Sunday Funnies: Birmingham Raises the Odds on Ideal Orgs!

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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...


Sometimes the church just makes this too easy. Ideal Org "bookie"? Um, sure. I guess at some point it just makes sense to come right out and admit what you're up to. Right, Birmingham?

IdealBookie.jpg


Hey, Rick Alexander can help you convince happy, stable, perfectly content people that they're actually screwed up and need to mortgage the house on past-life woo-woo!

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Alfreddie Johnson is apparently taking his soul duds to South Africa for...for...um... I'm sorry, but I have no idea what else to say about this.

AlfreddieFlier.jpg

As usual, we trust our amazing commenting community to dig into these fliers to help make sense of them.


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Commenters of the Week!

We started things last week with another set of Sunday Funnies, which focused this time on child-rearing, CCHR, and the eternal quest to get L. Ron Hubbard books into more libraries.

Rachel Denk (TheWidowDenk) was the first of several readers who noticed that the library program was offering the opposite of a volume discount!

For any readers who have whipped out their checkbooks to take advantage of this opportunity to send the L. Ron Hubbard Series to libraries, take heed. It's far better to send along the books in lots of 3 ($100 for 3 books) than to use the scale below. For example, if you wish to send along 27 books, use the $100 for 3 books times 9 = $900. This will save $100 on your donation.

And SFF questioned the veracity of the claims made in the library flier...

Almost 6000 LRH books checked out per day? Even if that were true, does the CoS have any way of determining this other tha by using OT powers?

Sid, meanwhile, questioned the disseminating power of libraries these days...

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...

Tuesday evening, our big cover story on Kate Bornstein hit the net. This is something we've been working on for a while, and it included a cover made up as a four-panel comic.

Our friend Denise Brennan provided encouraging words for Kate...

I knew Kate's ex wife Molly very well, as well as her daughter Jessica. It is horrible that they used Scientology to disconnect from Kate like they did, but then that, sadly, is Scientology's legacy - broken and destroyed families. Not much can be worse than not being able to be in touch with your child who you love or never to be able to meet your grandchildren.

I admire Kate on so many levels for having the courage of her convictions, for speaking out for what she feels is right and for working to help so many others. She is an icon in the transgender community and I thought her book Gender Outlaw contained amazing insight into gender and where we as a society really need to go.

John P. connected with Kate's story despite its unusual nature...

I'm just your garden variety flaming heterosexual. Never really conceived of myself as anything but, even for a second. So I don't think I've ever felt the tiniest twinge of the pull that started Al on his journey to Kate.

That said, I think Kate's story is actually universally human -- the details are uncommon, but the quest to find out who we are and to find the community of people where we are truly at home is universal, whether that community is about religion, political outlook, gender, or even fans of the same football team. So even though I've never met a trans-anybody before, I would truly love to meet Kate someday... and in the meantime, I'm buying the book.

Mark Ebner chimed in with his usual cheek...

I'm glad the South Park episode I consulted on helped allay your concerns about cult intimidation, Kate! Now, when can I meet you?

And Schockenawd really made us smile with this one...

Speaking as a "normal," middle-aged white female hailing from Republican Central (Orange County, CA) with a husband, two-point-five kids (well, okay, only two), a dog, a sensible haircut, lot of beige in my closet and all the right cars in my garage, let me just say this: Thank god for Kate Bornstein.

On Friday, we followed our cover story on Kate with a report from her book party, which featured a cameo by Amanda Palmer. As our story explained, it was interesting to see Palmer there to celebrate the book -- she's married to Neil Gaiman, who has his own interesting connection to Scientology.

Mimi The Great explained the debt she owes Kate...

Kate is such an icon and my hero! My brother had an immensely difficult time coming out to our family because of the strict Roman Catholic upbringing. On accident, I came across Kate's 101 Reasons Not To Commit Suicide & I truly believe it saved his spirit in so many ways.

The post also featured our weekly "OT Phenomenon," which included one Scientologist's amazing ability to spot a McDonald's restaurant with his upper-level powers.

That led scnethics to wonder if those powers could have been put to better use...

McDonald's in L.A.? A real OT would have guided themselves to an In-N-Out Burger.

The post also included our weekly "Orders of the Day" from the yacht Apollo, and when commenters asked about Hubbard's frequent rants about crew members screwing up, Kate Bornstein spoke up...

He expected us all to remember how to run a ship from all our past life experience. Truth. All the things that went wrong that he pointed out were because those sea org members weren't making it go right by using their true OT abilities. When I became First Mate, I was expected to remember celestial navigation. Bwah-ha-ha!

Yes, Kate, but if your past lives went back a trillion years, which alien celestial skies would you dredge up in your memory? What a quandary.

We're working on a couple of great new stories and hope to bust out one of them this week -- a maddening new case of disconnection that hasn't been reported anywhere before. And there's more on the Narconon front coming.

Please check our Facebook author page for the latest schedules and updates!



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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 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.


My Voice Nation Help
97 comments
Sue
Sue

Wow I just googled some info on Alfreddie Johnson...appears to be quite the con man!!!!!

magikcarrot
magikcarrot

disseminate |diˈseməˌnāt|verb [ trans. ]spread or disperse (something, esp. information) widely : health authorities should foster good practice by disseminating information. See note at scatter .• [usu. as adj. ] ( disseminated) spread throughout an organ or thebody : disseminated colonic cancer.Such words are used by those who are full of fear and loosing....But we knew this.

 Thetan-X
Thetan-X

Hello !!! WTF is going  on with the "Ideal Org Bookie's" fucking  chompers ?? Isn't there a TR GRILL routine to take care of those nasty chompers ??I must say her grill is as putrid and needs a good steam-clean or maybe a 2500 psi pressure wash....thats some N A S T Y ass toofidge...jeebus !!!! scared the shit out a me , I have since bought a gallon of mouth-wash , every different kind of tooth whitener and five grand in stock with Colgate, because  IF that is the face of Scientology..WELL ??? Bwhaaa!!!!!!!

 Thetan-X
Thetan-X

AlFreddie Johnson is a complete and PROVEN Fraud...Why does the inept douchbagery of David Miscaviges  staff continue to drag this feeble piece of trash out as an outstanding citizen ???? EVERYONE KNOWS that this joker is a total fraud and a complete imbecile, he is walking, talking, Al Sharpton WANNA-BE !!!! loser!!

dbloch7986
dbloch7986

Its interesting that a different department (the scientological equivalent of the mail room) used to handle requests to be taken off the mailing list. I wonder what it means now that the requests are being sent to the scientological equivalent of the legal department.

Rolotomasii
Rolotomasii

Don't now if this is purposeful Village Voice you scoundrels, but next to Rick Alexander promo and the testimonials is a sex toy ad for something called Smitten Kitten and a sex toy that looks suspiciously like a demonic carrot. It juxtaposes nicely with M.B.'s comment in the Rick Alexander nonsense regarding learning a new tool that is great and useful.  I would like to believe that this is circumstance or karma, but one thing it is damn funny.     Bravo, Village Voice, bravo.

DeckardCain
DeckardCain

It would almost be worth it to open up a PO Box and sign up on a few orgs' mailing list under a dummy name just so we can keep a good supply of these to Tony.

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

Well if an operating thetan has access to all the abilities that a thetan has, and a thetan created the universe, at the very least you should be able to do that. 

In 8-8008 he says: ""A thetan who is completely rehabilitated and can do everything a thetan should do, such as move MEST and control others from a distance, or create his own universe."

So apparently he can't do that. Or else he'd just turn all the MEST around him into precious metals and sell those. Or instantly create that island nation he was after in the 60's n 70's. So according to Hubbard, he can't do what he claims an OT can do. 

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

This bit: "If at a breath I could wish the whore universe right as you too may have dreamed, it would be wonderful. But it takes a lot more than breaths or wishes to accomplish that and it requires that you also do your part in it if you and those dear to you are going to make it fully."

Someone isn't at cause over the universe. 

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

Strange mix for sure but in the "Doing Your Part" quote you've got Hubbard admitting he isn't OT.

Dougscottkramer
Dougscottkramer

I used to think only Scientologists were living in The Truman Show, but I realize more by the day we ALL are living in The Matrrix.

WorldCouture
WorldCouture

Discriminating world travelers, like Reverend Alfreddie Johnson, choose the perfect outfit for any event. "I have so many events to attend, and I do my best to dress tastefully, but versatility is important.  For instance, I may be raising funds for Scientology's program the World Literacy Crusade, then pop out for a quick Lynwood City Council meeting, then rush out to a Nation of Islam indoctrination program, and perhaps a quick Baptist prayer gathering."

When it comes to picking the right look, Reverend Alfreddie relies on genuine sterling silver cufflinks and matching studs, with customized handcrafted glass enamel inlays. "It's so easy to change my cufflinks, and look the part.  For instance, in the photo above, you can see this indigenous African tribesman is so comfortable with my Africa-themed cufflinks and studs, that he breaks into his natural expression of dance."  

Reverend Alfreddie has quite the collection, too.  "I have a Christian-themed set with crosses, a set with a star and crescent for the NOI, a set that bears the letters "ARC" for my WLC fundraisers, and a special set displaying little flying saucers, which work well at meetings with a mixture of Scientologists and NOI members. I also have an American flag-themed cufflink set for the City Council meetings, but I haven't needed those for a while." 

Bradley Greenwood
Bradley Greenwood

Something's up... these are getting too easy! Bookies and seminars to sell tech to those with no problems? They're not even trying anymore.

mookindahouse
mookindahouse

FYI: Greta Van Sustern was on ABC's This Week as a round table panelist. she was BO-RING and the only time I perked up is when Jake Tapper (?) said she owned a share of the Green Bay Packers.  hmmm...

that ad w/ Farrakhan ally Alfreddie Johnson is borderline racist...

Bradley Greenwood
Bradley Greenwood

Geez... those are yellow teeth! No one with a working mind is behind that flier. 

sketto
sketto

Hey Tony,

Previously, whenever I wanted to see your latest, I'd search google news for "scientology" and always saw your latest article immediately. Lately, your story doesn't show up at all. Any guess as to why that might be?

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

I thought being able to command the MEST universe with just a single thought was the whole point. But there he is, admitting it's impossible even for the Grand Poo-Bah.

Remy
Remy

I hope Rev. Freddie and the Nation of Islam know that LRH was a big fan of apartheid.  Regarding the forced resettlement of the black population in to South African slums, Hubbard said it was "the most impressive and adequate resettlement activity in existence."  He even offered to "fair game" opponents of apartheid.

Duncan
Duncan

How fitting that someone with the surname 'Johnson' is talking crap about having appeared before the South African Truth & Reconciliation Commission. Maybe he forgot that the Department of Justice (doj.gov.za) put the entire transcript of every hearing onto the web

sharkattacksteve
sharkattacksteve

So I wonder if Ken Shabby the bookie is giving odds on whether David Miscavige is either in jail or Colombia by the end of the decade or who comes out of the closet first, John or Tom ?

So Rev. Freddie's ministry is in Compton CA. but his "business" is located in Clearwater FA.. How convenient ! And his 'Church" includes Christians, pseudo-Muslims and $cientologists ? LOL Where's Louis Theroux when we need him ? I gotta see this.

Ghost of Charlie
Ghost of Charlie

 There Is a World Literacy Crusade Flier For a shindig/event for the Charter School Debacle In Clearwater that Bills the Rev. Alfreddie Johnson as "an International Freedom Fighter and Prophetic Apostle to Kings, Queens and Heads of State throughout this planet." e Is referring to Isaac Hayes who was made an Honorary King In Ghana, for forking over big cash to a project there.Rev. Alfreddie Johnson is an International Freedom Fighter and Prophetic Apostle to Kings, Queens and Heads of State throughout this planet. Alfreddies bogus Happy Fun Club Projects called Neko Tech,,,they roped in a few big Celeritys for that shambles,Denzel Washington,Steven Segal and Bob Johnson chairman of BET TV

Alfreddie was in Harlem trying to raise cash of the Idle Morgue there this week...Hes doing the second leg of his "I hoodwinked Louis Farrakhan celebration tour" of Idle Morgues.

what Is Alfreddies "hype woman" Hanan Islam doing these days, beside hiding out after looting the life Force Charter Academy?

MarkStark
MarkStark

The 12 parts of Mr. Rick's dissemination course:

1. How to get relatives to report to an Org on command, using Tone 40.2. How to deal with relatives who threaten to kill you or themselves, if you mention Scientology or L. Ron Hubbard one more time.3. How to disseminate onto newspaper, when no relatives are available.4. Inseminate and disseminate: The 2-pronged approach.5. Disseminating from 3 feet behind the head.6. Disseminating up the rear.7. Full-frontal disseminityness.8. Finding their ruin, and going in for the kill.9. It's like Disneyland! Selling kids on the Sea Org, even when their parents are against it.10. Disseminating as if your life depended on it.11. Disseminating to the dead.12. Disseminating after you're dead.

Mimi The Great
Mimi The Great

The last flier only makes me think of some tribal sacrifice where someone or something ends up biting the big one.....which is pretty accurate, you can kiss your financial security buh bye!

Shawn
Shawn

The South African Truth and Reconciliation Committee is not fraternity that invites guests like Alfreddie to testify.  This man's sense of self importance is astounding!

MarkStark
MarkStark

"Before I took Mr. Rick's course on successful dissemination, people used to think I was crazy when I'd even mention the word 'Scientology' let alone try to talk to them about it."

"I no longer feel like a nut, now that I can make others nuts too, thanks to Mr. Rick."

"Relatives I hadn't spoken to in years were thrilled when I contacted them to disseminate Scientology, all thanks to Mr. Rick."

Andrew Robertson
Andrew Robertson

 'Rick Alexander is a veteran Sea Org member who has successfully gotten 42 family members into the org for service and he is here to tell you exactly how you can do it too!'

"Who was that on the phone, darling?  And why the long face?"

"It was Uncle Rick, dear.  He's invited us to Christmas lunch."

"Well I hope you told him we were spending Christmas in Uzbekistan looking for ancient relics.  Anyway how does he know our phone number?  We changed it so he wouldn't be able to pester us any more."

"He's a Scientologist.  He knows how to know.  Or something like that."

"He's trying to sell us admittance into his creepy flying saucer cult isn't he?"

"Yes of course he is darling, so leave your credit cards at home.  It's only for a couple of hours.  And he is family so don't talk about Xenu and the body thetans.  It will only upset him."

"Well, God gives you your relatives, but thank God you can can choose your friends!"

Claude
Claude

In the "DOING YOUR PART" Idle Morgue flyer, the tone is somewhat threatening.

Especially LRH's quote: "...it requires that you also do your part in it, if you and those DEAR TO YOU are going to make it fully." Creepy, on so many levels....

um
um

Guess you need to use your OT powerz to figure out the graduation and IAS dates.

Claude
Claude

In the "Dissemination" flyer, they really shouldn't print their Org member's feedback, because it makes them seem bizarre.

"This was fun and easy.... so real to do."  Say what? Is that like being the doingness?

"I understand how to take someone "in session" without talking and talking in a useless way!!!!!!"   Whoa nellie!!!!!  So talking to meat bodies is useless unless you sell them something?

"I AM SOLD on this series." Literally or figuratively?  I'm so confused.  

Fiamma
Fiamma

I think it would be really fun if we all went out to the nearest org, and signed up for tens of thousands of dollars of courses.  But we use fake names and say "we will pay after the service is delivered."

grundoon
grundoon

He didn't say how BIG a universe. There's already a real universe taking up most of the space.

Ron
Ron

Scientologists took the polka-dot pill.

bobx
bobx

"This is going to be a religious experience" we are promised.  Is he going to speak in tongues?

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

It's only racist when you get down to the part about South Africa. Wonder if he's heard any of Hubbard's thoughts on that area of the world.

Scientia
Scientia

For a Brummie it's a miracle she still has them at all.

Remy
Remy

That was just because the one earlier last week was a cover story about Kate, not a blog post, and it wasn't indexed normally on Google.  The last two articles show up in Google news as usual.

sharkattacksteve
sharkattacksteve

There's a vacancy for King Madman Chief in Liberia from what I hear. Maybe D.M and Rev. Freddie can submit a bid. Miscavige could be spiritual adviser/witch doctor to Chief Johnson.

Ron
Ron

"I got some real tools in a short time....CH"

Were those tools on the phone or at the door?

TheHoleDoesNotExist
TheHoleDoesNotExist

Yes, Claude.  In scientology, talking to somebody without trying to recruit them or sell them is not only useless,  from reports I hear, it is now downright suppressive. Look at the fine print at the bottom.  You say you Don't want to be sold?  Off to the OSA with you!

As to last question,  the answer is Yes.

Fiamma
Fiamma

The obvious point being that as a religion, they can't sell anything, so there would be no commercial or legal recourse

sharkattacksteve
sharkattacksteve

Scientologists believe there are multiple universes and that the Thetans created them all through their control of MEST..

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

You could you know, replace it. Or use the empty space to create a planet and hang out there. I'm just saying the Scientology idea of Thetan is pretty close to that of a god. At least a demi god. Which is in contradiction to Hubbard saying he can't change the world with a thought. When to him, it's all thought. Where's the cat and all that. 

grundoon
grundoon

Between "religious" Alfreddie Johnson and "ecclesiastical" David Miscavige, they've pretty well got it covered. Wear your soul duds and dog collar.

Fiamma
Fiamma

LOL I love how that distinction, "religious" needed to be inserted, it must have been weighing heavy on some org slave's subconscious

Ron
Ron

He already speaks with a forked tongue.

Yoikes!
Yoikes!

She?  If that 'bookie' is a she then that's one utterly frightening woman, which further supports Bradley's point.  

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

But their sub entities can.

EDIT: I understood this wrong. They just won't accept you unless you pay them first.

Of course if you did this to Author Services or one of the "non religious" entities they could sue. But it's all about the pay, they want that first before you even signed up.

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

Everyone is a Thetan as I understand it, this is how you get the whole past lives crap that made him grab a bunch of people and sail around the world looking for his own lost treasure.

The Thetan lived past lives by picking up "dolls" or meat bodies. Actually Ron's stories about his past lives made it sound like he couldn't give a damn if he was co-opting some poor woman's baby just to steal a body and become a space race car driver that commits suicide and kills the audience he's racing for... Like I said bullshit stuff...

The whole reason that the Super Powers building exists is because Operating Thetan's are supposed to have access to their Thetan's abilities. The same abilities that created this universe. And clearly he claimed repeatedly that you could alter MEST stuff, and MEST is everything in the universe. So therefore you could alter the universe, as well as create your own.

grundoon
grundoon

Quoth Ron, "The thetan has no mass, no motion, no wavelength, no location in space or in time," thus defining the extent of your godlike powers (and the importance he places on you as a person, as compared to himself). No, it sounds more like the only universe that a thetan could create would be a very small one, that tightens around you until all your time and life force are squeezed out. Did Hubbard ever say that he himself is a thetan? Or was it always generalities like "all men..."

Fiamma
Fiamma

Yea, it's pretty much a given that Hubbard was a dysfunctional loon.

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