Writers of the Future, Today! Scientology Gets Its Party On

Oh my, do we have a treat for you today. For several weeks now, we've been reporting on the "L. Ron Hubbard Writers and Illustrators of the Future" contest. For several years, certain writers have questioned the connection between the contest and Scientology, which owns and operates it. And recently, we dug up surprising links between the contest and shocking abuse allegedly happening at Scientology's international headquarters.

Tonight, the contest will celebrate its big annual gala. All week, Scientology has been treating a new set of winners to workshops and dinners. And it all culminates with the big party this evening. Get a load of last year's dance number (above), which we're told dramatizes the winning stories of 2011. Interpretive dance! This party is off the hook!

As we told you last week, the church is pulling out all the stops this year, and tonight's show will feature some really big names -- Nancy Cartwright and Karen Black!

Can't get to the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Hollywood for tonight's event? Fear not! You can watch it live, with us, by following this link to this year's netcast!

Barring any unforeseen problems with the broadcast, please join us in the comments section as we do some live commenting on this evening's gala. Our excellent commenting community, with its deep knowledge of the church, should have some insights on tonight's doings.

Before that begins, we want to make one thing very clear: this year's winners deserve their accolades. The contest itself, we've pointed out from the beginning, brings together some of the best names in science fiction and fantasy, and those judges select the winners based on the merit of their work.

WOTFWinners2012.jpg
Here are this year's writers and their workshop leaders as they began this week's series of workshops and celebrations.

UPDATE: OK, I think I have these folks figured out now. As Rachel Denk pointed out to me in the comments, these are just the writers, who arrived a day or two before the illustrators. And now I think I have them identified -- so choose a favorite and during tonight's show we can pull for our picks to win the as-yet unrevealed top prize!

Back row, left to right: Gerald Warfield (2nd place, 1st quarter, Texas), Nick Chan (2nd place, 2nd quarter, Sydney), Scott Barnes (2nd place, 4th quarter, California), William Mitchell (1st place, 3rd quarter, UK), William Ledbetter (1st place, 2nd quarter, Texas), Jacob Boyd (3rd place, 3rd quarter, Oregon), David Carani (1st place, 4th quarter, Illinois), Roy Hardin (Finalist, 2nd quarter, Florida), Harry Lang (3rd place, 1st quarter, Pennsylvania)

Front row, left to right: Meghan Muriel (2nd place, 3rd quarter, Texas), Corry Lee (3rd place, 2nd quarter, Washington), Nina Kiriki Hoffman (judge), Tim Powers (judge), Marie Croke (1st place, 1st quarter, Maryland) Tom Doyle (3rd place, 4th quarter, Washington DC)

As writer Carl Frederick pointed out to me earlier, these winners will be treated better than any other time in their careers.

And long about the time they're being fitted for tuxedos...

LRHTux.jpg

...they might wonder how a literary agency has so much money to throw such a lavish party.

Well, we're just grateful that we'll be along for the ride tonight! We believe that festivities will begin at 6:30 pm Pacific Time.

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Scientology Sunday Funnies!

Just about every day, we receive the latest wacky and tacky fundraising mailers put out by Scientology orgs around the world. Thank you, tipsters, for forwarding them to us! On Sundays, we love to reveal them to you.

Our first flier from Portland, Oregon, and it's sweet!

PortlandOrg.jpg


This next one from Plymouth, England is really quite a mess. What do pirates and bricks have to do with each other? And that awful grid laid over a photo? Honestly, there's just too much going on in this fundraising appeal. Simplify! Simplify!

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Plymouth3.jpg


This is a new one on me. Can somebody help me understand what the San Fernando Valley org means by "Her Royal Governor"? At least her highness is willing to match your donation, dollar for dollar. Where's my wallet!

ValleyOrgRoyalGovernor.jpg


Marty Rathbun beat me to this one, but it bears repeating for its utter crassness...

OrlandoCNote.jpg


BONUS VIDEO SUNDAY FUNNY!

We've had a lot of fun with the Orange County org this week. You have to hand it to these folks for pure enthusiasm and excitement as they prepare to open their Ideal Org in Santa Ana. Here's OC executive director Ed Dearborn promoting a Doingness Congress where you'll learn to "disseminate to any upstat person," and he's even more excited to announce that Santa Ana's police department is fully stoked to be working with Scientology to fight drugs!

We haven't seen this much excitement coming out of an org since Melbourne. Hey Ed, when is OC Day going to get its own Rap Battle Team?


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Commenters of the Week!

We started things off last Easter Sunday with some thoughts about the lengthy profile of Marty Rathbun by Guy Adams in The Independent, and also threw in a fun collection of Sunday Funnies.

BroekerBroekerBroeker noticed something unusual on one of the fliers, a reference to a policy letter written by Hubbard five years after his death...

The LRH quote on the Volunteer Minister Convention flyer appears to come from an HCO PL dated 21 Feb *1991*. He is risen?

Mark Stark also noticed something odd about it...

The new risen Elron writes in sentences that aren't a paragraph long, too. Very suspicious.

Mimsey_borogrove, like us, found the San Diego's latest flier to be about as tacky as they come...

I love the San Diego Titanic promo piece. How ironic, unsinkable Scienology steaming full speed ahead to save the world with its technology hasn't seen the iceberg ahead, while many of its passengers are jumping ship and swimming for shore. How apropos. Good luck with that course you've chosen Captain Miscavage, sir!

On Tuesday, we discussed the lyrics in Lisa Marie Presley's new single, "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet," which sure look to us like a big middle finger salute to Scientology. Four additional videos -- including a rather nutty one from the Orange County org -- rounded out the post.

We finished the entry with a salute to Mike Wallace by looking back at his 60 Minutes profile of Paulette Cooper.

Naturally, we were thrilled to see Paulette respond!

60 Minutes was notorious for making people look bad so I was nervous after I was interviewed by Mike Wallace -- who off and on camera was cold as ice. So I said to the producer before the show aired, "I know you can't tell me how I come off in the final segment, but I'd like to have a dinner party that night and if I'm going to come out as someone sinister fighting the great Scientology (and remember that in those days it didn't have the reputation it has now) then please tell me so I'm not embarrassed in front of my friends." And the producer said "have your dinner party."

Scientia was one of many commenters who agreed with us that Lisa Marie had to know that her new song would raise serious questions about her relationship to the church...

LMP must have known this was how her song would be interpreted, and the resulting flap it will likely cause. Even if it isn't about the "church" (which seems doubtful) she clearly doesn't care about the PR ramifications. A definite middle-finger however you look at it.

Mat Pesch provided some information that sounded very familiar....

My brother (a Scientologist) worked for Lisa for 7 years as the body guard for her and her family. He loved them very much and loved his job, with one exception: He was routinely pulled into the "church" and put on the e-meter and made to disclose the details of Lisa's life and those of her acquaintances. He felt he was being forced to betray a friend.

Many commenters were tickled by the Orange County org's use of a koi fish to convince people to join Scientology staff, which Miles Biondo ran with...

I originally joined staff because a fish told me to. Some time later, after the fish convinced me to invest in a time-share condo in Boca Raton and to campaign for Rick Santorum, I came to regret my inexplicable obedience to a fish I didn't really even know that well.

Thursday morning, we tossed together a bonus post after tipsters clued us into the existence of an OC Ideal Org YouTube channel! Oh, these videos were precious.

Guest2 seemed to catch the general reaction...

Can't imagine doing anything more fun on an Easter Sunday than going through 160,000 files of people that don't ever want to hear from Scientology again. What a blast!

Once again, Jefferson Hawkins gave us an education about what we were seeing, and this time he gave us two doses of wisdom...

The obsession with "Central Files" goes all the way to the top. In fact it started with Hubbard. He instructed Orgs to never retire files unless the person was dead or a declared SP -- and even then they go into an inactive category -- but they keep the file. According to the Scientology mindset, there is no such thing as an ex-Scientologist. Seriously. There are only "active Scientologists" and "inactive Scientologists." Everyone who has ever been contacted is "on the Bridge." If they are "not active" then they are "stalled on the Bridge" and need to be contacted and gotten back in and "moved up the Bridge." Seriously, this is how they look at those piles and piles of folders. They are all "thetans" who need to be salvaged and gotten back on the Bridge. Never mind that they only bought a book in 1987 and never did anything further, they still must be gotten "back on their Bridge." In the marketing department, we were constantly browbeaten about the high percentage of "Scientologists" who were "inactive." It never occurred to us that these were not "inactive Scientologists" but EX-Scientologists (or never-Scientologists). So this whole "Central Files" thing is a sort of a holy crusade to salvage errant thetans who have stalled on the superhighway to total freedom. Really, these videos are a great example of the sort of mind-f**k that goes on. People are indoctrinated into seeing these files as the magic formula to "Clear the Planet" -- not as a bunch of paperwork documenting Scientology's high rate of failure. So you get people coming in on Sundays -- or that one poor woman coming in in the middle of the night while her husband and children sleep. Sign her up for the Sea Org! I've seen the numbers, and I can tell you that about 85% to 90% of people who buy a book or take a personality test are never heard from again -- so they remain eternally trapped in a file folder, waiting for a dedicated Scientologist to find them sometime in the middle of the night and prod them back on to the "only road to total freedom" with calls and mailings. A rather pathetic waste of time and money....

A few added thoughts: It is axiomatic in Scientology that if the "tech" doesn't work, then it wasn't applied properly. This crazy bit of circular logic is hard-wired into every Scientologist. Scientology ALWAYS works, and if it doesn't, then it wasn't properly done -- it "wasn't Scientology." Every success is attributed to the brilliance of Hubbard's "tech," and every failure is blamed on the errors of individuals who are "not correctly applying it." Scientologists become very adept at explaining away failure -- "he had misunderstood," "she was PTS," "there was out-tech on the case" and so on ad infinitum. Thus, these 160,000 people in their Central Files are not seen as failures of Hubbard's tech, but as failures of application. If ONLY they could get them in for a case repair. If ONLY they could get them in and word-clear them on the book they read, THEN they would, of course, see the brilliance of Hubbard's tech. This is how they can explain away an 85% to 90% failure rate. This is how the Independent Scientologists explain away the utter collapse of the entire Church of Scientology -- what the Church is currently doing is "not Scientology." I have a few Independent Scientologist friends who are convinced that all I need is a good case repair and I'd come running back to the fold. As if my 35 years spent in the cult pursuing all that was promised on "the Bridge" wasn't an adequate trial run. But this is a bit of circular logic that is nearly impossible to get past. You can bet they will be combing these folders for "out tech" and will be urging these poor people to come in for a repair or a word clearing session to get them fixed up and corrected and "back on the Bridge." They cannot accept, of even see, that for the bulk of people who contact Scientology, it does nothing for them.

On Friday, we had news about those slimy, anonymous websites that attack former church members -- Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw admitted a direct connection to them!

Mimi The Great reacted to the way Lori Hodgson's private information was used by one website to embarrass her.

It INFURIATES me to my core to see this pseudo "church" attack my best friend over and over again in pathetic pursuit of what? Retaliation? Disconnecting her from the two most important people in her life,her children, wasn't enough? This "church" is nothing but cruel, demented and an expensive way to be mind fucked.

It was also good to hear from Bruce Hines, who pointed out that Karin Pouw's gaffe was not of her own doing...

I'm pretty sure, based on my experiences at the Int base, that Karin Pouw does *not* have the authority to pen and then send something like this to a reporter without getting it approved by some higher-ups. I doubt further that someone in OSA Int (which is "upper middle" management, as opposed to "upper" management) could approve such a missive. We haven't seen her answer questions from the media in person. It's possible that someone else wrote the letter for her. She will probably become a scapegoat.

And finally, we'll finish with another Ivy Mapother classic who, when Jefferson Hawkins pointed out that he'd never been to see the "WhoIsJeffHawkins" website that's set up to attack him, went to look on his behalf...

I checked out "your site." The good news is you oppose the designated hitter rule and the bad news is you may have shot JR. There's some other crap but it appears to be written by third graders. Sleep well.

You people slay me, you really do.

Remember to check at our Facebook author page for schedules and announcements. We have a particular treat planned for you this week, and we'll drop more hints as it nears.


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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. 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 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.


My Voice Nation Help
563 comments
Valandir7
Valandir7

Have they heard of the Hugo Awards? Maybe the Nebula Awards? Thought not.

Strelnikov
Strelnikov

On the writers photo: could be any "dressed down" corporate get-together. Judge Tim Powers looks like if Noam Chomsky and Harlan Ellison had a child together, while Tom Doyle looks like a Stephen King impersonator. 

I kid, I kid....

AnonKeeScott
AnonKeeScott

While David Miscavige is busy raping young male Sea Org staffers, Narconon Canada is on its way out and is being forced to permanently shut down by the government. We all know Narconon is notorious for rampant sexual abuses at its centres, so this is just one more brick in the wall for Miscavige the serial rapist.

N. Graham
N. Graham

Just a thought while in between stories, and the last one about Narcanon booted out of Quebec (thanks CanuckXenu!) is great.  I called a few of their facilities around here to let them know but they already knew.  Anyways, I know there aren't too many people will see this "end of thread" query, but I was wondering, even though L. Ron used the reincarnation concept to his own ends, how many ex-scientologists still accept reincarnation?  For that matter, how many others that haven't been Scientologists believe in reincarnation?  And finally, does anyone refuse to believe in it mainly because L.Ron said it was so? Wogs want to know!

CanuckXenu
CanuckXenu

Here's one more story just posted from an English Montreal paper:

Health officials have ordered the Narconon rehabilitation centre for drug addicts in Trois Rivières to evacuate and relocate its 32 residents, citing concerns over procedures that “may represent a risk to health” and the lack of doctors on staff. Following an investigation into the centre’s activities by the Centre Québécois d’agrément, an independent body mandated to monitor quality in health care, the agency for health and social services for the Mauricie Region said Tuesday it does not intend to certify Narconon. The centre, among the largest of 50 Narconon centres in 22 countries, bases its treatment on the teachings of the Church of Scientology headquartered in California, giving its “students” high doses of niacin and having them sit in saunas for about five hours a day. The rest of the treatment consists of “Training Routines” based on the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, in which patients perform the same tasks over and over. Residents in Trois Rivières paid $25,000 to $30,000 for their treatment, which lasted on average three to five months.Marc Lacour, the director of the Mauricie Health and Social Services Agency, said he had received several complaints about the centre in the last few months. But the agency’s decision not to certify was based on visits to the Narconon centre in February, and the recommendations of a national committee of experts convened in March to discuss the case. Though the centre has been in operation since 2005, it was only this year that certification by the agency became mandatory for all rehabilitation centres, Lacour explained. “The criteria (for certification) relate to safety, sanitation, nutrition, insurance, administrative practices, an ethical code and the approaches and techniques used by the centre,” Lacour said. “The approach used by Narconon is not recognized in Quebec, and it was mainly on that basis that the agency decided to relocate its residents.” Most of the residents, Lacour said, are from other provinces of Canada, particularly British Columbia, and the United States. Most have been relocated to other Narconon centres south of the border. Lacour said Narconon has 10 days, as of April 13, to comment before the agency makes its final decision on certification. Narconon also has 60 days to appeal the decision at the Tribunal administratif du Québec. In the meantime, Narconon will no longer be able to operate in the Mauricie region. “For sure, if we came to this conclusion (about Narconon), we worry about what may be happening elsewhere,” Lacour said, adding Narconon has been banned in France.David Love, a former patient and staff member of Narconon in Trois Rivières who has been tirelessly rallying against the organization since he left it in 2009, saw the closing as a victory, but not the end of his mission. Love has filed a complaint against Narconon and the Church of Scientology with the Quebec Human Rights Commission. André Ahern, the director of legal affairs for Narconon Trois Rivières, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Julie_Kanon
Julie_Kanon

 Hi Tony and company, great job the other night. I thoroughly enjoyed the conversations.

Take care all :)

ShellyMiscavige
ShellyMiscavige

Do they get to keep the tuxedos?

Damn I would be glad to wax lyrical about implants and space jazz for a made to measure tux, and I wouldn't even want to have teenage girls in hotpants following me around with ashtrays.

Damn right I'd be swallowing all those pinks and greys though.

I would need something the alleviate the boredom of being all-knowing and above MEST yet being stuck on a tugboat for years ordering gullible fools around the deck and locking little kids in chain-lockers.

CanuckXenu
CanuckXenu

At this point I think I'm alone here, but here's another yupdate with more details about Narconon Trois-Rivieres.  Note the sentence about the patients not being allowed to leave.  Sure sounds like typical $cientology practice...

The Narconon drug rehabilitation center did not meet 42 of the 55 criteria required to obtain certification from the Department of Health, of which 26 were high risk factor,  the Health Agency and social services in the Mauricie - Centre-du-Québec said this morning. The Health Agency has raised several questionable methods used at Narconon as their method of sweating combined with a massive intake of drugs, as well as the absence of medical supervision. Residents could spend five to six hours a day in a sauna for up to 25 days. These methods are not recognized by the Ministry of Health. In addition, residents said they had been prevented from leaving the center. Narconon has 10 days to submit its comments to the Health Agency. Thereafter, it will have 60 days to challenge the decision in court. The rehab center had to close its doors because the Ministry of Health has refused to grant certification.More details to come

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magikcarrot
magikcarrot

It took me just over 10 months to complete the Australian Melbourne Narconon program in 2010. I did that program to the best of my ability and to see whether the tech really worked... Pffft! What a bunch of crap!  Don't get me started on the food and the dorm conditions. Disgusting! I just the other day received a call from a mate who works in withdraw and working on the estates. He told me that he had not slept for 48hrs and he was about to start his night watch shift. I asked him why he was doing these crazy work hours? His reply was they were short staffed and had been for some time. Nothing has changed since I was last residing there. Melbourne Narcocon seems to think it's ok to be out ethics and out exchange on the people who just want to help. Dismantle  ALL front groups connected to this $cientology rubbish.  

mookindahouse
mookindahouse

FYI to anybody in LA, Kelly Preston is going to be on Craig Ferguson's show in LA on 4/19. the show tapes at CBS Television City in LA.

wouldn't it be nice if she got heckled w/ the truth? 

Stoic-1
Stoic-1

I'm sorry I missed the broadcast, but it sounds like I didn't miss anything. Another scientology event, Big Hat, No Cattle.

CanuckXenu
CanuckXenu

Here's another story from the local media this morning: 

The Agency for Health and Social Services Mauricie Monday met the leaders of Narconon, a drug treatment program linked to the Church of Scientology for which Quebec has revoked the certification.Seven to eight hours of sauna per day for 21 days, yelling at an ashtray, swallowing massive doses of vitamins. This is the treatment that offers, among others, Narconon Trois-Rivieres to addicts.This unique method of detoxification is based on the writings of the founder of the Church of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard.A typical stay of two to three months at Narconon Trois-Rivieres costs about $ 23 000.Many families of drug addicts do not hesitate to invest the money to allow their relatives to end their addiction.Narconon Trois-Rivieres claims a success rate of 80%, which is well above average.The center's clientele comes mainly from the United States and English Canada.This is the case of David Edgar Love, who turned to Narconon Trois-Rivieres for a cocaine addiction and drugs. He emerged a year later weaned, but completely traumatized.Since then, supported by the Anonymous group which campaigns worldwide against the activities of the Church of Scientology,  Love has filed multiple formal complaints to the College of Physicians, to the Commission on Human Rights and Revenue Agency Canada.He has also organized various events to attract media attention on controversial methods of the center.Meanwhile, the Agency for Health and Social Services Montérégie investigated and met with former disgruntled patients.This survey was part of the framework of a certification process of detoxification centers present in Quebec.The initiative came to Quebec in 2007. We had just learned that employees of Narconon courses were offering courses in some schools in Quebec, teaching youth the basic principles of Scientology."I have a feeling of accomplishment," said David Love.

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Dictionary

Google Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder Turn off instant translationAbout Google

CanuckXenu
CanuckXenu

I'm not sure if this thread is still active, but here is the updated article from this morning's Trois-Rivieres newspaper.  Translation courtesy of Google, although I fixed up some ofthe clunkier phrases.

(Trois-Rivieres) The rehabilitation center and drug rehabilitation Narconon Trois-Rivieres was forced to close its doors. According to information obtained by The Nouvelliste, a notice was sent to the agency Friday to the effect that the necessary certification to operate a rehabilitation center will not be granted by the Ministry of Health.

The Agency for Health and Social Services of Mauricie and Centre-du-Québec, who preferred not to issue any comment yesterday, convened the press this morning to take stock of the situation. "The Agency is in contact with the organization, and we will take stock tomorrow (today)," said Christiane Lemaire, communications manager for the Health Agency, which stated that the Agency would not confirm nor not invalidate any information before then.An email from a person close to Narconon, which Le Nouvelliste obtained, however, was referring to the fact that the news was dropped Friday for employees and management, and that Narconon had no authority to give the program. However, it was not clear whether this was temporary or permanent.

It was also possible to learn that as of Friday, more treatment centers in the region have received the request to be ready to host recipients of Narconon if needed. This is the case of Central Domremy, who has set up a team, in case transfers of users would be required. "We were asked to keep a team ready, what we did. There was talk that if necessary, we have to evaluate the condition of those people who required transfer to other services. But ultimately, we did not have to intervene, "confirmed Pierre Bourassa, CEO of Domremy. It seems that the center's users have already left the area to be transferred to other Narconon centers, including the United States. According to its website, Narconon has 50 drug rehabilitation centers in 21 countries worldwide. In Canada, there are two other rehabilitation centers in Alberta and British Columbia, and two prevention centers in Vancouver and Montreal, in addition to the Center for Prevention and Rehabilitation of Trois-Rivieres. Since July 2011, all rehabilitation centers specializing in drug therapy must undergo stricter regulations from the Department of Health and Social Services. All specialized agencies of the region have had to apply and comply with all requirements of the Department. Those include methods of intervention, physical facilities, safety, employee training, etc.. However, it's impossible to know the motives which could have affected the demand for certification of Narconon.

A controversial centerNarconon has made headlines in recent years, including its links with the Church of Scientology, and for having been the subject of complaints to the Standards Commission's work by a dozen former employees who reported not having received payment for hours worked. A former resident and former employee, David Love, has also repeatedly denounced the practices of Narconon, particularly in connection with Scientology. For its part, Narconon had always denied being a center of religious propaganda and, although the agency based its intervention methods on the teachings of the founder of the Church of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, it claimed to have only one mission to help addicts overcome their addictions, to resume their lives to become productive members of society.

 The Nouvelliste tried to contact by phone and email the Director of Narconon Trois-Rivières, Marc Bernard, but our attempts were unsuccessful.

Moreover, it was not possible to speak to someone at reception yesterday, our calls being systematically transferred to a voice mailbox.Yesterday, the Narconon was still shown as "in process of certification" on the website of the Ministry of Health and Social Services. 

TheWidowDenk
TheWidowDenk

Tony and All: I believe we should conclude WOTF. I know from the comments there are other articles looming on the horizon.

Writers of the Future is 28 years strong. It has obviously stood the test of time. I expect it will continue to exist well into the future.

After exposing and breaking down the firewall, I believe there will be quite a bit more work involved with running the program, especially in the realm of public relations.

It was not easy back in the early days of Writers of the Future because the program was not necessarily openly embraced by the public to whom it was addressed, which includes -- in part -- new and aspiring writers, professional writers, publishers, magazine editors, etc.

That firewall was built piece by piece, winner by winner, judge by judge, etc. There indeed was a time when WOTF was an absolute tower of strength in the field, so much so that it could not be emulated.

This expose has been quite eye opening but it would never have seen the light of day if there hadn't been significant errors behind the firewall. My learning of executive abuse in the ASI building in December 2004 was my WTF moment BECAUSE I WAS THERE AND DID NOT KNOW ABOUT IT.

I, personally, have enjoyed our time together on this topic. I repeat myself when I say there are a bunch of creative and clever people who post here. Shall we all meet up again next year for the Awards? Rachel

DodoTheLaser
DodoTheLaser

This comments section is the biggest/longest, most meaningful I've ever seen.There might be a valid reason for that. Good day, every one.

DodoTheLaser
DodoTheLaser

I watched the first video again, I tried to do so with no bias.Some acrobatics was impressive. But the dancing/choreography,music arrangement and all... I still don't get and don't enjoy it.I must be too low-toned. I has sad.

SP 'Onage
SP 'Onage

All I know is when David Love's book comes out I am buying it, can't wait! Plus, I am anxiously waiting for Tony's article on David. This is turning out to be a damn good week!

CanuckXenu
CanuckXenu

Wow John P!! Your French is better than mine!  Numbers AND languages--you're a true renaissance man, like LRH (gag).  When/how did you learn French?

You make a joke, but I wondered where Narconon T-R gets its staff.  That's a pretty hardcore anti-English area of the province, even though it's only 90 miles from Montreal. When I go there the English population doubles from 0 to 1.

 I imagine some of the Narcon clients are English-speaking, so Narcon has to has staff that can speak at least a little bit of English.  I can't imagine anything worse than going through detox $cientology-style and not having anyone around who can even speak to me in my language.

Are Narcon staff Sea Org?  They have to have housekeeping and kitchen staff in addition to whatever staff that does the detox mumbo-jumbo. Do they hire area civilians for those positions?  

CanuckXenu
CanuckXenu

I got lazy--here's a Google translation, tweaked a bit.

(Trois-Rivieres) The rehabilitation center and drug rehabilitation Narconon Trois-Rivieres has been forced to close its doors. According to information obtained by The Nouvelliste, a notice was sent Friday to the agency, to the effect that the necessary certification to operate a rehabilitation center would not have been granted by the Ministry of Health.The Agency for Health and Social Services of Mauricie and Centre-du-Québec, who preferred not to issue any comment on that this morning, will convene a press conference tomorrow morning to take stock of the situation. However, it was possible to learn that as of Friday, other treatment centers in the region have received a request to be ready to host recipients of Narconon if needed. It seems that the center's users have already left the area to be transferred to other Narconon centers in the United States. The organization has made headlines in recent years, including its links with the Church of Scientology, and for having been the subject of complaints to the Standards Commission's work by a dozen former employees who said they were not paid for hours worked. A former resident and former employee, David Love, has also repeatedly denounced the practices of Narconon, particularly in connection with Scientology. Narconon for its part, had always denied being a center of religious propaganda and, although the agency did not deny that some employees were members of the Church of Scientology, claimed to have only one mission to help addicts overcome their addictions, to resume their lives to become productive members of society. All details in Tuesday's Le Nouvelliste

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CanuckXenu
CanuckXenu

More French news coverage of the Narconon T-R closure, this time a little more in depth from a Trois-Rivieres newspaper:

http://www.cyberpresse.ZA/le-nouvelliste/actualites/201204/16/01-4515872-narconon-contraint-de-fermer-ses-portes.php?utm_categorieinterne=trafficdrivers&utm_contenuinterne=cyberpresse_B4__2501_section_POS1

(Change ZA to CA)

This story does mention David Love's fight and Narconon's connection to $cientology.

I'll try to work up a translation, but the newspaper is promising more details tomorrow.

The Scott is the Key
The Scott is the Key

It's a fact that David Miscavige's father once raped and possibly murdered a woman. What makes it so hard to believe he himself is capable of raping and sexually assaulting young men?  W A K  E   U  P !

Kim O'Brien
Kim O'Brien

Kudos to all who sat through the extravaganza last night ;) I could not bring myself to do it but your comments were fantastic ! Sounds like another scientology clusterfuck ....you are all saint's

Ivy Mapother
Ivy Mapother

I fell asleep about two hours into the ceremony and just awoke now. I've got a splitting headache and a dream memory that Martin Kove had a Karate Kid flashback and went mental. He thought Nancy Cartwright was Mr. Miyagi and beat her to death with a trampoline spring. I haven't checked the news, but did this happen?

Victoriapandora
Victoriapandora

I realise I was playing the drinking game last night, but help me out here. The time capsule was the absolute most valuable part of this, IMO. Did the first prediction get skipped over? I could swear the reader read part of it and then said "and he says some other things" and goes on to read the last line.Prove me wrong please.

Carl Frederick
Carl Frederick

Two points of clarification about the award ceremony (posted to me by a fellow former winner):K. Wentworth announced (quietly) a few weeks back that she was ill and would not be attending the ceremony (or teaching in the workshop).AndMeghan wrote a freelance article only _after_ she had won the contest.

Stoic-1
Stoic-1

Welcome back Frasier.

John P.
John P.

I think a belief in reincarnation is key to Scientology beliefs today.  That's why people are willing to disconnect with those family members that leave the church -- about the only thing that would make most people willing to shut down any relationship with a spouse, child or parent is the threat of losing their "eternity" (i.e., reincarnation, since Scientology apparently doesn't believe in a heaven, a different plane of existence than the physical Earth that we all live on).  

There are two things that always crack me up about reincarnation: First, there are more people alive today than the total number of humans who have ever existed before.  So there aren't enough old souls to go around to occupy all the bodies that exist today.  And the problem gets worse as you go farther back.  Where did the souls come from to inhabit the bodies of the first homo sapiens?  

I suspect that LRH has some complicated double-talk about how thetans can be any one of a zillion different races from a bunch of different planets in the Marcabian Confederacy, so and they're not necessarily tied to earth.  That's how he explains there being enough souls to go around.  But that makes it even cheesier still...  If there were billions of now disembodied thetans floating around looking for a body to inhabit, wouldn't the competition to take over each new body that's born be something cataclysmic, to make sure that you are the one who gets to be in a meat body while the rest are floating around as one of those body thetans that people spend so much money to exorcise?  The mind just boggles at the stupid. 

Second thing is that everybody who claims to have past life memories was always somebody important.  They were always Caesar, Mark Antony or Cleopatra.  Never a slave who was an assistant butt-wiper in the restroom of a Roman bordello.  They were always the Duke of Somewhere in England, never a peasant without a last name tied to a farm in a village in the back of beyond.  

magikcarrot
magikcarrot

I hear that an arse full of Vistaril works wonders for boredom and all-knowingness ;))

bobx
bobx

No, you're not alone:  whatever thread is on top is the active thread until Tony posts again; the story after next is supposed to be the Narconon Trois-Rivieres, so when that one comes up it would be appropriate to copy this and other articles over to that thread.

CanuckXenu
CanuckXenu

Magik,

Just curious about your stay at Narconon.  You say you were there for 10 months, whereas all the newspaper stories I posted today say the typical stay is three months, running about $30,000.  Do you pay more the longer you stay there, like a hotel concept? Or does the flat fee cover whatever time it takes to complete the rehab? Do you mind if I ask what your total bill was after 10 months?  Or did you end up working on staff to cover your fees?

In any event, congratulations on getting clean. I wish you all the success to stay that way.

CanuckXenu
CanuckXenu

Geoffrey Peterson would protect her.

TonyOrtega
TonyOrtega

Thank you, Rachel. I so appreciate all your help in making us understand the history and significance of the contest, and your concerns about David Miscavige repeatedly violating the strict firewall between the church and the contest.

Yes, this thread will likely go pretty quiet once our new story shows up tomorrow morning -- we have an anniversary to observe, and then on Friday, we'll have more about what's happening up in Canada thanks to the ever-vigilant David Love.

John P.
John P.

Thanks for the kind comments about French.  I had to study up again when I was giving a lot of conference presentations in Paris a few years ago.  I had to be able to verify that the translators were getting the sense of a lot of the technical discussions correct, since the number of translators familiar with the arcane details of three different fields -- computer science, finance and behavioral economics -- is approximately zero. I have been advised by the Secret Police of the Academie Francaise not to attempt to speak the language when I'm in Paris, to avoid an international cultural disaster.  

I have no idea about the staff qualifications of Narconon.  I just haven't read enough about that part of the Scientology universe yet.  Perhaps Tony's article Wednesday would shed some details.  I would defer to David Love as the definite arbiter of all things Narconon Canada.  However, I don't have contact information for him.  

If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say that they probably use English speaking staff only and treat English speaking patients almost exclusively.  I suspect that putting the facility in a militantly Francophone region is intentionally designed to help keep people from escaping.  It might as well be the dark side of the moon.  Who in that part of the world of monolingual Francophones is going to lift a finger to help a scruffy looking Anglophone escapee from a drug rehab facility?  That probably increases the sense of isolation of the inmates patients. I bet the blow drills are really easy.

Ivy Mapother
Ivy Mapother

Does this mean the Santa Ana Police Department can get their hands on some surplus Narcanon stuff? The Santa Ana police can now fight drugs with the same ineffectiveness as Scientology. Load up the brochures, pack up the sauna and don't forget the niacin, were going to Cali. No more snow and cold, it's nothing but palm trees and celebrities from now on.

John P.
John P.

Merci pour la traduction. Il est bon de voir que les bureaucrates endormis du Ministère de la Santé travaillent dur pour protéger les citoyens du Québec. Mais pourquoi les citoyens de la région appelée le Québec, dont chacun sait est une partie du nord d'etat de Nouvelle York, toujours parlent français?  Est-ce que ils ne savent pas que l'anglais est la langue officielle des États-Unis? 

Beaucoup des :-)   Il ya seulement environ 15% des Américains qui savent que le Canada est un pays distinct.  Je suis l'un d'eux.   Cependant, je ne comprends pas les règles du hockey.

(Je suis désolé si mon français est un désastre. Je n'ai pas pratiqué depuis de nombreuses années.)

SP 'Onage
SP 'Onage

Thanks, it was rough but worth it only because of Tony and the other commenters. I laughed so hard I woke-up with a (not beer) sixpack. LOL!

I think what really shocked me was the claim thousands would be watching this on the netcast. Wow, they are presistant when it comes to exaggerating numbers, that's forsure.

Victoriapandora
Victoriapandora

well, you're just gonna have to get that audited out. what did you say you real estate holdings, savings and cc limits were?

TonyOrtega
TonyOrtega

I got the sense from Rachel that they read hardly any of the contents of the time capsule. Maybe they made more of it available at the party, or will do so on their website.

TonyOrtega
TonyOrtega

Thanks for clearing that up, Carl. Let us know if you find out anything about Nancy Cartwright's odd absence from the stage.

N. Graham
N. Graham

Interesting, thanks!  I think that reincarnation rings true for a lot of people before Scientology and then when Scio reinforces it, it does a lot to keep them in.  To play devil's advocate, John, Hindus believe that people reincarnate first through animals, which would explain where all the new souls came from; there have been infinite animals over the eons.  And the first ones would come as evolution created more species.  And what they were before that were body Thetans from the Marcabian Confederacy.  (Kidding on the last sentence).

ShellyMiscavige
ShellyMiscavige

I hear a nigger is what Hubbard's wife (which one of the three??) should have employed to clean the house, according to L Ron.

"it's what they're for" he said.

Perhaps he said "negro" and not "nigger".

Either way, a disgusting and repulsive pervert was L Ron Hubbard.

magikcarrot
magikcarrot

G'day CanuckXenu,When I was at Narconon Melbourne you finished when you completed and passed all the courses and the C's went through your folder and gave you the all clear. I guess each Narconon that operates around the world has different standards of operating. To do the program it cost AUSD $27,000 + $250 per week for food and rent. i dosent matter how long it takes you (The way out is the way through)

 Thanks ive been clean and sober for nearly two and a half years.

mookindahouse
mookindahouse

lmfao. even though he's voiced by a Scilon.

seriously, what's K. Preston going on there promote? She's not in any movies that I know of coming out this year, possibly hawking Kirstie's weight loss crap?

I would smile with joy if somebody had the nerve to glitter-bomb her (for keeping her "husband" in the closet) as she entered/exited the stage door.

bobx
bobx

For those who don't speak French, John's remarks interpreted:

"Mercy for the one traducing us.  It is good to see that the bureaucrats put to sleep by the Minister of Sanity party hard for the protoge' of the Citroens in Quebec.  But why do the Citroens of the appealing region of Quebec, d'oh, everybody knows they party in the northern state of New York, always speaking French?  Isn't they savvy that, like, English is the lingo?  Beautiful coup d'etats.  There are only about 15 Americans who know that Canada is a different country.  I am one of two.  Even if I could count, I couldn't register hockey.  (I am desolated, so my French is a distress.  I have not been a practical deputy of numerous Annies.)"

Victoriapandora
Victoriapandora

that is SO lame, the time capsule was the coolest thing. man, now i have to schlop over to the website?

Unex Skcus
Unex Skcus

Is Co$ having yet another a 'Fail', with >>> Bart <<< not centre stage?

Whilst I cringe when I hear Ms Cartwright espousing Co$, I couldn't describe her as 'stupid'. Her ability to characterise Bart in the Simpsons goes well beyond just the script writers, IMHO.

So I do wonder if Ms Cartwright is trying to step back somewhat from being so visibly "Co$"? Or being instructed to?

N. Graham
N. Graham

 This is a common misconception usually given about reincarnation-that everybody's former life was always someone famous.  I can't speak for Scientologists, but the vast majority of people I know that have visited psychics, hypnotically regressed, etc. were regular, run of the mill people in their former lives.  A Hindu "guru" I knew in California would look at a former life in a kind of meditation and would tell us very ordinary things that he did.  Perhaps you hear more about the people who thought they were famous previously because no one cares to talk about the ordinary lives or they are so mundane so as to be unmemorable except by hypnosis or some other way. Or that someone famous in a former life is much more interesting to relate to someone.  For instance, probably where L. Ron got the idea, in the 1950s there was a book that was very popular called The Search for Bridey Murphy about a woman who was hypnotically regressed and remembered an uneventful Irish life from the 1400s.

g_allen
g_allen

This simply leads us down the same path, "where did the original animal souls come from?"  It seemed to me that Hubbard subscribed to the idea that we are all pan-dimensional beings (gods in other words) who play a long and frightfully complex game of creating universes and inhabiting people in them. We are gamers that forgot we are really gods, we need Scientology to re-awaken our divine true-selves. It's a nice idea, but Hubbard didn't exactly come up with it by himself and there is no evidence one way or the other. 

Historians usually poo-poo the reincarnation thing for not only do reincarnated people always seem to be historically notable people, but they can never describe what life in the past was really like. The little details that are left out of the historical record (like what people eat for breakfast) are seldom part of a reincarnated person's testimony. Also (of course) none of the stories they tell can be verified. 

mookindahouse
mookindahouse

 "I don't ever remember hearing Craig make Tom Cruise jokes, for example."

he frequently jokes about Cruise.

CanuckXenu
CanuckXenu

Maybe there's a 12th anniversary 3D version of "Battlefield Earth" about to be released?

I raised a point about Craig Ferguson a while back, when ex-$ciento' Jeffrey Tambor was the guest, and Paul Haggis's name came up.  I wonder if the writers stay away from any topics that might be  "$ciento-sensitive" to avoid upsetting Josh Thompson?  I don't ever remember hearing Craig make Tom Cruise jokes, for example.  And I listen carefully to everything Geoff Peterson says, trying to find subtext in things.  But then again, I have no llife.

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