Scientology Skewered By St. Petersburg Times
On Sunday, the St. Petersburg Times began a three-part series detailing old and new allegations against the Church of Scientology, focussing on David Miscavige, the creepy heir to Scientology's founder, science-fiction author L. Ron Hubbard. What makes the article explosive is that several of Scientology's top officers have walked away and gone public with their stories. Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder, the highest-ranking executives to leave the cult, are speaking out for the first time. Also speaking to the paper are Tom De Vocht who oversaw the church's spiritual headquarters in Clearwater for many years, and Amy Scobee, who helped create Scientology's celebrity network that specializes in setting up promotions involving the cult's high-visibility stars like Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Lisa Marie Presley and Kirstie Alley.
The article by Joe Childs and Thomas C. Tobin at long last fills in the gaps concerning some of the most notorious allegations made against Scirntology, because Rathbun and Rinder were at the top of the management chain of Sea Org, the inner circle that runs the massive international operation. They allege Miscavige's violent attacks against Scientology members and managers, and reveal the strategy used by Scientology to muscle the IRS into reinstating its tax exempt status after cult members, including Hubberd's wife, were convicted of breaking into IRS offices and stealing government documents.
None of their information is especially new. What is new is who is making the statements and allegations.
The article is massive. And there's more to come.
Scientology was created in the 1950s by California science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard, as the “religious” extension of his self-help method Dianetics. The OT III level (“Operating Thetan”) is part of the Church of Scientology’s “Advanced Technology” teachings. For the first time in the many levels of costly church teachings, once members reach OT III, it is revealed that the universe is 4,000,000,000,000,000 years old (that’s four quadrillion). Astronomers believe it’s a little younger – between 10 and 20 billion, but who’s to say for sure? In the final analysis, the red meat of the advanced spirituality of OTIII is really a space opera.
L. Ron Hubbard said in 1967 that humans have an alien implant in their brains called the R-6 Implant, and that it was “calculated to kill” anyone who attempted to tinker with it. We’ll risk it. OTIII goes on to reveal that humans are inhabited by spiritual life forms known as Thetans, who were brought to Earth by Xenu, ruler of a Galactic Confederacy of 26 star systems. Xenu paralyzed billions of these beings and flew them to Earth (known in this saga by its earlier name, Teegeeack) aboard DC-8 aircraft powered by rocket engines, about 70,000,000 years ago.
Xenu, so the story goes, stacked these beings around volcanoes and blew them up with hydrogen bombs. Their souls were scattered around Teegeeack, er, Earth, and were absorbed into the bodies of living people. These “Body Thetans” continue to inhabit humans today, and cause illnesses, as well as mental and emotional instability. The higher levels of Scientology attempt to teach members how to eliminate the effects of the Thetans, or even drive these Thetans out of their bodies. (These descriptions come from former Church members and leaked documents – Scientology spokesmen say these accounts are taken out of context and are meant to ridicule the Church.) Because of the psychological basis of Scientology’s methods, the religion is adamant about its followers refusing psychiatric care from the mainstream medical community.
Depending on which source you read, it costs as low as $30,000 or as high as $360,000 to enter into the higher levels of the religion, and members are forbidden to discuss their progress or the materials they have studied, even with each other. Presumably, only after you’ve lost enough free will, common sense and cash are you ready for the awesome truth about Xenu and the Thetans. The Church regards its scriptures as copyrighted “trade secrets,” threatening prosecution and prison for anyone who dares to publish them – the only religion we’ve ever heard of to do so. If only Jesus had possessed the foresight to copyright the New Testament! The right attorneys could have sued the Protestants back to the Stone Age and avoided all of those Counter-Reformation headaches.
Okay, so what makes all of this a conspiracy? For 25 years, the Internal Revenue Service regarded Scientology’s various operations as a commercial enterprise, and not a church worthy of tax exempt status. So, in the 1970’s Scientology went on the attack against 136 government agencies, foreign embassies, and organizations critical of the church, in what they called Operation Snow White. Using as many as 5,000 church members as agents worldwide, Scientologists went on the warpath, especially against the IRS in order to destroy reports and records critical of the church, and to pressure the Feds into granting the church tax exempt status as a bone fide religion. Scientologists infiltrated the IRS and other agencies, and engaged in theft of government documents, wiretapping and conspiring to create smear campaigns against government employees. While Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard avoided prosecution as an “un-indicted co-conspirator,” his wife Mary Sue didn’t, and did hard jail time for following his orders. Eleven church officials were convicted in U.S. Federal court in 1979, and seven more in Canada in 1996.
So did it work? Well, in 1993 the IRS changed its mind and granted tax-exempt status to the Church of Scientology and its various connected entities, along with castigating foreign countries that didn’t follow suit.
You tell us.