Tag Archives | Scientology

L. Ron Hubbard & Aleister Crowley: The Occult Roots of Scientology?

The Rosy Cross, appropriated in a similar form by Crowley and OTO

The Rosy Cross, appropriated in a similar form by Crowley and OTO

Ohio State professor Hugh Urban is no stranger to esoteric religions, and The Village Voice blog Runnin’ Scared is no stranger either to the professor or to his other pet project: well-deserved exposés of that most modern of esoteric religions, Scientology.

Scientology's cross. See the similarity?

Regular Disinfo readers would be familiar with the following slightly paranoia-inducing fact, as the post puts it: “that after his involvement in WWII, Hubbard shacked up with Jet Propulsion Lab rocket scientist Jack Parsons, a man heavily into the occult, and in particular the teachings of The Great Beast, British occultist Aleister Crowley.”

Many a conspiracy theory has been launched from this outlier. However, blogger Tony Ortega latest Scientology post ‘paraphrases’ Urban’s new piece for the pay-walled journal Nova Religio, which is a thorough, academic study of the ways that Crowley’s “magick” found parallels in what would become Hubbard’s most famous creation, Scientology.… Read the rest

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Eat The Academy

On Preventing the Ceremonies of Dumb People in Hollywood From Being a Burden on Their Parent Companies or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Public

Kill screen from the Cartoon Network video game Orphan Feast

Kill screen from the Cartoon Network video game Orphan Feast

“I am giving an account of what…ought…to be.”
William Daniel Defoe, A Friendly Proposal for Foundlings and Bastard Children Moll Flanders

Much like the birth of Christ, historians of film rarely agree on when it happened: the birth of cinema, that is. Perhaps even more controversial, however, is the question of paternity. Who’s your daddy, indeed?

Francophiles will forever laud Méliès, Teutons will zealously campaign for Murnau, the Russians <3 Eisenstein and proud Americans some of D.W. Griffith’s first, err, exploits. And yet, no matter the geographic genesis of film, one fact about its origin remains clear across the national board: it was, in fact, a silent birth. #Scientology.

If radio had delivered the psychologically bewildering disembodied voice (i.e.… Read the rest

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Speculative Fictions: Scientology’s Tin-Pot Real Estate Empire and the Real Owners of the World

Photo: Scientology Media (CC)

Yippee! We'll never have to pay tax on this building! Photo: Scientology Media (CC)

Business Insider pulls the veil aside a little on the vast global real estate portfolio of The Church Of Scientology, with 10 examples from the over 8,500 Scientology Churches, Missions and affiliated groups buildings in 165 countries around the world.

Still, Scientology is way behind the top five largest landowners in the world: Queen Elizabeth II (legal owner of about 6,600 million acres of land, one sixth of the earth’s non ocean surface, valued at £17,600,000,000,000); the Russian state (4,219 million acres); the Chinese state (about 2,365 million acres); the Federal Government of the United States, which owns about one third of the land of the USA (760 million acres); and the King of Saudi Arabia (553 million acres).

And not even in the same class as the more venerable Catholic Church, but of course Scientology hasn’t been able to take advantage of tax exemption for as many centuries …

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Strange Rooms And Devices Inside Scientology’s Super Power Building

Via the Village Voice, unbelievable renderings of the chambers to be used for testing, training, and sensory enhancement of Scientology adherents:

The Voice has obtained hundreds of new renderings of Scientology’s Super Power Building in Clearwater, Florida. L. Ron Hubbard devised the “Super Power Rundown” in 1978. He envisioned it as a series of counseling routines with the use of elaborate and futuristic platforms and machines. In 1998, Hubbard’s successor broke ground on a massive new building project, “Flag Mecca,” known commonly as the Super Power Building, where the new rundown would be housed. Thirteen years and $145 million in fundraising later, the building is thought to be largely completed, but it is still not open for business.

scientology

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Leaked Emails Fuel Scientology Scandal

David Miscavage. Photo: Scientology Media (CC)

David Miscavige. Photo: Scientology Media (CC)

Guy Adams provides details on a senior Scientology member’s letter to 12,000 followers attacking their leader’s “obsession” with money, in the LA Times:

A simmering conflict at the Church of Scientology has been made spectacularly public after a former member of the organisation’s clergy circulated a letter raising severe criticisms of both the management style and financial policies of its current leader, David Miscavige.

Debbie Cook’s email, which was sent to 12,000 fellow Scientologists shortly after midnight on New Year’s Day, alleges that Mr Miscavige has adopted a dictatorial leadership style which is at odds with the doctrines laid down by the church’s founder, the science fiction author, L Ron Hubbard.

She further claims that, since succeeding Hubbard after his death in 1986, Mr Miscavige has become obsessed with fundraising. His regime is now “hoarding” a cash reserve of more than a billion dollars, she claims, and has spent tens of millions more on a portfolio of large, “posh” buildings which largely sit empty.

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Scientology’s Plan To Infiltrate And Spy On ‘South Park’

The Village Voice‘s Tony Ortega reveals the extent to which the “church” of Scientology will go to try to protect its (not too solid) reputation:

Yesterday, we reported that former Scientology executive Marty Rathbun had revealed at his blog that in 2006, Scientology’s Office of Special Affairs — the church’s intelligence and covert operations wing — was actively investigating creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone by looking for vulnerabilities among their close friends.

South_Park_Xenu
Screen shot of the South Park “scientology” episode, “Trapped in the Closet” (2005)

Today, we have more leaked OSA documents which give some idea of the extent of the spying operation on the  offices and the people who worked there.

They suggest that after traditional approaches with private investigators had stalled, OSA turned to film consultant Eric Sherman, a Scientologist, to help them find a young filmmaker who would make an effective mole at the South Park offices.

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Scientology’s ‘Touch-Healing’ Global Disaster Response Squad: ‘Serving’ Haiti, Burma and Japan

Scientology Touch HealersPatrick Winn writes on GlobalPost:
BANGKOK, Thailand — After Cyclone Nargis left a trail of corpses along Burma’s coast in May 2008, foreign aid workers clamored to enter the military-controlled backwater. Despite the world’s pleading, Burma’s paranoid generals forbade most foreign relief workers from entering the disaster zone. A frustrated U.K. threatened unauthorized air drops. The U.S. Navy was forced to float vessels loaded with life-saving supplies offshore. But among the few who managed to access Burma’s worst-hit areas included adherents of the California-based Church of Scientology. According to the church, miracles ensued after Scientologists touched down. Their team sought out traumatized Burmese for Scientology’s touch-healing techniques, professed to revive the spirit...
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Inside Scientology: Brainwashing, Violence, And Slave Labor

scientologycommonsNo, the above isn’t hyperbole. The New Yorker has a fascinating and authoritative exposé on Scientology. The experiences of Hollywood director and ex-Scientologist Paul Haggis are the starting point, but the piece hits upon everything from the cult’s origins to its use of violence and child labor to John Travolta magically healing Marlon Brando’s leg via touch:

In December, 2009, Tricia Whitehill, a special agent from the Los Angeles office, flew to Florida to interview former members of the church in the F.B.I.’s office in downtown Clearwater, which happens to be directly across the street from Scientology’s spiritual headquarters.

Whitehill and Valerie Venegas, the lead agent on the case, also interviewed former Sea Org members in California. One of them was Gary Morehead, who had been the head of security at the Gold Base; he left the church in 1996. In February, 2010, he spoke to Whitehill and told her that he had developed a “blow drill” to track down Sea Org members who left Gold Base.

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Lawrence Wright’s Amazing ‘New Yorker’ Feature On Scientology

Paul Haggis. Photo: David Shankbone (CC)

Paul Haggis. Photo: David Shankbone (CC)

Lawrence Wright’s forthcoming tell-all book about the Hollywood uber-cult Scientology (The Heretic of Hollywood: Paul Haggis vs.The Church of Scientology) has been in the news often the past few weeks, mostly concerning speculation about whether or not award-winning scribe Paul Haggis “officially” collaborated with Wright.

The book still hasn’t been scheduled for publication and considering the cult’s propensity for litigation it might face considerable delays. For those who can’t wait, Wright has contributed a fascinating and lengthy essay on the topic to the current issue of the New Yorker.

It’s a must-read for anyone interested in the cult of Scientology. Here’s the beginning:

On August 19, 2009, Tommy Davis, the chief spokesperson for the Church of Scientology International, received a letter from the film director and screenwriter Paul Haggis. “For ten months now I have been writing to ask you to make a public statement denouncing the actions of the Church of Scientology of San Diego,” Haggis wrote.

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