Tony Ortega is executive editor of The Raw Story and is formerly the editor of The Village Voice. He's written about Scientology since 1995, and has a forthcoming book about the subject. He continues to monitor breaking developments in the Scientology world from an undisclosed location in an underground bunker he shares with four cats and one of them wrinkly Shar Pei dogs. Despite his super-secret security protections, you can still reach him pretty easily by sending him a message at tonyo94 AT gmail.com (Drop him a line if you'd like to get an e-mail whenever a new story is posted.) [Header image courtesy John Rickard]
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Jon Atack: How Scientology’s methods of manipulation stay with you after you leave

Jon_AtackJon Atack is the author of A Piece of Blue Sky, one of the very best books on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. He has a new edition of the book for sale, and for more than a year on Saturdays he helped us sift through the legends, myths, and contested facts about Scientology that tend to get hashed and rehashed in books, articles, and especially on the Internet. He was kind enough to send us a new post.

We’re fortunate to have two pieces this week from you, Jon. On Thursday, you told us about L. Ron Hubbard’s theory that life was a game, with him controlling the pieces. Today, you’re talking again about leaving Scientology and recovering from it. Help us understand why it is ex-Scientologists have a hard time leaving the church behind.

Continue reading Jon Atack: How Scientology’s methods of manipulation stay with you after you leave

Scientology skates (so far) as OK grand jury says “keep investigating” Narconon Arrowhead

Stacy Dawn Murphy

Stacy Dawn Murphy

In June, we told you that we had learned the Oklahoma Multicounty Grand Jury was investigating evidence of insurance fraud at Scientology’s flagship drug rehab center, Narconon Arrowhead.

The Multicounty Grand Jury was empaneled in January 2013 and just finished its work, submitting a final report yesterday. It listed numerous murders and other crimes that it looked into. And near the end of its report, it had a single paragraph about Scientology’s rehab center:

Continue reading Scientology skates (so far) as OK grand jury says “keep investigating” Narconon Arrowhead

Scientology graduation videos from the UK? Even better!

Hamish_BulgerWe will admit to a lifetime of Anglophilia. Though we’ve never been to Albion’s shores, we tend to put its residents on a pedestal. And so it always amuses us that Scientology has found so much success there (at least historically). L. Ron Hubbard? In the UK?

And yet, here is video proof that the few Scientologists left in Blighty are still moving up the Bridge. A few days ago we had graduation videos from Copenhagen. Now let’s take a look at what’s been happening at Saint Hill Manor, Scientology’s headquarters in England!

Continue reading Scientology graduation videos from the UK? Even better!

Jon Atack: The games L. Ron Hubbard played

Jon_AtackJon Atack is the author of A Piece of Blue Sky, one of the very best books on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. He has a new edition of the book for sale, and for more than a year on Saturdays he helped us sift through the legends, myths, and contested facts about Scientology that tend to get hashed and rehashed in books, articles, and especially on the Internet. He was kind enough to send us a new post.

Jon, we’re tickled that your column this time was prompted by a response one of our readers made to a previous piece. We really do have a great commenting community here. So please take us on another exploration of Scientology lore…

Continue reading Jon Atack: The games L. Ron Hubbard played

Scientology ethics: Raising money from Ferguson and swiping J.K. Rowling’s image

RowlingNarconon

Scientologists call themselves “the most ethical people on the planet” because, well, founder L. Ron Hubbard told them to say that, and Ron had a great talent for saying things that were the complete opposite of what they meant.

Continue reading Scientology ethics: Raising money from Ferguson and swiping J.K. Rowling’s image

Narconon’s cancer spreads: New lawsuits and a court order for Scientology’s rehab network

Narconon Arrowhead

Narconon Arrowhead

Yesterday, we brought you news of an explosive new lawsuit which alleges that Oklahoma state mental health officials covered up wrongdoing at Scientology’s flagship drug rehab facility in Oklahoma, Narconon Arrowhead. That news came out against the backdrop that a grand jury is considering claims of insurance fraud at the facility, leaked documents suggest the center is suffering badly with few patients, and there’s also news that Arrowhead has applied for a new certification as a “halfway house” as it gives up its status as a major treatment center.

Continue reading Narconon’s cancer spreads: New lawsuits and a court order for Scientology’s rehab network

LAWSUIT: OKLAHOMA OFFICIALS HID WRONGDOING AT SCIENTOLOGY DRUG REHAB

Kim Poff

Kim Poff

An explosive lawsuit has been filed by a former Oklahoma state inspector general who says she was fired because, in part, she found evidence of illegal wrongdoing at Scientology’s drug rehab that her bosses then told her to hide.

Kimberly Poff was Inspector General at Oklahoma’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and had worked for the agency for more than 5 years and the state for more than 22 years when she and her employee Michael DeLong were asked to investigate recent deaths at Scientology’s flagship facility of its Narconon drug rehab network, Narconon Arrowhead. [UPDATE: DeLong is also suing, and we have his petition, below.]

Continue reading LAWSUIT: OKLAHOMA OFFICIALS HID WRONGDOING AT SCIENTOLOGY DRUG REHAB

Scenes from the Scientology underground

FrauleinsDetailWe love our tipsters. They are constantly alerting us to interesting stuff about Scientology. Some of it is just strange, like this rabbit hole we went down yesterday. Is it important? Probably not. But we thought readers might find it amusing. So here we go.

On Sunday, a couple of pages appeared online from a recent issue of The Comm Line, a newsletter that’s printed for Scientologists and can be picked up in some shops in Clearwater, Florida.

One of the pages contained a curious ad…

Continue reading Scenes from the Scientology underground

Scientology graduation videos from Copenhagen? Yes, please!

JudyOT3
Solid evidence presented here and at the blog of Scientology’s former spokesman, Mike Rinder, leave no doubt that Scientology is shrinking, and fast. Even loyal, longtime church members are becoming more reluctant to take part in David Miscavige’s desperate scheme to open new empty churches to give the impression that Scientology is expanding.

But you have to wonder, who’s left? Who’s still hanging in there as the collapse seems inexorably to be drawing near?

Continue reading Scientology graduation videos from Copenhagen? Yes, please!

Scientology Sunday Funnies: The apocalypse is here, and it is ideal

PeriWoodIt’s that time of the week again, when we show you the best items that have been forwarded to us by our great tipsters.

We have some fun items for you this week, and most of it has to do with dragging Scientologists to events to get them to donate, for the umpteenth time, to their local Ideal Org program.

The Ideal Org push began more than a decade ago, in 2003, and frankly, we’re getting pretty tired of David Miscavige’s emphasis on renovating buildings so they can sit empty. And if we’re feeling fatigue, imagine what Scientologists are feeling after they’ve been pushed to donate so much money, time and time again.

Continue reading Scientology Sunday Funnies: The apocalypse is here, and it is ideal