Monthly Archives: June 2010

Omitted by Marty: Heber is alive and well

Back in April, Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder co-authored an impassioned blog entry entitled “Free Heber.” Heber Jentzsch, like Mike Rinder, is a former Church spokesman and a favorite among Scientology protesters (including me) for his method of drowning out dissent by being louder than the other guy. Heber in his heyday was the living embodiment of L. Ron Hubbard’s order to “don’t ever defend, always attack.” Yep, Marty, we love and miss Heber just as much as you do.

Anyway, Mike said that Heber was being imprisoned by David Miscavige in “The Hole.”

Mike seems to think that Heber was being hidden because of dirt he has on DM: “Imagine the nightmare for Miscavige if Heber was ever freed and able to speak his mind?” Mike also expressed concern over Heber’s age and health, saying, “He is 76 years old, has served LRH and Scientology with distinction and dedication…and in the winter of his body’s life should be living a peaceful existence, pursuing activities that give him pleasure.”

It turns out that three days after that blog entry was written, it was proven that Heber was alive and well! Today’s blog post was a lengthy missive from from Karen De La Carriere, Heber’s ex-wife, in which she mentions the effectiveness of Marty’s “Free Heber” post:

Within 36 hours of that posting, Heber comes down to Los Angeles and spends 8 hours with [his son] Alexander for the first time in 6 years. Heber has a cell phone number he gives Alexander and promises to attend a family re-union of his brothers and sisters in August with Alexander.

That’s wonderful! Just 3 days later and Heber was allowed to leave the base and see his loved ones. Surely Marty would have reported that, right?

Wrong.

Today’s blog entry, nearly 3 months after the fact, was the first mention of Heber’s well-being. Oh, Marty has talked about Heber since then – but he never mentioned that Heber had been out and about and visiting family.

In fact, on April 7th, the same day Heber went to Los Angeles, Marty posted Heber Proof of Life. Now, from the title, you’d think he’d be talking about proof that Heber was alive, right? Wrong again. All Marty did was to predict that Heber would either be forced to sign some sort of anti-Marty statement or would be dusted off and sent to some public meet-and-greets to show that he is alive. There was no mention that Heber was actually visiting his son that very day. Did Marty know?

If he did, he kept his silence. Heber is mentioned in posts and comments on May 12, May 19, and June 24, and while Marty wrote all the blog entries and approved all the comments, he never mentioned anything about Heber’s April trip to L.A.

Maybe Marty didn’t know? That seems questionable, since “Proof of Life” cites “reliable OSA sources” who said that David Miscavige “has become apoplectic over being called out on his denigration and degradation of Heber.” Surely those same reliable sources would know that DM was so apoplectic that he let Heber go to Los Angeles to see his son.

Now, the obvious Independent answer is that DM sent Heber to meet with his son as a patch-up PR job. And maybe that’s true. But if Heber was being mistreated, surely he would have said something to his son? He gave his son a cell phone number – couldn’t Heber have used that cell phone to call someone, maybe one of the dozens of media contacts he had from his days as a Church spokesman? At the very least, if Heber’s own son was as worried as Mike and Marty seem to be, wouldn’t he have called the cops?

I think the truth is a bit more simple and a lot more sad: Whatever Heber is going through in the Church – and I’m sure it isn’t good – he’s staying of his own free will.

Why don’t we see Heber in public? That should be obvious to anyone who has seen or heard Heber in the media – except, it seems, for Marty and his Independents, who seem to think Heber is the Best Scientologist Ever. I’m not one to agree with David Miscavige, but let’s give credit where credit is due: Heber was a public-relations train wreck, and if I were DM, I wouldn’t let the guy within a hundred feet of a camera or a microphone either.

But let’s not miss the bigger issue: Marty devoted 1,500 words to an outcry for Heber’s freedom, and not one single word to the fact that Heber was out and about just three days later.

Independents, ask yourself: Why would Marty hide the truth from you?

The way I see it, Marty Rathbun is perfectly willing to rewrite history and withhold facts in order to prove his point – to quote Marty’s hero – “by any means necessary.” LRH said “What’s true is what is true for you,” but in the Church of Rathbunology, it seems that what’s true for Marty is what’s true for you.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Unlike Marty, David Miscavige, or L. Ron Hubbard, I invite you to seek out the truth yourself. Check out Marty Rathbun’s original blog entries and decide for yourself if things do or don’t add up:
Free Heber
Heber Proof of Life
LRH-trained Class XII C/S Karen De La Carriere/Jentzsch

Oh, and I’m not the only one talking about this – check out this blog entry written four days ago on a pro-Church, anti-Marty blog.

ML,
Caliwog

P.S. If you’d like to hear a classic example of Heber in action – including the famous yell of “YOU!!!” – give a listen to this radio program from 1991.

ML
Caliwog

Was David Miscavige LRH’s Chosen One?

I’ve always believed that David Miscavige became the leader of the Church of Scientology by deceit and trickery, and I know that’s what many Independents also believe. But there are several protesters who say that DM was actually L. Ron Hubbard’s choice to take over the Church.

Aaron Saxton, former high-ranking Sea Org staffer and frequent commenter on this blog, made a reference to this, and I asked if he would write a more detailed article. Aaron was kind enough to oblige, and his article talks not only about LRH’s search for a successor but on how LRH felt about his wife, his use of drugs, and evidence that David Miscavige really is a true believer in Scientology – just as LRH planned. Here’s what Aaron wrote. Continue reading

Not every Independent loves Mike and Marty…

The carefully-arranged love-fest of comments following every post on Marty Rathbun’s blog would have you believe that he is the voice of the Independent Scientology movement. But not all Independents worship Marty and his pal Mike Rinder – some still remember when Marty and Mike were actively doing all the things they now accuse David Miscavige of doing. Check this out:

“Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder” by Mike McClaughry

ML,
Caliwog

Censored by Marty Rathbun? Caliwog will publish your comment!

Marty Rathbun’s blog seems to have become the center of Independent Scientology on the Web. Most posts attract hundreds of comments (albeit from the same small group of people) which implies a great deal of agreement. However, despite his insistence on standing for truth and freedom, Marty carefully moderates his comments and censors those that show flaws in his logic or talk negatively about L. Ron Hubbard.

I believe the truth shouldn’t be censored, and I want all of those censored comments to be heard – so if Marty Rathbun censored your comment, I will publish it.

Go here and let your censored comment see the light of day! And in the future, just use the convenient “Censored by Marty” link at the top of the page. Serious Scientology protesters should probably bookmark it. Please, no made-up comments – Marty censors enough good stuff to provide plenty of good reading!

ML,
Caliwog

Scientology does something honest – and Mike Rinder objects!

Yesterday, Mike Rinder posted an entry on Marty Rathbun’s blog entitled Scientology Idle Org Strategy: a sad tale. In case you’re unfamiliar with the whole the Ideal Org thing, it’s a Church of Scientology project to create big, lavish Church buildings (organizations, or “orgs”) to attract more prospects. The Church has been driving hard for donations to buy, build and renovate Ideal Orgs. Independents call them “Idle Orgs” because so many are behind schedule and the finished buildings aren’t attracting new people as promised.

Mike quotes a mailer in which the Church of Scientology does something unprecedented: They explain truthfully why things aren’t going right.

A typical Scientology promo piece about an Ideal/Idle Org says, “We’re so close to our goal! Help get LRH tech grooved in around the planet! Donate $250,000 and become a Patron Savior Meritorious!” Instead, the piece that Mike quotes gives an honest answer about why the Santa Ana Ideal Org isn’t finished yet. I haven’t seen the original, so I’m relying on Mike’s transcript:

“Why is renovation not started and completed? At the time we purchased the building…the plan was to sell our current building [to] provide the money needed to renovate…. Since then, the real estate market has crashed and the valid and available buyers reduced with the economy. The current church facility has not yet sold.”

When I read that, I could hardly believe it was a Church promo piece. They gave a plausible answer! They told the truth! They didn’t blame the problem on SPs or entheta or the psychiatric profession! They gave a reasonable explanation that any rational person could understand: They used the same strategy employed millions of homeowners – buying a new house, then paying for it by selling the old one – and it didn’t work. Plain and simple. And honest.

In fact, I probably wouldn’t believe this was a real Church promo piece except for one thing – the way Mike Rinder responded to it.

As a guy who spent years as one of the Church’s professional liars, you’d expect Mike Rinder to comment on such blatant and unusual honestly. But in typical Independent style, he completely misses the point, writing instead about how the Church hasn’t used LRH tech to develop funds or expand membership and how David Miscavige is full of shit and wrecking Scientology. Holy hell, Mike, here you and Marty are supposedly calling for the Church to change its evil ways – and yet when they take a tiny step in the right direction, you cite it as a bad thing!

But wait, there’s more! In his post, Mike repeatedly refers to Church members as “sheeple.” And yet his post is followed by 300 comments (and counting) from the Cheerleaders, including several by Marty Rathbun hisself, almost all of which echo Mike’s viewpoint: They disparage DM and Co$ loyalists and ignore the unprecedented display of truth. I even posted a comment pointing it out and so far not one of Marty’s parrots has picked up on it. Suggestion to Mr. Rinder: Clear (look up the definition of) the word sheeple.

This post absolutely made my day. I am deeply concerned about the fledgling Church of Rathbunology, but then something like this comes along and I realize that perhaps I don’t have all that much to worry about. Marty and Mike may not have shot themselves in the foot yet, but clearly their aim is getting better with practice.

Read Mike Rinder’s original blog entry here.

ML,
Caliwog

P.S. There’s one last bit of truth and irony in Mike’s rant. He says, “The promises this week are no better than the promises last week, last month, last year or last century.” Mike, did you mean “last century” figuratively or literally? Because if you meant it literally, you’ve done a perfect job of summing up my views on Scientology.

Must-read: The Scandal of Scientology

WARNING TO INDEPENDENT SCIENTOLOGISTS: This blog entry contains verifiable proof that the abuses of Scientology pre-date David Miscavige. Such truth may constitute “entheta” and could be harmful to your belief that DM is the root of all evil in the Church of Scientology. Read at your own risk.

Back in 1969, when current Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige was nine years old, an American journalist named Paulette Cooper had an article published in the British magazine Queen entitled The Tragi-Farce of Scientology.

Read the article today and you may have trouble believing it was written more than four decades ago. Ms. Cooper discusses many of the same issues protesters (and independent Scientologists) are talking about today: Disconnection and its affect on families, misuse of personal “confessions”, junk-mail barrages, and the use of religious status to avoid paying taxes. She even cites the high cost of Scientology courses, something many Independents fervently blame on David Miscavige.

Ms. Cooper expanded her article into a book, The Scandal of Scientology, which she published in 1971, about the same time David Miscavige’s father first became interested in Scientology.

Scientology retaliated with a campaign of terror that was unusually brutal, even by their standards: Lawsuits, death threats, smear campaigns, Church spies posing as friends, even an alleged attempt on Ms. Cooper’s life. A Scientologist stole her stationary and sent bomb threats to a New York Church of Scientology; the frame-up was successful and Ms. Cooper was arrested and indicted. Full details of the campaign against her weren’t discovered until 1977, when the FBI raided Church offices as part of the investigation into Scientology’s theft of documents from government offices, although the Church continued to file lawsuit against Ms. Cooper until the mid-1980s. Ms. Cooper eventually settled, with the Church reportedly paying her $400,000.

I consider The Scandal of Scientology a must-read because it illustrates what the Church of Scientology was like when LRH was at the helm – before David Miscavige had even heard of Scientology. Read it and decide for yourself if Scientology has really changed all that much in the last 40 years. The Scandal of Scientology, which includes the original Queen article, can be read online or downloaded in HTML, zipped HTML, or PDF format.

I also recommend Paulette Cooper’s account of Scientology’s campaign of harassment against her, which she didn’t publish until 2007. Ms. Cooper demonstrates that many of the very same tactics that Marty Rathbun claims David Miscavige is using against him – and many that were much, much worse – were being employed by the Church years before David Miscavige joined the Sea Org in 1976. Her account leaves no question that many of the methods of harassment that Marty and the Independents blame on David Miscavige were originated under the leadership of L. Ron Hubbard.

If you want to read more about Paulette Cooper and The Scandal of Scientology, you’ll find lots more information on this HolySmoke.org page.

ML,
Caliwog

“But the technology works!”

This is the hardest argument for any Scientology protester to counter. To an outsider, Scientology seems to be obvious sci-fi baloney. Surely anyone who believes in it is either stupid, delusional, brainwashed, or all of the above. But here’s the truth: Some of L. Ron Hubbard’s “technology” does actually work.

To separate the good from the bad – and to understand how a perfectly sensible person starts to believe we are all space aliens trapped in “meat bodies” – one has to understand how a person gets into Scientology. This will take a few paragraphs, so please bear with me.

First Steps

Most people are introduced to Scientology in one of three ways: A friend’s recommendation; the street-side personality test (the loftily-titled Oxford Capacity Analysis, written by LRH and designed to find flaws); or by an advertisement. An interesting note on ads: LRH taught his followers to regularly survey people to find out what was troubling them and then advertise that Scientology has the answers to those specific problems. LRH calls this “come-on dissemination”:

If we tell him there is something to know and don’t tell him what it is we will zip people into…the org. [...] Never just GIVE the data. [...] Keep the prospect’s appetite for knowledge and mystery well stimulated and channel the person right along so that he will and does become an actual Scientologist. – LRH, HCO PL 25 June 1978, COME-ON DISSEMINATION

Qualifying

Once the initial contact is made, the prospect starts with some small, inexpensive action – purchasing and reading the Dianetics book or taking an entry-level course such as Success Through Communications (known as the Comm Course).

This is a critical step, similar to the way a car dealer “qualifies” his prospects to determine if they are serious about buying or just looking – except Scientology prospects qualify themselves.

If you read Dianetics and think it’s rambling nonsense, or if the Comm Course strikes you as the world’s most expensive staring contest, you are not a good prospect, and you will most likely take yourself out of the equation. But if your interest is piqued by Dianetic’s promises of higher IQ and perfect health, or if you assume that the reason it makes little sense is that you are not intelligent enough to understand it (a frequent hook for young people), or if the Comm Course helps boost your ability to deal with uncomfortable situations (which it does), chances are you will be intrigued enough to do more. Pretty slick, eh?

Now, this is not to say that Scientology prospects are gullible. That’s a common misconception. We all have points in our life when we have needs – the need for answers, the need for greater knowledge, the need to belong. When we are needy, we look for ready answers. LRH designed Scientology to feed on these needs.

Moving on to the tech that works

From here, people generally move on to Dianetic auditing – one aspect of the tech that really works. Dianetic auditing involves tracking down the root of problems in your life by searching out early incidents. Let’s say you feel that you are unintelligent. Your Dianetic auditor will take you back through your life, getting you to talk about all the times you felt unintelligent, until you get to the root problem (i.e. your father always used to say “What are you, an idiot?”). Once you find that root incident, you are encouraged to talk through it until you understand that it was an outside influence that caused this problem, and not some flaw in your personality. You have the realization that you are not unintelligent, but rather have been made to feel unintelligent. It’s a massive, life-changing realization. You feel great! And assuming you have more than one problem, there will be more than one solution, and you’ll be flying high.

Now, many of you are probably thinking, “So what? That’s what any good psychotherapist does.” Correct! L. Ron Hubbard borrowed this bit of “tech” from the group that would soon become his sworn enemy, the psychiatric profession. And that’s why it works: The theory had been proven long before Hubbard got into the self-help biz.

Incidentally, you’ll note that people who have undergone psychiatric care are generally ineligible for Scientology services. Now you know why – because they’ll recognize that Dianetic therapy wasn’t Hubbard’s original idea, which blows the whole illusion.

So, now we have the roots of “working” tech – proven techniques that produce guaranteed results – what Scientologists call “wins” – and credited (improperly) to LRH. Now, let’s fast-forward a bit…

A little further up The Bridge

Scientology consists of a specific and tightly-ordered program of courses and levels called The Bridge to Total Freedom. (You can see large scan of The Bridge chart here (official Church of Scientology site link).)

Here’s some of the “technology” a Scientologist gets when he or she is a quite a bit further up the Bridge:

“Incident One Sequence: Loud snap; waves of light; chariot comes out turns left then right; cherub comes out; blow horn; cherub retreats; series of snaps; blackness dumped on thetan. Date: 4 quadrillion years ago (4,000,000,000,000,000). Location: Not given.” — LRH, OT III

Wait, what?

Hold on a minute! How did we get from proven psychotherapeutic techniques to cherubs and chariots?

That, my friend, is thanks to another of Hubbard’s great (and borrowed) concepts: The gradient.

“Gradient: A gradual approach to something, taken step by step, so that, finally, quite complicated and difficult activities or concepts can be achieved with relative ease.” –What Is Scientology? glossary (official Church of Scientology site link)

I touched on the concept of gradient in my blog entry LRH: Spinney and Bent. Basically, LRH said that if you try to learn too much too fast, you’ll get overwhelmed. Well, duh. But in the case of Scientology, LRH turned this into an art form – and a lucrative business practice.

“Gradient:” Scientologese for “conditioning”

Any non-Scientologist who reads about Incident One will think it’s nuts. Hell, reading about Incident One would probably cause a brand-new Scientologist to run screaming from the org. That’s why LRH uses the gradient. You do you Dianetic auditing. It works. You don’t realize this is proven psychotherapy – remember, former psychiatric patients are not welcome in Scientology – so you credit LRH. You do the Purification Rundown. Days and days in a sauna, possibly with rainbow-colored sweat seeping from your pores, is bound to strike anyone who isn’t medically trained as impressive, or at least having some tangible result. You credit LRH. Gradually, you are conditioned to attribute all of your “wins” not to your own initiative, but to “LRH tech.” And as your trust in LRH gets deeper and deeper, the tech gets stranger and stranger, until you’re up to your armpits in cherubs… and beyond.

As Scientologists go further up The Bridge, many (quite naturally) begin to have doubts or problems putting it all together. Let’s say that happens toyou. You aren’t getting “wins” the way you did back when you were doing Dianetic auditing. You may have more and more trouble understanding what Hubbard is talking about. And yet you keep believing. (And keep paying.) Why?

The Success Story

After every Scientology service, participants are asked to write a Success Story, outlining the “wins” they achieved. So what if you don’t get any wins? Can’t you just opt out of writing a Success Story?

Of course you can’t! LRH teaches that if the technology does not work for you, that means you didn’t learn it properly. (Remember, you’ve been conditioned to believe that LRH has all the answers.) So if you don’t achieve success, you have to go back and re-take the course, or find the word that you didn’t understand (skipping over misunderstood words is a HUGE no-no in Scientology), or take more auditing. Look, all these other people are having successes and getting wins, right? Just look at their success stories! Surely, the problem is you.

All of this costs time and money (you don’t expect the Church to let you re-take courses for free just because YOU messed up, do you?), so pretty soon, you learn to find successes which you can write in your Success Stories.

So why don’t disillusioned Scientologists warn other Scientologists? Because Scientologists are instructed not to talk about their experiences with anyone – not that they would want to, as just like psychotherapy, auditing often results in the revelation of very personal issues. But unlike psychotherapy, there is nothing like doctor-patient privilege to guarantee confidentiality. And you won’t have much luck finding a Scientologist who will listen, because LRH taught that that if you hear about an upper level from another Scientologist, you will not be able to achieve the gains from that level yourself. (Doesn’t he think of everything? Remember, LRH was a successful science-fiction writer. Closing holes in the plot was his specialty.) LRH formulated his methodology to isolate Scientologists from the rest of the society and from each other. When a Scientologist suffers, he or she suffers alone.

The end phenomenon

Pretty soon, you start finding wins. You credit all your successes to your Scientology training. You blame your failures on yourself – your inability to understand or apply the technology.

LRH has got you. You will believe what you are told, when you are told. You will believe in the Helatrobus implant and you will believe that you must rid yourself of your body thetans. You believe that psychiatrists routinely rape and lobotomize their patients. You believe that illness and disease is caused by negative people rather than germs, and that treatment with medication should be avoided whenever possible. You believe that anyone who tries to tell you Scientology is a scam, even people who have known you and loved you for years, have a secret agenda to destroy Scientology.

You believe you have to keep donating and have to keep paying for courses because Scientology is the only path to spiritual freedom and the only hope for Mankind.

You believe whatever Hubbard tells you, because you know the technology works.

It certainly worked for L. Ron Hubbard, who died a multi-millionaire.

ML,
Caliwog