Wow it’s been a long time

Posted in Uncategorized on June 21, 2011 by erogger

How quickly time flies……

I can’t believe how long it has been since I’ve last blogged on here. Going to rectify that this weekend and begin using this again. Lots has happened since my last entry and it feels like we need to catch up my friends and I need to share

Erika

Bravo Mr. Haggis!!

Posted in Life, My Opinion with tags , , , , on October 26, 2009 by erogger

For quite a long time I have read such horrible things about the Church of Scientology and its practices, things which were always rebutted strongly by the church. Followed by a smear campaign against those speaking against it. Now someone finally has the courage to resign from it publicly while fully admitting to one particular policy, policy of disconnection, which Tommy Davis laughed at when denying its existence recently.

I am enclosing his letter in its entirety below…. let’s get ready to rumble, for I can hardly imagine the church is not going not going to go to arms over this.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Tommy,

As you know, for ten months now I have been writing to ask you to make a public statement denouncing the actions of the Church of Scientology of San Diego. Their public sponsorship of Proposition 8, a hate-filled legislation that succeeded in taking away the civil rights of gay and lesbian citizens of California – rights that were granted them by the Supreme Court of our state – shames us.

I called and wrote and implored you, as the official spokesman of the church, to condemn their actions. I told you I could not, in good conscience, be a member of an organization where gay-bashing was tolerated.

In that first conversation, back at the end of October of last year, you told me you were horrified, that you would get to the bottom of it and “heads would roll.” You promised action. Ten months passed. No action was forthcoming. The best you offered was a weak and carefully worded press release, which praised the church’s human rights record and took no responsibility. Even that, you decided not to publish.

The church’s refusal to denounce the actions of these bigots, hypocrites and homophobes is cowardly. I can think of no other word.  Silence is consent, Tommy. I refuse to consent.

I joined the Church of Scientology thirty-five years ago. During my twenties and early thirties I studied and received a great deal of counseling. While I have not been an active member for many years, I found much of what I learned to be very helpful, and I still apply it in my daily life. I have never pretended to be the best Scientologist, but I openly and vigorously defended the church whenever it was criticized, as I railed against the kind of intolerance that I believed was directed against it. I had my disagreements, but I dealt with them internally. I saw the organization – with all its warts, growing pains and problems – as an underdog. And I have always had a thing for underdogs.

But I reached a point several weeks ago where I no longer knew what to think. You had allowed our name to be allied with the worst elements of the Christian Right. In order to contain a potential “PR flap” you allowed our sponsorship of Proposition 8 to stand. Despite all the church’s words about promoting freedom and human rights, its name is now in the public record alongside those who promote bigotry and intolerance, homophobia and fear.

The fact that the Mormon Church drew all the fire, that no one noticed, doesn’t matter. I noticed. And I felt sick. I wondered how the church could, in good conscience, through the action of a few and then the inaction of its leadership, support a bill that strips a group of its civil rights.

This was my state of mind when I was online doing research and chanced upon an interview clip with you on CNN. The interview lasted maybe ten minutes – it was just you and the newscaster. And in it I saw you deny the church’s policy of disconnection. You said straight-out there was no such policy, that it did not exist.

I was shocked. We all know this policy exists. I didn’t have to search for verification – I didn’t have to look any further than my own home.

You might recall that my wife was ordered to disconnect from her parents because of something absolutely trivial they supposedly did twenty-five years ago when they resigned from the church. This is a lovely retired couple, never said a negative word about Scientology to me or anyone else I know – hardly raving maniacs or enemies of the church. In fact it was they who introduced my wife to Scientology.

Although it caused her terrible personal pain, my wife broke off all contact with them. I refused to do so. I’ve never been good at following orders, especially when I find them morally reprehensible.

For a year and a half, despite her protestations, my wife did not speak to her parents and they had limited access to their grandchild. It was a terrible time.

That’s not ancient history, Tommy. It was a year ago.

And you could laugh at the question as if it was a joke? You could publicly state that it doesn’t exist?

To see you lie so easily, I am afraid I had to ask myself: what else are you lying about?

And that is when I read the recent articles in the St. Petersburg Times.  They left me dumbstruck and horrified.

These were not the claims made by “outsiders” looking to dig up dirt against us. These accusations were made by top international executives who had devoted most of their lives to the church. Say what you will about them now, these were staunch defenders of the church, including Mike Rinder, the church’s official spokesman for 20 years!

Tommy, if only a fraction of these accusations are true, we are talking about serious, indefensible human and civil rights violations. It is still hard for me to believe.  But given how many former top-level executives have said these things are true, it is hard to believe it is all lies.

“…the same face that denied the policy of disconnection”

And when I pictured you assuring me that it is all lies, that this is nothing but an unfounded and vicious attack by a group of disgruntled employees, I am afraid that I saw the same face that looked in the camera and denied the policy of disconnection. I heard the same voice that professed outrage at our support of Proposition 8, who promised to correct it, and did nothing.

I carefully read all of your rebuttals, I watched every video where you presented the church’s position, I listened to all your arguments – ever word. I wish I could tell you that they rang true. But they didn’t.

I was left feeling outraged, and frankly, more than a little stupid.

And though it may seem small by comparison, I was truly disturbed to see you provide private details from confessionals to the press in an attempt to embarrass and discredit the executives who spoke out. A priest would go to jail before revealing secrets from the confessional, no matter what the cost to himself or his church. That’s the kind of integrity I thought we had, but obviously the standard in this church is far lower – the public relations representative can reveal secrets to the press if the management feels justified. You even felt free to publish secrets from the confessional in Freedom Magazine – you just stopped short of labeling them as such, probably because you knew Scientologists would be horrified, knowing you so easily broke a sacred vow of trust with your parishioners.

How dare you use private information in order to label someone an “adulteress?” You took Amy Scobee’s most intimate admissions about her sexual life and passed them onto the press and then smeared them all over the pages your newsletter! I do not know the woman, but no matter what she said or did, this is the woman who joined the Sea Org at 16! She ran the entire celebrity center network, and was a loyal senior executive of the church for what, 20 years? You want to rebut her accusations, do it, and do it in the strongest terms possible – but that kind of character assassination is unconscionable.

So, I am now painfully aware that you might see this an attack and just as easily use things I have confessed over the years to smear my name. Well, luckily I have never held myself up to be anyone’s role model.

The great majority of Scientologists I know are good people who are genuinely interested in improving conditions on this planet and helping others. I have to believe that if they knew what I now know, they too would be horrified. But I know how easy it was for me to defend our organization and dismiss our critics, without ever truly looking at what was being said; I did it for thirty-five years. And so, after writing this letter, I am fully aware that some of my friends may choose to no longer associate with me, or in some cases work with me. I will always take their calls, as I always took yours. However, I have finally come to the conclusion that I can no longer be a part of this group. Frankly, I had to look no further than your refusal to denounce the church’s anti-gay stance, and the indefensible actions, and inactions, of those who condone this behavior within the organization. I am only ashamed that I waited this many months to act. I hereby resign my membership in the Church of Scientology.

Sincerely,

Paul Haggis

Ps. I’ve attached our email correspondence.  At some point it became evident that you did not value my concerns about the church’s tacit support of an amendment that violated the civil rights of so many of our citizens. Perhaps if you had done a little more research on me, the church’s senior management wouldn’t have dismissed those concerns quite so cavalierly. While I am no great believer in resumes and awards, this is what you would have discovered:

* Founder, Artists For Peace and Justice,
– sponsoring schools, an orphanage and a children’s hospital in the slums of Haiti
* Co-Founder, BrandAid Foundation and BrandAid Project
– marketing the work of artisans from the poorest countries in the world,
* Board Member, Office of The Americas
– supporting peace and justice initiatives around the world
* Board Member, Center For The Advancement of Non-Violence
* Member and active supporter, Amnesty International
* Member, President’s Council, Defenders of Wildlife
* Member and fundraiser, Environment California and CalPirg
* Member and Award Recipient, American Civil Liberties Union
* Member and supporter, Death Penalty Focus
* Member and supporter, Equality For All
* Fundraiser, NPH (Our Little Brothers) – for the children of the slums of Haiti
* Member, Citizens Commission on Human Rights
* Patron with Honors, IAS
And formerly:
* Trustee, Religious Freedom Trust
* Board Member and fundraiser, Hollywood Education and Literacy Project
* Board Member and fundraiser, For The Arts, For Every Child
– supporting art and music in public schools
* Board Member and fundraiser, The Christic Institute
– supporting Human Rights in Central America
* Founding Board Member, Earth Communication Office
* Working Board Member, Environmental Media Association
* Fundraiser, El Rescate – Human Rights for El Salvador
* Fundraiser, PAVA – Aid and Human Rights in Guatemala

Awards for outspoken support of Civil and Human Rights:

* Valentine Davies Award – Writers Guild of America
“for bringing honor and dignity to writers everywhere”
*Bill of Rights Award – American Civil Liberties Union
*Hubert H. Humphrey Civil Rights Award – Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
*Peace & Justice Award – Office of the Americas, presented by Daniel Ellsberg
*Signis Award, Venezia, World Catholic Association
*ALMA Award – National Council of Latino Civil Rights
*Ethel Levitt Award for Humanitarian Service – Levitt & Quinn
*Prism Award – Entertainment Industries Council
*Humanitas Prize (2) – Humanitas
*Legacy Award, for Artistic and Humanitarian Achievement
*Environmental Media Award – EMA
*EMA Green Seal Award – EMA
*Image Award – NAACP
*Creative Integrity Award – Multicultural Motion Picture Association
*EDGE Awards (2) – Entertainment Industries Council
*Artistic Freedom Award – City of West Hollywood
*Catholics in Media Award – Catholics in Media Associates

And many dozens of fundraisers and salons at our home on behalf of Human and Civil Rights, the Environment, the Peace Movement, Education, Justice and Equality.

I’m sorry…………..

Posted in Life, My Opinion with tags , on September 23, 2009 by erogger

I know I never write overly personal things on this blog but I felt that I had to this once, so please bear with me.

I have an ex that I cared for very much but whom I treated horribly and to whom I lied to, among other things. I won’t excuse my behavior, there are no excuses. I felt I had reasons to back then, reasons that I can see now were nothing but my own excuses to justify doing so. I wanted the “happily ever after” with him but didn’t (or didn’t want to) see that all the crap that I was doing would guarantee that I never had that with him. What I wanted, I ended up destroying. After our breakup he tried to reach out to me and at least be friends. Being the stupid girl I was, I rejected all his efforts. You see I was hurt, although I had no reason to be, and that put me on the defensive. I will also admit that because I was hurt, I set out to intentionally hurt him at the time. Once again, no excuses since there are none to be had. I wasted a big part of his life and know that I hurt him terribly. This is not something I am proud of.

Consider this my public apology and admittance of guilt. I hurt you J without having reason to do so. I don’t hate you. I never did and never could. You were there for me when I needed you. You wiped my tears when I cried and held me when I needed comforting. You took care of me when no one else would. You were everything any girl could (and does) want and I didn’t appreciate what I had in you/with you. You gave me so much and I threw it back in your face. I didn’t deserve you then and never will. You deserved someone far better than me. I can’t take back what I did but know that I regret it all. I don’t wish I had never met you and if given the chance, I would never erase my memories of you, and us.

I know that we spent a lifetime together and you will always be a part of my life, my heart. A part of me. I will always love and treasure our memories together. I still think of you when I go someplace we used to hang out (which are many) and know that when I go back to New York, you will be everywhere. Know that you always cross my mind and that I still wake up reaching out for you. I wish you all the happiness in the world J. Please take care of yourself, for I would truly hate to hear that something has happened to you.

I will always love you.

~Erika

Station Fire – Update and pictures

Posted in Life, My haunts, My Opinion with tags , , , , , on August 31, 2009 by erogger

Wow Cali is getting its ass handed by the current fires. My condolences to everyone that has lost homes :( and my deep condolences to the families of Capt. Tedmund Hall, 47, and Spc. Arnaldo “Arnie” Quinones, 35, who lost their lives Sunday when their vehicle went off the side of a mountain. Thank you for your dedication and hard work in trying to help contain these monsters.

Right now we have been told that the fire will not be contained until September 18, meaning sadly enough, that more homes might be lost. My favorite haunt, Mount Wilson, has no hopes of being saved and now its just a matter of when it goes up in flames. Vital television, radio and communications center are in danger of being destroyed which would really disrupt and disable tv, radio and cell services.
Here are a couple of pictures from the fire and this is what I have been seeing from my home since this all started.

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Mother stabs, decapitates, and eats brain of her 3 1/2 week old son(this is just sick!)

Posted in Deaths, Injustices, My Opinion with tags , , , , on July 27, 2009 by erogger

I read an article just now that made me sick to my stomach… I have seen many things so it takes something truly horrible to get to me.

According to MSNBC a San Antonio mother dismembered and ate parts of her 3 1/2 week old baby.  Otty Sanchez claims that the devil made her do it. Police Chief, William McManus, said that the scene was so gruesome that he could not really speak about it and that everyone on the scene was shocked and could barely speak.

They found the baby  dismembered in the bedroom with three of his toes chewed off, his face torn away, his head severed and his brains ripped out. When the cops showed up to the house they found the woman sitting on a couch screaming “I killed my baby!” with a wound to her chest and her throat partially slashed. She ate the babies brain and some of his body parts before stabbing herself.

The woman is being charged with capital murder for the death of her son. She was treated at the hospital and is being held on a million dollar bail.

The murder of the baby happened a week after his father moved out of the home. There were other people in the home (the woman’s sister and her other 2 children, ages 5 & 7) that were unharmed.

The woman’s aunt said that her niece had been in and out of a psychiatric ward and that a hospital called several months ago to check up on her. She also said that her niece didn’t mean to do it because she was not in her right mind.

That leads me and the writer of the article to assume that she will use postpartum depression and/or some form of psychosis as her defense. The article writer mentions 2 other mothers that are well recognized for committing henious crimes against their children. Andrea Yates who drowned her 5 children in her house back in 2001 because Satan was inside her and she had to save her children from hell. And Dena Schlosser who sliced off her 10 month old daughter’s arms, killing her, in order to give her to God. Both women were found not guilty by reason of insanity.

This really makes me point out a few things:

1) Religion is a bitch!! Sanchez killed her baby because the devil made her do it. Yates had the devil inside her and she was saving her kids from hell and Schlosser killed her baby to give her to God…… damn I will stick to being Wiccan thank you very much if this is what comes out of religion!

2) We have to obtain licenses to drive a  car and to own a pet… but anyone can have a kid?!?! I’m sorry but when I read shit like this it makes me wonder why we don’t consider making women take classes and pass a test before having kids.

3) We should make those that want to ban abortions read these articles and meet abused children. That would be a nice wakeup call.

4) This is going to bring me some backlash but: should we not give the state the power to sterilize insane women in the hopes that it would stop the Yates’, Sanchez’s and Schlosser’s of the world??

5) How old was the sister that was in the house when this murder occurred? The baby must have screamed as he was being cut up, did no one hear him?

6) If her family and the baby’s father knew that she was not right in her mind, as she was in and out of the looney bin, why the hell did they not monitor her? Why would they leave a woman like her alone with 3 children since the sister is obviously either young or good for nothing?! and most importantly, why did they not make sure she was getting the help she needed?!?!?!

7) I hope that the baby died quickly so that he did not suffer much :(

Outside the scene of the horrible murder

Outside the scene of the horrible murder

Coolness: Amazon’s Acquisitions and Investments, Visualized

Posted in Random with tags , , , , on July 27, 2009 by erogger
Amazon Acquisitions

Amazon Acquisitions

How awesome is this? All credit goes to MeetTheBoss for creating this visualization (better quality image available when you click on the picture), but it was too good not to share it with you.

It’s a visual representation of Amazon’s acquisitions and investments from 1998 until its most recent purchase of Zappos for a reported $928 million.

The image shows the giant Internet retailer was extremely active in 1999 and 2001 and significantly scaled back investments and buy-outs after the dotcom bubble burst, but has been picking up the pace, particularly since last year.

Who will be next on the map?

From Erika: too bad we can’t get discounts from all these places as IMDb employees :(

80 dogs rescued from Monmouth County puppy mill

Posted in Injustices, Life, My Opinion with tags , , on July 25, 2009 by erogger

80 dogs have just been rescued from an in-home puppy mill in Monmouth County. Marlene Sandford, 56, had been using her home to raise dogs and sell them and according to the officials from the SPCA who were called to the scene. The house was covered in urine and feces and smelled so bad you could only stand to be in there for a few minutes at a time. The officials were called to the house when a person who had bought a dog from Marlene filed a complaint saying that the dog was sick. The dog which the woman bought for about $600 was sick with Giardia which is a highly contagious disease where a parasite infects the dog’s intestine.

80 dogs in all were found throughout the 2 story house, with one found even in the stove. There were 3 female Chihuahuas who had recent litters of puppies.

Dog rescued in in-home puppy raid

Dog rescued the in-home puppy raid

Now look, I watch a lot of shows on Animal Planet and have seen their version on “Cops” where the SPCA is called out to rescue animals in need. Sometimes they will walk into something like this and the person guilty did it just because in their minds they were taking care of the animals. Misguided and stupid but at least their intentions were noble, in a way. This woman did it for the profit. So in my mind she is nothing but a cold-blooded bitch. I can guarantee you that most of these dogs will not be suitable for adoption and will be uethenized. Through no fault of their own, these poor dogs find themselves in this horrible situation where the most probable outcome will have them facing a needle that will end their lives.

Please people, if you have a pet make sure that it is spayed or neutered. If you find an animal, please make sure that you can take care of it before you take it in. If you have your allowed maximum number of pets then please try to find other alternatives for the care of the animal. I knew a woman that loved rescuing cats, that was her thing, but it became an issue when she started “collecting” these animals. I have rescued many animals in my day (as of 2 days ago, I am now the proud owner of a bearded lizard that needed a new home) but I take these animals in knowing that I will be finding them new homes. All I am saying is if you can’t take care of an animal then don’t assume responsibility of one and if you have your 4 allowed pets then please don’t take anymore in. Sometimes although we think we are helping an animal by taking it in, we are doing more damage than good.

In you live in Monmouth County and would like a pet, please find out about rescuing one of these guys as soon as they are adoptable.

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