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Church of Scientology investigated over ‘slave labor’: report

By Daniel Tencer
Monday, February 7, 2011 18:59 EDT
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The FBI is investigating the Church of Scientology over allegations its practices may have violated human trafficking laws, a news report states.

According to a profile of filmmaker and former Scientologist Paul Haggis in the New Yorker, the FBI is running an ongoing investigation into claims the church pays some of its workers as little as $50 per week, forces children into “billion-year” contracts and sometimes uses physical force to keep church members from escaping Scientology compounds.

The allegations center around Sea Org, a religious order inside the church whose 6,000 members are used by the church as labor, including maintenance of church properties.

In a 2009 expose, the St. Petersburg Times reported on former church spokesman Mike Rinder, who alleged Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige beat him on numerous occasions and that violence was generally encouraged as a means of maintaining church law.

It was around that time, the New Yorker reported, that the FBI began probing allegations against the church.

[FBI agents] Whitehill and Venegas worked on a special task force devoted to human trafficking. The laws regarding trafficking were built largely around forced prostitution, but they also pertain to slave labor. Under federal law, slavery is defined, in part, by the use of coercion, torture, starvation, imprisonment, threats, and psychological abuse. The California penal code lists several indicators that someone may be a victim of human trafficking: signs of trauma or fatigue; being afraid or unable to talk, because of censorship by others or security measures that prevent communication with others; working in one place without the freedom to move about; owing a debt to one’s employer; and not having control over identification documents. Those conditions echo the testimony of many former Sea Org members who lived at [a California compound].

The New Yorker reports the investigation is ongoing.

Many Sea Org defectors have alleged cruel treatment in the organization, which forbids adherents from having children and requires members, some of them children, to sign “billion-year” contracts for labor. The New Yorker reports that Sea Org members are paid $50 a week, though some are known to receive as little as $13.

“They were ten years old, twelve years old, signing billion-year contracts—and their parents go along with this?” Paul Haggis told the New Yorker. “Scrubbing pots, manual labor—that so deeply touched me. My God, it horrified me!”

And, according to Haggis, those who try to leave are slapped with a bill for the courses and counseling they received, which can amount to more than $100,000.

“Many of them actually pay it,” Haggis said. “They leave, they’re ashamed of what they’ve done, they’ve got no money, no job history, they’re lost, they just disappear.”

Haggis, who wrote Million Dollar Baby and directed Crash, left the church in 2008 after it voiced support for California’s Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in the state.

He described the church as a “cult” he’s embarrassed to have been a part of for 34 years, and hinted he fears retaliation from the church over his comments.

“My bet is that, within two years, you’re going to read something about me in a scandal that looks like it has nothing to do with the church,” he said.

 
 
 
 
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  • Anonymous

    Scientology is a not a cult, now drink your Kool-aide.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeff-Smado/100000856535189 Jeff Smado

    Interesting. I never really liked Haggis’ work and was surprised to hear he was a Scientologist. He never particularly promoted being a Scientologist until he left. I don’t believe he is being straight (oops, maybe that’s the wrong word to use in this case) about his resigning because the Church didn’t come out against Prop 8. It’s far-fetched and pathetic for him to claim that, as far as I’m concerned. I am not at all convinced. I can’t believe Wright bought it, frankly.

  • http://www.scientologymyths.info/ Louanne

    This article is another thinly veiled tabloid piece repeating old and new rumors from people with an axe to grind with the Church of Scientology. The New Yorker author Lawrence Wright could not come up with a single line that has not been discarded as the work of fanatic anti-religionists a long time ago. This piece actually sheds a new light on him as a researcher and writer. How much does his obvious hate against religion taint his judgment? This piece has been written by someone with a deep-set hatred against religion and spirituality. Just like the Hollywood dude Haggis, who openly confesses that he makes a living putting his personal life traumata in movie scripts, Lawrence Wright lives his anti-religious hatred in writing one-track minded articles and books. The New Yorker, putting on tabloid colors for a moment, has allowed him to air his therapy sessions and that is their choice but one really has to ask: I don’t really want to waste my time reading something like this.

  • http://www.scientologymyths.info/ Louanne

    Also, the labor allegations are a lost cause already:
    “On April 2, 2010, the United States District Court granted a motion by the Church of Scientology International (ʺCSIʺ) and Religious Technology Center (ʺRTCʺ) dismissing a claim for alleged violations of federal and state labor laws based on the plaintiff’s years of religious service at CSI and RTC.” http://www.scientologynews.org/press-releases/csi-wins-labor-case-religiosity-confirmed.html

  • http://www.scientologymyths.info/ Louanne

    Otherwise, the New Yorker story is another thinly veiled tabloid piece repeating old and new rumors from people with an axe to grind with the Church of Scientology. The New Yorker author Lawrence Wright could not come up with a single line that has not been discarded as the work of fanatic anti-religionists a long time ago. This piece actually sheds a new light on him as a researcher and writer. How much does his obvious hate against religion taint his judgment? This piece has been written by someone with a deep-set hatred against religion and spirituality. Just like the Hollywood dude Haggis, who openly confesses that he makes a living putting his personal life traumata in movie scripts, Lawrence Wright lives his anti-religious hatred in writing one-track minded articles and books. The New Yorker, putting on tabloid colors for a moment, has allowed him to air his therapy sessions and that is their choice but one really has to ask: I don’t really want to waste my time reading something like this.

  • Anonymous

    Gee, another religion [cult] that uses fear to control the masses, abuses children and devalues human life. So ? What else is new?

  • Anonymous

    I can not wait for HBO Films to make a series about this religion: “Big Bucks.”

  • http://twitter.com/mrlaughter Tony Klein

    I have been a keen observer of the “Church” and it’s pathetic treatment of people for 35 years now.They take advantage of our failure as a culture to teach critical thinking to the population.
    With the internet and groups like anonymous, it’s all over for them finally. I’m looking forward to their funeral.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/D2RAMLJQW5BELRENVG7EZALO6I Jeannie

    Keep whistling Tony. You’ve been an anti-Scientologist for 35 years and we are expanding more now than ever in our past AND helping more people. Sorry to disappoint you, kid, you aren’t being what we’d call particularly effective. Know what I mean?

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    If you know a few people (and I do) who worked in buildings owned by Scientology as front businesses…you could hear endless horror stories of employees who are ‘in the faith’ being abused through their faith. Unpaid overtime, labor violations, safety violations, health code violations, money laundering, deliberate fraud, unpaid taxes from businesses that don’t qualify as tax free…proselytizing the faith to non members who are assigned by the state to attend a drug treatment course (scientologists offer these services across the country…its a superb net for bringing in new people who have no old life worth going back to and giving them a new life…working cheap for the church). The list of crimes goes on and on as infinitum…and thats just word of mouth stuff from low profile former staff. Only endless deep pockets and lawsuits against anyone who defies them have kept the church from crashing and burning long ago. They are a business…not a church…and a goodly number of their execs are just fast talkers who know the score and are willing to play hardball to get to the top and live an easy life on other peoples dollars. End their tax free status now…and this scam-church will wither up and die without the power to hide their income under the banner of religion.

  • ProgressiveInNewYork

    It’s more than past time the cult of scientology was shut down and it’s leaders especially CBO David put in prison.
    Retaliation is part of it’s practice. They do NOT believe in turning the cheek. One of the teachings of LRH – anyone who speaks against scientology is automatically guilty of high crimes and anything anyone does to them is sanctioned by the ORG. Through their practices you slowly quit having anything to do with non-scientologists. Unless you’re getting them to buy something.
    one of the most dangerous cults/criminal enterprises around.

  • Anonymous

    ALL religions SUCK!!

  • Phil E. Drifter

    I can not wait for HBO Films to make a series about this ALL religions: “Big Bucks.”

    Fixed that for you.

  • Anonymous

    I bet ya Tom Cruise and John Travolta never had to do no stinkin’ maintenance.

  • Anonymous

    “requires members, some of them children, to sign “billion-year” contracts for labor.”

    To think that anyone in their right mind would sign a “billion-year” labor contract…. No, never mind, “right mind” can’t possibly fit into that sentence.

  • ProgressiveInNewYork

    “Expanding more now than ever”

    another one of those lies you get at the ‘Events’, Jeannie.
    your little cult is NOT expanding. check out which countries have banned you. How many are investigating you? How many high level members have defected in the last 8 years?
    Bet you don’t hear about that at your ‘Events’ (stand up sit down, clap clap clap) do you?
    And yes, I used to be in the cult. But luckily for me, I got out. Wish I had done my due diligence before hand.
    And by the way, where are you on the bridge? Clear yet? OTIII? Thetans yet?

  • Anonymous

    You write with such seeming confidence, one wonders why you need to feel obliged to repeat your postings.

    One also wonders why Europe (unconnected with these folks you call “axe grinders”) is leery of the CoS….

  • ProgressiveInNewYork

    always attack the attacker.
    by attacking you change the focus.
    the point of the courts is NOT to win but to destroy. Isn’t that what LRH said?
    which division are you with Louanne?
    and just where are you on the bridge to total freedom? Done your proTRs yet?

  • Anonymous

    I see we have a scientologist here defending this cult. I wonder if the scientologist will disavow Operation Snow White. Honestly there is a damn good reason several countries do not recongize scientology namely because it is a damn cult based on the work of a fraud.

  • CattyNineTails

    @tootiredoftheright

    “I see we have a scientologist here defending his cult …”

    minor correction: “trying vainly to defend his cult ..”

    Scientology is indefensible.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Q7G2NHLD62L3CDU7VHFZ4QPVQM Unknown

    So how much money have you dumped so far? Learn about Xenu yet?

  • http://www.rawstory.com/ hounddogg

    Scientology is glowing example why all religious organizations should be taxed audited like any other business…most of them are just fronts…the ones that are doing it for their “faith”, usually don’t have any money…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Q7G2NHLD62L3CDU7VHFZ4QPVQM Unknown

    Yes sir Mr. Jones

  • ProgressiveInNewYork

    the only ones who do are part of the division internally that handles security.
    once you are part of the cult you are heavily influenced to NOT really look on the net. Especially anything about the cult.
    Pretty much anyone who defends the cult does the same pattern.
    Attack the critic.

  • Anonymous

    The new yorker story speaks to the impact that the hard-hitting St. Petersburgh Times story had on the Scientology cult – particularly its impact on Haggis and other cult members struggling with their ambivalence.

    The NY piece has good material on Haggis and the history (and lies) of L. Ron Hubbard.

    Why has this kind of coverage taken so long to come out? Was the press previously intimidated by the cult’s notorious predilection for litigating against critics?

  • ProgressiveInNewYork

    Even though I’ve been out for years, I’m still paying for it.
    Yeah, the Xenu story was a tough one.
    75 Million years ago, Incident 2 etc.
    But be careful talking about it, LRH said if you weren’t ‘prepared’ (brainwashed) for it you would die of pneumonia.

  • http://twitter.com/btmfdrsheaven rebecca meritt

    Having to work for a billion years for $13-50 a wk., sounds like a repuggs organization to me. Jeez,that would save Social Sec.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Q7G2NHLD62L3CDU7VHFZ4QPVQM Unknown

    Scamtology is the only religion i’ve ever seen accuse anyone who protests it, of being A child molesters. I’ve never seen a scientologist who was able to clearly define what they believe, not just that but when asked they start to clam up and get nervous and combative because THEY DON’T REALLY KNOW WHAT THEY BELIEVE.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Q7G2NHLD62L3CDU7VHFZ4QPVQM Unknown

    pneumonia…… seriously is that the best he could come up with?

  • ProgressiveInNewYork

    plus dig a bit, see why they got the tax break they did.
    black mail and threats are part and parcel of this cult. I’ve had ‘em follow me, threaten (physically and verbally).
    Check out the court orders they violate with impunity about using ‘the cans’ on the public. Their constant violation of selling in the subway in NY- just try and take one of their books. The cult gives NOTHING away, everything comes with a very steep price.

  • ProgressiveInNewYork

    you should hear some of his BS –
    ask a CoS parent if she uses the formula that LRH said all scions should use with their kids. Of course it’s not safe at all.
    They all will deny the Incident 2 story. But most who do have never done their OT 1-3 which is where you learn about this.

  • Anonymous

    This story is utterly believable, based on Scientology’s rule-by-divine-order philosophy and daffy Ayn-Randian belief that some people are simply born to be superior to others.

    Those ideals create the perfect breeding ground for human exploitation and coercion.

  • Anonymous

    “He described the church as a “cult” he’s embarrassed to have been a part of for 34 years…”

    Really, 34 years and this fucking chump just figured out that this religion based on a crappy sci-fi “novel” is a cult? Give this clown my phone number, have I got a religion for him to buy into.

  • http://www.zazzle.com/InfinitudeTortoises* An Infinitude of Tortoises

    This is not an Operating Thetan … or is it? Perhaps we’ll have to review the documentation, available (at least at one point) courtesy of WikiLeaks.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, what’s it like having bees live in your head? How lost, pathetic and rich must you be to abandon every shred of common sense (if you ever had any) and sign up for that roller coaster of shit you call a religion any way?

  • Anonymous

    STFU. I consider my self spiritual but not religous. Your cult is not a religion, it is far from spiritual. It is meta-physical snake oil, a scam, a Ponzi scheme and a Pyramid scheme. I would venture to say that your leaders are more than likely sociopaths. Have a good life slim ball.

  • Anonymous

    I knew when I typed that it was opening up a hole…thanks dude.

  • Anonymous

    Yes. They need to pay into the system so our Air Traffic Patrol can keep their space crafts from colliding with our airplanes.

  • Anonymous

    We in Hollywood have known this for years but the local police don’t do anything about it because scientology gives so much money to their coffers. Basically scientology also has the city council in their back pocket… pretty disgusting if you ask me.

    But I’m scared enough of them to borrow someone elses computer to write this and be logged out of my Disqus account. Scientologists are BRUTAL in what they do to people who appose them. All those horror stories you read online are true except I think people tone them down so scientology won’t kill them.

  • Anonymous

    “all animals are equal…..some are more equal than others….” (a minor paraphrase from animal house…….book, not movie!)

  • Anonymous

    Scientology is an extremely fucked up cult, much like all religion.

    http://www.lisamcpherson.org/

  • Anonymous

    why the diaper ?

  • Anonymous

    “Imagine there’s no Heaven
    It’s easy if you try
    No hell below us
    Above us only sky
    Imagine all the people
    Living for today

    “Imagine there’s no countries
    It isn’t hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    Imagine all the people
    Living life in peace

    “You may say that I’m a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one
    I hope someday you’ll join us
    And the world will be as one”

    John Lennon (1971)

  • Anonymous

    Watch out guys now that big business has read this article they are gonna start doing the same thing… “wanna work here? u must sign this contract for 1 billion years.”

  • Delia

    Hey, Scientologists Louanne and Jeff, down there at the start of the thread, you should really go read the New Yorker article before you go dissing it and the writer. Lawrence Wright doesn’t have anything that’s anti-religion or anti-spiritual in the piece. And he goes to a lot of trouble to get your Church’s spokespeople’s rebuttals.

    Oops, I forgot. It’s all the other stuff that you’re not supposed to read, all the bits that might lead you to question the things you’ve been taught. Then you’d have to get your minds cleansed all over again.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Valentine/1277133078 Michael Valentine

    I hear you. This year our budget is under $60,000 and we are the largest distributers for the food bank in San Diego. Couldn’t be done without the energy of our young congregation.

  • http://beyondpoliticsand911.com DoYouEverWonder

    Thou doth protest too much my dear. Unhook the auditing machine and get a life.

  • overdoneputaforkinit

    Mind control, forced obedience and slavery are what make a cult separate from a religion. The first two items can be viewed subjective and courts do not reliably come down on them. But slavery is a slam-dunk that even the inexperienced cannot deny.

  • overdoneputaforkinit

    From your hatred of the article I can assume you are a Scientologist. I would like to ask a question. In your religion, the purpose of the audits is to expel the body thetans from your body, right? Then they aren’t fooling you anymore and you can become more spiritual, right?

  • Anonymous

    The Scientologists are total rightwing Nazis. L Ron Hubbard was an admirer of Aleister Crowley and a bunch of other rightwing nut jobs who actually founded Los Angeles back in the 20s. Read “City of Quartz” by Mike Davis and discover the early roots of some of these rightwing cabals. Hubbard was a science fiction writer who came up with the billion-dollar scam of calling his weird hodgepodge of philosophies a “church” so he wouldn’t have to pay taxes on the money he scammed off of people. Scientology is in reality no more of a “church” than Burger King. In Hubbard’s books, he endorses practically every rightwing nutjob philosophy, everything from child labor to male supremacy and everything in between. Hubbard himself is a total fraud. On his book jackets he claims to have served in the Navy, but the Navy has no record of his ever having served in it, or any other branch of the service for that matter. He claims to have used “Dianetics” to cure himself of blindness. But he was never blind to begin with! And that “e-meter” crap that they scammed millions of dollars off of people for? Nothing but junk!

  • Anonymous

    They got kicked out of Germany wholesale. The Germans, evidently, are a lot smarter than Americans. After a couple of people were persuaded to part with their life savings, the government smelled a rat and rolled up the welcome mat for the Scientologists.

  • Anonymous

    Jeff, are you going to keep copying and pasting the EXACT SAME COMMENT in every article abotu this? Because I gotta say… it does NOT help Scientology in the least if it looks like it’s followers are following a script and just confirms everything being said abotu them.

  • Anonymous

    What’s ‘new’ is how many of them have been convicted of Fraud and how many of them were at the center of the largest government infiltration in U.S. history? Google Operation Snow White.

  • Anonymous

    Scientology is NOT a religion. Google ‘gold brick scheme’ .

  • MNUSA

    I worked with a young woman who’s family were Scientologists. She was constantly taking out loans to pay for her training. They seem to keep their “non-celebrity” members broke and dependent.

  • Anonymous

    one of my favorite scientology pictures.
    http://i.imgur.com/4nJTI.jpg

  • Anonymous

    The ‘Elite’ (like Haggis was) are kept insulated from the realities of the COS. They are encouraged to not think nor seek. It is VERY EASY to get caught up in somethign like this.

  • Anonymous

    A really good website with plenty of “tech” to debunk $cientology.

    http://www.xenu.net/

  • Anonymous

    Damn commie…….(not)

  • ComradeRutherford

    At the 1945 Science Fiction Writer’s Convention, the keynote speaker said, ‘If you really want to make money, start a religion.’ Five years later, ‘Dianetics’ was first published by that same speaker, science fiction writer, L.Ron Hubbard.

  • Alice Mechler

    Somewhere down the line it was suggested that HBO do a special or series on ALL religion, including the fraud of Scientology. I Agree! I have been a fan of science fiction for many years. When LRH announced his new ‘religion’ I was not even curious…he didn’t really write that many good books! The Mission Earth Series was ok, but I still prefer Heinlen, Asimov and Adams. Want more info on the Scientology Scam? http://www.factnet.org/Scientology/celebrities_con.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/mejsmith Michael Smith

    The idea of Scientology treating people like dirt is very old news, but it is good that their is finally an investigation of these sort of allegations. Now, if they could only shut these bastard down, it would eliminate one of the most parasitic cult in North America.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mejsmith Michael Smith

    Yes it is and I already drank some Kool-aide. It was good.

  • Anonymous

    There aspirations to become a legitimate religion seems to be going the distance.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mejsmith Michael Smith

    The problem with that is Hubbard’s own son wrote a book about the evils of Scientology and so have countless others who escaped that evil and insane organization. That and Tom Cruise sounds like an utter nut job in those leaked Scientology videos. I laughed and I laughed when I watched those. You know, a religion based on the deranged rantings of science fiction writer of only average ability is no basis of a religion (and I’ve read a lot of good and bad sci fi to know the difference.).

  • http://www.facebook.com/mejsmith Michael Smith

    LMAO. So you are saying that Scientology is having easy pickings with the suckers of the world. L Ron was only a so-so sci fi writer, but a first rate con man.

  • Anonymous

    If there were no religions at all, human beings being what we are, there world would still be far from perfect, but it would be in much better shape than we are. At least there wouldn’t be all these people knowing their God was the only God better than the other guys God, and willing to commit the most unGodly crimes to prove it.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PQD5KPUUIRZGQINYV45A2ICUKU Wrenn

    Actually, there are records of him serving in the Navy. The problem is, there are no records of him being injured as he, and Scientology have claimed (and he claimed the with Scientology beliefs, he ‘healed’ himself.) – he was active duty 1941-1946.

    What I find amusing is that he also claimed (they claim) that he ‘infiltrated’ Parsons and his Ordo Templi Orientalis… on orders from Robert Heinlein… Strange trick that, since Heinlein served in the Navy from 1929-1934, when he was discharged due to pulmonary tuberculosis.

    Sigh.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PQD5KPUUIRZGQINYV45A2ICUKU Wrenn

    Okay… Lets parse this.

    “Keep whistling Tony” This is the ‘we know who you are’ phrase. I can’t find who ‘Tony’ is in the back comments… If he’s there, it’s not by the name ‘Tony’.

    “You’ve been an anti-Scientologist for 35 years” More of the ‘we know who you are’, and/or can find you.

    “and we are expanding more now than ever in our past” May be true, may not be true. Still, this is the ‘boast’

    “AND helping more people” More of the ‘boast’ this to appeal to bystanders ‘ here, we are a good group helping people, see how we are getting picked on by this one malcontent for 35 YEARS!!’

    “Sorry to disappoint you, kid,” this is the classic ‘belittlement’ phrase. The kicker here is the ‘kid’ – it’s both demeaning, treating this opponent like a child, (interesting, given that they already acknowledged that they have been watching him for 35 years… dichotomy there)

    “you aren’t being what we’d call particularly effective.” Well.. he got you out of the woodwork, didn’t he.. but this, again is the continuation of the ‘belittlement’

    “Know what I mean?” Perhaps more of a call to the spectators than to ‘Tony’ himself. Or it could be a call to Tony to ‘give up’ because they claim he’s not being effective.

    All in all, Not a single thing there to deny, discuss, or even address the article above, or the 26 page one by Paul Haggis elsewhere.

    And, evidently, they haven’t learned yet. The larger an organization is, the harder it is to control.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PQD5KPUUIRZGQINYV45A2ICUKU Wrenn

    All writers put their real live issues into what they write, that is normal for a writer (I live with one, know many others. ’nuff said) so that was a stupid thing to say.

    Hubbard did what he said he would do. Found a religion. He also said why he would do it, long before he did it – as the easiest way to make a million (and more).

    I think I’ll believe my friend Ellison over you. He was there, he heard what Hubbard said, more than once. And I actually know him, I don’t know you.

  • Anonymous

    Mr. Haggis, I salute you!

  • Anonymous

    “They were ten years old, twelve years old, signing billion-year contracts—and their parents go along with this?” Paul Haggis told the New Yorker. “Scrubbing pots, manual labor—that so deeply touched me. My God, it horrified me!”

    “And, according to Haggis, those who try to leave are slapped with a bill for the courses and counseling they received, which can amount to more than $100,000″

    Pay the $100,000 fine over a billion years.

    Problem solved.

  • Anonymous

    “Quiet birth” reads and sounds so benign, until Hubbard puts his spin on it.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/lostinshowbiz/2011/jan/13/scientology-john-travolta-childbirth-son

  • Anonymous

    Why the hell did it take 34 years for him to wake the eff up?

  • 1984

    All religions seem to sell the same thing.

    The sickness (there’s something wrong with you) and the cure (only we can help)

    Wicked

  • lilyannerose

    These folks are just creepy.

  • Guest

    Maybe the vibrating Orb has spun off it’s axes and needs to adjust it’s maxheadroom.

  • http://www.tommyjonestheband.com RantingTommy

    all religions are fraud and their leaders should be tried, convicted, and jailed

  • Anonymous

    Not only seem to. It is a fact I have witnessed. I have seen a half million dollars taken from one person and many more harassed and extorted. I have heard first hand all about their contracts extending multiple lifetimes. They are as venal and greedy an organization as you would ever see. They offer nothing redeeming except the “salvation” all cults seem to promise.

  • http://www.tommyjonestheband.com RantingTommy

    all religions are gold brick schemes

  • http://www.tommyjonestheband.com RantingTommy

    no such thing as a legitimate religion

  • Anonymous

    I too have been an observer fro about 35 years. I think with the death of Hubbard they are finally done. Miscavage, their current “leader”, is a violent uneducated thug who will have the honor of sending Scientology down in flames. Very few religions outlive their founders and one that is as exploitive and as obviously full of nonsense as Scientology fortunately has little chance. Their treatment of reporters and critics alone should have resulted in criminal charges long ago.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Scientologist, The smear campaigns you conduct against anyone who leaves the “church” using information from “auditing” are well known just like you are trying to smear Haggis now. It is one of many reasons Scientology is loathed.

  • Anonymous

    Your psychobabble is an obvious attempt to elude the facts. The fact is this article perfectly matches the enslavement of a relative of mine. This is no rumor.
    The smear campaign against Haggis is another charming Scientology trick. And now a smear campaign against Lawrence Wright, surprise, surprise. You are a despicable and contemptible group and I look forward to the day when it is all over for Scientology, quite soon I think.

  • Anonymous

    Thought I should repost as well:
    Your psychobabble is an obvious attempt to elude the facts. The fact is this article perfectly matches the enslavement of a relative of mine. This is no rumor.
    The smear campaign against Haggis is another charming Scientology trick. And now a smear campaign against Lawrence Wright, surprise, surprise. You are a despicable and contemptible group and I look forward to the day when it is all over for Scientology, quite soon I think.

  • Anonymous

    Scientology is no more a church than Exxon Mobil, Apple, Google, or Walmart. The only reason they have tax exempt status is because they make a practice of collecting damaging information on all relevant government officials and the officials know that if they threaten the Scientologists the “Church” will release a flood of serious and provable allegations.

  • ComradeRutherford

    “Religion is MAN MADE”

    Exactly, and what I find really astonishing and revealing is that L.Ron made up a new religion out of thin air, and yet it has so many thousands of adherents already, even though it’s 100% completely made-up.

    But then look at the Mormons. Another religion completely made up out of total imagination, yet they too have thousands of followers.

    The way I look at religion is that any one can review all the religions of the world and simply pick the one that suits them best. They are all completely invented by mankind, and all are equally valid in their man-made mythology.

  • Anonymous

    Kind of petting the cat with that one. But I agree.

  • Anonymous

    The Church of Rich Misfits: Tom Cruise, Will Smith, and John Travolta!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Thomas-Lee-Brown/1522418996 Thomas Lee Brown

    When is the USofA going to shut these people down? Or at least revoke their tax-exept status?

    They are the scum of the earth.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Thomas-Lee-Brown/1522418996 Thomas Lee Brown

    Kathy, you should look into medication and therapy.

    Trust me, you need some.

  • DesertSun59

    Regardless of what laws they break or how completely lacking in logic or cultural value SCN is, they can’t be touched by US law. US law coddles far too much to religious practices, even if they’re immoral. After all, was the Catholic Church affected in any structural way after its planetwide pedophile ring was broken. No.

    You can expect nothing to happen to this church. Nothing.

  • http://twitter.com/btmfdrsheaven rebecca meritt

    Sea Org has nothing to worry about,it’s the FBI investigating them,the TV televangelists were investigated by repugg Grassley and found to be just fine. The ponzi schemes are ok as long as the degenerates are repuggs. Give the rev. your last $5 and G-d will give you $500, you see you plant a seed for a money tree and it blooms hundred dollar bills and the rev. guarantees the repuggs the sheep’s vote.

  • Sandi

    Thanks for this info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Snow_White

    But I’m kinda torn on what to think about it. They acted illegally while getting information that the government got illegally. I have to admire their guts here. One of the biggest problems in this country is that the Intelligence Community acts outside the law. It’s so bad that the spy vs spy thing can even convince our military to act against the interest of the U.S.

    I admit I know little about Scientology except that it’s not a religion based on ancient mythology and I wonder if there’s not more to this than meets the eye. I’m not convinced they’re harmless yet I’m not convinced they’re dangerous. So, for now, I’ll just watch and see what happens.

  • Anonymous

    Mormons have way more than thousands of followers. I am not sure, but I think there are 12 Million Mormons.

  • PeterGrfx

    You left out my own favorites: Ursula LeGuin and Arthur C. Clarke.

  • http://michaelhawthorneonline.com/ MikeinSanJose

    Heh! I was lucky to get $25/week, and I was paying $50/month to sleep on a little space on some woman’s garage floor with 5 other guys.

  • PeterGrfx

    You mean George Orwell’s “Animal Farm,” not the National Lampoon film “Animal House.”

  • Anonymous

    A microcosm of what it would be like under religious rule in the US

  • Anonymous

    Good on you.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FT7TUMZV3LBBJCIKEBJXN5XPWM C

    The Feds need to look into the Clearwater and other Florida compounds where they have forced labor camps and even solitary confinement areas for Scientologists who act up, or are going further away from the “clear” status.

  • ProgressiveInNewYork

    while I was in the cult I kept hearing about all ‘the good’ they were doing. But strange enough when you get out you find out that most of it was lies. The cult took credit for other people’s giving, The cult tried to keep credible medical personnel away from victims so they could push their methods. Before you believe any claims by this cult, check for receipts, witnesses (full names, not their usual first name last initial) and pix. They don’t give away anything.

  • ProgressiveInNewYork

    If you’ve never studied the psychology of cults or been in one it’s very hard to explain. It takes time. Once you start taking classes ‘in the academy’ it’s gradual. Every forward movement in the cult is predicated on your believing what you learn. The ‘cans’ read or at least show when you don’t. Until you pass you have to take the class again, again and again. AND you have to pay for it.

  • John Kessler

    I think you misspelled the name. It’s “Morons”.

  • ProgressiveInNewYork

    during my training to be an auditor I experienced one of the ‘clinks’ that finally led me out. One of the questions asked was whether the person being audited had a house that could be mortgaged. Everything in the cult is about extracting money. When you finish one course you were routed to start another one! It’s all about money, Imagine that.

  • http://twitter.com/Mistyparrot Steve Lane

    Political parties are much the same.

  • ProgressiveInNewYork

    pretty much anything that was valid in the courses, LRH stole. He never created anything except his religion to make money. With his addictions he needed them. Plus his paranoia kept him moving around the world a lot which is pretty expensive.

  • Anonymous

    Not much different from the christers, who paints the buildings and rakes the leaves there? They don’t even pay anything to the workers, the workers pay them………

  • Anonymous

    This group does not have millions of followers worldwide or a history going back a couple of thousand years. I suspect in time they will be toast.

  • 1984

    No they’re not. Political parties don’t say that my body is dirty or that I need saving nor do they threaten with hellfires.

  • VJBinCT

    People tend to forget that L. Ron Hubbard (a rather bad SF writer–Xenu, I ask you) founded the Church of Scientology essentially as a joke. But it started making money, so he went with the flow.

    As for the Mormons, I have always wondered whether somewhere, locked away in a desk drawer,there is a sheaf of rejection letters, saying, ‘Mr. Smith, we appreciate your sending us this manuscript of an alternate universe version of the Bible, but it does not meet our current needs. Thank for your effort, and please consider us again when you have another novel to offer.’

  • http://www.twitter.com/danny6114 danny6114

    And people got huffy when Ricky Gervais took a shot at them on the Golden Globes!

  • Anonymous

    $50! wow! that’s more than i made on staff in 1975-6 before i was ousted for sex, drugs and insubordination… but it must be said in all fairness that catholic nunneries, monasteries and orphanages are no better. indeed, the last castration of a poor boy for a choir’s castrati voice was in 1891. anyone for a witch burning with two gay men at her feet for kindling?

  • Anonymous

    It’s beyond me how anyone can believe in the Mormon or Scientology teachings. Both the “leaders” of these cults were the most obvious and brazen of flim-flam men, fleecing the suckers with a public and joyous abandon. Knowing that, how can anyone believe the mishmash if illogical rubbish they preached?

  • Rush Goofbaugh

    yea they don’t have the dirt part… but they sure do a great job of selling fear, threatening, lying to us, and breaking the “sacred law”…. wouldn’t you agree?

  • http://theelvesattic.blogspot.com JOHN SCOTT RIDGWAY

    I am going to remain hopeful on this one. I do not think the FBI would have wasted these kind of resources without a purpose in mind. I wanted to thank all the ex-scientologists for their posts in the comments. They really add something to this narrative.

  • http://www.theaccidentalteacher.net Accidental Teacher

    Great New Yorker article and a must read!!! Read it or dies tupid. For those who don’t mind dying stupid or don’t have time to read article here’s my very glib, very condensed and very biased summary of article:

    Turns out Scientologists are similar to religious fundamentalists and birthers. All three ignore facts that don’t conform to their ideology and much of their theology is based on lies. We all know about the tactics and analytical aptitude of birthers and fundamenta¬lists; as for Scientology, for starters, their prophet, L. Ron Hubbard was a homophobe who lied about his military service record. And to top it off, Scientology is built on the backs of indentured servants, many of them children, and centers around some cockamamie theory (nuttier even than Mormon space alien theology) centered on space aliens, under the leadership of a despot named Xenu, populating Earth’s volcanoes with surplus humans 75 million years ago. So according to Scientolog¬y we have descended not from apes, but from the recycled human surplus of some vast intergalac¬tic society. Our ancestors must have really pissed off Xenu and his followers, they never call or visit. As crazy as Scientologists are, it’s no wonder they consider psychiatry evil and blame it for most of society’s problems.

    All this only proves once again, PT Barnum was right.

  • Anonymous

    Because he benefited financially from his “church” membership with access to celebrities & money that he wouldn’t have had if he wasn’t a “celebrity” member.

  • Anonymous

    Robert Heinlen wrote most of DIANETICS for his close friend Hubbard.

  • Anonymous

    Okay, do they ALL demand that people hand over all their income and go into debt? Do they ALL tell people to never question the texts? DO they ALL force their followers into hard labor? Do they ALL force them to sign ‘non-disclosure agreements’ if they try to leave?

    Last i cehck, ithe answer was NO.

  • Anonymous

    Then go to exscientologykids.com/ There are many stories there from people who were either born or brought into Scientology by their parents, grew up and later escaped. One of the founders of that site is Jenna Miscavige Hill, David Miscavige’s own niece.

    Be warned; nearly all of them are very disturbing and considerably graphic in detail.

  • Anonymous

    Uh, no. From wikipedia’

    ‘Gold brick scams involve selling a tangible item for more than it is worth; named after selling the victim an allegedly golden ingot which turns out to be gold-coated lead.’

    Faith is intangible. Scientology is selling something tangible and claims all of it’s ‘scriptures’ are ‘scientifically sound’ Doesn’t sound like a religion to me. Sounds like someone just looking to make money off of ‘fixed donations’. Hubbard only started to claim it a religion when he was beign persued for practicing medicine without a license.

  • Anonymous

    As I recall, another one of his sons committed “suicide”, yet was able to bury his own body in a shallow grave. If I remember correctly it was on the outskirts of (now underneath) McCarren Airport in Las Vegas.

  • Anonymous

    another borg heard from. And what an unbiased source!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mejsmith Michael Smith

    I hadn’t heard that one. Was anyone charged?

  • Anonymous

    Billion year contracts – before you’re even legally old enough to sign a contract….
    Who works out the balance of the contract after you die?
    The next 40 million generations after you??

    Are people seriously falling for this??
    The world gets dumber by the day.

    Those who do get out should grow a pair and lay charges with the cops or FBI or whatever.

  • Anonymous

    No, it was ruled a suicide. I remember from local newspaper articles that the body had been found in a shallow grave, so it seemed odd at the time how quickly & quietly the story disappeared. It was during the mid ’70s. There was also a tremendous defamatory campaign from the scientologists against him with allegations of drug abuse & sexual perversion.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MHGJV4PZ4F5PTLKOGD5P6PBKAA rhino

    I can see you are a disinterested Scientologist. Please get help. There are people who will assist and protect you if you break away from this “church.”

    I am hoping for the best for you.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MHGJV4PZ4F5PTLKOGD5P6PBKAA rhino

    I sure hope so Raw. The biggest obstacle to shining sunlight on the COS is the heaps of money they squeeze out of their adherents. Look at the protection they have since they bought the police force in Clearwater, FL.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MHGJV4PZ4F5PTLKOGD5P6PBKAA rhino

    Yes! I think the establishment clause argues against tax evasion for all churches / religions.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MHGJV4PZ4F5PTLKOGD5P6PBKAA rhino

    It is beyond me how anyone can believe in any religion.

  • Anonymous

    True. It’s all about imaginary invisible friends anyway.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mejsmith Michael Smith

    Well, the Scientology attacks on his morals is no surprise, but I am surprised it was ruled a suicide. I’d love to read the explanation of how he managed to neatly bury himself after committing suicide.

  • Anonymous

    You are saying that Commander Xeno didn’t soil our immortal souls with radioactive cosmic dust from a million year old nuclear war?

  • dk504

    How exactly can a 13 yr. old sign a BILLON dollar contract, even with permission of the parents thats still the biggest crock of crap I’ve seen. A 1st year law student could argue that and win. And Paul Haggis watched this for 34 years and walked past it without a peep? What a fucking dick!!!
    I could care less if he’s in some scandal, oh boo-hoo for Paul Haggis. This ass wipe knew what has been going on in these compounds world wide for 34 years and NOW that he finally made it with a couple of movies he can escape and doesn’t need Scientology and it’s contacts any longer. He’s just as bad as they are.

  • Anonymous

    Scientology is a good example of what P. Diddy explained in “Get Him to the Greek,” it’s a giant “mind-fuck.”

    Wrap your head around spending $10,000 for 48 hours of service with some doofis who will tell you your “needle is floating.”

    If only humanity wasn’t so easily mind-fucked, this business scam that hides behind the idea of spirituality wouldn’t exist! L.R.H. was a brilliant money-maker, but a horribly evil man besides that.

  • Anonymous

    as an ex-Scientologist myself, I highly recommend studying other types of books about spirituality. A LOT of what L.R.H. said is good, but it is available in so many other teachings it’s ridiculous. I see your point, just wanted to add this since you mentioned standing by some of it.

  • Anonymous

    IF what you are saying is true, it wouldn’t be revealed until someone was… say… 30 years in and $300K deep… so to ask that question is irrelevant. You can’t some up the purpose of any of it in a few sentences, that’s why it’s such a brilliant scam… it’s keeps people guessing “what’s next?”

  • Anonymous

    If Scientology were actually spiritual, or religious, it would be different. Unfortunately, all of the spirituality involved is fake… so what you are left with is a bunch of “friends” running a business, more focused on making money than anything else. I hope you find something real in life. If you are a Scientologist…

  • Anonymous

    If you don’t hand over money, you are stuck with your reactive mind for eternity… basically dooming yourself to a life of bitter abberation, and failed relationships. If you question the text, you will be sent to do tedious word clearing & clay demos, till you no longer question it. If you don’t go along with all of their rules, you will have to do mest work (aka slave labor) to make up the damages. If you don’t make up the damages you will be banned. And no, you do not have to sign a “non-disclosure agreement” if you leave, but if you hit certain levels on the bridge, you will have to sign an agreement that you will not disclose that info to anyone. Soooo….. yeah. Take it how you want to.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know who made it, but there is one. Religulous

  • Anonymous

    why would they? I bet they give them TONS of money.

  • Anonymous

    one of my 1st experiences at the church was a fundraiser… they start by telling everyone that money is only an abberation. Then people “donate” up to $40,000!!!!!!!!!!!

    I was floored.

  • Anonymous

    religion is created to unite & control man for economic & politic reasons. People follow religion for the same reasons, people crave unity, they crave acceptance, and they will do CRAZY things to achieve it. It’s not about common sense, people with common sense tend to find other outlets to “belong” or simply sit at home alone… typing to strangers on the internet.

  • Anonymous

    without experience, the answer to this question cannot be understood

  • Anonymous

    not true at all

  • 1984

    Well, give examples of religions which do not in some way paint life and/or people in negative light.

  • Anonymous

    To illustrate the nature of the problem:

    An old friend of mine was a Sikh attorney (retired Army officer) from India who came to the U.S. in the late ’60s. Where he was from, corruption/bribery was a normal part of life. Since officials were paid virtually nothing, paying small “fees” for any action was the cost of doing any business.

    When he came to the U.S. he thought such corruption would be over. His first workplace was Washington D.C. and he was amazed that the corruption was even worse, if less obvious, in this country. His next job was in Austin Texas, and he found the corruption there both more widespread & more open.

    Then he came to Las Vegas. In his educated & well traveled opinion, there was no place on the planet with a government more corrupt, casually and openly corrupt, than in Las Vegas.

    Little wonder that the story disappeared.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WGQQ6AJ45MFRGSMTQ62X2VXWD4 Emil K

    The number of active Mormons much lower than the 12M claimed. Most studies including the churches own suggest an active number around 3M-4M. Retention of new converts is 0% and born members 50-60%. The number of actives has probably been in decline sense 2002 or so.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WGQQ6AJ45MFRGSMTQ62X2VXWD4 Emil K

    Scientology is what Mormonism would look like if it had been concocted in the 1950′s rather than the 1820′s. The are both based on the pseudo-science’s of their era. Both have space aliens somewhere in their fundamental stories. Scientology has Xemu, Mormonism has a space alien from the planet Kolob.

  • Anonymous

    Actually, Scientology is run in “levels.” This is probably why he didn’t know of this operation for so long. They also mentally fuck with you by telling you you have an alien inside you and make you do “exercises” to get it out of you. Based on your good behavior and timely payments you are able to move up to the next level. And let’s just say, when he did become aware what was going on he originally denied it not wanting to believe his faith was a crock of shit… Then again, sometimes it takes even the smallest trigger to make someone finally say “enough.”

  • Anonymous

    Sadly, those who do leave the church live in perpetual fear. A girl I worked with 2 years back was part of the church as a type of experiment. She had to pay $10,000 for the “classes” they were making her take plus books and monthly fees. She was getting in to debt and left the church but they began threatening her by leaving nasty e-mails and voicemails. So she changed her number. Then they came to her house and trashed it, etc. Very scary stuff! She was too scared to go to the cops (even though we urged her) but because the church of Scientology basically runs Los Angeles she had to move and change her name.

    Just FYI, NEVER go to one of their public parties (concerts, whatever!). The business I interned for a few years back went there to market a clothing label at a big concert, and upon entering the grounds they made us show our ID’s where they proceeded to SCAN our ID’s into their database! (luckily, I left mine behind on purpose because I don’t feel comfortable when churches go around collecting money making you feel guilty for not contributing). After that, my entire team started getting stuff sent to them from the chuch. Still do!

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, so like I said, they are in the Millions, not thousands. Your stats can go against any church. There are 1 Billion Catholics in the world. I’d put money that the ratio of active to inactive is higher. I would also bet that 33% of the active population is farily high for decent sized faiths.

    I would have to disagree, until proven otherwise, that the active mormons are on the “decline SINCE 2002.” If that were the case, they wouldn’t be building their buildings on every corner. So I would definitely like you to reference were the 0% in new member retention comes from, because I just don’t believe that stat. Especially since they grow at least 10% on an annual basis, and their proselytizers are on the rise.

  • Anonymous

    Uh, NO. Ask a Christian abotu the Bible, you get an answer.

    Ask a Jew abotu the Torah, you get an answer.

    Ask a Muslim about the Koran, you get an answer.

    Ask a Scientologist abotu Scientology, you get an answer AFTER the check clears and even then it’s vague.

    Religion is FREE.

    Scientology is NOT.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mejsmith Michael Smith

    The problem with your theory is that people are perfectly willing to kill each other for other things besides religion. There is patriotism, xenophobia, idealism, greed, etc. All you can do, at best, by eliminating religion is to eliminate an excuse for the elites to wage war on other elites over resources. The vast majority of wars are fought for economic gain, with the various excuses being used to motivate the masses into killing and dying for the benefit of the elites.

  • Anonymous

    dammit ! ! ! i knew something was wrong with what i wrote…..

    bak 2 skool….

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WGQQ6AJ45MFRGSMTQ62X2VXWD4 Emil K

    Take a look at some of the stats on http://www.cumorah.com. There are other valid sources of information available on the internet support my claim of negative growth.
    As in the case of Scientology, new buildings does not mean new members. Most of the construction is of Mormon Temples just like Scientology is opening new Ideal Orgs, both are largely empty.

  • Anonymous

    I have looked at cumorah.com and it says that the retention of new members after one year outside the US is 25%. In the US is around 40-45%. So if Mormons have 10% growth, like they average, that means they will baptise over 1 Millions people in 2011. Now, for fun, lets say out of all of those only 25% stay active. That’s 250,000 people in a year. I don’t call that negative growth.

    Unlike scientology, new buildings do represent growth. These buildings usually aren’t empty. I play basketball with Mormons, and I know for a fact that they usually have about 3-4 different congregations that use one building. They have to separate the different congregations because they grow too large for the buildings. These are not Temples, these are their sunday church buildings.

  • ProChoiceGrandma

    Although this is a long article, it is fabulous information about Scientology:
    http://nailinpalinnow.blogspot.com/2009/04/palins-coale-keeps-scientologys.html

    Here is a great video showing the thug tactics used by the Scientologists:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPol_m8wm8Y

  • ProChoiceGrandma

    Here is a video showing the thug tactics used by Scientologists:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPol_m8wm8Y

    And this is a fabulous article about Scientology:

    http://nailinpalinnow.blogspot.com/2009/04/palins-coale-keeps-scientologys.html

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