Category Archives: Media

Churchies on the New Yorker article: You don’t need to read that

We’re still waiting on the official Church of Scientology response to the New Yorker article, but one pro-Church anti-Marty site has already weighed in, telling it’s readers they needn’t bother to read the article.

Says author “Joe”:

I don’t recommend anyone read the article. It’s a waste of time for anyone who has ever been genuinely helped by Scientology, and who has seen the same old tired attack points put forth before.

It just so happens that it’s not the same old points, although the theme that L. Ron Hubbard was a con man and full of crap is fairly consistent throughout most Scientology criticism. But that’s neither here nor there.

What does LRH say?

I’m sure there are Independent Scientologists who would characterize this as typical of modern-day Church leader David Miscavige. To his credit, Marty did encourage his flock to read the New Yorker article, despite the anti-LRH content within. But as “Joe” points out, the idea of ignoring criticism is not a new one – it comes from LRH. He’s even kind enough to provide an LRH reference, a technical bulletin that LRH originally wrote as an article in Scientology’s Ability magazine, and which became part of Church scripture in 1987. Here’s LRH:

“Those who are not Scientologists are left in complete ignorance of the motives of the dishonest. And they have no chance of personal immortality.

(Get that? We wogs don’t know anything about what’s really going on; only Scientologists get it. Sorry for interrupting.)

“Those who criticize one for being a Scientologist or make snide remarks cannot stand a personal survey of past actions or motive. This happens to be a fortunate fact for us. The criminal abhors daylight. And we are the daylight.

“Now, get this as a technical fact, not a hopeful idea. Every time we have investigated the background of a critic of Scientology, we have found crimes for which that person or group could be imprisoned under existing law. We do not find critics of Scientology who do not have criminal pasts. [Emphasis in original]

“Criminals hate anything that helps anyone, instinctively.

“There is no good reason to oppose Scientology.

“And we have this technical fact—those who oppose us have crimes to hide. It’s perhaps merely lucky that this is true.

“Never discuss Scientology with the critic. Just discuss his or her crimes, known and unknown. And act completely confident that those crimes exist. Because they do.” — LRH, HCOB 5 November 1967, CRITICS OF SCIENTOLOGY

Read the full bulletin here.

Kill the messenger

This is LRH’s famous “dead agent” technique: Instead of addressing the facts, kill the writer’s credibility. To be fair, LRH doesn’t outright say to ignore the New Yorker article (at least, not in this policy). But he makes it clear that Paul Haggis and Lawrence Wright are criminals. They must be, because they criticize Scientology. And why listen to a critic?

Besides, Scientologists are taught to avoid “entheta” (bad news, anti-Scientology statements, etc.) at all costs. Entheta isn’t just an annoyance – it can cause problems with your spiritual progress which have to be corrected. And at up to $1,000 or more per hour for Scientology auditing, who wants to risk that?

No wonder Scientologists will happily take Joe’s advice to skip the article, and if they don’t, they will happily take LRH’s advice that these are just criminals desperately putting up a smoke screen so that their own crimes won’t be discovered. (There’s something to that. I don’t write this blog because I want to help people avoid Scientology – I do it because I’m a serial car thief. Every time my neighbors see a new Mercedes parked in my driveway, they say “Oh, good – a new Caliwog blog post tomorrow!”)

But what about “Look, don’t listen”?

Some Scientologists have argued that LRH did not tell people to ignore criticism. They quote LRH as saying “Look, don’t listen.”

LRH did indeed write those words – it was the title of a policy letter, as a matter of fact (HCO PL 16 March 1972 Issue I). But “LOOK DON’T LISTEN” doesn’t talk about evaluating criticism. It’s a policy about being an Esto, or Establishment Officer, the person who’s job it is to make sure that an organization does business briskly. And what the policy says is not to take into account extenuating circumstances. Look at production, and if it’s low, don’t listen to why; just go in and blindly kick some ass.

Back to my point: What “Joe” is saying is correct. If you are a Scientologist, and if you believe that what LRH said was true, then Haggis is a criminal, as is Wright – of course, Hubbard also says that reporters are simply tools who are paid to write bad stories. (More on that here.)

Either way, if you’re a Scientologist, you’re free to ignore the fact that Scientology is a scam, Hubbard was a con man and a liar, and David Miscavige is a thug. Just keep getting processing. You’re not the one being fooled – the rest of the world is!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go pass some bad checks in order to get ready for my next critical article…

ML,
Caliwog

P. S. My favorite part of LRH’s CRITICS OF SCIENTOLOGY is the second paragraph

“If the wife was stepping out with your best friend behind your back, and one day she found you had thoughts of joining a group that taught you people’s motives and reactions and made you understand them, she would throw a mad-dog fit to prevent your progress.” — LRH

Um, no, dumbass, she’d encourage you to join and go to lots of meetings so she could spend more time boffing your best friend. Geez, Ron, no wonder you got caught when you cheated on Polly!

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Caliwog’s take on the New Yorker article: :) :) :)

By now, you’ve probably seen the New Yorker magazine article, The Apostate: Paul Haggis vs. the Church of Scientology, by Lawrence Wright — and if you haven’t, you should. It’s long, but worth it. (That’s what she said!)

This is an outstanding article that tells the story of Paul Haggis’ very public departure from the Church of Scientology, prompted by the Church’s refusal to make a public statement after a San Diego staffer listed the Church as a sponsor of California’s Propositon 8, which banned gay marriage. Haggis objected to the Church’s stand and made a very public departure. I particularly like this article because it talks fairly about the Church in both the Hubbard and Miscavige eras.

New Yorker says Hubbard is full of shit; Tommy digs himself deeper

The New Yorker did their own investigation into the discrepancies in Hubbard’s war record, and guess what they found? Yep, more discrepancies. This is important, because Hubbard says that the techniques he used to cure himself of his claimed wartime injuries (including blindness) formed the basics of Dianetics.

The New Yorker investigation, like others before, found no evidence that Hubbard had any severe injuries, or that he even saw combat service at all. Which, of course, would indicate that his Dianetic “cures” and “powers” were bullshit.

The New Yorker also gave Tommy Davis a chance to defend these allegations, and his replies are as thin as a gnat’s eyelash. Tommy also told a whopper of a lie about LRH tech not being altered – anyone with an Internet connection can see that’s not true. (Hell, just check out my previous post about the A to E steps.) And his backpedaling on the Church’s anti-gay “scripture” is classic. Who wants to bet Tommy is doing his Liability condition formula right now?

Truth 1, Indies 0

I’m really happy with this article. Not only is it a factual, well-written analysis of Scientology, but the Independents failed to hijack it. I don’t know if Marty, Mike or their flock ever got a chance to try to convince Lawrence Wright that Scientology is a harmless religion being twisted into something evil by David Miscavige, but if he did, Wright didn’t buy it. And why would he? All it takes is an unprejudiced mind and a few LRH policies for anyone to see the truth.

So what happens next?

You can bet your copy of Dianetics that the Church is working on a rebuttal. The slave laborers will be working overtime, and it won’t be long before we see a copy of Freedom Magazine and a video similar to the way they responded to John Sweeney and Anderson Cooper.

Independents may try to blame this on David Miscavige’s desperation, but the truth is that such a response is mandated by several of L. Ron Hubbard policies. Among them:

These people who attack [Scientology] have secrets. And hidden crimes. […] And when we investigate, all this recoils on the attacker. He withdraws too hurriedly to be orderly. […] I can count several heavy attacks which folded up by our noisily beginning an investigation of the attacker. — LRH, HCO PL 15 Febuary 1966, ATTACKS ON SCIENTOLOGY

“Only attacks resolve threats. […] If attacked on some vulnerable point by anyone… always find or manufacture enough threat against them to cause them to sue for peace. […] Don’t ever defend. Always attack.” — LRH, HCO PL 15 August 1960, DEPT OF GOVT AFFAIRS

Now, a “wog” (outsider) PR professional might advise the Church to lay low and let the bad publicity blow over. There might even be folks inside the Church with an inkling to do the same. But they can’t. Remember, according to Scientologists, Scientology means doing exactly what Hubbard said to do, exactly the way he said to do it. Their hands are tied. LRH said to investigate and attack, so that’s what they’ll do, and they’ll make themselves look like even bigger fools as a result.

Will Scientologists listen? Probably not…

Will the New Yorker article convince Scientologists to leave either the Church or the Independent movement? I hope so, but I’m not holding my breath. Scientologists have been trained to hear selectively. I’ll leave you with LRH’s assessment of reporters:

“The reporter who comes to you, all smiles and withholds, ‘wanting a story’, has an AMA [American Medical Association] instigated release in his pocket. He is there to trick you into supporting his pre-conceived story.

“The story he will write has already been outlined by a sub-editor from old clippings and AMA releases.

“He probably knows as well as you do that you are decent and effective.

“He has no power whatever to alter the pre-conceived story he has been ordered to write. If he were audited or otherwise totally convinced of the great value of Scientology he would still write the same critical story. If he didn’t he would probably get sacked. So the time you spend trying to convince him of your decency and
effectiveness is wasted time.

“If he publishes outright lies sue his paper for libel if you like, but don’t be afraid of what he will write. Central organization income usually rises during bad press campaigns. So he can’t really harm you whatever he does or says.” — LRH, HCO PL 15 August AD13 (1963), SCIENTOLOGY FIVE PRESS POLICIES

Update: Here come the Feds!

In a related note, today’s Saint Petersburg Times ran a story saying the FBI has been conducting an investigation into Scientology’s punitive practices, which may violate laws on human trafficking. They’ve been talking to five ex-Scientology managers — and guess which Independent blogger, who claims to have evidence that will send David Miscavige to jail*, isn’t among them?

ML,
Caliwog

* If it turns out I’m wrong, and this person really does have court-admissible evidence that puts David Miscavige behind words, I will happily make a public apology and eat my words. Meanwhile, I’m not skipping any meals, if you catch my drift.

A curious reaction

Marty posted a blog entry in response to a new St. Petersburg Times article about a WISE-affiliated company accused of paperwork fraud. (WISE is the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises, an organization that licenses Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s management system, the “Administrative Technology.” I used to work at a WISE company, by the way; that was the beginning of my Scientology education.)

What’s of interest to me is not the article, but the way Marty reacted to it.

“The Times took the lazy, low road on this ‘investigation,'” writes Marty. “They take a couple of LRH quotes out of context and position them as the why for the criminality… If the LRH quotes…had any bearing on the company’s criminality (ALL RECENT) then where was the Times twenty years ago?”

I clicked Marty’s link to the article expecting to find some really damning Admin Tech quotes. (Goodness knows there are a lot!) Instead, I found this:

Hubbard preached that managers keep a keen eye on statistics and not worry about coddling employees.

“However one tries to coat the pill, there is no substitute, in an executive, for the ability to get the crew to produce,” he wrote. “The fire-breathing product officer will be followed and supported when the wishy-washy old pal guy will be stepped all over in the rush to follow the real leader.”

The only way for an organization to survive is to grow, said Hubbard, who also devised a system of “ethics” in which unproductive employees could work their way out of conditions called “danger” and “nonexistence.”

That’s it. 104 words out of a 2,800 word article. And nothing that blames the company’s bad behavior on LRH.

So why is Marty so adamant? Why is he suddenly down on the SP Times — a paper he loved and lauded when they featured him in their Truth Rundown series ?

The answer, I think, is that Marty knows the truth about the Admin Tech. See, the Admin Tech is where LRH pretty much explains how the Scientology scam is run. Granted, it’s written so as not to disabuse the True Believers – read my blog entry Hard Sell for more on that – but it’s plain that the Admin Tech is all about spreading the word and making money.

That’s fine for a secular business, but it’s not so fine when you realize that it’s how LRH ran his “religion.”

As a former Scientology exec, Marty Rathbun should be very familiar with the Admin Tech, but many of his followers (those who were public Scientologists and not staff members) aren’t. And from what I’ve seen in the past, Marty is keen to keep it that way. You rarely see Admin Tech quotes on Marty’s site, and posting a quote from the Admin Tech in a comment is a pretty sure-fire way to get it censored.

I’ve always suspected Marty fears that if his followers start reading the Admin Tech, they are more likely to see Scientology for what it really is. And he’s probably right.

Now, if the article really did attempt to blame NTC’s troubles on the Admin Tech, I’d say that Marty had a point. I know the Admin Tech fairly well, and I can’t recall anything that encourages fraud – in fact, most of the admin tech is pretty sensible, if a bit close-minded. The article does seem to use NTC’s alleged illegalities as a reason to talk about Scientology’s ties to the business community.

Of course, Church-going Scientologists see that as a good thing. Most WISE business owners will be pleased to talk your ear off about their success with LRH’s Admin Tech. Used properly, it makes a lot of money for those who use it – including the Church of Scientology.

And that’s what makes Marty’s reaction so interesting. Perhaps he is just illustrating Scientology’s black-or-white mentality: The article talks about LRH’s Admin Tech; the article is negative; therefore, the article is anti-LRH entheta.

But Marty seems so eager to avoid the subject of the Admin Tech, that I can’t help but think there’s something else going on. I can tell you that the Admin Tech is the reason I’m not a Scientologist. Perhaps Marty’s afraid that his flock might feel the same way.

Am I reading too much into this?

Read the original articles here:

UPDATE: Great quote in a comment from Marty:

“They [the SP Times] received so much grief from the church for the Truth Rundown series they have been a weird sort of propitiation band since. At the expense of LRH and the tech. This article is really the work of Miscavige. Throw LRH under the bus so as to divert attention from Miscavige.”

Get that? According to Marty, this article is a way of kissing up to the Church. If the first two sentences weren’t so delusional, the last two would be laugh-out-loud funny. Marty’s lying makes me angry, but at times like this, I really do feel sorry for the guy. I honestly do.

ML,
Caliwog

Thinner Rinder?

Several of Marty’s faithful have pointed out how much better Mike Rinder looks in the Panorama show that just aired versus the one in 2007. Mike looks thin and gaunt on the first show, but healthy and well-fed this time around – proof, they say, that life outside of the Church agrees with him.

But is that what’s really going on?

If you’ve watched Mike in action as the Church’s chief spokesliar, you know he hasn’t always exactly been supermodel-skinny. (Not that I’m criticizing; wogs in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.)

Now, I’ve known lots of Scientologist who were on diets, Weight Watchers, etc. Scientology promised a lot of cures – everything from higher IQ to perfect eyesight – but weight loss, as far as I can tell, was not among them. (Perhaps this is because Hubbard himself was also in the glass house with me and Mike. Maybe we should call him L. Ron Tubbard? Oh, snap! That was harsh!)

So, anyway, here’s my alternate theory: After years of making second trips to the donut box, Rinder, having found no cure for his spare tire in Scientology tech, finally got himself on track. By 2007, he was down to his college weight and fitting into those dresses he wore in his twenties. (Wait, sorry, that was Tom Cruise. Just kidding! That was satire, counselor. Tom Cruise, to the best of my knowledge, does not wear dresses. Nor does Mike Rinder. And besides, there ain’t nothin’ wrong with a man in a dress.)

Then Mike leaves the organized Church, he gets stressed by the Church’s attacks – or maybe by working with Marty – and he goes back to eating. And now he’s back to being the Rinder-sized Rinder we all came to know and love after they took Heber Jentschz off the air.

Now, some might think I’m being a bit harsh, or that I’m picking on Mike for his weight. I’m not. Mike looks fine. And maybe he really was gaunt from all the abuse he received in the Sea Org. But… if that as the case, don’t you think he would have written more about it on Marty’s blog? His followers would eat that up. (Okay, bad choice of cliché.)

Whatever really happened, Mike isn’t saying – last time I checked, he hadn’t acknowledged the comments about his better appearance. So maybe I’m wrong. Or maybe I’m right, but M&M are content to let people think that the Church was starving him.

Either way, Mike, you look much better now.

Have another donut. It’s on me.

ML,
Caliwog

Caliwog’s take on Panorama: Secrets of Scientology

I know a few of you are wondering what I thought about Panorama’s Secrets of Scientology episode. The short version: I’m pleased!

The true beauty of this show is that none of the Scientologists seem to be happy with it. The Church people are upset because it highlighted Independent Scientologists. The Indies are upset because it bashed Scientology tech. And Marty Rathbun is upset because, according to him, BBC left out all the “secrets” he told them about the Church. (I asked on his blog what secrets those were, and I have yet to get an answer from him.)

Something that disappoints so many Scientologists always makes me happy!

Of course, everyone is going to criticise (I’m using the British spelling in honor of John Sweeney), and if I’m going to be honest, I wouldn’t have minded seeing more about how Marty and the Indies still believe in the tech, which is the source of most of the crimes. Then again, I don’t ever think that can be stated enough. And besides, I’m an American, and am used to having my opinions spoon-fed to me by the television. BBC still respects the intelligence of their viewers. Panorama put all the facts out there – well and fairly – so that their viewers could come to their own conclusions. And I think the viewers will be able to figure out that regardless of whether or not you are affiliated with the Church, Scientology philosophy is pretty… er, what’s the phrase? Oh yeah – fucking nuts.

I actually think the show was pretty kind to the Indies, especially to those who were separated from their families – like Mike Rinder. Now, anyone who has read Mike Rinder’s Open Letter to his Family knows how sentimental Mike isn’t about losing his family. (Search Mike’s letter for the words “love,” “miss” and “sad” and you’ll see what I mean. He’s still very much a Rondroid.) Regardless, Panorama was very sympathetic to him. Maybe that’s why Marty wasn’t happy with the show – Marty was supposed to be the big star, bustin’ the Church wide open, and instead Mike got all the screen time.

Regardless, at the end of the day, most people don’t differentiate between Church-going Scientologists and Independents, and if they are interested enough to learn more, they will discover the difference. So bottom line, this was a huge win for the Scientology protest movement.

One thing I want to point out: John Sweeney is a friggin’ hero. He did a great job combining new information with a good baseline for those unfamiliar with the cause. And let’s not forget about what Scientology does to its critics – one has only to read about Paulette Cooper to understand what a brave thing it is to take on Scientology once, let alone twice. John Sweeney is swinging at Scientology like a wrecking ball. He’s shown that he’s not afraid of their silly intimidation tactics. I applaud the bravery of the BBC, Panorama, and Mr. Sweeney – by refusing to be intimidated, they have scored a tremendous victory for the press and for those of us who oppose Scientology.

Overall, I’m pleased. The documentary presented Scientology to be a secretive, harmful cult started by a greedy megalomaniac and continued by the fervently brainwashed. And that sounds pretty accurate to me!

Watch Panorama: Secrets of Scientology on XenuTV.com

More reactions to Panorama: Secrets of Scientology:

  • From Marty Rathbun: BBC Panorama – The Secrets of Scientology
  • From a pro-Church/anti-Marty blog: True Colors (make sure you read the comments, too — they’re priceless)
  • From a (supposedly) pro-Indie, anti-Marty site: BBC Panorama 0, Scientology 2 and Marty non-Drama Panorama Feedback
  • Church of Scientology (YouTube links to video posted before Panorama aired!): Part 1Part 2
  • ML,
    Caliwog