Scientology Wins a Major Award Again! Galaxy Press Vindicated!

WOTF28.jpg
Last June, we told you about how proudly Scientology crowed in its press releases that it had won "Telly Awards" for some of its DVDs.

We went on to explain that it's kind of difficult not to win a Telly, which gives away thousands of awards to up to about a quarter of the businesses that bother to enter.

Well, now Scientology is crowing again, this time about its latest Writers of the Future anthology (about which we've been writing an awful lot lately), which has won the coveted 2012 International Book Award! Praise the skies!

Um, you probably know where we're going with this. After the jump: just how prestigious is the International Book Award?

Looking around at what has been said about the contest, we weren't too surprised to see this, from Writer Beware, a website attached to the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, which bills itself as an industry watchdog...

There are any number of moneymaking contests that focus on published books. Their M.O.: a huge entry fee, dozens or scores or even hundreds of entry categories, and the sale of additional merchandise to winners and honorees. Prizes are typically things that cost the sponsors little or nothing (website features, electronic press releases, vague promises of publicity campaigns). Judges are never named -- and may not exist -- and, although commercially published books are sometimes declared winners, the contests are marketed mainly to small press and self-published authors.

For instance, the USA Best Book Awards and the International Book Awards, both sponsored by JPX Media. Each contest has a $69 entry fee, over 150 categories, a prize that basically consists of a feature on one of JPX Media's websites, and the "opportunity" to purchase award stickers and certificates. If just 500 people enter each contest (and I'm guessing that's an extremely conservative estimate), JPX grosses $69,000 -- and that doesn't even include the extra income from sticker and certificate sales.

With that in mind, let's take a look at this year's winners, shall we? The website of the International Book Awards lists winners in 150 separate categories, with an additional 270 finalists.

There's a winner for "Animal/Pets: Novelty," for example, and another for "Children's Mind/Body/Spirit." There's also a winner for "Children's Picture Book: Hardcover Fiction w/ Audio CD" and "New Age: Non-Fiction." And so many more.

Meanwhile, the Church of Scientology's Galaxy Press entered the contest liberally, and garnered all sorts of prizes for reprints of L. Ron Hubbard's pulp fiction! Let's take a look at his laurels...

In the category "Audiobook: Fiction: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense," Hubbard won for On Blazing Wings and placed as a finalist for The Phantom Pearl.

In the category "Audiobook: Narration: Best Group Performance," Hubbard snagged the win with Tomb of the Ten Thousand Dead and had a finalist in Hurricane.

No doubt Scientology leader David Miscavige will be boasting at the next Birthday Event that Hubbard's Death Waits at Sundown was a winner in "Fiction: Western," and Shadows from Booth Hill was also a finalist. (See how Miscavige used the International Book Award in this past year's celebration at the 3-minute mark in this video we previously posted.)

But Hubbard also was named as a finalist several more times (which has to hurt, really, in this kind of contest, when you think about it).

In "Best Cover Design: Non-Fiction," his book The Problems of Work was a finalist, and in "Best Interior Design: Non-Fiction," he had another finalist in Success Through Communication.

We also noticed that Hubbard was a finalist in two more categories: for Dead Men Kill in "Fiction: Mystery/Suspense" and for The Trail of the Red Diamonds in "Fiction: Thriller/Adventure."

In each of these last two categories, Hubbard lost out to the same winner: Joshua Graham's novel, Darkroom.

And if you think it sounds unfair that Graham won in two categories for the same book (and denied LRH the gold medal in each), what's even stranger is that Graham is a legit author with a legit publishing house (Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster), and seems to have a pretty strong presence on Amazon.

What the heck is he doing in this contest?

Anyway, the one award that the church is really bragging about was in the category "Fiction: Short Story," and was won by the L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 28, the anthology coming out of this year's contest.

Here's what a big deal they're making about it, forwarded to us by one of our tipsters...

WOTFAward.jpg

You will not be surprised to hear that the rest of the e-mail encourages its recipient to purchase the anthology -- and six other volumes as well.

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Fox 25 in Oklahoma City Keeps the Heat on Narconon

Reporter Marisa Mendelson at the Fox Affiliate in Oklahoma City has done a third program on Narconon Arrowhead, the company's chief facility.

Recent deaths there are bringing the kind of mainstream media scrutiny that Scientology's quack drug treatment has long deserved. In this program, Mendelson consults an expert about the danger of denying prescription drugs to patients in rehab...

As former patients David Love and Colin Henderson increasingly garner media attention, Scientology's most sketchy front group may find itself in serious trouble.

It's one thing for people to hand over years of their lives and hundreds of thousands of dollars because they become convinced that a former pulp-era science fiction author actually did some "research" that unlocked the secret to immortal life in an impossibly old universe -- a secret which turns out to include talking to ashtrays and repeating mundane sentences in mind-numbing interrogations while hooked up to a half-assed lie detector machine. If you want to mortgage your future for that "modern science of mental health," despite all the information that's available online about Hubbard and his organization, well, good luck with that.

But it's another thing entirely for some of the most vulnerable members of our society -- people with serious drug addictions -- to be handed over to a Scientology front group that bases its "treatment" on Hubbard's completely fallacious understanding of drug abuse. In fact, his unscientific guesses about drugs being stored in fat cells for years, and a treatment that involves weeks in a sauna while megadosed with niacin, is not only unscientific, it's dangerous. And as long as Narconon pretends that it is not simply another recruitment tool for Scientology, then why should it enjoy the same kind of hands-off attitude from our local and national governments that always get squeamish about Scientology's religious claims?

There's no excuse for governments not to be concerned about what patients are subjected to in Narconon facilities. And it's time that the state of Oklahoma in particular followed the lead of health officials in Quebec, which shut down a Narconon center there once it became clear that lives are in danger.


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Sunday Funnies!

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

Wasn't it just a few weeks ago that Scientology was claiming California was its first "Ideal State"? Now the entire Western U.S. is the first "Ideal Continent"? At this rate, this planet will be cleared in no time!

CLOWestIdeal.jpg


Poetry by LRH? That's what the e-mail that sent out this mailer claimed. I look forward to some scans of its verse qualities from our commenters.


Another tipster forward on this e-mail, and we found its unbounded enthusiasm to be infectious. Talk about theta power!

Hello!!

I'm at Flag getting totally blown out!! My life has utterly changed about 20 times since I've been here for two weeks!

The word "refresher" just doesn't do it justice! : )

And one huge sub products of that is that I'm just getting more and more excited about helping get people up the bridge!

If you didn't get the news....and it's great news. I'm now posted as a Registrar!

LA Day! (of course)

I love to help people move up the bridge.

Let me know how I can help you or your friends and I will whatever it takes to really help you get a product.

I love new and seasoned Scientologists!!

You just call....out my name......!!!!......

: )

Marc
OT, Staff, Cool


Well, that only whets our attitude for an oily dose of Super Power. Are we really only a few weeks away from the big opening? We'll see.

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Commenters of the Week!

We started things off last week with a look at a new film about Kate Bornstein looking for Kickstarter funding, and a roundup of our Sunday Funnies.

John P. was one who has been affected by Kate's charms...

Count me in on a donation to finish the film. I am looking forward to meeting Kate at one of her events later this summer. I have a feeling it will be sort of like an audience with Elizabeth Taylor, or something.

Jefferson Hawkins seized on something in one of the Sunday Funnies mailers we posted, which made some claims about how future Ideal Orgs are going to be financed...

Wow, they dropped a bombshell here -- I wonder if Scientologists will notice: "When an org becomes Ideal, a percentage of that org's income goes into a Building Fund for new buildings per LRH Policy...By calculations of the amounts that build up in this Building Fund from just the existing Ideal Orgs, when all orgs are completed, those funds will be capable of producing a new Ideal Org from scratch...per month."

First -- yes, there is such a thing as a Building Fund. It is the ONLY way, per their own Policy, that an Org can fund a new building. Fundraising of Scientologists for a new building is forbidden by their own Policy.

Second, funds in the Building Fund are for THAT ORG ONLY. There is no general international Building Fund pool per their own Policy. Except now there is - apparently they have rigged it so that once an Org is "Ideal," the International Finance people now can rip off their local Building Fund amounts.

So get this -- the local Scientologists fund the new building by donating millions of dollars. Once the building is purchased, the title is transferred to the International Landlord Office, which is a part of the Church of Scientology's International Finance Office. So the local people paid for it, and the International Church owns it. In addition, the local Church pays for all renovations, utilities, and property taxes.

And now we hear that all future building monies have to be paid to the International Church. This is a con of massive proportions, yet Scientologists will never catch on to it. They've got the blinders on.

I bet the Church is sorry now that they put me through an Organization Executive Course, where you study all Church Policy.

On Tuesday, we noted that Amanda Palmer had quite dramatically answered her critics, who wondered if her Kickstarter campaign had anything to do with Scientology.

Patty Moher nearly knocked us flat with this response...

There's a bazillion unwritten rules in Scn. One of them is you don't take a picture of yourself with your tits covered in Smurfs saying you'd be dumb to give your funds to Scn. If you're a Scientologist it just would just never happen.

And obviously you would never show up at gala for Kate Bornstein and sing for her.. Scn hates Kate with a passion.

MarkStark encouraged Amanda Palmer to go even further...

Next time AFP makes her body talk, I wish she would put the F before Scientology. That would make me get physical and jump up and down. But it's a unique way of responding to the rumors, and we appreciate her effort to not fund the cult, in that way at least. Now come on Amanda, get your ukelele out and sing us a song about Sea Org slave children.

We also posted an e-mail from our old friend Mark Miglio, who notified us that he was going to Los Angeles to join the Sea Org. JustCallMeMary put that in some perspective...

This is very sad but, perhaps, a blessing in disguise. As some of us know, Mark Miglio is not qualified for the Sea Org. Despite what the recruiter told him. These people promise many things which are mostly lies. SOP. So what will happen after all that planning and work to get there? He will spend a week or two doing his SO basics and the usual physical labor given to newbies while his folders are reviewed, his Life History gone over with a fine tooth comb. Then his senior will call him in and order him off the base, or where ever he is, because he's illegal. Just like that. And such a rude awakening might well bring Mark not only back to posting here but to walking out the exit door forever.

Friday, we marveled at the calm stylings of David Edgar Love as he recorded a near-mugging by a Scientology operative outside the Montreal Org. "Do me a favor. Be a man. Touch me" the man said repeatedly, trying to goad Love into a confrontation. Love didn't take the bait, and secretly recorded the incident for our listening pleasure.

Marc Abian had the same thought we did when we heard the recording...

"Touch Me - I Want to Feel Dirty" goes the song from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Apparently someone's been watching that film a few too many times. Sorry dude, no one will ever replace Susan Sarandon!

Many readers were impressed by David Love's fortitude, which was on full display in his recording. Said Smalltowngirl580...

David Love...the more I read, hear & see of you the faster you're becoming a hero of mine! You couldn't have done a better job of keeping your cool while this out of control scientology monster prodded & provoked you. I'm impressed! I can't hardly wait for you to get to Oklahoma & help us shut down Arrowhead Narconon! I'm ready to help as soon you arrive!

And Heather Grace added...

I love David Love. And a huge congratulations to Colin Henderson for getting Fox to investigate NN Arrowhead. Sensational!

Also on Friday, we noted an interesting small detail in the wild story of Luka Rocco Magnotta, the Canadian porn actor who is wanted for allegedly killing and dismembering a man and the mailing some of his victim's body parts to political parties. According to some of this Internet postings, Magnotta got involved in Scientology around the year 2007.

John P. was one of many who urged caution, saying that Magnotta's monstrosity probably had little to do with Scientology, even if he did become a member...

My guess is that this guy may have checked out Scientology briefly but was not actually a member working his way up the "Bridge," donating at IAS events and all the rest of it. And the statements quoted here are so generic they could easily have been a cut-and-paste job; there's no actual Scientology "jargon" in them. In other words, Magnotta may have been a Scientologist "wanna-be." Can you imagine anything sadder than feeling the need to pretend to be in this cult because they won't actually take your money?

Mighty Korgo of Teegeeack was another who recommended a wait-and-see attitude...

As the story in Canada develops, the Scientology connection should not be made more than it is. I suspect that Scientology did not create Magnotta or even add significantly to his crazed make up. It will probably turn out that Scientology was just another bit of insanity along the line.I suppose focusing on his Scientology connection is our own version of fair game. I play it myself, telling people occasionally, that the most famous Scientologist is not Tom Cruise but Charles Manson. Still, I am, at this moment listening to stories of dismembered bodies being mailed to our Federal political parties. With all the horrible things L.Ron Hubbard wanted people to do, he never advocated that.

Well, that's certainly true, and it's a sign of what reasonable people comment here at this blog. I think it was worth pointing out that Magnotta left behind some statements about Scientology, but it's also true that his monstrosity is his alone.

Hey, it's good to be back in the underground bunker after a week out of town. We have plenty more things working, so please check our Facebook author page for schedules and updates.


**********
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
160 comments
still keyed out
still keyed out

Noah,I can try to give you some background on what I was saying (I'm just sayin'!)).I was trying to avoid Scientologese thetan-speak.... Regarding "the exploitation of memory, memory as a feedback loop of the self,strengthening the sense of self...and then charging you for it" ... Let me start with feedback loops.Hubbard defined the self as awareness of awareness.This idea comes up in cognitive science as a feedback loop,so that's the expression I used. Neuroscientist Antonio Domasio talks about awareness of awareness in his description of "the core self" in his book about the brain "The Feeling Of What Happens." Douglas Hofstadter wrote a book about recursion and feedback loops in mathematics,art,music and the human mind in his book,"Godel,Escher and Bach." Even though he won the Pulitzer prize for this book,he felt most people missed the point so he wrote another book,"I  Am A Strange Loop" ...  And about memories.I like Nobel Prize winning psychologist Eric Kandel's viewpoint that recollection is a better word,because memories are truly a re-collection of information...Hubbard's idea of "mental image pictures" was sketchy at best.To me it sounds like a1950's Kodak cliche!Yet memories are still real,and they are personal ... Taking that walk down memory lane at the direction of your counselor (auditor) and having an epiphany (cognition) is the cornerstone of the Scientology experience.And recalling past lives amazed me.My feeling is that these memories are a mythic representation of the self,one you walk away from feeling refreshed and renewed,like walking out of the theater after a great movie.Only it was the movie of your mind ... The horrible thing is that I shared these memories and experiences with with an organization that ultimately wanted to co-opt my soul,empty my wallet and worse...I wish there were a more benevolent form of the fun and enlightening experiences I remember having in Scientology.

still keyed out
still keyed out

I try to talk like a normal human rather than rely on thetan-speak.Hubbard uses the idea of "Awareness of Awareness" as the definition of SELF. In other words,not only are you aware,but you are that thing which is aware of being aware.It's a feedback loop. This idea has cropped up in cognitive science.Like in Antonio Domasio's book on the brain,"The Feeling of What Happens." Douglas Hofstadter wrote a book called "Godel Escher and Bach" which explores the idea of recursion and feedback loops in art,music,mathematics and the mind.Even though he won the Pulitzer Prize for this book,he still felt most people missed the point.So he spelled it out again more directly in his more recent book,"I Am A Strange Loop."  Back to memories.Memories are a funny thing.I like Nobel Prize winning psychologist Eric Kandel's remark that he prefers the word "recollection",because memory in the brain is truly a re-collection of information. To me,Hubbard's "mental image picture" theory is a kind of 1950's Kodak cliche.But memories are real,and they are personal.And that trip you take down memory lane at the direction of your counselor (auditor) resulting in an epiphany (cognition) is the cornerstone of the Scientology experience. Remembering past lives amazed me.My scientific explanation was and still is it's a kind of mythic representation of the subconscious.One you walk away from feeling renewed and refreshed,like coming of out the theater after a great movie.Only it was the movie of your mind. The horrible thing is that you are surrendering these personal memories to an organization that's trying to co-opt your soul,empty your wallet and worse.I wish there was a more benevolent form of this fun and enlightening experience.And I'm not the only one. Now go ahead everyone and attack me!!!

still keyed out
still keyed out

You could interpret it that way.Looking across the entire spectrum of experiences I know people have had in Scientology,I'm sure you could find examples of what you described.But that's not me.

still keyed out
still keyed out

What's the point,if all I do is get attacked for reflecting on my experiences in Scientology from a cognitive science point of view ? Go ahead and think you're smarter than me,I don't care..

Unex Skcus
Unex Skcus

Yep, I kinda agree. Gravity can be measured, it's there, but the theoretical explanation of gravity, however, is still open to debate. Black holes remain a fascination... which have implications to the theories on gravity, light, matter, and the 'warping of space'. None of which I especially understand... :)

Unex Skcus
Unex Skcus

Yeh, I read that too, but "theory is used in its vernacular meaning as an imperfect fact or an unsubstantiated speculation". An empirical series - which can be proven - can certainly *support* a theory, but not necessarily *prove* the theory. There used to be a theory that the world was flat. Then came theories that it was round. Next came scientific hypothesis (a proposed explanation) that supported the 'round earth' theory. Eventually it became fact. Was it before man went into space and saw the Earth was round? I don't know, but it did become fact. As for the Theory of Evolution, yes, there's a stack of info which supports the theory - which I'm kinda comfortable accepting virtually as fact - but there's still some missing bits that scientists (et al) would desperately like to know, to move from theory to fact as we would accept it.

Defrocked Bitter Apostate
Defrocked Bitter Apostate

Neat seeing these Scientology crooks winning *something* lately, even though it's "winning" handing back some of the money they swindled out of their remaining customers. 

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

As far as I know I've never been in that sort of situation (though it seems if you're in that logic pretzel you don't realize it so it's thoroughly possible I've been in one and don't know it), but it amazes me someone can make that vague a claim to evidence. The myriad of Scientology books make it pretty clear what to expect, but when those things are never produced, it makes me wonder how you can stick it out? How do you accept the slightest of feel goodery in place of what you were promised? Is it just people you're now "friends" with, who you don't want to let down? Or do you think it's just you who's not getting those results but everyone else is?

Elizabethan
Elizabethan

All I can say, no all I want to say Noah, isn't it AMAZING? Incredible! Given time.... hopefully they will wake up!

Jgg
Jgg

  Scientology's appeal to celebrities and Narconon quackery made me think of something: what if Lindsey Lohan had used Narconon?  It appears that she had complicated health problems (prescription drugs mixed with alcohol) and even court supervised treatment did not produce results at first, though she apparently is better.   She and Narconon would have made quite a pair.

Elizabethan
Elizabethan

Off topic: Tampa Bay Times, "Film plot sounds a lot like Scientology" front cover story. 

links.tampabay.kom to view the teaser trailer. Pics of LRon and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

OTVIIIisGrrr8!
OTVIIIisGrrr8!

We in RTC are too busy spearheading thousands of global humanitarian initiatives to care if the tiny handful of deluded VV readers whine about our latest Noble Prize or Academee Award.  We win so many prizes and awards these days under the leadership of COB that we lost track years ago. Groups are literally clamoring to award Scientology laurels for excellence such that we need a department of 1500 people to handle the deluge. Even at this writing we are hiring new Sea Org members to handle floors and floors of awards, keys to cities, and all of the recognition from top religious and political leaders not to mention police officials such as Sheriff Lee Baca.

Even as we post this, Office of COB has ordered we in RTC to order Int Landlord Office to seek out hundreds of millions of square feet of high quality linoleum needed for the cafetoria in our new Ideal Orgs. We are too busy ordering miles of Berber carpet and millions of water glasses that are needed in our deluxe Ideal Orgs. Because this program of Ideal Orgs is so outrageously successful we have implemented a new financial policy whereby every Ideal Org, before paying its staff, must pay a large sum of money for future Ideal Orgs.

To meet the skyrocketing demand for Dianetics and Scientology services and social betterment programs throughout the world, and utilizing the technological advances of the 21st century, Mr. Miscavige launched the Ideal Org (short for “organization”) strategy to transform all Scientology Churches into Ideal Churches to create buildings that are aesthetically pleasing to Tom Cruise.

The global devastation and human misery wrought by drug abuse, illiteracy, Anonymous, and Nazi Psychiatry is worse than any natural disaster or "Act of God." These SP's threaten to rip the social fabric to shreds and, in many parts of the world, have caused irreparable damage. Furthermore the omnivorous and pestiferous-like damage wrought by Nazi Psychiatry, Anonymous, and Scientology haters harm the Church's ability to rake in billions of dollars in tax exempt donations each year.

What is conspicuously lacking in combating these virtually apocalyptic scenarios are effective solutions to end the threats paused by marauding Nazi Psychs and all of you people who congregate here at the Village Voice Cult. To that end, we in RTC have sponsored permanent international headquarters to act as "generation plants," thereby setting in motion broad-scale movements in the name of morality, literacy, drug prevention and earning a tremendous tax free income in order that we may have the wherewithal needed to eradicate the menace of Nazi Psychiatry. 

To realize the greater humanitarian objective of Scientology, COB RTC David Miscavige -- whose rehabilitation from homosexual urges seems plausible in theory -- has set a strategy that led the Church into a multimedia age to provide readily available, easily assimilated and rapidly distributable tools to raise awareness, educate and activate millions.

The result: the Church of Scientology revolutionary social betterment and humanitarian programs. These programs are utterly unique, indisputably cutting-edge and most importantly—effective. We in RTC have workable technology and answers and no one else does.

We in RTC have every reason to stand tall.

Jgg
Jgg

  And the Church of Scientology also knows how to use a dictionary.

RadioPaul1
RadioPaul1

Any time a Scientology backed book wins an award you only need to look at this Wikipedia article about prior scandals to question if the award is warranted 

The Mission Earth books were a major sales success, particularly the earlier volumes in the series, with all individual volumes reaching the New York Times bestseller list.[4] The extent to which this reflects actual popularity is strongly questioned.[5] A large number of booksellers, publishing executives, and former Scientologists state that, as with other Hubbard books, the Church of Scientology engaged in a massive book-buying campaign, similar to the campaign to promote Battlefield Earth, so as to deliberately inflate sales of the series in order to promote it as a best-selling work of literature.[5] Stories of the books being sent to stores bearing other store's price tags circulated throughout the science fiction fan community.In a two-year span, Hubbard logged 14 consecutive books on the New York Times list. Adam Clymer, a New York Times executive, said that, while the books have been sold in sufficient numbers to justify their bestseller status, "we don't know to whom they were sold." He said the newspaper uncovered no instances in which vast quantities of books were being sold to single individuals.[5][edit]

Chocolate Velvet
Chocolate Velvet

Oh man, I'm glad you got the lulz. I know my sense of humor is dry, but I figured I must be slippin'! :)

FLUNK!
FLUNK!

Science,those invisible things that can be proved to be true,like evolution,is what I meant by " the idea that we live in a universe that gives RISE to intelligent life."Nothing like Science to kill good old Aleister's goth-groove!

still keyed out
still keyed out

It's like none of you were ever Scientologists that got something out of it.

Unex Skcus
Unex Skcus

Hang in there mate! I can understand that you got *something* out of LRH - after all he was a master at plagiarising other peoples' work. The bits that were good for you probably originated with the pyschs he hated. LRH was not a stupid man, he knew how to pick and choose for his own warped ends.

Claude
Claude

Well, did you read LRH's poem?  According to the religion's founding father, The UNIVERSE is anti-scientology!!!

What's your point?

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

I'm not sure I understand what your statement means. 

EDIT: I've got a feeling we're not going to be hearing back from you. Something tells me your definition of communication is not to engage anyone with a differing viewpoint.

I could be wrong.

still keyed out
still keyed out

While a Scientologist,I read a book  called the "Relaxation Response" by Dr Herbert Benson.Being a jazz musician,maybe I was overly receptive to the name "Dr. Herbert Benson",because of my associations with "Herbie", and "Benson" ...It is a scientific,non-religious assessment of the subject of meditation.Great book!There should be a similar book about Scientology,that explains why intelligent people claim to have gotten something out of it. Scientology can not be explained away by claiming they're all brainwashed.That may be the case ... sometimes ... but not all the time.

Still Keyed Out
Still Keyed Out

I can try to give you some background on what I was saying (I'm just sayin'!)).I was trying to avoid Scientologese thetan-speak....Regarding "the exploitation of memory, memory as a feedback loop of the self,strengthening the sense of self...and then charging you for it" ... Let me start with feedback loops.Hubbard defined the self as awareness of awareness.This idea comes up in cognitive science as a feedback loop,so that's the expression I used. Neuroscientist Antonio Domasio talks about awareness of awareness in his description of "the core self" in his book about the brain "The Feeling Of What Happens."Douglas Hofstadter wrote a book about recursion and feedback loops in mathematics,art,music and the human mind in his book,"Godel,Escher and Bach." Even though he won the Pulitzer prize for this book,he felt most people missed the point so he wrote another book,"I  Am A Strange Loop" ... And about memories.I like Nobel Prize winning psychologist Eric Kandel's viewpoint that recollection is a better word,because memories are truly a re-collection of information...Hubbard's idea of "mental image pictures" was sketchy at best.To me it sounds like a1950's Kodak cliche!Yet memories are still real,and they are personal ... Taking that walk down memory lane at the direction of your counselor (auditor) and having an epiphany (cognition) is the cornerstone of the Scientology experience.And recalling past lives amazed me.My feeling is that these memories are a mythic representation of the self,one you walk away from feeling refreshed and renewed,like walking out of the theater after a great movie.Only it was the movie of your mind ... The horrible thing is that I shared these memories and experiences with with an organization that ultimately wanted to co-opt my soul,empty my wallet and worse...I wish there were a more benevolent form of the fun and enlightening experiences I remember having in Scientology.

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

It's not "explained away" at all. People can "get something" out of anything. Most religions function off of their social aspects. Lots and lots of people get something out of Evangelical Christianity. Lots and lots of people get something out of reform Judaism. Lots and lots of people get something out of lots and lots of religions. But they cannot all be correct. 

Mormonism is an excellent example here, in the early days Mormonism attracted a lot of people. It was institutionally racist up until the 70s (some say it still is today) and for many years practiced a form of involuntary oppression of females. If you were a Mormon woman their theology made you subservient to the men. Undoubtedly there were some intelligent people active in the church. But they were still wrong about pretty much everything they believed in. Were they brainwashed? I don't know. Did they get something out of it? Sure. Were they still engaged in horrific, demonstrably wrong beliefs and actions. HELL YES. 

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

It is absolutely amazing to me how brilliance and "wins" of Scientology are expressed within the church, and within the literature as being monumental. Cure blindness, increase IQ, giving you superhuman recall of every event, every second of this life and many others. 

And yet when asked to produce these effects as a way to show the efficacy of Hubbard's claims, what do we get? 

"It makes me feel better." 

Yeah. That's called moving the goalposts, and it is evidence that your "auditing" isn't doing what's advertised. But hey, "Still Keyed Out" if all you want is to throw out buzzwords about memory feedback charge loops... you're welcome to do so. 

FLUNK!
FLUNK!

That's the best explanation of Scientology I ever heard.

still keyed out
still keyed out

Mr Miller,

First of all,I don't believe in engrams,Xenu or body thetans.Yet I've had Scientology "auditing" that changed the way I feel ,to say the least ... it made me happy and optimistic ... where's the scientific explanation for that?There are theories.It has to do with the reflections of ourselves that we experience while being audited ... and personally,Mr Miller,I think there's nothing else like it!Love him or hate him ,L Ron Hubbard definitely stumbled onto something about the mind.L Ron Hubbard stumbled onto something about the mind that took on a life of its own,to this day!It has to do with the exploitation of memory, memory as a feedback loop of the self,strengthening the sense of self...and then charging you for it.

Elizabethan
Elizabethan

Love this thread. Educational, sensible and LOL!

sketto
sketto

I love that email from Marc, signed "OT, Staff, Cool" because nothing shows how cool you are like claiming it yourself. 

In addition, I count 12 sentences in his email and 14 exclamation points. Because nothing shows how powerful your message is like an insane use of punctuation. 

Rollotomasii
Rollotomasii

This Sea Org stuff is great - love the fake officer being saluted by his fake foot soldiers.  The picture in the lower right corner of the collage is pretty significant - looks like they are preparing to invade Montana. 

Media_lush
Media_lush

If this whack job really wanted to maximise his media coverage he should have added that not only was he a scientologist but that he also had sex with Tom Cruise.... boy, the tabloid press would have regarded that as manna from heaven.... They haven't caught him yet so there's still time to get the message out.

Marc Abian
Marc Abian

A commenter of the week? How awesome is that?! I'd like to thank the weird Scientology goon for providing the source material and of course, David Love, for recording him on the sly.

Ah, the Scilons. You can always count on them to behave in ways that are weird, creepy and unsettling. Gotta love 'em!!

Elizabethan
Elizabethan

Thanks, the story was great. Enjoyed the photo's and comments too.

FLUNK!
FLUNK!

FLUNK,Shark!The fact he planned anything proves nothing.And being a sociopath only requires that he had no conscience... has that even been established?This guy was MOTIVATED to do things that gives us the heebee-jeebees ... these urges can rise from the subconscious with or without hallucinations ... who's to say they couldn't be pharmacologically managed in some way?And had he been medicated,is there any doubt Scientology would have dictated he stop his therapy?

FLUNK!
FLUNK!

FLUNK,Shark!The fact Magnotta was organized proves nothing.And being a sociopath only requires that he had no conscience... has that even been established?This guy was MOTIVATED to do things that gives us the heebee-jeebees ... these urges can rise from the subconscious with or without hallucinations ... who's to say they couldn't be pharmacologically managed in some way?And had he been medicated,is there any doubt Scientology would have dictated he stop his therapy?

Claude
Claude

According to LRH's supernaturally terrible poem, the "universe" is "suppressive." 

The universe is also "fragile" and "depraved beyond its years." 

Say what????

Fragile, as compared to what? The parallel titanium-encased universe?

Depraved?  Really? Our entire space-time continuum is depraved?  That's anthropomorphism for the criminally insane.

Beyond its years?  What exactly do we have for comparison?  What a loon!

If the primary nature of the universe is to "suppress" scientology, we might want to take a cue from that!

Robert Eckert
Robert Eckert

OF COURSE the universe is "beyond its years".  I mean, it's 837,905,258,932,230,659 years old now and it was only designed to last 89,450,958,844,846,239 years at most!

Claude
Claude

I think you demonstrate great scientific negligence by failing to state the hours, minutes, seconds, and milliseconds of your purported universe date.  LRH would have supplied these details.  

FLUNK!
FLUNK!

Scientology is a "TOP -DOWN" belief system.It's the idea that we started out on top,as gods,only to be corrupted by the the physical universe and end up as lowly humans!The idea that we live in a universe that gives RISE to intelligent life was anathema to L. Ron Hubbard,and to Aleister Crowley as well,Hubbard's inspiration for Scientology.After all,Crowley was rebelling against the Bible.If the Bible were neutralized by science,there goes his raison d'etre.And Hubbard carries the torch with his anti-science science-fiction religion.When in history has religion gone up against science and won?

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

The same MEST universe he says that he and other thetans created together. So when thetans decided to make the universe, back when they were fully in control of all their abilities or what have you, the decided to make a shitty depraved fragile etc etc etc universe.

FLUNK!
FLUNK!

How is Scientology off the hook with Magnotta and his unpleasantness?Scientology says that psychiatric drugs are evil.Th turning point for a guy like Magnotta is when he went off his meds!

FLUNK!
FLUNK!

How is Scientology off the hook with Magnotta and his unpleasantness?Scientology says that psychiatric drugs are evil.The turning point for a guy like Magnotta is when he goes off his meds!

FLUNK!
FLUNK!

How is Scientology off the hook with Magnotta and his unpleasantness?Scientology says psychiatric drugs are evil.The turning point for a guy like Magnotta would be going off his meds!

Anon anon song
Anon anon song

I am no more no less informed than anyone else, but I do not believe Magnotta was a known psychiatric case with an established medical file; there's a difference between a psychopath and someone suffering from a psychotic illness. In very brief laymen's terms someone who is psychotic is disconnected from reality that manifests itself in many shapes and forms, a psychopath on the other hand understands the rules of reality very well but fundamentally, privately feels above them all.

My two cents: I think his scientology connection is tangential. It was one of the many ways he used to make himself relevant on the internet. At best he may have looked into scientology for a bit and found some temporarily reassuring stuff in there, but in the end, even scientology's "modern science of mental health" was waaaaay behind the help this guy already needed.

sharkattacksteve
sharkattacksteve

Yea sociopaths have no empathy and their killings are organized where as a psychotic's crimes are disorganized because they are having aural and/or visual hallucinations more like the causeway cannibal or Richard Chase for example.

Chee Chalker
Chee Chalker

CHOCOLATE AND SHARKY

PLEASE STOP THE DEBATE.  We get it.  Don't turn this blog into a pissing match please.  You both made your points.   Fini!

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

Sorry, what? I think I missed the point of your post. All I meant is, that as an institution the church does some horrible stuff. And that horrible stuff is institutional policy. Any "good" it does can be accomplished without the shit baggage. As has been attested time and time again, people who join, especially those in the SeaOrg tend to be well meaning people who end up doing horrific things in the name of their faith.

Ron
Ron

So far, you lose. He seems to have be caught because he was spotting sitting in an Internet cafe, looking at pictures of himself, the only real person in his universe.

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

Do I have any personal experience with Scientology? No, besides living in LA and doing their Industry of Death tour once.

And I agree that Scientology is rabid in its hatred of psychology and that hatred has in the past (and probably in the future) caused the deaths of many adherents who could have been helped with the proper medication and treatment. I just don't think that was the case here. This Magnotta guy is a whole different ballpark of nutso who I believe, even when advised by people to seek treatment, would not have done that.

FLUNK!
FLUNK!

You said,"They are a backwards belief system that leads good people to do bad things."It might not be as backward as you think.Scientology has helped some people ... And Scientologists are not the only people on Earth that intuitively see things as true because,in an  intuitive way,it seems true.Red alert on that!

FLUNK!
FLUNK!

Thank you Noah for your wisdom.That which is presented without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.Innocent until proven guilty!You are right.I was speaking from my own personal experience with Scientology and Scientologists.Noah,I respectfully ask,have you any such experience?.

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

That's the point, you don't know. You don't know the level of his involvement. Add on to that the guy is a massive liar-- Claiming that Scientology is responsible when you cannot prove it, will do harm. Legitimate harm against stories that can be proven. It diminishes them. 

So while you think you're doing good trying to champion this particular issue-- You're actually making unprovable unfounded accusations that cannot be substantiated and are most likely wrong. The church, horrible as it is, did not make this man murder anyone. He did that, because he's a fucking monster.

FLUNK!
FLUNK!

Scientology has been against psychiatry for over sixty years.It's no secret - and all Scientologists have internalized this belief.Scientology is a pseudoscience of the mind.Selling this to new recruits,they are always fielding questions comparing it to psychiatry.And I know how they answer those questions.Sorry I wasn't there in person when they told this sick individual Magnotta to stay away from "the psychs."   

Chocolate Velvet
Chocolate Velvet

Again "psychotic" and "sociopath" are NOT mutually exclusive. You are using precise terminology in a sloppy way and mixing it with laymens terms, and it renders your assertions meaningless. Please see my comment above.

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

Yes but you don't have any evidence that this happened. Now, no doubt if he was coming to them for help, they are culpable for steering him in the wrong direction. But until we know this happened, it's just speculation.

What you can say is that Scientology was unable to identify his mental problems with their "tech".

Until that evidence is presented I think it is irresponsible to make accusations laying the death of someone on the church. Especially when there are so many deaths that they are actually, directly, culpable for.

sharkattacksteve
sharkattacksteve

Serial killers have routinely deceived psychiatrists in the past.Kenneth Bianchi completely conned the world's leading expert on MPD. Everything Magnotta has done so far spells "sociopath" not "psychotic'. A sociopath chooses to be anti-social so drugs are useless unless you're talking about some futuristic "Ludovico Technique" type of scenario. Anyway enough b.s about whack jobs who aren't scientologists. Later.

FLUNK!
FLUNK!

I say if Magnotta talked about killing people to the Scientologists ,they would have shown him the door...But if he talked about meds or any kind of psychiatric help,it's a sure thing they told him to steer clear of that!

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

First off... Calm down, man. It's only a discussion, you bring your evidence and reasoning. I'll bring mine. No need to be snarky about not agreeing with me.

Now, on to your points. Yes that is something they do. They are a backwards belief system that leads good people to do bad things. But that does not mean that they led this man to commit these acts. You cannot draw a straight line between a madman who cuts people up deciding on his own to be a part of scientology for a very very very brief moment (I don't think from what I've heard he even got auditing) and then this madman going to commit these horrible crimes. 

Scientology does a lot of shit. But blaming shit on them because of a tangential connection does no good. In fact it diminishes the actual horrible acts that the Church commits. So, if you can show evidence that Luka came to the church for help with his "I need to kill people" problem and that they actively took him off of medication, which caused him to attack someone, then I'll be right there with you. But until then, you're making accusation without any evidence. I'm just going to repeat this so I hope it sinks in. Given the evidence we do have about this guy, he is not only insane but desires to be unique and famous. That's what drove him to the church, and it is also why he only really spent a little bit of time there because people like this identify with the "idea" and not the actual service. Basically, this guy was as committed to scientology as far as it could make him seem special to people he could show it off to.

FLUNK!
FLUNK!

Am I correct in assuming you know next to nothing about Scientology?That they brainwash people against seeking "professional help" is not a trivial point!

FLUNK!
FLUNK!

Get yourself a copy of the good book,DSM-4.(Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)

sharkattacksteve
sharkattacksteve

"Being "organized" doesn't prove Magnotta is a sociopath"

Of course it does and if you won't believe me than how about Ian Brady or John Douglas ? I would think they might know.

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

The dude was a madman before scientology. He was a nut after.

If he had shown up at their door saying "I'm crazy, you need to help me" and then went on to do the things he did-- Then yes Scientology would be culpable. But given what we've seen so far, he only came to Scientology for the uniqueness and fame aspect. I'm sure if we looked he could easily have made other claims about other religions and it still wouldn't mean anything. 

Anon anon song
Anon anon song

 Exactly. I was particularly addressing FLUNK!'s "The turning point for a guy like Magnotta would be going off his meds!" Regardless of scientology, unmedicated people with a psychotic illness cannot function in society, much less discreetly orchestrate a crime and a relatively effective escape.

Imma really don't like scientology, but I think the link is bogus. LRM's just your bona fide nut-job before, during or after scientology.

BTW, I have a bet with bf. He says they'll catch him alive. I say he'll spectacularly kill himself first just to one-up Versace's murderer. Dinner at restaurant of choice is on the line. Please do not be offended at my callousness, I'm sure LRM will understand.

FLUNK!
FLUNK!

Yes,Magnotta was MOTIVATED to do things that give us the heebee-geebees.Urges can rise from the subconscious with or without hallucinations.Being "organized" doesn't prove Magnotta is a sociopath beyond pharmacological help,exactly the kind of help Scientology preaches against.Flunk,Shark.You got it all wrong.

FLUNK!
FLUNK!

Urges rising from the subconscious mind are not always accompanied by hallucinations.And unpleasant behavior,even if it's 'organized',not prove that Magnotta is a sociopath unable to benefit from professional help,help I'm sure Scientology discouraged him from getting.FLUNK,Shark! You got it all wrong.

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