Colonel Ricardo Antonio Prado

Scientology TV and Scientology Comedian Andrés López: Busted in Ripoff of Photo from US Defense Department

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Colombian Minister of Defense Dr. Silva discuss defense cooperation plans at the Colombian Ministry of Defense in Bogota, Colombia April 15, 2010. DoD Photo by U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Jerry Morrison(RELEASED)

The above photo is located on the US Department of Defense archive website. Link to Photo. Per the official caption, this 2010 photo is of then U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates meeting Colombian Minister of Defense Dr. Silva in Bogota in 2010. The significance of the photo is explained in this article.

In the “Meet a Scientologist” episode with Colombian Scientologist and comedian Andrés López, López makes the claim that widespread “word of mouth” enthusiasm resulted in the Colombian Ministry of Defense coming to know about a free show he was doing to entertain a brigade of Colombian troops.

Andrés López’s implication was that the entire Colombian Ministry of Defense was so excited about a comedian doing a free show that they dropped their concerns about guerilla rebels and narcotics traffickers and met in formal session to celebrate the Scientology comedian’s generosity. López paints a picture of soldiers so absolutely starved for any scrap of entertainment that they were wildly grateful for his unheard of gesture of a comedian entertaining troops. To hear López tell the story, this has never been done in the entire history of the world.

This is so typical of Scientology to make a big deal out of an utterly mundane matter. The self-important López has basically insulted every entertainer who has ever done a free show for any military. Many celebrities have gone into war zones to entertain troops.

A photo is then shown in the video at this juncture. The photo is supposed to be the Colombian Ministry of Defense enthusing about Scientologist López’s show. The video subtitle shown is López’s voiceover:

Here is the fact: Scientology TV has ripped off a US Department of Defense photo to depict the Colombian Ministry of Defense meeting to discuss the generoisty of the great Andrés López doing a free show for the troops.

Taken in 2010, the photo shows US Defense Secretary Robert Gates and US Ambassador to Colombia William R. Brownfield and their staff members seated on the left side of the table. On the right side of the table is a US Admiral seated next to Colombian Minister of Defense Dr. Gabriel Silva. The only Colombian in the photo is Dr. Silva. Everyone else shown are Americans. This is extremely sloppy work on the part of Scientology TV. No fact checking of the context of the photo was done. This garbage is what Scientology TV is producing. Of course, there could be something more sinister at work as we cover later in the article.

What we focus on here is that Scientology TV has used the images of former US Defense Secretary Gates, US Ambassador William R. Brownfield, and Colombian Minister of Defense Dr. Silva without their knowledge or permission. While the image is in the public domain, the use of it to suggest that American and Colombian officials endorse Scientology is misleading and dishonest. When I saw Robert Gates in the video I knew immediately who he was. I searched  for the official photo on the DoD website and found it in a matter of minutes. Scientology TV is not honest nor does its staff appear to understand that details matter in a documentary.

ANDRES LOPEZ IS ALSO DISHONEST IN THE VIDEO

Scientologist Andrés López is also dishonest in the video. He claimed he was doing a “free show” for the military when in actuality his “free show” was a presentation of Scientology’s booklet The Way to Happiness:

Although then Colombian President Santos appears at the event, the Scientology TV video oddly glosses over President Santos’ appearance. Santos’ image quickly passes by in a few seconds. This is extraordinarily strange considering that Santos won the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize for his role in ending Colombia’s 52 year old violent and bloody war between FARC and the Government.

Why does Scientology TV skim over the appearance of an actual Nobel Prize laureate at its TWTH event? Why does Andrés López downplay it as well? The appearance of President Santos could be a separate video in its own right. Scientology has never had the President of a country or a Nobel Prize winner in any of its events or videos and yet when it finally has both in the esteemed President Santos it is a non-event.

“The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced at 1100 today (7th October 2016) that it has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2016 to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos for his resolute efforts to bring the country’s more than 50-year-long civil war to an end, a war that has cost the lives of at least 220 000 Colombians and displaced close to six million people. The award should also be seen as a tribute to the Colombian people who, despite great hardships and abuses, have not given up hope of a just peace, and to all the parties who have contributed to the peace process. This tribute is paid, not least, to the representatives of the countless victims of the civil war.”

This lack of emphasis on President Santos is extremely suspect as Scientology never wastes any PR and is, in fact, so desperate for PR that its videos often feature very minor third-rate officials with meaningless titles such as the Third Assistant Undersecretary for Agriculture in Aruba.

Here is one item we’re looking at: In November 2017 the International Consortium of Investigative Journalism published information from the Panama Papers showing that Santos was in control of two offshore companies in Barbados. This is the island where David Miscavige received his fake medal from General Mena. There may be absolutely nothing to this at all. However, the Scientology Money Project will investigate and continue to connect dots as we dig into the money trail between Scientology, Scientologists, and Colombian officials.


Bottom Line: Scientologist Andrés López entertains troops only promote Scientology.

In exchange for López doing a show, Colombian soldiers were required, at the orders of senior Colombian military officials, to wave copies Scientology’s booklet The Way to Happiness in the air. This is all done for Scientology PR:

Senator Cepeda is calling for an investigation of the links between Scientology and the Colombian police and military. One person of interest in any inquiry would be Andrés López. If the government seized his e-mails and phone records it could be most interesting.

The potential for a Colombian Congressional investigation leads me to conclude that I could be wrong about Scientology being sloppy by using a photo of senior US officials as a substitute for a photo of the actual members of the Colombian Defense Ministry. It could be the case that the actual Colombian officials involved with Scientology didn’t want their names or faces shown in any Scientology for a good reason: The story has a bad odor to it.


Wealthy Colombian Scientologist Enrique Jaimes of the firm J.E. Jaimes Ingenieros S.A.   makes a cameo appearance at the end of the López video:

Where have we seen Mr. Jaimes before? Oh yes, he has a few IAS trophies:


To educate Scientology tinpot dictator David Miscavige on what a real Colombian award ceremony looks like here it is. This 2009 ceremony features Colombian President Uribe and Defense Minister Silva. The ceremony and the Order of Merit presented to US Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughead were legally authorized and performed publicly in Colombia:

US Defense Department photo of Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Gary Roughead, middle, is congratulated by Minister of Defense Gabriel Silva, left, after receiving the Admiral Padilla Naval Order of Merit from Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. With Silva and Uribe are Gen. Freddy Padilla, commander of Colombian military forces and Adm. Guillermo Barrera, right, commander of Colombian naval forces. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Tiffini Jones Vanderwyst/Released) This Image was released by the United States Navy with the ID 091203-N-8273J-152

Compare this to what a fake and unauthorized Scientology medal ceremony in Barbados looks like. This tawdry Miscavige Fake Medal Affair appears to be unraveling as the Colombian Parliament investigates. Adios Dave!

Scientology Dictator David Miscavige In a Free Fall in Colombia Over His Fake Medal

Retired Colombian Police General Carlos Ramiro Mena Bravo presented an unauthorized medal to David Miscavige. Outrage has ensued in Colombia over giving an American cult leader an undeserved and unauthorized medal. An investigation of this insult to Colombia in underway by the authorities.

Tom Cruise recently took late night show host James Corden skydiving. The two men skydived to promote Cruise’s monster box office film Mission Impossible – Fallout. In the video, Cruise showcased his expert skydiving skills while Corden nervously fumbled his way through his first jump in which he was attached to a master skydiver with 7,000 jumps. Cruise’s landing was picture perfect as he glided effortlessly to the ground. James Corden, on the other hand, skidded to a rather abrupt stop and then did a face plant.

If anyone could use Tom Cruise’s help with a parachute right now it is Scientology leader David Miscavige, a man who finds himself in a sudden, calamitous, and unexpected free fall in the Colombian media. Miscavige appears to be headed straight down for a face plant in Colombia.

Despite decades of Scientology “safepointing” itself in Colombia, no one in Colombia is coming to Miscavige’s defense as he is being pilloried in the media for having received a medal from a retired Colombian police general who had no authority to award the medal.

Never one for modesty, Miscavige went fullblown Messiah in this bizarre award ceremony and had the general give him the medal for, “saving humanity from violence, evil, terrorism, drug dealings and all the negative factors that threaten it.” This screenshot from davidmiscavige.org tells the story of Miscavige’s runaway ego:

David Miscavige is a certifiable megalomaniac. He actually believes that he has personally saved humanity from “violence, evil, terrorism, drug dealings and all the negative factors that threaten it.” Moreover, he wanted a medal given to him at a special ceremony in recognition of his having saved humanity. This is the delusional state in which Mr. Miscavige exists.

The basis of Miscavige’s medal is a ridiculous claim the Church of Scientology’s has been making for many years now. Specifically, Scientology claims that its efforts in distributing millions of copies of The Way to Happiness brought peace and calm to Colombia and therefore paved the way for the 2016 peace treaty between the Colombian government and FARC rebels that ended a 50 year civil war in Colombia. This claim so ridiculous that it deserves nothing but scorn. Here is the claim for Scientology’s own website:


Two things to note in this story:

1. The event at which Miscavige received his medal for saving humanity took place in Bridgetown, Barbados and not in Colombia. This is the first indication that the presentation of the medal was not authorized by the Colombian government; had it been authorized the event would have taken place dockside in the Port of Cartagena where the fifty-year old Freewinds frequently docks and/or goes into drydock for repairs.

2. Aside from the retired police General Carlos Ramiro Mena Bravo, there were no Colombian government, military, or police officials at the Barbados event. The absence of Colombian officials also indicates that this was not an authorized event. The retired General Mena has been rebuked for wearing his uniform without permission and displaying the Colombian flag and other state symbols without permission. Retired generals are not allowed to do these things without explicit permission as they no longer hold office and are civilians.


When David Miscavige opened the Bogota Ideal Org on July 15, 2015 there were several Colombian officials who spoke at the event and participated in the rope pull:

L-R: Dr. Sandra Rincón, Advisor to the Ministry of Social Integration, Bogotá City; Lt. Colonel Carlos Peña, Coordinator for Anti-Drug Education, Colombian Anti-Narcotics Department; Captain John Galindo, Operations Director, Circle of Aid Technicians of Colombia; David Miscavige; Lt. Colonel Anstrongh Polania, Chief of the Department of Joint Operational Law, Ministry of Defense; and Lt. Colonel Edgar Rojas, Special Ops Commander for Rural Zones, National Colombian Police.


DAVID MISCAVIGE — FALLOUT

Now that David Miscavige is in a free fall in the Colombian media, he suddenly has no friends or allies in the Colombian government — and indeed who would come forward to defend the man given his grandiose Messianic claims? Even Colonel Ricardo Antonio Prado, long the face of the Colombian National Police in Scientology PR and at its events, including events held on the Freewinds, has not appeared anywhere to defend Miscavige:

Colonel Ricardo Antonio Prado, the long-time champion of Scientology in the Colombian National Police. Will the David Miscavige scandal force him into retirement?

Miscavige has no defenders and is instead receiving his just and due comeuppance in a barrage of negative headlines. These headlines are translated via Google:


Text of a Google-Translated Article in Colombia



Translation via Google: Controversy for awarding leader of Scientology — The ceremony was held in Barbados, for “saving humanity from violence (…)”.


As portions of this translated article from El Espectaror makes clear, David Miscavige — in his perpetual quest for self-glorification — has gotten a retired Colombian general into trouble:



David Miscavige and the Church of Scientology have badly embarrassed themselves in Colombia. However, as of the date of publication of this article, Scientology has not issued a press release stating that David Miscavige would return this unauthorized and unsanctioned medal.

As this story continues to unfold, we’re wondering how many chartered planes full of Scientology lawyers bearing suitcases full of cash David Miscavige is flying down to Colombia in an attempt make the medal legitimate. On the other hand, no amount of money and lawyers is going to persuade anyone in Colombia to legitimize Miscavige’s claims to have saved humanity.Nevertheless, David Miscavige plays for keeps. In our view, he has no intention of giving up his fake medal and it will remain on his vanity website.


In our opinion, the entire matter reeks of a caper between a retired general and Scientology. There has been a claim put forward that the general authorized the medal while he was still in office in December 2017 but that Miscavige was not available to receive his medal for saving humanity and instead waited six months. This claim to legitimacy rings false. Miscavige charters a private jet when he travels. It would be nothing for him to fly from Tampa to Cartagena for an officially-sanctioned ceremony and award when the general was still in office. Instead, Miscavige waited six months to receive the award in an unsanctioned ceremony in Barbados at the end of the 30th Maiden Voyage cruise of the Freewinds.

General Mena Bravo surely must have known there would be blowback from the Colombian government and people for him giving an official award to an American cult leader. This is why, in our view, Mena played a game in which he technically authorized the award when he was in office but then waited until he was retired to award it. Mena broke the rules by wearing his uniform and using the Colombian flag, but so what? He is well established in Colombia and will likely receive a slap on the hand for this bit of capering. Alternately, if this story doesn’t die a quick death in the Colombian media, whatever Scientology paid Mena Bravo for this caper may be discovered and publicized. This is a calculated risk Mena chose to take.


When Pope Francis visited Colombia in September 2017, he was greeted in Bogota by President Juan Manual Santos and the First Lady. Thousands of people lined the streets for the Holy Father’s procession. There was no seedy ceremony in Barbados with a retired police general.

This is how a true global ecclesiastical leader is welcomed in Colombia: