Sunday Funnies: Librarians Under Assault!

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Scientologists don't really have a Sunday service. They like to say that they do, because they crave mainstream acceptance. But unless Xenu rested after six days and L. Ron Hubbard just forgot to mention it, there's no reason for Scientologists to treat Sunday any differently than every other day of coursework, detoxes, fundraising, and generally clearing the planet.

So here at the Voice, we've come up with a Scientology Sunday tradition of our own, and we call it Sunday Funnies! Our sources regularly send us Scientology's wacky and tacky fundraising mailers, and each week we choose a few of them to gaze upon, hoping that it inspires you to wax eloquent in our comments section. So here we go...


With their president recently sprung from felony charges in Australia, the folks at CCHR will presumably have much to celebrate as they march against the psychs...

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OK, your kid is adorable and energetic and can even spell. But don't you want your little thetan to be "competent"?

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Attention Librarians: Incoming!

Now that RON the Encyclopedia has been unleashed, Scientologists will be asked to donate to another campaign that will send books to librarians (who don't really want them). We got sent this lengthy and detailed appeal, and figured we ought to warn your local bookworm that another salvo is coming.

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Commenters of the Week

We started things out this week with a round of Sunday Funnies that included a Blues Brothers-themed fundraising party in Australia. The OTs from Melbourne and Sydney came together and, after exchanging framed certificates, really shook their tail feathers.

Noah Miller imagined the key motivating force of the evening...

Donate now or we'll keep singing!

Brian Culkin shared his own experiences from similar gatherings...

I have been to many of these events as described in the ANZO flyer during my short tenure in Scientology. They were psychologically painful, extremely cheezy, and took on a form of near begging. I can remember one specifically at Boston where the two Boston ED's had the audience do a 'laughing exercise' in which the whole crowd was instructed to start laughing for no reason to 'lighten things up' and 'make a game out of it.' Immediately following the 'exercise' people started being hit up for donations.

And Ivy Mapother had a thought about that certificate-swapping between Melbourne and Sydney orgs...

A point of distinction needs to be made for all Scientologists. Being awarded as an "Honorary Humanitarian" does not make you a real humanitarian.

Tuesday morning in the wee hours, we got news from our Down Under friends about the shocking news that the New South Wales public prosecutor had dropped charges against CCHR president Jan Eastgate. The Scientology executive had been accused of coaching an 11-year-old girl in 1985 to lie to police about being sexually abused by her Scientologist stepfather. But apparently the prosecutor filed charges under a 1990 law, and rather than fix the error, decided to drop the case altogether.

Noah Miller was once again first in and got right to the point...

Legal loopholes and ball dropping, protecting Scientology since May 1950.

Ivy Mapother figured Eastgate must realize how fortunate she was...

Jan, go buy a lottery ticket.

Chocolate Velvet's comment captured the feeling of many others...

This is not a surprise, but it still makes my heart ache and my stomach hurt. What a slap in the face to the victim. The cops felt used? For being asked to investigate an ugly crime? Ultimately, what does it matter about "political" motivations? Let the politicians answer for that, and focus on conducting a thorough investigation that produces a credible outcome. If the accusations have merit, law enforcement should pursue them, regardless of "why" the crime was brought to light.

Later that morning, the other bombshell exploded: news broke that Scientology had settled its lawsuit with Debbie Cook. According to the final judgment entered at the Bexar County court, Scientology dropped its demand for damages, Cook and her husband Wayne Baumgarten signed a new gag order, and the lawsuit is over, with no money changing hands.

John P. considered the legacy of this brief court battle...

I think an important legacy of this case will be the court transcript, with testimony under oath from Debbie Cook about her treatment, which will be far more readily visible than damning testimony from prior court cases, thanks to the magic of the Internet. But I think an equally important legacy of the case will be the trail of documents captured on this site, particularly the correspondence between Mr. Jeffrey (Debbie's attorney) and the Scientology-retained law firm. Those letters, particularly Mr. Jeffrey's requests for production and of topics to be covered in depositions, hinted strongly at a strategy that probably played a significant factor in the Church's decision to settle -- he laid bare the Church's tactics of intimidation of people involved in the litigation and thus put into the public forum a strategy for exposing them as they happened.

CofS Exit Zone summed things up this way...

The initial surprise for me was that she had a chance to file a counter-suit before a settlement happened, especially in light of how much insanity came out in the court room during the TRO hearing. The Church of Scientology truly opened up Pandora's box of ills related to David Miscavige's dictatorship of abuses when they filed this case. The counter-suit had given me some hope we would at least see Scientology scrambling to cover their butts with one or two pretrial motions getting handled in the public domain before a settlement was on the table. But I guess it wasn't meant to be. Nonetheless -- Debbie & Wayne, I hope you realize that you did a great thing. I know you never meant for your email to become the public shitstorm it did, but that alone helped so many people cut the ties that bind them to this abusive organization. So for that, I for one thank you for what you have done. And I hope your life is full of peace and happier times now that this is behind you.

There was a lot of frustration expressed in the comments, and broekerbroekerbroeker may have captured it best...

There's no way that this settlement isn't a big upstat for CoS. They shut Debbie up. Yes, they suffered from her original testimony, and there's no way to unring that bell. But they cowed her into a Broekeresque silence till the day she dies, and completely eradicated any momentum that the indies and reformers had developed in their attempt to uncover abuse within the Sea Org - at least until the next defector speaks out. But even then, they've set a precedent that you will NOT get an extra payoff for saying your piece, and that you will be harassed and forced to ante up big for lawyers just to shut up per your original coerced agreement. And I guarantee that the videos of future "severance agreements" will be even better stage managed to appear uncoerced going forward. I guess Miscavige doesn't need Marty to lay down the law. He's wearing the fixer hat just fine himself. And I hold no ill will toward Debbie, just as I hold no ill will toward Broeker. At some point, you just want to leave the insanity behind.

On Friday, we continued to look at the Cook settlement, with expert help from attorney Scott Pilutik.

Noah Miller was once again first on the scene and laid down this cogent analysis...

This seems to cover the same ground that we've been going through in the comments over last few days. Explaining why it sucks, showing utter disappointment in the outcome and finally understanding she had to do what's best for her. She just lost her religion, completely. And that's too bad for her. She won't be able to practice with the Church or with the Indies. Though that's probably the best thing that could happen to her. Still there are thousands of people who could have been helped by this lawsuit, the publicity and the outcome. It was a risk she could not take of course and while I wish she would, I understand why she wouldn't.

Gerard Plourde was especially helpful to other commenters who had legal questions, and then had this summation...

Looking at the bright side, there has been a steady and increasingly complete disclosure of the Church of Scientology and all of its related entities. This means that avenues of revenue continue to be constricted and shut down. People are beginning to see the connections between the church and WISE, Narconon, Applied Scholastics and The Way to Happiness. People who thought that Scientology was just a weird but harmless religion that attracted minor Hollywood celebrities now know about its dark underbelly.

Finally, I enjoyed this summing up by a commenter who appears to be a newcomer to our ranks, Lizalegless...

It is sad that this door is closing, Cook's insider info is no longer to play a part in the slide of scientology. It is impossible to guess what might have come to light. At the same time it is gratifying that Debbie and her husband have ended the episode relatively unscathed. Happy Trails, Debbie and Wayne. Don't forget to write if a bunch of goons take up residence at your door with cameras on their heads!

Don't know about the rest of you, but I'm reeling after a week that bounced from David Love's stunning news to Jan Eastgate's dropped charges to Debbie Cook's settlement. And throughout it, I had a lengthy project I was trying to wrestle to the ground -- which you'll get to see when it hits the web Tuesday evening!

Please check our Facebook author page for other schedules and updates, and enjoy the rest of your Sunday.


**********
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.



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280 comments
OTVIIIisGrrr8!
OTVIIIisGrrr8!

We in RTC are proud to announce Tony Ortega's massive statcrash: Sunday Funnies on the following Thursday.

No new news Tony?

Nothing went the way you had hoped?

All of Scientology's stats are in Affluence:

* Debbie who?

* False charges dropped in Australia

* 223 new Ideal Orgs opened in the past week

* 715,013 new Basics Libraries shipped to 56 countries including Alaska and Cameroon.

* Someone goes Clear every three seconds in an Ideal Org

* Scientology books are checked out of public libraries at the rate of millions per hour globally We in RTC knew that Tony would come to naught as do all SP's.

Move along people. There is nothing to see or do hear. Go buy yourselves some auditing intensives instead. Mention "Village Voice" and receive 15% off fixed donations prices in May!

Thank you.

Thetan- x
Thetan- x

Why is the Scion's continue to claim L Ron Hubbard "to be the founder of the ONLY major religion of the Twentieth Century"

How is that even possible that they would claim let alone believe such balderdash ????

Claude
Claude

FYI,

Tony's new article for today doesn't appear to be indexed on Google under "news" so you might miss it.  

MarkStark
MarkStark

The Jive Aces on Britain's Got Talent (Simon Cowell) story is heating up. A former member claims he quit because the band was trying to "brainwash" him into Scientology. He left in 1989, but the band is saying they didn't become Scientologists until 1991.

I'm looking forward to more info on ESMB where there's an excellent thread with a few people who have had some significant contact with the Jive Aces. They are actually a special category of Sea Org members who use their fun/rollicking act to recruit for Scientology, but it is done in a covert manner, like appearing for Narconon, but not claiming they have anything to do with Scientology.

About the story of the former member claiming brainwashing, it'll be interesting to hear if the Jive Aces joined the Sea Org in 1991, or if it is true that they didn't have anything to do with Scientology and had never heard of it until then, in which case this former member is just having fun blowing their cover. The Jive Aces have gone through some members, including one who was declared an SP and he used to post on ESMB.

Although they are sufficiently middle aged, ugly, and talented, I'm not worried about them winning the hearts of the world like Susan Boyle. To me anyway, their act is a little too gimmicky. A fun diversion for people, but not something that is going to endure in popularity or cause them to have a major coup where they get to tell the world they owe it all to L. Ron Hubbard. Even if that happened, it would be hilarious because they'd have to end up explaining how they are really Sea Org members shilling for and indentured to a brainwashing cult.

Inside Scientology, they will claim that the Jive Aces appearance on Britain's Got Talent, is a huge win, because people see their bright yellow suits and know Scientology has all the answers.

N. Graham
N. Graham

It appears Applied Scholastics can hardly get enough people to answer their phones.  If you need a laugh while waiting for Tony to post the next article, go to their website and read the "articles" Ron wrote about Teaching and Education.  Although it is a whole different read if you go into it knowing it's written by somebody trying to justify flunking out of regular college, it's still entertaining just at face value. Just google Applied Scholastics and go to the L.Ron Hubbard part of the site's taskbar. 

MarkStark
MarkStark

Yeah, rotten vegetables they are, or at least funny rubber ones. Wouldn't it be funny if a major TV news person did a piece on this? Instead of the usual, "some people say Scientology is a cult" they say "some people are calling this biographical encyclopedia of Hubbard the Nutterpedia." "Librarians throw it away." Really, I want the media to hit this in a high-comedy way and hard!

This isn't a book by Hubbard, so there is no reason to get any fake respect for the Nutterpedia, because Tom Cruise believes in it or because one of  Hubbard's dumpster load of books was a best seller and was translated into 234 languages etc.

And yeah, the Internet is going to be key in doing a full lambasting and exposure of it. You would think talk show hosts might hold up the tomato photo though, in the "horticulture" volume. Although Hubbard's body was cremated, Scientology preserved his organs. (Shot of his Hammond B3.)

Talk about Source. It seems like it could be a source of hilarity for a long time.

On some level though, the cult has prepared for this. Part of it could be about getting attention. My first reaction to this encyclopedia was that it was going to be pure fluff, and stick to the facts. But we know that's not true, if they are putting in BS about Hubbard thwarting a nuclear conspiracy.

The cult has already tried spinning news of their corruption and abuse with: "You've heard the controversy, now get the facts." That was clever, and probably effective for part of their target audience.

There's so little business, it's possible they are hoping the talk of the Nutterpedia will have this secondary effect of creating publicity for them. If it were done in one volume, with few photographs, it would be too easy for TV reporters or academics to talk about the lies in it.

So for every 99 people laughing or shaking their heads over the Nutterpedia, there were will be one confused individual, who isn't able to focus, and to them it will be impressive that they did all these volumes on the accomplishments of this one man. And maybe they like Tom Cruise, and don't like it when other people make fun of the founder of his "religion."

I think half of it was for existing cult members though, as a way to give them some pride. How could Ron not be great if there's a whole nutterpedia about him? And of course, as a way to extract money from them. They really are naive and foolish enough to believe the whole world is going to be grabbing at these books to behold the greatness of Ron.

Does Anne Archer look brainwashed to you? Dan Sherman is going to be reassigned to Venus if this thing turns into a fiasco.

CanuckXenu
CanuckXenu

I caught a Scientology joke on Two Broke Girls tonight.  That's two in two nights on network primetime.  At least some TV writers aren't afraid of poking fun at the cult or ruffling feathers in Hollywood... 

LoyalOfficer
LoyalOfficer

The LRonclopedia will be great to curl up with on a cold stormy night, because.....you know, they burn pretty well.      " Preclear Presto Logs, keeping your thetan toasty"

Too Much
Too Much

These insane CCHR shitbag loons are crapping on legitimate efforts to reign in the abuses of the mental health industry. Every time someone legitimate points at something that needs to be fixed, they're automatically assumed to be shitting insane Scientology customers or crime bosses and the legitimate complaints are dismissed.

Too Much
Too Much

Neat! Hubbard is the 5th most requested author at public libraries. Damn. I guess we can find those missing 8 million Scientology customers hiding out at the public libraries.

Too Much
Too Much

Paychs say it's wrong to rape children, no wonder Jan Eastgate et al. are protesting the psychs.

Rolotomasii
Rolotomasii

That Call to Action poster - how many of these are culties and how many are members of anti-vaccination groups who have nothing to do with Xenu et al? My guess is the latter.  

I love this library donation storyline - learn the epic saga of Ron? Who is this guy, Frodo?  Put his books in the horticulture section? Isn't there a picture floating around of LRH putting electrodes on a tomato to see if the poor vegetable felt pain before it became ketchup?   This whole ad screams delusional. 

A few years ago, my office donated a stack of old phone books from the 1950's and 1960's to a local library in lieu of tossing them into the recycling pile (we are a green agency after all) and received the most effusive letter.  If the CO$ thinks these letters are anything more than form, I have some real estate off the 3rd ring of Saturn to sell them.

  

Dean Fox
Dean Fox

I recall reading something by a CCHR person complaining that the notion of global obliteration and the whole conspiracy theory that psychiatrists engineered every evil act since the 1st world war turned other groups off them.

Sadly (s)he did think the problem lay with the notions rather that the problem was the notions were too much for outsiders to understand etc. (S)he felt it best not to broadcast such stuff. <sigh></sigh>

 Thetan-X
Thetan-X

Is there anyone, I mean ANYONE hear that has ever heard of or is familiar with "The Abbot of The Holy Monastery of K." in Greece ???It seems the Orthodox Brothers of this monastery just can't get enough of the ole LRH bla,bla !!!

Sid
Sid

 Amazing how the CoS continues laser-focused on the library as their primary source of free dissemination of some of their materials.

"Every day 50 million people check out 200 million books".

That's a great statistic. I know I should go to the library more often, I've been to my local library maybe 5 times in the last 10 years.

As opposed to visiting the Internet every day of my life for the past ten years.

Which is where the CoS would place this material, free of charge, if they really wanted to disseminate.

Library campaigns are great though - for getting members to buy the books to send to the libraries.

It's almost as if Dave Miscavige needs library book buying campaigns to justify his huge book-printing capability. Oh hang on...

Josh Thorburn
Josh Thorburn

Has no one noticed that L.Ron was the FOUNDER OF THE ONLY MAJOR RELIGION OF THE 20th CENTURY?? How could I have missed out on this?!?!?!I NEEDZ WINZ!Nah, I think I'd rather invest in a time machine. And do like Professor Farnsworth did in that Futurama episode......................Biggest scam is more like it.........

DodoTheLaser
DodoTheLaser

Interesting:

1. Another "Psych-busting" call of arms event/poster is weaker and lamer then ever. 2. Scientology parenting is a joke. Mostly evil joke. For both staff and public. SOx5.3. Ronopedia campaign = more pissed off librarians and blown scientologists. Win.

KeepOnLearning
KeepOnLearning

You folk are fast running out of bad news about Scientology.

But good work on continuing to "create-create-create" imaginary bad news where the real thing doesn't exist.

It's gratifying to note you're all practicing the data in LRH's FUNDAMENTALS OF THOUGHT. 

Guest
Guest

This shit sucks, so what else is new!

N. Graham
N. Graham

Academic libraries use the LOC, Library of Congress, system instead of the Dewey Decimal System. Dewey is used when a system, like public libraries, have a lot of fiction books, like Scio ones, so probably why LRH didn't know about academic libraries with books with actual research.  Now obviously, he should be considered an expert on raising children because of his knowledge and experience in this area.  Four out of five of his children never committed suicide, and only one wrote a book denouncing him.Did I mention the Scio arithmetic on the book donations?  (Just Kidding)

CanuckXenu
CanuckXenu

This sort of fits the "Sunday Funnies" theme:

Family Guy tonight had a "John Travolta is gay" joke AND a Tom Cruise/Scientology throwaway gag.

Guess McFarlane will never be seen at Celebrity Center.

Hatchune Shun
Hatchune Shun

Is my eyes playing tricks?A donation of $100 for 3 books, and $1000 for 27 books, 

where did the additional 3 books go?Edit: It'd be amusing if the additional 3 was donated to their org's libraries, who in turn, re-sells them.

bobx
bobx

I didn't know the Roncyclopedia contained "Complete Glossaries, Including Hard-to-Find Terms and Phrases"!  So, the next time someone tells me "That PTS was so out-hat" I'll know where to look for an explanation.

RadioPaul1
RadioPaul1

Go to Operation Clambake (xenu.net) under opinions, it is the one that says (petition tp recharge Jan Eastgate)

Strelnikov
Strelnikov

 Because Scientologists are pushed not to read up on other faiths, otherwise they would find out about other culty groups like Transcendental Meditation, est, Adidaism, all those gurus who came from India, Hari Krishna, Findhorn, the Moonies, and on and on. It's a lot like the ancient Israelites - they knew there were other gods out there besides JVJH but they were told is was bad to know anything more than that because they worshiped the True God. Of course it wasn't like this in Hubbardland in the 1960s-1970s; people floated in and out of the "church"; the hard sell got harder after 1974 or so.

LoyalOfficer
LoyalOfficer

Yeah but it is about a sex change operation, or in Russian whackyourcockoff not $cientology per se. Although apparently he/she was on board  w/Hubbard . I was wondering why his new article didn't show up in my google alert. 

Jimmy Kowski
Jimmy Kowski

I contacted the journalist who wrote the piece and suggested he followed up on the story and that he should come over to this site and have a look around.

Guest
Guest

There was a Scientology joke in Friends With Benefits, which was extra surprising because Jenna Elfman is in that movie. I bet that line was not in the script she read before signing on...and she was not on the set that day. Loved that.

MarcabianFleetCommander
MarcabianFleetCommander

I did a quick 'n sloppy Google search of 'most requested authors at public libraries' and, BIG SURPRISE, LRH wasn't on any of the lists. It's time to start calling out the Co$ on their bullshit. It could make a rather nice regular feature. 

MarcabianFleetCommander
MarcabianFleetCommander

You never know. Ron's scribblings may prove valuable at some point. They may be of academic interest: the diaries of a madman.

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

That flyer is most likely just stock imagery with signs and shirts added on. I'm sure they'll get the Philly Org people and some surrounding fellows... If it isn't a COB thing that he wants to film and release on a DVD then it's going to be a slim turn out. 

hgc
hgc

I can imagine. You will hook in a few concerned citizens when you declare a noble fight against the inappropriate psychiatric medication of children -- it at least sounds like it might be a worthy cause. But scratch the surface, and SMERSH be there. Run for the hills!

MarcabianFleetCommander
MarcabianFleetCommander

Those 'testimonials' sound like $cientology's versions of the Penthouse's Forum letters. They all have very similar wording and could have been penned by the same person, or group of people based on one or more standard templates.

 Thetan-X
Thetan-X

I mean "HERE" ....yes I know..

dbloch7986
dbloch7986

That cognitive dissonance is really starting to hurt isn't it.

Believe me towards the end I was just like you.

Its like when someone saves you from near death. At first you lash out at the person because you're in shock and then you realize they just saved you.

Welcome. This is the doorway back to normality.

LoyalOfficer
LoyalOfficer

That seems to be the party line. The Hole doesn't exist either. 

Too Much
Too Much

"You folk are fast running out of bad news about Scientology."

Ironic coming from a crime syndicate that is running out of paying customers.

magikcarrot
magikcarrot

If this is all imaginary what are you doing here?... unless deep down you know this is truth.

anne
anne

 It's equally sad to note that you are spending your time, your money, and your heart and soul on LRHs  Fundamentals of  Thought. Think for yourself, you can, you know.

Llama
Llama

KeepOnLearning:

Did you go to college?Do you plan to send your kids to college?Is your "church" placing uncomfortable financial demands on you?Do you feel your spirituality can safely be practiced without paying large sums of cash?Are you encouraged to be inwardly reflective, or are you constantly pushed to consume more LRH?

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

Oh awesome a practicing Scientologist. Would you be willing to answer a few questions about your religion? 

SP 'Onage
SP 'Onage

It's obvious you haven't been keeping up with David Love in Canada. I guess NarCONon closing down would be considered "imaginary bad news" that doesn't exist either. LOL!

It's gratifying to know the fastest growing religion is really the fastest shrinking cult.

"We are playing for blood and the stake is Earth" - David Edgar Love - April 29, 2012

LoyalOfficer
LoyalOfficer

I was in Barnes and Noble and Dianetics was in the Fantasy/SciFi section. Right where it should be.

Ron
Ron

 It should be funny the first time a Not a Scientologist But tries to edit Wikipedia and cite that junk as a Reliable Source.

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

Years ago the church use to have a sort of unregulated version of the "terms and phrases" book online, which had entries for Marcabrian's and Body Thetans. 

Maybe they'll let that slip through again. 

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