Scientology Greenery: Commenters of the Week!

Categories: Scientology

Thumbnail image for StPattyAnon.jpg
Enturbulation on a previous St. Pat's Day
Note: We'll have a special St. Patrick's Day report at 1pm this afternoon. Please come back for that after you check out these comments of the week!

We went to Mecca and back this week -- Scientology's Mecca that is, the town of Clearwater, Florida to celebrate L. Ron Hubbard's 101st birthday. And did we have a hip, hip, hooray time.

But now we're back in the underground bunker, bolstering ourselves for massive amounts of drinking tonight to celebrate the fact that Ireland has the sense to require its body-thetan-removal businesses to report their income. (More about that later today.)

This week started out with another installment of Sunday Funnies, which introduced us all to the concept of "soul duds.'

On Monday we had our big investigative piece of the week with our story that connected Scientology's Writers of the Future contest with the abuse allegedly happening at the church's international base east of Los Angeles.

Tuesday was L. Ron Hubbard's big 101st birthday, and we celebrated with a surprise. You'll have to go there to see what it was!

The next morning we put together a quick post with highlights of our visit to Scientology's mecca in Clearwater, Florida. It turned out to be more emotional than we expected!

On Thursday, we spiced up our weekly press roundup with a really strange and wonderful vision of the year 2010 that appeared in a 1969 Scientology magazine. Mothar rules!

Yesterday, we paid our weekly visit to Hubbard on the high seas, and included yet another wacky example of "OT Phenomena."

So let's get to the awards!

Many readers cringed at the mailer in our Sunday Funnies about the Inglewood Ideal Org sending its "soul" to the OC org, and urging OC members to show up in their "soul duds." DMSTCC captured some of the hilarity...

Why do they have to go to the Orange County org to Learn how Inglewood org is elevating its community? Perhaps showing up in your Soul Duds in Inglewood might get your thetan kicked.

Meanwhile, Jefferson Hawkins noticed something on the flier that beckoned Clearwater Scientologists to come to the big LRH birthday event...

"The event will be held at Ruth Eckerd Hall and we want to see every Scientologist there." The Ruth Eckerd Hall seats 2180. That just about says it all.

In our Monday feature about the Writers of the Future contest, we made some connections between Author Services and the alleged abuse in The Hole. But will writers have doubts about taking part in the contest or the ceremony?
Gina Smith had this to say...

Everyone has a price, which is what this boils down to. Some writers and illustrators will desperately keep burying their heads in the sand to try and justify their continuing involvement in this contest.

And TheHoleDoesNotExist raised that question in an even more pointed way...

I wonder if these judges and artists would support a similar contest operation if it was run by the KKK, or a Neo-Nazi front, or Westboro Baptists, or a North Korean slave camp, as long as they weren't pressured to join. All they would have to do is click their heels together 3 times and repeat "The Hole Does Not Exist".

Once again, we were thankful for perspective from Jefferson Hawkins...

Tony, from my own experience I can tell you that any supposed "firewall" between ASI and the Church of Scientology is non-existent. When Miscavige first came to power in about 1982, he used ASI as his base of operations and styled himself as "Chairman of the Board ASI." Officially, it was "L. Ron Hubbard's literary agency" and had "nothing to do with the Church." In fact, all of international Scientology was being run directly from ASI in the early 1980s. They were also funneling millions of dollars to Hubbard, particularly through royalties on high-priced "limited editions" and "autographed editions" of his books. They were also exacting royalty payments from Scientology orgs for the use of his works. It was a high-powered money machine. Miscavige moved on and became "Chairman of the Board RTC," but still kept ASI very firmly under his thumb and, as described in your article, has used it as his LA base ever since. As late as December 2004, just months before I left the Church, I was part of a group of executives - including the top managers of Scientology - who were called to ASI to meet with Miscavige. We were there for several weeks, set up with desks in the ground floor lobby of the Author Services building. We were virtual prisoners there, not allowed to leave the lobby. Miscavige would hold daily haranguing meetings, threatening, degrading and humiliating these executives. Executives were even beaten there. All of this was happening right in the lobby of Author Services, right where many of the Writers of the Future events were staged. As to ASI Executive Director Barbara Ruiz, she was directly under Miscavige's thumb and operating on his microscopic orders. In my experience, she was cruel and abusive in her own right, following her dear leader's lead. ASI is an inseparable part of the Scientology criminal enterprise and, however benign their writer's contest is (and I think it has done good things), it cannot be separated from the abusive record of the Church of Scientology, and responsible writers should have nothing to do with it. Yes, by participating, you ARE supporting abuse.

On Tuesday, for Hubbard's big birthday, we had fun reminding everyone of the 2004 IAS gala and the performance of Tom Cruise that night. Kim O'Brien had this to say...

Oh. My. God...the stupid emanating from Tom Cruise just hurts at this point . I am embarrassed for him . Hell ...i am embarrassed BY him at this point . Is there ANY chance of a revelation that he is Canadian or something? Any chance we could deport him?

(You're close, Kim. Though he was born in New York State, Tom spent much of his childhood in Ottawa...)

We also enjoyed this comment from wannabeclear...

Finally viewed that whole video (up until Tom Cruise and his overinflated, cult-addled, hyper-masculine bullshit infested acceptance speech) and the creepiness of it just sent chills up my spine. Watching the whole thing is far worse than the edited versions I've seen before. But the thing that jumped out at me, (besides the ridiculously over the top fabricated statistics of how many people Tom Cruise has reached with his adulation of Scientology), was early on in the video. They are flashing newspaper headlines and stories across the page and at about 5:42 they show what purports to be an actual article, but the masthead reads "Houston Chronical." Either that newspaper in Houston doesn't know how to spell the word chronicle, or someone wanting to bolster the Tom Cruise PR mystique has been making shit up (again). Made me laugh my head off. The telling part is that with all of this "knowing how to know" and "learning how to learn" and "having the answers" and other "tech" crap, it seems no one caught it the spelling error, including the micromanaging mini dictator. But, it's no wonder since he never graduated from high school and has only had Scientology tech as his "formal" education.

Hey, wannabeclear is right! Check it out...

HoustonChronical.jpg

On Wednesday, we reported on our day in Clearwater, and also included still shots that Darth Xander had taken over the weekend showing some very young Sea Org recruits -- they looked like they couldn't have been more than 10 years old. That prompted this reaction from Kate Bornstein...

I've heard that my grandchildren have signed sea org contracts. I thought that would have made them at least over sixteen or eighteen years old. Seeing the pictures of the little ones has made me rethink that. Damn, damn, damn.

We also told the emotional story of a woman who disconnected from her son, only to lose him in an auto accident. She told us that she'd foolishly thought that disconnecting from him would actually help her son, something she no longer believes. John P. gave us some interesting thoughts on that...

The observation that disconnecting is "supposed to snap [the person you're disconnecting from] back into your life" is a new perspective on this evil and destructive Scientology cult practice.

I have always wondered how somebody manages to push down their own emotions so far that they can rationalize going from a functioning relationship with a spouse, child or parent to instantly ceasing all contact as if it were merely a matter of hanging up on a persistent telemarketer who calls when "American Idol" is on. If you believe it's therapy, that must make it somewhat easier.

This shows the absurd logic that underlies so much of the craziness and cruelty of cult behavior. When somebody does something you like, don't actually tell them what they have done or how it affects you. Instead, simply disconnect from them. Somehow, they will miraculously know what they have done, will come to understand that whatever they did was wrong, will then realize that it is they who needs to change, and then will inevitably do whatever you have decided they need to do in order to get back into your good graces, without further attempts from you to explain your side of the situation.

We also appreciated these words from Quickpen...

This is exactly why I follow Scientology. I miss my family, trapped behind a dead man's words. And you're right, it's not the silly space opera stuff which matters, it's the turning a cold shoulder to any who would question or gainsay their policies. I keep hoping if Berlin's Wall could come down, so can Scientology's.

And Mat Pesch is always good for some strong words...

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.

After that day of emotion, we lightened things up on Thursday by digging up a 1969 Advance! magazine vision of the year 2010 and how Scientology would spread to the planet Mothar. There were plenty of laughs, but we really appreciated how Axiom142 personalized that reaction!

Oh dear, how embarrassing! Not just for the cult -- although I'm not sure any 'churchies' can even FEEL such a basic emotion nowadays -- but for me as well. You see, when I joined the Sea Org in 1986 I really did think that my future would involve bringing the wondrous technology of Scientology to other planets and civilizations. Not metaphorically, but literally. In a spaceship. Boy, do I feel stupid right now.

And once again, Jefferson Hawkins brings us the benefit of his personal experience...

Tony, thanks for digging up this gem, "Scientology Mothar!" Reminds me of the "high weirdness" factor in early Scientology that fascinated me - and I think many others. Past lives! Other planets! Ancient rocket ships! For a generation that grew up on Heinlein, Azimov and The Twilight Zone, it seemed to promise a universe that was not quite as ordinary, boring and suburban middle-class as the one we were used to. Back in the late 60s and early 70s, Scientology's freak flag was a plus with many young people. And everyone seemed to be an artist or writer - Advance Mag used to be flooded with this kind of home-grown amateur fiction, poems, illustrations and even cartoons. Well, say what you want, but at least they flaunted their freakiness with some panache. Now, in the interest of "blending in" and seeming "just like your ordinary Church," they keep all the weird stuff hidden until you get way up the line. I wonder what would happen if, instead of hiding and denying the Xenu stuff, they embraced it?

Friday's post brought another great example of "OT Phenomenon," and with it a great question from BroekerBroekerBroeker...

There's a lot of inconsistency on the question of picking up a new body. I've seen other references to maternity wards and the idea that a thetan inhabits the new body only around the time of birth. But if that's the case, how does the thetan's reactive mind know about all the attempted abortions and pre-natal sex adventures that we learn about in DMSMH? And what about the GE? When does the GE develop in the fetus/baby? Yes, I recognize that there's a certain amount of ridiculousness in trying to find consistency in the fever dreams of a drugged grifter. But it's a hobby.

I loved that question, and I think we're going to have to, at some point in the future, set down the mechanics of thetans for the record.

Finally, a new reader asked a general question about the nature of this blog and its comments section, and we just wanted to share this response from Chocolate Velvet, which I think reflects well on everyone who has been taking part. We really do have a good thing going...

Actually, any reporter reading this comments section would be surprised to find it is not the typical Internet cesspool that most comment threads can be. People here tend to discuss the topic at hand, make points instead of lobbing insults, and interact with each other, the subjects of the story, and the reporter with humanity and sensitivity. No spam, few trolls, no political/social hot-button firebombs. When talking about some of the terrible things reported on this blog, people do get upset, because they care; but rabid? I'm here every day, and I don't see anything that even comes close to "rabid".

The fact that people reading a blog about Scientology have strong and definite opinions about Scientology should not be a surprise to anyone. The Internet provides a place for affinity groups of all kinds; people with a common interest or a common point of view. A cult is something else entirely, a specific group process with specific characteristics. Educate yourself about that. In the mean time, I wouldn't change the discussion here one iota because of what some mythical reporter "might think".

Like always, there were many other great comments this week, and I wish I could highlight them all. But please come back at 1 pm today for a special St. Patrick's Day report that I think you'll find very interesting!



**********
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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70 comments
Noah Miller
Noah Miller

This is completely off subject but earlier in the week the discussion about "what a thetan is" sorta got started. I've been pouring over the history of the universe according to scientology, and there's a few things that really confuse me.

1.) So the universe apperently started when a thetan (just one) saw a bright light, heard a snapping noise and then saw a cherub with a trumpet. So did the trumpeting cherub exist before the universe, as some pre-thetan life form? If not, did the thetan create the cherub? And why did it choose christian symbolism-- or at least why did it choose symbolism that would then become fake implanted christian symbolism. 

2.) Early on there's a lot of references to evil carnival barker style aliens from the planet Helatrobus who would routinely attack and capture thetans and give them false information because.... well just because. Which makes me wonder, does this mean there are thinking beings that evolved separately from thetans, and have the power to attack and capture whole planets full of fully operating thetans? If that's the case then what does it matter if you unlock all your OT powers if there's a bunch of alien races out there that'll snatch you up and fuck with your spirit head. 

G_allen
G_allen

"Darth Xander had taken over the weekend showing some very young Sea Org recruits -- they looked like they couldn't have been more than 10 years old. "

You know? I can overlook the wackiness of Scientology. I can overlook the lies and the recursive deceptions. I can even overlook the shunning traditions, I mean let's get real. Lots of religious organisations and shun people in one way or another. 

What I can't overlook is the Sea Org contract. Lifetime service contracts should never be taken on unless people are very aware of what they are getting into. An adult signing a lifetime service contract? Well I tent to look askance at anyone who would do that, but people have a right to be stupid. 

However; having a child sign a lifetime service contract is abuse. Children should never be compelled to sign their lives away into slavery. Kids do not have the perspective to understand what a "billion year contract" really is. It's not just stupid to make a child sign something like that, it's criminal. For that reason alone, Scientology should be severally sanctioned. 

wannabeclear
wannabeclear

Yep.  Makes them look even more ridiculous than usual.

Chocolate Velvet
Chocolate Velvet

Hey Tony O, I missed this story earlier. I am honored that you chose my comment again. I don't read blogs much, and I don't post comments anywhere else but here, and Facebook. I really appreciate the community here - the quality of the discussion is so rare in the online world, and what the internet should be, IMO. I'm glad my words struck a chord, I meant every one. Happy St Patty's Day to all!

sizzle8
sizzle8

 “A separate corporation called Author Services, Inc. (ASI) was formed to manage Hubbard's financial affairs and, apparently, those of the church as well. According to Howard Schomer, ASI's treasury secretary in 1982, he sent up through Hubbard's messengers weekly updates on Hubbard's net worth from ASI. Schomer says Hubbard was pulling in well over $1 million a week through ASI when he, Schomer, left and that Hubbard's net worth, through ASI alone, had risen more than $30 million in a nine-month period in 1982. Schomer, who never saw or spoke to Hubbard after 1975, says that when he became visibly troubled about these matters, he himself was subjected to a ten-hour "gang-bang sec check," an increasingly common experience among church members, which in this case included being accused of being a CIA spy, threatened with jail and physical harm and spat upon by Miscavige. Schomer is now suing Hubbard's estate, Miscavige, the Broekers and ASI for $225 million.”

From the Forbes article by Richard Behar 1986

Quickpen
Quickpen

Tony, I'm honored.  Now where are those red-cheeked smiley faces when I need one?  Color me blushed...

For a group promoting they teach people how to communicate freely about anything to anyone, disconnection proves that to be pure hype, and a lie.  In my experience Scientologists talk and you listen, and god help you should you try to insert a fact or two- that's "entheta" and verboten.  Fingers go in ears, tongues trip "la,la,la" and the next thing you know you've received a letter demanding you recant.  Or else.

zenda
zenda

I really feel for shelly miscavige, just seen a pic of her and she looks like one abused woman.  I hope that she is alright

LoyalOfficer
LoyalOfficer

I have tried to post the link to the article but the damn thing won't let me

LoyalOfficer
LoyalOfficer

This is great, the Org in Ireland is broke and admits it. :Interest-free loans from abroad are propping upthe Irish branch (of Scientology), which is €686,723 in the red, acc-ording toits latest accounts. 

Financial documents lodged by the Church of Scientology Mission ofDublin Ltd with the Companies Office show revenues fell 14%, from €193,509 to€166,086. 

This followed thechurch’s revenues more than halving in 2009 from €484,070 recorded in 2008. 

As a result ofrevenues further decreasing in 2010, the church’s operating surplus dropped98%, from €68,292 to €1,391. This compares to a surplus of €271,804 in 2008.The accounts are for the 12-month period to the end of Apr 2010, but were onlysigned off by the board on Feb 20 of this year.

Mr Ryan said: "There are a few hundred adherents of Scientology inIreland. There was a modest increase in numbers in the past year. We havechurches in Dublin and Belfast." 

The church’saccumulated deficit stood at €690,370 at the end of Apr 2010.  

Isn't this where the IAS is supposed to help ? I love the fact that he admits that there are only a few hundred Scientologists. I wonder what the financials at the the other Orgs looks like. I know we will never see this kind of transparency here in the States, or is there some place where this info might be obtained. Freedom of Information sent to the IRS ? Yeah right.  

OLD OT7
OLD OT7

Happy Saint Paddy's Day to all!  Unlike Sea Orgers, we get to party, and if you're a Celt like me, celebrate our heritage. 

But please don't drink and drive...

Kevin Tighe
Kevin Tighe

Somewhere in Flag enshrined in some little folder, is my SP declare.And the only reason I’m writing you this now is cause you may know somebody in a similar situation, or you may be in a similar situation, and if you’re in a situation like that there’s only one thing you can do and that’s walk into the Org wherever you are, just walk in and sing, “Google Debbie Cook”. And walk out. You know, if one person, just one person does it they may think he’s really sick and they’ll tell him he’s trespassing and to get the hell out. And if two people, two people do it, in harmony, they may think they’re both faggots and they’ll call the cops. And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in and singing, “Google Debbie Cook” and walking out. They may think it’s an organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day, I said fifty people a day walking in singing, “Google Debbie Cook” and walking out. And friends they may thinks it’s a movement.And that’s what it is, the “The Google Debbie Cook Movement”, andall you got to do is join in.-Adopted from the full, live version of Alice’s Restaurant by Arlo Guthrie.

Too Much
Too Much

I really enjoy these week-end brief summations, it's an excellent wrap. :) 

Too Much
Too Much

What is 1 p.m. Bunker Time  translated to Pacific Time? LOL.

California
California

Something I would like to bring up is the following:

The Nation of Islam has now joined forces with Narconon Drug Rehab Programs, at least as described in this Narconon Drug Rehab Blog News Center blog for a Narconon program up in Canada:

narconon dot ca slash blog slash drug-addiction slash addiction-treatment-islam-narconon-troisrivires dot html

Does anybody have additional information?

California
California

I especially like the last comment by Chocolate Velvet about this blog.  

This is a moderated blog site and it is safe here for people to express opinions and give information and even have disagreements but it does not degenerate the way that so many other blogs can and do.  I have no illusions that some of the more "rabid" comments on other SCN blog sites are not made by OSA and OSA-bots (people who claim that they are not SCN or OSA but behave as badly as SCN does to other post-ers who are reporting unpopular information accurately).  

I am sure that some posters have TRIED to behave badly here...... 

This is not to say that Marcotie (sic!) and a few others are not SCN'ers or SCN apologists and they do get their say... we are all in favor of the First Amendment .... but their contributions are fairly responsible postings......

Heather Grace
Heather Grace

At some point, Tony, you're going to have to consider taking on Jeff Hawkins as a contributing  columnist. He does provide a truckload of good copy!

Thanks for another great week behind the looking-glass.

DeckardCain
DeckardCain

Tony, you did not mention on your LRH Birthday post that you were in Clearwater with Mike Rinder for two days.  Any specific reason you didn't mention this?

Not that there's a reason you need to disclose this information, but I find it strange that any time there's a story about the disgusting abuse of children in Scientology neither Rinder or Rathbun's name appears anywhere; including Rathbun's blog.  I don't understand why Rathbun has yet to post anything against the horrid conditions for children.  It's as if both Rinder and Rathbun purposefully ignore that topic for some sort of self-interest purpose.

It would be very nice if we could actually see those ostriches take their heads out of the sand when it comes to abuse against children.  The fact that Rinder's name is missing from your post just makes my tin foil hat very tingly.

RadioPaul1
RadioPaul1

RE: We also appreciated these words from Quickpen...

This is exactly why I follow Scientology. I miss my family, trapped behind a dead man's words. And you're right, it's not the silly space opera stuff which matters, it's the turning a cold shoulder to any who would question or gainsay their policies. I keep hoping if Berlin's Wall could come down, so can Scientology's.

I could not disagree more. It is the space opera stuff that means someone is batshit crazy and anyone who believes that stuff is totally mind controlled. One does not need to get to OT3 to be devoid of rational thinking. In fact there is UFO stuff very early on in Scientology. If you are insane enough to believe that crap then you are nuts enough to disconnect from your family. Scientology is one big chain of control efforts and confirmation of control. You give someone something crazy to believe and if they do, you own them a little bit more. If they don't, you work them till they do. Disconnection tends to be towards then end of that chain but make no mistake space opera is a part of it.

Ivy Mapother
Ivy Mapother

Those working for the Houston Chronical are required to read LRH penned books: "Knowing How to Know," Learning How to Learn," and "How to Write Good."

Llama
Llama

There have been much speculation in the last week of commenting about how one Thetan beats out another one when it comes to getting a new body. 

Then it came to me.  The oiliest Thetan wins!!  That explains the oiliness station at the Super Powers building!!  It all makes sense now....

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

Thanks for this treasure trove of weekly highlighted comments.

Its a shame that academics and scholars will continue to fail in understanding the unreligiosity of Scientology until they truely consider the extensive knowledge and experiences of it's long time former members, or by-default victims. Those posted here and in the many comments found on Runnin Scared articles on Scientology, which are important in them selves, are a necessary part of the evolution of deconstructing the fraud.

Thank you for helping expose the Scientology con on a regular basis.

RadioPaul1
RadioPaul1

But but but Narconon Drug Rehab Programs are supposed to be secular?

DeckardCain
DeckardCain

Looks like David Love will have plenty to do in upcoming months.

DeckardCain
DeckardCain

I'm not 100% sure, but I don't think this is a moderated blog site.  Tony doesn't have his peeps approve comments before they are posted, and I'm not certain that comments can be removed.

RadioPaul1
RadioPaul1

Just more proof that critics are all paid by Anonymous LOL

RadioPaul1
RadioPaul1

L Ron Hubbard was well documented on abuse of children. He has been recoded as saying children are fully grown adults in little bodies and such things. Marty is not dealing with LRH abuses but only DM abuses that he suffered first hand. While I fully support Marty's rights it is clear that he is only capable of relating to abuses that he has directly suffered and has little empathy for others when it does not directly impact him. I do not see an analytical mind at work where he will ever get that DM is as much a product of his environment as he is.

Scientology does not work and it hurts people.

BroekerBroekerBroeker
BroekerBroekerBroeker

Tony is a journalist, and as such works on features requiring significant investigation as well as quick-hit blog posts. I'm guessing that his meetings with Rinder were in the furtherance of a bigger story. And if he told us everything he was working on before it was done - well, that would ruin the fun.

bobx
bobx

"Those who believe absurdities will commit atrocities" -- Voltaire

Heather Grace
Heather Grace

Ah, that must be the first in the series, followed by "How to Write Gooder"?

MarkStark
MarkStark

It makes sense that a "high oiliness level" would be good in $cientology, especially for fetus occupation, but I suspect that a thetan's oiliness level will need adjustment, whether high or low, and that will involve some costly auditing or other process only $cientology provides.

Heather Grace
Heather Grace

 The High Court of Australia took the view that even if the founder were a charlatan, the fact that some members NOW believe in a philosophy or belief system, even though it is not supported by evidence, means it could still be a religion.

Schockenawd
Schockenawd

Agree.  The Scientology-related articles on this blog never fail to fascinate, and the comments consistently add richness, depth, and wit to them.  By now, there truly is community of commenters, and I'm really glad to be a part of it.  Tony, you have created something here that is a phenomenon unto itself -- anons (and some non-anons :) with whole personalities and perspectives and important thoughts that get shared.  I never know if I am going to come away from my Runnin' Scared experience amused, pissed off, sad, or all three.  I just know that this stuff is important, and I'm really grateful there's a place where I can be part of the discussion.  

Kate Bornstein
Kate Bornstein

Agreed. When the doors finally close on what Marty Rathbun & Mike Rinder are calling "Corporate Scientology," a lot of the credit is going to go to our very own Mister Tony Ortega. And when people wanna research its collapse, the comments on this blog are going to reveal the precise crumbling that led to the collapse. 

From a personal perspective—in the past two weeks alone, I've been able to get back in touch with three old friends from 40 years ago. This is the only blog I read daily—one of the very few blogs I comment on—and I'm proud to be a member of this community. Kisses to the Blarney Stone and to all of us, Kate

wannabeclear
wannabeclear

Also I have this great bridge for sale that connects Manhattan to Brooklyn.  You interested?

TonyOrtega
TonyOrtega

 This only emphasizes what an amazing commenting community have -- this is an UNMODERATED conversation. The only time your comments are going to be held up is if you put in a link and Disqus freaks out about it. (Our IT folks set it that way to try to cut down spam.) As many of you have discovered, if you just put in DOT KOM or something, you can still get away with links.

There are good legal reasons why these comments are unmoderated, but there's also the fact that I don't have the resources to examine what you write before it's posted here. I try to look through the comments as often as I can so I can answer questions and whatnot. In general, I find that the level of discourse here is at a very high level, and you all call bullshit on nonsense much more quickly than I ever could. As you were!

wannabeclear
wannabeclear

Not all sites are pre-moderated.  I worked for a year for a site that had post-moderation, which means that comments get posted immediately, but can still be pulled if they are objectionable. There is also a mechanism for users to flag posts (it pops up to the left if you mouse over a comment) and I'm fairly certain that spam gets moderated or filtered out, because a blog this well trafficked must be a prime target and we don't see any.  

wannabeclear
wannabeclear

Yes, we are paid in lulz and cheezburgers.

DeckardCain
DeckardCain

I realize that Rinder is a major source for Tony, I just thought it odd that there was no mention and then Rinder mentions it on Rathbun's blog.  Considering that we have the rare opportunity to ask the journalist himself via Disqus, I threw it out there because my tin foil hat was starting to heat up.  It could just be the warm weather.

It just cracks me up when readers think anyone that questions Rinder, Rathbun, or Cook automatically = OSA.  This black/white thinking is why they would be a good recruit for the cult, if they were to step foot into an Org.

DodoTheLaser
DodoTheLaser

I am OSA troll too. Most of us are OSA double-agents. We love it here though.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob

OSA OSA OSA

Listen, suggesting that anyone is OSA an ad hominem attack, not a valid argument.See this video: http://youtuDOTbe/7GzXVqwYHVE (replace the DOT with a period.)

Invoking the OSA bugaboo is useless and meaningless in this or any discussion.You're free to continue to make yourself look ridiculous, but I do wish you would stop.

DeckardCain
DeckardCain

Yes, I'm a fucking OSA troll.  Funny.

There are many of us (and I'm not speaking for you, Hobson) that want to see Rinder and Rathbun behind bars just as much as Miscavige.  If you take the time and lurk more, you'll see why.  Just because they had a change of heart doesn't erase decades of hurting other people and destroying families that both engineered.  Their arrogant attitudes about their past misdeeds flame the fire.

wannabeclear
wannabeclear

Of course in the real world, oiliness is generally a bad thing.  So that makes sense.

anon anon song
anon anon song

The parameters that qualify a religion don't really matter. What does matter is what I think is going on in Australia where a religion's legislative and fiscal privileges are directly correlated with its specifically defined social benefits. On that, if I understand it correctly, Australia is on the right track.

wannabeclear
wannabeclear

Tony, that makes it even more impressive.  It truly is a great example of what an online community should be.  Self-regulating and adding value to the content.

California
California

I should have said it seems to be a moderated forum... mea culpa

wannabeclear
wannabeclear

A Better Business Bureau investigation into the Co$ might be fun!

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