Archive for the ‘News’ category

The Truth Rundown

June 21, 2009

Talk about flaps.  David Miscavige must be packing his bags to go live in that cave with Osama Bin Laden.   Marty Rathbun is spilling the beans.

This account comes from executives who for decades were key figures in Scientology’s powerful inner circle. Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder, the highest-ranking executives to leave the church, are speaking out for the first time.

Two other former executives who defected also agreed to interviews with the St. Petersburg Times: De Vocht, who for years oversaw the church’s spiritual headquarters in Clearwater, and Amy Scobee, who helped create Scientology’s celebrity network, which caters to the likes of John Travolta and Tom Cruise.

One by one, the four defectors walked away from the only life they knew. That Rathbun and Rinder are speaking out is a stunning reversal because they were among Miscavige’s closest associates, Haldeman and Ehrlichman to his Nixon.

Now they provide an unprecedented look inside the upper reaches of the tightly controlled organization.

There’s terrific video, too.  Go and read.  Watch.  It’s Miscavige’s nightmare coming true.

UPDATE: Part 2 – Death in Slow Motion

The second installment covers the Lisa McPherson case.   Rathbun admits he ordered the destruction of evidence.  And creepy new revelations that not only are auditing sessions videotaped, but David Miscavige can watch the seesions live any time he chooses.

Do the parishioners find this unsettling?  Or will they simply excuse it as they have so many other abuses?

Why Was the Protest Ban Proposed?

June 18, 2009

Lirra Bishop and Julie Waltz continue to turn the screws on Jeff Stone over his changing story on why he brought the protest ban to the floor.

The international headquarters of the Church of Scientology are located at a compound called “Golden Era Productions”, aka “Gold Base”, in Gilman Hot Springs near Hemet, in Supervisor Jeff Stone’s district.

St. Louis Anonymous Arrested

June 15, 2009

UPDATE 7/15/09

All charges were dropped.  Info over at Why We Protest.

Original Post:

An Anonymous protester was arrested this weekend.  He was essentially asking the question I asked when I was arrested at Gold: Why have the laws governing protests suddenly changed?  Why can’t I stand where I have stood for a year and a half?

Here’s what the St. Louis Anons say on YouTube:

We have had a good relationship with the local police, and are not drawing any conclusions about the arrest at this time. Our liason to the police is already handling the matter.

As a personal note: I have long thought the University City police do an excellent job, and this incident does not by itself affect my favorable opinion of them. In protest-related situations and elsewhere, I have always found them to be fair and courteous. I support Ace, I support the police. I ask we keep an open mind about this situation as it unfolds.

There’s also a thread over at WhyWeProtest.net

Friedman Blames Scientologists

June 15, 2009
Roger Friedman and Nicole (I escaped Scientology) Kidman

Roger Friedman and Nicole Kidman

A couple months back, there was much ado about a leaked workprint of FOX Studio’s Wolverine movie. It was one of the highest profile movie leaks in awhile and FOX was horrified because, one month before the movie opened, film geeks were saying the movie stank on ice.

Roger Friedman had a column at FOXnews.com in which he regulary reported on Scientology scandals. He came to the movie’s defense, saying he watched the leaked print and loved the movie. His column was derided by many, including my friend Drew McWeeney, for promoting film piracy. A few days later, Friedman was axed.

Now Friedman is allegedly considering suing FOX and laying the blame on his firing on Scientology.

Last August, Friedman went to Memphis for the funeral of his friend and R&B legend Isaac Hayes, who was a Scientologist. Preston was also in town for the funeral. Friedman, who now writes for The Hollywood Reporter, tells us that when Preston saw him at the Peabody Hotel, Mrs. John Travolta loudly blasted him for his columns criticizing Scientology.

“She called me a ‘religious bigot,’  ” Friedman recalls.

The following month, says an ally of Friedman, Preston voiced her complaints about Friedman to Fox News chief Roger Ailes and his then-EVP, John Moody.

“Moody talked to her on the phone,” says the source. “When she couldn’t get Moody to fire Friedman, she called him a [obscenity].”

Ailes and Moody later agreed to meet with Preston and Church of Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis (the son of actress Anne Archer), according to the source, who says Friedman’s editors subsequently forbid him from writing about the death in January of Preston’s son, Jett.

Meanwhile, Friedman says, 20th Century Fox chairman Jim Gianopoulos had been encouraging him to lay off Cruise’s movie “Valkyrie,” which Fox was distributing internationally.

Last month, Variety reported that Cruise was in advanced talks to star with Cameron Diaz in a Fox action comedy, “Wichita.” A source suspects that Cruise may have made Friedman’s ouster a condition of the actor appearing in “Wichita.  ”

Whatever the reason, I was sad to see Friedman fired. Not only was a fierce opponent of Scientology but he also came to my defense when YouTube yanked my channels last year. He’s bounced back fine, becoming a columnist for the Hollywood Reporter, but the firing was pointless. For all of FOX’s fears about the leaked movie hurting the box office, the movie opened huge and was a financial success.

Although it continues to suck.

Travolta Admits His Son Was Autistic

June 11, 2009

The National Enquirer has posted John Travolta’s detailed statement to the police given at the time of his son Jett’s death.   In it, he tells the police that his son was autistic.  That is not what the family ever said to the press, instead making up a story about Kawasaki Diesease.

The ENQUIRER has obtainedJohn Travolta’s statement to police,  which reveals for the first time, in his own words, how he bravely battled to save his dying 16-year-old son. Jett.

The document is a dramatic never-before-seen minute-by-minute account of the crisis, in which the star appears to have done everything he could to bring his son back to life.

In the three-page document signed by Travolta, the Taking of Pelham 1-2-3 star acknowledges that his son was autistic.

The autism disclosure adds to the family’s previous claims that Jett suffered from Kawasaki disease, a rare illness that affects the blood vessels in young children. Travolta is a leading Scientologist, and Scientology doesn’t always agree with autism as a diagnosis.

The family has suffered the greatest pain possible in the loss of this child.  No one wants them to suffer more.   But one has to ask why Scientology put them through this extra pain of deception?   How many years did the family have to at least partially deny the truth?  Was there pressure to handle the illness with Scientology practices?

We’ll probably never know the truth but for the the Travoltas to tell the truth finally about the autism would help them and the other families facing this challenge.

Belgium Troubles

June 2, 2009

Scientologist Fabio Amicarelli, director of European public affairs, based in Brussels.

I was sent an update on Scientology’s status in Belgium. If you’re like me, my complete knowledge of Belgium is that it’s the home country of famed detective Hecule Poirot.   Here’s what the writer had to say:

Belgium is a very small country between France and Germany with merely 11,000,000 inhabitants but plays a very important role in the European Union, as its capital is the “capital of Europe”, the most important European institutions and lobbyists are gathered in Brussels. Most of European laws and directives are made in Brussels. It’s the Washington D.C. of Europe so to speak.

Last month the Belgian investigators and magistrates labeled Scientology as a “criminal organisation”, which is a juridical (law) term in Belgium. The investigation into Scientology has been going on since 1997 but due to Scientology’s constant and insatiable appeals, time wasting maneouvres and demands for “further investigative procedures” it is still an ongoing process.

The Executive Magistrate of the Kingdom of Belgium is targetting 14 people (12 of them the highest ranking Scientologists in Belgium) and 2 organisations (Scientology Belgium and the European Office for Public Affairs and Human Rights) for:

  • swindling
  • extortion
  • performing medicine without a license
  • forming a criminal organisation

The Executive Magistrate is now executing the very last appeals by Scientology and will then most likelybring the case to court. If brought to correctional court, as is is happening in France at the moment and found guilty of the accusations the organisation will most likely be banned from operating in Belgium, also prison sentencing is not unlikely.

Norway Considers Ban

May 30, 2009

Norway is looking into Scientology’s abuses.