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Episcopal Church Objects to Being Included in Supreme Court Brief Supporting Scientology

EpiscopalChurchAfter we reported last week that the National Council of Churches had filed an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court supporting the Church of Scientology’s petition in the forced-abortion lawsuit of Laura DeCrescenzo, at least one member of the NCC has expressed its disapproval.

Readers of the Underground Bunker reached out to members of the NCC, and one of those members — the Episcopal Church — reacted by saying it was never informed by the NCC that it was filing the brief, and informed the NCC that it objected to being included.

From the details of the amicus brief, it was hard not to conclude that the NCC was unaware that the lawsuit brought by DeCrescenzo is about a 17-year-old girl forced to have an abortion so she could continue to work 100-hour work weeks for pennies an hour in church employment.

It’s also about Scientology claiming “priest-penitent” privilege over 18,000 pages of evidence that was compiled in DeCrescenzo’s confessional files during her work in the church. The church says its constitutional rights are being violated, even though it is the “penitent” — DeCrescenzo — who has asked for access to the evidence, which was granted by a lower court judge. Also, unlike Catholic confessional, which is between one parishioner and one priest and is not written down, Laura’s auditing and interrogations were recorded in notes that were compiled and reviewed by, the church admits, 259 separate employees.

None of that is in the amicus brief filed by the NCC. Was the National Council of Churches even aware of these issues in the lawsuit? One thing’s for sure — the Episcopal Church was definitely not aware that it was signing on for an amicus brief defending Scientology’s right to hide evidence that it allegedly forced a child to have an abortion.

One of our commenters, Cecily Neville, wrote to the Episcopal Church, and got this reply from an attorney for the presiding Bishop, the Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori…

Thank you for your e-mail regarding the filing of an amicus brief in the pending legal case you refer to.

Upon receipt of your e-mail, I immediately looked into the matter and from that review, I have confirmed that no one working at The Episcopal Church headquarters had any knowledge of the NCC’s decision to sign on to the amicus brief. We have contacted the NCC staff today to express our disapproval of the NCC’s stance in this regard and will also be following up to do what we can to make sure that no similar situation occurs in the future.

We appreciate your bringing this to our attention.

Paul Nix
Legal Counsel
Office of the Presiding Bishop
The Episcopal Church

We spoke to Nix briefly yesterday, who acknowledged sending the message, but then he asked us to speak with Episcopal Church’s communications office, and said he would have them call us, but we didn’t hear anything.

On its website, the National Council of Churches lists Philip Jenks as its press contact, but when we reached him he told us he had been retired for a year. However, he was very helpful and, though he was unfamiliar with the amicus brief filed in the DeCrescenzo lawsuit, gave us an overview of the NCC’s role.

“I know having working with the Council that amicus briefs are often filed on First Amendment issues even when the group involved has practices that would make it ineligible to be a part of the NCC,” he explained.

In the past, for example, the NCC had filed amicus briefs in court cases that involved Scientology and the Unification Church. “We filed those because the government was trying to define what a church was,” he says.

The NCC and its 37 communions, he points out, has nothing in common with Scientology or its beliefs.

Scientology’s petition for a writ of certiorari has been supported by amicus briefs from the NCC and the Rutherford Institute, but it faces daunting odds. On September 30, it will need to be chosen from more than 850 other petitions being considered on that day to remain alive.

Laura DeCrescenzo’s lawsuit has been making its way through the courts for more than four years. In October, Scientology’s motion for summary judgment will be heard in Los Angeles Superior Court.

 
Our previous coverage of Laura DeCrescenzo’s legal odyssey…

Laura’s experience in Scientology and the first three years of her lawsuit [Village Voice, July 2012]
Scientology ordered to turn over thousands of pages of evidence in Laura’s “pc files” [March 2013]
California Appeals Court won’t hear Scientology’s appeal about the order to turn over the files [May 2013]
California Supreme Court also won’t hear Scientology’s appeal, which called CA law unconstitutional [May 2013]
Scientology wants evidence kept from public, DeCrescenzo says it’s too late for a protective order [June 2013]
Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy denies Scientology’s application for an emergency stay [June 2013]
Scientology turns over documents, Laura DeCrescenzo begins process to review them [July 2013]

 
——————–

Brian_Culkin3FEDERAL MAGISTRATE DENIES SCIENTOLOGY’S MOTION — BRIAN CULKIN WILL TESTIFY IN COURT

On Monday, a telephonic hearing was held in Luis and Rocio Garcia’s federal fraud lawsuit against the Church of Scientology, and yesterday, a federal magistrate brought in to settle a side matter denied a motion by the church.

Scientology is currently trying to disqualify the attorneys for the Garcias, Ted Babbitt and Ronald Weil, arguing that they had violated court rules by working with Robert Johnson, an attorney who had previously worked for the church. Scientology’s key evidence is a declaration by Brian Culkin, a former church member who reportedly received a $350,000 refund in return for submitting the declaration.

Culkin’s credibility has been called into question, and the church argued that he feared for his life after the readers of this blog and users of Facebook ridiculed him for helping the church in the lawsuit. Scientology asked permission to depose Culkin in his home state of Massachusetts under special conditions because Culkin was too afraid to come to Tampa, Florida for a scheduled October 3 hearing.

But Culkin then hired attorney Ray Jeffrey, who has litigated several cases against the church, and Jeffrey said the church’s argument was nonsense — Culkin wasn’t in fear for his life and, as long as his expenses were paid, he has no objection to testifying in court.

Yesterday, federal magistrate Thomas B. McCoun III denied Scientology’s request for a special pre-hearing deposition.

“As discussed at the hearing, Mr. Culkin will voluntarily appear and respond to questions by the Court and by counsel. The parties have agreed to share the cost of his transportation and a reasonable per diem. Given the current posture of the litigation and in light of Mr. Culkin’s willingness to voluntarily appear, the Court denies any request for a pre-hearing deposition,” McCoun writes.

 
——————–

Posted by Tony Ortega on August 14, 2013 at 07:00

E-mail your tips and story ideas to tonyo94@gmail.com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. Here at the Bunker we try to have a post up every morning at 7 AM Eastern (Noon GMT), and on some days we post an afternoon story at around 2 PM. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

If you’d like to help support The Underground Bunker, please e-mail our webmaster Scott Pilutik at BunkerFund@tonyortega.org

 

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  • Krew13

    “17-year-old girl forced to have an abortion so she could continue to work 100-hour work weeks for pennies an hour in church employment.”

    Hmmm. I wonder what Top Gun would say if asked about that. After all, he’s not scared of tough questions, is he? He vows to “confront/shatter suppression”. So let’s see how he confronted and shattered suppression here.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3IM2IG9-No

    • 1subgenius

      One time he did autograph a V mask.

      • Krew13

        That was after one of his bodyguards grabbed the mask. With dozens of cameras around, he wanted to show his nice guy act and signed it and gave it back. Neither that or the one above shows him confronting or shattering anything. He talks the talks in that internal Sciloon video but he’s a pampered protected star who won’t do anything when confronted in reality.

        • 1subgenius

          Wasn’t trying to disagree with you.

          • Krew13

            I know, was just saying it for anyone else reading who might not know.

        • 1subgenius

          And this was at the height of Anon protests.
          He not only didn’t confront and shatter, he caved in. He got pwned, used.
          Delicious.

          • marti

            TC stuck in his own electronic incident. So squirrely.

      • DamOTclese2

        Yeah, but the idiot didn’t know what it was.

    • Papa Xenu

      He wouldn’t believe it. Instead it was some evil thought she had that made her “think” the church forced her to do something. Furthermore she probably wasn’t even pregnant, it was just a body thetan that was allowed to grow because of some out-ethics, entheta, PTS, missed withhold, etc.

      • Poison Ivy

        Sadly you are probably right.

    • aquaclara

      Shattering and confronting, all right. By Anons, not by TC. Love this video…even the background music is spot-on. Thanks for sharing!

    • Nevermore

      I despise him so much! Lying, cowardly, weasely (with apologies to weasels!) shithead, with his forced laughter and teeth-baring smile!

    • Observer

      Hmmm, fat-finger down arrow or butthurt Tom Cruise fan?

    • DamOTclese2

      Tom Cruise and the other dimwitted dimbulbs who still hand their money to the obvious fraud is “shattering suppression” and “answering them hard questions” just like this violently insane street Christian preacher did when Dusty asked him a really simple question:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwPucZ9v1wY

  • Kitz

    Seems like Judge McCoun is on to the games being played. His phrasing “the current posture of the litigation” I find interesting. Might just be because I have very little knowledge of legalese…

    • WhereIsSHE

      It is apparent that the magistrate judge is aware of the games being played, though this is not novel, i.e. that parties to litigation “play games” in the form of making attempts to road-block the litigation of the underlying merits of the action.
      The “current posture” of this case is an attempt to thwart the continuation of the case on the merits –the Garcias’ claims of fraud–via an attempt to remove the Garcias’ attorneys from the case due to an alleged impropriety in the area of “conflict of interest” rules of professional responsibility.
      The court is required to review the motion and the evidence that the CoS claims supports it. Violations of the rules regarding conflicts of interest are not taken lightly.
      But here, again, we see the CoS firing those painful foot-bullets.
      While Culkin’s credibility is as easy target (for both sides), it is apparent that the CoS lawyers were untruthful about claims that he was in fear of testifying in person.
      Not a great way to establish credibility with the court in the case.
      In fact, it is–or could be argued as–a violation of Rule 11 in a follow up Motion for Sanctions against them by the Garcias, because the obvious purpose of this side-show is, arguably, “to harass, cause unnecessary delay, or needlessly increase the cost of litigation.”
      Not only that, it is also arguably a violation of another important Rule of Professional Responsibility, to wit: the rule requiring that lawyers in the case act with CANDOR TOWARD THE TRIBUNAL, which includes the dictate that a lawyer shall not KNOWINGLY make a false statement of fact (or law) to a tribunal or fail to correct a material false statement of fact, etc.

      • Observer

        What penalties, if any, can the judge impose on the cult lawyers if he finds they were involved in these kinds of shenanigans?

        • WhereIsSHE

          Per the Rule, a sanction imposed must be limited to whatever suffices to deter repetition of the conduct, but may include monetary sanctions and non-monetary sanctions. So, it could be an order to pay a penalty into court, or more likely–and better for the Garcias and their counsel–an order to pay all of the reasonable attorneys fees and other costs and expenses directly resulting from the violation.

          Counsel for the Garcias will need to elicit testimony from Culkin to support a subsequent Motion for Sanctions at the time of the hearing. They will need to get his admission on the record that he never feared for his safety, etc and that he was always willing to testify in person–AND that he never communicated anything to the contrary to CoS and it’s attorneys.

          • Observer

            Thanks–and here’s hoping the clam lawyers get spanked!

            • shasha40

              Too bad they can’t be religated to ” the hole ” for their conduct. Their the type of lawyers that give lawyers a bad name , shame on them .

        • Papa Xenu

          Wog ones.

          • Observer

            Hahaha!

      • aquaclara

        Excellent perspective. I always hope the judges can see through the Scientologists’ stunts, but this is not always apparent when I read the docs. What’s good, too, is that each time the cult pulls this crap, it becomes part of the record.

        The lawyers fighting the cult are now very well educated about this complex cult. The same for the judges. Thank heavens.

      • Once_Born

        Court Rules:
        [Prohibit action designed] “to harass, cause unnecessary delay, or needlessly increase the cost of litigation.”

        Hubbard Policy
        “The purpose of the suit is to harass and discourage rather than to win. The law can be used very
        easily to harass […] If possible, of course, ruin him utterly..”

        The court is dealing with an organisation whose stated policy requires it to break the court’s rules. How can the CofS retain any credibility at all?

        • EnthralledObserver

          These rules/policies laid out against one another like that ^^^ is alarming and very disconcerting.

        • Poison Ivy

          Excellent point, Once Born. Attorneys fighting against CO$ should bring this policy to the court’s attention whenever and wherever possible.

  • Observer

    Cecily Neville, SP of the day! Very well done! *salutes* I still don’t see how the release of confidential information regarding an individual when that individual wants it released is a First Amendment issue though.

    Good for Brian. He seems to be facing up to the consequences of his actions, and that takes some guts.

    • DamOTclese2

      Free Prozac for next 10 years Cicel! Woo hoo! SP7!

      • cicely neville

        You are kind. I must admit that Prozac was once useful to me, but now I’d much rather have THAT MOSCATO YOU OWE ME, BTN!! Or a little Beaujolais…. or some raspberry flavored chocolate .. sigh…

  • Mark

    That’ll teach me to read Tony’s headlines with more attention; thought it said “Episcopal Objects To Be Included In Supreme Court Brief” – as if they were trying to sneak one of those brass eagle lecterns into the hearings.

    But good on Cecily for rousing the Anglicans!

    • Observer

      Mark, if I ever get back to England my first objective will be to find you so I can experience your razor-sharp wit in person. Your posts make me cry from laughing.

      • Mark

        Your shoops do the same for me, Obs. But I’ve not used a razor in years (the beard, at least, in my avatar is fairly accurate).

    • MarionDee

      I read it that way too, Mark, but could never have been so witty about it.

      • Mark

        I bet you could!

        • MarionDee

          Well, not at this hour of the morning! (Where I live, was about 7:30 a.m. when I replied.)

          • Mark

            See? I had five hours’ start on you!

    • Poison Ivy

      So funny!

    • i-Betty

      You’re a funny bugger 😀

    • cicely neville

      Not sneak – we’d have a procession with banners.
      And thank you for the bravo – I’ve never had one before.

      • Mark

        A good occasion to sing ‘Onward, Christian Soldiers’, I’d say!

        • Missionary Kid

          If you really think about it, that’s one hymn that is really the opposite of Jesus’ teachings. It has none of the “turn the other cheek” aspect to it, and it portrays Christians as warriors, seeking to convert people by the sword, like the crusaders did, or that radical Muslims wish to do today.

          Believe me, I sang it often enough as a Christian, but it’s also one of the reasons I’m no longer a Christian.

          • Mark

            You’re right, MK. Think I shall add a little addendum.

  • pronoia

    So happy that the Episcopal Church has spoken out, and am sure that more will do so. I wonder which “1st amendment attorney” convinced the UCC that this little caper would be in their best interests in the first place?

    • Missionary Kid

      I believe that Co$ probably approached the NCC with a prepared brief and outlined the case, omitting the nasty little details that would make them look bad. It probably looked like a slam-dunk to the NCC attorneys when it was presented to them that way, so they signed on.

      • Poison Ivy

        As mentioned above by Michael, it is likely CO$ carefully “seeded” NCC years ago with either mid-level employees (per written guidelines by Hubbard about infiltration) or professional contacts of some kind who are Scientologists, working to further its goals of religious cloaking. If only the Bunker/Anonymous crowd could afford the PI’s Scientology can, that person/persons could be smoked out in an instant. Of course, Anonymous has the hackers who could do it.

      • pronoia

        Yes, I am thinking a legal representative from an outside law firm was dispatched to make the argument and as you say, the prepared brief. Someone like say, Eric Lieberman.

      • DamOTclese2

        The envelope full of money handed over to the NCC cult’s crooks probably helped also.

        • Missionary Kid

          I believe that you’re too willing to infer monetary corruption. The NCC has taken a lot of heat from extremely fundamentalist and liberal churches over policies. Money won’t make any difference to them, but pressure from their constituent churches will.

        • L. C. Spencer

          “NCC cult”? It looks as though you’re implying that the National Council of Churches is a cult, but I must be reading that wrong. Could you clarify?

    • Papa Xenu

      They were probably infiltrated by members of the “Office of Special Affairs” years ago.

    • TheHoleDoesNotExist

      A Note to the National Council of Churches:

      It’s about time the National Council of Churches raise their Own money to fight their Own political positions. The information is now abundant and accessible in a click of the mouse that the money to finance Scientology’s constitutional legal force of attorneys is blood and bribe money.

      The money comes from coercion, blackmail and threats. It comes from mothers who fear losing their children if they don’t “donate”, or fathers who fear losing their careers and businesses and ability to support their families if they don’t “donate”. It comes from harassment and spying and stalking members until they “agree” to come back and “donate”. It comes from terrified members’ children’s education funds, their retirement funds, their last dime in savings, their homes, their 3rd mortgages, their maxed credit cards, and after their 2nd bankruptcies. It comes from mentally defeated members threatened with public exposure of all their secrets they told scientology staff in confidence.

      What good are your churches, your faith, your beliefs, or your positions if you Benefit in Any manner from a group that specializes in the devastation and destruction of the human spirit?

  • Captain Howdy

    A toast to Cecily Neville!

    Somebody who actually did something

    • sugarplumfairy

      Amen!!

    • Andrew Robertson

      Noticing the slightly different spelling of the poster’s name concerned which is ‘cicely neville’ i thought I’d heard that name before.

      And she was in fact, in a previous life, “Cecill wif unto the right noble Prince Richard late Duke of Yorke”, the Duchess of York, (1415 – 1495), a fascinating and significant woman whose namesake on ‘The Bunker’ continues the family tradition!

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cecily_Neville,_Duchess_of_York

      Andrew

      • Poison Ivy

        Let’s hear it for the Bunkerites and our righteous outrage (and putting that righteous outrage into writing!)
        Upon reading those old columns from the ’70’s that Tony posted, it impressed upon me even more that the “church” will frame things carefully and pointedly in their favor when trying to appeal to those on the outside who are woefully uninformed.
        Well,now that there’s the internet, there’s no excuse to be uninformed any more!
        But sometimes people need a little guidance to be sent in the right direction.
        Cheers to all Bunkerites who are pushing the NCC in the right direction!

      • shasha40

        Thanks ,Andrew , I knew who it was but trusted Tony’s anal retentiveness with spelling names correctly. Oh my,I’m using Tiny dick’s tactics, blaming others and throwing them under the bus ! Don’t worry Tony , if anything I’d hug bomb you !

      • Poison Ivy

        Speaking of Cecily Neville:

        Now is the winter of our discontent

        Made glorious summer by this sun of York;

        And all the clouds that lour’d upon our house

        In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.

        Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;

        Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;

        Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,

        Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.

        • Captain Howdy

          And who does Shakespeare capture so perfectly six lines later?

          But I, that am not shap’d for sportive tricks,
          Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
          I, that am rudely stamp’d and want love’s majesty
          To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
          I, that am curtail’d of this fair proportion,
          Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
          Deform’d, unfinish’d, sent before my time
          Into this breathing world scarce half made up,
          And that so lamely and unfashionable
          That dogs bark at me as I halt by them-
          Why I, (in this weak piping time of peace)
          Have no delight to pass away the time,
          Unless to see my shadow in the sun
          And descant on my own deformity.
          And therefore since I cannot prove a lover
          To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
          I am determined to prove a villain
          And hate the idle pleasure of these days.

          • sugarplumfairy

            ummm.. scientology can help you with that …..

            • Captain Howdy

              I wasn’t referring to myself..even though I really identify with that soliloquy..I was referring to the demented midget. “Cheated of feature by dissembling nature, Deform’d, unfinish’d, sent before my time”, that’s Miscavige’s psyche in a nutshell. He sees himself as a deformed monster and conducts himself as such, plus he has an unquenchable thirst for revenge against anyone he imagines ever looked down on him.

            • joan nieman

              Captain Howdy..the poem was an excellent reference!

            • sugarplumfairy

              I figured.. But I can’t resist a chance to wisecrack.. It’s a character flaw..

            • Roger Larsson

              Who pays for being stuck in a cult having armed guards keeping you in? $cientology protects you from the bank a bank that’s not you. What if the bank is you. The “bank” is Rion Hubbard keeping people in jail.

          • Poison Ivy

            Did Richard III have red hair and a boil?

            • cicely neville

              Look up the Ricardian Society and see what he really looked like, and how his face was reconstructed. Fascinating.

            • Missionary Kid

              You know, of course, that Ricardian also refers to an economic theory. That’s what I thought it was at first.

            • cicely neville

              No, I didn’t know that. Anything involving numbers gives me the fantods. But history is just brain candy to me.

            • Missionary Kid

              It’s the theory that only the labor put into something gives it value. Communism is based on it, and it led to huge distortions in prices as well as famines and the ultimate failure of Communism.

              The value (price) of something is based on what someone is willing to pay for it, not the amount of labor put into it.

            • Poison Ivy

              Me too. I’m mad for the Medieval Monarchs, Roman Emperors and Greek philosophers!

      • cicely neville

        i chose it because I’m a Ricardian.

        • Robert Eckert

          Oh, in the 15th century I bet it was spelled twelve different ways.

          • cicely neville

            You give me hope.

      • cicely neville

        I’ve said before, i love your erudition – and the fact that you’re a Kiwi explains a lot about you!

    • InTheNameOfXenu

      Bravo Cecily! All we need to do is bring to the attention the other members of the NCC that by signing that amicus brief, they are condoning a crime syndicate, posing as a religion, that has forced dozens, if not hundreds of young women into having abortions.

      How many babies were murdered in the name of David Miscavige and Scientology?

      • Bury_The_Nuts

        Yes, and by making a strong point that by condoning Scientology that they ultimately damage their own credibility.
        Any kind of alliance with Scientology is dangerous and damaging in the end result.

        • Observer

          ^^^THIS!

          • Bury_The_Nuts

            I can hardly wait till the NOI thing goes kablooey!

            • Observer

              Man, that is going to be something to see.

      • ThetaBara

        I called the central office and they were pleasant but basically didn’t want to hear about it. (Although they took pains to explain their point of view and why they supported scientology in court – in a coreced abortion case, of all things! Unbelievable!)
        Putting pressure on member churches to in turn pressure them sounds like a much better strategy. Perhaps I will try that next. IDK whether an amicus brief can be withdrawn, but I do know that if enough of a fuss is made they will eventually not want to associate themselves with scientology, particularly in court. All of these cases are sooooo dirty! I’m amazed they did this, still. Forced ABORTION! I thought most Christians were against even voluntary ones!

        • Missionary Kid

          No, only certain Christians are against even voluntary abortions, but they wail the loudest about it, and claim it is a part of Christian theology. They try to make it seem if all Christians are against it.

          I’m assuming that you called the NCC central office. Don’t bother with them. Contact the individual members’ hierarchy. or central office. Some denominations’ churches are only loosely affiliated, while others insist on more rigid interpretation of dogma.

    • tetloj

      Way to enturbulate Cecily!

      • cicely neville

        🙂

    • cicely neville

      <3<3<3 Howdy!

  • Missionary Kid

    For those of you who are members of churches that are members of the National Council of Churches:
    Contact your denomination legal representatives as well as the public relations representatives. Point them to the Episcopal Church’s decision, as well as what the case deals with. Those are powerful arguments that will help to persuade them. The more denominations you bring aboard, the more likely that the NCC will abandon their amicus brief.

    The National Council of Churches is a loose affiliation. It probably only got involved in this lawsuit because the $cientology attorneys approached their attorneys and portrayed the case as dealing with the First Amendment and omitted the nasty details.

    This is one denomination down, more to go.

    • Michael Leonard Tilse

      The National Council of Churches is an asset that the {church} of scientology would have very carefully seeded and gardened just so they could harvest it’s support in just such a legal eventuality.

      It does that. It will spend years doing that. There probably will be people working somewhere in the NCC, either on staff or on staff at the legal support who were involved in originating this brief.

      Scientology won’t be paying them, unless they hired outsiders through cutouts. Usually it is a carefully vetted volunteer scientologist with the required knowledge or work experience who applied for and got a job in the offices. Or one who is supposedly a representative of one of the affiliated denominations but is really a secret scientologist.

      You can find out the general area it came from by determining who *DIDN’T* know about it.

      • Missionary Kid

        Excellent observation. I doubt there was any payment made, but I think that the brief was prepared so little work (which would mean billable hours) would have to be done by the NCC attorneys.

        • Bury_The_Nuts

          There wouldn’t need to be a payment. They found the councils ‘ruin”. The simple reason for the support is because of its benefit to members of the NCC and keeping the government at bay when it comes to “religion”.
          The content of the suit is immaterial to most of these clowns.
          It is a WIIFM situation.

          I think it is absolutely amazing Cecily made some headway and I salute her!

          • Poison Ivy

            (What is WIIFM)?

            • sugarplumfairy

              What’s in it for me?

            • Poison Ivy

              Ahhhh.

              I would imagine that like the ACLU, attorneys for religious first amendment freedom are more concerned with the principles than the players. Which Scientology would absolutely manipulate in its favor.

            • Robert Eckert

              Well they didn’t think very hard about the principles, either.

            • sugarplumfairy

              Btw, I hate that saying.. I dated someone briefly once who said it all the time.. It grated on my nerves so bad.. I would glare at him and think, ‘can I listen to that for the rest of my life?’ Turns out I couldn’t even listen to it a few weeks..

            • Bury_The_Nuts

              Sorry…It is one of those stupid overused Business acronyms. I hate that stuff too.
              And the words “Paradigm” and “Synergy” should be banned…FOREVER!

            • Poison Ivy

              “Think outside the box” and “Edgey” are the two in my biz that I can’t abide.

            • Bury_The_Nuts

              Now see….I had actually blocked “think outside the box” from my vernacular and now you done said it!!!!
              I am doomed to forever use that stupid phrase.

              I need a nap!!!

            • Sherbet

              You need a son like mine who gives me an eye-roll every time I use a cliche. “Oh, my God, Mommmmmm…”

            • Robert Eckert

              Cliches are so old hat, you should avoid them like the plague.

            • Missionary Kid

              *Chucklesnort*

            • Sherbet

              How about “at the end of the day…” and “at this point in time…” and “the fact of the matter is…”?

              Out with ’em!

            • Robert Eckert

              At the end of the day, staying on the bleeding edge of the most up-to-the-minute buzzwords is like drinking from a firehose.

            • Sherbet

              Robert made me OD on catch phrases! Get me to the sauna!

            • Observer

              I’m pretty sure this is some kind of entheta.

            • i-Betty

              ‘Blue sky thinking’ is my new favourite expression to hate.

            • Once_Born

              Along with “Solutions”..

            • Spackle Motion

              ‘Perspective’, ‘Paradigm’ and ‘Synergy’ are business bullshit bingo words.

              http://www.bullshitbingo.net/

              I’ve actually played this while on conference calls. It’s a hoot.

            • sugarplumfairy

              Oh, no.. The way you used it was perfect.. You weren’t asking what’s in it for yourself.. Another of his go to phrases was ‘what have you done for me lately..’ I used to think, ‘I haven’t smacked you into next week.. consider it a gift..’

            • Captain Howdy

              Was this dude named “Paulie” or “Richie” or “Tony” by any chance?

            • sugarplumfairy

              He wasn’t even Italian!

            • Poison Ivy

              You made the right choice, Sugar.

            • Bury_The_Nuts

              I was thinking the same thing……….If he is asking constantly “whats in it for me”…..um………..he needed to be kicked to the curb…

            • Robert Eckert

              What’s in it for you is a few decades in which you have the opportunity to interact with other people and identify yourself with something larger than your petty ego, and if you fail, an eternity of nothingness.

            • i-Betty

              A businessman ex of mine once said “I need to put all my ducks in a row and shoot them down one by one” when talking about a list of tasks he needed to complete.

              Tosser 🙂

            • sugarplumfairy

              Now, that I could live with.. As long as he wasn’t packing..

            • Bury_The_Nuts

              What’s In It For Me.

            • Michael Leonard Tilse

              What’s in it for me?

              Edit: I should read further down the thread before I post..

            • cicely neville

              Me too.

          • shasha40

            {{ Do you constantly have your damn pin handy ? }} BTN, Queen of Bubble bursting us to the facts of reality ! I Love you anyway…:-*

            • Bury_The_Nuts

              Lol, sorry….
              The good news is………….WE ARE STILL WINNING 🙂

            • shasha40

              Yes, Tiny dick probably starts his days with a pint of vodka every hour on the hour , cursing ” the bloggers and commenters on the fringes of the internet .” Ok, you’ve redeemed yourself .

            • sugarplumfairy

              I think he’s a scotch guy..

          • sugarplumfairy

            I think it’s amazing too.. It’s soooo rare to see a response to something like that and from such a big player.. I have to say, this has made my day.. I am one happy fairy..

          • Gerard Plourde

            I think you’re absolutely right about WIIFM, BTN.

            The NCC is a group that exists purely to advance agreed policy for its member churches. It’s a group that has to look for a reason to exist.

          • cicely neville

            Not that amazing. The bishops have to listen and respond or at least have staff do it. I started at the top but would have got the local bishop involved if I didn’t get a response from Schorri’s office.

            You still haven’t said what WIIFM means. I don’t know either.

            • Missionary Kid

              It was answered by several other people, and not directly to you.
              What’s In It For Me.

  • Missionary Kid

    Did anyone else happen to notice the last name of the Episcopal Legal counsel? Perfectly appropriate: Nix, as in Nix $cientology.

    • shasha40

      It’s a sign of Scientology’s future… Nixed !

      • Captain Howdy

        Yes..it’s a SIGN!..the cul..errr..Church of Nix is open for business.

        http://youtu.be/Ka9mfZbTFbk

        • shasha40

          Roflmao , Perfect !

      • 0tessa

        That sounds wonderful: the nixation of Scientology Enterprise.

    • Bury_The_Nuts

      I don’t think anyone missed that one!!! hehehe

    • cicely neville

      😀

  • shasha40

    I wonder how many other denominations would not approve of being lumped into the amicus brief if they actually knew what the suit was really about. COS and it’s lawyers continue to show their sleaziness and misuse and abuse of our court system , but hey what’s new ?
    Cecily Neville, you are one dedicated SP , once again showing the Power of what one voice can do! I salute you for a job well done !
    COS’s new motto : Disseminating self inflicted foot bullets on Any and every front possible ! ” Keep up the Bad work ! Tick, Tock Tiny dick …

    • Observer

      SP powers are demonstrably far more powerful than OT powers, and they’re free!

      • shasha40

        { Isn’t that why we’re SP/PTS ? } I aspire to get to Tony’s level one day, his SP Powers are totally straight up and vertical, not to mention his dissemination of entheta Powers !

    • Missionary Kid

      That’s why it’s important to contact the individual denominations. Forget the NCC. The denominations didn’t take a stance, the NCC did, and claimed to represent the denominations. That has gotten the NCC in trouble in the past, so they are particularly sensitive to the members, not so much the general public.

    • cicely neville

      🙂 (I ‘ve been smiling so much all morning, my face hurts.) It’s sweet to be praised, but it’s really Tony who deserves it, going after the story.

      • shasha40

        Yes, Tony made us aware, but you took action ! Keep smiling, you’ve made us Proud . As a result, you have inspired me to do the same. Again , Thank you ! * hugs*

  • 1subgenius

    I don’t see that the Episcopals say anything about getting out of the brief, just that they will try not to let it happen again.
    Would be nice if they would file a brief on their own, or otherwise indicate to the Court that they aren’t on board.

    • shasha40

      I find it concerning that they haven’t gotten back with Tony . I hope they’re going to follow through.

      • Bury_The_Nuts

        Maybe they took the comm course from Karin Pouw.

        • shasha40

          Bahahahahaha, that would explain it !

        • i-Betty

          Or, to quote Derek yesterday, Karin Bangzoompow!

          • Robert Long

            “TO THE MOON, KARIN! Bangzoompwow!”

      • Robert Eckert

        I think they probably want to get educated about what’s going on first, and are finding it a deeper rabbit hole than they expected.

      • DamOTclese2

        It could be because the NCC cult does not want to be *named* in the lawsuits now that they were duped in to filing a brief on behalf of the crime syndicate. It’s not likely but they could be asked to testify on why they filed a brief without any of their actual cult membership reading it or knowing anything about it.

  • Papa Xenu

    “A thousand words leave not the same deep impression as does a single deed”
    Henrik Ibsen

    I wondered if the NCC was aware that they were coming to the aid of a group which (allegedly) not only condoned abortion, often encouraged it & in this case even demanded it. Yet, while I sat back in my chair, drank a cup of coffee & simply wondered about it, Cecily Neville actually did something about it. I think that Cecily’s actions should be a reminder to some of us (especially me) that if we truly disagree with the church’s actions, it’s not enough to just share our opinions & witty repartee. Thanks Cecily, you & your letter not only brought this issue to the attention of Episcopal Church, it brought my lack of action to my attention.

    • 1subgenius

      “…it brought my lack of action to my attention.”

      Nice. A big lesson there.

      • ThetaBara

        Time to mention whyweprotest.net again, for when folks are ready to take it to the next level. Individual acts like contacting the NCC can be done by anyone, but if you want to network with other activists, that’s the place. There is a certain amount of OSA bullshitness and trolling, etc, but they got the goods. And FWIW most of the folks I have met are grownups like me, not some dodgy teenage hacker like the media seems to think. 😉

        • ReneeG

          I validate this message.

        • Missionary Kid

          I urge you not to contact the NCC, but the individual denominations. When enough have expressed their dislike for the amicus brief, the NCC will withdraw. They’re stuck with the position right now, and once the members who make up the coalition of the NCC express their displeasure, it’s over.

          • MadMaxi

            The Orthodox churches will be a best group to focus on, they are the largest percentage in the NCC and they are very anti-abortion, and very protective of human rights. The NCC most likely made it seem the lawsuit is confessional protection ,once the patriarchs of the churches find out the truth of the lawsuit ,from many people in many regions, they will be very active in pulling their support. The Catholic churches listed are splinter groups so they will have to be contacted individually.

            I, too, add my mea culpa on this issue. Thought about contacting then dropped the ball through distractions.

            • Missionary Kid

              I guess I have a problem with the term “orthodox” when used with churches, but I certainly catch your meaning. To me, it means the churches with orthodox in their name.

              I believe it’s best to contact the individual members. If they raise a ruckus, I believe that NCC will change or modify its stand. The forced abortion and child slavery as well as the 150 people who’ve looked at her files and that Co$ is only trying to protect itself should be emphasized.

            • cicely neville

              The term ‘orthodox’ can be confusing. The NCC is made up of ‘mainstream’ churches, which vary from quite traditional and conservative ( Greek Orthodox for instance) to liberal and progressive (like the Methodists.) Their stances on subjects like abortion vary accordingly; but all regard it as a very serious decision. With most churches it’s a matter of personal conscience.

            • Missionary Kid

              Exactly.

              It’s the fundamentalists that would have one think that all Christians are totally against abortion, and all oppose choice. They’re just the noisiest.

            • ThetaBara

              I think many (and perhaps even most) Christians are at least discomfited by abortion, and take it very seriously. Of course, the pro choice faction would certainly never condone forcing it on anyone – although some would have you believe otherwise.

            • Missionary Kid

              I dislike abortions, but I think they are also necessary and a matter of personal choice.

              Unfortunately, the same people who are anti-abortion also are anti-birth control and anti-sex education.

            • ThetaBara

              Yer preaching to the choir, Mish. Pro choice activism was the beginning of my activism.
              I was an innocent little 16 year old, just minding my own business, when these frothing-at-the-mouth, Randall Terry type people turned up and started trying to trample my civil rights. I’d have none of it, and now I stick up for other people’s civil rights, too! (And have been for years.) Never covered my face to do it until Anon.

              I am not playing the “OMG ABORTION” card as I think it is counterproductive in the long term. I always focus on the COERCION. That’s where the evil is.

              You are, however, absolutely right that the sanctimonious twits on the so-called “pro life” side care not one bit what happens to unwanted babies after they are actually born. If there’s really a hell, it’s got to be stacked to the rafters with those people.

            • Missionary Kid

              AMEN

            • cicely neville

              And another one^^^

            • Mark

              אָמֵן!

            • GlibWog

              Me too…Me too!

            • Poison Ivy

              I don’t know anyone in the Pro-Choice movement who “advocates” abortion. I don’t know anyone who ever had an abortion who didn’t take it as a serious and devastating major life decision. And I certainly don’t know anyone either pro-choice or anti-abortion camps who wouldn’t be utterly horrified by the idea of any FORCED abortion, for the sake of being able to continue working 20 hours a day.

          • cicely neville

            Yes. The NCC seems to be run by idiots. I wonder how often it does something without the knowledge or approval of member churches.
            “Not in our name”!

            • Missionary Kid

              You have to realize that the NCC, while it has member church groups, is a loose confederation. Usually, they pretty much know what their members want and act accordingly. This time, they fucked up.

              As a loose confederation, they’re more sensitive to their members’ wishes than individuals. Edit: individuals like us contacting them.

            • Theo Sismanides

              Great for writing to the Episcopal church about this issue. Thanks so much!!!

    • Sherbet

      Thanks for the kick in the pants, Papa Xenu. I, too, had the good intention of writing the NCC, and completely forgot about it. I wouldn’t make a very good activist. Applause to everyone who followed through. “Witty repartee” amuses us all, but doesn’t accomplish much, and I feel ashamed.

      • sugarplumfairy

        It’s ok, sherb.. The catholic girls were represented..

        • Sherbet

          Good for you! Thanks.

        • Papa Xenu

          And who said “catholic girls start much too late” . . . oh yeah it was Billy Joel & he was talking about something else.

        • DamOTclese2

          Catholic girls start much too late, or so I hear. 🙂

          • sugarplumfairy

            It’s very true..

          • cicely neville

            That wasn’t true in my hometown. The Catholic girls were hellcats – ummm, I mean precocious.

      • Marie Claire Wolf

        Don`t feel ashamed get going, it is all about follow through and determination.
        Remember Sherbet: the game is afoot, all is in flux. 😉

        • Sherbet

          Thanks, Marie Claire. It sure is a roller coaster ride, isn’t it!

          • Marie Claire Wolf

            OOH yeah!

      • Captain Howdy

        Join the Church of Nix and I will absolve you with a simple wave of the hand and a “nix on shame” blessing..for three fifty.

        • Sherbet

          Sounds like a bargain, my soul for $3.50. What if I have $4.00 worth of sins?

          • Robert Eckert

            I think he had $350K more in mind.

            • Sherbet

              That’s what I was afraid of, Rob.

            • Captain Howdy

              Nix on the 350K, I meant three fiddy.

            • Sherbet

              I’ve gotta say one thing: You’re the least greedy spiritual leader I’ve ever encountered, Reverend Captain.

            • Captain Howdy

              For tree fiddy I can get a pint of holy water and I’ll let you touch the mysterious Nix monolith thingy.

            • Sherbet

              Hmmmm…

            • i-Betty

              Hahaha!

            • Robert Long

              “and I said ‘what do you want from me, Monster?’ And he said ‘tree fidday.'” RIP Chef (We shouldn’t be mad at Chef, we shod be mad at that fruity little club for scrambling his brains)

        • Poison Ivy

          I like Captain Howdy as a Father Confessor. Why? Because I know he’s done things at least as bad as the one’s I’m confessing!

        • DamOTclese2

          Toss in salvation for another $10 and I’ll write the check!

    • GSioux

      Wonderful! and that quote is so apt!

    • ThetaBara

      They are aware of it. I telephoned them the day this came out, and a very nice lady insisted to me that it was somehow ok to support scientology because they were only commenting on a very narrow aspect of the case, which is that some congregations allow clergy to consult with one another, so the 1:1 Catholic approach is too narrow to allow this and they fear precedent being created. It’s legal chess and they just DGAF about the coerced abortions, I guess. Some Christians, supporting forced abortions and a fake church! Lie down with dogs and you’ll end up with fleas. Disppointing. Good to see the Episcopals taking a more principled stance! Perhaps they will listen to them.

    • Chad Braunersrither

      Here’s the website to the NCC list of churches and their addresses with links in case you wanted to contact them in any way. http://www.ncccusa.org/about/staff.html

    • cicely neville

      Many other commenters here were trying to contact the NCC . I couldn’t find an email address, and when I called, I got recordings. But I knew my bishop had to listen to me!

      • ThetaBara

        To my surprise, not only did I get a live human on the phone, but she even called me back to follow up the next day (to tell me “oh well we still support it” but still it was thoughtful to respond). I might have decided to call the director of a women’s program, I’m not sure who exactly this was at this point. She did seem to take my concerns seriously and wanted to be clear that it was the penitent requesting the files. The second call was her informing me, she didn’t want to really discuss it further (I think because it is SO OBVIOUSLY a dumb thing to support but whoever is actually in charge didn’t listen).

        Good work with the Episcopals! When I’m done working on work, I will take a peek at that list of member churches.

    • OTVIIIisGrrr8!

      Those crazy implanted Episcopalians support gay marriage and the rights of women so you can’t really rely on them to think sanely in religious terms. Any real religion has one man at the top who calls the shots and he is alone the unchallenged global ecclesiastical leader.

      Such is the case with Scientology Emperor David Miscavige:

      http://i1284.photobucket.com/albums/a563/OTVIIIisGrrr8/TheEmperor_zps80173fef.png

      • cicely neville

        Yep, we’re so busy celebrating gay marriages conducted by women priests, stocking the food bank, visiting the elderly and the sick, recycling our trash, raising funds for disaster areas, joining protests etc. etc. we barely have time to enturbulate His Diminutiveness. In fact, many of us don’t even know about him – or can’t see him – Sorry. We could try harder. Perhaps if you issued microscope slides – ?

        • Poison Ivy

          …or magnifying glasses?

          • OTVIIIisGrrr8!

            Poison Ivy! Don’t backflash or Emperor Miscavige will have his communicator Laurisse break your finger. Sorry, but that’s just the way the Emperor rolls.

          • cicely neville

            I don’t think they’d be strong enough. It takes a mic to see bacteria –

        • OTVIIIisGrrr8!

          Cicely, all of your so-called “good deeds” sound good on paper, but what have the Episcopalians done to expose the dangers of wholetrack electronic incidents?

          • cicely neville

            We have found, after many lifetimes of research, that such incidents can be erased by a potluck supper and some wine.

            • tetloj

              Did you meet Mid West Mom? You would’ve got on like a house on fire….

            • cicely neville

              Not in person. I miss her here tho.

      • Mark

        Yay, oh Light of the Aryans, King of Kings, and Chief of Warriors!

        • cicely neville

          Snort!
          Hmm, the Shah was somewhat vertically challenged too, wasn’t he?

          • Mark

            Snickersnort, even! Odd that that two effete, dwarfish tyrants should both have exactly the same appallingly vulgar taste in decor, don’t you think?

            • GlibWog

              bawwhahah I was waiting for someone to say Snickersnort.. Betty would be so proud! ha

            • Mark

              She’s an inspiration – sniggersnarf!

            • cicely neville

              Oh lord yes, I was stunned by that wallpaper behind the throne !

            • OTVIIIisGrrr8!

              For your information “that wallpaper” was personally designed to Emperor Miscavige’s specifications and costs $100,000 per roll as it is made from the pelts of newborn kittens.

            • cicely neville

              “We could have more couches/made from little ocelots”
              ‘The Pandas Must Die’
              by Corky and the Juice Pigs

            • L. Wrong Hubturd

              I dunno. It looks more like leftover set pieces from the It’s a Small World ride at Magic Kingdom.

            • Mark

              There’s going to be a nice thesis for an art or semiotics student to write about “iconography and style in the former Co$” before long.

            • J. Swift

              This would be a great thesis. Miscavige’s “designer” is a SO member named Henning Benndorf: http://ocmb.xenu.net/ocmb/viewtopic.php?t=23985

            • Mark

              So Benndorf actually ‘designs’ those appalling stage-sets for when Shortarse is giving one of his masterly ‘speeches’ to the clams?

              He must have a reference-library stuffed with coffee-table books about Nazi chic and Stalinist wedding-cake architecture &c. I wonder if he used to moonlight for Saddam Hussein or Gaddafi – or still does for Kim Jong Un?

            • J. Swift

              I know several key Indies who worked on the Base with Henning Benndorf. They all told me that Henning Benndorf created the designs and is a David Miscavige personal pet. They all told me that Henning was once a nice guy who became an abusive monster after graduating from the David Miscavige Charm School.

              An extremely prominent former SO member who is not an Indie told me that Miscavige gave Henning a $10,000 bonus and a Mini Cooper as a reward for design work on all of DM’s foam columns that are spray painted gold. The golden columns and other stage sets wind up in the junkyard at St. Hill or at other bases:

              http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i68/sadhu77/6479148733_fa4c292237_z.jpg

            • J. Swift
            • Mark

              “I am Ozymandias, king of kings…”

            • OTVIIIisGrrr8!

              COB does not have vulgar taste in decor and stop saying that.

              When he is not on his Theta Throne issuing decrees that strike terror into the heart of Psychs everywhere, COB is actually a very charming individual whose aesthetic wavelength is the envy of all other religious leaders in the world.

              Just look at how snazzy and “with it” COB is in real life; how can you not admire the man?

              http://otviiisgrrr8.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/cob-softer-side.png

            • Mark

              Is that shirt on purpose, or had he just been sick?

            • OTVIIIisGrrr8!

              “That shirt” is a handmade Hermès that cost a whopping $91,000 in parishioner dollars. Only the best for Emperor Miscavige.

            • Mark

              What? Not spider-silk woven by blind virgins? Cheapskate!

            • cicely neville

              Well, I’m going to be sick….

            • Robert Eckert
            • Mark

              And Saddam Hussein, and Nicolae Ceaucescu too!

            • Robert Eckert

              Saddam’s sense of interior decorating:

              http://www.islamic-architecture.info/WA-IQ/MFE04-09.jpg

            • Mark

              Pity he didn’t fall off where they ran out of bannisters!

            • J. Swift

              Saddam’s palace doesn’t quite approach the overwrought design nightmare of the Grand Lobby in the Super Power Building. This looks like a bad subway station in Battlefield Earth:

              http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i68/sadhu77/AtriumEntrance-thumb-550×410-1.jpg

            • cicely neville

              Holy effing Xenu.

              You are absolutely right. Somewhere between a shark’s interior and a hotel lobby designed by Lord Voldemort.

    • DamOTclese2

      One can inquire of the NCC what the bloody hell they are doing supporting forced abortions using their Facebook account which I just saw posted to Facebook from a friend’s account

      https://www.facebook.com/nationalcouncilofchurches

      • Missionary Kid

        The NCC brief is not on the general facts of the case, but on the principle that disclosing the contents of a confession by one cleric to another to get ecclesiastical guidance from the second is the only principle they are worried about. The California law follows the RCC model for confessions, (where the confession is never revealed to anyone) and the NCC doesn’t want to get stuck with the RCC model.

        I think that the NCC is wrong to get involved with this suit, but it’s also wrong to paint them with such a broad brush.

        In spite of my avatar, I’m an atheist, but my attitude is, “Whatever floats your boat.” I do believe that pastoral counselling can help an individual. It can also really fuck them up.

        • Poison Ivy

          But that isn’t the issue – the fact that the confessions were shared. Is it? She is not challenging the church’s right to share the material within its “walls” in this suit. She only wants to be able to use her own damn “confessions” as evidence in her own case. They should be her property, not the church’s.

          That would be a completely different case altogether – the sharing of penitents’ confessions. How many is too many? Is secretly video/audiotaping confessions – particularly in two-party conversation recording states – not a violation of the law, church or not?

          I’d love to see someone who discovered their auditing /ethics sessions were audio/video taped without their permission take this one on in California or another state with the right laws.

          • Missionary Kid

            No. The fact is, the California law was cited, and that’s what is being appealed. The NCC objects to the Catholic standard, which is used in the California law.

            I’m sure that they probably object to the confessional practices of Co$. They just don’t want to have to conform to the RCC standard. It’s a minor legal point to us, but very important to the members of the NCC.

            • Poison Ivy

              Got it. I just hope there is enough dissension among its members that they decide it’s not worth it to get into bed with Scientology on this one.

            • Missionary Kid

              AMEN

      • Papa Xenu

        My guess is that the “proverbial” shit is going to hit the fan when the parishioners find out that their church directly or indirectly supported the the CofS, not so much because of the church in general but because of the subject at hand (not just abortion, but forced abortion).

    • ThetaBara

      > “I wondered if the NCC was aware that they were coming to the aid of a group which (allegedly) not only condoned abortion, often encouraged it & in this case even demanded it.”

      Their response to this was that this is not what the brief is about, only one very narrow question of law. The fact that it was all going in support of forced abortions didn’t seem to be a concern.

      Well God Bless the Episcopals for doing something about it!

      • Papa Xenu

        I agree. I get that in cases regarding religious freedoms, it’s in the best interest of all religions/churches to support one another, even if it’s an issue that doesn’t seem to effect them as there could be unforeseen repercussions. I still am amazed however that any Christian church would want to be seen as supporting a case where the church in question may have forced a young girl to have an abortion, especially considering the motive. My guess is that if &/or when individual churches, pastors, ministers, reverends & especially parishioners learn that a body their church is a member of, supported (albeit independently) this issue it’s going to raise a considerable amount attention & controversy. In fact, the attention this amicus motion may bring could hurt the church more than it helps them. The potential attention/news these allegations against the church may get because the NCC got involve is the LAST thing the church needs/wants right now considering the bad PR & “entheta” Leah Remini’s departure has brought.
        BTW, I’ve really enjoyed reading your comments, I don’t typically have time to everyones, but yours always get my attention, it’s apparent you’re informed, thoughtful & passionate about the issues you discuss.

  • Sydjazz

    Surely this means they will now look at the “church” label if real churches are starting to turn their backs on them?!

  • sugarplumfairy

    I lovvve this.. The days of co$ working in the dark to manipulate and misrepresent are over.. I know for a fact that every church on that list of NCC members was contacted and informed of the background of Laura’s case and scientology in general.. I hope more churches step up to the plate.. the Episcopal church is a biggggg fish..

    • shasha40

      Maybe they need an avalanche of outrage to wake the fuck up and not be complicit with COS COB RTCs crimes? I feel an avalanche coming on …

      • sugarplumfairy

        Do it.. Just keep it calm, reasonable and informative so they’ll read it..

        • shasha40

          Yes, SPF , I have a proffessional outrage side too , sans potty mouth .bol

          • Bury_The_Nuts

            Me too! Sometimes….er…infrequently….but I can pull off an entire memo without sounding like a longshoreman. (But probably not to the NCC)

    • Papa Xenu

      And it’s not as though this is about a minor issue or one that various Christian churches vary on. When it comes to abortions there isn’t much debate among them & when they realize that the case is about a “church” that (allegedly) demands, expects or even suggests abortion we’re going to hear from a lot of parishioners, ministers, reverends etc.

      • sugarplumfairy

        exactly..

      • cicely neville

        See my comment to MK. Most churches don’t forbid it, as the RCC does. It is always regarded as a serious matter, but in most mainstream denominations the decision is left to one’s individual conscience.

  • Schockenawd

    Off topic, sorta. A fascinating discussion of the role of god in the modern day, with Neil Gaiman and the brilliant Neil Degrasse Tyson,. (Being from the age of dinosaurs and all, I’ve never posted a youtube link from my Ipad before, so I hope this works.). It wouldn’t seem Gaiman drinks koolaid. I just had to share.

    http://youtu.be/4IzHxftS8MI

    • Bury_The_Nuts

      Thanks for that. The rainbow shit was totally funny.
      I don’t think Gaiman himself drinks the kool-aid anymore either. I just think he likes maintaining his relationships with his kids and family, and is self aware enough to have figured out how to walk that razor edge.

    • Captain Howdy

      That was good, Tyson is funny, but how come the hot chick Neri got zero camera time?

  • Douglas D. Douglas

    Hate to be so cynical this early in the morning, but I won’t be holding my breath about the NCC changing their mind. In circumstances like this, they are not so much concerned with the religious aspect as they are with legal issues.

    Many years ago the NCC had fairly strict standards in every way. Their full title is National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA. According to their own website, this is their historic charge (in part):
    “In faith, responding to our Creator, we celebrate the full humanity of each woman, man, and child, all created in the divine image as individuals of infinite worth, by working for:
    — Full civil, political and economic rights for women and men of all races.
    –Abolition of forced labor, human trafficking, and the exploitation of children.
    –Employment for all, at a family-sustaining living wage, with equal pay for comparable work.
    –The rights of workers to organize, and to share in workplace decisions and productivity growth.
    –Protection from dangerous working conditions, with time and benefits to enable full family life.
    –A system of criminal rehabilitation, based on restorative justice and an end to the death penalty.”
    http://www.ncccusa.org/news/ga2007.socialcreed.html

    This social agenda often led to charges that they were “liberal” and “socialist.” (Not good things in America in the politically charged 1950s!) So they also were very certain that each member church adhered to a strict doctrine of fidelity to the gospel and belief in the historic Jesus Christ.

    Today… not so much. At least one member church (the Community of Christ) is a denomination of Mormonism (there are such things). And over the years they have come to the legal aid of groups who are decidedly NOT believers in the historic Jesus (as mentioned in the article, the Unification Church and Scientology).

    Individual members may raise objections. But the organization will, in my opinion, likely remain committed to their support of this odious cult, but only, you know, in a narrowly defined legal sense…

    • Gerard Plourde

      Excellent points. From what I understand, the group was established at the time the “Social Gospel” was in vogue, the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. One of its goals is ecumenism, that is, a finding of common ground among different denominational groups.

      It’s particularly telling that the requirement for membership was “belief in the historic Jesus Christ”. It shows an attempt to bridge the unbridgeable and explains how the Mormon faction gains entry. Liberal Protestant biblical scholarship a the turn of the last century went down the rabbit hole on a quest for the “historical Jesus”, a quest that often ended questioning his divinity and the Resurrection. So the NCC began as an attempt to accommodate groups within Protestantism whose core beliefs could be radically different or even diametrically opposed, like a conservative Baptist who believes in Creationism and a Presbyterian, Methodist or Episcopalian who question the accounts of miracles and (in some cases take the extreme view mentioned above). The way they find common ground is to avoid talking about what divides them theologically. It’s then a really short jump to accepting (or at least supporting) everyone.

      • Douglas D. Douglas

        This time period is fascinating for religion-geeks. The NCC was really moving against a Fundamentalist tide that was reflective of greater society’s conservative orientation. So it is no surprise that they would remain somewhat contrarian to this day.

        • Gerard Plourde

          Right. Or it be argued that Fundamentalism was reacting against what it perceived to be a challenge to true Christian belief regarding the contents of the Bible.

      • Nevermore

        Having read their social creed here: http://www.apostoliccatholicchurch.com/ct-menu-item-3/ct-menu-item-9 I can’t believe they’re siding with Scientology. And i suspect their members won’t like it once they’re made aware of it.

    • Poison Ivy

      If their mission includes, as you say:

      –Abolition of forced labor, human trafficking, and the exploitation of children.
      –Employment for all, at a family-sustaining living wage, with equal pay for comparable work.
      –The rights of workers to organize, and to share in workplace decisions and productivity growth.
      –Protection from dangerous working conditions, with time and benefits to enable full family life.

      Then Scientology is the ANTITHESIS of their mission.

      VITAL for former Sea Orgers to contact them by letter and explain this contradiction/hypocrisy.

      How can an organization that has these goals in its mission statement support Scientology, which is basically an unindicted human trafficking/slave labor organization? Priests, monks, nuns, and workers for other churches are treated far better than Sea Org “clergy,” who are nothing to Scientology but disposable bodies. And the definition of Sea Org means you will not have a full family life.

      • Gerard Plourde

        Tunnel vision is a wonderful thing. What we’re seeing acted out is in some ways the historic Catholic-Protestant confrontation. A little background is in order.

        In the Catholic Church, confession to a priest is considered to be a sacrament, which is defined as a ritual that was established by Jesus that gives grace (spiritual nourishment) to the recipient.
        Catholics (and the Eastern Orthodox churches) believe that there are seven sacraments (Baptism, Penance (confession), Eucharist (communion), Conformation, Matrimony, Holy Orders (priesthood), Anointing of the Sick.) The Protestant Reformation, beginning with Martin Luther

        • ThetaBara

          This is how the NCC lady explained it to me. They are concerned that if the Catholic model is the legal standard, that other clergy will not be able to confer with one another or even seek advice. So they choose to support scientology and coerced abortion. Fabulous. God bless ’em!

        • cicely neville

          Excellent, GP, thank you.
          In the Episcopal Church private confession is not mandatory but always on offer. When it occurs, it is absolutely confidential.

          • Gerard Plourde

            Thanks for reply. Oddly enough, while not completely clear, consensus appears to be that if a Catholic has not committed a Mortal Sin (defined as a serious sin committed with full knowledge and consent), confession isn’t mandatory either.

      • Douglas D. Douglas

        Too true. But the statement is intended for member denominiations. I don’t know if they will apply it to groups they support in their quest for “religious freedom.” And that, of course, is the card that the CoS has successfully played time and again in their quest for credulous dupes.

  • i-Betty

    Good morning, everyone 🙂

    Well done, Cecily! It’s great to see that our letters sometimes work. I’m sorry I haven’t already written to the NCCofC, and will rectify that immediately.

    Email addresses, for anyone else who should need it: news@ncccusa.org / info@nationalcouncilofchurhces.org

    I can’t wait for Brian Culkin’s testimony! It could be a car crash moment but I think it will be fascinating. I’m giving him credit for volunteering to show up.

    • Marie Claire Wolf

      Each of us can emulate Cecily in that we all have duly elected officials that can also be reached by mails. As my mother used to say: “It is the squeaky wheel that gets the grease.”
      Let’s all become loud squeaky wheels!

      A bouquet of gratitude to Cecily.

      • Sherbet

        {Oh, sure, Cecily’s the teacher’s pet now…}

        (Snark indicators locked and loaded.)

    • tetloj

      Hope you rested well i-Betty – big day yesterday…

      • i-Betty

        Thank you so much, yes I did! It’s a gorgeous day today and I have a walk planned with my brothers in the hills this afternoon 🙂

    • Ciru

      I think you have a typo in that email. info@nationalcouncilofchurches.org seems to work.

      • i-Betty

        Ha, you’re absolutely right. The type is on their own website, I simply copy/pasted it into my email. I wonder if they’ve noticed they’re not receiving many emails.

        • Bury_The_Nuts

          Yep, that was where I got it and I had to fix the spelling on Church…they had aa churhc.
          Proof reading would be their friend.

    • Bury_The_Nuts

      National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA * info@nationalcouncilofchurhces.org * 110 Maryland Avenue NE, Suite 108, Washington, DC 20002-5603 *
      Phone: 202-544-2350 * Fax: 202-543-1297

      and here is another:

      NCC News contact: Philip E. Jenks, 646-853-4212 (cell), cruzandjenks@gmail.com

    • Eivol Ekdal

      maybe try “info@nationalcouncilofchurches.us”
      .org is not registered edit :oops – it is registered – that is what i get for not checking the spelling

  • Ms. B. Haven

    The interview that Tony did with Claire yesterday is a great example of why turning over ‘confessional’ folders to Laura D. doesn’t really mean all that much. As anyone could see from some of the auditing questions, these ‘confessional sessions’ are nothing if not BORING. Scientology calls the folders that contain the notes from the auditing sessions ‘confessional folders’, but that name is deceptive.

    The real meat, blood & guts, sordid tales, scandalous deeds, tawdry tidbits and juicy blackmail stuff comes not from the ‘confessional folders’ but from the ethics folders that every scientologist has whether they know it or not. Here is where you will find all of those ‘sessions’ that start with the phrase, “I’m not auditing you.” Here you will find the knowledge reports your ‘friends’ and fellow scientologists have written about you, the record of all of the times you have been having chats with the ethics officer for being involved in various infractions like being late for course, or asking the wrong questions, etc. Then there are the OSA files. I am not very familiar with these so I will leave it to more knowledgable commenters to discuss those.

    I wonder how many of the churches who are members of the NCC engage in the same sorts of activities that the ‘scientology scriptures’ mandate when it comes to ‘ethics matters’? Do these churches have their own version of OSA? I’m not a Christian, but it doesn’t seem to be very Christ-like to try to “ruin utterly” your suppressive neighbor like Hubbard’s ‘scriptures’ require one to do if they are a scientologist in good standing.

    • Laura Dieckman

      The pc folder is where all of the “confessionals” are put actually. Not the ethics folder. Just to clarify! I did very little “Bridge” auditing. Never did Grade 0 that Claire spoke of yesterday.

      • Bury_The_Nuts

        Holy Crap! You had that many files and you hadn’t even got as far as grade 0?
        Unreal!!!!

        • Laura Dieckman

          Nope. Crazy right? I was only through the Scientology Drug Rundown. 28 years as a Scientologist. Over 15 years on staff or in the Sea Org… But that was not unusual actually.

          • Bury_The_Nuts

            I never cease to be amazed by these criminals. Never!

          • Ruby

            And to put that all in perspective…if someone just came into Scientology and started auditing, with no other detours…they could get up to and thru the Scientology Drug Rundown in a couple months and have it all be in 1-2 folders, max.

          • TheHoleDoesNotExist

            Just when I Finally know that I have heard it all and can’t be surprised. Not about staff not getting up the bridge. Staff have Always been kept from experiencing auditing, especially the OT levels. We know how nearly impossible it is to recruit, much less keep staff. If they got to OT levels, they would find out the scam and scram.

            But all these confessionals and sec checks, even for OT’s? I would think this would highly motivate staff as well as public to run out the door more than anything else. To hear you had That many folders due to sec checks to me is evidence of mental abuse worthy of intervention of Some human rights advocacy group.

            It makes doing time in North Korea look like a Disney vacation.

          • aquaclara

            Grade 0, a ridiculous name for a grade to begin with, is not even available to some or most staff. Yes, crazy….but then, what hasn’t been with this cult? !
            Laura,
            Whatever the electronic version is of looking at piles of papers spread all out on the dining room table, I wish you every ounce of luck that there is.
            You probably can’t say much now, but just wanted to let you know that we’re all thinking about you. I guess missing that Grade 0 was a good thing after all.

            Sending some Irish luck your way!!!

          • cicely neville

            Glad to see you here, Laura! Hugs and wild cheers, you brave, brave woman.

      • Ms. B. Haven

        I stand corrected on this point. However, when I was an ethics officer at a mission way back when, if I sec checked someone, that info went into the person’s ethics folder. That is what I remember to the best of my knowledge, but that was over 3 decades ago. I am one of those ‘no-case-gain’, out-ethics, degraded beings turned full blown SP, and since I didn’t make it to Clear, my recall is less than perfect.

        I don’t know the details of everything that you are going through, but if you can get your hands on EVERY folder and file that they have on you, do so. In my experience, much of the stuff that they find incriminating will be found in places besides the ‘confessional folders’.

        I hope you are doing well Laura. I salute your courage and your contribution that is making so much progress in dismantling this dangerous group. It is my wish that your sacrifices are rewarded handsomely and you get the outcome you desire as a result of all your incredibly hard work.

  • patriotchick

    First let me say I am not nor have I ever been a scientologist. I am just curious about cults and religion in general and found this blog a few months ago after reading John Sweeneys book about his experiences doing the BBC Panorama tv show. Wowza. This site is beyond fascinating reading. I think Mr. Ortega and all of you are brave, brave souls!

    I have two (probably dumb) questions:
    1. As a sci-fi author, why would LRH create a program with so little room for change and evolution? It seems like he would know that everything changes as time marches on. This drive to dig in and destroy critics leaves no room for adjusting or modifying the scheme as future cultural mores change.
    2. To think this is all going on under the noses of politicians and police! It seems that police/FBI does investigate churches that cross certain lines: Warren Jeffs of the fundamentalist LDS church sits in jail over practices involving his religion, Waco and David Koresh, Jim Jones, even though he was overseas. So… why don’t they take the info from all of these former Scientology officials and members who say people are being enslaved and held against their will –and raid the compound in California? Could that happen or are the doors closed on such investigations? When they get there, would Stockholm Syndrome kick in and the people would blame themselves for their troubles or would they breathe a sigh of relief at their rescuers?

    Thanks. Sorry for the dumb questions from a newbie. Just curious. Thanks for the great sites and conversations!

    • i-Betty

      Hi, Patriotchick! Wasn’t John Sweeney’s book brilliant? I love his dry humour.

      The others will have much better-informed answers for your (not dumb at all!) questions, but I just wanted to say “welcome” 🙂

      • patriotchick

        Yes, his book was brilliant. He was beating himself up so much about losing his cool. I felt bad for him. I personally thought he exercised extreme self-control. I would’ve lost my cool LONG before he did. He should ease up on himself a bit.

        • Robert Long

          John Sweeney’s an f’in saint! I’d have taken a swing at Tommy Davis on the roof of that parking garage. JS lasted days full of harassment before engaging in a thoroughly understandable {word clearing} session.

        • Once_Born

          I get the impression that John Sweeney’s outburst was at least partly due to his being harassed immediately after visiting an appalling Scientology {exhibition} which attempts to blame Psychiatry for the Holocaust.

          He was still reeling from the deluded, unbalanced, hatred that oozes out of it.

          However, everyone I spoke to after the programmed was broadcast loved the man, not only for telling his creepy stalker where to get off, but also for subsequently broadcasting the event uncensored (despite being professionally mortified at having lost control).

          Edited versions of the “Exploding Tomato” incident may have played well with CofS members – but the extra viewers it attracted inflicted damage on the {Church} which more than made up for that.

          Sweeney subsequently made a programme in North Korea, using secret cameras…

          • noseinabk

            About a month ago, I looked for the bbc show that had the unedited celeb interviews. Any one know if its correct that the COS stopped the airing of those interviews but JS later put them up?

            • Once_Born

              Can’t find anything… yet… but I did find something else almost as good.

              A radio ‘interview’ between a mock BBC film critic and John Sweeney, discussing Tom Cruise and his part in the film “Valkyrie”.

              In it, John:

              1) Sends himself up by reprising his “Exploding Tomato” moment for laughs (yes it is a joke, played very straight indeed).

              2) Makes a very serious point in the last few seconds – which will warm the hearts of us all.

              http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7850746.stm

              I hope the sound clip plays outside the UK.

            • noseinabk

              HAHAHAHA! I love Sweeney! Just before the 1 min. mark if your impatient.

            • Robert Eckert

              You’d miss the buildup if you jumped in that late. Start at 40 seconds.

            • i-Betty

              I’m in the UK, OB, and I’ve never heard this clip before! HOW have I never heard this clip before?! Giggling my head off! 😀

            • Studious Judious

              Sweeny did a follow up to his original show, where he meets with Mike and Marty. In that show he discusses the celebrity interviews, why he was not allowed to show them initially and why he can show them now.

            • Eivol Ekdal
            • noseinabk

              Thank you Stud. I found it, I think. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZ_ixfRb2i8
              I did not remember that it was the cos version that was shown. (34 Min)

    • Bury_The_Nuts

      Welcome Patriotchick.
      I can’t even fathom question one, but I can help a bit with question two. (with my opinion anyhow…)
      It was actually those ex church officials and staff who warned the FBI away from raiding INT and the hole because they told them that these people would say they were there voluntarily.

      Much like what may have just happened with Shelly Miscavige.
      And Waco and the Fundamentalist LDS raids were both disasters and I am sure that is a major consideration for the Feds.

      • TonyOrtega

        Hate to disagree with you BTN, but the informants did not talk the FBI out of a raid. While privately they might have thought it was a bad idea, they didn’t convince the agents to change tactics. The FBI gave up for other reasons, some of which I lay out in this story from earlier this year…

        http://tonyortega.org/2013/01/13/did-the-headleys-and-their-lawsuit-torpedo-the-fbi-investigation-of-scientology/

        • Bury_The_Nuts

          Don’t hate to disagree with me.
          I am wrong more often than right. (just ask my husband)

          I will go re-read it.

        • Mrs Libnish

          I forgot all about that report. The FBI is dirty and chicken. End of story.

    • Robert Eckert

      1. A GOOD sci-fi writer would understand that the future is going to be very different from the past. L. Ron Hubbard was not a good sci-fi writer. His stories are generally set in a “future” society which is frozen somewhere around 1930 to 1950.

      2. This has baffled and angered many people. It should be noted however that the raid on FLDS netted huge backlash for the authorities, as the women and children they were wanting to protect expressed the Stockholm Syndrome you allude to (and which is particularly strong in Scientology, as we see in the Shelly Miscavige case and earlier saw in Heber Jentzch); and the raids on Koresh and Jones ended with horrific mass suicides, which in the case of the Waco fire generated long-lived conspiracy theories about how the government supposedly was guilty of intentional mass murder. So raiding a cult sounds like a terrible idea to the feds.

    • Sherbet

      Never a dumb question! Like i-Betty, I think others are more suited to answer your questions, especially people who were actually in the “church.” (I wasn’t.) I’ll just say that some variation of your second question has been on the mind of every never-in who has visited the Bunker and, before that, Tony’s Village Voice blog, and, before that, it probably was written on a papyrus scroll. I know it was pretty much the first question I asked of the blog — Why doesn’t law enforcement barge in and do SOMETHING?? Why, indeed…

    • Ms. B. Haven

      Others will have much better answers to your questions, but here’s my take:
      1. The reason for scientology’s slavish resistance to change is because Hubbard needed total control to make the money machine work. Scientology would have gone the way of so many other movements if not for this control. Control is maintained using the ‘ethics tech’ Hubbard made up.
      2. I don’t think it would do much good to do something like raid the various compounds like Int Base or Big Blue for the purpose of freeing the members held against their will. The razor wire could come down and most folks would stay. The problem is not the physical prison that they are in, but the mental prison that they have agreed to be in (see my comments in answer #1.). This is very puzzling for someone who is a ‘never-in’ and speaking as someone who was once ‘in’ it is hard for me to grasp sometimes too.

      I would suggest reading Lawrence Wright’s book, Going Clear and Jefferson Hawkins’ book Counterfeit Dreams to get some deeper insight to this puzzling conundrum. Jeff posts here occasionally and his insights always amaze me.

      Welcome to the Bunker. I hope you comment here often!

      • blueskiesagain

        I am also an admiring lurker (hey, that would be a good name for a band, haha). Since I was involved in a cult-like Christian ministry when I was young, I have always been fascinated by the phenomena. I saved the articles about Jonestown, because I think that there was a time that myself and my husband just may have dranken (I made that word up, and I just love it!) the koolaid. Anyways, I recommend the book Banished: Surviving My Years in the Westboro Baptist Church by Lauren Drain. To me what is so interesting is her story of how she escaped but her husband is still there with some of her kids, and has shunned her forever. It is a hate group, pure and simple. They are using the Bible as a front, but this group has nothing to do with a real church. They are a sick, dysfunctional family. But in the book you can get a good look at the thought processes of a cult follower. For the Bunkerites, keep fighting the good fight! You guys are awesome.

        • WhereIsSHE

          Glad to have you here. We always appreciate fresh points of view (and good recommended reading).

          The WBC followers also believe they are helping to “save” the planet.
          “Save” the planet… “Clear” the planet…
          It’s all the same big holier-than-thou, us vs. them-shtick in the end.

        • Missionary Kid

          If you haven’t already read Nate Phelps’ story, here’s his website. http://natephelps.com/ He escaped Westbro the day he turned 18. His sister now basically runs the cult.

          • Poison Ivy

            Great link.

            • Missionary Kid

              He made it out. There’s a lot of similarity in his experience, IMO, and those getting out of Co$, IMO.

        • Whiningmachine

          If you haven’t read it already, I strongly recommend the book ‘Addicted to Hate’. It’s not in print due to Phelps’ legal jerk actions, but can easily be found on the web. A fascinating and insightful read into a truly evil man.

    • Marie Claire Wolf

      You probably never had a look-see at his Sci-Fi, that foufou stuff explains a lot…He was a miserable human being and one of the worst con job ever, his legacy is perfectly embodied in David Miscavage’ s S& M rule.
      And yes, people are so brain-washed and rendered helpless that they become zombified and dare not move. That is why we protest. Do anything productive that you can to help put a end to the appalling greed and abuse of Co$, but make it well thought of and totally above board in contrast to their methods.

    • Veritas

      patriotchick,

      In answer to question 1, it is useful to think of LRH in the following manner. Imagine that he was trying to recreate George Orwell’s totalitarian dystopia 1984, and place himself in the role of Big Brother. That’s basically what he was trying to do- he didn’t have a shred of decency or honesty.

      • WhereIsSHE

        That is the hallmark of a cult leader, btw.

        This is an excellent documentary called “The Dangerous Devotion to Cults”. It helped me to understand the trap, the control, the mindset…

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jHTZc5hGHE

    • ze moo

      No dumb questions, though I have many dumb answers.

      1. Hubbard froze all Co$ doctrine and invested himself with papal like infallibility. The great guru that Hubbard was determined all policies and ‘sacraments’ that clams use today. There is lots of evidence that many people actually developed and wrote how to do auditing and run a scieno ‘church’. Lroon had to take credit for all of $cientology for his ego and wallet. If you don’t share credit, you don’t have to share profits.

      2. If during a FBI raid of the ‘hole’ only one person got out, I think it would be worth it. The problem is the other folks in the ‘Hole’ would scream bloody murder and that is what the TV networks would show. Politics and future budgets determine it all. Unless CO$ is caught manufacturing suicide vests for a terrorist group, don’t expect any federal raid. I do hope for IRS action on several issues some day, but I am an optimist….

      • Gerard Plourde

        “Hubbard froze all Co$ doctrine and invested himself with papal like infallibility.”

        Papal infallibility pales in comparison to Hubbard’s control mechanisms. A Pope only speaks infallibly in matters of faith and morals and only when he specifically states that the pronouncement is infallible. This has only occurred twice in the last 150 years, concerning the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception (Mary was born free of Original Sin because she was intended to be the mother of the Messiah) and the doctrine of the Assumption (that Mary was taken body and soul into Heaven at her death in honor of her fidelity to God’s plan).

        Sorry for the intrusion but I think it’s important that people understand the concept so that they can see that Hubbard’s pathological control mechanisms have no remotely reasonable parallel.

        • Robert Eckert

          No parallel in the present, but of course Koresh, Jones, etc. or to go back further Joseph Smith and Brigham Young in Mormonism’s more cultish days similarly had every bit of drivel that drooled from their lips treated as a divine revelation. I am sure there are cult leaders right now who exercise similar control over their followers, but unlike LRH, not over a large enough group to gain public notoriety.

          • Once_Born

            And neither Koresh not Jones managed to create a repressive system that outlived them.

            • 1subgenius

              That’s why its important to understand that Hubbard created an automated system of brain-washing.
              Something the “indies” should learn.

            • Robert Eckert

              Yeah: Joseph Smith is probably the closest parallel, although David Miscavige has none of the managerial skills of Brigham Young.

            • Poison Ivy

              Yes, without Brigham Young’s iron fisted leadership, Mormonism might never have made it out of Missouri. Smith was the charisma and the vision, and his murder made him a martyr – martyrs tend to have a unifying effect on their flock.

            • Robert Eckert

              That what I was saying. LRH can be compared to Joseph Smith in founding a movement that continued after he was gone, but the difference is that LRH’s successor is not nearly as good as Smith’s successor in the managerial aspect, so Scientology is unlikely to have the long-term survival that Mormonism has exhibited.

          • Gerard Plourde

            Absolutely right – Notice I did draw the line at “reasonable parallel”. He’s got plenty of company on the lunatic fringe.

          • WhereIsSHE

            There was this “Heaven’s Gate” nut who led all of his followers to commit suicide:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqSZhwu1Rwo

            • WhereIsSHE

              The evening news with Peter Jennings on the day after the Heaven’s Gate group suicide:

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tT-rNIxUjU

            • Robert Eckert

              My aunt heard Do talk several years before, and when she mentioned it to me the group was not widely known (this was well before the suicides) and she wasn’t sure what had become of him and his enthusiastic followers: “Maybe the spaceship picked them up?”

          • Captain Howdy

            Rev Moon was craftier than any of them, including LRH.

            After the 70’s, 80’s you barely heard anything negative about the Unification Church in the media, even with the advent of the internet.

            And they probably have more members and more money than CofS

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kScJB63PBOI

          • Missionary Kid

            The subsequent leaders were smart enough to change the doctrine with “new revelations” that the flock followed. DM couldn’t do that, so he quibbles over apostrophes and colons.

            • Once_Born

              In order for New Religious Movements to establish themselves, they have to stand out. Distinctive doctrines are typically controversial, so the early years of NRMs are often marked by conflict with wider society.

              One of the reasons that some NRMs survive and other don’t is that the successful ones moderate their beliefs after they become established, toning down the controversial elements – they “change the doctrine with ‘new revelations’ “, as you put it.

              With time and familiarity, what once seemed to be crazy ideas are normalised, and the group achieves a sort of ‘respectability’.

              Miscavige doesn’t have the imagination to do this and, even if he did, the doctrine that the dated words of ‘Source’ represents the absolute and unchangeable truth would prevent him.

              Historically, groups like Scientology that don’t adapt, die naturally.

            • Missionary Kid

              Miscabbage is uneducated, doesn’t seem to want to learn, and leans on past strategies that have worked in the microcosm of attacking and subduing individuals. Unfortunately for him, there are now more exes out there, as well as the internet, which acts as a force multiplier to join them together with wogs against Co$. He’s got a whole different foe to deal with.

              Co$, under DM, will never adapt.

              Agreed. “Doesn’t hurt to help them along that path, though.”

        • ze moo

          The limit on Papal infallibility and the non-limit on Lroons ‘source’ shows the difference between a religion and a cult. Various churches have used political power to further their aims in the not so distant past. “No one expects the Spanish Inquisition”. Catholicism has evolved and changed from it medieval state. $cientology can’t change, that would ‘squirrel’ the set in titanium edicts of the Lrooon.

    • Missionary Kid

      1. LRH wasn’t that good a science fiction writer. Good sf writers write about human problems. LRH only did some of that. He was pretty much stuck in the 50s and earlier in his writing. The only reason that Battlefield Earth did as well as it did was that the clams bought the book in droves, and enough other people, upon seeing it on the bestseller list, bought it.

      I believe that they hadn’t been exposed to well written science fiction, so they judged it much higher than it deserved.

    • Once_Born

      In answer to question one:

      Hubbard was not a very good science fiction author. He can be more accurately described as a pulp author who did some science fiction – along with Westerns ‘Flight stories’… and whatever else paid.

      All of the SF stories Hubbard did write suffer from their poorly-concealed power fantasy elements. This personal tendency ran completely out of control after Dianetics took off, and he surrounded himself by enthusiastic yes-men (and women). Having tasted that sort of power, he wanted to keep it.

      When the people who financed Dianetics (which they believed to be a science) wanted to take it out of his complete control and develop it as a group effort, he walked away and started up Scientology instead.

      He had learned his lesson, and kept Scientology under the strictest possible control (nominating himself as the only source of truth – which is why Scientologist still refer to him as “Source”). The Dianetics group folded, years later, and Hubbard gleefully bought back the rights to his daft creation and incorporated it into Scientology.

      I see where your question is coming from – SF is generally a genre that is very open to new ideas and their development. The reason Hubbard created such a repressive organisation even after being exposed to those ideals can only be explained by his character flaws – he was a narcissistic fantasist.

      • Poison Ivy

        Agreed. Hubbard was a hack writer. He had a prolific set of fingers on his typewriter and a fertile imagination, but he’d write in whatever genre that paid best at the moment. Westerns were fading and Sci Fi was “in.” He wasn’t a visionary like the best Sci Fi writers of the ages – Asimov, Heinlein, even Jules Verne in his day.

        • Missionary Kid

          The only vision he had was of the dollar sign.

        • Once_Born

          And Hubbard plagiarised many of Heinlein’s ideas and terms in his ‘cult writings’ – not to mention (distorted) elements of his personal style.

          • Missionary Kid

            IMO, Heinlein wrote in a theoretical manner, putting ideas out there. He didn’t necessarily subscribe to them, but he at least proposed them. He didn’t want a bunch of people following him, but at least discussing ideas.

            People had the mistaken idea that he was for free love, or that he was a hard and fast right winger. He wrote to provoke thought. LRH wrote to subdue it.

            • Once_Born

              Agreed.

              For more about Heinlein’s fascinating life and character (not to mention his interactions with Hubbard himself, and his scathing opinion of Dianetics) try:

              “Robert A Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century (Vol 1: Learning Curve 1907 – 1948)”
              By William H Patterson, Jr.

            • Missionary Kid

              Thanks. I know that LRH and Heinlein were friends, but just the thought of them being so disgusts me.

    • John P.

      Regarding #1, a survey of Hubbard’s life would show that he was many things, including a pulp science fiction writer. Among others, he was a failed Naval officer, which clearly influenced strongly the creation of the Sea Org and his authoritarian streak when he was sailing around the Mediterranean with his fake navy, in an attempt to relive and compensate for his naval failings.

      Hubbard was also a rent-a-cop (though he tried to inflate this into being an LAPD officer), which may have had something to do with his “policing” of cult members via “ethics investigations.”

      There are other facets to Hubbard’s career. This suggests to me that Hubbard made a living as a pulp writer (who wrote in many other genres than just SF), not because he believed in a rapidly evolving optimistic future, but because it was something that he could easily do that paid more money than “honest labor.”

      Also, on at least one occasion, he nearly lost control of the empire to creditors whom he had tried to screw out of money.

      For these, and many other reasons, it’s a reasonable guess that Hubbard became a control freak as the cult grew in size and in success and developed the obsession with standardization and control (which is necessary in any rapidly expanding business, but which he took to unhealthy extremes). It’s also apparent that he didn’t really start the cult as a permanent enterprise, as he didn’t really have any clear plan for succession, either in naming individuals who could manage the business after he died, or in setting up any workable organizational structures to prevent someone like David Miscavige from jumping into the power vacuum and becoming another totalitarian despot.

      I would also argue that the beliefs of the cult are difficult to sustain without the coercive punishment-driven organization that evolved; auditing is not sufficiently effective as a self-help mechanism to keep people coming back on their own, and all the crazy space alien stuff at the higher levels doesn’t match up as an explanation for observable reality that it serves as a way to explain the universe. So people will drift away from the “faith” without a lot of negative reinforcement to keep them in line. In other words, Scientology became a fundamentalist religion almost from its very beginning. And fundamentalist religions are utterly resistant to change in any form.

      • Gerard Plourde

        Always great to see your analysis, John P.

        We can probably safely assume that the real reason that no plan for succession exists is because the sole purpose of the enterprise from the beginning was to make money for L. Ron Hubbard. He didn’t care what happened after he died. His task was to keep the money rolling in to him for as long as he lived, plain and simple.

        • aquaclara

          This is my assumption as well. And as the money rolled in, David Miscavige appropriated the admiral’s (fake) navy uniform to continue the charade.
          At the next changing of the guard, I hope that any opportunist still silly enough to be standing on the deck will see that this isn’t an assured money-making scam any longer.

          • GlibWog

            EEEEEEEp aquaclara.. I want it to be like ” Humpty Dumpty! “

            • aquaclara

              Yes! Just like Humpty Dumpty! When all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put the cult back together again.

            • GlibWog

              Yes, Yes.. and Freakin Little Boots can be the Cheese in The Farmer in the Dell..

              ” THE CHEESE STANDS ALONE..” in his Cell.. hahahha Woo Hoo Baby!

            • Missionary Kid

              Wallace and Gromit – Cheeeeese!

            • GlibWog

              hahahaha.. Kid You need an Avatar! You are just too cute not to have one..xo

            • Missionary Kid

              The cute one is Gromit. I’m more like Wallace.

            • GlibWog

              hahhahaa you are funny!

        • Poison Ivy

          I’d argue that it was more about the power and control than the money. Hubbard had piles and piles of money that he didn’t touch; he didn’t live all that large except perhaps during the St. Hill days. He hoarded, sure, but he wasn’t lavish the way DM is lavish. The money was just a part and parcel of the power, which was what he really was all about. In his heyday, he revelled in being surrounded by young, impressionable followers who lauded him as practically a God. I think he spent his life pre-Dianetics/Scientology resentful that the world never recognized his genius (per the Affirmations) and having thousands essentially enslaved to him was his ultimate fantasy. “Mankind’s Best Friend,” indeed.

          • Gerard Plourde

            You’re probably right – the money was only the means to the end once he realized he could have a cult master’s control over people. Perhaps initially, when he wanted to have easy income the money was of more importance but once he found that he could exert near total control over his minions that became the goal.

            • Poison Ivy

              At the same time, he was the kind of guy for whom there would never be enough money, even if just to keep in piles in a vault or under his mattress. The power and the money became one. Quite a different relationship to money than Miscavige has – who lives like the billionaire that he is (or rather, his CHURCH is.) I think the current Pope is more frugal than COB.

            • Missionary Kid

              The Pope may be more frugal, but the cost of maintaining him is far larger.

            • Poison Ivy

              True that. And has always been.

            • GlibWog

              PI ” The Power and the Money Became One. ” Perfect Quote. With RLH and DM you can NOT separate the two.

          • Missionary Kid

            Well put, PI.

      • Missionary Kid

        I would say that “the obsession with standardization and control” was simply control. He was flexing his control “muscles” by tagging anything he didn’t have absolute control of as non-standard.

        Many fundamentalist religions have managed to continue their existence by having “revelations” by subsequent leaders. (E.g. Mormons) that enabled them to change some of the practices that were considered onerous to the rest of society. (The Mormons changed their stance on Blacks and polygamy this way.)

        Having declared that everything LRH said was Source, and not being sophisticated enough to pull this off, DM is stuck.

        The Indies are also in a bind, because without the coercive nature of $cientology to keep adherents away from the rest of the world, and the subsequent exposure to rational ideas, only the most rabid followers of LRH will stay.

        • Poison Ivy

          Part of the problem is that DM is not a charismatic or inspirational leader the way that Hubbard was. Now, many of us look at films of Hubbard and think, “Charismatic? Him?” But we know from the testimony of exes who knew him how charming and persuasive he could be. He was also coming up with new “breakthroughs” all the time. COB has nothing original to offer, and his “charisma” is not one that holds up at close range (or unscripted). If one of the “Tech Geniusus” like David Mayo had been made the new King of Scientology, he might’ve pulled off some new revelations that would’ve convinced the following and opened Scientology up to some flexibility. But with DM at the helm, the organization had no options except to become more and more totalitarian.

          • Missionary Kid

            Exactly.

            Because DM took over by a coup, and worked by persuasion of a few followers to get power, and then eliminated all that he deemed a threat, he really doesn’t have broad support among the followers.

            His only {charisma} comes from the power he wields. There are no general reports from the trenches about what a wonderful guy he is, personally, except from TC.

          • Gerard Plourde

            Another consideration is that a non charismatic leader can survive if he’s willing to share power. DM has to have total control over everyone and because Hubbard’s system lacked a viable organization to support it he easily and ruthlessly eliminated all contenders.

            • Poison Ivy

              Excellent point.

              In eliminating all contenders, he has also eliminated all the talent and ideas necessary to move through the current crisis.

      • Phil McKraken

        Thanks for laying that out, John P. My only dispute is where you say, “[i]t’s also apparent that he didn’t really start the cult as a permanent enterprise, as he didn’t really have any clear plan for succession, either in naming individuals who could manage the business after he died, or in setting up any workable organizational structures…”

        What he intended at the beginning and what he intended near the end may be two entirely different things. And in any case, not properly preparing for the eventualities he desired are certainly no evidence for lack of that desire. After all, he was a nut, and even the wisest of us don’t always lay the ground work for what we intend to happen.

        This is the man who said he would smash his name into history. I’m guessing that he really thought that his Scientology would endure and eventually clear the planet. Not even Hubbard could have predicted that someone like Miscavige would manage to take a stronger dictatorial hold of the organization than he ever had. If he did, he sure wouldn’t have predicted that this would ruin everything, since he understood viscerally (even if mistakenly) that command and control were the way to go.

    • noseinabk

      Hi Patriotchick! Not dumb questions at all.

      2. A helpful article for me was from Robert Vaughn Young (ex) http://www.lermanet.com/cos/mindcontrolmodel.htm

      “I read some
      articles by “experts” on the subject of “cult control” but they just
      didn’t fit. It was like putting on an expensive but oversized coat that
      hung off the fingertips and draped across me like a double-breasted. Yeah,
      it was a “coat” and the “label” was impressive but…

      I wondered if it was me. Maybe I resented the idea that I had been
      “brainwashed” or there was “mind control” and so that was why I didn’t
      like the theories. I found myself in an amusing situation where I was
      agreeing with the cult that the models didn’t work but there was still
      SOMEthing, some point of control. Why was I talked back into a situation
      that I detested and that I could look back on years later and agree, yes,
      something else was at work. There WAS some sort of “control” but “mind
      control”? It didn’t work.

      It wasn’t until my first trip to Wellspring that I found the model that
      worked for me. It had nothing to do with them. It was some books that were
      on their shelves that I was reading in my spare time that let me realize
      the model that worked for me: the battered or abused woman. The idea
      didn’t take hold fully then. It took further reading (including some on
      the Web) some months later to bring it together.”

      • Once_Born

        That’s an interesting approach. It reminds me of the psychological concept of “Learned Helplessness”.

        I cringe at the (historical) animal experiments that this idea is based on, but it does provide an insight into why people living under the sort of extreme repression suffered by the Sea Org, do not take active measures to escape as often as you would expect them to.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learned_helplessness

        • noseinabk

          Interesting.

          “People with pessimistic explanatory style—which sees negative events as permanent (“it will never change”), personal (“it’s my fault”), and pervasive (“I can’t do anything correctly”)—are most likely to suffer from learned helplessness”

          • Once_Born

            According to people who escaped him, Miscavige forces this “pessimistic explanatory style” onto everyone around him:

            The security and control measures = “it will never change”
            ‘Make it go right’ and ‘You pulled in it’ = “It’s my fault”
            Miscavige raving about how he is the only who can get things done = “I can’t do anything correctly”

    • Eivol Ekdal

      1. To evolve his thought with time he would have to admit that the early theories were wrong. Hubbard would rather redefine terms in his ‘tech’ by producing his own dictionary and clarify anything ‘you’ misunderstood earlier with a bulletin, rather than admit he was wrong or unclear in the first place.

    • Studious Judious

      Hi patriotchick! Welcome.

      My take on question 1 is that LRH was a con man. Even though he said he was concerned about the planet’s future, he was really only concerned about his future. The epitome of selfishness. Since he was a con man, and he had himself been screwed over in the past, he didn’t trust anyone. Therefore he set himself up as a dictator, with no system of checks and balances. He didn’t care about the future of his family, or the church so why bother with allowing for modifications that were not his own.

      Question 2 is constantly being discussed and I have nothing to add.

    • WhereIsSHE

      #1. JohnP’s analysis for the “WIN”.

      Only thing I can add is:
      Hubbard was lazy in the imagination department.
      Proof: OT3 …and Douglas DC-8s, minus the propellers.

      • Robert Eckert

        A summary of one of Hubbard’s really bad chapters, revealing his fixation in the past (not even the 50’s, back to the 30’s):

        http://missionspork.blogspot.com/2013/02/part-forty-six-chapter-five-pigs-as.html

        • Once_Born

          Much of the science that we now associate with the 50s had not become public knowledge – a process took much longer, pre-Interent – and some of it remained a military secret for years.

          Since Hubbard had no scientific education, and gleaned his scientific ‘ideas’ from out-of-date popular accounts, it was inevitable that his Science Fiction would be shallow and out of date.

          • Missionary Kid

            AMEN. He was a scientific idiot.

          • Robert Eckert

            The absence of science in his “science” fiction is bad, but the lack of any social awareness of how the world around him had changed since he was young is even worse. He seemed to miss even the concept that the word *can* change.

    • Cheryl

      i am coming at this from the same perspective as you, Living in the UK i jhad heard of scientology, there was some coverage after the tragic death of John Travolta’s son and i think there nmight have been a divorce or sonmething! I watched the channel 4 programme Scientologists at war, which I found fascinating and had a frank exchange of views with a friend about the diminutive poster boy of the organisation. Then i found this blog after watching an episode of Media Mayhem on YouTube.
      It is going to sound stupid and simplistic , but it seems to me that the whole teachings and writings of Hubbard was just some very weak idea for a book that didn’t get published, The publishers were not taken in by his plot, just a few thousand ordinary people. I read that once you get to a certain level you are allowed to see his handwritten ideas, is it just a manuscript?

      • Studious Judious

        I suggest reading LRH Jr.’s interview with Penthouse magazine.

        http://www.lermanet.com/scientologynews/penthouse-LRonHubbardJr-interview-1983.htm

        • q-bird

          and this, along side that: http://youtu.be/Mi6aTe6T5LE

          Shortly after this debate, Robert Vaughn Young left the {{{church}}}.

        • Cheryl

          Thanks studious, another first for me, have never read Penthouse before, lol!

      • Robert Eckert
        • Cheryl

          Thanks for this Robert, i’ve got Lawrence Wright’s book to read too.

      • Eivol Ekdal
        • Cheryl

          thanks some bedtime reading!!!

      • Once_Born

        The first publication of Dianetics was as a series in a pulp Science Fiction magazine. You are correct so right -his ideas were considered so weak by book publishers that they decline to published the book. Hubbard had to work on the editor of “Astounding Science Fiction” – a pulp magazine that he had sold short stories to.

        Although John W Campbell (the editor) transformed the genre, he was pathetically vulnerable to pseudo-science and initially fell for Hubbard’s ideas.

        Only after ‘Dianetic Therapy’ became a brief, but popular fad, did book publishers swallow their pride and publish “Dianetics” – for the money. Subsequently, only the CofS have published the book – so you could argue that Hubbard never did get book publishers to take his writings seriously.

        • Missionary Kid

          Campbell loved to editorialize with thought-provoking editorials that were, in essence rabble-rousing. An article like LRH’s would have intrigued him. He initially fell for the ideas, but later just ignored Dianetics.

          Supposedly (and I don’t know where I read or heard it) Campbell said that giving Dianetics space in Astounding was one of the things he regretted.

          I probably started reading Astounding in about 1955 or 6. I don’t recall any mention of Dianetics in it after that time period.

        • Mark

          Yes, there was all that ‘Shaver Mystery’ twaddle about secret underground alien invaders Campbell promoted in the late 1940’s.

          • Missionary Kid

            I missed that. Campbell loved to act like a troll to get the readers’ blood up in replying to the editorials. I learned a lot from reading them, not about the subject, but how he would define a term so that when people argued with him, they’d lose. I learned to read what someone writes very carefully. Unfortunately, I ignore that at my peril too often.

            • Mark

              I’ve found that too; I’m sure Slubbard learnt some of his language-mangling tricks at Campbell’s feet.

              I’ve also found Robert Graves’ The Reader Over Your Shoulder very useful as a tutorial on bullshit-detection when reading. It’s meant as “a handbook for writers of English prose”, but among his specimens of bad writing, Graves gives many examples of dishonesty or manipulation – and then takes them to pieces by accurate (and often very funny) analysis.

              There’s tons about Shaver online: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Sharpe_Shaver

            • Missionary Kid

              Another place is the Skeptic Society. http://www.skeptic.com/ They have, somewhere, a method laid out to detect fraud in reasoning. I don’t have it handy.

            • Mark

              I like the Skeptic Society. Unlike some other putatively ‘agnostic’ groups, they don’t try to treat theology as hard science, which is like trying to analyse poetry with a mass-spectrometer.

            • Missionary Kid

              Yup. Basically, as I read most of what they write, they’re saying that religion is not provable or disprovable using science. Claims, however, can be examined in the light of what we know about physiology and other sciences.

          • Missionary Kid

            Shaver was in Amazing Stories not Astounding. To my knowledge, Campbell never edited Amazing.

            • Mark

              My mistake: of course it was Ray Palmer who edited ‘Amazing’. But then he was rather like Campbell – opinionated, dictatorial and hugely credulous on occasion.

        • TonyOrtega

          Your chronology doesn’t really work. The excerpt of Dianetics that Campbell published was in the May 1950 issue of Astounding. The book, as any good Scientologist will tell you, was published on May 9, 1950. The magazine article would have come out a few weeks early, but it was essentially a promotion for the book, which was already being printed. As for the reaction, Astounding received a lot of “what the hell is this doing in here” reactions (along with praise), but the ensuing craze for Dianetics in the summer of 1950 was definitely produced by the book.

          • Missionary Kid

            I believe the lead time for publication in Astounding was at least two months, and even longer if (and it’s my understanding that it usually was) if Campbell wanted revisions.

            As I remember it, Astounding also came out at least a month before the month printed on the cover. That date was, as I was given to understand, the date for removal from newsstands.

            I don’t really care which came first, but for all of the discovery and development of science fiction writers that Campbell accomplished, Dianetics is definitely a black mark on his career.

          • Mark

            Hubbard was really lucky in hitting such a receptive market at just the right moment – publication a few months earlier or later would probably have meant no word-of-mouth, and Dianetics would have sunk without trace.

            • Missionary Kid

              It was the 50s. Just look at old copies of Popular Mechanics and Popular Science. They were filled with optimism and unrealistic forecasts.

            • Mark

              I always preferred the Eagle and Dan Dare for my fifties-type optimism.

            • Missionary Kid

              I’m not familiar with them.

            • Mark

              It was a British comic that started in 1950 as an “entertaining yet informative” response to a purported flood of imported American horror-comics. Dan Dare was the cover-story, and is generally recognised as having set a new high standard for its superb artwork and exciting stories.
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eagle_%28comic%29

            • Missionary Kid

              I have no desire for either horror comics or movies. Maybe it’s because I was raised with a lot of fire and brimstone bullshit, and that fire and brimstone was specifically fundamentalist Christian that treated a lot of the supernatural that wasn’t of the flavor I was raised with as simply fairy tales.

              Maybe it’s also because I come from a family that witnessed the real horror in China that was WWII.

              As I see it, a lot of supernatural horror is based on a distortion of Catholic theology. Dante’s Inferno actually presents much of the imagery for horror.

              For some reason, I don’t volunteer to get scared. I will try new experiences, and I do things that many other people consider risky, (flying, riding a motorcycle, for example), but those are calculated risks.

            • Mark

              Still, I think you’d like the Eagle: no supernatural horror (the future in ‘Dan Dare’ always looked like it really worked) and very practical – it taught me how to build a new wheel for my bicycle, I remember (just before it sadly stopped publishing in the late 60s).

              And if you do want to sample some supernatural fiction that has some literary worth, try the ghost-stories of M.R. James, which derive their spooks from folklore rather than Dante-esque horrors.

              Both are still popular in the UK – which had horrors enough of its own in WW2, what with the Blitz and V1s and V2s. There is still a silly nostalgic “wasn’t it fun when they were dropping bombs on us and we were all starving” school of thought about in some quarters here, but it tends to wilt in the face of the evidence.

            • Missionary Kid

              I believe that what people miss about the Blitz, etc. was the unity of purpose and shared experiences and cooperation. People were more generous to each other than now.

              What my family witnessed was the outright brutality of the Japanese in occupied Shanghai as they passed through it in 1940. It was very personal. I wasn’t born yet.

              Later, with the Communist Revolution coming, 3 of my parents co-workers were killed outside the gates of the city we were in. One of my earliest memories is of my mother laying them out for burial. They were already cleaned up and looked lifelike I was about 4, and didn’t really understand what had happened.

              I’m not into spooks, ghosts, and spirits, except to make fun of them.

              On the other hand, I enjoy both science fiction, and, to a certain extent, fantasy. I probably would like the Eagle.

          • Once_Born

            I stand corrected.
            (note to self: check the facts)

    • ThetaBara

      Personally, I believe the Waco disaster has caused them to err much more on the side of caution.
      Also, you know they’re still infiltrated and embedded at all levels. The breathtaking swiftness of the LAPD’s dismissal of the recent Missing Persons report filed by Leah Remini on Shelly Miscavige is but one recent example. LA County Sherriff Lee Baca is also widely known to be in their pocket. Makes things a bit tricky as far as getting the authorities to actually exercise their power.

      • Missionary Kid

        I disagree that they’re in Co$’s pocket. They know enough not to get involved in what would be a legal thicket and a political nightmare.

        Leah filed a missing persons report. They determined she’s not missing. No big deal. They did what was legally required. I believe that casting aspersions on the LAPD at this point makes all of us look like nuts, and wastes energy when the real target is DM and Co$.

        By Tony letting the news out that Leah filed it, the real story and pressure on DM was applied. At least many of the news sources reported the story, then asked, “Why was she not seen in public?” That’s the kind of PR disaster that we need to keep hammering away at.

        • ThetaBara

          I didn’t mean to say the LAPD was “in their pocket” (I can see that it appears that way, though). I only meant to say that the speed and manner in which it was dismissed is suspect. Baca, on the other hand, IS in their pocket, as has been frequently mentioned by others. And I do think there are scilons on the LAPD. It would be illogical to assume otherwise, given how the COS operates, and their huge presence in LA.
          Moved my “also” – hopefully that’s more clear.

          • Missionary Kid

            What I’m concerned with is that when dealing with a policeman that the anger at Co$ spills over into a rant, instead of sticking to the facts.

            Yes, Co$ has a large presence in L.A., but the way to tackle them is indirectly. When they are looked at (and rightly so) as objects of derision and as big blue meanies who think they’re above the law, the politically aware cop on the street and the administration will act accordingly.

            KJ&DW. Keep joking and degrading working. It’s having an effect.

            • ThetaBara

              LA Anon actually has a pretty good relationship with the LAPD as a whole.
              But you have to admit that the LAPD hardly has a reputation of being utterly fair and unbiased. I am not saying to hassle the cops but I am saying it is bloody suspicious that they managed to get it dismissed SO quickly. That’s not street cop territory, that’s from higher up. What did they do? Fly her in from Hemet on JT’s jet? No, they told them “we want this dropped ASAP” and that is exactly what happened. And then they didn’t call Leah. It smells! If they’d waited until the next day it would have been so much more plausible, but Davey wanted the flap stopped. It’s only logical.

            • Missionary Kid

              You’re assuming that they went to see her. I’ll bet DM brought her at least half-way to L.A. I’ll bet she was interviewed at an org or the Celebrity Center, or, if not that, at a secure hotel room. That doesn’t take long.

              They had to be careful not to ask “unreasonable” questions, because even if they weren’t in the room, if any questions were asked that they could scream were anti-religious, Co$ was probably primed to scream bloody murder. I’ll bet the room was bugged as well.

            • Robert Eckert

              I would bet against you. LAPD’s unwillingness to let anyone speak on the record, or to answer Tony’s question about whether they talked to Shelly alone, or to give a response to Leah, the filer of the report, before anonymously leaking to gossip rags, all combine to make it sound as if they did no more than speak on the phone, or perhaps go see her in the fenced compound.

            • Missionary Kid

              I give the LAPD a bit more credit. By only going through a spokesperson, the officers who conducted the investigation aren’t subject to the endless questioning by the media.

              I wouldn’t say that they anonymously leaked anything. They were directly asked if she’d been found, and their representative answered.

            • Robert Eckert

              They are not going through a spokesperson. No-one has spoken on the record.

            • Missionary Kid

              The statement that she’d been found was quoted, on the record and named, that she had been found. I’m assuming that was enough.

            • Robert Eckert

              Source? I did not say any article in which any named spokesman from the LAPD said anything. Tony was only permitted to say that he had spoken to “a lieutenant”, for example.

            • Missionary Kid

              It really doesn’t matter. The legal trail of the missing person’s report is over. The how and why of it really are, and have always been unimportant. What is important is that the missing person’s report has raised the profile of Shelly and the actions of DM.

              If you want to engage in speculation about conspiracy theories about LAPD, be my guest. You’ll notice Tony hasn’t pursued it. IMO, our target isn’t LAPD. It’s Co$ and DM.

              The important thing is to keep asking, “Where’s Shelly?” so that negative attention is brought to Co$ and DM. At least some news sources are willing to speculate on why she hasn’t been seen. That’s progress.

            • Robert Eckert

              No, I’m not engaging in any “conspiracy theories” about LAPD: I just think the evidence is against DM bringing her into town, let alone allowing LAPD to talk to her alone. They did the minimum they could legally get away with, and are ashamed enough that no-one will put their name to it.

            • Missionary Kid

              You’re possibly right. What the LAPD probably did was a CYA move.

              I still think we have to keep DM as the prime target for our jibes.

            • ThetaBara

              You’re assuming they saw her at all. Wouldn’t anywhere outside LA be out of jurisdiction for them?

            • Missionary Kid

              No. It’s my understanding that police in California have the right to proceed anywhere in the state in an investigation. They do, however, let local authorities know when they are in their jurisdiction, and have the local authorities perform any arrests.

              In Wyoming, for instance, a sheriff or police officer’s ability to perform their duties ends at the city or county line, with some exceptions.

            • Missionary Kid

              The drive from Twin Peaks would take about two hours to L.A.

              The officers aren’t beholden to Leah. They’re beholden to solving the case. The LAPD is a big bureaucracy, and, yes, a courtesy call to Leah would have been nice, but she’s not a relative, only a friend.

              Theta, my point is, that to get involved with conspiracy theories about LAPD and Dinky Mindfuck is a waste of energy. What is important is that Leah has become a symbol of the mind control of Co$ and the control that DM has over the cult.

              Endlessly speculating about what LAPD did or didn’t do, or what happened in the investigation is counter-productive, and is just another conspiracy theory. It doesn’t help relations with LAPD, and they’re going to be needed in the future when the cult implodes.

              Filing the missing persons report, even though it has been marked “closed” has raised the profile of DM’s autocratic ways. It also has some news outlets wondering why Shelly hasn’t been seen. She’s on the national radar, even though it’s not as high profile as we’d like. The biggest thing is that it’s bound to cause upset with Davy, and whenever he gets upset, he issues footbullets like Halloween candy.

    • GlibWog

      Welcome Patriot! There are a lot of us Newbies that have lurked.. Come on in..A very, very great group. All kinds of Opinions… and so informative!

  • This is welcome news. I’ve always thought the Episcopal Church is one of the saner ones, and I’m glad they’ve done this.

    The NCC’s brief is an example of how some religious people take an immediate knee-jerk “all religions are good and we must defend them all” stance any time any religion is involved. I’ve seen this in role-playing game communities (of all things), where sometimes, a religious person will get incredibly offended that a made-up religion in a made-up world is treated as anything other than absolutely perfect in every way. It makes no sense to me.

    • WhereIsSHE

      I hear what you are saying about that knee-jerk reaction some religious folks have in terms of defending all religions (or perhaps, more like, all-whatever their particular group is, e.g. all sects which believe in Christ, etc), but if you read the brief the NCC filed, it is not about defending Scientology, let alone all religions. It truly is solely focused on the “priest-penitent privilege”, under the larger umbrella of a 1st Amendment “Freedom of Religion” concern, the argument –generally speaking– being that if members of a congregation do not feel that their “confessions” will be protected via legal privilege from disclosure, they will not participate in the confessional process (which is very troubling to some sects which deem “confession” as central to religious adherence and redemption/salvation. Were documents containing the confessional information to be subject to disclosure, it would have a “chilling effect” on the entire confessional process (such that congregants would not confess their “sins” for fear that said confessions could later be exposed), is the argument (or that part of the argument).

      Hate to sound cynical about this (NO, I don’t), but as I also pointed out in another thread on this case, there is, IMO, a more unflattering, unspoken agenda here, which also has nothing to do with defending all–or any–religions, –or even their own religious practices related to confession–but rather is a thinly-veiled effort to protect the coffers of these churches to the extent that they have documents in their possession which could contain damning information (against the church) and therefore aid a “penitent” in proving liability allegations in a civil suit against the church.

      It is one matter to assert the priest-penitent privilege on behalf of the penitent (so that the penitent feels safe in making confessions in the religious arena).
      It is quite another to attempt to assert it on behalf of the church–and against the penitent– in order to protect the church legal liability.

      • noseinabk

        Do any other ( real ) churches document confessionals?

      • Gerard Plourde

        “a more unflattering, unspoken agenda here, which also has nothing to do with defending all–or any–religions, –or even their own religious practices related to confession–but rather is a thinly-veiled effort to protect the coffers of these churches to the extent that they have documents in their possession which could contain damning information (against the church) and therefore aid a “penitent” in proving liability allegations in a civil suit against the church.”

        I think that’s possible. The difficulty for them is that the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles tried this strategy regarding the contents of priests’ personnel files in the clergy abuse scandal. The question was fully litigated and once it was shown that the documents were not from a priest-penitent situation (the product of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Post Vatican II name for Penance or Confession), the courts had no difficulty in rejecting the claim and ordering their release to the Plaintiffs.

        Also, in the category of you learn something new every day – the Penitent (person who has made the confession) can release the priest from the “Seal”. So, just like in the secular world if the person gives permission, the privilege is in effect waived for whatever purpose is intended.

        • WhereIsSHE

          They made Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause arguments in an attempt to DISTINGUISH this case–and the manner in which the CoS and “all amici” practice “clergy consultation”– from Roman Catholic Archbishop of L.A. v. Superior Court –and hence, the Roman Catholic one-on-one “clergy consultation” practice– in all of 3 brief paragraphs.

          Not very convincing.

  • Once_Born

    In the UK, we have the Data Protection Act. Any Organisation which keeps personal information (e.g. about customers) is subject to this law. It was principally written to regulate the keeping of computer records but, as far as I understand, covers any information storage and retrieval system (including even card files).

    One of its provisions is that private individuals can (for a nominal fee) require any organisation which keeps records containing their personal information to provide them with copies of those records within a specified time period. If those copies are not provided, the case is investigated by the Information Commissioner who has powers to enforce the law and hand out penalties.

    In the UK there is no ‘religious exception’ for Scientology (the confessional argument does not even arise).

    Saint Hill Manor must be home to a lot of auditing and ethics folders belonging to foreign students. I don’t know if applicants overseas can request information under the Data Protection Act, but it’s a distinct possibility worth looking into. It may be possible for an American applicant whose Scientology records reside in this country to achieve what Laura DeCrescenzo is still fighting so hard for – and more.

    At the very least, the CofS would be subject to legal sanctions and negative press attention if they received requests and did not comply with the law.

    The European Union requires members states to have similar laws, and other countries may have equivalents too.

  • Mary_McConnell

    You made my day, Tony!

  • Mrs Libnish

    I lurve “court news” days!

  • ze moo

    I look forward to the other members of NCC actually looking at Laura’s suit and the evidence. They could force the NCC to withdraw their friend of the court brief. Can I have an ‘amen’?

    • Captain Howdy

      I’ll give you an atheist “Amen” brother, seeing as how all these good Christians seem otherwise occupied.

      • Robert Eckert

        May the Sauce be with you, Ramen!

        • ze moo

          May the Schwartz protect us all!

        • WhereIsSHE

          May His Noodly Appendage Touch You! R’amen!!

      • Missionary Kid

        I’m an atheist, and I use “Amen” all the time. It’s simply an affirmation of what’s been said.

        • Robert Eckert

          It is the Semitic root for “truly”, also seen in Amin, an Arabic name meaning “honest”, and in the ancient Egyptian Amon, god of “truth”

          • Missionary Kid

            Thanks. I briefly looked it up a while ago, and the religious reference wasn’t a part of the term, so I keep using it.

    • sugarplumfairy

      A late amen..

  • Dean Fox

    Glad something got through, I didn’t get a reply to my email to the NCC asking why they would support the church of scientology in this matter.

    • Bury_The_Nuts

      National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA * info@nationalcouncilofchurhces.org * 110 Maryland Avenue NE, Suite 108, Washington, DC 20002-5603 *
      Phone: 202-544-2350 * Fax: 202-543-1297

  • Nevermore

    When Culkin testifies, is that open to the public?

    • Robert Eckert

      It sounds as if it is going to be in open court. A full transcript of the hearing would not be in the public record (just the ruling on the motion) but might be obtainable from the court reporter for a fee.

  • Kim O’Brien

    Leave is to the scientologists to piss off the Episcopalians …….next up on the list …The Amish and then the Quakers . And in regards to Brian …what the hell is up with all the “selfies’? Trying to take a photo of his aura or his knowingness ?

    • Robert Eckert

      {He’s just so pretty that it would be selfish of him to deprive us all of more views of him}

    • Captain Howdy

      Brian’s going to be taking pictures of himself on the witness stand. Oh shit! For weeks I’ve been trying to remember what actor pretzel boy is a dead ringer for, and it just hit me this morning like a Xenu bolt..

      • Sherbet

        Well, who?

        • Ruby

          “pre-whackadoodle”…hahaha! Thanks for that.

        • Captain Howdy

          Guess

          • Eivol Ekdal

            MM?

            • Captain Howdy

              AQ

            • q-bird

              Aidan Quinn?

              what do i win???!

            • Captain Howdy
            • q-bird

              (((oh that’s a BINGO — tee hee hee hardy-har-har Capt.!)))

            • q-bird

              and so…

            • sugarplumfairy

              Oh look.. Brian with a beard.. he must be incognito..

            • Sherbet

              You win Aidan Quinn.

            • q-bird

              Oh YAY! Oh thank you!
              Did I ‘fall in love’ with him in Despretely Seeking Susan?

              why yes, I did.

            • q-bird

              btw – my first impression WAS Mel – young, drunk & befuddled – before the mean-spirited-ness mess showed in his face.

            • Captain Howdy

              The highly coveted Palme d’Slappy

              Congratulations!

            • q-bird

              this one?

            • Bury_The_Nuts

              OH SHIT

            • Nevermore

              Hahaha – those are my RL initials!

            • Sherbet

              I KNEW you didn’t mean Anthony Quinn.

          • noseinabk

            A young Mel Gibson?

  • coonellie

    I think I made it through all 212 comments (and I’ve actually got work to do!), but I didn’t see any comments about this, “Scientology’s petition for a writ of certiorari has been supported by amicus briefs from the NCC and the Rutherford Institute.”

    In particular, is the Rutherford Institute’s involvement new?

    • TonyOrtega

      Yes, the Institute submitted a brief at the same time as the NCC. They tend to submit briefs for First Amendment cases, so I didn’t think it was as important as the NCC’s involvement.

      • coonellie

        Thanks for the answer.

        The NCC’s involvement is important, but in the world of evangelical Christianity (which has almost no respect for the NCC), the Rutherford Institute’s involvement is important and noteworthy.

        Reminds me of the Hebrew National commercial’s tagline, “We answer to a higher authority.” The Rutherford Institute seems to claim the same thing, so principals alone shouldn’t warrant their support.

        • Observer

          Does anyone have a link to the video of Laura talking about what the “church” put her through? I’m going to have an email word with the Rutherford Institute after I’m off irk this afternoon. I want them to see exactly what it is that they’re supporting, and it ain’t First Amendment rights.

          • noseinabk
            • Observer

              Yes, that’s the one. Thanks

            • coonellie

              I’ve got a call into their lead attorney. I’ll let you know what happens.

            • Sidney18511

              There’s another video with 3 woman all talking about forced abortions, Claire is one.
              I found it when I went to the above video, it was the top video on the right side. Send both if you can. The statement these woman are making is horrifying and after watching both no one in their right mind would agree with any involvement with this action.

            • coonellie

              Well, I’ve had the pleasure of talking with the receptionist four times, left voice mails, and I cannot even get a yes or no answer. I understand they’re busy, but I just wanted verbal confirmation that they are, in fact, participants to the brief. Why? Because when I read the brief I could not find them listed as participants. And yes, I’m very tired today and flooded with work…for a change!

              I’ll let you know if I actually hear back. My apologies for not getting an answer.

            • Observer

              You have nothing to apologize for! It’s out of your control.

          • Gerard Plourde

            You might also consider emailing the information to some of their donors if you can find out who they are. Abortion is usually a hot-button issue for these groups.

            • coonellie

              From my understanding, individuals make up the majority of their donor base. After I talk with them, and depending on what I hear, I have a few ideas on how to get the word out and cause some movement amongst individuals.

            • Gerard Plourde

              Great. Nothing like a foundation that touts its support of Right to Life filing an amicus brief to prevent an individual from gaining access to her own personal information that contains evidence of forced abortion coming to light.

            • Observer

              That is why I intend to send them the video link.

          • coonellie

            The attorney just called me back and said that they did file (as Tony said, I know!) and that it was over the narrow constitutional issue of priest/penitent communication. I did explain what the actual case was about (forced abortion, 100 hour work week, etc.) and how I couldn’t separate the principle from the action. He was gracious and said that sometimes they (lawyers) separate the principles too much and that he appreciated the call and information, although the brief will remain.

            • Observer

              Gah! It has nothing to do with priest/penitent communication!

          • Sunny Sands
        • SopranoAscends

          Because of crap like this, ECUSA (the Episcopal Church USA) has often butted heads with the NCC, which has become increasingly conservative as the ‘Piskies have become ever more liberal. I really don’t know why ECUSA is even involved on any level with the NCC anymore.Speaking as a club member, I was involved in governing activities when we (laity and clergy have equal voice and vote) elected the first openly gay bishop, and then Presiding Bishop Katherine. She is a lady who brooks no nonsense, and there have been notes flying about over the NCC for some time.. Human rights issues are a priority.

        • WhereIsSHE

          It is, indeed, a bizarre case for them to attach themselves to just on the “religious freedom merits”. My guess— and it is only a guess– is something along the lines of a separate alliance with Miscavige/the CoS on other, unrelated political matters.

    • Once_Born

      The “Rutherford Institute” does not sound like the sort of organisation I would support.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rutherford_Institute
      However, the CofS can’t afford to be too fussy…

      • WhereIsSHE

        I can understand being turned off, but I have to say that their focus has truly evolved over time.

        From your wiki link:

        In 2004, the group filed a lawsuit against Muskogee Public Schools in Oklahoma on behalf of Nashala Hearn, an 11-year-old Muslim student who was suspended for wearing a religious headscarf to school.[17]

        In 2007, the group filed a lawsuit against Freehold Township, New Jersey on behalf of an orthodox rabbi, Avraham Bernstein, alleging that the town was persecuting Bernstein for holding prayer meetings in his home on the Sabbath.[18]

        In 2011, the group took up the cause of Laura George, founder of the Oracle Institute, who wanted to build a “Peace Pentagon”, a proposed interfaith study center and retreat, on the banks of the New River in Independence, Virginia. When George was refused a building permit when the local Board of Supervisors voted to deny the project on health, safety and welfare grounds, attorneys acting on behalf of The Rutherford Institute pursued a legal action to acquire the permit, alleging religious discrimination.[19] Eventually the building permit was granted.[20]

        In 2012, The Rutherford Institute filed a lawsuit on behalf of Harold Hodge, a man arrested in January 2011 for standing outside the United States Supreme Court Building carrying a sign which read, “The U.S. Gov allows police to illegally murder and brutalize African-Americans and Hispanic people.”[11]

        Other cases include defending an Albemarle High School student’s right to wear a National Rifle Association t-shirt to school and contesting the firing of a California teacher who referred to “Zionist Jews” during an Occupy Movement protest.[5]

        *****
        And just YESTERDAY, it was reported that The Rutherford Institute has offered assistance to the Snowden family as they are now faced with the prospect of combatting allegations that Edward Snowden violated, inter alia, the Espionage Act.

        http://www.nbc29.com/story/23125572/rutherford-institute-offers-assistance-to-snowden-family

        This is a group which stands for freedom, be it religious or civil.
        (If that kid can be banned for wearing an NRA t-shirt, then I could be banned for wearing a Church of the FSM t-shirt –or a “Suicidal Tendencies–Institutionalize” t-shirt to school, which would be just as unfair, assuming I was still in high school!)

        It is a shame for them to get tangled up in this case when the underlying action is all about the systematic destruction of an individual’s freedom (and, ultimately–or at least, symbolically–of the systematic destruction of so many individuals’ freedom(s)), but considering their political bent, I can’t call it a shocker.

        • Once_Born

          This is going to sound lame, but I agree that all of the cases listed above should be been supported on principle.

          My problem is:

          > The ‘religious right’ connection
          > There are other organisations that support civil rights I am more sympathetic to

          In other words, they are doing the right things for the wrong reasons (I told you it would sound lame).

          If, as you say, “their focus has truly evolved over time”, I withdraw the comment – in all cases except, of course, their support for the CofS.

  • Still_On_Your_Side

    So, the church struck out in its first motion the Garcia case. The church claimed that Garcia did not oppose its request to take Culkin’s deposition in Boston and it was necessary due to the harassment Tony discusses. Babbitt filed an opposition with a letter from Ray Jeffrey identifying the church’s allegations as lies. So it is interesting that the court held a hearing on the “unopposed” church motion, and denied it. That hearing must have been interesting since I am sure Babbitt and Jeffrey were able to identify, before a judge, why the church’s motion was untruthful (to say the least). It’s a small victory on its face, after all it’s just a deposition both sides agreed upon. If the court order is put in context, however, then it becomes a bigger victory. The special judge didn’t buy the church’s lies about the Underground Bunker keeping Culkin in Boston huddled and terrified for his life. The church’s tactic failed miserably. This was not the usual white lie or twist on the truth that is common in litigation, the church lied outright and was caught. It was a big lie aimed at hurting Tony Ortega, the commenters on his blog, Mike Rinder and Marty Rathbun. Miscavige probably thought the church’s motion would be granted and the church’s subsequent press release would tell the world how harrassed Culkin and the church are. You can bet the Miscavige is chewing nails about this. The church’s lawyers will probably end up haranguing at Culkin in that deposition when his story doesn’t support their allegations against Garcia’s attorneys, Mike Rinder et al. They will probably file motions to compel Culkin to turn over emails that Ray Jeffrey labels privileged. And, if there is a hearing on attorney disqualification, the church will probably treat Culkin, as of now their only witness, as a hostile witness.

    What I find the most interesting about this court order, is the fact that the tactics the church has used in litigation for the past 20 years seem to be backfiring. Hopefully that will continue to be the case.

    • Ruby

      And I’m sure this is exactly what Culkin was hoping to avoid the day he signed that declaration. Talk about regrets?

      • 1subgenius

        He wanted his money back. He got it.
        He has consistently maintained he will tell the truth. I, for one (maybe the only one), think that he will.
        There is a one hour Mark Bunker interview that is worth watching.

        • Ruby

          I think he will tell the truth as well when he is in court.
          I just think that when he signed that paper, he thought it was the easiest way out and this is NOT was he bargained for, and in fact, was trying to avoid.

          • 1subgenius

            I believe there was a mention that he warned them at the time that it would come to this, so I respectfully disagree. I don’t think he wanted it, but I do believe he felt it would be inevitable.

            • Ruby

              Interesting…I did not know about that…thanks…good to know.

    • WhereIsSHE

      If Babbitt filed a response–what you refer to as “an opposition” (with the letter from Ray Jeffrey as an exhibit in support), then the motion was not “unopposed”.
      Where this deposition will take place is not really the important issue though. As Tony noted, this is a side issue to the larger and very important motion to disqualify the plaintiffs’ counsel due to an alleged violation of rules pertaining to conflicts.
      Also, that Culkin came forward himself–with personal counsel– to “contest” the assertion that he “feared for his life”, and so forth… it was not difficult to predict what the magistrate would rule on that narrow issue.

      I don’t know that anyone should start the celebrating just yet.
      The motion to disqualify the Garcias’ counsel is still on the horizon.
      I would be surprised if the court were to issue an opinion, sua sponte, from the bench.
      I expect oral argument followed by careful review in chambers before a ruling is made (and likely, a written opinion is handed down).
      Much of what happens will depend on Culkin’s testimony–and his credibility.

      • John P.

        First, in a motion to disqualify, would the burden of proof be on the cult? In other words, if Culkin’s testimony is not enough to establish that there is a conflict of interest, then is the judge required to find for the Garcia’s? As a practical matter would the judge watch the Garcia’s attorneys more carefully and potentially be biased against them (even just a little bit) on the “if there’s smoke there might be fire” principle, even if the cult loses the motion? In other words, can the cult win even by losing the motion to disqualify?

        Second, it seems like this is a high risk legal strategy, which is why you don’t see it in trials all that often. Would it have made sense for the cult’s attorneys to withdraw the motion to disqualify after they have evaluated Culkin’s testimony and found it wanting? Or are you pretty much strapped in and you have to ride the flaming wreckage all the way to the ground even if you discover you’re going to lose once you have adopted a strategy that depends on a fairly inflammatory motion like this?

        Third, it sounds like the “evidence” proffered to get to this point was a non-sworn “declaration” from Culkin. There doesn’t seem to be any real tangible evidence in the form of e-mails or other records of communications between the Garcia’s lawyers and the allegedly conflicted law firm. Am I right in thinking this sounds like a fairly easy defense — anything Culkin says is hearsay even if he was told by one of the attorneys involved, and if he gets shredded on the stand, then that hearsay gets tossed out?

        Lastly, I’m assuming that the judge won’t rule sua sponte on the motion to dismiss because he probably doesn’t want to take a chance on it being appealable? Or is it because there might be a lot of evidence that he might have to weigh in coming to a decision?

        Not sure these questions are all sensible, but further thoughts from you or any other members of the Federation of Ruthless Courtroom Predators would be appreciated.

        • Robert Eckert

          “First, in a motion to disqualify, would the burden of proof be on the cult?” Since it goes to the integrity of the court system, it is something that the judge is required to look into once the question is raised, even if the parties would rather drop it. CoS is in the odd position of having to attack their own witness, but they can’t even withdraw the motion now.

          “Second, it seems like this is a high risk legal strategy” Yep.

          “Third, it sounds like the “evidence” proffered to get to this point was a non-sworn “declaration” from Culkin” That’s why he has to testify under oath and subject to cross-exam.

          “anything Culkin says is hearsay even if he was told by one of the attorneys involved” This is a common misunderstanding of what “hearsay” is. Hearsay is testimony as to a statement you heard someone else say which is offered as evidence for the truth of the statement. However, if it is offered as evidence that the statement was made it is not hearsay: for that purpose it is testimony from your own direct perceptions. If I testify “He said his wife was cheating on him” that is not evidence that his wife was cheating on him, but it can be evidence that he said so (if for example it is an issue whether he was angry at his wife before her sudden disappearance).

          • Missionary Kid

            Thanks, Robert.

          • aquaclara

            Dittoing MK. Thanks!

        • WhereIsSHE

          JP-

          You are correct. The burden of proof is on the moving party (in this case, the CoS).
          The burden is two-part under Florida law (the venue of this litigation).
          First, they must establish that there was, either in the past, or currently, an attorney-client relationship with the lawyer with whom they are seeking to establish the putative conflict situation (and, here, they have set forth –at the very least– an overwhelming factual basis to support the burden of proof that Johnson had an attorney-client relationship, but also–if not opposed with credible facts–that he was, as a result of that confidential attorney-client relationship– privy to information (including litigation strategy, which necessarily includes case evaluation, posturing, settlement strategy, etc, etc, etc) that is clearly confidential, attorney-client-protected information.
          ***If I were to attempt to disuade the court from agreeing here, I would focus on the TIMING of his work for the CoS***
          If memory serves, he hasn’t been an attorney for the CoS (and/or whatever entities) since 1999. (Someone kindly correct me if I am not being accurate here).
          And THAT?? Can be a relevant consideration for the court.
          If I were in the position of counsel for the Garcias, I would challenge this first prong on this very basis (at the least), assuming that I am correct about the considerable length of time that has passed since Johnson was privy to any confidential information via his representation.

          (And I need a cup of coffee before I get into the next prong of the analysis. It’s been a long day here, and I am jumping in and out when I can.)

      • Still_On_Your_Side

        The church labeled it “unopposed,” it is not what I called it. The issue of the deposition taking place in Boston was manufactured by the church on the false premise that Culkin was afraid to travel, so yes it is important. There is a trial scheduled on the disqualification issue, not oral argument. Judges often rule from the bench and follow up with a written opinion. In this case, the magistrate judge has been extremely careful in the way he has approached each issue, and I am sure he will have read the parties’ motions carefully beforehand, unlike many judges who are unprepared.

      • Still_On_Your_Side

        The church labeled its motion “unopposed,” Babbitt filed an opposition because, while he had consented to the deposition, he had not consented to the church using the motion as an opportunity to malign Mike Rinder, Marty Rathbun, and Tony Ortega. As to the place the deposition takes place, it is extremely important in this matter because the church manufactured the issue of the deposition having to taking place in Boston in order to claim that Culkin was too frightened to travel due to harrassment from the Underground Bunker, Facebook, etc. The issue of Culkin and his deposition is very integral to the disqualification issue since Culkin is the only witness the church has identified so far, and he has been put forward by the church as the key to their attempt to disqualify one of the attorneys. The magistrate held a hearing on Monday because the issues were contested. It is never possible to know how a judge will rule, especially when the church is involved and the church was not backing down, regardless of Ray Jeffrey’s letter. There will be no oral argument on this matter as usually happens with motions such as these. Instead, the magistrate judge has scheuled a trial, with witnesses. I agree with you, I doubt the judge will rule from the bench. He has been meticulous in the way he has enforced the rules thus far in the case, and I doubt he wants to convey the impression that his mind was made up before the trial. I do expect him to be more prepared than many federal judges are these days, and I expect him to issue a written opinion within a week of the trial. I agree that much of what happens at the upcoming “mini-trial” will depend on Culkin’s credibility. The irony being the Church has already started to impeach his credibility, as set out in several of the motions it has filed. It will be very interesting to see how they treat his testimony.

    • I look forward to the criminal organisation known as the “church” of $cientology treating a wittness who used to be their only support in a key motion as hostile. That will go down a treat with the court, I’m sure.

  • TonyOrtega

    Ladies and gentlemen, may we present the dumbest Scientology cover story ever published…

    If you look closely, the National Enquirer is implying that a raid of a Scientology “fortress” yielded secret celebrity files that promise all sorts of scandalous material. However, the “fortress” they are showing is the Trementina Base vault house. Dylan Gill, who helped build the place, tells me it’s mostly just an empty shell of a house that was built there to cover up the entrance to the underground vault at Trementina, which is a CST property. The chances of there being “celebrity files” or files of any kind in that prop-house is simply ludicrous.

    However, knowing the National Enquirer as we do, there’s a good chance that the story inside has pretty much nothing to do with what’s promised on the cover. We would love it if someone could procure a copy of the magazine and let us know what’s actually printed inside.

    Here’s a link to the mag if the image here isn’t big enough to see…

    http://www.nationalenquirer.com/celebrity/exclusive-cover-story-leah-reminis-secret-ally

    • Bury_The_Nuts

      Oh FFS!!!

      • marti

        Gosh darn it, more Internet slang to l%k up!

    • 1subgenius

      This is great!

    • Sherbet

      On the plus side, the Enquirer is stirring the pot a little more with their inflammatory language right there on the cover.

      I love the “I’m in deep doo-doo now!” looks on the faces of their scientology poster children.

    • Mark

      At last! – a rag more inaccurate and scurrilous than the Daily Mail

      • 1subgenius

        I’m reminded of the somewhat inaccurate, but truthy, story about when Nixon was advised that one of his Supreme Court nominees was a moron.
        “Well, the morons need representation, too,” was his reply.

        • Captain Howdy

          Nixon probably thought they said “mormon”.

          • 1subgenius

            no, its much better in the original

        • Robert Eckert

          It was Senator Hruska of Nebraska, speaking of nominee Carswell: “Even if he were mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren’t they, and a little chance?”

          While Wiki-ing the exact quote I found this followup: “In 1976, Carswell was convicted of battery for advances he made to an undercover police officer in a Tallahassee men’s room.[17] In September 1979, Carswell was attacked and beaten by a man whom he had invited to his Atlanta, Georgia, hotel room in similar circumstances.[18] Because of these incidents, Keith Stern, author of Queers in History, alleges Carswell to have been the firsthomosexual or bisexual nominated to the Supreme Court.”

          • 1subgenius

            Thus my caveat.
            I will still tell it my way, with the caveat.

            The point of my putting it here was that the Nat Enq has a certain audience. And I bet they’re eating the cover story up. And getting some flavor for what CoS is all about.
            This is great!

            • RMycroft

              Can you imagine CoS being used as tabloid fodder even ten years ago? Hubbard said that the only place Scientology should be mentioned is in the religion section of the papers–and sue it it wasn’t.

          • Gerard Plourde

            Shades of Larry Craig. I guess Carswell had a “wide stance” too.

            • Sandy

              Who woulda thunk the Mpls airport had a hook-up bathroom so famous, they even know about it in Idaho!

      • q-bird

        Bah! Nat.Eq. crappy {news} – always has been –

        nowhere near as crisp & snarky & ‘accurate’ & entertaining as The Onion.

        You heard of this rag-mag Mark?
        I just went there and searched scientology – found this lolz:

        http://www.theonion.com/video/scientology-minister-accused-of-molesting-thetans,29712/

        • Mark

          Tee-hee! Heard of it, never seen it before. Very good.

      • ze moo

        I am not sure which ‘paper’ has more bigfoot alien space babies who are Elvis’es grandsons who were captain of Noahs hidden Ark in pre-atlantis days. Perhaps we should hold a ‘kook off’ to decide who the winner should be?

        • Mark

          There used to be the Sunday Sport in the UK – ‘Photo: WW2 Bomber Found On Moon’ &c., but that was generally acknowledged to be a cross between a comic and softcore.

          • Robert Eckert

            That sounds more like the late, much lamented Weekly World News on our side of the pond.

            http://images.sodahead.com/polls/001999145/1916328304_Z20Bat20Boy20_answer_1_xlarge.jpeg

            • Mark

              Ah, the Enquirer’s smaller, black-and-white, even more tawdry imitator. It reached these shores too – my local newsagent always put it down on the bottom shelf among the kiddie stuff – Beanos and 2000 ADs!

            • Nevermore

              Oi, I was reading 2000AD as recently as…er….last year….

      • Missionary Kid

        {{{What, the National Enquirer, inaccurate? It’s my bible!}}}

    • Silence of the Clams

      The National Enquirer? Wow!

      Well, I guess you can just close up shop now Tony. Thanks for taking care of all that leg work though…

    • media_lush

      The National Enquirer, just about the only site I can’t get in the UK.

      I think the editors are trolling the celebs just for the lulz…. and who knows, they might have some scurrilous gossip from other sources and need a generic “source” for the reveal and know that there’s not much the scions can do to deny it.

      Out of the foursome there I wonder who “puckered” the most, lol.

      • 1subgenius

        “I think the editors are trolling the celebs just for the lulz”

        Let me put it this way:

        .I think the editors are trolling the celebs just for the lulz.

      • Missionary Kid

        Probably, it’s because they’d get sued much more easily there. Public figures don’t have the protection of ordinary people under U.S. laws.

    • i-Betty

      What a brilliant load of arse!

    • TheHoleDoesNotExist

      Tom Kruise: “David, just, like bam! I mean Woosh, zzzzzzzz, handle it, NOW.”

      David Miscabbage: “You bet, bud. Lou, get over here, NOW.”

      Lou Miscabbage: “Kursty, get me the Enquirer editor on the phone, NOW.”

      Kursty: “Yes, Sir! (ring ring) #@$3’fck em those@3*&%%#!! NOW.

      David Miscabbage: “Announcement! The Freedom Mag has just NOW bought, I mean, hired

      our new Editor.”

      • i-Betty

        Heheheheh!

    • aquaclara

      The look on the faces of TC, JT and Krusty are priceless. I know these are file photos, but please, oh, please, can I savor this for a few more minutes?
      Then we can go back to real journalism.

      • Sherbet

        My opinion, too, aquaclara. They must have searched for a while to find photos that screamed “OMIGOD, I’M STUNNED!”

        • George Layton

          TC: “You’re telling me MORE of my videos are out there now?”

        • aquaclara

          There were a few moments when TC was captured with this look on his face.
          Here’s one.

          TC to Katie, 2012: “What do you mean, you are leaving me? You can’t. I am THIS BIG.,” holding his hand up to his nose.

          Or there was this moment, when TC was speaking with DM a few years back. “What? Couch-jumping is now only a 2 on the tone scale? NOW you tell me?”

          And more recently, there was that moment just a few weeks ago when Tom was mistaken for a certain good-looking former cult member in Hollywood, on a motorcycle similar to his, and TC found out that all the papers left him in the dust.

          • Sherbet

            Clever, clever, aqua!

      • BananaSplits8

        Am I imagining things? It seems like the entertainment media is consistently using truly unflattering pictures of Kirstie. Snark would say that flattering pics are too few and far between, I know, but it goes beyond coincidence and rather qualifies as intent.

    • Sidney18511

      I wouldn’t waste SOMEONE ELSE’S money buying this rag but I think that with all the media that the cult has been getting lately the NE is just picking up and retrashing what we already know. The celebs spill ALL in their confessionals, which are written down and stored and used against them when they leave.

      • Sherbet

        I’d be embarrassed to buy it. Even for Tony.

        • ze moo

          Once read you could wrap fish with it. Then it would have served a useful purpose. The ‘$cientology is a fugging nuts, blackmailing, kidnapping cult’ meme has reached full penetration. You may return your seats to the full upright position.

          Leah Remini has reached my #2 position for ‘people most hurting co$’ for 2013.

    • Robert Eckert

      I am wondering about the source of “found in cult fortress after police raid”: the Enquirer often exaggerates beyond all reason, but usually starts from a nugget of truth. Is this a sign that LAPD actually did go out to the CST (but in Twin Peaks rather than the Trementina site that the Enquirer sloppily uses a photo of) during the Shelly “investigation”? Tony told us that the LAPD lieutenant (and how hard did you have to fight to be allowed to identify this anonymous source even by rank?) he talked to refused to say whether Shelly was interviewed outside the presence of {church} minders.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0iaR3mFdxE

    • SP ‘Onage

      It may be ludicrous, but it is inoculating the public that reads that rag.

    • Once_Born

      It’s interesting that they have all of the usual suspects pictured on the cover, and also mention Lean Remini there. Even though their stock-in-trade is well-known to be making stuff up for entertainment, the NI is taking the trouble to make the details lookright.

      This suggests that even National Inquirer readers are:

      > Aware of {churches} difficulties in some detail

      > Interested in the story.

      This is a backhanded compliment which, perhaps confirms that the message is going mainstream

      • Robert Eckert

        They are not aware that Lisa Marie is out, it appears.

        • HillbillyWog

          The online article mentions that, and that Lisa Marie has offered Leah shelter at her estate in England. I can get my hands on a paper copy on Thursdays here. And yes millions of eyeballs waiting in line at checkouts will see this cover and be reminded that all is not well in Scientologyland.

          • Robert Eckert

            There was a tweet from Kirstie a week or so back, pleading with Lisa Marie to get in touch with her. Doesn’t seem to have worked.

            • 1subgenius

              I gotta think Lisa Marie doesn’t follow Kirstie on Twitter.

            • noseinabk

              On that same tweet thread LM did not answer KA but did answer a fan.

            • noseinabk

              I double checked for a reply. NONE.

          • dbloch7986

            That would be interesting if it proved to be true…

          • Gerard Plourde

            The online teaser does have some very interesting facts (most of which we already know because of Tony’s diligent reporting). “Inquiring minds will want to know.” I wonder when they’ll tackle Narconon.

          • media_lush

            if you can take a couple of screen grabs of the online article I would greatly appreciate it as I’d like to stick them on my blog [can’t access site from UK]… you can post here or directly to my email media_lush@hotmail.com

            TIA

            • noseinabk

              Hope this works Media.

            • media_lush

              many thanks…. I’m putting it up now

          • marti

            Lisa Marie, write a song about Leah R. from Brooklyn.

    • sugarplumfairy

      On the bright side, millions of shoppers will be shuffling through cashiers’ lines this week and will be left with the impression that co$ is guilty of illegal activities which would warrant a police raid.. I can live with that..

      • Gerard Plourde

        Also on the bright side, the sub-head, “Found in Cult Fortress” leaves no doubt about the Enquirer’s position regarding Scientology’s claim to be a normal religion.

        • RMycroft

          Fortress .. that’s almost worse than “cult compound”.

    • RMycroft

      Sleeping in that place has to be better than the Sea Org quad-bunks at Big Blue.

    • RMycroft

      I know that Tom Cruise claims that he does his own stunts (which would make movie backers damned nervous) but did he take a 2×4 to the forehead or something?

  • OK, I love the National Enquirer cover. I admit it.

    And well done to the magistrate for ruling that a witness who is willing to show up in court can, ehrm, testify in court.

    We’re all looking forward to the court testimony. Especially to David “he is NOT insane!” Miscavige explaining that he has nothing to do with anything. And that the IAS is spending its money on very sensible things, like putting bombs under medicine – we hope that’s in a figurative manner… http://youtu.be/hfu7Sr50N7U?t=2m

    “In a 35-page lawsuit filed in Florida, they blamed David Miscavige, the Church’s charismatic leader for the past 25 years and best man at the last wedding of Tom Cruise, its most famous member. ” from the very serious English paper The Daily Telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/9825107/Church-of-Scientology-misused-donations-to-fund-David-Miscaviges-lavish-lifestyle.html

    • Once_Born

      “Charismatic”? Huh?

      • aquaclara

        Of course. Davey is pathologically charismatic, if you call screaming a form of charisma.

      • Nevermore

        The Telegraph is so dull that it confuses ‘bat shit screaming mental’ with ‘charismatic’!

  • aquaclara

    Legal question re: Garcia docs
    In the Garcia documents above, what is the footnote on the bottom of page 1 saying? It sounds like someone is being rebuked here for not following the right procedures? Is that right?
    The footnote starts off with a note that the Plaintiff’s “objection” was responded to…etc. Then this appears: “Counsel are reminded that Local Rule 3.01 anticipates that there will be a “motion,” and if the motion is opposed, a “response.” Further, under Local Rule 3.01 (c), “no party shall file any reply or further memorandum directed to a motion or response …unless the Court grants leave.”

    • Robert Eckert

      “It sounds like someone is being rebuked here for not following the right procedures? Is that right?” Yes. Plaintiffs are mildly chided for captioning what should have been captioned their “response” to the defendants’ motion as an “objection” to the motion; defendants are more seriously chided for then attempting to file a response to the objection: the court refused to allow them to file such a further response, since they had to obtain advance permission to file any more papers.

      • aquaclara

        Thank you for clarifying this. It was as twisty as the pretzel man himself. I read it six times, and felt a little stupid after not really understanding it. But I tried to see it as like with baseball. Was the call on my team or theirs? Sounds like all I have left is to whine like a six-year-old. “But they started it!!!” .
        I like this judge. He isn’t going to take any sh*t.

  • SP ‘Onage

    The Bunker Bunch: “the international preeminent scientology watchdog.”

    Nice job, Cecily!

  • Tony DePhillips

    Great work Tony. I appreciate you shining the light of truth on a very dark organization.

  • DamOTclese2

    I remember when the crime syndicate claimed that a local Negro organization in Bowden, Georgia supported the syndicate’s “NarCONon” frauds. The local black group was furious that the insane crooks lied and named them, the group threatened the insane Dwarf to stop using their name or they would sue for defamation.

    Some of the documents about the insane crooks getting thrown out of Bowden have just recently been put back up on to the Internets: http://www.crackpots.us/

    • Robert Eckert

      “Negro organization”?

      • dbloch7986

        I thought that word went out of date in the 70s?

        • Robert Eckert

          And it’s not likely to have any nostalgic retro revival, either.

    • Karen715

      Negro? Srsly? I guess this appropriate then:

      http://static.fjcdn.com/pictures/the_a0827f_202424.jpg

    • Mrs Libnish

      HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! WTF???

      Edit: You DO know it’s 2013, right? They have calendars in that them there OSA office don’t they? You sound like a redneck…so I am speaking to you like one. Capiche?

  • dbloch7986

    If Scientology knows how to do one thing, it’s delay court proceedings.

    • Gerard Plourde

      They can stick their fingers in the holes in the dam but each delay will make the inevitable torrent all the more devastating when the final reckoning comes.

      • Missionary Kid

        Yup, and I hope if a settlement is reached or this case goes to trial that there is NO confidentiality agreement and the amount awarded is HUGE and well publicized.

    • ThetaBara

      It’s practically all they can still do, these days!

      • Missionary Kid

        I think you’ll join me in hoping that they get sanctioned for it.

  • dbloch7986

    Goddamnit I wish I had enough money to take these fuckers to court.

    • 1subgenius

      At some point some lawyers may take such a case on a contingency basis.
      (You only pay them if you get some money.)
      At some point there may be a case with multiple plaintiffs, or a class action, that you can latch on to.

    • DamOTclese2

      One can sign in to the many class action lawsuits that are soon to be launched. 🙂

  • DamOTclese2

    This is absolutely insane. A Christian cult was duped in to signing on to a brief where they defend Scientology forcing women to undergo abortions against their will. Goes to show how stupid the NCC cult is.

    • sugarplumfairy

      I disagree with the use of the word cult in ref to the Episcopal church.. I’m pretty sure you used it to be inflammatory, though, so I’m sure you’re not surprised..

    • Mrs Libnish

      It’s only Wednesday….what’s the deal?

  • Guest

    “The NCC and its 37 communions, he points out, has nothing in common with Scientology or its beliefs.”

    That’s bullshit. While Scientology is first and foremost organized crime, it rooks and swindles money from rubes, marks, and suckers just as Christianity and Islam does, selling the unwitted masses obvious frauds. The NCC is undeniably the moral and ethical equal to the Scientology crime syndicate.

    • 1subgenius

      Duck.

      • DamOTclese2

        Just because they all quack like ducks, waddle like ducks, shit in other people’s drinking water like ducks does not mean all ducks are the same. 🙂

        • 1subgenius

          I meant it as a verb.

          • sugarplumfairy

            I knew exactly what you meant.. Wish I’d seen your comment before I took the bait and responded to damocles..

          • Mrs Libnish

            I thought you meant it like the game “Duck Duck Goose”…the randomness of the next comments made perfect sense to me! What a dork.

            • Spackle Motion

              I thought the same thing.

      • SP ‘Onage

        Duck Dynasty says, ‘eating squirrel brains makes you smart.’ Iol

        • Bury_The_Nuts

          Please do not learn cognitive science from “Duck Dynasty”!

          (Whacks you a good one!)

          • SP ‘Onage

            I just saw it on Huffington Post. Made me LOL!

        • ze moo

          Eating squirrel brains can cause a disease very similar to bovine Spongiform encephalopathy, the brain wasting disease.

          http://www.mad-cow.org/~tom/victim23.html

          • Bella Legosi

            I have heard about that from my dad! He knew a lot of homeless and train hobos back in the day and they would never ever eat squirrels for that reason. Also, if a kitten isn’t taught the right way to hunt and kill mice (not eating the head) they are more likely to get poisoned by their catch. I have heard stories about that, but thankfully never have had a kitty of my own die from such a thing!

            You learn something new everyday……..the Bunker is no exception!

            • RMycroft

              And if you’re going to eat rabbits, make sure that you eat everything (except maybe the brains). Make soup. You can actually die of lack of fat, who knew!

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbit_starvation

            • Bella Legosi

              I have heard about that too (with rabbits) I just found out that rabbits are on the list of unclean animals that Jews are forbidden to eat! Didn’t know that before, I knew Jews/Muslims had a rule about cloven hoofed animals, but didn’t think rabbit fell into that category.

            • Robert Eckert

              A kosher mammal must both have cloven hoof and also chew cud. The ungulates (hoofed mammals) are divided into Perissodactyla “odd number of toes” (horses, rhinos, tapirs), which neither part the hoof nor chew the cud, and Artiodactyla “even toes”, which are divided into Suiformes “pig shaped” (pigs, hippos, peccaries), which part the hoof but do not chew the cud, and Ruminantia “cud chewing”, which are divided into Tylopoda “padded feet” (camels, llamas, alpacas) which chew cud but do not part the hoof, and Pecora “valuable animals” (cows, sheep, goats, deer, antelopes, giraffes) which chew the cud and part the hoof. Rabbits spit up and re-eat their food sometimes, so some ancient Hebrew rules lawyer must have tried to pass that off as cud-chewing: the Torah points out that rabbits definitely do not have cloven hooves and therefore are not kosher.

            • Bella Legosi

              Wow, thank you for that information. The book I am reading really didn’t go into specifics and basically said, “The Kosher food laws could get very complex.” But I didn’t know just how complex. This was mentioned in a portion of the book that discussed heretics. One (I forgot the name and do not have the book available to me at the moment) claimed that the Kosher food laws in Judaism were not meant to be taken literally, only metaphorically. So, in this heretics mind a rabbit represented lustful sex and over procreation, or the pig being dirty and wallowing in its own muck, so on and so fourth……Geeez Robert! Where did you get this info? lol did you look it up or just knew it on the fly?

              I wish I had you as my biology teacher! I may have had more interest!

            • Robert Eckert

              I’ve always been a voracious reader since I was little. It used to be my role to answer trivia questions for everybody (if, say, somebody saw a travel brochure for the Maldive Islands and wanted to know where they were) until Google stole my job.

              The “metaphorical” interpretation of Jewish laws was fairly popular in the 1st century AD among Greeks who were attracted to Judaism for the simplicity of monotheism but repelled by the complexity of the legalism. One book giving this interpretation, the Epistle of Barnabas (supposed to be by a friend of St. Paul’s), made it into some churches’ New Testaments, but was ultimately rejected.

            • Bella Legosi

              Barbabas may have been the heretic that was mentioned in the book I am reading (I left it at my other house). However, I do recall the discussion leaning more toward a brand of early Christianity that thought that Judaism really had no relevance after Christ’s crucifixion.

              I didn’t start reading intensely until I hit my freshman year of high school, which I was holed up in Alaska (not much to do in the winter when you are poor). Before that I watched a lot of educational TV (it wasn’t nearly as dumbed downed back in the day. History actually had real history shows, NOT Pickers, Diggers, or Ancient Aliens). When it came to WWII history or anything relating to movies (actors, directors, producers, studios/distributors) I would be a mini trivial pursuit who won a lot of bets with those older than me!

            • Robert Eckert

              Yeah: the real Barnabas was a perfectly orthodox fellow, but some literature was written in his name which, as the book you were reading discussed, explained away most of Judaism as “It’s a metaphor!” so that Christianity could do a total reboot.

            • Mrs Libnish

              My cats have eaten ass end first and head first with no disagreement to their digestive track. The mouse, on the other hand, may have had a different opinion.

            • Bella Legosi

              Were they mice or shrews? I failed to remember my mom saying specifically shrews. But I could be misinformed. She once told me that the sap from trees were its tears, but that was when I was very young and loved to rip moss from trees.

            • Mrs Libnish

              I think the shrews are smaller with pointier noses.

            • Captain Howdy

              The problem isn’t eating brains per se , the problem is eating brains of your own species. Lots of predators, like bears for example. go straight for the brains, it’s a delicacy in the animal kingdom.

            • Bella Legosi

              I watched something on Science or Nat Geo about Mad Cow and the human form of Mad Cow and how the protein comes about. It is from eating the brains of your own species. Nature has it’s own way of dealing with zombie like cannibalism!

              Apparently dogs are immune from Mad Cow disease, but kittys are not! 🙁 I reserve the right to be wrong but that is what I recall the program saying. Which makes me really want to do right by the next baby I adopt. I am seriously considering making my own cat food, due to all the nasty crap they use to make store bought food (even the ‘natural’ brands) and especially after the WalMart episode that killed pets. Fuck WalMart! When the tainted baby formula came out, my niece had been throwing up entire stomach contents for nearly two weeks and my sis and the baby doc couldn’t figure out what the hell was making her so sick. I really do hope WalMart burns in hell and the Chinese manufacturers who put this poison out on the market too!

          • SP ‘Onage

            Mad cow disease is scary. I am actually shocked that people even eat squirrel brains. I’ve tried sweet bread once and it wasn’t that bad. I’m not a big meat eater anymore especially after watching the documentary Food Inc.

            • Captain Howdy

              I saw a documentary on PBS about an anthropologist that was studying headhunters in New Guinea back in the late 40’s or 50’s , and some of the older headhunters were coming down with this fatal shaking affliction which later on doctors realized was caused by them eating the brains of their victims. Mad Cow disease was caused by farmers feeding ground up dead cows to their live ones.

            • Mrs Libnish

              Thanks for sharing. I have backyard chickens and last night, I put chicken on the Traeger. I told the chickens…”it smells like chicken, but don’t worryf”. Then I wondered what might happen if I fed my chickens some chicken. Now I know.

            • Missionary Kid

              If your chickens don’t have the disease, you don’t have to worry about it. It’s not about eating brains per se, it’s about eating brains of diseased animals.

            • SP ‘Onage

              Damn! That has got to be gross! The saddest thing I watched was when I saw them eat a live monkey brain. It freaked me out! My friend had brought the DVD over called, I think? Faces of Death.

            • Captain Howdy

              I never saw Faces of Death because I had heard of that infamous scene. I can halfway stomach watching horrible shit happening to humans, but animals, no fucking way. I guess that’s probably considered messed up to most people.

            • Bury_The_Nuts

              Oh oh oh…remember that…OH.

              There was several and the bear scene was rough too.

              But that was in a later version of the movie.

            • Illinoisian

              Disease in Papua New Guinea is called kuru.
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuru_%28disease%29

  • DamOTclese2

    Ah, great seeing Culkin in the news again. 🙂 the phrase “Culkin’s credibility has been called into question” is sheer poetry!

    • Mrs Libnish

      I think he recovered his situation quite nicely. Did you see the letter Sugar Ray sent to the Sciloon laywers? It was very direct as to where Brian stood in the matter. When Tony posted that, I actually read it a few times, I was so tickled. It really did come out of left field.

  • dbloch7986
    • Eivol Ekdal

      I am, cheers. I hope you are feeling better today buddy.

    • aquaclara

      Excellent post, Derek. You are on a roll this week! Thank you for sharing them.

  • DamOTclese2

    Let them know what you think on Facebook:

    https://www.facebook.com/nationalcouncilofchurches

    • media_lush

      I did…. twice…. they removed both posts [very harmless and polite ones to not get their gander up]

  • Rob Kline

    I saw this http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/07/31/2388461/federal-judge-catholic-church-has-a-constitutional-right-not-to-compensate-victims-of-sex-abuse/ and wanted to throw it in the mix of our conversations about the many current suits going on with the cult. Figured this was as good as a time as any. What thoughts do you have about how this will impact the legal efforts against the cult?

    • TonyOrtega

      Frightening.

      • Gerard Plourde

        If it’s any consolation – this also from the same article-

        “Judge Randa, a George H.W. Bush appointee, has a history of being reversed by higher courts in cases involving hot button social issues, so there is a good chance that his opinion will ultimately be reversed on appeal. In the meantime, however, Randa effectively places the church above the law — and leaves what could be hundreds of sexual abuse victims in the cold.”

        • Sidney18511

          Another rightwinger judge. Keep voting for those republicans, folks and you will bring the RWNJs one step closer to their dream of an “American Taliban”

          • aquaclara

            Just like lunatic cult leaders come in all sizes, Idiots come in all political stripes, ok? No need to characterize the actions of one utter sleezeball as representative of just under half the country.
            There are, fortunately, good judges of both parties also in office. And there are many more good judges than bad. I choose to celebrate them, while cursing out the idiotic ones.
            I hope the victims get their day in court. I believe they will.

            • Sidney18511

              Oh my aquaclara…keep on celebrating!! Don’t let my post stop your party. Keep those balloons and party streamers going and by all means don’t look…..don’t even peek at the direction the republican party is heading, you just might see that the party has been taken over by religious fundys, racists and the very wealthy who don’t give a rats arse about this country or the people that live here. It might ruin your party fun.

            • aquaclara

              Change takes leaders, not followers… Sorry that you are stuck in an old, overly general and quite misapplied label. It happens sometimes.

        • aquaclara

          This is a horrible case, bad law and a crime all around. I feel sorry for the victims, who do deserve their day in court. I believe that they will get it.

        • ze moo

          I am not a lawyer and not highly edumacated in legal flimflamery, but do judges get to ignore evidence and just rule any way they wish?? Judge Randa is going to be reversed again. I hope all Milwaukeeans keep their eyes on this clown. And people wonder why it is so expensive to sue, it is hard enough to keep the other side playing fair and square, what do you do when a judge goes rogue??? You appeal and charge you client more.

          I remember reading charges in this suit, the Milwaukee Diocese covered up priest sexual molestation and rape and moved the priests around to hide it all. Pretty much the same thing happened all over the US and even Europe. Other diocese have come clean and paid up, watsamatta witch you MIlwaukee, you too good to pay your bills???

          Hiding assets in this manner is against the law (I hope). Come on appeals court……

        • ThetaBara

          I have a hard time seeing this upheld on appeal.
          But perhaps I’m just a perpetual optimist.

    • Captain Howdy

      “The law is an ASS”- Billy Shakespeareo

      “Off with their heads!” – Billy Shenanigans

      The Governor is an asshole wingnut and so is their federal judge, My mom was from Minnesota, so…FUCK WISCONSIN!

    • Rob Kline

      I can’t imagine the cult not taking advantage of this ruling in some way. I think it may have chilling effects on suits against the church at some point.

  • cicely neville

    Tony,
    Everyone has been so kind to me today but it is you who deserve the praise. THANK YOU for following up with ECUSA .
    It would not be proper to offer hugs to a Younger Man, but I send the emotional equivalent.

    • Mark

      Well done, Cicely!

    • SP ‘Onage

      Is your name Cicely or Cecily? Tony spelled it Cecily in his article. Either way, thanks again. 🙂

      • TonyOrtega

        When I asked her if she wanted credit, she said to go ahead and use her screen name, and in her e-mail to me she spelled it “Cecily.” So that’s what I put. I’ve asked her if she wants me to change it, but she hasn’t got back to me.

        • cicely neville

          I cannot spend ALL DAY in the Bunker!!
          It’s CECily, and I messed up, and now the ghost of the Duchess of York, the Rose of Raby, that noble woman, is going to come and haunt me.

          • SP ‘Onage

            Now I have to go edit my post again, LOL!

          • ThetaBara

            You might be able to fix it in your profile. I changed mine a while back and it just seamlessly changed it everywhere.

            • cicely neville

              Thanks – I’ll give it a try.

          • GlibWog

            You are my new Hero CeCe

            • cicely neville

              Thank you, but no hero. The heroes are the ones who have been threatened, harassed and attacked and still have spoken out. I’m safe at home, far from any Sci Bots, and I could be sure that the Episcopal Church would at least listen to me.

            • N. Graham

              And mine. I like the way you work.

            • GlibWog

              Yes.. You know Graham there are talkers and there are doers.. and I love someone like Cicely who Walks the Talk!

            • cicely neville

              I know this is an old thread and no one will see it, but I just realized this was directed at me . Graham, I didn’t do anything heroic! So i wrote an e-mail to my own Presiding Bishop; it took a few minutes of my time. I’d like to be a hero, but i know I’m not the type. It was no more than my duty to speak up.

            • N. Graham

              You never know what is going to work and what isn’t. It’s easy to get discouraged when doing pr work like this but you hung in there and it worked! Good job!

          • Lark Smith

            Thank you Cicely! Well done.

          • Bury_The_Nuts

            See! You should have just stayed ‘Sheepherder’!!!!
            We all could spell that!
            Oh wait…Dicksux….I forgot!

            • cicely neville

              Disgusting wouldn’t let me use my old name . I wanted to be the ‘Baahumbug,’ but it was already taken.

        • SP ‘Onage

          I thought maybe she spelled it that way because Disqus already had a Cecily Neville registered.

    • Sidney18511

      Cicely….you done good girl! You took action and made a difference! There are 3 words that you deserve to hear….hip, hip, hooray!

    • Laura Dieckman

      Thank you Cecily. I appreciate it!

    • dbloch7986

      Yay for you too! I’m to busy shamelessly self promoting my blog and youtube channel to do stuff like that. (lol)

      • cicely neville

        It was just a little short e-mail, no risk involved! I wasn’t out on the street with a sign, like you! And honey, my childhood was so different from yours. If I’d had yours I don’t know if I would have turned out to be so courageous.
        Have another hug.

    • Bury_The_Nuts

      He is pretty hot… offer the hug and don’t ask questions. Trust me!
      And cop a feel if you get the chance….

      • cicely neville

        Alas, no, a) he is in NY and b) I only cop feels on the Resident Kiwi.

      • Mark

        DIRTY girl!

  • Bella Legosi

    I just watched a profile on “King Blood”, the former head of the Latin Kings. It was very interesting and somewhat different then some of the other drug/money gangs of their stature (their ‘gang’ is more like a cult and the criminal enterprise was near non-existent regarding drugs, mostly murder) But there was a Preacher/Reverend from St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in NYC who spoke on behalf of the Latin Kings. The Latin Kings would use the church once a month to hold meetings, community organize, and the like.

    Seeing that the Episcopal Church does not want their name drug threw Co$ muck makes me smile! Good for them! Reminds me of when I read in Janet Reitman’s book regarding Co$ using Henry Winkler’s image for one of their magazines (I recall it may have been ‘Freedom’, but I may be wrong. Going purely on memory of reading the book once, but my recall is pretty damn close regardless).

    • Captain Howdy

      So much “stuff” in one comment. You’re a wonder there Miss Bella.

      • Bury_The_Nuts

        I had to yawn after reading that…I think have an M/U (or seven).

        • Bella Legosi

          lol Welcome to the wonderful world of Bella’s inner thoughts! My boyfriend says that I am batshit and ruled by chaos. My writing tends to reflect that at times! I tried to keep it concise, because I can really dork off on things I have read or seen that pertain to Mafia or gangs (omg serial killers are one of my oldest guilty pleasures. I was the only 10 year old who wanted to be an FBI Profiler back in the day before Criminal Minds hit the airwaves)

      • Bella Legosi

        🙂

        I haven’t been commenting as intensely lately due to work and a rotten ass tooth! But when I saw the Epsicopal Church mentioned I instantly thought of the Latin Kings show I saw last night on Nat Geo. I love those shows! Cults, serial killers, and the Mafia interest me very much!

  • dbloch7986

    For anyone interested, on Saturday a wonderful friend of mine is putting together a “Gay Gala” (in contrast to the Celebrity Center Gala scheduled for later this month). We’re going to try to spread the word about how Scientology hates gays! If anyone is interested here is the link to the facebook event. I would love for anyone that can be there, to go! I will be there for sure. 🙂

    https://www.facebook.com/events/390492277729177/

    “Let’s rock the house! All Pro LBGT, Anti-Scinos, Exes, and Sps are invited to join us for an evening of fun and exposure for the cult of Scientology and their anti-gay ways. Feel free to dress up, in dresses, drag, or simply show up in your favorite expose the cult Tee shirt. Masks, hats, and big wild sunglasses are all welcome. We will drink and be merry and show the LBGT world what really makes the COS tick.”

    http://paddysventura.com/location-directions/

    • Bella Legosi

      Good for you D!!!
      🙂
      If I lived near you I totally would show up! With bells on! I hope you have a great turn out! Please let us know how it went! Charge them phones, load up the cameras, and above all………have a great time!!!!

    • aquaclara

      Oh, this sounds like fun! Too far away for me, but I will be with you in spirit, toasting and cheering you on!
      Have a fabulous time!

    • Mark

      I shall be there in spirit, at least, Derek (and a natty little plunge-back number in pink bombazine absolutely drenched in bugle-beads!)

      • sugarplumfairy

        Why, Mark.. You are STUNNING without your glasses…..

        • Mark

          Why thank-you, sweetie-darling! Anyway, I’m hardly going to spend HOURS plucking my eyebrows and carefully applying mascara and eyeshadow, just to hide it all behind a pair of specs, am I?

          (And if I ever find the bitch who gave me a downvote, I’ll scratch their eyes out!)

          • Bury_The_Nuts

            And I will hiss at her for you! I am an epic hisser!!!!!!!!!!

            • Mark

              Dour Scottish partner (who has to be up early tomorrow, poor sod) has just come in and complained about being woken up by my laughing.

            • Bury_The_Nuts

              I Hiss at dour scottish partner! (after all, that is what I do to my dour scottish partner)

            • Mark

              Hissing never works for me – he just goes to the other end of the house and sulks.

            • Bury_The_Nuts

              Mine is scared of snakes….so I rule!

            • Sherbet

              Why am I picturing Nathan Lane and Liza Minnelli?

            • Mark

              In our case it’s more like Nathan Lane and Mel Brooks.

            • Sherbet

              Whoever — you two are a riot tonight.

            • Casabeca

              I love…Bury can be the Liza M at her house 😉

            • Bury_The_Nuts

              Throw a cheap black wig on me and I will sing New York, New York!!!
              ( I will do anything for a moscato!)

      • Bury_The_Nuts

        Fabulous Sweetie Dahling!

        • Mark

          Veuve and Bourb, or Stolly-Bolly, darling?

          • Bury_The_Nuts

            Sweetie! I told you…always Stoli….hold the bolly!

            • Mark

              Sorry – forgot. It must be all this Elizabeth Taylor perfume I’ve been drinking.

      • Captain Howdy

        Nice bone structure. you shouldn’t shave your eyebrows though.

        • Mark

          NEVER shave, always pluck. Drag is art is suffering!

          • Bury_The_Nuts

            Howdy has such an eyebrow fetish!

            • Mark

              Really? Mine are actually going the way of doormats, truth to tell…

            • Bury_The_Nuts

              Howdy has two weaknesses….dark, heavy and awesome brows…And a great set of huge jugs.
              You can almost make him religious with the combo!

            • Mark

              Blast! And there I was, thinking I had a chance. Mine were never darker than mouse-brown, and now they’re going grey. More eyebrow-pencil, that’s the answer!

            • Bury_The_Nuts

              Yeah…me too. Thank god for Latisse or I wouldn’t even have eyelashes….lol.

            • Nevermore

              No, you can dye them with the same dye that is sold to dye eyelashes. Voice of experience here!

            • Captain Howdy

              Let me set the record straight..not HUGE jugs but larger than average natural breasts on a slender frame a la Jennifer Connelly, Winona Ryder, Rosanna Arquette in their prime for examples.

            • Bury_The_Nuts

              Would you like me to go get the Mimi Rogers bouncing jugs .gif?
              Don’t make me prove my point!
              Jeb Burton has already done pissed me off and made me want to disect frogs and shit@!!

            • Captain Howdy

              OK..I’m not adverse to “huge jugs’ as you so crudely describe them as long as they’re firm with no stretch marks, big blue veins, huge areolas and they don’t do the water balloon thang when the woman bends over. Happy now?

            • Bury_The_Nuts

              No! Because you just described my jugs!

              Off with your head Howdy!!!!!!

            • Captain Howdy

              I’m talking about when someone is young and in their prime. I don’t even bother looking in the mirror these days. It’s all fantasy anymore. I gotta go relax and listen to some music. Later hot stuff.

            • Bury_The_Nuts

              😉

            • Captain Howdy
        • Bury_The_Nuts

          Those eyes !!!

      • Douglas D. Douglas

        Mercy! After reading through this section of the thread I feel I need to spend a couple of hours in the tool corral at my local hardware store. You guys are just that powerful…!

  • Jeb Burton

    Culkin, the Garcias and scientology all deserve each other. The yoga guru has no credibility, as Tonys lawyer constultant has told us, the Garcias, the rich, still practicing scientologists, who got duped because they were stupid enough to give DM untold thousands of dollars for the super power building, and now have buyers remorse, and the Church of Scientology, enough said. I hope the church loses, but what a bunch of seedy characters.

    • Sidney18511

      Oh Jeb…I know your heart just “breaks” for all the people that got sucked into the COS. but you must remember……..not everybody is as brilliant as yourself, who NEVER made a mistake or a bad decision in your life

      • coonellie

        After reading JB’s comments on and off, I think he takes perverse pleasure in winding people up. There’s a certain malicious intent behind his posts, one that I recognize from years of subservience to a similar type of creature (as you’ve guessed, I’ve made/make plenty of mistakes!).

        I prefer not to feed “it” as I’ve learned that such types are emotional vampires.

        • Jeb Burton

          What is this “mistakes” you talk about? I wish i could experience it. But i never have.

          • Sidney18511

            Your. Just. So. PERFECT?

        • Captain Howdy

          I agree with your comment to some degree, but at the same time I upvoted Jeb’s comment because to some degree I agree with his estimation also. Everything is a question of degree with me.

        • Bury_The_Nuts

          I remember your story… 😉
          I think I know where you are coming from.

        • Sidney18511

          Thanks for the advise coonellie, I agree and will turn off the food source.

        • sizzle8

          1 in 25

    • Missionary Kid

      People who join don’t start out that way. The cult uses bait and switch who walks in the door, then starts programming them so they act that way.

      • SP ‘Onage

        Yea, Jason Beghe said, “The further up you go, the worse it gets.”

        • Missionary Kid

          That goes on to my list of things said about $cientology. Thanks.

      • Jeb Burton

        Let me tell you where Im coming from. I live in Clearwater beach and I am downtown about once a week. The scions walking around down there wont even say hi to you. Just give you that blank stare. Ive read that they think they are superior to other people on the planet. Instead of White supremacists, we have human supremacists. And they have that arrogant way about them. Collectively, they are the creepiest bunch of people i have ever seen. And a number of people on these comment boards, think that just because someone has left the church, they are great people. One commenter, sherbet, said that she was in awe of ex scientologists. I am not. People accuse me of being a troll because I question Leah. the Garcias. and Marty and Mike. I admire many exes, but not all of them.

        • Bury_The_Nuts

          Jeb. We do not generalize like that. You have been the one doing that. I mean seriously, some of the exes get thrashed here. Marty, Mike, Steve Hall…sheesh…look at what Theo got yesterday.
          I was the one who said some of these exes are my hero’s and I meant EVERY word.
          I don’t think anyone here ever said all Exes get a pass.
          I see your point and everything you say about Clearwater is true. These people have turned that town into some kind of surreal movie set.
          But these people who got out and who are helping expose this crap deserve credit….not more ridicule or a backhanded acknowledgement.

          • Jeb Burton

            Did I say all exes get a pass? Get your facts straight. I said a number of people.You must have poor reading skills.

            • Bury_The_Nuts

              You wanna go there Jeb? Really?
              No, you did not say all Exes got a pass. You said the exact opposite. None of them seem to get a pass or anything else from you.
              Would you like me to go screenshot your own bullshit back at you? You want to go fact for fact with me smart man….Lets do it!
              Get my facts straight?
              You get your facts straight!

              Pull your head out of your ass and lets do this!!!
              Lets see who has poor reading skills.

            • Jeb Burton

              Settle down honey. I think your taking yourself too seriously.

            • Robert Eckert

              You have not earned the right to call her “honey”.

        • sugarplumfairy

          I don’t think you’re a troll.. I think you’re one of those people who has to disagree with everyone.. You lovvvvve getting a rise.. And the bigger the fish you engage, the bigger the rise.. If you basically respect the person you’re arguing with, which is rare, you eventually relent.. But that’s just one fairy’s opinion..

        • aquaclara

          Jeb, I’m a former Clearwater resident, and still spend a lot of time there. I know what you are saying about the people walking around downtown. I don’t think people quite realize what it is like to have an entire downtown blown up, bought and then overrun by a zombie cult. All those business owners-harassed and after years of destruction, Driven out of town. Their reputations utterly destroyed in many cases. This affected their marriages, income and kids.

          For those who don’t know, here’s more about what it was like living in a town taken over by a cult. Years of driving around downtown just to get to the beach. Being followed. Going to regular parties and finding out that your background was searched to find your fail, and you are 16.

          Watching the law enforcement officials totally ruined, through harassment, fair gaming or rumors spread about their reputation.

          Watching parents come to town to try to get their kids out of the locked up, secretive Fort Harrison, only to be driven beyond tears and destroyed for simply trying to get their kids back.

          Being afraid to say the word Scientology because, well, if you did, something bad would happen, just like it did to so many who even dared do something as simple as write a letter to the editor.

          Watching a six-year old relative cultivated by a friend in order to get a family member recruited into the cult. And not in a nice way.

          There is so much more. I haven’t even gotten to the 60+ properties taken off the tax rolls, or the harassment for trying to be a public official, write an article or speak openly a about what is happening. You know it, too. I do feel sorry for those in, but I also know that for many who have lived through this shit for over 35 years, it is way too personal. The damage on the side of those who have lived through the lies, the ability to buy off officials, the destruction of a city and a hometown way of life, this is big, too. People sometimes forget that this is hurtful, too.

          • sugarplumfairy

            jeeez.. amazingly well said, Aqua.. how frking depressing..

            • aquaclara

              There’s much more. And I was just a kid. Those who tried to do the right thing found very bad consequences. Some are dead. Some had to start their lives over again. Some left town. Others buried their heads in the sand and just hoped that by hiding, it would all go away. And others ignored it. Most did this. They had no choice.

              Well, it isn’t going away. And it is still virtually impossible to talk about it in Clearwater, unless you are just talking with old friends, don’t hold public office, or run a business that relies on the public.

            • Missionary Kid

              That’s a real horror story.

            • aquaclara

              And really, I see the horror story in those who sit, watch, and shut their eyes to what is going on, because we all know that that is the easier path. The safer way. Keep driving around downtown. Give your friends directions to the beach, but tell them to ignore the bit on the way there. Stop voting. Follow the “no honking” rule the cult got passed downtown, because the protesters were actually attracting attention. Do you listen to the rumor about your kid’s teacher, ignore it, or move?

              “Religious tolerance” means it’s all ok. When it is not. And yet those who spoke up were destroyed.
              And that’s the crime. 35 years and counting.

            • Missionary Kid

              I can think of other places where one is of a minority religion or sect or an atheist where life can be tough because of the dominant religion, but at least there, people actually talk to one, and they don’t kidnap children and hide them.

            • Ruby

              I am so sorry.
              I have been trying to find the words on all this since reading your longer post above, having been part of the cult, and all I can say is…I am so sorry.

          • Captain Howdy

            Despite the heroic legal efforts of people like Mayor Gabe Cazares and some of the other noble citizens of Clearwater to prevent the scilons from infesting their city, it’s obvious this was impossible to prevent because of the scientologist’s manipulation of the legal system. That said, I personally would have understood if the citizens of Clearwater had resorted to efforts outside of the so called “law”. It really was the only way this monstrosity could have been stopped. This is my personal opinion and is in no way representative of the commenting community here or Tony Ortega.

        • media_lush

          We don’t think of you as a troll, more of an arrogant dickhead who hasn’t figured out how to put his argument across without sounding like a cunt.

          • Jeb Burton

            The arrogant dickhead is probably right on the money. But the C word? Come on. That hurts.

            • Jeb Burton

              Media lush, are you the bollocks guy? You know, the website that posts picture after picture after picture of Suri? if not I apologize..

  • Bella Legosi

    So how many times will Co$ lawyers hear “Denied” before it sinks in what a racket they are involved in?

    Oh the times they are ah changein’!

    • SP ‘Onage

      A good quote for miscabbage is:

      “I will get my way, even if it destroys me.”

      • Missionary Kid

        Oh, THAT’S where the footbullets are derived from.

      • Bella Legosi

        🙂
        “Just give me what I want and I will go away!!!” is one of my favorites!

  • MagicJesus

    Damn, it’s such a joke that they have tax-exempt status. Unfortunately, once something gets stamped, it rarely gets undone regardless how obvious it is.
    It took around 120 years to get Absinthe legal again, even though the most dangerous ingredient is alcohol.

    • sugarplumfairy

      It would be a joke except it’s not funny.. They continually waste government resources with their vindictive retribution campaigns.. The fact that they don’t pay taxes fries my toes.. I’d love to see an estimate of the amount co$ hasn’t paid in taxes since 1993.. but I’d pobably be sick..

  • Ruby Grapefruit

    Fuck Scientology … I am so sick of reading shit about them … no diss, Tony. I wish the damn midget would choke on his New Zealand lamb already.

    • WhereIsSHE

      On behalf of the lambs of New Zealand…
      May he choke on his own tongue instead.

      Live and let Lamb(‘s Live)!

  • Observer

    Email sent to the Rutherford Institute with links galore.

    In all my Googling I came across this one (which I included). Yeah, all that info is confidential, all right.

    http://reformscientology.wordpress.com/confidential-pc-folders/

    • coonellie

      You get an ‘A’ for the day and a Brownie button!

      I’d shoop it, but my skills with PSD files are atrocious.

      • Observer

        You get one too! A phone call should be a gold star.

        • SP ‘Onage

          Think they’ll just hang up on us if we call? They twice removed media_ lush’s post on Facebook. Sounds like they’re not very friendly.

    • aboutandout

      Thx Observer for this link. I was looking for something like this. A recap of all the people that have left, raised concerns and the link to their stories. It really puts it in perspective when you see a list of over 2000 names.

      Edit: it is under the heading “The Wrong thing to do is Nothing”

  • dbloch7986

    Anyone want to witness Keeping Scientology Working in action?

    • Mark

      And I thought Theo (the unlamented, of here yesterday) was an “attention whore”. You certainly manage to dredge some interesting bottom-feeders up in your comments. Keep on stirring the snakepit, Derek!

      • Anonymookme

        I think Theo high tailed it back to Marty’s. over there he can babble incoherently and they understand every word he utters.

        • Mark

          Thank goodness for small mercies!
          (And now I really must go to bed. ‘Night all!)

        • WhereIsSHE

          IMO, he needs serious help (and not the b.s. tech-babble-talk).
          I honestly believe he is suffering from an undiagnosed mental disorder, and that if only he could get some proper care he would be as coherent and steady as anyone else (who is coherent and steady) here.

        • Missionary Kid

          The last time Theo was around, I engaged him, but this time, I passed. WhereIsSHE may be right that he needs serious help.

          I thought I was actually having a discussion with him, but I finally realized that if there was a way to misinterpret what I said, he did. This time, I decided to leave the true believer alone. He isn’t worth my time.

          • Anonymookme

            He’s as mentally balanced as all of the other LRH worshipping, KoolAid slurpers

            • Missionary Kid

              I’m wondering how he’s handling Marty’s move away from $cientology.

    • Missionary Kid

      Yup, {{Kool-Aid drinkers really know how to help you our.}}

      What site is that on?

    • SP ‘Onage

      He wants you to drink green water and experience terror in Alaska? WTF?

      • Bury_The_Nuts

        Green water? Unless it is absinthe…fuck it all!

        • Mark

          No, I think it’s another green drink. You know the sort: pretends to be a big butch Alaskan lumberjack, but at the bar it’s “Mine’s a large creme de menthe, ducky – and this time, don’t forget the slice of lemon, the cherry and the umbrella!” That’d strike terror into anyone.

          • Missionary Kid

            Snickersnort, then outright laughter.

            • Bury_The_Nuts

              ditto

        • SP ‘Onage

          I’ve never had absinthe, but I did have an opportunity once to drink it. I was invited years ago by an acquaintance through one of my friends to go drink some at a vampire bar in Hollywood called, Bar Sinister. I am the curious type so I thought, ‘wow, I’ve never been to a vampire bar before this is really going be different,’ but I ended up not going because I got into a car accident and had to wear a neck brace…I thought the people at the club would be offended if I walked in wearing a neck brace…true story, LOL!

        • KJP in Portland

          …I have yellow liquid for their popcorn! 😀

        • dbloch7986

          Yummy absinthe!

    • sugarplumfairy

      Jeeez, Derek.. Is tht KSW? Looks more like scientological dickwads harassing you.. Makes life exciting, doesn’t it? Stay safe and keep pissing ’em off.. You know you’re winning when they’re pissed..

      • dbloch7986

        That IS KSW at work!

    • Still_On_Your_Side

      Derek, I got the impression they were scared of you and even more scared of each other. What an awful way to live. You are so much better off than they are, and you have many people who will stand behind you. They don’t. Most cults at least have a pretense of friendship. Not in the cult of Miscavige.

    • KJP in Portland

      Jeezus Derek, some of those people were really mean little assholes. I also read “Scio”, as in Scio, Oregon? Then THAT hits very close to home (and me), as I’m in Troutdale (next to the Columbia Gorge). I really want to DECK some of the cretin, unempathetic lowlifes that posted some of the viscious spew I read. Some of those remarks from them really pissed me off.

      Derek, I am without words to say how sorry I am; how sorry I am that somehow, LRH created a way that brainwashes people to totally LOSE a basic, primal instinct: that is, loving and staying together forever with one’s family. Even the Nazis had a bit more acknowledgment of families.

      I’m here in Oregon. If you want to make a new friend, or play Minecraft, or just chat, I’ll find a way to give you my name and you will find me on Facebook. Maybe us Oregonians can’t be your biological family but many of can sure as hell make you feel like family, and all the good, close, quality friends you can find is good for your well being too.

      (First time posted here at The Bunker)…My name is KIRK (get that, Moronologists? Come play on my block with your operatives?)…and I’m glad to introduce myself and give you my solidarity and support!

      Hang in there, kid!

      KIRK

      • Robert Eckert

        “Scio” as in “Scientologists”. Derek is in southern California but soon moving to Texas.

        • KJP in Portland

          Aw shucks, Robert. I had my Oregon bean screwed on too tight. But all that shit I read really torqued me. My offer to Derek still stands. There’s still a world full of quality, functioning, good, clean non-Sci and non ex-Sci that he can immerse himself in.

          I just feel so bad for the fellow…thanks for catching my ineptitude on an off-night.

          • Robert Eckert

            Lots of people want to give Derek a hug.

      • dbloch7986

        Welcome Kirk! Scio is short for “Scientologist”. It’s a common shorthand around the internets these days. Some people call them scilons (a throwback reference to the robot race in Battlestar Galactica).

        I am always open to making new friends. So happy to see you posting here. The world, and especially the internet, is full of assholes. It’s just a fact of life. That’s not even the worst thing that a Scientologist has ever said to me.

        There were also many people there defending me! Which is not something I ever had when I was in Scientology.

    • noseinabk

      Derek,

      I had just checked back into this blog and the first post was this. I just spent hours going down the rabbit hole of the most horrible cult I have ever seen (children of god) I am depressed to learn that these people have renamed themselves and still exist. A mother in this cult who briefly recovered her children posted on a forum that the negative comments on that forum could have come from her own children.

      As a mom I wished that your family was just trying to look
      for you to help you get what your Aunt left you. I wish that was true.

      As a follower of this crap though, I can not help but think that cos was told to get you back you so that
      your funds are spent on Cos.

      • KJP in Portland

        Nicely put ABK…I feel terrible reading and seeing firsthand what this Hellish Cult does to families.

        KIRK

      • Bella Legosi

        I just googled Children of God and saw a picture of Rose McGowen. I had seen an interview where she had said that her parents were in a cult and raised her in the cult, but she didn’t say which one. She also said she would wake up having nightmares and would speak Italian in them as well. Thanks for the google idea. I am reading about them now.

      • dbloch7986

        Looks like you gave me a rabbit hole of youtube videos to watch for today!

        I plan on my next blog post being an in depth analysis of Scientology vs. Jonestown. I will probably call it “Could Scientology Become the Next Jonestown?”

    • Eivol Ekdal

      Sounds like someone is running the OSA playbook. I found this while surfing…
      “Scientology cult Can we ever be Friends – audio “lecture” is given to members of scientology as to explain their need to disconnect from friends and family if they do not agree with scientology,”
      http://wikileaks.org/wiki/Scientology_cult_Can_we_ever_be_Friends_recording
      It’s is a zip file with MP3s done in the style of Sheriff John Bunnell a la COPS. It is relevant to the type of commentary they use on social sites.

    • i-Betty

      You had some AMAZING people backing your corner, there. I read every word of the screen-cap’d FB chat and I was fist pumping by the end.

      • dbloch7986

        It wasn’t even over at that point. It went on for HOURS. And it only got worse.

  • Bob Gravlin

    And the email I sent to the Rutherford institute as I value religious freedom and don’t like seeing it abused.

    I had supported The Rutherford institute but have not done
    so recently, as I am supporting Catholic civil rights orgs. That said you still
    do good work and defending religious freedom is necessary work to which we all
    agree, But in your defense of the church
    of Scientology I believe you fail to realize that this org uses the cover of
    religion to abuse people and their so called confessions are more like KGB
    interrogation sessions which can and will be used against church members when
    the church deems fit to do so. ( And in this case to which you refer the person
    herself is asking that the confessions be released. ) In the future I believe you need to discern the difference of
    genuine religion from those wishing to practice psychological and even physical
    abuse under the cover of religion. I have a link to Tony Ortega’s site here and
    he has done years of research on this cult you might find helpful to read.
    Scientology’s petition for a writ of certiorari has
    been supported by amicus briefs from the NCC and the Rutherford Institute, but
    it faces daunting odds. On September 30, it will need to be chosen from more
    than 850 other petitions being considered on that day to remain alive.
    http://tonyortega.org/2013/08/14/episcopal-church-objects-to-being-included-in-supreme-court-brief-supporting-scientology/#more-9160

    Sincerely and God Bless

    Bob

  • KJP in Portland

    Not to mention that if either of my teens were ever to mention Moronology and their ‘tests’ and any subsequent interest, I would pig-pile on them in a second. Oh, the wrath their old man would give them!

    And then, they would be grounded and forced, while I sit there, to read EVERY blog post that Mr. Ortega has ever written!

    • Bella Legosi

      Beware! I started noticing Co$ Personality Tests in my breakroom table when I worked at the Downtown Nordstrom Rack. I would rip them up and throw them away. More would show up the following night. So I decided to leave one on the table, only after drawing Tom Cruise in a UFO, waving to Katie and Suri, saying “Take me to Xenu!” The very next night I noticed that on all four walls of the breakroom there was posted Nordie’s zero tolerance discrimination policy. When my boss came on shift he asked me if I had drawn a cartoon on a $cientology pamphlet (he knew it was me). He looked very serious and when I said No in the most sarcastic way (which didn’t make him laugh) he told me to just knock it off. He wouldn’t tell me who was leaving these tests, but they went to Loss Prevention and the Store Manager about it. I have a feeling it was the store manager herself. But I still continued to make it a point to look at the camera and rip up the tests. I made sure they saw me hawk a lugie too! lol And I wonder why my work life sucked ass after that episode 😀

      • sister wendy

        Love that:) “Take me to Xenu”- priceless. I wonder how they would have responded if you’d brought in a bunch of pamphlets from the JW’s…or some kind of Satanic Church…I bet the tolerance for adverting a “religious” group at work would have fallen by the wayside pretty quickly.

        • Bella Legosi

          lol funny you should mention JW’s!!! Before the personality tests showed up, Watchtower and Awake! were placed in there as well haha they went in the trash too (I didn’t rip them or spit on them tho).

          It really rubs me the wrong way when those I work with actively try to promote their religion. Religion really has nothing to do with employment and should be very separate. I feel it shouldn’t be discussed in the work environment (IMO), but I do discuss it from time to time. I keep try to keep neutral and polite, but when the conversation shifts to right/wrong or when they began to say, “You should……” I find a way to finish that conversation or agree to disagree. It’s a tricky thing with employment. Not every situation is the same and neither are work environments.

          • Douglas D. Douglas

            “Witnessing” is an important aspect of many religions. How it is done, and where, is another thing entirely.

            Leaving tracts lying around annoys me. I suppose it is the least offensive way to witness– after all, no one has to pick one up and read it. It just strikes me as so passive-aggressive.

            Approaching people is OK by me, as long as it is done in a friendly and respectful way. If someone is not interested, there should be no pursuit.

            The workplace really is tricky. If it comes up in conversation, or someone asks, it should be fine. Again, if someone is not interested, there should be no pursuit. And at no time should a superior make an approach. There’s too much possibility for abuse.

      • i-Betty

        *cheering!*

    • Cher

      When my 17 yr old daughter came home from the mall and told me she was aggressively approached by them that exactly what I did. I wasn’t worried she would be tempted to join at all but it still put me in a state of extreme uneasiness. Which was then quickly followed by anger. A lot of anger.

      I may have created a monster though; she and some friends are making, “where’s Shelly” shirts and wearing them the next time they go to the mall

    • sister wendy

      totally mis-read “Monopoly” (the board game) instead of Moronology and had a laugh while sorting out what you meant;)

  • sister wendy

    So they are just F-ing LIARS!!! Making things up and creating all kinds of B-sh-t!!!!

  • DodoTheLaser

    Cute.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=oacp5S7oQs0

    Kirstie Alley’s Night with John Travolta Was Her Dream Come True

    Published on Aug 14, 2013

    “Extra’s” Mario Lopez joined the
    “Look Who’s Talking” co-stars on the “Kirstie” set to talk about them
    working together and their enduring friendship.

    • 1subgenius

      The smarm was thick.

    • sugarplumfairy

      Wow.. She acted almost human..

      Why do I just like John Travolta sooo much?

  • DodoTheLaser

    Ultimately, only cats win. Proof:

    [IMG]http://i43.tinypic.com/33csr2t.jpg[/IMG]

    Courtesy of Eldar Zakirov

    http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/eldar-zakirov-hermitage-court-cats

    Click ^^^ for more epic cats.

  • DodoTheLaser

    Don’t Tread on Me

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIHuF8WvdFk

    Liberty appeals more to me than “total freedom:

  • Theo Sismanides

    On this issue, guys, we stand side by side. It looks like though some people here are much more active than many ex-es would be. I am talking about the subject of enforced abortions on Sea Org members. Nevertheless, many Sea Org members have had a horrible time and lost their children in DM’s insanity and I want to thank you all for what you are doing about this.