Tag Archives: Narconon

Scientology Daily Digest: Monday, December 9, 2013

David Miscavige and his advisors experiencing the disconnect between their view of how a psychiatric exam feels versus how most of us feel when we talk to a psychiatrist.  Fetch... the COMFY CHAIR!  And if that doesn't work, the CUSHIONS!

David Miscavige and his advisors experiencing the disconnect between their view of how a psychiatric exam feels versus how most of us feel when we talk to a psychiatrist. Fetch… the COMFY CHAIR! And if that doesn’t work, the CUSHIONS!

Two major news items today. First, both sides filed their trial schedule in the Laura DiCrescenzo case.  Of course, Laura’s side has a fairly straightforward schedule, but the cult has a byzantine process involving multiple mini-trials, with two weeks spent in the first such just arguing about First Amendment issues.  And of course, while Miscavige’s fingerprints are mostly absent from this document, he still managed to get into the text a demand that Laura be forced to undergo a psychiatric exam as part of the case.  It’s straight out of Monty Python.

The second major news item is the SP declaration of long-time staff member Ryan Hogarth from the South African branch of the cult, causing the African Scientology blog to speculate that the entire South African community could easily secede from the cult as the Haifa, Israel mission did.

Tony Ortega’s Blog

Tony published the two vastly different proposed trial schedules from plaintiffs and defendants in the Laura DiCrescenzo case.  Laura’s attorneys propose a straight six week trial, while the cult proposes an avalanche of hearings, mini-trials, duplicative effort and other showboating that could easily approach four months in the courtroom, raising a pretty significant cost barrier to Laura.

My take: Usually, when you look through the cult’s legal filings, you don’t have to be a lawyer to spot the craziness that Miscavige has injected into the filing — inflammatory language, etc.  A relatively quick skim of the defendants’ filing shows a relative lack of crazy, which is worth thinking about.  Is Miscavige on vacation after the stress of the IAS event?  Is he distracted? Or is it just a relatively simple filing and not worth his putting his unique “imprimatur” on it?  About the only thing going on here that has any crazy is the proposal that Laura be ordered to undergo a psych evaluation, which to anyone who doesn’t believe in the cult, is kind of a joke.  Apparently, Miscavige is so isolated in his little bubble that he has no idea what an actual psych eval is like.  

Most telling is the proposal for a ten-day hearing on First Amendment issues. Recall that Judge Sohigian was completely upheld on the issue of “priest/penitent confession” laws in the first First Amendment issue raised by the cult.  As one of Tony’s legal team points out, the cult is essentially trying to argue that the “Church” can do whatever it wants to religious workers when it tries to claim that the Court can’t get in the middle of a religious dispute.  Of course, the logical extension of this is the belief that churches can sanction murder, rape, arson, fraud and all sorts of other violations when they come from sincerely held religious beliefs.  But there are plenty of crooked pastors (Jim Bakker, and many many more) who have done jail time for their crimes.

Selected comments: 

Mike Rinder’s Blog

  • Mike’s post today reflected the South African Scientology blog post of how Ryan Hogarth, decades-long Scientologist and former Scientology South Africa President, got declared as the goon squad from Headquarters continues to bang heads together, apparently randomly. Mike observes that Ryan Hogarth was the first local staff person to be allowed to introduce His Imperial Amazingness at an event, instead of using the game show host-like tones of Jeff Pomerantz in a pre-recorded blurb, so great is Hogarth’s credibility among the locals.  Hogarth is a third-generation Scientologist (first one I’ve heard of) who was on staff, mostly in South Africa, for 25 years.  He headed DSA (the local equivalent of OSA) for much of that time, and served for a time as President, which he equates to a figurehead. There’s some great details on the fiasco of acquiring and renovating the Ideal Org building, and more on life in the cult in a far-flung outpost.  The post from Ryan Hogarth himself is relatively long but useful to read, as it details how the Internet brought him to his senses, when he discovered Marty Rathbun’s then-new blog. 
  • Mike’s post yesterday covers the craziness of Super Power marketing, giving yet another example from source documents of how the disconnect between the hype and the reality will accelerate the meltdown of the cult, with more people blowing.

Forum Sites (WWP, ESMB, OCMB)

General Press

  • RadarOnline is picking up the Tom Cruise slave labor story all over again via the declarations of Jon Brousseau, Marc Headley and others that were filed last week in the Mosey Rathbun case.  While Tony reported Brousseau’s story in mid-2012, I’d suspect we’ll see other sites picking up and re-broadcasting the RadarOnline story over the next couple days.

 

Scientology Daily Digest: November 6, 2013

Editor’s Note: More hassles today; the longer article I had hoped to get out today will appear tomorrow.

Thanks to “AegerPrimo” for our first tour through ESMB and WWP threads.

As I’ve said before, this is a work in progress; I welcome suggestions on how to make it better. And if you’re willing to help out by taking on compiling parts of this (particularly ESMB, WWP and other forum sites) on a regular basis (perhaps signing up for one day a week), please be ready to jump in.

Tony Ortega’s Blog

Today’s post covered three topics:

  • Various Michigan Narconon facilities under the banner of Per Wickstrom, in a development that should surprise exactly nobody familiar with the hijinks at Narconon Georgia, may be involved in insurance fraud, from a patient whose insurance was billed $200,000 without his knowledge.
  • Angry Gay Pope got arrested for protesting at Pac Base and is charged with stalking of a Sea Org member who had a now-expired restraining order against AGP.  Apparently, AGP will be spending the night as a guest of the authorities, until an arraignment to fight the $150,000 bail and felony charge, which sounds like it may well be over-charging, given that Tony reports the LAPD decided not to charge him with a crime after viewing his camera footage of the event.
  • A picture from the Million Mask March in London last night shows comedian Russell Brand standing next to well-known ex Samantha Domingo.  No word on who got whose autograph.

Key comments for the day:

  • Former Narconon Arrowhead President Lucas Cattona commented that insurance fraud could blow the whole Narconon thing up; I and several others had previously thought so, but it’s nice that an insider confirms it.
  • “Once_Born” suggested that a massive wave of lawsuits from Narconon could be impossible for the cult to handle.  I expanded on this to say that Miscavige can’t scale — the Anon 2008 protest was a “scale” attack, with perhaps 10,000 protestors appearing outside a substantial percentage of cult facilities; Miscavige remains traumatized by that.  “Anonymous” observes correctly that this was the cult’s strategy against the IRS that drove the 1993 exemption agreement: so many lawsuits in different jurisdictions that the IRS could eat up their entire litigation budget fighting them all. The thread is visible by clicking here and scrolling up.
  • Luke Catton also points out that the cult is trying to re-brand some of these facilities to escape from under the Narconon cloud, but he believes it’s not likely to succeed.
  • Also, Catton’s financial data on Narconon contribution to the cult jives nicely with estimates we’d been carring in our spreadsheet but not yet published; nice to have validation from an expert without having to slice up all those boring IRS Form 990s.
  • Still_On_Your_Side poetically compares David Miscavige to Norma Desmond, the aging diva from Sunset Boulevard.
  • OTVIIIisGrrr8! explains how everyone has some serious M/Us when it comes to the idea that Narconon would engage in something as distasteful-sounding as insurance fraud.

Mike Rinder’s Blog

  • Mike’s first post highlighted the crazy coming from David Wilson, a Kool-Aid drinking whale who sent out a “regging” letter with some extremely bad reimagining of a bit of dialog from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.  To make it even worse, the “Clear California” logo from the top of the document features the figure of a knight who looks more than a little like the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, not the sort of knight you want on a life-or-death quest for glory.
  • Mike’s second post relays a story about the management of the Johannesburg Ideal Org getting replaced after being recalled to Clearwater.  Click through to the underlying articles on a blog for SA-based Indie Scientologists.  The article says that a number of people with decades in the cult have recently been declared, and a new management team from the Sea Org has been sent in; more declarations are expected.  I would estimate based on a quick cut of the numbers that there are perhaps 400 Scientologists in SA, so this may be an example of implosions to come in other countries, and perhaps even in US cities.  Suddenly, the formerly sleepy cult scene in SA seems a lot more interesting, and the recently-launched backincomm blog appears to be a great source for what’s going with those still in the cult down there.

Marty Rathbun’s Blog

  • Radio silence now of seven days.  There has only been one other period in the last four months where Marty has been off the radar for this long.

ESMB & WWP

  • “Suspicious Scientology Deaths….MURDER?” is the name of a a TruTV segment published today that looks into the deaths of Lisa McPherson, Susan Meister, Flo Barnett (DM’s mother-in-law) and Quentin Hubbard. It also references Kyle Brennan and several other deaths at cult-related entities.  This ESMB thread has extensive commentary including several lengthy posts by Arnie Lerma.
  • There will be a 5-day “Flag Down” conference in Clearwater, FL, in May 2014. Activists are requesting funds to host a conference to expose abuses of the Co$. Scheduled speakers include; John Duignan, Nancy Many, Victoria Britton, Hana Eltringham Whitfield, Mark Plummer, Patty Moher, John McGhee, Jamie de Wolf, John Sweeney, Arnie Lerma, Karen Pressley. This thread is running at ESMB and WWP.
  • WWP highlights (perhaps “lowlights” would be a better word) an interesting thread that showed one of the hazards of the “clay demo” part of Study Tech. NSFW unless you are one of the pigs who work on the trading desk in Global Capitalism HQ.
  • Some discussion on ESMB on whether Marty is completely dissociating himself from Scientology as a result of his “slavery” article a week ago.
  • Apparently, the city of Clearwater just approved construction of a new aquarium on a site next to Flag, which the cult opposes.  Guess there will be a whole new range of freaky alien life forms from the world’s oceans on display in downtown Clearwater.

“Scientology” on Google News

  • The Tampa Bay Times is back with an update on the plans for the big events in Clearwater. Sounds like the city is toughening up on the cult. According to the TBT, “City Manager Bill Horne said the city won’t begin reviewing the new IAS permit request until the church complies with conditions the city is placing on arrangements for another celebration: the grand opening of Scientology’s new Flag Building and related events, scheduled to begin Nov. 15.”