How the Church of Scientology Responds to a Reporter's Repeated Requests for Comment

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Asshole. Prick. Handsome. I've been called all three. 

But Karin Pouw, a spokesthetan for the Church of Scientology, dropped a u-bomb on me in a Feb. 20 email. She called me "unprofessional." Sniffle. 

Between Feb. 13 and 18, I called the church's media-relations outfit in Los Angeles three times, telling them I was working on a story about the church and allegations it spies on critics. (We evil journalists keep things kinda vague until it's time for the gotcha questions, when the hilarity ensues.)

After getting forwarded by a live person to voice mail, I left messages each time. The only return telephone call I received was from a nice lady who left a voice mail message on my office line, telling me to email my questions to the address mediarelations@churchofscientology.net

This was on a Thursday, but I had already left the office for the day to bail editor Gustavo Arellano out of jail. And, I wasn't in the office on Friday--pretending to work in the field, blah, blah, bah. 

When I returned to the Weekly world headquarters Monday, I listened to the message and fired off an email (including a semi-sincere "Sorry we couldn't make contact when I called last week"). 

I asked what the church's response is to those who say it sends out spies on its critics; to Amy Scobee's allegations of abuse; to the allegation that the church charges "freeloader" fees on those who leave. I also asked if the organization in Los Angeles sets up a Scientologist's program, charges the person for "handling" if he or she doubts the group's teachings. And I welcomed any comments the church wanted to make about Scientology, but I did not guarantee I could fit them all into the story. 

Here is the email I received from Pouw:

Dear Mr. Dulaney: I have received your questions. You were originally asked to send them on the 16th, yet you waited four days before doing so just a few hours before your self-imposed deadline on a holiday. I find it unprofessional and it is insufficient time for the Church to provide you a suitable response to outrageous and general allegations that are neither time-sensitive nor newsworthy. 

Amy Scobee hasn't been a member of the Church of Scientology for seven years, and so your "interview" does not contain any information relevant to the Church today. I will provide you a response as rapidly as possible, but you will need to inform your editor you emailed questions at noon and asked for a response by 5 p.m., and it is insufficient.

I will, however, start by providing you an answer to your last question. Yes, there is a lot to be said about Scientology. It is the story of the explosive worldwide growth of the Church of Scientology. 


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75 comments
FriedRice
FriedRice

"...explosive worldwide growth of the Church of Scientology..."

LOL! That's what the insane Scientology criminals call 40,000 remaining customers world wide. "Explosive growth." ROFL! Of course none of these violently insane Scientology crime syndicate ringleaders and crime bosses actually believe their own frauds and lies.

 

truthseeker
truthseeker

Yeah, you may be opening lots of buildings but they are empty!  LOOK!  There is no expansion, just a delusion in  your warped and twisted minds! 

Also, is EVERYONE lieing that leaves Scientology?  We don't think so Karin!  Perhaps you are and you need to LOOK!  The Cult of Scientology is shrinking every day!  The public knows that you are a criminal organization! 

Wake up Karin.  Get out before you get cancer like the rest of the staff breathing life into this evil CULT!

Hendl
Hendl

I have met some pretty bright and 'mellow' Scientologists, who even told me that I could, if I wanted to, read their Church's materials to see if their Church was 'for me'; and, if not, that was ok too. However, what I have never understood is why, when one of Scientology's  'higher up' members leave, that the Church goes on a rabid Witchhunt against them, with all their resources. I was raised religiously myself, and have been interested in religions and spirituality.I have spoken to plenty of people who have 'left' religions, cults, etc., but, except perhaps for their family members who were still members of that religion, I have NEVER encountered anyone who was 'hounded', spyed upon, had their neighbors, employers, etc., visited by members of that religion who spread stories that the ex-member was a 'terrorist', etc. Oh, and yes, almost forget, the ex-members of the non-Scientology religions were not sued to death by their forger Church. Have you ever even heard of ex-Moonies, Jehovah's Witnesses, even former members of those polygamist 'Mormon' cults having to go through this??? WHY DO YOU THINK THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY DOES THIS? ARE THEY JUST INCREDIBLY PARANOID, OR WHAT IS IT???

TRUTH
TRUTH

Why was your editor Gustavo in jail?

redhead
redhead

I ask you to behave ethically

Shes having a laugh rofl, Karin doesnt know what ethically means

KeepOnLearning
KeepOnLearning

A site-behavior product just revealed that every ORANGE COUNTY WEEKLY page I click on sends tracking data about every visitor to  _NINE_ tracking sites:  Three social media; two ad networks, and four other commercial trackers. 

Specifically, these are:- Facebook - Twitter - +1 - QuantCast - 24/7 Real Media - Google Analytics - Rubicon Project - Comscore Beacon - ChartBeat

Alas, they're all now blocked!

SP 'Onage
SP 'Onage

"I am surprised that you are not covering or interested in any of this news."

Well, Karin Pouw (spokes squirrel) I am surprised you're not interested in helping release the prisoners from the RPF.

SP 'Onage
SP 'Onage

BLAH, BLAH, BLAH...Whine, whine, whine...Lies, lies, lies.."Oh, Look at how big our buildings are." LOL, that means nothing, Karin Pouw. Same verbal diarrhea just another day spewing out of her mouth. Who gives a crap what she says anymore, it's all "ecclesiastical" lies.

Good job Josh, don't let them bully you! Keep the stories coming. ;-)

Vistaril
Vistaril

One question you might like to consider asking the "church" is about its own scripture in regard to how it treats those deemed to be unfriendly. Here's just a wee snippet taken from L Ron Hubbard's KSW Standard Scientology teachings in regard to public relations:

" . . . Here's what you do.

Soon as one of these threats starts you get a Scientologist or Scientologists to investigate noisily.

You find out where he or she works or worked, doctor, dentist, friends, neighbours, anyone, and 'phone 'em up and say, "I am investigating Mr/Mrs .......... for criminal activities as he/she has been trying to prevent Man's freedom and is restricting my religious freedom and that of my friends and children, etc . . . " 

cf: HCO EXECUTIVE LETTER OF 5 SEPTEMBER 1966 - HOW TO DO A NOISY INVESTIGATION

jungleboogie
jungleboogie

the Only expansion Scientologist can claim Is the recruitment of extremist bunch of anti-semitic race haters=Louis Farrakhan Nation of Islam ...

Scientology needs to start selling selling Bean Pies to pay the mortgage

or use the Bean Pies to patch the pot holes in the parking lot

Urfactfinder
Urfactfinder

Dear Karin Pouw,     I sure hope for your sake that this "New" Chuch in OC does a little better than the one announced last year in Jaffa. I never did see the video on that grand opening. Could you give us an official statement regarding the staus of that "New" Ideal org? As the last I heard it's opening had been delayed due to the building being forclosed on due to the churches failure to pay for it's renovation. Probably that wasn't your fault but your attorneys fault since he was the front for buying and remodeling the church. Too bad he was arrested in connection with the arson and then bombing attempt on the building along with other things. Just what is the official church story on that?

DMSTCC
DMSTCC

I like the fact that they are opening food pantries, kitchens and shelters for the truly needy.

Ah shit, this is about $cientology? Sorry, wrong blog.

fds7f7dsd8ffsdf
fds7f7dsd8ffsdf

 Scientology and L Ron Hubbard refer to reporters as 'merchants of chaos', whereas I think most Americans would proudly refer to the press as the 4th estate. That gives you an insight into their mindset. Scientology's defintion of reporter is "someone who will parrot out press-releases and marketing, without ever mentioning anything negative, in order to help our marketing purposes".

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

Karen Pouw is the pot calling the kettle black!

From http : // www . solitarytrees . net/racism/lying . htm :

Hubbard's writings and recordings make up the sacred scriptures of Scientology. Thus, lying is official Church doctrine, as illustrated here.

THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN CONTROL PEOPLE IS TO LIE TO THEM. You can write that down in your book in great big letters. The only way you can control anybody is to lie to them. … He's got to tell you lies in order to continue control, because the second you start telling anybody close to the truth, you start releasing him and he gets tougher and tougher to control. So, you can't control somebody without telling them a bunch of lies. -L. Ron Hubbard, Technique 88 , "On Control and Lying"

Scientology not only tolerates lying but actually presents formal training in the subject:

Purpose: To train the student to give a false statement with good TR-1. To train the student to outflow false data effectively. … The student should be coached on a gradient until he/she can lie facilely. -L. Ron Hubbard, Intelligence Specialist Training Routine–Lying (TR-L)

Handling truth is a touchy business also. You don't have to tell everything you know — that would jam the comm line too. Tell an acceptable truth. … So PR becomes the technique of communicating an acceptable truth — and which will attain the desirable result. -L. Ron Hubbard, HCOPL 13 August 1970 Issue II PR Series 2, in the Volunteer Minister's Handbook

Parishioners are also instructed on how to handle reporters with evasion and redirection (bullying, too):

Purpose: To train a PRO to give a 'no answer' to questions he has no wish to answer directly. … The trick is to appear to answer the question by giving generalized statements in simple terms so that the reporter doesn't realize his question hasn't been answered.…Purpose: To train a PRO to be able to establish Ethics presence over an SP reporter if the occasion arises, by such things as shouting, banging, pointing, swearing. To do this completely causatively until the poor reporter is 'caved in'.…Purpose: To train the PRO to handle an SP reporter by word alone without the use of force as in (a). He uses the word as a rapier and plunges it at the reporter, so that the reporter introverts and drops the question. -L. Ron Hubbard, HCOB 10 December 1969, "Reporter Training Routines"

Hubbard thinks the world would be a boring place if lying didn't exist:

Now you say you have to be absolutely truthful. Sincerity is the main thing, and truthfulness is the main thing and don't lie to anybody … and you'll get ahead. Brother you sure will. You'll get ahead right on that cycle of action, right toward zero! It's a trap not being able to prevaricate … This makes life more colorful! -L. Ron Hubbard, Philadelphia Doctorate Course, lecture "How to Talk to Friends about Scientology"

MarkStark
MarkStark

Josh, you're not behaving according to the Church's ethical standards. In the last 5 years, $cientology has expanded so fast -- regally, morally, ethically -- that they've cleared the planet and they are working on the Space Org to begin clearing the rest of this sector of the galaxy.

Get with it, will you? How can you believe any of these apostates, when they are obviously telling the truth, which isn't allowed in $cientology!

Teegeeack is now being ruled by $cientologists using their OT powerz according to $cientology law only. All ethics matters will be handled internally. Self-report to an Org near you for a security check and ethics handling. Please have your credit card ready.

The rapid expansion of Flag Land Base, was coincident with Debbie Cook resigning from the Sea Org. There are now over 23.425 million student replicants on the bridge to total Xenu in Clearwater alone. The mighty Freewinds, self-replicated (using "the tech") into a fleet of 17,000 ships and is now patrolling the planet's seas and oceans, turning OT7s into OT8s faster than you can say "ruin them utterly."

sizzle8
sizzle8

A response like that sure encourages friendly articles....sarcasm, sarcasm, sarcasm.What ever happened to maintain friendly relations with the public?Oops, I forgot that the squirrels are running the asylum.

Aa
Aa

"Unprofessional" is a bit milder than "bigot"  - as Tommy Davis repeatedly called BBC's John Sweeney.

It's funny how Karin Pouw was so quick to mention Tony Ortega, as it seems she has permanently "disconnected" from him and refuses any contact -- or at least that's the story as I understand it. 

But like all Scientology spokesmen before her, Pouw's days are numbered.  

Hartley Patterson
Hartley Patterson

All of the 'new' Churches mentioned are in reality existing Churches moving to new premises. The number of Churches of Scientology worldwide has remained around 130 for decades.

The Church also has 'Missions', smaller branches mostly run on a franchise system. There are around 100 of these in the USA according to the Church's published address list, around 300 worldwide. The number of Missions was growing until around 2008, it now seems to be shrinking.

The Church of Scientology refuses to release membership figures, but the only independent survey (ARIS 2008) indicates less than 50,000 in the USA and falling.

GarryS
GarryS

Karin Pouw has a very difficult job in constantly lying about the real aim of the church while trying to her best to keep the deluded dwarf running Scientology happy...Karin is a chain smoker; she would not have access to her beloved Marlboro's on the RPF.  

Carmen
Carmen

You are all a bunch of religious bigots. Scientology has helped millions of people. We have the only drug rehabilitation program that works. We are the authorities on getting people off drugs, with a 70% success rate. (that's not recovery, it's the percentage of junkies we recruit out of our Narconon front group)

We help millions of people per weekend, people of all walks of life, who benefit from our free stress tests, where we use e-meters to sell them Dianetics, and damn the FDA's directive!Dianetics gives people tools they can use in day to day life and it helps them become more able.

Our membership is blasting through the roof, with over 8 million, and our churches are expanding and an unprecedented rate. And I might add, there is always plenty of parking!

So come on down to the Tustin org, Mr. Dulany, and see what we have to offer. Call in advance so we can weed and order some members to come in and make it look busy. We'll save you a parking spot.

ML,Carmen SladeDSA, Tustin

mrsGambit
mrsGambit

I love Pouws writings, they read like a diary of a teenage girl. You know how, when you had fallen out with a (boy)friend, you'd lay in bed and prepare what you were gonna say the next day, word for word - you would tell them!I always read this with Scn defenders, but she is definitely they best.I also find it amusing that they seem to think that size equals quality - growing, growing, 50 times as fast as they last 30 years, or what not. McDonalds is prove that that's not true. And then they try to prove it by telling us how many buildings they have opened. I can buy a big house (I wish) all I want, but that does not mean I have a big family all of a sudden. Pure entertainment! Keep 'em coming, Karen.

Deirdre
Deirdre

For what it's worth, I used to be the person who collected freeloader debts when I was staff at OC org. So yes, debt bondage (in the human trafficking sense) is the norm not only for Sea Org staff, but for all Scientology staff.

V for Vacation
V for Vacation

Thanks so much for the great cover story on Paulien Lombard.  May more courageous people from within the CoS step out and speak out.  

Please do more investigative reports on CoS!  Tony Ortega of Village Voice and Tobin & Childs of Tampa Bay Times are absolute phenoms, but we need a west coast representative!  How about an expose of sheriff Lee Baca and any other law enforcement / government employees that are under the influence?  And why hasn't any law enforcement looked into the reports of the illegal prison camps in Hemet?And I think Karen Pouw is right.  Someone should do a story about the "Church's Truth About Drugs and United for Human Rights programs", because they do absolutely nothing in the world except serve as an excuse to extort more money from the sadly uninformed CoS members who aren't allowed to investigate these things for themselves.Well done, OC Weekly!And for the CoS / OSA lurkers who are reading this - most critics of CoS are NOT "haters" against religious freedom or your right to practice any philosophy.  It's the financial extortion, physical imprisonment, denial of access to outside information, theft of personal liberty, destroying of families, and mental abuse and brainwashing that we are against.  

Rumpelstiltskin
Rumpelstiltskin

Gee Sydney didn't even get a mention on it's "expansion" that has been in the works for at *least* 5 years. Google "scientologists raise the roof". Here we are some 5 years later, after years of the kind of "fundrasing" mentioned by Debbie Cook and the Sydney building is a closed, dilapidated eyesore where people could possibly be experiencing some RPF treatment(people have been seen entering and leaving this building at odd hours)

KAPou waffles on about "growth" and "expansion", yet its "Mecca Building" the super power delivery space stands idle since construction began, get THIS.....1998!STILL NOT OPEN KARIN!

The reporter needs to find out about "Reporter TR's" (training routines)Google "reporter tr's scientology" Josh.

You are only still scratching at the surface!

Ron
Ron

No live person has been appointed to replace the vanished spokesman Tommy Davis. Karin Pouw only seems to communicate via email with no existence in person or even on the phone. I suppose that's useful if the real Karin Pouw is ever assigned to a punishment detail at the whim of dear leader David Miscavige. Someone else can be appointed to wear the Karin Pouw hat while she's gone.

Paul Jay Salerno
Paul Jay Salerno

No word on the Bay Area eh Karen ?

Bwahahahahahah !! Mountain View is already gone. SF is dead empty. San Jose: You're next.

Gina Smith
Gina Smith

 So Karen Pouw can't answer a few simple questions within five hours? I thought Clears and OTs had perfect recall and superior intelligence.

NCSP
NCSP

You got Ka-POUWed.

Scientia
Scientia

They may be new "buildings" but they are definitely not new "orgs". The "Ideal Org" program is a desperate way for church tyrant David Miscavige to feign expansion to the media, whilst financially raping his deluded membership into oblivion.

A lavish building, an opening ceremony, a couple of hundred staff bussed in from around the region, balloons, fireworks, a few photos, a press release, "we are expanding like never before!" Ohhhh my, it's positively delightful.

The reality is that those orgs buying up posh new buildings (forbidden by their "scriptures" btw) are simply relocating, and many lie empty from a lack of public interest.

Karin knows this. The worldwide stats have been declining for over 20 years. In a desperate bid to look great, to fake popularity, to show that her boss David Miscavige is super great, she puts her name to this bullsht and - bham! - there goes her integrity and personal ethics, all down the pooper.

What a dick.

wubbawubba
wubbawubba

 it was a joke...NOW what are your CRIMES!

SP 'Onage
SP 'Onage

I wonder what old Farrakhan thinks about L.Ron being a satanist and he celebrates "Nimrod" the evil demon of the white race? NOI has hate whitey followers walking around $cientologys predominantly white orgs.

KeepOnLearning
KeepOnLearning

Scientologists volunteer in inner city remedial reading store-fronts, in prisons to teach convicts the rules and benefits of an honest life, and in campaigns to provide youth with information on the life-shattering physical and mental effects of street drugs. 

You can bet that Scientologists' percentage of unselfish volunteering is 20 times that of your team and Scientologists' hours volunteering makes your team's look like a fly speck. 

Enturbulation Matrix
Enturbulation Matrix

Tortega pressed her at dinner one night, so the story goes, on the topic of the Jesus Christ Implant, to the point where P-WOW flipped her shit and screamed "So what if we think Jesus is Imaginary?"Since that day, Tortega has been at cause over P-WOW, and lacking as she does the level of confront necessary to handle her O/WHs she can only respond to media five days late via email.

Ron
Ron

"Scientology has helped millions of people."

Prove it.

X3N00
X3N00

Scientology.... where you'll always find a parking spot. 

Carmen
Carmen

 I know exactly what you mean about memorizing what you want to say, I had a friend who fell into The Forum, a sort of spawn of Scientology via that EST guy Erhardt who used to be a Scientologist.

She came over one day and delivered the most astonishing regurgitation of old fish and leftover Scientology I ever heard. And, once finished, she became herself again. Weird.

I didn't know anything about cults back then, but I knew what she was doing, having been a teenage girl once.

The difference is, all the little tentacles have to read the same script, so they all sound alike while espousing "think for yourself." Elronic.

Pacdeux
Pacdeux

Dear Karin, 

I find it highly unprofessional that you advocate financial extortion, physical imprisonment, denial of access to outside information, theft of personal liberty, destroying of families, and mental abuse and brainwashing that we are against.

TTYL, ML

(stolen from V for Vac)

w.
w.

 mmm.  kapow waffles.  nom nom nom.

MarkStark
MarkStark

When Pouw is RPF'd, they'll replace her with a software program. Maybe not. Even software would be more sophisticated than to answer every question with babble about explosive growth and new buildings.

They always want to claim statements by ex-members don't matter because they are no longer current members. What? Current members are forbidden to speak out about anything. The cult shut Mary Sue Hubbard up after she got out of prison, and if they could do it to her, they can do it to any member.

Any day, I'm expecting one of their spokescreatures to announce that Scientology has nothing to do with L. Ron Hubbard, because he's no longer a member. Actually, that's a good idea. Cut all connections with that lying huckster and watch Dianutty sales take off like a rocket to the implant station on Mars.

SP 'Onage
SP 'Onage

Nope. Because David Miscavige (the poison dwarf) doesn't wake up until 2:00 pm.

DMSTCC
DMSTCC

Please supply the names and addresses of these places so I can see for myself.

redhead
redhead

Boast all you want , it does not detract from the criminal activities of Scientologists

Aragorn_ii
Aragorn_ii

False. The church never gives something for nothing. That is "out exchange" and is against Hubbard policy. Reading store fronts are just feeders for getting people to start in the church proper, campaigns inside the prison is called Criminon google them and get the story. Lastly is Narconon one of the most damaging of all scientology front groups. Get informed, research the church find out for yourself.

Deirdre
Deirdre

Well, the new "ideal" orgs generally don't have any parking. That way, it'll be difficult to count how badly the orgs are shrinking without actually going into them.

Ron
Ron

 Scientology isn't big on compassionate leave, so I think there's more to it than that.

KeepOnLearning
KeepOnLearning

Please visit the Web sites and research for yourself.

I know you are so honesty and intellectually curious.

KeepOnLearning
KeepOnLearning

Nor can anything detract from your vivid imagination.

You have to go to a country as messed up as France has always been to find anything close to judicial interference with the Scientology religion.

Oh, I forgot Australia--which only has a 50-year history or persecuting Scientology.

KeepOnLearning
KeepOnLearning

Wrong again, and again! You must feel sad to be railing against a force for safer streets, fewer criminals and less drugs on the street.  At remedial reading workshops, no Scientology materials are allowed. Students of any or no religion come and go, uninfluenced by any theological views.  Criminon has wonderful success stories from government officials and graduates. From the Web site: (Bet you never visited)

“Only 2% of a pilot group using this program returned tocriminal habits; while the return rate in a control group not on this programduplicated the national average of 80%.”

From government types: http://www.criminonwus.org/wha...

From cons and ex-cons: http://www.criminonwus.org/suc...

 And I personally know four Narconon grads who have kept their noses clean (pardon the pun) for years to decades after the program. None are Scientologists.  Lie all you want, we'll keep improving the planet while you dig yourself deeper and deeper moral and ethical holes.  

Deirdre
Deirdre

I know first hand that Scn's not big on compassionate leave.

I agree that's not the primary cause of TD no longer appearing in public. However, I think it's important to make cancer cases known given Scn's claims of healing, etc.Also: Shelly Miscavige is apparently in the same boat as Jessica: http://markrathbun.wordpress.c...

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