Scientology Infusion: Commenters of the Week!

"This Will guy is so cool! I can't wait to tell Dave."
We're still taking your votes for Scientology Story of the Year, and in general, things here in the underground bunker are frenetic as we prepare for year-end festivities. We also managed to keep the beat going this week with some interesting tidbits.

On Sunday, we started things off with our weekly feature, Sunday Funnies, which looks at recent Scientology mailers and come-ons.

On Monday, we posted some highlights from a video leaked to us of the big October gala of the International Association of Scientologists, which was essentially a three-hour infomercial featuring church leader David Miscavige. Yes, we watched the entire thing, and somehow remained awake and sane.

On Tuesday, we opened voting for Scientology Story of the Year, and that gave us an excuse to summarize which stories, videos, and shoops we thought captured this year's news the best. There's still time to vote, so get over there!

Thursday morning, we did our usual Thursday Stats roundup, with items about Martin Bashir and Ricky Gervais.

That afternoon something pretty crazy happened. I noticed that Jason Lee, the actor and a Twitter newbie, had talked smack to a Twitter user with only 6 followers who had mentioned (not specifically to Lee) that he was disappointed to learn that Lee was a Scientologist. When I called Lee on his boorish behavior, he answered me, and we had a short Twitter conversation before he suggested we sit down together after the new year. Wow. I hope it happens.

And yesterday, we once again sailed the high seas with L. Ron Hubbard, as he explored OT VIII and kicked someone off the ship for smoking dope. Fun times!

So now let's get to the awards!

Our Sunday Funnies this week included a Sea Org promotional mailer that featured a church member with, um, some globe-clearing problems of his own. We had to chuckle at this reaction by MarkStark:

"I am my own man."

Right, more like, "I am my own bowling ball."

Building up Freeloader debt in the Sea Org, but still hasn't found the elusive no-hair engram, or a man, so he has to be his own.

That Sea Org slogan also inspired Old OT7 to pen this:

"I am my own man!"

Disclaimer: As long as I worship David Miscavage, take members' every last dollar, never complain about working 100 hour weeks 52 weeks a year, demand that families disband if one member wakes up and realizes that it's all a global scam, never talk about the beatings I've seen or participated in, never talk about Ideal Orgs going out of business, never doubt Hubbard, never allow my wife to get pregnant -- or if she does demand she get an abortion because it for the greater good, and always remember that Lisa McPherson died from her own overts & crimes.

But beyond that, I AM MY OWN MAN!

Meanwhile, Sid turned the thought of Scientology offering PR classes into a whole series of offerings...

Following the amazing success of the Freewinds Convention on Public Relations, the Church of Scientology announces further courses:-

How To Run A Successful Wealth Management Business - B. Madoff

Easy Steps To Accurate Financial Reporting - J. Skilling

Gaining The Trust Of Your Patients - C. Murray

Better Employee Relations - R. Fowler

Appearing Sane While The World Falls Apart - T. Cruise

How To Win Friends And Influence People - D. Miscavige

Please send any suggestions for other courses you would like to see run on the Freewinds to "youmustbekidding.meright? at thesheercheekofit dotorg"

After we posted excerpts from the IAS gala, which featured church leader David Miscavige describing the lavish interiors of the new (but unopened) "Ideal Org" in Jaffa, Israel, loyal commenter MarkStark caught something that we ourselves had meant to point out...

In the last 20 seconds of the first video he sounds like he's saying "LRH tech repairing the buns of brotherhood." See, I told you only Sciloontology could fix all the problems in the Middle East.

Also reacting to that video presentation of the new org, Skwerl King called attention to Scientology's continual claim to have special weekend worship, just like mainstream religions...

I nearly lost my breakfast when Stubby called the auditorium a place for Sunday services.

But clearly, it was Miscavige's praise for Black culture that got the most howls from readers, and we appreciated this reaction from Chocolate Velvet:

"The west coast capitol of African-American culture; Inglewood CA!".


Seriously? Wow.

As a member of the culture so highly esteemed by this puzzling mini-man, I sing with joy at such profound understanding of what defines us as a whole - rappin' gangstas in the hood.

Oh yeah black people, this tiny white dude thinks we're cool. We can all relax now. It's not the same old pandering bullshit we've been hearing from folks forever, this guy really means it. Look! He has a black friend! And he's come to bring us "freedom"? Wow! Never heard that one before. Sign me up! Hey, is that Louis Farrakhan over there?Jackpot!!!!

We also appreciated this wake-up call from MarthaWiggins:

It was events like this one that finally woke us up. We could hardly sit still and listen to this droning, ridiculously-written drivel. he clincher was the stat graphs. My husband, who is extremely logical and thinks like a mathematician, started noticing how the graphs indicated growth but never with the correct information, i.e., 10x compared to what? In what period of time? We knew there was something very wrong, especially since all we had to do was look around us and we could clearly see that Scientology was NOT being used or talked about favorably or invited into people's lives or solving ANY of the world's problems. All the promises of the IAS were empty and the scare tactics were over the top. We were tired of hearing the hype and seeing no results. We confronted Howard Becker, our IAS reg (who traveled around with Micheal Roberts), asking him where was some evidence of all the great work the IAS was doing. Show me the results! There was nothing he could say, except to pull out that tired bulls*it about "the fate of every man, woman and child on the planet blah blah blah". We got out and haven't looked back.

On Tuesday, we opened voting for Scientology Story of the Year, and commenters gave us great insights into how they were going to cast their ballot. We enjoyed this reaction from sketto, who was moved by the story of Valeska Paris, held on the Scientology cruise ship Freewinds against her will:

For most powerful story, I had to pick Valeska. I've gotten pretty jaded and am quite used to seeing greed at the bottom of every Scientology story. But Valeska's story really affected me because it was pure evil - just fucking with someone, endlessly, because you can. Nothing to be gained. Nothing to learn or benefit from. Just pure punishment to satisfy Miscavige's whims, kinda like how Ol' Daddy Hubbard would've done it.

And this endorsement for Video of the Year by Myriam Breitman moved us...

I hope Dede from Phoenix wins. She didn't have an expensive production company behind her, no catchy song, no tight leather outfits. Just pure unprecedented enthusiam of a misguided Scilon in service of planetary salvage team. Go Dede. Every time you get a vote, we'll go crazy for you.

We enjoyed it every time someone spelled out their ballot choices and why. A good example was this rationale by Sandy4077...


- best story: Valeska Paris. This is not going to have a happy ending for the cult; comes from a direction that hasn't appeared to have generated much bad publicity for them lately; follows on a long and honoured scio tradition of shipboard abuse out of reach of the authorities; and best of all, resulted in that oh-so-classic-response "she's lying and we'll sue for breaching her confidentality agreement".

- best video: "We Stand Tall - David Miscavige...". This gift starts giving at the title and just doesn't stop. Just cannot get me enough of that delicious, delicious irony.

- best shoop: A civilization without insanity. Because it's not actually a shoop - simply a picture of some scientology adherents and a LRH quote. Face it, there are some things that scientology just does better than anyone else.

And church defender Mark Miglio also sent in his ballot (by e-mail)...

BEST INSPIRING VIDEO: We are the IAS -- Chill EB's track and the IAS members of Copenhagen

BEST SEXY VIDEO: The angels of the Melrose Mission

BEST MUSIC: "We Stand Tall"

BEST ARTICLE: A Scientologist's Open Letter to the Village Voice and its Readers

BEST SHOOP: Gur Finkelstein and the Jaffa Org

BEST COMMENT: "You all -- the children of anonymous -- are, well, nuts OR clinically disturbed OR something that I can't quite put my finger on."

Miglio is developing quite the sense of humor. There may be hope for him yet!

Martin Bashir's comparison of Newt Gingrich and L. Ron Hubbard turned into quiet a political battle in our comments, which I stayed out of. I welcome voters of all persuasions to join us in our Scientology watching activities. I did, however, get a chuckle out of this comment by DC enturbulator Radio Paul:

Martin Bashir is a hate monger! Just like Anderson Cooper, Mark Bunker, Paulette Cooper, Nathan Baca, Diane Sawyer, Janet Reitman, Richard Behar, Trey Parker/Matt Stone, Wolf Blitzer, Lawrence Wright, the people at Inside Edition, ABC Lateline, ABC, NBC, CNN, CBS, and every major newspaper! In case I forgot anyone, just know they are all bigots unless they tell you how Scientology is saving the planet.

My Twitter conversation with Jason Lee produced a lot of different reactions, but many of us were impressed by Natalie's attempt to explain Lee's behavior when he was questioned about Scientology...

Many Scientologist are so accustomed to having to defend Scientology, that they see any question as an attack. Because there is so much bad PR about the Church of Scientology (self created), Scientologist are encouraged to attack and not engage in a simple conversation.

There is no agree to disagree. From the viewpoint of the Church of Scientology and the 23 parishioners they have left, you are with them or against them. It's very sad. Many of the few remaining members once yearned to be better communicators, and desired to have an exchange of opinions. Our differences are what often make us interesting to one another. The Church of Scientology has all but destroyed that type of thinking.

What's left is a robot who only knows to attack, and disconnect from anyone not towing the line. For a group that claims to be able to get a person to a point where he can communicate about anything, with anyone, there sure are a large number of Scientologist who are incapable of communicating.

It was also good to hear from Barbara Graham, who took issue with Lee's defense that he was the same person before and after joining Scientology...

He may be "the same person he ever was," but that's not the point. It's like meeting a nice person who is fun to hang out with. Then after a couple of months they start talking about lizard people living inside Mount Whitney. Or raving about weird white power stuff in Idaho.

Suddenly, your estimation of that person changes. And so it is here; Jason Lee the actor is also Jason Lee, the 'guy covered in body thetans who believes a mediocre sci-fi pulp fiction hack held the Secrets to Life, The Universe and Everything.

So Jason, it's like this. He liked you until he found out you're a dwerpy Ronbot.
You got Hubbard stank all over you and people do not respect that.

Most readers seemed to think that Lee's offer to sit down with me will never happen. Synthia Fagen explained why...

Yeah, the Celebrity Centre President's Office will be doing a big smack down on that interview as in ...No Freakin' Way. If he actually asserts his own independence and grants such an interview, I will be impressed. Let's see if he can pull himself up to Chill EB status.

And SFF knew just where to hit our funny bone...

I wonder if he'll actually talk to Tony or if he will be warned that the column is weird and has squirrel stuff in it.

And finally, yesterday, we dived again into L. Ron Hubbard's "Orders of the Day," finding him this time hard at work researching and writing OT VIII. We enjoyed this reaction from sketto...

I really wonder how hard it is on those Hubbard worshippers to read this kind of absurd, fantasy-world blather and still try to keep up the pretense that Hubbard was brilliant. That dude was a loon.

Oh, just you wait until next week. I have a special treat from the Apollo just in time for your Christmas stockings.

And don't forget to vote for Scientology Story of the Year!

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

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


[All recent stories] | [Top 25 People Crippling Scientology] | [Commenters of the Week] [Thursday 2pm Stats!] | [Scientology vs. South Park] | [This Week Aboard the Apollo]
[Sunday Funnies]


[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?]
[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]
[Paulette Cooper, Scientology's original and worst nightmare: a Thanksgiving tribute]


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 | 12. Tommy Davis | 13. Janet Reitman | 14. Tory Christman | 15. Andreas Heldal-Lund | 16. Marc and Claire Headley | 17. Jefferson Hawkins | 18. Amy Scobee | 19. The Squirrel Busters | 20. Trey Parker and Matt Stone | 21. Kendrick Moxon | 22. Jamie DeWolf | 23. Ken Dandar | 24. Dave Touretzky | 25. Xenu


[Valeska Paris, held against her will from 1996 to 2007 on Scientology's cruise ship]
[Ramana Dienes-Browning, marriage at 16, sexual interrogation, life in the engine room]
[Melissa Paris, Valeska's sister: forced to marry at 16]


[Scientology targeted South Park's Parker and Stone in an investigation]
[More documents in the South Park probe: instructions to send in a young mole]
[Scientology responds in typical fashion] | [Lloyd Kaufman confirms the probe]
[Mark Ebner also investigated after South Park involvement]
[Mark Chauppetta, private eye, explains what Scientology operatives look for]


[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]


[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"]


[Hey, Scientology Celebrity, Here's Your Media Training Checksheet!]
[Tom Cruise and X Factor's Stacy Francis singing together on the Freewinds]
[X Factor's Stacy Francis: Her first husband, Michael Sandlofer, answers abuse claims]
[Tom Cruise and Baby Suri embarrassed by news item, so someone must pay]
["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"]


[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?]


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


["The Money Machine": another blockbuster St. Pete Times investigation]
[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]


[Scientology in Israel: Arson, attempted murder, paranoia -- and a visit by the Voice!]
[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]


[Scientology chillin' with hip hop!] | [The curious career of Scientology rapper Chill EB]
[Chill EB and me: the Voice interviews Scientology's in-house rapper]
[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"]


[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]
[Desperate Scientology fundraising caught on video]

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Cristian Landivar
Cristian Landivar

Hi! You can post also my blog. I have information at cristianlandivar.wordpresscom


several UK papers are reporting that there is an overflow of LRH books at Tonbridge Library in Kent, UK. someone blamed it on Lisa Marie Presley (because she lives in Tunbridge Wells, but methinks she gives a rat's ass about the cult nowadays) but my main guess is the proximity to St. Hill in East Grinstead...


Re: Jason Lee. As an ex-Scientologist, being a Scientologist is wrapped up in who you are, so a dig at Scientology is personal. When I was a Scientologist, nobody had a personal conversation with me about it, I took it on my own cognizance to unwrap myself from it. The inability of Scientologists to communicate goes both ways, and the outside won't take their responsibility in that they are unable to communicate with Scientologists. It's easier, and feels better to poke, and make fun as we do.

Mental health practitioners are turning away mentally ill ex-Scientologists because of the bad PR of CCHR. Also, they haven't a fucking clue what the phenomenon of the cult is about and the effects on people -- it's as if Scientologists really are aliens, and not just exhibiting recognizable pathology and normal human longings. Maybe people are jealous, in that we've had an experience like a Star Trek theme park, that they will never get.

Something that ex-Scientologists and outside observers have in common is curiosity about who and what runs the machine at the top. Lawyers. Who else? Now that would be news.


I can't stand any picture of Tom Cruise smiling like the one on this post.  The smugness just oozes out of every pore on his face, it makes me want to barf.

Out of all American celebrities, I loathe Tom Cruise the most.  He comes off as an entitled asshole that feels the need to pander and peddle his bullshit cult to the masses.  I dream of the day when the IRS gets its head out of its ass and arrests the guy for illegal inurement.  I'd love to see that on the cover of Time.


anybody been reading the thread on WWP about Ricardo Antonio Prado Ramírez, the Colombian Chief of Police at the IAS event in St. Hill? remember remember December 19th...


"Suddenly, your estimation of that person changes. And so it is here..." would you feel the same way about, say, a Christian? Someone who believes in angels and demons, and telepathically communicating with a cosmic Jewish zombie?? You might think some beliefs are daft but what kind of asshole would look down on someone just for having them?

On the other hand, Mr Lee does apparently support an organisation that tells lies, destroys families and abuses people. That, imho, is worthy of disappointment. And it has sod all to do with his beliefs.

Richard Behar
Richard Behar

Huh?  I'm confused by what was said about me on this blog.  Does this mean that Scientology DIDN'T like my Time article?


You just raised Mark Miglio's stats at OSA by picking his comment.  Maybe it will be enough for him to get a day off.   He probably is very proud that his comment made the cut.

Too Much
Too Much

Voting for the best Scientology Story of the Year is very much like voting for your favorite deadly virus. Ebola, Marburg, Haunta... They're all so wonderfully amusing.


I've become quite addicted to your blog Tony.  I was in some horrible withdrawal Wednesday when there was no new post.  Arghhhhh.  And somehow I missed the Friday OODs (or shall we call them the ODDs).I love that you have Commenters of the Week -- it encourages thoughtful, articulate and witty writing from the folks who show up for the party.  (I suspect it doesn't hurt your stats either.)Keep it up.  For me.


Without the web, how would I have known Scilon techniques for "handling" the public by telling them to "read a book?" Or their basic wisdom of "attack, never defend," when asked any question about Sciloontology.

The kick I get out of their command to "read a book" is that they give it like they are sitting in front of a display of L. Ron loony, pointing at his books. Or perhaps it means the only books that matter in the world, are those written by L. Ron, and they assume everyone knows this?

Why don't they say: "Read a book about Sciloontology." Or, "Read Dianutty, the modern 1950's pseudoscience of mental health."

It's like Stacy Francis taking all those Sciloontology courses and saying "they say I'm a" Sciloon...


Thanks for what you do.  Makes me want to keep watching.  And I do.


I love Mark Miglio's vote for the Jaffa shoop. I ALMOST feel sorry for what he will have to go through because of this.


just read that the Co$ did a huge book drop in the UK libraries in '08 (which was before L. Presley moved into her UK estate in '09 after MJ died).

well, if they don't read em, just throw em out!


What runs the machine at the top?  Shape-shifting reptilians, of course!  I thought everybody know that.


Ah, the old "we shouldn't call attention to how stupid people are for believing stupid things" argument. Because it's not nice, right? Yeah, we should all be quiet and tiptoe around people's feelings as they themselves promote seriously stupid ideas to the rest of us. 

Sorry. I won't do that. I am more concerned with what is actually true than I am with people's feelings. If they're promoting things that aren't true, I will say so every time. It's not my job to help them avoid reality by being extra nice when rejecting their stupidity. 

barbara graham
barbara graham

You're assuming a lot if you think I pick and choose amongst daft beliefs. And if your daft beliefs included a drive to Try To Take Over The World, practice medicine without a license and lie, you damn betcha I'd look down on that person.

Thinking you're covered in body thetans is fairly harmless. Charging you hundreds of thousands of dollars to get 'em off is not.

Paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to learn how to mock up a Thetan Hand to scrape off your BTs is a helluva lot different than going to church on Easter and Christmas, don't you think?

Synthia Elizabeth Fagen
Synthia Elizabeth Fagen

Thank you for writing that article! I was still in the trance state and not allowed to look at it when it came out. Oy vey! It took me over a decade to finally look at it. Can you believe it. Wow. I still cannot believe I let that happen. Well, they couldn't keep my eyes averted forever. Thanks again. :) 


That reminds me of a song.  ... "You always sue... the one you love... the one you shouldn't sue at all..."  Or something like that.


Whoa. Thanks for chiming in, hombre!

barbara graham
barbara graham

Hey, so when's YOUR book on Scientology coming out, Richard?


Let's keep encouraging Mark.  He got booted off Gold Base because he got caught dabbling in the occult and now lives in Tampa working as a professional dishwasher... let's hope the cult get's around to forgiving him and let's him return in good standing to Gold Base. David Miscavige needs a good ass wash... I mean, dishwasher.


Send your email address to me,, and I'll put you on the mailing list so you never miss another story!


You would've know by having a conversation with an ex-Scientologist in real life, as well.

The reason we said this is that all Scientology is are books(written words) and audio lectures. That is the fuel for the machine.

The idea behind selling Scientology on the front lines is to make the person feel special. Like a journey you're taking to your own personal evolution, but you have to provide the energy. It is science fiction, and parallels the cults of other, less maniacal, science fiction fan clubs.

Consider it a Choose Your Own Adventure meets Star Wars meets Auschwitz.


at least she's not the Freewinds cruise ship entertainment anymore. WWP just posted the new Freewinds Magazine and the Co$ had these Latino music acts performing on there. They didn't look like any name acts.


After decades of shell games, will it ever get unraveled?


Fair enough, Sketto. I wasn't talking about promotion of religion, just the judgement of one who has a personal religious belief. But I get what you're saying, and I agree. I don't know if Mr. Lee actively promotes Scientology. Does he?


Believing in body thetans is harmless, yes. To say that the payment of money for a related "church" service amounts to the same thing, however, is spurious nonsense.

It is the organisation that charges its members hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is also the organisation that tears up families and abuses people. Tell me, when does a belief in an exfoliating theta bath glove come into all this?


Or keep this link in your favorites or browser:  twitter(dot)com/VoiceTonyO. You don't have to be a Twit user to view.


Sciloontology is "special." Even the name is special since it doesn't use real science, and the knowledge involved is ripped off from others or nutty Hubbard pulled out of his...imagination. The "read a book, take a course" line seems stuck in the 50's. They might as well being telling someone to "take a puff, it's Springtime," encouraging them to smoke. It is an enticement that is outdated.

It is doubly peculiar to tell someone like Tony or myself (and I have been told this, by Louanne and others) since we have read some Scilon books as well as critical opinions about their content, and long excerpts from many. It is not like our journey into a dumpster load of Hubbard nutty begins in the same way as Jason Lee's or some other curious seeker who found all the answers there, by reading it and trusting it only.

Scilons advertise Sciloontology as if it is both an exciting secret adventure and a noble, tested method that is trustworthy. They give the impression that you will be able to trust yourself when doing it, every step of the way, to know what is true for you, or if it "works" for you.

Even a child who is brought up in the cult, and it is their world, and they "know" it is trustworthy, should realize that in the greater culture, Sciloontology has no tradition. There's no day we celebrate the accomplishments of L. Ron Hubbard, nor is there a single sentence or sciloontific finding of his that all people are aware of. Dianutty and Xenu probably come the closest.

Dianutty is reading more like the freaky pile of outlandish garbage it is every year. Even Paul Haggis couldn't read it.

With New Era Dianutty being a hundred times more powerful than that old Dianutty. The scam was predicated on secrets being kept at how people in various categories are controlled at each level. The raw meat. The Sea Org. The celebrities. The pre-clear. The OT. All get treated or handled differently and it must all be kept secret.

If a Scilon can't find your ruin, what are they supposed to do, ruin you? Make sure they stay out of your vicinity, until they rule the world, and then you'll have to grab the cans?


Your comparison to Edison is flawed. But let's pretend it's true. Yes, I think it's immoral that he may have benefitted from stealing ideas from others. However, for this analogy to work, then there would have to be people TODAY being hurt by my using a lightbulb just as people TODAY are being hurt by Hubbard's teachings. The problem with Indies is that they claim the tech works but get quite clammed up when asked to address people currently being hurt by the tech they so love.

I don't respect a position that says basically "It works for me, so I don't want to hear anything bad about it." That's not being moral or responsible in any real, adult sense. A true moral adult would want to know if they were helping to support a group that was harming others regardless of what gains they themselves have. A true moral adult desires to know the truth and not to merely mindlessly protect their world from scrutiny. That kind of insular thinking is the pathway to blindness, not wisdom.  

Lastly, why do Indies and Scientologists always claim that critics have to read more, study more, practice more, ask questions more regarding Hubbard? You have no idea how much time and energy I have spent investigating this cult. And your claim that I need to do more is dodging the hard questions that I ask. At some point, if you have invested countless hours reading, writing, communicating, investigating, arguing and learning, don't you think it's time to come to a conclusion about the man? I have. He was a fraud. I promise you that I welcome any new information about the man that you think would change that. I love reading and find the subject of religion overall, not just in Scientology, to be one of the most important conversations we can have. I am very well-versed in it from many authors, books, and documentaries.

So, now my question to you is just as you invited: please tell me what KSW is for you? And please include in your explanation if your personal KSW includes the family-breaking rules of disconnection, declaring SP's, and destroying perceived enemies.


If you get too hung up on self interest then you risk missing much of the true value of the idea, imho. Some of the greatest thinkers in history were consumed by a thirst for recognition and glory. Does that invalidate the idea itself? (When you switch on the lights in your home when you get in, do you stop and consider who Edison fucked over in his quest to acquire the patent? I'm betting you don't).

Regarding Independent Scientology, I simply suggest you pay more attention to what people are saying/doing. Talk to people. Ask questions. Find out. I don't blame you for seeing KSW in the way you describe, as you have undoubtedly formed your opinion based on your observations of an extremist "church". Here's a question for you, though: have you actually asked an Indie how they interpret KSW? Have you asked any auditor what they do exactly? What policy they apply or don't apply? Whilst I get that Indies have a long way to go to set a good and effective example of Scientology, it sounds very much like you are assuming answers to questions you haven't even asked.


You know it's funny - the elements of your conversation that I find the most convincing are the ones that are furthest from Scientology. Your comment about enjoying Michael Jackson's music despite the likelihood that he may have molested children, I understand. You're right to say that we cannot know absolutely everything about the people who promote ideas and that we should test and validate the ideas in and of themselves. 

However, it is certainly part of the equation to balance what someone is promoting with their self-interest. It often reveals much truth. And it prevents us from committing to frauds like Hubbard and Miscavige. I've seen very honest-looking and charming people in Times Square, New York hustling visiting tourists out of their money with a shell game or other con. Now, in the moment, if you measure the con artists motivation with the apparent "truth" that you know how to pick the right card, then you will have to conclude that what seems to be true (that you'll win) is much less likely than the potential that you're being swindled. Thus, it is not enough to say that "the man's ideas work" if you're not also willing to honestly discuss what the man's motivations are/were. If it's likely the man is lying for his own reasons, then it's still immoral, even if you think you're benefiting. And that doesn't even address the very real consequence that other innocent people are directly harmed even though you feel some gain. 

And again, your comments seem to be most human and most honest when they are least about Scientology. In my experience, what Hubbard promised and what he presented is heavily damaged by the reality of why and how he presented it. And the constant stench of deception and secrecy that lies behind so much of his life's work, from hiding from true scrutiny and authority for years on boats, to secretly moving into Clearwater, to the RPF, to the IRS infiltration, to denying his own involvement with Operation Snow White - these are things that ultimately affect the actual worth of the program overall. You cannot separate Hubbard's commandment of KSW from the reality that what he often wanted people to keep working was very unhealthy, illegal and immoral practices. In fact, how do you know that Hubbard didn't want the RPF to go on forever? He's the source, isn't he? 

So, again it comes to the point that I, as a non-Scientologist can't get past. That is, I find it very hard to trust Independent Scientologists who seem to twist themselves into pretzels in order to defend the tech and rationalize that Hubbard must've been "flawed" or "sometimes good, sometimes bad, but always full of great ideas". Because this is untrue and it reveals and unwillingness to directly address, full in the face, the severity of his inhumanity to so many people who he basically put in prison and the many others who he tried to destroy utterly. And that Miscavige is merely continuing a tradition that Hubbard started. If you can't see this, I frankly don't trust your judgment. And furthermore, I don't trust that a new Scientology will be any better if it can't admit to this reality.

If Miscavige had invented RPF and Fair Game and Disconnection and then said that KSW was law and that everyone had to place keeping Scientology alive over treating all people, even enemies, with human decency, THEN maybe I could get behind the Independent movement. But as you well know, Hubbard started those things not Miscavige. I repeat Hubbard was a bad person who hurt many people first, then Miscavige followed. And when I hear Indies say KSW, I don't hear them qualify by saying which of the bad things they would do away with. So, what exactly should I feel good about regarding Indies when there is such a blind spot in recognizing that the source of Scientology was often seriously wrong on the most basic human rights questions of all? And that blindness makes them untrustworthy. As someone outside looking in and knowing as you do, all the bad that is going on, I find it to be no comfort to have Indies quoting Hubbard, thinking he was a model life to emulate or that KSW is anything other than another slogan designed to put the practice of Hubbard's ideas above the practical care of real human beings. I just can't respect THAT idea, no matter how much you think his tech helps you.


I don't think I am rationalising anything; it's simply a viewpoint I have formed (and is continuously evolving) from many years of personal research. To imply, if indeed that is what you are doing, that I am making excuses for the man, or misleading myself (or others) in some way, effectively distorting my observations for the sake of comfort, is both assumptive and inaccurate. I look at the whole of a person rather than just one or a handful of parts. That's how I form an opinion about someone, anyone in fact, including the people I meet in my daily life. Would I heed their advice on a matter they have no experience of, or advice they themselves do not follow? Unlikely. Same with Hubbard. But that doesn't necessarily mean what that person has to offer is useless. Wisdom is wisdom, whether it's from a life-long academic or a dole-scrounging halfwit. If something can be evaluated to the nth degree and still hold up as having value/"truth" then that, to me, is far more important than the individual who offered it. In the same way I can melt into a painting, sing my heart out to a song, or sit in a stinky cinema for 3 hours watching a great movie; do I give much thought to whether the creator has the "appropriate credentials" to create? Michael Jackson may have been a kiddie-fiddling loon and Madonna may be a soulless hag in a leotard, but I still love belting out Billie Jean and Like A Virgin after a glass of wine or three.

Saying that though, I do really appreciate this discussion and I agree with many of the points you raise. And you're right, I don't "need" Hubbard as some sort of authority or life guru from beyond the grave. No, I don't necessarily feel a "need" to quote him and certainly not as a discussion-killer (quite the opposite). I also agree that there are some ardent, unquestioning Hubbardologists within the Indie field but on the whole I would say that is an ever-diminishing minority.

It's simply not true, however, to assume that an Indie Scientologist cannot be a Scientologist and keep his mind open. I love the fact that there are Indies who DO question the words of Hubbard and CAN think, challenge and discuss all sorts of ideas and concepts and make things their own. I don't believe one can generalise the field in the same way as one can with the extremist Co$. What holds churchies together is the unquestionable and absolute word of David Miscavige (Hubbard plays second fiddle), that the group is senior to all, and the unshakeable belief that DM's brand of Scientology is the global panacea. With Indies it is simply this: that as a way of self-enhancement and improvement, Hubbard's standard technology of auditing is worthy of use. That's it. No absolutes. No fanaticism. No dogma. Just a simple tool for self-discovery.

But it's a big, beautiful world and I am here to live. There are more important things in life than emeters, engrams and entity extraction.


Actually, I appreciate your well-thought response. I disagree with much of it, but you certainly don't have a one-answer-fits-all approach that most unthinking Scientologists seem to have. 

Personally, I believe that all argument, ideas, and differing opinions are healthy. Humans do best when they consider all their options and work it out. Let's pretend Hubbard didn't exist for a minute. And let's do a thought experiment on this topic.

Let's say that you and I and everyone else who wants the world to be a better place got together and started proposing ideas and arguing over which ideas were best and which course we should follow. In that moment, the best ideas would be the ones that survive due to their strong connection to practical reality and a proven ability to help. Now, if it was my idea that was accepted and I wanted to convince the world that it was beneficial, I would use logic, evidence and past history of success to support my idea. These are the tools we use to promote powerful ideas. This ability to reason is one of our strengths as humans and it is something WE ALL have.  

However, I would not expect, at any time, for people to accept my ideas merely because I quoted from someone who I alone felt was great. This is not argument or proof. This would not strengthen my argument at all. It would merely show the areas in which I chose to stop thinking and instead just quote from someone I consider to be smart. Such a habit is unhealthy for the mind. There is never any end to discussion and exploring and wondering. And those who think they can end debate by quoting an authority that only they themselves recognize are living in a world of blindness and are limiting their own great potential.

In addition, quoting authorities without also using your own mind to question those authorities is dangerous because it allows you to think the answers have all been given. Furthermore, when you are engaging with people who wish to discuss all possibilities and to question even are strongest assumptions, and then you quote from a questionable authority instead of using your own logic, you are revealing that you are very poor at discerning where to get your information from. If I were to quote Lady Gaga while discussing the most important moral questions of life, you would be right to question just how serious I am or if I even know how to properly gather evidence to support my ideas. By even attempting to use a quote from an unreliable authority, I have both shown that I don't have my own ideas and that I'm not even clever enough to look in the right places. This is not to say that every human, including Lady Gaga doesn't have a right to opinion, but that there are some sources that are so obviously outside the scope of the discussion that they help it not at all.

And this is a fact that I think most Independent Scientologists don't see. That when you look to Hubbard instead of yourself, you are actually showing to non-Scientologists that you value his ideas over your own. This is dangerous and unhealthy. Even if some of his ideas seem to work for you, it is never a healthy thing to pronounce any idea, law, or way of living to be beyond question. 

Lastly, in my world, when I discover that the promoter of an idea is himself a hypocrite within that very subject, then I start to doubt his entire motive. Scientologists have placed Hubbard in a near-prophet like state in the organization when it comes to questions of family, happiness, success, and improving the world. Yet this man had a horrible relationship with his sons, used them for drug experiments, alienated and denied the existence of his own wives, fled to the hills while his wife went to prison for serious federal crimes that he was intimately involved with, and he lied repeatedly about his own past. 

The fact that you can laugh these off with rationalizations and soft words like "ol' git" and "more loving than cruel" reveals that it is more important to you to salvage Hubbard's sinister reputation than to really find truths on your own. 

If you're willing to question everything and really rely on your own mind, then you can discard both Miscavige AND Hubbard. I would really trust the Independent Scientologists a whole lot more if they truly came 100% clean about Hubbard, but I fear you never really can or else you'd have to face the reality that you could get all the good parts of it on your own. And you wouldn't have to keep defending the bad that you is impossible to ignore any longer. But if you did that, then you wouldn't be an Independent Scientologist any more. You'd merely be independent. My hope for you is that you soon get all the way there. And I'd gladly treat you to several pints.

Don't Keep Scientology Working. Keep your own mind working.



I disagree. Above all else, Scientology was designed and developed to help people. Now in the hands of an extremist group whose main interest is to make money (and lots of it) then I can see your point. But it doesn't have to be that way. And it isn't for a growing number within the Independent community. When you aren't worrying about paying rent and utilities on a building umpteen times the size of what you actually need to deliver, and when you don't have the insane pressures of being "upstat" to avoid punishment, you can actually start to create a safe, sane environment where effective help can be given. Similarly, when a pc doesn't have the worries of the obscene £ amount paid, whether he can afford another intensive if his hours run out, how he's going to get out of a horrendous debt, being regged for donations ad nauseum, or whether his session notes will appear on a smear site years later, he can be comfortable in a position where auditing can actually be effective.

There are a number of variables that can pervert a methodology that is ultimately used to improve self and others, including an extreme adherence to the words of a founder long gone. My point is simply that books don't hurt people. People do.

On the subject of Hubbard, I grow tired of the whole "he was a saint" vs "he was evil" argument. Like mother nature herself, he was both loving and cruel. I believe he was far more loving than cruel, but that's just me based on what I have seen and read (both good and bad) over the last decade and a half. (The whole is indeed greater than the sum of its parts). Will anyone ever really work him out? Meh. Probably not. But in the meantime I can happily quote him just as easily as I can quote Gandhi, Hitler, even Lady Gaga, if it's interesting and worthy of note. Okay, I might not quote him on dietary advice (you know, because he was a fatty and clearly didn't exercise much), but that doesn't necessarily mean all his advice is nonsense (smoking aside) ;o)

The problem with the old git is that he often didn't practice what he preached. I don't doubt his dedication to auditing, the value of the auditor's code, and the delivery of his tech to help others. But regarding some of his fluffy self-help (such as TWTH, What is Greatness) when the pressure was on he often failed miserably. So on the one hand he was a flaming hypocrite. On the other, I kinda like that the old fool was human enough to fall short at times.

Ohhh, I dunno. I could and probably should write a whole lot more as I feel your post warrants it, and reading my words back I think I sound like a bit of a dick. Ahh well. Have a pint with me next time you're in London and we'll talk, heh. Oh and happy xmas :)


Then we are at the point I always get with Independent Scientologists, wherein I must ask these questions:

If you recognize that you yourself have to pick and choose what is worthy in Hubbard's work and what is damaging and family-destroying, then why do you need Hubbard? Why not rely on yourself from the beginning and look to better writers and thinkers - ones who didn't destroy families and create pseudo-prisons like the RPF?

Furthermore, if you have the capacity to make the kind of important moral judgment that says Hubbard was abhorrent, then how is it that you feel such a man who treated his own family like shit somehow knows better than you do about how to best live? And to stick to your own jargon for a moment, what gives you the right to ever reject anything that comes from The Source?

Additionally, if you are confident enough in your own ability to choose between right and wrong, why would you EVER quote from a man who lived no life worth emulating (um, unless you believe the lies he told about his own past)?

Frankly, I'm embarrassed for people who try to elevate Hubbard and his fraudulent and/or stolen "research" to me because they don't even realize that A) I've already read most of it (it's how I learn) and B) that quoting from such an obvious fraud is laughable and make as much sense as quoting from the rantings of a psych patient. What would you think of me if I selected some really nice quotes from the Unabomber's Manifesto to support my points?

And this is why - I have to say this though it isn't nice - that I simply don't trust you or the Independent movement. It doesn't actually matter whether Miscavige or whoever is running the show right now or how much you hate the guy, because you still need to salvage and defend Hubbard and elevate him in order for the movement to make sense. And I really don't see how you can do that without admitting that you are following the advice of a man who showed with his actions and with his very life that he lived selfishly and vindictively. I don't see how I could ever trust a movement with that as a basis. You see the evil in the one, but defend the other as being "flawed" or "human" but he still develped a great tech, so who cares! Honestly, I think Miscavige is the inevitable result of what Hubbard created, not an anomaly. And I think all the Indies are in for a surprise when his replacement isn't Marty Rathbun, but rather, just the next asshole modeled in the image of Hubbard.

Miscavige is a criminal, sure. But I think the Indies are deceiving themselves to pretend that everything will be better once he's gone. Because you'll still have Scientology, Hubbard's Scientology as your basis. And everything within his "tech", from KSW to the first audit you ever do always places preserving the business of Scientology ahead of preserving the happiness of individuals. I can't respect a system that has its priorities so backwards.


Well, I am an Indie and I certainly don't believe it's "all Miscavige's fault". There are a number of things that stem from Hubbard I find abhorrent, and I have no problem saying so. I believe if the CoS has any chance of surviving it needs to grow the balls to say so too, and make the necessary changes to prevent abuses occurring. That is why what Miscavige himself is (and isn't) doing needs to be addressed. In this time, and in this place, DM is ultimately responsible for what goes on within his organisation, whether harm occurs from the application (or misapplication) of an archaic LRH policy or from some insane shit he himself created. The ginger dude is long dead. I'm not an absolutist. He was a vicious, lying little shit at times, sure. There were also times when he wasn't. Either way, I'm over it. I care more about the dude who IS alive. The guy who COULD stop harming people but chooses not to.


Don't know. 

As for judging those with religious beliefs, I believe (funny using that word) that hardcore Scientologists or anyone in thrall to a cult has the potential to see the light and give up their foolish ideas. And at heart, they're human just like you and me. So, in that sense, they are owed every chance to make their own mistakes on their own terms and believe what they wish. I don't really care what people individually think on their own. 

But when ideas come out into the public sphere to battle, I think it should be a battle to the death (of ideas). With only the best ideas surviving. And in a way, finding out that you've been very, very wrong will always be hurtful and embarrassing. In that sense, I see how it could feel like judgment on the person and not the ideas. But again, that's not a reason to soft-pedal the truth. 

This is actually why I am so hard on the Indies, who are intentionally delusional and only half-honest about the damage Scientology has done. They recognize the abuses today, but they falsely pretend that it's all Miscavige's fault and they have to keep building up Hubbard, and quoting from him in order to do it. This idea is stupid. No other way to say it.

Hubbard's ideas deserve mockery. And I think it's very, very important to mock those ideas so that they are fully exposed. If people's feelings are hurt along the way and they feel judgment, that is a shame. But there's not a polite way to fight incredible human rights abuses, all of which begin with the stupid, stupid, stupid idea that L Ron Hubbard knew something special about how to live this life.


Yeah, I hear you. I look forward to the day when Scientologists recognise how an absolute state of Clear contradicts Logic 6 and Infinity-valued Logic. That some of the claims made in DMSMH, by extension, are unobtainable and therefore bullshit. But that's just me. That's my own "interpretation". :)

Don't confuse "Scientology" with the organisation known as the "Church of Scientology", however. Books don't carry out endless wars. People do. Groups. Churches. A good example would be the CoS's "war on psychiatry". (Read the recent post on Marty's blog, Corporate Scientology's "Global Retribution"). Compare the various views of the Indies with those of the CoS and it's pretty clear who the extremists are.


 The Bible doesn't say to stone all non-believers to death, but I get your point, it's nothing new for a religion to say that the deity/deities wants certain people killed.  Old religions reformed themselves after it was noticed that theocratic totalitarianism brought about unwanted results, like collision with states (e.g., Henry VIII) and science (Darwin, etc.).  This brought about interpretations of religion which were non-literal, which did not execute people or otherwise try to replace the functions of the state.

Scientology wants to assume the functions of the state, as religions often did a thousand years ago, but it also claims to be science, and goes so far as to carry out an endless war against the actual sciences it wants to replace.  Religions have gotten riled when science showed their texts (when literally interpreted) to conflict with some aspect of objective reality, but I can't think of any religion which would claim that, if you give them a lot of money to participate in their rituals for 100 hours, your IQ will go up by about 100 points, as a matter of established FACT.  That's not religion, that's just fraud.

tldr; real religions don't claim to be the factual products of scientific research.


Sure, but isn't that true of any religion? The Bible demands one should stone all non-believers to death, but I don't see many people rushing out to do so. Why is that?


The notion that an OT doesn't need to worry about pap smears or quitting smoking is part of "the religion."  It might take a fanatic to be a killer, but to be killed only requires a believer.


Yes, you're right, but the Co$ is not "the religion". It is just an organisation.


But it's not just a small group of people within CoS--it is EVERYONE in the organization. It is the foundation of the organization. The whole thing stinks of it.


I would say such people are fanatical. There are extremist groups within many a religion. The "Church of Scientology" is one such example.


I think you're missing something.

As a staff member, I once worked with a public scilon named Roxanne Friend.  With the strong encouragement of the other scilons present, she became a firm believer in "the tech," which could prevent and cure cancer, dramatically raise IQ, prolong lifespans, etc.

Then, relying on what the infallible Hubbard had taught her, and that we all had affirmed for her in the strongest terms, she died of cancer.  The scilons she knew reinforced her belief in Hubbard's fake research and lies, and contributed to her death.  No Scientologist who has been at it for very long can claim to have clean hands.  We are all accomplices to criminal fraud.

Why would someone try to kill Paulette Cooper, or kidnap Lisa McPherson?  Because they believe the fraud.  If Scientology were real, being a complete fanatic would really kind of make sense, wouldn't it?  Save all sentient life in the universe, and possibly beyond, at the petty cost of maybe needing to destroy a small number of people?

It's ALL about the fraud.  Without zombies believing in the perfect leader and his perfect tech, Scientology would have no victims, period.  This is why I do not expect a lasting peace with Marty and his pals.  If they still believe Hubbard, and are not total wimps, they should let NOTHING stop them from propagating his totalitarian pseudoscience, and will not tell people that "cancer has been eradicated" is bullshit, along with so much else.  People will keep believing Hubbard's lies, people will keep paying dearly for it, and dead Roxanne (along with far too many others) will keep haunting my conscience.


If they can't find your ruin, they drop you. It's a business, and liabilities have to be recognized.

Timing is everything. Sometimes a music album, a book comes to you and fulfills an emotional need and creates a denture-grip bond. And then the next, or fifth, album isn't so great but your need for it overrides reality and you buy it, love it and ignore its faults.

In "greater culture" news: Scientologists think they are creating better culture and are above anything we or anybody else are doing. They believe they are evolving individuals one-by-one. The desire to ascend is stimulated!

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