Birmingham in the House! Another Jaw-Dropping Scientology Video (UPDATED: MORE VIDEOS!)

Categories: Scientology

Anonymous has found another nugget of pure gold. Yesterday, a remarkable song and set of photos were leaked to the Anonymous website WhyWeProtest.net that were apparently from the Scientology organization in Birmingham, England. Now, Anonymous has put together the photos and the song in this quite entertaining video.

As we've reported here many times before, Scientology is currently in a period of decline and it's getting increasingly desperate to find ways to get money out of its diminishing membership -- even as it pushes to purchase new buildings for "Ideal Orgs."

The Birmingham group is apparently trying to push for their own building, and in order to whip up their members into a fundraising fervor, put together this song and tropical event.

To inspire them, they were shown a video testimonial by a man who has apparently pledged 20,000 pounds, but as we can see from some of the photos, these poor put-upon "publics" (Scientology's word for regular members who are not on staff) appear to be giving donations of only 10 to 50 pounds each.

This also appears to be the same "org" that put out a mailer urging its members to capitalize on the recent riots as a fundraising opportunity.

I can't tell from the photos whether this event happened before or after that period. But what a song. Please watch it and enjoy.

Also, for those new to Scientology train wrecks, let's remind them of another org -- in Phoenix, Arizona -- also trying to raise money for an "Ideal Org." Ladies and gentlemen, please meet Dede...

Wow. David Miscavige is going to have so much to make fun of this year!


UPDATE: And now, more videos from the Birmingham leak. Our friend "Mike" (see comments) will be happy that we're giving Scientology equal time. Please enjoy these three videos that Scientology put together to encourage its European members to fork over cash in the push for new buildings...

Video 1: Our world is in big trouble -- and only Scientologists can help!

Video 2: The western US challenges European orgs to a fundraising war! Or something.

Video 3: If we show you enough sports and war movie cliches, will you give us money?


The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology
#7: Mark Bunker
#8: Mike Rinder
#9: Jason Beghe
#10: Lisa McPherson
#11: Nick Xenophon (and other public servants)
#12: Tommy Davis (and other hapless church executives)
#13: Janet Reitman (and other journalists)
#14: Tory Christman (and other noisy ex-Scientologists)
#15: Andreas Heldal-Lund (and other old time church critics)
#16: Marc and Claire Headley, escapees of the church's HQ
#17: Jefferson Hawkins, the man behind the TV volcano
#18: Amy Scobee, former Sea Org executive
#19: The Squirrel Busters (and the church's other thugs and goons)
#20: Trey Parker and Matt Stone (and other media figures)
#21: Kendrick Moxon, attorney for the church
#22: Jamie DeWolf (and other L. Ron Hubbard family members)
#23: Ken Dandar (and other attorneys who litigate against the church)
#24: David Touretzky (and other academics)
#25: Xenu, galactic overlord


tortega@villagevoice.com | @VoiceTonyO | Facebook: Tony Ortega

See all of our recent Scientology coverage at the Voice

Keep up on all of our New York news coverage at this blog, Runnin' Scared

Tony Ortega is the editor-in-chief of The Village Voice. Since 1995, he's been writing about Scientology at several publications. Among his other stories about L. Ron Hubbard's organization:

The Larry Wollersheim Saga -- Scientology Finally Pays For Its Fraud
The Tory Bezazian (Christman) Story -- How the Internet Saved A Scientologist From Herself
The Jason Beghe Defection -- A Scientology Celebrity Goes Rogue
The Robert Cipriano Case -- A Hellacious Example of Fair Game
The Paul Haggis Ultimatum -- The 'Crash' Director Tells Scientology to Shove It
The Marc Headley Escape -- 'Tom Cruise Told Me to Talk to a Bottle'
The Aaron Saxton Accusation -- Australia turns up the heat on Scientology
The Jefferson Hawkins Stipulation -- Scientology's former PR genius comes clean
The Daniel Montalvo Double-Cross -- Scientology lures a young defector into a trap
A Church Myth Debunked -- Scientology and Proposition 8
Daniel Montalvo Strikes Back -- Scientology Hit with Stunning Child-Labor Lawsuits
When Scientologists Attack -- The Marty Rathbun Intimidation
A Scientologist Excommunicated -- The Michael Fairman SP Declaration
The Richard Leiby Operation -- Investigating a reporter's divorce to shut him up
The Hugh Urban Investigation -- An academic takes a harsh look at Scientology's past
Giovanni Ribisi as David Koresh -- A precedent for a Scientology-Branch Davidian link
Janet Reitman's Inside Scientology -- A masterful telling of Scientology's history
The Western Spy Network Revealed? -- Marty Rathbun ups the ante on David Miscavige
Scientology's Enemies List -- Are You On It?
Inside Inside Scientology -- An interview with author Janet Reitman
Scientology and the Nation of Islam -- Holy Doctrinal Mashup, Batman!
Scientologists -- How Many of Them Are There, Anyway?
Roger Weller's Wild Ride -- Scientology When it was Hip
The Marc Headley Infiltration -- A Scientology Spying Operation Revealed
Placido Domingo Jr: Scientology's Retaliation is "Scary and Pathetic"
An Interview with Nancy Many, Former Scientology Spy
The Paulien Lombard Confession -- A Scientology Spy Comes Clean
The Deputy Benjamin Ring Hard Sell -- Scientology wants your 401K
The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology -- the whole series!
The Squirrel Busters Busted -- Unmasking the Scientology PI in Charge
Tommy Davis, Scientology spokesman, secretly recorded discussing 'disconnection'
Scientology internal document says its Office of Special Affairs will 'handle' the Village Voice

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66 comments
johnanchovie
johnanchovie

I was shocked to discover in today's Guardian - and indeed on yahoo news too -  that this same Roger Ellory was outed today as faking his own reviews on Amazon. The statistics must be down at chez Scientology if the Chief Salesman for the Birmingham scientology center is desperate to boost his own book sales statistics in this rather nefarious manner?

Annalouis6
Annalouis6

Omg I recognize way too many people in that Birmingham clip, scary!

F_Randy_Hullabaloo
F_Randy_Hullabaloo

Wow, I haven't been so inspired since I saw "Triumph des Willens."  Leni Riefenstahl would have approved of these "wonderful, inspiring" videos.

anonophunkik
anonophunkik

Yet another element to this story.

WWP discovered that the guy who gave £20000 has only been a scientologist for 2mnths. Surely there is something  very wrong about a church which accepts £20000 from a guy who has only been a member for such a short amount of time, and is financially crippling himself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Dean
Dean

Considering the 1 million + people who live in Birmingham, there is less than 30 people in that room. I live in Birmingham and I'm only aware of this org through the Internet. Considering the (very) small number of scientologists in the uk, it might just be worth letting them being hapless lunatics just so we can see mildly entertaining videos like these.

Jethrah Zerchi
Jethrah Zerchi

It's fair use, legal, and must be legally allowed (because it cannot legally be distinguished from fair use). But it's morally wrong and plagiarism. The artists who produced those films did not intend those images to mean what the church is representing them to mean, and there is no hint in the videos that satire or movie criticism is intended.

PokeAnon
PokeAnon

Birmingham cult drones took our NYC Beach Party idea... Only replaced fun with homely forced smiles and self-perpetuating stereotypes about British dentistry

Old OT7
Old OT7

Wow!  I never knew desperation could look so funny!

mjm
mjm

btw Tony, Lisa Marie Presley is in town. She was at the Anna Sui show for Fashion Week. Might want to get an interview outta her...

mjm
mjm

for the third video, couldn't they face very severe copywright fines for that?

Wholigan
Wholigan

I can understand why the Hubbard Tech and $cientology attracts the moon-bats, but why all the dorks? E.g., :45

scilonschools
scilonschools

Video 1

Manning a Crusade, Planitary Clearing  etc... 

Sorry was this oe of Adolf Hitlers speeches or a Scientology promo film?

MarkStark
MarkStark

Unless they clone Tom Cruise, it appears their plan is to stampede the planet with horses. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! Their chief weapon is surprise...fear and surprise...surprise and fear.

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

The donations list says i all! I really feel sorry for these people, who probably just don't know how to put an end to their misery. The video makes me want to take them home and hide them so they can get a chance to be free from the insanity long enough to break out of the Truman Show they're stuck in.

Theoracle
Theoracle

Cha ching cha ching  I wonder who got the big pay offs?  And the Sea Org Members are celebrating today that they actually fought a law insisting they get paid!  Just goes to show you when people want to be slaved and pimped there is no standing in their way!

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

When I see this video it seems not all that different from a whole slew of dead-end jobs to be found now in late stage capitalism. Everything is dripping with forced smiles and flop sweat. It's like watching Borders Books transform from a major player among bookstores to an understaffed gift shop and finally hundreds of huge empty buildings with "For Lease" signs on them.

It's like Richard Thompson sez—We all work for the Pharaoh.

Endscientologynow
Endscientologynow

I've sent emails to Icon Productions, Warner Brothers Pictures, Disney, Intermedia Films, and New Line Cinema.  I gave up after about seven clips.  I really wish there were some legal reporting email address to report all of these abuses.  I about threw up when I saw Lord of the Rings being used.  

This cult makes me ill.

Guest
Guest

All these forced upbeat vibes. It's a sad sad (Scieno-) World..

Guest
Guest

in the original org-footage, i mean.

Grey Anderson
Grey Anderson

Hmmmm I wonder if Scientology paid copyright usage fees to the studios who own the movies, which they showed in videos 2&3? You know seeing as how Scientology is a fervent protector of copyright.

Clambaked420
Clambaked420

Clearly copyright infringement is not an issue for Scientologists.

Grey Anderson
Grey Anderson

Haha , that what I said. Clearly they only care about their copyright protection.

Helen7
Helen7

I'd rather have my teeth pulled than watch the misery of the scientologists in "video 1" again.  My urge to vomit was increased dramatically by "video 2." Video 3 made me vacillate between belly-aching laughter and throwing up a little in my mouth.

MarthaWiggins
MarthaWiggins

Having sat through many of these fund-raisers, I know EXACTLY what you mean.  It's terrifying and guilt inducing and crazy-making.  You just want to disappear into the woodwork; you curse yourself for agreeing to show up in the first place.  It's truly awful. I was at one without my husband once and got so frenzified that I pledged waaaay more money than we could afford.  Hubby was not amused. crazy side note:  a person bought a building for $13 million and gave it to his local org so they'd have their ideal org.  But the Sea Org didn't like the building and made the org give it back.  Excuse me?

Anna Asks
Anna Asks

I have a question about how this all works - saw it elsewhere and was wondering if anyone could verify/explain if this is how it goes.

1. Local group raises money for an org but 10% off the top goes to the mother church (RTC/IAS/whatever?)

2. Donations minus 10% purchase the ideal org building

3. Title is turned over to mother church

4. Local org fundraises more and does renovations, gets it set up with their own $$

5. Local org rents back the building, paying monthy rent to mother church

6. Local org has to maintain sales and recruitment goals that mother church sets (increasing every week or people are punished)

7. Local org pays staff out of what is left, if anything, after bills to keep the lights on/rent/purchase of marketing materials from mother church

y/n/other?

MarthaWiggins
MarthaWiggins

You nailed it.  They raise all that money, buy the building, raise some more money, fix the building and then they pay rent on the building that they "own".  Wait, what?

Aronof55
Aronof55

It would be a pyramid scheme, but the goal is not to milk the newbies and keep them viable, it is to bankrupt them.  So it's out with the bankrupt, in with the liquid. 

NCSP
NCSP

"We Europeans are going to kick the Western US Scientologists' asses! Let's prove our greatness by compiling inspiring moments from...movies that were made in the Western US."

Also, were those last two "official" videos? That is, from Golden Era Productions? Or homemade initiatives by individual orgs? Because if they're from Gold, quality control is slipping drastically!

Roggy McGee
Roggy McGee

I'd be curious to know what happens when these "Ideal Orgs" actually get built.  It's laughable and sad to see the faux enthusiasm displayed by the few poor souls in a tiny conference room. 

If and when an ideal org is built, I would imagine that the few people who periodically show up to the new cavernous monstrosity of an org must feel deeply disappointed as their voices echo down the corridors.  I would also assume that the new ideal org would have tapped out on the "flow" from many members in order to build the org, making attendance even more sparse. 

Alternatively, the ideal orgs might be slightly more successful than a dingy conference room at attracting adherents (not enough to break even, though) b/c the bright shiny new building serves as social proof to others that the Co$ is "powerful" and "important." 

Does anyone here have any insight on this?

Helen7
Helen7

 They pretty much sit empty.  And some of them are starting to default.  But they real question is..... who owns the building, once the sucker's bank accounts have been drained.  The money flows up the church pyramid.

Edwin Stratton
Edwin Stratton

At 0.13, we see the famous author RJ Ellory. He's the chap with the red hair, white sweater, black trousers. Roger is a 'Richard and Judy book club' recommendee, and currently on sale in my local Asda. He has also been the chief auditor at Birmingham Org since the 1980s. In his books, he has described himself as working in the field of 'drug rehabilitation'.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=...

Carmen
Carmen

I have this strange urge to send money to Birmingham for some reason...

Mike
Mike

Again reducing yourself to making fun of people doing something that they believe in.  These are not people dying to be in the spotlight.  These are people that truly beleive their philosophy is worth supporting.  And for that they get made fun of and riduculed...a nice example of your  journalistic integrity Tony.

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

While I realize the general atmosphere of entheta on this blog is deserved and usually well directed, Mike has a point. 

There's a nearly infinite number of small gatherings of people of low income and unified purpose throughout the world. These gatherings are often of people of shared spiritual interest. I've been to quite a few of them, many in rooms that look similar to the Birmingham  gathering. It looks fringy and nurdy and weird, but so does a lot of our culture, right now.

MarkStark
MarkStark

Everyone has to have their tech inspected. (Squirrel Buster line.) Whole continents are being taken and the new civilization is well on its way to a clearing the planet. Or is it?

Most other groups have services that consist of community rituals: meditation, prayer, praise, song, teaching. With Scientology, it is pretty much fund raising, or sales pitches to buy expensive courses. Gatherings are centered on sales and production statistics. Even the graduation ceremonies of declaring "wins," are designed mainly to keep people into paying for those expensive courses.

Scientology doesn't have the traditions or real history to build on. Aside from the Stalinesque "Hip Hip Hurray" to Elron's portrait they don't have any songs they all sing. Their themes seems to center around the entertainment industry, with the greatest "spiritual" success represented by Travolta or Cruise.

Two reasons it is good to point out:

1. To warn people considering Scientology about the money squeeze.2. For Scilons participating in these things to realize their global expansion is being exaggerated.  It's a network of dwindling groups of misfits who are staging a lot of forced enthusiasm as their loony Ron con game collapses.

Birmingham isn't being cleared. The money amounts say a lot too. People are tapped out. So why not let the celebrities support the whole thing?

Gerard Plourde
Gerard Plourde

"Scientology isn't all about glamor, Hollywood stars, charging horses." 

I think those videos are really revealing though. If Scientologists' professed goal is to "clear the planet" one would think there be more emphasis on cooperation than competition. Think of it this way: churches that have missionary activity usually call on the more established congregations to support the efforts of the fledglings. The tack that Scientology takes is, perhaps not surprisingly, more like what you'd see in a corporation motivating its sales force (Western US v. Europe).

MarkStark
MarkStark

I understand your point. They may run out of money, but they still have their Body Thetan clusters.

Scientology isn't all about glamor, Hollywood stars, charging horses. It's more about a woman behind a desk with a sign up donation sheet and some kind of confection that looks like a huge scab.

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

Yes, all good points.

I just don't want to be so reactive in my criticism as to demonize these poor, hypnotized minions in Birmingham rather than their Xenu-like overlord, somewhere in hiding.

Scientia
Scientia

Again, this from the guy whose "church" uses the logo of a squirrel with an indie practitioner's head stuck on the top of it.

Mike, your "church" openly mocks and ridicules people (Squirrel Busters, Freedom Magazine) yet I don't hear you complain about that. Why ever not?

HautCweeseen
HautCweeseen

Is it a philosophy or a religion?  Because philosophies don't get tax exemptions.  And tax-exempt religions, by the way, aren't allowed to charge adherents on a fee-for-service basis, like scientology does.  Anyway, the funny thing in this case is how badly they suck at doing what they believe in. 

Xenu
Xenu

The odder combination is "science" + "religion."  Science must be proven, thus requiring no faith; religion, like metaphysics, cannot be proven, it can only be a matter of faith.  How can anything be both at once?

Then there's the internal judicial system, which is the first (or only) recourse for disputes between Scientologists, pre-empting wog law enforcement and civil actions: A student, raped by their course supervisor, can't go to the police without facing an SP declare, she must resolve it within the organization, and only involve law enforcement if she's given permission.  WTF!  Add in "aspiring galactic government," too... "Somebody some day will say ‘this isillegal.’  By then be sure the orgs saywhat is legal or not."

I thought that nonprofits were supposed to stay out of politics, and would have guessed that pre-emption of current government functions, and declaration of intent to fully take over the government, might be considered political, but what do I know?

mirele
mirele

Scientology is a dessert and a floor wax.

TonyOrtega
TonyOrtega

Thanks, Mike. You inspired me to add the "Dede" video as well. We love seeing Scientologists have fun, we really do.

Gina Smith
Gina Smith

Well thanks for that Brummy Ronbots. We'll never be able to convince the Yanks that Brits aren't dentally challenged after they see this.

Carmen
Carmen

Hey...we've all seen the Big Book of British Smiles!

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