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Where it all began for us: Rick Ross, David Koresh, and the Church of Scientology

RickRossCover

 
Twenty years ago today, the new weekly edition of the Phoenix New Times featured a man named Rick Ross on its cover, and a byline that was printed there for the first time: “By Tony Ortega.”

Yes, it’s been 20 years to the day since our first cover story appeared, and that first story just happened to be about a man, Rick Ross, who was battling the Church of Scientology. (Inside, the clever headline on the piece, written by our editor Jeremy Voas, was “Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlatans.”)

Our story about Ross was also our first story about Scientology, and one that would lead us to others, and then others, and then, well, this is where we are today.

Rick was already well known nationally as a deprogrammer when we wrote the story. And one of the things we found interesting was that Scientology had expended so much energy trying to “dead agent” him and otherwise make things difficult for him when he only rarely worked with families involved in Scientology. He actually specialized in Bible-based groups.

One of them was a group in Washington State, called Life Tabernacle. An intervention Rick attempted with an 18-year-old member of that church, Jason Scott, had resulted in a lawsuit and a $5 million judgment against Ross and the Cult Awareness Network. It was a result of that judgment that saw CAN declare bankruptcy and Scientology take control of its assets. After that, when unsuspecting parents called CAN for information, they didn’t know they were calling Scientology itself. Talk about creepy.

Anyway, the thing about this old story we’re still most intrigued by was that we managed to document a real connection between Scientology’s Fair Game retaliation schemes and, oddly enough, David Koresh and the Branch Davidians in Waco. A private investigator hired by Scientology confirmed to us that yes, Scientology made sure that Koresh heard that Rick Ross was deprogramming one of Koresh’s former followers in Los Angeles. Rick has always assumed the point of that operation was to put him in harm’s way of Koresh, who was unpredictable.

Over the years, we’ve kept in touch with Rick, who now lives across the Hudson river from us in New Jersey. Recently, we caught up with him at some length to find out what he’s been up to in the last twenty years.

Shortly after that 1995 article was written, Rick launched a website in order to provide an online depository of information about the groups he watches. Today, the Cult Education Institute (CEI) is a massive database of information and a nonprofit organization of its own.

Rick tells us that CEI and its previous incarnation, the Rick A. Ross Institute, has been sued five times over the years by groups that are named in it. They include Church of the Immortal Consciousness (which was mentioned in our Phoenix New Times article), Pure Bride Ministries, Landmark Education, Gentle Wind Project, and NXIVM.

Rick says that he’s now done some 500 interventions, and in almost every state in the union. He’s qualified as an expert in 20 court cases in 10 states, including the prosecution of “sweat lodge guru” James Arthur Ray, who was convicted of manslaughter in the death of three people.

Rick has appeared in countless magazine articles, radio shows, television programs, and he’s also consulted in documentary features. Last year, we told you about his new book, Cults Inside Out: How People Get In and Can Get Out.

But Rick reminded us that the 1995 Phoenix New Times cover story came at a difficult time in his career.

“I was then facing off with Scientology and its brutal legal machine headed by Kendrick Moxon. I went through six years of legal wrangling in both criminal and civil court that ended with a startling settlement, which seemed to make Moxon crazy,” he says. With his legal troubles behind him, and Moxon in his rear mirror, Rick went on to thrive.

Meanwhile, we’d found a niche. This Scientology stuff was really intriguing.

So we kept at it. And wow, 20 years sure went by quickly.

And we want to thank Rick, who helped us mark the occasion by posing for photos in his office with his copies of the article, which he still has framed on his wall.

 
RickRossPage

 
——————–

Babywatch, day twelve: Lisa McPherson in Room 174

November 30, 1995 was a Thursday. Rita Boykin came back to work another shift as Lisa McPherson’s caretaker after a few days off. What Rita noticed was that Lisa wasn’t so active now. She wasn’t pacing the room and talking incessantly. Now, Lisa was spending more time sitting on the bed and staying quiet. Rita noted that Lisa still wasn’t eating much, and seemed to be weak. She also noticed that Lisa appeared to have lost weight.

Rita noted in a statement that she helped Janis Johnson, the chief medical officer, inject Lisa with chloral hydrate, a sedative. But another caretaker, Heather Hoff, said that by the 29th, Wednesday, Janis had said not to use it on Lisa anymore. Whatever the exact date, at around this time, they give up on chloral hydrate but continued to give Lisa valerian root capsules to make her drowsy.

That night, Rita noted, Lisa was “scooting around” on the floor, moving her limbs, talking, and groaning. The next day, Rita and Heather would both notice that Lisa was now seriously showing signs of deterioration.

 
——————–

BOOK NOTES
3D-Unbreakable

We didn’t get a chance to include photos in our book, so we’ve posted them at a dedicated page. Reader Sookie put together a complete index and we’re hosting it here on the website. Copies of the paperback version of ‘The Unbreakable Miss Lovely’ are on sale at Amazon. The Kindle edition is also available, and shipping instantly.

Our book tour is concluded for now. (But you can re-experience it through this nifty interactive map!) We’ll let you know about future appearances. Previous events: Santa Barbara (5/16), Hollywood (5/17), Orange County (5/17), San Diego (5/20), San Francisco (5/22), New York (6/11), Chicago (6/20), Toronto (6/22), Clearwater (6/28), Washington DC (7/12), Hartford (7/14), Denver (7/17), Dallas (7/20), Houston (7/22), San Antonio (7/24), Austin (7/25), Paris (7/29), London (8/4), Boston (8/24), Phoenix (9/15), Cleveland (9/23), Minneapolis (9/24), Portland (9/27), Seattle (9/28), Vancouver BC (9/29), Sydney (10/23), Melbourne (10/25), Adelaide (10/28), Perth (10/30)

 
——————–

Posted by Tony Ortega on November 30, 2015 at 07:00

E-mail your tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT 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 cover to cover with the help of LA attorney and former church member Vance Woodward

UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists

GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice

SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts

PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer
The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill
The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield

 

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  • Intergalactic Walrus

    Oh no, PETA’s special ops need to stage a rescue mission at CCInt – Run Lassie, Run!

    https://www.instagram.com/p/-sHNZpJf62/

    • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

      I hope the dog peed on all the Hubbard statues.

      • TheHoleDoesNotExist

        Hold the phone – is that “The Thinker” statue above Lassie’s head? Did Lassie put that there? Is this a trick shoop or what?! There’s no thinking allowed in scientology, dammit!

        • Sherbet

          I’m looking at the “spare no expense” parquet floor. No sheet vinyl for our fancy orgs.

          • TheHoleDoesNotExist

            and what the hell is Lassie doing inside an org?

            I told ‘ya OT9 and OT 10 is pet pampering, 9 for dawgs, 10 for kitties. And yet they laughed me off stage. They all laughed, long and hard. Who’s laughin now, huh? Lassie, that’s who! Look at that grin!

            • Sherbet

              They never should’ve doubted you.

            • TheHoleDoesNotExist

              I even had pics, Sherb! I can’t wait to find out what Davey is going to throw down on this one. It’s got to be either a real gem or something so boring, they’ll all fall into a coma.

            • Sherbet

              Aren’t there guesses about 9 and 10? I’m going to go with…Digestion of Gluten and Paper or Plastic?

            • TheHoleDoesNotExist

              hah! I am actually hoping it’s some kind of ethics/seccheck on steroid thing – I’m not sure if that’s a kind or evil wish. I mean, if that doesn’t blow ’em off the poop decks, I don’t know what will!

    • flyonthewall

      is that a young Val Kilmer?

      • Intergalactic Walrus

        No. Val is a Christian Scientist. Last I heard, he supposedly was relying on prayers (instead of medicine treatment) to heal that throat tumor (cancer?) of his. Sad.

        • 5 Feet Long and Luminous

          Well, that I did not know…hmm…shame…

        • Frodis73

          I just found this out about a month ago. Fascinating…he’s an idiot, but fascinating none the less.

      • 5 Feet Long and Luminous

        What?! That little hoser is no young Ice Man, son. I think you need your compound eyes checked.

        • flyonthewall

          am I really the only one that sees it? *shrug*

          • 5 Feet Long and Luminous

            Well, 13-year old me says you’re bananas. But 13-year old me loved her Ice, so she’s probably not the most unbiased voice to listen to.

            But…much older me says, yeah, OK, I see the resemblance around the mouth and eyes. I still contend that he’s a hoser, though.

          • Intergalactic Walrus
          • Nat-leficent

            I totally see it!

            • flyonthewall

              then it is confirmed, we are both totally insane

              eta – i think it’s the eyes

            • Nat-leficent

              Well that was already established I thought

            • flyonthewall

              it’s good to have reconfirmation every now and again lest you mistakenly slip into sanity

    • Sherbet

      “What’s that, girl? David Miscavige fell into an abandoned well?”

      • SNAFU

        I think she’s trying to say Timmy there fell in Hubbard’s well, or rabbit hole as the case may be.

        • Sherbet

          And Hubbard needed a few thousand to get him back out?

          • TheHoleDoesNotExist

            or you’ll never see Ruth again!

            • Sherbet

              (You’re dating yourself. And me, too.)

            • TheHoleDoesNotExist

              at my age, I’m thrilled to have a date. okay, that’s all I got.

      • TheHoleDoesNotExist

        Lassie IS trying to hold him down to keep him from going anywhere. Good dog. Shakes paws.

      • Intergalactic Walrus
        • Sherbet

          I love it, evil psych and all.

        • TheHoleDoesNotExist

          funneeeee

    • nommables

      TeeHee! (refresh)

  • Intergalactic Walrus

    Dang, sorry I missed this.
    Why do I have the feeling that John Travolta was probably there?
    (refresh)

    https://www.instagram.com/p/-naVi8vi4p/

    https://www.instagram.com/p/-p0mSSRQoA/

    • scottmercer

      I’m sure these will be available for sale at Wal-Mart any day now.

  • Cars

    OT: Just in case some folks missed this tweet by Tony to John Coale. Too funny not to share.

    John Coale’s tweet earlier today:

    https://twitter.com/johnpcoale/status/671358629862350848

    Our Proprietor’s response:

    https://twitter.com/TonyOrtega94/status/671442775796293632

    BTW – John Coale is married to the Fox News host, Greta Van Susteren. They are both longtime Scientologists. Tony most recent article about him was this past May http://tonyortega.org/2015/05/27/john-coale-greta-van-susteren-and-the-miracle-of-scientology-drug-technology-a-meditation/

    • TheHoleDoesNotExist

      Tony zoomed that one in hard and fast. Yay, Tony!

      I read some of Coale’s other tweets. Very sorry I did, so soon after dinner.

      • Liberated

        Exactly, when ever I am forced to think about Greta ” in session” and her needle is floating, I immediately want to vomit. Please no more please.

        • TheHoleDoesNotExist

          There is something about this couple I have yet to nail down, but there is Something strange imo.

          • Supper Powers

            I’m convinced they are brother and sister.

            • TheHoleDoesNotExist

              Okay, Not expecting that one!

            • Supper Powers

              Not really, but they are odd together, huh?

            • TheHoleDoesNotExist

              Yep. Whenever I see their names, I automatically start trying to solve this puzzle of what that weird vibe I get from them is all about.

            • Supper Powers

              No kidding!

          • Liberated

            I have yet to figure it out myself. Somethings is askew , something just doesn’t add up. I mean the chick is on Fox noise for Christ sake! There has to be something that none of us know about. Some big fat unknown dirty secret. I will let you know whatever I discover, and you do the same. Maybe she was XENU’ s ex-wife at one time—–bitch.

            • TheHoleDoesNotExist

              Um, I’ve been known to burst into spontaneous combustion at the sight or sound of the b word being used – but I’m still emerging from turkey coma, so you’re safe this time :).

              I only care because of her influence as a reporter and his in political streams and of course, they’re funding support of the scientology human rights abuses.

            • Liberated

              I think you’re taking my comment a little too seriously.

            • TheHoleDoesNotExist

              Not serious in the slightest. But I still find the b word offensive.

            • Kestrel

              Can we call her a birch?

            • beauty for ashes

              Noo Birches are so pretty, I take offense to that. πŸ˜‰

      • Cars

        IKR? Tony must be in fine form today. His May story was pretty good, too. He called that piece a “meditation.”

        Yeah, don’t make the same mistake I made. I went from Coale’s acct. to Greta’s (just to check the spelling of her last name) and got stuck reading some of her tweets – in disbelief. Don’t worry, I’m OK. It’ll just take a while to get rid of the residual odor. Kinda like being peed on by a skunk. I’ll eat dinner later.

        • TheHoleDoesNotExist

          Skunk stink – that’s it! I actually have a lower opinion of the two of them now. Who knew this was possible? I’m not going to repeat any of them here.

    • 5 Feet Long and Luminous

      Ha! That was pretty brilliant, TO.

    • flyonthewall

      oh snap!

      • Cars

        Fly, I’ve been looking for you. Off topic but have you seen the new wheelchair based on Segway technology? It’s so beautiful – in form and function. It’s called a Genny. This is the website http://www.gennymobility.com/uk/genny and you can see it in this tweet. I don’t know if it’s available in the U.S. yet.

        https://twitter.com/GennyMobilityUK/status/670264670612119552

        • flyonthewall

          No, I’ve not heard of that, it looks scary!

          • Cars

            Really? I thought it solved a lot of problems associated with wheelchair use. OTOH, it may have created a whole new set of problems or dangers. When you have time, watch the video(s) on the site. It’s not available in the U.S. yet, AFAIK, so there’s time to test and fine-tune it before it hits the N. American market.

            • flyonthewall

              I will, thnx for thinking of me πŸ™‚

          • Frodis73

            Lol, you are right tho, it does! Looks like it would tip over. I have got to show this to my mom though.

            • flyonthewall

              It’s so big and wide looking, how would anyone transfer from it or clear a doorway? It looks like something for someone with a lot of mobility(small armrests, very low back), like a sporty type chair but if you had lots of mobility you wouldn’t need this. Very strange to me.

            • Frodis73

              Now that I’m looking closer again, you are right about that too and it wouldn’t work for my mom’s situation because of mobility. Like we could afford it either, but, ya know. It would be neat to see one in person tho.

        • stanrogers

          The Segway was developed from wheelchair technology (the iBot), and was meant to subsidize the chair tech through consumer sales (economies of scale). The iBot could rise to standing height (to avoid condescension as much as for accessibility reasons), ascend/descend stairs, and so forth, but it was horrendously expensive. Times change; things get cheaper.

        • beauty for ashes

          I’m surprised they didn’t make a standing version. I know a few people who rely on wheelchairs and have complications from having to be seated all the time. But Like Stan says they have been cost prohibitive.

    • Sherbet

      “Greta, Tony Ortega is being mean to me!”

      • flyonthewall

        Tony’s tweet says unavailable now. What happened?

        • Sherbet

          I don’t know. I don’t tweet. I’m tweeterless.

        • Frodis73

          I can’t find a trace of it either.

        • A bird in the chimney

          It still shows up for me if I follow the datestamp url (I added a space after the last / so disqus didn’t auto-fill the link as a picture). John’s is also still up so far as I can tell.

          https://twitter.com/TonyOrtega94/status/ 671442775796293632

        • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

          If Coale deleted his tweet that would explain it.

          • Supper Powers

            (I like your avi!)

            • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

              Thank you. ; )

            • beauty for ashes

              Me too. πŸ™‚ adorable!

          • A bird in the chimney

            You know what else — if John muted/blocked Tony, and if Tony quoted the tweet in his response, that could be causing the ‘unavailable’ notif embedded in the tweet.

            ^^^ not sure if that’s how it works but thinking it’s viable reason

        • Observer

          I can see it

          • flyonthewall

            this is what i see when I click on it. f5

            • Jimmy3

              So you’re seeing what you’re supposed to be seeing?

            • flyonthewall

              well what about the big “this tweet is unavailable” message?

            • 5 Feet Long and Luminous

              I think Bird in the Chimney has it right–Coale either muted Tony or blocked him. I thought the muted party wasn’t supposed to know, though…

        • Cars

          It’s still showing for me and I’ve refreshed several times. It’s still up on Tony’s twitter acct, too. Are you reading from within Disqus Dashboard? It might be a Disqus hiccup again?

          In any case, here’s the text, “What would your dad have thought about removing body thetans at $1000/hour in #Scientology, John? OMG!!!!!!”

    • A bird in the chimney

      Perfect application of exclamation tech (mockery)!1!!

    • Observer

      Refresh if you can’t see the tweet:

      • Free Minds, Free Hearts

        Thanks, I tweeted him this.

    • salin

      Awesome application of ironic snark.

    • Free Minds, Free Hearts

      Ha! I scared him off with one tweet.

      • Rasha

        Ha! Confronted and Sharted.

    • Zeruel (Sebastian)

      Given what a mouthpiece Fox News is for the Christian Right, what do they say about Scientology with one of them on their staff?

      • Free Minds, Free Hearts

        Isn’t the Christian right against abortion? Pretty hypocritical to be in a cult that coerces abortion on minors…

        • Zeruel (Sebastian)

          Err… are we talking about the same thing?

          • Free Minds, Free Hearts

            I admit I am being snarky. She is a scientologist so she can’t be Christian. But she is on a media outlet that caters to right wing Christians, and they do oppose abortion. I mostly just wonder why none of the anti abortion groups ever call out scientology.

            • scottmercer

              Right. You’d think the Westboro Baptist Church could start bothering them, then the two groups could fight each other and leave normal people alone. (Except both groups are virulently homophobic, so they do have SOME things in common…)

      • Joy Lover (Ex-CS)

        I saw Meghan Kelly talking about Scientology, I believe it might have been when “Going Clear” came out, but not sure. And I believe I read here someone saying that it’s in Greta’s Fox News contract NOT to talk about Scientology.

        • Zeruel (Sebastian)

          That’s right, she interviewed Rinder.

          • Joy Lover (Ex-CS)

            Oh, thanks! Couldn’t quite remember. πŸ™‚

    • Juicer77

      And just for the record, I like this photo MUCH better! (f5) Miss Lovely downs a cold one watchin’ dem O’s, hon.

  • We are in the midst of a detailed recounting of the torturous tragic last days of Lisa McPherson.

    The man who took on the perpetrators, and acheived some small measure of justice, faces a judgement in excess of a million dollars for his heroism.

    Want to do something tangible?
    May I suggest this
    https://www.gofundme.com/vp8g9u38

  • Cece

    Tony. Thanks.

  • Johnny Tank (Forever Autumn)

    TOT, but I know there are some MST3K fans here – the kickstarter campaign has surpassed $ 3,3 mill, and thus there will be 6 new episodes made next year. Next goal is $ 4,4 mill, and there will be 9 episodes made.

    Remember to DONATE, DONATE, DONATE!!!

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mst3k/bringbackmst3k

    • TheHoleDoesNotExist

      Thanks for some darn good good news, Johnny Tank!

    • SuppressedPerson

      Major MSTie here. I’m glad! Joel-io-lio is looking good! I always miss Turkey Day, but then again, Turkey Day is EVERY DAY for me! (got to get new relatives!)
      Maybe they’ll do Battlefield Earth. ;0)) (not a chance)

      • Rasha

        B.E. MSTied? Can you imagine???

        • TheHoleDoesNotExist

          Yes, please.

      • Zeruel (Sebastian)

        Could they afford the rights to Battlefield Earth, do you think?

        • SuppressedPerson

          No, I was just kidding. Scientology has NO sense of humor. They’d NEVER permit it, even if it was affordable.

          RIffTrax has a play-along riff, though. >;))

          http://www.rifftrax.com/battlefield-earth

          • Zeruel (Sebastian)

            Maybe now they’ll finally have a crack at Travolta’s Moment by Moment. In case you need a refresher…

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92oYy1U0_6A

            • Juicer77

              Why do you hate me!!!????! πŸ˜‰

            • SuppressedPerson

              Christmas just got here early! Thanks so much, Bad Movie Santa! This is hysterical!!!

              Never knew about that gem! So painful!!!!

              Move aside Casa Blanca! Forget Gone With The Wind!

              Moment By Moment

    • Rasha

      You. Have. No. Idea. How. Kule. This. Is…… (runs off to see if there’s anything on Satellite News…..)

      ETA: OMX – Patton Oswalt tapped as son/clone of TV’s Frank……

      • Zeruel (Sebastian)

        Dr. Forrester’s daughter looks pretty cute.

        • scottmercer

          Felicia Day. The cast is now Day, Ray, Oswalt, Vaughn and Yount. Sounds like a law firm to me.

      • scottmercer

        Kind of wish now that everyone cast would have had the profile equivalent to Oswalt…not dissing anything of the other folks though….

    • Juicer77

      Part of me wants to see the whole gang reunited. The best part of MST3K was the completely random, mixed-bag of interests and comedic styling among the cast, writers and crew.

  • Always Amazed

    Each day makes me more sick than the day before, they speak of Lisa like she was a dying plant, or a piece of decaying fruit in a bowl. I know this is exactly how they view the human vessel, it never ceases to amaze me.

    • And every scientologist can end up like Lisa. Some Tech.

      • Allie

        Sadly, yes. This.is.Why

        • Spike Robinson

          That’s what I say to myself, every day. This. Is. Why.

    • Susan B.

      I second that. I mean how many days has it been so far since Lisa’s taken in enough calories and fluids to maintain physical let alone mental functioning????? The higher ups manipulating this puppet show are murderers and the puppets are morons. OK. Brainwashed morons.

      F*ck Hubbard. F*ck Miscavige. F*ck Tom “I-know-the-history-of-psychiatry” Cruise.

  • TheHoleDoesNotExist

    So, an investigative journalist, a cult deprogrammer and a Dodo walk into a bar. Bartender throws down 3 glasses and says, “Don’t tell me! I know just what to pour”…

    • Laser on the rocks?

      • TheHoleDoesNotExist

        Hope NOLAgirl is writing these down!

      • Rasha

        VBNs?

    • OOkpik

      He knows because he’s a scibot and he suddenly needs the drink himself.

      • Rasha

        ShhhhBAP!

    • Robert Eckert

      Some Dos Equis for The Most Interesting Man In The World, some chloral hydrate for the cult deprogrammer, and Alison Hope Weiner’s Mystery Dark Stuff for the Dodo.

  • beauty for ashes

    I have Erin Brokovitch on in the backround today. I love this movie. Erin Brokovitch in real life suffered because of what she did. And she didn’t do it walking on Julia Roberts insanely long legs.

    I’m sure there is a lot that doesn’t get reported by Tony. Yeah we have heard about how angry the cats were at him when he returns from long trips. I’m sure it isn’t easy, reporting on Scientology. I’m glad you did and still do.
    I know it isn’t easy.
    Always inspired by the posts that say,”Tony saved my life.” What other journalist gets to say that? What other path in journalism could affect lives so directly? And continue to affect others in such a positive way? Like ripples spreading outwards, your work has effect. <3 <3 <3 Thank you, and Happy Anniversary Proprietor!

    • Rasha

      Wait – we need to correct Derp? …ooops.

      But – YEAH!!!!

      • beauty for ashes

        I said the same sentence twice. My brain is in full derp mode! Gotta stop partying with my elderly neighbors, talk about a big pharrma stash! JK!

  • Allie

    Happy Anniversary, Tony and Congrats on an illustrious and challenging (and I’m sure exasperating)
    20 yr career writing about Scientology. It warms my heart and soul when I read stories and testimonies
    from exes about the positive impact you have made on their lives. Your determinism and persistence
    are truly an inspiration. Thank you for this incredible blog and your integrity. Major respect to you.

  • Zeruel (Sebastian)

    Off-Topic: Rick Ross has been gracious enough to publicize the ongoing campaign against my archnemeses, the Genesis II Church, through the Cult Education Institute website. Speaking of which, here is the Genesis II Church’s spokesman trying to dance around the fact that they will be giving sick people bleach at their upcoming meeting in Ireland: http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/church-wont-sell-bleach-cure-in-ireland-but-may-teach-how-to-use-it-368683.html

    • flyonthewall

      They are a haughty bunch of quacks aren’t they?

      • Zeruel (Sebastian)

        I love how they say they’re only going to show people how to mix the poison instead of selling it to them, thus the health regulator has no power over what they do. That’s like saying I’m only going to show you how to cook meth instead of sell it, thus the DEA has no power over me.

        Walter White cooked meth, he didn’t sell it. So everything he did was perfectly acceptable!

        • flyonthewall

          Brilliant! Do you think Scientology sends out advisers to cults so they can better abuse the 1st Amendment? Kind of like how the US military sends advisers to allies in conflict zones?

          • Zeruel (Sebastian)

            That would imply that Scientology is willing to risk letting their people have some other crazy philosophy drilled into them.

            • flyonthewall

              Yeah right, the scilon would laugh in their face and be like, “You call that recruiting? Come here, let me give you a free stress test””

        • beauty for ashes

          Did you see the commercial for AMC where the guy cooks pancakes that look like Walter White?

    • I’ve followed their heinous antics over at Orac’s Respectful Insolence blog for years now. They’re despicable.

  • Kestrel

    Happy Anniversary, Tony. I do have a question for you. When do you sleep?

  • Nat-leficent

    OT: Multiplayer jigsaw puzzle
    Click to play

    http://www.epuzzle.info/b/f452599

    • flyonthewall

      hey you stop messing up my puzzle!

      • Nat-leficent

        Psych drugs

    • beauty for ashes

      Doing puzzles is supposed to be good for your memory. Jigsaw Planet is a good site too. You can make your own too. ….. What were we talking about again?

      • Sandy

        Crossword puzzles in the bathroom? TMI?

        • beauty for ashes

          Not to me Sandy! lol

      • daisy

        I have been doing word puzzles . word games., crosswords, and deduction problems for 15 years . and I still cannot remember names of people introduced yesterday and many many many things.I don*t remember what I can*t remember.

        • beauty for ashes

          I think that’s why I love Juicer’s derpy cat memes, I can relate. Also~ sorry you have that too. Luckily my next older sister had some of my same symptoms first. And she is like the loveliest funniest muppet angel.(the best way to describe her.) It’s helped me not be so down on myself for really derpy things I do.

          • Juicer77

            Just for you – and me (f5) πŸ˜‰

          • daisy

            Most time I can remember stuff I need to. I have a corner in my brain dedicated to important, but mostly I regret my misspent youth for it, so I shouldn’t complain. Their are a lot of people worse than me, and it doesn’t affect my daily living that much.

    • Nat-leficent
  • Sunny Sands

    Ken Dandar changed his Go Fund Me goal amount from $5 million to $500,000.
    https://www.gofundme.com/vp8g9u38

    • Mockingbird

      I will accept the other $ 4,500,000 to make things easy for everyone.

  • Sandy

    JIMMY3! I am in you! Touchdown!

    • Zeruel (Sebastian)

      Did Jimmy give consent?

    • salin

      um. ?

      • Sandy

        The Browns football tonight

        • salin

          Got it – enjoy!

      • Sandy

        Becuz of Jimmy 3, my second team is the Browns

        • Frodis73

          lol! They need all the help they can get, so they’ll take it.

          • Sandy

            Am an underdog kinda gal

    • Jimmy3

      Gotta give them credit for the Brownsiest finish of this season. That was more Brownsy than I expected.

  • Anyone else has a case of slow internet at this hour? Hopefully just stupid Cyber Monday overload. Posting from my phone.

    • Rasha

      Sorry, that was me. Streaming anime. I’ll stop for a while.

      • Funny, it’s back to normal now. I will keep an eye on you.

        • Rasha

          …I’ll be good….. (distractedly moves mouse, glances surrepticiously at laptop…) Hummm de dum de dum…..

    • Jimmy3

      Massive outages in Ohio. My connection was down for about an hour.

      • Qbird

        J3Xs – not sure what to think of enthusiastic Mr. RP, Jr. ML tRuE aRc nEwBie=bOy.
        3 days ago I was actively replying to fReSh when a comment was posted to him (by another avi I do not recognize) asking, “Why the lies, Rick?” and a link. I followed the link to a blogspot posted 3 years ago by newbie-boy. Still giving him the benefit of the doubt, I go to reply to the dude who was asking him why-the-lies and that post was deleted, but not before I got a screenshot.
        Not sure who deleted that post… so fast… (the dude or TO or t1kk). damn weird.
        I believe nEwBie is a bit-O’WingNut. Only my opinion.
        How can you tell when someone’s lying? Asks she, who believed the 26.

        eta: My strategy shall be to just leave this boy be.

        • Jimmy3

          Tony wouldn’t delete that so quick and I don’t think t1kk interferes in the comments at all unless there’s a major problem. Whomever posted that had to have deleted it, I would guess.

          This guy’s story doesn’t add up to me. I was just messing around with him for a bit, cause I thought he was a funny, harmless character. But if he’s gonna continue to lie and garner sympathy, there’s a problem.

    • Robert Eckert

      I couldn’t get to Yahoo Mail (not slow, totally “website not available”)

      • Jimmy3

        I’m not gay, but I love you. Is that weird?

        • Robert Eckert

          Of course it is.

  • what’sup

    Screenshot for those of you not on Facebook.

    • Nat-leficent
      • Frodis73

        I do. πŸ™‚ I used to love Balki. I was/am a dork.

      • what’sup

        No but cousin Larry always seemed like an honest man.

    • Sejanus

      This is awesome.
      Anytime someone runs Unifang down to be the headcase that he is, I am a fan.
      Balki for the win!

    • 5 Feet Long and Luminous

      Aw man, Pinchot tells the best stories. And he can’t be bothered to care about who he might piss off. Is this excerpt from his AV Club interview several years ago? Or maybe they just quoted it at length at the time…I can’t remember… At any rate, thank you for reminding me that I need to follow Ebner on FB!

    • Baby

      I remember reading this somewhere before.. long time ago.. ” He Doth Protest Too Much..eh?”

      Expect I agree with many here I think Tom is asexual .. ( I know Howdy did too..) He can jump on as many couches as he wants.. ” GIRL HE JUST AIN’T THAT INTO YOU..”

      Tom Loves Tom..Period..end of sentence.

      ” End of Sentence”

      hahhaha That is what Katie said after their divorce.”

      • Tony Ortega
        • Baby

          Yep.. but you can be Asexual and still have sex.

          Sex is power, manipulation, neediness, control, seeking validation, proving that you are Manly, needing to validate.. filling a void.

          It’s much more than to fulfill a sex drive. It’s complicated. He is very complex. It’s a well known fact that his father was extremely abusive and his childhood was hell.

          “I had no really close friend,” he told Parade about his school years.
          “I was always the new kid with the wrong shoes, the wrong accent. I
          didn’t have a friend to share things with and confide in.”

          Scientology is everything he needs to fulfill the aforementioned. He is worshiped and adored. He is Finally Worthy. A woman to him is just a Window Dressing at this point.

          So I stand by my words. love baby

  • Nat-leficent

    If anyone wants to start a new multiplayer table — here’s the link to choose a puzzle: http://www.epuzzle.info/kat.php?wg=temat&m=1

  • Supper Powers

    I’m going to do one more puzzle before bed. Join me if you’d like.

    http://www.epuzzle.info/b/a2525a0

    (Thanks, Nat)

    • Rasha

      Think we got it. ^_^

      • Supper Powers

        Thanks. Those are surprisingly fun.

        • Rasha

          I always end up laughing

          • Supper Powers

            Me, too. I’m playing on my phone with large Russian thumbs.

            • Rasha

              Wish I could do more, but I’ll be available later in the week. Reminds me of our Pictionary night a few months ago.

  • Rasha

    G’night, Bunks. Gotta say, there ain’t one place on the web like this place. Tony – you’re more appreciated than you know. Bunkeroos… y’all just hold it down – I’m-a gonna get some shut-eye on the sofa. See ya tomorrow. (s-t-r-e-t-c-h)om nom nom…… (cuddles nailgun)

    • Free Minds, Free Hearts

      Good night and sweet dreams, let’s get some rest – and that means you too, Tony!

    • Juicer77

      (f5)

  • salin

    <3 Remember to click the heart/recommend (just above the dialogue box on the upper left side.) Goodnight, and thank you Bunker Community for your depth of your hearts/caring/concern. Scientology – always worse than you think – and critics – deep concerns for those in the throes of that 'worse'.

    • Rasha

      Scientology: It’s always worse than you thought it was when you thought it was worse than you think.

    • OOkpik

      G’night Rasha and Salin.

      • Rasha

        ‘Night!

      • salin

        Awww!

      • beauty for ashes

        That front one can’t be real, it is too cute Ook! Look at it’s giant head!!!!!

      • Baby

        OK.. MY Elbows are out.. Watch out everyone..

        ******GIMMIE DOOSE BUNNUHS.. ******** I’m NOT Playin! *** GRABS WABBITS AN RUNNNNNNNNNS…*

    • Baby

      Night sweetheart..kisses..xoxo baby..wraps foot..

  • Supper Powers

    For those who missed this by JJ.
    https://www.byline.com/project/37/article/633

    • scottmercer

      Nice. Scientology’s defense attorney throws the United States and the entirety of American culture under the bus. “You have to understand, that they worship money, which is alien to the Belgian culture.” (My paraphrase.)

  • Robert Eckert

    It’s past midnight: time for kitty video? music? both at once?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0abfTrxjX-4

    • beauty for ashes

      Okay, I took the bait, and now my cheeks hurt from trying not to laugh. They must have had to practice that to death, not to crack up like Jimmy Fallon.

    • Baby

      Cute Robert!

    • romanesco

      The dark-haired one is now a famous opera singer

      • cedilla

        RΓ©gis Mengus.

        The blond boy is Hyacinthe de Moulins.

  • B4you

    Good morning and Mary X-mas!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apoFZv5J6xo

    • romanesco

      And Joseph new year to you as well.

  • B4you

    The French could not demonstrate on the streets because of terror. So they did this (F5)

    • sugarplumfairy

      Very effective.. Something I’ll remember a long time..

  • Juan Negro

    I’m still scratching my head as to why our proprietor won’t refer to Scientology as a, “cult”. If it looks like a cult, acts like a cult and quacks like a cult…it’s a cult. I loved TUML! Great book about a cult.

    • ThetaBara

      He has stated many times that he feels that the use of this term opens up opportunities for useless debate over what exactly constitutes a cult, and that by using the word church, he hopes to encourage the “WTF? What church would do THAT?!” reaction. Not to speak for him. But I also think the more polite we are in our criticism, the more reasonable we seem and the more crazy they seem. Easier said than done, for sure! Thinking about all of this can certainly be crazy making!

  • Margie8

    I’ve only been here a short time and I probably haven’t earned the right to complain. I consider this more of an inquiry than a complaint and hope everyone will take it in that spirit. I’ve mentioned that I’m Mormon, but not that I’m more of a Jill Mormon as I no longer attend regularly, more because of my health than anything else. I’m also the mother of a gay son and I have serious objections to some of the Church policies, in particular the newest one regarding the children of gay marriage. In addition, I don’t believe in a lot of the Church history regarding J. Smith and B. Young. That said (a whole lotta “that” sorry), I visited Rick’s site after reading this story and I’m left wondering why there is so much about my Church that doesn’t have a damn thing to do with it being a cult. There are many, MANY articles that are just plain snarky, spiteful and subjective as hell. When I compare scientology to Mormonism, I can’t even grasp that they’re in the same category. Granted, II haven’t been subjected to feeling like my family would abandon me for being gay, etc. but on the other hand, I’ve spoken out for years and I’ve never been fair gamed, beaten or deemed an SP, we don’t always pay our tithe, etc. and nothing nearly as horrible as what happens to ex Scn has happened to me.
    The incredible amount of info on Scn on Rick’s site is invaluable, but I have to ask, 1. Why the hate filled and subjective material on LDS? 2. Does everyone here see the LDS Church as a cult or is it in the “I don’t like their policies on x,y,z but I’m not sure cult is the right word?” category? I’m just curious. Being a member I’m obviously not going to see it the way others do. Sorry for the long post.Thanks.
    Edit: Rereading Rick’s post answers one of my questions. Apparently the site covers all controversial groups.

    • Elen

      I am answering your question only… I do NOT want to get in a debate here. As you said, you have your view and you “…obviously not going to see it the way others do.” I’m sure you could debate, debunk, and/or justify all the points below, but again… you asked and I have chosen to answer.

      LD$ has many “cult” characteristics… breaking down barriers, complete submission to church authority, indoctrination, exclusivity (us v them), strict tithing requirements,. LDS church has more evidence to prove it false than it does to prove it true and members have been conditioned to never look at this material, or to view it as a “test of faith”… and then the most extreme example/parallel, missions.

      Also, LDS teaches continuing revelations (new OT 9, 10, 11, etc) …..there have been two:

      In 1890, God ordered them to cease the practice of polygamy.

      In 1978, God ordered them to stop prohibiting ordination of African Americans.

      Prior to 1978, the Church taught that African Americans were given a dark skin color as a punishment from God for sins they committed before they were born on Earth. Thus “being black” was considered the result of having sinned.

      Perhaps another revelation will allow LDS to change its view regarding homosexuality.

      • Margie8

        Thank you for your response. I have NO doubt the other revelations were, hmmm, necessary? I disagree with much of your comment but I didn’t want to debate either, so again, thanks for responding.