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Scientology’s sneaky strategy: Suck up to police departments through ‘Drug-Free’ campaigns

 
Our man who keeps an eye on Scientology front groups, Rod Keller, is watching Scientology’s increasing involvement with law enforcement. Here’s his report…

Scientologists received a remarkable request recently from Clearwater member Patrick Clouden. Clouden is a large donor to Scientology, and in particular to the Foundation for a Drug-Free World. The flier he put out says that the Clearwater Police Department has asked Scientology for help dealing with the increase in the use of synthetic drugs in the city, and volunteers are being asked to come to meet at the storefront headquarters on social reform row on Fort Harrison Ave. (This is the same police department that Scientology protested in 1997, during which they taunted the chief with the chant “Sid Klein, What’s Your Crime?”)

 

 
The Clearwater police recall the contact with Scientology differently. It was Scientology that approached the police, and not the other way around, the department tells us in a statement:

The Foundation for a Drug-Free World Florida approached the Clearwater Police Department asking what it could do to help address drug problems in the community. We shared with the representatives a concerning trend related to synthetic drugs or “spice.” The foundation created a drug awareness pamphlet on synthetic drugs and distributed it in the community. The Clearwater Police Department welcomes any attempt by any group to try to put a dent in the drug problem. Our officers see the effects of synthetic drugs on a sometimes daily basis on the streets of Clearwater; any effort to warn potential users about the dangers is welcome.

 
The Scientology booklet on synthetic drugs is one of a series produced in the Truth About Drugs series, and describes the dangers of synthetic marijuana, known as K2 or Spice. Clearwater is not alone in seeing an increase in use of the drug, variaties of which are legal in some countries where marijuana is not. The drug is linked to seizures, kidney damage, strokes and is generally seen as an unsafe alternative to marijuana.

 

 
Seeking the sanction of police officials is a growing trend among branches of the Foundation for a Drug-Free World. Bernard and Meghan Fialkoff recently won Scientology’s Freedom Medal for their work with the Foundation, which bestows significant prestige within the Scientology community.

 

 
The remarkable aspect of their work is that the Fialkoffs have recruited New York City police officers to distribute the booklets and participate in presentations to school assemblies. The New York branch has branded itself Foundation for a Drug Free World of the Americas, and the staff pose in the photo below with the seven division “org board” of their branch.

 

 
The Fialkoffs recently hosted the annual Drug Free Hero awards banquet, honoring police officers and others, with speakers including New York State Senator Tony Avella and James J. Hunt (below), Special Agent in Charge of the New York District for the Drug Enforcement Agency. New York is moving up the chain of law enforcement officials from local police to the feds, and Scientologists in other states are taking notice. New York may be providing the blueprint for the leaders of other branches to receive their own Freedom Medals.

 

 
In Florida, in addition to seeking the sanction of the Clearwater police, Scientology is recruiting county law enforcement. In May, Deputy David Mireles from the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office presented Scientology’s drug program at Southeast High School in Bradenton, Florida. He is seen below with Drug Free World Florida’s president Lynn Posyton.

 

 
In California, the Sacramento branch of the Foundation has long enjoyed the support of the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department. Members of their Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) group participated in an event at the org in 2016, below.

 

 
This year they are also moving up to higher level officials, and will host DEA Supervising Special Agent Rebecca Caseres tonight at the org to recognize the United Nation’s International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

 

 
Scientology has encountered resistance from school officials for their drug education programs. Santa Monica High School recently canceled the program after it became known that the Foundation for a Drug Free World is actually a part of Scientology. Their answer to expand the program in the U.S. may be to recruit law enforcement at the city, county or federal level as allies.

 
— Rod Keller

 
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Amy Scobee responds to Marty Rathbun

Amy Scobee put out a self-published book in 2010, Abuse at the Top, about her experiences in the Sea Org and her escape from Scientology. It’s a fine book, but it reached a limited audience.

She also spoke out on the “Truth Rundown,” an epic series in the St. Petersburg Times that also featured former church official Marty Rathbun. Although this was an effective newspaper series, it was a regional newspaper.

Several years later, Amy’s mother Bonny Elliott was dying of cancer. Leah Remini had the foresight to send a camera crew to interview Bonny during her final weeks in order to get on tape her thoughts about being disconnected from Amy, and how the two of them had defied Scientology to defeat this toxic policy.

Last year, Leah took that footage and convinced the A&E Network that it should be the seed for an entire series about how the Church of Scientology rips apart families and harms its members.

Amy and her mother Bonny were featured in the opening episode of the series, which reached more than 2 million viewers nationally. It was the most-watched premiere for an A&E series in two years. And not only was the series a huge success, it literally changed the way Scientology is being talked about in the national media.

Now, Marty Rathbun, as part of his bizarre series of videos attacking Remini and others who speak out about Scientology’s abuses, is saying that Amy Scobee and Leah Remini somehow foisted a sham on the American people. Why? Because, he says, Amy had already told her story in 2010 in her book, and so in 2016 when they presented her story on television, it was somehow manipulative and untrue.

“It begins with episode one, which is literally from beginning to end a manufactured story,” Rathbun said on his most recent video segment. “Amy Scobee told her story in 2009. That’s seven years before that, OK? Amy Scobee wasn’t in need of somebody to do a program — she wrote a book in 2009. But according to episode one, Amy came to her to resolve this problem of being disconnected from her mother, in 2016. Except that Amy’s been connected with her mother since 2010. So in other words they literally manufactured and made up this story.”

Can you follow Rathbun’s logic? Amy reunited with her mother because the two of them were brave enough to defy Scientology. Leah Remini managed to get Bonny on camera to talk about that experience before she died in 2015. But Rathbun says it’s “manufactured and made up” to create a television show and present their story.

We asked Amy about it, and she sent us this response…

“Sad. Marty must have been paid a pretty penny to sell out his soul like this. My mom and I wanted to warn people of Scientology’s disconnection policy which destroys families. And we did.”

To review: Bonny Elliott’s dying wish was to warn the public about how Scientology rips apart families. Thankfully, Leah Remini made that happen. And now, Marty Rathbun calls that a sham.

Meanwhile, at his website, a few diehards who still support him are rooting him on.

Imagine the warped mind that would write this:

“How could Leah do anything for Amy, aside from just air her ‘story’? Disconnection stories are aired all the time and it doesn’t resolve them….Why Amy would want to participate in a sham is something only she could answer. It’s really a shame.”

 
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Rathbun videos now featured on Scientology smear site — what a surprise

And there it is, ladies and gentlemen. Rathbun’s series of videos about Leah Remini is now an official addition to the Church of Scientology’s site that is set up to smear Remini and her show guests. Also included is a brief segment from a home video of Rathbun’s wedding.

Well, we suppose we shouldn’t be too surprised…

 

 
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Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,793 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,550 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 1,896 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,390 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,430 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy in 1,142 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 668 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,757 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 1,897 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,217 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,192 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 548 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin in 4,850 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 957 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,359 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,232 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 813 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike in 1,318 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,562 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,671 days.

 
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3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on June 26, 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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