Scientology Daily Digest: Thursday, November 7, 2013

Tony Ortega’s Blog

Today’s story was another installment in the interview series with legendary former cult marketing exec Jefferson Hawkins.  Today, the review of Chapter 3 in the book Introduction to Scientology Ethics is all about statistics, which is the basis for so much of the craziness around “management tech,” and, in my view, that is the craziness that drives so many businesses owned by Scientologists into criminal or at least incredibly short-sighted behavior.  I think this one is well worth reading, since Jeff once again does a great job presenting the subject accessibly, and it’s pretty easy to see how an already stupid idea of Hubbard’s can be taken and turned into a source of even more evil and ineptitude than Hubbard could have ever dreamed of.

Tony also got a brief “fuck off” e-mail reply from former cult spokesman Tommy Davis on asking Tommy for confirmation that he was in New York (New Jersey, actually, at the CNBC studio, a place I’ve done dozens of interviews myself) shepherding the chairman of his fund on a press tour.  It looks like Tommy’s new title of “special assistant to the Chairman” is real.  But it raised a question for me: a chairman of a big fund is not going to travel with an assistant he doesn’t trust.  And he’s not going to trust a rookie assistant unless that assistant has already got a lot of face time with him.  The only way to do that is to live in LA.  So is Tommy living in LA?  And if so, is wife Jessica with him?  I seem to recall that Tommy either owns or has access to a house in LA in addition to his place in Austin.  I am not starting a rumor; I’m just pointing out that a question worthy of further investigation has arisen.  

Finally, Angry Gay Pope was in court; other reports just before press time indicate he was released without being charged; the $150,000 bail and all charges were dropped. According to Karen De La Carriere, the district attorney was utterly uninterested in pursuing the case. Apparently, AGP will agree voluntarily to stay 100 yards away from HGB for a year, but the case was dismissed completely.  

My take

Jeff’s article is a great explanation of why Scientologists seem to gravitate towards sleazy or even criminal get-rich-quick decision making. Declaring that a) stats must go up every single week regardless of what is going on in the real world otherwise people inevitably have “crimes” that must be discovered and b) that people whose stats are up are exempt from trouble even if they are causing the wreckage that is depressing others’ stats is a recipe for disaster.

Much of modern management training is trying to figure out the real root cause of problems.  A lot of that is trying find out whether short-term problems are really symptoms of long-term issues.  High-quality organizations like GE are fanatical about trying to identify deep underlying causes of problems.  Trying to make weekly targets go up every single week with no exceptions inevitably leads to insanity.  And in that world, you never get to stop the hamster wheel and solve long-term problems.  

“Management tech” is based on the unstated assumption that demand for the “product” of Scientology was infinite. The cult could “grow to the sky” if the people in it weren’t such nitwits.  Like most fundamentalist sects, Hubbard says “everyone is a Scientologist, they just don’t know it yet.” In other words, everyone will inevitably become a Scientologist. That’s arrogant and naive at the same time. No product has infinite demand. Not even “eternity.”

A corollary is the idea that the product is never the problem when people don’t want to buy it. Naturally, Hubbard believed that the product was perfect because he had created it. But even if he were humble about his creation, the obsession with Keeping Scientology Working, which was originally an attempt to standardize delivery of “the tech” would ultimately became a mechanism for arresting any attempts to improve what didn’t work.

Customers change and evolve. We no longer dance the Lindy or Charleston, or even the Macarena. So a business trying to “sell” those dance moves would be in trouble, no matter how thoroughly management investigated the employees for “crimes” and no matter how thoroughly management graphed weekly stats.

The idea that people hitting their numbers are exempt from “ethics” is incredibly dangerous. Back when I sold corporate software (big applications for big companies), sales people could initiate radical alterations to the standard pricing and deal terms to close big deals late in the quarter. I’ve seen terms like one guaranteeing the customer they would always get the lowest price they paid for a given product for the next ten years.  So if the salesman gave a 70% discount to get a big order in this quarter, the customer would get a 70% discount for years to come, limiting the growth potential in the biggest customers.

This idea of ethics protection as a reward for performance is just like what happens if you give a surgeon immunity from malpractice suits if he performs a minimum number of procedures a week. Clearly, that’s a bad idea.  Why would you set up a similar “perverse incentive” in any other business? 

Key comments

  • “Anonymous” takes my main comment and runs with it, pointing out further ways that management by weekly stats backfires in the real world. 
  • I built on his views by pointing out that Hubbard probably got almost all his management thinking from the Navy, where you don’t have to think about things like customer demand, and where you do have to teach rookies about the importance of graphing trends so you can see that you have a steam leak in a boiler when fuel burn goes up to maintain a given level of pressure.  Without graphing, a farm boy from Arkansas who is now serving his second week on board a ship would miss a steam leak that could be fatal.
  • “Truthiwant” has an interesting detailed take on Scientologists and swearing.
  • Skip Press has a nice personal story about how Scientology stats basically make it worthless to make some superhuman effort to get something done this week: your reward is that you have to do more of it next week. That’s why the 100-hour weeks, etc.
  • Derek Bloch also reminisces about the insanity of weekly stats.
  • Another story of someone who lived it, from Natasha Boris.
  • AquaClara points out how the craziness spreads at some companies who have tried “management tech,” including Allstate Insurance.
  • Attorney Shockenawd thinks that Tommy Davis will talk about all the hate groups hating on his beloved church when he finally gets deposed in the Mosey Rathbun case.  A nice, withering blast of contempt that makes great reading.
  • My reply to Shockenawd: Anonymous is not a hate group, nor is Tony’s site or most of the rest of the universe.  They’re a laugh-at-and-ridicule group, which causes fundamentalists far more angst than real haters. Fundamentalists are so self-important that they can’t deal with people that laugh at them.
  • Relatively new commenter “M Diggs” points out that one potential reason people stay away from the cult is Hubbard’s language, which sounds increasingly archaic.  It’s a good argument, but I have to believe there are so many dimensions of suck that the language issue is a little further down the list.
  • Observer pithily notes the hypocrisy in Tommy Davis’s willingness to stalk countless cult members while they travel when he participated in “blow drills,” but blows a gasket when Tony does a much more benign version of the same thing.

Mike Rinder’s Blog

  • Mike’s first post has four examples of marginally literate drivel talking up the big product releases.  Another amusing adventure in bad punctuation and in avoiding obvious bits of reality beginning to obtrude in the Truman Show.
  • The second post, appearing just before press time, points to the Tampa Bay Times story about permit issues with the big event tent, and features the clever title, “Counter In-Tent-Ion.” Mike raises the point that Miscavige continues to push the city, potentially pushing them around just to push them around. But given the risk of disruption to the events, this is probably not a smart time to pick a fight with the city and potentially encouraging them to come down on him for real. After all, since there are probably more ex-Scientologists in Clearwater than active members, it’s likely that someone has helped them understand just how critical the events are to the cult, and thus how much leverage the city has against them.

Marty Rathbun’s Blog

  • Radio silence, day 8.  This is now the longest he’s gone since I have data from RSS on his posts without writing something new.  I just got word moments before press time from Mike Rinder that Marty’s OK, just insanely busy working on supporting his wife’s case and on some other projects.

WWP, ESMB, OCMB

Thanks again to Aeger Primo for today’s cruise through ESMB.

  • WWP has a post with e-mails from another campaign by CCHR supporters to try and oppose a new psychiatric hospital to be built by Signature Healthcare Services, by fighting a zoning change.  Unsurprisingly, the WWP crowd are going to flood the Sacramento Zoning Board with letters exposing the crazy.
  • Some poignant examples of how difficult it is for former ex-Scientologists to find homes for thousands of CDs and video tapes of Hubbard lectures, and just how many trees died to print stuff that even formerly die-hard Scientologists didn’t read.

Press

A fairly abundant harvest from today’s general press:

  • They don’t call it the “Daily Fail” for nothing. UK’s Daily Mail is out with an article about the Twin Peaks CST base up in the mountains above Hemet, which is where they do all the engraving of the plates that go to all the other CST vaults.  It’s also the likely home of Shelly Miscavige, as Tony reported long ago.  The Daily Fail article starts by misspelling Leah Remini’s name and quickly gets worse.
  • The Tampa Bay Times reports that the City of Clearwater is now starting to get really irate after discovering a lengthy list of code violations involving the tent complex.  We may be at a major inflection point in the City’s willingness to hold the cult’s feet to the fire.  It’s possible that some connected ex-Scientologists have explained to the city how much leverage they have because of the importance of these events.  This would be the wrong time for Miscavige to have pissed off the city fathers once too often.
  • Radar Online is out with an update about the Tom Cruise suit versus Bauer Publishing over “abandoning” his daughter Suri.  This one contains a link to a PDF with excerpts of the deposition of Cruise taken in September.  While the deposition is only an excerpt, and while it is important to remember that Cruise has successfully sued publications for defamation previously, it sure looks like he’s really hanging in there on an uphill fight, what with truth being a defense and all that.
  • Vanity Fair is now picking up the story with Tom Cruise’s leaked deposition in the defamation case he brought against Bauer Media over charges he “abandoned” Suri.  The fact that only part of the deposition has been leaked makes it difficult to determine how solid the defense might be.  I’d expect a bunch more press to pick this up, and I don’t plan on reporting more instances of the story from the  general media after tonight, unless there’s a release of the full transcript that we can access.
  • The award for “Best General News Article of the Day Whose Title Snarkily References Scientology” goes to Forbes for an article on “The Church of Climate Scientology: How Climate Science Became a Religion.”  The article itself is fairly disastrous and isn’t worth reading.  Apparently, the author is not a Forbes reporter but is a “contributor” who apparently heads a pro-fracking lobbying group, a fact that Forbes forgets to mention on the masthead.
  • The Daily Dot, a news site for web site operators, has a feature article on the Anonymous campaign to rid Craigslist of deceptive cult ads.
  • Ruby

    Love the daily digest, JohnP. I don’t get a chance to read everything or visit all sites, and this is something I look forward to now. Thank you.

    • Miss Tia

      me too!

      • Elen

        Me three!

  • Rita Gregory

    Hey John P. there is an unfinished sentence in the 6th paragraph in the My Take feature. Feel free to delete this comment, just wanted you to know. 🙂

    • John P.

      Thanks for the catch on the mystery sentence. Probably my one big mechanical weakness in my writing: when I edit something down from somewhere else, I often get going so fast I don’t delete everything I should. Fixed now.

  • Rita Gregory

    I am really loving this blog! Such a great service to provide for us.

  • tetloj

    John P, I think you’ll enjoy Scooter’s analysis of the South African situation at ESMB http://www.forum.exscn.net/entry.php?639-South-Africa-explained

    • John P.

      Nice catch. Thank you for passing that along. I do think it’ll be interesting to watch the SA situation. A couple people have offered off-line comments on what they think is going on but that area has been isolated and so not many of my US sources have much visibility into that area. I suspect Tony’s working on a story about this latest self-destructive action by DM which might appear as early as tomorrow AM.

    • GlibWog

      Ohhh scooting off to read ..thanks Tetloj

    • Lurkness

      The African Scientists Getting Back in Comms Blog really lit up tonight. The Corbett’s daughter (Lisa Goosen) is also commenting. Former South African $cientologist Splog (out a decade or so) also had an interesting theory on the mass declares of these very high-level members and some important whales:

      splog says:

      on November 8, 2013 at 12:21 am

      I just had a thought. Miscavige seems to have blown both feet off with this, but if you think like a moron it makes sense in a way.

      He’s bleeding donors out of every hole in the dike; Leah, Monique, Marty, Mike, the Garcias, Laura, TonyO and hundreds of others are making life very difficult for him right now and what’s left of the field across the world aren’t unaware of it. I’ll bet confirms for the events in the big tent in Clearwater are abysmal, absolutely out the bottom.

      So he does what he’s always done – wield a big stick. Now, his cash cows are US and EU. ANZO is smallish but still a decent size, the Far East never amounted to much and ZA is real small. Besides, the Reserve Bank won’t let him shift the cash back to US. He needs heads on pikes, the bigger the better. Keep in mind we are dealing with a psychopath, so his solution:

      Sacrifice South Africa.

      I don’t believe for a minute Miscavige cares for anyone here at all (he didn’t pitch for PTA Ideal Org opening remember – he never did that before and Ideal Orgs are his personal baby). So everyone here just got sent down the river. Rip Ken and Alex right out of the CLO straight to the RPF, send in a CMO mission and declare 18 high-profile locals who are rumoured to be unhappy. So what if everyone else in ZA walks away, Miscavige doesn’t care for you and he can’t get your money out of the country anyway.

      News of this will spread like wildfire through US and EU and that’s exactly what Dear Leader wants. He wants his cash cows in US and EU terrified and unwilling to say no to showing up in Clearwater soon for 10 days to listen to his events, and very willing to bring the wallet.

      This is how a psychopath thinks, and everyone here has been sold down the river because in his mind you are all disposable. As I see it (and this is just my personal opinion), no other explanation for recent events makes any sense at all.

      • Lurkness

        Like Leah and her family, thankfully the Corbetts all got out together. Lisa also sounds like she is going to ultmately take DM’s Golden Rod and shove it back up his posterior.

      • John P.

        I know it’s a little late to be responding to a comment almost two weeks old. I generally agree with splog’s comment that you relayed here, but there’s one error that I should point out: the US Federal Reserve has absolutely nothing to do with preventing any US-headquartered corporate entity from moving cash between its various international operations. The restrictions are due to taxes — companies would have to pay significantly more taxes on the income they brought back from foreign subsidiaries than they would have to pay if they kept the money overseas. So it follows that if you’re tax exempt, as the cult is, this is not an issue.

        That said, I do think Miscavige is “making an example” of the South African org for others, but, like most of his other brilliant ideas, they backfire faster than the latest Acme Corp. product delivered to Wile E. Coyote.

  • MaxSpaceman

    Still, just to be ‘fair,’ the Daily Fail pictures are *fantabuloustastic.* ! Without fail!

    • John P.

      Yes, but I don’t think they’re original. I think they were from the Web or from other publications.

      • GlibWog

        I have seen them before. But at least they are out there. The more publicity the better!

  • IASREG

    Awesome. Now, if I don’t have a chance to visit all of the blogs and search the news this resource will be invaluable.

  • OrangySky

    Another great day, JP!

  • KJP in Portland

    I like your daily compilation of events and different blogs. This is a good resource for people wanting ‘the meat of the nut’ and don’t have the patience otherwise. Thank you, John P.

  • media_lush

    coming to your site is like ending the day with a nice cup of hot cocoa …. anyway, perhaps a little suggestion:

    I think you’re missing a trick by making each of your story headlines “Scientology Daily Digest: Whateverday, November XX, 2013” etc – this is a given and makes the ‘Recent Post’s on the right hand column look rather anaemic. Given you haven’t added a search option yet may I suggest you try and add as many tag words as possible into each daily heading…. the “recent posts” will be in order as default so just having the date there seems redundant.

    • John P.

      Thanks for the suggestion. I have been tagging the individual articles, but didn’t set the configuration of the blog to put the tag list in the margin. I have put this on the “to do” list and will get to it when I can in the next couple of days. A very kind volunteer is working on some changes to the template and we should be able to start making some tweaks next week.

  • GlibWog

    John.. You are off to one hell of a start.. I was spending so much time on the Bunker and you have given us the opportunity to come here ..relax with friends and catch up! Thank you..

    Tommy Davis.. Hoping he will ” Do the right thing ” during Deposition. I hope you didn’t mind me posting this. If it takes up too much room I understand. His message to Tony sure indicates he is still an Asshole. sigh

  • Dana Knight

    Thanks John, for another delicious and insightful summary of the days events.

    Your take on Hubbard’s ethics policy is spot – on. Since he was nothing but a snake-oil salesman, and a fly-by-night con artist; his entire emphasis was on extracting as much money as possible, and then sneaking off into the night when exposed.

    Someday, someone will write about the biggest con of the 20th century, and it will be about scientology.

    • John P.

      I would respectfully disagree that Scientology is the biggest con of the 20th Century. I would have to say that Communism was far bigger, in terms of economic impact (a sizable chunk of the global population, many with decent education in science, technology and other creative industries, sitting on a sizable chunk of the world’s resources and doing essentially nothing with it for the better part of a century). And in terms of specific criminal behavior and direct economic damage, Bernie Madoff was far, far bigger.

      Hubbard does get props for length of time of the scam by an amateur, for most audaciously crazy heap of crap that he attempted to pass off as “science,” and a few other runner-up prizes.

      Not to say that this means we shouldn’t continue the fight, because it does make a difference, but we need to put it into perspective.

      • Anonymous

        John P.

        Agree with you that there were many notable examples of “cons” and other evil-intended actions / organizations in the 20th century that “out-conned” Scientology.

        In fact, it is an irony worth noting that once the falsehood offered by church about it having ” 8 million active members” was permanently retired by the the attestation of several former senior church executives, the puny size of Scientology is put into perspective.

        Credible ex-Scientologist, who had access to the church’s internal global statistics while they held senior positions before fleeing the organization, put the active global membership at less than 100,000 at it’s all time peak. Most credible observers today estimate global active membership at between 15,000 and 30,000.

        That is fewer people than attended just ONE of the 5000+ MLB baseball games played in America during 2013.

        Because Scientology is actually a fairly tiny organization, the scale of the harm is has done is also fairly puny, when compared to the malevolent efforts of other organizations / ideologies in the 20th century.

        However that does not mitigate the DEGREE of harm reported by individuals and families who say they were damaged by their participation in the church. Those tragedies are indeed remarkable and extremely unfortunate.

        • John P.

          Welcome to the site.

          Agree with your comments re size of the cult. My current best estimate is right around 25,000 worldwide. I’ll be doing a long piece going through this in some detail in the next couple weeks so that we can do a good rolling update when new pieces of data are warranted (the current SA fiasco comes to mind as a good catalyst for a quantum drop in population in that country).

          It’s a good way to look at the harm the cult does — breadth versus depth. The cult doesn’t harm many people but it sure does a number on those it touches.

          What makes me so angry, which is a big part of motivating my activism, is that most of the willing victims drag along a handful of innocents (children, family, etc). Those are the ones we should remember when our motivation flags.

          I can’t do much about genocide in Rwanda, the situation in Somalia, or so many other forms of horrifying cruelty and abuse in the world. But I can do something about this.

          • Anonymous

            John P.

            Glad you responded, because upon reflection, these points need to be made for clarity:

            1) The deliberate harm done globally by several notable political ideologies (I’m not going to name them as I do not want to start a distracting flame war) in the 20th century completely dwarfs the harm done by Scientology

            2) However, an unusual aspect (I’m not ready to say unique, because I’m not an expert in “all” religions) of the harm done by Scientology is the degree to which that harm is either heavily motivated by or even directly commanded by the “policy” writings of the church founder, L. Ron Hubbard.

            One could make a detailed comparative analysis with other religions, which I’m not pretending to do here, and be very hard pressed to find analogous “scripture” that commanded (in a literal sense) these ideas / practices of Scientology:

            A) That “the homes, property, places and abodes of persons who have been active in attempting to: suppress Scientology or Scientologists are all beyond any protection of Scientology Ethics, unless absolved by later Ethics or an amnesty … this Policy Letter extends to suppressive non-Scientology wives and husbands and parents, or other family members or hostile groups or even close friends.”

            (HCOPL 23 December 1965, “Suppressive Acts – Suppression of Scientology and Scientologists – The Fair Game Law)

            B) “Tricking, lying (to), suing or destroying utterly” persons who actively disagree with and / or advocate against the church’s most pernicious practices

            C) Hiring private investigators or using internal staff to dig up or “manufacture,” then spread, unsavory information about the lawyers, family members or other close associates of ex-Scientologists using the court system to seek justice for actions they felt had been wrongfully committed against them while church members

            I’m not going to go on, because the evidence supporting the idea that much of the harm done by the organization of Scientology is a direct, literal result (not an unintended consequence) of it’s own written “scripture” is breathtaking in both scale and detail.

            More info is here: http://bit.ly/1ejtXiN

            The DELIBERATE nature of much of the harm (not just negligence, but DELIBERATE HARM) done by people on staff in the various Scientology organizations against perceived “enemies” is part of the reason Scientology stands out among other religious institutions.

            That deliberate, scripturally mandated harm is frequently denied by the church until it can no longer be hidden, then eventually defended as protected “religious belief” when unarguable exposed.

            The hiding of the deliberate harm, followed by sanctimonious defense of that same harm as “religious belief” is what makes the behavior so repugnant.

            The organization is now reaping the rewards, in the press and among the general public, of decades of following its own policies. It is a broken brand and that brand was broken by the repeated implementation of its own scripturally
            commanded practices.

          • Anonymous

            Yes, 25,000 sounds about right.

          • KJP in Portland

            Using my “best-guess” accounting prognosis, I figured between 12,00-18,000. If 25,000, then I was off by a bit. There’s NO way I can justify a number of even 35,000. And they propagandize what? 8 million?

            Now, out of those “25,000”, how many would we classify as slave-labor and staffers?. As a percentage? As a number?

            Would 90% seem too high? That would leave only about 2,500 publics and whales. Perhaps 75% is a closer bellwether to the $50 per week types of staffers and RPF’ers. Even then, it would leave about 6,250 Sea Org, plus publics and whales.

            I’m ashamed at the length and breadth of the disruption of the rest of the World that this small of an organization has wrought.

          • John P.

            Sorry not to reply to this sooner, but I am ever so slowly cleaning out the “comments I want to respond to but don’t have time to do it now” file.

            Based on stats from several orgs where we’ve been able to get the size of the public and the size of the staff, and adding in reasonable estimates of staff size at Pac Base, Flag and Saint Hill, I get to about 5,000 staff of all flavors (Sea Org, local orgs, HQ, RPF). That’s about 20% of total membership. The only way the cult is able to make money is because of the slave labor angle.

            I think the staff size is decreasing, but at a slower rate than membership is decreasing. At some point, bolstering staff size will become a bigger issue in keeping the cult going than retaining public but I don’t think that’ll happen for a few years.

  • Oopsy Daisy

    This format rules! Thank you, John P.! I will still visit Tony’s site, and Rinder’s, but this blog will keep me bumped up on the sites I rarely visit. Plus, expanded analysis from you is so valuable.

    Sounds like you’re swamped with bugs and getting this thing going, so maybe not the best time to make a very minor and subjective suggestion, but I think it would be good to start the daily digest with a statement that’s all yours. Just a short set-up to make the post your own, so that the first three words aren’t “Tony Ortega’s Blog”.

    I was half-expecting you to become a guest contributor, among a few others, to help keep the Bunker posts flowing on a daily basis now that Tony has his new gig with the raw story. That was never discussed? Guess Tony’s just going to keep burning the candle at both ends.

    • John P.

      That’s a great suggestion and one that’s easy to implement, since I know how to fix my own writing. Much easier than having to depend gratefully on expert help (which I have, you know who you are) to help with PHP and CSS hacking.

      • Eivol Ekdal

        Being a fan of Star Trek (except – enterprise) I have always the Captains log entries, “Stardate….
        Not that you copy that exactly but something with a theme that is short with a Blurb to sum up the day. Being practical I have always used ISO date formats like 2013-11-07. Also, the day of the week is kind of useless for a globally reaching blog with viewers in all time zones. The only unique ID other than title that you can use to index Tony’s site is the permalink reference (can be found in the rss feed)…
        http://tonyortega.org/?p=11484
        I ain’t moaning, you are doing an amazing job and what would be a full time job for most. Keep up the good work!

  • SciWatcher

    One quote from the Tampa Bay Times report really sums things up. Church representatives told City Manager Bill Horne that they didn’t like the way the church was being portrayed as completely disregarding the City’s regulations. To which Horne answered, “Peter, the reality is we are all evaluated by what we do, not what we say we do.”

    Scientology always wants people to take their word for the “reality” of Scientology. “Want the truth” about them? Don’t listen to all the bad press and stories on the internet, come to scientology dot com to get the real story. Scientology is the best at getting people off drugs. How do we know? Just see our “published” success rates.

    It all started with Hubbard, of course, and his wild declarations of scientific research that are backed up with no kind of evidence whatsoever. It seems like from the very beginning this is what Scilons are taught, and the hypnotic effect of the early training helps them believe it without question. Unfortunately for them, the rest of the general public hasn’t been given these hypnotic suggestions.

    • John P.

      Nice catch on the quote, and thanks for the well-said take on it; every prospective Scientologist should be forced to read this statement when they take their first course. I was scrambling to write up everything last night and only glanced through the article so I missed it.

      • Eclipse-girl

        One of the commenters on the most recent Tampa Bay article describes Bill Horne as ex military and also appointed, and has served for 15 yrs. Mr Horne sounds like a person who will not accept BS.

  • SciWatcher

    Scientology vs. the city of Clearwater

    I still think that DM might be looking for an “out.” A reason to cancel the events, so he can concentrate on digging himself out of all the messes he’s become embroiled in. Yes, he’s flouted city ordinances before, but this seems to be a whole new level of disregard.

    Or maybe he’s just throwing the mother of all tantrums, and any ability he might have had to reason has just gone out the window.

  • Artoo45

    Sir, you have made my life just that much easier. I salute you!

  • InterestedinCrazy

    Hi there, well done on the new blog! Thanks for the summary. On a long train ride here across Ireland so this is great for keeping me up to date!

  • Eivol Ekdal

    What are the chances that TD has been sent on supah seekrit whale fishin’ expeedishun by DM? ….just a thought

    • John P.

      You mean to try and sign up some members of his firm? Highly doubtful. Wall Street types, particularly the more senior ones, are among the most unlikely demographics for recruitment for cults. People with big careers don’t have time for anything cult-like; they barely have time for what’s on their plate. I would have to believe that the boss man of Colony Capital is out of the office a minimum of 3 days a week. A lot of CEOs of companies I invest in travel at least 75% of the time and have for years.

      And when you have immense shit-piles of money, you’re probably not searching for the answers to the big questions of life, in part because you believe that being in the 1% of the 1% means you’ve already found all the answers you need. Most management types in my business have surprisingly little intellectual curiosity about ‘the big questions.”

      • Eivol Ekdal

        I was thinking more of his ability to spot fools and their money from his high vantage point, up there hobnobbing with the big wigs. He would be a fool to approach colleagues in the firm.

    • KJP in Portland

      $cientology: Fishing for whales since 1950!

  • WhereIsSHE

    Not sure if the links to the Cruise dep mention this, but this morning there are reports that he admitted that part of the reason Katie left him was to protect Suri from Scientology. Well… he was expertly cornered into admitting it, if the reports are accurate.
    Looking forward to the day the entire transcript becomes available for review.

    • John P.

      I read the available portions of the transcript quickly last night. I think he knew he was being cornered by the defense counsel to admit that Suri isn’t a Scientologist, but there is enough hemming and hawing around that that it’s not quite an open-and-shut admission the way the press is making it sound. I strongly suspect that Bert Fields had prepped him that questions about disconnection were going to be a significant part of the depo.

      In my comment on Tony’s story today, I observed that it is no more difficult to post a whole deposition electronically to the net than it is to post selected pages. It’s a PDF. There are no hundreds of hours of risking getting caught over a hot photocopier.

      Someone who sourced Radar Online had to have selected only those pages to reveal for a reason. I strongly suspect the leak came from defense counsel, who wanted to send Tom a signal that they would embarrass Tom and the cult further by revelations that his ex-wife and daughter think Scientology is a loony bin of fail.

      By leaking only part of the transcript, the leaker is able to control press coverage far more effectively than if they had just posted the whole thing and said, “here are 400 pages, knock yourselves out.”

      • GlibWog

        Hey John.. I wanted to apologize for posting the picture of Tommy D. I will put them on the Bunker from now on as usual. If you want one fine..

        but will not do it again.. Ok.? I don’t want any of your readers to be turned off… or take up space. love Glibby ( you are rocking..)

        • John P.

          No need to apologize. All I ask of anyone here is that when they post something, it’s their best work and that they are proud of what they write. If you wanted to post a picture of Tommy as part of that, go for it! I was thinking this morning that I need more pictures to liven things up, but I’m still getting the hang of things so the pages will be a little dry for now.

      • WhereIsSHE

        I never read the article re: Tom’s “abandonment” of Suri. Was Scientology’s disconnection “policy” mentioned/blamed within the text in order to support the claim of abandonment? If not, then the defense doesn’t have to get any “admissions” from Tom about that particular issue. All they have to prove is that there is truth to the claim that he abandonned Suri, and they were clever to get him to admit he hadn’t seen his child in so many days in a row(110 in a row, following his split with Katie, if the Daily News article is accurate).

        Tom likes to brag (for lack of a better description) about his great “communication” skills, and how he was in “comm” with Suri the entire time, over the phone, etc. But as the lawyer deposing him got him to admit, it’s not quite the same thing (to a child of that age; nay, to a parent of a child that age) as being there in person. Of course, there are parents who serve in the military who are often not in direct contact with their small children/infants (and who even miss the birth and first several months of life) for periods of time which far exceed Tom’s lack of physical presence in Suri’s life, and one would hardly suggest that they have “abandonned” their children, but that is because they have no other option, whereas I suspect we will see that Tom was not REQUIRED to be absent from Suri’s day to day life (as part of some marriage dissolution agreement, for example).

        And now I am talking myself into believing that the article must have referenced the Disconnection Policy, OR I have to imagine thatTom’s (or SOMEONE’S) FEAR of the “next” article referencing it is what prompted this ridiculous lawsuit. I say ridiculous, because with all of the things that have been reported about him in the gossip rags, this is hardly the one that one imagines could be so allegedly damaging.

        I guess I need to go find and read that artcile, eh? Not to mention the Complaint!

        It’s as thoughTom doesn’t know that his CONNECTION to Scientology/Miscavige –and that crazy Medal of Valor or Whatever video–and his “You’re GLIB, Matt!”… and his BIZARRE treatment of Katie Holmes (leading her around by the forearm; having his cult beliefs forced on her; having her monitored by a handler… and the fact that a CULT “interviewed”/”AUDITIONED” a string of women to be his next WIFE, blahblahblahhh) that has been most damaging to his reputation.

        EDIT: If anyone has a link to the article which is the subject of this case and a link to the Complaint, I would appreciate it.

        • John P.

          I took a quick look on Tony’s site and the original article announcing the filing of the suit didn’t link to the original articles.

          IMHO, the issue of Scientology’s disconnection policy was probably irrelevant to the thrust of the article, which was that he didn’t see his kid once for almost four months right after the divorce, despite having a private jet at his disposal to take him to NYC any time he needed to get there in a hurry.

          As Tony hinted in today’s article, the tabloid editors, even if they had understood the subtlety of the issue, and the potential craziness they could have painted Tom with, probably opted for simplicity in presenting the material. My suspicion is that this stuff is probably written for an 8th or 9th grade reading level.

          I knew someone who was a fairly senior editor at one of these tabloids. She and all the colleagues of hers that I met were extremely sharp; I respected them quite a bit, though I was less positive about the end product. They spent a lot of time scrubbing every single word of every story to make sure they got the details right and making sure it flowed clearly for their intended demographic. While the educational demographic on the rate card is probably shown as higher than 8th or 9th grade, they keep the prose light and fluffy because even the hardcharging trial lawyers who might occasionally read such tripe as a guilty pleasure don’t want to have to work their minds that hard when they’re reading about celebrities and inconsequential stuff.

          • WhereIsSHE

            I haven’t been to Tony’s yet today. ha!
            I’ll have to check it out.
            Thanks for looking for the original article.

            I’m sure the senior editors are sharp, as you attest.
            BTW, I know more than a few lawyers who MORE THAN OCCASIONALLY read those rags as a post-stressful-day way to unwind on the train ride home. (Or at least that’s how they explained their gossip knowledge to me!)
            I know others who much preferred a cigar at Holt’s.. or cocktails at the bar at The Ritz.
            My preference has always involved some sort of fun, physical activity. The trails.. or a tennis court… or the gym;)
            I don’t judge
            We’re all pouring money back into the economy in the end, is how I see it.

          • WhereIsSHE

            But now I have to ask for your opinion:
            Do you think the Disconnection policy is the reason for his 110 day physical absence?? Surely he was not going to disconnect from Suri forever.
            Disconnect from Katie, yes.
            But from Suri?
            So.. one has to wonder what was going on there (and if SOMEONE who now holds a track record for foot-bullets was the one behind it all).
            I know we can’t know, and we’ll probably never know, but i find it fascinating when men in the cult choose Miscavige over their significant others.
            Prime example: David Wilson’s Clear California Crusade email comes to mind.

          • John P.

            I don’t think the disconnection policy strictly explained it. I think the lawyers asked about it in the deposition potentially as an explanation, and potentially just as a way to embarrass Tom.

            It is possible that some Scientologists could get caught up on a point of minutiae, like “if my ex-wife is declared, can I at least call her on the phone to schedule visitation with my daughter?” It seems likely that a regular Scientologist going to someone on staff to sort this out would be told that you can’t have any contact with an SP or you will inevitably be sucked down into a dark abyss, and you’ll lose your eternity. But Tom doesn’t have to follow the rules that apply to the rank-and-file, so I doubt that happened here.

            My suspicion is that Tom has absolutely no ability to deal with his emotions on his own. He was masterfully outplayed on the divorce by Katie and probably had little time to figure out what he felt and then to let go of the anger, embarrassment, humiliation over what happened and get to the sadness and loss of his daughter, who I will presume he loved the best he could express. I see him in that way as emotionally stunted as George Clooney’s character in Up In The Air, a very underrated flick from a couple years ago.

            He’s a workaholic with most of his identity tied up in the movie business. So it was probably easy for him to retreat into work, even if he didn’t do it consciously. I believe he shot three films in 2012, which is a lot of work, even if you’re a pampered mega-star. Every day, he might very well intended to call Suri and also intended to try to talk to Katie to set up visitation, but then allowed work pressure to get in the way and vowed he’d call tomorrow. Eventually he woke up and realized that a few months had gone by.

            It may have been possible that cult doctrine about SP’s was lurking in the back of his mind, but it doesn’t seem to me that disconnection would be the only thing that led to him not seeing Suri for so long.

  • WhereIsSHE

    Hoping the remaining American whales are able to see that their “purchase” of “eternity” was meaningless; their time and money wasted on a scam.
    And right you are, JP. Some of us have no interest in “eternity”, and cannot even begin to fathom the appeal. This human being is perfectly sated with her one, precious lifetime.
    IMO, Hubbard used the false promise of eternity not only to entice those who could be enticed by such an undeliverable, but as a perfect means by which to enslave them. Who cares is your entire life is controlled and manipulated and destroyed if you truly believe you have so many lives ahead (is how I imagine the suffering is internally “justified”).
    What a sham.
    What a shame.

    • John P.

      Some of the whales may well be “under the radar,” staying in the cult because of the impact of disconnection on their families. They reach for the checkbook quickly to forestall trouble, and on the theory that sending in $50,000 on the first request is probably cheaper than telling the cult to bugger off and then inviting the hardcore reg’s to work on them for months and get them to part with $1 million.

      No way to know what the thoughts are from individual whales, but I think the crew to watch are not the top 25 donors, but the middle 500 donors and the bottom 2,500 donors as well — all those chiropractors and dentists sending in money that could otherwise be saved for retirement. When a significant portion of that crowd gets disillusioned (as may already be happening to some extent), it is worse for the cult than if a single major whale defects.

      • WhereIsSHE

        As usual, your analysis of the financial threat is eye-opening.
        Here’s to hoping the middle and bottom wake the Hell up.
        If one wants to engage in some reading of the tea-leaves, it appears that they finally are. (Refering to all of those increasingly desperate emails flying their way, which we get to read and drop our jaws about thanks to Mike Rinder.)
        Or maybe their emails about attendance at events were always THAT INSANELY DESPARATE, but somehow I doubt it.

    • Missionary Kid

      This struck a chord with me. I was raised as the son of fundamentalist missionaries years ago, so I was raised with the idea that there was a heaven and hell, and that one’s belief would determine where a person went after death and the type of existence one would have for eternity.

      At some point in my life, years later, I realized that those concepts are just that, concepts. No one has come back to confirm or deny that they exist, and that postulating what exists after death is the perfect con game, because there is no proof to contradict (or confirm) one’s state of being after death.

      It is the perfect con game. No one can sue you because of those beliefs, because they can’t prove you wrong, just as you can’t prove that you’re right.

  • Spackle Motion

    I’m already getting behind in your posts….argh! Today’s Bunker story is a whopper and I had to get that one out of the way first. I can’t wait for your take on this story.

    As someone who had to do multiple Six Sigma trainings/events and dealt with forced rankings (which is a huge failure outside of an assembly line), I am well versed on GE’s ground breaking ideas about getting to the root of a problem. Although I still believe in Six Sigma as a great analysis method, it seems that that trend has now faded considerably and many black belts are left wondering how to get their next job.

    The trend now is to bring back the “Bobs” (a la ‘Office Space’) and make drastic reorgs and job changes. I hate these stupid business competitive edge trends. The one I despised the most was Balanced Scorecard. I fucking pray that this one never comes back around again.

    • John P.

      I’m getting behind on my posts, too, which is an even bigger problem because I have to create them! It’s tough. I have a smaller piece that I am trying to crank out today but keeping up on all the reading for the Daily Digest is a lot of work, plus there’s a lot of other stuff going on around here.

      Yes, I know that firing is back in vogue. But it won’t solve the problems. It’ll just make them worse. The big problem is that companies are so over-managing expenses that they’re losing track of the customer’s view of the company. The amount of stupid stuff one goes through to resolve a problem in a highly automated call center pisses me off every time I pick up the phone. I’d pay $5 more per month for a whole lot of products if I got a human on the first ring who could answer my question without getting transferred around ten times, and who didn’t sound like a zombie death robot reading from the script.

      Balanced Scorecard made me laugh derisively. The first time I heard the chairman of Cognos (a guy I really liked and trusted) try to explain to me why this thing, which was “the new hotness” at the time, would actually work, I nearly fell out of my chair trying not to bust a vein. This guy was known as a huge practical joker, so for the longest time I didn’t think he was actually serious when spouting the official line. I am still not sure, even though he’s retired and the company has been sold. They sure made a shitload of money selling that load of crap (the software wasn’t bad, but the belief of the idiots buying it was pretty sad).

      • Spackle Motion

        Ahhh, yes. I am familiar with Cognos and there are many co-workers that weren’t too happy when Cognos went by the wayside to new and shinier ways to fuck up data.

        I did my MBA Capstone (Thesis) by doing a Balanced Scorecard on a real company and I hated every minute of it. Every minute. No one bothered to tell my completely deluded and asshole professor that no one used the Balanced Scorecard any longer. That asshole professor is why I won’t give that university money, and I made sure that the department knew that fact after I graduated.

        OK….back to the John P show. More to read!

  • monkeyknickers

    Well *I* still dance the Macarena. And evidently, so do the twins. I gotta pee. 🙂

    Loving this blog with lovely love-filled loveness, sweetie.

    • aegerprimo

      Laughing, and gotta pee

      • monkeyknickers

        It’s like a constant state with me these days. One of them is sitting on my bladder being an asshole. Why I oughta! 🙂

  • aegerprimo

    WOOO WEEE John P, you have made be busy… (more than usual). Damn I am still trying to absorb all the info in… Analysis Versus News Versus Opinion Versus Lulz. Give me time, I will get it.