Scientology Daily Digest: Thursday, December 12, 2013

Here’s the promised “science fiction double feature” since I couldn’t get a post out last night.

Most surprising news is that Devon Newman, former head of PR for Las Vegas Celebrity Centre, picked up in a bizarre plot with her roommate to kidnap and murder police, was allowed to cop a plea and walk out of court with a year probation.  See below for further details. This was entirely unexpected given the bail amounts involved and the statements of the police and the DA.  I still think her co-conspirator, a convicted pedophile with a long record, is not going to be so lucky.

Check out the rest of the “General Press” section as there are a number of interesting cult-related articles including an interview with PR powerhouse Pat Kingsley, who Tom Cruise fired in favor of his sister.

Tony Ortega’s Blog

Today, Tony reported that Judge Whittemore will allow the Garcia’s to conduct discovery to look for bogus behavior in the diversity jurisdiction issue before the court in the Garcia case, given that the cult hid the fact that the two trusts involved were California based until it started losing. Apparently, the scope of discovery is fairly limited.  When I read it, the tone of the order makes it sound like Whittemore is not all that optimistic that the Garcia’s will succeed, but he’s just crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s properly.

The post also talks a bit about the UK high court ruling permitting Scientology to conduct marriage ceremonies, which is attracting plenty of press.  There’s a particularly lame BBC interview, where a tame reporter says nothing, though Marc Headley gets in some pretty good comments.

Selected comments: 

Mike Rinder’s Blog

Today, Mike found a couple of amusing bits of FAIL on the main Scientology web site. Minor details like the page where they promise to open a bunch of Idle Morgues by the end of 2013 — three weeks hence — after only opening four this year (versus 11 last year).  They’re gamely struggling to believe that they have a chance of getting Ideal Orgs done in Battle Creek, MI and New Haven, CT.

I can’t imagine why Battle Creek would be home for an org, given its metro area population of less than 140,000.  Incidentally, if we believe that there are 15,000 Scientologists out of a total US population of 310 million, then that implies that there ought to be a total of 6.6 Scientologists in the Battle Creek metro area.  That’s an opportunity to go straight up and vertical, baby!  Perhaps the Battle Creek org is a stealth strategy to penetrate the burgeoning metropolis of Kalamazoo, just 25 miles west on I-94.  With a population approximately double that of Battle Creek, Kalamazoo might be home to approximately 13 more Scientologists.

Mike also points out just how inept the cult’s Volunteer Minister response to the recent Philippines typhoon has been.  Apparently, the site for what Miscavige claims is the most effective disaster relief force in the world still has the same picture of four people at a photo opp, not the thousands of volunteers they try to suggest they have.

Yesterday’s post contains an utterly illiterate marketing piece by Sharron Webber, who, last I heard, was the #2 on the Freewinds.  Unlike so many of the young recruits, Webber is a native English speaker.  Perhaps the nicotine in six packs of unfiltered Kools a day are causing excessive cerebral vasoconstriction?  The thought that someone with such a low level of literacy is in charge of a complex piece of aging machinery which can, if ineptly operated, kill hundreds of people, is rather sobering.

Forum Sites

General News

  • The Raw Story, another site in the burgeoning Tony Ortega media empire, ran a breaking news story that Devon Newman, the former head of PR at the Las Vegas Celebrity Centre, pled guilty in the bizarre Sovereign Citizen police kidnapping/conspiracy that hit headlines in August.  She gets a year probation in return, though her sociopath roommate will probably get a bit different outcome at trial in March.  It will be interesting to see what the cult makes of this for internal PR — talking about how Tone 40 intention beats “wog” justice every time, or something.
  • suicide by defenestration at an office tower holding a number of Scientology-related businesses remains a bit of a mystery as the Clearwater PD has not released the identity of the victim.  The building is or was home to various cult front groups and WISE businesses, including a Narconon office.  It’s unclear whether the Narconon office is still in the building.  Some of the businesses are connected to the Feshbachs and at least one is apparently connected to cult PI Dave Lubow, who’s a figure in the Monique Rathbun suit.  ESMB and OCMB threads will presumably keep up with status updates.
  • Missionary Kid scored a nice find with an academic journal article on the Haifa (Israel) mission going independent.  I don’t know the researcher or the prestige level of the journal, but it’s interesting to note that this unique (in recent history, at least) secession from the corporate church is attracting attention in academic circles.
  • Pat Kingsley, the legendary PR maven who Tom Cruise famously fired in favor of his unskilled sister right before the Oprah couch-jumping incident started to crumble his reputation, checks in from retirement.  Towards the end of the article, she talks about her relationship with Cruise; while mostly diplomatic, she talks about how he started to get crazy about the cult before they parted ways.  After reading the whole profile, I’m impressed by Pat.
  • RadarOnline ran a story about forced labor in cult facilities, harvesting juicy bits from the declarations filed earlier this week in the Monique Rathbun case and putting them together, with yet another epic cult denial at the end.
  • The lead story in the latest issue of “Freedom” magazine begins “The excitement rolled across more than 10,000 Scientologists gathered in multiple large venues at the religion’s Flag Land Base in Clearwater on November 15, 2013…” This is one of the documents presented by the defendant’s attorneys as argument for not deposing Miscavige. It’s a cult-operated site so you should know that they’ll harvest your IP address.

24 thoughts on “Scientology Daily Digest: Thursday, December 12, 2013

  1. DeElizabethan

    Thank you John again for providing the links to so many excellent articles. I had missed the Simi comment and the hilarious reply link, along with many other interesting ones. You are providing a great service with this blog. Please don’t worry if you miss any days.

  2. Unloyalofficer

    I thought I was reading OTVIIIisGrrr8!’s website when reading the Freedom article. It’s not even funny anymore, it’s really just pathetically sad.

    1. Anonymous

      What is even more sad is that Freedom Mag, although always a Scientology operation, did several decades ago actually have some excellent reporting. Robert Vaughn Young was involved then and he did some valid investigative reporting and news breaking that eventually made it into the mainstream press.

      Now the thing is virtually unreadable, except for still-ins, and even they often blanch at the tone.

      For folks outside Scientology, Freedom Mag creates repulsion…the exact opposite of what you want from a propaganda sheet. That magazine is a great barometer for how far south the organization has gone….it is down its own rabbit hole and still digging.

  3. aurora50

    That article, courtesy of MK, is quite valuable to a never-in…puts a lot of the history in easily understood order.

    Thanks for posting it!

    1. Missionary Kid

      The real credit goes to Great White Clam, who referred to it over at I’m unfamiliar with the journal, but at least it might be peer-reviewed before final publication.

      I don’t know how well known or what the status is of Academic Publishing, the group behind the Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review is. They appear to be trying to achieve academic legitimacy.

  4. coonellie

    In regards to the academic article, James Lewis has been known to be a “cult apologist” for Scientology. Lewis is very well known for those who study new religious movements.

    IMHO, he lacks the integrity and intelligence of an academic scholar like Stephen Kent. Perhaps after decades of snake slithering with COS Lewis is wising up…or perhaps they just aren’t paying academics the same amount anymore.

    Having said that, there’s an interesting post at Jefferson Hawkin’s blog that not only has an open letter from Lewis (from 2011), but also mentions that other paragon of COS-suck-up, Gordon J. Melton.

    1. John P.

      Thanks for the perspective on James Lewis. I didn’t have time to do a lookup on him or his prior works. The article seemed to have a bit of just “reporting the news,” as in “hey, look! here’s a modern-day schism going on” rather than real insight, which is why I was a little circumspect in endorsing the article or the journal. Great job on catching the reference on Jeff Hawkins’ blog.

  5. trow125

    My grandparents lived in Battle Creek, so I have spent a lot of time in that area. What really surprises me is that BC would have an Ideal Org and NOT Grand Rapids, which is an vital, fast-growing metropolis with a population of around 1 million in the metro region. (GR has a solid economic foundation and has not suffered from the persistent financial woes that have plagued the Detroit area and other parts of the state.) BC is almost 70 miles away from GR, so there’s no way you could plausibly make the argument that BC is part of the GR metro area. Kalamazoo is a pretty hip college town (an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema just opened there!) with a strong cultural scene. The fact that neither GR or K’zoo would have any sort of official Scientology presence, and they’re hanging their hopes on little BC, speaks volumes.

    1. Missionary Kid

      One of the few words I remember from my Latin is “fenestra,” the word for window. Defenestration, of course, means literally, “out the window,” which must not have been a fun way to die.

  6. Still_On_Your_Side

    Thank you for the warning about “harvesting” IP addresses at cult sites. Not many people are aware of that problem. Please keep warning people to stay away from cult sites unless they have some kind of software that blocks dissemination of the computer’s IP address.

    1. Anonymous

      For very causal and sporadic browsing of sites operated by malevolent (non-government sponsored) organizations, proxy browsing tools like the one here are a simple, fast solution:

      This is NOT encrypted browsing, just an IP proxy service.

  7. Science Doc

    I just read the James Lewis paper in its entirety. Considering this paper in isolation I saw no evidence of cult apologetics. The paper is fairly straightforward except that the sources cited are normally more in the providence of an internet discussion than most academic papers, but that is the nature of this beast.

    I would take Lewis at word that he studies new religious movements. In this case he pretty clearly concludes that he’s studying one on the way down or at least into transformation. The Schism in Israel would naturally attract this sort of academic interest because religious movements split.

  8. ReneeG

    There is a tidbit from Mike Rinder’s affidavit in Mosey’s case had some new information for me; speaking of his trip to Corpus Christi to meet with the newly blown John Brousseau, he writes:

    “I had traveled to Corpus Christi with the express approval of the FBI (who paid my airfare) to determine whether JB was legitimate and to ask him to speak with the FBI.”

    He also states that JB did, in fact, meet with the FBI. The fact that the FBI were interested enough in JB’s bona fides to pay Mike’s airfare to meet with him indicates more than a surface level investigation on their part. I sure would love to see THAT case file!

  9. Lurkness

    Cross posting this here from Tony’s blog.

    The major South African whale (Gaye Corbett) who was recently declared with the rest of her family, has started commenting at SAs Getting Back in Comms. She did her own calculations and the take from the Super Power Fraud is consistent with Tony’s long-standing $200M raised for SP Building that cost about $40M. Further confirmation on these numbers from someone also very much in the know with her Husband. They basically funded the majority of the operations in South Africa. They also did a US tour of Idle Morgues to LOOK and confirm for themselves that DM’s strategy was not booming the CoS. Here is one of her posts.

    “Gaye Corbett
    on December 15, 2013 at 6:52 am said:

    Debbie (Cook) certainly opened the eyes of a lot of Scientologists and receiving her letter was the turning point that made us start to look and question what was happening inside the church of Miscavage. It is a pitty that she never revealed what has happened to the money, ( your IAS donations etc) I know a lot is used on the ” defense” of our dear leader in the various court cases being fought but where has the rest gone. It involves many millions of dollars…… Just add up the Patrons and Patron Meritorious that are listed in the Source Magazine.

    And while I am on that subject just add up the corner stone membership, not counting double and treble like Ernest and myself and you will find over $200 mil there, yet the building only cost in the region of $40 mil. So where did the rest go. If you ARE the IAS then you have a right to know where the money has gone.

    Unfortunately the Church of Scientology has become a business and has lost the purpose of making OTs. It is all about the money and the whole of Gat11 is about fleecing more money off of the same poor suckers that think this is LRHs intention. It will fail just as GAT 1 failed. I just hate to see the guys trapped inside the Gerbil wheel and paying for it with their hard earned money so that the farce can continue.

    I hope this makes you look and not listen to the lies that are being told for in the end the truth will prevail.
    Isn’t it heartening to know that the tech is still available to all outside the ” church” and OT is within the grasp of all despite the squiring of the tech inside the ” church”

    Perhaps the readers would like to know more about that.”

    1. Anonymous

      Thanks for cross-posting this.

      Once Miscavige is finally deposed / on the lam / jailed / and a forensic accounting can be done on the hundreds of millions that have flowed through the IAS and Super Power scams, it is probable that they will be shown to be the source of approximately $70 million spent on the ultra luxurious, nearly vacant, INT base office building Miscavige occupies with his personal staff.

      He made sure that one (at INT) was up and running many years before the Super Power cathedral.


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