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« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2010, 11:17:23 AM »

 St.Petersburg Times critical scientology series wins award
76th annual National Headliner Awards
AP 24th March 2010
A complete list of winners in 76th annual National Headliner Awards | StarTribune.com

Quote:
PRINT DIVISION

Daily Newspapers

Writing and Reporting

[...]

Investigative reporting:
The Washington Post, Debbie Cenziper and Meg Smith, "Wasting Away"; The (Raleigh, N.C.) News & Observer, J. Andrew Curliss and staff, "Executive Privilege"; St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, Thomas C. Tobin and Joe Childs, "Inside Scientology: A Times' Special Report."

http://www.startribune.com/nation/89043707.html
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« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2010, 05:43:11 PM »

                        Scientology and abortion


In Print: Sunday, June 13, 2010

The St. Petersburg Times quotes Hubbard and then interviews
ex scios on video.
   Scientology has decimated it`s best recruitment pool.

http://www.tampabay.com/news/scientology/church-of-scientology-no-kids-allowed/1101759

http://www.tampabay.com/news/scientology/scientology-and-abortion/1102036
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« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2010, 04:43:30 PM »

             Church of Scientology's response

Will Tommy admit the truth ? Will Scientology finally take responsibility for
its actions ?  Will the Pope come out as gay ?


Times staff writer
In Print: Monday, June 14, 2010

 Church of Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis says the accounts of Natalie Hagemo and her daughter, Shelby LaFreniere, are untrue.

Hagemo's description of being pressured to have an abortion and shunned while in the Sea Org: "False and denied."

That Shelby was mistreated while working for the church in Los Angeles and Clearwater: also "false and denied."

In a letter to the Times, Davis said: "The Church has the deepest respect for family and the creation of a family and children. There is no hostility towards pregnant women."

He addressed Hagemo's account that two officers from Scientology's Commodore's Messenger Organization, or CMO, pressured her to have an abortion in 1990. "Clearly this is a vivid incident for Ms. Hagemo; can she not recall the name of the 'CMO Officers' who spoke to her and berated her?" Hagemo says she cannot.

"Ms. Hagemo's contentions are the statements of someone who is rewriting history to justify her decision to leave Scientology," Davis said.

"No one tried to get her to abort her daughter. Once her daughter was grown, no one forced her to give permission for her daughter to join the Sea Organization, or withdraw that permission a few weeks later. No one forced her daughter to then return to the church as a trainee several years later, or to leave the church when she, like her mother, changed her mind."

Copy of Tommy`s letter here as a PDF...

http://www.tampabay.com/specials/2009/reports/project/pdfs/1488_001.pdf
http://www.tampabay.com/news/scientology/church-of-scientologys-response/1102153
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« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2010, 08:53:02 AM »

 A spin off from the ST Petersburg times articles..

Christianity today wades in.

http://blog.christianitytoday.com/ctliveblog/archives/2010/06/women_say_scien.html

Broadsheet weighs in ..

http://www.salon.com/life/broadsheet/2010/06/14/scientology_forced_abortions/
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« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2010, 09:05:00 AM »

                   Church of Scientology: The Headley Lawsuits




 The HEADLEY LAWSUITS

Former Scientologists Claire and Marc Headley are suing the Church of Scientology in separate actions in federal court in Los Angeles.

Marc Headley, 37, alleges he was the victim of unfair business practices, labor law violations and forced labor, or human trafficking, during his 15 years in the church's Sea Organization.

Claire Headley, 35, alleges the church forced her to have two abortions during her 13 years in the Sea Org. She also claims working conditions at the church's international management base near Hemet, Calif., constituted human trafficking.

Church lawyers have fought both actions aggressively, deposing the Headleys and other former Sea Org members and filing thousands of pages of motions, memoranda and arguments....

http://www.tampabay.com/news/scientology/church-of-scientology-the-headley-lawsuits/1102038
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« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2010, 10:04:46 PM »

                St Pete Times Editorial concerning Scientology


It seems as though the St Pete Times is really beginning to get it, seeing some of the deeper layers of the scientological onion.

Here's an editorial appearing in today's newspaper.

If you have time, go onto their website, register, and make a comment in the "comments section" below the article to counter some of the BS from the OSAbots who are there.




http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/editorials/article1102372.ece

A Times Editorial

        Scientology's family-friendly image contrasts with pressure for abortions

In Print: Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Among the beliefs listed in the "Creed of the Church of Scientology": "All men have inalienable rights to the creation of their own kind" and "no agency less than God has the power to suspend or set aside these rights, overtly or covertly." Yet a very different picture emerges from women who became pregnant while working for the church. They relate painful stories of intimidation, shaming, shunning or outright coercion by the church until women agreed to abortions or were forced out. It is yet another example where the church's cultivated image does not match reality.
The public image of the Church of Scientology is family-friendly. But inside the organization's 6,000-member work force called the Sea Org, young women who became pregnant faced a barrage of tactics clearly designed to weaken their resistance to abortion. These women were victims, swayed by an organization that already controlled their lives and in effect denied them free will to make their own decisions about their pregnancies.
In reports Sunday and Monday, St. Petersburg Times staff writers Joe Childs and Thomas C. Tobin told the stories of women who said they as well as other women they knew were pressured to have abortions while working for the Sea Org. Those workers toil long hours for little pay and are subjected to punishments if they are not productive or try to leave.
In some cases the women joined the Sea Org while still children themselves, recruited by the church and lured into signing billion-year contracts. Separated from their parents and often married as teenagers, they naturally wanted to start their own families.
Laura Dieckman joined the Sea Org at 12, married at 16 and was pregnant at 17. But her disapproving supervisors pressured her to end the pregnancy, she said. Claire Headley joined the Sea Org at 16, married at 17 and was pregnant at 19. She felt pressured enough to have two abortions while a Sea Org member. Sunny Pereira, who joined the Sea Org at 15 and married at 21, also had two abortions.
The prospect of motherhood should have been a joyful time for them, but instead it became a grueling test of loyalty. Continuing their pregnancies, they were told, was an unacceptable distraction from the church's mission to "save the planet." Ending the pregnancies would prove their loyalty to the church and keep them in the fold. Women who continued their pregnancies were taunted or shunned by other Sea Org members, isolated from their husbands or assigned to long hours of manual labor, the women said.
Church spokesman Tommy Davis denied all of the allegations by the women. Yet the church acknowledges that children are discouraged because they get in the way of the group's work. Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, who wrote the Scientology creed, was a father of six. After he died in 1986 and David Miscavige, who has no children, assumed the top spot, Sea Org members who wanted to have children were shunted off to work at small, unproductive Scientology churches where they could not earn a livable wage. In 1996, Sea Org members were banned from having children. Those who became pregnant were forced to leave.
Davis told the Times that the policy that now prohibits having children "evolved out of respect for families and deference to children." That's the height of hypocrisy, coming from an organization that recruits children into its labor force, requires them to sign billion-year contracts, separates them from their families and subjects them to 18-hour workdays.
No woman should be coerced into making this painful decision, which only she can make even by powerful bosses inside a church. The stories of pregnancies terminated by vulnerable young women under considerable pressure are one more fracture in the polished facade of the Church of Scientology.
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« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2010, 11:48:11 AM »

                       SP Times wins Gold Medal in FSNE Awards

2010 FSNE Awards list
(Florida Society of News Editors)
 Division A

Newspapers with daily circulation of 125,000 or more:
FSNE Gold Medal for Public Service

Joe Childs, Thomas Tobin

St. Petersburg Times

Inside Scientology

The St. Petersburg Times reporting on the Church of Scientology is in the finest traditions of American journalism. The reporting by Joseph Childs and Thomas Tobin stands out for the ways in which it held accountable the powerful.

http://fsne.org/2010awards/
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« Reply #22 on: June 19, 2010, 07:59:06 PM »

                  Letters to the Editor
Saturday letters: The realities of Scientology are being distorted

In Print: Saturday, June 19, 2010

 Once again you try to paint an ugly picture of a religious movement that has helped hundreds of thousands if not millions of people lead happy and successful lives. So let me address your latest falsehoods.

My experience in Scientology has been incredible.

I have been a member of the Church of Scientology since 1973. I met and married my husband while working for the church. I have raised two sons in the church. They are both practicing Scientologists. They have never taken drugs or abused alcohol. They are ethical and productive members of society. My husband and I have been married 32 years. We are both productive members of society. We both do extensive volunteer work in Clearwater.

THERE IS NO CHURCH POLICY CONCERNING ABORTION. I put that in all caps because I'm not sure that it will come across accurately if I don't. What's true about the Church of Scientology is not what any member or former member says. Even what I say is not the truth about the Church of Scientology. What is true is what L. Ron Hubbard wrote or said.

I know countless Scientologists who have children. I know hundreds if not thousands of staff members who have children. I know members of the Sea Organization who have raised children within that group.

Therefore your Sunday headline No kids allowed is a lie, pure and simple. But it is no less than what I expect from your newspaper.

I thank goodness that there are people in this society who do help others and who take responsibility for their own lives. The people you interviewed obviously don't do either.

Joanie Sigal, Clearwater

Interesting exercise to transpose the word Scientology for Nazi Party.

plenty more here...




http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/letters/saturday-letters-the-realities-of-scientology-are-being-distorted--p/1103355
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« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2010, 10:16:25 AM »

Published by "The St Petersburg Times" Jan 1980.

A twenty page booklet exposing the cult.
Fascinating reading.

Quote:
Mrs. Hartwell vividly recalls the filming of a movie called The Unfathomable Man, which chronicled Hubbard's view of mankind from its beginning to the present.

BEFORE HUBBARD would visit the set, women with white gloves came to inspect the area for cleanliness. When it was determined that it needed a thorough cleaning to meet Hubbard's standards, the women with gloves produced a special soap and list of instructions for cleaning the set.

The walls had to be cleaned with only the special soap, the women insisted, and then rinsed with four clean waters, meaning that each time a sponge was dipped into a bucket, the bucket had to be emptied and refilled with fresh water. As a result, the cleaning of the set took hours to complete.

"Ron would always get on the set at about 8 p.m., and we'd work straight through to 7 a.m. with nothing to eat or drink," Mrs. Hartwell says. "We'd take a half-hour break at 1 a.m., but nobody was allowed to eat, except for Ron, of course. He always had about 20 or 30 people around him and they would clear the way for him when he came on the set.

"He'd always head straight for his director's chair, which nobody else was allowed to touch. He'd get in that chair, cross his legs and start swingin' 'em and then he'd start screaming."

As a makeup assistant, Mrs. Hartwell soon learned that one of Hubbard's favorite film devices was the use of "blood," which consisted of Karo Syrup and red food coloring. To accommodate Hubbard's sanguineous impulses, the makeup assistants would prepare the fake blood by the gallons.

"Did he ever like those films to be bloody I mean it was enough to make you sick," she explains.

"WE'D BE shooting a scene and all of sudden he'd yell 'Stop! Make it more gory, make it more gory.' We'd go running out on the set with all this Karo Syrup and food coloring and we'd just dump it all over the actors. Then we'd film some more and he'd stop it again and say 'it's not gory enough.' And we'd throw some more blood on them."

Hubbard once ordered so much blood dumped on two actors that their clothes literally became glued to their bodies by the sticky syrup, and wardrobe technicians had to cut the clothing off of them.

"Funny thing about these movies," adds Mr. Hartwell, "is that they never get shown to anyone. Hubbard would always blame somebody for screwing it up and order the movie shelved."

The shelving of the movies is but one example of the contradictory and unreasonable orders the Hartwells say Hubbard often gave.

They say Hubbard once complained that too much money was being spent at the ranch and ordered a ban on all purchases.

Unfortunately, Hubbard's ban coincided with a shortage of toilet paper at the ranch, but even then the Father of Scientology would not relent.

FOR 10 DAYS, says Mrs. Hartwell, Hubbard's charges ripped pages from telephone books to use as toilet tissue. After 10 days, the ban on spending was lifted.

http://www.antisectes.net/sp-times-scientology-special-report-pulitzer-price.pdf#page=20
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« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2011, 03:41:08 PM »

        Scientology founder's tenets drive Pinellas title company, under fire for rapid document processing


By Susan Taylor Martin, Joe Childs and Thomas C. Tobin, Times Staff Writers
In Print: Sunday, January 30, 2011


In 2009, a low-profile Pinellas County company drew unwelcome attention in a growing national controversy over home foreclosures.

Employees of Nationwide Title Clearing, a leading processor of mortgage-related documents for banks, loan servicers and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., were under fire for signing paperwork as "vice president'' of various banks although they actually worked for NTC.

The assembly-line process in which workers scrawled their names or initials on hundreds of documents at a time typically without reading them helped prompt the term "robo-signing.'' Critics said robo-signing raised questions about the accuracy of documents and the legality of thousands of foreclosure cases.

What few people knew was that the Palm Harbor company had extensive ties to the Church of Scientology. And that NTC's owners, who have donated heavily to church projects, ran the company on management principles of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.

Norm Novitsky, a longtime Scientologist who founded NTC in 1992, once credited the company's success to Scientology.

"There are many companies like ours,'' he wrote on a Scientology-related website, "but I'm proud to say, through hard work and L. Ron Hubbard's administrative technology, in just a short time we rose to being one of the leading servicers in our field."

Hubbard's "tech," originally used to manage his church and later adapted to business, stresses the use of statistics to measure and spur employee output. Companies with flat-line statistics showing no change are in an "emergency'' condition, he said.

The use of Hubbard's technology on Nationwide's busy campus which can image up to 500,000 pages of mortgage documents a day has sparked complaints that the company foists Scientology principles on workers and creates a high-pressure environment.

"Employees are being told not to talk to each other and if they do, they are terminated,'' a manager of WorkNet Pinellas, a nonprofit job agency, wrote in an e-mail to colleagues in December. "Papers that are signed at the time of hire have L. Ron Hubbard info on it.''

NTC's owners declined to be interviewed. In a statement responding to questions submitted by the St. Petersburg Times, the company acknowledged that it uses Hubbard's techniques, which it described as "nonreligous,'' and that it offers employees courses at work based on his management theories.

"We use this system because we have found it to be workable,'' the statement said, adding emphasis. "Twenty years ago, NTC started with limited capital, today NTC provides nearly 200 jobs in Pinellas County. This is what we mean by workable.''

The company denied pressuring or forcing employees to study Scientology or to become Scientologists. "This workplace is for work: no religious prejudice, hostility or intolerance has any role here.''

Other companies are accused of robo-signing, but there is no indication Hubbard's "tech'' is part of their workplaces. But as one of the nation's leading service providers to the residential mortgage industry, NTC is an example of the Hubbard business principles put into practice. And a look at NTC offers insight into thousands of other companies that use Hubbard's techniques, many of them Tampa Bay businesses also owned by Scientologists.

Production above all

Now 64 and retired from NTC, Novitsky lives in California and has become an independent film producer.

He didn't respond to requests for an interview for this story. But on a website where Scientologists tell how they've been helped by the religion, Novitsky said he joined Scientology during a turbulent period in his early 20s.

"I couldn't hold onto success very long and ALL of life's mysteries and answers were occluded to me,'' he wrote.

At a friend's suggestion, Novitsky visited a Scientology center in San Francisco and "the rest is history,'' as he put it. According to the website of his BluNile films, he studied "Organizational Executive Management and Marketing and his early career focused on those areas.''

Those were areas that fascinated Hubbard.

Along with writing his seminal work, Dianetics, Hubbard developed operational principles and techniques that could be applied to all organizations, including businesses. First used by staffers in Scientology churches, they eventually were issued as the Organization Executive Course and the Management Series set and were made available to Scientologists.

Hubbard preached that managers keep a keen eye on statistics and not worry about coddling employees.

"However one tries to coat the pill, there is no substitute, in an executive, for the ability to get the crew to produce," he wrote. "The fire-breathing product officer will be followed and supported when the wishy-washy old pal guy will be stepped all over in the rush to follow the real leader."

The only way for an organization to survive is to grow, said Hubbard, who also devised a system of "ethics" in which unproductive employees could work their way out of conditions called "danger'' and "nonexistence.''

Novitsky embraced Hubbard's theories. By 1988, he had served as president of a California mortgage company and started his own company, Public Home Loans.

Then in May 1992, "after extensive R&D in the banking services industry,'' Novitsky founded Nationwide Title Clearing in Glendale. It was 5 miles from Scientology's world headquarters in Los Angeles.

Companies like NTC are premised on a simple idea: Banks have something better to do with their time and staff than processing massive amounts of paperwork. Instead, the servicer handles the preparation and recording of lien releases, assignments of mortgage and other routine documents work that requires rote efficiency by lower-level employees.

Just a year later, Novitsky and his wife, Terri, declared bankruptcy. He reported making $5,700 a month at NTC, but had debts of $667,639, including $120,000 he owed his own loan company.

Records show that Novitsky shared ownership of NTC with three other Scientologists Alan Turbin, Edward E. Marsh and Ivan "Ike'' Kezsbom. The latter had worked as a loan counselor for Novitsky and had declared bankruptcy himself with nearly $500,000 in debts, most of it from a mortgage and credit cards.

Within a few years, fortunes markedly improved.

"By 1996 the company had become one of the leading service companies of its kind,'' Novitsky's BluNile bio says.

NTC said Novitsky's financial affairs were personal and never affected the company.

Though NTC remained in California through the '90s, it began looking east to the lower-cost Tampa Bay area. And Clearwater was home to the church's spiritual headquarters and thousands of Scientologists.

"We wanted a community to settle into permanently and develop headquarters large enough to facilitate an expansion of services,'' Jim Stewart, NTC's former president, would later tell the Palm Harbor Chamber of Commerce. "We found that perfect match in Pinellas County.''

He added that the bay area "provided a strong employee base.''

By 2001, Novitksy, Marsh and Kezsbom, NTC's president, all had homes in Clearwater.

A year later, Abundant Life Family Church, a Christian congregation that had closed its school and needed to reduce its space, sold its three buildings in Palm Harbor for $2.1 million to a new company called National U.S. Alliance. Its incorporation papers had the address of Kezsbom's Clearwater house, but didn't list any officers or directors.

As the deal was going through, NTC already had applied to do business in Florida. It incorporated in early 2003 and by that summer completed its move to Pinellas County.

Church before self

In its early years in Florida, NTC felt the shock waves of a huge fraud that exploited close ties among Scientology's business community.

Reed Slatkin, a California Scientologist, had promoted himself as a successful financial adviser. In fact, he was running the biggest pre-Madoff Ponzi scheme in history, paying early investors with money raised from newer ones. The trustee in Slatkin's 2001 bankruptcy case alleged that part of the money Slatkin took in was transferred to the Church of Scientology.

NTC and three of its owners Novitsky, Marsh and Kezsbom invested $7.8 million with Slatkin and later submitted claims to the bankruptcy court.

But in a notable display of loyalty to Scientology, Kezsbom didn't want to be made whole at the expense of his church.

"I am a long-standing member of the Church of Scientology,'' he wrote the court after learning that the trustee intended to sue to recover money from the church. "I would be opposed to any plan that involves suing my Church.''

In 2003, Slatkin was sentenced to 14 years in prison on fraud and money-laundering charges. In 2006, the trustee settled the lawsuit with the church and related entities, which agreed to pay $3.5 million.

Kezsbom didn't live to see it. On Nov. 28, 2003, not long after his letter to the court, he died suddenly at age 56.

Boom was a boon

Within a few months of Kezsbom's death, his sons-in-law, John Hillman and Todd Kugler, both Scientolgists, became officers of Nationwide Title Clearing.

In 2006, the Palm Harbor Chamber of Commerce named it "Large Business of the Year,'' citing its "outstanding presence'' in the community and its Hurricane Katrina relief efforts that collected more than 2,000 pounds of food and other essentials. The company also conducted food and clothing drives for local charities.

During the real estate boom, NTC grew as millions of loans were sold and resold, creating an avalanche of documents to be processed. But it was not until the bubble burst that notoriety hit.

With millions of Americans facing foreclosure, defense lawyers pored over mortgage-related documents for any hint of errors or fraud that could be used to defend a foreclosure case.

In 2008, Chris Hoyer, a Tampa lawyer who runs the online Consumer Warning Network, noticed that the names "Bryan Bly'' and "Crystal Moore'' appeared on documents filed all over the country. Sometimes they signed as notaries, sometimes as vice president of various banks.

Hoyer discovered that both worked for NTC. Neither had any background in real estate or banking. Bly's previous jobs included remodeling an Eckerd drugstore and working for a carnival operator.

"These pieces of paper are very important,'' said Hoyer, "and the problem with signing as vice president is that they're not.''

As criticism mounted, NTC said its procedures were legal and standard in the document-processing industry. It noted that it had corporate resolutions in which banks authorized Bly and other employees to sign on their behalf.

But in November, Sarasota lawyer Christopher Forrest posted on YouTube videotaped depositions he had taken of Bly, Moore and a co-worker in a foreclosure suit he was defending. The trio stumbled over common terms like "assignment of mortgage'' and described a factory-like process in which they signed hundreds of documents at a time.

Asked if she ever read any of the documents she signed, Moore replied: "No.''

Asked how much time she spent with each document, she said: "A few seconds.''

Unique work culture

The depositions were embarrassing, and NTC quickly moved to stem the damage.

With bloggers pouncing on the depositions as more evidence of alleged "robo-signing,'' NTC got a court order forcing Forrest to remove them from YouTube. It also sued St. Petersburg lawyer Matthew Weidner in a case that was settled after he deleted from his blog statements that the company called false and libelous.

All 50 state attorneys general are investigating allegations of errors and fraud in documents that banks need to foreclose. NTC does not prepare foreclosure documents like lis pendens and affidavits of lost note, and is not among the companies under probe.

But NTC is being sued in federal court by a Wisconsin couple facing foreclosure. They allege that NTC prepared thousands of assignments of mortgage, which transfer ownership of a loan from one party to another, as part of a scheme to make it appear that Deutsche Bank owned their loans and those of other homeowners.

In none of the depositions made public so far have lawyers asked about NTC's ties to Scientology. But in a deposition last year in a Duval County foreclosure case, the company's senior vice president of administration Erika Lance referred to "the organizing board'' that shows the company's various divisions.

"Org Boards'' as they are usually called are common in businesses that use Hubbard's organizational and management techniques.

Lance joined NTC in 2004 and was making nearly $84,000 as of late 2009, unusual for someone with a GED. She previously worked for other Scientologist-owned companies and in a Web posting wrote about "My Success in Scientology.''

"It has given me the opportunity to get an education by the use of the study technology,'' wrote Lance, now 37. "Scientology has enabled me to start a career early and advance up the corporate ladder and earn 4x the amount someone my age normally makes.''

NTC said Lance posted her comments before joining the company. But it acknowledged it has a training center where employees can take courses based on what NTC called the "nonreligious principles'' of WISE the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises. An arm of the church, WISE brings Hubbard's management "tech" to the business world and attracts new members to Scientology.

NTC's employment applications carry an acknowledgement that the company uses Hubbard's management system. His ideas are everywhere at the company's campus:

The training center offers Hubbard management courses such as "How to Effectively Handle Work'' and "Formulas for Business Success.''

Some NTC staffers keep Hubbard's management books on their desks for ready reference. The company also displays WISE "training materials of all kinds and types,'' the NTC statement said. The materials cover topics such as managing by statistics and analyzing trends.

Workers are paid their regular hourly wages to attend the in-house training sessions, which are made available to Scientologists and non-Scientologists alike. The company said it kept no record of the "varying faiths of our personnel that took these courses.''

None of this puts non-Scientologists at a disadvantage, the company said. "NTC practices equal opportunity employment and does not discriminate against employees on the basis of race, sex, creed, color, national origin or religion.''

NTC estimated that about 85 percent of its 196 employees are non-Scientologists.

Workers' complaints

Over the years, the church's involvement in the business world has sometimes caused confusion and debate, leading to lawsuits in Pinellas and several states that allege the presence of Hubbard's teachings in the workplace violated labor laws. (NTC has not been sued on such grounds.)

While Scientologist-owned companies say they use a secular version of Hubbard's management "tech," the distinction is not always clear to non-Scientology employees, some of whom have reported what they view as workplace discrimination and proselytizing.

In December, WorkNet Pinellas received complaints about NTC and its Scientology ties.

"Be careful about applying for any job at this company,'' one woman wrote. "The turnover is very high for a reason. This conduct must be condoned by Scientology since it has been going on for years.''

A recruiter for WorkNet Pinellas called the company, according to e-mails obtained by the Times through a public records request.

"Of course they swear the company is legit and welcomed me to interview any of their staff,'' the recruiter told WorkNet colleagues in an e-mail. "Still skeptical but not sure what rule I can go by to close the orders (job postings).''

NTC is among hundreds of companies that post job openings on Employ Florida Marketplace, a state-run jobs site. WorkNet decided to leave up the only job NTC had posted at the time, the e-mails show.

Ed Peachey, president of WorkNet Pinellas, wouldn't comment on the complaints. "You're not going to drag WorkNet into any lawsuit,'' he told a reporter.

Since NTC moved to Florida in 2003, Eileen McQuown has sent hundreds of temporary workers there. "I know they are Scientologists,'' said McQuown, owner of Accord Staffing in Palm Harbor.

Most of the temporaries had good experiences, and several took permanent jobs, she said.

But she also heard gripes, especially about the workload: "It was a very high-pressure place, super busy at times.''

Some temporary employees also complained about the presence of Scientology in the workplace, McQuown said, though she said she had no evidence NTC asked them to take Scientology-related courses. But some who became permanent told her they were encouraged to pursue study programs.

"I heard from people that in order to move up in the company you had to take their classes," McQuown said. She also noted she has heard the opposite from other former temps who were hired on and haven't taken the courses.

McQuown said she never took any of the complaints to NTC management.

At Select Staffing, a competing temp service, area manager Tommy Tsaousis said he had only good experiences placing temporaries at Nationwide and would be eager to work with the company again.

"If there is a newsworthy story relating to NTC,'' the company said in its statements to the Times, "it should focus on the quality services and ethical practices of NTC not the religious beliefs of any of its leadership or employees.''

Times researchers Shirl Kennedy and Carolyn Edds contributed to this report. Susan Taylor Martin can be contacted at susan@sptimes.com, Joe Childs can be contacted at childs@sptimes.com. Thomas C. Tobin can be contacted at tobin@sptimes.com
http://www.tampabay.com/news/scientology-founders-tenets-drive-pinellas-title-company-under-fire-for/1148529
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« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2011, 03:51:03 PM »

                               Who's who in Nationwide Title Clearing

By Susan Taylor Martin, Times Senior Correspondent
In Print: Sunday, January 30, 2011

Who's who in Nationwide Title Clearing

Nationwide Title Clearing, a Palm Harbor company that processes documents for the residential mortgage industry, is owned by members of the Church of Scientology and some of its top managers are Scientologists.

Norm Novitsky: Novitsky started Nationwide Title Clearing in 1992. Now retired, but still listed as an officer, he lives in California, where his BluNile film company is producing a horror movie, Pray for Morning. In October, Novitsky filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy listing $1.63 million in debts, some from soured real estate ventures. He owes $100,000 to the IRS. The Novitskys, along with the families of other Nationwide Title Clearing owners (Hillman, Marsh, Kezsbom, Kugler, and Turbin), collectively donated at least $1 million to Scientology's Super Power building in Clearwater.

Edward E. Marsh III: An owner of Nationwide Title Clearing since its early days, Marsh had a company, Charter Financial, that made loans to several Scientologists in the Clearwater area from 2002 to 2004, public records show. Marsh and his wife, Kathy, live in California.

Alan Turbin: Another longtime owner of Nationwide Title Clearing, Turbin and his wife have a home in Dunedin.

John Hillman and Todd Kugler: Sons-in-law of Ivan Kezsbom, an original owner of NTC, they became officers and directors after Kezsbom died in 2003. They live near each other in a Clearwater subdivision with estate-size lots.

Myron Finley: Finley is an officer and director of NTC. Licensed to practice law in New York and California, Finley had his name on a Clearwater law firm and in 2006 signed a cease-and-desist affidavit agreeing not to practice in Florida. In October, the IRS filed a $217,435 tax lien against Finley for delinquent taxes from 2000 to 2003. He previously had IRS liens totaling $139,777, but had paid them.

Erika Lance: She replaced Myron Finley as NTC's registered agent. She joined NTC in 2004 and is senior vice president for administration. She has declared bankruptcy three times, most recently in 2009 when she listed a salary of nearly $84,000 and debts of $468,846.

http://www.tampabay.com/news/whos-who-in-nationwide-title-clearing/1148525
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« Reply #26 on: November 13, 2011, 03:49:06 PM »

Former Scientology insiders describe a world of closers, prospects, crushing quotas and coercion

By Joe Childs and Thomas C. Tobin, Times Staff Writers
In Print: Sunday, November 13, 2011

Article.... Video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgaX-7fTIJw&feature=player_embedded

http://www.tampabay.com/news/scientology/article1201166.ece
------------------------------------------------------------------------

About the latest St. Petersburg Times investigative series on Scientology

Times staff
In Print: Sunday, November 13, 2011

http://www.tampabay.com/news/scientology/about-the-latest-st-petersburg-times-investigative-series-on-scientology/1201476
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« Reply #27 on: November 14, 2011, 10:50:16 AM »

              INSIDE SCIENTOLOGY

The Money Machine


plenty to see here....


http://www.tampabay.com/specials/2009/reports/project/

             New Investigation Into Scientology Offers Scathing Details

Author: Stephen Alexander
Published: November 13, 2011

Read more: http://technorati.com/lifestyle/article/new-investigation-into-scientology-offers-scathing/#ixzz1dd7yZ17m

http://technorati.com/lifestyle/article/new-investigation-into-scientology-offers-scathing/
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« Reply #28 on: November 14, 2011, 03:41:17 PM »

Pervasive pitch: Scientology book and lecture series, 'The Basics,' unleashes a sales frenzy

By Joe Childs and Thomas C. Tobin, Times Staff Writers
In Print: Monday, November 14, 2011

http://www.tampabay.com/news/scientology/article1201177.ece
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« Reply #29 on: November 17, 2011, 09:17:39 AM »

                                                                          17 th November 2011


A little birdie tells me that Part 3 of the St Pete Times series will be about the IAS. But it doesn't seem to be up on the website yet, which suggests there might have been a change of schedule. Be patient, people. This is good stuff coming.
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