Scientology's Sales Pitch: "Pure and Simple Blackmail" (UPDATED)
by Tony Ortega, Village Voice. 14th Nov 2011http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninsca ... gys_sa.php
Today sees another explosive installment
in Tom Tobin and Joe Child's
latest investigative project examining Scientology
at the St. Petersburg Times.
The previous day, the SP Times duo had introduced us to Hy Levy
, a fomerly successful "registrar" who brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars to Scientology each and every week by convincing church members to max out their credit cards, pull from their 401Ks, and draw from equity on their houses.
Today, we meet some of those church members who gave and gave and gave, particularly after Scientology leader David Miscavige
put out new versions of L. Ron Hubbard's books in 2007.
One of the most frequent questions we get about Scientology from people we meet is some variation of this: "You've written that the church is actually pretty small and losing people every day. So where is all this money coming from for new buildings?"
We have to admit, we never really had a very good answer for that. Until now.[...continued in article link...]
Wow. And this thing is only beginning. We hear the duo will take tomorrow off, publish part 3 of their series on Wednesday, and then give us parts 4, 5, and 6 on Sunday, Monday, and the big finish next Tuesday.
I think I'll have to hurry up and do my own little scoop -- about an overseas Ideal Org adventure -- tomorrow, when they're not publishing another installment, if I want to get a word in edgewise.
First of all, Sponge, you ROCK. Whenever I happen to see an article on Scientology, no matter how recently it came out, I know I can depend that you've posted it at least an hour earlier here!
You also rock, Hy Levy!
But Karen Pouw doesn't. Check out this FAIL explanation for why it is A-Okay the church coerced (and continues to coerce) money out of members:
from the cult's response to the article"
The isolated instances of fundraising problems you raise, even if accepted at face value, must be viewed in perspective: in just the last six years, tens of millions of Mr. Hubbard's books and lectures have been distributed. The 16 complaints you allege amount to approximately 0.00000021% of the total, almost 80 million. The remaining 99.99999979% represent the hundreds of thousands of Scientologists thrilled with their contributions to their church.
^Reminds me of Herman Cain's argument, re: sexual harassment complaints -- "There are thousands of women who HAVEN'T charged me with sexual harassment!" (paraphrase)