We saw a lot of people on social media celebrating yesterday's People magazine interview with Laura Prepon, in which the Orange is the New Black actress said she hasn't practiced Scientology for the last five years.
"I'm no longer practicing Scientology," says Prepon. "I've always been very open-minded, even since I was a child. I was raised Catholic and Jewish. I've prayed in churches, meditated in temples. I've studied Chinese meridian theory. I haven't practiced Scientology in close to five years and it's no longer part of my life."
Some of our sources, however, cautioned us to read Prepon's words carefully, especially given the current situation, with her fellow That '70s Show castmate Danny Masterson facing a criminal rape trial that could put him in prison for life.
2020-08-18, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The newest episode of the Scientology Fair Game podcast features one of my favorite scientology survivors, Paulette Cooper.
Her life story is amazing, and if you have not read Tony Ortega's excellent The Unbreakable Miss Lovely, I recommend you do so.
The story of what scientology did to try to destroy her is unbelievable. Literally. And unless the FBI had recovered documents in the raid on scientology in 1977, what scientology had done to her was not believed by anyone — it was so far-fetched it seemed it could only have been lifted from the pages of a cheap spy novel.
Leah Remini is a television actress known for her nine-year run on the popular sitcom 'The King of Queens,' as well as her highly publicized departure from the Church of Scientology.
Who is Leah Remini?
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Leah Remini dropped out of school to pursue her acting dream. Working continually for years on a variety of shows, Remini flirted several times with larger success until 1998, when she landed the career-defining role of Carrie Heffernan on the hit sitcom The King of Queens. A member of the Church of Scientology until 2013, Remini later departed from the Church, a chapter of her life which she wrote about in her best-selling memoir and explores in Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, a TV documentary series on A&E.
Scientology isn't waiting for official approval before recruiting staff for the planned Narconon Ireland facility in Ballivor, County Meath. We last reported on the planned Narconon Ireland in 2018 as neighbors were organizing to oppose the facility. Scientology has a permit for converting the old primary school to a nursing home and hoped to open a 34 bed drug rehab facility under that permit.
Since then An Bord Pleanála, the national planning and appeals board, overturned the county's decision to allow the facility. They wrote "The proposed use as a residential drug rehabilitation facility would be a factual change of use from use as a nursing home and such change of use would raise material planning considerations including different patterns of traffic, and pedestrian activity/movement, a different service to a different user group, including a population with a broader age profile and who are drug dependent and with limited interaction with the local community, and is, therefore a material change of use, and is development."
Scientology appealed the decision and the case goes before An Ard-Chúirt, the High Court on December 10th. In the meantime Scientology is finishing the construction work on the site. The building is furnished and almost ready to go. The addition of four wings to the original two at the top of this photo has more than doubled the available space. Still to be done is the window frosting needed because of the close proximity to a community garden.
The show where I answer your questions. Please leave any comments or feedback in the comments section here below. I see everything and want to hear from you.
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One of the truly monumental books about Scientology, Jon Atack's A Piece of Blue Sky: Scientology, Dianetics, and L. Ron Hubbard Exposed came out in 1990 and was nearly sued out of existence. We were fortunate to come across a copy in the 1990s as we were just beginning a career investigating Scientology stories. Today, Atack has a new edition of the book out, and he gave us a chapter to include in our Saturday "Scientology Lit" series. It reminds us that no one else packed so much history into every page recounting the fortunes of L. Ron Hubbard and his organization. The excerpt we have is a snapshot of how much Scientology was changing in the years after Hubbard went into permanent seclusion in 1980. We hope it motivates you to pick up this book, an amazing resource for any Scientology Watcher...
The Religious Technology Center and the International Finance Police
"As the Organization rapidly expands so will it be a growing temptation for anti-survival elements to gain entry and infiltrate, and attempts to plant will be made." —L. Ron Hubbard, Policy Letter "Security Risks & Infiltration," October 30, 1962.
The image above is from 2007 and was published in a Scientology magazine I received in the US mail many years ago. I posted several photos of Sea Org members contained in the magazine at xenu.net in a thread entitled David Miscavige's Other Golden Boys.
According to this image above, Scientologist Michael Holstein was a European businessman who joined the Sea Org. Holstein was appointed the Solo NOTs Director of Processing at Flag. This is an extremely high pressure position in which one gets yelled at constantly by seniors for improved stars.
The Scientology Money Project is researching Mr. Holstein as his name appears along with that of Scientology billionaire Bob Duggan in the Panama Papers. In the relational map below, Michael Holstein is listed as a shareholder of a company called Genuine First Aid International. Also shown is Iraqi Scientologist Ali Shawkat who, along with his father Mudhar Shawkat — a former member of Parliament in Iraq — sold an Iraqi telecom company for $140,000,000 and moved the money out of Iraq. $14,000,000 of this money was invested in Scientologist Matt Feshbach's Okyanos Heart Institute in The Bahamas. Feshbach sold, or otherwise transferred the company's assets depending upon the different versions of changes of ownership we uncovered, and is no longer associated with Okyanos. Ali Shawkat also donated $5,000,000 to the IAS.
Teaser for my book, Scythe Tleppo: My Survival of a Cult, Abandonment, Addiction and Homelessness
Inspirational true story of a boy escaping the clutches of a cult, homelessness, emotional decimation, and rampant drug abuse.
The story of surviving on the streets, completely without family, friends or hope. The story of how to overcome against all odds; of will to carry on.
Last month, when Clearwater, Florida's Pastor Willy Rice notified his congregation at Calvary Church that Leah Remini was planning on filming an episode of A&E's Scientology and the Aftermath at his church, he warned his flock that the Church of Scientology had a history of attacking its critics.
That event was canceled, but Pastor Rice later stood by his message with more strong words about Scientology and its practices.
And now, just as the pastor predicted, the Church of Scientology has launched an attack on him at the website it uses to take swipes at Leah Remini and the people who appear on her show as part of its "Fair Game" tactics against people it considers enemies.
Faith Goldy, one of Rebel Media's biggest stars — who recently attracted a wave of negative attention to the company for her Charlottesville coverage — has been fired by the site.
Ezra Levant frequently described Goldy as The Rebel's "intrepid investigative journalist," and she hosted the Rebel premium show On the Hunt with Faith Goldy.
The news was first broken in a tweet by the Toronto Sun's Joe Warmington:
How Ezra Levant built an extreme media juggernaut, became a major player in the far-right movement — and watched it all begin to unravel
This is a story about a hypothetical made real. It's a thought exercise — about limits and lines and what happens when those warp and disappear.
Picture this: a man careens through the fringes of public life. He chafes against boundaries. He sues and gets sued. He has talent and drive but lacks, something — a filter maybe, or just someone to tell him when enough's enough. So he offends. He gets things wrong. He burns bridges and loses gigs. He never quite edges into the mainstream.
2016-08-18, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large
Hey everybody, we are going to continue in this video to go through the book Scientology, edited by James R. Lewis which has chapters written by various religious scholars, psychologists and sociologists all talking about Scientology. Thanks for carrying on with me in this.
As I've said before, if you haven't watched my first couple videos in this series, you should do so and the link to the first episode is in the notes section below. I also want to reiterate just in case you didn't see those earlier videos that I am not making any claims to be unbiased or objective in my views on Scientology.
Alright, so this week we are taking up Chapter 3 by Douglas Cowan, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Social Development Studies at Renison College at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. Now the good news about this chapter is that it's the least biased of any I've read so far and talks frankly about the difficulties in studying Scientology as an academic scholar. Cowan has testified on behalf of Scientology insofar as he has apparently stated on record that Scientologists believe that they are part of a religious group but based on what I could find of his work, he's not someone that has ever crossed a line into overt pro-Scientology bias. In fact, in this chapter he helps clarify what position an academic should and shouldn't take about new religious movements and I appreciated a lot of what Cowan had to say. I also found some points I think he totally misses on, so let's go through this in some detail.
If you watch cable news, you've seen someone from an outfit called the "Independent Women's Forum" promoting a conservative take on the women's issue of the day. It's no secret that the group leans right; it grew out of "Women for Judge Thomas," which formed during Anita Hill's testimony about Clarence Thomas at his 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearing, and was formally launched in 1992 by the late Barbara Olson and Rosalie "Ricky" Silberman, along with a cadre of powerful conservative women that included former second lady Lynne Cheney. Still, it's always billed itself as "non-partisan" and "independent." In its early years, it promoted IWF-affiliated author Christina Hoff Sommers's brand of "equity feminism" and opposed the "radical feminism" of the '90s women's movement, which it argued was pushing myths about sexual harassment, pay inequities, and discrimination in the workplace and widespread abuse on college campuses. For years it played no formal role in electoral politics. Ad Policy
But an analysis by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), provided exclusively to The Nation, reveals that since 2010, IWF and its political arm, Independent Women's Voice, have become aggressive players in Republican politics, embedded in the network of organizations backed by Charles and David Koch, advocating for the Koch brothers' myriad concerns, and playing on their "independent" label to elect GOP candidates. If this country is to elect its first woman president, Hillary Clinton will have to face down this powerful conservative women's group to get there. "Our value here...is taking a conservative message and packaging it in a way that will be acceptable" —Heather Higgins
Increasingly, IWF and IWV are playing a bigger and more open role in Republican politics—while boasting about the way their "independent" label gives them access to voters that groups "branded" as Republican can't reach. As IWV president Heather Higgins told a convening at the David Horowitz Freedom Center late last year (captured in this video): "Our value here, and what is needed in the Republican conservative arsenal, is a group that can talk to those cohorts [non-Republican women] that would not otherwise listen, but can do it in a way that is taking a conservative message and packaging it in a way that will be acceptable and will get a hearing."
(David Miscavige visiting Narconon Arrowhead in the mid-2000s)
Contributor Jeffrey Augustine keeps a close eye on Scientology's financial documents. And he has some new information today that backs up what we've been told anecdotally by our other sources — that Scientology's flagship drug rehab center in Oklahoma, Narconon Arrowhead, is in serious trouble. Take it away, Jeffrey...
Here in the US, religious groups do not have to file tax returns. The only exception is if they have "unrelated business income." If they do, thanks to a 2006 law change, religious groups must file an IRS form "990-T." And even then, we don't have much interest in the "unrelated" income that they report. The Church of Scientology, for example, owns a nine hole golf course at Gold Base that it rents out to local civic groups. The Flag Land Base in Clearwater and Celebrity Centre International in Hollywood each have ballrooms that they rent out. These tend to be trivial amounts and don't tell us much about the real money they're taking in for courses and donations.
After a decade on the market, the storied ghost town of Holy City — once the site of a flamboyant Nazi sympathizer and his oddball mix of roadside amenities including a small zoo and a peep show — has a new owner.
But what buyers Robert and Trish Duggan, billionaires and top donors to the Church of Scientology, have in store for the rustic 142 acres off Highway 17 that they acquired for $6 million cash — almost half the $11 million 2006 asking price — remains a mystery.
And that has speculation running rampant among neighbors who've grown accustomed to it as a quiet, forgotten place among the redwoods.
2015-08-18, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
I have assumed since the release of GAT II in November 2013 that it meant that all previous auditor training was no longer valid.
Though of course, at the outset, this was never stated. Might have the natives to get restless.
Those natives are pretty docile, fed on a constant diet of lies and half-truths to turn them into sheeple. The trick is to keep them thinking that the next big thing has just been given to them and that this "breakthrough" will cure all the previous failures to deliver what was promised.
Once again, Google has gone to bat for someone we've written about here at the Underground Bunker, and once again, it's for very sneaky reasons.
We told you previously about how billionaire Scientologist Bob Duggan used a complaint to Google about images he didn't own in order to torpedo a not very flattering story we'd written about him. Thanks to your help, our story about that attempt to censor us quickly became one of the top Google results under Bob Duggan's name. Whoops — Duggan probably didn't see that coming.
Now, another huckster by the name of Per Wickstrom has convinced Google to bury a story we wrote about him involving a young woman who died at one of his Scientology-style rehab clinics in Michigan. And the reason this time is even more fatuous.
Police sources say a raid on the Moscow headquarters of the Church of Scientology earlier this year revealed spy equipment installed in reconciliation rooms. A leak claims the recordings could allegedly be used to blackmail parishioners of the church.
Illegal audio and video recording equipment was planted in the headquarters of a religious organization situated on Taganskaya Street in downtown Moscow, says Russia's Investigative Committee representative Yulia Ivanova.
"As part of criminal action a search was made in the premises occupied by the religious association. The search revealed special technical devices, used for surreptitious obtaining of information, being installed in the personal interview rooms," Ivanova said, adding that investigation on the issue continues in order to determine who, if anybody, was at fault.
To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the 1965 arrival of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, in New York City, marking the founding of Hare Krishana in the United States, devotees packed the Netaji Indoor Stadium August 13th in Kolkata, India for a 7 hour event.
Rep Tulsi Gabbard sent ISKCON her special videotaped greetings on this occasion. In it she praises her "Guru Dev Srila Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa" -- which is what Chris Butler is called by his followers.
The video is remarkable because it is one of the few times Gabbard directly acknowledges who she follows. Normally she keeps her cult connections under wraps, but Butler's need to assert himself in internal Krishna politics likely forced her hand on this.
(Authored by Jeffrey Augustine, this essay was originally published by Tony Ortega at the Underground Bunker and is reprinted here for archival purposes)
Why no one should ever join Scientology's 'Sea Org'
Frequent contributor Jeffrey Augustine told us he was surprised to see how some of the language in Scientology's latest court filing — in the Laura DeCrescenzo lawsuit — dovetailed in such interesting ways with the recent explorations he's been making into the church's legal underpinnings. We told him to let that take him where it would, and here's the result…
2014-08-18, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
This week's "good news." (Well, it's a bit old, preempted by other more important news).
Thing are not getting any better at Flag. Their completions are in the same range for months on end. By now one would have expected to see some evidence of the masses "pouring up the Bridge" — it has been 9 months since the release of GAG II and opening of Miscavige's Folly.
But they pump out the "good news," telling the world they are going nowhere.
Marji Prefontane bought the house on Cedarbrook NE in an auction. Her plan was to rehabilitate the home and sell for it a profit. It was her way of investing her money and helping secure her retirement.
"We hired a guy who we thought was a licensed general contractor who actually presented himself as a licensed general contractor," Prefontane said.
Prefontane admits she's new at house flipping, but placed trust in whom she thought was a licensed professional, David Childers.
Lots of previously undisclosed stories, Tom Cruise Stories.
Hierarchy insider stories and always...
Just another coup.
Just another Purge.
Just another bloodbath in the mentality of power and paranoid cosmic
psycho-politics in the "Church" of Scientology
Good history from Mark Fisher.
Solid evidence presented here and at the blog of Scientology's former spokesman, Mike Rinder, leave no doubt that Scientology is shrinking, and fast. Even loyal, longtime church members are becoming more reluctant to take part in David Miscavige's desperate scheme to open new empty churches to give the impression that Scientology is expanding.
But you have to wonder, who's left? Who's still hanging in there as the collapse seems inexorably to be drawing near?
Well, a tipster let us know that recently Scientology's "Advanced Org" in Copenhagen posted a set of new graduation videos. They're short, but you get a pretty good sense of these enthusiastic folks being celebrated for getting suckered into paying big bucks achieving huge success.
Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard died at approximately 8:00 PM local time on January 24, 1986 at his ranch in Creston, California. Hubbard was 74 years of age when he died alone inside of the luxury Bluebird motor home in which he had been living.
Three days after Hubbard's death on January 27, 1986 Church of Scientology officials, led by David Miscavige, announced that the Founder had "discarded his body" to Scientologists gathered at the Palladium in Hollywood.
The great big big lie these Church of Scientology officials told Scientologists was that L. Ron Hubbard's body was still strong and in perfect health and that Hubbard had simply laid down on his bed and "causitively dropped his body."
2013-08-18, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
The latest insanity comes courtesy of the Uniform IC PAC — Val Page (daughter of Homer Schomer who was at ASI, queried certain financial practices, was abused, kicked out and declared and his daughter has not spoken to him in 30 years!).
But that is not the point here. In case any further proof was needed, the vulture culture has permeated every corner of the RCS. All the way down to the "Uniform IC" — a post that has NO CONTACT WHATSOEVER with the public — sending out begging emails to get money for a "PAC Events Center" to "usher public up the Bridge:"
On Sundays, we love to reveal to you the Scientology mailers and fliers that our tipsters have forwarded us during the week. And this time, we have a huge selection of fun stuff to share with you.
As Scientology nears its apocalypse, er, rather, its ginormous celebration of flowing theta when it opens the Super Power Building on October 6, it seems that it is pulling out all the stops to get its members to give, give, give!
It's almost like they know some sort of point of no return is coming, or something.
2012-08-18, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
Catton became president of the facility in 2002. And he says he became aware that Gary Smith, the center's executive director, and other officials were very worried: in the time since Narconon had received the 1992 exemption, the law had changed, and if the state took a hard look at its certification, the place might not stay open, Catton says. He explains that when the state accepted the CARF approval, the state did so only to certify the initial part of Narconon's four-part program of treatment.
"They were worried that they had to get their entire program certified by the state, or get the law changed, or they would not be allowed to operate at all," he told me.
"It should be noted that while I was there the use and distribution of drugs by 'students' ... and staff was rampant," the complainant wrote to Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services officials.
"I was asked on numerous occasions if I wanted any drugs, but since I do not do drugs, I declined. I was offered many different types of drugs, ones I had never even heard of. By observation, no one was concerned about the drug use at this time."
Department of Mental Health spokesman Jeffrey Dismukes said he could not confirm any action the department took as a result of the complaint because he could not discuss an ongoing investigation.
Kelly Preston credits Scientology with helping her overcome her grief.
The 48-year-old says she was struggling with the loss of her 16-year-old son Jett and credits the religion with helping her through the tough time.
Kelly's son, with actor John Travolta, lost his life due to a seizure in January 2009.
Clearwater attorney Denis deVlaming talks about how Scientology tried to hire him to sue Mayor Gabe Cazares after the group sneaked into town under a phony name. Denis would go on to defend critics of Scientology including Bob Minton, Jesse Prince and Mark Bunker.
2011-08-18, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
Some have pondered lately why the Miscavige obsession with Casablanca. I have some ideas to share on that score.
First please review a portion of an essay I posted on 26 September 2009, Independent Scientologists community:
I am fairly certain that if a decent percentage of independent Scientologists stand up, identify themselves, and freely associate with like-minded friends in the light of day at least three things will happen:
It all began, she says, while Stanley was editing Eyes Wide Shut, which starred Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. Stanley asked Vivian to compose the score, but at the last moment she said she wouldn't. Instead, she disappeared into San Francisco and Los Angeles. "They had a huge fight. He was very unhappy. He wrote her a 40-page letter trying to win her back. He begged her endlessly to come home from California. I'm glad he didn't live to see what happened."
On the day of Stanley's funeral, Christiane says, Vivian arrived with a woman nobody recognised. "She just sat in Vivian's room. Never said hello to us. Just sat. We were all spooked. Who was this person? Turns out she was a Scientology something-or-other, don't know what."
"Did Vivian give a reason why she joined the Scientologists?" I ask.
Prosecutors in Samara Region are taking a high-flying businessman to task for forcing his employees to go on scientology courses. The director of electronics company RosKabelSvyaz Lev Syrolev was threatening to sack faithless workers, but now faces charges for using extremist material.
"These practices are illegal and violate laws on combating extremist activity, labour laws, as well as the constitution of Russia," Prosecutors said in a press release. The Surgut city court considers the ideas of L Ron Hubbard, Scientology's founder, to "justify violence, and in particular ways to combat critics of scientology."
2010-08-18, Jefferson Hawkins, Leaving Scientology
A while ago, a friend sent me an interesting speech by Krishnamurti. I found it fascinating. Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895 –1986) was an Indian writer and speaker on philosophical and spiritual issues. As a young man, he attracted a following, and an organization called the Order of the Star grew up around him. In 1929, he decided to dissolve the organization and gave a speech giving his reasons. The speech is titled "Truth is a Pathless Land."
I decided to post a few excerpts as food for thought. It applies to the current discussion about Scientology and whether or not one needs an organization, or a leader, to follow a spiritual path.
"You may remember the story of how the devil and a friend of his were walking down the street, when they saw ahead of them a man stoop down and pick up something from the ground, look at it, and put it away in his pocket. The friend said to the devil, 'What did that man pick up?' 'He picked up a piece of Truth,' said the devil. 'That is a very bad business for you, then,' said his friend. 'Oh, not at all,' the devil replied, 'I am going to let him organize it.'
"Key leaders in the controversial Church of Scientology make up the advisory board of this group which also helps directly fund Ms. Berfield's campaign. Ms. Berfield has a history of visiting and participating in church events and fundraisers, often praising their efforts, so expect them to return her many favors. They are counting on her as a key ally in their current ambitious expansion plans across Tampa Bay."
Ed Armstrong, a Berfield supporter who also is an attorney for the church, said Farkas "obviously thinks it will put Kim in a negative light and I think he's desperate. … I don't think it will be effective."
Officials with the group, which over the past two decades has distributed booklets of the same name to millions of school children across the country, all with the help of a variety of public officials and corporate sponsors, say they have worked with hundreds of organizations throughout Southern California and around the country in efforts to promote clean living as a virtue worthy of emulating.
But according to LAPD Cmdr. Mike Downing, the Church of Scientology forged his endorsement on The Way To Happiness Web site, prompting the LAPD to disavow any endorsement of Scientology and The Way To Happiness.
CLEARWATER - Complaints about the Church of Scientology unexpectedly surfaced again before the City Commission on Thursday, and some commissioners think they"ve heard enough.
The commissioners two weeks ago presided over a stormy session in which a group of people spoke against the Scientologists, claiming the organization is a cult. Scientologists denied those claims, and said they were offended by what they called attacks on their religion.
At 1:45 p.m. yesterday, Mary Sue Hubbard, wife of Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and a person seldom recognized in public, slipped into U.S. District courtroom, flanked by two lawyers, and took a seat with eight other Church members who had come to surrender to the court.
With her arrival, the audience of Scientologists, reporters and lawyers drew noticeably quiet. None of the Church members, which includes top officials, claimed to have ever seen her before or know whether she would appear.
She stepped demurely to the bench, a slender woman dressed in black, with long brown hair and a Scientology medal around her neck, and listened as her rights were explained.