Alanzo: Why Hasn’t Scientology Whistleblower Mike Rinder Explored the ‘Suicides’ of Kyle Brennan, Flo Barnett, Shawn Lonsdale, and Ken Ogger?

Mike Rinder -- does he know anything about any crimes?



Allen ‘Alanzo’ Stanfield is a former Scientologist who is not shy about criticizing both Scientologists and critics of Scientologists. This sometimes leads to him being pretty unpopular on both sides.  Here is some more from Alanzo. The topic today is former head of the Church of Scientology’s Office of Special Affairs, Mike Rinder, who turned critic of Scientology. Alanzo is no fan of Rinder’s. 

Alanzo: Mike Rinder was one of the chief architects of the Scientology tax exemption. The deal with the IRS is a sealed secret deal. That’s right, the terms of Scientology’s IRS tax exemption are SECRET – and Mike Rinder has revealed nothing new about the deal – only what others have revealed before, such as the Wall Street Journal.

The episode on Scientology’s tax exemption on the TV show Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath was the weakest episode possible. And that was it’s purpose – to make you think that something is being done about it when nothing is being done about it at all.

An anonymous commenter wrote sympathetically about Rinder.

Anonymous Rinder Apologist: There are only three people in the US government who can do anything about the IRS tax exemption. Complain to, and about, them, not about Rinder, who was as fully brainwashed as a person can be, and from childhood no less.

He simply carried out L. Ron Hubbard’s written orders, and David Miscavige’s verbal ones, and that made a weak IRS leader give in, when in their arsenal the IRS had the power to bankrupt the church, confiscate property, freeze bank accounts, announce crippling penalties, all backed by years of unpaid taxes, and backed by a US Supreme Court decision that the Scientology courses more resembled fee-for-services than charitable donations to a church.

Because Rinder left Scientology, his own mother – who got him into the church/cult – disconnected from him. He was unable to say his farewells as she lay dying. His daughter and ex-wife and ex-employer constantly tell lies about him, lies that they would have to retract if Mike had the tens of millions to successfully sue some backed by a three billion dollar slush fund.

Rather than continue to be critical about people who actively seek ways to expose and eliminate the abuses of the church, what do you, my good Alanzo, think you could do that might actually help turn Scientology away from its abuses?

Alanzo responded:

Poor Mike Rinder.

Mike Rinder was brainwashed into running the Office of Special Affairs for 22 years!

Mike Rinder was only following Dave Miscavige’s orders!

David Miscavige is the worldwide leader of the Church of Scientology.

Mike Rinder’s parents were Scientologists!

1.) There is no such thing as brainwashing. It has been debunked by dozens of scientific studies since the 1940’s. There are no techniques that a cult leader can apply to you to get you to believe something against your will. Not even one of the subjects that Robert J Lifton studied ever became communists, and they were supposedly brainwashed in a North Korean POW Camp.

2.) If Mike Rinder was “only following orders” why hasn’t he, in 14 years of being ‘out’ running a blog every day, three seasons of a TV show and 2 years worth of a podcast, ever revealed any of Dave’s orders he supposedly followed? Until Mike Rinder coughs up a crime, which he never has, which has kept Miscavige free of criminal jeopardy, why do you believe he is doing good?

Captain David Miscavige, leader of Scientology

3.) Second generation Scientologists chose to become Scientologists. To prove this, just look at the incredibly low numbers of children who followed their parents into Scientology vs those who said “no thanks” and never joined. Second gen scientologists very rarely become scientologists themselves. Let alone stay in Scientology into their adulthood, let alone join staff or the Sea Org, let alone work at International Scientology for 30 years, let alone run the most criminal part of Scientology for 22 years under David Miscavige.

Poor, poor Mike Rinder!

What about Kyle Brennan and his mother Victoria Britton? Rinder and Remini interviewed her for their show then SPIKED her interview, after making her sign their draconian NDA.

Kyle Brennan died under suspicious circumstances while visiting his Scientologist father.

What about Flo Barnett, David Miscavige’s mother in law?,  “who managed to shoot herself three times in the chest and once in the head — with a long rifle — in what the County Medical Examiner ruled was a suicide.”

What about Scientology critic Shawn Lonsdale?

Shawn Lonsdale, a virulent critic of Scientology, died suddenly on February 16, 2008, and a Clearwater police spokeswoman stated that the death appears to be due to suicide.

Or Indie Scientologist Ken Ogger?

Ken Ogger, a Scientologist from L. Ron Hubbard’s time, turned critic of the new leadership after Hubbard’s demise. According to Ogger’s girlfriend, “He was found dead on May 29 2007, in the pool of his house. When the police took his body out, his hands were tied with a wire, and something heavy and concrete attached to his feet.”

Has Mike Rinder even mentioned any of these people’s names?


Why do you think that is, Anonymous Rinder Apologist?

This ‘poor Mike Rinder’ bit leaves every victim of Scientology without justice.

Why would you ever argue it?


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  • What a white flag.

    All of this is a sad bid to create clickbait. Hope FrankReport will pull coverage now.

    • Dear Sir or Mademoiselle,

      ‘Tis a wee-bit ‘torquemadian’ from where you are standing.

      However, from where I’m standing, in reality, it’s downright Kafkaesque…..

      ….Was thy dearest Raniere starved, sleep-deprived, blackmailed, sexually coerced, bankrupted; or raped?

      Poor, poor Raniere, a centurion, he will be when he is released from prison. 😉


      Mr. Pity

  • Perhaps Alonzo is jealous of Mike Rinder?

    Or maybe Alonzo is still a Scientology member and this is the perfect way to discredit a critic.

    For all we know, Alonzo might even be Tom Cruise or David Miscavige himself😅

  • Alanzo isn’t the only one who remembers fair game before the squirrel busters. The real hard-core fair game that Mike Rinder used to direct is something today’s critics don’t discuss. Because they are busy “being effective”. They have fans following podcasts and tv series. But not a single conviction

  • Those four stories deserve more scrutiny. Mike Rinder should be able to give needed information about these tragedies.

    Alanzo isn’t the only one who thinks this stinks.

  • The current wave of scientology critics really don’t know their history. Alanzo lived the history of the scientology critic scene. The past ten years have erased the work and the fair game endured by the OG. Fair game that was overseen and directed by OSA. Watch now as Rinders minions carry out fair game on Alanzo.

    • The story is deep and wide. You’re not the only one who knows the histrionics of Scientology. Don’t come here and act like you’re going to school all of us. Can somebody take Scientology outside, please? There’s plenty of places to argue Scientology. Don’t give Frank Parlato a reason to pander more shat.

  • Thanks, Frank, for adding the pictures and captions to these names:

    Kyle Brennan
    Shawn Lonsdale
    Flo Barnett
    Ken Ogger

    Before 2010, before Rinder and his network of Ex-Int Base Fanatics came out and began taking over Scientology criticism, these names were known to all critics of Scientology. They were commonly known to most anticultists, even.

    Thanks for helping to make them known again.


  • I urge Frank Report to stop pushing Alanzo and his conspiracy theory. Accusing Rinder of being a mole, a deep fake, a Scientology accomplice etc, without meaningful evidence, is just piggybacking off Rinder’s fame – very unfairly, in my opinion.

    What is the evidence here? Zero. The argument seems to be that, if Rinder was a real scientology critic, he would make different editorial decisions about what stories to cover. This is illogical and meaningless. There is 50+ years of scientology history and thousands of possible stories to cover, of which Rinder has covered quite a few. But apparently, not the right ones, in the opinion of one guy. Which apparently leads to the conclusion that Rinder is hiding something. This is just silly.

    Notice that Alanzo doesn’t say what makes these stories so important. Could it be that they are not materially different from other stories covered by Rinder? Or that the connections to scientology aren’t particularly strong? I note that other major Scientology observers don’t think much of these stories either; for example, Tony Ortega seems to have thoroughly investigated the Barnett matter for the Village Voice and found the evidence inconclusive at best, and hasn’t written about it since 2012. Is he, also, a puppet of the regime? Perhaps Tony Ortega should also be denounced for refusing to cover this very explosive story.

    • Mike Rinder has never revealed anything that would put David Miscavige, or any officer of the Church of Scientology, into criminal jeopardy, where you can’t just use money to make everything go away – like you can with civil litigation. Rinder knows that Scientology eats lawsuits for lunch. A lawsuit is much preferred to criminal indictments.

      Rinder, as the chief protector of Scientology for 22 years, knows the difference between civil litigation vs criminal indictments very well.

      So which is more important, Abelard, a possible Scientology murder made to look like suicide?

      Or an adult daughter who decides not to speak to her father because of religious differences?

      Mike Rinder will talk endlessly about Scientology disconnection because it’s entirely legal. Noting at all can be done about it.

      I have no evidence Mike Rinder is connected in any way with these possible murders made to look like suicide. All I know is that he’s been revising history, lying, and distracting off of these likely criminal acts since he left Scientology and emerged on the Internet in 2009. I’ve been documenting that for over ten years – ever since it was clear to me what he was doing.

      I don’t pretend to know why he’ doing it. I just know that he is. And I’m also very familiar with the kinds of operations Scientology runs to scam & lie, manipulate and intimidate people to avoid criminal prosecution.

      Since families split up all the time over pieces of furniture and comments made over Thanksgiving dinner, I think it’s more important to focus on the deaths.

      Don’t you?


      • Rinder has said multiple times that he was physically abused by Miscavige and witnessed others being physically abused.

        These are crimes.

      • This does not address my points at all. Most obviously, you haven’t addressed why these “stories” are so compelling. You ignored my point that other respected observers appear to have investigated at least some of them and found them inconclusive or not interesting, and that a worldwide shrug strongly suggests that they aren’t the goldmine of criminal evidence that you believe them to be.

        It also avoids discussing the realities of media. If these stories have already been adequately investigated by others, why would A&E, Mike Rinder, or anyone else use up airtime on them? The newsworthiness of an issue is based on the evidence, not the crime, which is why we don’t see a lot of TV coverage of UFOs, even though the existence of ET would be the biggest news in history. Bad, inconclusive evidence means no story.

        And your post reveals another obvious circularity in your argument. Rinder defected in 2007, after (he says) he was in the Hole for two years, and not at all part of any inner circle. The Brennan and Ogger incidents occurred in 2007 and Lonsdale in 2008. The only way Rinder has any particular knowledge of these things is if he is lying about his departure. The only alleged murder that overlaps with his time in the organization is the Barnett one, which as mentioned before seems to be a complete dead-end. There is no reason to think that he knows anything more about this.

        Finally, the TV show makes clear that Rinder has met privately with the FBI and turned over evidence to them. Again, there is no reason to doubt this happened unless you have some evidence that Rinder would lie about it. Which you do not.

    • This spy vs. spy conversation is itself a distraction. The point is Scientology has been dangerous and anyone getting involved needs to understand the whole picture around it. The best advice is stay away. West Germany had the right approach; it banned it as a cult.

  • Hasn’t Mike Rinder more than atoned for his time as a Scientology official? He’s dedicated his life to exposing Scientology’s many crimes at great personal cost. He and his family are constantly surveilled by PI’s and assorted Scientology goons, he was forcibly “disconnected” from his first family, and he’s done as much as anyone alive to help current and former members of the “church.”

  • Getting kind of obsessed with making a point that comes down to “why doesn’t Rinder admit to committing possible crimes that could get him jailed? Why?!?” to which the answer is obvious to anyone but Alanzo.

    • Most people are fooled into thinking Mike Rinder is a hero while he lies, misdirects and obfuscates away from anything that will cause a federal investigation and a review of Scientology’s tax exemption.

      If you really want to “take down” the cult of Scientology, exposing this classic Scientology psy-op can’t hurt.

      But yes, of course, by all means: if we make this all about Alanzo maybe no one will notice all these dead bodies around here.

      • You had bad stuff done to you by a cult. You did bad stuff to people for a cult. You don’t have clean hands either.

      • Oh, Alanzo. Sigh. YOU make it all about Alanzo by being a broken record about this. So let’s make it truly about you this time, in that I would like to know a few things.

        What do you know specifically about the stories regarding the people quoted above? How do you know this? Do you have links or other sources of information? Have you asked Rinder directly about any of this? Has he ever directly responded to you? Do you have links or other sources showing this? Have you, yourself, ever reported any of your concerns in any form to anyone with the authority to investigate? Do you have links or other sources showing this? These are serious questions as I genuinely would like to know how you came to form the opinions you have. See it through your eyes so to speak.

        Also, do you believe it’s possible that a) Mike has reported more to authorities than you, or anyone else, has ever been made privy to? And b) that neither you nor anyone could know everything that Mike has said about this subject or anything else? I am not asking you to agree, believing it’s a possibility does not in any way diminish your stance on this. I simply want to know if you believe it’s possible.

        I will, however, give my opinion on what you said about second-generation Scientologists. While *some* may have had a choice, if their parents were only public, to use one broad stroke to define those situations as the same as growing up with parents on staff is not correct, morally or factually.

        Unless you, yourself, have walked in the shoes of a child brought up in Scientology, you have zero basis for your opinion. I am not saying that because of who you are as this applies to everyone who hasn’t walked in those shoes. There is no “one size fits all” story that can be applied to anyone’s experience. There are similarities but no absolutes. You don’t know simply because you *can’t* know without actual first-hand experience. Perhaps you could rethink that, acknowledge the differences, and be more specific in your rhetoric.

      • Alanzo, “most people” don’t know who Mike Rinder is or think about him at all. As a “hero”. Or as anything. They aren’t, “fooled” or “misdirected”. They are just uninvolved in Scientology history and uninterested.

        Likewise, none of my friends/family/colleagues have ever heard of Nxivm. Keith Raniere or the cast of characters’ trial/sentencing.

        No. Wait! Recently, 1 – ONE person in my orbit, “heard something about that girl from Smallville.

        That was about a week ago – and I asked. And they had zero interest in discussing the case. It was a 2 sentence exchange and then quickly on to other topics.

        It is hard to see when something is so big in your own life. And the lives of those you know and talk to – but really – Mike Rinder isn’t a “thing” with the vast, vast majority of people.

        But maybe you COULD get traction about the “suspicious” suicides. You are just driving people away from the point ( if it really is the deaths) with these Scientology backstories and grudges. I do think people care about potential murders but you make it seem so convoluted, complicated and personal it just buries the lead.

        And that makes you seem either really ineffectual or guilty of misdirection yourself.

        It’s not my battle. This is just a friendly/neutral observation.

        Best of luck.

  • Let’s face it. The Scientology forums got tired of hearing Alanzo rant so he latched on to the NXIVM/FrankReport groups. I feel bad about his past but he needs to move on and enjoy life instead of ranting day in day out.

    • Agree 1,000%. I have been watching and reading anti-Scientology boards/forums/blogs for years.Some are tired of him and some have banned him. I am not saying what he says is not true, just agreeing with Anon’s perception above.

      Alanzo- don’t you think your MO is very Scientology-esk? you want Rinder to admit his crimes? How about going after David “shorty” miscavaige with the same vengeance?

      Nobody is buying what you are selling in this mosh pit. They are to hung up on other non-scio conspiracies, they’re all full up of Looney Toons.

    • Let’s face it, the Scientology forums have been an intellectual wasteland for years now. No honest debate occurs. The tribe will not allow it. Disrupters, like Alanzo, are labeled “insane” or “a paid OSA agent” and quickly disposed of. But, the substance of his criticism is never addressed, nor questions answered. The questions are not invalid, just uncomfortable.

      I don’t think Alanzo needs to latch onto anything. A more likely reason for being here is the similarities between Scientology/NXIVM and critic communities (e.g. tribal dynamics, deception, censorship, etc), which Alanzo has written about on his blog.

      • I call bullsh*t on this one. Alanzo wants to be heard and have people pay attention to him. Call it narcissism or trauma, the truth is he is unable to reach others in the Scientology forums because they either stopped listening or banned him so now he needs to find a new audience. A definite psychological need on his part. Time to just let it go and find peace.

  • “There is no such thing as brainwashing..”

    I don’t find it necessary to ever read anything you have to write anymore Alanzo. You have completely disqualified yourself.

    • Alonzo is correct about “brainwashing” not being real. The term was invented by journalist Edward Hunter in 1950 for an article and later a book he wrote. He claimed the Red Chinese had techniques to alter the human mind and turn people into robots. It was Cold War nonsense of course, a comforting way to “explain” the spread of communism.

      It still gets evoked as if it were real. But it’s a fiction.

      People can be persuaded, they can be fooled, they can be manipulated. Some a lot easier than others. Especially the gullible and weak willed.

      But there’s no such thing as being brainwashed. It’s a fiction cooked up by a Cold War era writer.

      • This comment reveals huge sausage energy.

        Brainwashing is an excuse.

        Take, for instance, “cult expert” Steven Hassan, who had to explain to his strict Jewish family how he ended up driving around a van full of Moonies, passing out flowers and shaking down donations for an Asian guy who claims he’s the reincarnation of Jesus.

        I was BRAINWASHED!

        And today he’s a millionaire.

        A nice little earner.

  • David Miscavige and Keith Raniere definitely have one thing in common…

    ….People in David’s and Keith’s orbit die of suicide an extremely high rate.

    The suicide rate in the United States is 13.93 per 100,000 individuals.

    David and Kieth have the national suicide rate beat by at least 4 to the 10th power.

  • Alanzo is strange in that some of what he says seems coherent and relevant. He’s obviously well informed, yet he repeatedly goes off on a muddling tangent the first chance he gets. He’s obsessed with the “brainwashing doesn’t exist” strawman argument, and tries to use it to place full responsibility on people. People who’ve clearly been locked in a belief system and removed themselves from it, yet he describes them as if they’re somehow deceiving themselves MORE after leaving the group than when they were a part of it. The obsession with Mike Rinder comes across as pro-Scientology, not because he’s being ganged up by the so-called “anti-cult cult”, but because he’s obfuscating the bigger picture with an unbalanced attribution of blame that seems like a personal vendetta.

    • Another brilliant observation.

      Giving a voice to people with vendetta’s that can’t back it up solid information or is off point to the larger theme, can be dangerous

    • “Nothing’s funnier than drugging and raping 50 women”

      From 1969, here is Cosby’s joke about Spanish Fly (the 50’s date-rape drug) 3 minutes

    • I bet tour would do well. Half would be fans thinking he is innocent, quarter there to see what happens and the other quarter would be there to protest. In all cases, he makes money.

  • Judge Orders Docs Released in Ghislaine Maxwell Case Related to Funding from Clinton Foundation, Clinton Global Initiative

    Docs to reveal Epstein financial ties to Clinton Global Initiative, Clinton Foundation (a/k/a William J. Clinton Foundation, a/k/a/ the Bill, Hilary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation), and Clinton Foundation Climate Change Initiative.

  • Anybody see the John Travolta Scientology flick Battlefield Earth?

    I don’t know how anybody could take anything related to Scientology seriously after that huge pop-culture stinkbomb. Here’s one of many hilarious reviews of the film version of L. Ron Hubbards absurd sci-fi opus:

    FILM REVIEW; Earth Capitulates in 9 Minutes to Mean Entrepreneurs From Space

    Battlefield EarthDirected by Roger ChristianAction, Adventure, Sci-FiPG-131h 58m
    By Elvis Mitchell

    ”Man is an endangered species,” announces one of the titles at the beginning of the sci-fi lump ”Battlefield Earth.” And after about 20 minutes of this amateurish picture, extinction doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. Sitting through it is like watching the most expensively mounted high school play of all time. The film is stocked with evil aliens who, in their padded body stockings, plastic armorlike fittings and matted hair extensions, resemble nothing so much as members of GWAR, the metal-rock parodists that Beavis and Butt-head loved. It may be a bit early to make such judgments, but ”Battlefield Earth” may well turn out to be the worst movie of this century.
    ”Plan Nine From Outer Space” for a new generation, ”Battlefield Earth” is set in the year 3000, after the beings from the planet Psychlo have conquered our planet in only nine minutes. Humans have been reduced to grunting illiterates by the Psychlos (who have the same name as their home planet). ”Stupid man-animals,” bellow the Psychlos, who at nine feet tower over the Earthlings, though several feet of Psychlo height seems to come from the offworld Doc Martens they sport.
    The chief nasty, Terl (John Travolta), wants nothing more than to finish his stretch supervising workers on Earth and return home to Psychlo. But political matters, which make parts of this movie look like some alien version of C-Span, trap him on Earth forever…

    yeah, you get the idea. Travolta’s $44 million box office failure was meant to publicize Scientology. Well, it sure did that, though not in the way he planned.

    And yet there are are still people who take this shite seriously 😂

    • “Anybody see the John Travolta Scientology flick Battlefield Earth?” Aristotle’s Sausage

      Some people call the movie Cinematic Excrement.

      I’ve seen copies of the paperback in bookstores but I doubt if anyone actually bought and read it.
      To borrow a quote from Mark Twain “Battlefield Earth is chloroform in Print.”
      Battlefield Earth – Hilariocity Review

    • Of course I’ve seen it. It’s only most brilliant film ever made!

      During one of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaigns, he was asked what his favorite book was. His answer? “Battlefield Earth” by L. Ron Hubbard. Way to show the average voter that you’re not an oddball, Mitt!

  • What do you want Mike Rinder to do exactly?

    He’s a media personality not a homicide detective.

    Based on your own analysis of Rinder and his motives, anything Mike does will be suspect to you, anyway.

    Why don’t YOU do something – besides blog about it?

    Clearly, Rinder is not the man for the job. Stop wasting time obsessing on Mike’s actions & words.

    Take it on yourself. Solve it. Prove it. And quit shifting blame and responsibility onto a person who won’t accept the challenge on your terms. And whom you do not trust to do the job right anyway.

    The case grows colder while you point fingers and twiddle thumbs.

    • Maybe some context will help…

      Mike Rinder was the Commanding Officer of The Office of Special Affairs International (OSA Int) for 22 years. Every Scientology organization in the world has OSA Rep. Any legal issues, investigations, public relations, etc are reported on a weekly basis. All of this information makes it’s way to the top of the pyramid – Mike’s desk. Rinder would have been aware of any potential threat internationally. He would have also signed off on the investigation, Fair Game, and dirty tricks of any church enemy.

      For decades, the anti-scientology critics have accused the church of committing criminal acts. Yet, during all this time, no criminal charges have materialized (the last being the 1977 raid).

      If the church is guilty of criminal acts, Mike Rinder would be an important source of “inside” information, which would be valuable to law enforcement. Yet, this has not occurred.

      Alanzo is simply asking “Why?”

      Why are certain historical events okay to explore, and others not? There have been a number of suspicious deaths in scientology over the years. Why hasn’t the anti-scientology critics demanded a re-examination of the Kyle Brennan death? No, it appears to be off-limits. If you raise the issue, you’re a “troll”.

      In summary, Mike Rinder knows a LOT; he would know details of criminal activity. While he may appear to be a relentless critic “seeking to expose and end the abuse”, most of what he talks about is the immorality of the church – NOT the criminality. Sending people to prison could see an end to scientology’s more destructive practices.

      So, are there crimes? or not?

      • I have the same suspicion of Naom Chomsky as Mike Rinder, their [respective] opposition seems calculated to obfuscate and paralyze criticism that might actually result in justice.

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” In addition, he was credited in the Starz docuseries 'Seduced' for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premieres on May 22, 2022.

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