Archive for October 2006

Go Ahead And Toot That Horn

October 26, 2006

For once, I’m not tooting my own horn but allowing others to do it for me.  Really, it gets so wearying to be constantly telling everyone what a great guy I am.  What a breath of fresh air to have others do so for me.

I got a nice write up from one of the other blogs here and I am going to modestly point you toward it. 

Mr. Bunker is a thorn in the Scientology’s side; because he dares to publish these videos he is making himself a target for intimidation.  He has no doubt been declared a SP, or suppressive person, by the Church of Scientology. An SP is the name given to the enemies of the church, akin to the word infidels, The Church of Scientology grants that these people can be lied to, and that the lives and person of SP’s can be destroyed. 

For his bravery in standing up against the Scientologists, I salute him.

That is obviously one very astute individual.  If you are interested in reading more about how wonderful I am, pop on over here.

My thanks to E.J. Tower and Atheism News whose stated goal is thus:

Atheism News is a newly formed blog dedicated to the collection and compilation of information, videos, stories, and other media related to Atheism, Atheist Foundations, and the persuit of rational skepticism.

Just Whose Space Is My Space?

October 25, 2006

Scientology is actively shutting down My Space sites critical of their organization.  Check out this site for details.

Movie Trailer: Bar Wars

October 24, 2006

A trend was started last year in which people would reedit new trailers for movies to make them appear to be in a different genre. Here’s one example:

My favorite is “The Shine.” They don’t get much better than this:

I haven’t watched many lately but there is a site which collects them all.

Enjoy…and let me know which ones I have to check out.

Battlefield: London

October 24, 2006

Well, Scientology’s opened themselves up some fancy new digs in London and the press is all agog.  Here’s a report from London.net:

There were no signs of aliens, Tom Cruise or John Travolta – unless lurking in the fourth dimension – but many of Scientology’s leading lights were on Queen Victoria Street and they were welcomed by some of their counterparts in the City establishment, including police Chief Superintendent Kevin Hurley, who said that the controversial religion was a “force for good” in London society.

It is sad to see officials giving Scientology cover.  Do they understand the fraud and abuse built into the organization?  Unlikely.   Yet, they are willing to shill for a group which has changed very little since Justice Latey of Britain’s Old Bailey pronounced the group “corrupt.”

In my judgement it is corrupt, sinister and dangerous. It is corrupt because it is based on lies and deceit and has as its real objective money and power for Mr. Hubbard, his wife and those close to him at the top. It is sinister because it indulges in infamous practices both to its adherents who do not toe the line unquestioningly and to those outside who criticise or oppose it. It is dangerous because it is out to capture people, especially children and impressionable young people, and indoctrinate and brainwash them so that they become the unquestioning captives and tools of the cult, withdrawn from ordinary thought, living and relationships with others.

The full finding of Justice Latey is here.   Arnie Lerma has a page of Latey quotes at his site.

Scientology continues to snap up real estate even though the membership seems to be declining rapidly.  Could it be that even as the press prints incredulous quotes from people such as Chief Inspector Hurley, the article properly mocks the whole idea of the legitimacy of Scientology?

KHAAAAANNNNNNNN!

October 22, 2006

Blogger Orhan Khan has written about the removal of “The Bridge” from various sites. Check out what he has to say.

This blogging thing is new to me but I like it. I’m hearing from a lot of new voices which is very exciting.

A New Word in Literacy – Fraud

October 22, 2006

The Boston Globe has an article about the Scientology literacy program in their city. They set up space near the Boston Org in a building they share with Scientology’s front group for attacking psychiatry, the Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights.

“My goal is to infuse the community with tools they can use,” said Robert Castagna , a Scientology minister who heads up the literacy program. “I’m not here to save your soul, but if you can’t read, you have a major handicap spiritually.”

Scientology, founded in the 1950s by science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, is a religion that has often drawn the suspicion of the American public. Billing itself as an “applied religious philosophy” that believes humans live many lives and can achieve higher states of awareness, the church teaches that psychiatry is a hoax. It also has been criticized as a cult that extracts money from its followers.

A number of parents who use the literacy services say they enjoy the tutoring as long as proselytizing is left out.

“I’m not really into the ministry because I’m a Christian, but they’re good as far as helping your child,” said Tycia Feagin , 28, of Roxbury, whose 6 -year-old son attends the program. “They helped me to help him. I like what they’re doing.” The program runs from 2 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Yet, Feagin, like many who work and live nearby, remains cautious about getting too close to the group’s teachings.

“It seems the way they go about it, you trick your mind,” she said. “It’s interesting, but I’ve tried many religions and I feel God is my way.”

I would support Scientology’s literacy programs if they produced people educated enough to see through L. Ron Hubbard’s bullshit. Unfortunately, this program is used primarily to Safe Point Scientology in a community. It’s goal is less to educate and more to show the public that Scientology is not a dangerous cult but a benevolent group looking out for the best interests of humanity.

My friend, Tory Christman, spoke out about safe pointing in a separate article in the San Francisco Chronicle about Narconon sneaking into public schools:

Christman and other ex-Scientologists familiar with Narconon said that Narconon also serves to present Hubbard and his vision in a positive light.

“At Narconon (they’re) handling drugs in society. But in truth, it’s to ‘safe point the environment’ — a goodwill gesture so they can recruit people,” Christman said.

As is always the case, others have produced valuable resources on a topic that go way beyond what I could possibly write up, so I would suggest checking out these terrific sites for more info on Scientology and education.

Scientology vs. Education

First Hand Testimony

Professor Dave Touretzky created the Scientology vs. Education site. There are few people who are better able to explain Scientology than Dave.

I took a stab at informing the Clearwater City Commission on how Scientology uses deception to safe point their church through the education system. I had three minutes to state my case.

I don’t think they cared one bit that they were used but I wanted to get it on the record.

Scientology On Trial

October 18, 2006

At least on TV.

Last night, “Boston Legal” dealt with a Scientologist suing his former employer after being fired because of his religion. It’s an interesting time for Scientology. They have been battered by the media so hard this past year that some are now coming to their defense.

First “Nip/Tuck” develops an entire running subplot with cast members joining the group and now “Boston Legal” not only feels free to mention Scientology by name but also to tell the entire story of Xenu and OTIII and go into details on engrams and e-meters. Yes, they aren’t completely accurate but mentioning any of this in a prime time drama before Tom Cruise’s meltdown would have been unthinkable.

I have to say that if I had been on the jury, I would have sided with the Scientologist. They can believe anything they wish. I support their right to believe in Xenu while reserving the right to giggle about it. Beliefs aren’t what bother me. Hiding the beliefs until you’ve been bled dry of all your money or raiding someone’s home because they shared info about those beliefs are what bother me.

It’s a shame they didn’t use an example of a real life trial for the show. Any number of people have sued Scientology for forcing their employees to take Scientology courses. That’s a more interesting dilemma.

Or they could have showed how having Scientology enter a workplace can create real problems such as what happened to the dentists I interviewed in Chicago. They signed up for Hubbard management courses and before long, Scientologists were manning their office and turning things upside down.

But since this show was about a Scientology attorney, perhaps the most interesting angle would have been to use the real life example of attorney Merrell Vanier. Merrell was brought into Clearwater, Florida by Scientology for the express purpose of befriending Gabe Cazares at his country club and convincing Gabe to allow Merrell to handle his case against Scientology. Once Merrell was Gabe’s attorney, he purposely botched the case for Gabe. When this was uncovered, Merrell Vanier was disbarred.

That is a true and shining example of Scientology’s contempt for the legal system.