Scientology Hates Clean Ice: The "Fair Game" Operation That Should Turn Your Stomach

IceCubes.jpg
Xenu hates sterile cubes, for some reason
One of the first things people ask me when they hear that I cover Scientology on a regular basis is whether I've been targeted for harassment by the church.

Despite some evidence that the church does intend to "handle" me, I've been left alone for the most part. But I am always mindful of how vindictive Scientology can be, and to what lengths (and costs) it will go to attack a perceived enemy.

There are countless examples of "Fair Game," Scientology's notorious policy of retaliation against perceived enemies, and I've written about many of them over the years. But what's happening in Florida right now with a man named Robert Almblad appears to be some of the worst, most vicious, and most reprehensible activity by the church since the 1970s, when it actually tried to get people killed and imprisoned.

And this does affect you. Or anyone you know in a hospital who wants to go home without a life-threatening infection.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 99,000 Americans die each year from the 1.7 million infections they pick up during hospital stays.

If you've read Atul Gawande's book, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right, you know that hospitals spend enormous amounts trying to track down and prevent every source of infection.

One of those sources is ice machines. They are notoriously filthy. In a famous 2006 study, a Florida seventh grader showed that the ice at local fast food restaurants had more bacteria than the water in their toilets. (And as I write that, I can't help thinking about my grandfather, in his last few days at a hospital, capable of little more than sucking on ice chips. Christ.)

So you may be pleased to hear that a man named Robert Almblad has invented a machine that reliably puts out bacteria-free ice. Using the kind of forced-air technology that "clean rooms" employ, his machine essentially makes ice from bottled water without allowing any contaminants in it.

You should be able to grasp how important this technology could turn out to be.

RobertAlmblad.jpg
Almblad demonstrates one of his prototypes
For six years, Almblad has been developing his machine, and after perfecting it, he has spent a few years meeting with billion-dollar companies, trying to interest them in building copies of the machine for themselves.

For the last year and a half, however, employees of the Church of Scientology have been going to extraordinary lengths to keep Almblad from marketing his machine, traveling around the country to frighten businesses out of dealing with the inventor, even bursting in on business meetings to scare people out of working with Almblad.

Why? What could Scientology possibly have against clean ice? The answer, of course, is maddeningly absurd, and completely consistent with what passes for logic in the organization started by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard.

Almblad, it turns out, employs a man named Mike Rinder, who used to be one of the highest-ranking executives in Scientology, but has left and is now critical of the church. For employing Rinder, Almblad's business has been targeted for utter ruination.

Let that sink in a moment. Because a man dares to criticize a church, that church is now trying to prevent the world from getting life-saving technology simply as a form of revenge.

Let me back up a minute and help you understand just how insane this situation is.

Almblad, 64, has his own lengthy history with Scientology. He joined in 1972, worked for a year on staff -- with L. Ron Hubbard -- and then was a regular non-staff parishioner (a "public") until 2007. That's a total of 35 years in the organization.

During that time, he made a living as an inventor. In the 1990s, he was hugely successful with technology he developed to automate the copying of house keys. Recently, a company that uses his invention sold for $850 million. He sold his interest in that company long ago, tried for a while to export a similar product to Europe, but that wasn't as successful, and he notified his small number of investors that he was closing that company last year.

By then, however, he was deeply involved in his new project, the clean-ice machine. There are no investors in this project, he says, just his own company trying to sell the idea of clean ice to huge companies, the ones big enough to put the machines all around the world.

About the same time Almblad left Scientology, so did Mike Rinder, who had a very different career in the church.

Thumbnail image for MikeRinder2.JPG
Rinder
Rinder, an Australian, was only 5 or 6 when his parents brought him into Scientology. He rose through its ranks and by his early twenties was helping the church deal with negative publicity by replacing its notorious Guardian's Office with a new covert-operations wing, the Office of Special Affairs. Rinder became OSA's executive director, and eventually, Scientology's chief spokesman. He worked very closely with church leader David Miscavige until he left the organization in 2007, and then went public in 2009 with allegations that Miscavige regularly got violent with him and other employees.

The Voice, in many articles this year, has already established how Scientology leader Miscavige perceives Rinder and another former high-ranking employee, Marty Rathbun, to be serious threats to the church, and is sparing no expense to have them followed, intimidated, and harassed.

Almblad, however, was never a high-ranking official in the church. He left Scientology quietly, and has not publicly criticized the organization.

But about two years ago, he committed what is apparently, in the mind of Miscavige, an unpardonable sin: he gave Rinder a job.

"I've done a lot of new products. As you finish it, you get involved in public relations," Almblad told me yesterday by phone from Florida. Rinder's long experience in media seemed like a good fit.

"I'd been working on this ice machine for 6 years. We had gotten to a point where we had good technology. I met Mike for the first time two years ago. I asked him if he would give us some consulting help."

Rinder says he warned Almblad, however, that there could be consequences.

"Mike warned me that if I was still a member of the church, I couldn't talk to him because he was declared a suppressive person," Almblad says, using Scientology jargon for "heretic." But Almblad told him that he too was out of the church, and that there shouldn't be a problem for them to work together.

Neither one of them seem to have been prepared for the level of church activity that followed.

"The first time a private investigator showed up at my house was a year and a half ago. It was Dave Lubow," Almblad says. Lubow is a longtime Scientology operative who is often used by OSA, through an attorney named Elliot Abelson.

"He just knocked on my door and said he wanted to talk to me about Mike Rinder. As soon as he did that I knew he was from the church and I said I didn't have anything to say to him. I told him to go away," Almblad says.

But Lubow didn't take no for an answer. Soon, Almblad says, he was being followed constantly by the private eye. "Lubow and some cameramen would follow me everywhere. They stayed behind me in two vehicles," he says. The cars followed him from his house to his job, to restaurants -- anywhere he was going.

Almblad says his neighbors were contacted in what is a classic Scientology operation: "They were talking to people, asking them, 'Have you seen him commit any crimes? Have you seen anything unusual happening in his house?'" As both Rinder and Rathbun have pointed out, this is intended to put doubts in the minds of a target's neighbors, to make it an uncomfortable place to live. (When Rathbun was undergoing similar harassment this summer in South Texas, the Scientology squad sent to intimidate him claimed to the local press that they were not involved with the church at all, and were only there to make a "documentary." Soon, it was revealed that Lubow was behind the operation, and had told squad members that its only goal was to make Rathbun's life a "living hell." When Rinder and Rathbun say these harassment operations are being directed by Scientology leader Miscavige himself, they are talking from experience: both of them, while they were in the church, ran similar operations. Rinder has talked about working directly with Lubow. Both Rinder and Rathbun, meanwhile, acknowledge the irony that they are now the targets of an intimidation operation they helped run while they worked for Miscavige.)

At one point, Almblad confronted Lubow when he was at a neighbor's house. He wanted the neighbor to know who was behind the surveillance and strange questions. But when he was challenged, Lubow said he worked for Abelson, the attorney. "I asked him, who does Abelson work for? He said Abelson works for the RTC." But Lubow wouldn't explain to the neighbor what that was, Almblad says -- the Religious Technology Center is a controlling entity in the church of Scientology.

Almblad says there are 14 houses in his neighborhood, and he went to every one, trying to explain why the Scientology squad was there. "It was very difficult to do. Nobody has ever heard of this kind of harassment. It's really unusual in America. Who would spend so much money to do something like this? And they count on people figuring, where there's smoke, there's fire."

Almblad says he began to call local police every time the squad showed up, and the police advised him to get a restraining order against them.

"I did that, for my employees," Almblad says. "All of my employees were being followed wherever they went. They were followed into parking lots, banks, schools, churches -- legitimate churches, I mean. So I did spend some money to have my employees hire attorneys and get restraining orders."

Now, one of his female employees, for example, is carrying court papers that she can serve on the Scientology squad if it shows up again. "She feels a little more comfortable," Almblad says.

But the constant surveillance is nerve-wracking, he says, even if you know it's coming.

"There are two cameramen, a bodyguard, and one with a clipboard and a microphone who starts asking you extraordinarily stupid questions when you come out of a building," he says.

But that was just the beginning.

At the first of the year, an empty office building across the street from his own laboratory was suddenly occupied, but not before a bizarre occurrence.

"Over Christmas, someone sawed down all four mature oak trees that were in front of our offices. And then someone rented the office across the street that had a window facing our office," he says.

OakTreeDown.JPG
Why does someone hate these trees?
The view from that window was suddenly unobstructed, after the trees had been chainsawed.

Almblad says he went over at one point to look around, and saw that the new occupants had put up a black curtain surrounding the window, which had been blacked out.

"I asked them, what are you guys doing? They said they were selling surveillance cameras and repairing computers. Now, this place is a 4,000-square-foot building they rented. Just a couple of guys, and in the whole year they've been there, not a single customer has walked in," Almblad says.

But he noticed that anyone who now came to visit his lab to see the ice machine was very shortly afterwards paid a visit by Scientology's private eyes. Almblad suspects that license plates are being recorded as visiting cars sit in his parking lot. After seeing him at the lab, businesspeople can shortly expect Lubow's crew to show up at their firm, saying that they've arrived to "investigate" Almblad. "Have you seen him doing any crimes?" they ask.

"The interference of our business is just incredible," Almblad says.

"We had to arrange meetings in secrecy," he adds. At one point, during a meeting at what he thought was a secret location, Jim Lynch, a reporter Scientology employs for its Freedom propaganda magazine, suddenly burst in.

"Halfway though the meeting, a Squirrel Busters guy and a church official [Lynch] burst open the door, knocked over a person, and threw down a document about me on the table that contained material about me pulled from my supposedly confidential church folder."

(Scientology has repeatedly violated the supposed priest-penitent confidentiality of such "pre-clear" files, which are filled with the private confessions of Scientologists as they are "audited" while hooked up to a crude lie-detector machine called an "e-meter." Recently, we reported that Placido Domingo, Jr., son of the famous tenor, accused Scientology of smearing him with material from his supposedly secret files.)

"I had to physically throw them out of the room and call the cops. That's how bad it got," Almblad says.

At a trade show, we reported earlier, a high-level Scientologist named Ed Bryan was arrested when he tried to disrupt Almblad and Rinder's presentation to clients.

"Any businessman, under these conditions, is going to say, what are you getting me into? It's so disturbing," Almblad says. But he adds that he doesn't have a lot of options, other than to try to conduct his business in as much secrecy as possible.

"I can't stop [work on the ice machine] to bring a lawsuit against them. They have more money than God, and in the meanwhile my business goes to hell. I can't afford to sue them," he points out.

"It's difficult to do new product development. You have to gain the cooperation of many companies. That is extraordinarily difficult for me. We are not successful at achieving normal work. By now I would have companies lined up. But these companies are scared. Management companies are not made for handling this kind of thing at all."

To illustrate how desperate he's become to get meetings about his machine, Almblad says he recently drove several states away ("It's close to Canada," he says) to conduct a meeting under an assumed name.

"I can't fly, because I would have to use my real name, and they watch reservations. I had to drive, making a 5,000-mile round trip, and I had to use a throwdown phone and left my own phone at home so they couldn't track me." (Update: During our interview, which I originally failed to note here, Almblad told me that for this trip he also used an alias, "Robert August," to further cover his tracks. In case the people he met with checked on that, he also changed his company's website to reflect the name. Naturally, OSA has raised this in its online attempts to ruin Almblad's reputation, hoping that the gullible will assume that the businessman is up to no good.)

At this point, Almblad says he doesn't think firing Rinder would solve anything. "They have me under such close scrutiny, they know about the technology I'm working on. At first they harassed me because I hired Mike Rinder. But then I think they realized this was useful technology, and so they redoubled their efforts. I think they're concerned that this is going to be a successful business. They want to crush it rather than see it come to life."

A simple online search shows that the attempt to ruin Almblad also extends to the Internet. I quickly found a couple of different websites that were dedicated to ruining his reputation, supposedly over how his key-copying European business fizzled out. In typical Freedom magazine style, a number of unconnected documents from his past are jumbled together without much rhyme or reason to give the impression that Almblad is an evil man bent on ruining other people.

"The key business I did here in the US was a very successful business," he says, when I asked him about the allegations in the websites. "There are no lawsuits. I sold out my part of it. There's an $850 million company based on my technology. I shut down the other company with no lawsuits and no threatened lawsuits."

I went over other allegations the websites make about his personal life and the financing on his home: not only were his answers credible, neither subject, of course, had anything to do with life-saving technology that could benefit the public.

And in regards to that: despite all the harassment, Almblad says he is confident that within 60 days, he'll be making a big announcement about the ice machine.

For the sake of hospital patients everywhere, we'll be updating that story when it comes.

UPDATE: There's now a Part 2 to this story, including an interview with Susan Clickner and a closer look at the web attack on both her and Almblad.



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] [Thursday 2pm Stats!]

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]
[Lori Hodgson and Disconnection: "No one's going to take my eternity away"]

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]
[Philip Boyd, Saving Grace actor, rips "the business that is Scientology"]

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?] | [The Birmingham trove: 7,000 internal e-mails]

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]
[Scientology High School, Dating and Super Powers!]

My Voice Nation Help
157 comments
Empress
Empress

This appears to be interference with trade, and if tracked to a church could result in their loss of 501c3 status.

Phanalia
Phanalia like.author.displayName 1 Like

"Both Rinder and Rathbun, meanwhile, acknowledge the irony that they are now the targets of an intimidation operation they helped run while they worked for Miscavige.)" -- irony?  It seems to me like just desserts. I am not arguing they should put up with it, but their past behavior was terrible and I don't think it should be readily dismissed.  

But whether Robert Almblad invented something that could save mankind or just leaves every morning for work at a random office, I don't understand how they could behave towards him as they do without legal repercussions.  I suppose that by now, thanks in part, probably to Rinder and Rathbun, Scientology has the fine points of what they are legally allowed to do down to a fine art.  So exposure and more exposure is probably the only recourse.  Thanks for running this story.  

Jonathan van der Berg
Jonathan van der Berg

What a horrible cult. I happen to believe that there is ultimately justice in the universe and this cult is going to face it very soon. Can't the cult see that in the internet age, all the black ops they do just backfire and make them look like the disgusting cult they are? Ordinary scientologists may not be allowed to read this article but scientology has to realise the rest of the world could. They are damaging their own future income stream by making it harder to get raw meat in. Its a pity there is no hell for DM to burn in.

Endscientologynow
Endscientologynow like.author.displayName 1 Like

My point was that Tortega's sources should be questioned and properly vetted, when I wasn't so sure that happened.  I do appreciate all of his work and really believe in his integrity as a journalist/writer (although this is a blog, which inherently allows for subjectivity), but my guideline with everything Scientology follows this rule:

You can take the clam out of the cult but you cannot take the cult out of the clam.

For many of his sources, lying and attack the attacker are as natural as breathing.  As lovely Pooks said on WWP:

"If I were reading a news story that told of a man inventing an ice machine that was safe, and would cut infection and disease in hospitals... my very first thought would be, "Wow, technology is great".If I were reading a story about a recent ex Scientologist, who was employing a Scientologist, and states he invented an ice machine that was safe, and would cut infection and disease in hospitals... my very first thought would be, I wonder if the machine really works and if this is just another scam by a Scio.Maybe Almblad is a really kool dude who's invented something really great. But based on history, we have more Scientology "business" people, selling fraudulent kookery, than we have them selling something of true value."

tildacity
tildacity like.author.displayName 1 Like

With today's article, Mr. Tony Ortega of The Village Voice has rendered himself down to a mere self parody. Granted he pens a blog representing gossip, opinion and commentary. Still, one would be forgiven for expecting a professional encumbered by the title editor in chief to hint at some whisper of journalism before spewing a one-sided conspiracy theory into cyberspace. Mr. Ortega's latest conspiracy tale features everything except Sasquatch and chemical contrails.

The gentle reader must bear some responsibility for the parade of squandered electrons considering the sensationalist title declares, "Scientology hates clean ice." What will tomorrow's headline read - "Scientology kicks puppies" or "Pope eats babies?"

Aside from the obvious defects in journalism, such as blatant bias, neglected research and blind parroting of monologues, Mr. Ortega serves up a cold plate of bland absurdities to try the palates and constitution of his gentle readers. Let's take a short tour together through Mr. Ortega's looking glass.

Having set an ominous tone Mr. Ortega implores the gentle reader to swallow that today's ice is a health and culinary crisis not witnessed since Mr. Upton Sinclair's The Jungle reformed the meat-packing industry.

"And this does affect you. Or anyone you know in a hospital who wants to go home without a life-threatening infection."

It is true that American food contains small amounts of impurities. There is rodent scat in your Wheaties and insect legs in your strawberry jam. Gratefully, government regulation acts to restrict such impurities to well below safe levels. Any actual concern over ice safety could have already been resolved by any number of catering options at costs far below operating clinical clean rooms for ice cubes. If hospitals expand their budgets wouldn't you prefer the funds be used on upgraded patient care and not ice cubes for the doctor's Pepsi?

Of course every good conspiracy needs multiple villains in cahoots. Mr. Ortega opted for a cadre of respected professionals. Having set reason comfortably to one side, Mr. Ortega encourages his gentle reader to imagine a world where distinguished lawyers, private investigators and film makers band together with a small religion. The gentle reader is expected to accept that consummate professionals willingly risk their reputations, fortunes and careers to deny you clean ice.

Astonishingly, Mr. Ortega demands the beleaguered reader accept yet more farce. In Mr. Ortega's world every tinkerer is a Doc Brown whose flux capacitor is the planet's only hope. Never mind that expensive, over-engineered ice machines represent the equivalent of barkers' home rotisseries, automatic egg peelers and nut choppers destined to gather dust in moldy suburban basements. Should President Obama desire a face-saving escape from the pressures of the Office he need only feature these contraptions in his next healthcare plan.

Mr. Ortega may fancy himself some chimera of Messieurs David Pogue, Warren Buffet and Bob Woodward. In the harsh glare of sunlight we see Mr. Ortega possesses not the technical knowledge nor business acumen to assess an expensive ice machine's viability. Neither has Mr. Ortega shown himself committed to rolling up his sleeves to conduct proper journalistic investigation of the matter.

Voluntary suspension of belief is essential for enjoying literary fiction, and in this case, creative blogging.

Of all the fetishes proudly paraded across the pages of The Village Voice Mr. Ortega's Scientology-bashing stands as one of the most unsavory. In the United States adults are endowed with certain rights to engage in all manner of private, consensual behavior. One's fetish surrenders its charade as a harmless diversion, however, upon becoming a public spectacle that desecrates one's profession, work place and employer.

The next time the gentle reader reaches, in want of a hearty chuckle, for an alternative to The Onion may I note that the The National Enquirer publishes a more plausible and entertaining spread of fiction.

anjullyn
anjullyn

What a lot of words to criticize an article you didn't read, by a journalist you claim doesn't do the proper investigation of the criminal cult you blindly belong to, and that you don't do any proper investigation of the claims it puts forth.

Angela Garcia as NeonMosfet
Angela Garcia as NeonMosfet

Sounds like Harlan Ellison. It's difficult to tell if Tildacity feels that Mr. Ortega could debunk Scientology better, or if TCity is upset that Ortega is not supporting the cult.

Angela Garcia as NeonMosfet

TheGuest
TheGuest

"Voluntary suspension of belief is essential for enjoying literary fiction..."

Also comes in handy for employing cult like manipulations, or ghostwriting for  free, dumb magazines, or the audacity of writing a Tilden, Nebraska  native's biography and  calling it Non fiction.   Tilden?  Audacity?

 It's not just the odd and dated choice of words and terms, or the stylings of an olden, golden age,  it's that familiar squirming motion in the gut when I read this poster's drivel that sure reminds me of Dan Sherman.  If not, and just channelling him,  even creepier.

Clarkle
Clarkle

Is this for real?

Xenu
Xenu

Tildacity has been trolling WWP for some time.  Whether they are on OSA troll, or only impersonating one, you will have to decide for yourself.

hgc
hgc

Change the subject:  CheckAlways attack, never defend:  CheckMake no sense:  Check

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

The Sci-Bots don't understand that the linguistic slime that infests their posts make them instantly identifiable as the work of the brainwashed. They think they are making a convincing argument when what they are really doing is tying their shoelaces together in anticipation of a marathon. They fall over with their first step.

Tildacity—you are pure self-parody.

TommyDavis
TommyDavis

Ooh look, another of little Davey Miscarriage's little slaves using copy & paste tech! LOL yeah, $cientology keeping it classy as usual!

Go back to your tin cans and niacin overdoses, ya brainwashed little clam, let those of us living in the real world deal with this.

Your opinion here, Tildacity, is as worthless as the OT powers that have been shown to be fake.

How many OT's killed themselves now??

Where is Shelly Miscavige??

NCSP
NCSP

Is English your first language? If not, then you're doing a pretty good job. If so, then you need to dial the verbiage way down.

Your use of the language ("has rendered himself down to," "in want of a hearty chuckle," "Gratefully, government regulation acts") is almost correct, but just "off" enough to be grating. You seem smart enough, but in your attempts at eloquence, your reach exceeds your grasp. You would do well to remember that succinctness and clarity are virtues.

Opal whiteley
Opal whiteley

Awwww...such a creative repetition of the Scientology party line-

Deny deny denyIt's all liesHe's a liar and deluded and he's telling lies.

Oh, don't forget, you're scientology bashing, impinging on my freedom to be part of an abusive cult,

Wash, rinse, repeat.

Anon A
Anon A

I don't think you understand how to actually employ the term "gentle reader" in an ironically humorous way, as evidenced by your somewhat embarrassing overuse of it.

Sara in Zurich
Sara in Zurich

What took you so long, Tildacity? You have already posted exactly the same text on WWP twelve hours ago.

dennis l erlich
dennis l erlich like.author.displayName 1 Like

"Almblad says his neighbors were contacted in what is a classic Scientology operation: "They were talking to people, asking them, 'Have you seen him commit any crimes? Have you seen anything unusual happening in his house?'" As both Rinder and Rathbun have pointed out, this is intended to put doubts in the minds of a target's neighbors, to make it an uncomfortable place to live. "  

The cult used these same techniques on me back in the 90s.  Only then it was Rathbun and Rinder running the operations.   My neighbors, my family, my employers and my friends were all targets too.  Nobody cared then about the collateral damage from their harassment back then.

It's touching to see all the concern for the innocent victims of the "classic" cult torment the two of them developed and perfected. 

TonyOrtega
TonyOrtega like.author.displayName 1 Like

"Nobody cared," really, Dennis? In fact, my colleague Alan Prendergast's mid-1990s stories at our sister paper, Denver Westword, about Wollersheim, about Lerma, and yes, about you being raided were a key inspiration for me when I began writing about Scientology.

Maybe you forgot about those stories. I didn't.

dennis l erlich
dennis l erlich

No offense Tony, but by collateral damage I meant the people not directly targeted by the cult who were damaged by the harassment campaigns Rinder and Rathbun developed, perfected and waged against those of us who spoke out in the 80s and 90s.  There were plenty of people who had NO CONNECTION whatsoever with the cult, who were merely our friends, family or employers, who were harassed back then for being connected to us.  Just one example: my employer was put thu a series of costly depositions and document productions just because he employed me.

Perhaps you can show me where ANYONE wrote about these innocent victims' before.  I musta mist it.  But I do appreciate you mentioning them now.

Louella
Louella

Given your exchange on WWP it is really difficult to discern what involvement you might have. 

Louella
Louella

Tony, I know I am late to this discussion, but I only just found it and then went on to read the discussion on WWP with someone purporting to be his partner Susan, which was very cagey and filled with CoS jargon. Whether or not it was actually, her, "Susan", for one, did not come across as very scientific or well-educated and contradicted her/himself many times. The clean ice machine itself does not seem very revolutionary as a similar process could be applied to existing machines to achieve the same effect.

 

That RA and MR are "independent scientologists" with dubious reasons for targeting the tiny tyrant, and that "Susan" decided to trot over to WWP with self-contradictory avowals of knowing nothing about scientology yet throwing the jargon around spiced up with a few taunts to the anons, leads me to believe you have been played by what is seemingly the lesser of two threats to the future finances of those who believe in Xenu and all the rest of it. Have you read that exchange? Do you still think this particular plan to make clean ice is all that? I am skeptical of all things cos, because at the core, LRH's "philosophies" absolutely DO include fair game and that the other human rights abuses and thus I am very wary of the "independents". But, time will tell, yes? Should DM be taken down, it will be interesting to see what happens to the vast real estate holdings and bank accounts. 

dennis l erlich
dennis l erlich

MISTER Dude to you, nony.  Now run along an put ur funny maskey on so no one will reconize u. 

Besides, I dint complain about Tony's journalism except in the case of getting a WHOLE BUNCH of facts rong about me.  If you don't like my complaining about rong faqs perhaps F**D applies.

CofS Exit Zone
CofS Exit Zone

Dude, I come from the Project Chanology Anon camp and I have no gurus besides my own personal belief in God.

AND i savor the same delicious irony as you, without fking bawling about Tony's even handed journalism.

- AnonLover on WWP

dennis l erlich
dennis l erlich

To me the story is about your ~new~ guru being subject to the same harassment techniques he developed and perfected.  Notwithstanding my disgust for the torment they practice, there is a certain delicious irony that perhaps only those of us who have felt the effects of these cultists can possibly savor.

dennis l erlich
dennis l erlich

That's precisely the kind of thing I'm pointing out with my collateral damage comment, Sc.  There's a huge number of people who are adversely affected (directly and indirectly) by their attempts to silence critics and whistle-blowers.  This is the first story I have ever seen that points to this fact.  So thank you Tony.

CofS Exit Zone
CofS Exit Zone

Indeed, you are collateral damage. Which is just as appalling as Almblad's employees who were never in the cult, enduring the same sort of harrassment.

But my point was merely that the story isnt about a non-member victim of harrassment - for which YES there are many, its about a former long time member being harrassed because he gave a job to a former long time executive.

Sclickner
Sclickner

"people who had NO CONNECTION whatsoever with the cult"?????  I have NEVER had ANYTHING to do with Scientology, in ANY form whatsoever... 

I've been followed, stalked, shoved, intimidated, shouted at, had pamphlets thrown at me, been protested against, been harassed in fifty ways, been jumped at from behind bushes (so many times I run to my car, heart racing, in tears), followed to private residences inside gated communities.

I have been filmed (two professional camera men with tripods and the whole show), eatting breakfast at restaurants, sitting in my back yard (filmed from a BOAT!!!!!), shopping in Joanne Fabric store (two detectives with ear phones discussing what I was doing!!!), going to my dentist, shopping, walking my dogs (yes, they filmed me picking up DOG POOP)...

They have followed my nephew to his bank and my niece (20 years old) to her college parking lot, at night.... 4 men with cameras and microphones chasing her through the parking lot!!!!! WTF!!! until they were spotted by security and of course, ran away.  THEY have NEVER had anything to do with this CULT!!!!!!!!!   I haven't been able to visit friends (for fear they would be treated the same).

I have throw down phones to use when I travel because they can track my smart phone.

I have to DRIVE thousands of miles to conduct business because they know my airline flight schedule.

I have installed an elaborate security system on my home.

I have a dozen police reports filed, hours spent in courtrooms, hired lawyers, spent thousands of dollars to keep them at bay.... but they keep coming...

I can absolutely NOT go ANYWHERE with my mother (who has a pacemaker and has had 3 heart attacks already) for fear that "Mr Lynch and his "Lynch mob" attacks from the bushes...would have a horrible effect on her.....

They have called everyone who knows me..  many times.  They have asked them all if they know of any "crimes" I am committing....  They asked my X-HUSBAND how I got (a specific amount of) money into my bank account???  HOW"D THEY KNOW THAT ONE????

They showed up at a title insurance company and suggested to them that the money I had in escrow to buy a house was  obtained illegally!!!!!!!!!!!  The woman hid behind LOCKED doors and had to call the police to get rid of them!!!!!!!!!

They followed (stalked) me to SEATTLE Washington, from Tampa,  FL..... to harass me at a trade show!!!!!!  

How can I even explain these things to friends or family members??  They'll think I'm INSANE!!!!  and I never even heard of Scientology until I moved to Clearwater, FL... 5 years ago... 

I am collateral damage

CofS Exit Zone
CofS Exit Zone like.author.displayName 1 Like

Almblad spent 35 years in the cult, so how is "people who had NO CONNECTION whatsoever with the cult" even relevant?

Oh wait, thats right - critics gotta criticize something. And when it comes to anyone connected to Rinder or Rathburn, bawwwwwl is somehow appropriate when there's nothing else to say.

TonyOrtega
TonyOrtega

No, that's a great point, Dennis. And there continues to be a lot of collateral damage. The reason why I take a story like Almblad's so seriously is that it's the same reprehensible pattern we've seen so many times over the years. And Scientology gets away with it in part because people, as Almblad himself points out, just can't believe that something like that happens in this country.

hgc
hgc

If you're a Scientologist, when you drive by an ice machine full of dirty ice, you know you have to stop, because you know you're the only one who can help.

Lenny
Lenny

YES, as scientologists it is our DUTY to destroy anyone or anything that can make clean healthy ice!  That clean healthy ice only prolongs the lives of non-scientologists!!

Sara in Zurich
Sara in Zurich

This is an absolutely hilarious comment! Me liek.

Bagel B
Bagel B

The only word that comes to my mind as I read this is diabolical. COB is just utterly depraved.

red_zone
red_zone

Okay...

This is just...

There are NO WORDS to express how horrified I am.

This is appalling behavior. Especially for one's who claim to be out to 'save the world'.

I hope he gets a BIG-ASS funder and these ice machines end up in every single hospital, restaurant, hotel... EVERY PLACE where you would find such a machine. Hospitals especially will be THRILLED to have something that saves people from illness!

And he makes a LOT of money and he invents something else that will benefit humanity in some way!

Lenny
Lenny

Funny, the non-scientologists are thinking about helping others, while the scientologists are trying to "trick and destroy" these good samaritans.

red_zone
red_zone

There's a little 'disconnect' there.

Funny, Scientology not only gets you to disconnect from your family and friends, but disconnect you mind from what 'helping others' actually IS!

mrgreebly
mrgreebly

12 days left to

Sign the US Government Petition to investigate the Church of Scientology and it's abuses. The Government must give a response.

It’s all about a volume of voices, don’t be afraid anymore it is your right to get answers. Anyone can sign join those voices.

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.

Lenny
Lenny

So scientology is trying to bury a technology that could save a lot of lives.   Why doesn't that surprise me?  I honestly think these malignant psychos would just shoot people if there were no repercussions. 

Ironically, this guy making the safe ice will probably do more good than all scientologists combined, living or dead.  Even the ones that get to keep their stupid "eternity" by imploding their family.

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

Keep it up, cult. More proof to form an eventual R.I.C.O. Act case against the Church of Scientology.

mirele
mirele

Forget RICO, I'd just like to see the Internal Revenue Service revoke Scientology's tax exemption RETROACTIVELY (and yes, the IRS can do that). That'd wound Scientology even more than RICO, IMHO.

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

Frankly, I think it's much easier to prove a RICO case than to get the tax exemption revoked. The church and it's entities have a running history of having to repay fraudulent transfers in bankruptcy cases ( Bankruptcy fraud ). There are other crimes that if documented as a pattern, such as this organized harrassment and intimidation stuff, such as blackmailing people into signing agreements against their will... its just a matter of documenting these things and presenting them in a persistent way until they get addressed. Eventually you will have proof of the organized crime. RICO allows for some 35 federal or state crimes to have been committed and a case only needs 2 law to have been violated in a pattern. Well worth being looked into by those with a nose for such stuff.

OT VIII is Grrrr8!
OT VIII is Grrrr8!

Tony, you are such a dupe for Big Pharma and the Psychs. Germs do not exist and ice cannot harm you. If ice was harmful all Candians, Eskimos, and all people living in and around snow would have died a long time ago.

The answer is Scientology's "Ice Detoxification Program" in which megadoses of niacin are given in a sauna to run out the effects of dangerous ice such as radiation. snowburn, and BT's. This program is 100% effective in handling in ice toxins from this life and past lives on the wholetrack. 

I no longer needed Propofol to fall asleep after completing the Ice Detox program.   

Xenu's my homeboy
Xenu's my homeboy

Your comment is very ignorant. As someone that lives in the snow I know that if you eat to much snow you'll actually get sick. Snow contains bacteria that'll make you ill.

Lenny
Lenny

Brown snow, yes... regular snow, not so much.

milly
milly

yellow snow as well...

Xenu's my homeboy
Xenu's my homeboy

D'oh! Sorry, igonre my 1st comment. Carry on, there's nothing to see here.

Lenny
Lenny

LOL, very funny post!  I WISH I could cut back on the damn propofol -- but it's so relaxing!  Too relaxing, for some people :( 

mjm
mjm

oh hai Marcotai/Louanne

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