(Claire and Marc Headley at HowdyCon 2017)
To our readers from the north, Happy Boxing Day! We're continuing to look back at 2017's most significant stories here at the Underground Bunker and today it's a flashback to June in our annual Scientology year-in-review.
We started off the month with an assist from Mark Bunker, who helped us remember one of Scientology's goons, a man named Dennis Clarke, who had passed away in May. At one time, Clarke was used by the church to intimidate protesters, but when Clarke's own health declined, he got no support at all from the church he had bullied for.
2017-12-26, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Well, no surprise to see the Diminutive One show up in S. Africa for the perfunctory ribbon yanking of a second "ideal" building to add to the empty Joburg org just down the way...
Why would the "ecclesiastical leader of the scientology religion" fly 12,000 miles to South Africa two days before Christmas and schedule the "New Year's" event for 16 December, two weeks before New Years?
Best answer: because he planned a little vacation for himself in S. Africa. What a great opportunity to make a trip to the furthest reaches of earth, away from the pesky media, courts and whistle-blowers that keep him locked inside his compounds and afraid to step into public view without security guards, barbed wire fences and rows of bushes and trees to keep the "wogs" at bay.
2016-12-26, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
People inside the scientology bubble really believe this stuff.
How many absurdities do there have to be before they notice?
First, if the IAS is truly "every moment of every day" keeping the "light burning bright" — "everywhere" with their massive Volunteer Minister force — you would expect they might have something to brag about that happened this year.... The tornadoes in Texas were in 2015.
Rod Keller continues to dig deep into Scientology's online and social media offerings, and this week, he takes another look at the organization's newest website...
This week we spoke with another non-Scientologist featured on Scientology's new website promoting the organization's recognition and acceptance as a religion. We also spoke with Dr. Stephen Kent about how some academics view Scientology, and how such positive viewpoints might be developed.
Dr. Derek Davis is the former director of the J.M. Dawson Institute on Church-State Studies at Baylor University. He is an author, the former editor of the Journal of Church and State, and is also an attorney now in private practice. He is a recipient of the Human Rights Achievement Award by Scientology's Freedom magazine in 2004. At Scientology's new website, here's some of what Davis says in a video...
While we're recovering from Christmas here in New York, in other parts of the world our readers are celebrating Boxing Day, a holiday which is generally a complete mystery to us Americans. (And yes, we know it has nothing to do with the sport of boxing.) Well, whatever it is you all get up to on your December 26, we have a special treat for you today.
Professor Dave Touretzky of Carnegie Mellon University sent us this great piece after he saw our post on Scientology's reported new upsurge in harassment of the press. We've heard that Scientology leader David Miscavige has released his hounds, and his legal attack dogs are suddenly much more aggressive with news organizations working on Scientology stories. At the same time, Miscavige is flooding the Internet with press releases about Scientology fluff. We can't imagine this strategy actually helping to improve Scientology's reputation, but lack of results has never deterred Miscavige.
Anyway, even before this new surge started, we would on occasion hear from editors or network executives who were panicked about the legal threats from Scientology. We would calmly remind them that Scientology has not actually sued a news organization in 20 years. And now, Professor Touretzky reminds us just what happened in that case. We think you're going to love his retelling of it.
We've mentioned in the past that Scientology is not finished with its "Mecca" in Clearwater, Florida. Despite the completion of its city-block-sized "Flag Building" (a/k/a "Super Power" building), the church is still raising money for yet another building that will go next door: The L. Ron Hubbard Hall.
For years, Scientology held its big annual Clearwater events at Ruth Eckerd Hall. It's a fine venue with capacity for 2,180 people and has hosted the LRH Birthday celebration each year, which takes place around Hubbard's birthday of March 13.
So why the need for a meeting hall on the Scientology campus itself in downtown Clearwater? We assume there are two reasons: Smaller crowds and security.
2014-12-26, Freedom of Mind Resource Center, YouTube
The author of The Scandal of Scientology, Paulette Cooper, and Steve Hassan, author of Combatting Cult Mind Control and Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults and Beliefs sit down to remember working together in 1976 and thereafter to expose Scientology and the Moonies. And more.
2013-12-26, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It
Another posting from our Special Correspondent Galactic Patrol. I though it appropriate at this time of the year when we take stock of our lives and are thankful for what we have (and in some cases, for what we no longer have....).
To all those who frequent this blog, may you enjoy a wonderful day with those who love you for what you are, not what anyone else says you are.... They are your REAL friends.
The two greatest crimes that can be committed with Scientology technology are the two "shuns" - evaluation and invalidation. In numerous references, LRH explicitly details the destructive effects of evaluating for a person (telling him what to think about his case) or invalidating a person's case or gains.
2013-12-26, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
This is a preview of the last of three books on my 2014 schedule, reference: 2014 schedule.
Scientology Armageddon: What Led America's Most Vengeful Cult to its End Times
In the final chapter of Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior I concluded that chronicling the Scientology years after L. Ron Hubbard passed would largely be pointless. I gave David Miscavige the benefit of the doubt by writing off much of his criminal and sociopathic behavior as being to some degree ingrained by his lifetime programming in Scientology 'us vs. them' mentality. While I haven't changed my view of the causation of his behavior, I have come to recognize that Miscavige's continuing conduct requires that the entire record be set straight.
We want to wish a happy Boxing Day to our Commonwealth friends as we continue our look back at the year that was.
On March 1 we launched SMERSH MADNESS — our very own tournament of champions. On that first day, we pitted L. Ron Hubbard against Australian journalist Steve Cannane, and Hubbard won by only a single vote!
On March 4, we published a major leak of internal Scientology documents. We carefully excerpted material from the secret "life histories" that Sea Org members are required to write about themselves. For some bizarre reason, Scientology is particularly interested in a Sea Org member's sexual history and masturbatory habits, and with these excerpts we showed how young people are compelled to describe things an employer should never have the right to know.
Patrick Desmond By now you've probably seen our update on today's year-in-review piece, or perhaps you've heard the news another way: Atlanta's local media is reporting that state regulators are beginning a process to revoke the license of Scientology's drug rehab program there, the Narconon Georgia facility which is at the center of a contentious wrongful death lawsuit.
[Go here for local reports on radio, television, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.]
For everyone who has followed this case closely — the folks at the Reaching for the Tipping Point forum who have worked so hard to dig up information about the facility, for example — this is stunning news.
Stacy Dawn Murphy Happy Boxing Day! We're still looking back at this amazing year for Scientology watchers, refreshing your memory about what got our attention in 2012.
We hope you have plenty to say as we look back at the stories that mattered in the past twelve months…
One of the most surprising things about 2012 was the way that Narconon's meltdown kept stealing the spotlight from celebrity divorce and other crises for Scientology.
2011-12-26, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
We're going to start off our end-of-year celebrations this week by revealing which video you selected as the best of 2011.
My thanks to our readers who participated in the poll. We had many interesting videos to choose from this year; some were new, others were rediscovered, and every one made an impact.
2011-12-26, Marty Rathbun, Moving On Up a Little Higher
That is how the Corpus Christi Caller Times put it. Since Miscavige folded his tent by Corpus Christi bay in early November, apparently they have hibernated for the winter elsewhere. While in the scheme of things the Corporate Scientology operation had little impact on the Coastal Bend (several counties surrounding Corpus - the Times' beat) in general, Miscavige's antics earned a place on the ballot in the Caller Times reader's poll top stories of the year in the region:
Squirrel Busters hibernate by the bay
Mark Rathbun moved to Ingleside on the Bay to start a new life away from the Church of Scientology. But as he, his wife and residents of the small community soon found out, a place away from the church doesn't really exist.
A controversial drug-rehab center organized on elements of Scientology is being evicted for housing inmates convicted of violent crimes, Albuquerque's mayor said Friday.
The eviction notice gives Second Chance until the end of the next month to wind down the operation housed in a former city jail on Albuquerque's northwest mesa. So far there has been no response from Second Chance.
The mayor says he will terminate the lease of drug rehabilitation center Second Chance after the facility's own records showed it had housed violent inmates.
Mayor Martin Chavez said Friday the center violated terms of its lease with the city by housing inmates charged with violent crimes.
Second Chance President Joy Westrum didn't return calls seeking comment.
The controversial Second Chance Center is probably not going to get another chance, officials said Thursday.
The violent criminals from around the state who are being housed at the secure residential drug treatment facility may cost Second Chance its lease on the old West Side jail building, Albuquerque Chief Public Safety Officer Pete Dinelli said Thursday.
Housing inmates with convictions for violent offenses is in direct violation of Second Chance's mandate, Dinelli said.