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Scientology’s ‘grass roots’ social media effort is actually led by its most mediocre spokesman

[Ed Parkin in 2016]

Chuck Beatty remembers Ed Parkin as his fellow inmate, his bunkmate, and his jailer.

From 1996 to 2003, Chuck spent seven years in the Sea Org’s prison detail, the Rehabilitation Project Force. The RPF was originally dreamed up by L. Ron Hubbard in the 1970s while he was running Scientology from the yacht Apollo. It was a punishment that crew members could be put on to teach them the error of their ways, depriving them of any comforts or even the ability to speak to other crewmates, and allowed them to work their way back into the good graces. It was supposed to last a few months.

But two decades later, while Scientology had moved onto land, the RPF had become a punishment that lasted years, cutting its members off entirely from the outside world.

The night 1999 became 2000, Chuck remembers sitting in his desert prison camp east of Los Angeles, wondering what was happening at celebrations around the world.

In November 2000 he was moved to another RPF detail at Scientology’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters, the Pacific Area Command (PAC Base) or “Big Blue,” the former Cedars of Lebanon hospital with its familiar V-shaped building. Once he got there, he was assigned to a bunk bed, and he became curious about his bunkmate, an Englishman.

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“I’m chatty. I knew Ed had been part of the OSA missions to the UK, and I asked him about his accomplishments. He was RPFed related to a number of his mistakes in the late 1990s, something to do with the loss of the legal case against Bonnie Woods,” Chuck tells us. His bunkmake, Ed Parkin, said he was in the RPF because he had been blamed for the embarrassing loss Scientology experienced in the case of an American woman in England, Woods, who had sued after she left the church and Scientology harassed her with libelous claims. “Bonnie’s legal victory was partially somehow Ed’s turn to be scapegoated since he was there on the legal side.”

Two years later, as he was trying to route out of the Sea Org altogether, Chuck was put into an even deeper hole: The “RPF’s RPF.” The conditions were even worse, in wretched housing, doing brutal work in harsh conditions, and Chuck said he threatened to walk out and go straight to the media. At that point, he says, Ed Parkin was assigned to watch him day and night.

We asked Chuck what he thought of Parkin. Chuck was charitable, saying that Ed was charming and could tell a good story. But Chuck added that Parkin didn’t strike him as someone destined to reach the upper levels of Scientology’s Office of Special Affairs corps. “He was kind of slated to compete as a potential future spokesman, around the time other spokespeople were falling by the wayside. But he’s never risen to the top. He’d mess up, or he was on the defensive. He’s a bit lacking in total fanaticism.”

Parkin hasn’t had the visibility of some of Scientology’s other notable figures in public relations. Heber Jentzsch. Tommy Davis. Mike Rinder. And the inscrutable Karin Pouw.

And yet, Ed certainly has come on strong in recent years, but in an odd position. As Scientology’s social media attack dog.

 

 
We’ve written before about the fake “grass roots” organization Ed Parkin runs, “Scientologists Taking Action Against Discrimination,” which the church abbreviates as “STAND.”

STAND’s social media army, including Parkin’s Twitter account, burst forth into existence at all about the same time in June 2017. We pointed out that the various accounts were posting around the clock in ways that human beings tend to be incapable of doing. Meanwhile, it turned out that many of the “grass roots” Twitter accounts were using filched photos of models from various clip art sites for their avatars.

STAND is not a grass roots movement made up of concerned Scientologists, it’s a typical black op run by Scientology’s notorious spy wing, the Office of Special Affairs. And that’s why it has an old OSA hack like Ed Parkin fronting it.

So Ed pretends like he’s outraged by the things Leah Remini is exposing at her television series, and the STAND league pretends to be a legitimate organization as it sends complaints to companies advertising on Remini’s show.

Ed’s Twitter account specializes in cheap shots, sometimes featuring purposely creepy photos of people like Leah Remini that were clearly taken by private investigators…

 

 
…or of Tom DeVocht grabbing his crotch…

 

 
…Or gaslighting his followers with this kind of nonsense, suggesting that it was somehow disrespectful to Tiponi Grey to run her episode of Aftermath a few weeks after she died, when anyone who knew her would tell you airing the episode was exactly what she would have wanted.

 

 
We suspect that Ed only writes a small percentage of the hateful messages put out in his name, if any at all. But he’s playing the part of STAND leader in other ways. A small number of shills has been rounded up to make it look like Ed is actually leading a movement…

 

 
The Office of Special Affairs is hoping it can convince a few people unfamiliar with Scientology’s long line of similar hustles that STAND is a genuine effort. We hope the people it targets take the time to look into it enough to know what’s really going on.

Scientology elevated its most unsuccessful spokesman to the roll of crusader, and they’re trying to fake out advertisers and studio executives that what Leah Remini is doing isn’t effective or sincere.

“He was always a nobody in the PR Bureau — for a while he was Heber’s gofer,” says Mike Rinder, a man who used to run OSA and who has been targeted by Parkin and STAND.

“Parkin has risen to the ‘top’ because there is nobody else. Karin Pouw is still there in name. The great hope for the future, Nick and Erin Banks, have faded into nothing. NFL alum Bob Adams was never really trusted to do anything — he’s too nice and too moderate — and you don’t hear about him any more. Gail Armstrong was taken to Int, went into the Hole and it’s the last anyone has heard from her.

“It’s slim pickins,” Rinder adds.

And thus, Ed Parkin gets the job of becoming Scientology’s face on social media.

 
——————–

Start making your plans!

 
——————–

Scientology’s celebrities, ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and more!

[Kelly Preston, Beck, and Anne Archer]

We’ve been building landing pages about David Miscavige’s favorite playthings, including celebrities and ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and we’re hoping you’ll join in and help us gather as much information as we can about them. Head on over and help us with links and photos and comments.

Scientology’s celebrities, from A to Z! Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Scientology’s ‘Ideal Orgs,’ from one end of the planet to the other! Help us build up pages about each these worldwide locations!

Scientology’s sneaky front groups, spreading the good news about L. Ron Hubbard while pretending to benefit society!

Scientology Lit: Books reviewed or excerpted in our weekly series. How many have you read?

 
——————–

THE WHOLE TRACK

[ONE year ago] The Battle of Portland, part 2: Pressuring a court by surrounding it with Scientologists
[TWO years ago] Brandon Reisdorf: Scientology complained to probation dept. over ‘Leah Remini’ appearance
[THREE years ago] For a class-action lawsuit against Scientology’s rehab network, a setback in California
[FOUR years ago] ‘Going Clear’ premieres at Sundance, and we watched in awe with the celebs
[FIVE years ago] Jon Atack: Do Scientology’s training routines turn you into a sociopath?
[SIX years ago] Blogging Dianetics, Part 4: Dynamically Speaking
[SEVEN years ago] The Strange Death of Flo Barnett, Mother-in-Law to Scientology Leader David Miscavige

 
——————–

Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,340 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,471 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,973 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,453 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 516 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 404 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,711 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,579 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,353 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,127 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,473 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,039 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 6,959 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,126 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,707 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,967 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,007 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,719 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,245 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,334 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,474 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,794 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,650 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,769 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,125 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,427 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,533 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,936 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,807 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,390 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,885 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,139 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,248 days.

——————–

Posted by Tony Ortega on January 25, 2019 at 07:00

E-mail tips to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We also post 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 new book with Paulette Cooper, Battlefield Scientology: Exposing L. Ron Hubbard’s dangerous ‘religion’ is now on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Our book about Paulette, 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 can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2018 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2018), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Other links: BLOGGING DIANETICS: Reading Scientology’s founding text cover to cover | 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 | 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 | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Watch our short videos that explain Scientology’s controversies in three minutes or less…

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Our non-Scientology stories: Robert Burnham Jr., the man who inscribed the universe | Notorious alt-right inspiration Kevin MacDonald and his theories about Jewish DNA | The selling of the “Phoenix Lights” | Astronomer Harlow Shapley‘s FBI file | Sex, spies, and local TV news

 

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