A Sad Story of Tabloid Journalism

I am not saying something new when referring to tabloids as offensive to logical minds. But recently another magazine has joined the crowd of mind-boggling, hair-raising and nausea-inducing “news” magazines: Vanity Fair. Calling Maureen Orth’s recent Vanity Fair story about the Church of Scientology a “piece of trash” is actually an understatement. Even trash is more useful than Orth’s delusional rendition of the truth. The amount of unverified and misrepresented data in this article hits a new low in current journalism. And it is not a surprise to find out that it was completely based on the usual anti-Scientologist crowd a la Rathbun and Headley. Not one person presented in the story was actually talked to.  Headley, who just lost a second time in court against the Church and is notorious for changing his story as it suits him, is the grand “source” for Mrs. Orth. This journalist is a lost cause.

To save Vanity Fair, write to its editor at letters@vf.com . There might be some hope that they come to their senses. But we have to tell them about the erosion of quality that is happening right under their eyes.

The Church of Scientology issued a statement on the article. It is very well worth reading:

http://www.scientologynews.org/statements/csi-responds-to-vanity-fair.html

– L

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CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY INAUGURATES NEW LANDMARK HOME IN CALIFORNIA’S CAPITAL

Just a week after Hamburg, the next Church opened! Read it, that mayor rocks!

(below the press release from: ScientologyNews.org)

California’s capital celebrated the grand opening of the new Church of Scientology of Sacramento on Saturday, January 28. The dedication ceremony was attended by more than 2,500 Scientologists, guests and city, state and national officials.

The Church’s new home, located just blocks from the State Capitol, is one of the city’s most prominent architectural landmarks. Originally opened in 1930 as the Ramona Hotel and designed by California’s first state architect, the building is Sacramento’s finest surviving example of the Spanish Colonial Revival style. The Church meticulously preserved the building’s structure and restored its features to their original glory, including the characteristic stucco, ornamental glazed brick and terra cotta tiles, decorative iron accents and the original blade sign. All restoration was planned and executed for minimal environmental impact and maximum sustainability, meeting the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification standards.

The grand opening of the new Church was distinguished by the presence of Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board Religious Technology Center and ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, who officiated at the ceremony.

In signifying the importance of this new Church, Mr. Miscavige said: “The dedication of this new Church signifies a solemn pledge. It’s a pledge to employ the full measure of what lies within those walls on behalf of this City. It’s a pledge to make a world of which we can be proud. A world without insanity, criminality, illiteracy and immorality; a world where the able can prosper, where honest beings have rights and where all are free to rise to greater heights. That’s our responsibility as Scientologists. And, yes, a responsibility we willinglyembrace.”

Also in attendance and commemorating the occasion were Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson; California State Assembly Member Mike Gatto; Greater Sacramento Urban League president David DeLuz; Interfaith Council of Greater Sacramento president Jon Fish; and International Faith-Based Council president and founder Bishop Ron Allen.

In his salutatory address, Mayor Kevin Johnson welcomed and acknowledged the Church for demonstrating its commitment to the city: “Sacramento is the most diverse city in the country, and your church and what you guys are doing is diverse. This building here is not just a building for you—it’s a building for the community.  It’s a building that will help us revitalize this downtown area. The Church of Scientology came to us and said, ‘Look, we want to help. We want to take a historic building and preserve it and renovate it and make it a masterpiece for the downtown area showcase.’ We really wanted to transform Sacramento into the greenest region in the country and a hub for clean technology and you folks are helping to make that a reality. You have done your part.

California State Assembly Member Mike Gatto commended the work of the Sacramento Church of Scientology and its Citizens Commission on Human Rights to protect children from psychotropic drugging: “These kids may never have the chance to find themselves before being prescribed a drug.  They may never know what it means to feel their own pure emotion in their hearts and their own thoughts in their minds. You can rest assured I will continue to do everything in my power to see that every legislator and parent hears your voice, and thereby gains their own power to act for the sake of all children in California.”

Interfaith Council of Greater Sacramento President Jon Fish recognized the Church’s effective contribution to the community, including its humanitarian program utilizing L. Ron Hubbard’s book, The Way to Happiness: “I can’t tell you how uplifting it is to know there are people out there every day—the Scientologists—addressing moral virtues in society, and who really know what they’re doing. For those reasons and so many more, we welcome members of the Church of Scientology. We know this will always be a home of friendship toward us and others. There shall always be an open invitation and an outstretched hand.”

Highlighting the Church’s work in human rights education, Greater Sacramento Urban League president David DeLuz said: “You are educating people on their rights and thereby building up the coming generation who we’ll rely on to protect those rights for everyone, no matter their race, color, creed or religion. Here in California’s capital, we come from everywhere… We need to nurture that, which is exactly what you’re doing. Because this is a Church, not just open to everyone but you freely give to anyone the many tools you have. That’s why this Church is as much a gift to Sacramento as to your parishioners.”

Citing the Church’s worldwide Truth About Drugs education program, International Faith-Based Coalition founder and president Bishop Ron Allen said: “I’ve always said ‘so goes California, so goes the nation.’ Cleaning up the capital and blanketing it with Truth About Drugs materials will cause an effect so great it will ripple out across America. This program is the answer to the global epidemic.  I want it mandatory for school children across America to go through the Truth About Drugs curriculum.”

_________________

The new Ideal Church of Scientology of Sacramento rises seven stories and measures 57,000 square feet. In addition to its central Chapel for all congregational gatherings, Sunday Services and religious ceremonies, the Church further includes multiple seminar rooms and classrooms, in addition to dozens of rooms for Scientology auditing (spiritual counseling).

The entirety of the ground floor has been reserved for Introductory Services, welcoming visitors and those wanting to find out about Scientology for themselves. It further includes an expansive Public Information Center, providing a complete introduction to the beliefs and practices of the Scientology religion, as well as the life and legacy of Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard. The Information Center additionally presents a detailed overview of Church-sponsored humanitarian programs, including a worldwide human rights initiative; an equally far-ranging drug education, prevention and rehabilitation campaign; a global network of literacy and learning centers; and the Scientology Volunteer Minister program now comprising the largest independent relief force on Earth. In full, the Information Center’s multimedia displays offer some 500 informational and documentary films at the touch of a button. The Center is open morning to night and visitors are invited to tour at their leisure and return as often as they wish.

_________________

The Church of Scientology Sacramento is the second Ideal Org to open in 2012, following the Church of Scientology Hamburg, in Germany, on January 21, 2012.

Ideal Orgs realize the fulfillment of Founder L. Ron Hubbard’s vision for the religion.  They not only provide the ideal facilities to service Scientologists on their ascent to greater states of spiritual awareness and freedom, but they are also designed to serve as a home for the entire community and a meeting ground of cooperative effort to uplift citizens of all denominations.

Other new Churches opened in recent years include Washington, D.C.; New York, New York; Los Angeles, California; Pasadena, California; Inglewood, California; Seattle, Washington; Tampa, Florida; Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota; as well as Québec city, Canada; Mexico City, Mexico and Melbourne, Australia.

More than 15 new Ideal Orgs are scheduled for grand opening in 2012.

For a complete list of new Churches of Scientology, visit Scientology.org.

_________________

The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 10,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.

  • For more information on the founder of Dianetics & Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, visit L. Ron Hubbard.org.
  • For more information about David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board Religious Technology Center and ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, visitScientology.org/David Miscavige.

HAMBURG DEDICATES A NEW IDEAL CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY FOR GERMANY

On January 21, 2012, the Church of Scientology of Hamburg newly opened its doors to the city in a dedication ceremony attended by 1,500 Scientologists, guests and dignitaries. The grand opening marked the culmination of a transformation of the seven-story Church into an Ideal Church of Scientology (Ideal Org) to better meet the needs of Hamburg’s growing Scientology congregation and the community at large.

On January 21, 2012, the Church of Scientology Hamburg celebrated the opening of their fully transformed home at Domstrasse 9 in Altstadt, the center of Hamburg’s historic district.

In her commemorative statement, Ms. Pia Michel, Executive Director of the Church of Scientology of Hamburg, proclaimed: “There are some 300 churches, mosques and temples in the city of Hamburg. For more than forty years, the Church of Scientology has been a strong voice in that religious community. But the opening of this new Church marks a turning point, for the flame of religious freedom burns brightly today on behalf of all, and so it will forever.”In honor of the occasion, Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board Religious Technology Center and ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, stated: “This Ideal Org signals a new era for Scientology in Germany for, in a very real sense, this Church is Scientology itself. It was conceived to mirror the Scientology Organizing Board, and so accommodates every function called for in our Founder’s policy. It was meticulously planned to deliver all Scientology services in exact accordance with our Founder’s technology—from every Introductory Service to the top of our Bridge. And it was designed to embody the spirit of Scientology, and so provides an introduction where anyone and everyone can find out for themselves who we are and what we do. So allow me to extend a welcome to all. From this day forward, our doors are open and our help is yours.”

In full representation of that pledge—working together in a cooperative effort to help one and all—among those on hand to inaugurate the new Church were some of Hamburg’s foremost civic and religious leaders. They included a long outspoken human rights advocate, the founder of a leading youth drug addiction and prevention organization, a religious rights leader from the Greek Orthodox community and an advisor to Germany’s forthcoming Memorial and Documentation Center on National Socialism.

________________

A prominent feature of the new Hamburg Ideal Org is a comprehensive Public Information Center, enabling all visitors to answer the pivotal question, “What is Scientology?” Occupying the entirety of the ground floor, it contains a gallery of multimedia displays presenting the beliefs and practices of the Scientology religion, as well as the life and legacy of Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard. The Information Center also provides a complete overview of the many Church-sponsored humanitarian initiatives, including a worldwide human rights initiative; an equally far-ranging drug education, prevention and rehabilitation program; a global network of literacy and learning centers; and the Scientology Volunteer Minister program, now comprising the largest independent relief force on Earth.  The displays offer some 500 informational and documentary films at the touch of a button. Open morning to night, the Information Center welcomes visitors to tour at their leisure and return as often as they wish. In combination with its adjoining café, the Information Center is also configured to accommodate hundreds at a time for weekly Open Houses.

The Church was further planned to serve as a gathering hub for the entire community. The Chapel, home to all Scientology congregational services and ceremonies, can also be configured as a venue for events and other assemblies to coordinate humanitarian initiatives for the benefit of Hamburg and all her citizens. The venue is fully equipped with state-of-the-art video and audio for special film presentations and seminars. The Chapel further includes facilities to host receptions and banquets.

The new Hamburg Ideal Org also now includes expansive facilities to provide Introductory Services for those new to the religion, including regularly scheduled Dianetics and Scientology Personal Efficiency Seminars and an array of Life Improvement Courses.

________________

The Church of Scientology of Hamburg is the newest of dozens of Ideal Orgs opened in the past five years.

Ideal Orgs realize the fulfillment of Founder L. Ron Hubbard’s vision for the religion. They not only provide the ideal facilities to service Scientologists on their ascent to greater states of spiritual freedom, but they are also designed to serve as a home for the entire community and a meeting ground of cooperative effort to uplift citizens of all denominations.

The Church of Scientology Hamburg is the first Ideal Org to open in 2012, joining a parade of Ideal Orgs already opened in cultural epicenters across Europe, including: Berlin, Germany; Moscow, Russia; Brussels, Belgium; London, England; Madrid, Spain and Rome, Italy.

Other new Churches opened in recent years include Washington, D.C.; New York, New York; Los Angeles, California; Pasadena, California; Inglewood, California; Seattle, Washington; Tampa, Florida; Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota; as well as Québec City, Canada; Mexico City, Mexico and Melbourne, Australia.

More than 15 new Ideal Orgs are scheduled for grand opening in 2012.

_________________

The Scientology religion was founded by L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has now expanded to more than 10,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.

Star Magazine Apologizes to Katie Holmes for ‘Drug Shocker’ Story

Ha, I hoped for that, didn’t I ;))

Star magazine has been forced to issue an apology to Katie Holmes on the cover of this week’s issue, after the actress filed a $50 million suit against the magazine for running a previous cover that claimed she was addicted to drugs. The tabloid falsely reported that the star of “The Kennedys” was hooked on a Scientology treatment that has “an effect similar to heroin” in its January 20 issue.” (Source)

Uh, oh, remember what Star Magazine still said back in March? “Star fully stands behind the editorial integrity of what we have published” Yeah, right. Opportunists of the really bad kind. I wonder what charity this substantial donation is going to? Here are a couple of charitable non-profit organizations with proven results:

Applied Scholastics International, a nonprofit educational organization based in Missouri, was founded by a consortium of American educators in 1972. Administered by the Association for Better Living and Education, it is dedicated to the broad implementation of learning tools researched and developed by American author and educator L. Ron Hubbard.

Narconon International provides drug information, education about the effects of drugs and effective drug rehabilitation programs for those already in the grip of addiction.

The Foundation for a Drug-Free World is a nonprofit public benefit corporation that empowers youth and adults with factual information about drugs so they can make informed decisions and live drug-free.

Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) is a nonprofit organization founded in 2001 by Dr. Mary Shuttleworth, an educator born and raised in apartheid South Africa, where she witnessed firsthand the devastating effects of discrimination and the lack of basic human rights.

Squirrels… Yikes!

This morning I was pointed to a rather funny video of several  “SquirrelBusters”. By the looks of it it’s a prank but I thought no one should be left with a question what a “Squirrel” is. And I don’t mean those flat pieces of bloody fur you sometimes see on high-traffic roads, no, I am talking about the definition of a Scientology squirrel. As Scientology is built on the findings and teachings of L. Ron Hubbard it might be best to show what he said about them:

You know what a squirrel is?  A squirrel is somebody — you know, the medical profession since time immemorial and all these various professions have had on their coattails, squirrels.  Every one of them.  There hasn’t been a single branch of human endeavor that doesn’t have its lunatic fringe.  (L. Ron Hubbard, 5 December 1952, Lecture “ARC/Cycles: Theory and Automaticity)

Although we’ve had other definitions for a squirrel, that’s the one I commonly use to myself. A squirrel is somebody who runs round and round and round the cage of his own bank. (L. Ron Hubbard, 23 November 1956, Lecture: “Farewell Lecture”)

A squirrel is a person — a person who’s going around looking for nuts that are foolish enough to let him process them.  (L. Ron Hubbard, 6 April 1959, Lecture: “Beingness and Communication”)

But why would Scientologists be so concerned with  them? It’s for the protection of people. Maybe this one explains it best:

Here is the guy who plans to “squirrel” and “grab Scientology.” Here is the boy.  Or here is the girl.  But here is also a thetan buried in the mud.  And if you let this person go without attention, he or she will soon become ill or die — or worse will mess up or kill others.  The person is the only real psycho.  And if you let him drift he’ll soon wind up in the brain surgeon’s suppressive hands.  So it’s nothing to overlook.  People who have to solve their problems by shooting the rest of us down are what made life such a hell in this universe. You have your hands on the implanter, the warmonger, the wrecker. (L. Ron Hubbard, Policy Letter of 5 April 1965, titled “The No-Case-Gain Student”)

Updated: Apostates and so on

UPDATE 8 Feb 2011: Here are two Church of Scientology statements on the subject, both from yesterday:
Statement 1 (PDF)
Statement 2 (PDF)

This morning I ran across an interesting statement of the Church of Scientology in regards to “apostates”. Though I’d share, comments [] are mine:

“It is unfortunate that The New Yorker [some lame weekly magazine with no research capabilities] chose to introduce its readers to Scientology through the eyes of an apostate, someone religious scholars unanimously denounce as unreliable, rather than take advantage of the Church’s invitation to experience its practices and humanitarian works firsthand. The New Yorker doesn’t mention Scientology’s global human rights initiative, which has educated millions on human rights. Or its “Truth About Drugs” crusade, teaching millions how to live drug-free. Or its global Volunteer Ministers program, whose work in Haiti alone has been hailed by the international community. Or its dozens of new Churches bringing Scientology’s life saving technology to communities around the world. Indeed the newest Church opened just this last week in Melbourne, Australia.

The one grain of truth in the article is its acknowledgment of the positive effect Scientology has had on the lives of its adherents and the world at large—that is the message of Scientology.

The article is little more than a regurgitation of old allegations that have long been disproved. It is disappointing that a magazine with the reputation of The New Yorker chose to reprint these sensationalist claims from disaffected former members hardly worthy of a tabloid. As for the claim that the Church is the subject of a federal investigation, the Church has never been advised of any government investigation, a fact The New Yorker knew before it went to print. Moreover, the subject of the alleged investigation was recently raised in a lawsuit by the same individuals who are the sources for the article and the complaint was resoundingly dismissed by a Federal District Court Judge. The New Yorker was aware of this fact but irresponsibly sought to use the claim of an “investigation” to garner headlines for an otherwise stale article containing nothing but rehashed unfounded allegations.

Anyone who wants to know the true story of Scientology should find out for themselves by coming to a Church of Scientology, whose doors are always open, or going to the Church’s website, www.Scientology.org.”

Court about Scientology in Russia: Not Extremist

Another piece of oppression went down the drain today:

Surgut city court ruling that Scientology materials are extremist overturned

October 12, 2010

On October 12, the Khanty-Mansi district court overturned the decision of the Surgut city court, which ruled as extremist works of L. Ron Hubbard containing the basics of the teachings of the Church of Scientology.

The March 26, 2010 decision of the Surgut city court was made behind closed doors. No one representing the Scientologists was allowed into the process. The prosecutor, and then the judge, decided that the fundamentals of the doctrine of the Church of Scientology are extremist. The prosecutor later acknowledged in an interview that he did not read the materials and relied on expert analysis. An expert was recommended by Galina Vydrina, an adviser to the governor of Khanty-Mansi who has long been fighting against non-traditional religions. The expert was anti-cult specialist Evgeny Volkov, who, instead of answering the court’s questions, summarized his “scientific” theories without even browsing through half of the materials submitted for analysis. The court as well did not familiarize itself with the materials by Ron Hubbard. The entire judicial process lasted 2 hours and 40 minutes.

Believers in the local community (whose representative is Alexander Ilyin) feel that this decision was taken in retaliation for the recognition by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that local authorities had violated the rights of Surgut Scientologists to freedom of conscience.

Despite the fact that the decision of the Surgut city court had not yet taken effect legally, the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation illegally added these materials to the list of extremist materials. Since the publication of this list, law enforcement agencies have been on the hunt for these materials across the country from Blagoveshchensk to Krasnodar, conducting searches and raids, unsealing materials at customs, calling citizens to administrative proceedings.

“The Surgut decision is a disgrace to the judicial system. As a citizen of the Russian Federation and as a lawyer, I’m glad it has been overturned. Even though it would have been excellent grounds for an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, I believe that the ability of the court of appeal to make decisions independently of religious preferences and of the political situation bears witness to the triumph not only of law but of common sense,” said lawyer Galina Krylova.

The head of the chief Scientology Center in Russia, Natalia Dvoryadkin, explained that the works of R. Hubbard have for over 50 years been distributed worldwide in 165 countries. The total circulation of the published materials today exceeds 81 million copies. For more information about the Scientology religion visit the sites www.scientology.ru, www.scientology-moscow.ru, www.scientologyfacts.ru.

(Yes,this is a Google translation… here is the original: http://portal-credo.ru/site/?act=news&id=80189&cf=)

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