Shameless plug: An earlier post today highlights a poster listing the most common logical fallacies in persuasive writing. Read this carefully every day for a week or two and you will find yourself making fewer logical mistakes in your own writing, and you will have great fun seeing what gaping errors people make in the arguments they use to sell you stuff, get you to vote for them, etc.
Tony Ortega’s Blog
Today’s post reports that Leah Remini was officially declared a Suppressive Person by the cult. While the biggest wave of actual disconnections has already taken place, this move is yet another own goal by Miscavige since it gives the Hollywood gossip press another chance to revisit the disconnection story, just when it was starting to die down a bit.
My take: As Mike Rinder points out in the article, the fact that Tom Cruise didn’t have to disconnect from Suri when Katie Holmes divorced him has probably rankled many ordinary Scientologists who have been forced to disconnect from wives, parents and kids when they blew. So with typical Miscavige ham-handedness, he’s going to “make an example” of Leah by not cutting her any slack.
It seems to me that this is yet another situation where Miscavige has boxed himself in with arbitrary decisions in the past to accomplish whatever short term goal he had in mind at the time, which then limit his flexibility in dealing with the present. His inability to think clearly about potential unintended consequences of his actions is a crippling flaw that would have, if present in a CEO of a real company, caused him to be fired long ago.
- OrangySky points out that people now believe what the cult is capable of, versus law enforcement in the Paulette Cooper days simply being unable to fathom that a “religion” would do what they did. So if they start leaking PC folder data from Leah to the press, she figures people will jump to (correct) conclusions as to its source.
- Derek B. pens a highly recommended exposition of some of the logical fallacies that the cult uses to keep people roped in. This should be mandatory reading.
- Skip Press, who has hung with a few cult celebs in his day, thinks that Leah’s official declaration will get a few minor celebs to wake up and blow.
- Noseinabk scores a great find of an article about the purchase of the Ideal Org in Auckland, serving a population counted in the last census at 350 people, complete with some financial data. We’re honing in on the original government reports and will put up a post soon analyzing their numbers.
- Sam Domingo expresses, with typical British wit, one of the myriad ways celebs might leave the cult: “In the game of rescuing culties from themselves there will be those who insist on having their remains scraped up off the floor or leaving it up to the cult to ship them out in body bags.”
- “Anonymous” does some digging on what it means to be declared, including some Jeff Hawkins blog posts from back in the day. He rings the bell again with an observation about Miscavige’s real status in the world.
- Truthiwant answers a pro-Scientology commenter from yesterday with a list of the positive life benefits that do accrue from Scientology membership.
- Douglas D. Douglas pens a nice Happy Thanksgiving wish to everyone.
- Cat Daddy finds an old Sunday Funnies flyer that shows how Scientologists should celebrate Turkey Day.
- Michael Leonard Tilse imagines how the declare will enhance Leah’s fashion vibe on the red carpet at the next Hollywood awards show.
- Still_On_Your_Side thinks DM waited to unveil the declaration against Leah until after she was voted off “Dancing With the Stars,” since that defeat to his mind obviously will take away her media platform.
- IBBy rewrites a famous holiday rhyme to imagine life at the local Idle Morgue over the weekend.
- George Diaz dredges up a quote I haven’t seen before. Apparently, Miscavige promised to “handle” Anonymous in two weeks. Must be two weeks on some gas giant planet around a distant star that he flew by in one of his whole track incarnations.
Mike Rinder’s Blog
- Mike’s first post today reprints a letter from a longtime “field auditor,” who remains in the cult due to family connection and fear of disconnection. He complains that the new Golden Age of Dreck 2 is so awful that it’s put him back at square one. He’s wondering what to do next… I am sure some people here can come up with helpful suggestions, though it’s probably tough to formulate a pithy suggestion we haven’t already heard a few times.
- Mike’s second post raises an interesting possibility: given that Leah Remini and Jennifer Lopez are BFF’s, would Miscavige order J Lo’s father to disconnect from her if she continues to hang out with Leah? Technically, according to Mike, she’s guilty of a “suppressive act” which could get Dad in trouble.
Forum Sites (WWP, ESMB, OCMB)
- What type of celebrations or holidays do Scientologists participate in? Exes share their experiences when involved with the cult.
- Quoted from original post: “Former long time Scientologist and film and stage actress Roslyn Cohn (aka Roz Cohn) recently made a very public announcement against Scientology in this very funny and sometimes poignant workshop performance last month at the Academy for New Musical Theatre Performers Workshop Cabaret’s 2013 production.” Video of her performance posted.
- Some real photos (nothing like doctored up or posed official cult PR photos) of GAT II event people, compiled by WWP’s legendary BlackRob.
- Critics of Narconon discuss the ten part series on Narconon’s internet marketing strategy from the blog written by SEOlogy.
South African Independent Scientology Blog
- Today’s article estimated “crowds” for the GAT2 launch video event in J’Burg at 300 to 500, down substantially from the 800 they got in 2005 opening the Johannesburg Ideal Org, versus 1,200 confirmations on Facebook. Pretoria supposedly had about 120 as did Durban. Wonder if they had any seat fillers, which according to earlier comments on that blog, were used in the past at some events.
- A great article from a couple days ago written by someone who grew up in China during the Cultural Revolution compared the mind control tactics of the government to the way Scientology attempts to stamp out dissent and disagreement in its ranks.
- Apparently, the cult’s German membership base has dwindled to the point that the watchdog BFV (Agency for the Protection of the Constitution) has stopped monitoring it, despite protests from some German states. BFV officials base the decisions on what they estimate as 4,000 members in the country, though that seems rather high versus what we think is a more reasonable estimate of 500 to 700. Interestingly, some BFV offices say that the cult is trying to lure new members through “hidden Internet portals.” Craigslist, anyone?
- From a few days ago, Huffington Post ran an article about local Clearwater fundamentalist Christian pastors complaining that Scientology “serves a false god.” A fairly lame “my God can beat up your God” article, but nice use of some of the aerial shots that may have come from Rinder & Bennitt. Some fairly amusing comments, though.