Scientology High School, Dating, and Super Powers! A Post-Countdown Roundup

ClearwaterSuperPower.jpg
Prepare to blast off, Hubbardites!
We're struggling with a little post-countdown hangover here in the underground bunker, but time marches on, and we can't let down on our Scientology-watching duties. For the second week in a row, then, we're doing a roundup of items in time for Thursday 2pm Stats -- is the church upstat or downstat this week? Let's find out.

This was actually an excellent week for journalistic exposes of Scientology, and we're having a hard time deciding which one to highlight first. I'd have to say the one that impressed me the most was a two-part investigation of Delphian, Scientology's elite high school in Oregon, by The Daily's Benjamin Carlson.

In part 1 on Tuesday, Carlson pointed out that Scientologist parents are shelling out $42,000 a year for an unaccredited private high school, and that the school is sending many students into the Sea Org.

Yesterday, in part 2, Carlson explores the strange world of Hubbard's "study tech" at the school, where emphasis is put on looking up words in a dictionary -- even words like "the."

Thursday's Stats: Upstat or Downstat? While Carlson includes plenty of quotes from alumni saying that Scientology's Hogwarts was the best thing that ever happened to them, once again Scientology can't help coming off creepy and delusional in this piece. Have to say it's another big downstat!


Story #2: Where Scientologists Learn How to Fly

We were also pleased to see a fun and revealing piece by Daniel Miller (not, we presume, our old friend at THR?), writing for the UK's Daily Mail, which showed what a spiffy and fun place David Miscavige's $90 million Super Powers palace is going to be for wealthy, upper-level Scientologists. How are you going to get even more money from OT VIIIs, who have topped out on Scientology's wacky upper level teachings? Promise them superpowers at the lavish new building, which looks like a Kubrick movie set inside a Vegas reproduction of Venice. Or something.

Thursday's Stats: Upstat or Downstat? Someone, somewhere, will look at these photos and think to themselves: "Hey, that looks like a good time!" But in general, this is another downstat. Again, the creep factor is all over the page.


Story #3: Scientology dating: where hot singles get their Xenu on?

Gawker media site Jezebel wrote this week about Affinity Exchange, a new age-y dating site for singles big on "consciousness" and dolphins. While writer Anna North was careful to point out that the site used to have a stronger connection to Scientology, her headline maybe promised a bit more than it could deliver -- when CBSNews.com looked into it, they found plenty of spiritual types, but nobody who appeared to admit to being Scientologists.

Thursday's Stats: Upstat or Downstat? Have to say, this was something of an upstat for the church. I mean, even Scientologists need to hook up, right? So it felt like a bit of a cheap shot on them, especially when the site has apparently distanced itself from a stronger Scientology connection in the past.


Story #4: A petition to get government's ass in gear

My e-mail inbox was burning up earlier this week with friends of Runnin' Scared alerting me to a new petition at whitehouse.gov that is urging the government to get off its ass and investigate the abuses at Scientology. Marty Rathbun blogged about it, but I have to say, the most important thing I took away from Rathbun's call to sign the petition was his announcement that he had heard from his law enforcement sources that the FBI's investigation into Scientology is now dead. It was Lawrence Wright, in his February New Yorker story about Paul Haggis, who first made public the news that the FBI was poking around about abuses in the Sea Org, etc. But now, Rathbun says, Scientology has managed to talk the Department of Justice out of proceeding further down those lines. When I asked him about it, he said he couldn't reveal his sources and describe how he learned that the investigation had been stopped.

Thursday's Stats: Upstat or Downstat? Have to say, if Rathbun is right, this is a big upstat for Scientology. Not really sure that a petition is going to convince the government to do what it seems to have no interest in -- either challenging Scientology's tax-exempt status, or give a crap about the way people are treated after signing billion-year contracts.

Overall, a mixed week for the church, but a great one here at the underground bunker. The floors are still sticky with champagne after we celebrated the end of the countdown last night. Next week, we'll be on the road in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, so the posting may be somewhat light. But never fear, we'll be back in the underground bunker again soon, keeping an eye on all things Scientology -- so keep those tips coming!



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]
[Aussie former rugby pro Chris Guider calls David Miscavige "toxic" and "violent"]
[Stephen Cox, UK church newbie, pledges 20K pounds] | [Biggi Reichert: A German Lisa McPherson?]

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
27 comments
red_zone
red_zone

Somehow, I doubt the investigation is dead. A better guess would be it's stalled due to Sci lawyer's meddling.

I don't believe for an instant the the FBI would stop in light of all the new evidence and with so many claims of abuse and civil rights violations. I can only imagine the international uproar that would occur if the FBI flaked out of one of the, if not the, biggest investigation into organized fraud and abuse in U.S. history.

Larry Brennan
Larry Brennan

My daughter went to Delphian School in Sheridan, Oregon and my ex-wife worked there. I visited the school on a number of occasions when my daughter was there.

Without a doubt Delphi exists to forward scientology and its policies. In his policy letter of 4 April 1972R Issue III (revised 21 June 1975) entitled "IMPORTANT ETHICS AND STUDY TECH" Hubbard said that study tech is scientology's bridge to society.

This means that it is what can be used more than anything else to get new scientology public, new scientology staff and otherwise money to organized scientology by fooling unsuspecting people into getting involved with it.

Sure enough Delphi uses "study tech", has ethics officers applying scientology ethics tech and allows Sea Org teams to try to recruit their students who did not go to Delphi to be pressured onto scientology staff.

And sure enough my own daughter was recruited into the Sea Org while a Delphi student. Thank God she was smarter than I and fled staff after a couple of years. She now is doing very well in life as a jet Captain no thanks to Delphi and organized scientology who "ordered" me to disconnect from my daughter when she fled staff in the "Commodore's Messenger Organization". I told them I chose my daughter over them despite their threatening "my immortal future" if I did not tell my daughter she had no father and no home if she did not go back to scientology for punishment.

And all this happened because Delphi exists to promote scientology and lets their own students be victims of an organized scientology who wants them for what amounts to little more than slavery to make them more money.

As for the "study tech", Hubbard did not invent looking up words in dictionaries, using words in sentences or picking out the definition of a word that best applies to what you are reading. And that is about all that is good about "study tech". Heck, nuns made me do that in third grade. The "inventions" of Hubbard with respect to study tech are what he said were the three main barriers to study and the physical manifestations one would experience with each barrier. There is zero academic study to support any of this and, if anything, it can be dangerous to follow this religious dogma of organized scientology by forcing this down the throats of unsuspecting students who may have other problems with study that will go unfound and unhandled because of this faulty and limited "study technology".

Yet being good scientologists, Delphi staff will lie about their connection to organized scientology and what they do to turn their own students into scientologists or "better" scientologists.

robert
robert

Thank you, Larry, for sharing your story.  This is the kind of story that the acccreditation team needs to hear when they are trying to consider whether to finally give accreditation to Delphi.  

Does Delphi get any manner of state or federal funding? 

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

Tony Ortega wrote "I'd have to say the one that impressed me the most was a two-part investigation of Delphian, Scientology's elite high school in Oregon, by The Daily's Benjamin Carlson." and I agree.

One of the former students interviewed, Paul Csige, recently wrote an must-read fictionalized book about his 1 year stay at Lamia School ( Delphian School). It's called' The Symphony of Leif  ' ( By Paul Y Csige ). I happened across it while buying Marc Headley's 'Blown For Good' over at Amazon (dot) com. It was selling for $10 ( .99 cents on Kindle) to I added it to my cart. Best book ever on what it's like to be a teen stuck at a Scientology school where people are trying to force Scientology on you. I was so surprised that this book was hardly known about nor promoted well on any of the forums because it should be. I just loved reading it. So did my teenage son. The characters are each effected by the ethics officer and respond in their own unique ways to her tactics but the ending is one that any critic of the church could really appreciate. Anyone not intimately familiar with Scientology will become so real quick from reading this. There is also a youtube movie trailer about the book. Check them out.

Joe_Lynn
Joe_Lynn

This may be the most important single element of this roundup:

 "Marty Rathbun blogged about it, but I have to say, the most important thing I took away from Rathbun's call to sign the petition was his announcement that he had heard from his law enforcement sources that the FBI's investigation into Scientology is now dead. It was Lawrence Wright, in his February New Yorker story about Paul Haggis, who first made public the news that the FBI was poking around about abuses in the Sea Org, etc. But now, Rathbun says, Scientology has managed to talk the Department of Justice out of proceeding further down those lines. When I asked him about it, he said he couldn't reveal his sources and describe how he learned that the investigation had been stopped."

Admittedly, it's a little short on proving a 'Church' sponsored shutdown of the FBI :)

But, the claim alone should ruffle some feathers :) 

guest
guest

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http://forums.whyweprotest.net...

The purpose of FreeSpiritSingles for The Way To Happiness is two-fold:

. To help people connect up and create sane and ethical relationships, based on The Way To Happiness booklet.

. To help spread The Way To Happiness booklets all over the planet, thus helping to create a much saner world to live in.

Find your dream guy or girl, while at the same time, help create a saner society to live in!

robert
robert

There was already an attempt by Anonymous to put this on Obama's agenda when thousands signed the briefing book issues thing to have the White House have this investigated.

NCSP
NCSP

Didn't the FBI investigation start shortly thereafter? I'm not saying it was the petition that did it, just that people shouldn't dismiss out of hand the possibility that it might have done some good -- and that this one could, too.

The Justice Dept. and the FBI (and the IRS and FDA) are part of the executive branch, so a word from the White House could create a significant effect.

mjm
mjm

who exactly has been in the W. House/FBI to stop the investigation into $cientology? methinks it's John Coale (Greta Van Sustern's "husband")

Ghost of Charlie
Ghost of Charlie

Scientology Has their own Capitol Hill Lobbyist Scientologist Greg Mitchelllicensed as the Mitchell Firm,,, Scientology is the firms sole client.Greg greases the skids for many of Scientology's front groups like Criminon and CCHRalso for wrangling religious workers visas

mjm
mjm

somebody poon Mr. Mitchell's email box with this stuff.

sizzle8
sizzle8

The real story is about the petition and the FBI investigation.  If the bureaucrats were bought off, then that's the tip of a monster iceberg.

A distant second if the Super Power building.  Supposedly it cost $90 million yet $180 million has been collected.  Where is the rest of the money?

The other stories are just mouse nuts.

Roggy McGee
Roggy McGee

Augmenting Carlson's Daily story, Gawker posted Delphian's promotional video here:

http://gawker.com/5844959/chec...

Most of the kids in the video are hyper-enthusiastic (tone 4.0 FTW!).  One girl, Meenu, seems very lost and alone when she discusses the wonderful sacrifice her parents made in sending her there.  There's also a girl in the video who identifies herself as Crystal Erlich.  Relative of Dennis or coincidence?

Ron
Ron

They like having non Scientologists attend the school:

From Jon Atack's A Piece of Blue Sky:"The headmaster of Delphi, in Oregon, has claimed that children who are not educated in Scientology schools are being "psychwashed" by the educational system. Further, he has said that Delphi wants non-Scientologist children so that the Scientology children, who are being trained to become leaders, can gain experience in dealing with "wogs." 11. Alan Larson circular letters, 17 June 1985, 19 August 1987"

Carrying the Hogwarts analogy (ripoff) further, translate wogs to muggles.

red_zone
red_zone

Except, Muggle isn't an insult. 'Mudblood' is.

TickTockDM
TickTockDM

Here's another piece of bad news for Thursday 2 P.M.:On Sept. 26, 2011, the Secretariat of Education of the state of Puebla, Mexico, had to cancel a plan to distribute two Scientology books and a DVD to the state's 70,000 schoolteachers.A storm of controversy arose after 3,000 packages were sent to schoolteachers at the beginning of September.  This educational issue then escalated into a political issue.  Opposition was so strong that the Secretary of Education decided to call off the plan, which, he said, was devised by the previous state administration in Nov. 2010, two and a half months before the end of its mandate.  A Scientology front group is suspected of having tricked or pressured education officials.100,000 more packages slated for distribution were left sitting in a warehouse.  Each package consists of the book "Learning How to Learn" and of the book and DVD "The Way to Happiness".For details, see the WWP thread "Scientology invading education in Puebla, Mexico".

Jonathon Barbera
Jonathon Barbera

Glib Scientologists follow Scientology like any other blind faith belief system. They grasp at L. Ron Hubbard's unimportant opinions as gospel truth when L. Ron Hubbard himself stressed the importance of the tech. As Mike Rinder tried to explain yesterday on Marty Rathbun's blog in response to Tony Ortega, the results of the tech are what Scientologists are dedicated to preserving. KSW is exclusively about maintaining the workability of the technology of Scientology -- not the personal opinions of LRH.

If L. Ron Hubbard's antiquated opinions of homosexuality have offended anyone, then I truly apologize. The fact is, the technology of Scientology has nothing to do with homosexuality, for or against. To be honest, Scientology auditing is more likely to turn people into bisexuals than anything else.

The Church of Scientology does a lot of harm in the name of L. Ron Hubbard. None of it is necessary, however, as the technology can be studied and delivered without the need for abusing people, harassing defectors, lying to people or any of the numerous out-ethics behaviors the church has found necessary to shrink itself into oblivion.

The entire KSW series (there's more than one reference) emphasizes what will turn people against Scientology and empty the orgs: out-tech. What is David Miscavige not addressing? David Miscavige and Marty Rathbun have labeled everyone as an ethics particle to explain away their failings with the tech. If they were capable of honest self-reflection, they would recall how they glibly quickied their way through their shoddy and incomplete training of the technology. Both David Miscavige and Marty Rathbun will claim to be tech experts -- but neither are even close to being experts on Scientology technology. If either was an expert, perhaps they would see the obvious out-tech within the church and outside and do something about it for a change.

bulldogSP
bulldogSP

Put it before them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it and, above all, accurately so they will be guided by it's light.--Joseph Pulitzer

Tony, I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog. You write boldly and tell the truth fearlessly, plus you make coming here fun. :-D

Thanks to you and your staff, you have opened my eyes. I truly appreciate the time and effort you put into your journalism.

KEEP UP THE VALUABLE WORK!

And, I really hope your going to Orange County-Riverside to kick Jeff Stones a@@. :-P

Paul Jay Salerno
Paul Jay Salerno

There's a great article in the SF weekly too Tony. It's about an apostate called "ethicstrouble" hoping to join the protesters. Give it a read if you haven't already.

TonyOrtega
TonyOrtega

Wrote about it Tuesday, Paul. Will write about it again soon.

NCSP
NCSP

I'm still sort of optimistic about the petition. If over 5,000 signatures are collected, the WH will make an official statement on the subject (whatever it is). That could be worth getting on record, even if no action is taken. And in any event, it couldn't possibly hurt.

Anon A
Anon A

Any mention of the Delphian School, or any Scientology-run school needs to include a comment about the very informative site that exposes the manipulative nature of Hubbard's "Study Tech" --  studytech.org

PattyMoher
PattyMoher

There was also the articles from Skip Press on the The Morton Report where he discussed Scn's "gay issues" and pretty much said that he thought LRH was bisexual.  LOL!  From my viewpoint as a once 27 year  Scientologist, I have to tell you that I had one of those "I thought I'd never see the day when..." moments when I read that Skip thought LRH might be bi or gay. 

I really love your Thursday stat round up!  So much fun.  I was thinking about NY org's OSA PR Branch and those poor bastards having to count all this entheta on their stats.  Unless they've changed something, the local OSA PR Branch always took the hit on their statsfor any media entheta.  Because you're in NY, the NY Org gets the minus stats.  If the VV was located in Boston, then the Boston OSA would get the minus points.   The stat is something like 1 point for every inch of theta press and minus one point for every inch of entheta press.  The jamoke that runs the NY OSA PR  these days is getting his ass kicked with all the entheta you are producing and off course then every OSA PR guy up the command chain has to count the minus points as well on their stats.  Tony, I don't know how much longer your evilness will be allowed before OSA is forced to commit another wacky foot bullet and do something to make you and the rest of us LOL with joy. 

I so enjoy your  blog!  Thanks so much for the daily smile and LOL.  The link to your site is my first stop every morning to see what's the latest and greatest.  I have to tell you, that like it or not, you are definitely a contender for the 2012 SP of the Year Award.  Thanks for your humor and courage and for doing it right.

mjm
mjm

he also subtly outed J. Travolta.

Skip Press also just did an article on Kirstie and her snake oil products.

TonyOrtega
TonyOrtega

Thank you, Patty.

greebly
greebly

It’s all about a volume of voices, don’t be afraid anymore it is your right to get answers. If nothing happens atleast you are making a very important statement.

If problems registering go here 1st:

wwws dot whitehouse dot gov/user/register

+back to the Petition:

wh dot gov/4Os

If the Sign button is grey and not green simply log out and log back in.

Keep tabs on it Tony Daily counts as it has not gone viral yet sadly. 

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