Alanzo endorses First Independent Church of Scientology

Discussion in 'Independent Scientology' started by CommunicatorIC, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. Alanzo endorses First Independent Church of Scientology.

    In response to Reza Aslan's Believer episode on CNN, Alanzo has has endorsed Independent Scientology generally, and specifically the First Independent Church of Scientology.

    Alanzo's Blog: Indy Efforts at Reforming Scientology Should Be An Important Part of the Solution

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *


    Once again, Scientology’s most hysterical critics, led by the blind atheist cleric, Tony Ortega, are doing their best to nullify any attempt by Independent Scientologists to reform Scientology. This is very short-sighted and based on a blinkered thought-stopping distortion that “it is impossible to reform Scientology.”

    Anyone who has ever taken a course in a Scientology organization that was NOT run by the fanatics in the Sea Organization know everything they should need to know that this tired old distortion is not true. There are plenty of forms of Scientology that are not abusive, and many people who do not want Scientology to be abusive.

    2 events have been minimized and largely ignored by Tony Ortega and his militant Bunkerites which are a very important part of the solution for ending the spiritual abuses in the Church of Scientology.

    The First Independent Church of Scientology received approval of its Articles of Incorporation by the State of California on March 7, 2016, as reported by the Religious Liberty League.

    Per Tony Ortega’s own reporting, Dani Lemberger and the Church of Scientology were ordered to settle a lawsuit in Tel Aviv this month – or the judge threatened to get rid of the Church of Scientology in Israel. The deal was sealed to the public. But what kind of bargaining position did Dani Lemberger have in those negotiations under a judge who said that?

    I think these might be viewed as two important legal wins for Independent Scientology – a form of Scientology WITHOUT abusive Sea Org fanatics in it.


    The end of Scientology abuse will come though many different routes, but it is clear now that it must mostly come from Scientologists themselves.


    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
  2. John P. Member

    I'm one of those "Bunkerites," but funny, I don't feel like a high-strung militant...

    "Dani Lemberger and the Church of Scientology were ordered to settle a lawsuit in Tel Aviv this month – or the judge threatened to get rid of the Church of Scientology in Israel. The deal was sealed to the public. But what kind of bargaining position did Dani Lemberger have in those negotiations under a judge who said that?"

    I think Alonzo failed to understand what was going on. The judge was talking about Miscavige's "Church of Scientology" not Lemberger's little mini-cult. I think he came out just fine in the decision and was not the one being pressured to settle. According to Tony Ortega's article, Lemberger seemed to be pleased with the result and there are apparently no restrictions on his ability to operate. So I don't think Tony missed the story here.

    The fact that the FICoS got its paperwork rubber stamped is not exactly epic news. Seems to me like the backers of that group are trying to unify (and make money off of) the splintered "Indie" field who at this point vaguely resemble all those people who hate the Romans but who spend all their time arguing over each other's purity. Remember the People's Front of Judea and the Judean People's Front? It's not like FICoS is going to snap up any net new members that weren't already Indies, if it even does that.

    Sorry, Alonso, I'm not buying the resurgence of the Indie movement or the view that Miscavige done 'em wrong in Israel.

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  3. So I wonder if the creation of legal entities is the Indy equivalent of ideal orgs in that they are used as a metric of success despite the lack of actual people in said entities / buildings.
  4. Quentinanon Member

    Alanzo is clearly still on the road to recovery from scientology.

  5. Hi John P -

    Perhaps I was not clear - I am confident that Dani Lemberger had the upper hand in the deal that the Israeli judge ordered and Dani got exactly what he wanted. And thus, this was a major legal victory for Independent Scientology which will act as a force of competition against the monopoly of the Church of Scientology.

    As a Capitalist Pig, you know about the market force of competition, right, John?

    I'm sorry too, John, that you are such a Capitalist Pig and that you are not buying anything remotely connected to anything I am selling because you are such a shill for Tony Ortega.



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  6. The Internet Member

    John P seems like a smart guy with confidence in his own opinions. It seems unlikely he would need to shill an opinion from someone else that he does not personally hold.
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  7. But maybe John, like Tony Ortega, has never been involved in Scientology - and would never be. So they have a hard time figuring out what's really going on with regard to the inner ideological struggles in Scientology like the Indy movement.

    No single person can present all the perspectives on a subject as complicated as Scientology. Tony Ortega certainly can't.

    So if most of John P Capitalist's experience with Scientology comes from Tony Ortega's writing, and not from direct experience with Scientology, then John P Capitalist's views on Scientology are likely to be too limited to recognize a workable solution to the problem of Scn abuse.

    That's why its best to round out your views here on WWP, and don't listen to only Tony and John.

    My opinion only.

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  8. The Internet Member

    Ok fine. But I thought a "shill" was someone disingenuously promoting an opinion for personal gain.

    Scholars often do not have personal experience with the subject under study. So there is nothing strange about that. For example, you don't need to be raped to study rape. You don't need to be a bully to study bullying. You don't need to be schizophrenic to study schizophrenia.

    Scholars do not claim to know everything. Rather, they know something. And that is okay.
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  9. DeathHamster Member

    Really? Do you think the "Indy movement" is anything new? It's not.
  10. I got out in 1999, and most all indies were freezoners. And yes, I know where they came from.

    Who are you, DeathHamster?

    I'm sorry - I've never asked. Did you arrive to all this Scientology shit in late 2007/early 2008 with the rest of Anonymous? Or do you have actual experience in Scientology?

    Not being uppity. Just asking.

  11. Are you looking for a reason to dismiss statements or opinions you do not like, based upon the personality of the speaker? If so, you are going to have a bad time with Anonymous.
  12. Alanzo,

    Are you on the record yet regarding the apparent disclosure of Mr. Lemberger's correspondence by Marty Rathbun to the Church of Scientology - a betrayal of Lemberger's confidence - which was then used by lawyers representing the Church in the lawsuit in Israel?

    I am just curious if you've yet expressed an opinion about this apparent attack on the Indie movement. My understanding is that you've previously been a Marty Rathbun apologist. Thank you for your response.
  13. I don't know what to think of it.

    If Marty did give it to them, which seems likely but is not a certainty, then there could be a number of reasons for Marty's act which may not be the reasons for its use by the Church in Dani's lawsuit.

    1. Marty might have been heading off a "Keith Henson" style legal attack by the Church, charging him with conspiracy to murder David Miscavige.
    2. Marty might have been hacked, and did not actually give them the email. Both Tony Ortega and Mike Rinder were hacked by a guy who worked for the Church, and he went to jail for it. Why would the Church not target Marty for hacking, as well?
    3. He might have felt responsible to alert David Miscavige. While he criticizes him, he does not want to see him murdered.
    4. He might be secretly working for the Church of Scientology after a secret settlement and this was part of his responsibilities. When the email was revealed in court, his cover was completely blown and he became useless for any further spying.
    5. ???
    So, unlike Tony Ortega who thinks he knows that Marty made a secret settlement with the Church, my position, on the record, is "I don't know."

  14. John P. Member

    I've never been in Scientology. And I don't appreciate the minutiae of "inner ideological struggles" that you wrestle with daily. But by being an outsider, I don't have to. I don't actually have a stake in whether "independent Scientology" succeeds or fails. At one point, circa 2011, I wanted the indie movement to succeed. I thought it would be interesting to watch to see if indies were able to come up with an effective organization and to generate significant success at attracting new people into practicing Scientology self-help tech. In other words, it could answer the question of whether "the tech" was valuable outside the organization of the official "church."

    The enthusiasm for creating an indie movement seems to have waned significantly since that time. The "indie 500" list seems to be stuck well below that magic number, and has grown by only a couple dozen names in the last 5 years. Many of those on the list are no longer actually practicing Scientology even as an indie. And the only "indie org," Dror Center, has all the prerequisites for success -- real estate, committed management and a lot of distance from the corporate cult. Yet while numbers are up slightly after years of trying, Dror Center is still small enough that it's difficult to say that real, sustainable growth has occurred. And little of that growth is due to people who weren't involved in Scientology at some level... In 5 years they've gotten perhaps a handful of "fresh meat" in a country of 7 million people.

    After years of following Scientology, I now believe that the indie movement will not succeed and is unlikely to grow much beyond its current size. Doctrinal disputes are likely to keep various factions splintered and arguing with each other. But the real issue that spells doom for the indies, most importantly, is that the "tech" that they're all fighting to be able to use, is simply not as effective for self-help as methods that have been created by the eeebil "psychs" over the last 60+ years since Hubbard eructated the overlong stream of word vomit in DMSMH. Scientology "tech" takes too much time and generates too little return on that time invested that even if it were free and were offered by a caring, loving organization of altruists donating their time, few new "bodies in shop" would actually take it up, and fewer still would stick with it for any significant length of time.

    Incidentally, people defending the indie movement (as well as the official church of Scientology) usually use the line of attack that never-ins can't possibly understand the subject well enough to make informed decisions. Two counter-arguments: if I were to get cancer, I wouldn't demand that my oncologist be a cancer survivor. I just want a damned good doctor. Surviving cancer doesn't make someone a better cancer doctor; in fact it's probably a distraction from all the study on progress in the field.

    Second, I've done pretty well making money for my clients by investing in the oil business even though I have never worked for an oil company... my perspective honed by 25+ years in investing plus some knowledge of the oil business gleaned from managing a couple of analysts who know what they're doing allows me to spot winning arguments about when to buy and sell, even though I couldn't possibly hope to interpret an undersea survey of a potential field in the Gulf of Mexico myself.
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  15. John P. Member

    We in Global Capitalism HQ do indeed spend a lot of time thinking about competition. For the most part, I'm in favor of more competition because it generally is better for society as a whole when market forces make better products available to more people at lower cost.

    There are limits, however: I certainly don't believe in completely unfettered capitalism where any company can do anything it wants any time, without liability for the consequences of its actions. If you were to meet me in person you would discover that I'm actually quite progressive politically and believe that the US economy would be in stronger shape with significantly more regulation in many industries, not less.

    I believe that the Israeli court decision only codifies legally what had already been the de facto circumstance for some time: that, at least in Israel, indies can practice Scientology outside of the official "church." As a result, it doesn't really change the shape of the playing field and thus doesn't increase the chances that Dror Center or the indie movement as a whole will grow into a viable and sustainable business.

    The other issues that I spoke of above (and that many others have separately discussed as well) far outweigh the increase in opportunity for indies that result from this court decision. To wit:
    1. The tech is too time consuming and not valuable enough to be attractive to anyone who's not using it already. In other words, the product is not competitive with what customers expect in an age of seemingly easy fixes for personal problems ("I saw this guy save his marriage in an hour on Dr. Phil"). It's certainly not competitive with legit evidence-based psychotherapy in terms of value of results per hour invested.
    2. Organizational fragmentation of the indie movement will prohibit effective marketing of the movement as a whole; there will be no central "brand" for indies that will stick in prospective customers' minds sufficiently well that it will support significant acquisition of new customers. FICoS is unlikely to succeed better than prior attempts to roll up the indies under one structure. Even if it does, the rest of these points will still hold and are sufficient to bury the indie movement.
    3. The general public will not take the time to understand that indie Scientology is not the same as the official "church." Prospective non-Scientologist customers won't hear "independent" and will only hear "Scientology" and will flee the discussion without waiting to understand the difference. The word "Scientology" is just too toxic. "Fresh meat" for the indies will remain statistically insignificant.
    4. Looking backward, only about 1% to 3% of former members of the official "church" seem to have become independent Scientologists in the last five years (I posted more on this last December). If so few ex-churchies find the tech valuable enough to continue with it in the indie context, that bodes ill for new member acquisition from the most obvious recruiting ground.
    5. Looking foward, recruitment of ex-churchies will actually get harder, not easier. As the cult shrinks, only the most hardcore true believers are left. I forecast relatively few voluntary departures versus 10-15 years ago; increasingly, people will be leaving the cult in a pine box rather than by renouncing their beliefs. In my spreadsheet model for cult membership, I've forecast the rate of decline to drop from about 10% per year the last couple years down to about 5%, and in the next year or two, more than half of the departures will be deaths as the population ages. Again, recruitment of ex church members to the indie movement going forward will not fare well because of this.
    It is important to understand that these factors are all independent; if one is shown to be irrelevant, that doesn't mean that the strategic situation resolves positively to drive the indies to success. There are just too many holes in the boat at this point that it simply isn't going to fly. Had the current indie movement arisen 30 years ago when there was demand for the product, the outcome might be different. But trying to sell a product that people ultimately don't want is just not going to build a business.

    Finally, just because a market structure event (i.e., a court decision, a law/regulation or other external event) creates an opportunity for effective competition against an entrenched market leader doesn't mean that effective competition will inevitably arise or if it does that existing competitors are in a position to seize the opportunity. Official Scientology's losses are not automatically the indie movement's gains.

    Consider the "search wars" between Google on the one hand and Microsoft/Yahoo on the other. Microsoft and Yahoo (at least until a couple years ago when Yahoo seriously started to implode) had smart people, lots of money and both were well-known brand names. Yet when Google got its hand slapped by the EU on some anti-trust issues, Microsoft and Yahoo were unable to capitalize on that to increase their market share. We (profitably) enjoyed shorting Microsoft and Yahoo after some investors ran the stocks up a little bit anticipating that they would cash in on anti-Google EU decisions.

    The problem's even worse when you consider that Scientology has around 20,000 members (including staff/Sea Org). The indies have about 200 (maybe 400), and they have no money. That's a big disparity, far bigger than the 30 point difference in market share that two well-financed smart competitors were unable to narrow in the search engine wars.

    My prediction is that small informal indie groups will survive for quite a while and some very small number of individuals will be able to make a living providing auditing and other services to that small number of indies. However, an effective umbrella organization to advance all flavors of independent Scientology will never arise and thus independent Scientology will never be a viable business with any ability to attract significant numbers of net-new never-in customers.
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  16. Wow! That was some impressive analysis! It was a beautiful $1500 market research report that Dani Lemberger and Merrell Vannier will probably totally ignore!

    I have 3 issues for you:

    1. You said Dn & Scn is "certainly not competitive with legit evidence-based psychotherapy in terms of value of results per hour invested."

    What's your evidence for this "certainly" statement? Is there a series of studies somewhere that I am unaware of?

    2. If the purpose is to get rid of the abuses in Scientology, does the success or failure of Indy Scn actually matter? I've personally gotten people out of the Church by introducing them to the idea of the Freezone, telling them about the lower prices, the lack of Sea Org fanatics, etc.

    So when Reza Aslan does a show on CNN promoting these freezoners, why is the unified anti-Scientology narrative to de-legitimize these people as being crazy and attack Reza Aslan for being "dishonest" because he didn't say anything bad about Scientology?

    Are anti-scientologists really out to get rid of the abuses in the Church of Scientology, or out to get rid of Scientology itself?

    Because getting rid of Scientology itself is probably close to impossible, and probably not even desirable in a free society - wouldn't you agree?

    3. I've been out of Scientology and being a critic of it for 17 years now. In the last 8 years or so the "legal angle" of ending Scientology abuses with trips to the FBI, attempts at civil suits for human trafficking, etc, have all failed or are failing. What do you think about the viability of "the legal angle" for ending Scientology abuse?

    Given its losing track record, should we just keep battering away at it, or maybe change course to provide for support of Scientologists to oust DM and get rid of the abuses themselves?

    I'll hang up and take your answer off the air...

  17. Quentinanon Member

    But Tony O does present a great deal of useful information in an entertaining format.

    And I don't think that those interested in scientology read just Tony and John, but rather anything they can read, watch or hear.
    BTW, you seem to be taking this thread quite offensively and I want you to know that being an ex-scientologist is not a dishonour, but rather an accident of access, disposition and situation. It's those who stay in after knowing about the crimes and abuses who other folks can have a legitimate objection to.
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  18. The Internet Member

    Freedom is pretty meaningless when the marketplace is peppered with fraudulent goods and services. So for the sake of freedom, getting rid of Scientology as a product would be a good thing.

    Reza Aslan is dishonest because he does not tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

    Reza Aslan has a long history of misrepresenting his academic credentials. And apparently his coverage of independent Scientology made it seem like a growing movement when that is not reality.

    If Reza Aslan wants to promote and advertise independent Scientology, he needs to make that clear. But he did not.
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  19. Thank you for that.

    During my 16 years in Scientology, with 8.5 years on staff in missions (but never in the Sea Org) the overwhelming majority of non-Sea Org Scientologists I knew were not abusive to anyone, and never would be.

    When I was first getting out, the stories of insane abuse made me very ashamed that I was ever a Scientologist and supported such an organization. I forgot totally about the good I'd experienced in Scientology and considered that to be completely irrelevant as long as abuses were occurring to people.

    In the last few years, especially since John Sweeney, Lawrence Wright, Alex Gibney and other members of the global media have taken over Scientology criticism from ex-members, I've begun to realize the good in Scientology does matter - if you care whether your criticism of Scientology is accurate.

    I have realized that almost ALL the abuse emanated from members of the Sea Org, and the closer you got to Int Base, the more insane and abusive Scientology became. And so we see people like Marty Rathbun, Mike Rinder, Karen DLC, Chris Shelton and other members of the Sea Org (even Leah was once in the Sea Org) talking about how abusive everyone in Scientology is. I am realizing that is a very inaccurate picture of the overwhelming majority of Scientology and Scientologists.

    But that picture is everywhere right now - and I helped to put it there.

    So yeah, I'm just generally pissed off at the forced tribal narrative that everyone is agreeing to from all these people who were the originators of most of the abuse that occurred in Scientology.

    I'm like an angry cat that has walked into the room, flicking its tail.

  20. Reza Aslan has a long history of misrepresenting his academic credentials? And CNN gave him a series? Do you have any evidence of RA misrepresenting his academic credentials?

    Also, another question: You wouldn't happen to be an atheist, would you?

    Because atheists really don't like this guy.
  21. The Internet Member

    America is up to its eyeballs in quackademic medicine* and psychotherapy happens to be one of the darker corners, sadly.

    The usual cognitive biases humans suffer from are sufficient to fool people into thinking something is of therapeutic benefit when that is not the case. We need studies that control for things like confirmation bias, regression toward the mean, observer effects, etc., before we can appreciate which interventions are useful and which are not.

    Before the invention of controlled studies humans spent about 2,000 years worrying about toxins residing in four bodily humors. Up until the early 1900s doctors poked people with sharp objects to get the toxins out. Didn't work but it sure seemed to!

    Cognitive behavioral therapy has a robust body of evidence to back its use for a lot of problems. Dianetics auditing, not so much. On that basis we can reject Dianetics. But we also can count on plenty of people thinking it works when it really doesn't.

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  22. Malory Member

    Alanzo has never studied proctology and still manages to be an arsehole.
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  23. The Internet Member

    Good summary in this video:

    CNN is one of the better news outlets but that is not saying much. They over-rely on false balance because controversy pulls in viewers. That's why they hire incompetent boobs like Trump surrogate Jason Miller. They expect him to say derp so sparks fly. But the false balance makes the public feel all views are valid. That is fucking dangerous and I wish they would stop.
    Strange that you say. Reza Aslan has often been warmly welcomed by TV personalities representing the atheist/agnostic/secular humanist/not that religious side of the fence.
  24. Man! You're right. That was a great video. Totally nailed him.

    I had not seen that before. Thanks.
  25. The Internet Member

    Please put your genius brain to work on how we might convince ExxonMobile, Koch Industries, and Rosneft to develop a non-carbon based economy for the planet. Because if they do not do this, many thousands of species will go extinct, ecosystems will collapse, arable land will contract, and a lot of places will not be habitable. Already the arctic albedo is vanishing and the permafrost is melting more rapidly than our models predicted. We have about five years, as best I can tell, to turn this self destructive crazy train around. If we do not act now we are going to get a period of positive feedback accelerated warming, probably once the summertime arctic is no longer covered in ice. That was supposed to happen end of this century but now it seems likely in the 2040s.

    Trump is the Exxon-Russia president so things are not looking good.
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  26. Malory Member

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  27. I never said it was a cult. That was Marty Rathbun.

    But I have said it is a "tribe".

    There is a lot of tribal, very partisan, and almost militant behavior on the Underground Bunker. Every once in a while, some individual ideas do get through. But not enough.

    In my opinion.
  28. moxie Member

    I lost track of the writer of this quote and I'm too lazy to go look for the name :
    TV personalities like him because he is an apologist who helps to push their Islamophobia-is-everywhere agenda when needed. Atheists not so much. (See: Harris, Dawkins, etc.).
  29. Tony O's main criticism of Aslan's portrayal independent Scientologists is that he treats a small group of people as a significant movement. While "significant" is a judgement to some extent, non-CoS Scientologists are certainly a small group that show no measurable growth.
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  30. Quentinanon Member

    The scientology crime syndicate repeatedly denied Aslan any interviews, so he went to the "indies" for episode material. If you looked at the faces of the people watching the interview on camera at the Dror Centre, they were elated and surprised to get the free positive attention.
    BTW, Ray Robles is one hell of a nutbag. He believes he is a "sorcerer". I guess that's on the same level as Nancy Cartwright wanting to be called "royal governor".
    40 years ago they would have been considered on the crazy side by other scientologists because nobody else except Hubbard could credibly talk about themselves that way.
  31. The Internet Member

    Good lord what does she think she governs?
  32. John P. Member

    I believe the exact thing they say is "Her Royal Governess of the Vast Valley Territory." It was used on several fundraising flyers issued by the Valley org in their ceaseless cash grabbing. I have suspected that the majority of the money raised for the recently opened Valley Ideal Org came from her pocket. And since they don't have official fancy titles for donors to the Ideal Org buildings, the locals coined one to appease her.
  33. The Internet Member

    I wonder why she isn't mortified by such naked pandering to her ego. People are basically telling her she's a child.
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