Programming note: Again, exhaustion overtook me in trying to get this done last night. That and a desire to maintain some semblance of an actual life. Apologies to Faithful Readers who may depend on this before bedtime.
Perhaps the most unexpected news item today is that Marty and Mosey Rathbun recently became parents, with little William James Rathbun entering the world a few days ago. Ironically, William James is considered “the father of American psychology.” Congratulations! And, of course, this makes Mosey Rathbun a mother lioness; Miscavige would do well to remember that messing with a mother lioness (think Karen De La Carriere after the loss of her son Alexander) is almost always a low-percentage shot.
The best Facebook comment by a cultie hyperventilating over the ultra-amazing events of the weekend goes to this unnamed Kool-Aid drinker, posted to BlackRob’s WWP thread of crazy cult Facebook posts.
Something to watch for: Buffalo (thanks to Ze Moo) and Melbourne report Scientology ad campaigns popping up in the last couple of weeks. It will be important to see if this is the beginning of a major initiative to
pollute adorn buses and airwaves in major cities worldwide. Please pass along any data points on new ads in mass media (Craigslist doesn’t count).
Tony Ortega’s Blog
Today’s story featured leaked photos from the Super Power building. Apparently, these photos came from one of the books distributed as souvenirs to the attendees at the weekend’s events. There are some pictures from inside the building being posted on social media, but nothing yet that appears to be actual pix of the oiliness table or anything else on the Super Power floor. Tony also revisited the fact that the speech was 8 minutes long.
I had another thought on the 8-minute speechus interruptus (perhaps better termed quotus interruptus, evocative of another happens-too-fast problem that DM may have to contend with) and why it is such a disaster for Dave. Recall that, based on the articles on Mike Rinder’s site, all the events on Friday and Saturday gave a lot of technical mumbo-jumbo about Golden Age of Dreck 2 issues, filled with nonsensical acronym-slinging. But he didn’t say much about Super Power at that time.
So if he really wanted to “sell” Super Power to his best customers, most of whom were seated in the front row at the event, he really needed to get people whipped up into a lather before they entered the building. When you unveil a major new product, you have to get people emotionally invested before they try it out. You don’t want them making a buying decision on purely rational grounds. It’s like when a manufacturer unveils a new car at a car show — the speeches, music, lights, food, booze, etc. are designed to get people excited before they see the car, and then transfer the excitement from the other stuff to the car itself. It doesn’t matter that they’ve been hyping Super Power for 15 years of fund raising; you still have to do it all over again when people are about to sample the product for the first time.
That’s why I think this is an epic fail, far worse than just the personal embarrassment of being “confronted and shattered” by “chopper tech.” It’s a strategic blunder of the first degree. And it will definitely be felt not only in Super Power enrollment figures, but perhaps even in the IAS event in two weeks.
So what’s the next scam after this one? Ivan Mapother tongue-in-cheekily thinks we’re up for new Super Powers buildings in Europe and Australia. I think we would do well to watch the “Pacific Events Center,” an auditorium complex so sorely needed because the dozens of live event venues within 10 miles of Pac Base, ranging from the 1,300 seat Wilshire Ebell theater to the Forum, the Sports Arena and the Staples Center (each 15,000+ seats) just don’t give them any choices on where to hold an event. They’re also talking about an “L. Ron Hubbard Auditorium” in Clearwater.
But there are also local ad campaigns popping up. It’s going to be important to keep an eye on local ad campaigns (which are cheaper, and thus involve less fundraising) versus big building campaigns (which last longer, and have the potential to raise more money over time but probably a much slower start). That may give us some insight into whether DM believes his donor base is tapped out.
- IBBy has one of the best short rants about the cult I’ve seen in a while. Best term for Church “ecclesiastical” leadership: “a cloister of assholes.”
- Ruby reports that the outer org trainees that have been stuck at Flag since approximately June are coming home; she knows of some in her area who have returned. This means seat fillers at the tent for the IAS event in 10 days will be a bit harder to come by.
- Ceelou shares what it’s like to have long-time Scientologist parents continuing to drink the Kool-Aid.
- Sidney18511 points out that part of the fund raising appeal for Super Powers may have been that world leaders will flock to the building, starting with its opening, to honor Scientology and to learn about the “religion.” Oops.
- IBBy also notes the parallels between the Super Power rides and attractions and the ones at a place that all the smart kids aspired to go to from childhood.
- Zeeeeeemu points out that the key legacy of the Super Power building finally opening is that there’s no clear direction for the future. I agree; that’s why it’s important to gather as many data points on small fund-raising intiatiives as possible, to spot the next big scam as it’s emerging from David Miscavige’s greedy little mind.
- Valerie Ross reminisces about the attempts to recapture her and get her back into the cult recently, after being out for several decades. Interestingly, the constant calls turned her from someone who rarely thought of an embarrassing “aberration” from her life in the distant past into an active critic and activist. Way to pull it in, DM! She also shares her secret for getting off the phone list.
- Kemist snags a photo off Facebook of the statues in the Super Power lobby of several of the “dynamics.” Clearly, Hubbard’s theories of art are in full display, wherein he believes art is only useful if it has a “message” (can’t find the exact quote), kind of like the Soviet or North Korean motivational posters.
Mike Rinder’s Blog
- One of Mike’s sources talks about their tour of the Super Power building. Apparently, they’re not allowed up on the sixth floor to see the running track where the Cause Resurgence Rundown will take place. Perhaps that’s because the marketing promise that this rundown can be done at any point and will absolutely positively deliver all sorts of “case gain” won’t reconcile too well to the reality of a running track in the dark in the minds of even the most obedient public.
Forum Sites (WWP, ESMB, OCMB)
Thanks again to Aeger Primo for the eagle-eyed scan of the forums.
- Ongoing thread of court dates by JBWriter. VERY valuable thread keeps track of all important court dates of the C0$, front groups, and Scientology events in the USA and around the world.
- It’s a boy! William James Rathbun. Comments on the new arrival to the ex-Scientology community.
- Who will be going to the RPF, punished, sent to the Hole… some speculation and J&D over who takes the heat for the Super Power ribbon cutting ceremony failure. My take: it’s a little hard to declare the FAA a Suppressive Person and restrict Miscavige’s jet pilots from speaking with them.
- Start Christmas shopping early for the Anonymous Protester in your family; there’s abundant merchandise including Anonymous Lego action figures, candles, Guy Fawkes earrings, etc. Check out the Legonymous video…
- Older photos of Scientology whales are compared to the close-up photos of the front row of the Super Power building grand opening event. Names are given of who they are.
- Leah Remini was on The View, the ABC gab-fest led by Barbara Walters. Apparently, Baba Wawa asked about disconnection, and Leah pointed out that she didn’t disconnect from her friends, they are the ones not allowed to talk to her.
- In Buffalo, the gateway to the quaint rural region of upstate New York called “Canada,” the local paper notes a billboard and bus ad campaign for Scientology and considers the question of whether they’re trying to spruce up their image. Leaving aside the question of whether raising the Titanic would be easier, it’s nice to see local press do a reasonable job grappling with the question. Nice job scoring an interview with two recently departed local ex’s.
- Off topic but still relevant, since many in this community are fans: Monty Python is reuniting for a show. They had rarely appeared together in public in the last 20 years (I was at a movie premiere of a documentary in NY in 2009 and actually got to shake Terry Jones’s hand) and now they’re performing together.