Scientology

From ScienceBlogs.com:

Raised as Scientologists, Christie King Collbran and her husband, Chris, were recruited as teenagers to work for the elite corps of staff members who keep the Church of Scientology running, known as the Sea Organization, or Sea Org.

They signed a contract for a billion years — in keeping with the church’s belief that Scientologists are immortal. They worked seven days a week, often on little sleep, for sporadic paychecks of $50 a week, at most.


Founding Church of Scientology in Washington DC. Photo: Ben Schumin (CC)There once was a time when the media were scared to report on the madness that is the “Church” of Scientology for fear of costly litigation. No more. While there have been occasional reports over the years, last year ABC News went hard after Scientology leader David Miscavige. Now the New York Times runs a front page story suggesting that the “Church” is losing members fast and may have as few as 25,000 members in the United States, versus the millions claimed by the organization:

Raised as Scientologists, Christie King Collbran and her husband, Chris, were recruited as teenagers to work for the elite corps of staff members who keep the Church of Scientology running, known as the Sea Organization, or Sea Org.

They signed a contract for a billion years — in keeping with the church’s belief that Scientologists are immortal. They worked seven days a week, often on little sleep, for sporadic paychecks of $50 a week, at most.

But after 13 years and growing disillusionment, the Collbrans decided to leave…


From TechCrunch:

On Thursday 8 January 2009, then 18-year old Mahoud Samed Almahadin (aka Matt Connor aka Agent Pubeit) took off his shirt, proceeded to rub vaseline all over his upper body and subsequently used it to hold toenail clippings and pubic hair. He then ran into the New York Scientology building, tossed some books around and smeared the mixture on objects.

After his greasy raid, Mahoud Samed Almahadin was charged with burglary, criminal mischief, and aggravated harassment as hate crimes. Weeks later, 21 year-old film student and Anonymous member Jacob Speregen was charged with the same crimes, bar burglary, because he had filmed Almahadin carrying out his prank (video below).





Peter Beaumont in London, Toni O’Loughlin in Sydney, and Paul Harris in New York report for the Guardian:

The security at the red-brick and glass-walled horseshoe of the John Joseph Moakley courthouse on Boston’s waterfront was unusually tight. Anybody who was not a member of the city’s bar association was swept with a search wand. Photo IDs were checked. Mobile phones were taken from guests, who included the Hollywood star Tom Cruise.

The occasion was a memorial service for Scientology’s top legal adviser for a quarter of a century, Earle Cooley. The controversial head of Scientology worldwide, David Miscavige, delivered the eulogy, thanking his late friend for his contribution to the neo-religion during his career, much of which was spent pursuing journalists and former members who spoke out against it.

Miscavige may since have wondered privately what Cooley would have made of the events of last week. Scientology, founded in 1953 by the late science fiction pulp novelist, serial fantasist and inveterate self-publicist L Ron Hubbard, is under fire again across the globe, following years of struggle to be recognised – with some success – as a legitimate church.

The church has just been denounced in the strongest possible terms in the Australian parliament. Prime minister Kevin Rudd has expressed his concern over allegations of “a worldwide pattern of abuse and criminality” and is contemplating a parliamentary inquiry. The organisation is under police investigation…



Sophie Tedmanson in Sydney reports for the Times:

The Church of Scientology faces the prospect of a police investigation in Australia after being accused of torture and embezzlement and of forcing employees to have abortions.


Nick Xenophon, an independent senator, presented letters to the Australian Parliament from seven former Scientologists which he said showed that the secretive church was a front for physical violence, intimidation and blackmail.

“I am deeply concerned about this organisation and the devastating impact it can have on its followers,” he told the Australian Senate in Canberra. He called for a Senate inquiry…


Just when you think Scientology can’t get more bat-shit crazy, it does … the gift that keeps on giving. It would be more fun to be a Scientologist if the Tom Cruise videos were like this:

On RadarOnline:

Having left Scientology after more than 15-years Marc Headley is lifting the lid on the bizarre religion in his explosive new book Blown for Good. And in an exclusive interview with RadarOnline.com, the author is speaking out about his experiences at the, much talked about, compound.

“Everyone there thought Tom Cruise was just brilliant,” said Headley, who left nearly five years ago. “Absolutely all the employees looked up to him.

“They think he is an exhilaration, which is very high up on what they call the ‘tone scale’…





Now it’s Salon’s turn to whale on Scientology (more please mainstream media, you have a lot of catching up to do): When Paul Haggis, the writer of “Million Dollar Baby” and “Crash,”…



The mainstream media, led by the broadcast networks, have been notoriously reluctant to air any negative news or views regarding the ‘Church’ of Scientology, largely due to that organization’s penchant for costly litigation intended to financially drain critics so thoroughly that any thought of following in their footsteps is squashed by network lawyers before any brave young producer or journalist can finish the idea.

Perhaps the wind has changed, however, with an in depth investigation by ABC News’ well-respected show Nightline, which has a variety of reports about Scientology here, as well as a lengthy ‘Inside Scientology’ video report from Martin Bashir (click that link to go to the full ABC News video site; the YouTube clips below are partial):