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VV: Scientology - Mike Rinder on "The Hole," Indoctrination, Confessions, ...

Discussion in 'Tony Ortega' started by Mike Laws, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. Mike Laws

    Mike Laws Patron Meritorious

  2. Poetic Justice

    Poetic Justice New Member

    Re: Ortega and Rinder

    I agree with you Mike. I enjoyed the videos a lot. The editing of the Basics was hilarious. A post to stop someone from sleeping. Good job Davey boy you narcissistic
    little slut.

    Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder in which the individual is described as being excessively preoccupied with issues of personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity. First formulated in 1968, it was historically called megalomania, and it is closely linked to egocentrism.

    In other words you are just a fuckin' dickhead Dave! :biggrin:
  3. Infinite

    Infinite Troublesome Internet Fringe Dweller

    Re: Ortega and Rinder


    Rinder's interview appears on the Village Voice site . . . I would suggest the Tortega is due the click love rather than Martyland.

    I still can't help but compare Mike Rinder with his predecessor, Robert Vaughn Young, and what the latter did to bring Scientology to justice:

  4. TheRealNoUser

    TheRealNoUser Patron with Honors

    Scientology - Mike Rinder on "The Hole," Indoctrination, Confessions, and His Ultimate Escape
    By Tony Ortega Wed., Apr. 4 2012 at 8:00 AM

    Mike Rinder - The Village Voice Interviews 4th April 2012 - Part 1 of 8

    1. Mike Rinder on The Hole (2:05)

    For years, Mike Rinder was the Church of Scientology's chief spokesman and executive director of the Office of Special Affairs, its intelligence wing. In 2007, his defection was among the most surprising in an exodus of high-ranking officials from the church. Since then, he's given several interviews, but none as complete as the videotaped discussions we had with him last month in his Florida home. In this first segment, he describes the conditions in "The Hole," Scientology's notorious concentration camp for fallen executives at its California headquarters. In other segments, Rinder also talks about the confessions forced out of prisoners, the constant indoctrination of church members, and much, much, more...

    First, some background that we picked up while getting a tour of Scientology's spiritual home.

    Rinder was born in 1955 to Ian and Barbara Rinder in Adelaide. (He has two younger siblings, Andrew and Judy.) Ian was an entrepreneur and owned a series of businesses, including a wholesale grocery distributor, an aerosol canning company, a travel agency, a restaurant -- he even raised goats at one time. Barbara kept the books.

    Mike went to private schools growing up. "They were Christian but non-denominational. There were a lot of private schools in Adelaide," he says, calling it Australia's version of Omaha or Des Moines.

    In 1959 or 1960, Rinder's parents became interested in Scientology -- L. Ron Hubbard had given lectures in Melbourne around that time, and left behind some active groups there and in Adelaide. After moving to Sydney for about a year, the Rinders then made a pilgrimage to Saint Hill Manor in England in 1966 or 1967 that lasted nine months. (Hubbard had just left the manor, which remains to this day Scientology's European headquarters.) After a second trip to Saint Hill a few years later, Rinder had twice been around the world by ship by the time he was 15 years old.

    It was about then that Rinder remembers being audited for the first time. It wasn't something the family was public about, that they were Scientologists. The Hubbard books were hidden at home, and his parents weren't pushy about his involvement.

    After finishing high school, Rinder joined the Sea Org at 18, turning down a full scholarship to the University of Adelaide. His first assignment: the "Tours Org," which traveled the continent, arriving at individual churches to convince parishioners to sign up for more services -- called "regging." After crisscrossing Australia for several months in the Tours Org, Rinder was then sent for executive training at the center of Scientology's universe -- the yacht Apollo, with Hubbard himself.

    But first, he needed to do his formal Sea Org indoctrination, known as Estates Project Force, at Saint Hill. Then, in September 1973, he went to Lisbon to meet the ship. After swabbing decks for a while, he then landed a plum assignment back on land: working PR for the ship in Funchal, Madeira, an island owned by Portugal.

    By 1974, the Apollo had been kicked out of several other countries, and Portugal was just about its last safe home in Europe. But having just gone through a coup, the country was becoming suspicious of the Americans and Brits on the odd ship. Rinder and a handful of others were stationed in Funchal to hand out surveys to locals in a bid to convince them that the Apollo was harmless.

    "Then the 'rock concert' happened," Rinder says. In October, 1974, rumors had spread through Funchal that the Apollo, which was docked there, was working on behalf of the CIA. An uprising of locals dumped a couple of cars and motorcycles owned by the Scientologists into the water as rocks were thrown at the ship itself. While Hubbard shouted instructions from the deck, the Apollo's crew scrambled to get the yacht out of port. Rinder himself -- all of 19 years old -- was trapped in the house he was staying at in town, and ultimately needed a military escort to get back to the ship. It was that incident that convinced Hubbard to leave for the US -- but Rinder says the boat's agent spotted federal agents waiting for the ship in South Carolina, so instead Hubbard sailed the Caribbean for a while. After another year, he would move operations to land, taking over the downtown area of Clearwater, Florida.

    Clearwater is, to this day, the spiritual headquarters of Scientology, and we traveled there in March to spend a couple of days with Rinder, who still lives nearby even though he left the church five years ago.

    Today, Rinder and another former high-ranking executive, Marty Rathbun, are leading an exodus of church members who have left official Scientology because of the way it's being led by their former boss, David Miscavige. Both Rinder and Rathbun, as well as others who call themselves "independent Scientologists" still adhere to Hubbard's ideas even as they reject Miscavige's church. We asked him to help explain the difference between the two movements...

    Mike Rinder - The Village Voice Interviews 4th April 2012 - Part 2 of 8

    2. Mike Rinder on Independents (2:36)

    Rinder is just one of numerous former executives to go public in the last few years with stories of abuse at the hands of church leader David Miscavige. Like Debbie Cook, who testified to her experience of being held in "the Hole" -- Scientology's notorious office-prison, Rinder explains in the first video, above, some of the conditions there. But we also asked him about the mentality that keeps some executives in Scientology for years even after they've gone through that kind of experience. He says it's a matter of gradual indoctrination...

    Mike Rinder - The Village Voice Interviews 4th April 2012 - Part 3 of 8

    3. Mike Rinder on Indoctrination (5:38)

    Rinder says he was held as a virtual prisoner in various places -- tents on a golf course, for example, as well as in "the Hole" itself -- for almost two years between 2004 and 2007, being let out on occasion to make appearances at church events or to handle the BBC's John Sweeney. But we asked him, not for the first time, if he could remember what first caused him to fall from grace in the eyes of Miscavige, and sent him from the highest of executive positions to a prisoner...

    Mike Rinder - The Village Voice Interviews 4th April 2012 - Part 4 of 8

    4. Mike Rinder on Falling From Favor (5:20)

    Debbie Cook testified that besides the degrading conditions of the Hole -- sleeping on the floor of an ant-infested, sweltering office, eating disgusting "slop" -- that the days consisted of mass confessions that could last hours. Rinder was held in the place far longer than Cook, and we asked him what those confessions were like...

    Mike Rinder - The Village Voice Interviews 4th April 2012 - Part 5 of 8

    5. Mike Rinder on Confessions (3:10)

    Rinder mentions in that last segment that he and Marty Rathbun, another top former official, had been assigned by Miscavige for four years to handle the fallout of the 1995 death of Lisa McPherson, who perished after being held for 17 days at Scientology's headquarters in Clearwater, the Fort Harrison Hotel. Rinder and Rathbun directed the church's legal strategy as Scientology was indicted criminally for the death (charges were later dropped). McPherson's death and the years of bad publicity it garnered for the church is one of Scientology's biggest headaches in its 60-year history.

    Even when he was let out of confinement from the Hole, Rinder says Miscavige could make work assignments feel almost as unpleasant as imprisonment itself. There was the way, for example, he assigned Rinder to do work on what would become The Basics, Miscavige's 2007 re-release of L. Ron Hubbard's most essential Scientology books, which all Scientologists were then required to purchase at up to $3,000 per set...

    Mike Rinder - The Village Voice Interviews 4th April 2012 - Part 6 of 8

    6. Mike Rinder on The Basics (4:04)

    Another strange aspect of imprisonment at the Hole -- which multiple witnesses tell us went on at least from the beginning of 2004 to the middle of 2010, if not longer -- was that everyone inside were high-ranking executives, all of whom had known and worked with each other for years.

    "These were your friends, people you had traveled with," Rinder says. "But then, you get in the Hole? You can't trust anybody."

    The forced confessions pitted friends against each other. And the conditions only made it worse. "Everyone sleeping with only about six inches on either side. Above you. Below you. Getting up in the middle of the night, you'd disturb everyone," Rinder says, and more than once compares it to the madness of Lord of the Flies...

    Mike Rinder - The Village Voice Interviews 4th April 2012 - Part 7 of 8

    7. Mike Rinder on Survival (3:53)

    Like Cook, Rinder eventually got out of the Hole because, he says, Miscavige needed them elsewhere. For Cook, it was an event in Clearwater. For Rinder, it was to handle John Sweeney and the BBC while they were filming a documentary about Scientology. But even after he was out, Rinder says he continued to be bullied by Miscavige, and began thinking about "blowing" -- Scientology jargon for defecting.

    I asked him to describe how he finally broke away in 2007...

    Mike Rinder - The Village Voice Interviews 4th April 2012 - Part 8 of 8

    8. Mike Rinder on Escaping (8:24)

    So, I asked Rinder, where is this all going?
    "I don't think that the demise of Miscavige and the church is going to be a direct result of people abandoning it," he says. "I think there is sort of a snowball effect that happens with people who get influenced by Debbie Cook, or the Tampa Bay Times. Other people who know someone affected by disconnection...

    "But I think the ultimate demise is going to be either when there is enough media pressure demanding that Miscavige answer up and stop sending lackeys to make excuses, or when he's forced to testify under oath.

    "The minute either of those things happens, he won't be able to maintain the facade any longer. His facade is built primarily on him doing these events -- the New Year's event, March 13 [Hubbard's Birthday], June 6 [Maiden Voyage], the IAS in October -- where he convinces the flock that everything is hunky dory. They believe it, because he's the one saying it. If he can't do that, the whole house of cards will fall to pieces.

    "The people in the local orgs, they see that nothing is expanding. But they assume it is everywhere else. They figure they're doing something wrong, and so they don't want to look anywhere else. It's like a whole big incredibly elaborate facade that's been constructed.

    "It will just kind of fall to pieces as soon as that source of bullshit is no longer able to convince everybody that the world of Scientology is experiencing its greatest rate of expansion.

    "The only thing Miscavige has is a lot of money. So, he is able to create the appearance of expansion with this buying of buildings. Because all you need for that is money."
On a personal note, I wanted to thank Christie Collbran, Mike's girlfriend, for putting up with us over two days so close to her delivery date. She and Mike are expecting a baby boy any day now.
  5. Terril park

    Terril park Sponsor

    Re: Ortega and Rinder

    Thanks, fascinating!
  6. Pooks


    Re: Ortega and Rinder

    Tony did a great job. Mike's unindoctrination is coming along nicely.

    Good for him.
  7. RolandRB

    RolandRB Rest in Peace

    2 minutes into Part 5 of 8 I am hearing Rinder say that Miscavige C/Sed Lisa McPherson's Case and decided she was Clear. AFAIK, DM was never a tech person. Can someone comment on this?
  8. Infinite

    Infinite Troublesome Internet Fringe Dweller


  9. Mick Wenlock

    Mick Wenlock Admin Emeritus (retired)

    Re: Ortega and Rinder

  10. Veda

    Veda Sponsor

    Re: Ortega and Rinder

    I think most people would like to see Rinder's recovery from Scientology, but this interview would not have been featured on MartyWorld if it weren't a puffball interview. Tony Ortega didn't ask any sensitive or difficult questions, and that's fine. All things in their proper time.

    I did notice that Rinder went momentarily blank when talking about the "religion" of Scientology. Maybe that's a good sign. :)
  11. RolandRB

    RolandRB Rest in Peace

    Re: Ortega and Rinder

    2 minutes into Part 5 of 8 Rinder says that Miscavige C/Sed Lisa McPherson's Case. This was before it turned bad. I say that is a lie. I say that Rinder is trying to deflect stuff away from him and Marty.

    Rinder is waving his arms around too much to be telling the truth.
  12. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    That's how I heard it too, from several people. DM did do up to Class IV in the early 70s but got kicked off the interneship apparently for striking his pc. No word of any tech training since.

  13. Veda

    Veda Sponsor

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 5, 2012
  14. Lone Star

    Lone Star Crusader

    In the early 70s DM would've been btwn the ages of 9 and 13. You must mean early 80s?
  15. Mark A. Baker

    Mark A. Baker Sponsor

    Which, if the incident is true, raises the question whatever happened to those who dared to commit this offense against lese majeste? :whistling:

    Mark A. Baker :)
  16. johnAnchovie

    johnAnchovie Still raging

    Miscavige was on the BC at age 12, his dad had pulled him out of school, he was being bullied, actually, correct targeted, he was apparently a nasty little prick at that age. My info comes from his dad, one of his PCs and Cherle Laws.
  17. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    No. He audited me while he was on course (flew ruds), 1973 I believe.

  18. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    How'd he get on the BC? Pre-reqs included Class IV, or Clear.

    He was on the Academy Levels, I'm pretty sure.

  19. Mike Laws

    Mike Laws Patron Meritorious

    Re: Ortega and Rinder

    I think you might have missed the point being made. The COS was/is so compartmentalized that even though M&M worked on the McPherson case for some 4 years, neither of them knew the full "technical" history, that DM personally CSed her folders, made the clear declare, etc. in effort to show off to one of his whales, her employer; Benetta Slaughter. It wasn't until just a couple years ago where M&M and other high level exes from Flag got together and started sharing their own experiences in the story, that the pieces came together. After her death, Marty was sent to "fix it" and Mike got involved again. Other execs that used to run around with DM at Flag doing his Ron famous "FOLDERS!" CSing impersonation.
  20. Mike Laws

    Mike Laws Patron Meritorious

    Re: Ortega and Rinder

    You may be right, but these questions were more intimate and real and difficult than any interview I remember Mike doing. I have the fortune or misfortune of being his friend, who is a clearly stated ex/non scio. I believe the real decompression doesn't start until people speak about things, and do what they can to take responsibility. Mike is really, barely, 2-3 years into a process in my experience that takes 5-10 at best for lifetimers/ex kids. But unfortunately, he is also a public figure, which IMHO makes the healing process and recovery much more difficult, perspectives swing and change radically in the recovery process, if he expresses such publicly he is called a liar, hypocrite, etc. It is impossibly to satisfy everyone, it is a position I wouldn't want to be in.

    As a friend, he wouldn't have said or opened up with a quarter of what he did in this interview even a year ago, especially expressing self doubt as to why he did what he did, 1-2 years ago he "knew" all the answers, so I consider it positive. Do I consider he, I and most exes still have a long way to go? Absolutely, and we talk about it frankly every time we visit. IMHO this was a good move in the right direction. Do I consider more of this beneficial to him and others? Absolutely.

    IMHO we don't even start to get a sustainable and stable idea of who we are and what we did or are about until a couple years out.

    I believe the route out is much tougher and more painful than we realize or can handle in one step. A gradual disentanglement as we were gradually entangled.