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Child deaths at a pop concert turn into the latest chance for Scientology to spread its propaganda

Rod Keller keeps an eye on Scientology’s sneaky front groups like the ‘Volunteer Ministers,’ who always try to take advantage of human tragedy…

Twenty-two people were killed by a bomb at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England on Monday night, prompting Scientology Volunteer Ministers to rush into action. Late last year SAVE (Scientology Aid Volunteers England) and Executive Director Neil Martland received the donation of a used Ford Transit van, which they have painted to resemble an emergency vehicle with “Mobile Support Unit” and “Something Can Be Done About It” on the sides and back.


On Tuesday members rushed to local Adsa and Tesco grocery stores to request donations of food and water to be brought to emergency workers at the bombing site. Officers didn’t appear too receptive, however.


With donated food and water not being needed, Scientology turned instead to literature distribution. The Way to Happiness booklet by L. Ron Hubbard is held by Scientology to be a cure-all for social unrest. As Hubbard wrote “All you have to do is keep that booklet flowing in the society. Like gentle oil spread upon the raging sea, the calm will flow outward and outward.” The response from Mancunians to the Scientologists was mixed, with some appearing enthusiastic in photos and others hiding their faces from the camera.


We asked a former staff member about the booklet and its purpose.

“The Way to Happiness became a huge money spinner and management realized that asking people for money for booklets after a tragedy (flood, fire, disaster, war, etc.) was easier than just asking for straight donations from people. It’s always easy to get people to part with money if you push the button of tragedy and immediate need for relief and the book became the perfect tool for this.”


The Way to Happiness is supposed to be an independent organization within Scientology, but in Manchester we see Volunteer Ministers distributing the booklet.

“I always got so confused between TWTH and VMs who are supposed to be the people on the ground delivering help and solutions using the various VM Handbook tools. It seemed like TWTH and VM lines became blurred at some point and they even started pushing TWTH from the VM Cavalcade program but in fact the two are totally separate activities.”

The booklet consists of 21 precepts about how to have a happy life. Why is it appropriate in cases like the Manchester bombing?

“I always thought it rather incongruous handing someone who’d just suffered terrible loss or tragedy a WTH booklet with precepts like ‘Love and Honor Your Parents’ or ‘Be Industrious’ to someone who’s just lost his entire house and livelihood in a flood or hurricane or similar. At the end of the day, it boils down to the money. The tragedy is just another convenient tool for the church to use to guilt people into coughing up money.”

Scientologists donate $18 per bundles of 12 booklets, which cost the church a very small fraction of that to print, since they own modern printing plants in the U.S. and Europe.


The new front group STAND (Scientologists Taking Action Against Discrimination) took time out from bashing Leah Remini and others appearing in the A&E show Scientology and the Aftermath to issue a video in support of the Manchester Victims. As of this writing the video has received 38 views.

— Rod Keller


Bonus items

David Miscavige made yet another appearance yesterday to open a new building for the Church of Scientology. This was the new “Ideal Org” in Copenhagen, which already has an “Advanced Org.” Scientology says 2,500 people showed up, so if we divide by the usual factor of 7, there were probably more like 400 in attendance.


Yesterday we featured some pages from the newest Source magazine. One thing we didn’t mention is that a man named Eiman Rahnama from Los Angeles was held up as someone who had signed on for the most expensive auditing level of all — OT 7. And just after a week into his OT 7 experience, he met and later got engaged to someone we know here at the Bunker very well, the glamorous Meghan Fialkoff, who, with her father, Queens dentist Bernard Fialkoff, infiltrates New York City schools to push Scientology’s controversial anti-drug theories. Well, we wish the best for OT 7 Eiman and Freedom Medal winner Meghan.



Countdown to Denver!


HowdyCon 2017: Denver, June 23-25 at the Residence Inn Denver City Center. Go here to start making your plans.


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,764 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,521 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 1,867 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,361 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,401 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy in 1,113 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 639 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,728 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 1,868 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,188 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,163 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 519 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin in 4,821 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 928 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,330 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,203 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 784 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike in 1,289 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,533 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,642 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on May 28, 2017 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, Kindle, and audiobook versions. 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.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2016 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Undergound Bunker (2012-2016), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

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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  • AngryNotSoOldHippy .

    Gods, how filthy. πŸ™ Ugly. These filthy criminals just love it when people die and there’s money to be made from victims and money to be taken from gullible people who think that handing these filthy criminals money under fraudulent pretext is “helping.” πŸ™

    Fucking monsters!

  • Andrew Robertson
  • Bob Crouch

    It’s telling: At no point did the “church” open its wallet. This multi-billion dollar organization asked others to donate food. Then they suggested that help could be brought to the world by buying goods from the “church” and generating a profit for them. All the while making sure their unproductive and cynical exercise would generate plenty of PR shots. Sick!

    • Also, the leaflets distributed were bought by individual Scientologists at a massive mark-up. Sometimes they are just sent to orgs, who are required to buy them.

      It’s all about money, and getting images for Scientology propaganda with the minimum amount of effort.

      • Bob Crouch

        Well, social betterment is their banner issue after all. Makes perfect sense if one considers how this cherch was founded by a great humanitarian. Well, at least in their telling of the story

        • None of the other ‘social betterment’ organisations are any better – in fact Narconon kills people, Applied Scholastics deprives kids of an eduction, and the WISE guys bankrupt small businesses.

          PS Hubbard was a medical innovator, musician, photographer, author, scientist, researcher, inventor, film-maker, prospector, mariner, explorer, expert on world religions, undercover agent, business administrator, educator and pioneer in drug rehabilitation – to name but a few.

          Makes you wonder how he managed to pack that all into a mere 75 years – especially considering the years he spent in hiding.

          • Bob Crouch

            You have to hand it to him. Most folks try to slide by with a small lie every now and again. Not this one!

            • It’s easy for him, because he only speaks to people who want to hear those lies, to reassure themselves that they have not wasted their lives on Scientology or to people who are afraid to speak the truth because they might (for example) lose their families &/or be ‘sec-checked’ and required to spend money ‘repairing’ the slightest dissent.

              When you are never contradicted, lying must become effortless.

              However, he does not speak to the public or to the mainstream media ever since he had his arse handed to him on “Nightline” by Ted Koppel in 1992 He can’t get away with anything when he encounters the wider world – that’s why he hides from it.

            • Bob Crouch

              It’s telling that to this day in the rooms of scientology his Koppel appearance is considered a triumph. Even now, you will find scilons posting links to the interview and urging folks to watch it. They will tell you that Miscavige was so good that the show received an award. Which is like saying that the Holocaust was such a wonderful social experiment that several award-winning books were written about it!

              When challenged on the point, the irony is totally lost on them that they have to point to a 25-year old show to witness their master communicator leader applying Ron’s “tech” to vanquish all opposition to the one and only truth for the last time.

              As the man said: “Don’t you know that the hypnotized never lie…”

            • Confirmation bias is a wonderful thing.

          • April

            That long list of pursuits reminds me of the saying, “jack of all trades, master of none.”
            Hubbard was a master hypnotist, I’ll give him that much.

      • mandymarie20

        They should just give them to a pet store. At least they would be useful – as litter box material.

        • I’ve watched Scientologists handing out leaflets, and the only people they seem to benefit is street cleaners. At least 90% go in the nearest bin or on the ground.

          It’s also good for me, because it’s the only way I can get one. I’ve not been ‘uptone’ (i.e. prosperous-looking) enough to be given one.

  • Bob Crouch

    If swindling money out of well-meaning people would cure the world’s ills, Scientology would have ushered in a golden age $$$ billions ago.

  • Mick Roberts

    Despicable. That is all…..

  • Faux Gibbler

    They offer nothing for those in need.

    • Doing so is specifically forbidden by Hubbard’s policy of ‘fair exchange’. If you ‘give’ something you must receive something of equal value in return. Charity, according to Hubbard, degrades both the donor and the recipient.

      At least creating a ‘religion’ that forbids charity is original.

      • Taffy Sinclair

        But I’ve never seen them turn down a donation for an “Idle Morgue” or SP building!!

        • Quite.

          ‘Fair exchange’ was created by Hubbard to justify the fact that the didn’t want any of ‘his’ money going to charity. That’s how it’s applied.

          I suppose the CofS would argue that, since Scientology is going to make you immortal and omnipotent, and save the planet , you are getting for more in return for your donations than you could possibly deserve. ‘Fair exchange’ has been made.

          Money flows in. It is never paid out if you can possibly avoid it – and there are thought-tight justifications for the all of the sharp practices that result. Hubbard even had a written policy describing how to avoid paying bills.

  • screaming harpy

    As a Brit who lives in a city a couple of hours from Manchester and who had two friends working in that building on the night of the bombing and can see how traumatized they are this makes me sick to my stomach. Those disgusting grins on their faces in a city which is grieving is beyond inappropriate. This is ambulance chasing at its lowest.

    • If VMs had encountered those friends, they would have tried to keep them out the hand of ‘psychs’ (who might have offered counselling) and bring them to Scientology by selling them ‘courses’.

      These would probably start with a mad staring contest which induces a dissociated state and hallucinations – the very last thing they would need.

      It’s all pretty low.

      BTW, I live in Plymouth, but I’m with the people of Manchester in spirit.

    • OOkpik

      Scream it from the rooftops, Harpy. This shit has got to stop.
      And welcome to the Bunker.

  • Richard

    I wonder if David Miscavige would stoop this low. Probably not. But maybe only because England is a first world country and information can easily be verified

    • Okay, well Miscavige doesn’t have to stoop much to go low.

      (I’m not talking about physical stature either.)

      • Observer

        Low is his natural state of beingness.

    • I think it’s feasible that he would try.

      After all, the general public don’t know or care what happens inside a Scientology ‘event’ and UK Scientologists would know an ‘acceptable truth’ when they heard one, and keep the mouths shut (especially considering its source).

      I would not put anything past them.

      PS: he wouldn’t express himself so clearly though.

    • J. Swift

      Richard, you are correct. This will actually happen. David Miscavige will say words to this effect in one of his Danny Sherman speeches.

  • BlueHeronBay
    • Wow – my VCR must be full of Theta programming – let’s look. Damn! It can’t be working – there’s absolutely nothing here.

      Perhaps there’s something online…. no – nothing there either. Whatever can I be doing wrong?

    • Kestrel

      SMP broadcast the best programming it will ever produce in the last year.

      • Puget Buckeye

        I know that I’ve really enjoyed it!

      • If only Miscavige would produce similar content.

  • One year ago today Ed Parkin told me I was an SP. This is a photo of him smiling. (F5)

    • Have you got any pictures of him looking miserable?
      They would be something.

    • Puget Buckeye

      As I’ve said before, Scientologists always look so miserable and sour. (But I can see by today’s post, the VMs can smile for a photo op.) What do you imagine is going on in his head?

      • I’m coming to believe that Scientologists who take the TRs seriously learn to enter a dissociated state at will.

        To answer your question: there is very little going on in his head, because he has met an SP and, not being able to run away, has gone to his internal ‘safe place’.

        Psychologically, he’s just not registering what’s going on around him, and won’t resume doing so until the SP goes away.

        • Puget Buckeye

          What a miserable existence. Sad.

          • It’s a defence mechanism to preserve his fragile beliefs – beliefs whose pursuit brings about his miserable existence.

            Having to deny the evidence of your own eyes (that the SP is evidently in fine fettle, and not the wasted ‘degraded being’ that Hubbard said he should be) is only part of his problem.

      • He’s probably going for the ‘ethics presence’ look.

    • Eivol Ekdal

      What a day!
      Edit: Different day perhaps, Ed’s wearing different clothes.

      • Robert Eckert

        Did you ever find out who Tough Bananas is?

      • Yes, different day, same guy. This was at the Battlefield Earth launch. I had an hour long conversation with Ed that day.

    • Ha ha… He appear as this Nazi character from Raiders of the Lost Ark

      • Liberated

        Wow, now that you mention it…he really does look like him.

        • Sherbet

          I think he looks like Tim Gunn, too.

          • Liberated

            Ok, but I like Tim Gunn.

            • Sherbet


      • April

        The resemblance is uncanny.
        So uncanny, in fact, that the guy in the pic #2 is the first thing I thought of when I saw pic #1, even before scrolling down to pic #2.

      • iampissed

        I was just thinking the same thing….great minds and all that.

      • Rasha

        LOL! Toht!

    • GrangerFX
    • J. Swift

      Phil, I remember the Vulcan-eared, cravat-wearing Ed Parkin skulking around in his cowboy hat on the street during the opening of SMP. He acted like the opening of SMP was some cosmic event. I noticed the usual heavy weekend traffic driving by on Sunset and no one knew or even cared what was happening with SMP.

      Like all other things Scientology, SMP was DOA. One year and SMP still has no product.

      • I was kind of hoping they’d start broadcasting. We could have so much fun watching their corny antics.

        • J. Swift

          SMP can’t begin broadcasting until OTIX and OTX are released, the planned LRH Hall in Clearwater is opened, and all Orgs are Ideal McSuperSized.

          • Could be any time now, couldn’t it?

            • J. Swift

              Phil don’t be glib. Time is just an agreement thetans made. Time is mocked up and means nothing. The only thing that is real in Scientology is the money. Thus, the money has to be fundraised before these things can manifest in the MEST universe. In the meantime, all Scientologists need to complete the Super Power Rundown and get their 118,912 perceptics rehabilitated.


            • When Scientology finally converges with time and manifests in the physical universe it will result a broken Timex watch that won’t even be right twice a day.

          • Puget Buckeye

            So, next week, the week after? Or more like never.

    • Puget Buckeye

      SP? Super Papa. (I know, cheesy, but it just came to me.)

    • OOkpik

      He looks—broken.
      And here you are, bright eyed and bushy tailed.

    • JaxNGold

      What an asshole. Looks like a younger version of the creepy old bastard from Poltergeist 2 (horrible film).

      And is that an ascot? Double douche.

  • nottrue
  • nottrue

    DM is afraid to open his fuckin mouth except when he is in his bubble.. .. Then shit flows out…… ,, Damn I wish the IRS and FBI would wake up.. Hey Bubble People.. The Con is expanding nothing else..

  • willloomis

    Did you know psychiatrists use to be called alienists? Maybe Scientology is on to something.

  • Jeb Burton

    It is amazing how tone deaf the cult is. This horrific situation isn’t an earthquake or hurricane. Food and water are the last things the city and families need. Money and compassion are the only things that will help the victims families. It really is something how stupid Scientology is. How anybody could join this bunch of scamsters is beyond me. Insane philosophy and bat shit crazy members.

  • Shivani33

    Cruise’s Mummy premiere in London has been cancelled due to the Manchester terror attack. But Roger Friedman wrote a short piece at Showbiz 411, “Johnny Depp and Tom Cruise: Two Movie Stars Who Can’t Really Promote Their Blockbuster Movies.” The May 25th article reminds its readers just how come Cruise is a big publicity headache. One word. Scientology.

    • Liberated

      Aww…we’re so sorry Tom was inconvenienced by the horrific attack.

      How could something that awful happen to such a big being ?

    • PeaceMaker

      Thanks for that.

      Here’s a quote on the state of Cruise’s career, from the piece:

      “For Cruise, if β€œThe Mummy” is a moderate hit, he’ll be more than happy. Cruise hasn’t had a real hit outside of the β€œMission: Impossible” movies and β€œEdge of Tomorrow” for some time. ”

      The MI movies are also slowly declining in revenue, and investors are increasingly unhappy because Cruise’s salary demands live them with slim profits – at some point, that equation will probably start to turn on him in an ugly way. He also hasn’t even been nominated for a major award in ages, much less ever won and Oscar; meanwhile his ex Kidman is maturing and honing her craft, and won an Academy Award recently.

  • J. Swift

    Twenty-two people were murdered and Scientologists are smiling and laughing. Scientology Volunteer Ministers are depraved monsters who walk over the backs of the dead to get PR photos. Manchester shows how vile, disgusting, and repulsive the Church of Scientology actually is. Smiling for PR photos is not the appropriate response to the carnage of a terrorist attack.

    • Sherbet

      I edited your last sentence. “PR photos are not the appropriate response to the carnage of a terrorist attack.”

      People who want to be applauded and recognized for their acts of generosity are not true philanthropists.

      • J. Swift

        I understand your edit, but want to somehow leave “smiling” in the sentence because the unnatural freakish smiling of the Scientology Volunteer Ministers for PR photos is appalling.

        L. Ron Hubbard had a phrase “the glee of insanity” and I think it applies to the Scientology Volunteer Ministers smiling in these photos from Manchester. These VM’s appear gleeful. It’s as if these Scientology VM’s finally have something to celebrate and revel in after decades of their Cult being widely criticized for being violent, greedy, dishonest, and inherently abhorrent.

        • Sherbet

          You are correct, of course.

        • Philbyification

          The vile vultures were also in Newtown anti-psych hoaxing with ABLEchild. ffs They are despicable liars and opportunists! Grrrr.

      • Kari Harris

        People who are always looking for credit are only seeking to further their own selfish needs or their group’s needs. If I do kind things, I don’t do it for the thank you, I do it because it is the right and ethical thing to do for my fellow man/woman. For a religion that’s supposed to be “technoBuddhism” (some academic called Scn that NOT ME), its the exact opposite. The Buddha taught to do kind things and not to seek a return on your kind actions OR get a big ego about being a good person, based on your actions. Buddhism is antithetical to Scientology, PERIOD.

    • J. Swift

      Virginia Tech 2007: A gunman killed 32 people and wounded 17 others. Before the bodies had even been moved and the campus was an active crime scene, Scientology’s Volunteer Ministers set up a tent on campus.

      • Sherbet

        And their help was soooo effective, that there was never another mass shooting on a campus or anywhere ever again.

      • Liberated

        They don’t care two cents about helping anyone…they’re opportunistic self-serving pimps.

        They make me sick.

        • J. Swift

          First Photos: Scientologists Invade Virginia Tech Campus
          EASY PRAY The Scientology Tent at Virginia Tech

          As reported elsewhere earlier this week, Scientology’s Volunteer Vultures have descended upon the grief-stricken Virginia Tech campus.

          VT senior Christie Weaver, a psychology major, confirmed their presence on Thursday, and was kind enough to send us some photographic evidence.

          “Yeah, those fuckers are here,” she said, noting that she “has not seen anyone speak to them because they wear these bright yellow shirts that say ‘Scientology Volunteer Minister.’ They stick out like sore thumbs, especially given that they look very LA’d out and we’re in the mountains of Virginia.”

      • GfldedKim

        How the f**k did they get in there?!?!? 😑

      • JJ

        This is positively delusional. but then… there ya go…

    • This is Grotesque when you know these people and how they think or lack of. I shared you comment on twitter and people are starting to pick up on it. I didn’t even use the picture but a direct link to the comment.
      Imagine those fools at the Arena that night? Ugh!

  • Observer

    I wonder which SMP program JAW is going to watch in celebration of its first anniversary?

    • Jimmy3

      Who Wants To Be A Shillionaire?

      • Eivol Ekdal

        The Price is Wrong?

        • Jimmy3

          Family Shoo’d

    • Sherbet

      I know what he’s not going to watch tomorrow night on A&E.

    • Puget Buckeye

      The Biggest Loser?

      • Harpoona Frittata

        $cn Family Jeopardy – The winning family gets to stay together, but everyone else gets declared and disconnected.

    • Eivol Ekdal

      I was looking at Charter/Spectrum/TWC (wtf llc?) and they have a lot of SP programming on the search results for “Scientology”. I think there may be some increased risk of exposure for eager viewers of SuMP, especially when looking at the online on-demand offerings.

    • Philbyification

      Last Wog Standing

  • Intergalactic Walrus
    • GrangerFX

      True. But will it change it for the better or worse?

    • Rasha

      Yes it did change my life. After buying it and taking a single “personality test” over 30 years ago and realizing that it’s shit, I have been tracked across 3 decades, 5 physical address across 4 states, and at least 4 different phone numbers, and I still receive similar mailings from 2 different Scientology locations. I now scan what I can and forward it to Tony and log in to the Bunker every single day to watch Scientology collapse.

      Additionally, I now know what to watch for when an organization is looking to ensnare me or my loved ones. For that I am, if not grateful, then at least armed.

    • daisy

      Finally truth in advertising . It made life worse for anyone who plodded through it . On one hand it helped get people into scientology on the other it was a waste of time and money on the book itself.

  • nottrue
  • Puget Buckeye

    Totally O/T I’ve had my fill of vultures. I’m going to go plant flowers and smile. Later.

  • Taffy Sinclair

    So, if the food and water were not needed, perhaps the VM’s can donate it to their starving RPF prisoners!

  • abdaman

    DM looking more like a hamster face every day

    • Liberated


  • J. Swift

    One of the most reprehensible things the Church of Scientology has ever done was to engage in disaster capitalism immediately following 911. David Miscavige issued his “Wake Up Call” and raised money. Unwanted VM’s flooded into NYC and got in the way of the real first responders. Tom Cruise jumped in and opened up a Purification Rundown and used 911 to splatter his photo all over the newspapers and the internet.

    OSA PR minimized the heroic first responders to 911 by creating this image in which only the Scientology Volunteer Minister is colorized:

    • J. Swift

      This is a 911 PR photo Tom Cruise’s people tried to erase from the internet:

      • Graham

        He looks every inch a hero; every inch a fake.

        • J. Swift

          Tom Cruise glued himself like a BT to the New York Fire Department after 911. This was all for Scientology PR. In this video, Scientology claimed that purple ooze came off firefighter’s bodies. The video shows the purple ooze on towels. Very strange.

          • Sherbet

            Found this on WWP: “Sebastian Raspanti (sic): Firefighter, retired 2008, attended Hollywood Celebrity Center 35th anniv. gala in 2004”

          • Snippy_X

            Parlor tricks still work.

      • GrangerFX

        It looks like he is fuming.

        • Graham

          …. pants on fire.

          • Puget Buckeye

            Liar liar……

      • Sherbet

        He is disgusting for having that picture taken. Unsung heroes means no PR.

      • Rasha

        so. This turd has had his smirk shooped over a pic of a firefighter.

        …with fake Hollywood scratches on his “face”.

        And yes, shooped. His head is way too big (in more ways than one) to fit this image, and the lighting is wrong. This is an awful excuse for a human.

        • dungeon master


      • Observer

        Sickening. There is nothing remotely resembling heroism anywhere in Tom Cruise.

    • Harpoona Frittata

      One wonders, how much money did the cherch and its well-heeled members contribute to the victims’ family fund? How many days did the VMs work on the pile? What was the total amount of man hours these Vulture Minions put in on the post-9/11 work?

      Knowing $cn, my bet is very little to none, in every instance. Posing next to disasters, in what amounts to a free product placement advertising campaign, is just so wrong in so many different ways, but it’s exactly the kind of sociopathic douchebaggery that we’ve come to expect as SOP from this sorry ass cult!

    • Sherbet

      They’re even more important than the US flag, being in color and all. Asses.

      • “Hey look at us! We’re the only real people here!”

    • JJ


    • Here’s the shot with the color left in:

      I’m no photographer, but it seems to me that there’s trickery going on to make that VM look closer to the real workers than he really is. (And that shirt is spotless in spite of yellow being a dirt-magnet color.)

  • GrangerFX
  • madame duran

    TODAY officially marks one year since the grand opening of Scientology Media Productions (SMP)…and yet there’s no live programming available.

    ONE WHOLE FRIGGIN’ YEAR and the studio STILL doesn’t possess its own broadcasting license. But like the mooching Manchester VMs, Miscavige figures he doesn’t have to actually buy/own a license…he can just leech off time slots from another broadcasting giant (woggish Time Warner Cable, aka “Spectrum”). So, his promised solution of Scientology having its own radio station, its own TV channel, and its own broadcasting facilities to globally disseminate the tech is totally a misunderstanding. There will be no centralized, independent media centre taking command of the airwaves similar to the likes of CNN. Besides, it costs way too much money to run your own company when you’ve got Ideal Orgs, private investigators, lawyers, bribes, and daily gourmet food bills to pay for! and the LRH Hall to complete! (months, weeks, days) (days, hours, minutes, seconds)

    A look-back in time to SMP’s opening a year ago: (read those guest comments attending the event and laugh. “Come and see”, indeed, Mr. Kevin James. That’s if the biking security guys will even let you on the property beyond the front gate)

  • Marshall

    Very sincere question – do we have any exes who post who were volunteer ministers? Perhaps I’m still naive, do they really believe they are doing something good? I’ve heard people over and over say that most people get into this cult for a good reason and are basically good people looking for “something”. I don’t question that management is TOTALLY making a buck off of tragedies but I don’t believe the individual VMs make any money – right? Is this just another example of total Scientology cognitive dissonance? I would truly like to hear from someone if they have participated as a volunteer ministers and are willing to share – it helps us all understand.

    • Yes, they really do believe they are doing something good. Rather sad.
      The good news – almost every scientologist is a former scientologist, they just don’t know it yet.

      • iampissed


      • daisy

        well said Dodo.

    • MarcabExpat

      I’m not “an ex who was a volunteer minister,” but from what I’ve seen so far, the VMs actually SPEND money. They have to pay their own way to go on these missions and often pony up for materials as well. The profit from this sort of op goes higher up the food chain, as the cult rakes in proceeds from those boxes and boxes of TWTH booklets, Truth About Drugs pamphlets, and so on. In some cases they buy them, in many other cases, donors who aren’t VMs are pressured to buy materials which the VMs then hand out.

    • ExCult.Jan

      Fostering the idea that believers are doing good for humankind is bait in the trap. When believers invest in these opportunities to “do good works” (as determined and orchestrated by superiors up the chain to the top) while wearing the cult’s insignia it makes it harder to leave because not only have they made another investment of time, money, and energy, but the little voice of shame that knows the victims need something entirely different ramps up the volume to counter the cognitive dissonance.

      At least that was my (not-$cio) cult experience doing “good” and/or being identified as a follower in public. The dissonant smiles are their cognitive dissonance made visible. And to quote Dodo, “they just don’t know it yet.”

    • Bob Crouch

      Charity and the practicing of scientology are largely at odds. The founder and the cult made in his image are first and foremost deeply narcissistic in their objectives and practices. From personality tests and communication drills on forward, its appeal is all about increasing one’s personal power and prosperity and advancing into becoming part of a master race. Given Hubbard’s views on “exchange,” charity is even further vilified.

      Whatever “charity” is being practiced is being done ostentatiously and strictly with a view toward PR and profit. The founder who robbed hundreds of millions (and admittedly formed a “church” for nothing but profit motives) is presented as a “humanitarian” and the rapacious cult loves to brag about its “social betterment initiatives” as though these were its tirelessly pursued objectives. Scientology is (in)famous for lots of things. Charity (personal or financial) is clearly not one of those.

      Humans being what we are can’t help themselves; we have altruistic impulses. So I don’t doubt for a moment that individual scientologists may believe that they are joining a movement committed to improving the planet and helping humanity. However, rather than being truly helpful to those in need, these impulses are quickly redirected to abstracts such as “saving the planet” that inevitably always boil down to aggrandizing the scientology movement itself.

      • iampissed

        Bob you had me on…..”Given Hubbard’s views on “exchange,”

      • JJ

        In that vid TC said if a Scientologist sees an accident they are the ONLY ONE who can help. What does he mean by that, what does he mean by help, and what did Hubbard mean by help, and if they helpee is not a Scientologist does it really help? Or is it just self aggrandizing delusional bs. I came, I saw, I offered pamphlets for spiritual salvation?

        • Puget Buckeye

          And then I smiled pretty for the camera and got the hell out of there before anyone asked me to do anything of importance.

      • JJ

        Seriously, things being the way they are…how could saving the plant make someone rich? If that’s the goal, why use the term saving at all. You can’t fake altruism. Misspelled altruism, correction came up as naturism… you can’t fake that either, wear plenty of sunscreen.

    • dungeon master

      I think Tory (Magoo) Christman (torymagoo44 on YouTube iirc) mentioned vming, doing touch assists somewhere. She’s done a lot of videos and speeches, etc. and I’m not sure where I’d start looking. But they get donations or cover their own expenses. BTW, Tory is such a fun, interesting, dare I say bubbly? person, it’s enjoyable to watch.

      • Marshall

        Thanks – I’ve watched many of Tory’s videos but I didn’t remember that.

        • Philbyification

          She stated she is going to do a Front Group series soon…

    • grundoon

      “management is TOTALLY making a buck off of tragedies but I don’t believe the individual VMs make any money – right?”

      Right! Generally the VMs have to pay their own way. Those WTH pamphlets that they hand out are bought from the Chruch at full price.

  • Intergalactic Walrus
    • PJK

      The Nostalgia Critic has reposted his review of the Battlefield Earth movie on the Channel Awesome youtube channel. It was previously only posted on his old website and was hard to find, but now is watchable for anybody. And boy he doesn’t take any prisoners in his review:

  • Bob Crouch

    VM’s are saving the world. Expecially in places far away where such help is not easily verifiable.

    However, my only personal experience with VM’s goes back to 2010 when I visited the San Bruno (San Francisco suburb) gas explosion site to volunteer a few hours helping out. I noticed the five or six yellowjackets but didn’t know what to make of them as I was fairly uninformed about scientology at that time. But I do recall that they largely stuck to themselves, except for seeking the proximity of visiting politicians and other local dignitaries getting their photo ops in Certainly, when the time came to fan out and help with various projects (such as sorting and distributing clothes), they where nowhere to be found. And, given the bright jackets, they would have been easy to spot.

    So this is, in their own often repeated words, “the planet’s largest relief force?” One may think so as there are numerous posts online where their contributions in San Bruno are prominently and lengthily congratulated. Alas, without exception these gushing features are all scientology-financed “press” releases. If only one fraction of the time and money that went into these writings had gone into actual help…

    In the “legitimate” press, they rated exactly ONE brief mention (LA Times, 9-12-2010):

    “On Saturday, the gymnasium and park outside the city recreation center were a bazaar of companies and organizations offering help for the displaced: carpet cleaners, insurers, animal services agencies, the Mexican consulate, EVEN [capitalization is mine] volunteer ministers with the Church of Scientology clad in firefighter-like yellow suits. The Lions Club served snacks, and donations of food, clothing and basic necessities piled up.”

    Even? Why would it be so astonishing for a news reporter to find “the planet’s largest relief force” showing up for this? After all, it is unimaginable to read an article where it’s highlighted that “even” the Red Cross, “even” Catholic Charities, or “even” the financially much less well-heeled local churches helped out. Certainly, none of the other, the real, relief groups were featured with an “even.”

    Even? Definitely “odd!”

    • Great points, Bob. Thank you for your volunteer work.

    • iampissed

      Nice first person Bob….Thanks.

    • I’d like to see their firefighter-like yellow suits. I remember once a friend called me for money to send her to a VM Photo-shoot. The church doesn’t even lay out funds for these – just the cost of sending the Gold shoot team and while they are flying in I’m quite sure an IAS reg is rounding up 100 x that all to ‘help’.

    • I love your first line.

      BTW, they can’t call themselves “the planet’s largest relief force” in the UK press – not since someone complained the Advertising Standards Authority about an advertisement that the CofS actually paid for, before “Going Clear” was broadcast here πŸ™‚

      There were also sanctioned by the ASA for making various other false claims.

      If anyone sees UK press articles about the activities of VMs in Manchester, please save them for me, in case they contain material that can be used for further complaints. You can email me via

      • Juicer77

        “Someone” has been doing good work.

      • Bob Crouch

        I can’t make up my mind as to what is the better alternative: The cult being held accountable for its lies. Or the cult being allowed to spew them and show the world in unvarnished form what they’re really all about and to what depths they’re ready to sink to as a matter of routine

        • I think that, in this case, you can have both. Being sanctioned is going to take a long time to stop them telling specific lies -they are too arrogant and too inflexible. Consequently, there’s always a chance of catching them in the same lies, again and again, and seeing them publicly shamed every time.

          The ASA has the power to require an advertiser who lies persistently to submit their copy for inspection before it can be published. That might not stop them – but exposing them as persistent liars would be nice.

          I know what you mean, though – when France enacted laws against hate speech, the far right obeyed them, sounded more reasonable as a result, and did better in subsequent elections. Unfortunately, they were the same xenophobic creeps they always had been. It may have better to let them spew their crude xenophobia so that everyone knew where they stood.

  • Lousy Ratatouille

    It has been in the news this week:
    Manchester crowd singing the Oasis classic ‘Don’t look back in anger’:

    • That silence was a nationwide thing. Before it began, I happened to be in a place were a sketchy bloke was having an animated argument with a security guard.

      When the silence was announced, they both magically shut up. Half way though, the guard looked upset, and the sketchy bloke gently put his hand on the man’s shoulder for a moment.

      When it finished, they resumed their argument as if nothing has happened.

      • Juicer77


      • Robert Eckert

        There will always be an England!

        • I thought, that’s civilised.
          They effortlessly put aside the everyday, because they both knew what was really important.

  • iampissed

    OK…where dose one start? How do concepts of exchange fit in with gifts? Do I not give my kid
    a bit of money to help with a house or such down the road only to give to the “church” to only be
    out exchange on the back end? I’ve always held that gifts are freely given and once given are free
    to the recipients, no strings. I feel like I’m getting a dose of cognitive dissonance and am thankful.

    • JJ

      Ya gotta feel it, when you can’t it means you are halfway up the bridge to oblivion of common human decency and you’ll think nothing is wrong with putting on a yellow slicker to go and promote your uber self serving faith to people experiencing one of the worst moments of their lives…

      • iampissed

        Thanks JJ….Ya I feel like my mind can’t handle the two opposing thoughts.
        Thankfully I dont have to I’m a WOG!

        • JJ

          Very. I wonder, no it is probably once you are that deep in there is almost no coming back out. So it isn’t like you hit the wall of fire and this stuff suddenly looks absurd; the longer they are in the more dedicated they become(also the more broke). By about OTiii I am guessing you have come to see the world so hopelessly divided into us and/or/vrs them there is no twinge of hmnn maybe this isn’t a good idea. It is now ALL THE BEST IDEA YOU HAVE EVER HEARD IN YOUR LIFE AND EVERYONE ELSE JUST NEEDS TO GET ON BOARD AND THE WORLDS PROBLEMS ARE SOLVED FOREVER!
          I think most people get their in their mind altering religion of course, but has there ever been a belief system so openly bent on graft and greed and self to the exclusion of all else? Not even Calvinism has that sort of rap, it bespeaks more of racist organizations and moral as well as physical superiority. There is no care for the poor and downtrodden just blame, no emphasis on inclusion just this is the one true way do this or get out, no compassion for disability, aging and loss just what ever happens to you is your own fault and if you were thinking doing being right you wouldn’t have any problems in life.
          Scientology is one of those hard line System of Life “religions”. It is all personal responsibility, I am superior to you, WE are the better type (enlightened, saved, cured, way more better, evolved version) of human kind you see with ultra right wing movements, the perfecting of man kind and we know where that one leads. We should be happy CoS looks so whack that it never gained the kind of nationalism that other control of life belief systems have.
          If your gonna start a cult, best not to look like you take yourself TOO TOO seriously at first. The soft sell and try it on and see approach usually works best.
          What is the point of no return? or is their one, maybe how far in and how dedicated a person gets is directly related to how badly they personally need it?

    • April

      You dilettante! Apparently you don’t care about your eternity or clearing the planet! You should be donating that money to the IAS or purchasing your next step on the bridge, not MESTy stuff like houses!!
      It’s time to pull you in for a “sec check” to find your hidden crimes, for which you’ll pay a hefty sum of money.

  • JJ

    When Mr. Rodgers Mother told him to “look for the helpers when you see a tragedy unfolding” she didn’t mean the morons in yellow raincoats waving pamphlets, I am thinkin.

  • downtherabbithole

    To all the service men and women who have so honorably served our country so that I am able to enjoy the freedoms afforded to me, my deepest gratitude to you all. May all our fallen soldiers rest in peace.

  • Trashton Porter

    The pic & story remind me of “the carpet cleaning cult,” in Seinfeld Show…

    • grundoon
    • grundoon

      From: (TFC VP)
      Subject: 12/15/98 Stories from the Carpet Dudes
      Date: 16 Dec 1998 03:08:56 GMT

      Well, the Totally Fun Company is getting re-carpeted (rehab of a 100 yr old building) and , as luck would have it, the guys laying our carpet also laid the carpet at the Fort Harrison.

      The stories they told!

      First, they were hired to lay carpet between the hours of 11PM to 7 AM, so as not to interfere with the parishoners. As it turned out, there was a painting crew working at the same time…a group, they described as wearing dark boiler suits,weren’t allowed to talk and didn’t look too happy. (??) The problem began when the “painters” were getting in the way of the carpet dudes (wogs at cause?) and their paint was getting all over the carpet AND the dudes. The head carpet dude complained to the “painters” to please stop and get out of their way. The painters weren’t allowed to acknowledge the carpet dudes, so they just kept painting. The head carpet dude made several attempts to communicate his need for them to cease…all attempts failed. The head carpet dude got very irate and told his fellow carpet dudes to gather their tools, they were leaving.

      As the carpet dudes started heading downstairs, they were met by the “head dude of the Ft. Harrison”(a guy named Tom) who asked them why they were leaving….insisting that they had to stay and finish. Head carpet dude explained the situation. Head dude of the Ft H. “went off” and ran back upstairs, chased the “painters” downstairs and out the door, where he ordered them to run around the Ft. H for over an hour. (Keep in mind this was 3:15 in the AM) The carpet dudes freaked out in disbelief while they watched the painters run and run around and around.

      This was not the end of the adventures of the carpet dudes.

      The carpet dudes saw alot of “running” while they were there.

      They were working in a hallway where some girls in dark blue kept running back and forth. The head carpet dude told them they would have to stop because he was about to slosh on a batch of glue. The girls ignored him and continued running in and out. (Once again, this is the middle of the night.) So the head carpet dude warned them in a loud tone that when he put that big batch of glue down, it would be dangerous and insisted that they stop running in and out. Once again they would neither acknowledge him or stop the running. He said “screw it”

      and poured the glue out all over the hallway. Within moments, the girls came running through and sure as heck, they ALL slipped and slided across and through the glue, sprawling everywhere in the middle of the goo. The carpet dudes couldn’t believe it and tried to help them up..but unfortunately, the glue was tacky and a few of the girls got glued to the floor.

      They were covered in glue and the carpet dudes were incredulous (as only carpet dudes can be).

      It appears that a couple of the staffers that the carpet dudes met tried to “reg” them….offering them the ability to leave their bodies. (You’d have to see these carpet dudes to see the humor in this). But after listening to this pitch for about a half hour, the head carpet dude said “Look, do me a favor, if you decide to leave your body while we’re here, just let me know when you come back! “

      There were many of these colorful stories as told by the carpet dudes, including the one where they are asked to take courses en lieu of payment for their work. That didn’t seem to go over really well with the carpet dudes so they took the money instead.

      Who’d have thunk we’d end up with the infamous Ft. Harrison carpet dudes.

  • Liberated

    Every time I see a new pic of Dave, I swear his head keeps getting bigger and his body keeps getting smaller.

  • Way off topic. Don’t try it at home/town. Enjoy the adrenaline.

    • ExCult.Jan

      The hammock pics were more my speed.

    • GrangerFX

      Four years ago, it was raining on the Isle of Man but the video was amazing. I loved the music so much I bought the track. The bit where they go by the wall with their helmets nearly touching … OMG!

    • ReallyMGM

      And Nicole is someone who really did help people in the face of tragedy. She loaded up and took a trailer full of supplies to Tuscaloosa Alabama several years ago when they were decimated by a horrific tornado. She didn’t do it for accolades either. That is what a true volunteer does!

  • Marie Rivera

    Why are they all smiling?? They go to a place of disaster and they take photos and smile and pose? who does that???

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      Even worse, they’re smirking πŸ™

    • Philbyification

      Who? The same garbage hoaxer $cilons that also showed up in Newtown,CT. in 2012 that’s who. Despicable scammers.

    • GfldedKim


  • Can I have a volunteer to photo shop some stuff on my new RV? My daughter will do the decals.
    Here is the RV and banner for the drivers side.

    • Of course it would say Scientology in the same font.

      • Puget Buckeye

        Very, so very very cool. And brave. So very, very brave.

    • GfldedKim

      Awesome RV

    • You got a new RV πŸ™‚ for real?

      • I made the down payment. I will have it in my name by Friday. May make it to Howdy Con after all.

        • Holy Molly – that’s great!

          • It’s like a dream for so long. I will have to down size but all of a sudden that seems really easy. Guess Warrior will get the rest of my saved post stuff. Anyone want a Sitka High-School sweater LOL. It’s unreal what I’ve lugged around all through the Sea Org 20 years and then the last 9 living in an RV. It will be a relief to have it disappeared.

            • This is the best thing i have heard to today πŸ™‚
              Edit: All month :-O Congratulation

            • πŸ™‚

        • Does it have WiFi :-O

          • Of course and I’ll add a 2 way someday. I got my Bose and a scanner πŸ™‚

    • I wish i could shoop this, but it would not be any good and definitely not for decals. I can only do Flat stuff

  • Here is the passenger side. The Call-Me banner will go here. I’d love to have the poster someone made for burning man last year with the names listed.
    The rest of the drivers side will be decorated with 12″x19″ anti-scientology books. It’s 24′ so I figure 10 or so.
    The back will have a flower box, my bike on the ladder and a 24″ wide rack hitched on for tool box, extra gas etc
    Tigger can go at the top drivers side on the back. Owl will go on the front.
    Any ideas?

    • Supper Powers

      Maybe mention something about the IRS, like “tell the IRS to revoke tax exempt status”. Something actionable. Love that you’re doing this.

    • sizzle8
      • Thank you πŸ™‚ There is another I’m looking for.

    • Juicer77

      Nice! Looks like you are ready for some adventures. πŸ™‚

  • Taffy Sinclair

    Prostinomics: Reaganomics + prostitution.

    See? I can make up portmanteaus like El.R.H. & Apple-Crate McGee!!!

    You know you love it!!!

  • Supper Powers

    This popped up on YouTube. About the church’s anti psyche position.

    • Liberated

      Exactly !

      • Yeah it’s good πŸ™‚ i see a lot of this from ppl who defend the cult lately

    • JJ

      holy barf burgers!

  • Supper Powers

    If anyone is keeping tabs on the anti-LGBTQA position the church has, this month an opinion piece in a Colorado newspaper mentions the CCHR showed up to testify against mental health support for people in this community who want it.

  • Scientology puts the call out for members to show up at Virginia Tech. All their claims of being invited and working with other groups turn out to be fake.

    • Supper Powers

      But let’s make sure the keep that tax exempt status…. Another organization without the same financial resources to pay attorneys would have been shut down long ago.

  • Scientology’s Volunteer Minister Cavalcade tent, organized like an Ideal mini-org:

    • Tony Ortega

      Where’s the pole to run around?

      • The Super Power tent is next door.

      • JJ

        BYOP? Postulate the pole? Will the pole into being? A real Scientologist came keep on course with out a pole…

      • Susan black

        Does Dave have his own private pole?

        • JJ

          copper, to off load excess energy… goes via wires back into the earth…

        • Puget Buckeye

          Oh my, that question just gave me a visual that may never go away.

          • I’ve just imagined a cartoon.

            Two sketchy blokes are sitting at a table in an otherwise deserted pole-dancing club. On the stage, a scantily-clad young woman is running around the pole.

            One of the blokes is saying to the other, “This is a lot less fun since she became a Scientologist”.

            • daisy

              LOL – I just wet my diaper

            • Is there a cartoonist in the house πŸ™‚

    • Harpoona Frittata

      More like, “Vulture Minion’s Global Cavalcade of Cons…and free BT waxing sessions!”

    • Bob

      The mouse trap!

  • All the millions of Volunteer Ministers are coordinated world-wide by Scientology’s central computers:

    • Puget Buckeye

      What am I looking at? Whose documents are these?

      • FBI… look at the link

      • They are from the FBI invest into Scientology trafficing

  • PeaceMaker

    It’s late and most everything has been said, but I wanted to note one thing that I haven’t seen yet.

    I’ve hung around a lot of the same sort of Boomer generation types that Scientology drew from, and some – probably more than I know – who did a few courses or a bit of auditing. One of the things that I’ve noticed in that demographic, including perhaps even more the young side of it, is a certain amount of an attitude of wanting to be “catalysts for change” – meaning having a grandiose role that doesn’t involve too much work and certainly not actually getting their hands dirty, sometimes combined with pseudo-magical beliefs about having cultivated a power of thinking and intention to make things happen. Scientology’s Volunteer Ministers program seem to me as is if it may well be reflective of the same phenomenon, and taps into that egoistic desire to be someone who can make things happen without real effort. The construct of the program is based on beliefs such as that somehow things like Way To Happiness books contain ideas so powerful, that just passing them out and exposing people to their guru Hubbard’s munificent thoughts and radiant being will be more powerful and helpful than mundane human activity.

    • Harpoona Frittata

      Beaming theta-fired rays of intent into the minds of lesser thetans, causing them to act in accord with the wishes and desires of their betters, this is exactly what these magical stinking $cilons believe, right down to their last BT.

      VoB (Voice of Bart) said as much in that filmed interview with that British journalist, when she was caught off guard with a question about how the $cn faith conceptualizes God. In a moment of sheer stupidity, the Queen of Porn Valley informed the world that $cilons, pretty much, aspire to be gods, then seemed shocked at the profundity of her own cog, like she’d never ever thought about it before…classic “I’m a zombie who thinks she’s a god in-training” demonstration of the pure, unadulterated idiocy of these Kool-aid besotted, true believer $cilons!

      But, just to keep it real here, there was a time when I too was a true believer $cilon…a long, long time ago.

      • Puget Buckeye

        Kind of like “if you build it, they will come”?

    • “If you wish upon a star your dreams come true” (and if they don’t, it’s your fault for not wishing properly).

      That kind of self-sealing magical thinking, in which wishes are supposed to come true if you follow the instructions of the organisation or the guru to the letter is a recurring theme in the cultic milieu. It lies at the heart of so many strange and manipulative belief systems (including Scientology – in the form of ‘postulation’). It’s just dressed up in different clothes

      It doesn’t seem to occur to anyone that, if it was all that easy, everyone be doing it (like ‘lottery-winning’ systems – if they really worked, the lottery would collapse). This suggests that critical faculties are either totally absent (rare) or not engaged – that people fall for this nonsense out of desperation or an emotional need for validation.

      The kind of schemes described above are easily falsified (you didn’t get the car you wished for, even though you followed the system exactly). However the Volunteer Minister con is more subtle.

      These people go out as part of an isolated group who believe in their own superiority. They hardly expose themselves to interaction with the real world at all, and even then only as nose-holding dispensers of moral advice (in the form of “The Way to Happiness”). Finally, they head back to the Org and congratulate each other on the great work they have done.

      They are creating an illusion of self-esteem out of nothing but a fundamentally childish dressing up game. They might even believe they really are relief workers because they are wearing a jacket that make them look as if they are. It probably helps if they have no idea whatsoever what real relief workers actually do.

  • Puget Buckeye

    O/T Ken Burns has a new series starting in September about the Vietnam War. I love his documentaries, but this could be painful. Educational but painful.

  • John Prince

    It’s been a while since I was at a Concert in Manchester, U.K. (2009) But as I recall there were no Food &Water shortages IN THE MIDDLE OF ENGLAND 😠. .Pretty disgusting that the homeless Guys Who ACTUALLY HELPED TEND TO THE WOUNDED would have been shunned by scientologists for being “too low on the tone-scale ” what Assholes! !!!

  • Juicer77

    The morning after the attack in Manchester, the stories of people helping others abounded. People offered others rides home, opened their homes and contacted worried loved ones. Some at the concert helped others get to safety or just stayed with someone else who was terrified. Blood donations were so numerous that by the end of the day the media was announcing they didn’t need any more. Those of us too far away to help directly listened to the Manchester authorities and did not rush to the affected areas – so the emergency services and investigators could do their work.

    The Volunteer Ministers make me sick. I can’t even give much credit to those who participate in a real spirit of wanting to help. They are like Tom Cruise at the proverbial accident scene, pushing aside emergency responders and forcing the injured to endure touch assists. And on top of it all, they know darn well the Co$ makes a tidy amount off those bogus Happiness brochures. Disgusting.

    • Newiga

      Manchester hit close to home in so many ways. My poor friend (A lovely Polish girl who’s lived in Manchester for years) was shocked, scared and almost inconsolable. No pamphlet can take away to sense of insecurity, uncertainty and sorrow.

  • ReallyMGM

    OT: This is late, but I was without power for 24 hours from 11pm last night until tonight.
    My very good friend gave me permission to share this. He took the original photo during the early days of the Allman Brothers when they still were based in Macon, GA. He took this photo yesterday afternoon at The Big House Allman Bros Museum in Macon. Live at the Fillmore will always be my favorite live album.
    RIP Gregg

  • vaguely_succinct

    OT: Doesn’t it seem that DM’s smile gets more ingratiating with each new photograph?
    (Edited to remove nonsense)