Scientology Wins Some, Loses Some in our Thursday Stats Roundup!

Conan O'Brien staged a showdown for the ages this week -- all-out combat between New York City and Los Angeles -- and as Scientology watchers, we enjoyed every minute of it.

Take in Conan's inspired skit as we round up this week's news stories to determine Scientology's Thursday afternoon stats, when orgs around the country total up their wins and losses to determine how well the church is doing...

Conan had fun, as you can see, pitting NYC's Empire State Building against the biggest landmark in Los Angeles he could find -- "the Scientology bookstore on Pico."

Heh.

Thursday's Stats: Upstat or Downstat? As we pointed out in our big countdown, TV's comics love to mock Scientology, and when they do so, it can have serious repercussions for the church. Key church defector Marc Headley credits O'Brien with helping him decide to escape from Scientology's international headquarters in the California desert. Who knows, maybe this fun little skit about battling buildings will inspire another troubled Sea Org member to wake up. No question: this simple little TV joke is a downstat for the church.


Story #2: Daniel Montalvo goes away quietly

We will admit that we were pretty excited about Daniel Montalvo's dramatic 2010 escape from Scientology and the subsequent lawsuits he filed against the church earlier this year. But things then got weird out there in California. We heard that Montalvo had changed his mind about things and turned his back on Jason Beghe, one of the people who had helped him in his post-Scientology life.

This week, Marty Rathbun wrote about Montalvo quietly settling both of his lawsuits, the terms of which were not released. Rathbun smartly spins this is a victory against the church, but there's no escaping our disappointment: the first really solid lawsuits exposing the way children are employed by Scientology have been made to go away.

Thursday's Stats: Upstat or Downstat? We're going to have to give this one to the church, an upstat for a group that loves to make plaintiffs go away in order to avoid trials.


Story #3: A French Do-Over

It's a somewhat similar story over in Gay Paree, where Scientology has appealed its 2009 fraud conviction, and as an appeal trial approaches, the original plaintiffs are dropping like flies.

As the AP describes it, the 2009 conviction was pretty serious: "The group and bookstore were fined €600,000 ($830,000). Four leaders were given suspended sentences of between 10 months and two years. Two others were fined."

But now that the appeal is happening, all but one original plaintiff has dropped out, leaving only the National Council of the Order of Pharmacists.

We found this description of events happening there amusing (translated from French and posted at Operation Clambake):

A member of MIVILUDES (the Interminsterial Mission of Vigilance and Combat against Cultic Abuses) told Europe1 that he is not surprised by these withdrawals. "It is Scientology's habit to reach settlements so that no plaintiff remains," he commented. MIVILUDES fears that the appeal trial might be canceled because of possible judicial maneuvers by Scientology. "Every time there is a trial involving Scientology -- every time -- an exceptional and bizarre event occurs. If it isn't the disappearance of a file in the courthouse, it's the completely unexplained disappearance of a law regarding dissolution. Today, it's the witnesses who are disappearing," he lamented. "So either there is a curse that afflicts the justice system as soon as it becomes interested in Mister Ron Hubbard's foundation, or there is a real power to counteract, to take action so that justice can never be heard," says the organization.

Thursday's Stats: Upstat or Downstat? Hey, we have to give the church credit where it is due. Scientology has proved to be exceptionally crafty in legal matters, and it also never, ever gives up. If the 2009 fraud conviction was a huge embarrassment, it looks like the church has merely bided its time, worked its usual magic to make plaintiffs go away, and has this conviction on the ropes. An upstat for now, but of course this case isn't over.


Story #4: Don't mess with Tom Cruise

Once again, we'll round out our Stats Roundup with our own stories. This week, we learned that whether you feed Tom Cruise a bad shrimp, or cause him to get tweaked in the press, Scientology will make you pay.

Thursday's Stats: Upstat or Downstat? Tom Cruise has already done irreparable damage to Scientology, as we pointed out in our big countdown, but this new picture emerging -- that Cruise is also tangled up with Scientology's legendary retaliation tactics, can't be good for either him or his religion. Have to call that a big downstat.

Overall, a mixed week for the church. No doubt, his minions are telling David Miscavige that he's about to get a big win in France, and that making the Montalvo cases go away was another big victory.

Well, lap it up, DM. That's pretty sweet sauce for your next gourmet meal, which can't be more than a couple of hours away.



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!] | [Scientology vs. South Park]

FEATURED INVESTIGATIONS

[Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis secretly recorded discussing "disconnection"]
[Tom Cruise and Baby Suri embarrassed by news item, so someone must pay]
[Benjamin Ring, LA deputy sheriff, wants you to spend your 401K on Scientology]
[Scientologists: How many of them are there, anyway?]
[Scientology hates clean ice: The "Fair Game" operation that should turn your stomach]
[Scientology hates clean ice, part 2: Another target, and the web as weapon]

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]
[Australian farmer blamed for giving Tom Cruise a bad shrimp, loses her friends, family]

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!]



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28 comments
scilonschools
scilonschools

Tony is there a 'book' running on career span of Karin Pouw?Couldn't help notice her increasing foot bullits, quite liked this section on her press release about IAS Sussex UK this year

""In 1984, leading Scientologists from around the world met at Saint Hill to found the International Association of Scientologists with this purpose: "To unite, advance, support and protect the Scientology religion and Scientologists in all parts of the world, so as to achieve the aims of Scientology as originated by L. Ron Hubbard."

The 1984 reference creeped me out a bit additionally,I never knew East Grinstead Sussex UK was the Birthplace and Hub for an 'International Terrorist Organisation':)

DodoTheLaser
DodoTheLaser

Judge William Adams and Pope David Miscavige might share same spiritual DNA, or something. Just saying.

Jonny Jacobsen
Jonny Jacobsen

I wouldn't worry too much about the lack of plaintiffs in the Paris case: the National Council of the Order of Pharmacists did not look like they were in the mood to back off in the original trial and that won't change on appeal.Perhaps more worrying is the claim that the case has gone past the statue of limitations and so should never have come to trial: they have made at least one case go away on these grounds in the past (as reported here way back when: http://www.scientology-lies.co... . The case was eventually thrown out just a few years ago). One can't help wondering though, why this issue wasn't issue earlier, however.So far as the questions of constitutionality raised are concerned, it's difficult to judge without knowing the specifics.Scientology has, as always, hired some of France's top lawyers to defend it. Olivier Morice, the lawyer for one of the plaintiffs at the original trial and France's counter-cult group UNADFI, and Olivier Saumon for the pharmacists faced an impressive battery of lawyers and their assistants for the defence.As impressive as they are however, I'm sceptical that Scientology's lawyers can get the convictions overturned. Even if they do, given the political firestorm that is likely generate, it may prove to have been more than trouble than it was worth.For my analysis of the original trial judgement, see here: http://infinitecomplacency.blo...For a summary of the convictions themseleves, see here: http://infinitecomplacency.blo...

Jonny JacobsenInfinite Complacency

Cheap web hosting plans
Cheap web hosting plans

It opens up completely new opportunities.Thanks for such a great post and the review, I am totally impressed! Keep stuff like this coming.

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

It was no surprise to me that witnesses to the french case were dropping out, or that Daniel Montalvo settled his case under a gag agreement. The pressure from the church is relentless. The harassment, the invasion of privacy, the constant awareness that these crooks are watching your every move is something many do not appreciate when they make claims that 'they gave up' or 'they gave in'. I help many victims of the Narconon scams and have found that sometimes it is just best to take the settlement and walk away because life must go on and, oftentimes, it's a shattered life that is in need of being rebuild. Imagine the former scientologist and what it's like to through all this! MAny of us know it can take years to recover from having endured less from this cult.

Yes, we would love to see the dox, see the court transcripts of depositions of church members in these cases, we'd love to see the victim fight until the end but there are many factors involved, including money to pay to keep fighting them and the cult harassing the lawyers who take these cases. Its not like there are benefactors financing any of these court cases so they can go on until the very end of the line. I wish there were. So the church messes wth plaintiffs and witnesses. Always has, always will until they are caught doing what we know they do that is illegal and are prosecuted again and again. Until then, count it a good thing that there are lawyers who take these cases and plaintiffs willing to withstand the process.

I remember one attorney in Miami FL, the who represented the Mendoza Brothers in their suit against Narconon Southern California. After they settled, this man would not even take a phone call from anyone wanting representation in a case against Narconon. People were calling him after I gave out his name and number but he was not returning their calls so I finally called the man and he was so freaked out and begged 'please don't send me any more Narconon cases!'

He may well have signed an agreement to not ever rep another Narconon victim, like Dander did in the McPherson case, and maybe he feared retribution. Or they sic'd Wally Pope, Esq. on him. I only know that people can be only so invested in fighting before they come to see that it is ruining their lives or about to. Look at Jon Atack. They made his life miserable to where he was very ill and his family suffered. No one deserved a break from it all like Jon has. He paid his dues tenfold. Even the John Lindstein case, who sued Miscavige and RTC, et al for labor law violations of a minor, even he settled, 12/06/2010 . None of these situations are a simple matter and when forced to settle, so be it.

So enough is enough for some people and I, for one, am grateful for whatever steps victims of Scientology and Narconon have taken because any steps in fighting this cult are better than none and each has a right to move on in life, and to being proud of what they were able to do and accomplish under such oppression along the way. And I thank God for the few willing attorneys who take on these cases because they are oftentimes hell to take on.

DuckBenway
DuckBenway

Good calls this week, Tony! Thank you!

I think that Conan's skit is the funniest video I've seen since the Squirrel Busters made the scene. (Whatever happened to those RTFOS? Have they been dismantled and sold for scrap?)

Also, a full endorsement from me of MarcAbian's comment. The accessible writing you finesse your articles with is superb, and appreciated. Even Marcotai & Miglio obtain something from them, if only some good old enturbulation!

Vivat!

Endscientologynow
Endscientologynow

I wish we could get the IRS to take off their blinders.  Can you imagine just how much money they could get from this stupid cult to help the national deficit?  In California, they are cutting 10% of Medicaid payments (safety net health care for the indigent and poor) but the State could probably recoup that 10% if not more if they were allowed to tax this awful organization.

SCIENTOLOGY IS THE 1%.

CofS Exit Zone
CofS Exit Zone

No matter how many times I watch the Conan sketch, I still giggle.

F_Randy_Hullabaloo
F_Randy_Hullabaloo

DM, often derisively referred to as -- the dwarf, the poodle or, ( . ), has also, I think, eared a new name: The Fresh Shrimp of Bel-Air.

MarcAbian
MarcAbian

I love how Tony Ortega makes these articles accessible to people who have never heard of the Scientology corporation before.  It takes a lot of writing skill to tease apart the company's complex web of hidden agendas so as to lay bare its deceptions, without having to explain it all in gory detail.

Marcotai
Marcotai

it doesn't matter how "beautifully" you are trying to make it, truth will always prevails at the end.THAT's why Scientologists always win over lies slandered against them.it's not a secret (anymore) that some who write about Scientology have no interest in truth but value only its potential for sensationalism or a laugh at the expense of a minority group, usually the public opinion will give them the benefit of the doubt that they (hate mongers and bigots) just did not know how to find accurate data about the Scientology religion, but It is too bad that those guys are under the impression that Wikipedia or the cartoon South Park or greedy apostates qualify as "unbiased experts" (LOL)One would have to be blind indeed to not see that people intent on creating hatred towards Scientologists have been busily creating vast quantities of misinformation on this young religious movement.

Endscientologynow
Endscientologynow

That's a better name for Cruise.  Cruise was instrumental for getting Will Smith into the cult so it fits him better.

mrgreebly
mrgreebly

Here is a question for you Marcotai.Why does the Church of Scientology settle out of court?Please provide links to documents if you can or a reference/date.Thank you

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

Nobody sane uses the word "Apostate."

The fact that you'll never understand that is proof that:

A: Your a moron.

B: You're brainwashed.

DuckBenway
DuckBenway

How goes the project, Marcotai?

I hope you are working on the video, of you, making a clay-demo of the Runnin' Scared Blog.

Please finish this project soon, Marcotai. I am so looking forward to seeing this hit video on your youtube channel! I know that it will be a BIG hit around here. Thank you.

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

"beautifully"?? You obviously did not read what I wrote. That does not surprise me.

mjm
mjm

Marco, you Scilons have not been allowed to watch the South Park cartoon I bet you don't even know the plot of the entire episode. 

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

Thank you for being such a tool ScientologyAdvocateMarkMiglio.

Thanks to brainwashed Sci-Bots such as yourself, we don't need straw men—you serve as an example of the dangers of CO$ about as well as any of the other defenders of your Cult.

Jgg
Jgg

  Please don't pick on Marcotai.  He has to attack the attacker.  After all, he can't say Scientology has helped him.  He can't say it's helped others.  He can't give you scientific evidence of how well the tech works.  And he can't show you how Scientology has checks and balances to handle grievances and avoid abuses of power.  He can't even justify it's tax-exempt status, or explain how it is a religion.

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

All that CO$ Brainwashing has turned you into something less than human. The empty buildings, the horrible press, the fallout from the violent acts of your Cult's sociopathic leader—the raw data is evidence of a cult in shambles. Your nervous system must be very damaged from excessive auditing. You never displayed any sort of intellectual agility, rather the opposite. Your posts are making less and less sense all the time. Your feeble attempt to argue against the obvious is a clear sign of the total denial that the entire CO$ dis-organization is currently suffering from.

You seriously need to drop the cans, pasta-boy.

Meishayuri
Meishayuri

Aw, Marcotai, who doesn't watch TV critical of $cientology.  He'd rather follow an off shrimp and kick a few wogs before settling in at night with Cruise and his coconut cake squirting "friend".

Xenu
Xenu

Please explain how harming your case by willingly making yourself PTS, while improving the site ranking of SPs, and giving SPs money via their site's ads, is not an ethics offense.  As one who saw many people assigned lower conditions for viewing entheta, I'm very curious as to what excuses you'll offer for the utter BS you just posted.  So please, speak up.

Marcotai
Marcotai

That's also an example of misinformation (or just a blatant liie) that "critics" of SCN are spreading around. LOLYou just made my point.

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