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Gawker goes dark, but its impact on Scientology — and Tom Cruise — will never be forgotten

Valor2

 
We learned yesterday that next week, Gawker will shut down. For some of us who toiled in the trenches of New York journalism of a certain era, the news is hard to believe. Gawker had a big effect on the way online journalism is done (not all of it positive, some will tell you), and it certainly changed the way we think about writing and reporting.

You will no doubt be seeing a lot of obituaries written about Gawker over the next week now that Univision is shutting it down after buying all of Gawker Media’s websites in a fire sale. You can read plenty more about how Gawker’s fate was sealed when a billionaire, Peter Thiel, took revenge for being outed by the site by funding Terry “Hulk Hogan” Bollea’s lawsuit against Gawker over a sex tape. You probably already know the tale, and we won’t go into it except to say, as someone who has been targeted by a couple of different billionaires we’ve written about, it’s a really fucked up hazard of the occupation. Anyway, relevant to our interests here at the Underground Bunker we wanted to commemorate one Gawker achievement in particular that forever changed the way Scientology is perceived by the public.

We’re talking about the shock to the system when a 9-minute interview of Tom Cruise appeared online early in 2008, and Gawker, more than any other website, made sure that the interview remained public for all to see.

You probably know what interview we’re talking about. It was actually a small part of a larger celebration of Tom Cruise that occurred at the 20th anniversary celebration of the International Association of Scientologists in October 2004. The quick backstory, which even Gawker didn’t know at the time, is that Scientology leader David Miscavige wanted to make a big deal of the fact that he’d managed to lure Tom Cruise back into the fold after Cruise had all but dropped out of Scientology for several years.

Cruise had gotten involved in Scientology through actress Mimi Rogers in 1986, just a few months after founder L. Ron Hubbard had died. Tom and Mimi were then married on Dianetics Day, May 9, 1987, and, as we explained in our lengthy story revealing for the first time what really happened to bust up that marriage, Miscavige managed to use Tom’s growing interest in Nicole Kidman to lure him away from Rogers. But then, after Tom married Nicole and she initially got involved in Scientology, by 1992 she had grown disaffected and the two of them pulled away from Scientology for the next nine years, when they broke up. And that’s when Miscavige made it job one to get Tom back into the fold. With the help of his top lieutenant at the time, Marty Rathbun, they were very successful, and by 2004 Cruise was the most enthusiastic L. Ron Hubbard fanatic ever. So that’s why Miscavige, at the 2004 IAS celebration, decided to reward Cruise not with a Freedom Medal, which had been the usual high award given at those events, but to bestow on Cruise a special Freedom Medal of Valor.

And before he handed the tchotchke to Cruise, Miscavige amped up the crowd in East Grinstead, England with a 35-minute recorded tribute to Cruise, which was interspersed with a 9-minute interview of the actor, in a black turtleneck, talking about how much he loved being a Scientologist.

But here’s what Miscavige may not have been counting on: The video and the medal ceremony actually backfired. Scientologists who had dedicated their lives to the “Sea Org,” and had signed billion-year contracts and worked for pennies an hour around the clock, considered it a slap in the face to hear from Miscavige that Cruise, a friggin’ actor, was “the most dedicated Scientologist I know.”

We’ve talked to numerous former Scientologists who were in the audience that night, and they all tell us they carried resentment over it for years. And that’s probably why, in 2007, an anonymous Scientologist decided to smuggle out a recording of that night’s event to a woman in Connecticut named Patty Moher.

Patty has told, at length, what subsequently happened with the DVD, and we’ll just pull out a few highlights. She had actually been in attendance at the 2004 event, and in 2007 when she received the DVD recording, she remembered it as an event she had personally experienced. She’s admitted that she didn’t really have any idea what a pile of dynamite she had in her hands as she began forwarding copies of the event to some of her close friends. She even showed it at a party at her house, swearing everyone to secrecy. (By 2007, Patty was out of Scientology but not publicly, and she was still considered in good standing by the organization itself.)

One of the people she shared the DVD with, Patricia Greenway, was working with writer Andrew Morton on his unauthorized biography of Cruise, which was scheduled to be released on January 15, 2008, and NBC was going to be promoting the book. Greenway told Patty it would help Morton if NBC had the footage of Cruise, which would help prove what Morton was saying about him. But NBC said it didn’t want anything to do with a DVD that had been smuggled out of the church. That was a lawsuit waiting to happen. What it could use, however, was video that had already been posted online.

Patty had no idea how to do that, but she knew that Mark Bunker, a longtime critic in Los Angeles who ran “Xenu TV,” was well aware of how to upload video to the Internet. She sent him the DVD and asked him to post it as a downloadable file so the people at NBC could grab it. On January 14, 2008, Bunker posted the nine-minute interview segment to a YouTube channel he created for it, believing it was set for private.

 
Valor3

 
Bunker has said he was away from his computer for some time, and when he looked at it again, to his horror he saw that the video was proliferating like crazy. Tens of thousands of views in only a short time. Panicked by the thought of what legal action might come from the church, he yanked it down.

Going to Plan B, they turned to journalist Mark Ebner, who was well known for his 1996 expose of Scientology in Spy Magazine, and who had also worked on the epic 2005 South Park episode that poked fun at Scientology’s “Xenu” story. Bunker gave Ebner access to the Cruise segment on the private YouTube channel.

“I was blogging for ‘fratire’ progenitor Tucker Max’s ill-advised (and ill-fated) Rudius Media,” Ebner tells us. “When Tucker Max idiotically forbade me from posting the video on HollywoodInterrupted.com, I hit up Nick Denton at Gawker in the wee hours, and he was all over it. I gleefully gave it to him for fun and for free, and the rest is viral history. In hindsight, I probably should have charged him for it, and tossed Mark Bunker some cash for the tip. Oh well. Between the Tom Cruise tape and the South Park ‘Trapped in the Closet’ episode I consulted on, I feel great about my part in taking down Scientology’s number two guy. Twice!”

Denton posted the video to Gawker at 10:18 am on January 15, 2008. He pointed out that the video had been uploaded the day before, briefly, to YouTube (by Bunker), and had been picked up by Radar and Defamer — but that each of those copies had been taken down as Scientology’s legal team jumped into action. “Gawker is now hosting a copy of the video; it’s newsworthy; and we will not be removing it,” Denton wrote.

The video was a disaster for Cruise. After the actor had been recovered to the church by 2004, the next year he made a catastrophic attempt to become a more open ambassador for it in 2005, with his bizarre antics on Oprah Winfrey’s couch, for example, and his combative interview on the Today show with Matt Lauer. But soon after it became obvious that the new strategy was blowing up on him, he went silent again. Now, three years later, with the release of the black turtleneck interview that had been taped in 2004, the public for the first time got to see Tom in full Scientology mode — in a video that was never meant for outsiders to see.

Scientologists consider themselves to be superhuman, and better than the rest of us, and it was on full display as Cruise made bizarre comments about, for example, a Scientologist being the only person who could help at the scene of a car accident, or that Scientology would so completely take over the planet, its enemies — known as “SPs” — would only be read about in history books.

Cruise looked absolutely insane.

Within days, Gawker’s story had been viewed more than 2 million times, a record for Gawker, and that fact became a news story in itself. The New York Times wrote that when Scientology sent a threat letter demanding that the video be pulled down, Denton posted the letter as well.

The Times noted that the windfall of traffic came at what turned out to be a crucial moment for Gawker.

The timing of the imbroglio has been fortunate for Gawker Media. A Gawker editor, Choire Sicha, and two other bloggers resigned last month, and several articles in print publications, including The New York Times, have examined whether Gawker’s relevance and popularity were waning.

But according to the Internet tracker Site Meter, unique visitors to the six-year-old site more than doubled, to more than 13.6 million so far this month, from 6.7 million last January, because of popularity of the posts related to Mr. Cruise and to the actor Heath Ledger.

The huge traffic not only bolstered the site, but former employees have said it gave Gawker a greater awareness that it could break big news stories, separating it from a past as more of a media gossip site.

 
Valor

 
And it had another huge effect whose influence we’re still living with: It inspired Anonymous to direct its energies at the Church of Scientology. The loose Internet collective had previously found causes to support — specifically a talk radio clown who needed bruising — but when it took on Scientology over its attempt to take down the Tom Cruise video, Anonymous and its Chanology Project hit the church’s websites hard as it got a sense of itself as a force that could not only wreak online havoc, but make social change. (Mark Bunker again entered the story by posting a video in which he counseled Anonymous to avoid outright vandalism and embrace nonviolent demonstration as an ethos. He was dubbed “Wise Beard Man,” and the next month, Anonymous began pickets worldwide as, famously, the Internet grew legs.)

McGill University professor Gabriella Coleman has documented the further adventures of Anonymous as it turned its attention to many other causes in her book, Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous, which we highly recommend.

In 2011, at The Village Voice, we posted the larger, 35-minute version of the tribute to Cruise and awarding of his medal from the original full event DVD. In 2015, Alex Gibney used large parts of it for his documentary, Going Clear. You can see the full thing we posted in 2011 on Vimeo.

And now, eight years after Nick Denton posted the Cruise video and fought to keep it available to the public, Gawker itself is going dark. (Will its archives still exist somewhere? We don’t know.)

In the history of Scientology’s controversies, this one has to be among the most disastrous public calamities for the church, along with the South Park episode, the 1991 TIME magazine cover story by Richard Behar, the 1977 FBI raid, the death of Lisa McPherson, and Gibney’s Going Clear (and, yes, we’re biased about that last one because we’re in it).

Anyway, whatever you ultimately think of Gawker, the effects of its 2008 stand against Scientology will continue to reverberate, long after the site is gone.

 
——————–

3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on August 19, 2016 at 07:00

E-mail 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. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information about the book, and our 2015 book tour, can also be found at the book’s dedicated 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 L.A. 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

Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | 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 | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | 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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  • I will not be surprised if Tom Cruise is secretly a “Super Special Honorary Sea Org Member” and signed a billion years contract.

    • Kestrel

      …as a Captain.

      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        But not quite as captainy as Captain Miscavige.

        • CK

          Not only that, do you know how much dirt DM has on TC through auditing over the years? Anything less than total devotion to Co$ and Cruise is donezo.

        • Bavarian Rage

          I 💝 You, I-Betty! “Captainy” – love it! As a fellow coiner of new terms this one’s won my respect.

          • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

            Heehee! *high five* 😀

  • Jon S

    “Cruise looked absolutely insane.” Indeed.

  • edge

    For all the bad PR the leak of that video caused Tom Cruise still wears that medal at IAS events. So, he’s either really delusional about the value of that medal or he’s cloistered from bad news on a scale I can’t conceive. I mean he must be surrounded by PR experts that give him the straight talk.

    • MaxSpaceman

      Thom had, for years, arguably the most powerful Hollywood PR rep. since Rogers & Cowan (2nd half of 20th century), Pat Kingsley. (see “Cruise Control: The publicist behind the movie star.” @ http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2004/04/cruise_control.html)

      But, edge, she got into her late 70s, Dave wanted more control (conjecture), and boom– Pat was dumped and Cruises’s sister, iirc (or cousin), became his PR person.

      So, he ‘could be’ enveloped in a bubble and, in fact, might very well be, inconceivably, ‘cloistered’ from all the bad.

      • edge

        Yeah, but someone must’ve told him to dial back on promoting Scientology after the backlash of the Lauer interview and the attack on Brooke Shields. Someone must’ve told him his promotion of Scientology and attacks on psychiatry were taking away from the promotion of War of the Worlds and driving a wedge between his friendship with Spielberg. Since then I haven’t read much of him attempting to be the public face aside from showing up to a few org openings abroad and Super Power, especially since the divorce with Katie Holmes would surely put most of the public against Scientology. I have no doubt he’s in a bubble, but since this video and all the stuff that’s happened I’d bet a few dollars that everyone’s agreed for the sake of his marketability to not be as outspoken.

        • MaxSpaceman

          no doubt about that.

          Just sayin, that now, since sis took over PR, he’s wrapped inside Dave’s big beingness.

    • kemist

      I’ll go for a little bit of both.

      If you ever have the bizarre experience of meeting a narcissist, you will be amazed and fascinated by their amazing capacity for self-delusion.

      They will always rationalize (at least outwardly, internally it’s a lot less clear) any negative / undesired reaction people might demonstrate to them in their favor.

      My friend’s narcissist ex still send her mails after over 9 months in which the only communication she had with him was a short note to the effect she never wanted to speak to him again, ever.

      In the last of those he asked her if she wanted to have lunch with him.

    • Harpoona Frittata

      Speaking of TC and $cn events, when was the last time he showed for a cherch event? Seems like it’s been awhile now. Could BIG Being Tom be keeping his distance from $cn in public? I sure would if I was him!

      Lots and lots of questions that he doesn’t want to even hear, let alone have to answer.

      • edge

        I think he was at the Bogota org opening last year. From photos I’ve seen he wasn’t at the opening of Scientology Media Productions.

  • flyonthewall

    do the words alt-right and/or pajama boy mean anything to you guys?

    • CK

      Alt-right are absolute scum of the earth. They’re as bad as the uber-PC social justice warrior.

      • flyonthewall

        apparently they’re the Trump supporters and the normal conservatives hate them. I been reading some stuff on Dailywire by Ben Shapiro, trying to familiarize myself with what’s going on in the Trump campaign and the Right. Pretty interesting stuff. Looks like it boils down to the lunatics taking over the asylum and running amok

        • CK

          More or less, about 95% of that crazy lot promote Nazi crap, albeit dressed up for the modern era. (with plenty of the white nationalism, antisemitism, and promotion of conspiracy theories, etc. for said movement)

        • Libertylover

          Personally I like the theory that the new manager from Brietbart, Trump and Roger Ailes(sp?), are all going to form a new media company. Something to go up against Fox.
          Trump’s already screaming that the fix is in and claiming voter fraud through hacking.
          Latest conspiracy theories are Hillary is very sick with seizures, parkinsons, dementia (insert any medical condition here.) Bill has aids. Hillary is a shill for Saudi Arabia, New World Order, Spectre, KKK(insert maniacal organisation here.)
          So much more, pretty hilarious until I realise a great percentage of the peeps believe it.
          I really hope Trump does start that channel, but expect him to cry foul ,like a baby, when he loses. Oh wait Hilary won’t make it to the election apparently. It’s a different world there Fly don’t hang out too long!!

          • flyonthewall

            He is claiming voter fraud and rigging to explain his inevitable failure in Nov is all. I don’t think the Trump channel would be a good idea, lulzy as it would be. Will get the crazies stirred up and foaming at the mouth, no one needs that.

            • Libertylover

              It’s already all going on in the shadows, so a high profile channel would shine some sunlight on it.
              Pop over to Alex Jones on Youtube for a laugh, but there is much worse out there.

            • CK

              Far right and the far left are the same damn thing.

            • Kim O’Brien

              aw man

            • MaxSpaceman
            • flyonthewall

              only when taken to ridiculous extremes, like Stalin and Hitler. In normal politics they’re very different

            • CK

              The Horseshoe Theory and its accompanying components, coined by French writer Jean Pierre-Faye, sums up that phenomenon beautifully.

            • flyonthewall

              no I think it would just normalize it and make it palatable which is not ok. Some things need to be kept in the closet where they belong

            • Libertylover

              I agree it’s poisonous, but Trump has brought it all to the mainstream.
              Personally I don’t worry Trump will get any traction ultimately, but he’s changed things and I worry about some imitators coming along in future years. If they are a little more savvy and charismatic and the economy tanks, they could get into power, that’s scary and hard to understand. I fear for my kids and hope history isn’t always doomed to repeat itself.

            • flyonthewall

              That’s also what I fear about the next Trump. He will just be packaged better and like run an actual campaign using computers and data and fancy stuff like that.

            • Libertylover

              Well I hope the futures better. I personally like the writers who are hopeful and think machines and robots will be able to do pretty much any job a human does, making some kind of Star Trek type of socialism inevitable. That’s predicted to be happen 2040 and beyond but I’ll be too old and senile or gone to notice.

            • Scream Nevermore

              I’ll be 79, so I am going to try and hold out to see it happen!

          • Kim O’Brien

            i picture them planning their empire ..all shirtless and oiled up . Like Putin …only saggy , and without a prostate .

    • Libertylover

      Pajama boy, the guy in the Obamacare ads?

      • flyonthewall

        right, apparently that is a thing in some circles

        • Kim O’Brien

          don’t go to those circles fly …or , don’t fly in those circles ..or whatever . It will make you hate humans and it will give you the sad’s. Srsly …as a friend …either do a serious fucking shielding spell , or stay the hell away and just hug your wife and kids until the urge to look into the abyss of the abyss …goes away .

          • flyonthewall

            lol, I’m not drinking their kool-aid! I just want to understand what’s going on with this crazy election and who’s involved etc. I’m like a scientist observing an anthill. *strokes beard*

            • Kim O’Brien

              ants are rational … and don’t hate you

            • flyonthewall

              they should, I incinerated many of them with my magnifying glass as a kid and poisoned many more as an adult.

    • Kim O’Brien

      alt- right are horrific white nationalists , The pajama press is right wing blog . Not sure about pajama boy …prolly not a Marvel Comic hero

    • Mockingbird

      They are the folks Donald Trump has as his closest allies.

      From the Anti Defamation League:

      Alt Right: A Primer about the New White Supremacy
      February 10, 2016
      One of the extremist-related “buzz words” that people may encounter in 2016 is “Alt Right.” The term “Alt Right” originated with extremists but increasingly has found its way into the mainstream media. Alt Right is short for “alternative right.” This vague term actually encompasses a range of people on the extreme right who reject mainstream conservatism in favor of forms of conservatism that embrace implicit or explicit racism or white supremacy.

      People who identify with the Alt Right regard mainstream or traditional conservatives as weak and impotent, largely because they do not sufficiently support racism and anti-Semitism. Alt Righters frequently disparage the conservative movement by using the derogatory term “cuckservative,” popularized in 2015. The term “cuckservative,” a com­bi­na­tion of “con­ser­v­a­tive” and “cuck­old,” is used by white supremacists to describe a white Chris­t­ian con­ser­v­a­tive who pro­motes the inter­ests of Jews and non-whites over those of whites.

      Though not every person who identifies with the Alt Right is a white supremacist, most are and “white identity” is central to people in this milieu. In fact, Alt Righters reject modern conservatism explicitly because they believe that mainstream conservatives are not advocating for the interests of white people as a group.

      HOW DID THE TERM ALT RIGHT ORIGINATE?

      White supremacist Richard Spencer, who runs the National Policy Institute, a tiny white supremacist think tank, coined the term “Alternative Right” as the name for an online publication that debuted in 2010. The online publication changed hands in 2013 when Spencer shut it down. It was soon re-launched by Colin Liddell and Andy Nowicki, who were former writers for Alternative Right. Spencer went on to found another online journal, Radix. Both Alternative Right and Radix act as forums for racists, anti-Semites and others who identify with the Alt Right.

      The term “Alt Right” is not the only term used to describe this movement. Some of its adherents use other, similar phrases, such as the “New Right” and the “Dissident Right.” They all refer to the same race-infused brand of extreme conservatism.

      WHAT IS THE IDEOLOGY OF THE ALT RIGHT?

      Alt Right adherents identify with a range of different ideologies that put white identity at their centers. Many claim themselves as Identitarians, a term that originated in France with the founding of the Bloc Identitaire movement and its youth counterpart, Generation Identitaire. Identitarians espouse racism and intolerance under the guise of preserving the ethnic and cultural origins of their respective counties. American Identitarians such as Richard Spencer claim to want to preserve European-American (i.e., white) culture in the U.S. As Michael McGregor, a writer and editor for Radix wrote in an article in the publication, Identitarians want “the preservation of our identity–the cultural and genetic heritage that makes us who we are.” Identitarians reject multiculturalism or pluralism in any form.

      Others in the Alt Right identify as so-called radical traditionalists, people who want to preserve what they claim are traditional Christian values but from a uniquely white supremacist perspective. The Traditionalist Youth Network is a group that espouses a white supremacist form of Christianity and promotes “family and folk” and separation of the races.

      Others in the Alt Right simply identify as white nationalists, who want to preserve the white majority in the U.S., claiming that whites losing their majority status is equivalent to “white genocide.” They favor propaganda on subjects such as immigration and “black crime” as “evidence” of this ostensible ethnic cleansing of whites.

      From
      http://www.adl.org/combating-hate/domestic-extremism-terrorism/c/alt-right-a-primer-about-the.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/#.V7el03opBDs

      • flyonthewall

        Thnx MB

        • Mockingbird

          You are welcome. Please don’t join the alt right.

          • flyonthewall

            *face palm* That is not even a remote possibility of a slim chance. In military parlance, I am gaining situational awareness. 🙂 Just staying informed of the scene is all, seriously.

            • Mockingbird

              Thanks. The worst thing that happens is I explain Trump and his racist past to someone and they decide he is the man for them. Ugh.

      • As well as cuck, another favorite is calling anyone they don’t like a “beta”. I guess those keyboard warriors all think of themselves as alphas.

        • Mockingbird

          Alpha. Every guy I ever met who goes around claiming to be an alpha male is an asshole.

          • April

            That’s kind of like being “cool.”
            If you think you are, then you’re not.

            • Mockingbird

              Hmm. I think the self proclaimed alphas see the term as describing aggressive and dominant males. They try to justify being rude and inconsiderate as a kind of social Darwinism. As if science supports their behavior. They imagine ancient cavemen and gladiators fighting to survive and believe they would thrive in a tooth and claw struggle because they are ruthless. David Miscavige notwithstanding.

            • April

              Ah, ok. I think of Alphas as the “natural leader” types.

    • Panopea Abrupta

      The Paleo-facists, the fundamentalist holders of The Book (whichever book, the Torah/Bible/Koran, DMSMH, etc.), isolationists, nationalist white supremacists,
      “conservatives” who deny climate change, the Sarah Palins of anti-intellectualism, the disenfranchised angry uneducated white impoverished folks, creationists waiting for rapture,
      the billionaire elites who push their self-serving agendas whether in Saudi Arabia or NYC (Koch bros, I mean you), raddled old lecherous Murdoch and Adelson who glory in gory power, idiots like Packer with more money than cents, trailer-park trash who vote for that absurdity, “blue-collar billionaires” who despise and use them, libertarian twats who actually think that because they live and profit on the greatest empire the world has ever seen (e.g. Peter Thiel) they themselves have useful ideas other than Paypal, creationists (did I mention creationists?), conspiracy theorists, trans Cruz supporters, Americans for Insecure Rich White Men with Small Hands …

      The barbarians are already within the gates – their names are Bundy and Cheney and Bush and Trump.
      They were Reagan and Thatcher.
      They are like a deadly red algae bloom, death to all life and only able to exist because of cheap energy and the despoliation of the commons.
      They are stunningly bereft of the generosity of spirit and imagination that is our greatest gift and strength.
      Their paucity of originality is matched only by their fang-baring great ape hatred of all that is other.
      Their mirror image is found in ISIS and Jihadism, a match made in monotheism, that quest for certainty that voids real inquiry.
      Their ancestors are Wallace and Cohn, McCarthy and Machiavelli.
      They are the antithesis of the dream of freedom and a world that works for everyone with no one and nothing left out.
      How we get there?
      Damned if I know.
      But I can tell you they do not have the map.
      They don’t even have a compass.
      In a diverse world made small by the Internet and flight, these leviathans thresh out the death-struggle of their kind.
      The danger is that they will drag us all into the abyss.
      They have ideas, lots of them, all of them bleakly and unremittingly bad.

      Voltaire’s bastards, Rand’s rabble, Savonarola’s sloppy thinkers.
      Septic tank, meet sceptic think.

      Of course to espouse these ideas, I am, I must be, a lefty communist socialist anarchist Green human-rights sycophant, a Jewish gypsy gay banker working to undermine the One Pure and Perfect World of Unfettered Christian Libertarianism where there is liberty and justice for, well, people who look like ….
      Or am I one of those actual arsehole scientists who, you know, doesn’t have absolute certainty and therefore knows nought.
      Peer-reviewed and part of the conspiracy to fabricate the climate-change discussion based on, you know, evidence …
      Perhaps I’m the uneducated one who has never read Breitbart and Buckley, never trawled through the Abrahamic texts, is unfamiliar with the infidels clamouring at the gates, the great unwashed, no Irish need apply, sorry, it’s already rented, move to the back of the bus, Ms. Parks, …

      • flyonthewall

        you’re prob wearing pajamas right now aren’t you??

      • flyonthewall

        I’m keeping this one btw, thank you.

      • Ella Raitch

        Send not to know for whom the bell tolls….

      • Libertylover

        Darn Pan, you have a way with words. Couldn’t have been said better.
        Maybe it’s something to do with the internet being so available and letting people reinforce their prejudice 24/7 in their own online villages.
        There is an old saying, Chinese maybe, that says something like, “study what you despise for you will become that.” Online hate breeds hateful people similar to what they oppose.
        What happened to all the peace and love, we need a new hippie movement maybe?

      • I now love you more.

      • Harpoona Frittata

        Rant ON!!!!

      • Qbird
      • JJ

        I think you answered you own question. We didn’t “get” here, we have always “been” here. We are still using the same brains our cave man ancestors did, only technology seems to change.

    • Pajama Boy! I have no idea. I just like the title. I got all excited. Nevermind . . .

      • Robert Eckert

        I’m a no-pajama boy!

        • Scandalous! Scandalous, I tell you!

        • beauty for ashes

          Is this Milli Vanilli lyrics?

  • Intergalactic Walrus

    Since clams are convinced that a niacin flush is radiation (and everything else under the sun) leaving their bodies, I wonder if anyone has ever tried to do the Purif/detox with flush-free niacin. Or would that not be allowed?
    (refresh)

    • Simi Valley

      Not allowed, the flush is “necessary” per the Hubtard.

      • Intergalactic Walrus

        Thanks, gawd forbid a clam gets prescribed Niacin (not time released/non flushing) from a legit doctor for medical reasons and starts to flush. Are they instructed to not take Niacin unless given it by the CO$?

        • Simi Valley

          I don’t think that scenario is mentioned in the Hub’s directives.

    • Jo

      Yikes. Lwrongcupboared, as usual full of shit, they get a lot of mileage of those testimonies.

  • Vaquera

    Clay demo. f5

    • Jo

      Looks mental and busy, curious what those post note’s say?

      • Vaquera

        If you mean comments on the post, there aren’t any thus far.

        • Jo

          The paper notes attached to clay models, was curious.

          • Robert Eckert

            on the clay wire: “Telex cable”
            on the clay people: “Fifth Invader”

            • beauty for ashes

              hmmm, I wonder which wire leads to the Power of Source.

    • Bavarian Rage

      In my interpretation, that impressive model contains both a lie and a confirming revelation. The lie? Too many peeps in one org. And the latter…Scientologists are actually sci-bots – in this case, powered by electrical cords.

    • Intergalactic Walrus

      After being lucky enough to get out of Kazakhstan and land in Los Angeles, they end up wasting their time and $$$ on stupid crap like this. Now that’s sad.

    • beauty for ashes
    • Scream Nevermore

      This is one reason why I could never join the cult – I could never do all that clay modelling shit!

  • Mockingbird

    Oh god. Trump used the Center For Immigration Studies as a source. They advocate Holocaust denial and white racial superiority.

    Why can’t we just call Trump a white supremacist ?

    • Jimmy3

      You can call him a white supremacist, but I don’t think it’s accurate. He doesn’t seem to care about creating a master race of strictly white people. He’s just a malignant narcissist who cares only about money and privilege and the facade of grandiose, and he is merely tolerant in his willingness to help the people (mostly white men, but not exclusively) who will help him preserve this status quo of luxury he’s maintained. I’m sure he’s really a nice guy behind all that.

      • Mockingbird

        Uh…as nice as Hubbard !?

      • Like the Crays. They were gangsters who terrorised the East End of London. Locals used to say, OK, so they nailed their rival’s hands to the floor – but they were nice to their Mum.

        • 9001

          Yeah. The myth is that the Krays kept the East End petty crime free. All the London celebs back then loved to be seen with them.

          • Scream Nevermore

            I have (or had, it’s been a while) friends related to the Krays, and spent a fair bit of time ‘on their manor’. Attitudes to them are strange. There really are old time East Enders who revere them like saints, because ‘at least then a woman could walk around unmolested’, etc, and others who regard them as gangster scum – though those tend to be people with links to the Richardsons. I have a story about Ronnie, which I can’t go into in detail, but he did something which did actually confirmed the ‘chivalrous gangster’ tales, ie, he arranged for a fairly brutal act to be perpetrated on someone who had frightened and tried to assault a woman he regarded as under his protection, simply because she had to go to Broadmoor on a work-related matter. Staff there told her that any woman going there was regarded as under his protection, even though they didn’t know it, and weren’t even there to see him. She told me because we shared a house at the time. She was half-scared and half-impressed. Which just about sums up the way a lot of people felt about them.

            • 9001

              The Richardsons and the Krays were as bad as each other.
              I sat beside Frankie Fraser on the bus a few years ago. He’s getting older but I was half-scared just being that close to him!

            • Scream Nevermore

              Yeah, just cos he was older doesn’t mean he’d mellowed any! His family history is pretty wild, so it’s no real surprise he turned out a wrong’un!

    • TheMirrorThetan

      Because he is not interested in a master race, It is all about money and power for himself, nothing else, and no one else matters to Trump.

      • Mockingbird

        He is extremely racist and has surrounded himself with racists too. He may just be using them but he has no problem with their beliefs.

        • daisy

          I think he does speak to racists and bigots by his rhetoric. I think he himself is not racist. He will manipulate whites , blacks , Latin , Chinese and anybody who can do anything for him. He has discovered that appealing to racists and exploiting the fear mongering and ignorance of whatever audience will vote for him. He has tapped in to that fear that surrounds terrorism. He is an equal opportunity manipulator. He thinks only one person is superior and that is him. He is racist friendly. He make them feel acceptable to come out of the closet. It is ugly.

        • TheMirrorThetan

          Yes, he is using them just like he uses everyone to further what he wants at the time.
          And I agree he is a racist piece of dried up dogshit.

    • Len Zinberg

      Feel free to disagree with them, but it’s grossly inaccurate to accuse them of advocating Holocaust denial.
      http://www.cis.org/immigration-splc

    • Scream Nevermore

      Technically, I think he’s a Trump Supremacist!

      • Mockingbird

        I can’t disagree.

  • WOG3232

    Watching the video I caught one note of truth come from DM’s mouth. It happens at 33:43

  • daisy

    Up coming CNN film about a cult, didn’t catch the name Sept1 at 9pm.

  • madame duran

    I meant to ask this question earlier (based on a passing detail within today’s main story). When is it OK to out someone from the closet? Is it never okay or are there justifiable exceptions? I read/hear different responses to this question and I find the frequent shifting of opinions on what is essentially an ethical matter kinda unsettling. I’m comparing Gawker’s outing of Peter Thiel with the recent Daily Beast article that reported on which Olympian athletes in Rio were using Grindr (a gay hook-up app). Generally speaking, I don’t think it’s right to do it. A person may not be ready (whatever the reason–good or bad) and I feel it’s not in anybody’s place to force them out or deliberately put them in an awkward spot because “it’s for their own good”. If anyone should be making a public statement, it should be that individual him/herself. The only exception I could conjure up was if a public figure–let’s say, a politician–builds a media image as having a particular sexual orientation or supports a bill that denounces certain sexual lifestyles but then is caught being contrary to what they presented, then I believe the public deserves to know that person is a hypocrite and doesn’t deserve one’s confidence/trust. There may be other scenarios I’ve never considered. Any thoughts?

    • daisy

      I think your instincts are all right.

    • That’s about how I feel. I would not want someone to do that to me if it was going to stress me out. Basically, I don’t see what good it does except for the person reporting apparently.

    • Frodis73

      I agree with you, it’s just not a good idea. Interesting that you bring up politicians as there is a great doc about outing closeted politicians that push/support anti-lgbqt legislation. Check it out if you can. It was on Netflix last time I looked
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outrage_(2009_film)

      • daisy

        I am so glad you are back.

        • Frodis73

          Thank you dear! I am thrilled to be back. =)

      • Scream Nevermore

        Frodis! That’s spooky, I was thinking about you when I was on Twitter last night!!

    • TheMirrorThetan

      That is the only scenario that it is even remotely ok.
      Otherwise it is no one else’s place or business to out a person.

      • madame duran

        One would think it’s pretty straightforward but I’ve read/heard of people wanting to out someone just for the sake of gossip, because they were impatient with “cowards” or for some whacked out desire to “claim another member for the team”. I think it’s appalling to have such selfish motives or to potentially jeopardize another person’s life so carelessly.

        • then there is this “if i don’t write it, someone else will”

        • TheMirrorThetan

          Yeah, that’s just being a royal arsehole, doing it for “someones own good” or for gossip etc. People need to be spending less time in other people’s business and more time getting their own houses in order.

    • Scream Nevermore

      Speaking as someone with a gay relative who was worried that some members of our very Catholic family would disown him if he came out, I’d say it’s not acceptable to out anyone. I get what you say about the hypocrite scenario, but even then, that hypocrite has family too. And when you out someone, you don’t just out them, you pull their family into it too. I once worked for a man whose elderly mother didn’t know he was gay, and he never told her, because she would not have been able to cope with it. If he had been one of the hypocritical political types you mention, outing him might have caused him some problems, but his mother would have been devastated by it. And really, your beef would be with her son, not her – yet outing him would possibly have a worse effect on her. It’s not as straightforward as one might think.

    • MarcabExpat

      I don’t know independently if this is correct, but what I read was that Thiel was already out, he just didn’t like having it brought to the attention of his conservative allies. Gawker kept poking the bear and eventually the bear poked back. That could just be Gawker’s justification of it though.

  • Vaquera

    Scientology Jeopardy. f5
    “Alex, I’ll take OTIII for $65,000.”

    • That cross is so gross

      • Graham

        It’s a double cross. I think Ron was trying to tell us something.

      • 0tessa

        I have seen exactly the same cross in an old Catholic Church.
        It is an existing model.

        • Really? a crossed over Cross like this?

          • 0tessa

            I will go there again and take a picture.
            When I saw it the first time I couldn’t believe it.

            • please do… and get the story behind it if you can.

        • Scream Nevermore

          I’ve seen crosses that are sort of like it – except the X bits were crossed keys, not just an ordinary X.

      • ThetaBara

        It’s the doublecross!
        There is nothing new in scientology. It was all ganked from somewhere else.

  • Why pay dearly for the service provided by David Miscavige when you can do it for free here: http://confessions.net/

  • Pierrot

    *** RED X +–+ +–+ RED X *** Saturday, 20 August 2016.

    Good day Bunkeroos,

    I had thousands things to do on Friday and I missed SFBay big score.

    64 removals in one day. Way to go San Franscisco. 

    Flag the lies, whack a few bait & switch ads : https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1-Kvg78kCcvo5gL7UfPcmhmbsagTNtdj0y2LAiHVFrCU/pubhtml

  • Scream Nevermore

    The fail has yet another Cruise story – I wonder if this is them showing Dreadful Masturbator that they’re not going to stop printing stuff?? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3750085/Mission-Impossible-Tom-Cruise-s-M-6-production-halted-star-s-pay-demands.html#comments

    • Graham

      The commenters seem to have got the measure of him: 1) He needs the money so he can give it to Scientology and 2) why isn’t he seeing his daughter instead of fussing over more money?
      Worth re-posting this on ‘tomorrows’ article?

    • JJ

      They made a mistake not paying Alec Baldwin what he wanted for The Jack Ryan parts but I think they could start fiddling with MI’s to look more like Bond films, new guy every eight years or so.

  • Jon Hunter

    I still think the greatest achievement of that video was irritating Anonymous. Big mistake. Scientology lost an entire generation of internet savvy potential recruits. The effects are still reverberating.