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Post Game #1 – Deny, Attack, Rinse, Repeat

March 30, 2010

We had a bunch of people over to watch AC 360 last night, and among them was a guy who knew very little about Scientology or the current controversy. He’s a very intelligent and perceptive man, so I was interested to get his take on the show and on the various Church spokespeople. Here are some of his observations (in italics):

Tommy Davis: His denial just went on and on. He kept repeating himself. It was like that was what he had been coached to do. Repeating his denial over and over just made it less credible to me. Despite more and more evidence, he just kept repeating his flat denial.

Good observation. Of course Tommy has nothing else to say – all he is trained to do is either deny everything or attack his critics.

Jenny Linson: Anderson Cooper’s question was an obvious one. If they had witnessed years of physical abuse, as the women were claiming, then why didn’t anyone pick up a phone and call the police? The woman just snapped at Anderson for even asking – it came across as arrogant.

Jenny seems to be the leader of the Desperate ExWives. She jumped in and deflected the question. Anderson Cooper was on the right track. He asked “don’t you have phones?” Of course, the true answer is no. Staff at the Int Base are not allowed to have cell phones, and the only landline phones are inter-office. To get an outside line, you have to go through a switchboard operator, and that requires an OK from an Ethics Officer or Security Guard, and either Ethics or Security listens in. They certainly would not allow anyone to call the authorities, even if they wanted to. Jenny could not honestly answer the question, so went on the attack. And if you want to know how Jenny Linson treats her juniors at the Base, it is with that exact superior, arrogant tone.

Norman Starkey: The guy just sounded crazy, like he was from another planet. His analogy of the Pope and the pedophile was clumsy and made no sense. He seemed to be saying that his leader was like the Pope and anyone criticizing his leader was like a pedophile priest. It seemed like he deliberately chose that comparison as he knows pedophiles are universally detested. But it made no sense as an analogy – what I got from his speech was “No one is permitted to criticize the leader.”

I don’t think Norman reads the news. If he did, he would have realized that the whole Catholic child sexual abuse scandal is currently revolving around Pope Benedict XVI, with questions about how much he knew and how much he covered up. So now is not a great time to be comparing your leader with the Pope. The fact is, these people they dig up from the Int Base and throw in front of cameras have seemingly lost the ability to speak coherently to an audience of non-Scientologists. Norman’s analogy was confused and incoherent. It was a clumsy and transparent effort to “position” detractors with “pedophiles.” And his didactic attempt to “educate” the audience in the “tech” of overts and withholds just came across as a confusing jumble. They seem to have no awareness of the image they are projecting. They come across as confused, incoherent and arrogant.

It will be interesting to see how this develops through the series.

  1. Scarlet Pumpernickel permalink
    March 30, 2010 5:59 pm

    Jeff, your brilliant writing knows no bounds! Deny, attack, rinse, repeat — genius! Desperate ExWives — superb!

    I had my boyfriend watch this with me — another very intelligent and perceptive man — and he came to exactly the same conclusions as your friend did. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that most of the people watching the show worldwide have similar thoughts on those interviewees.

    You did an excellent job, by the way. I, for one, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your grace and courage.

  2. VaD permalink
    March 30, 2010 6:36 pm

    Thanks for posting!

    It’s funny to watch these “execs” making fun of themselves. No comments required. It’s obvious they are not here, they are not with this world at this time. Some fixed ideas – Jenny, Tommy, Norman.
    Just shows one how low an individual can go to defend something not woth defending.

    For sure, CoM has lost most of its ground.

    Happy circumstance that it’s not just DM who knows it but his people know it, too.

    We are about to see massive outburst of cult members running the hell out of there – to us for help and guidance. 🙂

  3. Just Me permalink
    March 30, 2010 6:42 pm


    I’m looking forward to hearing your appearance in this series tonight or later this week. I’ve seen you on various videos around the ‘net, starting with the SP Times videos. Those are what made me aware of what was going on. Thanks for all your contributions to this cause. I only hope this isn’t distracting from your probably still-new “real life” post CoS and your great enjoyment of it.

    Best to you,

    Just Me

  4. Sinar permalink
    March 30, 2010 7:31 pm

    Thanks for the perspective Jeff.

    Good to know that “wogs” are perceptive and didn’t miss the illogics regurgitated by the “top people” and it’s blatantly obvious as to who’s lying.

    You, Marty, Tom and Mike obviously came across as clean, honest and sincere in your simple statements. Great Job!

  5. Rebecca-Tribecca permalink
    March 30, 2010 9:04 pm

    Brilliant Commentary.
    I am sure the arrogance of Tommy Davis and the appalling rudeness of Linson would make seasoned PRs like Heber and Mike Rinder cringe.
    Linson was in Non-E to a very credible internationally known journalist and her NON-E was not “Find a comm line” but ATTACK like he was an enemy.
    There is a policy letter called “Manners”………but never mind.
    Also, Linson completely broke “R” with the audience by shrilly calling Marty “psychotic.”
    Marty came across as anything BUT.
    Again it showed the worst of SO representatives
    NOTE how OSA is being totally bypassed.
    DM chooses how he handles this kind of major flap by sending out untrained DM BOTS.
    And lastly, I previously met Norman Starkey on FREEWINDS.
    He has truly deteriorated. I could hardly believe he would babble like this to an international audience. He appeared quite mad.
    (CNN is also airing this internationally).
    It aired over and over and over in the US.
    Editor ~~ I believe you are on the air tonight…

  6. lunamoth permalink
    March 30, 2010 9:13 pm


    This is really good to have input from non-scientologists regarding tommy & co.’s credibility. It’s heartening to know that for all their slimy deceit and contemptuous attitudes, they aren’t fooling the uninitiated. Non-scientologists are seeing the same things we see.

    And what I see when I look at tommy is a clean-shaven Guy Faulkes mask, lying everytime he opens his petuant little mouth. I watch the ex-wives and see arrogance and hubris in one, stress, fear and regret in another. I look at Norm Starkey and see a man who has finally convinced himself that up is down and black is white. Being fundamentally insane, it challenges some very basic reality to watch and hear people responding this way. It’s very reassuring to know that I’m not the only one, that others see it, too.

    Sadly, these people that dm has fighting his battles for him have been cut off from the real world for so long, and the entire world has been so thoroughly third-partied to them, that they have lost the willingness and ability to duplicate the reality out here, and have thereby lost the desire and ability to have ARC with it. Ironic how these people who have dedicated their lives to scientology and who think they are defending it from “attack,” have lost the ability to use it.

  7. March 30, 2010 10:58 pm

    I already commented on this on Thoughtful Steve’s website but it bears repeating.

    Personally the Church must be really desperate or insanely self destructive to put Norm in front of the cameras.

    Too bad that Andy was mainly concentrating on Miscavige’s various flagellations . Not to ask Norm about the criminal acts preceding RTC’s seizure of the whole Scientology network and how he ended up being the executor to ‘Trust B’.

    I’m sure old Norm knows where all the bodies are buried and who buried them.

  8. mary permalink
    March 30, 2010 11:53 pm

    I recently saw the movie Downfall — the story of Hitler’s last days in the bunker. The people who stayed with him to the end were completely bat-sh*t crazy. Of course, Hitler was nuts, too, but watching the way his true-believers didn’t even blink when he said the most outrageous things was so reminiscent of this present situation. Also, he was a screamer like Miscavige — and no one that he yelled at thought there was anything wrong with him doing it.

    I’m at a loss to understand how anyone can tolerate, even contribute to, that much lunacy. Hitler’s followers adored him, believed him, and in one case, were willing to kill their children because the world without Hitler and National Socialism was unacceptable. Too sad. Too ridiculous. Too scary.

  9. martyrathbun09 permalink
    March 31, 2010 1:23 am

    Very astute observations once again Jeff.

  10. Freetothink permalink
    March 31, 2010 5:45 am

    Totally agree, very bad positioning to be compared with the Pope.

    BTW, Rebel008? Jeff? Fishdaddy? Editor? Am I missing something? I’m sorry I know I don’t read everything & can’t keep up with all the comments & different blogs but here I am reading an article by Rebel008 on KSW. I click on it & it now says the article is “by Editor” & most of the comments thank Jeff for the article. So am I confused or is Jeff “Fishdaddy”, “Rebel008” & the “Editor” of “Leaving Scientology”?

    • Editor permalink*
      March 31, 2010 6:20 am

      Yeah, sorry. Jeff = Fishdaddy = Rebel 008 = Editor. Same guy.

  11. Mystery Guest permalink
    March 31, 2010 7:58 am

    The way these “Execs” handled themselves I actually feel embarrassed to be a part of this Organization… and I am OTVIII(that should narrow it down ~lol) . Why can’t they get it through their heads that just lying about it doesn’t make sense. They just need to come clean and clean up their act… SO SIMPLE!!

    Anyway, I don’t like the view I am seeing from the sidelines. it’s not looking good AT ALL 🙂


  12. Maxhal permalink
    March 31, 2010 9:56 am

    After that performannce, Somebody’s going to get a beating !!

  13. Antoine permalink
    April 2, 2010 5:55 am

    Jeff, You are awesome.

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