The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology, No. 12: Tommy Davis

GuessWhere14.jpg
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

#12: Tommy Davis (and other hapless church executives)


TommyDavis.jpg
Davis
Scientology leader David Miscavige's iron grip on the organization has led to an exodus among Scientology's upper ranks over the last decade, greatly diminishing the pool of executives to choose from.

The leading remaining Miscavige loyalist is undoubtedly on-again-off-again spokesman Tommy Davis, who is the son of Scientologist actress Anne Archer. Scientology mouthpieces never have it easy, as they're constantly being called upon to defend or deny indefensible policies like disconnection, or handling questions about galactic overlord Xenu, whether or not they've been exposed to the Xenu material by reaching the level of OT III. Scientology spokespersons have almost always conveyed an elitist, disdainful air -- precisely the opposite most organizations want their public faces to communicate. But Davis has taken the role of disastrous public spokesman to catastrophic new levels.

Whether he's ripping off his microphone and storming out of an interview with ABC's Martin Bashir in response to a question about Xenu, or abruptly ending an interview with the BBC's John Sweeney after Sweeney used the term "sinister cult," Davis's conduct leads the average viewer to the inescapable conclusion that Scientology is a petulant, hostile, humorless organization.

But Davis does much more for Scientology than convey its worst face to the public. As we reported last week, Davis apparently negotiates the silence and complicity of ex-members when he's not otherwise busy failing to answer questions from the media. Davis, along with his wife Jessica Feshbach (see below), gamely worked to convince ex-member Shane Clark to quit his job with ex-member Marc Headley -- in exchange, Clark would enjoy continued contact with his family, who were still members. What made Tommy Davis's disconnection negotiation with Shane Clark all the more notable, of course, was that Davis is on record denying that Scientology practices disconnection.

As we noted in that piece, Davis has been rather scarce lately. After being the public face of Scientology for several years, Davis has suddenly become invisible. Former members tell us they believe that one of Davis's many gaffes must have angered Miscavige, who now has Davis under wraps at Scientology's desert headquarters near Hemet, California

While we wait to see when Davis is going to resurface, we're also going to note some other hapless Scientology employees who have helped cement its reputation as a badly run organization experiencing a historic nosedive.


JanEastgate.jpg
Eastgate
As President of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, Scientology's anti-psychiatry front group, Jan Eastgate was actually pretty good at her job. Sure, of all Scientology's front groups, CCHR was probably the easiest ship to steer, since it isn't difficult to tap into resentment and opposition to big pharmaceutical companies. And unlike Narconon, which covertly delivers Scientology processes to drug addicts, or Applied Scholastics, which covertly delivers Scientology processes to school children, CCHR rarely triggers lawsuits and school board meetings because it operates at the public policy level and has relatively little interaction with the general public.

Even with those advantages, as head of CCHR, Eastgate sometimes can't help shoot herself in the foot, such as by routinely citing psychiatry's "Nazi roots" and its having caused the Holocaust. But unsubstantiated bombast and Nazi comparisons are nothing compared to the mess Eastgate has since put herself -- and by extension, Scientology -- in, when she was charged in Australia this past June with "perverting the course of justice." Those charges date to 1985, when she was head of the CCHR Australia. She is accused of coaching an 11-year old girl, Carmen Rainer, along with Rainer's mother, to lie to authorities about Carmen having been sexually abused by her stepfather, Robert Kerr, in order to head off potentially bad publicity for Scientology. And yet, CCHR's website still lists Eastgate as its President.


BennettaSlaughter.jpg
Slaughter
Though she doesn't appear to be a Scientology executive at the moment, Bennetta Slaughter has served Scientology in so many capacities over the years that she merits an entry. Slaughter is probably best known as Lisa McPherson's employer in Dallas and in Clearwater, Florida. Slaughter also helped cover up details about McPherson's death on behalf of Scientology, telling the Tampa Tribune that McPherson had "just got sick and died... There's nothing else there." More egregiously, she lied to Lisa McPherson's aunt mother, Fannie McPherson, breaking the news of Lisa's death by telling Fannie that Lisa had became ill at work "and just kept getting sicker and sicker" before finally dying of "fast-acting meningitis." [See Janet Reitman's excellent book, Inside Scientology, p. 228]. Slaughter would go on to form dozens of local community groups in Clearwater, and at one point, a number of them incorporated in Lisa McPherson's name in stated opposition to Bob Minton's Lisa McPherson Trust.

Slaughter again ran interference for Scientology after the Reed Slatkin Ponzi scheme came to light in 2001. In the ensuing confusion that follows any Ponzi scheme, Bennetta sent multiple e-mails to the various investors, instructing them to send her money, how to fill out SEC forms, etc., in a transparent attempt to handle investors who might be hostile to the fact that much of Slatkin's illegally procured gains disappeared into Scientology.

Slaughter's hard work paid off when, in 2001, she became CEO of Scientology's education front group, Applied Scholastics, headquartered in St. Louis. Despite Slaughter claiming in 2002 that no relationship between Scientology and Applied Scholastics existed, St. Louis Public Schools officials concluded otherwise and rejected her attempts to impose Scientology on schoolchildren throughout the city. Slaughter reportedly left Applied Scholastics in 2007.


PatHarney.JPG
Harney
Like Tommy Davis, public affairs director Pat Harney is occasionally thrust into the unenviable position of having to defend Scientology's practices. Unlike Davis, Harney wisely refrains from imposing her own drama. But the incredulous bluster she resorts to in doing her job isn't difficult to pick apart. For example, she complained in an op-ed about the St. Pete Times' refusal to consider reams of dead agenting material the church had offered as a rebuttal to the Times' landmark "Truth Rundown" series, in which numerous ex-members claimed that Scientology leader David Miscavige violently beat church officials. To Harney, this was an example of "bigotry" by the Times. In July of this year, she was again given a platform to whine, this time over a positive review the Tampa Tribune had given Janet Reitman's Inside Scientology. Among Harney's gripes were that Reitman had only spoken with "one practicing Scientologist," which is ironic, given that one of the more interesting moments in Reitman's book is her creepy first meeting with... Harney, presumably still a practicing Scientologist. Why creepy? Because Harney was somehow aware of Reitman's early arrival in Clearwater without Reitman having told her of it.


JessicaFeshbach.jpg
Feshbach
Jessica Feshbach's name threads in and out of Scientology in so many ways. She's the daughter of a wealthy and influential Scientology family, the wife of Tommy Davis, a member of Scientology's Sea Org, a Scientology spokeswoman, and even finds time to serve as Katie Holmes's best friend and handler. It was during Feshbach's stint as Holmes's BFF, in 2005, that she first weirded out a wider public when she sat in on W magazine's interview with Holmes, periodically interrupting to answer questions on Holmes's behalf. Feshbach has since become better known for appearances on audiotaped conversations with her husband Tommy Davis. In 2009, Davis and Feshbach met with Orientation voice-over actor Larry Anderson to negotiate his silence in exchange for a refund of the balance of Anderson's account, holding the threat of disconnection over Anderson's head. This past week we revealed that around the same time, Feshbach also sat in with Davis to negotiate the silence of ex-member Shane Clark, detailed above.


DeniseMiscavige.jpg
Miscavige
Denise Miscavige-Covington-Licciardi-Gentile -- yes, David's twin sister -- has caused at least as many flaps and embarrassments for her Chairman of the Board brother as the number of surnames she's managed to collect, and that's obviously saying something. While working for Scientologist Bryan Zwan at his then-successful company Digital Lightwave, Denise exposed the company to SEC liability by instituting a highly misleading inventory system, according to a subsequently filed affidavit in a lawsuit brought by an ex-employee, Seth Joseph. Joseph filed his lawsuit after he was fired for refusing to go along with Denise's phantom accounting scheme. The Joseph case and the resulting SEC imbroglio resulted in a gusher of embarrassing documents providing a fascinating peek into a company run entirely by Scientology Admin tech.

But all that pales in comparison to the mess Denise presently finds herself in as a co-defendant in the wrongful death suit filed by the estate of Kyle Brennan. The lawsuit alleges that Kyle shot and killed himself with his father's handgun after his father hid his Lexapro, an antidepressant. A short time prior to Kyle's death, Denise -- who was Kyle's father's "Chaplain" -- had phoned Kyle's mother in Virginia to ask her approval to enroll Kyle in Narconon, which Kyle's mother refused. Denise subsequently denied even knowing that Kyle was on Lexapro. The case is still ongoing.


JohnCarmichael.jpg
Carmichael
John Carmichael's more than 24 years as President of the Church of Scientology of New York have been mostly uneventful, but two decades of defending Scientology to the New York media have apparently taken their toll on "Rev." Carmichael. Or maybe the NYC Anonymous crew would have caused anyone to snap, which is what happened when Carmichael confronted Anonymous in 2008 and was recorded on video snarling at one protestor, "Let me tell you this: I smell pussy. You in particular." Good luck finding another "Reverend" in any other religion willing to get as down and dirty as Carmichael.



FreedomCover.JPG
Along with this rogue's gallery of incompetence, it seems fitting to include Scientology's disastrous propaganda organ. Freedom Magazine's recent New Yorker parody was so beyond the pale, we couldn't imagine anyone really comprehending its schizo attacks and weird stabs at humor other than church leader Miscavige himself. Previous broadsides against the St. Pete Times and CNN's Anderson Cooper were also remarkably stupid, but this disinformation rag is entering truly batshit crazy territory, and we agree with former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder, who tells us that Freedom's increasing insanity will likely lead to more church members questioning its mission and ultimately looking elsewhere for the facts -- a risky situation for the insular church.


We're sure you'll think of other executives and entities in Scientology that deserve to be on this list, and as usual, we expect to hear about it in the comments. So let us have it! And come back for #11 on our countdown, which will appear Wednesday morning at 9 am. [Huge thanks to Scott Pilutik on his contribution to the research and drafting of this countdown item.]


UPDATE...

KarinPouw.jpg
Pouw
Karin Pouw is a longtime member of Scientology's PR crew, and I've always had a soft spot in my heart for her. Well, at least ever since a lunch I had with her in 1999 at the Hollywood Celebrity Centre. Concerned with stories we were doing at New Times Los Angeles, she had invited our editor and publisher to lunch at the Centre's swanky restaurant, Renaissance, and at the last minute the publisher cancelled. My editor asked me to go along, which was clearly not in Pouw's plans -- she didn't exactly look thrilled to see me. Over a lovely plate of Chilean sea bass and wild rice, I tried to engage her in conversation about Scientology beliefs, which seemed to make her increasingly uncomfortable. At some point, I got on to some of the more interesting elements of the OT III materials -- in particular that Xenu's R6 implant had indoctrinated the disembodied alien souls clinging to us with false memories, such as the concept of "Jesus Christ." Scientology publicly says you can be a Christian and a Scientologist at the same time -- but is that really an honest claim, when Hubbard said Christ was just an implanted memory? Well, she got pretty agitated at this point, and I included her outburst in a subsequent story: "So what if we believe Jesus is a figment of the imagination?" she barked. Ah, if only all Scientology PR people were so open.



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
397 comments
Laura Cordova-James
Laura Cordova-James

I'm so pissed off.  I almost got involved with the church of Scientology.  From now on, this church of Scientology is a microcosm of how leaders in countries like North Korea can and will happen again.  Find a list of warning signs people.  Make sure you know what they are and use your bull shit e meter in your brain to be a good judge of character.  Critical thinking skills are a must.

Ex Scilon Staff
Ex Scilon Staff

I wonder if Tommy Davis and Jessica Feshbach were even allowed to attend the funeral of her father, Joe Feshbach?  He was an OT VIII in his mid-50's who tragically died while riding a bicycle uphill a few weeks ago. I bet they were "too busy" to attend....

scilonschools
scilonschools

Tony , You must have searched high and low to find such a flattering picture of Jan Eastgate (One where she doesn't look like an Axe Murderer in drag), are you finally buckleing to the OSA PR team?

TonyOrtega
TonyOrtega

Unlike OSA, I think it's out of bounds to try to slime someone with a bad photo. I have tried to choose photos which are neutral or even flattering -- it's what a person does that matters, not what they look like, right?

Endscientology
Endscientology

Tony, can you then explain what is wrong with the Chuck Beatty photo?  He looks like something alien is crawling out of his ear.  Very Wrath of Khan like.....

I can't tell if someone is shooped out of the picture or something shooped in.

TonyOrtega
TonyOrtega

That's what happens when you're rushing to get a decent photo of someone and crop Beatty out of a group shot that happens to include yourself -- yes, that's my hand on Chuck's shoulder, and one of these days, when I'm not busy writing a new countdown entry, I'll go back and put another photo up there that doesn't have my mitt growing out of Beatty's ear.

Luis
Luis

Admirable viewpoint and deed Tony.

I have noticed that Scientology does the exact opposite... such a corrupted heart they have

robert
robert

In the original Freedom report against the SP Times 'Truth Rundown" series, not only did they post ugly pictures of the sources, but they also posted pics of their homes and made fun of them. They invented names to call them so that Scientologists who might read about them and be influenced by the actions of people that they used to know.  They referred to Amy Scobee throughout the whole piece as "the adulterer".  

This is what they spend member's money on.  This is a church?  

Brian fron Sydney
Brian fron Sydney

Looking forward to next Freedom Mag expose on The Village Voice & Tony.

robert
robert

Oh can you imagine, how funny that one would be?

It amuses me just thinking of what ridiculous stuff they could come up with.  But the funny thing is that by their lights, if they do something like they did with the Haggis piece, they feel they are winning.  It's all about equity.  If they get their piece out in the media it means they are getting equal time in their mind, they have "handled" the situation.  It doesn't matter if it makes everyone else think they are bats.

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

This just in from "The Morton Report" :

From Scientology Apostate to Humanitarian, Oscar Winning Screenwriter Paul Haggis Helps Rebuild Haiti

By Skip Press, Contributor

September 6, 2011 7:40 PM 4

When Lawrence Wright was writing his lengthy and controversial New Yorker article on the defection of Paul Haggis from Scientology, he called me for a long discussion. I had not spoken to Paul for years because as far as I knew, he was in Scientology and I hadn’t been involved for well over a decade. Extant Scientologists don’t talk to people who leave, by policy. Still, I have a very good memory and was able to tell Wright things about Paul that Wright didn’t know. Paul and I had formed a group for Scientologist writers in 1979 that continued for almost a decade.

I explained that Paul had impressed me with his writing the first time I read anything from him. In 1978, a mutual friend named Spanky Taylor gave me a “spec” (written on speculation) script for the show Welcome Back, Kotter that Paul wanted Spanky to give to her friend John Travolta. I was already making money writing and Spanky wanted my opinion. I laughed out loud at a Vinnie Barbarino line where he postures that he could probably get a scholarship to beauty school because he was so good-looking.

Paul impressed others with that script and soon got work writing animated shows in town via Michael Maurer and his brother Jeff (who later changed his last name to Scott), who were grandsons of Moe Howard of the Three Stooges. I told Lawrence that Paul had also gotten a boost when Peter Devaney, a strawberry farmer from Canada, had shown up at a writers meeting at Celebrity Centre wanting to spend $15,000 to develop a movie about the life of L. Ron Hubbard.

Paul and I were running the meeting and I turned to him and said, “You take it.” Paul made a deal with Devaney and although Hubbard’s life story didn’t get done, the money bought Paul some time to write, and his career took off rapidly (and he paid Devaney back). Before I knew it he was the show runner (writer/producer) on the TV series The Facts of Life (the show that gave George Clooney his start). Paul was always gracious, encouraged me to write for the show, but I just didn’t want to do that at the time.

I regretted that a bit one night in Santa Barbara when I was watching the Emmys and saw Paul win a statuette for a script he wrote for the show thirtysomething. I called him up the next day and congratulated him and, as usual, he was gracious, happy, and wanted to know how I was doing. I never found him to be otherwise, no matter how successful he became. I remember talking to him once after the devastating Northridge earthquake in 1994 about some Hollywood business and he said, “Did you see that house that went over the cliff on the news?”

“Sure!” I said. “That was awful.”

“My house,” he laughed. He actually laughed.

I, on the other hand, felt a bit devastated, because I knew that during the Chinese uprising in Tiananmen Square in 1989, the pro-democracy movement there had been greatly aided by fax machines in America that ran constantly to China, keeping freedom fighters connected. Those fax machines were located in Paul Haggis’ hillside home.

When Paul wrote the screenplay for Million Dollar Baby and it won the Best Motion Picture Oscar, I fully agreed with the selection. Although I’m not a fan of euthanasia, I thought the script was excruciatingly perfect. When he won three Oscars for Crash the next year, including Best Picture, I couldn’t have been happier, even though it was sad that I’d probably never speak to him again due to the fact that those who leave Scientology are completely shunned by those who remain in it. 

Next thing I knew, Paul was writing a James Bond movie. He wrote another movie for Clint Eastwood. And another James Bond movie! It was astonishing - the aspiring screenwriter I’d once been asked to help was completely at the top of the game. Meanwhile, I was writing books about how to break into Hollywood, teaching writers around the world online, and raising a family. Had I taken the wrong path entirely? Should I have gone through TV to the movies, like Paul had done? Oh well.

Another thing that saddened me was how I knew Scientology would use his Oscar win to tout the glories of Hubbard thought. The only other person who had ever won an Oscar while in Scientology was Bert Salzman for the short Angel and Big Joe in 1975. The legendary Ernest Lehman had been involved in Scientology, but I don't believe he was by the time he passed and though nominated six times, the only Oscar Ernie had was a well-deserved honorary statuette. Other than that, John Travolta and Karen Black had been nominated as actors. In contrast, when Hubbard’s novel Battlefield Earth was put onscreen, all it won was a bunch of Golden Raspberry (Razzie) awards for worst just about everything. Oh my, was Scientology going to make hay with Best Picture Haggis. 

Only something funny happened on the way to the hype. Paul Haggis fell out with Scientology. He sent them a letter of resignation. In Hollywood, this was big news. I wondered what the repercussions would be, waited for their attack on him, but none came. Then the New Yorker article appeared. Still no attack, no lawsuit. Hmm. This verified something I’d observed for years - Scientology wasn’t what it used to be, when they’d sue anyone at the drop of a word. The Church of Eternal Litigation, some called it.

Finally, six months after the fact, Scientology struck back, via their Freedom magazine in one of the nastiest attempted hit pieces I ever saw Freedom do on anyone. And I’d know - I used to write for Freedom. I had encouraged Tom Whittle—Freedom’s long-time editor—to move to Los Angeles when he’d been in the Air Force in El Paso, Texas. I was Freedom’s correspondent in Portland, Oregon covering the massive Scientology protest and demonstration against Julie Christofferson Titchbourne, a young Portland woman who was awarded $39 million in damages against Scientology. I’d gone up there on a shoestring budget - no funds supplied by Freedom or Scientology - and when he found out I had no place to stay, Paul Haggis let me sleep on the couch in his hotel room.

So when the Freedom (an ironic word sometimes) attack on Paul came, I held my nose and read it online. I would have been amazed that they tried to denigrate his Best Picture Oscar win, or his amazing track record in Hollywood, even the fact that he’s been spending a lot of time and money building a hospital in Haiti lately but then, I know Scientology all too well - they’re capable of any lunacy. What they either didn’t know or chose to ignore is the fact that Paul’s organization Artists for Peace and Justice supports a children's hospital and built a cholera clinic where over 10,000 patients have been treated, many children, half of whom would have died within 24 hours without it.  

 And while Scientology crows in its article about revamping its building in Clearwater, Florida, APJ is currently building a high school for the children of the slums grades 7-13 - amazingly, the very first free high school in the history of Haiti. When they are done they will have between 2500 and 3000 students, who also get what might be their only meal of the day. And what’s your charity, Scientology?

 As Scientology did its best to degrade Haggis’ career, citing the disappointing box office of his latest movie, they failed to note how the rest of the world views Paul Haggis. For example, he’s to receive the Golden Eye Award, a lifetime achievement honor, from the Zurich Film Festival, which will also present a retrospective of Haggis' career as a director and screenwriter, screening several of his films.

I won’t bother with the contents of the New Yorker article or the Freedom “rebuttal” - you can easily read those yourself online. I will simply say that Scientology “ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” While the Janet Reitman book might not have been the expose many anticipated, the forthcoming books by Lawrence Wright and others will be. When Paul Thomas Anderson’s expose movie The Master hits the screens, the dwindling numbers of Scientologists who see it are liable to hit the streets, screaming.

It seems the Portland branch of Scientology is closed now, and “old timers” (people who were in Scientology early on like myself) report to me how empty the Scientology buildings are these days. If Scientology keeps attacking highly talented humanitarians like Paul Haggis, who simply have a difference of opinion, the religion founded by L. Ron Hubbard may soon, like a repeating line in his never produced screenplay Revolt in the Stars, face a “Future zero!”

That won’t happen for Paul Haggis.

http://www.themortonreport.com...

robert
robert

That is brilliant!  

So of course, Scientology wasn't responsible for him getting his Oscar, because according to them, he never really was a Scientologist.  So they can't even claim that, lol.  Boy, they really do shoot themselves in the feet continuously, don't they? And it sounds like Mr. Press has kept up with the information, as he knows about the shut down of the Portland org. 

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

I think any dissection/discussion of Scientology requires framing the dialog around the central issue of well-documented, de-facto slavery within this criminal cult.

All else is dross.

TheEvilofScientology
TheEvilofScientology

If there is a God, I hope he blesses Tommy Davis with many more years of total incompetence!

Nadia Beliskaya
Nadia Beliskaya

Thank you, This is the truth. "ShellyMiscavige 22 hours ago in reply to TonyOrtega ...Little fuhrer David Miscavige must be going crazy at his failure to "handle" any of this, and I guess Village Voice is yet another piece of evidence that proves beyond doubt that the super powers and OT powers that Scientology promises simply do not exist. Hypnosis and brainwashing combines with a simple bait & switch, yeah, but real powers? Nope. Great work Tony (and others behind the scenes) - I love it. One day, if I ever get out of this RPF jail cell I'll kiss you ".

robert
robert

And the unfortunate thing for them is that there are more hapless folks who really could fit into this category; those mentioned are just the more obvious.

Heather Grace
Heather Grace

Personally, I think it's sad that the leader of Anonymous didn't make the top 10.

Keep up the good work, Tommy.

mjm
mjm

oh great another OSA troll

SFF
SFF

People like to jokingly claim that Tommy Davis is the leader of Anonymous since he has helped Anon so much with his many blunders. He didn't make the top ten.

Therefore, the "leader of Anonymous didn't make the top 10".

CofS Exit Zone
CofS Exit Zone

/facepalm you missed the the long-standing joke/cliche in that remark:

Tommy Davis = The Leader of Anonymous... because he is such a master of footbullets. Erego, he does the protesters more good than he does the CofS.

Peter
Peter

I smell Pulitzer, Tony.

Heather Grace
Heather Grace

"I smell Pulitzer, Tony."

You, in particular?

Sid
Sid

/facepalm Pulitzer is a journalistic prize, not excrement.

Peter is merely suggesting this series is good enough for a Pulitzer Prize.

Heather, you need to learn your memes   :-)

Endscientology
Endscientology

I'm going to cross-post this here.  This is a wonderful statement from an ex-Ronbot on the state  of affairs in re the Independent movement from Robin Scott's FaceBook page.  

Robin Scott

THE MADNESS OF MARTY

There is a very fine line between religious faith and religious mania. By definition, religious faith is not subject to proof; it is something we believe, not something we can prove as a matter of fact. For example, I believe in Reincarnation; but I cannot prove it to you as an objective fact. There is nothing wrong with this, as long as we remember that our religious faiths are beliefs, and not proven matters of fact.

The problem sets in when people cross the line between faith and fact, when they assert articles of faith as matters of proven fact. We see an element of this in all religions, whenever we see fundamentalists expounding that their religion is the one true religion, that effectively they have a monopoly on truth, and that everyone else is wrong. It is this mindset of absolute conviction of one’s own rightness that leads to all the excesses and abuses that result from organised religion. Unfortunately, this appears to be a mechanism that operates within all religious groups.

When religious people cross over that line from faith to fact, then their religious beliefs become something else: they become a form of madness, a confusion between fiction and fact, a distortion of reality. In the days when I was a fully paid-up Scientologist, I used to believe that everything in Scientology was the gospel truth, and that all other viewpoints were wrong and misguided. For me, at that time, Scientology was the only true religion, and its founder, Ron Hubbard, was in effect infallible, almost a living god. We see people with similar misguided notions in all major religions, especially in both Christianity and Islam at this time, with fundamentalists on both sides whipping up violent hatred against each other.

For my family and myself, weaning ourselves away from the absolute certainties of Scientology has been a long and complex process, still incomplete, over thirty years now. Initially, back in 1985, I began to doubt the validity of the OT levels, especially in view of the many tragic casualties among so many supposed OTs. When Adrienne and I were involved in the early independent Scientology movement in the 1980s, we still believed that a reformed Scientology organization would continue to benefit mankind in clearing the planet. Unfortunately for us, Scientology management under David Miscavige – supported by the likes of Marty Rathbun – used the resources which we had helped to accumulate to harass and litigate us out of existence. So the early Independent Scientology movement was effectively throttled by their criminal activities against us.

In recent years, Marty Rathbun himself has joined the independent field, and become a leading practitioner. But regretably his influence once again has been entirely negative, for the following reasons:

Marty accepts no criticism of LRH, his actions, ethics, policies and technology – thereby removing any chance to reform the body of LRH’s work, which has produced such catastrophic results, in particular the policy of Disconnection and the auditing procedures of the Scientology OT levels.

Marty fails to give any credit to the recent progress against the Church to Anonymous, who have been directly responsible for the significant gains made against Miscavige in the last few years. In taking this arrogant and conceited view, Rathbun has alienated large numbers of important allies in the battle against the Church management.

Marty rails against David Miscavige as being the only problem with the Church. Covertly, this sends out the message that Marty is the one true successor to LRH. But the irony of this situation is that both Miscavige and Rathbun suffer from the same disease: they both believe that Scientology is the one true religion. What they share is the madness of religious mania. They are lost off in the vanity and insanity of Scientology’s bogus claims to be the only route to spiritual salvation and eternal life. Theirs is not a true religion; theirs is a destructive and egocentric view of the world, which causes incredible damage and suffering to all who come into contact with it.

The tragedy of this situation is that there was indeed much of value in Scientology – sophisticated counselling techniques, ethics procedures, administrative skills, evaluation formats and much more. All of these might have had tremendous value in the wider world, if they had been implemented in a humane and balanced way. If Scientology had been successfully reformed back in the 1980s, or even more recently, it might have gone on to become a respected and benign contribution to human thought. Instead, it has become a laughing stock – on South Park and many other shows – a currency debased and devalued beyond recognition.

For thirty years now, Adrienne and I have cherished a fond dream that Scientology would rise from the ashes and become a force for good in the world. But finally, like a well-loved automobile, there comes a point where one has to accept that it is damaged beyond further repair. It’s a wreck, a write-off. For us that point has now come. We no longer consider ourselves to be anything other than Ex-Scientologists. We no longer suffer from the delusion that Scientology is here to save the world!

And the man who is responsible for destroying the good in Scientology: Marty Rathbun. Even more than David Miscavige and even Ron Hubbard himself, Rathbun has effectively given the kiss of death to the subjects of Dianetics and Scientology, first by his criminal harassment of the independent Scientologists over the last thirty years, and now by his self-promoting antics as a so-called independent himself.

What do Ron Hubbard, David Miscavige and Marty Rathbun have in common? In the first place, they are all bullshitters and bullies, suffering from religious mania, narcissism, alcoholism, nicotine addiction, schizophrenic paranoia and dysfunctional dynamics. Beyond that, they are all people who believe that physical assaults, psychological abuse and financial crimes are justified in feeding their own ego-based ambitions. Like the Church of Scientology, no doubt Marty Rathbun and his coterie of groupies will struggle on a little longer; but they are all dead men walking, lost off in their own insanity and delusional vanity.

Luckily for us, with the loyal support of our family and friends, we look forward to a joyous and prosperous future, no longer shackled to the madness of religious bigots, cowards and traitors.

Robin & Adrienne Scott4 Sept 2011

Theoracle
Theoracle

"Marty's guilty! Marty's guilty!  Marty's guilty............."   Jesus!  That was one long chant! 

Thanks to the Scott's for their ser fac serenade.   Of course, the Scott's have never done anything wrong, or right either.  They don't want to be shackled to madness they just want to contribute to it in long SP declares. I think that's bigot and cowardly myself. 

Luis
Luis

Thanks to the Scott's for expressing theilr viewpoints.

Thanks to you for expressing yours.

Just make sure you avoid nourishing the same condition the Church and its leaders have been trapped by for decades: When faced with criticism, the choice is made to nullilfy it by Invalidating, with the assignment of insanity (case in Scio terms), those who criticize it.

Critical viewpoints  are wonderful opportunities to correct and/or expand one's own.  One should not be resisting them or giving in to a need to dim their value.

Trying to suppress them or have them be regarded as coming from a flawed source is not very healthy for a soul that seeks growing, freedom and strength.

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

Google is your friend:

" Ser Fac

Service Facsimile.

A mental image picture the PC (Preclear or patient) uses to make himself or herself right and others wrong, help him dominate others and himself escape domination, or to enhance his own survival and injure that of others. At least, that's what the tech says; in reality, the term is applied to people who are not "up-stat" - running around like a chicken with their head cut off to make money fast for the cult. If someone is moping, looks depressed, is making excuses, saying "oh, poor me", justifying their errors and generally "acting the victim" and trying to get sympathy instead of being 100% dedicated and "making it go right", they are said to be ser fac'ing (pronounced FACKing). In other words, if someone isn't living up to the fascist ideals of Scientology, they're said to be dramatizing their ser facs."If you keep pulling down stats in my area with your Ser Facs, I'll write a KR on you!" Grade 4 deals with auditing this type of engram out of the mark. See Grade 4. "

http://www.xenu-directory.net/...

robert
robert

And by the way, "ser fac" is not a real word.  So when you try to be insulting and invalidating, you fail if you only use Scientologese. 

robert
robert

Excellent!  Thanks, Luis. Theoracle, I suggest you google Robin Scott's name and see what he has had to endure, before you try to invalidate him by saying he has never done anything.  

William Burke
William Burke

Thanks for posting that.  I vote for Marty Rathbun to make Tony's list of people crippling Scientology.  As covered quite well in Robin & Adrienee's posting, he certainly has been doing his part.

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

All too true. LRH was poison on multiple levels. Scientology is the poisoned fruit of a poisoned tree. There's noting to fix here, the cult should be bankrupted, declared dead and then buried and forgotten. That is the best one can hope for.

WokNoo
WokNoo

Biggest CULT in the world dude, I think the Catholics are a close second!anon-toolz.edu.tc

TruthSeeker
TruthSeeker

There are single churches in Texas which are twice the size of the entire population of Scientologists on the planet. It's all a facade. The cult is smaller than anyone thinks. Some people guess there are 50,000 Scientologist on the planet there is no way there are even half that many. 

William Burke
William Burke

Oh, no.  Scientology is a very, very, very tiny cult.  It is vicious, it is evil.  But it is tiny-tiny-tiny.  And collapsing.

Old OT7
Old OT7

Correct!  They may be  down to no more than 40,000 members.  The buying of buildings is nothing more than a smoke screen to show the members their "explosive growth."  The org in my home town of Pasadena, CA., is empty.  The internet  is their Waterloo...

NCSP
NCSP

I think WokNoo means "biggest" in the sense of "most culty."  Which I can hardly fault him/her on.  No one would claim that Scientology is bigger in size than the Catholic Church.

TruthSeeker
TruthSeeker

Why is it against Scientology's religious beliefs to have toilet paper in the Org's bathrooms?  Did Xenu invent toilet paper or something like that? 

robert
robert

Scientology-where neither God nor toilet paper can be found.

Shawn
Shawn

OT's don't need toilet paper as they just confront that shit until it leaves.

Marcotai
Marcotai

Oh GOOD! you are at least admitting that.Maybe you are also willing to tell a bit of your background.Let see if LRH was right about:

"BEWARE THE PERSON OR GROUP WHO FIGHTS SCIENTOLOGY, FOR THAT PERSON FIGHTS TRUTH...NOT THE TRUTH OF NATURAL LAWS BUT THE TRUTH ABOUT HIMSELF"

Anna Asks
Anna Asks

Marcotai, 

The statement that you make there sounds like a Catch 22.  That's described as:

"The archetypal Catch-22, as formulated by Heller, involves the case of John Yossarian, a U.S. Army Air Forces bombardier, who wishes to be grounded from combat flight. This will only happen if he is evaluated by the squadron's flight surgeon and found "unfit to fly." "Unfit" would be any pilot who is willing to fly such dangerous missions, as one would have to be mad to volunteer for possible death. However, to be evaluated, he must request the evaluation, an act that is considered sufficient proof for being declared sane. These conditions make it impossible to be declared "unfit."The "Catch-22" is that "anyone who wants to get out of combat duty isn't really crazy."[1] Hence, pilots who request a mental fitness evaluation are sane, and therefore must fly in combat. At the same time, if an evaluation is not requested by the pilot, he will never receive one and thus can never be found insane, meaning he must also fly in combat.Therefore, Catch-22 ensures that no pilot can ever be grounded for being insane even if he is."

Are you aware of that dichotomy in your statment?

Anna

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

I think it's one of those Koans, like the 5000 tons of flax that Discordians speak off.

There is no truth in Hubbard, there is no Hubbard in me therefore the statement is the purest form of non-sequitur.

The person who fights Scientology is fighting "Batshit Crazy."

Clarkle
Clarkle

Imagine that...another copy and paste statement from Marcotai.

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

Horseshit.

One Man, One Cult, One Brainwashing Tech:

Scientology—Let's Fuck This One Up Bigtime.

Joe_Lynn
Joe_Lynn

Many thanks Marcotai.  While you're definitely 'small potatoes', you too are a representative of Scientology's 'PR Tech' and, the more you 'handle' the deeper you dig into the latrine that most would rather avoid.

I guess somebody has to do it.

Marcotai
Marcotai

I have it for you too if you wish, Joe Lynn. so..be a good boy.

Shawn
Shawn

This ladies and gentlemen is what the cult is all about. 

candace6
candace6

FYI-you and your slimy cult don't scare anyone anymore.  Threatening former members on a public forum only proves critics right:  You are nothing more than reprehensible goons who will gleefully release supposedly "confidential" info the minute you're criicized.A religion doesn't do that; a crime syndicate does.  You're like a tiger with no teeth marco.  Get used to it.

Shawn
Shawn

Hubbard was a fucking idiot.

William Burke
William Burke

 HAHAHAHAHAHA!

Like Hubbard was someone to listen to.  The world would be not one bit lessened if Hubbard had never said a word.

Marcotai
Marcotai

Oh GOOD! you are at least admitting that.Maybe you are also willing to tell a bit of your background.Let see if LRH was right about:"BEWARE THE PERSON OR GROUP WHO FIGHTS SCIENTOLOGY, FOR THAT PERSON FIGHTS TRUTH...NOT THE TRUTH OF NATURAL LAWS BUT THE TRUTH ABOUT HIMSELF"

Joe_Lynn
Joe_Lynn

Thanks Candace, but, I'm not a 'former member'.  Scientology is an equal opportunity asshole

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

You mean data that your cult gathered during auditing?

You're morally reprehensible Marcotai.

Joe_Lynn
Joe_Lynn

No, and although Marcotai is indeed reprehsible, the Cult has no auditing 'folders' on me :)

Joe_Lynn
Joe_Lynn

I assume that's a 'threat' Marcotai, so, bring it on :)  You might want to review the laws on 'republished libel' first, but, if your 'Church' has been trying to silence me for 10 years with your religiousfreedumbwatch crap, you might want to look at how successful it's been :)

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

"Well, may be it's beyond your confront by now."

Stupid is as stupid does.

Joe_Lynn
Joe_Lynn

Not sure about 'attacking', except that I've certainly been opposing and commenting on Scientology for more than 15 years.

Admittedly, to discuss Scientology in less than Scientology 'compliant' terms is indeed considered 'attacking' by Scientology.

So be it ;)

Point to remember; Scientology attempted to 'Clear My Planet' without asking me first :)

Marcotai
Marcotai

Yes, i believe that you are attacking SCN since 2001, but I don't believe that you haven't realized yet that the Church is only defending itself from your vile and evil attacks.

Well, may be it's beyond your confront by now.

Joe_Lynn
Joe_Lynn

Yet you can believe Ron?  Oh yeah, that's right, Scientologists don't 'believe', they *know* :)

And, I've been a Scientology watcher/commenter for more than 10 years :)

P.S. What was that HCOPL about 'Shuddering into silence'? how's that working out for you?(still not 'ruined utterly; in fact, I owe Scientology for much of the good in my life, albeit, inadvertently :))

Marcotai
Marcotai

Oh...10 years at it and still you haven't realized that it's not about silencing? (lol)I can't believe it. 

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

I agree, Marcotai proves our points every time he makes a post.

Joe_Lynn
Joe_Lynn

to tell you the truth, I suspect that Marcotai has been assigned the role of quacking duck toy that's suppose to lead us around fascinated, while the burglars are stealing the silver :)

But, he is amusing :)

robert
robert

Joe, I actually think it is sort of the other way around.  Miscavige is so concentrated on such things-on Anonymous, indies, Marty, Tony, the New Yorker, and tasking OSA out to cover all these bases that the few staff they have left are unable to actually attend to the things that need doing, like paying taxes on their new prospective ideal org building in New Haven.  It got foreclosed.  One month of David Lubow's salary could have paid it off. This is of course one of many buildings that was bought but then sat without money to renovate it.

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

I'd prefer that they'd send someone who can parse a sentence.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...