Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Leah Remini’s Series Could Be Scientology’s Church Abuse Scandal, How an Accused Child Rapist Allegedly Brainwashed an Entire Family as His Cult, Burke Ramsey Sues CBS and Several Experts for $750 Million Over JonBenét Series
- Leah Remini’s Series Could Be Scientology’s Church Abuse Scandal
What makes Scientology a cult instead of just an extreme religion?
- How an Accused Child Rapist Allegedly Brainwashed an Entire Family as His Cult
- Burke Ramsey Sues CBS and Several Experts for $750 Million Over JonBenét Series
Leah Remini’s Series Could Be Scientology’s Church Abuse Scandal
What makes Scientology a cult instead of just an extreme religion? The two latest episodes explained the difference better than any of the previous episodes.
By Bethany Mandel December 27, 2016
....The first new episode was an aired edition of a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) in which actress Leah Remini answered viewers’ questions about the cult. She sat opposite the former International Spokesman of Scientology and one of its most famous defectors, Mike Rinder, and interviewed a series of the most famous foes of Scientology, including the subject of a groundbreaking book, entitled “The Unbreakable Miss Lovely.” It’s from perhaps the most famous contemporary Scientology chronicler, a journalist who first exposed the group.
....The video is of a pep rally. In it, Cruise introduces his friend and religious leader, telling the booming audience present for the 2004 award ceremony for the “IAS Freedom Medal of Valor”: “I want to tell you something. I have never met a more competent, a more intelligent, a more tolerant, a more compassionate being. I have met the leaders of leaders. I have met them all. So I say to you COB [Chairman of the Board], we are lucky to have you, thank you.”
Miscavige’s official title in the Church of Scientology is chairman of the board of the Religious Technology Center. But who is he really? Rinder described him another way: “the undisputed dictator of Scientology.”
Miscavige executed a takeover of Scientology’s leadership after the death of its founder, L. Ron Hubbard. What makes Remini’s series unique from other shows on Scientology, such as the HBO documentary “Going Clear,” is that it is from the perspective of former Scientologists and focuses on their experiences exclusively. It explores what it is like being part of a religion at the upper echelons with Miscavige at the helm.
Remini and Rinder interviewed Jefferson Hawkins, the former chief propagandist for the group, who says he left after Miscavige assaulted and terrified him. During this interview, Remini explains to her fellow defectors the desperation she feels about exposing and taking down Scientology by any means necessary, including flooding its headquarters with airplane-dropped pamphlets and bringing in law enforcement....
How an Accused Child Rapist Allegedly Brainwashed an Entire Family as His Cult
By Harriet Sokmensuer December 28, 2016
To his neighbors, Lee Kaplan was quiet and aloof. His three-bedroom Pennsylvania home was hidden behind overgrown shrubbery and at times almost seemed empty. However, behind closed doors, authorities allege Kaplan was living with 12 young girls who considered him a prophet of God as he repeatedly sexually abused them.
To Kaplan, six of the girls were not only his followers but also his “wives,” Bucks County authorities allege....
In June the girls were rescued by Lower Southampton police, and in November Kaplan pleaded not guilty to more than a dozen charges including rape of a child and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse.
He allegedly not only fathered two children with the eldest girl but also sexually abused five of her younger sisters over the course of years, with the consent of their parents, Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub said.
“This guy set up a virtual feeding ground of victims,” Weintraub told PEOPLE in a previous interview, calling the situation “cult-like.”....
Authorities say Kaplan went unnoticed for years because the girls’ parents also believed Kaplan was a prophet.
The children were raised Amish, born with no birth certificates and home schooled together, officials say, but the Stoltzfus family left the Amish community after they met Kaplan, a former business partner of Daniel’s....
Burke Ramsey Sues CBS and Several Experts for $750 Million Over JonBenét Series
By Chris Harris December 28, 2016
Burke Ramsey has filed a second defamation lawsuit over a recent CBS docuseries that advanced the theory he killed his younger sister, JonBenét, more than two decades ago, PEOPLE confirms.
After suing forensic pathologist Dr. Werner Spitz in October for $150 million in damages, lawyers for Burke on Wednesday filed another civil suit — this one, naming CBS as well as Critical Content LLC, the production company behind The Case of: JonBenét Ramsey, and seven experts and consultants featured in the special, which aired over two nights in mid-September.
PEOPLE obtained a copy of the second suit, which seeks $250 million in compensatory damages and $500 million in punitive damages.
In addition to listing Spitz as a defendant, the suit filed Wednesday names retired FBI Supervisory Special Agent and criminal profiler Jim Clemente; criminal behaviorist Laura Richards; Jim Kolar, a former lead investigator in the JonBenét Ramsey murder investigation; forensic linguistics expert James Fitzgerald; statement analyst Stanley Burke; and forensic scientist Dr. Henry Lee....