Everyone has their guilty pleasures. One of mine is watching the Church of Scientology. They are so weird…
I check on Scientology every morning. I have a specific set of sites I check, in a specific order. Yes, I’m a bit OCD.
But first, a couple of general sites. For those who want to know some of the basics, I suggest this article on the founder, L. Ron Hubbard, and this on the church itself. I don’t regard the Apologetics Index as unbiased, but compared to some of what follows, they are.
Wikipedia is also worth checking, at least since they blocked editing from Scientology related I.P. addresses. To quote:
The Arbitration Committee of the Wikipedia internet encyclopedia decided in May 2009 to restrict access to its site from Church of Scientology IP addresses, to prevent self-serving edits by Scientologists. A “host of anti-Scientologist editors” were topic-banned as well. The committee concluded that both sides had “gamed policy” and resorted to “battlefield tactics”, with articles on living persons being the “worst casualties”.
As you may have guessed, Scientology seems to be just a tiny bit controversial.
As to my daily visits…
- Mark Rathbun is a former high ranking member of the ‘Sea Org’, Scientology’s equivalent of a priesthood. Mark has been running a blog where he is critical of the current leader of the church. Unfortunately he hasn’t been posting as frequently recently. Mark, get off your backside (or onto your backside) and post more often!
- Tony Ortega is a journalist and editor at The Raw Story. He has a site called The Underground Bunker, where he posts daily on Scientology. He has a superb reputation, and often is the source for stories you’ll see other places, like the defection of Leah Remini from Scientology – Tony broke the story first. Tony’s contacts are legendary.
- Mike Rinder is another former high ranking member of the Sea Org, who used to work alongside Mark Rathbun. He runs a blog where he comments on current events. He has lots of contacts who are still inside the church and feed him information.
- The Back In Comm blog is run by some South African Scientologists. They believe in L. Ron Hubbard’s writings, and want to reform the church, or to work as Independents. They cover news with an African slant. They provide a unique insight into how church members think (Tory, Mark, and Mike are no longer believers from what I can tell).
- Jonny Jacobsen is a reporter based out of Paris, who covers European news on Scientology on his Infinite Complacency blog. Jonny also contributes stories to The Underground Bunker. Jonny hasn’t been posting as much recently, but when he does, it’s an important read.
- The Scientology Money Project attempts to follow the money. Jeffrey Augustine reads those impenetrable financial filings, and tells you what they really mean.
- Jeffrey Augustine also runs Surviving Scientology Radio, where he posts interviews on the subject of Scientology. These interviews are an incredible resource on what the church has done, and why.
- Then there’s humor. OTviiiisgrrr8 has lots of it. But it helps if you know the players, so you know who the satirical pen of Jeffrey Augustine is skewering today.
- A post who goes by ‘Media Lush’ on the Underground Bunker does a daily amalgamation of Scientology news. Some of it is repetitive, and his humor is sometimes scatological, but it’s a good place to check and make sure you didn’t miss anything important. He also tends to read all the comments on Scientology stories, and posts the most interesting. I don’t know how he finds the time.
That’s my daily list. Then there are the other sites that are important. While I don’t follow these sites as closely, they often have interesting tidbits (and a couple have a fantastic trove of historical information).
- Tory Christman was a member of the Church of Scientology for thirty years. She has a YouTube channel where she talks about the church. Tory is a grandmother on the Energizer Bunny model. You’ll love her.
- Ex-Scientology Kids is a site run by adults who grew up in the church, including the niece of the current church head. Many of the stories told here are Dickensian in style and content.
- Why We Protest is where Anonymous hangs out. Many people have heard about the protests that Anonymous ran, and still runs, outside local Churches of Scientology. What not many people realize is that Anonymous has made a real difference. Many ex-members credit Anonymous with making their leaving the church easier.
- Xenu dot Net aka Operation Clambake is an incredible resource, with tons of fascinating information, including a list of all books on Scientology. I’d tell you what Operating Clambake means, but you’d think I was either lying, crazy, or insane. Go read the definition on the site.
- Operation Clambake also hosts a web forum. Go take a look at the topics, it will amaze you. Some information, like on upcoming protests is cross posted between Why We Protest and Operation Clambake.
- Scientology Books and Media contains tons of information on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. There is some overlap with Xenu Dot Net, but the presentation is different, and often easier to read.
So now you know what I do in the mornings. Right now I’m trying to find out when the new HBO documentary, Going Clear, is going to air in Canada. It sounds fascinating.
Oops, it’s past 7:00 AM, I’ve got to go visit the Underground Bunker!
Sunday February 22, 2015