Scientologists Spreading Into Plant City, Beyond
By BAIRD HELGESON and RAY REYES The Tampa Tribune
Published: Jul 9, 2006
Scientologists describe their religion as a cathartic journey toward happiness and clarity of mind. Church of Scientology critics call it kooky science fiction disguised as religion.
Whatever you believe, the church says it is growing.
Although the church's membership remains a much-debated mystery, its land holdings tell the story of a robust organization in the midst of a new chapter of growth.
Worldwide, Scientologists say they have bought 21 buildings they plan to turn into churches.
Still, some former Scientologists and observers insist the church's membership is depleted, down dramatically over the past 20 years. They contend the church is using its financial muscle to buy buildings and create a false sense that the organization is thriving.
Since the mid-1970s, Scientology has become a real estate behemoth in the Tampa Bay area. The church spent tens of millions of dollars to buy and renovate about 40 properties, mostly for its spiritual headquarters in Clearwater.
But Clearwater was intended to be a Mecca for true believers, not a center for recruiting members.
So Scientology's Tampa church is leading a new expansion in Florida, with plans for about a half-dozen Life Improvement Centers in the next year. The church aims to expand its outreach into smaller towns and among the black and Hispanic communities, which critics say is an effort to make inroads among those with little knowledge of its controversial past.
Scientology's first new center will be in Plant City, a community steeped in Christian faith, where towering Baptist and Methodist churches dominate the downtown landscape.
Already, some residents are wary of their new neighbors, and their past.
PLANT CITY - In a town built by the railroad and made famous by strawberries, Christianity might be Plant City's most thriving enterprise.
The town has more than three dozen Christian churches; six start with the word "First." There are no synagogues, no mosques.
In the historic Whistle Stop cafe downtown, customers stuffed with deli sandwiches and brownie sundaes pay their bills at a counter that features a bowl seeking donations for a Christian youth camp. A waiter wears a baseball hat that says, "I Love Jesus."
Plant City - renowned for its festival that pays homage to all things strawberry - wouldn't seem fertile ground for an expansion of the Church of Scientology, a religion that traces the genesis of human misery to a vengeful alien ruler named Xenu and a galactic genocide that raged 75 million years ago. Scientology teaches that the evil residue of this battle survives in the souls of mankind and that it has the key to freedom from human suffering - for a price.
Now Scientology is moving to Plant City in a big way, set to become a tiny outpost in what church leaders say is a large push to expand in Florida.
Downtown Plant City will soon be anchored with one of Scientology's Life Improvement Centers, complete with classrooms, stress tests and the works of its science-fiction-writing founder, L. Ron Hubbard.
Someday soon, those walking along the brick streets of downtown could be asked by a Scientologist whether they would like to take a personality test, a gateway into the world of Scientology.
Tampa Church Leads Expansion
Clearwater is Scientology's spiritual headquarters, but the Tampa church will lead its effort to build centers throughout Florida.
The Church of Scientology has spent hundreds of millions of dollars buying and renovating buildings in past years, including tens of millions of dollars in Clearwater since it came to the area in 1975.
Over the next year, the church plans to buy buildings and open similar Life Improvement Centers in Lakeland, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, Gainesville, Cocoa Beach and Jacksonville.
"There's an explosion of interest in Scientology," said Pat Harney, a Scientology spokeswoman. "We are only going where the interest is."
Scientology critics, former members and some Plant City residents aren't so sure. They insist Scientology is nothing more than a money-hungry, mind-controlling cult desperate to find recruits as membership declines. They say the purchase of buildings is a ruse, a publicity stunt designed to convey a sense of vibrancy.
"It's all about perception," said Rick Ross, a cult expert who has researched Scientology for years. "If you can't impress with new members, impress with new buildings."
Scientology leaders disagree with any assertion that they are struggling to find new members.
"There is no disputing that Scientology is growing," Harney said.
For proof, she said the church's new building boom is paid for entirely with member donations, a sign of a thriving membership.
A Scientology fact sheet notes that the Tampa church has 210 staff members, up from 40 in 2003.
For many people, their most memorable brush with Scientology came in June 2005 when "Today" show co-host Matt Lauer had a tense exchange with longtime member Tom Cruise. The actor was defending his earlier criticism of Brooke Shields for taking antidepressants, which Scientology forbids.
For younger people, their only knowledge of Scientology might have come from watching the episode of "South Park" in which one of the foul-mouthed characters was cast as a reincarnated Hubbard, lambasting Cruise and many of the church's most sacred and secret teachings.
But behind the flashes of celebrity intrigue is a highly secretive, cash-rich organization with its financial headquarters in Los Angeles and a retreat for its highest-level members in Clearwater.
The church makes money by charging members for classes, purification sauna therapies and counseling, called auditing. Scientology auditing can create a feeling of euphoria or relief, which can become addictive, said Steven Hassan and other cult experts.
Auditing can become expensive, as well, sometimes costing more than $500 an hour. Former members said it can cost more than $300,000 to achieve the top levels of Scientology.
At the highest levels, Scientologists are guaranteed fantastical powers, such as the ability to fly outside their bodies and move inanimate objects with their minds.
Scientologists dispute that auditing is a form of mind control and resent those who refer to the church as a cult.
"That's been debunked," Harney said. "Scientology wakes you up, and it's insulting when people use a discriminatory tone. Scientologists are some of the brightest, most intelligent people."
The church's wealth has remained a closely held secret since an early 1990s IRS decision declared it a religious organization, no longer required to make annual financial disclosures.
The church disclosed in 1993 - the last year it had to declare income for federal tax purposes - that it had $398 million in assets and took in $300 million a year. Scientology watchers, even the most skeptical, said the organization is thought to have billions of dollars in property and cash.
"From a financial standpoint, Scientology is not floundering or in any way broke," Ross said. "It remains quite solvent, very wealthy."
The church owns 36 properties in Pinellas County, with an assessed value of $63.8 million, and more than half are exempt from property taxes because they are used for religious purposes. The church owns five properties in Hillsborough County, valued at more than $3.3 million. All are tax-free. That doesn't count outreach missions, such as one that recently opened in Seminole Heights, which are often rented and run on donations.
Like many large companies, the Church of Scientology often negotiates secretly, sometimes creating a shell company with an assumed name to prevent the owner from inflating the price or the sale from causing a stir.
For instance, in California it bought the 500-acre Gilman Hot Springs resort in 1978 under the names the Scottish Highland Quietude Society and Western States Scientific Association. It bought its first buildings in Clearwater under an assumed name, which many thought to be an effort to dodge controversy.
The Church of Scientology has a history of buying old, run-down buildings, such as the Frenchman's Market building in Plant City, the old cigar factories it owns in West Tampa and its Life Improvement Center in Ybor City. Older buildings are generally cheaper to renovate than buying land and constructing facilities, said Matthew Pearse, Scientology's design director in Clearwater.
The church always pays cash and sometimes pays much more than the assessed value. Scientologists paid $620,000 to buy the 1910 building in Plant City, which has an assessed value of $362,000. The two-story building had been a bank and a Hooker's department store before becoming a flea market, called Frenchman's Market.
Scientologists generally restore the buildings to give them a feel of their historic glory days, while incorporating some of the area's past. The logo on the Plant City center includes strawberries and railroad tracks, to commemorate the town's long and storied connection to the railroad.
"It makes it their church," Pearse said.
Skeptics such as Arnaldo Lerma, a former member who published secret church texts on the Internet, said Scientology is moving into smaller towns where buildings are cheaper, community leaders are desperate to revitalize and scrutiny is generally mild. He said the church has aggressively recruited the poor, blacks and migrants, some who may not be familiar with the church's past.
"It's all about money," he said. "It's the last great con."
In Plant City, residents have met their new neighbors with a good dose of skepticism - or worse.
A few ministers see the presence of Scientology as no less than an assault on the faith and values of their community. Some church leaders have preached about the potential for spiritual warfare, with 33,000 souls at stake.
The Rev. David L. Martin, associate pastor of Evangelical Presbyterian Church, advised his parishioners to treat the Scientologists with "kindness, dignity and respect." But he warned members to watch out for Scientologists and their efforts to win converts.
Martin and other Plant City residents share a similar sentiment: They don't like that Scientologists are coming to town, but they acknowledge there's little they can do to stop them.
David Simmonds, an antiques shop owner and leader in the Historic Downtown Merchants Association, said there are concerns about Scientologists soliciting on the streets, which could annoy customers.
For now, Simmonds and others are waiting to see how their new neighbors will change life in Plant City. "Obviously, the Scientologists haven't opened yet," Simmonds said.
Harney, the church spokeswoman, said Scientologists have largely received a warm welcome from many in the Plant City area, including some church leaders. She said her organization has offered to join with other churches in charitable work.
Harney also contends that a Scientologist can be a Christian, too. Scientology merely provides the tools to improve spiritual exploration, she said.
"We are not trying to change your faith," she said. "We are trying to improve your spiritual awareness."
So is Scientology really growing? Church officials say it is.
The Church of Scientology, founded in December 1953, reports to have more than 10 million members worldwide and has claimed for decades to be the fastest-growing religion in the world. At a recent international meeting, the Church of Scientology of Tampa was recognized as its fastest-growing branch in the world.
Church leaders won't reveal specifics about membership in the Plant City area. Harney said community interest was strong at the Scientology booth at Plant City's Strawberry Festival.
Harney noted that about 1 percent of people in the region have bought Hubbard's self-help books, particularly "Dianetics."
Hubbard, who died in 1986, was a science-fiction writer who turned into a philosopher and self-improvement guru. In 1960, he published an instant best seller and what became a founding text in Scientology, a self-help book called "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health." The book criticized psychiatry while advocating Hubbard's own brand of therapy and treatments.
Skeptics and former members said that by noting book sales and anecdotal examples, church leaders are hiding the real truth about Scientology: Membership has declined sharply from its heyday 20 years ago.
Scientology's own publications - "Celebrity," "Source," "Advance" and others - show that the number of people seeking its services peaked in the mid-1980s and has steeply declined since then, said Kristi Wachter, a former Scientologist who lives in San Francisco and has become a vocal detractor of the church.
Critics and former members say there are fewer than 200,000 Scientologists worldwide. City University of New York's American Religious Identification Survey indicates there are 45,000 to 55,000 Scientologists in the United States.
In Canada, where census surveys ask for religious affiliation, just 1,525 reported being Scientologists. By comparison, about 20,000 people identified themselves as being Jedi, a fictitious mind-control faith that originated in "Star Wars" movies.
Ross and Lerma said the Church of Scientology is emptying its main offices and deploying its dwindling army to Life Improvement Centers as a new phase in its recruitment drive.
Scientologists said staff members from Tampa will operate the Plant City center, at least initially.
Harney said it's common for churches of all faiths to use existing staff to open outreach centers.
Jerry Lofstrom, who owns the Whistle Stop cafe, doubts Scientology will thrive in Plant City.
"They might penetrate the vulnerable," he said. "I don't think they've ever moved into a town like Plant City, steeped in faith and Christian ideals."
Les Scates, a retired U.S. Army helicopter pilot, agrees.
"Every person has a built-in desire for spiritual fulfillment," said Scates, 67. "Sometimes they look for it in the right place; sometimes they look for it in the wrong place."
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ITALIAN OT 8 SPEAKS OUT
Webbed at http://xenu.com-it.net/txt/ildikoe.htm
Please repost the story in your Websites.
Message ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
[SHOOTING DOWNTOWN...DAY 13 (the assault)]
I was late to the street today...but even after a brief nap i was strangely aware that something wasen't right. I chocked it up to not enough productive hours recently for the storyline. So in heading out i decided to take along a second cam in case i needed a alternate angle on the scene.
The streets were full and traffic was flowing...a lot of support from the public and scienos freely streaming in their white's all over the area...something was not right though.
No handeler's in sight....strange?
One semi-regular strolled across to starbucks and back for a brief chat then a phone call....he was not in the full on "discussion and sign blocking" mode he usually is, so he sat about 20 yards away.
I was well aware to be cautious as i am all alone out there....but forgot my mace today!
I noticed a weird guy headed from starbucks yelling something to me....and he was stating that i was a religous bigot and why don't i bother the nig---'s..or the jew's you piece of shit..(the whole rant). I raised the cam to get him seeing as he had stated he was a scieno and i was insulting him and making money off bashing his religion...yea as if...so he goes for my camera and won't let it go so i went limp with it and finally he released it....i held it back up and begin filming him again as he wails that i am "breaking the law and he will not tolerate me videoing him without his consent"..."read the law because you have no expectation of privacy on a public street"..i say.
Well he comes at me again as i back into a street pole and have no where to go....he pushes and grabs my face and camera so i put up bolth forearms and drive him back down to the street...he does not release me or my face and cam so we struggled back to our feet and swirled around till he was driven back into the glass front doors of the building behind us..(refer to the previous photos posted of the corner) thank god we did not break through it....i was able to struggle free and we seperated fully.
Several scienos ran up declaring that i assaulted him...it's a good thing it was all on the video as well as several ind. witnesses who really saw it all. The scienos coulden't get their stories straight...and lied right to the police and me to my face about what just happened,of course the video was there to tell it all anyhow so the guy was arrested and charged....right in front of a crowd of about 70-90 scienos who were crossing to go to chow and instead stayed gawking as they handcuffed the guy and led him away slowly (i hope to let it sink in) hehehe.
I kept up my filming and got all the reactions as well as the osa shill orchistrating it all from afar... I saw the whole while this "osa suit" across the street frantically on his cell....as i left to go to the police station i passed him and asked if he knew that guy was a scientologist?...just to get his goat...his reply was "Get the fuck out of here you fucking asshole"...twice in front of a patio of starbucks customers.
Nice job...footbullet again!
Wait till the whole story hits of how and why this poor "public" was the dirty jobber sent in to get me to jump....who will bail him out? He did leave all his stuff to a supposedly "unknown" fellow scieno standing near as he promised to get him bail.....police report #2006-16945 clw.p.d....i will recieve the origional video back as soon as possable and will get it out for all to see...i promise! Back tommorow?....this was sooo good how can i not...video and all for the next stage of their attack..
HEY OSA,YOU GUY'S READY TO GIVE UP YET....GIMME A CALL HEHEHEHEHE..
Here he is...anyone know him?
On July 10, 2006 Bay News 9 (Tampa Bay, Florida) reported:
He said, they said
Monday, July 10, 2006
A man filming a documentary outside the Church of Scientology in Clearwater says he was attacked by a man claiming to be a Scientologist.
But a Scientology spokeswoman says the photographer, Shawn Lonsdale, has been harassing their staff and members for weeks, and that the fight was not a church incident.
Lonsdale said his cameras have been pointed toward the Church of Scientology in Clearwater every day for two weeks.
"Basically, I'm filming a pseudo-documentary for one of our free-access Pinellas web channels," Lonsdale said.
Lonsdale's not hiding what he's doing. He posted a big sign near himthat reads "Cult Watch," which is the name of his documentary. Lonsdale says on Saturday, a man identifying himself as a Scientologist came out of a nearby coffee shop and started arguing with him.
"A strange guy comes running across the street with a cup of coffee in his hand yelling that I'm a religious bigot," Lonsdale said.
That man, 52-year old Michael Fitzgerald, was arrested after he and Lonsdale got into a fight about the filming.
"I picked up the camera again and started filming him," Lonsdale said. "He went right for my face and my head, backed me up into a pole to which I had no other choice but to defend myself."
The Church of Scientology won't say if Fitzgerald is a church member, saying the incident is a private matter, but it did provide a man, Drew Sweet, as a witness to the fight.
When a Bay News 9 reporter asked him for his view about who was at fault, Sweet answered, "That's hard to say. Obviously, you can film. It's your right to film, but the first swing was by Shawn."
But Clearwater police arrested Fitzgerald and charged him with battery. The police said they're not releasing the videotape or incident report because the case is still under investigation.
The church still believes Lonsdale is a threat, saying it is concerned for the safety of staff and parishioners.
Scientology spokesperson Pat Harney said in a written statement that Lonsdale has been stalking and harassing church members and staff and they've urged them to stay away from him.
Fitzgerald has posted bond and is out of jail.
On July 11, 2006 the St. Petersburg Times reported:
Scientologist arrested after altercation with filmmaker
The man took exception to being filmed as part of a documentary for a public-access TV station.
By JACOB H. FRIES
Published July 11, 2006
CLEARWATER - A longtime member of the Church of Scientology was arrested Saturday after he scuffled with an amateur filmmaker who was videotaping on a downtown sidewalk next to a sign reading "Cult Watch," police and a witness said.
Michael Fitzgerald, 52, a self-employed carpenter, was booked into the Pinellas County Jail on a misdemeanor battery charge and released after posting $250 bail.
Fitzgerald said Monday his attorney had instructed him not to comment on the case. He added, however, that he had obtained a videotape of the incident and promised to "give the whole story" at a future date.
On Saturday at 5:30 p.m., Shawn Lonsdale, 38, of Clearwater was filming at the northwest corner of N Fort Harrison Avenue and Cleveland Street, as he had done for the past two weeks. Lonsdale says he is making a documentary about Scientology for a public-access cable station.
This is how the confrontation unfolded, according to Lonsdale: Fitzgerald walked out of the Starbucks and crossed the street toward him, shouting that he was a bigot and shouldn't target Scientologists.
Lonsdale raised his handheld camera and began to film Fitzgerald, who objected to being videotaped and grabbed the camera.
Both men went to the pavement, where Lonsdale told Fitzgerald to release the camera. When Fitzgerald complied, Lonsdale filmed him again.
Fitzgerald lunged for the camera a second time, pushing it into Lonsdale's face, and a brief scuffle ensued until they were separated.
A police officer who was called to the scene looked at Lonsdale's tape and interviewed the men and other witnesses before deciding to arrest Fitzgerald, police spokesman Wayne Shelor said.
Fitzgerald "did not want victim videotaping him in public ... confronted victim and grabbed victim and camera," an arrest report states.
One witness, Drew Sweet, 50, a Scientologist, provided an account similar to Lonsdale's. However, in Sweet's telling, Lonsdale hit Fitzgerald when Fitzgerald grabbed the camera the second time.
Church spokeswoman Pat Harney said members have been cautioned to avoid Lonsdale, adding that many have complained to police that he was stalking them. She said the church had a video of the incident, which it had given to police.
On July 11, 2006 "Fred Durks" posted:
I just made a webpage for Proflex/Girvin and the assault on him by a Scientologist. I used the info from the Bay9 story, the story on Lermanet, some info from OCMB, Proflex's story from that day and the YTMND that was made.
I just submitted the link to Digg.com. If you don't know how Digg.com works, basically, people submit links to stories or videos on the Internet. Then, people either click digg or bury the story. The more Diggs it gets, the higher the link goes on the site and the more people view the link. Top stories/links get like 50,000 views or more. Digg the story (it's titled "Scientologist assaults peaceful protester" -
Spread the word on this assault!
"Girvin" a/k/a proflex a/k/a Shawn Lonsdale posted accounts of filming everyday in Clearwater:
[Daily postings of filming can be located in Google Groups by author: Girvin titled, "Shooting Downtown...Days 1..."]
[Also reformatted under titles, " The Girvin diaries reformatted - Day 1..." by author: banchukita]
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An astute supporter of Lermanet.com acquired a rare copy of Volney Mathison's book at a rather dear price...I am pleased to accept this donation to the cause of Exposing the CON!
Readers will find the real reason that Hubbard went to war with Volney Mathison. Mr. Mathison denounced Hubbard as a fraud and a Hypnotist!! and this was in 1954!! IN his book "Creative Image Therapy"
THE BODY IS THE INSTRUMENT OF THE PSYCHE
One peculiar situation sometimes is encountered in cases where creative image therapy is introduced to a patient who, unfortunately, has read books on the subject of psychoanalysis or psychiatry. Often such a patient will wanly inform you that he's sorry, but he can't visualize or create mental images to save his life. Not a one. It may be suspected that this type of patient is trying, in his aberrated way, to impress upon you the awful state of his case. He's bad off, so far gone he can't even visualize. He's putting you on notice--unless you are a super-therapist, you'll never be able to aid him. If you happen to get angry at the fellow, you might as well quit at once. But if you are just amused, you can agree with him. Inform him it's common, you have had such cases. Then with assurance and positiveness, try this: "In this situation there is a useful substitute. Merely imagine that you can see mental images. There's no question about it--you can't see them. But anybody unless dead or unconscious, can imagine or have an idea of what it would be like if he could create mental images." This sometimes works!
But herewith a more practical and effective procedure. Develop good understanding and rapport between yourself and your patient. Then execute the psychological maneuver illustrated in the following example.
The patient in this case was the wife of a foreign ambassador, an attractive but self-conscious woman who suffered from acute feelings of inferiority in the brilliant gatherings that she had to attend. She came to me by way of an official of our New York exporting firm, who previously had given her for reading one of my earlier manuals that dealt to some extent with mental-imaging, exercises. Then she had attended some "Scientology" group, where she found there was quite a to-do about 'mocking up", i.e., creating, various arbitrary systems of mental images. Listening meekly to the fictitiously self-assured gabble of this group about the extensiveness of their "mock-ups", she became convinced that in this circle, too, she was hopelessly inferior. Try as she would, she declared, she couldn't create mock-ups" or mental images. She hadn't even the slightest idea, she said, what such an experience would be like.
At this point, nearing the end of this book, the writer reluctantly presents a negative warning. There is extant a pseudo-scientific system of something or other wherein the patient is required to create and duplicate arbitrary systems of mental images that are autocratically selected for him by the operator. Worse still, the patient is forced monotonously to perform interminably-duplicated trivial physical motions, such as touching a certain exact spot on the table, over and over and over, sometimes for hours.
Bluntly, this is a powerful and effective technique for covertly inducing hypnosis. By the duplicated command the subject is caused endlessly to duplicate mental image patterns wherein he is OBEYING the operator, explicitly, time after time after time. The subject is sooner or later reduced to such a zombie-like state that he will thereafter obey the operator's every other covert or indirect command. These covert and indirect commands are presented to the subject in the form of take-it-or-leave-it "suggestions"--to buy every book, take every expensive "course", attend every convention or conference staged by the operator. The victim at long last finds himself penniless, in debt, and much more ill and troubled than ever before.
The seizure of the intense attention of an intended victim by monotonously duplicated little acts is the technique of the rattlesnake as he fascinates a bird. The snake sways back and forth, holding the victim's gaze, causing it to look from side to side, keeping its attention captive by this duplicative technique of fascination. A "fatigue point" eventually is reached. The snake's prey is thereby immobilized, psychically and physically--and devoured.
Unexpected diversionary situations also occur. The writer, determined as usual to "find out the facts", once made an appointment with a local female "graduate" of this touch-this-touch-that-as-I-comrnand-you school, and presented himself as a patient. The lady operator was incredibly attired--or rather unattired, for she had very little on-- and before long it became exceedingly obvious that she was not so much interested in having the "patient" touch a dirty spot on a chair or fondle a door knob as she was in having him touch things on her. This game, which has "playing postoffice" beat four ways from Sunday, could speedily lead into interesting but compromising goings-an. Further checking disclosed that at the "training center" of this concern, the mixed company of students, outside of formal school hours, might be suspected of engaging extensively in this and other equally bizarre "techniques".
Sex is nice--but the sexual embrace ought to be frank and whole-hearted, and not a corollary of some psychic-drugging procedure. Really, the sex phases of such a system are of no particular significance. What IS important is that the basic motive is to take the victim to the cleaners for every dollar he has or can beg, steal, or borrow. And it's incredible how much money the hypnotized disciples of a clever and ruthless operator will plead and beg of him to accept from them.
Don't be tricked by any faker, whether he claims to be holy, "illuminated", or "scientific". There are charlatans who promise--even through the U. S. mails, so stupidly reckless are they--to heal or transform you for large sums of money--some by esoteric "teachings", others by their mere presence or by their invoking some mysterious Power. The Power they claim to invoke is genuine--but it functions only within each of us. It was, is, and probably always will be here, unlimited.
The faker who hypnotizes you out of your money is not himself a sane, whole, and happy man--he is usually operating, puppet-like, on some deep, uncleared set of subconscious image patterns as brutal as those of some stray killer shark.
The power to create and to re-create is within each of us. It is not to be brought in through the door or the window by the wave of any man's hand, no matter how good or saintly a man he may in some cases actually be.
Creative Image Therapy
by Volney G Mathison
(c) 1954 by Matheson Electropsychometers International
THE MOST CRUEL FRAUD
The most cruel fraud ever perpetrated upon a nervous, distressed, unhappy or sick human being is to say to him or to her, in effect,--- the cure for all this is more 'positive thinking.' This advice, BY ITSELF, is ruthlessly brutal. No troubled person ever wilfully and deliberately thinks "negatively." He does so solely and only because ---subconsciously---HE MUSTI Often when the sick or Troubled person is exhorted to "think positively," he tries---and fails. And failure creates in him greater despair, more severe illness than before. The troubled one, nowadays, reads and hears about "positive thinking" on every hand. Others claim to achieve miraculous results ---but he cannot---so now he feels that HIS case must be hopeless. So this is the cruelest fraud---to be exhorted to "think positively," without being taught precisely HOW TO DO IT! To teach just this---precisely HOW TO BECOME ABLE to "think positively" is the goal and purpose of Creative Image Therapy.
---Volney G. Mathison
from the index page of
Creative Image Therapy
by Volney G Mathison
(c) 1954 by Matheson Electropsychometers International
Lermanet.com Exposing the CON
[On 2%'ers by Volney Mathieson - by The inventor of the original E-meter - 1954]
Sometimes, of course, there IS a single massive major event at the bottom of all the trouble. The more common types involve concussive blows, serious physical illnesses or injuries, or the like. A hazarded guess is that about 10% of the cases that arrive in therapy rest upon a single deeply-buried massive event, and about 10% rest on the cumulative effect of a long-duplicated series of events of a consistent negative pattern.
And what about the remaining 2%?
These are the cases which under the most extensive Electropsychometric assessment do not disclose any single major injurious past event, or any duplicated pattern of minor negative tendencies. These are the kind of cases that are sometimes used to bolster the mystical theories of reincarnation, and of more or less conscious awareness of experiences of past lives. This special type of case will be dealt with in some detail farther on.
With reference to the application of creative image therapy to physical disease, be sure, firstly, that the condition has been accurately diagnosed, and be certain, secondly, that you have as complete and "see-able" information as possible as to how the effected structure will appear when you have returned it to a state of perfect health.
When you know accurately what structure is involved, and how it is, has been, or may become deteriorated, then issue direct mental-verbal commands to your own subconscious:
"GO IN THERE AND REPAIR THAT STRUCTURE! MAKE THAT PLACE PERFECT: HEAL IT: REPAIR IT: MAKE IT PERFECT:"
The root origins of these words are: Repair--to "re-father", i.e., to RECREATE. Heal--to make whole. To make perfect--"to do all the way through"'.
There is no magic in the words themselves, but, by mentally saying them to one's self, one creates the psychic image of the healed and perfect structure, according to one's physiological data.
from Page 44-45 of
Creative Image Therapy
by Volney G Mathison
(c) 1954 by Matheson Electropsychometers International
Lermanet.com Exposing the CON
"Roger Gonnet" wrote:
This is indeed exactly the most important scientology method to induce false memories/ i.e. "past life incidents, Body Thetans, or whatever. The worse process where that's practiced is Op Pro By Dup, which can be practriced during as much as 50 hours.
Op Pro By Dup includes only 15 very simple commands like "What is its color", always the same commands in the same sequence, with not the least variant. It creates not only a full hypnosis but puts the person under hypotic control of scientologist auditor , the scientologist auditor 'becoming the same' as the whole cult, thus putting the person under hypnotic control of the cult.
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On July 14, 2006 "David Touretzky" posted:
For the background on these scamming cultists, look here:
And now, for today's good news:
AUGUSTA, Maine -- The Maine Attorney General's Office has filed a lawsuit against a controversial Kittery-based nonprofit group.
The Gentle Wind Project designs and sells what it calls "healing instruments" that it said solve a variety of physical and emotional ailments.
Others said the group is a scam.
The attorney general's office accused the group of falsely claiming that their products had healing qualities and of considering the income from their sale as charitable donations rather than sales proceeds.
Prosecutors want the Gentle Wind Project to liquidate its assets, pay the state's legal fees and refund anyone who bought items between 2000 and the present.
These morons actually sued Rick Ross for daring to help expose them. They are *still* suing Jim Bergin and Judy Garvey. But I bet today's action by the Maine attorney general's office puts a real crimp in their shorts.
Now if we can just interest the AG in a "free stress test"...
No wonder Scientology (and other cult groups) hate the Internet.
-- Dave Touretzky: "Holy healing hockey pucks, Elron!"
[Gentle Wind Suit: implications for Scientology?]
One of the charges the Maine Attorney General has brought against the Gentle Wind Project (the folks who brought you the Holy Healing Hockey-Puck designed by space aliens) is that the group falsely designated money from the sale of their devices as "charitable donations" rather than sales proceeds.
Full story here: http://www.wmtw.com/news/9516341/detail.html
If this is upheld, what are the implications for Scientology?
Should sales of Scientology books, tapes, courses, and auditing services be similarly reported as state taxable income in Maine?
Are there any Scientologists in Maine?
"Arnaldo Lerma" posted:
[The Wording of the Article or Device Court Order to Scientology]
MR. FLYNN: No.
What I'd like to do at this point, quickly -- this is very vital to Mr. McKee's testimony and to everything else in this case. If we could put on the -- I mentioned at the outset in my opening the decree in the case of the United States v. Article or Device. The case, as I said, came down in
1971, and judgment was entered in 1972. At that time, after the Scientologists had lost two jury trials, with regard to, basically, all the issues we've talked about here - the medical issues - the court required if-we could go down to number three. The court issued the following order, which is still in effect and has always been in effect since 1972, and it says: "Any and all items of written, printed, or graphic matter'which directly or indirectly refers to the E-Meter or to Dianetics and/or Scientology and/or auditing or processing shall not be further used or distributed unless and until the items shall bear the following. prominent printed warning permanently affixed to said item on the outside front cover or on the title page in letters no smaller"
MRS. GARVEY: No. That's the wrong one.
MR. HATCHETT: That's the wrong one.
MR. FLYNN: -- "than eleven-point type than eleven-point leaded type."
Just bring it down -- the other way. I've just read from number three: "Any and all items of written." And then there's the warning, which is supposed to be in eleven-point leaded type on the cover page or on
the title page: "The device known as the Hubbard Electrometer or E-Meter used in auditing, a process of Scientology and Dianetics, is not.medically or scientifically useful for the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of any disease. It is not medically or scientifically capable of improving the health or bodily functions of anyone." That's what the court ordered in 1972.And within the last forty-eight hours, we have purchased a couple of publications from, the Fort Harrison Hotel, which have already been entered into evidence, and of them is the book, Dianetics. And nowhere in that book does that warning appear. There is a little -- "To the reader," which you can barely read, which discusses Dianetics as some type of a religious philosophy. And, also, the book, All About Radiation, by a Nuclear Physicist and a Medical Doctor -- also, the warning is not affixed in that publication. So, I will put the judgment into evidence.
MR. LeCHER: Would you say they are in violation of the court orders?
MR. FLYNN: That's correct.
MR. LeCHER: The '72 court order?
MR. FLYN14: That's correct.
MR. LeCHER: Within the State of Florida, the city, or the county, who shouldbe made aware of that information, what agency?
MR. FLYNN: Mayor, it could range from the Secretary of State, dealing with the Charitable Corporations Division, the State's Attorney General, the Pinellas County State's Attorney General, the Pinellas County Consumer Protection Department, and if there was a Consumer Protection Department in the City of Clearwater, they could enforce it, also.
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Awakening to Scientology
The Providence Journal, USA
July 11, 2006
Gregory K. Fritz
From my practice as a child and adolescent psychiatrist in Rhode Island, my position as medical director of a children's psychiatric hospital serving southern New England, and my professional travels around America, I am impressed by the intense and widespread concern that too many children lack access to mental-health services. So many parents, educators, pediatricians, and overwhelmed mental-health professionals are vigorously advocating improved access to such services that I've assumed there's general recognition of the problem. Our challenge is to come up with creative strategies to solve it.
There is one group, however, that thinks otherwise, and I'm realizing that it is a force to be reckoned with: the Church of Scientology.
Over the years I've periodically heard of Scientology, but never given it much thought. Frankly, I put Scientology in the same category as creationism: illogical belief systems that contradict science on the basis of dogma.
My approach has been "Live and let live." I've always thought there were better things to do with my time than get into futile debates about either creationism or Scientology. Call me naive, but I never thought the Church of Scientology had enough substance to be taken seriously.
That has changed over recent months, as I've seen how effective the Scientologists have been regarding the U.S. Food and Drug Administration hearings that resulted in "black-box" warnings on the safety for young people of selective-serotonin-reuptake-inhibitor (SSRI) medications. And the Scientologists have almost achieved the same warning for stimulant medications.
Good organization, targeted lobbying, well-crafted messages, incisive use of celebrity testimony, and careful placement of "consumers" from Scientology front organizations -- together, these overshadowed a total lack of evidence and the distortion of science.
I am therefore now making it my mission to learn about Scientology in some detail.
My newfound respect for the effectiveness of Scientology does not go so far as to include its fundamental tenets. L. Ron Hubbard, who in the 1950s founded the Church of Scientology, was a science-fiction writer, and it shows. As described on the Wikipedia Web site (based on information from disaffected members), Scientology believes in extraterrestrial civilizations and alien interventions in earthly events.
For example, Hubbard wrote that 75 million years ago "Xenu," an alien ruler of the "Galactic Confederacy," brought billions of people to Earth and blew them up with hydrogen bombs in volcanoes. It's hard to take this seriously, which is probably why Scientology goes to great lengths to keep it secret.
Yet even if the Church of Scientology's theology is shaky, its secular activities are thriving. A worldwide network of businesses, educational enterprises, consulting firms, and political-action groups operate to advance Scientology's aims. And the discreditation of psychology and psychiatry is a high priority for the Church of Scientology. The Citizen's Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) was formed in 1969 (after Hubbard's "Dianetics" was rejected as a mental-health treatment) for exactly this purpose.
Through the CCHR and subsidiaries, Scientology has made wild claims about the extent of mental-health professionals' abusing patients, about psychiatry's being at the root of the Holocaust, and so on.
And the CCHR has had remarkable political success. In 1986 it got its anti-mental-health, anti-psychotropic-medication manifesto included -- almost verbatim -- in a widely circulated United Nations document. This spring, the Arizona Senate passed a bill, drafted by the CCHR, mandating that an additional consent form be presented to subjects considering participation in psychiatric research. This form denigrates psychiatric treatment and differentiates "real diseases" from mental illness.
The Florida House recently rejected a similar CCHR bill, which would have mandated that an ominous-sounding statement on the dangers of psychoactive drugs be presented to parents before a school referral for mental-health evaluation. Although the bill was defeated, the movement is gaining momentum across the country.
Freedom of speech is one of the foundations of our democracy, and making one's case as persuasively as possible to lawmakers (i.e., lobbying) is everyone's right. I certainly would not want to limit Scientologists even one bit in this regard. Yet Tom Cruise, Kirstie Alley, and John Travolta, for example, though well-known personalities, are far from experts on best practices in psychiatry or recent developments in neuroscience.
As I've learned more about Scientology, I've become convinced that mental-health professionals need to provide an organized counterbalance to Scientology's half-truths and scare tactics. A dismissive approach, as mine used to be, won't make it against a force as sophisticated, well-financed, and committed as the Church of Scientology. We ignore it at our peril.
Gregory K. Fritz, M.D., an occasional contributor, is editor of The Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter, a Brown professor of psychiatry, medical director of Bradley Hospital, and director of child and family psychiatry at Hasbro Children's Hospital.
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This picket took place in St. Louis, MO, on Sat. July 8 at about 4pm.
This was originally posted on Clambake.
Alright, so machwon, messenger, and I headed out to St. Louis on Fri. for a Saturday picket. We arrived at the org at about 4 pm. Not a lot of foot traffic, but good honk support. We had two handlers that were actually quite nice (one offered us bottles of water). One claimed that the Lisa McPherson autopsy pics weren't of Lisa, they were of someone else. They also claimed that the judge and coroner had an anti-Scientology agenda (is this a common Scientology reply to the Lisa tragedy?). Whatever. They also said Xenu didn't exist (although the guy that told us this was still on grades, so he really wouldn't know). It was pretty productive, and we all had a great time. We looked around the shops in the Delmar Loop a bit (I met an awesome hippie!), ate dinner, and went to go see the arch. The arch is kind of like a Vegas hooker...it looks pretty impressive from far away, but it's not so pretty up close.
That's all, kiddos! Viva la picket!
I'll be home tomorrow to upload the pictures, but until then I'll fill you in on some details:
Or handlers, Ronnie and Forgot-his-name, approached us roughly about 20 min after we arrived and asked "What's with all this antagonism?" We talked and told him why we were out there. He quickly pointed out the Lisa side of my sign was misleading and all based on lies.
I asked him if it was true that Scientology is compatible with all religions, he said it was. Then i asked about reincarnation and why they say later on Jesus was an implant. "That isn't true." Seriously, they either must not of been that far up the bridge, or lying. In one case, Ronnie, was not clear after being in the church for 11 years.
Shortly after our handlers arrived a man, who we'll call billy-jim-joe-bob because he wished not to have his picture or his name disclosed came to talk to us and thank us. BJJB was interested to talking to our handlers and did a GREAT job of handling them back. He was amazing, he was well educated and well-spoken. After half an hour or so both handlers left, the entheta must have been too much for them. We pretty much let BJJB do most of the talking because he already taken care of one in a matter of 10 mins or so. We added our 2 cents when we felt necessary and soon after he was gone.
We all learned a lot from BJJB for our next set of handlers which i hope we get again very soon. This by far my favorite picket. I loved the kids who wanted a video of us singing happy birthday to their 21 year old friend. We and and the Scientologists inside refused to sing for them and just gave a thumbs up and a "Happy Birthday from your friends at the Church of Scientology" I guess it must be pretty low on the tone scale to sing now-a-days.
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Airwaves Again Safe for "South Park" Scientology Spoof
by Gina Serpe
Jul 12, 2006, 6:55 AM PT
Comedy Central is finally respecting Cartman's authoritay.
One week after South Park's controversial "Trapped in the Closet" episode garnered an Emmy nomination, and nearly four months after it was abruptly pulled from rotation on the cable net, Comedy Central has finally acquiesced and will allow the Scientology-skewering episode back on the air.
And clearly not a moment too soon.
"If they hadn't put this episode back on the air, we'd have had serious issues, and we wouldn't be doing anything else with them," cocreator Matt Stone tells Variety.
The episode reportedly ruffled some high-powered feathers upon its first airing. In addition to an accurate, if cartoon-depicted, primer on Scientology, the show featured a literally closeted Tom Cruise who refuses to come out, only to be joined in his hiding by fellow Scientologist John Travolta and R&B man R. Kelly, whose operatic ballad provided the show's title.
While Comedy Central failed to publicly disclose its reasons for yanking the program (which is also credited for leading Scientologist Isaac Hayes to jump ship as the longtime voice of Chef), creators Stone and Trey Parker didn't shy away from broadcasting what they claimed was the network-sanctioned reason.
As the conspiracy theory goes, the Cruise's camp had a hand in deep-sixing the episode, with the litigious actor reportedly threatening to pull out of promotional duties for Mission: Impossible III. (Viacom is the parent company for both Comedy Central and Paramount, the studio that was releasing Cruise's film.)
Cruise's reps vehemently denied such allegations, but the South Park brain trust stuck by its guns.
"I only know what we were told, that people involved with M:I:III wanted the episode off the air and that is why Comedy Central had to do it," Stone says in Variety. "I don't know why else it would have been pulled."
Now, Cruise's saturation-level publicity tour is over (and proved fairly ineffective, with the sequel grossing a disappointing $133 million domestically) and he is apparently in hiding with his new baby.
As it is, Comedy Central's decision to reintroduce the episode to its rerun schedule seems as arbitrary an action as yanking it in the first place. But the move is putting the network back into the good graces of Stone and Parker, who have said that their relationship with the network has been tenuous since the spring.
"It's true we are not as big as Tom Cruise, but we've done two movies for Viacom and 10 years of South Park episodes, and this has been our home," Stone tells Variety.
Stone explains that the episode's removal was nearly the final straw for the duo, who had been censored by the network on three separate occasions.
"We've been through a trifecta of annoyances," Stone says. "The 'Bloody Mary' episode angered Catholics. And we had a big fight when we wanted to show Muhammad."
Last year, the network declined to rerun the "Bloody Mary" episode after the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights attacked Parker and Stone and protested the program that featured a menstruating statue of the Virgin Mary.
In April, Comedy Central intervened on another episode before another religious group could take umbrage.
"Cartoon Wars," an episode dealing with the worldwide violence ensuing from a Danish newspaper's publication of cartoons depicting the Islamic prophet, was broadcast with a title card reading "Comedy Central has refused to broadcast an image of Mohammed on their network."
At the time, the network defended the decision to censor the show to ward off the possibility of violent reactions.
"The mantra has always been everything is fair game," Stone tells Variety. "I love [network president] Doug Herzog, but I think he's dead wrong and made a totally cowardly decision."
South Park's "Trapped in the Closet" returns to Comedy Central's airwaves July 19.
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The article starts out like this...
"The structure that sits at the corner of Main and Virginia Streets in Buffalo is a showstopper. With terra cotta columns at its base, striking, triple-rounded windows as its centerpiece, and intricately crafted cornices on top, the building is a knockout - a runaway restoration success story."
It goes on to say...
"It's also the local headquarters of the Church of Scientology, a religion that believes humans need to overcome the spiritual obstacles set 75 million years ago by an evil alien named Xenu. Facing an angry, overpopulated Galactic Confederacy, Xenu kidnapped billions of his own people and shipped them off to Earth (then called Teegeeack). Then he tied them all to a bunch of volcanoes and blew them up with hydrogen bombs. And that's not all: after the carnage, Xenu implanted the souls of the recently deceased (which are called thetans) with false beliefs, like Roman Catholicism and clinical psychiatry."
"Scientologists believe that these same thetans are clinging to the souls of everybody that drives past the building at 836 Main Street, clouding our thoughts, and keeping us from true enlightenment. That's why they position the building as a beacon, flooding it with light at all hours of the night, crying out to the emotionally crippled, gullible outcasts of our city before convincing them to shell out $16.95 for a copy of Dianetics."
Later... and this is quite interesting... I hadn't put this idea together, but it fits...
"Built in the late nineteenth century by architect Georg Metzger for the Buffalo Catholic Institute, the building housed one of our nation's first Catholic Libraries. The Church of Scientology Buffalo's website refers to it as the 'Buffalo Public Library', because they understand that the Catholic Institute was the work of Xenu."
Joe Sweeney goes on to talk about when the new building was opened and how the then-mayor of Buffalo, Anthony Masiello, was in a pickle on whether to support the restoration of one of the city's historic landmarks or turn the other cheek at Xenu?
You can find the complete article in the July/August issue of The Buffalo Spree, page 103. The article is titled, "Something Old, Something Xenu: The Church of Scientology Buffalo" - by Joe Sweeney.
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On July 10, 2006 "Peter Golembe" posted a link from youtube.com:
["Say No To Scientology"]
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"Out of the Dark" posted:
2006 America's Deputy Idol tells 'People' TV how her 'Celebrity Center member' boyfriend lured her, got her to sweat 4 days a week for 3 weeks on the purif and then dumped her when she realized that this Scientology stuff was not for her.
I guess he was using the old 2D flows trick just to get that commission.
'Kat's Scientology Boyfriend' very funny. Vey obvious public disavowal. Good for her!
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On July 11, 2006 "Howard" posted pictures and narrative of a CCHR exhibit in Glasgow, Scotland:
George Square is the centre of Glasgow. The webcam gives a picture of the West side of the square. The furthest leftmost statue is of James Watt and it's there that the CCHR assembled.
Picture: 11:16 No discernable activity
Picture: 11:46 White van has arrived - signs of activity
Picture: 11:55 Further small group arrives and two policemen
Picture: 12:00 Hard to tell, but probably no more than two dozen or so here at this point
Picture: 12:30 Numbers have grown, perhaps some forty or so now?
Picture: 12:52 Further Constabulary arrive. The qroup has grown a little in the last 20 minutes
Picture: 12:55 People are now being marshalled into a 3 or 4 wide column, flanked by police.
Picture: 13:00 Just beginning to move off out of picture.
Picture: 13:03 Almost gone.
Picture: 13:04 All gone.
I wonder how CCHR will publicize this.
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On July 12, 2006 "Melinda Smith" posted:
Ty Tabor must be poking fun at Scientology.
You can hear songs from the album here.
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On July 12, 2006 "Mark Bunker posted:
[Very funny radio clip from Kevin and Bean]
A friend sent me a note that Kevin and Bean were talking about Scientology today and they mentioned XENU TV. Well, I had to listen and am I glad I did. This is a very amusing clip which deals with the "Scientology is gay" t-shirt.
Copy that link to your browser and it should play fine on Windows Media Player or go to my website for the mp3:
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On July 14, 2006 "Kelli Ayed" posted a link to MSNBC:
MSN video on Southpark and Tom Cruise, Rick Ross speaks
Message ID: 6d875$44b74246$4088d80a$1700@EVERESTKC.NET
On July 15, 2006 "Grace Aaron" posted:
My name is Grace Aaron. My husband, Ken, and I were both declared suppressive by the Church of Scientology in the spring of 2000. Our son, Zachary, was pressured to disconnect from me, his mother, Ken, his father, and Johnny, his brother. We have had only minimal communication with him since that time.
We have filmed several interviews with other victims of the Scientology practise of disconnection. We recently added two new interviews. Aida Thomas, who trained in Scientology to the very high status of Class 8 Auditor, is the guest on both shows. These videos can be accessed at:
If you get the chance to watch any of the videos or view the website, let us know what you think of them. Also, let me know if you have any trouble with the site or with viewing any of the videos.
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A.r.s. Week in Review is compiled by anonymous critics of CoS for your benefit. This collection is organised for WWW by Andreas Heldal-Lund.