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SMERSH Madness: Sowing the Seeds of World Domination!

SMERSH_Madness
[Illustration by Ellis Rosen]

Our readers were so stunned in January by the publicity surrounding the publication of books about Scientology by John Sweeney and Lawrence Wright, they renamed the month “BLAMuary.” And then came FLAPuary, when Jenna Miscavige Hill’s book only made things bumpier.

How could March possibly keep up? With brackets, of course! After the jump, check out the seedings as we begin a tournament that asks you to determine the ultimate arch-enemy of the Church of Scientology!

For some of our longtime readers, you’ll remember how much fun it was to read about SMERSH in L. Ron Hubbard’s daily dispatches — his “Orders of the Day” — which he produced on the yacht Apollo in the late 1960s and early 1970s. An actual Red Army counter-espionage unit that operated from 1942 to 1946, SMERSH later showed up in Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels (replaced by SPECTRE in the films), but Hubbard told his followers that SMERSH had actually continued on to become a shadow world government that was the only thing standing in the way of Scientology’s global takeover.

So in honor of SMERSH, we’re holding this tournament to see who today is doing the most to smash Scientology’s hopes for planetary “clearing.” Naturally, we’ve chosen not only the journalists and ex-church members who are doing the most to publicize Scientology’s abuses, but also the people inside Scientology who continue to pull the church down in its steady decline.

We’ve seeded these 32 merchants of chaos in an order that won’t please anyone, but that’s where you come in — these contenders are only going to move to the next level based on your votes. And we demand some upsets!

 
ApolloBracket

 
AthenaBracket

 
DianaBracket

 
FreewindsBracket

 
FinalFourBracket

Yes, we know there will be no agreement about our rankings, but now it’s your turn. Let’s start round one with our first matchup…

HubbardCannane

We’ve given the Commodore first seed out of tradition, mostly. L. Ron Hubbard is the founder of the feast, the man who captivated readers in 1950 with his “science” that considered the human mind a malfunctioning mainframe computer gripped by demonic possession. He was also the cranky old paranoiac who, hacked off from the hardships of life at sea and tired of running and hiding from federal agents, instilled Scientology with such lovely ideas as brutal interrogations (“sec-checking”), dirty tricks retaliation (“fair game”), and splitting up families to punish defectors (“disconnection”). Still beloved by many who ardently believe he cracked the cosmic code, Hubbard’s unalterable legacy is still very much part of what is dragging Scientology into dangerous waters.

As Steve Cannane proved just this week, he’s Australia’s most aggressive journalist on the Scientology beat. At ABC’s Lateline, he broke the Valeska Paris story in 2011, and this week he told the disturbing story of Alice Wu, a Taiwanese woman whose family says she was held against her will by Scientologists in Sydney. Serious, thorough, and fearless, Cannane is the kind of TV reporter we’d like to see here in America.

So now, who would you like to see go through to the second round? Think carefully, and cast your vote!

 
(After exactly 24 hours, Hubbard defeated Cannane by a single vote.)

————

Posted by Tony Ortega on March 1, 2013 at 07:00

 

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  • John P.

    How can I not vote for Steve Cannane? Trendy-cool newscaster hair, no golf-ball sized sebaceous cyst on his forehead, and infinitely better teeth. Oh, and no legacy of creating a cult that rips people off, destroys families, commits massive fraud in the search for “more money,” and forces people to avoid healthcare that could save their lives.

    • Oddly, I have to vote for L. Ron, for precisely the same reasons.

      • BuryTheNuts2

        Baahaahaa

      • Yep, same here. L. Ron is the oily spring from which all of this flows.

    • I voted for LRH simply because he created a Frankenstein that destroys decades after Dr. Frankenstein (Frah-nk-en-schteen) dropped the body.

    • My heart says Cannane but my head says Hubbard. It’s like Princeton meeting Duke or UNC in the first round. .

  • jensting

    Definitely Steve Cannane. While the Fat Fraud has been slowly dragging the cult into oblivion with his unending incompetence, this has not changed recently. What has changed is the width and breadth of the criticism from the media.

    • Captain Howdy

      Good job pissing off at least one little indie.

      • BuryTheNuts2

        One little indie……..
        that should be a song.

        • FistOfXenu

          Hi BTN. I was really fed up after the last load of $cientarCONon’s destruction, but the humor here helps.

          Anyway, hint: start with “10 little indies”

          • BuryTheNuts2

            (((Hugs Fist)))

            I was bumming too…but I have bucked it off.

            • FistOfXenu

              Back atcha, BTN. Reading this made me laugh and started me thinking that if I did’t crawl out of the way I was feeling I’d just be like I was letting DM beat on me, and that’s not gonna happen. The Bunker maybe depressing sometimes but it also pulled me up for air again.

            • BuryTheNuts2

              Well you should have been here yesterday! Cuz that was hilarious.

  • SMERSH and all of Hubbard’s pompous flights of fancy did little harm until they were exposed to the light of day. I remember well (in the early 70’s) when I was awarded the great honor of listening to one of his tapes on the international conspiracy to destroy Scientology. I knew immediately the man was off kilter and when I asked my Scientology friends if they really believed that, they looked at me like I was off kilter. Of course, they did…

    • Are_sics

      Thanks for telling us this. When Tony was sharing the Orders of the Day from the ship of the fool, Apollo, I couldn’t imagine that SMERSH would be taken seriously. More accurately, I thought SMERSH must have been taken very seriously as a sign that everyone had been had, or the old man had spun off his axis, or something.

      You got it, but no one else did? Or everyone got it but each was afraid that there were too many who didn’t, and they’d be savaged if speaking it? (Not that you would know, necessarily — but that somebody got it right away is very reassuring, at least).

  • EnthralledObserver

    LWrong got my vote, because, let’s face it, if it weren’t for the dodgy product, no-one would even be here.

  • Snuzey

    I cant really think of anyone more damaging to scientology than the man who created it! Surely he will win the whole thing!? We all know what a nut job he was/became. The very essence of scn was borne from a very paranoid brain, and he has managed to share that paranoia around with a lot of unsuspecting people! Clever, but he was so self consumed he probably didn’t give a toss. Hence the deluded ego and ultimate nonsense such as OTIII. Well that’s how I see him anyway! And that’s on a generous day!!

    • Snuzey

      I cant really think of anyone more damaging to scientology than the man who created it! Surely he will win the whole thing!? We all know what a nut job he was/became. The very essence of scn was borne from a very paranoid brain, and he has managed to share that paranoia around with a lot of unsuspecting people! Clever, but he was so self consumed he probably didn’t give a toss. Hence the deluded ego and ultimate nonsense such as OTIII. Well that’s how I see him anyway! And that’s on a generous day!!

    • Snuzey

      Sorry that was me I think. Discus had a fit.

  • Mary_McConnell

    Cannane is the man!

  • Goat

    Steve is the man!

  • Unex Skcus

    Had to vote for a fellow Aussie: Steve Cannane. Seriously though, reporters that produce well-researched articles send ripples across the world’s media, and into the minds of a far-reaching public. Shame that Tony O is too modest to slip his own name into the list – it deserves to be in there!

    • I’ve gone parochial too

      • Unex Skcus

        Wasn’t an easy choice, I can certainly see why many would vote for the psycho. But I see Co$ busy recruiting in other parts of the world where the public is not so aware yet. Hopefully their local media will also pick up and run with more and more exposes, before too many more people get sucked in – especially the youngsters.

    • Captain Howdy

      I’m beginning to foresee a possible Aussie/Kiwi coalition forming here. It could be the deciding factor in some of these contests.

      • BuryTheNuts2

        Those folks from down under are a tough ass bunch!

        • Yes, they are. Kiwis are soft spoken but very tough.

        • Unex Skcus

          Getting a “fair go” is a big deal Down Under. Not the sh*t Co$ hands out.

    • John P.

      I can understand a little Antipodean solidarity in voting for the only Aussie on the list. I’m more worried about what happens when the denizens of the Canada region of upstate New York band together to support David Love, Paul Haggis and Gerry Armstrong (who is an American exiled and forced to live in those small perennially snowed-in hamlets). I’m concerned that this might spark yet another campaign for Canadian independence.

      • Unex Skcus

        “Canadian independence”… ha-ha! Actually, I’d vote for David Love over Katie Holmes too, since I think that the writers, journos, and activists do an awesome job of getting the message out. Don’t want to help start a ‘war of independence’ though πŸ™‚

      • John P.

        Here is a data point providing justification for my cautious stance regarding the possibility of Canadian insurrection. In addition to the powerful firearms that Canadians routinely must carry on the streets of Toronto to protect themselves against the constant threat of polar bears, Canadians are apparently extremely gifted at turning whatever is at hand into deadly weapons: http://bit.ly/14ejvUU. Those of us in the rest of America should be on constant alert for similar evidence of restlessness from the Deceptively Polite Peril of the North.

      • John P.

        Yet again, reason to be suspicious of Canadians and their quaint customs: http://www.bannedinhollywood.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/picdump-banned-in-hollywood142.jpg

    • I wanted to vote for Ron as I think he deserves to win, but as Australia’s just 1,500 miles to the west and remembering how much I enjoyed living in Melbourne I cast my vote for Steve, a terrific investigative journalist.

      Andrew

      • I saw an interview with Viggo Mortensen yesterday where he talks of Kiwis referring to Australia as ‘the west island’. Hadn’t heard that before.

      • DeElizabethan

        Yes, he’s alive and kickin’ ass.

  • Observer

    This wasn’t an easy choice, but I’ve got to go with the Old Fraud. This takes nothing away from Steve Cannane’s superlative work, and I give him all the credit he’s due.

    However, Hubbard, while he was able to create and maintain his faΓ§ade as some kind of Renaissance Man of Mystery during his life, hasn’t fared nearly so well in the Information Age. With the repulsive skeletons in his closet now exposed to the light of day, he is being seen as the anachronistic old crook he was. IMO this perception, along with his weird combination of Space Opera cosmology and KGB-style culture of spying, mistrust and abuse, is what will ultimately destroy his “religion”.

  • BuryTheNuts2

    Well this is an interesting development at the bunker!
    How fun.

    • There’s a drinking game in all of this…..somehow.

      • BuryTheNuts2

        Oh no!….I am still recovering from the drinking game I was playing by myself last night…hehehe

        But you did mention “clam juice” and I like that in my red beer.

      • FistOfXenu

        Yeah, and the Demented Midget has been playing it. For years now.

  • mirele

    I wanted to vote for Cannane, but I realized that Cannane wouldn’t be there except for L Wrong Tubbard. So I voted for the Commodore.

  • dwayners13

    The number 1 enemy of Scientology is TRUTH, followed by facts, reality, rational thought, logic, sanity, reason, critical thinking & common sense.

    • Captain Howdy

      So which one did you vote for ?

      • dwayners13

        I had to go with LRH. He may have created Scientology, but he’s also the person that people everywhere have used to discredit Scientology. His lies about everything from busting broncos at the age of three to curing his own military injuries still provide the church with a creditibilty problem. As you know I could go on & on about his lies, paranoia, drug use, evil deeds etc. the bottom line (for me) was that even in death, he still provides ample ammunition to discredit Scientology. Yes, Cannane deserves credit for his work, but will he still be used to discredit the church when he’s been dead for 20 years the way Hubbard has? What about yourself, LRH or Cannane?

  • And where is Lord Xenu? Surely he deserves a slot in the tourney!

    • BuryTheNuts2

      Too bad we couldn’t start a rumor in the Sea Org that XENU has escaped!

      • You must have missed the activities of Captain Bill Robertson. He claimed Xenu HAS escaped, and traced him as inhabiting the bodies of such notables as Adam Weishaupt (founder of the Illuminati) and FDR (developed that pesky atom bomb as whole track dramatization). All I want to know is where can I get a pair of those cool silver boots. You know, the kind the Galactic Patrol officers wear.

      • DeElizabethan

        Good one Bwaaaaaaa!

    • FistOfXenu

      I’m here! But I didn’t do very much. Mostly I try to inspire the rest of you to daring deeds of rebellion!

      Viva la revolucion!

  • TheHoleDoesNotExist

    Marchorama has arrived! Let the Games begin… (oh, and it’s BAMuary)

  • sugarplumfairy

    Lol.. You ain’t right, Ortega.. It’s going to be weeks before I get the image of Mary Rieser and Louis Farrakhan duking it out, in satin shorts..

  • Ivan Mapother

    League Commissioner Ortega:
    When the Final Four are announced, will you allow Shelly Miscavige and the RPF Dance Crew to perform at halftime? You know they’ve been working real hard.

  • InTheNameOfXenu

    When Hubbard wrote about SMERSH, he actually meant SMASHED. It was a conspiracy born out many bottles of alcohol and pharmaceutics he got smashed with on the Apollo.

    • chisheila

      The early days in the SO had some wild drinking parties. Up until 1977, there was still unlimited booze for staff at the Christmas party. After that, no booze, shortly after that, no Christmas party to speak of – just reg events.

  • Rollo Tomasi

    Easy choice – L Ron. 1st off, a #1 seed has never lost in the opening round. 2nd, you have to look for experience come tournament time. Sure Cannane is an experience journalist, but L Ron’s billions if not trillions of years of experience in his theta state will surely carry the day. Look for this to be close until the 2nd half when L. Ron’s OT powers kick in and he leaves this state of existence to drain outside shots to pull away for an easy win. L Ron 94 – Cannane 62.

    Other round previews.

    You cannot discount Farrakhan – if the skill set handed down to his grandson Mustafa Farrakhan (a former Division I basketball player for UVA) is any indication of his own abilities, look for the early upset in the Freewinds Round. Sure, he is old and crazy, but he has a sweet release and is a beast under the boards.

    The COB of the RTC is a formidable opponent, but let’s get real here for a second, the guy is like 5 feet tall and asthmatic. You need your wind to handle the “run and gun” offense of Vance Woodward whose style of play recalls the glory days of the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels. Although he will bore his opponent to tears quoting LRH policy manuals from the mid 70’s, there is no way he can last 40 minutes. I predict another upset here.

    • BuryTheNuts2

      ^^^^
      Early Round Winner!

      • Captain Howdy

        Yeah, can’t top that.

    • Observer

      COB is looking a little rough these days. His blood pressure has to be sky-high. And it looks like he’s resorted to makeup.

      • Rollo Tomasi

        There is no way he lasts 40 minutes and with his significant height disadvantage, he will get demolished under the boards.

        • John P.

          But with those OT super powers, Miscavige might just imagine himself to be a latter-day Spud Webb, the 5’7″ player with the Dallas Mavericks who won the 1986 NBA slam dunk championship.

          And it is difficult to predict the impact of his countless sessions testing out the oiliness table on his ability to elude defenders when he imagines himself doing some Harlem Globetrotters dribbling wizardry moving the ball down court.

          • Rollo Tomasi

            All good points. But does he have the time being the Ecclesiastic Leader of the World’s Fastest Growing Religion to work on his hook shot? This guy opens 15 -20 Ideal Orgs a day – you tell me when he has time to run a simple in-bounds play?

            • BuryTheNuts2

              His arms aren’t long enough to pull off a hook shot!

          • I prefer to think of Spud as Sacramento Kings player, thanks. *g*

          • Dave Roberts

            No chance John – Spud will make him look silly on the court. My guess is that Miscabbage refuses to come off the bench after the first time out at the 16 minute mark of the first half.

            Dave

      • His eyes look very bloodshot in that picture. I see quite a bit of puffy-factor, which is common with those that drink a lot.

        I’ve wondered how he keeps from showing his DTs when he’s up at that damned podium for hours at a time.

        • Observer

          One thing that strikes me in every pic of him I see is that no matter how broadly he’s smiling, it never reaches his eyes. I wonder if he’s even capable of a genuine smile anymore.

          • whingeybingey

            That happened to me after I started working for Scientology. The smile didn’t reach my eyes and they always looked hard. I used to have very soft, grey eyes.

            • Observer

              That is incredibly sad. I hope you’ve got your whole smile back …

            • BuryTheNuts2

              It looks like she has πŸ™‚

            • whingeybingey

              I really don’t know. It’s better than it was, I think.

            • Trustmeonthis

              Keep practicing. πŸ™‚ Glad you got out!

      • BuryTheNuts2

        I see a “scotch nose” under that pancake makeup!

      • stillgrace

        Nice lipgloss color.

        • BuryTheNuts2

          I can’t decide if he is a summer or a winter???

          • Sherbet

            At least he doesn’t have a two-tone zip-up necktie.

          • whingeybingey

            A summer I think.

      • Snuzey

        That hasn’t been doctored? Wow. Rough.

      • I wonder if Tommy helps him put on his makeup.

      • Meccaanon

        Not only makeup. β€œTHIS LOOKS SHOPPED / I CAN TELL FROM SOME OF THE PIXELS AND FROM SEEING QUITE A FEWSHOPS IN MY TIME.”

    • Hey Tony O::: Love it! Can we do it like the other voting deal ($cientology’s Worst Enemies, or whatever the name was ….And vote for our choices after it’s all done? That was SO fun, before. And yes, I do think you should be in it. Tony Ortega vs ….I can think of a few good ones πŸ™‚ Love ya, Tory/Magoo

      • Good Grief….someone just told me I am going to be against Davey boy? SERIOUSLY? Oh my gawd. I escaped out of $cientology Because of Davey’s abuses. I didn’t even know about all that Gerry had exposed of Hubbard’s lies–that came after I escaped out. As I’ve said for years, Davey: Tick Tock, Tick Tock: Time is on **our** side!

  • richelieu jr

    I’d like to define a certain point, in/re Rathbun and Rinder: When we say bad for ‘Scientology’ do we mean the current CoS under Miscarriage? Or the continued survival of Hubbard’s cupbooard of nonsense?

    It makes a big difference!

    • Captain Howdy

      I think that would be decided in how you vote and whether you’re an anti-theist or just anti-CoS abuses for example.

    • The beauty of this game is that we each get to determine our own voting factors.

      It’s like the $1.98 Beauty Show (remember that show?) where it is completely subjective and possibly fixed, and we are voting on many fat and ugly contestants that will win a bouquet of carrots at the end.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S85KxsmxLBI

      • richelieu jr

        I totally disagree, you guys; It makes a huge difference to me if I am voting for the fa of the current CoS, MArty et lackey get my vote, however they are dedicated to the continued survival of Hubbard’s teachings, so if we are voting who is most likely to bring that down I’d never vote for them in a million years.
        t’s ie trying to vote on the amendment to free the slaves and people are saying ‘What does it matter? Express yourself!’
        I never pull the lever unless I know as much as possible before (impossible to know everything, after all). THere i nothing wrong with defining terms.
        (and YES, I am the guy who insists everyone follow the rules at Monopoly. Why do you ask?)

  • Captain Howdy

    This is going to drive me to drink..more. Some of these are somewhat easy and some are like Sophie’s choice or something..

    As much as I want to vote for Steve because he’s actually doing something to bring down the House of Hubbard, I think that LRH built the thing with unplanned obsolescence. So my vote goes to..holy shit it’s close !

  • This is fun but I’m taking bets on the Tory versus Karen matchup. πŸ˜‰

    • I’ll put money on Tory, or on anyone that freely admits that Scientology is 100% bullshit. Unfortunately, I believe Karen still drinks the clam juice.

      • Are_sics

        We have all the elements we need for a Clamato theme, now…. clam juice, cans, the tomato….

      • On the other hand, we have the very powerful image of a mother being denied access to her child’s funeral. Don’t underestimate just the sway of a grieving Mother on the “baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet” crowd.

        • blissfulldreams

          well i know i’m going to get lot’s off down arrows but what the hell

          while i feel sorry that Karen was not allowed to go to her child’s funeral and how she found out that he had died i don’t actually put Karen in Mother of the year or decade bracket Karen put her religion before her child when she left the religion she wanted a better relationship with her child i’m sorry that she did not get it but there are mothers and Mothers

          • TonyOrtega

            We’ll just give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you were unaware that what got Karen declared in the first place was daring to stand up for her son and the way he was being mistreated. Yes, she could have kept her mouth shut, like a good little Scientologist. But that option rarely comes in for praise around here.

            • blissfulldreams

              i was not aware of that fact and that does make some diffrence

            • whingeybingey

              It is always dangerous to judge someone without all the facts and often quite hurtful as well – in addition to the rest of the pain and difficult self-examination a person may be enduring.

            • blissfulldreams

              yep the facts do speak for themselves until tony pointed out that karen had left due to standing up for her son i had the impression that karen had minimal contact with him as he was growing up i got that impression by reading the thread she writes

            • DeElizabethan

              Since I learned more of Karen and got to know her better, I found her to be a most sincere person and very compassionate. Extremely effective on blogs and sites.

          • I’m not in a position to judge, I’m hardly a perfect parent myself, but unless she’s standing outside selling meth, the image of any mother being denied access to her child’s funeral is going to strike a chord with middle America.

            Tory is awesome, she makes me want to cheer. Karen’s story makes me angry. One of the lessons I remember from my Marketing class in college is that customers who have a good experience generally repeat the story two times, customers who have a bad experience on average repeat the story nines times.

            Anger is a powerful motivator. If it wasn’t, we’d all still be drinking tea and tithing the English Monarchy.

            • blissfulldreams

              lmao i am still drinking tea and tithing the monarchy i’m English

            • Oops? *g*

            • blissfulldreams

              πŸ™‚

        • BuryTheNuts2

          Ford, damn it…FORD!

          • LOL! I owned three Fords, but the commercial is still Chevrolet.

            • BuryTheNuts2

              OK, then….if we are keeping to the lyrics…I give.

            • My brain refuses to hear any other way.

          • whingeybingey

            Lol!

      • sugarplumfairy

        I don’t know.. They’re both pretty dogged and determined.. I don’t see them ever coming to blows.. But I think if they sat down long enough and maybe did some shots together, Tory might be able to talk some sense into her.. Just think what a formidable team they’d make battling co$ together..

      • Ziontologist

        Yes, Scientology is 100% bullshit in the sense that it hurts people, and that’s total bullshit.
        But there are things within the subject that are not bullshit, or it never would have caught on the way it did!
        And, BTW, Tory said she really got something out of OT III. Even I was surprised to hear her say that, on the OT discussion panel video, but I take her at her word. As Jon Atack so wisely said, “If someone receives a benefit from it, that’s fine.”Β 
        If only you were so liberal … or wise!

        • FistOfXenu

          Of course there are some good things. You can’t plagiarize as much as Ron did and never steal anything good.

  • Mrs Libnish

    Hubtard. He hooked the cans up to a tomato plant, for God’s sake.

    • BuryTheNuts2

      That was my reasoning as well.
      Good job.

    • Are_sics

      Too funny! Maybe the tomato should be seeded. (See what I did there? It was an accident). That picture is very powerful, but I’d give the tomato the win over the Hub.

      • FistOfXenu

        Maybe that’s why he wired up the plant, to see if it enjoyed when he seeded it.

  • I love it when you do fun stuff like this, Tony. But why isn’t your name up on the list? You deserve to be recognized in this fight much more than some folks you have listed up there.

    • Very true… I think perhaps Tony must then face off against the grand winner of the match.

      • Ohhhhhh great idea~~!! Or as I asked earlier: After this is done, can we all submit our ideas of who should be paired off ? I can think of a few goodies…certainly, as the Guest suggested and Barb Snow agreed, Tony O should be a part of it somehow. Well, I gave him an award YEARS ago (early 2000’s) for “Courage in Journalism” as he DID stand way out…way back then….with his amazing courage to face this insidious organization and tell our stories. Thank you, Tony O! πŸ™‚

    • Bob

      It’s Tonys survey. Would not be politically correct, although it is observationally correct.

      • BuryTheNuts2

        And it is sort of a given…

    • Isn’t there a tradition in American politics where you can ignore those officially standing and ‘write in’ the name of someone else whom you think should have stood?

      Why is ‘polldaddy’ trampling on our basic human rights by not allowing this option?

      Andrew

      • BuryTheNuts2

        Maybe Polldaddy is owned by Scientologists?

      • FistOfXenu

        “Polldaddy” – makes me think of men pole dancing. That’s just too weird but I can’t get the picture out of my head. I may have to pour Lysol into my head.

        • blissfulldreams

          thx for that there are something you should just not share

          • FistOfXenu

            Sorry. I’m having a tough week. I’ll work on my impulse control.
            EDIT – I’m going to go sit on the naughty step, just me and this fifth of scotch (I found a bottle DM overlooked). Maybe all night. Maybe watch the sun rise if it does. I’ll come back when I can behave myself a little. But not too much. If I’m still conscious.

            • blissfulldreams

              no naughty step needed, enjoy the scotch & take picture of the sun rise if its a really nice one and share that not men pole dancing when you gave me that image i went with the naked version lol

        • Trustmeonthis

          I fail to see a problem with men pole dancing, personally!

  • aquaclara

    Aussies rule in this match! Steve has aggressively covered the stories that will help bring this cult to its knees, by bravely taking on the cult with all their henchmen. Great work, Steve!

  • Ze Moo

    Why limit the madness to March? If you’re a clam, you can be loonie the whole year. Nice work on the Bracketology Tony.

  • TheHoleDoesNotExist

    I voted for L Ron Hubbard, author of “Keep Your Hands Off My Brainchild, KSW.” And I hereby predict the winner: Katie Holmes, mother of “Keep Your Hands Off My Daughter, SURI.”

    • Ciru

      I have Katie losing in the first round! David Love’s work against Narconon will do more to cut off money and legitimacy from Scientology than Katie IMO.

      • TheHoleDoesNotExist

        You’re on! I Do believe Narconon is the achilles heel. No wait, Miscavige Heel, and of course, David is a freakin’ true hero. But it was Katie’s SuperWoman stealth that got all the media suddenly, finally Looking for the real stories. Instead of what brand sunglasses Tom Cruise was wearing this week, coverage of the RPF came out, and Suppressives, and OSA Intelligence Wing and tactics, and child abuse/labor violations, and other human rights abuses. This has Never ever happened in media coverage and it began an avalanche. And it has kept coming and Wright and Hill are getting lots of coverage. Before if there was coverage about scientology, they were 99% fluff pieces. Now Narconon is getting coverage, although more is needed. But now it is possible when before Katie, there might not be much. And you can bet that the public, the media as well as the judges and lawyers and courts All heard about the abuses and fraud in the wake of Katie’s flood. Katie made it much more possible for exposure of all of scientologys crimes and abuse, Narconon being just one of them.

        • Observer

          And the best part is that she hasn’t said a word!

          • And quite possibly the most damage part.

          • BuryTheNuts2

            Yep, that was the best “Celebrity” backfire ever.

          • TheHoleDoesNotExist

            I know, right? That’s the beauty of it. Actually, I’d like to see just “MadMothers” category.

            Because corny sounding or not, just One Mad Mother beats a whole mess of MadMen every time.

    • I don’t know if I think Katie will make it all the way to the final round, but I think she deserve a lot of credit. Her high profile shutdown of Cruise in the divorce is what finally got Hollywood to start taking the kidgloves off as far as Scientology is concerned. She singlehandedly turned Scientology into a gossip blog punchline.

      • FistOfXenu

        She does. She left in a way that kept Tom and Dave from using the heavy mob to bully her or threaten her into slipping out with some good roads good weather spin on it, and she didn’t leave Suri behind. She didn’t let them talk her into routing out so they could cave her in. She screwed them over and got out and Suri’s safe from Teh Crazy.

        I know people can say she should’ve done better or more damage or something but when you think of it that’s not bad work, considering. And I agree she got the attention and sympathy of the press and public in a way nobody else managed, maybe even more tragic people. She didn’t plan that, it’s just how it happened. I think she helped change $cientarCONon from a criminal atrocity that only people like us care about to a criminal activity that ordinary people care about.

  • John P.

    Not to hijack the comments, but it is worth pointing out that Marty Rathbun is up with a very interesting post this morning at http://markrathbun.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/the-blame-game/. He comments that he has received several critical notes recently from what he calls “with Ron” Indies, who take him to task for failing to blame Miscavige for every ill with Scientology, and for thus implying that “Mankind’s Greatest Friend” had anything to do with it. He basically calls such people “stimulus-response blamers” who don’t think for themselves about the problems of Scientology. He does not specifically say that Hubbard created much of the wreckage, but I think he leads people closer to that point than any of his previous posts that I recall. It will be interesting to see what the comments from his readers will be.

    • Bob

      John P, the fact that Marty in numerous blogs recommends other sources of applied philosophy is a large indicator that he is no longer slavishly tied to Hubbards writings.
      If you are in SCN only god and LRH are perfect. Unless you start to think for yourself. Hey, not a bad slogan!

      • BuryTheNuts2

        Watching Marty’s onion peel is boring me to tears. I wish he would get from point A to point B just a bit faster….but at least he is getting there.

        • I like reading the comments on his posts, where the remaining true believers argue over the finer points of Scn cuckoo.

        • Bob

          Bury, having been there myself, it can testify to the fact that it can be a long and painful process. But you are right. He is getting there. For me it was one baby step at a time.

        • FistOfXenu

          I know I keep posting this but it deserves it-
          http://www.lermanet.com/cos/8steps.html

          Marty’s still working his way down that list like a lot of people are. It takes time.

      • blissfulldreams

        [If you are in SCN only god and LRH are perfect]

        do scn worship god and if so why ?

        and if not what do you/they worship?

        most religions worship a deity in oneway or another all i have saw is pictures or videos showing people shout hip hip horay at LRH

        • Bob

          BD, I was making a joke.
          But to answer you from my inside perspective. They worship Hubbards massive collection of books, tapes and articles. They worship the sky high goal of achieving total freedom. They worship the mighty mini-tyrant the magnificent Miscaviage and the few who achieve OT VIII and are millionaires worship themselves. As they have the power and knowledge and are above it all.

          To worship or give thanks to a higher power or god. I have yet to meet one who does that!

          • TheHoleDoesNotExist

            You’ve just described the Young Republicans’ Club.

            • Bob

              LOL. Very funny. πŸ™‚

          • blissfulldreams

            thank you

    • InTheNameOfXenu

      I’ve been noticing Marty’s shift in viewpoint for the last year or so. He allows critical comments of Hubbard and Scientology without censoring*. He’s making a living auditing people and feels that it works for his clients, but I think he knows that Hubbard wrote a lot of bullshit and contradictions. He’s picking and choosing what bullshit of Hubbard’s to follow.

      *He allows comments up to a certain point until his cognitive dissonance kicks in.

  • AKS

    I don’t want LRH to win ANYTHING. I’m voting for anyone in favor of toppling the whole thing to the ground.

    • SP ‘Onage

      His lust for power, megalomaniac pursuit of world domination and his marathon masturbating (thank you, Lawrence Wright) makes me not vote for him. He’s gross!

      • FistOfXenu

        That’s why to vote for Ron, SP. He was doing all those marathons to plant the seeds of $cientarCONon’s destruction, see? And all of us, we’re the harvest so to speak. Hubbard created us by being such a j… Hmm, maybe that picture is a step too far even for me.

    • FistOfXenu

      But that’s the point. The Hub is the king of toppling $cientarCONon. He’s the creator of Operation Footbullet. Hell, his policies make it so $cientarCONon grow more feet to shoot at. Without Ron’s infallible “scriptures” somebody in $cientarCONon wouldn’t do all these stupid things to wreck themselves.

    • DeElizabethan

      I’m with you AKS.

  • Are_sics

    Wait… The Tomato is unseeded?

    • John P.

      The tomato is unseeded?

      Clearly, you’re vine for attention with a clever pun like that.

      • Are_sics

        Mea culpa. I could tell you where it stems from….

        • Ms. B. Haven

          A couple of cut ups here. Keep going and you are going to end up hitting the sauce.

          • FistOfXenu

            Keep going Are_sics. I’m rooting for you.

        • Sherbet

          That last tomato pun put you pasta point of no return. And you shouldn’t make seedy accusations without naming your sauces.

    • q-bird

      oh you clever, clever pun-chefs here ~ cracking me up, I tell you what! πŸ™‚

  • I have to go with Hubbard. Cannane is doing some powerful (apparently my word for the day) reporting, but all of this madness stems from Hubbard. And all three books that have come out so far this year have highlighted his part of this to some degree.

  • BuryTheNuts2

    http://www.laobserved.com/archive/2013/02/kcrw_kicks_off_new_event.php

    best quote: Wright wasn’t trying to be funny, but repeating core church beliefs and practices out loud spurred laughter in the room numerous times.

  • Davka

    So this is kinda fun, and I’ve never done a March Madness pool in my life! Huh, could get addicting…..kinda like reading about Scientology….

  • 1subgenius

    “And we demand some upsets!”

    “On any given night anything can happen
    When the underdog is hungry the favorite might fall”
    –Was (Not Was)

    • Chocolate Velvet

      Nice! I love Was (Not Was), but I thought they had been thoroughly forgotten!

      • 1subgenius

        Those are local boys to me.

        How did an unknown group get Ozzy Osborne, Mitch Ryder, Marshall Crenshaw (he was a neighborhood boy), John Sinclair, Wayne Cramer, Doug Feiger and Mel Torme on one record?
        And later Frank Sinatra, Jr., Leonard Cohen, and others.

        Mel Torme? Singing a song about sexual asphyxia? (“Zaz Turned Blue”) What?

        I’m going to keep a certain little story about Don and David, and a little “incident” they had as youths to myself (what a tease).

        Of course Don has done a few little things since Was. Rolling Stones, Dylan, Willie Nelson, Brian Wilson, Bonnie Raitt, etc. And a Grammy. Currently president of Blue Note records.

        I had to chuckle when Sweet Pea Atkinson and Sir Harry Bowens went on to sing for Lyle Lovett.
        Luis Resto went on to win a Grammy for Eminem, and lives about 4 blocks from me.
        Don still comes around to produce the “Concert of Colors” in Detroit.

        • Chocolate Velvet

          Don Was is a musical force of nature, especially as a producer. He’s got some kind of touch. When I hear something new, with just the right bit of creative weirdness that I love, I am not surprised to see his name on it.

  • Ms. B. Haven

    My vote goes to Hubbard in this bracket. Even though he is long dead, I think he still has some of that ‘ol black magic from his Pasadena days going on, as exemplified in everything he accomplished in life. I’m going out on a limb here to predict that the ultimate long shot winner of March Madness will be Lisa Marie Presley. She has the most name recognition world wide and across generations. I like an underdog and when her story eventually comes out, in her own time and on her own terms, it is going to take more than Super Powers to keep the house of cards from collapsing. Don’t f#k with the King or his daughter…

  • aquaclara

    Since we’re in for some heated contests this month, just wanted to clarify. Are we playing by Chicago voting rules here or by the rules of fair play?

    • Are_sics

      We will no longer use the term Fair Play. This does not change any policy concerning the handling of the rules.

      • aquaclara

        EEKS! I missed that!
        Word clearing commencing…..!

  • Brainslugged

    Wow – that was a tough one. As easy as it would have been to vote for LRH, I decided to go with Cannane. I figure that LRH’s drivel has been around for 60+ years, so he can’t be doing the most to destroy $cientology otherwise it wouldn’t be alive and kicking today (although I realize that it’s increasingly painting itself into a corner as a direct result of the unalterable practices he put in place). Similarly, $cientology can’t possibly be reaching millions and millions of new people every year, and still consistently be the world’s “fastest growing religion” as they constantly try to make out.

    Thinking about it, I think the “painting themselves in a corner” analogy is very true of the cult’s spokespeople. They end up having to be so contradictory and tell so many lies that they invariably end up stuck in the corner smothered by their own web of deceit (a la Tommy Davis finally acknowledging that $cientology is a lie if their account of LRH’s war history was fabricated). At which point, Miscavige casts them aside so a new spokeshole can enter the room to begin the process of painting themselves into the corner too.

  • TonyOrtega

    Breaking news story coming in 5 minutes.

    • SP ‘Onage

      You go, Tony! Bring it!

  • Ziontologist

    Did Michelle Obama just complete a level in Scientology, or something? (see photo)

    • BuryTheNuts2

      Eww, it kinda does look like a Graduation Day!
      Z…ask her if she is an OT yet….and If she says yes….

      Ask her where the hell I put my car keys?

    • wannabeclear

      Fortunately those are actual members of the military behind her and not DM’s pretend army playing dress up.

  • Snippy_X

    Tony, this may be premature, but you could add 8 more seeds in the Narconon sponsored Hades Bracket :

    Mary Rieser could get a second spot here along with
    Narconon ex-staffers, [eg Lucas Catton, Eric Tenorio, David Edgar Love (again)],
    Judge Stacy Hydrick, Jeff Harris, Barbara Marchalk
    Senator Iverson and cronies, William Kent McGregor, RFTTP and
    every family who filed lawsuits on behalf of their lost children, eg. the Desmonds and the Wernincks.

    If you set it up properly, it would be a Top 40 List and they all should get an award. If the rules don’t allow Rieser to have two shots at the title, I would nominate the Bunker to take her place. That’s not to suck up, but just to recognize that the stories break here first, more often than not.

    But when it’s all said and done, someone should stand up at the after party and thank all the minions, who in a multitude of small ways, have kept a constant suffocating pressure on Miscavige and his lackeys.

  • OTVIIIisGrrr8!

    We in RTC have a giant Threat Assessment Bureaux which tracks all of the numerous global threats to the Church of Scientology.

    Tony Ortega is ranked #3 right behind SMERSH and Psychiatry.

  • AnyOldName1

    This Yank had to go with the Aussie. El Wrong’s BS has been around over 60 years w/o self-imploding. I’m betting on reporters like Cannane and Ortega to pound Gold base with heavy artillery until it crumbles….

    • whingeybingey

      Also went for Steve because who wouldn’t want him to beat Hubbard?

  • little fun bit I came across….. it’s a promo for the second series of ‘The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret’ on FoxUK [Tues 10:30pm] and has this priceless line:

    female lead: “you are literally the creepiest, most deluded guy I have ever met, and I’ve dated a scientologist”

    it’s the same people behind Arrested Development and bloody hilarious

  • whingeybingey

    That Ellis Rosen cartoon is so cool!! Was that done especially for the Bunker?

    • TonyOrtega

      Yes!

  • DeElizabethan

    Sorry if this is a duplicate . Here’s Tony quoted in the Atlantic, neat article.

    http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2013/03/what-scientology-investigative-reporter-does/62686/#comment-817057060

  • Meg

    Totally digging the Smersh Madness logo

  • Gus_Cox

    Oh, man, all the contenders are so good that I hate voting against any of them! Especially Haggis vs. Beghe.

    Nevertheless, I must cast my vote here for the Commodore, The Old Man, LRH, Ron, better known as Source. You just don’t fuck with tradition, you know? πŸ™‚

  • Trustmeonthis

    OMG this is fantastic! Tony, you are killing me!

  • Peter Robinson

    How could No.1 be anyone other than LRH. The most destructive force against scifiology is the spreading of his own words and writings. As a good example is this recording of one of his lectures on board Apollo in 1968, where he talks Xenu etc. So mad it is beyond mad. All we have to do is try to ensure that everyone hears this and others and the only conclusion is that scifiology is a reflection of the madness of the founder.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwlzBlurwWo

  • Snippy_X

    1 vote for Steve Cannane

    A true enemy of Scientology would be someone who causes people to flee from the group rather than join or remain trapped in the group. LRH’s big con still infects and imprisons the minds of the independents even after they have abandoned the official church and his KSW doctrines prevent people from leaving. While for outsiders with no need to believe, the contradictions in his writings reinforce their gut feeling to steer clear, for those inside, it guarantees that the correct answer, the one they are looking for, will be somewhere in the vast LRH library of crap and the rest can be ignored.

    Steve Cannane is LRH’s polar opposite. He is direct, clear, fearless, and no-nonsense. He lays all the cards out on the table, confronts the liars and exposes the con. He has researched Scientology and he exposes the damage done.

  • PickAnotherID

    Tony, I’m not sure which bracket it would fit in, but you left out the “Reaching for the Tipping Point” crew vs “narCONon”. And with the things that have been coming out and happening in the last few weeks, it’s not narCONon that’s winning in real life.