Saturday, January 31, 2009

Flag Event Featuring Bart Simpson on OT VII Tonight

The much talked about Flag event featuring Bart Simpson (read: Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson) is happening tonight.

Stargazing | Rubina from “Slumdog”; Rebecca Mader from “Lost”; Lisa Lampanelli, Noah Wyle - Kansas City Star:
"The Church of Scientology’s Flag World Tour is tonight in Hollywood, and one of the speakers is Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson. There has been some heat this week because Cartwright was using Bart’s voice in a pre-recorded message to promote the event."
The pre-recorded message has been widely featured in the press because Nancy used the copyrighted voice of Bart mixed with her own voice in the message to promote her appearance in the Flag event.

Pity it made such a scandal, because I for one found the message funny. Besides, isn't Bart Simpson known for making prank calls? Play it here below:



Aye carumba! Bart Simpson is spruiking Scientology - Times Online:
The actress credits Scientology for much of what she has achieved.

“Before Scientology I had one dream of making a living, from doing voice-overs for animation,'' Cartwright said in 2006.

“After I became a Scientologist my abilities expanded so far and above what I originally dreamed that I've amazed even myself.''
Bart Simpson's Voice Speaks for Scientology - E! Online:
"But although Cartwright has been a practicing Scientologist since 1989, the veteran voice actress had no outward problem helping The Simpsons poke fun at her religion in the 1998 episode 'The Joy of Sect,' in which the family joins the cultish Movementarians, whose members ultimately aspire to live on the planet Blisstonia."
Bart Simpson's voice being used to promote Scientology event:
"Cartwright also provides the voices of Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum and several other Simpsons characters on the show. She also voiced the character, Chuckie Finster, on Nickelodeon series, 'Rugrats' from 2001 to 2008."
The Canadian Press: Nancy Cartwright uses Bart Simpson's voice to push Scientology:
"The Fox network would not comment, but 'Simpsons' executive producer Al Jean said the message wasn't authorized by the show, which has never 'endorsed any religion, philosophy or system of beliefs any more profound than Butterfinger bars.'"


Related Blog Entries: R-NancyCartwright-

Before the Day Starts Rolling.


I do many things in life but personally my ultimate goal is a spiritual one.

Spiritually, the ultimate goal, in a way, is do-nothing. It is nothing, no-thing from this world.

The least one could do with such a goal would be to sit quietly for a few minutes in a day and do nothing, nothing but being, nothing but meditate...

And yet, how hard is it for us to find these few minutes in a day? We are always striving to do some-thing, to be busy, or else we feel we waste our time, we waste our life.

Even for someone like myself, who do have such a goal, hardly ever take the time to do it. I think it's a mistake, and every time I "force" myself, in a manner of speaking, to take these few minutes, I hardly ever regret it. It's like taking a few minutes a day to sharpen your tools. It's hardly time wasted.

I find that the best time to meditate is in the morning, shortly after waking up. One first needs to actually wake up. No sense to start to meditate half asleep. There's all kind of things we need to clean up from our head first. Some people like to review the day before, or look ahead on what's up for the day coming, or give a thought to one or the other things.

After this, there's some space we could use to do nothing, and yet fully wake up. Not just physically but spiritually. It often is a time of opportunity for it because life has not started wheeling yet. The children may still be asleep, the sun itself may not have started his daily round. There is a space of quietness.

I find that although our first instinct is to get busy and do something, it helps greatly to, on the contrary, sit up in the bed and start a short meditation. This could be a quarter or twenty minutes. Just sit quietly and let all thoughts pass. Focus on the sheer awareness and on the infinite depth of silence, of being and awareness. In effect, what we do, I think, is to elevate our own vibration. It's like an airplane take-off, until we reach a point above the clouds where there is nothing but quietness and light.

If we can keep that feeling as we land back down to earth, then we would bring that extra quality in our daily doing. The focus that brings an automatic alignment of everything else we do, and everything that surrounds us. There would be a "meaning" present, a meaning that is beyond words, that words cannot express, and yet something we can feel and live as a sort of deep well-being, of peace and silence in the center of turmoil and noise, even though in fact the feeling, if we reach it at all, which is not always automatic, usually fades off during the day and we get "sucked up" in life again... But nevertheless, it usually is much more worth than what we think is the time we "spend" on these few minutes of silence and quiet before the day really starts rolling.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Fair Game Abused

The Church of Scientology certainly did engage in harassment along their "Fair Game" policy. That it was canceled does not mean the spirit and rationale has changed much.

While this is true, however, I have observed Anonymous and critics engage in two myths about this:
  1. Virtually anything critical the CoS or Scientologists say about critics is automatically tagged as "Fair Game", even when it is a mere normal answer.
  2. Anonymous and critics tend to greatly exaggerate Scientologists' reaction in an attempt to tag it as fair game. I once have given an example of this, where a Scientologist engaged an anon in a relatively friendly manner and where her words were completely distorted to make it sounds like something absolutely sinister.
Quite on the contrary, I found that Scientologists in general have been remarkably cool in the face of sometimes abject harassment on the part of Anonymous, that actually illustrate the notion of Fair Game much better than what Scientologists did.

Put the shoe on the other foot and for a moment and imagine what you would say if Scientologists engaged in these types of behavior towards critics.

In this sense, I found the following thread rather in ARS interesting, and so far critics could not come up with a good answer: Demagoguery and the Anti-Scientology Movement - alt.religion.scientology | Google Groups

Pubes Accomplice Arrested as Accessory

Man who filmed petroleum jelly-covered Scientology protester's rampage arrested as accessory:

"The man who videotaped a petroleum jelly-covered protester on a rampage inside a Scientology center in Manhattan was arrested Tuesday for helping with the crime, police said.

Jacob Speregen, 21, of Brooklyn, was charged with two hate crimes including aggravated harassment and criminal mischief for helping Mahoud Samed Almahadin, aka Matt Connor, during the Jan. 14 incident. [...]

Jacob's mother argues that the fact her son filmed the preparation of the incident and the incident itself is part of his "free speech right" and not a hate crime.

R-pubes- related blog entries

Anon-Orange's Arrest

A while ago where shown videos of one Anonymous held to the ground by Gold's guards. The video was part of anti-Scientology forums using it to blame Scientology but the news was not really picked up further. One reason for this may have been the fact that what happened before was not shown.

More information on that incident is unfolding now.

"ANONYMOUS" IS A GANG OF CYBER-BULLIES AND ANTI-RELIGION EXTREMISTS: "ANON-ORANGE" PROVOKED AN ATTACK ON HIMSELF AS A PUBLICITY STUNT

"Several months ago, fifty-five year old Anonymous member 'Anon-Orange' (see below) screamed out '..FUCK YOU!' into the face of a security guard patrolling the perimeter of the Church of Scientology's Gold Base. The guards had repeatedly warned 'Anon-Orange' that he was indeed trespassing, and clearly didn't expect such a heated response.

As per their standard operating procedure, the security guard necessarily detained 'Anon-Orange' for trespassing and for acting aggressively.

Strangely, the videos which surfaced onto Youtube.com at the time of the incident neglected to show the provocative "...FUCK YOU!" which precipitated the arrest:

The videos which surfaced made it appear as though the arrest was in violation of his rights. Evidentally, this is the spin which Anonymous seeks to perpetuate. They want you to see "Scientology Bad Guys" attacking "Anonymous Good Guys".

So today, Anon-Orange just released his own footage, which sheds more light on the issue. Namely, that Anon-Orange provoked the attack."

You can watch the video on the page above or on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8FFCNZifvU

More related information, that appeared in ARS today, although the background and time of this incidents reported are unclear at this stage:

Agent Orange Goes Back to Jail - alt.religion.scientology | Google Groups:

"After this morning's arraignment, AO is back in jail.

An offer was made to drop the charges down to a 3rd degree misdemeanor with a $100 fine if AO would admit to screaming and yelling at Danny Dunigan. Graham advised AO to take the offer, which also would have allowed AO to protest Gold at his leisure, but AO refused it.

Following this, Scilon attorney Eliott Abelson informed the judge that AO had violated the court order given at the last arraignment on three occasions:

-AO had been ordered to stay away from Danny Dunigan, yet within 20 minutes he was filmed on the steps of the courthouse cursing at Dunigan and shoving a camera in his face.

-AO had been ordered to stay away from Gold Base, yet he has been filmed driving around Gold on two separate occasions.

Abelson said they may also be charging AO for his harassing behavior toward Catherine Fraser following one of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors meetings.

AO was escorted out of the courtroom by the deputies and bail was set at $2,500."

Seeing the Whole Field at Once

Sandy's Good News: Scientology increases reaction time and intelligence, says winning quarterback:
[...] "For several weeks running, he was listed as the number one top scoring high school quarterback in the NATION, on the popular web site, Max Preps.

Jesse says that Scientology and L.Ron Hubbard technology have given him an "unfair" advantage in life. When he was 13, he had an opportunity to take some basic Scientology courses that are designed to increase one's perceptions in present time. He says that the exercises he completed on his course have resulted in increased reaction time and ability to make decisions on a dime. Fast thinking and intelligence, he feels are key to being a successful quarterback. He can see the whole field at once: the guy who is trying to tackle him, the next guy after that, the receivers, the guys who are about to tackle them, and the guys that are coming in after that. All in a flash. Pressure is his friend. When he's being rushed at, he says, he has all the time in the world. "

Thursday, January 29, 2009

On Hold

I had some problems with my laptop yesterday. I just "recovered" from this terrible cultic experience ;-) but it will take me a while to get up to speed again so no news or answers to comments for a while. Thanks.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Document in Travolta Case is Refusal to Transport

Fresh Intelligence : Radar Online : Travolta Extortion Mystery Solved: "Some reports said a photograph was at the center of the case. But RadarOnline.com has learned that the extortion charges stem from a conversation Travolta had with the paramedic concerning where Jett should be treated. Travolta originally wanted to fly Jett back to the U.S. for treatment, believing it would take just as long to transport his son to a Bahamian hospital as it would to fly him to Florida. RadarOnline.com confirmed with a source close to the situation that while Travolta originally preferred to have Jett treated in the U.S. he realized there was no time and agreed to have him treated in the Bahamas. [...]

The Nassau Guardian reported "Dames said police have a copy of a document they have not been able to prove the authenticity of. The document, he said, is a refusal to transport document. "

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hubbard's Affirmations Written by Gerry Armstrong?

L. Ron Hubbard vs A New Order (Ron's Journal 67, Black Dianetics, Conspiracy & Censoring)

On Jul. 2, 2008, I made a blog entry pointing to the strange fact that Gerry Armstrong, who made the "Affirmations" public, destroyed the hand-written original. I argued that I could not see the rational of destroying such a historical proof, especially since Armstrong was already a fugitive of the law at the time.

This makes the authenticity of the documents dubious, to say the least.

That impression is further reinforced when you know that Armstrong himself once declared: "We don't have to prove a goddam thing. We don't have to prove sh-t. We just have to allege it.”

The "Affirmations", or the "Admissions", as they are alternatively called, is a hand-written document supposedly written by L. Ron Hubbard, wherein Hubbard makes all kind of quasi-satanic affirmations.

If proven true, these would be very damaging to Hubbard and Scientology. Unfortunately, all we have is the word of Armstrong, someone who conclusively proven by blatantly violating the terms of his settlement, for which he received $800,000, that his words cannot be relied upon.

The link above points to a full scale research page documenting the possibility that the "Affirmations" may have in fact been written by non other than Gerry Armstrong himself.

ARS discussions on that page can be found here.

Other links:

Related blog entries: R-Affirmations-

Valkyrie Tops Foreign Box Office

Germans flock to see Tom Cruise's Valkyrie | Metro.co.uk: "But the public have ignored the naysayers with the film topping the foreign box office and performing best in Germany."

Screen Daily - News: "Tom Cruise sits atop the Hollywood overseas releases after the MGM/UA release Valkyrie plundered an estimated $13.2m through Fox International from 2,283 screens in 13 markets.

The wartime thriller opened strongly in all its markets, ranking number one in Germany on $3.4m from 689, Australia on $1.3m from 233 and Holland on $825,000 from 96. The film ranked second in the UK and South Korea on $2.7m"

Related Links: Valkyrie (2008) - International Box Office Results - to keep track of International box office gross.

Medic Charged with Attempted Extortion and Forgery

Note that he was charged with forgery too, giving some indication of what the blackmail content might have been.

Bahamas medic charged in Travolta extortion plot | Reuters: "Prosecutors allege the paramedic, Tarino Lightbourne, 47, tried to extort Travolta by means of threats. They also charged him with forgery."

Bahama Cops: Obie's Still in Our Crosshairs - TMZ.com: "As TMZ first reported, the subject of the alleged plot is NOT a photo. Rather, it is a document."

Monday, January 26, 2009

Depth of Inhumanity

Gold Base Raid, 24 Jan 09 - alt.religion.scientology | Google Groups: "We had several funny signs. 'GOLD BASE, HOME OF THE ELECTRIC SQUIRREL.'"

Barbz and her ilks find this a "funny sign". If I am not mistaken this refers to the incident in which the daughter of Moxon accidentally died electrocuted trying to save squirrels that got trapped in a vault.

That some people may find such a sign "funny" shows the depth of inhumanity their hatred have led them into.

Just imagine the outcry if this would had happened to the daughter of a critic and if Scientologists would be waving such a sign in front of his house or office. But because it is against the "evil cult" of Scientology, it's OK - and even "funny"!

Monica Pignotti - Releasing the Bonds of the "Cult Mind Control" Narrative

Very good, albeit long, article from Monica, questioning some of the anti-cult dogma and methods.

As far as I am concerned, the anti-cult approach is itself a cultic belief system, mostly because it is based on an us-vs-them explanation.

Not that the anti-cult approach is fundamentally false, but like with anything, a partial view is presented as the whole view, and there lies the problem. Viewed in its own perspective it can be very useful, but when you turn it into a belief system through which you interpret everything, you just fall in yet another trap.

I think that this is part of what Monica describes here.

In my opinion, you don't need to "recover" from a "cult" anymore than you need to "recover" from a marriage turned sour unless you have been seriously beaten in the process, which is a tiny minority. It isn't a sickness, it just is part of life.

We make choices and some of these may be wrong, we learn from them and move on. That's really all there is to it. It all is part of spiritual learning, exploring, experimenting, like a child learns to explore his environment. You don't "recover" from being a child, this is silly. You learn and grow up.

Monica Pignotti, MSW: Releasing the Bonds of the "Cult Mind Control" Narrative:

I happened upon Steve Hassan’s book, CCMC, one day in the bookstore and was so fascinated, I could not put it down. It seemed to explain everything I had gone through, 12 years before in Scientology. [...]

The problem with these kinds of checklists is that the symptoms could have many alternative explanations, yet when someone is caught up in the cult mind control and post-cult syndrome narrative, that person uses it to explain any trouble they are having. [...]

That is what needs to be challenged and questioned. The studies showing high rates of post-cult symptoms were done with samples of people who had been exposed to anti-cult narratives or people who were having difficulties and sought professional help. Not included in these samples are people who left these groups and did not have such difficulties.

Critical View of Steven Hassan and His Counseling

Interesting criticism of Hassan's approach.

Main points:

  1. Focuses on results rather than information
  2. Insists on special counseling from "cult experts"
  3. High fees
  4. Recovery presented as endless
  5. BITE mind-control model confuses mind control with normal spiritual experience
  6. Cult-like behavior in his own forum

Blog of Lema Nal: Steven Hassan and His Counseling

More Information on Travolta's Extortion Case

Still clouded in mystery, but this additional information kind of makes sense. I doubt a Senator and a friend of Travolta would get involved in such an extortion attempt, and at such a time.

Wilchcombe Outraged by Extortion Claim - TMZ.com: "Here's what's interesting. Wilchombe says the attempted extortion was committed by 'one single individual.' It appears he's talking about EMT Tarino Lightbourne, who we're told is still in custody. [...] Sources tell us Wilchcombe maintains Bridgewater got wind of the extortion attempt and told him so he could pass it along to Travolta's lawyers. Wilchcombe told Us Magazine he 'did a noble thing' by giving Travolta's people a heads up."

Perez Hilton: Travolta 'Friend' Tied to Extortion Plot Speaks Out: "Apparently, the information was passed on to him early last week by another suspect in the extortion case, former Bahamian senator Pleaseant Bridgewater.

'She knew I was close to the Travolta's,' says Wilchcombe. 'She wanted to bring something to my attention.'

When asked if he sought compensation for the tip off, he exclaimed, 'Never once, asking for anything! Never once, expecting anything! This is ridiculous and absurd. The Travolta's are suffering, it's just outright foolish. Never did I ask for anything, no one can say that. We had a friend in my country who lost a son. It was one single individual [who tried to take advantage of the family], the Bahamian people have been very kind to the Travoltas.'

[...]

We can't wait to hear what Pleasant, the woman who put everything into motion, says in her tell-all interview!"

Copyright, Internet, and Scientology

The article below makes a reference to the battle between critics and the CoS around Scientology's copyrighted scriptures and how it created precedents in the current legislation.

For more detailed information on this subject, see my web page on The Eleven Legal Cases.

Internal Affairs: It was Tom McEnery's Web site, but where's McEnery? - San Jose Mercury News: "Whyte, however, says his most important legacy may be his then-unprecedented 1995 decision that Internet service providers could be liable for copyright infringement; that case involved the Church of Scientology."

Second Chance Scientology Base

The Albuquerque Journal has an article about Second Chance, in which it claims that it was not just partially based on on Scientology, but that Scientology was its very skeleton.

I think this is very plausible. The president and her husband being Scientologists, and the program being funded in part by wealthy Scientologist such as Randy Suggs, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Scientologist businessman and part-owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks major league baseball team.

Unlike the "Study Tech", that could partially stand on its own (see Will Smith schools), Scientology does not mix well with other methods in such a field as drug and crime rehabilitation. You need to tackle with the root cause of these deep-seethed problems, and you can't really do that without addressing what in Scientology is considered as the prime source of what they call aberration. Other methods can come as a support to it, but I don't see how it could be the other way around.

This being said, it does not necessarily mean that the program is harmful or ineffective, and it seems that on the contrary it did have positive results, as I blogged about back in Dec. 30, but I agree that such an evaluation should be conducted through independent and objective means.

It is not going to happen anyway, because the mere link with Scientology is going to bring distrust to the program, hamper its government funding, and make it the target of close scrutiny for anything they'll do that isn't quite kosher. As it already happened, by the way.

SND Scientology Base Denied By Officials

Sunday, January 25, 2009

There's No Place Like Home...

Somewhat amusing...

There's no place like home... - alt.religion.scientology | Google Groups

In the Church of Ziontology, the state of Ovulating Zetan (OZ) is a spiritual state above Void. Our illustrious leader X. Con Buzzard, the founder of Ziontology and Trianetics, defined the state of OZ as "a sort of believing in yourself that you think that just maybe you might have a wee little bit of that so called thing I go on about now and then that I vaguely describe at some length as some kind of so called 'cause' over stuff like 'space, time, energy, and matter' and so on". Or whatever. But as a Ziontologist, because “The Buzz” said it, it’s a fact. And because “The Buzz” said it, it becomes a contractual obligation that you believe in all of that abstract nonsense with every fiber of your being for several billion years! And that can be just so incredibly liberating! You have to try it to experience it. It’s basically like wishful positive thinking but kind of like combined with a cocktail of steroids, amphetamines, mescaline and then some. Well, let me tell you that the state of OZ is really, really, really real! And it's worth every penny it costs to get you there! It’s the biggest win ever! At least it is for the Church of Ziontology. And it’s just so fun and easy to believe in it that its just, just, well… you know… just unbelievable!

So how do you get to OZ? I thought you would never ask, Dorothy! Nope, it’s not Down Under, and nope, it’s definitely not in Kansas, at least not anymore! Actually, according to that lovable old Wizard we affectionately call the Buzzard of OZ (you know, the guy who looks and acts a lot like Benny Hill), you just follow the Jell-O brick road. Actually, make that Jell-O Vodka Shot bricks, since that’s what Old Buzz always liked in the mornings. Sounds interesting? Well, for a modest amount of money, you can take eight courses with us in the following sequence:

OZ I: - A timid initial step towards the Bridge to Total Freedom
OZ II: - A frightened jump back away from the Bridge to Total Freedom
OZ III: - Penetrating the Wall of Liars that surrounds impenetrable whole track mystery
OZ IV: - The Ovulating Zetan Drug Deal shakedown
OZ V: - The New Error Trianetics for Ovulation Zetans
OZ VI: - Squeezing out the pustulates
OZ VII: - Ethic Cleansing OZ VIII: - Truth Repealed

And when you finish that last course, you finally get it! The "OZ VIII: Truth Repealed" course is a Zoloft-audited level that finally addresses the painful credulity of believing in the whole track thing, and all those levels and other stuff Buzz rambled on about. It also lets one finally see and appreciate the absurdity of one’s own miserable flat broke existence. This brings you to the first actual real true genuine OZ level. There, you finally realize that the great and powerful wizard is a fraud, and you find he is just an ordinary little old obese twit named X. Con Buzzard, hiding behind the curtain. And it brings about a complete and total loss of your rationality and cognitive abilities that finally opens up your path onto the Bridge to Total Freedom. At that point, finally delivers, and you might hear yourself muttering "There's no place like home. There's no place like home. There's no place like home."

Trabants Can Be Beautiful Too


Bi-lingual blog from Scientologist Andrea Gerak. Good to posh up your Hungarian.

Indeed a good photo of a nicely decorated old Trabant.

PS - Budapest is one of the most stunningly beautiful cities I know. Worth a visit! Plus I have been told that partying around the Balaton lake is super hot those days.

Budapest by Andrea Gerak: Trabant

Bijou Philips

An article written under the false assumption that Scientologists are against medication. The article also fails to make a distinction between medical and psychiatric medicines. Nevertheless, a fancy blog with plenty of posh photos.

Plus I never heard of the "Bijou Philips" character, much less knew that she was a Scientologist.

On the photo: the gal on the left, hanging out with the Hilton sisters.

Wait! I did blog about her boyfriend, Scientologist Danny Masterson.

slacker chic.: Scientologist Bijou Phillips Think Depressed People Need to "Buck Up"

Travolta Files Complaint of Attempted Extortion

Strange story.

Furthermore, how can a Senator be arrested? I thought they had immunity.

The Associated Press: Bahamas senator accused in Travolta plot resigns

USA - Adults Are in Charge Again

(off topic)

The first 100 hours of Obama have been nothing but a blizzard, meeting the high expectation that has been placed on his shoulders. This on its own only increases one's bemusement and admiration of such a phenomenon. Nothing could have illustrated better Obama's election campaign: "Change starting today".

The first 100 days, though may be tougher, but as yet we still are on day 4, of the honeymoon period.

Nobody said it better than Professor Shawn Bowler:"It is like suddenly the adults are in charge again".

WOW - just WOW!

The Observer has an outstanding article describing the first 100 hours of Obama's presidency.

How Obama set the tone for a new US revolution | World news | The Observer:

It was as swift and ruthless a transfer of power as has happened in US presidential history. [...]

In his first 100 hours in power, Barack Obama reversed many policies put in place by George W Bush [...]

The new era of Obama dawning in America's capital has begun well, receiving rave reviews from the media and even winning grudging respect from Republicans. [...]

trying to impose a dramatic new direction from day one
[...]

Few experts think it could have gone much better. [...]

if anyone can live up to those expectations, it is him. [...]

It is like suddenly the adults are in charge again," said Professor Shawn Bowler, a political scientist at the University of California at Riverside. [...]

At the same time Bush has departed as a hugely unpopular leader, seen by many as a disaster for America, both at home and abroad, and so Obama is seen as almost a revolutionary change. [...]

It began in the first minutes of his presidency, when he delivered an inaugural speech that was a stinging attack on Bush's legacy. As Bush listened, Obama rejected many of the key planks of Bush's rule, from national security policy to the misuse of science. Washington had seen nothing like it since Franklin Roosevelt rebuked Herbert Hoover in 1933 [...]

During the first three full days of his presidency, Obama and his team pushed through a series of measures and appointments signalling a new beginning. [...]

Obama's swift move is likely to rehabilitate much of America's reputation abroad [...]

The diplomatic offensive continued [...]

A similarly hot pace was set domestically. Obama issued three executive orders aimed at increasing the transparency of his government and opening access to presidential documents that Bush had made more difficult. [...]

The pace and calm execution of measures impressed many, though few of Obama's plans were radical. Instead they reflected a firm moderation that typified his campaign message of appealing to middle-ground Americans. "He has done some very smart things. From day one he has also been reaching out to Republicans," said Bowler. "He's getting rave reviews. Even from Republicans." [...]

He has shown some of the charm and humour of Ronald Reagan, the seriousness of purpose of Franklin Roosevelt, and the rhetorical, unifying flourishes of his hero, Abraham Lincoln. [...]

But it is unlikely to last. Obama is riding his huge wave of popularity into some dangerously choppy waters. [...]

Unlike his first 100 hours, the signs are that Obama's first 100 days will not be so smooth. [...]

But America fell firmly in love with the Obama daughters as their introduction to the world was handled with cool and aplomb [...]

Rarely has an inauguration speech so clearly repudiated the legacy of the outgoing president. Though Obama and Bush appeared to have run a seamless transition, the aura of conviviality ended on the podium. The freshly minted president wasted no time spelling out the changes he would bring to American politics and diplomacy even as Bush - who had been booed by the crowd as he entered - watched as a newly private citizen.[...]

election campaign that had run on a single-word slogan: change. "Starting today [...]

In typical style - and reflecting where power now lies - Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, gave their complaints short shrift and mocked the Bush supporters as out-of-touch. "If they didn't know that was the judgment of people, then their subscription to the newspapers were cancelled over the last three years," he said. [...]

Obama had his feet behind the White House desk at 8.35am on Wednesday. His staff were there earlier, many of them skipping inauguration balls the night before in order to prepare the new administration's first full day in power. Obama's chief of staff Rahm Emanuel was Obama's first visitor after giving the new president 10 minutes of private "time for reflection". Then the new White House sprang into action. [...]

A trio of decrees was issued with the aim of increasing the transparency of government, reversing measures taken by President George W Bush that made it harder to gain access to presidential documents. [...]

The White House itself was earmarked for a technological makeover. Many new staff on the Obama team - used to the high-tech instruments of their ultra-sophisticated election campaign - were perplexed by ageing computers, a shortage of laptops and old software that led them to set up their own email accounts. New presidential spokesman Bill Burton said: "It's like going from an XBox to an Atari." [...]

It was the old blood feuds of that troubled region that held Obama's immediate attention. [...]

No one who watched America's first black president dancing cheek to cheek with its first black first lady, as Beyoncé serenaded them at the Neighbourhood Ball, could doubt that glamour has returned to the White House. It was like a scene from a Hollywood movie and created images of fashion and celebrity to rival anything that emerged from JFK's vaunted "Camelot". [...]

The Obamas continue in that tradition, but have added a dose of youthful style and class. [...]

So it was that dozens of ordinary citizens trooped through the famed residency and were eventually led into the Blue Room to meet the new president. It was a masterstroke of PR as the Obamas greeted them one by one. "Welcome, enjoy yourself. Roam around. Don't break anything," Obama told one young man. [...]

It did not take long for the conservative right, abetted by internet conspiracy theories, to pounce. Chief Justice John Roberts bungled the wording of the presidential oath, prompting a flurry of speculation as to whether Obama had been truly sworn in as president.

This was hardly new territory for Obama. During the campaign he had set up a website to debunk rumours ranging from his being born abroad to being a secret Muslim. Once again Obama's team moved swiftly and left nothing to chance. Roberts visited the White House again, and this time administered the oath correctly. [...]

Future setbacks, more serious than getting one's lines wrong, will lead to attacks less easy to deal with.

Sullenberger Interview Scheduled for Feb. 8

(off topic)

Bloomberg.com: Worldwide: "CBS Corp. anchor Katie Couric will be the first to interview Sullenberger and his crew. That interview is scheduled to air on the television program “60 Minutes” on Feb. 8."

For the anecdote, Sullenberger comes from the same town as my favorite model, Christy Turlington, about whom I created a fan page a few years ago.

Sullenberger's fan based on facebook not surprisingly jumped quite a bit and at the time of writing of this article was already at 1.6+ million.

And no, Tom Cruise, is not preparing a movie about the miracle on the Hudson.

Here's the video of Sullenberger home coming, being presented with a key to the city.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Anonymous Hacks No Cussing Club

I reported last Jan. 17 how Anonymous was stalking a 15-years old boy and his family for his anti-cussing campaign. Now it appears Anonymous has also hacked the No Cussing Club.

Wikinews, initially in favor of Anonymous' campaign against Scientology, now has a lengthy article exposing this episode.

Internet group Anonymous hacks No Cussing Club's website, owner's e-mail account - Wikinews, the free news source

"Wikinews has learned that the internet group known only as "Anonymous" has hacked the website of the No Cussing Club (NCC), nocussing.com, for at least two days in a row. On day one, the group hacked into the website, replacing the content with links to images of alleged e-mail conversations. The e-mails appear to be from the founder's e-mail account, accusing organization members of forgery and using the site for their own personal financial gains. The website was also replaced with Anonymous's logo and a message. [...]

"It has come to our attention that the creators of the no cussing club, McKay and Brent Hatch have done so at great personal gain. Their material promotes the organization as the brainchild of their 14-year-old son, when actually the material is written by his parents, who also manage his profitable career while using his speaking events to plug their own material," said Anonymous on the hacked website. On Encyclopedia Dramatica, a satire Wiki, they claim further responsibility for the hack and exposition saying they managed to break into McKay and Brent Hatch's email accounts. [...]

In 2008, McKay even succeeded in making cussing illegal in his hometown of South Pasadena, California and has appeared on various talk shows such as that of Doctor Phil. [...]

The e-mails allege that Brent along with his publishing company, the name which "nocussing.com" is also registered under, were trying to set up assemblies in the No Cussing Club's name at schools across the United States for US$1,500.00 per show [...]

On January 19, 2009, ABC News.com reported that McKay claimed Anonymous was sending him and his family hate e-mail and death threats, nearly 50,000 per day, "almost all of them filled with obscenities" and spam. [...]

"the FBI is [working] on it [the case]" including "our attorney and we will press charges" against those who are responsible for the crimes. [...]

In September 2008, the group hacked into BillOreilly.com, the official website of Fox News Channel commentator Bill O'Reilly, exposing personal information of the site's users in a document posted on the internet. [...]

On October 20, 2008, Dmitriy Guzner, aged 18 from New Jersey, admitted to the charges related to carrying out the DDoS attack on Scientology's website. He was subsequently charged with computer hacking crimes and faces a maximum sentence of ten years imprisonment. [...]


Related Posts:

Patrick Swayze and Scientology

Patrick Swayze Will Write a Memoir Book: "Best-known for the romantic characters of “Dirty Dancing,” in which he played in 1987 and “Ghost” from 1990, Swayze received a lot of Golden Globe nominations. [...] After all the hard times he had been going through, Swayze has followed several spiritual traditions. He studied the Buddhism and Scientology after being brought up a Roman Catholic."

Daily Star - Another British Tabloid

It's incredible how British tabloids manage to turn absolutely anything into gloom.

Here is another example. Titled "The truth behind...", which "truth" is in fact nothing more than their interpretation that in spite of all the red carpet glamor "the zombified wife’s eyes screamed “Help”", that her smile was "faked", etc...

I actually stopped reading the article half-way.

Daily Star: Simply The Best 7 Days A Week :: The Goss :: Truth behind Tom and Katie's red carpet capers

Elisabeth Moss Engaged

Exclusive: Elisabeth Moss engaged! - Who's News Blog - USAWEEKEND.com: "As I’m busy packing and settling up last-minute details for my trip to this weekend’s SAG Awards, our Kathy Rowings took a few minutes to talk to one of the nominees, Elisabeth Moss. Kathy reports that the Mad Men actress, who’s nominated for her lead role in the AMC show, has more than just the awards to be excited about: She just got engaged to boyfriend (“actually, now fiancé,” Moss excitedly corrected herself), Saturday Night Live star Fred Armisen. “It happened just a few days ago — you’re actually the first press person I’ve told this to,” she told Kathy. “It’s private, so I don’t want to share the details of how it happened, but I will say it was perfect.” "

Note - Elisabeth Moss is a Scientologist.

German Ban on Scientology Initiated Dec. 2007

On Nov. 22 I reported that Germany dropped its pursuit of a ban on Scientology. This may have seen as the outcome of a decade long decision, and some even speculated as to whether this lax attitude may have been in exchange of Cruise positive portrayal of German resistance in his recent film Valkyrie.

I now find out that the origin of this attempt to ban the movement is not decade long. It was initiated exactly on Friday Dec. 7, 2007. The article even mentioned "autumn of 2008" as a deadline, which corresponds to the Nov. decision above.

What is more, it can be seen from the article that back then already, politicians and Government agencies spokesmen warned that they may not fin enough evidence to ban the movement.

It remains true, however, that the lack of evidence mentioned in 2008 does not date back to 2007 but is the result of a decade-long observation by the Agency for the Protection of the Constitution (the equivalent of the British Special Branch). The specific intention to ban Scientology, however, was only about 1 year-old when it was killed in the egg.

Lack of Evidence: Agencies Warn Scientology Ban Doomed to Fail - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

Local German Officials Discriminate Towards Scientology

Another act of discrimination towards Scientology by the German authorities. Government agencies have no business using public resources to take side in controversies regarding matters of personal beliefs. Of course, in Germany, given the anti-Scientology atmosphere, it isn't going to be an issue, but it still is improper and would be illegal in many other countries.

Official Resistance: Berlin District Posts Warning About Scientology - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International:

"A poster denouncing Scientology has gone up on a public kiosk outside the Scientology headquarters in Berlin. Local officials warn that Scientology may be 'undemocratic'posted a warning sign near the city's Scientology headquarters, explaining that local authorities mistrust the organization. [...]

A public kiosk on the sidewalk in CharlottenburgThe district of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf [...]

'expresses its opposition to the activities of the Scientology sect in this district and in Berlin, and hopes that responsible parties in Berlin will watch the Scientology sect with a critical eye in the near future, and that any new information will be made public.' [...]

the poster doesn't mention [Cruise]. It only says that local officials see 'a possible danger to democratic society' in the 'increased activities of Scientology in this district.'"

Update Jan 27: The Telegraph claims the poster is the result of a campaign over fears Valkyrie will boost membership in the CoS:

Germany fights Scientology boost linked to Valkyrie release - Telegraph: "German authorities have launched a propaganda campaign against Scientology over fears the latest Tom Cruise film Valkyrie will boost membership."


Related posts: -Berlin_Posters-

Friday, January 23, 2009

Quote of the Day - John and Jett

l.l.lipshitz:

"eg, do you have evidence that co$ and the travoltas deliberately killed jett? have you turned it over to the police yet?"

Elle (lipshitz) is questioning one Kennethnoisewater's assertions, the ludicrousness of which can be seen at:

http://stopscientology.blogspot.com/2009/01/jett-travolta-was-taken-off-medication.html
http://stopscientology.blogspot.com/2009/01/jett-travolta-dies-because-of.html
http://stopscientology.blogspot.com/2009/01/john-travolta-refused-to-help-his-son.html

Check also the rest of the thread, and see how quickly simply questioning and asking for dox turn into the usual "helping OSA" accusations, to which Elle had this to say:

"i told no one to shut up, tho i do understand that accusation is the traditional ars response tocontrary opinions. why am i 'helping them out' (doing osa's work??) by criticizing critics for slinging assumptions and innuendo like hog slop? when did it become a crime to ask questions or expect accurate info from critics? when did facts become so scary?"

Anonymous Chased by Police

Report from the WhyWeBWAAA forum. Only 9 anons present (30 Scientologists). Remember, Amsterdam was the place where a peak of 112 anons protested.

Apparently, the police were chasing anons indeed as soon as they put on their mask or pull off their sign, like it seems may have happened in Germany and the UK. They let them cool off in jail but didn't bother asking for their ID

Another mask signed, again with the peace sign.

Now the "Epic epic big win" for anons is a mask signed by Cruise! Pretty soon they'll start joining rank with Scientologists too...

One anon thinks that shouting to Cruise "Miscavige is your SP" is a way to get his mask signed.

Ah well... what else is new?

Amsterdam Valkyrie opening night - Why We Protest | Activism Forum

Anonymous Absent Presence in Berlin and London

As I wrote in my German and UK review of Cruise's premiere, Anonymous was all but absent from the press, except when Cruise signed a mask.

One of my regular commentators commented: "Well, they had two TV appearances in german TV. One in the news and one in a 45 min. documentary about Anonymous and Scientology."

Well, OK. We'll no doubt hear about that more from critics then.

Today, I read two references in the UK news outlets:

Cruise Wont Buy Into Jonathan Ross Scandal (from Evening Times): "Among the crowd were a small group of anti-Scientology protesters - Cruise is a Scientologist - wearing masks and waving banners."

So at least something...

You would expect that London, being the place that, by far, held the biggest number of Anonymous protesters, would come up with a sizable bunch for the premiere, one of their few remaining opportunities to get their masked face in the press.

So what happened? Did just a handful really come, or where there removed by the police?

The next press entry leaves me to think that something like that may have happened:

The 9 0'Clock News – Thu 22 Jan: "Famed for his mammoth meet and greet walkabouts on the red carpet, Tom didn't disappoint last night and the only hiccup was when one protestor had to be forcibly removed after holding up a 'Scientology is Evil' poster in reference to Tom's religious beliefs."

Ross Having to Read the Daily Mail as Punishment

The Independent has a much better article than the mailonline (now what do you expect...) about Ross' avant-premiere return.

I just love that line of Ross from the article:

'I have realised the error of my ways. For next three weeks I will sit in uncomfy chair and read the Daily Mail. That's punishment enough.'

More excerpts:

'Where were we?' The return of Jonathan Ross - TV & Radio, Media - The Independent: "Prancing on to the set of his chat show to the tune of Take That's "Never Forget", Jonathan Ross began his long-awaited public comeback yesterday with four words: "So where were we?" [...] Cruise made no reference to his host's misdemeanours, while Ross observed the strict no-questions-asked policy regarding Cruise's Scientology beliefs. [...] Since his suspension, Ross has tried to build bridges with his fans by chatting to them on social networking websites. Writing under the pseudonym 'Wossy', he has accumulated 14,000 followers on one site alone, discussing with them everything from his family holiday in Florida to his dismay at the demise of Woolworths and his abiding hatred of tabloid journalists."

Michael Shannon Earns Oscar Nomination

I don't quite understand that news but somehow it got Oscar nomination mixed with "A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant".

Chicago theater vet Michael Shannon earns Oscar nom | Features | Theater | Chicago | Decider: "Sure, Steppenwolf Theatre can tout its throngs of famous actors, with Gary Sinise, John Malkovich, and Joan Allen getting all those past Oscar nominations. But now add the tiny A Red Orchid Theatre to the list of stages that can boast honored alumni. Longtime off-Loop theater actor Michael Shannon has received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his work in Sam Mendes' Revolutionary Road. Since 1993, Shannon has been an ensemble member of Old Town's size-challenged A Red Orchid Theatre, which most recently produced A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant and is probably best known for being the home of the world premiere of Tracy Letts' Bug in 2001. Shannon starred in that production, went with the play to New York and starred in William Friedkin's film version in 2006."

Cruise and Ross Avant-Premiere


Cruise Wont Buy Into Jonathan Ross Scandal (from Evening Times)

"TOM CRUISE has brushed off speculation over his appearance on disgraced Jonathan Ross's comeback TV show.

The actor, speaking at the UK premiere of his new film Valkyrie, said he had heard about the prank phone calls scandal involving Ross but thought it was time to move on from it.

Cruise said he had been briefed about the affair but added: 'I know a little bit about it and have done interviews with Jonathan Ross before, so I'm looking forward to seeing him.'"

Gossip tabloid rag mailonline has an avant-premiere article of the show in which it claims a lot of swearing was made by Ross. We'll have to watch the end result to make an idea for ourselves.

The rag typically slips into gossips towards the end, and even adds "the Mission Impossible star is notoriously unwilling to discus his religion" - see? That's a double bind and shows that you can never win with these tabloids. Either you speak about the religion and are mocked or don't and this in turn leads to more accusations and innuendos.

Scientologists Raise $1,100 for Fire Department Through Breakfast Event

Church Donation Supports City Emergency Response | Pasadena News Now: "In response to President Barack Obama’s “Day of Service” challenge for Martin Luther King Day, members from the Church of Scientology of Pasadena honored the Pasadena Fire Department’s operations captain and community liaison Danny Serno with a check for over $1,100. [...] Scientology volunteer ministers, the church’s boys scout troop stationed at Sunland/Tujunga and the Women’s Auxiliary of the Church raised the money by cooking an “all you can eat pancake and egg breakfast”."

Interview with Bryan Singer

Very interesting interview with Bryan Singer, Director of Valkyrie.

We also learn (at least I did) that Bryan Singer is a Jew himself - so much for Friedman ranting about Valkyrie being a Nazi apologia.

Valkyrie director Bryan Singer praises Tom Cruise | Herald Sun:

‘‘There were things I actually left out because I knew people would think we were making them up,'' he says.

‘‘For example, when von Stauffenberg was injured, he refused any morphine and he did that very specifically because he didn't want to be addicted -- he needed to be focused, he needed to re-learn how to write. He needed to get back to work.

‘‘But imagine Tom Cruise saying ‘No morphine!' People would think it's a contrivance.'' [...]

Singer didn't pay the bad press and negative rumours too much attention.


‘‘You have to realise that I went through a period of extraordinary scepticism when I made the first X-Men movie. There hadn't been a comic-book film in a long time. I was not a comic-book fan . . .

‘‘So this was not unusual territory for me. Here was just a much more magnified version, because everything associated with Tom Cruise tends to get magnified.'' [...]

‘‘Then they see him in a movie and they say ‘Oh yeah, I forgot, I like Tom Cruise'.

Singer also reckons the actor was a surprisingly good fit for the role.

‘‘Von Stauffenberg was very much a bright light among his fellow officers. There was a kind of energised, unique quality about him that Tom has as a person and an actor. And the physical resemblance is extraordinary.''

Tom Cruise in Amsterdam

You know, I literally love the Dutch people, and Amsterdam is my favorite town in Europe. Dutch are notoriously open-minded, but they are also a cheerful bunch, really joyful and very straight (in character, huh...!). I also love to work with them. They are disciplined and competent. And I love the Dutch accent too, particularly that of Amsterdam (as a Belgian I understand Dutch).

OK - that's a lot of generalities and I am sure there are also assholes, but frankly, the vast majority of Dutch I encountered have been most entertaining and pleasant.

And now, Cruise is in Amsterdam for Valkyrie 's premiere, and there are two Dutch actresses in the film, one of whom (Carice) I blogged about already.

Tom Cruise in Amsterdam for movie premiere - Radio Netherlands Worldwide - English:

"Hollywood Actor Tom Cruise is in Amsterdam to attend the Dutch premiere of his latest film Valkyrie on Thursday evening. There's great interest in the movie in the Netherlands, as it features two Dutch actresses, Carice van Houten and Halina Reijn. [...]

Carice van Houten plays Von Stauffenberg's wife Nina, and her fellow Dutch actress and longtime friend Halina Rein plays the secretary Margarethe von Oven. [...]

Halina Reijn:

'Everyone was unbelievably kind and inspiring."

Carice van Houten:

'the next day was completely normal, and Tom Cruise is a great compliments machine. Every day he said 'Carice, you're a great actress'.' [...]

Cruise:

'When I read the script, it was entertaining and informative to know what the challenges were and what it was like to be in the environment. I've never heard of this story before... It turned out to be an incredible adventure, just to be there and shoot at these locations where Stauffenberg was. It was a very powerful experience and hopefully it will communicate with the audience. It has certainly influenced my life, just knowing that there were people who tried to stop him [Hitler]'"

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Brandy Turned Her Back on Scientology

BRANDY - BRANDY TURNED HER BACK ON SCIENTOLOGY: "R+B star BRANDY has turned her back on Scientology after turning to the controversial religion following her fatal car crash in December 2006.

The singer was eventually cleared of wrongdoing a year after the freeway pile-up, which claimed the life of a fellow motorist, but she admits the accident left her seeking spiritual help.

And when one friend suggested she look into Scientology, Brandy considered joining the faith, which boasts Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Lisa-Marie Presley among it's high-profile members.

She says, 'Someone said, 'There're these classes that you can take that can better you as a person.'

'I'm like, 'OK, I'll go check it out, but that's all I did, go check it out. I'm not a Scientologist.'"

Five-Minute Standing Ovation at Valkyrie Premiere in Germany

Compared to all that has been said and the tremendous risk Tom took with the movie, it more and more turns into what can now be called a triumph.

The German and UK premieres were nothing but a blitz of praise and glamor.

Here are some photos and excerpts, but it's just impossible to keep up and I only read a very few of the hundreds of articles that came out.

And what about Anonymous, you may ask? Not the least tiny blip of it in anything I have seen from either the German or British press, except of course when Cruise signed a mask!

Tom Cruise charms fans at Berlin Valkyrie premiere: Star spends 102 minutes with fans despite being "freezing" - Bild.de

"He spent a total of 102 minutes chatting to fans and signing autographs! Those who had waited in the cold to see him were no doubt thankful for the hot drinks and handwarmers that Cruise had distributed amongst the crowd. “What a welcome” he said. “And it happens every time I come to Germany!”" [...]

"Thomas Kretschmann (46). Kretschmann spoke about his most exciting day on set: “I had to be on time on the first day of filming, so Tom sent a helicopter to fly me from Tempelhof to the location – even though I am scared of flying. It was simply incredible.”" [...]

"There was a five-minute standing ovation when the film ended. "

The Press Association: 'Cruise's religion not an issue'

"Nighy said: "He was wonderful to work with, exemplary and I would have no idea what his system of belief was any more if he was a Jewish man or he had embraced Islam, any more than I would know what Eddie's thoughts on God were.

"It was not a feature of the working experience. He was a dreamy guy to do business with, he was inspirational and courteous and generous to everyone around him."" (Right: Cruise in Interview with Bild in Germany).

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/people/archive/peoplearchive.php/Tom_Cruise/pictures/0

Loads and loads of Cruise pictures on that web site.

Tom Cruise And Katie Holmes Turn Heads In London

"Looking stunning and sophisticated, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes posed for photos Wednesday at the London premiere of Tom's film, 'Valkyrie.'

A beaming Katie dazzled photogs, wearing a beaded, black cocktail dress with tights -- while hubby Tom looked chic in a classic suit."

Cruise in Obama Message at UK Premiere | Metro.co.uk

"Tom Cruise stepped out at the London Premiere of Valkyrie on the red carpet but instead of talking about his new film, he got political and urged his fellow countrymen to back President Barack Obama.

Cruise, who was delighted to be back in London despite the cold, said Mr Obama had brought a sense of hope to the nation, but faced challenges which needed the whole country's support.

'He has a challenge ahead and it's up to us as a country, it's not just up to him.

'We have got to support him and I believe he is going to do it”, he continued.

The actor arrived with wife Katie Holmes, who arrived looking svelte and happy after a gruelling stint on Broadway."

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes had dinner at The I - Flash Player Installation

"“So with Tom’s working method he wants to work hard, be focused and do a hard day’s work, which is what I like to do. And then we’d all get together and there’d be these big long meal that would go on, which was great,” Izzard tells."

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes hit the red carpet for the premiere of Valkyrie in London's Leicester Square | The Sun |Showbiz|Bizarre

"The pint-sized star bared his pearly whites for the cameras with uber-elegant wife KATIE HOLMES towering over him.

The Cocktail actor beamed at fans with a confidence and decorum only known to A-listers.

When quizzed about his infamous red carpet meet-and-greets, Tom said: 'It's fun. I enjoy it.'"

Obama in Full Speed from Day One


Bloomberg.com: Worldwide

It's amazing the depth in quantity and quality of changes Obama is doing on his very first day...

At this speed I am not sure how long it will take before someone shoot him like Kennedy.

Bush Doing a Maximum of Evil Up to the Last Minute

Bush managed to make a maximum of damage before leaving, passing last minute regulations to make sure that freely walking in National parks is made more dangerous and that the fight against global warming is being impeded

The first thing Obama did shortly after taking oath was to freeze all of the pending regulations of the Bush administration but those below were passed already.

I sincerely hope that some kind of karma will catch up with Bush because it is unlikely he will ever be brought in front of a human court of justice for all the crimes he committed.

Obama Faces Hurdles in Reversing Bush Regulations - First 100 Days of Presidency - Politics FOXNews.com
"Those rules include a 'right of conscience' law that allows medical providers to refuse to offer any practice they find morally objectionable, including abortion and other reproductive-health procedures.

Another regulation overturned a 25-year-old federal rule that severely restricted loaded firearms in national parks.

Bush also revised endangered species regulations to reduce the input of federal scientists and to block the law from being used to fight global warming."

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Peace Mask


Not only did Cruise get the mask back from the guard and sign it, he also added a peace sign! Now that's a mask that will go down history! Not only is it a V mask signed by Cruise himself, it also gets a peace sign on it - adding a very symbolic dimension to it!

Stunning is stunning...

Garth Brook


When I posted about Jett Travolta's funeral, I had a lot of hits from people seeking to know whether Garth Brook was a Scientologist.

Truth is that I don't know. A first search on the Internet did not reveal anything. All we know is that he is friend with the Travoltas.

I must admit that until then, I never heard of Garth Brook. This maybe due to me being a Belgian lost in space, and the fact that in Belgium we don't much care about country music to start with.

However, I did see him yesterday at the Obama Inauguration. He was good, and surprisingly he was the only artist allowed to give three songs in a row, even though there were high profile singers there, among whom my top favorite Shakira.

I reckon from that, that he must truly be a big star in the US.

Germany Subsidized Valkyrie with $10 Milliion Donation!

German critics slam Cruise

Although this article is unrepresentatively titled "German Critics Slam Cruise", it ends up writing about the warm welcome it overall received in Germany:
"The respected daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung was also pleasantly surprised by the movie.'Based on everything the film was accused of and how much could have gone wrong, you could almost call it a triumph,' it said."
This is now no big news anymore, but the article also comes up with a surprising revelation:
"Culture minister Bernd Neumann hailed the film as 'successfully helping a chapter of German history that is little-known abroad becoming common knowledge'. Berlin even subsidised the film to the tune of 4.8 million euros (S$9.4 million)."
By Jove! With critics claiming that paying to see the film is like subsidizing Scientology, I could even have titled this blog entry "Germany Subsidizes Scientology with $10 Milliion Donation!" - but that would be really pushing it a bit too much ;-)

Cruise Bears No Grudge

Cruise bears no grudge: "BERLIN - HOLLYWOOD star Tom Cruise said on Tuesday he bore no grudge against Germany despite the controversy surrounding his new film 'Valkyrie' ahead of its European premiere in Berlin. [...] 'We were making the film and all the local people were being very supportive. Then ... there was this kind of controversy that boiled up and I think if anything, it brought us closer together,' he said. 'Everyone was even more committed if that could be possible to doing the very best we could.'""

Scoop: Cruise Autographs Anonymous' Mask!



YouTube - Tom Cruise signs Anonymous-mask

You have to watch attentively what happens at the beginning because it is not obvious in first view. A security guard gets the mask of an anon and does not seem to want to hand it back. Cruise asks the mask from the guard, draws a peace sign, autographs it, and give it back to the anon!!!

Scientology Expands Building in Sydney

Scientologists hit out at criticism - National - smh.com.au

The Church of Scientology Sydney seeks to add two floors to its five-story building neighboring historic St George's Presbyterian Church. The overhaul would cost $12 million ($US 8).

The article also cites petitions and mentions anti-Scientology protests, but these are now mostly mere annoyances that actually make Scientology look good in contrast. The more significant news I find in this article is the one about expansion of the building.

A New Dawn - Welcome Mr. President!


After eight years of crossing the desert with a (unfortunately criminally not funny) retard as President, a new dawn points up. This double historic moment (first because it gives hope after desperation, second because he is the first half black president) ought to be recorded among the top moments in human history. Well, we'll see... I don't think there has been an equivalent wave of enthusiasm and hope for the US and the world since Kennedy, and yet Obama still has to deliver...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Quote of the Day - Cruise the Vampire


Ball of Fluff :

"Cruise is an actor. He was also in Interview with the Vampire. He wasn't a vampire either. Go figure."

Jonathan Ross and... Tom Cruise


johnalexwood: Friday Night with Jonathan Ross and... Tom Cruise

Funny this Scientologist had ticket for Ross' show but could not attend because it ended up being canceled after the BBC suspended Ross' show for three months in the wake of his antics together with Russel Brand. And now his ticket will be valid for the new show, opening up with... Tom Cruise! Now that's an OT win :-)

Ironically Russel Brand's new UK show - titled Scandalous - is starting to tour the country in the same week that Ross resumes his BBC shows after his suspension.

Now something telling me we will be hearing more from those two... and, to start with, the Ross/Cruise combination may be an explosive one... hold on to your seat this Jan 23!

Real Self Help Web Site

Real Self Help

This is a web site done by a Scientologist going by the name of "Fred Hare". Here is his bio. I found it through a page claiming miracle helping to heal a broken leg.The practical self help orientation of the web site, using Scientology, of course, could be interesting for people to have a practical idea of what Scientology is. However, most pages just refers to books. Did not read it in detail, though, so there may be a thing or two of interest there.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Is Close-in Pictures of Passer-By Legal?

YouTube - Clearwater Anonymous Protest – January 17th – Bullbaiting Failtroll Angle 1

This video shows an incident where a passer-by objects to being photographed and filmed. He smashes the camera, not the people. Unfortunately, what happens before the incident is not shown.

I don't know whether the guy is a Scientologist or not. Jeff Jacobsen seems to think he is not.

But anyway, would you like if masked people would take your picture and film you a few inches away from your face as you are walking the street? They were probably hurling offensive statements as well, as they usually do.

I do not know the legality of taking pictures of people against their will, and much less publishing them on the Internet. I believe in Europe that would be illegal.

However, I really do think that there ought to be some ordinance restricting people at least from coming that close in taking pictures.

Independently from any Scientology issue, do you think it is not harassment doing so to passer-by in the street? It seems to me it is.

On the whole, Scientologists have been remarkably cool in face of such behavior. I don't know if this guy is a Scientologist or not, but I can perfectly understand why he would think that this is harassment and even illegal.

I know Scientology handlers have also been doing this towards protesters. I think it also is wrong and harassment, but then we are also in a different situation here. They are filming people who are in front of their own building and who are directly addressing them. Whereas it seems to me that this guy was just a passer-by, Scientologist or not.

Requiring the protesters to be on the other side of the sidewalk in such circumstances seems to be a reasonable request, and would avoid this kind of incidents. The line between peaceful protests and stalking is easily crossed, as we have seen before. Turning this line into a street seems to make sense.

Update Feb. 1: The same video is show on this other youtube channel. However, it claims that the Scientologist was "detained by the police". This simply is not true.

It also calls the Scientologist a "bull-baiting" Scientologist (like the initial channel above). In fact, it is just the reverse. The Scientologists (if he is a Scientologist in the first place) is only trying to defend himself from in-your-face cameras. The masked anons surrounding him are the one doing the bull-baiting. Ask yourself if you would like to be surrounded by a flock of masked anons waving signs insulting your religion and holding camera to your face to film you against your will while trying to provoke a reaction as you peacefully walk in the street.

I am sorry but this has nothing to do with "peaceful protests". To me is simply is stalking and religious hate.


Related Links: