch, if those Class 12 auditors had NOT read the 1978 “Running Program” orders from Hubbard.

            Everything Hubbard wrote, dovetails, and it is all relevant to Hubbard’s final mindset and final statements.

            I’m that kind of “trained” in all I read of Hubbard.

            Due to being on the “tech” lines to witness the “greats” of the Apollo era tech hierarchy who came ashore in 1975-76, and then later in having access to read and connect dots, all through my 27 years career in the Sea Org.

            • ze moo

              Outside of training for your ‘hatting’, did you get to Clear or any of the vaunted OT levels. ‘Hatting’ is just work related training. Did you ever get the ‘Universe Corps’ treatment.

              Your experiences in the day to day workings of $cientology are of great value to our little community of ASCers. Mucho thanks for your information.

            • chuckbeattyxquackologist75to03

              Clear, but I knew at some level, mentally, that I was “false attesting” (in Scientologist full blown brainwashing mentality, you self condemn yourself for NOT having attained the expected Hubbard state of mental/spiritual improvement). I knew I was “more Clear” compared to literally hundreds of other staff who were earlier than me declaring themselves Clear.

              I’d validly run 30 preclear folders worth of “Standard Dianetics” past-lives trauma engram incidents, and was to that point you get when your “case” is just insignificant and has no nagging impact on you, and thus “validly” per the intent of what “Clear” in 1978-79 Hubbard writings, I was a genuine “Clear” with ample evidence, in terms of my pastlives engram running.

              But, if someone asks the innocent question: “Did you get the Clear state?” It’s unfortunately sort of like asking “Did you become Santa Claus?” It’s asking did the person become something that doesn’t exist.

              So it’s kind of advanced question, like, “Did you stop beating your wife.”

              The question innocently asks an ex member to admit that they self deludeldy agreed they were Clear, and this brings up the Hubbard penalties for “false attesting”, when in fact EVERYONE is falsely attesting to this false mental state, and it’s today embarrassing to realize I’d been so mentally whipped around to even think that I was Clear, when it’s false to begin with.

              It’s a human group mental trickery thing.

              This is what a Scientology mental path leads to, this is in depth group mental false trickery they lead themselves and through Hubbard’s rules and qualifications, come out the other end believing with fervor they have attained “Clear.”

              Reference of the truth, Jason Beghe’s all time important Mark Bunker interview about “there is no Clear.”

              It’s a false, genuinely false, mental spiritual status.

              So, on a certain at that time unexpressed mental level, I knew this all could be bogus, and that Clear and all the later coming stuff, would turn out to be BS, just like all smart outsiders, meaning almost everyone today, considers all of Hubbard’s false claims to be BS.

              Since Clears were never acting like Clears, but would get cranky, get sick, have thick glasses, not recover from their chronic illnesses or physical infirmaries, I also knew that essentially ALL failed Scientologists were “false Clears.”

              The con of Hubbard’s spiritual labels, was always there even if I didn’t voice it.

              But on my PC folders, I was “Clear” and then when my conscience got the best of me, I undeclared, did my lower conditions, and I wasn’t beat up by Ethics for undeclaring, because I had so much MORE case folder evidence of being Clear for real due to all my pastlives engram running evidence, I was considered a self-invalidating actual Clear, who was hung up with “Clear” due to me witnessing left0right-and-center others around me falsely calling themselves Clear when they had NO real evidence of really being “Clear.”

              OT theory I studied AFTER I got out. The OT levels HCOBs are online in WIkileaks, and the NOTs Theory HCOB, I thoroughly studied, and am tech trained way well enough to see thoroughly, way better than most, how we have our “own case” and then our “OT case” and how the two levels of “case” are dealt with, in detail, even the L Rundowns special type of not running the “case” off of someone by reads and blowdowns, but by “rising needle” and “rising TA” theory of the L Rundown that attacks “case” by TA and needle rising, vs falls and blowdowns.

              But, it’s really so outside anyone’s interest to get into the Hubbard actual tech theory details, and if you know someone like Ralph Hilton, there are a few splinter Scientologists who will talk theory, and know the Hubbard theory, all the way up and down the whole Hubbard theory totem pole of “case” and “OT case.”

              A person who at least trained up to Grad IV, and who has read enough of the Briefing Course and the Class 8 course stuff (particularly the Class 8 course is pre the Case Supervision Series HCOBs, but the massive index system of the original Class 8 course for taking on peoples “case”), I can think with all that theory all the way up to Class 8 easily.

              Then Class 9 is NOTs (“body-thetans”) and all the OT 5 rundowns, all make sense.

              OT 3 makes sense even with the original OT 3 course theory.

              All of the pre OT 3 theory, the late 1950s through 1966 Goals Problem Mass stuff, the old SOP Goals stuff, that all makes sense to me.

              I even can understand all of the “squirrel” stuff of the freezone history, the Identics stuff, any of the earlier 1950s stuff, the Handbook for Preclears stuff, I get all the various angles of 1950s processing, the “black and white” theory stuff of just running walls of “charge.”

              It’s all a whole boatload of mind messing crap to me, but I understand it, and am open to hear all points anyone makes about any tiniest part of it.

              On my case folder spine, my folders, when I left, say Grade 0, as when my conscience got the best of me, Grade 0 processes were where I was last case supervised, and I spent about 10 case folders on Grade 0, and I ran nearly every single process on Grade 0, and still couldn’t attest to Grade 0, LOL. That’s an inside joke if you know what Grade 0 is. I over-itsa like nobody’s business, LOL.

              My case:
              Objectives 3 times fully through them
              Standard Dianetics (30-40 case folders worth of past life engrams run)
              Grades 0-3 (Expanded Grades 0-4 later)
              Dianetics Clear Special Intensive, to Clear
              Original Sweat-Out Program (the pre Purif)
              Purif (3 months worth)
              Happiness Rundown
              Introspection Rundown (realize, if you have read the rundown’s procedures, you run the rundown until the person is extroverted again, so my Introspection Rundown ran for only 4 sessions and I was elated with my auditing on this rundown, a whole story in itself of unique Hubbard quackery theory)
              Expanded Dianetics (left side handling, see Tech Vols)
              Expanded Green Form 40XXX (resistive case repair list, I received 5 of the 7 resistive case handling points, and received full handling on those 5 areas, 4 months of “handling” by a Class 9 auditor, on the RPF)
              PTS Rundown (I loved this auditing, LOL)

              Truth Rundown
              False Purpose Rundowns (over 3,000 hours worth, that is a shitload of past life transgressions and “prior confusions” LOL, if you know what FPRD end phenomena are supposed to dig up, a whole lot of truly false memory inventive mental creations, LOL)
              Then finally, about 500 hours of odds and ends Sec Checking

              127 case folders, approximately, when I quit.

            • My god Chuck, 7 years of RPF. When I left in 96 my dear friend Pat Selley/Bromley had been on the Int then PAC RPF for 9+ years. I tended to her daughters wedding, I don’t think she ever knew. Do you know why she was ever sent? I’ve never seen her since she went over the rainbow.
              Your records/memory is amazing. Thx for sharing.

            • I got to OT 4 only because when my dad died in 83 I thought I’d be able to find him if I was OT. Bull shit. My idea of it now is the clear cog “I mocked it all up” & add “because of Ron’s BS. OT 9 is probably similar cog. Nothing of benefit except what occurred having someone to talk to and sort out some of the upsets of SO.
              Did you need to do therapy to sort all that out?

            • chuckbeattyxquackologist75to03

              no, I never wished therapy myself.

              I was always curious what professional psychologists make of Hubbard’s full cowpie.

              One of the biggest elephants in the room, to understanding Scientology, is the full multitude of Hubbard’s unstudied “tech” quackery.

              I always thought a versed psychologist ought to take a stab and dissect it all for the public’s Consumer Reports reporting benefit.

            • It deserves it. Would make it easier for those still traumatized. I too have not had therapy thinking all the study and education will dissolve the pain and replace it with wisdom. Thx for helping with that.

    • 5 Feet Long and Luminous

      “Sea Org members are galactic soul-salvaging workaholics…” Such an apt–and sadly poetic–description, Chuck.

    • 3feetback-of-COS

      Slave wages. Slavery by another name.

  • Why rhino horns? Tony wrote that the…………..”15 rhinoceros horns worth an estimated $2.4 million…. worth more per pound than gold.” As I explained in a book that’s coming out soon which I just co-authored about an animal activist (title: “Barking up the Right Tree”) “Rhino horns are falsely believed to have medicinal properties, supposedly curing everything from cancer to rheumatism to hangovers. Of course, that’s nonsense.”

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      Hello, Miss Lovely!

      “Elephant and rhino poaching ‘is driven by China’s economic boom'”

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/aug/14/china-boom-fuels-africa-poaching

      Thankfully China has pledged to stop using horn by the end of this year.

      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/dec/30/china-ban-ivory-trade-2017-elephants-wwf

      • Todd Tomorrow

        The Chinese say they’ll do lots of things. A hobby of mine is to follow the CCP. They’ll tell anybody anything. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8xDXvjeuaE This story is from 2012 and it is worse now.

        • Noesis

          The authoritarian government of China deliberately murdered at least 40 million of their own citizens under Mao during the Great Leap Forward. Estimates of all government sponsored murders of political opponents and other undesirables during Mao’s reign run as high as 60 million….some say even higher. The cultural attitudes (and state induced terror) that allowed this sort of behavior still exist. The recent crackdown on “corrupt” businesspeople and politicians started with the nationwide seizure and arrest of hundreds of prominent civil / human right attorneys. That’s usually a clue that what’s really happening is just another power consolidating purge of folks that threaten the current one party leadership.

          • ze moo

            The CCP treatment of the Uyghur people is another ‘crime against humanity’.

            • Noesis

              Not to mention the laws (not kidding) that have been implemented that describe the only “legal” path by which one is “allowed” to reincarnate.

    • richelieu jr

      Hold on an electrical Xemo-incident minute there, Missy-!!!!

      Are you trying to tell me that Rhino Horns DON’T have the power to cure hangovers?

      Next thing you are gong to tell me they aren’t to be taken rectally, and my big 20k X-mas gift to myself is going to make me look like a right chump!

      —–

      I suppose it is off to the garage or the Bonfire of the Insanities with the collected works for L Ron Hubbard, Carlos Castaneda, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi,, David K

      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        Snort!

    • ze moo

      ‘Traditional’ Chinese medicine has wonderful ‘cures’ requiring Rhino horn, Bear Gall Bladder, various parts of Tigers and Sun Tsu alone knows how many other animal parts.

    • John Prince

      A humble tip of the Hat to the Exquisite Ms. LOVELY πŸ‘ΌπŸ‘€πŸ’ž..
      I’d been led to believe that Rhino horn was so ridiculously expensive There because they think it’s the most potent Aphrodisiac there is?
      How many species must go extinct because of what the Chinese believe?

      o.k. slightly off-topic here. .

    • Anoymouswillgetyou

      Is this guy knowingly selling the horns for profit or is Scientology getting him just like they have others to break the law for profit. There are people that went to prison because Scientology had them do things that were illegal to raise money. I wish I could think of one guy who is finally out but had a full blown psychotic episode during his court hearings. He believed he was Jesus. Of course Scientology was not prosecuted. He was used as their patsy. Even after his arrest he was still delusional, literally after they disconnected from him & ruined his life, he still had all the books, etc. A psychiatrist really helped the guy. It was a sad story. But he is now ok. You know pressuring someone to max out their credit cards that does not have the money to,pay them back is wrong too. That caused members to-o commit suicide. Thanks for all,you did & sacrificed “Miss Lovely.”You are truly remarkable. You are a real life heroine! And one of the first brave people to show the world what an evil organization Scientology is. Bless you.

    • chuckbeattyxquackologist75to03

      Placebo help.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/19/opinion/sunday/the-conversation-placebo.html?_r=0

      “Frequently my patients ask if a multivitamin will give them more energy. In the past I would say no, because there are no significant scientific studies to demonstrate this, and also because in the absence of a vitamin deficiency there’s not much for a basic multivitamin pill to do. Now I take a different approach. I say something along the lines of β€œMany of my patients find that they have more energy when they take a multivitamin.” I’m not lying, because many have indeed said so. Without fail, there are always a few patients who come back at the next visit and swear they feel much better.

      “There are some who argue that it is unethical to promote placebos to patients. But increasingly, many say it would be unethical not to give placebos a try in situations where patients are not getting relief from traditional means (and where it would not cause harm or replace a necessary treatment).” – DANIELLE OFRI
      Jan. 19, 2017
      NY Times.

      This placebo issue seems such a root problem to all “cures” constantly thought up and offered.

      I enjoy the placebo of human writing and explanation of things, that always works for me.

  • pluvo

    Izzy Chait and his wife were often on the Fwds. They were Scio VIPs and surely must have left tons of money there. I guess now they are considered out- ethics OT8 scum. Does not quite work with the cause over matter, energy, space, time and life.

  • Todd Tomorrow

    OT, a co-worker passed this on to me.

    What is it like to leave the Church of Scientology?

    Jennifer Nevill, studied at Charles Darwin University

    Written Feb 14

    Firstly, I was born into Scientology. It was not my choice to start life this way.
    As I got into my teens, so many restrictions were made on my life and living in society. I learnt to rebel and question what I was told and I studied hard from books in libraries on life and philosophy to help me make my own determinations. Eventually deciding to run away and leave at the age of 13.

    On the family side of things, leaving is Hell. Because they make it hell for you to leave if you have other family members in the religion and this was devastating for me as a young teenager. I basically had only myself and my brother to rely on after that and got no support from any family members still in the religion. I learnt to be very resilient but it did make for a hard start to adulthood.

    On the other hand. Leaving is “living” and being in the real world. Leaving and overcoming all their bullshit to create a life of your own free will is pure happiness. I own my life. I determine my future. I decide what is true to me.

    I have now found that I have my own intelligence, as we all do and that I do not need any religion to tell me how things are or should be. No one can tell you how to be happy because your own happiness depends on free will and what you want individually.

    It is that individuality and all our differences which make such a beautifull world and community to live in.

    -loving my life even with the loss of my close family connections their support.

  • Under the Radar

    A “Scientology CLEAR” would be a species I would pay $2.4 million to see.

    Too bad there is not even ONE on this planet.

  • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

    I have lost many hours lying on my back in fields staring at the sky, day and night, and I get a lovely swooping feeling in my tummy when I try to wrap my mind around deep space and the incomprehensible distances involved – it’s almost like the opposite of vertigo as I imagine myself falling upwards – but I can’t say I’m anything other than a casual observer so you’d think a story about the writer of Burnham’s Celestial Handbook would hold little interest; but I love Tony’s writing so much that I’m physically ushering my son and his friends out of the house so I can dig in.

    As an aside, doesn’t this mean that the Bunker is no longer a single-subject news source?

    ETA. I am asking about the single-subject thing because, iirc, Google or MSNBC or someone like that said they couldn’t promote or list the Bunker because it’s a single-subject news source. I was hoping someone could remind me of the specifics.

    • Juicer77

      It’s a really good human interest story. Burnham had a fascinating personality and a tragic story.
      We share all kinds of “off-topic” stuff here, Tony should get a turn, too. πŸ™‚

      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        Juicy, help me remember why the Bunker being a single-subject news source shackled Tony in some way. Was it something to do with Google grants?

        • Juicer77

          I don’t know if that’s the case, honestly. He likes to stay on point with the daily “beat” of $cientology, I think that’s really mostly it.

          • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

            It came up a couple of times last year, iirc, but I forget the specifics.

            • Juicer77

              Ah, ok. Someone else may remember. I just remember the Google cursing issue!

            • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

              Oh, actually, I think it was something to do with MSNBC (or someone like that) who won’t promote single-subject news sources. I hope someone with a better memory than mine will be able to clarify!

    • I used to go camping, with my mate’s lad, on Dartmoor, where there was no artificial light. We would stick our heads out of the tent and look up. Gradually, as your eyes adjust, you see more and more stars.

      We never ever quite reached the full potential – either the cold or the immensity got to us first.

      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        I can’t imagine a more beautiful place to star-gaze! Were you ever joined by ponies?

        • Not in the areas where you camp, but otherwise (along with sheep) yes.

          The first rule of dealing with Dartmoor ponies is don’t stand behind them. They’re cute, but they’re tough, and they can still kick. I’m told they like Polos, mind.

        • Andrew Robertson

          When I first went to England I stayed in Devon for a while on my way to Cornwall and hired a horse and spent an afternoon riding around the moor. I kept coming across these little ponies who would come over and say hello to my horse and ignore me as I hadn’t the foresight to bring them any food.

          Andrew

          • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

            What a fantastic experience, Andrew!

    • chuckbeattyxquackologist75to03

      Years back, in 2004 or so, when I read Tony’s articles on Tory Christensen and on Larry Wollersheim, I noticed Tony’s excellent skill describing little things that make such good reading.

      He wrote really good enjoyable magazine article length articles.

      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        I love long-form articles best of all πŸ™‚

        • chuckbeattyxquackologist75to03

          Which is why writing about Scientology requires that length, as Tony has done.

          If I were his agent, I’d urge from time to time, a nice magazine length article or two.

    • ze moo

      Peter Gabriel can fix that.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZ2hY6Fetw0

    • JJ

      Those are not hours lost… sitting in traffic, working at a job you hate, watching re runs, standing in line at the DMV are hours lost…

  • mirele

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for the story on Robert Burnham. One of my dearest friends has a few sets of his Celestial Handbook, including a rare hardbound set. I don’t know how many hours I’ve spent just reading through the Celestial Handbook, it was that engaging. By comparison, the “Annals of the Deep Sky” series currently being published by Willmann-Bell is rather pale and dry.

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      You and Tony are kindred spirits πŸ™‚

    • chuckbeattyxquackologist75to03

      Did you notice Tony took one of the article’s photos? I can just imagine Tony arranging that photo, having the Pluto discovery plate pulled off the shelf of all the various telescope photo plates.

      The article has so many excellent descriptions and explanations in it.

      • Robert Eckert

        “so many excellent descriptions and explanations” Like Burnham’s Handbook itself.

  • The Art market is not an easy way to make a living. It requires not only the ability to do effective research but also good judgement and a lot of hard work.

    That’s what fascinates me about Scientology. It’s no surprise that Izzy reached OT8 – he evidently had the money, and that’s the real qualification. However, how do you reconcile the fact that he was capable enough to prosper in a trade that requires a sceptical approach, and still fall for Scientology – all the way to the top of the con?

    I also wonder what, if any, influence the arrogant ‘above the law’ culture of Scientology (and the constant ‘urgent’ demands for money) had on his decision to enter into an utterly contemptible and illegal trade.

    Maybe he wasn’t so clever – maybe he simply moved in circles where his customers had far more money than sense. I don’t know. I just wonder whether, if it was not for his encountering Scientology, Izzy might have had a career as a slightly ‘edgy’ career as an art dealer, and not pushed his luck so far.

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      I also pondered Scientology’s “merchants of chaos” approach to justice and whether it makes it simpler, morally, to break the law, and I completely believe it does.

      • Also, does it attract people who already think they are above the law (the very kind of people who seem to rise to CofS ‘management’ – at least for a while)?

    • BuberZionist

      Maybe Izzy Chait was successful because he broke the law. He did when selling rhino horns. That could have been a big moneymaker.

    • chuckbeattyxquackologist75to03

      From my old Sea Orger viewpoint, I saw him as just another one of Scientology’s LA semi celebrity default rich “public” slacker, even as hard working rich as he was. He donated plenty of money in his years, and he donated one of his sons to the Sea Org, that was quite a feather in his dedicated Scientologist’s cap.

      Unless he turned on them, and he didn’t, Izzy won’t get much for this.

      • That’s the puzzle – how was he both capable enough to make all that money in a competitive trade, and daft enough to give so much of it to Scientology in exchange for barely coherent promises that were never fulfilled?

        • chuckbeattyxquackologist75to03

          LA celebrity knick-knack trinket world collectors, rich people abound who want their little human history knick-knacks, and have all the money to buy their highest end trinkets to feather their rich pads.

          He was in high end knick-knack trinket selling.

          People with so much extra money, the high end rich of the LA region and the world, rich “Jones” always wishing to keep up on earth’s best trinkets.

          He bought into the Hubbard “OT” benefits, since “OT” soul abilities are “permanent” and you can take your OT powers into your next soul galivanting in your next incarnation, while the knick-knacks stay put for the next generation to buy and sell (to in turn pay for paying for Hubbard’s con “OT” “permanent” soul improvement, it’s such a spiritual con that is such common human failing and falling for).

          • So (to quote myself from above) you would argue that, “[…] he simply moved in circles where his customers had far more money than sense”.

            • chuckbeattyxquackologist75to03

              Precisely.

        • Kestrel

          How could the Duggans do the same?

          • They have always stuck me as dim bulbs who moved in a corporate world and stuck it rich on the back of clever researchers whom they employed.

        • kemist

          So did the Duggans, and all these people in yesterday’s article.

          I think this shows money does not necessarily correlates with good judgement, or any special capabilities.

          • Although sometimes it does…

            • kemist

              Very rarely.

              Most rich people, if you take away their money, have no special marketable skill to offer. None.

              They just happened to employ or be friends with talented people out of sheer luck.

              You’ve got some visionaries who know exactly what they are doing and built something out of nothing. My boss, the sole owner of his 750 employee private company (last year’s income was around $ 200 000 000), is one such person. He’s an engineer who founded his company after a careful study of the needs of his clients.

              But he’s an exception, not the norm.*

              *The guy works on a desk in the open plan office, just like us. He wrote some of the legacy code we work on. And he drives a Pontiac Vibe. A visitor would have no idea he’s the owner.

            • I think I would like your boss.

    • gtsix

      Maybe you give him too much credit, and he was a con who loved the con.

      Sometimes an ass is just an ass.

      • Maybe his business was just as chaotic as Scientology… but the fact that he managed to make enough money to get to OT8 suggests that he was doing something right and could have played it straight.

        • gtsix

          Arrrg, there be whales! Get the harpoon.

          • And will someone tell Mr Starbuck to shut up…

          • dungeon master

            5 Bunker Points for putting on the pirate! You’ve obviously been up longer than I have lol.

    • kemist

      I think most of these guys have no freaking idea how they came to have what they have.

      Superficially they’ll act like they know what they’re doing because it’s the narrative they’re comfortable with. No one who is on top of things likes to be told that they’re there mostly out of sheer luck, because luck isn’t something one can control.

      So they need to be told they are there because they’re special, superior to these people in the gutter. Scientology satisfies that need – in exchange for some of their money. That’s something no legit charity does.

    • 3feetback-of-COS

      … and still fall for Scientology? Easy. $cientology offers the promise of beating death by continuing one’s consciousness. Even the smartest people hope and WANT to believe it. That’s what really sets the hook, IMO.

      • RexAinsfree

        Honest question, and I mean no disrespect to anyone: “… beating death by continuing one’s consciousness”. Isn’t that what many religions promise, with their concept of ‘heaven’?

        I don’t understand why Scientolo would be more attractive, RE the promise that one can continue on & on, than any religion promising an afterlife.

        I’m a ‘never was in’, so there are many aspects of Scientolo which I don’t understand.

        • Techie

          RexAinsfree, it is probably not necessary to understand all the “sacred knowledge” of Scientology. For the most part it is stuff that was made up or borrowed from other traditions and intentionally used to con people out of their money.To answer your question, Scientology borrowed the idea of “past lives” from other religious traditions. But Hubbard’s take on it deletes the idea of “karma” and the idea that your future lives will be good or bad depending on this life. To Hubbard the basic “awareness of awareness unit” or spirit that is you cannot die. It is not physical. It goes on, but he also said it forgets the past life soon after starting the next life. The plus side of the Hubbard version is that he thought that he could improve a person’s awareness to the point where they would remember the current life in future incarnations. So, if the practitioner advances to high levels in this life he will continue on even higher in the next life. Sadly there is no evidence that this ever actually happens and despite promises Hubbard himself has never “come back”.

          • RexAinsfree

            Thanks, Techie. If I understand correctly, Hubbard’s version seems to say that the circumstances of one’s next life do not depend on the karmic results of how a person conducted themselves in this lifetime, but rather on how far they advanced on The Bridge to Total Freedom. Oh, goodness! I think that would mean that Scientolo has a lock on being the only route to a robust, satisfying, and unforgettable next life/lives!

            • April

              “Scientolo has a lock on being the only route to a robust, satisfying, and unforgettable next life/lives!”

              That belief is their “eternity.” As in, “if you leave the church you’ll lose your eternity.” By leaving the CO$ they’ll lose any progress they’ve made on the bridge when they come back for their next life. All bullshit, but that is their belief.

            • RexAinsfree

              That explains a lot, April, thanks. Such a scare tactic! Spiritual bullies!

              My personal belief is that if a person wants some spiritual growth, they must start to think for themselves. But some find it scarier to venture away from what they’ve been taught. Kinda like staying with an abusive partner, because it’s too frightening to face the world as it is.

        • 3feetback-of-COS

          True, many religions use that afterlife hook. SCN just goes a bit further with the idea that you retain and can remember your current identity even in a new body, still here on Earth, plus all those magical OT powers.

          • RexAinsfree

            I see, there’s “the afterlife”, or Scientology’s “afterlife with sprinkles”!

            (Apologies if anyone is offended. Sometimes I just can’t help myself.)

      • I never understood that.

        The prospect of personal extinction is terrifying – but there is no feasible alternative that does not require the surrender of rational thought known as faith.

        Arguments from personal incredulity (death just can’t be the end) don’t hold much water either.

        I want to know not believe , and that’s not possible in the nature of the question.

        That ” […] promise of beating death” is part of a complex, socially constructed reality that, I think has far more influence over the things that people profess to believe than the fear of mortality, in most cases.

        On the other hand, I cold just be one of the weird one, for whom the consolations of faith has never, ever, had any appeal.

        • 3feetback-of-COS

          Personal extinction — excellent way to put it.

          Re: faith and having to believe, by putting the thetan/spirit not in the physical universe, it makes objective proof conveniently impossible – suspiciously convenient in my book.

          Re: the consolation of faith not having appeal, you can count me in your camp, after I wasted time, money, and effort trying the $cientology “religion.”

          • The philosopher of science, Karl Popper, would have called the ‘thetan manoeuvre’ you describe “unfalsifiable”.

            He argued that science did not advance by scientists ‘proving’ they were right – in fact in a universe of near-infinite possibilities this is not possible. No matter how often you test an idea and find it works, there is no rational way to sure that it won’t fail if you test it again.

            Instead, he proposed that science sets up theories, and then tries to break them. If they pass that test, you can be more confident (of never absolutely sure) of their truth. If they fail, that’s an opportunity to make new science by explaining why.

            Crucially, this created a way to spot pseudo-science. If there is no way, even in principle, that an idea can be tested in such a way that it might be proved wrong, it’s meaningless – or at best, a matter of faith. It can’t be shown to shown to be false (hence ‘unfalsifiable’).

            Working scientists dismiss such ideas as ‘not even wrong’.

            Almost all of Scientology depends on unfalsifiabity – for example the central proposition that ‘standard’ Scientology always works so, if it appears to fail someone must have applied it incorrectly. In that self-sealing argument, you can never put Scientology to a fair test, even in principle.

  • chuckbeattyxquackologist75to03

    Such a well written article, great reading!

    http://tonyortega.org/sky-writer-the-cosmic-life-of-celestial-handbook-author-robert-burnham-jr/

    Tony did one of the article’s photographs even. An “action” photo of the Pluto discovery plate being selected off the shelf, LOL.

  • BuberZionist

    Izzy Chait (the father) is one of the biggest sleazebags in Scientology, and that’s saying a lot. I’ve watched the YouTube video of Chait confronting former Scio Marty Rathbun at the airport. It’s unclear how that POS knew that Rathbun was going to be at the airport. Chait had some security people filming the encounter.

    Chait’s heart attack and brain damage could be a just punishment for a wasted life of evil in a destructive cult.

    • BraveBloggers

      As much as I believe in karma, I don’t wish a stroke on anyone. I think jail time would have been more meaningful.

    • Juicer77

      It’s sad that he’s too incapacitated now to “wake up” – if that was ever possible. I don’t know him but there are probably people he’s harmed that feel bitter toward him.

    • nunyabidnes

      That’s not really fair to blame a heart attack and brain damage on him being a horrible person. My grandfather suffered the same as have many others. Were they all horrible people too? Izzy was a horrible person, and he got sick. If there was a cause, it was probably a poor diet and lack of exercise.

      • And the lack of early diagnosis and preventative medical treatment that is so common among ‘advanced’ Scientologists.

      • Harpoona Frittata

        In the wog world, where science and empirical knowledge count, Izzy’s health crisis’s don’t make him a horrible person, but within the $cn world view, he “pulled it in”. Meaning that, as a result of his overts and withholds – both in this lifetime and in previous ones – he IS responsible for the condition that he ended up in. In $cn, perfect health, and even immunity from accidental injury, are the expected result of advanced level auditing.

        This is exactly why Elron’s actual physical and mental condition prior to his demise had to be covered up and an elaborate story of his supposedly conscious decision to “drop the body” in order to do further OaTy research had to be fabricated and foisted upon rank-and-file cult members.

        So, from the wog world view, Elron, Izzy and many other aging OaTys’ health crisis’s and mental declines aren’t due to any kind of moral/ethical failings, but in $cn they sure are!

    • ze moo

      Izzy’s health problems are not the result of Karma or divine punishment or any thing else. Had Karma been in play, Izzy would have lost his head to cannibals.

      While an ever popular theme, Karma and Divine punishment don’t exist.

    • TooDangerous2

      Izzy was not a horrible person. None of the Chait family were.
      They were simply lost and brainwashed like all scientologists are.

      • Harpoona Frittata

        That’s a charitable and hopeful way of looking at the Kool-Aid glass!

        However, being a horrible person and being lost and brainwashed are not at all mutually exclusive conditions.

        • TooDangerous2

          That may be true, but I knew the Chaits and they weren’t horrible people. It’s easy to write them off and label them as horrible people (or whatever), but it’s not that simple. It’s not so black and white.

          • Bobby Tolberto aka TDA

            Not all horrible people are criminals, but most criminals are horrible people.

          • Harpoona Frittata

            I agree, we should be wary of coming to overly general conclusions about others. And since you knew the family personally, you’re in a much better position to comment on the matter than most of us here are, including me.

            However, if the accounts of his consistent pattern of criminal/unethical behavior in running his business and in requiring his family members to also act in their roles as his employees are true, then he’s a longtime criminal. And if his actions in being used as a tool of the OSA to harass and terrorize designated enemies of the cherch have also been accurately described, then he’s done some pretty horrible things.

            If there are counterbalancing acts of kindness and generosity that mitigate the thoroughly discreditable view of him that’s been painted here, then that should certainly be brought to light as well.

            Unfortunately, it’s been my direct experience and consistent second-hand impression that $cn breeds and inculcates criminality and sociopathy, so that the longer that you’re in it and the more deeply involved that you become, the less likely you are to be anything but a horrible person.

    • Harpoona Frittata

      Fizzy Izzy’s OaTy 8 fate unfolded in very much the same way as Elron’s did…hardly the way that you’d expect two super-human beings with the power over mutter, energy bars and the space-crime continuum to end their days, is it?

  • Under the Radar

    Heh Tony Ortega – what do you make of “Who is Marty Rathbun’s” Hate Site being taken down?

    Did Marty Rathbun take the blood money from Scientology to drop the lawsuit – pretend like he is mad at everyone and spew hate at ex Scientologist’s all in a ruse to throw us off?

    I smell a rat!

    • The CofS still hold the domain name. It’s now been ‘parked’ – so they have either forgotten to pay for the hosting of the content to go with it, or withdrawn it.

      It’s odd. However, I still think that what is going on is a little more complicated than a simple pay-off.

      PS Marty’s blog remains unchanged since January the 15th. It will be interesting to see if he deigns to comment. I doubt it.

      • Juicer77

        Agree.

    • nunyabidnes

      The Internets Never Forget https://web.archive.org/web/20161003181824/http://whoismartyrathbun.com/ So is he a violent psychopath who can’t make any friends or isn’t he? Honestly, who are they trying to target with these ridiculously transparent smear campaigns? It’s laughable to think anyone, even someone of very low intelligence, would take these sites seriously. They are so slimy and amateurish. I haven’t read most of them, but if this is an example, you’d think with all that money they could come up with something better than this. It looks like some elementary school bullies got together to create this.

      • Nice one.

        Those sites really are so viciously over-the-top that they must be aimed at Scientologists. Outsiders with any judgement would recoil from the venom and mark them down as utterly unreliable.

      • Harpoona Frittata

        Worse still, if you were to take the information contained on those “WhoIsXenu” smear sites as being accurate and truthful, then in cases like Marty’s, where very longtime, high-ranking $ea Orgy officers’ are being portrayed as Super SPs, you’re only left to conclude that $cn must be very ineffective in its ability to detect and effectively deal with SPs or they would have been found out and expelled long before they rose to such high ranks.

        Lil davey, the cult’s actual Super SP, can’t really have it both ways. If he’s the innocent victim of a massive and well-coordinated campaign of lies and false allegations that were designed to discredit and defame him, then how in the world was it possible for all of these folks to go undetected for so long within the $ea Orgy’s ranks and for them to have risen to such high positions of authority and control with the cult?

        • RexAinsfree

          That’s what I’ve been thinking, too. For an organization which claims to be effective at ridding adherents of ‘bad stuff’ from this lifetime, and also many past lives, they sure have a lot of lying, cheating, wife-beating, family-abandoning, embezzling parishioners and high-rankers. Tsk tsk.

          • Harpoona Frittata

            They sure do! And to put the poison cherry atop that shit-frosted cake, auditing at the highest levels of the bridge not only doesn’t make you a physically healthy person with a longer than average life span, it seems to make you more susceptible to cancer, heart disease, etc. which leads to diminished longevity and decreased quality of life in old age.

            The false belief that auditing can cure cancer, and that all illness is a result of being PTS to someone or something, keeps $cilons from seeking standard medical care at the early stages of disease, when it’s most treatable, resulting in increased mortality and decreased quality of life.

            • RexAinsfree

              Well, the bright side is that they have no more money troubles! Scamentology has all their money! No worries, be happy!

            • Harpoona Frittata

              Once they’re “cleared” of all their cash and liquid assets, $cilons are unmagically transformed from being useful idiots into being mere idiots.

              Regardless of how much a True Believer $cilon loves the cherch, the cult has no love for you and as soon as you’re out of cash, you’re also out of the cult…or at least, parked on the bridge until you can beg, borrow or steal more to contribute to it.

            • Ann B Watson

              You tell this from the mountaintops Harpoona. With my two cancers If if I had stayed in Sea Org until my age now 65, my body would be ash and my spirit free of Ron’s World at a young age. As it is I am trying to heal and stay positive with this disease and so far still in remissions. Does not mean I like the medical solution I chose, but here I still am. And I am not leaving for awhile yet. πŸ˜˜πŸ’›

            • Harpoona Frittata

              So glad to hear that you escaped the cult when you did and found effective treatment for your cancer!

            • Ann B Watson

              Thank you so much Harpoona, I so wish those still in who get any type of ailment, especially those Sea Orgers 65 & over. I so hope they could see other paths besides massive doses of vitamins, niacin and auditing. Always either pay for it or scrounge for it in SO, but I know what would have happened traveling that road. I enjoy your posts wherever I see them. ❀️

            • Missionary Kid

              Hang in there, Ann!

            • Ann B Watson

              For you, Absolutely ! Thank you.😘

    • Funny you should say that. Still up:

      http://rottenrat.com/

      • this one is down too http://www.mikerinderblog.com/ Or has been that for a long time?

        • It’s been like that for a while. CoS’s efforts against Marty and Mike over the years were pretty disorganized. Probably some were OSA/INCOMM and others by lower level types like Squirrel Busters pawns.

          Once the case started, the Squirrel Busters were inactive, and Marty wasn’t posting much about Scientology, probably on lawyer advice. A lot of their sites rotted during that period.

  • BraveBloggers

    Honest question: Would a “VIP” OT8, scientologist, that engages in illegal business practices be sent to ethics for those transgressions, when those same transgressions are helping feed the “economic contribution” made to Scientology? I believe I know the response…but I’m curious how ethics never caught Izzy for his illegal and unethical ways.

    • Juicer77

      Because it’s all about the money, honey. And if “wog” laws get in the way of $camatology money flowing “uplines” they are conveniently ignored.

      • BraveBloggers

        Sigh, I know. I just want it to be different.

        • Juicer77

          Me too, hon. (hugs)

        • ze moo

          Remember the mantra, ‘It is always worse than you think’.

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      It all depends on how much negative publicity is drawn down upon Scientology – and how much the individual can afford to pay their way out of Ethics.

      • They logic is like this. You cannot pay you out of an Ethics condition, but you can be upstat and get Ethics protection!

    • It’s only ‘unethical’ in Scientology’s special sense if it damages Scientology on balance.

      Had it ever come up, it may have be decided that all those donations were ‘for the greater good’ of Scientology, and consequently more than made up for the death of a few dumb animals who were irrelevant to ‘saving the planet’.

      After all, he only broke wog law.

    • MarcabExpat

      You get into ethics trouble if you cause bad PR. Heck, even if you do something legal, ethical and genuinely good, you’ll still get in trouble if it gets the wrong kind of attention.

    • I once asked the Ethics officer if i suddenly came in with a load of cash, if they would take them without questions asked? The answer was – Yes sure! as long as it would not give them bad PR there is no policy against it.

    • Scream Nevermore

      What Scientology means by ‘ethics’ is not how the rest of us understand it.

  • Under the Radar

    ((((((BREAKING NEWS))))))

    Marty Rathbun’s HATE website from Scientology has been taken down.

    Did Marty take the blood money?

    Were the attorney’s in on it?

    Someone mirror his site before he takes that down….his site has made thousands of “Clears”….

    • Which particular hate website are you talking about?

      Stalker sites

      A lot of them were allowed to expire during the court case.

  • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

    Posted with permission from Billy Drummond, this is a horrible and devastating reminiscence of childhood as the son of one of Scientology’s most high-ranking stars, Betty Wordie – the first OT VI. Many of you know the lengths Billy has gone to to track down the whereabouts – or burial place – of his mother to achieve closure. 20+ members of Billy’s family are still die-hard Scientologists.

    I love Billy: leaving the cult has not been easy, and it took more than one attempt, but he’s done it and managed to rebuild his own little family in the process.

    Story after story is pouring forth from ex scientology lifers. The horrors and injustices that people went through or were put through in the search for enlightenment.

    This is a small part of what i went through as a kid in the late sixties another of the many episodes of my scientology life.

    It was in 1965. 66 and lasted right through till 1969.

    Myself and my 2 brothers and my sister were put into an orphanage in Durban in South Africa. I was a few years older than my siblings and was housed in a different building amongst the older boys. My Mother Betty Wordie was on lines at Durban Org.

    We rarely saw her and were often abandoned at the holiday time to fend for ourselves. My life was a living hell during these years. As a lily white British kid dumped into a home full of rough south African kids where I had 50 brothers and 45 sisters I was the target and prey for all the bullying they could dish out. The other boys would gang up on me in 6 and 7 at a time and I would get hounded and beaten on a daily basis morning noon and night. The horrors still torment me to this day. I’m talking about physical torture. Electrocution. Strangling with wet towels. Dragged naked in front of the girls and having my penis whipped with stinging nettles. Dragged into the swimming pool and forced under water till I almost drowned. Stabbed with home made darts and knives.

    Not a single moment. Not day or night was safe.

    At weekends I used to go in search of my mother at the Durban Org. All her money went on Scientology. She was often away at St Hill in the UK. BETTY Wordie . The supposedly first OT VI. Personal friend of LRH and John Mc Masters supposedly the world’s first clear.

    This organisation that declares that OTs are members of the most ethical group on the planet. A leader of this group that would rather stand by and watch her kids suffer for the greater good.

    A mother that would rather abandon her kids and give every penny she could muster to the furthering of this diabolical cult. That instead of putting ethics in on her. They took her money and gave her diplomas of recognition for her donations and stood by and watched as a whole family of kids suffered.

    This is a religion.

    I could never relate the horrors of my childhood to anyone. I believe the suffering was just as bad for my brothers and sisters. I am aware of child sex abuse carried out in their orphanage and the damage done can never be put right.

    That’s it on this for the moment.

    • Princess Poopypants

      This is so horrible.
      I wonder about the parents of these kids (my mom included). Even if there was a little doubt about Scn, finding out the truth about LRH and Scn, would that parents world crash in on them, when they realize they have wasted their lives and destroyed their children’s childhood? It’s a heavy burden for those parents of Scn kids, I think. And I wonder if they can’t face it.

      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        I know Billy has been searching for his mum not to berate her but because he loves her, which only adds to the heartbreak I think πŸ™

        • Rasha

          Yes, it does.

        • Dylan

          that feeling of wanting closure is also a product of Scientology. I found that same want ruling my life. As if it would somehow fix something or allow me to srart living in the manor all humans deserve. Always imagining this hard conversation followed with a great understanding between a child and their parent. I still wish for this day and sincerely hope that billy can achieve this. If there is anything I can do to help this happen please let me know. Very eager to hear if there is a reconnecting or closure.

          • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

            Dylan, I’d love to give you a hug.

            Billy is almost certain his mother has passed away. The last place she was heard of was in Edinburgh some years ago: he heard on the grapevine that she had been diagnosed with Alzheimers and had been moved to a care home up there, so Billy made a pilgrimage to Scotland last year to see if anyone at the Edinburgh Org could give him a lead. They wouldn’t help.

            The really wonderful news for Billy is that he has managed to put his disconnected family (his wife, son and daughter) back together again. Some wonderful SPs from the British Isles (and one in particular) helped raise the money last year to bring them over to the UK from Peru, and some great people from the Bunker helped them move into a home of their own – but more than 20 members of his wider family, including his siblings, remain in Scientology.

            There’s a lot of love for Billy πŸ™‚

            • Dylan

              Thanks and very glad he is getting the support and structure that is so needed with this kind of abuse.
              looking at the disconnection list it is sad that this is really just the tip of the iceberg. I personally have been living with disconnection for over nine thousand days. This has given me a drive and desire to do what ever I can to help avoid another going through this. he is lucky to have caring people like you around him.

            • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

              9000+ days… That’s unbearable. Sorry, Dylan.

            • Anoymouswillgetyou

              Dylan, I am sorry you have been disconnected from those that more than likely care, but are too afraid to buck the evil machine of Scientology. Just know people like me, want Scientology destroyed, the properties & money given to you the victim’s, so that true good from the money people gave, some even died(some people committed suicide after being pressured to max out credit cards, etc.) for will go where it is supposed to. Now you will have to make new friends, & form a new family, until yours wake up. Just know so many people are rooting for you. Don’t ever think that David Miscaviage & others that have hurt you, have won. Their time is truly coming to an end. I think pressure to our government to take the money away from Scientology & giving it to all victims & critics hurt by this evil, organization must happens soon. My only concern is that the government does not keep a penny. I wish a class action suit could take them down. I know some lawyers that I read about over the years that have suffered from fighting them. If only we could wipe them out financially. Then the government stops recognizing them as a “church” & starts to prosecute them for the terrible things they have done, the forced abortions, child labor, slave labor, neglect of children & the sick & old. Not allowing people basic medical treatment. Denying mentally ill people proper treatment. Prosecuting them for exposing thousands to hanging blue asbestos. If I had a prestigious law firm that had power you could not stop me from taking this as a class action suit. People have to have homes, food, security, get their educations, catch up with what they missed as slave labor, the old must be taken care of, not put in a state nursing home, but have the best private care. Hang in there.we care about you.

      • allioops

        not the “wasband” the ex-husband. He thinks he was a wonderful father. His mother, also a scio, thinks she is a wonderful mother. They are so narcissistic and brain washed; they think that everything they every did or do; is just great in the eyes of the cult. So eff their kids.

    • aquaclara

      This is beyond tragic. The worst of evils- combined with the worst of cults. Billy survived this? Thank heavens. But nothing can erase those childhood experiences.

    • Frodis73

      Jesus.

    • KimP

      I am so sorry to hear this about your friend. It disgusts me that a tax exempt “religion” can get away with this.

    • Gflded

      W. T. F….πŸ’”

    • what on earth is this%Β€#%

    • Harpoona Frittata

      Of all the many different categories of crimes and abuses committed and condoned by the cherch over the years, the most heinous of all is their systematic neglect and abuse of children. For some, like Bettie Wordy, $cn is a powerfully addicting drug which they will lie, cheat, steal and pay anything to obtain, while destroying what actually should matter most in the world to them: family and their own children’s lives and futures.

      I sincerely hope that as the cult’s many evil practices continue to be exposed publicly, the stories of the children whose lives were caught up in this killer cult’s conscienceless pursuit of wealth, power and control through no choice or fault of their own will be given the prominence and central focus that they deserve!

    • BaaadaBing

      I can’t even find words to express the rage I feel right now reading this. Just when I think I have a full grasp of the horrors COS has inflicted, I see a story like this. This is the shredding apart and utter anhilation of a human being, a soul, for Christ sakes. Children. How he survived, with any modicum of sanity is nothing short of a miracle in my eyes.

      I don’t know shit about what kind of mom Betty would have been without COS. But if she was anything like me, she’d have taken bullet or blade before seeing harm come to her children. To hell with the money COS took from innocents. This is the REAL cost of that damn cult. How DARE they ask anyone “What are your crimes?”. We don’t have to ask them that question. We KNOW YOURS.

      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        “This is the REAL cost of that damn cult.”

        Absolutely right.

    • ze moo

      If ever pushed on this subject, the clams will eventually fall back on, ‘we don’t do that anymore’. As if that excuses it all.

    • John Prince

      Isn’t Billy that cool Pirate Guy in England, Who provided such amusment at a “grand opening” last year?

      • Johnny Tank (Forever Autumn)

        Yes, he is.

        • John Prince

          Mr.Glutius Maximus Extrordinair’ on the Spot! I KNEW I could count on You,
          somehow πŸ‘

          • Johnny Tank (Forever Autumn)

            They don’t call me the Assman for nothing πŸ˜‰

            • John Prince

              Billy is an older Guy who’s bearing the Scars of co$, Yet He just won’t let it get Him down! You HAVE to raise a glass to the Guy, don’t Ya? 🍻

      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        Yes, Captain Billy Drummond. Ahoy! πŸ™‚

      • He used to dress like that for CofS fund-raising events with a tacky ‘pirate theme – and continued to do when protesting against Scientology after leaving it. He didn’t need Anonymous to teach him the importance of entertainment value.

        There’s a lot more behind that image, though…

        • John Prince

          One can ONLY admire spirit like His πŸ’ͺπŸ‘. .with all He’s been through, thanx to the “cherch” it would be easy to understand if He simply went off the deep end or became a basket case. .instead, He’s still out there Fighting the Good Fight, doing what He can to prevent others from falling for scio-bullshit! !!He’s a Beacon of Light, an Inspiration, nothing less πŸ‘ŠπŸ‘I raise a cup of Grog to Him once more 🍻

    • Anoymouswillgetyou

      If her millions were reimbursed, her “children” could perhaps do somethings to improve their lives, to give them peace, knowing they will never have to be in a vulnerable situation again. You could go to school just to learn things. Get your degree if you wanted. Or take some training you were interested in. Learn to start a business or write a book about your expeiences. Most importantly you could do things with the money that actually help you. I pray that every ex Scientologist victim & their families that may have lost someone to Scientology is heavily compensated. It is the only way. All the properties & anything of value must be sold so that you all get the money that should have gone to you in the first place. I am so sorry you suffered so. Please excuse the misspelling of Anonymous as I was not feeling too well that day. I was so,excited what Anonymous had done to,Scientology a few years ago, I decided to use that handle as a support for them.

  • Sejanus

    Remarkable story on Burnham.
    I just ordered the Celestrial Handbook and have decided this year is for Astronomy

  • Lousy Ratatouille

    Ebony (Kamahl) and Ivory (elephant):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9CLBQvduLE

  • Under the Radar

    {{{{{{ Breaking News }}}}}} Marty Rathbun’s Scientology HATE website has been taken down.

    • Tony Ortega

      We heard you the first time.

      • Tony Ortega

        You know, they’ve taken down some smear sites about me, as well. What are you going to conclude from that?

        It is interesting that the “WhoIsMartyRathbun” site is gone. But on its own it proves nothing.

        For real information about Marty, you just need to sit tight and wait a little longer.

        • KimP

          I am so sorry to hear that! I do hope you expressed your dissatisfaction with them about them taking down your smear site πŸ™‚

        • TexasBroad

          I had a little flash of dread there at your last sentence.

          • The truth (as Agent Mulder was fond of saying) is out there, but just out of reach – for a while.

        • Harpoona Frittata

          You’re such a Control Of Cult Knowledge tease! To me, “a little longer” means in a couple of months or less. Would that be a correct interpretation of what you mean there or what?

        • ze moo

          The Clams know that their smear sites reflect back on them. That is a big change in their PR network. Or they are just too cheap to keep them up.

          A sign of the clampocolypse?

      • Under the Radar

        Seems like you are pissed that I posted it and no one is even discussing this.

        Am I missing something?

        Is this not important news seeing as Marty Rathbun via Monique Rathbun – fired their attorney’s and claimed to be “dropping the case” and goes on a “ex scientology” bashing rant including you Tony Ortega and Now – the Church of Scientology takes down the hate website.

        I think it is newsworthy and certainly worth discussing here.

        • MarcabExpat

          More than one of those sites went away. It could well be simply that some Sea Orc somewhere isn’t maintaining their registration, either due to bleary overworked lack of awareness, or because the funds haven’t been released to renew them.

        • Johnny Tank (Forever Autumn)

          I think a lot of people here are tired of speculating about Martyr Athbun. Without any factual new information, there really is nothing to discuss. That a hate-site simply goes away doesn’t really mean anything in itself – and anything said about that would *again* be pure speculation.

          Besides, it was already mentioned in yesterday’s comments, that the site is down.

          But, if anyone *wants* to talk about it, don’t let me stop you πŸ™‚

        • Robert Eckert

          Meh, it’s not that big a deal. They put these things up and eventually forget about them and let them lapse. We don’t even know how long ago it was that this particular anti-Marty site (there are others) went down.

        • Missionary Kid

          So, why did did you post it 3 times?

          • Under the Radar

            Well, Scientology is the most litigious organization in the World – it is known to pay off high ranking officials with blood money to silence them from speaking out crimes the Cult of Scientology commits…..

            the #1 high ranking defector, Mark Rathbun, via his wife, Monique Rathbun, sues the church of Scientology. Just before he has a chance to win – he fires his attorneys and starts attacking critics…

            some critics say he became rich because he received the $cientology gag order

            just thought it was newsworthy if the cult of Scientology took down his hate site

            • Missionary Kid

              As Tony said, they’ve done it to him, too.

            • Under the Radar

              Tony did not say – he ignored my comment and got snippy with me when I repeated it. I found that strange but maybe he does not like me because I am a Trump supporter. Not that I care. What did Tony say?

            • Missionary Kid

              If Tony ignores you, it’s because it’s not very important to him. You felt that it was important, but that doesn’t mean it’s important to everyone else. You’ll notice that others didn’t comment much on it. That’s a pretty good barometer.

              Whether or not he takes something up has nothing to do with your politics. The subject is $cientology, and he’s had 20+ years of covering it. If something is relevant, he’ll jump on it. When I first came here, I got smacked down because I insisted on a point.Like you, I made several posts, insisting on it. In the scheme of things, wasn’t important, and, it turned out, I was incorrect.

            • Under the Radar

              MK – Okay, I get it now. Thanks for the “hatting” LOL

            • Missionary Kid

              I had to learn myself. Thanks for taking it so well.

          • Under the Radar

            when something newsworthy like that happens – you would think the #1 guy that reports on Scientology news would perk up and comment about it or want to know…..

            • Johnny Tank (Forever Autumn)

              Tony knows more about scientoology than most of us, and he knows very much that is privileged information. He has been doing this for over 20 years. He has tipsters on the inside and outside. He made a comment regarding what happened, and as it turned out, the domain had probably just expired. It’s now up again, and it’s back to status quo. There was nothing to report, and we saved ourselves several hours of useless speculation.

            • Missionary Kid

              You consider it newsworthy, and you didn’t email him directly?

              I’ve emailed him about items, and he’s given me the reasons why he doesn’t put them in. Often it’s because the situation is fluid, and things are changing (like the website is back up again, just like the WWP website was down and is back up again), or there is a much bigger picture to the story.

              Tony doesn’t waste his time on stories that might not turn out to be stories. He waits until they are developed, and he has enough information and has cross-checked the information. If he makes a mistake, or even if a mistake can be implied by Co$, they do it, so he is very careful what he posts.

              You thought you had a hot story. Good, but posting essentially the same thing 3 times in rapid succession is not a good move, IMO. I sometimes post the same thing, but it’s usually to let a new “shift” in the Bunker know something. I do it only if people have shown interest in it.

              BTW, Tony isn’t the only one who checks up on stuff that’s posted. There are people who comment here who were in $cientology from close to the beginning, as well as people who are coming out, there are people who have dedicated web crawlers operating all the time for $cientology news, and there’s people here with disparate interests that reach into areas where $cientology is directly contradicted, or who can point to where LRH stole his ideas.

  • Rasha

    As an amateur astronomer, Rasha finds the story of Robert Burnham extremely interesting, and will be ordering the book. Thank you for including this piece, Tony, I did not know of him before.

    • Frodis73

      That was such an interesting and sad story and I was so excited to check out the pics from the original story. Highly recommend it.

      • Rasha

        Still reading it. What a story of an interesting personality…..

  • Victoria Pandora

    I love your wonderfully in depth article on Robert Burnham!
    And now I will forever wonder what happened to him during his time in Oak Creek Canyon, which can be a haunting and mysterious place.
    And I had no idea Lowell was affiliated with Planet X, a hysteria that seems to only have died this past couple of years.
    Thank-you Tony:)

  • Gerard Plourde

    The story on Robert Burnham is a must-read. Is there a way to find out if his headstone has been corrected and if there’s a way it can accurately indicate his beliefs now that veterans’ headstones have symbols for atheism? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2b7fbcb18ddf893110ef5604f3a78b152347eff74ae03da1298d5490e68382b7.jpg

  • chukicita

    The story of Robert Burnham brought tears to me.

    My fondest memories of my dad include taking lawnchairs out in our little backyard after sunset, the kind that recline all the way back, and learning to see first the bunny in the moon as well as the man, and later pictures in the constellations, and the kinds of stars. How to better ‘see’ something in the dark by looking slightly to one side of it instead of directly at it. The light you are seeing from that star was made thousands of years ago and traveled all this time just to hit your eye now. The way it made you feel so small and yet part of something much larger than yourself at the same time.

    Dad bought a Celestron C60, and later a C80 was set up on his balcony on a relatively unlit beach in Florida. He and my uncle (an aeronautical engineer who worked at NASA) would talk for hours about the sky, passing back and forth a copy of Burnham’s.

    What an amazing man he was, and what a good story his life made. Thanks, Tony, for telling it with such care.

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      “The story of Robert Burnham brought tears to me.”

      Yes, Chuki, me too. Just the words “Robert Burnham Jr. had inscribed the universe” brought tears to my eyes.

      Your dad sounds wonderful, by the way πŸ™‚

      • chukicita

        He was. The story also brought memories of many visits to the Adler planetarium. We both loved the sky show, and I loved the scales that would tell you what you’d weigh on other planets. πŸ˜€

        • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

          That sounds like fun! Every Christmas growing up we would spend a fortnight in the Bavarian Alps for skiing, sometimes Austria or Switzerland, but our favourite thing would be when mum and dad took us out at night on our Langlauf cross-country skis on treks through the forest to the nearest village for hot chocolate, and on the way back the pine forest would be lit by moonlight reflecting off the snowy ground. Petra and I would look up through the falling snow at the huge moon and the stars beyond and that’s when my swoopy tummy thing began, the sense of falling upwards into the cold night sky. I loved it.

          • chukicita

            I love how you describe the swoopy tummy thing, because I know *exactly* what you’re talking about!

    • Tony Ortega

      Great story. My own astronomy has been in eclipse for a while. But it will return.

    • MarcabExpat

      Love this. I’ve lived nearly all my life in areas with too much light pollution for decent stargazing, but as a child I went for summers to my grandmother’s upstate rural Alabama farm. She and I would nap until sundown, then spread out (homemade) quilts in the back of the pickup, pull out well away from the trees and stay until dawn reaching up with our eyes to what she called “the bowl of the night.” She had only a small, cheap lens, but she knew all the stories about what was where and why. It was our secret world.

      • Andrew Robertson

        Omar KhayyΓ‘m must have looked at the night sky too:

        Awake! for Morning in the Bowl of Night
        Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight :
        And Lo! the Hunter of the East has caught
        The Sultan’s Turret in a Noose of Light.

        Dreaming when Dawn’s Left Hand was in the Sky
        I heard a Voice within the Tavern cry,
        “Awake, my Little ones, and fill the Cup
        Before Life’s Liquor in its Cup be dry.”

        And, as the Cock crew, those who stood before
        The Tavern shouted – “Open then the Door!
        You know how little while we have to stay,
        And, once departed, may return no more.”

        Andrew

        (I yet in all I only cared to know,
        Was never deep in anything but-Wine.)

      • chukicita

        <3

  • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

    He was just a weather-beaten, penniless man who sold paintings of cats in Balboa Park who had grown old and died.

    Years before he was a destitute painter, Robert Burnham Jr. had inscribed the universe.

    Beautiful writing.

  • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

    Are “birders” bird-watchers?

    • Yes – the term is equivalent to bird-watcher.

      The sub-species of ‘Twitcher’ is a different proposition. They ‘collect’ sightings of rare birds (in the manner of train-spotters) and will travel extensively in order to do so.

      They earned the name because, on site, their heads allegedly ‘twitch’ about trying to find the lesser warbling grommet (or whatever) -and first.

      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        There is much you know, young Padawan πŸ™‚ I was a member of the Young Ornithologist Club of Great Britain when I was a child as they permitted membership from abroad (when we were living on Forces bases); in fact I think the whole school were strong-armed into joining, but I actually enjoyed it.

      • Missionary Kid

        Did you see the movie, The Big Year starring Jack Black, Owen Wilson, and Steve Martin. It wasn’t highly rated, but I loved it. It’s a fictional account of birding that would best be called twitching in the U.S.

        I have a variable relationship with Jack Black: sometimes I like him in a movie, and sometimes I feel meh. This is one of the movies I like him in.

        • I don’t do movies that much. I’m a big reader, and find that most just take too long to get to the point. Sadly, I would have to look Jack Black up…

          I’ll put it on my ‘to ‘pirate’‘… er… ‘ to buy legitimately’ list.

          • Missionary Kid

            Jack is also in a movie that is a romantic comedy that is shown on TV around Christmas about a couple of transatlantic romances called The Holliday, with Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz and Jude Law. It’s 10 years old.

            The movie that he also does a good job in is School of Rock, where he gets to show his abilities as a musician. It has now been made into a Broadway musical.

    • Seems unstable at the moment! watch out for phishing and check your https://

  • richelieu jr

    Tony ,
    I actually read your article back in the day, as my Aunt clipped it out and sent it. I had phtotographed the total eclipse of the sun (the longest in the 20th century) in Baja California in 1991, and she somehow figured it might interest me (& Boy did it!)…’I had no idea you had written it, but somehow it makes sense…

    I, for one, would really love to have a well-presented archive off your non-CoS stuff, as well as notable work by friends of the Bunker like Jon Atack, Paulette, Jonny J, etc…
    It would surprise me if I were alone in this opinion, or even in the minority…

    Bring it on!

    • Tony Ortega

      Thank you. I think I’ll be doing more of that this year, and try to get the site better organized for it.

      • MarcabExpat

        Yeah, all it would take is one more sidebar link: “non-Scientology-related stories by Tony Ortega.” Those longform packages deserve not to get lost in the shuffle of the interwebs.

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      You’re in the majority, Cardinal πŸ™‚

  • “Macbeth shall never vanquished be, until Great Burnham stars to high Dunsinane hill Shall come against him.”

    • Rasha

      I can’t read any Macbeth without thinking of the I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again episode…

  • Tony Ortega

    I’ll plague you with a little more about that Burnham story. Just skip this if it doesn’t interest you.

    The way that story came about was that on a long drive with a friend from Phoenix to an astronomy event in California, he and I got to talking about how much we loved the ‘Celestial Handbook.’ I told my friend, Tom Polakis, that I’d love to know whatever happened to its author. Well, Tom happened to have a friend at Lowell Observatory, Brian Skiff, who might know something about what had happened to Burnham. When I talked to Brian, he told me about Norm Thomas, the retired astronomer in Flagstaff who had worked with Bob for so long. So I talked to Norm, and he was the first to tell me that he thought Burnham had died. But he didn’t have any details. He only knew that Bob had been spotted in a park in California (by his son), and that Burnham had a sister who lived in the Phoenix area. But he couldn’t remember her name. He did, however, remember that when Bob’s mother had died in Prescott years earlier, the whole family was listed in a Prescott Courier article. So down to the archives I went. There was a complete set of the Courier on microfilm at the state capitol in Phoenix, and I managed to find the obit for Burnham’s mother. And that’s when I learned his sister’s name — Marguerite Viola Courtney. My next stop was to the county clerk’s office to look through voter records. Would you believe it, there were TWO Marguerite Viola Courtneys registered to vote in Maricopa County of about the same age. But one of them was listed as being from Ohio, and I knew that was right. So that’s how I tracked her down, and that’s when she told me that they had learned that Bob had died in 1993, and pretty much no one knew it.

    It was a great experience working with her and going through Bob’s papers, which she had. And after the story came out, she gave me a wonderful gift.

    If you are familiar with the Celestial Handbook, you know that one of the very remarkable things about it is that it appears to have been put together on a typewriter — which it was. More than 2,000 pages, with complex charts and tables, all done by Robert Burnham on a typewriter which gave out at one point. You can actually see the change in typeface in Volume 1 or 2 (can’t remember which) when he had to replace his typewriter with a new IBM Selectric and then kept going.

    Well, after the story came out, Viola gave me that IBM Selectric that Burnham used to write the Handbook. And I’m holding on to it until I can find a museum that will do it justice. Fun stuff.

    • Frodis73

      Oh wow, more background. How nice of her to give you that gift too; what an honor!

      • Rasha

        …and that IS an honor.

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      You gave her brother the memorial he deserved. No wonder she wanted to thank you with such a special gift.

      • Rasha

        Agreed.

    • Rasha

      Rasha has no words…..

      • Rasha

        Should the skies clear, the ‘scope is coming out tonight.

        • chukicita

          My dad left me his Celestron when he walked on. But since I live in an area with way too much light pollution, I gave it to the local science museum. They have regular star-watching nights on the roof of their main facility, and not everyone who shows up has a telescope they can use. So I know it’s being used to inspire others, and I know that would make my dad happy, too.

          • iampissed

            That’s a really nice way to honor your dad.

          • Rasha

            My Dad left me a Meade 6″ reflector. With that and my Celestron, I set up on clear nights and love having the neighbors come out to look and talk. He taught me how to think and observe and ask. Lucky child.

          • Anoymouswillgetyou

            That was so nice of you!

    • Rasha

      Above the planet on a wing and a prayer,
      My grubby halo, a vapor trail in the empty air,
      Across the clouds I see my shadow fly
      Out of the corner of my watering eye
      A dream unthreatened by the morning light
      Could blow this soul right through the roof of the night
      There’s no sensation to compare with this
      Suspended animation, a state of bliss
      Can’t keep my mind from the circling skies
      Tongue-tied and twisted just an earth-bound misfit, I
      …learning to fly….

      Pink Floyd

      • Missionary Kid

        That captures much of the joy of flight. Thank you.

        • Rasha

          a special song to Rasha.

      • Mama u-uhuuu — Queens!

    • MarcabExpat

      What a nice coda to the story. I remember how great I thought the article was when you first linked to it, but this presentation, with the images, is a really nice upgrade, worthy of both the story and its subject πŸ™‚

    • BaaadaBing

      I would love love love to know more about the book and the man behind it. Keep us updated!

    • beauty for ashes

      If you didn’t already, you should add this to the other page.
      Fun stuff Tony! **blows nose and wipes eyes** πŸ™‚ no really it was quite beautiful.

    • Great story about a very interesting life. Thanks for putting it up for us to see.

  • Noesis

    Glad to see the Robert Burnham Jr. article preserved on a better maintained website and spruced up with photos. That’s a great piece of biographical-investigative writing.

  • 3feetback-of-COS

    Endangered species? Bah! Greatest good for greatest number of dynamics — that’s the ticket!

    • Missionary Kid

      *Laughing* Great sarcasm.

  • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

    “But one night in 1957, he made a discovery from the front porch of his parents’ house that would bring him to the attention of state media and Lowell Observatory’s astronomers.”

    Now that’s what you’d call a real Front Porch to Infinity.

    • Frodis73

      Since that stupid DM speech every single time I read about a front porch DM pops into my head. Not a welcome event either.

      • Missionary Kid

        Hopefully, Betty’s story will change that. πŸ™‚

      • Harpoona Frittata

        For older cult members, $cn is actually the Front Porch of their Infirmity!

      • JJ

        back porch of infinity, atrium of infinity, sun room of infinity, spare bedroom of infinity,brick shit house of infinity…

  • iampissed

    Tony are there any pictures of the cat paintings?

  • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

    Oh, YUCK! Joy Villa has “revealed all” to Infowars.

    In fact, no. I’m taking out the link to the video. I can’t besmirch our lovely Bunker with the stench of Alex Jones.

    I have watched it so you don’t have to:

    “I am a strong, feminine woman. I believe we can be sexy while still being strong blah blah blah blah. My music has just exploded and I’m really grateful to the fans blah blah bleat drone. I beat out Justin Beiber and the Red Hot Chillis in the charts. I am a creator. I keep creating, I want to give my fans something to look up to. After the women’s march the maker of my dress called me and said: you know, this is not right, this narrative of hate. The maker of my dress is a LEGAL [emphasis is Joy’s] Filipino immigrant who voted for Trump.” – Joy Villa

    No, I can’t listen to any more.

    PS. I kid you not:

    “She is the MAGA Monroe” – Alex Jones

    • Vault Digger

      Alex Jones is full of hot air. This appearance of his on the Daily Politics show in the UK always makes me laugh.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znxWfhJOP0E

      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        Hahahahaha, you did it! From VD to STD. That’s so funny! πŸ˜€

        • Vault Digger

          I don’t get it? How about the name “Clam Lydia”, would that be less funny?

          • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

            Am I being stupid again? Is this you, Vault?

            • Vault Digger

              Yes πŸ˜€ Just pulling your leg.

            • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

              Pffft πŸ˜›

              Clam Lydia is epic!

      • EDN/laineybin

        He makes you laugh, he almost makes my head explode! Not only for the garbage crazy he espouses, but for the loud and overbearing way the “stupid” bursts out of his mouth.

      • Missionary Kid

        Unfortunately, he apparently sometimes has Trump’s ear. Trump has tweeted to him.

        Be afraid, be very afraid. Bannon and Miller, in Trump’s office aren’t far behind Jones, IMO.

    • Kestrel

      Thank you for taking one for the team.

      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        Oh-oh-oh, wait! Wait! This is a peach. Joy Villa talking about Trump and the Left “rioting” goes on to say this:

        Extremism in anything is wrong because extremism means I’m right and I refuse to look at the other side, I refuse to do the research. I refuse to have a conversation. And now you’re getting into this zone where you’re blocking your friends who believe – like – the opposite of what you do. You’re only watching Twitter and TV shows and YouTube videos that support your belief. Now you don’t have the full 360 view, you only have that one view. That’s why it’s so important to really, really do the research and ask around and actually find out for yourself.

        This from a Scientologist!

        • Kestrel

          Takes one to know one, huh, Ms. Villa?

          • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

            Doesn’t it just? Or, rather, it takes one not to recognise it in oneself, or the irony therein.

        • Joe

          The hypocrisy is staggering.

        • John Prince

          This is TOO Rich! ..from the mouth of a scilon 😠 I sense Steam comming out of Your Ears, Andrea πŸƒ

        • MarcabExpat

          Projection is a helluva drug.

        • Sooper MkVIII Über IronyMeter fried.

    • Harpoona Frittata

      “Joy, can you say ‘delusional’?”

    • Science Doc

      The fifteen minute countdown has begun. Enjoy fame for the next 900 seconds.

    • Eeeew! Thanks for taking that bullet for us.

        • Johnny Tank (Forever Autumn)

          Diiiiiiiice! I will spank you so hard!

          • I have no sound right now… So how does she sound? *lol*

        • MarcabExpat

          Oh my lord. If you go to this page, you will see a trail of YouTube links showing that she has now plainly thrown her lot in with some really creepy people.

        • Looks like someone found their golden ticket and is riding it as fast and as far as it will take her. #cognitivedissonance #itsnotyouitwasyourdress

  • Science Doc

    Tony. I greatly enjoyed the piece on Robert Burnham, a very talented person indeed. I was in and out of the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center a few times in those days and I recall artists in Balboa Park, but not him specifically. His cat painting you show demonstrates a lot of talent. I would be proud to own one. Observational astronomy has long been a field where disciplined amateurs (and Bob clearly achieved professional status) could make important contributions. I’ve been toying with the idea of setting a small observatory at my country home to stay mentally active in the face of physical infirmity, and the Celestial Handbook would be a good asset even in the iPad GoTo era of computerized aiming. Maybe with all the excitement over exoplanet discovery and the value of large ground based and space based near infrared telescopes, potential enthusiasts like me are finally getting priced out of much beyond astrophotography competitions.

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      “I’ve been toying with the idea of setting a small observatory at my country home to stay mentally active in the face of physical infirmity.”

      This is such a wise thing to do, Doc. In the UK we have the U3A (University of the Third Age) which is extremely popular. Just in our small town of approximately 40,000 residents the local U3A has almost 1000 members. It was set up to provide mental and physical stimulus in retirement to prolong a high quality life. For instance my mum is learning to speak German and Dutch and she belongs to the following groups: wine-tasting, history, bookbinding using traditional methods, 2 walking groups, crafts, and she runs a gardening group and a holiday (vacation) group. I know she’s a member of more groups but I can’t think of them off the top of my head. All the groups are run by volunteer specialists in their field. Do you have anything similar in the States?

      http://www.u3a.org.uk/

      • Science Doc

        I’m not sure. One thing I’ve been doing is that I bought a very small off road capable teardrop trailer to pull with my massively off road capable four wheel drive vehicle. About once a week I make a trip to some out of the way place in Southern California, sometimes very remote, and camp out and chill. I can’t do tent camping and backpacking any more, and this is a substitute that works well. As I type this I’m in very rural Riverside County California, a few hundred meters from the San Andreas Fault. I’ve walked the dogs and had breakfast. I’m about to contrive to shower and then head for a road. Not very intellectual, but I’ve been there and done that. I’ve got some astronomical binoculars with an alt az mount and trying to figure out whether I really want to put together a 14 inch reflector on a German Equitorial Mount. Currently I’m leaning toward keeping it simple.

        • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

          You posted a photo of your teardrop trailer and I remember being very envious. I know you’ve suffered terrible pain and that your recovery is on-going but your life otherwise sounds heavenly πŸ™‚

          • Science Doc

            Thanks. I’m home and completely recharged after a night in nature.

        • Butch gave me astronomical binoculars for Christmas after I fell in love with his wide-angle field glasses for sky watching when we were in Monument Valley last year. I took my 5-inch reflector along with us, but almost never used it. Now that he has a new hip (he was in agony for the last two-years) we’re going to try some short distance backpacking this summer. Maybe in Colorado before or after HowdyCon. I wish you the best in your recovery, happy trails and clear skies.*

          *Wog version of good roads, fair weather.

          • Science Doc

            Thanks. I think chronic pain is the new normal. I still have pain from my 2004 surgery, let alone the more recent ones. Plus my right shoulder is partially trashed with a rotator cuff tear, and I think my left knee is going. I’ve already been told I’m getting a new hip but not for another five years. What I do mostly is not really think about it more than I need to, which is possible because I have great healthcare and other resources. If I was the average American Joe I’d get strung out on opiates and someone would have to clean up the mess. As it is high end cannabis and clean living keeps me going.

        • Johnny Tank (Forever Autumn)

          I am a bit envious of your escapades, and wish I lived in the same part of the world you do. I know I could probably easily do the same things here where I live, but somehow the US just calls to me more than Norway does.

          Pics from your trips would be appreciated πŸ™‚

          • ze moo

            We have sort of fjords in Alaska and other places. You can even get good Lutefiske in some places.

            But nothing can compare to the quiet in a desert or the forests.

            • Johnny Tank (Forever Autumn)

              “Good lutefisk” – lol. Is lutefisk ever good? I kid.

              I like places with an endless vista – those aren’t that common here – too many trees. Maybe I’ll find somewhere nice when I go to Colorado.

          • Science Doc

            Usually when I try to post them Discus flips them upside down. Let me move some over from my phone and see if I can put one up that looks good. A lot of people think all of Southern California is LA, OC, and San Diego. It’s not. There are remote, unspoiled and sometimes bizarre places accessible with the right tools.

        • Rasha

          Yes. Yes, you do want to put together a 14-inch reflector on a German Equitorial mount. I love my Celestron 8-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain, and am hoping to get some good images recorded this year.

          • Science Doc

            What do you use for a camera?

            • Rasha

              I have a t-mount for my Canon T3i. Still trying to get the adjustments right on the secondary mirror to get a good video that I can stack. Venus is brilliant right now, but of course Jupiter and Saturn are must-haves. ^_^

            • Science Doc

              You’re probably limited by thermal noise on the sensor?

            • Rasha

              I let everything acclimate a few hours as the sun sets, camera and ‘scope, but collimating the mirrors is probably where I’m having trouble. Need to get a set of Bob’s Knobs.

            • Science Doc

              This is sort of what worries me. I’ve had a lot of expensive and demanding hobbies (jumping out of airplanes, really, really deep scuba diving, off roading), and with Astro photography it’s going to be another endless exercise. Can I partially resolve Pluto and Charon? How many Messner Objects can I image in one night? It may be that I should just sit by the campfire.

            • Rasha

              Yeah. I mean, I’ve seen amazing shots of planets and galaxies with similar setups to mine, but it’s just being able to do it that I hope for. There’s a lot to be said for campfires, though….

  • Glen

    I was astonished last year when I came upon the story about Joey Chait. I was familiar with his father, Izzy, as a rich $ci art entrepreneur, squirrel buster, wannabee jazz singer and hard core, high level cultist. The statements made in court to try to mitigate punishment were startling.

    http://www.reuters.com/article

    A couple of relevant quotes from the article:
    His attorney, Judith Germano, had asked the judge for a sentence of community service. She said that Chait risked being cut off from his family, which raised him in the Church of Scientology, by cooperating with prosecutors.

    “My actions were wrong and I regret them every single day,” Chait said before being sentenced.
    He also said that in a “weird way,” he was grateful for the criminal case because it “has allowed me to break the chains of my upbringing.”

    Edited to add this quote from NY Daily News story:
    During public court proceedings, Chait’s lawyer, Judith Germano, asked the court to take into account what she described as the physical and mental abuse he sustained during his upbringing in the Church of Scientology.

  • flyonthewall

    At least the Chaits have a nice, loving, supportive church behind them that will help them through these hard times.

    • Johnny Tank (Forever Autumn)

      Dare I say ‘beautiful’ religion..?

      • flyonthewall

        dare to be bold, Johnny. Dare to be bold

        • Johnny Tank (Forever Autumn)

          I will, buddy! Thanks for inspiring me – I needed a kick in the butt.

          • Stop talking about your butt. Now.

            Stop it.

            Unless there’s pictures.

      • MarcabExpat

        It’s all about the joy, Johnny. All about the joy.

        • chukicita

          Glory.

  • downtherabbithole

    Just popping into say hello and wishing everyone a fabulous day.

    • Johnny Tank (Forever Autumn)

      Helloooooo! Hope you have a nice day as well *thumbs up*

    • Ann B Watson

      So good to see your post. Thank you. πŸ’–

      • downtherabbithole

        Ann I so love you and your post. Your kindness of for others is so inspiring.

        ETA: When i grow up I want to be just like you !

        • Ann B Watson

          Oh My. The thing is at my advanced age I have only just started to grow. Never let my light shine out since I left Sea Org many years ago until I found Tony, Mike and others who work so hard all year to give us these amazing sites. Because I have not always known kindness in life, now I want to give it back. You inspire me. Really. 😘😘

    • Rasha

      And you!! =^_^=

    • Juicer77

      You too πŸ™‚

  • Ann B Watson

    Thank you with bells on Tony. Not only an interesting piece on the rhino horn etc story but I read the entire Robert Burnham article. Broke my heart that someone that talented had no safety net at the end of his journey. I grew up haunting Harvard Yard as many family members,not me, have gone there. In fact my first boyfriend who I grew up with and was engaged to before I broke it off to join The Sea Org, his Aunt was an astronomer at Lowell Observatory. She had just found a comet or asteroid in 1969, and I and my boyfriend went to see it. I remember a really cramped room and all these white plates of stars and the sky around. She showed us where to look through the eye piece of the telescope to find her discovery. Today I would have been alot more attentive than I was at 18. Boo on Lowell for firing Robert. I am a Leo so if he is ever back round that constellation I wish him Peace and Light. So sad. πŸ’›

    • downtherabbithole

      You are truly a woman I would get great pleasure in spending time with.

      • Ann B Watson

        Most kind of you to say.I love your downtherabbithole moniker and I would get great pleasure listening to your story. ❀️❀️

        • downtherabbithole

          I have no story to share, just deep compassion for all of those who have and continue to suffer from the abuses Scientology inflicts.

          I am a never in who only wants to see the end of the pain and suffering of too many families.

          • Rasha

            Hear, hear.

    • Rasha

      Not sad, I think. To experience and see new things like comets is something amazing and special. I find that much more exceptional than the recognition of others. I am happy that people like Robert and your boyfriend’s aunt have spent their time in those cramped rooms, cold nights, and singular pursuits of discovery. Rasha envies them the wonder.

  • nottrue

    Would be great movie. It would be hard to find someone as pretty as Paulette to play Paulette . EDIT .. .. … .. . https://twitter.com/BabyThetan/status/835508953123590144

  • Thanks for adding these photos to the Robert Burnham story, Tony.

    As a geeky, science-loving kid, my refractor telescope was one of my prized possessions and the wonder I feel whenever I star-gaze has only grown over the years. I’m a creative type, and so my love for science is tempered by the quirks of my own brain that make me less than apt with math and logic. It’s taken me years to learn logic and critical thinking skills later in life, so I can relate to Mr. Burnham’s struggle with areas of life I mastered and take for granted.

    I can only imagine what a thrilling and heartbreaking trail you followed while writing this article. As with Miss Lovely, the photos add an emotional impact that brings the story to life all over again. And though I’ve said it before, I really admire and respect your writing style. You always let the story build naturally, letting the history of your subject do all the emotional work without any embellishment or forced feelings. That way, when the reader finds themselves overwhelmed with emotion at some point in the story, it’s for the subject of the story not the author’s personality. The discipline and research required to present a story in this way is a rare commodity today.

    Write more books!*

    *In your copious free time;)

  • ze moo

    Laws about trade in endangered animals and their parts are a hallmark of humanity growing up. Thanks to idiots with guns and hunger for ivory, African Elephants are about to go extinct. Same for Rhinos, who for the most idiotic reasons are dying for their horns. Horns that are thought to be aphrodisiacs in Oriental culture. Have they not heard of Viagra or Cialis? Those solutions have a proven track record.

    What about Bear Gall Bladder? Bears are grown for their body parts and sold ‘homeopathic’ cures for all sort of real or perceived illnesses. When ever I see advertisements for ‘traditional Chinese medicine, I run away. I prefer antibiotics and other big pharma products. They work. And no endangered animals were used to make them. Ok, Beagles were made to test cosmetics, but I don’t use them.

    • If we were growing up, we wouldn’t need laws. πŸ˜‰

      • If we were growing up as a species, we would enact wiser laws and put them into effect with good judgement.

        Humans are very versatile social animals. We need a framework that brings out the best in us. We will never become saints as individuals, and that would make us very boring indeed in any case.

        When that kind of framework is lacking, our unrestrained versatility can manifest as evil – but we could not choose to be good without that quality.

        • JJ

          I have been discussing this with my pen pal in Wales, the topic of human goodness vrs badness. You know the phrases, those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it, and we never learn from our mistakes? I think I know why things just keep happening.
          There is little reason for people/humanity to “learn from it’s mistakes” a lot of the truly barbaric, evil, cruel things done by people to others and animals and the planet are being done by people who see nothing wrong with what they are doing.
          If you feel you are entitled to lie cheat steal, rape, maim, murder commit genocide, why do you even need to “learn from the mistakes of others in the past”? There are probably/unfortunately always going to be people and groups of people who feel that they are entitled to do what ever they want to the rest of us because they are racially, morally, spiritually, socially, monetarily, sexually, racially superior.
          We see these horrific acts and are disgusted and in awe of how terrible people can be and we shake our heads and think we are a better age (and granted we live in far less barbaric times than we ever have in history before) but these things continue to happen. People choose over and over to steal,kill and destroy, for what ever reason: God,country,money,resources,for fun,nationalism,fear and hatred of “the other”, age after age. It seems pointless to expect “evolution” from all people, or a learning curve, or a newer more moral way or looking at life that leads to Utopia when there are always going to be selfish individuals and organized groups set on having it all their way to the detriment of everyone else.
          The holocaust didn’t just happen, slavery didn’t just occur. many many people had to decide that doing harm to others to the benefit of a few was the right thing to do. maybe it is in our genetic make up to be competitive and greedy and put the self and others like me first and some of us manage to shake it off, or analyse it and find it unhelpful overall. But there will always be some that see “me first” as the correct way to view all life and I am not sure they are all sociopaths or mentally defective in some way? I believe in evolution and that we are animals. More than: “We are all equal but some of us are more equal than others.” Is it nature to have these self-only types in the herd so to speak?
          I would like to hear your view on this, I respect you opinion and value your input.

          • The holocaust happened, indirectly, because civil society in Germany broke down and was replaced by a regime of crude gangsters who seized power in the chaos.

            There are always people who are well suited to adapt to a novel environment. That’s a fact. Whether it has good or bad consequences depends on the environment. . For example, a certain kind of psychopath, with no empathy or imagination rose to the top in the social environment created by the Nazi regime.

            It also depends on our definition of good and bad – the Nazis thought they were justified and some argue that morality it completely subjective.

            I would say that the right thing to do is most likely based on a realistic understanding of the situation and empathy. That’s my starting point for moral behaviour, both personally and socially.

            We know that humanity is versatile and diverse – and evidence shows that diversity is good. It gives many viewpoints that contribute to the solving of problems and enables each of to understand ourselves better, in contrast. Also, we know that monocultures are risky, because they can be totally wiped out by a new disease. Diversity means that some outliers always survive.

            The Nazi perversion represents the dark side of our social nature- what can happen when our versatility is harnessed by an evil regime and captivated by an ideology which has lost touch with reality.

            As an aside, Scientology depends on a combination of lack or empathy and lack of contact with reality. However it is more-or-less held in check because it is embedded in civil societies with laws.

            On the other side of the coin, a Society which has wise laws, wisely put into practice has a better chance of creating an environment in which those with empathy adapt to behave well. Even those without it might even be able to find a niche (in beneficial occupations that require total self-belief, for example) or at least be recognised and managed so that they do no harm.

            We know enough about ourselves now, to recognise that xenophobia, tribalism, greed and toxic social situations make us behave badly, and that this is part of our nature. If we know that, we can work to create a civilised space where these things can be recognised and managed.

            The beast will break out now and again – but to pretend that this is inevitable is a counsel of despair – and kind of lazy. ‘Phrases’ like ‘the only reason for the triumph of evil is that good men to nothing’ and ‘it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness’ are, perhaps, more appropriate.

            Look back on history, and we are now (on the average) in what is probably the safest, most comfortable period of history there has even been. I have spend my entire life in the UK personally undisturbed by war (civil or external). That’s unprecedented. We can live better.

    • JJ

      Clearing the planet one endangered species at a time?

  • downtherabbithole

    OT: I can’t help myself – I have to share our eagle updates.

    Sadly Peace has not been returned to the nest.

    Hope however is showing sign of a thriving eagle.

    Watching her/him flap their wings getting ready for flight is joyful.

    http://www.nefleaglecam.org/

    • Rasha

      All the best to both of them. Beautiful creatures.

      • downtherabbithole

        It is the simple pleasures in life that are the best

        • Rasha

          I’ve spent full days listening to Brandenburg Concertos or watching spiders make webs. Today, my Japanese maple is throwing an amazing shadow, and I’m going to make pepperoni bread while jamming to “Take On Me” by Ah-Ha.

          Yes, life is good. ^_^

          • downtherabbithole

            Gee and all I was thinking of something good to eat & would who make it. Pretty sure I will go hungry tonight.

            • Rasha

              ^_^

          • chukicita

            I’ve got the house to myself this afternoon and I’m playing the hell out of my bass very loudly.

            • Juicer77

              πŸ™‚

  • OmegaPaladin

    Something I am starting to wonder. Scientology sounds so diabolical and cruel that it wouldn’t be worth it even if all of the magic psychic powers and religious claims are true. If Scientology as it is today is the only hope of mankind, we would be better off hopeless.

    • MarcabExpat

      That’s a great point. “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, if he loses his own soul?”

      • Science Doc

        I wouldn’t sell my soul but I might Airbnb it.

  • nottrue
  • Jimmy3

    Jermaine?

    Presint.

    Britt?

    Presint.

    Jake?

    Prison.

    And Murray… Presint.

    OK

  • chuckbeattyxquackologist75to03

    Coming someday, hopefully, to a movie theatre in your town:

    “TOP CON”

    starring Tom Cruise

    Watch Tom Cruise unwind and explain Scientology, it’s half documentary, half action film.
    Tom takes on OSA, like no one, with the aid of ex OSA Chief, Mike Rinder and with wonder woman ex Scientology celebrity Leah Remini. (other ex Scientology power celebrities are vying for their roles….)

    Lawyer cameo roles……

  • flyonthewall

    Never ever thought we’d get passports “just in case” but here we are.

    • Jimmy3

      I have a safe you can keep them in…. just in case

      • flyonthewall

        thnx but i don’t want our passports smelling like bacon

        • Jimmy3

          No, don’t worry. I have a separate bacon safe. Plus you’re not getting them back anyway. This isn’t a slave labor thing.

  • Mockingbird

    Scientology finds ways to get involved in so many crimes. The rare and odd ones occasionally come up.

    By the way I think I found a way Miscavige can pack people into any venue !

    Just hold town halls and invite members of Congress ! Whether they show up or not big crowds of passionate people show up !

  • nottrue

    EDIT It was gone for awhile but it is back. I wish someday they would all be gone.. They are sick. .. Took it down…..EDIT I put this up in it’s place .. This is better.. .. https://twitter.com/FactsChannel/status/835602777791414273/photo/1

    • Hmmmmm . .

    • Ben Franklin

      What are you guys talking about? The site is still up as it has always been.

      • Johnny Tank (Forever Autumn)

        This is true. I went to the site so the rest of you don’t have to. It’s up.

        • Ben Franklin

          must have been just some kind of glitch, or they just transferred it to another DNS

          • Johnny Tank (Forever Autumn)

            OSA watches our every move. If we hadn’t mentioned it, maybe it would have stayed down.

            • Ben Franklin

              The Only thing OSA follows is LRH tech no matter how stupid or illogical. If CoS was going to take down stuff about Marty or anyone else the first place they would have started with is probably their Freedom Mag

      • Jimmy3

        The kite guy is right. It’s still up…

        • chukicita

          Is it a cached version maybe?

          • Jimmy3

            No. I went directly there with a cleared browser.

  • GrangerFX

    My path may have crossed with Burnham. I was living in La Jolla California in the early 1990’s just out of college. I had read that there would be a partial solar eclipse and that people would be gathering in Balboa park just outside of the Reuben H. Fleet science center. My friend and I decided to go. I brought along my ancient 60mm refractor telescope. We set up on the opposite side of the fountain from the science center right about here:
    https://www.google.com/maps/@32.7316262,-117.1466413,51m/data=!3m1!1e3

    The refractor was pretty poor for night time astronomy. It was also showing signs of its age. There was a big dent in the side from when it had fallen over. The set screws were loose and the eye pieces made grinding noises when you adjusted them, likely due to rust. It did have one redeeming feature. It could project the sun onto a special attachment with a large white surface. That surface was pretty scratched so I had taped a white piece of paper to it. It only took a few minutes to get the scope set up, find the sun and get it to project and focus onto the paper. On the other side of the fountain, the various astronomy organizations and the science center had large reflector scopes setup on platforms with special filters to allow people to look directly at the sun without burning out their retinas.

    Then something strange happened. Long lines formed to view the sun through the reflectors but my little ancient banged up scope could display the sun easily to any number of people at once as long as I kept nudging it occasionally. So while the big scopes could show the sun in amazing detail, the little refractor could show what people actually wanted to see which was the eclipse. So in no time I had a big crowd around my scope. Then the local TV news reporters showed up. Guess which scope ended up on the TV that night?

    I would not be surprised if Burnham was in the crowd that day since it was in Balboa park not far from where he would have sold his paintings. I guess I will never know.

  • Under the Radar

    Tony Ortega’s Hate site is gone too. Perhaps the Church of Scientology forgot to pay their domain bill?

    • Ben Franklin

      I think it is just a temporary technical thing and those sites will likely be back up again. Don’t waste your time paying attention to that, because CoS are not the types that use common sense.

  • In case you wanna read a book – https://dicenomore.wordpress.com/970-2/

  • Under the Radar

    The “Who is Marty Rathbun” hate site is back up

    • Robert Eckert

      OSA reads the Bunker, so when you posted about the site being down it triggered them to pay whatever bill they forgot, or whatever.

      • Graham

        OSA started reading the Bunker to check on what us horrible SPs were getting up to, now they read it so they can find out what’s actually going on in the real world.

        • Robert Eckert

          Hell, they have to read the Bunker just to find out what is really happening within Scientology.

    • Draco

      Keeping the cover in place?

      • Under the Radar

        yep….I guess the cult of $cientology decided to put it back up because people were noticing – and making it known.

  • nottrue

    Sorry have not finished reading it yet. I’m a slow reader .. . … https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/738840bc38c34f281040d412d27669d7b6650254b89add03c29831618b38ad18.jpg

    • GrangerFX

      The Internet also never forgets. This must plague DM. Before the Internet, they could count on people forgetting the awful news stories about the cult. Now days a simple Google search brings out all their dirty secrets. Notice that Google searches by relevance by default, not by date? It is common to find information posted ten years ago or more.

    • JJ

      Like the desperation number at Last Call…

  • Izzie Chait and Mary Ann Chait have been Scientologists for 35+ years. They
    have donated million to Miscavige’s causes and schemes. They both did
    their entire Bridge to OT 8 (years ago) and raised their children
    strictly on Scientology precepts.
    All along the way, Izzie did his illegal harm of endangered animals as he discovered China
    was a huge market. Chinese medicine believe in using elephant tusks and
    rhino horns and pay huge sums of money.
    So the animals get slaughtered.
    But Karma stepped in. A couple of years ago, instead of being a high elevated human being,
    OT8 (!) Izzie had a stroke. The paramedics took a long time to come and
    Izzie was comatose for a while. He has slowly recovered but is not
    mobile and has limited memory.
    Meanwhile 2 of his kids Scientology born, bred and raised have been indicted, one is in Federal
    prison, the other indicted read Tony’s post above.
    The family have *disconnected* with Joey who is imprisoned, a full blown disconnection.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++
    Scientology Inc. genetically engineered to destroy one family at a time, while raking you over for your net worth. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dba6af5621b405fc934e03b1b5c0414eb8af3d24d42fdcf319a38982afb00341.jpg

    • Mick Roberts

      Karen, your last sentence seems to pretty much sum up this “religion” perfectly and in a concise manner.

    • Ann B Watson

      Thank you Karen. Sad, bad and mad the cult is to me now. πŸ’”πŸ’›

    • Missionary Kid

      Thank you, Karen. I believe it’s Joey who is in prison. One of the people here in the Bunker, who goes by Sunny posted, “Joey asked for some reading material, so I sent him Jenna’s book, Leah’s book and TUML. He is reading and sharing them.”

      • Yes, now corrected, thanks ! πŸ™‚

        • Missionary Kid

          You’re very welcome. You rarely make mistakes, so I was surprised I found one.

  • This piece I did almost a decade ago seems apropos . . .
    http://hellsnewsstand.blogspot.com/2009/04/new-poster-from-insitute-for.html

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      That’s really, really good. You’re so talented.

  • OT 8 boasts handling some “whole track amnesia.” Absolute Fake hyperventilating rubbish. OT 8s get dementia and memory loss over and over again.
    Some cannot recall what happened earlier in the week, leave alone recall of past lives and what they ate for breakfast in the Roman Empire AD 20.
    Not only is OT 8 Izzie Chait progressively losing memory but he refuses to have sessions and is disconnected in spite of efforts of Flag to send auditors to counsel him.
    2 Scientology raised kids in jail/on their way to jail. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7b85167135bff3c7a1422b405a8dc548417bbbe5009e7493b03e250ea2234ab1.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/408321a55d3aa0992e81fc30bda414a83a37ba4739c977c0213da0117f83fd31.jpg
    A true OT 8 success story.

  • Newiga

    I really enjoyed reading your story on Robert Burnham Jr.

    I’ve been watching Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey on Netflix, so it would be very fitting to get a copy of the Celestial Handbook.

  • Mick Roberts

    I was just reading an old article from 2012 in The Hollywood Reporter for the first time. It talked about the Miscavige-Cruise bromance. It mentions that “Cruise might not know of the recent allegations that Miscavige disparaged him behind his back” (the article stated Tom DeVocht again saying he witnessed this stuff). Then there was this comment from Mike Rinder:

    β€œIf the dupe ever links up,” says Rinder, using church jargon — meaning, if Cruise ever realizes Miscavige might have been disloyal — β€œI don’t think he’ll try to take over the church, but I do think he’d turn on Miscavige like a rabid dog.”

    That comment made me think of Leah suggesting on Maher recently that TC could single-handedly bring down Scientology. I’m curious if anyone knows if someone who actually witnessed this stuff (like Tom DeVocht) has ever tried to personally inform Cruise of Miscavige talking behind his back. If they could tell Cruise of some “personal information” about him that they could only know about from those DM airings of his confessionals, perhaps that could prove to Cruise that DM did indeed talk about his inner-most secrets to others.

    I don’t think anyone like DeVocht should publicly put this “tabloid gossip” out there for the rest of us, but if he can prove to Cruise that Miscavige did indeed reveal some of his secrets from his auditing sessions, then perhaps Cruise might do like Rinder suggested and “turn on Miscavige like a rabid dog”.

    Just something I was curious about, especially since Leah made that comment about how Cruise could actually bring the religion down. I don’t think that TC could necessarily bring it all down completely if he defected and turned critic, but it could sure as hell expedite the demise of this so-called “church”.

    Article is here: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/tom-cruise-scientology-david-miscavige-bromance-katie-holmes-374915

    • Juicer77

      The problem is that Cruise may never believe Mismanage betrayed him, even if he saw evidence with his own eyes. He is convinced Mismanage is the highest spiritual being on this planet and if he gets scorn from COB he must “deserve” it. POSSIBLY if Mismanage throws Cruise under the inurement bus and tosses him to the government wolves to save himself, the light bulb may go on. But Cruise is a seeker and authority-figure-worshiper of the highest order. It will take a lot to shake his certainty.

    • I agree that, if TC realised what was going on, he would attack Miscavige, not Scientology. He’s not capable of the kind of politics required for a power grab – and almost certainly would not want the Captain’s chair.

      However, a very serious attack on Miscavige -one that gets through to him – might do a lot of indirect collateral damage to the CofS.

      Miscavige is unstable enough already, without that kind of ‘betrayal’. The resulting bad PR and ridicule would likely make him even more unpredictable and make him strike out. This could result in some major blunders with consequences that could not be rolled back.

      TC could potentially do terminal damage if he wanted to – the question is will he ever wake up?

  • Ben Franklin

    Short Clip of Izzy Chait talking about his gallery. Features two of his children covered in today’s article

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-pDzSW9D9o

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      Interesting, thanks, Ben.

  • I hope Izzy’s planning on taking all the Chaits off on a nice, long, relaxing family holiday after all this shemozzle blows over. How about a safari? (remembering to pack plenty of rhino-repellent): https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2be312159cc2dc7a814d7d9308df25280e66503e39c0a0a8081c48e1658febb1.jpg

  • Ben Franklin

    Here is Jake Chait auctioning off “30 million year old Dinosaur POOP” worth $8,500.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZ6TgN2jT8g

    • AKA a coprolite – fossilised dinosaur poop, which provides irreplaceable information about what they ate.

      I can’t help but feel this belongs to us all – its our heritage as a species, and should not be bought and sold – especially by people who applaud a price.

    • Robert Eckert

      Couldn’t be both “30” million years old and “dinosaur” poop: either it’s older than 65 million or it’s from a less exotic creature.

  • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

    I realised I hadn’t actually listened to any of Joy Villa’s music so I found this “live” performance:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOn3-EjRLLA

    It’s horrible synthesised, auto-tuned rubbish. So why does the second-highest voted comment say this? (F5). Are these people tone deaf as well as easily played? She supported Bernie Sanders, you numpties!

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d950f2e7ecc0167f9685d3573ee16e886ac94b8f05cfb0f110eef4d15c24c441.jpg

    • I will buy all her records to save the planet from this abuse

      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        You are a gentleman, Dice πŸ˜€

      • Liberated

        Hey Dice, check this out….this is for real.

        The New Rolling Stone Record Guide. 1979. 1983. Rolling Stone Press

        Diana Hubbard. Life Times. /waterhouse (1979)

        L. Ron’s daughter in a very extraneous effort awash with scientological platitudes.
        Goo-goo, without the ga-joob.

        Instead of rating it with stars, a new symbol was created to warn people from ever listening.

      • April

        Don’t do that! She’d just make more!

        • I buy those 4 too

          • ze moo

            Don’t jump on that hand grenade! You’ll just encourage the grenade throwers!!

    • Rasha

      After listening to that, I still haven’t heard any music from her.

      Or talent.

    • Harpoona Frittata

      That’s a real prize winning performance…at some middle school talent show, that is πŸ˜‰

    • beauty for ashes

      Are your ears okay, no bleeding or popping, sudden deafness? seeing or tasting strange colors?
      Nausea or vomiting? Confusion when sitting or standing? Goosebumps or total numbness in extremities? Black hairy tongue? Tremors or convulsions? Mania or suicidal thoughts? I think I covered them all….

    • Kestrel

      My goodness. Are you making amends for something?

    • 5 Feet Long and Luminous

      Well…I actually thought it was going to be a whole lot worse, so…yeah.

      I’ve never quite understood the whole static concept. Those “Axioms” were such word salad I couldn’t stop rolling my eyes long enough to deal with them. At any rate, I’d rather have static filling my attic from Channel Z.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pB4G9WBYMFo

    • DoveAlexa

      It’s like she was writing lyrics using a ‘standard rebelious youth’ checklist. It isn’t even direct enough in what it’s saying to be cliche! She’s also strangly vague and non-commital, like she rebels by just forgetting to do stuff.

    • Missionary Kid

      The video sucks, too.

  • Juicer77

    O/T- RIP Shifa Gardi, female Kurdish reporter killed in Mosul today. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-39089148

    • Rasha

      Shifa cared for life and is a role model of fortitude and strength. My heart cries for her.

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      Shifa Gardi was an extraordinary mould-breaker and this is a real tragedy.

  • Science Doc
    • Johnny Tank (Forever Autumn)

      Awesome! Thanks πŸ™‚

    • Rasha

      That’s serious Big Sky. How’s the night viewing there?

      • Science Doc

        Really good but better at higher elevations.

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      Wow, they’re almost biblical in their sweeping majesty.

      • Science Doc

        The Salton Sea is Biblical, as in a Biblical plague, but the northern part, this time of the year, is quite beautiful. My house is always beautiful.

        • beauty for ashes

          If I’m ever in your neck of the woods, can I come paint in your back yard?

          • Science Doc

            That could be worked out. I’ve got an alternate email address I sometimes use. Reply to me on an ancient thread sometime and I’ll give you that address.

            • beauty for ashes

              Aww, the closest I will get is Tahoe in the summer, this year. I won’t forget that though!

    • Juicer77

      Amazing! Thanks for sharing!

    • Missionary Kid

      It’ll soon be blooming, with a carpet of flowers, then, in a few short weeks, it’ll all be brown.

    • The Sea-Monkey homeland!

  • nottrue
    • Missionary Kid

      I can attest that the locals HATE $cientology. The tourists may get sucked in, but their recruitment efforts are pretty much lost. With the Oscars going on, I’ll bet there’s even more of them out in the street, trying to recruit.

      • ze moo

        Time to petition the LA leaders and rename ‘L Ron Hubbard Way’ to something less abhorrent. Perhaps ‘Ebola Road’ is appropriate.

        • Missionary Kid

          Ebola has killed more people than $cientology, but $cientonlogy has ruined more lives and families.

  • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

    Look at something Pete has found on Craigslist. Here is a sample selection:

    Ms. Reader has been a teacher for over fourty years.

    Ms. Reader is not only a eminent authority on this subject, but her real-life examples, wit, wisdom, and humor make the information very easy to understand and use.

    She has salvaged many families and has developed a loyal following all over the world.

    “Fourty.”
    “A eminent authority.”

    Perhaps the advert itself is a test for Ms Reader’s pupils.

    https://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/tix/6018418411.html

    • Johnny Tank (Forever Autumn)

      Ms Reader = dreamers

      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        Clever clogs πŸ™‚

  • Whitney

    I read your article about Bob Burnham and then I read his interview with himself and then I bought the 3 volume Celestial Handbook on eBay. Thanks for the introduction

  • Lousy Ratatouille

    “The fifth dynamic is the urge to survive for any and every form of life. These would include all living things, whether animal or vegetable, anything directly and intimately motivated by life. It is the individual’s effort to survive to make life survive.”

    Constellation of Leo
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GibiNy4d4gc&list=LLE5AXz6WwQVTCVFRFoOpa9w&index=1

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      Aww, we took my daughter to watch the Lion King stage show in London for her 10th birthday and it was magical. I can’t wait until my niece and nephew are old enough to appreciate it.

    • beauty for ashes

      HARPOONA FRITTATA!!!!!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        Hahaha!

      • Harpoona Frittata

        You got it!

  • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner
    • Kestrel

      Beautiful. Which one is Duggan Pass?

      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        There’s every chance I’m being dense, but Duggan Pass, my beloved bird of prey?

        • Kestrel

          Wales=Whales=Duggan.

          • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

            Oh, the shame! *Hangs head*

            Please chalk that one up to — no, there is no excuse πŸ˜€

    • Liberated

      Can I come too?

      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        Yes!

        • Ann B Watson

          Just breathtaking Andrea, I believe my late Dad said that Bailey my maiden name had a connection to Wales somewhere way back. They also were in England but not sure where. Still so lovely your jewel of an island. Would love to join all of you. πŸ’›

    • 5 Feet Long and Luminous

      Mah people come from here! Well, one branch of my people. Like most Americans, I am a mutt. But I bear a Welsh name.

      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        My dad is Welsh πŸ™‚

        • 5 Feet Long and Luminous

          I’m in good company here! You know the Welsh actor Iwan Rheon? Before he rose to Ramsey (in)fame(y) on GoT, I loved him from Misfits. I used to watch interviews he’d give in Welsh. I couldn’t understand a lick of it, but it made me love him even more.

          • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

            Did you know that by law all children must learn Welsh in school to prevent the language dying out? It’s a gorgeous language and I can’t speak a word of it. I binged the last series of GoT over 4 nights just before Christmas. The battle scene where Jon Snow and his small army were surrounded by the tall shields of House Bolton was one of the most intense things I’ve ever watched! Iwan Rheon was superb.

            • 5 Feet Long and Luminous

              No, I didn’t realize it was law. I thought it was more culturally enforced. But it is amazing to hear Welsh spoken. I just get lost in it. Granted, for me, it was probably as much about the one speaking it than what he was speaking. He’s marvelous, as was that last season of GoT. It returns to HBO in the States in May. I don’t see how I’ll make it that long.

            • Robert Eckert

              I saw a snarky article about how the Welsh are starting to do more business with the outside world and are finding out, like the Koreans, how valuable it can be to have an impenetrable language so that you can say to your colleague, right in front of the customer, “This guy is sleepwalking, let’s take him to the cleaners.”

            • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

              Ha! πŸ˜€

            • Missionary Kid

              Someone was expressing an opinion of how the Chinese felt about a subject. I challenged him, and he replied that he spoke Chinese. I then asked him if he spoke the local dialect. He backed off after letting me know that he spoke Mandarin (which has become the lingua franka of China), but not the local dialect.

              In my family, my parents spoke Swedish, but never taught it to us. They also spoke Chinese, and my sisters, who were older and didn’t have blond hair like I did and dressed like Chinese learned the language by playing with Chinese kids. Because I was a towhead, with blue eyes, and a small child who was dressed like a Westerner, the Chinese kids wouldn’t play with me, so I never learned Chinese.

              When my parents wanted to talk about us kids, they’d speak Swedish, but when they wanted to talk about just me, they’d speak Chinese. I usually knew what the topic was, but I didn’t know exactly what they were saying.

        • aquaclara

          Well, I drive by a Welsh-named town . almost the same (NOT!). Bryn Mawr. The Schuylkill . Oh, wait, that one’s Dutch.

          I would love to visit Wales! Enjoy!

          • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

            Bryn Mawr just shouts “I’m Welsh”, doesn’t it? πŸ™‚ I hope one day you will make it to Wales, Aqua. It really is more beautiful than the photos.

            • aquaclara

              Your pics are gorgeous. I have my bits of Portmeiron (spelled that wrong, but you know what I mean) pottery to remind me that that trip will come someday! I love the story of how they got there.
              And I love the Welsh words no one can pronounce properly unless you’re Welsh!

      • Liberated

        Me too.

    • chukicita

      Thank you!!!!! Absolutely breathtaking.

      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        You’re so welcome! πŸ™‚

        • chukicita

          Happy early St David’s Day! I’m buying leeks at the grocer’s today.

          • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

            Thanks! Mmm, leeks wrapped in wafer thin Wiltshire dry-cure ham, drizzled in a strong Cheddar cheese sauce, grilled in a hot oven and served with hot buttered toast.

            • chukicita

              *drool*

              I’m not sure I have everything here for that, but I will try them wrapped in wafer-thin Serrano ham and drizzled in Velveeta. πŸ˜€

  • Liberated

    O/T…….Trump says he will not be attending the WH Correspondent’s dinner this year.

    Ha…..what a pussy!

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner
      • Liberated

        Lol..

      • DoveAlexa

        Oh dear, did Fly bite you and now you’ve become a were-giffer?

        • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

          “were-giffer” – I love it!

      • Harpoona Frittata

        “Take THAT you foul, felonious, flea-bitten feline!

    • DoveAlexa

      “Since 1983, however, the featured speaker has usually been a comedian, with the dinner taking on the form of a roast of the president and his administration.”
      OOOOOOOH, I see why. Tiny cheeto fingers can’t take the heat!

    • aquaclara

      It has devolved into a parody of self-gratification for the pandering press. But now that the press has no Democrat to fawn over, they are stuck.

      There’s work to do to fix this country. Jobs, debt, security. No one cares about this event. Seriously.

      Now let’s tell the self-obsessed Hollywoodies no one cares about their incessant award events, either. Imagine if every job shut down for weeks and months to blather on about the 82 most significant moments in the last 52 weeks.

      Sheesh.

      • redfisch

        Someone’s making you watch? Seriously, the awards ceremonies provide lots of jobs, especially behind-the-scenes jobs, to everyone from carpenters and electricians to hairdressers and accountants. And while everything you say about the state of the country is true, it appears that a huge number of Americans find it entertaining to watch the entertainment industries congratulate themselves on being entertaining.

        The White House Correspondents dinner has existed for nearly a century. That includes years before it was televised or even before large numbers of Americans knew that it existed. The press takes the opportunity to poke fun at the White House and Congress, and the sitting President is a guest of honor (and proceeds go to awards and journalism scholarships). As far as I know, no sitting President has ever refused to attend. Democratic or Republican. Until now.
        Why do you care? Because the press and the President should be concentrating on our problems, not being entertained? So Trump doesn’t come. Do you think he’ll be at home working on American problems? Sorry, my money says he will be at Mar-a-Lago.

    • Missionary Kid

      He has no sense of humor about himself. He couldn’t face Colbert, Seth Meyers, Kimmel, or even Fallon. Conan O’Brien said of Trump, β€œIt’s almost like he loves being the center of attention, the attention of being roasted, but he doesn’t want to laugh at himself,”

    • GrangerFX

      You are saying that a narcissistic sociopath could not laugh at himself? Shock! Shock I tell you!

    • PerpetualOutflow

      Stick a fork in it: the WHCD appears to be dead. Vanity Fair and other key players had already self-righteously pulled out before Trump declined the invitation. Something new will have to be born to support real journalism in the trenches, and that’s probably a good thing. The dinner had become a farce.

  • J. Swift

    New OT VIII Izzy Chait’s gallery has trafficked in rhino horns. Joey is in prison and Jake may be headed to prison as well. This a damning indictment of both the Church of Scientology Izzy Chait. Both Izzy and Scientology are criminals. They don’t care how many lives get ruined so long as the money is in their pocket at the end of the day.

    Izzy Chait had a double life: Beverly Hills antiquities dealer par excellence and musician. But as a Scientology New OT VIII he has ruined the lives of his own sons.

    Now everything is known. As the old hmm says, “What’s done in the dark will be brought to the light.” Karma is taking its toll on Izzy Chait, Scientology, David Miscavige, and so many other people who are part of the Great Crime that is the Church of Scientology. Much that was hidden has become known and 2017 will continue to bring to light all the twisted secrets of Scientology and Scientologists.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJlN9jdQFSc

    • J. Swift

      Izzy’s Squirrel Busting was just a symptom of his deeper hidden deviance. Even as Izzy was being Scientology’s spiritual warrior at LAX he was secretly smuggling rhino horn, lining his pockets with cash, and destroying the lives of two of his sons. Izzy bragged to Marty that he was so very involved in the Inglewood Org. Now we know that the Org was paid for, in part, by the proceeds of Izzy Chait’s smuggling of rhino horn.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVaboggKZi4

      • Ann B Watson

        Thank you J. Swift for your illuminating comments. The last paragraph is particularly blazing and I Love It! Watch out Scientology, your cloak will be hidden no more and you will stand alone and in darkness. πŸ’›πŸ’›

    • Missionary Kid

      At least Joey is reading entheta, according to Sunny. She’s sent him TUML, as well as other books, and supposedly, he’s reading them. No wonder he’s disconnected from his family. You probably know more about him.

    • Sunny Sands

      Izzy reminds me of Bernie Madoff, dragging his family into his unscrupulous activities.

  • Panopea Abrupta

    Took the UP train to Pearson Airport after a wonderful week in Toronto.
    The kids loved it.
    Good food – Venezuelan, Japanese, Chinese, Ethiopian, Italian.
    Friendly people.
    Some awesome beer.
    An incredible museum with enough dinosaurs to freak any creationist out.
    And I got to hang out with one of my pals from here at “My Scientology Movie.”
    Now home finally, after flight and drive.

    I can open one of my treasures from Canada.
    OMG
    Mmmmm!!!

    To beer or not to beer –
    what a stupid question.

    Shakesbeer

    Pretty good cult ya got here, Mr. Ortega – Kampai

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/db7fd9825ae4e793719a5290e2be790ee231e7e91501b161372b95cde2b471b1.jpg

    • Ann B Watson

      Sounds like my kind of adventure.πŸ’—

    • Missionary Kid

      I’m envious. I’m glad you enjoyed yourself. Have a safe trip.

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      It sounds like a fun-packed week! What did you think of My Scientology Movie? That beer looks so good.

    • Rasha

      *clinque*

  • Erghh… A day of messing about with updating compiler libraries so that my programs can read all HTTPS pages. I’ve been putting it off for ages, but one of the sites that wouldn’t load was Muckrock, so that needed fixing!

    It’s one of those things that I only do every couple of years, so naturally I forgot how I did it the last time. (This time I made notes!)

  • aquaclara

    Tony, thank you for your story on Robert Burnham Jr. What a tremendous man, and such substantive accomplishments. I have of course seen Burnham’s books, even though I am no astronomer. (Probably should reconsider that. ) my mother and brother both are fascinated by this, and followed his work.

    I’m so sorry that his life on earth ended as it did. Yet his legacy is immense. I have to hope that somewhere in the heavens, Robert is looking down and seeing all those who understand what he was doing, appreciating it even now.

    So, now we have the link. But where on the Bunker did you park this story so we can go back and refer to it?

    Wish Robert were here to see this.

    • Ben Franklin
      • aquaclara

        Aww, I know. I was hoping to see a new section on the Bunker for Tony’s other stories….but no worries-I can google back when I want to find it again.

        For those who have not spent time on Tony’s Scn oldies, just a note to check out his links listed at the bottom of every article for The Best Of. These are not to be missed. His Village Voice stories were groundbreaking.

  • Fascinating, inspiring and so very human account on Sky Writer. Very special. Thank you, Tony.
    Eta: Dude liked stars, planets and cats too.

  • aquaclara

    I heard someone use the word “cognate” today. Does anyone use this word besides Scientologists or those formerly in? Seriously?

    • JJ

      I’ve used cognition, cognitive but not cognate.

    • Taffy Sinclair

      I’ve used the term cognitive dissonance. A lot. Especially in regards to $cilon-tology.

    • Robert Eckert

      It’s a technical term in linguistics.

    • PerpetualOutflow

      Do clams use the word “cognate”? I thought they only used “cognite” as in, I understand, or I cognite?

  • Ben Franklin

    Completely OT but I just had to share.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGWgr3Lnp0I

    • madame duran

      Re: Ted Cruz’s question
      What’s wrong with the government paying for everyone’s health care? What’s wrong with ensuring that EVERY American has at least some health coverage that’s affordable and accessible? What’s wrong with universal health care? Why is the notion of looking after others or the less fortunate even a question?

      As a Canadian, this is as baffling to me as creating separate water fountains for white and “colored” people.

      • Frodis73

        I do not get it either…there are some things that shouldn’t be exploited for profit and health care is one of them. Imo, neither should housing and food. The older I get, the more “radical” I tend to get. Though I don’t think everybody being able to have food, housing and healthcare is radical at all, just common sense. Yet, I am the immoral one because I don’t believe in god? While the alleged good christians on the right want to take *any* social safety net down?? Pffft! I have read the bible and i have no doubt where Jesus would stand.

      • Nothing – although I should point out that ‘the government’ doesn’t pay for health care anywhere (certainly not in the UK, where I live). The government administers the payment of money, contributed by citizens through taxation, to provide healthcare according to law.

        Universal health care, from my point of view, is a very good thing. I have contributed to it and benefited from it. I don’t begrudge those less fortunate than myself using up a disproportinate amount of resources because:

        a) I might well need that level of support myself, one day
        b) You might as well condemn people who make big claims on insurance because they suffer big losses
        c) Compassion

        Once such a system is established, it seems to work, and is valued by the population. The problem is both overcoming vested interests and persuading people to pay more tax to cover it. This was certainly the case when the Nation Health Service was established here after the Second World War. Even some doctors fought it, tooth and nail.

        BTW, from my point of view, one of the things that makes Trump look so bizarre is that he seems to think his is a ruler not a representative – and this in the nation that spoke so eloquently of government by the people for the the people.

        His behaviour is an ongoing violation of America’s own ideals. I hope that the people will learn from their mistake, and the political establishment won’t just become more polarised and uncooperative than it already is.

  • Taffy Sinclair

    My son, I swear. He’s acting out, so I threatened him with me summoning Meepthorp.
    “Who’s Meepthorp, Mama?”
    “He’s the inter-galactic terrorizer of Xemu!!”
    He’s now hiding under his bed, crying, terrified.
    I find this strange, seeing how he’s 32 years old.

    • JJ

      Well Xenu terrifies grown celebrities… and rich famous people are so far above us all…

      • Taffy Sinclair

        For real? I thought we were all “thay-tans,” all having lived for 76 jizz-zillion years and we are all age-less and equal, what true for you is true for Ze-moo, Dianetizine cures cancer and aids, blah blah blah……

        But I tend to agree w/ you, JJ. If Tom Cruise can’t leave the closet due to the fear of Meepthorp, I shouldn’t be surprised when other react in a likewise manner.

    • Missionary Kid

      I threaten kids that if they don’t start acting right, I’ll readjust their frammis.

      • Michael Leonard Tilse

        Well then you’d just have to recalibrate their frammistat. That throws the incubulator out of whack. The only fix for that is pumkarkicic in the oleo. And THATS a four week lead time overseas shipment minimum.

        You don’t wanna do that.

        • Missionary Kid

          Indeed, I don’t. πŸ˜€

  • We are all made of stars. Unity. Universe. Dead or alive. You can go on.

  • Tony Ortega

    One last thing I wanted to point out about Burnham’s Celestial Handbook, and thank you to everyone who read the story and became curious about Bob’s books.

    Today, I have a copy of Volume Three of the handbook that is signed by Burnham himself, which has become one of my prized possessions. It was given to me a few years ago by someone very special.

    Sugarplumfairy.

    Thank you, Mary. You made the Bunker feel like home.

    • Sugarplumfairy is Celestial. I miss her.

    • Missionary Kid

      That is, indeed, special, just as she was.

    • Frodis73

      Now that just brought tears to my eyes.

    • aquaclara

      How special. Like a cupcake with extra frosting and sprinkles special. THAT was SugarPlumFairy.

      Incredible.

      Sending incredibly warm wishes and huge hugs northward to SugarPlumFairy.

      She really knew so much.

      • Ann B Watson

        Right before Tony so kindly welcomed me here, I read about SugarPlumFairy & the wonderful gentleman Howdy Con honors. I so wish I had known both. They seemed so real and brilliant and funny. I am so glad you have Vol Three Tony, a prized possession indeed. πŸ’™

        • stillgrace2

          Thank you, Ann, they were real and brilliant and funny. However, the Captain would have objected to being called a gentleman. He would have preferred “rascal” or “The King of Jeopardy”. I miss them both.

          • Ann B Watson

            Thank you stillgrace2, I spent sometime deciding what word would fit as I did not recall his full name. Faulty memory! I guess gentleman could be seen as gentle man, but I always liked rascal. I am sad that they are not here, but wish them love and peace wherever they journey. ❀️

        • aquaclara

          They were nice to newbies, which we have all been, at one time or another. Howdy liked to be in “fluffed feathers” mode, so he would hate any compliments tossed his way. But he was a old school rocker with a deep memory of all things horror, too. And kicked off trolls at both the Village Voice and here with great zeal. Only a few notes gave us a clue of the tough times he was facing.
          I was so delighted to meet and enjoy some time with SugarPlumFairy. She was as sweet as her name sounds, and never gave away the pain she must have been suffering from her illness.

          • Ann B Watson

            Thank you acquaclara, A beautiful post. Bless them both, may they shine on and fly high. πŸ’›

    • Rasha

      A treasure.

  • nateht

    http://screenertv.com/television/leah-remini-scientology-aftermath-finale-rinder-legal-battle/?utm_source=outbrain&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=simplereach&sr_source=lift_outbrain
    Great review of Leah’s Aftermath series. “Television at its best,” they say. Also makes a good case for season #2.

  • scottmercer

    Two of my favorite things: Irish people and Scientology criticism! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riQQKpkg_0E

  • Forgive me if this has been mentioned before, but as noted on ESMB “who is marty rathbun .com” [spaces added to prevent live link] is back up.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3bbef7bd700f83cd7acca4cef5bf1e7ed3806a88f9d35d6191fa2798e5b69e88.png

    • Joy Lover (Ex-CS)

      Mentioned down-thread somewhere…

    • Michael Leonard Tilse

      Ole warrior himself. Must have been caught violating the agreement (which does not exist).

      • Or somebody noticed the earlier mention here (and then ESMB and WWP) that it had been taken down, and decided it best to put the site back up.

        • It’s a conspiracy… by the Illuminati :-O

        • Ben Franklin

          How about the site might have just stopped working for a while because of a technical problem and when the problem was fixed, it started working again. It is not uncommon for sites on the internet to stop working for a moment and come back again.

          Do you really think that if CoS meant to take the website down, they would hope people would notice? Why would they take down just one website and leave all the videos and all his other numerous hate websites. I am sure there are days when you have tried to access a website and you couldn’t for a while, only for the technical problem to be fixed and the site becomes accessible again.

    • Either a technical glitch, then, or someone forgot to pay for the hosting to go with the site. It might be back (as others have pointed out before me) because we gave the CofS a heads-up.

      I think the fuss illustrates the danger of over-reacting to small events when you would really, really, like to know what it going on.

      My impression is that we are going to find out what is going on with Marty in good time, that it’s more complicated than selling out for money or other ‘considerations’ from the CofS, and that it will be an interesting story – mostly because nobody here (myself included) has got anywhere near the truth.

  • Rasha

    Clouds are clearing. Temperature is falling nicely. Telescope is acclimating. Enjoy the Oscars, Rasha will be admiring the real stars. Venusian locomotives should be nicely evident at this orbital moment.

  • FredEX2

    Little Randy Rhino listened as his mommie Rita told him…”You must always brush your teeth, take your vitamins and drink your milk Randy dear…and if you ever smell a slimey con named Chait,…run like hell.”
    F5
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5fc24106f4952c30288764976e4f4209cbbf11d491ee52b2eace0a95988ec8f0.jpg

  • AngryNotSoOldHippy .

    Always something criminal with Scientology crooks. Always.

  • chuckbeattyxquackologist75to03

    Speaking of bad photos to slant impressions, they forgot to add this one, He’s the one who keeps the official Scientologists continuing the institutionalized abuse.

    This guy deserves the award for:

    Best Cult Founder Trouble Inspirer of the 20th Century

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/906d1275394b2faf414388b40567873ecbb3470d954867969c04cb68e2307042.png