Friday Five – It’s the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine)…

Save yourself, serve yourself. World serves its own needs,
Listen to your heart bleed dummy with the rapture and
The revered and the right, right.
You vitriolic patriotic, slam, fight, bright light,
Feeling pretty psyched.

[Chorus:]

It’s the end of the world as we know it.
It’s the end of the world as we know it.
It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine. – R.E.M.

 

CCHR & Faux “children’s rights” – Ok, ok, who among us is willing to argue that, in a perfect scenario, children should be labeled as ADHD, ADD, or with some other mental disorder? And, furthermore, who wants to force medication on them? Anyone? Bueller?…Hmmm, so then what is all the hubbub about this group and their “meager” protests in this arena? I think it is safe to say the general consensus of normal humans with any shred of decency do not support the forced medication of anyone, let alone children. So, this is a no-brainer. They use this as the leverage needed to attract attention and donations. Beyond the polarizing “childhood is not a mental condition” rhetoric, they also want you to believe that EVERY psychiatrist, government agency, and evil person is pushing these medications down the throats of EVERY child. It’s all part of Co$’ larger “doomsday” campaign. As part of the foundation of this campaign, they highlight “Big Pharma” as creating these conditions, and medications, as a means to make a profit. Sure sounds evil, right? While there may be some truth to that statement, you also need to remember that most of us live in a capitalist society, and one of the main goals of any business is to maximize profits. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that even pharmaceutical companies are “in it for the money”. As a parent, and a rationale adult, I understand that sometimes these medications are needed, do help, but should be used under strict medical care and observation. I find it far to easy for groups like CCHR to highlight suicides and other violent side effects without digging into what level of care was being delivered, or how strictly they were being observed by doctors or parents. And, until proven otherwise, I will always side with trained medical practitioners over the non peer-reviwed “ideas” of LRH that are employed by CCHR, NarCONon, and their other front groups.

STAAD League – Yeah, it’s not STAND…I’ve spent a decent amount of time reviewing some of the “protest” letters sent by supposed scientologists to companies like A&E and Disney. You would think, based on their rhetoric, that there is an all-out violent assault on each and every scientologist. They use buzzwords like “bullying” and “terrorize” to build their case. Everything from losing 2 recent girlfriends to teachers mocking a student, just because of Co$. From my perspective, I have never supported the use of violence in matters like this, and most of the people I know are the same. We do not wish harm on anyone just because of their “beliefs”. I’d rather highlight the irony, hypocrisy, or irrationality of their “religion”. Unfortunately, you will find violence in every walk of life, but to use examples of it to employ a “victim” mentality is unacceptable. Especially when you compare it to the actions the “church” has taken against those who speak out against them. Anyone remember Paulette Cooper? I suggest they come down off their moral “high horse” and stop trying to label everyone who speaks against them as bigots, violent, or evil. For as much as they have a “right” to pay to go up the bridge, we have a right to point out the lifted ideas, lack of verifiable facts and figures, and reported abuses that are baked into scientology. Co$ and scientologists are not “the only ones” who can do something about this…

ASC – As I covered in my podcast earlier this week, while I protest the policies, actions, and beliefs of Co$ and all their front groups, I am not in some cult. I do not get ideas or orders from some hierarchical “chain of command”, and I do not blindly believe everything that I hear or read, especially without backing evidence. I am not a member of some super secret/not so super secret group like “Outer Banks”, and I never envision a situation where I would want to be. I do what I do, because it seems to be the right thing to do, not because I’m trying to make money or become famous. As seen on Twitter, I highlight other groups and issues as well. So, to me it is always about seeking the truth, highlighting the stories of abuse, and revealing what others wish to keep hidden.

Beers for the weekend – I highly recommend virtually anything from Shiner, Victory Brewing, and Evil Genius. I recently tried the Shiner Strawberry Blonde (nice), and want to try their Peach Wheat ale. They also have a very nice ruby red grapefruit wheat – Ruby Redbird. What I love about Shiner is they work with other local towns in their brews. For example, the strawberries come from another small Texas town, Poteet, for their Strawberry Blonde, and the grapefruit are grown in Texas as well. It’s nice to see businesses supporting each other this way.

Fourth of July – While we are hosting a party this weekend, we will also be reflecting on the historical significance of the date as well. You can blame my love of history, but I think it’s always important to understand why we celebrate national holidays. 🙂 So, eat, drink, be merry…but be safe. There will be no home fireworks for us, so if you do, be very careful!

Stand Up, Speak Out, and Be Heard!

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The Road Not Taken…

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. – Robert Frost

 

As we each make our way through life, we are often met with two divergent paths, maybe one light and one dark, or perhaps the lesser of two evils or some other variation therein. While the general sense is that choosing “the one less traveled by” is an example of one expressing their freedom of thought and ability to plot their own course, it can also be read as not caring which path is chosen, and not willing to look back and reconsider if the best choice was made.

To me, the importance here is not which path, but the understated lack of care for which path is chosen, or any future reconsideration of that choice. While one could argue that Frost was fine with “making the best of the situation”, to me it is the constant reevaluation your choices that is more important. Constant analysis of your choices, both past and present, is key in gaining wisdom and perspective.

Disregard for past decisions, can be seen in both politics and the recent videos from a former high-ranking Co$ executive. In both cases, it is far more convenient for one to disregard their past words and actions, and attempt to deflect from them, by prescribing the blame or criticism on someone else. Whether they are choosing the road less traveled, or the more popular path, there appears to be no remorse or hindsight gained from the journey. And, that is a true tragedy.

I’d suggest that we all ponder which path to take and make the most of that decision, but always look back and learn from the consequences were missed as a result. One can always revisit the yellow woods and choose a new path, but only if you reflect on your decisions.

The other option, that Frost doesn’t mention, is to forge a whole new path. Rather than follow the only defined “paths”, there is not always a hard rule that does not allow you to determine a path on your own. But, I would warn that this choice may be the less comfortable path, must be done with conviction and employ all relevant wisdom and knowledge available. And, you cannot disregard the benefit of reflection.

In the end, we are all free to choose any path we like, or forge a new one, but only those who take the effort to reconsider their choices, and adjust as needed, will benefit from gained wisdom and knowledge. And that, makes all the difference in the world.

Stand Up, Speak Out, and Be Heard!

Friday 5 – Some heads are gonna roll…

Ok, let’s not get crazy…referring to lyrics from Judas Priest, not literal.

#OpScientology – well, here we are on the doorstep of the first wave of protests against Co$. I hope the volume of in-person and online protestors is significant. We need numbers to show Co$, MSM, and onlookers that this Op is real, has widespread support, and will not be pushed around or ignored. While there may be more protests coming, we all need to get out there, either to a local org/mission, or get online and spread the truth. There are so many tools to use – TheUndergroundBunker, Mike Rinder’s Blog, Chris Shelton and Aaron Levin Smith’s videos, YouTube vids (think Angry Gay Pope, Tory Magoo, Gate Crashers, etc), tons of memes, tons of actual Co$ documents, etc…just keep posting and sharing these stories as best you can. I believe, any and all resources and efforts will be greatly appreciated.

#DogMeatFestival – Yulin China. I’m not going to provide any details, as it is just too gross to discuss. But, we all need to learn about it, and vow to end this type of cruelty as quickly as possible.

ACHA – It’s imperative that every American read this new healthcare plan. Don’t just look at it from your perspective, but also how this could have a very real, very sobering impact on those with pre-existing or long-term medical conditions, anyone who currently benefits from the VA or Medicaid, or anyone who cannot afford the cost of modest medical services. Should you be moved to contact your congressional representative, you can find that information here.

NBA Draft – The biggest takeaway from the draft, for me was, 16 of the first 30 picks were freshmen. I don’t blame any of these athletes for jumping at the chance to earn millions of dollars, but I can’t help but feel sad that most will not continue on to get their degree. Also, is one year of college ball enough to determine how successful they will be at the pro level? I would be hesitant to sign some of these players to multi-million dollar contracts, knowing that they need to continue to grow physically and mentally into the pro game. I wish the new pros well in their careers, and I hope that they all provide value to their teams. For my home team, the 76ers, it’s time to show the fans who have trusted “the process” that it was worth it.

Timely Quotes – Benjamin Franklin

For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions, even on important subjects, which I once thought right but found to be otherwise.

As we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously.

I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion about the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.

Those disputing, contradicting, and confuting people are generally unfortunate in their affairs. They get victory, sometimes, but they never get good will, which would be of more use to them.

Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools, that don’t have brains enough to be honest.

 

Stand Up, Speak Out, and Be Heard! Have a GREAT weekend!!

 

 

An ill-advised game of chicken

Hopefully most of you know about the game of Chicken.

I can see this game being played out at many different levels – whether it’s Trump v. Un, Trump v. Comey/Mueller, Sessions v. Comey/Mueller, Ossoff v. Handel, Left v. Right, Liberal v. Conservative, White Nationalism v. Globalism, “ASC” v. Co$, Indies v. “ASC”, etc.

There are two main problems with this dichotomy. First, if the two “players” are singular individuals or groups, such as leaders of a nation-state or “organized religion”, they are playing this game with all of us already in the ditch, filled with flammable materials. They don’t seem to care that the general public or other individuals may bear the full brunt of their actions even if they don’t swerve. And, are there adequate checks & balances on what “tactics” they employ? In other words, who will adhere to the “rules of engagement”, or “rules of war”? Can these leaders or groups be trusted to not push us to the precipice of annihilation? I don’t want to be a fear-monger, but if actions mirror words, we should all be concerned about what means these “leaders” are willing to use without regard for collateral damages. We all must question the authenticity/legitimacy of the power they wield and how they chose to wield it. I, for one, do not wish to be an unwilling victim of their overly-aggressive pursuit of power, real or imagined.

The second, is the belief that there are only two sides to nearly every issue. Now, I’m not going to preach about some great “middle path” as others have, but I will argue that a majority of the time, in my opinion, neither side is completely honest or correct. They employ hyperbole to garner support or play on the fears of the public. Whether it’s the exaggerated claims of “Evil Psychs” that rape and pillage, Paid Protestors who are just in it for the fame or money, policies that seek to regulate population growth, or “silence” critics…the only thing worthwhile is the pursuit of the unbiased, unmanufactured truth.

I have no time or patience for “made up” facts or stories, no interest in existing as a “tribute” or follower of a false cause, no need or desire to be a member of a “secret” group or one which hides behind lies, smears their critics, or engages in illicit activities to justify their authority. Their power lies only in the ability to label like-minded individuals as part of a particular group or party. But, it too is a fallacy. Being liberal or conservative on one topic does not necessarily mean that an individual uses the same logic or thought process for ALL. Labeling is used to simplify the rationale of why one should support or criticize, to love or hate, to attack or defend.

I refuse to be labeled as “liberal”, “democrat”, or “ASC”. I may hold a liberal approach to some topics, such as universal healthcare, I may be registered as Democrat, and I certainly stand against the reported abusive policies, actions, and beliefs of Co$, but that does not mean I have stopped thinking, researching, assessing, or seeking truth. I am beholden to no one but my family, my friends, and my mind. So take your simple labels and put them in the same orifice that your head seems to exist… ( . )

Stand Up, Speak Out, and Be Heard!

 

You be Frontin’

Of all the non-religiousy things that Co$ does to promote itself, one of the most disgusting is the use of front groups that appear to have little, if any, connection to Co$. One that has popped up over the past month, due to terrorist attacks and other horrific events, is the Volunteer Ministers (VMs). They are not new, but have recently tried to grab photo-ops by appearing near these events. They may have handed out some drinks and snacks to the first responders, but their underlying mission seems to be handing out “The Way to Happiness” pamphlets. While containing some “common sense” idioms, their true purpose is to recruit the unsuspecting into going to a local mission or org, take the personality test, and to begin their journey to the bridge. The also “help” by offering “touch assists” for free.

In regard to the recent horrific building fire at Grenfell Tower, it seems most who happened upon the VMs there, had the same reaction – https://www.scientologybollocks.com/londons-grenfell-towers-tragedy-residents-tell-scientology-vulture-volunteer-ministers-fuck-off/#_tbi

and https://twitter.com/Vinny_LBC/status/876410497888903169

Just a little more background info on Co$ Vms – http://www.xenu-directory.net/scnorgs/vm1.html#_tbi

YouTube video exposing how Vms tried to scam after 9/11 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNAxHKjYA8s#_tbi

First Hand account of VM “help” in Haiti – http://gawker.com/5462117/scientologists-in-haiti-a-firsthand-account#_tbi

What LRH had to say about the purpose of VMs –

“The program is the successor to earlier Scientology outreach efforts, notably the “Casualty Contact” program for recruiting new Scientologists (called “preclears”) from hospitals, the scenes of accidents and other places where people might have experienced trauma. As Hubbard put it, “One takes every daily paper he can get his hands on and cuts from it every story whereby he might have a preclear. […] He should represent himself to the person or the person’s family as a minister whose compassion was compelled by the newspaper story concerning the person. […].”[1] ” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volunteer_Ministers )

There are a whole host of “front groups” that can be researched, and I may do so in the coming weeks, but thought this one in particular was timely, based on recent activity.

Stand Up, Speak Out, and Be Heard!

 

Friday 5…WTF?

Been sitting back taking in all that’s been occurring over the past week or so…boy, I need a drink or two 😉

Cosby – While I have my own personal thoughts, I wasn’t in the courtroom and didn’t hear all the evidence, so I can’t really speak to guilt or innocence. But, I can speak to the jury coming back deadlocked. With that being the case, and the judge forcing them back to deliberation, can ANY verdict be accepted? Without knowing if it is one or more jurors who truly disagrees with the majority, additional time to coerce them to change their opinion seems unjust. I assume that they have voiced their reasons for their stance, otherwise they would be dismissed if they were tainted or looking to nullify the jury. In my opinion, the court of public opinion is often easier to convince than a small jury of peers, which is why some of these cases end up in court, yet fail to satisfy the public. In such cases, I always look to the performance of the prosecutors and defense attorneys. Did they push an “unwinnable” case? Did they rely on public opinion too much, and assume a certain outcome? I suspect that in this case, we end with a hung jury, and if we do, I don’t suspect it will be re-tried.

Comey/Sessions – I watched both testify, and I can’t help but feel Comey was the more honest party. I can’t say that I believe every bit of his testimony, but he had less to gain/lose from not being truthful. He had already been removed from his position at the FBI, so as a private citizen, he was no longer bound by ideas of loyalty to the administration. Sessions, on the other hand, seemed to use the time honored tradition of “I don’t remember” as a valid response. While I can relate to missing or forgetting details of a specific event, I cannot believe he didn’t have the thought to go back and look for any amount of evidence to confirm or deny what actually took place. His answers often seemed off-point and a tactic to stall while the time allotted to each senator ran out. Invoking some unwritten privilege to not speak about conversations with the President was a weak attempt to deflect from the truth.

Influence/Obstruction/Ignorance – So, whatever side of the “aisle” you may find yourself, I find it asinine to ignore the evidence of tampering with truth. Private meetings with the Attorney Generals, Head of the FBI, foreign politicians or dignitaries in hope of swaying favor is simply unacceptable from any party or politician. And then, to try and hide this information from the public, is an even worse crime in my book. Open and honest should be the rule of law. Anything less should be reason for removal…period.

Animal Cruelty – I’ve seen lots of tweets regarding dog and cat meat markets and the process by which the animals are handled. I was truly sickened by the mere idea that this is acceptable in any society. It must be stopped…

#OpScientology – Stand Up, Speak Out, and Be Heard.

Spring Cleaning

So, I had every intention to post something over the weekend, but found that trying to upgrade my video card was a much bigger headache that I could handle 😉 In the end, I put the original card back in and gave up. It’s unfortunate that some pc manufacturers make it impossible to upgrade their systems as they simply quit supporting updates. Oh well, at least my laptop got a good cleaning while it was apart.

So, interesting stuff appearing online while I was in lurker mode. We have a former high-ranking official posting short segments of a larger “interview” in which the goal appears to be to undercut “Going Clear”, and the “ASC – Anti Scientology Cult”, as this person views this work as the original “ASC playbook”. The interesting bits so far is how this person seems to be “outing” others as biased, misleading, or having questionable credibility, yet hasn’t seemed to have come to grips with their own short-comings or history. I have no idea what the end goal is, but it’s clear that there are multiple people that will be the “targets” of this mini-series. While some of the coming information may be uncomfortable, I look forward to hearing more. Ultimately, truth will win out, regardless of who is presenting it. To be sure, there are many facets to this situation. Whether you are a member in good standing, under the radar, an ex, a never-in, or an Indy, truth is what we should all be striving for.

I also noticed that one of our “favorite” indies seems to be at it again. It must be flip-flop season, because this person seems to be back into criticizing critics and ex-members, while playing to the East Grinstead troll duo. I wish this person no ill will, and have nearly forgotten that they are still online, but is it so hard to take a position and stay with it for more than a month or two? And, what is your goal? To annoy as many people as possible? Seems that the only goal is to try and remain relevant in this topic by alternating support or criticism to both sides. If, as this person says, it works for you, then go use it and remove yourself from the dialog – Namaste to you.

I also noticed a recent departure from twitter and the blog-o-sphere from another party who seems to be stuck between positions and sides. Not sure the cause, but seems to be a sign of the coming storm. Are some parties hunkering down and shuttering the doors and windows before SuMP begins broadcasting, and #OpScientology kicks into gear? Seems odd timing to me, but I guess we will wait and see if this is just a one-off or becomes a common occurrence.

As we roll into summer, I look forward to the coming protests, SuMP broadcasting, Scientology and the Aftermath Season 2, more vids from some of our favorite exes, the continuing drama of leaks, lies, smear, and in the end, more truth. We may learn that everything is not as it seems, or that it is exactly what we thought. I’m going to enjoy the ride where ever it may lead.

Stand Up, Speak Out, and Be Heard!

P.S. – very happy that the Penguins were able to pull out the win @Nashville Sunday night. They earned the Stanley Cup, but both teams should be commended on a well played series. By the time this posts in the morning, I expect the Warriors to close out the NBA finals as well. Guess only time with tell 🙂 Next up will be college and pro football – yes, I know we are well into the MLB season, but I really can’t start watching until August. The grind of the season is just more than I am interested in dealing with.

 

Cheat day ;)

Ok, I’ve got a busy day ahead so can’t really get a proper post out. I’m starting with chaperoning a bowling field trip, then buying a new grill, hanging some insulation and drywall, mowing the grass, and meeting friends at a brew-pub later. So, I’ll be planning to post something tomorrow, as well as a new podcast. TGIF!

Fables of the Reconstruction

The hills ringing hear the words in time, listen to the holler
Listen to my walls within my tongue
Can’t you see you made my ears go tin
The air quicken tension building inference suddenly
Life and how to live it

Raise the walls to hide these flaws, the carpenter should rest
So that when you tire of one side the other serves you best
Read about the wisdom wall, the knock-knock-knock
A secret knock, one hammer’s locked, the other wisdom’s lost

– R.E.M., Life and how to live it

A seemingly common theme among the Indie scientology crowd is that while the organization of Co$ may be corrupt or harmful, the “original tech” of LRH is just fine as designed, very beneficial, and should be preserved. The conflict I see in that, is their application of “cafeteria” intellect. There seems to be a belief within this movement that one can “pick and choose” which policies and beliefs to adopt.

This is akin to taking any of the ten commandments and tossing them away, if one wishes. For example, you could adopt “Thou shalt not steal”, but dismiss “Thou shalt not kill” – does anyone else see the problem with this logic? While I hold that individual beliefs are variable, I also believe that you cannot claim affiliation to a specific dogma without believing in it wholly. If this is a “collected” belief system from a singular source, are you not deconstructing and devaluing the original intent of the source?

I find it very jaded to argue on one hand that the hierarchical structure of Co$ is bad and needs to be “reformed”, and on the other to claim the “tech” is great , but only as long as you can only adopt those policies and beliefs that you choose. There is just a hint of narcissism in the belief that you, as an individual, have the knowledge and authority to deconstruct and apply this “workable” system as you see fit. You are then arguing that LRH did not have everything correct, and, as such, everything should be under scrutiny.

To argue that either the “church” should, or could be, reformed, or that one can simply adopt only the “scripture” that one determines to be worthy, implies that the original source of this dogma is flawed, incomplete, or unable to support global adoption. All of these undercut what I believe to be LRH’s original intent to create a universal belief system. As such, it should be subject to the highest criticism and inspection possible.

Let me know what you think – Stand Up, Speak Out, and Be Heard!

Buyers Beware…

Sure, we live in a world of consumerism where everything from new tech to political affiliations to religion are carefully marketed to the public. Every word is meant to push you in one direction or another so that you, hopefully, select their “product” or used to simply control the conversation from their perspective. Look beyond the loudest voices as you seek the truth, it lies somewhere beneath the superficial arguments.

Some people will not tolerate such emotional honesty in communication. They would rather defend their dishonesty on the grounds that it might hurt others. Therefore, having rationalized their phoniness into nobility, they settle for superficial relationships. ~Author Unknown

I am different from Washington; I have a higher, grander standard of principle. Washington could not lie. I can lie, but I won’t. ~Mark Twain

The highest compact we can make with our fellow is — “Let there be truth between us two forevermore.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

The truth is the only thing worth having, and, in a civilized life, like ours, where so many risks are removed, facing it is almost the only courageous thing left to do. ~E.V. Lucas

Truth that is naked is the most beautiful, and the simpler its expression the deeper is the impression it makes; this is partly because it gets unobstructed hold of the hearer’s mind without his being distracted by secondary thoughts, and partly because he feels that here he is not being corrupted or deceived by the arts of rhetoric, but that the whole effect is got from the thing itself. ~Arthur Schopenhauer, translated from German

Truth is such a rare thing, it is delightful to tell it. ~Emily Dickinson

It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime. ~Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason