April 2010


Re. “Russia bans books by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard”

Here is an excerpt from the article:

“Materials on Scientology by Ron Hubbard have been found extremist and will be banned from distribution in Russia,” the Russian prosecutor general’s office said in a statement.

About the first part of the sentence:

Materials on Scientology by Ron Hubbard have been found extremist

Fine.

Hubbard’s “suppressive person” doctrine is a cancer on individuals, family, communities and even society as a whole. In case you don’t know yet, in Scientology, a “suppressive person” is anybody antagonistic to Scientology teachings, or anybody impeding Scientology’s (silly) “ideal scene” of a whole planet run according to Scientology principles.

You don’t like Scientology’s policy of “disconnection” and say so? You’re a “suppressive person.” You don’t like Scientology’s policy of lying and deceiving in order to further Scientology goals (which include getting as much money as possible from people)? You’re a “suppressive person.” You found out the Scientologists are misrepresenting themselves and expose it? You’re a “suppressive.” Etc.

Now, the second part of the sentence:

and will be banned from distribution in Russia

Fail.

The Russian prosecutor general’s office should have stuck to express its opinion regarding Hubbard’s writings, and explain succinctly how they came about to this opinion.

However to go so far as banning is so wrong.

Actually, so utterly wrong that the Scientologists are going to run with this one, I can see the Church of Scientology spotlighting their strawman arguments that critics want Hubbard books burned, while its rather the opposite.

I want all of Hubbard’s writings to be freely available, confidential policies and upper levels included, without having to go through expensive “required” levels, so all can make an informed decision before jumping in.

It’s about full disclosure, censoring more on top of Scientology teachings and its built-in censorship is so fail.

Censoring materials from an organization built on doctrines of censorship is the wrong way to go.

Suppose I summarily described life in Scientology’s compound of Gilman Hot Spring, Hemet, with the following excerpts:

… part insane asylum, part forced labor camp … paint a picture of a … man in absolute control of the people around him; a man who is given to violent outbursts and eccentric behavior … real egocentric … severe temper tantrums … always swearing …very moody, and had a temper like a volcano. He would yell at anybody … screaming … “You are trying to kill me!” … had everyone convinced his … two dogs were “Scientology clears” who could tell if someone was dishonest or disloyal to him … In rebuttal … I have always found [him] warm and considerate … Punishment ranges from shouting repeated insults at the offender to making them run laps around … ordered a young woman to clean out a septic tank pool for three days straight … Dozens of workers, mostly young Scientologists, were brought in last spring to remodel the mansion … concerned solely with making money … If the sales figures dropped below a certain level, [he] became furious … went in to a fit, saying the church wasn’t making enough money and it was all my fault … was stripped of her duties as marketing secretary and assigned to “Rehabilitation Project Force,” … was “forced to do slave labor” planting trees and weeding the golf course in temperature reaching 120 degrees … were locked up for days at a time inside their rooms … were locked inside a shed which had no electricity, water or toilets … Before I got very far, the guards sent a truck for me. I was ordered to get in …

Sounds familiar?

It sure look as a description of current life at Gilman Hot Springs, as reported by the numerous recent whistle-blowers who came forward to speak up about their life in Scientology at Gilman Hot Springs. With passages such as…

  • “guards sent a truck for me”, which sounds very much like Marc Headley’s dramatic escape from Scientology compound;
  • “man in absolute control of the people around him”, “always swearing” and “very moody”, which sounds like how David Miscavige has been described by many recent whistle-blowers;
  • “dogs … who could tell if someone was dishonest or disloyal to him”, sounds like Amy Scobee’s account of David Miscavige using his beagle to spot “out-ethics” people; [ref]
  • “always found … warm and considerate”, which sounds like Tommy Davis describing David Miscavige;
  • “clean out a septic tank pool for three days straight”, which sounds like Mike Rinder or Amy Scobee describing their treatment under David Miscavige. [ref]

Sure sounds like life in Scientology under the tyrannical ruling of David Miscavige, as described by the current flock of whistle-blowers, doesn’t?

The fact is, the above excerpts are from an article published in the Riverside Press-Enterprise 30 years ago: “Defector describes Scientology // Scientology at Gilman”, dated April 14, 1980.

Since this article from historical archives is about L. Ron Hubbard, are the facts reported in it less reprehensible than if the article was describing David Miscavige?

Suppose one take all occurrences of Hubbard in the above article, and replace with Miscavige, does this suddenly make the reported facts more reprehensible?

Suppose one take all the occurrences of Miscavige in the recent media exposing his abuses of people, and replace each occurrence with Hubbard, does this suddenly make the reported facts less reprehensible?

Of course, these questions I direct to those who, despite having left the “Scientology, Inc.”, still defend L. Ron Hubbard and his “teachings” as benevolent.

Confide: to show confidence by imparting secrets. [ref]

Apparently, Mike Rinder won’t talk to Gerry Armstrong, hence Gerry Armstrong’s open letter to Mike Rinder.

According to a post by Mike Rinder on April 4th, entitled “WHERE IS HEBER?”, and published on Marty Rathbun’s blog, Mike Rinder decided to quit the Church of Scientology because of him “having to lie to the BBC about Miscavige beating people.” (In relation to the May 14th, 2007, BBC Panorama’s special report on Scientology.)

As per Mike Rinder, him “having to lie to the BBC about Miscavige beating people” was the “the straw that broke the camel’s back”.

Gerry Armstrong has been exposing the lies of the Church of Scientology and that of its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, for nearly three decades now. He was key in exposing L. Ron Hubbard’s lies to the world. Scientology, as designed by Hubbard, mandates lying, in order to further the goal of his founder (to convert everybody to Scientology, and eventually dispose quietly and without sorrow those who just won’t accept Hubbard’s worldview.)

As of now, it looks as if Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder are only interested in exposing David Miscavige’s lies. L. Ron Hubbard’s lies, or the Scientology doctrines of using lies to further Scientology seem to be of little interest to them. But then, they still see themselves as faithful Scientologists.

In asserting that lies are only an intrinsic trait of Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige, and not an intrinsic trait of Scientology teachings, Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder are, unfortunately, first and foremost, lying to themselves.

In my opinion, the Church of Scientology pre-Miscavige era was even more lying to its members and to the outside world, as it was more easy to do so and get away with it back then, because information about the Church of Scientology was not as easy to find as it is nowadays. It is easier to get away with lies when the information is more compartmentalized, which was the case in the pre-internet era.

I have little doubt that Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder wish to “reform” the current Church of Scientology. But I really question the result of such “reform” if the only lesson they got from their experience in the church is that Scientology is benevolent, and only David Miscavige is to be blamed.

The problem is that David Miscavige hasn’t always be at the helm of Scientology, and there was always of culture of lies in the Church of Scientology.

Now, why would it make sense for Mike Rinder to talk to Gerry Armstrong, among all exes out there?

More than 25 years ago, Gerry Armstrong and Mike Rinder were talking to each other.

While Gerry Armstrong was out, and Mike Rinder was in the Church of Scientology, they were talking to each other about reforming the Church of Scientology.

More than 25 years ago, Gerry Armstrong said to Mike Rinder, “I think both of us want the organization to be transformed into something decent . . . I put my whole life into [Scientology] . . . I have a higher commitment to truth than I do to some label.” [Ref. “Court hears final Scientology tape”, The Oregonian, April 17, 1985]

Today, Mike Rinder is out, and as per his own words, unwilling to lie anymore (for David Miscavige at least), and really wishes to see the Church of Scientology reformed, just like Gerry Armstrong expressly wished over 25 years ago.

Back then, Mike Rinder was lying to Gerry Armstrong when he convinced Gerry Armstrong of his good faith in trying to reform the Church of Scientology. He was talking to Gerry.

Now, Mike Rinder is likely not lying when he expresses the wish to reform the Church of Scientology. However, he won’t talk to Gerry Armstrong.

Go figure.

It’s unfortunate, as I am pretty sure Mike Rinder (and Marty Rathbun) could provide useful information re. the Church of Scientology’s nearly 30-year “war” against Gerry. Incidentally, Gerry and Caroline also did suffer from Scientology’s doctrine of “disconnection”, just like Mike Rinder does today.

Something for Mike Rinder to ponder: Nearly 30 years ago, Gerry Armstrong found himself not willing to go along the lies. You decided the same three years ago. What else did Gerry Armstrong understand way before you did?

Stacy Brooks did talk to Gerry after she left the Church of Scientology. As an example of the useful information she provided, here is an excerpt from Stacy Brooks’ “A classic example of the fair game policy at work” (1998), my emphasis:

[David Miscavige] ordered an intelligence sting operation against Gerry [Armstrong]. Gene Ingram got an LAPD officer, Phillip Rodriguez, to sign off on a bogus authorization to wiretap or videotape Gerry secretly. It was not actually authorized by the LAPD and Rodriguez later got in trouble for it. Then Mike Rinder and Dave Kluge (one of OSA’s intelligence operatives at the time) both set up meetings with Gerry Armstrong, pretending to be disaffected Scientologists who were considering going to the authorities with incriminating information about the church. Mike’s role was important because he was a high-level management staff member whom Gerry knew very well. He met with Gerry and basically said he was extremely dissatisfied with the way the church was being run and wondered if Gerry could hook him up with anyone in the IRS or FBI. Gerry had, in fact, been contacted by investigators from the IRS Criminal Investigation Division, because at that time the IRS was seriously investigating LRH and Scientology for criminal fraud. So Gerry gave Mike the names of the agents he had spoken to.

But DM wanted more than this. DM wanted evidence that Gerry was a paid informant of the IRS, because this would show the judge that Gerry’s testimony was tainted. The only problem was, Gerry wasn’t a paid informant. So no matter how Rinder and Kluge asked their questions, they couldn’t get Gerry on videotape saying he was being paid to attack the church. Rinder and Kluge asked him all kinds of leading questions, trying in every way possible to get Gerry to say what they had been ordered to get him to say. But to no avail.

So DM called me in and ordered me to edit the transcripts of the videotapes to make it look like Gerry was admitting to being a paid informant, even though he never had admitted any such thing. I was to edit out Rinder’s and Kluge’s leading questions so it looked like Gerry was volunteering information, when in fact all he was really doing was answering a hypothetical question that had been posed to him.

I went through the transcripts and pulled the “best” parts I could find, doing my best to comply with DM’s orders to make Gerry look like a paid informant. Privately I thought it was obvious, even after the editing, that Gerry was being set up, but I dutifully turned in my doctored transcript to DM, who then turned it over to Ted Horner, a Gold staff member in charge of film editing, to use my edited transcript to do the final edit on the videotapes.

Then I went back to editing FREEDOM Magazine and my other normal duties and thought no more about it.

One night about a month later I was called over to the OSA Int conference room along with several other key OSA US staff. DM and Norman were both there, looking extremely morose. DM told us that they had taken the videotape into court and demanded to show it to the judge, saying it would prove conclusively that Gerry Armstrong was a paid liar. The judge agreed to see the videotape in camera (meaning in his chambers, not in open court). But the judge did not have the reaction DM and the others had expected. After seeing the videotape, the judge was enraged and told the Scientologists, “I have heard about these dirty tactics that you use against your perceived enemies, but now that I have seen it for myself I think you are much, much worse than I had ever imagined!” And kicked them out of his chambers.