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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VIDEO: L. Ron Hubbard solves the Cold War and your bad marriage

ARCAh, Dianetics! Our video source came through again, and we have another “quote video” of an L. Ron Hubbard lecture. In this case, it was Hubbard giving a talk on Dianetics in November 1950, about six months after his best-selling book had come out and created a craze.

To this day, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health is considered “Book One” in the Hubbard canon, and it is still pushed as the introductory text to Scientology.

Continue reading VIDEO: L. Ron Hubbard solves the Cold War and your bad marriage

Ryan Hamilton files his 18th lawsuit against Scientology’s embattled drug rehab network

KluWe’re still feeling stunned by yesterday’s decision by a Texas appeals court that got Scientology leader David Miscavige out of being deposed in Monique Rathbun’s lawsuit against the church. Austin appellate Justice Scott Field seemed a lot more interested in protecting corporate CEOs from having to answer questions in court than he was in the rights of Monique Rathbun to prove that she’s been a target of a years-long surveillance and harassment campaign.

If it’s not religious cloaking, it’s Scientology’s corporate complexity that seems to befuddle the American system of justice. It really is amazing.

Continue reading Ryan Hamilton files his 18th lawsuit against Scientology’s embattled drug rehab network

Texas appeals court gets Scientology leader David Miscavige out of testifying in harassment lawsuit

MiscavigeRomeThe Texas Third Court of Appeals has overturned a lower court’s order for Scientology leader David Miscavige to be deposed in one phase of Monique Rathbun’s harassment lawsuit against the church.

The appeals panel decided that Comal County Judge Dib Waldrip had abused his discretion when he agreed with Monique’s legal team that in order to prove that the Texas county court had jurisdiction over Miscavige, who is in California, he could be questioned to determine his connection to what she alleges were years of harassment by Scientology operatives. (Miscavige has never accepted service in the lawsuit, filing what’s called a “special appearance” to try and get him removed from it on jurisdiction grounds.)

Continue reading Texas appeals court gets Scientology leader David Miscavige out of testifying in harassment lawsuit

A Scientology death will be examined Wednesday night on the ID network

Elli_PerkinsSeveral months ago, your proprietor was asked to take part in a television program about the 2003 death of Elli Perkins which will be airing for the first time next week.

Perkins was a Scientologist in the Buffalo area who was killed by her son, Jeremy, in a vicious knife attack. Jeremy was subsequently judged seriously mentally ill and was institutionalized. From the beginning, there were questions about Elli’s involvement in Scientology playing a part in her decision not to seek psychiatric care for her son, a decision that proved fatal for her.

Continue reading A Scientology death will be examined Wednesday night on the ID network

Camilla Andersson goes public after 29 years in Scientology’s inner elite

Camilla_AnderssonCamilla Andersson spent 29 years in Scientology’s hardcore “Sea Organization” — many of those years at the secretive “Int Base” east of Los Angeles — and walked away to freedom only two years ago. Now, she’s talking publicly for the first time about what she saw inside Scientology’s most elite facilities, spending years in the church’s prison detail, and working closely with Scientology leader David Miscavige.

And she tells us, he’s not going to be very happy about it.

Continue reading Camilla Andersson goes public after 29 years in Scientology’s inner elite

Lawsuit number 17 filed by Las Vegas attorney against Scientology’s rehab network

narconon-redwood-cliffsWe just got our hands on a legal complaint that was filed back on June 30. It’s yet another fraud lawsuit filed by Las Vegas attorney Ryan Hamilton against Scientology’s drug rehab network, Narconon.

In this case, Hamilton represents a California family that searched the Internet in January for a rehab center. Barbara Knoflick wanted to find a place for her son, Terney.

Continue reading Lawsuit number 17 filed by Las Vegas attorney against Scientology’s rehab network

The Dallas Morning News asks a question about Scientology, and we want your response

Going_ClearHey, kids, welcome to summer camp! This is supposed to be a time when things slow down, but we’re more slammed than ever — and we have big stories coming, we promise.

But today, we thought we’d latch on to the seasonal fun over at the Dallas Morning News, where the editorial board decided that for the dog days of summer, they’d read Lawrence Wright’s 2013 book about Scientology, Going Clear. (Here’s our piece back when the book first came out.)

Today’s discussion over at the DMN is a question that we usually avoid here, because it tends to send people in circles. The newspaper asks, “What makes a religion a religion, and should Scientology qualify?”

Continue reading The Dallas Morning News asks a question about Scientology, and we want your response

Sunday Funnies: Scientology lets slip the reason it still produces L. Ron Hubbard’s bad fiction

OTGoverness

We have a lot of fun looking through Scientology’s wacky fundraising mailers each Sunday. They give us a snapshot of just how hard the church works to convince its members to fork over more and more money in leader David Miscavige’s unquenchable thirst for more cash.

But on occasion, these internal church fliers also let slip some pretty important admissions that aren’t intended for the larger public. And this week, we have a beauty.

Continue reading Sunday Funnies: Scientology lets slip the reason it still produces L. Ron Hubbard’s bad fiction

Scientology accused of financial sleight of hand to avoid paying in human slavery lawsuit

FreewindsOTIn April, we told you the story of how Scientology had found itself tangled up in one of the most remarkable human slavery lawsuits ever adjudicated in the United States.

In 2008, three Cuban men won an $80 million judgment against the Curaçao Drydock Company after they escaped years of what they said were harrowing conditions of 112-hour work weeks, pay of a few cents an hour, and the inability to leave. After they finally got away, they ended up in Florida, where they sued the drydock — whose major shareholder was Curaçao’s government. After winning the huge award, the attorneys for the men then set out trying to collect it, which hasn’t been easy.

Continue reading Scientology accused of financial sleight of hand to avoid paying in human slavery lawsuit

Ken Dandar could use a cool million in his fight against Scientology

KenDandar2The last time we spoke with Florida attorney Ken Dandar, he had put on a brave face about what appeared to be another setback in court. Federal Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington had refused, again, to intervene with a state court that had saddled Dandar with a $1 million judgment, payable to the Church of Scientology.

Dandar told us, however, that he was encouraged that Covington had allowed part of his lawsuit against Scientology and the lower court to stand. “She denied their motion to dismiss. That’s huge. She recognizes the federal rights in this case, but she’s reluctant to interfere with the state courts,” he told us.

Continue reading Ken Dandar could use a cool million in his fight against Scientology