Scientology Story of the Year -- The Vote Is In!

Categories: Scientology

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As we continue our year-end celebrations, we've come to a big moment. We asked voters to decide which story had the most impact on Scientology watching this year. We chose five finalists that we think had lasting importance as well as immediate punch.

There were many other stories worth covering of course, but these five did seem to generate a passionate response -- voting in this category was much closer than in the other two (for video and shoop of the year). There was no one story dominating the others -- only a small percentage separated all five of these big stories.

So let's go through them to see which ones moved you the most!


Fifth Place: Scientology and South Park

In October, Marty Rathbun revealed at his blog internal documents from Scientology's Office of Special Affairs -- the church's intelligence and covert operations wing -- which showed that in the spring of 2006, South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone were targeted in a retaliatory investigation by church private eyes. The investigation was payback for a November, 2005 South Park episode, "Trapped in the Closet" which poked fun at Scientology celebrities Tom Cruise and John Travolta, but more importantly revealed in significant detail the most closely held (and embarrassing) of Scientology's secrets: L. Ron Hubbard's assertions about a galactic overlord named Xenu who populated the earth 75 million years ago with disembodied invisible alien souls who, to this day, plague mankind.

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Stone (left) and Parker
The OSA documents revealed that as punishment for that ridiculing of Scientology's beliefs, private investigators had been sent to gather information about Parker, Stone, their South Park employees, and friends. Gathering that information included going through their trash (called "special collections" in OSA parlance). The documents even suggested that legendary independent filmmaker Lloyd Kaufman, a close friend to the filmmakers, would be pumped for information and in order to place a young mole in the South Park offices. Kaufman confirmed to us that he was hit up for information about the duo. Journalist Mark Ebner, who consulted on the South Park episode, was subject to his own OSA investigation at the same time.


Fourth Place: Marty Rathbun and the Squirrel Busters

In April, former high-ranking Church of Scientology executive Marty Rathbun was faced with a strange sight: on his porch, three men were demanding to talk to him about his post-church activities while wearing matching sky blue T-shirts (each with an image of Rathbun's head on a squirrel, crossed out), and with video cameras strapped to their heads. Calling themselves "Squirrel Busters," the men claimed to the local press that they were a documentary crew making a film about Rathbun.

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But it didn't take long to link them directly with the church itself. The goon squad spent a total of five months parked outside Rathbun's home, filming and following him and his wife, Monique, in one of the most remarkable "fair game" revenge operations we've seen in a long time. Rathbun had been targeted because he operates a blog which criticizes church leader David Miscavige, and which has become the rallying point for a Scientology independence movement that is splitting the church apart. Repeatedly, the Squirrel Busters told Rathbun that they would leave him alone if he'd just stop talking to the press about the church. Instead, their bizarre operation gave them more press attention than they may have bargained for.


Third Place: Reitman, Urban, and Wright

For a subject as complex and detailed as Scientology and its 60-year history, there may be no better medium than a lengthy, fat book. Problem is, the few good books on the subject came out long ago and were never best sellers. That changed this year. Janet Reitman's excellent history of the church, Inside Scientology, fills a desperate need. Comprehensive, meticulously researched, and masterfully written, the book is an introduction to this vast subject that not only is reaching a large audience, but its critical acclaim helps assure that it will be talked about for years to come.

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Reitman's book had been anticipated for a long time, but another book also arrived this summer that was something of a surprise. Ohio State University religion studies professor Hugh Urban published a fine history, The Church of Scientology, that turned out to be a great companion to Reitman's book. Urban's academic approach helps put the church in its historical context, helping to explain Scientology's paranoia and obsession with spying by putting it in context of the Cold War era that birthed it. Meanwhile, another mesmerizing and lengthy narrative telling Scientology's story appeared in February in the New Yorker. We hear that Lawrence Wright's skillful telling of director Paul Haggis's defection from the church will itself become a book sometime in the future. Suddenly, we have a wealth of book-length treatments to help beginners learn about this arcane material.


Second Place: Valeska Paris goes on a Cruise

For decades, ex-Scientologists have told harrowing tales of how they left the Church of Scientology -- and in particular, its most hardcore contingent, the Sea Organization. But this year, the story of Valeska Paris and her ordeal aboard the church's private cruise ship, the Freewinds, captured the public's imagination like few other escape stories in Scientology's history. Australian television journalist Steve Cannane broke this story last month, and we quickly followed with a lengthy interview of Valeska, who says church leader David Miscavige, wanting to enforce a policy of "disconnection" and keep her away from her mother (who had sued the church) moved Valeska to the cruise ship when she was only 18 years old.

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Valeska and her son Declan
Told she would be there only a couple of weeks, she was on board from 1996 to 2007. Like other Sea Org members, she was forced to work at times in the engine room, which was loud, dangerous work. She also was aboard in 2004, when a lavish birthday party was held for actor Tom Cruise. Valeska was not allowed to attend the party. We also interviewed former Sea Org executive Ramana Dienes-Browning, who backed up Valeska's assertion that she was on the ship against her will. Ramana had her own story of coercion and hardship. Valeska's sister Melissa Paris, meanwhile, told of working for years in the Sea Org as a teenager for almost no money in the UK. Valeska has been threatened by church attorneys for speaking out, but we suspect her story is only beginning.


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104 comments
womens chain belts
womens chain belts

You made several good points there. I did a search on the issue and found nearly all people will have the same opinion with your blog.

OTVIIIisGrrr8!
OTVIIIisGrrr8!

We in RTC voted for our top six stories of 2011. The results:

1. COB's total and utter global destruction of Psychiatry. COB's triumph was of course not reported in the barking dog Hearst yellow press nor the rabid wog Rockefeller media. In fact, all of the Nazi-Psych media were ordered not to report the news of COB's victory in order to keep government money pouring into the deadly programs that keep all of non-Scientology society locked into Psychiatry's designer-molecule future: Drugged, illiterate, and hooked on internet porn. Welcome to the future you bastards! We tried to warn you back in 1950.

2. The capture and arrest of Tony Ortega by the Fifth Invader Force. This too was not reported. Indeed, Ortega's absence was covered up when the Village Voice hired a psych-implanted Ortega body double. The real Ortega is facing felony thought crime charges in an undisclosed location. The Ortega body double is actually more handsome and intelligent than the real Ortega. We have invited him over to the HGB for a few sessions.

3. Thanks to COB, IAS passed the "one billion members" target in November, 2011. There are now over one billion Scientologists working to turn this prison planet into a Scientology Shanrgi-La.*

4. Under COB's guidance, OSA defeated 73.9% of the SP's that had been attacking it. These SP's were placed in detention centers in Alaska by the Dept of Homeland Security. ABLE** will reeducate these SP's using a precision technology known as PDH.

5. Freedom Magazine published award-winning exposes on the hypocritical psych-implanted lying wogs Tom Tobin and Joe Childs of the St. Petersburg Times - a fish wrapping product  that is falsely called a newspaper. This phony newspaper has published so many lies about the Scientology religion that we postulated it would go out of business in 1997. This happened. However, Eli Lilly and other psych-drug manufacturers pump millions of dollars a month into the St. Petersburg Times in order to keep the lies about COB and the Scientology religion coming. We in RTC will obliterate this funding pipeline in 2012. 

6. The discovery that all 192 readers of the Village Voice are sex offenders of one type or another. This came as no surprise to we in RTC; it only proved what we already knew too well. 

* Shangri-La is a fictional paradise described in the 1933 novel Lost Horizon by British author James Hilton.

** The Association for Better Living and Education: An association that helps people lead better lives through education. No young person needs a so-called college degree so long as ABLE exists. Donate today.

Freespirit
Freespirit

I think all of these stories are deserving of top prize. What is most fascinating is that they show different sides of this organization and when you view them all together it forms one pretty hideous picture. So hideous that it would make one pause with a degree of disbelief, but make no mistake: all are excellent reporting, factual and truthful and there is no getting around the hideousness of Miscavige's brand of "spiritual freedom".

Mimi The Great
Mimi The Great

My *personal* favorite was the heartbreaking story of Lori Hodgson, after her son was hospitalized after a major motorcycle accident. It was so crushing and wrought with anguish and gave disconnection a very real face.

I voted for Valeska's story but my second choice was the ice machine debacle.

Excellent reporting Ortega, you never cease to amaze us.

Jgg
Jgg

  The biggest story is that Co$ is still in existence after 1-5.  Fact: almost no cult survives the death of its founder, but Co$ has done so for 26 years.

Chocolate Velvet
Chocolate Velvet

No doubt "Money Machine" is an important story. But I voted for the Parker/Stone story, for one simple reason: that story, via BoingBoing, brought my attention to this blog. From here, I learned of the four other stories - I doubt I would have otherwise. I think it's a safe bet there are many others reading this blog now who followed a link to the Parker/Stone story. These people, like me, now know a lot more about this important story (Scientology) that is ignored by the mainstream media. I have been a casual Sci watcher since the late 80's, but I don't have a lot of time to spend online. That chain of weblinks has brought me to a great source of info that has reignited my concern about this cult. More importantly, for people who never knew anything about it and would automatically be skeptical of the horrible, outrageous stories of abuse and exploitation, a story about the South Park guys is accessible. So many young people who otherwise would not care - including my own teenage son - know all about Xenu and how crazy Scientology is, because of that TV show.The other stories are undeniably more serious and troubling, but in my opinion, the impact on public awareness was greatest from the South Park story and its reach across the 'net.

Jefferson Hawkins
Jefferson Hawkins

I agree that "The Money Machine" was the story of the year. While many of the other stories exposed the heartless cruelty of the cult, this story exposed the Machiavellian money machine that keeps the cult running despite mass defections, exposes, and overwhelmingly negative public opinion. As long as they can keep squeezing millions of dollars out of their rapidly dwindling membership, they can continue buying up real estate, and continue their stream of PR and lies about how they are "expanding" and have "millions of members" and "thousands of organizations" and so on. But it's all an empty, if well-funded, shell. They can't even come up with a decent spokesman any more - all we get is the pathetic "Marcotai," who knows his statements are so transparently false that he feels compelled to put "Fact!!!!" in front of each one - as if that makes them factual.

MarthaWiggins
MarthaWiggins

It's painful looking back at the decisions we made, the money we gave, the debt we incurred.  We're struggling now, in our 60s, to put together enough money to even consider retiring.  It was mentioned (by The Scientologist) that registrars are the lowest of the low, the scum of the earth and not to be forgiven.  I feel the same way.  One of the people who regged us heavily for Super Power is out and now wants to "communicate" with me.  Not going to happen.  In my fantasy world, a brave and valiant lawyer brings a class action suit against the corporation of scn and cleans out the hoards of money, disbursing it to all the folks who gave it up.  I wish.  My husband is good at not beating himself or me up about the past.  He's very philosophical about it:  it's only money, we'll make more.  I'm not wired that way.There are many aspects of being a cult survivor -- regret about the money is only one on a long list.

Jgg
Jgg

   You forgot some:

1. 93.7% of all historians now agree that psychiatry was the sole cause of WWII.2.  70% of all scientists now agree that smoking is good for you, and most Americans know someone who reached the age of 90 despite smoking at least one cigarette a day;3.  A "missing link" was found which proved that humans are, in fact, descended from clams.4.  New ideal orgs have been set up in Antactica, the Amazon rain forest and the Sahara desert.  Thanks to Antarctica, penguins are now joining in record numbers.5.  Thanks to Study Tech/Applied Scholasics, half of all sixth graders now know how to use a dictionary.6.  LRH's reincarnation has been found in rural New Mexico.  The boy, who will turn 6 in a few weeks, has dreamt about wrestling polar bears, becoming an eagle scout at age 5 and curing blindness with one hour of hypnosis, proving that he is truly LRH's thetan

MarkStark
MarkStark

From the standpoint of satire, my favorite story was of Fairman suing his chiro. I do hope he's found another to humpluxate his whole back-problem-prone squirrel family. They pulled their back problems in by chasing too many nutz.

hgc
hgc

Some cults that survived death of founder:

- Mormons- North Korean regime- International Society for Krishna Consciousness

Now, are Scilons really that special?

Marcotai
Marcotai

Hi paul, why don't you tell people in here that you (as you admitted) have never read a single SCN book.Why don't you tell people that you have opened up a YT channel pretending to be a well known rock star, and why don't you admit that you have helped Aroon Saxton in his attempt to scum money from anonymous hate cult's members?

Well, don't worry, many people against SCN are just like you in Ortega's blog.

Xenu
Xenu

And there's serious doubt that Marcotai is even a Scientologist, it's been suggested that he's just some guy who likes to troll.  I can't see any reason to disbelieve that theory.  He regularly spouts tales which most readers here will immediately spot as lies, like talking about "millions" of Scientologists. 

I first heard there were millions in the 1970s.  Then I looked at new Delta e-meters, which had serial numbers in the range of 6000-8500.  If we had millions of members, why less than ten thousand e-meters?  Other exes have confirmed similar numbers for more recent models of meters. Large, neutral surveys and government censuses have pointed to membership in the tens of thousands, and dwindling.  The key to Marcotai's argument is completely discredited.

I don't think that an OSA-hatted poster would come charging into the discussion, firing blanks like that.  Marco Miglio, who really IS a Scientologist, seems to have stopped reading the comments, and settled for emailing in occasional philosophical musings.  Too many, who know too much, are here, and there's nobody like that guy at Huffpo to moderate all of the truth out of the discussion.  I think OSA has all but fled this field.

In short, I don't think they even have Marcotai!

Marcotai
Marcotai

The response by CoS to the "story' or better, "tale" that SP Times did, is what actually can be called "the real story."

I put 'Fact" in fron of truthful statement to differentiate them from lies that you are so well versed to spread around. Hawkins is a well known guy who has the reputation to sell counterfeit dreams to hate-mongers who are very open to that kind of lies.Jeff, go to Flag and see for yourself what is really happening there. Go around the world and see for yourself what is going on inside Scientology orgs and missions.Talk to real Scientologists in there and find out what is actually happening.Get off from your nutshell for a while and get a life for god sake.Your stream of black PR and lies about SCN can't have any chance in front of the truth and in front of the real world. You know very, very well the trust LRH gave to DM, that's why now you hate not only DM but even LRH. That is pathetic, not my right to exist as a Scientologist.

MarkStark
MarkStark

Money sucking and lying are the two great Sciloontology traditions. "I was up in the Van Allen belt  -- this is factual." (L. Ron Hubbard)

bobx
bobx

Reminds me of George Bush Sr. running for re-election in 1992 and coming out with the line "Message:  I care!"  It would have sounded more sincere without that prefix "Message", which made him sound like a badly-programmed robot.

Radio Paul
Radio Paul

Martha, I would never tell you to do what is not in your heart but I would suggest that you do speak to the ex Reg. If for no other reason than people like Marcotai will choke on their own hate and stew in their own hell over it. Sadly your story of being bleed dry by age 60 for lie is as common as the lack of apathy those still in Scientology have. If Marcotai is the face of Scientology compassion and humanism then they have lost the war. But all the same, I have found that people are not who they really are when in the cult. For that reason I also urge you to meet the Reg. They might offer you information that could help you get some money back or even help you publicly fight back. One of the most powerful things to happen lately with these stories is not only the victim is speaking out but so are those that were forced to victimize tem.I think you are missing an opportunity here.

MarthaWiggins
MarthaWiggins

I'd like to clarify something:  we're not looking for sympathy.  I work my way through the healing, one step at a time.  It helps tremendously to talk about it here, to find kindred spirits and support.  It's good for me to share even when it exposes my unfortunate past choices.  I've read tons of ex-scnists' stories and I'm heartbroken at what these people have been through -- waaaay worse than my story, truly.

Marcotai
Marcotai

Yeah...a typical JUSTIFICATION from apostates; "I was "forced" or "i was 'brainwashed"

LOL. why don't you take some responsibility for it and get your service-facsimiles handled?

 

Sid
Sid

Easy Mark, it's still the Holiday Season you know.

Michael Fairman
Michael Fairman

Ah Mr. Scumbucket Mark, still talklng out of you anus? Like the three monkeys: You see nothing, you hear nothing and you speak nothing as evidenced by the content of your blather. Number one numbnuts - I haven't seen a chiropractor since '08 Number two.  I love to see you confront my"problem prone" wife and daughter. So why don't once and for all pack you bag of bullshit and slither back into whatever hole you crawled out of.  

Jgg
Jgg

  Yes, there are over 1,000 cults in the USA at any given time (5 million Americans have been in one) and 99% won't survive the guru's death or reach 10,000 members, let alone get dozens of celebrity members, have a best-selling book like Dianetics, or have drug rehab centers in hundreds of locations.

Aragorn_ii
Aragorn_ii

If I may borrow from another, smarter man then me. " Do I have to shoot up Herion to be able to warn my kids not to try it? Do I have to burn my hand to warn someone about fire?" Any logical,informed person can read and investigate both sides of any position and come to a conclusion. So I do not have to read Hubbard material to know it is something I should avoid.

Clarkle
Clarkle

LOL, how funny that you would post something about someone not reading a scientology book.  At least he aimed high in pretending to be a rock star, you just pretend to be a scientologist.  You are sad. Hahaha

Arthur
Arthur

No, marcotai is definitely not a Scientologist.  He has made too many mistakes and misstatements that a real Scientologist simply wouldn't make.  Just a troll -- and doing a good job of getting a rise out of many here.

barbara graham
barbara graham

I went to AOLA last week. It was surprisingly vacant. Tumbleweeds and crickets, plus the random Scilon.

L. Ron Hubbard Way is no longer "bustling." Probably the only bustling being done is by the people held in the tunnels under the street.

LRH Way was empty, which fills me with evil glee.

redpill
redpill

Still pretending to be a clam, eh Marcotai?

-Red Pill on Topix

Tye Solaris
Tye Solaris

Hubbard's writing is riddled with his outlandish claims... notice how he chooses "Van Allen Belt".... which was a rather high profile name 'In His Time'... how clearly dated his claims appear now... 

MarthaWiggins
MarthaWiggins

I'm sorry, what?  Who or what is the ex Reg?

ETA: If this has anything to do with independent scn, please go away.

SP 'Onage
SP 'Onage

Marthawiggins, your story is as poignant as any other ex sci. It's hard to fathom how scilons are able lure smart, innocent and good hearted people in, steal their money and break up families.

Give yourself credit for having the fortitude to break away from the con.

mia
mia

STFU!!!!!

Frolix8
Frolix8

Apostate has no relevance nor meaning when used in connection with Scientology. One has to be apostate from a religion. At best Scientology is an "applied philosophy" at worst it is a corrupt and corrupting business. I believe the reason you, Marcotai, and Scientology in general use the term apostate is to trick folk into accepting the concept that Scientology is in fact a religion when in fact it is not.

Obfuscation and lies are the refuge of a scoundrel.

Radio Paul
Radio Paul

Hearing that a lot are you, Marcotai? I wonder why?

Jgg
Jgg

  Marcotai, look in a mirror when you say that.

Skwerl King
Skwerl King

Marcotai, I disagree as it is a very equitable statement Martha made in the face of her experiences. She is a brave woman to express her opinions honestly. Secondly, you might not know this, but brainwashing requires a willing victim who is unaware they are being manipulated. 

SP 'Onage
SP 'Onage

TrollHammer! Down what aisle at Home Depot can I find such a powerful device?

bobx
bobx

I asked once before about the puzzling insult "ser-fac" which I had seen thrown about.  Is "service-facsimiles" what it stands for?  What does it mean?

MarkStark
MarkStark

Yes, your great hero, the epic liar and fraud L. Ron Hubbard, was so non-blathering about things wasn't he? I would aspire to be more like him but I hate totalitarianism and fucking people over out of greed. So call me anything you'd like.

Xenu sends his regards. He knows when you've been bad or good, so be good for Xenu's sake.

Thetan-X
Thetan-X

"inturbulated" much Mikey ??

OTVIIIisGrrr8!
OTVIIIisGrrr8!

We in RTC need to correct the widespread lie that there are few Scientologists at Flag.

Facts:

Flag is the Mecca of Technical Perfection. Therefore, it is always crowded with hundreds and thousands of Scientologists clamoring for advanced Scientology services. Our registrars literally cannot take their money fast enough.

Scientologists are always in session at Flag. Everyone is always on purpose and busy at Flag. Scientologists do not aimlessly wander around the streets of Clearwater as do the disoriented, psych-drugged denizens in non-Scientology cities.

Flag is where Scientologists want to be and pay to be. They do not come to Flag to walk around the streets drinking Starbucks and chatting like so many banal wogs. Seriously, Scientologists are either in session or in the course room. Time is precious when eternity is at stake.

When they are not splashing around the beaches in Clearwater or lounging by the pool at Flag, Scientologists visiting Flag use their free time to spy on the movements of known SP's in the local area - so yes of course you will not see them because they are on surveillance as OSA Invest volunteers.

We in RTC maintain that if a person wants to wander the streets in a daze of confusion and existential meaninglessness, then they are free to do so. However, we believe that a person will be happier with themselves, and Scientology will be happier with them as well, if they got themselves off the streets and into the nearest Ideal Org.

El Jeffe
El Jeffe

I concur with Barbara - I was in LA last year and spent some time on LRH Way which runs past AOLA and ASHO. It was quite different then when I spent time there in the late 80's. Back in the 80's you could not walk down the street without bumping in to someone - the place was packed! Fast forward to 2010 and the place looks like a ghost town. Very few people on the street even at 6 pm when people go to dinner and muster.

My advice to Marcotai is to look and not listen. Scientology is in a steep decline and making up stats to say otherwise is a sure way to go down with a sinking ship.

Thetan-X
Thetan-X

Really Marco ? do people" goes in vacations these days" ? do they really?? WTF?? you're an idiot .

Xenu
Xenu

I can sure vouch for that.  I've been on vacation for decades.

Marcotai
Marcotai

People do goes in vacations these days.

Vistaril
Vistaril

I love the L Ron Hubbard visiting the Van Allen Belt to "watch the sunrise" story - that's because, from that height, the Sun sits stationary in a black sky while the Earth revolves beneath. Thus, L Ron Hubbard is, once again, proved a liar and his unfortunate victims are  shown to be a long way from knowing how to know. Anything.

Marcotai
Marcotai

LOL, the Van Allen Belt is still called like that even nowadays by astronomers!

Marcotai
Marcotai

"I am not a Independent"

Well, drugs dependency is a well known sad thing.

Radio Paul
Radio Paul

Reg = Registrar

I am not a Independent LOL

DMSTCC
DMSTCC

"If you can help just a handful of people to get their lives back, then maybe your experience could be considered to have been a positive one."

Also, if you can help prevent people from joining (being conned) you are saving them.

MarthaWiggins
MarthaWiggins

Thank you Sid.  You sound like my husband who also says we have no reason to beat ourselves up and that it's a total waste of time.  We're here now and doing all we can to reach out.Thanks.  Really. 

Sid
Sid

Martha - thousands and thousands of people have fallen for it. You must not beat yourself up about that. There are some things I would remind you of:-

1. You joined an organization that lied and lied and lied to you, and did it in such an expert way. This wasn't a road-side con with a guy selling watches (oops I fell for that one), this was a multi-billion dollar enterprise which has perfected the art of conning people.

2. Your motives were not greed, which is the usual way in which people are conned out of money. You were told you were giving your money to a group which were the only hope for mankind.

3. You did not join the cult, you were recruited - they went after you and got you.

The most important thing now is that you are out. Regretting your decisions is inevitable but is actually a waste of emotion, and only harms you more. What is more important is that you use your energy to help those still in, to get out. If you can help just a handful of people to get their lives back, then maybe your experience could be considered to have been a positive one.

MarthaWiggins
MarthaWiggins

Thank you.  I do give myself credit in that regard.  I will be happy for the day I feel that credit more than I feel embarrassed.  It'll come, right?  And some days are just so bloody wonderful -- the freedom, the choices!  woooohoooo

MarthaWiggins
MarthaWiggins

Don't, please please please, don't feed the troll.  At all.  Nothing.

Marcotai
Marcotai

Well, what about other thousands of Scientologists that are disagreeing with Martha?Are they not expressing their opinion about SCN based on their experience?Anyway, you can force someone to do something he is not willing to do with menace or under blackmail. "Brainwashing" doesn't exist unless you use torture, (physical force) combined with drugs and hypnosis on someone else (something that SCN processing has revealed to be a wide practice used in USA and Arab countries by sinister government's organisations or some de-programming businesses)

bobx
bobx

Thanks Martha and Xenu for deciphering that for me.

Xenu
Xenu

To clarify with an example, Scientology's primary service fac would be something like "If it's not true for you, then you're doing it incorrectly, and/or there's an SP involved, because Scientology is NEVER wrong."

MarthaWiggins
MarthaWiggins

A service facsimile is a computation that a person makes (unknowingly) that makes them "right" and others "wrong."  It is ostensibly a survival mechanism.  It runs on automatic, coloring your decisions and actions.  Auditing rids you of ser-facs.  NOT!!!

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