Jeffrey Augustine

The Watchtower Bible & Tract Society: $1.45 Billion in Assets

Leah Remini and Mike Rinder interviewed Jehovah’s Witnesses on a very powerful and anguishing episode of Scientology and the Aftermath. The heartbreaking stories of shunning, sexual abuse, and suicide drove us to tears. The courage of Leah’s guests in speaking out proved that they cannot be silenced by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.

Like the Church of Scientology, the Jehovah’s Witnesses practice the emotional blackmail of shunning and demand that their members place the organization above family and everything else in their lives. Having grown up in the Pentecostal Church, we know what it feels like when the church demands that one surrender all to God lest they face the pain of everlasting Hell and Perdition.

The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society listed the book value of its assets as $1,451,217,000 on its 2015 IRS Form 990-T. This places the Jehovah’s Witnesses into the same “billion dollar plus” cult status as the Church of Scientology. Click here to see $1.7 billion in Scientology assets.

In its 2013 990-T, the The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society listed its book value assets as $675,419,000:

The massive increase of $776,095,300 in Watchtower wealth between 2013 and 2015 is accounted for by the sales of extremely valuable Watchtower real estate in New York. The sprawling Watchtower facility located at 25-30 Columbia Heights in Brooklyn sold for a whopping $340 million in cash in 2016.

The Watchtower sold its six building facility in DUMBO for $375 million. The 2017 sale of the Watchtower’s eleven story building located at 107 Columbia Heights fetched $87.5 million dollars.

Other blockbuster Watchtower real estate sales:

    • 21 Clark Street sold for $200 million
    • 97 Columbia Heights in Brooklyn Heights sold for $58 million
    • 117-125 Columbia Heights sold for $18 million
    • 69 Adams Street in Dumbo sold for $65 million

It is worth noting that on Line H of these 990-T’s the Watchtower Tower Bible and Tract Society lists its primary unrelated business activity as “Investment Activities.” So while the rank and file Witnesses are striving to please Jehovah, the big boys at the top have sold over $700 million in prime real estate and plowed that cash into undisclosed investment activities.

The $1.45 billion listed on the Watchtower’s 2015 990-T is only the money we know about. Who knows how much the Watchtower has hidden away since it began doing business in 1884? If you have additional information on Watchtower money please contact me, Jeffrey Augustine, at scienowriter@gmail.com. I am located in Los Angeles if you want a private meeting.

And what does this great wealth do? The same thing as it does it the Church of Scientology: It protects the people at the top from the consequences of their own actions in covering up sexual abuse and protecting sexual predators. It pays for lawyers who work to cover up sexual abuses and human rights abuses. The money also paid for a $28 million court judgment that would never have happened if the “two witness” rule was not in place to protect child molesters.

Predictably, the Church of Scientology attacked Mike and Leah for exposing the evil in the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. The attacks by Scientology only serve to reaffirm the fact that criminals will watch each other backs when they both have a lot to lose.

Below is the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society 2015 990-T. This is the most current year available as 990-T’s have a lag factor of 2-3 years. Please hover your cursor over the document to invoke the page up/page down controls at the bottom of the page frame:

JW.990.2015

Scientology’s cruise ship the Freewinds: Why OT 8 needed to be delivered off-shore

(This article by Jeffrey Augustine was originally published on Tony Ortega’s blog and is republished here for archival purposes)

As covered in our previous article, the Church of Scientology proclaimed the imminent release of the highest auditing level on the Bridge, OT 8, in 1971. “Imminent,” however, turned out to be another 14 years of waiting before it was L. Ron Hubbard announced the release of the level in Ron’s Journal 39. Hubbard declared that OT 8 was his 1985 New Year’s Gift to Scientologists…

On OT 8, Scientologists would finally discover the primary reason for amnesia on the Whole Track — why they had forgotten most of what they had experienced in their trillions of years of previous existence. Such a huge technological advance would need a special location to deliver, and a new Advanced Org dedicated solely to OT 8. An elite team of Sea Org auditors would need to be selected and trained.

But why a ship for OT 8? We see three reasons. First, the Church was purchasing real estate in Downtown Clearwater at a pace that made the locals tense about Scientology’s plans for their tranquil seaside community. Those tensions were becoming open hostility by 1985. Second, Scientology did not have IRS tax exemption in 1985. Third, Scientology was still smarting after the FBI’s massive 1977 raid and the subsequent prosecution of eleven church officials.

Hubbard was in hiding, and he had a series of backup ranches in case he needed to flee his hiding place in Creston, California. Having a ship based outside of US jurisdiction offered the Church its own backup location. The IAS was already headquartered in Curacao and it made sense to designate Curacao the home port of the new ship. Essentially, the new ship would serve as an IAS office and fundraising center. Scientologists who visited the ship would be squeezed for IAS donations.

The undertaking to find, purchase, staff, and renovate a suitable ship was called the Ship Project, with the IAS fundraising from 1985 to 1988 to pay for the initial costs. In 1986, the Ship Project was taken over by the Flag Ship Trust. A most curious entity, the Flag Ship Trust had no jurisdiction and could only be contacted in care of Whitman & Ransom in London:

The Flag Ship Trust purchased the Bohème in September 1986. However, the way in which Scientology purchased and took ownership of the vessel was dodgy. For example, the Church of Scientology told the IRS in 1992 that the Freewinds had a mortgage on it:

[The] “Freewinds” cruise vessel: this asset has a net book value (cost less depreciation} of $15,295,000 and is subject to a mortgage of $12,500,000 held by Trust for Scientologists. The net equity in the vessel is thus $2,795,000. The vessel is owned by San Donato Properties Corporation and is chartered to Majestic Cruise Lines Inc. Its home port is Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles, and it sails primarily in the Caribbean.

San Donato Properties Corporation is a Panamanian Corporation and a subsidiary of Transcorp Services S.A. In turn, Transcorp Services S.A is owned by the Flag Ship Trust. Thus, it appears that the Flag Ship Trust conveyed ownership of the Freewinds to San Donato Properties Corporation in such a way that resulted in a $12,500,000 mortgage on the ship. This was simply moving a Scientology asset from one pocket to another in order to create a mortgage and a new owner. All of these offshore machinations created legal barriers behind which Scientology was shielded.

The new Advanced Organization created to manage and deliver OT 8 was named the Flag Ship Service Organization (FSSO). One of the initial goals of the Ship Project was to find Sea Org members who were professionally qualified to serve in key FSSO positions aboard the new ship. On the Apollo, which was classed as a private yacht, Commodore Hubbard could appoint a person Captain based solely upon their past life experiences of having captained ships. However, David Miscavige and the FSSO had a different situation. The Freewinds is classed as a cruise ship and had to meet the standards of maritime law for cruise ships. Miscavige had to find a professional Captain, navigators, electricians, deck hands, mechanics, chefs, and trained engineers for the engine room. The crew of the Freewinds had to be Sea Org as well because the FSSO is a Sea Org Org. Mike Napier was a public Scientologist who had captained ships and had masters papers. He was recruited into the Sea Org as were other qualified people. The crew of the Freewinds constitutes the FSSO. The ship itself serves as the FSSO Base.

The FSSO can also be called the CSFSSO (Church of Scientology the Flag Ship Service Organization). In its 1992 IRS application for tax exemption, Scientology made it abundantly clear to the IRS that both the Flag Ship Trust and the CSFSSO keep and bank all of their money outside of the US.

The Church of Scientology Flag Ship Service organization (CSFSSO) was incorporated in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles as a non-profit foundation in April 1988. It commenced activities on 1 May 1988, shortly before the maiden voyage of the Freewinds on 6 June 1988. Its procedures for handling its receipts, discussed below, have applied since its inception and remain unchanged today.

CSFSSO does not have, nor has it ever had, a United States bank account. None of its income has ever been banked in the U.S. CSFSSO has never provided any religious goods or services to its parishioners within the United States; rather, these activities are conducted entirely outside the U.S., from aboard the M.V. Freewinds.

CSFSSO has local bank accounts in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles, the home port of the Freewinds. CSFSSO also has U.S. dollar and foreign currency accounts in Luxembourg. CSFSSO accepts payments and donations via major credit cards (e.g. Visa and Mastercard), which are deposited in its local accounts in Curacao.|

Parishioners in the U.S. who wish to make donations to CSFSSO for religious services usually send payment by check or credit card debit to CSFSSO via the Church of Scientology Freewinds Relay Office, located in Clearwater, Florida. This is a practical expedient because the Freewinds is usually at sea in the Caribbean and its exact location for mail purposes varies. The Relay Office collects all mail and other communications destined for the Freewinds. Any currency intended for CSFSSO is converted into a U.S. dollar draft or money order; cash is never sent abroad in a mailpack because of the risk of theft or other loss. Every week, the Relay Office forwards all mail, including checks and credit card invoices, to Curacao. If the Freewinds is not in port, the mailpack is collected by a Ship’s representative and delivered to the Ship as soon as it arrives. All checks are invoiced by CSFSSO on-board the Freewinds and is deposited into local bank accounts in Curacao, as noted above.

In that same 1992 IRS filing Scientology also told the IRS about Scientologists having bounced checks:

One wonders what sort of hellish Ethics handlings OT 7’s faced when their “postulate checks” for OT 8 bounced. This amusing admission that some Scientologists write bad checks shows us that Scientology follows up to collect on them.

When the Church of Scientology took delivery of its new ship in 1986, an intense 20-month period of renovations began. Deadly blue asbestos on the ship was discovered during this period. Former Sea Org member and architect Lawrence Woodcraft wrote an affidavit on this matter in 2001. Woodcraft describes the extensive amounts of asbestos aboard the ship. An excerpt of the Woodcraft Affidavit is quite revealing about Scientology’s attitude regarding asbestos:

No one on the ship knew anything about asbestos, nor did they care… Around this time Bitty Miscavige visited the ship. She was the Church executive with overall responsibility for the ship project. I went to her and took copies of the ship’s blueprints and showed her the full extent of asbestos on the ship. At first she was calm, but as I further explained the dangers, she begun to realize that it was a problem. We had a meeting to discuss the problem of asbestos. Steve Kisacky stated that L. Ron Hubbard doesn’t state in policy that asbestos is dangerous; he only states that fiberglass is dangerous and therefore we are only removing the fiberglass. In fact, the dock next to the Freewinds was piled high with fiberglass that had been removed by Sea Org members. It was explained to me that the ship was being remodeled only according to the written policies and “advices” of L. Ron Hubbard. Since Hubbard had been in the US Navy and had then founded the Sea Org and had run a fleet of ships, he knew everything about ships. If asbestos was dangerous, he would have written this somewhere. Also Hubbard knew everything about cancer. He had written that cancer was caused by the mind and specifically second dynamic aberration (problems with relationships). I was told that people only get sick if they go into “agreement” with being sick. As the ship was going to be filled with “operating thetans” doing the highest level in Scientology (OT 8) nothing was going to make them sick. I was being a “wog” (non-scientologist) worrying about a little thing like asbestos.

International Management having decreed that Sea Org members and OTVIII’s were impervious to asbestos and mesothelioma, the renovations and crew recruitment continued apace. Scientology management’s view of asbestos offers us yet more evidence into how Scientology thinks and acts with wanton and flagrant disregard for the well-being of its members.

In our next installment we look at the immediate events leading up the Maiden Voyage of the MV Freewinds.


Declaration of Lawrence Woodcraft

Lawrence Woodcraft Affidavit about Asbestos on the Freewinds - January 24, 2001

What a train wreck: The ignominious fate of Scientology’s original flagship, the ‘Apollo’

                                                  L. Ron Hubbard’s Flagship Apollo

(This article by Jeffrey Augustine was first published on The Underground Bunker. It is republished here with added content and archival material.)

L. Ron Hubbard’s original flagship, the Apollo, met a freak ending when it was hit and destroyed by a 3,750,000 pound freight train. This is somewhat ironic when you remember Hubbard’s 1963 claim…

“I notice that we all believe that Venus has a methane atmosphere and is unlivable. I almost got run down by a freight locomotive the other day — didn’t look very uncivilized to me.” – L. Ron Hubbard, “Between Lives Implants” lecture, SHSBC #317. 23 July 1963.

Commodore L. Ron Hubbard in his office on the Apollo. In this photo we can see Ron wearing a Rolex; his pack of Kool cigarettes; ashtray; and his daily glass of Coca-Cola. Ron’s fake war medals can be seen on the right side of the photo. The fake medals are hanging in a display case leaning against the wall.

Train-ship collisions are as rare as David Miscavige doing a network television news interview, which is to say that both have only happened once, according to the record. How did this bizarre collision occur? The story begins in 1975 in Daytona Beach, Florida when the Sea Org left the Apollo and went ashore.

When Hubbard and the Sea Org went ashore in 1975 and began surreptitiously to take over the town of Clearwater, Florida, the Apollo became a forgotten discard, a sort of second wife the Sea Org never had. The vessel was now a 39-year-old boat that guzzled expensive fuel oil. Accordingly, a seven-man skeleton crew was assigned to maintain the vessel while the Church worked to sell it and make some money. The crew dropped anchor in Nassau and would remain there for two years as only a tiny handful of prospective buyers came and went.

Read Paul Kawaller’s account: The Final Days on the Apollo

The Apollo was finally sold for $90,000 in 1977 to Consolidated-Andy Inc., a shipbreaking firm in Brownsville, Texas. The poster russ tee k9 added this comment on the sale of the Apollo on Tony Ortega’s blog:

Originally intending to dismantle the ship for scrap, Richard Jaross, Vice-President of Consolidated-Andy Inc., told the Brownsville Herald in October 1977 that the company had decided instead to turn it into a floating restaurant and locate it at the highly popular tourist town of South Padre Island.

Consolidated-Andy Inc. then changed its plans and sold the ship at auction to Zanzibar Shipping in 1978 for $188,000, doubling its investment in a one-year flip. Rechristened the Arctic Star by Zanzibar, the ship would never leave Brownsville for South Padre Island. Zanzibar Shipping would later be described in court papers as a, “Panamanian corporation with its headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.” This makes no sense, but it gets more tangled as Zanzibar Shipping claimed in court papers that it did no business in the United States.

The 1982 Memorandum Decision of District Judge DeAnda tells the story and adds an incorrect detail that would surely have infuriated Commodore Hubbard:

The ship now called “ARCTIC STAR” has seen a colorful and varied career. Christened the “ROYAL SCOTSMAN” in 1936, she plied the rough seas between Belfast and Glasgow and survived. She risked German U-Boats when used as a troop ship in World War II and survived. She even had a name change (to “APOLLO”) and saw use as a spy ship for the CIA and survived. After having successfully avoided these often encountered and expected nautical dangers, it is perhaps quite ironic that she did not survive the night of September 16, 1980, when while lying at berth in the Port of Brownsville, Texas, she was rammed and constructively sunk by a railroad train.

…In addition to its unusual history, the ownership of the “ARCTIC STAR” is also far from ordinary. Although since being rechristened the “ARCTIC STAR” the ship has never left the Port of Brownsville, Texas, it is owned by Zanzibar Shipping, S. A., a Panamanian corporation with its headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The exact makeup of this corporation, created especially for ownership of the “ARCTIC STAR,” is shrouded in mystery; its stock is “bearer stock” and not even the corporate secretary, Ms. Ann Priddy, has any idea who or where its stockholders are. Despite its being headquartered in Wisconsin and having its only known asset permanently docked in Texas, Zanzibar Shipping maintains that it does no business in the United States.

The Apollo was not a CIA spy ship. In fact, L. Ron Hubbard was infuriated when this rumor was circulated during the years when the Apollo was cruising around the Mediterranean. The “Apollo is a CIA ship” rumor caused the Apollo to lose docking privileges in Mediterranean ports. Soon, virtually no Mediterranean ports would accept the Apollo. This forced Hubbard to order the Apollo to cross the Atlantic in July 1974. The Apollo then cruised the Caribbean for about sixteen months. Hubbard decided to have the Sea Org go ashore to Daytona Beach in October 1975.


THE LAWSUIT

“WTF!?” you may be asking yourself. How does a train hit a ship? One of my sources sent me a PDF copy of the newspaper article from the Brownsville Herald which is posted at the bottom of this article. In the article we learn that the collision happened late at night. The four people who were living aboard the ship were not injured; the same could not be said for the Apollo.

Quoting from the July 19, 1981 story we read:

The train, operated by Missouri Pacific, had been rolling along the concrete pier on a siding when seven boxcars detached from an engine, smashed through a blockade and struck the ship…

It was a night Capt. Robert Manning won’t easily forget either.

“I said: ‘I can’t believe this, there’s a train hanging out of the ship.”

Manning, asleep at the time of impact, recalls he was awakened by his wife, Anna, telling him: “ Honey, we’ve been hit by a train .”

“I thought it was a dream,” Manning said.

And it wasn’t easy explaining it to the Coast Guard and others he contacted by telephone. “They said, ‘Right, captain. Now put down that bottle and get yourself some sleep.’

“And I said, ‘No, really, we’ve been hit by a train .’

“And they’d say, ‘Captain, put out what you’re smoking and try to get some rest. Everything’s going to be all right.’”


Captain Manning’s appearance is as colorful as his great story-telling ability:


Trial Judge DeAnda wrote of Captain Manning:

The ship’s master is Captain Robert Manning, all of whose navigational charts seem to point towards the federal courthouse. See U. S. v. Firebird, Inc., No. B-79-116, (S.D.Texas, filed May 17, 1979); Baldwin v. Cisneros, No. B-79-249 (S.D.Tex., filed November 15, 1979); Brownsville Navigational District v. “ARCTIC STAR”, No. B-82-5 (S.D.Tex., filed January 11, 1982); Zanzibar Shipping v. United States, No. H-82-288 (S.D.Tex., filed after January 11, 1982).


Missouri Pacific Railroad Company conceded liability. The locomotive was pulling eighteen fully loaded freight cars. Seven of these cars separated from the train, jumped the tracks, smashed through a concrete barrier, and slammed into the Arctic Star. The only question now was how much Zanzibar Shipping could take Missouri Pacific to the cleaners for.

Here is a photo posted on the Bunker by PickAnotherID that shows the culprit in the crash:

               Following the 1980 collision, Engine 2199 was placed back into service.

Fun Fact: Athearn sells a replica of the ship-killer Engine #2199. This makes the perfect gift for model train enthusiasts who want a replica of an engine with an unusual history:


HOW HARD DID THE TRAIN HIT THE APOLLO?

Essentially, the train cars hit the ship so hard that “the nine-inch polypropylene stern lines securing the ship snapped from the impact.” Imagine the sheer force needed to snap 9″ polypropylene lines! The ship’s stern was pushed out and its bow was pushed in and collided with the dock. The net effect was that the hull was twisted from the impact. As the court noted:

Repair of a twisted hull is extremely expensive. The “ARCTIC STAR” is a riveted-hull vessel, a type of construction no longer used in shipbuilding. To determine the exact extent of the damages would require the ship to be towed to a shipyard capable of doing this type of repair work and there drydocking and completely inspecting the ship. Estimates for this repair work were uniformly high…The lowest estimate is $10,000,000.

The court noted that the locomotive and its fully loaded freight cars weighed 3,750,000 pounds. The speed at which the fully loaded train was moving cannot be found by your correspondent. However, physics gives us the simple equation: Force equals mass times acceleration. The train was pulling eighteen fully loaded freight cars at a sufficiently high rate of speed that when seven cars separated from the train and jumped the tracks, they hit the 3,244 ton Apollo with a high enough amount energy to twist the ship’s 340 foot hull. According to the court record, the Apollo rolled during the impact and took on some water. The ship didn’t sink but it did take on water.


The Apollo began life as the HMS Royal Scotsman. Built in 1936 at Harland & Wolff’s Belfast yard, the ship was built to ferry cattle and passengers between Belfast and Glasgow. The ship served as a troop transport in WWII. Scientology purchased the Royal Scotsman in 1967 and rechristened it the Apollo. The photo was taken during the HMS Royal Scotsman’s sea trials. The vessel was 340 feet in length and weight 3244 tons. The beam was 48 feet and the draught 17 feet. 

The court discussed the various legal theories in determining damages. This was necessary as the opposing parties were light years apart in what the damages should be. The court noted this discrepancy in whimsical language:

One of Defendant’s experts, Tommy Laing, estimated the damages at $21,000, based on cost of repair; one of Plaintiff’s experts Fergus Fleming, estimated damages at $35,000,000, based on cost of replacement. This is not a shadowland, but the Twilight Zone. Even when considering value alone, the differences are staggering. A surveyor for Plaintiff, Manning Dierlam, estimated the “ARCTIC STAR”‘s market value at $2,500,000… Defendant’s experts’ top value was $350,000.

The court next discussed the actual condition of the ship…

…the photographic evidence introduced during the trial indicates an aging and rusting ship in poor condition…The fact that the “ARCTIC STAR” could not legally sail on September 16, 1980, and the costs of re-securing her seaworthy status are important and relevant factors the Court has considered in determining her value. Because of her poor condition and lack of papers the Court further finds that on September 16, 1980, the “ARCTIC STAR” was not seaworthy.

Two other factors the Court has utilized in determining the value of the “ARCTIC STAR” are her insured value and the ship’s mortgage. Plaintiff’s claims of great value for its vessel are undercut by the fact that it did not maintain insurance on her…Zanzibar Shipping apparently negotiated a mortgage with a foreign bank for $200,000 and had received a Letter of Credit for that amount.

…After considering all of the above factors and findings of fact, the Court concludes that the value of the “ARCTIC STAR” on September 16, 1980 was $350,000. The Court finds her salvage value was $58,400, based on $40 a ton for uncut scrap and a weight of 1460 tons…Plaintiff is therefore entitled to recover from Defendant the sum of $291,600 as damages for the constructive total loss of the “ARCTIC STAR.”

An additional $13,000 was awarded for a small scow and a hatch cover the train destroyed. Costs of cleaning up 10 tons of oil that were spilled were awarded as were survey fees. Zanzibar Shipping paid $188,000 for the ship and collected $291,600 in damages, thus turning a tidy profit. The court awarded 12 percent per year interest from the date of the loss and so Zanzibar pocketed about another $70,000 in interest.

Gulmar Inc. of Brownsville, Texas was given the contract to haul away the damaged Arctic Star and scrap it. The Apollo, the once legendary Flag Ship of Commodore L. Ron Hubbard, was disposed of quietly and without sorrow under the pitiless sun in a nondescript ship breaking yard in Brownsville, Texas.

In a peculiar postscript to this story, parts of the Apollo deemed to be of value were stored by Gulmar Inc. in 1984 only to be promptly forgotten. In 2016, Gulmar Inc. sold these items at auction. An eBay seller purchased the lot and realized he had parts of the Apollo.

The seller offered the ship’s helm for $19,995.95. We contacted him, and he said that he had sold the item, but wouldn’t reveal the identity of buyer or the amount paid.


Consolidated-Andy Inc. purchases the Apollo. Story of October 16, 1977 in the Brownsville Herald. Please hover your cursor over the document to invoke the page up/page down controls at the bottom of the page frame:

brownsville-herald-oct-16-1977-p-9.AAA

The Brownsville Herald article on the train hitting the Apollo. Please hover your cursor over the document to invoke the page up/page down controls at the bottom of the page frame:

Apollo.brownsville-herald-jul-19-1981-p-27

The Memorandum Decision in Zanzibar Shipping v. Railroad Locomotive Engine. Please hover your cursor over the document to invoke the page up/page down controls at the bottom of the page frame:

ZANZIBAR SHPG. v. Railroad Locomotive Engine, 533 F. Supp. 392 (S.D. Tex. 1982) __ Justia.1

Church of Scientology Continues to Attacks Autism; Calls It a Myth


The Church of Scientology’s lunatic anti-psychiatry group “Citizens Commission on Human Rights” has long attacked autism as a myth, as a condition that does not exist.

Scientology viciously and irrationally rejects and attacks Psychiatry and all psychiatric diagnoses as being false. Because autism is a psychiatric diagnosis — the Autism Spectrum Disorder is classified and described in the DSM-5 —  it must therefore be false according to Scientology.

Jett Travolta (1992-2009) died tragically at aged sixteen in Freeport, Bahamas. Four years after his death, Scientologists John Travolta and Kelly Preston admitted that Jett was autistic. Grief is complex. When Jett was alive John and Kelly denied that he was autistic. This was due to the couple’s commitment to Scientology’s anti-psychiatry views.

When Jett was alive,  John Travolta’s brother Joey publicly stated that Jett was autistic. Joey implored John and Kelly to get Jett the help he needed. Instead, Kelly insisted that her son Jett had Kawasaki’s Syndrome that had been caused by exposure to carpet cleaning chemicals when he was young.

John and Kelly eventually did the right thing by acknowledging that autism existed. Kelly even opened up about it in a video:


In 2015, Scientology hired former US Congressman Dan Burton to lobby against vaccines in Congress. Forbes covered this in its article entitled, Former U.S. Rep. Dan Burton, Vaccine Foe, Now Lobbying For Scientology Outfit. An excerpt from that article:

When he served in the House of Representatives, Dan Burton (R-Indiana) reportedly held at least 20 hearings to try to force people to accept his belief that mercury in vaccines causes autism. Now he’s pulled down 20 Gs–$20,000 from July to September—as a lobbyist on behalf of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), which sounds reasonable enough, except that it’s a group co-founded by the Church of Scientology. The transition isn’t a big one for Burton because because Burton and Scientology and whacky autism causation theories go way back.

According to lobbying disclosure reports, Burton was paid to:

“maintain or increase protection for the public with reference to psychiatric treatments including drugs and brain devices.”

That’s not so wildly off the mark from his earlier goal of protecting the nation from mercury in vaccines with the expectation, one assumes, that doing so would protect the nation from the scourge of autism. Never mind that the nation isn’t under threat from either. Burton’s last hurrah as a Congressman was in 2012, the usual dog-and-pony show, giving the soon-to-be former Congressman one last chance as a representative of the people to claim that:

“I’m convinced that the mercury in vaccinations is a contributing factor to neurological diseases such as autism.”


Scientology’s partner in working to rid the world of vaccines is the notoriously anti-vaxxer group the Nation of Islam. Apparently, Scientology and the Nation of Islam like polio, smallpox, measles, and other deadly diseases that were largely eradicated by large-scale vaccinations programs. Dangerous pseudoscientific idiocy is certainly one thing that Scientology and the Nation of Islam have in common. Robert Kennedy Jr. has worked with Scientology and the Nation of Islam on this insanity. Look at the sensationalistic garbage Kennedy promotes:


In an irrational act I will never understand, Kelly Preston became a spokesperson for Karastan Carpets in 2008 when Jett was still alive. To promote carpets means that these carpets will need to be cleaned with carpet cleaning chemicals. This means the infants crawling on the carpets will be exposed to these chemicals as was Jett. Seems like a 4D overt on Kelly’s part.

A Scientology Private Investigator Visits Our Home Asking About Leah Remini and Heber Jentzsch

                         Private Investigator Rebecca Dobkin

(Note: This article by Jeffrey Augustine was originally published on Tony Ortega’s Underground Bunker and is republished here for archival purposes)

By Jeffrey Augustine

Los Angeles, September 5, 2018: A woman dropped by our house in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Los Feliz and asked to speak to my wife, Karen de la Carriere. Karen was busy, so I talked to her.

She handed me her card, which identified her as a private investigator named Rebecca Dobkin.

I asked her who she was working for, and she told me she was working for an attorney named Amanda Touchton. I asked her to spell it.

She said that Touchton represented Heber Jentzsch.

Heber is Karen’s ex-husband. He has also been, since the 1980s, the nominal president of the Church of Scientology International. I say “nominal,” because it was always little more than an honorary title — the real power to run Scientology was invested in founder L. Ron Hubbard and then, after his death in 1986, current leader David Miscavige.

Heber was well liked by Scientologists and also got along with reporters — for a while, at least, he was the person Scientology sent out to handle questions about the church, and he was pretty good at it. He was also frequently on stage at Scientology’s major events. But then, in the 1990s, his role seemed to get smaller and smaller, until he vanished pretty much altogether.

When Miscavige’s bizarre jail for upper level management was created at Scientology’s secretive management compound Int Base in 2004 — it eventually became known as “The Hole” — Heber was one of its prisoners, which we know from multiple witnesses. Heber has been out of sight almost entirely since then.

One exception was when Alexander Jentzsch, the only child that Karen and Heber had together, died in 2012 at the age of 27. Karen by then had left the church and wasn’t allowed to see her son’s body (he had died of pneumonia, exacerbated by a pain medication he was taking, according to the LA Coroner), and at first she was told that Scientology planned to have no memorial at all. But after the media made a stink about it — including Tony at the Village Voice — the church did hold a ceremony (Karen wasn’t invited) and Heber showed up for it, the first time we’d seen a photo of him in years.

[Last known photo of Heber Jentzsch, center, at the 2012 memorial for his son Alexander at the Scientology Hollywood Celebrity Centre with Stan and Phillipa Gerson.]

Tony has reported in the past how Heber, who is from a huge Mormon family, has been missed by his relatives, who want to hear how he’s doing.

Dobkin told me that Amanda Touchton was representing Heber “in a matter related to Leah Remini’s reality TV show.”

She mispronounced Leah’s last name as “Reh-MEENIE.”

She said that she was investigating an incident that had happened at Int Base, which is near San Jacinto, about 85 miles east of Los Angeles. Apparently, someone had asked law enforcement to make a welfare check on Heber at the base.

I knew nothing about it, I told her.

She claimed that Heber had been thrown into the back of a police car during the welfare check, which I found hard to believe. Law enforcement officers checking on an 82-year-old’s welfare aren’t likely to treat them like a dangerous criminal.

She also handed me a printed out copy of a story that appeared here at the Bunker, which cited Karen saying she had been told that Heber had suffered a stroke.

She asked me how Karen knew that. I said I didn’t recall but that Heber had a lot of relatives. I couldn’t remember.

[Amanda Touchton]

I told Dobkin that Heber Jentzsch doesn’t make enough money as a Sea Org worker to pay for a lawyer, so I assumed the real client was Scientology.

She wouldn’t confirm it.

But we think it’s a pretty good bet that it was.

 

LAPD Hollywood Division Busted: Caught Red-Handed with Scientology Kiosk Installed In Its Premises.

Scn.LAPD

The Los Angeles Police Department is not even pretending to be neutral when it comes to its relationship to the Church of Scientology.

The long and suspicious relationship between the Church of Scientology and the LAPD continues unabated. Captain Cory Palka of the LAPD’s Hollywood Division allowed the Church of Scientology to install an informational kiosk in his station house. Palka has long been known to critics as an ardent supporter of the Church of Scientology.

An alert local citizen happened to drop by the Hollywood Division and spotted this egregious violation of Church & State. The violation was reported to American Atheists. Geoffrey Blackwell, an attorney for American Atheists, immediately sent a letter to Steve Soboroff, President of the Los Angeles Police Commission demanding the kiosk be removed.

Mr. Soboroff was not pleased with this situation and the kiosk was summarily removed. American Atheists commended the LAPD for its swift action. We do as well. Further, we trust that an investigation and formal disciplinary action will be take against Captain Palka and whomever else on his staff permitted the Scientology kiosk to be installed.

The Scientology kiosk in the Hollywood Division was not trivial. The kiosk was powered by electricity, required formal installation, and took up floor space. Los Angeles taxpayers paid for all of this, and, the kiosk violated LAPD rules, Constitutional principles, and a wide body of established case law.  Moreover, this kiosk raises troubling questions about the LAPD’s decades-long relationship with the Church of Scientology that many of us consider highly inappropriate.

Captain Palka’s incredibly poor judgment in the matter of the Scientology kiosk is a genuine reason for concern: If Palka will violate LAPD rules and clear Constitutional principles in such a brazen matter for Scientology, then what else will he do for Scientology? And more importantly, what has he done for Scientology in the past?

There clearly needs to be an investigation of Scientology’s undue influence within the LAPD. This Scientology Kiosk Affair evokes images of the seedy fake medal that retired Colombian National Police General Mena awarded David Miscavige in Barbados:

cAPT.pALKA

Left: Captain Cory Palka accepts a check from Scientology on behalf of the LAPD. Right: Retired Colombian Police General pins a fake medal on Scientology leader David Miscavige. Scientology’s sleazy relationship with cops who will “play ball” continues unabated.

Here is the letter sent to Steve Soboroff, President of the Los Angeles Police Commission, by American Atheists’ attorney Geoffrey Blackwell. Note: Hover your cursor over the mouse to invoke the page up/page down controls at the bottom of the page frame.

American.Atheist.Letter.to.LAPD

 

 

 

Why Colombia’s military was fertile territory for Scientology — and one general’s stunning role

Retired Colombian Police General Carlos Ramiro Mena Bravo presented an unauthorized medal to David Miscavige. Outraged 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.


(Note: This piece was first published on Tony Ortega’s Underground Bunker on August 23, 2018. It is republished here for archival purposes. We add additional research notes to our article after the text of the Underground Bunker piece. Scroll down for the additional research notes.)


While things have been exploding over Scientology in Colombia, our man in Los Angeles, Jeffrey Augustine, has been looking into the relationship between David Miscavige’s organization and that South American country, looking for clues to how things got to their present mess. We think he’s turned up some fascinating stuff…

Over the last three weeks, the Colombian press has been diving into Scientology’s archives and finding volumes of evidence about Scientology’s activities there. The press has focused on comedian Andrés López, who has been promoting Scientology in Colombia since at least 2004. And in 2008, Scientology’s Guillermo Smythe, who works PR on the ship Freewinds, apparently first made contact with Colombian national police Colonel Ricardo Prado, who would go on to become such a promoter of Scientology front groups he would be awarded Scientology’s highest honor, the “Freedom Medal.”

But what we’re hearing less about than Scientology’s activities are the conditions in Colombia that made it such fertile ground for Scientology and its “human rights” front groups. In 2011, the Colombian government was rocked by revelations of extrajudicial killings conducted by the Army during the period 2002-2010. These killings occurred during the Army’s war against FARC guerillas, and they consisted of civilians being murdered by the Army and then falsely identified as guerillas in order to increase body counts. The victims were typically poor, unemployed, handicapped, or otherwise disadvantaged young men in remote villages. These people were killed and then dressed in guerilla combat fatigues and identified as terrorists. The nightmarish military euphemism “False Positives” was later used to minimize the atrocities. A recent study by Omar Rojas Bolaños and Fabian Leonardo Benavides argues that as many as 10,000 civilians were the victims of extrajudicial killings. The Colombian military has resisted efforts to bring the generals and political leaders responsible for the extrajudicial killings to justice. Several military officers who attempted to expose the killings were murdered. A 2015 article in the Los Angeles Times noted…

Ramiro Orjuela, a Bogota-based human rights attorney who helped research the HRW report, said the slow pace of prosecutions of army leadership is because of a “lack of political will. … This is a very precise demonstration of how the attorney general’s office remains fearful of the army leadership, who are extremely powerful. Potential witnesses in these cases have been threatened and even killed.”

With that kind of shocking human rights record in Colombia, Scientology may have seen an opportunity — similar to the way Scientology sees opportunities for public relations operations and recruitment at the scene of natural disasters in other parts of the world.

Sandra and Felipe Poveda are a brother and sister team and IAS Freedom Medal recipients. Sandra founded Youth for Human Rights in Colombia and her brother is its president. In a Scientology-produced video, the Povedas claim to have used Scientology’s Human Rights program to intervene in the serious matter of extrajudicial killings of civilians by the Colombian Army. As a result of their program, the Povedas say that civilian complaints against the Army dropped 96 percent.

In this series of screenshots from Scientology TV, viewers are asked to believe that Colombian soldiers were so morally deranged that they did not know that murdering civilians or wounded guerillas was wrong:





I see in this absurd Scientology narrative a cynical attempt to shift the blame for extrajudicial killings onto common soldiers who did not know right from wrong. For its part, Scientology got access to compliant soldiers for its public relations purposes. The military, meanwhile, had evidence that it was doing something about human rights in the wake of the extrajudicial killings.

Back in the US, Scientologists were led to believe that the campaign was making a difference across the entire nation of Colombia and were thereby induced to make further donations.

This same pattern has been used by Scientology with the Los Angeles Police Department and other police agencies in the US. These agencies distribute Scientology’s free anti-drug booklets and videos. In return, Scientology receives PR photos of smiling cops holding Scientology booklets. The police officers are generally photographed with local Scientologists officials. (We covered this in a previous story at the Bunker.) Just as we see photos of smiling LAPD senior command officers with Scientologists we see the same in Colombia.


For years, Scientology used Colombia as a prop until things unraveled after David Miscavige had retired General Carlos Ramiro Mena pin a medal on him at the end of this year’s “Maiden Voyage” celebration on June 23 in Barbados. Mena may have violated rules by being in uniform, and for taking the medal to Barbados. Scientology has argued that the decoration was already approved by the director of the National Police, General Jorge Nieto, and that it took place in Barbados because Miscavige couldn’t pick it up in Colombia.

But we’ve learned something new about Mena that puts his participation in a new light.

Mena was a powerful official in Colombia, and according to a listing of National Police personnel, he was the Director of Criminal Investigations for Interpol in Colombia. In other words, he had access to global Interpol databases while he was associated with the Church of Scientology.

General Mena personally signed extradition orders for Colombian citizens to be sent to the United States. Here, for example, is an extradition order he signed, handing over a suspect to the DEA…


Longtime Scientology watchers will no doubt understand why this grabbed our attention. Scientology has long been obsessed with Interpol. L. Ron Hubbard was consumed with paranoia about what Interpol was saying to law enforcement agencies around the world about him. His Guardian’s Office made Interpol a key target during its “Snow White Program” in the 1970s, and Scientology commissioned writer Omar Garrison to pen a 1976 book attacking the agency, The Secret World of Interpol.

It’s fascinating to think that Miscavige had influence with a Colombian general who had access to Interpol’s files — and enough influence that the general would risk his retirement to pin a medal on Miscavige.

Yesterday, we learned from the Bunker’s correspondent in Bogotá that Colombia’s senate is showing a united front to have Scientology seriously investigated. We can only hope they go down many different avenues, including the things Gen. Mena might have been doing for Miscavige that we don’t know about. Yet.

— Jeffrey Augustine


Additional Research Notes:

1. As the Inspector General of the Colombian National Police, General Mena also participated in both US military and NATO training events. This screenshot is from a webpage on the Colombian National Army’s official website:

2. General Mena has significant connections in the Colombian government, Interpol, NATO, and the US military. For Scientology to have such a powerful connection raises many disturbing questions.

3. We did a guest piece on the Underground Bunker which showed that the Dianetics Center in Medellin was located right next door to the home where Pablo Escobar was shot and killed by Colombia’s elite Search Bloc troops in 1993.  We linked to a tourist video on YouTube which showed the Mission. We note that shortly after our story was published the entire YouTube channel where the video was located was taken down for violating terms of service. This was strange as it was an old account with little traffic. Perhaps it was inconvenient for David Miscavige to have the Colombian public reminded that he had a Dianetics Center next to the Pablo Escobar death house in Medellin even as he was receiving a dubious and unauthorized medal from the retired Colombian National Police General Mena.

The Dianetics Center in Medellin located in Medellin

The Pablo Escobar Death House. The Dianetics volcano banner can be seen next door to the right

4. I have been following the story of the extrajudicial killings in Colombia for many years. What I see in the Scientology component of the killings is essentially a form of collusion between the Colombian military leaders and the Church of Scientology to shift the blame for extrajudicial killings onto common soldiers, i.e. an attempt to say that no one in particular really did the killings.

The Poveda’s scripted narrative in their Scientology TV video is so insulting as to be beyond contempt. Their video is what led me to my thesis that the Poveda’s are playing ball with the Army on behalf of Scientology. Three screenshots of Felipe Poveda show him to have a ghoulish glee as he describes the killings. His smile is strange:

The Colombian military has painted a picture of a pervasive lack of training in which inexperienced soldiers, literally raw young recruits with AR-15’s, were fighting hardened FARC guerillas. So naturally there was going to be some False Positives. However, the military protests, there were no organized death squads, no guerra sucia as happened in Argentina. These are not “disappeared ones” they are simply False Positives — and this due to a lack of training combined with the extreme problems of positive visual identification in jungle warfare.

Add the fog of war to a lack of Human Rights training and there were bound to be problems: Shoot first and ask questions later. This simplistic narrative allows the Scientology component of Human Rights education to prove that the Army is bringing in an outside religious group to teach the soldiers respect for human life.

Over against this, there in an intense pushback from the Army on any prosecutions. IMO, this is a long game for the Colombian Army in which it has to distance itself by a least a decade from the killings which ended in 2010. One way to shift the narrative from “what happened” to “what we’re doing about it” is to shift the focus onto Human Rights education provided by Scientology. Yet this begs the question: Why doesn’t the Colombian Army or Police bring in Colombian experts and teachers on Human Rights? Why do they need an American Cult to do this work?

While the current focus in Colombia is one of whether or not tax dollars were spent on Scientology, I would like Senator Cepeda look at the false narrative Scientology helped the military and the police create.

A W Radio piece published yesterday shows General Alberto Sepúlveda praising Sandra Poveda. Here is a link to the article: http://www.wradio.com.co/no…

Here is a translation:

…General Alberto Sepúlveda was at the main table of this event and even had a conference in which he said that Sandra Poveda, Scientologist and director of the NGO to which the agreement in Colombia was terminated, is the “guardian angel” of the Army in the field of human rights.

“I want to confess that with Dr. Sandra Poveda here present, who is our guardian angel in Colombia on these human rights issues, human rights matter in the National Army (…) We have a series of documents, directives, clues so that our Soldiers learn to do what human rights are(…) and it has been in the hands of “partners” as Young People for Human Rights that we have managed to grow on this issue deeply. Well, you see some of the training for our soldiers there. We have trained them with thousands of soldiers, officers and non-commissioned officers in our jungles, “said General Sepúlveda.

The praise of the leaders of Scientology towards General Sepulveda did not remain there, Fabio Amicarelli, director of humanitarian programs of the Church of Scientology, congratulated General Alberto Sepúlveda for the success of the Army and Scientology, working together.

By training thousands of soldiers, there is a dilution of the killings and a re-contextualization of the killings as a lack of training spread across many years.

That an Army official ascribes “guardian angel” status to Scientologist Sandra Poveda is ridiculous. Again, is there no one in the Colombian military that can do this work? Or are certain officers in the Colombian military in the pocket of Scientology? General Sepulveda is absurd. He seems to be reciting a script written for him by Scientology. IMO, such ridiculously effusive praise betrays a hidden agenda.

*****
Scientology made it very easy to do. What Scientology offered the Colombian military and police was a “plug and play” curriculum of free and readily available booklets and videos on Human Rights. All the military and police needed to do was hand them out and take PR photos to show they were doing something about human rights in response to the extrajudicial killings. This was of course window dressing given the fact that no high-ranking Colombian officers or political leaders have ever been convicted in the killings. In exchange for its literature and videos, Scientology received a great deal of PR which it then used for internal fundraising.

5. Real human rights groups such as Amnesty International would never have gotten involved in this on terms dictated by the Colombian Army. In fact, just last month on July 9, 2018 Amnesty International denounced Colombia’s human rights violations and the continuing murders of human rights activists:

This gives us another avenue of investigation: Ask Amnesty International what it thinks of Scientology’s cooperation with the Colombia military and police. We intend to pursue this matter.

This Amnesty International headline would seem to put the lie to Scientology’s claim to be Human Rights champions in Colombia. If anything, it makes Scientology look like the Army’s PR unit.

6. The “peace settlement” between the Colombian government and FARC was constructed in such a way that required the Colombian Congress to approve a highly controversial law in which the top people on both sides would held harmless from prosecution:

On 28 December, Congress approved a law to provide amnesties or pardons
to FARC combatants and the waiving of criminal prosecutions for security force personnel not under investigation for or convicted of crimes under international law. Those who had served at least five years in prison for crimes under international law will, under certain circumstances, be conditionally released. Ambiguities in the law could result in many human rights abusers evading justice.

ref: http://www.refworld.org/doc…

The war between Colombia and FARC was bankrupting the nation. One figure showed that the Colombian government had to spend $3.9 million USD per day. The costs over two decades was around $12 billion USD. Another part of the damage was the reputation of the Army and the Police for the extrajudicial killings.

The missing links I’m exploring are those between the Colombian Army, the Police, and Scientology. The Colombian military and police needed a solution, they needed an outside party who would cooperate in what is, imo, obviously a false PR narrative. I say this because, as noted, Amnesty International and other real Human Rights groups would not participate in this Colombian Army-Police PR show.

General Bravo is one of the Shadowmen. He was, after all, the third highest ranking police official in Colombia. He has ties to NATO and the US Army as well.

I have a feeling that this is a big and deep rabbit hole which has been located and this story is just beginning. We need a Robert Mueller here in America to investigate Scientology and Columbia. It may be that Scientology is violating US State Department rules by working with a foreign power in the manner that it is.

 

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!

$104,721 Per Year: If Sea Org Members Were Paid According to Minimum Wage Requirements in Los Angeles

1. Minimum wage in Los Angeles is $13.25 per hour.

2. The first four hours of overtime on any workday is calculated at $19.87 per hour. This is the “time and a half” hourly rate. Overtime is defined as all hours worked beyond eight hours.

3. All overtime hours that exceed 12 hours in a day must be paid at double pay. This is $26.50 per hour. However, all work hours that exceed eight hours on the seventh consecutive day of work must be paid at double time. Double time pay is $26.50 per hour.

4. Assume a 110 hour Sea Org seven-day work week.

5. A 110 hour work week equals seven consecutive days of 15.7 hours each.

6. Based upon the foregoing, the minimum wage paycheck in Los Angeles for a 110 hour work week would be calculated as follows:

A. Straight Time: 56 hours @ $13.25 = $742.00

B. Time and a Half: 24 hours @ $19.87 = $476.88

C. Double Time: 30 hours per week @ $26.50 = $795.00

D. Total Gross Pay Per Week: $2,013.88

E. Total Annual Gross Pay at 52 weeks: $104,721.76

This is the true legal and financial value of Sea Org labor under minimum wage guidelines in Los Angeles County for a 110 hour workweek of seven consecutive days. For specific details please refer to the California Dept of Industrial Relations Webpage on Overtime Rules.

More Math: 110 hours per week over 52 weeks = 5,270 hours of work per year for a Sea Org member.

$104,721.76 divided by 5,270 hours of work = $19.87 per hour pay on an averaged basis.

$19.87 should be the hourly wage for all Sea Org workers — particularly given the fact that they receive absolutely no benefits, no savings plan, no pension plan, etc. and must pay for their own personal expenses items. For example, Scientology does not pay for feminine hygiene products for female Sea Org members. Birth control for married couples in not paid for. Toothpaste, shampoo, and soap are not paid for. When an Org does not hit its gross income target in a given week, all Sea Org members in that Org are not paid at all. Worse, they are fed rice and beans for lunch and dinner.


Conclusion: Sea Org members are engaged in a billion year exercise in futility and self-torment for working as “religious volunteers” for a “stipend” each week of about $50 for a 110 hour work week. Some weeks Sea Org are not paid at all. Sea Org members also receive room and board in substandard living conditions. The Sea Org is slave labor and a lie. Sea Org members are basically forfeiting $2,000 a week in exchange for nothing except abuse, lower conditions, and being screamed at constantly.

One crucial item: American Sea Org members pay virtually nothing into the US Social Security system. When they reach 65 years of age there is no safety net and little or no Social Security check each month. The horror stories older former SO members have told me of being 65 years of age, or older, with no income and little or no Social Security income are horrific. Their story is brutal: Old and poor with nothing to show for having slaved away in the Sea Org. There is no pension in the Sea Org. The staff contract Sea Org members signs takes away all rights to pay and pension and instead provides a stingy little “stipend.” In America, religious volunteers can take vows of poverty, are not entitled to pay, and are not protected by secular workplace protections. Sea Org are hit especially hard due to the extraordinary greed and malice of Scientology whose policies do not allow for old age or pensions.

Here is an excerpt of the staff contract Sea Org members sign whereby they forgo $104,721 per year in income if they work in Los Angeles. Kiss that money goodbye forever:

To Recap: The Sea Org does not legally exist.

There is no health care plan.

Sea Org members get little or no Social Security when they reach age 65.

There is no pension plan for Sea Org workers.

There is only abuse.

Recommended Reading: Why no one should ever join Scientology’s ‘Sea Org’

An Alternative: Working two full time jobs at minimum wage would be 80 hours per week at $13.25. This brings in $1,060 per week or $55,120 per year gross income. This path would allow you to get your life back on track. You’re already working long hours so at least get paid the minimum wage for working. Moreover, an 80 hour work week cuts your present work week by 30 hours. You can also arrange your work schedule so that you have one or two full days off per week.

Why are Sea Org members sacrificing their lives and financial well-being to enrich Scientology?

If you’re in the Sea Org why are you still reading this? Blow and get out. Make a better life for yourself. Tell Scientology to stick its unenforceable “Freeloader Bill” in a dark place. You don’t have to pay a Freeloader Bill and Scientology can’t make you. “Volunteers” do not have to reimburse the costs of training. However, Scientology’s greed knows no limit and so it threatens Sea Org who want to leave with a massive Freeloader Bill in order to terrify them into staying. It is fraud and the intentional infliction of mental cruelty.

Here is the Sea Org staff contract in which Sea Org members sign away all their rights. Note: Hover your cursor over the document to invoke the page up/page down controls at the bottom of the document:

Church-of-Scientology-1996-Staff-Contract

Scientologists Stacy Francis and Joy Villa Pretend to Be Evangelical Christians

Joy.Taryn.Stacy

 Scientology’s Damage Control Team: L-R: Stacy Francis, Taryn Teutsch, Joy Villa

As season 3 of Leah Remini’s Emmy winning show Scientology and the Aftermath approaches, David Miscavige and the Church of Scientology have gone into an apoplectic foaming-at-the-mouth hysteria of rage. This rage betrays the intense fear of exposure at the core of Scientology.


A Message from Leah Remini to Scientology Operatives


In response to the upcoming third season of Leah Remini’s show, Scientology’s Office of Special Affairs has conducted an erratic and schizophrenic damage control campaign that is quite transparent.

Even as OSA wages a malicious campaign of Fair Game against Leah Remini, Mike Rinder, and the brave guests who appear on Leah’s show, OSA has also fielded Scientology operatives Joy Villa and Stacy Francis in an attempt to convince Christian Evangelicals that people can be both Christians and Scientologists.

Scientologists Joy Villa and Stacy Francis have promoted themselves as ardent Christians and Donald Trump supporters in what appears to be a desperate attempt to pander to the Trump Administration. Given that Scientology’s long-time Washington D.C. lobbyist Greg Mitchell is involved behind the scenes, we consider that OSA is orchestrating this in a frantic hope of staving off an inevitable IRS investigation into Scientology’s tax exemption.

From our perspective, Stacy Francis and Joy Villa are trying to “safepoint” Scientology in Washington D.C. However, when one contrasts this with the 1990’s and 2000’s when Scientology was able to deploy John Travolta and Tom Cruise to D.C. to influence President Clinton and the Bush 43 Administration, it becomes apparent that OSA is scraping the bottom of the barrel with Villa and Francis.

LOVE YOUR ENEMIES

One of the central contradictions with Scientologists pretending to be Christians is that Jesus commanded his followers to love their enemies. We read the words of Jesus in Luke 6:27-36:

But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Christ’s commandment that Christians are to love their enemies is directly antithetical to L. Ron Hubbard’s incredibly violent policy of Fair Game in which he calls for the literal bodily injury and destruction, or death, of Scientology’s enemies:

“ENEMY SP Order. Fair game. May be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed.”- L. Ron Hubbard, Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, 18 October 1967

Joy Villa and Stacy Francis have never publicly disavowed L. Ron Hubbard’s Fair Game doctrine. This fact alone puts the lie to their claims to be Christian.

Scientology wants to portray itself as religious even as it continues to savagely attack those it deems enemies. Scientology’s three main actors in its recent psychotic soap opera are Scientologists Stacy Francis, Taryn Teutsch, and Joy Villa.

JOY VILLA & STACY FRANCIS

Scientologist Stacy Francis singing at Ralph Reed’s Faith & Freedom “Road to Majority” event in June 2018. Along with her fellow Scientologist Joy Villa, Stacy Francis also passed herself off as a Trump supporter and a Christian at this event.

Joy Villa and Stacy Francis showed up last month at Faith and Freedom Coalition’s “Road to Majority” event. We covered this in a previous article, Ralph Reed, the Faith & Freedom Coalition, and Scientology. Despite her claims to be a Christian, when Stacy Francis appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in 2017 she showed her true colors:

That Ralph Reed and his people were taken in by these two Scientology charlatans who claimed to be Christians is not surprising: Villa has been taking advantage of the trust of Evangelicals for the past eighteen months. Villa has falsely claimed to Evangelicals that Scientology is merely a set of self-help tools. She has also said that a person can be both a Christian and a Scientologist. However, this is demonstrably false from a biblical perspective. See our essay: Why You Can’t be a Christian and a Scientologist.

SCIENTOLOGY & THE NATION OF ISLAM

Scientology’s efforts to position itself as a Christian-friendly organization is completely exposed as a lie given Scientology’s partnership with the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam. Louis Farrakhan’s account was decertified by Twitter for his recent incendiary tweet and video in which he railed against the Jews:

We note that the Church of Scientology never publicly censured nor rebuked Mr. Farrakhan for his incendiary anti-Semitic tweet. We are therefore forced to conclude that the Church of Scientology condones Mr. Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism and that of the Nation of Islam. To this point, Stacy Francis certainly appears to have no problem with Mr. Farrakhan’s views and seems quite fond of him as can be seen in this photo taken at a Scientology event:

Scientologists Stacy Francis, Alfreddie Johnson, and Louis Farrakhan

Long-time Farrakhan supporter Congressman Danny Davis (D) of Illinois recently took the extraordinary step of publicly disavowing Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism. Congressman Davis issued a statement on his official Congressional webpage in which he unequivocally stated, “I reject, condemn and oppose Minister Farrakhan’s views and remarks regarding the Jewish people and the Jewish religion.”

That Scientology leader David Miscavige refuses to make a comparable statement shows the Scientology leader’s apparent tolerance of, or even agreement with, Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism. David Miscavige has long claimed to be a “global ecclesiastical leader” and yet shows no moral leadership whatsoever on this issue.

Joy Villa and Stacy Francis claim to be enthusiastic supporters of President Trump. However, Mr. Trump has unequivocally stated his support for Israel and the Jewish people. Given the President’s position here, it would seem incumbent upon Joy Villa and Stacy Francis to fall in line with the President’s position, and particularly as they claim to be Republicans and Evangelical Christians, and publicly condemn the anti-Semitism of Mr. Farrakhan.


TARYN TEUTSCH


Over against Scientology’s incursions into pro-Trump Evangelical Christian circles, Scientology has been engaged in an absolutely hellbent non-Christian Fair Game campaign against Mike Rinder.

The Scientology Money Project has been reporting on OSA operative and Sea Org member Taryn Teutsch and her malicious Fair Game attacks against her father Mike Rinder. We exposed Taryn’s outright lies in a series of articles, the most damning of which was The Paramedics Report on Cathy Bernardini: Why Taryn Teutsch’s Fair Game Attack on Mike Rinder Falls Apart.

As we documented, Taryn Teutsch outrageously tried to link her sleazy Fair Game campaign to the #MeToo movement. This is an utter disgrace and a deep insult to the women who are the actual victims of sexual harassment and rape.

We must point out that this attempt to link Taryn’s Fair to Game attacks to the #MeToo movement was ordered by none other than Scientology Cult boss David Miscavige — the man who has kept his own wife Shelly Miscavige locked away in a high security Scientology facility for over ten years.

Below are links to our continuing coverage of Taryn Teutsch and Scientology’s Fair Game attacks on Mike Rinder. We plan to continue our coverage of this Scientology Fair Game campaign in order to document the exact conduct of Scientology.

Taryn Teutsch Uses a Photo of Gretchen Carlson in Her Fair Game Campaign Against Leah Remini’s Show

Fake Stock Photo Scientologists Support Taryn Teutsch’s Fake News Attack on Mike Rinder

Scientology TV, Taryn Teutsch, and L. Ron Hubbard’s Disgusting View of Women

Scientology Sea Org Member Taryn Teutsch Engaging in Fake News to Attack Leah Remini’s Show & Her Father Mike Rinder

Scientology Boss David Miscavige Panics; Brings in Kirstie Alley to Engage in Sleazy Fair Game Campaign Against Mike Rinder

Scientology’s Fair Game Campaign Against Mike Rinder Collapsing Under the Weight of Scrutiny

The Paramedics Report on Cathy Bernardini: Why Taryn Teutsch’s Fair Game Attack on Mike Rinder Falls Apart