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Did the Headleys And Their Lawsuit Torpedo the FBI Investigation of Scientology?

The Headleys

The Headleys

The second half of the series in the Tampa Bay Times about the 2010 FBI investigation of Scientology landed on the Internet tonight, and we’ve given it a good look.

Joe Childs and Tom Tobin have done another fine job amassing new details about the FBI’s probe of human trafficking allegations at Scientology’s facilities, where workers, some of them children, toil long hours for little pay. As in our own story about the FBI giving up, the Times reporters found that at one point the federal investigators were taking seriously the idea of raiding Scientology’s international base east of Los Angeles.

Childs and Tobin advance the story in a major way by consulting experts who explain how the FBI — and the prosecutors it would turn over its evidence to — were confronted with a difficult proposition. Even with evidence that some workers were treated appallingly, Scientology had strong protection in the First Amendment, which keeps courts from meddling in church affairs.

There’s little doubt that the government had a tough road, but was its investigation ultimately sunk because of the difficulty Marc and Claire Headley ran into when they unsuccessfully sued Scientology in civil court over similar human trafficking allegations?

That’s the impression we came away with after reading the Times story.

“Seems to me that after a ruling such as this there is not much left to a criminal case that is essentially charging the same thing,” said former Justice Department attorney Greg W. Kehoe, referring to the dismissal of the Headley lawsuit.

We called Marc Headley to ask him how he felt about being the scapegoat for a federal investigation falling apart.

He laughed, saying that the Times reporters had been asking him that question for nearly two years. But he added that it wasn’t the whole story.

“It was a two-way street,” Headley says. “I got the impression that because of the FBI investigation, our attorneys thought they really had something in the human trafficking, and they dropped the other things that the judge ultimately said we had a better shot at.”

Headley is referring to the appellate decision of federal judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain, which detailed the harrowing conditions the Headleys experienced as Sea Org workers at Int Base, and suggested that his decision to uphold the dismissal might have gone differently if the Headleys had not pursued their case under the federal trafficking statute.

Headley says it was also curious to think that because he and his wife Claire were unable to beat the well-heeled church in a court fight that they financed on their own, carefully watching expenses and doing much of the work to save money, the mighty US government was subsequently undone when the Headleys did not prevail.

“If ultimately the FBI’s investigation was hinging on what we did? Well, get real,” he says.

Mike Rinder, the former church spokesman who grew frustrated with the FBI’s investigation, also scoffed at the notion that the government needed the Headleys to succeed. He compared it to similar federal investigations of the mafia.

“When you’re up against organized crime, you don’t expect civil litigants to bring it off. That’s what the government is for,” Rinder says.

Besides, there may have been another reason that the FBI probe fell apart that has nothing to do with the Headleys losing their case.

Marc Headley and Marty Rathbun are now willing to go on the record and explain what doesn’t appear in the Tampa Bay Times story — that the FBI may have torpedoed its own case when it helped out the Headleys behind the scenes.

In April 2010, John Brousseau made his break for freedom from the International Base after working in the Sea Org for more than 30 years. He then went to Corpus Christi to see Marty Rathbun, who was worried that Brousseau might be running an elaborate church operation.

But Rathbun became convinced that Brousseau’s escape was genuine. And then, as we explained in our story about Brousseau in July, Tommy Davis and three other church officials turned up at Brousseau’s motel, hoping to talk him into returning.

In August 2010, at his blog, Rathbun revealed that at the same time Davis had been sent to Texas, Scientology executive Warren McShane had reported to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office that Brousseau had stolen church property when he absconded from the base. (Brousseau told us he was very careful only to take his own property when he left. He was not charged by the sheriff’s department despite McShane’s complaint.)

McShane told the sheriff’s deputies that he had sent the contingent of Scientologists who showed up at Brousseau’s motel:

Mr. McShane summoned (4) church members/employees who know JB the best and sent them to Texas to attempt to contact him and perhaps persuade him to return to the facility in Hemet, CA. According to Mr. McShane the four dispatched employees were able to contact JB in the lobby of the Best Western motel on April 26 or 27th 2010. The group tried to persuade JB to return with them. JB retreated to his room and refused to come out or speak with the group.

But when Tommy Davis was deposed in the Headley lawsuit, he denied that he’d been sent by the church to retrieve Brousseau.

Q: Did your supervisor tell you to go see him?

A: No, she did not.

Q: So, why did you go to Texas to see John?

A: Because he is a very good friend of mine.

Q: So no one sent you to see Mr. Brousseau?

A: No.

Q: And you were visiting him as part of your job duties for the Church of Scientology?

A: No, I was not.

The McShane police report appeared to impeach Davis’s testimony, but the church had a reasonable expectation that the Headleys and their attorneys would never find out about the McShane report — it was investigative material in an open criminal case, and not something the public should be able to get its hands on.

So imagine the surprise that Scientology must have felt when the McShane report was filed by attorneys for the Headleys in their lawsuit.

In fact, the church registered its utter shock in a briefing dated August 2, 2010, saying that it was highly suspicious that the McShane police report had surfaced when “The source, acquisition and possession of the report by Plaintiff’s counsel are unstated, suspicious and potentially unlawful.”

According to Rathbun, the attorneys for the Headleys had obtained the McShane report from the FBI.

“The FBI’s got evidence that the guy is perjuring himself, and so they turned over that evidence to an officer of the court,” Rathbun says. He characterized it as a conscientious act by a law enforcement official who didn’t want to see wrongdoing go unpunished.

But after the McShane report surfaced, the FBI removed its lead investigator, Tricia Whitehill, from the Scientology investigation.

“She was a highly decorated veteran, and the church wanted her off the case,” Rathbun says. “Once she was pulled off of it, then the case was sayonara. If the FBI had a chance in this thing, it was because of Whitehill. And then she was gone, and that was the end of it.

“The Department of Justice was watching them like vultures, looking for any misstep to call it off. I had predicted that would happen, and it did,” he added.

Early in October, 2010, ex-Scientologist Tiziano Lugli talked with FBI special agent Valerie Venegas, who took over the case when Whitehill was removed. He told us in our March story that when he questioned her, Venegas admitted that the investigation had been cancelled by higher-ups in Washington. “I don’t care, I’m going to run my own investigation,” Venegas told him, Lugli says.

It was only a week after that conversation, Lugli adds, that she then complained about phone calls from New Yorker reporter Lawrence Wright, who would go on to reveal the existence of the FBI probe four months later, in his February 2011 profile of director Paul Haggis.

The Times story doesn’t mention Lugli or the October phone conversation he had with Venegas, and it makes it appear that Venegas complained about Wright only after his story came out in February.

As Tiziano pointed out to us earlier, Venegas had already told him the probe was finished before she complained that Wright was making calls, casting doubt on the idea that the reporter “destroyed” the investigation, as the Times story implies.

We’re sticking by what we said in March: the FBI probe was dead before the world heard about it in Wright’s New Yorker story (which is probably why Wright felt comfortable saying anything about it anyway).

But as Headley told us tonight, the church was bound to slip through somehow.

“You know how it is with Scientology. If you don’t have the gun, the video of someone shooting the gun, the bullets, and a taped confession, you can’t get them. You just can’t,” he says.


Posted by Tony Ortega on January 13, 2013 at 23:50

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  • mirele

    Thanks for this additional information, Tony. I think what’s irritating me at the moment is that here we have clear-cut evidence Scientology is harming its Sea Org members, some of whom are minors, yet the government can’t be arsed to do jack about it. Yet, the weight of the entire government was brought to bear on Aaron Swartz, and we know what happened there. 🙁 I’m thinking the government’s resources are being deployed in all the wrong places. I also believe that is because Scientology’s vaunted IRS tax exemption has bestowed upon it a sense of untouchability.

    I think the tax exemption’s going to have to go before we see any real action by the feds.

    • TheHoleDoesNotExist

      I agree but not sure that will be the first thing to happen if at all. I always keep an eye out for signs of changing the laws for non profits, specifically financial transparency. Now, if there Was just one straw that would break it all down, it’s financial transparency, scientology’s Achilles heel. Sure, Miscavige might have money to then turn around and keep whatever agency goes Gotcha! mired in legal red tape for 10 years, but it is his customers and slaves that will cut and run when They See where their life savings, their homes, their children’s trust funds and college funds, their business income, where it has Really been going.

      Scientology was Hubbard’s means of making a living at a time when mental patients were thrown away in a dungeon or at least would never ever get a job. Scientology is all about money. Any sci mystery can be solved by looking through the money hole. So I’m leaning toward money being the very thing that will douse the ring of fire. It’s like Dorothy’s bucket of water melting the witch. When staff find out that both Hubbard and Miscavige were sitting on piles of cash while simultaneously ordering their slow, tortured demise, well, you can imagine. Or when they find out how many millions have been spent in legal fees and PI’s and spies and sec checks just to make sure the staff and public and the law never find out what they are really doing with the money. Just look at what’s happening with Narconon, for example. Interesting to see non profit rules changing either this year or next.

    • DodoTheLaser

      “I think the tax exemption’s going to have to go before we see any real action by the feds.”

      I agree, Mirele.

      Scientology is NOT a religion, even some scientologists and most Indies realize that.
      It’s an applied belief system with tons of “fixed donations”. Pay as you go and hope for the best, type of thing.
      How more obvious it has to get for IRS to revoke the tax exempt status? And that’s even without going into mental and physical abuses.

      “Religious applied philosophy” my ass. There is nothing religious about scientology. Their sermons, sunday services and a cross is nothing but a highly hypocritical front. None of the scientology organizations/”churches” practice what they preach.

      It’s a tightly disguised para-military, money making machine that uses mental manipulations on its staff and members, using the tools provided by its founder – L. Ron Hubbard.

      It’s a spiritual/mental/legal trap. Luckily, more and more people are recognizing it for what it is.

      End of rant.

  • Glad to know the Headley’s aren’t taking the scapegoating to heart. Tommy Davis has a lot to make amends for and lying under oath is just one of many contemptible things he’s done in the name of his church. No matter how often the cult gets caught out lying, manipulating, pulling strings to stop investigations, fair gaming reporters, critics – hell, anybody the feel like, really – it still makes me so angry that they continually get away with it.

    Perhaps the only way to get the government to do anything is for there to be a class action for fraud and refunds led by an ex with great records and great will. By illuminating the cults lack in following the policy they provided to the IRS and by highlighting the fraudulent way funds are collected and then never used for those purposes maybe then the IRS might take note. The IRS is probably only up for another round with the cult if someone else does all the footwork for them. Right now I’m just disgusted by the whole deceitful operation. Yet again.

    • richelieu jr

      This is why I have so little pity for Tommy.. Slinking away the moment things aren’t OK for him in the cult, leaving a slug-like slime-trail of broken promises and lives and lies behind him, but still keeping silent instead of lifting a finger to undo the damage he’s done. his wife has a cancer all right- It’s called Tommy Davis.

      • Midwest Mom

        Tommy, you’ve been a bad, bad boy.

        • Deckard__Cain

          I love that Tommy was being investigated for perjury, even if it never came to pass it is a small comfort that SOME law officials take their jobs seriously.

  • John P.

    It is difficult for me to imagine what I could contribute to the discussion of who sunk whose investigation/lawsuit/whatever with any credibility, so I’m going to remain silent on that front. I have long maintained that, even without the twists and turns described in the above article, the Tampa Bay Times article, and Tony’s earlier writing on the subject, that prosecution decisions often take into account the total cost of trying a case crossed with the probability of winning and the relative importance of other cases competing for the same funding. So since the issue of a human trafficking investigation was first discussed, I figured that would be a difficult prosecution. On the other hand, the way the DoJ is set up, financial crimes are easier to prosecute because that branch of the US Attorney’s has a lot more staff and a lot more money — a $20 million prosecution (which the Raj Rajratnam insider trading case probably cost them) is not a big deal, especially since they probably get a cut of assets forfeited by those they convict.

    What is important for many of Tony’s readers to remember is that the inevitable pull of gravity and the march of time can do a lot that the government can’t do. I am increasingly starting to wonder whether the kinds of numbers that TheHoleDoesNotExist has brought up on several occasions recently for cult membership are closer to correct than the standard estimates many of us have previously been using (25k total US, 15k international including 5k to 6k staff). She says current levels are 5,000 to 6,000 staff and 3,000 to 5,000 worldwide public. Even if that number is off by half on the public side, there are less than 20k culties worldwide. The public is tapped out financially and the cannibalization of staff from orgs to feed the centralized bureaucracy has got to be getting extreme, leaving orgs unable to function, so the trickle of “fresh meat” coming in the door can’t be turned into large donors as they struggle their way up the rickety “Bridge.”

    If the number of public is down to less than 10,000 globally, then the orgs will increasingly start to wither and die. Symptoms of decay (unpaid electric bills, liens for back property taxes, elevators no longer maintained) are seen in spots, but they aren’t yet the norm for most of the Ideal Orgs. Miscavige is unlikely to sell the buildings, due to his ego and his denial of the trouble the cult is in, so they might well be abandoned (“closed for renovations”) until the local property tax authorities take possession.

    At that point, the temptation for Miscavige to cut and run with the money might become irresistible, and at that point, the feds can make a relatively easy case to put Miscavige in handcuffs. While it is a delightful image to fantasize about many high-level Scibots having to worry about making too many “special jail friends,” it’s important to remember that the key goal for activists and critics is to get the cult shut down. While it would be nice to see as much criminality punished as possible, in my mind, that’s less important than cleaning up the toxic rents this organization leaves in the fabric of our society. That’s not a perfect world, but it’s an adequate solution. While higher-level Scientology execs have engaged in lots of criminal behavior, they will probably ultimately be mostly harmless going forward, as retirement age nears, their social security benefits will be minimal, and they won’t have much in the way of job skills that are front and center for most corporations. Look for Warren McShane to show up stocking shelves at Wal-Mart, perhaps. The likelihood that they are going to form another cult and continue the scam in a different guise is relatively minuscule.

    • Yes, closing it down for good is the goal but do dwindling numbers really guarantee that it folds? Forgive me if you’ve covered this before and I missed it, but what’s your take on Karen#1’s claim that the reserve is $3B? If that’s true and the money is invested conservatively or just put into interest bearing accounts that can keep the cult afloat for a long time with so few staff and SO living on pennies and rice and beans. I do agree with THDNE’s estimate of numbers. Recently, on Marty’s blog, an under the radar Seattle public stated that the Idle Morgue had very few public and 30 staff, both Day and FDN, for a five story building and that half of the staff had contracts coming up within 1 – 1 1/2 years. However, fewer members doesn’t necessarily mean that the cult will shut itself down rather than enter a wounded cornered animal stage. At this point, they don’t even make an effort at selling the bridge. Just look at the 20 year veteran with ONE service (but, hey, he’s bi-lingual!) from the recruitment poster. What percentage of members just don’t care and will remain no matter what? As long as there are SO, staff, and public with money that DM can use the abuses will continue.

      At some point he has to realize he’s losing public. I’m not sure that his ego will prevent him from selling real estate. He may start selling the buildings in areas without much activity or rich public (do they even exist anymore?) and that keeps the cult afloat a little longer or he further lines his pockets in anticipation of a runner to Bulgravia. He appears to be gearing up recruitment for the SO in third world countries where it’s easy to sell “a better life in the SO”. Those new SO can recruit new public with the hope of making inroads into the well healed of those countries. In countries without much information about the cults abuses in their native languages this could be successful.

      Anyway, the cult is tricky and the only thing that appears to have a hope of stopping them is a lack of funds.

      • Theo Sismanides

        Closing down the Church might be someones’ goal. Surely NOT the Government’s anymore, as they Government and all of the Global Enslavers have seen in Scientology a NEW WORLD ORDER RELIGION.

        This is my take on this and it’s corroborated by what Venegas told Tiziano Lugli: Higher ups in Washington had cancelled the Investigation.

        • Ze Moo

          Theo posted a similar comment on Rathbun’s blog. My slightly edited reply:

          Scientology could never be the ‘new world order religion’. Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims would never accept scientology as a equal religion. What about SMERSH?

          The Headleys may have been victims of bad lawyers more than anything else. Ministerial exclusion and free exercise of religion covers a lot of ground, ground that can be abusive, coercive and maybe down right nasty. But even coercive religions can be held responsible for their actions. The rattlesnake handlers can’t have children under 18 play with the snakes. Religions that eschew blood transfusions and medical care may find themselves in court if a child’s health is at stake.

          The decision about the Headleys suit was a disgrace to our legal system, but maybe they could refile the suit without trying to use human trafficking as a charge. While free exercise of religion is a necessary and very important legal concept, it shouldn’t be used to cover up Davy MIscaviges crimes, Why the FBI didn’t focus on children in SO or on staff or visa fraud is beyond me.

          • AnyOldName1

            Ze Moo – I agree. The abuse of the children is indefensible, minors cannot enter into contracts and agree to the abuse….. The government needs to protect the children. Which could get their “foot in the door”.

      • John P.

        Dee, I would think that the claim of $3 billion to $6 billion in reserves is a bit high. I had been using the estimate of $300 million in annual worldwide revenue for the cult, which is probably high for the last couple of years. But assume that they put 40% of that number away for reserves, which again is a fairly generous estimate. That would mean that they’d need almost 30 years of reserve building to get to that point. That seems a little unlikely, though it is possible. Also, remember that membership peaked sometime in the late 1980s, if not earlier. While the cult has been getting the remaining members to dig deeper ever since, the reserves may have been dipped into on more than one occasion, if estimates of the costs of the Lisa McPherson case or other legal losses are accurate.

        At some point, the dwindling numbers do guarantee that it folds. It becomes all but impossible to hide from even the most loyal staff at the three main bases (Clearwater, Hollywood, Hemet) that there are no members left to service. At that point, despite all that the cult can do, the cognitive dissonance of getting people to work long hours for low pay to “clear the planet” won’t hold up. When there are no names left to call, and no money comes in, and nobody comes to Flag to do courses, they won’t be able to make up work for the remaining staff. Reality will eventually set in, no matter how thick the walls of the bubble that any given staff member lives in.

        I don’t think the cult will shut itself down. I do think the true believers closer to Miscavige will adopt ever more bizarre practices to try and fool themselves and Miscavige into thinking they can turn things around, and that lower membership is a temporary setback rather than a permanent trend. But they will have to retreat from the periphery of the empire to the core bases as staff and public leave.

        Tricks like recruiting for the SO from poor countries will work for a while, but will eventually stop, just as stopgap cons like “The Basics” (now with more semi-colons) or “The Library Campaign” are unlikely to work again. All it takes, by the way, is one immigration investigation to shut off the flow of international slaves once Homeland Security figures out that they are committing visa fraud, religion or not. Reactive moves like that always have a way of blowing up.

        Regarding trying to recruit new members in foreign countries, there are limits on that — most countries, even “free” ones, have far more restrictions on religion, especially cults, than the US does. And it will be hard for the cult to expand aggressively without coming to the attention of the authorities. Also, other things will factor into the equation, like the suggestions in some forums that some of the translations of books and other cult materials are insufferably bad, and are essentially unusable. That will tend to limit membership to the families of the Sea Org slaves who have emigrated to the US. That won’t be enough to reverse the trend of declining worldwide membership permanently, if it even reverses it in the short term.

        Example: Russia is already quite suspicious of the cult as an American espionage operation, and has banned sales of Scientology materials (IIRC). Now, with the majority of educated Russians planning to emigrate (a second wave of brain drain after the 1980s Jewish emigration wave), if the government figures out that Scientology is grabbing people to staff foreign Sea Org offices, they’ll come down like a ton of bricks for a symbolic victory, like the bizarre law to stop American adoption of Russian kids languishing in horrible conditions in their orphanages.

        Yes, the abuses will continue, but with dwindling numbers of people as things circle the drain. Old staff members will continue to die off (so many of them smoke furiously, which will accelerate that problem, despite what Hubbard claimed), and the young staff will be utterly clueless and, as they graduate from cleaning bathrooms with toothbrushes to having positions in management, they’ll accelerate the decline even faster.

        The decline will be bizarre and will happen in unexpected ways, but it will happen, and it is unlikely that anything can stop it. We’re getting close to the “event horizon,” economically speaking, if we haven’t reached it already.

        • scnethics

          I think your analysis of the reserves number is well-reasoned, but did you take into account that they started at the time of Hubbard’s death with at least half a billion?

          That’s a very good point, that dwindling numbers in course rooms and HGCs will be difficult for staff members to reconcile. Unfortunately, the numbers I’m seeing at Flag, though crappy, are similar to numbers from 15 years ago. Flag has a lot of international support. I think this will need to dry up before your prediction comes true. It is just a matter of time, since scientology will run out of fresh territory to mine for suckers.

          • John P.

            While reserves from the pre-Miscavige era could boost the total, I still think it’s unlikely that reserves would get to $3+ billion for an organization that at its peak was taking in perhaps $300 million per year (even at the obscene profit margins that they make due to the slave labor). There are likely to have been financial disasters behind the scenes that we can’t imagine… there are rumors of big losses of cult funds with the Feshbachs’ hedge fund when it blew up in the late 1980s. Either Marc Headley or Mat Pesch talked about how, fairly recently (last 10-15 years), the Sea Org reserves were nearly depleted, due in large part to the need to send so much money “uplines” — implying that Miscavige had felt the need to take a larger-than-usual slice of the Sea Org’s profits, implying that reserves were dropping for some reason. I view that as evidence that reserves are being spent/wasted on something.

            So while it’s useful to remember that there were decent sized reserves when Miscavige took over, it is not at all certain that reserve amounts have increased smoothly and never been touched in all those years… Money wants to go to work, as we say in capitalism. And I’m sure Miscavige wouldn’t have been able to resist the temptation to put some of it towards his scheme du jour.

            One thought: it would be interesting to try and estimate the amount of money spent on improvements to Int Base, which was a fairly crappy bankrupt resort when the cult bought it. I wonder what the square footage of the “Cine Castle,” the office building where Miscavige works, and all the rest, add up to. It could easily be a couple hundred million in cash spent on improving the place, which is apparently largely uninhabited (except for the inmates in the “Hole”). Maintaining that ought to cost a significant chunk these days — think about how much it would cost to have an armed “wog” security team patrolling the grounds, as some have said is now the case, instead of the usual low-paid amateur nitwits. 5-10 guards on staff at any given time 24×7 could cost $2 or $3 million per year. And that is just security. So let’s guess that keeping Int Base looking spiffy for Miscavige, even with slave labor doing the gardening, etc., costs $8 to $10 million per year. And then add in another $10 million plus for Miscavige’s lifestyle and you get at least $20 million to keep up the illusion that Int Base is the center of the Scientology universe, to keep Miscavige in his bubble of pretend success. If the cult revenues are down to $200 million or below over the last couple years, that’s a hefty chunk of money that would be going to reserves that is spent on operating Int Base. So I doubt reserves are growing at this point, and the cult could well be dipping into reserves to keep the Potemkin Village at Hemet going.

            Point of all this is that when all is added in, even the positive of the $500 million estimated reserves in 1986, it’s hard to believe that an organization would bank 10-15x its annual sales of $300 million to $200 million in accumulated profits, especially when it is in long-term secular decline. I don’t know of any management team ever that has the discipline to do that. And Miscavige certainly would never be mistaken for the poster boy for long-term financial discipline.

            • TheHoleDoesNotExist

              “And Miscavige certainly would never be mistaken for the poster boy for long-term financial discipline.” Miscavige was in the casino when Hubbard blasted off to Target 2. Columbia and many of the Freewinds ports have plenty of casinos. Miscavige is a gambler and known to have made blunders. When the real estate fever swept throughout the lend, I can’t imagine for a moment that Miscavige didn’t catch it and in a big way. And yes, upkeep and maintenance expenses have only increased over the years. Oh, and as far as reserves, the % that had to go up lines has been in the 75% to 85% for decades. I can personally say for certain in the mid 80’s. First it was the GO and Flag and then Upper Management orgs, mostly GO though, which then turned into IAS. I forgot what Luke Catton said the % was from Narconon. And these are out of Gross, not Net. Yeah, it’s financial suicide, crazy stuff.

            • DodoTheLaser

              That reminds me – some ex Int base staffers mentioned on Marty’s blog that Miscavige likes playing his XBox or is it PS3? My guess he is into a first person shooter kind of games, not that it’s a bad thing. Hey, Dave, wanna play Call Of Duty on line with my kid? He is a pro with tons of achievements. You’ve been warned. Up to a challenge? lol

            • Hi John P., One thing to keep in mind is that IAS reserves are likely virtually untouched. They are probably personally controlled by der midget. In my experience, lots of money goes in and little comes out. The PR line is that it was a ‘defense fund’ to ‘save scientology, wherever it is attacked’, but given accounts of flag being raped for funds during the Lisa McPherson legal battle, I think that they were using sea org reserves and income to pay for it all. All the supposed ‘volunteer minister’ capers are paid for by the participants with only token outlays by the IAS. Yet each time a crisis occurs, the whales and everyone else is furiously regged to ‘up their status’ in the IAS by giving more un-refundable ‘donations’. So, I think the IAS is very flush with untapped funds.

              The original study on cognitive dissonance where the author ‘joined’ a cult noticed that even when the doomsday deadline passed without doom, the true believers redoubled their efforts, convinced that they had averted it with their belief and were being given another chance. I think something similar will happen with the hard core sea org. I wouldn’t put it past DM to engineer a mass ‘target two’ scenario.

              As to maintenance and such, in my experience all that is done by the sea org itself or by members doing amends. The recruiting materials are full of ‘being trained to do a job’ like electrician or such. I know they sent the boiler guys to get their certificates so they could legally operate and repair them. So, all the painting, fixit, plumbing, electrical is being done by sea org. The only exceptions were big jobs like the first exterior painting of big blue or specialized stuff like elevator maintenance. Even with that, the RPF spent months with little files polishing the relay contacts on the old elevator controllers in big blue.

              Anyway, love your posts!

            • Poison Ivy

              “wouldn’t put it past DM to engineer a mass ‘target two’ scenario.” You aren’t suggested a mass suicide, are you? That doesn’t sound like DM to me. He is far too narcissistic to commit suicide unless he is absolutely cornered with no way out (as in, a viable murder charge against him.)

              What gets me about all this waiting for Godot (or rather, the tipping point of Scientology) is that there are so many people still suffering within it. So many families still broken, and so many people in The Hole and other work camps. The fact that the US government – FBI & DOJ – so willfully avoid dealing with this is an utter disgrace. I may be idealistic but I still root for the end to come with a bang and not a whimper, to save as many people now suffering as possible.

            • I think it depends on the source of DMs behavior. If he behaves as he does because he fully believes, (no matter how looney it might be to us), that he is really the only ‘OT’ around who can get hubbards grand vision accomplished, surrounded by incompetents and sp’s, then he could have the ‘cognition’ at some point that the battle for earth is lost and the solution is to move to target two, hook up with ron and try again.

              Being the ‘only OT’ gives him a personal rationale to indulge himself. He saw hubbard indulge himself, taking huge piles of money and having cars, a ranch, servants, etc. Why not him, after all he is the leader and the only one making it go right. If he is still overwhelmed the retreat by dropping the body makes sense, if this is his mental structure.

              On the other hand, if his mental structure is the cynical con man just taking everyone for a ride for as long as he can while piling up personal assets, then getting rid of recent witnesses by selling them the “go to target two” scenario while he escapes to bulgravia is also possible.

              And he may be flipping or segueing from one structure to the other depending on the phases of the moon, time of day and which scotch he has consumed.

              Regrettably, reports of his behavior seem more consistent with being a true believer of himself as the ‘only OT’ who can do it. I think a con man would be more rational and more careful.

            • BuryTheNuts2

              You make a very good point about a con man being more rational and careful.

              Rational, considered behavior is not a hallmark of David Miscavige.

              Apoplectic rage is his norm.
              He may truly believe in own (and Hubbards) smoke.

        • Deckard__Cain

          JP, first I chuckled and scoffed at the idea that the Russians believe Scientology to be an American espionage operation but then I remembered Tony’s points above and the Yingling connection with the DoJ, etc. It’s not such a far flung moonbat conspiracy theory when there are direct connections. For once, I think the Russians can connect the dots better than we can, although their dots are in the wrong place and their lines are crooked.

          I’ll admit it…..Marty Rathbun was right. He was the first to call it (what Tony states above) although he didn’t really explain it and he sounded like a raving moonbat, but he was right.

          • Ze Moo

            Deckard, you confuse the continued ‘putinization’ of Russia with events outside of the control of CO$ or anyone. Russia has banned all historically ‘outside’ religions, Methodists, Lutherans (who had a historical base in the Baltic republics and St Petersberg), Mormons and 7th Day Adventists and anyone who wasn’t Jewish, Russian Orthodox, Muslim or Buddhist is officially banned in Russia. Putin’s war on Non-Governmental Organizations was mostly related to anyone watching the voting process. Putin needed to demonize foreigners to justify his crack downs on other Russian political parties. The CO$ in Russia is a convenient whipping boy for a lot of foreign scapegoat ism.

            While Marty Rathbun often brings an insiders outlook to these discussions, he was a potential witness in the governments case. The FBI treats witnesses ( even paid informants) like mushrooms. I do have to wonder how CO$ lobbying and money may have affected the investigation, but unless someone can prove ‘snow white 2’, I have to blame the courts rejection of the Headleys suit for the case being dropped.

            • DodoTheLaser

              “I do have to wonder how CO$ lobbying and money may have affected the
              investigation, but unless someone can prove ‘snow white 2’, I have to
              blame the courts rejection of the Headleys suit for the case being

              I see your point, but I think it’s neither. It’s about who Miscavige pays most and what are their connections and spheres of influence, imho. In another words – follow the money AND power trail.

        • I don’t think “cognitive dissidence” actually functions in declining cults as much as you think it does: you yourself are so rational that you presume other people have at least a modicum of rationality, but it ain’t always so! I think about the little political cults which drag on and on: there was some talk about the Larouchies a few threads ago (I had tangential connection to them; a woman joined who’d lost a husband to their clutches), and some years back I met someone from a spectacularly old-line Maoist group (thinks Madame Mao was right and China went “deviationist” in 1974; considered Enver Hoxha, the Kim Il-sung of Cold-War-era Albania, as a hero, and even defended Pol Pot’s “agrarian reforms” while confessing a few errors of implementation).

          What’s striking about such people is not just the bizarreness of their views, but their firm fixed faith that they are the vanguards of a movement which will sweep the whole nation and triumph in a glorious revolution, although they can obviously see that the numbers in their groups are dwindling rather than growing with time– and they are striking examples because they are out on college campuses, arguing with people who think they’re nuts, all the time, not shut up into little bubbles sealed off from the real world. Scientology’s efforts to shield the remaining faithful from “entheta” may extend the life of the cult a little more than what we see in the other cases (I don’t think the Maoists are still around; I see Larouchie booths much more rarely these days), but is not absolutely essential.

        • DeElizabethan

          John P, I really like your take on it and tend to agree with you.

        • Thanks, John. I always appreciate your financial insight into the real world financial workings of different operations and how they might relate to the shadowy world of the mechanics of the cult. Perhaps the reserves are actually low but DM likes to keep the PR up to the outside about how high they are as a means of intimidation to those who contemplate speaking?

        • Jgg2012

          John, it will go the way of Herbalife and other ponzi schemes, ie it will keep finding new countries to enter, until none are left. Also, they can go the way of the Apollo (high seas). The reincarnation of LRH will arrive soon, moreover, giving them a tempoaray boost.

        • N. Graham

          Plus, if history is any indication, the more the cult loses members the more reckless they will become and cause even more footbullets.

          • DodoTheLaser

            That’s what I observed too.

      • “(but, hey, he’s bi-lingual!)” Does that mean he has a forked tongue?

        • Probably, he’s on staff, right? (That’s the way the cult spelled bilingual on Ramundo’s recruitment ad from yesterdays post.)

      • N. Graham

        Not to mention that Third World countries usually have very low Internet penetration and the Internet is what’s killing Scio.

        • DodoTheLaser

          Good point, but how many countries are out there with no internet?

          My guess – not so many. Central Africa, Middle East perhaps? I know most Europe and Russia are wired tight. Heck, Sweden beats US even, in terms of high speed.

    • OTVIIIisGrrr8!

      1. We in RTC wish to point out that the Church of Scientology will continue to flourish and prosper at unprecedented magnitudes of expansion.

      2. The local Ideal Orgs are empty not because of failure but because they were so crowded that local Fire Marshall’s ordered the Orgs closed. Yes, it looks like the Church of Scientology too quickly outgrew the latest crop of Ideal Orgs and so we need even bigger Ideal Orgs to the tune of 500,000,000 square feet each.

      3. Until these new Super Ideal Orgs are designed and built to COB’s rigorous specifications, you may see OT’s sleeping in parks and under bridges not because they are bankrupt but rather because of indoor air pollution. The Psychs have crammed indoor spaces so full of airborne Psych drugs that Scientologists in general feel safer sleeping in their cars, on park benches, or even camping out on a perfectly good public sidewalk.

      4. The Church of Scientology’s stats were so huge, so monumental, that the sheer weight of the cash pouring into the Church threatened the entire global economy. In order to protect the global economy, Fleet Admiral David Miscavige has ordered a temporary halt to certain Scientology economic activities such as paying utility bills, paying to maintain buildings or other MEST, and forebearing to pay Sea Org anything beyond the most meager of a stipend. These measures will remain in place and then, on a gradient basis, COB will begin a program of quantitative easing whereby flows of Scientology monies are slowly, very slowly, reintroduced into the wog economy, and by this we mean only after the debts are in collection and have been sold a few times for pennies on the dollar, so please don’t call the Church of Scientology right now because, no, we will not pay you.

      5.So many billionaires, celebrities, and upstats became Scientologists that there is not enough room in our Celebrity Centres. Again, they are mostly empty except for the starving actors we allow in so they can learn how to use the Tech to get more work.

      6. A Scientologist runs for President in 2016 and wins the White House. That Scientologist is named Mitt Romney and he changed religions because Mormonism didn’t work for him in 2012!

      • 1subgenius

        #2 Reminds me of what Yogi Berra said about a restaurant someone suggested.
        “No one goes there anymore. Its too crowded.”

        • OTVIIIisGrrr8!

          Yes and thank you. That is exactly it: No one goes into Scientology Ideal Orgs anymore because they are too crowded.

          The same applies to Sea Org recruitment: With 53,961,002 Sea Org members we in the Church of Scientology are turning away prospective recruits in droves, especially drug users, homosexuals, Catholics, Jews, Illuminati members, gypsies, peddlers of Persian rugs, drug fiends, those prone to blowing organizations, Communists, Christians, Buddhists, the reasonable and open-minded, witches, and those connected to Psychiatry. But other than that, yes, we are desperate for more Sea Org members.

          So please join the Sea Org today — but only if you are unreasonable, attack dog mean, utterly amoral, and have a fanatical devotion to helping us Clear the Planet!

          • 1subgenius

            Yogi could never be a Scientologist.
            Said he, “I can’t concentrate when I’m thinking.”

            • And, “I never even said half those things I said.”

          • DodoTheLaser

            I guess that’s why there no Scientologists on Forbes list in the last 65 years either. The Forbes lists are too crowded. Makes sense.

          • Jgg2012

            Yogi also said “I didn’t really say everything I said.” Neither did the Church–they never made Rathbun a high official, never supported fair game, never regged people for money, never said the holocaust was only a few thousand people…

        • Mighty Korgo of Teegeeack

          Also, sadly, “It’s not over, ’til it’s over”.

          • Tory Christman

            Fact: EVERY “Ideal Org” in the Los Angeles area is D E A D/Empty/ and 4 stories high. (Dead in that there are 3-4 staff working there)

            Fact: At events which used to have hundreds of public, it is now *mostly* staff being bussed in,

            dressed in “normal” Clothing so it LOOKS like it’s full.

            Fact: They are now promoting “inside” ….”I’m not disconnecting from you: I just don’t want to talk to you”. (Meaning: They have orders not to mention “Disconnection” Good luck on that one, Davey boy! Ya should have thought of that one many years ago).

            Fact: The windows in the old “Testing Center” on Hollywood Blvd (which a few of us helped shut down many years ago)…is now supposedly being “renovated”. Most of the windows are torn out, torn plastic flapping in the breeze, with bums camped out in front.

            Fact: C of $ opened up a “Community Center” in Inglewood, hoping to rope in some of the black Community w/ Money. They had a “town meeting”….a friend and I went. Turns out people from our State Dept had flown in to have a meeting there on mental illness at Skid Row. Once the Doctor speaking said “This has NOTHING to do with Dianetics OR Scientology” they locked ALL of the people out. Louis Farrakhan is a member of the Nation of Islam and now a Scientologist. However, there’s also a facebook site: “Scientology Invasion of the Black Community” which I recommend you swing by and see: Truly amazing.

            There’s more…but that’s enough for now. This is going to be an ***excellent*** year for we, the Ex’s, critics, Anonymous, Indies, and Scientologists still “in”, as well as many journalists.Under the radar–wanting the truth to be told. 🙂 Tick tock, Tick Tock: Time is on *our* side!

            • Tory Christman

              PS: I guess I should say “homeless” vs bums…but truthfully, those camped out there look like bums/druggies and I always tell them: This IS the place to be 🙂 Also now some cool peeps arrive every Friday night and DO give out food, clothing, water to the Homeless outside of $centology. $cientology NEVER chips in.

            • Alex De Valera

              Orwell used to call them tramps!

          • Roger Yost

            Mighty Korgo


      • richelieu jr

        How many Ideal Orgs and Scientologists can dance on the head of a pin

        (head lie Misvaige?)

    • DodoTheLaser

      Stats Update: Cincinnati Ideal Org (now in Florence, KY) has 3 to 5 students in their Academy/Course room on any given day. About the same number of pre-clears in HGC, if not less. Same source tells me that the Flag Academy has about 30-35 students, both staff and public. As always, but even more dramatically so, Scientology suffers from having more employees than customers. The data above is less then one month old.

      • richelieu jr

        A definite danger of transforming your customers into employees…

      • John P.

        Thanks for the data point.

        Metro area Cincinnati has 2.2 million people. And it sounds like less than 50 of them are “public.” Assuming (at a guess) that urban population within 50 miles of a Scientology Org is perhaps half the US population of 310 million, that means you get to about 4,000 public in the US. Uh-oh.

        If someone had access to a killer GIS system (ESRI, Teradata, etc) loaded with appropriate census data, it would be relatively easy to put in the addresses of the orgs in the US and determine exactly what the population within 50 miles of all the orgs would be, to get the “addressable market” for the cult, and try to extrapolate membership.

        • Jgg2012

          Flag gets 3 clears a month. What % of all clears come from Flag? How many did it produce 20 years ago?

          • DodoTheLaser

            No org in the world has more public than Flag, ever. So if Flag manages to produce 3 “Clears” a month these days, an average Class V Org makes 1 or 2 in a 6 month period, if they are lucky and have technical staff trained to deliver Clear Certainty Rundown. I don’t have the numbers on how many “Clears” Flag was making 20 years ago, but from my recollections of looking at completion lists in their “Source” Mag, anywhere between 1995 and 2005, I would say they were cranking out 10-15 a month. The numbers were decreasing ever since. My rough guess, Flag makes about 70% of all “Clears” today. Advanced Orgs (ASHO, AOSH UK, AOSH EU, ANZO) produce 20% and Class V Orgs are responsible for the remaining 10%. All in all, the real numbers are pathetic.
            Hope it helps.

          • TheHoleDoesNotExist

            Just one thing about that stat. Those 3 clears of 2012 have already been busted down. And I have seen many months where Flag didn’t have 3. They’ve been trying for 3 years to get 10,000 onto Solo Nots and have not managed more than 160, and some of those have gotten busted down. Call it 100. Three Years. There have been most months in 2012 that ASHO did not graduate a Briefing Course completion. There have consistently been 1 or 0 on each Section, a few with 2. AOLA is about par. Flag is flagellating outer org trainees, refusing to let them leave until they coerce more outer org staff to replace them, and that’s just the beginning of the fleecing. This is why Miscavige ordered Class 8’s to do hundreds of hours of Objectives at Class 8 prices. They are the customers who might have some money left and absolutely No will, soul, mind, or resistance left. Wealthier scientologists in the Flag area have foreclosed, bankrupted and left quietly. They have left a trail of economic devastation behind them and that includes the predatory businesses that ripped off clients and residents right and left. All 24 Idle orgs are near empty with the exception of perhaps two, not sure. All the other orgs and missions are literally crumbling and the one or two robots holding watch will fold any day now.

            • Tory Christman

              If you’re “in” and reading this: BAIL WHILE U STILL CAN! I’m **not** kidding on that. I can’t tell you how many Scientologists have died in the 12 years I’ve been saying that, but WAY too many Scios have, and some have taken their own lives. Sadly, I was told Steve Brackett who was going to marry Nancy Cartwright and jumped off of a bridge due to Barry Klein suckering them into a 5 MILLION dollar donation. Oh! And where is Barry, by the way? Rumor has it he sold his home in Burbank and fled, on the road…after the creditors tried to go after Nancy and she said: “Screw that. Get it from Barry Klein: HE ROPED US IN”. FSM’s For $cientology? That’s one more reason to leave: Now when we all ask for our $$$ back? YOU HAVE TO PAY BACK THAT 10% commission you got. OH BOY. The “church” that just NEVER GIVES and keeps on taking. Here’s part of Steve’s story:

        • DodoTheLaser

          You are welcome and thank you for your analysis. Sounds about right, from my observations. There more public, but they are not active, some are probably reading Marty’s blog, as we speak.

      • scnethics

        Awesome! Thanks for the encouraging information and please keep it coming.

        • DodoTheLaser

          Welcome, will do.

      • Sid Snakey

        I’ve just finished reading Vance Woodward’s book. Very entertaining and interesting read. If you want to understand what life is like as a Scientology public then I highly recommend reading it.

        One of the main things you take away from it is that Scientology is doomed – there are just too many LRH policies that the church still follows 100% which seem guaranteed to eventually result in a disaffected former member. Even where multiple LRH policies exist on the same subject, they seem to pick the most destructive policy.

        Most agree that CofS is run as a business rather than as a church, but there’s a big problem with that, which is that such a model would have to depend on satisfied customers. However, satisfied customers are exactly what the church will never generate, at least not in the long term.
        In his career in the church Vance donates hundreds of thousands of dollars, volunteers his time on staff and buys huge chunks of services. In ANY OTHER organisation he would be treated very well, but in various different Scientology organisations he is treated like sh!t, over and over again.

        He tells a similar story to Brian Culkin – once the church knows you have some money the one thing they ARE good at is that they are fully geared up to take it from you as soon as is humanly possible. Even a celebrity like Jason Beghe realised he was being treated badly (and the product didn’t work).

        There appears to be no way for this model to achieve growth, in fact the only thing this approach can possibly deliver is a long and gradual decline.

        • DeElizabethan

          You said it! Just shows the founders insanity!

      • TheHoleDoesNotExist

        Tks, Dodo. And those at Flag are mostly Class 5 (lower org) staff. The same old (and I mean crinkly) public are dragged in, but some show up on those basic courses, and some of the small ones you used to be able to do at home. But they’re just hors d’ouevers on the menu. A lot of old timers went to do these mandatory courses over in Ybor or Tampa to get away from the hounds of hell. The OT7 sec checks are mandatory. The HGC is just another Sales Center/Interrogation Hall.

        Miscavige has been pulling his classic Mission Massacre like in the 80’s, but he’s moved up to Class 5, extracted their public’s bank accounts, made sure to blow them permanently away. Whoever still sticks around he figures he owns lock stock and soul and uses them as live dummies on his stage. Most of these are staff. Nothing he’s done makes sense as he is obviously pushing customers out the door right and left. What Does make sense is if he Wants any customers who aren’t in the Millionaire’s club gone, not profitable enough, and he’s figured out exactly how many whales and cash cows he needs to keep the charade going without having to do so much hard work (beating, screaming, throwing people into cesspools, etc.). I forget what I think Matt Pesch said just the electric bill at Flag was, and the rates have gone up about 25% since he was there, but it was huge. Oh, and also, the last names of graduates at Flag and PAC are now more of foreign flavors of third world.

        • DodoTheLaser

          True, THDNE. All Class V orgs HAD to send 10 or more staff members to Flag during the last “streamlined” training evolution about 2 years ago. Some are still there, trying to get through their Supervisor/Auditor internships. My source came back about a month ago and promptly blew the org for good.

          • TheHoleDoesNotExist

            I’ve heard about what outer org trainees have to do and it is another indicator of what’s happening. I was just looking at a Sec Check list that Mark Plummer put out on another forum and laughing about the question about Cannibalism. It’s just a few staff left these days and a few whales who will probably keep circling the wagons, whooping and hollering and gunning down the shadows of their imaginary enemies, until they drop off their high horses. I think we’d like to save them all, but perhaps we’ve done all we can do for them. I don’t know. I’m just waiting for Miscavige to go away one way or another and families can be united once again. I’d love to see jail time for a whole bunch of holes, but I’ll be jubilant to hear about the mother and child reunions.

            • DodoTheLaser

              “Cannibalism” is pretty much over. No money, no faith left to feed it. New day.

      • Good news everyone!

    • cultwife

      Well, they finally got Al Capone–on income tax evasion. Whatever gets the job done.

      • AnyOldName1

        Yes, but the IRS surrendered 20 years ago. They got Capone when the FBI couldn’t……

    • Jgg2012

      John, the cost/benefit is what they SHOULD base it on. So the Headleys lost–that does not mean that other people were not held against their will. So a document got out that shouldn’t have–someone should be disciplined. The investigation, if feasible, should go on.

    • Warren McShane was a successful contractor (not sure in what) before joining the sea org and rtc. He presented me with a keeping scientology working plaque in the osa offices on lrhway for stealing a slide from the stills shot on “world gone wild” which the osa lawyers then used to blackmail the producers into removing references to dianetics from the apocalyptic scenario of the movie. I’m still ashamed of doing it. scientology gave me an award.

  • whingeybingey

    This is the difference between governments that care about their people and governments that just want to suck up to movie stars.

  • Thanks once again Tony for constructing such a clear narrative out of painfully complicated and contradictory reports.

  • HeatherGraceful

    Mike Rinder has it right, as usual.

    • richelieu jr

      As usual? Are you kidding me?

      The guy was spokesperson for the CoS. Even if everything he says is right from now on (which I highly doubt) he’ll have like a 1% ratio.

      • HeatherGraceful

        No of course I’m not referring to his ancient history as CoS spokesperson. Let’s not be silly.

        • “Ancient History”, LOL!

      • 0tessa

        Once a thief, always a thief?

        • richelieu jr

          Until proven otherwise. His entire adult career consisted of looking people straight in the eyes and telling bald-face lies.
          Now he says he doesn’t do that any more. I guess I’d have to be a chump not to believe him, huh?

    • stillgrace

      He definitely had it right when he said: “When you’re up against organized crime, you don’t expect civil litigants to bring it off. That’s what the government is for.”
      (with the emphasis on ‘organized crime’).

      • HeatherGraceful


  • sillyrabbit

    Well, the obvious comments on the evil on Scientology aside, this does say one thing in big bold neon letters… in America you are only as “free” as you are rich. We all know it. But it really sucks when you see such a terribly unjust example of it played out like this.

    Having said that it also makes the point that the only real way of fighting evil like this is exposure. Courts and the government are like chocolate fire guards when it comes to Scientology. This blog on the other hand, if you don’t mind me saying so, is one very high grade of stainless steel.

    • SP ‘Onage

      I think someone will blow with a shit load of incriminating doc’s that will take this cult down. I really think it will be an ethical scientologist (working with Indies) who will dismantle this cult internally.

      • 1subgenius

        I’ll use my go-to all-purpose response to this: you could be right.
        Plus I’ll say, I hope you are.

      • DeElizabethan

        Along those lines I agree. My difference of think is that it will be to bring down MD only and not the ideals or tech of the organization.

      • Poison Ivy

        I sure hope so. My fantasy is someone getting out with all of DM’s recorded rants and transcribed machinations.

        • BuryTheNuts2

          I personally think it would be awesome if Laurisse turns on him.
          Would that not be rich?
          Imagine how much dirt she must have.

          Ok, I know its just a delusion.

  • SP ‘Onage

    Oh come on! Blaming it on the outcome of the Headley’s case is ludicrous and nonsensical.

    Hell, our government can invade countries and get away with it, and now I am suppose to believe they can’t infiltrate and bust a criminal cult who has ties with another criminal cult, Nation Of Islam. Shit, I am not that much of an idiot!

    I never did like mommy’s boy Tommy Davis, especially the way he treated John Sweeney and Shawn Lonsdale. So it doesn’t surprise me that he lied…again.

    • 1subgenius

      Good point.

      • SP ‘Onage

        Thanks! I don’t make them often. 🙂

    • Mighty Korgo of Teegeeack

      I always think of the tag line for that other Tommy, “Mom always liked you best”.

  • This whole investigation sounds like one big giant mess. (sigh)

    • 1subgenius

      And (if you’re an American taxpayer) you paid for it.
      Can we get our money back?

  • SP ‘Onage

    I love that picture of the Headley’s, they look so happy. It must kill David Miscavige when he looks at it…hehe

    • stillgrace

      I love the color coordination of their clothing!

      • I haven’t noticed it before you pointed it out. I agree. Well done. And it’s not some sort of boring “everybody wears black” coordination. They went for navy/grays. Loves. Soon they’ll have another little one.

    • 1subgenius

      Truly. Miscavige will never have the riches the Headleys possess. Love.
      What a sad, pathetic imitation of life he is leading.
      All that power won’t mean shit at the end of his day. Regardless of how this movie ends he will die lonely and unloved.
      “When they lay you on that table, better keep your business clean.” (Randy Newman)

      • Poison Ivy

        It’s interesting how Miscavige is so pathologically obsessed with Marty and the Headleys, people who’ve left him, who he’s tried again and again to destroy, and yet who’ve gone on to have really nice lives nonetheless. That alone tells you the degree of his madness.

  • DodoTheLaser

    “You know how it is with Scientology. If you don’t have the gun, the
    video of someone shooting the gun, the bullets, and a taped confession,
    you can’t get them. You just can’t,”…

    Scientology is a venomous snake, disguised as a golden snail with a magic carrot, amongst other things.

    It will not go unnoticed. Or ignored.

  • 0tessa

    I suspect Whitehill was removed because Scientology had gathered enough material on her to damage her publicly. To bring Scientology to justice it will need prosecutors like they have in Italy to fight the maffia. You’ll need a real crime fighter who makes it his or hers life work and who isn’t afraid of nobody. Who is even courageous enough to risk being murdered. Like happened in the fight against the maffia.
    In the meantime, like JohnP wrote, the media will do its work. The media are more active and less intimidated than ever before. The result could be that the cult will implode financially sooner or later. Which would be the easiest and cheapest way to bring it down. I also have a dream of Miscavige being caught while on the run.
    So, Who is afraid of Scientology?!

    • Midwest Mom

      I was wondering if Whitehill’s direct superior had been a target of black PR or if either had pet dogs mysteriously die from suspicious circumstances.

  • Peter Robinson

    Have been reading Underground Bunker with fascination, but mostly horror at the lives ruined by the scifiology scam. Am totally baffled as to how it gets away with calling itself a religion. By definition a religion requires a deity or deities. Now I am aware that scifiology worships the founding fraudster, LRH, but was not aware that he had been declared a god anywhere. Can anyone clarify the grounds on which the scifiology nonsense is classified and accepted as a religion?

    Seems that LRH originally set out claiming that it was a ‘science’, then realised the benefits of legal protection and tax advantages of claiming to be a religion, and that the claims to be a religion have never been properly challenged in law. And even if one were to accept it is a religion, whatever happened to separation of church and state? If they are supposed to be separated then the state has zero right to afford any special status to religion anyway.

    Of course, this equally applies to other conmen like Benny Hinn, and the mega churches that peddle their own nasty bs, as well as the lack of legal action against the so called ‘psychic’ fraudsters like Sylvia Browne and John ‘The Douchebag’ Edward.

    My pet theory is that the government knows that any challenge to faith is the thin end of the wedge, if successful, would result in a domino effect knocking back all religions, from the lunatic fringe right up to the apparently ‘respectable ‘ ones like R.C., and that this would be political suicide.

    Still, scifiology does seem to be coming apart at the seams and one can only hope that the momentum of this disintegration grows.

    Good wishes to all who work tirelessly to these ends!!!

  • Sid Snakey

    From Tobin and Childs:- “Venegas phoned Brousseau, who had confirmed some information for Wright.

    You guys destroyed years of work, she said, angrily. She said she felt betrayed.Not only was the investigation publicly known, the witnesses had damaged their credibility.”

    From Lawrence Wright in his New Yorker article:- “I recently spoke with two sources in the F.B.I. who are close to the investigation. They assured me that the case remains open.”

    From Tony Ortega:- “We’re sticking by what we said in March: the FBI probe was dead before the world heard about it in Wright’s New Yorker story (which is probably why Wright felt comfortable saying anything about it anyway). ”

    I’m sorry Tony, for once I don’t agree with your analysis here. Was Lawrence Wright lying when he said sources close to the F.B.I. assured him the case was still open? Why did Venegas call JB and go mad at him?

    This whole thing sounds like a mess, but I think there is some evidence to suggest that Lawrence Wright making it so public and going into so much detail was, at the least, not helpful.

    • TonyOrtega

      Please read carefully. “Case remains open” is a euphemism — the thing was dead. And an agent chewing out a witness because of what a reporter did? Classic ass-covering.

      • Sid Snakey

        Okay – well I’ll take your word for it – I’m assuming you know much more about this incident than I. Perhaps Lawrence will elaborate more on this someday.

        Out of interest – what do you think is a journalist’s responsibility in these situations, if any? If a journalist finds out about an active investigation do they have ANY responsibility to keep quiet or is it fair game in terms of breaking a good story?

        • TonyOrtega

          Don’t take my word for it. It’s good to question everything. And we may get more on this from Larry in his book.

          • I’m certainly no legal expert, as you know Tony. But I would think that the Church’s two top priorities would be

            1. To get a mole into the investigation as a witness to report back what FBI agents are saying and what they are working on

            2. Use this information to shut down the FBI investigation any way they can.

            In my experience as a Scientologist, I have made it a rule never to trust anyone who has come out of Int Base. Just never do that. They are the most trained in espionage and destruction of “enemies”, and they have been doing exactly this since LRH opened Int Base. Let them operate, let them talk and do whatever they are going to do, but never EVER trust them with any sensitive information that could jeopardize any kind of justice action against Scientology.

            John Brousseau may be a great guy, and so may Marty, Mike and all the others. They may even be doing what they say they are doing. You never know.

            This failed FBI investigation would be a product of a spy for the Church. And these products don’t get created by themselves. They are actively produced by someone.

            You can bet they were produced by someone from Int Base.


            • PS – I know, all said in 20/20 hindsight by a legally ignorant guy from the cornfields.

              I doubt if the FBI has dropped this though. It has probably just really really pissed them off, and they learned about trusting people from Int Base, and will never be doing that again. I would say that right now is the time for David Miscavige to be shitting his pants for real because he will have no way to do this to them again.

            • stillgrace

              Your words leave me with hope, Alanzo, thank you.

            • Poison Ivy

              Your lips to Xenu’s ears, Alanzo.

            • BuryTheNuts2

              When it comes to Scientology, no amount of paranoia is too great.
              I have often wondered if some of these Exes and Indies are not what they say they are.

              Just like all of those dead eyes watching us on this blog right now….

            • DeElizabethan

              Such a shame how that is. The scourge of being involved with such evil, leads you to hardly trust another or for yourself to be trusted. Mind bending to the max. Pitiful, and it takes a long time and hard work for it to be otherwise.

            • Diligence without paranoia is the best. I always tell people, expect the church to retaliate against you but do not spend your life waiting for it.

  • Midwest Mom

    I just saw a familiar name on the Google News thread in the Entertainment section following the Golden Globes news: Mr.Tony Ortega. Tony, your The New York Times article is alternating with the L.A. Times piece by Evan Wright.

    I’d like to welcome all who logged on here after reading the N.Y.Times piece and hope they come back to visit. 🙂

  • mirele

    Eugene Patterson, editor of the (then) St. Petersburg Times when Scientology landed on the shores of Clearwater as “United Churches,” has died. Obituary here:

    • whingeybingey

      What a great man. Now *this* is a humanitarian. Thank you so much for that link.

    • 1subgenius

      From the obit:
      He wrote about the civil rights movement at a time when many southern newspapers wouldn’t aggressively cover it.
      Patterson’s September 16, 1963, column about the Birmingham, Alabama, church bombing that killed four girls, titled A Flower for the Graves, was so moving he was asked by Walter Cronkite to read it on the CBS Evening News.

      “A Negro mother wept in the street Sunday morning in front of a Baptist Church in Birmingham,” Patterson began the column. “In her hand she held a shoe, one shoe, from the foot of her dead child. We hold that shoe with her.

      “Every one of us in the white south holds that small shoe in his hand. … We who go on electing politicians who heat the kettles of hate. … (The bomber) feels right now that he has been a hero. He is only guilty of murder. He thinks he has pleased us. We of the white south who know better are the ones who must take a harsher judgment.”

  • It’s not the role of the FBI to interfere with citizens religious belief’s or practices. Whenever they have done that has not ended well ( Waco , FLDS ) So any complaint that reaches them …they have to tread very , very lightly and are very limited as to what they can actually do. I think they made the right choice to be honest. Scientology did everything it could do to get the cloak of protection under a “religion” ( lie, cheat,steal ) ~ be careful what you wish for . Luckily though …they are dying on the vine all by themselves. I mean ..there are more Jedi’s than scientologists ….that just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy 😉

  • BuryTheNuts2

    Mark Kappelhoff was the chief of the criminal section of the Civil Rights Division in Washington at the time the Scientology investigation stalled. He supervised one of the largest human trafficking prosecutions ever, the conviction of an employer in American Samoa found guilty of enslaving 250 garment workers in a factory.

    He resigned in 2012 and became a clinical law professor at the University of Minnesota Law School. The Times reached him in mid September in his office. He put off an interview, asking for an email outlining specifics. He did not respond to at least eight follow-up phone messages and emails, finally sending a brief email on Oct. 8.

    “I do not wish to speak with you. Should this change, I will be sure to contact you.”

    ^^^This “smells” funny.
    TB Times reporting on Scientology is legendary and he had to know these guys don’t do puff pieces.
    Why not offer them a throw away explanation for shutting it down? Instead of this curious response.

    • moxonmoxoff

      ^^”This ‘smells’ funny.” YES. IT. DOES.

      I wonder if there is some ongoing covert investigation. The cynic is me says otherwise. . .

    • Poison Ivy

      Interesting, BTN. This sounds like a) he’s been threatened by Scientology or higher ups b) he knows something about the investigation that isn’t kosher but he doesn’t feel legally safe enough to share it c)he was part of something not kosher in the dropping of the Scientology case d) there is some sort of ongoing action that he can’t discuss now but may sometime in the future.

    • villagedianne

      Actually, it sounds like the usual revolving door. Work in government for awhile, then leave government and get lucrative contracts from the very people you were once paid to prosecute.

  • Observer

    I’m reasonably certain that the Founding Fathers didn’t intend the First Amendment to provide protection from prosecution of criminal acts by criminal organizations pretending to be churches–or actual churches, either. It’s a pity that common sense and courage are so scarce in the government.

  • TheHoleDoesNotExist

    Well, at least Marty is having a happy Monday, knowing that attempts to throw Wright’s reputation under the bus right before his book hits the streets is happening. That’s KSW scientology, baby! Alanzo has it right, always good to see his midwest USA common sense balance things out.

    Oh, and also the Headley’s, let pile them on the heap, too. Oh, and as Marty predicted, even the FBI are not near as smart as he is and he “just knew” they would fail too. Pulllllease! And if anyone believes that the FBI is going to report in to Marty or anyone else, I got a bridge to sell you, and it’s at fire sale prices.

    At this point the few scientology customers with cash left are not going to be around much longer. Many have experienced years of intense stress, especially on OT 7 which I hear is a real heart stopper. They’ve probably robbed themselves of at least 10 years, so Miscavige won’t be bothered with any more live pests within 10 years. You can bet his vulture salesmen have their Trust Funds in their wills. The staff left will probably stick around until they (excuse me for being so blunt) drop dead and they’ve robbed themselves of at least 20 years, so then won’t last the decade. Anyone still alive, like 3rd generation scientologists, will not have a clue of how to run a vacuum cleaner, much less a business and stress will leave them with numerous debilitating ailments. They will be our next generation of welfare recipients.

    Miscavige and a few of his fellow sociopaths will announce he is far too busy, holy, or above that sort of thing to do events anymore. He will disappear with the loot. No scientologists left will ever notice this. They will sit in a parlor, just like in the 50’s, paired up with their booklets and coffee and cigarettes, and reg each other in the comfort of their foreclosed homes until someone physically removes them. Outside. Under the bridge.

  • This is one of your best articles!

    Huge lessons in this article blog!!

    It supports my conclusion, that maximum smart and willing ex members, plus media who listen, is the only current way to expose Scientology’s abuses.

    Or, simply, the legal cases to shut down Scientology’s abuses, have to be handed to the Feds and prosecutors on a silver platter.

    Earlier similar incident, is Michael Misner’s defection from the Guardian’s Office, to the Feds, that nailed the Guardian’s Office and nailed Mary Sue.

    We need a Warren McShane to defect with evidence, to the Feds, in otherwords!

    We need Sea Org members like Linda Hamel, as unlikely at that seems, or Karthy O’Gorman, or Neil O’Reilly, or Glen Stilo, or , or or (any of the well placed Office of Special Affairs staffers who could leave with some evidence to give to prosecutors to give them the case on a silver platter!!!).

    Yes, silver platter video justice, like Marc Headley was saying years ago, when he posted as blownforgood, that some video’ing of Miscavige doing something savage, would be what’s needed to nail these abuses.

    Another lesson, is that JB read the St. Pete Times Truth Rundown on a Christmas present IPhone, which was also thought of for years, like send all the well placed Sea Org staff, IPhones or means to record evidence, before blowing and talking to the Feds and prosecutors.

    If video justice is needed, then we should help those inside the cult gather the video material to prove the abuses are illegal, and in turn give the silver platter evidence so the prosecutors can finally nail Scienotlogy!!

    Until then, the media is the key institution in society, and God Bless all you media, for taking on the abuses in Scientology’s short history.

    Chuck Beatty
    ex Sea Org (1975-2003)

    • DeElizabethan

      Good post and ideas. But now since they read this will have a heads up and maybe take away all their phones. Hope not.

      • Deckard__Cain

        There are other ways of obtaining footage. That’s all I’ll say about that.

  • NoName

    Personally, I don’t think any law enforcement investigation will ever get anywhere if adults are involved. Adults in this country can consent to a lot of horrible treatment in the name of religious beliefs. However, there is a solid history of law enforcement action as it concerns children – particularly where unscientific and potentially harmful quack medicine is concerned. To me, I think that the chink in the cult’s armor is child abuse / molestation and medical neglect of children. If people start reporting ***THAT*** to the FBI, watch and see how quickly the house of cards falls.

    • 1subgenius

      They were informed of child abuse, and even interviewed Daniel Montalvo.

    • Christian Scientists are still allowed to keep medical care from their children. Just call it a religion and you can get away with well-nigh anything in this country.

    • N. Graham

      I wish we could get someone that runs a lot of child abuse stories to run something, maybe someone like Nancy Grace. I’ve sent her things many times to no avail.

  • Ze Moo

    When you want to see a trend in media coverage for CO$, use ‘sponge’s’ Operation Clambake news filter and finder:

    Today’s list includes a lot of “Cruise assigned by Scientology to fight aliens? ” and ‘New book claims top female stars were auditioned to be Tom Cruise’s wife”. You will also find a lot of local coverage about NarCONon and the CO$ in US media. Watch out for anything on, they seem to be a CO$ mouthpiece.

    The xenu inspired craziness of CO$ has become mainstream knowledge, all because of two guys and their brilliant yet badly drawn animation. Lawrence Wright and all of the others (all hail Paulette Cooper) who write about the CO$ have made scamatology a household joke. This joke has cut off the new meat and left the scam to wither on the vine.

    If estimates of cash reserves between 1.5 and 3 billion US dollars are accurate, it is going to take a long time for the tomato to wither on the vine. Miscavige thinks he and the CO$ can ride out any storm by just laying low and occasionally making examples of anyone who really bothers him. He hasn’t noticed the ‘storm’ isn’t going to end and his ‘loyal minions’ are getting ready for a revolution. I wonder how much of the cash reserve has been spent on ‘influencing’ politicians and government workers to further the aims of CO$??

    • BuryTheNuts2

      PRWeb is a place where you can launch press releases for your company. So ANYTHING on PRWeb related to Scientology is going to be their Bull Shit.

    • Nice link. I like it! BTN is right, stay away from anything a PRWeb line, no matter what the subject, it’s pure PR crap just like the name says.

  • Chocolate Velvet

    This whole thing is frustrating as hell. But I am reminded of a quote I once heard: “Do not ascribe to malice that which can be explained by incompetence.”. It helps me with road rage. In this Cade, I have to say, it is hard to tell the difference between the two. Sheesh!

    • BuryTheNuts2

      I find it oddly ironic that you quoted Napoleon….
      Cracking up while thinking DM has used this quote a few times himself….right before he smacks somebody.

    • Deckard__Cain

      That’s a great quote. I’ll have to remember that the next time I see stupidity on the 405.

    • 1subgenius

      One of my favorite quotes.
      Of course stupidity is just a presumption. It is overcome when there is evidence of bad faith.

      • Scientology purports the exact opposite because of the paranoid delusions of Hubbard.

  • subsilentio

    That this investigation was going nowhere would be no surprise to anyone who has watched Scientology for years. It was particularly ill-advised to rest the lawsuit on an untested legal theory about human trafficking, a sensational-sounding but difficult cause of action to prosecute. It is difficult enough to go after this cult for clear-cut violations of law.

    It was also not exactly good luck to draw the Ninth Circuit panel they did, containing Diarmuid O’Scannlain, one of the most reactionary appeals court judges on the bench.

  • John P.

    Let’s back up to take the 30,000 foot view for a second.

    Long before these articles came out, the cult knew that it was being investigated by the FBI. While they may not have known the extent of the investigation and the specific evidence collected, they certainly knew that they were a target. Most rational actors, when they know they are the target of a federal investigation, would take some care to “dial it down” for a while and to make sure that their behavior is squeaky clean in the interim. What are the odds that the cult figured that they should be careful for a while? Nil, of course. They’ll eventually slip up in some way we can’t predict, and then it will be popcorn and caek galore for those of us in this community.

    • I wonder if after the Snow White fiasco:
      1) Scientology tries to get its people work for the FBI/IRS once again and steal information;
      2) Whether the FBI added “are you a Scientologist” to their list of questions, when applying for a security clearance.

    • Deckard__Cain

      JP, it appears that Miscavige does ‘dial it down’ because he quickly moved the 100+ executives out of those double wide trailers and into the dorms (at night) after news of “the hole” first came out (late 2010, I think?).

      Miscavige also has those industrial sized shredders and I’m sure Shred Drills for his administrative staff with any raid. He’s an idiot but he has oh-so-slightly improved things when he suspects that he’s under a microscope. Of course he doesn’t change anything fundamental and he would definitely go back to the horrid conditions if left unchecked.

    • TheHoleDoesNotExist

      I can tell you what happens when a landslide of exposure happens like it is now for January 2013. What happens is the quotas for income will rise from the impossible to the insanely impossible. And any of Miscavige’s yes men will believe that the Hubbard theory behind it supports it. When it gets bad, just make more money and That will show those nasty SP’s trying to stop us from clearing this here planet.

      So, yes, Miscavige might remove the trash can torture chambers from the muddy fields, but he will only move them inside, out of sight, and believe he fooled the SP’s and stupid wogs. He will still beat his staff, the other Sea Orgs will cancel all sleep and most food until these income quotas get met (they won’t), and my hope is that someone goes to the hospital and gets a full blood workup and physical and the authorities report it, and when the authorities do nothing, someone from the hospital reports it to Tony Ortega who takes it to major media outlets.

      Or, one of DM’s prisoners escapes to Germany and applies for asylum based on religious persecution.
      Check and Checkmate, D.

  • Deckard__Cain

    I’m wondering if there could be a law (or series of laws) created that attack the specific abusive behaviors of Scientology that do not bring in ‘religion’ at all, similar to how Belgium is currently operating. First, federal legislators need to construct an Aussie-like public benefits test for all 503(c) groups, then construct a RICO-type set of statutes that go after all organizations for human rights abuses. ‘Employment’ and ‘religion’ need to stay out of any/all of these laws because that seems to be the Achilles’ Heel-weakness here.

    That pesky Bill of Rights (and associated case law) definitely had unintended consequences.

    • 1subgenius

      I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. I believe this is a perfect fit of a statute to go after them.

      Chanology started out in defense of freedom of speech. CoS constantly intimidates anyone who exercises it criticizing them.

      § 241. Conspiracy against rights
      If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any inhabitant of any State, Territory, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to
      him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same…they shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results, they shall be subject to imprisonment for any term of years or for life.

      But I seem to be pissing up a rope.

      • Ze Moo

        Conspiracy against civil rights has been on the federal books and used since the Klu Klux Klan times of the 1960’s.

        Please don’t urinate vertically on a hemped surface, it just flows downhill and gets all over your hands.

      • AnyOldName1

        “Civil Rights” violations aren’t as sexy as their new “Human Trafficking” law. FBI careers aren’t made on civil rights cases like they were 50 yrs ago. Venegas sounds like she wanted to stay on the investigation.

        From Tony above:
        “But after the McShane report surfaced, the FBI removed its lead
        investigator, Tricia Whitehill, from the Scientology investigation.”

        Was she pulled b/c of the leaked report? Was the case going nowhere and it was a better career move to move on? If it was the higher ups who shut down the case “after the McShane report surfaced” – my tinfoil hat tells me there were strings pulled.

  • With an alleged 8 figures in banks, my guess is that Miscavige will soon fold all the orgs, abandon what’s left of the public and finally re-launch the cult as a digital internet scam.

    • TonyOrtega

      Interesting prediction!

    • Sherbet

      Why would he do that, instead of grabbing what he can get his hands on and disappearing?

    • Midwest Mom

      They could go on QVC and HSN and sell oiliness tables, oils, running poles and anti-gravity fitness wheels.

      • BuryTheNuts2

        “Perceptics”…its the new “Zumba”!

        • Midwest Mom

          Slim those thighs as you Xemusize! Have fun sweating out toxins and space aliens at the same time! It will improve your cardiovascular health, cure cancer and raise your I.Q.! Lock in to our special low price with our billion year contract!

          BTN says: “Finally a system which allows me to drink gin and tonics while I’m exercising! I love this workout! I want moar!”

          JPC says: “I never though I’d see the day when I’d find a fitness plan which incorporates a state of the art oiliness table with a selection of aged, mellow oils from cold pressed, free range, organic thetans. I am not just a happy customer, but I’ve invested in the company!”

          SPF slurred: “It’s like a nine hour happy hour everyday! Even my incisors look great! Thanks Xemusize!”

          • John P.

            I just snorted Patron Anejo all over the keyboard… Bravo!

          • BuryTheNuts2

            You are a supreme being.
            Can I be in your cult?

          • sugarplumfairy

            Lol.. Sweating out free range thetans.. You have a unique and hilarious mind.. Ok, Mom, you can ‘fess up.. You’re OT8isGr8, aren’t you? Your secret is safe with me.. I’m not a co$ auditor..

      • TheHoleDoesNotExist

        You Do realize that HSN is headquartered in Clearwater/Largo, FL and that in places like, employees over and over call it a Cult!

    • Additionally, there is probably going to be a call for all Scientologists to move to Clearwater and the vicinity.

      • BuryTheNuts2

        Might as well send them all to Florida….I guess it doesn’t get any safer.

        • DeElizabethan

          Safer for us to protest with more people too. Like they did in ’08? Hope to be on a big one soon since I missed it back then. Resurge!

        • TheHoleDoesNotExist

          Well, that’s just perfect.

          • BuryTheNuts2

            That was my reaction…
            Well actually…originally it was WTF?

      • DeElizabethan

        Seems they did that at some time ago and can see it coming again, if not a standard call out. Emptying the orgs even more. Well that’s oK, better to have them in one place huh?

    • TheHoleDoesNotExist

      No way! Miscavige is just getting his CD and print mega distribution center fired up. Then there’s his acquisition of the LA. studio and I’m thinking Oral Robertson meets Dan Sherman broadcasts with glittery gold columns and fire breathing regges in the background all with the We Stand Tall choir honking in the left and right speakers with the volume cranked at 11. I believe the first sermon will be: The Internet is Suppressive and So Are You!”

  • sketto

    If the FBI or DoJ really wants to get Miscavige, then they need to get as creative as Scientology. Work the system. Focus on trivialities that the Little Coward has overlooked. Nail him for everything. Yes, the physical abuse and human rights abuse are at the top of the list, but you can send him to jail for a long time on much simpler charges. Don’t mafia members often go to jail for mail fraud and perjury and not for the worst things they really have done – prostitution, drug trafficking, and murder?

    Time to treat Miscavige the same way, like a scumbag committing many crimes. Surely the FBI can find a charge or two with teeth that he can’t dodge, even if it’s not the most awful ones.

  • mook

    German news says the cult has 4,000 members in Germany (although I suspect the actual number is much, much less)

  • villagedianne

    It’s like I always thought. The church will be brought down by public perception, by the infowars. Not by law enforcement.

  • Personally I feel that trying to go after Scientology for human trafficking is, and will always be a fruitless effort. There is no way that you are going to get loyal members to turn against the church because the brainwashing is so severe. Even when someone defects they are afraid of the consequences of speaking out, plus the church will always turn it into a he said/she said battle. It’s really hard to give credibility to someone who has defected from an organization.

    The church spends their time tip-toeing the line of legality on many issues. I doubt that anything they do is outright illegal, even if it is all morally questionable. I think that the evolution of law to protect victims of cults will eventually open the door to taking some kind of legal action against the church. However, I think more important than that we need to make a safe environment for people who wish to leave. These are people who have no real world experience or education. Many of whom have only ever known the world from inside of Scientology.

    I think we need to create a real half-way house for victims of cults who practice shunning/disconnection. A place that will just give them a roof over their head and help them get on their feet in a real life and give them time to decompress from their experiences. The place would not encourage nor participate in any legal action against any cult nor would it help any cult to recapture it’s members. It would simply be a neutral place that stood as a safe zone for people who wanted to get away.

    Scientology continues to survive because it uses disconnection as leverage to get people to sign proper documentation and go through the “routing out process” which includes signing legal releases and NDAs in exchange for money. It also uses the fact that all Sea Org members are broke as leverage to get them to sign the NDAs and releases for money. With such a place for them to go it would negate all of that.

    We could put up billboards all over areas that suffer from cult-related activities. Not exclusive to Scientology. Street gangs are cults, supremacist groups are cults and even some extremist environmentalist groups are cults. We could just put up billboards letting people know they have the chance to get away from a life like that.

    I guess it’s wishful thinking for now, but maybe one day I will meet someone who can help me start a non-profit that provides a service like that. That would certainly become a passion of mine.

    Additionally, I have wondered in the past if Scientology could be placed under some kind of legal obligation to provide no strings attached severance pay. As the primary provider of people in the employment of the Sea Org, they encourage people who do join the Sea Org to become dependent on the Church. As such, when a person decides to leave of their own free will, they should be provided some kind of unconditional severance package so they are not left homeless and penniless when they leave the Sea Org. Right now severance packages are only provided upon signing a legal release and/or NDA and are based on the sensitivity of the information they know. They would also be required to post notices of this in commonly accessed areas by staff, similar to the notice of payday and minimum wage in the break room.

    That would make things more interesting because a Sea Org member who leaves would not be required to sign their releases or NDA in order to receive severance.

    • DeElizabethan

      That’s a wonderful idea and I could see it in the future. Starting out with one on each Coast a place to spend some nights or more, to contact their relatives or friends and yet be safe. I would be happy to have anyone come to the house here. Of course one will watch for spies etc. But that could be figured out.
      I see these safe haven, halfway places in the future, just needs some work. Hopefully the whole org will crash before that, but planning ahead is important.
      Splendid Derek!

    • Observer

      I see your “… even if it is all morally questionable” and raise you an ” … even if most of it is morally reprehensible.” I tried to think of anything that’s merely questionable and couldn’t come up with a single thing.

      • Lying to raw meat to get them on course? Reprehensible.
      • Mental conditioning? Reprehensible.
      • Crush regging? Reprehensible.
      • Digging out dark secrets during auditing/sec checks with the promise they’ll be kept confidential, but in actuality for use as leverage or DM’s prurient entertainment? Reprehensible.
      • Deceiving the local faithful into thinking they’ll own the Ideal Morgues they’ve mortgaged themselves into oblivion for, when the intent is to take their $$ and then make them pay rent on what they’ve paid for? Reprehensible.
      • Dangling Bridge progress in front of staff and Sea Org as bait and then reneging on the promise? Reprehensible.
      • Treatment of Sea Orgers–sleep deprivation, rice and beans, 100-hour workweeks for little or no pay, verbal and physical abuse, filthy and overcrowded quarters? Reprehensible.
      • The RPF? Reprehensible in concept and execution.
      • Disconnection? Reprehensible and EVIL.
      • An “ecclesiastical leader” who is a sadistic, hedonistic, thieving, vain, pompous tyrant of a Big Being? Reprehensible!

      There’s much more, but I couldn’t think of anything that is merely morally questionable.

      • Sorry if you’re not used to my writing style! It was intended as an ironic understatement of the obvious truth.

        They do many things that are morally reprehensible but they do take the “cover your ass” motto to a whole new level. I like the point that Marc made about needed the bullet, the gun, a video of the shooting, etc. Even if you had all that, Scientology would find a ministerial exception that makes murder acceptable.

        Fortunately for all of us who have been and continue to be affected by Scientology, we have seen so many times in history that tip-toeing the line of legality inevitably ends up in disaster, either because of updated laws or simply because they lose their balance and fall over.

        I agree with the posters on here who have said that the best offense, for now, is at the grass roots, educating the unsuspecting public against Scientology recruitment tactics. Eventually someone, somewhere will figure out how to adapt the legal system against the church. Until then, we must prevent them from capturing new members and try to get word to those who are currently members that freedom is just around the corner.

        I already have the first billboard in mind: “Do you feel trapped, imprisoned, helpless? We can help. Call us. 1-800-4-UR-FREE”

        • Observer

          D’oh! I have a pretty good sarcasm/irony detector but it’s apparently on the fritz today. 😉

          That brings up another question though. I have always wondered if Scientologists get so used to this shoddy treatment (aside from the effects of the conditioning) that they find it hard to understand why us wogs/exes/all around degraded beings find the “church’s” behavior so, well, reprehensible.

          • They think they live in a bubble that makes them superior to all other humans on planet Earth. That is a common cult tactic.

            • TheHoleDoesNotExist

              Derek: Your Dreams Are Valid!

              First step is to set up interviews to all kinds of educational and vocational institutes. Many are going online so you could be located in Any state. Talk to career counselors and Tell them what you want to do and they will help you lay out your path as well as financial grants and opportunities and all the forms to fill out. Maybe your Texas family can help you with room and board while you study. If not, some educational and vocational facilities help with jobs that line up with your career goals while you study. Just don’t settle for interviewing and applying at one place or think you are stuck having to be in one geo place. You should qualify for All kinds of assistance. Non profit careers of any type means: be nice to your family and friends at all times.

      • DeElizabethan

        Money will be refunded and Not! “It as a donation”. Reprehensible.

  • mook

    another Lawrence Wright book except, via Laist, with typical Karin Puow canned response

  • DodoTheLaser

    Tom Cruise should take care of this, while he is freshly in his Jack Reacher mode.

    C’mon Tom, you like to portray a good guy. Be one in real life, not just in a movie.

    Investigate this on your own.

    • sugarplumfairy

      I second that..

  • B.B. Broeker

    Meanwhile, The Atlantic is getting crucified on Twitter for posting a CoS advertorial barely identified as “Sponsored Content.” Unfortunately, i cant paste on Disqus from my phone, but you should be able to find the link Theyre moderating comments, but see if you can’t get one through. I did.

    • Hermesacat

      Right you are. Reporters on Twitter are all abuzz & aghast at this. I imagine regular Atlantic readers wont be too amused either. Check out the pro-Scientology “article” at The Atlantic’s site

      As Broeker says, it’s one of those insidious “advertorials” that are becoming too common
      nowadays where advertising’s presented at media outlets, mags. or
      papers in a form & layout that looks just like legit editorials or
      articles. Can you imagine any legitimate article in 2013 titled “David Miscavige Leads Scientology to Milestone Year”? No, eh?

      The lead article should give a clue as to what the theme of the piece (P.O.S., that is) is.
      QUOTE: |2012 was a milestone year for Scientology,
      with the religion expanding to more than 10,000 Churches, Missions and
      affiliated groups, spanning 167 nations–figures that represent a growth
      rate 20 times that of a decade ago.”
      Dig all those colour glossies of sexy Ideal Orgs newly opened in 2012. Yup, CoS & COB are on a roll (not)!

  • Paytheprice

    I have been learning about this cult over the last week or so. It all started with surfing you tube and watching the BBC documentary. I live in the UK and Sweeny is a regular broadcaster with many stories for Panorama. So I watched and was appalled. Things got worse when I started to find more and more about the cult.

    My observations, for what they are worth, are as follows.

    I am heartened by all the activists out there doing their part to extinguish this evil.

    I cannot understand why, the more extreme things they have done, and continue to do, are not punished by the US government. Can someone explain why there is such a reluctance by the CIA, FBI or homeland security is not all over this like a rash? Perhaps we could resurrect Jack Bower to sneak in and do some whispering to camera?

    Can someone from the inside explain to me why not a single incident has been reported of someone standing up to David Miscabbage. Is the mind control so total that not a single person stands up to him? Has noone ever smacked this guy in the kisser when he attacked them?

    If I was to have done some of the things that Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder have admitted to and are alleged by others to have done I could not live with myself but would have to go to a police station and turn myself in and admit to crimes that I would have to be prosecuted for. I would consider it my responsibility to do this, Not only for the victims to receive justice for crimes I had done, but also a sacrifice for the greater good. A few years in jail would be cathartic for me and my victims.

    Also this would be an amazing publicity stunt, Because there would have to be a trial that would be massive news and the cult could do nothing about it because you would be freely admitting to crimes and asking for mercy from the judiciary. It is a win all around in my book.

    If this happened then it would be on record that the crimes that are still going on really do happen. What do you think?

    to Marty and Mike. If you are truly sorry for what you did then I do not think that what you are doing now is enough atonement for the things you did while inside. It takes far more than “sorry” in my book. Although I do applaud you for what you are already doing and getting out. I really do.

    • Bury_The_Nuts


    • Spackle Motion

      I love it when new people come here and ask these questions. For every person that asks these questions in comments, there are probably 10 more that want to know the same thing. I welcome these questions, will try to answer and say “welcome!”

      I cannot understand why, the more extreme things they have done, and continue to do, are not punished by the US government. Can someone explain why there is such a reluctance by the CIA, FBI or homeland security is not all over this like a rash? Perhaps we could resurrect Jack Bower to sneak in and do some whispering to camera?

      There are several reasons for this, and I’m giving a very high level understanding:

      1. The federal agencies that would normally have jurisdiction over these crimes are most likely both afraid of the cult’s litigious nature and have their hands tied because many of these criminal acts hide under religious cloaking..

      2. The IRS does not want to poke a stick at the cult because the cult has the power to file hundreds, if not thousands of frivolous lawsuits that would drain their budgets quickly. They may also have people in top positions that remember the harassment back in the early 90s and are personally afraid to open up investigations.

      3. The DoJ does not want another FLDS or Waco disaster on their hands where the victims do not want to leave their abusers/captors. Storming into a cult compound only serves to prove the cultish thinking of us v them, which is what happened at Waco. These cult victims would not want to leave their eternal salvation so they put up with more and more abuse. Law enforcement cannot prove that they are being held against their will when the victim passively agrees with the abuse.

      Can someone from the inside explain to me why not a single incident has been reported of someone standing up to David Miscabbage. Is the mind control so total that not a single person stands up to him? Has noone ever smacked this guy in the kisser when he attacked them?

      Read Marc Headley’s book, “Blown for Good”, in which he explains how he almost fought back and the surprise reaction from not only Miscavige but from Miscavige’s goons when someone “DARED to THINK” of punching back. Scientology’s victims are also their own perpetrators, which makes for a very strange relationship in a cult dynamic. Almost all Scientologists believe that they are deserving of any/all bad things that happen to them, whether it be a simple cold or being beat up by Miscavige.

      Scientologists are under extreme undue influence and are kept in line by convincing themselves that they deserve to be punched by Miscavige. Those that even have thoughts of fighting back are sent to the RPF.

      And the beatings, abuse, human trafficking HAS been reported to the feds, local police, etc. They refuse to do anything about it for various reasons. Some local law enforcement are in the pocket of this cult, making them useless for victims. Some local politicians are also in the pocket of the cult, making them useless for victims. Some want to take action but by the time the victim comes forward, the statute of limitations expired. It takes years to undo the mind-fucking and usually by the time the victim sees the truth, it is too late.

      If I was to have done some of the things that Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder have admitted to and are alleged by others to have done I could not live with myself but would have to go to a police station and turn myself in and admit to crimes that I would have to be prosecuted for. I would consider it my responsibility to do this, Not only for the victims to receive justice for crimes I had done, but also a sacrifice for the greater good. A few years in jail would be cathartic for me and my victims.

      Marty and Mike selectively choose which victims to help and simultaneously refuse to help those that they victimized personally. Their obvious hypocrisy stems from their own personal gain in teaching Scientology outside the cult’s official walls. They are still making a living from Scientology and have their own selfish reasons for never revealing the true extent of their own crimes and wanting to protect LRH’s image. So they technically got ‘away’ with everything they did at the behest of the cult, including covering up manslaughter, stalking/harassing others, breaking up families, playing dirty tricks on others.

      In essence, Marty and Mike were two mafia thugs that never accounted for any of their criminal culpability, and expect everyone to dance at their feet for “helping” Scientology’s victims. Rathbun is especially nasty and arrogant when people ask him valid questions about his past. He has thrown written barbs our way here at the Bunker because many of us don’t gladly swallow the toxic waste that spews from his fingertips. Be very weary of congratulating those two for anything. There’s always their own agenda driving their actions.

    • chukicita

      I would add to the responses that the US has a long history of holding religious organizations at arm’s length. Americans feel very strongly about religious freedom. There was bad backlash after debacles at Waco and Ruby Ridge.

      Federal organizations have to tiptoe carefully through legislative minefields. Some of the mines in these fields have even been created or bolstered through Scientology, Inc’s policies of overlitigation. You might already understand that Scientology didn’t start out as a religion but morphed into one when Hubbard realized what a protection the religious cloaking device could be in America.