Some time ago we came upon a heated exchange on Tony Ortega’s site, which may be of interest to our readers.
On 2 January 2016, Ortega posted an article with a scathing attack on CNN and on Prof. Reza Aslan for daring to produce a what-might-become-a-positive-documentary on Independent Scientology. Ortega labeled it:
CNN plans to give L. Ron Hubbard his best press in decades.
Ortega’s post mentions Aslan’s visit to Israel and guesses that Aslan interviewed Dani Lemberger and his group at Dror Center. Ortega was right about this one, Reza Aslan did visit Dror Center on 21 November 2015. Here’s some pic’s of it:
Dani Lemberger has featured before on Ortega’s blog. Immediately after Dani & Tami were expelled by the Church of Scientology, on 28th June, 2012, Ortega met Dani at Newark Airport and published a lengthy interview on his Village Voice blog on 6th July, 2012.
Ortega also covered the lawsuit filed by the Lemberger’s against the Church at the Tel Aviv District Court. Ortega went on to publish the full text of the Lemberger’s complaint against the Church.
However, Ortega’s post against CNN and Reza Aslan drew a sharp response from Dani Lemberger. Dani posted a comment which we have copied here in full:
You are right about one thing, Reza Aslan did spend a wonderful day with us, at Dror Center, Haifa, Israel, about a month ago.
I’m sorry to say, you are wrong about all the rest. And you do manifest bigotry and hatred, based on ignorance. You told me, when we spoke, that you visit Israel occasionally. I invited you to come see us at Dror, even get some free auditing, but you refused to come and “see for yourself.”
You ridicule the “indie” Scientologists who are still foolish enough to “believe in LRH” but when you have an opportunity to see what we do, you turn it down.
I told you on our last telephone conversation that you too, like other critics, refuse to make the obvious distinction between the scam called the “Church of Scientology” and the subject of Scientology. Miscavige is a lunatic, a despot, the operation he runs is NOT an organization, is NOT a Church and has NOTHING to do with the practice of Scientology.
Why would you be annoyed with Reza Aslan deciding to cover the philosophy or religion of Scientology?
Why make the false statement that we are: ” a movement that, at its national annual convention, managed to gather about 36 people.” You know this is lie! Fact is, there are many thousands of “indie” and “freezone” Scientologists, actively practicing around the world.
I can easily prove to you that we are expanding steadily, not only at Dror, but world-wide.
I can also, easily, prove to you that Scientology does deliver “miracles” and “amazing” results. We do so consistently at Dror. You or any of the readers of this blog are warmly invited to come take a look.
It pains me that LRH made some grave errors which enabled a lunatic such as Miscavige to seize control and destroy Scientology. Miscavige’s criminality may have killed Karen’s son, the Scientology philosophy definitely did not.
When I spent an evening with Karen at her home in July 2013, she still considered herself a Scientologist, we agreed that the Church is NOT Scientology, that Miscvige is a horrendous despot. Karen offered to help us in training on auditing tech of her expertise and gave us one of her e-meters as a present. Maybe she has changed her mind since, which she is entitled to, of course.
Marty Rathbun too was an ardent Scientologist when I met him in June 2012, and a few months later became an anti-Scientologist. I still love him and think he’s a great guy, even though we differ on the subject of Scientology.
Is Scientology a religion? I think not. But many scholars of the subject disagree with me. Two years ago we hosted, at Dror, Prof James Lewis, an expert on “Modern Religions” who has spent much time studying Scientology. He insisted it falls under the definition of religion, I told him I view it as an “Applied Spiritual Philosophy”. Doesn’t really matter what you call it.
Your refusal to differentiate between the Church and the subject of Scientology is what we, Scientologists, call A=A=A. The inability of the reactive mind to see differences. This is also the definition of insanity: viewing as identical, things that are not the same. Like, being afraid of all apples because one apple, years ago, had a worm in it.
So maybe you are somewhat obsessive and lack sanity on the subject of Scientology. I am sure you know very well that I am not at all like Miscavige, I am intelligent, truly caring of others, run Dror as a democratic partnership where people from all over the world love to come, and are free to leave. We charge reasonable rates for high-quality services, never compelling a person to donate a dime or take an action he does not wish.
Further, you also should know that I am one of the most effective enemies of Miscavige. Possibly even more dangerous to him than you. This point is hard to measure so I say, “possibly”. I am currently suing the Church of Scientology International, as your readers should know, in the Tel Aviv District Court. And, don’t tell anyone, this is still a secret, am helping a few other fellow “indies” in preparing their lawsuits that will soon hit the Church.
Scientology is now delivered throughout the world, by hundreds of auditors to thousands of “preclears” with great success. The subject will long outlive criminal operation which is on a rapid decline.
If you allow me some additional space on your site, I will be happy to tell your readers more about what we actually do. Those who scorn or mock, do so out of ignorance and I realize, in some cases, due to their suffering at the hands of an evil man, pretending to be a follower of LRH.
Thanks for posting this. Best wishes for a wonderful 2016, Dani Lemberger
Following this comment, a long exchange developed on Ortega’s blog. (Note: This is a link to Disqus, a discussion tool used by Ortega’s blog. We are not familiar with it.)
AFSI’s follow-up interview with Dani Lemberger
We recently called Dani to find out what made him so furious about Ortega’s post.
AFSI: Dani, in your comment on Ortega’s blog you accuse him of hatred, bigotry and ignorance. How comes?
Dani: Many other readers there have taken this point up. How dare I say that Tony is “ignorant” concerning Scientology. Tony Ortega has established himself as an authority on the subject and I dare state the opposite. There’s a few points to this:
First, if Tony is a journalist, I think he should bring news and opinions of others and remain unbiased. If he has a strong position of hatred and scorn towards Hubbard and Scientology, he loses his position as a fair reporter.
Second, Tony refuses to make the clear and obvious distinction between the Church and the subject of Scientology. This is irrational, upsetting and even damaging to me personally. That he and I have one common enemy, David Miscavige, does not mean we agree about the subject of Scientology.
Third, Tony has never had any auditing, has never even visited a decent Scientology center. It so happens his girlfriend is Israeli and he visits Israel occasionally. I invited him to come see Dror Center, inspect it with his own eyes, see what we are doing. He’s never come, says he’s too busy. Strange, if he would have had a genuine and honest approach to the subject, he’d find the time. He’s devoted his life to attacking Scientology, maybe he should take a fresh look at it.
AFSI: Anything else about this specific article, about Reza Aslan’s documentary?
Dani: Yes, it’s just full of lies and twisting of information, that’s what made me mad.
AFSI: Like what?
Dani: Let me look… it was a while ago. Here, Tony says:
“But is the “indie” movement really a news story except as a foil to the Church of Scientology itself? If the church did not exist, would anyone care that a tiny group of people think that science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard was on to something about past lives and superhuman powers?”
This is appalling, sheer bigotry. We are not a “foil” to the Church, have no interest in them, we are thriving unrelated to them. They’re rapidly declining. Nor are we a “tiny group”. There’s thousands of us, worldwide. Tony goes on to say:
“Now CNN,… , is going to use its media power to shine a favorable light on a movement that, at its national annual convention, managed to gather about 36 people.”
He knows his readers trust him so he can knowingly falsify facts. He’s refering to a convention in Reno hosted by Ray Robles. I have never met Ray, we are not part of any “movement” with him. Tony knows this and is belittling us based on a meeting of a few people somewhere.
AFSI: Anything else?
Yes! Worse yet, Tony, in this article and many others, mocks past lives, the state of Clear and auditing. Who is he working for? What is his agenda? How dare he mock something he knows nothing about?
I have corresponded with Tony, I’ve asked him to let me present what we do to his readers. Nothing. I suggested that an objective scientist come to Dror to research the validity of auditing, the State of Clear, past lives. Never! I’ve invited him to come and look. Nyet. I’ve even offered him some free auditing. Nada. What is he afraid of?
I happen to think that these things, Clear, past lives, are easy to prove as scientific fact. Tony hasn’t looked into it. How can he sneer? And if it’s not a scientific truth but just a “religious belief “, well, most religions believe in the human spirit, reincarnation, etc. So, Scientology is not different from other religions.
AFSI: Religious belief?
Dani: Like I’ve said many times, I do not consider Scientology a religion, because there is too much confusion what does religion constitute. For me, Scientology is an “applied spiritual philosophy”. But auditing, I have no doubt, is an accurate, scientific procedure. It gets consistent, unvarying results. The state of Clear, I think I can prove, is a fact. All pc’s, with auditing only and without suggestion or interference, go past life. Every person can go past life and achieve Clear, even Tony Ortega, if he dares.
AFSI: Thank you for sharing your views with our readers.
Dani: Thank you for listening and publishing.
69 thoughts on “Ortega-Aslan-Lemberger”
To condemn without proof, is the height of ignorance.
To believe something is to raise an opinion to the level of a fact or truth without proof.
To believe something is intellectual dishonesty.
To believe something is a confession of ignorance.
Scn is the science of know how to know the truth of things.
Any scngist who believes in something is incompetent as a scngist.
To comment on something without being qualified to comment on it, is intellectual dishonesty.
Never say anything you cannot prove.
Most people are not qualified to comment on anything.
Most people are only intelligent enough to argue to defend their ignorance and their overts and the right to do so.
Dani Lemberger still worships the wit and wisdom of Lron Hubbard. The past lives stuff and the status of Clear do not exist. I wish a psychologist would take Dani up on his offer. No one can put the ‘science’ into Scientology.
Have you done any scientology?
If, so, what have you done?
My name is Dmitry Jitovetsky and I’m a Scientologist since 2000, I fully support the view Lambergera Dani ! Tony Ortega – yellow press journalist who is looking for conflicts , and not the truth. Prof. Reza Aslan just a real journalist who wants to find the truth.
I don’t think it is correct to say that Tony is looking for conflicts. I would say Tony is just not capable of impartial looking, impartial journalism,
Tony does not want to take an honest look. Or does not have the mental wherewithal to do so. Or has too much invested in carpet bombing the hell out of the entire subject.
A friend from South Africa sent us this comment:
Thank you for your reply to Tony. Great reply!
You two, and your Org are doing great work. I love hearing of your successes!
Love to you both. J. M.
J. D. from California sent us this message:
Welcome to 2016!
I’ve continued to receive emails from AFSI and really enjoyed your last one concerning recent posts on Ortega’s website. To be honest, I haven’t looked at a blog for almost a year now. I had reached a point sometime last year, where every comment I read felt like a blow against my basic beliefs that Scientology (the technology) was beneficial to all and should be supported. It seemed like a daily “stoning” was taking place where someone was being targeted for their beliefs and thoroughly ridiculed if they weren’t anti-LRH. So I stopped reading.
I agree with you 100% about what you said about the tech and wins being had. I am happy and thankful that you are there, Dani, you and Tami and the rest of Dror, doing what you do. I also agreed with you about Tony. I have never been a fan or Mr. Ortega, because he was an “expert” with no experience. He’s simply another bully, pointing a finger as if it were a beacon of truth and accusing everyone of bad things because of what he saw as dishonesty in the church. Well, he was right about Miscavige, wrong about most everything else.
I wish you great success in 2016.
Dianetics and scn have saved my life many times. But there is right way and wrong way to do pretty much anything.
Don’t throw what is holy in front of dogs, because if they can’t eat it, or fuck it , they piss on it.
Tony just has to be asked: Have you done any scientology?
Most people in this game, know the only correct answer is “no”.
Then the next question is:
Then how can you be qualified to comment on the subject?
It is the same as commenting one way or another on a book that you have not read.
Absolutely right. Thanks for being here with us, Dani
Dani, man, I like you!
Thanks Dave, luv u 2!
I would like to thank Reza Aslan for his honest and thorough research of the world religions, not only Scientology. Unlike other researchers, he is not a spectator. He takes part in the religions he studies and discovers for himself what they really are. Mr. Aslan actually got auditing and studied some Scientology courses. He really wants to know and he doesn’t pretend that he knows as Mr. Ortega does.
I feel that a few words are in order after your blog post on Tony Ortega. I have also heard you mention him in the past in a certain way. It is time for me to speak.
When you and Tami were Declared, I encouraged you to continue your Scientology operation, I promised you that you will know affluence like never before. Honestly, I am glad that my prediction is coming true. You have built one of the largest independent orgs in the world. You are doing very well.
However, with success comes grave responsibility. Many things are broken with Scientology. Not all of the by Miscavige.
This is not the time and place to bash anybody. It is however, the time to mention two things that needs immediate repair. The first is freedom of expression, the second is response to criticism. I will start with the second.
There is no science or philosophy without criticism. It is the critic who helps you develop. Einstein was a critic of Quantum Mechanics, yet he contributed more to its development than most others. If somebody does not believe what you do, that does not mean he is “1.1”, it does mean he “has overts”. It means you have a disagreement. You should not become disagreeable.
Here comes the first thing; you should not become Church of Scientology Chapter II. You should promote total freedom, and that includes the freedom to oppose you. Do not educate your staff and public that they are superior to others. You are there for freedom nor for domination.
I wish you luck,
Your democratic tendencies are well known and commended. Perhaps I did not make myself clear. when one builds a new group, one must do so with an eye to the future. If you are building a group that will survive long time, which I believe is your intention, then you must build it for a time when you (and Tammy) will no longer be there to direct and lead it. You do not want your successor to have the (wrong) impression that you, in any way, condone dogma and tyranny.
Very important point about the long-term. Our greatest challenge, as Scientologists, is to get young people to train as auditors. The Church gave this profession such bad repute that few want to do it now. Most of our efforts at Dror are to strengthen the Academy and train auditors.
At the same time, we constantly work on adding new people to our staff who will then become partners. Being a “Democratic Partnership” is intended exactly so that the group outlives any individual.
We now have on lines a few young guys who are great prospects while Don Schaul is doing a great job running seminars and lectures for new public in Tel Aviv. We are possibly seeing the beginning of the start of the re-start of the re-birth of Scientology as a great movement.
Thank you for your kind and wise comment. You are absolutely right, I have nothing to add really.
I am in comm with Tony Ortega and will still talk to him and will be happy to meet him. My harsh words come from my Israeli “chutzpah” origins, not an evil intention towards those who disagree with me.
You know me well, that I am willing to listen, share and allow others to follow their path. We, at Dror, decided to leave the Church only after we realized there was no dialogue possible, only one view, that of the “master” possible.
Dror has been operating as a democcratic partnership for over six years now. All decisions are made by vote, after lengthy discussions, at our monthly meetings. This is also how we handle our public, all are free to think, create and communicate.
Progress is only achieved when many people participate. This is accomplished only when each individual is allowed to contribute according to his own understanding. Money contribution is the least important.
Thank you for your courage and your support, Dani
you’re absolutly right.
When I read on T. Ortegas Blog what he had to say about Reza Aslan and the Independants I tought “WTF!?”
It’s one thing to report on abuses as he does, but what I have seen is his downright hatered towards “anything L. Ron Hubbard”. Just as if he was afraid of something. Pitty him. He will do anything to cover the a story so it appears according to his Agenda.
I admire Reza Aslan. I didn’t know he was into this subject at all. I admire him about his ability to get his message across. I saw his famous “Radical Islamism is not Islam” video a dozen times on YouTube.
He looks like a genuine man to me and I wished 2 years ago he would talk about Scientology the Subject vs. The Current Cult of the Church of Scientology as he talks about the distinctions in Islam.
I’m sure he got his questions well answered by you guys!
Kind regards and all best,
Hello SKM, thank you for posting here.
Yes, Reza impressed us with his sincere interest and willingness to listen and study. He had met many Scientologists and even got some auditing and did courses before coming here. He really knew what we were talking about.
We spent a great day with him here, he spoke to many people and was free to talk to anyone and ask anything.
And Tony Ortega, well … he hates LRH and anything Scientology. Like Dio quotes Herbert Spencer, “contempt prior to investigation”. Very well said.
Scientology, per LRH, is a path to follow, not autoritarian ideology to be believed in blindly.
We are now free to create Scientology based on our understanding of the subject. And we’re having so much fun doing it.
All the best to you all and Reza.
L. Ron Hubbard set something in motion in a time where the world was not yet ready for it.
Mistakes have been done. Maybe LRH wasn’t enlightened enough when he started the movement. Maybe the opposition was too strong. Things went astray… Maybe he wanted a followership… too many maybes.
Scientology was an evolving subject as long as LRH was alive. There is no reason not to change policy and modus operandi where following it hinders the fruition of delivery. Only free people will see the freedom that is possible through the application of Scientology.
Abusers and Sociopaths will only see more methods to do harm.
And Journalists? Well… they being in the game of sensationalism, will always find new ways to produce a story. 🙂
You do the right thing!
Well said SKM, I agree.
While what you say about journalists is true, wonder of wonders, Dror had quite a few of them, including TV crews visiting the place and a number of reports and articles in the press and TV. To the best of my knowledge, NONE were negative in any way and Dror came out of all these quite shiny. Dani and Tami will confirm this.
Of course, there were half truths and inaccuracies, and sensation mongering… but overall they all told a happy story and quite a true one. on a happy thriving place.
Is that a press revolution…? 🙂 No, but a reminder that good ol’ ARC goes a long long way, even into journalists hearts. They are after all people, most of them good people.
Tony, here’ a challenge, come and takalook…! 🙂
Thank you for filling in the blanks for me.
And yes, Mr. Tony Ortega. Go get a free session. Or at least take a look. 🙂
Wonderful stuff, all around Dani 🙂
Glad you’re there, carrying on and getting ‘er done.
Good to hear from you. And we remember well your help when we set out on this adventure.
All the best with what you are doing, Dani
“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance—that principle is contempt prior to investigation.”
Source attributed to a man named Herbert Spencer, presumably the 19th century British philosopher, evolutionist, and sociologist:
This is all very interesting. Thank you Dani for a rich and informative post.
It exposed Tony’s extremism and bigoted approach.
It generated some good comments here.
It shed light on a wise, charming and most original person: Reza Aslan.
And it reminds people that mental and spiritual work can be done, and turn people into better human beings.
That last bit is probably the most important. Too much mockery and ridicule has being directed in recent time at that wonderful aspect of life.
Spiritual development, life improvement, reaching out for Love and Happiness.
One organization has betrayed its people and abused them, using the above as bait. So what?
One horrible piece of music was forced on us in a restaurant or a lucrative bar. So what?
Are we going to vilify and slander all music and all food forever?
Are we going to hate and attack spiritual work and practice blindly?
Tony Ortega has done a good job in exposing the bad CoS organization. Great! But attacking “joyfully” anything spiritual that moves,or any decent spiritual practices and concepts, is a sad and misleading thing.
In a funny way he is achieving the same result as Miscavige:
Ridicule and slender of spiritual practices and groups.
Sad because if Ortega cared to visit Dror he would see a different world than he imagines, and a different Tech.
Reza Aslan, in a few ours at Dror, coming with an open mind, discovered so many wonderful aspects and results of their activity.
Because he came to really investigate, ro learn, not to pre-judge. And when you look at him you see a spiritual person who is full of interest, respect and tolerance. And full credit to him for that. (And btw, I disagree with him on things too. So what??)
I can say that having done a lot of spiritual work at Dror, I have had many many wins and life changing experiences, and never duress or pressure when I disagree. And I can be quite “disagreeable” at times… Instead, there has been only honest discussion and ARC.
And some of my greatest spiritual wins, were…surprise, surprise: Increased tolerance willing to hear disagreement, humility, respect and love for others, and a mysterious ability to learn from others and anything. These are all anti-fanatic pro tolerance humane traits. And I see similar things around me.
So, Tony should chill out and come and take a look. Or not. It is his life and I wish him well.
And I wish you all well too!
Thank you Hemi for your wisdom, love and support over the years.
I too enjoy our discussions and have realized, long ago, that I only think I am always right. Others, who heatedly disagree with me, also believe they are always right. This is human nature, and greatness is to continue to love and respect despite all differences.
We are on a wonderful journey. It can only be traveled with tolerance and high ARC, which means to accept communications without judgement.
you are right about criticism and that Dani should allow it. And not become CoS II…
I think you miss the fact that he does allow it and is far far away from CoS II. I know,
I have criticized him and argued with him as I have with other people and he’s totally cool with that.
So what’s wrong to criticize Tony? And what’s wrong with calling a person 1.1 in criticizing if that is what you think.
Or calling him a 1.3 or a frog or a Cadillac jihadist… I mean, that is what you ask for: let a person criticize as he wishes, not as you or I wish. As long as one does not use force in that respect! That what the CoS did!
So let Dani criticize all he wishes. It might wake Tony up. Or not… 🙂
Dani will and does writes what he writes. He does not need my approval, nor is he asking for it. I can only advise. In this case my advice is to disagree without being disagreeable. We are all aware of the fact that there is a disagreement between Dani and Tony O regarding the teachings of Scientology. Thus, a debate is in order. Like the American say: “you get further with honey than with vinegar.” I believe that to keep the debate civilized is indeed, the way to go. That I disagree with the choice of words does not mean I am trying to shut anybody up.
Remember man is an image of his childhood panorama. We live in a culture that is gruesomely uncivilised regarding debate. I am trying to change that.
Point well made, Aharon!
I know I am sometimes too blunt and people may take offense. I blame it on my Israeli genes, though tempered by hundreds of hours of FPRD and 14 years on Solo NOTs.
That’s why I love doing Scientology, it has really made me a better person and now I’d like to share with others.
Do not get me wrong I do not condone Toni’s behavior on the subject. I already expressed my fears. We need to break the insane behavior patterns that Co$ has been so successful instilling in us.
Tony Ortega is on a mission to destroy Scientology. That’s fine as the organisation under Miscavige is totally corrupt. But has he invested so much in this mission that he cannot see the wheat from the chaff?
I don’t believe Tony is a reliable source when it comes to commenting on the philosophy, it’s application or results. He has no experience with it, has never tried, tested or sampled it.
For me, he loses credibility and exposes his vested interests when he attempts to take down the good guys… those indies who are delivering affordable, effective and beneficial personal-enhancement programs and services.
I’m a big fan and supporter of Dani, Tami and the whole team at Dror. These guys know their stuff, they deliver great results and they genuinely care. They are generous to a fault and treat everyone with respect. I can’t speak highly enough about them.
I travelled half-way round the planet to get to these guys because they are the best. I’m heading back in a few days for more.
Dani….. thanks for keeping the flag flying mate. You are spot-on in your comments.
Anthony, you wrote:
“Tony Ortega is on a mission to destroy Scientology. That’s fine as the organisation under Miscavige is totally corrupt. But has he invested so much in this mission that he cannot see the wheat from the chaff?
“I don’t believe Tony is a reliable source when it comes to commenting on the philosophy, it’s application or results. He has no experience with it, has never tried, tested or sampled it.
“For me, he loses credibility and exposes his vested interests when he attempts to take down the good guys… those indies who are delivering affordable, effective and beneficial personal-enhancement programs and services…”
I heartily agree with you except for the view that a person who has never “tried, tested, or sampled” a practice cannot have a valid opinion about it. That would leave out many important matters that journalists and others write about which can’t be studied directly but only on the basis of intelligently sorting out which data is in fact reliable.
That said, however, I do think you are correct that Tony Ortega is on a mission with regard to Scientology, considering the fact that his followers and supporters are not just against the CoS – they are also highly anti-Scientology. He is almost certainly pandering to the general public, as well, who have been given the impression, because of the outrageous behavior of the CoS, that Scientology itself is the basis of an abusive cult. Perhaps he’s hoping to one day win a Nobel Peace Prize? 🙂 That was an exaggeration, but there may be some truth to it in principle.
Just the fact that Ortega did not take Dani up on his offer is an indication that he isn’t interested in getting at the truth, as any respectable journalist would have been eager to do so. Instead, he regularly posts the opinions of people who show from their statements they don’t actually understand even the basics of Scientology. As an example, anytime Tony mentions TR-0 he describes it as “a staring contest,” simply because this is what he has been told – and he has no scruples about reporting it as fact, since it serves his agenda (that was the right word you used, IMO).
And to Dani – for his forthright yet ARC-ful letter – kudos! You represented the independent community very, very well.
you are very wise as usual!!
Your remark on the “permission” to comment on things not experienced is true.
And yet you see that Tony abuses that “permission”.
Differentiation with accuracy…Very intelligent!
And what about Tony’s mocking scientology “practice of talking and yelling at ashtrays”. 🙂
Nice of you to join in!
You are very nice – as usual. 🙂
Oh, that’s right – “yelling at ashtrays.” That’s another one Ortega likes to repeat fairly often. And yet, as far as I know, he hasn’t interviewed anyone who is positive about the drill and would explain its purpose, even though he knows those people do exist – such as you folks at the Dror center.
Another thing that has been stated by the people Ortega chooses to interview is that the TRs are methods Hubbard developed to brainwash students. And there again, I don’t believe there have been any interviews of the opposing viewpoint. The same idea would apply to documentaries – such as the film “Going Clear,” which didn’t interview a single Independent Scientologist.
That’s actually what I should have said – that a respectable journalist or documentary director or producer would also report alternative points of view. That would have been better than the idea of “reliable” points of view, since it isn’t really a journalist’s main job to determine that. So thanks, Hemi – your comment got me looking at this a little closer. 😉
And thanks again to everyone at Dror for your big part in keeping the tech available.
what I write is not meant as affront, I just plainly disagree.
The processes laid out in the technology are highly experiential.
The release that happens in a well done session can’t be theorized about.
You will need, if you haven’t experienced for yourself, people who give you testimonies about it.
These tesimonies are highly subjective and if you have no point of comparision, you will project into it what ever your “hearts content” is.
It’s the same in mysticims, where the mystic is asked about his experience of God.
There is no means for him to describe the exact experience.
At a mundane level, how about sex? Can you tell someone another, what the actual experience of sex is?
You can read shelves of books about this subject, but you won’t now anything near of the actual experience.
Tony Ortega is welcome to write about actual things that are observable.
He is not in a position, however, to write about the tech.
He may ridicule the writings. Compare the writings to his projections and produce a story for his audience.
That’s all he can do. No theory can bring you to the exact truth of the substance.
Ever wondered what Tony is actually afraid of?
I guess he is afraid of changing his mind. He won’t look. He may lose his head. 😀
(There is only one life after all. :-P)
I see what you mean about opinion on a subject that is experiential, without having personal experience with it. And I agree with what you wrote here:
“You will need, if you haven’t experienced for yourself, people who give you testimonies about it.”
The main thing I wanted to say was that the testimonies shouldn’t be limited to those with negative experiences.
I probably shouldn’t have used the word “opinion.” A better word might be “conclusion,” since anyone has the right to reach a conclusion about what is generally experienced in a practice. But that conclusion should be based on both positive and negative testimonies, obviously – and my criticism of Ortega is that he apparently isn’t willing to include the positive.
You may very well be right that he is afraid of changing his mind because of personal fears – on top of his personal ambitions.
Thanks for the comm. Nice to “see” you again. 🙂
p.s. Actually, the same criticism applies to Ortega’s posts about the philosophy and tech of Scientology, in that he only includes the interpretations of those who are critical.
I see, I see. 🙂
A critic misses the whole act.
He can come to a conclusion about hearsay. Pity him anyway 🙂
Of course he only listens to the critical.
People will only see in the world what they carry in their hearts.
Wow, SKM, I wasn’t considering this:
“People will only see in the world what they carry in their hearts.”
I believe that is true. And I’ve often sensed it in Scientology critics. With regard to journalists, it would seem to be the primary factor that makes them too biased and one-sided to be a good journalist.
Thank you for reminding me of this basic truth. 🙂
You are welcome.
This beautiful insight was worded by the German writer, poet and philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
(I’m sure he wasn’t the first to observe it)
And by the way, I believe that Dr. Reza Aslan is one of his kind.
I’ve seen dozens of his videos on you tube a dozen of times.
Where others are caught in the good vs. evil think, he goes beyond that chatter and points his finger at the right spot. The world needs more people with this quality of distinctive thinking.
I am really happy he looks at the different groups and off-shots of Sientology.
Thanks, SKM. I’ve watched a couple of Dr. Aslan’s youtube vids too – and from what you say, I should watch more of them. He’s a very interesting person.
Best to you,
Thank you Marildi for your wise comment.
I believe the task of a journalist is to present a subject to his readers without bias. That means, he has to portray all sides of the issue, not be biased and only express one viewpoint.
Ton Ortega has proven repeatedly he only attacks Scientology and refuses to allow any data that refutes his agenda, that of scorn towards Hubbard and his philosophy.
We will continue to deliver the whole Bridge, at reasonable cost, and respecting the person’s self -determinism. Our stats prove that Scientology is in great demand and does offer the opportunity to progress spiritually.
Thank you for your interest and support. Regards, Dani
Thanks very much, Dani.
You summed up the whole thing beautifully as regards what a journalist should be doing – and what Ortega isn’t.
And, as you and Hemi so often do, you rehab’d the subject of Scientology. It’s awesome what that can do for a being. 🙂
Thank you Anthony for your generosity.
We do our best to please. Just keeping exchange in abundance, like the old man taught us.
We’ll see ya soon, Dani
You always have to call a spade a spade. .
That is……… telling it as it is.
That is as-ising the situation.
To see something that is not there, or as-is something that is not there is a form of lying, a form of insanity, not?
Reward to Mr. Ortega with an auditing sesion? . Why?. Hemi you did a post a couple of years ago, talking about your auditing at Dror and with Claudio. I was in com with both. You give me hope for yours wins. Thank’s ad infinitum for it. Love. Juan ( from Tenerife).
Juan, thank you for joining us here.
Yes, there is hope for every individual now that the Tech is free and in the open. Would love to have you here at Dror, or you can also continue on your Bridge with one of many “indie” auditors in Europe.
Best wishes, Dani
How about rewarding him for the great job he is doing exposing the crime syndicate calling itself “church” of Scientology. He is more of a friend that a foe. So what if he disagrees with Hubbard. Does he not have a right to have an opinion and express it?
Yes, Yes, Yes. Don’t worry about Tony, he more than expresses his opinions and no one is stopping him.
I would only expect of someone operating a blog about Scientology for many years, until three years ago as part of the Village Voice, and now independently, to also allow people doing Scientology happily and freely, to have a say and some space on his blog.
Free speech, freedom of thought, creativity, respect of other’s ideas we all cherish. Well, you know except who…
And I do agree with you, Tony is helping the battle against the villain and I do read him and even contribute news to his blog occasionally.
But that is why we should also stress our differences and our view that Scientology is great when correctly administered.
About your previous comment, I agree with your wise words.
About Tony, I think many of us appreciate greatly his brave fight against the Evil CoS.
But please observe, as I do that and mean it, I also point out negative aspcts about his work. All IMO, of course:
That he is too fanatic with his “everything to do with anything” regarding Hubbard and his philosophy, is horrible, stupid, crazy, evil. ridiculous… ad infinitum.
I think Dani acts the same, in his own way. DIFFERENTIATING, observing, then criticizing or praising.
But Tony, on the subject, has an AGENDA which has become more important than anything to him. To the point he will not look, let alone consider any new facts, which can change his agenda. That is a different attitude, and is in itself a “cultish” attitude. And in a funny way, doing so, he confirms Tech data on “becoming what you are obssesively attacking”, which btw, is ancient knowledge, shared by many masters.
Thank you so much for your warm words. I am glad to have mattered.
I wrote, and still write, what I experience as a spirit and mind and in sync with my heart.
I remember, and will never forget, when I was down, in a bad way, confused, reading similar stories of great wins from others, and how it lifted me and gave me hope. From then on, it was all up… 🙂 🙂
Unfortunately, these days, there is no place in the net, for such good news on our subject of spiritual work.
Smashing Evil is important, but what about promoting the sublime…?
Which gives me an idea…
Thank you Dani and Dror staff. it is very important that the world will understand that Scientology is a fantastic thing and Scientology is not the Church of Scientology. These are two different things.
LRH gave mankind a way to be free and to know what we are facing in this world, and it should be known.
A message that we received from W.M., a reader and dear friend from Florida:
The Letter that you wrote to T.Ortega is perfect! I agree totally with this letter, which is written
well and states one thing more clearly then anything I ever read before: the difference between the
current organization (which calls itself “church of Scientology”, incl. Miscavige) and L.Ron Hubbard and his workable technology.
Well written and said, Dani! You are such a courageous fighter and I can only thank you for standing up
and speaking out and fighting for what is right and true!!
II wish to point out and commend this positive and fruitful post and comments.
In my reply to Huan, I complained about absence of a blog where positive attitude on our subject can prevail.
Then, practicing the Tech and being cause, I had an idea.
As you know, being free in practicing a spiritual way in a free place (Dror, of course.. 🙂 ), I can disagree
with anything and anybody. We all can. And its fine. Of course, agreeing is also permitted… 🙂
So, one of my great disagreements and arguments with Dani, COB of Dror (:)). is about making an active English language blog at the AFSI, led by him. With regular posts by him (He writes so well) and also others. Look at this modest post and comments, only one post, and on subject of Tony Ortega and already so much TA. So I urged him in the past to embrace that idea. He refused. I begged him to differ, and still am begging.
With most blogs turning into “endless fault finding” of non-spiritual con orgs and people, how about one which actually discusses ‘what is spiritual’ and all relating discussions? Indeed why not? Dani has so much to say, and so do many of us.
So from this stage, I say: Dani, how about 1-2 posts by you per month, for a start, donated to AFSI and an active international blog at the AFSI site? An active blog that has an extra priceless fixture at its background: an active spiritual center, that also walks the walk – not only writes and talks.
Anybody else in favor?
Love to all,
as far as I know, there is already a Blog of the MilestoneTwo fraternity.
I would encourage, however, maybe not so much a blog for general discussion, but with posts about wins and maybe even collaborations with other groups like yours.
At some level I can understand Dani. A blog can entangle and take too much attention from delivering the goods.
That being said, I enjoy hearing from you every time (I’m somehow being informed via mail whenever a new blog post comes).
I think it’s a great suggestion to have a blog with regular posts here, even if only monthly or less. I also like the idea of discussing “what is spiritual.” Sometimes Milestone Two has that type of discussion, but I don’t think they would allow, for example, a discussion on whether we are “all One,” as that would be in disagreement with LRH’s view of it.
The type of blog I’ve never come across – and wished existed – is a blog that discusses various LRH issues, books or lectures – or parts of them. I think that would be helpful to people and a lot of fun. Some people might be worried about “verbal tech” but in my opinion LRH made a mistake on that policy (hey – that’s a possible discussion right there 🙂 ). My experience has been that it is very helpful to talk things over with others – and everyone could be kept aware of the fact that it IS verbal data and to keep it in mind.
You wrote: “Dani, COB of Dror” Hilarious!
That’s another good example of a policy I disagree with LRH on and the type of discussion that could be taken up – “Jokers and Degraders.” I’m sure the freedom to joke around can be abused, as with any freedom, but I think it’s a big mistake to limit humor very much.
So there you go – my 2 cents. 😉
Of course Dani is the utmost opposite of that COB. Completely.
Ron was a very funny man (still is I hope), who never stopped joking. Yes, and degrading too at times.
He even assigned humor ability as a high tone activity, while (CoS like) seriousness as a very low tone.
So there you are.
A very good read. Well done Team Dror!
Good products flow from you centre and lots of Israelis can look forward to getting a toolbox to help them navigate life in a more positive way.
We wish you well.
Indie Scientology is popping up ever where. Why it continues to grow, proves the technology does change your life for the better.
Dani thank you for keeping Scientology pure and free as it should be! You are great!
The idea that a person who has not experienced Scientology is, therefore, unqualified to have a valid opinion of Scientology is illogical. Its a bit like saying no male can be an effective obstetrician. The idea also introduces a confusion between subjectivity and objectivity. From a scientific and journalistic point of view, it is always the latter perspective which trumps the former when its comes to garnering credibility and public trust.
Equally illogical is the claim that a failure to differentiate between Scientology the subject and Scientology the organisation indicates insanity. On the contrary, it would be irrational to make the differentiation because it is a false dichotomy: you cannot have Scientology without the infrastructure and legitimacy of the organisation. The attempt at differentiation is like saying a group of retired US senators getting together for a debate are still The Senate. See, if one is Auditing or carrying out tech procedures outside of the organisation, they are not practicing Scientology according to the only source of its legitimacy, L Ron Hubbard. Sure, such people can call themselves Scientologists but, really, they are, technically speaking, squirrels. Take a look at how L Ron Hubbard dealt with David Mayo and his Advanced Ability Centre. There are any number of examples of how Scientology-proper is not being practised outside the organisation. The predetermined and systematic failure to use PC Folder information against a person is a squirrel action. The predetermined and systematic failure to send the names of people who have completed a major action to Flag is a squirrel action. As I understand it, forced disconnection, the unscrupulous use of PC Folders, and the forwarding of names to Flag are not standard practice at the Dror Centre. No doubt there are a multitude of other examples, particularly in regard to the confidential administrative policies, which the Dror Centre is deliberately not applying. Accordingly, and as per KSW Standard L Ron Hubbard Scientology, those running Dror Centre, are squirrels. In his hey day, L Ron Hubbard would have squashed them like bugs.
It should also be pointed out that while Tony Ortega does make regular comments about Scientology, they are all based on information provided to him by people who have experienced Scientology first hand. One need only consider the wide range of ex-Scientologists, many of whom have made it into the OT band, who are quoted. None of the comments Tony makes are in any way significantly different from the comments made by, say, Amy Scobee or Hana Whitfield or Chris Shelton or Jon Atack or Vance Woodward or Jesse Prince or Claire Headley or Bruce Hines or Jefferson Hawkins or Mike Rinder or Gerry Armstrong, etc, etc. Are those people also all insane, bigoted, obsessive haters? Perhaps they are in the minds of some, but they have all experienced Scientology first hand and it is their testimony, along with direct and undeniable references to Scientology’s own “scripture”, which informs Tony’s dialogue and The Bunker community’s approach to the subject.
So, where to for those who wish to see Scientology gain acceptance, or even just a greater level of tolerance, at internet forums like Tony Ortega’s blog? Simple really: deliver evidence which proves any statements. Every one of the people mentioned above are able to document their experiences, link to independent, peer-reviewed scientific reports debunking Scientology’s most basic claims, and articulate their views without recourse to Tone 40 attempts at putting ethics in or trying to shatter suppression. If it would be relatively easy to scientifically prove, say, the existence of Engrams as defined by L Ron Hubbard or, even better, prove the existence of the state of Clear, then do so! And do it quickly. Such proof would ensure acceptance of the workability of the subject around the world.
Bear in mind, though, that when it comes to providing evidence, getting independent verification delivered by credible people is vital. At this stage, the only people outside of the subject willing to speak up for the Independent / Free Zone are dishonest academic mercenaries such as Lewis and Aslan. AVOID.
Crepescule, I think you are begging the question. You give your own definition of “Scientology-proper” in order to “prove” that Independents aren’t practicing it.
There are many LRH references that support the Independents breaking away from the church – starting with the most basic principles of the tech and philosophy – which would indicate that Independents are much more correctly practicing Scientology than what the Church has evolved into.
“The idea that a person who has not experienced Scientology is, therefore, unqualified to have a valid opinion of Scientology is illogical. Its a bit like saying no male can be an effective obstetrician.”
Well, a male can be an effective obstetrician, but he can’t express how the mother actually felt while she delivered the baby or her feeling to hold it in her arms after nine months of pregnancy. He can at best talk about his impressions on that.
“Equally illogical is the claim that a failure to differentiate between Scientology the subject and Scientology the organisation indicates insanity. On the contrary, it would be irrational to make the differentiation because it is a false dichotomy: you cannot have Scientology without the infrastructure and legitimacy of the organisation.”
Yes, you can have Scientology withouth the initial organisation.
L. Ron Hubbard is dead. Come over it.
“The attempt at differentiation is like saying a group of retired US senators getting together for a debate are still The Senate. ”
If their only “process” was to debate, they’ve been debators and they can continue to be and do that outside of The Senate. When I am no longer in the “Dissemination Division”, this doesn’t mean I’ve lost all my abilities to disseminate. See what you’re trying to convey? “Doing Scientology” is a process. Scientology is a set of tools, all of it: Tech, Admin, Ethics. The Church of Scientology is a organisation.
“See, if one is Auditing or carrying out tech procedures outside of the organisation, they are not practicing Scientology according to the only source of its legitimacy, L Ron Hubbard.”
L. Ron Hubbard is dead, come over it. Really. You are theorizing about what LRH would say if he would live now. You just don’t know. You are superimposing an artificail, paralell history on todays events.
But the truth is, he is not alive. And people will have to decide for themselves what parts of the processes ( Tech, Admin, Ethics) they want to incorporate into their lives or if at all.
“So, where to for those who wish to see Scientology gain acceptance, or even just a greater level of tolerance, at internet forums like Tony Ortega’s blog? Simple really: deliver evidence which proves any statements. ”
You are asking people to defend themselves. Why would you do that?
Why can’t people make their own spiritual experiences without the need to provide any “scientifical” proof?
What ever you do, you can’t not-is peoples convictions away. And why would you, anyway?
Please see the video Hemi posted below.
I agree with Reza Aslan. Actions have to be condemned, if harmful.
I wish I’d known your name and who you are, I prefer to communicate with people I know and not with pseudonyms.
You raise a lot of points, I’ll refer to the major ones.
Of course Tony Ortega has much knowledge about Scientology and he can state his views, same as all the other people you mention. The fact remains that there are thousands of people around the world who practice Scientology with much success outside the Church. This demonstrates that there is merit to the subject. Not to talk to these”indie” Scientologists is a gross omission, if the subject is genuinely of interest to anyone.
I differentiate between Hubbard’s “Tech” of the mind and spirit and Hubbard’s “policy” or “organization”. This should be pretty obvious, like the difference between Christianity and the Catholic Church or Judaism and the Rabbinate.
My experience has shown me that the Tech consistently works ad delivers results. Hubbard, by mistake, created an organization that became a monster that has devoured the philosophy. I wrote an article about this some three years ago which Mike Rinder, on his blog, was kind enough to publish. Here it is:
It may well be that Hubbard himself would have declared me an SP for writing this. So what? Scientology is not about Hubbard, worshiping him or him approving of you. I happen to think that if Ron was here he would thank me and all indies for what we are doing and would promptly behead Miscavige, but this is silly speculation.
I was naive to think Ortega had a genuine desire to understand Scientology and thus invited him to visit us and even offered him free auditing. He hasn’t shown up yet, fine. But those reading Ortega should know this and should know that what Ortega writes about the Church is not true of most other practitioners of Scientology. Same for “Going Clear” and other critics, they deal only with the Church’s criminality and refuse to shed light on those loyal to Hubbard outside the Church.
It is trivial to say that the subject of Scientology is senior to the organization. Ron established the organization he named “The Church of Scn” so as to forward and protect the subject. The opposite happened. Grave mistake on his part. The subject, I believe, will live on for many more years while the organization is withering away.
I have good reason to be optimistic. I have seen over the past few years Scientology rebounding all over the world, while there is no doubt Miscavige’s operation will no longer be with us within a few years. When the Church is gone, I guess, Ortega will have to find himself some other occupation. He can write a book, “The Rise and Fall of the CoS”.
Concerning engrams, Clear, whole track. I think I can prove to an objective researcher that these things exist. If you happen to know of someone we can both trust to do the job, send him/her along.
Thanks for participating in our discussion, Dani
BTW, this blog is a proof we differ from the church. They do not have an open blog. Maybe Ron himself would not have allowed such open discussion, so we also differ with Ron. And he’s no longer around to tell us what to do.
Dear Dani & Tami,
I just happened across mention of this whole debacle on the SCIENTOLiPEDIA facebook group and decided to come here and fully inform myself.
I for one want to congratulate you and Dror Centre for everything you guys are doing. Having met both you and Tami, I came away with the knowledge that you are genuine, caring, uptoned and wonderful people. I just loved how much ARC shone forth from of you. Your passion for helping others is palpable.
I too have a problem with this extremist view that SCN is either ALL bad or ALL good. Neither are true in my estimation, and this viewpoint occludes anyone from being able to find out for themselves what it really is. I do believe that one should be allowed to discuss, debate and engage in honest dialogue – this is healthy and it encourages people to think for themselves. Recently, my mantra has become “what is true for you” as I have been sorting out the wheat from the chaff in terms of the technology and philosophy of Scientology.
And Dani, you are perfectly correct in calling it an applied philosophy. LRH himself termed it thus. That it later got positioned as a religion is a discussion for another day.
One thing I can categorically state is that LRH’s technology is no longer practiced or applied in the entity calling itself the “Church of Scientology”. I know this as I was on staff as recently as 2012 and was also subjected to their kangaroo court system of “ethics”. I experienced situations, practices and operating basis’ that were so alienated from anything Scientology it was unrecognisable to me. I prefer terming what they are doing as “Miscavology” because that’s what it is. DM has turned the philosophy and technology as founded by LRH on it’s head – they do NOT apply Scientology. Furthermore, he has brought about a situation where the door is wide open to Black PR and vilify LRH due to the misinformation and inaccuracies they propose as “fact” – stuff that is and has been debunked, further tarnishing LRH’s reputation. I should know as both my husband and my mother extensively interacted and worked with Ron.
Although I have not availed myself of services outside of the “church” I will defend to the death the rights of others to do as I KNOW that there are gains and wins to be had from applying this technology to one’s life. I had many such gains in the early days when the tech was correctly applied – before DM came along with his own squirrel version. And yes, he had help in doing so – he was not alone.
Anyway, I don’t want to belabour the point too much. I agree 100% that you have the right to speak up when you see misleading data, intentional misinformation and articles written with the pure agenda of inciting vitriol and attack on LRH or the philosophy he founded. I admire your courage in doing so.
With love to you and the amazing team at Dror Centre
Just a short comment for now (Duty calls):
You are obviously driven hard by an Agenda. So much so that you fail to observe the obvious.
Exactly like Tony Ortega. While people like Dani, Marildi, me and others here, think logically = lookong at various aspects of something they are commenting on, your observation is narrow and lacking.
While dani sees also the up side of what Tony does, and then criticizes him, you lack that ability. So anything Dani say is false. You can’t find any truth in any of his ideas. You won’t, really. So, your Agenda becomes your logic. And that logic becomes too narrow to be taken seriously. Example:
You wrote: “Take a look at how L Ron Hubbard dealt with David Mayo and his Advanced Ability Centre.”
Where did you get this? Ron did that? Check your “facts” ombre. Here’s another jem:
You write: “those running Dror Centre, are squirrels. In his hey day, L Ron Hubbard would have squashed them like bugs.” Pure speculation! How do you know what Ron would have done? Yet you state it as a fact, instead of adding honestly “I think he would have”.
Now please, concetrate:
If 20 people say oranges are horrible. and 20 others say the are great, a journalist, which happens to think the 1st group is right, even though he never tasted oranges, can surely publish extensively the views of the 1st group. If he now states as a fact that oranges are bad, and besmirch them on and on, without ever hinting about the existing of the 2nd group, it is not very good journalism, because he puts his opinion as senior to honest reporting. But never mentioning the 2nd group, even hiding their view and what they think, is…. cultish! Cults hide infornation and create buble of disinformation.
Now that is what Dani, in one article said about the matter. Why can’t you see there’s a valid point here?
As to David Pakman, while he has some valid arguments, he has some rediculous straw man arguments which are too obvious, and a few lies too. I’ll be happy to elaborate later. Obviously, like Tony, like you, he cannot find even 1 valuable idea that Reza Aslan has ever uttered. Come on…!
Here below is an interview with Reza by a great guy, extremely logical in my opinion, who disagrees with Reza on many things, but what a different arguing way and class from Pakman.
You see, his goal is growing and understanding, not just making others small or wrong. Big difference.
Can you see any of this?
Here iy is:
Love this guy.
Unfortunatly the video is not complete.