Monthly Archives: October 2010

Reaching the masses

You’ll forgive me for pulling a Marty, but I was watching the movie Gandhi the other night and there was a scene that inspired me to write this blog entry. It’s the part where Gandhi addresses the Indian National Congress (Chapter 7 on the DVD). The speech (the movie version, that is) goes like this:

“What we say here means nothing to the masses of the country. Here, we make speeches for each other, and those English liberal magazines that may grant us a few lines. But the people of India are untouched.” — MovieGandhi

I realized that the same thing applies to the Scientology protest movement.

Most Scientologists are not Sea Org members or staffers, but “public” Scientologists, the people who pay for courses and live ordinary lives. They are the people of Scientology, and much of what we say means nothing to them.

Why do they remain untouched? Because so much of what we (and Marty Rathbun) talk about – beatings by David Miscavige, entrapment at the Gold Base, forced disconnections for those who “blow” (quit) the Sea Org – mean nothing to them. It’s easy for them to dismiss our claims as lies because they don’t see them first-hand. (L. Ron Hubbard coined a word for this: “Out-reality.”)

So does that mean they are immune to the dangers of Scientology? No way – not by a long shot.

Lisa McPherson, who died after 17 days locked in a hotel room undergoing the “Introspection Rundown,” was a public Scientologist. So was Heribert Pfaff, who stopped taking his epilepsy medicine, had a seizure while sleeping, hit his head on the nightstand and died – at Scientology’s Fort Harrison hotel, no less, where he was taking services he was told would cure him.

See, that’s where the real danger lies in Scientology.

This is something I’ve seen with my own eyes: Grown people with jobs and educations, people who should know better, who send their children to auditing instead of the doctor, and who believe that if a person is accident-prone, it is because they are harboring evil intentions. They make poor decisions – decisions you and I would laugh at if the results weren’t so tragic – because they believe anything and everything that L. Ron Hubbard writes.

“But Scientology has all those disclaimers about how it doesn’t treat any disease…” Yeah, right – we all know how much those mean. In fact, they mean even less in Scientology, because Scientologists are taught that they are a special breed, the only group that knows the truth. Listen to an LRH lecture, and if you can stay awake, there’s a good chance you’ll hear him talking about some sickness that Scientology cures. Remember, government regulations – and governments – are for suckers like us, not the ├╝ber-elite Scientologists.

Want to know how public Scientologists feel? Check out this blog entry. I bet this guy tunes out as soon as he hears stuff about the RPF and DM’s beatings, because it’s out-reality – it doesn’t relate to his experience. As far he’s concerned, Scientology is the reason for his success. (And his failures are a result of not applying Scientology technology properly.)

In fact, if you read that blog entry, it may sound familiar, because it’s the same thing nearly every pubic Scientologist says. That’s another alarming thing about Scientology: Ask ten Christians what they love about their faith, and you’ll get a variety of answers. (For the record, I don’t believe in Christianity any more than I do Scientology.) Ask ten Scientologists the same question, and you’ll get nearly-identical answers. That’s drilled-in groupthink for you.

But let me get back to my point: The things we spend so much of our time discussing – crimes of Scientology management, Marty’s lies about DM and LRH, whether Scientology can be reformed – do they really matter?

Maybe not as much as we think they do.

That leads me back to the issue of Scientology reform, which I’ve been thinking a lot about this week. If the abuses that the Independents allege were to cease – no more haranguing for donations, no more alterations of LRH’s writings, no more beat-downs by David Miscavige and his staff – and the Church delivered only “pure LRH,” would Scientology really be any better?

Not really, no.

It’s the 80/20 rule at work. 80% of the headline-grabbing abuses affect 20% of Scientologists. But even if those abuses were to stop, the real crimes will still be part and parcel of Scientology. And I don’t even mean the abuses we’ve proven are based in LRH tech – things like disconnection, low staff pay and the RPF. I mean the mindset that causes people to make bad decisions for themselves and their families. The mindset that killed pubic Scientologists like Lisa McPherson, Heribert Pfaff, and who knows how many others.

For all the attention I give him, Marty Rathbun is really little more than a diversion. If we’re going to make a difference, if we’re going to help people steer clear of the dangers of Scientology, we need to make sure we communicate to the masses on a level they can understand.

We need to push our message that Scientology is dangerous and LRH is the reason why.

What’s the best way to make that happen? I don’t know, and I’d love to hear your ideas.


PS: One other line in Movie Ghandi’s speech: “They [the Indian pulic] see no reason to give their loyalty to rich and powerful men who simply want to take over the role of the British.”

I’m looking at you, Marty and Mike.

Related: Read for yourself: the LRH “technology” that killed Lisa McPherson

Emergency Marty (or, Casablanca Stat Analysis)

It seems ironic that Marty Rathbun, who has railed against the Church of Scientology for its “Ideal Org” program (in which big money is being spent on fancy buildings), should be advertising that he himself is moving from his “shack” to a bigger, nicer house. Is “Casablanca Tejas” Marty’s own Ideal Org?

Regardless, I want to draw attention to something Marty said in his blog entry about the new house: He is moving “in order to be better prepared to deliver.”

Those well versed in Scientology will know what that means, but for those who don’t, “prepare to deliver” is step four of L. Ron Hubbard’s Emergency formula – a set of steps that must be performed under certain circumstances. And it means things are most likely not going well.

Condition formulas are an important part of Scientology; like all his other “tech,” LRH warned that they must be followed to the letter in order to get results. There are only two reasons a Scientologist does the Emergency formula: One, his statistics are in Emergency (long-term flat or a gentle downtrend), or two, he is working up from a lower condition (i.e. Danger or Non-Existence).

Marty has been auditing for a while, so we can safely assume that he is not working his way up from Non-Existence for an activity he just started. So if he is working up from a lower condition, it’s either because his statistics have not been good – people aren’t coming to him for auditing – or he performed some act so heinous that he saw fit to assign himself a lower condition.

Either way, it’s an indication that things are not going well. I think it’s wrong to be happy about other people’s troubles, but if Marty is having trouble finding customers for his Scientology auditing, that’s a good thing. It indicates that fewer people are trading the Church’s brand of LRH slavery for Marty’s brand of LRH slavery.

Another indicator, by the way, is that Marty has opened a second blog, one in which he says he will no longer allow dissent (I love how he pretends he does not censor dissent his original blog!). That could be his way of doing Step 2 of the Emergency Fomula, “Change your operating basis.” Or the new blog entry could be Step 1, “Promote” – a new way of advertising his services.

If Marty’s stats were good, he wouldn’t be moving from The Shack. Step 1 of the Normal formula (statistics in a steady uptrend) says “Don’t change anything.” And the Affluence formula (sharp increase in statistics) instructs says “Don’t buy anything that has any future commitment to it.” (Like signing a lease or a mortgage.) (Sticklers for detail will note that Affluence also says “Invest…in service facilities; make it more possible to deliver.” Note the difference in words, “possible to deliver” vs. “prepare to deliver”. Scientologists don’t miss details like that; Marty is not in Affluence.)

If Marty moves to yet another house in the next few weeks, we’ll know things are getting worse.

More about statistics and formulas: Statistics, Scientology-style


Can Scientology be reformed?

Ray Randolph’s post on Marty’s blog has sparked a renewed debate on whether Scientology can be reformed in such a way as to leave out the harmful bits.

Several protesters cite the Bible as an example. There are millions of Christians who don’t stone adulterers to death or kill their daughters for having premarital sex, even though the Bible tells them to. Can’t Scientology undergo a similar transformation?

Here’s the problem with the Bible argument: The Bible was written thousands of years ago by unknown authors in a handful of ancient languages. It has been subject to numerous translations and interpretations, to the point that the entire legitimacy of Christianity, according to some, rests on whether a single word should be translated as “virgin” or “maiden.”

That’s not the case with Scientology, whose tenets were written by a single man, one whose existence is not in question, in more-or-less plain English – and where the English is less plain, there are extensive definitions given for made-up or redefined words. And where the Bible is often terse and vague, Scientology author L. Ron Hubbard’s writings are laboriously long and incredibly specific.

So are Hubbard’s followers free to pick and choose which bits of the tech they believe in? Not according to Hubbard, they aren’t.

Most people are familiar with the Keeping Scientology Working (KSW) policy, in which Hubbard stated that his “technology” must be applied exactly as written in order to deliver the promised results. But KSW isn’t the only example of this – it is a recurring theme throughout Scientology. (I’ve cited a few examples at the bottom of this post, but I recommend you read a few random policies and see for yourself how often this comes up.)

Hubbard clearly saw that people interpret religion as they see fit, so he admonished his followers not to do the same. He even came up with a term for this: Squirreling. Squirreling is defined by LRH as “Altering Scientology and offbeat practices. It is a bad thing.” To be a squirrel in Scientology to be one of the devil’s minions. Hubbard reminds his followers over and over and over again that the tech must be used in its entirety and exactly as written in order to work.

If you don’t understand this, then you aren’t as familiar with Scientology “tech” as you ought to be.

Scientology is not just a set of kooky beliefs. If all Scientology did was take people’s money and convince them that they are space aliens trapped in human bodies, this blog wouldn’t exist.

But Scientology does much more than that. It attracts people through unscrupulous means and tells them whatever they need to hear to get them signed up. It encourages people to forgo standard, proven medical treatment for quackery invented by a known charlatan. It actively seeks to isolate members, encourages them to dismiss criticism of the subject without reading it, and teaches that devotion to the group is the highest possible calling. And it does all this with one hand pointing to the sky and the other reaching into its victim’s wallets.

People say Free Zone or independent Scientology is harmless – but is it? If a Free Zoner uses auditing and touch assists to treat his cancer instead of going to the doctor, is that harmless? If a parent takes their schizophrenic child off of their psychiatric medication because Hubbard says “Psychs are evil,” is that harmless? If people accept that the proper treatment for a person having a psychotic break is to lock her in a room with untrained laymen who refuse to talk to her, is that harmless?

Just because a group can’t yet afford to hire private investigators or build their own private prison camp doesn’t mean they are practicing a “kinder, gentler” Scientology.

Protesting Scientology is not a game. It’s not a fun reason to wear a mask on Saturday or something to write about during your coffee break. Scientology hurts people. Scientology kills people. And I am not just being dramatic – the practice of Scientology has caused injury and death. That’s not an idle accusation, THAT IS A PROVEN FACT.

Can Scientology be reformed? No fucking way. If you don’t believe that, then you don’t know enough about Scientology.

I urge you to learn.


“When you want results you had better use standard techniques and procedures. I have sweated through their testing for years… ‘failures’ are caused by use of non-standard techniques and procedures.” — LRH
“‘Offbeat’ Processing,” Ability Magazine Issue 78, June 1958

“Standard tech works. Use it and it only.” — LRH

“No student may be advised to do anything except standard technology.” — LRH
HCO PL 20 February 1964, REGULATIONS

Accountable Marty

A quick update: In my post from the other day (Watch Out for Red Herrings), I mentioned that Marty had not said anything about David Montalvo and wondered what would happen to the $8,000 raised if Daniel went back to the Mother Church.

Today, Marty posted an update and a full accounting of the $13,000 (!) raised.

Coincidence? Who knows, but good for you, Marty. Now if we can just get you to stop censoring comments and be honest about the crimes written into LRH’s tech… who knows what the future might hold?


An open letter to Ray Randolph

Dear Ray,

First, let me say that it’s an honor to address a protester who has attracted the attention of David Miscavige and Bob Minton alike.

I wanted to respond to your post on Marty Rathbun’s blog. You brought up an interesting question: Can you – and, by extension, we as protesters – live with a “kinder, gentler” Scientology?

Everything I’ve read, seen and experienced has led me to believe that “safe” Scientology is about as realistic as a “safe” cigarette. If you delve into Scientology policy, you’ll see that most of the abuses – including those that Marty, Mike and the Independents speak out against – are hard-coded into the “tech” by L. Ron Hubbard.

Marty is motivated by his hatred of David Miscavige, a hatred that is probably well-deserved. But Marty believes in LRH’s tech, and his vision of a “reformed” Scientology is no different than the horrors that have existed since LRH first created his money-making fiefdom.

Want proof? Start with this post, in which Marty says that Lisa McPherson died because DM misapplied LRH’s tech and “falsely declared her as clear,” which, according to Marty, led to her psychotic break. Nowhere does Marty say that Lisa should have been turned over to proper doctors rather than locked in a room with people refusing to talk to her. That’s what LRH said to do – and that’s what Marty believes. (LRH quotes and more info in this Caliwog post.)

In fact, from the parenthetical note he added to your post (“blogger note: contains reference to OT3 data”), it would appear that Marty forwards the Church line that telling the unprepared about OT3 can cause sickness or death. I have no doubt that Marty truly believes this, and he’s free to believe what he wants. But the fact is that Marty’s vision of “reform” also includes hiding Scientology’s space-opera tenets from an unsuspecting public.

When I first started reading Marty’s blog, I believed much as you do – here was a good guy who envisioned Scientology without the abuses. But then I started commenting, and when my comments were critical of LRH or Scientology practices, they were censored. When I replied to this blog post and accused Mike Rinder of acting as if proving DM wrong was more important than reuniting with his family – you’ll see my follow-up comments, but not this original, as it was censored – I was told that I was “doing David Miscavige’s bidding“.

I knew enough about the tech to know that most of the abuses that the Independents blamed on Miscavige in fact had their origins in LRH policy – but any time I (and others) tried to point this out in a comment, that comment never made it to the site. (Sure, Marty has a right to censor as he pleases, but it’s important to remember that what you see on Marty’s site is not the whole truth. You said that you have no reason to believe that Marty isn’t honest. Those reasons exist, but Marty has ensured you won’t see them on his site.)

I quickly came to the realization that Marty was not the good guy I was hoping he would be, and that he had no interest in reforming the more dangerous and deceptive aspects of Scientology.

All he wants is to get back at David Miscavige.

The bottom line is that Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder believe 100% in the “technology” of Scientology, as written by LRH. DM is the new boss, and Marty and Mike are actively trying to cover up the fact that he’s the same as the old boss.

If David Miscavige were to quit and Marty were to take his place, Scientology would be no less dangerous. Oh, sure, there would be changes; a few people out of the RPF, and maybe he’d open the gates at Gold. But it wouldn’t be long before people started talking about the abuses, just as Paulette Cooper did years before David Miscavige’s rise to power. And if the Lisa McPherson situation were to re-occur under Marty’s management, the same thing would happen and she’d be just as dead.

You asked the question, “Is this a brand of Scientology I can co-exist with?”

In order to answer that question, you need to delve deeper into the tech that Marty believes in. Don’t take Marty’s word for it; don’t take my word for it. Read LRH’s tech for yourself – particularly the issues written before David Miscavige took power, the ones that Indies say DM altered. You will find as I did that for virtually every abuse that Marty blames on David Miscavige, there is LRH policy justifying DM’s actions.

In other words, I’m afraid you’ll find that the answer to your question is “no”.

Thanks for reading and for doing what you do.

Respectfully yours (and ML),

Some suggested reading from this site:

Watch out for red herrings

I haven’t commented on any of Marty Rathbun’s posts in a while, but his latest (“A Worker’s Paradise for Tom Cruise“) is a great example of what is wrong with Marty and his merry band of Independent Scientologists.

The post is Marty’s analysis of an alleged memo to David Miscavige’s office about a conversation between the memo writer (Director of Vehicles) and Tom Cruise. Marty doesn’t mention the source of the memo, and since he’s usually happy to credit things to his OSA sources, I’m guessing it could have come from the hard drives that Daniel Montalvo stole*. The memo is also half a decade old.

When you read Marty’s blog entry, note that his analysis precedes the memo itself. Instead of presenting the memo and then sharing his thoughts, Marty tells his people what to think in advance, and then shows the memo. This is typical Scientology – Church publications uses similar tactics – and judging from the comments from Marty’s sheep, it worked. Here’s what I suggest, dear Caliwog fans: Read the memo first (it’s the bold bit at the bottom) and then read Marty’s analysis, and tell me if Marty might not just be smoking something other than tobacco.

Want my opinion on the Tom Cruise memo? Okay, here it is: WHO FUCKING CARES? We know Miscavige is spending tons of Scientology parishoner’s money to kiss Tom Cruise’s ass, but that’s not a scam he invented – he’s doing exactly what Church founder L. Ron Hubbard instructed him to do.

LRH repeatedly talked about the importance of attracting celebrities, as they are opinion leaders and generate lots of publicity on their own. He even published a list of celebrities to be recruited into Scientology. Per LRH’s own tech, romancing Tom Cruise is actually a very sensible and cost-effective thing to do – after all, look how much publicity Scientology has received through Mr. Cruise’s antics. (One wonders, had LRH lived to see the type of publicity Cruise generated, would he have revised his policies?)

The reason posts like this piss me off is because Marty is skillfully misdirecting his sheep from the real issues, just like LRH did and just like current Church management does. By getting them rallied up about Tom Cruise, he’s giving them a place to focus their energy and their anger. It keeps them from thinking too much about the real source of Scientology abuses: L. Ron Hubbard.

Why should we care? Ask any ex-Scientologist why they gave up Scientology – not just the organized Church, but the whole subject – and most, if not all, will tell you that they started to see the holes and the inconsistencies in LRH’s “tech.” They started to question, and that led them to the realization that Scientology is a scam, and that they had been had.

People can only concentrate on so much. LRH knew this (he uses the term “attention units,” which is a pretty good description). LRH threw out tons of red herrings, and Marty is doing the same.

Our job as Scientology protesters is to keep Scientologists focused on the truth: The truth about LRH, the truth about the Tech, and the truth about Scientology. We basically just have to keep them focused on their own subject, particularly the less savory bits that Marty Rathbun and David Miscavige would rather they don’t see. If we do that enough, they’ll eventually see Scientology for what it is and they will leave on their own. No more Jason Beghes losing fortunes, no more Tory Christmans losing their spouses, and no more Lisa McPhersons losing their lives. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?


* Speaking of Daniel Montalvo, Marty hasn’t mentioned him in quite a while. Did David go back to the Church? And if he did, will Marty return the $8,000+ in donations he says he collected on Daniel’s behalf?

UPDATE: Two days after this post, Marty posted an update and an accounting: Daniel Montalvo: The Latest. Yay Marty!

Don’t worry, Caliwog is still here!

My apologies for the recent lack of activity – now that I’m back from vacation, it’s taking me longer than I expected to get caught up in my outside life. I haven’t been shut down by OSA or Marty and Mike’s super-powers; I’ve just been very busy, but I still have lots to say about Scientology, Marty, Mike, Dave and the Church, and I’m gonna keep on sayin’ it. Stay tuned and thanks for your patience.