For a few weeks now, we’ve been watching with some incredulity the material coming out of a particular Scientology “org,” which is located in Birmingham, England.
A Scientology-watcher who calls himself “CarltonBANKS” has been posting pretty amazing material from the Birmingham org’s net servers which, he tells us, were for some reason set to “public” so that just anyone could go in and look around.
Our own hacking knowledge isn’t really sufficient to make any judgment about that claim by CarltonBANKS. We only know that the material he’s been pulling out of the Birmingham server and posting at the Anonymous website “WhyWeProtest” is jaw-dropping stuff.
But this week, CarltonBANKS turned over to WWP the mother lode: 7,000 internal e-mails stored on the Birmingham server. And what the sharp eyes over at Anonymous have found in that trove contain more evidence of Scientology’s current sad state.
Scientology watchers are currently sifting through the massive data dump, but so far, what they’ve pulled out tells a consistent tale: with their numbers dwindling, Scientology officials work feverishly to get money out of church members, even when those members are suffering from difficult life situations. But no matter how tough things are, the emphasis is always sell, sell, sell.
We were struck, for example, by this poster image, showing how the various European “orgs” are encouraged to compete with each other according to how many “packages” they’ve been able to move:
Meanwhile, in an echo of the poor sap Stephen Cox we saw earlier, another man who donated a large amount of money to Birmingham’s effort to purchase a new building admits in an e-mail that he had to take a loan to do it:
I am currently on OT V and I have decided to do a pledge of £10,000 to Birmingham Ideal Org. We have received a briefing from CO OSA on religious recognition and Brandy Shaw from Int Landlord Office on how getting the first Ideal Orgs completed will facilitate religious recognition. I want to find a solution as to how I can contribute to Birmingham now, as the planning is the first stage that needs to be completed to get the project moving fast. I intend to have the loan repaid by March 2011.
Translation: the folks at Scientology tell me they need a new building real fast because it will change the world. So I handed over the equivalent of $15,000 that I don’t actually have.
He goes on to explain his financial situation:
I have been 34 years in Scientology. I was in the Sea Org, just over 4 years. My training level is Class IV. I am OT IV completion and currently on OT V. My current debt that I am servicing is £35,000, which is £15,000 on credit cards, £20,000 on tax (recently tax bill of 31st October which has been co-ordinated) and one loan (with one outstanding payment). I have excess funds of £500 – £1000 per month after my FP No 1, which would be available for Scientology services and I have enough funds to complete OT V.
So I can contribute to Birmingham Ideal Org planning, I would like to borrow £10,000 to be repaid by the end of March 2011. Plan B, would be to implement the above repayments, starting at £250 per month from March and ascending for two years until the full amount is repaid including 15% interest.
Translation: I’m already deep in debt, but I’m determined to pay to get to the next level on my Scientology training, and willing to get even deeper in the hole for the new building, even at a rapacious rate of interest.
In another example, a man named Steve tries to explain to the Scientology staff why he hasn’t been coming in to purchase auditing lately: his wife is battling cancer:
I am now awaiting the results of the private blood test and whereas before we seen the doctor I was quietly optimistic that the results could show some positive signs, I am now fearing the worst to be honest. In my opinion, the problem with Sue is not her cancer, it has been her attitude towards confronting what she has to do.
Steve explains that he’s been trying to use his Scientology training to help her, and they are hoping for the best:
All I want is for Sue to get the all-clear, get stronger and feel healthy so that she gives herself a chance of the Bridge. If we can achieve this then I will consider I have ‘done my job’. If she then didn’t take her chance at the Bridge then I guess there is nothing I can do about that, but I just want her to have that chance. I am giving Sue assists, it’s just trying to fit everything in around work, cooking, cleaning, etc. I have averaged about 2 assists per day, but I’ve been told by an OT I know that I need to be doing about 4 per day so I’ll have to figure out how to do this. I know I should do locationals on myself, but again, I just don’t seem to have the time to do this as Sue needs a bit of care right now. That’s great news about your dad not needing chemo though, a very good sign. I appreciate your concern and interest, I know you are thinking of Sue (postulate she is well!) and I’ll keep you posted on any developments.
The Birmingham org’s response? Steve needs stop caring for his sick wife and get in for some expensive counseling, of course!
Hi Steve, From what you are saying I can see that the whole situation is having an effect on you. It sounds like you could do with some help in caring for Sue. Then you could have some space to give yourself a boost so as to have the strength of mind and spiritually to handle the whole scene. I definitely want you to make it happen to come down for auditing and get the boost you need as you too deserve to move up The Bridge as well as Sue. LRH says “There is no short stop on the road to truth. That is the only track that you have to go all the way. Once you put your feet upon that road, you have to walk it to its end. Otherwise, all manner of difficulties and upsets will beset you.” The fact is that you are not on service right now, so you are off that road to that degree. It is by moving up the Bridge that you will be AT CAUSE over life situations. I am here to help you get through any barriers that might exist to you arriving for your auditing by addressing them with LRH tech and get a solution. AND THERE IS A SOLUTION.
Another reason to spend money? Because the evil Americans are putting microchips in their children. That was the fundraising pitch in an e-mail to another Birmingham member from a staffer who attended an International Association of Scientologists (IAS) event:
I am sitting here at the IAS event. Its a shame u missed it. It has to off been the most theta event ever. Even the men were crying!!! Here are some facts that we have learnt from this weekend- There are over 400,000 children that are on psych drugs. That’s enough to fill up 4 Wembley Stadiums. The chipping device that is in operation in America, is starting to happen here in the UK. The NHS are pushing the same device but in a method of a card that you keep in your wallet. So it basically becomes the same thing. That basically means that you have been tagged and every where you go it will be registered. This is the police state becoming realer than you think….Please make a generous donation today and help combat the state of this planet.
Also, as you can see in the photo at the top of the post, some staffers were pretty thrilled when one member paid a large amount in cash. As an Anon captioned the photo, “Oh, that clergy!”
Oh, there’s much more, and we’ll be watching as additional e-mails get pulled from the pile.
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
#7: Mark Bunker
#8: Mike Rinder
#9: Jason Beghe
#10: Lisa McPherson
#11: Nick Xenophon (and other public servants)
#12: Tommy Davis (and other hapless church executives)
#13: Janet Reitman (and other journalists)
#14: Tory Christman (and other noisy ex-Scientologists)
#15: Andreas Heldal-Lund (and other old time church critics)
#16: Marc and Claire Headley, escapees of the church’s HQ
#17: Jefferson Hawkins, the man behind the TV volcano
#18: Amy Scobee, former Sea Org executive
#19: The Squirrel Busters (and the church’s other thugs and goons)
#20: Trey Parker and Matt Stone (and other media figures)
#21: Kendrick Moxon, attorney for the church
#22: Jamie DeWolf (and other L. Ron Hubbard family members)
#23: Ken Dandar (and other attorneys who litigate against the church)
#24: David Touretzky (and other academics)
#25: Xenu, galactic overlord
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
[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?]
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]
SCIENTOLOGY AND CELEBRITIES
[“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]
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
[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 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?]
ODD VIDEOS AND ODDER NEWS
[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]
[Scientology High School, Dating and Super Powers!]