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Tara Ariano

S01.E06: Auditing

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Leah sits down with Aaron Smith-Levin, a former prodigy of the Scientology's auditing program, whose twin brother was dismissed from the program, leading to a painful tragedy.

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Of course I watch the Monday previews and weirdass five minute episodes! Tomorrow's looks fun -- Leah rattling around Clearwater talking to a drunk woman on the beach.

I think the opening credits for the show are really effective, with the various adjectives being flashed on screen about Leah and the "church."

All these staff and Sea Org members killing themselves working 60+ hours a week for almost no money, having little to no contact with spouses and children, making zero progress on their own spiritual advancement, miserable and hurting ... and who do they blame? Themselves.

Edited by lordonia
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I watched the preview too and the druggie scene was interesting. First, seriously, who tried to buy drugs from someone with TV cameras pointed at them LOL. But that aside, I thought Leah's comments about wanting to help her were an interesting contrast to Rinder's comments about Scientology drilling compassion out of people. Scientology snares people because they have compassion and think that Scientology helps people and then manages to keep them in part by drilling that compassion out of them (or raising them not to have compassion) so they will be less likely to notice that they really aren't helping people. 

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37 minutes ago, CofCinci said:

I caught the clip last night and wondered if this drug seeker was a $cientologist sent to disrupt filming???

I thought about that possibility. I can imagine that in the minds of  COS sending someone to try to buy drugs from Leah  would make people think Leah is a drug user too. 

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I really need Leah or someone to explain exactly what $cientologi$t$ are doing when they're working in Clearwater or Gold Base.  Are they reading LRH's books?  What are they doing 13 hrs a day/7 days a week?!?

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38 minutes ago, 3girlsforus said:

I thought about that possibility. I can imagine that in the minds of  COS sending someone to try to buy drugs from Leah  would make people think Leah is a drug user too. 

Or that Leah wouldn't want to use the footage.

"Let's ruin her the shot where she wants to put her feet in the Ocean for the first time with someone who is lost on their way to a Phish concert."

People don't act like that on pot!  It was so comical. Community college acting. 

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So many of COS's ploys, excuses, justifications, and stories are comically transparent. It reminds me of when my kids were little and the one with the chocolate all over her mouth would swear it was her sister who ate it even if her sister wasn't home.  Little kids don't see the obvious holes in their stories. Sometimes I wonder if it isn't just arrogance that causes COS to out out these ridiculous letters or create these scenarios that are so clearly fake. I wonder if it's because so many of the high up decision makers have been in the cult since a very young age being treated like little adults rather than being raised from children into mature adults. It's like their emotional and mental growth was stunted and many of their actions are still like children. 

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So of the little previews they showed I really enjoyed Rinder's wife's little interview I had not realized she had been in the church for so long.  And second, of the preview with Aaron Smith-Levin I thought it was interesting when he said parents are told they are doing all this for family, but the second and third generations just know that Scientology is the reason they don't have any real family.  

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I laughed when Leah was so appalled to be asked for weed. She definitely retains that message from Scientology: Drugs are destroying the world! REALLY BAD!! Really.

Monday's extras had that scene where Leah and Mike talked a bit about how Scientologists have no empathy for others. I'm glad Mike is aware of it and working to correct that in himself, but he sure looked bored during most of the interview with Aaron.

Edited by lordonia
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3 minutes ago, shelley1005 said:

So Mike Rinder's belly laugh when Aaron said the Scientology neighbor disconnected from the kids, his wife, him, but wouldn't disconnect from the dog.....THAT IS MY EVERYTHING.  

You and I are both on the same page! That was some funny shit right there!

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Just now, Empress1 said:

Had. Me. Rolling. And when Leah pointed her talon at Aaron and called him a fucking liar, I fell out. There was a lot of very sad stuff in this (excellent) episode, but that was hilarious.

Word.   That episode was full of tragedy, but that bit of comedy at the end.....yep, loved it.  

What I think has to make the Scientologists even more red with rage is how likable Rinder comes off in this series.  It's hard to make the guy in this show look like the dark abusive thug in the shade they sell about him.  I mean he used to be a thug when he was IN Scientology, but now.....damn, he's that guy who will get all gruff to stand up for you, but you gosh darn love him.  

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The juxtpsiton of Aaron telling his story about his family in $cientology ,being declared and then about his neighbor Sue and his dog made my night!

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What a shame next Tuesday is the last of Leah's expose'.  I truly believe it will be a major catalyst in bringing down this horrific cult. 

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13 hours ago, 3girlsforus said:

I watched the preview too and the druggie scene was interesting. First, seriously, who tried to buy drugs from someone with TV cameras pointed at them LOL. 

Obviously, the druggie was a total Co$ plant.  They were probably hoping Leah would respond to her drug request in a way that the "church" could use it against her.   Loved Leah's sweater!

This episode was heartbreaking!! Between the grandparents living across the street and hiding from their grandchildren to the "church" expecting Aaron to disconnect from his father just so he could get married to losing his twin brother.  I really need to stop watching this show while I'm chopping onions.  

Two major points on this episode:  First, I was really hoping because Aaron was THE genius auditor,  they were going to show how the E-meter works or better yet, what a crock of BS the E-meter is.  Secondly, when Aaron said that his twin brother Collin was killed in a car accident, I was surprised that's how he died.  All the build up to him being so successful at passing the auditing class the first time and then failing it the second time around, then him leaving the "church", then being labeled a SP and being disconnected from his family, etc, I thought it was going to be suicide.  Not to sound cold and heartless, but for his family's sake, I'm thankful it wasn't a suicide.

 

41 minutes ago, shelley1005 said:

So Mike Rinder's belly laugh when Aaron said the Scientology neighbor disconnected from the kids, his wife, him, but wouldn't disconnect from the dog.....THAT IS MY EVERYTHING.  

  Mike Rinder laughing and Leah being in total WTF shock was pure awesome!

Edited by juliet73
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How heartbreaking - there is no concept of "unconditional love" in CO$. Why does this organization still exist? Forced abortions, broken families, abusive child labor. I'm flummoxed. 

How twisted that a person would cut off all communication to a family except the dog because of the CO$. That's sick. Bravo to Leah, Mike, A&E, and all these really brave ex-members for showing the reality of this organization.

Edited by Ruprecht
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I can't tell if I'm biased because I loooove Scientology exposés in all forms, or if this truly is getting better and better with each episode. It's one of the only shows I watch live (with commercials) because I can't wait to see it!

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Yeah, I'm going to be seriously bummed when this series ends. It is Must See TV for me right now and I am cheering Leah, Mike and Co. on HARD. 

Aaron's story was devastating, so thank God for that moment of levity with the dog. The absurdity of the situation and their individual reactions to it were gold. (Leah: "You are a fucking LIAR, Aaron! Stop it!" Mike:::insane giggling:::). Magic. 

Edited by MichaelaRae
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I don't think it's as prevalent now with young kids joining the Sea Org, but you'd think the damned government could have prosecuted Scientology for multiple violations of child labor laws sometime in the last 30 years. The Federal Fair Labor Standards Act states that children under 14 may not be employed.

Did Aaron and his brother have social security cards, earnings statements, and tax returns? Not that $50 a month or whatever pittance they got would even reach the level of needing to file. I wonder if the Sea Org simply paid them cash under the table? That's also illegal.

Aaron Smith-Levin commented on Tony Ortega's site that he and his brother were simply "under the radar" as far as dropping out of school since, they moved to another state. Nobody in the government cared, or knew. Do truancy officers even exist any more?

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Yes truant officers exist. But Aaron is right. A state can only track down a student when they know about them in the first place. Since they didn't drop out of school until they moved to FL and went straight to FLAG, it is unlikely that the state of FL was ever notified they even live there. Every state is a little different so I can only speak to my state. I have to report each year that I am homeschooling my children, their grade, age etc and provide testing results. However, the first time I did that, when my oldest was 9, I only reported her and her younger sister. They were both already registered with the state because they attended school. My youngest was too young to be in school yet. So I think it's likely that if I hadn't added her to my list of children when she was old enough, they wouldn't have known.  It's not like they peruse tax returns looking for names of dependents and matching them with school records. 

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What torture those kids (and all the others) go through!  Holding those stupid cans for hours while you are grilled for indiscretions and "crimes" are just beyond the pale!  Kudos to Aaron for getting out!

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What a sad episode. I also thought it was going to be a suicide, so I was relieved it wasn't. The dog part was hilarious though.

I hope they keep going with a new season or something!

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I've always thought Miscavige's IRS announcement, and the crowds extreme reaction is very telling.  He didn't say - the IRS now recognizes Scientology as a religion - which I could understand a strong reaction to. He said we've received tax exemption.  Always about the money. 

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3 hours ago, RedheadZombie said:

I've always thought Miscavige's IRS announcement, and the crowds extreme reaction is very telling.  He didn't say - the IRS now recognizes Scientology as a religion - which I could understand a strong reaction to. He said we've received tax exemption.  Always about the money. 

The key statement was "THE WAR IS OVER!!!!!!11111" This is CO$ in a nutshell. It's all "us against them" as far as Miscavige is concerned. Reading Marc Headley'd book really fleshed this out for me. The hell of having of produce those cheesy videos to accompan the Big Events was like Keystone Kops, except if you really failed (and you were set up to), you were never heard from again. 

This episode? Beach chick was a plant. No other way that anyone who REALLY needed drugs would, oh, sign a waiver to be on camera. In Clearwater. I'm glad Leah kept that in to illustrate just how desperate they are in their bumbling attepmts to trip up former members. 

The dog thing? Probably the most ridiculous thing I've seen on this show. I am sorry that Aaron's wife wouldn't be filmed. It sounds like her family history is deeper than most and that she's still processing stuff. It takes several years for most of them, but  if her family is totally enmeshed, it may take longer for her to disconnect from the cult. 

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First, politics aside, I honestly think the fastest way to get thia CULT shut down is for people to tweet President-Elect Trump varations of "revoke $cientology #taxexemptstatus for $ 2 build #roadsandbridges".  

Second, I wish Aaron had gone into how the e-meters allegedly "work".  Are the cans supposed to measure your pulse the way those metal stipes on treadmills do?  How is the auditor supposed to "read" it? 

Everything else aside, the whole e-meter thing makea no fucking sense.

Edited by Tiger
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8 hours ago, juliet73 said:

Secondly, when Aaron said that his twin brother Collin was killed in a car accident, I was surprised that's how he died.  All the build up to him being so successful at passing the auditing class the first time and then failing it the second time around, then him leaving the "church", then being labeled a SP and being disconnected from his family, etc, I thought it was going to be suicide.  

I kept waiting for Aaron to say that Collin killed himself.  I was glad he didn't, but still such a tragedy.  He was out and making a life for himself and was on his way to being happy. 

8 hours ago, MissT said:

Seriously.  How many of these shows are left?   I'm totally into it.  I could watch 100 shows on this shit.

I feel like I am obsessed with this show and this topic now.  I am taking a small break from some of the books because I kind of feel like I am losing my mind a bit with just trying to wrap my head around how many people fall for this and the crap they go through, but I could watch 8 hours a day of Leah and Mike interviewing people. 

1 hour ago, Sew Sumi said:

No other way that anyone who REALLY needed drugs would, oh, sign a waiver to be on camera.

I admit, I was multi-tasking at the beginning of the episode, but I thought the druggies face was blurred?  I put down my iPad right after that opening, so I heard but didn't see anything until Leah gave that funny face to the camera.  I thought the druggies face was blurred in the background, but I may be wrong. 

As far as the dog, I have never even heard of a neighbor being so invested in someone else's dog before- Co$ or not- so the whole doggie door and stuff blew my mind.  Then, to be willing to disconnect from the children but not the dog.... 

Like Leah, I am surprised how many people stay in Clearwater after leaving.  I guess I get it in Mike's case and Aaron's wife's case since they are probably seriously hoping that their loved ones will leave and will be able to find them.  I just would hate feeling like there is literally no reprieve from it if my direct next-door-neighbor was a Scientologist. 

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26 minutes ago, Tiger said:

Everything else aside, the whole e-meter thing makes no fucking sense.

Especially when they get to the OT levels that are self-audited! Sit for hours and watch the meter by yourself. Saving the planet, yessir.

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Loved this episode. Was sad that when Sue came out, Leah didn't shout: "Hey Sue! It's Leah. How the bleep are you?"

Really would have loved to see Sue's reaction.  The fact that it would hurt the dog(s) and she will not disconnect with them? So stupid.

Really people, what will it take for these nut jobs to get shut down?

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32 minutes ago, lordonia said:

Especially when they get to the OT levels that are self-audited! Sit for hours and watch the meter by yourself. Saving the planet, yessir.

I would really love to hear more about the saving the planet part. I realize the e-meter stuff is insane, but obviously they believe it. So they believe that all of this constant auditing helps them remove these bad things from their mind so they can achieve a higher level of being. I know I'm saying it wrong but all the Scientology-speak confuses me. Is that how they believe they are saving the planet? By making themselves these "all-healing/all-good" type people and recruiting others to do that same? Or are they under the impression that some other part of Scientology is saving the planet in a more traditional way (feeding hungry, building homes, etc). I know they have Narcanon which they believe is helping people get off drugs. Whether it is or not is another story, but they believe it and I'm sure they see that as a major 'planet helper'. What I'm trying to understand is how they view saving the planet. 

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14 hours ago, lordonia said:

Monday's extras had that scene where Leah and Mike talked a bit about how Scientologists have no empathy for others. I'm glad Mike is aware of it and working to correct that in himself, but he sure looked bored during most of the interview with Aaron.

I go back and forth with Rinder...sometimes I think he's really checked out, but then I remember that in Scientology, and especially with the job he had, he survived by lying and keeping his emotions deeply buried.  It's got to be difficult for him hearing these stories, especially the ones where he was either present or a major player.

Rinder's wife was a Scientologist for 36 years??  How can that be, when she looks like she's only about 30 years old?  Wow.

I shouldn't have watched this episode before work, as I cried off most of my eyeliner.  This was the most affecting episode yet, IMO. 

I really, REALLY need this series to continue.  I started watching because I have always loved Leah as an actress.  Now, I'm hooked because of the personal stories.  And as much as I want Leah and Mike to keep on with the good fight, I have this subtle undercurrent of fear that Miscavige and Cruise are pretty ticked off with this show, and I wonder what they're cooking up behind the scenes.

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4 minutes ago, laurakaye said:

I go back and forth with Rinder...sometimes I think he's really checked out, but then I remember that in Scientology, and especially with the job he had, he survived by lying and keeping his emotions deeply buried.  It's got to be difficult for him hearing these stories, especially the ones where he was either present or a major player.

Rinder's wife was a Scientologist for 36 years??  How can that be, when she looks like she's only about 30 years old?  Wow.

I shouldn't have watched this episode before work, as I cried off most of my eyeliner.  This was the most affecting episode yet, IMO. 

I really, REALLY need this series to continue.  I started watching because I have always loved Leah as an actress.  Now, I'm hooked because of the personal stories.  And as much as I want Leah and Mike to keep on with the good fight, I have this subtle undercurrent of fear that Miscavige and Cruise are pretty ticked off with this show, and I wonder what they're cooking up behind the scenes.

I suspect Leah is hoping this is the case. She knows she's physically safe because even someone as egomaniacal as Miscavige wouldn't try to harm her with her in the public eye like this. And she really seems to revel in the harassment they have gotten on tape. By that I don't mean she likes it, but that she knows it's a sign that she's getting to them and they are showing more and more of their true colors. Scientology has never shown themselves to act wisely when trying to deal with a threat. They can't even write a letter to A&E that doesn't make them sound like whiny liars. So she knows that whatever they are cooking up is going to backfire on them. 

Speaking of those letters, I'd have to go back and listen to each one to be sure but are they really just form letters with the "bad guy' of the day inserted into the first line? It's like they sent the same letter over and over but about different people. 

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I myself am waiting for Leah to read a letter from the COS that reads, "I know you are but what am I?"

My guess is that the letters are filled out similarly to Mad Libs...insert name, crime, adjectives, bigger crime, more adjectives, and done.

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Yes. This was a heartbreaking episode. (The whole neighbor thing was funny.) I am extremely shocked at how someone else has not exposed them before Leah. I mean, how far is their reach really outside of Clearwater? I know they hall "flags" all over but outside of their stronghold are they really that powerful? Is Leah the first celebrity to leave (not really thinking of wives of others such as Nicole Kidman or Katie Holmes who have left)? I am speaking of the full-fledge celebrity believers who have left? Do they speak of their time there at all? I am curious and want more.

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35 minutes ago, laurakaye said:

I really, REALLY need this series to continue.  I started watching because I have always loved Leah as an actress.  Now, I'm hooked because of the personal stories.  And as much as I want Leah and Mike to keep on with the good fight, I have this subtle undercurrent of fear that Miscavige and Cruise are pretty ticked off with this show, and I wonder what they're cooking up behind the scenes.

 

23 minutes ago, 3girlsforus said:

I suspect Leah is hoping this is the case. She knows she's physically safe because even someone as egomaniacal as Miscavige wouldn't try to harm her with her in the public eye like this. And she really seems to revel in the harassment they have gotten on tape. By that I don't mean she likes it, but that she knows it's a sign that she's getting to them and they are showing more and more of their true colors. Scientology has never shown themselves to act wisely when trying to deal with a threat. They can't even write a letter to A&E that doesn't make them sound like whiny liars. So she knows that whatever they are cooking up is going to backfire on them. 

 

I'm not worried about what Miscavige and Cruise might be thinking or trying to plan.  Leah has them AND the  "church"  by the balls - and loving it.   She will not stop and I cannot applaud her enough. 

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9 hours ago, Ruprecht said:

How heartbreaking - there is no concept of "unconditional love" in CO$. Why does this organization still exist? Forced abortions, broken families, abusive child labor. I'm flummoxed. 

How twisted that a person would cut off all communication to a family except the dog because of the CO$. That's sick. Bravo to Leah, Mike, A&E, and all these really brave ex-members for showing the reality of this organization.

I've been reading Raven, a book about Jim Jones and the People's Temple.  There are a lot of similarities between that cult and this one.  I think what attracts people is that both cults started doing actual good works.  People's Temple was about integration at a time when people were concerned about things like integration and social reform; people got sucked in and before they knew it, they were giving everything they had to the Temple, then when they realized Jones was batshit insane, they'd been in so long that they felt they couldn't leave.  Scientology told their members that they were helping the planet, and then once they were sucked in, the same things happened to them that happened to the People's Temple members, they gave everything to the "church" and when they realized things were not what they thought, they'd been there for years, decades.  It's hard to break from something when you've been doing it for that long, not impossible, but hard. 

I think they get away with a lot probably because they have members working in government organizations, also they are able to mobilize their base to do whatever they need, that was what People's Temple did and that makes their members feel like they are part of a powerful organization.  Human beings for the most part, are social creatures, not loners; we like to work with and interact with others.  I think cults prey on that need and then exploit it.

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13 minutes ago, Enigma X said:

Is Leah the first celebrity to leave (not really thinking of wives of others such as Nicole Kidman or Katie Holmes who have left)? I am speaking of the full-fledge celebrity believers who have left? Do they speak of their time there at all? I am curious and want more.

No.  Didn't Jason Beghe leave first? I would say he's at the same "star power" as Leah- if not a bit higher.  If you want more, I highly recommend the documentary Going Clear (full documentary linked in the Scientology Resources thread).

ETA:  Oops- the Going Clear documentary was the only one I was unable to find online for free.  I think you can rent it for $4.99).

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53 minutes ago, laurakaye said:

I go back and forth with Rinder...sometimes I think he's really checked out, but then I remember that in Scientology, and especially with the job he had, he survived by lying and keeping his emotions deeply buried.  It's got to be difficult for him hearing these stories, especially the ones where he was either present or a major player.

Rinder's wife was a Scientologist for 36 years??  How can that be, when she looks like she's only about 30 years old?  Wow.

I shouldn't have watched this episode before work, as I cried off most of my eyeliner.  This was the most affecting episode yet, IMO. 

I really, REALLY need this series to continue.  I started watching because I have always loved Leah as an actress.  Now, I'm hooked because of the personal stories.  And as much as I want Leah and Mike to keep on with the good fight, I have this subtle undercurrent of fear that Miscavige and Cruise are pretty ticked off with this show, and I wonder what they're cooking up behind the scenes.

Rinder's EX-wife is a Scientologist and still is (along with his children from that marriage).  She is the one who spoke out against him on television.  His current wife looks like she's much younger than him.

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16 hours ago, lordonia said:

I laughed when Leah was so appalled to be asked for weed. She definitely retains that message from Scientology: Drugs are destroying the world! REALLY BAD!! Really.

Monday's extras had that scene where Leah and Mike talked a bit about how Scientologists have no empathy for others. I'm glad Mike is aware of it and working to correct that in himself, but he sure looked bored during most of the interview with Aaron.

I've wondered about their EXTREME reactions to drug usage (alcohol too?) I just read Leah's book and since her mom once did LSD, she couldn't even be considered for the Sea Org. Did LRH have some extreme views on drugs and addiction, perhaps?

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2 hours ago, Tiger said:

First, politics aside, I honestly think the fastest way to get thia CULT shut down is for people to tweet President-Elect Trump varations of "revoke $cientology #taxexemptstatus for $ 2 build #roadsandbridges".  

Second, I wish Aaron had gone into how the e-meters allegedly "work".  Are the cans supposed to measure your pulse the way those metal stipes on treadmills do?  How is the auditor supposed to "read" it? 

Everything else aside, the whole e-meter thing makea no fucking sense.

Great idea, except that all the other crazies in the US would get upset thinking that he was coming for their "religion" next.

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