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.
Critics using Google reverse imaging were able to conclusively prove that the Church of Scientology was using stock photos in its social media fraud campaign. Scientology tried to palm these stock photos off on social media as being actual Scientologists. As we reported yesterday, alert critics caught Scientology using a photo of the Russian actress Valery Fedorovich in yet another social media fraud. Fedorovich’s photo was used with the name of Alicia Selverson. Scientology was caught red-handed trying to change images of its phony Alicia Selverson.
Scientology’s STAND League is awash in this sort fraud and has no zero integrity as a result. The message STAND hopes to communicate gets totally lost at the outset when STAND is caught in such blatant social media fraud: The public doesn’t believe liars. Thus, Scientology has painted itself into a corner. If Scientology is lying about the stock photos then the presumption is that it is lying about everything else. Moreover, it’s hard for Scientology to claim discrimination when it engages in fraud; child labor; Fair Game; Disconnection; refuses to issue repayments as it promised the IRS; and uses contracts of adhesion to strip its own members of their legal and civil rights.
Scientology critic “Succulent Duck” reported today in the comments section of Tony Ortega’s Underground Bunker that Scientology used “a new paint job” on Alicia Selverson. Anyone can immediately spot this as Scientology using Photoshop filters on the original photo of “Alicia Selverson.” The doctored stock photo is shown below.
The use of filters is clearly an attempt by Scientology to defeat Google reverse images. It won’t work OSA. Throw down your weapons of fraud and surrender. You’re surrounded by the internet!
Justin Templer Sr. commented on Twitter on another Scientology attempt to defeat Google reverse images:
Update: Rodger Dodger just tweeted me that Scientology has used a filter on fake Scientologist Rebecca Blair, this in an attempt to defeat Google reverse imaging:
Ron Miscavige interviewed Leah Remini this past Sunday. It was a tremendous interview. Part of the interview focused on Shelly Miscavige, the missing wife of Scientology dictator David Miscavige.
Shelly has not been seen in public for at least ten years and is presumed to be locked away in a Scientology facility. David Miscavige controls the $100 million dollar Scientology TV network and so it’s not like it would be any work for him to do a half hour piece on Shelly to address the controversy once and for all. If David Miscavige put Shelly on Scientology TV then the problem over Shelly’s disappearance would be solved once and for all. This begs the question: Why doesn’t David Miscavige want his wife Shelly to be seen on Scientology TV or anywhere else for that matter? What is he hiding?
Scientology’s Office of Special Affairs got very mad about Ron and Leah’s interview as did David Miscavige. Accordingly, OSA dive-bombed on the YouTube comments to the podcast. Another hysteria of rage by David Miscavige.
The previous version of Alicia Selverson looked like this:
The new Alicia Selverson is actually the Russian actress and screenwriter Valery Fedorovich:
David Miscavige and OSA are engaging in identity theft and conspiracy to commit online fraud. I truly hope Valery Fedorovich sues David Miscavige and Scientology in Russia for damages. It would also be great to see Russia criminally charge David Miscavige and Scientology for using a Russian citizen to perpetrate Scientology’s social media fraud.
The IRS has been notified of yet another example of Scientology using tax exempt dollars to commit social media fraud. Scientology’s tax exemption must be revoked. Please sign my petition calling for the IRS to open an investigation to revoke Scientology’s tax exemption.
If you have already signed it, I thank you for your support.
Aaron Smith-Levin tweeted a letter from the Church of Scientology to a private individual. That person gave Aaron permission to publicly repost this letter and we do so here at the Scientology Money Project.
This letter from Scientology is a threat, a form of psychological intimidation against Anthony Nelson and his wife. Scientology clearly accuses Nelson’s wife as being the reason he is no longer doing Scientology.
This letter is an explicit attempt by Scientology to interfere in a marriage by characterizing Nelson’s wife as someone who is preventing her husband from going forward in Scientology. In other words, Scientology is calling her an SP. As such, the letter tacitly asserts Scientology doctrine of Fair Game in which SP’s may be tricked, lied to, and destroyed.
Given Nelson’s knowledge of Scientology Office of Special Affairs and its ability to conduct Fair Game operations against persons deemed SP’s, this letter is a thinly-veiled threat that Nelson’s wife should stop interfering with him doing Scientology. The Church arrogantly presumes that Mr. Nelson would go forward with Scientology were it not for his SP wife.
This is a truly creepy, threatening, and disturbing letter:
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.
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:
Thoroughly and completely unmasking the Satanic Jew and the Synagogue of Satan.
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.
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.
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.
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 mother-daughter duo of Cathy Bernardini and Taryn Teutsch have been engaged in a classic Scientology Fair Game campaign of lies. The purpose of their duplicitous campaign is to demand that Disney fire Mike Rinder from Leah Remini’s Emmy-winning A&E show Scientology and the Aftermath.
Taryn and Cathy claim that Mike assaulted Cathy in 2010. This is an utter and complete lie. As documented in our previous article, Cathy and Taryn were part of a Scientology mob that ambushed Mike Rinder in a Florida parking lot in 2010. The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office report noted that there was only “incidental contact” as Mike was trying to move away from the angry group of Scientologists. There was no assault. Cathy Bernardini received an abrasion on her arm due to incidental contact. The Sheriff’s Office report closed the case as a simple non-criminal incident.
Cathy and Taryn are Sea Org members. Along with Scientology’s dirty operators in OSA, they have knowingly created and perpetuated a false narrative about an event that happened eight years ago. In doing so they are cynically hoping to take advantage of the #MeToo movement by arguing that all abusers should be fired, and, as Mike is an abuser he too should be fired. However, inasmuch as Cathy, Taryn, and OSA are lying, the Church of Scientology has now been caught in a cynical, self-serving, and transparent attempt to exploit the victims of rape, sexual harassment, and abuse for its own malevolent purposes of Fair Game. This disgraceful conduct is yet another reason why Scientology has only itself to blame for being called a sinister cult.
Clickfarm Taryn’s Fake Friends: More Scientology Social Media Fraud
In addition to lying about what happened in 2010, Taryn Teutsch also used two fake “stock photo Scientologists” on her Facebook page to support her efforts to get Mike Rinder fired. (See our previous article on fake Scientologists). These fake Scientologist go to the pattern of Taryn’s deceit — as do her fake Twitter followers. Aaron Smith-Levin noted the following on Facebook a few hours ago:
Taryn’s Twitter page bears out what Aaron posted. Here we see that Taryn has gained 600 Twitter followers in the few hours since Aaron posted the 14,000 number. Scientology’s hired clickfarms are indeed busy:
Taryn claims to have 5,577 followers on her Facebook Page:
Clickfarm Taryn has Facebook followers from the Philippines, Indonesia, Tijuana, and India. Taryn and OSA are not even trying to make this part of their social media fraud appear credible. Below we see one of Taryn’s fake Facebook followers named Suresh Sureshdhillion. To see what “she” shares with friends send Suresh a friend request:
Clickfarm Taryn’s social media fraud reveals just how shamelessly she and Scientology will lie.
Scientology has been caught before in social media fraud.
Taryn lies about matters of substance and then lazily uses click farm friends to pretend she has support for her lies. No one is fooled by the scammy Scientology smear campaign being perpetrated by Clickfarm Taryn, her mother Cathy, and Scientology’s Office of Special Affairs.
Bottom line on Taryn Teutsch: She has a fake story that features fake stock photo Scientologists, fake Facebook followers, and fake Twitter followers. In other words, it is classic Scientology.
The 2010 Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office report is offered below for the reader’s examination; please hover your mouse over the document to invoke the page up/page down controls at the bottom of the document:
Why is Scientology Sea org member Taryn Teutsch standing next to Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey at the recent YWCA GLA awards event? Lacey’s office is investigating multiple sexual assault allegations against Scientologist Danny Masterson. Taryn posted the photo on her twitter page alongside her attacks on her father Mike Rinder and Leah Remini’s show Scientology and the Aftermath.
Taryn Teutsch is a Scientology Sea Org member and the daughter of Mike Rinder. Taryn’s recent tweets suggest that she appears to be the front woman in an OSA operation designed to get her father fired from Leah Remini’s show Scientology and the Aftermath. This would not be the first time Scientology’s psycho-terrorist Office of Special Affairs tried to get Mike Rinder fired from a job. Read the story of what OSA did to Robert Almblad for giving Mike a job selling a new clean ice technology. Taryn never mentions this in her fake news.
Taryn Teutsch’s strategy is very transparent: She has recently appeared at women’s events. At one of the events she falsely portrayed her father as a man who assaulted her mother. Taryn’s mother is Sea Org member Cathy Bernardini. On her blog and tweets, Taryn asks Disney CEO Bob Iger to fire her father Mike from Leah’s show due to assaulting her mother. But that’s only part of the story. Taryn’s larger goal is to follow her boss’ David Miscavige’s orders and help get Leah Remini’s show taken off the air. Taryn’s real goal — as is that of Scientology — is censorship. Scientology’s demands its free speech while viciously attacking those who use their free speech to expose Scientology’s many evils including the use of child labor.
Taryn’s role is that of an aggrieved daughter. However, what Taryn is lying about, what she is withholding as she spins her Scientology treachery, is the actual story of an ill-conceived and poorly-executed OSA operation in 2010 that she herself participated in. Taryn hopes that people of goodwill — in many cases women who are themselves victims of rape — will take her wholly deceitful account at face value and not search online for the actual details or the police report. Taryn seems to be cynically playing on the sympathies of sexual assault and harassment victims in yet another sleazy Scientology Fair Game operation.
Here’s what really happened: Mike Rinder escaped from Scientology in 2007 with nothing but the clothes on his back and began a new life. He was publicly speaking out against the human rights abuses of the Church of Scientology and exposing Scientology brutal and sadistic leader David Miscavige. Scientology began a vicious campaign of Fair Game against Mike that has not let up for twelve years now.
In 2010, Mike Rinder took his then fiancee, and now his wife, Christie Collbran to the doctor for a nutritional consultation. Christie did these consultations on a routine basis. While Christie was inside the doctor’s office, Mike stayed in the parking lot to enjoy the beautiful Florida weather. He was standing next his SUV making phone calls. Suddenly, Mike found himself in a parking lot surrounded by a veritable lynch mob of angry Scientologists and their private investigators. The lynch mob included his ex-wife Cathy and his daughter Taryn. Mike picks up the story at his blog:
Cathy (my ex-wife); Taryn, my daughter; 4 senior church executives (Jenny Linson, Guillaume Lesevre, David Bloomberg and Sue Wilhere) — all from Los Angeles; along with my brother, Andrew who lives in Australia were despatched by David Miscavige to “confront me” in the parking lot of a doctor’s office in Clearwater, Florida.
I did not approach them or seek them out in any way.
Two PI’s followed me to the doctor’s office, along with these 7 people. They rolled in in 3 cars. To a parking lot not visible from the main road, in fact a considerable distance down a private road and at the back of a suite of doctor offices. With the 2 PI’s observing from a distance, all 7 of them descended on me as I was talking on the phone waiting for my now wife who was at the doctor. I was aimlessly walking around in the parking lot while engaged in a phone conversation.
You will note that I asked that the police be called. Not my ex-wife claiming an assault. The Pinellas Count Sheriffs interviewed the people who did not run away (the 2 PI’s, Jenny Linson, Guillaume Lesevre and Dave Bloomberg literally jumped in cars and fled the scene as soon as 911 was called and before the Sheriffs arrived) at the time of the so-called assault and they concluded these people had followed me and that the grazes on Cathy’s arm were “incidental contact” as I was trying to walk away from her and the others who had flown thousands of miles to seek me out. In fact, they issued a Trespass Warning on my ex-wife and the others as a result of this incident. But of course none of this information appears in the church “Dead Agent” material.
The Sheriff said there was “incidental contact” only as Mike was trying to get away from an angry group of people. The case was summarily closed. What we actually have is an eight year old event that Taryn Teutsch is spinning into a web of lies in a classic Scientology Fair Game campaign against her father Mike Rinder and Leah Remini’s show. This disgraceful conduct is to be expected from Scientology — but it gets worse.
In her latest Fair Game foray, Taryn ran in front of the cameras and tried to hijack Denim Day 2018 here in Los Angeles and turn the event into a propaganda attack on her father. Taryn is seen below standing behind the “Justice4Mom” banner holding her #FireMikeRinder sign.
The photo Taryn posted at her hyperventilating blog makes it appear that the entire Denim Day event was all about her. This leads us to ask what Denim Day is actually about; here is the official statement from Denim Day’s website:
For the past 19 years, Peace Over Violence has run its Denim Day campaign on a Wednesday in April in honor of Sexual Violence Awareness Month. The campaign was originally triggered by a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court where a rape conviction was overturned because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans she must have helped her rapist remove her jeans, thereby implying consent. The following day, the women in the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim. Peace Over Violence developed the Denim Day campaign in response to this case and the activism surrounding it. Since then, wearing jeans on Denim Day has become a symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes about sexual assault. In this rape prevention education campaign we ask community members, elected officials, businesses and students to make a social statement with their fashion by wearing jeans on this day as a visible means of protest against the misconceptions that surround sexual assault. — DenimDay.Org
Denim Day is a 19 year old movement whose goal is the prevention of sexual assaults against women. The Church of Scientology has absolutely nothing to do with Denim Day. However, in this year’s Denim Day event in Los Angeles, Scientology Sea Org member Taryn Teutsch injected herself and Scientology into Denim Day. Taryn disgracefully ignored the victims of sexual assault to whom Denim Day is designed to draw attention and support. Taryn turned Denim Day into another dishonest Scientology attack against those who speak out. Disgusting conduct.
This is not the first time Taryn has attacked her father. She has previously written letters to ABC 20/20 and Deadline Hollywood complaining about her father. Taryn also had made several hate videos about her father that are awash in the same lies she is still peddling. There was no domestic abuse Taryn; there was only “incidental contact” when you and your mother and fellow Scientologists ambushed your father in a parking lot. Tell the truth Taryn! And for the record: Leah Remini’s show offered to interview Cathy Bernardini, Taryn, and her brother Benjamin on camera. All three declined through their lawyer.
Memo to Taryn Teutsch: The real abuser in Scientology is David Miscavige. The real victim is his wife Shelly Miscavige who has not been seen in public for twelve years. Taryn, if you cared for the well-being of women you would ask David Miscavige why he locked away his wife. You would ask if Shelly was okay. Have you done this?
In this next photo we see Taryn hogging the camera again with her giant sign as she attempts to hijack Denim Day on behalf of Scientology:
In the tweet that appears at the opening of this article we see Taryn Teutsch tagging #ywca_gla. This is the YWCA chapter of Los Angeles. Stealing a page from fellow Scientologist Joy Villa’s playbook, Taryn is now, apparently, networking at women’s events. In the space of two weeks Taryn appeared at Denim Day and then the YWCA event. Taryn appears to be positioning herself as a woman’s rights activist. This is bizarre when we consider the fact that Scientology is a Master Race group that calls humans “homo saps” and “wogs.” Scientology has no regard for human rights whatsoever and uses four unconscionable contracts in which Scientologists sign away their legal and civil rights
In my opinion, there may well be a ploy at work: Scientology is using Taryn Teutsch to infiltrate women’s groups in an covert effort to attack Mike Rinder and Leah Remini’s show. One of Scientology’s main tactics is to infiltrate groups of all kinds. The other tactic Scientology uses is called “safe-pointing.” In this tactic, Scientology spreads love and money around to influence various organizations. Scientology’s favorite is the LAPD, a police department that seems to be in bed with Scientology:
Taryn may be multitasking and engaging in both Fair Game and safe-pointing as it suits David Miscavige’s needs on any given day.
In Taryn’s next tweet from the recent YWCA Phenomenal Women event in Los Angeles she is seen hugging Denim Day/Peace Over Violence Director Patti Giggans; does Mr. Giggans realize Taryn is a Scientology Sea Org member on a mission that seeks to ultimately destroy her own father and Leah Remini’s television show by use of a demonstrably false narrative?
I wrote to Denim Day and asked for a response to this matter of Taryn using her blog and photos to co-opt the real meaning and purpose of Denim Day; Denim Day has not responded as of this writing.
Taryn Teutsch can try to spin an eight year old event to fit her fake Cult narrative, but the Sheriff’s report says otherwise — and Leah’s show is entering its third season.
The 2010 Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office report is offered here for the reader’s examination; please hover your mouse over the document to invoke the page up/page down controls at the bottom of the document:
We open our article with a graphic from Scientology TV:
This graphic is taken from Scientology’s official website and informs us that Scientology TV launched with only 25 hours of original content (1500 minutes). This is hardly a number to brag about — particularly after Scientology leader David Miscavige spent about $100 million to purchase, equip, and launch Scientology Media Productions and Scientology TV.
David Miscavige purchased the old KCET studio in 2011, so we also must factor in the seven years of time he took to actually get his 25 hours of original Scientology TV content on air. Looked at from a business perspective, this is a terrible and inefficient use of time and money. Like the Ideal Orgs or the Super Power Building, Scientology TV is yet another money-grabbing and financially wasteful Miscavige vanity project which absolutely fails to address the real issues that are destroying the Church of Scientology from within and without.
The $100 million dollar number translates to $4 million dollars per hour for 25 hours of new content. This is an alarming cash burn figure for 25 hours of Scientology content that few people will ever watch or even notice. In terms of contrast, HBO’s Game of Thrones spent $15 million per hour for its final episodes, this according to a 2017 story in Variety penned by Maureen Ryan and Cynthia Littleton. The difference between Scientology TV and Game of Thrones is the return on investment. According to Forbes, 16.1 million people watched the first episode of Game of Thrones final season. Game of Thrones was crucial to HBO’s “$1.6 billion in revenue and $583 million in operating income during the first quarter of 2017” per the Forbes article.
While it is not realistic to expect something as mediocre as Scientology TV to compete with HBO’s smash hit Game of Thrones, it is realistic to expect David Miscavige to be a better financial steward of the donations made by Scientology’s parishioners. Miscavige’s profligate spend of $4 million per hour on content is excessive when we consider that Scientology TV is fundamentally propaganda that seeks to deflect attention away from the real issues of Scientology’s rapacious greed; its wanton exploitation of Sea Org members; the Cult’s use of child labor; and Scientology’s psycho-terrorist practices of Disconnection and Fair Game.
In their piece, Ryan and Littleton sum up the costs of contemporary television production:
At a moment when the television industry is grappling with a massive increase in the number of shows being produced, the ripple effects of Peak TV are surfacing in virtually every line item in a typical TV series budget.
Fueled by the rise of streaming heavyweights that don’t play by the same financial rules as traditional TV players, costs are soaring for everything from location scouting to renting equipment to securing post-production facilities…The estimates on the cost of content that emerged from these interviews peg the typical range of the production budget for high-end cable and streaming dramas at $5 million-$7 million an hour, while single-camera half hours on broadcast and cable run from $1.5 million to more than $3 million.
David Miscavige is spending big money like a Hollywood mogul. However, his spending will not result in the multibillion dollar annual earnings that successful Hollywood moguls deliver. Scientology TV will likely result in very little for the Church of Scientology except to mislead its parishioners into thinking that Scientology is growing and has surmounted decades of withering revelations about the corrupt and abusive practices of this “pay as you go” business that masquerades as a church.
Miscavige’s Scientology TV programming deliberately withholds Scientology’s space opera cosmology that is populated by Xenu, volcanoes, and body thetans. Scientology TV will also definitely never show the actual dollar costs of Scientology in which Scientologists must pay $500-$1000 per hour for auditing. At these prices, it is quite easy to spend $500,000 — or more — on your way up Scientology’s Bridge to OTVIII:
This next Scientology graphic informs us that a Scientology Media Productions unit called “Central Ingest” receives 720 hours of raw footage everyday from Scientology shoot crews. This raw footage becomes Scientology TV:
720 hours per day x 365 days in a year = 262,800 hours of raw footage that Central Ingest has to edit into original content to fill the 8,760 broadcast hours per year on Scientology TV’s 24/7/365 schedule. At $4 million an hour to create new content, Miscavige will be increasingly forced to cycle through the same content over and over simply to conserve cash.
Look at the bottom line: With a $4 million dollar per hour burn rate to create new Scientology TV content, 250 hours of content would cost one billion dollars. Scientology TV has the very real potential to bankrupt Scientology. Predictively, therefore, Miscavige will be forced to scale back his Scientology TV operation within a few months and reduce production costs to $50,000 per hour or less. I say this because, in its present form, Scientology TV is financially unsustainable.
Miscavige made his big initial investment in the Scientology Media Productions studio. However, this does not necessarily his mean his costs-per-hour of production time will go down. Television is an expensive business and Miscavige has had to bring in outside talent as the Sea Org simply cannot do professional television production on its own. Without professional outside help, the 262,800 hours of raw footage each year will quickly become a nightmarish backlog that has to be reviewed, scripted into a narrative, edited, and viewed for approval and release. Miscavige’s micromanaging style will also become a major bottleneck if he cannot delegate sufficient authority to release hundreds or thousands of hours of original content each year.
Scientology TV is all cost and no profit. Conversely, Scientology auditing is almost pure profit given Sea Org labor costs and the fact that all of Scientology Orgs are paid for. There are very little overhead costs for Scientology to deliver auditing. And of course IAS donations are pure profit as nothing is offered in return except cheap trophies.
Scientology TV’s initial performance has thus far targeted the safe low-hanging fruit, i.e. successful and non-controversial Scientologists: The banjo-making Deering’s; a skateboarder; a couple that makes custom lighting fixtures and chandeliers; and other innocuous people. Oddly, no Scientology celebrities have been featured. Conspicuously absent are Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Laura Prepon, etc. Even the Emmy winner Elisabeth Moss has been absent; this perhaps due to her less than charming behavior at the 2017 Emmy awards:
Once Scientology has picked the low hanging fruit then what? Will it show the gritty reality of bankrupt Scientologists such as Richie Acunto whose $10 million dollar IAS Scientology trophy ignominiously wound up for sale on eBay?
Will Scientology TV do an episode on how everyday Scientologists write Knowledge Reports on each other in the snitching culture of Scientology? Will Scientology TV show how female Sea Org members are not provided with feminine hygiene products and must pay for tampons and such from their earnings of .50 cents per hour or less? When will Scientology TV tell the real truth about what Scientology actually is and does?
Scientology TV very predictably went on the attack against Psychiatry and Psychiatric drugs. Anyone could see this was coming; likewise we also knew that the phony PR stories and fake heroics of Scientology’s Volunteer Ministers would be a part of the broadcast equation. Very predictably too were the stories of how The Way to Happiness saved Colombia.
Yet when will Scientology TV showcase Scientology’s notorious Office of Special Affairs where all of Scientology’s psycho-terrorist Fair Game operations are planned and managed? When do we get to see actual Scientology salespeople pressure Scientologists into going another $40,000 into debt to raise their IAS Patron status? When do we get to see a Scientologist solo auditing their body thetans for an hour or more everyday behind a locked door in their home?
The answer is that we will never see the cruel and miserable realities of everyday Scientology.
All that we will we will ever see on Scientology TV is Scientology PR; its attacks on Psychiatry; fake news from its phony front groups; and Nation of Islam members who have become practicing Scientologists. Scientology TV is nothing more than Cult TV.
In the final analysis, Scientology TV is David Miscavige’s $4 million dollar per hour vanity project meant to burnish his legacy within the insular confines of Scientology. The Scientology dictator made sure everyone knew Scientology TV was his baby when he shamelessly featured himself as the centerfold in a four-page wide photo-spread in the recent edition of International Scientology News:
The photo was taken at the LRH Birthday Event at which Miscavige announced Scientology TV. Miscavige can be seen behind his podium onstage at the center of the photo. He is surrounded by his adoring and euphoric throngs who can’t believe that Scientology finally has a TV channel a scant 71 years after DuMont, ABC, NBC, and CBS began broadcasting in the period 1947-1948.
America’s first big religious broadcaster was Bishop Fulton J. Sheen who began airing his show in 1951; this was the same year L. Ron Hubbard fled New Jersey for Wichita, Kansas after his first Dianetics Foundation went bankrupt and he was facing criminal charges in New Jersey for teaching medicine without a license. That Scientology is 70 years late in adopting television broadcasting is nothing new. Scientology spent tens of millions of dollars to build and open a 276,000-square-foot book-publishing factory in 2009 when paper books were racing into digital form on Kindle, tablets, and pads. Scientology’s Bridge Publications is still selling books and DVD’s in 2018. The Dianetics Kit sells for $75.00 and yet it points to a serious problem:
Scientology TV cannot broadcast anything contained in the Dianetics Kit or in any other products sold by Bridge Publications. To do so would cut into the revenues of Bridge. The hope of Scientology TV, therefore, is to get people to buy Scientology goods and services. And yet at $75.00 per Dianetics kit, Bridge Publications would have to sell 53,333 kits to offset the $4 million dollar cost of one hour of new content production by Scientology TV. This will never happen. Thus, one can begin to see the intractable problems created by David Miscavige’s extravagant and wasteful spending on Scientology TV. The man is truly fiddling while Rome burns.
Despite these glaring problems, the fawning prose describing the event when Scientology TV was announced to the faithful was downright embarrassing and helps to explain why Scientology is a Cult:
The schedule for Scientology TV this weekend from Friday, April 6, 2018 at 6:00 PM through Sunday, April 8, 2018 shows the highly repetitive programming that will quickly become the major pitfall of Scientology TV — this unless David Miscavige commits to huge burn rates of cash in the millions of dollars per hour to churn out new content. Seen from this perspective, the Ideal Orgs were a much better grade of failure for David Miscavige as they at least left Scientology owning real estate. In the case of Scientology TV there is no tangible return on the investment. Of course, Scientology claims that its TV channel will “boom” Scientology. However, the Cult says this same thing about all of its scammy cash-grabs: GAT I, GAT II, the Basics, Ideal Orgs, the Super Power Building, etc.
Below: This weekend’s Scientology TV schedule is shown on a PDF. The schedule repeats episodes on Scientologists Binod Sharma; James Speiser; a mother who became a media consultant; and The Way to Happiness. Sunday night features an L. Ron Hubbard marathon in which the Founder can be heard droning on at length in his various lectures. Does it get any more exciting than this?
Note: Hover your mouse over the PDF below to invoke the controls that allow you to page down through this three page document: