We were very fortunate to speak with Richard Behar on this week’s episode of the Fair Game podcast.
Rich, along with Pauletter Cooper (who will feature in an upcoming episode) is a poster child for scientology Fair Game against journalists.
He is an award-winning investigative journalist who first wrote about scientology in 1986 for Forbes magazine in an article entitled The Prophet and Profits of Scientology.
His most famous scientology piece was the 1991 Time magazine cover story, The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power. The subhead on his article pretty much sums up scientology: Ruined Lives. Lost fortunes. Federal crimes. Scientology poses as a religion — but really is a ruthless global scam — and aiming for the mainstream.
This article instigated the most massive retaliation against the media in the history of scientology. In our interview we discuss why that was and how it impacted Rich and the general chilling effect on the media.
We discuss the massive advertising campaign scientology conducted to smear Time in USA Today and the conspiracy theory that the article was a result of scientology’s campaign against Eli Lilly’s drug Prozac. I dug up my copy of the booklet we published at the time, The Story That Time Couldn’t Tell, and for your entertainment I include the first few pages below:
In 2010, when Lawrence Wright and Alex Gibney’s documentary Going Clear aired on HBO, Rich was interviewed on CNN and told of the similarities in scientology’s response to that he experienced from his Time article.
We also talk about Rich’s most recent Forbes article, covering the controversy of Rep. Karen Bass:
Please tune in to the new episode.
The flip side of this tragic tale is how easily most mainstream media organs were cowed by the cult for so many years.
The Church of Scientology pretends to be a “Religion”, the membership is “A Cult”, the management … the Mafia-like “Crime Syndicate”.
Al Capone’s biggest mistake … he never bothered to blackmail the IRS into receiving 1st amendment protections like the Church of Scientology did … is why he ended up at Alcatraz.
So, if you want to legally scam people and commit other abuses and crimes, you need to incorporate yourself as a church and extort the IRS first.
Roger Larsson says
Stories are the great,and cults are nothing. People telling stories tell the truth? I wrtote a letter to LRH and suddenly he died. It was not on purpose.
I read in Marc Headley’s book that Marc Yager confessed to buying shares in Eli Lilly during this saga, knowing that they would bounce back and thus make a healthy profit. Does anyone here know if this was true, or was it just something else he made up to appease the mob in The Hole?
Mike Rinder says
Not quite. Marc Yager inherited a stock portfolio that included Eli Lilly stock and he was forced to sell it.
Ah, right. Thanks for replying! I figured that that claim had been exaggerated somewhat.
Great blog and great content. To think I was in the mid 80s getting recruited by this group and something inside told me to avoid it and now all this great information makes me feel justified in having misgivings.
Is there a way to listen to this on YouTube or can there be?
Hello Shanna. I hope that someone here will be able to answer your question. I want you to know the purpose of my post here is not to criticize you – not at all! So many people often tell others who ask a simple question that they should go and use Google and look it up themselves. After a while, I found that pretty offensive.
But, just in case you do not know about some of the technical advice sites, I will tell you about them because there is almost certainly someone who will answer your question there fairly quickly. However, I’m guessing that by the time this post gets added to this blog, someone here will likely answer your question and I will just look like a dork. But here is the info.
A few years ago, some web sites were created for people who want to ask for technical help with their computers or cell phones or most any other kind of electronic device. One of the best of these sites is calld, “Tech Support Guy” and it’s a great place for getting technical help and also for helping others. The address is “techguy.org” and it only takes a few minutes to join and post your request for help. There are many people there who really enjoy helping others and this site has many friendly people who would certainly enjoy helping us find this out.
Instead of both of us posting the same question there, I will leave it to you to join and ask that question. If you have any difficulties, please either come back here and tell me and I will try to help you or you can ask Mike for my email address and you can email me if you prefer. Best of luck to you Shanna – whichever way you choose to go.
By the way, the truth is that I would also like to know how to watch Mike’s podcasts using YouTube or some other site so that I don’t have to scurry around and look for the address every week. So, if you think I am trying to criticize you, please understand that I am in the same boat that you are.
Mike Rinder says
Just so you know, I always post a link here on this blog, and also at the Fair Game Podcast website where I put all the documents relating to any episode.
Thanks very much Mike. Duh! I should have known that.
Mat Pesch says
Keep up the good work.
Mike Rinder says
Will do my darnedest my friend.
$50 Million out of parishioners pockets and into the pockets of lawyers, PIs and PR consultants over a magazine article. Think about it. Wonder how much was spent to battle the IRS during he Miscavige regime? How much was spent on the Flynn and related damage cases? Hundreds of millions for sure. It boggles the mind.
Loosing my Religion says
SSOA. Damn true. If they would have invested at least half of it to really help people in term of charity and assistance to the community, they would have gain a lot of good PR.
But this doesn’t give them stats (they must only pay) so they haven’t done anything.
And got nothing back except the bad PR that they created.
Vinay Agarwala says
Great Podcast. I enjoyed all three of you.
Kamala Harris was just named as Biden’s running mate ! The timing of this news is fantastic. Perhaps that is why Bass failed to respond to Richard Behar’s inquiries in the last 48 or so hrs ?
You did it!
Mary Kahn says
Great interview! Thank you Richard for doing this interview that aired today and for your incredible extensive work in exposing the church of scientology for what it really is and for CONTINUING to expose it and call out people like Karen Bass. You are a rare breed – especially nowadays.
LOIS REISDORF says
This was an excellent podcast and I cannot thank Richard Behar enough for what he has done. Really great you guys!!! This is what needs to be known worldwide.
George M. White says
When this Time article was published, my wife and I read it. We went to the Saint Francis of Assisi nunnery in Holyoke , Massachusetts. We talked to the Sisters and donated as much as we could to their monastery. We then drove to Granby, Massachusetts to meet with the monks and priests. We donated as much money as possible to them. This is how OT VIII ended for me. It was the total realization that Hubbard was wrong and he was a con artist. For months I then chanted Saint Francis’ “Canticle to the Sun”. This is what truly healed me from Scientology. In between chanting I read Saint Augustine’s “City of God”. Here is an excerpt from Saint Francis. It really healed me:
“Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Wind,
and through the air, cloudy and serene,
and every kind of weather through which
You give sustenance to Your creatures.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Water,
which is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom you light the night and he is beautiful
and playful and robust and strong.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Mother Earth,
who sustains us and governs us and who produces
varied fruits with coloured flowers and herbs.
Praised be You, my Lord,
through those who give pardon for Your love,
and bear infirmity and tribulation.
Blessed are those who endure in peace
for by You, Most High, they shall be crowned.
Good podcast. I am listening now.
I wish Valerie Haney and her legal team success today. Go Valerie Haney!
John McMaster says
Back when they told us about the article, I immediately bought the issue of Time and read the article. Since I was high on a major win at the time, it was like water off a duck’s back. Of course I can’t wait to listen to the podcast. I love Richard Behar these days.
When I read articles by professional journalists such as Richard Behar, I feel ashamed when I think of my own scatter-brained efforts to try and tell people why this cult is such a blight on our planet.
My writing is nowhere near where it needs to be. It needs to be far more concise and far more direct.
I feel that I owe everyone here an apology for writing such poorly worded posts. I am in awe of what a true professional can do and I think I best concentrate on making my posts much more concise and to the point.
George M. White says
I remember this article very well. We were living in Massachusetts recovering from the debts of OT VIII.
This type of exposure of Scientology needs to be repeated over and over. No more tax exemption for ANY religion. It is too difficult for the Courts to decide. Freedom of religion YES, but pay taxes just like everyone else. This was Blavatsky’s main point and I follow it.
What an excellent and informative article by Richard Behar!
( https://www.forbes.com/sites/richardbehar/2020/08/05/scientology-ruthlessly-harassed-reporters-including-me-for-decades-biden-vp-contender-karen-basss-statements-about-the-cult-just-dont-add-up/#77de4b546d77 )
When Time came out with “Scientology, The Cult of Greed”, I remember that the staff members got orders not to read it because there would be “confidential OT III material in it”.
Every Scientologist got indoctrinated, that he could get very sick when being exposed to that confidential material before he reached that level. Besides being made afraid, nobody would take chances as it would mean severe trouble when not complying with the order.
So I knew about the articel, but only dared to look at it many years later when I had left the cult. Generally it is a big no-no for Scientologist to look at negative and/or critical information about Scientology. It is a matter to get questioned in an ‘ethics’ interrogation about it.
From Orwell’s “1984”:
Ministry of Truth
The Ministry of Truth controls information: news, entertainment, education, and the arts. Winston Smith works in the Minitrue RecDep (Records ), “rectifying” historical records to concord with Big Brother’s current pronouncements so that everything the Party says is true.
Emily Keyes says
I noticed on the show (with John Sweeney) and again on today’s podcast how uncomfortable you are when someone forgives you for past misdeeds. I hope you know how special you are for publicly atoning for your time in Scientology. There have been studies into the “superior orders” defense that show the human brain actually ascribes less responsibility to actions when that is the case. I wish you could teach more people how to apologize and take responsibility and be an adult (like maybe the US President? Just a thought.)
Very well said, Emily. Bravo!
Linda Hunt says
Nice response!!! Ditto!
LOL, there’s a lot Mike Rinder could teach our President! By all means, let the lessons begin! Ok, my bad, sorry, couldn’t resist, and Mike I understand if you delete this. I’ll go and sit in the corner now 🙂
Even better, there is not much more we could ask from a President better than Mike Rinder.
Run, Mike, Run! You would make a great pres and you could then revoke their rediculous Tax Excempt nonsense. Plus you could name Leah as your running mate, or even better … Heh Heh .. she could name you. Good Morning Madam President. Now you have the fucking rank to ask for anything you want! Yippee!
Hello dear Aqua,
SIT IN THE CORNER, HUH? Better make sure it’s an expansive corner as many of us will be joining you.
What I find mind boggling is that in this great nation of ours & with ALL the availability of college & obtaining BS…BS…Masters….& Phd’s….all kinds of education, job experience, world travel, military experience,……these two elderly mem are the BEST we can come up with?
Sorry Mike….delete this if you need to! Best Wishes!
Frankly, from the standpoint of age, I completely agree with you. I do think its time for some young blood. At least young-ER. Because there are so many in the 18-35 demographic who cannot relate to either of these two. But, having said that, and given the current overall situation, then, I’d be voting for my neighbor’s smart border collie over…ok, let’s stop. I don’t want either of us to get deleted. Mike has been understanding and I don’t want to push him over the brink. We can always vent about this sort of thing at Tony’s!
Well stated. I’ve seen during his Aftermath Series the numerous times Mike Rinder had to DRAW a breathe, how his eyes welled up with tears….how he blames himself for “putting his kids in this”. Also his great sadness for the harm he’s done to others while a Senior Member.
He can never apologize enough, his voice quaking with regret & undeniable guilt over the fact as a member of COS he & his then wife brought two children into this fiasco of a lie.
Worse yet is the burden he bears for leaving at a moment’s notice without his family KNOWING if he HAD said ANYTHING to his then wife….she would have done a K.R. & reported him & he’d have been placed in the “lockup of the hole” & abused….and then sent to the ends of the Earth away from his then family. Of course, we KNOW that his then wife would have divorced him & kept full custody of Taryn & Benjamin where he would NEVER see them again.
Add to it, the fact that his own elder children have been brain washed into DISCONNECTION & are forbidden to have ANY contact with them. His former wife has made sure SHE has FILLED their hearts with hate for their OWN biological father who to this day LOVES them DEARLY.
Mike continues to punish himself & beat himself up because yes indeed it WAS HE who got his elder kids into this fiasco. His heart is broken over it.
His elder children are adults now…enslaved adults brainwashed by their biological mother & the “powers that be” at COS that keep them under the microscope & ever present watchful eye afraid that ONE DAY…one or both of them will make a break for it. Taryn is a lost cause…Benjamin MIGHT have a chance…if only…to escape.
Mike has gone far beyond what ANY father could possibly do given the circumstances….his heart is heavy with the burden he carries every day. He can do NOTHING to “fix it” other than offer deep love & apologies…..that seem to fall on deaf ears.
HATE is a terrible thing….we can only hope one day his children COME to him & re-bond.
Mike it’s time to let it go……YOU CANNOT SAVE SOMEONE WO DOES NOT WANT TO BE SAVED…..OR LOVED…..OR WHO WON’T FORGIVE…..my heart aches for ALL of you.
Wow! How very perceptive of you Balletlady! IMO, you hit the nail right on the head.
Thank you Skyler……it comes from the heart.. MOST of us (outside of still ins) can see the deep pain Mike lives with every day. Yes, his brightest spots are Chris & those darling little boys who fill his heart with delight. Yet for each piece of joy he feels….the pain of the past haunts him.
Sometimes when we carry such a heavy burden of guilt & pain…we think there is no way to put it down & move on. I hope that one day Mike can find true peace in his heart & soul.
Mike, please allow me to be so presumptuous as to give you some advice that you never asked for.
You take most every opportunity to tell the people you have wronged that you are sorry and you show them your true feelings.
There is nothing more you can do – at least not that I can imagine. Also, what you do is more than almost everyone else ever does. I know you are smart enough to take comfort in that. IMO, you deserve to take comfort in that.
You are acting like a fine man and for that, you deserve all the best in your life. Just ask Balletlady!
A BILLION+ thumbs up Skyler….all so true.
Mike has bared his inner most thoughts & PAIN & take FULL RESPONSIBILITY for public viewing . No one could do more then that.
As far as “a BILLION thumbs up” goes … it is taking all my strength and discipline to restrain myself from making a terrible barb and joke about two men that we all know and despise. But in the interests of civility for Mike’s blog, I will restrain myself and just say the joke involves all those thumbs inserted into someone’s private space – more precisely … UP into their private space.