ITEM: There seems to be a flood of damaging material about Scientology appearing in the press, after years of the media adopting a hands-off policy. The St. Petersburg Times is going after the CoS hammer-and-tongs in a massive series called 'The Truth Rundown.' And this latest story threatens not only to damage the church, but could also sink Tom Cruise's career:
On the day before the actor’s visit a couple of years ago, the compound’s managers took part in “the Tom Cruise arrival preparation drill,” which required “orchestrating every action they perform … in the presence of Cruise,” Rathbun recently wrote Fields.Check out these papparrazi pics of Cruise and Katie Holmes- the body language is very telling. Also check out Gary Lachman's article linking the Process Church with Scientology, and Blown for Good, a brand new book detailing a defector's escape from the church. Check out the always-excellent Religion News Blog for more.
But Miscavige wasn’t happy when he addressed 80 to 100 managers at a prisonlike facility, known as “The Hole,” where three insubordinate officials — Marc Yager, Guillaume Leserve and Ray Mithoff — were “incarcerated,” according to Rathbun.
“Miscavige berated [the managers] for being far too light in their demands for confessions” from the three, Rathbun alleges in his letter, “because they refused to beat [them] ... to pulps. Miscavige said that Tom … had vowed to come to the Hole and personally ‘beat the living [bleep]’ out of Yager, Leserve and Mithoff if the managers failed to do so themselves.
This is undoubtedly an orchestrated campaign, worldwide in scope. I wonder what triggered it.
ITEM: John Muhammad executed at 9:11 PM. You think someone in the Virginia prison system has a sick sense of humor?
ITEM: As with nearly all of the critics, Budd Hopkins is not a fan of The Fourth Kind, though certainly for different reasons. Budd slams the movie for its hysterical treatment of abduction phenomena, the egregious AAT elements tossed in and, well, pretty much everything else but the cinematography.
Underlying all of this fictional, never before reported malarky, the film’s pseudo-documentary style strains to convince us that everything depicted is “supported by actual case material.” Well, after thirty-three years of working with hundreds upon hundreds people reporting UFO abduction experiences, I can say, first, that in no case has anyone ever reported the permanent disappearance of a friend, a family member or anyone even vaguely connected with my huge pool of subjects.Check it out. Definitely worth a read.
ITEM: Boy, they don't let up, do they?
VATICAN CITY – E.T. phone Rome. Four hundred years after it locked up Galileo for challenging the view that the Earth was the center of the universe, the Vatican has called in experts to study the possibility of extraterrestrial alien life and its implication for the Catholic Church.Anyone get the feeling they know something we don't?
TVOD UPDATE: It looks as if Eastwick has been canceled and Flash Forward is in danger of following suit. Can't say I'm surprised, and regular readers probably aren't either.
ITEM: 17-Templar-Babylon mashup front page news on The NY Times.