Scientology’s Elaborate Plot to Convert Criminals: A D.C. Lobbyist, Trump, and Criminon

Discussion in 'Breaking and Major News about Scientology' started by triumph, Jan 12, 2019.

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  1. triumph

    triumph Silver Meritorious Patron

    Daily Beast
    Inside Scientology’s Elaborate Plot to Convert Criminals: A D.C. Lobbyist, Trump, and Criminon
    Eyebrows were raised in Washington when the Church of Scientology backed Trump’s criminal justice reform bill. But ex-Scientologists say it’s all part of a strange recruiting plot.
    Marlow Stern
    01.12.19 12:14 AM ET

    On December 17, a letter was sent to President Donald Trump regarding the First Step Act, a criminal justice reform bill seeking to reduce the risk of recidivism among the estimated 181,000 convicts in the federal prison system. The contents of the letter, urging the president to “oppose the Cotton-Kennedy amendments to the First Step Act,” were par for the course; what raised many an eyebrow around Washington, however, was the inclusion of the Church of Scientology.
    In addition to the Scientology logo, which resided among the 22 criminal justice reform organizations at the top of the missive, alongside respected bipartisan outfits like the U.S. Justice Action Network and Americans for Prosperity, John Stanard, the Church’s national director of Social Betterment Programs and Policy, was listed as one of its signatories. When reached for comment, Sen. Cotton (R-AR) singled out the Church of Scientology’s inclusion.



    So, Scientology helped establish a “social-betterment group” called Criminon International. Run by Greg Capazorio, a Scientology Freedom Medal winner who just so happens to be married to Tom Cruise’s sister, Cass Mapother, Criminon, “meaning ‘no crime,’ is a volunteer criminal rehabilitation program which utilizes technologies developed by L. Ron Hubbard to help convicts recover pride and self-esteem,” reads the Church of Scientology website.


    It was later revealed by Lachlan Markay’s Pay Dirt newsletter that Greg Mitchell, a shadowy D.C. operative who’s earned millions lobbying on behalf of the Church of Scientology since 2003, was pushing the First Step Act for several clients, including one of the letter’s other signatories, the Justice Action Network (JAN), which works closely with FAMM. But both FAMM and JAN maintain they had no idea Mitchell was also doing criminal justice reform lobbying for Scientology—and when they found out, sources say he was terminated.

    Leah Remini, the world’s foremost Scientology whistleblower, begs to differ, branding The Way to Happiness “propaganda” designed to attract new converts to a religion whose membership has declined dramatically over the past decade due to scandal.
    “L. Ron Hubbard has very precise policies contained in their Public Relations doctrine that state in part that Scientologists are to ‘align themselves with real churches and push forward the public image that Scientology is the solution to man’s ills,’” Remini tells me.
    “Criminon is just another front group for Scientology,” she continues. “This is just a play for Scientology to get the government to pay for its Scientology technology with its Criminon program.”
    Criminon International did not respond to requests for comment for this story; the Church of Scientology said through a spokesperson that “The Church has supported Criminon for more than three decades,” but refused to answer specific questions about ties between Scientology and Criminon.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
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  2. JustSheila

    JustSheila Crusader


    Calling the Grammar Nazi! :announcement:

    We have an urgent situation here. :omg:
  3. ThetanExterior

    ThetanExterior Gold Meritorious Patron

    You seem to be quite naive in regards to scientology. Firstly, asking a scientologist about any aspect of scientology is a waste of time because they will always be extremely positive about it. So you knew someone who worked for criminon and they seemed to get good results. Well, obviously they are not going to let anyone think they didn't get good results. So you go to a scientology website and, surprise, surprise, they seem to show criminon being very effective. Well, honestly what do you expect? To find out how effective criminon is you need to get some completely independent data that does not come from a scientologist.

    Secondly, criminon is a front group for scientology. In other words, its purpose isn't to help criminals. Its purpose is to recruit people into scientology. So if you are going to champion criminon then you are saying it is okay for scientology to recruit people by this devious method.

    Nothing that scientology does is to help people. It is all about controlling them and taking their money.
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  4. strativarius

    strativarius Inveterate gnashnab & snoutband

    I get the impression someone is trying to attract my attention. :biggrin:

    Yes, punctuation needs a little work and some lower case 'i's where they should be upper case, but no need to organise a firing squad IMO.

    BTW. I don't know what putting @JustSheila is supposed to do. Trubs talks about it a lot too. I'm still none the wiser.
  5. JustSheila

    JustSheila Crusader


    If you put @ before a person's screen name, then it shows up in alerts even if you don't hit a like or quote the person in a reply. Pretty cool.
  6. The_Fixer

    The_Fixer Class Clown

    That's a bit of a memory jog there.
    I heard of crimonon when I was in during the latter part of the 70s, but not much was said about it and doesn't seem to be mentioned much at all anywhere as far as I know.

    Did it really ever take off like narconon did, or is it only on in a couple of places?
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
  7. triumph

    triumph Silver Meritorious Patron

    Criminon works and stuff:

    Heres the Dec 17th article

    Church of Scientology Signs Letter From Group of FIRST STEP Supporters
    Church rep. among group reaching out to Trump

    The logo of the Church of Scientology / Getty Images

    BY: Charles Fain Lehman
    December 17, 2018 4:30 pm

    The letter's signatories, 20 in all, represent a cross-section of the pro-reform left and right. It includes a number of prominent conservative groups, including the Heritage Foundation's PAC arm, the American Conservative Union, and a number of members of the Koch policy network. But one signatory in particular sticks out: John Stanard, listed as the National Director, Social Betterment Programs and Policy, of the Church of Scientology.
    The church has a long history clouded by controversial allegations. Founded in the 1950s by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology claims to offer "a precise path leading to a complete and certain understanding of one's true spiritual nature and one's relationship to self."
    But critics have attacked it as "a rich and vengeful religious cult" and "a cross between the Moonies and the Mafia." Former members of the church have claimed that it engages in abusive practices, including blackmail of members based on secrets disclosed during "auditing" sessions. (The church has rejected these allegations.)
    The church has previously attempted to connect with the criminal justice reform movement. Stanard, who has worked for the church for 40 years, is a member of the Interfaith Criminal Justice Coalition, a working group of the Justice Roundtable that calls its mission "to build a long-term, sustainable movement that ends mass incarceration and to support restorative and healing alternatives for our communities."
    Scientology lobbyist Greg Mitchell has been lobbying in support of criminal justice reform on behalf of the Church since the Obama administration, the Daily Caller reported. Mitchell was identified by the pro-reform Justice Action Network executive director as part of "the #cjreform squad" who attended Trump's official endorsement of the bill in May, suggesting he has connections to pro-FIRST STEP groups like the JAN.