Monthly Archives: April 2012

Ex/Anti-Scientologists vs. Independent Scientologists

Recently, Emma announced that she was going to stop running the Ex Scientologist Message Board and get out of the Scientology protest racket. Here’s a sampling of how her readers reacted:

“Good for you, Emma.”

“Bon voyage and thanks for the memories! … I for one will never consider you a sellout, liar, OSA, bitch, or any of that other stuff — you’re simply a human being who did a fine thing in making this meeting place possible for all the rest of us, and we thank you.”

“Thanks Emma, and goodbye. It’s been great. Will miss you and ESMB.”

“My heart sunk when I read your post, but I totally get it. ESMB has served an amazing role in helping people. You did a wonderful thing and devoted many years to making sure it was a safe haven… It was a great gift to so many. Thank you Emma, for helping me heal. Now it’s time for you to spread your wings and live free of your past. Godspeed!”

“I can’t even begin to properly exress my gratitude to you for putting this board here and keeping it here through all the crap that you have to deal with!”

“Time for a peaceful, loving life now, Emma…..filled with lots of fun for you and your family. If anyone deserves it, you do.”

Now, here is a sampling of how Marty’s Independent Scientologists reacted to the news that Debbie Cook agreed to walk away from protesting in exchange for the Church dropping their lawsuit:

“Shame on them. They got bought again. And they allow it to continue. That’s ‘Personal Integrity’?”

“There is no way Debbie or Wayne would have signed this document unless there was a HUGE amount of money involved. What a crock!”

“Well shame on them. They made another deal with the devil.”

“Shame on her. She took money knowing what the donors expected of her and it was far far from what she delivered.”

“Debbie let us down. She did not have the guts in the end. She let herself silenced? She must be very PTS…still.”

“Betrayl after trust? After the money and support that was flowed to Debbie and Wayne… pitiful.”

“The likely possibility that the she got bought off doesn’t surprise me. Perhaps she should be renamed ‘Debbie Crook’…She was a sell-out and has now committed herself as a sell-out for the rest of her life.”

“She has effectively pissed on and off anyone who has ever called themselves a Scientologist.”

I hate to advance Scientology’s “us vs. them” mentality, but today I am proud to say that I am one of us, and not one of them.

ML,
Caliwog

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Debbie Cook: The Caliwog post-game wrap-up

In case you haven’t heard, the Church of Scientology has settled its lawsuit with Debbie Cook. The outcome, according to The Tampa Bay Times, is that Scientology drops the suit, neither party gets any money, and Debbie and her husband Wayne agree to keep their mouth shut about all things Scientology. (You can download a copy of the judgement from Marty’s site.)

Results: Marty and his Scilons are pissed. And Caliwog is happy for Debbie.

Before I get into why, let’s quickly recap what happened. In 2007, Debbie, a former Co$ exec, and her husband left the Church after signing non-disclosure agreements in exchange for $50,000 severance each. This past New Year’s Day, Debbie Cook sent an email to Scientologists railing against the Church’s fund raising culture. Per L. Ron Hubbard policy, the Church sued Debbie Cook. While trying to get an injunction to shut her up,the Church put her on the stand, a move that backfired. Under cross examination – and under oath – Debbie revealed lurid details about the abuse she and other Church executives suffered. Her testimony made headlines.

(Debbie referred to herself as the girl who kicked the hornets’ nest, but it appears that the hornets’ nest may have been her!)

And so, for once, the Church did the smart thing: They beat a hasty retreat, although they did get a promise from Debbie not to speak out and not to get involved with any anti-Church groups (i.e., Independent Scientology).

I see this as a major, major, MAJOR win.

Remember Bob Minton, who fought the Church of Scientology with his considerable energy and fortune? The Church went after him with all the might it could muster, and eventually he buckled under the pressure.

“It was like the Terminator was after you,” Bob famously said. (This was in 2002, when Mike Rinder was head of OSA and Marty Rathbun was Miscavige’s chief thug. Go figure.)

Well, with just a few hours of testimony, Debbie Cook shut down the Terminator.

From what he’s writing on his blog, it seems like Marty is feeling a bit betrayed. “I have to take some time to evaluate this treachery,” he writes. And he seems to think the Church is lying about not paying Debbie anything to keep silent, although I can’t figure out how any rational person could come to that conclusion; after all the Church sued her, not the other way around. I guess Marty can’t fathom the idea that someone would keep silent without being bought off. The idea of simply getting over it and moving on is, apparently, completely foreign to them.

I can see why Marty and his band of merry Rondroids are pissed; they donated money for Debbie’s legal defense, and she turned her back, walked away, and agreed to keep her trap shut. Scientologists do not give for the sake of giving; they expect something in return. This is down to LRH’s policies about “exchange,” which I’ll write more about next week.

Of course, seeing what happened the last time they tried to keep her quiet, I doubt the Church will do much if she does speak out again. But I also know that Scientologists take their promises pretty seriously. They have no trouble lying – er, telling an “acceptable truth” – but when it comes to agreements, they tend to be pretty honorable. I have a feeling we won’t be hearing much from Debbie and Wayne.

And as I said, I for one am happy for them. Yes, it would be great to see Debbie speak out more about the Church. Yes, it’s sad that she’s volunteered to let the Church limit her freedom of speech.

But separating herself from both the Church and the independent Scientology movement gives Debbie the greatest opportunity to put Hubbard and Scientology behind her and move on.

We often talk about what constitutes being “out of Scientology.” Some say being “out” means getting away from the Church. Some say it’s when you realize that LRH was a fraud and Scientology is a con-job. I usually take latter view.

But the healthiest thing, the most out one can be, is when you put it all behind you. When Scientology is no longer a part of your life at all – when it has no importance or significance – that is when you are truly out. That is when you are truly free. That is when you have truly moved on up a lot higher.

Don’t get me wrong – I appreciate those who don’t break away entirely, who see Scientology for what it is, but stick around to help others out and make sure outsiders see the truth.

But I never begrudge anyone for getting out and getting healthy. And I hope, with every fiber of my being, that that is what happens to Debbie Cook and her husband Wayne.

Congrats and good luck, guys. And welcome to the Wog world. You’ll soon find it’s not the horrific place that Hubbard made it out to be.

ML,
Caliwog

Is Marty Rathbun losing his faith?

Some strange goings-on at Marty Rathbun’s web site this past few weeks!

In a recent post, Scientology Inc “Justice”, Marty quoted an LRH rant against the FBI, prefacing it with this:

“Irrespective of how exaggerated his rancor might have been about the target of his wrath…”

That may sound perfectly rational, unless you know about Scientology — in which case you know that’s like a devout Christian calling Jesus “a lover of young men and boys.”

Add that on to the strange February 22nd radio interview (the one I keep promising to write more about, but keep not getting around to) in which Marty said that the OT3 story wasn’t to be taken literally, and I have to start wondering: What’s in the water down there in Texas?

Understand that 100% allegiance and adherence to L. Ron Hubbard and his “tech” are paramount to being a Scientologist. If you don’t buy into all of the bullshit, the scam doesn’t work.

Needless to say, Marty’s heretical words aren’t sitting well with all of his flock. A couple of sample comments:

“Exaggerated? Exaggerated rancor? I disagree, utterly. I think LRH was not reasonable [Scn. definition: Finding reasons to let bad behavior continue] with Suppressives…I would expect that more people would be interested in discussing the Global Sit[uation] and objectively whether LRH did exaggerate about FBI’s intentions and activities, which Marty posted as “exaggerated rancor” which I think he should revoke.”

“Was LRH’s “rancor exaggerated”? Google FBI’s “cointelpro”. 85% of cointelpro budget used to investigate suspected communists, civil rights leaders, Vietnam war protesters etc. and 15% of budget to investigate Ku Klux Klan hate crimes.”

(Marty posted an update as a result, but good for him, he didn’t backpedal.)

Still others took the role of LRH apologist, basically saying “It’s okay if LRH was full of shit, because his work is still good.” This is the line Marty usually takes. Again, some sample commentary:

“There is lots to reject about the man as a husband, a father, the Founder etc. and I don’t mind discussing the negative as a matter of course, but in the end, not one person has delivered anything close to what he created. So all else pales in comparison.”

“…the nit-picking over LRH is simply reactive mind. … one (not one) has anything even remotely resembling a better solution than Scn.”

My favorite was this justification of the Scientology infiltration of the government, when they were caught breaking in and stealing files:

“I see it as a group of OT’s vs real enemies in the government.”

BUT – it’s also bringing out some of the doubting Thomases of the Indie set, many of whom are raising their own doubts about LRH’s credibility:

“…according to my observations and experience going back to the 70′s, most of the Ron letters* were fake. Signed either by a machine or someone trained in his signature. It was a big fat lie.”

* Ron’s Standing Order #1 was that anyone could write to him, and he would write back. Thousands of Scientologists have “Ron letters” among their treasured possesions.

“…Also, around 1974 I wrote a letter and the response came back the next day. I asked the Sea Org Missionaire and the LRH Comm who handed me ‘Ron’s’ letter if they knew where LRH was and they replied they thought he was in Ireland or some such place. I watched the LRH Com’s eyes twitch as I said, “Hmmm, pretty good. I sent the letter yesterday. It went to LRH in Ireland six thousand miles away and he answered it and it was transported all the way back to me. In just a day. Wow. That’s speed of particle flow. I thought maybe it was some highly advanced secret transportation device they were using in order to magically make this happen. Or maybe OT powers!!”

And then there’s this one, which miraculously made it through the Marty censor:

” [quoted from another comment] >>the fact that thousands (conservative estimate) of people have gotten gains from auditing, and at present ,people still do get gains from auditing, is simply an unintended byproduct of his true intentions.<<

…or that auditing “tech” wasn’t original to Hubbard.

And here’s a really odd one. One commenter wrote:

“LRH had to use a toilet just like the rest of us. This is because he had a body, just like the rest of us. He got angry and irrational at times, just like the rest of us. He probably went out-ethics sometimes, just like the rest of us…” (there’s more)

And Marty’s reply:

“If one is capable of parking his or her reason at the door for L Ron Hubbard he or she is capable of parking it for David Miscavige. In fact, if it were not for the proclivity toward the former phenomenon the latter phenomenon never would have materialized…”

Wait a minute – am I reading this wrong, or is Marty saying that following LRH unquestioningly is the same as following the current Church unquestioningly?

What on Teegeack is going on here?

Two possibilities: One, Marty is a secret agent of the Church, trying to blow his own Independent movement out of the water by proving to die-hard Church-goers that his group is an anti-LRH squirrel group, therefore driving true Scientologist back into the arms of the Church where they can get “pure tech.”

Two: Marty is slowly beginning to see the light through the cracks.

I’m pretty sure it’s not the former, and boy oh boy, do I hope it’s the latter. Now, I don’t expect Marty to renounce Scientology any time soon. After all, he’s been “in” for decades, and besides, it’s paying his rent. But it appears he acknowledges that there are holes in LRH’s “tech” (not to mention his claims about his life and accomplishments) that cannot be rationally explained.

If Marty truly sees the light – if he realizes that this so-called “religion” is a scam, not just one perpetrated by David Miscavige, but one perpetrated by L. Ron Hubbard – it’s possible that we could see the end of the money-grubbing, life-destroying, family-rending, tax-evading con job that is Scientology.

I, for one, am holding out hope.

ML,
Caliwog

Independent Scientology breaks up families

In his interview with Mike Rinder, Tony Ortega’s postscript thanked Christie Collbran, Mike’s girlfriend, for her patience, as she is just about to have a baby. (Congratulations, Mike and Christie.) His thank-you note links to this New York Times article about Christie and her ex-husband, Chris.

Chris and Christie were former Sea Org members who got tired of the atmosphere of control. Christie got pregnant (children are not allowed in the Sea Org, and members are encouraged to have abortions) and the two of them “routed out standardly” – in other words, they went through the proper process, complete with confessionals and a five-figure “freeloader debt” which they paid off. (Sea Org members get free Scientology classes and counesling in exchange for their labor. Per L. Ron Hubbard’s policy, if they break their billion-year contract, they are expected to pay for those services at full retail.)

Despite following Hubbard’s myriad and complex rules for leaving, both Collbrans were declared Supressive Persons, and their Scientology families disconnected from them. According to the article, Christie’s own mother sent her an email calling her a “snake in the grass.” But that’s not the disconnection I’m talking about – we already know that Church members cut ties with family members who go to the Independent movement, which Marty, Mike, and his ilk label as “forced disconnction” and blame on David Miscavige. (In fact, disconnection is an L. Ron Hubbard policy that Marty has defended.)

No, the disconnection I’m talking about happened later. Chris and Christie left as a married couple, but while Christie still believed in Hubbard and Scientology, Chris decided he wanted nothing to do with it. The NYT article quotes Chris: “Eventually I realized I was part of a con,” he said, “and I have to leave it and get on with my life.”

The NYT article ends with its own postscript:

“Despite all they have been through together, Ms. and Mr. Collbran are getting a divorce. The reason, they agree sadly, is that they no longer see eye to eye on Scientology.”

Let’s review: Chris and Christie apparently loved each other enough to stay together through the ordeal of being in, and leaving, the Sea Org. They had a baby together (although the NYT article seems to imply that her sole reason for getting pregnant was to leave the Sea Org, I have trouble believing that Christie would be so selfish and self-serving as to bring a child into this world strictly because she was too much of a coward to stand up and leave on her own). Their bond was strong enough to survive all that – and yet the wedge that drove them apart was simply that Chris realized that Scientology is a scam and Christie didn’t.

See, this is how Scientology really breaks up families. Believers don’t want to be with non-believers – and non-believers can’t stand to watch their loved ones delude themselves and waste all their money on Scientology services. Not all Scn/non-Scn relationships break up, but LRH policy pushes the us-vs-them mentality. Non-Scns are always viewed as wogs and “not part of the group.” They are always viewed with suspicion. Just note how dissenters on Marty’s blog (when they aren’t censored) are labeled as “OSA” (Office of Special Affairs, the Church’s secret police) or “agreeing with Miscavige,” even those who openly say that Scientology is full of shit.

Marty can crow all he wants about “forced disconnection,” but this is the Scientology mindset – and as long as people follow L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology will continue to break up families, whether they pratice inside the Church or on their own.

ML,
Caliwog

L. Ron Hubbard Killed Lisa McPherson

If there’s one sure-fire way Marty Rathbun can make my blood boil, it’s when he tries to blame the death of Lisa McPherson on anyone other than L. Ron Hubbard. So his latest headline, David Miscavige Killed Lisa McPherson, got me going right away.

But rather than simply write a blog entry denouncing Marty as a self-serving, profit-seeking, Hubbard-worshiping piece of shit, I decided to try to put my bias aside and hear what he and Mike Rinder had to say.

For those who are new, I talked about the Introspection Rundown in a post called Read for yourself: The LRH “technology” that killed Lisa McPherson. Make no mistake: The reason Lisa McPherson is dead is because a group of Scientologists attempted to treat a legitimate psychiatric problem with Hubbard’s bullshit quackery.

(By the way, I found it hardest to keep my temper when I read this tidbit from Rinder: “…she DID die of a pulmonary embolism – it happens all the time in hospitals with doctors on call – so it is not certain that medical attention would have saved her life…” If Mr. Look-Don’t-Listen could be bothered to look on the Internet, he’d know that one possible cause of a pulmonary embolism is being inactive or bedridden for a long period of time… like 17 days locked in a hotel room without sufficient food or water. Honestly, Mike, you’re such a fucking twit sometimes.)

Anyway… The basic point that Rinder and Rathbun make is that while the Introspection Rundown may have contributed to her death (May have??? Sorry, can’t help myself), the real problem is that David Miscavige got personally involved in Lisa McPherson’s “case” (her Scientology status), declaring her “Clear” (a level in Scientology) when she wasn’t. Hubbard did say that applying certain Scientology processes to someone who had not had the prerequisite brainwashing preparation could be dangerous. According to Marty and Mike, if her status had been accurately assigned, she would not have been eligile for the Introspection Rundown, and would not have died. (At least I agree with them on that last part!)

The reason they are applying blame to DM is because of the fear he instills: There were Scientologists who should have known that Lisa wasn’t actually a Clear, but went along with the whole thing only because DM said she was clear, and saying that DM is wrong can get you in all sorts of trouble. (And by the way, what does that say about the shitheel Scientologists who would have thought the Introspection Rundown was dangerous, but did it anyway to avoid putting their own asses on the line? Hey, wait, wasn’t Marty one of those shitheels?)

So, anyway, I can kind of see Marty’s point – the belief that Lisa died because she was submitted to the wrong process at the wrong time.

Of course, Hubbard also predicted that reading the Xenu story would cause death by pneumonia. Marty knows that; in fact, in a February 22nd radio interview (discussion of which is conspicuously absent from his blog), Marty basically says that the Xenu story, and the threat of pneumonia, should be taken figuratively, not literally. (I’ll talk more about that devastating interview in the near future.)

So let’s review: The Xenu/pneumonia thing should not be taken seriously (since we know it doesn’t happen), but giving an Introspection Rundown to a mis-declared Clear really is dangerous. Got that?

Marty goes on to say that the state of Clear is not ambiguous, “given it is accompanied by the UNMISTAKABLE meter phenomena” (he’s referring to a certain needle movement on the E-Meter). Marty kicks into fluent Scientologese, saying, “If one understands the St Hill Special Briefing Course (SHSBC) and one understands further L Ron Hubbard clarifications and developments with respect to the state of Clear after the SHSBC (Dianetic Clear Special Intensive – DCSI – and Clear Certainty Rundown – CCRD), there is no more simple cycle of action in the universe than sorting out whether an individual is Clear or not.”

The bit about “clarifications and developments” may be an end-run around those who have read about Hubbard’s first presentation of a Clear in 1950. Hubbard said Clears have perfect memories, and yet Hubbard’s own Clear, one Ms. Sonia Bianca, couldn’t remember the color of Hubbard’s tie when he turned around.

“Clear” is one of the few levels in Scientology that makes some firm promises, and as far as I know, no one has ever been able to demonstrate them. One of my favorite quotes from ex-Scientologist Jason Beghe:

“…theres a guy on the internet apparently who’s said he’ll give a million bucks if someone can demonstrate OT. I’ll give a million bucks if to anybody that can demonstrate Clear. There’s no fucking Clear. There’s no Clear. There’s no Clear. I mean, just looking at Dianetics, Clear is, what, are you kidding me? Clear… It’s too good to be true and that’s basically it.”

So, anyway, I think I see Marty’s point: Because David Miscavige personally mis-declared Lisa McPherson as having achieved the state of Clear – a condition that no one has ever been able to demonstrate – Lisa was then put on the Introspection Rundown. Since this process should not have been run on her, either because she wasn’t really a clear or because she had an un-handled Potential Trouble Source (PTS) condition (meaning someone she knew was trying to tell her Scientology is a scam, and she hadn’t disconnected from that person), the process was harmful to her health, so she died. (Except that, according to Dr. Mike Rinder, she might have been ready to pop off anyway.)

This is how a Scientologist justifies his or her belief that L. Ron Hubbard’s “technology” works. It’s easy – all you have to do is ignore the fact that this poor woman was locked in a hotel room for over two weeks by people who gave her the silent treatment and didn’t deal with the fact that she wasn’t eating or drinking. No, those things weren’t the cause of death – it was that evil David Miscavige.

This is blatent ignorance as spread by Lisa McPherson’s real killer, L. Ron Hubbard. And it’s proof that anyone thinks that Marty’s brand of Scientology is any safer than the Church of Scientology is deluding themselves. The “Indies” are just as brainwashed… and they are just as much at risk.

And when I think about it that way, I don’t get angry at Marty – I feel sorry for him.

For the record, I still think Marty is a self-serving, profit-seeking, Hubbard-worshiping piece of shit – but I acknowledge that he might not realize that yet.

ML,
Caliwog

Related:

In Memoriam: Lisa McPherson (one day late)

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