The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology, No. 11: Nick Xenophon

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On August 5, we started a countdown that will give credit -- or blame -- to the people who have contributed most to the sad current state of Scientology. From its greatest expansion in the 1980s, the church is a shell of what it once was and is mired in countless controversies around the world. Some of that was self-inflicted, and some of it has come from outside. Join us now as we continue on our investigation of those people most responsible...




The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology

#11: Nick Xenophon (and other public servants)


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Xenophon
Nearly five years ago, Nick Xenophon, the independent federal senator from the state of South Australia, was discussing a story with Seven Network journalist Bryan Seymour when the topic turned to Scientology. Seymour says that Xenophon expressed some concern about the tax breaks given to Scientology, and said he was going to look into it further.

Boy, did he. In November, 2009, Xenophon stood up in Australia's federal Parliament at the capital, Canberra, and detailed the shocking stories of several Australian ex-Scientologists. He made a declaration that day in Parliament that is still ringing in the ears of Scientology watchers Down Under: "Scientology is not a religion. It is a criminal organization that hides behind its so-called religious beliefs." Two years later, Scientology in Australia is battered and bruised, and a government decision coming in the next couple of weeks could bankrupt the church there.

I asked Seymour, who has closely followed Xenophon's moves since that first conversation five years ago, to describe the senator's progress there...

Senator Xenophon's speech led to a Federal Senate Inquiry into the tax arrangements for groups like Scientology. The Church gave evidence at the Senator Inquiry and were clearly desperate to keep their tax exempt status. The result? Australia is introducing a Charities Commission and a Public Benefit Test which means that Scientology will have to prove it delivers benefits to the wider community or start forking out millions of dollars in tax.

The Senator has also championed the individual cases of former survivors of Scientology, including Scarlett Hanna and Carmen Rainer. (Carmen is the former Scientologist who has alleged CCHR President Jan Eastgate told her to lie to the police about being sexually abused when she was 11 years old and her family was in the Church -- Eastgate now faces charges of perverting the course of justice in Australia).

The Senator has also been instrumental in having the South Australian government examine the tax arrangements of Scientology in the United Kingdom, (Scientology claims its whole outfit in the UK is a South Australian Charity!), and he is involved in ongoing investigations by Australian Federal Police and the FBI into claims of human trafficking and employment breaches. His efforts have inspired hundreds of people around the world to speak out and thousands more to take action. His impact might be less extraordinary but for the fact that he is a politician; truly bound in mind and spirit to serve those who elected him and the community he has the power to influence.

Or as we say -- he's a ripper bloke you can count on.

Seymour is certainly correct that Xenophon's impact is made greater because of his position as a federal senator. In fact, relatively few public servants have involved themselves in Scientology one way or another. We wanted to recognize the contributions of a few more.


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Caberta
Ursula Caberta just this week welcomed former Scientology executive Marty Rathbun to Germany. We're on pins and needles waiting to see what happens during his visit. In the meantime, I asked attorney Graham Berry, who has made multiple trips to Germany, to describe Caberta's role there.

In 1992 Ursula Caberta had been a Hamburg State legislator when she was appointed Commissioner for the State of Hamburg's Scientology Task Force. Since then Ms. Caberta has been one of the most significant critics of corporate Scientology and one of the major influences upon Germany's decision to monitor the cult as a potential threat to democracy and the German state. She has written several books on the organization. In response, Scientology has sued Ms. Caberta in both Germany and Florida, attacked her publicly and horribly harassed her, her family, and her superiors. The pressure exerted upon the State of Hamburg by Scientology and the United States State Department led to the closure of the Hamburg Task Force in late 2010. However, Ms. Caberta continues to be responsible for educating Hamburg's school children and others upon the dangers of corporate Scientology to both the individual and the state. No one person or group can claim responsibility for the implosion of Miscavige's cult. However, Ms. Caberta is one of a handful of people most responsible for the dramatic decline of Scientology in northern Europe. The impact of her work continues to ripple across the world and to highlight some of the human rights and civil rights abuses that organized Scientology engages in against its members, staff and critics.

Rathbun has said that he is going to Germany to "handle" Caberta. He may find that she's a handful, all right!


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Cazares
Gabe Cazares was mayor of Clearwater, Florida when Scientology invaded the town in late 1975. For years, church leader L. Ron Hubbard had been sailing the seas from one port to another, staying ahead of government investigations and tax collectors. Now he wanted a land base for the flagship of his little fleet -- which is why to this day Scientology's Clearwater operations are referred to as "Flag."

Cazares, however, soon caught on that the "United Churches of Florida" group which was buying up so much land in Clearwater was actually a front for Scientology. When he questioned the motives of the church -- and why it needed so many security people carrying mace -- Scientology retaliated with a smear campaign against the mayor, and planned to tarnish his reputation with a fabricated sex scandal.

Cazares was unable to keep Scientology from virtually taking over Clearwater, but when he died in 2006, Cazares was remembered by the St. Pete Times as an accomplished civic leader.


Unlike Xenophon, Caberta, and Cazares, some public servants have not been able to see through Scientology's obfuscation about its methods and motivations. So we're also going to recognize a motley trio of government officials who have run interference for the church, or otherwise have embarrassed themselves by not paying better attention to the public good.


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Stone
Scientology seems to have Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone convinced that anyone who protests at the church's secretive desert headquarters near Hemet is a bomb-carrying terrorist. He proposed a draconian anti-protesting ordinance that would have made it impossible to picket Scientology's Gold Base (which is in Stone's district). The ordinance was eventually watered down, but Stone's image as Scientology's water carrier wasn't dimmed. And he apparently hasn't changed his mind about things even after a former Scientologist, Paulien Lombard, recently owned up in a pair of remarkable public appearances at the Board of Supes that she was part of Scientology's anti-Anonymous spying wing which has been blowing smoke up Stone's skirt.


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Angle
Sharron Angle briefly became a Tea Party icon in her bid to unseat Nevada Senator Harry Reid. She failed at that attempt, and one of the reasons may have been her inability to shake the public perception that she was sort of nutty. Where did that notion come from? Oh, well, if you're going to push Criminon, a Scientology front group, on Nevada prisons as a state legislator, and advocate against psych drugs with Scientology celebs Kelly Preston and Jenna Elfman, and pal around with Scientology execs like Bruce Wiseman at the National Foundation of Women Legislators, people will talk.


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Baca
Lee Baca is the Sheriff of Los Angeles County, and his spokesman, Steve Whitmore, told me recently that as an elected official, it's Baca's right to say the nice things he has about Scientology and its drug-treatment front group, Narconon. But many of us have wondered why the Sheriff seems so tight with Scientology -- he appears on Scientology floats in parades, and has pushed Narconon as a legitimate drug treatment program -- but what concerns us even more is the way that Baca's department is the one that Scientology tends to run to for special treatment. When Daniel Montalvo escaped from the church last year but then was talked into the clutches of church attorneys, it was to a Sheriff's detective that the attorneys dragged him for questioning, for example. And we also had to raise an eyebrow when a Baca deputy, Ben Ring, appeared on a Scientology mailer in full uniform, extolling the benefits of turning over your 401K money to the church rather than save it for retirement. We're still waiting to hear something about the inquiry into that matter, which Whitmore promised us would start forthwith.


As always, we expect to hear from our readers about other figures they would have liked to see in this list. Believe us when we say we hear you -- and tomorrow, we're going to prove it.

What we mean is that tomorrow, before we plunge into this countdown's final ten, we're pausing to make a couple of announcements. First, we'll be revealing details of how you, our loyal readers, will be able to vote on your own Top 25 list, and how the results of that poll will be reported. Second, before we plunge into our Top Ten, we're going to look back at the first fifteen entries by announcing some additions to those entries. So check back tomorrow morning for that update!



The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology
#1: L. Ron Hubbard
#2: David Miscavige
#3: Marty Rathbun
#4: Tom Cruise
#5: Joe Childs and Tom Tobin
#6: Anonymous
#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


Tony Ortega is the editor-in-chief of The Village Voice. Since 1995, he's been writing about Scientology at several publications.

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

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


SCIENTOLOGY IN THE VILLAGE VOICE

[All recent stories] | [Top 25 People Crippling Scientology] | [Commenters of the Week]

FEATURED INVESTIGATIONS

[Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis secretly recorded discussing "disconnection"]
[Benjamin Ring, LA deputy sheriff, wants you to spend your 401K on Scientology]
[Scientologists: How many of them are there, anyway?]

MARTY RATHBUN AND THE SIEGE OF SOUTH TEXAS

[Scientology has Rathbun arrested] | [Rathbun and Mark Bunker reveal surprising ties]
In Germany with Ursula Caberta: [Announcing plans] | [Press conference] | [Making news about Tom Cruise, Bill Clinton, and Tony Blair] | [Post-trip interview]
The Squirrel Busters: [Goons with cameras on their heads] | [Rathbun's open letter to neighbors] | [Ingleside on the Bay, Texas rallies to Rathbun's cause] | [Squirrel Buster's claim to be making a "documentary"] | [VIDEO: "On a Boat"] | ["Anna" sent to creep out Monique Rathbun] | [Squirrel Busters go hillbilly] | [A videographer blows the whistle on the goon squad] | [Ed Bryan, OT VIII, shows the power of Scientology's highest levels]

SCIENTOLOGY SPYING AND "FAIR GAME"

[Secret Scientology documents spell out spying operation against Marc Headley]
[Scientology's West U.S. spies list revealed] | [Scientology's enemies list: Are you on it?]
Spy operation against Washington Post writer Richard Leiby: [Part 1] | [Part 2]
[A Scientology spy comes clean: Paulien Lombard's remarkable public confession]
[Scientology advertises for writers in Freedom magazine]
[Accidental leak shows Scientology spy wing plans to "handle" the Voice]

SCIENTOLOGY AND CELEBRITIES

["Tom Cruise told me to talk to a bottle"] | [Tom Cruise likes coconut cake] | [Tom Cruise has a sense of humor] | ["Tom Cruise not a kook!"] | [Paulette Cooper on Tom Cruise]
[Paul Haggis, director of Crash, issues an ultimatum, leaves the church]
[Character actor Jason Beghe defects noisily] | [Actor Michael Fairman reveals his "suppressive person" declaration] | [Michael Fairman talks to the Voice]
[Giovanni Ribisi as David Koresh: Scientology-Branch Davidian link makes sense]
[Russell Brand weds ex-Scientologists in wild ceremony] | [Skip Press on Haggis]
[Placido Domingo Jr.: Scientology's retaliation is "scary and pathetic"]
Grant Cardone, NatGeo's "Turnaround King": [Doing Scientology's dirty work?] | [Milton Katselas complained about Cardone's smear job] | [Cardone runs to Huffpo]

JANET REITMAN'S INSIDE SCIENTOLOGY

[Our review of Inside Scientology] | [An interview with Janet Reitman] | [A report from Reitman's first book tour appearance] | [At the Half-King: Reitman not afraid]
[Scientology doesn't like Inside Scientology] | [Q&A at Washington Post]
[A roundup of Reitman's print reviews, and why isn't she on television more?]

HUGH URBAN'S THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY

[A review of Urban's scholarly history of the church] | [An interview with Hugh Urban]

EX-SCIENTOLOGISTS SPEAK OUT

[Marc Headley: "Tom Cruise told me to talk to a bottle"] | [The Nancy Many interview]
[Sympathy for the Devil: Tory Christman's Story] | [Jeff Hawkins' Counterfeit Dreams]
[86 Million Thin Dimes: The Lawrence Wollersheim Saga] | [Mike Rinder on spying]

OVERSEAS NEWS

[Scientology dodges a bullet in Australia] | [Scientology exec Jan Eastgate arrested]
[All hell breaks loose in Israel] | [Scientology sees fundraising gold in the UK riots]

ODD VIDEOS AND ODDER NEWS

[Scientology singalong, "We Stand Tall"] | [Captain Bill Robertson and "Galactic Patrol"]
[Scientology wins a major award!] | [Scientology wants your money: Meet Dede!]
[Birmingham in the House! The "Ideal" dance mix] | [Scientology and the Nation of Islam]
[When Scientology was hip] | [Sad: David Miscavige makes fun of his own fundraisers]
[Freedom magazine parodies The New Yorker. Hilarity ensues.]
[Scientology surf report: Anonymous parties outside the New York "org"]

THE VIEW INSIDE THE BUBBLE

[A scientologist's letter to the Voice and its readers] | [Scientology silent birth]
[Tad Reeves: Scientology might listen to this guy] | [More Tad Reeves and family]
[Scientology never forgets: A heartwarming telemarketing holiday miracle]

My Voice Nation Help
86 comments
Torychristman
Torychristman

Congratulations to Nick Xenophon!!! You are one Kick ASS guy, and I'm proud to know you, even if from a distance. You set an example that I pray other Senators will take: Honestlylooking, listening, getting ALL the information and then DOING something about it.

 Ursela...you are again, a woman setting such an example of strength against this totalitarian organization, the "church" of $cientology: thank you!

:sigh: Gabe I was around...during that time. Again, a man ahead of his time...who did a lot, despite Scientology's abusive actions towards him. To all of you, thank you for your help and courageous actions. Sunshine Disinfects! May there be much more. My love to ALL, Tory/Magoo

sam
sam

Roan Wenn a former egotistical Today tonight tabloid reporter which horrible political aspirations advises Nick because he is a Victorian Media advisor but getting paid by South Australia.

sam
sam

its his manipulative media advisor Rowan Wenn who is a former egotistical today tonight reporter who works for him.

Marcotai
Marcotai

URSULA CABERTA

She is an employee of the Ministry of the Interior for the State of Hamburg, in Germany. The rights of religious minorities have come under attack in Germany in recent years causing the United States Department of State to formally admonish the German government for enacting legislation which violates international standards of human rights. Caberta is a driving force behind this anti-religious movement in Germany.Caberta was responsible for hosting an annual "award" which was created for those who engage in anti-religious activities. Named the "Alternative Charlemagne Award," it mocks Germany’s official Charlemagne Award which is presented yearly to international figures (such as former President Bill Clinton) who promote European unity and world peace. Caberta’s "award," on the other hand, recognizes and encourages those who promote divisiveness and the persecution of religious minorities.

On January 14, 2003, the Hamburg Administrative Court issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting the Interior Ministry from allowing Caberta from repeating certain public statements of a false and derogatory character about the Church of Scientology.The Churches brought the case on the grounds that Caberta should be restrained as she has blatantly violated her duty of neutrality as a government employee – evidenced by her having personally received on June 26, 2000 a sum of $75,000 from a private individual who at that time was funding anti-Scientology litigation in the United States.

Under German law, a government employee may be sentenced for up to three years if the individual accepts an advantage for oneself in exchange for the execution of an official function on another’s behalf. A penal investigation regarding this matter resulted in Ms. Caberta being fined 7,500 euros in June 2002. The Ministry apparently made no requirement that Caberta pay back the money: Nor did it restrain her due to the obvious conflict in any way.

The Hamburg Administrative Court, in its January 14, 2003 decision, found the loan and the circumstances under which it was given constituted a violation of neutrality. Caberta, the Court noted: "has not shown the slightest indication that she understands the inadmissibility of the acceptance of private financial support under the legal provisions for how official duties should be conducted."The Court also made an unequivocal statement criticizing the Interior Ministry for failing to take strong and effective action against Caberta."However, it is not evident that independent from the penal proceeding, the government has conducted internal administrative investigations on this matter to determine whether Mrs Caberta received the amount of $75,000 from a declared and active Scientology opponent ‘for the performance of duties’ in the meaning of Art. 331 Section 1 Penal Code. Looking at the overall circumstances it would at least have been appropriate to subject Mrs. Caberta, who is not a government official but an employee of the respondent, to a warning pursuant to labor law and to demand she immediately repay the amount of money received within a stated time limit."

The Hamburg Court found that:

    "it would therefore have been urgently required on the part of the respondent [Interior Ministry] to emphatically notify this employee after the respondent learned of the granting of the loan but latest after the end of the penal proceeding, to remind her of her fundamental duty of neutrality as a public employee and, if necessary, to also guarantee this through a proper warning pursuant to labor law."

Caberta has a long record of hostility and discrimination towards the Scientology religion and its American and German members. On June 4, 1992, while still an MP, she told the Hamburg state parliament that "we will carry on and will free Germany from Scientology."

More than any other German official, she is responsible for the wide distribution of the "sect filters" that the State Department has frequently criticized as an abuse of human rights.Indeed, in 2000, a German Scientologist living and working in the United States filed suit against Ms. Caberta after he was presented with her "sect filter" by a German company during contract negotiations. In a subsequent ruling by the U.S. federal court in Tampa, Florida, Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Jenkins condemned Caberta’s behavior throughout the litigation as "evasive", "unresponsive", "uncooperative" and "argumentative", and sanctioned her for non-compliance with court orders.

The U.S. State Department has itself criticized Caberta for human rights abuses against American citizens: She is the "sect commissioner" referred to in the 2000 Annual Human Rights Report for 2000 who made unfounded public accusations against Scientologists.

This is not the first time that German courts have found that Caberta had violated the German Constitution in abusing the rights of Scientologists. In 1994, the Hamburg State Court of Appeals enjoined the Interior Ministry from further distribution of an anti-Scientology booklet. The Court stated:"The principle of neutrality and tolerance has been violated by the opponent by giving non objective opinions about the doctrine of the applicant… The opponent’s restriction of the fundamental right of the applicant per article 4 subsect 1 and 2 GC is illegal to this extent."

mcode8
mcode8

Marcotai.You need to know 2 things.(1) Everything man made has a beginning a middle and an end, Co$ is no different.(2)Every religion needs one thing to survive,new members.You can come on this forum and kick,scream and yell bigotry all you like it wont make any difference Co$ is shrinking and dying.No new members are coming into your orgs and existing members are still trickling out of the doors.

Marcotai
Marcotai

LOL, Yeah, in your imagination.

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

The fact that you're the stooge making these insane posts all by your lonesome, with no one piping in to tell you about the fantastic insights to be found in your thoughts should have been clue enough a long time ago. Sounds like a learning disorder to me.

Of course, involvement in Scientology should be considered a learning disorder anyway. Some people are just too intellectually weak to defend themselves.

veritas
veritas

That's right Marcotai, Scientologists have had THEIR imaginations removed (as well as thier wallets)

Marcotai
Marcotai

THE TOP 25 PEOPLE CRIPPLING SCIENTOLOGY. THE OTHER TRUE FACE OF THE COINS.-# 11 Corrupted senator Nick Xenophon.

An investigation of this senator is under way to determine how much corruption this senator is into.Senator Xenophon is trying to get Australia back in its 'black days' when there was no law to allow freedom of religion.

Is history repeating in Australia? Before, another corrupted authority named "ANDERSON" had tried to attack SCN and failed in doing so. The Church of Scientology had a difficult time in Australia and had to fight for many years to win recognition as a religion. The ANDERSON's fake report (just like Xenophon is trying to do) led directly to an unconstitutional law "prohibiting" the practice of Scientology in Victoriaand West Australia. This law didn't last long because the Church persisted and prevailed in making the truth known. The law was repealed,and the Deputy Premier of West Australia had to personally apologize and called the ban a BLACK DAY IN THE HISTORY OF AUSTRALIA. Then in 1983, all 5 High Court judges of Australia found that the Church of Scientology is a bona fide religion and fully entitled to tax exemption. In fact, that decision, overturning a ruling by a Victoria court established the definition of religious freedom for the Australian constitution for the FIRST TIME and in so doing gave protections to many other religious groups in Australia.

Now senator Xenophon want to give a try again, having seen the amount of money he will receive at succeeding.The amount of money is yet known, although he MUST declare it under Freedom of Information Act. He and his sponsors have so far declined to reveal the amount of money they have been exchanging. The senator's "sponsors' are:the University of Melbourne psychiatrist prof. Patrick McGorry; Monash University’s psychiatrists Louise Newman and Prof Ian Hickie, director of the Brain and Mind Research Institute at the University of Sydney,

One thing is certain, this corrupted senator is using and paying SCN apostates to tell their "story" with a bit of tales made up by the senator himself. LOL

Heather Grace
Heather Grace

Nick Xenophon is magnificent. A question I hear very often asked by US citizens is: "Who is our Nick Xenophon?" I hope you find the answer to that question.

Thinking back to the 1960's, there were courageous politicians behind the parliamentary enquiries into the church of scientology that occurred first in Australia (Victoria - the Anderson inquiry), then in New Zealand (Dumbleton-Powles), the United Kingdom (Foster) and South Africa (Kotze) and Canada (Lee).

Lord Balneil and Richard Crossman were behind the UK inquiry. The names of all those politicians who initiated the proceedings that led to these various inquiries, and those who acted upon their recommendations, such as by introducing legislation in Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia to regulate the practice of psychotherapy are not known to me. But I acknowledge them nevertheless.

The New Zealand inquiry is notable because Hubbard wrote to the commission:

"The commission was informed that the practice of disconnection was cancelled by directive of 15 November 1968, and the commission received, as has already been mentioned, a letter from L. Ron Hubbard stating that the Board of Directors of the Church of Scientology had no intention of reintroducing the policy. He also added that, for his part, he could see no reason why the policy should ever be reintroduced. The letter is on page 27.

This undertaking does not, in its terms, go as far as the commission had hoped. It had hoped that there would be a direct undertaking by L. Ron Hubbard that the practice of disconnection would never be reintroduced. However, the intention appears to be there, although it is stated in somewhat guarded language. The commission naturally welcomes this undertaking, and believes that if it is fully observed in its intent and spirit it may have an important effect on the relations between Scientology and the public in New Zealand, and particularly by removing one of the important practices which contributed to family estrangement."

Of course, disconnection was later re-instated by David Miscavige.

Deanblair06
Deanblair06

Thank you for being persistent Tony.  You are doing a great job.

Clearwater Lawyer
Clearwater Lawyer

Tony, Great list! I'm glad that to see individual recognization being given to Tory Christman and the other pioneers who have been exposing the true dealings of the organization for many years. Their efforts have created a solid infrastructure of data and resources for so many others who want the truth to be known. Many credit Internet as being the main source scientology's utimate demise, but it is important to note that it is the early critics that started the process of populating the web with forums, references and other information. While the Internet is very significant, it those who use it as vehicle to load and transport info that have really made it a serious weapon. I look forward to further installments of your countdown.

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

What makes Xenophon,and Caberta different and so persistent as compared to the 'church lovin listed' in your article, is that they know what is going on and they really care.

Same for the late Mayor Gabe Cazares, whose bio would not be complete with out this information, fair use content obtained from wiki:

[..] Cazares was sued by the Church of Scientology for $1 million after he said that the city was being taken over.

Cazares' suspicions about the group were investigated by local newspapers.On 3 November 1979, the Clearwater Sun ran a headline "Scientologists plot city takeover" and later stories said that the Scientologists had plans to take over the world. The St. Petersburg Times won a Pulitzer Prize for one story exposing the alleged wrongdoings of the Church of Scientology.

A 1977 FBI raid on Scientology headquarters uncovered internal documents marked "Top Secret" that referred to their operation to take over Clearwater as "Project Normandy." The FBI uncovered information about "Operation Freakout," an operation intended to get Scientology critic Paulette Cooper committed to a mental hospital. The raid revealed "Operation Snow White," where the Church of Scientology planned to infiltrate federal and state government offices in order to steal documents which reflected negatively on L. Ron Hubbard, or the Church of Scientology. The raid resulted in 11 top leaders of the church in jail. Cazares thought it odd that a religious group would use code names for a project to take control of a town, and called the project a "paramilitary operation by a terrorist group."

Endures harassment

The Church of Scientology planned to smear Cazares. Cazares questioned the church's motives, its purchases of downtown property using fictitious names, and the way its security guards carried Billy clubs and mace.

At the Church of Scientology, federal investigators found internal memos outlining plans by church leaders to control public opinion in Clearwater, concoct a sex smear campaign against Mr. Cazares and infiltrate the local media and other institutions called the "Mayor Cazares Handling Project" and "Speedy Gonzalez." These Scientology documents also revealed that church members had staged a phony hit-and-run accident with Mr. Cazares in an attempt to discredit him. Cazares and his wife sued the Church of Scientology for $1.5 million. The church settled with Cazares in 1986. [..]

Thank you Sen. Xenophon. Hopefully one day the US will get a version of you.

Thank you Ursula. ( After watching the videos on the new Rathbun in Germany article, I see your smart strategy.

R.I.P. Mr & Mrs Gabe Czares. You earned your wings.

Patricia Curtis
Patricia Curtis

Tony, it is important for people to understand exactly why Jeff Stone is so politically dangerous. It’s not so much about Ordinance 884 (please-oh-please, will everyone Google “Jeff Stone’s Changing Story: Timeline of a Scientology Schill”), the unconstitutional legislation designed to stop protesting. Sheriff Stanley Sniff says he’ll never enforce it; we’ve tested that and true to his word it was not enforced. (A quick shout out to Riverside County Watchdog Julie Waltz who will never stop biting Stone’s ankle until that stupid ordinance is repealed. Julie is a true patriot, she loves her country and she would defend the Constitution with her dying breath.)

The real problem with Stone is that Int Base (or “Gold”), the large Sea Org compound where cult leader David Miscavige resides, is located within his district. Gold Base is where a great deal of the abuses described here and elsewhere have occurred/are occurring. Gold Base is where a significant number of church elite are being held captive in “the hole,” including church president, Heber Jentzsch. Stone patently turns his back on the horrific situation occurring out there in Hemet – and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why. I put every death, every blow, every moment of torture, every physical abuse, every mental abuse, every civil rights abuse, every tear, every broken human being, and every drop of blood squarely on Jeff Stone’s hands – along with a few others that deserve recognition for their continuing contribution to the suffering of Riverside County residents:

John F. Tavaglione, Supervisor District 2

Marion Ashley, Supervisor District 5

John J. Benoit, Supervisor District 4

Bob Buster, Supervisor District 1 (sorry Bob, but you voted yes and you are not a hero)

Pamela J. Walls, County Counsel (how do you sleep at night, Pam?)

Rod Pacheco, former Riverside County DA

Verne Lauritzen, Jeff Stone’s Chief of Staff

All these people know the truth about what is happening at Gold Base and they do nothing but lie and lie and lie to protect their special interest group, the Church of Scientology.

And people continue to suffer.

Theoracle
Theoracle

Yeah, well, you go try to pull those suffering people out of there and they will tear you from limb to limb.  There are two types of people at Int. Sadists and Masochists.  And there is one hell of a marriage happening there. So to say this is ALL BECAUSE of ONE man, who clearly chooses not to live there himself, is in itself an injustice.

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

What are you talking about when you say  "So to say this is ALL BECAUSE of ONE man, who clearly chooses not to live there himself, is in itself an injustice. " I don't think she said anything like that.

BTW, Marc & Claire Headley were there at GOLD base; Maureen Bolstad was also there and lived to survive it. And so many others who have left.  Have you not read Marc's book?

I would not characterize any of the people at GOLD as sadistic or masochistic the way you are narrowly describing the 2 types of people, as if it can be narrowed down so. Many of those people at GOLD are held against their will.

Stop yapping and go to a protest and become useful.

Patricia Curtis
Patricia Curtis

Tony, it is important for people to understand exactly why Jeff Stone is so politically dangerous. It’s not so much about Ordinance 884 (please-oh-please, will everyone Google “Jeff Stone’s Changing Story: Timeline of a Scientology Schill” or just go here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/2209..., the unconstitutional legislation designed to stop protesting. Riverside County Sheriff Stanley Sniff says he’ll never enforce it; we’ve tested that and true to his word it was not enforced. (A quick shout out to Riverside County Watchdog Julie Waltz who will never stop biting Jeff Stone’s ankle until that stupid ordinance is repealed. Julie is a true patriot, she loves her country and she would defend the Constitution with her dying breath.)

The real problem with Stone is that Int Base (or “Gold”), the large Sea Org compound where cult leader David Miscavige resides, is located within his district. Gold Base is where a great deal of the abuses described here and elsewhere have occurred/are occurring. Gold Base is where a significant number of church elite are being held captive in “the hole,” including church president, Heber Jentzsch. Stone patently turns his back on the horrific situation occurring out there in Hemet – and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why. I put every death, every blow, every moment of torture, every physical abuse, every mental abuse, every civil rights abuse, every tear, every broken human being, and every drop of blood squarely on Jeff Stone’s hands – along with a few others that deserve recognition for their continuing contribution to the suffering of Riverside County residents:

John F. Tavaglione, Supervisor District 2

Marion Ashley, Supervisor District 5

John J. Benoit, Supervisor District 4

Bob Buster, Supervisor District 1 (sorry Bob, but you voted yes and you are not a hero)

Pamela J. Walls, County Counsel (how do you sleep at night, Pam?)

Rod Pacheco, former Riverside County DA

Verne Lauritzen, Jeff Stone’s Chief of Staff

All these people know the truth about what is happening at Gold Base and they do nothing but lie and lie and lie to protect their special interest group, the Church of Scientology.

And people continue to suffer.

Torychristman
Torychristman

Bless Senator Nick Xenophon, and each of the courageous people you've mentioned here as part of #11!! Also, my greatest thanks to the Aussies who helped educate the Senator and Brian Seymour who has done fantastic work, exposing this story in Australia, as VV is doing, here.This just keeps on getting better and better: Way to go, Tony and gang!!! :)

Old OT7
Old OT7

Excellent choice, Tony!  This is one very brave man to actually come out and say, "Scientology is NOT a religion.  It is a criminal organization!"  This guys has balls and he's not afraid of the cult one bit.  In fact, he's the main instigator of questioning their tax exempt status.  Plus, you gotta love his name!  Senator, we are in debt to you.  I wish our own politicians had the guts to call a spade a spade.  

MarkStark
MarkStark

Gabe Cazares was a real trooper during the cult's landing and invasion in Clearwater. On the national level, as an American, I'm embarrassed that we have to look to Australia and Europe, or any other countries to find politicians who made a difference nationally, in stemming this cult's activities. Happily embarrassed though, because at least it is happening over there, which is kind of everywhere, because of the web.

The opportunities religions have here to be free and flourish spawned Hubbard, his cult, their salescreatures and propaganda machine. Are the U.S. politicians waiting for Scilons to cut their balls off and commit suicide before they do something?

Is it backlash from Jonestown? Politicians think that it they get involved investigating something so insular and controversial, like a major cult, it risks their reputation and maybe even life. Leo Ryan unwittingly triggered the Jonestown tragedy. That's hard for a lot of politicians to forget.

Then there's the star worship, which comes in handy for politicians seeking office, trying to identify themselves with stars and their idealism in movie roles like Cruise in Top Gun. For many years, it was too much of a risk, to go up against the cult of Tom Cruise. However, his video may have made a significant difference, if any politician cares to watch it.

The other thing they should watch is Xenophon's speech, and why not read the Reitman book, just for fun?

mjm
mjm

Cruise and Travolta are box office poison now because of their affiliation w/ the cult but the CoS press still spins that Cruise is inking out million dollar deals for films that never get made. Tommy Boy's new musical Rock of Ages looks like another doa dud.

MarkStark
MarkStark

I wish that were true. Knight and Day (paper thin, bordering on stupid) cost 117 million to make and grossed 262. Valkyrie cost 90 million, grossed 200. Knight and Day with Joe Blow in it instead of Cruise wouldn't have sucked down 40 million. He's still a draw, unless the film is unwatchable.

In his heyday, Cocktail cost 6 million to make and grossed 78 million. I'd estimate that his box office is off only 10% or less from his Scientology involvement. It is mostly off because he's aging off the radar of the tween/vampire-luvin audience.

There's still time for Scientology awareness to increase and collide with Cruise's aging face. Travolta's popularity hasn't been effected at all. For an aging fat comedic actress, Alley is doing fine. Wormy looking Giovanni Ribisi continues to get roles.

V for Vacation
V for Vacation

You're not wrong.  Scn is openly mocked in Hollywood.  I have personally seen it mocked directly to the face of a production manager in a corporate office, who was trying to defend her involvement in it.  It gets the same eye roll or live-and-let-live response as any other fad or new age philosophy, like the Secret or Kabbalah, etc.

Most of the current younger Scn actors were born into it.  Every now and then I'm sure someone fresh off the turnip truck walks into the Celeb Center to check it out, thinking it might advance their career, however it would soon become clear that it is a waste of time, and they leave to go get real jobs or internships, and have real lives and party in LA, going to clubs to network with celebs instead of Scn orgs.  

As far as Scn actors continuing to get work and make money, that really has nothing to do with their involvement in the org or not.  There is no shortage of types of Crazy in Hollywood.  It doesn't matter what nonsense you spout or are involved in, as long as your face or name or humor pulls cash.  Reference Charlie Sheen.  Even Mel Gibson has a new project in the works.  And they are roundly considered to be mega-crackers.  The thing is, these people will get work if the ratings are up, but they will never have the actual respect of someone like, say, Matt Damon, who is known for being reasonable and intelligent.  Jason Lee got a new show after Earl, but it's not doing very well, and I think Jenna Elfman's latest show got canceled.  I don't think the Masterson brothers have done anything in awhile.  But those failures aren't related to Scn, just as their successes aren't either.  I may think that Scn causes major damage in the world, but I still bought a ticket to Knight and Day, and I will admit to you that I liked it.  ;p  But I enjoy silly popcorn action movies.  I'm weak that way.

Endscientology
Endscientology

One silver lining on the celebrity front group (and they are their own front group) is that we haven't seen any new celebs speak about the virtues of the cult.  In other words, we haven't seen any new stars come up the ranks like Cruise, Travolta, etc, and all we have are aging Norma Desmonds to mock.

Now, there are plenty of young Scilon celebrities such as the Ribisi siblings, Erika Christiansen (or however you spell her name), and sadly Elizabeth Moss.  They are all second and third generation Ronbots, which means they were sucked in at very young ages and probably cannot escape the Cult without disconnecting from many family members.

My point is that I haven't seen any new converts of the celebrity ilk.  Scientology is poison ivy and openly mocked among young Hollywood.  Am I wrong?  I'd love to know the ID of any new Hollywood converts so I can openly mock them.

V for Vacation
V for Vacation

Fantastic post! Xenophon and Caberta are true heroes. Here's to hoping the IRS takes note. And Lee Baca needs to be taken down! I wonder if the FBI has questioned him at all in their Scn trafficking investigation. I wish we could find out how that's going.

Old OT7
Old OT7

Agree!  Great post!

sizzle8
sizzle8

What about Mary Bono Mack, Sonny Bono's widow?  As US Representative of the Riverside district and having been married to a Scientologist, she must know about the shenanigans and abuses in her district.

Old OT7
Old OT7

Mary Bono once referred to scientology as a "bunch of expensive bullshit."

GarryS
GarryS

On July 15, 1999, Mary Bono was quoted by the Washington Post & New York Post that Sonny Bono had become disenchanted with the cult, "'Sonny did try to

break away at one point, and they made it very difficult for him,' the

congresswoman says."  Bono was visited by John Travolta & OSA Director Mike Rinder on various occasions, according to Bono, and the cult denied that Sonny wanted to leave the cult. "Bono says she told the Scientologists who visited her House office that

she will deal with any 'legitimate concern they have," but wanted nothing to do with Scientology.

MarkStark
MarkStark

Wouldn't this be a great story for Rinder to tell? He probably has dozens like it. Maybe he's not telling, protecting his relationship with celebrities, in case the cult reinstates him.

Dingo Dongo
Dingo Dongo

I really doubt Mike Rinder refuses to share stories because he's so upset by the suspicions of people who leave comments on the Internet.

Theoracle
Theoracle

Gee you have a dark mind when it comes to suspecting others.  That may be something you would do but NOT Mike Rinder.  If people like you were not so abusive you might hear a lot of stories. Unfortunatley every time Marty or Mike open their mouths certain people that never walked in their shoes, or would never dare, start a hate crusade. You punish people long enough for communicating and they stop.

sharkattacksteve
sharkattacksteve

Don't forget Bill and Hillary. Tomkat donated a quarter million to Hilliary's campaign and the cult secured their tax exempt status while Bill was prez .

Ever hear that Bill had a $cientology roommate in college ?

tampadude
tampadude

Marty Rathbun posted earlier this year the roommate was the late Senior C/S Flag Richard Reiss who died earlier this year at the age of 66 of cancer. There is also a story that Bill Clinton took John Travolta aside at education rally and told Travolta that he would handle the "Scientology German problem". That Travolta was about to start or was already  filming "Primary Colors" was, I'm sure, the furthest thing from Bill Clinton's mind. ;-)

GarryS
GarryS

Google.. clinton+cultgate+travolta. George Magazine (the now defunct mag headed by John F. Kennedy. Jr.) wrote extensively on this. Bill Clinton was so impressed by Travolta and the German "situation", Clinton addressed the matter to his national security adviser, Sandy Berger.

Theoracle
Theoracle

John Travolta turned that whole situation around.  But he wasn't described as the "most valuable Scientologist on the planet", Tom Cruise was.

Just another bomb drop from DM to violate EVERYONE'S reality!

sketto
sketto

Keep it going. Keep it going. Love the vote idea. Love the recap of first 15. Great, great stuff.

Damian DeWitt
Damian DeWitt

It is important to understand that Scientology has influence at the upper reaches of power in both Democratic and Republican parties and primarily through one man, wealthy trial lawyer John P. Coale, the husband of Scientologist Greta Van Susteren at Fox News.

Coale got into Scientology in the 1980s to handle drug addiction. Made a wealthy man as a trial lawyer in class-action lawsuits he has long been a major contributor to the Democratic Party.

He boasted of easy access to Bill and Hillary Clinton, employed Hilary's brother Hugh Rodham, and was on her finance committee in 2008. He is known to have a thing for powerful political women, including Nancy Pelosi, and switched his allegiance to Sarah Palin and John McCain.

Chris Cillizza in the Washington Post reported that Coale acts as at least an informal adviser to Palin and established SarahPac and is running it from behind the scenes. 

One of the great oddities of Republicans acting as fellow travelers and useful idiots for the Church of Scientology is the fact that the Party is officially pro-life and David Miscavige as a matter of policy coerces every pregnant Sea Org woman into abortion. No organization in the world does that except the government of China. China at least allows a woman one child and is currently considering revising the policy.

There has been zero criticism of Scientology in the conservative media, which consists largely of Fox News, Pajamas Media TV, a powerful blogosphere, and talk radio. Part of this may be due to the presence and influence of Greta Van Susteren at Fox News.Very few of Greta's millions of viewers know she is a Scientologist though undoubtedly the staff of Fox News do. 

TheGuest
TheGuest

Here, let Sharron Angle splain to you silly woggles about media:

"We needed to have the press be our friend ... We wanted them to ask the questions we want to answer so that they report the news the way we want it to be reported." --Sharron Angle, during an interview with Fox News Channel's Carl Cameron, Aug. 2, 2010

Her 2nd Amendment angle, and her education angle, and all her other tea and cookie-cutter angles catapulted her name and her interesting network of "like" friends, none of whom look Asian.

Who knew such an unknown would be the one to highlight scientology's government takeover goals?  It's one thing to spotlight the moonbattery of scientology, but Sharron Angle managed to do what most of sci's buddies shy away from:  Shining the light on scientology's dark side. 

Let's hope she perseveres and continues to champion scientology front groups like Narconon, unless of course she's one of those unAmerican quitters. 

tampadude
tampadude

You nailed it! Greta's got some splainin to do!

candace6
candace6

Another great post, Tony.

If the late Congressman Leo Ryan hadn't been killed at Jonestown, I have to believe he too would be on this list.

TonyOrtega
TonyOrtega

Actually, we had the same thought.

Damian DeWitt
Damian DeWitt

There are a few more to add to this list:

1. Republican Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana2. Republican Attorney General of Utah Mark Shurtleff3. The Parliament of Hungary

Mitch Daniels is the only major political figure in the US who has publicly criticized Scientology. When he was a Vice President for Eli Lilly in 1991 the Church of Scientology ran full page ads in USA Today screaming " "What U.S. Drug Company Produced a Drug Named After Adolf Hitler?" Daniels responded, "One thing we want you to understand is that the Church of Scientology is no church. It's a commercial enterprise. Every judge and every investigative journalist who has ever looked at it has come away with that conclusion. It is organized for only one purpose, which is to make money."  The Church of Scientology International sued him for libel. He won; they lost.

Like fellow Republican Sharron Angle Utah Attorney Mark Shurtleff also promoted for taxpayer funding Scientology's drug rehabilitation front group Narconon doing business under various names . Angle was shot down by the Democratic legislature. Shurtleff's promotion in 2007 and 2008 succeeded in getting funding of $540,000 for Narconon front group programs. Earlier this year Shurtleff attended a gala fundraiser in Las Vegas with John Travolta for Heroes Health Fund, another Narconon program.

A few months ago the Hungarian Parliament passed legislation withdrawing religious recognition from all but the country's fourteen traditional recognized religious groups effectively turning the situation back to where it had been for hundreds of years.

This was done expressly to withdraw religious legitimacy from Scientology. It will now take a 2/3rds majority in Parliament to add Scientology to the list of approved religious organisations - not bloody likely. 

Scientology's greatest point of contact with society is not as the Church of Scientology but through its front groups, foremost Narconon, Applied Scholastics, and its other "social betterment and humanitarian programs."

These provide 100% pure Scientology doctrine and practice presented as secular "applied religious philosophy" (whatever that is) purveyed by 501(c)(3) non-profits able to received state and local funding for contracts.

They also proselytize their clients into Scientology for which Catholics Danette and Lynn Elliott are suing Narconon in California. Fellow Catholic Robert Vincent Piro in Quebec also reports being proselytized when he underwent five rehabs at the Narconon facility in Trois-Rivieres halfway between Montreal and Quebec City. His new book, "When God Called On My Cellphone" is the first book by a former Narconon client and staffer to give an eyewitness account of the Church of Scientology's absolute control over Narconon.

In my opinion, exposing Narconon and the other front groups is the surest way to curb Scientology's political power and influence influence in society.  They cannot hide behind the Church of Scientology's religious immunity.  Thus Narconon's quackery is a sitting duck. No politician should be advocating taxpayer funding of quackery, particularly when it kills people.  Likewise, proselytization is an Achilles heel. 

In Canada David Love, a former patient and staffer at Narconon Trois-Rivieres, has become a one-man juggernaut. He has been filing complaints with regulatory authorities, the Human Rights Commission, and the College of Physcians that could well shut down the facility.  Moreover, former Narconon patients and staffers and their irate families who have paid for Narconon's bogus rehabs are coming out of the woodwork to file more complaints and lawsuits.

Far, far more media attention and activist efforts needs to be devoted to Narconon and the front groups.  David Love represents one of the greatest threats to Scientology today. He should probably be in Tony's Top Ten, but is as yet little known in the US. The media need to pay close attention to what is happening in Quebec.

robert
robert

Excellent post, Damian.

This use of the Purification program is a real current and continuing problem in Utah, they are actually trying to run many police through this program with the Herose Health Fund and then even having Narconon running video ads on their sites using police and DEA in uniform appearing to endorse them. 

Not only is this despicable and potentially harmful to the police officers, but again, this is more effort to reach into the halls of power and undermine any resistance.

Anon A
Anon A

"Far, far more media attention and activist efforts needs to be devoted to Narconon and the front groups."

So very true.As membership in the "church" proper continues to fall, the profits still brought in by Scientology-backed front groups that bamboozle local governments and the public need to be the focus of ongoing debunking and exposure.

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

While I'm certain that Narconon is bogusity cubed, the DEA can always be counted on to work against the public interest. I wouldn't be even a tiny bit surprised to find them in bed together, watching their needles float.

V for Vacation
V for Vacation

"bogusity cubed" - lol ! Awesome. I'm going to steal that. ;)

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