I was digging through my archives and I found a portion of a Glenn Beck radio show from March 2000. Beck was merely a local boy in Tampa, Florida and not yet the major loon who would be propelled to fame and fortune by FOX News. Instead he invited on some loons from Scientology’s public relations arm, Al Buttnor and Pat Harney. Harney was then known as Pat Jones and we would often run into her around Clearwater during the LMT years. Buttnor had been brought down from Toronto to help out with the dual PR disasters of the Lisa McPherson case and the opening of the Lisa McPherson Trust. Here’s an fine example of the PR work he did for Scientology at the time. Buttnor reaches out to the husband of a critic of the Church of Scientology:
CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY OF TORONTO
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
Pastor WIlliam Palmer
Evangelical Lutheran Church
232 Fennel Ave.E
Dear Pastor Palmer:
I am very sorry to have to write to you. It is a very
difficult matter to broach because perhaps you are not even
aware of the situation.
I am sorry to tell you that your wife has become involved
in a hate campaign against our religion in Toronto both by
her regular postings to the internet on a newsgroup and by
her recent participation in pickets at our Church. We are not
sure why she is doing this.
We have discussed this matter with several of our Lutheran Friends
and they suggested that we write to you in an effort to open a
door communication and hopefully reconciliation. It was even
suggested to us that a mediator from Conrad Grebel College may be
of benefit to resolve the situation if necessary and we agree that
this may be helpful.
Communication can resolve all things. I hope this is a matter we
will be able to discuss.
Please feel free to write me at your earliest convenience.
Rev. Al Buttnor
You can see why Buttnor’s delicate touch was felt needed in the town where Miscavige’s biggest headaches were ongoing. He returned to Canada later in the year when his son was tragically murdered. You can see a nifty pic of Buttnor on Meetup.com although it can’t compete with this candid shot of Buttnor taken by Bob Minton as Buttnor was hiding in a Tampa airport toilet stall while reporting back on Ursula Caberta’s near arrival from Germany.
Enough of the pre-show. Here’s the recording of Glenn Beck’s chat with them, featuring callers from the Clearwater area.
Buttnor and Harney on Glenn Beck
Incidentally, if you’d like to listen to a show that featured both Pat and myself, click here. It was a fun show from Texas in 2008 and a rare circumstance where I was able to interact with a Scientologist on air.
ORIGINAL BROADCAST DATE: Tuesday, January 22, 2008
I appeared on the Eric Von Wade radio show out of Corpus Cristi, Texas on Tuesday to talk about Scientology. Minutes before the show started, I gave the url to Eric’s website on the alt.religion.scientology newsgroup, encouraging folks to listen.
I waited till the last minute so Scientology would not be able to harass Eric prior to the show. I knew, however, that they would be instantly alerted and would respond. Before the show was half finished, Scientology PR lady Pat Harney was on the phone, itching to respond.
The producer of the show asked me if I would be willing to have her be part of the show and I said, “Absolutely. I would love to talk to her.”
In my solo first half of the show, I brought up as much material as I could to respond to Eric’s questions. He wanted to know about the beliefs so I filled him in with the mythology of the evil overlord Xenu blowing us up with hydrogen bombs and covering us with BT’s. I explained the bait-and-switch aspects of the religion. How low level members have no idea what lays ahead and yet clearing Body Thetans is really what you set out to do when you start on to the Bridge to Total Freedom.
We talked about the expensive nature of the courses, the fact that OT’s can’t talk about the secret material to their closest family members or friends, the various methods Scientology uses to find new members through stress tests, drug rehab programs or business management courses. How Scientology “finds their ruin” to get them in and methods they use to keep them in.
I brought up Fair Game and Eric wanted to have an example of someone who was attacked with Fair Game and I gladly filled him in on Paulette Cooper and the evil tactics they ran on her and how her name was cleared only after the FBI raided Scientology’s headquarters and found the detailed operations in their files.
We talked Snow White and the fact that Mary Sue and other top officials went to prison for their crimes. I brought up KR’s and sec checks and did my best to make it all make sense to people who may be unfamiliar with the subject.
Then at the half hour mark, Pat got on the show and was outraged that I would tell such “lies” and that I was well known to her. She repeatedly accused me of spending months “outside her door,” shouting obscenities and videotaping her. Now, I have no idea where “her door” is but she has to be referring to the the Clearwater bank building because that’s where I would occasionally see her working. As for shouting obscenities, I would love to see those tapes because that is not me at all.
The other charge she made a few times is that I was in Clearwater “till my money dried up.” It sounded like she was almost sorry I was gone. “Gee, it’s a shame your money dried up because I enjoyed the shouted obscenities.” Sorry I had to take another job, Pat.
Download Mark Bunker and Pat Harney
ORIGINAL BROADCAST DATE: Wednesday, January 23, 2008
She repeats both of her insults about me in the radio show you’re about to hear. This was her hour and she wanted to make the most of it. She brings out the usual defenses for the group but answers honestly when Eric asks her where she is on the Bridge. She admits she is not yet Clear. That actually surprised me. All those years and not yet clear.
Pat talks about the wonderful programs like Narconon and Applied Scholastic and the Way to Happiness and then at the half hour, Tory Christman calls in and Pat has to respond to someone who actually has some inside knowledge of how the group works.
This unsettles her. Tory talks about Disconnection and Pat says “We bring families together!” Tory talks about Joel Phillips and Religious Freedom Watch and Pat has no idea who he is. Tory calls Pat out on the truth of how much it costs in Scientology and Pat freaks out and pretends she was totally honest in her estimates.
In the final segment, I’m able to call in and point out the Scientology policy of TR-L and explain how Pat told an acceptable truth when she said the day before that she had been in Scientology for years and had never read anything about Xenu and BT’s. Yes, because she is not even Clear.
What happened next almost made my jaw drop. Pat admits TR-L was a church policy and I read a definition from their technical dictionary. Eric asks if she was trying to not discuss things she wasn’t supposed to talk about and she says…”Exactly!”
Does your church train it’s parishioners to lie? Or is this yet another way Scientology isn’t like any religion the St. Petersburg Times knows?
Download Pat Harney
Here is just the final phone call from me and Pat’s response which may get her in a bit of Ethics trouble back at the Org. She says I’m not an expert on Scientology. It seems I may be more of an expert than she is.
Download My Phone Call