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S02.E01: Thetans in Young Bodies 2017.08.15

10 minutes ago, WInterfalls said:

Nick Lister is a very interesting voice but according to Aaron Smith-Levin he is having a very tough time right now and just trying to move on with his life.  He actually wanted Aaron to remove his videos from his site.  

Sorry to hear this.  I really like that guy.  

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3 minutes ago, SanLynn said:

And I agree with all of you who are commenting on Mike and how pained he's looking so far. I respect him for taking this opportunity to make amends and face up (possibly in a way he never has before) to the abuses he was a part of. I do also worry about what this is doing to him. 

Despite the anguish he (and Leah) suffer listening to all these stories, I hope in the end it does provide a small measure of comfort that he's helping get all the ugliness out in the open. Aaron Smith-Levin has said that Rindah took a pay cut to do the series (compared to what he was making working at Aaron's company), so we know it's important to him.

And no, Scientology, it's not "AfterMoney." It's a docuseries on basic cable. I certainly hope the production company negotiated a substantial increase from A&E for season two, but nobody's buying a private island or anything with documentary money.

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16 minutes ago, WInterfalls said:

I think what is relevant is that these children were left without parental supervision at the mercy of strangers and no one to turn to when they were assaulted.  Yes sexual abuse happens everywhere (and that is a very sad truth), but when there is no one there to listen and a culture of well what did you do to cause this then that needs to be exposed. I did not find this episode to be boring or a waste in the slightest and I certainly forgive them their tears reliving the things they experienced.  

Unfortunately this is the truth everywhere.  Victims often have no one to turn to and don't even try for fear of retribution from their molester who has told them to keep the secret.  They blame themselves.  

Re bold.  Of course!  

My opinion, it was boring for me.  

Edited by wings707.
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I DVR everything so I can FF through the commercials, but I needed the breaks for this episode. It was intense. I just wanted to hug those poor women and tell them that NOTHING that happened to them was their fault.  I hope this helps in their healing process.

Glad we buy tissues by the case from CostCo.

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Powerful episode, but I was somewhat surprised and frustrated by the fact that there was no mention in either case of what became of their respective families. I mean, we know Merriam reached out to her mother and her mother refused to make a statement to police about the molestation, but where are they now? What became of Merriam's two brothers? I'm assuming they are both still in Scientology and have cut her out of their lives because she's an SP. I get the focus on the actual abuse but the aftermath - WRT to their families - was largely missing from the story. 

Is there a statute of limitations of child molestation? Wasn't that one of the episodes last season? I'm not sure suing the church for child abuse will bring them down, any more than the all the allegations against priests in the Catholic church brought them down.

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7 minutes ago, iMonrey said:

Is there a statute of limitations of child molestation? Wasn't that one of the episodes last season? I'm not sure suing the church for child abuse will bring them down, any more than the all the allegations against priests in the Catholic church brought them down.

It varies from state to state.  Here's a chart; it's about 4 years old, but a good place to start to check your individual state: https://victimsofcrime.org/docs/DNA Resource Center/sol-for-sexual-assault-check-chart---final---copy.pdf?sfvrsn=2

I wondered too about Mirriam's brothers; I wish they'd had at least mentioned if they were still in CO$.

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11 hours ago, BabyVegas said:

Holy SHITBALLS, you guys. (I feel like Leah would approve of the cursing.) That was utterly insane to watch. I felt so bad for those women and I feel terrible for every time I laughed at Scientology like it was some comic book villain. Truly, they need to be stopped. While I was watching the episode, I kept wondering if Rinder knew. He never said he did and if he did know, I believe it would not be something he would do if he had it to do over. This show is so powerful because it really drives home that the good people can do awful things, given the right circumstances. But it is kind of hopeful in that it also seems to show that people who have done awful things can change. Watching that moment in the episode where he talks about being the one to commission the mom for the oil painting, I was struck by how much Mike strikes me as a damned man just trying to make amends.

This episode and the preview for the season makes me think they are going to try to go after Scientology based on their treatment of kids. It is probably the place the org has the most exposure, based on what we've seen. I hope they're successful and get Scientology gone.

When I think back on laughing at Cruise jumping on the couch or joking about "those crazy Scientologists," I cringe. There was so much abuse happening, at every level, and the public had no idea....Thank you Leah, for exposing this "church" for what it really is, and for giving a platform to survivors who are ready to speak their truth. That's a powerful thing for survivors like Saina and Mirrian. 

 

I can't help but love Rindah, he reminds me of a recovering alcoholic "living amends" because there's nothing he can do to truly make up for the horrors he was a part of. If he hadn't recruited Mirran's mother for that oil painting, maybe the abuse never would have happened? I know the guilt lies only with her father, the perpetrator, but I imagine Mike feels responsible just the same. I know he carries a heavy burden, but I hope he knows the amends he's making now are helping a lot of people.

 

Just listening to Saina's story, as a fellow molestation survivor, was incredibly cathartic and validating for me, and my abuse didn't even happen under the guise of a "religion". I think there are many more people beyond just the CO$ that this show has an impact on. Leah and Rindah are doing amazing work.

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Does anyone else think Leah and Mike need to start a support group with the women from Escaping Polygamy? I mean at least they'd understand the stress they're under. The inaction of the adults in this situation is just awful. But also the legal implications. Statute of limitation aside, there are legal ramifications if a child discloses abuse to an adult who then chooses not to report that to authorities. At least there are where I'm from. I mean isn't that the reason the Penn State officials were charged?

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1 hour ago, WInterfalls said:

His parents joined Scientology when he was 6 and he was raised in it.  His children are third generation Scientology and know nothing else.  I'm sure this was very hard for him because he knows this could just as easily been his kids' life. In fact as far as the manual labor and physical punishments go he knows it was their life. 

I could see him having trouble.  Leah broke his mood with a jab (loving and honest) that he brought them in.  It snapped him back into the reality, reminding him of what therapy encourages.   That being, own it and be good with knowing it was wrong and he was as much a victim of COS as anyone.  She has helped him with this before.  He struggles.  My heart goes out to him.  Nice to know he has a loving wife and new family to help.  

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13 hours ago, gesundheit said:

That was heartbreaking, just utterly heartbreaking. It irks me that CoS has some level of plausible deniability with Miriam's case if it's really true that they kicked her dad out of Scientology. I couldn't really follow the timeline but it was clear 2002 was long after his disclosure to them, but whatever they kicked him out for I'm sure they will claim it was because of the abuse. And they can easily say it's not systemic, it was just individual who blew off the girls' attempts to ask for help -- believe me I had some experience with this, some adults shrugged things off and said I was exaggerating so it wasn't officially institutional but a "few bad eggs" -- so it's good that Leah and Mike are taking this tack, proving a mass pattern.

If I read it correctly, Miriam's dad was not kicked out of Scientology, he was kicked out of the sea org.  

18 hours ago, bethster2000 said:

I thought Mike Rinder was going to faint.  Seriously, he looked like he was in the headlights of a speeding car.

I don't think he is a bad man; he was merely a misguided and deluded one.  But still...the stuff he did in the name of that "church."  It must be brutal for him to come to terms with what he has done.

 

13 hours ago, Ina123 said:

It was notable, I thought, on an episode highlighting the fact that there is no "family unit" in CO$ that Mike mentioned that his children consider him a terrible father. In Mike's word's, "because I was."

Dang! That guy is carrying a load.

I noticed that Mike didn't speak much this episode.  I can't imagine what was going through his mind while these brave girls were telling their stories.  I'm sure he feels guilty about Miriam's abuse because he was the one that recruited her mother.  Also, because his own children refuse to speak to him, he will never know if they too were subjected to the sexual abuse - that has got to tear him up.  

 

10 hours ago, wings707 said:

Yes there was one COS teacher who twaddled the blonde but the other was her dad.  The fact that COS was on the molesters side is what is relevant here.  Sexual abuse exists in every corner of out society including the Catholic church.  

I thought this was a boring and wasted episode.  

 

I agree about sexual abuse happening everywhere; however, there are a few factors that make it a different beast when it occurs in the Co$.  1. The parents are not around.  From what I have learned, children would see their parents one hour a night, if they were lucky.  Most only saw their parents for a few hours over the weekend.  2. The Co$ knew it was happening and the only action they took was to punish the VICTIM for the perpetrator's actions!  3. They have written documentation of all this abuse due to these scumbags talking about it during auditing sessions and have done nothing!

 

On 8/15/2017 at 9:19 PM, wings707 said:

Yes child abuse is definitely their route. Leah has talked about that being her focus.  

I would think this is the only way they can get law enforcement involved.  In the eyes of the law, adults are willing participants and can leave at any time - even though everyone knows that's not true when it comes to the Co$. Obviously, with all the child labor and sex abuse, they can build a bigger case with human trafficking. 

I would love to hear more from Leah in upcoming episodes.  She was part of the sea org since she was 12.  In her book, she talks about all the manual labor, not seeing her mother, the horrible living conditions, her baby sister being in the nursery all day long in soiled diapers, etc.

Edited by juliet73.
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24 minutes ago, Lyndy said:

Statute of limitation aside, there are legal ramifications if a child discloses abuse to an adult who then chooses not to report that to authorities. At least there are where I'm from. I mean isn't that the reason the Penn State officials were charged?

As a State Run institute of higher learning, many employees are mandated reporters, and they looked the other way or figured someone else would handle it - even Joe Paterno, who is a saint in this area, and it makes me sick.  Everyone here blames the assistant coach/grad student who first reported it, saying it was his responsibility to follow through, but he did what policy required him to do and report it to a superior (I don't believe the grad student who initially saw it was mandated - you have to go through special classes for that, and those classes are not optional if you want to keep your job).  Saint Joe never did anything wrong in the eyes of the Happy Valley Kool-Aid drinkers (many of which aren't even alumni - another point that irritates).  It's always someone else's responsibility, even when the crap hits the fan.  I get that it's hard to accuse someone of that kind of thing because it can ruin your life.  I chose to disconnect from a part of the family because I (and other family members) firmly believe that the spouse of one of them is pervy with little kids, but we kept our assumptions to ourselves, except to warn the grandmother that she would do well to keep an eye on her grandkids, and she took it to heart, because we could be reading it wrong (we don't think so) but if we are, we ruin this guys life (even though he's an ass, still....).  So I get it, but when you're dealing with being a major university or entity, you can't just sit back and say nothing, or assume someone else is handling it.  One of my college degrees has the PSU name on it (I went to a branch to finish my schooling) but as the spouse of an adult survivor of child abuse, I can't abide by what they did, and I do not give them a pass.  Then again, many of the PSU fans are so rabid and short-sided that rooting for anyone else is considered treason, and you can count on getting your car or house vandalized (I had to file a police report, and was told that they didn't know what I expected, daring to root for someone else - I told them "We don't all go to Penn State, and it's not mandatory, so I can't root for the school I attended?" - apparently I'm supposed to live elsewhere, I guess), so I'm not sure why I actually expected better than that from them.  As for the PSU case, it was a grad student assistant coach who came across the deed being done in the shower room, and he reported it directly to Paterno, who thanked him, and then made some comment about figuring out what he "wanted" do from there.  Paterno did go to the AD, but the AD says he downplayed what happened, saying he didn't see it, and wasn't 100% sure (or something similar).  Sandusky had charges lobbed at him before from high school students, but it gets really convoluted - records are missing, a DA who was involved with it disappeared under mysterious circumstances - it's a mess, and we'll never know what happened.  All in all, though, I get ill that people still want to give some of those involved a pass on it.

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Aaron Smith-Levin had some pretty great responses on Twitter yesterday. Of particular interest to me were these two. 

 

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I was never much of a fan of Leah before this crusade, but, damn, if I don't admire her determination, now. You can tell she genuinely regrets being a part of all the that shadiness. 

I also really respect Leah for her courage. Can't be easy to be Number 1 on the Scientology Most Wanted List. She must have to be careful any time she steps out or gets behind the wheel of her car. Also got to give props to Katie Holmes who wouldn't allow her daughter to be anywhere near this craziness as Suri started growing up.

LRH turns my stomach. The most uncharismatic cult leader ever.

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4 hours ago, Lizzing said:

It varies from state to state.  Here's a chart; it's about 4 years old, but a good place to start to check your individual state: https://victimsofcrime.org/docs/DNA Resource Center/sol-for-sexual-assault-check-chart---final---copy.pdf?sfvrsn=2

I wondered too about Mirriam's brothers; I wish they'd had at least mentioned if they were still in CO$.

I have the feeling when these people aren't mentioned it's because they are still involved with Scientology and so the relatives have no contact and no knowledge of where they are or what they are doing.

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2 hours ago, funky-rat said:

As a State Run institute of higher learning, many employees are mandated reporters, and they looked the other way or figured someone else would handle it - even Joe Paterno, 

That's a really interesting perspective. From what I understand, in the Cdn province I'm from, the assistant coach would have been culpable as well, even if he reported to a superior. If you know of abuse and don't report it to authorities (police, not your boss), you are responsible. So there's a very set procedure in a school when a child reports abuse or when a staff person discovers it. Both of my parents were teachers and have had to do this more than once. In every case, the police and Child & Family Services were immediately called and there was a cop and a social worker in the building inside 20 minutes. They take that shit seriously.

 

In this Scientology case, it's such a messed up perspective. They have such mistrust of authority, they'd rather victimize a defenseless child than break the stupid rules about outsiders. Did the that Sea Org member ever have even a twinge of doubt? How do you justify that to yourself? By not believing her? 

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My guess is that the Co$ wouldn't want to report anything that would make the authorities take a longer or deeper look into the organization, and if that includes not doing anything about child abuse, so be it. Too much of that and other shit happening to allow any kind of scrutiny.

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5 hours ago, SanLynn said:

And I agree with all of you who are commenting on Mike and how pained he's looking so far. I respect him for taking this opportunity to make amends and face up (possibly in a way he never has before) to the abuses he was a part of. I do also worry about what this is doing to him. 

Mike Binder reminds me a lot of Catherine Share, who was a strident member of the Manson Family. "Gypsy" was very, very devoted to Charlie and what she saw as their cause.  She also spoke to the media often during the trial.  She was involved in several attempted murders, including that of Barbara Hoyt, a key prosecution witness.  She was also involved in the famous Hawthorne Shoot-Out.  The Family plan to hijack a 747 and kill one passenger per hour until Charlie, Tex, and the girls were released was apparently Gypsy's.

She had a rough road after the Family disbanded and went their separate ways.  She spent quite a lot of time in prison for various crimes.  It was only with time and distance from Charlie that she came to her senses and realized what a fool and a criminal she had been.  She accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Savior while in prison, and began the work she still does today: speaking out against cults and providing her own experiences with The Family to audiences all over the world.  She even met with Manson prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi before he died, and she personally apologized for all that she said and did while a member of The Family.  Bugliosi was gracious, accepted her apology, and wished her well.

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6 hours ago, wings707 said:

Did she have those photos or are they from Going Clear or another source?  I don't think they said.  Some appeared to be older pictures before her time.  

Yes there was one COS teacher who twaddled the blonde but the other was her dad.  The fact that COS was on the molesters side is what is relevant here.  Sexual abuse exists in every corner of out society including the Catholic church.  

I thought this was a boring and wasted episode.  

Please get Nick Lister to speak out.  Check his interviews out on youtube.  He is a defector and strong young man.  No tears.    

Yes, but the reason that we know about what happened (and I am sure is still happening) in the Catholic church is the victims spoke out. I think just a few years ago most of us just thought of Scientology as a goofy religion about aliens that Tom Cruise was a part of; what people like Leah and Mike Rinder and Tony Ortega and Lawrence Wright and many others are doing are exposing the abuse and bringing pressure to bear on this horrible institution.

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I would think this is the only way they can get law enforcement involved.  In the eyes of the law, adults are willing participants and can leave at any time - even though everyone knows that's not true when it comes to the Co$. Obviously, with all the child labor and sex abuse, they can build a bigger case with human trafficking.

I'm trying to figure out Leah's endgame though. I don't think she herself can sue the CO$ on behalf of any victims. Is she trying to recruit victims of abuse to file a lawsuit against them? Or get enough of them to file police reports against their abusers like Merriam and Saina did? Or both? She really hasn't spelled out her strategy.

Edited by iMonrey.
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21 hours ago, wings707 said:

I was hoping season 2 would show more about what they are doing to bring them down.  It does.make some sense that this cannot be exposed so as not to alert Miscavige.  

I don't want an entire season of sob stories. I get it. Horrific things happen.  And we know very well that kids have no parental presence. 

I am glad she is doing this but in was bored to tears. 

In a way, I agree with you because of all the shows (fiction and nonfiction) that have dealt with child sexual abuse.  However, the pain was so raw and the details so unflinchingly graphic that I found the episode very compelling.   That being said, I actually found the descriptions of the everyday life of a child in scientology (or junior sea org so to speak) to be even more interesting.  I wish I had heard more of that, mostly because I find it so totally bizzarre.  

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i just finished watching the rerun. that is some sick shit. mike looked like he was going to throw up

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My guess is that when Leah and Mike met with their lawyers, the strategy was discussed. Going after the child sexual abuse angle and the overall treatment of the children was probably the best approach; there are so many possibilities to uncover--education and schooling, forcing underage children to work, parental neglect, children signing "legal" documents without consulting a lawyer (an attorney who does pro bono or legal aid work), as well as molestation and sexual assault/abuse.

And, of course there is the p.r. angle. Only the most hardened person wouldn't be sympathetic to what these poor kids had to live through. How damaging for a child to feel that no one is willing to protect him/her, never feeling safe, being told that you invited the abuse. These kids have to live with the emptiness and anxiety (and a ton of other issues) for their entire lives.

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8 hours ago, iMonrey said:

Powerful episode, but I was somewhat surprised and frustrated by the fact that there was no mention in either case of what became of their respective families. I mean, we know Merriam reached out to her mother and her mother refused to make a statement to police about the molestation, but where are they now? What became of Merriam's two brothers? I'm assuming they are both still in Scientology and have cut her out of their lives because she's an SP. I get the focus on the actual abuse but the aftermath - WRT to their families - was largely missing from the story.

I really wanted to know this too.  I wondered if she didn't mention them because from what we've heard just her talking about her family could be enough to bring problems down on her brothers so maybe she didn't want to name them or hint that she knew what they were doing now for fear the CO$ would really go after them.

I guess Merriam must know by now that her SeaOrg documents AND (more importantly) the document she signed promising not to sue aren't binding since she was a minor at the time.  Growing up in the organization and being taught that all outside government is evil she'd have no way to know but now that she's out  I'm sure she's been told and I wonder what her reaction was to being manipulated like that.  

I forgot how fast this show goes - it's disgusting but at the same time it teaches so much and shines so much light (unwanted light by the CO$) that it feels like it's over in five minutes and you find at times you're holding your breath.

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The lawyers most likely advised Leah and Mike not to accuse "the church" of sexual abuse. Let the victims speak for themselves in a Nancy Grace sort-of-way. The church cannot accuse Leah and Mike of defamation because they are just the moderators.

It took many years and many victims to expose the Catholic Church, Warren Jeffs, Bill Cosby, etc. I hope these two courageous women understand that they are the front runners.

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In the end of this week's show Leah and Mike were talking about legal action against the church and she said it's not something you enter into lightly.  I totally understand what she's saying.

I don't think Scientology has ever, or extremely rarely, lost a court case.  They either win or they settle out of court and make the petitioner sign a gag order.  Furthermore, fighting an organization as wealthy as Co$ is no small undertaking.  Legal fees alone would put anyone into bankruptcy because Co$ has a huge legal team and endless funds.  In addition to the financial ruin of taking on this behemoth cult, throughout the case the petitioner is harassed, demoralized, stalked and threatened by their minions.  

In short, you're pretty much ruining your life to take them on.  I can see why ex-members say they just want to get on with their life.  It also explains why Leah and Mike aren't just diving in without preparation.  This is a huge undertaking.  

On a more positive note, I think social awareness will shut them down faster and Leah and Mike are doing lots of damage to them by doing this show.

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This show is Rinder's personal purgatory. I doubt he will ever really be free of the guilt. 

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Today my DVR recorded one of those "extra chats" which consists of two deleted scenes from this week's ep, and just when you think the CO$ can't get any more insane. I knew from Jenna Miscavige Hill's book that schooling is sporadic at best for sea org kids, but Miriam and Saina siad that their "history lessons" consisted of watching movies. Yup, that's right, movies. For instance, to learn about the old west they watched Far and Away; to learn about the 70s, they watched Saturday Night Fever. Mike joked that they probably watched Top Gun to learn about the military, and both women laughed and said they did actually watch that one at one point. Leah just put her face in her hands. It's so absurd, what else can you do? Learn history with scientology's biggest names! RME

The other segment was very short, and had Leah basically saying that this show is so gut-wrenching to make that she doesn't want to just sit back and hear horrible stories, she wants to DO something about it. CO$ seriously pissed off the wrong person.

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5 minutes ago, Maelstrom said:

Today my DVR recorded one of those "extra chats" which consists of two deleted scenes from this week's ep, and just when you think the CO$ can't get any more insane. I knew from Jenna Miscavige Hill's book that schooling is sporadic at best for sea org kids, but Miriam and Saina siad that their "history lessons" consisted of watching movies. Yup, that's right, movies. For instance, to learn about the old west they watched Far and Away; to learn about the 70s, they watched Saturday Night Fever. Mike joked that they probably watched Top Gun to learn about the military, and both women laughed and said they did actually watch that one at one point. Leah just put her face in her hands. It's so absurd, what else can you do? Learn history with scientology's biggest names! RME

The other segment was very short, and had Leah basically saying that this show is so gut-wrenching to make that she doesn't want to just sit back and hear horrible stories, she wants to DO something about it. CO$ seriously pissed off the wrong person.

I saw that today too and it was very funny/ interesting. Even Mike was going "oh my God!" 

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8 hours ago, jenrising said:

For anyone who hasn't yet, definitely go over to Tony Ortega's site for an update of sorts from Saina and Miriam. 

Seconding this, everyone on this forum should read their interview. Mirriam's closing words are so spot on:

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Mirriam: However, the most ignorant part in it was stated by Vanessa Bolstad (Guthrie) where she says that because Saina did not mention the abuse to her it therefore could not have happened. This would have to be one of the most ignorant statements I have come across in regards to child sexual abuse. First of all, if you are not trusted enough then it is possible that you may never know about it. For a victim to discuss openly what has happened to him or her to another person they would have to have the highest level of trust in that person. If Saina did not mention it to her it would be because she did not trust her, not that it did not happen. Saina’s abuser was known about, she was not the only victim and I predict that other victims will come forward, once they feel brave enough to do so. The fear in opening up about something like this within the Scientology environment is real. The fear of punishment of the victim and the repurcussions of speaking out are real. What Saina has done is extremely brave. I only feel shame for the ignorance of the very few who have been propped up by Scientology to be their mouthpieces.

Scientology continues to breed and perpetuate their own rape culture. An environment where pedophiles are allowed to walk free and the child victims are shamed and punished. It is a sign that they have not changed. It is a sign that their damaging policies still continue. It is alarming to see that they would attack and attempt to discredit a victim of sexual assault. We have been flooded by heartfelt support from the viewers of this show. We know that we have done the right thing, to speak out in spite of our fear. And we will continue to speak out against ignorance, against deliberate cover ups and lies until it is no longer OK for adults to sexually abuse children within the Church of Scientology. This is our truth, and no one can take that away from us. Additionally, Lizzie mentions that it’s been 20 years since the abuse allegedly occured to now. If anyone knows anything about child sexual abuse it is the fact that it can take many years before someone is able to talk about it openly or to file a police report. This is because it takes that long to get to a place where you are mentally prepared to deal with it. Let alone the environment that we grew up in, which prevented us from addressing it when we were younger. And Saina did report it. And she was punished for it. So, again this just shows how ignorant they are about this subject. There needs to be more information available to the people confined within Scientology so that they can be educated on this topic. This is the Scientology rape culture that we are hoping to change by speaking out.

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21 hours ago, gesundheit said:

That was heartbreaking, just utterly heartbreaking. It irks me that CoS has some level of plausible deniability with Miriam's case if it's really true that they kicked her dad out of Scientology. I couldn't really follow the timeline but it was clear 2002 was long after his disclosure to them, but whatever they kicked him out for I'm sure they will claim it was because of the abuse. And they can easily say it's not systemic, it was just individual who blew off the girls' attempts to ask for help -- believe me I had some experience with this, some adults shrugged things off and said I was exaggerating so it wasn't officially institutional but a "few bad eggs" -- so it's good that Leah and Mike are taking this tack, proving a mass pattern.

This is true but I'm wondering how long mandatory reporting has been on the books. If those laws were in place at the time they didn't have the option or just getting rid of the 'bad egg'. They had to report it to authorities. So maybe something can come from that. 

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7 hours ago, AZChristian said:

Here in the USA, the issue of mandatory reporting is a state-by-state issue.  In some states, EVERYONE is considered a mandated reporter.  In other states - including Pennsylvania - the roles are more specifically defined.  My understanding is that the laws in PA were changed in 2013 and 2014 (maybe because of the Penn State mess), and if that happened today, the assistant coach would have been considered a mandated reporter, and would have been free (and actually required) to go to the police with what he saw.

I was once part of a Christian website where this issue was being discussed.  A young man whom I knew to be the youth pastor of a church said that because of the way child molesters were targeted in prisons, he would not report it if one of the kids in his youth group came to him and told him they were being molested.  He didn't want to be responsible for a molester being arrested and potentially beaten up in prison, but he just knew that he could counsel the molester and the victim if the situation arose (not together).  

I was so incensed that I copied and pasted his words and sent an e-mail to the senior pastor of that church (who did not participate on that website).  I told him that if I had a kid in that youth group, we'd be looking for another church . . . one where the kids are unequivocally safe.  He thanked me profusely for writing to him.  Within 6 months, the youth pastor's employment at that church was terminated, partially because of this issue.  And I am not one bit sorry.  Some things are just not to be compromised - and the issue of mandated reporting of the sexual abuse of a minor is close to the top of that list.  The word "mandated" leaves no room for personal opinion when it comes to someone like a pastor or other person who should be protecting children is involved.

I am now stepping down from my soapbox.

I've been out of the field for a few years now, but it used to be thought that counseling a sex offender was not really going to end the problem, anymore than just counseling a homosexual ends their desire for same sex relationships.  The thinking was that it was extremely difficult to change a person's sexual preference and the best that could be accomplished would be to teach the person to not act upon his desire.  That's pretty hard to do.

There's been a lot said in this thread about the problem in the Catholic Church a few years ago.  I do want to make clear that it was a problem with the way the situation was handled.  Child molesters are drawn to positions which will allow them unfettered access to children, the same way many adults are drawn to singles bars.  That's where the objects of their desire are.  There will always be a problem with people choosing to go into employment fields like the ministry or teaching or coaching, anything that gives them access to children.  It's like catnip almost.

You absolutely did the right thing in reporting that minister to his boss.  We have to be vigilant.  It's no fun being a mandated reporter.  I was one and it can cause almost a feeling of hypervigilance because you're afraid to miss a clue. It is a big responsibility, but it has to be done.

7 hours ago, Maelstrom said:

Today my DVR recorded one of those "extra chats" which consists of two deleted scenes from this week's ep, and just when you think the CO$ can't get any more insane. I knew from Jenna Miscavige Hill's book that schooling is sporadic at best for sea org kids, but Miriam and Saina siad that their "history lessons" consisted of watching movies. Yup, that's right, movies. For instance, to learn about the old west they watched Far and Away; to learn about the 70s, they watched Saturday Night Fever. Mike joked that they probably watched Top Gun to learn about the military, and both women laughed and said they did actually watch that one at one point. Leah just put her face in her hands. It's so absurd, what else can you do? Learn history with scientology's biggest names! RME

The other segment was very short, and had Leah basically saying that this show is so gut-wrenching to make that she doesn't want to just sit back and hear horrible stories, she wants to DO something about it. CO$ seriously pissed off the wrong person.

I learned about opera by watching Bugs Bunny (Kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit), so I guess it's possible.

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8 hours ago, AZChristian said:

Here in the USA, the issue of mandatory reporting is a state-by-state issue.  In some states, EVERYONE is considered a mandated reporter.  In other states - including Pennsylvania - the roles are more specifically defined.  My understanding is that the laws in PA were changed in 2013 and 2014 (maybe because of the Penn State mess), and if that happened today, the assistant coach would have been considered a mandated reporter, and would have been free (and actually required) to go to the police with what he saw.

I was once part of a Christian website where this issue was being discussed.  A young man whom I knew to be the youth pastor of a church said that because of the way child molesters were targeted in prisons, he would not report it if one of the kids in his youth group came to him and told him they were being molested.  He didn't want to be responsible for a molester being arrested and potentially beaten up in prison, but he just knew that he could counsel the molester and the victim if the situation arose (not together).  

I was so incensed that I copied and pasted his words and sent an e-mail to the senior pastor of that church (who did not participate on that website).  I told him that if I had a kid in that youth group, we'd be looking for another church . . . one where the kids are unequivocally safe.  He thanked me profusely for writing to him.  Within 6 months, the youth pastor's employment at that church was terminated, partially because of this issue.  And I am not one bit sorry.  Some things are just not to be compromised - and the issue of mandated reporting of the sexual abuse of a minor is close to the top of that list.  The word "mandated" leaves no room for personal opinion when it comes to someone like a pastor or other person who should be protecting children is involved.

I am now stepping down from my soapbox.

Hi, friend!!  Bravo to you for taking a stand for children.  For too long, people have protected sexual predators from the consequences of their actions (looking at you, bill Cosby) because it might ruin THEIR lives.  

I really admire what you did.  You are my hero today.

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1 hour ago, toodles said:

Hi, friend!!  Bravo to you for taking a stand for children.  For too long, people have protected sexual predators from the consequences of their actions (looking at you, bill Cosby) because it might ruin THEIR lives.  

I really admire what you did.  You are my hero today.

Edited by smorbie.
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14 hours ago, iMonrey said:

I'm trying to figure out Leah's endgame though. I don't think she herself can sue the CO$ on behalf of any victims. Is she trying to recruit victims of abuse to file a lawsuit against them? Or get enough of them to file police reports against their abusers like Merriam and Saina did? Or both? She really hasn't spelled out her strategy.

I think they're taking the angle of the human trafficking, and child abuse because that's something extremely hard to chalk up to other circumstances.  And they should take that road.  It's pretty hard to defend, or to say that an 8 year old was somehow complicit.

I took some discussion to small talk so as not to drag things too far off topic.

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Regarding the kids doing manual labor . . . MANY (most?) churches allow children to be involved in building projects under the guise of "mission work."  That angle might make it hard for Co$ to be charged with child labor issues.  Although most REAL mission work is short-term (a week or two), and the kids aren't forced to work 60 hours a week.

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On ‎8‎/‎16‎/‎2017 at 2:00 AM, BabyVegas said:

Holy SHITBALLS, you guys. (I feel like Leah would approve of the cursing.) That was utterly insane to watch. I felt so bad for those women and I feel terrible for every time I laughed at Scientology like it was some comic book villain. Truly, they need to be stopped. While I was watching the episode, I kept wondering if Rinder knew. He never said he did and if he did know, I believe it would not be something he would do if he had it to do over. This show is so powerful because it really drives home that the good people can do awful things, given the right circumstances. But it is kind of hopeful in that it also seems to show that people who have done awful things can change. Watching that moment in the episode where he talks about being the one to commission the mom for the oil painting, I was struck by how much Mike strikes me as a damned man just trying to make amends.

This episode and the preview for the season makes me think they are going to try to go after Scientology based on their treatment of kids. It is probably the place the org has the most exposure, based on what we've seen. I hope they're successful and get Scientology gone.

I am right there w you (& other posters). Never again will I dismiss a mention of CO$ with a 'oh, they're so crazy'. Poor Rindah, he couldn't look any sadder.

What I really want to know is how these women (& the ones from last season) made the leap from no education, no money, no/little support *TO* having a normal, nice life. Has someone set up a fund to help them out (bc I for one would damn sure donate to it)?

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12 hours ago, Maelstrom said:

Today my DVR recorded one of those "extra chats" which consists of two deleted scenes from this week's ep, and just when you think the CO$ can't get any more insane. I knew from Jenna Miscavige Hill's book that schooling is sporadic at best for sea org kids, but Miriam and Saina siad that their "history lessons" consisted of watching movies. Yup, that's right, movies. For instance, to learn about the old west they watched Far and Away; to learn about the 70s, they watched Saturday Night Fever. Mike joked that they probably watched Top Gun to learn about the military, and both women laughed and said they did actually watch that one at one point. Leah just put her face in her hands. It's so absurd, what else can you do? Learn history with scientology's biggest names!  

Too bad they couldn't learn about the history of Scientology by watching Going Clear. Tom Cruise is in it so I'm surprised it's not on the required movie list. 😁

Edited by juliet73.
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13 hours ago, Sup wit dat said:

In the end of this week's show Leah and Mike were talking about legal action against the church and she said it's not something you enter into lightly.  I totally understand what she's saying.

I don't think Scientology has ever, or extremely rarely, lost a court case.  They either win or they settle out of court and make the petitioner sign a gag order.  Furthermore, fighting an organization as wealthy as Co$ is no small undertaking.  Legal fees alone would put anyone into bankruptcy because Co$ has a huge legal team and endless funds.  In addition to the financial ruin of taking on this behemoth cult, throughout the case the petitioner is harassed, demoralized, stalked and threatened by their minions.  

In short, you're pretty much ruining your life to take them on.  I can see why ex-members say they just want to get on with their life.  It also explains why Leah and Mike aren't just diving in without preparation.  This is a huge undertaking.  

On a more positive note, I think social awareness will shut them down faster and Leah and Mike are doing lots of damage to them by doing this show.

Yes, I imagine they can't discuss the legal strategy much. I think at least part of doing the show is to bring public pressure to get the authorities paying attention. That is how the Catholic Church was exposed; by victims speaking out and bringing public pressure. 

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On 8/16/2017 at 0:04 PM, iMonrey said:

Powerful episode, but I was somewhat surprised and frustrated by the fact that there was no mention in either case of what became of their respective families. I mean, we know Merriam reached out to her mother and her mother refused to make a statement to police about the molestation, but where are they now? What became of Merriam's two brothers? I'm assuming they are both still in Scientology and have cut her out of their lives because she's an SP. I get the focus on the actual abuse but the aftermath - WRT to their families - was largely missing from the story. 

I was also hoping the episode would go more into their families.  Where are they now... what kind of relationships do they have with them?? Also I was surprised that they would let Merriam so 'easily'.  Yes, not easy to Merriam to sign that paper, but other than having her sign that paper they didn't seem to make much of a fight to let her out? I wonder why...

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 I wondered if she didn't mention them because from what we've heard just her talking about her family could be enough to bring problems down on her brothers so maybe she didn't want to name them or hint that she knew what they were doing now for fear the CO$ would really go after them.

I think that ship already sailed once she appeared on the show - they even showed photos of both of her brothers, twice. It's interesting because Season 1 was all about family being torn apart and siblings being cut out of siblings' lives. I'm assuming that's what happened with Merriam's brothers but the omission was strange. She could have said "Yeah, they're both still in the church and they shun me" and the brothers would be just fine because that's what the church wants them to do. Maybe the brothers escaped too but they don't want the attention. 

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I was also curious as to why they could show the faces of her parents and brothers.  Don't they have to give permission??

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On 8/16/2017 at 11:51 AM, geekgirl921 said:

Yeah, I find it interesting that apparently his kids haven't made that connection. They have been made to make videos calling him out and basically saying what a terrible father he was. When I heard about those my thought was, yes, that's sort of the point of Scientology and especially the Sea Org. 

This is where I find little space to be sympathetic to adult Scientologists who say "we didn't know". Those videos are made from the perspective of a person with a "normal" value system (parents are supposed to care for kids, feed, clothe and house them, make sure they receive an education, etc.) not from the perspective of a Scientologist (kids are just adults in smaller bodies, they are soldiers in the army working to clear the planet, education is only necessary to understand and practice Scientology, etc.). So if you are being asked to go on camera and say all these things that are counter to your belief system, don't you every stop and ask why?

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Molesters target the weak, the poor girl was teased and barely spoke English. A perfect victim. There were points were Rinders mouth was agape. I truely think he had no idea, he was just a blind follower, making him the perfect enforcer. The episode was horrifying, I feel physically ill.

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I'm not sure if any of you have seen the Church's response to the episode, but they have decided to respond by putting up some videos by some "childhood friends" of Saina's to say she never told us about it so it didn't happen.  It's so tone deaf and absolutely stupid that you know it has to come from CO$.  

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So if you want to hear more about the life of kids raised by the Sea Org might I suggest this:

Edited by WInterfalls.
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On 8/16/2017 at 9:57 AM, veronicamers said:

Fascinating to see all those photos. 

Thank god she had them to document that stuff now.  To have the presence of mind to take photos of their daily work, and to keep them after the horrors she went though.... amazing.  

And for the lack of schooling these girls receive (watching movies to learn history?!), it amazes me, as did many of the interviews last season, how articulate many of the now-adults that were raised in this sham of a 'religion' are. 

Edited by Janc. Reason: oopsie
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