Amanda Palmer Dramatically Answers Questions About Her Connection to Scientology

Categories: Scientology

AFPSmurfSmall.JPG
A few weeks ago, we noted that Amanda Palmer -- the musician who performs as a solo act and as one half of the Dresden Dolls and Evelyn Evelyn -- made a rather dramatic appearance at Kate Bornstein's book party, held at Dixon Place.

Right about that same time, Palmer was also making news for taking her career in a bold new direction -- unmoored from her record label, she is releasing a new album the indie way, and launched a Kickstarter project to fund production of it. With an initial goal of $100,000, the project is nearing a million dollars from almost 20,000 contributors.

Despite our story that Palmer had showed up to pay homage to Bornstein -- whose book is largely about how she managed to escape from a life in Scientology -- there's been some chatter on the Internet about Palmer, her husband Neil Gaiman, their connections to Scientology, and whether her Kickstarter project was somehow connected to, or would in some way fund, the controversial church. After the jump, see her dramatic answer to that question.

AFPSmurf.jpg

"Nope. Not planning to fund Scientology with my Kickstarter money. That would be dumb. P.S., Smurf-tits, AFP [Amanda Fucking Palmer]"

Palmer posted the image to her blog on May 23, but I just ran across it yesterday while perusing a lengthy thread at WhyWeProtest.net which has been raging for weeks, debating the connections between Scientology and the married couple, Gaiman and Palmer, who are attacked rather viciously as artistic hacks and dupes to the church, funding it with huge donations. The thread is rather outré, even by the (lovable) standards of WWP. (It's not worth debating their artistic talent, but it seems unwise to deny that Gaiman is one of the most highly decorated artists in his field, and Palmer is certainly one of the most original in hers. That she's essentially giving the middle finger to a flailing music industry seems the kind of thing that should generate respect from the DIY 'net world, and it's odd that instead she's getting a lot of heat, which she writes about at her blog.)

As we pointed out in our previous story, Gaiman grew up in Scientology, the son of David Gaiman, who became the church's spokesman in the UK. But Neil himself says little about Scientology, giving the impression that he keeps it at arm's length, even though his two sisters and ex-wife are still members. (Former Scientologists often keep quiet about the church, knowing that if they speak out against it, their family members will be instructed to "disconnect" from them entirely.)

The WWP thread makes allegations that Gaiman's ex-wife, Mary McGrath, has made huge donations to the church in recent years. This may be true (though we could find no documentation of this online), but what Neil's ex does isn't necessarily a reflection on his own wishes. Palmer, meanwhile, is accused of being part of a Scientology family because her father's firm was a vendor in the church's Tampa Ideal Org project. (As we showed with our leak of architectural drawings of the Super Power building in Clearwater, however, Scientology commonly uses outside firms for development projects.) We're also told that a photo of her father being married in a naval outfit is proof that he was in the Sea Org. (I found the photo not detailed enough to confirm that.)

Repeated attempts to find corroborating information online about Gaiman and Palmer turned up a lot of assertions but little substance. On the other hand, Palmer made a very public show of appearing at Kate Bornstein's book party, not something a supporter of Scientology would be likely to do. And then this photograph, posted on her blog, seems to be directed right at the rumors at WWP. (And in Chanology terms, has anyone with her visibility ever so epically answered the refrain, "Tits or STFU"?)

I'm on the road, with limited ability to look into this further. But in a few days, when I'm back in the underground bunker, I'll turn on all the circuits to track down these connections between Gaiman, Palmer, and Scientology. Or better yet, it would be great to talk to either of them about their interest in Kate Bornstein, her book, and what they think about David Miscavige's church -- my e-mail address is at the bottom of this post, just like it always is. Send me a message, AFP.

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Birmingham in the House, Again!

The Scientology "org" in Birmingham, England, is already a favorite of ours. Has any org done more to raise money for its Ideal Org project with greater effort, creativity, and just downright jaw-dropping, cringe-inducing bad taste?

We're thinking, of course, of Birmingham's amazing beach party, which resulted in a video combining photos from the event with a song created for it.

There was also a leak of a photo showing a staffer holding fistfuls of cash after someone paid an awfully large bill.

But things are apparently getting even more desperate as the org tries to raise cash for the new building and sell, sell, sell books for library donations.

A tipster sent us this latest video from Birmingham's OT Committee. Now, in the past we've seen some pretty young Scientology kids used to help sell the church. I think the youngest we've seen being used for that purpose was 3 years old.

Well, that record just got shattered. Ladies and gentleman, behold Amber...

Wow. Well, we're certainly relieved that Scientology will soon make Britain great again. Moving boxes of books to libraries ought to do just the trick!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Another Billion Years for our Old Friend Mark

This week, I received this e-mail from Mark Miglio, a Scientologist who used to participate in our comments section. Some months ago, he stopped leaving public comments, but he has continued to send me private e-mails -- some of which I have shared with readers in the past.

I figured this is another one that our readers would want to see...

Tony,

I wish I had more time to chat, but I am taking a flight to LA tomorrow to re-join the SeaO.

Yes. It is time for me to do something really big, once again.

Please wish me well; should you care to. I will still view your blog occasionally but obviously not nearly often as I have been doing; what with my new intense schedule and responsibilities.

It was fun writing to you all the time, thanks for reading. I will miss you and your daily dose; well, what was for a while, a daily dose of your fun observations.

Good luck with your crusade for truth, Justice, and the New York way.

Your friend,

markmiglio

So it's back to the rice and beans for Miglio. We all live only to die. In our ships out in the sky! Warriors for a cause more than life!

Er, bon voyage, Marko.

Hey, remember to check our Facebook author page for schedules and updates. We should be on track to have our regular Friday morning post with dispatches from the yacht Apollo, circa 1970. They're always a hoot.


**********
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 was 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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239 comments
John
John

Check out Neil Gaiman's parent's eddict about how to STALL, DEFLECT and OVERWHELM the press. This is what Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer do, they mislead people: http://www.solitarytrees.net/racism/reporter.htm The Kickstarter campaign is an illusion made to fool you.

SarahJane
SarahJane

Amanda Palmer is a liar and a grifter and a scammer. Billboard indicates that over 90% of (Amanda Palmer's) 23,000+ units "sold" (which propelled her to #10 on their chart) came from digital downloads. EVERY person who ordered ANYTHING from her Kickstarter - 24,883 people -- received a download code which, when you really look at it, indicates that not even all of the Kickstarter contributors bothered with downloading her album -- and that in effect, for all of her controversy and promotion (by her and her husband), she actually didn't get all of her fans to gin up her pre-ordered estimate and only sold some 1,700 'new" albums she and her team hadn't already factored into her unit movement. Amanda Palmer is trying to create a grand illusion and she is nothing but a bullshit artist

5lttlestones
5lttlestones

i suppose my post from yesterday was and is a tad harsh and i am sorry for that...but it was a full attack on AFP's right to creativity and personal expression which, ok, fair enough, kate bornstein embraced this girl at her book party in NYC . Kate has a bigger heart than i do! WhyWeProtest and Chanology are correct in being skeptical about the Amanda Palmers Kickstarter funding and that i am in full agreement but they are not establishing a link to scientology other than Amanda Palmer and her husband have in the past donated to scientology . But what about the nitty gritty about the Kickstarter project funds? hmmmmmm?

 

$1million spread across 20,000 entities is not a fan base of music lovers donating to this project. this is a publicity stunt and well funded and organized by scientology, we may easily presume but how would we know the facts?Well, why doesnt Amanda Palmer release the names on the donation list?how many were scientology organizations or affiliates and how many were individuals? lets clear up the doubt right now! PBS does this on their fund raising drives and so does National Public Radio both of those organizations are very proud to share their donor lists with the public...What is holding you back Amanda? WE WANNA SEE THE DONOR LIST!

 

If Amanda Palmer does not release the actual financial transactions of the donations then its very likely she may be subject to defrauding and misrepresentation to the public of actually what this project is really all about in the first place. She states she was trying to raise $100,000 to make an album project but she raised $1million which is  enough to hire a radio promotion team and even fund a tour in support of the project, with great sound and lights and a touring crew, production manager/tour manager and decent hotels. of course, i dont think she will be selling any tickets on her tour dates and she maybe playing to empty or sparsely attended venues...which BTW in the music industry is like a plague for an ambitious artist such as Amanda. 

 

music gigs are not only about ticket sales but they are also about BEER and COCKTAIL SALES which is where venues and promoters make their real money. so if the gigs do not sell out or are not at least partially filled , word gets around and then BOOM tour cancelled by the fact the promoters will lose too much money booking the gig, Doesnt matter if said artist rented the venue out right or not, the promoter makes money off of food , bear and cocktails, parking plus the building fee. The promoter is in it for the money not to be "helpful" to an artist from the marginal outskirts of the professional music industry such as Palmer. 

 

the music industry may be flailing on CD sales but not the concert industry! that is the belt that holds up the proverbial pants of the music industry right now so promoters will not waste their time booking this woman if they can book someone who will actually be a draw to their venue, sell liquor and make money for the promoter. its not "music friends" or "show friends" its called the MUSIC BUSINESS AND SHOW BUSINESS and that is the way its managed, like a business for profit. Unless this woman wants to perform in scientology Org buildings to exhausted Sea.Org members...i still dont think Sea. Org members are going to use their $50 dollar a week salary to buy a $20 club ticket or $35 dollar theater or amphitheater ticket to see this woman stoke her tiny "Wand of Thunder". gee, i think that last phrase gave me a bit of acid reflux..i dont want to see her stroke anything...gosh, YUCK!

 

my ire was raised when she declared her ukalele as "A Wand of Thunder" to begin with, some what like Woody Guthrie wrote on his guitar, "The machine that kills fascists"  . As if Palmer is some sort of grass roots scientology Riot Grrrl! Please!!!could not be farther from the truth, that is as if there is any truth to this woman at all. 

 

Most charities or funded projects  publish the donor list because the project creators are proud to have the recognition and association with the project.AND if it is a charity that they are donating to , it would be a tax right off for the donor. So if the list is not published then it is a business behaving like a corporation. if its a LLC (limited Liability Corporation) that makes it an entity, a person, and if the LLC is donating to another religious organization like scientology then, Palmer may have a HUGE problem. Is this kickstarter project a charity or religious charity or a corporation?

 

Taking a sharpee and writing on her nude body is not enough to convince me or anyone else what exactly are her motives. COME ON AMANDA WHY DONT YOU CLEAR THIS UP !

5lttlestones
5lttlestones

expect more of this kind of behavior as a form of organized retaliation for those who do protest and dissent from the cult of scientology. has anyone read the book "the Art of War" by  Sun Tzu? well obviously Amanda and her husband have. if they are full blown scientologists and they are gathering up funds by giving the false impression that they are not scientlogists, that is fraud. not very smart move on Amanda's part and she didnt need to use her emaciated nude body and  her shriveled breasts and her leftover smurf sticker collection to try and dupe more money from unknowing dissenters. Maybe Amanda should try and clear this up in an interview with Tony Ortega! ;-) is that a fake black eye she is sporting in the photo?...this is one ignorant and arrogant girl setting up her $1million dollar kickstater account under false pretenses . evil to say the least but i am sure Kate Bornstein could give a shite that Amanda turned up , it may have added to Bornstein's S&M fetish in a fulfilling way.hahahahahahaha! 

John Constantine
John Constantine

Hey Ortega, Seriously? You can't find evidence of Mary Gaiman's donations? Try looking at her on the cover of the Ideal Org Paper, donating half a million from Gaiman's company to Scientology. She's even listed as MARY GAIMAN. https://whyweprotest.net/community/threads/neil-gaimans-scieno-front.57367/ http://www.forum.exscn.net/showthread.php?17391-West-US-Idle-Org-Newsletters&p=400939 Amanda Palmer is a SCIENTOLOGIST and the Kickstarter campaign is bogus. The cult supplied her with John Congleton, a Scientologist producer. Try answering in English, you bipolar nutjob.

Some truth for y'all.
Some truth for y'all.

You were fooled,Mr Scott, just like 99.9% of the other people that David Gaiman was involved with. 

Elizabethan
Elizabethan

Hi Katie, wow you don't forget someone. Great trait! We certianly do agree a lot about Tony's blog. When I pull up his FB page from his article, I'll look for you, tho I'm not into FB yet. Interesting, my husband was an editor and writer in a mag we published up to 5 years ago. He is gone now and I am enjoying blogs and the cause. Tony O is still the very best. Love your "overall chops" Thanks for thinking of me. It's been a beech lately with all the news. I love when Tony is on a roll...

Katie Keech
Katie Keech

I've linked to Facebook for his posts, is there more with the email. One thing I have found really interesting is that the majority of commentators here are smart as hell and entertaining. Never in my entire life have I considered the comments to be as interesting and worth reading as the main article of a post! And, as the wife of a journalist who is always ranting about the disintegration of journalistic integrity, I am have been continually impressed with Tony Ortega's style, passion, Investigative reporting and overall chops.

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Play it Direct

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Elizabethan
Elizabethan

Good to hear from you, thanks.  You stumbled on to the very best site on scientology that there is.  Tony Orgeta keeps ahead of what's happening and exposes untruths, gives some funny background, introduces good people or books 3 times a week.  Also the commenters are brilliant and one can get a fine education about scientology and other things, while also having some good laughs. Please ask Tony to put you on the e-mailing list if you haven't.   Look forward to hearing from you again.   I stumbled on this and others in January this year and have found this one to be #1, imho.

Pentagonal
Pentagonal

Amanda Palmer is from a Sea Org family. All she's doing here is "dead agenting." She's deflecting the question. The Palmers and Mocketts are on all the Scientology donation lists and her father got married in a Sea Org outfit while her uncle kitted out the Sea Orgs and started a Haitian fund. Writing on your tits doesn't count as an answer. Meanwhile the Gaiman's give millions to Scientology every year and Neil Gaiman is a member of the Cornerstone Club, building Ideal Orgs. Nice racket.

Eric
Eric

Regarding AFP and Neil Gaiman. Seems to me that in all discussions, one crucial element has been overlooked. One of G&G's main income comes from tablets of high dosage vitamins, in particular niacine, used in scientology purification rundowns. If you look at the recent Co$ indictment for fraud in France, you'll see it confirmed: "customers" weren't allowed by Co$ staff to go out and compare prices on niacine from different companies, instead they had to buy the expensive niacine peddled by Co$ and sourced from G&G. Which is unfair practice, just from a customer's pov, and therefore unlawful under French law. Guess who provided high dosage niacine for the detoxification programs of Chernobyl victims. That's right ...  G&G, owned by the very instigator behind the scheme, one David Gaiman. They still boast about it: gandgvitamins.com/gandg-history Unless Neil Gaiman has opted out of inheriting a portion of G&G after DG's death, he's still in to his neck with Co$. That's my opinion.

Elizabethan
Elizabethan

You do an excellent job of duplicating the brain washing from the cult. 

Mark
Mark

so it appears that Luka Magnotta (the porn star who mailed a severed hand and foot to the Canadian PM's office and is currently on the run) is a CoS member. anybody got more info on his involvement w/ the cult?

OTVIIIisGrrr8!
OTVIIIisGrrr8!

We in RTC vehemently deny that the Canadian murderer is any way connected to the Church of Scientology. And before the criminal element here starts in on it, we further deny that Charles Manson was a Scientologist. That was an old rumor started by the CIA when it could find nothing unsavory with which to discredit the Church of Scientology. The same remains true today: We are the most ethical group on the Planet. Not even the Mormons come close to our sanctitude or covetousness.

No one can be both a Scientologist and a Criminal.

This is an impossibility as proven by decades of time-tested research including many famous studies conducted by dozens of prestigious universities and leading scientists. 

What we in RTC will affirm as a scientifically proven fact is that all serial killers and multiple murderers were taking Psych Drugs when they went on their violent rampages. What is true is that Psych Drugs and crime go together like Evangelical ministers and secret homosexual trysts.

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CanuckXenu
CanuckXenu

I'm not sure if any of this has popped up in the U.S. media yet, but here in Montreal we had a grisly murder a few days ago.  Like Criminal Minds-level gross. The suspected murderer is thought to have left Canada and is now on an Interpol worldwide wanted list. He is a former gay porn actor who has spent much of the last five years marketing himself online, under different names and personalities.

Here's the interesting part: he's identified himself as a $cientologist, having "converted" in 2007.  On one of his several websites he devotes considerable space promoting the LRH fairy tale, and claims the cult helped him turn his life around after leaving the gay porn world.  BTW, he claims he isn't gay and only did the films for the money.

His nickname here is the "Torso Murderer" and details are very gory.  He uploaded a video of his crime to a website that features gore, but it was initially dismissed as fake.  Police now believe it was the real murder and follow-up that was posted online.

Last year he posted (anonymous) videos of himself killing kittens.  Animal rights groups had been looking for him since then and this murder linked the two events to the same guy.

The Montreal reporter who covered the Narconon/David Love story recently picked up on the $cientology connection with this murder suspect.  I'm hoping we'll find out more, but if he really is a $ciento, is it possible he had been under control with psych drugs until they convinced him to go off the meds? Would $cientology disassociate itself from him if/when he's caught?

If you insist on more details (not while eating) Google Luka Rocco Magnotta.  There's TONS.  I expect the Law & Order writing staff (show produced by a native Montrealer) is already working on a story based on this for the upcoming season.   

of the north
of the north

Amanda Palmer will never NEVER pass up an opportunity to self-promote.  (Look at what she did during the Occupy weeks last year.)  I bet that she had no idea that the Bornstein event had anything to do with Scientology.  (If she did, she perhaps wouldn't have attended.)

Elizabethan
Elizabethan

Think of this ... if all those influenced scio whales out there give her money to help her, then the church doesn't get it, unless she changes her line. 

Elizabethan
Elizabethan

Funded by scientology? or scientologists, her friends? Does make some difference.

mandyhuuu
mandyhuuu

hang on, it doesn't say "Nope. Not going to fund Scientology with my Kickstarter money" it says "Nope. Not PLANNING to fund Scientology with my Kickstarter money", which is a completely different kettle of fish.If you were feeling cynical you could easily interpret that as a nice little caveat.Not sure why you've misquoted it so badly

John Constantine
John Constantine

And yet, Amanda Palmer does not answer the actual question about her Scientology heritage. She just shifts the argument. Palmer pays the cult through G&G Vitamin. Kickstarter is how the cult is funding Palmer's project and getting her publicity.

John Constantine
John Constantine

Amanda Palmer is being FUNDED by SCIENTOLOGY through Kickstarter. That is how an idiot who was dropped by her record company suddenly makes 1M. Scientolgy is paying Gaiman and Palmer off for staying in the fold.

blackholenebula
blackholenebula

 @5lttlestones Epic posts! Palmer won't answer the question because she is deep up Scientology's asshole. Gaiman and Palmer were strangers when they met. Within six months, a huge publicity campaign was launched. Why is Scientology pushing these two so hard? Because Gaiman's already feeds millions into the cult. They might as well issue an order to fund their goofy escapades, making the Scientology faithful  pay for their failed projects just like Neil's father David Gaiman made the suckers in the UK pay for his dirty land deal. Like father like son.

5lttlestones
5lttlestones

on another note...unlike the utterly sour notes that Amanda Palmer pollutes the world  with when she opens her mouth to gargle out her dank and deary mutterings called 'songs' with her highly produced musical accompaniment other wise known as, a musical instrumental train wreck.....20,000 kickstart contributors totalling $1million? doesnt that seem a bit ODD??? to quote Jethro from the Beverly Hill Billies, "I dont know much about cyphering" but...those are hefty donations being made to a person that musically NO ONE ACROSS THE GLOBE CARES ABOUT or EVEN KNOWS SHE EXISTS! 

 

take it from someone who knows the music industry well enough, JayZ wouldnt be able to instigate that many donations from his fan base with little or no promotion behind it ! therefore what makes you think this smurf lover can? it takes a lot of work to get folks to cough up that kinda cash especially $1mill spread across 20,000 people. so the big question would be where the heck did all those donations REALLY COME FROM? i bet if someone tracked down the IP addresses they would lead to scientology org's across the globe.

 

Amanda Palmer is an artist of marginal, if any, talent with a supposed indie fan base, therefore WHY WOULD ANYONE GIVE HER EVEN A DIME???Even if you think the music industry is flailing Tony , there is NO WAY IN HELL THIS NO TALENT IS GOING TO SAVE IT! 

 

this sort of subterfuge happens all the time in the music industry. A girl with big and ambitious dreams of fame and fortune but, no real spark of talent , by means of unlimited resources, like MONEY, pays her way into the music industry. AFP buys herself a producer puts out her album and then most likely sends down a few thousand Sea Org members to buy up all her CD's in the local shops and then starts a major online CD downloading campaign from online music services, which kinda looks like what she also did on her sold out tour dates too. Notice on her website the $300.a ticket gig which is sold out , its a Kickstart charity gig but.. what frickin' charity? the charity of the crumbling scientology cult? 

SHE'S A FAKE AND TOTAL CHARLATAN!

 

 

John P.
John P.

I had seen the headlines about this murder, but this is the first I had seen of the Scientology connection.  Thanks for breaking the story. 

One detail.  You said, "I expect the Law & Order writing staff (show produced by a native Montrealer) is already working on a story based on this for the upcoming season."  Unlikely.  The "Law & Order" show is set in New York City.  They don't tend to do stories that take places in the remote rural areas of upstate New York like Ontario and Quebec.  Law & Order is all about gritty urban realism, not the wistfully bucolic challenges of a rural existence in a land filled with sled dogs, fur trappers and empty Molson's bottles. Here is a documentary showing fur trappers stalking their prey somewhere in Ontario: http://www.youtube.ZOM/watch?v=3zJTNOxV4Qg.  For life on the farm in a bygone era, we have already been subjected to years of reruns of "Little House on the Prairie," which was set in western Ontario if memory serves me right, perhaps near the tiny country village of Windsor.

For readers in sunnier climes, Ontario and Quebec are two counties somewhere in the great white frozen north of upstate New York that have an odd habit of acting like they're some sort of independent country or something, calling themselves "Canada" all the time.  

I am sure the FBI, as America's top law enforcement agency, is doing everything they can to catch the guy in case he's coming to a more populated part of New York or even crossing state lines and going to a different state in the US.  I'm sure they have agents crawling all over the hills and valleys of the so-called "Canada" region looking for the guy.

DeckardCain
DeckardCain

Kate sent her an ADVANCED copy of the book.  It has the word Scientology in the fucking title.

All of this controversy about Amanda is exactly what she wants.  Funny how all of this is far more entertaining than her music.

DodoTheLaser
DodoTheLaser

Yeah... Did you read/see cover of the book?! Long title is long and it's ok.But it also mentions church of scientology - IN THE TITLE OF THE BOOK.Amanda Palmer totally missed that. Right?Happy Thursday.

5lttlestones
5lttlestones

CAVEAT EMPTOR- latin for BUYER BEWARE. DONT DONATE TO CAUSES F YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT THE PEOPLE WILL DO WITH THE MONEY! if any of you are upset about donating to this woman's kickstarter project write her and ask for a refund!

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

It's hard to misquote something when you show the actual picture. 

Jonathan W. Hendry
Jonathan W. Hendry

Whatever. Try getting an self-image that doesn't come from a shitty Keanu Reeves movie.

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

That seems incredibly unlikely and I bet you don't have any evidence to back it up. 

CassandraWood
CassandraWood

 @5lttlestones  Amen brother. Amanda Palmer getting this much money makes NO SENSE. She is obviously a scientologist dead agenting and has now married into the Gaiman uber-scientology family. Neil Gaiman is a greedy coward who wants the money and the publicity Scientology generates for him. He's sold his soul to the devil.

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

Reading up on the guy, I think it's less of a Scientology story and more of a story of a dude who wanted to be unique and interesting and famous. So he picked what he thought was a religion that did that... Part of me doubts he ever set foot in an Org.  

5lttlestones
5lttlestones

YOU ARE SO RIGHT! THIS IS PART OF HER GOOFY PROMOTION CAMPAIGN! WY DONT YOU FOLKS GO DIRECTLY TO AMANDA PALMERS WEBSITE AND ASK HER TO RELEASE THE DONOR LIST FOR HER KICKSTARTER PROJECT HMMMMM? the woman is holding onto 1Million dollars to do with as she pleases so let's put her on the spot, COUGH UP THE DONOR LIST AMANDA!

sharkattacksteve
sharkattacksteve

This article sums it up for me.

Google:  "Amanda Palmer is the most beautiful and original snowflake in the whole wide world! "

Also someone on the net (Klaatu ?) has a stalker hard-on about Palmer because I saw comments going back to 2009 raving about Palmer being a scilon shill and I'm guessing they were mostly written by the same person.

5lttlestones
5lttlestones

really? this woman has been a JOKE on the music scene for a long time. start frequenting  some music executive circles they will all confirm ...this kickstarter project is a SHAM cover for scientology funding Amanda . 

John Constantine
John Constantine

Not as unlikely as a has-been musician like Palmer, who's been sleeping on people's floors and who couldn't get any traction with a record deal, who was in fact dropped from her record company, suddenly raising a million from large untraceable donations.

5lttlestones
5lttlestones

she has performed at CMJ and SXSW music conferences and all of the industry knew she was a scientologist...no one cares about this woman in a musical sense. its all contrived baloney to make it appear as if she has a die hard fan base of fans donating to her cause to create a new album. kinda like in the same way scientology does about their membership numbers being in the millions when they are actually barely in the thousands. BIG BIG BIG SHAM PYRAMID SCHEME

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

Thats making a lot of sense right about now. 

I feel like this crossed into some strange world where people really really really hate and distrust this woman who's only crime is just making music I don't care for.

5lttlestones
5lttlestones

that is not true! that is not how promotion in the music industry works. this campaign is like a reverse scientology publicity campaign. work in the music business for about 25 years and you'll have a better understanding about it.scientology is desperate to get a young , grass roots fan base and they probably see Amanda's project to be like this, using kickstarter to anonymously fund an artist . the womqn was booted off the roster of her record company and her other bands because NO  ONE CARES ABOUT HER MUSIC. NO ONE BUYS TICKETS TO SEE HER SHOWS, NO ONE PLAYS HER SONGS ON THE RADIO, NO ONE DOWNLOADS HER MUSIC FROM AND ONLINE MUSIC SERVICE. its the music business and she has no credibility as an artist. Only scientlogy wants her to be one, no one else cares anything for what this woman has to say!

5lttlestones
5lttlestones

everything you have written is absolutely true! this girl has NEVER had a career! but if we really want to know who she is and what is her association with scientology lets look to who is her manager and who is her booking agent. those two people will be scientologists for sure, after all, her producer is a scientologist. 

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

Shhh, you'll give Sci another idea for a SuperPowers! station. Secretness treadmill or some crap. 

Jgg
Jgg

secretness.

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

I did a quicky google search, so I could be wrong, but all I found were other comments and web board claims of this exact same thing, in the exact same wording, posted repeatedly. But nothing reputable like an article or a Sci website. So it's seeming like one person is repeating this, or it's a minor myth that's gotten out there. 

Or I suck at google. 

Jonathan W. Hendry
Jonathan W. Hendry

"And why would they use Kickstarter, making a big public show of it? "

A big public *yet secret* show of it.

Jonathan W. Hendry
Jonathan W. Hendry

"If Scientology is funneling money into the Gaiman/Palmer project, it is a way for cult members to fund the album and tour so the cult doesn't have to pay them directly."

THE CULT DOESN'T PAY ANYONE. PEOPLE PAY THE CULT.

TAKE YOUR MEDS AND GET THIS THROUGH YOUR HEAD.

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

Also if you take say a flight at anywhere from $300 to $1000 dollars, and accomadations at at like $70 to $200, and maybe a rental car... I think you could pull it straight out of the $10,000 donation. 

Jonathan W. Hendry
Jonathan W. Hendry

"This idea also makes a lot of sense. I still think Scientology could be enlisted to inflate the numbers though."

Oh yeah? Like they inflated the numbers for Battlefield Earth?

" Neil Gaiman is listed as a Cornerstone Club member in 2009 for contributing $35,000.00 to build the Ideal Super Powers Org in Minnesota, so he is considered to be a Scieno by his family"

Dox or GTFO.

Jonathan W. Hendry
Jonathan W. Hendry

Note that the "goal", the original amount she was seeking to raise, was just $100,000.

Fundraising doesn't stop when the goal amount is hit, it stops on a particular date, so overruns are possible.

"She'd take a massive financial bath on each $10,000 winner if she didn't charge for expenses"

She could be eating that cost herself. Also, given how far she overshot the original goal, she can afford to pay for the travel out of that. Had she raised just the original $100k, it would be more of a problem.

The big-ticket rewards probably help raise interest and generate buzz, and help sell the lower-cost packages, so overall it probably works out.

I have no problem believing that she could raise $1 million. She has a fan base consisting of the intersection of theater kids, goths, Gaiman fans, and steampunk types. This is a vein rich in the most rabid kind of fan. 

The music doesn't appeal to me, but then, neither does dubstep or EDM, and those seem to be quite popular among the youths these days, and stadium shows sell out. I find Amanda Palmer's popularity less perplexing than, say, that of Skrillex.

Hell, the deluxe reprint edition of OGRE, a somewhat obscure tabletop game from the 70s, has raised close to a million bucks. OGRE has never been covered on Fresh Air with Terry Gross, but Amanda Palmer has.

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

While all of that is understandable and probably right, having a small business that operates on that level (and as part of a portfolio of income generating projects) seems to me to make it less likely that he would want or need to be funded a million dollars through his current wife from scientology. 

This is why John's accusations seem unlikely and counter intuitive.

Robin Scott
Robin Scott

Noah, my guess would be that G&G Vitamins turns over 6 million annually. I doubt it makes that much profit, but I haven't had time to investigate. Data is probably available online. The business was started by David and his wife Sheila, quite successful. I assume it is now owned between the surviving family members. It will be a source of income, but Neil should be rich himself by now - unless his Scientology first wife gave it all to the Church! Plus the money in the business would not be available to invest elsewhere.

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

I'm still lost on the reasoning behind this. So they're giving the Gaiman family 1 million to keep their 6 million around? But why would the Gaiman's need to find a way to extort 1 million if they've got the 6 million that is on top of their other works and residuals? 

DodoTheLaser
DodoTheLaser

Great post, John P.

I vote for this part of it:

"I increasingly think she's playing a complex shell game where she avoids being tied to Scientology but also doesn't trash the cult in order to protect her husband's family relationships."

Time will tell.

OTVIIIisGrrr8!
OTVIIIisGrrr8!

We in RTC hasten to point out that all VV readers were wildly wrong about Debbie Cook and where she was going legally. You Debbie Cook scenarios were as flawed as John Travolta's assertions of his putative heterosexuality. We in RTC knew that all we needed to do was to wave a pile of money under Wayne and Debbie's noses in order for them to sign a new NDA faster than Greek bankers can sign new loan documents. Not that Debbie Cook's written promises mean anything; we in RTC trust her about as much as Scientology-hater Angela Merkel trusts Greece.  Look, if we in RTC wanted Amanda Palmer to have a record career we would order Jennifer Lopez (J. Lo) to make it go right for Amanda. It is that simple. And if we in RTC wanted to bankroll Amanda, we would just order one of our wealthy overweight OT's to write a check. There would be no need for some wog money-raising portal like kickstarter.

All of you people here are insane drug fiends.

 

John Constantine
John Constantine

This is an great post. This idea also makes a lot of sense. I still think Scientology could be enlisted to inflate the numbers though. Gaiman and Palmer are connected to a vast network of bloggers and seem to be able to spin any story posted within 24 hours. If they needed to inflate the numbers, they could do it through the Sea Org. I appreciate your well thought out argument and your research. Neil Gaiman is listed as a Cornerstone Club member in 2009 for contributing $35,000.00 to build the Ideal Super Powers Org in Minnesota, so he is considered to be a Scieno by his family. He gets some kind of service for his money, but the Kickstarter project could be more of a fame whore ploy to spin an illusion of popularity. They seem to buy a lot of twitter followers for the same effect, so I could see this as a possible scenario.

John Constantine
John Constantine

 Gaiman divorced his wife, long time cult member Mary Gaiman who just gave half a million dollars to Ideal Org Minnesota in 2010. The marriage to Palmer was arranged to make sure Gaiman was handled and the money he receives from G&G Vitamins (which makes 6 million a year) stayed in the cult. Having said this, John P makes a pretty good point below.

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

Anonymous in the sense that they don't all say "CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY LOS ANGELES" in the donor line. 

Yes his father was a part of some strange scientology bullshit actions. But how do you get from that to the church giving his wife and her artsy group a million bucks? It doesn't make sense and you've yet to provide a motive or even the vaguest reasoning beyond: "Neil Gaiman's dad was a scientologist who did bad things." 

It does not follow. 

Yes some celebrities have hidden their ties, yet you know the difference here? Money flows from scamee to scammer. Not the other way around. Why would scientology pay her? WHY?! WHY?! WHY?! And why would they use Kickstarter, making a big public show of it? 

Silence? It's on her chest, she says giving this money to scientology would be dumb. From a draconian group like Sci, this is beyond insulting to them. So--- You haven't made a case here. It's still overly complex and requires you to accept 2 things that scientology would never do: 

1.) Pay out to people who it is not trying to buy the silence of, and doing it in the bright of day without getting some sort of psuedo legal NDA signed. 

2.) Allow another corporation to take a slice of their money. Namely Kickstarter. 

John P.
John P.

Oops. Forgot one other issue with John C.'s argument: what does the cult get out of paying off Palmer?  It is not clear from your argument why they would be paying her.  That's not their style; I think the only time they pay off is as a result of a court judgment, and the check appears only after years have gone by and all appeals are exhausted.  I'm not understanding what she could possibly have that they want (or that they want silenced).    If anything, they might be trying to bleed her and her husband so that they don't order Neil's family to disconnect from him.   

And if the cult is paying her, why would either party want to give 10% to an intermediary (Kickstarter's cut plus the payment processor's cut) when a check sent through the mail would be much more efficient and much quieter.  There's no reason for either side to give up such a huge percentage of any money flowing back and forth. 

John P.
John P.

I'll step into the middle of this one and argue strenuously for a position midway between the alternatives you two are arguing about.    

John, you're right that the total donation numbers sound fishy, particularly the number of large donors.  

I couldn't believe when I read the original article early yesterday that a quirky indie-type artist could raise $1 million in a couple weeks to do an album on spec. And most indie albums don't take anything like that much production money.  So I was suspicious right off but didn't have that much of a chance to chase down sales data, etc.  (We in Global Capitalism HQ don't own much stock in the "Big 4" record distributor companies, given the ongoing CD sales death spiral, so we don't have detailed record sales data at hand the way we have all sorts of other numbers.)  

I also didn't take the time yesterday to delve into the mechanics of Kickstarter, but I took a quick look through their site just now.  I noticed a couple things, but I caution that I have only done a quick study and people with actual experience with the process should be able to give more certainty as to how the process works.  

Most importantly, it is not clear when your debit card will be charged for a project you've pledged to support.  In other words, it is possible that some number of the higher-priced bidders could be bogus, designed to up the numbers and make it look like Palmer's building an incredible smash hit record and that she's so avant garde that she's redefining the music industry business model. So she might have a bunch of shill pledges going on that she'll never collect, which generate the seemingly massive numbers.  

On the flip side, Kickstarter gets 5% of the pledged amount and the payment processor gets a like amount. So for Palmer to rack up $1.1 million in pledges, she's theoretically going to have to pay Kickstarter $110,000.  That's a lot of money for some buzz.

The question is what happens if somebody makes a pledge and then does not honor it later (which you would expect in a deliberate sham pledge operation).  Does Kickstarter take pledgers to collection and pressure them to pay the amount pledged or do they walk away and get paid only on the amount of pledges actually collected?  If the latter, then it's easy to see how Palmer is gaming the system to publicize how popular she is.  

The lower-level rewards seem to be appropriately priced, so it's reasonably likely that a goodly number of people in Palmer's core demographic can and will buy them.  Even the $100 or $300 rewards are structured similarly to other limited-edition offerings that I have seen from various music acts, including small "indie" acts on up to fairly well-known rock and roll legends.  

But the high-end rewards sound suspicious for one reason only: who's paying travel expenses to have Palmer show up on your doorstep, particularly for the $10,000 reward level when the whole band will be there?  An Australian winner would cost them several times what they take in for travel expenses for 6-8 people to go to Australia from Boston and a trip for a half-day event would still take the better part of a week (I know; I've done it), so there would be a huge opportunity cost for that travel time. She'd take a massive financial bath on each $10,000 winner if she didn't charge for expenses, but the offer says nothing about travel expenses, so a winner could reasonably back out of paying if he assumed that expenses were included in the $10,000 pledge.  

So I agree that the issues John raises suggest something odd afoot.  But I side with Noah and others and say that, despite Palmer's and Gaiman's family ties to Scientology, and despite the circumstantial evidence that the Kickstarter process is being gamed somehow, it is unwise to leap to the conclusion that Palmer's album is being funded by a rebate from Scientology.  First, you have to convince me that a simpler explanation for the odd numbers is impossible. This is Sherlock Holmes 101-type logic. Only after you have conclusively ruled out the simpler explanation do you believe the most improbable explanation.  

In this case, as we in Global Capitalism HQ have all learned the hard way, I see a big difference between causation and correlation.  The fact that Scientology has woven tentacles through the lives of Palmer and her husband doesn't necessarily mean that the cult is pulling the strings in this particular case.  

I increasingly think she's playing a complex shell game where she avoids being tied to Scientology but also doesn't trash the cult in order to protect her husband's family relationships.  But that, plus the problems with the funding story here, are not necessarily causally related.  

Consider this more reasonable scenario: Palmer is a complete and utter fame whore, which some have suggested, and is inflating her Kickstarter pledges to dizzying levels either because she is in negotiation with some other record label to take her on and she needs a proof statement for her brand momentum, especially if, as John C. suggests, she was dropped by her prior label for poor sales.  

Alternatively, she's just trying to build momentum for this new album as a massive "artistic breakthrough" for her existing fan base via a new and currently trendy Web site.  If Palmer is a fame whore, she goes where the clicks are and would be expected to also publicize her album through Pinterest, another emerging "hot" site plus Facebook, iTunes, etc.  

As much as I would enjoy discovering that Palmer's album is funded by Scientology and having that turn into a huge embarrassment for the cult, I think it is very important to get real proof that Scientology, either through direct knowing action of the Church or through tacit encouragement of rich IAS members to fund it somehow, before making the claim. I think it is important for critics to have impeccable credibility on an accusation; that way, outrageous accusations turn out to be maximally damaging to the cult when they are conclusively and carefully proven. Otherwise, they can just brush off these allegations as the work of "bitter defrocked apostates."

John Constantine
John Constantine

The bank accounts don't need to be anonymous. If Scientology is funneling money into the Gaiman/Palmer project, it is a way for cult members to fund the album and tour so the cult doesn't have to pay them directly. It is ironic you accuse me of fashioning an overly complex conspiracy, since Neil Gaiman's family were involved in some of the main Scientology conspiracies, including Operation Snow White, The Birmingham Land Deal and the Chernobyl Russian Purrification Rundown.

So excuse me if the idea of Gaiman's funding projects via Kickstarter doesn't seem all that outrageous to me in light of his family's strange behavior pattern.

You have really got to be kidding when you say "When has Scientology ever put up with anyone not mentioning them in a bright positive light, especially when they're giving them money?"

Beck hid his connection for years.

Will Smith hides his affiliation, denies it repeatedly and yet builds Scientology schools.

When Tom Cruise was first outed, the publicist Nan Herst Bowers was disconnected when Scientology assumed she was the source of the leak. Scientology has plenty of members operating in secret or downplaying their involvement. Nobody knew Paul Haggis was a scieno until he was out.

Check the completions list for Tom Cruise. Where is he? Only his first course, taken under the name Mathopeter and his latest mega donations after he jumped on Oprah's couch are listed. The rest of his completions are HIDDEN. The idea that Scientology expects celebrities to trumpet their affiliation is ludicrous. Scientology wants money and if their celebs will make more money downplaying their involvement, then so be it.

Their ideal celeb may be a half brain dead Juliette Lewis, happily trumpeting every course she's taken, but there are plenty of celebs who benefit quietly and work with other Scienos through WISE, where Neil Gaiman's sister, Lizzie Calcioli is a player along with her husband, Mauro Calcioli whose C/S named Simon Dresner, died in an episode described in an a posting to be 'just as gruesome and as callous as the death of Lisa McPherson.'

Amanda Palmer has not said anything negative about Scientology. She wrote on her stomach she is "not planning on funding Scientology with Kichstarter money." She showed up at a book party for an ex Scientologist. Everything she does is weird and evasive.

For a woman who usually blurts out anything on her mind, when it comes to the subject of Scientology, the silence from AFP is deafening.

In Gaiman's own words from the New Yorker article: Like Judaism, Scientology is the religion of his family, and he feels some solidarity with them. “I will stand with groups when I feel like they’re being properly persecuted,” he told me.”

Gaiman and Palmer don't talk about Scientology because they benefit from it. All you'll get from these two is silence and evasion.

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

That's so damn circumstantial and tenuous.

Where is Scientology getting 22,000 anonymous bank accounts to funnel the cash? Why would they pay for the creation of an art project as a cover for some mythical "keep quiet" payment? When has Scientology ever put up with anyone not mentioning them in a bright positive light, especially when they're giving them money? 

At the very least, if they're paying someone off they would NEVER EVER stand for that person to write a slogan about them on their mostly nude chest. All in all they're a conservative corporation based around the fear of being noticed. And yet you think, having at least a passing knowledge of how they react, Amanda would write their name between her tits and plaster it over the web? 

It's just an overly complicated conspiracy.

John Constantine
John Constantine

If you look over Kickstarter projects, you'll see that the average band raises only a fraction of what Palmer raised, including Toni winners and people who have been recording and gathering an audience for 20 years. Most bands like Five Iron Frenzy do not even have donations above $1500.00, let alone $5000.00 or $10,000.00. Palmer has over $170,000.00 just in $5000.00 donations, that makes no sense with her audience of art students and drama majors.

Roadrunner records did not drop Palmer because she could make millions, they dropped her because her record didn't sell, she NEVER got radio play and couldn't sustain a tour of any sizable proportion. Palmer is not a popular artist and has never had a hit record, yet she has donors willing to shell out $5000.00 a piece. Kickstarter filters anonymous money.

All I'm saying is, the numbers don't add up. The whole thing is fishy. There is no album and no audience and yet millions are flying around. I personally believe she is backed by Scientology. I base this on the fact that the numbers are ludicrous, the organization of her press outreach and that her new producer John Congleton produces other Scientologists. Argue with me until the cows come home, I find the whole scenario does not make sense unless the magic ingredient of Scientology is added.

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

No I'm pretty sure it's 100% likely, since it happened. 

Now present some evidence for your claims. Or you can admit they're utterly unfounded. 

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