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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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:
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.]
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.
When the stories of Harvey Weinstein perpetrating sexual assaults and rapes began to surface in 2017, Weinstein retained the services of Sitrick & Company. We cover the story of Weinstein here as Mike Sitrick and his firm have represented the Church of Scientology. Sitrick’s business of “crisis management” apparently has an Ecclesiastical Division in the company as Sitrick did work for the Los Angeles Archdiocese as it fought law enforcement and victims for decades under the leadership of the now disgraced Cardinal Roger Mahony.
While we don’t know if Sitrick was behind the advertorial; what we do know is that he took calls in response to David Miscavige’s self-aggrandizing advertorial. In these calls Sitrick stated that he had been working for the Church of Scientology for three and a half years. That would take us back to 2009 time frame. This was a crucial period in Scientology’s history. Anonymous had taken on the Church in 2008. Other than Scientology creating a laughably fake anthrax threat and accusing Anons of being the terrorists behind it, Scientology showed a complete inability to handle Anonymous.
For new Scientology watchers, a bit of history is in order to show why Anonymous choose to take on the Church of Scientology in 2008. Part of the story goes back to 2005 when South Park famously lampooned Scientology, Tom Cruise, and John Travolta.
SCIENTOLOGY, TOM CRUISE, SOUTH PARK, CAA & ANONYMOUS
Ronan Farrow, the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist at the center of the Harvey Weinstein story, is represented by Creative Artists Agency. CAA is worth noting here as Tom Cruise’s agent Kevin Huvane is a managing partner at the Hollywood powerhouse CAA. Cruise’s long-time production partner Paula Wagner, who had helped Cruise launch the lucrative Mission Impossible franchise in 1993 when Cruise/Wagner Productions began, was a former CAA agent. Wagner’s husband Rick Nicita was a partner at CAA through 2008.
When South Park episode 912 “Trapped in the Closet” — an episode that satirized Scientology, Cruise, and Travolta — was set to air in November 2005, Cruise and Scientology called upon their contacts at CAA for help. A meeting was set up to see what could be done to stop the South Park episode from airing . Mike Rinder, who was then in charge of Scientology’s Office of Special Affairs, was dispatched to CAA along with other Scientology execs to ask for CAA’s help in stopping the broadcast of the South Park episode.
“When South Park did their program, I went to CAA,” said Rinder, using the abbreviation for Creative Artists Agency, a top Hollywood talent agency that represented Cruise.
Rinder said this is what happened next:
“The Tom Cruise card was played with CAA to get them to put pressure on Comedy Central and Viacom. Ultimately, it really backfired.
CAA was opposed to Scientology’s attempt at censorship. Scientology failed in getting South Park episode 912 from airing in the United States. However, South Park did not rebroadcast the episode due to pressures exerted by Scientology. Moreover, Scientology and Cruise succeeded in getting the episode stopped in England due to that country’s medieval libel laws. This Scientology act of censorship was widely reported. The young people who were avid fans of South Park took notice. Many of these young people were members of 4chan, the online bulletin board whose members called themselves Anonymous.
Scientology’s next major act of censorship was in 2008 when the Church got a leaked Tom Cruise video taken down from YouTube. This video was an internal Church of Scientology video in which a very radicalized Tom Cruise exhorts his fellow Scientologists to “go to guns” against Scientology’s enemies. It was Scientology’s takedown of this video that triggered Anonymous to launch its Project Chanology campaign against the Church of Scientology. The campaign began with a stunning video that is a masterpiece of psychological warfare:
In 2009 the Independent Scientology movement followed on the heels of Anonymous and Scientology proved equally inept at handling the startling revelations of former high level Scientology executives. The Tampa Bay Times series called The Truth Rundown was devastating in its exposure of Scientology leader David Miscavige and his physical violence. The Truth Rundown chronicled the stories of former high level Scientology Sea Org executives who had lived through the hell of David Miscavige’s dystopian nightmare at the International Base located in San Jacinto, California. The seminal Truth Rundown series is now available as an e-Book for Kindle.
Bringing in Mike Sitrick at this time of crisis for Scientology would be a move David Miscavige would make. But what else could Miscavige do given that he had decimated the executive strata of Scientology? In 2009, Scientology’s remaining execs were either locked up in the SP Hole while others were secretly planning their escapes.
David Miscavige responded to the Independent Scientology movement with the Squirrel Busters. This proved to be an epic PR and legal disaster for Scientology. Miscavige also deployed the angry Tommy Davis as Scientology’s spokesman. Davis’ public behavior was an embarrassment. Accordingly he became a PR liability and was either placed on, or took, a leave of absence from the Sea Org whereupon he disappeared off the radar for some time. Other PR disasters for Scientology ensured. Scientology very publicly attacked, in no particular order, Lawrence Wright, Paul Haggis, Alex Gibney, Leah Remini, my dear wife Karen de la Carriere, Mike Rinder, CNN, Anderson Cooper, Vanity Fair, The Tampa Bay Times, and dozens of other people and media outlets that exposed this greedy, lying, and vicious cult. The world watched and saw Scientology Fair Game at work.
Due to the Church of Scientology’s own malicious behavior it had become a walking PR disaster, a self-destructive and disgusting mess.
What does a Cult with a toxic reputation and an uncontrollable need for revenge do?
Scientology did what Harvey Weinstein, Michael Vick, Cardinal Mahony, and numerous other miscreants have done and that is to call Mike Sitrick for help with a self-inflicted disaster. Mike Sitrick shamelessly boasts about the horrendous clients he’s represented. This appears on his company’s own website:
Sitrick boasting about having worked for the Los Angeles Catholic Diocese when it was engulfed in covering up child molestation is extraordinarily disturbing; the boast seems to be a very naked solicitation to do business with the worst scum of society. For an alleged PR genius to brag about helping a Church engaged in protecting pedophile priests is bizarre. One would think Mr. Sitrick would be more discreet about such matters: Halle Barry, Ron Burkle, Roy Disney, and Rush Limbaugh would certainly not like knowing they had been lumped in with pedophile priests on Sitrick & Company’s website.
SITRICK & COMPANY: THE INITIAL HARVEY WEINSTEIN DENIAL
When the call for help came in from Harvey Weinstein, Mike Sitrick’s mother had just passed away and Sitrick was in Chicago making final arrangements. Accordingly, Sitrick assigned the Weinstein case to his employee Sallie Hofmeister. She issued a completely tone deaf denial on Weinstein’s behalf:
Any allegations of nonconsensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual. Mr. Weinstein has begun counseling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path. Mr. Weinstein is hoping that, if he makes enough progress, he will be given a second chance.
This press release shows Sitrick & Company at its worst: The firm appears to have such contempt for Hollywood and the general public that it actually believed it could portray Weinstein as a contrite figure who “has listened to the community” and deserved a second chance. Sorry, Sitrick & Company, Harvey Weinstein is not Mel Gibson. Gibson made stupid drunken anti-Semitic comments; he did not rape women.
Two years before Harvey Weinstein was engulfed in a firestorm of his own making, Scientology leader David Miscavige was likewise caught in a maelstrom of horrendous PR of his own making. In 2015, the Los Angeles Times broke the story that Miscavige had hired a father-son team of armed private investigators to secretly follow his own father for two years, this after Ron Miscavige Sr. and his wife had escaped Scientology’s Sea Org. When Ron Miscavige Sr. appeared to be having a heart attack in the parking lot of a Wisconsin supermarket, the PI’s called and asked David Miscavige if they should intervene and call for help. David Miscavige cold-bloodedly replied, “If he dies, let him die.” Outraged by the story going viral, the Church of Scientology issued an angry denial to The Hollywood Reporter that was unique in the annals of ecclesiastical denials:
As for the purported emergency incident involving an investigator and the second-hand account of an alleged conversation containing a despicably false quote, Mr. Miscavige’s attorney, Michael Lee Hertzberg, is on record stating that Mr. Miscavige does not know the investigator, has never heard of the investigator, has never met the investigator, has never spoken to the investigator, never hired the investigator and never directed any investigations by him.
So let me be clear: No such conversation with Mr. Miscavige ever took place and any claim that one did is provable bullshit.
David Miscavige’s belligerent denial mirrors that of Harvey Weinstein. As reported by AV Club, Weinstein disrupted group sessions when he was going through the charade of sex therapy in 2017:
According to sources at the outpatient clinic—where Weinstein, committed to changing his behavior patterns, drops in after spending his nights in a luxury hotel—Weinstein has been derailing group therapy sessions with his belligerent rants about “how this is all a conspiracy against him,” insisting “he never raped or assaulted anyone, and that all the encounters were consensual.” That Weinstein continues to downplay or outright dismiss the more than 40 women who have now accused him of sexual harassment or assault isn’t a surprise to anyone who’s followed this story, or are generally familiar with sexual abusers.
What Harvey Weinstein and David Miscavige have in common is that both are sleazebags who, when cornered, angrily protest that there is a conspiracy against them and that the bad acts of which they stand accused are baseless, i.e. “proveable bullshit” in the shrill argot of Scientology.
WEINSTEIN’S BOGUS CONTRITION
One of Sitrick’s textbook plays is to paint a miscreant client as a sincerely contrite person who seeks repentance by performing good acts. Thus, in a desperate and phony gambit that reeked of trying to buy his way out of what was shaping up to be a future prison sentence, Weinstein announced that he wanted to donate $5 million dollars to USC to fund to female filmmakers. USC wanted nothing to with Weinstein’s inept pandering and sleazy attempts at damage control into which he had dragged his own mother:
As allegations of sexual harassment against embattled film mogul Harvey Weinstein continue to unfold, the USC School of Cinematic Arts said Tuesday that it is rejecting a $5-million pledge Weinstein had made to fund a program for female filmmakers.
Weinstein referenced the pledge last week in a statement to the New York Times in response to the paper’s exhaustive story detailing accusations of sexual misconduct against him going back decades. “It will be named after my mom, and I won’t disappoint her,” he wrote.
As the #MeToo dam broke, the allegations against Mr. Weinstein multiplied. So did Sitrick and Company’s rebuttals… Sitrick and Company issued what would turn out to be one of its final statements to USA Today, for an article on March 22: “Mr. Weinstein categorically denies ever engaging in any non-consensual sexual conduct with anyone.”
Two months later Mr. Weinstein was arrested. His lawyer is Benjamin Brafman, whose clients have included Martin Shkreli, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Vincent Gigante, known as “The Chin.”
Harvey Weinstein’s arrest draws attention to the ability of wealthy and powerful evildoers such as Harvey Weinstein, the Church of Scientology, Enron and other Sitrick clients to spend lavish sums of money to spin the story in an attempt to redefine, deny, and portray themselves as something other than deviant individuals and organizations.
We view Sitrick & Company as a part of the larger ecosystem of corruption where monied elites are able to use their power and wealth to distort the news by using carefully crafted spin, cover ups, fake news, lies, threats, and denials. As we see it, Mike Sitrick and his firm are quickly becoming dinosaurs in the rapidly collapsing American “Good Old Boy’s Network.”
If Harvey Weinstein had owned a crystal ball in 2016, he could have skipped paying Sitrick & Company and conserved his funds for the large and expensive criminal defense team he will need. Inasmuch as Sitrick, like Scientology, cannot guarantee any particular result, wealthy people facing serious accusations in the post Harvey Weinstein era need to ask themselves if premium-priced “crisis management” is a form of wishful thinking or denial. Indeed, can any crisis management firm head off the inevitable where criminality can be proven to exist? The lesson to be learned here is ancient: Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.
A fixer is someone who makes very ugly problems go away. Typically, a fixer works in such a way that his client has complete deniability and knows nothing about how the very ugly problem was made to go away. Fixers like Mike Sitrick work to simply spin, distort, and try to create a different perception of their clients. Fixers and the particular sort of work they do are central to the Good Old Boy’s Network. However, Fixers are no match for great journalists who see right through their machinations.
As Weinstein’s denials were issuing forth from Sitrick & Company, NBC Today Show contributor Ronan Farrow took notice of Harvey Weinstein and put together a blockbuster story. NBC execs, however, infamously passed on the story and urged Farrow to take it elsewhere. Farrow did just that; his subsequent articles in The New Yorker earned both himself and the magazine the 2018 Pulitzer Prize gold medal for public service. Farrow is an attorney and a member of the New York bar. His skills as an attorney were evident in the way he investigated Weinstein.
Kara Swisher’s interview of Ronan Farrow on Recode Decode is outstanding. Parts of it sound like Farrow is talking about Scientology Fair Game when he describes the depredations of the wealthy and powerful:
Recode Decode says of Swisher’s interview with Ronan Farrow:
On the new podcast, Farrow explained how he convinced Weinstein’s victims to talk to him for the story; he credited his sister Dylan Farrow, ex-Fox News host Gretchen Carlson and Bill Cosby’s myriad accusers with proving that women could relive the trauma, come forward with their stories and be okay in the end.
“I think the world changed,” Farrow said. “There was a progression of brave women and also, of course, eventually men — I don’t want to discount the importance of male survivors of sexual violence and how much we need to hear their voices. But at the time, it was mostly women coming forward and chipping away at the culture of silence.”
He reiterated that the focus should be on these survivors and on the ways in which the justice system and the media failed them — not on predators like Weinstein. Many of the systems that preserved the status quo of silence are “still thriving,” he said.
While Ronan Farrow astutely saw the world changing as women came forward and chipped away at the Hollywood Culture of Silence that protected Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and other sexual predators, Mike Sitrick saw a chance to make a big payday spinning for Harvey Weinstein. However, nothing Sitrick did, or could have done, would have helped Harvey Weinstein.
Crisis public relations firm Sitrick and Company is no longer representing disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein, the company told TheWrap on Tuesday.
Weinstein has been accused of rape, sexual assault and harassment by nearly 90 women in in various cities around the world. The producer has consistently denied any nonconsensual sex through his former Sitrick spokesperson, retained shortly after articles containing early accusations were published in the New Yorker and the New York Times last October.
Sitrick has been a surprising holdover for the past five months as Weinstein watched several key crisis players bail as the accusations piled up and the national conversation became consumed by the #MeToo movement sparked by Weinstein’s alleged misconduct.
Sitrick held on for too long in defending Harvey Weinstein. So did Los Angeles attorney Lisa Bloom who was widely criticized for both taking on Weinstein as a client and attempting to minimize his conduct by saying that he was “an old dinosaur learning new ways.” Bloom admitted to BuzzFeed News that her representation of Harvey Weinstein was “a colossal mistake.”
Another loser who got a big black eye from the Harvey Weinstein story is NBC. Many predict that there is fallout still to come for the peacock network having killed Farrow’s story. Farrow will tell his side of the story when Little, Brown and Co., releases his upcoming book Catch and Kill. A press released said of Farrow’s book, “the project will address the “conspiracy of silence around Weinstein and other men in power.”
SITRICK IN 2018
Mike Sitrick is no match for Wikileaks, the Panama Papers, and crusading journalists like Ronan Farrow, and the courage of women speaking out against their abusers. In this day and age when the US Congress and federal agencies are setting up to take on Google and Facebook’s massive invasions of privacy and selling private data, Sitrick’s skills no longer seem formidable against the vast oceans of social media, high level leakers, and even network and cable news. Indeed, the high-speed downfall of Harvey Weinstein showed the powerlessness of Sitrick & Company to fend off the inevitable by the use of old school tricks.
Weinstein’s arrest makes the case that “crisis management” is quite different than “trying to counter horrendously bad PR for high profile sleazebags who have crossed the line into criminality.” It is one thing to for Johnson & Johnson to handle the nightmarish PR issues related to Tylenol tampering in 1982; it’s quite another for Sitrick & Company to issue blanket denials on behalf of Harvey Weinstein or work in the background for the Church of Scientology even as Scientology works to destroy former members, journalists, and critics who expose its depravity.
This leads us to ask: When does “crisis management” cross the line into complicity?
SCIENTOLOGY & FAIR GAME; MIKE SITRICK & THE WHEEL OF PAIN
Abby Aguirre’s recent New York Times story on Mike Sitrick and Harvey Weinstein offers an illuminating look at what Sitrick & Company did for the disgraced Hollywood mogul. Aguirre notes that in 1998 Sitrick coauthored a book with Allan Mayer. Entitled Spin: How to Turn the Power of the Press to Your Advantage, Aguirre comments on the book:
In Chapter 4, “News Media Abhor a Vacuum,” Mr. Sitrick lays out one of his key tenets: that strategic press representatives must engage the media; “no comment” should never be a first resort. “If you won’t talk to them, they’ll simply find someone else who will,” he and Mr. Mayer write, “which is to say, if you don’t tell your story, someone else will tell it for you.”
In a press release concerning Scientology TV, David Miscavige quoted Mike Sitrick verbatim when he said:
If you don’t write your own story, someone else will. So, yes, we’re now going to be writing our story, like no other religion in history. And it’s all going to happen right here from Scientology Media Productions.”
Miscavige’s verbatim quote of Sitrick suggests that Sitrick still has Scientology as a client. If so, Scientology and Sitrick appear to think alike in terms of Fair Game; Sitrick just phrases it differently. Example: In Sitrick’s new book The Fixer: Secrets for Saving Your Reputation in the Age of Viral Media he advises his clients to “Put Your Opponent in the Wheel of Pain.”
For Mike Sitrick to advise someone like Harvey Weinstein to put his opponents “in the wheel of pain” is beyond comprehension. Are we to take Sitrick’s admonition to mean that Weinstein’s victims were to be put in the wheel of pain by Sitrick & Company? Were Weinstein’s victims to be caused pain? While a clarification from Sitrick & Company on this point seems in order, Sitrick’s advice to cause your opponent pain shows the utter cynicism at Sitrick’s core: He is not afraid to hurt people in the defense of a client.
Attorney Lisa Bloom was also apparently not afraid to attack Weinstein’s accusers as Lloyd Grove’s story in The Daily Beast made clear:
Ronan Farrow was stunned and disgusted early this year when famed feminist lawyer Lisa Bloom phoned him, in the midst of his investigation for NBC News of widespread allegations of sexual misconduct against Harvey Weinstein, and offered to share opposition research on one of Weinstein’s accusers.
“I don’t know if you’ve talked to Rose McGowan, but we have files on her and her… history,” Bloom told Farrow, according to knowledgeable sources inside and outside NBC.
To what extent, if any, Bloom was coordinating with Sitrick remains a mystery. Nevertheless, the question remains: When does crisis management become complicity?
The efforts of Sitrick & Company and Lisa Bloom on behalf of their client Harvey Weinstein resemble Scientology’s practice of Fair Game in certain aspects. Grove’s story in the Daily Beast details just how ugly the Hollywood Good Old Boy’s network became when Harvey Weinstein learned that Ronan Farrow was writing a story about him. Weinstein called in all his markers in Hollywood and his very powerful allies tried to kill Farrow’s story. The Good Old Boys Network in Hollywood had much to lose if Weinstein went down. Worse, some of the Good Old Boys knew they too could be dragged down with Weinstein. It was time to circle the wagons.
FOCUS ON THE FIX
Mike Sitrick advises his clients to “focus on the fix.” Scientology TV is obviously Miscavige’s attempt to focus on the fix. We know that Scientology TV is Miscavige’s attempt to “normalize Scientology.” How Miscavige thinks this is possible is quizzical: One cannot normalize that which is inherently deviant. For instance, how does one “normalize” child labor in the Sea Org or exploiting Sea Org members by paying them .10 cents per hour while inflicting sleep deprivation on them? Sleep deprivation is classed as a form of torture by the United Stations. Defined as “the intentional infliction of physical and psychological pain” sleep deprivation as torture cannot be normalized.
Mike Sitrick calls for an organization in crisis to exercise a strategy in which “strategic press representatives must engage the media.” How has David Miscavige translated this advice into action?
David Miscavige has his OSA “press representatives” engage the media in two ways. First, in terms of responding to Leah’s Remini’s A&E show Scientology and the Aftermath, Miscavige has his people in OSA Legal engage the media and the public by issuing a series of angry and unconvincing written denials. From a legal perspective, A&E prudently airs these denials so as to foreclose any Scientology protest that it was not given a chance to respond.
Miscavige apparently feels that he is telling his story by compelling A&E to broadcast Scientology’s written denials. However, Scientology’s denials carry the same moral authority as Harvey Weinstein’s denials:
David Miscavige’s second response to his critics is to have OSA create hate websites on people Scientology deems Suppressive Persons. However, Scientology’s hate websites only serve as self-indicting evidence that Scientology is as malicious as former members, critics, journalists, and documentarians have stated after having been on the receiving end of Scientology’s Fair Game campaigns.
SCIENTOLOGY TV AS THE PROPAGANDA OF A COLLAPSING REGIME
David Miscavige is so delusional that he spent $100 million on Scientology TV in order to tell Scientology’s story so that other’s won’t. However, this is pure fantasy. The media, critics, and former members have been telling Scientology’s story for decades and will continue to do so. David Miscavige and his “crisis management experts” are powerless to stop any coverage of Scientology.
I once shooped Miscavige as Ceausescu in his final hours to depict Miscavige’s utter incomprehension of what is actually happening around him:
The incomprehension of the wealthy and powerful occurs because they have gotten their own way for so long and live in a bubble of sycophants, lawyers, fixers, private investigators, paid hoodlums, crisis management firms, and other enablers. When something truly disastrous besets them, the wealthy think they can buy their way out of it, silence it with various dire threats, or stop it by enforcing nondisclosure agreements that were signed in the past. Stormy Daniels and her attorney have made a mockery of the system of payoffs and nondisclosure agreements. Ronan Farrow has made a mockery of NBC’s alleged “concerns” of not having enough evidence to run a story. The Panama Papers, Paradise Papers, and the soon to be released Appleby Papers have ripped the veil off the offshore financial chicanery of monied elites. The 1% are powerful, but not that powerful. The 1% should take notice when even the governments of China and Russia fear the internet and the free flow of information.
Rather than acknowledging the extremely serious and enormous problems with Scientology, David Miscavige has tried to spin the overwhelming public outrage against Scientology by tossing out the bogus and unconvincing tagline, “Curious? We thought so.”
Mr. Miscavige, the only thing people are curious about concerning Scientology is why the IRS has not revoked its tax exemption.
In the laws within Scientology one cannot report a crime or felony to law enforcement. Reporting internal conduct to anyone outside Scientology is deemed a suppressive act and the punishment is you will get your nearest and dearest family and friends disconnected (shunning) from you. The Church of Scientology flagrantly violates public policy in many ways. For example, Scientology does not turn in pedophiles and even protects rapists. Scientology’s obstruction of justice is rampant and they want to handle criminal matters internally.
Scientology’s attorney Monique Yingling admitted to CNN’s Anderson Cooper that the beatings David Miscavige inflicted upon his subordinates — as well as the beatings other staff members inflicted upon each other — were handled internally. Victims have no recourse to justice in Scientology. Rather, victims only have resort to Scientology’s internal “justice system” which invariably acts to protect the Church at the expense of victims.
The Church of Scientology’s 2018 multi-million dollar Super Bowl ad strategy can now be seen as the grandiose and abject failure it is. Essentially, Scientology wanted to accomplish two conflicting goals that cancelled each other out:
1. Scientology wanted to use the marketing angle of “Curious?” to drive traffic to Scientology’s websites and thereby raise awareness of what Scientology is according to Scientology itself.
2. At the same time it broadcast its Super Bowl ad, the next batch of attack videos by professional Scientology troll Marty Rathbun were released. A mere coincidence? Of course not. In these pompous and unconvincing propaganda videos, Rathbun attempts to discredit Leah Remini, Mike Rinder, Tony Ortega and Leah’s Emmy-winning show Scientology and the Aftermath. If anything, these videos show how far Marty has fallen from his once high estate:
In what was supposed to be, apparently, a masterstroke of Scientology PR genius, the Super Bowl ad campaign was intended to promote Scientology. Simultaneously, Marty Rathbun’s videos were to be used as a flanking maneuver to discredit Leah, Mike, and Tony. However, this strategy failed as Scientology still has its hate websites up on Marty Rathbun. Thus, on the one hand Scientology wants to use Rathbun as a credible source to discredit Leah, Mike, and Tony while simultaneously portraying Marty Rathbun as a violent psychopath, a perjurer, and a liar on its own websites.
THE SCHEMATIC OF SCIENTOLOGY FAILURE
Scientology is using Twitter where one can see this all being played out. Schematically, Scientology illogic looks like this:
Anyone who becomes curious about Scientology and uses Google to do research will quickly discover that Scientology leader David Miscavige is a violent psychopath who has physically assaulted numerous members of his staff. Likewise, anyone who does research will discover that Scientology has hate websites on Marty Rathbun describing him in the same terms as David Miscavige. Why Scientology spent millions of dollars on its Super Bowl ad campaign and failed to address this inherent and crippling contradiction speaks to David Miscavige’s typical overreaching behavior. No one out here in the real world was fooled.
IS THE PUBLIC REALLY THAT CURIOUS ABOUT SCIENTOLOGY?
Scientology is using Twitter to argue that people are “curious” about Scientology and are flocking to Scientology’s website as a result. However, as Scientology’s own graphic below shows, Scientology is paying .64-.78 USD per click to drive traffic to its website. The graphic also shows a Scientology spend of $383,000 for organic search and $14,700 for paid search thus far. Again, no one is fooled: Scientology has just publicly admitted that it has to pay millions of dollars for a Super Bowl ad and hundreds of thousands of dollars for clicks to get anyone to look at its websites.
Scientology’s Super Bowl ad and Marty’s attack videos are a pair of bookends that are supposed to boom Scientology while destroying its critics. Are you serious Scientology? That’s all you have? A paid Super Bowl ad, paid clicks, and Marty Rathbun? Good luck betting on this Trifecta of Fail.
As stated, the big problem is that Marty Rathbun has zero credibility according to Scientology itself. The Church of Scientology still has its hate websites up on Marty. As we have asked before: Which story are you sticking with Scientology? Is Marty a credible source or he is a violent psychopath, a liar, and a perjurer as you depict him on your own website? If Marty is a liar and a perjurer, then why should the public believe anything he says?
Scientology’s Freedom Magazine currently carries this article about Marty in which he is called a lunatic with a history of psychological problems:
However, on a different Freedom Magazine webpage, Freedom links to the lunatic Rathbun’s attack videos on Leah Remini, Mike Rinder, and Tony Ortega and declares:
He’s [Marty Rathbun] recorded his knowledge of their plans, their unsavory traits, and their rank manipulation of show participants, in a 27-part video series on YouTube, “Leah Remini and Her Troublemakers.”
Having been an onscreen participant in both seasons of Leah’s show, I can tell you that the show is unrehearsed and unscripted. There is no manipulation of participants by Leah or anyone else on the set. What Marty Rathbun has said in this regard is a lie. I resent Marty lying about it, but given his disreputable behavior and the other lies he has told over the past several years I am not surprised.
Freedom Magazine repeats Rathbun’s lies about Leah’s show even as Freedom calls him a
violent psychopath, a liar, and a perjurer. Freedom even takes it one step further by linking to Rathbun’s YouTube video channel. Why would Freedom link to the videos of a man it has called a lunatic with a history of psychological problems? This question is rhetorical of course. The fact is that Freedom Magazine’s self-serving and transparent double standard is not acceptable in legitimate journalism. Freedom Magazine is nothing more than fake news, a mouthpiece for a Cult long known for its history of lying. Likewise, Rathbun’s videos are fake news. For example, Rathbun used a recent video to outrageously claim that Scientology was free from child abuse and sexual abuse. Valeska Paris tweeted about this:
From all appearances, Marty Rathbun is back to being David Miscavige’s “fixer” who is now the onscreen talent charged with attacking Scientology’s critics and former members.
DAVID MISCAVIGE’S SCHIZOPHRENIA
David Miscavige’s multi-million dollar 2018 Super Bowl ad campaign fails because it talks out of both sides of its mouth and is underpinned by Marty Rathbun. Marty is the weak link in the chain and yet Scientology needs him to help spin its web of lies, treachery and deceit.
That David Miscavige is capable of living a life of such hypocrisy, delusion, and unreality is nothing new. Indeed, “Captain” Miscavige — a man in a fake Navy uniform festooned with fake military medals — has claimed that infinity has a front porch and that Scientologists can travel faster than light.
My wife Karen de la Carriere and I want to show our respect for Paul Haggis and our solidarity with Leah Remini and Mike Rinder. Therefore, we are reprinting verbatim Leah and Mike’s open letter that was posted today on Mike’s blog:
There is plenty of reason to worry about defending anyone accused of sexual assault in today’s climate. But the fear of consequences for speaking our truth has not held us back in the past and isn’t about to start now.
We have supported victims of sexual abuse who have reached out to us and have worked with them and law enforcement to ensure justice is done for both victims and the accused. We have avoided trial by media.
In this time of heightened awareness of sexual predators, it is easy to remain quiet when an injustice is being perpetrated for fear of being tarred as politically incorrect. But more important to us than being politically correct is standing up for what we believe is right.
Paul Haggis is a good man who has been a friend to us and so many others. He has championed the rights of women, the LGBT community and has fought for and devoted himself to the underprivileged in the world. These are not “PR stunts” — he has devoted his time, skill and money to worthy causes without fanfare for decades.
Like all of us, Paul Haggis is not perfect. Unlike a lot of us, he is truly a gentleman. A gentle man, with impeccable manners and a generous heart.
Like those of us who were scientologists, we trusted and confided in our church to seek resolution for our shortcomings. What is different about scientology is the detailed records they maintain of everything you tell them. And beyond that, they conduct intense interrogations based on the idea that only when all specifics and details are disclosed can one find relief. The names, dates, and minute details of any indiscretions, and even thoughts, are all recorded.
It is not a crime to be attracted to women (or men). It’s not a crime to flirt. Or to have sexual relations with someone. It might not be acceptable to your significant other (if you have one), but it certainly isn’t criminal nor worthy of newspaper headlines.
Only a scientologist can understand the pressure one feels to offer up even the slightest thing that the scientology organization might consider a transgression of THEIR mores. This information is used against anyone who departs scientology and dares speak their mind. This is not imaginary. There is a documented history of such things. When someone is a declared an “enemy” by scientology, they are fair game.
With the name of everyone one might have thought of, flirted with or taken on a date, it takes little imagination to conjure a string of accusers being contacted and suddenly appearing out of the woodwork.
We expect the next “revelations” about Paul Haggis in this campaign to destroy him to be based on information culled from his scientology files in the form of more “anonymous” accusers, hiding behind a lawyer who will never have to disclose who is paying their bill.
Those who accuse without going to law enforcement, those who seek hush money to keep their stories secret, those who make accusations to the media anonymously – they are suspect. And when the target of these tactics is someone who is a prominent critic of scientology, it is very suspect.
Paul Haggis deserves, based on his record as a gentleman and humanitarian, to be judged when all the evidence has been taken under penalty of perjury in a court of law. Because claims of anonymous accusers who have NOT gone to law enforcement are not credible.
Scientologist and STAND member Tad Reeves released a YouTube video today in which he claimed that Leah Remini’s show was making it so dangerous for Scientologists that he feared for the safety of his family. As Tad has blocked all comments — his video is a “one way flow” where he talks and all of us are supposed to listen — I am replying here at the Scientology Money Project.
First let me say this: Oh please! Give me a break Tad. You’re such a drama queen. Seriously. You’re running what LRH called the “Dangerous Environment Racket” where none exists. I’m not buying your act and I’ll tell you why.
The fact is that if anyone has anything to fear it is from Scientologists. Two innocent people have been murdered in cold blood by Scientologists in the last five years. Dozens of people that I personally know have been Fair Gamed, spied on, stalked, harassed, and intimidated in the past ten years. When we add in Anonymous and many others who have spoken out, the number of people Scientology has practiced Fair Game upon is well above one thousand in the past ten years. So please stop your insufferable victim game. It is truly nauseating.
After murdering his business partner, OTVIII Rex Fowler turned his 9mm Glock on himself and pulled the trigger. The bullet traversed Fowler’s sinuses and exited is forehead. Rex’s suicide attempt failed and he was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in Colorado. Thomas Ciancio had a wife and children Tad.
2012: Scientologist and actor Johnny Lewis murdered his 81 year old landlady Catherine Davis here in Los Feliz where my wife Karen and I live. The 27 year old Lewis bludgeoned his elderly landlady to death and then mutilated her cat for good measure Tad. Scientologist Lewis then jumped, or fell, from the steep hillside garage of his landlady’s home in the dark. Lewis died on impact.
In 2009 Nancy Cartwright’s fiancee OTVIII Steve Brackett killed himself by jumping off the Bixby Bridge in Big Sur. Scientologists were told he died in an automobile accident. OTVIII Ed Bryan was arrested in Florida in 2011 for trespassing.
One time when the late Jim Lynch of Freedom Magazine showed up at my home he was escorted by an armed PI. Why did Scientology’s Freedom reporter need an armed bodyguard? I had no weapons and Jim Lynch certainly had nothing to fear from me. I asked Scientology’s PI why he felt he needed a gun to come to my house. Was he planning on shooting me? I also told Jim Lynch and the PI that if David Miscavige had anything to say to me he could come to my house and say it to my face. Otherwise, I would thank David Miscavige to shut up.
And then of course OSA had two PI’s follow COB’s father Ron Miscavige Sr. for two years at a cost of $10,000 per week. When arrested, these PI’s had weapons, a silencer for an assault rifle, ammo, scanners, and fake license plates. This is what COB RTC David Miscavige spends Scientology parishioner dollars on. Is this acceptable to you Tad? Is it moral or ethical for Scientology to send out armed men to spy on and stalk former members of your Church? Here is the assault rifle and the silencer your Church’s PI’s were carrying Tad:
The pen is mightier than the sword Tad. A&E, Leah Remini, Mike Rinder, and their guests are engaging in protected and nonviolent free speech to expose the depravity and evil of the Church of Scientology. If this acts as a wrong item for you Tad then you need to read the US Constitution. No one stopped you from making and releasing your insipid YouTube video.
Alexander Jentzsch died five years ago today on July 3, 2012. Alexander was only 27 years old. The son of Heber Jentzsch and Karen de la Carriere, Alexander died due to Scientology’s brutal policy of Disconnection.
The Church of Scientology would not allow Karen to see her dead son’s body and kiss him goodbye one last time. This cruelty is unspeakable and unforgivable.
The Scientology Money Project was one of the outcomes of Alexander’s death. Nothing can bring Alexander back, but I vowed to do whatever I could do to help expose the Church of Scientology. My goal is to work with others in order to have the IRS revoke Scientology’s 501(c)3 tax exemption revoked.
In 1987 BBC Panorama broadcast an important show on Scientology that is now of great historical value. For example, this excerpt below features Don Larson, a member of Scientology’s infamous finance police.
This one hour show is presented in these five YouTube videos. What this BBC show reveals is that Transnational Corporate Scientology has always been a criminal organization and remains so today. The Xenu story is discussed in this 1987 BBC program.
Dan Koon ghost wrote Ron Miscavige Sr.’s book Ruthless. In this interview Dan discusses the writing and vetting process of the book and addresses Marty Rathbun’s criticisms of the book. Dan also shares highlights of his 27 years in the Sea Org. In the forward to his self-published book What’s Wrong with Scientology? Marty Rathbun had great things to say about Dan Koon: