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Hey, everybody, welcome to another episode of Scientology Fair Game. Hello, Mike. Hi, Lisa. Well, we're very excited.
Mike, do you want to introduce Richard, who has a very lengthy and impressive resume?
Yes, I do, Richard. It is wonderful to have you with us. And I just want to let everybody know a little bit about who you are.
You have been a contributing editor of investigations for Forbes magazine since 2012. You've written for Time magazine for Fortune for Forbes.
You are famous the right guy. I do. We have the right guy. OK, let's check in.
Richard has received many prestigious awards, the Gerald Loeb Award, Conscience and Media Award, Worth Bingham Prize, George Polk Award, Overseas Press Club Award, the Jack Anderson Award twice and on August 5th penned an article in Forbes magazine about Representative Karen Bass and her statements about Scientology.
We're going to address that a little bit later, because I want to go into a bit more of the background about Rich, and he is.
The author of perhaps the most comprehensive and far reaching article in the history of Scientology, which was published in Time magazine in May of 1991. Cover story entitled The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power Ruined Lives, Lost Fortunes, Federal Crimes, Scientology poses as a religion, but really is a ruthless global scam and aiming for the mainstream. That's quite a title, Rich. Yeah, and not to mention the importance of Time magazine at the time was astronomical, being that there was no Internet.
So it was the most influential magazine at the time.
And Scientologists like me, of course, were forbidden from even looking at it.
And you might well know I looked at it live. Yes, you're right.
I should clarify my we had at the time, Mike was the head of Scientologist Department of Water. How do you describe yourselves?
The the hit men of Scientology are going to get a picture of you guys.
I mean, confessing everything again is the you were the part you were part of the Department of Scientology that goes after people telling the truth about Scientology.
So, of course, you would have been told you needed to read it and then I'm sure the fair gaming began. But anyway, go ahead, Mike. You want to add anything?
Well, I just wanted to add something rich that you may not understand from your perspective at the time. The reason that Time magazine in that article was so, so important was. David Miscavige believed that it would be the biggest threat to gaining Tax-Exempt status for Scientology because it's true and he was right.
Right. Time had enormous influence. And the fact of the matter is that the IRS responds to pressure from the media and pressure from Congress and elected officials.
And Miscavige was in the battle of his life at that time. Because L. Ron Hubbard had decreed in his estate planning that the distribution of his wealth and assets could only go to a tax exempt organization, an IRS recognized tax exempt organization.
And we've talked about this at some length of other places and will no doubt talk about it more. But Rich, understand, at that moment in time, it was the single most important thing that Miscavige believed that he had to accomplish, which was gaining Tax-Exempt status for Scientology.
And your article threw a massive wrench in the works of that.
And that is why you saw the reaction that you saw, which is unprecedented in the history of Scientology. There has never been a response or reaction like that. Now, we've talked a lot. I know that you had earlier done an article in Fortune magazine about Hubbard and Scientology and the tax status of Scientology in 1986, right?
Yeah, yeah. It was called the profit and profits of Scientology.
But at that time, the urgency of gaining Tax-Exempt status wasn't what it was in 1991. So you saw a very different reaction to the Time magazine article than you did to the earlier article that you had written.
But let me ask you, why did you embark on that 1991 article to begin with?
Is our time up? It was very nice. Thank you for joining us. It was a pleasure. Yeah, it started with the 1986 Forbes piece because I was on the Forbes 400 as a reporter, the Forbes 400. It began a few years before.
And one of the files I was given by an editor was Hubbard, just to look into it to see if he belonged on the Forbes 400 richest Americans list.
And the more I looked into the file and the more I started reading articles about him and the group, I just became so fascinated with it and started doing interviews and just thought, there's an article here. So that article basically came from that.
And then, Richard, at the time when you were doing this, your preliminary look into L. Ron Hubbard, did you come across any anything on Fair Game where you alerted to the fact that if you dug deep like it, you don't really need to dig that deep?
And Scientology, did you see things? Unfair game, did you?
Oh, I was. We're a fair game. I think we mentioned it in the piece. From what I remember, the church wouldn't talk to me. Nobody would talk to me. But then right before publication. Box boxes or cartons of documents just showed up. We thought, oh, this has to be a way of just delaying the piece. Right.
So the lawyers just go through it, see what's there and what was it and wondered, oh, just just photocopies of basically useless stuff. But a few of the things I picked up were I still have the letter actually that our attorney sent back to Scientology is a pretty good letter.
But I think basically said, you know, just two of the things we picked up at random were false right out of this box.
So, you know, that's it. You know, so there was a private eye. Yeah. Or two who started phoning around to the staff. And I can't remember posing as water. I can't remember.
Do you remember the questions that they were being asked or not at that time. OK, so so they threatened to sue but didn't.
So there wasn't really a fair game against me in any meaningful way.
Well, when I went to Time magazine, of course, I took my files with me and, you know, the thing about Scientology, when you do a major piece, it doesn't go away.
You know, people reach out to you, people contact you. Yeah. It's actually like gum stuck in the bottom of your shoe. You can't you can't get it off. And by nineteen ninety one, so much string, I gathered so much string on it.
The file was growing and I thought, you know, this is a bigger piece. This needs to be in time. Right. And The L.A. Times did a great series the year before.
Yeah. And we did it and did not expect the kind of reaction we got. I didn't realize it was primarily due to the tax status, but that makes a lot of sense. Yeah, but but it really my God, it hit an artery that flew off the newsstand. Yeah. One of the best selling issues we received and I still have them I think. Yeah. More than a thousand letters. Written letters. Yeah.
And I think that set a record, if I remember correctly, letters of support from people who were angry letters or supporters or former members.
Yeah. But I think it ran about 10 to one against the church.
The letters. My memory's right. Right.
The ad campaign and then the litigation and then the private eyes were relentless.
Well, let's talk about that. So. So in 1991, TIME magazine comes out like like you guys said, the thriving cult of greed and power and then comp and then David Miscavige starts to go insane with the response and the truth getting out there.
So let's go over some of the things that that occurred from from this show. The fair gaming begins pretty full on, right, Mike? This is the time when you guys are really.
Yeah, it began before publication. But yes, I'm sure that I'm sure you got many, many legal threats.
In fact, I was getting annoyed at time because he's just sitting there and the private eyes were telling me and it was relentless and the piece was just sitting there for weeks because they wanted to make it a cover. But they had other stuff happening.
And my recollection is Kitty Kelley and the Kurds, there was these were the biggest stories that kept getting and I actually said to wrote to an editor saying, hey, you know what's going on here? I mean, you know, I'm dealing with this, right? Let's get the piece in already so that and then it got in.
But I tried to follow it, Richard, because you have a pretty extensive career. I mean, you've covered lots of subjects that would cause you as a reporter and journalist concerned. Were you shocked by the pieces following him?
And had this ever happened to you prior to Scientology doing a piece on Scientology?
Well, let me just think off the top of my head, I'm remembering I did a piece on organized crime, a big one for Time magazine.
And before I think it was yes, it was before the Scientology piece. And it said something about the Genovese family being, you know, the best and most important family.
And I think I'm one of the families.
I said, you know, brains like ashtrays or what people say about them.
And I came back to my apartment building and the lobby, my mailbox was painted black.
And one of my sources, who was an FBI informant and organized crime, told me that it was done in retaliation by a low level mobster who got reamed out for it. Right. Right.
Well, there's a difference between the two. I'm sure you'd rather have the Mafia after you than Scientology would be.
So I don't remember anything now. I don't know. Did I have private eyes before? I do. And I don't remember.
Right. OK, so in nineteen so after the Time magazine comes out, it's a huge hit.
Then comes full page color ads in USA Today every day for 12 weeks. Right. And May and June of nineteen ninety one. And it was ending with a 48 page.
Save them. I have them all. You do ok. Yeah. Amazing.
So. So what happened there was the day the article actually appeared and we first got a copy of Moscovitch called me Marty Rathbun, Warren McShane and a few others into a conference room.
These are all Seahawks. These are all Sea Org members, right, Mike? Yep. Senior officials of Religious Technology Center, which is his organization, and myself into a conference room in his building and said, OK, we're going to war, what are we going to do about this? And he came up with a number of things that had to be done. One was suing Time magazine. Number two was connecting TIME magazine to what he believed was the underlying cause of this attack and assault, which was Scientology exposing Eli Lilly's drug, Prozac, which is a crazy story that I will get to in a minute, Richard.
And number three was we are going to destroy the reputation of TIME magazine and then we are going to do what L. Ron Hubbard says.
Fill the vacuum about Scientology and the destruction of the reputation of Time magazine was a series of full page ads in USA Today which went into historical facts about William Luce, the founder of of Scientology of Time magazine, and his Henry Luce I'm sorry, Henry Luce and his experiments with LSD and the fact that in 1932 or something, Time magazine had put Adolf Hitler on the cover as the Man of the Year and Mussolini. And these ads were designed to create the impression that you couldn't trust anything that Time magazine said.
Right. What happened was David Miscavige, Marty Rathbun and myself went to USA Today to get them to agree to run the ads. And this was no easy task.
We ended up meeting with the publisher of USA Today, Tom Curley, in his office, who later went on to become the head of A.P. in New York and persuaded him that. Whether he liked it or not, the information in the ads was factual, so they didn't have a basis for turning it down and that they would be sued if they refused and discriminated against Scientology for refusing to run the ads. And what these ads cost.
Mike, what do you make of these ads cost?
If you had to guess, like, you know, maybe a hundred grand per it was a three million dollar ad campaign.
Yeah. So, yeah, that's 50 grand per because it was twelve weeks, five days a week.
Uh, full page ads in USA Today. It was a very expensive proposition. And along with that, there was these publications at the end of that run of ads, there was a 48 page booklet, you know, shouting about the virtues of Scientology that was inserted into old copies of USA Today in the United States.
There was another booklet published called Fact versus Fiction, which went through Rich's article and nitpicked every little thing and claimed that it was all false based on the fact that, you know, it was sort of a typical Scientology dead agent caper.
Every every source of information was an unreliable source of information. Every fact in there was somehow wrong.
You know, the birth date of L. Ron Hubbard wasn't March 13th, 1912. It was March 13th, 1911. If you got that wrong, you must have got everything wrong that they're wrong.
Then I know you didn't just give you that as an example. Have you ever wondered if Will Ferrell likes to wear his I voted sticker, I'll even wear it until the next day just to ask with people who are what makes Stephanie Rule so passionate about voting? It's super important. It's about what kind of country, what kind of world you want to live in. Hi, I'm Holly Fahri and I'm hosting a new podcast called Why I'm Voting. You'll hear from Chelsea Handler.
So my dad loves to talk about voting and talk about politics nonstop. And then I realized my father had never participated in any election. And Jason Petty, also known as propaganda. That's how democracy failed. You know, that's how a system fails.
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Then listeners will vote on their favorite to decide the next great podcast. The winning show will be made by our best in class production team and shared with listeners all around the world. Enter today at next. Great podcast, Dotcom. That's next. Great podcast, Dotcom. Why shouldn't the next great podcast come from you? It was crazy that I have it, I have that the story time wouldn't tell. I have it. It's really something. I have the booklet, but the cover of it is like a 1950s style editor's room with two shadows behind the door and an editor scolding a reporter.
You could see all that be great if we could get that. Well, I've got I think I have it and I think I have a picture of it. But if not, I'll reach out to you, Rich, and I'll get you to take a copy of it.
But that was at the Freedom magazines. Were the Freedom magazines doing those hit pieces on journalists? Is that the same thing or was this something different than it was?
It was like its own publication. It was a publication of Freedom magazine called The Story Time couldn't tell.
And that was the the description of the supposed conspiracy between Eli Lilly and Time magazine and the Eli Lilly had.
Coerced Time magazine into publishing this article about Scientology by offering to buy 750000 copies of the magazine up front. On the basis that they do a hit piece in it, and this was to retaliate against the exposure of the dangers of Prozac, which was costing Eli Lilly sales of their mind altering drug. This was the entire conspiracy laid out in this booklet and. Along with that was a lawsuit filed against Time magazine for 416 million dollars and a lawsuit filed against Eli Lilly and the parent company of of Hill and Knowlton, the Washington PR firm.
I mean, these conspiracies were enormously complicated and not very well founded, but were.
On the basis that Scientology at that time was operating on what Hubbard said, you filed lawsuits not for the purpose of winning, but for the purpose of harassing.
So who believed all this stuff you just said? Did Miscavige believe it, that you believe if these conspiracy theories?
I think I did believe it.
But, you know, I believe that a lot of crazy shit back then, Rich, I like it.
It comes with you have a mindset of the world and how is the world and what's going on and why are people doing things?
And the media is all merchants of chaos and et cetera, et cetera. So even though it may have been thinly put together, there was enough that matched the the world view that it was.
Yep, this this has got to be it. And at the same time, Richard, I should add, to add to what Mike is saying, it doesn't matter that you were telling the truth, it only matters that you are speaking. And that's what Scientologists and Scientology has a problem with. I knew what people were saying was true and there were things I didn't know about. Right. But it didn't matter. The brainwashing that's the result of it is like, yeah, yeah.
That's truly that, you know, that happened or that's true to this person, that you were raped by a Scientologist or molested by your Scientology father.
But you shouldn't be saying it publicly against Scientology. So that is the problem that you are speaking.
Not necessarily that what you're saying is untrue. It's that Mike and people of Oza and Scientology in general just don't want you to speak about the truth.
But did Miscavige believe that crap, the conspiracy stuff or. No.
Who knows? I don't know. I don't. I don't. I don't know. But it it sort of doesn't matter. He believed it enough to invest a few hundred million dollars in it. It's not his money, of course, but, you know, is that different than truly believing it?
I don't know and I know and it's a sort of a distinction that I'm not sure is has any real reason or value to to make even, you know. You said several hundred million dollars, that's a big number, I mean, that didn't go against us. It includes Liley and all the other battles. Yes.
And all of the media and all of the paying of ads and, you know, ring of pies.
And I'm paying lawyers. You know, the Time magazine suit was one case that was litigated in New York, but then there were ancillary cases litigated in Los Angeles that went on forever. And there was the Lilly case that went on.
There was cases against because Reader's Digest then republished a version of your article all over the world.
And we sued Reader's Digest in like Holland and Switzerland and Italy and maybe 20 countries, it's my recollection, all over the place and how long this lawsuit goes on for it.
Well, I was deposed, went on a lawsuit, went on for a decade. I was deposed for like over 30 days.
And I remember I had great lawyers and great lawyers. And I remember saying to Floyd Abrams, Floyd was our main lawyer.
He did Pentagon Papers. He's one of the, you know, probably the top First Amendment lawyer in the world.
And I said to Floyd, Floyd, how is this possible that the church declined to even answer one of my questions and I have to sit here for 30 days and answer all of theirs.
And he said he said, you know, the problem is they have the money, they have the resources. And your article is so extensive and lengthy in your files are so vast that they actually are allowed to just spend a whole day on a paragraph if they want to.
And this was purposeful, right? This was absolutely. Can you give us some insight into the conversations that go on?
Absolutely. The big fear at that time was that this was going to begin an avalanche of media that was going to expose all sorts of things all over the place.
And then it wouldn't just be the problem of Time magazine and Reader's Digest. It would become the problem that now it was the Boston Globe. Now it's The Dallas Morning News. Now it's this. Now it's that.
And you succeeded. Exactly, because I thought, wow, after this, the press isn't going to be afraid.
The chilling effect is over. You're going to see all these articles. And no, actually, that didn't happen. Media outlets were chilled and I saw it again and again. I saw media outlets calling me and saying, hey, we're going to do a piece, can you help us? And then the piece is killed in church, threatens them. It doesn't air. And I remember thinking, well, maybe I ought to do a book.
So I got a book agent and the book agent shopped it around to the big houses. And I said, look, here's here's the terms of mind.
Number one, the book proposal is not going to be on paper because they'll get it right and they'll sue me and I'll be sued without backup of TIME magazine, etc.. Number two, I want a lot of money because this is going to be the rest of my life. So write to me. Yes. And I forgot this. Oh, I want to be indemnified. So she came back to me and she said no book publishing House of the Majors wants to touch it with a ten foot pole.
Right. I know what he wants.
I mean, Larry did that. Larry did a great book. You guys, I'm sure everyone's done great books now, but back then and I said, you know, it's so sad. I mean, why don't three or four of the top publishing houses band together, right.
And do a book? You know, do the book we had to band together to publish.
Right. Right, right. Right. Now, I don't have any idea from a marketing. Yes, of course. You know what? I'm not going to happen to you guys because you guys have already spent I think it was six million dollars defending the case. Yeah. At that point. And they don't know if they'll sell enough. It's just sort of a losing proposition. And might that is the purpose of fair game, what you're saying, right?
Ten years of litigation, millions and millions of dollars are being spent. Richards being followed. He's being exhausted. He's breaking down. People are dropping like, you know, like flies.
And this is the purpose, right, Michael? Fair game is to silence people.
And like Richard said, it was successful. It was.
Yes, it was very successful. I mean, I still fight Leah, as you know, with the media today saying, look, I know what I know how it looks to you, but that's not actual reality. Do you know that Scientology lost the case against Time magazine that went on for ten years?
Know that rolling, Mike? You're right, because I remember when Floyd called me and said, it's over. You won. You know, when the Supreme Court, I guess, decided not to hear. And I said, Really, Floyd?
What did I win? Right. And he said, you won the right to be left alone. Right.
And that that's a great answer. It is a great answer. Absolutely right. If you've had to deal with what Richard's had to deal with. And as well, the most egregious is Paulette Cooper.
Paula and Paula Cooper, who had to go through this for 10, 15 years as well.
Also a journalist, also a journalist, not a Scientologist. Never was. Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, I get it.
But but ultimately, the point is and the message we want to send is that they ultimately, you know, it was dismissed and Scientology lost. Yes.
But here and here's the thing.
When you're sued for libel and it goes on like that, it affects your career because you become a half time defendant. Right. So you can only be a half time journalist.
I mean, the ten years, that wasn't the case, but there were such long periods like that. And that's that's how you defeat a reporter in a sense.
But, you know, I mean, I'm not defeated.
So I remember like 20 days into the deposition or something. And it was just I was tired sometimes I had my head on the table right in there asking questions and. You know, nasty, nasty, nasty stuff sometimes, and at a certain point, I just felt, come on. Is that the best you can do? I thought, you know, the more you are awful, the more I realize I'm so glad I did that piece.
All right, so keep coming. What else you got?
And they were nasty. I mean, they cried into family.
They they I remember the you know, some of the questions were just really awful.
But by the way, before I do the tax exempt status, I remember the day that you guys got tax exempt status because the next day they came in, the lawyers came in for a deposition and God with a smile. And they would just I mean, they just looked at me like, look what we got, right?
Yeah. Anyway, yeah, I'll give you an example that stands out. They always try to throw you off base. Like Mr. Baker.
You said that you didn't read all of Dianetics. This is way into the depositions, right? You know, did you read chapter?
Whatever if I said I don't know. I don't remember. Well, let us tell you that on that chapter.
Mr. Hubbard talked about fetal development and whatever's going on in the world of the fetus affects that person, I said smiling because I know exactly where they're going, where and they said Lubell or whoever said Mr. Baker, when you were a fetus.
What? You know what was going on, I'm paraphrasing, I'd have to look at the track. No, no, this is bad enough. You don't disturb hard when you were a fetus, what was going on in your world.
And I just remember I had to basically I think I wanted to throw my sleeve down my throat to start laughing. Right.
And Floyd Audin my is one of one of them said Mr. Bay'ah will not be answering questions about his life as a fetus.
And we'll go to the judge and see if the judge thinks that this is. But their argument was I was a ward of the state my whole childhood actually, and the church knew this. The church dug into my family background in some very bad ways or the private eyes, you know, however you want to say it on behalf of the church.
But they were trying to make the point that there was turmoil going on in my world when I was a fetus.
And when I read Dianetics, that chapter I must have read.
And it got me angry.
And I like to go after the church as a result that was there. Oh, I see. So you OK? They wanted to ask those questions.
And Mike, the purpose of this, as you're sitting around, all of you are all necessary people.
You're thinking, OK, so we dig into his past. We find the most sensitive to just destroy him. You hope that he walks out of the room, destroyed and depleted of of any humanity. I would like I mean, what is the what are these conversations?
Well, we've talked a few times, Leah, about this idea that a dismissed attack on someone who is shuddered into silence is the objective that Hubbard lays out or someone like Rich. So it is what is it? That is his buttons. What is it that he is seeking to protect? What is it that is going to upset him to make him not want to continue, just throw up his hands and walk away from this?
And I never know. He'd go home every night, do anything relating to Scientology ever again.
And Rick, before we go on, I have to say to you, I am sincerely sorry for these things that happened to you.
They are it like hurts my heart talking about this with you in particular and a lot of other people that I've I've talked to. But it's it's an abomination. And I want to say, you know, you were right. You were absolutely right. And the effort was to try and make it appear that you were, in fact, wrong, that you didn't know what you were doing.
You were lying, you didn't. And to convince other people of that and you were so on the ball. I mean, when I read reread today the title of your article, I went, hey, you sum the whole thing up without even having to write the article. That first two lines is the story of Scientology. So please accept my apology. Of course I do.
But you don't need to. I mean, I, I don't know if they realized who they were dealing with because again, going back to my childhood and going back to who I am, you know, I'm not a snowflake. And if you're going to come after me like that, it's just. It's just going to rub off on me like water and it just shows who you are, right? How glad I am that I did the peace, not you I'm talking about.
No, no, I got that the larger.
Yeah. That you would have every right to say you. Meaning you. Yeah. I'm a New Yorker. Yes. Sort of like this California cult. I mean, come on, I'll show you how we do things downtown. Right. It just didn't it was annoying. It was time consuming. But I remember there's one thing I don't want to talk about.
One thing I dug into my family. Maybe I'll write about it someday. But I remember the lawyers called me in and said, whoa, we just found out a church private. I did X relating to your family. History. And they were like, are you OK? You know, they were worried we're in the middle of this million dollar litigation. Is that going to really throw me?
And I just smiled and I said, wow, wow, that's low. And I said, look, you know, I'm glad I did the piece. All of this is just so much Crufts that I'm glad I did this piece and I do it again. Well, so it didn't it didn't, you know, it didn't get to me.
Well, I mean, that that's you're very resilient.
I mean, thank you on behalf of you, like you said, the many, many Scientologists like Scientology, the people who avoided getting into Scientology because of the pieces that you you put out. But are you continue to be shocked.
I know you did an interview for CNN because you saw the same type of fair game and going on with Lawrence Wright, who wrote the book, and then Alex Gibney, who did the documentary with Lawrence Wright going clear.
You saw similar.
You saw again, Scientology is continuing to fair game.
And there were many in people in between, including the IRS, which is how they got their tax exempt status by fair gaming, individual IRS, criminal investigation agents. Is that what they're called? My agents? Yes. Yeah. Is it shocking to you, Richard, to see that it's still continuing on?
I tell you, it's shocking to me. By the way, Michael, just say you don't need to apologize because look what you're doing now, right? I mean, my God, that's just you're helping so many people.
Yes, I think I hear that, Mike. Did you hear that? I know.
You know, I see Mike and I know Mike. We're very close. And, you know, these things hurt him. And, you know, I joke where I bust Mike's balls. But Mike is one of the rare people there's and there's there's there are people out there like Mike who are doing the work.
But Mike continues to admit to what he's done. Mike continues to do the work. He does it day in, day out without being paid everybody. And he does it because he is a good person and he is trying to make right and what he's done. And he doesn't have to believe me. Mike, you just go off and live his life. So I don't want anybody to think that Mike owes anybody shit. He doesn't owe anybody shit. He knows there are people who have done worse than Mike, who have taken a payout from Scientology and are doing nothing.
They're sitting on a beach somewhere or they're having their mortgage paid by Scientology, by attacking us or attacking those who are telling the truth. And Mike is a hero in my eyes. And, you know, I don't want anybody you if you are not a friend of Mike Rinder, you are no friend of mine. So anyway, Mike, I love you and Richard, I thank you for saying that to Mike, he needs to hear that. Oh, good.
I'm glad other people than me. Yeah. Yeah. Besides besides Mike, you know, I'll get you back. I mean, you know, you're in New York now. I know. I have to I have to say, though, that when you're apologizing, I was like my mind went to.
Sarah Silverman's line when she was doing a skit and she said, you know, a German woman came up crying and apologizing for the Holocaust and she said it was nothing.
And I just thought that was so, you know, it was.
And look, yes, I didn't go through a holocaust, so. I know. But but anyway. Thank you.
You went through a lot. We sure appreciate. We sure. Are you zoomed out? Netflix wants to many welcome to the Carlos Watson Show, a brand new TV show for Mazey. We get deep and real with Andrew. What would you have done differently to actually have won the whole thing? Well, I would have hung out with you a little bit more.
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I mean, listen, you know, back then, you know, I would have been of the same ilk, I wasn't in the sewer, but I would have viewed you as an enemy, as a Hitler, as Scientology depicts anyone speaking out against Scientology and as an enemy to mankind.
And that is how Scientology currently views all of us, surely, and anyone speaking out.
So the thing that you asked me before, the thing that I'm shocked, which shocks me, is that Miscavige is still in power.
Oh, my God. What is it, 35 years or something? I mean. Well, it is. Yeah.
He did a very effective job of eradicating any possible competitors to himself. And he has relied on the fact that he got tax exempt status as the crowning achievement, that he did something that L. Ron Hubbard couldn't do. Rich, he tamed the U.S. government. L. Ron Hubbard could not accomplish that. David Miscavige did.
And that to Scientologists, gaining that Tax-Exempt status is the the you know, he can do no wrong in their eyes for the rest of his life.
And so he has parlayed that.
And the fact that he got rid of any potential, you know, rivals to his power into an unassailable position, he.
Wow, yeah, it's amazing. And we continue the work, Richard, you know, we continue to have these conversations. We continue to have podcast and television shows and documentaries and blogs and is to continue to expose Scientology.
And we're not going to stop until it is stopped.
And like, you know, they could be a religion all day or night.
They should not have tax exemption for these activities that they have done for five decades. Right. And so I want to talk about the new article that came out in Forbes. Right. It was a Forbes article. And the headline is Scientology Ruthlessly Harassed Reporters, including me, which is you for decades. Why didn't VP contender Karen Bass's statements about the cult just don't add up?
So this is a speech from Karen Bass in 2010. She claimed it was in her district.
News reports have come out that that was not true, was not in her district. And she has made prior statements setting support to Scientology.
She has since and since sent supportive accolades to Scientology for their various events.
Yes. In 2000, Rich puts in his article o o u m 2013. Right, exactly. Proclamation's for human rights education.
Yes, I see. And you know, she spoke about Hubbards exciting words. So, of course, I. Quoted Hubbard a lot in my piece to show some exciting words of Hubbard, you know, it's very bizarre. It's bizarre that. She's one of Biden's top contenders to run with him as vice president.
She doesn't seem to know how to do a Google search for five minutes any of those years, and she still hasn't retracted, correct? That was my point.
Well, she says everyone is they've been exposed and everyone is now aware of the allegations, allegations. OK, what do you think of the allegations, Congresswoman? Right. What do you think of the church talk? So what's going on here? And it's all very well. You know, I called her I contacted her office in Washington and in California before I went to press.
And I figured at some point I would hear, you know, no comment or, you know, thank you. But the Twitter statement is almost nothing, right?
It's been over 20 for 30 hours.
Sitting here like that doesn't happen. Right. I mean. It happens when it comes to writing something is something is really off here. Let me ask you guys, do you guys think that. She's been getting a lot of contributions by Scientologists, do you think Scientology I mean, what's with her staff?
What's going on here? Not here. Like, we don't really have any idea.
We just have informed guesses or, you know, information based on past experience.
And there is a few things that could explain this rich one. She may have someone in her immediate staff or who she is personally connected to or who she respects, who is, in fact, a Scientologist. I don't believe that she is. I really don't know.
But I it's possible that she has some sort of a relationship with someone somehow that she does not want to offend because Scientologists go crazy about anybody saying anything negative about the Bible, about Scientology.
And what was concerning and by the way, people should know we have come after other people who have supported Scientology. This has been covered extensively on Mike's blog, on the Scientology money project, on Tony Ortega.
Like we you know, and that was my point, Richard, is that that that soft bullshit response that she tweeted out, which was basically, look, you know, everybody deserves to believe what they want to believe, you know, and that's true.
But but but when your beliefs are destroyed and other people, of course, appropriating funds that you with your tax exempt money where you are abusing people physically, mentally, where there has 1977, the FBI raided Scientology. They were convicted of the largest infiltration of government agencies.
We're not talking about just some kind of innocuous little Hollywood cults, but I believe this is just my opinion.
She knows exactly what Scientology is up to and it goes along with mixing, saying there's some somebody she doesn't want to piss off. There's some other reason, because the truth is she is not saying the truth. She she didn't even come out and say, all right, I fucked up. I would say that because she's got class.
Yeah, yeah. This is very serious. As I said in the Forbes article, this is serious stuff. Yes, it is serious right now.
And yes, I don't know, it's the L.A. Times or L.A. Magazine. Somebody should look into this. But is the old freedom, you know, the freedom magazines used to list members going through various stages of Scientology.
They don't do that now. Oh, they don't do well because of the Internet, because now people can Google somebody's name and Scientology and see that they have these completions.
Yeah, they used to put out the Scientology completions. Right.
OK, so so they don't do that as if somebody there is on her staff is impossible.
OK, well, no, you can't possibly mind possible. Yeah. No it's not. It could be done.
A good investigative journalist in Los Angeles could dig into this. And you made the point that someone should be have there been contributions there?
That could be another factor like Scientology prides itself on on convincing politicians that it has enormous political influence, that it has a voting bloc that is huge, that it has contributors who have a lot of money, who can get behind a campaign.
Now, this has been disproven as a fact in Clearwater recently, where Scientology has its headquarters, spiritual headquarters in Clearwater and has been dominating the city for the last 30, 40 years.
And Mark Bubka got elected to the city council. And Mark Bunker is in public enemy number one of Scientology, and they couldn't stop him getting elected.
So this but they had convinced politicians in Clearwater and in Florida that they have this huge voting block. And I once said to one of my friends, let's prove that that's bullshit. We'll just run someone for elected office who they hate and they won't be able to stop it. And that turned out to be Mark Bunker. And that's true.
Now, that doesn't mean that a Karen Bass or, you know, the mayor of Sacramento or any of the other people who have stepped. Up and made public statements endorsing or supporting Scientology. Don't believe that that's true.
I think some of them still do believe it's true and that Scientology has persuaded them over and over and over that this is the case and, you know, that has probably some play or role in her unwillingness to go.
I mean, the easy thing for her to have done would have been just turn around and say, look, that was in. That was 10 years ago.
I knew I stupidly I knew nothing. I do not support them in any way, shape or form.
That's all she had to say.
I don't support them. I've since learned I don't support them. But why didn't she say that?
Because she supports them. It's a because she's right.
And I got to say, going back to, you know, 30 hours later or 40 hours, where's my return call?
You know, major publication, major article, something. No comment. Thanks for your interest here. That's weird. And it makes me think, what kind of a vice president would she be? Would this be a pattern in terms of just not responding?
Uh, right. Yeah.
Or not looking at and wondering and not admitting the truth, saying one thing, I've never I didn't know anything about it when when there was much there was so much on Scientology before 2010.
And then to say that was the one time that I did I was at a ribbon cutting trying to make it like it wasn't a big deal, you know. Yeah.
And, you know, look, if she's picked, you know, she's a heartbeat away from the presidency. That seventy seven year old Biden.
Right. So she's got some explaining to do.
I agree. I agree. I agree and thank you, Richard, thank you for continuing to tell the story, I mean, it's, you know, somebody like you who's been through the wringer with Scientology as you have no day and you you could say there's other people covering the story.
There's other people covering the story. I want nothing to do with it. Somebody will cover it. I don't. But you continue to cover it and you continue to expose what needs to be exposed. And we thank you for.
Thank you. Fabulous. I really enjoyed this. Thank you for having me. Because if we were elated, why does it have to end?
You know, because we we don't we don't want to take more of your time, Richard. So what has been the response to the current article in Forbes?
I've gotten some emails from editors of major publications who complimented the piece a lot. I don't know if. Any of them are looking into.
Those areas that I think need to be probed, I don't know, one of the things I did point out that I think was important in my Forbes article yesterday was.
I listed. Major exercises that were done on the church and who did them, yes, starting in the 70s, I'm sure, left out some great ones, but I remember them off the top of my head from the 70s on up to 29, because that seems to be Congresswoman Bess's cutoff point.
Yeah, she says, well, after I talked, I gave those comments, you know, then exposes came out and allegations as if nothing happened before. Right. Right. And sorry, that doesn't fly. Right. Right. You're wrong. And here they are.
And I just. Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. Right.
And let's not forget, Richard, the one thing that wasn't on your list that I went, yeah, and how about the fact that you'd mentioned earlier that in 1977 the FBI raided Scientology and 11 senior officials of Scientology pled guilty, including Mary Sue Hubbard, the wife of L. Ron Hubbard, to engaging in a massive conspiracy against the United States government and a hundred other officers, the AMAY, the Better Business Bureau, lawyers, etc..
I mention that the infiltrations, where was she?
The Susan Lay. A lot happens.
What are you going to.
What are you going to do? I love you for this. What are you going to do? All we could do is what we could do with you doing it. You're from Queens, right? Brooklyn. Brooklyn.
Oh yeah. Yeah, right. Yeah. Yes. Sorry, sorry.
Queens. Oh, yes. That's the king of Queens College.
That TV show.
Listen, Richard, thank you again. Wonderful. Lovely. And thank you for all that you've done, all that you continue to do.
Thank you both. Thanks so much, Rich. Thank you. And thank you all for listening until next week.
Hey, I'm Steve Greenberg, the host of Eyharts new podcast, Speed of Sound. Speed of Sound is a music history podcast that gives you an all access pass into the songs and sounds that have become the soundtrack to our lives. We'll take you back in time and straight through today's charts to tackle Pop's top songs and most sensational scandal filled stories. Listen and follow the speed of sound on the I Heart radio app, Apple podcast, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Are you zoomed out Netflix wants to many welcome to the Carlos Watson Show, a brand new TV show for Ozzy. We get deep and real with Andrew. What would you have done differently to actually have won the whole thing? Well, I would have hung out with you a little bit more.
Sean Spicer saying Black Lives Matter doesn't make anyone's life better. Hey, leave the bullshit at the doors. We bring you the conversations you need here to make sense of this crazy year. Join me, Carlos Watson on the Aussie YouTube channel or listen to the podcast version on the radio app, Apple podcast or wherever else you listen.