If there’s one person out there in the public relations field who really creeps me out it’s this guy, Mike Rinder, who leads the “Church” of Scientology’s Office of Special Affairs, the department that handles much of the cult’s public image and persona.

Rinder most recently appeared publicly on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 doing among other things, denying that BBC reporter John Sweeney had been followed by cult members while working on a segment for Panorama called “Scientology and Me.”

Despite the cult’s sickening and outright attempt to intimidate the reporter, Sweeney ended up the most memorable person in the story for his unethical shouting match with the totalitarian cult spokesman Tommy Davis. Although Sweeney’s reporting may not have been the best–he shouted to John Travolta during the London premiere of Wild Hogs–the job he did to illustrate the cult’s fanatical behavior was decent.

During the taping of the program Sweeney is clearly followed by several cars as well as confronted while conducting a private interview by Davis.

Scientology’s fear of sunlight should be clear to most people, nevertheless there’s Rinder last month flat out denying that Sweeney was followed as he denied during an A&E documentary in 1998 although footage of German journalist Mona Boutros clearly shows as many as three cars following her as well.

It’s with a strange and sinister aplomb, reminiscent of Josef Goebbels, that the Australian-born Rinder can flat out lie. It’s as if he wants you to know he’s lying that he simply doesn’t care because in the end it doesn’t matter, his cult will do what it has to do, spin any lie, cover up any controversy, attack any critic and fabricate any story that it must to get ahead.

Although I’ve hardly been the victim of Scientology, certainly I’ve been reached by Scientologists in the last week in harmless and innocuous ways. My Myspace profile has been visited by supporters Narcanon, the drug rehabilitation program founded by the habitual liar and drug user L. Ron Hubbard who Rinder goes through such lengths to defend. Just this morning I found an invite to a profile called “Stop Psychiatric Abuses”. Certainly, my profile being attached to my blog which contains a few shots at the cult, explains this. I’m hardly a candidate for the “church’s” “fair game” policy, although I have been receiving dozens of spam messages into my personal account since I posted my little Xenu contest.

Back to Rinder though, this guy is creepy. I’d like to find out more about him. He seems like a true-believer who speaks through his neck.

It’s true. I never thought I’d live to see the day that the one time intergalactic warlord would convert to the “religion” he inadvertently inspired much less be paroled from the prison cell wherein he spent some 75 million years, but I announce to you, the world of Scientology that your cult can rejoice because today, today, today, the unthinkable has happened. And I have a picture to prove it too.

What do you think?

I guess in the eyes of some this post is anti-religious bigotry. But as I’m somewhat religious, that characterization probably doesn’t suit me well. I’ve read a little about cults in the last few years since buying a copy of Seductive Poison, Deborah Layton’s excellent story of her experience in the People’s Temple. A close friend of mine growing up battled drugs for several years and has since joined a fundamentalist cult. Speaking to him on the phone several years ago, he sounded like a different man altogether, not for the better either; bitter, angry and perhaps a bit deluded. Cults are serious things. As opposed to what we call religions, I suppose cults are lead by charismatic leaders who demand the full amount of energy and resources they can get from their followers, who sacrifice what they have to provide a better life for the leader. Mainstream spiritual movements allow for a person’s familial and social decisions–right or wrong–to be made by the adherent and those who choose to walk away are less likely to be berated for their conscience decisions. Cults, like totalitarian regimes, require absolute loyalty and employ surveillance. Betrayal can have disastrous consequences.

Nevertheless, the other side of the coin in life is often humorous and to lighten things up a bit, I thought that I’d propose some excellent Scientology T-Shirts. Actually, these shirts would be best worn by ex-members, though maybe the summer line will have some designed for the believer to wear. We’ll see. It’s really about what’s in style in Milan. Here goes.

First up, this one is best for the disgruntled, excommunicated Scientologist who was lucky enough to realize his church’s beliefs were pulled out of L. Ron Hubbard’s ass, but unfortunate enough to have wasted perhaps a decade or two of his life in the cult:

I really think that is quite nice.

The on up top is really more of explanation for why someone would leave the Co$.

Next, we have a very swell design that really should be described as pop culture:

The next one seeks to make the cult of L. Ron Hubbard more accessable to those who are too poor to pay enough to learn the theological underpinnings of Dianetics:

And finally above, an ode to the man who was the inspiration behind losing all of your cash, going through psychological torment and likely having to attend counseling to handle the readjustment to the real world.

I hope you like them.

Today’s run was peaceful. It was my new regular one up to the Amtrak bridge that crosses the Hudson. The air was mild and the smell of the river was pleasing. Life is blooming all around us now. It’s green again! The deep greens of June will soon be upon us and the heat will come and diminish them a bit, but it’s still nice while it happens. The run helped to calm me and to bring some stillness to my mind and my soul. I am still feeling it some nine hours later. I guess there’s something chemical about it all. And there’s something chemical about all of life from digestion, to sex to smiling and laughing. It’s how one controls–with is mind and soul–those chemicals that can make the difference.

I’ve been reading about the cult Scientology recently As a curiosity I’ve been learning more about it, for it holds NO practical or spiritual value. It is worthless, an utter fictitious creation of a mad man bent on manipulating people for money and more so for power. L. Ron Hubbard has been dead since before Mookie Wilson hit a slow roller between Bill Buckner’s leg and is thus irrelevant as a sentient person. Nevertheless, these days the public sees the very public face of his creation, a paranoid smirking jackass named Tom Cruise.

Cruise himself would not be such a problem if it weren’t for his voiceferous pronouncements against the well-meaning though admittedly imperfect science of psychiatry. To Cruise and fellow adherents of his religion, man is more than chemicals (which I am bound to agree) so therefore a science that seeks to solve his problems by dealing with his chemicals undermines him. Instead of addressing the very real needs of the soul, this brainwashing cult instead pushes the gobblygook (sp.) of past lives and birth memories and a crackpot theory of “engrams” in someone’s head. It is reasonable to expect and want more from life than the bare reductionism of science, but to embrace nonsense with no historical, scientific or rationally based inspection is dangerous. It is what has lead to the proliferation of fringe groups and cults since probably the beginning of time. Cults engender group thinking, extreme isolation and paranoia. (more…)

As I said in my last posting, I would be creating a picture of Xenu. Mine was done in MS Paint, the program that never changes, no matter what version of Windows you have. I think it looks pretty good. I was inspired by the rich tradition of Scientolology…I mean Scientology.

What do you think? Am I lacking in anything. Anyway, join my contest. Do your own rendering of Xenu. Scan it and send it to me at or I’ll put it up and you’re automatically entered to win.

My Xenu expresses the force and frustration that lingered within the being who expelled all of those innocent aliens to volcanoes.

Remember, as I said before, no Thetans can enter.

In 1987 the BBC, long interested in exploring the cult of Scientology (yes, it is a cult, thank you very much), produced a cartoon to detail what Xenu, the intergalactic leader Scientologists blame for creating this whole mess we’re in.

The BBC’s rendition of Xenu resembled a human being, although other versions, including one by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, creators of South Park, had a very distinct out-of-this world look.

As the West learned in 2006 after riots throughout the Muslim world left hundreds dead or injured, many adherents of Islam are loathe to see depictions of their prophet.

Seeing as the Church of Scientology neither confirms nor denies the existence of Xenu in their cosmology (recently, high-ranking stars such as Juliette Lewis, Leah Remini and Kirstie Alley had the gall to deny it), it is important for us gentiles to take a stab at depicting the leader who apparently banished Aliens from his overpopulated galaxy to volcanoes and then dropped atom bombs on them and then captured their souls and then indoctrinated them with false beliefs and then had them take to human bodies…phew, that was hard.

Anyway, I know Scientology believes in Xenu, although many are too scared to admit it. I’ve come up with a contest and I’m urging you to participate in it. The prize isn’t much, only $20, but well worth it. Here goes: submit a drawing or painting (scanned and emailed) of what you believe Xenu looks like to me at or Pretty simple. Just send it as an attachment. I’ll post all of the entries and choose them among a lottery. We’ll figure out how you can get your $20, which by the way, I have in an envelope. I’ll give you credit for the depiction so long as I can post it here on this site. Anyway, I’m gonna take a stab at it myself, although I am automatically disqualified from the $20.

So what are you waiting for? Just do it. Show me what Xenu looks like to you.

DISCLAIMER: Scientologists and non-Scientologists encouraged to participate. No Thetans.