Scientology and Nation of Islam Exposed in Florida School Takeover; In Israel, Miscavige Shown to be a Liar by Own Attorneys

Categories: Scientology

TBTimesFront3.JPG
The Tampa Bay Times has done it again with another explosive report on the Church of Scientology. Drew Harwell's thorough report shows an alarming partnership between Scientology and the Nation of Islam that has drained dry a troubled charter school in Dunedin, Florida.

We also have a startling report out of Israel, where a new court pleading has Scientology's own attorneys accusing church leader David Miscavige of lying in order to drum up donations.

With reports like that coming in, we couldn't wait for our usual Thursday worldwide roundup. So hold on to your hat as we summarize this Sunday's bombshells.

First, today's Tampa Bay Times features Harwell's story on its front page, and it's a densely packed and shocking look at Life Force Arts and Technology Academy, a struggling charter school in the town of Dunedin.

Harwell reports that Life Force receives about $800,000 a year in public money, but after opening in 2007, by 2009 it was on the ropes financially. That's when "Dr." Hanan Islam, of California's World Literacy Crusade, stepped in with another one of her businesses, the Art of Management, saying that she was going to save the place.

Parents and former teachers, however, charge that Islam instead led a covert takeover of the school by the Church of Scientology.

Islam's World Literacy Crusade promotes L. Ron Hubbard's "study tech," which it argues is a secular set of study materials. But as Harwell points out, Hubbard's materials -- which place an oddly single-minded focus on the use of dictionaries for nearly all educational problems -- has been rejected by school boards around the country as a covert way of getting Scientology's ideas into schools. [For a thorough expose on Hubbard's "study tech" and how it attempts to wedge Scientology into the schools, see this series of essays by Carnegie Mellon professor Dave Touretzky.]

Even stranger, the takeover of Life Force appeared to be a joint effort between Scientology and the Nation of Islam. We've written previously about the strange relationship that has been growing between Scientology and Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam leader.

At the center of that odd pairing is a man named Alfreddie Johnson.

StacyFrancisLouisFarrakhan.jpg

That's Alfreddie in the photo behind Farrakhan and former X-Factor contestant Stacy Francis at a Scientology Celebrity Centre event from a few years ago.

It's Johnson who reached out to Farrakhan and got him interested in Dianetics about six years ago. And Harwell reports that Johnson was on the scene as a Nation of Islam "brother," Louis Muhammad, was made board chair of the charter school. Johnson himself showed up at fundraisers for Life Force.

But that fundraising didn't seem to get Life Force out of its struggles. Harwell reports that parents were concerned about the meager resources at the school. But while the school struggled, it "funneled tens of thousands of dollars more to Islam's business interests than she told the bankruptcy court she would charge."

At the same time it was funneling money to Islam's Scientology front group, the school was so poor, it argued to the local sheriff's station that it authorized a parent to rip out the copper wiring and other fixtures of a closed nearby hotel as a way to raise money. (The hotel denied that it gave the school permission to do so, Hartwell writes.)

Hartwell even shows that Islam's "doctorate" is from a diploma mill.

With the school such a train wreck, Pinellas County would like to close it, but it can't do so because Life Force is currently in bankruptcy court.

Perhaps the most troubling detail: once Scientology took over the school, it seems to have installed its own version of elementary school RPF.

Rehabilitation Project Force is the name for Scientology's prison detail for its Sea Org members who run afoul of rules or otherwise disappoint their leaders. It can take years of working at menial labor and shunned by other church members for parishioners in the RPF to restore themselves to good standing. In the case of Life Force, the Pinellas County school district found that children needing discipline were assigned to work with janitors. "Islam defended the practice," Hartwell writes.

For now, the school is trying to change its name, and Islam's group is still aggressively marketing it to locals.

One parent objected that his 11-year-old daughter was sent home from the Christmas Party with a book by L. Ron Hubbard with the title The Carnival of Death. He burned it.

CarnivalOfDeath.jpg

Hartwell's story is packed with amazing detail. Please give it a look, and we'll hope the Times keeps us updated as the school moves through bankruptcy.


Meanwhile, in Israel, a new court document has Scientology arguing that its leader spoke lies to thousands of assembled church members.

For some time now, we've been covering developments in the case of the new Ideal Org in Jaffa/Tel Aviv. As we reported earlier, Scientology surreptitiously took over a Jaffa landmark -- the Alhambra cinema building -- with the use of a front, an attorney, who then went berserk and is accused of trying to have a lot of people killed and of twice trying to burn down the building. The Arab Muslim man who was hired to renovate the building, Naif Salati, later filed a foreclosure order on the building and sued Scientology, saying that it shorted him on what he was contracted to be paid.

Scientology sued him back, claiming that Salati never finished the building's renovation.

As we reported in November, after visiting the building ourselves, the place looked pretty finished to us. But more importantly, in December, we were smuggled a video of church leader David Miscavige making a presentation to thousands of church members at a gala in the UK, saying that the Jaffa org was finished, staffed, and was open for business.

As he said these things, images were shown of the gleaming new facility...

Although we published that video excerpt on December 12, Miscavige's presentation was made at an event held in October, and the footage of the org was filmed some time earlier.

Salati's attorney, seeing our item in December, filed with the court a copy of that video segment, saying that it proved that Salati had finished his work, contrary to what the church was saying in court.

However, now Scientology's attorneys have filed their answer, and they say the video isn't proof that Salati had finished his work. How do they know that? They admit that the images in the video were faked, and that the faked footage was used for the purpose of "donors."

"We are not dealing with a documentary as to whether the works in the building were completed or not completed. The clip was filmed for the purposes of being shown to the audience of donors and members and it is only natural that the shortcomings of the applicant's work were not shown," the court document reads (our translation is from the Hebrew). "In the course of the filming, areas of the building that were not completed were not filmed and the clip focuses on the areas which show the building in a flattering light. In addition, filters and lighting that improved the appearance of the building were used."

So, Scientology's attorneys now admit that the footage was faked, and that the building was not completed, nor was it open for business. But let's look again at what Miscavige said about it in October...

After taking us through several gleaming rooms, he concludes, as we see hundreds of staff members standing in front of the building...

"With more than 200 staff now manning our ramparts in this Holy Land, our new Church of Scientology of Israel."

Well, for the purposes of his lawsuit, that's no longer quite so true.



**********
Tony Ortega has been the editor in chief of the Village Voice since March, 2007. He started writing about Scientology in 1995. You can reach him by e-mail at tortega@villagevoice.com, and if you ask nicely he'll put you on his mailing list for notifications of new stories, which tend to come out each and every morning at 8 am, but can suddenly appear at any time of the day. You can also catch his alerts at Twitter (@VoiceTonyO), at his Facebook author page, and even this new Google Plus doohickey.

New readers might want to check out our primer, "What is Scientology?" Another good overview is our series from last summer, "Top 25 People Crippling Scientology." At the top of every story, you'll see the "Scientology" category which, if you click on it, will bring up all of our most recent stories. As for our regular features, on Thursdays we do a roundup of world press, on Fridays we visit L. Ron Hubbard on the yacht Apollo circa 1969-1971, on Saturdays we celebrate the week's best comments, and on Sundays we publish Scientology's wacky and tacky advertising mailers that people send us.

As for hot subjects we've covered here, you may have heard about Debbie Cook, the former church official who rebelled and is now being sued by Scientology. You might have also heard about the Super Power Building, Scientology's "Mecca," whose secrets were revealed here. We also reported how Scientology spied on its own most precious object, Tom Cruise. (We wrote Tom an open letter that he has yet to respond to.) Have you seen a Scientology ad on TV lately? We debunked some of the claims in that 2-minute commercial you might have seen while watching Glee or American Idol.

Other stories have looked at Scientology's policy of "disconnection" that is tearing families apart. You may also have heard something about the Sea Org experiences of the Paris sisters, Valeska and Melissa, and their friend Ramana Dienes-Browning. We've also featured Paulette Cooper, who wrote about Scientology back in the day, and Janet Reitman, Hugh Urban, and the team at the Tampa Bay Times, who write about it today. And there's plenty more coming.


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130 comments
Jewish Arab Israeli Philistine
Jewish Arab Israeli Philistine

I have to ask you Tony, why do you single out the contactor Naif Salati as an "Arab Muslim" man? You don't identify the ethnic background of the attorney that went nuts (was he Jewish? Was he Israeli? Russian? Atheist?) and I've seen you single out the "Arab Muslim" guy a few times before in your reporting on this matter.

I don't know how you'd like it if someone was writing about you and referred to you, instead of simply American, as a "Latino Atheist" (or Christian, or whatever your religious happen to be or not be.)

So, the guy is Arab. Fine. You know Israel is a multiethnic country and Arabs are Israeli citizens as much as Israelis of non-Arab background, yes? So he's Muslim. There are a lot of Muslims in Israel. It's not an uncommon thing. But I don't think I've ever seen you identify anyone specifically as a "Jewish Israeli" or anything like that.

If this contractor is an Israeli citizen, which I assume he is, then you should refer to him properly: Israeli. I don't know why you'd want to refer to him as "Arab Muslim" unless being Arab and Muslim has something to do with the matter at hand. If he's not Israeli, if he's Palestinian, then you should refer to him as "Palestinian."

Ain't that difficult buddy. And also a helluva less racist.

Unex Skcus
Unex Skcus

Update at TBT:

"Pinellas school superintendent wants Scientology-tied charter school closed"

http://www.tampabay.Xcom/news/education/pinellas-school-superintendent-wants-scientology-tied-charter-school-closed/1217694    (remove X from Xcom)

"Life Force could become the first Pinellas school to have its charter terminated.

"A memo by Pinellas County schools superintendent John Stewart urges the county school board to issue a 90-day notice of termination to Life Force and criticizes its budget, discipline system and leadership."

Villagedianne
Villagedianne

L. Ron probably did not even invent Study Tech.  There is a report on one of the Anti-Scilon message boards (sorry, can't remember where) that Study Tech was really developed by 2 teachers who were early followers of Hubbard. They proudly and excitedly showed Hubbard what they had developed.  He stole their ideas and presented them as entirely his own.  The 2 teachers  then slinked off, never to be   heard from again.

PickAnotherID
PickAnotherID

One can only hope Child Protective Services will be looking into what other, besides using them as janitors, inappropriate work and activities the kids at this school are being forced into.

DodoTheLaser
DodoTheLaser

Sarcasm? Irony? Silliness? Whatever.

But I still like the analogy, Eli. 

Rolotomasii
Rolotomasii

I am waving my Geek Flag here, but just imagine the space battle between the NOI Motherwheel vs. LRH's Marcabian Armada??  Could evil Lord Xenu and his fleet of intergalactic DC-9's (or is it 10's) beat the awesome power of the bow-tied minions of Elijah Mohammed and the awe inspiring strength of the Motherwheel? This thing makes the Death Star look like a wimp.   

Mrs. VonTrapp
Mrs. VonTrapp

The name of the school is "LIFE FORCE Arts and Technology Academy". I'm sure this has been brought up already, but "Life Force" is a Scientology concept. It is right in the definition of "Theta: in their technical dictionary. Whoever was behind starting and naming this school was a Scientologist.If it's true the Founder of this charter school was a Scientologist, then I am sure they had the intention of bringing in study tech from the beginning. Maybe they knew if they brought up study tech/Scientology/LRon Hubbard in the beginning, they wouldn't get the Charter. So they withheld it and then later brought in Study Tech, after the fact. This is the same way scientology got into Clearwater in the first place, by lying about who they were. If I am right, there was no "take-over", it was a Trojan Horse from the beginning.

Mrs. VonTrapp
Mrs. VonTrapp

All Scientologists are required to buy courses that teach them "Study Tech". These courses contain the SAME EXACT study principles that are used by World Literacy Crusaders and Life Force Academy. These "Study Tech" courses are considered religious training by the CoS and its members: they even deduct the cost of these courses from their Income Tax as "tax deductible religious contributions". Then when Scientology takes over a school by using the exact same LRon Hubbard Study Tech, they claim it is non-religious. If it true that it is non-religious, then will the IRS please stop letting Scientologists deduct this non-religious training from their income tax?Scientology has a pattern of wanting their cake and eating it too. When something works in their favor, they say it is one way, when that same thing does not work in their favor, they then claim it is the opposite. So Scientology, is Study Tech religious training? Or is Study Tech not religious training? It's can't be both.

Kim O'Brien
Kim O'Brien

this story was just linked to on the political blog Crooks and Liars ;)

Jonathon Barbera
Jonathon Barbera

Here's some irrefutable logic for all of you to consider. If we weren't meant to look up words in a dictionary, then why do publishing companies continue to print dictionaries? Why do bookstores continue to sell dictionaries? If people aren't supposed to look up their words in a dictionary, why do dictionaries exist in the first place?

I don't expect any ~real~ answers from Ortega or anyone else because this is just a joke site, but I want all of you to consider the simple logic of it.

scilonschools
scilonschools

This level of horror is only exceeded by the unbelievable enormity of CULT foot bullets, this is Scientology Watching Bronco Buck Riding.... ROCK & ROLL!!!!

PattyMoher
PattyMoher

This is just classic Scientology behavior.  Just look over the history of Scn trying to infiltrate schools with their "study tech".  They lie or use acceptable truths to get in the front door.  Inevitability, they apply standard but useless LRH Tech and they fail, fail, fail. 

I once ran a Narconon and over several years managed to finagle over a quarter of a million dollars worth of grants for the Narconon program.  The Guardians Office was running the Narconons during that time and demanded 10% of all the grant money.  I tried to explain that this would be illegal because the grant money was allocated for certain things and 10% fee to the GO was not one of the approved line items. 

I was told that the solution would be for the money to come out of Staff Pay.  Again I explained that this was illegal.  They backed off but then sent down orders that all future grant money proposals had to include a 10 percent consultancy fee.  LOL!

You can be sure the cult is getting money from this latest scam.  I'd love to see a copy of their actual budget.  I'm sure with a little more research, we could dig out where the money is going.

Scientology = Scamming Scammers that Scam.

SP 'Onage
SP 'Onage

Did anybody see the bitchin glamour shots of Hanan Islam at "The Daily Mail" article?

YeeeeeeeeeeeeeeHaaaaaaaawwwwww!!!

Anon!
Anon!

Maybe as the parents get a better handle on the situation at this charter school there will be lawsuits filed, against $cn, et al, why? Embezzlement, fraud, harm to minors... you get the idea. Poor souls with the school district who honestly thought they were getting educators to help with an education problem; instead they get a bunch of opportunistic cult loving jerks who are looking for future recruits while posing as educators and dismissing the REAL teachers who had trouble aligning themselves with forcing Hubbard's crap down the intellectual throats of children. Yep, time to grab the popcorn and watch how this unfolds.

SP 'Onage
SP 'Onage

Well, after this article at the VV and Tampa Bay Times, all parents, kids and teachers will now have to sign and agree to a ten page non-disclosure agreement. Just wait, it will happen.

Barbara Snow
Barbara Snow

Is that the real cover of the book "The Carnival of Death" ?  can you imagine if your 11 year old came home with a "gift" like that?  More to the point, can you imagine yourself wrapping it up in festive paper, thinking what a nice gift it would be for a child?  It just boggles my mind that people can distribute crap like this as presents to children and not have just the tiniest of glimmerings that something is off kilter.   Way way off kilter. 

SP 'Onage
SP 'Onage

This will be awesome to watch. :-P

Bring it on! *lasers ready* pew-pew-pew pew...Ugh! :-Q

bobx
bobx

May the Life Force be with you!

Unex Skcus
Unex Skcus

 It doesn't sound that way actually. The article at TBT (link below) mentions:

[quote]

The original founders of the Life Force charter school have distanced themselves from it.

Jai Hinson, that group's executive director and a founder of the Life Force charter school, said she is "extremely disappointed and appalled" at the direction the charter school took after she helped found it in 2009.

"The stuff they're doing is nothing to be proud of," Hinson said. "They need to close it down."

English Bradshaw, a Tampa charter school consultant who helped Hinson develop the original school charter ... said he was "deeply disturbed" with the school representatives who have been "involved with its demise" and added that he would do everything in his power to encourage the school's termination.

"I created this Frankenstein," he wrote. "Now I will do my level best to destroy it."

[/quote]

link: http://www.tampabay.Xcom/news/education/pinellas-school-superintendent-wants-scientology-tied-charter-school-closed/1217694   (remove X in Xcom)

ShellyMiscavige
ShellyMiscavige

I laugh when I think of all those poor clams who actually believe the scientology cult is an advancing brand with good global PR. It's pitiful to think that they slave away online trying to counteract all the negative press and actually believe they are achieving anything meaningful.

One day soon, DEA and Feds will bulldoze the inward pointing razor fence at Gold Base and free those holed up in the RPF camps.

Until then I'm happy to point at this sham church and it's scam little Napoleon leader and laugh out loud.

DodoTheLaser
DodoTheLaser

Jonathon, you are a good being, but I worry about you.Please read replies to your comments, think them over.Dictionaries are wonderful, but that's not the point.Logic and dictionaries were here before Hubbard.Be your own person.Best wishes to you!

Billy Bob
Billy Bob

Your irrefutable logic works only because you have set up a straw man argument.  In fact, you didn't really think up this argument, your mentor L Ron Hubbard intentionally set up this fallacy when he invented "study tech."

Who would suggest that looking up words in the dictionary is a bad practice?  Nobody, that's who!  That's what LRH was counting on when he set out to infiltrate the schools with his "novel" concept.

And so here you are Jonathon, duplicating L Ron Hubbard by presenting an argument that has nothing to do with the criticism it is directed against.

Sasser
Sasser

Jonathon,

Is that really what you're taking away from this article, that anyone is suggesting "we weren't meant to look up words"?  You must have a misunderstood word.  Harwell's critique of the study tech was that it places "an oddly single-minded focus on the use of dictionaries for nearly all educational problems".  I think you need to word clear this quote.

SFF
SFF

Did you know that while rabbit can be part of a balanced diet, if you eat nothing but rabbit you will die of malnutrition?

Study Tech is the equivalent of rabbit. Teaching kids to look things up in dictionaries can be useful as part of a comprehensive educational system but on its own it will lead to educational malnutrition.

ShellyMiscavige
ShellyMiscavige

This is a "joke site"??

Is the Jaffa Org a "joke" too?

Delphian schools and cult-run education facilities are a "joke" that's for sure.

Embezzling government funds is not a "joke" though.

PattyMoher
PattyMoher

 There's nothing wrong with looking up words.  People do it all the time and it's a good thing.  But that's not what study tech is all about.  Go read Dave Touretsky's site about Study Tech, brushing aside all bias and rumor. 

DodoTheLaser
DodoTheLaser

Patty: "Scientology = Scamming Scammers that Scam."

Also: "Scientology = Zombified Zombies that Zombify."

You are always a great inspiration, Pooks!

Thank you!

DodoTheLaser
DodoTheLaser

Scientology doesn't want anyone to follow its money trail.

Scientology has no transparency about its money trails.

Just ask IAS, RTC, CST. Just ask Dave.

Better yet, ask retired IRS Commissioner -

- Fred T. Goldberg Jr.

He is still alive, right?

scilonschools
scilonschools

I wonder what she looks like wearing a 'Cap & Gown'  and holding a whip?

mad_world
mad_world

 Oh my..............................................................................................................

Schockenawd
Schockenawd

And at findCE her "fields of interest" are listed as Nutrition, Preventive Medicine, Ethics, Facilitator/MC, Family/Youth, Health/Wellness/Nutrition, Humor, Inspiration, Leadership, Learning, Motivation/Inspiration, Organizational Development, Problem Solving, Project Management, Self Esteem, Spirituality/Religion, Strategic Development, Strategic Planning, Stress Management, Teambuilding, Healthcare Delivery, Women’s Health, Family, Strategic Alliances, Volunteerism, Womens Issues, Youth, Food Research, Public Speaking, Resource Development, Fundraising, Naturopathy, Holistic & Integrative Healthcare and Medicine, Health & Wellness , Parenting, Fungal Infections, Healthcare

Hello... fungal infections?

SP 'Onage
SP 'Onage

Firetruckin' hilarious! Sorry, I'm laughing.

Lkenter7
Lkenter7

Except that the Nation of Islam thugs- er adherents will certainly be called upon to "reason" with any recalcitrant parents.

 Thetan-X
Thetan-X

yes, one can only hope, AND keep bitchen about this shit to the right politicians and law enforcement agencies and community leaders and, and....da,da,da....

DodoTheLaser
DodoTheLaser

Yeah, it will happen, in hell or rather in a court rooms and on a whole opposite vector. Watch Cof$ and NOI start pointing fingers at each other, while everyone else go WTF?And feds being excellent.  

NOTseriously
NOTseriously

But to Sciloons, children are just adults in little bodies. They have no concept of children not being developmentally ready for this kind of stuff. Heh, I am not developmentally ready for that kind of stuff.

SP 'Onage
SP 'Onage

I was wondering the same thing? Is that the cover? The kids in my family are very scared of skeletons, if someone gave them this book as a gift they'd literally pee their pants. It's weird, twisted, and kinda' disturbing, no wonder the father burned it.

Hatchune Shun
Hatchune Shun

May the Theta be with you!

FIFY, no gratitude is needed.

Hatchune Shun
Hatchune Shun

Requesting for a video should it happen.

Its fun to watch the cult fortress walls come tumbling down to reveal all of its horrific secrets for the world to see.

Bonus if the demunitive midget was found hiding under his bed.

Ghost of Charlie
Ghost of Charlie

 Shes Not a Doctor,...but She plays one on Scientology TV...anyone know what the penalties for impersonating a physician in Florida are?

She has those children in the school and Teachers calling her Dr Hanan...god forbid one of those kids has a playground mishap,,,and they turn to this fraudsters for medical treatment...she claims she a natropathic ND ...yet uses the title Dr..

what can she do besides rub some grass clippings on the open wound...

Dr Hanan! little johnny has cracked open his head on the monkey bars! ...what do we do??!!!???!!!??...... should we call an ambulance???...

"No that would pull in Bad PR!"...and  "WoG Doctors are bad" mkay,,,,,

 I single handily cured the malaria outbreak in the Scientology Orphanage in ...Ghana!!

whats a cracked skull to a super thetan!.....

"I'll use the touch assist I learned in a 10 minute Volunteer Minister course! "everybody stand back.!

SP 'Onage
SP 'Onage

LOL. FUNGAL INFECTIONS?!? Great! She can help people with candida, corns and stolen copper.

I bet she loves hanging out with Alfreddie Johnson because he's a FUNGI to be around...hehe

TonyOrtega
TonyOrtega

 Yes, that is the cover of the book.

SP 'Onage
SP 'Onage

I was thinking... maybe this was the book of choice because they had a shit load of them stored in a warehouse full of cobwebs, and needed to get rid of them. "Here kiddies, look what evil Santa and the demented scientology elves are giving away for free."

ghost of Charlie
ghost of Charlie

 theres some audio available online if you want a chuckle....the Good Doctor Hanan appeared on fellow clambot Kerri Kasam radio pod cast ..promoted as an expert on "electromagnetic smog" ....truefax! google it...

ghost of Charlie
ghost of Charlie

 the content of the book Is far worse than the cover-

headless corpses,headhunters,drug rings,murder 

its just the thing to frighten children.out of their whits...

outside world Is bad...and Scientology Is good an wholesome

SP 'Onage
SP 'Onage

Thanks Tony, the artwork is kinda' heavy for younger kids. I can understand why this would make some parents uneasy.

I like "Dia de los Muertos" artwork. So, it doesn't personally bother me, but it would be a different story If my kid came home with a LRon book from school, I'd be pissed.

LadyXenu
LadyXenu

A lot of those crappy L.Con Hubbard sci-fi books were at the bargain Dollar Stores last year selling for $1.00......last time I looked...... they were still collecting dust bunnies on the store shelves! Noooooobody wants them!!

Seriously, if the cult wants to benefit mankind, then they should start by donating those sci-fi books to their own staff members - to use for as#wipes.

Seriously, is it some sort of religious ritual to deprive people of toilet paper????

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