Scientology Daily Digest: Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Today was definitely busier than yesterday.  The biggest news today was that Clearwater granted the permits for the events this weekend with only some minor restrictions.  It sounds like they rolled over on the cult, but the permits for the IAS event over Thanksgiving weekend and the New Year’s Eve event are still pending.

Also, a subtle data point but one that’s pretty telling: apparently, the cult won’t show the video of the big events at missions. But if they’re that important, wouldn’t they want everybody and their brother to see them?  Oh, and there will be no DVD’s made under any circumstances. Guess they don’t want them to end up in the wrong hands.  I’m sure they will anyway, in a matter of minutes.  Dave may well find out that his security is still more porous than he thinks. This shows the power of the Joking & Degrading community, which probably outnumbers current cult membership these days.

Tony Ortega’s Blog

The big feature of today’s story was how Lisa Marie Presley used language that seemed to move closer to condemning Scientology outright than the fairly elliptical language in the past. This is potentially interesting in light of the fact that her mother, Priscilla, apparently remains in the cult (though she could well be “under the radar”), as well as her ex-husband and potentially her kids from that marriage.  Thus, disconnection may be a significant issue.

Tony also published a photo taken from inside the Ft.Harrison hotel across to the Super Power building, to needle DM about the increasingly porous security.

The “thetaburst” mailing list put out a bogus e-mail purporting to be from Flag announcing a date change for the event.

Finally, there’s a pic of the “endocrine states” machine, which looks like some sort of miniature version of the “Star Tours” ride at Disney World, kind of like an aircraft simulator platform.

My take:  It’s interesting that Lisa Marie is moving towards openly condemning the cult, but it’s probably premature to hope that she will publicly break with them the way Leah Remini did, if for no other reason than that Leah got her entire family out at once; it’s unlikely that LMP will be able to do the same.

Regarding the Fort Harrison picture, it appears to be above the top floor of the new Super Power building, so it’s potentially shot from the top two floors of the Fort Harrison Hotel. I’ve never been there, but it appears that those two floors have significantly higher ceilings so they may be some sort of dining facility or meeting rooms.  I doubt that Miscavige will be able to catch the leaker if it is shot from a public space instead of from a guest room.  But I wouldn’t want to be one of the guests in a room on the 8th floor right about now.

I’m still baffled by the intent of the Thetaburst e-mail list, and particularly by the not very clever attempt to put out a bogus press release to confuse Scientologists about the dates of the event.  Even though some of the commenters claim to have “doxed” the owner of the list (two different candidates have emerged), it’s not clear why either one of them would be doing what they’re doing.

The endocrine states machine appears to be something that will give you an adrenaline rush, since adrenaline release is about the only thing that the endocrine system does that happens in a short enough period of time to be perceptible.  In other words, they have a very expensive machine that will probably do no better than a hungry “reg” sneaking up behind you and saying “Boo!”

Selected comments: 

  • New commenter CobGatYour$$ shares the sad story of a family member ill with melanoma and facing myriad other problems, still believing doggedly in the power of the cult to save her.
  • MissionaryKid thinks all the perceptics are a way to distort your perception just as the rest of the cult doctrine distorts your reasoning processes.  He also comments on how real the experience of the video of a fighter jet simulator from long ago felt when he experienced it, suggesting that the hemispherical dome on the front of the endocrine state machine might be a projection screen for some sort of attempt to induce nausea.
  • AquaClara describes a great comic moment when a British author talks about how film adaptations generally work well, with one single exception.
  • SandiCorrena points out that Mark Wahlberg has trashed Tom Cruise publicly for the statement where he appears to say his job is as hard as being a soldier fighting in Afghanistan.
  • MaxSpaceman uncovers a Hubbard quote about auditing that has more “ness” words per sentence than just about any Hubbard quote I’ve seen so far.  A triumph of jargonness.
  • Derek shares a couple vignettes of moments of natural beauty that he was lucky enough to appreciate when he was trapped in the worst parts of his Sea Org experience.  This is why.  
  • Jeff Hawkins contributes two potential poster slogans encapsulating what he has experienced as winning slogans to get culties to wake up.
  • SkipPress contributes his personal memories of Lisa Marie Presley at Celebrity Centre in Hollywood when he was in, as well as recollections of Dave LaCroix, one of the two candidates named as the potential operator of the Thetaburst mailing list.
  • OrangySky shows how the cult can generate shots of a full house with only a fraction of the seating capacity of the hall, through digital compositing of cutaway shots.
  • TruthIWant has a great explanation for some of the newer readers about how the cult keeps people ignorant of what’s really happening, by prohibiting TV, newspapers and internet.

Mike Rinder’s Blog

  • Mike’s first post today drew a number of parallels between life in Scientology and life in the crazy kingdom of North Korea.  I’m a bit of a fan of all things North Korean, because the lulz quotient is about as high as that for Scientology, though the North Koreans would regard Miscavige as a bumbling amateur.  Gets all the details right.
  • Mike’s second post lampoons cult “Facebook police,” the oddly named Jojo Zawawi, for trying to track down the bogus “thetaburst” e-mail that Tony also mentioned today.  More importantly, she points out that the Missions are totally excluded from showing videos of the Biggest. Event. Ever, and that local orgs will not get to do repeat showings.  Apparently, they are desperate to keep video from this event from falling into the hands of the J&D brigades (which probably outnumber active Scientologists by a fairly large margin).  Mike also points out that the Volunteer Ministers planning to parachute into the Philippines to do their unique brand of disaster relief have a big quandary: go to the Philippines while the Biggest. Event. Ever is in Clearwater?  Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

Forums (ESMB, WWP, OCMB)

General Press

  • The City of Clearwater appears to have rolled over completely and given the cult most of what it wanted in permits for the event this weekend.  Permits for the IAS event and the New Year’s event are still pending.  There are some limits, including decibel levels for sound and restrictions on lighting.  Apparently, they will be permitted to keep the security fence they’re building to keep all those people who are so good at confront-and-shatter away from any source of entheta like Anons carrying clever signs.
  • The cult announced a “ScientologyCenter” in Karmiel, Israel, about 50km (30 miles) from the Haifa mission, which seceded from the cult and “went independent” about a year ago.  Yeah, that’ll work.  Interestingly, they got a spokesman from the Druze minority (the smallest religion in Israel) to speak at the opening.
  • B.B. Broeker

    Oh, I’m pretty sure there’ll be repeated showings of the events at the orgs. Given that they busted out the hoary “The War is Over” event again this summer to provide a regging opportunity, I don’t see how DM can resist a “one last chance” screening or two. My guess is that the “one time only” message is pure PR to drive up stats at the orgs.

    But I wouldn’t be surprised if DVDs for public are truly dead from here on out. The risk-reward ratio just doesn’t justify producing them.

    • John P.

      It is true that the risk/reward of the DVDs make it unwise for the cult to produce them. But I bet their streaming video presentation method is just as hackable. They may just be big files sitting around on a server somewhere that someone can get with a memory stick. Or they might be streamed, which aren’t exactly safe either… Over time, they will get out.

      • B.B. Broeker

        Indeed. In fact, I’d wager a reasonable sum (given short odds) that there will be bootleg recordings – maybe just audio, maybe grainy, shaky video – of this weekend’s events available by next week. Unless they force everyone, even the whales, to go through a magnetometer and surrender their phones, I’m guessing there’ll be spy footage.

        • John P.

          It’s not out of the question that the cult will not permit phones. But being wanded in a chaotic environment like these events, with lots of people in line behind you with hand scanners will often tend to miss things strapped on the ankles, like phones. A phone with a plastic or graphite case, like an iPhone 5C contains far less metal than most phones (though it is far from zero), and might be less likely to trip metal detectors. Also, using a micro-camera hidden in a wig in a darkened room would be difficult to detect and would yield better footage than a phone camera, and less chance of detection. Micro-cams are available for $100 or so from lots of places.

          • SciWatcher

            Shhh…stop giving them hints about what to look for!

          • John P.

            In the unlikely event that they’re reading what I write and then actually pushing that feedback up to management, it’ll get them good and paranoid. I’d love to see them get so paranoid that they start giving body cavity exams to all the whales as they enter in their finery to make sure one of the really big whales isn’t carrying a secret camera. My hope would be that they would cause a few people to wake up. One could rationalize getting a cursory wand search at the entrance as a security precaution to protect against all the nasty wogs controlled by the Evil Psychs. But it would be hard to rationalize a patdown search or something even more invasive as necessary in the event, particularly if it’s thinly attended.

          • SciWatcher

            I don’t know…I think it might be VERY likely that they’re reading this!

            Body cavity searches for all the whales–now there’s a concept! Maybe they’ll find Jonah, who can go forth through Clearwater, proclaiming to the faithful that unless they mend their wicked ways (um, donate the rest of their life savings) to Scientology, the town will be destroyed by psychs.

          • OrangySky

            Honestly, it would take a body cavity search to find a couple of these babies (hidden cameras.)

            Are you really going to do that, Davey? Are you SURE it’s a good idea? Remember, they’re not Sea Orgers. They’re not used to being manhandled.

          • aegerprimo

            Okay an event that has been delayed and delayed, that at this point will probably be “thinly attended” – then they may search people on their way in? How will they explain that, I wonder? I think only the DEEPEST OF THE DEEP Kool-Aid drinkers will fall for it.

          • OrangySky


            There’s a couple of these I like. Unless they strip search everyone, you can get one in.

      • OrangySky

        Heh heh heh heh.

        You know, you’d think a guy who was so damn proud of his religion, and its accomplishments, and its Big Buildings, would LOVE for the world to see his gloriousity.

        Only cockroaches hide in the shadows, Davey.

  • DodoTheLaser

    For the record, if there will be no DVD’s of the events produced and distributed to the orgs and missions – it will be the first time ever, afaik.

  • Truthiwant

    I think the story of Lisa Marie Presley is important in that it highlights the fact that even the celebrities seem not to be aware of what is really going on in Scientology. It also shows that the ones that do discover the truth about Scientology, and at the same time have a conscience, promply leave the Organization. Whether people like Tom Cruise or John Travolta know about the crimes is debatable. I find it difficult to believe that with all the information available today that these individuals do not know about them, however it is very probable that they shove any criticism aside as ‘entheta’ that would impede their progress up the Bridge. I think I can hypothesize one of three possibilities. Either these people do not have a conscience in spite of knowing the facts, OR they simply do not know the facts OR they are so convinced by Hubbard and Scientology that any bad news has no effect on them.

    • Eclipse-girl

      Tom Cruise knows or should know. He has threatened people in the hole. He has had the hangar where he stores his cars redone by scientology and at least one of this cars customized by scientology

  • Ruby

    I think the statement of there being no DVDs of the event is more of a ploy to boost attendance to the live events.
    The dvd will come later and it will be shown. I guarantee it. It will come with a program on how to use it to increase the stats. The staff will be ordered to watch the event video 3 times, and then they will have specific instruction on who to call, when to show it, etc.
    There is no way this would not be used later to reel in those who did not attend.

    • OrangySky

      If there are no DVD’s to be had, will it be on a flash drive? (some Emmy and Academy screeners are sent out on flash drives these days you know) Are they sending it digitally over the Internetz? Will they have a Vimeo site? (Any ANON hackers out there 😉

      • Ruby

        It will be on whatever super duper equipment the cherch (Golden Era Productions) has provided to the orgs these days in exchange for a weekly fee paid out of their income. ( I kid you not.) I believe the current setup is DVD. It is used for all the auditor training and introductory audio visuals as well.

  • Cece

    Thanks so much John. I’ve had little time to read the news last few days so your blog is filling the gap fast 🙂
    As for the mention of ‘no TV’ in one of the linked posts – in the SO we were issued an order that TVs were to be removed from rooms to securities storage. Reason was subliminal messages were sent with the TV transmissions. This was 12 Sept 1982 ‘Why is Television no longer on the base’. We were allowed too check it out of storage now and then to use the built in video player but back then they weighed a lot! Course this rule fell in and out. Newspapers were OK in fact on the PTS course we had to get a paper and note all the ‘entheta’ (bad news) in it. I never had time to read a paper anyway. When the big Time article came out in mid 80s I bought a copy and read it in the bathroom. I did not even let my husband see I had it. It had a couple known lies in it (RPF were tied up in yards like dogs or something like that) so I disregarded the entirety. That’s what happened when I first checked out clambake and some other anti-s sites – saw some things that were not true so disregarded them. Now it is different having so many Xs posting stories that are true and also realize that there are some good things about LRH. These are the ones that got me out.

    • Free Minds, Free Hearts

      Thanks Cece, for this insight. “It had a couple known lies in it … so I disregarded the entirety. That’s what happened when I first checked out clambake and some other anti-s sites – saw some things that were not true so disregarded them.” We never-ins always wonder why still-ins don’t recognize the problems. Your comment makes me think that seeing small lies or errors in a larger article or blog might just corroborate what the still-in hears as a member, that the wog world lies and can’t be trusted with the religion, and thus the still-in discounts the whole media bit.

      • John P.

        That is indeed a classic Hubbard trick. I think this is the same phenomenon as “dead agenting” someone outside the cult. Hubbard teaches that if people lie once, then everything they say is a lie. Of course, that’s a gaping logical fallacy. The trick, however, is not in getting people to believe that about enemies of the cult, but in not getting people to believe that about Scientologists. If Hubbard lies even once, then no good Scientologist should listen to him either…

        • Cece

          John, I still don’t think Ron predicted this would occur. I’m still trying to figure this out and right now its a wide open ocean,
          I was tricked or maybe it was a lesson I needed. I love life and am doing quite well thank you John

      • Cece

        Yes. You got it right. If there are obvious lies (staff member being tied up to a post in the yard like dogs!) So not true. The church was much more covert then that.
        Thanks for caring.

  • Karen715

    First off, I love this blog. It makes it so easy to keep up with noteworthy comments and news that I might otherwise miss, not to mention your own thoughtful analysis.
    A small correction. CobGatYour$$ said that his/her relative has the most curable form of skin cancer, which is basal cell carcinoma. This makes it all the more sad that her face is half-eaten by it, since a simple in-patient trip to a dermatologist would have taken care of it when it first appeared. Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer, and anyone affected with it that extensively would be on death’s door.

  • N. Graham

    I wanted to comment sooner but I couldn’t get Disqus to sign me in until now. The North Korean info was great, it’s one of the subjects I can get lost in for hours on the net. For a nation that doesn’t disseminate much information, there is sure enough of it on the Internet.
    There are a lot of similarities between the hermit nation and Scientology, but not totally surprising as both are run by despotic dictators. Probably the main difference is that the Kims can legally kidnap, torture, and execute people, Scios have to be more undercover.
    Also interesting was the Kool-Aid speak on the Scientology Facebook site. Wow!

  • Cece