Inside Scientology / Strange Lore of Vermont & NY

Hosted byGeorge Knapp

Inside Scientology / Strange Lore of Vermont & NY

About the show

After growing up in a family of Scientologists, Mike Rinder signed a billion-year contract, was admitted into Scientology's elite inner circle, and rose up in the ranks. In the first half, he joined George Knapp to discuss the workings of the organization and how he eventually escaped it. After he left, the Church of Scientology turned him into one of their biggest enemies, and he was hacked, spied on, and harassed. Rinder talked about how L. Ron Hubbard's writings became the basis for the religion. Members view his material not as philosophical theories but as scientifically researched truths, which Hubbard referred to as "technology." Scientology and Hubbard had "perhaps the only formulated, codified series of 'scriptures' on how you go about destroying" the enemies of its organization, Rinder said, and that was something he did when he was the head of their Office of Special Affairs.

As a kind of cosmic guru, Hubbard proclaimed to have acquired knowledge that surpassed everyone else in history, and Rinder was raised to believe that Hubbard was the closest thing to God on Earth and was the reincarnation of Buddha. Hubbard's most powerful tool was the "E-Meter," said Rinder, a device used by an "auditor" to diagnose a member's spiritual issues or travails, and maintain control over them. Scientology is a very commercial operation, Rinder continued, calling it a "business masquerading as a religion," and to get to the highest levels, it will cost a member between $250,000 to $500,000. Because of the media exposure of Scientology's practices, the volume of new people coming in has been drastically reduced, he reported. He views Scientology as a real estate empire, with millions and millions of dollars worth of properties that remain tax-exempt because of their religious status. 

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In the latter half, author Paul Bartholomew chronicled strange tales from the Adirondack and Green Mountains, which are situated in parts of Vermont and New York. This area incorporates Lake Champlain which has had sightings of a sea creature or monster that date all the way back to the 1600s. Some of the earlier reports of "Champ" were likely exaggerated for the newspapers to increase their readership, he noted, but sightings in the lake continue to this day (a photo taken by Sandra Mansi in 1977 has a Nessie-like appearance). Tales of the sea creature are also rich in Native American lore. Lake George in New York had its own lake monster called "Georgie," but that turned out to be a hoax, Bartholomew revealed.

Also, going back centuries in the region are consistently described elusive creatures with glowing red eyes, such as the (Native American) Wendigo, which we may think of today as Bigfoot or Sasquatch. A related sighting in 1975 involved a seven ft.-tall hairy bipedal creature with sloth-type movements with red laser-like eyes. Bartholomew also touched on such creatures as a giant rabbit, a 30-ft snake, an allegedly carnivorous rock, strange sightings of people in black robes, UFO incidents, 'wildmen' who may have been hermits, and a vampire scare in Woodstock, Vermont, in 1817 in which bodies were dug up and the hearts removed.

KNAPP'S NEWS:

George Knapp shared recent items of interest, including his investigative piece into whether a Nevada company is working with alien technology, and an article about resurrecting woolly mammoths.

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