On a recent December Sunday, on a still street nestled against Camelback Mountain, a party is in full swing at the L. Ron Hubbard House. It's meant to be a holiday open house, to show off the stunning renovation of the simple brick dwelling where Hubbard founded Scientology a half-century ago, and to smooth relations with neighbors, some of whom have lately been up in arms about plans to turn the house into a Scientology museum.

These concerned neighbors, none of whom are at the Hubbard House party tonight, have whispered their worries to the Phoenix City Council: that the museum will be a Scientology recruitment center; that it will draw gawkers and weirdoes who will leave trash on their nice lawns; that the house's live-in manager, Marlyse Brock, has been circulating door-to-door propaganda on Scientology, the peculiar, much-beleaguered religion that's been called a cult and an immoral commercial enterprise with a history of harassing its critics and abusing — even harming — its members.

"Has Marlyse brought you any propaganda?" one guest asks another, a woman named Doris who lives two blocks away.

Hubbard's 1947 Buick.
Michael Ratcliff
Hubbard's 1947 Buick.
The house that L. Ron built.
Michael Ratcliff
The house that L. Ron built.
Too close for comfort: Mea Abraham's home faces the Hubbard House.
Michael Ratcliff
Too close for comfort: Mea Abraham's home faces the Hubbard House.
Neighbors think then-Councilman Greg Stanton could have done more to squash Scientology's presence on their street.
Michael Ratcliff
Neighbors think then-Councilman Greg Stanton could have done more to squash Scientology's presence on their street.
L. Ron Hubbard
L. Ron Hubbard
The Hubbard House, in the shadow of the Praying Monk.
Michael Ratcliff
The Hubbard House, in the shadow of the Praying Monk.
Jeff Jacobson has made a name for himself by blasting Scientology.
Michael Ratcliff
Jeff Jacobson has made a name for himself by blasting Scientology.
Tucked away near Camelback Mountain, the L. Ron Hubbard House is barely visible from the street.
Michael Ratcliff
Tucked away near Camelback Mountain, the L. Ron Hubbard House is barely visible from the street.

"No!" Doris laughs. "All she's ever brought me is coffee cake!"

Another guest who's dropped in to get a peek at the Hubbard House phones a friend who lives two blocks north. "Are you coming to this thing?" he asks. "It's kind of festive."

"No!" his friend hisses into her phone. "Those people are all crazy. Don't drink too much — they'll get you alone and try to convert you!"

But no one is converting anyone tonight. Guests are mostly sipping wine, wandering the home's expansive desert lot, and admiring Hubbard's 1947 Buick Super 8 parked at the back of the property. Out front, Brock is chatting with a guest at the bottom of the narrow gravel driveway when a car screeches to a halt before her. A middle-aged woman leaps out, throws her arms around Brock, apologizes for missing the party, and jumps back into her car and speeds off.

The guest with whom Brock has been talking laughs and says, "I thought all your neighbors hated you."

Brock shrugs. "Sometimes," she says, "it feels like they do."


It's no wonder Brock feels besieged. She's been dogged for months by neighbors who think that the L. Ron Hubbard House, which the Church of Scientology purchased for a little more than $400,000 in 2000, spells doom for their peaceful neighborhood. They've endured, they say, tour buses full of curious Scientologists who've descended on their streets, backing up traffic on the small residential road onto which the house's driveway spills. They've suffered streams of looky-loos who park their cars all up and down their narrow blocks. They've worried that the City of Phoenix will rezone their neighborhood to allow businesses to operate there, thus setting a dangerous precedent for the rest of the city.

But if one talks at length with the concerned citizens who live in this tony Camelback Village neighborhood, it becomes apparent that these nice people are less civic-minded than they are afraid. That their neighborhood will become known not for its neatly xeriscaped lawns, but for turning out culty radicals. That the proximity of Scientologists will somehow impact them personally. That they — friendly, conscientious, mostly Christian people — will somehow be culpable in the recruitment of more Scientologists, which is what they swear is happening at the L. Ron Hubbard House.

And if you chat with any of them long enough, it becomes clear that most of them just plain don't like Scientologists.

Their concerns are certainly rooted in Scientology's oddball and often-contentious reputation. The religion (or, as one Time magazine writer once described it, "a hugely profitable global racket that survives by intimidating members and critics in a Mafia-like manner") is a peculiar blend of sci-fi and self-help born between 1952 and 1955, while Hubbard (known at the time as a writer of popular science fiction) rented the little ranch house on what was then Tatum Boulevard. (When the city reconfigured surrounding streets in 1955, the house was assigned its current address: 5501 North 44th Street.)

Hubbard established the first Church of Scientology in New Jersey during this time, basing his new religious philosophy on a self-help system he called Dianetics, and on the belief that people are spiritual beings called "thetans," immortals who lived among and were brainwashed by extraterrestrials 75 million years ago.

The church, which boasts 3.5 million members, eschews psychiatry and psychology and promotes a type of counseling called "auditing," a means of spiritual rehabilitation that involves answering a long list of questions while hooked up to a gadget called an Electropsychometer (or E-Meter), a sort of lie detector that examines one's mental state. In recent years, the religion has become known for its high-profile Hollywood membership, notably actors John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, and especially Tom Cruise.

Despite all this zaniness, Scientology (which, loosely translated from Latin, means "the study of knowledge or truth") maintained a relatively low profile until the late '60s, when the IRS revoked the church's tax-exempt status after deciding that its activities benefited Hubbard more than the religion itself. In 1993, the IRS reversed its decision, granting tax-exempt status to all Scientology churches (there are 153 of them around the globe) in what one local member of Anonymous, a loose national coalition of Internet protesters who have primarily targeted Scientology, calls an "IRS infiltration and intimidation that led to fraud."

It's not stories about government coercion or extraterrestrials that have the Hubbard House neighbors spooked, they insist. It's mostly about the traffic, they'll tell you. It all started right after the Scientology people completed the extensive renovation of the Hubbard House in 2005, a restoration so precise that it refurbished not only the façade and interior of the home, but also its décor, right down to duplicating exactly the curtains, lamps, and accessories seen in interior photos taken by Hubbard in the '50s. (The renovation was so meticulous, it won the 2007 Arizona Governor's Heritage Preservation Honor Award.)

It wasn't long after the renovation was completed that tour buses full of Scientologists started showing up, according to Mea Abraham, who lives across the street from the Hubbard House and is one of a half-dozen North Camelback residents who've devoted themselves to policing the property.

"They were bringing in buses full of Scientologists from Los Angeles," Abraham says, "and there'd be cars lined up full of people wanting to see the house. There was traffic congestion, and people leaving trash in our yards, and using my circular driveway to turn around in. I don't care what their religion is — Catholic, Episcopalian, they're free to practice whatever they want. But this is a residential neighborhood, and it shouldn't be overrun with traffic."

It wasn't, Brock insists. "Only a handful of people would visit the house on any given day," she says. "And they'd be required to park in the parking area behind the house, not on the neighborhood streets."

No matter. The shit really hit the fan when people started showing up at JoEllen Feltham's door looking for Tom Cruise. Shortly after, the City of Phoenix busted Brock for posting a sign stating that the Hubbard House was now a museum. Meanwhile, Feltham helped create a neighborhood coalition called Neighbors Against Business Operations at Residential Sites (NABORS) to protest the Hubbard House as a public, profit-making place.

The group circulated a petition, collecting 256 signatures opposing the house's museum status and zoning violation. They complained to the city that the Scientologists' request to have local zoning ordinances rewritten to allow them to operate a museum (or, as rumor had it, a Scientology church) in a residential neighborhood would impact the entire city in a negative way, allowing any for-profit business to call itself a museum. And they flooded the City Council with letters, forcing Brock to suspend tours of the Hubbard House until the issue got sorted out.

And with that, the war between the nice North Camelback neighbors and the weird UFO religion was on.


It's a battle, according to Jeff Jacobson, that the Scientologists will undoubtedly win. Jacobson has made a career of demeaning Scientology in published articles, public appearances, and most widely on a pair of anti-Hubbard Web sites: Critical Information about Scientology (www.lisamcpherson.org/cos) and Jeff's Exposing Scientology Blog (cultxpt.wordpress.com). He says the Church's powerful, in-house legal team will make short work of "fixing this mess in their favor," although he wonders why the Scientologists even care about Hubbard's former Phoenix home.

"L. Ron Hubbard grew up in Montana," Jacobson points out, "and that house isn't a museum. His house in Tilden, Nebraska, isn't either. The ranch in California where he died isn't a monument. So why all the fuss about the Phoenix house?"

Most locals who've heard about the house will tell you that it's significant because it's where Hubbard wrote Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, the book on which he based Scientology. They're mistaken. The book, which has gone on to sell a reported 21 million copies worldwide, was published in 1950, two years before Hubbard rented the little house in the Phoenix subdivision known as Valhalla.

Even Rick Harris, an active Scientologist who joined the church in 1978, believes that Hubbard wrote Dianetics while he lived in Phoenix. Harris thinks it's truly hilarious that the NABORS group is worried about a Church of Scientology starting up on their street. "Why in the hell," he booms, jabbing a finger into the air for punctuation, "would Scientology put a church into a little bitty place like that house, when we've got a perfectly huge facility over on Indian School?" (In fact, the church has recently relocated to North Third Street in downtown Phoenix.) "Heck, I've got bathrooms in my house that are bigger than that place," Harris says, waving an arm around the living room of his massive north Scottsdale home.

"Go to our church in Phoenix," suggests Scientologist Louis Ricketts. "You'll see a chapel and course rooms and meeting places. There's no room for those things at the L. Ron Hubbard House, which is there primarily so that our parishioners can see where Hubbard first discovered that man is a spiritual being. That's why it's significant."

The size of the Hubbard House is unimportant, according to "Leslie," one of several NABORS members who don't want to see their names in print. "They have big plans for that place," she says, sotto voce. "It is truly Mecca to them."

Not really, according to Ricketts. "Actually, our Mecca is in Clearwater, Florida," he says, sounding amused. Ricketts is the vice president of The Friends of L. Ron Hubbard, a California-based organization that manages the Phoenix property. "Our Mecca is massive, with 350,000 square feet of buildings and grounds."

Were the Scientologists to call the Hubbard House a church, all bets would be off, according to City Councilman Greg Stanton, in whose District 6 the Hubbard House resides. (As of February 4, Stanton is no longer a council member. He resigned to take a job with the Arizona Attorney General's Office, a move having nothing to do with this. His replacement will be named at a later date.)

"City government isn't here to tell people where or if they can establish a church," Stanton said in an interview late last year. "We're here to protect the interest of the community, and that includes its religious freedoms."

The Scientologists might have done better to keep their museum mum, operating it on the sly rather than going after fancy zoning and special permissions. It's something that's frowned upon, according to Katherine Coles of the City of Phoenix Planning Department, "but still something that gets done all the time."

Stanton grudgingly agrees. "We don't condone operating outside the law," he says. "But, yes, it's true that the city can't tell a private residence how many people are allowed to visit. We can certainly police parking if it's a problem, but we can't tell you how many house parties you're allowed to throw in a given week."

The Valhalla neighborhood deed restrictions, drafted in the '40s, zone specifically for single-family residences only and indicate that operating a museum without a use permit is a no-no. Brock claims she didn't know this at the time she opened the museum (a story some of her neighbors don't buy) and points out that she shut down operation as soon as it was brought to her attention.

But, Feltham says, it's only a matter of time before the Scientologists figure out a new way to get around the city's rules. Lately, there's been talk about plans to have the Hubbard House listed with the National Registry of Historic Homes, which would essentially override any attempts by angry neighbors or the city to police the home's activities.


"Church, museum, historic home, whatever you want to call it," Leslie says. "The Scientologists are here to recruit. They want to host seminars and market their religion. They prey on people who are having sociological and behavioral problems, get them in there innocently, and then go for the kill."

It's an unpretty opinion, but one that's repeated by pretty much all of the religion's detractors.

"Nothing Scientology does is benign in nature," according to Nina Lamb, a local Anonymous member. "They can have a pretty slick way of worming their way into your pocketbooks. You come for a tour and on display is an historical E-Meter, and then it's 'Who'd like to help me demonstrate? It's just a few questions!' Or 'Oh, it looks like you're stressed, can I recommend a few books for you?'"

That's the sort of game Russell Shaw was playing at the Hubbard House last year, Feltham insists. She says that the real estate mogul — best known for a TV ad campaign in which he proclaims, "I'll do whatever it takes to sell your home!" — held seminars at the Hubbard House in which he allegedly told attendees that the secret to his success was Scientology.

Shaw is amused by the accusation. "No one would come to my seminars if word got out that I was promoting any religion," Shaw says. "And as soon as the neighbors started making trouble for the L. Ron Hubbard House, I moved my seminars elsewhere."

The Scientologists will prevail in reopening their museum, Jacobson insists, either with the help of their deep-pockets legal team or because the city will cave in to the intimidation tactics he says the church uses to get what it wants.

"The city is probably scared," Jacobson says. "Or at least they should be." He's referring to the numerous controversies and conflicts that are — next to Tom Cruise's allegiance — all that most laypeople know about the religion. There's Operation Snow White, a '70s project reportedly designed to purge unfavorable public records and published criticisms of Hubbard and Scientology. And there are the alleged attempts to legally force search engines like Yahoo and Google to censor Web pages that disparage the church. And, perhaps most infamously, there's the death of Scientologist Lisa McPherson, who died while in the care of the church.

Scientology's crummy reputation is by no means news; things began going awry from the beginning, back when the religion was still headquartered in Phoenix. In May 1955, a woman named Estrid Anderson Humphrey sued the Church of Scientology for damages to her Paradise Valley home. The lawsuit, which was eventually settled out of court, alleged that a house Humphrey leased to the church was smashed up by what an Arizona Republic story called "one or more persons with assertedly deranged minds" who were placed there "for care and treatment."

Jacobson refers to this as among the first of Hubbard's many "experiments with crazy people," in which Hubbard would allegedly isolate mentally ill people in a room or small house while treating their psychosis with Scientology's "present time awareness" techniques. They're still using these methods today, according to Jacobson says.

Scientology's local losing streak continued later the same year when Edd Clark, a Phoenix-based practitioner of the new religion, was jailed after practicing medicine without a license. Clark, who was nearly blind, was busted for accepting money from patients he treated with psychological techniques he'd recently learned at the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation in Seattle. These early lawsuits would set the stage for the church's long, litigious future, which would include dozens of court cases covering everything from coercion to wrongful death — nearly all of them either settled out of court or won by Hubbard and company.

Feltham agrees with Jacobson that the city is running scared from the Church of Scientology. She thinks Stanton could have done more than moderate the discussions between NABORS and the Scientologists, but that he and others in local government are afraid of Scientology's in-house legal team and history of intimidation.

"Any government agency that isn't concerned about having Scientologists doing business in their community isn't paying attention," Jacobson says. "Governments large and small have become wary of dealing with Scientology."

Is local government frightened of the big, bad Scientologists? "I don't know anything about that" is all Stanton will say on the subject. "At the city level, we have to be careful not to pick one religion over another. My desire was to strike a reasonable balance between a religiously important house and a neighborhood that doesn't want a business on one of its streets."

"We're a new religion, and all new things get attacked," says Ricketts in his church's defense. "Galileo said the Earth was round, and look what happened to him. We don't sell books about Scientology at the house. We don't make any money there. We're not forcing anyone to believe anything. I think maybe the neighbors have been given misinformation about Scientology, and it's frightened them."

In fact, many of Brock's neighbors just seem bored by the Hubbard House tug-of-war. "I don't know my neighbors, and I'm not interested in taking sides," says Irene Hunter, who's quick to point out that she's not a Scientologist. "But I believe in freedom of choice, and that we have certain rights because we're a free country. I've never seen cars parked over there. And all my neighbors have big parties, so I don't know what the problem is. This whole thing is getting out of hand."


It's also gotten pretty nasty. Although her neighbors chum with Marlyse Brock, taking yoga classes with her and chatting her up at neighborhood association meetings, some of them have taken to calling her "Brunhilda" behind her back.

Privately, Brock may believe she's a 75 million-year-old extraterrestrial; she may secretly hope that all people will one day convert to Scientology. Publicly, she appears more interested in passing out baked goods. "Marlyse showed up with a cake" is a frequent (if rather unusual) complaint from neighbors, because Brock tends to bring fresh-baked peace offerings from Hubbard's oven after each new attack on his former home.

Brock isn't just trying to make peace, according to some of her neighbors, who insist she's up to no good. One complains that Brock called her on her unlisted mobile number, and that she keeps sending Christmas cards each year. Another says, in all sincerity, that she was afraid to eat the cake Brock brought to her. Still another swears she's afraid to answer her door, for fear that it will be Brock "back with more propaganda." (Pressed to describe the propaganda, this neighbor stutters, "Well, she didn't have any printed material. She had one of her cakes. But she's a pain in the ass!")

In person, Brock is hardly the scheming, wacked-out witch she's made out to be. Tall and reserved, she seems genuinely confused that her neighbors are so put off by her.

"Yes, I am from the L. Ron Hubbard House," she says in a throaty German accent. "I am a Scientologist. But I am also a neighbor who wants to explain what we are doing here."

What she's doing there, Brock says, is trying to make the L. Ron Hubbard House "available to anyone who cares to see it, from Scientologists to architectural students to religious scholars." In the meantime, she's been working with the city to get the decrepit sidewalk on her street repaired, because it's currently unsafe for pedestrians and bicyclists. In her spare time, she runs Toys for Tots drives to gather playthings for poor kids.

All this charity is just a cover, according to Brock's neighbors. "The Scientologists are very sophisticated," Abraham says. "They are very organized, and they know everything about everyone."

Well, maybe not everything. No one involved in Scientology here or abroad, for instance, appears to know anything about the significance of the house directly across the street from the L. Ron Hubbard House. Although he once rented the home on North 44th Street that now bears his name, Hubbard apparently owned the property facing this one — a fact uncovered in researching this story, but one that no one at Scientology headquarters can document. ("We could find no record of this in our files," Brock wrote in an e-mail, "nor can we locate anyone who was familiar with this [property].")

Public records show that in September 1954, Hubbard sold for $10 "Lot Fifteen, Valhalla Amended," the northeastern corner lot facing the Hubbard House, to a local brewery employee named Joseph Lanser. The price tag on the property suggests that Hubbard may have sold it to an acolyte of the recently launched Hubbard Association of Scientologists International, headquartered then in downtown Phoenix, perhaps with plans to build a meeting place for his new religion. One can imagine Hubbard sitting on the front porch of his rented home in 1954, staring out at what was then a largely undeveloped desert landscape, and thinking, "This would be a nice place for a church."

Instead, Hubbard unloaded the property on North 44th Street the following year and blew town, relocating his Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation to Washington, D.C., perhaps because of the new religion's recent bad press about the trashed Humphrey house and the Edd Clark fiasco.

Leslie doesn't care why Hubbard left; she's just glad he didn't stick around to build a Church of Scientology at the end of her block. "That would have changed the whole personality of Phoenix," she says. "We wouldn't be the Valley of the Sun; we'd be the Valley of the Founding of Scientology or whatever. I wouldn't have wanted my kids exposed to that." Asked to explain exactly what the Scientologists have done to her street beyond trying to fix a couple of sidewalks and take up collections for needy kids, Leslie just groans.

"Oh, sure," she says. "They put on a good show. But they're not going to be collecting toys for tots once they get opened to the public. They'll have people lined up using their E-Meter, if we let them. They're very sophisticated and savvy, and they know exactly what they're doing. And," she says, dropping her voice to a whisper, "have you noticed? They're all foreigners!"


Back at the L. Ron Hubbard House, the holiday bash is in full swing. Brock, who's wearing a feather boa, has made a polite speech about the Golden Rule and "treating others as you'd like to be treated yourself." Judy Conner, who lives on the other side of 44th Street, is having a blast. She's been to the house before, she tells another party guest, but no one has ever mentioned Scientology to her. Bruce Brown agrees. "I keep waiting for a Scientology pitch from Marlyse whenever I see her," he says. "But it never comes."

"That's fine with me," Conner says. "I'm not into that."

A few doors down, a neighbor stands at her picture window, glowering at a teenage boy in a Santa hat who's been walking up and down her street. She's convinced he's a stray guest from the party, and she's not letting him out of her sight.

When a stranger stops his car in front of her home, she comes out and raps on the windshield. "Are you with the Scientology party?" she hollers through the glass. "You can't park here."

"What if I'm not with the Scientology party, but I just pulled over to take a phone call?" the stranger yells back.

"Oh, that's fine!" she yells cheerfully. "Stay as long as you like! Merry Christmas!"

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58 comments
janet
janet

I agree with everything else you just said. Maybe we are not so far apart in our doctrinal views�Peace and Grace to you.----------------------------http://www.watches-space.com

vikassinghania
vikassinghania

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Anonymous
Anonymous

Wicca was recently recognized as a LEGITIMATE religion by the Defense Department. $cientology enjoys no such distinction.

PROVE ME WRONG. I never tried to sell a "stress test" or a Bible. $cientologists are ALWAYS on the make and they abuse the supposed freedoms which ^THIS person above says they defend.

I personally have NEVER met, seen, head of, read of, ANY $cientologist who has EVER enlisted in the military. I have NEVER heard much less of one SERVING in the military. Generally, anecdotal evidence tends to indicate that the ONLY places $cientologists "volunteer" for anything, is when they use their "Voluteer Minster" program as a vehicle for cock blocking doctors and licensed mental health practitioners from properly serving disaster victims.

This exploitation and unproved assertion by the person above who claims to be BOTH "in the military" AND "a $cientologist," is highly suspect.

SUPPORT OUR TROOPS

NOT $CIENTOLOGY

Lost Raven
Lost Raven

You say that L. Ron Hubbard's Religion is bad, yet you cast the first stone. We live in a country the was founded on freedom of religion yet we get approuched by people "trying to save our soul". My sould is fine right where its at...in the arms of the Gods and Goddesses. Thats right i am Wiccan, and i served in the Army with 15 months in Iraq. "Good Christains" don't live by what Jesus said...Love thy neighbor. They try to save our soul from damnation...We are happy with our chosen faith wether it be Scentology or Worshpping out car. We are free to worship any way we damn well please. You say its a "cult" well webster's dictionary says that a cult is a mass gathering of people in worship...That means EVERY religion out there can be classified a cult. I just wish you people would stop hounding the minority religion and LIVE YOUR OWN!!!

Unanimous
Unanimous

"the IRS reversed its decision, granting tax-exempt status to all Scientology churches (there are 153 of them around the globe)" says the article. Yet if you google maps for "Scientology" you get thousands of locations. Allow me to gently point out that your peas are not in a row, probably because you are fondling them.

Anonymous
Anonymous

The person who said the following three times in a row for "satirical" (?) emphasis...

"Unless you've been living under a rock, or have brain washed into this cult, you'd know that Scientology is a criminal scam. I wouldn't want a shrine for these cake-bearing lunatics in my neighborhood. Plus, half of them are into things like gerbiling. Keep these Scilon freaks, their cake, "Dianetics," and their gerbils away from your children!"

May well have been a Scientologist attempting to discredit Anonymous. Historically such juvenile comments, as well as all undocumented, likely self-inflicted "bomb threats," are a METHOD in madness and nothing more.

Designed to make the other side's argument look weak by displaying stupidity and insults rather than continuing to reliably steer all attempts at such diversion calmly back to the topic at hand.

Scientology is a criminal enterprise, operating a cult, masquerading as a religion. Do the residents of Camelback really want what is DEMONSTRABLY such a "highly questionable" organization with such a clearly demonstrable history of a whole litany of types and levels of abuse from harassment to tortious negligent homicides for which they have most always settled out of court in sealed records.

If you prefer financial compensation over the life of your child, then do nothing. You have the right to choose, but you are being forced by Scientology to make the choice. Their hope is that you will fall into the "religious hate speak, we're for HUMAN RIGHTS!" diversionary tactic and forget they've killed long enough for them to gain a toehold in your community by acting as a group as though they have institutional borderline personality disorder.

To say Scientologists are "nobody's friend," is to belie the reality that so long as you have $'s and are within arm's reach, they've got a course to sell YOU! until that is you are old and bankrupt, and then they abandon you.

The facts. ARM YOURSELVES WITH THEM.

Mortimer Felchworthy
Mortimer Felchworthy

Unless you've been living under a rock, or have brain washed into this cult, you'd know that Scientology is a criminal scam. I wouldn't want a shrine for these cake-bearing lunatics in my neighborhood. Plus, half of them are into things like gerbiling. Keep these Scilon freaks, their cake, "Dianetics," and their gerbils away from your children!

Mortimer Felchworthy
Mortimer Felchworthy

Unless you've been living under a rock, or have brain washed into this cult, you'd know that Scientology is a criminal scam. I wouldn't want a shrine for these cake-bearing lunatics in my neighborhood. Plus, half of them are into things like gerbiling. Keep these Scilon freaks, their cake, "Dianetics," and their gerbils away from your children!

Beth Soosman
Beth Soosman

Scientology is a "church" which believes there is no creator. That is one of the "secrets" you have to pay a few hundred thousand to find out, in this brain washing cult.

Maybe they'll set up a used cigarette butt display in this "sacred" house -- Hubbard was a chain smoker -- since he claimed cigarettes were good for you and freed the body of radiation.

Bravo for this refreshingly comprehensive article, but neighbors of this House of Xenu should read the entire detailed, well-documented history of Hubbard and his group of loons, in Russell Miller's THE BAREFACED MESSIAH, available free on the web at the clambake website.

It is especially telling that Scientologists don't have a clue that Dianetics was written before Hubbard lived in that house. They don't know a damned thing about the history of their own "religion," except what is necessary to mislead, lie, and coerce their way through life to Keep Scientology Working. And what do they work at? Making money! Everything else is a false front to use as cover for their scam.

Some members are no doubt directed to make token efforts for Toys-for-Tots, but unlike other religious organizations, this cult does not hand out meals, help the homeless, or do anything of substance to help the communities in which they ply their absurd scam. Their vast wealth is used to bribe governments and police departments, and anything else which can Keep Scientology Working. Most Scientologists are fairly harmless as individuals, but as a fake religion, they are awesome as money-sucking leeches, and are good at brainwashing gullible, and sometimes vulnerable people. If you have them around, educate yourself about Scientology and warn others of how they operate. Don't try to make too much sense of Scientology or the brainwashed people who are members.

mark
mark

Well Done! What a wonderfully written piece. I"m sorry that I haven't read more of the authors work...

Anonymous
Anonymous

"Madison" said... "they will be the first to tell you that Scientologists have a strict "no dissing other religions policy".they will be the first to tell you that Scientologists have a strict "no dissing other religions policy"."

Here, let me fix that for you...

"they will be the first to TELL YOU PUBLICLY that $cientologists hae a strict "no dissing other religions policy" on the public side of their 'church.' On the inside though, everything but $cientology is an alien implant which has to be exorcised with "auditing." They are ALWAYS the first to tell you one thing, while playing hide the hamster with the actual facts."

There, fix't for you.

Wow, near 4 days after the article's done, and still $cientologists and apologists are showing up to blame the other religions and people in the neighborhood, while at the same time citing "I am not a $cientologist but..." This article plus the Glosslip article irrefutably linking all that Tom Cruise is, was, or ever does or will be, and this article have stirred up a hornet's nest of $cientological backlash!

Hitting closer and closer to home, eh Mr. Miscavige. We'll see you all at the next protest. Be sure and bring lots more videos about drug rehab so we can explain the duality of man $cilontology style to the rest of Phoenix as they walk by laughing about the fact that $cientologists are far better at advertising than any other single thing. Rip off artists and hucksters, and their fans... The Cult of $cilontololligy.

Keep posting and telling us how you really feel. It's how the protest movement got as far as it already did; lying $cientologists who couldn't keep their mouths shut and wait for things to blow over. Lies only work when people aren't listening and watching like hawks. Guess what, you've attracted a whole flock of birds of prey, and we're smelling blood.

Stop lying; stop trying to get special privileges; stop fucking up people's lives; stop bankrupting and killing people; stop practicing medicine, psychiatry (bad), and a host of other professions without a license; stop pretending your pro human rights when your faith clearly believes in racism, eugenics, homophobia, strict heterosexuality on pain of being "put away quietly and without remorse," and a HOST of other fascist beliefs that could lead to fascism, and then MAYBE we might listen.

My bet is we'll have to reduce the corporation known as the 'church' of $cientology to institutional rubble before any of that stops though. That's ok, we've got time.

Madison
Madison

I was highly annoyed at the attitues of the neighbors in your Scientology article. These people are oozing ignorance. I have had the pleasure of knowing Marlyse and Russell for several years and they will be the first to tell you that Scientologists have a strict "no dissing other religions policy". It would be nice if us Bible-thumpers would take a page out of their book and practice a little religious tollerance.

V
V

Being that I have visted this house some years back, not really by choice but by the insistance of a former employer, I can say that it was at the time innudated by Scientology stuff and it was at the time like a shrine to their founder. It might not be so much anymore but of course you couldn't pay me to go back there to find out.

Whether it stems from a dislike of practices of the "religion" or concern for general public safety, I believe that the residents in the area have every right to be concerned with what goes on in their neighborhood. Of course, I would feel the same way if someone in my neighboorhood decided to open up a Sunday school or bible study and cover it by calling it a "house party". Let homes be homes and church activities go on in buildings that were built for that reason. After all if they have these big fantastic buildings for the practice of their "religion", why bother to try and make one home a shrine to a long dead man? Set up their museum to him on their own properties which by comments in this article seem numerous and vast and worship him and his life there.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Virginia said, "I would also like to mention this is a free country, that is why we all live here and love it. To show this kind of prejudice against this group is very hypocritical.

People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."

----

Here's the question, which people "living in glass houses" are you pointing to? Neighbors justifiably concerned that a cult with a criminal history is trying to infiltrate their neighborhood, or $cientologists? I note that you pointed out "I'm not a $cientologist but," and yet then went on to immediately imply that people voicing concerns were in fact hiding things themselves. Precisely what gives you the right to say such a thing? Do you have knowledge of things about the people in that neighborhood, and if so how did you come to acquire it?

I'm a bit confused, you say you aren't a $cientologist and yet you act just like one. I'm guessing the glass house you were referring to must have been "Hubbard House," cause Lady it's pretty clear you don't know WTF you're talking about.

Amiee
Amiee

Hi Amanda, I'm Amiee.

I'm sure the other LA residents would agree 100% with you.This city council video available on Youtube gives us a different story:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

The local news even covered it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

I can understand why some residents are worried. Not that I can excuse all of their actions, but what is there isn't 100% prejudice. It's a deeply rooted, and founded concern for their neighborhood.

A non a moose
A non a moose

Again, we don't have to read a book when court documents and actions of Scientology tell us the whole story. Check out...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F...www.xenu.net

We know what the CoS does, there is no use in hiding it. we also know that CoS uses it staff to come on web boards and defend their religion by deflecting blame and changing the subject. They call people who do not support CoS bigots and prejudice and sight religious freedom, forgetting that the right to speak freely against something is a right we have as well.

Amanda
Amanda

A very interesting article... I have something to say about it. It sounds more like they are interested in bashing Scientology than anything else. I know many people, Scientologists and non-Scientologists that have toured the house and loved what they say, a nice, remodeled version of a home that L. Ron Hubbard had lived in while he did some of his research... nothing weird at all!

I also know many Scientologists myself and I would have to say that they are not cultists, not even in the slightest... it's a shameful thing that this was even written; and it's flat out NOT TRUE. I am personally insulted that you would even start to paint a picture of them in that way.

On top of that, I live in Los Angeles where Scientology is booming and has a lot of organizations... but as they put it "mafia type tactics?" are you kidding me??? There is nothing of this sort, nothing but good-will type activities, support and help for the community; I see them trying to help others... if you don�t want to do it fine. That's your choice and I wouldn�t be afraid of someone "making you change your religion" it is and always will be your choice! I would say that they picture painted by this article is definitely one-sided, written by someone who personally felt it would be fun to trash or attack a very positive and well-intentioned group. I would question THEIR intentions more than anything!

I can understand the concerns of the local neighborhood on not wanting their area to become a commercial area. But hey, it states right there from one neighbor... all the live-in manager has brought to her was coffee cake! Why can't she be my neighbor?!

Give it a break and read a book on Scientology if you have questions... I wouldn�t listen to this type of article if you want to find out what it's about. That would be like asking a racist what he thought about another race... it's ridiculous and we all already know what answer you would get; not one that would be correct, but it would be tainted with lies and false information.

Virginia Curry
Virginia Curry

I took an art group on a tour of this facility, as L. Ron Hubbard was a huge supporter of the arts, photography and writing.

The tour was great; the house great, Marlyse Brock was an excellent tour guide, very informative. There was plenty of parking on the property; She supplied us with cookies, juice, coffee and tea.

Besides mentioning the fact, that Mr. Hubbard was the founder of Scientology we were never approached to attend a meeting, given no literature or any other type of propaganda that made our group feel obligated to be involved with the "religious" beliefs of any body on site at this property.

I think the neighbors should be grateful there is a little bit of history in their neighborhood and that the property is kept in such great condition. Some of the neighbors ought to try and keep up their property as well as this facility does.

I would also like to mention this is a free country, that is why we all live here and love it. To show this kind of prejudice against this group is very hypocritical.

People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Hey PHX Scientologists...

Are your stats crashing so much that you have to break into our vehicle and steal your cult propaganda back after the uninterested public regifts it to us for recycling? Pretty pathetic if you ask me.

Fair warning, messing with vehicles is making this personal. I would perfer that neither of us resort to tactics like this; OT Committee please keep your members ethics within check. Further infractions will be documented and exposed to public scrutiny.

Wogs run this.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Molly from Phoenix said, "... At no time did we ever get asked for money for ANYTHING (including using the space). At no time did we ever get asked to buy anything. Most of the artists, musicians and poets were not Scientologists. They were of many different faiths and practices. The commonality was art."

Perhaps people would be better off using Google to find how "acting classes" are used in Hollywood as a vector for recruiting young and vulnerable actors? I think maybe that's probably a good thing for them to do first before accepting your word for it, I mean after all.. it's how they recruited John Travolta, Kirstie Allie, and Tom Cruise among a host of others.

When a $cientologist says "we didn't recruit" they ALWAYS omit the words OVERTLY. $cientology by psychotic design is built around two lives: the public life external to the 'church' based literally around "PR" (yes, that's right, public relations as applied to individual behavior in order to promote a particular over message designed to look both useful and harmless. Then there's the COVERT mission which is "make money, make more money, make others make more money for you," AND THAT IS A FUCKING QUOTE FROM THEIR BIBLES! the "Hubbard Communications Office" marching orders AND the taped lectures of Hubbard.

That covert identity is for "within the church" or "amongst friends" (to be read fellow $cilons) and is ALL about "stats" and recruiting and the financial bottom line, NOTHING more. These "services" that involve no recruiting are a joke, and all the community need do is take out a small ad in the New Times or to call on local protesters at the next First Fridays, to pass the word for more information / EVIDENCE to present to the city council or in court, to demonstrate similar efforts by $cientologists in Hollywood are for the specifically intended purpose of recruitment, particularly amongst "artists."

"Hubbard House," from what is being said by Molly, has become a vehicle for a particular type / subset of $cilontological recruitment... those in the arts. The very subject matter chosen for their self-defense is a RED FLAG which can be historically demonstrated to lead down a path of neighborhood blight and destruction.

Camelback, just ask. There are MANY professional grade researchers worldwide working on this issue and tracing the web that is $cientology. The reason they're not already suing the shit out of you until you folks submit is that they've been bled of money and members for the last twelve months while evidence is gathered.

Take it to the city council; restrict non-resident parking on your street for a start. There's literally ZERO chance of their winning the fight to turn a zoned single family dwelling into the circus they wish to use it for, IF you reach out to protesters and the support base behind them.

$cilons created their own evidence against themselves when they start talking about places to meet, arts, and "we're not recruiting." That's a RED HERRING and in fact it's just the opposite. It can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law that history indicates this is but the first step in a repeating pattern of colonization and assimilation of a residential neighborhood. Time to get a lawyer and to get the dox together.

Good luck $cilons. Can you say, "Say NO to the Hubbard House $cilebrity Center for the Arts!" FLUNK! Try a new tactic.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Mr. Bennett,

Do you have the phone number to the person that's supposed to be paying me to protest? It seems you know more about this subject than I do. By my count I'm out approx. $1000 for my time (taking into consideration the $50/day story we heard from the nice folks at Quiznos). To think, I've been protesting for a year now for absolutely no money, but only out of concern for people's well being in a malicious organization.

Heather
Heather

Dear Chris from Phoenix,

You appear to have quoted a document about the termination of the criminal case in the Lisa MacPherson matter. But, without a source citation, we can't evaluate that quotation for ourselves. And I like to evaluate everything I read on the internet.

For example, one of the things I read on the internet just now comes from the official website of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association, FDNY branch. So, when they say that the guy who gave the Volunteer Ministers their "Medal of Valor" was a fraud, it carries a lot of weight, you know?

Check it for yourself: item 7 in the minutes - http://www.ufoa.org/Prez/2005/...

Oh, and when you are digging out the authoritative court documentation about the finalisation of the criminal case in the McPherson matter, be sure and also pull out the records showing Scientology settled with the McPherson family, would you?

San
San

Oh Richard, many, many anon HAVE read Dianetics.

You guys keep using that like reading it is supposed to magically make every terrible thing that's happened within the Scientology organization all better.

And the only vitriol I ever see comes from Scientologists themselves. With every sign we've made encouraging people to find out the facts, Scientologists have made unfound and slanderous remarks in attempt to smear our character.

The only cowardice I saw came from a Scientoligist, last night, who physically pushed a single protester on public property and tried to steal his sign until the cops showed up and told him to knock it off.

If becoming someone who blindly follows, is forced to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars regardless of income for religious texts, and personally attacks and smears people I don't know(and in the case of headset Vince, smear your very own people), is what it is to be a Scientologist, count me out.

Anyone willing to talk to us will know right away that what we're doing isn't based on hate. We've never followed you home, we've never personally attacked or placed blame on any one of you. We've tried very hard to talk politely and reasonably with church members and only once were we able to get that, and that was on the day the lady who is usually in charge wasn't there to cut us off and treat the member like a child needing supervision. You're not allowed to talk to us, unless you're attacking us. On a few occasions we've come across your booths at malls or stores and have talked with those at the table, having pleasant conversation and asking questions, knowing that if the scientologists knew who we were the friendliness would immediately disappear, despite our sincerity.

I know you're taught that anyone with doubts about Scientology must have something terribly wrong with them, or are part of some psychiatry conspiracy, but once you realize that we're honest, ordinary people like you, with valid concerns, maybe then we'll be able to talk on the level. :)

Anonymous
Anonymous

To say the house is about Hubbard and separate from the "church" is to lie, pure and simple. The ownership alone demonstrates the beginning nature of the lie, but the attempt to disconnect Hubbard from the "church" in some respects could be seen, coming from a $cientologist, as either "an acceptable lie" OR an offense which could get them thrown out of the "church."

Which is it to you Mr. Bennett? You say you're a "public" for decades, how does it feel to be brought to awareness about your "church" openly lying about receiving awards for services during 9/11 which were at best another fraud? Do you find this offensive to your sensibility as a $cientologist and a member of your church who is by your own dogma responsible for the collective actions of $cientology worldwide, or do you see that as just another "acceptable lie" to 'church' membership to whip up the fervor and to sell more product?

You want to be respected for things like not parking on the grass, well WOW! I am impressed. Now, let's get back to the discussion regarding how the defense offered here is actually an offense, accusing people in the neighborhood, accusing mystical "sources" of false information that's been shown here quite clearly to be true, all with references and links provided.

"Always attack, never defend." From your words sir, I can believe you are a veteran $cientologist. Your own members here are insisting the house is a "museum," while you insist it is nothing but a house. Which is it sir, I put it to you? Americans, most particularly Phoenicians, would like to know! The documents and emails sent out by your own 'church' indicate that you are lying, or is that merely "telling acceptable untruths?"

Rathsamiar
Rathsamiar

"People with very small and/or closed minds will not be able to observe that Scientology comprises parishoners from every sector of every religion and excludes no one. There is no reason to "convert" anyone to Scientology as it already encompasses all religions and is probably the only religion around that is truly ALL-denominational. Scientology is there to help any who would care to have assistance in any facet of their life and would cover virtually any area."

I can't even begin to express the disgust that I have with this regularly espoused statement. Scientologists the world over go on about how you can be practicing another religion, and still be in Scientology. How, pray tell, can the Church of Scientology be a religion, with a tax-exempt status, and yet claim that a person can continue practicing their own original religion at the same time? I've never heard of a Hindu Muslim or a Christian Jew. And, as par the course, by the time a Scientologist has coughed up the $360,000 to get to OT3, they'll be told, among other things, that all religions are simply an old, false memory implanted in their mind. And yet they're accepting of all other religions? Simply another lie.

"The people who cower in the background, behind masks, such as the "anonymous" people do, are basically cowards who are paid to protest Scientology. This was stated from one of the anonymous people at one of their protests."

To address this, we are not paid. The only time this has ever been said at a protest was back during the May '08 protest when photographers, assumably PIs employed by the Church, were taking photographs of Anonymous protests from the Quizno's across the street, when the Church was at their 7th St. and Indian School location. Later that afternoon we spoke with the employees, (as Quizno's was the regular place to get lunch after protests, considering the proximity, so the employees knew us) and they said that the men told them that we were being paid $50 a day by psychiatrists to protest the Church.

We've heard the same lie espoused at protests during First Friday when the Church sets up their booth to trick new people into joining, and the only time we've ever said anything about being paid is in a joking manner.

Considering many of us are brokish, college students, don't you think that if we were being paid $50 a day, we'd be out there a whole lot more than once a month?

We're there because WE CARE.

Jim Bennett
Jim Bennett

I find this all very suspicious that these neighbors have such "negative" attitudes about Scientology and wonder who has fed them the misinformation about the subject? As a member of Scientology since 1969 and someone who is not a foreigner and who has lived in Phoenix since 1948, I am just amazed and dumb-founded about all of this. I can state without reservation that this "House" makes no attempt to convert anyone to Scientology, sells no product, takes in no money for anything and in fact is simply a place where someone can go who would like to know more about Mr. Hubbard...and NOT the Church of Scientology.L. Ron Hubbard is responsible for much more than Dianetics and Scientology. He has created the most effect method for drug rehabilitation, criminal reform and the creation of an effective method of study that is known throughout the world. People with very small and/or closed minds will not be able to observe that Scientology comprises parishoners from every sector of every religion and excludes no one. There is no reason to "convert" anyone to Scientology as it already encompasses all religions and is probably the only religion around that is truly ALL-denominational. Scientology is there to help any who would care to have assistance in any facet of their life and would cover virtually any area.The people who cower in the background, behind masks, such as the "anonymous" people do, are basically cowards who are paid to protest Scientology. This was stated from one of the anonymous people at one of their protests.Personally, I was thrilled when I found out that this house was where Mr. Hubbard came up with the premise, and proved, that man was in fact a spiritual being. This discovery alone is noteworthy. I also know that the state-ment about the buses taking groups of people to the L. Ron Hubbard "house" is also fiction as my wife has taken several groups of people to the house for a tour and it was done in our personal car. That car was parked in the back of the house. I must admit that at our last Christmas party, I had to park out in front of the house because the parking area inside was already full. If I offended anyone, I apologize. It was not meant to upset anyone. And I believe that we should probably get a lynch mob together and take Marlyse out into the street and "hang her from a telephone pole" for doing something so dastardly as to take coffee cake to the neighbors. What a heinous crime! She should be ashamed of herself.We do have a Church downtown on 3rd Street & Roosevelt that is for Church activities. The L. Ron Hubbard House has no such purpose or use and will not ever have. It is a place for anyone to go to see where our Founder lived when he discovered the spiritual nature of Man. This is similar to other religions where they have Mecca, Jerusalem, etc. I would guess those religions ran into the same narrow minds as well. There will, unfortunately, always be people who refuse to see beyond their own narrow minds. Too bad!

Jamie Greenblatt
Jamie Greenblatt

Dianetics is basically the biggest fraudulent thing that called itself something of a science or a religion. Its nothing but ramblings, no wonder why some people called it the most non-coherent thing since the invention of the printing press more than 500 years ago.

I have a problem with people saying that Dianetics works because it doesn't. There are passages in the book that is basically homophobic such as on page 125.

"One of the psychosomatic illnesses one would least expect to find as a psychosomatic affair is the illness of sexual perversion" - Hubbard, Dianetics, MSOMH (Copyright 2007); pg 125 para 2

"The sexual pervert (and by this term Dianetics, to be brief, includes any and all forms of deviation in Dynamic Two [The Creation Dynamic] such as homosexuality, lesbianism, sexual sadism, etc., and all down the catalog of Ellis and Krafft-Ebing) is actually quite ill physically.- Hubbard Dianetics, MSOMH (Copyright 2007); pg 125 para 3

After finishing reading that piece of crap, I threw it into the Ocean so nobody else have to see what Scientologist call miraculous. Its worthless basically. No wonder why the Mental Health Community rejected Hubbard. The only way for him to make this useless piece of garbage work was to create a phony religion. Basically it all comes down to this: I don't want to read any books that basically states that they want to kill all the Gays like how Nazi's killed the Jews.

To Scientologists: Also you can go to 13heathens on youtube (youtube.com/13heathens) to see his argumentation about Dianetics and other Scientology items(and see how it doesnt work).

Celina
Celina

As an ex-Scientologist, I can assure you that the purchase of the old Hubbard house in Camelback neighborhood has two purposes:

(1) as a donation cash-cow for getting donations from Scientologists (and others) to filter up to the highest levels of Scientology and into their financial "black hole", and

(2) to promote Scientology and Hubbard "goodwill" in the community, to make the names of Hubbard/Scientology seem more favorable and more mainstream to others, and to get more recruits for Scientology.

For both (1) & (2) above, the house needs to be open to visitors as a museum. It was never intended to be "just a house"; there would be no purpose in spending any dollars on that.

imominous
imominous

Phoenix should ask themselves the same question Hubbard's birthplace, Tilden Nebraska, asked when the "Friends of Hubbard" came to town seeking to install a park in L. Ron Hubbard's honor. It's quite an amusing story:http://www.holysmoke.org/cos/b...

Why would any city wish to glorify the memory of a college dropout, drug abusing bigamist? Here is a man who lied about his incompetent military service during WWII, lied about earning medals, lied about being wounded, lied about curing his wounds with Dianetics techniques.

Bigamist.Drug addict.Alcoholic.Pathological liar.Phony war hero.Megalomaniac.

Yeah, that's the kind of guy I would want my city to honor.When the Scientologists tried to get a "L. Ron Hubbard Day" declared in neighboring National City, that flew like a lead balloon. It plummeted so hard it left a crater.

Follow Tilden's example, Phoenix. Barry Goldwater, now there is a man who deserves honor.

L. Ron Hubbard deserves to be disposed of in the dustbin of history.

Anonymous
Anonymous

"Missing from all the criticism is any indication that Dianetics doesn't work. It, in fact, does work as millions of people around the world have discovered for themselves.

And as far as Anonymous goes, hiding is still hiding. It's much easier to spew hate and vitriol when you do it in secret. Mr. Hubbard had the courage to put his name on what he wrote. You might want to consider following his example."

For one, and I'm not sure how many times it's been stated and restated in these comments, but I'm going to restate it again, in hopes that it's seen.

Anonymous' quarrel is NOT over beliefs. If Dianetics works for you, great. Our quarrel is with the way the Church cavalierly goes about violating the human rights of members and critics. If Fair Game didn't exist, if disconnection wasn't an issue, if the Sea Org wasn't practicing human slavery, if the Church didn't actively engage in censorship, if all the other many, EVIDENCED crimes had not occured, we wouldn't be here.

As far as being Anonymous itself, I would love to go by my real name. But the practices of your Church prevents me. I don't want my name to be slandered with lies that are created for the sole purpose of driving me away. I don't want to be followed by PIs trying to intimidate me. I have every right to protest and speak out against the crimes of the Church, and if the Church can't respect me enough to not follow me home, I have no problem going Anonymous and preventing their shenanigans.

Anonymous
Anonymous

The reason "Dianetics" was on the best seller list as long as it was is simple. Hubbard ordered the members of $cientology to go to the local book seller and to buy multiple copies of the book from retailers for years on end. $cientologists bought their OWN books, over and over again, until they pushed Hubbard onto the list and kept him there. Anybody whose willing to screw with statistics and as a $cilons bankroll can afford 10 million books, amirite? I mean after all, the 'church' self-publishes and 90% of the cover price is profit, amirite?

You people are ridiculous. Do you honestly think, given the complete inability to refute the historic record, that anyone is going to go buy ANYTHING you recommend? Get real. People would rather have a sexually transmitted disease than $cientologists in their neighborhoods.

Richard Haworth
Richard Haworth

Wow, where to begin?

Having read the New Times article and most of the comments let me start by saying to the reporter that you certainly covered both sides of the waterfront in your story. But, a correction please.

Dianetics was not written in Phoenix. Other books by Mr. Hubbard were but Dianetics' publication in 1950 preceeded Mr. Hubbard's appearance in Phoenix by several years.

I guess my best advice to anyone reading all this is instead of trying to sort through all the accusations and counter accusations just pick up a copy of Dianetics or Fundamentals of Thought, read it and decide for yourself. You can find them in bookstores and libraries almost anywhere.

There must be some reason that Dianetics was on the New York Times best seller list twice. Get a copy, sit down in a comfortable chair some evening and find out for your self.

Missing from all the criticism is any indication that Dianetics doesn't work. It, in fact, does work as millions of people around the world have discovered for themselves.

And as far as Anonymous goes, hiding is still hiding. It's much easier to spew hate and vitriol when you do it in secret. Mr. Hubbard had the courage to put his name on what he wrote. You might want to consider following his example.

Yes, I am a Scientologist and have been going on 40 years. Those many years ago I took the time to find out for myself and my life has been the better for it. I urge you to do the same.

Richard Haworth
Richard Haworth

Wow, where to begin?

Having read the New Times article and most of the comments let me start by saying to the reporter that you certainly covered both sides of the waterfront in your story. But, a correction please.

Dianetics was not written in Phoenix. Other books by Mr. Hubbard were but Dianetics' publication in 1950 preceeded Mr. Hubbard's appearance in Phoenix by several years.

I guess my best advice to anyone reading all this is instead of trying to sort through all the accusations and counter accusations just pick up a copy of Dianetics or Fundamentals of Thought, read it and decide for yourself. You can find them in bookstores and libraries almost anywhere.

There must be some reason that Dianetics was on the New York Times best seller list twice. Get a copy, sit down in a comfortable chair some evening and find out for your self.

Missing from all the criticism is any indication that Dianetics doesn't work. It, in fact, does work as millions of people around the world have discovered for themselves.

And as far as Anonymous goes, hiding is still hiding. It's much easier to spew hate and vitriol when you do it in secret. Mr. Hubbard had the courage to put his name on what he wrote. You might want to consider following his example.

Yes, I am a Scientologist and have been going on 40 years. Those many years ago I took the time to find out for myself and my life has been the better for it. I urge you to do the same.

Rachel Felix
Rachel Felix

They are not doing it right if there is not a large assortment of multi-colored paisley ascots hanging in the closet.

And why doesn't Tom Cruise and John Travolta wear the pretentious ascot to honor their god?

Anonymous
Anonymous

Chris said, "Dont just repeat this junk you're getting from those couple of web sites. They are all from the same handful of people. You dont know anything about them or what their agenda is. You are just being used as a pawn."

"Dude," who is you think is making the phone calls, writing the letters, calling the people who have sued before, inquired directly of school boards who have thrown Applied Scholastics the HELL out of their curricula, VM's the hell off the VA Tech campus... I'm tired, and you're a $cientologist. The two don't mix well, so I'm going to cut this short.

I have first hand knowledge regarding the response of the NYFD to the claims made by $cientology. They were virtually identical to the response made by NASA to the $cientology video which claimed that Tom Cruise had virtually single handedly saved the space program from imminent failure by getting the space program to adopt Hubbard's insanity.

Both the NYFD, and NASA, and Coca Cola, and 7/11, and every other claimed sponsor or ally has turned out to be a complete and abject lie each and every time your group's claims have been fact checked. EVERY TIME! How can you deny the factual record of history? This isn't 2004 and everybody still buying into the idea that you folks saved people, hell it's not even 9/11 when Fox suddenly has to announce a retraction the the number they thought was for a governmental mental health assistance hotline they'd been running in their sidebar was in fact a number to the 'church' of $cientology that had been misrepresented.

Just how much more do you wish to continue to lie in the face of the historic record? Why? What is your motivation? How can you refute the historic record? This is not a case of "the victors rewriting history to suit themselves," but of $cientology engaging in an Orwellian level of newspeak and "Ministry of Truth" tactics of revisionism that inflate their societal contribution in a fraudulent, now exposed, attempt to make their actual influence far greater than their actual basis of public support.

None of what you have offered has been factually correct in the slightest. In each case your story has conveniently ended before explaining how these "awards" and these "win statements" came to be or who gave them. We've tracked down all your "letter of commendation" from various legislatures and dissected their worth (none, virtually anyone can get them for the price of a letter to a state office holder come to find out), and in many cases the "honors" are simply fake; invented by $cientology to exploit tragedy at an opportune moment where everyone was otherwise occupied, accompanied by the incredible hubris of thinking no one would follow up once the actual professionals were done trying to clean up the messes of both the terrorists AND the $cientologists.

Get your facts straight. I've invested a great deal of time investigating mine before saying a single thing about my conclusions. Now is the time to speak out, and every time a $cientologists lies in a public forum to contradict them with historic truth not revisionist fantasy designed to manipulate for the purpose of public relations as laid out by a schizoaffective "messiah" whose orders more resemble a mindlessly mechanistic business plan with a stated goal of world domination, whether the world wants it or not.

The world is resisting; actively! Get used to it.

Chris
Chris

Criminal case review

Wood�s review caused the review and dismissal of the Lisa McPherson�s death criminal case.[43] The review was done by assistant State Attorney Douglas Crow and is outlined in the 31 page memo that he sent to State Attorney Bernie McCabe recommending to drop the criminal case against the Church of Scientology.[27]

The initial autopsyCrow stated that there were credibility issues with the original autopsy, including that had Wood signed the autopsy herself five months after Davis' departure, failed to examine tissue samples and did not consult clinical experts before reaching her conclusion. He also pointed out to other mistakes done by Wood like releasing the autopsy report on an active criminal case and going public on national media.[27]

Robert Davis' testimonyMedical examiner Robert Davis changed his testimony from 1997 deposition given in the civil case and to strongly disagree that Lisa was severely dehydrated. Also he made a series of accusations against the Medical Examiner's Office's handling of the case and questioned their motive. Davis stated that Wood was not present during the autopsy and did not consult him when she signed the autopsy.[27]

Destruction of evidenceCrow noted that the failure by Medical Examiner's Office to follow its own policies to preserve evidence, releasing the body for cremation before a cause of death had been determined and destroying Davis� autopsy notes will be used to attack Wood�s credibility.[27]

Wood's explanation of the autopsy changesThe primary reason Wood gave for changing her findings was her realization that the microscopic slides of the popliteal vein and the photographs of muscle tissue in the surrounding area provided evidence of trauma which could explain the thrombus formation. She could not explain why she had not seen this before.[27]

Crow was highly critical of Wood in his memo stating:

Her explanations concerning the reasoning behind the changes have been illogical and inconsistent. She vacillated in her conclusions even as she prepared the amended certificate. After talking to Joe Davis she executed a notarized change in the death certificate to accident and removed dehydration and bed rest as causative factors. She then reconsidered that decision and resolved to change the manner of death to homicide with dehydration listed as one of multiple factors and then again changed her mind the next morning, deciding to follow Joe Davis' initial advice.Douglas E. Crow

Crow also mentioned a unique set of circumstances that put Wood under tremendous pressure and might have impacted the quality of her judgment. These being:

Wood�s appearance on national television left her more vulnerable to litigation and committed her to a forensic position that would make any modification professionally embarrassing. The fact that Robert Davis, the forensic examiner that actually did the autopsy, was critical of her conclusions. The defense suggestion that if forced to litigate it would reveal information extremely damaging to Wood's office and her career.

Chris
Chris

In a testimony Minton spoke against Ken Dandar, the attorney representing Lisa McPherson wrongful death lawsuit against the Church of Scientology.[11] In a 26-page affidavit, Minton stated that Tampa attorney Ken Dandar asked him to lie, drew up false court records for him to sign and urged him to generate bad publicity for the Church of Scientology to prejudice potential jurors in the McPherson wrongful death case as Scientology tries to get the wrongful death case dismissed on grounds of serious misconduct by Ken Dandar and his client.[12] Minton's affidavit gave new details about how involved Minton was in the wrongful death case from the start, stating that he gave Dandar more than $2 million to finance the case and paying witnesses to testify against the church.[12] Dandar took the witness stand to explain the origin of Swiss bank checks totaling $750,000 that Minton allegedly gave him.[12] Minton also testified about two financial arrangements in which $800,000 of his money was transferred from Europe to the Lisa McPherson Trust and that he had kept a portion of that money because he wanted to hide the source of the Trusts funding from the Church of Scientology.[13]

Chris
Chris

Dude, nevermind. You only see what you want to see. You totally ignored my post. What you said about the VM's was just not true. You're reading rumors and junk on the internet and accepting that which supports your hate. Just because something fits your argument doesnt mean it's true. Thats not what makes something true. Things are true because they are true. To see the truth you have to take off your blinders and actually look at something. Dont just repeat this junk you're getting from those couple of web sites. They are all from the same handful of people. You dont know anything about them or what their agenda is. You are just being used as a pawn.

Anonymous
Anonymous

And by the way, as for that "NY Fire Department Medal of Valor" you're pulling out of your .... go here and read this, you lying sack...

http://www.indybay.org/newsite...

Scientology Cult Fraudulently Claims "Medal of Valor" from New York Fire Department

"The Scientology cult loudly boasts that after 9/11, its "Volunteer Ministers" were awarded the Fire Department of New York's highest honor, the "Medal of Valor." This is not only a lie, but an insult to the memory all the brave firefighters who died in the line of duty and were awarded this Medal posthumously. Dozens of Scientology web site and blogs brazenly make this claim, in a continuing effort to legitimize their cult."

"Three years later in 2004, on the occasion of the Scientology cult opening a new headquarters in New York City, a Scientologist named Stephan Hittman made the following "proclamation":

+ + +"In recognition of the humanitarian efforts of the Volunteer Ministers of the Church of Scientology, and the help they provided to members of the Fire Department of the City of New York, in keeping with the principles developed by L. Ron Hubbard; and"WHEREAS: FDNY and the 911 PROGRAM recognize this unwavering commitment to firefighters, to paramedics, to other rescue workers, in keeping with our proudest traditions; and be it known,"THEREFORE: That FDNY and the 911 PROGRAM officially recognize this dedicated service to the citizens of the City of New York, and hereby bestow upon L. Ron Hubbard and the Volunteer Ministers of the Church of Scientology, the FDNY and the 911 PROGRAM's Medal of Valor and 9�11 Service Award � on the occasion of the Grand Opening of the New York Church of Scientology."+ + +

Not only is it preposterous that the Vulture Ministers would be honored in this way, and not the many agencies and organizations that actually helped people, but Hittman was not authorized to make such an award, or even any award, on behalf of the Fire Department of New York. He had a little administrative job. Hittman claimed to be an "Honorary Commissioner" of the Fire Department. This was a lie."

--------------

This has been thoroughly investigated, declaimed by the Fire Department AND the Fire Fighter's Union who have done all they can to warn fire fighters that the $cientology "detox" routine is nothing but bad science. Mr. Hittman, how appropriate for a $cientologist, is in fact a fraud and all one need do is Google him to see both his past and his present as he tries to turn tragedy into profit.

Learn the facts and stop spreading party line lies. It's been 12 months and thousands of man hours of research have gone into debunking virtually every claim made by $cientology in the last fifty years! Why continue to lie about something so patently false and so clearly harmful? What's your incentive to spread sociological poison and fear of empirically based medical practice? What's in it for you? What makes you fear modern medicine so?

"What are your crimes," in other words? Sound familiar? The whole world is asking, now it's time to consider either dissociating yourself from the abuses or to realize that the time to say "I was only following orders" or claiming no knowledge are fast ending. There is nothing there for you anymore; not money, and most especially not power. Discard all ambitions in terms of covert operation within the social system anymore. Finding the Co$ legal connection to the ownership of "Hubbard House" took less than 3 minutes. The days of hiding are over, why not come out of the closet?

Anonymous
Anonymous

A religious zealot who takes his child off of anti-seizure medication, does not provide adequate supervision despite being a millionaire many times over, who lets his child die under at best "cloudy" circumstances, is far scarier than I. A $cientologist who thinks that Hubbard's "Bring Back to Life Rundown" works to resurrect the dead and therefore pauses to screw around trying to figure out whether to go to the nearest hospital or back to mainland America where $cientology doctors can be brought in to "handle" the situation, is about as scary as a crazy man with a bottle of acid running naked through the streets.

$cientology has a lot to answer for. Scary doesn't even begin to describe their activities and dogma, and the tactics of intimidation they themselves use, when assertively and aggressively used back against them, suddenly are "scary" and "hatred." I never hired a private investigator to follow a $cientologist. I never took a picture of a $cientologist in my life.

How come tonight one tried to take mine and I was only walking by and have never before been to a protest, or did they? The reality is that $cientologists are under strict instruction by "scripture" to always go on offense and "ALWAYS attack, never defend." Going "on offense" and calling what they do openly reprehensible and borderline illegal is indeed "scary" and "hateful" from their point of view.

Stating what is real is not "hateful." Stating that $cientology has both a past and present of abuse of legal process is not "hateful." Saying historically $cientologist make horrible neighbors who are prone to threatening those who oppose their desire for treatment as "special" for reasons apparent to no one but themselves, is not "hateful" it is HISTORY.

$cientology, threatens its neighbors including tenants of an Aussie Ministry of Defense contractor building and doesn't afraid of anything! What's not to liek, amirite?

Chris
Chris

Thats just not true. Scientology VM's worked their asses off at ground zero. You should see some of the inverviews from fireman, police, officials thanking the VMs for their amazing work at ground zero. The VMs were given the NYFD Medal of Valor for their work there. You're spreading lies.I might also point out that you're kind of hateful and scary. But that probably goes without saying.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Anonymous
Anonymous

$cilontology "Volunteer Ministers" showed up at 9/11 and Katrina and physically prevented people from receiving appropriate healthcare. They tried the same cock blocking at the Virginia Tech massacre and were thrown out on their asses.

The shame and stigma of the efforts of "Volunteer Ministers" trying to physically prevent people accessing emergency healthcare services will NEVER be forgotten by the world... EVERY! $cientology is not being "demonized," it is being judged and found wanting.

You people sicken the vast majority of those you encounter. The world is done with playing "make nice" and respecting the unfounded "scientific" claims of your half-assed bullshit and we're putting a stop to it. Demonstrate that your bullshit works EMPIRICALLY, or expect continued organized resistance until you are so utterly reduced as to be even more inconsequential than you already are.

We know what cult you're in, do not worry. We're the Internet and we're here to help.

Tobe Daum
Tobe Daum

Historically, groups and their members have been "demonized"to justify the discrimination against them. It would be helpful to us all, in the midst of these challenging times, to practice respect and good will for one another. This is America.The people involved in community service and activities which contribute to the welfare of others ,speak through their deeds. No disparaging remarks can erase that service.

Jan
Jan

Sounds like there are some pretty wacky, border-line paranoid people in that neighborhood. Their intolerance says a lot more about them than it does about the group they are afraid of.

Lil' Davey
Lil' Davey

The only people who would consider this a "landmark" are scientologists. No museum has a place in a residential neighborhood, least of all a museum dedicated to one of the greatest con artists of the 20th century. The locals are wise to keep an eye on what the scis are doing because if they succeed in getting the house set up, there will be a constant influx of scientologists from all over the country, and probably mounted cameras, and security thugs with cameras harassing locals.

I encourage the residents to check with the local government and do whatever they can to stop the cult from setting up shop in their neighborhood. Don't make the mistake that people in other cities like Clearwater, FL made.

Mike
Mike

Again a one sided point of view from the New Times. It is always slanted to the negative. Can�t you simply report a story without throwing in your prejudice, innuendo and hatred? The L. Ron Hubbard House on Camelback is quite simply a landmark and is beautifully restored. I am proud to see this house preserved and historic landmarks held in high regard, something we Phoenicians and our news journalists are not well known for. Shame on you New Times for this bias reporting. As an owner of a home in a historic neighborhood I wish more of our historic homes and sites had been preserved over the years and not torn down to �put a parking lot�! Certainly our historic preservation efforts would have been more successfully achieved if the mass media had been behind the idea. We are now at the point that every historic site must be preserved simply to preserve our heritage. I fully support the owners of this house and what they have done. As in other historic neighborhoods and sites in Phoenix I support the opening and touring of historic sites by all who wish to enjoy our rich history.

Nina Lamb
Nina Lamb

Comment by Scientologist from Phoenix on Feb 6th, 2009, 17:08 pm

You don't lose 40 lbs. in 17 days if you were being properly taken care of. You don't keep someone for 17 days against their will instead of take them to a hospital. You don't get covered in bed sores or bug bites when you are getting proper medical care. You don't pass 4 hospitals and drive 45 minutes when you actually think it's bad enough to warrant a hospital visit once someone has stopped breathing.

"It would be like if you had a friend with the flu and you let him stay in your guest room for the night, but checked on him in the morning to find him dead. Thats not murder."

It wasn't the flu, it was a MINOR car accident. It wasn't one night, it was 17 nights and they sat there and watched her deteriorate until she was dead. How is that not murder?

Go google pictures of her after her death and tell me if she looked well taken care of.

Rathsamiar
Rathsamiar

"Serioously though, the NT sure seemed to be afraid to say anything actually BAD about the church in general, instead making the neighbors seem like a bunch of Southern Baptists when some 'coloreds' moved in down the street, anybody else notice that?"

Yeah, I was disappointed to see that. The Scientologists came off as a bit clueless and the neighbors I read to be bigoted and unnecessarily watchful, which is not the case. They've every right to be worried about what's going on in their neighborhood, really, especially when the high echelons of the Church of Scientology are involved.

 
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