Friday, 26 June 2009

Scientology

Scientology has been much in the news lately and one wonders if there will be some changes ahead. The trial in Paris could lead to their work being curtailed or banned altogether in France. The trial is still in its early stages but here is a recent update:

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/273868

However, what is already clear and out in the open is a report that appeared in St. Petersburg Times in Florida. Mark C. "Marty" Rathbun left the Church of Scientology staff in late 2004, ending a 27-year career that saw him rise to be a top lieutenant to Miscavige in the organization. For the past four years, he has lived a low-profile life in Texas. Some speculated he had died.

In February, Rathbun posted an Internet message announcing he was available to counsel other disaffected Scientologists.

"Having dug myself out of the dark pit where many who leave the church land," he wrote, "I began lending a hand to others similarly situated."

Contacted by the St. Petersburg Times, Rathbun agreed to tell the story of his years in Scientology and what led to his leaving. The Times interviewed him at his home in Texas, and he came to Clearwater to revisit some of the scenes he described.

Seeking to corroborate Rathbun's story, the newspaper contacted others who were in Scientology during the same period and have left the church: Mike Rinder, one of Rathbun's closest associates for two decades; Tom De Vocht, who Rathbun named as key to his decision to leave; and later, Amy Scobee.

Rathbun and Rinder were well known to the reporters, who had interviewed them dozens of times, sometimes combatively, through years of controversy in Clearwater. They also hosted the reporters in Los Angeles in 1998, when Miscavige granted the only print media interview he has given.

Two reporters met Rinder in Denver, where he now lives, but he declined to be interviewed. About a month later, two Washington-based lawyers who work for the church showed up unannounced in Denver, informed Rinder that they had heard about the newspaper's visit and asked what he had revealed.

Full details of the revelation of what is described as a culture of intimidation and violence under David Miscavige can be found at the following link:

http://www.tampabay.com/specials/2009/reports/project/

All this is happening just as the book Deceived, one woman's stand against the Church of Scientology, is published. In June 1999 Bonnie Woods won a ground-breaking High Court libel battle against the Church of Scientology. In this moving book Bonnie tells of her wasted years with the Scientologists, the intimidating dramatic court battle and the Christian faith that sustained her as she sought justice.

A special offer on this book is available at:

http://shopping.reachouttrust.org/shopping/reachout.nsf/(ProductsByCode)/BV004

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