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Vance Woodward’s appeal fails as Scientology has the L.A. attorney on the hook for $90,000

VanceWoodward

 
Vance Woodward is one of our favorites here at the Underground Bunker. We greatly enjoyed the book he wrote about his time in Scientology (now no longer for sale), and he helped us write one of our favorite series, as we blogged L. Ron Hubbard’s 1950 classic Dianetics from cover to cover.

In 2014, Vance filed suit against the Church of Scientology, seeking a refund on about $200,000 that he still had on account for courses that he never took in the church, and also for other damages he’d suffered as a Scientologist. Vance first got into Scientology at 14 in 1989 in Winnipeg, and later became an active member of the San Francisco org, where he estimated that he paid more than $600,000 in just three years before leaving the church in 2010.

After Vance gave up Scientology, he decided to turn his skills as a lawyer to suing the church. But he ran into trouble when his complaint turned out to be about much more than the money he wanted back. He included a voluminous (and highly readable!) condemnation of how Scientology worked to draw people in and clean them out. In court, Scientology pounced on the scattershot approach of Vance’s complaint. It filed an “anti-SLAPP” motion — a way for defendants to stop a lawsuit in its tracks by asking the judge to rule whether there’s really a chance that it will prevail. California’s anti-SLAPP law is particularly strong, and Judge Michael Johnson of the Los Angeles Superior Court ended up agreeing with the church, that Vance’s complaint went after a lot of things that had nothing to do with a refund, and that got into territory that was probably covered by Scientology’s First Amendment rights of religious expression.

He granted the anti-SLAPP motion, dismissing the lawsuit, and also awarded Scientology $90,000 in attorney’s fees (after the church had asked for $120,000).

Vance’s loss helped to illustrate why so few attorneys are willing to take on litigation against Scientology, which has a legendary reputation for scorched-earth tactics and never giving up when it can delay or attack. If you take on Scientology, you can end up finding yourself the one in the hole.

Vance, however, decided to appeal, and he sounded confident about it. But now, California’s Second Appellate District has affirmed the lower court ruling, including the $90,000 award in attorney’s fees.

We tried to reach Vance by email and telephone, but we didn’t get through to him. In the past, he hasn’t wanted to talk publicly about his litigation, and that may be the case this time as well.

But more than wanting to hear his thoughts about the court’s decision, we wanted to ask him about what he might do now.

We turned for some advice on that to TX Lawyer, an attorney in Texas who works in the appellate courts there. Hey, Tex, what are Vance’s options?

The first thing I note here is that the opinion is not designated for publication in the official case reports. I’ve seen appellate courts try to hide bad opinions by withholding them from publication, but it is far, far more common that they do it for a more legitimate reason that they don’t think the case presents any significant legal issues and don’t want anybody to think this is an important decision. My bet is that it’s the latter here, not the former.

This was an appeal to one of California’s intermediate appellate courts, specifically the Court of Appeal for the Second District that covers appeals from Los Angeles County and a few more counties up the coast. The California Supreme Court has jurisdiction to review cases coming to them from the Courts of Appeal, but the California Supreme Court uses a system of discretionary review, so the great majority of attempted appeals to that court are just summarily denied. Based on numbers alone, Vance would face long odds at getting the California Supremes to take up his case.

One factor that may favor appealing the state supreme court is that California does not allow a judgment creditor (which is what the Church now, vis a vis Vance) cannot begin to collect on a judgment until the losing party has exhausted all of their appeals. So if Vance wants to delay having to pay, that could factor into his decision making here.

The opinion here is pretty brutal to Vance’s cause. For the first eight pages, the court just lays out the parties’ competing arguments to the trial court and the trial judge’s explanation of his ruling against Vance. After that, the justices basically tear apart Vance’s position pretty mercilessly. They even go out of their way to point out in a footnote that he’s way off base claiming that one of the Church’s out-of-state lawyers is engaging in the unauthorized practice of law, since they granted his motion to appear pro hac vice.

Obviously, the way Vance drafted his complaint in the trial court ended up doing him no favors here. The court rejects his argument that this is just a breach of contract claim by citing the lengthy description Vance devoted to the Church’s structure, beliefs, and practices. On that record, they have no problem determining that the claim arose out of Vance’s dissatisfaction and disillusionment with the Church’s religious services, and those services are protected by the First Amendment. Hence, the California anti-SLAPP act applies.

Assuming Vance either declines to take the case to the California Supreme Court, or if he does take it up and is unsuccessful, he would probably be well advised to write the Church another check, if he has the ability to do so. When judgment debtors don’t pay up, the judgment creditors can start using the courts to discover, seize, and sell assets, with the proceeds to be applied against the judgment until it is satisfied in full. That is an exceedingly painful process, and it typically ends up costing the debtor way more than the actual judgment would have. Many judgment debtors end up filing bankruptcy to short-circuit the process, and that has its own set of perils.

Sometimes, of course, it is possible for a judgment debtor to work out a deal for the creditor to take a haircut on the full amount of the judgment in exchange for the certainty of getting paid some smaller amount in cash or property without having to go through the collections process. But Scientology will undoubtedly be fighting this on principle — the principle of inflicting as much pain as possible on a courtroom opponent. Is it in their character to take one penny less than they are owed here?

 
That’s not a great set of options. But we sure hope that whatever Vance does, he’s able to keep his sense of humor. We really miss his writing on Scientology, and hope someday he’ll get back to it.

Here’s the decision from the appellate court. We look forward to hearing your thoughts on it…

 

Woodward v. Scientology Appeal Affirms Lower Court

 
——————–

3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on August 31, 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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  • Well, poot!

  • Panopea Abrupta

    And Corny COB rubs his little fingers gleefully, cackling into his morning dram.
    “Heh heh, that bitter defrocked apostate Woodward, heh heh!
    They all SCOHB.
    I’ll show them.
    Now, where did I put my bulletproof John Lobbs?”

    Sorry you lost this, Vance.
    The day of reckoning will come.
    May we all live to see it soon.

    • Noesis

      “…if Vance wants to delay having to pay, that could factor into his decision making here…”

      One of Hubbard’s catch phrases about dealing with “enemies” was to “do to them what they are doing to you…but only do it better” which is sort of the Golden Rule in reverse (not surprisingly.)

      Thus if Vance really wanted to avoid paying the church judgement he should:

      1) Move out of his dwelling in the middle of the night leaving behind a bunch of waste paper and old furniture;

      2) Change his name to Lance;

      3) Abandon any debts he may have (including this judgement) while moving all his liquid assets into a jurisdiction where legal attachment is impossible;

      4) Hire some PI’s and other goons to follow, stalk and harass the opposing counsel and church executives

      5) Declare Scientology ” suppressive” and refuse to deal with this matter except in an arbitration setting…where Vance (now Lance)…is the sole arbitrator.

      Lol

  • EnthralledObserver

    US law is ill equipped to wound $cientology enough to kill it… and until this inadequacy is addressed via political will then I feel it’s pretty pointless attacking $cientology this way. I had high hopes for all the cases put forth in the last few years, and none of the successful ones have made any real impact, and those that failed showed that ‘religion’ has been given a status of privilege above all other entities…
    And that includes ‘dressed as religions’ too, I might add.

    • Harpoona Frittata

      Meanwhile, despite individual setbacks in the courts to folks like Vance. $cn is losing every single battle in the court of public opinion!

      Informed friends don’t let friends do $cn. And as more and more of the public learns of the vast Xenu-like evil perpetrated by lil davey the savage, such as forced abortions and enforced disconnection, they don’t need to have any deep understanding of $cn central tenets and philosophical underpinnings to reject it out of hand and warn all who might go there against that unwise course of action.

      The Scn standard comeback to never-ins who express their second-hand concern about such tales of diabolical and sadistic treatment by the cherch of its Sea Orgy staff is to play the “find out for yourself” card and steer them to Book One or some silly $cn propaganda site for the ‘real story’. But some things, like baby eating, are so heinous that if you hear about them being perpetrated by $cn through enough independent and credible sources, then you really don’t need to learn more to get the gist.

      On any simple Pew Research Center California poll asking, for example, “Is $cn a force for societal good or evil, or do you lack the information to answer that question?” might bet is that the “evil” percentage would be in the seventies, if not higher, while “insufficiently informed” response would be in the twenties, and the “force for societal good” wouldn’t even come close to breaking into double digits.

      At this point in time, there’s nothing that lil davey the savage + evil minions can say to counteract an already very well-formed opinion about $cn’s fundamental nature, at least here in California, where the cherch has been running amok for many decades. The only thing that would do that is the complete reformation of the cherch and a radical set of far-reaching changes to its unconscionable violations of the law and the basic human rights of its parishioners and staff, coupled with a stripping of its federal tax exempt status.

      • Mockingbird

        I remember seeing a poll graphic that showed 90% said Scientology was not a religion, 7% said not sure and 3% said yes.

  • Fred G. Haseney

    The so-called “church” of scientology’s ability to obliterate anyone or anything it sees as unfit is one day going to bite them on their collection rear end.

    • OOkpik

      Little Davie will inevitably get his comeuppance for his vicious and vindictive ways.

      • Rasha

        such a perfect illustration……

    • Draco

      And I hope we are all still alive to see that day. As I said yesterday – I am so sick of scn’s bullshit.

    • picketflag247

      Been waiting for 62 years now.

  • Rasha

    Rasha is definitely not a lawyer, and gets confounded even on long sentences, but a general description of SLAPP I found is, “A strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) is a lawsuit that is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.”

    Isn’t this basically Hubbard’s actual policy and rule? It’s almost verbatim! Although Anti-SLAPP may technically apply to this case, it’s like having a bully beat the crap out of you, then successfully defend himself, saying, “But, he pushed me!” then he gets your lunch money and you have to do his algebra.

    • Harpoona Frittata

      Hilarious analogy! $cn’s use of anti-SLAPP to go after Vance after they’ve already stolen his money is well beyond bitterly ironic and borders on the diabolically evil. The cherch, in its very long and consistent history of litigation and subversion of the judicial system is the quintessential poster child for the very type of SLAPP-filing entity for which anti-SLAPP legislation was intended to remedy!

      If Vance decides to cut his losses and pay up, I wonder if the cherch will allow him to do so out of the funds that he already has on account? My guess is that these evil bastards want to exact the last full measure of sadistic pleasure from him in vengeful retribution for daring to challenge it and that it will be like pulling shark teeth from a live Great White for him to get his money back.

      Yesterday, in our extended discussion concerning Laura D’s forced abortion case against the cherch, I asked Scott about the feasibility of a class action suit against the cherch by the many other women who had been similarly wronged by the cherch. He replied in a detailed manner to explain succinctly why the legal requirements for filing such a collective civil action against the cherch couldn’t be met.

      After digesting that bit of legal wisdom, and after reading about Vance’s tribulations at the hands of the cherch’s very high-dollar legal team, it occurred to me that a much more focused class action suit against the cherch, filed by that class of former cherch members who’ve asked for repayment of funds on account, but haven’t received them, might be a very effective way to go after the cherch in a collective manner.

      For those who’ve followed the Garcia case, which Tony has described in several earlier posts, it’s very clear that while LRH official policy explicitly requires the cherch to make repayment of funds on account for services to those requesting them, that rarely occurs unless the ex-cherch member employs legal counsel to threaten court action. In addition, the prescribed internal cherch mediation channel, which is supposed to resolve these matters, has never been put in place by the cherch in order to accomplish that purpose – not once!

      It’s the typical $cn ‘routing form to hell,’ which is designed to dissuade, harass, delay, threaten, coerce, obfuscate and just plain exhaust any who attempt to use it in order to obtain what they’ve been promised by the cherch…call it, the REAL Wall o’ Fire! Fraught with the same kind of Catch-22 nonsense that declared ex-members face in seeking recourse through the established cherch procedures. No one gets anything but further shafted, which is an integral part of the malicious design to begin with.

      It would be very interesting to know, both how much money has been left on account by currently inactive cherch members and ex-members in total, as well as the total number of those individuals in the U.S. Knowing the cherch’s predilection for both grand and petty larceny, my bet is that the total amount left on account by folks who have no intent of subjecting themselves to any more $cn services is in the millions and that the total number of such individuals is in the thousands, just in the U.S. alone!

      I’d love to get some feedback on the feasibility of trying to organize such a class action suit against the cherch. Obviously, the outcome of the Garcia case will be pivotal in answering that question. If nothing else, their case serves to highlight the point that, despite having very clear LRH policy on how the cherch should handle repayment requests, it has never actually created the intra-organizational structure and procedures to implement that policy, but instead, appears to have purposefully and in bad faith forced all who’ve asked for repayment to obtain legal counsel and threaten the cherch with civil action in order to get back what is theirs.

  • Scream Nevermore

    Me, I’d sign all my worldly goods over to someone I trust, then tell Scientology to whistle for their money, or accept a payment schedule of $1 per month.

  • pluvo

    Well, CoS, even Hubbard said it in the “Four Conditions of Exchange”*. What did you deliver for the $200.000? Nothing. Criminal elements! But of course, you have your lawyers, PIs and plenty of justifications.

    From L. Ron Hubbard’s policy: * “First consider a group which takes in money but does not deliver anything in exchange. This is called rip-off. It is the “exchange” condition of robbers, tax men, governments and other criminal elements.”

    • Mockingbird

      That’s a good definition for Scientology.

  • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

    This bites. Sorry Vance. I know you tried.

  • villagedianne

    My wish is that Vance is able to delay paying long enough to see the demise of COS.

    • flyonthewall

      my wish is for a million dollars and world peace

  • So, shorter, sweeter and to the point lawsuits might carry less risk of getting thrown out on 1st amendment reasons. Oddly enough, that was the gist of the reaction of the French law PhD Arnaud Palisson to the French anti cult laws (too close to making the distinction between”good” and “bad” religions and too far from using existing provisions targeting fraud). He was pleased that the criminal organisation known as the “church” of $cientology was successfully sued for criminal conspiracy to commit fraud (and not for being insufficient at its stated goals of, ehrm, working). http://rapports-minoritaires.net/2012/02/07/these-scientologie-cour-dappel-paris/

    Not that this is any good to Vance. Tough luck, and I repeat that I enjoyed your book (a lot).

    • Ella Raitch

      I had a quick read again of part of his book a couple of days ago. ..so glad I got it before he withdrew it from sale.

  • Baby

    Maybe it’s too early for this language.. but it is exactly how I’m feeling right now.. Scientology/ DM is the First One on my list.. OK going to bed. Be safe in here. f5

    • Draco

      Sleep tight, baby xxx

  • kemist

    Step 1: trust fund

    Step 2 : Delay, delay delay until trust fund is out of reach in case of bankruptcy.

    Step 3 : Bankruptcy, with nothing of value left to seize. Ideally it will cost them more to try than what they get

  • ScieNAHolgist

    Please pay this judgement in the form of loose change… The type of coins that you find under your car seat, movie theaters and couch cushions. You know, the ones that have that mysterious sticky film/lint coating it. I mean, unless it specifically states that “Fees are not to be paid with unwashed coins delivered in water jugs” you should be okay.

    • kemist

      If it does, use empty soft drink / beer cans.

      Adds some more sticky stuff.

  • Bob

    Very sorry to hear about this setback.
    It’s been my experience that the most effective way of eradicating the Scientology organization is “death by a 1000 cuts”.
    Just chipping away at the scummy practices of the cherch using the truth.
    Tony’s blog is a good example. Mike Rinder has been very effective and many others.
    The Cherch is used to lawsuits and frontal attacks. They have great difficulty handling smaller PR flaps and constant articles that simply reveal the truth about this fraudulent organization.
    When I first got out I wanted to attack, attack, attack. I was eventually convinced that fading out and getting on with my life was far more effective.
    That being said, I appreciate people like Vance who are willing to put themselves on the line to expose the criminal activities of Scamotology.

  • Sid (Phil Jones)

    Maybe suing the IRS for not enforcing Scientology’s agreed upon refund policy would be a more effective route.

    • flyonthewall

      or for giving Scientology special tax breaks that other religions don’t get

      • That’s hard to do. Some average citizen can’t sue over it, you have to have “standing” to be be able to do that, and the definition of that has been made so narrow that it’s very difficult.

        The best chance would be for Indy church members to try to write off the same stuff as Scientology, have their claims refused, and then sue to knock it down. (Except that most of them don’t want to do that, they want the same deal.)

        The judges in the Sklar case were practically begging someone to sue against Scientology’s deal rather than trying to get the same one.

        • flyonthewall

          That’s exactly right about the Indy’s wanting the same deal. Vennier’s RLL even expressly states that it wants the tax exemption kept intact in the event of Miscavige being ousted. Idk how active he is though, no update on his website since April.

          Here’s a couple good resources on the Sklar case in case anyone is unfamiliar.

          https://jonathanturley.org/2008/02/08/sklar-scientology-case-enter-critical-stage-before-ninth-circuit/

          https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Sklar_v._Commissioner_of_Internal_Revenue/Concurrence_Silverman

          • Pffft! If Miscavige is ever replaced, it’s going to be some life-time Sea Org member, and it’s not going to get any better.

            Perhaps he’ll change his mind if his trademark applications keep getting blocked, and the IRS finally notices his tax write-offs aren’t for the Official CoS and disallows them? (If he is deducting anything now, I bet the IRS is being very careful not to notice it.)

            • flyonthewall

              Well, a Scientology Khrushchev might be fun. Denounce the crimes of Miscavige, maybe even bang his shoe on a podium at the UN? Think of the shoops we could get out of that.

            • ze moo

              Rebranding $cientology is one of the few things that could keep it alive. Now, if only Tom Cruise puts his big boy pope hat will the planet be cleared!!

            • flyonthewall

              idk, I think they’re past the point of no return. Besides they can’t function without deceit, theft, abuse and control so a rebranding wouldn’t do much good for long anyway.

              Ridiculous as it sounds I don’t think Cruise being the next pope is not that far fetched. The clams already worship him, he’s got the altitude.

            • scottmercer

              In 1955, putting on the coat of a “church” conveyed to a con man blowhard an instant amount of respect, whether it was warranted or not. In 2016, not really as much.

          • Sid (Phil Jones)

            This Indy thing is still in play. I spoke to someone involved in it just a few weeks ago.

            • flyonthewall

              Ooo 🙂 I think CoS hates indies more than regular wog SP’s. Most anything that causes CoS trouble is a good thing but if the indies start acting like their old masters, with the fair gaming and front groups etc, then they should be resisted and exposed too

    • Mockingbird

      That has gone nowhere over and over. The idiocy of the policy is hidden by the claim of religious practice.

  • David Arum

    Sorry for your loss,Vance.

  • chukicita

    Vance, I and so many others really appreciated your input in Tony’s Dianetics series.

    Thank you for all you do. While you are paying the price for this informative lesson, others will be able to learn how to approach the snake.

    I think the climate is becoming right for legislation to protect citizens against groups that practice undue influence combined with hard sell closing techniques.

  • TexasBroad

    I understand Vance’s refusal to comment on his lawsuit, but I hope he writes more about his experiences and/or makes his book available again. I thoroughly enjoyed the Dianetics series and the very honest and humorous account of his immersion and withdrawal from Scientology on his blog at one time. I wish I’d purchased his book before he pulled it.
    Best wishes going forward Vance.

  • Edward Whalley

    I am rereading his series in his honor.

  • When fishing for Irish translators, CoS made a classic blunder: They forgot to start from English!

    Church of Scientology attempting to recruit in the Irish Gaeltacht August 31, 2016, Frances Mulraney, Irish Central

    • chukicita

      Great story – especially the part about how they cried poor nonprofit that won’t be able to pay going rate for translators was unmasked as Scientology, after the sentence they chose for the translation test revealed itself to be Narconon. Heh.

    • aquaclara

      “The much larger branch of the Church of Scientology…” MIscavige may like this headline, but it makes me laugh to see the Santa Barbara org referred to as “much larger” than anything.

    • ze moo

      Some Irish clam is trying to get clamspeak set into Gaelic. There must be a stat for that.

      • pluvo

        Yeah, “Hubbard’s work” translated into one more language – to be used for PR purposes.

    • I was born in Galway, into an Irish speaking extended family and went to an Irish only National School before I moved away from Ireland. Two years ago I was home for a wedding and had the opportunity to have a long conversation with two Scientologists who happened to live in my Irish speaking ancestral village. We had no language barriers, as I’m fluent in Hungarian.

      • Graham

        LOL!

      • Harpoona Frittata

        It’s probably really tough for Welsh speakers to look on as their language dies out, but they can at least take some small consolation in the fact that $cn is almost dead there 😉

        Just as it is with the world-wide fight to eradicate polio has advanced on a country-by-country basis, we can track the eradication of the unreformed cherch of $cn on a similar basis…”Scientology, the world’s fastest dying religion!”

    • Graham

      They’ll be translating it into Welsh next. According to the 2011 Census there were 57 Scientologists in the Principality so there’s obviously a need for a bit of missionary work. Let’s hope they have more success in translating than these people did: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/7702913.stm

    • pluvo

      What’s the point of that? As if the Irish were not good enough in understanding English? Hardly likely. Some PR gimmick like with the “Hubbard Clan” and John, the “Fearless Leader” and the “Scots WHA HAÉ!” ?

    • Rasha

      It’say anay aptray. Ientologysay isay aya unchbay of a itshay, outedspay ybay aya yinglay urdbagtay. Ustjay ayingsay. Bap!shhhhhhhay

  • aquaclara

    This just sucks. Sorry, Vance. I’ll buy your book if you put it out again. Add a few bucks onto the price to help towards your legal costs.
    Or if you start selling Xenu-proof umbrellas with some succinct prose or a flying swine a la Mark’s magnificent artwork posted on the outside, I’d buy those, too.
    Good luck, buddy.

  • kemist

    Cynical variant on plan #1:

    Step 1 : Start your own church

    Step 2 : Donate all personal belongings to your church

    Step 3 : When Scientology tries to get money, sue them for infringing on your First Amendment rights

  • Mockingbird

    Good morning Bunkeroos.

    I feel bad for Vance Woodward. No one deserves the deception and exploitation Scientology uses.

    Unfortunately he probably could use the assistance of very experienced attorneys who specialize in several areas of law to have the best chance of getting a close to fair day in court. Yesterday I started a collection of Hubbard’s quotes on Scientology legal strategies. Others have done this as well.

    I wish every judge that deals with Scientology knew it and what other judges have said about Scientology. The legal history supports the claim that Hubbard’s doctrine is followed as the foundation of Scientology’s legal strategy.

    It’s frankly a plan that uses dishonesty, criminal conduct, conspiracies, harassment and exploitation of trust by individuals and courts to destroy people. The law is twisted into a weapon and anyone unaware of what Scientology does is likely to be confused, deceived and exploited by Scientology.

    • Harpoona Frittata

      “The law is twisted into a weapon and anyone unaware of what Scientology
      does is likely to be confused, deceived and exploited by Scientology.”

      And even those who are very well aware of what $cn does can end up its victim when they decide to take on the cherch frontally.

      But while this scorched earth, ‘killer bees’ response to everyone that lil davey the savage + evil minions perceive as an enemy has won them many small victories, it’s only served to lose them the larger war.

      Perhaps the best and most memorable example of that involves the very well-publicized case of Lisa McPherson death at the hands of her $cn captors. While lil davey the savage avoided criminal prosecution for his direct involvement in her death, through criminal conspiracy to obstruct justice, the full and very credible story of his and the cherch’s unconscionable actions in that case were fully revealed and continue to serve as an exemplar of exactly how heinous the cherch’s leadership was and continues to be.

      Many similar, if less consequential, examples of the cherch’s long, consistent and unwavering use of the infamous Fair Game policy that Elron created many years ago to destroy any and all of its perceived enemies have been equally well-documented. That common thread links the illegal and morally indefensible actions of the cherch’s early secret police/espionage unit in the Guardian’s Office through to its subsequent reincarnation as the OSA, all the way through until today in one continuous pattern of lies, deceit, harassment, surveillance, domestic espionage, vexacious litigation, threats, coercion, assault, false imprisonment…the list goes on.

      By now, this evil history has been very well chronicled by thousands of former members, over decades and across nations and resides in internet archives on sites like this one, where access is free to all who wish to learn more. As the crushing weight of all those first-hand accounts of the many and varied ways that the cherch has perpetrated its evil continues to accumulate, every $cn celeb apologist and high cherch official appear to have been run to ground and will not appear in public to try and defend what, at this point in time, can be clearly seen by who aren’t cherch members to be indefensible.

      Hiding is pretty close to as low as you can go on the tone scale, so I’d call that a very good sign that the war is being won, despite the occasional loss of battles like this one.

      • Mockingbird

        Well I personally believe the tone scale is itself a fraud. Some exes believe the ideas like the tone scale, auditing, overts, withholds, thetans are either genuine things Hubbard discovered or things he plagiarized that have reality. I personally think none of his terms are true. Zero. Zip.

        I feel the doubt that these ideas might be true or are true leaves people confused and at the mercy of Hubbard’s lies. And he had no mercy.

        In my opinion David Miscavige only wants to keep his power, wealth and freedom. He has more than enough information now to realize thousands and thousands of negative stories that expose hundreds of facts about Scientology come out every week.

        He may have for now lost the ability to recruit new Scientologists from the United States and many other countries. He may have ten to twenty thousand remaining Scientologists in the world and need two factors to hold that small number. First the long term Scientologists who have been in decades or were raised in Scientology. Those people resist the evidence against Scientology by self censorship and remain in as groups that would lose everything if they left. Second foreign recruits often have seen no critical information and jumped at the chance for a job with free housing and three meals a day. To them that is a great opportunity. They don’t know it’s slave labor and by the time they do know they may feel escape is difficult or impossible.

        • Harpoona Frittata

          I agree, I was just amusing myself by mocking it and them by describing where their actions would place them on the tone scale that they believe in.

          As the first group of die-hard lifers pass away or are off-loaded, due to their low productivity and medical care costs, $cn’s only hope is to recruit new Sea Orgy members from far-flung non-Western countries who haven’t been inoculated against the infectious disease that is $cn.

          • Mockingbird

            I understand you were mocking it but the confused ex that is unsure what is true or not tries to cling to bits and the fact that critics act like the tone scale or other ideas are true – even in sarcasm – helps to keep the confused confused.

            They really don’t know up from down on this stuff and have lots of circular conversations that go nowhere. They have to figure it out and Hubbard has term A linked to term B and term C and on and on and they think term A is true because they felt X in auditing and term B must be true because they think Study tech MUST be true because the name and terms sound like real things and…on it goes.

            • Harpoona Frittata

              I take your point there, we certainly don’t want any of the newly freed to get the wrong idea.

              However, I’m a dedicated and unrepentant J&D’er who genuinely delights in slipping into whatever jargon or vernacular that’s available. Scientologese is almost like it’s own unique dialect and has just so many bizarre and perverse words in it that make it almost impossible for me to not use it against itself.

              In doing so, I’m not only mocking the faux religion, but mocking myself for ever having gotten so caught up in it in the first place. So, it keeps me humble and mindful of how NOT different I am than those who remain in.

              Irony and sarcasm are more subtle forms of humor and expression which very often fly well over the heads of all those oh so serious still-ins, so I think it’s a good exercise for those that are just getting out to be exposed to the playful and fluid use of language. But I wouldn’t want to be misunderstood as being someone who endorses $cn constructs, like the tone scale, so I’ll do my best to make it clear that I’m degrading, rather than endorsing the $cn world view.

            • Sine qua non

              J & D er? What’s that?

            • Harpoona Frittata

              Joker & Degrader, taken from the infamous policy letter with the same name in which Elron outlawed fun…or, at least as it related to all things $cientological 😉

              There’s a hilarious account of how the policy came to be written on the Apollo by one of the old-timers that’s in an interview that I saw some time back, but can’t recall right at the moment.

            • Mockingbird

              Hubbard did not like being made fun of or imitated. He saw people imitate him and banned it forever.

            • Sine qua non

              Thank you! I’m a never-in, and though I know many of the abbreviations/lingo, there’s always more Scientologese to learn, it seems. 😉

            • Harpoona Frittata

              Boy howdy, is that ever true! $cn is a whole bizarre and intricate world, with it’s own very technical jargon that’s almost as impenetrable as neuroscience nomenclature.

              That’s one of the reasons that very few academics who you might expect to have the best insight into the subject almost never do (see Chris Shelton’s recent set of vids on $cn apologists). Unless you’ve been in and were basted in the unique language and culture, or have studied it intensely for years, it’s very difficult for outsiders to have the same depth of understanding and nuanced views on the subject.

            • Mockingbird

              It’s funny to have to be so exact, but like you said the ex cult members can be incapable of seeing humor. And confused on many things.

  • Out and about

    Vance, I’ll help fund you. Hope the CHERCH chokes on every cent!

  • ze moo

    Vance Woodward’s dissection of Dianetics is a classic that everyone should read. Sad that Vance did not write up a proper lawsuit that only addressed the issue of his refund. A refund that the Garcias have not been able to get either.

    Perhaps Vance should go the gofundme route?

    • Harpoona Frittata

      The fact that he didn’t do so to begin with, doesn’t appear to preclude the possibility that he could now. But whether he has the emotional and financial reserves needed to more narrowly focus his fight and seek to prevail is another thing altogether.

      Vance is in a somewhat unique position of having quite a bit more money on account for advance paid services than this latest appeal court ruling obligates him to pay them. If he’s not planning on appealing this latest ruling to the Ca. Supreme Court, then a commonsense route to resolution would be for the cherch to debit his account to discharge his court-ordered debt to the cherch and for it to repay him the balance.

      But, somehow, I just don’t see the cherch making things that easy at all!

  • Mockingbird

    Something I have noticed among Miscavige’s crew of attorneys and operatives is a concentration of resources and time on destroying people. They love to do this.

    In a cult there is a promise that the cult through ritual, doctrine and submission will create a transformation of self into a perfect ascendancy beyond human with weakness and flaws purged. Scientology certainly promises the conquest of inner doubts and contradictions. But it’s technology has never and can never deliver the promised miraculous results the cult members strive towards.

    By having enemies, critics and vulnerable people to scapegoat a cult accomplishes several important goals. It unifies its members on a basic psychological level of us versus them. That makes our flaws less noticeable and their virtues more easily disregarded. So unification of a strong group is quickly gained. Distrust and disgust of the other is also achieved.

    So Scientologists won’t listen to the others as they feel disgust and distrust of critics. So criticism is not even considered, which Hubbard of course wanted.

    But there is something more the scapegoating provides. The technology in auditing and indoctrination fails in its promised transformation to the new man, but by blaming scapegoats Hubbard gives cult members acceptable targets for all their buried and denied negative emotions. The cult was supposed to remove inferior aspects of the mind like cruel and violent impulses. But the targets of the cult are exceptions that allow an excuse for the ethical Scientologists to disregard civil rights and dispose of them quietly and without sorrow.

    And importantly that is an attainable goal. A Scientologist can’t make a clear or get OT powers. They can’t get perfect character or memory. They can’t recall events before this lifetime. The technology fails any scientific analysis and Hubbard knew it.

    But it can succeed in encouraging people to destroy others. After years of disappointment and denial of failures in Scientology to finally have actually tangible results is a vindication for a cult member. It’s a very old way to prove your philosophy is correct to kill a person with an opposing point of view and not the best logic in my opinion but it can seem like a win.

    The person who speaks last is sometimes seen as winning a debate. If the opposition is killed it appears they didn’t have the final say. Like I said it is technically just an appeal to force, but it’s been very convincing over time.

    The Scientologists can really ruin people utterly and even kill them.

    A certain percentage of cult members whether they were sociopathic to begin with or not can out of simple frustration at the failure of the technology itself undergo a transformation. Not the one advertised by Hubbard.

    A cult member can feel so satisfied to finally have a real indisputable result from attacking others that they focus on this and see it as a worthwhile goal in itself.

    Plainly spending years chasing engrams, ser facs, GPMs, and BTs in auditing and MUs, demos and star rate checkouts in indoctrination never create the superior beings promised. This gets old real fast.

    Even a little ruining people can have an actual result. But the Scientologists usually don’t see the brutal means don’t create the claimed kind ends.

    That’s how you get the road to hell paved with good intentions. You are fooled into thinking a miraculous technology will work if you just get tough on someone else and take a moral shortcut.

    The shortcut and harm you do is real but the piece of blue sky never comes.

    Crushing people in the courts is a double win in Scientology. Not only does it provide the distraction from Scientology’s failures, solidify the us versus them dynamic and provide an action that produces a real result it also serves to help hide the crimes of Scientology.

    Hubbard was quoted by Nibs as saying the first rule is don’t get caught. Scientology legal strategy is based on this principle.

    By tying people up for decades Scientology avoids getting caught. By ruining them or killing them Scientology silences whistleblowers. By character assassination Scientology socially destroys people and drives some to madness or death. Scientology actually has policies to brainwash and introvert people to the point of mental collapse or suicide.

    All these tactics support Hubbard’s and now Miscavige’s major goal of staying out of prison. I think Miscavige realizes now that fleeing the authorities in a fleet of ships probably won’t won’t work.

    He would have a hard time eluding modern navies. So he puts all his resources into crushing critics, hiding his crimes and putting a facade of legal compliance as a bona fide charitable organization forward. It’s a lie but if it is acceptable it has done it’s job.

    Miscavige puts command intention, tremendous resources and blank checks behind the efforts to do espionage and fair game into effect. That’s why the destructive efforts of Scientology work so well.

    A cult can’t transform men into gods but it can certainly kill them.

  • Simon Tology

    I’m really sorry for Vance. I bought his book before he pulled it, and I’m glad I did because it was brilliant. Most of the Scientology-insider books are written by execs who were in positions of power, and focus a great deal on David Miscavige, or focus a great deal on how people escaped. Such books are riveting, but always left me wondering how those people got into Scientology in the first place. Woodward’s book however explained to me precisely how someone could get into Scientology, how the wins work or appear to work and how people can gloss over any concerns they might have. And it was very wittily written as well, a cracking good read.

    Does anyone know why Vance pulled his book? Was it related to the legal case? I had wondered if it was because he no longer wanted to be associated with the subject. Also, Vance is quite brutally honest in the book and I guess such honesty about your past might not go down well with customers? Or perhaps the church was using content in his book against him?

    • Observer

      Speculation was that Vance might not want Scientology coming up every time his name is Googled.

    • Harpoona Frittata

      I’m sorry too! Sorry that $cn still has the resources to ensure injustice occurs and sorry that Vance became its target for retribution.

      I didn’t get a chance to read his book, but after reading earlier blog posts on it and Vance’s situation, I’d really like to buy a copy. Perhaps putting it back into circulation would benefit Vance’s financial situation.

      $cn, with its vast cash reserves and ‘killer bees’ mentality, is bound to win a few more legal battles, even as it continues to lose the larger war. Even in losing or settling, folks like Vance bring public attention to the cherch’s LRH-mandated scorched earth policies and vicious attack dog legal stance toward anyone and everyone who seeks justice in the courts over the evil that the cherch has perpetrated against them.

      Just as the Roman Catholic Church’s reputation was further damaged by seeking to undermine sexual abuse victims recourse in the courts by legal maneuvering and obstacle setting, the $cn cherch has utterly destroyed whatever positive reputation it might have by attempting to destroy any who sincerely seek justice and recompense for the damage that the cherch has done to them.

      The cherch only prevails by using every legal trick and maneuver available to them, but never when a case against it is actually tried before a jury. As a result, the cherch’s primary legal strategy is not to win by presenting a substantive defense in good faith, but to delay, obfuscate and entangle the proceedings for as long as possible, then, as a last resort before the case is actually decided, settle with the plaintiffs on the condition that they remain silent about the settlement and the evil that the cherch has done. Do that often enough and for long enough and you begin to look like exactly what you are: An evil organization with enough money to destroy your opponents and, when that primary strategy fails, to buy their silence so that they can continue on their evil path undeterred.

  • Panopea Abrupta

    A Grand Vin du Chateau Latour, a 1961, uncorked.
    Two glasses.
    Ripe Camembert, some early pears from the orchard, grapes.
    The long afternoon light, through the lace curtains, lies golden in the sitting room.
    The slow progress of the hay carts as the teams return, fully laden, overflowing, toward the stone barn.
    The children scream with laughter as they run down the lawn.
    Somewhere in the distance a Vespa stutters.

    Lily-pads shimmer in the lake.
    A trout jumps.

    Later, there would be foie gras and Sauternes.
    Mmmm …
    The pleasures of late summer.

    Dring Dring … Dring Dring
    The insistent ringing of a phone somewhere woke me suddenly.

    “Hello, yes,
    Oh, hi … it’s you
    Sorry, I must have dropped off,
    the heat, a glass of wine

    “The Church of Barratry and Bluster, of Bribes and Blackmail,
    of Brazen Brass Balls and Byzantine Bullshit will never win in the Court of
    Public Opinion.
    That ship has sailed.
    And it can never be appealed.
    Everyone knows they have little or no appeal.”

    “And …?”

    “White men without a college degree are the only group who, in the majority, will fail the November IQ test.”

    “What do you mean?”

    “I’m not being mean”

    Then nothing.
    It’s been quiet at the Abrupta residence since we’ve been minus the mother-in-law.

    • daisy

      omg You actually made me want to eat a pear.. Guests are lovely but you can only pretend to be another person for so long

    • chukicita

      Such a beautiful dream. Peace to Chez Abrupta.

    • thetastic

      Congratulations on making it out the other side.

  • Roger Larsson

    The dream attempted and the dream pulled
    The dream blew out and the dream died
    In Hubbards lies.

    Different lives exist:

    1. A Yes
    2. A No

    to $cientology

  • Panopea Abrupta

    $cientology:
    Bondage, Shames Bondage – 0047, licensed to shill

    Lord Hubris: Was sauerkraut named after him?
    Or was he named after a Hebrew word – the unkindest cut?

    Speculation, mere idle speculation :
    Does DM hide behind a bonsai when the FBI comes to Hemet?

    And I find the footwear in this photo revelatory.
    One may be a Big Being with power over MEST,
    endless SupahPowazz and a best friend who is
    a Diminutive Deity but one can still have a complex
    about being vertically challenged.
    “Shall we dance, Nicole?”

  • chukicita

    OT: Looking outside at the sky and it feels like the sun has set although it’s almost midday here.
    Even though it’s likely to be “just” a tropical storm, it’s still a concern (the last one toppled a tree on top of a friend’s home nearby)

    The indigenous folks here lived in chickees (some still do).
    Storms happen, but a chickee only takes about half a day to build. And no fundraisers required.

    • Qbird

      oh yeah, I see that coming at you, chukicita — lots of heavy weather for you.
      Batten down the hatches, Kiddo.

      • chukicita

        We ready. They’ve just announced closing schools in our county and those around us.
        I bet the VMs are scrubbing down the yellow tents and getting their poking fingers in shape.

  • flyonthewall

    Vance should file a “Just Kidding” appeal. As in he was just kidding about filing the lawsuit in the first place. That way he won’t have to pay the money

    • Dear Sir your honor: LOL JK nvm

      • flyonthewall

        Brilliant. They would never see it coming

    • Graham

      I have to say I’m not too optimistic about that one. I’ve several times tried the “just kidding” defence on Mrs G and she’s rarely impressed.

    • F5

      • beauty for ashes

        fplllblblmphhhht! I’m making fart noises in your general direction Dice~ for making me open a new window to see what was wrong with ME! It’s bad enough Disqus gaslights us, let us not gaslight each other too FBFBFBLLPHPBBBLLLTTTT!

  • nottrue

    Most lawyers I know 90,000 dollars is pocket change. I’m sure Vance will be fine

    • Kay

      I don’t know…..that’s still a lot of dough, and some lawyers truly don’t make that kind of money. It makes me angry to see Scientology, who has billions in ill-gotten gains get ANY money from anyone, much less 90K.

  • Free Minds, Free Hearts

    Damn it. I am so sorry about this. It really sucks that this cult can rip off its victims not only though the coercive mind control, but even after the person is free, through the courts. It is well past time for the US govt to step in and shut down its tax exemption so it can’t keep hiding behind the bogus religious freedom cloak. And I loved Vance’s book – he has such a great sense of humor, and his wit is smart and incisive. I hope that he can keep up his spirits in the long slog ahead.

    • Commodore H. McCringleberry

      Eh, this is probably one situation that’s on the exact opposite side of the Headley lawsuit or what Laura DeCrescenzo is going through now. The injustice factor, based on the way he wrote up the suit, is not there for me. If he wanted his money back, there is another path to follow, though history does show the more logical course not to necessarily be more effective at the end of the day, sadly. For the same amount of money, he could have taken a sledgehammer to a Tesla Model S or a Mercedes S550, or a Range Rover Sport. As long as the path he took was just as cathartic for him, he’s right where he wanted to be. . .

      • Free Minds, Free Hearts

        Hm, it does sound like the court said he focused on the wrong thing – the church shenanigans rathe than the ripoff part.

  • nottrue
    • Kestrel

      Where is this?

      • nottrue

        Denver Org

        • Kestrel

          Ah. For some reason all I saw was the picture at first.

          So sad. Even when they make money from their parking lot they have to do it through a book sale so that they send money uplines and make a stat.

        • Commodore H. McCringleberry

          Considering what I regularly pay to park at Minute Maid (formerly Enron, yay!) Park in Houston, the deal that they’re offering here might as well be “Free Book with Paid Parking”. Someone needs to do a covert sign swap. . .

        • Kim O’Brien

          that lot is ALWAYS empty ( except for Baseball games ) My old office was just on the other side of the building ( they moved in after we left our space downtown ) …there is a coffee shop on the corner and a pot store on the opposite corner .

          Not even stoners and hipsters will pay $22 for parking and an LRH book .

  • JaxNGold

    This is some bullshit. It’s not enough that Vance gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to the CO$, but now he has to pay 90 grand?! Unfuckenbelievable. Can $cientology just eat shit and die, please?

  • Libertylover

    I’d like to read Vance’s book and how he was drawn into Scientology. That would be interesting and I hope he reissues it.
    For me, dissecting Dianetics isn’t that compelling.
    I was briefly intrigued by a glossy 80’s Scientology pamphlet, I picked up, proclaiming it science. I got a used copy of Dianetics and, thanks to a solid grounding in empiricism, I was quickly unimpressed. It clearly wasn’t science based and was also very badly written. I suppose I can thank Hubbard for that.
    I’m not claiming to be superior for not falling for it, we all have different paths in life.
    Later on I met a group of people taking the EST courses (it had been renamed The Forum by then.)
    I fell for that, as I believed their success stories and overwhelmingly positive perspective they seemed to have. I wanted to be a better salesperson too.
    After diving in a doing quite a few courses, I started to have doubts. My sales were not really improving and I was isolating myself by using cult speak to regular people. I kept going and the only answer was more courses. I did get an amazing feeling after them, probably mostly adrenaline, but at the back of my mind I was thinking these courses are the same thing over and over, just renamed. I just kept going, I felt a little trapped, but my answer was more study as I had convinced myself this stuff works and the failing must be in me.
    Eventually, it was witnessing Werner Erhard’s misogyny and physical abuse of his students behind closed doors, that shocked me out of the trance. I left and never went back.
    Fortunately, Erhard ran a pump and dump program, so escaping it was no issue for me.
    I continue to be fascinated by how intelligent people fall for these cult ideas and their different paths in life.
    I have a great deal of passion for the people who fall prey and wish I could be more help to those I see as victims.Jon Atak’s advice on asking about pre cult involvement seems to work and is brilliant in discussions.
    Paul Haggis’s story is very interesting as well as the colorful accounts of Jason, show me a Mfuckingclear Beghe.
    Perhaps Vance will reissue or I can get a used copy? These personal accounts of falling for these pitches are very useful and fascinating and serve a higher purpose, if it saves just one person from falling into woo woo land.
    I would add, I have great admiration to the dedication Tony Ortega shows in this blog. It’s probably saved thousands from a destructive path. Yes Scientology gets away with a lot, it’s maddening, but something is being done about it.
    TICK TOCK

    • Qbird

      It was an e-book, Libertylover, not a hard copy kind.

      • Libertylover

        Oh OK, thanks I might be able to get that then, thanks.

      • Libertylover

        Thanks for the heads up, Qbird. Nothing really dies on the net if you know what I mean, nudge nudge, wink wink. Great stuff. I found all the old bunker articles I missed also , great reading. I’m not going to get much done today, I’m a terrible boss.

        • beauty for ashes

          it is said that the best ideas come to bosses whom are relaxed 🙂

      • Tony Ortega

        It was either, originally.

  • Let me take a wild guess at just why $cientology wants exactly 90,000 bucks out of Vance Woodward at this particular time of year… (refresh mothballs in Shortarse’s walk-in chill-closet):

    • Graham

      Slappy’s looking a little fur-tive there Mark 😉

      • I infur that he furbids infurences about his furnancial affurs, the little furvert…

        • Graham

          Fur enough.

    • PTS

      Is that DM using the Fur Game policy?

      • Aargh! 😉

      • chukicita

        He’s gone about as fur as he can go.

        • Baby

          OMG.. Chuk.. bawwwwwwwwwhahahhahahahahhahahaha.. I am a musical freak and this just did me in.

      • scottmercer

        I think you stole that.

    • Sid (Phil Jones)

      A $90,000 chinchilla blanket for Miscavige? I smell a rat.

      • chukicita

        You’d probably just need one. Rat, that is. To make a blanket.

    • Harpoona Frittata

      Chinchilla or ratchilla…which kind of blanket do you think that lil davey the savage most deserves?

      • Sherbet

        Skunk.

        • daisy

          This is why I hate missing the morning shift.

      • Unwashed, moth-eaten, malodorous, jumping with vermin—straight from the Hole.

      • Vaquera

        Nutria

        • scottmercer

          Insulting to nutria.

    • Noesis

      Can you really fault him?

      A pimp has gotta be pimped out.

    • “Page 69 [Go]” *LOL*

    • beauty for ashes

      That arsehole would want the pelts of tortured tiny adorable creatures dissected from their bodies and processed to make a luxurious amoral blanket for his wee cold body. Blech.

  • Lynnea66

    Sadly, this case is a good representation of why you should never act as your own attorney, even if you are licensed to do so. We get too personally involved in our own cases and lose sight of the fact that brevity and clear/concise briefs are best. Good luck to Vance going forward.

    • daisy

      Great advice !!!

  • Free Minds, Free Hearts

    Has this been posted yet? Rick Alan Ross on the Cult of Trump. Tony is extensively quoted in it. http://www.gq.com/story/the-cult-of-trump

    • Snippy_X

      Awesome!

  • Jimmy3

    Just change your name bro. Lance Stoneword doesnt owe anyone anything.

  • nottrue
    • Missionary Kid

      So, are they going to go up the bridge using Irish Gaelic?

    • Mockingbird

      I never would have thunk it !

    • daisy

      Is there no holiday sacred to these people.

  • Sherbet

    This OT, but it’s a real question from a never-in to anyone who knows how church fundraising works. Here’s a reference from a recent post in Mike Rinder’s blog: “…the ‘ideal org’ ponzi scheme…” This isn’t the first time I’ve seen scientology referred to as a “Ponzi scheme.” However, it’s always been my understanding that scientology does not work that way. A Ponzi or pyramid scheme takes new revenues from recent investors and distributes them to the earlier investors to keep the illusion that business is booming and money is pouring in. The money isn’t invested, and it isn’t earning dividends. It’s just recycled to continue feeding the beast and keep up appearances. More and more people need to buy in to the scam to keep the money flowing to the earlier investors.

    Now, my question is, do I have this wrong, regarding cos? Is there some built-in pyramid into the regging system, where the first-in make a lot of money and newbies have to struggle to keep broadening the base of “investors”? I thought NOBODY makes money on the church except the church. It all flows in one direction: David Miscavige and the deep pockets of cos.

    So, tell me, smart financial Bunkeroos. Is cos really a Ponzi/pyramid scheme when it comes to fundraising?

    • Mockingbird

      Very few people make money off Scientology. Usually Scientologists don’t get compensation down the road.

      Some people think the ideal org program will buy lots of expensive real estate and down the road Miscavige will sell some of it to gain income. That’s a bait and switch and not technically a Ponzi scheme.

      I don’t know if Miscavige will do this or not.

      • Sherbet

        Gotcha, ‘bird. Thank you.

      • flyonthewall

        people do get kick backs though from what they reg from people don’t they? So it’s not a ponzi scheme in the classic sense but there is some monetary incentive there for people to make money for the cult

        • Fly Lady

          nope. wrong.

          • flyonthewall

            you don’t know, you’re just a trophy fly

            • Fly Lady

              nope! wrong!

            • flyonthewall

              Tony, if you could see to banning this troll you would be mightily rewarded. Thank you

            • Fly Lady

              Just so everyone is clear, fly yells this out at home when we’re having an argument. I think he’s gone off the deep end, myself!

            • Missionary Kid

              Only gone off the deep end? I thought he was already there. 😀

            • Sherbet

              I feel like I wandered into an ancient episode of “The Ropers.”

            • daisy

              Only reality show I like. I am glad you asked that question earlier .I was confused about that same issue. I got my ass handed to me ( on another blog and probably a troll ) for referring to it as a Ponzi scheme and have been shy with scientology questions since. I didn’t know enough about scientology to be spreading misinformation.

            • TheLurkingHorror

              Maybe you’re the trophy fly. 🙂

            • flyonthewall

              I know I’m fine!

            • TheLurkingHorror

              🙂

            • Fly Lady

              Maybe that should read “I know I used to be fine.” That incident was more than 15 years ago, I don’t think she’d yell that to you from a moving car anymore. Sorry to burst your bubble.

            • flyonthewall
            • Fly Lady
            • flyonthewall

            • Fly Lady
            • lol

        • Mockingbird

          That has varied greatly. A person independently collecting donations for the IAS or other projects may get 10% as a commission. That adds up quickly when you get a quarter million dollar cornerstone club membership sold or major IAS status. But staff don’t get those commissions.

          There have been may different programs over the years and staff have generally needed to sell a lot of books, tapes or other materials to even make a modest living. I know there has been a rare exception every so often where someone made good money but over ninety percent of the time staff don’t make a decent living.

        • DoveAlexa

          This video has a guy who was a Reg, and yeah, he talks about making money through regging, just like a normal high-pressure salesman. https://youtu.be/Wt-gxC-ISto
          2 parts, total.

    • Harpoona Frittata

      You’re right, a standard pyramid, or Ponzi, scheme typically pays out a portion of the money that continues to come in from the newly defrauded to its early investors who act as the credible sources attesting to the scheme’s success.

      $cn does not pay out anything to folks who contribute to it, so it’s more like your typical religious charity scam, where the group’s founders and employees are siphoning off the vast majority of the charitable donations made by the religious group’s supporters, based on their belief that their donations will be used for the charitable group’s advertised purposes, such as building schools or funding rural clinics.

      It’s also like the medieval Roman Catholic Church which provided sinners with “indulgences” in return for the cash contributions, which were offered to the faithful as a way of reducing the amount of penance they owed, in this life or hereafter, for their sins. $cilons receive paper “statuses” for their donations to the cherch which are now being promoted as a means of making case gain, or spiritual advancement.

      However you choose to classify it, though, $cn is a criminal scam, disguised as a religion, that requires fee-for-service payments, but consistently fails to provide the promised product.

      • Sherbet

        Thanks, HF.

    • Jimmy3

      My jukebox repair company is actually a Fonzi scheme. Not sure if that answers your question or not

      • Sherbet

        Ayyyyyy!

      • Missionary Kid

        It obviously jumped the shark a long time ago.

    • Libertylover

      You are correct, as Ponzi technically refers to financial schemes that don’t return profit on investment. They defraud by pretending to get results and pay fake dividends from new investors, to get more to join.
      I’ve seen it used as short hand for all kind of fraudulent rackets.
      Kind of similar to “decimate” which originally referred to Roman soldier punishment, of drawing lots and killing one tenth of the ranks. Now it seems to also mean destroy completely also.
      As Scientology doesn’t make clears or real OTs, it’s generally fraudulent too.
      English is always evolving; it’s said, we generally wouldn’t understand our own language, if time travelling less than a thousand years in any direction.
      So its probably accepted as generally meaning fraudulent scheme, but that’s my amateur observation.

      • Sherbet

        Thanks, Lib. I should add that I enjoy learning how language has evolved, and you’re probably right that “Ponzi scheme” will simply mean “financial fraud” eventually.

        • Libertylover

          Probably and with an emphasis on one person running it, as in Hubs and DM.
          “The Story of English” by Robert Macneil, was an excellent PBS series that won awards in the 80’s. Our library still carries it and the companion book by Robert McCrum.
          Lesser known is, “The Adventure of English”, a British television series (ITV), on the history of the English language by Melvyn Bragg as well as a book, also written by Bragg. It’s more up to date than the previous.
          I have been fascinated since reading Chaucer at Brit. high school and giggling at the bawdy Millers Tale. Not much has changed re: human nature.
          I found this podcast and it looks good too, I’ve listened a bit, it’s ready on my Ipod http://historyofenglishpodcast.com/episodes/
          Anyway, not everyone’s cuppa, but you said you like it , so I shared in case ya missed em.
          Also, random thoughts, olduns hate and decry text slang , but it’s going to be looked back on as the place where English is changing the most ATM LOL

          • Sherbet

            Thank you! I’ve jotted all those down and will plan to give myself a fine nerdy romp through language.

      • Kestrel

        Well said.

        • Kestrels can see ultraviolet light.

      • DoveAlexa

        And as a nerdy aside, the practice of decimation in the Roman army wasn’t considered a good idea by all. A Byzantine Emperor feared forcing brothers-in-arms to kill 1/10th of their rank would destroy that group’s morale. Another believed you couldn’t expect non-slave soldiers to even comply with an order to murder each other.
        Always good to find out that not every group is stupid evil 😉

        • Libertylover

          Fascinating, my understanding is it was more a threat, rarely used and over used by a few Commanders. You’ve piqued my curiosity . Off to read more.

  • Phoebequeen
  • Jgg2012

    I sense that courts are developing an “if you joined them, you deserve what you get approach” to people suing Scientology. The court should have spent more time discussing how Scientology works, and how it is a bait and switch operation.

    • something like “common sense”? ppl should approach the bench with claim of “Undue influence” instead!

  • Vance’s appeal fail, but his book is still in my Kindle library. FTW.

    • Vaquera

      Happy birthday, doll.

      • Thank you, doll! It was 5 Feet and Luminous’ Bday too.

    • Missionary Kid

      I hope you had a HAPPY BIRTHDAY yesterday! (If that’s when it was.)

    • flyonthewall

      did you see the vid I posted for you? It was very funny. Probably the funniest thing ever posted to the Bunker ever

    • Illinoisian

      Happy Birthday, Dodo! I hope you are still celebrating today. Birthdays should go on for two or three days at least. After all, we have to wait a whole year for them so make it last.

    • beauty for ashes

      Nice! Hey great to see you. I like to worry, its kind of a hobby of mine. I didn’t see you around and asked if anyone else had seen you and got no answer. Birthday Celebration! Okay that’s a good excuse.
      Happy belated Birthday DODO!!!! 🙂 <3 🙂 <3 🙂 <3 🙂

      • Great to see you too, Beauty! Thank you for all the love! <3

  • picketflag247

    I’m getting so sick of this. It’s corruption all the way through.

    • flyonthewall

      From TXLawyer’s comments it sounds like Vance simply fuct up

      ” Obviously, the way Vance drafted his complaint in the trial court ended up doing him no favors here. The court rejects his argument that this is just a breach of contract claim by citing the lengthy description Vance devoted to the Church’s structure, beliefs, and practices. “

  • scottmercer
  • Mockingbird

    OT I was looking for some other stuff and found some amusing quotes on squirrels. Hubbard blamed them for a lot of things that HE himself actually did ! It’s just projection on his part and trading places with others so he can pretend to be a hero and label them as villains !

    ‘You know what a squirrel is? A squirrel is somebody — you know,
    the medical profession since time immemorial and all these various
    professions have had on their coattails, squirrels. Every one of them.
    There hasn’t been a single branch of human endeavor that doesn’t have
    its lunatic fringe.” (Ron Hubbard, 5 December 1952, Lecture
    “ARC/Cycles: Theory and Automaticity)

    “Although we’ve had other definitions for a squirrel,
    that’s the one I commonly use to myself. A squirrel is somebody who runs
    round and round and round the cage of his own bank.” ( Ron Hubbard, 23
    November 1956, Lecture: “Farewell Lecture”)

    “A squirrel is a person — a person who’s going around
    looking for nuts that are foolish enough to let him process them.”
    Ron Hubbard, 6 April 1959, Lecture: “Beingness and Communication

    “Here is the guy who plans to “squirrel” and “grab Scientology.” Here is the boy. Or here is the girl. But here is also a thetan buried in the mud. And if you let this person go without attention, he or she
    will soon become ill or die — or worse will mess up or kill others.
    The person is the only real psycho. And if you let him drift he’ll soon
    wind up in the brain surgeon’s suppressive hands. So it’s nothing to
    overlook. People who have to solve their problems by shooting the rest
    of us down are what made life such a hell in this universe. You have
    your hands on the implanter, the warmonger, the wrecker.” ( Ron
    Hubbard, Policy Letter of 5 April 1965, titled “The No-Case-Gain
    Student”)

    Hubbard was through fraud the lunatic fringe for the mental health field ! He was looking for nuts that were foolish enough to let him process them ! He was the implanter and wrecker!

    He ran around the edges of his own hypnotic reality ! He hypnotized himself through his affirmatons to escape reality ! Remember the fictional horror of a reactive mind or bank is Hubbard’s creation that a Scientologist comes to perceive as real through Hubbard’s hypnotic auditing procedures. It is an additive he made.

    So he ran around the edges of his bank and tried to expand it into the minds of others. That it shared his madness and misery was irrelevant to him. He wanted it reflected back to him as proof he was right.

    • hansje brinker

      refresh

      • Mockingbird

        A little squirrel ?

        • Rasha

          First thing I saw!

        • beauty for ashes

          really weird poop .

          • Rasha

            …second thing I saw…..

            • beauty for ashes

              Yeah, I’ve been enjoying some side effects of a new migraine med. You might say I see things differently right now LOL!!!!!! Ooo jeez

            • Rasha

              Oh, my. Sorry for the migraines. ;( Side effects can be entertaining, as long as the main issue is taken care of. I’ve never had a migraine, but then, I totally don’t want to. I’ll hum for you, if it helps.

            • beauty for ashes

              kick me in the leg so i’ll forget about the weird aural pain in my head 😉

          • Rasha

            “Scientology: Really Weird Poop®”

            • beauty for ashes

              Rasha did you ever read Augusten Burrough’s book “running with scissors” by any chance?

            • Rasha

              Not yet. The title is intriguing, though. 😉

            • beauty for ashes

              oooh, you would like, even better, the audio book!

        • hansje brinker

          I don’t explain art! Kidding.
          It was the first comment I gave on this blog in already 2013.

  • nottrue
    • Harpoona Frittata

      Curse-Tee has the look of someone who indulges in that way on a very regular basis.

    • daisy

      I would drink too, if I had to be across from you. I never touched a drink before following you on social media,

  • hansje brinker

    So if I am right the church doesn’t use their own policy about refund and repayment ……..? Hope that someone of the IRS is awake.

  • Wog

    Bad news – my heart goes out to Vance. CAN HE FILE BK?

    FUCK SCIENTOLOGY AND THE FUCKING SLEEZY ATTY’S THAT WORK FOR THEM

  • Observer

    OT: http://www.tedstourton.com

    ETA: his sculpture makes Nancy Cartwright’s look like Rodin

    • Intergalactic Walrus

      How about OTVIII Nancy Burton? She looks like she is suck in a 1960’s acid trip incident…
      http://www.hurricanenancy.com/hurricane-nancy.html
      https://youtu.be/9u-IHrDgzeM

    • Libertylover

      His art work is one huge body of ungraded Rorschach tests.

    • Graham

      Now Obs, you do have to bear in mind that, as it says on his web-site, “Ted’s warmth and desire to help others may be sneered and sniped at by the terminally cynical but this is often the cross that must be borne by the generous of spirit and one has but to meet the real Ted Stourton to discover they are as genuine, sincere and uplifting as his art.”

      • Observer

        Oh, I do. It just adds to the whole thing.

  • Mockingbird

    To finish off my thought from below on Hubbard and his squirrel issues.

    I have written extensively on cognitive dissonance in Scientology
    already and recommend every Scientologist and ex Scientologist read A
    Theory Of Cognitive Dissonance by Leon Festinger.

    Here I will briefly introduce a few basic concepts from his book to make a
    relevant point about why Hubbard wanted to get his own fantasies
    reflected back to him.

    I will start with some quotes from chapter one An Introduction to the Theory of Dissonance.

    ‘First I will replace the word”inconsistency”
    with a term which has less of a logical connotation, namely, dissonance.
    I will likewise replace the word “consistency” with a more neutral
    term, namely, consonance.’ (Page 2)

    ‘The basic hypothesis I wish to state are as follows:’

    ‘1. The existence of dissonance, being
    psychologically uncomfortable, will motivate the person to try to reduce
    the dissonance and achieve consonance.’

    ‘2. When dissonance is present, in addition to
    trying to reduce it, the person will likely avoid situations and
    information which would likely increase the dissonance. (Page 3)’

    ‘It would still be possible to reduce the
    dissonance by what also amounts to adding a new cognitive element, but
    of a different kind. He can admit to himself, and to others, that he
    was wrong.’ (Page 29)

    ‘Sometimes, however, the resistances against this are quite strong.’ (Page 29)

    That’s an understatement. Hubbard was in my opinion incapable of admitting he
    was wrong and not a great being far above all others. he was driven by
    his mental pathology. Doctor Daniel Shaw would call him a traumatic
    narcissist- a kind of malignant narcissist that uses trauma to control
    others to abuse and enslave them- it certainly fits. Hubbard lacked the
    emotional maturity and strength to consider being wrong, let alone admit
    it. He had no humility or true compassion.

    ‘A person would expose himself to sources of
    information which he expected would increase consonance but would
    certainly avoid sources which would increase dissonance.’ (Page 30)

    Hubbard in particular wanted information that agreed with his
    fantasies of godhood, superhuman competence and perfection. So he sought
    information that would support his desires by convincing others of the
    truth of them. He wanted to lie a false self into reality.

    In cognitive dissonance theory a way to increase consonant or agreeing
    elements is to find or convince others who hold the same beliefs. It is
    called the bandwagon fallacy in debate but it is human nature. If we get
    others to agree with opinions we feel they are proven true.

    So Hubbard like a narcissist seeking a beautiful refection in the mirror
    sought validation in the eyes and minds of his followers. He wanted to
    use them for the narcissistic supply he craved. Deep down a portion of
    his mind knew his dreams were counterfeit but tried to desperately fool
    himself by fooling others. This is why the narcissist is never satisfied
    no matter how many people they fool or how much wealth or power they
    attain, they deep down are hollow and empty and cannot fool the one
    person they cannot escape: themselves.

    • EmmaDaoust
      • Mockingbird

        Sam Vaknin is a controversial figure. Much of his information is in my opinion accurate for Hubbard.

        • EmmaDaoust

          And accurate for some others with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
          Edit to add: from my experience.

          • Mockingbird

            Yes. He has strong critics, but at times quotes good references, so I would recommend trying to confirm anything he says about anything. Sam Vaknin has credibility issues.

            Like some other writers he has been caught in lies, but doesn’t always lie. In particular in several documentaries on him instances of his faking credentials were brought up, among other issues.

            I fortunately have had the good fortune of running into writers like Tony Ortega and Jon Atack who to my knowledge have no such controversies hanging over them.

            • EmmaDaoust

              Well, Vaknin is an admitted Narcissist himself, so I gather he believes that gives him the ultimate credibility.

            • Mockingbird

              Haha. That’s funny.

    • Does anyone else feel like a post this long is inappropriate for this comment section?

      • Mockingbird

        It’s Tony Ortega’s call. I have seen several others post comments as long as mine. If he tells me has an objection I will take it into consideration. Doesn’t disqus just chop it down and make you open the whole thing up ?

        Anyone can skip it if they like.

      • Mockingbird

        I can write shorter comments.

      • Mockingbird

        🙂

      • Mockingbird

        Hi

      • Mockingbird

        😉

  • Jimmy3

    How to turn beer into sunscreen

    • Jimmy3

      Sry wrong windoq

      • flyonthewall

        nice that you have a hobby

      • Rasha

        In what way?

    • beauty for ashes

      Oooh ooh I know~
      1. fill a baby pool with beer
      2. immerse yourself in it.
      3. (optional) get one of them really crazy straws

  • Lousy Ratatouille

    I’ve read Vance Woodward v. Scientology Complaint for the first time and it was making me angry. And now an additional amount for attorney fees.
    A 14 year old boy must have been a gullible victim.
    At least the truth about the cult’s money scam is now known to the general public.
    I wish Vance the best.

    I include a vid by SurvivingScientology on the subject of requesting your money back.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKFP29HWGtA

    • beauty for ashes

      subtitled:
      ~not even with a black leather jacket on!
      ~nor with a rebel mustache and hair!
      ~certainly not with logic! *guffaws*

    • Mockingbird

      He looks stunned thinking about trying to get a refund from Scientology !

  • That’s why! F5

    • flyonthewall

      Hubbard has a rumbly in his tumbly. I hate that

      • That’s what they call Clear Sound

    • Mockingbird

      That’s funny.

  • Had Hillary giving a speech few hours ago only a block away from my place. I could almost hear guys in the helicopter and secret service dudes and their radio traffic “dude on the roof patio 9 o’clock, black hat, can of beer, pack of American Spirits, possibly torch lighter on top, mobile device in hands, appears upvoting comments in The Underground Bunker.” For like a whole hour. Pretty sure they know my name now too and all. It’s cool though.

    • Jimmy3

      TAKE THE SHOT
      Wait woah woah wait wait
      What the fuck you doing, Johnson? Put your rifle down. I meant hit this flask. Don’t shoot the fucking guy.

      • Lol No shots fired, just a lot of helicoptering in circles.

    • beauty for ashes

      baby blue American spirits or Yellow?

  • Intergalactic Walrus

    $cientologist LD Sledge has posted these photos of his art on Facebook. YIKES!
    CAPTION – “Some pieces with my good friend Trish Duggan”

    • Observer

      All I can think of is spoiled meat

    • daisy

      OMG How did he get an ex-ray of my liver ?

    • Xenu had a wife?

      • beauty for ashes

        Yea and she guest starred on Star Trek.

    • beauty for ashes

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAA…..AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
      I CAN”T EVEN YOU GUYS! WHAT IS THE ONE IN THE MIDDLE?

      • Observer

        A really crappy shoop.

        • beauty for ashes

          I mean… Does he?she know how absolutely hysterically funny that is? OOOh I hope Trish Duggan pays him astronomical amounts of money for these pictures! ANd she displays them proudly. XD

          • Observer

            Scientologists take pretty much everything they do deadly seriously thanks to Lafayette sucking all the fun out of everything. Except for the sadists. They get to keep having fun.

            • daisy

              LOL followed by a roar. scientology a new way to enjoy both S and M

            • Mockingbird

              They could get more people with that slogan !

      • Commodore H. McCringleberry

        Xenu.

    • Observer

      And speaking of Scientologist “artists”, it appears Joy Villa has at least temporarily shelved her singing aspirations in favor of…VEGAN DIET MAVEN.

      Her whole wall is now vegan spam interspersed with pics of her in her bikini with her bikini trophy.

      https://www.facebook.com/joyvilla/posts/10153914360373262?pnref=story

      • Intergalactic Walrus

        Grammy voters consider this a WIN!

      • Vaquera

        Her post on August 15th…f5

        • Observer

          Oyyyyy

        • HillieOnTheBeach

          Key word here is “potential” which is the kindergarden participation ribbon reality in which she lives.

          • Commodore H. McCringleberry

            Awesome. She got the “Most Improved” trophy on the tee ball team as well.

            A wise man once told me that our society is going downhill because we’ve removed the penalties for failure and being wrong. In the Roman Republic, when they built an arch, they made the guy who designed it stand underneath while they took down the scaffolding. Also, if you wanted to sue someone, you had to put up a bond for a percentage of the money for which you were suing. There were companies that would front you the money if they found your case had merit, but you lost the bond if you lost the case. . .

          • Harpoona Frittata

            Well, if you’ll recall, she was a “Grammy considered” artist, so a “potential reality show” takes her right on back up to those same oxygen-deprived heights once more 😉

            Personally, I believe that their imminent arrest as a couple by the L.A. Fashion Police – visual atrocities special unit could hamper their chances there.

      • EmmaDaoust

        Vegan Spam?

        • daisy

          You would have to fry the hell of it in butter to make that edible, and then just eat the butter… Oh wait butter isn’t vegan.

          • EmmaDaoust

            Well, you got your vegan butter now, eh?

    • Rasha

      This. Is bad. And Rasha is all for creativity and expression and avant garde, but bad Photoshop is bad. Rasha even does sketches and poetry, but knows when not to unleash it on an unsuspecting world.

      This is almost…… Mathers bad. It’s like the 70’s album you hide just because of the sleeve.

    • daisy

      Scientologist LD Sledge looks like he takes LSD . ( I am ashamed of this joke yet not ashamed enough to remove it )

      • Liberated

        It was a perfectly respectable joke.

    • Robert Eckert

      Between him and Trish, and Ted Stourton’s paintings and Nancy’s sculpture and the Feshbach’s skill at photography and Joy Vila’s talent at wardrobe, they almost come up to the artistic level of L. Ron Hubbard’s singing.

  • Ella Raitch

    Low.comment day…..is this hecause.everyone is like me in thinking “well, shit, that sucks” just isn’t trying hard enough (but about all I can come up with for legal losses against scientology – along with the weeping heart pm)

    • beauty for ashes

      I’m trying to be silly and raise spirits. It makes me look like I won’t shut up though! I hate that!

      • Baby

        Heh Beauty.. Wally showed a picture of Sledge’s art..I think he raised the spirit from hell..

    • Nah. Wednesday is a chill day.

    • daisy

      The drunks are just waking up.

  • Panopea Abrupta

    Some Gaelic that may help $cientology in their quest for translation:
    An té a luíonn le madaí, eiroidh sé le dearnaid.
    (He who lies down with dogs rises up with fleas)

    With a tone that’s so hysterical
    And “Justice” Chief most spherical,
    In your quest metaphysical
    Continue being quizzical
    Their cult’s obnoxiously cynical

    With legal twist most $cientological
    They now raise another obstacle
    So your blood will boil
    They blame Judge Doyle
    Their war is surely psychological

    These boys will outlive this abomination, methinks.

    • Baby

      awwwwwww…Look at those boys.. Love the shirts..beautiful family..

    • Vaquera

      Awe, little Pan and big little Pan.
      I wanna scoop ‘um up. xoxo

    • Rasha

      Those eyes say, “I can teach you a thing or two.” ^_^

      …and I’d sit and listen, believe you me.

    • daisy

      Best friends …..can you die from cuteness.?

    • aegerprimo

      SUPER CUTENESS!

    • Mockingbird

      Two new recruits for the new golden age cadet org !!!! ( ducks incoming bullets )

      • iampissed

        Funny I was thinking the young one is saying lets talk about this. The older one is
        Thinking no need I’ve got this.

        • Mockingbird

          🙂

    • thetastic

      Sweet Jesus they are beautiful.

    • Robert Eckert

      Little one’s getting so big!

    • aquaclara

      Adorable!

    • Gertrudis

      Aww, look at those little matching Pun’kins. Each one cuter than the next.

    • TheMirrorThetan

      The little one has grown so huge. 🙂

  • beauty for ashes

    Aw crap, remember the other night when we were talking about sciatica? My mom has no diagnosis as of yet, but just decided she was in so much agony she had to go to the emergency room. Send positive thoughts and prayers her way. She feels very very exasperated. I’m not sure the emergency room is going to help either. you know, because there is only so much they can do. Crap Crap Crap.

    • daisy

      Allieve ( naproxen ) or Robaxeset ( not sure of generic name or spelling ) are over the counter meds and fairly good pain relievers for ongoing back and sciatic pain. Check with pharmacist about other drug interactions with both. She may have a pinched nerve if she is in agony Thoughts and prayers on the way.

    • OOkpik

      Positive thoughts are on the way. Hang in there Mom.

    • beauty for ashes

      Sorry six siblings texting,check back later guys.

      • TexasBroad

        Six siblings….me too. Best thing I did last family emergency was to set up a closed FB page with only my closest family members in it….info can be posted without any other FB friends seeing it. Updates can be given once instead of repeatedly, everyone knows everything at the same time, visit and care schedules can be coordinated more easily, etc.
        Best to your mom, Beauty.

        • iampissed

          That’s a great use/thought

        • beauty for ashes

          No, I want to talk to everyone. I used to be youngest of eight. My oldest sister died in October, and now, I’m probably overreacting and overcompensating.
          But thank you TX broad, very sweet of you. <3

      • Free Minds, Free Hearts

        CaringBridge is a wonderful site for sharing about someone with an illness – set it up so people have to get permission to view it, then invite friends and family.

    • aegerprimo

      I hope she will be able to get an epidural and exercise plan before needing surgery. By all means pursue all options before spinal surgery.
      ++++ thoughts your way!

      • beauty for ashes

        Thanks Honey bunches. My mom birthed eight children and is a survivor of breast and lymph cancer. She was okay this afternoon, not good. All of a sudden a knock on my door and she’s going to the hospital. I just have never seen her like this. I know it is hell for her, and there is nothing I can do to make it better.

        • aegerprimo

          Just be there for her.

  • Intergalactic Walrus

    Anyone know if the signs these Clearwater Academy grads are flashing have any CO$ significance? Is there an Ron series “Gangsta” book I’ve overlooked?
    (refresh)

    • daisy

      Lamest boy band ever.

      • Intergalactic Walrus

        Boyz II Clams?
        New Clams on the Block?

        ETA: Backstreet Clams?

        • daisy

          giggling

        • Commodore H. McCringleberry

          98 Degrees Today in the Hole.

      • aegerprimo

        They suck at Jazz Hands for sure.

    • Rasha

      “We get our thumbs back once we’ve paid the loans for these courses! YAY!”

    • Flubbless and thumbless!

    • Mockingbird

      They may be imitating the four horsemen from pro wrestling.

    • aquaclara

      Oh, goody. 2 graduates of the play-dough school for scandal. What a banner year.

  • aegerprimo

    Summer 2016 is almost over, and the Co$ continues it’s downward spriral. View the Church of Scientology – negative publicity threads at your favorite chat forum / discussion board.

    August 2016…

    ESMB – Ex-Scientology Message Boardhttp://www.forum.exscn.net/showthread.php?41357-Church-of-Scientology-Negative-Publicity-Collection-%96-2016&p=1112733&viewfull=1#post1112733

    WWP – Why We Protesthttps://whyweprotest.net/threads/church-of-scientology-negative-publicity-collection-%E2%80%93-2016.131131/#post-2591529

    OCMB – Operation Clambake Message Boardhttp://ocmb.xenu.net/ocmb/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=305337&p=736226#p736226

    RFTTP – Reaching For The Tipping Pointhttp://forum.reachingforthetippingpoint.net/index.php/topic,12976.msg36963.html#msg36963

    ESK – Ex-Scientology Kidshttp://www.exscientologykids.com/eskforums/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=11517&p=35136#p35136

    • Rasha

      Thank you, Aeger!

    • iampissed

      Thank you

    • aquaclara

      You do an awesome job with these, AP. It is so much fun looking back to see how much havoc everyone caused for the Tin Sailor and his Faux Navy each month. A good month for us is a lot of work for you, so sending you treble thanks and an Honorarious Maximum Applause-Ishness Award for Valor and uhm, Details.

      Would you like a blue ribbon or a red ribbon with your award?

      • aegerprimo

        I’d like some caek. ☺

  • iampissed

    From IMDB Triva “Joy is a Scientologist, and is frequently to be found working for them.”
    Is this trivia or a warning?

    • Mockingbird

      A trivial warning.

      • iampissed

        Ohhhh…SNAP

  • Vaquera

    Big, boisterous birthday wishes to the Bard of the Bunker!
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY Panopea!!!! MWAH!

    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/d8/be/b0/d8beb08d5507ea6e3bef6c3e4bb1c696.gif

    • daisy

      Oh Happy Birthday Pan. I hope you had a great day. I admired your presents earlier. Now go compose a birthday poem and put my name on it . I am sure glad someone keeps track of these things. Yeah Boots

    • Mockingbird

      HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Happy one, Dear Pan!
      You have a beautiful family, good Sir.

      • What’sup

        A belated Happy Birthday to you mate.

    • Illinoisian

      Adding my Midwestern voice to the chorus: Happy Birthday, Pan! May today, and all your days, be a celebration of what is fine and beautiful.

    • flyonthewall
      • Baby

        OH Fly this is beautiful..wow..

  • Mockingbird

    WAY OT. I was looking for something and found several of my blog posts reposted at THINGS TO KNOW. Does anybody know who is the author of that blog !?

    http://thingstoknow10.blogspot.com/2015/12/mockingbirds-greatest-hits.html

    • Jimmy3

      Thas one of my parody blogs
      I don’t really know anything or believe anyone else should either.

      • Mockingbird

        uh…..ok….

        • flyonthewall

          stop pretending you’re the man from Mars and don’t get jokes. I know you get jokes. ADMIT IT!!

          • Mockingbird

            Hehehe 😂

      • Mockingbird

        That’s a short and consistent philosophy.

      • Mockingbird

        Now in the future I can use your quote . But Jimmy you said you don’t know anything.

    • aquaclara

      Nice. 🙂

      • Mockingbird

        I was curious who is putting this out there ?

    • you forgot the link

      • Mockingbird

        I wasn’t trying to repost my own blog again. I was asking whose blog it is.

        • but don’t you have a link to this other blog?

        • Baby

          Bird.. I went looking.. We can’t find it without the link… All I found was

          5 things to learn sushi
          25 things to learn about painting
          blah,blah,blah

          • Mockingbird

            That’s better than anything I wrote anyway.

            • Baby

              I upvoted you..but doesn’t mean I agree with you at all silly.. You have excellent writing skills.

            • Mockingbird

              Me no write good bad write do.

            • Baby

              hahaha Fer Sher

          • Mockingbird
            • Baby

              It is French. ( If you look at the Months on the right hand side..) Mars us a month in French..

              It must be translated to English..

              I would be very flattered.. He/she gives you credit .. and is very well written. I read a few posts on it..

              I searched and just can not find who has the blog though..sorry

            • Mockingbird

              Thanks. If it was a Bunkeroo or someone somebody here knows I wanted to know who. I think they have some of Tony Ortega’s stuff there too FYI.

            • Baby

              OMG they have every ones.. seriously.. but as I said they give everyone credit. I think it would only drive traffic to the original blogs.

              Especially since we have never heard of it.. so I know I ‘m sure many people haven’t.

      • Mockingbird
  • Rasha

    Wish I’d written a poem
    Thank you, Vaquera
    Much Caek, Very Birthday, Pan.

  • Jo

    Happy birthday Pan x

  • chukicita

    Pan, I called the Pope and we had a talk and this is your birthday present:

    http://usuncut.com/world/pope-francis-calls-for-ending-tax-exempt-status-of-churches-that-dont-help-the-needy/

    EDIT: And I’m going directly to hell.

    • chukicita

      Oh, and also, it’s been raining in Clearwater since last night.

      • aquaclara

        Good luck with the weather down there. Jim Cantore is having a good time weather-watching. Relative had a bridge game cancelled today…causing a schedule crisis among the older set.

        • chukicita

          You know when Jim Cantore’s in your town it’s gonna be a bad day.

          • aquaclara

            Fun to watch, though. Just not when that’s your road. Seriously, good luck, and stay dry.

  • Intergalactic Walrus

    I’ll let you come up with your own LRH “gas” joke! Hehe
    (refresh)

    • Gertrudis

      “Good deal? Ha!” Fixed it for him/her.

      “…a fuel tank of gas on their car.” WTF?

  • flyonthewall

    before I go I just want to make sure all or at least some of you have nightmares tonight. You’re welcome. f5

    • Robert Eckert
      • flyonthewall

        i heard that was coming but had not seen any pix yet. Thnx! f5

      • Jimmy3

        Like anyone would be afraid of anything that wears such a fucking goofy, rufflyOH GOD IT CAME THROUGH THE TOILET HOLY SHIT

        IT SWIMS THRU PLUMBING FUCKING RUN GO NOW GO

    • Gertrudis

      Nosferatu!

    • aquaclara

      And here I thought I liked you. Make those nightmares go away, please.

      • flyonthewall

        hmph! Ok f5

        • aquaclara

          That better be a muppet or a cupcake or I am not f5ing. You made me look at the last ones…..:(

          • flyonthewall

            it’s safe i promise

            • Gertrudis

              Don’t look, Aquaclara – you won’t like it.

            • flyonthewall

              NARC!

            • Gertrudis

              Hey, turning-head Nosferatu was nightmarish enough, but Jaws in the pool? Scariness overload!

            • aquaclara

              Not looking….thank you. Where did our warm and fuzzy Fly go? Must be the back-to-school nuttiness setting in- last time to scare the kids before they have to go back.

            • Gertrudis

              I blame Drumpf.

        • Baby

          I think the shark symbolizes the Rio Bathroom .. and yes.. It got him BIG time.

    • beauty for ashes

      Ha haa is that a bacon costume being dragged down a hallway?
      And the hanging girl is obviously wearing a harness.
      No one should be afraid of german expressionism,
      and lastly from what I hear,
      that mummy has a better smile than you do!!

      • daisy

        I do not want to violate your privacy but is mom getting pain relief ? I hope so Thanks for the up date above. ER*s are hell manifested on earth

        • beauty for ashes

          She took something called hydrocodone Tylenol, at around four today. I have no idea what dose it was in a little sealed tab which I handed her. Do you think I can call the hospital and see if she’s even been seen yet?

          • daisy

            Yes. Don’t be surprised if she hasn’t been. After 4 hrs or so pain relief is likely worn off . depending on what the cause is. Advise her to take a stool softener when she is able if she continues with that same med.

            • beauty for ashes

              I think she went two hours later. She already has some stomach issues like diverticulitis, she hasn’t been on this for more than a few days.
              I did give her some magnesium to take for stool softener, I don’t know if she did.

        • Kay

          Yes, ERs ARE hell manifested on earth, and I say that as I am surreptitiously typing this whilst sitting next to Mr. Kay who is an ER Doc…..LOL.

          To Beauty for Ashes: If your Mom went to a big ER it could be a long time before you hear back. I don’t know what the story is on her, but often vague complaints of indigestion in women can actually indicate a heart issue, so if you want her to get bumped to the front of the line and are able to talk to her at some point you might advise her to mention to the nurse that she has heard that stomach problems can sometimes mean heart problems….hint hint hint….if they know their stuff or are worried about liability at that point they will put her on a monitor and things will move faster. Hopefully they have already done that, which would explain why it’s taken so long. If they haven’t, try to make sure that they do check that out.

          • beauty for ashes

            Hi KAY!!!!!! Its just nice to hear from you. 🙂 There is a pain issue in her back, but she is also having stomach discomfort. Its just getting so much worse so fast. I mean eight kids and a cancer survivor. I’ve never seen her this inconsolable.
            PS~How are YOU?

  • Free Minds, Free Hearts

    Oh Pan Happy Birthday!!!!!

  • Mockingbird

    Tony Ortega and Rick Alan Ross are both quoted in an article:
    The Cult of Trump

    http://www.gq.com/story/the-cult-of-trump

    • Interesting… many things or evils get’s explained by the Cult argument these days!

      • Mockingbird

        It’s a lot to explain. There is material from propaganda analysis, rhetoric, mass movements, totalitarianism, hypnotism, neuroscience and other subjects in the cult argument.

        • I know… It’s interesting!

    • daisy

      One of my best and smartest most sensible friends has repeatedly insisted he would never have been trapped in a cult, even young. I tended to believe him, and then he became a fan of Trump….

      • EmmaDaoust

        Yes, I believe they call that the “I’d never get sucked into a cult, Superiority Complex” …

      • Mockingbird

        Yep.

      • Liberated

        Most of us that were mentally trapped in this god forsaken cult said exactly the same thing.
        Doesn’t matter what it is, Trump or Hubbard, they pander to the lowest common denominator in
        people. They prey upon weaknesses and vulnerabilities.
        Aren’t we all looking for something better? It’s not the gullible’s fault, it’s the two-bit con’s fault.

    • Mighty Korgo of Teegeeack

      Read it. Thanks.

  • chukicita

    The view from my front porch of infinity (still hoping I don’t have to go to work tomorrow):

    • I like to see the kid’s notes from parents to their teachers!

  • beauty for ashes

    Jokes on me folks, Having insisted my Mom take the phone charger, it looks as though she has not turned the phone on. No word from ER. Please Xenu let it be gas. And please as soon as I send this let them just come home!

    • vicariousthrill

      Wishing for good outcome right along with you.

    • Free Minds, Free Hearts

      Well ER is very slow sometimes, and also may not let her use the phone. My best wishes are for you and your mom.

      • beauty for ashes

        Thanks <3<3<3

    • Baby

      Oh honey I know you are worried. Sigh.. Sending my Garden Angel your way… xo Love baby f5

      • beauty for ashes

        So beautiful and sparkly!!!!!!

    • Kay

      Don’t panic…….see my post a little further down. ER’s can sometimes take forever, truly. It depends on patient loads and acuity. Several hour waits are not unusual in busy areas. Also, no bad news at this point is a good thing…if something really serious was going on, if she couldn’t call you a staff member would call you for her. Other than that, see my info regarding stomach issues in women below, it may be important, although I don’t know what is going on with your mom. (I assume some kind of gastric distress or maybe discomfort in the abdomen or chest from what you said, but I’m guessing)

  • Supper Powers

    Very OT that has me the sads. And the totally pissed offs as I drift off into a medicated sleep: More anthropogenic urban island biogeography. Crap.
    http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-mountain-lions-threat-20160830-snap-story.html

    • beauty for ashes

      Hope you have good sleeps SP.

      • Supper Powers

        Thanks.
        OG Kitteh. F5

    • Baby

      ** GOIN IN.. If I’m not back in 15 minutes come get me..! “

      • It’s safe 🙂 now don’t make a havoc “over there”

        • Baby

          hahhahahhaha..Who Me? A Baby? Don’t be silly… xo

    • Harpoona Frittata

      Whoa, what an interesting read!

      • daisy

        IKR He has no idea he is still in.

        • Harpoona Frittata

          Or, both in and out at the same time!

        • Gertrudis

          He is still Drinking Deeply.

        • 0tessa

          Oh no, he is out as out can be.

          • daisy

            Not sure what you mean, I was referring to the way he thinks.

        • UhLasare

          Is everything ok, Daisy? People have noticed your absence from our cult, and are worried. Report in if you can! Otherwise we’ll send goons after you!

          • daisy

            Thank you so much for your concern. I was fine but my computer was very sick. Most of my friends work so I didn’t want to impose on their computers. Now I wish I had. Sorry for the worry

            • UhLasare

              Was thinking about you today. So glad to “see” you! Hope competer fixed!

    • solnabon

      So, he’s Miscavige’s guy again. Another U-turn. Well, some posts last autumn indicated he was going that direction.https://markrathbun.wordpress.com/2015/11/17/when-distraction-becomes-destructive/

      • solnabon

        And AGP had some speculations about this in February.http://ocmb.xenu.net/ocmb/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=305385

        • solnabon

          From Martys blog:
          Ron Miscavige and his co-writer Koon have clearly taken to the anti-scientology agenda with some enthusiasm. It has created a Kafkaesque reality where Scientology (and by extension Ron’s son) has become in the words of former Scientology PR man Mike Rinder, “Fair Game.” He defined that in a podcast as meaning one “can do or say anything against Scientology” and get off scot free.

          * * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
          I believe it’s Jeffrey Augustines podcast in early January he refers to. But what Rinder is actually saying is since there is no risque of sued by Scientology, anybody can speak up about them without consequences.
          And that the blame for that lies with Scientology and their leader, whom they absolutely can’t let witness.http://youtu.be/iCO_7gQeN5Q

          • Thanks for your “collection” – i will only add, that his timing seems odd!

            • solnabon

              I really hope I will be proven wrong about this, but is Marty possibly dead-agenting himself just in time for the premiere of Louis Theroux movie?
              Something seems to be going on.

            • 🙂 I think it’s a good idea to hold back speculations and let the events takes it’s own turns!
              PopCorn anyone?

    • 0tessa

      Very interesting indeed. Puts things in a different light, e.g. the ‘if he dies, let him die’. Not so strange when your father beat the hell out of you when a child.
      Now I see why I could not finish Ron’s book and found it not interesting at all.

  • Dave Reams

    The Hollywood Reporter: How Hollywood Stars, Trump and Scientologists Flame the Vaccine Wars: “It’s Spurious But Effective” http://google.com/newsstand/s/CBIwhqiHuS0

  • Gertrudis
    • beauty for ashes

      Nat just invited me to one of her funny off topic discussions, if you need to talk to her.
      https://disqus.com/home/discussion/channel-offtopic/has_the_disqus_block_feature_solved_your_troll_problem/

      • Gertrudis

        Awesome Beauty, thank you very much.

      • Gertrudis

        Beauty — Sorry to hear your Mom had to stay overnight; she is in good hands though so try not to worry too much. I know it’s hard when it’s your Mom, though …

        • beauty for ashes

          Gertie you are adorable. I am a patent worrier though and even she knows it.

          • Gertrudis

            Am the same way with my Mom, but wouldn’t have it any other way! I like “patent worrier,” just perfect …

  • TheMirrorThetan

    Happy Birthday Pan! Hope you have a great day.

  • beauty for ashes

    O/T Mom ER update. Hey Y’all Dad is home, Mom is staying overnight. They did find something to stop her pain, thank God. But they did find something on her T11, and since my mom is allergic to whatever is used for contrast, they didn’t do that. So MRI tomorrow. I think I got that right, that was the longest most anxiety filled conversation with my father, I’ve had in years. Whew. Thanks for all the support tonight everybody, if I didn’t have online jigsaw puzzles and you I would have surely lost it! <3 <3 <3

    • Baby

      Oh honey.. Will be thinking of you.. Go to bed honey.. Love youf5

      • beauty for ashes

        Love you Auntie Babe! poor smooshie doogie! lol 🙂

  • Baby

    Night all.. Be good in here.. stay safe.. f5

  • Ha ha VM lost counts…. What did they do? Lost their address list to send out “free” T-Shirts…F5

    • Liberated

      All I’ve ever seen the cult do is create pain and confusion wherever they go, never actually help.

      • everywhere they go there will be a catastrophe, so they mark that with a red dot!

        • Liberated

          I have to ask you, I read the “Marty” blog you posted, I’m not sure what to think.
          What is your opinion?

          • I don’t exactly have an opinion, it’s more an observation, that this post is productive in the deconstruction of the scam, and the people behind it.

          • Baby

            If it Looks Like a Duck
            and Quacks like a duck
            and walks like a Duck..

            THEN DUCK IT’S DM…
            …………………………………………………………
            Wasn’t crazy about Koon’s assistance in book..

            Some of the points that M made .. makes sense.

    • Graham

      Looks like they’ve given the world a bad case of measles! There seem to be three dots in England. Never heard of them ever doing anything here. I’m guessing the map is… er… slightly inaccurate.

    • Baby

      BULL SHIT.

    • Rasha

      Haven’t they noticed that wherever they are is where the pain is? I want to see follow up on individuals in catastrophic situations who have recovered and benefitted from Scientology Volunteer Minister “Pull My Finger, Thank You” photo ops. At best, these parasitic Hubbanomas can only take water from real rescue and aid workers, and hand it to victims, miming to them to smile for the photographer, who, unlike them, gets a nice flight back to shoop their photos.

      I’m sure Ayal Lindenan has lost count. He’s also forgotten the names, drowned out the cries and washed off the dirt in his race for stats. Earthquake? 970 TWTH booklets. Landslide? At least 3 photos smiling with surviving family members – Thumbs up, guys! Have a t-shirt! We’ll bill ya later for it!

      …………… Aagghh.

      • And those VM’s who actually do something, like taking pictures, do it for free! he he… Free Help! Two touchassist for One prize.. Oh Brother!