Here’s the promised “science fiction double feature” since I couldn’t get a post out last night.
Most surprising news is that Devon Newman, former head of PR for Las Vegas Celebrity Centre, picked up in a bizarre plot with her roommate to kidnap and murder police, was allowed to cop a plea and walk out of court with a year probation. See below for further details. This was entirely unexpected given the bail amounts involved and the statements of the police and the DA. I still think her co-conspirator, a convicted pedophile with a long record, is not going to be so lucky.
Check out the rest of the “General Press” section as there are a number of interesting cult-related articles including an interview with PR powerhouse Pat Kingsley, who Tom Cruise fired in favor of his sister.
Tony Ortega’s Blog
Today, Tony reported that Judge Whittemore will allow the Garcia’s to conduct discovery to look for bogus behavior in the diversity jurisdiction issue before the court in the Garcia case, given that the cult hid the fact that the two trusts involved were California based until it started losing. Apparently, the scope of discovery is fairly limited. When I read it, the tone of the order makes it sound like Whittemore is not all that optimistic that the Garcia’s will succeed, but he’s just crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s properly.
The post also talks a bit about the UK high court ruling permitting Scientology to conduct marriage ceremonies, which is attracting plenty of press. There’s a particularly lame BBC interview, where a tame reporter says nothing, though Marc Headley gets in some pretty good comments.
- Simi Valley gives an example of a recent conversation with a still-in OT8 who didn’t know Simi had left, and who then promptly hung up and sent a disconnection letter.
- “Silence of the Clams” writes a rather clever reply note to Simi’s friend.
- Martin Padfield, a card-carrying Brit, helpfully points out that the only real change from this ruling is that culties who get married at Saint Hill will not have to undergo the additional step of solemnizing their vows at a local “Registry Office” (apparently similar to a town clerk or county clerk in the US).
- HolyCash points out some restrictions on Scientology marriage ceremonies that typically don’t apply to wog weddings. Like making sure that the ceremony plus honeymoon doesn’t exceed the length of time allotted for Sea Org workers’ dinner breaks.
- In the wake of mentions of wedding ceremonies for Sea Org people, Derek B. seems to be getting all soggy with nostalgia about his time in the Sea Org.
- Graham pointed out that the BBC anchor who took a tougher line with the cult in the interview than the powder-puff reporter has a reputation for being a pit bull in brutally questioning political figures and others.
- Anonymous raises the interesting point that perhaps Miscavige brought back all those “Board Technical Bulletins” as part of Golden Age of Dreck 2 just to prove there’s a “board” of some sort so Miscavige can use that to say “See! there really is a board!” in the Garcia case and perhaps others.
Mike Rinder’s Blog
Today, Mike found a couple of amusing bits of FAIL on the main Scientology web site. Minor details like the page where they promise to open a bunch of Idle Morgues by the end of 2013 — three weeks hence — after only opening four this year (versus 11 last year). They’re gamely struggling to believe that they have a chance of getting Ideal Orgs done in Battle Creek, MI and New Haven, CT.
I can’t imagine why Battle Creek would be home for an org, given its metro area population of less than 140,000. Incidentally, if we believe that there are 15,000 Scientologists out of a total US population of 310 million, then that implies that there ought to be a total of 6.6 Scientologists in the Battle Creek metro area. That’s an opportunity to go straight up and vertical, baby! Perhaps the Battle Creek org is a stealth strategy to penetrate the burgeoning metropolis of Kalamazoo, just 25 miles west on I-94. With a population approximately double that of Battle Creek, Kalamazoo might be home to approximately 13 more Scientologists.
Mike also points out just how inept the cult’s Volunteer Minister response to the recent Philippines typhoon has been. Apparently, the site for what Miscavige claims is the most effective disaster relief force in the world still has the same picture of four people at a photo opp, not the thousands of volunteers they try to suggest they have.
Yesterday’s post contains an utterly illiterate marketing piece by Sharron Webber, who, last I heard, was the #2 on the Freewinds. Unlike so many of the young recruits, Webber is a native English speaker. Perhaps the nicotine in six packs of unfiltered Kools a day are causing excessive cerebral vasoconstriction? The thought that someone with such a low level of literacy is in charge of a complex piece of aging machinery which can, if ineptly operated, kill hundreds of people, is rather sobering.
- Ex-Guardian Office member is looking for a contact to help tell his story about multiple forced-abortions for Sea Org members, so many that they were shuttled in busses to several locations throughout southern Florida. Members of ESMB and WWP comment and await the full story.
- A rather amusing piece of junk mail was found littered on a street in Los Angeles, with some reg at Pac Base trying to use written “Tone 40” to get someone to sign her husband up for “Student Hat.” Wonder if the author ends up in the RPF for such a low-tone outcome.
- When the theta dust settles, ESMB readers wonder what might be next after GAT II and Super Power?
- Karen de la Carriere kicks off a discussion about her own experience with the abuses at the Int Base in the wake of the stories of abuse in the declarations filed in the Monique Rathbun case.
- Beyonce’s mother started dating a Scientologist, Richard Lawsonis and, according to the tabloids, Beyonce is afraid that her mother, Tina, will get sucked into the cult.
- The Raw Story, another site in the burgeoning Tony Ortega media empire, ran a breaking news story that Devon Newman, the former head of PR at the Las Vegas Celebrity Centre, pled guilty in the bizarre Sovereign Citizen police kidnapping/conspiracy that hit headlines in August. She gets a year probation in return, though her sociopath roommate will probably get a bit different outcome at trial in March. It will be interesting to see what the cult makes of this for internal PR — talking about how Tone 40 intention beats “wog” justice every time, or something.
- A suicide by defenestration at an office tower holding a number of Scientology-related businesses remains a bit of a mystery as the Clearwater PD has not released the identity of the victim. The building is or was home to various cult front groups and WISE businesses, including a Narconon office. It’s unclear whether the Narconon office is still in the building. Some of the businesses are connected to the Feshbachs and at least one is apparently connected to cult PI Dave Lubow, who’s a figure in the Monique Rathbun suit. ESMB and OCMB threads will presumably keep up with status updates.
- Missionary Kid scored a nice find with an academic journal article on the Haifa (Israel) mission going independent. I don’t know the researcher or the prestige level of the journal, but it’s interesting to note that this unique (in recent history, at least) secession from the corporate church is attracting attention in academic circles.
- Pat Kingsley, the legendary PR maven who Tom Cruise famously fired in favor of his unskilled sister right before the Oprah couch-jumping incident started to crumble his reputation, checks in from retirement. Towards the end of the article, she talks about her relationship with Cruise; while mostly diplomatic, she talks about how he started to get crazy about the cult before they parted ways. After reading the whole profile, I’m impressed by Pat.
- RadarOnline ran a story about forced labor in cult facilities, harvesting juicy bits from the declarations filed earlier this week in the Monique Rathbun case and putting them together, with yet another epic cult denial at the end.
- The lead story in the latest issue of “Freedom” magazine begins “The excitement rolled across more than 10,000 Scientologists gathered in multiple large venues at the religion’s Flag Land Base in Clearwater on November 15, 2013…” This is one of the documents presented by the defendant’s attorneys as argument for not deposing Miscavige. It’s a cult-operated site so you should know that they’ll harvest your IP address.