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Scientologist (and Tea Partier) Brent Jones is elected to Nevada’s legislature

Brent_JonesOur old friend Nathan Baca sent us a hot tip last night: He pointed out that Brent Jones had defeated incumbent Democrat James Healey in Nevada’s 35th Assembly district in Tuesday’s election, and no one had really noticed that it meant a Scientologist had managed to get himself elected to public office.

There’s precedence for Scientologists to get elected. Sonny Bono, who served as a US Representative from 1994 until his death in a skiing accident in 1998, took Scientology courses, though he was careful to put “Roman Catholic” on official documents.

Brent Jones was also cautious. He makes no mention of Scientology in his official campaign bio. But there’s no hiding his extensive involvement with the organization.

Baca reminded us that our old colleague at New Times Los Angeles, Ron Russell, featured Jones in one of our favorite Scientology stories of all time.

In 2000, Russell described the ordeal of Raul Lopez, a brain-damaged young man who had given away to Scientology much of the $1.7 million he’d been awarded after a debilitating car accident. At one point, Lopez had been convinced to invest $300,000 in RC&A, a WISE company (the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises is affiliated with the church). But soon enough, he wasn’t seeing the huge gains he’d been promised. Lopez was convinced to take any complaints he had to WISE’s internal arbitration policies rather than to outside agencies…

When Lopez continued to complain, church officials in 1993 finally referred him to a lawyer. Not surprisingly, his attorneys now say, that lawyer, Brent Jones, a Scientologist, advised Lopez that it was in his best interest to rely on the WISE arbitration procedure. (RC&A eventually refunded Lopez’s $300,000 principal, but attorney Dan Leipold says that in failing to live up to its contract to pay his client more than double his investment, the entire RC&A experience “amounted to a huge money-shuffling exercise…. In RC&A, the enterprise of Scientology appeared to be giving him money back when in reality they were hitting him up for that same money as fast as it was coming in.”)

But Jones’ involvement with Lopez didn’t end with his RC&A advice. In the summer of 1994, Jones approached Lopez with a business pitch of his own. Jones was involved in breeding and selling ostriches and invited Lopez to join him. “He said it was a big chance for me to make a lot of money and that I ought to act real quick if I didn’t want to miss out,” Lopez recalls. He paid the $30,000 for the two ostrich eggs, which were to be incubated on Jones’ property near Ojai.

The deal turned sour quickly. Lopez says that when he went to the property to see his ostrich eggs, Jones told him that he couldn’t say for sure which of several eggs belonged to Lopez. After the eggs hatched, Lopez again visited, wanting to see his ostriches. Yet, of the several birds there, he says, Jones was unable to tell him which were his, but assured him that there was nothing to worry about. At Jones’ request, Lopez says he even built an enclosure for the ostriches on Jones’ property, using his own funds. But not long after the enclosure was completed in late 1994, Lopez’s brief and befuddling ostrich-farming venture came to an abrupt halt. “I went out to [the farm] one day, and [Jones] tells me, “Your ostriches died.’ That was it. I never even got to know which ones were mine.” Jones, who is now associated with a company called Affinity Food Products, declined to be interviewed for this article.

After the failure of his ostrich concern, Jones moved from Ojai to Nevada, and he made his first run at office in 2012 with a failed attempt to get elected to the state senate.

Around that time, we first noticed what his Affinity firm was selling, although we didn’t associate it with Jones. From our 2012 story in the Village Voice:

Bogus “Real Water” Hooks Up With Scientology!

One of my favorite parts of the movie Idiocracy comes near the end when Luke Wilson’s character tries to point out to the cabinet members of the White House in our very stupid future that the reason America’s crops are failing is that they’ve been watering plants with an energy drink called Brawndo.

The cabinet members react with utter incredulity: “But it has electrolytes!”

I had hoped those days were far in the future, but apparently they are already here. A Nevada company is trying to prove that you can’t overestimate the lack of science knowledge in the American public by selling its “Real Water” with the idea that its product has “more electrons.”

I’m not kidding. The Guardian had fun debunking this nonsense on its science pages. A sample….

In an attempt to blind the reader with science, there are reams of misplaced claims and pseudo-facts. Take the claim that “many food and beverages … are devoid of electrons” — which would make them an entirely new state of matter.

One look at Real Water’s website should give you an indication that this product is aimed at people with room temperature IQs.

Anyway, our eagle-eyed friends managed to spot a grocery display of Real Water that showed the company has hooked up with Scientology. It lists as one of the charities that benefits from Real Water sales the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, which is Scientology’s anti-psychiatry attack group…

 
RealWater

 
Well, I guess in this case these two were made for each other. And just try explaining to the genius you find drinking this stuff that it’s directly benefiting Scientology. You’re probably going to get this…

“But it’s got electrons!”

 
Selling water to idiots is apparently not as lucrative as it might be, because Brent’s favorite complaint was that government was always getting in his way, and like a good Tea Partier, he wanted to take it down a notch.

Baca tells us Jones may actually be in a position to do something about that.

“The Nevada Assembly had a major swing to Republican control, and freshmen lawmakers like Jones will have an unusually large amount of legislative clout considering the Nevada legislature only meets for three months every other year. And quick sessions with lots of bills means little oversight. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a Criminon-style bill from him,” Nathan tells us.

 
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Scientology denied: Mike Rinder’s affidavit will not be stricken in Garcia lawsuit

We’re getting ever closer to what should be a pretty major ruling in the federal fraud lawsuit brought by Luis and Rocio Garcia against the Church of Scientology. Tampa District Judge James D. Whittemore will rule on Scientology’s contention that its rights as a religion prevent the Garcia grievances from being heard in a civil court, and the couple should instead be compelled to accept Scientology’s internal arbitration procedures.

In the meantime, the church wanted a related declaration by former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder stricken from the record. In the declaration, Rinder calmly eviscerated the church’s claims about the legitimacy of its internal justice rules. The church didn’t like that, and it argued that Rinder was improperly relying on information he had received in confidence during his years as a top church executive.

But Whittemore denied that request by the church, and we expect soon he’ll rule on the larger question about Scientology, its First Amendment rights, and allegations of fraud.

 
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Mark Bunker speaks to the Clearwater City Commission

Wise Beard Man tells the city commission about the pitfalls of working with the Church of Scientology…

 

Scientology and Downtown Clearwater – City Commission Meeting from Mark Bunker on Vimeo.

 
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Posted by Tony Ortega on November 7, 2014 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.

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS (We read Scientology’s founding text) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25

UP THE BRIDGE (Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48

GETTING OUR ETHICS IN (Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING (Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49

PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer
The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

 

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