Anonymous

Scientology, Harvey Weinstein, and Crisis Management Entrepreneur Mike Sitrick

When the stories of Harvey Weinstein perpetrating sexual assaults and rapes began to surface in  2017, Weinstein retained the services of Sitrick & Company. We cover the story of Weinstein here as Mike Sitrick and his firm have represented the Church of Scientology. Sitrick’s business of “crisis management” apparently has an Ecclesiastical Division in the company as Sitrick did work for the Los Angeles Archdiocese as it fought law enforcement and victims for decades under the leadership of the now disgraced Cardinal Roger Mahony.

Scientology’s disastrous 2013 advertorial in The Atlantic created a big PR blowback for the Church of Scientology:

While we don’t know if Sitrick was behind the advertorial; what we do know is that he took calls in response to David Miscavige’s self-aggrandizing advertorial. In these calls Sitrick stated that he had been working for the Church of Scientology for three and a half years. That would take us back to 2009 time frame. This was a crucial period in Scientology’s history. Anonymous had taken on the Church in 2008. Other than Scientology creating a laughably fake anthrax threat and accusing Anons of being the terrorists behind it, Scientology showed a complete inability to handle Anonymous.

For new Scientology watchers, a bit of history is in order to show why Anonymous choose to take on the Church of Scientology in 2008. Part of the story goes back to 2005 when South Park famously lampooned Scientology, Tom Cruise, and John Travolta.

SCIENTOLOGY, TOM CRUISE, SOUTH PARK, CAA & ANONYMOUS

Ronan Farrow, the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist at the center of the Harvey Weinstein story, is represented by Creative Artists Agency. CAA is worth noting here as Tom Cruise’s agent Kevin Huvane is a managing partner at the Hollywood powerhouse CAA. Cruise’s long-time production partner Paula Wagner, who had helped Cruise launch the lucrative Mission Impossible franchise in 1993 when Cruise/Wagner Productions began, was a former CAA agent. Wagner’s husband Rick Nicita was a partner at CAA through 2008.

When South Park episode 912 “Trapped in the Closet” — an episode that satirized Scientology, Cruise, and Travolta — was set to air in November 2005, Cruise and Scientology called upon their contacts at CAA for help. A meeting was set up to see what could be done to stop the South Park episode from airing . Mike Rinder, who was then in charge of Scientology’s Office of Special Affairs, was dispatched to CAA along with other Scientology execs to ask for CAA’s help in stopping the broadcast of the South Park episode.

Jacob Siegel’s 2015 story in the Daily Beast Why Scientology’s Cone of Silence Shattered offers a revealing insight into Scientology’s attempt to stop South Park episode 912 from airing:

“When South Park did their program, I went to CAA,” said Rinder, using the abbreviation for Creative Artists Agency, a top Hollywood talent agency that represented Cruise.

Rinder said this is what happened next:

“The Tom Cruise card was played with CAA to get them to put pressure on Comedy Central and Viacom. Ultimately, it really backfired.

CAA was opposed to Scientology’s attempt at censorship. Scientology failed in getting South Park episode 912 from airing in the United States. However, South Park did not rebroadcast the episode due to pressures exerted by Scientology. Moreover, Scientology and Cruise succeeded in getting the episode stopped in England due to that country’s medieval libel laws. This Scientology act of censorship was widely reported. The young people who were avid fans of South Park took notice. Many of these young people were members of 4chan, the online bulletin board whose members called themselves Anonymous.

Scientology’s next major act of censorship was in 2008 when the Church got a leaked Tom Cruise video taken down from YouTube. This video was an internal Church of Scientology video in which a very radicalized Tom Cruise exhorts his fellow Scientologists to “go to guns” against Scientology’s enemies. It was Scientology’s takedown of this video that triggered Anonymous to launch its Project Chanology campaign against the Church of Scientology. The campaign began with a stunning video that is a masterpiece of psychological warfare:

INDEPENDENT SCIENTOLOGY

In 2009 the Independent Scientology movement followed on the heels of Anonymous and Scientology proved equally inept at handling the startling revelations of former high level Scientology executives. The Tampa Bay Times series called The Truth Rundown was devastating in its exposure of Scientology leader David Miscavige and his physical violence. The Truth Rundown chronicled the stories of former high level Scientology Sea Org executives who had lived through the hell of David Miscavige’s dystopian nightmare at the International Base located in San Jacinto, California. The seminal Truth Rundown series is now available as an e-Book for Kindle.

Bringing in Mike Sitrick at this time of crisis for Scientology would be a move David Miscavige would make. But what else could Miscavige do given that he had decimated the executive strata of Scientology? In 2009, Scientology’s remaining execs were either locked up in the SP Hole while others were secretly planning their escapes.

David Miscavige responded to the Independent Scientology movement with the Squirrel Busters. This proved to be an epic PR and legal disaster for Scientology. Miscavige also deployed the angry Tommy Davis as Scientology’s spokesman. Davis’ public behavior was an embarrassment. Accordingly he became a PR liability and was either placed on, or took, a leave of absence from the Sea Org whereupon he disappeared off the radar for some time. Other PR disasters for Scientology ensured. Scientology very publicly attacked, in no particular order, Lawrence Wright, Paul Haggis, Alex Gibney, Leah Remini, my dear wife Karen de la Carriere, Mike Rinder, CNN, Anderson Cooper, Vanity Fair, The Tampa Bay Times, and dozens of other people and media outlets that exposed this greedy, lying, and vicious cult. The world watched and saw Scientology Fair Game at work.

Due to the Church of Scientology’s own malicious behavior it had become a walking PR disaster, a self-destructive and disgusting mess.

What does a Cult with a toxic reputation and an uncontrollable need for revenge do?

Scientology did what Harvey Weinstein, Michael Vick, Cardinal Mahony, and numerous other miscreants have done and that is to call Mike Sitrick for help with a self-inflicted disaster. Mike Sitrick shamelessly boasts about the horrendous clients he’s represented. This appears on his company’s own website:


Sitrick boasting about having worked for the Los Angeles Catholic Diocese when it was engulfed in covering up child molestation is extraordinarily disturbing; the boast seems to be a very naked solicitation to do business with the worst scum of society. For an alleged PR genius to brag about helping a Church engaged in protecting pedophile priests is bizarre. One would think Mr. Sitrick would be more discreet about such matters: Halle Barry, Ron Burkle, Roy Disney, and Rush Limbaugh would certainly not like knowing they had been lumped in with pedophile priests on Sitrick & Company’s website.

SITRICK & COMPANY: THE INITIAL HARVEY WEINSTEIN DENIAL

When the call for help came in from Harvey Weinstein, Mike Sitrick’s mother had just passed away and Sitrick was in Chicago making final arrangements. Accordingly, Sitrick assigned the Weinstein case to his employee Sallie Hofmeister. She issued a completely tone deaf denial on Weinstein’s behalf:

Any allegations of nonconsensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual. Mr. Weinstein has begun counseling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path. Mr. Weinstein is hoping that, if he makes enough progress, he will be given a second chance.

This press release shows Sitrick & Company at its worst: The firm appears to have such contempt for Hollywood and the general public that it actually believed it could portray Weinstein as a contrite figure who “has listened to the community” and deserved a second chance. Sorry, Sitrick & Company, Harvey Weinstein is not Mel Gibson. Gibson made stupid drunken anti-Semitic comments; he did not rape women.

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Read Geoffrey Pullum’s brilliant linguistic takedown of Harvey Weinstein’s denial as written by Sallie Hofmeister: The Strange Language of Harvey Weinstein’s Denial

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PROVEABLE BULLSHIT

Two years before Harvey Weinstein was engulfed in a firestorm of his own making, Scientology leader David Miscavige was likewise caught in a maelstrom of horrendous PR of his own making. In 2015, the Los Angeles Times broke the story that Miscavige had hired a father-son team of armed private investigators to secretly follow his own father for two years, this after Ron Miscavige Sr. and his wife had escaped Scientology’s Sea Org. When Ron Miscavige Sr. appeared to be having a heart attack in the parking lot of a Wisconsin supermarket, the PI’s called and asked David Miscavige if they should intervene and call for help. David Miscavige cold-bloodedly replied, “If he dies, let him die.” Outraged by the story going viral, the Church of Scientology issued an angry denial to The Hollywood Reporter that was unique in the annals of ecclesiastical denials:

As for the purported emergency incident involving an investigator and the second-hand account of an alleged conversation containing a despicably false quote, Mr. Miscavige’s attorney, Michael Lee Hertzberg, is on record stating that Mr. Miscavige does not know the investigator, has never heard of the investigator, has never met the investigator, has never spoken to the investigator, never hired the investigator and never directed any investigations by him.

So let me be clear: No such conversation with Mr. Miscavige ever took place and any claim that one did is provable bullshit.

David Miscavige’s belligerent denial mirrors that of Harvey Weinstein. As reported by AV Club, Weinstein disrupted group sessions when he was going through the charade of sex therapy in 2017:

According to sources at the outpatient clinic—where Weinstein, committed to changing his behavior patterns, drops in after spending his nights in a luxury hotel—Weinstein has been derailing group therapy sessions with his belligerent rants about “how this is all a conspiracy against him,” insisting “he never raped or assaulted anyone, and that all the encounters were consensual.” That Weinstein continues to downplay or outright dismiss the more than 40 women who have now accused him of sexual harassment or assault isn’t a surprise to anyone who’s followed this story, or are generally familiar with sexual abusers.

What Harvey Weinstein and David Miscavige have in common is that both are sleazebags who, when cornered, angrily protest that there is a conspiracy against them and that the bad acts of which they stand accused are baseless, i.e. “proveable bullshit” in the shrill argot of Scientology.

WEINSTEIN’S BOGUS CONTRITION

One of Sitrick’s textbook plays is to paint a miscreant client as a sincerely contrite person who seeks repentance by performing good acts. Thus, in a desperate and phony gambit that reeked of trying to buy his way out of what was shaping up to be a future prison sentence, Weinstein announced that he wanted to donate $5 million dollars to USC to fund to female filmmakers. USC wanted nothing to with Weinstein’s inept pandering and sleazy attempts at damage control into which he had dragged his own mother:

As allegations of sexual harassment against embattled film mogul Harvey Weinstein continue to unfold, the USC School of Cinematic Arts said Tuesday that it is rejecting a $5-million pledge Weinstein had made to fund a program for female filmmakers.

Weinstein referenced the pledge last week in a statement to the New York Times in response to the paper’s exhaustive story detailing accusations of sexual misconduct against him going back decades. “It will be named after my mom, and I won’t disappoint her,” he wrote.

TIME TO DITCH THE CLIENT 

Abby Aguirre’s recent New York Times story about Mike Sitrick is aptly entitled He Fixes the Worst P.R. Crises Imaginable. Then Comes Harvey Weinstein. In her insightful article Aguirre shows that Mike Sitrick’s vaunted grasp of a situation seems to have failed him in the case of Harvey Weinstein:

As the #MeToo dam broke, the allegations against Mr. Weinstein multiplied. So did Sitrick and Company’s rebuttals… Sitrick and Company issued what would turn out to be one of its final statements to USA Today, for an article on March 22: “Mr. Weinstein categorically denies ever engaging in any non-consensual sexual conduct with anyone.”

Two months later Mr. Weinstein was arrested. His lawyer is Benjamin Brafman, whose clients have included Martin Shkreli, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Vincent Gigante, known as “The Chin.”

Only when it became inevitable that Weinstein was headed for felony charges did Sitrick & Company drop Weinstein. The Hollywood Reporter carried the headline:

THE COLLAPSE OF THE GOOD OLD BOY’S NETWORK

Harvey Weinstein’s arrest draws attention to the ability of wealthy and powerful evildoers such as Harvey Weinstein, the Church of Scientology, Enron and other Sitrick clients to spend lavish sums of money to spin the story in an attempt to redefine, deny, and portray themselves as something other than deviant individuals and organizations.

We view Sitrick & Company as a part of the larger ecosystem of corruption where monied elites are able to use their power and wealth to distort the news by using carefully crafted spin, cover ups, fake news, lies, threats, and denials. As we see it, Mike Sitrick and his firm are quickly becoming dinosaurs in the rapidly collapsing American “Good Old Boy’s Network.”

If Harvey Weinstein had owned a crystal ball in 2016, he could have skipped paying Sitrick & Company and conserved his funds for the large and expensive criminal defense team he will need. Inasmuch as Sitrick, like Scientology, cannot guarantee any particular result, wealthy people facing serious accusations in the post Harvey Weinstein era need to ask themselves if premium-priced “crisis management” is a form of wishful thinking or denial. Indeed, can any crisis management firm head off the inevitable where criminality can be proven to exist?  The lesson to be learned here is ancient: Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.

SITRICK AS THE FIXER

The title of Sitrick’s new book The Fixer: Secrets for Your Reputation in the Age of Viral Media is a self-admission of how Sitrick views himself: He is a fixer. The notorious private investigator Anthony Pellicano was formerly a part of this system of high-priced “fixers” until he was taken out by the Feds and sent to prison along with attorney Terry Christensen, another pricey Hollywood fixer.

A fixer is someone who makes very ugly problems go away. Typically, a fixer works in such a way that his client has complete deniability and knows nothing about how the very ugly problem was made to go away. Fixers like Mike Sitrick work to simply spin, distort, and try to create a different perception of their clients. Fixers and the particular sort of work they do are central to the Good Old Boy’s Network. However, Fixers are no match for great journalists who see right through their machinations.

RONAN FARROW

As Weinstein’s denials were issuing forth from Sitrick & Company, NBC Today Show contributor Ronan Farrow took notice of Harvey Weinstein and put together a blockbuster story. NBC execs, however, infamously passed on the story and urged Farrow to take it elsewhere. Farrow did just that; his subsequent articles in The New Yorker earned both himself and the magazine the 2018 Pulitzer Prize gold medal for public service. Farrow is an attorney and a member of the New York bar. His skills as an attorney were evident in the way he investigated Weinstein.

Kara Swisher’s interview of Ronan Farrow on Recode Decode is outstanding. Parts of it sound like Farrow is talking about Scientology Fair Game when he describes the depredations of the wealthy and powerful:

Recode Decode says of Swisher’s interview with Ronan Farrow:

On the new podcast, Farrow explained how he convinced Weinstein’s victims to talk to him for the story; he credited his sister Dylan Farrow, ex-Fox News host Gretchen Carlson and Bill Cosby’s myriad accusers with proving that women could relive the trauma, come forward with their stories and be okay in the end.

“I think the world changed,” Farrow said. “There was a progression of brave women and also, of course, eventually men — I don’t want to discount the importance of male survivors of sexual violence and how much we need to hear their voices. But at the time, it was mostly women coming forward and chipping away at the culture of silence.”

He reiterated that the focus should be on these survivors and on the ways in which the justice system and the media failed them — not on predators like Weinstein. Many of the systems that preserved the status quo of silence are “still thriving,” he said.

While Ronan Farrow astutely saw the world changing as women came forward and chipped away at the Hollywood Culture of Silence that protected Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and other sexual predators, Mike Sitrick saw a chance to make a big payday spinning for Harvey Weinstein. However, nothing Sitrick did, or could have done, would have helped Harvey Weinstein.

TheWrap noted that Sitrick & Company stayed on helping Weinstein while others were dropping Weinstein in order to prevent further damage to their reputations for having represented him the first place:

Crisis public relations firm Sitrick and Company is no longer representing disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein, the company told TheWrap on Tuesday.

Weinstein has been accused of rape, sexual assault and harassment by nearly 90 women in in various cities around the world. The producer has consistently denied any nonconsensual sex through his former Sitrick spokesperson, retained shortly after articles containing early accusations were published in the New Yorker and the New York Times last October.

Sitrick has been a surprising holdover for the past five months as Weinstein watched several key crisis players bail as the accusations piled up and the national conversation became consumed by the #MeToo movement sparked by Weinstein’s alleged misconduct.

Sitrick held on for too long in defending Harvey Weinstein. So did Los Angeles attorney Lisa Bloom who was widely criticized for both taking on Weinstein as a client and attempting to minimize his conduct by saying that he was “an old dinosaur learning new ways.” Bloom admitted to BuzzFeed News that her representation of Harvey Weinstein was “a colossal mistake.”

Another loser who got a big black eye from the Harvey Weinstein story is NBC. Many predict that there is fallout still to come for the peacock network having killed Farrow’s story. Farrow will tell his side of the story when Little, Brown and Co., releases his upcoming book Catch and Kill. A press released said of Farrow’s book, “the project will address the “conspiracy of silence around Weinstein and other men in power.”

SITRICK IN 2018

Mike Sitrick is no match for Wikileaks, the Panama Papers, and crusading journalists like Ronan Farrow, and the courage of women speaking out against their abusers. In this day and age when the US Congress and federal agencies are setting up to take on Google and Facebook’s massive invasions of privacy and selling private data, Sitrick’s skills no longer seem formidable against the vast oceans of social media, high level leakers, and even network and cable news. Indeed, the high-speed downfall of Harvey Weinstein showed the powerlessness of Sitrick & Company to fend off the inevitable by the use of old school tricks.

Weinstein’s arrest makes the case that “crisis management” is quite different than “trying to counter horrendously bad PR for high profile sleazebags who have crossed the line into criminality.” It is one thing to for Johnson & Johnson to handle the nightmarish PR issues related to Tylenol tampering in 1982; it’s quite another for Sitrick & Company to issue blanket denials on behalf of Harvey Weinstein or work in the background for the Church of Scientology even as Scientology works to destroy former members, journalists, and critics who expose its depravity.

This leads us to ask: When does “crisis management” cross the line into complicity?

SCIENTOLOGY & FAIR GAME; MIKE SITRICK & THE WHEEL OF PAIN

Abby Aguirre’s recent New York Times story on Mike Sitrick and Harvey Weinstein offers an illuminating look at what Sitrick & Company did for the disgraced Hollywood mogul. Aguirre notes that in 1998 Sitrick coauthored a book with Allan Mayer. Entitled Spin: How to Turn the Power of the Press to Your Advantage, Aguirre comments on the book:

In Chapter 4, “News Media Abhor a Vacuum,” Mr. Sitrick lays out one of his key tenets: that strategic press representatives must engage the media; “no comment” should never be a first resort. “If you won’t talk to them, they’ll simply find someone else who will,” he and Mr. Mayer write, “which is to say, if you don’t tell your story, someone else will tell it for you.”

In a press release concerning Scientology TV, David Miscavige quoted Mike Sitrick verbatim when he said:

If you don’t write your own story, someone else will. So, yes, we’re now going to be writing our story, like no other religion in history. And it’s all going to happen right here from Scientology Media Productions.”

Miscavige’s verbatim quote of Sitrick suggests that Sitrick still has Scientology as a client. If so, Scientology and Sitrick appear to think alike in terms of Fair Game; Sitrick just phrases it differently. Example: In Sitrick’s new book The Fixer: Secrets for Saving Your Reputation in the Age of Viral Media he advises his clients to “Put Your Opponent in the Wheel of Pain.”

For Mike Sitrick to advise someone like Harvey Weinstein to put his opponents “in the wheel of pain” is beyond comprehension. Are we to take Sitrick’s admonition to mean that Weinstein’s victims were to be put in the wheel of pain by Sitrick & Company? Were Weinstein’s victims to be caused pain? While a clarification from Sitrick & Company on this point seems in order, Sitrick’s advice to cause your opponent pain shows the utter cynicism at Sitrick’s core: He is not afraid to hurt people in the defense of a client.

Attorney Lisa Bloom was also apparently not afraid to attack Weinstein’s accusers as Lloyd Grove’s story in The Daily Beast made clear:

Ronan Farrow was stunned and disgusted early this year when famed feminist lawyer Lisa Bloom phoned him, in the midst of his investigation for NBC News of widespread allegations of sexual misconduct against Harvey Weinstein, and offered to share opposition research on one of Weinstein’s accusers.

“I don’t know if you’ve talked to Rose McGowan, but we have files on her and her… history,” Bloom told Farrow, according to knowledgeable sources inside and outside NBC.

To what extent, if any, Bloom was coordinating with Sitrick remains a mystery. Nevertheless, the question remains: When does crisis management become complicity?

The efforts of Sitrick & Company and Lisa Bloom on behalf of their client Harvey Weinstein resemble Scientology’s practice of Fair Game in certain aspects. Grove’s story in the Daily Beast details just how ugly the Hollywood Good Old Boy’s network became when Harvey Weinstein learned that Ronan Farrow was writing a story about him. Weinstein called in all his markers in Hollywood and his very powerful allies tried to kill Farrow’s story. The Good Old Boys Network in Hollywood had much to lose if Weinstein went down. Worse, some of the Good Old Boys knew they too could be dragged down with Weinstein. It was time to circle the wagons.

FOCUS ON THE FIX

Mike Sitrick advises his clients to “focus on the fix.” Scientology TV is obviously Miscavige’s attempt to focus on the fix. We know that Scientology TV is Miscavige’s attempt to “normalize Scientology.” How Miscavige thinks this is possible is quizzical: One cannot normalize that which is inherently deviant. For instance, how does one “normalize” child labor in the Sea Org or exploiting Sea Org members by paying them .10 cents per hour while inflicting sleep deprivation on them? Sleep deprivation is classed as a form of torture by the United Stations. Defined as “the intentional infliction of physical and psychological pain” sleep deprivation as torture cannot be normalized.

Mike Sitrick calls for an organization in crisis to exercise a strategy in which “strategic press representatives must engage the media.” How has David Miscavige translated this advice into action?

David Miscavige has his OSA “press representatives” engage the media in two ways. First, in terms of responding to Leah’s Remini’s A&E show Scientology and the Aftermath, Miscavige has his people in OSA Legal engage the media and the public by issuing a series of angry and unconvincing written denials. From a legal perspective, A&E prudently airs these denials so as to foreclose any Scientology protest that it was not given a chance to respond.

Miscavige apparently feels that he is telling his story by compelling A&E to broadcast Scientology’s written denials. However, Scientology’s denials carry the same moral authority as Harvey Weinstein’s denials:

David Miscavige’s second response to his critics is to have OSA create hate websites on people Scientology deems Suppressive Persons. However, Scientology’s hate websites only serve as self-indicting evidence that Scientology is as malicious as former members, critics, journalists, and documentarians have stated after having been on the receiving end of Scientology’s Fair Game campaigns.

SCIENTOLOGY TV AS THE PROPAGANDA OF A COLLAPSING REGIME

David Miscavige is so delusional that he spent $100 million on Scientology TV in order to tell Scientology’s story so that other’s won’t. However, this is pure fantasy. The media, critics, and former members have been telling Scientology’s story for decades and will continue to do so. David Miscavige and his “crisis management experts” are powerless to stop any coverage of Scientology.

I once shooped Miscavige as Ceausescu in his final hours to depict Miscavige’s utter incomprehension of what is actually happening around him:


The incomprehension of the wealthy and powerful occurs because they have gotten their own way for so long and live in a bubble of sycophants, lawyers, fixers, private investigators, paid hoodlums, crisis management firms, and other enablers. When something truly disastrous besets them, the wealthy think they can buy their way out of it, silence it with various dire threats, or stop it by enforcing nondisclosure agreements that were signed in the past. Stormy Daniels and her attorney have made a mockery of the system of payoffs and nondisclosure agreements. Ronan Farrow has made a mockery of NBC’s alleged “concerns” of not having enough evidence to run a story. The Panama Papers, Paradise Papers, and the soon to be released Appleby Papers have ripped the veil off the offshore financial chicanery of monied elites. The 1% are powerful, but not that powerful. The 1% should take notice when even the governments of China and Russia fear the internet and the free flow of information.

SCIENTOLOGY SPIN

Scientology has often tried to spin the narrative in self-serving attempts to attack its most effective critics. Taryn Teutsch’s recent attempts to hijack the #MeToo movement for use in attacking her father Mike Rinder were exposed as fraudulent and reprehensible.

Likewise, Joy Villa’s attempts to portray herself as a Christian and Scientologist were unconvincing.

Rather than acknowledging the extremely serious and enormous problems with Scientology, David Miscavige has tried to spin the overwhelming public outrage against Scientology by tossing out the bogus and unconvincing tagline, “Curious? We thought so.”

Mr. Miscavige, the only thing people are curious about concerning Scientology is why the IRS has not revoked its tax exemption.

Scientology Television on YouTube: Statistics & Predictions

The Church of Scientology has launched its cable channel. It has done so by purchasing time on a 24/7/365 basis on channel 320 on Direct TV. However, for all intents and purposes Scientology Television appears to be depending upon being live-streamed on YouTube.

Thus, we can use existing YouTube statistics to predict Scientology Television’s potential for success on YouTube.

Our only caveat is that Scientology’s published numbers are notoriously unreliable and often completely false. For example, Scientology has variously claimed it has eight million members, twelve million members, or simply millions of members.

Absent any independent third party audit, we must take Scientology’s numbers to be both inflated and unverifiable. Moreover, Scientology’s STAND League on Twitter was caught using stock photos and claiming these were actual Scientologists. These fake “stock photo Scientologists” were exposed as such. Scientology has also been suspected of using click farms to boost ratings. With these factors in mind, we proceed with our analysis of Scientology’s performance on YouTube.

We begin with Scientology’s main YouTube channel. We learn there that this channel began on September 19, 2006 and claims 30,521,562 views as of March 14, 2018:

We note that Scientology refuses to disclose the number of subscribers to its channel. Drilling down, we use the YouTube feature that allows us to sort videos from the most popular to the least popular. Here are the ten most popular videos by rank on Scientology’s YouTube channel:

This data shows us that Scientology’s top ten videos have a total of 11,182,000 views. This is 36.6% of the total views claimed for the channel. Of note is Scientology’s 2018 Super Bowl ad with a claimed 2.9 million views. This means that one 2018 Super Bowl commercial accounts for 10% of all views since the channel opened in 2006.

What this tells us is that Scientology spent millions of dollars on a one-time Super Bowl ad in early 2018 to gain 10% of its total YouTube traffic since 2006. This does not bode well for Scientology Television as the channel is not tied to advertising on high profile televised network events such as the Super Bowl, the World Cup, the Academy Awards, or major television franchises like Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, or The Big Bang Theory.

Once we deduct the numbers for Scientology’s top ten YouTube videos, we are left with 19,339,562 views since the channel began 135 months ago in September 2006. Less the top ten videos, then, Scientology YouTube has averaged a paltry 143,256 views per month since its inception.

Scientology’s ten lowest ranking YouTube videos produced a pathetic 143,000 views; four of these videos were “The Way to Happiness” themed:

By way of contrast, the top 20 Scientology channels and videos on YouTube that are not favorable to Scientology have a total 72,850,000 views:

Name YT Channel Name Total Views in millions
Tom Cruise  – Leaked Go to Guns Video Aleteuk 12.3
Karen de la Carriere Surviving Scientology Channel 7.4
Mark Bunker Xenu TV Channel 7.1
Some crazy scientology stuff hashmanis 5.7
Message to Scientology Anonymous 5.3
Tom Cruise’s Heated Interview With Matt Lauer Today 5.3
Angry Gay Pope Angry Gay Pope Channel 5
Tory Christman ToryMagoo44! 4
Chris Shelton Critical Thinker at Large Channel 3.6
Joe Rogan Interviews Leah Remini Joe Rogan Experience 2.3
Scientology in 100 Seconds AllHailXenuFilm 2
Steven Mango Steven Mango Channel 1.78
Chelsea – Netflix Leah Remini Explains Scientology’s Scam 1.67
The Master: How Scientology Works Nerdwriter1 1.6
Aaron Smith-Levin Growing Up in Scientology Channel 1.5
Leah Remini on the Cult of Scientology Real Time with Bill Maher 1.3
Joe Rogan Interviews Ron Miscavige Joe Rogan Experience 1.3
Scientology – Louis Theroux Joe Rogan Experience 1.3
Matthew Santoro 10 Insane Facts About Scientology 1.3
Shocking Facts About Scientology TheRichest 1.1
Total Views 72.85

The conclusion here is that a highly active group of former Scientologists, critics, and media outlets can easily outpace the three billion dollar Scientology Cult on social media without multi-million dollar Super Bowl ads; 24/7/365 live streaming on YouTube; or spending $4 million dollars per year on carriage fees on Direct TV as Lloyd Grove stated in his recent Daily Beast article David Miscavige Comes Out of the Shadows on the First Night of Scientology’s TV Network. Further, we are restricting our analysis in this article to YouTube; we do not take into account books, movies, and televisions shows. Hence, Going Clear, the book and the film, Leah Remini’s Scientology and the Aftermath, CNN’s A History of Violence, the Tampa Bay Times’ The Truth Rundown, Tony Ortega’s Underground Bunker and the other leading exposes of Scientology are not factored into our discussion at hand.

In terms of strategy and content, the playlists on Scientology’s YouTube channel suggest that  we can expect to see more of the same content from Scientology Television:

Based on the foregoing, my prediction is that this will be the exact content we can expect to see repeated endlessly on Scientology Television:

  1. Ideal Org grand openings
  2. Volunteer Ministers
  3. Meet a Scientologist videos
  4. A focus on Latin America
  5. Scientologists making a difference in their communities videos
  6. CCHR anti-drug and anti-psychiatry videos
  7. Pseudo-ecumenical efforts using the usual Scientology shills, e.g. Dr. J. Gordon Melton
  8. Speeches at Ideal Org grand openings by low-ranking functionaries, for example Captain John Galindo, Operations Director National Circle of Aid Technicians of Colombia

What stood out to me in my review of Scientology’s YouTube website for this article is that Scientologist skateboarder Aaron has the largest number of views for an individual Scientologist. With 809,524 views, this  young man’s ratings far and away eclipse the ratings for any video featuring Scientology leader David Miscavige. VWD Aaron!

The least popular Scientologist in the “Meet a Scientologist” series of videos appears to be Omar, an expeditionary pilot. Poor Omar has only 1,010 views since his video was released on October 28, 2010:

Bottom Line: My prediction is that Scientology Television will follow the same trajectory as an Ideal Org – which is to say that it will have a shelf life of three weeks and then it will die on the vine.

With an Ideal Org there is excitement the week before the grand opening and David Miscavige’s rope pull. Then there is excitement the two weeks after the grand opening. Thereafter, it is business as usual with the demands for stats, more money, and to get bodies into the shop. Apathy sets in and soon the glory of the grand opening gives way to the punishing and cruel grind of everyday life in Scientology.

The initial burst of interest in Scientology Television will quickly collapse once people see that it is a 24/7/365 cycling of the same content ad nauseum. L. Ron Hubbard’s pedantic lectures and Scientology hyperbole wears thin very quickly; particularly when Netflix beckons.

Hysterical Scientology Cult Plays Victim Once Again. Wall Street Journal Assists in the Psychodrama.

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Even as Scientology has the explicitly stated goals to destroy Psychiatry, take over the world, and conduct a genocide against 2.5% of the global population, the militant Hollywood-based Cult is once again playing victim.

This time, Scientology’s bogus “STAND” group — a group populated by several fake Scientologists who are actually nothing more than phony names and stock photos — is demanding that sponsors boycott Leah Remini’s Emmy-winning show Scientology and the Aftermath.

A recent Wall Street Journal article covering Scientology’s call for a boycott is shockingly sloppy. Without bothering to substantiate even one of Scientology’s claims, WSJ columnist  Alexandra Bruell uncritically quoted this bit of Scientology hysteria:

“Leah Remini’s hate campaign of religious bigotry in its first season alone generated more than 400 incidents of harassment, threats of violence and vandalism against our churches and members,” reads one letter from STAND, dated from August and addressed to Geico’s assistant vice president of marketing Bill Brower. “The threat level has again risen, precisely coincident with A&E’s promotion and airing of the second season of this show, now spawning even more threats—bombings, murder and acts of physical violence.”

Alexandra Bruell apparently couldn’t be bothered to ask for even one shred of hard evidence from Scientology in the form of police reports, threatening e-mails, or any other substantiating proof. Instead, Bruell simply repeated Scientology’s claim. This sort of lazy journalism is highly offensive to the victims of Scientology and serves only to tarnish the reputation of the Wall Street Journal. I actually wondered how this unvetted story got by WSJ editors.

In 2009, Scientology complained to the “Freedom of Religion and Belief in the 21st Century Project” that is was being persecuted. While never disclosing its ties to this so-called Commission, Scientology nevertheless made the same cookie-cutter complaints about Anonymous that it is now making about A&E’s Scientology and the Aftermath:

Since January 2008, the Church of Scientology has been subjected to a continuing campaign of violence and abuse from a hate group calling themselves ‘Anonymous’. This entity has been described as a group of “cyber terrorists” as its actions have previously focused on Internet harassment and other crimes. However, in the last 13 months they have also (i.e. as well as their internet based assaults) committed acts of harassment and criminal offences “in real life” against the Church, its members and Church property. Anonymous members have made numerous bomb threats, arson threats and committed acts of vandalism against Scientology churches. They have made harassing phone calls, sent vulgar and threatening faxes and e-mails, painted graffiti, posted threats on the Internet and publicly threatened to kill Scientologists engaged in religious services.

Scientology offered no evidence in its 2009 allegations and it is offering no evidence now. No Scientology churches have been bombed and no Scientologists have been murdered. This is all phony posturing to which Scientology resorts whenever it feels the heat of being exposed for its depravity.

We hasten to point out that Scientology now has hundreds of hate websites and webpages up on Leah Remini, Mike Rinder, and everyone else who has spoken out on Leah’s show. Even as Scientology spews all manner of hatred, calumny, slander, and viciousness it paints itself as a victim. This hypocritical and loathsome behavior is yet another reason Scientology is correctly called a Cult.

Those of us who are long-term Scientology critics have seen this sort of Scientology hysteria and bloviating before. As mentioned, the phony Scientology 2008 soap opera about being persecuted by Anonymous is being replayed in 2017. This time Scientology is the victim of Leah Remini and her guests.

The 2008 hysterics began early on when Scientology launched a barrage of stories in which it claimed to have received anthrax in its mail at multiple locations. Scientology worked to insinuate that this was the work of Anonymous. However, many of us suspected this was a staged event conducted by Scientology’s Office of Special Affairs. The FBI got involved and nothing became of the matter.

Of course, Scientology never mentioned that it spent millions of dollars on private investigators to stalk, follow, and harass members of Anonymous, many of whom were high school and college students and lived at homes with their parents. Scientology PI’s got license plate numbers, took photos, and identified as many members of Anonymous as possible. Scientology attorneys then sent letters to the parents of Anons claiming their sons and daughters were members of a terrorist group. The fascist goal of Scientology in sending these letters was to terrify parents into demanding that their sons and daughters stop protesting Scientology’s human rights abuses and criminality.

In one threat letter sent to an Anon, Scientology attorney F. Wallace “Wally” Pope walked back the anthrax attack story and called it a “simulated anthrax attack.” Pope then demanded that the Anon cease and desist protesting. Pope characterized peaceful protest — which is a form of free speech — as “engaging in violent acts against the Church or its members.” How dramatic! Here is part of Wally’s letter:

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Wally Pope’s letter threatens to refer “the names of persons to State and Federal authorities” if these persons do not cease and desist protesting. This seems both extortionate and illogical; if Pope indeed had evidence of criminal activity then he should have immediately turned it over to the authorities. However, Pope had no evidence to turn over so he made a baseless threat in an attempt to muzzle free speech.

Even as Scientology screams persecution, it simultaneously engages in its work to destroy Psychiatry; destroy families through Disconnection; exploit Sea Org for slave labor; defend its use of child labor; destroy its own members financially; and engage in the rest of its psycho-terrorist cultic agenda.

Even now in 2017 Scientology continues to peddle its lie that Psychiatry was behind the Nazis and is also behind extremist Muslim terrorism:

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The Wall Street Journal failed to tell the whole story. In doing so, the WSJ did a disservice to all of the people who are bravely speaking out against the unabated horrors of the Church of Scientology. We hope the Wall Street Journal will correct this error and report the entire story.

Scientology Doubles Down on its Tax-Exempt Social Media Fraud

Scientology tax-exempt fraud at work: After being being publicly exposed and shamed for using stock photos to create phony Scientologists to attack Leah Remini, A&E, Leah’s guests and everyone connected to Leah’s Emmy-winning show Scientology and the Aftermath, the Scientology Cult is now doubling down on its social media fraud.

There is no Scientologist named Alicia Selverson. And yet the Church of Scientology uses this stock photo image to pretend that Alicia Selverson is a real Scientologist who belongs to a Scientology propaganda group called STAND.

There are also no Scientologists named Eva Band, Ellis Craig, Rebecca Blair, or Catriona McKenzie. These fake people are STAND members. Astute Scientology watchers, particularly @kellykels_melbs on Twitter have done much investigatory work to uncover Scientology’s social media fraud and smear accounts:

The poster Love Infusion on Twitter made a post showing that the stock photo of the faux Scientologist “Catriona McKenzie” was used on a book cover:

This is deceptive advertising and yet Scientology routinely engages in fraud and deceit so what’s new?

Well, what’s new is that real Scientologist Gemma Harris is on Twitter claiming these phony “Stock Photo Scientologists” are real people:

Gemma Harris claims these “real people” are using fake names and stock photos to hide their real identities because they want to remain anonymous:

When did Scientologists become timid little people who hide behind fake names and photos? L. Ron Hubbard wrote:

“When somebody enrolls, consider he or she has joined up for the duration of the universe – never permit an ‘open-minded’ approach… If they enrolled, they’re aboard, and if they’re aboard they’re here on the same terms as the rest of us – win or die in the attempt. Never let them be half minded about being Scientologists… When Mrs. Pattycake comes to us to be taught, turn that wandering doubt in her eye into a fixed, dedicated glare… The proper instruction attitude is, ‘We’d rather have you dead than incapable.’”

– L. Ron Hubbard, KEEPING SCIENTOLOGY WORKING, 7 February 1965, reissued 27 August 1980

Scientology took Anonymous to task for being cowards who hid behind masks. Now it seems Scientology has become… Anonymous. By Scientology’s own logic, then, anonymous Scientologists are cowards who are not willing to publicly speak out using their own names. These anonymous Scientologists have no confront and are completely caved in and PTS to their environment. This is why they go into hiding. Hiding is very low on Scientology’s Tone Scale. It is barely above Total Failure:


Not exactly a glowing endorsement for Scientology: Why spend $500,000 to become an OT who hides and is barely above being a Total Failure?

Scientology has officially become the Church of Victimology where all Scientologists are victims.  As I always say, “Scientologists can dish it out but they can’t take it.” The Scientology Cult has plenty of malicious hate websites up on brave and good people who have exposed its depredations. However, Scientology’s hypocrisy demands that it cast itself as a victim when it is exposed — and this even as it cranks out hate websites, lies, and even fake Scientologists.

The latest gambit by Scientologists is to claim that Leah Remini’s show is making them fear for their safety and that of their children. This drama queen soap opera is what L. Ron Hubbard called the “Dangerous Environment Racket.” In this particular decades-old Scientology scam, Scientologists create a propaganda message that there is a dangerous environment for them being created by whoever is exposing Scientology’s horrendous abuses, lies, and brutality.

These next two screenshots posted below were obtained by Aaron Smith-Levin and show us a Scientologist engaging in the old “Scientologists are being persecuted just like Jews in the Holocaust” fraud. This is an outrage, and, it is part of Scientologist’s standard playbook when they want to pretend to be victims.

See my post: Scientologists Are Not Jews in the Holocaust.

In the course of acting like a Jew in the Holocaust, this Scientologist is actually covertly engaging in censorship by demanding that others in a gym not be allowed to watch a television show this Scientologist finds offensive:

Karen de la Carriere on Media Mayhem with Allison Hope Weiner

The Church of Scientology’s innermost and darkest secrets are revealed by Karen de la Carriere, former wife of Scientology president Heber Jentzsch, who has faced harassment from the Church since leaving in 2010. Carriere describes how the Church cut her off from her son and hid his death from her. She details the church’s exploitation of children and explains why Scientology celebrities like Tom Cruise and John Travolta turn a blind eye to the Church’s inhuman treatment of its members. Finally, we look at the 2008 Anonymous protest against the practices of the Church and the sadism of Scientology leader David Miscavige, in this uncensored Media Mayhem interview hosted by Allison Hope Weiner.

The Miscavige Legal Statements: A Study in Perjury, Lies and Misdirection. Written by Larry Brennan, Compiled by Anonymous

My friends, this is one of the classics in Scientology criticism:

SPEAKING OUT ABOUT ORGANIZED SCIENTOLOGY – The Collected Works of L. H. Brennan (Vol 1) – The Miscavige Legal Statements: A Study in Perjury, Lies and Misdirection. Written by Larry Brennan, Compiled by Anonymous

Blessings to you for writing this Denise! And thank you to Anonymous for its very careful and thoughtful work in the compilation. Click the link below to open the PDF version:

PDF Version Lies.of.David.Miscavige

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