Friday 10/2

Ok, only have time for some quick hit conversation starters –

Be wary of people who seem to have all the answers. Chances are, they are orchestrating the conversation

Be wary of people who want to control you. Chances are, there is a hidden agenda

Be wary of people who seek out power. Chances are, they haven’t earned it

Be wary of the shadows. Chances are, there is trouble lurking

Be wary of those with hidden agendas. Chances are, they do not mirror you goals.

Have a great weekend all!

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For whom the bell tolls…

Today, I’d like to spend just a moment to remind everyone of what is on the horizon. There has been a lot of activity on social media, in the courtroom, and local government.

First, was the City Counsel of Clearwater voting unanimously to buy the parcel of land from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. It was significant in that Co$ wanted the land, and was willing to pay 3X the price that CMA accepted from the city. While hard to determine if this parcel was an essential part of the “Imagine Clearwater” revitalization plan, it is important to note that most attendees and the counsel were in favor of the purchase even after pressure from Co$. The Pinellas County Commissioners also ignored Co$’ efforts to disrupt expansion funding for the aquarium, despite last minute black PR campaign from Co$. Unfortunately, I don’t think we have heard the last of their efforts to thwart the city or aquarium in retaking Clearwater.

Next up is their “treatment” centers. If you recall, as a result of a 911 call in Cannon County, Tennessee, police “rescued” two “patients”. One was kept in small, relatively unfinished cabin, the other in a padlocked room. The two “caretakers” pleaded guilty to 2 counts of unlawful imprisonment, and the owner charged with 2 felony counts of facilitation to kidnapping. The judge ordered all facilities in Cannon County be closed.  And, just yesterday there was another pre-trial settlement for Narconon Arrowhead, bringing closure to 2 of the 3 “mysterious” deaths at the facility. It will be intriguing to see if the final case makes it to trial, and what information will be disclosed about Narconon.

There is also the Garcia’s fraud case hanging over Co$. While the judge decided to use the “church’s” arbitration process, most recently he ordered Co$ to turn over a list of 500 members “in good standing”. The judge received the list, but void of any contact information. As a result, he ordered Co$ to turn over the list with contact information so that he can choose the 3 arbiters. That list was due by May 11th. While it might be an uphill battle to get 3 current members to side w/ the Garcia’s, it is important to see how this one judge has interacted with both parties.

We have also been receiving information from a 2009-10 FBI investigation on Co$. Although they previously have denied that the investigation ever took place, a FOIA request has produced 300+ pages from the FBI. While the investigation appears to have been abandoned in May 2010, there should be a significant amount of information to comb over in the coming weeks and months.

There are also a few other “cases” that may either directly impact Co$ or certainly shine poorly on them such as, the Masterson sexual assault allegations, Laura DeCrescenzo’s forced abortion case, and hopefully more information regarding Cat White’s death. I’m sure there are others, but those were at the top of my head.

So, let’s get to the really “good” stuff. I think everyone is very excited for “Scientology and the Aftermath” Season 2 to kick off. Around the same time, Co$ will begin “broadcasting” from SuMP on Spectrum. Hmmm, competing channels and shows…the ratings war should be interesting. Leah and Mike’s show appears to have been perfectly timed as Going Clear and My Scientology Movie whetted the public’s appetite for the subject. I’d like to see Season 2 share the stories from 2nd and 3rd generation ex-members, where they were born into it, or indoctrinated at a very early age. It will also be very interesting to see if the “guests” experience the same type of “smear site” campaign as the first season participants.

And then we have Anonymous. You may not know who they are, but you surely have heard of them. Seems they have had a renewed interest in exposing Co$. As of today, significant protesting is scheduled for June 24-25th in the UK and LA. I think there will be more protests around the globe on those dates as well. I think we can all expect additional protests in the following months. My sense that they are putting significant resources and effort into #OpScientology. I will be sure to share any additional information, on protests, that I receive.

I’m sure there are additional efforts in the works that I’m either forgetting, or are still not widely known. Safe to say, there is a focus on Co$ from many different angles. They need to be careful in how they handle responding to this attention. With more eyes on this organization every day, will they continue to respond by attacking? Is the bell set to toll on Co$? Only time will tell, but the forecast is not looking sunny for them.

Disturbance at the Heron house…

“They’re going wild” the call came in
At early morning predawn then
The followers of chaos out of control
They’re numbering the monkeys

The monkeys and the monkeys 
The followers of chaos out of control
“They’re meeting at the monument”
The call came in the monument
To liberty and honor under the honor roll
“They’ve gathered up the cages the cages and courageous”
The followers of chaos out of control
The call came in to Party Central
“Meeting of the green and simple”
Try to tell us something we don’t know“Disturbance at the Heron House”
A stampede at the monument
To liberty and honor under the honor roll
The gathering of grunts and greens
Cogs and grunts and hirelings
A meeting of a mean idea to hold
“When feeding time has come and gone
They’ll lose the heart and head for home
Try to tell us something we don’t know”
Everyone allowed, everyone allowed
– Peter Buck, Bill Berry, Mike Mills, Michael Stipe
So, what can we learn from this R.E.M. hit? It’s a warning to the powers-that-be, the underlings (grunts, greens, cogs, hirelings) can be rallied to organize, but don’t expect them to click-step to your directives. You may find that once you take your eye off them, they have a very different “mean idea to hold”. You can only hold their attention for so long, if under false pretenses, until their own needs to be met.
You can claim the rally-cry is for nationalism, party, human rights, etc but if your motives are nefarious or self-serving, those you consider “underlings” will soon grow weary of you. As a result, your power will wane. You do not rule/lead simply “because”, you are allowed to rule only so long as the underlings are either apathetic, believe you are honorable, or trustworthy. When the façade of our heroes & leaders are shattered, there is no more trust, admiration, adherence, or influence. You can no longer cast your spell on the masses. You no longer hold the key to the kingdom, and you cannot expect to lead without being challenged.
For the followers, it can either be absolute freedom or absolute chaos. In the vacuum created when leaders are discarded, they must be wary of replacing one despot with another, falling into complacency, or feeding a thirst for power. True leaders will emerge organically.
Steer clear of those who seek or claim power. True power is not assumed it is given. It should not be built on the backs of others, or rely on secrets, lies, or misdirection.

Then they came for me…

“First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out because I was not a communist.

Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the labor leaders, but I did not speak out because I was not a unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.

As one day became another and others disappeared, gypsies, mentally retarded, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, criminals, anti-socials and emigrants, I remained silent because I was not one of them.

Then it was they came for me, but no one spoke for me because by then there was no one left to speak.”      Martin Niemoller,1945

It does not serve the greater good to replace one “cult” with another. Those who seek to expose the truth have no time or interest in acquiescing to another “higher” power. I will not sit by idly when there are abuses to be exposed, without regard for where those abuses are being manufactured.

Friday 6-1=5…

Well, hopefully everyone has their preparations for Mother’s Day, this Sunday, complete. Mine includes lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant followed by Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2. Please go out of your way to make sure all Moms, those expecting, Grandmothers, or any females in your life are showered with attention – even more than usual. 🙂

Make sure you check out the Come Get Sum podcast today @ 12:30 PM EST. He will be playing Part 2 of his interview with Lois Reisdorf.

Beer & Wine Festival tomorrow, yay! Unfortunately, calling for lots of rain and the event is rain or shine, so let’s hope for the best.

I’m not going to get too political here, but no matter what side of the “aisle” you happen to stand, you cannot deny that we are in truly historic, potentially devastating times. I haven’t felt this close to the “edge” in my lifetime. Let’s hope that everyone in D.C., and the rest of the country, can figure out how to avoid the abyss we appear to be heading towards.

“I have survivor skills. Some of that is superficial – what I present to people outwardly – but what makes people resilient is the ability to find humour and irony in situations that would otherwise overpower you.”- Amy Tan

Have a great weekend all!

 

 

If you please…

All, we have become aware of a friend in need that could use a little assistance. I’m not very good at asking for help, and this person isn’t either. We are just checking to see if anyone is able and willing to offer some financial assistance. I will not beg or pester, so if you are able and willing, just simply send me a DM in Twitter. I don’t expect to use this space very often for these types of issues, but I felt the need to inquire if anyone else was willing and able help out a fellow critic. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

While we are on the subject, there is a FundRazr set up for Brandon Reisdorf’s legal expenses. Again, only if you are willing an able to help. If you don’t recognize the name, be sure to read his story on the FundRazr page.

Thank you for your consideration 🙂

 

The Ethics of Hypocrisy

“Man is basically good, that he is seeking to survive, (and) that his survival depends on himself and his attainment of brotherhood with the universe,” as stated in the Creed of the Church of Scientology.[

“Now, get this as a technical fact, not a hopeful idea. Every time we have investigated the background of a critic of Scientology, we have found crimes for which that person or group could be imprisoned under existing law. We do not find critics of Scientology who do not have criminal pasts.” “Critics of Scientology” (5 November 1967).

There is no more ethical group on this planet than ourselves.

“This is the correct procedure: Spot who is attacking us. Start investigating them promptly for felonies or worse using our own professionals, not outside agencies. Double curve our reply by saying we welcome an investigation of them. Start feeding lurid, blood sex crime actual evidence on the attackers to the press. Don’t ever tamely submit to an investigation of us. Make it rough, rough on attackers all the way.” “Attacks on Scientology” (25 February 1966).

 

So, just from the few quotes above, one can see the hypocrisy within the policies and beliefs of Co$, dating back to their founder. It is quite ironic that the most “ethical” group on the planet would employ tactics such as disconnection, fair game, Rehabilitation Project Force, declarations of PTS or SP, and “baby watch”. These policies are troubling enough to question their “ethics”, but just a vitriolic is their current day use of PIs, smear pieces and websites, and frivolous legal tactics.

As if the stories of “Operation Freakout” and “Operation Snow White” where not enough, we have current day tactics being used by this group. They have created “front groups” such as Freedom Ethics and Stand League under the guise of “ethics” yet only seem to be focused on attacking or criticizing ex-members and anyone who has the guts to speak out against them.

Just a few examples are the website and twitter accounts that appeared in an attempt to discredit Ron Miscavige (Ruthless…), Leah Remini (Troublemaker), and virtually every person who was involved with the A&E Show, Scientology and the Aftermath. While it appears that Co$ refused to be involved in Going Clear, My Scientology Movie, and Scientology and the Aftermath, it did not preclude them from attacking, and creating smear sites/videos on Lawrence Wright, Alex Gibney, and the others.

The issue with these tactics is that, rather than address or defend the policies, actions and beliefs in question, they decided to attack the credibility of the person instead, never clearly addressing the real issues. If an individual or group is operating from an ethical position, the main focus would be to defend the policies, actions, and beliefs, not try to undercut the credibility of someone who questions them.

To a lesser degree, those of us who speak out on Twitter, and other social media platforms, have also experienced these tactics. We have been labeled “bigots”, “stupid”, “violent”, “hateful”, “trolls”, “socks”, accused of working for Co$ or OSA, or using “veiled threats”. In at least one instance, an indy scientologist has claimed “verbal rape” and stated that a certain podcaster would try to poison you if you had dinner with them, or that certain accounts were “flirting” with this person. Another “ally” has attempted to paint us as “racist” or “bigoted” and against human rights.

In the end, truth will win out, and these tactics will prove ineffective and frivolous. If I were to offer advise to Co$, and their online presence, it would be to stick to defending your policies, actions, and beliefs, not attacking or challenging the credibility of critics, ex-members, and protestors. It only highlights the hypocrisy of wanting to be viewed as the “most ethical” group on the planet. These tactics are short-sighted and ultimately will be part of your downfall. You cannot defeat the truth, and only serves to create more critics and protestors. Your own hypocrisy is creating a legion of critics, ex-members, and protestors. In fact, you are facilitating your own decline. So, BRAVO!

We will not be deterred. You cannot shame, scare, or bully us into silence. We will Stand Up, Speak Out, and Be Heard!

Criticizing the Critics…

So, today I’d like to spend a little time discussing an increasingly popular tactic being used on Twitter. It seems that supporters of Co$, or indy scientology, find it either humorous or damaging to throw criticisms at the protestors/critics. Rather than discuss the merits of evidence or specific stories, they seek to deflect by throwing out labels like – violent, bigot, hatred, wife-beater, dead-beat dad, and even “rapist” with no reason, and certainly no substance.

In the right frame of mind, these insults can be laughed off, but their intent is to trigger a severe reaction from the critic and larger audience. In addition, it takes away from the main focus of criticizing/protesting the organization, their actions, and underlying belief system. There is typically no merit to these claims, but the claim itself is a weapon to them. Throw enough insults, and we lose focus or fall into their trap of responding negatively.

They would rather diffuse our efforts than to discus facts, stories, or details. In my opinion, it is up to us to quietly ignore these attacks and stay focused on educating more and more people. While folks like Leah, Mike, Tony, Chris, Aaron, etc are on the “big stage”, we can be helpful in bridging the gaps between posts, videos, and seasons. There are many ex-members we follow that have been very willing to share info or help clarify as needed, or just need our support. Do not think for a moment that your efforts are in vain or unappreciated. It will take all of our efforts to bring change to impact this organization’s tax status, actions, and beliefs.

Unfortunately, social media rules and their governing bodies are hesitant to act on the accusations and the accounts that post them. As such, we need to police ourselves and utilize tools such as mute and block. Yes, some of these accounts have stated they log out and still see our posts, but that only further proves their desire to disrupt those who criticize and protest. At the end of the day, they bring nothing but deflection, denial, and distraction.

That being said, we need to be vigilant to ensure we don’t fall into their behaviors. There is no need for us to wish harm to others. They are all too happy to tag our words as “veiled threats”, so don’t give them the chance. It is also important to be as factual as possible. Yes, we can verbally ponder in general, but I would caution you to not cross the line into accusing either an individual or organization of something without solid evidence. First hand accounts from ex-members are very useful tools in this area.

It seems they also like try to discredit critics/protestors by questioning their intelligence or their knowledge of scientology. Please understand, these are elementary level tactics. Just because you haven’t studied all of the collected works, or maybe only watched Going Clear, My Scientology Movie, or Scientology and the Aftermath, does not mean you cannot have an opinion on the subject or makes you less credible. Not all of us can use proper grammar or spelling when faced with 140 characters 😉 The point is, you have heard or read about this organization and decided to take a stand. It is your right to speak out.

In the end, we will not be silenced through their attempts to harass, accuse, negate, deflect, or embarrass us. We are vital to the larger efforts to expose this organization and their reportedly abusive actions and beliefs. We must be resolute in Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Being Heard.

Monday Motivation

You cannot silence us, our voice is strong

You cannot scare us, we are fearless

You cannot single us out, we are everywhere

You cannot confront us, we defend the truth

You cannot mock us, we are resilient

You cannot ignore us, we are here

You cannot lie about us, we are honest

You cannot hide from us, we are omniscient

You cannot smear us, we are righteous

You cannot defend your actions, they are indefensible

You cannot cry wolf, you are the sheep

You cannot disconnect us, we are family

You cannot forget us, we are growing

You cannot “fair game” us, we are just

You cannot infiltrate us, we are not a group

You cannot frustrate us, we are resolute

You cannot slow us down, our momentum is gaining

You cannot distract us, we are focused

You cannot control us, we are not followers

We will Stand Up, Speak Out, and Be Heard.

Friday Five – Quick Hits

Seems Clearwater Sea Org personnel are not visiting the downtown business district to purchase goods and services after the agreement between the city and CMA to buy the parcel of land. If that is the case, NOW is the perfect time for the public residents to take back their city. They should all be going out of their way to support the downtown businesses. If public transactions can replace those of the SO, it will further insulate the businesses from any further “actions”. Go, now!

Per online research and a recent video from @GrowingupinSCN, the Clear Cognition is such – “I was mocking up my reactive mind all along, and now I have stopped”. From conversation w/ half of the East Grinstead trolls, it appears that this phrase cannot be uttered unless you have attested to clear, which I find very odd. We are free to read, repeat, or say whatever we want.

So another NFL draft is in the books. Other than the surprising trades in the first round, rather dull from my perspective. There were definitely a fair share of “questionable” picks, but I’ve learned that you need to give these teams and players a year or two to accurately grade their performance. I think the two picks that stood out the most for me were Chicago and Cleveland’s QB selections. Not sure either is a good fit for the teams. But, clearly neither are seen as immediate starters.

With yesterday being May the Fourth(Star Wars Day), please be sure to watch Chris Shelton’s latest video, focused on how to interact w/ people online. Learn the Jedi Mind Control techniques and apply. It will save you from hours, or days in some cases, of frustration or potentially saying something offensive. Still to the facts, plant the seeds, and move on 😉 THANKS CHRIS!

Just a reminder that Anonymous is rebooting their #OpsScientology campaign, with world-wide protests on June 24-25. Please check Twitter under that hashtag for additional information.

Remember, Stand Up, Speak Out, and Be Heard! Have a great Friday and Weekend!