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Rod Keller’s Scientology Social Media Review

Discussion in 'Media' started by The Wrong Guy, Feb 28, 2016.

  1. The Wrong Guy Member

    Erika Christensen goes psychbuster as we launch Rod Keller’s Scientology Social Media Review

    By Tony Ortega, The Underground Bunker, February 28, 2016

    Wow, are we excited to launch this new venture with longtime Scientology watcher Rod Keller! Rod goes way back, having kept a meticulous eye on the church since 1992. He’s well known for his indispensable “ARS Week in Review,” which ran for nine years when ARS — the Usenet newsgroup alt.religion.scientology — was the most important daily source for Scientology news.

    More recently, Rod has made a specialty of hunting down the odd and wonderful things Scientologists post to social media. If you’ve followed his work, you know he pays close attention to detail and avoids editorializing — Rod is a chronicler who piece by piece builds a highly detailed assessment of what Scientology is doing around the world. Now he’s bringing his expertise to the Underground Bunker, and we’re thrilled.

    Continued here:
    http://tonyortega.org/2016/02/28/er...-rod-kellers-scientology-social-media-review/
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  2. Disambiguation Global Moderator

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  3. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology snags a TV news host, and other social media finds around the world

    By Tony Ortega, The Underground Bunker, March 6, 2016

    Time again for Rod Keller’s Scientology Social Media Review! Rod goes way back, having kept a meticulous eye on the church since 1992. He’s well known for his indispensable “ARS Week in Review,” which ran for nine years when ARS — the Usenet newsgroup alt.religion.scientology — was the most important daily source for Scientology news. More recently, Rod has made a specialty of hunting down the odd and wonderful things Scientologists post to social media. Rod is a chronicler who piece by piece builds a highly detailed assessment of what Scientology is doing around the world, and this is what he found for us this week.

    Continued here:
    http://tonyortega.org/2016/03/06/sc...nd-other-social-media-finds-around-the-world/
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  4. The Wrong Guy Member

    John Travolta and his ancient galactic friends celebrate Scientology’s holiest day of year

    By Tony Ortega, The Underground Bunker, March 13, 2016

    Today is the holiest day of the Scientology year, when the party-happy organization celebrates March 13, 1911, the date L. Ron Hubbard emerged into the known world to begin a life more adventurous than the lives of a dozen other men. He deigned to spend a little over 74 years in his Nebraska-sourced meat body before jettisoning it voluntarily on January 24, 1986. It was just one of countless lifetimes that the Great Thetan would spend in his eternity game. Can you handle the truth of your quadrillion years of existence? Dare any being contemplate the true nature of existence except for Ron?

    Last night, the annual Birthday Event was held in Clearwater, Florida, and for several days Scientologists like John Travolta have been arriving, as this photo from a couple of days ago attests. On Sundays, Rod Keller gives us his weekly Scientology Social Media Review, and he has another fine collection for us again. Rod goes way back, having kept a meticulous eye on the church since 1992. He’s well known for his indispensable “ARS Week in Review,” which ran for nine years when ARS — the Usenet newsgroup alt.religion.scientology — was the most important daily source for Scientology news. More recently, Rod has made a specialty of hunting down the odd and wonderful things Scientologists post to social media, and this is what he found for us this week

    Continued here:
    http://tonyortega.org/2016/03/13/jo...lebrate-scientologys-holiest-day-of-the-year/
  5. The Wrong Guy Member

  6. The Wrong Guy Member

  7. WIDE AWAKE
  8. The Wrong Guy Member

    Spider-Man goes drug-free for Scientology, and more in our weekly social media review!

    By Tony Ortega, The Underground Bunker, April 10, 2016

    Excerpt:

    Keller7p24.jpg

    Director Eric Sherman will hold a Scientology recruiting effort disguised as a seminar for aspiring actors at the Celebrity Centre International in Hollywood on April 20th. The Internet Movie Database does not show that he directed Arnold Schwarzenegger, Olivia Newton-John or Cindy Crawford. His only dramatic credit as a director is the 1991 film College Kickboxers starring Ken McLeod and Tak-Wing Tang.

    http://tonyortega.org/2016/04/10/sp...y-and-more-in-our-weekly-social-media-review/

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  9. The Wrong Guy Member

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  10. The Wrong Guy Member

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  11. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology takes on the evil psychs at the APA, and more in our weekly social media review!

    By Tony Ortega, The Underground Bunker, May 15, 2016

    Scientologists and members of the Nation of Islam marched from Woodruff Park in Atlanta to protest the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association at the Georgia World Congress Center. They are protesting Psychiatry in general, as well as the proposed reclassification of electroconvulsive therapy equipment from class III to the less regulated class II devices. One of our local correspondents was on the scene and tells us that only about 150 people showed up, and nearly all of them were Scientologists, even though non-Scientology groups had also endorsed the march.

    Continued here:
    http://tonyortega.org/2016/05/15/sc...a-and-more-in-our-weekly-social-media-review/
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  12. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology makes you a god who can heal this horse just with your finger

    By Rod Keller, The Underground Bunker, May 22, 2016

    Scientology Volunteer Ministers held a training session at the Living Trail equestrian center in Volgograd, Russia this week. The center works with disabled children, using contact with horses and horse riding in physical and emotional therapy. They host children with cerebral palsy, arthritis, scoliosis, blindness, autism and other disorders and provide training in riding and caring for horses. The Scientologists trained the staff in performing Touch Assists and Nerve Assists, demonstrating these procedures on the human staff and the horses. The procedure is intended to relieve pain and to heal a wide variety of diseases and disorders. The patient is touched with a finger and asked “can you feel my finger?” If they are a human being and say “yes,” then the response is “thank you.”

    Continued here:
    http://tonyortega.org/2016/05/22/sc...ho-can-heal-this-horse-just-with-your-finger/
  13. The Wrong Guy Member

    Sailing with L. Ron Hubbard: A Scientology saga of Sea Org dedication

    By Rod Keller, The Underground Bunker, June 23, 2016

    Last night the Tampa Ideal Org hosted veteran Sea Org member Wick Allcock for an evening of stories about his experiences with L. Ron Hubbard. As the flier indicates, Allcock has a long history with Scientology and witnessed many of its key moments. And as you’ll see, he’s perhaps uniquely qualified to talk to Scientologists about where his career in the church has brought him.

    Continued here:
    http://tonyortega.org/2016/06/23/sa...ard-a-scientology-saga-of-sea-org-dedication/
  14. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology’s sneaky anti-psychiatry front has found a new way to target kids in Florida

    By Rod Keller, The Underground Bunker, August 7, 2016

    Scientology has a new web site and a new initiative to oppose Florida Statute Title XXIX Chapter 394.463 “Involuntary examination.” The statute is commonly known as the “Baker Act,” named after former Miami State Representative Maxine Baker, who sponsored the Florida Mental Health Act of 1971.

    The website, BakerActRights.org urges parents to download, complete and send to their child’s school a copy of a “non-consent” form, which is supposed to counteract the usual school consent forms.

    Diane Stein, the Scientologist in charge of Scientology’s CCHR group in Florida, has posted a page on Ipetitions.org titled “STOP Involuntary Commitment of Children in Florida!” which has now garnered more than 1,000 signatures. She has also created the Facebook group Individuals Against The Florida Baker Act.

    I asked Scientology observer and attorney Scott Pilutik his opinion of the form, and to compare it to the language of the Baker Act.

    Continued here:
    http://tonyortega.org/2016/08/07/sc...as-found-a-new-way-to-target-kids-in-florida/
  15. The Wrong Guy Member

    Got a Purple Heart? Scientology wants to exploit you

    By Rod Keller, The Underground Bunker, August 14, 2016

    On August 7 Scientology held a Purple Heart Day Banquet at the Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater, Florida. The Purple Heart is a medal awarded to those wounded or killed in combat in the U.S. armed services. The event was sponsored by CCHR, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, Scientology’s front group that is dedicated to fighting the psychiatric profession.

    Continued here:
    http://tonyortega.org/2016/08/14/got-a-purple-heart-scientology-wants-to-exploit-you/
  16. Good God, these people perennially slimy.

    It has been said that patriotism is the last refuge or resort of a scoundrel but these people don't even wait that long to wrap themselves up in the flag, so to speak. That makes the even worse than scoundrels.
  17. The Wrong Guy Member

    Who are the clergy Scientology convinces to attend its ‘interfaith’ farces?

    By Rod Keller, The Underground Bunker, August 21, 2016

    Quote:

    On August 3rd and August 10th, Scientology held interfaith conferences at the Los Angeles Ideal Org under the guise of Youth For Human Rights, a “social betterment” front group similar to The Way to Happiness Foundation and the Foundation for a Drug-Free World. The group was founded in 2001 by Dr. Mary Shuttleworth, a South African Scientologist. For events without any youth participation, the group goes by the name United for Human Rights.

    As with all Scientology activities that deal with non-Scientologists, Youth for Human Rights is directed by the Office of Special Affairs. OSA is known as the secret police of Scientology for its work to investigate, attack, and discredit former members and critics, often with the use of private investigators. But OSA is charged with all of Scientology’s public relations work as well, and interfaith activities are important to fulfill L. Ron Hubbard’s design to “safepoint” Scientology – to develop a network of non-Scientologist allies who are Opinion Leaders in the community and who could be called upon for assistance when Scientology comes under attack. They are considered “celebrities” in the same category as Tom Cruise and John Travolta, and they count towards OSA’s stat, “celebrity bodies in shop.”

    The irony is that Scientology actually has no respect for other religions at all, even as it puts on events like this. Just yesterday, former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder at his blog spelled out what Scientologists learn as they get more deeply into the church, that they have to give up any involvement with other “religions”:

    As one advances in Scientology and is indoctrinated into “Keeping Scientology Working” and then more advanced Scientology writings about Jesus Christ being an implant, you discover that every other religion is not compatible with Scientology, and to be a Scientologist you cannot practice any other religion, or even yoga….Anything not Scientology…is categorized by the derogatory term “Other Practices,” and…at the higher levels is specifically forbidden.

    It’s not very difficult to learn, with a few Internet searches, that this is the case with Scientology, so who are these representatives of other faiths who willingly take part in Scientology interfaith events?

    I requested interviews with the non-Scientologist speakers at these events to ask them how they became involved, and if they were aware of Scientology’s reputation as a dangerous cult.

    Continued here:
    http://tonyortega.org/2016/08/21/wh...inces-to-attend-one-of-its-interfaith-farces/
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  18. keller11p11-jpg.257556.jpg

    Dear Jessica Banks,

    Your apparently ignorant, me two. Like you, I studied you're Scientology teachings. You're and mine Applied Scholastics learnings from them LRH Scientology teachings display a incredible lack of the most very basic English grammarr and speling.

    It was you're grammar that prompted me to leave. Your being a pain inmyass now go away!

    You're's Truly,

    Jessica, Happy in Indy.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. The Wrong Guy Member

  20. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology saw a tempting target in a Tampa pastor gaining fame for her compassion

    By Rod Keller, The Underground Bunker, November 13, 2016

    Quote:

    In July, Tampa minister Savanna Hartman became Internet famous when her Facebook video, apologizing through tears for her “white privilege,” went viral. It’s now been seen more than 17 million times.

    She was reacting to the disturbing death of a 37-year-old man named Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In video of the incident, two white Baton Rouge policemen can be seen holding Sterling down as they were trying to arrest him. They were responding to a report that a man had been selling CDs on the street and had pulled a gun on someone. In the video, one of the officers trying to hold Sterling down yells that he’s going for his gun, and the other officer shoots Sterling multiple times from just three feet away.

    Several onlookers recorded the shooting, which sparked protests in Baton Rouge and other American cities. At a July 7 protest in Dallas, Micah Xavier Johnson ambushed, shot, and killed five police officers before being killed himself by police with a robot controlled bomb.

    Reacting to the racial tensions that were boiling over, Hartman recorded herself reciting her poem.

    <snipped>

    Hartman’s video got her a profile on CNN, a book deal, and a large following online. She’s also started a new Christian church in Tampa called Banner Church.

    We noticed that Hartman has been invited to speak at a human rights walk in the Tampa neighborhood of Ybor City on December 4. The event is being sponsored by a Scientology front group, Youth for Human Rights.

    More here:
    http://tonyortega.org/2016/11/13/sc...tampa-pastor-gaining-fame-for-her-compassion/
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  21. The Wrong Guy Member

    What you’ll find on the menu at the clinic run by a physician who’s also a Scientologist

    By Rod Keller, The Underground Bunker, November 27, 2016

    Quote:

    David Minkoff is one of the few medical doctors who is currently a member of Scientology. (With the death of Megan Shields, perhaps he’s the only one.) The organization is well known for being hostile towards psychiatry, but that extends to traditional medicine in general. The book Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard set the precedent that most illnesses are to be considered psychosomatic in nature, and should be treated using Hubbard’s brand of counseling, called “auditing.”

    Pharmaceuticals are viewed with suspicion. Many members do not visit a doctor, preferring instead the services of one the many chiropractors who are Scientologists, but these are not authorized to prescribe medicine. If you are a Scientologist living in Clearwater, Florida and need a doctor, Minkoff may be your only choice. He is a medical doctor who can prescribe, but a look at his website shows that he also offers an arsenal of alternative therapies to patients so that drugs can be avoided as much as possible.

    Scientology watchers know him best from his involvement in the tragic 1995 death of Lisa McPherson. McPherson was taken by Scientologists from Morton Plant Hospital to the Fort Harrison Hotel following a minor traffic accident. In an attempt to calm her during a psychotic break, Scientology staff members called Minkoff, who was not present, and asked for and received prescriptions for valium and chloral hydrate. That he had not seen his patient before doing so earned Minkoff a one year suspension of his license, and a $10,000 fine. The staff at the Fort Harrison held McPherson for 17 days, during which she became increasingly erratic as well as dehydrated. On the 17th day, she was rushed by hotel staff to the hospital where Minkoff worked, bypassing three closer facilities, but by the time they got to him, she was dead. [Go here for the Underground Bunker’s series on her final days.]

    It was during Minkoff’s suspension in 2002 that his own facility, LifeWorks Wellness Center, again made the news as it failed to report the deaths of two patients receiving treatment with a Pap-Ion Magnetic Inductor, or PAP-IMI. The magnetic pulse device was promoted to cure conditions including cancer, AIDS, persistent back pain, chronic fatigue, and allergies. The inventor of the device, Greek mathematics professor Panos Pappas, claimed at the time, “I’m not sure the world is ready to understand the PAP-IMI. It goes beyond known human knowledge.”

    More recently, German filmmaker Markus Thoess, who has made several documentaries about Scientology, announced his belief that the PAP-IMI device is the answer to the mysterious burn marks on the scalp of Scientologist Biggi Reichert, who committed suicide in 2006 in Germany just a few days after she had flown back from Scientology’s Flag Land Base in Clearwater.

    The PAP-IMI device has since been banned, but a form of pulsed magnetic therapy known as Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy is still offered at LifeWorks. The center claims that, “Using this device the energy in the cell can be pumped up so that it is given the energy to heal, and so healing can occur faster.”

    Continued here:
    http://tonyortega.org/2016/11/27/wh...run-by-a-physician-whos-also-a-scientologist/
  22. Dr. Minkoff's daughter, Rebecca Minkoff the handbag designer is also a Scientologist.
    Uri Minkoff, Rebecca Minkoffs's brother and CEO of her business is also a Scientologist:
    http://fashionista.com/2013/06...
    http://www.truthaboutscientolo...
    He's also a partner or owner of their father's snake oil business.
    From his Scientology page:
    "Hello, my name is Uri Minkoff, and here is a little bit about myself:
    I own and run 3 health care companies."
    http://www.our-home.org/urimin...
    2004 WISE Directory:
    Category: Nutrition
    Uri Minkoff
    Lifeworks Wellness Center
    301 Turner Street
    Clearwater, FL 33756
    United States
    Tel. +1 727-466-6789
    Fax +1 727-451-1010
  23. The Wrong Guy Member

    Oh look, Scientology started a blog, and it already won an award

    By Rod Keller, December 18, 2016

    Quote:

    In September, Scientology launched a new website, ScientologyReligion.org, “A Comprehensive Overview of the Background, Theology and Religious Practice of The Scientology Religion.” Its purpose is to “safepoint” Scientology, a policy created by founder L. Ron Hubbard to garner allies that would create a safe space for expansion, to protect the organization against prosecution or government restrictions.

    The new website features numerous documents arguing that Scientology is a legitimate religion, and that its “religious freedom” is threatened. The site also has a blog. One of the recent entries celebrates President Obama signing the International Religious Freedom Act into law, as predicted in last Sunday’s article.

    One of the videos on the site is an interview with Rabbi Michael Shevack, an author, university professor, interfaith organizer and founder of the Association for Universal Judaism. “This church has spread, in centers and churches, in fifty something years, faster than Christendom,” he says in the video. “It’s an amazing phenomenon that could never have taken place without the technologies that we have. It’s just a phenomenon. I think honestly all good social movements need to learn from the Church of Scientology and how they communicate.”

    I spoke with Rabbi Shevack this week to ask him about the video.

    Continued at http://tonyortega.org/2016/12/18/oh-look-scientology-started-a-blog-and-it-already-won-an-award/
  24. RightOn Member

    Sounds like Rabbi Shellack needs to watch Leah Remini's doc-series! And need some serious poons.
    Wonder why Tony didn't ask him that or ask him if he has read all the books of personal experiences by ex Scientologists that are out now.
  25. DeathHamster Member

    It's not the first time he's hit the radar. Either he knows and doesn't care, or he has bionic willful blindness.

    Category:Michael Shevack

    Apparently his rabbi credentials are a bit treif too.
  26. RightOn Member

    yup
    difference is this year he told Tony "if those things are true" (he watched Going Clear) then he would be concerned.
    THIS year there is Leah's docu-series.
    Hard to deny that "those things" are untrue now , heh Rabbi?
    Unless payola is in the mix ;)
  27. The Wrong Guy Member

    Why would an academic speak up for Scientology? Dr. Steven Kent has an answer.

    By Rod Keller, December 26, 2016

    Quote:

    This week we spoke with another non-Scientologist featured on Scientology’s new website promoting the organization’s recognition and acceptance as a religion. We also spoke with Dr. Stephen Kent about how some academics view Scientology, and how such positive viewpoints might be developed.

    Dr. Derek Davis is the former director of the J.M. Dawson Institute on Church-State Studies at Baylor University. He is an author, the former editor of the Journal of Church and State, and is also an attorney now in private practice. He is a recipient of the Human Rights Achievement Award by Scientology’s Freedom magazine in 2004.

    Continued at http://tonyortega.org/2016/12/26/wh...for-scientology-dr-steven-kent-has-an-answer/
  28. The Wrong Guy Member

    David Miscavige has plenty of new Scientology buildings set to open in 2017

    By Rod Keller, January 2, 2017

    Quote:

    The Auckland, New Zealand Ideal Org is scheduled to open on January 21. Scientology has set up more openings for 2017, including Ideal Orgs in Mexico City, South Africa and the U.K.

    The San Fernando Valley and Miami Ideal Orgs are also undergoing renovation, and Scientology leader David Miscavige, in his New Year’s event speech, said both would open this year. In the past, org openings have been subject to delays of many months, but for now the Auckland date seems firm.

    Auckland is the only org in New Zealand, and will be the fifth Ideal Org in the ANZO “continent,” according to Scientology’s classification, joining Sydney, Melbourne, Tokyo and Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The building is the former Whitecliffe Art College at 134 Grafton Rd in Auckland. It was purchased in 2007, but renovations did not start until 2015, when Google took this photo as part of their Streetview service, showing the building wrapped by the construction crew.

    Expect Scientology leader David Miscavige be present to pull the ribbon on the new facility, along with a number of local dignitaries. Scientologists from Taiwan and Australia will likely be attending, since many of them have contributed to the purchase and renovation. Scientology is increasingly asking members to contribute to other Ideal Orgs in their Continent long after their local org has opened.

    Continued at http://tonyortega.org/2017/01/02/da...new-scientology-buidings-set-to-open-in-2017/
  29. The Wrong Guy Member

    Talking to the FBI agent who canceled her talk at Scientology’s ‘mecca’

    By Rod Keller, January 8, 2017

    Quote:

    On Friday, Mike Rinder revealed that the FBI was planning to take part in an event held by a Scientology front group.

    The Scientology front “United for Human Rights” had announced a “Voice for the Voiceless” seminar in Clearwater, Florida at Scientology’s “spiritual mecca,” the Flag Land Base, to be presented by an FBI agent from the Tampa office speaking about combating the crime of human trafficking.

    Former Scientologists deluged the FBI with phone calls and the event was canceled.

    The presenter was to be FBI Special Agent Maritza Conde-Vasquez, and I spoke to her after the cancellation on the condition that I not reference the event, to which I agreed. Ms. Conde-Vasquez has appeared on the Dr. Phil show, MSNBC Undercover and local news programs and has worked to raise awareness of human trafficking issues since at least 2005, mostly in the Houston, Texas area. I asked her about the definition of human trafficking and aspects that may be used to determine if trafficking is taking place.

    Q: Does the FBI consider human trafficking equivalent to slavery, and are these terms synonymous?

    A: In terms of public awareness they are, but for it to be considered human trafficking by the FBI it needs to comply with federal statutes. In our awareness efforts we refer to it as modern slavery or contemporary slavery, but in the legal sense when we charge somebody with human trafficking it needs to be under the applicable federal statutes.

    Q: What aspects would lead to a determination that human trafficking is taking place? Would a victim being paid no more than a subsistence wage and being prevented from leaving indicate human trafficking?

    A: It’s one of the elements. Within the statutes in order to prove human trafficking is occurring you have to consider if the victims are not being paid, or are being paid very little. We do find some victims who are being paid, so there are other elements in specific cases that would make it a human trafficking case. You can’t generalize, these elements are very case-specific.

    Q: Would access to communication with the outside, such as mail being read or phone calls being listened to be an aspect that indicates trafficking?

    A: It could be, but again human trafficking cases are very fact specific. It could be in one case, and not in another. It all depends on the circumstances the victim is going thorough.

    Q: How about food quality and quantity being used as a punishment? Would that be one of the factors?

    A: It could be.

    Q: How about if there is a procedure followed by captors to recover a victim if they try to leave? Would that indicate trafficking?

    A: Some traffickers have procedures in place, and others do not. I can’t generalize and we need to look at all the factors that are present in a particular case.

    Q: Would it surprise you to know that all of the factors I just mentioned have been alleged to have happened to them by former members of the Church of Scientology? That former members have said that they were victims of human trafficking?

    A: I’m not familiar with those conditions. I thought we were going to be talking about human trafficking. I’m afraid I can’t answer your question as I’m not familiar with the conditions you are talking about. Anybody who believes they are a victim of human trafficking should report it to the FBI. Our doors are open to that sort of complaint. We will listen, and we will interview the victims and accept the case.

    Q: Are you familiar with an investigation done by the Tampa office of the FBI into human trafficking by the Church of Scientology?

    A: We don’t comment on our investigations whether they exist or not. That’s our policy.

    Q: Former members of Scientology have reported meeting with the Tampa office of the FBI regarding allegations of human trafficking. Are you aware of that?

    A: The FBI doesn’t comment on whether or not any former members came here, or whether there is an investigation or not.

    If Conde-Vasquez was aware of the Tampa office’s previous investigation of Scientology, she didn’t let on. (And we know it took place because we’ve talked to people who were interviewed for the investigation by agents out of the Tampa office.)

    Continued at http://tonyortega.org/2017/01/08/ta...who-cancelled-her-talk-at-scientologys-mecca/
  30. The Wrong Guy Member

    National civil rights museum knows it’s harboring Scientology front group, shrugs it off

    By Rod Keller, January 22, 2017

    Quote:

    Scientology usually has its front groups hide their connection to the church in order to gain acceptance. But sometimes they’re invited through the front door with full knowledge of their actual role. That is the case at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, which has been showing a video from the Scientology front group United for Human Rights since its opening in 2014.

    The Center was built on land donated by the Coca-Cola Company, and sits between that company’s World of Coca-Cola museum and the Georgia Aquarium in downtown Atlanta. Civil rights leaders Evelyn G. Lowery, Juanita Abernathy, and Congressman John Lewis were instrumental in establishing the center, which has on display personal papers from the Morehouse College Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. collection, including drafts of Letter from Birmingham Jail and many others.

    A separate exhibit space in the museum is named “Spark of Conviction: The Global Human Rights Movement,” which is a collaboration between five human rights organizations: Human Rights First, Amnesty International USA, Freedom House, Human Rights Watch, and Minority Rights Group International.

    Scientology issued a press release in November promoting its contribution to the exhibit – a video titled “What Are Human Rights,” which is intended to “help accomplish the Center’s purpose of creating a space where visitors may explore and be empowered by the fundamental rights shared by all humanity.” Over the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend, Scientologists shared a link to the press release repeatedly on social media.

    Continued at http://tonyortega.org/2017/01/22/at...-a-scientology-front-group-but-shrugs-it-off/
  31. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology recruits a new ally — a real life ‘Forrest Gump’

    By Rod Keller, January 29, 2017

    Quote:

    The Church of Scientology issued a press release for an Interfaith Coalition event held at the Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater Florida on January 21. The opening prayer was given by Father Bob Swick, who we spoke to in August 2016 when he participated in a Purple Heart event held at the same location. Scientologists Pat Harney of Scientology’s secret police, the Office of Special Affairs, Alex Melgarejo of the Scientology tutoring school Community Learning Center, Christian Vargas of the Scientology front group United for Human Rights, and Anna Harbour all attended.

    The headline speaker was Terry Hitchcock, author of A Father’s Odyssey, an account of his journey by foot from Minnesota to the Olympic Games in Atlanta Georgia in 1996. Hitchcock ran the equivalent of 75 marathons in 75 days, and has been called a real life Forrest Gump because of the similarity to the cross-country running of the Tom Hanks character in that 1994 film. Hitchcock’s book was made into an award-winning documentary, My Run by director Billy Bob Thornton.

    I spoke with Terry Hitchcock and asked him how he became involved in the event. “I just moved from Minnesota to Clearwater, and I was introduced to some people, and heard of a group called Criminon.” Criminon is a Scientology study program that includes bringing the L. Ron Hubbard pamphlet The Way to Happiness to prisoners. “I have been involved in visiting prisons before, and so I was very interested in that.”

    Hitchcock is a motivational speaker, and believes that “anything is possible.” After losing his wife to breast cancer he started a number of successful companies that allowed him the time to train and prepare for his run. “I was not an experienced runner, I was 57 years old, I was recovering from a heart attack, but I’m a dreamer, I thought I could tell the story of what I’m doing and help raise awareness for single parents and their children.”

    I asked him if he had any reservations about speaking at an event sponsored by the Church of Scientology. “None. The people there were all so friendly and I had no idea what I was going to talk about but I spoke about doing the impossible, and what I believe in.” He says he has heard some negative things about the church. “Some things in the ’70s, or ’80s, or maybe the ’90s. I don’t really remember what.”

    I asked if he had seen any episodes of the A&E series Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath or heard of the process of disconnection, where members of Scientology are not allowed to speak to their family members who leave the church, and he said he has not. “I haven’t seen the program. I went there [the event], and there were no red flags at all.”

    Hitchcock’s story is in the early stages of being made into a feature film. “They were getting Philip Seymour Hoffman to play me before his death.” Ironically, Hoffman played Lancaster Dodd in the 2012 film The Master, which appears to be closely modeled on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. Hoffman died in 2014. I asked if the studio has cast a replacement actor. “Yes, they told me they are trying to get John Travolta.”

    Continued at http://tonyortega.org/2017/01/29/scientology-recruits-a-new-ally-a-real-life-forrest-gump/
  32. The Wrong Guy Member

    Hey, Scientology, this guy doesn’t want to shill for you — what gives?

    By Rod Keller, February 5, 2017

    Quote:

    Some of the videos on Scientology’s newest web site, scientologyreligion.org, are actually fairly old. The video that features David DeLuz, former President of the Greater Sacramento Urban League, dates back to the opening of the Sacramento Ideal Org on January 28, 2012. I spoke to Mr. DeLuz this week and asked if he has seen the video.

    “I’ve seen the video, and I’ve actually asked that they remove it. I’ve asked them to take it down. When I did the opening for the new facility in Sacramento I was very supportive of the work they were doing in the community including outreach to ex-offenders. I was a former staffer with the California Department of Corrections, and I know they took a lot of time to work with the ex-offender population to help them re-acclimate into society when a lot of folks don’t want to touch them. In the Department of Corrections we had Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous, and I was interested in bringing some of the Narconon and Scientology support programs into our facilities.”

    Mr. DeLuz tells us his contact with Scientology began through personal friends. “I have some close personal relationships. Somebody I consider a brother is a Scientologist. And there are two or three other families I know that are Scientologists, and they are really great people. I see the volunteer work they do and I was really impressed.

    “My personal experience is that as a Christian, and with the impact that Jesus Christ has had in my life, there are some people who are going to instead resonate with the message of Scientology. They may find a way to examine themselves, to find their shortcomings, and to fix themselves and address their flaws. It’s a step in the right direction.”

    But he was surprised and upset to find his video on the new web site. “Somebody called me out on Facebook, that Scientology has this video on Facebook, and I was like really? Because now I’m a Deacon in my church. It’s not what I wanted. I’m not angry with the folks in Sacramento, and my friend in Scientology is like another brother. But given some of the recent allegations that have been shared, I didn’t want to be associated with it. I spoke at their event, but it’s been years, and all of a sudden when they start getting tossed to and fro by the media now they want to trot out my name and my face to normalize Scientology when they’re getting heat from the public, and I don’t appreciate that.”

    I asked what allegations in particular formed his opinion. “Some of the things about separating people from their families, people cutting off their families, mother and daughters or brothers. Also some of the more cultish accusations, where if you say something against Scientology or Scientologists you get sent somewhere to be reprogrammed. It didn’t ring very consistently with my Christian beliefs, and so it wasn’t something I’m comfortable with.”

    Continued at http://tonyortega.org/2017/02/05/hey-scientology-this-guy-doesnt-want-to-shill-for-you-what-gives/
  33. The Wrong Guy Member

    This article about the cult in Sacramento complements the post above.

    Where is Scientology Sacramento? | Mike Rinder

    Quote:
    Screenshot-989.png

    This is something one of our readers sent in last week that highlights another facet of the fraud of scientology.

    You may have heard of the recent situation with the Oroville dam in Northern California and people being evacuated. This story in the LA Times tells of the Sikh temples in Sacramento that opened their doors to displaced persons. There was also a link to other shelters and churches who had taken in refugees. NOT included on the list was the “ideal” Church of Scientology of Sacramento.

    Continued at http://www.mikerindersblog.org/where-is-scientology-sacramento/
  34. The Wrong Guy Member

    Florida attempts sensible change to mental health law — so Scientology goes on attack

    By Rod Keller, February 26, 2017

    Quote:

    Scientologists receive regular legislative updates from the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), Scientology’s front group that lobbies against the mental health industry. This week, Scientologists are receiving a flurry of requests from CCHR Florida President Diane Stein urging them to write their representatives to oppose bills in the Florida legislature that would allow physician assistants and advanced registered nurse practitioners to execute certificates under the Baker Act. CCHR is against the Baker Act entirely, which allows for a 72-hour involuntary psychiatric examination of a person who may be in danger of hurting themselves or others. It is one way Scientology is fighting the “psychs.”

    Under the current law judges, doctors, law enforcement officers, licensed mental health counselors, licensed clinical social workers, psychiatric nurses, psychologists, and licensed marriage and family therapists are authorized to execute a Baker Act certificate. The new bill would clarify the status of physician’s assistants, who are not specifically named but are being treated as authorized under the Baker Act by a 2008 opinion from Attorney General Pam Bondi. Scientology usually counts Bondi as an ally, and she has been a guest of Scientology at the Fort Harrison Hotel.

    Continued at http://tonyortega.org/2017/02/26/fl...health-law-so-scientology-goes-on-the-attack/
  35. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology’s gateway drug: The personality test and what it’s actually telling you

    By Rod Keller, March 26, 2017

    Quote:

    Recent articles in the New Statesman, in Australia, and The Tab join the dozens of articles over the years that describe the experience of completing Scientology’s free personality test, the Oxford Capacity Analysis. None yet discuss the “correct” answers, although they have been available on the Internet for years.

    The test consists of 200 questions, the answer to each being yes, no, or maybe. Each answer is awarded from 1 to 7 points which are assigned to one of 10 categories: Stability, Happiness, Composure, Certainty, Active, Aggression, Responsibility, Correct estimation, Appreciation or Communication level. The answer “maybe” never has more points assigned than either “yes” or “no,” so each question has a “correct” answer that will lead to a higher score.

    The test is available in person or online, although the results are only available in person at a Scientology org or mission. The Oxford Capacity Analysis, or OCA, is unrelated to Oxford University. It was copied and modified by L. Ron Hubbard in the 1950s from the Johnson Temperament Analysis (JTA), a test developed in 1941 by eugenics professor Dr. Roswell H. Johnson.

    Continued at http://tonyortega.org/2017/03/26/sc...ality-test-and-what-its-actually-telling-you/

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