Scientology: The Reason I Should Avoid Salt

I have to say something: for all the complaining we do about the mainstream media, there is one paper out there that’s been hitting it out of the park, even if it is exclusively on one very particular issue.  That would be the St. Petersburg Times and their coverage of the “Church” of Scientology over the past year.  We mentioned this briefly back in November, but it’s worth bringing up again.  The St. Petersburg Times got a bug in their asses over the lords of LaLa Land after talking with a former member of the cult back in June of ‘09, and ever since they’ve shown no sign of backing down, slowing their coverage, or toning it down to avoid offending those people who deserve a bit of offending.  Anyway, their most recent article is about the treatment of women in the Sea Org who happen to get pregnant, and it’s a fairly repugnant story, to say the least. … continue reading this entry.

Travis is Asked to Join the Sea Org Too Early

The inspiration for this sketch is an AP article about a former Sea Org member trying to sue Scientology for back pay.  I’m fairly certain getting someone to join the Sea Org is pretty much the worst thing you could ever do to them, so I really hope the members win their case.  Also, if anyone out there has NOT found the time to sit down and watch the Steven Fishman Deposition, might I humbly suggest it. … continue reading this entry.

An Intellectual Dichotomy at the New York Times

The home of a paper of record and a website of crap.

The home of a paper of record and a website of crap.

The New York Times kindled a love of science in me at an early age.  My parents, at the time, were trying to get me to a place where I would actually read the paper.  I was more of a comic books and… well… nothing else kind of guy, and they wanted to me to be educated about the world.  My mom handed me a copy of the Tuesday Science Times.  “Here,” she told me.  “You kind of like science, give this a look.”  Though I cannot for the life of me remember when this occurred, I still remember the article about the new ion drive scientists were installing onto the Deep Space 1 probe.  I clipped it out of the paper and put it up on my wall, right by my bed.  Though I don’t always read my copy of the New York Times, since that Tuesday long ago, I always look forward to what I’ll get from the paper on Tuesdays.  That was… until the internet.  The New York Times is beginning to become vaguely schizophrenic as far as science is concerned.  Though the Tuesday times is still, on the whole, doing well, the times foray into blogging has been less than scientifically valid.  Is this simply the problem of too many contributors, or are we looking at a possible shifting view in a paper of record? … continue reading this entry.

Scientologist’s Magic Touch

What stress readings do you think the Haitians might have? (photo from Flickr by David Sifry)

We all know of the epic horror in Haiti, I wrote a really over done and way too much piece about it last week, but today I’m here to tell you that help is being brought to Haiti.  Some of it’s sort of helpful, all those “Red Cross” people, all those “Doctors” that are helping out “the dying,” and some of it’s really helpful.  Our good friends, the Scientologists, decided to send 80 of their finest t-shirted volunteers down to Haiti in order to heal by magic. … continue reading this entry.

Cults, religion, and the spectrum of social manipulation

Photo by swthmal08 via Photobucket

Last Saturday, the New York City Skeptics hosted a lecture called, Cults and Coercion: How Ordinary People are Turned into Extraordinary Fanatics at the New York Public Library, Jefferson Market Branch. The lecturer was Paul Grosswald, a former Scientologist who left the infamous cult 20 years ago. … continue reading this entry.

On Skeptical Blogging

I’ve been writing for various internet publications now for going on two years. It’s not a long time to a lot of people, but for me, it feels like a while.  It started out easy. Like with all writing. There’s that early work you do where you had like five or six things to say but then, all of a sudden, that’s it, no more ideas in your head. It started out for me being about Bush. I tried to keep up with his weekly radio addresses, writing parodies of each one point by point. That was fun for about a month. But after you listened to Bush complain about how Congress wouldn’t do exactly what he wanted week in and week out, well… you get sick of it. The election was big.  I was, at my peak, writing five blogs a week on the Huffington Post’s comedy site, 236 (now defunct). Not all of them were good, but they all went out there. … continue reading this entry.

August Public Lecture – Paul Grosswald: Cults and Coercion

Join us at the NYC Skeptic’s August public lecture:

Paul Grosswald – Cults and Coercion: How Ordinary People are Turned into Extraordinary Fanatics

When: Saturday August 15th @ 1:00PM

Where: New York Public Library, Jefferson Market Branch – 425 Avenue of the Americas @ 10th St. … continue reading this entry.

Roger Friedman's Scientology Claim

Note: At one point in time, this article was in fact topical.

Roger Friedman used to be a freelance entertainment writer for NewsCorp.  That was before he got fired in April.  Now, Friedman is claiming that his firing was due to the actions of The “Church” of Scientology, and is trying to make a case for that in court. … continue reading this entry.

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