Just thought I'd fill you in on the little tidbit that happened today. We got another call from a Narconon crony - same one who was demanding faxes of my work yesterday. Her question today was: "Are you planning any editorial board meetings concerning Narconon? If so, I'd like to have some input..." My - truthful - answer was: "No." The subtext was: "Are you KIDDING me?"
By the way, to those who have warned me about what my employers might think of my activities: The Carroll Star News has a reputation of absolute tenacity, especially when it comes to local political corruption. We are genuinely feared by the less-than-pristine members of our local government. Our publisher, Bill Chappell, is a fearless man, and when word came in on possible intimidation tactics, there was a fire in his eyes, and a twinkle in his eye. He was looking forward to it.
Realistically, I think Narconon is finished here in Carroll County. The local citizenry are just too fired up about it. (Baptists get downright ornery at times; hell, they think Catholics are cultists.) Apart from this week's column, and a little "reminder" story before the next zoning commission meeting, the story is just about finished here...unless, as my publisher puts it, "they want to make a front page story for us..."
As far as posting my material on the web, I'm in the process of (finally) building a Star News web site, part of which will be an archive of my weekly columns. I'll pass on the URL as soon as it's up. (We're looking to launch next week.)
By the way, you guys are a lively bunch.
Well, guys, this afternoon, we got two Narconon-related visits at the office. The first was a man who was the father of one of the program's "success" stories, who related the tale of how her daughter, a drug addict since junior high, was "saved" through the program.
It was really hard being aggressive towards someone who's kid was doing better, but after an extensive conversation, a few things stood out in my mind. The first was the fact that his daughter was one of the people calling our office that week "Demanding" faxes of my Narconon-related work and that she was one of the people going door to door in Bowdon, soliciting "endorsements" from the locals. But the aspect about the vistit which didn't ring true at all came when I asked him whether he had a close relationship with Mary Reiser, the Administrative Director of Narconon in Atlanta. His answer was, "I've met her, but I don't really know her..." As the conversation wore on, however, he kept slipping, saying "Well, the other day, I was telling Mary..." and "Yeah, Mary said a few weeks ago that..." Finally, I asked him if Mary had mentioned The Carroll Star News to him, and he said that she had, and expressed concerns that our reporting was biased and unfair. The overall feeling I got in the end was that it had been "suggested" that he come out and talk to me.
Later this afternoon, however, we got the big show. A reporter friend of mine from the rival paper in town called to warn me that the Narconons had stopped by her office and dropped off a few pounds of literature...and that they might be heading for our office. Turnedo ut to be true, as they arrived a few minutes later. Two of them, one of them a big lug who had been Mary Reiser's "bodyguard" at the zoning meeting. It was he who got up in my face in the parking lot that night when I asked Mary her religious affiliations. The other was Tony Mariani, Deputy Dirctor of Narconon in Atlanta.
The meeting was actually far from confrontational, really. They just spouted rhetoric as a "favor" to us, so that we could better "report the truth accurately". In the course of this, they started slipping, getting caught in lies and doing their damnest to wriggle out from under our collective thumbs. (They had requested talking to me alone in my office; We'd already planned to take them on as a team in the front office.)
Sue Horn, our editor, asked whether they were hourly or salaried employees. After visibly hesitating, one said, "I'm a volunteer..." and the other, picking up on what he was "supposed" to say, eventually said the same thing.
I asked what body Thetans were, as per Rev. Fred's advice. They both played dumb. (They weren't really good at it.)
Bart Cater, a member of the Board of Education who just happened to be hanging around the office, took them to task about their claims (at the zoning meeting) of having a working relationship with the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in Bowdon. Not only had the Scouts denied such a relationship, they had mentioned that Bart was not the first person to pose such a question. When confronted with this, once more, our visitors played dumb, and promised to "look into it" for us.
But the coup de grace came from our publisher, the fearless Bill Chappell. Towards the end of the meeting, Bill said, "We've heard a lot of rumors about you. I don't know which are true and which are not. But remember that if you come after JP, you're coming after me, too, and if you're coming after me...well, welcome to Carroll County, boys...." Reverse intimidation to say the least.
Bill cut the meeting short because Thursday is our deadline day, but invited them back next Tuesday. I wonder whether they'll be back at all.
Sorry this is so long, but I figured you guys would appreciate a detailed report. And by the way, we got copies of the official paperwork that says they'll be presenting a new re-zoning application not at the May meeting but in June. They also bring their case before the county commission in July. (The commission has a reputation for overturning zoning board recommendations, so it's a wild card for them.)
I'll keep you guys posted as further developments happen.
From: ptsc <ptsc AT nym DOT cryptofortress DOT com>
Subject: Re: A surprise visit from the Narco-weenies...
Date: Fri, 03 May 2002 07:19:08 -0400
Organization: ARS: Perhaps the Most Malignant Newsgroup on Usenet
On 03 May 2002 05:52:58 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org (JPilkonis1) wrote:
>But the coup de grace came from our publisher, the fearless Bill Chappell.
>Towards the end of the meeting, Bill said, "We've heard a lot of rumors about
>you. I don't know which are true and which are not. But remember that if you
>come after JP, you're coming after me, too, and if you're coming after
>me...well, welcome to Carroll County, boys...." Reverse intimidation to say the
Very good. Don't be too cocky--these guys have bulled their way into communities before over complete public disapproval, and set up vicious swindles and scams while doing so. If it's possible to repel them before they get a serious foothold, they may give up entirely.
If not, well, you will at least have considerable opportunity to write scathing articles. Just make sure to get a few nice business-sized shredders and watch your back. Dealing with Scientology can be dangerous, but it's much less dangerous if you are not insanely self-destructive (as some critics were).
Date: Sun, 05 May 2002 09:38:11 -0400
From: Beverly Rice <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: A surprise visit from the Narco-weenies...
> The truth is, if
> Narconon came to town and said, "We're a Scientology-based program, we've had
> some pretty decent successes, and we'd like to come to your area," I probably
> wouldn't have paid them much attention.
But there you have the crux of the truth about scientology as well as the majority of their Front Groups . . .
they can ~NOT~ be honest and tell the truth . . .
the truth about Co$ is that it lies.
Their lie is that they claim to be truthful.
If ~only~ Co$ would learn, and just be honest, there would be no need for suspicion.
The fact that when one finds out they are being, or have been lied to is what causes the majority of Co$'s problems. I just don't think they will ever cognite on that.
Naturally, when one finds they are being lied to, it is only logical to figure if they are lying they are hiding something, and if you have to hide something, there is something wrong, or they would just be honest from the get go.
They create their own problems as soon as they open their mouths are become lying, deceptive, dishonest and in turn fraudulent.
If they have a PRO (Public Relations Officer) trained representative, you can expect and know that they will have been trained with TR's (Training Routines) via many drills of what to say, how to respond etc., so expect answers that have been rehearsed many times over.
The most important thing for Co$ is to get a foothold to then enter in to the community with the Co$'s own creation of a "helpful" organization, become involved in community affairs, have their own people enter in to other already established organizations and community and eventually targeting governmental positions, and that is how control is taken over.
It's a very good plan indeed, and one thing about Co$ members that you cannot say about the majority of other american religions, they are faithful to a "T" about following what they are told to do, and also are in complete agreement with the aims and objectives in their mind and heart.
Also, please remember that the majority of Co$ members truly do believe 100% that what they are doing is for the good of mankind.
It is ~DRILLED~ in to them that LRH/scientology is the only remaining hope for civilization, sanity, and the planet, and they believe that only scientology offers that hope, and if it is good for the spread of scientology . . .
it is good for mankind.
The majority of Co$ members (the little guys on the totem pole that do all the work) truly believe they are there representing a good thing . . .
so go easy on them, they are just a fly in the web, they are ~NOT~ the spider.
Here is a part of what the intention of Front Groups and the purpose they serve is for. I sat in on a Co$ meeting with an OT8 explaining how this would work in practicality in order to move Co$ into a position of power and control in the community, and therefore to, as Co$ like to put it, "Clear The Planet".
From LRH's Special Zone Plan:
And this: a nation or a state runs on the ability of its department heads, its governors, or any other leaders. It is easy to get posts in such areas unless one has delusions of grandeur or fear of it. Don't bother to get elected. Get a job on the secretarial staff or the bodyguard, use any talent one has to get a place close in, go to work on the environment and make it function better. Occasionally one might lose, but in the large majority, doing a good job and making the environment function will result in promotion, better contacts, a widening zone.
The cue in all this is don't seek the co-operation of groups. Don't ask for permission. Just enter them and start functioning to make the group win through effectiveness and sanity.
If we were revolutionaries this HCO Bulletin would be a very dangerous document. We are not revolutionaries any more than we are doctors of sickness in individual patients. But we are not revolutionaries, we are humanitarians. We are not political. And we can be the most important force for good that the world has ever known. Who objects to a company functioning better to produce a better civilization? Who objects to a race becoming sane and a stable asset to its communities? Who objects to a neighborhood smoothing out?
Only the very criminal would object and they are relatively ineffectual when you can know and spot them. them. And there are no criminals except the mentally disabled.
-- L. Ron Hubbard
"SPECIAL ZONE PLAN"
Also these gems of Hubbards are well worth keeping in mind when dealing with the Co$:
"You want to know what happens when you clear everybody in that neighbourhood, the only thing that [Scientology] center can become used for is a political center. Because by the time you've done all this, you are the government..."
-- L. Ron Hubbard, lecture 9 January 1962, "Future Org Trends"
"Once the world is Clear - a nation, a state, a city or a village - the Scientology-organization in the area becomes its government! And once this has taken place the only policy accepted as valid is Scientology policy."
-- L. Ron Hubbard, taped lecture 9 January 1962, "Future Org Trends"
"Somebody some day will say 'this is illegal'. By then be sure the orgs say what is legal or not."
-- L. Ron Hubbard, HCOPL 4 January 1966
ARC = As-Ising the Real CST/Co$,
First of all, you proceed from the assumption that my post includes a complete detailing of what was asked. Far from it. Consider it a "highlights" reel. Second, I should point out that the tone of the conversation was quite civil. Third, what the hell would you suggest I ask these people, fool? If they're enjoying the weather? Bear in mind that this was an uninvited appearance, that these were people who have already established their disingenuousness, and that I already have enough of their propoganda piled on my desk to account for the defoliation of a major percentage of the rain forest, and none of it rings true. You know what's most interesting about all this, though? The thing I was most skeptical about when I got into this was whether Scientologists were really as nasty, closed minded and manipulative as the Anti-Scientologists claim they were. Congratulations, buddy. You proved my point. In spades. You're the second of your type that has reacted to what I've written in this fashion. I know that some people equate nastiness with effective debating skills, but I'm not one of them. If Narconon is truly interested in helping people, then they need to find locations where people want their help...not try to bully whomever they target into submitting to them Period.
The Narconon people did not keep their appointment at the Star News offices today. We didn't expect them to. Their "surprise visit" last week seemed a little too deliberate, and they would have been fools not to expect us to be ready for them today.
On another front, I was contacted by a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission this afternoon. He'd read my work on the Narconon folks and came to me for information. The nifty thing was that until the recent "smear" postings about me, I had no absolute, tangible evidence that scientology and Narconon were tied. But since all of my work has been about Narconon, and it was the Scientology people who dug up the sins of my dark past <snicker>, I now have the connection I needed, one based on personal experience. Needless to say, I provided the member of P&Z with a wealth of information, mostly from all of you, but some of it personal.
The most positive note was that he told me no one on P&Z were very familiar with Narconon and its ties to Scientology. Their decision last month was based entirely upon infrastructure issues and the 1500-signature petition the residents of Bowdon assembled. This time, however, they will be much, much better informed, although he assures me that his opinions - and the information he provides the rest of the committee - will not center around religious grounds but rather upon the disingenuousness with which these people comported themselved during the application process.
So go on. Antagonize me some more.
From: ptsc <ptsc AT nym DOT cryptofortress DOT com>
Subject: Re: For everyone's information...
Date: Tue, 07 May 2002 23:46:17 -0400
Organization: ARS: Perhaps the Most Malignant Newsgroup on Usenet
On 08 May 2002 03:01:08 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org (JPilkonis1) wrote:
>So go on. Antagonize me some more.
Btw, I think I've figured out why you are having this Narconon to deal with in Georgia. At the IAS New Year's Event this year, David Miscavige stated that the new Narconon, Narconon Arrowhead was intended to generate new Narconons. Similarly, Miscavige claimed that other new orgs were intended to be "generators" in this fashion.
"This year we didn't just expand. In every sector we made giant strides by establishing 'generation plants' for expansion. In other words, not just 'another Narconon,' but a Narconon Arrowhead that generates them all over the world."
So far, yours is the only one I've heard of, but perhaps others have slipped under the radar. It should also be noted that Miscavige speeches at the IAS New Year's Event are often exaggerated when not outright lies.
However that statement probably does represent a statement of intent, and the reason you have that Narconon attempting to set up shop is part of a larger project. Presumably (you might want to check), the Narconon staff you are dealing with are from Narconon Arrowhead.
(Why does this all remind me of the old video game Gauntlet with monster generators?)
Last night, the Carroll County Board of Commissioners voted for a four-month moratorium on applications for institutions such as Narconon. While the commission did not state that this decision was directed at any group in particular, one of the commissioners approached my publisher - I wasn't covering the meeting, Bill was - and said, "That ought to take care of Narconon for a little while," and thanked Bill for bringing them to the commission's attention. This is very significant, because apparently, now the commission is doing their own research. To any critics out there, I pose this question: which would you prefer: that the commission is well-informed or ignorant? Answer that question honestly...to yourself.
Bottom line is that our ultimate goal is to keep the public as well-informed as we can...though to some, the thought must be terrifying.
Finally, to the thoughtful person who caught my split infinitive: It's called "STYLE," fool.
Over the past few days, the offices of the Carroll Star News has been visited by numerous local policiticians, including members of the planning and zoning commission and the board of commissioners. Almost invariably, they are asking to go through the stack of information I've gathered on Narconon. This, I think, isn't so much in response of what I've written but rather to a flood of mail these people are receiving from concerned citizens. One of the county commissioners reported more mail than he's ever received in his career, even though Bowdon isn't in his district.
The fact is that none of them want to be tagged as someone who allowed a potential cult into the county - especially in light of the recent arrests involving another cult who was running a child prostitution ring in Georgia.
It looks as though the grassroots movement will eventually kill Narconon's chances here in Carroll County.
Just thought you'd like to know.