Archive for March 2008

Operation Reconnect

March 9, 2008

I continue to be impressed with Anonymous’ commitment and their skill at getting out a message.  The April theme will be disconnection.


“Scheduled to take place during April, Operation Reconnect will shine a spotlight on families torn apart by the Church of Scientology. The aim is to bring these families together, with a number of the “disconnected” giving detailed accounts of their experience with Scientology and making public pleas to their families to “reconnect” with them.”

They have a thread about the project over at Enturbulation.org.

An Anonymous Call to Action

March 4, 2008

Anonymous!

March 4th is the first wave of the Anonymous Lobby Against Scientology. I am calling on everyone to make a couple of phone calls and write a couple of faxes to your district’s Representative, as well as Senator Feinstein and Senator Boxer (our two Senators).

All of this contact information will be on this page by 9AM tomorrow morning (so it will be incomplete up until that time).

All you have to do is go to that website and find the appropriate Representative for your district (ctrl+f and search for the town you live, and see if you can find it in an address. PROTIP: The further South in California, the larger the “number” of your district). Place a call to their federal office, and their state offices. Don’t be afraid to give an alias (or hell, your real name if you’re that comfortable); “Anonymous” doesn’t give them much to work with and concerned constituents with a name are more credible. Send a fax with a typed letter. In future weeks, we may have form letters available, but nothing is better than something you put a little thought in to yourself.

Remember: the purpose of these calls is to call for an investigation in to the circumstances under which the Church of Scientology received their tax exemption, to call for the unsealing of their secret agreement with the IRS, and to ultimately show that they have violated said secret agreement, and should no longer have their tax exempt status.

For extra credit, you should read some documentation before making the call or fax so you are well informed. This is a TLDR post, but is well worth the read if you have the time.

It explains the harassment and beating in to submission that Co$ performed on the IRS. They got the IRS on their knees, begging them to stop, and the secret agreement was made.

At any rate, Anonymous all over the country will be calling their senators and representatives. Not to be shown up, SoCal should try and be the most proactive of the regions. Make those calls and faxes on Tuesday!

The next protest is March 15th at Big Blue, 11AM. More information is forthcoming. Please continue to check these e-mails after couple of days.

-Anon

Speaking Freely About The Profit

March 4, 2008

A couple days ago, one of Peter and Patricia’s spokespeople made a post on alt.religion.scientology with some new info about the Profit.   Now the info is interesting but it seemed the spokesperson was just as interested in bashing me as he was in sharing the documents.

That’s fair.  I’m not above criticism.  I just think much of what was said in the post about me was silly.  I agree with the foul mouthed author that I was wrong when I said that I didn’t think there’d be any objection to Peter and Patricia posting 8 minutes of the movie to see.  Bob had turned over power of attorney on the film to one of his lawyers, Thomas McGowan who wrote requesting the clip be taken down.

Patricia’s spokesperson finds the letter whiny but I think it interesting that McGowan uses Peter and Patricia’s own claim from 2002 against them.  For the record, I think Peter and Patricia  should keep the clip up.  I don’t see any harm to the film in doing so and people can at least get a sample of the film for now.

There’s also the power of attorney letter posted with Mike Rinder as a witness.  This leads Peter and Patricia to claim that Scientology still has Bob by the balls and is making him strike back at critics whenever Scientology dictates like a sad puppet on a string.

Yet we’ve seen no other actions from Bob.  He hasn’t cut a swath through the critic community and destroyed everyone in his path or taken to the stage at a Scientology event to hand Tom Cruise a Scientology medal.  He settled with Scientology.

The movie was a giant headache and Bob felt he never was going to see a dime back from it and I’m sure part of the settlement was to not release the film.  Do I know that?  No.  I haven’t talked to Bob about it or anything else about the settlement other than for him to say he is happy to have moved on and not have to think about it anymore.

Peter and Patricia’s attorney responded to McGowan and added the wacky assertion that I am acting as an agent for Bob and actively trying to DESTROY THE MOVIE!  That’s just silly.  I’m not.   Not quite so silly is his assertion that I posted third generation clips onto the net in 2002 to specifically to “damage the marketability of the film.”  It seems Peter and Patricia still plan to sue me at some point and lay the blame for the failure of the movie not just on Bad Old Bob but on me as well.

They took the film to Cannes.  They showed it to distributers.  They had ample time to sell the film and failed.  That’s not my fault or Bob’s fault.  It’s their fault.  It’s the film.

That’s not Bob’s opinion.  It’s mine.   I haven’t talked to him in ages about the movie.  I’m not trying to destroy the movie anymore than when I  said “Battlefield Earth” sucked.   It was my opinion.   My opinion didn’t affect BE at all and, unlike with the Profit, I was actually interviewed by a major newspaper about BE.  It still didn’t hurt the film.  Battlefield Earth destroyed itself.

I think The Profit should be released.  People should have a chance to see it.  It seems the courts would be the place to sort it out.

And the new mantra is that Bob is trying to stop Peter’s “free speech.”  I find it ironic that the people who are upset they aren’t allowed to speak always send out people to speak for them.

The Profit sits on a shelf just where Peter said he would let it sit when Bob told him he wasn’t sinking anymore money into the film after Cannes.

It’s not the only film to end up like this.  They are not the only filmmakers caught in this dilemma, although they are the only one with Scientology in the middle.

Orson Welles spent the last decade of his life trying to get the rights back to his final film “The Other Side of the Wind” from his investors.  He ruefully stated that they were waiting for him to die to release it because the film would be worth more money after Orson was dead.  And he was right.  They did.

Patricia’s spokesperson says that Bob and Scientology are trying to financially ruin Peter and Patricia.  They had a very successful business creating theme park attractions.  Who’s stopping them from pursuing that or any other means of livelihood?

And as far as free speech is concerned, NO ONE is stopping Peter and Patricia from writing a new script, finding a new investor and making a new movie.   Let’s hope they treat the next partner better than the first.

Another Tale of Shame at Narconon

March 4, 2008

In the talkback of one of my earlier posts, Eddie Stone shared what his family went through at two different Narconon facilities.  The first in Newport Beach and the second at Narconon Stonehawk.  Scientology knows no shame.  They are about the least ethical people I can imagine.

Here’s Eddie’s story:

My daughter , a crack addict, went to Newport Narconon in July 2007. I received a call 5 weeks later telling me they were taking her to the airport because she had been put on a 30 suspension for kissing a boy for the 2nd time. I was given 1 hour to make flight arrangements (which were very expensive to fly cross country on short notice). I was told after she got home that they did not want her to come back to Narconon because she had too many problems. Problems that I had told them about before she went there. Do they really think that an addict can stay clean without completing a program and will go back?

Then, in Feb 2008, my daughter came to me and told me she wanted to go back into treatment — that she needed help. I called the 1-800- no drugs and talked with a person that represented themselves as a drug counselor that knew all the treatment facilities in the U.S. I was calling to inquire about a Christian treatment center. He told me that the place I was interested in could not help her and that he recommended that I send her to Stonehawk Narconon. I told him that she needed trauma counseling and he assured me that she would get it there. So, believing that this man was giving me unbaised information, I called the person he told me to call at Stonehawk.

I was assured by this person of several things. One, was that she would get individual counseling from a therapists for her trauma issues, that Stonehawk was separate from Newport and had no bearing on their program, and that she would not be made to leave if she broke any rules. I repeatedly asked these questions and each time I was assured that there would not be any problem.

The day that my daughter left to go to Stonehawk, I received a call from a man named Ray. He told me that he had talked to me originally. He told me that he was one of the directors at Stonehawk. I was in shock! He had lead me to believe that he was an independent drug counselor when we first talked. I sent an email to Stonehawk telling them that it upset me to know that Ray had not be upfront with me and led me their facility. But, my daughter was already there by then.

After completing the detox, my daughter called and told me that they were going to put her on ethics because of having left Newport on ethics. I told them that this was NOT going to happen because of the assurances they had given me earlier. They told me that she would not have to do the ethics. She called me the next day and told me that they were making her to do ethics. I called again and told them that she absolutely was not. She was kept in limbo for 4 days doing nothing but watching TV.

They finally started her in the program on that 5th day. During this time, she had fallen and sprained her ankle. Her room was on the 3rd floor and the elevator was broken. She also had a double ear infection. She called me at 1:00 pm and asked me if I would call them and ask them to bring her her medicine and some food because she could not walk down 3 flights of stairs. They didn’t even bring her the morning antibiotic or the Tylenol for pain or ice packs.

I called them a week later and told them that this was just not a good fit for her and that I was wanting to move her to another facility the next week. I received a call the next day on my lunch hour from an Andy that told me that she was going to have to leave the facility that day. I told him that I was at work and did not have access to a computer to make arrangements and why could she not stay there for four more days since I had paid Narconon almost $40,000 between the 2 facilities. He said it “wasn’t going to happen and she WAS going to leave today.”

She called me that night and told me that they were going to either take her to a homeless shelter or a motel and leave her. I called the West Coast International Headquarters demanding that she not be left at either of these places and I was given a cell phone number for their East coast headquarters. I talked with an Yvonne and explained that I was sick with worry because I didn’t know where my daughter was at that time. She said she would make some calls and get back with me shortly.

I started calling her cell phone after waiting for 3 hours. I left repeated messages begging her to call me and she never did. I started calling Stonehawk and no one was there that could talk to me. I finally made arrangements that day for her to return home and go to another facility.

She has told me so many horrible things about the place. The kitchen was closed down because of health violations. 10 people that worked there were fired that week because they went out and either drank or did drugs. A 3 story facilty without a working elevator. Mold in the rooms and sauna.

I feel horrible that I sent my child to a place like this! What makes it even worse is that this the first time she had ever come to me and had asked for help and look where I sent her!

I feel that this Ray character practiced fraudulent practices in the way he presented himself to me as an independent drug counselor. These places know that the kids probably will not complete their treatment plan and therefore the parents are out of their life savings. How disgraceful is that? Having sent her to other facilities in the past, my money was gone. My 89 year old mother used her life savings to send her to these 2 Narconon programs! They should be ashamed of themselves.

I have just returned from the other facility. What a difference! Now, I will be contacting an attorney to sue for partial refund of my money. And I will be finding out what other avenues I can take to report them in Michigan.

The Ides of March

March 2, 2008

Anonymous has posted a new video about the upcoming protest of Scientology on March 15th in “honor” of L. Ron Hubbard’s birthday.  It’s a remarkable piece of video.  Powerful and well produced with a solid knowledge of the subject.

This is not the work of someone toying with people on the net.  This is a serious, sober and chilling explanation from Anonymous as to “Why We Fight.”

Anonymous’ use of the Guy Fawkes imagery is making me appreciate V for Vendetta more every day.  I understand the theatricality of it and it seems less a gimmick to me with each of these leaps in communication of their message.

How Good People Turn Evil

March 1, 2008

Psychologist Philip Zimbardo is interviewed in a great piece from Wired Magazine about how easy it is for good people to do evil things and what we need to do to try to stop that.

People are always personally accountable for their behavior. If they kill, they are accountable. However, what I’m saying is that if the killing can be shown to be a product of the influence of a powerful situation within a powerful system, then it’s as if they are experiencing diminished capacity and have lost their free will or their full reasoning capacity.

Situations can be sufficiently powerful to undercut empathy, altruism, morality and to get ordinary people, even good people, to be seduced into doing really bad things — but only in that situation.

Understanding the reason for someone’s behavior is not the same as excusing it. Understanding why somebody did something — where that why has to do with situational influences — leads to a totally different way of dealing with evil. It leads to developing prevention strategies to change those evil-generating situations, rather than the current strategy, which is to change the person.

Zimbardo’s famous Stanford Prison Experiment is one of the most important of its type.

I was most taken by his proposed solution to the problem. Training kids from an early stage about the importance of being a hero. Taking a stand. Facing the repercussions because you are doing what is right.

To be a hero you have to take action on behalf of someone else or some principle and you have to be deviant in your society, because the group is always saying don’t do it; don’t step out of line. If you’re an accountant at Arthur Andersen, everyone who is doing the defrauding is telling you, “Hey, be one of the team.”

Heroes have to always, at the heroic decisive moment, break from the crowd and do something different. But a heroic act involves a risk. If you’re a whistle-blower you’re going to get fired, you’re not going to get promoted, you’re going to get ostracized. And you have to say it doesn’t matter.

Most heroes are more effective when they’re social heroes rather than isolated heroes. A single person or even two can get dismissed by the system. But once you have three people, then it’s the start of an opposition.

The three young women who started Ex-Scientology Kids are such heroes. I applaud them and everyone else who joins the movement.