Scientology’s “Impact” Magazine (8 Issues) Saved from the Memory Hole

Impact 102-17 Rinder  Oct 2002.JPG - IrfanView (Zoom_ 481 x 670)_2014-06-05_13-16-08Impact Magazine

102 Dec 2002 | 103 April 2003 | 104 July 2003 | 105 Sept 2003 | 107 April 2004 | 108 August 2004 |109 sept 2004 | 110 Feb 2005

View Files Online | Download as .zip

These files are scans of copies of “Impact” magazine, which is distributed to all members of the “International Association of Scientologists” (IAS). Officially all Scientologists who are ‘qualified’ as auditors must be IAS members – if their membership ever lapses they must re-qualify at considerable expense.

In theory, Scientologists who do not have auditing ‘qualifications’ do not have to be members (because charging for participation in ‘religious services’ would violate the deal stuck between the Church of Scientology and the IRS). However, in practice, active Scientologists are heavily pressured to join.

In the US, IAS membership currently costs $500 for a year, and $5,000 for a “lifetime membership” – money which is used to fund many of Scientology’s front groups. IAS members are also frequently approached for donations. It’s a very expensive magazine subscription.

Preserving these magazines is important, because they record statements made by the Church of Scientology which they would now rather forget – and have made strenuous efforts to suppress.

For example the story of Mike Rinder, who appears in the image above.

Mike Rinder’s Story

Mike Rinder’s picture is taken from “Impact” (issue 102 Dec 2002). It shows him when he was a senior executive  in the Church of  Scientology –  a member of the “Watchdog committee Member for the Office of Special Affairs”. This is Scientology’s secret service (and ‘department of dirty tricks’).

Brought up in the Church (he describes himself as “raised a Scientologist from the age of 6) he achieved this position in 1982, and was a tireless spokesman for the Church of Scientology for many years.

rinder davis sweeney

Left: Tommy Davis (Scientology)
Centre: Mike Rinder (Scientology)
Right: John Sweeney (BBC)

Rinder features prominently  in the BBC documentary “Scientology and Me” (2007) where he harasses the Journalist John Sweeney, on orders from the present leader of Scientology David Miscavige.

He had been tasked with ‘handling’ ‘ Sweeney and the BBC – that is insuring, by any means necessary, that the documentary they were making would not damage Scientology. He failed – a highly critical documentary was made and broadcast.

As punishment, Rinder was ordered to go to Scientology’s UK HQ to dig ditches. When he elected to leave the Church instead, his family  was ordered to ‘disconnect’ from him. He has had no contact with his wife (of 35 years) nor his two adult children from that moment.  Scientology has also removed all references to him from its electronic media.

Rinder began to publicly criticise the Church in 2009, and participated in a follow-up documentary with John Sweeney “The Secrets of Scientology” (2010) where he revealed what had been going on behind the scenes during the previous programme.

Sweeney has written a book which describes these events in detail,  “The Church of Fear.”

Mike Rinder now presents himself as an ‘Independent Scientologist’ and is a critic of David Miscavige. He now believes that aspects of Scientology’s “Philosophy”  are valid, but its organisation and practices (especially under Miscavige) are highly questionable. he presents this view in his blog.

Critics often characterise his writings as fringe pseudoscience, but nevertheless follow his blog because it occasionally reveals reveals information from within Scientology.

The Church of Scientology denies that Rinder ever held an important position in the organisation. These magazines show this claim (and many others) to a be a lie.

Wider Importance

Documents like these should be preserved. They record facts and official policies which are vital to Scholars if the history of the Church of Scientology is going to be properly understood.

If anyone has material like this (or can point me towards it) please comment below, or contact me through the feedback page.

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