|“Oh what a tangled web we weave|
— Sir Walter Scott (1808)
Like a man stuck in a tar pit struggling to extricate himself, Barney sinks lower and lower the more he tries to explain how he “dabbled” in Scientology. He fell into the tar headfirst by helping Craig Biddle write “Regarding Carl Barney and Scientology” (The Objective Standard online, 15 July 2019). That article was supposed to put an end to questions about his character but apparently some readers were unconvinced. Mr. Biddle came out with a Part Two (undated but advertised in the TOS newsletter of 11 September 2019) again based on a conversation with Barney. He retroactively subtitled the earlier article, Part One.
Mr. Biddle begins Part Two by referring to more “half-truths and lies regarding Carl Barney’s involvement in Scientology ... spread on social media.” Because some people have questioned him about these rumors he will address the subject again.
But not right away. After saying that “Carl is a profoundly good man” – you thought you were good, LOL – he spends almost 500 words on the theme: “once such damage is done, it cannot be undone” – that is, the purported half-truths and lies about Barney have irreparably damaged his reputation. Our reply: Search the Internet for the name Carl Barney and immediately you find Mr. Biddle’s article defending him listed among the top results. By saying that lies are more powerful than truths Mr. Biddle insults those of his Objectivist readers who can weigh evidence and analyze arguments.
Perhaps Mr. Biddle is afraid that few Objectivists will be convinced by his article, and he would prefer that people believe this is due to the greater power of lies rather than that the “lies” are true.
After that digression Mr. Biddle digs in. By the time he is through he will have used or quoted the word “gossip” seven times, once italicized, to describe criticism of Barney such as ours. He never mentions the documents from the time of Barney’s activity in the Church of Scientology cited in our review of Part One, Barney Tells His Story. Are these documents gossip, or hard evidence ?
Mr. Biddle begins by saying
The frequency of the word “gossip” in Mr. Biddle’s article is matched by the infrequency of the word “church.” It is completely absent ! As in the quote above you always read “Scientology” or “organization,” never “Church of Scientology.” A strange void and why? 
Mr. Biddle says, as if it corroborated Barney’s lowly status: “He was always in the ‘free-enterprise sector’ ...” Stop the presses, the Church of Scientology promoted Capitalism ! I guess that’s what it means; Mr. Biddle doesn’t elaborate except to continue cryptically, “which [the true] upper management looked down on.” Meaning, I guess, that Co$ management didn’t like Scientology’s “free-enterprise sector,” whatever that was If Hubbard didn’t like it why was it there ?
Mr. Biddle then admits, finally, that Barney operated “several” Scientology franchises, quite a step up from Barney’s “dabbling briefly” lie to the New York Times. In fact Barney owned and operated five Co$ franchises. Mr. Biddle takes care not to bring up the question “For how long?” (Answer: nine years minimum.) He then gets out a bucket of whitewash and begins painting like a Scientologist himself, with an Objectivist twist. These franchises
Some students, more cunning than most, eventually managed to insert themselves into the money making end of the cult. How much did Barney get?
Now Barney may be no more truthful about the money he got out of the Co$ than he is about his defunct dabbled claim. Note the word “franchise.” That is what his missions were, franchises that he owned, like you own a McDonald’s franchise. He had a contract with the Church and rules he had to follow. (Hubbard began calling them “missions” because “franchises” sounded like what they were, commercial enterprises, and Scientology was a religion for tax purposes.) This undermines Barney’s statement that his only source of income was from Hubbard paying him a salary. Indeed it is evidence that he received no salary at all, that his income was what he could take out of the revenue generated by his franchises after paying operating expenses and the Church’s – Hubbard’s – fee. That’s how franchises work. 
As noted earlier, Mr. Biddle / Barney makes much of the Co$ having been a non-profit. To quote their text again:
According to Mr. Biddle, Barney began investing in real estate while he was in the Co$. He started with “just a few thousand dollars” and made “a few million dollars.” This “enabled him later to acquire and improve several colleges ...” It could be true, however from past experience any testimony from Barney requires independent verification. Some of his contemporary Scientologists whom we have less reason to mistrust say he walked away with a fortune from his franchises. That too could be true. As outsiders without objective knowledge of his affairs we cannot determine which possibility was the case, but which appears more probable?
Turning to more recent times when Barney is running his trade school colleges, Mr. Biddle says that contrary to a rumor Barney never was a billionaire. I have not heard that rumor but his CEHE’s 990 form for 2014, filled out by Barney or his accountant, valued the foundation’s assets at $569,929,222 which is more than half a billion dollars. (The 990 form for subsequent years shows substantially decreased assets, steady at a little over a quarter billion.)
A major theme of Mr. Biddle’s article is that the Church of Scientology began as a benevolent enterprise, was still benevolent when Barney joined (the early 1960s), and only later turned into a cult. This fantasy is illustrated in the remainder of the sentence that we interrupted above:
In Part One of Mr. Biddle’s article Barney says that Hubbard threw him out of the Co$, which is corroborated by some other Scientologists of the time except they give a different reason for his ouster. In Part Two Barney gives the impression that he left voluntarily.
Hubbard began calling his confidence game – “I’d like to start a religion. That’s where the money is ! ” – a church long before Barney joined it in the early 1960s. Hubbard originally called his psychological theory “Dianetics” but in 1952 he changed the label to “Scientology” and said it was “a religious philosophy.” Near the end of 1953 he incorporated three churches one of which was the “Church of Scientology” and eventually that one prevailed. As for “authoritarian elements,” Hubbard completely controlled Church dogma and practice from the beginning.
Mr. Biddle denounces “what Scientology has become,” claiming that it “is not the same as what it was initially.” We needn’t address initially, only the early 1960s when Barney began, and by all accounts it was substantially the same E-meter cult then as it was when Barney left.
According to Mr. Biddle even today Scientology “has some relatively good elements” though packaged with “some seriously bad elements.” Barney
Mr. Biddle says that when Barney joined Scientology in Melbourne, Australia it advertised itself as “non-religious.” If so that is the Church’s contradiction not ours. It strains credence that Barney did not realize it was religious after moving to America (1965) and seeing the “Church of Scientology” signs. Note the vagueness of “over time” in the following, a phrase Mr. Biddle also uses in Part One and for the same obscuring purpose:
He writes of Barney:
Throughout his article Mr. Biddle makes quite a show of self-righteousness, painting himself as a truth-teller and his critics as gossip-mongering liars. Barney is so virtuous he would blush reading it if he had any sense of shame. For myself I try to discover the truth and report it accurately. Were it not for my investigative reporting, Objectivists wouldn’t know what little Barney is now compelled to admit. I may make a mistake but it is not a lie.
Mr. Biddle, flattering his benefactor, speaks of Barney’s “benevolence and goodwill,” and how his embracing Scientology and his leaving it were “acts of virtue” both. Barney is not merely good, he is “profoundly good.” Mr. Biddle concludes his article with a reference, apparently, to the fortune Barney acquired by working what we would call the federal student loan racket, as unproductive, greedy for the unearned, and selfish in sacrificing others to oneself as it gets: