TagChurch of Scientology

Scientologist accused of murdering business partner

scientology ruins lives

Adams County District Attorney Don Quick filed charges against William Rex Fowler in the shooting death of 42-year-old Thomas Ciancio, his former business partner at Fowler Software Design.

Investigators say Fowler shot Ciancio three times in the head with a 9mm Glock handgun when Ciancio came to Fowler Software Design to collect $9,900 in severance pay. […]

Employees of the software company told investigators Ciancio had blamed Fowler for the company’s recent financial difficulties.

The employees said Fowler had taken about $200,000 of the company’s money without asking and gave it to a church or charity, according to the arrest affidavit. […]

Investigators say the gun was registered to Andrew Hyung Fowler, 26, who lived at 1413 L. Ron Hubbard Way in Los Angeles when it was purchased. In interviews with police, Andrew Fowler said he gave the gun to his father for Christmas in 2007.

Police also found a briefcase and a typed note, dated Dec. 30 and signed by Fowler. The note said nothing confidential was in the satchel and that it should be given to his wife, Janet.

When Janet Fowler was interviewed by detectives, she demanded the briefcase.

“It is important to me and my church. It is religious material and I want it now,” she said to investigators. “Even if you looked at it, and read it, you would not understand anything in it. Because it is way above a normal person and you would not know what it meant. I want it back right now.”

Janet Fowler also reportedly told investigators that her husband “is a Scientologist and would not have gone without a fight. He would have grabbed a gun in a struggle and would not have let someone shoot him.”

Denver Post: Adams County software-firm owner charged in killing of ex-business partner

(via Religion News)

I have to admit it feels a little tabloidy to be blogging this, but I can’t help it.

Restoration of lost Scientology materials complete

More than 1,000 unreleased recordings of lectures by L. Ron Hubbard and reams of corresponding writings have been unveiled in the culmination of a 25-year project to locate, restore and transcribe lost pieces of the Scientology founder’s work.

Though sure to be derided by the church’s many critics, its followers say the materials amount to an opportunity to deepen understanding of the religion and to release the last known unpublished Hubbard works dealing with Scientology and Dianetics.

“It would be like discovering that Buddha, unbeknownst to anybody, had sat down and wrote down the entirety of his discoveries and it could be verified that he wrote it,” said Tommy Davis, the church’s top spokesman.

SF Gate: Restoration of lost Scientology materials complete

(via Religion News)

Three of Scientology’s elite parishioners keep faith, but leave the church

They advanced to the Church of Scientology’s highest spiritual level, to “Operating Thetan VIII,” a vaunted realm said to endow extraordinary powers of perception and force of will.

But Geir Isene of Norway and Americans Mary Jo Leavitt and Sherry Katz recently announced they were leaving the church, citing strong disagreements with its management practices.

Isene left first, a decision that emboldened Leavitt, who inspired Katz. Such departures are rare among the church’s elite group of OT VIIIs, who are held up as role models in Scientology. The three each told the St. Petersburg Times that they had spent decades and hundreds of thousands of dollars to reach the church’s spiritual pinnacle.

All three stressed their ongoing belief in Scientology and say they remain grateful for how it helped them. Yet they took to the Internet — an act strongly discouraged by church leaders, who decry public airing of problems — to share their reasons for leaving. They said they hoped it would resonate within the Scientology community.

St. Petersburg Times: Three of Scientology’s elite parishioners keep faith, but leave the church

(via Religion News)

Man sues Church of Scientology for enslaving him as a child

A man claims the Church of Scientology forced him to work as a “virtual slave” for 16 years at jobs ranging from washing pots and pans to restoring old films produced by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. John Lindstein says he was kept “busy, poor, tired, and uninformed” by Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige at the church’s ranch in Hemet, and feared that “things would get even worse if he did not work as ordered.”

Lindstein’s Superior Court complaint alleges human trafficking and violations of hour and wage laws at the church’s “Gold Ranch” compound near Hemet, a semirural area east-southeast of Los Angeles.

Lindstein says that from 1990 until 2006, starting when he was just 8 years old, he “performed this work as a virtual slave, working 16 to 24 hours days with no sleep, no time off and no personal freedom” at Gold Base, a mysterious and once-secret headquarters that “resembles a prison camp,” with razor wire, security guard patrols, surveillance posts and three roll calls each day.

Courthouse News Service

Church of Scientology to sponsor race team

The AP reports:

The Church of Scientology, the religion for which actor Tom Cruise crusades, will attempt to spread its “Ignite Your Potential” message into auto racing through sponsorship of a race car in one of NASCAR’s lowest levels.

Washington Post: Dianetics to Sponsor NASCAR Race Team

(thanks Bill!)

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