Louis Theroux’s Scientology Movie

 

synopsis at:  yahoo news

I found the film “My Scientology Movie” to be saddening.  It evidences the degeneration of a once considerable talent, award-winning producer Simon Chinn. During my involvement in the movie’s creation I witnessed Chinn being sucked into the staged-news, infotainment vortex that seems to have consumed the erstwhile Fourth Estate.  I will share a back story to the project to illustrate the concern.

In 2012 Chinn flew from the UK to my home in remote, South Texas. He and an associate producer spent an afternoon pitching my involvement in a proposed documentary. He said his film would break the cookie-cutter mold of Scientology projects to that date. That was, the lazy method of highlighting and rehashing what has been alleged before and doing some gratuitous baiting and button pushing of Scientologists to provoke aggressive responses. Chinn assured me the project would be closely supervised by him from beginning to end so that it would primarily serve as a vehicle to portray my insights into the philosophical basis of Scientology learned from practicing it for nearly thirty years within the organization and another several years outside of Church of Scientology control. He sold me on the idea of chronicling my evolution from fighting for the church, then against it and finally advocating that people transcend from fights about Scientology altogether.

Chinn effectively stalked me for the next two years while he secured funding for the project, repeatedly reiterating the purpose and nature of the planned work. That included sending Louis Theroux and the assistant producer to Texas the next year to spend two days beseeching me to stay committed to the project. Because of Chinn’s continual promotion of his previous serious documentary work and our original agreements, I wound up spending nearly one hundred hours on film explaining and demonstrating what Scientology is, its origins, its historical and philosophical context and its battles from both sides of the divide.

That extended filming was interrupted repeatedly by Theroux’s recurring attempts to use me as bait to incite the wrath of the Church of Scientology. When Theroux persisted with those efforts, his and director John Dower’s promises that none of that horseplay would make it into the film began to ring hollow. At that point I expressed my intention to cease work on the project.

Simon Chinn flew from London to Los Angeles to assuage my concerns and reassure me that his original representations would be fully honored, and that Theroux’s vanity theatrics would not make the cut in the movie. I informed Chinn, Dower and Theroux that the latter’s antics were not only unprofessional but they had already been performed twice by a BBC personality in the past couple of years. We discussed John Sweeny’s BBC Panorama ‘documentaries’ as consisting almost entirely of Sweeny attempting to poke sticks in Scientologists’ eyes to get them to react on camera. All three acted offended that I would compare their work to that of Mr. Sweeny whom they characterized as being more of a publicity hound than journalist. Chinn again warranted that that was not the purpose of his project and no hint of it would find its way into the film.

When nearly two years later I saw the product, “My Scientology Movie”, which clearly referred to being Louis Theroux’s personal movie, I came to the conclusion that Mr. Chinn had regressed into a tabloid hack, Mr. Theroux remained the ass clown Chinn had represented he would not be, and Mr. Dower was a rimless zero – a lackey assigned to pretend to ‘direct’ while he did nothing more than provide plausible deniability that ‘My Scientology Movie’ was something other than the latest unoriginal Theroux-shtick vehicle aimed at clowning with scientology.

More troubling was the promotional roll out and press junket behaviors of Chinn, Theroux and Dower.  The three repeatedly flat out lied to the press on two scores. First, they represented that they genuinely undertook the mission of understanding the core of Scientology practice and its appeal and portraying it. The film does not even begin to attempt to do such. None of the dozens of hours I spent attempting to impart that understanding appeared. Significantly, my views on Scientology were as antagonistic to the subject as they had ever been during the filming.  So, the mass editing cannot be written off as avoiding Scientology public relations or promotional pitches; clarity – no matter how non-partisan – could play no part in a movie purporting to bring clarity to the widely misunderstood subject. Second, they represented that they were stalked and harassed by scientology agents for doing nothing but attempting to carry out the mission they never even attempted to carry out.

In fact, I witnessed Theroux and Dower stalk and harass Scientologists repeatedly with no sign that the Scientologists were interested in the bait. Theroux went so far as to relocate to Los Angeles from London for an entire year, residing near to Scientology premises and regularly and loudly cavorting with Anti-Scientologists. When I pointed out to him his failure to provoke the Church of Scientology notwithstanding such extraordinary efforts, he acknowledged that that was his intent and that the effort had been made in vain.

The jiggery-pokery Theroux and Dower attempted in provoking Scientologists – and were called out for in real time as I witnessed it – was legion. For example, on my first of several visits to Los Angeles, they put me up in a motel that was less than a block from the office and apartment of Scientology leader David Miscavige. I chastised them for obviously attempting to use my unnaturally close proximity to bait scientology. Theroux’s response was his trademark impish smirk. Dower profusely apologized for Theroux’s obvious childish shenanigans. Over the next several months of filming sessions, Theroux repeatedly attempted to convince me to do drive bys and walk ups to scientology facilities. On each occasion I noted that such pranks violated Chinn’s original agreements – the provocation route had been done several times before by tabloid types posing as journalists and he expressly guaranteed this project was not going there. After I refused on a number of occasions, Theroux and Dower found other ‘talent’ who was willing to partner with Theroux during his spates of juvenile delinquency.

The Scientology encounters that Theroux himself initiated were so weak in terms of peculiar scientology behavior that he and Dower resorted to creating and acting out a scene where they discussed the possibility that scientology agents were following them. The basis for the suspicion they discussed in the film had already been admitted by them to me as no basis at all for suspicion. That admission of course was edited out of the film.

Late in the project I learned that Theroux and Dower had made gratuitous representations to Church of Scientology lawyers detailing my involvement in the film. There could be no other purpose to the correspondence I reviewed than to incite the Church of Scientology to look into what I was up to. Several years into the project Theroux and Dower finally got their wish. They were able to capture Scientologists filming and confronting me during my trips to Los Angeles. Theroux and Dower reacted with a mix of relief and glee. Chinn even referred to the confrontations and their fallout as the saving grace of an otherwise potentially failed project. He effectively stated to the press that every representation that he made to me over a four-year period about the purpose and substance of the film was false and fraudulent. He stated the film was salvaged by the Church of Scientology finally taking me as bait and my venting on Theroux on film for his having used me as bait. The latter was carefully edited to ensure that the truth of Theroux’s duplicity was not included, and instead paint me as somehow duplicitous.

In the light of these facts, I find it pathetic that media positions Theroux and Dower as exhibiting some level of bravery for having incurred the wrath of scientology.  They never did incur such wrath despite years of attempting to through sophomoric capers.

All of the infotainment play-acting by Theroux diverts attention from perhaps the greatest fraud perpetrated by Theroux and company. The film centers on a purported re-creation of a scene where Scientology leader David Miscavige blows his top in a conference room. The ‘re-creation’ was in fact a creation. Even though they worked with me for a year on that scene, I was not able to submit a script for an actual past occurrence to ‘re-create’ that could pass Theroux’s standards for lurid and shocking theater. The ‘re-creation’ portrayed is an ad lib by actors who had been conditioned for months by Theroux to disdain and fear Scientology.

I did have input on the final scene. Upon reflection however, perhaps I had too much input. Viewing it as objectively as possible I see the final edit containing quite a bit of me projecting my own behavior on Miscavige. That my own personality would rub off on the principle actor is not surprising given the extraordinary amount of hours Theroux and Dower had him spend with me over a year-long period.

At the end of the day, My Scientology Movie brings nothing intelligent to public discussion on Scientology. If you have shallow, preconceived and perhaps bigoted notions about Scientology and are the type who loves laughing out loud at the misfortunes or perceived imperfections of others, then you may get a kick out of ‘My Scientology Movie.’ If you wish to learn anything about the subject the movie will be an utter waste of your time, as much as I consider that my participation in the project was a waste of my time.

Ruthless Bunker Mentality

What remarkable effects a little independent thought can produce in cyber-cultist minds imprisoned by self-imposed two-valued, us-vs.-them thinking. Tony Ortega had more comments to his critique of my review of the book Ruthless than he has had since his four-month campaign attempting to destroy my family’s credibility. He ended that series with the injunction to his followers that I was pretty much irrelevant to the Scientology world upon his pronunciamento. But, a simple posting of my thoughts on Ruthless brought his trolling legion to life, his cheerleader in chief working feverishly to spread Tony’s line onto every forum from secret Facebook anti-scientology clubs, to ESMB, to Pinterest, to you name it. A line Ron Miscavige Sr. and his co-author Dan Koon instantly adopted and represented as their own independently arrived at conclusion – their only public response to date.

In the after-flurry of Ortega’s bunker-mentality response, it was brought to my attention that Ortega and Jeffrey Augustine went on record at the Bunker in an effort to discredit my review (a weak-sister imitation of the dead agent caper incidentally, attacking but one fact of dozens shared). Both recounted an episode at my home in 2012. Per them, former scientology PIs Greg Arnold and Paul Marrick claimed to have spoken to David Miscavige. I heard a claim resembling their recollections at the time too. That is why I later asked Marrick and Arnold through their counsel to swear to it under oath in Monique Rathbun vs. Church of Scientology, et al.  A first year law student would understand the importance of such testimony on the issue of David Miscavige’s alleged hands-on involvement in investigative operations.

The lawyer represented it could not happen because Mr. Arnold and Mr. Marrick did not wish to help Monique Rathbun. That seemed odd since it was the Rathbuns who salvaged their white elephant lawsuit that had that lawyer in a desperate, groveling panic. So, what does one conclude? A) Paul Marrick and Greg Arnold were afraid to go under oath on their braggadocio because it was nothing more than telling tales to jack their self-importance? B) Their lawyer is a bottom feeding liar of the most unethical and immoral sort? C) Their lawyer was the one who did not wish to help Monique Rathbun?  Based on a lot of experience I am not at liberty to share at this time, I concluded it was a combination of A, B, and C.

To those not drunk on the ASC (Anti-Scientology Cult) Kool Aid, I have all of this documented for later laughs.

Ruthless

 

 

I did not plan on reading Ron Miscavige’s book.  Since Ron spent dozens of hours on the phone with me after leaving Scientology to share his observations and thoughts about his experience I did not think there was anything else to be learned from him. Then after his first sensational press junket, his publisher St Martins reached out to me as follows:

 

Hi Marty,

 

The only book to examine the origins of Scientology’s current leader, Ruthless: My Son David Miscavige, and Me (published by St. Martin’s Press on May 3, 2016) is the revealing story of David Miscavige’s childhood and his path to the head seat of the Church of Scientology as seen through the eyes of his father, Ron Miscavige.

 

If you are interested in receiving a copy of the book to share with your readers, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

 

Thanks,

Christine

Christine Catarino | Associate Director, Marketing
ST. MARTIN’S PRESS | 175 Fifth Ave, 15th Fl., New York, NY 10010

 

So, I indulged Ms. Catarino and read the book.  I also complied with her request that I share the book with my readers. Here is my review:

It is ironic that St. Martin’s Press reached out to me to publish a review of its much-publicized book Ruthless by Ron Miscavige with Dan Koon. I had offered to conduct a free-of-charge fact-check on the manuscript but Ron and St. Martin’s ignored it. As Ron was well aware, I was in a particularly authoritative position to spot errors. I spent more than two decades working closely with Ron’s son David, the target of the book. Thus, I had more first-hand experience with him than anyone who has left the Church of Scientology he leads.  My motivation in offering the fact-check was to protect Ron from publishing defamations against his own son, and the deleterious emotional and spiritual effects that would ultimately have upon Ron himself.

After Ron left the Church in 2012 I spent dozens of hours helping him to better understand David.  He had never been in a position to know much about what David did most of his days. He had a lot of questions about stories he was being told by disgruntled former members. I had a lot of answers. None of them appeared in Ruthless. Instead, Ron and Dan apparently favored tortured and recycled opinions and ‘facts’ attributed to others or no one at all.

Upon leaving the church, Ron told me of much peer pressure he received from the scientology disaffected crowd to spill the beans on his son. Ron wanted my opinion. I told him that for a father to write a scandalous tell-all (what the media and anti-scientologists wanted to see and the only thing an American publisher would pay for) would be ill-advised for several reasons. First, Ron had absolutely zero first-hand knowledge about the lurid rumor mill material the anti-scientologists and media yearned for. Second, I questioned the moral propriety of a father writing an expose’ on his son; regardless of who the father and son may be. Third, I noted that a father-son expose’ would contribute nothing to intelligent public discussion on scientology; in fact, it could only detract from it. Ron expressed agreement with my reasoning on the several occasions we spoke about the subject.

      Ron informed me during our 2012 and 2013 discussions that he had two critical objectives in life.  One was to receive some retirement compensation from the church of scientology. He told me he had sought counsel with the then go-to anti-Scientology lawyer and had been advised he had no legal basis to make such a demand or claim. I suggested that Ron phone directly to his son David to seek financial help.  The second target Ron disclosed was to remain connected with his scientologist and non-scientologist family irrespective of the financial demands he planned to pursue.  I told Ron that that was simple. Just don’t cavort with people who are actively attacking scientology.  I said that given the fact that the church of scientology considered that I was one of the more influential anti-scientologists, he might even want to consider not communicating with me so often and so openly.  I advised that to flaunt his anti-scientology allegiances would be tantamount to disconnecting from his scientologists family. Apparently, he took my advice on both scores.  At least until he achieved the objective of obtaining a healthy retirement fund from David.

Ron then drifted deeper into the anti-scientology camp and I did not hear from him for a couple of years.

Having now read Ruthless I have a better sense why Ron and St. Martin’s declined my volunteerism. By the time I handed over my work product, there would not have been a book. I do not believe I have ever read a book more chock-full of hearsay, double hearsay, and anonymous hearsay than this one. A remarkable feat for an alleged first-hand account by a father about his son. The majority of sources for Ron’s published rumors leave a lot to be desired in terms of accurate memory, truthfulness and objectivity toward Ron’s son. For purposes of the review I’ll save readers the catalogue – but it is a lengthy one.

Absent the scandalous material Ron was told about his son, there is no material upon which to hang the rest of the book, the slant of its narrative and its message. Take all the passages prefaced with “he told me…”, “she said…”, “I heard…”, “others have claimed…”, “people have told me”, etc. out of the book and all that would be left is a pathetic self-apologia. It would be a hundred pages or more of justifying why Ron as David’s father bears no responsibility for how his son turned out. Ron repeatedly trashes his deceased wife to create an alibi for himself while assigning David’s first negative trait (his son allegedly complains too much) to her.  Ron based that on an embarrassing and cowardly venting about his former wife’s alleged continuous fault-finding with Ron.

Nowhere does Ron even attempt to reconcile that indictment of David’s mother with his repeated references to her advising that David not be thrown headlong into scientology as Ron had insisted. That is important because David’s second unkindly trait (aggressiveness) according to Ron is passed off on scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Per Ron Miscavige, that was impressed upon David so indelibly because of his being an exceptionally devoted scientologist – something Ron admittedly encouraged and his wife purportedly warned against. Ron conveniently omits his role in consistently urging David’s path with the superior salesmanship abilities Ron claims to possess. These facts make Ruthless read like a bizarre, self-absorbed case of cognitive dissonance playing out with Ron. He condemns Hubbard for creating his son while devoting a lot of the book to defending Hubbard (a courtesy he does not deign to afford to his own son). His left hand types that Scientology made his son intimidating and aggressive, while his right hand types that a significant result Scientology had on himself was “I never again even had the urge to strike her” – speaking of his wife whom he habitually brutalized over the previous decade.

One particularly ruthless section of Ruthless serves to illustrate how the book is the worst possible realization of the three reasons I suggested (and Ron once agreed) for not writing it in the first place. That is where Ron performs a lengthy psychiatric evaluation to assert his son is a psychopath. He cites a book to support his theory, The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout. Clearly, it is a book Ron has not read – yet another case of being told by others, in this case not disclosing the lack of first-hand knowledge. Ron’s book claims an altruistic purpose in attacking his own son. That is, he seeks the abolishment of the so-called Scientology ‘disconnection’ policy. In short, the doctrine holds that the only way to protect oneself from the fallout of a sociopath or toxic personality in one’s life is to cease all connection with him or her.  Ironically, had Ron read The Sociopath Next Door he would have learned that such a policy is not only not unique to Scientology, it is the very same method of dealing with toxic types called for by Stout; a view she shares with most recognized experts on sociopathy. Specifically, “The best way to protect yourself from a sociopath is to avoid him, to refuse any kind of contact or communication.”

In light of the fact that Ron’s book repeatedly claims his motive is to abolish that same practice in Scientology, and that Ron understood that his continued association with the anti-scientology community would in itself result in disconnection from his scientologist family, the very heart of the work would appear to be insincere at best and more likely hypocritical if not fraudulent. Ron had a choice and he opted for disconnection, even after being counselled on how to avoid it.

Stout’s book undermines another fundamental premise preached throughout Ruthless. That is on the subject of where responsibility lies if in fact Ron’s son were the villain he paints him to be. The Sociopath Next Door examines several popular theories in currency about the causes of sociopathy (ranging from genetics to our economics system). The theory Stout gives most treatment to points the bony finger right between Ron Miscavige’s eyes. It lays responsibility at the absence of or abuse by parents or guardians. She cites the considerable viable evidence obtained during the 1980s and 90s flood of American adoptions of young Romanian children. Those children wound up having an extraordinarily large criminal and anti-social record. Studies determined the misfits all held only one thing in common.  As infants and small children they had been orphaned as a result of anachronistic state birth control laws.  None of the sociopathic children received the physical and emotional love and affection afforded most children in their early formative years by their parents. Most suffered privation and corporeal punishment.

Had Ron read the book that most definitely would have stood out to him for the following reason. In 1998 I coordinated locating a number of people particularly knowledgeable of David Miscavige. Reporters for the St Petersburg Times were working on a feature about his son and asked me to arrange those interviews.  Ron and I spoke at length then about David and his upbringing. During the course of those talks Ron told me that he sometimes felt guilty because he regularly ‘beat the hell’ out of David when he was a small child. However, he then said with a measure of pride that since David became who he did he no longer regretted it.  He was proud because he drew a connection to that habitual corporeal punishment to David later having survived Scientology’s most dire chapter possessing the toughness to lead the church through it and rise to the top.

Ron was doing what I witnessed him often do, take credit for the exemplary adult he asserted his son had become. When David’s resilience brought admiration Ron’s way, he sought to intensify it with such braggadocio. When the outside world was more recently piling on Scientology and his son for allegedly being too aggressive, Ron apparently contracted a case of selective amnesia. In either event, a fact check would have indicted Ron Miscavige, applying the very psychiatric standards he used to attempt to bury his own son.

On that same score, an anecdote is in order. In 1981 a then 19-year-old David, his wife Shelly and I drove from Los Angeles to New Orleans to watch his family’s beloved Philadelphia Eagles play in the Super Bowl. We met Ron, his other son Ron Jr, and David’s mother (the Ron-maligned Loretta) there.  After a disappointing Eagles’ loss we went to a large buffet restaurant downtown. A group of victorious Oakland Raider’s fans chided us, noting that we were wearing Eagles t-shirts. Ron Miscavige started shouting profanities at the group of Oakland fans and approached them hostilely. He threatened to break their heads. I put a hand on Ron’s shoulder to prevent a brawl. He hit my hand away with a violent full swim move and kept marching. Only one thing stood between Ron and a fisticuffs that by the looks of him could have wound him up in the penitentiary for aggravated assault. His son David ran in front of him and looked him straight in the eye. “Cool it”, he said firmly. And Ron did. It wouldn’t be the last time David saved his old man from doing hard time in the big house. And that is yet another story Ron truncated and altered in Ruthless to vindicate himself while convicting his now-deceased wife and his son.

Ron Miscavige and his co-writer Koon have clearly taken to the anti-scientology agenda with some enthusiasm. It has created a Kafkaesque reality where Scientology (and by extension Ron’s son) has become in the words of former Scientology PR man Mike Rinder, “Fair Game.”  He defined that in a podcast as meaning one “can do or say anything against Scientology” and get off scot free.  A prime example were the authors’ responses to the Church pointing to a scandal involving Ron’s other son Ron Jr.  The Church referred to law enforcement documents indicating Ron Jr. was a regular client of a human trafficking prostitution ring. Ron Sr.’s response was, “It’s a convoluted mind that comes up with this shit.”  Mr. Koon said, “Dave can’t bring his father down, so the closest target is his brother. Dave doesn’t give a rat’s ass about any collateral damage to Scientology so long as his brother is squashed like a bug.”

Both Koon and Ron Sr. ignore the fact that their book invited such a response in as overt a fashion as possible throughout. One of Ron Sr.’s prime arguments for exonerating himself for how his son David allegedly turned out was to ask his readership to compare his villainous descriptions of David to his other son, Ron Jr.  For example, after vilifying David’s supposed negative behavioral traits – including “perversions” (no particulars are supplied), he writes “Yet who can say for certain these tendencies were part of David’s makeup from birth or they were learned?  Because none of my other children expresses these traits, I am inclined to think they were latent in him from birth.” (Incidentally, the genetic theory is the least useful of several according to Stout). He goes on to describe Ronnie as “the most considerate and thoughtful person you ever would want to meet.” Again relying on hearsay Ron Sr. offers Ron Jr. as comparative bait, “I don’t think Ronnie ever gave anyone reason to dislike him, and I have been told that, as adults, Ronnie and David couldn’t be more different.”  The released documents that Ron and Dan wail about indicate that Ron was living with his son Ronnie when he was arrested for repeated solicitation of sexual favors from human chattel. The latter fact is conveniently omitted from the book, while Ron Sr. describes his visit to Ron Jr. and his wife as akin to boarding with Ozzie and Harriett.

Yet, the Church and Ron’s son David are vilified for accepting their comparative invitation. The anti-scientology camp Fair Game policy apparently holds that if you are a Scientologist you not only are deserving of being marginalized and defamed, but if you resist you commit yet another unforgiveable, heinous crime.  I am not a fan of ad hominem attacks or counter-attacks. But, I am contemptuous of those who wield double standards in an attempt to leave a class of people defenseless against scandal-mongering.

Ruthless has mud-slinging opportunism written throughout it as does the history of its rollout.  Ron Miscavige first hit the headlines with the LA Times’ revelation that a Scientology-hired private investigator had been instructed by David to let his father die if he observed him having a heart attack while on a stake out. Ron’s handlers milked the story for all it was worth while Ron and Koon got busy on manufacturing a hearsay-heavy manuscript. When Ron later told me that he was in the process of inking a deal with St Martins Press to publish a tell-all about his son, he went out of his way to inform me that his change of heart about attacking his son had nothing to do with the wide circulation of the scandalous PI story.  I told him that was a good thing for him. Since he had acknowledged to me that Mike Rinder was part of his advisory team, I told Ron that I assumed that Mike informed him that the accusation about David instructing the private investigator is in fact “provable bullshit.” I waited several seconds for Ron’s reply, but there was silence. So I continued, informing Ron that Mike or I could tell him that in a combined fifty years of experience in directing Scientology investigative work, David Miscavige never once spoke to a private investigator. It was something he never would do and was far less likely to ever start doing the older he became. More silence from Ron.

Until many months later when he published his book and went on a marathon marketing tour. The entire prologue is a come-on promotional tease for the rest of the book, relying primarily on that big lie. It concludes with Ron Sr.’s feigned, wide-eyed wonder “And for a son to say that about his own father – just to let him die!? This book is the story of how that came about.”  Well, what about a father profiting by writing this about his son and repeating it at countless media promotion stops, when the charge has been credibly debunked?

In summary, my view is that paradoxically Ruthless is an apropos title for the work of Ron Miscavige Sr.

The Danger of a Single Story

Reference: You May Be Right

The ASC (anti scientology community) leadership hunkered into their bunker to re-strategize after reading the above-referenced post. Apparently, my allusion to the inherent liability of adopting a single narrative in lock-step fashion was taken as a threat to their anti-scientology story-telling cottage industry.  For those who did not so viscerally react to the idea presented, the talk at the following link provides for a deeper understanding of what I intended by focusing attention on the narratives we have come to accept, build upon and cling to:

The Danger of a Single Story

Incidentally, labelling people as crazy and delusional is an age-old ‘solution’ for suppressing voices that might upset a single-story narrative that is profitable to some.

 

You May Be Right

The verdict is in from the anti-scientology community (ASC), Marty Rathbun is crazy.

You can read and hear all about it across several ASC forums.

I accept the diagnosis as it pertains to the scientology (pro and anti) universe.  Insanity is loosely defined as not seeing or accepting the world as it is generally seen and accepted by the majority of people.

I noted in one of my books that the most valuable thing I got from my scientology experience was the ability to disagree.  That is, freedom from the automatic subconscious acceptance of the way others might want me to see or think.  Today I value that faculty more than ever. Modern science has come to understand that people think in narratives.  They accept them and create them and then judge new experience and data against them – much of that narrative building occurring sub consciously.  I reject the anti-scientology narrative as being at least as inaccurate, exaggerated, partisan and hysterical as the official scientology narrative.  That rejection of the former in no way implies an endorsement of the latter.

I find ASC’s resort to the ‘he’s crazy’ defense/offense to be apropos for a perhaps-final teaching moment in this milieu. I will share it notwithstanding the wave of ‘he’s nuts’ that doing so will inevitably provoke.

Those who have observed me and my detractors for very long will recall that the church of scientology preceded ASC in invoking the insanity defense/offense against me.  Remember the words of the immortal Tommy Davis: “He’s a f____ing lunatic!” As truth slowly struggles to the surface as it sometimes is forced to do, I believe you will find that there were two reasons for the copycatting.

First, the folks running the ASC agenda and authoring its narrative (including the insanity defense/offense) are OSA (Office of Special Affairs) trained and bred.  They often boast of their OSA expertise.  One of them makes good money plying it; another dishes out good money lording it over people. They liberally use that acumen to attack those whom they brand as the attackers. They most spiritedly – overtly and covertly – attack the credibility of anyone who might spoil their pity party by spreading that horrible disinfectant called truth.

Second, the ASC agenda setters have not had an original thought sprout in their heads as long as I have known them (and that is a very long time).  They are and have been wholly unoriginal creatures of stimulus-response thought. I only say this after making extraordinary efforts with each to coax them to rise above such patterns – and only now that they’ve decided no good deed ought go unpunished.

And so, some of the conspiracy chatter on ESMB and Underground Bunker that OSA has infiltrated and seized the ASC conversation – requiring vigilant censorship measures by Tony Ortega and Madam ESMB – contains a grain of truth.

What remains to be seen is whether it is the old OSA or the new OSA and whether the former more effectively influences the latter or vice versa.  In either event, my guess is that the losers will be those who cling desperately to their rusting firearms (and narratives) failing to recognize that the war has been over for several years now.

Then again, both Scientology and ASC may be right, I may be crazy.

Has Your Mind Become Infected?

The following passage from The Four Agreements by Don Migel Ruiz was first published nearly twenty years ago. Consider the implications with the subsequent widespread proliferation of social media, online life, and “reality” culture.

Looking at everyday human interactions, imagine how many times we cast spells on each other with our word. Over time this interaction has become the worst form of black magic, and we call it gossip.

Gossip is black magic at its very worst because it is pure poison. We learned how to gossip by agreement.  When we were children, we heard the adults gossiping all the time, openly giving their opinions about other people. They even had opinions about people they didn’t know. Emotional poison was transferred along with the opinions, and we learned this as the normal way to communicate.

Gossiping has become the main form of communication in human society. It has become the way we feel close to each other, because it makes us feel better to see someone else feel as badly as we do. There is an old expression that says, ‘Misery likes company’, and people who are suffering in hell don’t want to be all alone. Fear and suffering are an important part of the dream of the planet; they are how the dream of the planet keeps us down.

Using the analogy of the human mind as a computer, gossip can be compared to a computer virus. A computer virus is a piece of computer language written in the same language all the other codes are written in, but with a harmful intent. This code is inserted into the program of your computer when you least expect it and most of the time without your awareness. After this code has been introduced, your computer doesn’t work quite right, or it doesn’t function at all because the codes get so mixed up with so many conflicting messages that it stops producing good results.

Human gossip works exactly the same way. For example, you are beginning a new class with a new teacher and you have looked forward to it for a long time. On the first day of class, you run into someone who took the class before, who tells you, ‘Oh that instructor was such a pompous jerk! He didn’t know what he was talking about, and he was a pervert too, so watch out!’

You are immediately imprinted with the word and the emotional code the person had when saying this, but what you are not aware of is his or her motivation in telling you. This person could be angry for failing the class or simply making an assumption based on fears and prejudices, but because you have learned to ingest information like a child, some part of you believes the gossip, and you go on to the class. As the teacher speaks, you feel the poison come up inside you and you don’t realize you see the teacher through the eyes of the person who gave you that gossip. Then you start talking to other people in the class about this, and they start to see the teacher in the same way: as a jerk and a pervert. You really hate the class, and soon you decide to drop out. You blame the teacher, but it is gossip that is to blame.

All of this mess can be caused by one little computer virus.  One little piece of misinformation can break down communication between people, causing every person it touches to become infected and contagious to others. Imagine that every single time others gossip to you, they insert a computer virus into your mind, causing you to think a little less clearly every time. Then imagine that in an effort to clean up your own confusion and get some relief from the poison, you gossip and spread these viruses to someone else.

Now imagine this pattern going on in a never-ending chain between all the humans of earth. The result is a world full of humans who can only read information through circuits that are clogged with a poisonous, contagious virus. Once again, this poisonous virus is what the Toltecs called the mitote, the chaos of a thousand different voices all trying to talk at once in the mind.

Even worse are the black magicians or ‘computer hackers’ who intentionally spread the virus. Think back to a time when you or someone you know was angry with someone else and desired revenge. In order to seek revenge you said something to or about that person with the intention of spreading poison and making that person feel bad about him- or herself.  As children we do this quite thoughtlessly, but as we grow older we become much more calculated in our efforts to bring other people down. Then we lie to ourselves and say that person received a just punishment for their wrongdoing.

When we see the world through a computer virus, it is easy to justify the cruelest behavior.  What we don’t see is that misuse of our word is putting us deeper into hell.

Scientology Floggers

Within 24 hours of posting Cyber Cults, the anti-scientology cyber-cult came unglued. If you haven’t read Cyber Cults and its links, I suggest you do so before reading on. The links are to three thoroughly unrelated people – also unrelated to me – who independently shared experiences of cult-like behavior from flogger (a blogger who flogs the alleged lives of others for money) Tony Ortega. Immediately, Ortega followers zealously rallied to his defense, characterizing the calmly-stated, fact-filled observations I linked to as evil-motivated “attacks” upon their dear leader. What was remarkable was the almost uniform application of an important characteristic of cult behavior.

That is taken from Steve Hassan whom the Ortega cult itself has promoted as quite the authority on cults.  It is, “Make the person feel that problems are always their own fault, never the leader’s or the group’s fault.”  Like so many hyenas, the anti-scientology cult members reactively rallied to attack in Ortega’s defense (ignoring the substance of the observations about his conduct) and viciously went after me and all three of those sharing independent experiences about their leader. We were accused of being Scientology operatives, mentally ill, and a plethora of derogatory epitaphs not fit for re-publication here.

One of Ortega’s more hysterical devotees called for censorship of myself and the other three, then targeted a facebook group (containing more than 400 members critical of scientology) as being fair game for having had the temerity to discuss the substance of my post Cyber Cults. Those pronunciamentos (and their avid acceptance and support by other cyber cultists) demonstrated most of the elements of the following additional Hassan cult characteristic:

Require members to internalize the group’s doctrine as truth
a. Adopting the group’s ‘map of reality’ as reality
b. Instill black and white thinking
c. Decide between good vs. evil
d. Organize people into us vs. them (insiders vs. outsiders)

For any who doubt these characterizations of the reaction to Cyber Cults, they can verify them by reading the thread themselves (or as much as they can stomach) at ex-scientologist message board.  While you read their treatment of the three I linked to along with me, keep in mind another of Hassan’s critical characteristics of a cult:

Promote feelings of guilt or unworthiness, such as
a. Identity guilt
b. You are not living up to your potential
c. Your family is deficient
d. Your past is suspect
e. Your affiliations are unwise
f. Your thoughts, feelings, actions are irrelevant or selfish
g. Social guilt
h. Historical guilt

This is an interesting study in extremism. As Robert Hughes aptly demonstrated in his book Culture of Complaint opposite extremes always seem to have a way of meeting (becoming almost indistinguishable in behavior). On that score, principal stars of the anti-scientology cult are warning people that it is “dangerous” to communicate with me. That’s right, it is dangerous to be exposed to ideas that don’t march lockstep with the cult’s doctrinal black and white, us vs. them mentality.  These include people being promoted by Ortega for working with him on tv specials on scientology disconnection. They apparently are so appalled by scientology’s notion of disconnect that they are actively advising people to disconnect from me.

What I have witnessed personally on the part of the anti-scientology community’s leading lights recently is behavior that makes the average dedicated scientologist seem extraordinarily open-minded and tolerant by comparison.

As a final side note, I noticed a lot of cyber-cultists characterizing my recent posts as some sort of ‘war’ on Tony Ortega and that I wish to engage him in some public debate.  That is another indication of their cult-like, insular belief that the real universe revolves around their play world.  As far as Ortega is concerned I am only preparing the ground to correct the public record he polluted for four months about my family.  He is merely one of thousands of click bait floggers plying his trade as floggers do. I have no intention of changing that – that is fundamentally who he is.  The vermin he carries water for might be another story.  It depends on how they continue to respond and not respond.