Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Trafigura gets Carter Ruck to gag media, calls in Streisand Effect on self

Trafigura got their lawyers Carter Ruck to gag the media earlier this year, to prevent reporting on a parliamentary question which related to their dumping of toxic waste in the Ivory coast in 2006, which has killed and injured many locals. Eventually they had to give in, largely due to the internet and it's usual response to censorship in any form. These videos were available on BBC's website for a few hours, then they mysteriously vanished. The assumption of course, is that Trafigura and Carter Ruck are at it again.

Please spread these videos and this PDF .

(Streisand Effect)

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Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Carter-Ruck, Trafigura, the Guardian Gag, and the Streisand Effect.

Richard Wilson's blog "Don't Get Fooled Again has an entry from August 2008 which I like, for the headline quote:

“I don’t see any reason why I or my company should follow some arbitrary set of ethical values”

"Some arbitrary set of ethical values" indeed. This is the PR company that also worked for Carter-Ruck, who are fast becoming internet-famous along with their killer-toxic-waste dumping client Trafigura, thanks to something known as the Streisand Effect

I love the Streisand Effect, probably because I hate to know that there is something I don't know, especially if I don't know it because Someone has decided I mustn't know it.
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Wednesday, 30 September 2009

"Power and Religion"

Scientologist demonstrating the e-meter as par...Image via Wikipedia

Power and Religion, the blog of an ex-scientologist who desperately needs the money the church in Atlanta admits that it owes her, for servies paid for in advance, but has avoided repaying. This is in contravention of it's agreement with the IRS which is part of the Church of Scientology's luxurious tax free status.

You may ask why someone who has left their religion would expect to have any of her donations (or whatever you wish to name them) returned, but if you are genuinely curious, please read her blog. She is not alone, there are many who don't even try to get back the sums they are owed, because they simply cannot face going up against the juggernaut of Scientology.

I find the title curious, but I take it to mean that with power comes responsibility, and the so-called-Church is ignoring the latter.
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Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Cutting out the CoS rot?

This is a very interesting website. Scientology Cult :

"We are a think tank of loyal Scientologists formed around the recognition that Scientology’s problems trace directly to the hidden corruption and criminality of David Miscavige, the self-appointed dictator who subverted Scientology.

Our purpose is to provide transparency to all sides and thereby bring Scientology out of its own Dark Age and into present time where it belongs ... our only pledge is to observe and state what we have observed, do what we can to help and support those abused by Miscavige and bring about a reformation of the subject to its real purpose -- giving people greater freedom in their lives."

I'm no fan of Dianetics or Scientology (I've read about four self-help books and that was four too many for me) but some people do benefit from applying Dianetics or courses such as the Communications Course to their lives. How much would it achieve to tell them "You have to stop thinking in terms of thetans and engrams and stuff now, its all a crock of bad Sci-Fi"? About as much good as telling a Christian not to pray anymore because God was made up based on some egotistical little desert deity from a few thousand years ago.

What can, should, and I hope will change, is the cult itself. I would like to see the followers of Scientology prove that it has any hope of achieving it's goal: "The attainment of complete and total rehabilitation of man’s native but long-obscured abilities that place him at knowing cause over matter, energy, space, time, form, thought and life." (Official Cult "What is Scientology?" website) That last part about being "at knowing cause"over things pretty much means being in control of them.

I will remain skeptical however. The creators of the website seem to want to free Scientology from its current leader, clean out the corruption, and go back to practicing it as it is written in the Source documents. However, as well as all the lovely stuff about making the world a better place, LRH also wrote such orders as:

“If attacked on some vulnerable point by anyone or anything or any organization, always find or manufacture enough threat against them to cause them to sue for peace.”
Source: “Dept of Govt Affairs", 15 August 1960
"The vital targets on which we must invest most of our time are:
(T1) Depopularizing the enemy to the point of obliteration.
(T2) Taking over the control or allegiance of the heads or proprietors of all news media.
(T3) Taking over the control or allegiance of key political figures.
(T4) Taking over the control or allegiance of those who monitor international finance and shifting them to a loss precarious standard"....
"the WFMH, [World Federation of Mental Health] the NAMH [National Association of Mental Health] These are the groups I want destroyed."
  • From Scientology's Secret Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter of 14 Jan. 1969, " Seized by FBI agents in the largest FBI raid in history (from Factnet.org)

Also this:

“Did you ever read poor old George Orwell’s 1984? Yes, yes, that’s wonderful. That would be, could be, the palest imagined shadow of what a world would be like under the rule of the secret use of Scientology with no remedy in existence.”
L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology
Philadelphia Doctorate Course Tape 20


Source: Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, 9 March 1972, MS OEC 384.

I'm not at all sure Scientology can survive as a transparent organisation. Undercover operations, secrecy and lies seem to be all part and parcel of what L Ron Hubbard intended. Anything transparent, honest, open (and cheaper) would not be Scientology.
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Monday, 20 July 2009

This absolutely had to happen sooner or later

Its like some Law of the Universe thats only become obvious now I've seen it:

Nirvana vs Rick Astley (Video)

Its more freaky than good, but it had to exist.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

L Ron Hubbard's Tone Scale

"In any event, any person from 2.0 down on the Tone Scale should not have, in any thinking society, any civil rights of any kind." - L. Ron Hubbard, Science of Survival, 1989 Ed., p. 145

(Wikipedia entry on the Tone Scale, google "Scientology Tone Scale" for a variety of other explanations.) Anxious about anything? (Your position on the Tone Scale maybe?) You are at 1.02. Grieving the loss of a loved one? You are at 0.5, and don't expect sympathy, that is at 0.9 on the scale.

"There are only two answers for the handling of people from 2.0 down on the Tone Scale, neither one of which has anything to do with reasoning with them or listening to their justification of their acts. The first is to raise them on the Tone Scale by un-enturbulating some of their theta by any one of the three valid processes. The other is to dispose of them quietly and without sorrow. The sudden and abrupt deletion of all individuals occupying the lower bands of the tone scale from the social order would result in an almost instant rise in the cultural tone and would interrupt the dwindling spiral into which any society may have entered. It is not necessary to produce a world of clears in order to have a reasonable and worthwhile social order; it is only necessary to delete those individuals who range from 2.0 down"
-L. Ron Hubbard, Science of Survival, p. 170

Don't have nightmares. Scientology isn't in control yet.

"Somebody some day will say 'this is illegal.' By then be sure the orgs [Scientology organizations] say what is legal or not." - L. Ron Hubbard, Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, 4 January 1966, "LRH Relationship to Orgs"

Scientology makes you nervous.

On Twitter - all the clam news, freshly baked. The latest: Journalist's discomfort in Museum of Ron, "the landmark location of the first Church of Scientology where writer, explorer and founder L. Ron Hubbard worked from 1957 to 1960 and established a legacy that increasingly influences human rights, religion, literature and education." Not always by socially acceptable (or legal) means.

Edit - I just found another example of Scientology making one's shoulderblades itchy. This time, its a blogger who went for a job interview at Narconon, not knowing it was a Scientology front-group.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Black in the 80s

Colin Vearncombe (was "Black" in the 80s.. kind of like Michael Jackson but.. no, sorry, bad joke) is giving away an album on his website. He is a jolly nice chap, do swing by and check it out. I'm going to bed after listening to "Sweetest Smile".

(edit to clarify that its my naff MJ joke, nothing at all to do with the lovely C. V. who would probably be horrified.)

I, Pack Robot.

I missed this when it was new, so I'm probably commiting some kind of blogging sin by posting it now that I've only just come across it. Thanks to James May on Twitter : Boston Dynamics "Big Dog" pack robot. Footage from July 2007, and March 2008.

Warning: you may wish you had not seen this, if you are the kind of person who believes that robots with Artificial Intelligence could one day take over the Earth.

Friday, 10 July 2009

anti-papparazi device


Anonymous protesters against Scientology have been using bright torches for this purpose. Upgrade time? But then again, why swap out a useful torch for a one-purpose expensive gadget?

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Personal. Iran.

I've prayed more in the few weeks since the Iran elections than I've prayed in the whole rest of my life. I keep finding myself wanting to somehow tell the people on the streets and the ones afraid to protest that they are not forgotten. Their government has so shut off from the world that they fear nobody can see what is happening.

Before anyone (if anyone even reads this) jumps on me for being sucked in by all the Twitter and the rest of the internet coverage, and by implication deems me heartless for not caring about all the deaths in the other countries around the world, all the time:

Humans can only recognise a certain number of other humans as distinct people, everyone else gets lumped together as "the rest of the humans" and are not regarded as being as real and human as the people we know in our everyday lives.

I saw a man die in a video on YouTube a few days after the election results were declared. It was posted probably within 12 hours of it happening. I think he must have been one of the first to die from a sniper shot. I felt my body try to make me feel what he was feeling as the life left him. I saw a man become something that looked for all the world just the same as he had moments before, except for far too much blood where it should never be. Some part of my awareness was in denial. It sounds simplistic but the only way I can describe it is a little voice saying "No. No, that looks wrong." Even that doesn't really capture the feeling.

If I felt them all as much as I do (and I have a very all or-nothing brain) I would soon be as good as dead myself. I don't believe it is possible to survive that depth of sadness, and it certainly isn't a good idea to try.