The champions of free speech lash out at another journalist who said something they didn’t like.
In fact, his article takes the NY Times to task over its puff piece on Rebecca Minkoff — excerpt below:
Fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff is a member of a religious cult.
She reveals in today’s New York Times that she’s a practicing Scientologist. This is a smart, talented woman raised Jewish. I wouldn’t buy one more thing from her if it was on sale, discounted, or free. She’s crazy.
“I think there’s a lot of confusion when people hear the word ‘religion’ — immediately you hear that I pray to L. Ron Hubbard,” she tells the Times. “I study it, I take classes and that’s the extent of it, and it’s helped me stay centered. I don’t have all the answers. When I needed someone, it was a place for me to go get some answers.”
Jessica Testa wrote this piece for the Times but it doesn’t bother asking Minkoff about the hard evidence against Scientology a cult that separates families, takes their money, preys on the weak, disseminates idiotic information about the after life, the current life, etc. Testa doesn’t ask Minkoff if she’s read “Going Clear” or seen the documentary, or seen Leah Remini’s award winning TV series.
Testa, instead, give us just this:
the designer refers to what she believed to be “horrific misinformation” about the church and its belief system, which she considers “more of a self-improvement philosophy.”
But her interest in self-improvement is also one reason her book exists, with assurances like: “Fear can be overcome. You have the power to take action.”
So let’s look at Minkoff’s history. She’s listed in Truth About Scientology as a member since 1991 under the name Becky Minkoff. She is hard core, folks. Here’s a link to her page.
I laud him for saying what I have been saying for years. Why do journalists give scientology celebrities a pass on having to answer what they know about the abuses in scientology. These people are shilling for scientology and trying to persuade people to participate, “come on in, the water’s fine…”
For this, scientology decides that Roger Friedman is an “official” (?) “bigot.” Apparently joining every journalist on earth that says something that doesn’t follow their party line.
What is so incredible about these scientology shills is their absolute lack of self-awareness. They are so assertively indignant they often don’t realize how insane they sound. The author of this piece, our old friend Martin Landon, offers this hard-won advice:
You have to understand, bigots can see things other people cannot. A bigot can look at a person’s skin color and tell whether or not that person can be trusted. A bigot can listen to an individual’s accent, note their facial features, their clothing and tell you if that person should be avoided. A bigot can find out what house of worship one attends and, without knowing anything else about one, can loudly and righteously lie and propagandize, asserting slurs that make one seem really bad.
Erm, Martin. Pot. Kettle. Black.
You are the one throwing around labels. You are saying this journalist cannot be trusted. You are the people who claim that because I no longer attend you “house of worship” I should be destroyed.
dr mac says
I became a journalist while a scientologist. Even though it was ‘harmless’ business and financial journalism you should have seen the looks I got from anyone – especially EOs and auditors – when I announced what I did for a living.
The only comparison I can think of is today I’ve had two hip replacements. Every time I go through a metal detector at an airport I’m pulled out of the queue for a search.
Either way, you’re made to feel grubby.
I’ve been called a “bigot” numerous times because I didn’t believe in a person’s orthodoxy.
Jere Lull says
In other societies, you’d be called an infidel and visited with dire consequences if you didn’t convert to exactly their interpretation of orthodoxy. Such is what’s being presented as ‘scientology’ these days; they’re worse than the Muslim extremists trying to create a caliphate amongst unbelievers and never-gonna believers.
I like to tell loudmouth morons they are spigots connected to a sewerage pipe. The usual reply is, “What do you mean?” (or something less intelligible).
“Well, you turn the spigot on and the shit comes gushing out.”
Jill Boone says
yes, a “self-improvement philosophy” – not a church, thanks for that. Maybe she’d testify to the IRS. 😀
TeamXenu 1975-2003 says
Team Xenu Improvement Seminar Tonight, Don’t Miss It
Learn how the Wall of Fire/4th Dynamic Engram which happened 75 million years ago, and Xenu caused this horrible planet wide inflagration and implantation of zillions of humanoid souls brought here to earth and dumped.
Today, Scientology has secret five long expensive exorcism steps, to rid yourself of your infestation of these surplus souls that Xenu dumped here on earth and which infest all humans today. Scientology’s OT 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 are the five exorcism steps of Scientology you learn to do the exorcism to yourself on two of the five exorcism levels. And two them another person, a standard Scientology “auditor” (special highly trained exorcist) get rid of more of the souls that infest you.
Scientology calls the surplus souls “body-thetans” and they aren’t allowed to define this word.
Nor is Scientology allowed to define Xenu.
But Scientology is essentially Team Xenu, by undoing the nasty soul dumping that Xenu did to earth, and leaving all humans today secretly messed up due to everyone’s surplus souls.
That’s the “soul improvement” activity.
it does sound quite a bit like “snipe hunting” (see Wikipedia).
The public should at least know what Scientology’s top level soul improvement activities are.
There wasn’t an epidemic of pneumonia when the Xenu story was aired on SOUTH PARK. But the facts of reality won’t impinge on the bubble.
” . . . a standard Scientology “auditor” (special highly trained exorcist) get rid of more of the souls that infest you.” Laughter! I never got to that level of competence as an auditor – laughter
A week ago a man and wife who had previously been neighbors and moved out of state returned to visit her parents and brother. She gave myself and my other half a phone call to say a quick hello just before they were ready to return and we got to see their baby son who had been born out of state. They only had a few minutes to chat before they needed to hit the road. For some reason in the brief chat I happened to mention that I had once been a scientologist. She replied with something like “Oh really? I know something about that.”
Wait! Wait! I wanted to give my usual explanation to show that I wasn’t nuts for once participating but they were in a rush and I didn’t have the chance. That’s the last time I’ll do something like that – lol
Lesson learned – Never mention you had once been a scientologist unless you have the opportunity to explain yourself.
Maybe she returned home thinking she had once lived near a Scientology Exorcist. I guess that’s rather “distinctive” – haha
I always, literally always, when I mention my career in Scientology, call it a crazy California religious cult, and a scam, and I keep it brief, but I tell it like it is.
Since I was so deep in Sea Org, and then even in ASI, and I know so many details of the history having lived (wasted), I just summarize it all quickly.
it does repel most people, some even sympathetically will say, “all religions are cults” confidentially, as they are ex members of major religions, I get that from Catholics, and then I respond by saying how much respect I have for traditional religions (which is a funny thing for me an atheist to be doing, saying or showing my observations about at least the charity good works that traditional religions do for the poor, which I do see daily in my job as a Meter Reader when I drive and visit the dozens of homes I visit daily on my job).
So I’m just upfront, just admit I was i a cult, a billion dollar crazy California cult, and this bridges over to why did I leave California, it’s considered paradise for almost all Americans I run into.
And for them, I say I’ve learned something that is a cliche, “familiarity breeds contempt” and “variety is the spice of life” and that at least grass grows by itself here in Pennsylvania, and it’s incredibly beautiful to have so much green trees, plants, growing all by themselves, etc. etc.
The cult admission smoothly transitions to even more glaring “outpoints” of my choices in life, lol.
Just be sincere, and trash Scientology for all its faults, and move on. A lot of people were hoodwinked into Scientology, and when you make that observation, the most honest people you meet will admit the same for groups they’ve been in, even the traditional religions. Which means to me, it really all comes down to people. There are good people everywhere, and then there are some people who make “good” groups “bad.”
I don’t think Scientology has a “good” fundamental framework, the flaws in Scientology are more than the good people who’ve been part of it can overcome.
Chuck – Very nice – thanks for sharing that
(I still have my scn “Minister Of The Church” certificate which miraculously survived in the bottom of a trunk. I never got around to doing an exorcism before becoming a bitter apostate.)
There is another aspect to this which is the time
it takes to rid yourself of all these beings attached
to you. It can take years with daily auditing. In other
words hundreds if not thousands of hours. Imagine
that, when you realize you were duped, scamed and
otherwise made a fool of yourself. You park your ego
somewhere out of sight.
Jere Lull says
IF she’s actually one of Davey’s followers, she won’t testify to nuttin’.
Ammo Alamo says
STAAND treats the slightest criticism of Scientology as over-the-top worst-ever bigotry, on par with the Holocaust & Hitler, surely don’t forget Hitler, Hitler, Histler…
Hubbard never taught them about removing the log in their own eye before looking at the speck in their brother’s eye. Of course, Hubbard never taught them that they had any brothers, it was all self + Hubbard and KSW.
jacquelin davis says
Here’s where we are going to disagree. Friedman should have kept his opinions to himself.
She considers that her religion and should not be castigated for it. She didn’t attack Friedman, she simply stated what she believes in. We should be allowed to do that.
I’m a Christian, and I receive a lot of hate on some websites because of that. We have to get back to respecting what others believe.
Mike Rinder says
Not really the issue here. Would you think it was off limits to note that money was going to pay for Scientology’s abuses? What if she was a fundamentalist who was rabidly anti-gay? Or a jihadist?
jacquelin davis says
I still think she is entitled to her beliefs. In the jihadist example, the believer, by definition is planning to hurt and kill people. This woman isn’t.
Mike Rinder says
Do you think scientology isnt hurting people? Destroying families? Ruining lives? She is supporting its activities. Money she makes is going towards accomplishing those activities.
Mary Kahn says
It’s about the abuses that Becky ignores. People in the church have been physically assaulted, put in chain lockers, thrown overboard, bilked for money, had their families torn apart. Don’t you think you’d want to know that or not condone that from the leader of your religion?
I agree about “religious beliefs” are off limits unless they hurt people.
Marie guerin says
Yes Mary , to let someone describe the church as an innocent self improvement philosophy is criminal . Except that Becky has no idea , being in the bubble . That’s why I agree that reporters who know better should be asking questions if only to inform their readers since it will probably do nothing to help Becky anyways.
It just needs to be said . And she can move on believing whatever she wants.
And yes , I look at her purses and cannot buy one…but that’s personal.
Mark Kamran says
In every cult there is a nexus of celebrity, wealthy donor and mafia.
Celebrity and donors at the front and mafia at the back doing dirty laundry .
Cult gaining strength from the activity.
Modus operandi might be different based on legal and social values,but the activity remains same.
How many of us know how celebrities think about the Cult in their private life ?
They are in Catch 22 position, if they don’t act as per wishes of the Cult leader ,they set as an example so no other celebrity may think about disobedience.
Most of these celebrities joined cult during their struggling days and were provided financial and manpower support through rich donors and mafia.
Cult act as a broker finalizes the deals.
Look at personal tragedies of Travolta family , still tight lipped.
Tom Cruise has no solo hits in last 7 years,relying on other stars to carry his weight in franchise movies.
Rest of the celebrities didn’t last long for more then one TV series.
Still they are all assumed as follower and role model for others to follow.
Isn’t it joke that all the success of the Cult confine show biz, where fiction is the reality like Truman show.
Jill Boone says
yeah, as much as I agree with you, Mike, I thought this line was a bit odd for the NYT article – “I wouldn’t buy one more thing from her if it was on sale, discounted, or free. She’s crazy”
I would much rather have seen him question or follow up on some of her statements.
Randi K says
It’s an issue for me, and I’m more than happy about Friedman’s article. I want to know each and every Scientologist celebrity, quasi celebrity, and every Scientologist who owns a business. Why? Because I do NOT want to support them. I personally ban everyone involved in Scientology. As we speak, I’m trashing a Minkoff purse I bought a few years back. Not Goodwilling it- but throwing it in the dumpster.
Andy S says
I asked Tony to list out all the $ci owned business he must know about like he does other lists so I too can avoid contributing. For some reason he didn’t respond to that question
Could be too much collateral damage – how many non-believers, or under-the-radar types are employed by scientologists? If you really want a list of businesses to avoid then look up WISE.
Yes, people have the right to state what they believe in. Everyone is entitled to choose their religion or choose not to be religious at all.
But with all due respect, this is not simply about “beliefs”. We’re talking about $cientology — a very dangerous cult which engages in mind control, human trafficking, physical & sexual abuse of not only adults but innocent children, fraud, the destruction of families through “disconnection”, etc., etc., etc.
On top of all that, it’s a for-profit, multi-billion dollar organization masquerading as a religion.
I, for one, am sick and tired of $cientology celebrities (or other members who are somewhat well known) not being asked the tough questions about their vile “religion”.
There is something almost criminal about journalists that allow cult celebrities to blather about nonsense without confronting them about the truly criminal activities in which the cult routinely engages.
It is now well known that all the most prominent cults routinely engage in activities that destroy families, bankrupt innocents and cause people of lesser mental fortitude to suffer tremendous financial penalties.
No real journalist should be permitted to lob soft balls at these blithering idiots without confronting them about the truly evil and vile practices.
Modern journalists seem to have very little resemblance to the traditional model of a journalist. Surely it’s time for some other model to disseminate the news to the public. Modern journalists just make me sick. They don’t seem to know what their role is in our society any more.
P.S. Is “blither” another form of the word “blather”?
I am also a Christian. That said, if I belonged to a church or sect that was disappearing people, coercing minors to sign billion year contracts whilst promising they will attend school but are instead worked 70+ hours per week, etc. how else is that stopped if not by creating awareness and asking those who are part of it and thereby supporting those things if they are aware those things go on. At this point, members are aware and choosing to turn a blind eye.
I understand the sensitivity felt around the issue and I’ve received my share of flack for being a Christian. But it is different in that there are many “flavors” that fall under the umbrella. Take for instance Westboro Baptist, the JW leadership who’ve covered up sexual abuse and allowed it to proliferate or back when the abuse was coming to light that occurred within the Catholic Church? Should we just “respect beliefs” where those issues were concerned? You’ll find that most here do not take much issue with what people believe, but rather the abuses and corruption. I have also been able to move on from one church body and attend another, yet I’ve never been sued, harassed or had someone try to destroy my family, business or reputation. That is NOT the case within the CO$.
It may not be the easiest time to be a Christian if one is looking for affirmation, but there are also many “Christians” who’ve done terrible things and yet not many of us talk about our condemn those things. Willie Rice gave an excellent sermon on why Christian’s SHOULD be concerned and speaking out against scientology abuses, and of course he was utterly dead-agented by CO$ over that. This link includes some of what he’s said:
IMHO It’s dangerous to want to see a pass for any high control belief system that is abusive simply because we don’t like the way our own beliefs may be called out. That’s how so many of these issues continue to go on for so long.
Jere Lull says
We all *SHOULD* be free to state what we believe in, but if it concerns ‘scientology’ and isn’t their exact party line, they would believe that OUR free speech is trumped by theirs and should be suppressed. In actual real life, they’re finding out that as many of us speaking out against their abuses and criminality can’t be repressed by as few and ineffective as they are. Quality wins out over their ineptness. Something I’ve learned while out: Hubbard wasn’t the great author he claimed to be. He wasn’t much of a pulp-fiction writer; Only two of his stories were ever critically applauded by fans, and neither was “Doc Methuselah”. His magnum opus was in fictional science, not science fiction —where he suffered from insufficient imagination. In Dianetics and scientology, he kept plagiarizing just enough to make it seem reasonable, thus became his only money-maker.
It’s a shame that it was all a sham. I would have enjoyed any of the superpowers he promised.
Hey Jere. I understand you would have enjoyed any superpowers. But surely the most enjoyment would have come from taking an ashtray (or other object) and levitating it right up L. Ron’s rectum. N’est ce pas?
Jens TINGLEFF says
As the victims of the mind-fuck perpetrated by the criminal organisation known as the “church” of $cientology always say, I recommend that you read something.
Specifically, “KSW” or “Keeping $cientology Working.” A recipe for making radicalised victims who will enable criminal behaviour.
In $cientology it is always about the required actions – paying money to the off-shore bank accounts, and making sure that behaviour like that of Donald Anthony Strawn(1) is hidden.
In some religions, when bad behaviour happens, it is in spite of the written precepts of that religion. In $cientology, it is very much also because of the written doctrines.
(1) a child abuser, whom the Co$ discouraged members from reporting to the proper authorities
The Bubble is now so small that all within are in danger of going through the Event Horizon and having to live in the “Wog world”.
Jere Lull says
After having been tossed out into the cold, hard real world, I’d say that the ‘wog’ world is a lot more enjoyable than inside that bubble of unsanity. The only times things go wrong is when you apply Hubbard’s techniques in the real world. Instant failure.
Zee Moo says
Bigots can write for the STAAD league and spout what ever they want too. False equivalency and out right lies included. As for Minkoff being a ‘successful fashion designer’, so is my cat. Those hairballs don’t make themselves you know.
So, Becky, if I expressed an interest in your “self-improvement philosophy” and I bought a book or attended a course, how much commission would you get?
Are you sure you can you be Jewish and a follower of Hubbard? Yes, you say? What’s this from Hubbard about “no mixed practices”?
Becky, you joined in 1991. Can you remember where you were on 5th of December 1995 when Lisa McPherson was starved to death at the Fort Harrison in Clearwater?
Can you be Jewish AND be a Scientologist?
Yes. For a while.
On the intro courses and services and on the lower Bridge you can.
But NOT on the OT levels.
Based on a personal observation:
I was friendly with a long term Scientologist (he was staff back in the 80s – he now calls himself a “quiet” Scientologist, whatever that means) who is Jewish.
Back in the mid-90s he went OTIII and told me, while we were on the subject of the Bible and the Old Testament, “Once I started the OT levels things changed and now I no longer pay attention to or give any credence to that bad data”.
“Bad data”…? The Old Testament of the Bible? Arent’ the first 5 chapters of the Old Testament the Torah and as such the very foundation of the Jewish faith?
This is a practicing Jew?
I think not!
And then there was his tone – emphatic, brooking no argument.
His statement was, flatly, in no uncertain terms, a contemptuous dismissal.
You had to be there and hear him. He was OT III now, and no longer a practicing Jew, – if indeed he had ever been in the first place – that I don’t know, but for sure he was no believer once he hit OT III.
You can be both until you’re shown the secret data that all the other religions are false. Unfortunately it has to remain secret otherwise it exposes the lie of being compatible.
OTIII is another big secret. It must be so exciting to read it for the first time in the context of having just completed OTI and OTII, but now you have to keep schtum on that too. So much for being able to communicate with anyone on any subject!
“Unfortunately it has to remain secret otherwise it exposes the lie of being compatible.”
O/T. Marriage Retreat hosted by Scientology Freedom Medal Winner Nation of Islam Minister Tony Muhammad (aka Abdul Malik Sayyid Muhammad) excludes gay and lesbian couples.
“All male / Female couples welcome!”
Memorialized on Instagram and ESMBR at:
Many Scientology “celebrities” are also FSMs, and so when journalists deal with them I think they have a responsibility to disclose that the members are acting as commissioned sales agents, for what the Supreme Court has ruled is a business. I don’t think they would give a celebrity who was a compensated spokesperson for a gun or oil company a pass, if the subjects of firearms deaths or global warming came up, without noting the personal financial interest in the matter.
This is a REALLY good point! That aspect did not even occur to me. But as most people (other than leaders who obviously want more people to join) don’t earn anything from bringing a friend to church, I think that’s a very important point to make to those who don’t know. They may not only “want to share what’s helped them” but potentially making a commission or recruiting as part of an amends program.
Superb comment, Peacemaker.
Jere Lull says
But, PeaceMaker, if scientologists tell the (gasp) TRUTH, it all falls apart,
Mary Kahn says
(Minkoff was quoted) “…the designer refers to what she believed to be “horrific misinformation” about the church and its belief system, which she considers “more of a self-improvement philosophy.”
OOOOOooooooooo. “More of a self-improvement philosophy” would have landed me in Lowers if I would have disseminated Scientology that way.
(Highly unlikely that Becky has watched or read Going Clear or seen Leah’s Documentary.) Maybe a journalist should observe for any celebrity scientologist that one reason scientology is considered a cult is the obvious fear-based inability to look, read or listen to what an accuser has to say.
“Fear can be overcome” Becky. Yes, Becky, “You have the power to take action.”
“More of a self-improvement philosophy”. Right.
A “self-improvement philosophy” that mandates that children disconnect from parents who exercise their First Amendment rights to vocally disagree with this philosophy.
Wow, am I boiling with anger at this utterly hypocritical, indefatigably-lying-thru- her- teeth, I’m-so- impressed-with-myself Asset of OSA.
Miss Becky, who knows everything there is to know about her”self-improvement philosophy’s” toxic Disconnection and Fair Game principles and practices.
How can she lie like this? How can she do it?
She is owned. The cult owns her, that’s all. She is not her own person. She is their creature.
Jere Lull says
“self-improvement SCAM!, most correctly; but they can’t say any TRUTH, can they?
LOL, Jere. The truth sets basically honest people free. As regards Miscavige’s crim cult, the truth might ultimately set them free but first it will get them locked up.
Yeah I think that was a strong point in Roger’s article. One doesn’t have to disparage, but if celebrities are asked if they’ve watched or read ANY accounts by ex-members or seen Going Clear, Aftermath, etc. it would quickly become clear to the public at large that not a single one will watch/read “entheta” and the few that might would never admit to it because they’d then be in trouble. That’s powerful if not ONE is willing to even look or consider.
I’ve read plenty of accounts of abusive and/or high-control groups under the guise of Christianity. How else would I know to recognize red flags?! But that’s another way CO$ differs… they wouldn’t dare let ANY “denomination” or open (read FREE $) practice of Scientology as that wouldn’t be under their control nor would it be profitable- which is the #1 goal!