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Small Talk: Kings and Queens

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The Small Talk topic is for:

•   Introductions

•   Off-topic chatter

•   Having virtual tea with forum buddies

This is NOT a topic for actual show discussion. When you want to talk about the show:

1 Figure out the nature of the topic you want to talk about

2 Look for an existing topic that matches or fits

3 If there is NOT an existing topic that fits, CREATE ONE!

Examples of topics that populate show forums include (but by no means are limited to):

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•   ...you get the idea

Happy trails beyond Small Talk!

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Happy 
[hap-ee] adjective
1. delighted, pleased, or glad, as over a particular thing: to be happy to see a person.
2. characterized by or indicative of pleasure, contentment, or joy: a happy mood; a happy frame of mind.
Holiday 
[hol-i-dey] noun
1. a day fixed by law or custom on which ordinary business is suspended in commemoration of some event or in honor of some person.
2. any day of exemption from work (distinguished from working day).

I hope I have cleared those words well enough that I can wish one and all a hearty Happy Holidays! That is unless you're a S.P. and if so then I disavow your right to have a happy anything. In fact I refuse to accept your existence as anything other then a diseased plankton not even worthy of feeding a clam. ;) Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone! 

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On the American Heroes Channel (AHC) today I watched "The Hollywood Syndicate" episode (originally aired this past July) after I read the synopsis:

"Examining some of the common conspiracy theories surrounding Hollywood, including suspicions about the activities of the Church of Scientology..."  (Got MY attention!)

Anyhow, the last 20 minutes were devoted to Philip Seymour Hoffman, star of the movie "The Master" (about a charismatic cult leader) who died of a drug overdose a little more than a year after its release, despite being "clean" for 23 years.  Featured are "clips"  of Tony Ortega, John Sweeney (author: "Church of Fear"); Placido Domingo's wife (member for 20 years); Juliette Lewis; our very own Leah Remini, Kelly Preston and John Travolta. 

Another clip of Tony Ortega has him stating that "although Scientology likes to mess with people, and scare them, and destroy their careers, but accusations that Scientology has had people killed is - I think - an exaggeration."

Outlandish conspiracy theory?  Hmmmm...I'm thinkin'. 

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15 hours ago, Lyndy said:

That's a really interesting perspective. From what I understand, in the Cdn province I'm from, the assistant coach would have been culpable as well, even if he reported to a superior. If you know of abuse and don't report it to authorities (police, not your boss), you are responsible. So there's a very set procedure in a school when a child reports abuse or when a staff person discovers it. Both of my parents were teachers and have had to do this more than once. In every case, the police and Child & Family Services were immediately called and there was a cop and a social worker in the building inside 20 minutes. They take that shit seriously.

 

In this Scientology case, it's such a messed up perspective. They have such mistrust of authority, they'd rather victimize a defenseless child than break the stupid rules about outsiders. Did the that Sea Org member ever have even a twinge of doubt? How do you justify that to yourself? By not believing her? 

 

9 hours ago, AZChristian said:

Here in the USA, the issue of mandatory reporting is a state-by-state issue.  In some states, EVERYONE is considered a mandated reporter.  In other states - including Pennsylvania - the roles are more specifically defined.  My understanding is that the laws in PA were changed in 2013 and 2014 (maybe because of the Penn State mess), and if that happened today, the assistant coach would have been considered a mandated reporter, and would have been free (and actually required) to go to the police with what he saw.

I was once part of a Christian website where this issue was being discussed.  A young man whom I knew to be the youth pastor of a church said that because of the way child molesters were targeted in prisons, he would not report it if one of the kids in his youth group came to him and told him they were being molested.  He didn't want to be responsible for a molester being arrested and potentially beaten up in prison, but he just knew that he could counsel the molester and the victim if the situation arose (not together).  

I was so incensed that I copied and pasted his words and sent an e-mail to the senior pastor of that church (who did not participate on that website).  I told him that if I had a kid in that youth group, we'd be looking for another church . . . one where the kids are unequivocally safe.  He thanked me profusely for writing to him.  Within 6 months, the youth pastor's employment at that church was terminated, partially because of this issue.  And I am not one bit sorry.  Some things are just not to be compromised - and the issue of mandated reporting of the sexual abuse of a minor is close to the top of that list.  The word "mandated" leaves no room for personal opinion when it comes to someone like a pastor or other person who should be protecting children is involved.

I am now stepping down from my soapbox.

 

1 hour ago, 3girlsforus said:

This is true but I'm wondering how long mandatory reporting has been on the books. If those laws were in place at the time they didn't have the option or just getting rid of the 'bad egg'. They had to report it to authorities. So maybe something can come from that. 

I'm moving this here as to not draw the ep post too far off topic.

I don't recall when the mandated reporter laws went in to effect here in PA.  I recall it being the 90's when I first took notice of someone talking about it, but it could have been before then.  When my husband was younger, he confided in several adults/teachers/counselors/doctors that his mother was abusing him. The only one who did anything was one of the doctors who he had been sent to for counseling for "behavioral issues".  That doctor confronted his mother, who never took him back, and beat him soundly when he got home.  He said no one ever called the authorities because no one ever came to school or the house to look in to matters further.  He had one teacher who took pity on him and treated him nicely - took him to movies occasionally, etc. (although sadly, nowadays his motives would be suspect), but again, never did anything further.  He had been bounced from counselor to counselor.  He'd find a good one he could talk to who he trusted, but they'd refuse to tell his mom what he said in session, so she'd take him to someone who would, and drawing on his past experience, he knew to just lie about things so he didn't get beaten more.  And because he wasn't being truthful, they laid the blame for his behavior issues back on him, which just made things worse because it allowed his mom to further tell herself she was mother of the year, and none of this was her doing, and gave her more reasons to be the disciplinarian.  Now, teachers and doctors/counselors are mandated reporters.

It was about a year-ish before the PSU scandal broke when we started working with a national charity that works with at-risk kids.  We were told we were NOT mandated reporters and we should NOT directly call police or authorities, but to immediately report any issues/concerns to the office, who were mandated reporters, and they would handle it.  The assistant coach who caught Sandusky was a grad student, and as such, was probably not being paid but rather was getting tuition, etc, in exchange for his work (I don't know for sure, but that's generally how that kind of thing works), so I would assume that at least under the rules at that time he was NOT a mandated reporter, and did what he was supposed to do, which was report to his supervisor who is mandated, which he did immediately.  We were told to report it to the office of that charity because you had to do things in a certain way, a certain order, etc, or you could jeopardize the situation, and it's entirely possible that same spiel was given to many people over the years in many organizations.  I never thought twice about it, as it made sense.  I would not be remotely surprised that the laws have changed.  They should be.  No one should fear that they're violating policies or worry that the complaint won't be handled.

I got overloaded on this case very quickly - you couldn't escape it, and people defending Paterno and others involved and some actually accusing the kids of lying just made me sick, and I had to tune out.  I don't want to go digging because it still upsets me, but I do recall mentions that people involved over the years in times when Sandusky was accused of bad things and they got swept under the rug ended up high in government, and they had a lot to lose.  I know the DA who investigated it at least once prior disappeared under mysterious circumstances.  He closed the case without prosecuting, but he's believed to have committed suicide.  People tried to get records of some of the prior incidents where the University is concerned.  Because they're a state-run entity, there's a transparency law that allows people to see the records, but for some reason, some of the records were exempted from that and can't be viewed - that involved someone high up in government - the attorney general or something.  And there were people who came forward who said they addressed Sandusky's presence at the University (his charity was allowed to have an office there) with people there (including Paterno) more than once, and said they wouldn't trust him to be there and he shouldn't have free-reign over the locker rooms, etc., and were soundly ignored or dismissed.  One of Sandusky's adopted sons accused him (and was later busted for child porn) of doing bad things to him.  Sandusky's wife stood by him, and said their adopted son was lying.  She said the families only wanted fame and money, but I'm sure there were better ways to go about it if that were true.  The Happy Valley Kool-Aid squad were quick to disavow themselves of Sandusky, but cried that the football players shouldn't have been punished by the sanctions they received (but apparently punishing the innocent kids was fine).  They also were more concerned about Paterno's records being stripped than what happened to innocent kids under his nose.  Then you had the nutjobs who said that everyone involved should be prosecuted for murder because they killed Paterno - that he died of a broken heart because of this.  Nice try, but it was Cancer that killed him.  They're the same people that said the parents were at fault for turning their kids over to a charity and not doing their due diligence.  There are some sick people out there, and all in the name of f-ing college football.

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Thanks for sharing this @funky-rat.  There are definitely some messed up people in authority out there.

(BTW, I just did a quick Google check on the youth pastor I referenced above.  It's been several years since he was relieved of his job, and he is still a "stay-at-home dad and free-lance writer and editor."  In other words, although he would LIKE to be a preacher, no one is hiring him.  One wonders whether that may have something to do with background interviews with his former senior pastor.  You can be a social idealist who thinks you don't have to follow the law, but there are consequences for that decision.  Fortunately, his wife has a stable job as a schoolteacher.  And - more fortunately - she's apparently willing to let him lay around the house because he doesn't want to compromise his ideals.  If it were me, I'd have his idealistic butt flipping burgers at McDonald's to help support the family.)

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44 minutes ago, AZChristian said:

Thanks for sharing this @funky-rat.  There are definitely some messed up people in authority out there.

(BTW, I just did a quick Google check on the youth pastor I referenced above.  It's been several years since he was relieved of his job, and he is still a "stay-at-home dad and free-lance writer and editor."  In other words, although he would LIKE to be a preacher, no one is hiring him.  One wonders whether that may have something to do with background interviews with his former senior pastor.  You can be a social idealist who thinks you don't have to follow the law, but there are consequences for that decision.  Fortunately, his wife has a stable job as a schoolteacher.  And - more fortunately - she's apparently willing to let him lay around the house because he doesn't want to compromise his ideals.  If it were me, I'd have his idealistic butt flipping burgers at McDonald's to help support the family.)

There was a pastor at the church next door to one I used to attend that I always thought was a bit "odd", but never thought anything sinister, until he was busted for kiddie porn earlier this year.  I knew people at that church with kids, and hope to heck he didn't act on his urges.  What was sad is that when he was busted, he was more concerned about losing his job than anything else.  He asked me for a donation of materials from my job once for the kids center at the church.  His complaint was that they had new carpet, and the kids were spilling juice on it.  I did it without hesitation, but I feel skeevy about it now, even though I didn't do anything wrong.  I just don't even want to be associated with him.  Hard to explain.

Here's a brief article from a number of years ago that touches on the missing DA (who is still missing, and eventually declared dead).  I don't know that one has anything to do with the other, but this case always haunted me (even before the scandal broke) because he disappeared from the town where I grew up (technically -  I lived in a rural area down the road, but this was where all my friends lived, etc.).  I have been to the business he was last seen at many times.  I drive by where the pieces of the puzzle were found at least once a week, and I get chills:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/09/sports/ncaafootball/questions-on-sandusky-wrapped-in-2005-gricar-mystery.html

 

I did a quick search, and I believe this was the person who said they should kick Sandusky off campus, and no one listened:

http://nationalpost.com/sports/penn-state-warned-about-jerry-sanduskys-behaviour-in-1998-report/wcm/6a367f70-d156-49d0-b32a-0362b0edd8f4

 

So many opportunities to do something about it, and no one said a word.  A few months ago, I attended a convention for a service group I deal with.  I went on my own, and it was not an experience I would want to repeat again, mainly because I felt like I was back in high school - people came in groups and didn't seem eager to socialize, they were saving seats at the different events available, etc.  I didn't like it and I probably wouldn't go again.  But that being said, I ended up in an event with a strange woman.  She was inappropriately smiling and grinning the entire time.  Every time there was an opportunity to speak, she'd thrust her hand in the air.  When she was finally addressed, she stood up and started in on a strange tale about how she came to this event, and she chickened out on all of the other event slots, and finally decided to attend that last one.  She started off by mentioning that she was molested by her father, then did a complete sideways move to her son, who is abusing his children.  She kept waving a photo of her grandkids as she went on a wild tirade against the Mormon church, women from South America (I can't remember where her daughter in law was from), and some other odd things.  After that, she started downing her son because he made a rude comment about her father ,and he had no right to do so because he wouldn't even remember her father (the one who molested her that she mentioned earlier).  By this time, the moderator is trying to get her to sit down, but just when you think it wouldn't get any weirder, she says that she went out to see the grandkids for their birthday but didn't bring any gifts because apparently her son makes them pick out a toy every night and takes them downstairs to smash the toys, but she then says it's beautiful in some ways because the kids then build robots from the broken pieces.  She claimed to be a teacher, and I get really incensed because she knows better than to let this go on.  She says the 7 year old girl now has an eating disorder, and her swim coach took her to the side to say he was concerned. The school is concerned because her grades are dropping.  But she has yet to say anything because she's waiting for the school or swim coach to report the parents.  She says that she started complaints when her son lived in one state, but she then withdrew it when they started to investigate.  By this time, I am seeing red, and before I could stop myself, I blurted out "Why are you sitting around talking about this???  Do you not care??  I don't find anything about this situation beautiful!".  The moderator looked grateful and didn't chastise me for breaking the rules by interrupting.  I told her I was the spouse of an adult survivor of severe child abuse and the scars are forever, and some other things I can't recall.  The woman sat down, and it was over.  Or so I thought.  She came up to me afterward, waving her photo, and having that big inappropriate grin on her face.  Again with the being upset with her son for saying something bad about her father (who I thought molested her???).  And again with how beautiful these robots they build are.  She said when she gets home she'll consult an attorney, but she wants my name and phone number and e-mail so I can check her legal briefs and testify for her.  HUH???  I told her I was not comfortable because I didn't witness the situation and while I don't condone it, I couldn't legally testify to things I hadn't seen and would be committing perjury, but she had seen it and she needed to do it.  She followed me.  Everywhere.  Even the bathroom.  Now she's a retired teacher, and a tour guide at a nationally recognized tour company, and she plays a historical figure with another tour company and she's busy, etc.  I ditch her in the bathroom, and head straight to my car, and go straight home, forgoing any further activities.  I was so shaken that I reported this to my district person, who wants to try to figure out who this woman is and see what's going on.  We looked up the tour companies she said she worked for.  One has been out of business for a long time.  There was no record of her at the other one (the character she claimed to play was not her - none of the actresses playing her were that woman).  We still don't know who she is.  And I'm beginning to wonder how much of this was in her head.  So I guess what I'm trying to say is that I sometimes can understand why people are hesitant to get involved.  I think this was a case where I should have taken it with a grain of salt and kept my mouth shut, but child abuse is something I wear on my sleeve, and her comments about it being beautiful that her grandkids were making robots from broken toys while she sat and waited for someone else to do something about it just hit my emotions too hard.  I wouldn't hesitate to speak up again, but that incident shook me.

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23 hours ago, iMonrey said:

It also occurs to me that one problem this show might have is the network it airs on, because A&E's credibility is really in the toilet right now. The show that airs immediately following this one is a documentary that, impossible as it may seem, is trying to push the idea that Scott Peterson might actually be innocent of killing his wife Lecy.  A&E did the same thing with Jon Benet Ramsey's family earlier this year. And the commercials on this show are promoting the upcoming series with Rob Lowe and his sons hunting for Bigfoot. 

So taken altogether, someone would be rightly justified in criticizing this show just by pointing out what network it airs on. The one with all sorts of crazy conspiracy shows, plus Hoarders and Duck Dynasty. A&E used to have some class and now it's all crappy exploitation nonsense.

That's been the current trend for true crime stuff for some time now.  There have been many Jon Benet shows that explore all kinds of alternate theories over the years.  Plus Scott Peterson is nice looking to many people, and nice looking murders/serial killers always have legions of fawning fangirls who keep them in the spotlight and proclaim their innocence or sing their praises (Ted Bundy until he died, Jeffrey MacDonald, Paul Bernardo, etc).  Even OJ has had a number of alternate theory specials.  They're easy for networks - true crime is popular right now, and high profile cases always bring ratings.  And of course, there's the Netflix series I refuse to mention by name, and refuse to discuss because it was extremely one-sided, left information out, and tends to make sane people unhinged.

No one is immune.  Dateline NBC aired a few horribly one-sided accounts over the years of various cases, many not high profile.  Had I not looked in to them for myself, I would have believed what they spoonfed me.

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funky rat - I certainly agree with your overall point, but I think A&E has been especially egregious in airing one-sided "documentaries" of late. There was a whole slew of new Jon Benet Ramsey specials that aired around the same time; I found that the Dateline special and the CBS special were pretty even-handed while the A&E special seemed to go out of its way to favor the Ramseys and omitted almost any opposing viewpoints. I strongly suspect they made a deal with the Ramseys to present them favorably in exchange for their cooperation in new interviews and I think the same thing is going on with the Scott Peterson special. 

Moreover, it's just kind of sad that A&E used to be all about Arts and Entertainment, as their name implied, focusing on high caliber art films and British productions, like of like a cable version of PBS. Now it's chock-full of low-brow reality series.

At the end of the day I could care less what A&E chooses to air, but Leah's Scientology series is so damn important and compelling I'd hate to think anyone could dismiss it as trash based on the other shows A&E airs. It's an unfortunate network for something so powerful.

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On 8/24/2017 at 1:32 PM, iMonrey said:

funky rat - I certainly agree with your overall point, but I think A&E has been especially egregious in airing one-sided "documentaries" of late. There was a whole slew of new Jon Benet Ramsey specials that aired around the same time; I found that the Dateline special and the CBS special were pretty even-handed while the A&E special seemed to go out of its way to favor the Ramseys and omitted almost any opposing viewpoints. I strongly suspect they made a deal with the Ramseys to present them favorably in exchange for their cooperation in new interviews and I think the same thing is going on with the Scott Peterson special. 

Moreover, it's just kind of sad that A&E used to be all about Arts and Entertainment, as their name implied, focusing on high caliber art films and British productions, like of like a cable version of PBS. Now it's chock-full of low-brow reality series.

At the end of the day I could care less what A&E chooses to air, but Leah's Scientology series is so damn important and compelling I'd hate to think anyone could dismiss it as trash based on the other shows A&E airs. It's an unfortunate network for something so powerful.

I think you are right about A&E rebranding themselves. Frankly they are doing this because it's been highly successful. Leah's series is a hit, and the ratings for the shows like Scott Peterson are good too. It is curious that they are bending over backward to exonerate Peterson. I mean's last night's episode was all about how the prosecution was terrible and how poor Scott was being railroaded. 

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We've been using Vipre for our internet security for many years, and have always been happy with it.  We recently renewed our subscription, and today I got an e-mail asking me to provide feedback on my recent purchase.  I noticed their street address in the e-mail; it's in Clearwater, FL.

Yes, I googled to see if there was any link to the Co$.

Yes, they are affiliated.

No, I will not be renewing that subscription again.  It's the principle of the thing.

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1 hour ago, AZChristian said:

We've been using Vipre for our internet security for many years, and have always been happy with it.  We recently renewed our subscription, and today I got an e-mail asking me to provide feedback on my recent purchase.  I noticed their street address in the e-mail; it's in Clearwater, FL.

Yes, I googled to see if there was any link to the Co$.

Yes, they are affiliated.

No, I will not be renewing that subscription again.  It's the principle of the thing.

I never heard of Vipre so I googled it. There were a few reviews I read that said Tony Ortega's website gets blocked as well as the torrent for Going Clear. Coincidence? I think not.

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The actor Peter Serafinowicz and a friend, Robert Popper, created a Scientology parody religion called Tarvuism. Tarvuism pre-dates all the major religions on Earth. Tarvu is the Lord God. He came to Earth in a tiny egg. He created two universes. You can speak to octopi.

 

 

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I had the opportunity to smart talk the groupies outside the Scientology center in Old Pasadena. They had their tables set up with their lame "stress test" and "personality test" signs. I started loudly explaining to my companions all the bs  you have to go through. Then even more loudly I announced "it costs $250,000 to become a Scientologist!!!" 

 

I wanted to walk past again but my companions didn't want to. But it was fun.

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On 9/15/2017 at 1:17 AM, HunterHunted said:

The actor Peter Serafinowicz and a friend, Robert Popper, created a Scientology parody religion called Tarvuism. Tarvuism pre-dates all the major religions on Earth. Tarvu is the Lord God. He came to Earth in a tiny egg. He created two universes. You can speak to octopi.

 

 

Hilarious!  I especially liked it that all the women wore ties in the second video.  

But, if it's a real website, some idiots will try to actually join.  They'll be fighting it out with the scientologists and rastafarians.

On 10/17/2017 at 8:03 AM, rhofmovalley said:

I had the opportunity to smart talk the groupies outside the Scientology center in Old Pasadena. They had their tables set up with their lame "stress test" and "personality test" signs. I started loudly explaining to my companions all the bs  you have to go through. Then even more loudly I announced "it costs $250,000 to become a Scientologist!!!" 

 

I wanted to walk past again but my companions didn't want to. But it was fun.

I wish I had been there.  Now, that would have been fun!

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I'm kind of steaming today and need to vent a bit.

I've been reading the Underground Bunker for three years or so and sincerely appreciate the articles and especially the commenting by so many exes. But damn, Ortega is such a smug jerk sometimes. The majority of his "reporting" is via tips that people send him, not any investigative work of his own. Which is fine, but it's annoying the way he thumps his chest about "exclusive" content, which usually isn't that interesting. Plus he tends towards tabloid-ish, self-promoting article titles.

Today he remarked that he "winces" whenever people mention the Lisa McPherson case because it was 22 years ago, but then talks about it himself and of course links to a lengthy article he did about it. He said he wrote that post in hopes of putting the story to rest. Such gall. He also regularly slaps down commenters with brusque replies.

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I've been watching a show that airs on Sunday nights called "How It Really Happened" (I think that's the name). 

Sunday night's show was about the Heaven's Gate cult.  They spoke to some people who had gotten out before the madness went down, and they said in the early days (early/mid 70's) they were picking up a lot of people who were disaffected with other non-mainstream religions, and they specifically mentioned picking up a fair amount of Scientologists, which gave me a chuckle.  They believed that there would be a UFO that would pick them up and physically take them to heaven, where they would then be transformed in to aliens.  Then when one of their leaders died, and her body stayed here, they decided that they were wrong, and they must have to be dead to be picked up by the UFO - that they would just take your spirit and transform it.  And if that seems more appealing than Scientolgoy (although to be fair, the woman didn't die until the mid 80's, so the time they mentioned picking up Scientologists would be when they believed they would be physically taken), then that's quite scary.  There were a number of similarities though, like disconnecting from most people not in the cult, kids were not allowed so some members left their kids behind, believing in some weird theory with a sci-fi element, believing they'd evolve in to some perfect being, etc.  They were encouraged to give away their worldly possessions, but not to the cult, and they were also free to leave at any time with no guilt or remorse, and the cult would help you get home, unlike Scamatology.

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I wasn’t sure where to put this but I thought y’all would like seeing what Mike & his wife were for Halloween. :)

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Anyone else with U-verse having trouble with their DVRs not picking up new episodes all the time? It's driving me crazy.

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2 hours ago, Jaded said:

Anyone else with U-verse having trouble with their DVRs not picking up new episodes all the time? It's driving me crazy.

I have Uverse and haven't had an issue. Even been grabbing the "First Looks" and "Extra Chats".

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15 hours ago, Jaded said:

Anyone else with U-verse having trouble with their DVRs not picking up new episodes all the time? It's driving me crazy.

 

12 hours ago, italianguy626 said:

I have Uverse and haven't had an issue. Even been grabbing the "First Looks" and "Extra Chats".

My Uverse DVR is picking up everything new, too.

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I’m not familiar with what Uverse is, but I have Dish and suddenly it’s stopped picking up new episodes. I’ve had to manually check the guide, find the new episodes and set them to record. So frustrating!

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I have Uverse and I am a week behind. I just got last weeks and it did not pick up this weeks. It is listed for next week. I looked On demand and it wasn't listed. I thought I was losing it, everyone is commenting on a show that I can't seem to watch.

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1 hour ago, Arynm said:

I have Uverse and I am a week behind. I just got last weeks and it did not pick up this weeks. It is listed for next week. I looked On demand and it wasn't listed. I thought I was losing it, everyone is commenting on a show that I can't seem to watch.

My DVR seems to be picking and choosing what new episodes it wants to record. It didn't pick up last week's so I set it to record the episode last night after the new episode aired. I deleted and then re-added it as a weekly recorded series. Hoping that fixes it.

1 hour ago, Maelstrom said:

I’m not familiar with what Uverse is, but I have Dish and suddenly it’s stopped picking up new episodes. I’ve had to manually check the guide, find the new episodes and set them to record. So frustrating!

It's AT&T's original TV offering. What they were pushing before acquiring DirecTV.

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On 10/17/2017 at 5:03 AM, rhofmovalley said:

I had the opportunity to smart talk the groupies outside the Scientology center in Old Pasadena. They had their tables set up with their lame "stress test" and "personality test" signs. I started loudly explaining to my companions all the bs  you have to go through. Then even more loudly I announced "it costs $250,000 to become a Scientologist!!!" 

 

I wanted to walk past again but my companions didn't want to. But it was fun.

My son and I walked by recently and I said to him (he's 10) "so if anyone from this place tries to talk to you, shout loudly 'STRANGER DANGER YOU ARE NOT MY MOTHER.'" He asked why and I pointed to the sign and he said "yeah they are so weird." Lol

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I'm reading Google reviews on the local Scientology center.

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The sandwiches were alright. I was not a tremendous fan of the Tom Cruise noises being played in the lobby when I walked in. This is by far the worst sandwich loving organization I've run into. I also did not understand why someone had scrawled, "help me" into the wall. The building was very well-kept and cleanly.

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So thankful. I knew i never liked my family, and I'm glad that they helped me realize this. The $20,000 is completely worth it and I FEEL SO ENLIGHTENED!!! I am never leaving this place. Plus i can't.

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I wanted to burn some money in front of some homeless people but this place seemed like a bigger waste of cash so I ended up joining.

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I didn't see Tom Cruise there, but it was alright. I loved the part about the hydrogen bombs detonated inside the volcanoes so that zeno could come to save us all.. 10/10 would recommend

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Came here last week, Leah Remini spat on my when I opened the doors. She seemed really nice on The King of Queens, but i guess not. When I walked in they had Top Gun on repeat, not a big fan of Val Kilmer cause he ruined the Batman series, but it was nice background noise in the waiting room. After 6 hours of watching top gun i left and Leah called me "Tom Cruises minion". Now I come every Sunday with my grandma to watch Top Gun.

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On 11/2/2017 at 10:10 PM, ramble said:

I wasn’t sure where to put this but I thought y’all would like seeing what Mike & his wife were for Halloween. :)

This is pretty epic!

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Some more gossipy drama at Tony Ortega's site. He and Aaron Smith-Levin had a falling out last month over comments made in a Facebook group. Tony felt that Aaron was picking on one of the women from Aftermath. He took Aaron's video links down from the Bunker and they had a small dust-up in the comments section.

Now today Nora Crest (ex Scientologist) called Tony a coward, questioned his motives, and said she doesn't trust him. She said he published some email comments from her without telling her that their discussion was on the record. She was also angry that he posted a FB comment made by a relative of Nora's, calling that person a Hubbard apologist.

For his part, Tony said "Once again, we were attacked from certain quarters ..." after he wrote a story about (what he vehemently believes are) Hubbard's sick teachings surrounding children and sexuality.

Some people on FB were definitely critical of Tony's interpretations of Hubbard's writing, but I didn't see anyone attacking him. It's possible the worst of it was done offline.

But Tony has a big ego and doesn't take well to having his authority questioned.

Edited by 2727
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OK, Tony has helped a lot regarding outing the truth, but... At what cost ? I liked him, but as a member of the mentionned FB group, and having seen and read a lot of comments, I really think now that he's an opportunist, and he doesn't give a f..k if he hurts people in the process.... For instance, I read some testimonials on this group and the next day or a few hours later, those testimonials were posted on his website.... I don't trust him anymore. It saddens me, because he's done a lot to out this cult, but if you're using the same tactics than the ones you're fighting, you're not better than them, if that makes sense, and "stealing" other people stories is not OK in my books.

He was a member of this FB group and, yes, he left because of an exchange / interpretation reagarding pedophilia about one month ago

ETA : here's a link to understand better this issue : https://tonyortega.org/2017/12/01/how-l-ron-hubbard-used-past-lives-to-set-a-trap-for-scientologists/#comment-3642303763

Edited by Diane Mars
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Personally, I think Aaron Smith-Levin is still in denial about the cult and his comments apologizing for and defending Hubbard/scientology in the wake of the extremely disturbing and indefensible way that Hubbard wrote about the sexual abuse of children, and the way the cult engages in victim-blaming and other practices which yes, do condone sexual abuse, are really sickening.  His comments about Danny Masterson took on the same tone, of defending the cult.  The ex-scientologists who came out trying to defend and explain Hubbard's comments have serious issues.  So, I don't agree with the claim that Tony was the one in the wrong there.  Hubbard was a sick, victim-blaming piece of trash, and his teachings are deeply toxic to survivors.

Edited by Glade
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11 hours ago, Glade said:

...So, I don't agree with the claim that Tony was the one in the wrong there.  Hubbard was a sick, victim-blaming piece of trash, and his teachings are deeply toxic to survivors.

I quite agree regarding the "denial", but that was not my point. My point, regarding Tony was not about discussing if what he writes is correct or not, it was regarding the WAY he gets and publishes those information ! And that part only. You can use the info you get through confidences, private exchanges, etc., but as long as the people your discussing with don't agree to share those info publicly, you HAVE to find another way to out that, without breaking the confidentiality. That's unethical and dishonest, for me.  To summarize : it's not because the message delivered was correct that the way to obtain it was.

(Edit before posting : I hope that my post is not passive-agressive or something like that, because it's absolutely not in my intent :D )

Edited by Diane Mars
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Just because you can't make this stuff up (and I googled it to be sure it wasn't), here's everyone's favorite sociopath, Elarraitch, putting tomatoes on an e-meter like device, to find out if they feel pain.  Yeah......

10-A-Gadget-to-Measure-Pain-Felt-by-Fruit-and-Vegetables-103648.jpg

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So I came home from the grocery store this morning and guess what was on the front door.  A pamphlet asking if I want to take a personality test from my friendly neighborhood Scientologist.  Since I'm sure I'm one sick puppy and need thousands of dollars of auditing, in the recycle bin it went.

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19 hours ago, toodles said:

So I came home from the grocery store this morning and guess what was on the front door.  A pamphlet asking if I want to take a personality test from my friendly neighborhood Scientologist.  Since I'm sure I'm one sick puppy and need thousands of dollars of auditing, in the recycle bin it went.

If I had gotten that pamphlet, I would have disposed of it by making the sign of the cross, smearing it with garlic oil and then burn it in the fireplace.

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Very interesting (and sad) article about the NXIUM cult from the NYTimes mentions so many of the same brainwashing techniques and bullshit doublespeak as Scientology. It's just disgusting how cults play off people's fears and twist their minds like this.

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On 5/9/2018 at 6:23 PM, CelticBlackCat said:

If I had gotten that pamphlet, I would have disposed of it by making the sign of the cross, smearing it with garlic oil and then burn it in the fireplace.

I'm doubling down and adding salt around my property and smudging every room. DAMN! 

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What do scientologists do for Christmas and Easter? LOL -  I be willing to bet the "church" expects a huge monetary gift, but that's my cynicism talking.

Edited by Skycatcher

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5 hours ago, Skycatcher said:

What do scientologists do for Christmas and Easter? LOL -  I be willing to bet the "church" expects a huge monetary gift, but that's my cynicism talking.

At Christmas time, SeaOrg members are hit up for $$$ to purchase a gift for Miss Cabbage. Don't know about public Scientologists. It seems most Scientologists treat Christmas as a secular holiday and not as Christianity does - a celebration of the birth of Jesus.

After reading a bunch of memoirs penned by former members, no one ever mentions anything about doing anything for Easter. Here is an article from the Scientology Money Project site about how one can't be both Christian and a Scientologist.

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On 6/18/2018 at 4:38 PM, FairyDusted said:

I'm doubling down and adding salt around my property and smudging every room. DAMN! 

If you want to triple down put brick dust on your thresholds. It will keep people with bad intentions from wanting to come into your house. I thought this was gobbledygook, but watched in surprise as someone wanted to put a foot in the door, so to speak, but kept having to back off as they became very uncomfortable. All you need is a brick and a hammer to make some.  

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Unrelated but did anyone see entertainment tonight todatpy?  Leah has a movie coming out, Second Act.  With her good friend Jennifer Lopez.

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Hello.  I’d like to wish everyone here a Happy Holiday season. I hope the following comments will not offend anyone because they are off topic. I checked the Index under "D" for "Dirty Money" which is the title of the TV show I wish to recommend to you all. I'm posting here because there is no thread for "Dirty Money" that I can find and it is produced by Alex Gibney who is a former member of Scientlogy and who has appeared on Leah's show, "Scientology the Aftermath". I  hope it will be OK for me to post my recommendation here in this forum.
I recently discovered a documentary TV show and most all of its episodes (I believe) were created and produced by Alex Gibney.

Mr. Gibney is a former member of Scientology and in the past, he has produced some terrific documentary films. He won the 2007 Academy Award for the film "Taxi to the Dark Side" which is a film that exposes the haunting details of the USA’s torture and interrogation practices during the War in Afghanistan.  https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0316795/awards?ref_=nm_awd

The TV show I'd like to recommend to you is called "Dirty Money". The first season has six episodes. I’ve only seen the first one so far. But it surely was up to the standards of all his other work.

So, after you've watched the current episode of Leah and Mike’s show "Aftermath", I’d like to suggest that you see the episodes of Dirty Money. The first episode is pretty amazing.

Did you know that many years ago, VW (Volkswagon) was near bankruptcy because it was no longer selling enough cars to keep the company solvent. But instead of investing in the development of new technologies, VW chose to invest in good advertising. Unfortunately, the product they created did not perform nearly as well as advertised. In other words, they cheated. And I’m not talking about a little bit of cheating. They cheated one whole Hell of a lot. Cheated to a monumental level. Cheated more than most any other corporation (that I know of) ever did. The US govt has certain emission standards and car manufacturers must ensure their exhaust fumes do not contain more pollutants than a strict maximum.

It was wrong for me to say that VW did not invest in technology. They certainly did invest in technology. But the technological device they invented was designed to defeat the exhaust system so that although their new Diesel Jetta cars (from about 2011 to 2016) were advertised as being highly "green" and getting fabulous mileage and fabulous performance and supposedly emitting extremely clean exhaust fumes, it was all a lie, a big huge lie, an unbelievable, monumental sized lie, A bigger lie than even Angelina could create.

The American public loved the new VW diesel cars and bought them in huge numbers. Can you imaging buying a new car that cost about the same as similar other new cars but was extremely efficient, got magnificent mileage, magnificent performance and magnificent everything else? However, the only component that really worked was the cheating exhaust system. Shame! Shame! Shame!

VW sold about half a million cars and they had to buy them all back. It cost them about $6 billion (if I remember correctly).

Well, I have lots more to say. But I’m gonna stop now and recommend you watch the first episode which is all about those lying, cheating and scamming VW scum bucket executives who were lying out of both sides of their mouths at the same time. But Alex (bless his heart) produced this episode and showed them all up for the scam artists they were. To be clear, I do not belileve that Alex Gibney discovered this scam. I think that someone who knew about the scam and knew of Alex’s work, contacted him and, as they say, "The Hunt was On!". Go Alex Go!

Alex? Why don’t you stop by here one day and take a bow? You surely do deserve that! You are a wonderful producer of wonderful films! Thank Goodness you got out of that scam situation. Please, won’t you tell us about the difference that made to the quality of your work and to the quality of your life? I’m sure that I’m not the only one who would love to hear what you have to say.

Oh, come on by Alex. Do not be shy. We would love to have you come by and take a bow!  Honest we would!

Edited by MisterBluxom
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Oh dear. I must apologize to you all. I got Alex Gibney confused with Paul Haggis.

Alex Gibney is the producer of most all the episodes of "Dirty Money" and he did direct the film "Going Clear" which was a wonderful expose on Scientology.

But it was Paul Haggis who appeared in "Going Clear" and I confused the two of them. In any event, I hope the mod will allow the post to remain. Who knows? Perhaps some of you will like this show enough to recommend starting a new forum for this show.

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2 hours ago, MisterBluxom said:

Oh dear. I must apologize to you all. I got Alex Gibney confused with Paul Haggis.

Alex Gibney is the producer of most all the episodes of "Dirty Money" and he did direct the film "Going Clear" which was a wonderful expose on Scientology.

But it was Paul Haggis who appeared in "Going Clear" and I confused the two of them. In any event, I hope the mod will allow the post to remain. Who knows? Perhaps some of you will like this show enough to recommend starting a new forum for this show.

You could request a forum for it if you want; they may be on a pause as the board is being reorganized though. :)

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