Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review

Volume 9, Issue 23 - June 11 2005

Scientology Immersion Course for journalist

On June 8, 2005 the Huffington Post, linking to [long link] asked, "Did Reader's Digest sell its soul to the Church of Scientology to get Tom Cruise on the cover of its current issue?" and responding to its own question:

"According to several sources inside the world's largest-selling monthly, the magazine's editor-in-chief, Jackie Leo, wanted Cruise as her cover boy but was impeded by the magazine's history with the controversial group.

Back in 1991, Reader's Digest excerpted an in-depth investigative piece from Time magazine entitled Scientology: The Cult of Greed. Among other things, the article asserted that the Church 'is a highly profitable global racket that survives by intimidating members and critics in a Mafia-like manner.'

In response, the Church filed injunctions aimed at blocking Reader's Digest from publishing the story in its international editions. But Scientology's lawyers ultimately lost, and the mag gained cred beyond its walker-waving readership for standing up to the cult's bullying ways.

With so much bad blood between them, how did Reader's Digest land a rare sit-down with Scientology's top celebrity spokesman? By caving in to a long list of bizarre demands. According to well-placed sources at the magazine, to ensure Cruise's cooperation, the Digest's reporter, Meg Grant, promised to give 'Scientology issues' equal play in her profile of the star, and agreed to enroll in a one-day Church 'immersion course.' Before the interview took place, our sources say, the magazine also agreed to submit its questions for Cruise to his Church handlers, who weeded out any queries they deemed inappropriate. But they were still not taking any chances. When the exclusive interview finally took place, one of Cruise's handlers asked the star the list of pre-approved questions, as Grant recorded Cruise's responses.


Asked about her journalistic horse-trading, Editor-in-Chief Leo explained she didn't 'know anything about [Cruise's] 'requests' because I wasn't the one who did the interview,' and suggested we talk to the writer of the piece. Reached in L.A., Grant denied providing her questions in advance or relaying them to Cruise through a third party during the interview. 'I would never do that journalistically, and the magazine wouldn't allow it,' she claims.

But, after some prodding, Grant admitted she was indeed put through an immersion course in Scientology, but that it was a surprise. 'Before the interview, I went to a lunch with [Cruise's sister/publicist] Lee Anne DeVette, which turned out to be at the Scientology Celebrity Center, and turned out to be not a lunch but a six hour tour of the center,' she says. After the tour, Grant says she was taken to the church's 'anti-psychiatry museum' on Melrose Ave. (at which point her guides made clear they somehow knew her husband was a practicing psychiatrist). ..."

Posted from The Bosh of June 8, 2005 [long link

"... According to well-placed sources at the magazine to ensure Tom Cruise's cooperation, the Digest's reporter, Meg Grant, promised to give 'Scientology issues' equal play in her profile of the star, and agreed to enroll in a one-day Church 'immersion course.'... '

Posted from [long link], citing radar online

''Before the interview,' [Meg Grant] said, 'I went to a lunch with [Cruise's sister/publicist] Lee Anne DeVette, which turned out to be at the Scientology Celebrity Center, and turned out to be not a lunch but a six hour tour of the center.'

'I suppose I could have left at any time, but it would have been awkward,' she said.

And by 'awkward' she means 'ethical.'"

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Hollywood star visits Narconon

On June 10 Dave Touretzky posted "exclusive inside info" on alt.religion.scientology "from a hidden source inside the Narconon operation" that Tom Cruise took Katie Holmes to Narconon drug rehab. Narconon is a Scientology front group.

"On Friday, May 27, Tom Cruise brought Katie Holmes to tour Narconon's flagship facility, Narconon Arrowhead, located in the town of Canadian, Oklahoma:

Narconon staffers were shuttling clients between their rooms, the sauna, and the course rooms, in order to make the place look extra busy to impress the Hollywood couple.

They stayed for 4 to 4.5 hours, leaving after Tom gave a speech at the weekly Narconon 'graduation' ceremony. Security was tight, and there were NO media present for this event."

Coincidentally, a publicity stunt for Katie Holmes has taken on additional meaning. Posted from "Web site aims to 'liberate' Holmes" by Maria Elena Fernandez in the June 10, 2005 Los Angeles Times:

"You've seen the 'Free Kobe' T-shirts, and the 'Free Michael' T-shirts. Now, there's a movement afoot to 'free' Katie Holmes, the young star of the upcoming 'Batman Begins.'

Former entertainment producer and executive Sheila Cameron, has created, where Americans are invited to help 'liberate Katie, a young, gifted, actress held captive by forces we may never understand. Even one summer of captivity is too long for one so bright!'

The site contends that Holmes is in a prison of sorts, due to Tom Cruise's hyper-public expressions of love. The Web site offers ways to 'help': purchase a 'Free Katie' T-shirt, mug or baseball cap, rant on message boards, or simply spread the word."

Commenting on the above, Hartley Patterson posted:

"The message board was only set up yesterday but it already has a couple of 'hey I looked up scientology on the Internet and here are some links these guys are seriously crazy' threads. ..."

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False evidence against politicians alleged

Roger Gonnet posted from France:

"Some days ago, we learned that one of the best friends of Scientology and other cults, a man called Christian Cotten, who complained against 40 VIPs (Prime Minister Jospin, between others) and had lost, had posted a bizarre document.

The document was a Paris plan supposedly distributed by Paris City managers, with the locations of 'cults'.

This document is a faked one. Nobody in Paris managerment has ever designed such a document.

To-day, we learned that'Anne HIDALGO, Première adjointe au Maire de Paris, Daniel VAILLANT, ancien Ministre, Député-Maire du 18ème arrondissement et Xavier LAUGAUDIN, conseiller du 17ème arrondissement -- have complained against 'X' (John Doe) for usurpation of identity/position."

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Dave Touretzky on radio

Dave Touretzky announced:

"Today (Tuesday, June 7, 2005) at 11:00 pm, Fox News radio host Alan Colmes will take a critical look at CCHR, the anti-psychiatry hate group known as the Citizens Commission on Human Rights.

CCHR agreed to be on the show last week. Colmes' staff then went looking for a critic of CCHR who could also appear during the segment. They chose me. I warned them that when CCHR hears they'll be going up against me on live radio, they'll back out. And that's exactly what happened on Monday.

So now I get to do the ENTIRE half hour segment with Alan, instead of having to share the time with CCHR. Thank you, OSA! ..."

Touretzky then followed up on his own post:

"My posting that stared this thread had the desired effect: CCHR (actually, OSA) has reversed themselves and are now allowing Bruce Wiseman to appear opposite me on the Alan Colmes radio show. ..."

Comments to the show posted to a.r.s. included:

"Good program with a few pitfalls.

Alan Colmes did a great job calling Bruce Wiseman on the slew of ad homonym attacks leveled against Dave and other critics of Scientology. Every time Bruce would call people 'bigots', 'racists', 'hate-mongers', and 'felons', Alan would stop him. He told him that it was his show, and if he wanted to do that he could go get his own show. At one point he directly asked the question, 'why do you attack people who disagree with you rather than answering the question? You call felons without any basis...' (I'm probably paraphrasing here, but you get the idea). Predictably, Bruce didn't stop so Alan had to cut him off every so often.


Dave's response was that he wasn't there to defend himself against anyone, but to discuss CCHR and Scientology. I wish he would have said something like 'Bruce is quoting me out of context to take the focus off CCHR. I'm not personally attacking HIM, and I ask you not to indulge him further.' Nevertheless, words must have been exchanged during the break because Bruce stopped his attacks for awhile.


Alan was able to grab on to something Bruce said, amid a torrent that was bursting forth: 'So you're saying that psychiatrists created racism'? Bruce appeared rather stunned by the interruption and affirmed that is what he said. What came after was a crazed harangue about psychiatrists and Nazis, etc. None of this addressed how racism existed BEFORE psychiatry. Dave explained that Hubbard taught psychiatry has been around for thousands and thousands of years.


I wish someone could have pointed out that CCHR is actually attempting to take away people's freedoms by limiting their treatment options.

After listening, it is clearer than ever to me that people in the media must be fully briefed on what to expect from a Scientologist. Alan Colmes handled most of this well, but it is impossible to keep a show focused when you've got a guest who is consciously creating pandemonium. ..."

Another poster commented on the following portion of the above account:

"- - There were three callers. The first was a woman who defended psychiatry. - She also criticized Bruce for his personal attacks against Dave. - - The second was a woman who said her family was abused by Psychiatry -- - twice. When asked if she was a Scientologist, she didn't answer the - question.

She answered 'yes' the second time AC asked.

But you must have missed the next and best scn caller. This is an approximation of how it went:

Caller: Hello I'm a teacher and I have an anecdote about how 'psych drugs' (her words) like ritalin are bad for children, etc.... AC: So you want to deny me the right to see the medical advisor of my choice? Caller: Well, yes. AC: Are you a Scientologist? Caller: I'm a teacher. AC: But are you a Scientologist? Caller: I'm a teacher. AC: But that's not what I asked. You can be a Scientologist and a teacher. Are you both? Caller: Why are you asking me that? ..."

Touretzky then posted his own comments:

"Just finished doing the Alan Colmes show, and I must say, I really didn't expect this. Bruce Wiseman is a seasoned public speaker; he has his own radio show. He has testified before Congress. He's done countless media interviews and given countless speeches.

So why did he come totally unglued on national radio the moment I opened my mouth? He pulled a 'Heber' and was ranting like an agitated mental patient.

The best theory I've heard is that he had Ricky Moxon breathing down his neck and ordering him to 'always attack, never defend'. Why else would the man publicly humiliate himself this way?

Alan Colmes really did his homework. He brought up the death of Lisa McPherson, and he read from the Lisa Clause ( on the air. He cited my and web sites. He talked about Scientology's belief in 'engrams'.

And Wiseman just sputtered and fumed, denied everything, and tried to keep the focus on attacking me. Colmes wasn't having any of that.

When asked to respond, I said: 'I'm not going to respond to Scientology libel. You know what they say about wrestling with pigs, Alan. You get dirty, and the pig enjoys it.'..."

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News on Austrian ex-Scientologist

H. Patterson forwarded a message from his Austrian correspondent:

"Former Vienna org ED Wilfried Handl has left the cult after 28 years!

He wrote a book about his experiences, it's called 'Scientology - wahn und wirklichkeit' (in english: delusion and reality).

It just came out a few days ago and there were already some newspaper reports on it. On Friday he will be in a popular talk show and on Monday there will be an article in a popular weekly magazine.

So quite some things to handle for OSA Austria. :-)

Here is his website: - there is not much on the site at the moment except the introduction of the book, but I guess it will grow. I heard he's planning to do an english issue as well - probably in fall.

The CoS claims 6000 'members' in Austria; there are around 400 active members."


Leaving Scientology in a nutshell

On June 5 'Magoo' posted a brief rundown on leaving Scientology:

"You may be reading this newsgroup and thinking .... 'I wonder what it's really like to actually leave Scientology'.

Please let me give you a brief rundown:

1. It isn't easy, although really it is quite easy. 2. I actually think it takes quite a bit of courage ---personal courage--- to rise above the group think and do what you want. 3. To even begin to think about leaving creates tremendous losses ----threat of losing your friends, possibly family, people you've worked with, and you probably think the tech, too. I know, as I was severely brainwashed that ALL tech outside of C of S is 'Squirrel/bad/no good/evil, etc. No, *I* don't do the Freezone, however I've met many others who do, and they seem to be having just as fine a wins, if not better, now outside. Remember, many/most of the best auditors and C/S's left C of S, so guess where they are? :) 4. Once you leave....then what?

Here are a few possibilities:
A) Go stay with your family, until you get things together.
B) If you don't have friends, possibly there are some friends who left who will help you. Many are VERY willing to help those that leave.
C) Jobs are pretty easy to get, and also, you can go back to school to get trained in something other than Scientology.
D) There's tons to read and fill in the many blanks that you've been stuck with.
E) Enjoy your new life!

There ya have it, in a nutshell. It seeeeeeeeeeeeeems like it's huge, impossible, etc. It isn't. It's actually about as hard as walking over a line drawn in the street. ..."


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