In Clearwater for LRH's 101st Birthday: Tales of Disconnection and Scientology Creepiness

One of the highlights of a full day here in Clearwater, Florida -- spiritual mecca for the Church of Scientology -- was meeting Darth Xander and watching him chase a Flag bus to inform Sea Org members that they can leave if they want to.

In town over the weekend to celebrate L. Ron Hubbard's 101st birthday, DX experienced some weirdness and I asked him to tell the story, which I included in the video above. Check it out, and then after the jump join us for some additional Flag Land Base enturbulation.

I jumped at the chance to meet Darth after seeing some footage that he'd put together a few days ago. Some of you have probably already seen it.

DX positions himself in a narrow road -- an alleyway, really -- next to the Clearwater Bank building where Flag buses drop off load after load of young (and some old) Sea Org members brought in from the drab apartment buildings and motels that they call home while they train or work at Scientology's spiritual headquarters.

This weekend, he caught some remarkable images as he spotted coming off the buses some very, very young passengers with the crowd of Sea Org members. I mean, this stuff is frightening...

SeaOrgKid3.JPG
SeaOrgKid4.JPG

Just a few weeks ago, we heard from journalist Bryan Seymour about a young man who said he signed a Sea Org contract and began working long hours at only eight years of age. From Europe, there was recently a report which we're still trying to confirm on our own of Scientology ads being served to an app that plays nursery rhymes. And here at the Voice we've been showing you advertising put out by church orgs that uses small children to make fundraising appeals.

The longer you look into Scientology, the more the silly space opera stuff fades to the background and the more its questionable practices come into focus. Like its apparent focus on younger and younger kids. And worse -- its separation of children from parents through the policy of disconnection.

I was reminded of that, yet again, in a big way yesterday during my tour of Clearwater. I had hit the highlights -- the Fort Harrison Hotel, the Super Power Building, the Sandcastle, the Hacienda Gardens, and had gawked at Sea Org members and security men, and they had gawked at me.

But then, I had a remarkable conversation at the Starbucks in the center of town. Yes, the same Starbucks that Janet Reitman speaks of in her book, Inside Scientology, where she was visited by the very dramatic local church spokeswoman, Pat Harney.

My own encounter was less comical.

The woman who met me for a cup of coffee yesterday was a classic example of an "independent" Scientologist -- someone seemingly as proud of their accomplishments in the church as they are that they were able to walk away from it.

This woman was a pleasure to talk to. She's a regular reader of this blog, and had asked to see me when she heard I was coming to town.

She wanted me to know how hard she had worked for so many years to become one of the most highly trained people in her area, and then how an issue of Scientology's propaganda magazine, Freedom, had backfired and had actually made her more curious about a 2009 blockbuster expose in the St. Petersburg Times, "The Truth Rundown." She was stunned what she found there.

"To discover that things were in such a condition -- what the fuck did I give my life for?" she said, hoping I'd understand how devastating it was to give up the church after more than 20 years.

But that wasn't what brought the tears.

Today, she's doing well, auditing as an independent Scientologist, unafraid of the church after an apprehensive first couple of years out (but still cautious enough to ask that I not use her name).

But a decade back, she was so dedicated to the church, she thought she was doing the right thing by disconnecting from her own son.

He had ditched the Sea Org, she explained, because he had stumbled on some things on the Internet. Then, he had become so dedicated to fighting Scientology, he went to college to become a lawyer so he'd be able to challenge the church in court.

In other words, he was a classic "suppressive person" or "SP," the kind of excommunicated former member that other members in good standing are required to remove completely from their lives -- to "disconnect" from them -- or risk being declared SPs themselves.

She knew she was in the right, according to church policy, to cut him out of her life.

It's what happened next that she didn't account for when she made that decision.

Her son was killed in an automobile accident.

There was no good reason for it. It just happened.

In 2009, when she read the expose by journalists Joe Childs and Tom Tobin and finally came out of the church herself, there was no reunion with her son who would have, no doubt, been thrilled to see her leave David Miscavige's organization behind.

Struggling with emotion, she told me, "I want anyone who is disconnecting to think about that -- will they ever really get another chance to be with that person again?"

I told her I had often wondered about Scientologists who, seemingly with such ease, turn their backs on a child or a sibling or a parent. Do they expect for that separation to be a temporary one until the SP later "sees the light" and returns to the fold?

She said that is exactly what is going on.

"I didn't disconnect from my son because he was a bad SP who I needed to get away from," she said. "Disconnecting from them is supposed to snap them back into your life. I thought I was being good to my son."

I learned much during my tour of Clearwater yesterday, and filmed a great deal of video, most of it for a story I am putting together later on. But for now, I wanted to report how what started out as a somewhat lighthearted day to celebrate L. Ron Hubbard's big birthday surrounded by Sea Org members busing this way and that had suddenly turned into something far more meaningful.

My thanks to the woman who told me about her son. She knows who she is.



**********
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, on Pinterest, a Tumblr, 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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262 comments
Marcus
Marcus

I happened to be in Clearwater for a few days and had no advance knowledge that it was Scientology's base. It doesn't take long to see that something very very creepy is going on there... the ubiquitous young people in black uniforms, etc... I had no idea who they were or what was going on until I learned that Scientology owns the town. Creepy indeed.

DodoTheLaser
DodoTheLaser

"At this point, the fear of disconnection is all that holds the "church" of Scientology together. The longer a person belongs to this "church", the more they are socially and financially tied up in it.

If the fear of disconnection didn't exist and these people were free to look, think and act freely, this "church" would disappear within a year.

Fear and information control are key components of a cult..."

Mat, you really nailed it! Thank you!

LRH
LRH

This vile document below is what Hubbard came up with for the treatment of children.If a child should be playing and making jokes about Scientology, the child is put on the Scientology Lie-Detector (E-Meter) and asked the following list of questions until the interrogator is satisfied with the child's answers.HCO BULLETIN OF 21 SEPTEMBER 1961 - SECURITY CHECK CHILDRENhttp://www.suppressive..., that's right. Even a child can be a "Joker and Degrader" in Scientology. Why? Because they are really just an "ageless being in a child's body" in the eyes of a Scientologist.This disgusting document was written over fifty years ago and is still in use today.

DodoTheLaser
DodoTheLaser

I have a dream - Scientology is transparent on every level, in every way.Delivering what it promises, aside of PR.We all can dream, right?

DodoTheLaser
DodoTheLaser

Something I just read in a comments section on Marty's blog, that is worth to share,because I went through a similar experience and I still hope that my 2 years cough is justa chronic chest cold. No sarcasm. I tried to format it for easier reading on DISQUS here.

Ex-RPFer: March 13, 2012 at 5:44 pm"Mike I just want to clarify one thing in your report here about Jill. I was on the RPF with Jill.

She did in fact get breast cancer while on the RPF. She was FBed at that point but she refused to leave. In her own words she was not going to come back next lifetime and start out on the RPF. So she actually finished the RPF. She graduated. Then she was made to stay at PAC, not a part of the RPF or SO just linger there until there was approval for her and her twin to be released. After 6 months she was let go finally and she went home. Now mid way through her finishing her RPF she actually beat the cancer. Yep.

She was going through Chemo and radiation and still auditing her twin or being audited daily. The woman was truly super human. She was in a dorm on the 6th floor of main building. She had the whole room to herself as she needed access to a bathroom since the Chemo and radiation make for a lot of throwing up and she needed to rest constantly.

This was approved through RTC for her to have this. Then one day some SO member, who was never named of course, got a bug up their ass about an RPFer living next to them and that there were other RPFers, people doing awful things like bringing her nutritious food and giving her assists, that were “Enturbulating” them.

So Jill was forced to move from there to literally a converted closet right outside the RPF film room on the 2nd floor main building. It had no windows and no ventilation. And probably tons of asbestos just like the rest of main building and all of PAC.

How do I know there was Asbestos in those buildings?? I removed it. So after being locked in her closet for months and finally graduating and being released her cancer came back and spread to, you guessed it, her lungs and then everywhere. She died at home with her kids and husband at her side.

I know what LRH says about Cancer and the 2D. I disagree whole - heartedly. Jill was one of the sanest people I knew on any dynamic. She was murdered by the PAC buildings just like everyone else there is. It isn’t advertised that PAC was once the Cedar Sinai hospital before they moved to Beverly Hills. AOLA was the Cancer ward. Yep. All those OT’s there are just being exposed to left over radiation and chemo treatments. The space that was made for the UC, which the RPF built was the Cobalt room when they used Cobalt for Radiation treatment. EVERY RPFer that worked on the project became mysteriously ill.

We were all of course PTS so nothing else was done. And additionally Main building where all of PAC sleeps at night was the HOSPITAL. So every diseased, sick and dying person slept and died there. And since the building is pre WWII it was made with terra cotta tiles that absorb every cough, spatter and fluid it can. EVERY time we did renos in the main building EVERY RPFer on the project would get sick.

Again we were just evil SP’s, PTS to ourselves so it didn’t matter and nothing was done. When we got sick after illegally removing two gigantic containers of Asbestos, nothing was done again. Jill was there for years in PAC being exposed to all of that. As were a number of other great people all of whom have perished from Cancer.

It can be partially a spiritual thing. I acknowledge that is part of it, but if you are sitting in a uranium mine all day every day I don’t care how OT you are your body is going to die.

Something has to be done to prevent more people from coming down with unnecessary Cancer. Honestly think about how many people you know who are Scientologists who have died of Cancer. Alright, now how many of the were on lines in PAC? If this was a school with kids the news would be doing a story on a Cancer cluster and the place would be shut down!

Jill didn’t EVER have to get Cancer and she should have lived once she beat it. But thanks to totally suppression and the building that is filled with toxicness she is dead.

More people don’t have to die."

Sarasota Breeze
Sarasota Breeze

The way they treat families has to be the lowest thing that anyone could possibly do.  Here's an idea, someone call DCF anonymously and express that they fear children are working and not in school. 

Also if I were DX the next time someone contacted my family members I would make a not so subtle threat.  Such as, if you ever make any kind of contact with my grandmother again it will be the last thing you ever do or if my grandmother gets any more anonymous gifts or phone calls from "a friend" I will come looking for you personally.  I come from a large close family and if anyone did that to my grandmother they'd regret it the rest of their short life.

The way to stop bullying is to stop bullies. Put them on notice for a change.  Don't talk to them when they call, just hang up.  Don't let them in when they come to the door.  Throw out their junk mail.  For god's sake don't give these lunatics your power.

Rant over.

Guest
Guest

They have this wonderful tradition it seems of posting elderly relative's details all over the internet.

I hope Mr. Cruise actually asks about this one day.

OTVIIIisGrrr8!
OTVIIIisGrrr8!

Children are the future of Sea Org.

That is why we in RTC reach out to them by various allurements such as candy, stuffed animals, and making dire threats against their parents and siblings.

A child is simply an adult in a small body. Any child can be made to understand, particularly by use of ethics harshly applied, that it is in their own best interest to join the Sea Org as early in life as possible. Where a child's parents object, we will handle the parents by making them come to their senses.

We in RTC want the children of Scientologists in the Sea Org because there is so much work that needs to be done. Flag Land Base, for example, is a Scientology resort. We need an endless supply of children in the Sea Org to work as hotel maids, gardeners, janitors, and in other jobs,

We need children in the Sea Org to wax cars, mop the floors of RTC buildings, and to use as props in our advertising and other PR actions. A wog "education" is not important for a child. What is important is that the child be able to duplicate command intention and forward command intention.

Finally, we in RTC need children writing KR's on their parents. Please send in as many as possible along with any data on bank account balances or credit card limits. Look in Mommy and Daddy's computer in a program called "Quicken." Also send us copies of any e-mails that Mommy or Daddy have sent to SP's.  

Claude
Claude

Am I the only one who keeps hoping for an "UPDATE" from Tony?

Kevin Tighe
Kevin Tighe

The real story is that these children's parents may NOT even be in the Sea Org. Non Sea Org member parents are put under extreme duress to allow their underage children to sign up for the Sea Org but the non Sea Org member parent must sign over guardianship to a current Sea Org member. The "guardianship" is a joke in itself. In my experience guardians never do squat. The duress the non Sea Org member parents undergo is in a way parallel to the threats of disconnection as you can be not so subtlety told that if you have "counter intention" your eligibility for advanced levels, etc. can be jeopardized, etc. Same routine that is done if you don't do whatever is being pushed whether books, DVDs, IAS donos, Ideal Org dono, etc. 

anne
anne

It's  these  stories that seemingly come out of nowhere, that really give you pause. Here this gal thought she was being a good mother when she decided to disconnect form her son, that by doing so she felt he would shape up and come back to the fold. She knew he wasn't a 'bad SP", someone she needed to get away from, she was his mother.  Then tragedy strikes,  and all  is very clear.  You never disconnect from your children, not ever. I feel a sadness for this mom.  As for her boy, I admire the courage and conviction that he expressed. What a shame he was unable to fulfill his dream.I had a chance to see my own son earlier today, I am so damn lucky!

MarcabianFleetCommander
MarcabianFleetCommander

Seeing those little kids in what appears to be EPF blues in just SO FUCKING WRONG on so many levels. But, wait a minute - correct me if I'm wrong here. How can these CHILDREN sign LEGALLY BINDING contracts as they are obviously under 18? Wouldn't their contract require the signature of a parent or guardian (which, I concede, is possible if one or both of the parents is a $cilon). Still - WTF! So sad....

Remy
Remy

Just curious, how open are people here with discussing their scientology-watching with family, people at work, etc.  

I suspect most were fairly guarded and selective in discussing this with others.

omg
omg

anzo orgs - remember it was LRH birthday on Tuesday - are celebrating a catholic saint on saturday - saint patrick, he may be more important? or as st pats day is huge in OZ - mostly a chance for a piss up, that is considered more culturally appropriate? or will attract ozzies who more keen on that

Torychristman
Torychristman

Great job, again, Tony!!!! I can't wait for your video on it.And Do Mr Darth----arggggggh. Don't fall for their "PR" hoax. You have to knowthey are ****trying*** Hard to push your heart strings. Didn't work for you, sohey, let's try his Grandmother. Do they *really* Care about your Grandmother? About as much as they care for cockroaches in Clearwater, FL. IF they could killyou (*and her) ....they would. Since that didn't work, lets try flowers to push yourbuttons and make you feel wrong.

Sorry to Scios still "in"...I worked in PR with OSAInt,  as a volunteer on and off,  for 20++ Years. They are one of THE coldest, uncaring groups of people I'd ever met. Tony and Darth and all here..... Keep doing what you're doing, and to those "in", please use LRH's FINAL PL:"The Way OUT IS the Neeeeeeeeearest Dooooooooooor".*(**Hey, HE took it, why not YOU???)Bring all docs---you'll never see um again.Love to ALL :) Tory/Magoo

Dean Fox
Dean Fox

For that woman who lost her chance to be with her son, this is why.

For the youngsters brought up inside the church of scientology who know no better, this is why.

For all those whose good will and best intentions are abused by the church of scientology, this is why.

For all those spat out by the registrars facing serious financial hardship only to be told it must be their fault, this is why.

This and many other reasons are why I continue to protest the corrupt, corrupting and dangerous church of scientology.

Alistair
Alistair

I live in Clearwater not far from downtown. I see Sea Org members often at the grocery or the health food store and Flag buses all over town. I have also been approached about a Personality Test in Ybor.

Unfortunately, we non-Scientology Clearwater types have almost no reason to go downtown anymore; there's nothing much besides empty buildings and Scientology-run businesses (that benefit the church and its ways)... apart from a nice theatre. So why would we go there? I think most locals just want to stay at arm's length from the Scientology element. There have been so many cases in Clearwater over the years of the group harassing (and much worse) those who stir up trouble (Mayor Gabe Cazares, Bob Minton, etc.), and I think a lot of residents are actually afraid of them.

Chuck Beatty
Chuck Beatty

Darth Xander has filmed so many A list Sea Org members, on his videos I cite who are some of the big long term Sea Org cheezes.

such an important contribution, thanks for sharing Darth's videos.

You even captured old Sea Org veteran Roy McMurray, who Jeff Hawkins will absoluteley remember, Roy is the first elderly gent who steps off the bus with the shades on!   In the background, as you film Darth Xander!

thankYOU Darth Xander, this is so important historically, all your videos, I for one really appreciate you.

You do like a man I really have a tear in my eye for, Shawn Longsdale, you film history!

A lot of people around the world can see their loved ones getting on and off those buses.

THANKYOU for videoing history!

Chuck Beatty
Chuck Beatty

Tony, a couple people wanted to see you there, and I tried to connect them to you, one person you did an article onl, Roger Weller, wanted to see you.

Thanks for all you're doing Tony!

I gotta thank Janet Reitman and Hugh Urban, and the St. Pete (Tampa Bay Times) people too!

Media is about "all we got" in this game to tame the abuses that Scientology perpetrates.

Thankyou Tony!   

Billy Bob
Billy Bob

I have heard that many of those children are from outside of the US, sent here as "religious workers" for "training."With their visas held by management, kept isolated and under control at all times, they have no hope of any life outside of indentured servitude (slavery) to Scientology.

Too Much
Too Much

When we were protesting the murder of Lisa McPherson in 1998, people would walk up to us and ask us where we could get the "Scientology Kills" T-Shirts we were wearing. Jeff handed them out to citizens for free until they were all gone and then we kept having people ask, even police officers. We also got feedback from work crews working on pipes and power under the sidewalks. The comments some of the ex-military people said about Hubbard's military frauds/claims were priceless. People of Clearwater know exactly what the Scientology crime syndicate is all about. Starting in the late 1990s they finally felt free to speak out, even telling us that they were glad we were there and they didn't need to feel afraid any more.

Brainslugged
Brainslugged

It just occurred to me that signing a billion year contract to save the planet is one thing, but JUST IN CASE this is all we have, how about we enjoy our 70 or 80 years (if we're lucky) now, and sign that contract after you've picked up your next meat body. You'd still have another 999,999,920 years to make a difference. Plus, if you put in an extra two and a half seconds a year for the remainder of your contract, you'd have made up for the lost time anyway. Everybody wins :)

sketto
sketto

Just to recap:

Scientologists intentionally started toying with this guy's innocent grandmother. Somehow this fits into their view of how to clear the planet and make it better.

What a great system Hubbard created.

Hatchune Shun
Hatchune Shun

If the children is the future of the sea org. Why do they encourage sea org members to abort their children? Wouldn't that be the same as aborting the future of the sea org?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob

Mom or Dad are told they are sending their child to receive the best training on the entire planet.  These kids mail (they don't have internets,) is monitored, and they are told what to write.  I guess that's the "training" they get - how to lie to parents that everything is great living in a parking garage eating beans and rice after scrubbing pots and pans from the gourmet meals served to the elite Scientologists in the Fort Harrison hotel.

V for Vacation
V for Vacation

I'm actually surprised anyone would feel hesitant to talk about it.  I live in LA and I've never met a single person who considered it a real religion or any kind of "applied philosophy" that should be taken seriously.  I've worked with a couple people who say that they had previously worked with Scns, who were nice people who kept it to themselves.  But you can expect the topic to be met with a fair number of eye rolls or scoffs.  My impression is that if you are a "public" Scn working in the wog world, you have to either keep it to yourself or be prepared for people to judge you.  In LA, there is generally a live and let live attitude, however.  There's a million different "religions" or lifestyle choices people follow, such as Kabbala or The Secret (which seem to have passed, thank god) or even The Forum (which maybe used to be EST).

But this is why the South Park episode was so popular and the CoS couldn't do anything to stop it's popularity.  Also after the famous leak of the Tom Cruise video, spoof after spoof showed up on YouTube and even late night talk shows I think, parodies were made by Jerry O'Connell and others.  No one takes it seriously.  It's not like politics, etc.  I'd discuss it with anyone without thinking twice.  After the Janet Reitman book came out, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that random people I knew were reading it, when I didn't even think the topic was on their radar.  

It's Obvious
It's Obvious

Great question!I had just brought up the topic of Scientology with my family two weeks ago.There were 9 of us and we all got together because some out of state relatives came to visit. We had just finished lunch and we were all sitting in the living room. Random topics were being discussed and my wife mentioned how I have become an avid critic and addicted to Tony Ortegas articles. I stepped in and asked what everyone new about Scientology. One cousin works at a bank that he says handles a Scientology account or monies. He said the person that comes in seems very nice but always had a helper who would not say a word. He also mentioned that there was a significant amount of money in the account, maybe a million, I really can not remember. He really did not know anything about the "church", but he assumed it was fine because the person was nice. I told him he did not know what he was taking about. He can not judge a book by its cover. 5 others all stated that they thought it was a cult. The remaining one did not have an opinion.I took over the conversation for awhile and tried to explain all that I have learned. The one crime they all seamed to object to the most was Child Slave Labor. What I realized is that it is not an easy subject to fully explain. I did the best I could but as I explained they could see my passion, frustration, and anger towards Scientology as a whole. I asked them all to check out the Village Voice(Tony Ortega) and The SP Times Truth Rundown, and Jason Beghe or anything on You Tube.I ended the conversation by telling them if they learned anything from what I have said it should be to stay the Fuck away from that money grubbing, family destructive, Brainwashing Cult. Everyone was in agreement.My overall impression of that conversation was that my family members really did not know anything about Scientology and if they had any impression, it was a negative one.When my wife and I left I felt good about being able to somewhat inform them but I was a little aggravated that I could not fully express everything that I know and feel about the Cult. It is not a simple conversation to have in a short amount of time. The realization that there are so many crimes and abuses by Scamintology angers me tremendously.Remy, thanks for bringing this topic up. I am almost ashamed that I did not run here and tell the story. I read your post and Boom!I realize now what a huge opportunity I have to find out and expose some of those financial details regarding the Orgs $. I know I am not revealing the details of what bank and what org, but it would be too easy for the cult to determine who the employee/cousin is.I have a new mission.....so exciting. I hope I can report back with some detailed info without getting a relative fired.

Tony, I will email you with any info I come across and let you determine if it is significant or not.

Brainslugged
Brainslugged

I'm reasonably cautious first bringing it up, living and working in LA, so normally subtly check there aren't any $cilons in the group I'm addressing. I was telling a colleague about it at lunch though and was wondering which link I should send him first as a teaser pique his interest rather than inundate him with too much stuff so he thinks I'm a nut.

SUnTU77
SUnTU77

I personally never brought it up with friends or coworkers. 

It's easier now to consider it, with a reputable new source (VV) reporting on it. 

Kim O'Brien
Kim O'Brien

not me - i tell everyone that scientology is evil every chance i get . i do not feel guarded about it at all ....we laugh our asses off when we queue up the "Trapped in the Closet " South Park episode and the Cruise scientology infomercial that is just one big hand job for Tom Cruise by David Miscavige... and then i tell them about this blog ....also tell them to search and search ....i have suggested Janet Reitmans book for our book club as well ...not shy at all about it. I enjoy it .

Synthia Elizabeth Fagen
Synthia Elizabeth Fagen

 Tory,

I read their ploy differently. It was like, "We know where your grandma lives. We know her name. We know other things about her. Watch your back."

It wasn't about making him feel bad for being such a meany to this little ol' church. It was a threat.

CofS Exit Zone
CofS Exit Zone

^^Best comment all week.

And here's hoping it inspires "Scientology watchers" to actually DO something to fight the Church of Scientology, rather than just sit back like virtual couch potatoes who treat it as a form of morbid curiosity entertainment. Xander's granma may not have been bothered if there was 50 more protesters just like him spread across the country.

Lip service for those who do actually take action and/or fight it is a good thing, and always welcome. But stepping up to take a real stand by putting boots in the street, or some other proactive response that requires an investment of your time & energy, is so much more rewarding.

Victoria
Victoria

What about the Harry Palmer offshoot "Avatar"? Stars Edge last I heard was still in the Clearwater/Orlando area scooping up disaffected Scns.

Victoria
Victoria

Yes, these videos are very important. I think I saw my old friend Fran... I can't be sure. But yes, these videos play an important role. 

bobx
bobx

If so, then maybe ICE would be a better agency to contact than the Florida state authorities, who seemed to be corrupted.

V for Vacation
V for Vacation

I can't imagine having to live there as a normal sane person and not vomit every day.  It's like living anywhere you're in danger of seeing polygamist girls dressed up in their prairie dresses.  Makes me want to scratch all my skin off.  

I feel so sorry for those poor kids, who don't deserve their lives to be derailed.  Where are the legal authorities?

Victoria
Victoria

I notice security are looking really meek these days. They used to get all up in yo face!

Llama
Llama

Another argument made by traditions that believe in reincarnation is this:

We are blessed with THIS life.  We will have more, but we aren't guaranteed they will be as good.  We have all the prerequisites to do good right now, but that may not be the case in the next life.  We might be crippled or have learning disabilities, caught in a war or a famine, etc. Therefore, we should take advantage of every moment.  

Otherwise, we might squander this life, only to reincarnated as a bug, or a rat, or a 8 year-old Sea Org member -- then you are screwed!

DodoTheLaser
DodoTheLaser

Watch them to release a press release stating- instead of R2-45, we used Flower Tech.

Nobody
Nobody

This answer is easy. They don't need SO members producing baby bodies and taking them off of work for the 3 or 4 hours it may take to give birth. They have a huge source of potential SO members in the so-called "secular" schools like Delphi and True School (if that is still around) and many other LRH-based schools.  SO members go into these schools on a regular basis to recruit the youngins.  The school administrators allow this to happen and parents are not informed (especially the few wog parents) that their children are being targeted and approached by SO staff regularly. Once the candy is eaten, the parents are threatened if they don't sign the consent forms.

bobx
bobx

It never occurred to me to interpret it any other way than as a threat.  I guess I'm already jaded.

Torychristman
Torychristman

 Synthia...............Great. I think we're both right. :)

Hatchune Shun
Hatchune Shun

Sign me up, give me a sign, and point me to the nearest scientology org.

Victoria
Victoria

Well, one has to wonder why the FBI led so many to believe this was being investigated, but to keep mum because the agency might have some compromised agents. So they kept quiet only to later find out that the investigation had been dropped.

Lliira
Lliira

I've been to Clearwater a few times and never seen a Scientology bus or someone dressed in those Sea Org uniforms. I live only 45 minutes away, and no one has ever tried to convert me to Scientology. A friend from Clearwater did try to convert me to Christianity, though. 

There are so few Scientologists even here that unless you go to Clearwater intending to look for them, knowing Scientology owns the Fort Harrison Hotel, etc., it's easy to miss what's going on. There's the occasional sad, lonely kiosk in the mall trying to sell Dianetics, and that's about it.

Synthia Elizabeth Fagen
Synthia Elizabeth Fagen

 Me neither and I don't think there is any other reason. They are sick. They really are and they don't even realize it. They're in a trance.

612
612

You've either never been to downtown or you aren't speaking truthfully.

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