Scottish child abuse inquiry, Leah Remini on Scientology’s Abuse, Understanding the lure and persuasiveness of cults
May 31, 2017 Comments Off on Scottish child abuse inquiry, Leah Remini on Scientology’s Abuse, Understanding the lure and persuasiveness of cults
– First hearings in child abuse inquiry to get under way
– SCOTS ABUSE PROBE What is the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry?
– Leah Remini on Scientology’s Abuse: ‘It Should Be Everyone’s Fight’
– Understanding the lure and persuasiveness of cults
First hearings in child abuse inquiry to get under way
The first hearings in the Scottish child abuse inquiry are set to get under way in Edinburgh later.
More than 60 institutions, including several top private schools and church bodies, are being investigated.
The inquiry, which is being chaired by Lady Smith, will look in detail at historical abuse of children in residential care.
It is expected to report in late 2019 – more than four years after it was set up.
The inquiry states its purpose as being “to investigate the nature and extent of abuse of children whilst in care in Scotland”, while considering “the extent to which institutions and bodies with legal responsibility for the care of children failed in their duty”, in particular seeking any “systemic failures”….
SCOTS ABUSE PROBE What is the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry? What is its aim and what organisations are being investigated?
The inquiry will raise public awareness of institutionalised abuse and reveal the reality of the suffering of child victims
By Matt Coyle 30th May 2017
….More than 100 locations identified as places children are believed to have been assaulted.
Prestigious private schools including Fettes College and Loretto are among the sites being investigated.
Eight institutions run by Christian religious orders are also named as part of the investigation.
Under historic care arrangements, Scottish children were sent to countries including Canada, Australia and New Zealand and organisations in these countries will also be probed…..
The overall aim and purpose of the Inquiry is to raise public awareness of the abuse of children in care, particularly in the past
It will allow the public to acknowledge the suffering of those children and a forum for validation of their experience and testimony…..
Leah Remini on Scientology’s Abuse: ‘It Should Be Everyone’s Fight’
Jim Halterman May 28, 2017
Nobody is as surprised as actress Leah Remini that her A&E series, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, was such a hit during its first season last year. Sure, she’s already written an autobiography (Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology) about her experiences in the organization and appeared on countless talk shows….
Now it’s time for the government agencies whose job it is to protect people from dangerous cults like this to do something about it.
And the IRS not to allow an organization such as this to stand behind the First Amendment and give them free reign to abuse people. That’s not why this amendment is there. It’s there to protect people, to protect real religions and beliefs. This is not that. These are not that. This and other cults like it should not be recognized under this amendment. I obviously need to do more. The headlines should be about the abuses and the people writing these stories should be just as shocked and not use my name. I’ve learned a little bit in that way to be a little bit more selective and demand that people do their job and not put it on me and [former Scientology executive] Mike Rinder as our fight. We’re not anti-Scientologist, we’re anti-bully and we’re anti-abuse….
Understanding the lure and persuasiveness of cults
Cults are groups that hold persuasive power over their members and demand extreme dedication and subservience. How do cults lure people in and what happens on the inside? Why do people join controlling groups and how difficult is it for them to leave?
There are many stories about cults that have been involved with fraud, embezzlement and abuse. One such story is that of Australia’s most notorious cult, The Family.
Leah Remini’s Series Could Be Scientology’s Church Abuse Scandal, How an Accused Child Rapist Allegedly Brainwashed an Entire Family as His Cult, Burke Ramsey Sues CBS and Several Experts for $750 Million Over JonBenét Series
December 29, 2016 Comments Off on Leah Remini’s Series Could Be Scientology’s Church Abuse Scandal, How an Accused Child Rapist Allegedly Brainwashed an Entire Family as His Cult, Burke Ramsey Sues CBS and Several Experts for $750 Million Over JonBenét Series
– Leah Remini’s Series Could Be Scientology’s Church Abuse Scandal
What makes Scientology a cult instead of just an extreme religion?
– How an Accused Child Rapist Allegedly Brainwashed an Entire Family as His Cult
– Burke Ramsey Sues CBS and Several Experts for $750 Million Over JonBenét Series
Leah Remini’s Series Could Be Scientology’s Church Abuse Scandal
What makes Scientology a cult instead of just an extreme religion? The two latest episodes explained the difference better than any of the previous episodes.
By Bethany Mandel December 27, 2016
….The first new episode was an aired edition of a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) in which actress Leah Remini answered viewers’ questions about the cult. She sat opposite the former International Spokesman of Scientology and one of its most famous defectors, Mike Rinder, and interviewed a series of the most famous foes of Scientology, including the subject of a groundbreaking book, entitled “The Unbreakable Miss Lovely.” It’s from perhaps the most famous contemporary Scientology chronicler, a journalist who first exposed the group.
….The video is of a pep rally. In it, Cruise introduces his friend and religious leader, telling the booming audience present for the 2004 award ceremony for the “IAS Freedom Medal of Valor”: “I want to tell you something. I have never met a more competent, a more intelligent, a more tolerant, a more compassionate being. I have met the leaders of leaders. I have met them all. So I say to you COB [Chairman of the Board], we are lucky to have you, thank you.”
Miscavige’s official title in the Church of Scientology is chairman of the board of the Religious Technology Center. But who is he really? Rinder described him another way: “the undisputed dictator of Scientology.”
Miscavige executed a takeover of Scientology’s leadership after the death of its founder, L. Ron Hubbard. What makes Remini’s series unique from other shows on Scientology, such as the HBO documentary “Going Clear,” is that it is from the perspective of former Scientologists and focuses on their experiences exclusively. It explores what it is like being part of a religion at the upper echelons with Miscavige at the helm.
Remini and Rinder interviewed Jefferson Hawkins, the former chief propagandist for the group, who says he left after Miscavige assaulted and terrified him. During this interview, Remini explains to her fellow defectors the desperation she feels about exposing and taking down Scientology by any means necessary, including flooding its headquarters with airplane-dropped pamphlets and bringing in law enforcement….
How an Accused Child Rapist Allegedly Brainwashed an Entire Family as His Cult
By Harriet Sokmensuer December 28, 2016
To his neighbors, Lee Kaplan was quiet and aloof. His three-bedroom Pennsylvania home was hidden behind overgrown shrubbery and at times almost seemed empty. However, behind closed doors, authorities allege Kaplan was living with 12 young girls who considered him a prophet of God as he repeatedly sexually abused them.
To Kaplan, six of the girls were not only his followers but also his “wives,” Bucks County authorities allege….
In June the girls were rescued by Lower Southampton police, and in November Kaplan pleaded not guilty to more than a dozen charges including rape of a child and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse.
He allegedly not only fathered two children with the eldest girl but also sexually abused five of her younger sisters over the course of years, with the consent of their parents, Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub said.
“This guy set up a virtual feeding ground of victims,” Weintraub told PEOPLE in a previous interview, calling the situation “cult-like.”….
Authorities say Kaplan went unnoticed for years because the girls’ parents also believed Kaplan was a prophet.
The children were raised Amish, born with no birth certificates and home schooled together, officials say, but the Stoltzfus family left the Amish community after they met Kaplan, a former business partner of Daniel’s….
Burke Ramsey Sues CBS and Several Experts for $750 Million Over JonBenét Series
By Chris Harris December 28, 2016
Burke Ramsey has filed a second defamation lawsuit over a recent CBS docuseries that advanced the theory he killed his younger sister, JonBenét, more than two decades ago, PEOPLE confirms.
After suing forensic pathologist Dr. Werner Spitz in October for $150 million in damages, lawyers for Burke on Wednesday filed another civil suit — this one, naming CBS as well as Critical Content LLC, the production company behind The Case of: JonBenét Ramsey, and seven experts and consultants featured in the special, which aired over two nights in mid-September.
PEOPLE obtained a copy of the second suit, which seeks $250 million in compensatory damages and $500 million in punitive damages.
In addition to listing Spitz as a defendant, the suit filed Wednesday names retired FBI Supervisory Special Agent and criminal profiler Jim Clemente; criminal behaviorist Laura Richards; Jim Kolar, a former lead investigator in the JonBenét Ramsey murder investigation; forensic linguistics expert James Fitzgerald; statement analyst Stanley Burke; and forensic scientist Dr. Henry Lee….
Member of ‘Cult-like’ Church Sentenced, Lawsuit filed in Ooltewah sexual assault claims, Investigating Hope: The complaint, Ex-Scientologists tell disturbing stories about David Miscavige
December 23, 2016 Comments Off on Member of ‘Cult-like’ Church Sentenced, Lawsuit filed in Ooltewah sexual assault claims, Investigating Hope: The complaint, Ex-Scientologists tell disturbing stories about David Miscavige
Member of ‘Cult-like’ Church Sentenced.
Owen Sound | by Kevin Bernard Tuesday, December 20, 2016
No jail time for man convicted of assault in connection with a Chatsworth Area Church.
Two men have now been convicted and sentenced in connection with an investigation into a “cult” like church in Chatsworth.
61 year old Judson King of Oakville plead guilty last Friday (Dec. 16th) to 3 counts of assault and was sentenced to a 12 month conditional sentence (no jail time), 3 years probation, a 10 year weapons ban and he must submit a DNA sample….
King, and his younger brother Fred were arrested in April of 2014 following a 16 month OPP probe into allegations of physical and sexual assault by 7 victims, involving a leader of the Church of Jesus Christ restored.
57 year old Fred King who was known as the “Prophet”, plead guilty earlier this year to 9 counts of assault and was sentenced in September to 18 months in jail, and 2 years probation….
The OPP investigation started, after an Owen Sound woman went public with her allegations of physical and sexual abuse at the hands of “cult” leaders.
Carol Christie wrote her story in a book, “Property: The True Story of a Polygamous Church Wife”, which was released in mid-2013.
The former church member alleged abuse and polygamy at a compound on Concession 2 south of Owen Sound, near Chatsworth.
She told Bayshore Broadcasting news how she spent nearly 40 years in what essentially was a CULT and she suffered physical and emotional abuse at the hands of the Prophet.
Lawsuit filed in Ooltewah sexual assault claims Hamilton County Schools covered up abuse
December 17th, 2016 by Kendi A. Rainwater
A second federal lawsuit filed in connection with the Ooltewah High School rape case claims Hamilton County Schools and some of its employees allowed a culture of bullying and sexual assault to fester at the school, leaving students unprotected.
The lawsuit was filed Friday by the family of an Ooltewah High School basketball player who was sexually assaulted by older players during the team’s trip to Gatlinburg, Tenn., nearly a year ago.
Before the trip, the victim referred to as “Roe” in court papers endured months of harassment and beatings by teammates, which was a ritual on the team, according to the lawsuit.
“OHS has lionized sports and athletes to the point of protecting athletes who engage in misconduct,” the lawsuit states.
For years coaches and administrators ignored the abuse or covered it up, enabling the older players to attack four freshmen with pool cues during the Gatlinburg trip, the lawsuit claims.
One boy was injured so severely he had to undergo emergency surgery. That boy filed a federal lawsuit in September against the school board and former Ooltewah High School employees…..
Investigating Hope: The complaint
By Ryan Santistevan | December 1, 2016
Investigating Hope: The Series
This article is one in a series of investigative pieces about a complaint filed with ASU regarding accusations against on-campus ministry Hope Church.
Four categories of conduct violations, six categories of unhealthy practices, eight categories of emotional and psychological abuse, 44 indicators of religious cult activity, 14 contributors and 123 pages — this makes up a complaint submitted to ASU detailing the alleged damage inflicted by on-campus ministry Hope Church.
However, before things went sour, each author on the complaint was united by one thing: The welcoming embrace of a church that sought to offer them a home and a family.
The complaint has also been turned into a blog, called Hope Church ASU Cult Investigation, run by a former member of Hope Church.
Multiple former Hope Church members said the organization makes students uncomfortable, creates unhealthy relational dynamics and provides an emotionally and psychologically damaging environment for its members. Members said the church uses “brainwashing” techniques and provides a distorted interpretation of Biblical doctrine to advance the interests of the church.
In the complaint, the term “cult” was used 34 times.
Dr. Felix Salomon of the Phoenix Institute of Psychotherapy said a cult can be defined in many ways, but he defines it as a closed, totalistic subgroup or subculture that demands complete allegiance and the giving up of individuality and autonomy on the account of its members.
Kolton Nelder is one of the 14 former members who wrote a testimony in the collaborative complaint. He and other members said they faced constant pressure to follow the direction of Hope Church leadership without question. Not going with the flow was frowned upon….
Ex-Scientologists tell disturbing stories about David Miscavige, the ‘pope of Scientology,’ on A&E series December 21, 2016
Actress Leah Remini left the Church of Scientology in 2013 – after 35 years as a devout member – and ever since, she has been on a crusade to expose the controversial organization’s secrets. On “Scientology and the Aftermath,” her new series on A&E, Remini seeks to “delve deep into shocking stories of abuse, heartbreak and harassment experienced by those who have left the church and spoken publicly about their experiences.”
Tuesday night’s episode had a theme: Disturbing stories about the organization’s leader David Miscavige, whom ex-members refer to as “the pope of Scientology,” as well as the “undisputed dictator.”….
Remini also interviewed people about Miscavige’s alleged physical abuse against his staff, including Jeff Hawkins, who was the Scientology “marketing guru” for years. He joined because as a self-proclaimed hippie in the late 1960s, he liked the idea of Scientology’s anti-war stance and spiritual component, particularly the strong belief about the afterlife.
So Hawkins signed a billion year contract and started working closely with Miscavige. Then, he says, Miscavige assaulted him several times. During one incident, he explains, Miscavige once started making fun of him in a room full of people; and when Hawkins asked him not to, Miscavige took that as a sign of disrespect and started hitting him in the face.
Hawkins says that he, as well as everyone in the room at the time, was too afraid to fight back. Initially, he thought the bad times would pass; but when he realized Miscavige would be running Scientology for a very long time, he left the church.
In response, the church disputes many of Hawkins’s statements and says he is an “obsessed anti-Scientologist” who was expelled for “unsavory personal conduct,” and has a long record of malfeasance, and that he fabricated stories about violence from a staff member….
Child and Ritual Abuse Research https://ritualabuse.us
Neil Brick : S.M.A.R.T.’s Ritual Abuse Pages
Neil Brick (@Neil_Brick) · Twitter
‘My Scientology Movie’: Louis Theroux’s Revealing Expose, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief review, Trial ordered for firm accused of requiring cult-like acts ‘Onionhead’ ruled a religion
October 6, 2016 Comments Off on ‘My Scientology Movie’: Louis Theroux’s Revealing Expose, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief review, Trial ordered for firm accused of requiring cult-like acts ‘Onionhead’ ruled a religion
– ‘My Scientology Movie’: Louis Theroux’s Revealing Expose On The Cult of Scientology
– My Scientology Movie review: Louis Theroux’s giddy, Pythonesque jab in the ribs
– Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief review: ‘an ocean of weirdness’
– Trial ordered for firm accused of requiring cult-like acts
– ‘Onionhead’ ruled a religion in Syosset discrimination case
‘My Scientology Movie’: Louis Theroux’s Revealing Expose On The Cult of Scientology
Kristine Moore October 4, 2016
It may seem rather damning to categorically point to one religion and refer to it as a cult, but if the trailer and interviews for Louis Theroux’s My Scientology Movie are anything to go by, Theroux has bravely revealed just what lengths Scientologists will go to in order to keep the media out of their lives and the public from knowing the truth about their organization.
Louis’s new film comes off the back of his recent documentary on Jimmy Savile, which aired on October 2 on the BBC. Theroux has always managed to elicit truth in the candidates he interviews, drawing them in and making them feel comfortable enough to speak honestly….
Theroux spent three years learning about Scientology before embarking upon My Scientology Movie. Scientologists, however, were not pleased when they discovered that they would be the target of his newest documentary. They are reported to have followed him around on the road wherever he went, shown up uninvited during filming, and even, rather amusingly, turned the cameras back at him by filming him while he was filming them.
In one interview, Louis seemed genuinely perplexed that anybody would be so critical of a documentary. After all, he said, if you disagreed with the Catholic Church over their cover-up of abuse, priests didn’t just turn up at your house unannounced and begin filming you. So why did Scientologists do this?
“One of the fascinating things about Scientology is that they fight back. It’s not like other churches – you know, Christianity, you think of turning the other cheek – well that idea doesn’t exist in Scientology, as far as I know. In fact, they believe that if you’re under attack as a Scientologist, you have a license to destroy that person.”….
My Scientology Movie review: Louis Theroux’s giddy, Pythonesque jab in the ribs
By Tim Robey, Film Critic 4 October 2016
Louis Theroux versus the Church of Scientology. It’s a near-irresistible contest: the very face of deadpan scepticism, up against that many-headed hydra of indecipherable rage.
My Scientology Movie is the second documentary on the subject in recent months, following Alex Gibney’s more thorough and methodical Going Clear….
His efforts in Los Angeles to speak to their current membership meet with stony refusal, so only the apostates come forward: figures such as Marty Rathbun, former “Mister Fixit” of the organisation, and now Public Enemy No. 1, as far as the church and its much-feared leader, David Miscavige, are concerned….
Naturally lacking face-time with Miscavige or Tom Cruise – probably the world’s two most notorious Scientologists, with all due respect to Travolta – Theroux comes up with the neat gambit of auditioning various jobbing actors to play them both. Key public statements are read out, in what amount to screen-tests for a film Theroux and director John Dower don’t even end up making: the tests themselves do the job.
Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief review: ‘an ocean of weirdness’
Tim Robey 26 June 2015
Alex Gibney’s Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief has also faced massive legal obstacles to even achieving a release. Though the film is heavily based on a pre-existing book, by the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Lawrence Wright, the Church of Scientology has devoted every shred of zeal its legal team can summon to prevent what it sees as an inaccurate and distorted account from being made public. In the UK, especially, largely thanks to the unreformed libel laws of Northern Ireland and Scotland, distributors have had a nightmare getting it okayed….
Gibney is too serious and analytical a filmmaker merely to turn this into a gawping session. He methodically takes us back to Scientology’s roots, laying down a potted biography of founder-philosopher L. Ron Hubbard….
Segueing from prolific pulp science-fiction writing to the Fifties Dianetics movement was the first step to setting up the Church of Scientology in 1953, which gave Hubbard much-cherished tax exemption; the movement’s repeated success in fending off the IRS, combined with burgeoning income from its members, gave it real financial muscle and reach into society across the world….
the very heart of a movement founded on selling fear – Hubbard would say the banishment of fear, but the trick of Scientology, as the film presents it, has always been to keep its members active and paying by keeping them afraid….
Trial ordered for firm accused of requiring cult-like acts
October 5, 2016
By The Associated Press
NEW YORK – (AP) — A federal judge in New York City has ruled that a Long Island firm that provides discount medical plans must face a discrimination trial after workers said they were forced to pray, chant and participate in spiritual interpersonal workshops…..
The judge says the program, known as “Onionhead,” used an approach that amounted to a religion.
The judge says workers described a cult-like environment with religious ceremonies that included burning incense to cleanse the workplace and dimming lights to prevent demons from entering.
An attorney for the firm says there’s no proof workers were required to participate in Onionhead activities.
‘Onionhead’ ruled a religion in Syosset discrimination case
October 4, 2016 By John Riley
A Brooklyn federal judge has ruled that a Syosset health care business will have to face a discrimination trial for allegedly forcing workers to pray, chant and participate in spiritual interpersonal workshops known as “Onionhead” and “Harnessing Happiness.”
U.S. District Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto said the program — represented by a logo with an anthropomorphic onion — amounted to a religion….
November 10, 2015 Comments Off on Leah Remini on Her Challenging Childhood in Scientology
Leah Remini on Her Challenging Childhood in Scientology: I Was Cleaning Hotel Rooms at Age 13
By Mike Miller and Johnny Dodd
Leah Remini is now one of the most high-profile and outspoken critics of the Church of Scientology, but when she was first introduced to the religion, she found comfort in both the structure and the freedom the church brought to her childhood.
What began as a “normal” middle-class upbringing in Bensonhurst, New York, changed for Remini at young age when her parents divorced. When her mother started dating a Scientologist, the new religion “was introduced to our household pretty quickly,” the actress tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story.
While she jokes that initially she couldn’t even pronounce the name of her new faith, she soon found herself benefiting from some of the religion’s tenets. “Almost immediately my mother became a little more open and less the mother who was always yelling at you. She told my sister [Nicole, then 10], and me that we were spiritual beings and we were going to start learning to communicate and not attack each other. As a kid, it’s very empowering,” Remini explains.
At only 13, Remini and Nicole were invited to move into the church’s special Sea Org headquarters in Clearwater, Florida – home to Scientology’s most dedicated members. The pair were separated from their pregnant mother and signed a “billion-year” contract of allegiance to the Sea Org, Remini says….
Remini claims she and her sister lived in a roach-infested motel room with six other girls. The star dropped out of school in eighth grade and was assigned manual labor for 12 hours a day, including cleaning hotel rooms.
“We were being used as laborers,” she tells PEOPLE. (Scientology, which in a statement has called Remini’s entire book “revisionist history,” says that “allegation is false” and maintains that the facility was in good standing with the local health department.)….
The Reminis moved to L.A. But despite escaping the rigidity of Sea Org life, Remini says, the family was still “scraping to get by, living on a friend’s floor, trying to get our own apartment and paying for Scientology [courses].”
Leah Remini Opens up to PEOPLE About Leaving Scientology: ‘It’s Like a Rebirth’
by Patrick Gomez and Johnny Dodd
11/03/2015 Leah Remini is opening up about her three decades in Scientology and why she decided to leave….
When Leah Remini made the momentous decision to leave the Church of Scientology in 2013, she knew it wasn’t going to be easy.
The former King of Queens actress, 45, had been introduced to the religion by her mother at the age of 8, and had been a member for 35 years. As a teen, she even spent a year living – and doing manual labor, including cleaning hotel rooms – at the church’s Sea Org headquarters in Clearwater, Florida, which is reserved for Scientology’s most dedicated members….
Remini also began educating herself about the criticisms faced by the church (all of which are refuted by church officials) and made the difficult decision to leave despite the fear she could lose any relationship with her family, including her mom, Vicki Marshall, and her husband, Angelo Pagán.
But that didn’t happen. Her family followed her lead and left with her….
The Church of Scientology denies nearly all of Remini’s claims….
Police ‘covered up child sex abuse by actors and priests’, Documentary reveals how Scientology ‘controls’ John Travolta and Tom Cruise, Alfio Granata: Ice addiction
March 31, 2015 Comments Off on Police ‘covered up child sex abuse by actors and priests’, Documentary reveals how Scientology ‘controls’ John Travolta and Tom Cruise, Alfio Granata: Ice addiction
– Police ‘covered up child sex abuse by actors and priests’
– Documentary reveals how Scientology ‘controls’ John Travolta and Tom Cruise
– Alfio Granata: Ice addiction led man to rape and beat Dutch tourist, court told
Police ‘covered up child sex abuse by actors and priests’
John Simpson March 29 2015
Actors, priests, judges and entertainers have been implicated in the latest allegations that Scotland Yard covered up establishment child sex abuse, the police watchdog has confirmed.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has begun three more investigations into claims of corruption in the Metropolitan Police’s investigations into alleged paedophile rings involving prominent figures spanning 35 years.
The new investigations mean that there are now 17 inquiries into allegations that senior officers “hindered or halted” investigations and surveillance operations, suppressed evidence and ordered detectives to limit their inquiries when police officers, politicians or famous people were implicated.
Documentary reveals how Scientology ‘controls’ John Travolta and Tom Cruise
March 31, 2015
Scientology exposed … HBO documentary Going Clear delivers some explosive details about
HEAVILY lawyered US network HBO aired its highly anticipated Scientology documentary overnight, and with it some startling allegations about the organisation and its two most famous members.
Directed by Academy Award winner Alex Gibney, the film, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, is based on a book-length expose by Lawrence Wright and shares the stories of those who escaped the religion, including high-ranking officials.
Detailing claims of psychological and physical abuse, former members share horrific and fascinating accounts of their time in the church — particularly about how its leader, David Miscavige, relies on stars like Tom Cruise and John Travolta to recruit and raise money, and how he keeps them on board.
The Church of Scientology is worth billions but, as it operates as a non-profit religious organisation, is exempt from taxation.
In the film, Wright says there are two ways the fast-growing organisation could be stopped; the first is a financial crackdown by the IRS, and the second is a high-profile backlash, which is even less likely….
According to the MailOnline’s review, the film claims Scientologists hold a “blackmail file” on Cruise and fellow Scientologist John Travolta, to stop them leaving the faith….
The claims have been disputed by the church, with Gibney outlining in the film their insistence that Scientology has no control over Cruise….
The organisation claims Gibney and Wright, and the network, intentionally covered up facts, and labelled the director a “propaganda filmmaker with an agenda”….
Alfio Granata: Ice addiction led man to rape and beat Dutch tourist, court told 30 March 2015
A man’s ice addiction led him to violently rape and beat a Dutch tourist he had taken hostage during a six-week ordeal at a Melbourne hotel, a court hears.
Alfio Granata has pleaded guilty to 14 charges over the incident at a Preston Hotel.
A man’s ice addiction led him to violently rape and beat a Dutch tourist he had taken hostage during a six-week ordeal at a Melbourne hotel, a court has been told.
Alfio Granata, 47, has pleaded guilty to 14 charges, including multiple rapes, threats to kill, and intentionally causing serious injury.
The victim was left with 54 separate injuries after she was repeatedly beaten unconscious, violently raped and cut with a knife….
Prosecutor Nanette Rogers said Granata claimed he was possessed by the devil and the spirit of his dead grandfather.
Dr Rogers told the court on one occasion Granata put the victim’s nail cuttings, hair and blood in an envelope as part of a supposed ritual to destroy her soul….
March 24, 2015 Comments Off on Former Boy Scout sues Mormon church for sexual abuse, Going Clear Scientology documentary
LDS Church: No tolerance for sex abuse in scouting
By Scott Zamost and Kyra Phillips, CNN
Mon March 23, 2015
Former Boy Scout sues Mormon church for sexual abuse
(CNN) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is the largest sponsor of Boy Scout troops in the United States, says the church has strong measures in place to prevent the sexual abuse of scouts, as claims have been made it hasn’t done enough.
In the first interview about allegations of abuse in Mormon church-sponsored scouting troops, Church Elder L. Whitney Clayton told CNN that the church is at the forefront for prevention of child abuse….
Over several months, CNN examined allegations of abuse that were detailed in at least five lawsuits filed against the church and the scouts.
But Clayton said the church today is proactive, even constructing its buildings “in such a way as to try to avoid any situation where child abuse could occur.”….
The scoutmaster, Vance Hein, had been forced in resign from scouting in the early 1990s after reports surfaced that he failed to report a fellow scoutmaster who was engaged in homosexual activities. That scoutmaster ended up going to prison for sexual assaults on minors.
Hein’s name was added to the Boy Scouts of America’s ineligible volunteer files, which are widely known as the “perversion files.” The documents, which were made public in 2012, are lists of scout leaders suspected of sexual abuse or homosexual activity.
However, three years after being kicked out of scouting, Hein was allowed to rejoin the scouts after getting letters of recommendation attesting to his character. One of those letters was from Hein’s influential Mormon Bishop Jack Moyer, who wrote that Hein was “highly respected and liked.”….
But in a deposition taken as part of the lawsuit last year, he acknowledged that he would not have written the letter knowing what he later found out about Hein.
The lawsuit charged that Hein “actively groomed young boys under his charge for later sexual molestation.” Hein eventually was convicted of molesting Novak. He is now in prison for violating probation in the Novak case….
Going Clear is a ‘must-see’ Scientology documentary
Owen Gleiberman 20 March 2015
….Working with rare footage, Gibney burrows into the enigma of Scientology’s founder, L Ron Hubbard, capturing glints of delusion and megalomania. Hubbard‘s rise began in the 1930s, and he quickly became an astoundingly prolific science-fiction writer. But then in 1950 he published Dianetics, the perpetual bestseller in which he helped invent the principles of the therapeutic ‘self-help’ books that grew hugely popular by the 1970s. In Scientology, he wrapped these ideas around a theological core of interplanetary gibberish that could have come straight out of one his pulp novels. Going Clear captures how Hubbard fused reality, fantasy and the pursuit of enlightenment in a way that, according to the film’s witnesses, expressed his own highly unstable and even violent nature – at one point Gibney shows how Hubbard even told his wife that one of their children had died, just to manipulate her. Hubbard wound up a sea-faring outlaw on the run from US tax officials, and in Going Clear he emerges as a broken dictator who founded a religion based on control because he was so desperate to control his own demons.
Hubbard constructed Scientology around a ritual known as the ‘audit’, which is like a conventional therapy session fused with a Catholic confession and a visit to Room 101 in Orwell’s 1984. A member sits down and digs into their secrets and private traumas, as the auditor asks questions and takes notes, recording the subject’s responses on an ‘E-meter’, a gadget invented by Hubbard. Haggis, a Scientologist for 35 years before his highly publicised break with the Church in 2009, tells us how incredibly good an audit session could make him feel, as if he’d purged himself of all his toxins. Gibney suggests Hubbard’s method of healing was really just a superficial take on Freudian therapy, a comparison that Hubbard scorned – though only after his techniques had been rejected as rubbish by legitimate psychiatrists. Going Clear, however, suggests a dramatic difference between auditing and traditional therapy: it claims that the Church of Scientology holds on to the notes from the sessions and uses them to blackmail its members into staying….
Gibney interviews a handful of high-level Scientology officers who left the Church and are now willing to denounce it. Marty Rathbun, who spent years as Miscavige’s right-hand man, was at the very centre of the citadel, and his testimony has an unsettling authority. He alleges that Miscavige, in actions worthy of the Khmer Rouge, subjected his loyal officials to rituals of abuse, making them ‘confess’ to imagined crimes and assaulting them if they didn’t comply. The astounding thing is that when the victims were given the chance to exit this torture program, none of them did. They thought they deserved to be punished….
Twitter shuts down string of accounts containing child abuse images after hackers expose indecent content, Piero Corsi, Italian Priest, Says ‘Provocative’ Women To Blame For Spate Of Domestic Violence (VIDEO), Belgium To Prosecute Scientology As Criminal Organization; Church Faces Charges Of Extortion, Fraud
December 30, 2012 Comments Off on Twitter shuts down string of accounts containing child abuse images after hackers expose indecent content, Piero Corsi, Italian Priest, Says ‘Provocative’ Women To Blame For Spate Of Domestic Violence (VIDEO), Belgium To Prosecute Scientology As Criminal Organization; Church Faces Charges Of Extortion, Fraud
Twitter shuts down string of accounts containing child abuse images after hackers expose indecent content
NSPCC says hacking groups exposed the files last night
The charity says it has received a ‘flurry’ of reports
Unclear whether images came from British users or those abroad
Cases will now be investigated in the US where the site is based
Another child protection group received 30 reports of such images
By James Black
24 December 2012
A string of Twitter accounts have been closed after they were revealed to contain disturbing images of child abuse.
The graphic pictures were apparently made public late last night after hacking groups claimed to have broken into the private accounts to expose their indecent content, the NSPCC said.
The charity said it received a ‘flurry’ of reports overnight relating to at least half a dozen Twitter accounts which were later disabled.
They will now be investigated in the US, where the micro-blogging site is based.
An NSPCC spokesman said: ‘Apparently these were pretty disturbing images of child abuse.
“We understand the authorities in the US are now looking at the accounts.’
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) said it had also received around 30 reports, relating to at least four accounts.
Piero Corsi, Italian Priest, Says ‘Provocative’ Women To Blame For Spate Of Domestic Violence (VIDEO)
The Huffington Post | By Meredith Bennett-Smith 12/28/2012
An Italian priest found himself embroiled in a national controversy this week after a Christmas bulletin he posted in his church went viral.
Perio Corsi’s flier, entitled “Women and femicide – healthy self-criticism. How often do they provoke?” claimed that women in Italy may be to blame for a spate of domestic violence attacks, Raw Story notes. Members of the priest’s congregation then posted the text on the Internet:
How often do we see girls and mature women going around scantily dressed and in provocative clothes?
They provoke the worst instincts, which end in violence or sexual abuse. They should search their consciences and ask: did we bring this on ourselves?
The flier went on to decry “increasingly provocative,” “arrogant” and “self-sufficient” women who abandon their children, don’t clean their houses and serve cold meals.
Corsi is the leader of a church in the small parish of San Terenzo in northwest Italy, according to The Journal.
The Daily Beast’s Barbie Latza Nadeau notes that this year 120 women have been killed in domestic disputes in the European nation, “a third more than last year.” In fact, the problem has even caught the attention of the United Nations Human Rights Council, which urged the country to take action last June.
As calls for the priest to resign intensified, Euronews reported that Corsi issued an apology, only to quickly take it back. He also used an anti-gay slur when debating a reporter from Rai Radio, L’Huffington Post reports.
Meanwhile, local officials have been quick to distance themselves from the church leader’s comments….
Belgium To Prosecute Scientology As Criminal Organization; Church Faces Charges Of Extortion, Fraud
The Huffington Post | By Andres Jauregui 12/28/2012
Federal public prosecutors in Belgium will institute legal proceedings against the church of Scientology in that country and seek to recognize it as a criminal organization.
The church of Scientology — which is not recognized as a faith in Belgium — and several of its top-ranking members face charges including extortion, fraud, illegal practice of medicine and violation of privacy laws, according to Flanders News.
The complaint stems from an investigation of fraudulent labor contracts issued by the church of Scientology in an effort to recruit new volunteers and members. A judge ordered raids on Scientology offices in 2008 that allegedly uncovered a “wealth of evidence” that the organization had spied on and extorted money from its members, according to De Standaard.
An estimated 500 people belong to the church of Scientology in Belgium. The organization’s European headquarters are located in Brussels.
Belgium is not the only European country in which Scientology has faced criticism and legal action.
Scientology came under fire in France in 2009 when it was convicted of fraud for “[pressuring] members into paying large sums for questionable remedies,” according to the Associated Press. That conviction was upheld in a French appeals court in February 2012.