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Scientology Charged With Slavery, Human Trafficking 802

Posted by kdawson
from the to-name-but-a-few dept.
eldavojohn writes "A formal complaint was filed in California (caged PDF) last week by John Lindstein naming David Miscavige and the Church of Scientology International as defendants. Lindstein claims that for sixteen years (from age 8) he was forced to work as a slave at Gold Base, a secret CoS site run by Golden Era Productions with 'razor wire, security guard patrols, surveillance posts, and three roll calls each day.' The pay was $50 a week. The allegations include 'Violations of wage and hour laws as well as unfair/illegal business practices actionable under California B&P 17200 Et. Seq.' and a complaint under the 13th Amendment of the US Constitution, which abolished slavery. Members of the group Anonymous praised the summons."
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Scientology Charged With Slavery, Human Trafficking

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @05:34PM (#30289212)
    Historically, American slaves were fed and clothed, and occasionally paid. A few saved up to buy their freedom (less of the agricultural variety, more of the city-dwellers who could collect tips.)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @05:43PM (#30289336)

    Slavery actually connotes a position of involuntary servitude rather than one where payment is withheld. That is, it is the lack of freedom that is the main attribute of slavery, not the lack of compensation.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @05:44PM (#30289350) Journal

    Scientology has become relevant to Slashdot and its readership ever since CoS removed content from Slashdot under DMCA [slashdot.org]. It's quote obviously News for Nerds now, and, noting the DMCA reference (and the fact that it's common CoS practice, not a single isolated case), definitely related to Your Rights Online. If it's still not clear, try posting OT-III materials in a /. comments and see how that goes.

  • by asdf7890 (1518587) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @05:48PM (#30289400)

    Since they are classified as a religion (thanks to infiltration of CoS into the IRS) wouldn't his service be considered 'worship' and 'volunteering'. However it wouldn't surprise me if they actually were actually doing much worse than just killing people.

    It wasn't infiltration, though I'm not saying they didn't try that too. They basically said "give us religious status for tax purposes or we'll all misfile out forms and delay payments as long as possible, good luck finding the resources to pursue even a fraction of our members", and the IRS conceded that it would cost less to let them have their way than to try force them to behave.

  • Original complaint (Score:4, Informative)

    by Iphtashu Fitz (263795) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @05:49PM (#30289428)

    For those of you who are interested, you can read the original court complaint filing here:

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/23175190/Complaint-filed112509 [scribd.com]

  • Re:About damn time. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Patch86 (1465427) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @05:52PM (#30289464)

    If the civil suit is successful, that implies that the plaintiff (who obviously shoulders the burden of proof) was able to convince a judge that a major American and multi-national organization illegally enslaved him in a secure compound for a decade and a half.

    The DA might take an interest considering a lot of the leg work will already have been done for them.

  • ok (Score:5, Informative)

    by JeanBaptiste (537955) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @06:02PM (#30289626)
    link 1 [88.80.16.63]
    link 2 [wikileaks.fi]
    link 3 [wikileaks.eu]

    "If you want to control your child, simply break him into complete apathy and he'll be as obedient as any hypnotized half-wit. If you want to know how to control him, get a book on dog training, name the child Rex and teach him first to "fetch" and then to "sit up" and then to bark for his food. You can train a child that way. Sure you can. But it's your hard luck if he turns out to be a blood-letter. Only don't be half-hearted about it. Simply TRAIN him. "Speak, Roger!" "Lie down!" "Roll over!" Of course, you'll have a hard time of it. This - a slight oversight - is a human being. You'd better charge right in and do what you can to break him into apathy quickly. A club is best. Tying him in a closet without food for a few days is fairly successful. The best recommended tactic, however, is simply to use a straight jacket and muffs on him until he is docile and imbecilic. I'm warning you that it's going to be tough; it will be tough because Man became king of the beasts only because he couldn't as a species be licked. He doesn't easily go into an obedient apathy like dogs do. Men own dogs because men are self-determined and dogs aren't. --Official church documents

    I got nothing better going on.
  • Re:Yes... (Score:5, Informative)

    by royallthefourth (1564389) <royallthefourth@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @06:03PM (#30289642)
    I think you're confusing "mainstream" and "infamous"
  • Re:really? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @06:06PM (#30289674)
    Posting anonymously because... well... I'm anonymous, and this information has been removed from slashdot before due to COS C&D letters.

    In the words of Trey Parker and Matt Stone, 'THIS IS WHAT SCIENTOLOGISTS ACTUALLY BELIEVE!!'

    As quoted from L. Ron Hubbard:

    The head of the Galactic Federation (76 planets around larger stars visible from here) (founded 95,000,000 years ago, very space opera) solved overpopulation (250 billion or so per planet, 178 billion on average) by mass implanting. He caused people to be brought to Teegeeack (Earth) and put an H-Bomb on the principal volcanos (Incident II) and then the Pacific area ones were taken in boxes to Hawaii and the Atlantic area ones to Las Palmas and there "packaged".

    His name was Xenu. He used renegades. Various misleading data by means of circuits etc. was placed in the implants.

    When through with his crime loyal officers (to the people) captured him after six years of battle and put him in an electronic mountain trap where he still is. "They" are gone. The place (Confederation) has since been a desert. The length and brutality of it all was such that this Confederation never recovered. The implant is calculated to kill (by pneumonia etc) anyone who attempts to solve it. This liability has been dispensed with by my tech development.

    One can freewheel through the implant and die unless it is approached as precisely outlined. The "freewheel" (auto-running on and on) lasts too long, denies sleep etc and one dies. So be careful to do only Incidents I and II as given and not plow around and fail to complete one thetan at a time.

    In December 1967 I knew someone had to take the plunge. I did and emerged very knocked out, but alive. Probably the only one ever to do so in 75,000,000 years. I have all the data now, but only that given here is needful.

    One's body is a mass of individual thetans stuck to oneself or to the body.

    One has to clean them off by running incident II and Incident I. It is a long job, requiring care, patience and good auditing. You are running beings. They respond like any preclear. Some large, some small.

    Thetans believed they were one. This is the primary error. Good luck.

  • Re:Yes... (Score:5, Informative)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <.moc.liamg. .ta. .nhojovadle.> on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @06:07PM (#30289700) Journal

    And what are they even having them do in these camps, build the theta monitors?

    From the Infinite Complacency Link:

    At 12, he was “deemed finished with schooling” and Golden Era Productions, an unincorporated division of Church of Scientology International (CSI) hired him as a messenger and errand boy.

    But in 1997, at the age of 15, he was demoted to the post of dishwasher. “He worked 16-hour days cleaning pots, pans and the dining facilities,” says the lawsuit.

    And soon afterwards, he was assigned to do construction at the base near Hemet, California.

    So the answer to your question is messenger, dish washer then construction worker. I mean, why use all the money you take from your followers to hire people to do this work when you can force the followers to do it for less or even free? L Ron Hubbard's Get Rich Quick Scam is yet another valid title for Scientology.

  • by Ohio Calvinist (895750) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @06:10PM (#30289740)
    I live near this facility (map/image [google.com]) and it looks more like a gated-resort community than anything. I haven't seen any razor wire, but there are high fences and access is controlled through a gate, and there are cameras on the road and on the fence. For the interested, there is a wiki page [wikipedia.org] that strikes me as being pretty accurate and NPOV.
  • I Was Surprised (Score:5, Informative)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <.moc.liamg. .ta. .nhojovadle.> on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @06:16PM (#30289818) Journal

    Was this a surprise to anyone?

    As the submitter, yeah I have to admit it kind of was. This is a really unique opportunity for a case against CoS because normally the cases come from outsiders.

    Lindstein was eight years old and says he was forced to work for 16 years. He was removed from school at age 12. Now, if you were removed from school at age 12, you probably aren't very well suited for a high paying job. So you have someone who's lost much of their youth to Scientology and has the motivation to see this suit through to the end.

    You see, when you sue or slander Scientology, you might not realize what you're getting yourself into. People end up doing jail for posting verbal attacks on Scientology online. To quote the late L. Ron Hubbard [wikiquote.org] on his policy:

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

    That's what you're dealing with. That's what Lindstein has in his future. He probably knows it, his lawyer probably knows it. But he will soon be subjected to character assassination, harassment of just barely legal amounts, indirect threats and the same for any family he may have.

    So yeah, I'm a pleasantly surprised that such an opportune individual has stepped forward to speak and let us know what Scientology is. Because in so many other cases, the individual has been silenced one way or another. And scientology has refined it's processes to force its members quiet and they have the resources and legal representation to make magic happen in the courts.

    I hope Lindstein is telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I wish him the best of luck in the courtroom and for justice to be brought against those who forced him into labor and stripped him of his right to knowledge.

  • by AioKits (1235070) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @06:18PM (#30289852)

    Since they are classified as a religion (thanks to infiltration of CoS into the IRS) wouldn't his service be considered 'worship' and 'volunteering'.

    Interesting point, but the document linked by Iphtashu Fitz (the complaint filed) addresses this as follows:

    The First Amendment does not exempt purported religious organizations from Minimum Wage and Child Labor Laws. Elvig v. Calvin Presbyterian Church, 397 F.3d 790, 792 (9th Cir 2003).

    Bottom of page 6, top of page 7 in the Complaint (look for Iphtashu Fitz's link further down). It also details his age at the time of said service and the extent of services rendered.

  • Re:FLSA (Score:3, Informative)

    by Lord Ender (156273) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @06:19PM (#30289890) Homepage

    it sounds like he was forced to live in a place described as similar to a prison camp

    Having guards and fences is not illegal. Being "forced" to live somewhere is a crime (called "kidnapping"). There needs to be sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was kidnapped, and not staying voluntarily.

    I seriously doubt they would have let him have access to a telephone

    Well, if there's no evidence that he was forcibly detained, there will be no successful prosecution.

    Unfortunately, I'm not sure the CoS will get a free trial according to US law. Religion is quite popular here, and the majority of the religious dislike the CoS passionately enough they may be predisposed to overlook the letter of the law. Think about black men on trial for violent crimes in the segregated South back in the day...

    I have no sympathies for any particular religious group. I just hope the law is upheld and no prosecution based solely on unsupported claims is successful.

  • by smellsofbikes (890263) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @06:20PM (#30289908) Journal
    It sounds like Lindstein was caught in the Rehabilitation Project Force [wikipedia.org] program, which is where Scientology dissidents are placed until they get better, where 'better' is defined by the people who put them there. Gold Base [wikipedia.org] is by no means the only such place people are kept: the first RPF people were on ships, cleaning out the sewage systems by hand. Sort of hard to call the police when you're being held on a ship in international waters...
  • by DiLLeMaN (324946) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @06:35PM (#30290108) Homepage

    R2-45 is more of a joke than anything else and should be taken as such. It should be taken in the same vein of the Darwin Award.

    From Teh Wiki (WITH citations, it seems):

    On March 6, 1968, Hubbard issued an internal memo titled "RACKET EXPOSED," in which he denounced twelve people (Peter Goodwin, Jim Stathis, Peter Knight, Mrs. Knight, Nora Goodwin, Ron Frost, Margaret Frost, Nina Collingwood, Freda Gaiman, Frank Manley, Mary Ann Taylor, and George Wateridge) as "Enemies of mankind, the planet and all life," and ordered that "Any Sea Org member contacting any of them is to use Auditing Process R2-45."[7][8] Former Scientologist Bent Corydon wrote that in late 1967 at Saint Hill, he personally received a copy of an order naming four former Scientologists as enemies and "fair game" and ordering any Sea Org member who encountered them to use R2-45.[9][10]

    Yeah, that sounds real fucking funny to me. I LOL'd.

  • Re:Yes... (Score:5, Informative)

    by KiloByte (825081) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @06:39PM (#30290158)

    Yes, for example church-run (ie, most of them) orphanages in Ireland [wikipedia.org]. All of physical abuse, sexual abuse and forced labor.

  • Re:FLSA (Score:3, Informative)

    by schon (31600) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @06:40PM (#30290166)

    There needs to be sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was kidnapped, and not staying voluntarily.

    No, there doesn't.

    "Beyond reasonable doubt" is reserved for criminal cases. This is a civil suit, in which the standard of proof is "preponderance of the evidence".

    if there's no evidence that he was forcibly detained, there will be no successful prosecution.

    Again, this is a civil suit, so there is no prosecution.

  • Re:Yes... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @06:42PM (#30290194)

    Dude - there are (and were) cults out in the US today that do much, much worse. Past examples? Branch Davidians (Waco), the SunYungMoon group during the 1980's ("Moonies"), and the recent polygamy compound in Colorado City, Arizona. They all stand out as some rather egregious examples, and I don't doubt there are more of 'em out there today.

    They don't have barbed wire and guards per se, but I'm willing to wager that their denizens are brainwashed enough that none of the fencing and such is necessary.

    What did the Branch Davidians do that was so much, much worse?

  • Re:really? (Score:3, Informative)

    by DA_MAN_DA_MYTH (182037) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @06:52PM (#30290314) Homepage Journal

    [This comment has been removed due to legal action by the Church of Scientology]

  • Re:FLSA (Score:5, Informative)

    by mcrbids (148650) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @06:57PM (#30290384) Journal

    There needs to be sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was kidnapped, and not staying voluntarily.

    Did you miss the point that he was eight years old at the time?

    Well, if there's no evidence that he was forcibly detained, there will be no successful prosecution.

    Yep. you missed the point that he was eight years old at the time!

    Eight-year-olds do not have free will under California law. They have the legally recognized ability to tattle, and that's about it. On the other hand, there *are* strict child-labor laws in effect.

    I have no sympathies for any particular religious group. I just hope the law is upheld and no prosecution based solely on unsupported claims is successful.

    First is the question: are they actually a regligious group? See France's recent rulings for more information. There's certainly reasonable doubt on the question!

    Second: The claims are very, VERY widely supported. Literally hundreds of people (and I mean literally, not figuratively) have come forth with their stories of harrassment, false imprisonment / kidnapping, extortion, and plenty more.

    Just take a look for yourself... [scientology-lies.com]

  • by lwsimon (724555) <lyndsy@lyndsysimon.com> on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @06:57PM (#30290390) Homepage Journal

    Contrary to popular culture, most slaves in the US where fairly well taken care of. It was an enormous investment to purchase and maintain slaves, and the owner wouldn't risk that lightly.

    Of course, there were horrific exceptions to this.

  • by Weaselmancer (533834) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @06:59PM (#30290414)

    Principia Discordia. [principiadiscordia.com]

    Disorganized religion. There you go. Read it now, thank me later fnord.

  • Re:Yes... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @07:16PM (#30290618)

    It did. The debt slavery in $cientology has been documented by its former members for years, including the child labor used to keep their buildings intact. Young $cientologists grow up with quite a large debt to the cult for their "auditing" sessions, during which they also confess any crimes with the e-meter, actually a primitive polygraph test whose results are often faked, and those confessions can be used to blackmail members into remaining in the cult or remaining silent if they ever escape.

    Details are over at www.factnet.org and www.xenu.net, it's fascinating material.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @07:19PM (#30290662)

    And in fact, this is even more enlightening - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jason_Scott_case

    Yeah, I wouldn't be going anywhere NEAR this fellow.

  • freeloader's debt (Score:3, Informative)

    by un1xl0ser (575642) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @07:22PM (#30290690)

    So if the defendant is trying to get back pay, then aren't they just going to pull the "freeloader's debt" thing, and sue him for unpaid auditing?

  • Re:Yes... (Score:5, Informative)

    by gknoy (899301) <gknoy@anasazi s y s t e m s .com> on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @07:26PM (#30290744)

    What did the Branch Davidians do that was so much, much worse?

    Er, killed a load of people and set fire to the compound.

    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waco_Siege [wikipedia.org] :

    Besides allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct, Koresh and his followers were accused of stockpiling illegal weapons....

    It is not known who fired the first shots, but each side later claimed it had been the other.[20] It is reported that the first firing occurred at the double front entry doors. (One door, riddled with bullet holes, was removed and lost very shortly after the siege's end). ATF agents stated they heard shots coming from within the compound, while Branch Davidian survivors claimed that the first shots came from the ATF agents outside...

    The deaths that resulted were because the Davidians thought they were defending themselves from an assault. Several parts of the FBI and ATF forces wanted to negotiate more, but another faction wanted to ramp up the use of force. Tanks and CEVs were brought in. At some point, the compound was heavily tear-gassed.

    After more than six hours no Davidians had left the building, sheltering instead in a cinder block room within the building or using gas masks. The official FBI claim is that CEVs were used to punch large holes in the building to provide exits for those inside. Most Davidians dispute this claim because the "exits" were blocked by debris, structurally unstable, elevated and largely inaccessible due to smoke and large quantities of tear gas.[citation needed] Several Davidians were blocked when a floor above collapsed, and nearly all Davidians said they feared being shot were they to leave.[citation needed]

    At around noon, three fires broke out almost simultaneously in different parts of the building. The government maintains the fires were deliberately started by Davidians.[20][45] Davidian survivors maintain the fires were accidentally or deliberately started by the tank assault.

    I think it's safe to say that it's a tragedy, no matter how you look at it, but I certainly feel that a large portion of the blame for the deaths at the Waco siege were caused by the unwillingness of the ATF/FBI to negotiate, and their eagerness to push with force against a target that they knew would interpret that as requiring self-defense.

    The Davidians' "wrongdoings" were small change compared to what happened there. Koresh was a polygamist, and I certainly don't condone his actions, but I don't think it's fair to blame him and his followers entirely for the deaths during the siege.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @07:30PM (#30290796)

    It wasn't infiltration, though I'm not saying they didn't try that too. They basically said "give us religious status for tax purposes or we'll all misfile out forms and delay payments as long as possible, good luck finding the resources to pursue even a fraction of our members", and the IRS conceded that it would cost less to let them have their way than to try force them to behave.

    The comment you're replying to was probably referring to Operation Snow White [wikipedia.org].

  • by jcr (53032) <jcr@nOspAm.mac.com> on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @07:34PM (#30290872) Journal

    Contrary to popular culture, most slaves in the US where fairly well taken care of.

    Considerably better than Irish day laborers. There are many stories of Irishmen being given tasks to do that were too dangerous to risk losing a slave.

    -jcr

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @07:55PM (#30291136)

    That is so cool - followed your link to Gold Base then switched to Google street view. At the corner of their property I saw a small compound with a cement block building - surrounded by a barbed-wire fence facing inward! [tiny.cc]

  • Re:really? (Score:5, Informative)

    by NitroWolf (72977) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @07:59PM (#30291172)

    If your question is serious, the serious answer is about $500,000.

    That's about how much you have to pay to get to that "level" of information.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @08:02PM (#30291216)

    Actually, your link is amazingly enlightening.

    In the trial, Jason Scott was represented by Kendrick Moxon, a prominent Scientologist attorney.

    ...

    In November 1996, the CAN name, logo and telephone number were bought in Bankruptcy Court by another Scientologist attorney, Steven Hayes, whose partner Timothy Bowles had at one time been partners with Moxon.

    ...

    The Jason Scott case brought about the demise of the "Old CAN", marking the end of the cult wars in North America.[1][2] Controversies surrounding new religious movements have continued, but the debate has mostly moved to other arenas than the courts.[1][38] With the Scott decision, deprogramming came to an almost complete halt in North America,[38][39] and the practice was largely given up in favor of voluntary exit counseling.[40] Following the acquisition of the CAN name and number by Scientologists, a "New CAN" was established with their backing, which serves as an information and networking center on nontraditional religions;[41] it is managed by former opponents of the "Old CAN".

    Sounds like if you're trying to escape Scientology, this guy is exactly the person you need to talk to.

  • by dbIII (701233) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @08:26PM (#30291492)

    Hmm, how come every Scientology story must have some post diverting attention to Catholicism, trying to lend legitimacy to Scientology as a religion?

    Australia had a court case like that that played right into the hands of this Dianetics scam with a new name. It didn't help that the lapsed Catholic Judge wanted to take a dig at real religeons by comparing them with these scammers.
    The deliberately try to escalate these disputes into Church vs State instead of organised crime vs State.
    We should give up on their trap of trying to define religeon and showing they are not because we've seen where this scam has come from. They've had decades to some up with confusing arguments and can play the game for years and get all kinds of unlikely allies on their side if they frame it as Church vs State.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @08:28PM (#30291520)

    and it looks more like a gated-resort community than anything. I haven't seen any razor wire, but there are high fences and access is controlled through a gate, and there are cameras on the road and on the fence.

    It depends where you look. Here [angrygaypope.com] is a collection of photos of various parts of the Gold Base security. From what I've been able to make out, it sounds like the blade fences (not razor wire) are concentrated in the north-east part of the base, around where their detention facilities are thought to be.

  • Re:Yes... (Score:3, Informative)

    by StarWreck (695075) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @08:50PM (#30291744) Homepage Journal
    Forget the celebrities. Here's a conversation with a "mainstream" scientologist. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyUAVz414_M [youtube.com]
  • by StarWreck (695075) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @09:02PM (#30291898) Homepage Journal
    The Scientologists are pretty good with the whole "child rape" thing too: http://sexual.taxexemptchildabuse.net/ [taxexemptchildabuse.net]
  • Re:I Was Surprised (Score:5, Informative)

    by Rakarra (112805) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @10:09PM (#30292504)

    You see, when you sue or slander Scientology, you might not realize what you're getting yourself into. People end up doing jail for posting verbal attacks on Scientology online. ...

    That's what you're dealing with. That's what Lindstein has in his future. He probably knows it, his lawyer probably knows it. But he will soon be subjected to character assassination, harassment of just barely legal amounts, indirect threats and the same for any family he may have.

    I think most people also don't realize just how much worse a situation Lindstein is in. For non-Scientologists, the Church really has to work to try to dig up skeletons in the closet, to figure out just what could possibly embarrass and discredit you. But for ex-Scientologists, it's much worse, because they already know everything about you. You see, confession is part of the religion. That's hardly abnormal, but the difference is that you must confess something new. And you have to confess. So you'll be in a room with a dozen people screaming at you to confess some past sin. Something. And then that information is written down. Over the years they wring everything out of you, and it's all documented. Then when you turn against the church later in life, that information is released. Did you ever have a romantic affair with a fellow staffer? That will come out. Maybe when you were really young you curiously touched the family pet when he was humping your leg? Oh, you bet that will be shown. Everyone has something that they're not proud of that they don't want anyone to know. And the church will have confessionals for all of it. Of course they don't WANT to do this. " Yingling and Davis said the church doesn't relish using documents from ethics files. But after the four defectors spoke out against Miscavige, the lawyer and spokesman said they had no choice." That statement and others can be found from the amazing St. Petersburg Times series on Scientology: http://www.tampabay.com/news/article1012148.ece [tampabay.com]. Utterly amazing.

    So yeah, Lindstein is in for a rough time.

  • Re:Yes... (Score:5, Informative)

    by lennier (44736) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @10:13PM (#30292544) Homepage

    "I'm not fan of scientology, or any cult really - but a mainstream organization with illegal work camps? I just never expected that, at all. You'd think the lid would have come off something that extreme some time ago."

    It has, if you were paying attention.

    CoS's 'Rehabilitation Project Force' labour camps and other extreme 'Ethics' measures have been common knowledge since the 1990s - just check the extensive files on Operation Clambake - http://xenu.net/ [xenu.net] .

    However, CoS tends to sue massively and engage in lots of dirty tricks whenever the mainstream media cover them at all negatively, which is why you may not have heard about this stuff if you don't get your news from the Net.

    They tried to censor Usenet back in the early 90s. It didn't work so well for them. Anonymous is just the latest round in a long battle of CoS Versus The Internet.

  • Re:Yes... (Score:2, Informative)

    by trajanus22 (1655297) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @11:24PM (#30293060)

    Dude - there are (and were) cults out in the US today that do much, much worse. Past examples? Branch Davidians (Waco)

    Slow down there friend and check this documentary [imdb.com] out before you write off the Davidians as a bunch of psychos. Normal? No. But worse than slave labor, I think not.

  • Re:Yes... (Score:3, Informative)

    by JumperCable (673155) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @11:43PM (#30293170)

    At gold base? Yes. They have built e-meters there. I'm not sure if it's still done at that base. They also produce their books, CDs, DVDs, promotional material. It is also the location of Golden Era Productions where promotional films are made. Also fun stories of cleaning out their shit pond & septic systems by hand... no seriously with their hands.

    In the The Big Blue building in LA they make the RPF workers build furniture in confined spaces.

  • by JumperCable (673155) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @11:49PM (#30293218)

    Its not like no-one knew about Scientology work camps - some german documentary team went out to go visit it and got stopped by a bunch of armed men (this was in the early 90's) - wish I could remember the title.

    Missing in Happy Valley
     

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2742505831051424517 [google.com]

  • Re:Yes... (Score:5, Informative)

    by seebs (15766) on Wednesday December 02, 2009 @02:03AM (#30294110) Homepage

    The big difference is that we have the founder on record, in writing, claiming that:

    1. He came up with this stuff under the influence of drugs.
    2. That this is not a religion, in any way, shape, or form.
    3. Later, that there is now a "religion angle" which exists only for tax and legal reasons, but that there is no change at all of the underlying facts.

    They have written documents saying that they are not a religion, are not intended to be a religion, and are purely scientific. That does go a long way towards suggesting that they are perhaps not a religion. Generally, if you put in writing that you are filing forms saying you're a religion only for tax reasons, and not because you actually think you're a religion, that's a big sign.

  • Re:really? (Score:3, Informative)

    by wiredlogic (135348) on Wednesday December 02, 2009 @06:09AM (#30295288)

    That's part of the appeal. The Scientology texts are written with obtuse "tech" that is akin to gnostic religious writings in that is is intended to solidify group identity through secret knowledge. To understand this nonsense means that one is an insider and part of an elite group different from "normal" people who can't understand what is being written about. That being said, even with the tech, Hubbard's grammar is notably poor and the line of discussion meanders everywhere. It definitely seems like it was written while he was spaced out on drugs. I certainly have no interest in reading any of his fiction if this is what he typically writes like.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02, 2009 @06:15AM (#30295318)

    I grew up in scn and spent a year in the sea org. If you are in good standing you are relatively free to come and go, but if they have any inkling that you might be contemplating doing a runner, they will keep you under lock and key. I was physically chased and restrained from leaving on one occasion. Growing up, seeing sea org members being kept under 24 hour guard, sometimes for weeks was not unusual enough to cause any alarm for a child who had grown up under that mentality.

    There are ways to leave. It's called routing out. A process that is part forced scn auditing and part physical labour. I've seen some people spend upwards of 6 months routing out. Failing to comply with this process and leaving anyway (which could entail escaping if they are already on to you, or just slipping away if you've been smart enough to keep your disgruntledness to yourself) will result in excommunication with it's attendant effects on your eternity (scientologists are very precious about their eternities which they buy from the church) and more importantly on your closest family members' willingless to stay in contact with you.

  • Re:Yes... (Score:3, Informative)

    by conureman (748753) on Wednesday December 02, 2009 @01:18PM (#30299124)

    Perhaps my information is faulty, all I know about it was from the news, and the film "Rules of Engagement". I've seen FLIR imagery of firefights in our Asian colonies, and the film showed a remarkable simulation of submachine gun bursts being directed into the windows and escape routes of the burning Branch Davidian residence, at least until the tank was able to knock down and seal up that end of the building.

  • by Bourbonium (454366) on Wednesday December 02, 2009 @04:07PM (#30301400)

    Look, it took almost a hundred years for the courts in Ireland to finally investigate the Catholic Church, and specifically the Christian Brothers organization, which just last week admitted to having known for decades about well-documented cases of child molestation, flogging, child slavery and horrible physical abuse at the hands of priests in their midst all through the 20th century (and probably earlier, but those victims are long dead). The church leaders knew about it and covered it up. It took some brave people to sue them and shame them in public to bring this out into the open. Now, the Christian Brothers have agreed to pay over $240,000,000 in damages to the surviving plaintiffs (some of which are now in their seventies and retired) to compensate them for the abuse they suffered as children.

    Go to Netflix and rent "The Magdalene Sisters" for an eye-opening expose of what the church has done to children for many, many years. The film is fictitious, but based upon actual accounts of what went on in the Magdalene Asylums, as admitted by a number of nuns who left the order and wrote confessions about them.

    The Church of Scientology is an evil organization, but they take inspiration from cults that are much older, and far more skillful at hiding their evil and masquerading themselves as "divinely ordained to save mankind." Too many people in this sick world are as stupid as cattle, and willing to believe any nonsense someone in authority spouts into their ears, especially when they are impressionable children. The fact that they continue to believe this garbage into their adulthood is a scathing indictment of our broken educational system.

"There are things that are so serious that you can only joke about them" - Heisenberg

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