Scientology Recon: Commenters of the Week!
"Ready for your Super Power Rundown, Tom?"
And we thought it was going to be tough to follow Debbie Cook.
We're glad that we got those improvements to the underground bunker in place before the new year; we don't know if the old setup could have handled the hurricane-force enturbulation that hit with the coming of 2012. While we were still recovering from the Debbie Cook cyclone, this week's stories really took us by surprise.
After starting our week with another installment of Sunday Funnies, we unwrapped a big present for our loyal readers Monday morning: previously unpublished renderings and schematics of Scientology's "Flag Mecca" -- the Super Power Building.
On Tuesday, we gave you a second helping of the Super Power Building's odder elements, like the "oiliness table" and a "pain station."
Then, in the third part of our series, we revealed one part of the Super Power Rundown itself -- the actual auditing material that Scientologists will pay about $30,000 to experience.
Thursday morning, we decided it was time to publish some happy news about Scientology, so we reprinted the glowing testimonial of a church member named Michael Doven...
...and then late that night revealed that Doven had, in fact, spied on Tom Cruise for more than a decade, supplying information about the Cruise-Kidman household while Cruise spent about ten years mostly separated from the church. Wild!
And finally, yesterday morning we returned to our regular Friday morning feature, with another L. Ron Hubbard dispatch from the yacht Apollo.
Debbie Cook, The Super Power Building, and spying on Tom Cruise, all in a single week? This pace is brutal.
OK, so let's get on to the awards...
While we were going through schematics of the Super Power Building, we did a double take at a circular object in the center of a room on the second floor. We took a snapshot of the room in our big Monday leak of images, and we loved the reaction from Thetan-X...
TIME MACHINE !!! TIME MACHINE !!!!
The "perceptics" installations on the fifth floor were also very popular with readers, and several noted that the "smell wall" included some rather odd choices in its schematic. We liked this comment by Guest...
I, for one, definitely am going to sign up for the machine that helps me tell the difference between the smell of cheddar cheese and spaghetti bolognese. Two universal olfactory truths that need to be distinguished accurately, to become more inter-galactically spiritual.
And maybe our standards are slipping, but we couldn't help chuckling at this wisecrack by Brainslugged...
I know it's officially called a "taste wall", but if DM or Tom Cruise have anything to do with it, I'd feel very uncomfortable putting my mouth up against a hole in a wall waiting to see what came out.
On Tuesday, we provided some more views of the perceptics stations, and we enjoyed another good one from Guest...
My cat would love that Gravitic Room, with the upholstered scratching post and climbing wall!! For me, however, I can think of better ways to get my Gravitons on.
One of the schematics described the replica Apollo deck that will be outside the Commodore's office, including a replica lifeboat. Kate Bornstein helped us understand the irony of that memorial...
According to the schematic, the lifeboat has no motor, no propeller. The only boat that had those was assigned to the old man and his family. It was the only lifeboat that could actually be lowered, and float on the water. The rest of the boats were either rusted into their davits, or they sank as soon as they hit the water. We didn't have money or supplies to fix them. When I was First Mate, I did what every 1st Mate before me and after me did: I put requests into the weekly budgeting committee for funds to get the boats working. Monies were never approved. If it had ever come to needing those boats, forget the whole idea of women and children first. It was the old man and his family. Now that's a hell of a thing to memorialize in their museum.
On Wednesday, we published the Super Power Rundown itself, and readers seemed as surprised as we were that at least part of what likely costs tens of thousands of dollars boils down to a simple question -- "Where would you be safe?" -- being asked over and over again. We understood Mimi the Great's exasperation..
I can think of a million ways to blow 30k, and none of them include me being interrogated or asked the same question 100 times.
And Jgg made us chuckle with this classic response...
I have gotten more profound insight from Chinese fortune cookies.
But it was Larry Brennan who really killed...
Oh geeeez, thank God I have prepaid only $10,000 for this when it was first announced, as I doubt it will ever be released. Fortunately my bigger bucks of $33,000 was prepaid for OT IX! Oh wait... Shi-
Thursday night, we revealed the extent of Scientology's spying on Tom Cruise by his own church. But Synthia Fagen put things in perspective for us...
This kind of "spying" is common in Scientology. This type of thing happens even in the lives of ordinary parishioners. These people in this story are justifying it by coming from the point of view that whatever means used to make sure that Tom gets on and up the Bridge are the absolute best thing for him. Truth is, Tom might actually agree with that too. Privacy? Forget it!
Marc and Claire Headley figured in the story, so we included a photograph of them with their two young boys that we found on Marc's Facebook page. We enjoyed Tye Solaris's reaction...
By the way... just looking at the photo of the Headley Family...Now, that is an AUTHENTIC Success Story!
And Tye also singled out Claire for praise that we felt was amply deserved.
Claire showed through the whole article what 'Integrity' looks like... I bet most would have declared a "floating needle" ... buckling under the pressure to not make waves... well, Hell.. it's the Sea Org ... isn't it? Then the Pope steps in and counter-mandates the Holy Scriptures of God himself... Another "proof of bullshit" episode...
And now, something I promised earlier this week...
The most remarkable comment I received this week came by e-mail from Mark Miglio, in response to our post about the Super Power Building and the Super Power Rundown.
Our loyal readers are quite familiar with Miglio, a Scientologist who spoke up for the church in our comments section but then began e-mailing me his reactions to our stories.
Miglio's reaction to the Super Power Building post hit me especially hard. I feel for the guy, and I wonder whether he doesn't risk his position in the church by engaging us.
In his e-mail to me this week, he set out once again to convince me of the efficacy and rightness of Scientology. But I wonder if he really had any idea how this episode he describes comes off...
In 1976 I did a very simple process when I first got into NYC Scientology at 84th St.
The process only had one command (sort of like a question). It seemed so silly. The question was worded pretty much this way: "Give me a problem of a comparable magnitude." (a comparable level)
* * *
AUDITOR: Do you have a problem that is bothering you?
ME: My most major problem, I guess, would be that I really feel that the world, overall, and the overall condition of everything environmental, and the way ordinary people behave towards each other is so ugly to me, and so so depressing in so many ways. I really can't take it anymore---it depresses me. I can't live like this. Certainly not for the rest of my life---with all this societal hate, anger, fighting, war, cheating, lying, exploitation, drugs, poverty, and the general craziness, and meanness, and lack of respect---one person to another.
AUDITOR: Give me a problem of a comparable magnitude.
ME: I can't think of anything.
AUDITOR: (After looking at her e-meter) Give me a problem of a comparable magnitude.
ME: I really can't think of anything as bad as that. It bothers me everyday. I don't really have anything else that really bothers me. I lost my girlfriend, but that was probably for the best. My Dad is always doing what you Scientologists call, suppressing me. But that too is no big deal. He's a great man, who is just a little bit crazy. I still love him, I think he loves me, I guess.
AUDITOR: Mark, the meter is still reading. I will repeat the auditing command, "Give me a problem of a comparable magnitude."
ME: Well, the only thing I can think as similar would be if some crazy guy went around killing everybody, all the nice people.
AUDITOR: Thank you, your needle is floating.
* * *
This chatter when on for about three hours. Then for no apparent reason she thanked me for the session and brought it to a conclusion.
As I walked down the corridor to the "Examiner" in the "Qualifications Division" I noticed that my Auditor had a big smile on her face. I was wondering why, and I wondered why I had even done the process. I didn't see any benefit.
About an hour later I noticed something was different about the environment, my life, and my feelings. For about the next week nothing and no one had any negative effect of me to any slightest degree. I was "flying".
But I didn't, yet, have any new found ability or power (let's call that ability/power auditing) and I hadn't, as yet, any training on how to handle an SP. But boy, was that some first week in Scientology, and what an exciting introduction to Scientology "Life Repair" auditing processes.
K R C A R C
M A R K
I was left pretty speechless by this message from Miglio. Rather than piece together my own thoughts, I would greatly appreciate hearing yours.
What do you make of Miglio's experience?
Tony Ortega is the editor-in-chief of The Village Voice. Since 1995, he's been writing about Scientology at several publications.
Keep up on all of our New York news coverage at this blog, Runnin' Scared
SCIENTOLOGY IN THE VILLAGE VOICE
[All recent stories] | [What is Scientology?] | [Top 25 People Crippling Scientology] [Commenters of the Week] | [Thursday 2pm Stats!] | [Scientology vs. South Park] [This Week Aboard the Apollo] | [Sunday Funnies]
[Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis secretly recorded discussing "disconnection"] [Benjamin Ring, LA deputy sheriff, wants you to spend your 401K on Scientology] [Scientologists: How many of them are there, anyway?] [Scientology hates clean ice: The "Fair Game" operation that should turn your stomach] [Scientology hates clean ice, part 2: Another target, and the web as weapon] [Paulette Cooper, Scientology's original and worst nightmare: a Thanksgiving tribute]
THE TOP 25 PEOPLE CRIPPLING SCIENTOLOGY
1. L. Ron Hubbard | 2. David Miscavige | 3. Marty Rathbun | 4. Tom Cruise | 5. Joe Childs and Tom Tobin | 6. Anonymous | 7. Mark Bunker | 8. Mike Rinder | 9. Jason Beghe | 10. Lisa McPherson | 11. Nick Xenophon | 12. Tommy Davis | 13. Janet Reitman | 14. Tory Christman | 15. Andreas Heldal-Lund | 16. Marc and Claire Headley | 17. Jefferson Hawkins | 18. Amy Scobee | 19. The Squirrel Busters | 20. Trey Parker and Matt Stone | 21. Kendrick Moxon | 22. Jamie DeWolf | 23. Ken Dandar | 24. Dave Touretzky | 25. Xenu
HELD ABOARD THE FREEWINDS: TALES OF THE SEA ORG
[Valeska Paris, held against her will from 1996 to 2007 on Scientology's cruise ship] [Ramana Dienes-Browning, marriage at 16, sexual interrogation, life in the engine room] [Melissa Paris, Valeska's sister: forced to marry at 16]
SCIENTOLOGY VS. SOUTH PARK: INVESTIGATION AS RETALIATION
[Scientology targeted South Park's Parker and Stone in an investigation] [More documents in the South Park probe: instructions to send in a young mole] [Scientology responds in typical fashion] | [Lloyd Kaufman confirms the probe] [Mark Ebner also investigated after South Park involvement] [Mark Chauppetta, private eye, explains what Scientology operatives look for]
MARTY RATHBUN AND THE SIEGE OF SOUTH TEXAS
[Scientology has Rathbun arrested] | [Rathbun and Mark Bunker reveal surprising ties] In Germany with Ursula Caberta: [Announcing plans] | [Press conference] | [Making news about Tom Cruise, Bill Clinton, and Tony Blair] | [Post-trip interview] The Squirrel Busters: [Goons with cameras on their heads] | [Rathbun's open letter to neighbors] | [Ingleside on the Bay, Texas rallies to Rathbun's cause] | [Squirrel Buster's claim to be making a "documentary"] | [VIDEO: "On a Boat"] | ["Anna" sent to creep out Monique Rathbun] | [Squirrel Busters go hillbilly] | [A videographer blows the whistle on the goon squad] | [Ed Bryan, OT VIII, shows the power of Scientology's highest levels]
SCIENTOLOGY SPYING AND "FAIR GAME"
[Secret Scientology documents spell out spying operation against Marc Headley] [Scientology's West U.S. spies list revealed] | [Scientology's enemies list: Are you on it?] Spy operation against Washington Post writer Richard Leiby: [Part 1] | [Part 2] [A Scientology spy comes clean: Paulien Lombard's remarkable public confession] [Scientology advertises for writers in Freedom magazine] [Accidental leak shows Scientology spy wing plans to "handle" the Voice] [Lori Hodgson and Disconnection: "No one's going to take my eternity away"]
SCIENTOLOGY AND CELEBRITIES
[Hey, Scientology Celebrity, Here's Your Media Training Checksheet!] [Tom Cruise and X Factor's Stacy Francis singing together on the Freewinds] [X Factor's Stacy Francis: Her first husband, Michael Sandlofer, answers abuse claims] [Tom Cruise and Baby Suri embarrassed by news item, so someone must pay] ["Tom Cruise told me to talk to a bottle"] | [Tom Cruise likes coconut cake] | [Tom Cruise has a sense of humor] | ["Tom Cruise not a kook!"] | [Paulette Cooper on Tom Cruise] [Paul Haggis, director of Crash, issues an ultimatum, leaves the church] [Character actor Jason Beghe defects noisily] | [Actor Michael Fairman reveals his "suppressive person" declaration] | [Michael Fairman talks to the Voice] [Giovanni Ribisi as David Koresh: Scientology-Branch Davidian link makes sense] [Russell Brand weds ex-Scientologists in wild ceremony] | [Skip Press on Haggis] [Placido Domingo Jr.: Scientology's retaliation is "scary and pathetic"] Grant Cardone, NatGeo's "Turnaround King": [Doing Scientology's dirty work?] | [Milton Katselas complained about Cardone's smear job] | [Cardone runs to Huffpo] [Philip Boyd, Saving Grace actor, rips "the business that is Scientology"]
JANET REITMAN'S INSIDE SCIENTOLOGY
[Our review of Inside Scientology] | [An interview with Janet Reitman] | [A report from Reitman's first book tour appearance] | [At the Half-King: Reitman not afraid] [Scientology doesn't like Inside Scientology] | [Q&A at Washington Post] [A roundup of Reitman's print reviews, and why isn't she on television more?]
HUGH URBAN'S THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY
EX-SCIENTOLOGISTS SPEAK OUT
["The Money Machine": another blockbuster St. Pete Times investigation] [Marc Headley: "Tom Cruise told me to talk to a bottle"] | [The Nancy Many interview] [Sympathy for the Devil: Tory Christman's Story] | [Jeff Hawkins' Counterfeit Dreams] [86 Million Thin Dimes: The Lawrence Wollersheim Saga] | [Mike Rinder on spying]
[Scientology in Israel: Arson, attempted murder, paranoia -- and a visit by the Voice!] [Scientology dodges a bullet in Australia] | [Scientology exec Jan Eastgate arrested] [All hell breaks loose in Israel] | [Scientology sees fundraising gold in the UK riots] [Aussie former rugby pro Chris Guider calls David Miscavige "toxic" and "violent"] [Stephen Cox, UK church newbie, pledges 20K pounds] | [Biggi Reichert: A German Lisa McPherson?] | [The Birmingham trove: 7,000 internal e-mails] [Australian farmer blamed for giving Tom Cruise a bad shrimp, loses her friends, family]
ODD VIDEOS AND ODDER NEWS
[Scientology chillin' with hip hop!] | [The curious career of Scientology rapper Chill EB] [Chill EB and me: the Voice interviews Scientology's in-house rapper] [Scientology singalong, "We Stand Tall"] | [Captain Bill Robertson and "Galactic Patrol"] [Scientology wins a major award!] | [Scientology wants your money: Meet Dede!] [Birmingham in the House! The "Ideal" dance mix] | [Scientology and the Nation of Islam] [When Scientology was hip] | [Sad: David Miscavige makes fun of his own fundraisers] [Freedom magazine parodies The New Yorker. Hilarity ensues.] [Scientology surf report: Anonymous parties outside the New York "org"]
THE VIEW INSIDE THE BUBBLE
[A scientologist's letter to the Voice and its readers] | [Scientology silent birth] [Tad Reeves: Scientology might listen to this guy] | [More Tad Reeves and family] [Scientology never forgets: A heartwarming telemarketing holiday miracle] [Desperate Scientology fundraising caught on video]
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.