Wednesday, March 18, 2009

KESQ: Deeper into the Scientology 'Rabbithole'

From Nathan Baca's KESQ Blog:

• Wednesday night, we will have the first half of our interview with former Scientology marketing director Jeff Hawkins. The second half of Hawkins' interview will be Thursday night at 11.

• The second push of our News Channel 3 investigation "Scientology vs. Anonymous" will air Thursday night at 11. Note: Internet video of broadcasts usually are online a few hours after the broadcast (PST) are available here.

Here are two quotes from Hawkins' interview speaking about his time at Scientology headquarters in Hemet, California:
• "Within that Hemet compound, they work 100 hour weeks, seven days a week. They have no breaks. They have no vacations of any kind. They work around the clock. They have no private time. They're paid around 40 cents an hour and they're subjected to all kinds of punishments and abuse. If they do things that are wrong or if they don't toe the line, they have to run around the buildings, sometimes for miles in their street shoes, they get thrown in the lake out there which is pretty cold this time of year. And, if they refuse to come around and toe the line and be good members, they can go to these rehabilitation camps that they have in Los Angeles and in Clearwater which are virtual prisons and people have been there for years. They don't go outside. They don't see anybody. They are paid maybe 10 cents an hour for hard manual labor. They make furniture for the churches."

• "They spend part of their time studying Scientology and the rest of the time doing physical labor. They're not allowed to contact anyone outside of the Rehabilitation Project Force, they're virtual prisoners. They stay in dormitories, 30, 40 people to a room, with one bathroom. I've been down there. I was actually assigned to the R.P.F. for one day. And, then they said it was a mistake."

And in other rabbithole updates in the "Scientology vs. Anonymous" series:
    • Monday, March 16, 2009, I called Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone's Chief of Staff to request an on-camera interview. I had the following questions for Supervisor Stone.
  1. Does he know who gave them the booklet titled "Anonymous: Who They Are, What They Do?" Stone used the booklet to convince his fellow supervisors the protestors outside IntBase were dangerous to the community.
  2. Does he believe the claims made in this booklet that the protestors are anti-Black, anti-Gay and anti-Semite are true? News Channel 3 interviewed a number of the protestors outside the Hemet IntBase. Many of the protestors identified themselves as either Black, Gay or Jewish.
  3. News Channel 3 has obtained documents of the intelligence arm of the Church of Scientology, the "Office of Special Affairs." These documents are a manual for O.S.A. Employees to enact what is called a "Dead Agent Caper." This includes the practice of fabricating documents and giving them to policy makers to influence change favorable to the Church. These O.S.A. Documents have been validated to News Channel 3 by former and current members of the Church of Scientology. Is Supervisor Stone aware this recent revelation indicates the possibility that the booklet was created by Scientology's counterintelligence officers?
• Supervisor Stone's Chief of Staff refused our request for an interview. He did state he believed the information in the booklet was accurate because he did not hear any evidence otherwise. • News Channel 3 has video of protestors objecting to their portrayal of themselves as anti-Black, anti-Gay and anti-Semite in the booklet used by Supervisor Stone. • We have also not received any official response from the Church of Scientology to our series. News Channel 3 News Director Bob Smith invited spokesperson Tommy Davis to send us an email statement last week.

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