Monday, March 02, 2020

Today's Blind Items - A Family Crime - An Intercerebellar Blind Item

It looks like this family-owned studio might finally be toast.

Back in the ‘80s, they were essentially the original Netflix, though catering to a very specific audience. Their business practices have gotten them into serious trouble over the years, but they somehow kept functioning. How exactly? Their CEO and patriarch operates the company on behalf of a very large and very wealthy religious institution.

When you commit the same federal crime almost 100 million times, however, and face one of the most astronomical fines in the history of the United States justice system, the religious institution is not likely to keep their umbrella of protection over you for much longer.

27 comments:

sandybrook said...

Troma?

MDAnderson said...

Church of Latter Day Saints?

Sd Auntie said...

Golden Era Studios and Scio

gauloise said...

Scientology

P. Edwin Nibbles said...

C.B.N. Pat Robertson

Unknown said...

Scientology or Latter Day Saints. Both have extensive video library's to promote their church.

Super Comic Fun Time! said...

What kind of crime could be committed 100 million times? Piracy (copyright infringement) comes to mind.

And what would a Netflix look like in the 80s? Mailing VHS tapes? I think I've heard of a company that tried that but I can't find anything now.

I don't think it's Golden Era since it doesn't seem to be independently owned.

My best guess is Ted Field, Interscope, and LDS

Sunkist said...

Ugh! My husband did voiceovers out at Golden Era compound in the 90s. He translated their materials to French. He would go out there and they'd trap him and not let me get in touch with him for days. That was why I got my first cell phone in '96. They were so weird and you had to chase them to get paid.

Trapped said...

Mormons or LDS

Cody said...

The Osmonds?

Hotbox said...

One of my very first jobs in Hollywood was for Golden Era Productions. I was young and dumb, and had no idea this was the in-house propaganda machine for Scientology. I filmed a small part in a training video. It was the strangest experience.

Brayson87 said...

Original Netflix was through the mail, wonder if this was a porn studio or music.
Enty usually doesn't describe Scio as "a very large and very wealthy religious institution."

Wasn't there some study that showed the state with the greatest porn consumption was Utah? 😅

Perfumista said...

Super Comic Fun Time! - money laundering would be my guess. Big religious institutions and the mob love that.

Brayson87 said...

Guess we're down to current family-owned studios that have existed at least since the 80's, with shady business practices.

Sd Auntie said...

Very scary sunkist!!

Veritas said...

Very weird when I read Scio had a place in Ukraine. What the heck is going on over there with our dirty politicians - it is known as the most corrupt Country- funny who it attracts

Melvin The Reanimated said...

Family Video.

One of the oldest movie rental chains and the largest to still exist, with hundreds of chains across the Midwest. Family owned by the Hooglands. The main company that runs in Highland Ventures, has hands in numerous other outfits, like real estate and a pizza chain. Family Video sued multiple times for underpaying employees.

Only thing I can't figure out is the religious organization.

Unknown said...

The Osmonds are Mormons.

Magnolia Melee said...

@Sunkist that's crazy! Did your husband ever say if he saw anything weird? Or why they would trap him?

David Durall said...

You lost me with this unrelated reply.

TC said...

I am thinking that if this was the 80s version of Netflix, then we would be talking direct to video/direct to cable.

Troma, American International Pictures, and Cannon Pictures come to mind.

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Studio54 said...

LOL Veritas. Ukraine is not the corrupt one RUSSIA IS. Ukraine is trying to be free of Russia's jackboot on their neck. And you don't want to mention your right wing friends up to their neck with Putin and Russia.

rv65 said...

CBN aka Pat Robertson????

rv65 said...

Perhaps TBN which is run by Paul and Jan Crouch

Gladys Kravitz said...

CBN or TBN, it is one of those bible banger channels.

BlindAsTheNextGuesser said...

If it is Golden Era Productions, the crimes that could lead to massive fines could be any number of labor law violations and/or human trafficking. Most of the workers are in the Sea Org group of Scientology and they are notoriously worked at little to no pay as volunteers of The Church. I do not know who would be considered the CEO of Golden Era, if not David Miscavige himself, but even at that, I would not consider it "family-owned"....In fact, most of his family have been run-off or sequestered over the years, so being family to him, even within Scio is not necessarily a benefit.

Family Video is an interesting guess. They are headquartered in Glenview, IL. The Wikipedia page for Glenview seems to give prominent mention, though not much detail of a New Church (sometimes Glenview New Church). I could not find anything to suggest it is a very large and very wealthy religious institution.

The original Netflix reference always makes me think of the notorious Digital Entertainment Network (D.E.N.). They seemed to have invented the streaming concept, or at least the germ of the idea for it. I am unclear if either Brock Peters, or Marc Collins-Rector would be considered The CEO, my impression was they were somewhat co-equal. They were part of the group that had the alleged pedo-parties for the gay A-list of the 1990's and early 2000 including the likes of Bryan Singer. They definitely had a select target audience teens (and it would seem adults who like to view teens!), there allegedly closed shop in 2000 after the pedo scandal broke, but....Well you can watch the movie, "An Open Secret" for the main part of the story and aftermath. There is an article at CNET indicating an effort to do an IPO for DEN in 2002, which would seem weird if they shut down in 2000. So did they continue? Or did they morph into a Multi-Player ROle Player gaming business called IGE, which made Brock Peters rich (and maybe, Collins-Rector as well). These days Brock Peters is deep into Bitcoin. There may or may not have been money-laundering going on at DEN along with the more publicized and sexually scandalous activities. The missing ingredient between DEN and this Blind would seem to be the religious one. Unless, DEN went underground, and has been backed by some religious group that fits the Blind and (presumably) has a dark side???? And the involvement of Peters with Bitcoin would be the perfect currency for the illicit activities of an underground studio dealing in Pedo Porn....If DEN, or some iteration of it still exists, that is. I dunno, seems stretchy.

Ted Fields. Interscope. Money Laundering? Maybe. But which religious institution?

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