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Best Friends Animal Society/Process Church of the Final Judgement


bionicmlle
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 Most of us are probably familiar with Best Friends Animal Society and their shelter in Kanab, UT as well as their work to further animal welfare.  In doing a little reading, however, it turns out they were originally started from a splinter group from the Scientology church -- a group of SPs who apparently had ties to Satan worship.  Interesting wiki article about it here:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Process_Church_of_The_Final_Judgment.  In trying to do a little more reading to understand the current relationship between the animal work (which is a non-profit, FYI) and the "church" or the faith, as it were, I can't find much.  Anyone have information on the current status of BF and it's relationship to a church or cult group?

 

There is this, if you want to wade through the crazy.... I'm not sure how accurate it is....  http://www.thedogpress.com/Columns/BestFriends1_Jade-0610.asp  I didn't find anything on Tony Ortega's site.  

 

(I don't remember if we have discussed this before - I did a search and couldn't find anything - if I am wrong please point me in the right direction!)  

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I got Marbles from Best Friends.  They seemed like a legit shelter, no kill.  Very active and vocal in SoCal in the NKLA crowd.

I have no info on the Scientology connection.

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Wait... are the various "Best Friends" doggy daycares run by Scientologists? I've been taking Lily to one since she was a puppy...

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Pretty sure the dogs aren't being "audited."    But, how would we know?!

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I remember The Process being brought up in Helter Skelter as one of the places Manson culled some of his beliefs from. This is also the guy who said he was "Clear" in Scientology, which they've vehemently denied. He grew very tight-lipped about them after impromptu visits in jail from a couple of members of The Process, so presumedly they showed up to tell him to STFU. 

If Tony Ortega doesn't have anything, this might be one to ask the Old Guard about. Tory Christman might know something, considering how long she was in. 

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@applejack good thought - thanks.  One of the reasons this came up was in regards to our donations. DH starting looking up and stumbled across this connection.  I feel very uncomfortable giving to a society that is connected to a cult - regardless of the good they do.  I'd like to know if this is a carefully constructed facade.  (If it is, it is good!)

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I have adopted from them, and even worked for a very short time there. I knew the people running the sanctuary at the time, and never heard of any connections. I'm still in touch with some of the employees and have never heard anything mentioned from them either. But I can only speak from my experience. You never know! 

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When I was actively in dog rescue, our organization helped Best Friends with a big intake they had from a hoarder.  We took all their dogs of our breed from that intake.   I'm relatively certain that we would not have been involved if there were any connections to Scientology. 

I've never heard of any connection, even in the rumor mill.   I know they are one of the best at what they do and they likely don't get enough donations to be using them for anything put their primary work.

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IIRC, the origins of BFAS as started by some culty people is fairly well documented with property records and the original land purchases. HOWEVER, I think any current cultishness is much more of the Rescue Angel variety and they're fairly harmless compared to most of the fundies we follow. 

 

(There's things I like about BF and there's somet things that I *really* do not like, but they're mostly persnickety animal person things.) 

 

It's also worth reading anything from The Dog Press really critically. Some of their articles are great. Some are iffy as all get out. A lot of their contributors are very, very focused on agendas related to dog shows and showing and well.... yeah. Evidence and research is not always their strong suit. 

Edited by Mango
(Left out a thought and then screwed up fixing it earlier)
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I didn't know what Mango said about The Dog Press, but what I did read yesterday of one of the posted links smells a lot like stuff we'd read back in the 80s abut backward masking and shit like that.  It just sounds a lot like batshit crazy conspiracy stuff.

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Yes -- clearly that author had an agenda and I don't know how much truth there was in that article.  Thanks, @Curious for your perspective and @Mango -- I agree that they do good work but there is definitely some :side-eye: with some of the things that they do.  I appreciate them, on many fronts, but one of the biggest things that bugs me (and this is sort of ridiculous) is the stupid magazine that they send me because I donate.  I don't want it and don't like that they waste donation money on the publication.  You apparently can't opt out.  

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Dog people, in general, tend to be somewhat crazy.  I say this as a dog person.   I don't mean people who have a pet dog, but "dog people" as in they are enmeshed in some form of the "dog community."  Whether that is showing, rescue, dog sports, etc.

I have seen more weird shit go down over dogs than you'd believe.  FJ is tame to stuff I've dealt with in dog circles.

I think most people *mean* well, but some people are already a little on the crazy side and having a cause magnifies it.

Having done dog rescue for a number of years with a relatively rare and fragile breed, I understand why some rescues are very strict.   You had to climb mountains to get one of my fosters (and many of my fosters just stayed with me due to health or behavioral problems).  I basically had to think you would be a better home for the dog than I was.  

The pool of good adoptive families is really very limited, IME, so I really do understand the seemingly crazy restrictions, but some rescues go way too far.

I know BFAS was really good about working with our breed rescue and I think that is probably true for them across the board.   I'm not sure what their criteria for working with other rescues is, but I would assume it's places that have a similar philosophy to their own.

HSUS, PETA and ASPCA are ones you definitely want to stay away from when donating to dog causes.

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2 hours ago, Curious said:

HSUS, PETA and ASPCA are ones you definitely want to stay away from when donating to dog causes.

Yikes!  Can I ask why?  I've donated to all 3, and regularly to 2.  

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9 minutes ago, Tim-Tom Biblethumper said:

Yikes!  Can I ask why?  I've donated to all 3, and regularly to 2.  

PETA has a horrible reputation in my state (Virginia) because of their horrible "shelter". They euthanized almost all of the pets people brought to them to be rehomed in good faith. Also, they were involved in an awful situation where they took a dog off a person's porch and euthanized the dog. Here's the story from a local paper. Here is info from the Washington Post about their 'shelter', Here is a public blog by a former PETA worker. Be forewarned, all of the links are hard to read.

I don't have any specifics about HSUS and ASPCA, but I do remember that HSUS got involved with Michael Vick during his 'rehabilitation' from dog fighting. I was personally not pleased how their CEO, Wayne Pacelle, seemed to be kowtowing to Vick, which made me ill.

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32 minutes ago, GreyhoundFan said:

PETA has a horrible reputation in my state (Virginia) because of their horrible "shelter". They euthanized almost all of the pets people brought to them to be rehomed in good faith. Also, they were involved in an awful situation where they took a dog off a person's porch and euthanized the dog. Here's the story from a local paper. Here is info from the Washington Post about their 'shelter', Here is a public blog by a former PETA worker. Be forewarned, all of the links are hard to read.

I don't have any specifics about HSUS and ASPCA, but I do remember that HSUS got involved with Michael Vick during his 'rehabilitation' from dog fighting. I was personally not pleased how their CEO, Wayne Pacelle, seemed to be kowtowing to Vick, which made me ill.

Thank you for the links, although I'm one of those people that can't even watch the commercials  :cry:  so I'll take your word.  
Our local SPCA is top-notch, but I had a horrible experience with the local Animal Services while trying to do a good deed.  (long sad story)
If you are into Greyhound rescue, props to you!  I live in a town with a track that goes back to the 1920's and have seen the evolution of Greyhound rescues and the great work they're doing.  I see happy Greyhounds everywhere now!

Edited by Tim-Tom Biblethumper
riffles
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I think PETA"s mission is for people not to have pets (or livestock) in the first place (they seem to be more of a vegan propaganda group than anything else).  

As for dog people.  I used to be heavily involved with my local SPCA before I moved here (about 10 years ago).  What got under my skin is that the dog people took over the volunteer program, and every volunteer resource was devoted to the dogs.  I initially became involved to help out the kitties (I'm a cat person) and they pivoted me to walking dogs.  As far as I know, no volunteers spent time with the cats, who were just sitting there in cages.  

I used to get the Best Friends magazine and I'll say that I'm impressed with their work, cult association or not.

ETA if I donate to any animal groups, it is my local SPCA.  I can't say enough about the work they do.  Also I prefer to keep my donations local.

Edited by 19 cats and counting
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  • 1 month later...

*Too damned tired to put a dog----or cat (my preferred critter) into all this.*

But can I ask ALL loving critter-lovers to please send energy---or burn incense--or even better, send money, or kibble, or love, or work!--to animal shelters they know are reliable, that will work to rehome Furbabies (and can we please kinda forget about purebreeds?--there are lots of critters that NEED loving homes--they don't ask about your ancestors: maybe you can return the politeness?). 

Don't get me started on PETA: don't think the server will support the language I want to use.  FWIW, I think my darned FurBabies really LIKE keeping us hoomans in subjugation and demanding the Nice Wet Food, never mind places on our beds, much less their being flea-less and worm-less.

Yes, preaching to the converted choir, but can I get an amen?

*wants to scatter out lots of nummmmyyyyy food and make shelters and find dozens of loving homes and maybe catch unspayed/unneutered critters and otherwise help, but can use some good direction other than "catch and euthanize"*

On 5/10/2016 at 10:00 AM, 19 cats and counting said:

I think PETA"s mission is for people not to have pets (or livestock) in the first place (they seem to be more of a vegan propaganda group than anything else).  

Kinda think my FurBabies don't give a hot darn WHAT we eat, as long as they get The Good Stuff, and can curl up on the beds with us.  Maybe it's identification with the oppressors, but we're not seeing major signs of rebellion.

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Why should people forget about purebreds and be forced to adopt if they do not want to?  Right now, adoption does not fit what I want, so I will go to breeders.  I support local rescues with my time and money when I have some extra.  Support does not have to mean adoption.  Every person should get the animal that is right for them, regardless of whether that is reputable shelter or reputable breeder, and quit being so concerned about what others do.  It just  widens a divide between shelters and breeders that does not need to exist in the first place 

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Hon, no one can force you into taking a critter you just don't want---purebred or mutt, cat or dog or whatever. Haven't seen any county or city shelter workers holding weapons on folks and saying "you MUST adopt a mixed-breed!"

(Myself, personally seriously covet apple-headed Siamese, and my dear spouse adores Bengals and Ocicats.  If we completely decided we just totally HAD to get a purebred, it'd be off to a professional breeder who was cat-showing like crazy and who could recite breed standards while deeply asleep, and who'd be checking our suitablilty out like the FBI--with our wants for "a pet quality NEUTERED catbaby, because we're not breeding and showing".  But we've shared 30+ years with discovered pound kitties of interesting/unknown parentage, and they've been really gorgeous and loving and friendly and great.)

If you are insanely (and I mean that politely, no insult intended) Into supporting some kind of particular breed of whatever, hey, go for it and may the Goddess bless you.   But I would suggest that readers look into Kim Kaven's The Dog Merchants: Inside the Big Business of Dog Breeders, Pet Stores, and Rescuers.

My BIG concern is that folks may get all fixated-and-locked into a particular label and completely ignore already-borned FurBabies in shelters, who are begging for a forever home. Get whatever kind of pet just grabs at your heart, but please take a bit of time to consider rescue beasts?

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People get fixed and locked into breeds that suit them perfectly, which they should.  I will probably never adopt again after the poor experiences I have had.  Other people can do whatever floats their boat.  
And, yes, I do see attempts to force people into taking shelter pets.  Laws that restrict breeders and breeding are passed every single day.  People scream for mandatory spay and neuter of all animals, which eliminates entire lines of dogs.  When it comes right down to it, what is the difference between holding weapon on someone and legislating breeders out of existence? 
Choosing to go to a breeder is not shameful, and it does not make you a better or worse person.  Going to a shelter is not heroic, and it does not make you a better or worse person.  You can get a great animal from either place, and a lousy animal from either place.

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We got our first dog from a friend whose purebred papered GSP male jumped the fence and made sweet fellowship with the female next door. (same breed). She had 13 pups. We got one, adored her and she was our baby till she passed at 8 yrs of age.  

We adopted a little terrier to be her companion and they were mutt and jeff. after she passed, we tried with another GSP, a male but he went back to the rescue. We waited a few years and went through the SoCal GSP rescue and found our Poppers. She was  a 2 yr old breeder who had been abandoned. She had issues with males but is very happy with her daddy now. She is more my dog than his, though. She and the terrier are inseparable. 

Our local branch of the ASPCA is great. They offer low-cost vaccination clinics and checkups. When we're ready for a cat, we'll go there. 

I know some great breeders and they are in specific breeds that are not the popular dogs that are out there. And @Curious is right, dog show people are bizarre. 

OT watching CSPAN on the Periscope feed. #NoBillNoBreak. 

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I'm all for adopting shelter pets, but realize they are not right for everyone.  We've had a GSD (German Shepherd Dog), a Lab, and now have a Dachshund and a Shih tzu.  We've also had our share of Heinz 57s, like my late Lucy.  The cats have all been moggies, but Snorpi looked and acted like a Maine Coon and Molly II looked like an Angora, IOW,  she was a long-haired white cat.  The GSD was sort of a rescue (got from a friend who couldn't keep it in her apartment) and the Lab, Doxie and Shih tzu were all rescues.  The Shih tzu is possibly not a purebred.  I happen to love Doxies (had three as a kid) and wouldn't mind another one, but I might get one from rescue.  I also love Glen of Imaal terriers and they are rarely in rescue as they are well, rare.

I learned in my genetics class if you had totally random breeding of dogs, in about 5 generations, you'd just have brown dogs weighing about 35 pounds.  I happen to like the variety of dogs.  

The variety of dogs also can come in handy when you want dogs with certain traits like being less likely to cause allergies.  That's why the Obamas decided on the Portuguese Water Dogs, Bo and Sunny.  Malia is allergic to dog dander and PWDs are less likely to be a problem.  IIRC, Senator Ted Kennedy gave Bo to the Obamas.  Bo, btw, was being re-homed so he'd a rescue in a way -just not from a shelter.

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On 6/22/2016 at 2:43 PM, Inthemadhouse said:

People get fixed and locked into breeds that suit them perfectly, which they should.  I will probably never adopt again after the poor experiences I have had.  Other people can do whatever floats their boat.  
And, yes, I do see attempts to force people into taking shelter pets.  Laws that restrict breeders and breeding are passed every single day.  People scream for mandatory spay and neuter of all animals, which eliminates entire lines of dogs.  When it comes right down to it, what is the difference between holding weapon on someone and legislating breeders out of existence? 
Choosing to go to a breeder is not shameful, and it does not make you a better or worse person.  Going to a shelter is not heroic, and it does not make you a better or worse person.  You can get a great animal from either place, and a lousy animal from either place.

I knew several people who chose a breeder because they thought rescues were damaged goods (sort of like a fundie bride who is not a virgin).  

But these people I knew were the same type of people who would snark on someone if they were driving the wrong brand of car, wearing the wrong brand of clothes, etc.  In other words people who cared about flaunting their wealth (whether or not they or Visa paid for it).

I'm passionate about pet rescue.  However, the two kitties I've owned (or have owned me) have come from relatives (or friends of) who's cat had an accidental litter (in one case, the vet appointment to fix Mom was made and she was already pregnant).  Unless I come across kittens this way, my next kitty will be an SPCA one.

(I like dogs but they're not right for my lifestyle and prefer cats).

ETA My local SPCA is one of the best in the region.  Right now they're handling a dog hoarding case that made national news (front page of my Huffington Post app).  http://monmouthcountyspca.org/

Edited by 19 cats and counting
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There are many wonderful rescues out there, and I love supporting my local ones.  Not a fan of HSUS or PETA.  And there are many great rescue dogs and shelters.  That doesn't mean that it's great or right for everyone. 

People just need to make the choice that's best for them and quit pushing it on other people. 

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@19 cats and counting, I read the statistic that the entire state of New Jersey's shelters and animal welfare impounded 35,538 dogs and only euthanized 4,059 of them or 13% in contrast to the Alexandria, Louisiana shelter which euthanized 87% of the 3,499 dogs it took in.  One shelter in Louisiana euthanized almost as many dogs as the state of New Jersey which has 58 times the population of the area that the Alexandria, LA shelter serves.

Source: Peter Zheutlin. Rescue Road. 2015. p 74-75

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