David Miscavige

The Real Ron Miscavige

The real Ron Miscavige speaks at his new website.

Ron.Miscavige

After Ron and Becky Miscavige escaped from the Sea Org, his son David Miscavige fraudulently used Scientology’s 501(c)3 tax-exempt dollars to pay two private investigators $10,000 per week for eighteen months to follow and spy on his father. This was $720,000 in “Church” money not spent in the public interest. This money inured only to the benefit of David Miscavige and his incredible paranoia.

After telling his PI’s “If he dies let him die” after they thought Ron was having a heart attack, David Miscavige then had his boot-licking and mentally ill sycophants in OSA put up hate websites on his own father Ron Miscavige.

David Miscavige then made his two sisters disconnect from their father. Sick and twisted behavior so typical of the Church of Scientology. The psycho-terrorism of emotional blackmail. These are the Scientology policies Tom Cruise, Kirsti Alley, Jenna Elfman, Michael Pena, and the rest of Scientology’s celebrities support.

ron-miscavigeNone of Scientology’s Fair Game worked. Ron Miscavige, a proud Marine Corps veteran, refused to be silenced or bowed by the viciousness of the Scientology Cult.

Ron’s just not like that. He won’t back down.
At age 80, Ron Miscavige became a New York Times bestselling author when he wrote his book Ruthless along with his fellow former Sea Org member Dan Koon.

I have had the pleasure of interviewing Ron Miscavige. Here is our first interview:

What happens when Scientology helps you reach ‘your full potential’

(Note: This article originally appeared on Tony Ortega’s Underground Bunker)

Jeffrey Augustine is back to help us think about the message in Scientology’s newest ad…

This year’s Scientology Super Bowl commercial was pretty much like the previous four: It looked like those slick Apple ads from a decade ago, and it tries to give you the warm and fuzzies about learning things about yourself.

This year’s ad concluded with these lines…

…Through all of life’s journey
There’s no language adequate to describe
The ultimate heights you can attain…
Your full potential

Those lines are heard as images of a young woman is taking the sensors for the Scientology E-meter — she’s about to unleash her full potential because she’s engaging in Scientology. That’s the point, right? And now, at Scientology’s website, you can see the same slogan…

Like its previous ads, Scientology’s commercial really doesn’t tell you anything about how Scientology works or what you’ll be asked to accept if you join. So what does it mean that Scientology will help you reach “your full potential”?

In its early history, Scientology made a lot of exorbitant claims about what it could do. L. Ron Hubbard claimed that his “technology” could cure diabetes, allergies, cancer, and other diseases, as well teach people how to “go exterior with full perception” — leave your body at will. In other words, reaching your full potential meant becoming a superhuman with amazing powers.

But is that what Scientology delivers? Seeing this new slogan made us think about some famous cases in Scientology history. Did these people reach their “full potential”?

Lisa McPherson tried to reach her full potential in Scientology. She was from Dallas and had moved to Florida to be at Scientology’s “spiritual mecca,” the Flag Land Base. Scientology leader David Miscavige himself decided in the summer of 1995 that she had gone “Clear,” a major step for a Scientologist. But then what happened over the next few months is a tragic story that this website has told in real time, on the 20th anniversary of Lisa’s death.

Steve Brackett, the one-time fiancé of The Simpsons voice actress Nancy Cartwright and a high-level “OT” Scientologist, never reached his full potential in Scientology because, facing bankruptcy and financial ruin in a church where money is everything, he jumped off the Highway 1 Bixby Bridge on the Big Sur coast of California and plunged nearly 200 feet to his death sometime in the darkness of the very early morning hours of May 28, 2009.

Sons of Anarchy actor Johnny Lewis never reached his full potential in Scientology. He murdered his landlady, killed her cat, and then fell or jumped to his death from a roof in darkness in 2012.

 

Jenny Linson, Marc Yager, and Dave Bloomberg, three high-ranking Scientology officials, are seen acting like lunatics at Los Angeles International Airport. Is this the full potential they were aiming for?

William “Rex” Fowler never reached his full potential in Scientology. Following a bitter dispute over Fowler’s large donation of company funds to Scientology, Fowler shot and killed his business partner in cold blood and then turned his 9mm Glock pistol on himself. Fowler’s suicide attempt failed, and he was prosecuted and sentenced to life in prison. As police were still investigating the crime scene, Fowler’s Scientologist wife arrived and insisted to police that she be allowed to take her husband’s briefcase as it contained classified Scientology OT materials. The police refused her demand. The briefcase was later returned.

Heber Jentzsch, President of the Church of Scientology International, never realized his full potential in Scientology because he’s been imprisoned in “The Hole” since 2004, let out only occasionally for a few appearances.

Charles Manson spent some of the 1960s at the federal penitentiary on McNeil Island in Washington State. During that time, he got into Scientology and did quite a bit of auditing — his warden at the time even said it was good to see that Charlie was applying himself to something. But Charlie didn’t reach his full potential with Scientology. When he got out of prison he put together his own amalgamation of ideas as he gathered The Family around him and committed some of the most famous murders of all time.

Reed Slatkin never reached his full potential in Scientology. Instead, he was caught swindling $593 million in a Ponzi scheme and was sent to prison. Slatkin was very generous with his stolen money and donated a great deal of it to the Church of Scientology. After his arrest and conviction, the Church of Scientology was forced to give back some of the money Slatkin had donated, although the church fought having to return the funds. Slatkin died of a heart attack in 2015, two years after being released from incarceration.

A legendary auditor and “Tech Wizard” in Scientology, Class XII Case Supervisor David Mayo was the Senior Case Supervisor International (C/S INT) for all of Scientology. Mayo had been widely credited with having saved L. Ron Hubbard from death in 1978 by using a special program of auditing that later became the basis of NED for OT’s. Mayo was regarded as Hubbard’s successor on the Tech lines of the Church. However, David Mayo fell on the wrong side of things politically in the aftermath of Snow White Program and the widespread paranoia it created inside of Scientology. Hubbard turned on Mayo and declared him an SP. Mayo infuriated Hubbard and Scientology when he defied them by opening his acclaimed Advanced Ability Center in Santa Barbara in 1983. Countless Scientologists left the Church to receive services from Mayo and his team at the AAC. David Mayo quickly became the target of Scientology’s wrath and an incredible program of Fair Game ensued. In a 2013 interview with Tony Ortega, Jon Atack said of David Mayo:

David Mayo was harassed for years. He was the subject of at least one murder attempt. I spent a month in Palo Alto in 1986, where I first interviewed Mayo and I was impressed by his sober grasp. He described without rancor the horrors of his own treatment -– for instance, being forced to run round a pole planted in the desert for hours on end –- and he was very precise. I was most impressed by his obvious distress when adulated, which happened a few times during my stays in Palo Alto. He very obviously didn’t want to assume Hubbard’s narcissistic mantle. I’m very glad that he didn’t take Scientology over, because I might have been tempted to stay in the fold. Wherever he is now, I wish him peace and fulfillment. He deserves it.


Music legend Isaac Hayes had won an Academy award, a Golden Globe, and three Grammys but he had declared bankruptcy in 1977, beset by financial and legal problems. He became a Scientologist in the early 1990s, and then enjoyed a profitable second career when he became the voice of “Chef” on a new animated cable show South Park. Chef proved to be a lucrative role for Hayes and allowed him to support his fourth wife and their young child. Following South Park’s airing of its Scientology parody “Trapped in the Closet” on November 16, 2005, Hayes was heavily pressured by Scientology to resign from the show. Hayes subsequently suffered a debilitating stroke in January 2006. Hayes’ son Isaac Hayes III said in a 2016 interview that someone in Scientology quit the South Park job on his father’s behalf in March 2006. Having lost his substantial South Park income, the post-stroke Hayes was forced to relearn the piano and return to the grueling life of touring on the road in order to earn a living. Hayes collapsed on a treadmill in his Memphis home and died at age 65 on August 10, 2008.

Declared the “World’s First Clear” on March 9, 1966 by L. Ron Hubbard, John McMaster was a celebrated and charismatic Scientology goodwill ambassador. McMaster traveled the world for many years on speaking tours, television appearance, and radio interviews where he extolled Hubbard and Scientology’s tech. A closeted gay man in a homophobic Church, McMaster was routinely punished by L. Ron Hubbard, who ordered him overboarded on the flagship Apollo numerous times. On one trip over the side of the ship, McMaster’s shoulder was seriously injured and was temporarily paralyzed. After years of faithful service while enduring abusive treatment and being paid slave wages, John McMaster left Scientology in November 1969 after being excommunicated by Hubbard. Hubbard’s hateful order read in part, “John McMaster is assigned a condition of Treason for rendering himself liable to blackmail by reason of his homosexual activities.”

Born in 1956, Annie Tidman was an original Commodore’s Messenger who served L. Ron Hubbard aboard the Apollo. Annie married Pat Broeker in 1978, and Hubbard left Hemet in 1980 to go into permanent hiding, he took his trusted aides Pat and Annie with him. Hubbard eventually settled in at his secret ranch in Creston, California in 1983. Pat and Annie lived on the ranch and took care of Hubbard in his final years. After Hubbard’s death in January 1986, Pat and Annie were thought to be potential successors because Hubbard had anointed them with the special title “Loyal Officers.” But David Miscavige pushed them out of the way to take over control of the church. Pat and Annie divorced, and Annie lived at Scientology’s secretive “Int Base” near Hemet, California as a loyal Sea Org member. She was later moved to an apartment in Hollywood to suffer the final stages of cancer. Her own family didn’t learn of her 2011 death at 55 until about six months later.

Is Shelly Miscavige reaching her full potential? It’s hard to know, because since 2005 she’s been kept at a super-secretive Scientology base in the mountains near Lake Arrowhead, California. At one time, the wife of Scientology leader David Miscavige was a major church executive in her own right, but since her banishment Shelly has been seen in public only once, at her father’s 2007 funeral in the presence of a Scientology “handler.” A new sighting of Shelly suggests that she’s still at the mountain compound, and in frail health.

Mary Sue Hubbard, the wife of L. Ron Hubbard, never reached her full potential in Scientology because she was sent to prison for her part in the Snow White Program, which she oversaw. After her release from prison, Mary Sue was pushed out of her role as a church executive by David Miscavige, and she lived in Los Feliz with Scientology handlers watching her. She died from breast cancer and COPD on November 25, 2002 at the age of 71.

L. Ron Hubbard never exhibited the potential that he promised for others that would come from Scientology. He was not clairvoyant, did not have total recall, and he was certainly not impervious to disease. On January 24, 1986, he died of a stroke while in hiding, estranged from his wife Mary Sue and their children, and with the psychiatric drug Vistaril in his blood.
— Jeffrey Augustine

February 2017: Notes and Observations on Scientology

February 2017: Here are some notes and observations on how I watch and look at Scientology:

1. So many things constellate around The Underground Bunker that this place is mandatory daily reading. Tony Ortega understands context, story, and significance in a way that utterly eludes Scientology, David Miscavige, Freedom Rag, and the no-show-no-stats SMP.

2. Mike Rinder’s blog is the Tiffany’s of documenting Scientology’s ongoing failures, deceits, and decline. Mike provides an outstanding daily journal of real-time Scientology decline. Mike’s valuable insights into Scientology as an organization are possible due to his decades of managing the Office of Special Affairs on a daily basis. Mike understands Scientology and David Miscavige at a profound level. That Mike’s jovial and robust sense of humor is mated to his ferocious intellect makes reading his analysis of the situation that much more enjoyable.

3. Disconnection and Fair Game are non-negotiable and must go. To the degree that Scientology practices and enforces Disconnection and Fair Game, Scientology’s self-destruction will persist. No one out here in the real world will stand for Scientology’s breaking up of families and its programs of character assassination.

4. Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath was a devastating expose of the Church of Scientology and its brutality. If it is not already in the works, season two will spontaneously appear as an act of Creation Ex Nihilo; the metaphysics of television dictate that this must happen.

4. Twitter and Facebook are extremely important to watch. The sum of message traffic on these platforms provides invaluable existential information about Scientology and Culture. Social media shows Scientology’s inherent inability to interact with Culture. This ineptitude is traceable to L. Ron Hubbard who called for Scientology to use blatantly phony and dishonest PR in the place of apologetics or other forms of meaningful interaction with Culture.

5. Scientology’s hate websites are very important to watch. These incriminating sites constitute damning and irrefutable forensic evidence which shows that Scientology’s programs of Fair Game have an unlimited budget of tax-free dollars. These websites also offer a penetrating insight into the psyche of Miscavige and OSA in a way that betrays both of them. Like a Cold War era Sovietologist would note, a good analyst must study the propaganda operations and party line rhetoric of the other side. IMO, our side needs more analysts who are willing to monitor, document, analyze, and write about Scientology’s websites.

6. Scientology’s cash position, cash surplus, and real estate acquisitions are almost completely meaningless as significant metrics. Any organization with a cash surplus can buy and amass a real estate portfolio. In most cases, Scientology’s real estate acquisitions of decrepit old buildings in need of millions of dollars in renovations are designed to stall and buy time for David Miscavige. From my perspective, Miscavige is obviously using these empty buildings to buy time and create some semblance of hope for the future of Scientology. However, no one is fooled. Example: The San Fernando Valley Ideal Org is a complete waste of time and money. There is no excuse for Miscavige to leave that eyesore unfinished given the IAS cash pile. The PR damage done to Scientology by leaving buildings empty for years or decades, particularly when there is plenty of money available to open these buildings within 12-18 months, is inexcusable. Conversely, Scientology will cherry pick top properties. This was the case with SMP here in Hollywood or Larry Hagman’s place in Ojai. But then the Cult will not actually do anything with these premier properties except use them for PR.

7. David Miscavige needs to reverse the massive and long-term statcrash in Scientology and does not know how to do it because he refuses to understand the nature and essence of the problems facing Scientology. Understanding the real problems would require critical self-reflection on his part wherein he would conclude that he must resign and step aside. He has zero capabilities in this regard and believes himself to be indispensable to Scientology. Compounding this is the long term structural damage to Scientology wrought by Miscavige’s execution of Hubbard’s bad policies and Miscavige’s own failed programs in the period 2001 to the present day is irreversible. Miscavige massively overreached with his frenzied money grab in the Basics, selling IAS statuses, and the failed Ideal Org strategy. GAT I and GAT II were, and are, failures in ways Miscavige does not understand.

8. Scientology’s contradictory policies of greed-driven inhumanity place it at war with itself and all the parts of its own existence. To use an analogy, Scientology is like a raging alcoholic with serious self-created problems who denies they are an alcoholic and blames others for their problems. Everyone else can see the problems except Scientology. The Church of Scientology is an embarrassment to itself and does not see it.

9. The real numbers a good leaker could give are these:
A. Attendance at events: publics and SO.
B. The number of SO members over the past ten years.
C. The total number of IAS members in good standing with the Church.
D. Total membership losses of publics and SO over the past ten years.
E. Number of SO senior execs paid off to sign nondisclosure agreements in the past ten years.

10. One of the real things to watch is the covert consolidation of Scientology Orgs. Miscavige can call it whatever he wants, but consolidation is contraction and Scientology is contracting inwards upon itself with great force. The acquisition of real estate is a red herring. Purchasing buildings is meaningless in the face of Scientology’s uncontrollable and accelerating membership losses. The way out is through the nearest door.

11. The petard upon which Scientology is hanging itself is Disconnection and Fair Game.

The most incredible lie Scientology attorney Monique Yingling told ABC ’20/20′


Monique Yingling, Esq.

Preface: My article below originally appeared on Tony Ortega’s Underground Bunker. It is reprinted here with additional material added. I republish the article here because the Church of Scientology has used tens of millions of tax exempt dollars, or more, to pay Monique Yingling (and the law firm for which she works) for her four decades of legal services to Scientology. And yet Yingling had the shamelessness on her recent interview with ABC 20/20’s Dan Harris to criticize Leah Remini  for making money to produce and appear in the A&E show Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. Monique Yingling’s hypocrisy is staggering: She is a financial beneficiary of the human suffering that occurs in Scientology, and, Yingling helps to enable that suffering by defending it as an attorney for Scientology. Yingling also made a point to ABC’s Dan Harris that she raised her children in the Catholic faith; it is unfortunate that none of the love, compassion, or mercy of the Catholic faith seems to have affected Monique Yingling in her professional work.


Following the sudden departure of Tommy Davis as the Church of Scientology’s spokesman in 2011, the organization no longer has an actual Scientologist to represent it on television or in documentaries. Seemingly by default, Scientology leader David Miscavige’s attorney Monique Yingling — a non-Scientologist – has found herself cast in the unlikely role as the international spokeswoman for the church.

During ABC 20/20’s recent episode, “Scientology: A War Without Guns,” Yingling appeared to speak on behalf of Miscavige at the last minute. Like her previous appearance in April in an episode about Ron Miscavige’s book Ruthless, Yingling was given a lot of airtime to present the church’s side of things. And this time, at one point ABC’s Dan Harris asked her a very straightforward question, and her reply was stunning:

Harris: Scientology has described psychiatry as an “industry of death.” Why is that?

Yingling: Well, I think that’s a catchphrase. But what Scientology has worked hard against are abusive practices of psychiatry. Not psychiatry in general.

Harris: You say, “not psychiatry in general,” but an “industry of death” sounds pretty general.

Yingling: Well because unfortunately there have been a lot of abuses, and psychiatry has caused a lot of deaths.

Right there on national television, this was a pretty spectacular lie.

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ABC 20/20’s Dan Harris interviewing Monique Yingling

If you know much about Scientology at all, you know that founder L. Ron Hubbard considered all of psychiatry an abomination that has plagued mankind for trillions — yes trillions of years. Hubbard even claimed that the “evil psychs” were a special race, traceable to the planet “Farsec.” The goal of the psychs, according to Hubbard, is to implant, enslave, and kill humans.

From 1950 until his death in 1986, Hubbard created, expanded, and sustained Scientology’s attack upon psychiatry that continues to this day.

As part of Hubbard’s efforts to expose psychiatry, Scientology created the Citizens Commission on Human Rights in 1969 as a “mental health industry watchdog whose mission is to eradicate abuses committed under the guise of mental health.” But what does CCHR actually do? One thing CCHR does is work to get psychiatrists arrested, tried, and imprisoned for abuses.

CCHR’s Psychiatric Crime Database, yet another typically exaggerated and bizarre Scientology PR effort, puts the lie to Monique Yingling’s claims that “Psychiatry: An Industry of Death” is merely a catchphrase:

CCHR also markets and sells the book “Psychiatrists – the Men Behind Hitler” on its website. This tawdry book blames psychiatry for the Holocaust:

In 2005, CCHR opened its “Psychiatry: An Industry of Death Museum” in Hollywood. This was the same year Tom Cruise launched into his hostile attack against psychiatry and psychiatric drugs during his interview with Matt Lauer. And then at the 2007 New Year’s event at the Shrine auditorium in Los Angeles, David Miscavige infamously used animated exploding hand grenades to call for the global obliteration of Psychiatry:

I was in the audience that night and was appalled to see the way in which the gathered Scientologists jumped to their feet to scream wildly and applaud Miscavige’s violent call for the global obliteration of Psychiatry and the mass arrest and imprisonment of psychiatrists. Miscavige further bragged at this event that CCHR had a “smart bomb” that “sniffs out Psych fuel lines and blows the funding mechanism. And in that way, to put it bluntly, we booby-trapped the whole psychiatric ecosystem.”

David Miscavige’s violent 2007 rant against psychiatry was nothing new. In October 1995, Miscavige promised Scientologists that psychiatry would be destroyed in five years:

“There are a lot of opinions out there as to what is wrong with Earth, 1995. But if you really want to eliminate those problems all you have to do is work for the objectives that we, as members of the IAS, have set for the year 2000: Objective One – place Scientology at the absolute forefront of Society. Objective Two – eliminate psychiatry in all its forms. Let’s get rid of psychiatry, and let’s bring Scientology to every man, woman and child on this planet.”

Finally, and here we arrive at the crux of the matter, L. Ron Hubbard was infuriated that psychiatry had obtained what he thought was a fraudulent monopoly on mental health treatment. To Hubbard’s way of thinking, psychiatry was rigged because it required an eight-year medical degree plus a four-year psychiatric residency to become a psychiatrist. This conspiracy to require medical degrees and residencies effectively locked Hubbard and his e-meter out of the tens of billions dollars per year in government funding spent on mental health treatment.

Hubbard wanted that money. He wanted Scientology to have an exclusive global monopoly on mental health treatment and the billions of government dollars pouring into psychiatric and mental health programs. As Hubbard wrote in his confidential 1969 memo Intelligence Actions:

Our war has been forced to become to take over absolutely the field of mental healing on this planet in all forms… Our total victory will come when we run his (the enemy’s) organization, perform his functions and obtain his financing and appropriations.

Monique Yingling was prevaricating when she told Dan Harris that “Psychiatry: An Industry of Death” was a catchphrase. Yingling knows that, per its own policies, Scientology will not accept anyone as a member who has been suicidal or has been treated with psychiatric drugs. In a paradoxical coda to this article, we note that these two prohibitions disqualify L. Ron Hubbard from Scientology.

In 1947, L. Ron Hubbard wrote to the US Veterans Administration complaining of suicidal ideations and moroseness, or what we would today call depression. Hubbard asked the Veterans Administration to provide him with psychiatric treatment.

And at the end of his life, in January 1986, L. Ron Hubbard suffered a stroke and was treated with the psychiatric tranquilizer Vistaril.

Hubbard’s intense hatred of psychiatry was most curiously book-ended between his request for psychiatric help in 1947 and his use of a doctor-prescribed psychiatric tranquilizer at the end of his life. I wonder how Monique Yingling would spin that?

— Jeffrey Augustine


When I was doing research for this article I thoroughly examined many CCHR websites. While it feels like internet dumpster diving, the fact is that one has to study Scientology websites in detail in order to be a good researcher. Scientology websites are a gold mine of the Cult’s paranoid mindset and CCHR has the most gruesome and weird of all Scientology websites.

As to “Industry of Death” being a catchphrase, one CCHR website has a CGI reproduction of the actual Industry of Death museum in Hollywood. I toured the museum after it opened many years ago. The decor reminded me of a Marie Calender’s restaurant, sort of a French farmhouse motif, festooned with photos of Nazis and ghastly photos of lobotomies and ECT. There are also psychiatric appliances. The net effect led me to conclude that CCHR itself is in dire need of psychiatric treatment.

On one wall there is a big sign that reads: Psychiatry. Torture & Death Sold as Miracle Cure. When I saw this, I realized Scientology was projecting what it does onto Psychiatry:

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There is also a Eugenics display. Curiously, it has never occured to Scientology that its goal to create a master race of Homo Novis and to “dispose of quietly and without sorrow” all those 2.0 or below on the Tone Scale is a form of both Scientology eugenics and genocide.

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The Industry of Death museum has a strange display that features a collage of images that is weird and creepy:

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On a final note, one CCHR website shows a Mr. Lage Vitus correctly condemning the South African philosopher, psychologist, and Prime Minister Dr. Hendrik Verwoerd (1901-1966) as the architect of apartheid. However, Scientology then uses a non-sequitur to blame Dr. Verwoerd’s work in psychology — and by extension Psychiatry — for apartheid:

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However, as the Daily Mail noted, Hubbard wrote to Verwoerd and praised Verwoerd’s slum clearance projects. In doing so, Hubbard effectively praised and condoned apartheid.

In a letter written in November 1960 to Hendrik Verwoerd, a former president considered the architect of apartheid, Hubbard praises the devastating practice of forced resettlement of non-white South Africans.

‘Having viewed slum clearance projects in most major cities of the world may I state that you have conceived and created in the Johannesburg townships what is probably the most impressive and adequate resettlement activity in existence,’ says the letter, which was brought up during South Africa’s 1972 Commission of Inquiry into Scientology.

While in South Africa, Hubbard developed Scientology’s toughest test: a confessional-style list of probing questions, asked of followers while they hold the tin can electrodes of a lie detector-type device known as an ‘e-meter.’

The Wiki page on Verwoerd describes the brutal tactics he used against opponents of his apartheid policies. If one substitutes “Scientology” for “apartheid” in this quote, the parallels between L. Ron Hubbard and Verwoerd are eerie:

Verwoerd rigidly enforced Apartheid policies through further introducing oppressive laws, which diminished the rights of ordinary individuals… Verwoerd empowered the police, Secret Police and Army to extraordinary levels. During his time in office he ordered a secret all-out offensive against those opposed to apartheid policies….

L. Ron Hubbard created a fascist system of Scientology apartheid in which, if he had his way, only Scientologists would have rights. As Hubbard wrote in Science of Survival:

…any person from 2.0 down on the Tone Scale should not have, in any thinking society, any civil rights of any kind, because by abusing those rights he brings into being arduous and strenuous laws which are oppressive to those who need no such restraints.

Leah Remini, Mike Rinder, and Scientology

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Leah Remini

The second episode of Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath aired this evening on A&E. This episode featured Scientology’s former international spokesman Mike Rinder and his wife Christie Collbran.

This episode exposed the sadistic ways in which the Church of Scientology — using tax exempt dollars — stalked, harassed, spied on, and Fair Gamed Mike and Christie. It was shocking to watch. The Church of Scientology is always worse than you think; it really is a malicious organization whose 501(c)3 tax exemption needs to be revoked for cause by the IRS.

To say that tonight’s episode was powerful is an understatement. Leah’s show is tremendous television that reaches deeply and existentially into the Scientology experience and its aftermath.


Mike Rinder has always been very generous in sharing his time and wisdom with the media, critics, and especially those people who have left Scientology. Mike’s blog Something Can Be Done About It is a widely read blog that covers the many things that are going on inside the rapidly collapsing Church of Scientology.

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Mike Rinder

Mike Rinder granted me the first interview I did when I began my Surviving Scientology Radio podcast series. Thanks to Mike Rinder and other former Sea Org members who have so generously, and sometimes so very painfully, shared their experiences of Scientology, my podcast now has more than two million listens across YouTube, iTunes, and my dot.com Surviving Scientology Radio.

Because of the dozens of aggregators who have taken the podcasts that my guests and I have released into the public domain at no cost, I don’t know how many listens the show actually has. What my guests and I care about is that the truth about Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, and David Miscavige is carried far and wide across the planet.

I have interviewed Mike Rinder several times on my podcast as I value his singular insights. One tradition my podcast has is to interview Mike Rinder at the New Year. In these shows, Mike looks back at Scientology the previous year and offers his predictions on what Scientology will face in the New Year. Mike’s predictions have been spot on.

Mike Rinder’s 2015 New Year’s Eve podcast is a classic and well worth a listen to get a sense of just how incredibly perceptive Mike Rinder is as a strategic thinker and analyst. Thanks for everything you do Mike.

Until the spaceships arrive, Scientologists measure cosmic success in framed glory

(Note: This article first appeared on Tony Ortega’s Underground Bunker and is republished here for archival purposes.)

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Previously, we discussed Scientology’s very predictable and rather boring PR strategy of taking photos of smiling people — often local police — holding Scientology booklets, such as The Way to Happiness. But there’s another standard Scientology public relations image we’re all very familiar with: Scientologists showing off their new certificates.

Everyone in Scientology, from high-profile whales like Jim Mathers to the newest raw meat preclear must be photographed smiling and holding aloft their new “certs”…

certs2This leads us to ask, “What is a Scientology certificate, and what does it really mean?” As defined by L. Ron Hubbard, a Scientology certificate is superior in every way to a wog (non-Scientology) degree:

CERTIFICATE, an award given by the Hubbard Communications Office to designate study and practice performed and skill attained. It is not a degree as it signalizes competence whereas degrees ordinarily symbolize merely time spent in theoretical study and impart no index of skill. (Aud 2 UK) Abbr. Cert.

True to Scientology’s deceptive legal structure, however, a cert is not awarded until, and unless, a Scientologist attests, or originates, to having completed the Bridge level or training course and writes a success story. The onus is on the Scientologist to claim success in the Bridge level or training course because L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology, legally speaking, have never promised anyone anything:

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A Scientology certificate signifies a skill or an ability attained as claimed by the individual Scientologist. A certificate is awarded as a function of the Scientologist’s attestation. This leaves all Scientologists completely vulnerable to future charges from the Church that they false attested. In this case, any or all of their certificates can be cancelled.

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Sea Org and Staff members are particularly at risk of having all of their certs cancelled if they commit “HIGH CRIMES.” In Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard is called “Source” and so if a staff member cuts corners and fail to use only L. Ron Hubbard-approved methods, they are “Off Source” and are guilty of the high crimes of technical or administrative “degrades.” Per HCOPL 10 July 1986, the penalty for Off Source actions is brutal:

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L. Ron Hubbard made it quite clear in HCOPL 10 July 1986 that everything was at stake in adhering to On Source policy:

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Any Scientology certificate can be cancelled at any time by the Church of Scientology. Even OT VIII’s who have posed with COB RTC Mr. David Miscavige aboard the MV Freewinds can have their OT VIII certificates cancelled; no one is immune:

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In addition to certs, Scientology also gives out awards in the form of commendations. All awards, even the most gigantic of commendations, are also subject to cancellation:

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Scientology’s nuclear option for all certificates and awards is its infamous “SP Declare.” The Scientologist can say goodbye to every cert, award, and commendation they have ever received if they are declared a suppressive person:

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Like the Sea Org, Scientology certificates and awards have no legal existence and are not legally binding upon the Church of Scientology in any way whatsoever. For example, many Scientology “Clears” have had Clear certificates revoked. The Church has claimed that these people “falsely attested” to having attained the state of Clear. In this example, the Church demands that these people pay more money to redo whatever actions are necessary to become Clear once again. This same thing can happen on the OT levels if the Case Supervisor deems a Scientologist to be a “bypassed case.” In this event, an OT who has spent the hundreds of thousands or more to get to OT VIII, he or she can be sent all the way back down the Bridge to Life Repair.

Finally, while Scientology’s certificates and awards are tenuous at best, Scientologists can and do become ruthless in their quest to maintain their certs. Scientologists disconnect from family and friends and undergo expensive sec checks and brutal “lower conditions” in order to maintain their Scientology certs and good standing with the Church. As we covered in our previous article on Disconnection, enlightenment in Scientology is extremely fragile and can be destroyed by even proximal exposure to SP’s, entheta, or reading the Internet. For this reason, Scientologists can destroy their own families and friendships in order to hang onto their certs and status within the Church.

In the final analysis, even if Scientology has a 16-lane expressway to OT, a Scientology certificate or award is, ultimately, only as good as the paper it is printed on.

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