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Thursday, 12 July 2012 17:50

About half of the attendees before we embarked on a Sunday-afternoon boat ride.

We held the 3rd annual Indie Celebration on the 7th and 8th of July, 2012 on the shores of Gull Lake at Cragun's Resort in beautiful, lush Minnesota. I wanted to do a little review for those who could not attend so everyone can share the experience, hear what it was like and possibly attend next year.

The event was organized by Christie Colbrand and Natalie Hagemo.

Cragun’s is located in Brainerd, about 2 hours northwest of Minneapolis for anyone that might have seen the movie Fargo. Green rolling hills full of trees under a beautiful blue sky, Minneapolis is the closet large city, and in case you are wondering what mni means, it is the Dakota word for "water" and there is plenty of that in the land of 10,000 lakes which is actually 5,000 short of the true figure.

Lucky us — David Miscavige did not send any of his brain-fried dolts with cameras on their head. It’s always great to be anywhere they are not.

We had a very special guest who was the center of attention: 3-month-old Jack Rinder, Mike and Christie’s son. Photogenic and well behaved, he was by far the most photographed personage at the event.

About 60 Indie Scientologists where in attendance. Plus journalists from NBC and a local pod caster formerly a news anchor in Minneapolis. I could be wrong, but I believe Dallas had the most attendees of any city (7) and Texas had the most attendees from any state with at least 15. If I missed anyone, or if another location had more, please let me know.

whats-wrong-with-scientologyWe had our own banquet room and outdoor patio right on the beachfront. Activities included golfing, swimming along Cragun’s mile-long sandy beach, fishing, boating, laughing and telling stories, dining, and karoke. There were plenty of other activities, but mostly people wanted to visit with each other and one thing more: get Marty to autograph copies of his new book, What is Wrong with Scientology. This book, better than any other source, explains from a technical perspective precisely how David Miscavige has altered the subject at every level to corrupt and destroy Scientology's workability. If you haven't read a copy of this book yet, you really should do so. It is a must read for anyone with any connection to the subject.

On Saturday Marty organized a special video conference with the staff of the new Dror Center in Israel, the first mission to leave the Church intact and declare their independence! The history-making conference was filmed by NBC.

Craguns has a karoke bar and attendees sang from 9 pm to 12:30 am on both Saturday and Sunday night.

Temperatures varied from the upper ‘60s to the lower ‘80s — perfect, with no rain. And the lake was the perfect temp for a refreshing dip.

As a private party, attendance was open to anyone who had publicly declared their independence and/or departure from corporate Scientology. Some faces were missed, but overall it helped make it a safe, distraction-free environment that added up to a very relaxed non-PTS atmosphere throughout the party.

On Sunday everyone had breakfast and dinner together and the food was delicious.

What this party was really all about was friendship — something that doesn’t exist in Dave Miscavige’s corporation.

I’m already looking forward to next year’s event. Hope to see you there.

Christie and Jack
Relaxing on our private party patio overlooking the beach
Lana, Natalie, Marty and Mosey
Sleepy time
Free boat rides touring the lake.
Dueling cameras...
Plane prepares for take off.
Exploring nearby Excelsior on Monday
Lake Minnetonka in Excelsior
Mike and Tony by Lake Minnetonka

These photos don't show everyone. There are lots more photos on facebook!




+1 # Ronnie Bell 2012-07-12 19:37
I smiled all the way through that series of photos. Thanks for putting them up, Steve. I know that everyone had a great time.

I could feel the party atmosphere all the way from Dallas, and when I talked to Tom Martiniano on the phone, it was confirmed. You guys had a blast!

The Bell clan will get there next year. In the meantime, we'll keep having our local get-togethers as usual.
+1 # Tara 2012-07-12 19:47
Looks like a relaxing, theta-filled, fun time! Wish I coulda been there. Next year for sure! Great photos!
+1 # Yvonne Schick 2012-07-12 21:43
Thank you so very much for sharing the story and photos of Indie 2012. It was great to renew old friendships and make new ones. Great fun! Great people!
+1 # Robin 2012-07-13 11:36
Glad you all had a good time.

It is possible that OSA was playing coy because of all the media.

Or maybe they were too busy covering Katie.

Or maybe they just plain went into apathy.

Who knows and who cares.


Loved the pix.
+2 # Thoughtful 2012-07-13 12:24
I should have taken lots more photos — I missed a bunch of people. But there are lots more photos on facebook.
+1 # Vic K. 2012-07-14 09:20
It was a delightful time. So many warm and friendly people, and of course it's always thrilling to connect back up with dear friends.

Thanks for the great pics!
+1 # Cara Voca 2012-07-18 10:00
How Awesome, Count me in on the next one.
Now for my pre-public annoucement of disconnection from the Scientolgy Cult:

(Church, Independents and all others)

I am a 37 year veteran Scientologist and I highly recommend what I have just done- Find out for Yourself, Think for Yourself and finally Decide for Yourself, no matter what you decide or the consequences.

It has taken considerable effort to even consider a shift of viewpoint let alone make one. What moved me was the sudden death of a dear friend and another friend’s resignation from the Church.

Although I was very reluctant to dig in and research,  holding tightly to my firmly held, “loyal Church member” viewpoint, I finally realized I was operating contrary to my own beliefs and demands on my fellows. Thus began my search for truth by confronting the very things that had been plaguing me and not-ised as out-points for years.

However, before I could even proceed, I had to wade through a sea of what turned out to be falsehoods regarding individuals who had “disaffected”.   Surprise! They are not anti-LRH or anti-Scientology or  anti-Standard Tech.  On the contrary,  I found that most are very dedicated, true-blue Scientologists.   Factual, documented abuses that would hold up in a court of law and in fact did hold up in the case of Debbie Cook were what tipped the scales in most of their cases.

My search for truth continued following the chain of things that made no sense to me, i.e. I could not figure for the life of me where all the high echelon terminals that I had a great deal of admiration for had vanished.  Mr. Heber Jentzsch (Pres CSI), Mr. Guilleme Leserve (ED INT),Mr. Ray Mithoff (Snr C/S Int), Mr. Marc Yager (CO CMO INT), let alone Exec Strata.

I wish I could say that I found the “Independents” to be spreading a pack of lies.  That would have been so much easier to confront.   However, I regret to say it was quite the opposite. 

That said, as a point of integrity, while remaining a dedicated Scientologist, I hereby announce that after a very thorough independent research I agree that the Church, under the leadership of David Miscavige is truly a cult in the worst sense of the word and needs to be disbanded.

I want to make it clear, however, that I am not resigning from standard Scientology. But, I am most certainly withdrawing my support of any terminals that I do not trust and their programs, particularly and especially Mr. David Miscavige and his devotees.

Admittedly, this is a bit scary for me.  Like jumping off the cliff without a parachute.    But I have some soothing words that have helped me cure the heebie-jeebies… “Never explain-- your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe you anyway.”  Elbert Hubbard- The Motto Book- 1907

I also know and trust myself sufficiently to know that my intentions are good and that I am operating in a pro-survival fashion.   In fact, it is way upscale to be willing to shift one’s viewpoint!

That said, I am fully willing to be “wrong” in my viewpoint shift and discover that I was fooled by the best of them and that the Independents are the “bad guys” after all.
I will take that risk and if in the end, I was “wrong“, I will assume full responsibility, assign myself the appropriate condition and move on up in the group once again.

In ending, my appeal to each and every Scientologist, no matter whether you are with the established Church or the Independents or sitting on the fence undecided- do what I just did- Find out for Yourself, Think for Yourself and then you decide. 

All the best to you in your search for truth.

Best, Cara Voca (an alias name- at least until I fill my coffers as I expect I will lose my job once my identity is revealed by virtue of enforced disconnection that would follow an unjust declare)
# Boyd H. 2012-07-21 11:20
Great to hear Cara!
# ΘTater/GaryLerner 2012-07-22 13:09
Very Well Done, Cara! And welcome to the life that never ends! :)

(just a villager with torches for davey)
# Dids 2012-10-06 14:57
Know one thing. You are very courageous. You have honor. You are able to look and take a decision. You are honest and LRH would be proud of you. This is being a Scientologist.
# aleksey 2012-07-20 03:59
Hello, does anyone knows how hard or easy (and what is the cost) it is for Russian to come to one of this events? Probably me and friend of mine are only independent here are in Russia. Maybe one day we could be part of the event.
# Natalie 2012-07-20 08:44
Thanks for sharing the photos Steve. It such a fun, relaxing weekend. I really enjoyed meeting so many people who I'd never met before, and I've been to the last two Indie parties. Thank you to everyone who came and made it such a special weekend.
# Scott Gordon 2012-07-20 08:48
What a great group of people. And what a great time. Steve's right - it was all about FRIENDS. And I thoroughly enjoyed that.
# Shannon 2012-07-20 14:06
Steve, thanks so much for your post. Yes we had a wonderful time and would like to thank the hosts for putting this on in beautiful Minnesota this year. Gave us a chance to once again be with the best of friends and see a new part of the country.
# TroubleShooter 2012-07-21 09:23
Hey there!!! Great shots Steve. I was soooo glad to be a part of this celebration and look forward to doing it again next time!!!

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