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Equipoise
03-28-2015, 10:10 PM
I'm so excited for this! Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4257858/reference) is a documentary by Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0316795/reference), based on Lawrence Wright's book (http://www.amazon.com/Going-Clear-Scientology-Hollywood-Prison/dp/0307745309) of the same name. It's been playing in a few theaters for an Oscar-qualifying run, and will start playing on HBO (as I type this, the first of many showings will be tomorrow evening, Sunday March 29).

Since it didn't open wide there aren't that many reviews up on Rotten Tomatoes (http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/going_clear_scientology_and_the_prison_of_belief_2015/?search=Going%20Clear), but it's at 93% Fresh, and 100% with Top 10 Critics. It's rated 9.0 at IMDB (linked above). There are dozens and dozens more great reviews and articles out there but no one as yet has put them all into one place.

The movie played to a sold-out crowd at the Sundance Film Festival in January, then to a sold-out crowd at the South By Southwest Film Festival in Austin. It opened in theaters in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, although to be eligible for an Oscar nomination next year it only needed to play commercially in Los Angeles County for 7 days.

I haven't yet seen the documentary (hurry, tomorrow!) but I have read Lawrence Wright's book, and I expect a lot to be cut out and skimmed over. Wright himself had to cut out or skim over dozens of topics that themselves would be worth full-lenghth books and/or movies (such as Paulette Copper's Operation Freakout (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Freakout) nightmare, which actually is getting its own book in May, called The Unbreakable Miss Lovely, by Tony Ortega), so Gibney had to pick and choose carefully what he wanted to focus on. He chose a select few former Scientologists to tell their stories, including filmmaker Paul Haggis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Haggis), former spokesperson Mike Rinder (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Rinder), former 2nd in command and "enforcer" Mark "Marty" Rathbun (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Rathbun), actor Jason Beghe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jason_Beghe), plus former Scientologists Sylvia 'Spanky' Taylor, Tom DeVocht, Sara Goldberg, Hana Eltringham Whitfield and Marc Headley. Also interviewed are Tony Ortega (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Ortega_%28journalist%29) and Lawrence Wright himself. Gibney requested interviews with current Scientologists pertinent to his film, such as David Miscavige, Tom Cruise, John Travolta, among others, but was refused.

Needless to say, Scientology is now whining that their side wasn't presented in the movie and are trying to smear all the people in the film. Their attack ads on Twitter have merited a couple of funny articles by themselves.

The Church of Scientology Is on a Twitter Rampage Against HBO's Going Clear (http://www.esquire.com/entertainment/tv/news/a33967/church-of-scientologys-hbo-going-clear-twitter-war/)

The Church Of Scientology is bad at Twitter (https://thedissolve.com/features/exposition/966-the-church-of-scientology-is-bad-at-twitter/)

I think anyone who has any interest at all in this cult should watch the documentary, if you have HBO or friends with HBO. It will be on Vimeo in September and I'll bet it's out on DVD before the end of the year.

Btw, any attempts to derail the thread/deflect the attention of readers with anything akin to "All religions are bad" or "When's the expose of Morminism (or other) coming out?" or anything designed to get people talking about something other than the movie, the book it's based on, or Scientology in general, will automatically get that sign turned on over your head, with a big arrow pointing down, flashing SCIENTOLOGIST SCIENTOLOGIST SCIENTOLOGIST. Go start your own thread. I've been reading all the articles and reading all the Comments sections, and it's so obvious when the Scienos show up.

Tory Christman (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tory_Christman) is a former Scientologist who left after 30 years. While in the cult, her job at one time was to look for anyone discussing anything about Scientology on the internet and interject herself. She's proof that people are paid or ordered to do that.

gaffa
03-28-2015, 11:14 PM
I'll have to wait until it shows up on HBO-GO.

Ike Witt
03-28-2015, 11:19 PM
It isn't available on HBO Canada. I hope it isn't too long before I can see it.

gaffa
03-28-2015, 11:37 PM
It isn't available on HBO Canada. I hope it isn't too long before I can see it.
Now that's weird. Is it a case of Canadian sensitivities?

Equipoise
03-28-2015, 11:54 PM
It isn't available on HBO Canada. I hope it isn't too long before I can see it.i can't find anything about when it will show in Canada, the UK or elsewhere. If you or anyone else hears, please post. I'll do the same.

jimbuff314
03-29-2015, 11:38 AM
Good review (http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20150320-a-scary-must-see-scientology-doc) on BBC(.com) about it a week ago or so. Rated 5 stars. Alas, I will have to wait for HBO-GO to see it as well.

Mahaloth
03-29-2015, 11:59 AM
Good review (http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20150320-a-scary-must-see-scientology-doc) on BBC(.com) about it a week ago or so. Rated 5 stars. Alas, I will have to wait for HBO-GO to see it as well.

And AVclub gave it a solid A. (http://www.avclub.com/review/scientology-doc-going-clear-eviscerates-faithful-f-216896)

koeeoaddi
03-29-2015, 01:10 PM
Looking forward to this. The book was so good I read it in almost one sitting.

davidm
03-29-2015, 01:21 PM
I'm looking forward to it.
Their current Twitter feed is hilarious. For a group that has a reputation at being able to psychologically manipulate people, they're doing a pretty pathetic job of it. They've been posting once per hour for 5 hours and the posts consist of pictures of people falling asleep in movie theaters. I guess they think that they'll convince people that the documentary is to boring to even bother watching.
https://twitter.com/FreedomEthics

CarnalK
03-29-2015, 01:30 PM
Now that's weird. Is it a case of Canadian sensitivities?

No way that would be the reason. I'm sure it is based on scheduling or intellectual property issues. Different release dates is not unusual.

gaffa
03-29-2015, 02:09 PM
I'm looking forward to it.
Their current Twitter feed is hilarious. For a group that has a reputation at being able to psychologically manipulate people, they're doing a pretty pathetic job of it. They've been posting once per hour for 5 hours and the posts consist of pictures of people falling asleep in movie theaters. I guess they think that they'll convince people that the documentary is to boring to even bother watching.
https://twitter.com/FreedomEthics
Well, that's probably because the last three people assigned to post to the Twitter account have been severely beaten by Miscavage because HBO has not yet cancelled the showing.

davidm
03-29-2015, 03:00 PM
I'm looking forward to it.
Their current Twitter feed is hilarious. For a group that has a reputation at being able to psychologically manipulate people, they're doing a pretty pathetic job of it. They've been posting once per hour for 5 hours and the posts consist of pictures of people falling asleep in movie theaters. I guess they think that they'll convince people that the documentary is to boring to even bother watching.
https://twitter.com/FreedomEthicsWell, that's probably because the last three people assigned to post to the Twitter account have been severely beaten by Miscavage because HBO has not yet cancelled the showing.It's up to 7 pictures now. All of them showing people sleeping in movie theaters.

They need a different theme for their pictures; maybe TVs exploding because they're tuned to HBO, or may Xenu throwing viewers of the documentary into volcanoes.

Tangent
03-29-2015, 03:22 PM
I've got my DVR set.

Looks like the CoS is doing more to advertise this movie than anyone else.

Equipoise
03-29-2015, 03:23 PM
Ha, Xenu's their arch enemy, so He's probably cackling with glee at this big old bale of straws being dumped on the camel's back. He'd sit and watch it with "Suppressive People" and have a grand old time. Though, admittedly he'd probably bogart the popcorn, and then throw them into a volcano anyway just for fun. He is an Evil Galactic Warlord and an asshole, after all.

Equipoise
03-29-2015, 06:49 PM
Got my popcorn, got my drink, got Twitter #GoingClear in one window, Tony Ortega's live blog (http://tonyortega.org/) blog in another window, and HBO in a 3rd. I'm tingling with excitement.

Tony's blog earlier (http://tonyortega.org/2015/03/29/the-crowds-all-here-how-much-does-the-airing-of-going-clear-tonight-mean-to-you/) getting the reactions of 75 former members and people who have fought for the truth about this cult seeing the light of day is very powerful.



Here's a brief but potent overview (http://www.vox.com/2015/3/29/8307395/going-clear-review-scientology-hbo) from Vox about why the excitement level is so high.

John Mace
03-29-2015, 06:55 PM
Saw the interview on Bill Maher's show a few weeks ago. I have my DVR set.

Equipoise
03-29-2015, 09:09 PM
That was extremely powerful. Even though I knew most of it, I still cried at several points because reading about something and actually hearing these people talk about these things is a completely different experience. I was so engrossed I barely glanced at #GoingClear and didn't read Ortega's feed at all. I am going to go back and read it all now.

I hope everyone gets a chance to see it at some point in the future, even if they have to wait for Vimeo or the DVD.

Anyone who sees it, know this. The movie, and the book, didn't touch a fraction of the horror stories that are out there. As bad as it looks, it's much much worse than you can imagine.

davidm
03-29-2015, 09:25 PM
I've had a hunch for years that people like Travolta and maybe Cruise were somehow being blackmailed.

Ambivalid
03-29-2015, 09:29 PM
I've had a hunch for years that people like Travolta and maybe Cruise were somehow being blackmailed.

Did you watch the documentary? I only caught maybe the last 30 minutes but to me, it seemed the very opposite of being blackmailed. It seemed as if people like Cruise reaped incredible benefits from their involvement in Scientology and were treated as gods by the Church, in exchange for the high-profile exposure that such celebrity membership to the "church" provided.

seal_cleaner
03-29-2015, 09:54 PM
Both Cruise and Travolta have always seemed kinda weak-minded to me. Plus, as Movie Stars, susceptible to flattery. And gay rumors have followed both.
They seem like weak reeds on which to market a religion. They're about as compelling as Bob Hope.

davidm
03-29-2015, 09:55 PM
It was strongly suggested that things revealed in people's auditing sessions were later used against them and in particular that this was done to Travolta.

Princhester
03-29-2015, 09:59 PM
Well yeah but when are you people going to start a thread about Mormons? And anyway, lots of other religions are much worse.

gaffa
03-29-2015, 10:38 PM
It was strongly suggested that things revealed in people's auditing sessions were later used against them and in particular that this was done to Travolta.
It is called a "dead agent" pack. You can see it being used currently by the "church" against the former members in the documentary. Watch it and keep in mind that this is what was included after a whole battalion of lawyers from HBO vetted the film and ensured that every claim would hold up in court. Remember that this entity threw so many lawsuits against the the IRS that they overwhelmed the us government.

gaffa
03-29-2015, 10:43 PM
Did you watch the documentary? I only caught maybe the last 30 minutes but to me, it seemed the very opposite of being blackmailed. It seemed as if people like Cruise reaped incredible benefits from their involvement in Scientology and were treated as gods by the Church, in exchange for the high-profile exposure that such celebrity membership to the "church" provided.
The carrot AND the stick. In the book, Travolta tried to pull away at a couple of points, but was dragged back in, possibly by the contents of his folder.

Ambivalid
03-29-2015, 10:53 PM
The carrot AND the stick. In the book, Travolta tried to pull away at a couple of points, but was dragged back in, possibly by the contents of his folder.

I didn't see the parts about Travolta, only the end with Cruise. Has Tome Cruise ever attempted to leave? Because what I saw showed him reaping lavish benefits with no apparent down side, for his sake, that is. Other than publically being known as a Scientologist. :D

davidm
03-29-2015, 10:57 PM
I don't think they ever really said that Travolta was being blackmailed. It could be an act he's being forced into, but he does seem very enthusiastic about Scientology; there's no denying that.

davidm
03-29-2015, 11:08 PM
It is called a "dead agent" pack. You can see it being used currently by the "church" against the former members in the documentary. Watch it and keep in mind that this is what was included after a whole battalion of lawyers from HBO vetted the film and ensured that every claim would hold up in court. Remember that this entity threw so many lawsuits against the the IRS that they overwhelmed the us government.The part about the IRS caving in is puzzling to me. Can the US government really be SLAPPed* into submission like that? Surely they can defend themselves against that kind of legal harassment. I've wondered if there wasn't something else going on behind the scenes. Blackmail? Bribes?

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_lawsuit_against_public_participation

nearwildheaven
03-29-2015, 11:11 PM
I probably won't see this until Netflix gets it or it goes up on You Tube, but I wondered if Scientologists existed outside Hollywood until I happened to drive by a Scientology temple in a suburb of St. Louis (I used to live in that region). Yep, they do.

davidm
03-29-2015, 11:16 PM
They have churches all over the world, although the documentary claims that they have a membership of only around 50,000.

gaffa
03-29-2015, 11:27 PM
The part about the IRS caving in is puzzling to me. Can the US government really be SLAPPed* into submission like that? Surely they can defend themselves against that kind of legal harassment. I've wondered if there wasn't something else going on behind the scenes. Blackmail? Bribes?

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_lawsuit_against_public_participation

Something on the order of 2500 lawsuits. And Scienos protesting daily at IRS buildings, ads in newspapers...

davidm
03-29-2015, 11:46 PM
Something on the order of 2500 lawsuits. And Scienos protesting daily at IRS buildings, ads in newspapers...Still, the government has a strong interest in not allowing itself to be bullied like that, whatever the short term costs and hassles of standing up to it.

This isn't like constituents clamoring for something. This is a very narrow interest group. Giving in to that kind of harassment sets an awful precedent and encourages similar behavior from other parties.

And I don't see why they should give a shit about ads in newspapers. Hell, I'll buy a full page ad in the NY Times if it'd get me exempted from federal income tax for the rest of my life.

Equipoise
03-30-2015, 12:37 AM
They also had private investigators follow individual IRS officials and dig up anything that might be used for blackmail or that would at least look bad to the public. The thousands of lawsuits were filed by scientology itself AND by individual scientologists, and were filed against the IRS AND individual IRS employees. The lawsuits could never have been consolidated. It was a mess, but every single lawsuit, every single one, was dropped/withdrawn as soon as the IRS caved.

CalMeacham
03-30-2015, 07:20 AM
I've been following the Scientologists for years, and reading the stuff about their antics. I didn't expect to hear anything new, but some of the stuff at the end was stuff I hadn't heard before.


The fact that this could be made and broadcast at all tells me that their power is wilting. If anyone -- HIBO included -- had tried this 20 years ago, they would've been slapped with multiple lawsuits so fast it'd make your head spin. I bought the book The Bare-Faced Messiah, Russell Miller's bio of Hubbard, as soon as I saw it in the bookstore, because I knew it would be litigated ouit of existence immediately. I was right:

A suit was brought in the U.S. by New Era Publications in May 1988 that sought to prevent Bare-faced Messiah being distributed, after it had already been published and shipped.[27] Prior to publication, New Era offered to buy out the publication rights to Bare-faced Messiah but was rebuffed. Publisher Henry Holt had distributed 12,500 copies by the time New Era obtained a temporary restraining order to prevent shipment of the remaining copies from the first print run. New Era's request for an injunction against the distribution of the existing copies was refused. Henry Holt's president, Bruno Quinson, declared his company's intention to fight the suit: "This is a case, to say the least, that has serious First Amendment considerations and we are vigorously opposing the Scientologists' efforts to prevent the publication of this book."[28]

...
...
...
In the end, Henry Holt abandoned the litigation, as the ongoing legal costs were becoming unsupportable. The print run of Bare-faced Messiah in the U.S. was ended after only 14,000 copies were printed. Many went to public libraries, but, according to Miller, numerous library copies of the book went missing or had inserts pasted into them by Scientologists.[11]

That was just 25 years ago. There never was a US paberback publication of it (although there was in the UK)

I also lucked out and found a copy of Paulette Cooper's 1960s book, The Scandal of Scientology, in a used book store. The Scientologistys hads worked that one over, too -- as well as the author. They framed her for making bombing threats against the Church. She was only cleared of charges after an FBI raid proved that the Scientologists had set her up.

If you want, you can read both books online at Operation Clambake at http://www.xenu.net/ . The Scientologists tried multiple times to gget that site shut down, too. Fortunately, it's based in Norway, and relativerly immune to US prosecution. By all means, visit that site for more than you ever wanted to know about Hubbard and the Scientologists. It's a real eye-opener.

As for the US government "giving in" to the Scientologuists and recognizing them as a religion, I'm afraid it's true. It's possible that the IRS just got too tired and fed up with dealing with them (I can't believe they didn't know what the vScientologists were like), but it was an ill-chosen decision. I've long suspected they had some dirt on key people vto help this along.

davidm
03-30-2015, 08:21 AM
That's my suspicion. That they had dirt on key people.

It'll be interesting to see what, if anything, happens after this HBO broadcast. If the allegations about blackmail and beatings are true and can be substantiated I would think that there could be criminal charges. Obviously the former members that were on this documentary are willing to speak out.

gaffa
03-30-2015, 08:26 AM
They have done a truly amazing thing. They transform professional unbiased journalists into opponents. In the book "Going Clear" Wright bent over backwards to be fair and give them every chance to defend themselves, and I'm sure they've done their usual tricks to try to ruin his life.

I can hardly wait for Louis Theroux's BBC documentary. As good as "Going Clear" was, he left out some equally astounding stuff.

davidm
03-30-2015, 08:29 AM
I wasn't aware of Theroux's documentary. Any idea when it's coming out and when it will be available in the US (if ever)?

davidm
03-30-2015, 08:34 AM
Unimportant but, what's with the purple building? Who made that design decision?

Sam Lowry
03-30-2015, 08:45 AM
Great documentary. I read the book last year, it was really interesting. While I was reading, I was texting some friends some parts of the book, because there are some things that are just so crazy. The part that will always make me laugh is that so many countries were not wanting them there, that they took to the seas! With fake Navy outfits! It was funny reading about it, but even funnier seeing the pictures and videos.

Also, the rallies were fascinating to see. I think I'd feel a little out of place at a big event for any religion other than my own, but I just got a creepy vibe from the rallies shown in the movie. Maybe it has something to do with them saluting each other, and the big picture of Hubbard, and the pyrotechnics going off.

I'm so excited for this!
Needless to say, Scientology is now whining that their side wasn't presented in the movie and are trying to smear all the people in the film. Their attack ads on Twitter have merited a couple of funny articles by themselves.

The Church of Scientology Is on a Twitter Rampage Against HBO's Going Clear (http://www.esquire.com/entertainment/tv/news/a33967/church-of-scientologys-hbo-going-clear-twitter-war/)

The Church Of Scientology is bad at Twitter (https://thedissolve.com/features/exposition/966-the-church-of-scientology-is-bad-at-twitter/)


Those articles are great. And they're correct, the bullying that might work in real life is just trolling online, and bad trolling at that. They're not going to win over any sympathizers with their tweets.

They also don't seem to understand the criticism against them. For example, from the second article:

Consider also the case of Sara Goldberg, “The Home Wrecker,” another former elite Scientologist who was with the Church for 36 years before opting to leave over its policy of “disconnection.” She had raised a son and a daughter within the Church, but faced an excruciating decision when her son became disillusioned with Scientology as a young adult, and the higher-ups asked her to “disconnect” with him. Her refusal was a Sophie’s choice: Goldberg’s daughter ended up disconnecting with her, which also lost her access to her granddaughter. The Church spins it as Goldberg picking her immoral, drug-addicted son over her daughter and her special-needs granddaughter, but even if that were the case, that reinforces the fact that Scientology has a policy of disconnection. Which is why she’s in the movie in the first place!

They don't understand that a policy of disconnection is wrong, and not really found in other non-cult religions.

I didn't see the parts about Travolta, only the end with Cruise. Has Tome Cruise ever attempted to leave? Because what I saw showed him reaping lavish benefits with no apparent down side, for his sake, that is. Other than publically being known as a Scientologist. :D

I don't know if Cruise has ever fully attempted to leave. It sounds like when he was with Kidman that they were kinda drifting away from Scientology. But then Miscavige freaked out and figured out how to rope him back in, including figuring out how to help distance him from Kidman.

It's hard to know how to feel about Cruise. He hasn't had the same abuse that the lower-level people have had. And he's definitely benefited from the Church doing all they can to please him, including benefiting from the results of lower level people doing forced labor. But he's possibly had more psychological and emotional manipulation than most. The Church could afford to lose some people, but they can't afford to let him go. I'm not sure that Cruise could leave, or that it would even be possible for him to think that he could.

Sam Lowry
03-30-2015, 08:49 AM
That's my suspicion. That they had dirt on key people.

It'll be interesting to see what, if anything, happens after this HBO broadcast. If the allegations about blackmail and beatings are true and can be substantiated I would think that there could be criminal charges. Obviously the former members that were on this documentary are willing to speak out.

Yeah, I'm looking forward to see what the fallout will be. I don't know if any criminal charges will come, but I would think more people will feel safe leaving. And it's possible Miscavige or someone else at the church will try to do an interview or something to show the other side and it will just make it look even worse. Should be interesting to see what comes.

CalMeacham
03-30-2015, 09:01 AM
That's my suspicion. That they had dirt on key people.

It'll be interesting to see what, if anything, happens after this HBO broadcast. If the allegations about blackmail and beatings are true and can be substantiated I would think that there could be criminal charges. Obviously the former members that were on this documentary are willing to speak out.

In the past, Scientology has vigorously fought such charges off. Look up the Lisa McPherson case for an atrocious example of Scientology bullying officials around. Ms. Mcpherson died, and the state's witnessing pathologists supported the evidence against Scientology -- until one of them abruptly changed her mind. No reason was given, but I suspect the Scientologists got something on her to force her change.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisa_McPherson

http://www.lisamcpherson.org/

On June 12, 2000 the criminal charges were dropped against Scientology because (so the prosecutor claims) the medical examiner could not be counted on to confidently testify, even though the criminal charges were abuse of a disabled person and practicing medicine without a license. You can read much of the Clearwater police department's evidence and Scientology's logs of Lisa's stay, view some of the autopsy photos, and decide for yourself. Then ask why Scientology now makes members sign a waiver specifically against suing Scientology over the Introspection Rundown:


Lisa clause or Lisa McPherson clause: an adhesion clause to insulate one party from all damages, including personal injury or death, from known and unknown conduct of commission or omission of the party so released. An "adhesion clause" is a recognized legal term which means "take it or leave it", i.e., that the party signing the agreement has no bargaining power and therefore no alternative but to include the clause in the agreement.

David Miscavige, meanwhile, spoke to the faithful and claimed Lisa's death was a conspiracy by Eli Lilly, the German government, and others.

Scientologist OT 8 Dr. David I. Minkoff had his license suspended on August 3, 2001 for one year and was fined for prescribing medicine to Lisa without even seeing her at the request of Lisa's "caretakers."

In 2012 information came to light that Scientology allegedly spent more than $30 million to silence the Lisa McPherson case. Miscavige allegedly tried to talk to the judge in her case outside of court. Church funds were funneled, says an ex member, from expenses to legal defense. Scientology is still obsessing over the death of Lisa.


http://www.xenu.net/archive/events/lisa_mcpherson/



If anything comes of this documentary. it'll prove that the Scientologists are losing their hold.

Mahaloth
03-30-2015, 09:04 AM
I wasn't aware of Theroux's documentary. Any idea when it's coming out and when it will be available in the US (if ever)?

Oddly enough, I asked Louis the other day via Twitter. He does respond to folks once in awhile, but I did not receive an answer. I imagine he is waiting until it has been awhile since the Gibney one.

He did catch on film a Scientologist harassing an ex-Scientologist. It was on the web at one point and kind of cool to see.

davidm
03-30-2015, 09:09 AM
Yeah, I'm looking forward to see what the fallout will be. I don't know if any criminal charges will come, but I would think more people will feel safe leaving. And it's possible Miscavige or someone else at the church will try to do an interview or something to show the other side and it will just make it look even worse. Should be interesting to see what comes.If they can keep the mic on him when he goes to the restroom...
(That's a reference to what happened with Robert Durst, for those who don't know.)

crypto
03-30-2015, 10:36 AM
I watched it and was amazed.

Can someone explain to me how the two cans work? The way the test was described was it was one-third of a lie-detector, and when someone is being questioned (can't remember the name used for this process), they hold onto these two cans and a needle jumps. I missed something there, because I couldn't figure out what was going on. It seemed like the more you talked about something, the less of a reaction the machine indicated, showing the person that they were getting guilt (or whatever) out of their system. Is that close?

I think there could be a number of things that have caused the government to back down, as well as others. The money involved is just mind-boggling, and they also seem to know how to harrass people and/or pressure people with the secrets they've revealed. But I wouldn't be surprised if people were bought off, any more than if they were blackmailed into a certain decision.

The one thing that truly baffles me is how so many people are vulerable to this type of manipulation.

CalMeacham
03-30-2015, 10:54 AM
I watched it and was amazed.

Can someone explain to me how the two cans work? The way the test was described was it was one-third of a lie-detector, and when someone is being questioned (can't remember the name used for this process), they hold onto these two cans and a needle jumps. I missed something there, because I couldn't figure out what was going on. It seemed like the more you talked about something, the less of a reaction the machine indicated, showing the person that they were getting guilt (or whatever) out of their system. Is that close?

I think there could be a number of things that have caused the government to back down, as well as others. The money involved is just mind-boggling, and they also seem to know how to harrass people and/or pressure people with the secrets they've revealed. But I wouldn't be surprised if people were bought off, any more than if they were blackmailed into a certain decision.

The one thing that truly baffles me is how so many people are vulerable to this type of manipulation.


You can find stuff on the Operation Clambake site that will explain Hubbard's E-Meter.

As I understand it, it measures simply resistance -- the Galvanic Skin Response. Certainly the circuitry inside the box isn't complex enough to measure anything more exotic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skin_conductance


I was around once when someone accused a Scientologist of just measuring GSR, and he arrogantly* replied that the measurement decreased and increased -- was Galvanic Skin Response going to decrease after increasing? Was a person absorbing the sweat after sweating?

Of course, the reading is going to change based on a LOT of factors, including how tightly you hold those "cans", and how much skin area is in contact, as well as how much you sweat. Heck, GSR in a lie detector varies up and down, and nobody claims that it's measuring Body Thetans, or the Weight of Thought, or somesuch.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-meter


*Scientologists argue arrogantly. It's part of the culture. Tom Cruise's assertion that "I know more about the history of psychiatry than you do!" is of a piece with this.

SaharaTea
03-30-2015, 10:54 AM
I don't know if Cruise has ever fully attempted to leave. It sounds like when he was with Kidman that they were kinda drifting away from Scientology. But then Miscavige freaked out and figured out how to rope him back in, including figuring out how to help distance him from Kidman.

It's hard to know how to feel about Cruise. He hasn't had the same abuse that the lower-level people have had. And he's definitely benefited from the Church doing all they can to please him, including benefiting from the results of lower level people doing forced labor. But he's possibly had more psychological and emotional manipulation than most. The Church could afford to lose some people, but they can't afford to let him go. I'm not sure that Cruise could leave, or that it would even be possible for him to think that he could.
I was surprised to learn that Cruise distanced himself from the Church while married to Nicole Kidman. Then he fell down the rabbit hole in a big way. They made it sound like Cruise is really and truly brainwashed, while Travolta is semi-aware but being blackmailed. Interesting that there was no mention of Katie Holmes. Their divorce terms must have an ironclad NDA.

CalMeacham
03-30-2015, 11:01 AM
More than you ever wanted to know about the E-meter:


http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/E-Meter/

nearwildheaven
03-30-2015, 11:37 AM
Scientology also took over the Cult Awareness Network, which was founded by Christians in the 1970s to raise awareness of the Unification Church (AKA "Moonies"). Because CAN identified Scientology as a cult, and Scientology was quite well-heeled, they sued it into oblivion and then took it over for themselves.

It has been renamed "New Cult Awareness Network".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Cult_Awareness_Network

Spoke
03-30-2015, 11:38 AM
At this point, the membership of the "church" seems almost superfluous. Why do they care if they attract any new members? They have built a self-sustaining financial empire. (Tax free!) The membership could wither away to nothing, and the financial empire would still exist.

So convincing people to leave or not to join is of limited utility at this point. What is necessary is for the IRS to gather up its gonads and revisit the tax status of this entity.

(But of course, with continual funding cuts at the IRS, it would be even more difficult for them to fight that battle now than before.)

Spoke
03-30-2015, 11:56 AM
They don't understand that a policy of disconnection is wrong, and not really found in other non-cult religions.

You can find a similar policy in early Christianity (in 2 Thessalonians) but then again, at that point Christianity was hardly past cult status itself.

gaffa
03-30-2015, 12:11 PM
At this point, the membership of the "church" seems almost superfluous. Why do they care if they attract any new members? They have built a self-sustaining financial empire. (Tax free!) The membership could wither away to nothing, and the financial empire would still exist.

So convincing people to leave or not to join is of limited utility at this point. What is necessary is for the IRS to gather up its gonads and revisit the tax status of this entity.

(But of course, with continual funding cuts at the IRS, it would be even more difficult for them to fight that battle now than before.)
Because many people at lower levels get a percentage of the money paid by new recruits, like Amway or Herbilife.

Sitnam
03-30-2015, 12:24 PM
I probably won't see this until Netflix gets it or it goes up on You Tube, but I wondered if Scientologists existed outside Hollywood until I happened to drive by a Scientology temple in a suburb of St. Louis (I used to live in that region). Yep, they do.
Their massive headquarters in St. Paul took over the old Science Museum.

Mahaloth
03-30-2015, 12:26 PM
Does the movie cover their secret base? I swear they have some kind of uber-secret base location where a bunch of weird stuff goes on.

Sam Lowry
03-30-2015, 12:46 PM
At this point, the membership of the "church" seems almost superfluous. Why do they care if they attract any new members? They have built a self-sustaining financial empire. (Tax free!) The membership could wither away to nothing, and the financial empire would still exist.

So convincing people to leave or not to join is of limited utility at this point. What is necessary is for the IRS to gather up its gonads and revisit the tax status of this entity.

(But of course, with continual funding cuts at the IRS, it would be even more difficult for them to fight that battle now than before.)

I think they still want to be seen as a legitimate church and religion. It seems like some of their business dealings will be more difficult if people see them more as a weird dangerous cult and not a religious group.

Also, I'm sure it's also somewhat of a pride thing. I don't know if Miscavige is a true believer, but it seems that plenty of the members are. The former high up people interviewed in the documentary seemed to be real true believers in the past. I'm sure none in the church want to realize or admit that the group is a cult.

You can find a similar policy in early Christianity (in 2 Thessalonians) but then again, at that point Christianity was hardly past cult status itself.

This is somewhat true, but I'd say there are differences. I'm guessing you're referring to 2 Thessalonians 3 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Thessalonians%203):


6 In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching[a] you received from us.

<snip>

14 Take special note of anyone who does not obey our instruction in this letter. Do not associate with them, in order that they may feel ashamed. 15 Yet do not regard them as an enemy, but warn them as you would a fellow believer.

I'd say there's a difference between "avoid people who are doing bad things, because they might lead you astray" and "completely cut off all contact from people who are questioning doctrine, and also cut off anyone who refuses to cut off the questioners". The policy of total disconnection is a big sign that something is wrong, whether it's done by Scientology, or some Christian denomination or cult, or any other group.

But my main point is that the Scientology Twitter feed criticizing the documentary doesn't really understand why people are against Scientology.

Does the movie cover their secret base? I swear they have some kind of uber-secret base location where a bunch of weird stuff goes on.

Maybe you're thinking of the Gold Base (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_Base)? It's mentioned in the documentary.

davidm
03-30-2015, 01:34 PM
...
Maybe you're thinking of the Gold Base (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_Base)? It's mentioned in the documentary.
That Wikipedia entry is alarming. Going by that, it seems like you can get away with nearly anything if you claim a religious exemption.

I guess the problem is that they can't really come down hard on Scientology without also coming down hard on various religious orders that mandate sparse living conditions and self-denial.

gaffa
03-30-2015, 01:55 PM
That Wikipedia entry is alarming. Going by that, it seems like you can get away with nearly anything if you claim a religious exemption.

I guess the problem is that they can't really come down hard on Scientology without also coming down hard on various religious orders that mandate sparse living conditions and self-denial.
Right, but how many of them feature spike-topped fences (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_Base#/media/File:Fence_blades_fgnd_focus.jpg), with motion-activated lights every 20 feet? That's some serious damn solitude there! The fact that there are as many spikes facing into the facility as outward is just a handy coincidence.

Sam Lowry
03-30-2015, 01:56 PM
That Wikipedia entry is alarming. Going by that, it seems like you can get away with nearly anything if you claim a religious exemption.

I guess the problem is that they can't really come down hard on Scientology without also coming down hard on various religious orders that mandate sparse living conditions and self-denial.

But also many of the people are there by choice, because they think they deserve to be, and the punishment is good for them. The book goes into it more, but it's also mentioned in the documentary, when some of the former members are asked what would happen if the FBI raided the property and said they could leave now. Those asked said that if the FBI came, the people in "the hole" would be surprised to be treated like prisoners, because they were choosing to be there. I don't know how you can combat that. Maybe some sort of regulations that make it require that everyone there has to be informed of their rights and that they can leave at any time, and periodic checks to see that no one is being kept unwillingly.

Equipoise
03-30-2015, 01:59 PM
The fact that this could be made and broadcast at all tells me that their power is wilting. If anyone -- HIBO included -- had tried this 20 years ago, they would've been slapped with multiple lawsuits so fast it'd make your head spin.Someone on Twitter last night said that HBO had planned a multi-part series on Scientology several years ago, but that it was dropped. I don't have a cite for that though. I can't find the original Tweet out of the thousands I saw and searches all come up talking about Going Clear. I wouldn't doubt it though. Since Going Clear was based on a book that was already researched thoroughly and vetted by lawyers, it must have seemed like a much safer bet, though HBO had their own lawyers looking closely at it. HBO Documentary Films president Sheila Nevins said in this interview in the Hollywood Reporter (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/hbo-prepping-bombshell-scientology-film-751497), "We have probably 160 lawyers [looking at the film]"

Thank you for that link to Operation Clambake. I've known about the site since it started, but for some reason I didn't realize those books were there.


I wasn't aware of Theroux's documentary. Any idea when it's coming out and when it will be available in the US (if ever)?He's still working on it and it's supposed to come out later this year. I'll be keeping an eye on it.

Unimportant but, what's with the purple building? Who made that design decision?That's the former Cedars of Lebanon Hospital (https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=A0LEVw1tmxlVl00AhctXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEzbWozNzgyBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDVklQNTc4XzEEc2 VjA3Nj?p=Cedars+of+Lebanon+Hospital&fr=yfp-t-901). It looks like the Scienos painted it blue. Quinn Cummings tweeted last night "That used to be a hospital. I was born there. May that be the closest I ever come to being a Scientologist." She's so funny. Everyone should follow her.

gaffa
03-30-2015, 02:06 PM
But also many of the people are there by choice, because they think they deserve to be, and the punishment is good for them. The book goes into it more, but it's also mentioned in the documentary, when some of the former members are asked what would happen if the FBI raided the property and said they could leave now. Those asked said that if the FBI came, the people in "the hole" would be surprised to be treated like prisoners, because they were choosing to be there. I don't know how you can combat that. Maybe some sort of regulations that make it require that everyone there has to be informed of their rights and that they can leave at any time, and periodic checks to see that no one is being kept unwillingly.
Though the term wasn't mentioned in the book Going Clear, that sounds like a textbook example of Stockholm Syndrome.

kayaker
03-30-2015, 02:21 PM
Does the movie cover their secret base? I swear they have some kind of uber-secret base location where a bunch of weird stuff goes on.

Are you thinking of the Vatican?

Equipoise
03-30-2015, 03:22 PM
I'll ignore that.

Hey, I didn't know this because I hadn't been keeping up, but it looks like Lisa Marie Presley has left the cult (http://tonyortega.org/2013/11/13/lisa-marie-presley-on-scientology-crazy-criminal-people/)! I'm glad to hear it. Edit to add that Priscilla seems to have left too. She hasn't taken any courses for a few years. Maybe she didn't want to Disconnect from Lisa Marie, and neither want to speak out for fear of Disconnection from friends still in the cult.


Btw, as long as this post is about Lisa Marie, (I posted this but then I accidentally hit the back button and it disappeared. I apologize if it appears twice.) Nothing about Lisa Marie Presley and Michael Jackson appears in the book. It was just some scuttlebutt I heard years ago from former scientologists but I can't find a link. It makes sense to me though. Why else would they be together? I should have put "married" in quotes though because it looks like she not only did NOT divorced the father of her two kids, she and Jackson were never really married. There's an interesting story behind it all but we may never hear it. Lisa Marie has left scientology (and possibly her mother too) and is keeping quiet. Here's the story of how she and Jackson went to the Dominican Republic to get married, and came back telling the world so, but it never happened. This is long but well-worth reading. This writer really did his research. I haven't found any rebuttals to it. I found this interesting (http://pissinginthesoup.com/2013/05/14/the-fraudulent-wedding-of-michael-jackson-and-lisa-marie-presley/). It's a pretty through individual investigation showing that Lisa Marie never divorced her husband Danny Keough before telling the world (via Diane Sawyer) that she and Michael Jackson were married. But, unlike L. Ron Hubbard, she didn't commit bigamy*, she and Jackson never married at all!


* another thing not mentioned in the documentary, Hubbard was still married to his first wife when he married Sara Northrup (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sara_Northrup_Hollister), the woman whose writings were read in the documentary by Sherry Stringfield. Sara kept quiet until she was on her deathbed then spilled everything, including when Hubbard kidnapped their daughter, took her to Cuba, told Northrup he'd killed her and cut her into little pieces, then said, ha, just kidding! What a scumbag.

gaffa
03-30-2015, 03:32 PM
...another thing not mentioned in the documentary, Hubbard was still married to his first wife when he married Sara Northrup (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sara_Northrup_Hollister), the woman whose writings were read in the documentary by Sherry Stringfield. Sara kept quiet until she was on her deathbed then spilled everything, including when Hubbard kidnapped their daughter, took her to Cuba, told Northrup he'd killed her and cut her into little pieces, then said, ha, just kidding! What a scumbag.
Is she the one Hubbard told "If you really love me, you'd kill yourself"?

Equipoise
03-30-2015, 03:34 PM
I'll have to wait until it shows up on HBO-GO.Going Clear will be playing again tonight at 8:00 Central time, plus several more times throughout the month. According to a tweet from HBO, it's now on HBO On Demand and HBO Go. It's streaming other places too. If anyone wants a link, PM me.

gaffa
03-30-2015, 04:01 PM
Going Clear will be playing again tonight at 8:00 Central time, plus several more times throughout the month. According to a tweet from HBO, it's now on HBO On Demand and HBO Go. It's streaming other places too. If anyone wants a link, PM me.
I just checked the HBO-GO app on my Roku, and it is the #1 featured item - the very first thing available to click on.

gaffa
03-30-2015, 04:11 PM
Still, the government has a strong interest in not allowing itself to be bullied like that, whatever the short term costs and hassles of standing up to it.
The IRS is just one entity in the US government, and they all have their own budgets, all of which have to be approved by Congress. So it's not as if the IRS had an unlimited piggy bank from which to pay lawyers to defend 2500 lawsuits. They'd exhaust their budget, then have to go to Congress to get more, and probably wouldn't get it until the next budget. In the meanwhile, the CoS would be lobbying Congress, which they have done successfully using various front organizations.

Equipoise
03-30-2015, 04:20 PM
Is she the one Hubbard told "If you really love me, you'd kill yourself"?I know that was in the book but I can't remember if he said it to his 1st or 2nd wife. He beat both of them.

davidm
03-30-2015, 04:29 PM
The IRS is just one entity in the US government, and they all have their own budgets, all of which have to be approved by Congress. So it's not as if the IRS had an unlimited piggy bank from which to pay lawyers to defend 2500 lawsuits. They'd exhaust their budget, then have to go to Congress to get more, and probably wouldn't get it until the next budget. In the meanwhile, the CoS would be lobbying Congress, which they have done successfully using various front organizations.I understand all of that, but it just seems like there needs to be a way to fight things like this. We can't just allow organizations to bully government agencies in this manner. It makes a mockery of government. There needs to be some mechanism to protect agencies against this kind of legal harassment. Otherwise government becomes meaningless.

If there's no mechanism in place to protect against this kind of thing, why hasn't it been successfully been done against other agencies or against the IRS by other parties? It just seems like there must have been something else going on behind the scenes; blackmail or bribes or something. Something beyond just overwhelming them with lawsuits.

gaffa
03-30-2015, 04:38 PM
I understand all of that, but it just seems like there needs to be a way to fight things like this. We can't just allow organizations to bully government agencies in this manner. It makes a mockery of government. There needs to be some mechanism to protect agencies against this kind of legal harassment. Otherwise government becomes meaningless.

OK.

The wheels of government grind so slowly that they just aren't set up to handle this. The IRS would either have to get an emergency appropriation to shovel money out to law firms (never an easy sell no matter who is in control of Congress) or a law specifically against an entity claiming to be a religion.

You have to admit, it takes a truly unique type of evil to make one feel bad for the Internal Revenue Service.

If there's no mechanism in place to protect against this kind of thing, why hasn't it been successfully been done against other agencies or against the IRS by other parties? It just seems like there must have been something else going on behind the scenes; blackmail or bribes or something. Something beyond just overwhelming them with lawsuits.
There is a term that I have not been able to find via Google for "abuse by lawsuit". I thought it was "barretty" but apparently that is not it. There are laws against "frivolous lawsuits", but I haven't found anything about sheer quantity.

foolsguinea
03-30-2015, 05:00 PM
Testing

foolsguinea
03-30-2015, 05:02 PM
Huh. Google Chrome is refusing to display either page 2 of this thread, or a new reply page. I was able to post with quick reply, but I had to come to Firefox to read this page.

That's...odd.

foolsguinea
03-30-2015, 05:12 PM
ATMB thread about Chrome refusing to show this page of the thread (so far). (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=753101)

crypto
03-30-2015, 05:32 PM
At this point, the membership of the "church" seems almost superfluous. Why do they care if they attract any new members? They have built a self-sustaining financial empire. (Tax free!) The membership could wither away to nothing, and the financial empire would still exist.

So convincing people to leave or not to join is of limited utility at this point. What is necessary is for the IRS to gather up its gonads and revisit the tax status of this entity.



I would agree with this. Membership truly is irrelevant with the real estate holdings they have. Their net worth is staggering.

How does a church work, though, from a compensation standpoint? Do people like Miscavige draw a salary (I am guessing yes), and if so, who decides what he gets paid? Since it is a non-profit, are the salaries of church leaders published?

gaffa
03-30-2015, 05:39 PM
I would agree with this. Membership truly is irrelevant with the real estate holdings they have. Their net worth is staggering.

How does a church work, though, from a compensation standpoint? Do people like Miscavige draw a salary (I am guessing yes), and if so, who decides what he gets paid? Since it is a non-profit, are the salaries of church leaders published?
In theory, Miscavige gets $100,000 a year. In reality, with Sea Org members serving his every whim, he lives the life of a billionaire. Here's a segment from the book excepted by Variety: (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/how-scientology-seduced-tom-cruise-409686)

To maintain Miscavige's physique, chefs have to enter each portion size into a computer. Miscavige often starts the day with an omelet of one whole egg and five egg whites. Two-and-a-half hours later, lunch is provided. Two choices would be prepared daily, for both him and his wife. Dinner is a five-course meal, and once again, dual entrees are prepared for him to choose from. Miscavige's favorite foods include wild mushroom risotto, linguine in white clam sauce and pate de foie gras. Several times a week, a truck from Santa Monica Seafood delivers Atlantic salmon or live lobster. Corn-fed lamb is flown in from New Zealand.

When guests such as Cruise come to dinner at his well-appointed house, the kitchen goes into extravagant bursts of invention, with ingredients sometimes flown in from different continents. Two hours after dinner, the first evening snack arrives, with lighter offerings such as Italian white bean soup or clam chowder. After midnight, there is a final late-night snack -- a selection of nonfat cheeses, an apple crisp or blueberry crepes, often garnished with edible flowers. Two full-time chefs work all day preparing these meals, with several full-time stewards to serve them. According to Headley's wife, Claire, who oversaw the finances for the Religious Technology Center between 2000 and 2004, the food costs for the Miscaviges and their guests would range between $3,000 to as much as $20,000 a week.

The Sea Org members are paid something like $.50 an hour, and are often fined for infractions or forced to donate their meager pay to buy a present for Miscavige.

nearwildheaven
03-30-2015, 06:37 PM
This sounds like a version of North Korea.

Slow Moving Vehicle
03-30-2015, 06:56 PM
Huh. Google Chrome is refusing to display either page 2 of this thread, or a new reply page. I was able to post with quick reply, but I had to come to Firefox to read this page.

That's...odd.

[ominous music]

They're here.

[/ominous music]

gaffa
03-30-2015, 06:57 PM
This sounds like a version of North Korea.
Worse. Imagine if a bunch of people from South Korea voluntarily moved to North Korea. Most of the people in the Sea Org are regular folks who got sucked into this cult. I've always been fascinated how seemingly intelligent, rational people wound up as members, and Paul Haggis is the first with the communication skill to help me understand (though I could never imagine myself falling for it, protected as I am by a rich, chocolaty coating of cynicism.)

I have pity mainly for the children born into the cult, like the musician Beck.

I do have to say, the "Church" of Scientology has it all over North Korea in two important ways:

Snappier (https://otviiisgrrr8.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/captain-david-miscavige.jpg) uniforms (http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02701/kim_2701423b.jpg).
Leader with a better (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f5/David_Miscavige_-_Portrait.jpg) haircut (http://images.entertainment.ie/images_content/rectangle/620x372/kju20141011228705.jpg).

gaffa
03-30-2015, 07:02 PM
[ominous music]

They're here.

[/ominous music]
No, it definitly is a bad link put in post #60 by Equipoise. The Mods have been alerted, but they're probably off battling the Rockers. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mods_and_rockers)

Equipoise
03-30-2015, 07:10 PM
Sorry about that guys! Nothing creepy happening, just brain damage.

PunditLisa
03-30-2015, 07:58 PM
I can't imagine what secrets they have on Travolta and Cruise that would be worse than being known as a Scientologist. I know that I'll never watch another movie with Tom Cruise in it. In the very best light, he's an egomaniac. In the worst, he's a willing promoter of a dangerous and manipulative "religion."

I'm now pretty convinced that Travolta is gay thanks to a recent photo from a guy in Florida who posted a FB photo of a bald Travolta at a Planet Fitness gym. The actor reportedly came up and introduced himself to him at 3am, then later asked for his business card so that he could discuss woodworking (ha!). That removed all doubt from my mind. What celebrity works out at Planet Fitness when he surely has a state-of-the-art gym in his home. At 3am. Let's just say that everyone seems to suspect that he was there for...let's just say, social reasons.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/15/john-travolta-gym_n_6479752.html

I wish that Travolta would just come out already. Being gay just isn't that big of a deal to reasonable people anymore, and who cares about the rest? I'd much rather see him come out of the closet and leave the church than to stay in the church because he's afraid of being found out.

PunditLisa
03-30-2015, 08:07 PM
I'll also say that if Chrome is not showing this article, Yahoo! is making up for it. My feed is filled with negative stories about Scientology.

gaffa
03-30-2015, 08:48 PM
It's been fixed and is now working on Chrome. Thanks nameless Mod!

BrainGlutton
03-30-2015, 08:55 PM
I probably won't see this until Netflix gets it or it goes up on You Tube, but I wondered if Scientologists existed outside Hollywood until I happened to drive by a Scientology temple in a suburb of St. Louis (I used to live in that region). Yep, they do.

Clearwater, Florida (west of Tampa) is Scientology's Rome.

Morgenstern
03-30-2015, 08:58 PM
Sorry about that guys! Nothing creepy happening, just brain damage.

Can you do the same thing to the Global warming thread in the pit?

Hershele Ostropoler
03-30-2015, 09:25 PM
I was struck by the way John Travolta talked about his experiences. "Scientology helped me get where I am today." People in other* religions don't say that. A football player may thank God or Jesus, but rarely the Pope, or their minister, at least not in the same way.

*Arguendo

Robot Arm
03-30-2015, 09:29 PM
That's the former Cedars of Lebanon Hospital (https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=A0LEVw1tmxlVl00AhctXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEzbWozNzgyBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDVklQNTc4XzEEc2 VjA3Nj?p=Cedars+of+Lebanon+Hospital&fr=yfp-t-901). It looks like the Scienos painted it blue. Quinn Cummings tweeted last night "That used to be a hospital. I was born there. May that be the closest I ever come to being a Scientologist." She's so funny. Everyone should follow her.Quinn Cummings? "The Goodbye Girl" Quinn Cummings?

jimbuff314
03-30-2015, 09:59 PM
I was struck by the way John Travolta talked about his experiences. "Scientology helped me get where I am today." People in other* religions don't say that. A football player may thank God or Jesus, but rarely the Pope, or their minister, at least not in the same way.

*Arguendo

David Wong talked about this (http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-reasons-you-get-tricked-into-believing-stupid-things/) in a Cracked article today. Basically, he said, they just take shit that is known to work, put them in their courses, and that is what ventriloquist's dummies like Travolta mean when they "say" stuff like that.

[...] This particular course is Scientology's advice for what to do when work/life gets overwhelming. The advice is not, "Perform the thetan-summoning ritual!" or "Find your nearest psychiatrist and take a shit in his driveway!" Instead it suggests you should lock in on one task and focus on completing it quickly and correctly, to the exclusion of all others. So instead of thinking of all the work you have to get done, only think of the one, single task you have to get done right now. Then, once completed, you'll have the confidence to proceed to the next. This is great advice; every single successful person I know does this. And none of us knew that we were really doing Scientology all along!

"But wait," you say. "Scientology didn't invent that; they probably just pulled it off of some '10 Tips to Work Better' email forward. It's just common sense!"

Right, and so is virtually everything on their course list. Their process for how to organize a group project is probably identical to one you're already using at the office, [...]

gaffa
03-30-2015, 10:10 PM
I just watched the movie. Gibney had to leave a huge amount of the book out of the film, and the book left an even larger amount out of the history of Scientology.

Anything useful in the most basic parts of Scientology was ripped off from Alfred Korzybski and general semantics (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_semantics) - that's the part that pulled people in.

Equipoise
03-30-2015, 10:41 PM
I was struck by the way John Travolta talked about his experiences. "Scientology helped me get where I am today." People in other* religions don't say that. A football player may thank God or Jesus, but rarely the Pope, or their minister, at least not in the same way.

*ArguendoWhat gets me is that Travolta said early on what Scientology's goals are: a world without crime, insanity or war. But they decide what constitutes "crime" (the end justifies the means, and can be seen in everything from Operation Snow White, to Operation Freakout, to harassment of their critics and a million other ways), and even based on their attack ads against the people in the film, all the participants in the film are criminals. Really, all critics and SPs are criminals. Mike Rinder said himself that he believed that people attacking Scientology were criminals. He said it in an old interview shown in the documentary. (God he must cringe when he sees what he was like and what he was saying during his spokesperson years)

War? Forget that one. How are they going to stop wars? They don't ever go into how they're going to do that. I figure they'd cross that bridge (ha) when they come to it.

Insanity? Well, Hubbard himself said, right there in the documentary, that they don't have anything to do with the insane.

So if their goal is a world without criminals (by their definition) and a world without the insane (who could never be audited even if Scientology wanted to help them, which they don't), what is the proposal to deal with those people in order to "Clear" a planet? What's on Tom Cruise's mind when he said in that black turtleneck "interview" that one day people would speak of "SPs" as ancient history?

Nobody wants to say what the answer might be because it would sound to conspiracy theory batshit, but it bears thinking about what the answer might be to those questions. Not that I think anyone should fear them regarding the answer. The people they've killed so far happen to be their own people (http://www.xenu-directory.net/mirrors/www.whyaretheydead.net/), so they're not very competent. But it is right there in the documentary, not commented on, but there.

Massive war chest, multi-billion dollar stashes, none of that money means anything if they don't have people to help clear the planet (in the normal "Let's clean this place up!" as Tom Cruise so gleefully shouted to the faithful, rather than the "Ok, we're almost good to go except for those criminals and insane people" L. Ron was aiming for). They need bodies, they need new members, and they're getting fewer and fewer new ones to replace the horrified and disillusioned people who are leaving in droves. Where are they going to find them? They're searching, searching. South America, maybe?



Quinn Cummings? "The Goodbye Girl" Quinn Cummings?Yep, one and the same. She always makes me smile or laugh out loud.

Can you do the same thing to the Global warming thread in the pit?Ha.

Robot Arm
03-30-2015, 11:06 PM
Yep, one and the same. She always makes me smile or laugh out loud.Well, I'll be. I guess there's one less name for the "celebrities who disappeared without a trace" thread.

Morgyn
03-30-2015, 11:14 PM
I bought the book The Bare-Faced Messiah, Russell Miller's bio of Hubbard, as soon as I saw it in the bookstore, because I knew it would be litigated ouit of existence immediately.

<snip>

If you want, you can read both books online at Operation Clambake at http://www.xenu.net/ . The Scientologists tried multiple times to gget that site shut down, too. Fortunately, it's based in Norway, and relativerly immune to US prosecution. By all means, visit that site for more than you ever wanted to know about Hubbard and the Scientologists. It's a real eye-opener.I checked out the Operation Clambake site, and Barefaced Messiah (http://www.xenu.net/archive/books/bfm/bfmconte.htm) has been removed because it's been republished. You can buy it and The Unbreakable Miss Lovely from Silvertail Books (http://www.silvertailbooks.com/books/).

Equipoise
03-30-2015, 11:27 PM
I'll have to get the new version of Bare-Faced Messiah. The Unbreakable Miss Lovely is coming in May. I hope there's a studio bidding war for it. I see Kathryn Bigelow, David Fincher or Quentin Tarantino (not really, but it would be fun). Jennifer Lawrence would make a great Paulette Cooper!


Well, I'll be. I guess there's one less name for the "celebrities who disappeared without a trace" thread.She's out of the business, been raising kids, but could be a stand-up comedian except that she's actually an introvert, except on Twitter. She usually responds to a tweet before she quotes it. She's a die-hard liberal, which makes her even more fun. Here's an example of her usual style:

@quinncy: GIVE THE CORGIS WHATEVER THEY WANT. @thedailybeast Members of the Queen's staff are planning to strike for the first time in history.

Equipoise
03-31-2015, 12:22 AM
Alex Gibney did a Q&A on Twitter after tonight's showing and said that Going Clear will be released in some theaters in Canada in May, and will then be shown on HBOCanada. I saw in another tweet by someone else that it's going to be in shown in some theaters in Australia in June. Nothing was said about HBO there. No word yet on anywhere else.

Charlie Wayne
03-31-2015, 02:56 AM
I watched this film and I enjoyed it tremendously. I found it extremely informative and extremely well made. It has prompted me to want to make this post.

Later on, I may have more to say. But at this time, I'd just like to say something very brief and that has to do with Yul Brynner and his dying remarks.

I don't know how many people here will know of Yul Brynner. He was a famous movie actor who died in 1985. He was famous for many of the films he made. But most of his films were made during the 1960s and so many people here may not know about him. I don't want to talk about his films here however. I want to talk about what he had to say on his deathbed. I always admired him tremendously for those remarks. They took a great deal of courage and he became and to this day, he remains one of my greatest personal heroes.

Yul Brynner was a heavy smoker all his life and he died from a disease that most people believed was caused by his smoking. Here is a link to a Wikipedia article that quotes his deathbed remarks. I'm going to paraphrase those remarks after the link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yul_Brynner

"Brynner died of lung cancer on October 10, 1985 in New York City. The following is an excerpt from the Wikipedia article from which the link is given above.

<snip> "He then looked directly into the camera for 30 seconds and said, "Now that I'm gone, I tell you: Don’t smoke. Whatever you do, just don’t smoke. If I could take back that smoking, we wouldn't be talking about any cancer. I'm convinced of that." <snip>"

I recall his remarks as being somewhat different from that. I'm quite certain that what he said was very close to the following:

"If you don't smoke, don't start. If you do smoke, then quit. For God's sake, whatever you do, quit as quickly as you can. Quit right away!"

It took a great deal of courage for Mr. Brynner to say that because at the time, the tobacco companies were extremely powerful and they arranged that actors who spoke against them would not get any work. Very few actors were willing to speak against them in public. But after Yul Brynner made the above remarks, it opened a floodgate and it seems to me that thousands of actors followed his lead and the tobacco companies were just done for. They were essentially out of business after that. At least they couldn't advertise at all after that. It was a magnificent example of the power of personal freedoms and the power of the media.

Yul Brynner has always remained one of my greatest personal heroes for doing that.

Charlie Wayne
03-31-2015, 03:07 AM
What does my post above have to do with Scientology?

Well, I want to say to you all,

"If you are not a member of Scientology, don't join. Stay away from them. Stay as far away as you can. Don't ever give them any money. Not one thin dime. If you are a member of Scientology, then quit. For God's sake, whatever you do, quit as quickly as you can. Quit right away.

They will make it very difficult for you to quit. I know because the following happened to me. They will phone you relentlessly. They will come to see you. They will tell you that you are in the middle of one of their courses or exercises and they need you to come back in to finish. Of course, that will then become something more. They will not let you alone until you tell them forcibly to fuck off and leave you alone or you will call the police and ask the police to arrest them. That will get them to stop.

Charlie Wayne
03-31-2015, 03:17 AM
I've had a hunch for years that people like Travolta and maybe Cruise were somehow being blackmailed.

They address that in the movie. They tell people they are not being blackmailed because they are not asking for money. But they are being extorted. The definition of "Extortion" (which is a felony and will get you 5 years in a penitentiary) is close to the following:

Forcing someone to do something that you have no right to force them to do. Or ... forcing someone to not do something that you have no right to force them not to do."

So, it's just symantics whether they are guilty of blackmail or extortion. Either way it's the same kind of crime and it is despicable. It's all just a big scam very much like the North Korean govt or many others. Remember all those meetings and parades where people talk about the "beloved leader" or the "dear leader". It's remarkably similar to that kind of scam. Remember the big meetings where people talked about that man who was the head of a giant cult ... damn I forget the name. But it's all the same kind of deal.

There is one "strong man" at the top and all the money and power goes to him. Everyone else just gets to help him recruit and maintain suckers to join their cult. Don't be a sucker. Please don't be a sucker.

Charlie Wayne
03-31-2015, 03:18 AM
Sorry. Duplicate post.

Charlie Wayne
03-31-2015, 03:26 AM
That was extremely powerful. Even though I knew most of it, I still cried at several points because reading about something and actually hearing these people talk about these things is a completely different experience. I was so engrossed I barely glanced at #GoingClear and didn't read Ortega's feed at all. I am going to go back and read it all now.

I hope everyone gets a chance to see it at some point in the future, even if they have to wait for Vimeo or the DVD.

Anyone who sees it, know this. The movie, and the book, didn't touch a fraction of the horror stories that are out there. As bad as it looks, it's much much worse than you can imagine.

Heh Heh. Good post. But even your post fails to come close to the horrors perpertrated by this cult.

I knew of some girl who got some members of the cult to come to her grandparents and forcefully tell them she needed all the money in their bank account (all the money they had in the world (about $150K) so that she could take some courses that would save her life. She told them that if she did not get the money to take the courses her live would be over. They stayed there for a few hours and strong armed this poor couple until they got the money. They never got it back. Her grandparents died penniless and broken human beings. It was a horror story that was quite common for the Church.

Some fucking joke to call this scam a "church". It is nothing more than a bunch of thugs and thieves disguised in suits and ties.

If you don't have anything to do with Scientology, don't join. For God's sake, stay away. Stay as far away as you can. If you are a member of Scientology, for God's sake, quit! Quit as fast as you can. Quit right away!

Dr. Strangelove
03-31-2015, 03:27 AM
The part that will always make me laugh is that so many countries were not wanting them there, that they took to the seas!

I don't know what the book says about them, but that's not the only reason (and probably not the primary reason). A huge component of cult programming is isolation. On land, it's difficult to truly isolate people--police poke their noses in, families try to make contact, and so on. On the sea, you can control everything.

CalMeacham
03-31-2015, 06:35 AM
I checked out the Operation Clambake site, and Barefaced Messiah (http://www.xenu.net/archive/books/bfm/bfmconte.htm) has been removed because it's been republished. You can buy it and The Unbreakable Miss Lovely from Silvertail Books (http://www.silvertailbooks.com/books/).

Are you sure? When I posted the link to Operation Clambake I saw that they still had it listed, although I admittedly didn't click on the link to go to BFM.


Edited to add:

I clicked on the link. You can still access some parts, but the main body of the book is, indeed, removed. It's another measure of the fading influence of the Scientologists, I think, that this book is finally seeing print in the US again. Maybe this will finally be the US paperback release that they never had (It was published in paperback in the UK)

CalMeacham
03-31-2015, 06:56 AM
I don't know what the book says about them, but that's not the only reason (and probably not the primary reason). A huge component of cult programming is isolation. On land, it's difficult to truly isolate people--police poke their noses in, families try to make contact, and so on. On the sea, you can control everything.

It's not just that. Hubbard was a sailor from early on, and loved it. He was an officer in the Navy during WWII, and for a brief time commanded his own ship, until (as the documentary points out) he mistakenly thought a magnetic anomaly was a Japanese sub and depth charged it, then went on to fire on an island that turned out to be Mexican territory. After that he was removed from command, and never got to helm another Navy ship.

Some folks think that his commanding the Scientology fleet (They eventually had three ships, IIRC) was his way of compensating for that. They even got to wear uniforms!




I have to admit that the one thing I feel sorry for LRH about was his comedown in the Navy. I don't say that he didn't deserve it, but it had to be an extreme and devastating blow to hi and his ego. Not only was he deprived of command (although he still remained an officer, but travelling on other people's ships), but the Navy boards criticized his reports. He, a mariner from way back, a member of the Explorer's Club, was told that he was unfit to command a ship. That was bad enough. But to be told that he couldn't write -- that must have been intolerable. He had already published widely in the pulps, and written one screenplay (that was filmed).






Incidenatally, Hubbard was a compulsive myth-builder vand self-promoting liar. If that documentary tells you anything, take that away from it. In that light, claims in both the documentary and in things like Martin Gardner's book Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science about Hubbard ought to be looked at with a skeptical eye. So I don't buy claims that he published more books -- 1000 -- than anyone else, or that he wrote on a long reel of butcher paper threaded into his typewriter, or that he had a special typewriter that had keys for "the" and "and".

Bull


Gardner, a longtine skeptic and member of CSICOP, should've been more skeptical (in a book that was supposed to take a critical look, at that). Until someone produces that typewriter, or shows us a story he submitted on a continuous roll I won't buy it. Hubbard's entry on the Internet Speculative Fiction database is lengthy, but not extremely so:

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?645

Asimov's is a helluva lot longer:

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?5

as is Arthur C. Clarke's, and others

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?17

and if you say "well, not all of Hubbard's stuff was in science fiction", well, you can say that in spades about Asimov.

Hubbard did write an awful lot of manuals and stuff for internal use in Scientology (and not all of it "tech" -- he wrote procedural manuals for handling everyday business, too). And if you add those in, you might get 1000 manuals and pamphlets as well. But it's certainly not material that should be counted among his "prolific writer" stage, as the documentary tries to make it.

Sam Lowry
03-31-2015, 08:44 AM
I wish that Travolta would just come out already. Being gay just isn't that big of a deal to reasonable people anymore, and who cares about the rest? I'd much rather see him come out of the closet and leave the church than to stay in the church because he's afraid of being found out.

It's not a big deal to most people, but I could see how it would be a big deal to him. He's been in a group most of his adult life that has said that homosexuality is wrong, and can be fixed if you follow their teaching close enough. He probably also has helpful Scientology advisers who tell him how he would be ruined and everyone would be against him if he came out as gay. I don't know how that would affect your state of mind, but I imagine it would have a big impact. I would also love to see Travolta leave the church, but I know it would be hugely, hugely difficult for him.

I don't know what the book says about them, but that's not the only reason (and probably not the primary reason). A huge component of cult programming is isolation. On land, it's difficult to truly isolate people--police poke their noses in, families try to make contact, and so on. On the sea, you can control everything.

This is true, it is much easier to isolate people on boats, and that's definitely part of the reason for taking to the waters. But also like CalMeacham said, Hubbard was compensating for what went wrong with his Navy career. He was a funny guy, and all of Scientology would be hilarious, if it also wasn't hugely harmful.

Ike Witt
03-31-2015, 08:45 AM
I received a reply from HBO Canada and here is the meat of it We are working on acquiring the rights to this film. However, we were not in time to match the HBO U.S. premiere. That is all the information we have at this time. I will forward your comments to our Programming Department for review.

That works with the idea that there may be some sort of release for it in Canada.

Mahaloth
03-31-2015, 08:50 AM
Is this movie eligible for the documentary Oscar next year? It would be interesting if they nominated it.

Charlie Wayne
03-31-2015, 09:03 AM
Why do they keep treating Canada like such a ????? sister?

Dammit all to Hell. Why can't I remember that expression?

I am certain that I've seen that expression acted out many times in the past. But for some stupid reason, I never seem to be able to remember the word that belongs in there. What is that word? Can anybody tell me? And why can't I ever seem to remember it?

kayaker
03-31-2015, 09:11 AM
Why do they keep treating Canada like such a ????? sister?

Dammit all to Hell. Why can't I remember that expression?

I am certain that I've seen that expression acted out many times in the past. But for some stupid reason, I never seem to be able to remember the word that belongs in there. What is that word? Can anybody tell me? And why can't I ever seem to remember it?

red headed stepsister?

gaffa
03-31-2015, 09:12 AM
Is this movie eligible for the documentary Oscar next year? It would be interesting if they nominated it.
Yes, it had the necessary theatrical release in Los Angeles County to qualify. It also screened in New York and a couple other places as well as two festivals, but that is just gravy as far as the Oscars go.

Mighty_Girl
03-31-2015, 09:18 AM
Red-headed step-sister?

ETA: Ninjaed by Kayaker...

gaffa
03-31-2015, 09:21 AM
This is true, it is much easier to isolate people on boats, and that's definitely part of the reason for taking to the waters. But also like CalMeacham said, Hubbard was compensating for what went wrong with his Navy career. He was a funny guy, and all of Scientology would be hilarious, if it also wasn't hugely harmful.
The film mentioned how people were thrown overboard, but didn't mention people, even small children, being imprisoned in the chain locker.

By the way, I can understand the frustration Canadians must feel over the delay in screening the film, but in this case it makes a lot of sense. Paul Haggis and the other former members will very likely travel to each country and do a whole media tour to support it.

dasmoocher
03-31-2015, 09:52 AM
Tom Cuise's "Freedom Medal of Valor" was amusing, sounds like something Kim Jong-il would have awarded himself.

MikeF
03-31-2015, 12:44 PM
I watched it on demand last night and was already a little familiar with what went on in the "church". I have to wonder though, did LHR say to himself, "I am going to come up with the most preposterous story imaginable and see how many people I can get to buy in."? I've heard it said that the more outrageous the lie, the the more likely it is to be believed. That one Scientology is based on sure takes the cake. It beats the "Old Man in the Sky" story by a country mile.

davidm
03-31-2015, 01:08 PM
I don't remember his name, but one of the ex-members was talking about when he reached the level where the Xenu story was revealed to him.

He was given a locked metal case and told that only he was allowed to open it and only when he was alone. He opened it and found these xeroxed copies of hand written pages detailing the story of Xenu, the Thetans, the DC8s, the volcanoes, etc.

His immediate reaction was "wtf?" He couldn't believe these were the real teachings and decided that he was being tested and had passed because he had recognized it as nonsense.

Mahaloth
03-31-2015, 01:20 PM
I don't remember his name, but one of the ex-members was talking about when he reached the level where the Xenu story was revealed to him.

He was given a locked metal case and told that only he was allowed to open it and only when he was alone. He opened it and found these xeroxed copies of hand written pages detailing the story of Xenu, the Thetans, the DC8s, the volcanoes, etc.

His immediate reaction was "wtf?" He couldn't believe these were the real teachings and decided that he was being tested and had passed because he had recognized it as nonsense.

Stan Marsh? :D

gaffa
03-31-2015, 01:28 PM
I don't remember his name, but one of the ex-members was talking about when he reached the level where the Xenu story was revealed to him.

He was given a locked metal case and told that only he was allowed to open it and only when he was alone. He opened it and found these xeroxed copies of hand written pages detailing the story of Xenu, the Thetans, the DC8s, the volcanoes, etc.

His immediate reaction was "wtf?" He couldn't believe these were the real teachings and decided that he was being tested and had passed because he had recognized it as nonsense.
That was Oscar winning writer and director Paul Haggis.

At the introductory level - aka "Dianetics" - it's not much different than EST or other self-help systems, because they were all borrowing from the same source (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_semantics#Connections_to_other_disciplines) - Alfred Korzybski and General Semantics. If it were completely insane at the outset, they'd never have anyone sign up. What happened is that nobody exhibited the powers Hubbard claimed the person who graduated the "Dianetics" course - attained the state of "Clear" - would have. So he had to invent a new level. Then another. As you go deeper into it, any connection to reality vanishes, and you're entirely in the world of Hubbard's cheap pulp SF imagination.

Haggis did the best job of any ex-Scientologist of explaining how one would get sucked in, that all your friends (and by the time you get to the level he was, most of your friends are fellow Scientologists) are raving about what a mind-blower that level was, etc. Most of them probably had the same doubts, but they've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to get there, and they have to either admit they have been duped or go along with it.

QuickSilver
03-31-2015, 02:00 PM
The crazy as a shithouse rat look in Tom Cruise's eyes was worth seeing the documentary through to the end.

dasmoocher
03-31-2015, 02:12 PM
The crazy as a shithouse rat look in Tom Cruise's eyes was worth seeing the documentary through to the end.

But Scientology has given him powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men, hasn't it? :confused:

Ike Witt
03-31-2015, 02:23 PM
I was just able to check out the line up for the Toronto Hot Docs festival, and Going Clear is not being shown at the fest.

davidm
03-31-2015, 02:26 PM
But Scientology has given him powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men, hasn't it? :confused:That's just it. Anyone who claims to have reached the highest level either realizes it's bullshit or is totally deluded.

CalMeacham
03-31-2015, 02:28 PM
That was Oscar winning writer and director Paul Haggis.

At the introductory level - aka "Dianetics" - it's not much different than EST or other self-help systems, because they were all borrowing from the same source (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_semantics#Connections_to_other_disciplines) - Alfred Korzybski and General Semantics. If it were completely insane at the outset, they'd never have anyone sign up. What happened is that nobody exhibited the powers Hubbard claimed the person who graduated the "Dianetics" course - attained the state of "Clear" - would have. So he had to invent a new level. Then another. As you go deeper into it, any connection to reality vanishes, and you're entirely in the world of Hubbard's cheap pulp SF imagination.

.

Hubbard didn't only steal from Korzybski and General Semantics. He was eclectic and stole from everywhere. If you read the books that are critical of him and Scientology, and search the Operation Clambake website you';ll find that he took stuff from Aleister Crowley and the OTO, from various other "mental sciences" theorists (Hubbard didn't invent the term "engram") and from others. As I've remarked elsewhere, he didn't even originate the idea of packaging his 'technology" as a religion -- the theme of using religion as a cover for secret knowledge was a pretty common idea in the Astounding Science Fiction circle he ran in. It had been used by Asimov ("Foundation"), Campbell ("All") and Heinlein ("Sixth Column", his rewrite of "All", now in print as "The Day After Tomorrow")

gaffa
03-31-2015, 02:28 PM
But Scientology has given him powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men, hasn't it? :confused:
Rumor is that Cruise modeled his character in A Few Good Men on Miscavige.

And that intense stare that he often does is the legendary "OT III Death Stare". At OT III level, he supposedly acquired M.E.S.T powers and can alter Matter, Energy, Space and Time and can kill with a glance.

Bam Boo Gut
03-31-2015, 02:36 PM
I fell asleep half way through the documentary last night. :smack:

I went for dinner and and an evening of entertainment on board the ship once. It was all very hospitable, the food was good and they had their own band with some local entertainers invited too. Quite of a few of the crew were from Japan. There was a general air of nervousness about them all. I was glad to disembark.

dasmoocher
03-31-2015, 02:38 PM
That's just it. Anyone who claims to have reached the highest level either realizes it's bullshit or is totally deluded.

Cruise: I think it's a privilege to call yourself a Scientologist and it is something that you have to earn, and... because a Scientologist does. He, or she has the ability to create new and better realities and improve conditions. Uh, being a Scientologist, you look at somebody and you know absolutely that you can help them. (cut)

So, for me, it really is KSW, and it's just like, it's something that, uh, I don't mince words with that. You know, with anything (unintelligible), but that policy to me has really has gone , boy, there's a time I went through and I said, "You know what..." When I read it, I just went (noise that sounds like poof), "This is it. That's exactly it." (cut)

Being a Scientologist, when you drive past an accident, it's not like anyone else. As you drive past, you know you have to do something about it, because you know you're the only one that can really help. (cut)

<snip>

It's like, man, you're either in or you're out.

[my italics]

Transcript here (http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Tom_Cruise)

I'd say he's all in.

kayaker
03-31-2015, 02:39 PM
At OT III level, he supposedly acquired M.E.S.T powers and can alter Matter, Energy, Space and Time and can kill with a glance.

Why wouldn't he make himself a foot or two taller?

davidm
03-31-2015, 02:40 PM
I fell asleep half way through the documentary last night. :smack:

I went for dinner and and an evening of entertainment on board the ship once. It was all very hospitable, the food was good and they had their own band with some local entertainers invited too. Quite of a few of the crew were from Japan. There was a general air of nervousness about them all. I was glad to disembark.


How did you manage that? Were you a member?

dasmoocher
03-31-2015, 02:44 PM
Why wouldn't he make himself a foot or two taller?

Better yet--shrink everyone else. Much more impressive.

davidm
03-31-2015, 02:49 PM
Cruise: I think it's a privilege to call yourself a Scientologist and it is something that you have to earn, and... because a Scientologist does. He, or she has the ability to create new and better realities and improve conditions. Uh, being a Scientologist, you look at somebody and you know absolutely that you can help them. (cut)

So, for me, it really is KSW, and it's just like, it's something that, uh, I don't mince words with that. You know, with anything (unintelligible), but that policy to me has really has gone , boy, there's a time I went through and I said, "You know what..." When I read it, I just went (noise that sounds like poof), "This is it. That's exactly it." (cut)

Being a Scientologist, when you drive past an accident, it's not like anyone else. As you drive past, you know you have to do something about it, because you know you're the only one that can really help. (cut)

<snip>

It's like, man, you're either in or you're out.
[my italics]

Transcript here (http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Tom_Cruise)

I'd say he's all in.Here's the actual video: http://youtu.be/UFBZ_uAbxS0

Czarcasm
03-31-2015, 03:09 PM
Rumor is that Cruise modeled his character in A Few Good Men on Miscavige.

And that intense stare that he often does is the legendary "OT III Death Stare". At OT III level, he supposedly acquired M.E.S.T powers and can alter Matter, Energy, Space and Time and can kill with a glance.He is definitely M.E.S.T.-up.

Rick Kitchen
03-31-2015, 03:34 PM
I fell asleep half way through the documentary last night. :smack:.

Ah. You're the one whose picture the CoS has been using on their Twitter feed to show how everybody is bored with the film.

Equipoise
03-31-2015, 05:14 PM
Haha! I was thinking of those ridiculous ads when I read that too.

I can't link at the moment but according to The Wrap regarding Sunday night's premiere:

The viewer total (more specifically 1.652 million) makes the film the pay-TV network’s most-watched doc premiere since Spike Lee‘s two-part 2006 Hurricane Katrina offering, “When the Levees Broke” (1.75 million viewers).Not bad. I think I expected more, but every little bit helps spread the word. Each showing on HBO will hurt.

crypto
03-31-2015, 05:57 PM
Why wouldn't he make himself a foot or two taller?

That's gold, Jerry! Gold!

That was Oscar winning writer and director Paul Haggis.

At the introductory level - aka "Dianetics" - it's not much different than EST or other self-help systems, because they were all borrowing from the same source (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_semantics#Connections_to_other_disciplines) - Alfred Korzybski and General Semantics.



Hmm.. I can see why people become anti-semantics.

Ambivalid
03-31-2015, 06:11 PM
I watched it on demand last night and was already a little familiar with what went on in the "church". I have to wonder though, did LHR say to himself, "I am going to come up with the most preposterous story imaginable and see how many people I can get to buy in."? I've heard it said that the more outrageous the lie, the the more likely it is to be believed. That one Scientology is based on sure takes the cake. It beats the "Old Man in the Sky" story by a country mile.

Seriously. Xenu?! Xenu?!?! :dubious::confused: If it wasn't true (the fact that people believed this), I'd never believe it.

Charlie Wayne
03-31-2015, 06:16 PM
red headed stepsister?

That's very close. It's definitely something about a "stepsister".

crypto
03-31-2015, 06:27 PM
It's not a big deal to most people, but I could see how it would be a big deal to him. He's been in a group most of his adult life that has said that homosexuality is wrong, and can be fixed if you follow their teaching close enough. He probably also has helpful Scientology advisers who tell him how he would be ruined and everyone would be against him if he came out as gay. I don't know how that would affect your state of mind, but I imagine it would have a big impact. I would also love to see Travolta leave the church, but I know it would be hugely, hugely difficult for him.


I actually would be surprised if L. Ron himself wasn't gay. He pinged my gaydar (normally, I would dismiss this as junk science, but I have a gay friend who told me my gaydar is pretty accurate... so there's that.)

I have also read that many people who are rabid anti-homosexuals are in fact, homosexual themselves, and use their behavior as a way to cover their own sexuality.

But it seems that it is a very bad thing to be homosexual in Scientology, so if someone were to confess this in one of their auditing sessions, that would be a pretty heavy hammer to use to keep someone in line.

The world was a different place when Travolta was breaking into the entertainment industry. And he was a sex-symbol. To come out back then would have been a potential career-killer. And if this is information that Scientology had on Travolta, I can see how he could get sucked into the organization.

I wouldn't be shocked if Travolta is gay, and I really doubt it would hurt his acting career at all if he were to come out now. I don't know much at all about Travolta's personal life, other than being married... I don't even know if he has any children. But if he is gay and lives his entire life in the closet, he may have his own reasons, and they may not be tied to Scientology at all.

I think it is a shame that anyone has to live a life that hides who they really are, but it is ultimately his choice.

Cruise, on the other hand, was portrayed to be rather pathetic. The whole "I need a girlfriend" episode, where the church actually gave a woman an assignment to be his girlfriend was just bizarre.

Equipoise
03-31-2015, 07:03 PM
Yes, and did people note that Gibney said that she hasn't spoken out because of an NDA, but he found out about it via FBI files?? Imagine having FBI files on your love life! Poor girl. If there's anything that should have been left out, it should have been that. I really feel sorry for her.

Morbo
03-31-2015, 07:20 PM
I don't know much at all about Travolta's personal life, other than being married... I don't even know if he has any children. But if he is gay and lives his entire life in the closet, he may have his own reasons, and they may not be tied to Scientology at all.

IIRC his son Jett died of a seizure due to his Autism, which Travolta stated publicly, which caused a problem for him within the church b/c Scientology believes that psychiatric diagnoses are fake Nazi doctor inventions, designed so that the Nazi doctors could administer drugs to keep people from using their Thetan mind powers.

crypto
03-31-2015, 07:47 PM
IIRC his son Jett died of a seizure due to his Autism, which Travolta stated publicly, which caused a problem for him within the church b/c Scientology believes that psychiatric diagnoses are fake Nazi doctor inventions, designed so that the Nazi doctors could administer drugs to keep people from using their Thetan mind powers.

Wow.

If this is true, it is just sad.

And isn't autism a neurological issue, not psychological?

I feel for Travolta... If he has had to deal with the issues in his life (including an autistic child) with his "church" banging on him at every turn, it's a wonder he hasn't cracked under the strain.

Ellis Dee
03-31-2015, 08:35 PM
My mind was drifting between the lines during the "Spanky goes to prison" portion. Do we have a timeline on that? I was thinking about Travolta's career, about how he started out mega-successful, then practically couldn't get arrested for a decade or two, then was reborn in 94 with Pulp Fiction. I guess i was thinking about this because the film mentioned the red-hot start of his career, but then seemed to pretend that his quite famous slump never happened.

I got the impression that during Spanky's ordeal, Travolta either started drifting away from or maybe even confronted the church, and I'm wondering if her punishment and leaving the church happened to coincide with the beginning of the dead spot in his career. And then after a bunch of years he returns to the fold, and then bang, he gets Pulp Fiction.

Am I reading way too much into it? That's just where my mind drifted while watching that part.

gaffa
03-31-2015, 08:52 PM
My mind was drifting between the lines during the "Spanky goes to prison" portion. Do we have a timeline on that? I was thinking about Travolta's career, about how he started out mega-successful, then practically couldn't get arrested for a decade or two, then was reborn in 94 with Pulp Fiction. I guess i was thinking about this because the film mentioned the red-hot start of his career, but then seemed to pretend that his quite famous slump never happened.

I got the impression that during Spanky's ordeal, Travolta either started drifting away from or maybe even confronted the church, and I'm wondering if her punishment and leaving the church happened to coincide with the beginning of the dead spot in his career. And then after a bunch of years he returns to the fold, and then bang, he gets Pulp Fiction.

Am I reading way too much into it? That's just where my mind drifted while watching that part.
Nah, I'm pretty sure his career rebirth is entirely due to Quentin Tarantino. And the near-death experience was due to terrible films like Two of a Kind (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086494/reference) with Olivia Newton John and Perfect (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089798/reference) with Jamie Lee Curtis.

Equipoise
04-01-2015, 12:33 AM
Fuck Bodhi Elfman (http://scientologymoneyproject.com/2015/03/31/scientologists-are-not-jews-in-the-holocaust/), equating rich, cushy, deluded Scientologists with Jews, and critics and ex-Scientologists with Nazis.

davidm
04-01-2015, 03:12 AM
This is weird.
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2012/07/08/shock-alliance-farrakhan-praises-integration-of-scientology-into-nation-of-islam-theology-says-whites-should-use-it-to-become-civilized-to-avoid-being-devil-christians-satan-jews/

The Minister Louis Farrakhan has integrated Scientology into National of Islam theology
Farrakhan continues to praise L. Ron Hubbard, the allegedly racist, white founder of the Church of Scientology
The radical faith leader is training hundreds of NOI adherents in controversial “auditing” and Dianetics techniques used in Scientology to help blacks overcome trauma in their past
He believes adopting Scientology will help whites avoid being ”devil Christians” and “Satan Jews.”



http://www.newrepublic.com/article/politics/magazine/108205/scientology-joins-forces-with-nation-of-islam
The message of the event couldn’t have been clearer: The Church of Scientology was directing the full force of its persuasive powers at the Washington establishment. But who the Church courts and who the Church converts is a very different matter. And when Mike Rinder, Scientology’s former chief spokesman, visited the Washington church last year, he noticed something strange. “Half the damn people there were Nation of Islam,” he told me. “[It’s] the weirdest, weirdest thing.”

Charlie Wayne
04-01-2015, 06:14 AM
Wow.

If this is true, it is just sad.

And isn't autism a neurological issue, not psychological?

I feel for Travolta... If he has had to deal with the issues in his life (including an autistic child) with his "church" banging on him at every turn, it's a wonder he hasn't cracked under the strain.

My first thought was "good drugs". But Scientology is extremely anti-drug. I once went to one of their centers and was audited. But I never went back. During the auditing, they asked me to tell them every single kind of drug I had ever taken.

They told me that if I joined the church, I could no longer take any drugs - even if they were prescribed by my doctor. That did it for me. I never went back and eventually had to tell them that if they didn't stop phoning me and berating me to come back, I would call the police and have them arrested.

But the real reason I never went back was when they told me I could never take any drugs any more - legal drugs or illegal drugs. I realized they were out of their freaking minds and I should be the one counselling them - not the other way around.

Fuck Scientology. It's a horrible criminal scam.

davidm
04-01-2015, 06:27 AM
No drugs of any kind? They're website says that they can take drugs if they're physically ill.

http://www.scientology.org/faq/scientology-attitudes-and-practices/scientology-view-on-drugs-and-medicine.html
Scientologists do use prescribed medical drugs when physically ill and also rely on the advice and treatment of medical doctors. Scientologists do not take street drugs or mind-altering psychotropic drugs.
I don't know why they'd ever by physically ill. Can't Tom Cruise just cure them all with his magic powers?

CalMeacham
04-01-2015, 07:26 AM
My first thought was "good drugs". But Scientology is extremely anti-drug. I once went to one of their centers and was audited. But I never went back. During the auditing, they asked me to tell them every single kind of drug I had ever taken.

They told me that if I joined the church, I could no longer take any drugs - even if they were prescribed by my doctor. That did it for me. I never went back and eventually had to tell them that if they didn't stop phoning me and berating me to come back, I would call the police and have them arrested.

But the real reason I never went back was when they told me I could never take any drugs any more - legal drugs or illegal drugs. I realized they were out of their freaking minds and I should be the one counselling them - not the other way around.

Fuck Scientology. It's a horrible criminal scam.


(Bolding mine)

Gee -- I'm sure they'd NEVER use information like that for blackmail. Not at all.


Scientology is indeed anti-drug, but it's still scary about what it says and does. It's drug-rehab program Narconon sounds like other, non-Scientologist programs, and it's been alleged that they use the program as a foothold to introduce scientology. Well-intentioned people funnel addicts into the program, or support it as an available rehab program, not realizing that Narconon is VERY Scientology-based, and proselytizes for the Church.

The program has garnered considerable controversy as a result of its origins in Scientology[11][22][23] and its methods. Its drug rehabilitation treatment has been described as "medically unsafe",[24] "quackery"[12][13][25] and "medical fraud",[26] while academic and medical experts have dismissed its educational program as containing "factual errors in basic concepts such as physical and mental effects, addiction and even spelling".[27]

In turn, Narconon has claimed that mainstream medicine is "biased" against it, and that "people who endorse so-called controlled drug use cannot be trusted to review a program advocating totally drug-free living."[28] Narconon has said that criticism of its programs is "bigoted",[29] and that its critics are "in favor of drug abuse ... they are either using drugs or selling drugs."[30]

Hubbard's writings, which underlie the program, state that drugs and their metabolites are stored in the body's fatty tissue, causing the addict's cravings when partially released later on, and can be flushed out through a regimen known as Purification Rundown, which involves exercise, sauna and intake of high doses of vitamins.[31][32] This hypothesis is contradicted by experimental evidence, and is not accepted by mainstream medicine or education.[2][18][31][33][34][35][36] Narconon's claimed 75% to 80% success rate has been refuted by both drug experts and former employees.[37][38]

Narconon's facilities have been the location of several deaths, some of which have been linked to a lack of trained medical personnel on site. There exist no independently recognized studies which confirm the efficacy of the Narconon program


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narconon

Narconon prescxribes high doses of niacin (!) to combat drugs, and believes that drugs are stored in the body's fat cells. It also insists on using auditing techniques to get users off drugs.



Ironically, according to ex-Scientologists who were familiar with L. Ron, despite his claims that Scientology gave its adherents control over the body (thuis theoretically making the use of drugs unnecessary), Hubbard himself maintained a large private pharmacy, and self-medicated.

Equipoise
04-01-2015, 08:03 AM
On Tony Ortega's blog this morning is news (http://tonyortega.org/2015/04/01/class-action-lawsuit-filed-against-scientology-drug-rehabs-in-california/) of a class action lawsuit against NarConon, the Scieno's scummy "anti-drug" front.

While you're there, yesterday's blog is well-worth looking at. It contains the story, including an audio recording, of a woman with doubts being declared a Supressive Person. There's a transcript if you can't listen to the recording. One of her "crimes" was watching Dancing With The Stars! It's chilling as the dick Declaring her is so matter-of-fact, while she keeps trying to hold off what she knows is coming, that she knows might completely ruin her life.

Equipoise
04-01-2015, 08:13 AM
Oops, 2 days ago. Direct link:
http://tonyortega.org/2015/03/30/audio-leak-hear-a-scientologist-being-declared-suppressive-and-facing-the-loss-of-her-family/

Moriarty
04-01-2015, 11:12 AM
I have to say, as interesting as this thread has been, I'm kind of disappointed that we don't have a bunch of new users who are jumping in to defend Scientology or bash the documentary.

Either Scientology is slipping, or the Straight Dope isn't the universal fount of knowledge that I believed it to be.

astorian
04-01-2015, 11:53 AM
Well yeah but when are you people going to start a thread about Mormons? And anyway, lots of other religions are much worse.

No other religion has the same kind of secrecy.

Love Catholicism or hate it, you can buy the complete Catholic catechism at any book store (or borrow it at any library) and find out exactly what the Church teaches on almost EVERYTHING without investing much time or money.

In the same way, you can get a book of Mormon anywhere- even at most hotel rooms. You wanna know what it's all about, you can find out for yourself for free.

Similarly, any rabbi could tell you the basics of Judaism for free in ten minutes. Any Muslim imam could tell you the basics of Islam for free in a few minutes.

Try doing that with Scientology.

davidm
04-01-2015, 11:54 AM
That's a good point. I'm sure Google has indexed this thread; everything on here seems to be indexed within minutes; and we've repeatedly mentioned Gibney and Going Clear. You'd think that Scientology would have it's minions scouring the web looking for such discussions and then signing up to defend themselves.

gaffa
04-01-2015, 01:26 PM
This is weird.
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2012/07/08/shock-alliance-farrakhan-praises-integration-of-scientology-into-nation-of-islam-theology-says-whites-should-use-it-to-become-civilized-to-avoid-being-devil-christians-satan-jews/

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/politics/magazine/108205/scientology-joins-forces-with-nation-of-islam
That is pretty terrifying, and utterly bizarre.

At the apartment building I used to live in, a neighbor had been in Scientology, and they pursued him fairly doggedly, sending him mail every single day with exhortations to "Continue Up The Bridge!" "Go OT!"

He threw the mail into the trash can in the lobby, where I would fish it out.

They even sent him a catalog of "mandatory donations" needed for each course. Back in the 80s one would have to spend well north of $125,000 to reach OT III and read the Xenu story.

And to the best of my recollection, I don't think I ever saw a single black face in a piece of their recruiting literature.

Maybe Farrakhan got a tour of the luxurious Celebrity Centre and thought "FUCK selling bean pies! I have got to get a piece of this!"

gaffa
04-01-2015, 01:31 PM
No other religion has the same kind of secrecy.

Love Catholicism or hate it, you can buy the complete Catholic catechism at any book store (or borrow it at any library) and find out exactly what the Church teaches on almost EVERYTHING without investing much time or money.

In the same way, you can get a book of Mormon anywhere- even at most hotel rooms. You wanna know what it's all about, you can find out for yourself for free.

Similarly, any rabbi could tell you the basics of Judaism for free in ten minutes. Any Muslim imam could tell you the basics of Islam for free in a few minutes.

Try doing that with Scientology.
Correct on all counts. What's more, the rabbi will spend five of those minutes trying to talk you out of it.

I was very surprised when a evangelical sect of Islam left an English translation of the Koran hanging in a plastic bag on my doorknob. It did include a request to treat it respectfully, and I did, shelving it next to the Bible in my library.

We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.
- H. L. Mencken

Equipoise
04-01-2015, 02:10 PM
Alright, stop now. This thread is about Going Clear specifically, and Scientology in general. To discuss other religions, people should go start a new thread of their own. You NO IDEA how many other threads/comments sections elsewhere have devolved/derailed and are now all about other religions. Practically ALL of them! It will not happen to this thread

F. U. Shakespeare
04-01-2015, 04:20 PM
...Travolta's career, about how he started out mega-successful, then practically couldn't get arrested for a decade or two, then was reborn in 94 with Pulp Fiction. I guess i was thinking about this because the film mentioned the red-hot start of his career, but then seemed to pretend that his quite famous slump never happened...During that slump, the National Lampoon published Diarrhetics, a parody of Dianetics, which quoted a fake Travolta saying how much Scientology had guided him: "I mean, it's like really helped me with my recent career decisions".

dasmoocher
04-01-2015, 04:26 PM
During that slump, the National Lampoon published Diarrhetics, a parody of Dianetics, which quoted a fake Travolta saying how much Scientology had guided him: "I mean, it's like really helped me with my recent career decisions".

Diarrhetics--over 10,000,000 purged! (http://www.xenu.net/archive/books/lampoon/lamp1.htm)

IvoryTowerDenizen
04-01-2015, 04:47 PM
Let's refrain from jr. modding this thread. There will always be conversation drift in a thread and some comparisons to other religions may be relevant in discussing Scientology and the documentary. If anyone feels it is getting out of hand, please report those specific posts.

No warning issued.

Alright, stop now. This thread is about Going Clear specifically, and Scientology in general. To discuss other religions, people should go start a new thread of their own. You NO IDEA how many other threads/comments sections elsewhere have devolved/derailed and are now all about other religions. Practically ALL of them! It will not happen to this thread

crypto
04-01-2015, 05:28 PM
And to the best of my recollection, I don't think I ever saw a single black face in a piece of their recruiting literature.

Maybe Farrakhan got a tour of the luxurious Celebrity Centre and thought "FUCK selling bean pies! I have got to get a piece of this!"

I noticed the same thing (nothing but whites) while watching the documentary and mentioned it to my wife. I DID see a black man on stage at one of their meetings, standing behind either Cruise or Miscavige.

I don't know, but I doubt the exclusion of blacks had as much to do with color as it did with money. I would suspect Scientology would be happy to take anyone's money, regardless of their genetic makeup. When Scientology hit the ground, there weren't that many black people that were capable of coughing up the money necessary to achieve the levels.

Or, perhaps black people have a much better BS detector than their white coutnterparts.

Does anyone know the COS policy on race?

gaffa
04-01-2015, 05:54 PM
I noticed the same thing (nothing but whites) while watching the documentary and mentioned it to my wife. I DID see a black man on stage at one of their meetings, standing behind either Cruise or Miscavige.

I don't know, but I doubt the exclusion of blacks had as much to do with color as it did with money. I would suspect Scientology would be happy to take anyone's money, regardless of their genetic makeup. When Scientology hit the ground, there weren't that many black people that were capable of coughing up the money necessary to achieve the levels.

Or, perhaps black people have a much better BS detector than their white coutnterparts.

Does anyone know the COS policy on race?
The links provided by davidm had quite a bit about Hubbard's racism - which, to be fair, was not much worse than his peers. But the whole idea of the Nation of Islam uniting with the Church of Scientology - that is something that would have me checking to see if someone had sent me to an Onion article.

There were a few in the audience at one of the International Associations of Scientologists Nuremberg Rally, but they were notable by their rarity - and they might have been placed there for visuals.

And you're right. You can join a pretty exclusive country club for about the same amount of money at attaining the OT levels, so it's not surprising to see the same effect on membership. For his myriad flaws (psychosis, viciousness, and a smirk that I really want to slap off his face) David Miscavige sees mainly green.

dasmoocher
04-01-2015, 06:00 PM
I noticed the same thing (nothing but whites) while watching the documentary and mentioned it to my wife. I DID see a black man on stage at one of their meetings, standing behind either Cruise or Miscavige.

I don't know, but I doubt the exclusion of blacks had as much to do with color as it did with money. I would suspect Scientology would be happy to take anyone's money, regardless of their genetic makeup. When Scientology hit the ground, there weren't that many black people that were capable of coughing up the money necessary to achieve the levels.

Or, perhaps black people have a much better BS detector than their white coutnterparts.

Does anyone know the COS policy on race?

From the Diarrhetics spoof:
What about Negroes?

We have some former Negroes, but the process of reaching the Nirvana-like state of Empty[TM] has made them white.

Also kinda funny that Clear = Empty.

74westy
04-01-2015, 06:11 PM
I DID see a black man on stage at one of their meetings, standing behind either Cruise or Miscavige.

Was it Isaac Hayes?

dasmoocher
04-01-2015, 06:15 PM
Was it Isaac Hayes?

I'm pretty sure I saw him in the one of the crowd scenes. I thought "Chef! And then the Super Adventure Club."

Princhester
04-01-2015, 06:57 PM
Well yeah but when are you people going to start a thread about Mormons? And anyway, lots of other religions are much worse.

No other religion has the same kind of secrecy.

Love Catholicism or hate it, you can buy the complete Catholic catechism at any book store (or borrow it at any library) and find out exactly what the Church teaches on almost EVERYTHING without investing much time or money...



Correct on all counts. What's more, the rabbi will spend five of those minutes trying to talk you out of it...

WHOOOOSH!

It was a joke, kids. See Equipoise's comment in his OP:

Btw, any attempts to derail the thread/deflect the attention of readers with anything akin to "All religions are bad" or "When's the expose of Morminism (or other) coming out?" or anything designed to get people talking about something other than the movie, the book it's based on, or Scientology in general, will automatically get that sign turned on over your head, with a big arrow pointing down, flashing SCIENTOLOGIST SCIENTOLOGIST SCIENTOLOGIST.

Sheeesh. I didn't think anyone wouldn't get it. Sorry Equipoise.

Princhester
SCIENTOLOGIST

davidm
04-01-2015, 08:11 PM
Seriously though, the apparent endorsement of Scientology by the Nation of Islam is strange.

Although they are both UFO cults, so maybe it's not so strange.

gaffa
04-01-2015, 10:48 PM
Seriously though, the apparent endorsement of Scientology by the Nation of Islam is strange.
True, but I just can't reconcile Farrakhan's beliefs with Hubbard's. I'm trying to imagine two less likely compatriots. The Raelians and Lyndon LaRouche?

Although they are both UFO cults, so maybe it's not so strange.
True, but it's enough to make one believe that there is some sort of SPECTRE-style group working to unite all the fringe religions for some even more dastardly plan - although it's hard to imagine what it could be.

Charlie Wayne
04-02-2015, 09:02 AM
I haven't read every post in this thread so excuse me if someone has already posted the following link. It's an interesting article about Scientology titled, "10 Bizarre Snapshots From The World Of Scientology".

http://listverse.com/2015/04/02/10-bizarre-snapshots-from-the-world-of-scientology/

I was struck by the similarity between Scientology and another famous organization.

I recently saw a show called "Gangland". It's a documentary about many things. But the first episode is about Prison Gangs. The first gang they showed was the "Aryan Brotherhood" aka "The AB" or "The Brand".

They interviewed a former member who said that when someone is indoctrinated into the "AB", the first thing they are told is, "The AB comes above everything else. Above your family, above your religion, even above God."

When I read the above article about Scientology, I found it to be chilling.

"Scientology comes above everything else. Above your family, above your religion, even above God."

foolsguinea
04-02-2015, 12:52 PM
It's like Buddhism! But evil!

gaffa
04-02-2015, 01:59 PM
It's like Buddhism! But evil!
Yen Buddhists? The kind that believes that money is to root of all even, thus they will take all of yours to help you reach the Godhood?

gaffa
04-02-2015, 02:55 PM
It's like Buddhism! But evil!

I haven't read every post in this thread so excuse me if someone has already posted the following link. It's an interesting article about Scientology titled, "10 Bizarre Snapshots From The World Of Scientology".

http://listverse.com/2015/04/02/10-bizarre-snapshots-from-the-world-of-scientology/
Nobody had linked to it earlier. Thanks for that!

Hershele Ostropoler
04-02-2015, 11:17 PM
they just take shit that is known to work, put them in their courses, and that is what ventriloquist's dummies like Travolta mean when they "say" stuff like that.

Absolutely. But that's an odd thing for a religion. It's a perfectly reasonable thing for some kind of awareness training program.

Spoke
04-02-2015, 11:35 PM
Did anybody notice just how tiny Miscavige is? Even Tom Cruise towers over him. Google says Miscavige is 5'1", which makes it almost comical to picture him administering all the beatings described in Going Clear.


.

gaffa
04-03-2015, 10:12 AM
Did anybody notice just how tiny Miscavige is? Even Tom Cruise towers over him. Google says Miscavige is 5'1", which makes it almost comical to picture him administering all the beatings described in Going Clear.

I have thought that was one of the elements of Cruise's friendship with Miscavige. The book Going Clear describes him as being completely ripped though.

DrDeth
04-03-2015, 12:11 PM
The part about the IRS caving in is puzzling to me. Can the US government really be SLAPPed* into submission like that? Surely they can defend themselves against that kind of legal harassment. I've wondered if there wasn't something else going on behind the scenes. Blackmail? Bribes?



http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Cowen/essays/260695.html

Spoke
04-03-2015, 12:14 PM
If you're that small, I don't think "ripped" is going to help you much. The only reason Miscavige gets to administer these beatings is that the victims are too psychologically cowed to retaliate. The beatings sound like a manifestation of Miscavige's own insecurities (or possibly 'roid rage, given what you've said about him being ripped).

DrDeth
04-03-2015, 12:21 PM
The IRS is just one entity in the US government, and they all have their own budgets, all of which have to be approved by Congress. So it's not as if the IRS had an unlimited piggy bank from which to pay lawyers to defend 2500 lawsuits. They'd exhaust their budget, then have to go to Congress to get more, and probably wouldn't get it until the next budget. In the meanwhile, the CoS would be lobbying Congress, which they have done successfully using various front organizations.

And Congress (esp the GOP) has a long history of cutting the IRS budget for political reasons, which effectively is like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

gaffa
04-03-2015, 12:23 PM
If you're that small, I don't think "ripped" is going to help you much. The only reason Miscavige gets to administer these beatings is that the victims are too psychologically cowed to retaliate. The beatings sound like a manifestation of Miscavige's own insecurities (or possibly 'roid rage, given what you've said about him being ripped).
You're right, it's unlikely that the little shit could hold his own in a fair fight.

Spoke
04-03-2015, 12:28 PM
One thing is not clear to me about the IRS settlement. Can the IRS revisit Scientology's tax exempt status at some point based on changed circumstances, or does the settlement foreclose the issue forever?

This whole thing sounds like a good argument for eliminating tax-exempt status for religion altogether. Why should religions get preferred status over, say, a social organization of atheists?

gaffa
04-03-2015, 01:41 PM
One thing is not clear to me about the IRS settlement. Can the IRS revisit Scientology's tax exempt status at some point based on changed circumstances, or does the settlement foreclose the issue forever?
The granting of tax-exempt status was a re-visitation. From Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_Scientology#Classification_as_church_or_business):

From 1952 until 1966, Scientology was administered by an organization called the Hubbard Association of Scientologists (HAS), established in Arizona on September 10, 1952. In 1954, the HAS became the HASI (HAS International). The Church of Scientology was incorporated in California on February 18, 1954, changing its name to "The Church of Scientology of California" (CSC) in 1956. In 1966, Hubbard transferred all HASI assets to CSC, thus gathering Scientology under one tax-exempt roof. In 1967, the IRS stripped all US-based Scientology entities of their tax exemption, declaring Scientology's activities were commercial and operated for the benefit of Hubbard. The church sued and lost repeatedly for 26 years trying to regain its tax-exempt status. The case was eventually settled in 1993, at which time the church paid $12.5 million to the IRS—greatly less than IRS had initially demanded—and the IRS recognized the church as a tax-exempt nonprofit organization.

They did it once, they can do it again. The most obvious point is that they publish a catalog of services with "mandatory donations" that have to be paid to reach each level.

This whole thing sounds like a good argument for eliminating tax-exempt status for religion altogether. Why should religions get preferred status over, say, a social organization of atheists?
An excellent question, but one that seems far better suited to Great Debates.

Rick Kitchen
04-03-2015, 06:15 PM
Miscavige wearing that Sea Org uniform with all of that braid and bling on it makes him look even more like a tin pot dictator.

gaffa
04-03-2015, 06:48 PM
Miscavige wearing that Sea Org uniform with all of that braid and bling on it makes him look even more like a tin pot dictator.
I have to wonder if it is cause or effect? Could you put a decent, empathetic human being in that getup and produce a vicious petty thug, or is this just how they choose to dress? Most of the decent military leaders I have known choose to wear the least ostentatious version of their uniform whenever possible.

On the other hand Pol Pot and Kims 1, 2 & 3 wore plain uniforms.

joebuck20
04-03-2015, 06:58 PM
In the book Going Clear, it's mentioned that Miscavige was pretty ripped even when he was kid.
It's also mentioned that when he was a kid his parents left him with a caretaker, and that they warned the caretaker to never ever touch him if he was having an asthma attack. I don't recall if they tell him specifically what would happen if he touched Miscavige during an asthma attack, but it's pretty clearly implied that he would beat the shit out of them.

gaffa
04-03-2015, 11:10 PM
Here's some info about why the documentary wasn't shown in Canada:

Why Canadians Can't Watch HBO's Scientology Doc (http://canadalandshow.com/article/why-canadians-cant-watch-hbos-scientology-doc)

When Lawrence Wright's acclaimed Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief was published in 2013, it debuted at number three on the New York Times harcover non-fiction bestseller list. Its publisher hasn't sold a single copy in Canada.

That's because Random House chose not to distribute the book here. It was generally assumed that this was out of fear of a libel lawsuit from the notoriously litigious Church of Scientology. Canada and the United Kingdom, where the book was also witheld from stores, share rules that make it easier for plaintiffs to win libel suits. Fear to speak up as a result of potential lawsuits is often called "libel chill."

Now Wright's book has been adapted into a film by director Alex Gibney. This past Sunday, it premiered on HBO in the United States and, as John Doyle noted on Friday, not in Canada. Doyle asked HBO Canada why they weren't airing the doc. They told him it was simply a matter of distribution: their agreement with HBO in the US does not include all of their documentaries, and some of them need to be negotiated with other distributors. They did not specify whether they hope to air the documentary at a future date.

Interestingly, HBOCanada also didn't show an episode of Real Time With Bill Maher that featured Lawrence Wright as a guest.

Randolph
04-03-2015, 11:54 PM
If you're that small, I don't think "ripped" is going to help you much. The only reason Miscavige gets to administer these beatings is that the victims are too psychologically cowed to retaliate. The beatings sound like a manifestation of Miscavige's own insecurities (or possibly 'roid rage, given what you've said about him being ripped).

You're right, it's unlikely that the little shit could hold his own in a fair fight.

I'm reading the book now, and on this issue:

...pointed out that the reason no one outside of the executive circles knew about the abuse ... was that people were terrified of Miscavidge - and not just physically. Their greatest fear was expulsion. "You don't have any money. You don't have any job experience. You don't have anything. And he could put you on the streets and ruin you."

At this point, Scientology had been going on for decades. There were people raised in it. It offered no education. It was all they knew. And there's this total dick in charge who can point at you and say, "Leave." Not only do that, but then actively attempt to ruin your life from then on - he's done it before...

davidm
04-04-2015, 12:06 AM
And now a musical interlude...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9VLA8Tc5Ss
THE ROAD TO FREEDOM
Music and lyrics by L. Ron Hubbard
Performed by John Travolta, Leif Garrett and Frank Stallone; background vocals by Jeff Pomerantz and Lee Purcell

gaffa
04-04-2015, 12:12 AM
At this point, Scientology had been going on for decades. There were people raised in it. It offered no education. It was all they knew. And there's this total dick in charge who can point at you and say, "Leave." Not only do that, but then actively attempt to ruin your life from then on - he's done it before...
Yeah, it's heartbreaking to read about a grown woman who had never read a single book not written by Hubbard.

Equipoise
04-04-2015, 01:32 AM
Going Clear participant Tom DeVocht (in from age 12 to 41) Tweeted and wrote on Facebook about the latest "dead agenting" tactic by the cult Friday.

CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY HARASSMENT UPDATE:

3:30pm two gentlemen come to my door. One of them had a radio and something else on this belt, the other looks like a regular dude. I see them coming outside the window.

I go to the door and open it - Adam Baumgarten (Officer, Vice/Narcotics Unit) hands flashes his badge and hands me a card. I invite them in.

Adam has a 8X10 envelope in his hand. He says, "This picture showed up on my desk. It is of you with pot in your car." I ask if he is REALLY from the police department and call the number on his card. They confirm.

I ask to see the picture - its blown up out of focus zoomed in on me sitting in the car with the door open and I have a sandwich bag in my hands. Looks to me like it has popcorn or something in it and its a FULL bag. The picture had my name, address and phone number on it written in chicken scratch.

The office Adam says that they are told I might be selling drugs in Burbank and that he is asking me that if it is the case to please stop. "It's not a big deal - we're not hear to arrest you." It's a warning.

I tell them about GoingClean and that its probably Scientology that put the pictures in their office. He nicely declined to comment and said again its no big deal - they just wanted to say stop of I were doing it.

I asked Adam if there was any way I could get a copy of the pictures or take pictures of them and he declined.

OMG the lengths Scientology and Miscavige will go to!!

Just an update of the latest harassment. They just won't stop! I guess the truth is driving them crazy.Bolding mine. The quality of dead agenting has certainly dropped since the days of Paulette Cooper. It sounds like the detectives from the Burbank PD knew exactly who was behind this and were not taking it seriously at all. Then in the comments I read that Marc Headley gave the Burbank PD a case of his book Blown For Good (http://www.amazon.com/Blown-Good-Behind-Curtain-Scientology-ebook/dp/B002WYJQG6/ref=pd_sim_kstore_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=0833TGJRBTDX4C165MA9). They know. I guess they had to investigate the "complaint" but they know.

Btw, the Kindle edition of Jenna Miscavige Hill's book Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape (http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Belief-Secret-Scientology-Harrowing-ebook/dp/B008XOJ7C2/ref=pd_sim_b_13?ie=UTF8&refRID=02GJ3B5S0CJCXSTFAEKC) is on sale for $1.99 at amazon. I just bought it and Blown For Good. I know what I'll be doing this weekend.

davidm
04-04-2015, 10:55 AM
I just googled Tom DeVocht. The first result is a paid link to freedommag.org (a Scientology website) labeled "Truth about Tom Devocht". The page it goes to is full of diatribes against Going Clear.

I don't know the cost of ads like that but I imagine they're not cheap, so they're apparently spending big bucks trying to smear this documentary and everyone associated with it.

Their behavior makes no sense to me. I can't imagine that they're fooling anyone with this stuff. All they're doing is continuing to draw attention to it along with negative attention to themselves.

I suppose it's an article of faith that they have do things like this when they're attacked.

Randolph
04-04-2015, 11:02 AM
They're at least fooling (many of) their own members.

davidm
04-04-2015, 11:07 AM
They're at least fooling (many of) their own members.But they don't need to be convinced. They are either true believers or already cowed.

Although thinking about it, these attacks could be examples aimed at those doubters who are considering leaving or those who have already left and are considering speaking out. "This is what we'll do to you if you cross us."

davidm
04-04-2015, 11:08 AM
I love this image from Devocht's Facebook page.

https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/11102877_10205357169661603_4291434146757064534_n.jpg?oh=cc7b6d14eab199139e53fb290748ef20&oe=55BD58D9

Equipoise
04-04-2015, 11:26 AM
It's policy. Fair Game (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Game_%28Scientology%29), officially recinded in 1968 because of bad publicity, but obviously still going on. Here's more about it at xenu.net (http://www.xenu.net/archive/go/philosop.htm) and more from lermanet.com (http://www.lermanet.com/osa/hubbard.htm).

"Never defend. Always attack.

Equipoise
04-04-2015, 11:53 AM
A more specic part of Fair Game is called "Dead Agenting" (http://www.xenu-directory.net/practices/deadagent1.html) which is still in full force, and is what's happening to Tom and the other documentary participants. Mike Rinder* has written a lot about it. Here's one recent blog post (http://www.mikerindersblog.org/scientology-lies-and-going-clear/) about the movie participants.


* life-long Scientologist, former head of the OSA (Office of Soecial Affairs), former spokesperson (from 1982 to 2005), former Dead Agenting expert, former resident of "The Hole " and Miscavige's punching bag, current "apostate" and victim of dead Agenting himself. I was shocked when I heard that he had left and thrilled that he's speaking out. Here are his thoughts (http://www.mikerindersblog.org/going-clear-fallout/) about the immediate fallout of Going Clear.

Equipoise
04-04-2015, 01:45 PM
I just looked at Mike Rinder's blog (http://www.mikerindersblog.org/the-dead-agent-pack-was-compiled-from-pc-folders/) today and it's also about dead agenting, a blast from the fairly recent past. It includes an article from scn's scummy magazine "Freedom" (sorry, can't type that with a straight face) where the writer stupidly outright states that dead agenting material was culled from people's PC folders, something scientology always denies is done. The mag was quickly pulled and is now a collectors item, but, too late! The SP's scanners and computers uploading were busy that day. Wright and Gibney did not have to rely on "apostates" (that word's hilarious) for that information, they got it directly from the cult's own mouthpiece. I'm still chuckling that Gibney got video of it happening.

Correction, the PC folders line was in a follow up damage control e-mail.

gaffa
04-04-2015, 02:08 PM
I just looked at Mike Rinder's blog (http://www.mikerindersblog.org/the-dead-agent-pack-was-compiled-from-pc-folders/) today and it's also about dead agenting, a blast from the fairly recent past. It includes an article from scn's scummy magazine "Freedom" (sorry, can't type that with a straight face) where the writer stupidly outright states that dead agenting material was culled from people's PC folders, something scientology always denies is done. The mag was quickly pulled and is now a collectors item, but, too late!
The "Hole" must be getting very crowded. I wonder when there will be an incident when the people in there have a "moment of clarity" and break out, over-power the guards and escape?

Equipoise
04-04-2015, 03:57 PM
Tony Ortega is on the case (http://tonyortega.org/2015/04/04/going-clear-subject-tom-devocht-visited-by-burbank-pd-after-suspicious-anonymous-tip/#more-21440). The bag Tom had, was popcorn.

eschereal
04-04-2015, 06:07 PM
A good friend of mine got deeply involved in that stuff. He was off work because he burned out an expensive machine that took them a month to get replaced, so he went home in the meanwhile. They proselytized him outside a mission, he ended up selling all he had and eventually went to work at Flag (Clearwater – probably met LRH in person). Then, a couple years later, he up and took off. Just straight vanished. No one heard from him for 22 years. Then a family member tracked him down. He was living in the hintermountains of Eastern Kentucky, made some new friends and was doing fine. Not even living "underground", as I understand it. So I guess it is possible to break clean and not suffer terribly, as long as one can execute a pretty thorough pastectomy and make a new life (though, I believe he was using the same SSN as before).

actualliberalnotoneofthose
04-05-2015, 12:09 AM
I noticed the same thing (nothing but whites) while watching the documentary and mentioned it to my wife. I DID see a black man on stage at one of their meetings, standing behind either Cruise or Miscavige.

I don't know, but I doubt the exclusion of blacks had as much to do with color as it did with money. I would suspect Scientology would be happy to take anyone's money, regardless of their genetic makeup. When Scientology hit the ground, there weren't that many black people that were capable of coughing up the money necessary to achieve the levels.

Or, perhaps black people have a much better BS detector than their white coutnterparts.

Does anyone know the COS policy on race?

I don't know their policies on race, but I think it has been pretty clear that they've made efforts to recruit black celebrities. Just from reading typical pop culture/gossip stuff (People mag, similar tabloids and internet gossip sites) over the years, it's very apparent Tom Cruise tried to recruit Jamie Foxx, Kanye West, and Will Smith.

Prior to that I seem to recall that his romances or attempted romances with Penelope Cruz and Sofia Vergara were somewhat related to expanding the Hispanic membership appeal.. Though I suppose they could have been strictly for GF/wife recruitment purposes, too.

Equipoise
04-05-2015, 12:50 PM
Saturday Night Live did a pretty funny parody of the "We Stand Tall" video from Going Clear last night and Tony Ortega (http://tonyortega.org/2015/04/05/saturday-night-lives-genius-spoof-of-scientology-last-night-lyrics-and-images/) breaks it down into screen shots. The parody is so well-done and must have taken a lot of planning and some considerable budget to do. They might have started planning it after the Sundance premiere. I love how while you're laughing you're also seeing some serious points being made. The Bunkerites are having a grand old time (one of the commenters was actually there at the filming of the original) as I think most exes and critics would.

Sea Orgers aren't likely to see it, but casual Scientologists, who are warned away from watching/reading anything critical of the cult, will see or hear about this even more so than Going Clear. For never-ins, this will bring more attention to Going Clear itself as at least some people seek out the source video on YouTube. As a bonus it will drive Miscavige crazy since he desperately wants Scientology to be taken seriously and while Going Clear is easy to ignore (most people DON'T have HBO after all), this is short and sweet and funny and deadly and can go viral. In any case, he has no sense of humor and Scientologists hate to be mocked. Thank you SNL!

gaffa
04-05-2015, 12:51 PM
Here's the video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOpapeX6Vzs

Equipoise
04-05-2015, 01:29 PM
Here's the full original of "We Stand Tall," of which only a tiny part is used in Going Clear. It must be watched at least once to get the full impact of the parody, especially those black & white videos of Hubbard. Get your barf bags, wet wipes & mouthwash and have fun!

http://youtu.be/XyNh1j3dsp8

I'm waiting for someone to do a freeze-frame with some updates, like in the SNL video. There are at least 3 high-ranking hard-core members who are now hard-core critics prominently featured in the video: Mike Rinder, Mark "Marty" Rathbun and Amy Scobee.

Edit to add that the Bunkerite who was there at the filming said that Miscavige was standing on an apple box to look taller.

davidm
04-05-2015, 03:29 PM
Rinder, Rathbun, and Scobee must cringe when they see themselves in that video.

Rick Kitchen
04-05-2015, 04:05 PM
I wonder if any of the members of SNL are Scienos.

Equipoise
04-05-2015, 04:08 PM
Yep, it's horrid, but thank goodness they got out and are all brave enough to speak out. Amy Scobee (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amy_Scobee) (niece of astronaut Dick Scobee) didn't make it into the final cut, but she has a book I haven't yet read called Abuse At The Top. She was there when Miscavige was beating people.

Equipoise
04-05-2015, 04:16 PM
I wonder if any of the members of SNL are Scienos.If there are, too bad for them. The cult would probably force them to quit, the way they forced Issac Hayes to quit South Park. He didn't want to quit. He LOVED South Park. The loss of the paycheck really hurt him too.

https://www.nolanchart.com/article4477-did-scientology-kill-isaac-hayes-html

Equipoise
04-05-2015, 05:39 PM
I said: In any case, he has no sense of humor and Scientologists hate to be mocked. Thank you SNL!It's not just Miscavige. Hubbard actually wrote a POLICY about "Joking and Degrading" and since his word is law, any Scientologist who finds the SNL parody, or the South Park, or any other Scientology-related jokes funny risk quite a bit, including being thrown out and disconnected from their family and friends.

Church of Scientology Policy Outlawing “Joking & Degrading” (http://scientologymoneyproject.com/2015/04/05/church-of-scientology-policy-outlawing-joking-degrading/)

detlep
04-05-2015, 07:47 PM
Watching Hubbard demonstrate the e-meter brings to mind the audacity with which Clifford Irving sold his hoax to McGraw Hill.

F. U. Shakespeare
04-05-2015, 08:54 PM
A mid-1990's article in Spy magazine by journalist Mark Ebner (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Ebner) had a picture of Hubbard with an E-meter hooked up to a tomato, with the caption, "You say Tomato, I say Travolta".

dasmoocher
04-05-2015, 09:15 PM
If there are, too bad for them. The cult would probably force them to quit, the way they forced Issac Hayes to quit South Park. He didn't want to quit. He LOVED South Park. The loss of the paycheck really hurt him too.

https://www.nolanchart.com/article4477-did-scientology-kill-isaac-hayes-html

They killed Issac Hayes!? Those bastards!

eschereal
04-05-2015, 09:27 PM
I wonder if any of the members of SNL are Scienos.

This annoys me no end. This is not a word, and it is not the proper deprecating term. They are called "Clams", which has something to do with Hubbard declaring that humans are thence descended. This is why the site linked earlier in this thread is called "ClamBake".

gaffa
04-05-2015, 09:47 PM
This annoys me no end. This is not a word, and it is not the proper deprecating term. They are called "Clams", which has something to do with Hubbard declaring that humans are thence descended. This is why the site linked earlier in this thread is called "ClamBake".
...and the recommended taunt is "Poor little clams! Snap! Snap! Snap!"...done while snapping one's fingers.

Stringbean
04-05-2015, 09:57 PM
Great documentary and really informative.

Ultimately, I simply feel no pity for the suckers who will delude reality for their ill-gotten fool's gold "happiness."

It's their own fault for falling prey to a cult.

gaffa
04-05-2015, 10:06 PM
Great documentary and really informative.

Ultimately, I simply feel no pity for the suckers who will delude reality for their ill-gotten fool's gold "happiness."

It's their own fault for falling prey to a cult.
As I said earlier, the best part was Paul Haggis explaining how an intelligent, rational person could get sucked in.

gaffa
04-05-2015, 11:12 PM
To follow up on myself, I'm quite confident the members of Heaven's Gate weren't recruited with a promise that they would end up dead in brand new sneakers of poisoned pudding. You don't get followers by showing them the crazy right off the bat, you need something to reel them in at the start.

That's why the film showed people saying that, at least in the early parts, they got something out of it. Some who escape the cult still follow Hubbard's teachings, or at least the parts that made sense for them.

Equipoise
04-06-2015, 12:36 AM
Here's a very low-budget video, but if you overlook that, a fun and potent video about "How To Be A Cult Leader" (https://youtu.be/mnNSe5XYp6E)

A mid-1990's article in Spy magazine by journalist Mark Ebner (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Ebner) had a picture of Hubbard with an E-meter hooked up to a tomato, with the caption, "You say Tomato, I say Travolta".We bought that on the newsstand at the time! Here's the actual article (http://www.hollywoodinterrupted.com/2006/03/23/ebner-undercover-scientology-spy-magazine-1996/) for Spy. I love how he starts out by dead agenting himself to get in before the $cieno, er, clams do.

I am an ex-drug addict who has solicited prostitutes in my day. I’ve also masturbated and inhaled at the same time, and I have been arrested more than once in my life. I dropped out of high school, and I’ve been under psychiatric care. Oh yeah, and I owe the IRS roughly six thousand dollars that they are well aware of.

In the language of Scientologists, the above information reflects what they include in their “Dead Agent Packs”-dossiers of all the dirt they dig up on people critical of their “religion.” Often they disseminate damaging information like this to the friends, family, landlords, and employers of anyone who dares speak of–or worse, publish anything derogatory about the “church.” So what I’m doing here is Dead Agenting myself before we begin, beating them to the punch.

I follow Ebner on Twitter (https://twitter.com/MarkEbner59) and he recently retweeted me. Come on, shut up, it was thrilling! Alex Gibney and John Sweeney have also retweeted things I wrote. That was thrilling too (god I'm easy).

They killed Issac Hayes!? Those bastards!

It's a sad story, but *laugh*

Johnny Angel
04-06-2015, 12:43 AM
I recall reading some stuff, probably from Operation ClamBake, about the church. The thing where they framed a reporter for sending a bomb threat was mentioned in the film and the book, but they didn't go into the details that I thought were particularly shocking. I had read the actual leaked internal documents detailing the outline of the plot in this frighteningly Orwelian spook-lingo.

The set up as I recall was that they had agents go to a bar where the reporter Paulette Cooper was known to frequent see that she touched a sheet of jokes that had a blank cover page stapled to it. They saw to it that she handled this joke page, and subsequently they took that blank sheet of paper and typewrote a threatening letter with it. Looking on Wikipedia, I see that this was really just a small part of Operation Freakout (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Freakout), but what I had read was a damning and appalling internal order describing this particular insidious trick. That detail really stuck with me.

I also remember reading the saga of one member who apparently knew his LRH (what they called the scripture of the church) backwards and forwards and sent a memo up the food chain when the church started raising money to combat what they were characterizing as religious discrimination. The poor sap just wanted to inform his superiors that they were in violation of LRH because they were not allowed to ask for money without providing goods or services in exchange, and he cited them chapter-and-verse. I have kind of a soft spot for people who really know their stuff, and this guy took the sacredness of LRH quite seriously and seemed to be confused that people were not glad that he was trying to help them avoid falling into error. Eventually he was forced out of the church.

eschereal
04-06-2015, 01:11 AM
My friend tried to get me interested in the church, because, I guess, they get trained to do that. Just to be fair, I read Dianetics cover-to-cover. Gawds, what a slog. But it taught me some things (accidentally).

My friend was in a vulnerable space at the time, a bit disillusioned with his life and his prospects, so the church set a good hook. One of the things you (might) get from Dianetics is exactly the same underlying message as homeopathy: your own body/mind can fix itself, real good, all it needs is a tad bit of help. I think that is kind of like playing to the subject's vanity, which tends to be rather effective.

The other thing I got from the book was a perception of the hypnotic effect of massive verbiage. It was very repetitive, hammering away over and over again on the subject of the Basic-Basic and its origins. After I turned the last page, it struck me that things like sermons and political speeches work in a similar way, attempting to soften up the listener with great flipping wadges of verbiage as a sort of hypnotism, to try to plant the message in deep, fresh loam. But maybe that is just me.

And of course I sat in the mission and let a clam try to drag me in, but all I really remember from that was how it seemed to me like she was shoving her camel-toe in my face the whole time. But that is not exactly unique, other religions try to use sex as a hook as well.

Mona Lisa Simpson
04-06-2015, 11:23 AM
I am sure this is not new information to anyone, but I find Craiglist ads all the time for "bookclubs" that like to discuss self help issues, and how to achieve success. It doesn't take much reading between the lines to realize they are talking about Scientology. This (http://vancouver.craigslist.ca/van/grp/4958516027.html) is the current one, but last year there was one that was much more targeted to the lonely, bored, frustrated type of person, who wanted to join a club of other readers, seeking self improvement.

I wonder how successful those ads are.

davidm
04-06-2015, 11:49 AM
It looks like there are lots of places where those ads are being run, and not just on Craigslist.
https://www.google.com/search?q=Do+you+enjoy+going+to+lectures+or+seminars+to+learn+about+life+or+being

There's also a discussion of the ads on xenu.net from back in 2010 (so they've been running the same ad for at least 4 or 5 years) where they're discussing what is apparently the exact same ad as well as ads targeting the parents of young children with a $100 "children's communication course", which is VERY disturbing.
http://ocmb.xenu.net/ocmb/viewtopic.php?t=33542&p=386609

eschereal
04-06-2015, 12:34 PM
Does the movie touch at all on the NOTs? I was following a.r.s about a decade ago when there was a big deal about some Swede, Zenon Panoussis as I recall, who put the NOTs text ("New era dianetics for OTs") online and was getting sued by the church. It was a bit comical, as the church had their people infesting the court house to examine the documents continuously, which had to be placed as evidence, so that no SPs would be able to look at them.

It really pisses me off that they claim this material as "trade secrets". What the ever-loving? It should be a huge red flag that a religion is engaging in "trade", that is the province of secular business.

davidm
04-06-2015, 01:01 PM
They want it both ways. They want the advantages of being recognized as a religion and, at the same time, they want to take advantage of laws meant to protect businesses. Trying to claim "trade secrets" should have resulted in their tax status being reevaluated, in my humble opinion.

gaffa
04-06-2015, 04:54 PM
Does the movie touch at all on the NOTs? I was following a.r.s about a decade ago when there was a big deal about some Swede, Zenon Panoussis as I recall, who put the NOTs text ("New era dianetics for OTs") online and was getting sued by the church. It was a bit comical, as the church had their people infesting the court house to examine the documents continuously, which had to be placed as evidence, so that no SPs would be able to look at them.
Not that I recall.

Honestly, one could have a weekly TV series called The Crimes of Scientology and it could run for years.

eschereal
04-06-2015, 05:08 PM
Honestly, one could have a weekly TV series called The Crimes of Scientology and it could run for years.

It would have to, they would not be able to air 3 episodes without months of litigation tying the whole thing up.

gaffa
04-06-2015, 06:40 PM
It would have to, they would not be able to air 3 episodes without months of litigation tying the whole thing up.
Sure, but it would be fun while it lasted. HBO could pull it off.

Equipoise
04-06-2015, 10:47 PM
On his blog today (http://www.mikerindersblog.org/should-scientology-be-tax-exempt/) Mike Rinder gives a good overview of why Scientology should not be tax extempt.

John Travolta is happy living in his own little bubble (http://www.tampabay.com/things-to-do/movies/john-travolta-says-hes-happy-with-scientology-wont-see-going-clear/2224359). Scientology works for him, so anything negative they do doesn't concern him.

Quoting myself regarding the SNL parody:

Here's the full original of "We Stand Tall," of which only a tiny part is used in Going Clear. It must be watched at least once to get the full impact of the parody, especially those black & white videos of Hubbard. Get your barf bags, wet wipes & mouthwash and have fun!

http://youtu.be/XyNh1j3dsp8

I'm waiting for someone to do a freeze-frame with some updates, like in the SNL video. There are at least 3 high-ranking hard-core members who are now hard-core critics prominently featured in the video: Mike Rinder, Mark "Marty" Rathbun and Amy Scobee.Someone put this picture on Twitter. It shows some of the people in the "We Stand Tall" video and their current status, as known or believed by the person who made it (I don't know who that is):

http://i1293.photobucket.com/albums/b595/xenussister/WhereAreTheyNow_zpsuli1lmrv.jpg

It's not big, so not that easy to read, so I blew it up bigger and wrote out what it said for each.

1. Shelly Miscavige
Wife of David Miscavige
Current location unknown

2. Ray Mithoff
Former Inspector General for Tech, RTC
Believed imprisoned at Gold

3. Mark Yager
Former Inspector General for Admin, RTC
Believed imprisoned at Gold

4. Mark Ingber
Former Commanding Officer of the CMO
Believed imprisoned at Gold

5. Mike Rinder
Former Commanding Officer of the Office of Special Affairs
Fled the cult in 2007

6. David Miscavige
International leader of the Church of Scientology

7. Heber Jentzsch
Former President, Church of Scientology International
Believed imprisoned at Gold

8. Greg Wilhere
Inspector General
Reportedly still working with David Miscavige

9. Mark Rathbun
Former Inspector General for Ethics RTC
Escaped the cult in 2004

10. Guillaume Lesevre
Former Inspector General Int
Believed imprisoned at Gold

I didn't add any other text, but I could have. For instance, Shelly Miscavige (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michele_Miscavige) has not been seen in public since 2007. A Tony Ortega blog (http://tonyortega.org/2013/07/17/shelly-speaks-scientology-leaders-banished-wife-says-shell-get-out-only-one-way/) from 2013 is a pretty good overview of information to that point.

Heber Jentzsch (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heber_Jentzsch) hasn't been seen in public since 2004, though he did attend a private memorial for his son in 2012. There's a "Free Heber" page (http://www.freeheber.com/), which includes Mike Rinder's writing (http://www.freeheber.com/index.php?title=Where_is_Heber) that the last time he saw him, Jentzsch was in The Hole. The last time Jentzsch spoke to anyone was in 2009, when he told his brother in a telephone call "I'll never get out of here alive." (http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2012/07/scientology_david_jentzsch_heber.php) Oh yeah, and that memorial service Jentzsch attended (http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2012/07/scientology_alexander_jentzsch_stan_gerson.php) for his 27-year old son Alexander who had just died? Alexander's mother Karen de la Carriere was not only not allowed to attend, she wasn't even told about it. They were Disconnected because she was no longer in the cult, according to Scientology's odious and toxic policy.

malaka
04-07-2015, 01:00 PM
As I said earlier, the best part was Paul Haggis explaining how an intelligent, rational person could get sucked in.This part stuck out to me. I'm not sure that the words "intelligent" or "rational" are being used properly.

Hubbard was insane. Miscavige is evil. Still, their charisma managed to get thousands of weak-minded and -willed folks to follow along.

Another (paraphrased) quote near the end had me thinking: "...I willfully chose to believe in Scientology because the alternative was too painful.”

What alternative?

First, I think that having a “crisis of faith” (questioning your religious/political/professional/whatever beliefs) can be an incredibly painful journey. A journey that many choose to abandon because it is simply too painful.

Second is the idea that there is no “larger, deeper meaning”. For many, the thought that they’ll never see grandma again is incredibly painful.

And since most folks want to avoid pain, it leads them towards these types of beliefs.

Nonsuch
04-07-2015, 03:41 PM
Spinning off malaka's post, I too was thinking about this question after watching Going Clear. In the end, intelligence — however you choose to define that extremely nebulous concept — has little to do with it. People who get pulled into cults are looking for something their current lives don't give them: a sense of living for a higher purpose, a firm moral framework in a relativistic world, a community of people who love and accept them (or appear to); and so on. Any cult operative who can figure out what you want and plausibly promise to deliver it has a decent chance of pulling you in, at least for a while. (As this thread attests, many people dip their toes in Scientology only to bail out once they realize they're basically signing onto a 419 scam.) I think the people most immune to cults aren't necessarily the smartest or the most skeptical; they're the most complacent/content with their lives and have no need for whatever the cult is pushing.

malaka
04-08-2015, 07:13 AM
Spinning off malaka's post, I too was thinking about this question after watching Going Clear. In the end, intelligence — however you choose to define that extremely nebulous concept — has little to do with it. People who get pulled into cults are looking for something their current lives don't give them: a sense of living for a higher purpose, a firm moral framework in a relativistic world, a community of people who love and accept them (or appear to); and so on. Any cult operative who can figure out what you want and plausibly promise to deliver it has a decent chance of pulling you in, at least for a while. (As this thread attests, many people dip their toes in Scientology only to bail out once they realize they're basically signing onto a 419 scam.) I think the people most immune to cults aren't necessarily the smartest or the most skeptical; they're the most complacent/content with their lives and have no need for whatever the cult is pushing.

Interesting idea and good points. Sounds reasonable. Back to the thinkin' table for me...

nearwildheaven
04-08-2015, 03:57 PM
I found it on You Tube last night. That link was gone, but this was posted this afternoon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVZLTa6hgu8

eschereal
04-08-2015, 04:22 PM
I found it on You Tube last night. That link was gone, but this was posted this afternoon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVZLTa6hgu8

that is one of those jump-link thingies to watch it on a movie-hosting site that you have to register for

Moe
04-08-2015, 06:29 PM
Here's one that's active at this exact moment (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8I3WausMks). Not sure how long it'll last but I just watched it a second time since last night. Really wonderfully done documentary. I could easily watch another 10 hours of this.

Only tiny criticism - I wish they delved a little bit deeper into the question of whether Miscavage is a true believer. I know they mentioned (was it Rinder?) that he was in a single statement, but I felt that question needed more discussion. Miscavage is really this strange creepy, frightening, incredibly compelling figure. I really wanna understand him better. Of course LRH too.

Equipoise
04-08-2015, 10:04 PM
I don't know if Miscavige is a true believer or if he just likes the money and bullying/beating people, but exes have said that he hasn't received any auditing for several years. I'll try to find a cite. In the meantime, to further underscore that he's one big piece of shitwork, a story came out today in the Los Angeles Times (http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-scientology-private-eyes-20150409-story.html#page=1) that he's paid thousands to have his father tailed and round-the-clock surveillance since he (the senior Miscavige) left the cult in 2012. Tony Ortega's blog (http://tonyortega.org/2015/04/08/let-him-die-scientology-leader-david-miscavige-had-private-eyes-watching-his-father-say-police/#more-21658) has more on the story.

What a scumbag Miscavige is!

Once, while tailing Miscavige on a shopping trip, Powell and his partner watched him grasp his chest and slump over while loading his car. After his arrest, Powell told police he'd thought Miscavige was having a heart attack and might die. He said he phoned his intermediary for instructions.

Two minutes later a man who identified himself as David Miscavige called him back, according to records.


David told him that if it was Ron's time to die, to let him die and not intervene in any way," the records state, noting that the apparent emergency passed "and nothing further happened."Apparently he was just fumbling with his phone and didn't have a heart attack. Imagine the stories the senior Miscavige could tell. That's exactly what Dave's worried about.

Edit to add this pile:

According to Christensen, Powell and son were paid to watch Ron, and it was intense: “In his July 2013 interview with police, Powell said he and a second investigator, his 21-year-old son Daniel, searched the elder Miscavige’s garbage, photographed him wherever he went and tracked him with a GPS device attached to his car and linked to an iPad that read out his location, the documents state. Police found marks on the underside of the car that they concluded were made by the magnetic GPS device, the records say.” Powell and his son were paid $10,000 a week for the detail.

eschereal
04-09-2015, 12:57 AM
I don't know if Miscavige is a true believer or if he just likes the money and bullying/beating people, but exes have said that he hasn't received any auditing for several years.

My understanding was that once you break the basic-basic, which I think was equivalent to going clear, you would be able to self-audit for maintenance purposes (run down any new engrams you acquire in the mean time). If Miscavige is, I would imagine, up to OT VIII, I think he would be past the known frontier where he would need tech assistance (I got the impression the NOTs could ultimately be handled solo). As the ClamPope, he gets to decide what he needs. On the other hand, one would expect the ClamPope to be trying to invent explore uncharted levels, so that the top ranks can go on to OT IX or XLI or whatever has not been set down. I guess he is just too busy struggling to hold the Co$ together amidst all this controversy. And make more money so they can keep up the legal actions (and illegal activities).

Sitnam
04-09-2015, 01:19 AM
Great documentary and really informative.

Ultimately, I simply feel no pity for the suckers who will delude reality for their ill-gotten fool's gold "happiness."

It's their own fault for falling prey to a cult.
What about children? They are biologically engineered to emulate and seek approval from their parents. That's also why there are still Catholics and Hindus.

Queen Tonya
04-09-2015, 04:02 AM
One thing that I found interesting was the nearly complete lack of mention of female celebrity scientologists. Kirstie Alley, Jenna Elfman, Kelly Preston, Laura Prepon, Greta Van Susteren...for sure none have the name recognition as Tom Cruise but focusing solely on Travolta and Cruise seemed revealing.

mr. jp
04-09-2015, 04:52 AM
One thing that I found interesting was the nearly complete lack of mention of female celebrity scientologists. Kirstie Alley, Jenna Elfman, Kelly Preston, Laura Prepon, Greta Van Susteren...for sure none have the name recognition as Tom Cruise but focusing solely on Travolta and Cruise seemed revealing.

I don't recognize any of those names. I think maybe Kirstie Alley was the Cheers girl 30 years ago.

Not that I know a lot of celebrities, but I do know who Travolta and Cruise are.

Sam Lowry
04-09-2015, 08:30 AM
On his blog today (http://www.mikerindersblog.org/should-scientology-be-tax-exempt/) Mike Rinder gives a good overview of why Scientology should not be tax extempt.


That was an interesting overview, and included a bit I wasn't aware of:

The only thing Scientology does with its money is buy buildings. This is partly to try and comply with IRS regulations that prohibit the accumulation of cash by exempt organizations (remember they are supposed to be for the public benefit, not a private bank). Scientology doesn’t want to “throw money down the toilet” by helping the underprivileged in society — they are considered to be “downstats” and you never “validate a downstat.” Traditionally a church buying or building new facilities is considered to be an “exempt purpose” as by expanding the facilities they will be able to help more people in the community, provide shelters in time of natural disaster. You think the Super Power building will open its doors to the general public as a shelter if a hurricane is heading towards Clearwater? Not a chance, but the pink christian church across the street will. Scientology is gaming the system — buying massive amounts of real estate when there is NO NEED for it to provide services to their community. These buildings are REAL ESTATE and PR investments pure and simple. This is easy to prove — walk into ANY of the “ideal orgs” and they are dead. Bereft of people. Clearly not being used. Nobody can contemplate that a tax exempt religious organization would just buy property it didn’t need. Nor that it would accumulate billions of dollars.

I bolded the part that really jumps out the most.

Spoke
04-09-2015, 08:45 AM
Scientology owns at least a couple of buildings in Atlanta which it seems to have just abandoned to the elements, much to the chagrin of neighbors (http://www.ajc.com/videos/news/sandy-springs-warns-church-of-scientology-to-clean/vCD38t/), who are complaining about the eyesores.

koeeoaddi
04-09-2015, 12:16 PM
One thing that I found interesting was the nearly complete lack of mention of female celebrity scientologists. Kirstie Alley, Jenna Elfman, Kelly Preston, Laura Prepon, Greta Van Susteren...for sure none have the name recognition as Tom Cruise but focusing solely on Travolta and Cruise seemed revealing.
I noticed that, too, Queen Tonya.

Also, I may have missed it, but was there any mention of Shelley Miscavige? I thought her disappearance was the most shocking revelation in the book and wondered why it either wasn't mentioned in the film, or flew by so fast that it didn't register.

Spoke
04-09-2015, 12:59 PM
I noticed that, too, Queen Tonya.

Also, I may have missed it, but was there any mention of Shelley Miscavige? I thought her disappearance was the most shocking revelation in the book and wondered why it either wasn't mentioned in the film, or flew by so fast that it didn't register.

It was mentioned. The police investigated, and claimed to have met with her.

Equipoise
04-09-2015, 01:58 PM
Lisa Marie Presley tweeted this out today, certainly a reference to Miscavige having his father surveilled. Which, btw, was on the front page of the Los Angeles frickin' right-in-your-face-Scientologists Times.

@LisaPresley: Oh goodness nothing excites me more than 2 see people get vindication n redemption when a bully gets busted red handed: ��I'm so happy she's out. Her father would be proud.

Edit to add, there's more now on Ortega's blog, including audio of the interview with the PI.

Freddy the Pig
04-09-2015, 02:01 PM
In the meantime, to further underscore that he's one big piece of shitwork, a story came out today in the Los Angeles Times (http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-scientology-private-eyes-20150409-story.html#page=1) that he's paid thousands to have his father tailed and round-the-clock surveillance since he (the senior Miscavige) left the cult in 2012.I'm not wild about the passive-voice headline to that story: Miscavige's father "was spied upon". The average person skimming the headlines, and not reading the story, may assume that it was government surveillance of those poor persecuted Scientologists.

gaffa
04-09-2015, 03:04 PM
I'm not wild about the passive-voice headline to that story: Miscavige's father "was spied upon". The average person skimming the headlines, and not reading the story, may assume that it was government surveillance of those poor persecuted Scientologists.
...when, in reality, the CoS actually managed to persecute the US government (their revenue arm, at least.)

Rick Kitchen
04-09-2015, 07:01 PM
One thing that I found interesting was the nearly complete lack of mention of female celebrity scientologists. Kirstie Alley, Jenna Elfman, Kelly Preston, Laura Prepon, Greta Van Susteren...for sure none have the name recognition as Tom Cruise but focusing solely on Travolta and Cruise seemed revealing.

Juliette Lewis.
Anne Archer (who is the mother of Tommy Davis, who used to be the COS's spokesperson)
Karen Black
Nancy Cartwright
Elisabeth Moss
Priscilla Presley

Peaches Geldof is out, but now she's Thelema.

Equipoise
04-09-2015, 09:22 PM
David Miscavige's neice Jenna Miscavige Hill's reaction (http://tonyortega.org/2015/04/09/jenna-miscavige-hill-on-her-uncle-spying-on-her-grandfather-the-arrogance-is-astonishing/). She knew about this but kept it quiet at the request of her family. Now that the story's out she's speaking out, even appearing on Inside Edition (http://www.insideedition.com/videos/4185-scientology-leader-paid-detective-to-follow-his-dad-private-eye-says). Someone said a longer interview with her will be on tomorrow.

The police reports (http://www.scribd.com/doc/261396882/Dwayne-Powell-Arrest-Report). I know nothing about Private Investigators, but isn't all that firepower, including a homemade silencer, a bit much? Seven license plates? A Molotov cocktail? A stun gun? A whip? The PI father and son team were instructed to follow Ron Sr. anywhere in the world. The cult hired PIs to watch the PIs! I can't wait to hear the backstory about all this. After all, it happened 2 years ago but only came to light now. How'd that happen? Since it came from the PI's police report and not "disgruntled apostates" it certainly shores up everyone else's stories about being under surveillance. And hooray for the West Allis, Wisconson Police Department!

Rick Kitchen
04-09-2015, 09:36 PM
The CoS is running ads to counter the bad publicity, regurgitating all of the lies about Elron:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tpHZH4mXE0

eschereal
04-09-2015, 10:04 PM
So what is one to make of the Free Zone (http://www.freezone.org)? Like, all the crazy without any of the crazy?

Johnny Angel
04-10-2015, 10:14 AM
Looking at other documentaries that are up on YouTube, I'm actually disappointed at the number of whistle-blowers who seem to still believe that Scientology's methods are sound and mostly seem to be speaking out against Misgavagism. They still believe holding cans attached to a device you can rig from radio shack parts makes auditing way different from just adding a prop to Ye Olde Talking Cure.

But that is another thing Scientology has in common with other religions.

davidm
04-10-2015, 11:29 AM
Schism is a pretty common occurrence in religion. I can't think of any major religion that isn't divided into various sects. Even newer ones like Scientology and LDS have this.

Equipoise
04-10-2015, 02:21 PM
If it helps them transition out of the cult, good for them. Some stay in the "the tech works" mindset but then drift away as they get some distance and learn more about just how much L. Ron Hubbard was full of shit. Mike Rinder and Marty Rathbun both went through this. When they first left they still believed in Hubbard but wanted to get away from Miscavige. I don't think either believes in Hubbard anymore. I've gotten the impression that Rathbun said he went on a journey to find where Hubbard stole all his good ideas, the ones that get people to join and stay.

Many leave but want nothing more than to continue to be audited and use what worked for them. As long as they're out from under the thumb of the cult, what difference does it make? They'll either get more and more distance and come to realize they don't need those ruby slippers after all, or they won't. At least they're no longer active Scientologists.

Johnny Angel
04-11-2015, 07:58 PM
Yeah, if you have to pick your battles, being a practitioner of woo outside of a paranoid, oppressive and rapacious cult is way better than practicing woo inside it. But it's kind of like the end of Huckleberry Finn -- you admire that Huck was willing to burn in hell for helping his friend escape from slavery, but it's disappointing that his hillbilly ass never thinks for a minute that maybe it's slavery itself that's evil.

Green Bean
04-12-2015, 03:15 PM
I just saw it. Excellent.


You know, with all the speculation I've heard over the years about Cruise and Travolta being unwilling to quit so they don't get outed as gay, I don't recall ever hearing anybody speculate that maybe the Scientologists have something on them that is a lot worse, like a crime or something. The film did allude to the possibilities being open when they talked about the file cabinets full of auditing session notes.

Equipoise
04-12-2015, 03:37 PM
If you read Tony Ortega's blog today it goes into Tom Cruise's relationship with Mimi Rogers, and how Scientology broke up THEIR marriage on purpose too. It backfired badly, since they had to do it again with Nicole. It sounds gossipy and probably is, but it's another example of how the cult/Miscavige rules Cruise's life, and it does clarify that Cruise isn't gay (he was quite the horndog) and that that whole "wanted to be a Monk" thing was just a joke by Rogers that blew up into established fact.

I saw a movie last night with Nazanin Boniadi, the unfortunate actress who got caught up in Cruise's world until she displeased Miscavige, and went from living with Cruise in a multi-million dollar home to scrubbing bathroom floors with a toothbrush. Even though she's first billed on IMDB, she's only in it for less than a minute at the beginning. It was a good movie though. (It was called Desert Dancer)

Green Bean
04-12-2015, 03:37 PM
I also have to question the association between scientology and celebrity success. It's pretty funny that they make a big deal about their "celebrity centers" and stuff when their line-up is remarkably unimpressive (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Scientologists) once you look past those two really big names.

I googled around for lists of current top movie stars. This list of 100 from Vulture seems as good as any (http://www.vulture.com/2014/10/most-valuable-movie-stars.html). Only one person is on that list AND the list of celebrity scientologists from Wikipedia. In fact, none of the lists I found had any scientologists on them except for maybe Tom Cruise.

BigT
04-12-2015, 04:18 PM
I also have to question the association between scientology and celebrity success. It's pretty funny that they make a big deal about their "celebrity centers" and stuff when their line-up is remarkably unimpressive (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Scientologists) once you look past those two really big names.

My understanding is not that they are all that successful, just that they deliberately court people in Hollywood for the clout. They would need to have their tendrils in a lot deeper to actually somehow guarantee success for those who join. They'd need to heavily populate those who hire the actors.

pkbites
04-12-2015, 04:38 PM
It's their own fault for falling prey to a cult.

Unless they were raised in it as a child and indoctrinated their entire life, it is no less than 51% their fault.

Some folks have a better B.S. detector than others, but all humans have a sense of reason and rationale. I was raised in what I consider a cult (http://hwarmstrong.com/). As soon as I became an adult I said "this shit is nuts" and I bailed. So even if one is raised in a cult one should still have a natural sense of reason that eventually takes over.

Back in the early 80's before the internet and all the exposure about Scientology I picked up a copy of Dianetics. About 10 pages in I realized it was lunacy. WTF is wrong with some people that they would buy into this horseshit?

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