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Chris Shelton’s new video: Scientology is coming apart at the seams

Chris_Shelton2Chris Shelton was a longtime Scientology Sea Org worker who only recently left the organization. Since then, he’s become one of the best former Scientologists at actually explaining what Scientology is and why it’s doomed.

It also doesn’t hurt that the man has some good video skills. We’ve posted a number of his great short films that help both never-ins and former church members understand how L. Ron Hubbard’s “technology” and “admin tech” lead to contradictory logic that only gets more messed up by the crew that Scientology leader David Miscavige runs today.

In this new piece, Chris looks at some of the bizarre recent behavior by Scientologists, which suggests that Hubbard’s ideas about public relations are convincing Miscavige that the way to handle all of the recent bad news for the organization is to react in the strangest way possible.

As usual, Chris uses Scientology’s own policies and history in order to help us understand what’s going on — that Scientology is coming apart at the seams…

 

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Allen Barton

Allen Barton

Allen Barton’s play “Disconnection” opening in L.A.

One of our favorite stories from 2013 was a tale we told you about Allen Barton and Mario Feninger. We titled that story “Scientology’s ‘Disconnection’ Policy: Music Lovers, This One Will Break Your Heart,” and it packed an emotional wallop.

Barton was someone we had written about earlier — he helped us understand the scummy way Scientologist and motivational speaker Grant Cardone had been used by the church to put the hurt on legendary LA acting coach Milton Katselas, who had run afoul of Scientology leader David Miscavige. At one time, the Beverly Hills Playhouse, where Katselas taught, was a magnet for Scientology actors that reached a peak when Jenna Elfman won a Golden Globe award in 1999. By 2003 or 2004, Barton told us, Katselas was disaffected and the church began an effort to ruin him. Barton himself had become disillusioned and left Scientology in 2001 after about seven years in the organization. After Katselas died in 2008, Barton became sole owner of the Beverly Hills Playhouse, and it was no longer a place that Scientology actors sought out.

But Barton still had relationships with people in the church, including a friendship with his piano teacher, Feninger, a man who had been in Scientology since the 1950s, had known L. Ron Hubbard personally, and can even be seen in a 1980 Mike Wallace 60 Minutes segment where he is one of the members Scientology supplied to push back on Wallace’s questions about the Snow White prosecutions.

Barton told us that Feninger was aware that his pupil had pulled away from Scientology and it wasn’t an issue for him. Feninger, who was 90 years old at the time, even reached out to Barton for help with paying his bills. But at some point, Feninger was told by the church to disconnect from him. “Disconnection” is perhaps Scientology’s most toxic policy, and we’ve written about it at great length. It’s the church’s cruel way of enforcing loyalty, pressuring its members to cut off all ties with ex-members or others who dare to question Scientology’s ways. Despite their past friendship, Feninger followed orders and cut Barton out of his life.

And now, Barton has turned that experience into a play.

 
Disconnection

 
“Disconnection” opens at the Beverly Hills Playhouse on January 24, with previews beginning on January 16. Barton sent us a copy of the playscript. We have to say it packs quite a punch.

There are elements of his emotional experience with Feninger in the play, but he’s also brought in several other major themes from recent Scientology news. The story features a middle-aged man, Landon, who is taking piano lessons from an older man, Michel, who once knew the legendary founder of the unnamed religious movement they both belong to, and that Landon is having doubts about. Landon also has a daughter, Tess, who has disconnected from him over his doubts because she works on staff with the organization’s “Chairman,” a foul-mouthed tyrant who has a very memorable scene as he tries to convince Tess that aborting a child she wants to give birth to would be in the best interests of the church.

Yes, Barton manages to work in references to most of Scientology’s biggest controversies: forced abortion, the “Hole,” and even a sustained and fascinating look at how the founder might look back at his own creation as his life was coming to an end. There are some very meaty extended speeches in this work that cry out for talented actors to pull them off. Reading it, we couldn’t help thinking actors are going to salivate over taking on these roles.

Wow, January is really stacking up to be a dicey one for Scientology — and we’re having flashbacks to January 2013, the month Lawrence Wright’s Going Clear came out, along with John Sweeney’s book and, a few weeks later, Jenna Miscavige Hill’s memoir. Next month, not only will the HBO film version of Going Clear premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, but Allen Barton’s play will open, and we think we might be in for some more surprises as well.

 
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CCHR’s awards gala kicks psych butt

This video showed up in our comments section yesterday. Watch as Scientology’s celebrities pay tribute to people who agitate against psychiatry. The Citizens Commission on Human Rights is Scientology’s anti-psychiatry front group, and it’s run by Jan Eastgate — seen briefly in the video — who is one lucky person.

 

 
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Posted by Tony Ortega on December 19, 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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