Scientology and the Third Law of PR (Push BS and the press will push back)

Recently, there has been a lot of press coverage in UK newspapers surrounding Tom Cruise, using his celebrity to subtly promote Scientology. This is the result of a quite deliberate policy of the Church of Scientology to recruit celebrities and use them to create a positive public image.

For example, there have been stories about his daughter, who lives in London. She has been given a ‘qualification’ in ‘auditing’. This is Scientology’s core practice which involves using the e-meter to track down incidents in the believer’s past which are affecting their minds to this day. These included ‘past lives’ as Roman soldiers, spaceship pilots and other incarnations.

It costs a lot and it’s a questionable achievement of little interest to the general public. However, she is reported to have thanked her father – and that’s the only reason the story made the tabloids.

Also, Tom Cruise’s son, who lives on Church property is getting married to a committed Scientologist.  Almost everyone likes a celebrity wedding, even if the ceremony is distinctly odd. At this point in Scientology’s history, almost any publicity is good publicity as long as they spell your name right.

However, Scientology came unstuck when the story emerged that Cruise ex-wife Nicole Kidman, is to be excluded from her son’s Scienotlogy wedding.

This is according to fixed Church policy. When Kidman left Tom and Scientology (and took the child they had together with her) she became an apostate. L Ron Hubbard decreed that no Scientologist is allowed to have any contact whatsoever with such people. If they do, they are shunned also. This policy is known as ‘disconnection’, and breaks up families.

It’s probably no coincidence that The Daily Telegraph, a UK broadsheet paper, published a brief, critical piece about Scientology in Today’s Sunday edition. This is a doorstop, which people read with close attention, consisting of a number of ‘supplements’ that cover subjects like travel and sport. Readable images after the break Continue reading

Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath

sci-and-the-aftermathLeah Remini is an US actress, known to the public for various roles, principally as one of the leads in the TV series, “King of Queens.”

She was ‘born into’ Scientology and participated for many years. Recently, however, she left the organisation.

The details of ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’ are bizarre. A decade ago, after a dispute with her husband, the wife of the current leader of Scientology disappeared. In 2013 Leah Remini wanted to know where her friend had gone – and was aggressively blocked. The fact that she did so during a celebrity wedding which Miscavige was attending made matters worse.

Eventually, Remini filed a missing persons report with the Los Angeles police. Informed sources place Shelley in an isolated Scientology facility, which includes an underground bunker. This place is dedicated to preserving he writings of the founder of Scientology L Ron Hubbard.  The police cast no light on Shelley’s whereabouts. They  claimed to have determined that she was not under duress, and therefore her location was confidential.

After leaving Scientology shortly after these events (with her family, who refused to ‘disconnect’ from her, as per Scientology policy) Leah Remini produced a eight-part critical TV series about Scientology, which is now being broadcast. This is different from previous examinations (e.g. “Going Clear”) . It does not take a documentary approach, but is based upon first hand experience and interviews with ex-Scientologists. It promises to bring the abusive behaviour of the Church of Scientology to a new, wider audience, and add a human dimension.

Click ‘Continue Reading’ for links enabling you to watch the first seven episodes (so far) a bonus episode (which includes some incredible interviews) entitled “Ask me Anything” and coverage by the ABC New programme 20/20. Continue reading

Tom Cruise and His “Freedom Medal of Valour”

hqdefaultInternational Scientology News| Issue 29| Extract | Download as .pdf (Click the grey ‘download through your browser’ button in new tab)

I’ve been busy lately, and have got behind with my latest series of posts. To fill in, I thought I’d publish this, without much comment.

It’s an article  from issue 19 of  “International Scientology News”. It describes the presentation of Tom Cruise with “The”Freedom Medal of Valour” – the highest award given to Scientologists by Scientology, and especially created for Cruise alone.

The person who scanned the magazine did not seem to have the means to quite image the pages in one go, so theymade two, overlapping, images of each. I’ve combined them again, using the excellent (and free) “Gnu Image Manipulation Program.” See if you can spot the join.

The rampant sycophancy of this ‘event’ and its coverage was designed to draw Cruise back into Scientology, and seems to have succeeded. It was at a price, however.

The announcement by David Miscavige, the present leader of the Church of Scientology that rich, pampered, Tom Cruise was ” the most dedicated Scientology I know” did not play with many members of the audience – members of the Sea Org who work all hours for subsistence wages, giving up a career and a family to dedicate their lives to serving Scientology. Continue reading

Going Clear: Scientology and The Prison of Belief

Going_Clear_Poster2015 | Going Clear:Scientology and the Prison of Belief | Alex Gibney | HBO

View Online| Download as .mp4

The long wait is over, “Going Clear”  was broadcast in the US on the 29th of March 2015.

This film has been so keenly anticipated by activists because it promises to bring the story of the Church of Scientology into the mainstream, and could prove to be a game-changer.

Please, buy a copy when the film becomes available for download, or on DVD. The people who made this need our support.

A review will follow (after I’ve seen the film myself).

Important news about the availability of “Going Clear” in the UK follows after the break.

Continue reading

An Evening with Lawrence Wright (Author of “Going Clear” – an Essential Book about Scientology)

Evening_With_Lawrence_Wright2014 | An Evening with Lawrence Wright
Watch Online
| Download as .mp4

This is an interview with Lawrence Wright which took place at the Texas book Fair in 2014. In it,  he discusses his book “Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief”, which had been published the previous year.

“Going Clear” is based on more than 200 interviews with ex-Scientologists and years of archival research and one of a select few texts that has brought the history of the Church of Scientology up to date.

Recently, the news broke that HBO, the American premium satellite and cable TV network, is in the final stages of producing a film based on Wright’s book by  award-winning documentary film-maker Alex Gibney   which they plan to release in 2015.

To protect both author and publisher from the notoriously litigious Church, it was subject to incredibly thorough fact-checking and legal scrutiny. Now (according to HBO) 160 lawyers have scrutinised, and stand ready to defend, the film. Continue reading

Der Scientology Plan – Scientology, Germany and Totalitarianism

2009 | Stephanie GargoschDer Scientology Plan | ZDF (German) Television | Der Scientology Plan (The Scientology Plan – How the Psycho-corporation Plans to Conquer Germany)

Part One  View Online | Download as .mp4 | Part Two  View Online | Download as .mp4 | Part Three  View Online | Download as .mp4

This (subtitled) programme for German television opens with a film crew driving past the Scientology organisations in Los Angeles with ex-Scientologist Marc Headley (author of “Blown For Good: Behind the Iron Curtain of Scientology“).

They are followed by cars, intercepted by ‘security guards’ and watched over by surveillance cameras – and record it all.

They go on to describes the aim of Dianetics and Scientology as follows:

In 1954 Hubbard had already laid down the goal of Scientology. A new civilisation with so-called clears, a kind of Ubermenschen free from all negative emotions. […] Clear – this is a state that only Scientology can bring about. And in this clear world, according to Hubbard, the code of law of Scientology would then be applied.

Then, they play a recording of a Hubbard lecture. He tells his audience:

In the central organisation there will be a political officer. You want to know what happens when you have cleared everyone in the area? The only purpose that this centre is going to be used for is as a political centre. Once you have done all this, you are the government.

The totalitarian nature of Scientology, and its potential threat to German democracy is evidentially uppermost in the mind of this film-maker.

Read on (and play the video) after the break.

Continue reading

Education and Re-Education in Ideological Organizations and Their Implications for Children

Sea Org Alley 62005 |  Education and Re-Education in Ideological Organizations and Their Implications for Children

Stephen A Kent Phd professor of sociology at the University of Alberta at Edmonton, Canada

Originally published in Cultic Studies Review Vol. 4, No. 2,

View Online | Download as .pdf

In this paper, Kent examines the attitudes of  a number of “high control groups” (including Scientology) towards children. In all of these organisations he finds that:

  • The overwhelming majority of the second generation abandon their parent’s ‘faith’, leaving as soon as they are old enough
  • The reason for this is that group membership made such demands on the time and attention of parents that they did not have any time to spend with their kids – let alone time to indoctrinate them into a ramshackle belief system that was being made up as it went along.

Continue reading

Tom Cruise and Scientology Vs The Journal of Clinical Investigation

115-8-cover2005 | Tom Cruise is Dangerous and Irresponsible
Ushma S. Neill, Executive Editor, Journal of Clinical investigation
View Online | Download as .pdf

For a time around  2005, the film actor Tom Cruise  took it upon himself to  promote Scientology’s aggressive hostility to psychiatry and psychiatric medication in media interviews.

In a masterpiece of understatement, this article in The Journal of Clinical Investigation examines many of of the statements that Cruise made at this time (and also refers to  L Ron Hubbard’s writings).

It concludes that  there was no rational medical foundation for his advice,  and that attempting to follow it was potentially hazardous to health. Consequently the medially qualified author characterised the (unqualified) actor’s behaviour as ‘dangerous and irresponsible’.

Some people may raise an eyebrow at such an uncompromising condemnation. I don’t blame them. It is reasonable to doubt that a highly-motived  film actor who caters to a mass market (and depends on the goodwill of the public) would risk his career by promoting dangerous pseudo-medical practices. This is why I have added  links to one of the interviews that is analysed in the article below. Watch, and judge for yourself.

Continue reading

The Brainwashers – How Dangerous is Scientology?

the brainwashers (german)View Online

This is a documentary film that appeared on the German television station ARD in January 2009.

On YouTube, you can switch on English subtitles by clicking the second icon in the row on the bottom left (the one that looks like an addressed envelope) and select ‘On’ in the box that pops up. To hide this box, click anywhere on the screen.

The film opens with footage of Tom Cruise promoting the film “Valkyrie”  in New York (it’s fascinating to see how he deflects and ignores direct questions about Scientology from the press). An anonymous protest is not far away.

In “Valkyrie”, Cruise played Colonel Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg, a senior Army officer who attempted to kill Adolf Hitler by planting a bomb in a meeting room he used for conferences with the General Staff.

The documentary then cuts to an e-meter, and describes its role in Scientology as an interrogation tool. Initially, it’s hard to see the connection… Continue reading

An Undercover Operation in Madrid, Spain

Madrid SpainOne of the things that makes Scientology truly remarkable is how consistent and unchanging it is.

There are a range of undercover videos, on this site alone, that show people of different times, nationalities and cultures all being told the same story by Scientology, and following the same practices.

This programme, with English subtitles, dates from 2008. It is based upon very extensive hidden camera footage and features the Scientology Org in Madrid, Spain.

(BTW: I would appreciate it if any Spanish visitors could provide more details about this programme).

View online >>               Part One | Part Two | Part Three

Download as .mp4 >>   Part One | Part Two | Part Three

Or you can play embedded video at the bottom of the page, after clicking the ‘continue reading’ link. Continue reading