Today was definitely busier than yesterday. The biggest news today was that Clearwater granted the permits for the events this weekend with only some minor restrictions. It sounds like they rolled over on the cult, but the permits for the IAS event over Thanksgiving weekend and the New Year’s Eve event are still pending.
Also, a subtle data point but one that’s pretty telling: apparently, the cult won’t show the video of the big events at missions. But if they’re that important, wouldn’t they want everybody and their brother to see them? Oh, and there will be no DVD’s made under any circumstances. Guess they don’t want them to end up in the wrong hands. I’m sure they will anyway, in a matter of minutes. Dave may well find out that his security is still more porous than he thinks. This shows the power of the Joking & Degrading community, which probably outnumbers current cult membership these days.
Tony Ortega’s Blog
The big feature of today’s story was how Lisa Marie Presley used language that seemed to move closer to condemning Scientology outright than the fairly elliptical language in the past. This is potentially interesting in light of the fact that her mother, Priscilla, apparently remains in the cult (though she could well be “under the radar”), as well as her ex-husband and potentially her kids from that marriage. Thus, disconnection may be a significant issue.
Tony also published a photo taken from inside the Ft.Harrison hotel across to the Super Power building, to needle DM about the increasingly porous security.
The “thetaburst” mailing list put out a bogus e-mail purporting to be from Flag announcing a date change for the event.
Finally, there’s a pic of the “endocrine states” machine, which looks like some sort of miniature version of the “Star Tours” ride at Disney World, kind of like an aircraft simulator platform.
My take: It’s interesting that Lisa Marie is moving towards openly condemning the cult, but it’s probably premature to hope that she will publicly break with them the way Leah Remini did, if for no other reason than that Leah got her entire family out at once; it’s unlikely that LMP will be able to do the same.
Regarding the Fort Harrison picture, it appears to be above the top floor of the new Super Power building, so it’s potentially shot from the top two floors of the Fort Harrison Hotel. I’ve never been there, but it appears that those two floors have significantly higher ceilings so they may be some sort of dining facility or meeting rooms. I doubt that Miscavige will be able to catch the leaker if it is shot from a public space instead of from a guest room. But I wouldn’t want to be one of the guests in a room on the 8th floor right about now.
I’m still baffled by the intent of the Thetaburst e-mail list, and particularly by the not very clever attempt to put out a bogus press release to confuse Scientologists about the dates of the event. Even though some of the commenters claim to have “doxed” the owner of the list (two different candidates have emerged), it’s not clear why either one of them would be doing what they’re doing.
The endocrine states machine appears to be something that will give you an adrenaline rush, since adrenaline release is about the only thing that the endocrine system does that happens in a short enough period of time to be perceptible. In other words, they have a very expensive machine that will probably do no better than a hungry “reg” sneaking up behind you and saying “Boo!”
- New commenter CobGatYour$$ shares the sad story of a family member ill with melanoma and facing myriad other problems, still believing doggedly in the power of the cult to save her.
- MissionaryKid thinks all the perceptics are a way to distort your perception just as the rest of the cult doctrine distorts your reasoning processes. He also comments on how real the experience of the video of a fighter jet simulator from long ago felt when he experienced it, suggesting that the hemispherical dome on the front of the endocrine state machine might be a projection screen for some sort of attempt to induce nausea.
- AquaClara describes a great comic moment when a British author talks about how film adaptations generally work well, with one single exception.
- SandiCorrena points out that Mark Wahlberg has trashed Tom Cruise publicly for the statement where he appears to say his job is as hard as being a soldier fighting in Afghanistan.
- MaxSpaceman uncovers a Hubbard quote about auditing that has more “ness” words per sentence than just about any Hubbard quote I’ve seen so far. A triumph of jargonness.
- Derek shares a couple vignettes of moments of natural beauty that he was lucky enough to appreciate when he was trapped in the worst parts of his Sea Org experience. This is why.
- Jeff Hawkins contributes two potential poster slogans encapsulating what he has experienced as winning slogans to get culties to wake up.
- SkipPress contributes his personal memories of Lisa Marie Presley at Celebrity Centre in Hollywood when he was in, as well as recollections of Dave LaCroix, one of the two candidates named as the potential operator of the Thetaburst mailing list.
- OrangySky shows how the cult can generate shots of a full house with only a fraction of the seating capacity of the hall, through digital compositing of cutaway shots.
- TruthIWant has a great explanation for some of the newer readers about how the cult keeps people ignorant of what’s really happening, by prohibiting TV, newspapers and internet.
Mike Rinder’s Blog
- Mike’s first post today drew a number of parallels between life in Scientology and life in the crazy kingdom of North Korea. I’m a bit of a fan of all things North Korean, because the lulz quotient is about as high as that for Scientology, though the North Koreans would regard Miscavige as a bumbling amateur. Gets all the details right.
- Mike’s second post lampoons cult “Facebook police,” the oddly named Jojo Zawawi, for trying to track down the bogus “thetaburst” e-mail that Tony also mentioned today. More importantly, she points out that the Missions are totally excluded from showing videos of the Biggest. Event. Ever, and that local orgs will not get to do repeat showings. Apparently, they are desperate to keep video from this event from falling into the hands of the J&D brigades (which probably outnumber active Scientologists by a fairly large margin). Mike also points out that the Volunteer Ministers planning to parachute into the Philippines to do their unique brand of disaster relief have a big quandary: go to the Philippines while the Biggest. Event. Ever is in Clearwater? Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
Forums (ESMB, WWP, OCMB)
- Here’s a video on ESMB of Anna Paddock, who showed up to harass Mosey Rathbun at her former home. Makes you want to hurry up and join the cult.
- Some ex-culties and others with interesting backgrounds discuss whether auditing expedites memory loss. There might be more to the story, but I forgot.
- A recent article from the “Scientologists Getting Back in Comm” blog in South Africa discusses a particularly hellish job in their org – being the “Bookstore Officer.” On ESMB, others describe life in the bookstore.
- On WWP, an emerging thread captures YouTube videos and other resources for people to understand the breadth of the disconnection policy.
- The City of Clearwater appears to have rolled over completely and given the cult most of what it wanted in permits for the event this weekend. Permits for the IAS event and the New Year’s event are still pending. There are some limits, including decibel levels for sound and restrictions on lighting. Apparently, they will be permitted to keep the security fence they’re building to keep all those people who are so good at confront-and-shatter away from any source of entheta like Anons carrying clever signs.
- The cult announced a “ScientologyCenter” in Karmiel, Israel, about 50km (30 miles) from the Haifa mission, which seceded from the cult and “went independent” about a year ago. Yeah, that’ll work. Interestingly, they got a spokesman from the Druze minority (the smallest religion in Israel) to speak at the opening.