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Strength in their numbers: More Church of Scientology defectors come forward with accounts of abuse

Posted in News by Skepdude on August 3, 2009

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT TAMPABAY.COM

They are stepping forward — from Dallas and Denver, Portland, Las Vegas, Montana — talking about what happened, to them and their friends, during their years in the Church of Scientology.

Jackie Wolff wept as she recalled the chaotic night she was ordered to stand at a microphone in the mess hall and confess her “crimes” in front of 300 fellow workers, many jeering and heckling her.

Gary Morehead dredged up his recollection of Scientology leader David Miscavige punishing venerable church leaders by forcing them to live out of tents for days, wash with a garden hose and use an open latrine.

Steve Hall replayed his memory of a meeting when Miscavige grabbed the heads of two church executives and knocked them together. One came away with a bloody ear.

Mark Fisher remembered precisely what he told Miscavige after the punches stopped and Fisher touched his head, looked at his palm and saw blood.

These and other former Scientology staffers are talking now, inspired and emboldened by the raw revelations of four defectors from the church’s executive ranks who broke years of silence in stories published recently by the St. Petersburg Times.

Those behind-the-scenes accounts from Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder, the highest officials ever to leave Scientology, were buttressed by detailed revelations of highly placed former managers Amy Scobee and Tom De Vocht.

Now their stories have prompted other former Scientology veterans to go public about physical and mental abuses they say they witnessed and endured.

Some want to support and defend the initial four, whom church representatives labeled as liars attempting a coup. Others say they feel more secure now that Rathbun, Rinder and the others are on the record with their unprecedented accounts of life on the inside.

But fear still prevents many defectors from talking. For every former church staffer willing to speak out, one or two more refused.

Those who talked confirm the earlier defectors’ stories of erratic, dehumanizing treatment and provide a deeper view into the controlling environment in which members of the religious order known as the Sea Org live and work.

Four men joined Rinder, De Vocht and Rathbun in saying: David Miscavige assaulted me.

Church spokesman Tommy Davis said the new defectors’ accounts of physical abuse by Miscavige are “false and categorically denied.”

“It is clear that these new ‘accounts’ were stirred up by your recent articles,” Davis said in a written statement, “and are nothing more than the ranting of anti-Scientologists on the grassy knoll of the Internet corroborating each other.”

The church provided the Times two dozen written declarations from current and former church executives and staffers. Referring to those statements, Davis said: “You have been provided with volumes of evidence to show that your original sources are delusionary, bitter and dishonest; your new sources are more of the same.”

Those new sources are men and women who joined Scientology as children, teenagers or young adults and spent decades laboring to advance the mission envisioned by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.

Morehead, who drives a tow truck in Portland and spent almost a decade as security chief at the church’s sprawling base outside Los Angeles, described how Miscavige struck a church executive in the chest so hard, “I could hear the hollow thump and see (him) lose his breath from the impacts.”

How does Morehead manage such recall after 15 years?

“It’s just like you remember when you touch a hot stove,” he said. “You’re never going to do it again, right? It hurts, there’s pain …

“Well, it’s as clear and conceptual as that is. I have a hard time remembering my address, but I can certainly remember this. You hold on to this because what the hell could you have done then, and what the hell can you do now?”

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT TAMPABAY.COM

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Man testifies he expected God to heal his child

Posted in News, Skepdude by Skepdude on August 3, 2009

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT MSNBC

WAUSAU, Wisconsin – A father charged with killing his daughter by praying instead of taking her to a doctor read from the Bible while testifying Thursday that he couldn’t seek medical help without disobeying God.

Dale Neumann told the jury he didn’t seek medical help for his child because “I can’t do that because Biblically, I cannot find that is the way people are healed.”

He added: “If I go to the doctor, I am putting the doctor before God. I am not believing what he said he would do.”

Neumann, 47, is charged with second-degree reckless homicide in the March 23, 2003, death of his 11-year-old daughter, Madeline, from undiagnosed diabetes. Prosecutors say he should have taken the girl to a hospital because she couldn’t walk, talk, eat or speak.

Instead, Madeline died on the floor of the family’s rural Weston home as people surrounded her and prayed.

Her father was the last person to testify in his trial. Closing arguments are scheduled for Friday morning.

Neumann, who once studied to be a Pentecostal minister, preached to the jury about his faith in God’s healing powers and cried out like he was talking to the Lord. He said he has been a born-again Christian since 1982.

‘Who am I to predict death’?

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT MSNBC

Skepdude says: Bullshit! This is child abuse plain and simple. Both parents deserve jail time, long jail time!

Stuff God Hates – #81 Hopes and Dreams

Posted in Stuff God Hates by Skepdude on August 3, 2009

READ THE FULL ENTRY AT STUFF GOD HATES


Prepare thyself, he who reads this, to tremble and quake before the Incredible Word of God, as written by THE LORD HIMSELF!

I hate hopes and I hate dreams! They violate My Divine Plan! How dare you humans lounge around and dream of ways to thwart My Divine Plan?

If I made you a gravedigger, then stay a gravedigger and be glad I don’t have you arrested. Don’t spend your days praying of becoming a porno star.*

Many people start bugging Me with this shit from a very young age. For example, I recently had a young boy who wanted to become a pilot when he grew up. But I’d already decided to give him awful 20/60 vision. But did that stop him? No. That dumbass spent his whole life bugging Me with his prayers to become a pilot. And yet he ended up becoming a pizza delivery boy with a acute addiction to Robitussin and Jack Daniels anyway, just as I’d always intended.

All these little hopes and dreams and all the wishing and the begging is just pathetic! I don’t much appreciate that which is pathetic.

Life is not fair, ok? It’s not fair, and I never said it would be fair.

Was life ever fair in The Bible? NO! Some men are born to be slaves of other men, some women are born to be raped by their fathers, and that’s just the way it is! Some things will never change. I am what I am and it is what it is!

READ THE FULL ENTRY AT STUFF GOD HATES

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Acting Against The Anti-Vaccination Network – Complaint Lodged With NSW Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC)

Posted in Podblack Cat by Skepdude on August 3, 2009

READ THE FULL ENTRY AT PODBLACK CAT

Now being passed around on Twitter – new news about the AVN and Meryl Dorey being challenged for their posing as “health service providers” who “provid(e) health education services to the public” for the purposes of the Health Care Complaints Act 1993 (NSW).

The document, which can be found as a pdf – ‘Complaint to HCCC‘ – here, includes:

In Division 1 of the Act, we find that a complaint may be made by any person against a health service provider even though, at the time the complaint is made, the health service provider is not qualified or entitled to provide the health service concerned.

The Act defines a “health practitioner” as “a natural person who provides a health service (whether or not the person is registered under a health registration Act).” It defines a “health service provider” as a “person who provides a health service (being a health practitioner or a health organisation).”

The Act defines a “health service” as including the following services, inter alia, whether provided as public or private services:

“(f) community health services,
(g) health education services,
(k) services provided in other alternative health care fields.”

Clearly therefore, both the AVN, (being a health service provider), and Meryl Dorey (being a health service provider and health practitioner), fall within the jurisdiction of The Health Care Complaints Act 1993, via these three sub-paragraphs and their claims to provide “ counselling,” “information,” and “support,” and their activities in providing technical medical information and medical advice.

READ THE FULL ENTRY AT PODBLACK CAT