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Scientology's Worst Week Ever Finishes In Style



Oh, those wacky Taiwanese animators have really given us a treat this time. Their latest offering is this send-up of the launch of Lawrence Wright’s book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & the Prison of Belief. (And now in English!)

We can’t get enough of the tiny Tom Cruise jumping up and down on the couch.

And that’s not the only thing rounding out this amazing week of Scientology news. After the break, we have some other interesting nuggets to share with you.


OKLAHOMA STRIKES BACK Thanks to Odd Oklahoma, we learned today that State Senator Tom Ivester, who we interviewed back in August, has done what he promised and introduced legislation that will increase the regulation of Scientology’s drug rehab center, Narconon Arrowhead, which is in the eastern part of that state.

Perhaps the most important part of the bill is that it requires a facility like Narconon Arrowhead to be licensed through the state’s Board of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. As Bob Lobsinger explained to us last year, Narconon got around the Board by obtaining private licensing in questionable ways. Former Narconon Arrowhead president Luke Catton had told us that ever since, leaders of the facility were worried that the state would take a harder look at that licensing. Now, that day may finally be here.

We’re still waiting to hear the results of local and state investigations of the facility, which were launched in July after three patients died in a ninth-month period. All three deaths resulted in lawsuits.

OSA IN OVERDRIVE Scientology leader David Miscavige was no doubt aware of what a disaster Larry Wright’s book would be for the church (not to mention the broadcast of Nancy Many’s docudrama, which also added to this week’s woes for the church), but his attempts to disrupt the news cycle have almost completely backfired on him.

For public consumption, Miscavige apparently hoped that some propaganda on Monday about his “Ideal Org” program would gain some credibility by appearing at Atlantic magazine. Instead, it turned into a media meltdown that is still producing stories.

After that disaster, on Wednesday, Miscavige tried to get another advertorial into the Huffington Post. Instead, HuffPo writer Michael Calderone wrote about it.

But the church also works behind the scenes, and Samantha Domingo forwarded to us this e-mail that was recently sent to Scientologists. Note the distinct whiff of desperation…

We’ve been wondering lately about Marty Rathbun’s flair for self-promotion and whether the so-called “guru” of Bulverde, Texas is more content indulging in showmanship than he is in guiding his clients on the path to self-knowledge.

A look at Rathbun’s blog shows a couple of vanity books he has authored, a self-idolizing photo of himself – dressed in his classic Southern “good old boy” look – and a page from a magazine in which he appeared.

We’re curious if Rathbun uses these images as marketing tools to sell books or to attract media notoriety since he obviously likes the attention of hostile Scientology media outlets.

Or, perhaps he feels that they give him a stamp of approval – a measure of gravitas – among his clients, a group that is characterized by infighting, backbiting and whose loyalties seem to shift with the tide.

At any rate, Rathbun is a busy man these days – penning a new book, taking calls from the press and attacking L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology by linking to his sometime pals Tony Ortega and John Sweeney.

It does appear, however, that Rathbun has been trying to chill out of late as he discusses philosophy and literature in his blog postings, rambling entries that often run far afield from the altered tech that used to be at the core of his counseling.

Maybe he and wife Monique “Mosey” Rathbun, who many call Marty’s accomplice in his delivery of altered tech, are still getting used to their land-locked Texas compound, no doubt pining for the balmy breezes wafting off the Gulf outside their previous home where they could easily throw a line in the water or take a boat out on the bay.

Those seaside surroundings also served as a little bonus for counseling clients who, after an altered tech session, could unwind by joining their “guru” on a little fishing expedition.

Recreation wise, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot to do in Bulverde. Then again, there’s always New Orleans, Rathbun’s favorite “steam valve release” destination and, after all, Mardi Gras is just around the corner.

But the Crescent City might just engender some bad memories for the couple.

While we don’t see any point in dredging up the past, we are reminded that the Big Easy was where they spent their honeymoon, a tawdry and embarrassing episode in which Rathbun wound up getting cuffed in an alley for drunk and disorderly conduct while Mosey drunkenly danced the night away in a Bourbon St. hole in the wall, getting groped by fellow patrons.

At any rate, even a “guru” deserves a break, and maybe that’s what Rathbun and Mosey are doing these days, just chilling. We can only imagine the domestic bliss in the Rathbun household as Mosey cooks the meals and does the dishes while her “hubby” pecks away on the computer, working on his next vanity publication masterpiece.

Where this leaves Rathbun’s clients is anyone’s guess.

Counseling wise, maybe they’ve gone off to find greener pastures and another “guru,” one who doesn’t seem so dispersed and who doesn’t require the fawning adulation that Marty Rathbun has come to expect. Rathbun always thought highly of himself – so highly that he often tends to look down on people.

It’s a phenomenon that some call “Going Hollywood,” when someone is so impressed with themselves it goes right to their heads.

In rural Texas it would probably be called “getting too big for your britches.”

It’s an attitude that’s easy to detect, and it could definitely be an impediment to attracting new or repeat counseling clients.

Even for OSA, that’s weak. But we liked being lumped in with John Sweeney, we have to admit.

OPPENHEIMER ENDANGERING JOURNALISTS? New York Times religion columnist Mark Oppenheimer has come a good distance, and he’s no longer writing flat-out apologia for Scientology like he was a few years ago. The piece he published today in The New Republic acknowledges Scientology’s reputation for abuse, and he even links to a couple of our pieces. For that we are grateful, and we do genuinely believe that Mark is trying to get things right.

He didn’t like Larry Wright’s book very much, but that’s not really important. What alarms us, however, is that he continues to push the idea that there’s some slice of happy suburban Scientologists whose stories never get told.

And even worse, Oppenheimer urges young college reporters to try and get that story by infiltrating Scientology, which Oppenheimer seems to think has never been done before.

Sigh. First of all, while it’s true that Wright’s book does focus a lot on Scientology’s celebrities, it’s astonishing that Oppenheimer claims that no one has focused on the lives of church members who are not celebrities. In fact, from the beginning of Scientology journalism, writers have taken pains to explain the everyday experience of church members, and we ourselves have focused more on publics and staff than we ever have on celebrities.

Oppenheimer wants to know what life is like for non-famous church members? Has he really somehow missed the stories (and not only by us) about people like Lori Hodgson, Meshell Little, Mareka James, Laura DeCrescenzo, Derek Bloch, Keith Relkin, the Headleys, Amy Scobee, Debbie Cook, Steve Poore, Karen de la Carriere, Astra Woodcraft, Jenna Miscavige Hill, John Brousseau, Simi Valley, Vance Woodward, and many more?

And we hear not only from people who have left Scientology, but we also hear from current church members — more and more all the time — who, at great risk to themselves, reach out to tell us about their own frightening experiences with interrogation, regging, and the prospect of disconnection. This is the reality of Scientologists today, that they are under incredible pressure to finance David Miscavige’s pet projects, which is producing deep disillusionment throughout the ranks.

But Oppenheimer is convinced — because he happens to know a couple of Scientologists in New Haven, apparently — that there is a great untold story about happy suburban church members. Well, perhaps he should actually do that story instead of the irresponsible thing he proposes.

He suggests that reporters — specifically those without much support, such as college reporters — go undercover to find out what is really happening in Scientology, a project he says has never been done.

Here’s the problem with that, Mark: First, it has already been done. Although Oppenheimer mentions both Paulette Cooper (in a link) and Janet Reitman, he fails to point out (or just doesn’t remember) that both of these writers began their investigations by attending Scientology courses without revealing their real identities.

And is Oppenheimer really ignorant of the amazing job of infiltration that Mark Ebner pulled off for Spy magazine in 1996? In one of the best stories ever written about Scientology, Ebner joined the religion in order to write about it, and no, Mark, he didn’t find a happy group of suburban religionists whose existence was being ignored by the press.

Also, Oppenheimer may not realize that every year, at least three or four college students around the country do exactly what he suggests, and they go down to their local Scientology org in order to take the free personality test or stress test, and then come away, invariably freaked out by the spooky pressure to purchase courses. It’s stunt journalism, it always ends the same way, and it’s never really very helpful.

But the most alarming thing about Oppenheimer’s suggestion is that it might actually put a young journalist, who doesn’t have the support of a major news organization, in harm’s way. Reporting on Scientology still contains risks. It’s easy for Oppenheimer to suggest that a young reporter put him or herself in the crosshairs of Scientology’s private investigators and dirty-tricks operatives. But we don’t recommend it.

UPDATE: We just talked to Mark Oppenheimer, who assures us that he has no relationship of any kind with Scientology official John Carmichael. In this post, one of our commenters suggested that Carmichael and Oppenheimer were college classmates or had some other close relationship which put into question Oppenheimer’s coverage of Scientology. (Oppenheimer is the leading religion columnist at the New York Times.) Carmichael is in his 60s and Oppenheimer is only 38, and we doubted that this was true. Today, Oppenheimer called us to confirm that he had talked to Carmichael for a story some five years ago, but otherwise he was nothing but a story source. We hope this note will help end the rumor that they had some other connection. Although we had some criticisms of Oppenheimer’s recent New Republic story, we have much respect for the work he does.

PS: Oppenheimer also was very gracious about our criticisms (always the sign of a real pro), and he explained that he still feels, from a social science perspective, that what’s missing is the kind of immersive embedding that a scholar or reporter could do by hanging out for a year or so with average, non-high-ranking Scientologists to really soak up their experience. We can see how that would be valuable, but we still think it’s important for someone with that aim to have the backing of a major organization rather than a college newspaper or a zine. We may disagree on some points, but it was a very fruitful discussion.

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    Inside Edition has Larry Wright on today. Watching now and waiting for his section to come up next

  • mirele

    Oh Jesus Craptoaded H. Christ. I read that Oppenheimer article and couldn’t find a way to comment on it. I wanted to point out that while I don’t know any Scientologists in New Haven, I (and many of your readers) know an ex-Scientologist and former OSA spai who lives in New London, CT. Maybe Oppenheimer ought to take a drive to that very decidedly working-class town and have a chat with Patty. If someone who is able to comment on that article could point this out to Mr. Dingbat Oppenheimer, I think many of us would be happy.

    • John P.

      Patty is way cooler than any “suburban soccer mom Scientologist” would ever be. And she’s probably the only Scientologist (current or former) within 50 miles of New Haven these days.

      • NotmyselfNEmore

        Didn’t the ‘church’ lose it’s property in New Haven, and have to move to a very small store front?
        On a more personal note, I was in New Haven fairly recently, and I was surprised by just how many homeless people hit me and Hubby up for spare change. And even more surprised by how the ‘church’ members seemed to be really trying to engage well fed passers by in conversation – but were clearly blind to the homeless, downtrodden people literally by their front door…
        Do they do any charity or non-profit work that doesn’t actually produce a profit for the corporate church?

        • Is that a rhetorical question?

          • NotmyselfNEmore

            Yeah – it was rhetorical about the not for profit (I wasn’t sure about the NH church closed or not – (what I saw looked kind of like the size of an ice cream shop, sounded like there was a bigger space) and it sure looked open to me – that’s probably old news, but first one I ever saw. From outside.

        • grundoon


    • Anononyourside

      Write a letter to the editor, I bet the number of letters are dropping as more and more subscribers go to commenting.

  • stillgrace

    Oppenheimer doesn’t appear to have a realistic understanding of the cult. That’s dangerous. His suggestions for college journalism students to dance with the devil is sheer irresponsibility. Shame on him.

    • You’re completely right. The cult preys on young people. It’s how they operate. Instead of sending kids as “undercover” reporters into the belly of the beast he rightfully should be using his platform to warn them about the cult. I’d like send Oppenheimer for a time out in the corner.

      • Absolutely the Cult preys on young people. Watch their latest “IAS” video. Keep in mind in truth the IAS is all about money, period. And the vast majority of IAS with money are OVER 50. Are ANY of them in the “IAS” video? Hell no! It’s all kids. Scientology……you prove you’re FOS day after day.

    • For some reason …the name Oppenheimer …brings up bad images. If i were him ….i would change my last name to Lipshitz

      • BuryTheNuts2

        Or Dipshitz!

    • Jgg2012

      Can Oppenheimer name one happy (non-celebrity) scientologist?

    • mirele

      The more I think about Oppenheimer’s article, the more steamed I get. For three reasons:

      1) He’s not disclosed his relationship with John Carmichael.

      2) He’s asking young journalists to put themselves on the line with an organization which makes a point of asking raw meat if they’re journalists, because journalists are seen as the enemy. I bet John Carmichael has never told him that–nor has John Carmichael told Oppenheimer that the “friendship” between them is purely opportunistic.

      3) He is deliberately ignoring the dozens upon dozens of stories from ex-members who were never part of the Sea Org and who were never famous. Marty’s blog is full of them. Tobin and Childs have interviewed them. The one who comes to mind is Brian Culkin, a not-famous yoga instructor who gave $300,000 in “donations” and “services” in to Scientology in little more than a year

      I’m seriously considering sending an e-mail to Franklin Foer, the editor of the New Republic, to complain about this crap masquerading as journalism.

  • Miscavige is obsessed with Marty, isn’t he? Not only does that email have the whiff of desperation it’s also just plain creepy. It’s written like it was intended to be read by Marty and Mosey. “Ha ha, we made you move and we still know what goes on in your home.”

  • California

    RE: Narconon

    Every state has been in the process the last two years of forming the state Board of Mental Health and Substance Abuse services, merging previous different departments and programs. This is excellent news for those of us concerned about Narconon and other poorly administered rehabilitation programs. While Narconon is the worst, IMHO, it is far from being the only organizational program (one example being the several Narconons or Narconon-affiliated in the US) or individually administered programs.

    Smart people concerned about various poorly supervised rehabilitation programs have been communicating for awhile now about the underlying issue: the lack of consistent and cohesive laws, rules and regulations governing these programs, especially the ones that the insurance companies do not have on their approved lists.

    Now we are getting the laws/rules/regs which should be fairly consistent across states.

    Currently: in terms of the Desmond case:

    This is no surprise and an expected part of the posturing and legal response.

    On a more serious note is the following from Spring Hill, Florida:

    The whole ADA issue has been both a protection and a challenge to those of us concerned about rehabilitation programs. This is an old 2009 case with a recent Jan. 11, 2013 federal ruling.

    It will be interesting to see how the ruling is interpreted and what the response will be, especially under the new guidelines being set forth in Florida with the Mental Health and Substance Abuse board.

    • John P.

      Cynically speaking, it might even be possible for tighter licensing to come about because of the sincere and altruistic increase in interest in quality mental health programs that is being advocated tirelessly by the NRA in the wake of the Sandy Hook school tragedy. After all, the NRA has been the leading voice in the darkness, whose decades of passionate dedication to mental health has made such a positive difference in this crucial area.

      • California


        Those of us interested in MH and kids have been appalled by the gun-and-violence culture and its affect on the young and unstable, just like the general public is also appalled. It is time to turn that culture around, IMHO.

        In Marin County, there was a gun buy-back on Monday and the whole $40K that was allocated was gone the first hour and everyone else got vouchers. Which may or not be paid, but I do think that people will pony up the money to cover the vouchers…..

        And we need more of these buy-backs…. like on the weekends where people could come.

        This is a big cultural change for a rural-based, gun-loving county. Maybe times are changing…..

  • CoolHand

    Stay tuned for a LOT more happening on the Narconon front in the coming weeks. Many people working behind the scenes to continue to get things chronicled and made public. There was a hearing in GA yesterday and the trial begins on Feb 11th. There are of course those five other lawsuits ongoing in Oklahoma, one in Nevada, one in California still, and who knows what else. Their days of lies and manipulation are numbered.

    • California


      I will publish the new MH/SA laws/rules/regs concerning rehabilitation facilities, state-by-state for those that have Narconons, as soon as they are published.

    • moxonmoxoff

      Great news, Luke! Thanks for sharing.

    • SP ‘Onage

      Thanks for the update!

    • BuryTheNuts2

      I wish I could hug you!

    • Rick Mycroft

      Narconon Int seems to be picking up the perjury where Narconon Georgia left off. In court, they claimed that NN Georgia had absolutely no connection with them, and weren’t even licensees.

      They didn’t mention the license agreement NN Georgia is required to have to use the Narconon trademarks, which gives NN Int complete oversight of NN Georgia operations, or that NN Georgia operates under NN Int’s IRS tax-exemption. Little things like that.

  • dbloch7986

    I would have commented but apparently you have to be a subscriber. Oppenheimer is an idiot when it comes to Scientology. I would swear the fool is on their payroll. If he honestly thinks that no regular Scientologist has ever told their story then he can check out this website right here:

    There are now 2,017 names on that list. Roughly, ten percent of the entire current worldwide membership.

    Oppenheimer you need to shut up because you have no idea what you are talking about.

  • CharlieWaters

    Gotta love that OSA. “While we don’t see any point in dredging up the past…allow us to dredge up the past in a really insulting manner!”

    Oh, that OSA…

  • California

    RE: This blog

    Tony, I want to thank you again for providing a safe and stimulating environment for rational discussions of the issues.

    This has been a tumultuous week, filled with accurate stories, much over-due media coverage, plus some (below the radar but recorded) capers by OSA. They really are not running the ball right now(unlike the 49’ers ) and
    are behaving as badly and as ineffectually as OSA does. This is to be expected.

  • While we don’t see any point in dredging up the past, we are reminded that the Big Easy was where they spent their honeymoon, a tawdry and embarrassing episode in which Rathbun wound up getting cuffed in an alley for drunk and disorderly conduct while Mosey drunkenly danced the night away in a Bourbon St. hole in the wall, getting groped by fellow patrons.”

    I can not believe how disgusting Miscavige is.

    Does he think no one notices that he is writing this?

    The Number 1 Scientologist on the planet, everybody!

    David Miscavige!

    Take a bow.

    • I think he had a little help from a thesaurus and an editor. The book because he probably doesn’t know what gravitas means and the editor to get rid of all the MoFo’s and CSing that littered the first draft.

      • John P.

        Who needs a thesaurus when you have Danny (“Mullet Boy”) Sherman, bloviator to the stars, who writes every word that comes out of Miscavige’s mouth for public consumption. Sherman’s larded-up purple prose put the suffix in narcissisticness.

        • stillgrace

          narcissisticness … ROFLMAO!

    • CharlieWaters

      In the same sentence, OSA (Miscavige) went from sounding reasonable to sounding utterly classless. I have to believe there are several Scientologists who have read this letter and had the same feeling.


    • ze moo

      For someone who was of no consequence while he was at CO$, Miscavige really has a hard on for Rathbun. Rathbun’s insider knowledge has seldom been put to use, but little Davey seems to really fear him. Was Marty the pivot man in the circle jerk??

      • What does the pivot man do?

        Don’t answer that…..

        • BuryTheNuts2

          Think Basketball and then scrub your brain.

          • Mrs Libnish

            I’m drawing a blank. I’m going in…

            • Midwest Mom

              No! You don’t need to know this – you can get through this – we don’t need to know.

            • BuryTheNuts2

              You will be sorry.

            • Mrs. Libnish, you’re a braver soul then I.

            • Midwest Mom

              She is going to need mass quantities of alcohol to disinfect that from her brain. (Just don’t tell me, even though I figured it out, I am in denial). I think I need a drink.

          • Mrs Libnish


          • DeElizabethan

            Found you here…. for a correction.
            Looked on Amazon for Sweeny’s book not there yet. Back to Barnes $& Noble as I saw on their screen for like $11, so will go there tomorrow and find out how to get it.

      • I don’t think I’m going to Google “pivot man circle jerk”. Some things are probably best left unknown.

        • moxonmoxoff

          actually, you just have to google “pivot man” and you’ll get the circle jerk as part of the package. i wouldn’t look up hot karl, though.

          • Thanks for the warning. Is hot karl something like getting suckered into Goatse?

            • moxonmoxoff

              LMAO! not that bad. just sort of gross.

        • *wiping off monitor*

          • grundoon

            wiping what off monitor??

        • i-Betty


      • Anononyourside

        In the midst of exploding exposes of the Church of Scientology, embarrassing ad cancellations and rejections, this is what Miscavige focuses on?

    • SP ‘Onage

      What I think is embarrassing is not getting drunk and disorderly when you’re in the Big Easy. Jeez, Miscavige and his crew really think this is news…man, they really do live in a bubble.

      • A man got drunk! A woman also got drunk and danced and flirted! THE HORRORS!

        Yeah, that is one sad, joyless, sexless little bubble.

        • OTVIIIisGrrr8!

          Not only drinking and dancing but MARTY IS DISCUSSING PHILOSOPHY NOT WRITTEN BY L.RON HUBBARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          That is a very high crime and forbidden in the Church of Scientology.

          The entire point of Scientology is to only read Scientology books and to only think Scientology thoughts. Everything else is a crime!

        • AKS

          Yeah, I thought I was reading an Amish newsletter there for a second.

        • i-Betty

          Sounds like fun to me!

      • Personally, I thought it sounded like as good time.

  • Scientia

    Mark O. should talk to Vance Woodward. “Addicted To Scientology” is an excellent look at the life of a (albeit somewhat more affluent) modern day church member, from the big wins as a noob to the insufferable grind of botched auditing, and the endless demands for money. It’s also a hoot.

    • TonyOrtega

      Great suggestion. I meant to include Vance in that list. I’ll add it.

  • sizzle8

    That’s the most bizarre OSA piece I’ve read.

    I can’t imagine that they would have broadly emailed that to their general public.
    It clearly gives credence to Marty Rathbun and the Independents.

    It doesn’t just have a whiff of desperation, it reeks of decomposition.

    • Midwest Mom

      Do you think that they wrote it and sent it to the people they suspect are leaking info to Marty and Tony, to verify their “mole”? This is my guess.

      • ze moo

        By planting slightly different versions of that email, OSA could pinpoint the ‘leaker’. Anyone who ever read a Tom Clancy novel knows that trick. I would think that the dwarfenfürher is spending a lot of time checking the loyalty of those still ‘on board’. Paranoia begins at home…..

        • BuryTheNuts2

          Yeah, I bet the Sec Checks on the remaining flock is getting intense.
          Can you imagine what those people are going through these days?

        • washington23

          That same text was plastered on some of the Scilon anti-Marty blogs as well.

    • Anononyourside

      This email makes no sense. Who was it written to scare? Marty, because they know where he lives, and they are now telling for the umpteenth time some personal “dirt” on him? Or members of the church, i.e., telling them that Marty is “bored” with the Indie movement so now members have nowhere to go when they leave so they had better not depart. Either way it shows how demented and out of touch with reality Miscavige has become.

  • So what’s next? OSA is getting so desperate that next time we’ll have to read about Marty and Mosey’s sex life? Davey is totally obsessed with sex. And you know who are the people that are obsessed with sex? Those that aren’t getting any!

    • Mrs Libnish

      His wife is locked away somewhere, he has no public girlfriends, it’s just him and his BFF Tom. Hmmmmmm……

  • Oppenheimer should read Vance Woodwards book. He can gain a great insight to how a non celeb with a career and some cash gets treated. Vance could have easily named his book, “My Billion Year Reg Cycle.”
    As for non sea org, and general public with a few pennies to throw at the cult, the story is short. Live at the lowest possible standard, while giving all your money to the cult. And I might also add that it is not just SO women who get forced abortions. If you are a public and you don’t agree to the abortion they threaten to pull all your training certifications if you don’t go along with their plan for your spiritual freedom. But wait, there’s more! After the abortion you get sent to ethics where they threaten to cancel your training certifications for being 1.1 on the tonescale and committing the abortion. Not that I would know, of course nothing like that ever happened to me.
    I am loving Wrights book, wow there are some real jewels in there, such as how the Mormon Church tried to buy “Revolt of the Stars” for $10 million dollars. Now that’s a juicy tidbit I had never heard a peep about. Also, no typos, which I find extremely pleasant.
    Sweeney really does spin a yarn but oh how I wish he would clean up the mispells:/

    • mirele

      Just to correct the “Mormon Church” part, but per Wright, it was “Mormons” not the Mormon church (page 164). Now, the more interesting thing would be–which Mormon church members would have had, in the early 1980s, $10 million for a movie script? Paying $10 million to option a script, any script, even in the post-Star Wars/Empire Strikes Back era, would have been nuts. (It’s almost unbelievable today, 30 years later.) I think someone’s leg was being pulled here, But even if it were $100,000, I still wonder who would have done that?

      • Perhaps Mitt, my favorite book is Battlefield Earth, Romney.

      • grundoon

        Sounds fishy as hell. Who can believe L. Ron Hubbard would turn down $10 million?

  • John P.

    Taiwanese animation: Even better than the laugh value of the animation, the best news is that the animation is in Cantonese. So all those Taiwanese that are being evangelized to join the cult are now able to get a good look at what they’re in for in their own language. I love it when yet another growth opportunity that the cult thinks is hidden from its US and European critics blows up.

    Oklahoma legislation: Congratulations to Sen. Ivester for going ahead and launching this legislation. While it may have been disappointing that Sen. Ivester didn’t move faster after the death of Stacy Dawn Murphy last year, this may have been the first opportunity to introduce new legislation of this sort, given the distractions for much of last year of the elections, lame duck session of the legislature, etc. It could be that by waiting, the chances that this legislation will pass are higher than if he had introduced the bill immediately. Sometimes it’s better to wait; kudos for actually following through. I’d almost move to Oklahoma to vote for the guy. Unfortunately, his district is in the far west of the state, and I don’t think there are too many hedge funds located in his home town, so that will have to remain a fond dream.

    E-mail to Marty Rathbun: Interesting that Marty’s home town is named officially as Bulverde, TX — the home of now legendary anti-cult attorney Ray Jeffery. Marty had vaguely hinted that his new home was in the same general direction from San Antonio airport when he announced the move. I suspect that having a powerful ex-mayor as a friend will probably help the police department be extra-responsive to cult idiocy within their city limits. So that’s a clever move on Marty’s part to shut down Miscavige’s harassment campaign.

    Given that Marty “blew” in 2004, it’s remarkable that, out of nowhere, Miscavige decides a letter to his “flock” ripping on Marty is a good idea at this point. After all, Marty was a Scientologist of no particular importance who had nothing to do with anything, according to a recent press statement.

    The e-mail is odd in that it doesn’t really have any point — it doesn’t try to scare people into donating for a “suppressive person defense fund” where all monies sent in will be used to try to protect the delicate, fragile cult members from evil incarnate. There’s no particular point to this… all it does is telegraph that Marty is still Miscavige’s “Enemy #1.” Truly bizarre that Miscavige is so fixated on Marty after all that happened this week. Just another indicator of his incompetence and inability to address the larger issues that the cult faces. No surprise there.

    Oppenheimer and Scientology Apologia: Apparently, it never occurred to Mark Oppenheimer that the difficulty in writing about “suburban soccer mom” cult members is that this population is the endangered species that is causing the whole thing to fall apart. He’s about five years too late, because those are exactly the people who have fled. Only the true whack jobs (Derek Bloch’s parents being a particularly nightmarish parody of the “soccer mom Scientologist”) and the children of die-hard culties remain.

    I find it interesting that I have been sought out by a fair number of “sideliners” (not resigning officially but who have made it clear they will not pay another dime to the cult) and “under the radar” (typically business owners who make token payments so they don’t lose customers due to disconnection) privately for advice and to contribute perspective. The general comment among those who have sought me out is that “nobody is really doing Scientology any more. We’re just laying low.”

    Oppenheimer might as well write a story bemoaning the lack of unicorn trainers in the US, another equally nonexistent species.

    • TonyOrtega

      In August, Ivester told me he couldn’t introduce new legislation until the new session in January. So he has not delayed anything. He’s right on time.

      • California

        Correct, Tony. We involved with rehabilitation facilities protection (including for the clients of Narconon) have been patiently waiting, waiting, waiting.

        Here in Golden California, winner of the World Series and now (hope, hope, hope) going to the Super Bowl, we now have a democratic supermajority up there in Sacto and want to get much previously blockaded work DONE. It will be a busy spring and summer. First the laws/rules/regulations and then program evaluations done case-by-case, leading toward facility compliance (which cannot be done by Narocnon because Narconon is part of teaching the Tech) or non-compliance, which means shutting down the facilities.

        One variable is that other bad rehabs are already trying to create Conditional Use Permits loop-holes to start up new 6-bed facilities (Narconon now has two in SoCal) that they hope will be exempt from laws/rule/regulations. But the people on the various committees all seem to be aware of the challenges and are moving ahead.

        • May_West

          “loop-holes to start up new 6-bed facilities”

          That is my fear – narCONon tries to “divide and conquer” (to defeat the legislation). I bet they’re already scoping out locations in OK.

          • California

            Mae_West, when you have a second, why don’t you contact your state’s committee in charge of revising/creating the laws/rules/regs for private rehabilitation facilities….. there really are virtually nothing in OK now. (Narconon Arrowhead was using CARF, which is a private “authorization” facility… you pays your money……)

            Voice your concerns to them about the mis-use of the CUP for ANYONE creating 6-bed facilities to get out from under the laws/rules/regs. They might say that the proposed exemptions only address the fact of HAVING such a facility in a residential zoned area but hang in there and make sure that in your state of OK that every other law/rule/reg will be upheld in the 6-bed and under facility. You might have to be tough with them, as well as talk with good legislators like Ivester.

            My predication is that by this time next year ALL the bad rehabs will be shut down, including Narconon.

            • You’re obviously very knowledgeable about the subject. Can you provide some links to groups in CA working on this issue. I’d like to get involved.

            • California

              Sure…. dee fogger, so you mind replying to this posting so disqus will give me the link to your web-site?

              And I will do some research on what might be the best fit for you….. what part of the issue around laws/rules/regs are you interested in….. this is a big issue and different governmental bodies and policy groups are all having their say…..

            • I don’t have anything there but I’ll give you my email and I can give you more information about my background and qualifications – I’m particularly interested in CA requiring more oversight of facilities, standardizing licensing requirements, requiring proper medical care, especially during all rehab facilities. I’d also like to see a centralized board that reviews the program for success and scientific validity of the program the facilities uses as it’s rehab model. I’d also like mandatory disclosure to any potential patient that a facility is connected to a religious organization.

    • BuryTheNuts2

      That OSA thing was great. Go ahead, keep Marty in the forefront of the minds of the flock.
      Brilliant work. Go ahead, keep making them more and more curious about Marty.

      • stillgrace

        Good one!

        Imagine the scios that are laying low, realizing DM is insane: “Hmmmm, the enemy of my enemy must be my friend. Honey? Do you know how to get to Marty’s blog?”

        • ParticleMom

          “hmm, the enemy of my enemy is living happily with his wife, writing books, talking about all the things I am curious about… and he gets to talk to all of my friends and family that I had to disconnect from?” Hopefully, this is another unintended foot bullet by DM.

    • California

      The main language of Taiwan is CHINESE MANDARIN although many other languages (like Taiwanese and English ) or dialects are spoken by the citizenry.

      To present for universal consumption a video in Cantonese is just dumb. And ineffectual. I swear to the gods and goddess, this week SCN/OSA/OSA-bots is just a gift that keeps on giving…..

      • John P.

        My mistake — for some reason, I thought that Cantonese was mainly in the South and Mandarin mostly in the north. Since the people I deal with in China are all fluent English speakers, I have not had to sweat the details of the different languages…

        • California

          Taiwan is a somewhat separate entity from China, which does not like that…..

          The wiki read up on Taiwan (formerly Formosa or “Beautiful” in Portuguese) is here:

          The references are great and topical.

          Please never tell a Taiwanese that they are part of the PRC. Them are fighting words…….

        • DMSTCC

          Freedumb Magazine 1/18/2013: John P’s IQ is dropping faster than light into a black hole while reading tabloid writer Tony Ortega’s blog.
          We polled numerous Scientologists and found that 100% knew that Mandarin was the main language of Taiwan. Jane Lee say’s: “What an idiot, LRH taught that to them”
          It’s inevitable that the financial wizzard of the world will eventually crash, burn and beg to clean COB’s socks in his own mouth. But until then, if he ever forgets his credit card numbers tell him to call us.

          DMSTCC 🙂

          • Midwest Mom

            I just received an email that we have to disconnect from JPC. He’s SP! He’s sipping pinot!

            • California

              I don’t get the reference to sipping pinot on a NYC Friday night in the winter but I am sure that it is funny…… please let me know what is going over my tired head……what a week it has been! SP=sipping pinot?

              OSA/OSA-bots/DM behaving foolishly and meanly (but that’s what they do, pretty predictable, and it is always fun to flush them out), almost all the good guy critics and activists having a week-long blast, and the work moving forward.

              All the good guys, pat yourselves on the back. Try to let go of the anger, be kind to each other and I think that the next 49 weeks of 2013 are going to be amazing, as well. Maybe not everyone as good as this one……but some are going to be close or better…. just a prediction.

            • Midwest Mom

              I’m sorry for the ambiguity! While I can see JPC drinking Pinot Noir or Pinot Blanc in certain situations, I was teasing him mostly about Pinot Grigio, which is usually something you would serve chilled and in the warmer months (but in California, you aren’t limited by that, you lucky duck!).

              I just could not picture JCP ordering a Pinot Grigio if he went out on a Friday night, especially in the winter. I know some women who would order it by the glass, but I have never seen a man do so. I thought he would get a chuckle about the Pinot remark, especially “sipping” it. 🙂

              Thank you for all of the time consuming work you do in the fight against the Co$’s crimes and abuses. You never let us forget about the people who have suffered and are still suffering because of this wretched cult. It is nice to have things to smile, laugh, and joke about with regard to Miscavige and Co., isn’t it? Cheers!

          • California


            We are getting silly……

      • mirele

        It was my understanding that the cult was using Traditional Chinese characters in its books for Taiwan, as opposed to Simplified Chinese. While of course this is what is used in Taiwan, this is not what is used in mainland China. In other words, those books of LRH’s that the cult trumpets as having been translated into Chinese? They’re not readable by a billion or more Chinese speakers. Big Win, Davey!

        • California

          My thoughts and giggles exactly……

          Remember, DM never finished school, I am sure that political science and basic history/ geography were never taught, plus he apparently made the very common mistake of confusing the island of Taiwan with mainland China, although they are somewhat separate. Big contentious issue. tldr here although just plug it into google…..

    • The general comment among those who have sought me out is that “nobody
      is really doing Scientology any more. We’re just laying low.”
      That’s awesome. Thanks for adding that bit in. I’m not surprised people would want your perspective and help. ‘Cuz you rock.

  • scnethics

    That’s a good point about subjecting young journalists to harassment.
    Sending in a college-age journalist is dangerous for another reason: young people are scientology’s favorite targets, especially if they happen to have just had a bad break-up, lost a parent to cancer, or have some other emotional vulnerability. There are lots of scientologists today who were skeptical when they first walked in, but agreed to “give it a try” to see if it “worked”.

    • Semper Phi

      Especially a young reporter who thinks s/he can give it a try to be fair and get both sides of the story.

    • BuryTheNuts2

      I agree that this is a misguided and reckless suggestion.

    • California

      The only positive to this dumb and dangerous suggestion of Oppie is that the missions and orgs will be so paranoid about being “infiltrated” that they will creep out any new seekers who will go away and never come back….

  • scnethics

    Oppenheimer’s ignorance is astounding. The last person you can get an honest accounting of scientology from is an active scientologist, because it’s part of the religion to maintain the church’s PR at all times. To a scientologist, there is absolutely nothing wrong with lying to promote or protect scientology.

    He knows a couple of scientologists in New Haven? Well, OSA knows them too, and together, I’d say they’ve been running Oppenheimer for some time.

    • 0tessa

      Yes, he has a hidden agenda. He’s a puppet of OSA.

    • and_then_and_then

      I am sure that OSA is aware of who Oppenheimer’s friends are, but we can’t deny that:

      If you are a public Scientologist, donating what they deem to be an ever-increasingly appropriate part of your income to Scientology and asking no impertinent questions, you may find it perfectly pleasant to be a Scientologist for an indefinite time. You could never see a 13-year old being forced to scrub a latrine with a toothbrush, executives in the hole, or gobs of your money wasted on private detectives to humor a paranoid chief.

      Scientology is a Potemkin religion and to deny that is to deny what makes Scientology so insidious. Behind Miscavige are legions of Scientologists willing to shell out big bucks to discover their heroic past lives and their even-more-heroic destiny saving Earth, or victims of car accidents, whatever…

  • SP ‘Onage

    Bawhaaaaa! That video is worthy of some sort of prize…Marc blowing on his bike is priceless! 🙂

    • stillgrace

      Was that Marc? I didn’t see the security guard running him off the road with his car!! I thought it was Marty. That’s how he blew when DM put him in the Hole, right after the famous Queen Musical Chairs Episode.

      • SP ‘Onage

        Oh, maybe I’m wrong? I forgot about Marty. LOL!

        • stillgrace

          Works either way!

          • SP ‘Onage

            Sure does…lol!

  • Holy Shitballs …that video was AWESOME …!!!!!!!!!!

    and by the way – there is something wrong with you if you don’t get drunk in public in New Orleans..pretty sure it is a law there that you have too .

    • stillgrace

      Verified! It’s also a requirement to dance all night. Been there, done that!

  • ze moo

    Motions in the NarCONon of Georgia Desmond civil trial.
    CO$ and NarCONon International deny any connection to NarCONon Georgia.

    • Mrs Libnish

      Oh puhlease bitches. It is so obvious you ARE and you must be desperate to try this one.

      • ze moo

        Given how much NarCONon of Georgia’s defense has been thrown out by the court for perjury and non-compliance with disclosure orders, I can only see this move as an attempt at an ‘incompetent council’ defense. Proving connections to NarCONon International and CO$ has to be the easiest job any attorney ever had.

  • Observer

    They just don’t learn, do they? Hubbard’s attack tech is more fail by the day. Every time something like this leaks out they look smaller and more ridiculous. No doubt it would have been scandalous in Hubbard’s day, but now it just makes people more sympathetic toward Marty, and especially Mosey, who’s an innocent bystander. Scientology: they won’t just kill your dog, they’ll attack everyone you love.

    Is Oppenheimer on Davey’s Christmas card list, or is he just suffering from misplaced sympathy toward what he perceives as an underdog? I don’t understand how he can give such short shrift to the masses of testimony about the “church’s” criminal abuses. He’s a journalist–surely he can’t be so naive as to think nobody would commit such atrocities.

  • mook

    Enquirer reprints story from ‘Going Clear’ about Travolta wanting to leave the CoS around the time he “married” Kelly P, because he wanted to really marry one of his longtime boyfriends. also included is a response by you-know-who

    I do think he and Kelly are going to divorce this year…

  • Re: criticizing Marty for writing a vanity book and displaying a self-idolizing picture, LOL. Meet Bridge Publications, a vanity publishing house for guess who, and an entire Ron encyclopedia of those self-idolizing pics.

  • Chocolate Velvet

    LMAO at the OSA business.  What a bunch of numbskulls!

    “It’s a phenomenon that some call “Going Hollywood,” when someone is so impressed with themselves it goes right to their heads.

    Uh… maybe in LA, amongst Tom Cruise and his circle of sycophants, they call it that.  Is this how DM keeps Tommy boy from asserting his intelligence?  “Are you questioning my judgement, Tom?  Going Hollywood?”. Out here in the real world, that dog won’t hunt.

    But really, the whole think reeks of envy. I think they in OSA are jealous of Marty because he’s out, and having a good time, from the looks of it.

    Hey OSA, you can be free too.  Just BLOW!  Run like hell!

    • Mrs Libnish

      Ya..RUN! You can get the tech for free’s alllll out in the open now. Marty can find you an auditor. Whatevs..just GTFO!

  • Oh lordy, scientology really has been the gift that keeps on giving this week….. anyway I’ve noticed a little thing on the cover of the new People magazine which no media outlet seems to have picked up – it’s [the one with J Lo on the cover]. It seems no site has mentioned this elephant in the room (cover) so I would, as I’m everyone here, would be indebted if someone could get a copy and say what she has to say about “scientology and her kids”. I’m guessing it is likely to be a positive piece as People have a track record of being very friendly to the cult.

    For the record it was well discussed that it was the main reason she got divorced as whatshisname disagreed with bringing up the kids with cult doctrine.

    And don’t you just love that they made Miscavige absolutely tiny…. I reckon that’ll piss him off more than the actual content,

    • dilladop

      It says her father is a Scientologist and, while she is not, she thinks the teachings have been helpful to her.

  • jensting

    Second the warning against trying to go undercover. Also, I believe that the criminal organisation known as the “church” of $cientology explicitly asks new would-be recruits if they’re journalists and politely show them the door if so. If that is the case, would that not indicate that there’s something here which should be approached with caution?

    • scnethics

      And asks them on the lie detector (e-meter) before they take a course.

      • TheNextMrsTomCruise

        I am not a college kid, and had my dear cousin waiting for me outside the place. I went as far as the lobby and had to get out of there. I was scared spitless, the RPF’ers in blue suits would drag me back to a windowless room and brainwash me.

        • grundoon

          While they’re terrified that someone will lure them out into the sunlight and un-brainwash them.

  • ze moo

    Another review of Wrights book. While I seldom troll the internet for book reviews, Lawrence Wrights book is being reviewed and praised everywhere. One good blurb…” Jenna Elfman was a leader of the revolt against Katselas.” MIlton Kastselas was also hounded to sp hood by Grant Cardone, another so called scieno celebrity and perhaps one of their ‘whales’. I continue to bombard National Geographic with nasty grams for employing him.

  • JustCallMeMary

    Tony, Oppenheimer went to college with Rev. John Carmichael, Pres of Church of Scientology New York.

    (The infamous Mr. “I smell pussy” )

    As I wrote on ESMB forum,
    HE Knows Everything About Celebrity Scientologists, But Nothing About Scientology.

    He’s an old college buddy of John Carmichael, President of CoS in NY, and behind it all, an apologist for the cult:

    Huffington Post
    Mark Oppenheimer Posted: 07/15/07 11:03 PM ET
    What I Learned About Scientology XENU-PHOBIA

    Weird, Sure. A Cult, No.
    By Mark Oppenheimer, Sunday, August 5, 2007

    For the Love of Xenu
    Scientology may be a bizarre faith invented by a sci-fi hack. But it’s not a cult.
    By Mark Oppenheimer|Posted Tuesday, July 31, 2007, at 3:57 PM ET

    • SP ‘Onage

      Ahhhh! Now the truth comes out! Just another shill journalist. Thank you, Justcallmemary. I knew something smelled fishy!

      • JustCallMeMary

        Yer welcome! 🙂

    • stillgrace

      Thanks, Mary. I have absolutely no respect for Mark Oppenheimer now. I just read “Weird, Sure. A Cult, No.” He has a religious column in the New York Times??!!! For the love of Xenu, he doesn’t even know what a cult is. His arguments are straight out of OSA’s and Louanne’s play book.

      2nd Paragraph: “But Scientology is no more bizarre than other religions. And it’s the similarities between Scientology and, say, Christianity and Judaism that make us so uncomfortable. We need to hate Scientology, lest we hate ourselves.” Plus, he’s got the cost of Co$ services completely wrong!!

      What an embarrassing buffoon. Apologist for the cult? Sure. Reputable? No.

      • JustCallMeMary

        Yes, he’s pretty evasive on the facts. Even when trying to make it appear that he’s a critic. All he does is take with others say and twist it around.

    • Mrs Libnish

      And you’ve got the dox to back it up. That video is could I have missed that??? Today is like Christmas.

      • JustCallMeMary

        Thanks. There is so much to see about John and his antics with anonymous. Just google his name and Scientology and you’ll see.

    • mirele

      Thanks, Mary. I still think Oppenheimer would do well to go visit Patty in New London, if he REALLY wanted to see both sides of Scientology. However, something says to me that he wouldn’t be interested.

      Plus, good God, how can anyone be friends with John “I smell puthy” Carmichael. Ick.

      • JustCallMeMary

        I think he should, too. ( Funny on the Plus,”

    • stillgrace

      Question: Is John Carmichael still the President of Co$ in New York? If the President or CEO of any business was caught doing that and broadcast on You-Tube during the act, he would be summarily fired.
      What a complete jerk. No RPF for olfactory-man?

      • JustCallMeMary

        It’s just a title he uses. He’s their PR man in NY. He’s non Sea Org. He went on a break for a while as the President but eventually he began using that title again. That video did not get much media coverage that I can recall. Lots of laughs on the internet but I think it was to out there for any news organization to want to go there, lol

    • John P.

      I missed something. Were you saying that Oppenheimer & Carmichael were college buddies based on statements in the articles you linked to, or was that documented elsewhere? I scanned the three articles and didn’t see anything that clearly tied the two together as possible personal friends. If there’s a “dox” on that one, it would sure be interesting.

      • JustCallMeMary

        Try reading the links, at least the first one. Why would I post them, otherwise?

        • John P.

          I did read the links. Carefully. That’s why I asked. And just in case I missed something in my haste, I asked politely.

          The only thing about Carmichael’s college education was in the first one, the Huffington Post article. It says only,

          I went down to the Scientology church off Times Square in New York and spent some time with church president John Carmichael, a Cornell alum who has been with the church nearly forty years.

          That only means that Carmichael went to Cornell. There is a 65-year old John Carmichael in NYC and another one aged 63 in College Point, Queens; whichever is the correct one, both of these guys are old enough to have been in Scientology for 40 years, as Oppenheimer points out.

          The HuffPo article says nothing about Oppenheimer’s education. But his bio at HuffPo says he lives in New Haven, CT and got his Ph. D. from Yale (nothing about his undergrad). Could Oppenheimer have been a classmate of Carmichael’s at Cornell since his undergraduate is not specified? A database search reveals that the only Mark Oppenheimer in Connecticut is 38 years old. A 25-year age difference makes it extremely doubtful that they crossed in college. In the absence of any other conclusive “dox,” it appears that you are mistaken.

          Note that I gently raised a concern about the validity of your assertion and asked for more evidence. You chose to reply in a rather snarky tone rather than re-checking your data. Believe me, given what I deal with at work every single day, I am hardly given to whining. I’m pointing out that not looking at your data when a question is politely raised merely damages your credibility for making interesting assertions in the future. I could have just as easily flamed you for sloppy work instead of respectfully requesting further information.

          It is important to get such facts correct, especially since others are mentioning here that they want to write the Times to complain about the cozy relationship between Oppenheimer and his subject. It will reduce the credibility of the Scientology critic community if they propagate a bogus conclusion like yours.

          • I worked with John when he was posted in Portland, OR. He did not graduate from Cornell.

            • John P.

              A Scientologist lying about his educational achievements. That’s a fir … oh, wait …

    • California

      Last week was the “Week That Was” in terms of media and publications.

      I especially enjoyed the revelation from JustCallMeMary of the possible old college ties between religious journalist NYT’s Mark Oppenheimer and head of NY Org John Carmichael. Which college/university, Mary? Which program and/or department?

      However, I also want to state that some of my university student days’ colleagues have done wonderful things and some not and I would not want to be associated with as being part of the bad guys’ behaviors because we attended the same institutions, even the same departments/programs and the same years.

      Just a caution there.

  • JustCallMeMary

    It’s been an excellent week, one of the best ever! Thanks for keeping on top of all of it.

    • You know, that’s a good point.

      These last two weeks have been gargantuan, and multi-fountainted. Yet Tony has covered every bit of it.

      Normally, a messageboard has a whole lot of contributors who each bring some part of the news that is going on at the moment. And a blog focuses on one thing, or two.

      Tony is covering it ALL. There is not Scn news happening someplace that Tony is not covering. And for him to manage this in the last two weeks has been pretty much a virtuoso performance.

      And I almost didn’t notice this because he makes it look so easy!


      • DeElizabethan

        So right on that. This blog has become my base and with Tony giving out so many articles, stories and links, along with all that the gang give, I have been extremely busy. What a great home base. Thanks to Tony and to the gang in the bunker.

  • Anon Nom Nom

    Well at least the church left out the words “squirrel,” “rathbone,” and “apostate,” so they’re making some minor progress in not sounding completely insane for once.

  • SP ‘Onage

    Oppenheimer needs to get in the trenches and get a little dirty himself. Why doesn’t he try and infiltrate an org near him? After he’s done that, let’s see if he still praises his scientology suburban friends. Hope he likes his trash dug through, 24/7 surveillance on him and his family…and doesn’t own a dog.

  • California

    Apropos of nothing except that SCN/OSA/OSA-bots are going down…..

    Here is the Atlantic Monthly advertisement/article that helped start off this amazing and wonderful week. It makes for a good comic read…..

  • On OMG comments section, a friend of mine posted this in regard to Tom Cruises home being ‘swatted’. Swatted is the word for someone anonymously calling in a fake report of gunfire at a specific location. The swat team arrives to investigate the report……..

    begin comment:

    Here is a guarantee: IF someone had ‘swatted’ the Scientology Worldwide
    Headquarters in Hemet Calif. (where Scientology keeps its secret prison
    full of folks cleaning bathroom floors with their tongues and cleaning
    out garbage dumpsters with toothbrushes) what would have been found
    inadvertently by law enforcement (in addition to those atrocities) would
    literally shake the world to its core.

    Lawrence Wrights new book ‘Going Clear, Scientology Hollywood (and the
    prison of belief) would be considered a kindergarten book standing next
    to Scientology getting caught red handed (confirming what thousands of
    scientology escapees have already revealed). Imagine finding a 1950’s
    style secret gulag prison with malnourished and mentally crushed human
    beings in gray uniforms all hanging their heads in unison (and
    obedience) to their Scientology Masters, shuffling along (in underground
    tunnels?) to go to their daily ‘workplace’. From sun up till sun down.
    Beans & rice twice a day, for years and years on end. No contact
    with the outside world permitted. Until they confess their ‘crimes’ against
    Scientology, to Scientology.

    Scary stuff.

    But alas, they ‘swatted’ the home of Tom Cruise instead.

    So Scientology is still ok. At least in the eyes of those who have never seen the underbelly of the beast, in action.

  • 0tessa

    Looks like Miscavige has a new ghostwriter. Maybe Hubbard in the sky taking up his old profession – Typewriting in the Sky …

    • Observer

      Hubbard could have used a ghostwriter himself. And a professional stylist.

      • SP ‘Onage

        And a dentist.

        • Rick Mycroft

          And a psychiatrist!

      • If not a ghostwriter at least an editor.

    • Ghost Writers in the Sky?

  • It’s weird, in an ironic way, that Oppenheimer would be so mild about scn when he really does understand how awful it is — his own religion is fraught with controversy and bad news and rabbis being evil and abuse going unreported. He knows what it means and how it feels.

  • SP ‘Onage

    Everyday is becoming a whack-a-mole day when it comes to scientology…whack-a-mole, whack-a-osa-puppet journalist…whack…whack…whack! All this whacking is making me dizzy.

    • Captain Howdy

      Careful, I heard it can make you go blind also.

      • SP ‘Onage

        That’s ok, Tom Cruise’s tooth already made me blind. 🙂

        • BuryTheNuts2

          I remember noticing that center tooth in Risky Business. I have never been able to watch a Cruise movie without dwelling on that to the point of distraction.

          • SP ‘Onage

            “Matt, Matt, Matt, you don’t have Picasso teeth, I do!”…lmao

            • Midwest Mom

              “There is no such thing as periodontal disease, gingivitis or cavities in the teeth. . The evil dentists and periodontists made it up to control people and to force people to go under general anesthesia or nitrous oxide in order to have unnecessary root canals and molars removed. There is no such thing as acid erosion or enamel erosion. I know! I’ve studied the dental tech. Don’t be glib. I know that you don’t know what I know.”

            • SP ‘Onage

              LOL! 😉

            • stillgrace

              Does anyone remember when Cruise had braces? I read about it. I thought he was getting the cyclops tooth fixed. (?)

            • BuryTheNuts2

              Per the Google…2002.
              It was apparently a FAIL.
              Pictures here.

            • stillgrace

              Thanks. The link mentioned 2010. I guess they didn’t work (?)

            • BuryTheNuts2

              The 2010 mention was actually the signature line of the poster who put up the pictures stating when they got their braces…(and I thought we were geeks).
              An orthodontist in that same thread says it was about ten years ago when Cruise had braces.
              And no, they sure didn’t work.

            • Observer

              Tsk … the Big Being’s sooper powerz couldn’t even fix his teeth with help. I’m starting to think he’s not a Big Being at all. 🙁

  • ScamProof

    Well, they asked if I would not see a Tom Cruise movie because he is in Scientology. Absolutely I would never visit a theater and pay money to watch a movie with Tom Cruise in it because money that he earns makes its way into the coffers of Scientology. They managed to get $250,000 out of my husband when he was 62 years old. Now he is age 66, penniless, living on social security and getting care for his cancer from the VA hospital. They wrecked this man financially and mentally. I help him as much as I can but he will never? be the same. No, they aren’t getting a dime from me!

    • AKS

      We were about to go see the new Cruise movie (seemed a rather mindless and possibly fun popcorn flick) when I thought about the money Tom Cruise cleared going to… well, the money going to Tom Cruise is bad enough, right? Might as well go out and buy an LRH book (I wonder if they get excited when they see book sales and can’t trace them back to one of their own member initiatives). To us, anyway, he or Travolta are box office poison these days. And when we’ve found out actors and actresses that we’ve otherwise liked were involved with the Scilons, we avoid their work rather than seeking it out. I’ll think of your husband the next time I’m tempted.

      • ScamProof

        Thank you. Not buying a movie ticket seems a small step but it does mean something!

        • stillgrace

          I’ve been on that wagon for four years now. I can’t even watch Cruise on Netflix.

    • i-Betty

      I’m so sorry, Scamproof 🙁 Love to you and your husband.

      RIGHT THERE is a non-celebrity whose life has been wrecked by Scientology.

      • ScamProof

        Thank you!

    • and_then_and_then

      I agree. It’s no different from not buying a product because the workers are abused. Celebrities are the lifeblood of an abusive system with stated totalitarian goals. The fact that Scientology seems to be failing right now makes them no less dangerous, because they have sufficient reserves to endure popular disapproval. Don’t add to that reserve.

    • I am not boycotting to keep money from Cruise (He has already had his pay-day before the film is released), I do it because he nauseates me. All I see, no matter the acting, is a deluded, self-righteous, and megalomaniacal (spell check tells me I made up that word) asshole.

  • whingeybingey

    The argument that Scientology is okay because there might be some people it’s NOT abusing boggles my mind.

    • BuryTheNuts2

      But it is such a stellar and profound argument. It makes so much sense. Just like Dianetics.

  • Jgg2012

    Is Miscavige channeling LRH? Look at the similarities: LRH spent his last years in hiding; DM is nowhere to be seen. Mary Sue was abandonded; Shelly is nowhere around. LRH lived lavishly, as does DM. LRH grew increasingly paranoid…well, you get the idea.

    • Observer

      Only their fashion sense differs. Davey is a dainty metrosexual, while LRH apparently styled himself after Thurston Howell the Third.

      • Jgg2012

        LRH would sniff at 30 cleaned shirts before finding one that was fresh enough. I wonder if Davey does that too?

      • Midwest Mom

        Oh no you didn’t! Thursty was dapper and distinguished and Hubs looked like Leisure Suit Larry.

        I am now craving a cocktail served in a pineapple. 🙂

  • Mr. Fabulous

    That cult letter reads like some pissed-off schoolgirl who’s just been dumped, posting a message to all her friends on Facebook, desperately trying to make herself feel better by being as negative as she can about her old love. 🙂

    • Midwest Mom

      Well, I’m not inviting Davey to my Birthday Party. He’s going to be totally jelly.

    • mirele

      Wishing I could like this about eleventy-nine times.

    • AnyOldName1

      It is so utterly childish. The kind of behavior I would see in some bratty child who got caught. Immediately accuse all the other kids of doing worse things. Except DM has this unnatural fixation on Marty. He must demonize him. But, it’s more. It’s really creepy.

    • Thinking the same thing!!!

  • dwayners13

    It would appear as though Miscavige is taking both enjoyment in & credit for Marty’s change of address. For the most part, Miscavige probably was responsible for Marty’s move, the real question is, “was it worth the cost”. Once you tally up the cost of renting the house across the street, surveillance equipment, PI fees, plane tickets and the overall bill for the “squirrel busters”, your talking some serious cash. While it may be just a drop in the bucket for the church & worth every penny to Miscavige, I wonder what the average scientologist would say about their fees being used to harass Marty. Actually, I wonder if they even know what Miscavige & OSA were doing to their old friend. I guess to Miscavige it was worth the cost as it gave him some satisfaction at a time when he & his church are being exposed & ridiculed on the net, TV, radio, cinema & in various books. Perhaps Miscavige needs a little respite from ducking media interviews, beating up staff & hoping that growth spurt will finally happen.

    • Captain Howdy

      The thing i don’t understand is, this is Texas right ? Home of Guns and God and carry conceal permits. When the squirrel busters showed up at Marty’s at the very least he could have peppered their asses with rock salt or sicked his dog on them. He would have been perfectly within his Texas rights.

    • Anononyourside

      I wonder how they like camping in the woods trying to catch sight of Marty while not being arrested for trespassing? It’s a little hard to be inconspicuous when you are the only car parked at the edge of Marty’s property, with binoculars….I imagine the unsaid words in the OSA email were ” #%%^**++%}}}, why did he move to a *#%#*##€£ LANDOCKED house!?”

      • Anononyourside

        The other unsaid words were “YS YS YS YS YSCOHB!”

  • Jgg2012

    Notice that OSA did NOT show us a perfect clear.

  • dbloch7986

    It makes me angry when people inaccurately report and describe Scientology. I hate when the religion is compared to “all other religions because they’re all weird”. There is nothing like Scientology. It is pure evil, and the shit that I was put through is Indescribable. I have no words to express how much I despise this cult. That someone like Oppenheimer is able to put things like this up, without being challenged, makes me extremely upset.

    It makes me even angrier that the court system and the justice department of the United States of America, the flagship of the free world, continue to sit back and grant wins to Scientology and let them continue running their prison camps. Not to mention the IRS lets them do it all tax free. The only reason the cult continues to exist in such a powerful form is because the United States allows it.

    I am disgusted at the legal system for letting Scientology continually abuse it. I am disgusted at the Department of Labor for not enforcing child labor laws properly because of “ministerial exemptions”. The same goes for the IRS, the FBI and the federal court system. How long will they play into Scientology’s charade? Better, how long will they continue to allow Scientology to pretend that it’s acting lawfully?

    “Child labor provisions under FLSA are designed to protect the educational opportunities of youth and prohibit their employment in jobs that are detrimental to their health and safety. ”

    It says RIGHT THERE the purpose of Child Labor Laws. Scientology violates ALL of that.

    Please someone show me where Hubbard gives you a high school education. Where Hubbard teaches algebra 2 and how to write an essay. He doesn’t. Hubbard materials are not “educational opportunities”. They are specific only to the “religion” of Scientology. They don’t cover basic education of any kind.

    How long is this bullshit going to continue? If you’re going to let the adults be locked in prisons, fuck it. But for fuck’s sake can we please sanction the church to protect our fucking children?

    • dbloch7986

      Tell you what, you take an average person with an average education and you put them up against a Sea Org member aged 16 and have them do basic high school tests. Then you tell me if their educational opportunities are being protected. Simple, so fucking simple. Let’s do that.

      • DeElizabethan

        Love and thanks to you Derek for all the above posts.

    • Midwest Mom

      Erica Christensen wasn’t in Sea Org and she’s making Hub’s “tech” sound like the equivalent of having the mental acuity of marshmallow fluff. Keep talking, Erica. Keep talking about, like, you know, like, rabbits, and how you, like, learned stuff..

      • dbloch7986

        So will any Scientologist that you talk to. Scientologists are not beyond making up blatant lies about anything in their life or yours in an attempt to discredit anything negative about Scientology. As I have found out in recent weeks.

    • ze moo

      I was hoping the Homeland Security investigation would trip the CO$ re child labor. That part of the investigation should have taken about 3 days to start and conclude, yet no indictments have been made public. I’d like to add a ‘yet’, to the end of my previous sentence, but I have no reason to expect any indictments. It’s not that any federal agency is scared of the CO$, they just don’t have the resources to bring anything meaningful to trial and conclusion. In government jobs. it’s how many wins you accumulate per dollar spent, not how many wins you accumulate.

    • sharon brown

      I hear you ! That’s the part I don’t understandthe justice system, IRS, FBI etc. is Failing us all! What other “religon” is “pay as you go” ? Want to get something off your chest ? That’ll be $1000 dolars for 1 hour of auditing . They are Only a religon for tax purposes so Mr. Miscavige can have slaves & people to feed his ego. They Need to go down and 2013 seems like a Good year !!!Good Luck to you dbloch7986, Glad you made it out!

    • Bob

      Derek, I understand how you feel in more ways than you know. But when your whole life has been tied up in the church for decades and that includes your business, then what are you going to do? Lose your whole income source or stand by your child? Lose your alleged future spiritual eternity or show compassion for your family member.
      All the crimes I have seen are ultimately based on the decision to survive regardless of the consequences to others.
      I now have two categories of people. Those who chose to help me when I was down and did help or those who walked away because they found they could not help.
      Or those who saw my vulnerability and need and said they were helping but instead exploited my predicament to my extreme detriment.
      Those who made the second choice I can understand why they made the choice. (They feared they would not survive so they preyed on another’s weakness). But they always had the choice and they could have taken the harder more ethical road and in the end I suspect they would have come out the winners. And they could hold their heads up high.
      And I know hate. What I went through I would not wish upon anyone. But I learned that it is the choices that people make. I no longer blame Hubbard, the corporate church, or the many zealots pumped out by the church who did some pretty nasty things in the name of Mohubbardism. I was a victim and I did choose that. Never again.
      I know who my friends really are. If I met one of those few people
      who f–ked me over on the street or in the market I would with relish, comment to them about how vindicated they must have felt when they heard I was not doing well. And I would let them know that I will not forget how they could have done the right thing. They lost more than their integrity they lost a friend.
      Some day I think your family will regret their mistakes. I hope it is not too late for them.

  • Am I the only one interested in reading that wall of text cult response to Rock Center last night? When they highlighted some of the text it looked to be pages long with hardly any paragraphs. I bet it’s equally as humorously “scathing” as the one sent to Vanity Fair after wife audition article.

  • moxonmoxoff

    Does the OSA/Davey letter remind anyone of that Browning poem, My Last Duchess? The more the narrator tells, the more he reveals. About HIMSELF. I find it really comical. And transparent. And kind of sad in terms of its desperation.

    • BuryTheNuts2

      Isn’t it great!
      Why doesn’t he just send the rest of the Scientologist’s a map to Marty’s house and pay for their first Indie intensive.

  • TheNextMrsTomCruise

    Okay, I admit I did see Jack Reacher. But I bought a ticket for The Guilt Trip and then snuck into see Jack. Didn’t want the Sciloons to get any moolah, so La Striesand got it instead.

    • Captain Howdy

      so you went to see the jack reacharound guilt trip ?

      • TheNextMrsTomCruise

        yep, I did. It was horrible. TC is so smug, he’s become impossible to watch. Mainly I went to jeer, and I had plenty of opportunity.

        • Captain Howdy

          I dunno, Cruise vs. Streisand. It’s like an episode of Celebrity Death Match and i don’t know who to root for.

          • TheNextMrsTomCruise

            Well, true, but Babs is merely crazy, not Sciloon crazy. Plus I like Seth Rogen a whole bunch, and the movie times worked out with JackOff Preacher. Plus, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Babs, since Mecha Striesand is my second favorite Southpark episode. Guess which Southpark episode is first?

            • stillgrace

              Which one is your favorite: the original, or the one where they kill off Chef (isaac Hayes character)?

            • Captain Howdy

              The one where Mr Garrison guilt trips his dad for not molesting him ?

  • Jenny Tetlow

    Thanks for reserving us the best seat in the house this week Tony. All the news and high profile exes and critics for the live blogging sessions too.

  • Off-topicish, but the library system in my area — very close to Clearwater — does not have Going Clear in stock or on order. (I can’t afford to buy it at this point.) I doubt it’s conspiracy; this is Florida, and stuff can usually be ascribed to incompetence and serious lack of funds for any community project, like stocking libraries and fixing potholes. But it gave me an idea. Scientology spends all this money and effort to get Hubbard’s crap in libraries. Getting books like Reitman’s and Wright’s into libraries seems like it would be an excellent project. I have no idea how one would start and run such a thing, though.

    • Captain Howdy

      It’s well established the scilons steal anti-scientology books from libraries. This has been going on for decades.

      • No, they don’t have it in their system at all. We’ve requested it, but it’s going to take more than one request for them to order it.

        • Anononyourside

          They could also get the ebook if they have Overdrive (ebook and audiobook system used by libraries). The cult can’t steal books from Overdrive.

    • BuryTheNuts2

      The online county library systems within Florida have a way you can put in requests for books they don’t have. I think if someone is persistent or they get numerous requests, they will order the book. (I think).
      I know in Marion County you can actually see if a book has pending requests online.

      • DeElizabethan

        Stopped in today at our local Barnes & Noble. They had 13 of Wright’s books in two piles. Previously I asked him to look it up and he said “scientology?” Then, “we don’t have scientology books here.” I said it is anti-scientology. Anyway, was found and there they were, beautiful!

        • BuryTheNuts2

          That is awesome! I bet the bots are low toned downtown this week.

          • DeElizabethan

            For sure, wish I had time to go over there an give them a “knowing” look (smile).

            Btw, while at bookstore he looked up Sweeny’s book and it is now available on
            Amazon, not only kindle, but the book, I saw it and need to order. I was delighted, but as these days are going, besides other things needed, I just can’t get far away from this darn machine. I have Wright’s book received today, next to me. Tomorrow will get at it instead of raking leaves. How’s hubby taking these full day’s and evenings?

            • BuryTheNuts2

              He just thinks I am a L Ron nerd, but he did watch the Nancy Many docudrama and the NBC piece.
              But I have been told that there is no way he is ever…like Ever…going back to downtown Clearwater. He had his fill of the creepy zombies and the post apocalyptic vibe of the place.
              He did however appreciate that the Scions served the beer appropriately cold.

            • Captain Howdy

              What was the name of the scilon cafe ? i ask because there is one owned by this scilon broad named Valourie Shillington, who at one point i was convinced was vaLLarrr.

            • BuryTheNuts2

              Capitol Beer Haus. But it is new…only opened last fall and he has a pizza joint right next door.

            • DeElizabethan

              You got it BTN. Believe the guy is Mexican and he also owns a large building downtown, making it into condos. He was written up in the TBT a short while back.

  • DeElizabethan

    So much to read today here, all spectacular, thank you.

  • DeElizabethan

    In case you missed this one, you’ll love the pic.

    • SP ‘Onage

      He wishes he looked that good.

  • What are the odds that Tom Cruise and little Dave have a supply of the same parchment paper that Mr. Wright wrote about in his book ?? Hmm…poor sticky parchment paper

  • Need to know

    Hey Tony… Not sure if you will see this but The broadcast of Nancy Many’s docudrama will be rerun on Sat at 3pm and on id 285 1/19. Get the word out if you can. There was so little warning of this being aired that many missed it. This is a must see!

    • Sandy

      Thanks!!! 2pm CST – I’m on it!

  • Sherbet

    Hey, Capt. Howdy, Lawrence Wright will be at the Brattle on January 31. I’m not going, but you might want to.

    • Davka

      Ah, the Brattle – that would be a cool place to hear him speak!

      • Sherbet

        It would!

      • ParticleMom

        Oh, I wonder if I could convince a friend to drive into town with me!

        • Davka

          6:00 on a Thursday night? Either go really early or stay far away from the Pike 🙂

          • Davka

            Or 93 or route 2, for that matter…..

    • Captain Howdy

      Really ? Last time I went to the Brattle was to see ‘Inland Empire”…I’m still recovering. I don’t get out much anymore.I just sit around my room like Travis Bickle pretending to shoot people on TV with my PPK (replica).: )

      • Sherbet

        Are you talkin’ to me?

  • BosonStark

    Marty really moved to a town that starts with “Bul”?

    I was disgusted with that Oppenheimer review. A couple years ago, I was relieved to find out — doing a little Web search — he’s not related to Andrés Oppenheimer, a foreign affairs columnist and TV host whom I admire.

  • he obviously likes the attention of hostile Scientology media outlets

    Okay, I just took this in. How many media outlets does Scientology think it has?

    The rest of it is… wow. Slams against Texas, and writing about Florida like it’s some kind of heaven. (Hahahahaha says this Floridian.) Attempts to slut-shame Mosey followed by attempts to make her sound like a downtrodden housewife. They’re just throwing random crap at the wall, hoping something will stick. It’s incredibly childish, scattered, and pathetic.

  • Great piece Tony O!

  • sugarplumfairy

    “…it requires a facility like Narconon Arrowhead to be licensed through the state’s Board of Mental Health…”

    lol.. co$ will be monitored by psychiatrists in Oklahoma.. That is absolute poetry..

    • SP ‘Onage

      Poetic Justice. 🙂

      • whingeybingey

        Lucky the psychs are there to put their ethics in!

        • SP ‘Onage


  • whingeybingey

    I just read the Oppenheimer thing. It might be because I’m Australian, but I seriously don’t understand what he means by the In-N-Out comment.

    • I haven’t read it because I don’t want to give him additional click counts and can figure out what’s in it from Tony and the comments here as well as reading his previous pieces. I’d venture to guess he’s referring to a popular fast food burger franchise in the USA called “In-N-Out”.

      • whingeybingey

        I gathered that, although I have not come across In-N-Out I don’t think. The sentence begins “But my real concern with this In-N-Out burger of a book, hastily cooked but scrumptious…,” so I guess he is saying that Wright’s book was hasty? But where does he get that from? It took years to write.

        • Yup, he’s saying it the book is the equivalent of trashy celebrity gossip. Everybody knows fast food burgers are terrible for you but we keep eating them because they’re quick and taste good. How conveniently he’s glossed over how long Wright worked on this, but he’s a hack cult apologist so, just like the cult, he made it up because it served his purpose.

          • His implying that Wright spent almost no time researching is slanderous when Wright talked to about 200 people– but of course those were almost all “unpeople”.

            • whingeybingey

              Agreed. That slur really offends me because it is so unjust!

            • Observer

              He’s spent too much time hobnobbing with The Most Ethical People on the Planet.

          • whingeybingey

            Thanks – I thought it was a bit strange, but now I’m quite annoyed.

  • sugarplumfairy

    “…It’s easy for Oppenheimer to suggest that a young reporter put him or herself in the crosshairs of Scientology’s private investigators and dirty-tricks operatives. But we don’t recommend it…”

    jeez.. Not to mention the risk of putting him or her at the mercy of the frking brainwashing tech of co$.. Oppenheimer needs to watch that documentary that Hardeep Kohli did with the ron’s org freezoners.. They practically converted him..

  • Deckard__Cain

    I’ve only read 70 pages into Wright’s book and I am very disturbed by the content. I haven’t the stomach right now to read Tony’s entire post or to read my friends’ comments here today.

    This book is such a deeper dive into what I’ve read about Hubbard and his madness thus far, and I’ve read just about every book out there. For all of the excitement of the last few days’ fantastic and long awaited media attention, I am frightened by what I’m reading. I now understand why Rathbun recently posted what seems to be a change-of-thought process regarding Hubbard.

    This shit is sick.

    • Deckard__Cain

      After comforting myself with a few minutes of TCM and many of my peeps’ Underground posts, I am back to the sane.

      Regarding Oppenheimer. I read that story this afternoon and was ashamed for the NYT. His piece was not only that of an apologist but I almost expected him to start espousing the great ‘2012 Year of Great Scientology Expansion’. He wrote about his kids taking candy from a New Haven Scientologist Halloween party as if all Scientologists are OK because they didn’t put razor blades in his kids’ Tootsie Rolls.

      Seriously, my friends, I was very upset with only being 70 pages into Wright’s book and I had to come here to feel better. How does someone like Oppenheimer sleep at night after reading this same book and not being upset too?

      • BuryTheNuts2

        He is a pandering shill. I am sure he has convinced himself of whatever it is he wants to believe born of his own agenda.

        I bet the sonofabitch sleeps like a baby.

        • Captain Howdy

          Maybe somebody should give him a 3:00 a.m wake up call.

          • stillgrace

            I wouldn’t harass him, however, he is in sore need of a massive reality check.

      • Rick Mycroft

        I don’t know that he’s an apologist, but he’s always a few years behind the curve and seems willfully blind to anything that doesn’t match the picture in his head.

        The Actualizer July 15, 2007, Mark Oppenheimer, New York Times

        Scientology may be a bizarre faith invented by a sci-fi hack. But it’s not a cult. July 31, 2007, Mark Oppenheimer, Slate Magazine

        • stillgrace

          He’s an apologistic buffoon, and I don’t like him one bit!!!

          • I read the New Republic article, the 2007 article about Milton Katselas and the New Haven Independent piece. I found it stunning that in the Katselas article he accepted as true Carmichael’s denial of the OT III materials. In the comment section of the Independent piece he was specifically challenged by Patty (who identified her Connecticut location) and Chuck Beatty among others. For a`journalist to have remained willfully blind to these challenges to his story is puzzling to say the least. To continue to dismiss the critics in 2013 is incomprehensible. Is it possible that Oppenheimer is more than a mere apologist and is perhaps actually a Scientologist?

            • Rick Mycroft

              There’s also the paid shill category. I guess we won’t know for sure unless he goes out Jim Lynch-style to harass enemies of Scientology.

            • BuryTheNuts2

              Willfully blind and Journalist are mutually exclusive.

            • Rick Mycroft

              I might think that it was accidental blindness, but there’s a pattern across his articles that seems deliberate. (I’d go into detail, but not before my first coffee!)

            • BuryTheNuts2

              You don’t have to for me. I have read enough of his tripe to see the pattern.
              Just enough…”its weird, but…”

              He is full of shit.

            • He belongs to the church of Not-a-Scientologist-But

            • It concerns me (but doesn’t actually surprise me) that as a religion writer (he posesses a Ph.D from Yale Divinity School) he ignores the moral implications of the abuse and Scientology’s adherents’ ongoing failure to address the issue. Catholic parishioners were very quick to demand accountability once the full scope of the clergy sexual abuse became known. Scholarly detachment seems unconcerned with the concepts of truth and morality.

            • John P.

              It seems to me that many of these “religion scholars” are nothing more than “taxonomists” when it comes to new religions. They basically are trying to come up with some clever categorization scheme to pigenhole each new “religion” that comes along. Then, whenever a new cult emerges, they can publish a couple of articles showing how that new group fits in their taxonomy. Then, after other articles appear with different taxonomies, they can write more journal articles that show why their taxonomy is better than others. All this without having to get into really serious thinking about moral judgments, and risking really serious criticism. It’s the perfect existence if you’re some lowly associate or assistant prof hoping for a shot at tenure.

              There are exceptions to this game, like Stephen Kent at the University of Alberta, who has been fearless in critiquing Scientology. Alberta, we’re told, is a remote rural district of northern Montana, another one of those “Canada” places that think they’re some sort of independent country.

            • California

              John P, when you have a second, please go read Benjamin Zablocki, Ph.D., Rutgers University, Head Professor of Sociology and talk with him. He contends that there has been a virtual black-list of term and the experience of “brainwashing” in the academic journals of the sociology of religion. Margaret Singer and he were close.

              Back in the early 2000’s he set forth guidelines for ethical research in “New Religions” and “cults,” including the large issue of money transferring hands from the “New Rellgions” and “cults” to the researchers or their institutions…..

            • Artoo45

              Follow the money . . . unless, of course, it’s bundles of unmarked bills delivered by people who have no idea what they’re carrying.

    • stillgrace

      So am I, frightened. I’m afraid of new nightmares.

  • Try Me

    Scientology, a Western Taliban: A Comparative Analysis

    After researching scientology and reviewing published material on the internet, we don’t find closure – something that says “We figured out scientology with reference to a fundamental behavioral framework of a group movement”. There are a lot of interesting details of scientology exploitations, PR and physical image projections, members and ex-members experiences, and politically correct exposes. Let’s strip all that out and analyze it as a movement. Scientology is not a democratic or a socialist movement by its own admission and as evidenced by its behavior, so we won’t go there. It claims to be a religion but unlike Christianity or Hinduism. After reviewing a number of possible comparisons, evidence appears to indicate scientology’s behavior can be closely represented
    by a Taliban model. This might seem surprising until we actually get into details.

    Taliban vs. Scientology Law
    The Taliban is a type of Islamic fundamentalist religious/political movement which enforces its own strict interpretation of Sharia law. Sharia law is the moral code and religious law of Islam which deals with many topics addressed by secular law, including crime, politics, and economics, as well as personal matters such as sexual
    intercourse, hygiene, diet, prayer, and fasting. We find all of these topics covered in scientology teachings and practice. There are two primary sources of Sharia law: the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad. In scientology we have the books, notes, and lectures by L. Ron Hubbard, and L Ron Hubbard himself who is revered as the “Source” or god of this knowledge.

    So far, this all appears harmless until we examine the behavior of Taliban in the context of its teachings. Its behavior involves infiltration and suppression campaigns, human trafficking, oppression of women, civilian casualties, money laundering, and terrorism and blackmail against civilians in order to control people and society. We find westernized versions of this behavior in scientology as discussed in the following Sections.

    Infiltration and Suppression
    Taliban in order to grow its influence, infiltrates government, society, educational and other institutions. To counter threats to its growth, it employs brutal suppression campaigns. We find scientology does exactly the same in the US and in other countries. For example, scientology infiltrated the IRS to influence its tax exemption application. It infiltrated FBI and Bill Clinton’s administration to put pressure on the German government to pull back investigations on scientology. Scientology has run brutal suppression campaigns against its public critics, ex-members, and whistle-blowers. Instead of bullets, it uses litigious tactics to bring people with differing views to life and financial ruin. So the effect is the same, and it is just a scientology’s way of doing it. The founder of scientology wrote in his books that an enemy of scientology can be killed. There have been ex-scientologists who have been killed, and whose deaths have not been traceable.

    Human Trafficking
    Taliban runs a network of human trafficking, abducting women, and selling them into sex slavery. Most post-invasion Taliban fighters are new recruits, mostly drawn from local madrasas or educational institutions. Scientology is not involved in sex slavery, but is engaged in human trafficking. It recruits people from foreign countries and employs them in its buildings and vessels at low wages, confiscates their passports, and transports them across countries. It recruits young vulnerable people who are not aware of its tactics. In addition, it enslaves people and children with its “billion year” employment contract.

    Suppression of Women’s Rights
    Taliban is notorious for the suppression of women. We can’t say scientology suppresses women more than men until we examine in what context. Being to the point, Scientology forces its female employees to abort unborn children, as has been disclosed by numerous ex-scientologists, on the grounds that it is not in the business of
    raising children and it gets in the way of scientology business. It does not stop males from impregnating females, but when females become pregnant, it seeks to abort their possible children. It gives females no choice on a fundamental right that females had from beginning of time.

    Civilian Casualties
    Taliban in its pursuit for social control is responsible for large civilian casualties. Scientology has also amassed large civilian casualties like divorces, broken homes, penny-less or bankrupt followers or ex-members, disconnected families and children. Like Taliban, Scientology is a master at shielding itself behind the civilian population and melting in among its numerous front groups and organizations (such as anti-drug groups, business consultants, or human rights organizations) for protection and recruitment. Very often, a person, business,
    or government agency does not know that scientology is behind these entities until someone discovers it.

    Money Laundering
    Much of Taliban’s money stems from the poppy trade and cycles through for weapons acquisition and fighter
    recruitment. Scientology on the other hand bilks its members through aggressive donation campaigns, exorbitant training and counseling fees, and demands for retraining and repurchase of books and materials by cancelling previous training certificates. It pays its employees about $50 or less a week for 60 hrs or more per week. Under the US tax-exempt status, scientology has amassed a huge fortune in secret accounts under different corporations to finance the lifestyle of its current leader and various building and recruitment projects around the world.

    Terrorism and Blackmail
    Taliban is known for terrorizing and blackmailing its citizens. Little is officially known by law enforcement about scientology’s treatment of its employees. There have been recent reports that the current leader of scientology physically punches and beats its executive employees. There have reports that executives have been forced to clean toilet floors with their tongues. Scientology holds employees who have fallen out of favor in its own prison camps to perform hard labor with no outside contact allowed. These employees are referred to as “degraded
    beings” by scientology, and other members are not allowed to contact them. Scientology uses confessionals obtained through scientology exercises as blackmail material against its employees and ex-members. Scientology uses interrogation techniques known as “sec checks” to coerce employees and members to conform.

    In this article, we examined scientology behavior and compared it another suppressive and controlling movement, Taliban. The founder of scientology wrote that freedom without barriers is no freedom. We take exception in that scientology like Talibanism, communism, despotism, and other forms of social control all have considerable
    barriers against personal and human endeavor and freedom. We find that Scientology offers no additional freedom to the democracy we already have and enjoy in the west. On the contrary, Scientology sets individuals and society back into another totalitarian regime with the intent undermine existing democratic society and government.

    • 0tessa

      I agree with you. It is religious totalitarism pur sang.

      • “Totalitarianism” in the original sense of the word. The term is mostly used nowadays for total *political* control that destroys all opposing organizations (also something that both the Taliban and Scientology would like to be able to do), but it was coined to describe total *personal* control, the kind of belief-system which demands a micro-management of every aspect of human behavior, with rules for everything and intrusive inquisitions to make sure everyone toes the line.

    • Captain Howdy

      Good one. I use to refer to scientology as the american taliban back in the day on youtube and I have no doubt Co$ would be committing atrocities as horrible as the ones i’ve seen the Taliban and AL-Queda commit on video, if they had the political power they so desire.

  • whingeybingey
    • Rick Mycroft

      She’s saying that Scientologists don’t believe in bunny thetans? Who said they did?

      • BuryTheNuts2

        Maybe it is something she picked up somewhere on her whole track?
        Maybe she is stuck in an electronic incident?
        Maybe she is a Co$ tool with the IQ of a used tea bag?

        • Artoo45

          I hate getting stuck in an electronic incident. Maybe she mocked up a new version of the Gorilla Goals, the Rabbit Requirements. I wonder if it takes place in an intergalactic amusement park . . .

          • whingeybingey

            I think it takes place on paddle boards with lots of young girls in bikinis. Don’t get this confused with the white boots and hotpants incident.

        • whingeybingey

          Lol, yes! Maybe she should quit while she’s behind!

  • AnyOldName1

    Wow it has been a real wild ride this week!

    I know no one is in Miscavige’s head (or wants to be) – but, I’ve wondered many times about just how much information he has. Does he read the articles & books, watch the shows, etc? Or does he have “people” to do that? If so,do those people give him the truth or do they, in fear for their lives, gloss over the facts & only give the “good news”?

    On the one hand he is as shrewd and ruthless as they come. I have known too many like DM in corporate America, the response is off the mark. Normally the type switches on to “slice & dice” when backed into a corner – it ain’t pretty. Is he too drunk? Is this part of some grander plan?

    Tony you really nailed it when you said the “church’s” PR disappeared with Rinder. Tommy Davis was a pretty face who delivered lines and hit his marks. But my questions go beyond PR to the overall response, it just doesn’t “fit”. So, I wonder if he doesn’t know what is happening, lost his “edge”, or is simply no longer competent.

    • BuryTheNuts2

      Just my opinion: Miscavige reads everything he can get his tiny little hands on himself. He would never trust his incompetent staff to feed him the information correctly. No one can do anything right but him. He is the epitome of the micro manager.
      There is no way he is going to “outsource” following the media to his minions.
      What we are seeing is the “All David Miscavige Channel”….all the time.

      • stillgrace

        You know you’re right, BTN. It’s him and it’s creepy.

    Go for it. Also, there are some excellent comments posted on his article — no scn apologists or ron-bots.

  • wannabeclear

    Me thinks Davey boy is a little too preoccupied with Marty Rathbun. There wasn’t anything worthwhile in that missive except to show just how creepy $cientology is as it continues to spy on Marty and report on his whereabouts and his day to day life in his new home. There almost seems to be a sense of longing for Marty’s life. It’s extra weird. One might think that DM has developed an unhealthy obsession with his former lieutenant. Maybe there are some latent feelings there that he’s just not willing to address…

    • 1subgenius

      “There almost seems to be a sense of longing for Marty’s life.”

      I wrote mine before seeing yours.

      • BuryTheNuts2

        Davey’s obsession with Marty is starting to take on some disturbing overtones.
        This e-mail reminds me of the scene in “The Master” where Dodd sings Slow Boat to China to his wayward student Freddie.

        I think Davey wants Marty to come home because he realizes how much he needs him.

        The whole thing has too much subtext between the lines.

        • Obsession is the right word. I think we’re seeing Capt. Ahab chasing the white whale.

          • stillgrace

            Maybe a pissed off little boy who was abandoned?

            • 1subgenius


        • AnyOldName1

          His obsession with Marty is downright creepy!

  • 1subgenius

    That email sounds like it was written by a high school drop-out. Oh, wait….

    And talk about “weak”. Geez.

    “….he often tends to look down on people.” Damn, what an evil guy. Why not just say he looks down on people, or something stronger like “he treats people with contempt”. Just he “tends to” look down on people. So its not even all the time.

    “….could definitely be an impediment to attracting new or repeat counseling clients.” Are they concerned for his business?

    And the “could definitely” blows my mind. Is it definite or is it just a could? “Definitely could” would be some improvement, but why not just say that it “is” an impediment? I’m really not getting the point. Even if “it” “is” an impediment, so what? Why would the remaining hard core Scientologists care, or think that makes him evil? At the most they might take some satisfaction that he’s supposedly doing poorly.

    “We can only imagine the domestic bliss in the Rathbun household as Mosey cooks the meals and does the dishes while her “hubby” pecks away on the computer, working on his next vanity publication masterpiece.”
    Apparently Miscavige longs for an “Ozzie and Harriet” life he never had and never will.

    Man, I gotta stop trying to follow their thought processes (can’t even call it logic).

  • mirele

    It’s so wonderful to get up on a Saturday morning, check Amazon and see Lawrence Wright’s book is now #5! Go Larry! Going Clear!

  • and_then_and_then

    In the New York Times’ review of Wright’s book Going Clear, Michael Kingsley says:

    “[…] only once in 430 pages filled with lurid anecdotes did my skeptical antennas start to twitch. Wright asserts that someone was punished by being “made to run around a pole in the desert for 12 hours a day, until his teeth fell out.” Really? ”

    But anyone who has read this blog (here and at the voice) is familiar with Scientology’s sadistic practice of having people running around a pole for hours/days on end (for punishment and ‘enlightenment’). We heard about it through Tony Ortega’s coverage of “Cause Resurgence Rundown.” It is featured on the sixth floor of the Superpower Building. (Credit photos below to the Village Voice, Business Insider.)

    And Kinsley questions whether teeth falling out would result from such exertion and the answer, again, is YES. A Scientologist being punished would almost certainly be malnourished. Keeping people so weak and dizzy is one reason they don’t “just walk away” when they can. They are kept desperate.

    When you are so weak, your body starts to consume itself, your hair falls out and your skin, teeth and gums start to flake and bleed as if you are a zombie. You develop gum and skin infections like thrush as the immune system flags. Any sudden push of exertion on a body with no reserves will result in the body consuming itself, its muscles and fat, for energy. The body would ‘give up’ on teeth and hair and concentrate on what it needs to survive. So, yes, Michael Kingsley, if your “skeptical antennas” are twitching, point them here to this blog, and learn just how far Scientologists will go to save their immortal soul(s). This is why the subtitle of Wright’s book, “the Prison of Belief” is not a metaphor. This is why Scientology is no joke and the celebrities who support it should be held responsible.

    • BuryTheNuts2

      Great Post.

      • and_then_and_then

        first post here, thanks

        • Welcome!

          • and_then_and_then

            … you are too kind…

    • stillgrace

      The running circle on INT base has not been maintained, and is almost unrecognizable these days. I just looked at it (see below) and it’s worse than ever. I’ve watched it over the years, and the California desert has almost completely reclaimed it. It looks like the surrounding grass next to the paths is still watered and groomed. I’m guessing the nice picture (from when they tortured people in nice surroundings) was taken in the early 1990’s.

      • Rick Mycroft

        I don’t think that it was merely not maintained, but actively removed and then to grow wild.

        • stillgrace

          The concrete slab that a bench once sat on is gone. That certainly supports your theory. I remember in a YouTube video (Mark Bunker?) of an INT base protest, a runner was spotted and filmed running on the track. I guess security forgot about the guy, because lockdowns are always called during protests.

    • DeElizabethan

      Excellent explanation.

    • grundoon

      This is not just an anecdote, it is the sworn testimony of David Mayo, who was L. Ron Hubbard’s auditor, appointed by LRH to the Chruch’s top technical post, Senior Case Supervisor International. From David Mayo’s deposition under oath:

      14. On August 29, 1982, David Miscavage, and others, acting on the orders of L. Ron Hubbard, kidnapped me and subsequently kept me captive
      and physically and mentally abused me for six months During this period, David Miscavage, an officer and director of RTC, told me in the presence of Vicki Aznaran, President of RTC, Mark Yaeger, Commanding Officer, CMO INT of CSI that if I ever escaped, he would personally see to it that the resources of the Church of Scientology would destroy my character and reputation internationally. During that six-month period of captivity, I was forced to run around a tree in the desert in temperatures of up to 110 degrees for 12 hours a day, 7 days a week for 3 months I was under tremendous coercion and duress I was refused medical and dental treatment (after escaping captivity I lost six teeth and required thousands of dollars of dental work to save the rest of my teeth) I was not permitted to make or receive phone calls and all letters I wrote were read by Scientology security guards I was often awakened during the night and interrogated (mainly by Jesse Prince) In early February 1983, I was told by Rick Aznaran, Director of Security, RTC, (husband of Vicki Aznaran, President of RTC), to get the idea of leaving out of my head because I would never leave the property alive.

  • safeweb

    Hey, regarding the point on interviewing regular Scientologists, the COS is very wary or reporters and had been since 1950. There are specific forms used to spot whether someone is a reporter, the e meter is used to detect whether someone is at the Church to write a story, etc. A whole drill. It is not that easy to pull off. Additionally, as has been covered in this blog, one day at the ORG may not be very enlightening, you need a few years or a whole lifetime to really get the flavor.

  • Imago

    Hello you awesome ‘Bunker’ people… greetings from Africa! I’ve had a marathon over the last few hours… watching Nancy’s amazing story and the Rock Center interviews (online – thank you for the links) – as well as reading all your latest funny, furious and fabulous comments. I realised I was in trouble when I went to Amazon to see where ‘Going Clear’ was on the top sellers list (#5 and climbing)… and a word on the sidebar leapt out at me! I immediately saw APOSTATE… but burst out laughing when I saw that it was, in fact, ‘Appstore’! I think I had better have a drink! Hope you all have a great weekend. XXX

    • Midwest Mom

      Welcome! It’s great to have you here!

  • Artoo45

    Religious Apologist is religiously apologetic.

  • dagobarbz

    I know where Oppenheimer can find those shiny, happy Scientologists he so longs to connect with.

    They can be found in the stacks of Big Wins, where case gain abounds and the world seems fresh and new. It is a wonderful place where falling down stairs is considered a win, and OTs put out fires with their minds.

    Walk past the Garden of Eden and make a left at Asgard, Oppenheimer. That’s where you’ll find all the happy Scientologists you seek. They’re just as real as the Easter Bunny.

    • nevarmore

      Erika Christensen says they don’t worship bunnies…Easter Bunny not real?… gasp… I’ve been lied to?

  • California

    Or Oppenheimer could also read Vance Woodward’s account, which is very recent, about a “whale-ish” public getting conned out of $500K+ at the SF org and then talk and e-mail with him about his experience.

    What Oppenheimer seems to be suggesting is almost an anthropological qualitative study using an embedded participant. And it has been done in some religious/social group studies, even with some that are border-line dangerous. I am sure that he has read the research.

    The difference is that SCN, at this stage of the downward cycle, is reflecting, at all levels, the dynamics of DM. And DM is not stable and can be dangerous, from many accurate reported accounts.

    Some people currently in SCN would turn on an exposed embedded participant, especially a journalist.

    Oppenheimer needs to re-think this suggestion, I think.

  • Deckard__Cain

    Nope. Oppenheimer is still an apologist for an abusive cult. Plain and simple.

    Congressman Ryan said similar things about the good things at Jonestown a few short hours before he was murdered. Try again, Oppenheimer.

  • Was anyone else starting to go into withdrawl before they saw this? We been spoiled all month, but especially this week, I was getting downright pouty at the thought of nothing new.

  • grundoon

    David Miscavige’s PIs are all sad since Marty and Mosey moved away. They’re sitting in their big PI house with loads of expensive video equipment and spy gear peeping in the windows of the empty house across the street where the Rathbuns used to live. They can still paddle their PI boat up and down the canal where Marty used to fish, but he’s gone. Nothing there now but loneliness and heartache, an empty viewfinder and a 2-year lease.

    Now that the PI reports have dried up, how will David Miscavige get his daily Marty fix? Well, why not take a nostalgic journey back through the surveillance data of yesteryear? Get out the old honeymoon album, and flip through the scrapbook that Linda Hamel put together of little souvenirs the PIs pulled from the New Orleans hotel trash. Still no smile? How about this… make Wilhere kick Yager’s ass again… useless as they are, those two are still good for a laugh.

  • CestVrai

    Don’t know if what Sam sent you went out in email, but I think it’s a blog posting from, a rather entertaining Church-run, anti-Marty site.